Showing posts with label 2016. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2016. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


There are different kinds of conservative reactions to the hilarious phenomenon of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. There are lofty denunciations from rilly smart conservative True Scotsmen like this one from Charles C.W. Cooke: "Trump’s devotees consider themselves to be the rebels at the gates," he sniffs, but "by their dull, unreflective, often ovine behavior, they resemble binary and nuancless drones, as might be found in a novel by Aldous Huxley or Yevgeny Zamyatin" yeah yeah whatever Limey Brainiac hey didja see Trump smack down that fat bitch Rosie O'Donnell?

Others just compare Trump to other things they don't like, or blame him, as conservatives do everything else, on Obama; for example, here's some guy at the Washington Examiner who understandably did not demand attribution, bidding us "imagine America with an older, less knowledgeable, rude and charmless version of Obama as its president, and you get some idea of what Trump is all about," though he doesn't explain how Trump differs from an "older, less knowledgeable, rude and charmless version" of, say, Thomas Jefferson or anyone else.

And there are outright Trump defenders, generally small fry or once-major wingnuts who no longer have anything left to lose, like Ben Shapiro.

But in a category all by herself is D.C. McAllister from The Federalist. Like Shapiro, she's upset that conservatives are dissing The Donald, but for her it's intensely personal, and by way of explanation she chronicles her own feelings from 2009 to the present. First:
Like so many of my fellow Americans, I felt helpless as I sat in front of the television in the fall of 2008, watching Barack Obama become the 45th president of the United States.
If only we had elections back then! Happily for McAllister, then came the Tea Party, which she characterizes as a response to the "huge government bailout of the housing market," a popular but woefully incomplete rightwing theory that doesn't explain what the Tea Partiers themselves actually yelled at their rallies. Bliss it was to be alive then, but alas, the tricorn rubes were teabagged by Anderson Cooper and stabbed in the back by the Republican Establishment. This taught McAllister that Mitch McConnell was no different from Barack Obama -- they both believed in "Money. Power. Cocktail parties. Media incest." So McAllister did what any patriot would do -- she became a blogger. "I made friends," she tells us, "and I made enemies because I didn’t care about playing politics.... I didn’t have a fancy degree. I didn’t have a fancy fellowship," unlike all us other web writers who went to Breadloaf with Saul Alinsky and swim in Moscow gold.

One of the things she discovered during this journey of personal discovery was that the Republican base was "motivated by fear," an assessment she stands by today:
Some might not want to admit this fact. It sounds weak, maybe even naive. But fear in the proper context is anything but naive. It’s wisdom based on experience and knowledge...
And this, brothers and sister, is where things get weird:
Let me explain a little something about human nature. When someone feels oppressed and controlled and you continue to belittle them and push them against the wall, they get angry. They’re not going to be particularly rational at that point. They’re in a corner and they lash out—that’s human nature. They fight. They get angry. They grab hold of whatever weapon they can find to defend themselves. That’s what you mostly see with Donald Trump. It’s anger, fueled by fear and stoked by insiders who continue to demean the base, who refuse to listen, and who want to maintain the status quo... 
This reminds me of a toxic relationship between a man and a woman in which the man continues to control the woman, keeping her from speaking her mind, calling her stupid whenever she does. She tries to find ways to win her independence, to be heard, to be free, but he keeps pushing her back against the wall, telling her that she’s the problem. Over time, the anger swells within her. She’s afraid. She isn’t free, and she hates it. She’s powerless. Anytime she tries to stand up for herself, she is mocked and slapped down. Her fear resides. Her anger grows. Her hope recedes. One day, she just loses it. She lights a match and burns the whole house to the ground. Give me liberty or give me death takes on a whole new meaning in the context of oppression and abuse.
RINO-abused with John McCain, then with Mitt Romney -- what choice does a true conservative have but to BURN THE MOTHERFUCKER DOWN! It's a good thing McAllister can afford mental health coverage.

