Thursday, December 27, 2012

IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED, CRY, CRY AGAIN.

Victor Davis Hanson's on his plinth again, crying "Vanitas!" while the dry ice swirls:
Obama once had mused that he wished to be the mirror image of Ronald Reagan — successfully coaxing America to the left as the folksy Reagan had to the right. Instead, 2012 taught us that a calculating Obama is more a canny Richard Nixon, who likewise used any means necessary to be reelected on the premise that his rival would be even worse. But we know what eventually happened to the triumphant, pre-Watergate Nixon after November 1972; what will be the second-term wages of Obama’s winning ugly?
Impeachment? Sure, why not -- it's not like they can beat him in elections.

But what would be the MacGuffin? This week at WorldNetDaily:
As many news sites and pundits break down the biggest stories of 2012, one story too big to miss has been resurrected by the website TeaParty.org, a story at least one national pundit believes could send Barack Obama to prison. 
The tea-party site posted a Glenn Beck video from October in which the TV and radio host insisted a case for treason could be built against President Obama for his role in the attack of Sept. 11, 2012, in which armed Libyans captured and killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others at an American diplomatic mission in Benghazi...
A two-month-old Glenn Beck rant. But wait -- WND has more! In another article they say Obama could be impeached for invading Syria -- and Charlie Rangel's on board! Actually Rangel has made common cause with Republican Congressman Walter Jones to warn the President off an intervention, which WND interprets as "NEW IMPEACHMENT THREAT, WITH DEMOCRAT 'INVOLVED.'"

Playing Lafayette to their Founding Fathers is Lyndon LaRouche. Now it's a coalition!

Much as I'd enjoy it, I don't think they're serious. At Forbes Larry Bell tips their hand:
Before I carry this any farther, let me be clear that I believe any chances that President Obama will be impeached range somewhere between nil and none. That ain’t going to happen to the historic first American black president…THE ONE…most particularly when his party controls the Senate and his fast and furious friend is his attorney general. But just for argument’s sake, let’s imagine that these conditions were different, and on top of that, he had ill winds of the liberal media blowing in his face rather than friendly breezes at his back. And what if he wasn’t “cool”…instead, being someone like Nixon, who was the un-coolest guy in almost any crowd?...
So this impeachment thing is going to be like everything else in wingnut world these days: Another excuse to piss and moan about how unfair it all is. Pretty soon they'll be telling us that Obama should have been assassinated by now, but that damned liberal Secret Service keeps protecting him.

138 comments:

  1. AGoodQuestion10:19 PM

    I figured that if Obama were reelected, the impeachment countdown clock would start almost immediately. I didn't predict they'd have the star power of Lyndon Larouche on their side.

    Pretty soon they'll be telling us that Obama should have been assassinated by now, but that damned liberal Secret Service keeps protecting him.



    Hell, you basically had a commenter saying that right here on Monday. Or at least "If you're serious about gun violence let The One give up his armed security detail. We won't try anything, wink wink."

    ReplyDelete
  2. M. Krebs10:23 PM

    ... a calculating Obama is more a canny Richard Nixon, who likewise used any means necessary to be reelected on the premise that his rival would be even worse.

    So VDH is now cool with McGovern?

    ReplyDelete
  3. mortimer10:42 PM

    Impeachment? Sure, why not -- it's not like they can beat him in elections.

    Indeed. It would seem from this graph that the one high crime and misdemeanor that most triggers talk of Obama's impeachment is his being elected.

    ReplyDelete
  4. successfully coaxing America to the left


    If only this were true.
    ~

    ReplyDelete
  5. montag211:00 PM

    I'll admit that I was convinced that a Republican House would begin some articles of impeachment against Obama by the 2012 election season was in full swing. Repugs have already proved that they see impeachment as an entirely political process (so much for original intent, eh?).

