YAFB’s 2012 Rumproast Roundup, Part 5
This summary of December—from the sublime “Gangnam Style” to the ridiculous Marco Rubio—completes my 2012 roundup.
“Gangnam Style” had provided the soundtrack to the latter stages of the election, and Big Bad Bald Bastard examined its subversive viral phenomenon in the context of worldwide “hip-hop culture,” and its resonance among the young Asian-American populace in particular. The fact that it chapped the old, white asses of the likes of Bill O’Reilly was just predictable, if delicious, gravy:
Once again, another “natural Republican voter” constituency flees the “big tent” due to bigotry and ignorance. In light of this, one would think that a conservative pundit would be leery of dismissing an enormously popular song by an Asian artist as nothing more than incomprehensible gibberish. Ah, who am I kidding? It’s a lot easier to rile up the dead-ender base. Now, how about another video of a tuxedo-wearing Korean guy singing a song with lyrics that are incomprehensible to most Americans?
Bette gave us an in-depth look at the gobal warming denial industry lobbyists behind the tensions between Christian Dominionists, more ecologically minded Christians, and Greens, and it was no surprise that the trail led back to:
the Koch brothers, Richard Mellon Scaife, the Bradley family, and others [who] have been using a secret finance network to support extremist right-wing groups. Most of these groups are associated with the State Policy Network, a band of corporate apologists who have made careers denying everything from the dangers of smoking cigarettes to the existence of climate change.
Bette then returned to Grover Norquist, now desperate to the point of joining the Breitbartlets in his realization that his unwonted infuence was very much waning, predicting a “second wave” of the Tea Party to the hobnobbing would-be armed insurrectionists hunkered down in the Breitbart comments. Bette‘s next post reported that the GOP had looked deep into its soul, its bankbooks, and its rear-view mirror and decided after much pondering that there was nothing wrong with the Republican Party that a different electorate and perhaps a different country wouldn’t cure, so it was Tally ho! for the Fiscal Cliff, while Mitt had finally had a shave, plastered his locks into submission, and returned to his cushy gig as a porn-pedlar at Marriott International. The season wouldn’t be complete without bulletins from the front in the War On Christmas, and marindenver reported on the annual (since 2008) wingnut freakout about the White House Christmas trees. This time there were TOO DAMN MANY!!!! The grappling on the brink of the Fiscal Cliff continued, and Bette sidestepped the hair-on-fire reactions among some of the left to bring tidings of Boehner’s resurrection of Simpson-Bowles as a bargaining chip, which still wasn’t enough to satisfy AFP and its ilk, and was a nonstarter for the President. In its wake, Bette turned to the Senate’s failure to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the fact this was based on US legislation from 1990 and would have no additional effects in America didn’t stop GOP opportunists ginning it up into the latest example of Obama’s determination to impose the New World Order), then took another peep over the Fiscal Cliff, where she found the GOP’s legs pedaling furiously in mid-air, buoyed only by the animus of infighting and continued electoral recriminations, and even FreedomWorks in danger of being dashed on the rocks below. If we needed relief at this stage, StrangeAppar8us was happy to clear the Titanic‘s dancefloor for Gangnam Warrior Allan Simpson, leaving Bette to cover the latest self-detonation by the GOP leadership, as it was Mitch McConnell’s turn to press “Abort” when his cunning plan to outfox the Democrats by daring them to vote on Obama’s debt ceiling plan backfired when it became apparent that if he did so, they would, and it would pass. Marindenver covered the ongoing wrangles over renewing the Violence Against Women Act, the major stumbling block being that it would give Native American tribes jurisdiction to prosecute non-Native American men, which for some reason the Republicans weren’t happy about. Betty was somewhat skeptical about news of Charlie Crist joining the Democratic Party:
Would Crist be a huge improvement over current Governor Voldemort should he choose to run against The Dark Lord in 2014? Well, yes. As far as we know, Crist doesn’t store his fragmented soul in a series of hidden Horcruxes, and he’s never delivered a State of the State address in Parseltongue. But does anyone doubt for a second that if Crist had beaten Rubio in the GOP primary and become Republican Senator Crist, he would have been campaigning his ass off for Romney this year? Of course he would have. He’s not really a Democrat; he’s an opportunist..
Vixen found herself in the unaccustomed position of agreeing with George Will that “The opposition to gay marriage is dying—it’s old people,” while Bette discovered Dick “You and Whose?” Armey, having bailed lucratively out of FreedomWorks, offering useful advice to the GOP:
According to Armey, the GOP’s biggest problem is “The stupidity, Stupid!” He went on to say that it’s the party’s job to support and train candidates (like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, perhaps) to keep their stupid thoughts to themselves in order to become stupid office-holders.
