Anyone who thinks that the recent implosion of the Republican party signals a new day of maturity, logic and rationality in matters governmental probably also believed that the results of the 2012 presidential election would finally “break the fever” of hyper-partisanship in Congress.
From where I stand, Shutdown 2013 is looking like a warm-up act for what promises to be a fully-pyrotechnic, Apocalypse Now midterm campaign year with freak flags flying from “sea to shining sea.” I expect that Heritage Action and the Senate Conservative Fund, and their proud sponsor Koch Industries, will be out for blood and handing out torches and pitchforks to every True Patriot.
Now that President Obama has committed the ultimate crime of executive uppityness—standing up to House Republicans and laying bare their utter incompetence and impotence—he must be removed.
At the Philadelphia Convention, Benjamin Franklin noted that, historically, the removal of “obnoxious” chief executives had been accomplished by assassination. Franklin suggested that a proceduralized mechanism for removal — impeachment — would be preferable.
As a result we have Article II, Section 4 of the US Constitution which states:
The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.
That’s pretty straightforward. “High Crimes,” though a little dated and vague, sounds like pretty serious stuff. Nothing there about being apologetic, sex acts [I’m looking at you, Bill] socialism or playing too much golf. Nevertheless, impeachment has become a standard feature of the Republican playbook when a Democrat is in office. But, if it helps them blow off steam in an institutionally acceptable and relatively harmless way, why not.
The GOP’s Little Engine That Could, hurtling toward inevitable wreckage, pulled into its final stop yesterday to pick up a few last passengers bound for glory. Turns out there was a sort of Harmonic Convergence of ultra-conservatism shaping up this weekend that brought together the illuminati of the far right. There were truckers and Sarah and veterans—oh my!
The Values Voters were in town to renew their vows to God, Guns and Glory, and to select this year’s homecoming king who turned out to be that paragon of conservative values and Christian soldiery, Ted Cruz. Now it just so happened that “our vets,” as Caribou Barbie calls them, were planning a civil protest to make the point that they should always have access to their memorials.
The veterans laid no blame on political parties involved in the government shutdown, they simply wanted to make the point that they feel that these memorials should never be inaccessible to veterans and the public who wish to honor them.
Unfortunately, the Values Voters, all pumped up on a weekend of conservative purity and American Exceptionalism decided that this was a terrific opportunity to flip Obama the bird and get their pictures in the news being patriots again, just like in the 2009 Glory Days.
So. The Sunday talkathon was a peculiar intervention-y affair, this week, featuring numerous TV pundits trying to talk Republicans down off the ledge. The predominant message was “how about rejoining the rest of your fellow Homo sapiens inhabiting the real world?” [Perhaps not the best choice of words for that gang BECAUSE . . . homo, people!]
And we know we’re really in a pickle when FOX News has to explain what’s what to the GOP.
Evidently, Chris Wallace was chosen by the GOP to “call the shots” for their eleventh hour circular firing squad:
This has been one of the strangest weeks I’ve ever had in Washington and I say that because as soon as we listed Ted Cruz as our featured guest this week, I got unsolicited research and questions, not from Democrats but from top Republicans, to hammer Cruz.
Now that word has leaked out, the Wasilla Wombat is demanding a list of names of the “cannibals” “trashing” Ted Cruz purportedly to hand it over to some conservative death panel or other.
As the push to rehabilitate the worst president in living memory proceeds apace, former Bushies are crawling out the woodwork to beg us to take another bite of the shit taco and experience anew the tasty goodness.
In a post entitled “George W. Bush is smarter than you,” someone named Keith Hennessey, the former director of the George W. Bush National Economics Council (which is like being the Emeritus Chair of the Sarah Palin Center for Teen Pregnancy Prevention—discuss!) invites citizens to “test your own assumptions and thinking about our former President” through a series of questions:
This is a hard one, for liberals only. Do you assume that he is unintelligent because he made policy choices with which you disagree?
Nope. I assume he is unintelligent (or evil, but I suspect mostly dumb because I’m charitable that way) because he made policy choices that predictably resulted in a series of world-historical clusterfucks which killed or maimed hundreds of thousands of people, looted the national treasury, subverted our moral authority, undermined our global standing and widened the wealth inequality chasm. Next?
If so, your logic may be backwards. “I disagree with choice X that President Bush made. No intelligent person could conclude X, therefore President Bush is unintelligent.”
Kind of surprising that the George W. Bush National Economics Council would appoint an eighth-grader fresh from an introduction to logic class as director. Oh wait…
Might it be possible that an intelligent, thoughtful conservative with different values and priorities than your own might have reached a different conclusion than you? Do you really think your policy views derive only from your intellect?
