Thursday, February 23

Ice Cream, Mandrake?

George Eff Will, "Santorum and Romney are miscast as candidates". February 22

I'VE already convinced myself to open this piece this way; you'll forgive me if it also stops this way, since I put the odds of a blackout just from typing it at 50/50.

Perhaps you heard, in one of those "Pig Ignorant News Roundup" or "Signs the Coming Apocalypse is Wholly Justified" segments, about Indiana State Representative Bob Morris, who explained in an email to his Republican colleagues that he didn't join in a resolution honoring the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts because "a small amount of web-based research" had proven to his satisfaction that the Girl Scouts' real mission was turning America's self-identified girls into Satanic, pro-abortion, Sapphic analinguettes, using instructional materials thoughtfully provided by Planned Parenthood. The apparently contradiction--that turning girls into lesbians would interfere with Planned Parenthood's mission of giving every teenager in America an abortion before age 16--can probably be resolved by doing a slightly larger amount of web-based research.

Or that's what Morris said, more-or-less, when reporters finally cornered him; pressed for evidence, he replied that Hoosiers should do their own cursory web searches. So I tried one ("girl-girl rimjob"). Eye-opening.

Anyway, tacked onto whatever news coverage you may've seen was the quick action of House Speaker Brian "Jesus is my Tambourine Man" Bosma, who spent the day passing out Thin Mints. You know you've gone round a big, and possibly un-retraceable, bend when Brian Bosma goes out of his way to call you nuts. This, of course, proved to our newscasters' satisfaction that Republicans aren't some religiously-mazed gang of anti-sex weirdos who'll fall for any piece of urban legend that touches them in their secret hot spots. Just a lone nut.

My personal favorite, though, you probably missed, unless you too are subjected to local Indianapolis teevee: Democrats, faced with a golden opportunity to simply point at the sheer mouth-foaming insanity on the other side of the aisle, instead dug up a picture of Ronald Reagan surrounded by Girl Scouts! Take that, single crackpot Representative his own party had already pummeled half to death!

The good news for Morris is that he won't need to resign to spend more time with his family, since his removing his two daughters from Scouting should suffice. He can also take heart from the fact that Dan Burton had a twenty-year career in the US House, and "the Girl Scouts are a bunch of Satan-worshipping lesbos" was one of his campaign's more reasonable planks the entire time.

And this is Indiana, where Bosma knew that all he had to do was pull a PR stunt to be taken seriously, secure in the knowledge that no local reporter was going to point out to him that Morris' websearch was about equal to the research which powered the state Republicans' war on the real Planned Parenthood. It has to be tougher on the national level these days, being a Republican whose election-year job it is to call Republicans crazy. Especially if you're Ross Douthat, or George Eff Will, and are required to note that Rick Santorum is just a little too Catholic:
The Midwest begins on the western slopes of the Allegheny Mountains, around Rick Santorum’s Pittsburgh, birthplace of the Ohio River, the original highway into the Midwest.

Wait, was there a meeting or something? Douthat just said this 24 hours ago. I've lived, if you can call it that, in the Midwest most of my 58 years, and until this week I've never heard anyone suggest the Alleghenies as a Gateway, or Pittsburgh as anything other than a team in the AFC North that used to be in the NFC. Pittsburgh is in Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania is in The East. Frankly, a lot of us here are fairly suspicious of much of Ohio.

You guys need a Middle Western candidate, since Mitch "Small Change" Daniels proved too reasonable for ya? Romney used to summer here, didn't he? That's as close as you get. For all your blather about the Heartland, that part of the Heartland which isn't Indiana is pretty damned ambivalent about you.
Pittsburgh fueled the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, an early eruption of Western resentment of the overbearing East,

As though a genuine 18th century George Eff Will would have been anything other than Al Hamilton's boot-tender.
But instead of keeping his Rust Belt focus on his blue-collar roots and economic program for reviving manufacturing, he has opened multiple fronts in the culture wars.

A Republican "opening" fronts in the culture war! One is tempted to say that Santorum is the first Republican candidate since Goldwater honest enough to take the culture war to its logical extremes, or its actual roots, except "honest" isn't the right word.
By doing so — questioning much prenatal testing, disdaining Barack Obama’s environmentalism as “phony theology,” calling involvement of even state governments in public education “anachronistic,” reiterating that abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape and incest, explaining the proper purpose of sex (procreation) — Santorum has eclipsed Newt Gingrich, his rival for the support of social conservatives. But in doing so Santorum has made his Catholicism more central and problematic in this nomination contest than Romney’s Mormonism has been.

You mean "inserting his Catholicism into the national debate during the quadrennial ten-month period right before a Presidential election, when Catholicism is supposed to be reserved for threatening Democrats with excommunication."
The problem is not that the phenomena that trouble Santorum are unserious. The use of prenatal testing for search-and-destroy missions against Down syndrome and other handicapped babies is barbaric.

The blatant mischaracterization of other people's motives, though, is refreshingly civilized.
Obama’s stealthy pursuit of a national curriculum for kindergarten through 12th grade is ill-advised and illegal.

