The Great WHITE Hope

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An Open Letter to George Will:

Sir,

RE your latest embarrassing journalistic endeavor:

Since the launch of Romney’s disastrous campaign, I have been greatly amused by the lengths to which Republicans have gone to explain why Obama is ahead in the polls. I’ve seen every excuse from that damned (albeit non-existent) librul media viciously attacking poor Mitt, to his not yet having hit his stride – which, according to the GOP, will happen any day now.

And now you’ve come up with this:

“… the nation, which is generally reluctant to declare a president a failure — thereby admitting that it made a mistake in choosing him — seems especially reluctant to give up on the first African American president.”

In bygone days, I would have described the proffering of this theory as the bottom of the barrel having been officially scraped. But given what I’ve heard from GOPers over the past few months, I realize that barrel has become not only a bottomless pit which Republicans continue to mine for the most ridiculous reasons for the failures of their candidate and party, but a veritable cesspool from which to draw stench-imbued mud to fling at their opponents.

“That Obama is African American may be important, but in a way quite unlike that darkly suggested by, for example, MSNBC’s excitable boys and girls who, with their (at most) one-track minds and exquisitely sensitive olfactory receptors, sniff racism in any criticism of their pin-up.” 

One does not require sensitive olfactory receptors to smell the racism, Mr. Will. Its offensive odor has permeated the political air since the current President of the United States had the uppitiness to run for the highest office in the land, and those of us who have come to “judge a man not by the color of his skin, but the content of his character” enthusiastically elected him to that position.

The Republican propagandists have been out in full force of late, Mr. Will, sounding their dog-whistles in hopes of rilin’ up the good ol’ boys enough to get them to oust that colored fella from the White House come November. And I see you lost no time jumping on that bandwagon – but then you undoubtedly felt compelled to. When you are attempting to shore up a party that has become a magnet for racists and bigots, you have no choice but to appeal to the intellectually-challenged knuckle-draggers who will vote for Romney on the basis of his being white, without regard to anything of more import.

Throughout his presidency to date, Obama has been disrespected by your party members in ways they would never disrespect a white president. And they’ve done so without fear of political consequences, secure in the knowledge that the majority of their fellow Republicans are in complete agreement with the idea that a black man is simply undeserving of the same respect.

When was the last time you heard a Democrat yell “You lie!” at a Republican president during a SOTU speech – even when Dubya was clearly lying when he spoke about WMDs in Iraq? When was the last time you saw a Democrat ranting about a candidate’s adherence to a “radical form of Christianity” – even though Romney’s Mormonism is considered by many as a radical unChristian cult? When was the last time you read an article by a Democrat insinuating that a GOP candidate’s mother was a whore who starred in porn flicks, or that his children were the product of his wife’s rampant promiscuity? Indeed, when was the last time you heard a Democrat describe a sitting Republican president as a “pin-up”?

Despite the vitriol that exists between the parties, Mr. Will, there are certain lines that everyone has traditionally accepted as not to be crossed – lines that seem to have disappeared the minute a black man was inaugurated.

In a rare moment of candor, Lindsay Graham recently summed things up rather succinctly:  “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long-term.”

Tell me, sir, how one needs an extraordinary sense of smell to detect the racism in that comment, and how the notion that your party is dependent on keeping white folks pissed-off enough to vote against blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and other non-whites is not the obvious message. The term used is “angry white guys.” Why was it not “angry Republicans” or “angry conservatives”? We both know the answer to that question, don’t we?

In case you’ve been living in a cave, Mr. Will (which I often suspect you do), let me introduce you to your party:

Your party is Rush Limbaugh, who called Obama a “half-frican American” and an “affirmative action candidate.” It is lunatics like Orly Taitz & The Birthers, who would never question the citizenship of a white president. It’s the people who spray-paint “Obama is lyin’ nigger” in public places. It is people who carry “Go back to Kenya!” placards at political rallies. It’s the guy who hung Obama in effigy on his front lawn, eerily reminiscent of photos of blacks who were lynched for attempting to vote in the south.

It is people who continue to promote the stereotype of blacks being the majority of welfare and food stamp recipients, despite the statistics that disprove this notion. It is George Allen’s “macaca moment,” it’s the New Jersey first-grade teacher who referred to her black students as “future criminals” on her blog, it’s the people who proudly affix “Don’t Re-NIG in 2012” bumper-stickers to their cars.

