Looking for Mr. Goodbar II

Looking for Mr. Goodbar – this1977 Oscar nominated film starring Diane Keaton as Theresa Dunn details the story of a woman unsure of her image who looks for the one thing that can satisfy her increasingly intense “needs” for acceptance, to be seen as beautiful and desirable by men who are willing to demonstrate that acceptance by committing the most of intimate of acts with her…making love. Only in this case, she replaces the emotive component of love with the adrenaline rush of dangerous sex and she eventually finds the perfect representation of her definition of “love”…a pure psychopath, incapable of human love but filled with the anger of sexual frustration – in the end, she resigns herself to accepting the ultimate adrenaline rush and in a final violent act, she is fatally satiated in the act of being stabbed to death.

The plot summary courtesy of Wikipedia and IMDb, the movie…

…traces the sexual awakening of a young teacher searching for excitement outside of her mundane existence. Suffering with severe body image issues and a sense of inadequacy following a childhood surgery that left a large scar on her back, Irish American Theresa finds first love with her older, married university professor, who ends the affair as her time in college comes to an end. The end of the affair leaves Theresa feeling used, and she begins daydreaming about being reunited with her professor.

Theresa enters the sexual revolution of the 1970s feeling confused, as she is simultaneously repelled and attracted to the sexual experimentation she witnesses going on around her. Although she continues to teach by day, developing a reputation as a gifted and caring teacher to deaf children, at night she goes clubbing at a series of increasingly seedy bars, picking up men for one-night stands. The recreational sexual encounters slowly become an addiction, as Theresa begins pursuing more dangerous men with violent sexual proclivities to enhance her “high”.

Theresa ultimately breaks up with Tony following a disastrous “date” to his mother’s birthday party, during which the volatile Tony verbally abuses his family and starts a fist fight. With the new year approaching, Theresa resolves to leave her clubbing behind and take control of her life. Seeking one final hookup on New Year’s Eve, Theresa picks up a man named Gary, who turns out to be a sexually confused war veteran. At Theresa’s apartment, Gary finds himself unable to attain an erection. Misreading Theresa’s frustration as her questioning his sexuality, Gary attacks her and begins beating and raping her. After Theresa screams “Do it!” Gary stabs her to death.

What does a movie about violent sexual fantasies have to do with anything?

I think that there are parallels between Theresa’s desperate searches for validation though violent sex and the current Republican primaries.

Conservatives have been jilted, first by their establishment professors who used them in the post-Reagan years to gain control of government Congress in 1994 and then dropped them like a used Kleenex when they thought they had a “permanent” majority and then in 2006 and 2008 by the public at large. After having our reputation ruined by the “compassionate conservatism” of the Bush years, we were tossed aside by the general public in labor of liberal Democrats and then the Marxists supporters of Obama.

We are now are looking for Mr. Goodbar as surely as Keaton’s character was looking for someone who could fulfill her sexual fantasies, except our reaction to being scarred and having low self-esteem is causing us to troll the bars around closing time for Mr. One True Conservative. The question remains, will conservatives share a common dénouement with Theresa? Or as Voltaire, the 18th century philosopher, could be paraphrased as questioning, will we let the perfect be the enemy of the good and as a result, nominate a “Gary” who will kill us in the end by allowing the re-election of Obama?

I must confess, there is a lot to like in some of the specific positions of the individual Republican candidates. Apparently enough for the left to fear all of them…

What if Obama loses?

It’s a common complaint—we’ve certainly made it over the years—that too much political campaign coverage focuses on the horse race. The packed debate schedule in the current GOP nomination battle has put a bit more focus than usual on the substance of what the candidates are saying, which is good. But even so, most of this coverage has wound up being about whether a given policy position might help or hurt a candidate’s chances of winning. What’s most important has been left largely unexamined: if one of these candidates actually becomes president and advances his or her policies, what would be the consequences for the nation?

Part of the reason this question is seldom addressed is that it’s genuinely hard to do; it requires thinking three steps ahead and accounting for numerous variables. But there’s also a widespread assumption that extreme positions taken in the primaries will fade in the general election as candidates “move to the center,” and will disappear entirely once the serious business of governing begins. Surely President Newt Gingrich would not get rid of child labor laws. Surely President Perry would not seek to eliminate three cabinet departments.

We don’t think that this year, with this GOP, those assumptions are warranted. And so we asked a distinguished group of reporters and scholars to think through the hitherto unthinkable: What if one of these people actually wins?

I do love the aroma of Marxist fear in the morning – it smells like…victory.

