The problem with GOP voters.. they think they’re hotter than they are

Wow we’re reaching with the metaphors aren’t we… but stay with me on this one, it makes sense.

Now, let’s take a trip in our mind’s eye to our senior of high school, or our first 2 years of college. Remember that one really hot (or just kind of hot) chick who was also an unbearable pain in the ass? Maybe (if you were better looking and more popular than I was) you had the misfortune of dating her, or at least had to do some group project in history class or were on the volleyball team with her. She was a certified King Kong mega bi-atch. She was ill-tempered, spoiled, fickle, entitled, and truly believed her shit didn’t stink. Also, despite being hot, she thought she was the hottest goddamn chick on the planet, and acted as such. This is basically what Republican voters have turned in to.

Eh? Say what? Ok… follow me on this. Ever since the Clinton years (and undoubtedly long before, but I wasn’t alive for Barry Goldwater and Nixon) Republicans have gotten really grouchy and testy. When you get grouchy and testy (and I know a thing or 2 about these emotions) you also get very touchy, and your patience for anything you don’t like dissipates… moreover, if the grouchiness persists, more and more things that you used to be able to tolerate start to really piss you off. Now maybe it’s just a coincidence that more Republicans than Democrats are married… ahem… but the phenomenon has been exacerbated, if not created, by the rise in the right-wing media machine pioneered by Rush Limbaugh and the like.

Everything pisses me off.. you hear me? EVERYTHING!! Except oxycodone. You holdin?

The result? Basically, Ronald Reagan was a god, and anything less (or different) than him is just damn unacceptable. Single issues get blown up to hysterical levels for the sake of ratings, and then these single issues can sway huge blocks of voters to stand behind or drop a candidate in the blink of an eye. Example? Jeez.. where to start.. Well in 2004 GW Bush’s re-election prospects were sketchy at best. He was neck-in-neck with John Kerry, a candidate that Democrats were mildly at best excited about, and independents didn’t care for at all. The Swift Boat campaign made sure there would be virtually no Republican cross-over votes.. But what may have actually turned the tide was something else. Gay Marriage.

Wait… what? Circa 2004 with the Iraq War turning into a quagmire and no WMDs found, Bin Laden not captured, 9/11 first responders getting sick and the WH stonewalling investigations, gas prices rising, the housing bubble beginning to inflate… and what got the Republican Base fired up was gay marriage? Yup. Even Fox News was keen to this (hell, they pretty much made it the cornerstone issue).

Let’s go back to the bitchy chick analogy. Much like you can plan a romantic evening all week, book a nice restaurant reservation, buy the flowers, dress nice, shower (if necessary), and then your bitchy date’s soup is a few degrees too cold and the night is ruined, testy Republican voters can be turned off a candidate very quickly, and for reasons that should pale in comparison to actual important stuff happening all around them. But then can we really be surprised by this behavior, like when the political right was in a frenzy to crucify Bill Clinton over blowjobs and cigars and lots of Congressional time and taxpayer money was spent on this while Osama Bin Laden was planning the murder of thousands of Americans?

Don't mind me.. blowjobs are serious business

Ok so what does this have to do with right now? Everything. Mitt Romney was “the guy,” and now he seemingly is not. It could be for a variety of things, but really I think it’s the fact that he was for universal healthcare, before he was against it. And just in the past few days, Santorum has seemingly been running away with the polls, until the past few days when Romney has fired back with a bunch of negative ads (which everyone says they hate, then totally let influence their votes) reminding people that Santorum took a lot of earmarks, as if that was a unique thing. Suddenly Michigan polls are back to neck-and-neck. Speaking of necks, remember when Newt was hot for 4 or 5 minutes?… well that lasted until, and I’m not kidding, a bunch of people polled got turned off by the whole moon colony thing. Oops. Ron Paul can’t and won’t gain any real traction, because he doesn’t want to bomb the living shit about every country that looks at us sideways. (Ron Paul is a flawed candidate for 1001 reasons, I’m just pointing out the main sticking point with most Republicans).