Uh-oh—Iooks like someone didn’t comprehend the straw man logical fallacy lesson! But let’s play along: The thing is that the aforementioned world-historical clusterfucks were predictable—and were in fact predicted in real time by many people.
It doesn’t matter if Bush’s policy views were derived from his “intellect,” Cheney’s colon or a Magic Eight Ball; they were not only wrong, they were disastrously and measurably so on virtually every important front – domestic, international, financial and social.
So a hearty “fuck off” to you, Mr. Hennessey, for having the effrontery to peddle what is demonstrably shit as Shinola while we are still digging ourselves from the reeking pile. It’s too soon for a rehab tour.
With a bit of luck, you might be able to sell this stinking load of horseshit to my great-great-grandchildren. But I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.
Really this is one of those stories where you don’t know whether to laugh or cry ROTFLMAO.
According to Joshua Green at Bloomberg BusinessWeek, heading into the Michigan primary, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, who at that point still had some sort of chance in the race, hatched a plot to combine forces and run Romney off the road:
As Mitt Romney struggled in the weeks leading up to the Michigan primary, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum nearly agreed to form a joint “Unity Ticket” to consolidate conservative support and topple Romney. “We were close,” former Representative Bob Walker, a Gingrich ally, says. “Everybody thought there was an opportunity.” “It would have sent shock waves through the establishment and the Romney campaign,” says John Brabender, Santorum’s chief strategist.
“Oh noes” we are supposed to say in retrospect! Such a stupendous charismatic pair as Serial Adulterer Newt and Colossal Dick* Santorum could totally have upset OBamz apple cart and WHERE WOULD WE ALL BE TODAY!!
Well, we know it didn’t happen and Romney pulled out a squeaker win in Michigan. The coalition collapsed and, as much as anything, from the stupendous weight of their own egos.
But the negotiations collapsed in acrimony because Gingrich and Santorum could not agree on who would get to be president. “In the end,” Gingrich says, “it was just too hard to negotiate.”
And the rest of us were denied the spectacle of a truly great clown show of a campaign, surpassing even that of Grandpa Grumps and Klondike Barbie. If only.
*Thanks to Charlie Pierce for the oh-so-apt moniker.
Ermagerd. Sworn off Palin for more than a few years, then two consecutive posts in a couple of days. The shame, the shame. What provoked this?
Well, on Saturday we saw La Diva Loca give her all in a TMI style to a CPAC rabble desperate for distraction from its own endless misery, and inevitably we focused on her Bloomberg big guvmint-bashing Big Gulpaloser, like just about everybody else who was near a keyboard. Perhaps predictably, where some of us—perhaps, let’s be hopeful here, the vast majority of humanity and possibly any eavesdropping aliens—saw teeheehee juvenile pathos and completely unintentional self-parody (and responded with our own juvenilia, because that’s how we roll), her fans saw A HEROIC STAND AGAINST THE MAN!!!!
A few spinoff memes among those with access to Photoshop and way too much time on their hands could be expected, but a full-on IRL movement? Oh yeah. Heeeeere’s Twitchy:
Now, I should warn you of a couple of things. First, that headline is no lie, and if you click it, there are indeed pics and video, and it ain’t pretty; and second, if you’ve never visited malevolent douchesquirrel Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy before, its sole raison d’être, other than mobilizing twittering zombie hordes to relentlessly harass anybody who catches Malkin’s eye and ire, is generally to drag a bunch of rabid derp off the twittersphere and blend it with even more rabid derp in its comment stream, I guess in the hopes that a singularity of derp will be triggered that will engulf the entire universe and beyond in a tidal wave of megaderp—thus fulfilling those apocalyptic predictions of peak wingnut and the wingularity ta-DA!
The ingredients on this occasion range from the pedestrian
Cynthia Yockey @conservativelez
Palin at CPAC: He’s got the rifle, I’ve got the rack (of husband Todd and their Xmas gifts to one another.) Then sips Big Gulp.
to the arguably ill-advised
Michelle Malkin ✔ @michellemalkin
CPAC podiums need to be stocked with 32-oz Big Gulps, not teeny water bottles.
to the marginally more excitable!!!
Roel Marasigan @HeadsWillRoel
Classic Sarah Palin giving nanny Bloomberg a jab at #CPAC!!! pic.twitter.com/bngVu81ZUm
So far, so lame. I’ll kick you off with the first comment over there, then after that you’re on your own if you’re wingnutcurious enough to get off the boat, and don’t say you haven’t been warned, as it gets worse from here on in (though there is some evidence of sedition). Behold the yawning sinkhole in perception:
nc • 2 days ago
Her comedic timing was dead-on perfect! She tells the “rack” joke with a dead pan straight face, then immediately reaches for the Super Big Gulp to deflect any sense of impropriety. Comic genius!