I like the Constitutional stands of Ron Paul (but he is an anti-Israel nutter and conspiracy theorist), the staunch social conservatism of Santorum and Bachmann (but remember that Rick supported stand-up comedian and RINO – former Senator Snarlin’ Arlen Specter over conservative Pat Toomey and Bachman has withdrawn), the political savvy of Newt Gingrich (but remember that he hearts Nancy and supported a RINO who withdrew and supported the Democrats in a debacle in NY 23 – Dede Scozzafava over conservative and Tea Party backed candidate, Doug Hoffman), the business background of Herman Cain (until the Clintonian level bimbo eruptions) and the brass balls of a Texan like Rick Perry (until his dreadful debate and post-debate performances) – but we aren’t electing a presidential committee, we have to choose one candidate. We have to have a candidate that embodies as much of these characteristics as possible without the flaws that have been exposed in each…and blame the left-wing press for assassinating them one at a time as they rose to the top but in fact, these faults are things that we knew or should have known about them before this election cycle. Sure, Obama didn’t get this level of scrutiny in his run – we know that the press is on his side – but this is exactly the kind of “vetting” that the press should be doing.

It is almost uncanny how much we have forgotten in just 4 years, Republicans are truly the stupid party and conservatives are the co-dependent enablers of this dysfunctional relationship. It seems that it wasn’t that long ago that Mitt Romney was “conservative” enough to be a viable alternative to John McCain and now Newt Gingrich parrots Obama in attacking him for being rich enough to have a vacation home in New Hampshire and calls him a Massachusetts “moderate”…this from a man content to sit on a couch with the most liberal House Speaker in history, Nancy Pelosi, and cut TV ads about global warming. This is also from a man who has made millions off his Speakership, one ended by political mismanagement and scandal and a guy who subsequently went on to lobby on behalf of the very two quasi-federal agencies that are at the epicenter of the mortgage meltdown, Fannie and Freddie.

I don’t mean to question Gingrich’s conservative bona fides but it seems that we have convenient memories where Newt is concerned…and the other candidates as well…

As far as the assertion that Romney is getting a pass – not true. He is lower on the list of the press today because he has been through it already in his run in 2008 – McCain went after him as the press went after both of them – even as they showered praise on President Hope and Change. I think that the perception that he is flying low and under the radar has more to do with his 2008 run than the liberal press liking him – they like no Republicans, not even the RINOs.

Romney’s main detraction seems to be that he did what it took to win the Governorship of a blue state and once there, he didn’t turn Massachusetts into an eastern seaboard version of Texas. The criticism of MassCare rings hollow to me coming from people who purport to believe in the Tenth Amendment and a state’s rights to enact whatever their people determine that they want. I’m not a fan of universal “healthcare” in any form but I’m also not a citizen of that state – if they want socialism at a state level as long as they don’t use federal dollars to support it, I’m cool with that…and I think that the Founders would be as well. That is one aspect that they maintained in from the Articles of Confederation – the ability for the states to decide matters such as this for themselves.

Our fault in following Voltaire’s criticism is that we are comparing our candidates to each other and not to their eventual opponent in the national election, the Marxist Barack H. Obama. There will only be one candidate from the Republican side to oppose the president of the Hugo Chavez book club. The question that we should be asking is this: will our candidate for president be more or less conservative than the current president and will he have the right skillset and political savvy to pull us back from the brink of becoming a banana republic?

On that score, Romney appears to me to possess the best toolkit, the right package of business acumen and political finesse (I see his governorship of Massachusetts as a positive in this aspect), the right mix of the qualities that I like in the other candidate – and there is no doubt that he is far more conservative and has infinitely more respect for the Constitution than Obama.

Let’s hope that the stupid party isn’t as devoid of original ideas as Hollywood is these days and decides to re-imagine 1977’s  “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” in the form of “Looking for Mr. Goodbar II: The One True Conservative” – because if we do, the ending will be pretty much the same – except this time it will be America that gets raped and stabbed to death.

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16 thoughts on “Looking for Mr. Goodbar II

  1. I think the fascination is like the one where people rubber neck at traffic accidents and like a good train wreck. You know Stuff happens….

  2. Is there a reason you left out Romney ADMITTING he is a PROGRESSIVE – and then PROVING it by instituting the first socialist healthcare in the nation while gov. of MA?

    Also, do you suppose that you might have accidentally tripped over something I have been suggesting for a while now – only you didn’t see what it was you tripped over? I am talking about the fact that the conservatives (those who still purport to have an allegiance to the founders’ ideals and principles – even if they don’t understand them) are being “held” on the Republican reservation by the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity who tell us to just keep voting the “R’s” in and we’ll change things later.

    Utah, YOU just said you expect nothing more from a gov. of a “blue State,” so how is it you expect we’ll get anything less than the same by electing “R’s” into a “blue govt.?” If you send a Progressive to Washington, he’ll be a Progressive – “R” or “D” not withstanding.

