How Pawlenty Got His Teabagger Groove On: Ever So Covertly

Have you seen the clip of 2008 GOP VP-also-ran Tim Pawlenty saying the GOP should take the Elin Approach and attack Big Government (code for “A White House that doesn’t have a Republican in it”)’s car with a golf club? If not, hey, it’s above, and if I were you, I’d have watched the clip before I read the text, but that’s because I’m one of those cripplingly OCD cover-to-cover guys.

Now you’re either back or you hate me, and either way I can say this: I don’t think I’m going too far here to suggest that Pawlenty, once thought of as the last middle-of-the-road Republican, has become just another worried Republican who thinks throwing red meat to the teabagging right is what he has to do. That clip really did a lot to make me think that the teabaggers have the GOP by the teabags, at least when it comes to their public statements.

And that clip might not even be obviously red meat to you. Maybe I’m reading too much in on this one, but . . . well . . . I’m pretty sure that Pawlenty’s done the tidiest bit of race baiting we’ve seen in years. He’s arguing that the teabaggers, represented by their homogeneously white/racist/moron packs, should rise up against The White House, and naturally by entension, the black president living in it, who somehow is now the brand name for big government, after 2000-08 saw the Bush administration grow government like Mark McGuire grew his biceps.

Pawlenty’s said in this clip, that they the people, aka they the true AMURICANS, need to stand up to Big Government because it is a threat that warrants violence. This is just a more covert echo of the vile shouting that translates to “the evil black nazi commie is a threat to the white people.” But by the fact that he’s using the Tiger/Elin story as a prop, he speaks to the other radically racist right trueism that the blacks are coming for the white women.

Aligning himself with Elin aligns himself with the white woman Tiger was “allowed” to have sex with. Tiger is comprable to Obama with ease, as he’s the last time someone in this country demolished a race barrier that stood for so long. Tiger had been encroaching on territory he wasn’t welcome in on the golf course, and now that elderly white men have found out that he’s reached the double digits in their women as well as their golfing trophies, they’re pissed and they’ve had enough. Tiger’s had sex with more skeevy barroom white women than the bands Poison, Dokken, and White Snake combined, which makes him a danger, just like they’ve convinced themselves Obama is.

So what’s the point of this? I thought Pawlenty was the possible sane center of the tootsie-roll pop of nutjob that is the GOP. That he wouldn’t sell out decent moral/policy principles for a cheap laugh. That he wouldn’t get BushYearsAmnesia. But this means he’s not to be taken seriously anymore.  Which brings me to the last thing to consider of having proximity to valid on the right: Ron and Rand Paul, the sort of out Ned, Rod and Todd Flanders of their generation. I’d like to see them take the reins of the party, but I bet that Ron Paul, who does tend to rant like a crazy man screaming at the clouds, has called more than a couple things retarded over the years, so Sarah Palin’s gonna squish him to keep the spotlight on herself, right?


Was Martha Coakley’s Political Death All They Needed?

Game Change co-author John Heilemann has a piece in this week’s NYMag where he wonders about the upside for democrats to having Scott Brown win Ted Kennedy’s seat. Well, it doesn’t look that way to me, and I guess that might be because I’m not a weekly contrarian who’s supporting the President’s delusions in the hope of getting close enough to write a sequel. What happened in Massachussets just aggravated the folks who wanted to think the Democratic Party’s days of drowning in inch-high water were over. Which up until a couple nights ago, I was pretty sure was going to continue to be reason you could exchange for cold hard cash at even the zombiest of banks. Martha Coakley, it turns out, had to be a sacrificial lamb to show the entire Democratic Party to look itself in the mirror, take off the Bipartisanship Beer Goggles, and realize that they’re all alone now, and it’s not that bad. As long as the Democrats can clean themselves up, try and remember which iconic sports legends are important to their districs (and almost ran against them for crying out loud), there’s a future out there, and it doesn’t need to include nudie models in pickup trucks.

Heilemann says maybe Scott Brown is a guy who isn’t a big dumbass like everyone else with an R affixed to the end of their name. What evidence do we have to run on, with this? The fact that he’s voted for health care in Massachussets? Well, fuck, he’s said he wouldn’t vote for health care reform for the country now so surprise surpise, he’s just another god damn hypocrite who will support one policy and claim that when they vote against it, only after the President supports said policy, that 1) they never supported it, and 2) supporting it now would ruin our freedom and make the founding fathers cry in their graves. We all know that the only founding fathers that the GOP cares about now are the fringe lunatic bigots who are still doing Civil War reenactments where they get to take turns pretending to be The Greatest Man Alive and the new face on the $1 BIll: Robert E. Lee. Look at McCain veering hard right in fear of the teabagger polling ahead of him. All the GOP seems to care about is nurturing the jobless morons with enough time to protest on Washington and not enough brain cells to have any clue why. And yes, I’m mocking them for being unable to hold their jobs at the McDonalds drive-thru window, because I’m sure that’s the only place that would hire the people dumb enough to be writing the signs we’ve all seen.

