• S'funny, but since Clark Kent got contacts five years ago he's started to look more and more like Superman: Weigel notices that The Teabag "Party" "has been" "adopted" by the GOP, making it unlikely "it" will duplicate its roaring successes of 2010, when it swept nearly a dozen House Republicans out of office and replaced them with other Republicans. (If you correct for Sarah Palin endorsements it's even more impressive.)
The kicker in this is the analysis--from no less a source than Erick Erickson; Weigel is nothing if not well-informed--that Indiana Sesquicentarian Senator Richard "Dick" Lugar is the ripest Teabag target for 2012, which is like saying that Dell is poised to take over Apple. Weigel replies with the rumor that Indiana State Senator and Perennial Crackpot Mike Delph (R-Corporate Pockets) is set to join State Treasurer and Perennial Crackpot Richard Mourdock in challenging Lugar in the primary, thus "splitting the 'conservative' vote" and handing the nod to the longest serving elected official in Indiana, or world, history. Phew. Close escape.
For some reason--possibly the same spineless acquiescence he's demonstrated toward the anti-fluoridationist Right his entire public career--Lugar, or his caregivers, seemed to take the Mourdock threat seriously for the fifteen minutes of the Great Debt Ceiling Revolution, buying up ad time so he could take a couple of free swings at his old Senate protégée and Doppelgänger Barack Hussein Obama. The spots seem to've disappeared since. Say, has anyone ever actually seen Dave Weigel and Kreskin together?
Look, I'm from Indiana, home of the Mitch Daniels Economic Miracle, so I'm through asking if there's anyone out there of voting age stupid enough to swallow this shit. What you will never convince me of is that there's someone out there intelligent enough to string together back-to-back sentences obeying the compositional laws of English who nevertheless believes that The Teabag Party was some sui generis uprising which, as luck would have it, has now been co-opted by the Wholly Unrelated Republican Party suddenly adopting its Tenets of Frugality, crafty devils, just in time to possibly win an election in 2012, after which, curse the luck, it'll devolve back into the old Republican Party, and the bright Randian promise of a world without taxes, except on the Poor, will be doused with the cold bilge water of fat cat deals, pork barrel politics, and a plague of weasels of Egyptian Captivity proportions. You really think Rand Paul replacing Jim Bunning represented a sea change? More like swapping pathological symptoms.
• I am not going to be the 1157th person to say "Governor Perry? Fred Dumbo Thompson on Line 2" in response to his zooming to the head of the Dingbat Parade. Because it isn't true. Thompson was a turd in a punchbowl of a candidate. Perry's more like a free-range turd, for a Republican electorate now convinced that the only reason it's not a permanent ruling party is that it hasn't been shit crazy enough to this point. Perry's going to have to wreck himself. Thompson didn't need to, which was fortunate, since his campaign wasn't really about Activity.
The closest the Republican field gets to sanity is Jon Huntsman, who might as well be Dennis Kucinich; the closest it gets to sanity in a major contender is Mitt Fucking Romney, who'd pander his way out of it if he could. Romney's got no room to maneuver. Perry's low-hanging fruit, but Mitt doesn't dare swing at it; the more he does the more unpopular with Republican primary voters he becomes. It's the same position Mitch Daniels found himself in with Sarah Palin: you can't out-crazy 'em; you can't move to the Right of 'em, because the base doesn't cotton to rhetorical flourishes; all you can do is hope they out-crazy themselves, and with an electorate mostly restricted to self-appointed Republicans, good luck with that.
And Mitt ain't gonna get the help of Daniels, Barbour, or Pawlenty; this is the fucking party which sat still for Ronald Reagan and both Bushes, and it's not gonna suddenly crank up the self-reflection routine. The Republican soul takes what the Perfect Market is passing out at the moment, and schemes about stealing the rest later. That's the Republican brand on view on Your Grocer's Shelves, bub. If the public wants hand-crafted beer, make yourself a new label, slap it on, and give the manager a new set of clubs in exchange for prime shelf position.
And I don't care; at this point my main interest is that 2012 is shaping up to be the election which determines which side will start committing suicide in droves. The thing that interested me is how Perry's announcement appears to've cost Romney five points. Who are those people? Why did half the Giuliani supporters decide to jump ship, assuming one can jump a ship that's already sunk? Do the 10% losses for Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin mean that Republicans are sexist against 'conservative' women, just like liberals are?
And how does a Ron "Invisible" Paul jump of 33% get termed "slight"?
I'm not bisexual, except for that one time*, but that isn't why I wasn't gonna say "Well, d'uh!" or the "No shit, Sherlock" of my youth and current preference, since it's more literary.
Because it's the sort of thing Science does, and its also the sort of thing the Social Sciences do when they want to look Sciencey.
And somebody amends a forty-year-old experiment to include bisexual men, it might get picked up for the sensational headline. No offense intended, by the way; it's the sort of thing the social sciences do, amending old data in terms of current ideas, and not unmeaningful of result.
But it not only points out what sort of stuff gets picked up by the mass-market Press, but also how the social sciences manage to march backwards. By testing what is no more than a temporal political tic. Yes, we know there are bisexual males because, as there always has been, there are bisexual males. And we know you know there are bisexual males, so save the routine. You guys, after all, are the inventors of "sexual addiction". Tell us why there are still so many Victorians in 21st century America, and why on earth you'd pander to them. Tell us why the US torture program was designed by two accredited psychologists. Tell us why people fall for the bullshit of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, or Rick Perry. And tell us what to do about it. Then you'll be telling us something.
* joke **