    Nevertheless, the impeachment of Clinton was an important lesson for them--they may have irritated the public by doing so, but it had the desired effect on the Dems in the 2000 election. Gore distanced himself from one of the most adept campaigners in recent memory, and tried to mollify the prigs and the mouthbreathers by picking Holy Joe as his running mate. Quite apart from the very hinky electoral shenanigans, those decisions undoubtedly were an attempt to buff out some of the moral tarnish on the Democratic brand created by the impeachment process and Judge Starr's eager--and delighted--pursuit of Clinton and likely had an effect on the outcome.


    It was a perfect way to emphasize the moral high ground that the Repugs claimed for themselves at the height of the culture wars, and a way to show as a superior person a wastrel and empty suit who wore his Christianity on his sleeve. The press was happy to cooperate by painting Gore as a serial liar and exaggerator, which only emphasized the character issues which were central to the impeachment of Clinton.


    There are even more wackos in the House now than in 1998, and their hatred of Obama is visceral. No question in my mind that this Weird Nut Daily stuff is meant to be some wind-sniffing in preparation for a more coordinated attack.

    ReplyDelete
  6. tigrismus11:00 PM

    insisted a case for treason could be built against President Obama for his role in the attack of Sept. 11, 2012

    WOW, I had no idea the president actually played a role in the attack, I thought there were witnesses that placed him in DC at the time.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Another Kiwi11:02 PM

    Winning ugly?
    Does Victoiranus read his piffle before he submits it for publishing? Surely, whichever of his students he got to paste this junk together would have said "Ugly? You mean got more electoral votes, than?" But maybe this is as good as it gets in the ash heap of Villa Hansonius.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Victim Rabies Hamster: Instead, Obama’s campaign systematically reduced his rival, Wall Street financier Mitt Romney, to a conniving, felonious financial pirate who did dastardly things, from letting the uninsured die to putting his pet dog Seamus in a cage on top of the family car.

    Uh, that guy whose name no one can remember now:

    WAS a financial pirate (he took control of companies, sold them off as booty, and hid the treasure overseas);

    was LIKELY felonious, in that he refused to show tax returns that would have exonerate him from charges that he avoided paying taxes;

    DID callously put the family dog in a cage on top of a car and let it suffer on a long trip.

    Interestingly, the constipated conservative classicist doesn't bother to refute the allegedly defamatory claims nor does he even provide even a weak character defense of his client with some vague glowing praise. He merely describes him generically as: "Wall Street Financier."

    It's as if Obama ran against some sort of gentle, plutocratic Everyman and audaciously turned the fiduciary hero into a goblin by by daring to say his true name aloud, Rumplestiltskin-style; thereby turning all good Republicans into goblins, in a sense. 

    In the genteel world of Republican dreams this kind of behavior bespeaks of a terribly malign and defective character...the very thing one might expect from a godless Kenyan usurper and his army of union thugs and Black Panthers sent to destroy the nation with socialism.

    ReplyDelete
  9. law and order: nro

    ReplyDelete
  10. ...or having to get elected - HMMMMMMM....

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm really curious - how are the RW loons going to justify impeachment for an incident where a handful of people died, after letting Shrub and co. slide for THOUSANDS?


    Oh wait, IOKIYAR...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Obama once had mused that he wished to be the mirror image of Ronald Reagan — successfully coaxing America to the right as the folksy Reagan had.

    Fixed yer typo, VDH.

    ReplyDelete
  13. DocAmazing12:39 AM

    You laugh, but the Republicans might yet find evidence that Obama has had sex in the White House.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Odder1:37 AM

    "Obama's winning ugly?" Granted, I was wearing thick beer goggles on election night, but the win looked pretty pretty given the dog-shitty alternative.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Their real aim may be to make Hillary Clinton unelectable in 2016.

    ReplyDelete
  16. The tea-party site posted a Glenn Beck video from October in which the
    TV and radio host insisted a case for treason could be built against
    President Obama for his role in the attack of Sept. 11, 2012



    Wrong president, wrong Sept. 11 attack. They really got nothin'.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hey, why not start with Bush and Cheney's detail?

    ReplyDelete
  18. "Now it's a coalition." Or, perhaps, it is a cotillion.