In short, no one is going to be good enough for the hot chick. If Brad Pitt circa 1994 walked through the door (in this case Reagan circa 1984) then they’d get excited. Short of that, noses get turned up, and we get this prevailing attitude that there are “no good choices.” While there is some truth to that, that all of these candidates are deeply flawed, and the ones that got weeded out even more so, in my estimation there wouldn’t be ANY candidate that the Republican base is really excited to get behind, just by the very nature of right-wing rhetoric over the past 20 years. This is not to say Democrats may not be headed down this same path. The left-wing base was infuriated with Obama when he didn’t manage to overturn DADT, punish Wall Street insiders, end the Bush tax breaks for the rich, solve global warming, and save the whales all within his first week in office.

You have failed me for the last time... Admiral..

But, back to the GOP and the “no one is good enough for my daughter” routine… Right now it seems to be Santroum by default, because he is rocketing super-right on social issues. But Romney is already chipping away at his economic record, and it’s working. By the very nature of right-wing politics itself, they just don’t really like anyone. This election, and every election going forward for the foreseeable future, is going to be about how much they dislike the Democrat on the other side. And yea, they sure dislike Obama a bunch. But discontent with the incumbent may not be enough. Unless, of course, gas prices get too high. Then throw the bum out.

Two degrees of seperation…

Ooohhhhh no he di’int.

You’re right.. I didn’t. But Pat Buchanan, Sean Hannity, Joe Scarborough… they did. And I’m sure they (at least Scarborough and Hannity) didn’t mean to. Knee-jerk reactions without thorough research can lead you to step in it. Maybe they should have done some research before having Pat Buchanan on, kissing his ass, and blasting MSNBC for firing him. Ok, so what the hell am I talking about.. Well, it goes like this. Pat Buchanan recently wrote a book called Suicide of a Superpower. In case you’re wondering, it’s about how America is getting too non-white and too non-Christian and that is going to destroy us. As a result Buchanan was suspended, and eventually fired.

Sure, the essence of Pat’s book is nothing you probably haven’t heard from your grandpa, or somebody’s grandpa, maybe even dad, uncle, aunt, etc. We can debate if that’s really racist.. or just kinda archaic and old-timey. After all, when grandpa makes some offensive racial joke at the dinner table you don’t kick him in the balls, you just kinda accept (or rationalize) that he was raised in a different era. This is probably the position that people who should know better, like Pat’s old drinking buddy Chris Matthews (who’s becoming even too wingnut liberal for me these days), or Stanley Fish at the NYT, took when they immediately jumped to Pat’s defense and lamented his departure from the network. (At least Bill O’Reilly and a few others made a valid point. This has always been Buchanan’s shtick. )

Hey MSNBC.. why you fire me?? Sure, I'm a racist old coot, but I've always been that way. In fact, why the fuck did you hire me in the first place?

Yea.. ok, but.. let’s take a closer look at the book, and the very first place he went to pitch it, and his reaction to getting canned from MSNBC. Pat’s book has chapters titled: “The End of White America” and “The Death of Christian America.” I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume Pat thinks these are bad things. And by insinuation, he’s saying a less white America and a less Christian America is a bad America. If you are not white, and you are not Christian, you are fucking up America. We clear? Ok, you know what, let’s pretend I have it all wrong. I really need to read this book cover to cover and absorb it to get it right. Maybe this is not a racist book at all, and he clearly intends to appeal to a diverse audience..

Ehhh… no. He went on this guy’s radio show to first hock it. So who the fuck is this douchebag? Well, I know that the 35 or so of you who read my blog every day don’t click links, but in this case, do it. You’ll notice another dumb-ass book for sale, with this guy’s skin-headed mug telling you he’s not a racist. Hmm.. wonder what that means. Then check the links on the lower right-hand side. Quite a hit-list. “Asians.” Blacks.” “Jews.” “Hindus.” “Gays.” If you don’t want to surf this fantastic site, I’ll give you a hint. He’s not very complimentary of these groups. He’s got all the bases covered. He’s even got an ironic section called “Allen West for president.” Allen West, as my friend and congressional candidate Patrick Murphy reminds me weekly via email, is an extreme right-wing homophobe. He also happens to be black.