And then he went and spoiled it all by saying something stupid like:
One of the things that we see as we look at Glenn Beck’s work that’s been fascinating to me, is we see a more true and accurate history of the United States, and we see it documented at levels of rigor that, in fact, one would expect out of Ph.D. dissertations — it is serious, scholarly work….[Liberal critics] don’t have to argue with Glenn Beck. They have to argue with his documentation and they can’t match that level of rigor.
Big Bad Bald Bastard revealed the latest preoccupation in some Libertarian circles, the War On Eggnog, a proxy for the government’s continuing campaign to contaminate the nation’s precious bodily fluids, while StrangeAppar8us reminded us that there were only eleven snarking days left till Christmas, but only if the Mayans’ calendar malfunctioned. Vixen found that Lindsey Graham had grown fed up of huffing Benghazigate, his latest claim to relevance being to puff the debt ceiling, and Bette added Marc Thiessen to the “Reasons the GOP Will Never Get Better” for his latest Rorke’s Drift “we’ve got them exactly where we want them” entreaty to the GOP groundtroops to hold their fudge on the Fiscal Cliff, then turned her attention to Richard Mourdock, last seen losing a surefire Republican seat having shared “his deeply held belief that rapes only happen because God wants them to, ergo the victims of rape should feel honored to carry their ‘little blessing’ to term,” now in parlous campaign debt and blaming the media for reporting his words of wisdom from the stump. Betty marked the impending year’s end by awarding her traditional Five Fuck Offs, the recipients from a strong field this year being:
1. Everyone named “Bush.”
2. The expression “baby bump.”
3. Donald Trump.
4. The Tea Party.
5. Camille Paglia.
She was in no sunnier a mood when bemoaning the state of the Village media and singling out Dana Millbank and Barbara Walters as runners-up for the awards. Vixen greeted the news that Susan Rice had abandoned hope of becoming SoS with the consolation that at least it would mean less reason for John McCain to appear on telly, and pondered which of the other contenders might fit the bill, then Bette diagnosed the Republican Party’s ills under five headings: “Paranoia,” “Scandal Mongering,” “Eating One’s Own Young,” “Doubling-Down on Failure,” and “Public Venting of Delusional, Grandiose Thinking,” which seemed to cover most of the bases. But what happened next was to overshadow the rest of 2012. Marindenver had made her feelings plain after the earlier Aurora shootings, and the news from Sandy Hook just confirmed them:
I’ve seen several responses today that it’s mental health we need to focus on - not the unbelievably easy access unstable people have to automatic weapons and huge magazines of bullets. News flash people: The two subjects aren’t mututally exclusive.
For those who continue to say the time to have the conversation is not now I would just ask “If today’s horror wasn’t bad enough to make today the day, what will it take?”
Big Bad Bald Bastard followed up with:
When the unthinkable becomes a damn-near weekly occurrence, something is seriously wrong with our society.
and mentioned the phrase that Second Amendment advocates so often ignore as the context for their Constitutional rights—“a well regulated Militia.” Vixen covered President Obama’s speech to the commemorative Interfaith Prayer Vigil, hopeful that this time some serious legislative action might result, and Bette rounded up some of the obfuscatory rightwing recommendations in reaction to the tragedy (more prayer, more guns, more homeschooling, and less abortions and gays), declaring;
It is time for sane parents who want to protect their children and make those children feel safe in their homes, in their schools, in their neighborhoods to drown out the voices of the yahoos, the politicians and lobbyists who tell us all of the reasons why we can’t do that. And I mean ALL children. Not just children in affluent neighborhoods but also the children who are held back, educationally, because they are afraid to go to school.
StrangeAppar8us rekindled an old Rumproast flame—Ann Barnhardt, she of the pink AR emblazoned “Molon Labe” (which I believe translates as “Hello Kitty”), while Betty looked back at some 2007 primary debate footage of Joe Biden—soon to head the government’s gun control initiatives—questioning the mental health of a gun enthusiast who referred to his firearm as his “baby.” Big Bad Bald Bastard was incensed by the one-sided insistence during much of the current weapons debate that liberals were too ill-informed to offer a valid opinion:
Anyway, what really chaps my ass is the one-sided insistence that gun control advocates have to be fully informed about the subject of guns when the opposition can engage in ignorant distortions and outright lying. Here we have Tealiban pastors blaming mass shootings on the teaching of evolution and gay rights initiatives. A former friggin’ Republican presidential candidate blamed the massacre on contraceptive pills.