But back to my point, that there is a positive outcome of the election in MA. It reminded Obama that he’s the head of a party of … well … they’re not all bad, but they’ve got a lot of folks who have been behaving like … well, … and I don’t mean the ones Rahm meant when he used the phrase, but … “procreating delayers.” It provoked Obama to reenact the movie 300 by taking on as many GOP climate change denying hot air buffoons that would show their face in a room with him, and to do it by himself. He knew that if he had certain members of the party in the room with him, they’re known as Conservadems, they’d probably start peeing their pants when the republicans started throwing out straw man ideas like the “Tort Reform Would Fix Everything!” shit that anyone who has been doing their homework, which obviously the President had, could disprove with less energy than it takes to keep Boehner looking like The Thing. Even Brick Tamland is more convincing than Evan Bayh.

But in the last two days, it also seems to have woken the progressive wing of the party up, most of whom seemed to have been keeping quiet during the clusterfucks organized by Chuck Grassley, because they realized that the GOP isn’t going to do anything to help pass health reform on the 25th at the Ideas To The Magical Table Summit. We all know that, because the week prior to Tuesday had been spent by people like Eric Cantor trying to say the political porridge wasn’t warm enough for him to feel safe entering a room with the President and the Democrats. I’ll change my Twitter avatar to Michael Steele if the event on the 25th does anything to help further bipartisanship, which is close to the bet that 11 progressives have made in the last two days with some of them authoring and the rest cosigning a letter to Harry Reid, telling him to bring the Public Option back, and use reconciliation to get it through. By making this statement, these democrats are saying, we don’t really give a fuck about the GOP, and why the hell should we?

That’s a sentiment that might have dawned on those watching Obama’s Question Time with Republicans, if they hadn’t felt it before. Obama’s line explaining how the GOP roped themselves into voting against Health Care Reform seems to be where the lightbulb might have finally come on. He argued that after spooking the villagers into thinking that Death Panels were fact, that there’s no way they would have voted for reform. If I’ll give the Democrats points overall in any way, I’d say that most of them know better than Obama about trusting Republicans. Why would the Republicans have spooked the hillbilly teabagging moonshining comic book ducks in a barrel if they had wanted to vote for health care? These people are at least smart enough to know that there are no death panels. Even Michelle Bachmann, I’d assume knows that she’s lying. So if they know they’re lying, then they have no intent to vote for it, so let’s forget about 60.

It kind of reminds me of Kevin Eubanks taking his guitar and telling Leno where to shove it, as it’s been announced that Jay’s gonna need to find a new chuckle buddy. The Democrats have been sitting in the corner with a mix of smiles and winces, while the big chinned morons are telling what they take for jokes and gladhanding the dipshits. It took a big kick in the face to wake ’em up, but hey, it’s not nearly as easy to be run over by a pickup truck when you’re awake.

Cap and Trade makes for Bewildering Political Bedfellows


Matt Taibbi. He’s basically every young liberal firebrand’s journalistic idol at the moment, burning down everything in opus level pieces published in Rolling Stone and online at True/Slant.


Sarah Palin. The number one reason that McCain’s campaign acted like the economy cratered, that is, aside from age, the legacy of George W. Bush whom McCain awkwardly hugged on stage once, and Barack Obama, the junior senator from Illinois and for the Democrats,


the Luke Skywalker of the 21st century.

Cap and Trade. Wait, what? You might not know what Cap and Trade is, and ISo to demonstrate the awkward crossroad we find ourselves at now, here’s how each of the above persons, person because human is too generous to Palin, define Cap and Trade:


Here’s how it works: If the bill passes, there will be limits for coal plants, utilities, natural-gas distributors and numerous other industries on the amount of carbon emissions (a.k.a. greenhouse gases) they can produce per year. If the companies go over their allotment, they will be able to buy “allocations” or credits from other companies that have managed to produce fewer emissions. President Obama conservatively estimates that about $646 billion worth of carbon credits will be auctioned in the first seven years; one of his top economic aides speculates that the real number might be twice or even three times that amount.

from “The Great American Bubble,” in Rolling Stone #1082-1083, which hit news stands a little under three weeks ago.

