Crackpottery Barn


The good folks at Balloon Juice have been righteously mocking Andrew Sullivan and other professional contrarians who rashly jumped on the Ron Paul bandwagon when the old kook’s campaign suddenly gained a pulse in Iowa. Sully walked back his endorsement after being hammered for issuing it to a candidate with such a troubling history of publishing racist, homophobic rants. But he’s still lamely attempting a post-hoc justification by citing random un-offended black folk and posting inane Paul supporter comments such as this one linked by Mr. Cole:

“I voted for Obama in 2008 but we need a change. Dr Paul is consistent and honest, which is very hard to find. He is not just telling us what we have heard before,” - Samantha Dunn, a 28-year-old teacher in Iowa, to the Daily Telegraph.

This is the kind of shit that makes me want to snort Wild Turkey with a Neti pot. It’s not just the sheer tonnage of stupid packed into those three sentences; it’s the horrific realization that these are the people who will decide the 2012 election.

I’ll wager Ms. Dunn is not particularly stupid—just ignorant of how politics work and clueless about what constitutes valid criteria for making political decisions. I also suspect she is sadly typical of our electorate. Dunn supported President Obama in 2008 because she sensed that we needed a change in direction. Fair enough.

But the fact that she could turn around four years later and support someone like Paul indicates that either Dunn has no idea what the two candidates’ basic political positions are or doesn’t think that sort of thing is important. It reminds me of the people who transferred their allegiance from Hillary Clinton to Sarah Palin in 2008. For the subset who operate strictly on the basis of identity politics, it made a kind of sense: Both candidates possess a pair of boobs and a vagina, and by god, that’s good enough in some quarters.

But most who made the Hillary-to-Sarah whipsaw wouldn’t cop to such a narrow litmus (titmus?) test. Instead, they attempted to disguise the utterly superficial and frankly dumb calculus it took to make the switch by attributing views to both candidates which neither woman would recognize, contorting themselves into pretzels trying to pass off the floridly anti-choice Palin as a stealth champion of women’s rights.

My guess is that something similar is going on in the noggin of Ms. Dunn and voters like her. If she’s aware that Paul got his notions about capitalism from Ayn Rand’s master-race bodice-rippers, if she knows that he is the darling of the racist goons at StØrmfront because he thinks restaurant owners should be able to hang up “Whites Only” signs if they damn well please, she must believe that this is less important than Paul’s “consistent,” “honest” crackpottery. 

I don’t mean to pick on Ms. Dunn—I cite her to illustrate a wider and more disturbing phenomenon: the casual political shopper. Of course, it isn’t anything new at all: People have been voting on the basis of who would be “fun to have a beer with” since John Adams ran against Thomas Jefferson. The dawning horror attendant upon the realization that the 2012 election is in their hands is just one of those bits of knowledge that are always in the background but are nonetheless capable of making one queasy when contemplated directly. Like the knowledge of one’s own mortality.

Anyhoo, the good news is that even if Paul carries off the prize in Iowa, there is virtually no chance he’ll become the Republican nominee. Romney will almost certainly win the nomination, and I can’t think of anyone on earth less likely to inspire casual shoppers at the Crackpottery Barn than Willard M. Romney. Whew?

Posted by Betty Cracker on 12/30/11 at 04:13 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaElection '12MittensNuttersSarah PalinTeabaggeryPUMAs

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*Sigh*  “He’s not just telling us what we’ve heard before.” 

I get the feeling she has not heard an awful lot before. I don’t think the newsletter stuff has filtered down to the average low-info voter, and the curious end the Fed/gold standard stuff might go over some peope’s heads—it sounds like the truth because he’s really sincere(even when sincerely wrong).  But he isn’t full of some folksy wisdom everyone else is too bullshit to say out loud—it just sounds that way when he says it to people who don’t know any better (Dunn) or can’t be arsed to care (Sullivan, I really suspect).

Sully walked back his endorsement after being hammered for issuing it to a candidate with such a troubling history of publishing racist, homophobic rants.

I suspect it was the “homophobic” part that made him queasy—the guy who proudly published The Bell Curve has never struck me as being uncomfortable with letting his racism all hang out.

