Archive for the 'Debates' Category

I’ve seen enough

OK, I admit it.  I didn’t watch Saturday’s debate.  Too busy watching the Food Channel’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and folks who shove greasy burgers, fat-laden chili-fries and lots of bacon into their mouths.  Yummy.

I think I’ve seen three of the debates going back to the time when Rick Perry was still the Republican savior.  Now he’s demoted himself to junior savior status and is currently running ads that remind us that he is a devout Christian, that gays should remain in the closet, and isn’t it a God-awful shame that kids can’t pray in school instead of learning what the legal voting age is and  how many Supreme Court justices there are.

I’ve always felt that I should know what the opposition is up to.  Even to the point of  occasionally listening to Rush Limbaugh.  It used to drive Sweetie nuts.  “How can you listen to that ignorant blowhard.  Haven’t you got better things to do.  Like picking up your clothes?”  So that’s why I watch the debates, that in some cases are more exciting than watching the Broncos’ Tim Tebow genuflect after gaining yardage, thanking God for letting his team beat those godless bastards and reminding us that only devout Christians will go to heaven…while me and my ilk baste in the fires of hell.  But that’s another story.

Poor Mitt is stuck in second gear while the Newt is laughing his way to the nomination.  Pretty good for a guy who, not long ago, was left for dead at the Tiffany counter.  I used to think about running for public office, never seriously but sort of in a day-dreamy kind of way.  But I’d quickly dismiss it when I remembered the various immoral acts that might be uncovered during my campaign.  Starting with cheating on various Latin exams in Mrs. Beck’s class, lying to my mother when she asked if I went to Hebrew school today, and setting fire to the vacant lot in Albany Park while roasting potatoes with my friends.

But if Newt is any example, the sky’s the limit.  Abandoning two previous spouses (one suffering with cancer) while diddling with others…and all the while promoting the impeachment of a fellow lothario…appear to be forgivable sins.  Playing fast and loose while Speaker of the House resulting in a few hours of standing the corner can be best classified as boyish enthusiasm.  His “Contract with America” should be retitled a “Contract on America” given the regulatory and financial disasters that it gave rise to.

To know him is to love him apparently does not apply in Newt’s case.  As Maureen Dowd noted in her NY Times column…Joe Scarborough, one of the House plotters against Speaker Gingrich back in 1997, quipped, “Let me just say, if Newt Gingrich is the smartest guy in the room, leave that room.”  Or as Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, who worked with Newt in the House, noted, “He’s a guy of 1,000 ideas and the attention span of a 1-year-old.”  Congressman Peter King of New York told CNN’s Erin Burnett that Newt’s “inflammatory” statements, his “erratic” and “self-centered” behavior, and his “Armageddon language” wear people out.   And those three guys are all Republicans.

Which neatly summarize Newt’s qualifications to be President of the United States.  He’s a quick-draw smart-aleck who’s a legend in his own mind.  And it seems to me that we had one of those for eight years not too far back.  And we are still trying to pull ourselves up from the abyss he created.   Are we ignorant or what?  Maybe it’s no wonder that the polls of likely Republican voters show Newt leading the pack by substantial margins.

And if that isn’t enough, defines Newt as a cold-blooded vertebrate.  Where’s the Snow Queen when you need her?

What a Bunch of Bozos We Are

I see where the Congressional Supercommittee that was punted the job of deficit reduction is, big surprise, at a loss about what to do about it.  Duh.

I also note that the disparity between the haves and have-nots is greater than it was when Dickens wrote Oliver Twist.  At least we had soup kitchens and comfy debtors’ prisons back then.  Now all we get is the pronouncement from Herr Herman that poor folks got into trouble because they were too lazy or too stupid to do anything about it.  In his scholarly opinion they, like he, should simply grope their way to the top (or to the bottom depending on your point of view.)

Additionally, I congratulate the Republicans for doing a masterful job rewriting history.  Obliterated, after little more than two years, are the memories of how we got into this mess.  Bush tax cuts, two unfunded wars, wildly imaginative regulation dismantling and an unpaid-for-grab-bag drug program for old folks are but ancient myths vaguely remembered only by those who are presently protesting by sitting in front of Goldman Sachs, the Bank of America and Libbey Bowl.   Most of the rest of us are positive that this whole thing is Obama’s fault along with the sinking of the Titanic.  Short term memory impairment run amok.