Sunday, August 09, 2015


Both at The Federalist -- first:
Farewell To Jon Stewart, The Left’s Donald Trump
But Stewart is no more an honest newsman than, say, Donald Trump is a serious presidential candidate.
Jeb: Trump's rhetoric 'reminds me of Barack Obama'
Of course Bush is not smart enough to make this up himself -- earlier:
Marco Rubio Says Obama Is Like Trump
 No round-up of dumbasses would be complete without David Brooks:
...bumper-car politicians thrive. Bernie Sanders is swimming with the tide. He’s a conviction politician comfortable with class conflict...
The times are perfect for Donald Trump...
Over t'England they have a forthright Labour candidate and guess what:
Donald Trump and Jeremy Corbyn are two of a kind
The one thing wingnuts can't admit is that Trump is their own id monster, so they have to tell themselves and anyone else who'll listen that he's actually the same thing as other people they also don't like, for reasons that don't make any sense.

If this travesty goes on much longer the name "Donald Trump" will take its place with "9/11" and "political correctness" as terms that used to mean something but, thanks to overuse by conservatives as fake synonyms for "liberal," no longer mean anything at all.

UPDATE. Speaking of bullshit, Ole Perfesser Glenn Reynolds:
Trump’s rise is, like that of his Democratic counterpart Bernie Sanders...
They have so much in common. For one thing, Sanders "once wrote that women dream of gang rape," or at least his writings can be thus willfully misinterpreted. Plus Sanders is "an avowed socialist." Why, it's like they're twins -- no wonder you always see Sanders hanging around at Trump's casinos,  goosing the cocktail waitresses! Further, Reynolds says,
Trump and Sanders are just symptoms. The real disease is in the ruling class that takes such important subjects out of political play, in its own interest. As Angelo Codevilla wrote in an influential [?-ed] essay in 2010, today’s ruling class is a monoculture that has little in common with the rest of the nation...
Those of you familiar with Codevilla's and Reynolds' schtick will know their standard solution for this is the election of  rightwing Republicans -- a groovy anti-ruling-class revolution that surprising coincides with the goals of the RNC. (The "country party" of true sons of liberty, Codevilla writes, "in the short term at least... has no alternative but to channel its political efforts through the Republican Party." Trust us, comrades, once we cut taxes on the rich it's on to Jerusalem!) The Tea Party act with its knee-breeches and triconers has gotten a bit long in the tooth, though -- maybe this time they should cosplay 60s radicals instead, and march around dressed as members of S.W.I.N.E. What the hell, they're led by a tenured radical.

Friday, August 07, 2015


I had the great pleasure and privilege to see Harold Prince's
stripped-down version of Candide on Broadway in 1974 and still 
appreciate its crispness, but I just love the original version of this song.  

  I think I made the right choice to skip the debate and go see Loudon Wainwright III last night. He opened with "Double Lifetime" and "Heaven," which set the tone -- death and jokes! Wainwright seems to have repurposed some of his material from his Surviving Twin thing about fathers and sons -- in fact he not only prefaced some of his songs with bits from his father's Life magazine columns, he even performed one of those columns as a  comic monologue. I wanted more songs but it made an interesting point of comparision: LWII's stuff is pretty good for magazine work; it's well-crafted and has the old-fashioned, better sort of middle-class attitude toward the big issues -- that is, a becoming gratitude for one's privilege, and respect for the mysteries of love and death and the inadequacy of privilege before them. It strikes me that his son picked up some of that, and though he likes to be more irreverent and playful that's still his grounding. Which may really be the reason he never got to be a big star -- not because of the "novelty-store garlic gum" bitter surprise lyrics I blamed when I wrote about him years ago, but because his truths are literally old home truths, a hard sell to a pop music audience (unless of course you lie about the truths).  Concert highlights: A song for his upcoming Alaskan family boondoggle called "Meet the Wainwrights" ("Rufus used to be a tit man/Now he checks out pecs at the gym"), and a really good "Be Careful, There's a Baby in the House," a song that sounds pretty mature considering it debuted in 1971.

•   Tell you why else I think I made the right call: I saw the video clip where Donald Trump excuses calling women "fat pigs" on the grounds that "this country" doesn't have time for "political correctness," and I have to say he exceeds even my satirical gifts. I also see that the mainstream National Review conservatives, who were pissed when Trump began hogging attention, are starting to love him for it.  A month ago Jonah Goldberg was calling Trump a fraud -- now he says, "[Trump] makes the debates entertaining and his competitors look more serious and responsible -- what’s so bad about that?" which suggests that they could have gotten the same effect with the Iron Sheik, who I understand has a higher Q rating. Jim Geraghty crows that Trump "killed with that 'Only Rosie O’Donnell' line" (in re women as fat pigs); he's slightly more protective of Megyn Kelly, which is perhaps just his way of showing that there's no principle of chivalry at stake, he just like fat jokes about lib chicks. I wonder what election this is meant to win? These guys already had date rapists and gamergaters locked up. On the plus side, Ben Carson mentioned Alinsky, thereby alerting whatever normal people may have been watching to this weird conservative secret handshake, which ought to help them decide how seriously to take the Republican Party as presently constituted.