Sheesh. It's a national, not a federal effort. It's a cooperative effort among several states. Lord this shit gets old. You fucks didn't have the political courage to eliminate the Department of Education (according to your sacred "principles"), then the Bush II administration doubled Federal involvement in public education. Go fuck yourselves.
And no domestic problem — not even the unsustainable entitlement state — is more urgent and intractable than that of family disintegration.

What? Benign Neglect not workin' for ya any more?
We do know the social pathologies flowing from the fact that now more than 50 percent of all babies born to women under age 30 are born to unmarried mothers. These pathologies, related to a constantly renewed cohort of adolescent males without fathers at home, include disorderly neighborhoods, schools that cannot teach, mass incarceration and the intergenerational transmission of poverty. We do not know how to address this with government policies, even though the nation has worried about it for almost 50 years.

Not to mention that shit they call "music".
(D.P.) Moynihan, a social scientist in politics,

"As a politician he was a third-rate social scientist, but as a social scientist he was a tenth-rate politician".
proposed various family policies but also noted this: When the medieval invention of distilling was combined with Britain’s 18th-century surplus of grain, the result was cheap gin — and appalling pockets of social regression. The most effective response to which was not this or that government policy, it was John Wesley — Methodism.

It's okay if the underclasses fall into heresy, so long as they fall into line? I'm shocked. Shocked.
Today’s Republican contest has become a binary choice between two similarly miscast candidates. Mitt Romney cannot convince voters that he understands the difference between business and politics, between being a CEO and the president. To bring economic rationality to an underperforming economic entity requires understanding a market segment. To bring confidence to a discouraged nation requires celebrating its history and sketching an inspiring destiny this history has presaged.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: you guys have been talking to yourselves for waaaaay too fucking long.
Neither Romney nor Santorum looks like a formidable candidate for November.

For thirty years "conservatives" couldn't find a candidate who was pure enough; now they have two who're too pure. I blame the disintegration of the family.

13 comments:

Sharon said...

"The use of prenatal testing for search-and-destroy missions against Down syndrome and other handicapped babies is barbaric."

Evil or stupid? Your call.

Taj Mahalo said...

Evil or stupid?

Yes.

Rugosa said...

Christ on a bicycle. The complete upheaval of the agrarian way of life and being paid bare-survival wages had nothing to do with "appalling pockets of social regression" in 18th C. Britain. And a few gazillion single mothers including me no longer believe that we need permission from men, or a man, to have babies or not as we see fit.

Anonymous said...

"...combined with Britain’s 18th-century surplus of grain, the result was cheap gin...the most effective response was not government policy, it was John Wesley — Methodism"

Sure. Taxing alcohol and regulating consumption by law is pointless and stupid and effects neither supply or demand.

Anonymous said...

"now they have to who're". Wow. Punctuational double-entendre. Very impressive!

Fiddlin' Bill said...

I do agree that it's quite unlikely that the voting public will pick either of the R's in play over a man who is obviously rational, clear-headed, conservative in the ordinary sense of the word, a capable diplomat, etc. This is why the states controlled by Republicans are working on stopping many eligible voters from actually voting.

Anonymous said...

Riley, this one's a gem.

mds said...

"Pittsburgh fueled the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, an early eruption of Western resentment of the overbearing East"

Erm, I admit I have trouble keeping up, but wasn't the "overbearing East" of the Whiskey Rebellion summed up in the person of George Washington, Founding Father Who Really Truly Prayed on His Knees in the Snow at Valley Forge? While it would be refreshing to see the wingnuts pivot to attacking the non-Jefferson Founders(TM) for their leftist atheist anti-freedom ways, I have a feeling that there's a reason why Will didn't go out of his way to clarify who was president in 1794.

prairie curmudgeon said...

"When the medieval invention of distilling was combined with Britain’s 18th-century surplus of grain, the result was cheap gin — and appalling pockets of social regression. The most effective response to which was not this or that government policy, it was John Wesley — Methodism."

1. I assume it was whiskey instead of gin.
2. I assume that the appalling pockets of social regression (bum fuck poverty) preceded and gave impetus to finding alternate markets for "surplus" grain.
3. I assume that absolutely the most effective response was getting the fuck out via indentured servitude to the colonies.
4. Excuse my assumptions if any or all them are wrongly assumed.

Dean Booth said...

“Giving up witchcraft is, in effect, giving up the Bible” -- John Wesley

This is the man we need to prevent social regression?

freq flag said...

Lord this shit gets old. You fucks didn't have the political courage to eliminate the Department of Education (according to your sacred "principles"), then the Bush II administration doubled Federal involvement in public education. Go fuck yourselves.

Heh. They don't call him "Georg F'ing Will" fer nothin'.

chuckling said...

I often drive from the east coast to Indiana, where I'm from, and sometimes pass through Pittsburgh. Actually, describing it as a kind of Gateway to the midwest based on it being the birthplace of the Ohio strikes me as not unreasonable.

I agree with everything else you write though.

Moe Nawaz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.