    Also, you start the post with a movie about a trouble person seeking something they feel is missing in their life through a life of immorality and self-destruction. You even make a connection between the movie and the Republican Party, but I wonder whether or not you saw the same thing I saw in this connection:

    “A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy…. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader…. If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.”

    Solution from his cousin’s son:

    “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”

    –John Quincy Adams

    I’m just asking, as I understand the predicament, just not the contradictory reasoning :-I

    • Not to mention that, after 3 years+ of campaigning, the “conservative” base in the Republican Party seems to be sending a solid message that no one wants to listen to:

      “ANYBODY BUT Romney.”

    • Do you suppose that universal heath care was inevitable in Massachusetts and Romney took the least destructive path available? What about the 10th Amendment? Did the people of the State of Massachusetts not have the Constitutional right to do what they did? Romney didn’t impose it by fiat.

      I can’t and won’t defend MassCare as conservative but I do recognize the right of the people of the individual states to do what they want inside their own state.

      I’ve “tripped” over nothing. You have no answer for the primary issue with your position…getting one of these “conservatives” elected in the national elections. Large populations rarely change ideological allegiance in a large paradigm shift. It has happened once in the past 50 years and that was Reagan’s second term.

      We don’t have a Reagan in the race today.

      There is no choice but to change the country gradually because the people who decide elections – the mushy middle – aren’t convinced that conservatism offers the best path – that’s why we have Comrade Obama.

      If you look at the polls (Gallup has some good ones), the party identification since 1998 has only varied 3 points for the Republicans (28% to 31%) and 4 points for Democrats (31% to 35%), at the end of 2010 it there was two points separating the two with Democrats leading in affiliation 31% to 29%. It isn’t these people that elections turn on, these are people like us with solid political positions – it is the 38% that identify as “independent”.

      In 2010, Gallup looked at party ID including “leaners” and found an even tighter landscape, with Democrats leading by only one point – 45% to 44%. So it is likely that a very, very small percentage of swing votes will decide the election, probably less than 5%, and in the Electoral College where a candidate can win the popular vote in a state by one vote and get all the electoral votes in that state, this is a significant number.

      The other thing of note is that there are NO conservative Democrats left – there are no Reagan Democrats and even if there were, the pressure to vote the party line is tremendous. This is not true on the Republican side – we are fractured between conservatives and moderates and the moderates feel no need to vote the party line, so where Democrats have no need to win with moderates, Republicans do.

      I’ve made a choice and have been defending it. I can’t debate or compare/contrast your choice because I don’t know who it is. I’ve posted why I think that the election is what it is in American Politics Explained and Practical Politics Practiced Politically. With all due respect, most of your posts are spent in quoting dead white guys and what we “should” do at an ideological level. While I agree with you in principle, there will be an election in 10 months and nothing indicates to me that the mushy middle is convinced that conservatism is the way to go.

      Oh, I hear conservatives saying “anybody but Romney”…so who is it? As I posted, every single one of the candidates has a less than perfect conservative act in their history. They have all supported “progressive” Republicans, committed “progressive” acts themselves or in the case of Paul, taken positions that are just unacceptable to anybody left of the neo-Nazi, white supremacist, anti-Semitic factions in the US. Using the “purity” measure – not a single one of them qualifies…so it is a choice of degree of conservatism for each, mixed with electability. If we want to win, we have to choose one of them.

      We are running up against the clock and with the electorate as closely divided as it is, we have a choice to try to win the election and have a chance to effect change or sit back and say “if I can’t have Mr. One True Conservative, I’ll be content to be comfortable in my principles while the Obama Progressives dismantle the country”. Rarely in history will you find wars won based on one battle and this is as much a war as any. We can reenact Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg or we can look to a strategy to win the long war.

      The very reason that we are where we are is that we have not pushed conservatve and classical liberal policies at the state and local level so that we have a “farm system” that produces bench strength for national elections…we still look at elections as tactical events.

      Remember that I have posted that the first truism of politics is that you cannot govern if you can’t get elected.

      We will have to choose. Sometimes the choice isn’t between the “best” and the “worst”, sometimes it is a choice between “best available” and “worst”. In business, I have to make those decisions all the time because there is one thing that never changes, the clock is always ticking. One thing that I do know is that success is always built on forward momentum – sometimes it is very small – but sitting still in business is the same as falling behind because your competition is always moving. The same is true in electoral politics.

      Romney is still more conservative than Obama and with his election and a Republican House and Senate, we might be able to turn the tide.

      • I hear your frustration with me, and I understand it. I share a similar frustration with your position: you tell me we have to make small changes (“progress”) toward the general attitudes of the people, yet you then tell me we have to do this by first winning elections, which requires us to “compromise” on our principles.