And now, for Sarah Palin’s defintion of Cap and Trade, from her op-ed in the Washington Post:

Well, she doesn’t actually define it. She just decries what in fact she doesn’t like about it:

Job losses are so certain under this new cap-and-tax plan that it includes a provision accommodating newly unemployed workers from the resulting dried-up energy sector, to the tune of $4.2 billion over eight years. So much for creating jobs.

In addition to immediately increasing unemployment in the energy sector, even more American jobs will be threatened by the rising cost of doing business under the cap-and-tax plan. For example, the cost of farming will certainly increase, driving down farm incomes while driving up grocery prices. The costs of manufacturing, warehousing and transportation will also increase.

Which she doesn’t prove with anything whatsoever, and Tim Fernholz over at The American Prospect does a good job taking those brainless sentences behind the woodshed. That’s what you get, though, when you try and read an article about a bill that has, despite horrible chicanery in the fine print, a goal of putting a stop to greenhouse gasses, written by Miss Drill Baby, Drill 2008.

Taibbi’s rightfully angry because of Cap and Trade’s potential to be the economic bubble that blew up what’s left of America after the housing crisis:

Well, you might say, who cares? If cap-and-trade succeeds, won’t we all be saved from the catastrophe of global warming? Maybe — but capandtrade, as envisioned by Goldman, is really just a carbon tax structured so that private interests collect the revenues. Instead of simply imposing a fixed government levy on carbon pollution and forcing unclean energy producers to pay for the mess they make, cap-and-trade will allow a small tribe of greedy-as-hell Wall Street swine to turn yet another commodities market into a private taxcollection scheme. This is worse than the bailout: It allows the bank to seize taxpayer money before it’s even collected.

I’d like to commend Taibbi for not just writing a brilliant incredibly well informed piece, but giving bloggers like me the above graf to quote. But it’s amazing how Palin finds the exact wrong reason to hate on Cap and Trade:

In Alaska, we are progressing on the largest private-sector energy project in history. Our 3,000-mile natural gas pipeline will transport hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of our clean natural gas to hungry markets across America. We can safely drill for U.S. oil offshore and in a tiny, 2,000-acre corner of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge if ever given the go-ahead by Washington bureaucrats.

Yep, of course I hinted at her lack-of-mindset above when I brought up “Drill Baby, Drill!” the catchphrase that scared able-minded Americans almost as much as Palin herself did during that bizarre first week when she was brought out and everyone, myself included, just went ape. Her answer is to fuck with ANWR. Sarah Palin is so stubbon about Oil you kinda understand the blockheadishness in her family. She doesn’t think we need to protect the environment and Bristol doesn’t think she needs protection. Yep, I saved the layups for the end.

But why pile on and continue the almost year old liberal tradition of shitting on the soon to be former governor of Alaska?

A) I’ve got a full time job and don’t have the time to investigate the hard stuff or learn the trickier stuff, and

B) it’s funny. This was her first topic in months not named Sarah Palin or David Letterman to try and opine on, and she continues to sputter around like McCain’s fighter plane.

The Notorious G.O.P.???


So tonight, during the 3rd or 4th bit on Olbermann he mentions that Michael Steele, newly elected first black RNC Chairman has decided that the way to fix the G.O.P.’s image and numbers is to go Hip Hop. My first thought was “… no way. Michael Steele watches The Daily Show?”

A few weeks ago, Jon & Co. had a segment where Samantha Bee went to a bunch of brand consultants to try and figure out how to rebrand the Republican party. Her result has a name, it’s name, is Reagraham Lincool:

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My second Reaction was, well, they already have Daddy Yankee on board. That must count for something. Oh, wait, Daddy Yankee is a nothing and a nobody.

There’s not much more to say than this: Thank You Michael Steele, for as long as you have any power or title in the G.O.P., we will see Democrats kicking ass. Oh, and that Notorious GOP thing, I lifted that from KO, better than his Political OutKasts riff.

Performance Enhancing Drugs, As American As Enhanced Interrogation.

A-Rod, or Alex Rodriguez The Baseball Player (It’s kind of like how Big Pooh of Little Brother uses the prefix Rapper, but here as a suffix used by me) will probably not be getting much in the way of actual punishment for what he’s done in regards to use of performance enhancing (as well as fucking dangerous) drugs.

A-Rod is a fictional creation to me, something I say because of the fact that except for a possible love of shemale strippers, suntanning, and ditching his wife for some aged British Skeletor with a red ribbon on the wrist, we know nothing about the man. Sure that cackhead from SI’s book with Joe Torre has a lot in the way of conjecture about A-Rod, but honestly the concept of A-Rod is a hollow stat producing game choking statue to me.