Now stay with me here, because this is important and explains how it all ties together. The “Allen West” section on this dickhole’s blog is a bunch of stories about purported black-on-white violence. Let’s recap, shall we? A guy with a radio show has a blog that screams in your face about how he’s no fucking racist and you’re just a jerkoff liberal if you call him one. Then he has a bunch of links and crap that are clearly racist as shit. Then, in case at this point you weren’t sure if he’s really racist or just insane, he has a sarcastic title for a section about a very, very conservative black congressman, filled with a bunch of race-baiting insanity.

Hi there! I'm a racist. But not really, that's just what those stupid liberals call me because they can't HANDLE THE TRUTH! So buy my book.... unless you're not white. Then fuck you.

So.. Mr. Edwards has made 2 very distinct statements here. Neither of which make sense. On the one hand he has made a clearly racist website then told me not to call him a racist and if I do, I’m just a dumb-ass liberal. So then I humor him, and pretend he’s not, and he clearly lets me know he hates all back people, even conservative republican ones. I mean by his logic I should like Allen West, because he’s black and I’m all about Affirmative Action, even though West is an ultra-right homophobe. Of course I don’t, even a little, but now I’m trying to use logic against the criminally insane/stupid. No one wins. (He also has a derisive “Herman Cain for President” section, which is doubly ironic, since he basically parrots all of Cain’s terrible missteps, most often attributed by conservatives to the “liberal media.”)

So, here we have old Pat’s clearly racist book being introduced on a clearly racist radio show. MSNBC, who sometimes likes to pretend they’re fair and balanced.. har har… has really no choice at this point but to can him. And some of his old buddies, and the requisite Fox News talking heads, nod in agreement while Pat rails about the “left wing witchhunt.” Well, I think they should all hope whomever is listening hasn’t looked a little deeper into this. MSNBC loved Pat’s “conservatism.” Like I said, might as well keep up appearances and have a grumpy old man for Rachel Maddow to shake her head at. But writing a book that more or less calls for a race war to “save” America.. yea that does, and should, get you a pink slip. Then realizing that this book was launched on a really, really, really fucking racist guy’s radio show… at some point shouldn’t someone try to walk back their support for Pat?

So to recap.. I didn’t draw these lines connecting the elephant to the white hoods. These guys did. I’m showing you the strings, and wondering if someone on the right is smart enough to cut them. So far, evidently not. And by extension, they seem to be condoning the message of the book. I would really, actually, political points aside, like someone to step up to the plate and just stop reading from the goddamned Fox News handbook on this.

The Republican war on women ramps up..

No, I’m not being hyperbolic. It is very much a war, and the GOP is not sparing the nukes. In just the last few days we have Republican lawmakers trying to: deny the availability of contraception, (female contraception that is, there are no anti-condom or Viagra bills that I know of), cut funding for victims of domestic violence, and in the state of Virginia, make all women who choose or need to get an abortion be legally required to get a transvaginal ultrasound. That last term is not a cheesy orchestra/rock band that mangles Christmas tunes for $39.99 a ticket, it is as invasive as it sounds. Just to back up a bit, and try not to let your lunch back up when you read this, they do not have any plans to spare victims of rape or incest from this law. So if you are a woman who got raped, pregnant, and now wants or MEDICALLY NEEDS an abortion, the state of Virginia wants to legally require you have a probe inserted into your vagina whether you fucking want it or not.

An old white guy wants to stick a probe up rape victims' vaginas

Ok.. so where to start.. well let me give you some context to the domestic violence stuff. The GOP is trying to take a hard line because there is language in the legislation which expands protection for LGBT and undocumented victims of domestic violence. Before you check out of this mentally, figuring “oh I get it, well sure the Republicans are going to push back against those 2 groups, so what?”, keep in mind we are talking about VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. We have now officially gone off the reservation from absurd to ghoulish. Chuck Grassley, who once had people fooled he was moderate because he kinda sorta waffled on support for the Iraq War, is leading this charge. The only solace is that when this gets the press it deserves, and it will, it will be more rope the GOP seems bound and determined to hang itself with. There is out of the mainstream, and then there is so out of touch people begin to question your sanity. The Republican Party has doubled down on nothing but red meat to the “base,” in their hopes to recapture the White House and hold on to Congress. Apparently no one has told them their “read meat” is laced with cyanide. But more on that later..

