Take Five (Do Not Disturb edition)

ONE: Fired Up and Ready to Stay Home!

A couple of weeks back, Take Five looked at a CBS News poll which indicated that voter enthusiasm (meaning a lack thereof) could be a huge problem for the Republicans this year.

The Atlantic Wire recently examined other polls that pretty much confirm the hypothesis. A January 30 Pew poll, for example, pegged the number of Republicans happy with their field of candidates at 46%, while those dissatisfied with it were measured at 52%. As has become a cliché this election year, they can’t resist citing yet another Gallup poll purporting to demonstrate that Republicans remain more enthusiastic about this election than Democrats. The only problem with this is that the accumulating empirical evidence suggests it’s not true.

Nate Silver notes that among “Republican identifiers” only, turnout in Iowa was down 11% over 2008 and New Hampshire was down 15%, and while South Carolina’s turnout jumped 20% over the last presidential election cycle, driven by Gingrich zealots, Florida’s was down 16% from ’08. According to CNN, Nevada’s Republican numbers last Saturday were down by one-third from four years ago.

Watch for increasingly desperate and increasingly amusing spin about all this to emanate from Republican Party apparatchiks and pundits in the coming weeks, but they’ll have to really exert themselves to outdo Romney spokesmouth John H. Sununu, who said this with a resolutely straight and characteristically dour face on MSNBC Monday morning:

In an odd sense when turnout is down, contrary to what you are hearing, people are satisfied with the winning and the candidate that’s winning. They are satisfied with Mitt Romney.

Yeah, sure they are. I’m hoping they’re so satisfied they’ll all stay home in November, too. Sununu’s explanation for that will be priceless.

Ron Paul, seemingly unaware that he himself is a candidate, made some caustic remarks about the Nevada and Florida numbers:

“There’s a lot of people not satisfied with any of the candidates out there,” the Texas congressman said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” “And that’s why in many ways we’re seeing a lower turnout right now…”

Mr. Paul said Republicans are wondering why they haven’t been offered someone else besides Mr. Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

The last time I looked, Republicans were also being offered, aggressively, not only Ron Paul but also Rick Santorum, and not long ago they also had such choices as Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman and Herman Cain, not to mention perplexingly premature dropout Tim Pawlenty and even perennial wingnut darling Roy “Ten Commandments” Moore. And then there was the contingent of maybes whose trial balloons, for the most part, never got any altitude: Chris Christie, Donald Trump, Mitch Daniels, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani.

I apologize for taxing your digestive tract with this litany of names, gentle reader, but I think it points up the fact that GOP voters have had no shortage of choices; they’ve only had a shortage of remotely acceptable choices, even by famously lax Republican standards.

So Romney remains the frontrunner, his three remaining challengers – for various reasons – will hang around a while yet, and Republican voters are less than impressed with the whole spectacle. Hey, it’s nice to agree with Republicans about something, I guess.

TWO: Y’all don’t come back now, hear?

The Charleston Place Hotel has filed suit against the Southern Republican Leadership Conference for non-payment of a $227,872 bill. The SRLC disputes the charge and has declared its intention to launch a counterclaim. In a statement released Monday, the organization said:

“After prepaying over $235,000 to the Charleston Place Hotel, we at SRLC 2012 had an unprofessional experience that directly and indirectly breached our contract causing great harm and distraction to our attendees, sponsors, and staff. The Charleston Place’s attempt to mischaracterize this legitimate dispute as the SRLC’s walking away from a bill is in keeping with the pattern of deception and misrepresentation that is a significant part of our ongoing disagreement.

“We continue to seek a reasonable and equitable settlement even as the Charleston Place’s Management seeks to sensationalize. We sincerely hope that cooler heads at the Charleston Place will prevail and they will acknowledge serious errors and actions resulting in a fair agreement.”

The conference lined up a Jan. 19-22 stay… and booked nearly every room in the luxury hotel in the center of downtown Charleston, according to the lawsuit. Political consultant Robert Cahaly signed the agreement on behalf of the group…

The hotel wants to hold Cahaly and others personally responsible for the tab, arguing that the Southern Republican Leadership Conference is nothing but a corporate shell Cahaly uses to hide from his obligations, the lawsuit states.

Cahaly has kept a pretty low profile since threatening to sue the SC SLED before turning himself in on an arrest warrant last fall on charges of making illegal robocalls in half a dozen House Districts in the 2010 election. While there don’t seem to be any recent updates about that case, I’m already looking forward to this new one. If the hotel really has evidence that the SRLC is a corporate front for Cahaly, I can’t wait to read the details. It’s also going to be fascinating to see if the organization’s counterclaim is predicated on something more substantial and credible than Charleston Place management being unprofessional, deceptive, sensationalistic hotheads.

THREE: You’re Nobody ’til Rick Santorum Hates You

Fresh off of telling a seriously ill child and his mother that drug companies should be free to charge whatever the hell they want for the boy’s medication, Rick “Mr. Sensitive” Santorum told a gay Missouri man that he didn’t deserve the “privilege” of marriage. In doing so, Santorum briefly opened a wormhole into the strange and uncharted dimension that is his mind when he said:

“[Marriage is] not a right, it’s something that has existed since the beginning of human history as an institution where men and women come together for the purposes of forming a natural relationship as God made it to be. And for the purposes of having children and continuing that civilization. It is an intrinsic good… And as a result of that, we extend a privilege. We extend certain privileges to people who do that because we want to encourage that behavior…”

Actually, Senator, you don’t need to bother encouraging that behavior, since your enthusiastic advocacy of another type of behavior helps ensure that humans, gay or straight, won’t be around to mess up Creation much longer anyway:

A day before Republicans voice[d] their presidential preferences in the Colorado caucuses, Rick Santorum dismissed climate change as “a hoax” and advocated an energy plan heavy on fossil fuels.