These are your people, sir – and if they weren’t recognized as such by your party, you and your fellow Republicans wouldn’t be pandering to their racism in a desperate attempt to break the colored fella’s hold over guilt-driven white folks reluctant to see their favorite “pin-up” replaced.

It is not just your candidate that stinks, sir – it is your entire party, whose base now consists of illiterate Teabaggers, religious fanatics, Muslim-hating extremists, and delusional dumb-asses who spend their lives parked in front of Fox News, absorbing the drivel spewed by people just like you. Continue reading The Great WHITE Hope

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From Here to Anonymity (Things to Say in Denver When You're Desperate edition)

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Oceans of ink and passels of pixels have been devoted to the first “debate” between Barack Obama and that guy who wants to replace him. The latter was immediately proclaimed the winner by many observers on both sides of the partisan divide, despite the Republican hopeful’s numerous lies, exaggerations, misrepresentations, distortions and deflections. Once the fact-checkers got busy and portions of the punditocracy indulged in some relatively sober second thought, the challenger’s “victory” appeared more and more Pyrrhic and the President’s comparatively subdued performance began to seem less dispirited than dignified.

Having watched all but a few of the GOP “debates” before and during the primaries, I found Romney’s performance pretty unsurprising. He’s not awful in these ludicrous settings. More importantly, for a guy who gives the impression of not being able to get out of bed in the morning without getting his foot caught in a bucket, he managed to get through the debate bucket-free. He had no opinions on the height of Colorado’s trees, he managed to avoid wagering with the President, he made no reference to airplane windows, his wife’s Cadillacs, his NASCAR team owner friends, the backsides of buildings, regional cheese-enhanced delicacies, being unemployed, or never having his birth certificate questioned.

Another thing he avoided all evening was the truth. Overviews of this prodigious prevarication can be found throughout cyberspace, but I recommend the ones you’ll find at Alternet, Rolling Stone, New York magazine, and, my personal favorite, Think Progress.

As always, I found the commentary from the Left more informative but far less entertaining than that from the Right. It’s one thing to be a Republican politician; it’s quite another to be a red-blooded polemicist for Republican politicians. Would the smug, sanctimonious spin and disdainful deceit of rightwing pundits be up to the standard set by their candidate? Of course, silly. The hyperbole couldn’t be any thicker if Romney were to stuff his manhood into a flight suit and proclaim “Mission Accomplished” from the deck of an aircraft carrier. And this was the real target audience, not the listless Republican base, nor independent voters, nor the supposed legions of undecided voters out there in Iowa and Virginia and, yes, Colorado. Romney’s performance was pitched to the self-serving, self-regarding, self-appointed guardians of Mainstream American Values, conservative commentators.

Let’s start with Peggy Noonan. Mitt Romney needed to talk a lot of folks down from the ledge, but none more urgently than Noonan. Take a bow, Governor! Peggy’s back on terra firma, and she’s got some gushing to do:

The impact of the first debate is going to be bigger than we know. It’s going to affect thinking more than we know, and it’s going to start showing up in the polls, including in the battlegrounds, more dramatically than we guess.

Or, um, not, but the portentousness is just getting started:

America got its first, sustained look at the good and competent Mr. Romney… He was confident, gracious, in command of the facts. He looked like a president, acted like one. He was easily the incumbent’s equal and maybe more than that, so he became for the first time a real alternative to the incumbent, a living one, not just a name on a ballot…

He was a normal, smart adult, and he knew things both about America and about public policy…

Normal? Smart? Yes, that does sound pretty presidential. Not satisfied just playing nicely with her shiny new Mitt Romney doll, Noonan tosses a few spleen-tipped darts at her Barack Obama dartboard:

He’s never been punctured before. But by debate’s end Wednesday night, if you opened the window this is what you could hear: Ssssssss. The soft hiss of air departing from a balloon.

But even that’s insufficient. Noonan insists on playing Kreskin, and thinking just doesn’t get more wishful:

… this whole race is on the move again, it’s in play again, and it’s going to get fun…

Everything he said—everything—was something you’d heard too many times. Mr. Romney gave the president some openings. The president didn’t take them. Why? It crossed my mind he was playing possum. But possums wake up at some point.

Mr. Obama’s likability numbers are about to go down. It’s going to be a reverse Sally Field: You don’t like me, you really don’t like me.

If Noonan’s analysis was all multicolored highlighting with hearts and flowers scribbled in the margins, George Will’s was that of the stern schoolmarm, ready to plant a dunce cap on the head of the electorate should they stubbornly refuse to appreciate the brilliance, the steely determination, the sheer presidential presidentitude of his man Willard:

… a masterfully prepared Mitt Romney completed a trifecta of tasks and unveiled an issue that, because it illustrates contemporary liberalism’s repellant essence, can constitute his campaign’s closing argument.