        Excuse me, my friend, but you are fornicating for chastity and expecting me to accept this as rational. I do not. I reject it outright as what it is: a self-evident contradiction. If you can and will compromise on principle, then you A) have no principles and B) have taught the people you claim to be trying to win to your side that all they have to do is hold out and you’ll come to them instead. Which leaves me to wonder about this last comment you made:

        “Romney is still more conservative than Obama and with his election and a Republican House and Senate, we might be able to turn the tide.”

        Utah, as much as you are correct to point out I’ve not offered a solution to your election issues, you have failed to explain how placing ADMITTED PROGRESSIVES in office – even if they do all have “R’s” after their names – will change the fact that they are PROGRESSIVES?

        Every experience with “R’s” since Reagan has shown us that Progressive “R’s” do the same things as Progressive “D’s.” So, again, with love and respect, my brother, you are making a case to elect just another flavor of Progressive while asking me to expect that “this time” things will be different. They won’t – not as long as we elect people who openly tell us – both in word and deed – that they hold an allegiance to the principles of our opposing ideology.

        My friend, whether it calls itself liberal or conservative, Progressive is as Progressive does. And isn’t that “Looking for Mr. Goodbar?”

  3. Kells is just wondering who B. endorses……I know I shouldn’t put the horse before the cart or the cart before the horse or whatever that saying is, but I do believe if Ron Paul runs as an Independent, we will be in for another four years of Precious.

    • At this point, Kells, realizing there IS merit to what Utah says, the best “worst” choice – for me – would be Santorum. At least his dance with the devil (i.e. Specter) was explained as necessary to insure we got good judges past the Judicial Committee, something that happened and was in line with Santorum’s stated ideology. I don’t like it, but at least it served a purpose toward the stated goal and not a compromise in the opposite direction.

      Hope that makes sense.

  4. Then pray tell, B – who is the choice? Which one of them will 1) win the nomination and 2) beat Obama to lead us from darkness?

    This isn’t a philosophical discussion – that’s what I am trying to get across. There will be a candidate, there will be an election and there will be a winner.

    Who is it? We know all the candidates now, which is your choice as the conservative savior? Or will you stay home and watch on FOX News while Obama destroys the Constitution for another 4 years? I have other friends who are planning to do just that if the nominee is Romney. I’m just as angry with them as they are with me but I think it is stupid to sit on the sidelines when there is at least a chance to make changes. Even the opportunity to seat possibly 2 Supreme Court justices would be worth supporting Romney if nothing else was done…

    Romney is a progressive? Maybe – but did he run on a platform o fprogressive programs in 2008? Was one of his planks universal healthcare at a national level? The answer to that is no, he was seen as the conservative alternative to McCain.

    • I understand your point, Utah. I’ve said that – many times. HOWEVER, if not Bush Sr., or Dole, or McCain, then who and when do we actually start living our principles rather than just running our gator (so to speak)???

      At this point, I can vote Santorum, but if it is Romney, I’m sorry, I do not see a difference between him and Obama when it comes to core beliefs. Romney may “go slower,” but it is still the road to certain slavery.

      At least with Santorum, if we loose, we loose fighting for what we believe in. With Romney, even if we win, we win the victory for PROGRESSIVISM.

  5. When we get to this stage in the nominating process, if there aren’t at least 2 conservatives who are acceptable, proven, electable candidates – it is too late. We passed the point of discussions on philosophy months ago before the hats were thrown into the ring.

    This whole nominating process is designed to screw things up and disadvantage factions within the party.

    I’m no fan of “progressives” but if I have to choose between one less likely to go bat shit crazy Marxist and one who has already demonstrated that he will, I will select the least damaging. I chose not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    It is sad that with what Obama is doing that we can’t get a candidate that is enthusiastically supported by a majority of the party…I hope that we learn from this and we aren’t fighting each other in 2016.

    • At least bat shit crazy gave us the TEA party and a political awakening (i.e. change in understanding and ideology).

      Romney could put that all back to sleep again and then what happens?

  6. “Remember that I have posted that the first truism of politics is that you cannot govern if you can’t get elected.”

    That is true, but governance rarely brings about change. And, while I do not long for the exciting, heady times of Gandhi’s India, Lech Walesa’s Poland, or Vaclav Havel’s Czechoslovakia, each one of those fellows was involved in regime-changing activities. And the tempo of the change in Poland and Czechoslovakia slowed down when the former activists, Walesa and Havel, became leaders.

    That is the natural way of things; leaders want stability, not revolution. It is the outsiders that advocate radical and rapid change.

  7. Pingback: #Smitty Makes A Great Catch #tcot « That Mr. G Guy's Blog

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