"[Megyn Kelly] gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions," Trump said in a CNN interview. "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever"...
How will the Trumpenproletariat react? Let's see what commenters have to say about it:

The more toffee-nosed cons protest: National Review's Charles C.W. Cooke sputters, "Trump has no attractive qualities at all. He's not a conservative, he's not a good politician, he's not eloquent, he has no experience." Which seems a harsh thing to say about his party's front-runner.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015


I’m busy Thursday, but it’s okay because I have some great inside dope on how that Republican debate will go down from a lady who said she was psychic, or a sidekick, or psycho, I don't know, but she sounded sure of herself. Here are the good parts:

Chris Christie, emaciated and frail, will appear confused and rambling, and after ten seconds break down and admit to America, “It’s this goddamn lapband surgery. They told me after a while I wouldn’t miss it — that great big old styrofoam clamshell heaped with hot ground beef and peppers and a loaf of French bread on the side — Big Gulps lined up like shots at a wild west saloon - and I know, I know I couldn’t get all that down now if I tried — but I want it.” His jaw will press forward, showing teeth: ”I goddamn WANT IT!” he’ll roar, falling ravenously upon the fingers of Donald Trump, which he will have mistaken in his delirium for sausages, and be hauled off the stage.

“The media elite, they’re lying about me,” Ben Carson will say. “Once again, they’re saying I compared Obama to Hitler.” The crowd will groan. “But it’s true,” Carson will say. "They say that. But it’s not the same thing. It’s just not the same thing to say this: Look everybody, I’m Obama," and then he’ll give a Nazi salute and goose-step around the stage, dropping on the ground little fetus effigies made of surimi and mashing them with his jackboots. This will receive wild applause, which will mostly drown out Carson crying “FINAL SOLUTION FOR UNBORN BABIES,” which Fox News commentators will later claim was actually a Bible quotation about food stamps.

Ted Cruz will come onstage with a rifle, hold it over his head, and cry, “COME AND TAKE IT!” to wild applause. But when the applause dies down he’ll still be holding up the rifle. “I’m serious,” he’ll say. “Come and take it! I don’t see any of you coming forward, just as no one came forward when Hitler laid a specter over Western Europe. And then — came the war.” Cruz will fire the rifle into the ceiling, a chunk of which will come down and fall heavily on Marco Rubio, knocking him unconscious. “Poor Marco,” Cruz will cry as he is restrained by guards, “another victim of Obama’s appeasement.”

Jeb Bush will seem at first to be doing well, if only by comparison and very clumsily ("This Iran deal is not a deal with, actually it is, it's a deal of the devil, with the devil. Not the literal devil, I don't believe Obama is... it's not the devil but the devil's in the details and it's a bad deal"). But someone in the control room will notice that Bush's responses are tracking remarkably closely with the reactions of a live dial-testing group conducted by Frank Luntz on CNN. The moderator will bring this up, and Bush will go into a spasm, ejecting from his jacket some sort of device that will break into pieces on the floor. "Fourscore and seven years ago," Bush will say as the pieces are swept up and inspected, "ask not what your country, my fellow America."

Instead of responding appropriately to questions, Donald Trump will at every availability promote his new project, Trump Branson. Sample: "This Obama's making a mess of everything, but he can't make a mess of Branson, Missouri, wonderful town, beautiful people, and site of the new Trump Branson, a ten-thousand unit hotel, entertainment and fine dining complex in the heartland of America. That's ten THOUSAND, as in four zeroes, like the zeroes we have running against me here tonight." At one point he will demand that, in lieu of his response to a question on national infrastructure, a Trump Branson promotional film be shown. And it will be.