An old white guy wants to roll back protections for victims of domestic violence, because some of them might be gay or Mexican. I wish I was kidding.

The Catholic Church, the right-wing talking heads, and of course, the attention-whoring GOP lawmakers were just fucking outraged that the Obama Administration wanted to require health care providers affiliated with churches to provide contraception to female patients. Of course, that is a bastardized talking-point version of events that has only a passing relation to what actually happened, but in politics, perception is reality. And, since the Democrats still need to prove they can be spineless in the clutch, they kinda/sorta relented, effectively not at all appeasing a Neanderthal-like segment of the population who are probably never going to vote Democratic in their lives anyway. Maybe they should have seen polling immediately afterward, which unsurprisingly, showed a strong majority of Americans were not on the side of pre-1930 women’s reproductive rights. Oh, but if only we could have stopped there..

An old white priest walks into a boys' locker room.. wait, stop me if you've heard this one..

More incredulous than I am at the disgusting nature of the invasive/medieval ideas being proposed in Virginia, or the crusade against women’s right of all sorts nationally, I have to wonder, where are Republican strategists in the midst of all this insanity? Does that term even make sense any more? Do such people exist? These are not winning platforms. This shit is so far out of the mainstream it sounds more like a rejected screenplay hatched by Tim Robbins and Susan Sarnadon than actual legislation in the year 2012, AD.

The GOP apparently feels the only way to hold on to power in Washington is to keep the fringe right energized. However they seem to lack (besides any sense of decency) a simple grasp of common math. The polling on these issues is not on their side. That is to say, the American public by in large wants to know if these assholes are for real with this bullshit. This isn’t the first time Republicans have taken a bold stand against the defenseless, like their brave stand against SCHIP, which similarly united a strong majority of Americans to wonder what the fuck was wrong with certain GOP lawmakers. In the wake of inevitable failed quick-fix promises from Obama and Democrats in Congress, a good chunk of independents and centrists started to lean right. Apparently this was interpreted by Republicans as “gone completely off the deep end right,” and they’re of course dead-ass wrong. The segment of the voting population they need are getting hip quick to the lunacy being peddled under the banner of “social issues.”

Pimp By Blog

Believe it or not, there are some non-insane people on the other side of the aisle. One of them is my buddy, Raul Tano. He is one of the few left in a dying breed, a conservative libertarian, not beholden to ultra-right religious psychopathy. He and I agree that government is way too up in everyone’s biz.. and disagree on a fuck of a lot more. But he’s a very smart guy and I respect his opinion, so check his blog out:

The Tano has some words for you.

Floyd Mayweather : Idiot

Ok, so no one expects pro athletes to be very intelligent, or to ever necessarily add to anything to constructive social discourse. But when people go creating an ethnic sparring match where one is not necessary and has no basis to exist, they are just being assholes with a stupid agenda, or just plain old attention-whoring. If you haven’t seen, I’m talking about Mayweather’s tweet about Jeremy Lin, the new NBA sensation. Let me preface this by saying, as a Heat fan, this kind of sucks. (Yea I’ve been a fan since ’88, watched them suck for years, so no I don’t apologize that Pat Riley was crafty enough to bide his time and create a dream team… suck it). Lin appears to be the real deal, and the Knicks just got a whole hell of a lot better. If he keeps it up, they are legit contenders (If Amar’e and Carmelo stay healthy.. and don’t cry about less touches) He’s also the first Asian since Yao to break through in the NBA and play at an all-star level.

No, you moron, this isn’t an ethnic thing. The Knicks are always a huge story, whether they suck (which they usually do) or whether they are actually contenders (which they might be now) because of their market, and their history. And this isn’t just some other player who’s putting up #s. In his last 5 games (since given the chance to actually play real minutes), he’s averaging nearly 27 points, 4 rebounds, and 8 assists per game. Those are D-Wade/Kobe type numbers. This is a kid who came from out of nowhere and is dominating. That’s why it’s a story, Floyd, not because the kid is Asian. The story would be just as big if he was black, white, European, etc. Or you know what, maybe it is a little bit bigger because he is Asian, as Asians are still pretty scantly represented in the NBA. Can Floyd Mayweather not appreciate an under-represented minority breaking through in a sport dominated by other ethnicities? Really?? Well congrats dickweed, you just joined the ranks of Fuzzy Zoeller and the like who scoffed at Tiger Woods in not-so-muted undertones of racism.