    ReplyDelete
  19. PersonaAuGratin3:45 AM

    That reminds me of a National Lampoon news-item in the late '70s (regular reading in college daze!) about Congress forming a special select committee to investigate why Nixon was never assassinated.

    ReplyDelete
  20. mortimer5:10 AM

    VDH is in exceptional form as one of our most un-self-aware ironists. On the Newtown massacre:
    The nation decried the killer’s access to his murdered mother’s arsenal of semiautomatic weapons to achieve his gruesome toll. Steps toward a far more realistic solution — jawbone Hollywood to quit romanticizing gratuitous cruelty and violence; censor sick, macabre video games; restrict some freedoms of the mentally ill; and put armed security guards into the schools — are as much an anathema to civil libertarians as the banning of some guns is a panacea to many of them. So we pontificate while waiting for the next massacre.

    Yes, rather than an unrealistic and ineffective ban on semi-automatic military weapons like what Australia imposed in 1996, it would be much more effective for the president to jawbone Hollywood, censor video games and restrict the freedoms of NRO columnists.

    ReplyDelete
  21. chuckling6:14 AM

    More like tree sniffing.

    ReplyDelete
  22. VD Hanson: The year 2012 should have taught us that dreaming is no answer to reality; 2013 will determine how well we learned that lesson.
    May I keep linking to this forever and ever please?

    ReplyDelete
  23. The man who championed "300" as the sort of wholesome Hollywood entertainment we need more of has nothing to stand on as far as "jawboning Hollywood to quit romanticizing gratuitous cruelty & violence" is concerned.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Derelict8:00 AM

    You must remember that the most heinous thing anyone can do is to accurately portray Republican positions, accurately relay Republican statements, and accurately record a Republican's history.

    ReplyDelete
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  26. redoubt8:27 AM

    OK, let me see if I understand:
    A man who is a professor of something unrelated to politics (in this case "space architecture" at the University of Houston), climate change denier, and recipient of Koch-Scaife largesse, is writing for another man who tried to buy the Republican presidential nomination.
    Sound familiar?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Instead, 2012 taught us that a calculating Obama is more a canny Richard
    Nixon, who likewise used any means necessary to be reelected on the
    premise that his rival would be even worse



    Except that in this case, Obama's opponent was doing absolutely everything possible to be even worse.

    ReplyDelete
  28. He's basically saying it's Obama's fault that Romney was such a terrible person. The mental gymnastics conservatives have to go through to tolerate looking at themselves in the mirror must be mind-boggling.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Yeah, but as far as conservatives are concerned, that could have just been Cuba Gooding Jr. or Will Smith.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Well see, you can let any number of foreigners die. But you can't let Americans die. Unless those Americans are soldiers, because those Americans are HEROES, and anyway if they survive they'll just come back and become welfare moochers. Also, if you're a Republican president and you let Americans die, it was definitely Democrats' fault for aiding and abetting the terrorists by not being racist enough.

    ReplyDelete
  31. The Obamas are the first presidential couple since Kennedy and Jackie O that I would have a threesome with.

    ReplyDelete
  32. One of the most succinct explanations of that whole thing--not about the sex, or any misdeeds, but simply a political strategy that worked in all the ways you lay out.


    (not to say the sex wasn't important to the strategy--without incessant public interest, impeachment would have fizzled out, of course.)

    ReplyDelete
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  34. They really do believe that "intention", ie belonging to the right tribe, is the only deciding factor in moral (hell, even practical) decisions--despite their customary misuse of paving-ways-to-hell platitudes.

    ReplyDelete
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  36. Haystack9:50 AM

    Watergate plumbers; manipulating a hostage crisis; Willie Horton; Swift Boat...

    Politics had always been fair and respectful before Obama came along.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Well, if we're going to be balancing the books:



    ... insisted a case for treason could be built against President Bush for his role in the attack of Sept. 11, 2001.