Romney’s tasks? “Unleashing his inner wonk about economic matters” is first up, followed by “tutoring Obama on such elementary distinctions as that between reducing tax rates… and reducing revenue,” and the third, a flimsy attempt at a Hobson’s Choice between Will’s cartoonish characterizations of “a society in which markets — the voluntary collaboration of creative individuals — allocate opportunity” and the lowering Obamian menace of “today’s depressed and anxious society of unprecedented stagnation in the fourth year of a faux recovery — a bleak society in which government incompetently allocates resources in pursuit of its perishable certitudes and on behalf of the politically connected.” Why were these Romney’s tasks? Because Will thinks Romney actually accomplished them.

Oh, and that unveiled issue that “illustrates contemporary liberalism’s repellant essence”? Some incoherent gibberish about Obamacare’s Republic-sabotaging, Constitution-shredding, freedom-filleting Independent Payment Advisory Board. Wake the hell up, America! If we’re not careful, why, someday everyone might have the sort of health coverage that George Will enjoys! I think I just heard John Adams roll over in his grave, although it might have been Button Gwinnett. Continue reading From Here to Anonymity (Things to Say in Denver When You’re Desperate edition)

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An Open Letter to George Will et al.

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My Dear Mr. Will (and cohorts):

During a recent guest appearance on Laura Ingraham’s radio show, you made the statement that Mitt Romney would be “a much better president than the one we’ve got.”

It’s a remark we’ve been hearing from many on your side of the aisle for months now, along with comments about what a great president Romney would make.

I have but one simple question for you and your colleagues who keep repeating this meme: You believe Mitt Romney would make a great president based on exactly what?

One would think that before expressing an opinion about someone’s ability to successfully handle the most powerful position on the planet, there would be some basis for that opinion, some past record to be pointed to as evidence of same, some demonstration of the skills required, some actual support for so lofty an opinion of his capabilities.

But in the case of Mitt Romney, there exists no evidence, past or present, that he possesses any of the qualities that would suggest competency, no less greatness.

So you think Romney would make a great president? Would that be based on his miserable record as governor of Massachusetts? It’s a rather small state, Mr. Will. Do you honestly believe he would do better with an entire nation to fuck up? And then there’s the pesky problem of his having destroyed so many records of his tenure there. Seems to me that if he thought his time in office was a sterling example of his ability to govern, those records would not have been expunged.

Perhaps it’s Romney’s business experience with Bain that leads you to believe his presidency would be one of exceptional accomplishment. Making money by destroying the livelihood of hard-working Americans, and outsourcing US jobs for profit; are those the achievements you think could be applied to cure the nation’s current unemployment ills, or would solve our economic woes due to having shipped so many manufacturing plants overseas for years?

Maybe it’s the man’s inherent truthfulness that you find worthy of praise – if you don’t count all of the blatant lies he’s already been caught in. Or maybe it’s his willingness to be vetted by the citizenry he wants to lead – if you don’t count the fact that he steadfastly refuses to produce tax returns like his predecessors, including his own father, did for the sake of true transparency when seeking the highest office in the land. Continue reading An Open Letter to George Will et al.

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Sunday Talks, 9/9/12

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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, will be back in the spotlight after this week’s Democratic National Convention, appearing on three of Sunday’s television talk shows. (Wow, having Republicans . . . → Read More: Sunday Talks, 9/9/12

Sunday Talks, 4/22/12

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The Secret Service scandal in Colombia dominates this Sunday’s television talk shows, as the Republican presidential race turns to the field of possible running mates for the likely nominee, Mitt Romney.

“Fox News Sunday” and CBS’s . . . → Read More: Sunday Talks, 4/22/12

TSW #29

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George Will, Washington Post, March 2:

From Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to Wisconsin’s Rep. Paul Ryan, Republicans have a rising generation of potential 2016 candidates. This does not mean conservatives should be indifferent to the fate of this year’s nominee, and it is perhaps premature to despair of Romney’s and Santorum’s political aptitudes. Still, the presidency is not everything, and there will be another election in the next year divisible by four.

____________________

If merely being younger than the platoon of obtuse nincompoops in this year’s Republican field qualifies someone as being part of a “rising generation of potential 2016 candidates” then I suppose Will has a point. What he doesn’t seem to have noticed is that the GOP’s youth movement, by and large, consists of nincompoops even more obtuse and, well, nincompoopish than their elders.