There is no anti-black or anti-anything bias with the Jeremy Lin story, so cut the crap. And of course, all this does is give right-wing douchebags ammunition for their angry white man crusades. Well done. I hope some voices from the black sports world chime in and tell Floyd what an unbelievable moron and a dick he is being. Maybe Jason Whitlock can try redeem himself for the racial slur he aimed at Lin. That would be a good start.

My father, the conservative?

An actual picture of my actual father... acting.. I hope

The older I get the more I realize I am more like my dad than I ever thought was possible. Our sense of humor is nearly identical. Our cynicism is equally palpable. And I am happy to say, I think I’ve inherited at least some of his incredible sense of generosity and warmth. However, there are some things we’ll just never see eye to eye on. He’ll never like Led Zeppelin. He’ll never root for the Dolphins. And no matter how hungry I am, I don’t think I could ever bring myself to eat liverwurst. He eats it straight out of the can… with a spoon. But most importantly, we just don’t talk much politics. Why? Like my mom and sister, I am a big ol’ liberal. My dad? Very proud, very stubborn, card carrying Republican….


He’s… never exactly been wealthy. He doesn’t own a gun. He has zero interest in organized religion, and is actually quite a bit more hostile to it than the liberal wing of the family. He happily collects social security, as did both his parents when they were alive. His occupation for 30+ years was that great bastion of conservative ideals… he was a teacher. A drama teacher. He loves the theater. He doesn’t understand what the big deal is with homosexuals wanting to marry, or serving in the military (he served, went to Vietnam, and had no issue serving with plenty of openly gay officers). So… what gives? Well, part of it was that whole military thing.

You see, as conventional wisdom goes, Republicans = good for national security, Democrats = bad. And old habits die hard. That, and according to my dad’s accounts, when he came home from Vietnam he was spat on by hippies who called him a baby killer. I guess that more or less seared in the idea that left wing = dirty, stupid hippies. I guess I can understand. I’d probably have similar feelings had I experienced that brand of idiocy. But the rest is just nonsensical talking points that have no bearing in reality.. or maybe they did once.

i.e. Democrats are for big government and Republicans are for smaller government. My dad doesn’t like “big government.” Mmmk.. but wasn’t it GW Bush that created the Dept of Homeland Security and initiated the Patriot Act? “Big government” doesn’t get any bigger than that. He also doesn’t like big defecits. I don’t think anyone does, but I do know under Reagan and the Bush family, we racked up record deficits, with an actual balanced budget and a freakin SURPLUS sandwiched in between, during the Clinton administration. Who’s against deficits again? Arguments like these have been attempted, usually rebutted with some asinine Fox News-inspired talking point,where white is black and the sky is red, if it fits the narrative. What can I say, my dad watches Bill O’Reilly… sigh… a lot.

So, it’s a losing battle. But at least there’s a line somewhere. I’m fairly certain my dad would never vote for Rick Santorum, or someone equally nutty like say, Pat Buchanan. After crowing about how Sarah Palin was “hot,” he did concede that she’s an idiot. So why Republican? I think, more than anything really, it’s his team. His colors. He looks past the fact his party has been hijacked by religious zealots and military contractors. It’s just… his party. Always has been, and nothing’s gonna change that. So it goes. No political talks at the Thanksgiving table. I can live with that.

GOP Flavor of the week

My liberal friends are freaking. My delusional conservative friends are crowing. My rational conservative friends are shaking their heads in disgust. The reality? Didn’t we do this dance last week with Newt soaring in the polls? It’s not that surprising that the hard right/Tea Party crowd has coalesced around Santorum. He’s the standard bearer for the completely unrealistic vision that the fringe 25-30% believes can and should lead the country. Let’s assume for a second this Santorum Surge (Google and Dan Savage have truly created a disgusting visual with that term) is more than just what so far has been a typical carousel of GOP frontrunners.

