Don’t you love farce?
My fault, I fear.
I thought that you’d want what I want –
Sorry, my dear.
But where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns.
Quick, send in the clowns
I stayed up late the other night to watch the outcome of the Ohio referendum vote on Senate Bill 5, Tea Party darling Governor John Kasich’s love child conceived in the Koch brothers boardroom which stripped away bargaining rights from public unions. It was difficult to fall asleep due to my exhilaration when I realized that the law was overturned with a 2 to 1 thumping. More people voted to reject this bill than voted for Kasich. Unions created the middle class in this country and since the decline of them over 3 decades, the middle class has been in decline. Coincidence? Hardly, so this was good news on that front.
However, my giddiness over that positive developement for the working class in this country turned to outright incredulity after
suffering through watching the Republican debate last night. Let me preface this by saying that I have never been witness to a bigger collection of inept clowns trotted out disguised as supposed professionals since the 1979 Mets. This new age of Republicans or Teapublicans or Conservatives, whatever you want to call them, is downright terrifying. Trump, Palin and Bachmann, I mean, come on. I have to admit, I do kind of miss their almost daily comical misstatements, especially about history or world affairs. I was hoping Sister Sarah would make-up more completely inaccurate facts regale me with more stories about American Revolutionary War heroes. I’m still waiting for that big, vibrating, smoking gun to surface that this crack committee The Donald sent to Hawaii or Kenya or Al Capone’s vault was supposed to produce about President Obama’s birth certificate. I long for the days when Bachmann was relevant and would tell us that the reason she became a tax attorney for the government was so she could spy on them and report back to us. What a patriot! Yuck, yuck, yuck…now that’s entertainment!
But last night’s “debate” among the Republican presidential candidates or as I like to call them, the Insane Clown Posse, was the cause of major insomnia for myself personally. I couldn’t stop the reel in my mind from playing a continuous loop of special moments like the hysterical Rick Perry “Oops” embarrassment or the snarling misogynists in the audience angrily booing a question about one candidates “character” that had been called into question. For me, those two moments completely sum up the Republican Party contenders in 2011. These candidates are a collection of inept, arrogant, and shifty empty suits who pander to their base by saying whatever they think they want to hear, with no regard for facts. The more they are exposed for their frightening flaws and character deficits, the more we should wonder, ‘Is that all ya got?’
Arrogant? Enter Newt Gingrich who made his standard [yawn] tirade bashing the media and their reporting on the economy. When given a chance by a moderator to expand on his remarks and give specifics, he did one of those cartoon-like double-takes and actually shrieked, “WHAT?” He realized that he was in a pickle since he couldn’t articulate any facts to back up his spurious claims, and he certainly wasn’t expecting the chance to actually produce facts to support his own words. First, he made a snide comment to the moderator. How dare some…some… liberal, media-type woman trap him like that…attack! He then mumbled some half-assed remark about the press not asking anyone in the Occupy Wall Street movement a question about who was going to pay for the park they were camped out in if businesses don’t make a profit. Huh?
What is so deliciously ironic about Newt’s indignation about the OWS movement is that Zuccotti Park is actually a public/private partnership. The park is heavily subsidized by the TAXPAYERS of New York. Gingrich’s snark, besides being totally untrue and disingenuous, is pretty weak. There have been numerous OWS’ers asked questions by the media which have been answered coherently and effectively, but if you only watch GOP TV, you wouldn’t hear that. Taxes were taken from the 99% and given to the 1% presumably to better serve the 100%. This is clearly not the “free market” capitalistic system that conservatives genuflect over.
Ironically, Zuccotti Park would seem to be the poster child for the benefits of a government/private partnership. The OWS protesters might turn around and ask Gingrich if the corporate owners would have made as much money over time BUT FOR the 99% giving their tax dollars to them and the government of the City of New York reversing their zoning laws to benefit a corporation. Maybe Newt should answer the question if the corporate owners of Zuccotti Park would have financially survived post 9/11 without the citizens taxes propping them up? Oh, taxes are just great then, right Newt? His arrogant and dismissive disdain of both the media and the people of OWS assembled to voice their grievances is the epitome of Republican/Tea Party/Conservative hypocrisy. A free and open press and the citizens right to peaceably assemble are the essence of our democracy and on both fronts the Rethuglicans do nothing but sneer and bash, deceive and deflect.