Remember Bobby Jindal’s “response” to the President’s 2009 speech before a joint session of Congress? If you do, chances are you’re a Democrat; Republicans forgot that they had ever hyped it the moment Governor Jindal spat out the splinters of his last wooden sentence.

And of course the Republican stable of rising flops is rich with governors other than Jindal. Their names circle in the air like demons from some Fantasia outtake set to a Bartok string quartet played by meth-addled gibbons: Haley, Kasich, Snyder, Walker, LePage, McDonnell, Scott, Daniels, Christie… and, uh, Perry! That’s a lot of high-priced lack of talent.

As to Paul Ryan, remember his rebuttal to the 2011 SOTU? It was so full of falsehoods that CNN could only address one of them before it realized that nobody really expects fact-checking from CNN these days. Ryan has plenty of company in the House, of course, vicious, snotty little punks like Eric Cantor and Joe Wilson. Presidential timber? A starving termite wouldn’t consider that edible.

The Senate offers up an equally bleak range of names, although Will no doubt thinks otherwise, if his praise for “the canny Mitch McConnell’s legislative talents” is anything to go by. I suppose a person as stodgy as George Will might look at a person like Rand Paul, Marco Rubio or Scott Brown and see charisma, but even equipped with an electron microscope, the average voter won’t. Continue reading TSW #29

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Sunday Talks, 12/18/11

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Sigh… Yet another Sunday dominated by Republicans.

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney heads to “Fox News Sunday” this weekend for his first Sunday show interview in more than a year.

Also making the rounds ahead of . . . → Read More: Sunday Talks, 12/18/11

Sunday Talks, 11/13/11

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Members of the powerful deficit-slashing supercommittee highlight this Sunday’s television talk shows as the 12-member, bipartisan panel struggles to find $1.2 trillion in savings by Thanksgiving.

The committee’s Republican co-chair, Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, is on . . . → Read More: Sunday Talks, 11/13/11

Take Five (Who'da Thunk It edition)

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ONE: Scumhog Millionaire et al.

Donald Trump wrapped up his latest and most Rococo exercise in crass, self-aggrandizing buffoonery on Monday with the altogether unsurprising announcement that he has decided not to vie for the GOP Presidential nomination after all.

Trump used the opportunity both to pat himself vigorously on the back and to indulge in some rank untruths, all of which was also altogether unsurprising:

“This decision does not come easily or without regret, especially when my potential candidacy continues to be validated by ranking at the top of the Republican contenders in polls across the country.”

What Trump should have said is “ranking down there with ditch water,” since his Icarus-like fall from political favor has been swift, despite most Republican voters being unable to distinguish Shineola from, let’s say, um, Santorum:

Trump’s support for the Republican nomination fell from 26 percent in April to just eight percent in early May in surveys done by Public Policy Polling.

The announcement came hot on the heels of Mike Huckabee’s admission a couple of days earlier that he doesn’t particularly feel like getting his ass kicked by Barack Obama next year either:

“All the factors say go, but my heart says no.”

Trump was quick to offer up this ludicrous tidbit of congratulation and commentary on the Huckabee announcement:

“Mike Huckabee is not going to be running for president. This might be considered by some people, not necessarily me, bad news because he is a terrific guy — and frankly I think he would be a terrific president. But a lot of people are very happy that he will not be running, especially other candidates. So, Mike, enjoy the show. Your ratings are terrific. You’re making a lot of money. You’re building a beautiful house in Florida. Good luck.”

Now, you might be thinking at this point that the race for the Republican nomination just got a little more rational. And you would be dead wrong:

Rep. Michele Bachmann said Tuesday she’s close to deciding whether to jump into the 2012 presidential race, and she suggested that Mike Huckabee’s and Donald Trump’s exits from the field make it more likely she’ll get in.

Huckabee’s and Trump’s decisions have “changed the grass roots and what they’re looking for,” the Minnesota congresswoman said on Fox News Channel on Tuesday. “Our phones have been ringing off the hook, our Facebook has been lit up, our donations are pouring in. People are saying ‘Michele jump in, we want you to run.’’

Bachmann has decided to utilize a two-tier approach to campaign fundraising:

… asking supporters to choose to donate small amounts if they want her to stay in the House, or larger amounts if they want her to pursue the presidency.

No word yet on how big a donation is required if one simply wants her to shut up and disappear, but I have my checkbook handy. Continue reading Take Five (Who’da Thunk It edition)

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