"I'm not saying that old-fashioned siding isn't quaint or it didn't do the job it was supposed to do," Scott Walker will say. "I'm saying that this new siding is made of carborundum, and it can't rust, it can't break, if lightning hits it it won't conduct the electricity, if you hit it with a missle it'll just turn that missle into a little old crumpled ball of paper and drop it on the ground, like I'm dropping these coffee grounds here, and I'm doing it to make a point, which is that this vacuum cleaner can pick up anything, coffee grounds, dust, rocks, pencils, candy wrappers, the people of Israel, the unborn, I don't care what anyone says, death threats, intimidation, with your prayers, and my wife and I feel them, we will pick up anything and everything, and that's a promise from me to you."

The other candidates will just go "awwwwwwk" and turn into steam. And George Pataki will be found dead, his face pressed against the crack at the bottom of the door of the auditorium like Injun Joe in Tom Sawyer.

Sunday, July 26, 2015


At the New York Times, Ross Douthat starts by regaling us with a Richard Selzer story about "tiny, naked, all-too-human bodies of aborted fetuses," then moves on to the Planned Parenthood sting videos:
It may be disturbing to hear those procedures described: “… we’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact"... 
But in the end, Planned Parenthood’s defenders insist, listening to an abortionist discuss manipulating the “calvarium” (that is, the dying fetus’s skull) so that it emerges research-ready from the womb is fundamentally no different than listening to a doctor discuss heart surgery or organ transplants. It’s unsettling, yes, but just because it’s gross doesn’t prove it’s wrong. 
And the problem these videos create for Planned Parenthood isn’t just a generalized queasiness at surgery and blood... 
...the reluctance to look closely doesn’t change the truth of what there is to see. Those were dead human beings on Richard Selzer’s street 40 years ago, and these are dead human beings being discussed on video today...
Douthat's always been horrible, but now he's like one of those nuts standing outside abortion clinics, waving pictures of dismembered fetuses -- look, guts! -- except when the guards fail to restrain him he also pushes a note into the terrified women's hands explaining that he's really thought this throughGoogle "Nucatola" and "sips wine" and you'll see (along with impressive message discipline) that a huge chunk of the American Right is there with him, though they're not usually such candy-asses about expressing it.

Meamwhile Rick Perry is telling the world that the lesson of the Louisiana movie theater shooting is that people should be able to take loaded weapons to the movies. (You thought the guy who always spills his popcorn was a problem before!) Mike Huckabee says by negotiating an arms treaty with Iran, Obama "will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven."

And Donald Trump leads this great party's Presidential race.

Isn't it about time we acknowledged for good and all that the Republicans are basically the Monster Raving Loony Party, but without the sense of humor?

UPDATE. Drop me a line at roy at edroso dot com if your comments aren't getting through.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


At National ReviewCharles C.W. Cooke has advice for the Republican Party. Along with the usual ObamaHitler schtick, we get this: should by now be obvious to conservatives that the last American Golden Age obtained not during George W. Bush’s rather disappointing tenure, but in the mid- to late- 1990s, when the Republican party ran both houses of Congress and Democrat Bill Clinton ran the executive branch... 
Sure, Jeb Bush is an impressive man. But to nominate him at this moment would be to push Republicans in the wrong direction and to force them into doing something that they should really not want to do: namely, re-litigating – and perhaps even defending – the political decisions that were made between 2000 and 2008... If they are offered a choice between “Clinton” — a name that evokes peace and prosperity — and “Bush” – a name that has been rather run through the mud – [voters] will almost certainly choose the former...
So: If they remind voters of their record and their opponents' record, the GOP is in deep shit. Sounds right.

Cooke's advice is almost as funny. He says the Republicans will "need to work out what exactly it is reacting to within the country’s soul." What might that mean? From the article, a hint:
Exactly who can will hinge upon where the country finds itself by the end of the year. If by early 2016 it has become clear that America is tired of Barack Obama’s celebrity; that Hillary’s status as a permanent member of the elite class is beginning to grate; and that Washington is seen as an out-of-touch club for the rich and the famous, then the Republican party might consider borrowing a slogan from a century ago and offering the public a 1920s style “Return to Normalcy.” With his homespun tales of one-dollar sweaters, his quiet Midwestern roots, and his down-to-earth everyman appearance, Scott Walker would do well running such a campaign — as, indeed, might a John Kasich or a Rick Snyder.
Scott Walker ain't like them rich folks nohow! Lookie this sweater! That'll set the hustings aflame. Elsewhere Cooke writes, "In an ideal world, our elections would be held on paper..." I don't think they can even win the Rotisserie Presidency with material like this.

