Monday, May 11, 2009

Know Your Showbiz Republicans


(left to right, Meat Loaf, Alice Cooper, and Kid Rock)

A LIGHTHEARTED LOOK AT WHO"S WHO IN THE GOP'S SHOWBIZ COMMUNITY

To borrow a line from Resident Ronald Reagan...."There they go again". On Saturday night at the WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT'S DINNER comedian Wanda Sykes skewered several people- but most notably she stuck it to His Majesty, Rush Limbaugh. She jokingly accused Limbaugh of being a 9/11 hijacker who missed his flight because he was strung out on his medication...and then she brought up Limbaugh's comment about wanting President Obama to fail; Wanda countered with "I want his (Limbaugh's) kidneys to fail".

Over the line? Possibly...probably...very likely.

And come Sunday morning the usual suspects were at it, with the same lame and tired accusations about "the elite liberal entertainment" establishment.

But the truth is, Republicans have a pretty impressive roster of celebrity backers, many of whom do carry alot of clout. And there are some very surprising "who woulda thunk it" GOPers

I'll get this out of the way right now; with the possible exception of a second coming of John Wilkes Booth, I could care less what an entertainer's political affiliation is. Its in my bio- I consider myself a progressive (ie liberal) Democrat. To me, "liberal" can be defined as tolerant, and tolerance begins with looking past differences and trying to find commonalities with individuals. I don't understand pontificating gasbags like Bill O'Reilly who'll chide Sean Penn for his political activities and statements, or his ripping Bruce Springsteen for Springsteen's friendship and support for 90 year old folk singer Pete Seeger, because Seeger might have been a member of the Communist Party in the 1930's- thousands of Americans joined the Communist Part during the Great Depression, some for ideological reasons, some in desperation. And some went to Spain to fight fascism in the Spanish Civil War- the prelude to the world's fight for survival against the Nazis. Additionally, someone should tell Mr. O'Reilly that even Lucille Ball joined the Communist Party in the 1930's...she did so because when she went to register to vote with her uncle (as a young woman) she was asked what she wanted for her party affiliation. Lucy said "Communist"....because that's what her uncle told the register he was.

Entertainers owe us a performance...and that's all. Their politics should be tolerated as much as their ethnicity, religion, or their sexuality. You may not agree with them, but to deny them that tolerance is....well, just plain old "unAmerican".

Pictured above are three men who are registered Republicans...and I found at least one pretty surprising. I remember the bygone days of yesteryear when Alice Cooper was treated by conservative elements like the anti-Christ. In the early 1970's I was in the Air Force, stationed at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. One summer the band Alice Cooper, not the individual VINCENT D. FURNIER who was the band's frontman and lead singer and became known AS "Alice Cooper", were to perform at a fairground near Salt Lake City. There was a furor in the local print and broadcast media about Alice Cooper's appearance- the result was the cancellation of the appearance. Months later an Alice Cooper concert was to be broadcast by ABC on Friday late night...we never saw it in Salt Lake. It was replaced by an old movie. There was a violation of community standards, you see.

Before I go any further, let me acknowledge where this list of conservative show biz folks came from. WCBS TV (New York) has a slideshow of celebrities who "lean right". And speaking as a left leaning Dem, the list does indeed throw a counter punch to the Limbaughs. Hannitys, and O'Reillys of the right leaning talk radio and TV universe who'd have their audiences believe that the entertainment world consisted of 100% tree huggin', flag burnin', America dissin', French Fry eatin' red commie socialist pinko atheist liberal Democrat bedwetters.

It just ain't so!

There's quite a few superstars and icons on this list of conservatives and registered Republicans. Some are among the most powerful, and the most talented people in the entertainment business...and quite a few are personal favorites of mine; as entertainers that is.

Here's a quicky rundown...check out the complete list at your leisure.