It reminds me of the people who transferred their allegiance from Hillary Clinton to Sarah Palin in 2008.

Do those people really exist?  I always thought (and still do) that the PUMA set was a bunch of ratfuckers.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Ron Paul is not a Libertarian, but a Neo-Confederate.  He’s “principled” in the same way that Jefferson Davis was.  The fact that so many youngish people support him is really a puzzler to me.

Weeeeeeeed!!  There is a significant portion of America’s youth that wouldn’t hesitate to slap on a brown shirt for some righteous herb.

Ron Paul is originally from Western PA, near Pittsburgh so his neo-Confederacy came with his move to Tejas.  Mind you there are plenty of racists in the Keystone State but they rarely combine that with whackjob Randism, which combination would be quite comfortable with a Texas reactionary. BTW, I assume Ayn Rand was the inspiration for his son’s first name. l-could-hurt-romney-post-iowa.html

I think this chap could’ve saved some electrons if he’d just said, “Ron Paul=Ross Perot? Maybe? Whadaya think?” But maybe I’m missing something subtler here.

Either way, I too have wondered if Dr Paul is seeing the sands running short in the hourglass of time and thinking, “Eh, why the hell not?”

Comment by Jewish Steel on 12/30/11 at 05:52 PM

Sadly, our country is full of Samantha Dunns—and Kelly Clarksons. What troubles me most, however, is what exactly are the Samantha Dunns teaching our children? (I am assuming she teaches children, but I could be wrong. But see, I’m the kind of person who readily admits when I’m wrong, unlike those GOP clowns running for president and their supporters.)

a wider and more disturbing phenomenon: the casual political shopper.

Yup. This is one of the few upsides to low voter turnout - I’m guessing these folks stay home more often than politically engaged people do.

I’ve been seeing the “at least he’s consistent” meme quite a bit the last two days, on all kinds of sites.

Of course, it doesn’t matter that his only consistency is being a kook from east Texas.

Tom, I thought Colbert buried the whole “consistency” thing in his White House Press Correspondents Dinner address during the Bush Years: “I love this man. He believes the same thing on Wednesday that he believed on Monday. No matter WHAT happened on Tuesday!”

Back in 1968, my dad told me of a black co-worker who was going to vote for George Wallace because “Unlike all these politicians, at least I know where he stands”. Sure, dad.

“Say what you will about National Socialism - at least it’s an ethos.” - Walter Sobchak

LMAO re Sullivan’s disclaimer: “I write and think in real time.” Definitely worth recycling! (Although wasn’t there something about how one’s brain ought to be in gear before engaging the expressive functions?)

But really, folks, aren’t these dark days indeed, when a wacko like Ron Paul begins to appear as a real alternative?

“He’s not just telling us what we’ve heard before.”

Monkeys make tasty pies.  Orange Julius tunes up the car. Banana honky motorcycle hotdish.

I’m mikej and I approve this message.

I write and think in bullet time, but it gets me nowhere, blogularly.

And yes, its weird that Ron “So Fringe He’s Not Even on the Same Cushion” Paul is mainstream these days—but I’ve taken a look at some of his really awful offensive crap—and can almost always point to at least one other prominent, “mainstream” Republican saying similar. It’s only the Fed/Goldbug stuff where he’s Alex Jonesing his way back to some alt.history 1880’s parallel time-line presidential run. But then again: Glenn Beck, Goldline, stock up on the bottled water and ammo—it’s not *new*. It must be his delivery or something. Maybe he’s got hypnotic eyebrow merkins. His popularity amongst people who give a shit about popularity makes me confused and cranky.

Times are hard for a lot of folks, and that makes it much easier for crackpots like Paul to gain some traction with Real ‘Murikans/casual political shoppers.  Just like the crap economy made it easier for a certain strangely mustachioed fellow to do so well in a certain part of western Europe in the early 1930’s.  Only this time its weed, not beer.

Oh shit, I just Godwin’ed myself.

The Ron Paul Youth Brigade scare me. Not the casual Ron-curious types but the hard core.  They give me ugly moshpit flash backs.

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