    This would be just for completeness, even though Benghazi was obviously so much worse. Thank goodness no one named Rice got promoted afterwards.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Halloween_Jack9:59 AM

    I think we're done with Larry Bell quoting McCain: “It is the worst cover-up or incompetence I have ever observed in my life. Somebody the other day said to me, this is as bad as Watergate, but nobody died in Watergate.” McCain, of course, knows a thing or two about incompetence, given his record of crashing one plane after another in his Navy aviator career. Whether or not anyone might have died due to his chronic fuck-ups is unknown.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Instead, 2012 taught us that a calculating Obama is more a canny Richard
    Nixon, who likewise used any means necessary to be reelected ...
    [Emphasis added]


    You know, Vic, a real Spartan wouldn't play coy like this. Spill the evidence you have of actual lawbreaking by the Obama campaign. What, did they steal your chainsaw?

    ReplyDelete
  40. It is the worst cover-up or incompetence I have ever observed in my life.

    "... because when a breathtakingly flagrant failure of national security led to the murder of 3000 Americans, and was subsequently lied about, my head was too far up my ass for me to observe it."

    ReplyDelete
  41. Derelict10:24 AM

    Obama's campaign did even worse: It sent a hurricane to the Northeast to devastate the area while simultaneously warping Chris Christie's mind to make him say things like "The President is doing a good job of helping New Jersey after this disaster."
    Also, too, the Obama campaign did something else that was just beyond any acceptable standard: It won.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Daniel Asperg10:26 AM

    Obama is like Nixon. He was elected because he has a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam Afghanistan, and it involves the secret bombing of Cambodia Pakistan.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Doghouse Riley10:32 AM

    Before I carry this any farther, let me be clear that I believe any chances that President Obama will be impeached range somewhere between nil and none. That ain’t going to happen to the historic first American black president…THE ONE…most particularly when his party controls the Senate and his fast and furious friend is his attorney general.

    Jeez Louise, is it really too much to ask that you remember that impeachment is entirely the House's business?

    Or that the last time it happened (in a lame-duck session) majority Republicans paid between nil and no attention to what the obvious Senate result would be?



    (And by the way, your people are afraid to impeach the president because he's black? How PC.)


    We'll just leave alone the question of what evidence you have, since we already know that doesn't matter.

    ReplyDelete
  44. In his defense, he's probably using "impeachment" as the common rhetorical shorthand for "impeachment, conviction, and removal from office." Also, he's stupid.

    ReplyDelete
  45. whetstone11:26 AM

    Instead, 2012 taught us that a calculating Obama is more a canny Richard Nixon, who likewise used any means necessary to be reelected on the premise that his rival would be even worse. But we know what eventually happened to the triumphant, pre-Watergate Nixon after November 1972; what will be the second-term wages of Obama’s winning ugly?

    That there Obama sure is canny, figuring out how to win the presidency without "committing felony burglary and conspiracy," something only 43 men have ever figured out how to do, and that Nixon was only able to manage once. Or they could bring libel charges against him; someone tell Louie Gohmert.

    ReplyDelete
  46. BigHank5311:32 AM

    Get in line.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Duncan195111:35 AM

    Good one, but even your modified version uses "America" to refer to the corporate, media, and political elites, not the vast majority of American citizens.

    As Noam Chomsky has often said, in the mainstream media "special interests" refers to working people, racial minorities, women,
    the elderly -- in short, the vast majority of the American population.
    By "the national interest" they mean the wealthy, the corporate, a tiny
    percentage of the population.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Bob Mahnken11:36 AM

    WHETHER to impeach is the House's business, but were it to go forward, it would take place in the Senate. Just sayin'.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Mr. Wonderful11:42 AM

    Roy-- B+. "Plinth," "vanitas," "dry ice"--all great. But where's the reference to his toga? Sure, YOU know he's wearing one, and even we know it, too. But it's better to be explicit. Good effort, though.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Mr. Wonderful11:50 AM

    ...with a black woman. Shocked? Grow up.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Mr. Wonderful12:01 PM

    Yes, you may, because I hadn't seen it yet. Wowzers. Such confidence! Such mastery of the "facts"! And (as they used to say on game shows when unveiling a new car), to take it all home in, the comments. "Many of us are going to die." Comedy gold.