This would be tragic and humorous in a relatively mundane way (“dead pan straight face” *snork*) in itself, but as Wonkette reports, we’re now headed back into the realms of full-on icon-worship again, as the old fanbase at Conservatives4Palin apparently hasn’t entirely been reduced to living under bridges and toasting pigeons on curtain rails through over-donating to The Palin Family and Friends Holiday and Meth Fund SarahPAC, or if it has, it seems to have access to Obamaphones and the Internet down there. Venture after the fold if you dare/can be arsed.
We’re not here to re-brand a party, we’re here to rebuild a country. We’re here to restore America and the rest is just theatrics. The rest is sound and fury. It’s just making noise.
The next 37 long minutes were indeed taken up with sound and fury—the familiar gurns, squawks, shrieks, and dribbling, punctuated by the novel sound of slurping, to rapturous applause. It’s 2013. It’s CPAC. And it’s Sarah Palin.
Yep, the Grifta from Wasilla, having added Fox News pundit (failed) to her résumé, is BACK. And she’s still totally bonkers. And not in a good way.
Lord knows, when the éminences grises behind CPAC booked her, they knew what to expect. It’s an easy call, because whatever else she’s been doing in her copious spare time since bombing out of the ‘08 election in tears, in between lush speaking gigs and boring the pants off Greta van Susteren she hasn’t come up with much new material.
I’m very grateful to Jim Newell, now liveblogging in the unlikely environment of The Guardian, for keeping tabs on the parade of fail at this year’s Gathering of the Indescribables as I really wasn’t feeling up to it. Also to my co-bloggers marindenver and Vixen Strangely, who’ve been taking up the slack. However, when somebody as absolutely desperate for attention as Sarah Palin bobbles along, it would be downright cruel of me not to indulge her at least a little, so here goes.
Her turn wasn’t totally lacking in some semblance of political gravitas, as she insisted that enough with the navel-gazing already, Republicans just need to hit the streets and get persuadin’:
They’re not our enemies. They’re our sisters and our brothers. They’re our neighbors, they’re our friends. It’s imperative to reach out and to share that conservative message of liberty and less government and lower taxes.
So double-bolt your doors and bar your windows before you turn in tonight, just in case.
Boob jokes. They featured, as Jim notes:
Palin sets up a quite extraordinary breasts-and-ammo joke by telling the crowd that for Christmas, her husband had bought her a rack to hold guns on the back of her truck. Then comes the sexy punchline:
He’s got the rifle, I’ve got the rack!
As attendants carried the coronary casualties in the audience out to the waiting fleet of ambulances, as an example of “less government” Palin chose Mayor Bloomberg’s War on Soda (this is where the slurping comes in), ostentatiously sucking on a mammoth serving through a straw in a manner which suggested that if there was a baseball in there, goshdarn she was havin’ it. If she followed it up with a burp, the networks cut it and the written record is silent. But it did lead to a new party game:
The crazy was on at CPAC today. Some of the more bizarre doings for your reading, ah, pleasure, I guess:
Because the Tea Party is so totally not racist, the Tea Party Patriots group put on a session called “Trump The Race Card: Are You Sick And Tired Of Being Called A Racist When You Know You’re Not One?” Well, after all, who wouldn’t be? The session was led by a black conservative named Carl Smith who urged attendees accused of racism to refer to themselves as “Frederick Douglass Republicans”. Unfortunately things went downhill when the audience started shouting back with accusations of “white disenfranchisement” (because nobody is discriminalized against as much as white males!) and support for slavery because, hey, free food & shelter and stuff. So we know for sure now that Tea Partiers are totally NOT racist.
Even a little crazier was a speech given by none other than The Donald. Apparently the crazed ramblings were so epic even his audience left scratching their heads. I, for one, am certainly looking forward to seeing that great ballroom addition to the White House that Trump’s completely gonna build!
Last, but not least, Rick Santorum (and to paraphrase Charlie Pierce, have we mentioned recently what a colossal dick the guy is?) chose to politicize the tragic death of his nephew the day before from an unnamed disease.
“Yesterday he was not the one in pain,” Santorum said, describing the “surreal” scene at the hospital. “Medicines were effectively blocking all his physical pain — we were the ones in pain.”