True to form, Santorum couldn’t opine on this without dragging his close personal friend, God, into it:

“We were put on this Earth as creatures of God to have dominion over the earth, to use it wisely and steward it wisely, but for our benefit not for the earth’s benefit,” Santorum told an audience at the Colorado School of Mines where he was a guest speaker Monday at the Colorado Energy Summit.

“We are the intelligent beings that know how to manage things and through that course of science and discovery if we can be better stewards of this environment, then we should not let the vagaries of nature destroy what we have helped create…”

The former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania argued that science has been hijacked by politicians on the left, and that climate change is “an absolute travesty of scientific research that was motivated by those who, in my opinion saw this as an opportunity to create a panic and a crisis for government to be able to step in and even more greatly control your life…

“I for one never bought the hoax. I for one understand just from science that there are one hundred factors that influence the climate. To suggest that one minor factor of which man’s contribution is a minor factor in the minor factor is the determining ingredient in the sauce that affects the entire global warming and cooling is just absurd on its face and yet we have politicians running into the ramparts, unfortunately politicians who happen to be running for the Republican nomination for president who bought into man-made global warming and bought into cap and trade…”

Small wonder that Sarah Palin’s star has faded; with Rick Santorum in the news, fans of nonsensical word salad can get their fill and more. At least until catastrophic climate change leads to their extinction, that is.

Oh, and about that “sauce” he mentioned… never mind. Continue reading Take Five (Do Not Disturb edition)

Just Sayin' Is All... #1

I’m still reeling over Fox News’ recent onslaught on the new Muppet movie.

Knowing that Fox News is a propaganda tool for the RW (‘tool’ invariably being the correct word usage when referring to anyone who is RW), I was taken aback by the fact that they weren’t standing up for their own.

Look at the current GOP presidential wannabes and – well, can you think anything but Muppets? They’re real people, you say? Don’t make me laugh.

Take one look at Michele Bachmann and tell me that’s not a sock wearing Dumber-Than-Thou lipstick and a pair of google eyes right out of Jim Henson’s spare parts bin. If she were a real person, she would have drowned years ago as a result of being too stupid to come in out of the rain.

After convincing his supporters that he was being victimized by the baseless unproven allegations of his various and sundry lady acquaintances, Herman “Herb” Cain conveniently dropped out of the race just as Miz Piggy announced her new tell-all book. Coincidence? Yeah, sure, whatevah.

Rick “Wannabe” Perry – an obvious reworking of the original George Dubya Muppet, only with more ego and less awareness of the world around him (yes, apparently that IS possible – who knew?).

Rick “Tickle Me Frothy” Santorum – insert your own joke here. The use of lubricant would be greatly appreciated.

“Newt” Gingrich – Newt is no newcomer when it comes to show biz, having starred as a boy centaur in The Mighty Hercules cartoon series back in the ‘sixties, followed by a stint as lead singer of Newtie & The Blowhards. The success or failure of his new career as a muppet remains to be seen.

As one of the Faux News bobbleheads stated: “This is a Muppet movie, for goodness sakes!” Yes, it is. And so was the last GOP debate, and the one before that, and the one before that. And goodness had nuthin’ to do with it.

Speaking of Muppets, ABC News announced that the Stephanopoulos (aka “George”) will be replacing Christiane Amanpour as host of the political talk show This Week. It seems that having an intelligent, knowledgeable and articulate host of a political show was deemed too wild an idea to catch on.

The good folks over to the Florida Family Association, a Tampa Bay group, has led a campaign urging companies like Lowe’s to pull their ads from the TV show American Muslim. Lowe’s promptly complied. I don’t know about you, but I’m reluctant to buy household fixtures from a company whose principles are that flimsy. Who wants a toilet that’s liable to collapse the minute a big, fat, ignorant, pseudo-Christian ass sits on it?

To their credit, the Association’s website provided a handy-dandy e-mail letter for its adherents to send to sponsors of the program – recognizing that most people who buy into this sort of bigoted crap can’t reed, spull, or rite gud Inglish. You just have to scratch your X at the bottom of the pre-fab screed, and away you go!

Senator John McCain had another “senior moment” this week while talking about Obama’s withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, stating:

“I believe that history will judge this president’s leadership with scorn and disdain, with the scorn and disdain that it deserves.”

Obviously McCain was talking about W’s presidency – but in the old geezer’s defense, he can’t be blamed for yet another demonstration of his encroaching senility. Most of us knew his mind was gone when he decided that Sarah “Quitterella” Palin had just the kind of stick-to-itiveness the nation needed in a VP.

On the topic of Quitteralla, it looks like some posters on Republican websites are convinced that she’ll be announcing her campaign kick-off any day now, leaving the other wannabes choking on her dust as she surges ahead in the polls. These are the same people who were convinced their Great White Hope, Fred Thompson, was going to be elected in 2008 in a landslide. Some of you might remember Fred’s stirring rallies on the campaign trail – you know, the ones he’s spent the last three years trying to forget.

Unfortunately, events in the latter part of the week bring us back to Newtie-Patootie, and this from a recent conference call with reporters:

“In order to restore balance between Congress, the White House, and the courts, Gingrich recommended ignoring rulings, impeaching judges, subpoenaing justices to have them explain their rulings and, as a last resort, abolishing the courts altogether.”

Apparently Newt thinks he’s running for All Fall On Your Knees Before My All-Powerful Dictatorship of the US, rather than the office of the presidency. My prediction: he hasn’t a chance of winning either race. Continue reading Just Sayin’ Is All… #1