Which is to say, he’s Baseball’s Jack Bauer, the fictional terror fighting über cop on Fox’s long running series 24.* Now, ARod’s also on display as guilty of breaking the rules that actually matter. Rodriguez by way of Roids, and Bauer, well we’ve long known this, by way of torture that if it were real (and not just a fictional depiction of Abu Ghiraib actions on US soil) would be just as wrong for the field he works in as A-Rod’s roids. Both broke the rules for the right reasons, though don’t you know!!?!?!. Rodriguez was afraid of letting the fans down (SWING AND A MISS times a billion) and Jack Bauer aka US Troops torture because they don’t know how else to express their love and fear. These shite rationales only help to render A-Rod’s records (as well as all other records from the tainted era) as trustworthy as that fable known as The Ticking Time Bomb Argument that neocons and torture absolvers raise.

Alex Rodriguez the man is as invulnerable to trial for steroid use as a soldier who tortured an “enemy combatant” is to trial for breaking the Geneva Conventions. To continue this parallel, Pre-A-Roid Bud Selig is in fact baseball’s George W. Bush, who oddly enough wished at one point to have the job of … Bud Selig. Post A-Roid Selig is kinda like 44th President, Barack Obama, as he should make tough decisions, but I doubt that he actually will. Yet, Selig didn’t wake up the day after A-Roid Day as a person elected to fill in his old position, and given a mandate by the public to put those who have wronged to trial. The politically minded public is tired of remembering Alberto Gonzalez’s flirtation with amnesia as the baseball community is ashamed of Sammy Sosa’s brief lapse into needing some ESL classes.

The guilty have ties to power in both baseball and politics, (and if the low level abusers are fucked with, that insures guilt for the heavies) and these connections will probably protect both all from serious actions, while the Seligs and the Obamas will nonsequitor their ways into bringing up the bigger fights they have to fight, where we find the big scary bastard of the year AHEM, THE ECONOMY, aka “I’m Barack Obama, and I’m about looking forward, not backward,” which reeks of (tip of the hat to Collin for reminding me of) Mark McGuire’s “I’m not here to talk about the past,” except that McGuire isn’t deciding whether or not to prosecute, only trying to weasel his way out of a congressional hearing. Selig also can’t think of prosecuting Alex Rodriguez the man to any degree that would hurt the sales, because of well, the economy, and the power of the players union, as well as the fact that this result should still be a secret if not for the previously aforementioned SI leak, which I guess parallels with Sy Hirsch’s Guantanamo Bay piece in the New Yorker.

Alex Rodriguez should be kicked out of baseball, and kicked out of the hall of fame, as any who have abused substance should be, if the sport is to be sacred, an ideal that most have already thrown under the bus. Selig should be stepping down in ignominy for his involvement with the tarnished era. By not doing so, Selig will now seem all the more impotent, at least to me.

In the same respect, all those who have tortured, need to face trial, as do all those who were aware of what was going on, your Rumsfelds, your Cheneys and yes, your W. Bush’s. And until this happens, we still live in a tarnished country, far from the ideals many progressives voted to uphold, yet knew they would probably never see, due to the improbability of it, because ideals are rarely met.

We go to work and try our best to avoid lying despite the fact that those at the highest office and most adored pasttimes have failed. Next time someone tells you Baseball is the American Pasttime, ask if that’s such a good thing.

*Which I admittedly watched up until this current season, when I finally lost patience with the show, agreeing with This NYMag review’s conclusion:

But Jack will always block real greatness. Less a hero than a golem, he’s uncrushable, agitprop in unshaved form—blocking nuance with his symbolic weight. He is 24’s true cockroach, immune to nuclear war or electoral landslides. Even if he didn’t have God on his side, he’d always have Fox.

• Does the NYT have more ball than the Democrats do?

There’s some chatter going around right now that Kristol’s days may be numbered as a NYT columnist, which might help lead me back to being a regular reader. Just as impressive is Frank Rich’s G.O.P. post mortem, showing exactly how the Republicans have ruined themselves again and again, a select quote:

The 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign Web site even boasted a “Compassion” archive of photos of Bush with black folk, including Colin Powell. McCain used the same playbook this year, when he headed south to emote over Katrina victims and stock his own Web site with pictures depicting his adventures in black America. He had been a no-show in New Orleans during the six months after the hurricane hit, when his presence might have made a difference.

In other news, Joe The Backstabbing Sonuvabitch is getting off scot free for his behavior in the election. I’m half to three quarters considering registering as an Independent, not that it would help anything, as in NYC, I think Indies can’t vote in the primaries.