And he considers this an effective segue into a condemnation of gummint for wanting to block the pain of ordinary citizens who are just trying to get by in this world. In fact big gummint has robbed us of so much suffering and pain that we are in greater suffering and pain because of it! Because we have been robbed of the “why” of America. And so in conclusion government must . . . give us more pain?
I sympathize fully with his family. I too lost a family member to a disease that caused him a lot of pain and I was also grateful that, thanks to Medicare, he had the pain medications that kept him from suffering. I simply can’t conceive of using this as a platform to say other people should suffer pain. And that Medicare and Medicaid should not be there for them, that they should not have the safety net that keeps people from sleeping in the gutters and begging for a living. But I guess that’s why Santorum is a colossal dick and I am not.
Stay tooned folks. The crazy can only accelerate from here. Klondike Barbie is coming up!
UPDATE: Jim Newell chronicles the crazy today. Highlights include Sarah Palin’s boobs joke and Breitbart’s panel of the uninvited - those so far out there that even CPAC doesn’t want to be associated with them, famously including Pammy Shrugs.
We interrupt your regularly scheduled blogging to report that FauxNews has dropped Klondike Barbie’s contract! Yes, she has become too whiny, resentful and uninteresting even for Fox viewers!
What will she do now? Well, according to a source *close to Palin* “She remains focused on broadening her message of common-sense conservatism across the country and will be expanding her voice in the national discussion.”
*scuse me just a jiff* *SNORT, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! wipes eyes, sighs*
That is all. You may now return to your regularly scheduled blogging.
I don’t know why Adam Ant’s signature video, “Goody Two-Shoes” and the happy-happy stomp dance made me think of Sarah Palin, except to note that nothing else makes think of her at all anymore.
Certainly, there had to be some significance in Adam Ant’s retro-couture Napoleonic settings and costumes, apart from the lightning-fast assumption that Adam was going to usher in the second coming of Paul Revere and the Raiders, featuring Mark Lindsay.
Whether or not Adam was singing about Sarah Palin in 1982, it goes without saying that whatever about her was ever truly unique, one-of-a-kind, name-brand or timeless, has wound up where it was always destined to be—somewhere between Clark Kent’s costume closet and Al Capone’s Vault.
You don’t drink, don’t smoke, what do you do? Nothing to see here. Move along.
With those tiresome debates over, it’s a down-to-the-wire race to see which right-wing attention addict (we don’t say “whore” because we has class!) can squeeze the last drops of glory from putting lips together and blowing the longest, loudest dogwhistle their air-sacs can power. In the case of the Tower of Babble, it’s not even a whistle; it’s an airhorn. The ostensible justification for the Half-Been’s rage is CNN CBS’s “scoop” regarding Benghazi, because terrorism abroad is always best met by calling the president a darkie.
CNN CBS’s lame “scoop” puts them in a fine position to challenge the Half-Been and the Bag of Hair to the Miss AW 2012 tiara. The Zales Network turned up two emails to the State Department, executive office, and about a zillion other agencies containing the thunderous information that a local terrorist group Ansar Al-Sharia had claimed responsibility for the attack, and everybody knows that whatever group is first to claim responsibility on Facebook, for attacking something in the Middle East completely obviously Did It. Why did the president not reveal this email in the nanoseconds before Mitt Romney climbed to the top of the ruins with his bullhorn? Niggovernment Coverup!!!
All right now, so you’re saying, what the Fuqua is this? Is it a dinner theater production of “Trashdance,” or has Jane Fonda gone Goth? Nope nope nope, it’s merely an ectoplasmic manifestation of the will to fame, otherwise known as Our Sarah. And no, despite actually causing Our Wonkette to self-concern-troll in semi-earnest on her behalf, she says she is not suffering from moose-mange or gramma-rexia: she is making herself look like this on purpose.
Yes, despite/because of what we know of their penchant for living on Red Bull and wolf-puppy-paw kabobs, the whole Palin family is writing a fitness (not for office, though) book. It will be filled with tales of their physical prowess in sports not involving horizontal skeet-shooting without precautions, and how to eat dead animals and maintain your girlish wardrobe. Look for it on the coffee tables of your least favorite relatives, as soon as the competitive bidding war for this hot title is settled. Also available as a Kindle half-single.
Back in ‘08, gun and ammo wholesalers cunningly spread the meme that if elected president, dusky peacenik/wannabe murderous dictator for life Barack Obama would be comin’ fer yer guns, so BETTER STOCK UP RIGHT AWAY. As things panned out, although it provided a handy additional stimulus to the American economy, that didn’t happen.