UPDATE. Commenters remind me that the notion of Scott Walker as a humble People's Friend is made extra hilarious by his recent participation in the "Koch Primary" for the financial support of the libertarian kazillionaires. Also, I see Walker has decided to outflank Bush and Rubio by going full anti-immigrant, which I guess is supposed to be part of the "Return to Normalcy" program Cooke mentions; it must be a great success because Walker's already got people like Rich Lowry whining on his behalf ("Scott Walker, Over the Target, Taking Flak").

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


I haven't said anything about the douchebags who've already declared because a.) the prospect of a Ted Cruz presidency fills me with dread, not humor; it's like, "Haw, Hitler is 30 miles outside Paris!" b.) Even if she wins 50 states the Hitlery Klintoon candidacy will never be anything but sad to me -- sad in the way Robert Downey Jr. doing one more fucking Avengers movie is sad, and of course sad for the nation, but mostly sad because there cannot possibly be anything human about it -- even if she were suddenly struck with enlightenment or the seventh degree of concentration, even if she became luminous with self-knowledge, her campaign of necessity would be this big lumbering thing that demands attention for burritos (and gets it mainly from agents of arghblargh). Plus I may have to vote for her. c.) C'mon, Rubio's not old enough to run for President!

But this Pataki announcement blows the game wide open. Wait'll the kids get a load of the Pride of Peekskill! He's lawn-order, and he knows the rent is too damn low! He's every awful thing they want without the distracting layers of marketing that make the real candidates so extra loathsome.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015


You may have heard that Rand Paul, who declared for the GOP Presidential nomination today, has changed his stances and his image remarkably in recent months, going from a heavily libertarian son-of-Ron drone-fighter to a fuck-Islam Jesus freak. And you probably assume he's doing that as an act to appeal to the snake-handling Republican war pigs that stand between him and the nomination.

But should we doubt his libertarian bona fides? I say no, but that's because I don't think much of libertarian bona fides in the first place. Attend Matt Welch of libertarian flagship Reason: Sure, he says, the holy-rolling is a little bit much, but --
Like his father, former Libertarian Party presidential candidate and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, Rand has never hid his religion under a bushel basket when courting libertarian voters because he doesn't have to. Arguably alone among large swaths of the American electorate, even atheist libertarians tend to respect the ways in which religious organizations and communities fill vital roles in civil society. Indeed, even as outspoken an atheist and libertarian as Penn Jillette is quite open to the ways religious groups benefit society.
He's got a point. As I've noticed before, libertarians who'll go to the mat and paint their faces blue for legal weed and raw milk suddenly get all big-tentish (or downright conservative) when the subject is abortion. (Or women's rights in general.) And we've been seeing libertarian-fundamentalist fusion lately over the sacred Constitutional right to refuse service to gay people looking for wedding cakes -- from William McGurn of the Wall Street Journal, for example, who does us the favor of explaining in his "Indiana’s Libertarian Moment" article why fundalibertarians feel as they do:
In 1964, when the Supreme Court upheld the Civil Rights Act’s requirement that hotels serve African-Americans, blacks, especially in the South, effectively had their ability to travel restricted by the possibility they couldn’t secure lodging. In contrast, no one today suggests gay couples can’t find a baker or photographer for their weddings.
If they can get you to buy this, expect them to come back in, oh, a nano-second to ask, "Hey, why do black people need this so-called Civil Rights Act anymore either? They have!"

Some of you may conclude from this that libertarians are max-freedom except when it comes to people they don't resemble. I'm sure that's true for a lot of them, but the thing to keep in mind is this: the apparent contradictions of libertarianism disappear when you consider the true goal of its advocates is not greater personal liberty at all, but to devolve all government power to for-profit companies -- to privatize prisons, highways, and even natural resources once thought to be the birthright of all people, so that everything becomes that highest end of human effort: a revenue stream for the rich. In other words, what conservatives try to disguise about themselves, libertarians proudly own. I leave it to you whether that's a point in their favor.

Friday, March 20, 2015


"I got drugs to take/and a mind to break"
Thanks to Chuck Gilligan for steering me -- these guys do Britain & Mike Skinner proud.