What needs to happen for Republicans who want a realistic shot at the WH in November is this. Mitt Romney needs to convince enough frothing Tea Baggers he’s conservative enough to be passable (Yes I think Newt is toast). Ron Paul needs to quietly go away (not likely). Of course, there’s extreme danger in Mitt Romney trying prove he’s as far right as the farthest right can imagine. But it’s a risk he may have to take. You don’t save your ace pitcher’s arm in game 7 of the Pennant if it means you won’t get to the World Series. It might be all-in with the Tea Party. That’s potentially really bad news for Republicans in the Fall. Santorum is the monster created by the GOP hitching their wagon to the Tea Party. They might very well get a candidate who is certifiably unelectable. Remember, this is a guy who lost his Senatorial re-election bid by 17 points. Oh, and in a crucial swing state.

Santroum is instant gratification to rabid ant-Obama/anti-left/anti-secular ideologues. Do they really think he can win? Do “regular” conservatives really think he can win? You know who doesn’t? The Obama re-election team. They are loving this. Barring a huge unforeseen scandal for the president, or another humungous economic downturn that would essentially really lead to a 2d great depression (before November), this is a softball candidate. It’s Dennis Kucinich winning the nomination. It’s Reagan/Mondale, only Mondale wasn’t a lunatic. It’s hopeless. That’s why I still don’t think it will happen. It’s Romney or bust for Republicans. But maybe they’ll just go bust before we get to that.

Hoooo.. boy… here we go.

In my previous blog I asked how ugly it might get during this Republican primary season. I got a taste of the answer today. You probably didn’t pay much attention to the start of CPAC today (Conservative Political Action Conference). I sure didn’t. But in the rear view, I see this guy is on the panel. Look him up. His name is Peter Brimelow, and he is a racist. No really. He doesn’t really try to hide it, however he does occasionally try to masquerade under the monicker of being a “concerned conservative.” When he’s not busy being a blatant racist, he chimes into “mainstream” political issues, such as immigration. That is to say, he fucking hates immigration and is convinced it is destroying the county. And, because who says right-wing assholes can’t enjoy a good sense of irony, he himself is an immigrant (from England). Blatant racism? Check. Blatant hypocrisy? Check. A current centerpiece for a party desperately trying to expand its reach beyond rich white men? Uhhh.. someone missed that memo I guess. Or since Michael Steele is gone and Herman Cain dropped out I guess they just don’t give a shit anymore. This assbag taking part in CPAC should make any non-racist conservative cringe.. yet here he is, and dammit they are not gonna back down… yet.

How ugly will it get?

Believe it or not, it all might depend on whether the “Tea Party” wants to just watch and sip tea (kinda metaphorically), whether this grass-rootsyish (although totally corporate-backed) “movement” is all spent form their 15 minutes of pseudo-fame, or whether all that Obama/socialist-hatin’ fire and rhetoric still burns hot enough to organize and throw their weight behind a candidate. Well, here’s the rub. They hate Romney (for 101 reasons before they even get to the Mormon thing). Even more than John McCain. Probably nearly as much as Obama. They are not all that wild about Newt and his 3 necks, 3 wives, and numerous ethics problems when he was S.O.T.H. Sure, they like Santorum, last standing in the wingnut bible-thumpin’ ultra-right club..but most are savvy enough to realize he couldn’t win a race for dog catcher in a rigged election. How about Ron Paul the…isolationist? errr.. no. So what to do if you’re a frothing hard-right malcontent all fired up and pissed off that they took our jerbs?!

Good question. Well, it hasn’t been a good few months for the Tea Party and their ilk. The whole Komen Foundation/PPOA debacle blew up in their faces like a drunk frat boy acting on a dare with a roman candle. Ok, that wasn’t a TP (that’s for Tea Party) sponsored thing per se, but it’s borne of the same beast. Then there’s TP sweetheart Christine O’Donell, whose PAC is all but broke. Michelle Bachman and Rick Perry were TP darlings but are now none too popular, even in their home states, after their failed presidential runs.