Inept? Bachmann is a given. Bachmann wouldn’t know a fact if it jumped onto her lap, caressed her face, looked lovingly into those Stepford Wives-like eyes and politely introduced itself. She wouldn’t know what to do with herself is she wasn’t making up lies…to cover up her stunning lack of factual knowledge. All you need to know about her is that she has singlehandedly kept the PolitiFact folks in business and thriving. Out of the 45 public statements she has made that they have fact-checked, 39 have been declared false or half-truths. Stick a fork in Ms. Pinnochio, she’s done.
Shifty? Herman Cain has mastered the art of throwing out phrases like, “unfounded, anonymous allegations… character assassination… troubled woman… Democratic machine out to get him,” all code for ‘I’m going to deflect any culpability I have by attacking the victims, the press, and the Democrats…my base will love it.’ Cain, of course, used the standard media bashing theme that the Teathuglicans have spit-polished over the years. Cain accuses the media of “nit-pickiness.” I mean, how DARE they bring up the fact that his employers settled two claims with women who accused him of sexual misconduct and reported other claims by women coming out by the day. Yellow journalism indeed! Look people, another thing, he wasn’t aware aware there was a settlement, he just thought there was an agreement so he didn’t lie, you see. What nerve you have you rabble-rousers by asking a character question during a debate to the God-father of pizza and the grand master of the number 999! When that Republican assemblage booed the female moderator before she even got the question completely out, I truly believed that if Cain had walked over and smacked her upside her head, the crowd would have erupted in frenzied jubilation and carried him off on their shoulders. Kill the messenger!
Empty-suit? Meet Mr. Romney. No one will ever come up with a better description of Romney than Jon Huntsman, who called him…God this is so good…”a perfectly lubricated weather vane. Jon Huntsman, I feel sorry for him. He is the only person on that stage who I’d even consider voting for in that morass of absurdity called a Republican presidential field. He also nailed Romney’s game during the debate where he accused Mitt of “throwing out applause lines…pandering.” The flip-flopper who never met an issue he couldn’t reverse course on when politically expedient, sent the partisan crowd into ecstasy when he said he would slap on tariffs to deal with China. Huntsman, who was the American ambassador to China, in a calm, measured manner, responded that if you do that, you will start a trade war which would be harmful to America. What Huntsman obviously doesn’t understand is that you will never win any national elections when you are honest and thoughtful on an issue like this. What part of ‘throw out the red meat’ don’t you understand? I mean, the entire night was nothing but these bozo’s either entirely skirting pertinent questions posed by the moderators or answering them with cheap, tired, rhetoric and stale talking points. Panderers, one and all. Clap, clap, clap.
Ah, speaking of talking points, I save the best empty-suit for last. Poor Rick Perry. He’s made those talking points about abolishing government agencies so many times throughout this process that he simply must have reached that weird place where the mind goes blank. Sometimes you can over study, but when I really think about it, I saw Perry’s college transcripts; I doubt that is a possibility. I really think it’s a case of a man who in no way, shape, or form should ever be allowed the keys to the Whitehouse. Perry has governed a state which has the highest rate of uninsured children in the country and close to the dirtiest air. Texas schools are abysmal and the main reason there were jobs created was due to the oil price boom, government jobs, and shhhh…don’t tell conservatives… the evil stimulus. Oops. Not to mention, the jobs created were minimum wage ones. But c’mon guys, they are numero uno in executing the stuffing outta people and the Republican audiences drool over that stuff. Hoo-Doggy, let’s all jump on board that Perry train to Nowheresville!
This tortuous process will give us the eventual winner, with everybody pretty much believing it will be the weathervane left standing (presumably twisting in the wind) once it’s all said and done. As for myself, I don’t think I can watch anymore of this sideshow they call Republican debates. It has served it’s purpose. It has shown the entire country that most of the candidates for 2012 are very scary. I’m having enough trouble sleeping lately, I don’t need this traveling horror show keeping me awake week after week. Damn, it’s the 1979 Mets all over again. I didn’t sleep well that year either.
- Political Class Clowns – NYTimes.com (mbcalyn.com)
- Newt Gingrich Campaign Looks To Get Boost From Rivals’ Stumbles (huffingtonpost.com)