February 27, 2012 -- In the words of Liza Doolittle, “is that all you blighters can do?” This seems as good a time as any to just let people speak for themselves, a torrent of “words, words, words” with a thank you in the direction of the Supreme Court keeping in mind that corporations and organizations are people too.
On the 20th Republican Debate
“Santorum proved that even if the subject was rutabagas, he would still find a way to point out that Massachusetts passed its universal health care law when Mitt Romney was governor.” Gail Collins in the New York Times. And, “Birth control pills seemed to get the blame for rising rates of unwed motherhood.” On, the convoluted logic of social conservatives.
“Governor Romney supported the bailout of Wall Street and decided not to support the bailout of Detroit”, said Santorum.
Commenting on gaps like that between ideology and practice, in the Washington Post, E. J. Dionne Jr. said: “Free market virgins? They gave that up long ago.” It’s a wonder conservatives haven’t come up with a pill you could take for that, to save your free market virginity. The John Galt pill. Turns you in to Any Rand.
“Romney then announced that everything — I think this included both unwed motherhood and the Obama health care reform — happened because Santorum had endorsed Arlen Specter for the U.S. Senate in 2004. He’s (Mitt) facing a must-win primary next week in Michigan, which is, of course, his home state. Along with Massachusetts and New Hampshire and California, where he has, um, homes. Michigan appears to be the only Romney home state where Romney does not have an actual residence.” Collins again. Romney seems to live wherever he hangs his hat. Or his authorized Mormon underwear.
With his steady caucus and primary wins behind him Santorum got the most heat in the debate from other candidates who seemed to take on the personality of the debate’s location and treat him as if he were just another illegal Arizona immigrant. With Michigan and Arizona Tuesday, Washington State March 3rd, and Super Tuesday March 6th all looming, this is most likely the last debate of these traveling toomlers (such an apt Yiddish word under the circumstances).
“According to Michael Kinsley, a gaffe is when a politician accidentally tells the truth”
Economist Paul Krugman used that gem of a quote in a column about Mitt Romney in which the candidate “absent-mindedly said something completely reasonable: ‘If you just cut, if all you’re thinking about doing is cutting spending, as you cut spending you’ll slow down the economy.’ ” That is Keynesian stuff and Galt-like conservatives howled in protest making it even harder for Mitt to fend off criticism that he is not conservative enough.
His best gaffe though was a beaut. There he was in Michigan in his self-cast role of regular guy with regular problems as though his collar was blue when in a speech pandering to regular people he said: “The streets are just right. I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit-made automobiles. I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pickup truck. Ann (his wife) drives a couple of Cadillac’s, actually. And I used to have a Dodge truck. So I used to have all three covered.” Tell me Mitt, does Ann have two Cads so like so many of Detroit’s auto worker’s wives she can color coordinate?
Gaffe number three: holding an event in the middle of vast Ford Stadium in Detroit when only about 1,200 or so people showed up and looked awfully lonesome out there. TV cameras panned the empty seats and the crowd was anything but enthusiastic. At least he said: “you know, the trees are the right height,” which in certain portions of the South would have been another gaffe, as in the right height for what, to string someone up?
Religion to comfort us in bad time?
You would think that would be the case, but then you read the headlines like these:
“Afghan Protests Over the Burning of Korans at a U.S. Base Escalate”
“Israeli Court Invalidates a Military Exemption … the government's negotiations with religious parties.”
“At times, it seems as if Santorum is running to become Theologian in Chief… but his Ozzie-and-Harriet ideas about family life place different solar system.”
Eugene Robison commenting in the Washington Post.
“Chairman Issa’s head is somewhere I don’t want to go.”
Sandra Flukey, a young college student on the chairman of the committee who rejected her as a witness in a hearing in which five Republican male lawmakers are working on “trying to take the pill away from women”, writes Dana Milbank in the Washington Post. I don’t want to know where she thinks his head is.
This kind of stuff is happening all over. In Georgia one (female) legislator introduced a bill requiring vasectomies in order to get the attention of fellow lawmakers, and as was widely covered Virginia, the bill to force pregnant women considering an abortion to view or submit to a most intrusive ultrasound probe that would be similar to what got them into that condition in the first place. The governor was for it, then was against it, and the legislature is revising it, and so on.
In Indiana a lawmaker named Bob Morris insists that the Girl Scouts promote abortion and homosexuality. Cookies do this? Something in the water, maybe, but cookies?
“The Nazis built their pseudoethics with its grim logic on precisely this Nietzschean cosmological view.”
The Post’s Milbank dug this out of an old book written by Santorum in an article of how the man seems to find Nazis everywhere. “…in the Middle East, in doctor’s offices and medical labs, in the Democratic Party, and now in the White House.” The White House: no more High Fives, just one “Heil” after another.
“Of the Darwinian view of a ‘purposeless universe,’ Santorum wrote that ‘the Nazis built their pseudoethics with its grim logic on precisely this makes him “wonder if we have merely been momentarily delayed in our slide” Our slide? Santorum, seems to me you are the one slide, a slide into some dark, dank world of your own and you seem to be taking many people with you.
“I challenge you to distinguish a naked prostitute from any other naked woman.”
That may be my favorite quote of the week. Remember Dominique Strauss-Kahn? Accused of raping a New York Hotel maid? French authorities are accusing him of involvement in a prostitution ring and his lawyer, Henri Lecler, made that statement. A contest? Are you looking for volunteers? Where do I sign up?
A Few Words From Presidents of the Past
Presidents Day came and went last week, but in an effort to learn what some of them might have to say about current affairs in the country they once led, we a virtual séance was held to get the perspective of a dozen of them. From a darkened room, heavily draped with eerie sounds in the background here in no particular order is what they had to say.
1. George Washington … Still in Afghanistan? I only kept my troops at Valley Forge one winter.
2. Abraham Lincoln … Presidents Day? My mistake. I thought I was here for the big event, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
3. Herbert Hoover … I’m here to make a complaint. Representative Rand Paul stole my economic plan but hasn’t given me any credit.
4. Thomas Jefferson … since I once dabbled a bit in miscegenation I wanted to see how the consequences of such would work out in the field of politics.
5. Teddy Roosevelt … I started the ball rolling on universal health care over a hundred years ago and you people just got around to it? That’s like instead of charging up San Juan Hill upright, going up on your hands and knees.
6. F.D.R. … we have nothing to fear but fear itself … and the possibility of Rick Santorum as president, of course.
7. Lyndon Johnson … strapped a dog to the roof of his car? Only a Republican would do that. A Democrat would just pick him up by his ears.
8. Calvin Coolidge … somebody asked me to appear here to share the secret of my charisma with Mitt Romney.
9. William Taft … just in case New Jersey Governor Chris Christie decides to run for president after all he should remember that I got my 330 pounds stuck in the White House bath tub so he should stick to showers.
10. Andrew Jackson …since I bedded and married a woman who was another man’s wife at the time and suffered from the scandal, I say to Newt Gingrich I feel your pain.
11. Harry Truman … President Obama, you are certainly welcome to use my words and complain about a do-nothing Congress.
12. Richard Nixon … as I have said, if the president does it, it is not illegal, unless the president is a Democrat of course.
A NOTE OF THANKS TO ALL WHO VOTED IN THE NEW YORKER CARTOON CAPTION CONTEST FOR THE ENRY OF NORMA HERSH.
AGAINST GREAT ODDS SHE WON!
A REAL COUP.