Psychopunditry

frednewman PsychopunditryIt's Friday, and you know what that means: Only two more days until Sunday morning! If you're anything like me–and if you're reading this blog at 4:45 on a Friday afternoon, I suspect you are, you poor devil–Sunday morning is your Friday night, the few hours a week that make life worth living. There's Russert and Stephanopoulos and even boring old Bob Schieffer, not to mention all those other ranters and ravers on the cable networks. It's like a religion without the guilt.

Anyway, I mention this because for quite some time now, I've been enjoying the weekly … I dunno … searching for the right word here … dispatches of Independence Party activists Fred Newman and Jacqueline Salit. Newman and Salit are just like me when it comes to their Sunday morning routine. Except they yell at the television. And then they transcribe their rants and distribute them.

A little background here: Newman is the Marxist playwright, psychotherapist and alleged "cult leader" who is the supposed brains behind the Independence Party. He's also the man behind Lenora Fulani's presidential campaigns, and it says something about his politics that Fulani was the more electable of the two. In this amazing six-part series on Newman by Rita Nissan, Newman says it’s okay for a doctor like himself to have sex with his patients. Salit, his sidekick, is an Independence Party "strategist."

Anyway, I bring all this up because last Sunday’s dialogue was all about Michael Bloomberg, the former Democrat-turned-former-Republican. Newman said Bloomie is now the “Poster Guy” for the independent movement he’s long been fighting for.

“He didn’t get elected simply because of his money. He didn’t get elected because Rudy Giuliani supported him. He got elected because he was smart enough – or his campaign people were smart enough – to seek the line of the Independence Party, and therefore transform his own image, to become an independent, which is now the ‘new movement on the block.’”

Newman went on to say that Bloomberg is to the independent movement what Newman is to philosophy.

“I teach philosophy. I’ve taught it for 40 years. And, I teach it well enough to get people interested in buying another philosophy book – so they become interested in learning what it really is. And I’m perfectly happy to play that kind of role. That’s an important role. And Bloomberg is playing that role for independent politics.”

And he adds, “I think we, the New York City Independence Party, as part of the independent movement, can take credit for that.”

Move over Lenora! Looks like the doctor's got a new sweetheart.