Iconic Rock and Music Stars Section

I've talked briefly about Alice Cooper (Vincent Furnier) , Kid Rock (Robert J. Ritchie), and Meat Loaf (born Marvin Lee Aday); add to that group the late Johnny Ramone (John William Cummings) and LL Cool J (James Todd Smith). Besides being Republicans or conservatives or supporters of the GOP- and their day jobs- what else do these guys have in common?

They are all using aliases. OK..."stage names". Did you really think that Meat Loaf is registered to vote as "Loaf, M.- Republican" in his precinct? Or how about "Alice Cooper" when he signs in to vote- some little old lady volunteer poll worker who doesn't know Alice Cooper from Alice B. Toklas would see the name, look at "Alice" and then do one of two things; either challenge his right to vote, or call her doctor because she thinks she's experiencing dementia.

Johnny Ramone was a surprise. One of the icons of the punk scene of the 1970's and '80's, its hard for me to imagine that the same guy thrashing away on his guitar to I WANNA BE SEDATED and ROCK N' ROLL HIGH SCHOOL was such an ardent supporter of Dubya. When I saw the film END OF THE CENTURY I became aware of the tensions that grew between Johnny and singer Joey Ramone, some of which were because of a difference in personal politics between the two. It still seems odd- a guy who's band represented the overturn of the established order of the 1970's music biz was so politically conservative.

The Action Hero Superstar Section

This section includes Chuck Norris, Sylvester Stallone, and Bruce Willis. These guys are all famous action heros, and Republicans. What's more, they can all wage war and defeat any and all enemies, solo. And they can do it in two hours or less. Think of all the money we can save on military expenditures with these guys watching our backs.

Tabloid Princesses Past and Present Section

Here we have Bo Derek, Shannen Doherty, and Britney Spears All solid Republican babes- and where would the supermarket tabloids be without them? In the tank, like most of the print media in this country. So they're saving jobs for Americans in America- how red, white and blue are these ladies, heh?

Ex Supermodel/actress/ entrepreneur Section

This group includes Kathy Ireland, Angie Harmon, and Rachel Hunter. Republicans...and hot. Nothing else to add. Except I never knew that Rachel Hunter became an American citizen.

Former Teen Hearthrob Section

Kirk Cameron, Rick Schroder, and Scott Baio. They didn't wait to become crotchety middle aged guys before turning conservative- they made the switch probably around the same time they started shaving.

Most Evil Being In The Universe (Voice Only) Section

James Earl Jones is a Republican. You can insert your own Darth Vader/ Dick Cheney joke here.

Daytime TV and Game Show Section

Susan Lucci, Drew Carey, Pat Sajak, and Elizabeth Hasselbeck rule daytime TV...and are loyal GOPers. I wonder if any of Erica Kane's many husbands were Democrats, and if that was the REAL source of the trouble. And Drew, that "Oswald Harvey" character on your old show...I think he was dangerous.

The Laugh It Up Section

Patricia Heaton, Kelsey Grammar, Dennis Miller, Adam Sandler, and Tony Danza have appeared in some of my alltime favorite comedy shows over the years, as well as branching into films and stage. Patricia Heaton's Debra Barone is the wife alot of us wish we had (minus the PMS). And only Kelsey Grammar's Dr.Frasier Crane was a work of comic genius. But Dennis, you were a funny guy before...you really don't need Billo as a straight man.

The I Can't Drive 55 Section

Sammy Hagar here, a Republican and former VAN HALEN frontman. But I'm giving props to any guy who distills his own brand of tequila.

The He Used To Be A Whacked Out Rebel Section

Dennis Hopper...now a Republican. Enough said.

The True Icons Section

Clint Eastwood and Robert Duvall what else can I say?...Republicans, and my favorite filmmaker and actor, respectively.

As you can see....there's more Republicans in show biz than the mythologists would have you believe- you know, the same Fox News people that kept yelling at the DIXIE CHICKS to "Just shut up and sing". I have so many favorites on this list...that maybe I should make the big switch to the GOP.

Wait a minute...does that mean that I, too, would have to kiss Rush Limbaugh's big fat ass?

Fageddabboutit!

I'm staying where I am.

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