Gamechanging alleged hottie wunderkind prospective VP Paul Ryan hasn’t exactly set anybody’s hair on fire except his and Mitt’s handlers and spinners so far. With a few days to go to the first presidential debate, and a few more to the VP one, Ryan’s currently damping down widespread expectations among the borg that he’s gonna ZING! Joe Biden into a quivering blob of hairplug-studded jelly:
GOP vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan said Sunday he’s not counting on gaffes from Vice President Joe Biden when they debate on October 11.
“I don’t think he will. You know he doesn’t do that in debates. The gaffes - he’s kind of legendary for this - that’s not in these kind of situations,” Ryan said on “Fox News Sunday.” “He’s a very disciplined person when he speaks in these kinds of situations. He doesn’t produce gaffes in these moments. Those are when he’s off the cuff.”
As for his own debate preparation, Ryan said he’s not worrying about coming up with creative lines - he’s just going to be himself.
“I’m not really a line guy. I’m more of a gut guy,” Ryan said. “I believe in what I believe. I do what I do. And I really believe in the policies we’re providing, that we’re pursuing. And at the end of the day, I’m just going to go in there and be me.”
Ryan has been preparing with former Solicitor General Ted Olson, who is playing the part of Biden in mock debates.
Ryan said Biden has excellent debate skills, so his plan is not to try to rattle Biden, but to simply lay out the Romney-Ryan vision for America.
Nevertheless, during this tense run-up to the debates, if any tactic can be identified in the Rich Bastard/Granny Starver 2012 campaign at the moment, as Bette observes, it looks like they’ve decided they need to go hell for leather for the crucial outdoorsperson demographic to clinch this thing, so this last week Ryan decided it’s time to fulfil his early promise and basically steal Palin’s favorite lines:
“I might add that in small towns we don’t quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren’t,” she said.
Remember back when it became apparent that pretty much everything that came out of Sarah Palin’s carefully lipsticked mouth was a complete lie? And not just the big political lies but casual stuff that there wasn’t any real need to lie about. Anyone else getting a sense of deja vuhere?
You’ll know we’ve been playing around with the parallels (for both GOP candidates) between the 2012 election and the 2008 one for a while now—partly tongue in cheek for the snark value, but some of them are real, and they’re not getting less apparent.
OK, Palin’s background and policy stances were a lot sketchier than Ryan’s, but it’s maybe hard now to recall what a phenomenon she was hailed as when she first appeared on the scene (before she opened her trap in interviews and got stumped by bland conversational openers)—stellar approval ratings back home, a reputation for base-pleasing fiscal probity (that didn’t stand up to scrutiny when it came to the old pork barrel), a reputed hotshot “energy policy expert” whose only prescription was the calculatedly shorts-stiffening “Drill, baby, drill,” and a steady and often ruthless rise through the ranks to the point where she was considered worth a shot at VP.
Books and quasi-documentaries have dwelled on the processes and tensions that converted that rising star into the plummeting smoking relic from a far-off galaxy that thudded anticlimactically and tearfully to Earth in November ‘08. One complaint the Quitter from Wasilla’s fans and she herself have made on numerous occasions is that they wouldn’t let her be herself, forced to ignore administrative and policy specifics in favor of crude sloganeering and buzzwordsalads, to spit what she felt would be the crowd-pleasing bile that would somehow magically transform the majority of the electorate into raging acolytes fearful of the terrorist-pallin’ inexperienced fraud from the wrong side of the tracks and propel her and her running mate to power.
The spin we’re getting from the Romney camp is that, like McCain, Mitt is wagging his tail like an old dog paired with a new puppy at the moment, relieved to be sharing the burden of the path he’s chosen with someone who’s portrayed as a game-changing soul mate, a doe-eyed mancrush who can serve as both shield and bolster on the stump. But you do have to wonder what tensions have already emerged, and how the next few months are going to pan out, then the next few years as Ryan returns to the life he once had, I’m assuming a valiant (or disgraced) but vanquished campaigner, with possibilities stretching before him if he doesn’t blow it and retire to become another wingnut welfare Fox drone.
In terms of the most trivial and superficial parallels, there’s the alleged HAWTness and faux-macho backwoods cred I covered the other day down yonder. Again superficial, there was even comment that Ryan looked a bit scruffy on the stump, and I’m not going to enquire what the hell’s going on with his trousers here, but we’ve no doubt all had problems with overenthusiastic bathroom faucets in our time, so I’ll go with that explanation.
He’s looked a little sharper in the more recent pics I’ve seen. At least, in this sexist world in which we’re living, you can kit a male candidate out credibly without conducting a midnight raid on Nieman Marcus, which will no doubt relieve Mr. Adelson et al.