I hadn't realized that John Ratzenberger (TV's Cliff Clavin) was a right-wing goofball until I saw his speech at the "kill the bill" rally yesterday. Sam and Woody are both famously lefties of various stripes, and Frasier Crane is a long-time conservative, but I didn't know about Clavin. Huh. None of them, from anything I've ever heard, is any threat to the stereotypes about Hollywood's lack of depth when it comes to politics. Ratzenberger told a particularly off-message anecdote yesterday about how those damn kids at Woodstock were saved by the National Guard -- that same government (and he used that word) that they were so opposed to. It was a great moment: Clavin's message was basically "America -- love it or leave it, and also the government is a bunch of Commies."
Anyway, there was a bit of news in his speech. Cliffie said that Pelosi, Reid, and Obama were not the heirs of John Kennedy and Tip O'Neill but were, in fact, Woodstock liberals, the heirs of Wavy Gravy. Now, put aside how silly that is -- can anyone really imagine Harry Reid at Woodstock? And Pelosi is about as pure a successor to Tip O'Neill as you can imagine. What struck me is that apparently, at least to one conservative's fevered mind, Tip O'Neill has now joined Truman and Kennedy as a conservative hero who has been betrayed by a later shift of the Dems to the left. Huh. I wonder if this is becoming widespread, or if it's just personal -- after all, we know that Cliff did hang out with O'Neill at least once.
It's good to know. It does make it a bit more clear what's at stake for Nancy Pelosi. If she manages to get health care reform passed into law, she too can be a conservative hero in another thirty or forty years.
(Oh my. It turns out that Ratzenberger is also thinking about running for Lieberman's Senate seat. Somewhere, Dr. Lilith Sternin-Crane is convulsing in laughter).