As if that weren’t enough, our priorities also seem to be a bit skewed.  A New York congressman gets booted from public life for taking photos of his dick while Republicans are ready to anoint a masher who wants to enshrine his wanger on the ten-dollar bill.  Or maybe a $9 bill to go along with his remarkable Alice in Wonderland tax proposal.

But let’s not pick on Herr Herman.  He’s in excellent company along with Social Security privatizers, let-the-old-folks-eat-cake Medicare demolishers, child vaccines will kill you advocates, global warming naysayers, debt default or die lunatics, and God will save us crazies.  Even Mitt Romney, once the voice of a modicum of moderation, has donned the one-size-fits-all mantle of “Hey, I’m as nutty as they are…so vote for me.”  No statement is too ludicrous and no act too perverse for this group of Keystone Kops.  The end justifies the means.  Assaulting and capturing the Oval Office like Kamikaze pilots requires sacrifice, even if it’s our sacrifice not theirs.

So back to the Congressional Supercommittee.  Democrats, being the fools that they are, assumed that Republicans, being the crazies they are, would come to their senses.  The Party of No would become the Party of Maybe.  Laughing all the way to the bank, the Republicans could point to the twelve bazillion dollars in entitlement cuts they grabbed in return for twelve cents of tax increases reluctantly imposed on the 1% of the population owning 50% of the country.  But no, the Party of No never met a tax increase they liked.  All or nothing.  Never ones to learn from history, the Dems would repeat it and fold.  Business as usual.

As for me, I’m going to switch parties and vote for Herman in the primary.  I’ve always wanted to see a sitting President carted off to jail right after his inauguration for groping Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  Then we can get the President we really deserve.  Sarah Palin.

Don’t Ask Do Tell

I stumbled across the Republican debate in Orlando the other night.  Used to be that, given my political bent, I’d quickly switch to the Cooking Channel, Home and Garden TV, or some other mindless pursuit.  But I find that the best shows currently on the tube are the Republicans beating up on one another.  Democrats don’t seem to have yet mastered that skill.

My new most favorite candidate is Rick Santorum.  A nice looking young man who throughout his career has turned insults to minorities into an art form.  This evening was no exception.

Playing to the baser instincts of his base he splendidly called for the reinstatement of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”.  This mind-numbing bit of flim-flam occurred right after viewing a video of Stephen Hill, a soldier in Iraq, who had to lie about his sexual preferences in order to keep his job.  Hill asked the arrayed candidates whether they, if elected, would turn back the progress that had been made in dealing with gays and lesbians in the military.

Santorum, looking quite presidential and assuming the pole position, said…and I paraphrase…”Damn right.  You guys are weird and I’m not going to spend good money giving you sickos some undeserved preference.”  He added, to the astonishment of many of the old WWII geezers in the audience, that sexual activity of any kind has no place in the military.

Applause, applause for Santorum.  Boos, boos for Hill.

In addition to the slightly weird candidates, the debates have left the impression that those in the audience are strange at best, a crazy mob at worst.  Cheering when Perry expressed his satisfaction with the Texas executions, and the “let him die” answer to Ron Paul’s feelings about folks without health insurance, are now a grim trifecta with the addition of Santorum’s anti-gay bigotry.  Nicely done.  And not one Democrat needed to get his hands dirty.

I’d like to believe that the folks attending the debates are not representative of the majority of Republicans and it is to the credit of some Republican pundits that they took Santorum to task.  On the other hand, not one of the other candidates standing on the stage had the courage to say something in defense of Hill or even suggest that what was important was his service to the country and not his sexual appetite.  They stood there full well knowing that they would be booed if they dared defend someone who was defending them.

William Kristol, one of my favorite conservative Republicans, was honest in his assessment of Santorum and the reactions of the attendees.  His Weekly Standard column opined…The e-mails flooding into our inbox during the evening were less guarded. Early on, we received this missive from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!” As the evening went on, the craziness receded, and the demoralized comments we received stressed the mediocrity of the field rather than its wackiness.

I suppose I should be glad about the impression this leaves on those who are truly on the fence.  It makes Obama’s job easier.  But what if someone like Santorum really isn’t just playing to his base?  What if he really means what he says?  What if he or someone like him actually gets the nomination?  And what if he wins the election?  Don’t ask don’t tell will be the least of our worries.  And I can spend all my time with the Cooking Channel.


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