THAT would be--nyuk-nyuk-nyuk--disgraced accidental Indianapolis mayoral frontman Lt. Col. Gomer P. Ballard, USMC, as reported by the guy who's still working at the Indianapolis Racist Star. Ballard was introducing his wife, Winnie, at the annual state Republican dinner last Wednesday, apparently to someone who was unfamiliar with Ballard's highest-paid assistants.
Of course really great comedy requires that soupçon of frisson, and here Mayor Gomer is nearly the unintentional match of the beloved 60s sitcom character his doting parents named him for: Winnie Ballard hails from the Philippines, meaning she could have passed for an Argentine in a Warner Brothers musical in the 40s, or at any Walgreens in the Indianapolis metro area later that same evening. At any rate, Yer Honor, we in Naptown know you aren't carrying on an international affair, since doing so would require you to make your own plane reservations, and we've had heard about it when you wound up stranded at Tashkent International. But thanks for defusing that emotional time bomb, there, as we're sure there were some Indiana Republican officials who were deeply troubled by that Sanford business. Or maybe just some who were slow enough to get trampled in the This Means It's Mitch! stampede.
By the way, as there was some--possibly intentional--confusion during the election over whether the civilian analogue of "Colonel" was "Mayor of a Mid-Sized Midwestern City With a Justifiable Inferiority Complex", as the few Republicans who actually knew Ballard was running had suggested, I happened upon a table of equivalencies over the weekend. It turns out the civilian counterpart of "Colonel" is "Grammy Winner For Best Gospel or Spoken Word Album or Below, But Still Part of the Television Broadcast, Not One of those Offscreen Deals". The Marine equivalent is "Daytime Emmy Winner". For Lieutenant Colonel it's "Perennial Emmy Nominee (Three or More, No Wins) for Lighting, Sound, or Costume", or "Mayor of Either of the Two Smaller Quad Cities", and for Marine Lt. Colonel it's "Involuntary Commitment But With Daypass Privileges". So somebody fucked up. But then, we knew that.
Speaking of Gomer, somehow or other no one thought to inform me that Sarah Palin had referenced the Federal Department of Law in whatever that speech was she gave officially opening the Let's Blow Up Nothing season, despite the fact that everyone knows there's no way I could have watched it. Hell, I barely made it through the excerpts. But this one reminded me of a guy I used to do some work for, one of those heroic small business entrepreneurs, now, sadly, about to be taxed out of existence, who, with only grit, determination, and a few inherited millions had managed to buy an existing business and keep it going. After a couple of drinks--total lightweight--he'd allow as how he'd cheated his way to a Marketing degree at a state college. Which--speaking of equivalents--is pretty much like explaining to the people in the ER that the reason you have a flashlight stuck in your ass is that you couldn't find the gerbil in the dark.
And the guy used to write his own print ads in the most fractured English imaginable, and if you asked about it he'd explain that he did it intentionally because it attracted attention. Of course the real reason--as anyone who had the pleasure of trying to sort through his written correspondence or other evidence of his mental processes--was that he couldn't write English. That's what reminded me of him when I caught that Palin quote a week late, in the midst of a barely-disturbed-by-wall-to-wall coverage-of-Michael Jackson mass analysis of What Palin's Unexpected Move Means. Okay, so sounding like a Blithering Idiot doesn't necessarily mean you are one, but sounding like one over and over, when every goddam political instinct says you need to improve, drastically, or move to FOX (this was what semi-sensible Republicans were saying, fer chrissakes) is at least highly suggestive. It isn't that Palin's, oh, lack of mental agility has gone uncommented upon, of course; it's that people are still writing and broadcasting stuff about her political future as though the question's still up in the air. So she's the Queen of the Twenty-five Percenters. So fucking what? Those people couldn't turn Pig Shit into Paté when it was their Vice President operating with impunity under laws he made up when he even bothered. They sure aren't going to turn Palin into anything except the newest member of the Multi-Millionaire Dumbass Club. How 'bout a little respect for the millions of Americans who took one listen to her and decided they'd definitely vote Democratic? Christ, does everything have to devolve to what the Lowest Common Denominator is gaping at this week? I thought that's what we had teevee for.
And speaking of 25%, how is it that the Sundays still routinely feature one Democrat vs. one Republican? Shouldn't it be 2-to-1 now? And if you've simply got to have John McCain on (you don't) I suppose getting him to flash that stupid phony smile while lying about Palin is boffo B.O., but maybe it's time to go ahead and Get the Candidate to Bite the Head Off the Rat on national teevee, and do everyone, including him, a favor. Watching The Maverick choke down his bile answering a question about What He Unleashed On Those Fucking Ingrates At The Convention was just an exercise in sadism. And at some point yesterday I saw a clip of John Boehner or Jon Kyl--I can't tell them apart; in fact, the only way I can tell either of them from Evan Bayh is that the Junior Republican from Indiana is the one who smoked dope in the Seventies, and then did doughnuts on the St. Albans lawn while listening to the Moody Blues--saying, essentially, that this whole CIA business sure was a lucky CYA for Nancy Pelosi. That would be the same Nancy Pelosi Boehner and Kyl wanted to investigate a few weeks ago for her blatant lies about the CIA, since, as either Tweedledum or Tweedledummer noted at the time, the Agency had the documentation to back its story up.
Is there any way to explain any of this that doesn't include how much David Gregory enjoys living in a really big house?