    ReplyDelete
  52. The amazing thing is that the party that claims Obama ran a negative campaign by portraying Romney as a venture capitalist who favors the rich is the party that, as their last-ditch campaign tactic, distributed a DVD that smeared the personal life of Obama's late mother. shame? Not much.

    ReplyDelete
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  54. Nancy in Detroit1:07 PM

    This explains the return of the LaRouche-ies camped out in front of my local post office, this time with "impeach" signs.

    ReplyDelete
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  60. ADHDJ2:32 PM

    Obama’s campaign systematically reduced his rival, Wall Street financier Mitt Romney, to a conniving, felonious financial pirate who did dastardly things



    Oh, please. He was clearly asking for it -- did you see the way he was dressed? A guy looking like like that, walking the streets of Aspen in that flouncy little naughty financier costume? Come on. Besides, if it's not legitimate class warfare, the body politic has ways of shutting the whole thing down.

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  64. Halloween_Jack3:27 PM

    I see what you did there.

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  65. Halloween_Jack3:29 PM

    He had to put on big-boy pants ever since some of his neighbors (probably the same ones that ignored the Mexicans that stole his chainsaw) complained about him wandering the grounds of his vineyard wearing nothing but a bedsheet that would flap in the breeze and display his naughty bits. O tempora, o mores!

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  67. AGoodQuestion5:50 PM

    VDH believes the president should jawbone Hollywood the way VDH himself is jawboning Wayne LaPierre.


    Oh, wait. I got jawboning confused with deepthroating.

    ReplyDelete
  68. And I'm sure VDH is capable of saying in the same breath that liberals are the greatest threat to liberty this country has ever faced.

    ReplyDelete
  69. gocart mozart6:55 PM

    He fathered two kids by a black woman!

    ReplyDelete
  70. gocart mozart7:00 PM

    300 was very manly what with the manly man muscles and the oiled bodies er, I mean it was about the history of western civilization, that's what I meant. Forget the first part.

    ReplyDelete
  71. M. Krebs7:28 PM

    No. For example, Clinton was impeached. The House was what done it. What happened next in the Senate is called, um, something else.

    ReplyDelete
  72. M. Krebs7:30 PM

    All true Spartans go commando.

    ReplyDelete
  73. DocAmazing7:49 PM

    Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,
    That their old raiment lacks but a fly.

    ReplyDelete
  74. TGuerrant8:39 PM

    I always wondered if intelligent life existed before The Onion.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Doghouse Riley12:24 PM

    What happens next in the Senate is called, um, something else.


    "A trial".

    ReplyDelete
  76. Wikipedia is your friend, y'all.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment#Process



    The impeachment process is a two-step procedure. The House of Representatives
    must first pass, by a simple majority of those present and voting,
    articles of impeachment, which constitute the formal allegation or
    allegations. Upon their passage, the defendant has been "impeached".
    Next, the Senate tries the accused. In the case of the impeachment of a president, the Chief Justice of the United States
    presides over the proceedings. For the impeachment of any other
    official, the Constitution is silent on who shall preside, suggesting
    that this role falls to the Senate's usual presiding officer. This may
    include the impeachment of the vice president, although legal theories
    suggest that allowing a defendant to be the judge in his own case would
    be a blatant conflict of interest. If the Vice President did not preside over an impeachment (of anyone besides the President), the duties would fall to the President pro tempore of the Senate.