The more the hard-right power grabs, the more moderates and right-leaning dems, who have been fleeing from Obama in droves from about mid-2009 due to unrealistically rosy predictions about the pace of the economic “recovery,” (if that’s actually a thing), are turned off. The eventual GOP nominee needs the independents to win, plain and simple. Moreover, the GOP has benefited greatly by left-wing malaise, much in the way many conservatives sat out 2008, beaten down by 8 years of Cheney/Bush, and none too excited about McCain/Pain..err.. Palin. Hard right incursions into privacy, the availability of contraception, self-defeating ultra hard-line stands on immigration, and the never-ending fight to criminalize abortion are waking the sleeping giant that was/is the Obama/Democratic ground game.

The latest polls are increasingly painting a better picture for Obama, and a bleaker picture for any potential GOP contender. The economy does seem to be gaining some traction, finally, and GOP attempts at stonewalling have been met with furious opposition from constituents. Wahh.. Such is the danger of laying everything wrong with the country at the feet of the incumbent. It worked with Bush, because in late 2008, everything was shitty and turning shittier by the hour. Namely, the economy. And today, the economy still sucks, but is apparently trending in the right direction. The stock market is robust, we’re more or less out of Iraq, there’s end in sight for Afghanistan, and oh yea.. Obama gave the order to kill that Bin Laden guy. Yes, shit with Iran is getting scary, and Obama is damned if he does or doesn’t on that front. Still only traditional, generic “Dems are weak on defense” lines will be of any potential value, since Bin Laden, bombing Lybia, and strong rhetoric with Egypt and Syria have not left a lot of exposed flank where any Dem. presidential candidate would usually be vulnerable. Typical hawkish lines will work with the entrenched conservative crowd, not so much with moderates and centrist Dems, who, if anything think Obama may be too involved in foreign military adventures.

So, where can they hit Obama, how effective will it be, and most importantly, who’s the guy? Well, let’s back up a bit and once again talk about the TP. While my conservative friends gleefully trumpeted Obama’s sagging poll numbers and got excited over the TP, as if it really was a grass-roots movement of a majority of centrist Americans all pissed off about Obamacare and socialism and terking our jerbs!, those of us who were a little more objective tried to warn them that.. umm… yea, that’s not really what’s happening here. I’ve seen this crowd before. It’s the lady who torpedoed the already flailing McCain campaign on national TV telling him she’s worried that Obama’s an “A-Rab.” It’s the frothing anti-abortion crowd that shows up to completely unrelated stuff like marathons and breast cancer walks (understand why now?) It’s the hard-right theocrats who don’t understand why the Ten Commandments shouldn’t be in every classroom and the King James Bible shouldn’t be required reading in every public school. It’s Orly Taitz and the birthers, whose latest attempt at proving Obama’s not eligible to be president was pretty much literally laughed out of court by a judge in freakin’ red-ass state Georgia. Also, yea, it’s umm.. not so much grass roots as cash roots… funded and inflamed by those who gain financially from the rhetoric and rancor.

Herein lies the problem. The GOP nominee, whomever it is, is gonna need the TP, or whatever smoldering ruins are left of that movement. Elections are decided when the middle decides to lean to one side, and the base is motivated. Much like my liberal friends made the mistake of assuming the entire goddamned country took a huge ideological shift to the left when Obama got elected, the political right also incorrectly assumed the country had a huge case of buyer’s remorse, and were really actually somewhere to the right of Jesse Helms, just waiting to unleash all kinds of hard-right whup-ass on Washington. Well, no, sorry.. you were wrong too. The far ideological left and right continue their flawed notion that the majority of Americans are on their side, for whatever reason. And let’s be honest.. what passes for the conservative “base” at this point.. well, it’s not exactly attracting lots of moderates.

So where does the “ugly” part come in? Well, if we look past what’s already been established – like Newt’s way with the ladies, Mitt’s history of animal cruelty, Ron Paul’s nutty racist rants, and Santorum’s belief that homosexuals are on par with those who commit bestiality, there’s this stark reality: Should this battle carry on into the summer, the remaining GOP candidates, and this has to make any remaining non-rabid ideologue Republican strategists shudder, will have no choice but to go all in and pander as hard as they can to the conservative base. These guys. Oy… vey..