How about we make a deal, we liberals will learn about guns, and the conservatives will learn about the Theory of Evolution by Means of Natural Selection, the means by which different birth control methods work ... and the facts about gay people and the development of their sexual preferences. While we’re at it, they should also learn the facts about Anthropogenic Climate Change, basic Economics, and Comparative Religion… need I go on?
In other news, John Boehner was intent on clarifying why this period of the electoral cycle is known as the lame duck session by limping damply before the cameras for a one-minute press conference where he quacked that Obama should do his job for him, as Vixen covered, then Mrs. Polly dealt with NRA VP Wayne LaPierre’s call for schools to be patrolled by armed bands of rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers and Methodists. Hold that, the Indian agents, Mexican bandits, buggerers, and bull dykes might not be such a good idea, and he wasn’t so sure about the Methodists now he came to think about it. Her post (which I’ve somewhat paraphrased here) inspired Bette to look more closely at the motivations behind the gun lobby’s constant cries of “More guns!” as the solution to every massacre, then Big Bad Bald Bastard joined the pile-on, saving his fieriest ire for LaPierre’s proposal that the government register mentally ill persons rather than firearms:
Some journamalists are urging us to ignore the NRA. Of course, left unsaid is that ignoring Wayne LaPierre would be interpreted as tacit assent. We ignore the NRA at our peril, we need to ridicule them, and to marginalize them- hopefully to the point of negation.
A day later, on Christmas Eve, Bette reported on yet another “tragedy” (the word was losing all sense of proportion by this stage)—the death of two and the wounding of two other firefighters in Rochester, NY at the hands of a sniper. Vixen took pre-Christmas Day solace in some of the “gifts” liberal bloggers received in regular supply from the antics of rightwingers of various stripes, then when we resumed after the celebrations, she was refreshed enough to spare a thought for John Boehner, for whom some Republicans were keenly seeking a replacement, even from outside Congress, though Vixen thought this unlikely, and that it missed the point anyway:
The fault in GOP leadership has nothing to do with Boehner’s character or flaws or anything else about him—it’s the numbers. No matter who is in charge, that person would still be dealing with the Louie Gohmerts, Paul Brouns, and Michele Bachmann’s that make John Boehner’s job the thankless thing it is.
For some reason, Boehner was on Bette‘s mind, too, as she explored further his powerlessness in the face of his divided caucus and his repeated punting of responsibility, this time calling on the Senate to do something about the Fiscal Cliff, which it was largely only too keen to do, except any such bill would be blocked by his caucus once it returned to the House .... Bette then chose to rise to an erstwhile commenter’s challenge on the subject of gun control: “If you want to prove a person wrong, it helps to detach yourself and analyze what they are saying and spotting the flaws in reasoning” ... Which she did, point by painstaking point. Marindenver, having adopted three children of her own from abroad despite governmental machinations, wrote from the heart when she covered President Putin’s signing of a law banning US adoptions of Russian children. Bette offered a brief profile of one Gary Smith, who failed in his attempts to earn a crack at one of New Mexico’s Congressional seats, but made up for it by gaining lasting notoriety as a serial tire-slasher of those in the GOP he saw as having blocked his progress. Not that this means his political career is over. In a country where a former car thief can be Chair of the Congressional Oversight Committee, it may even prove a positive bullet point on his résumé. The honor of final post of the year fell fittingly to Betty, who chose to celebrate by highlighting Marco Rubio’s mendatious shitstirring tweet: “Report that #GOP insisting on changes to social security as part of #fiscalcliff false.BTW those changes are supported by @barackobama.” Why lie like this? He’s running for president, for Pete’s sake!
Headline of the Month Nominee
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So there you have it—a whole, pretty momentous, year filtered through Rumproast, then filtered again through my own faulty vision. What writing it impressed on me is that the personnel may change as folks come and go and (hopefully) return, but the sassy Rumproast spirit continues and evolves.
Since so much of 2012 was taken up with the process of reelecting President Obama and Vice President Biden, it seems fitting to end this series on the day when both will be sworn in for the first time for their second terms, their Sorosian handlers having connived from the year 0 to ensure that fate would rub it in for their enemies not only by enabling them to stage a public encore on Monday, but arranging for the Inauguration to fall on Martin Luther King Day.
What this roundup can’t hope to cover is every single post—and I apologize if I skipped over anyone’s favorites—and especially the contributions from our commenters, who add so much to our blog’s life and without whom it would just be a bunch of folks blabbering into the void. Thanks to you all. Let’s hope the year and the term ahead bring much fun and joy, and that we weather what storms may occur together and emerge intact.