Thursday, April 29

May You Live In Interesting Times

INDIANA'S political primaries (Motto: Remember that picture ID!) are just around the corner, which means--thanks to the ungodly amounts of filthy lucre Republicans (almost exclusively) have to spend here to inform voters how fiscally conservative they are--that the contested races have been subject to teevee spot fights for the past month. The contested races being the Republican primaries for the Senate post Evan Bayh is vacating for the good of the country, the 4th District job Steve Buyer is vacating one step ahead of the Law, I mean, in order to support his wife in her forty-year battle with some unnamed terminal illness, and the 5th District seat Dan Burton has been using as a convenient place to get messages for the last 30 years. Yes, indeed: Dan Burton has been such a Congressional scofflaw that he's now facing his third straight, and most serious, primary challenge, in a district which has been manicured just for him, or some other terminal dingbat.

The result--I trust you're sitting down--has resembled nothing so much as the response Detroit has made to changing demands on its vehicle line over the past forty years: 1) the Product all looks the same; 2) how it's described is apparently more important that what's under the hood, or what sort of smoke it belches; and 3) Long-Term Planning might as well be Swahili for "How much for three hours with your daughters?"

Every single one of the candidates who can afford ad time is some sort of "Conservative", which, in this instance at least, should not be taken as evidence that only "Conservatives" have been able to raise money; it's just like finding the Ichthys on some plumber's ad in the Yellow Pages. What we mean, instead, is that every ad identifies the Beggar in Question as a "Conservative", and sometimes Staunchly or Genuinely so, as though there's some other sort of Indiana Republican available to run. They all dislike Nancy Pelosi almost as much as they do the President (somebody--they're mostly a blur to me--tosses in a headshot of Harry Reid alongside Obama and Madam Speaker, but I don't think he's even identified; must be aimed at the cognoscenti vote.) They all voted against, or assure us they would have voted against, Obamacare and the Obama ObamaTax Increases (Once and Future Senator and Former Ambassador to Just Get Him The Fuck Out of Here Dan Coats, who's remarkably lifelike if you catch him in just the right light, promises to Repeal Healthcare, which, once the liberal firebrand Bayh leaves to succor the Poor, should be a snap anyway). All stand at the ready to protect the Second Amendment for the inevitable moment when Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi look at it funny, or something, while Harry Reid looks on; in something of a refutation to the Tea Bagger Non-Social Issue routine they're all in favor of Life, as graphically illustrated by the number of children and grandchildren they use as props.

Several aver that what this country needs is jobs, not a government that does stuff, except help provide jobs, evidentally. That's Burton's Big Answer, though what he was doing the last ten years while all those jobs disappeared goes unmentioned, presumably because everyone knows the answer is "Golf".

The big story among 'em in Hoosierland has not been Burton, who has pretty much been consigned to the embarrassment bin by the state GOP and their friends in local Indianapolis media, though he did get a little attention when it turned out that all the earnest white people (the only African-American face in anybody's ads belongs to the President) expressing their desire to see Dan get a fifteenth term were actually spokesmodels from Ohio. Not sure what the problem was supposed to be, since 85% of his campaign contributions come from out of state and nobody says anything.

No, it's been Coats, who followed up his chair-moistening stint in the Senate of the United States with a decade raking in lobbying bucks. Coats had been living in North Carolina right up to the moment that Bayh announced his retirement, and now says he was spurred to return to politics by the Evil Jim Rockford 180º U-Turn Across Six Lanes of Traffic that is Barack Obama.

And Coats is still getting flak for having voted for the Brady Bill in a previous century, something which underlines what the slightly bemused observer has noted in all this: that the Tea Bagging Party is primed and ready for its next opportunity to defeat Jimmy Carter.


Non-Existent Patricia said...

Wait, isn't Obama the black Jimmy Carter? Maybe these Hoosier conservatives have hit on a winning strategy after all.

heydave said...

Now THAT'S entertainment!

Unknown said...

Do your state Democrats try to out conservative the Republicans? and label themselves as pro-business or independent? South Dakota is lousy with these

Julia Grey said...

That handbasket you're in is getting a little grimy around the edges....