    To convict the accused, a two-thirds majority
    of the senators present is required. Conviction automatically removes
    the defendant from office. Following conviction, the Senate may vote to
    further punish the individual by barring him from holding future federal
    office, elected or appointed. Conviction by the Senate does not bar
    criminal prosecution. Even after an accused has left office, it is
    possible to impeach to disqualify the person from future office or from
    certain emoluments of his prior office (such as a pension). If there is
    no charge for which a two-thirds majority of the senators present vote "guilty", the defendant is acquitted and no punishment is imposed.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Wikipedia is your friend, y'all.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment#Process



    The impeachment process is a two-step procedure. The House of Representatives
    must first pass, by a simple majority of those present and voting,
    articles of impeachment, which constitute the formal allegation or
    allegations. Upon their passage, the defendant has been "impeached".
    Next, the Senate tries the accused. In the case of the impeachment of a president, the Chief Justice of the United States
    presides over the proceedings. For the impeachment of any other
    official, the Constitution is silent on who shall preside, suggesting
    that this role falls to the Senate's usual presiding officer. This may
    include the impeachment of the vice president, although legal theories
    suggest that allowing a defendant to be the judge in his own case would
    be a blatant conflict of interest. If the Vice President did not preside over an impeachment (of anyone besides the President), the duties would fall to the President pro tempore of the Senate.

    To convict the accused, a two-thirds majority
    of the senators present is required. Conviction automatically removes
    the defendant from office. Following conviction, the Senate may vote to
    further punish the individual by barring him from holding future federal
    office, elected or appointed. Conviction by the Senate does not bar
    criminal prosecution. Even after an accused has left office, it is
    possible to impeach to disqualify the person from future office or from
    certain emoluments of his prior office (such as a pension). If there is
    no charge for which a two-thirds majority of the senators present vote "guilty", the defendant is acquitted and no punishment is imposed.

    ReplyDelete
  78. What comments! That thing is awesome. It's so weird how so many people equate what they desire with what will actually happen. I mean, in this last election it was pretty close. All through the last few weeks of the campaign, pollsters were consistently saying that the two candidates's numbers were within a couple of percentage points. If you had asked me on Monday the fifth of November what my prediction was, I'd have told you I really don't know, and I'm hoping my guy wins but I wouldn't bet on it.

    A couple of the columnists are similarly realistic. But the commenters! You'd think at least some of them would be saying, "Unfortunately I think that no-good bastard is going to be re-elected," but with hardly any exceptions it was all "Mitt's gonna take this in a landslide for sure!!! and the Senate too!"

    ReplyDelete
  79. M. Krebs8:44 PM

    I love being the set-up guy. Call me Dan Rowan.

    ReplyDelete
  80. theoracle9:37 PM

    WMD = Wingnuts of Mass Destruction.


    Or is that, Wingnuts of Mass Delusion?


    Either fits.

    ReplyDelete
  81. smut clyde10:15 PM

    "Wall Street financier" is itself a lie, an attempt to reinvent Romney as a kindly supplier of venture capital, rather than a singleminded extractor of finances.

    ReplyDelete
  82. smut clyde10:22 PM

    But just for argument’s sake, let’s imagine that these conditions were different


    American conservatism writ small.

    ReplyDelete
  83. That's actually a great point. But you can imagine how it undermines his argument to correctly describe Rmoney as a "born-rich capitalist predator and destroyer of jobs." Not only is it pretty damning but the phrasing is awkward and destroys the whole rhythm of his character-assassination piece. Best for Hanson just to tiptoe around the whole matter and describe Mitt as "the swell, fun Monopoly guy with the monocle and top hat who everyone always wants to be" if he really wants to work up resentment towards Obama's treatment of him.  Everyone loves the Monopoly guy!

    ReplyDelete
  84. M. Krebs10:37 PM

    Anyone know if the National Lampoon Radio Hour -- or whatever it was called -- is online anywhere? Wait, wait, there's this googler thingy...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gISWn06nTeM

    ReplyDelete
  85. TheSailor6:49 PM

    Yes, exactly the same as Nixon; except for the fact that neither the exit strategy and timeline are secret, they are being adhered to, and the drone strikes are secret either.


    So except for all your firebagger talking points being wrong, it's an excellent comparison.

    ReplyDelete
  86. TheSailor6:51 PM

    How many times does she have to say she's not running before you firebaggers & the GOP stop with that meme?

    ReplyDelete
  87. Perhaps you should review the concept of sarcasm, m'dear.

    ReplyDelete
  88. That, and practice politics while Democratic.

    ReplyDelete
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