•   After that last post I hate to subject you good people to a Megan McArdle streak, but this is irresistible:

Fans of Tbogg already grok the internet tradition of conflating McArdle's conspicuous-consumerism with her crap political views, but I  think anyone can appreciate that she's seriously miffed Canada has $1.4K Thermomixes but America does not (guess the one she was kvelling about in 2011 got a dent in it or something), and gets her editor to indulge her in speculating at 1,400-word length on the Economix, e.g. "QVC's 'gadget' price point seems to top out at 'Dyson vacuum cleaner,'" tee hee. If they haven't sent her a new "test" model by now this isn't the rotting corpse of a Republic I grew up in.

•   It's clearer than ever that Obama consciously trolls rightwing idiots as a hobby. I'm not sure what to think about the universal voting proposal, but it has elicited some choice gibberish from Peggy Noonan:
Most of us are moved by the sight of citizens lined up at the polls on Election Day. We should urge everyone to care enough to stand in that line. But we should not harass or bother those who, with modesty and even generosity, say they are happy to leave the privilege of the ballot to those who are engaged.
How dare we refuse their generosity by demanding they participate in our stupid "democracy"! Next we'll be demanding they pay taxes! (I wonder what the Crazy Jesus Lady thinks about Ben Carson's request at CPAC last year that conservatives drag their grandparents to the polls even if they say, “I’ve given up on America, I’m just waiting to die.”) Oh, and here's Noonan explaining her apparently brand new idea that Presidents named Bush are bad (except the next one -- he'll be swell!):
George W. Bush broke his party after his 2004 re-election, in part with his immigration proposals and the way he advanced them, with aides insulting his GOP opponents with insults—“nativist,” they said—and, in the end, by two unwon wars.
That's up there with "He dressed badly and was not a good mixer,  in addition to being a serial killer."

•   Remember the Oppressed Children of Sperm Donors whose lamentations I covered a few years back? Well, they're back at The Federalist, where two anti-donor activists rally support for those Dolce & Gabbana guys who called test-tube kids "synthetic children." The authors note that some people were upset about this because they had donor-enabled offspring, nephews etc., and here's the authors' stern rejoinder:
It is important to note, however, that infants, toddlers, and all of these “miracle” beings are too young to protest their own objectification.
I hear ya, sister -- I didn't ask to be born into this fucking world, but my mother got knocked up in a time before abortion rights. Rough luck all around! Oh, and also:
I am indeed a human being. My liver, heart, hair, and enzymes all work the same. I’ve discovered it is my psychology that is different and not-quite-right, due to my conception.
No comment.

•   Since it's nearly the weekend, here is your latest installment of What Is Rod Dreher Whining About Now?
UPDATE: I’m all for praying with the body. We do that all the time in the Orthodox Church. But yoga is a Hindu discipline, not a Christian one, and the syncretism of mixing yoga with Christian worship is troubling.
This has been What Is Rod Dreher Whining About Now?

Sunday, March 15, 2015


This National Review article by Kevin D. Williamson is just another Oooh Scary Hillary piece of shit for the regular crowd, and for anyone else not worth reading -- to give you some idea, he compares her with Nixon and the Marquis de Sade. But I'll show you this much, just because it's nice to know....
President Clinton had a diabolical knack for turning his self-inflicted problems into referenda on the moral standing of his opponents, or of anybody who happened to be convenient for the purpose; thus the Monica Lewinsky scandal became a question not of the president’s venality in the Oval Office and elsewhere or of his consequent crimes — perjury, etc. — but a public trial of Kenneth Starr for the crime of being a buzzkill. Everybody — everybody, friend and foe — knew that President Clinton and his minions were lying about the matter, but the Democrats place an extraordinary value on cleverness: They are the party of the student council, and Bill Clinton has spent 50-odd years proving to the world that he is the cleverest boy at Hot Springs High School, and his admirers loved him not in spite of his gross opportunism and dishonesty but because of those very things. Finally, the Democrats rejoiced, a man who can show those Republicans for the unsophisticated, unclever fools that they are!
...that the great GOP Clusterfuck of '98-'99 left such a stink, even wingnuts who were little children at the time are still pissed about it. Why, I bet Williamson is at this moment on a phone-throwing rampage!

UPDATE. Over at TownHall, Kurt Schlichter calls Mrs. Clinton, "a Lovecraftian monster, the Cthulhu of American politics," and Bill Clinton "an elderly leech" -- I think he was going for "lech," but was too engorged with Clinton rage to proof his own copy. Jesus, the election is 20 months away and these hate-wankers have already shot their loads. Really, where's there to go from here? Maybe Hitler, but in wingnut discourse Obama is Hitler, so that's out. Perhaps they can get some of their Culture Warriors in the Comics Division to create a horrible intergalactic tyrant who's like a thousand Hitlers, and then compare her with that. Or they can just fill pages and screens with BITCH and WHORE; really, it wouldn't harm their meaning and would save time.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Carly Fiorina? For President? At National Review, Jim Geraghty jokes about the demon sheep ad from her disastrous 2010 Senate campaign, but in his newsletter for the true believers Geraghty circulates some straight-up Fiorina PR: After praising Fiorina's staff hires ("CRC Public Relations is a pretty big mover and shaker in the world of conservative clients"), he says:
You may recall that last month I wrote, “the former Hewlett Packard CEO has a broader and more interesting résumé than you might think -- member of the CIA’s External Advisory Board, committee adviser to Condoleezza Rice, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies -- and despite the “nice” CEO image, she’s fearless on the attack -- tearing into Hillary for lack of accomplishments, ripping liberals for hypocrisy on abortion, challenging Valerie Jarrett on live television about unequal pay for women at the White House. A cancer survivor with a great personal success story, she may be a much more serious contender for the [vice-presidential] slot than most people think right now.” 
Heading into CPAC, she has the not-so-insignificant advantage of being accomplished and almost entirely dismissed by the political media, so the bar is set pretty low.
Pretty low indeed! "The not-so-insignificant advantage of being accomplished"? The consensus (bipartisan, as it were) on her reign at Hewlett Packard, the most significant of her alleged accomplishments, seems to be that she nearly ruined it. And getting on committees and boards is simple for high-level executives even if they are terrible at their jobs. As for tearing and ripping, you can get a dog to do that. (I will say it's nice that she got over cancer.)

Also: Fiorina has never won elective office. Neither had President Washington and President Grant, but we are talking about a whole different level of being-accomplished here.

In fact this is very close to the imaginary-but-with-a-budget campaigns of Ben Carson and Donald Trump. And it reminds me of the complaining conservatives and consensus-seeking politicos did when Scott Walker was recently mocked as a college dropout. I understand the anxiety that episode raised: American folk wisdom says you shouldn't need certification to excel and prosper, and I hope all good people lament that citizens are badgered by employment anxiety to get a diploma and the gigantic price tag that comes with it just to keep the wolf from the door.

But with  candidates like Fiorina, it looks like the Party of Joe The Plumber, which has never put much stock in fancy book learning anyway, is not merely being open to talents (as if these people really qualify as talents), but favoring people who lack not only traditional qualifications but also common sense, as if having the slightest idea what you're doing is some elitist shibboleth that needs to be refuted once and for all with the election of a total dumbass.

Can they pull it off? Depends on how much the voters remember about George W. Bush.

UPDATE. Geraghty's not Fiorina's only friend in the world of wingnut journamalism -- Al Weaver of The Daily Caller:
Is Hillary Clinton Stealing Speech Lines From Carly Fiorina?
The Answer May Surprise You!
During her speaking event in Silicon Valley, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seemingly snagged a campaign line from potential GOP 2016 candidate Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard. 
Clinton, the presumptive 2016 candidate for the Democratic Party, called on attendees at the conference to “unlock their full potential,” a line Fiorina uses.
Unlock their full potential -- has a ring to it! I bet it catches on, retroactively. Weaver also claims that "back in June during Clinton’s book release of 'Hard Choices,' much was made of the similarities between her book and Fiorina’s 2007 memoir, 'Tough Choices.'" No links and no quotes, natch, and besides, who believes anyone read enough of both books to make an informed comparison?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Of all sad words of tongue or pen...

But seriously, folks:
“Laudner would not go there unless Trump is all the way in,” Deace said. “Laudner used to be a high-ranking official with the Republican Party of Iowa. He is on good terms with pretty much every single respected conservative in Iowa, really tight with Congressman Steve King and helped Bob VanderPlaats run the judicial retention fight we won a few years ago. There’s no other way of understanding that. This is a major coup for Donald. Major coup.”
Maybe Trump ought to limber up for the Presidency with a run at an Iowa school board seat first.