Unfit For Command

The economy is melting down, the real estate market is tits up, the dollar is sinking, the war drones on, and this is what the Republican candidates are debating in South Carolina:

The Republican presidential candidates on Thursday moved to appeal to different types of conservative voters before the South Carolina primary, with Mike Huckabee using colorful language to declare the Confederate flag a states’ rights issue and Senator John McCain embracing a supply-side tax cut proposal.

“You don’t like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag,” Mr. Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas, told supporters in Myrtle Beach, according to The Associated Press.

“In fact,” he said, “if somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we’d tell them what to do with the pole; that’s what we’d do.”

These are not serious people, this is not a serious party, and we are in serious trouble as a country. The entire GOP field is Unfit for Command.






62 replies
  1. 1
    ThymeZone says:

    Good post. You are exactly correct.

    Of course, it’s me, and I have to mention that this is what the GOP has been doing for … I dunno … 30 years now?

    So it’s not a transient thing, not a blip. It’s what they really are: Ridiculous.

  2. 2
    cleek says:

    it’s amazing, they’re still afraid to run against Commander 30%. it’s probably because they’re trying to be all optimistic and sunny like St Reagan – dare the Dems to talk about the real world, and call them pessimistic and gloomy when they do.

    GOP = cult of mediocrity

  3. 3
    Cols714 says:

    I was thinking the exact same thing this morning when on NPR they were interviewing people who were voting in the Republican primary in SC. I heard one lady saying that she was voting for Huckabee because he was “pro-family”, whatever that means. I also heard a voter say that he wouldn’t vote for Romney because he belonged to a cult. These are the reasons that people vote in this country. Stupid and childish; Is it any wonder we ended up with George W. Bush? I don’t know if this is a failure of the people, the media, the leaders, or all of those. I do know that it is slowly rotting our country.

  4. 4

    Well, that’s all you have left to work with when your voter-base is made up of people that re-enact wars that they lose and line-up to watch roller-derby.

  5. 5
    myiq2xu says:

    I blame Lincoln. When South Carolina tried to secede, he should have let them go.

  6. 6
    ThymeZone says:

    When South Carolina tried to secede, he should have let them go.

    I’d be in favor of doing it retroactively. The Carolinas, Tennessee, Mississippi. Maybe a couple others. America is really too big. Trimming a little waste is just common sense.

  7. 7
    TheFountainHead says:

    I think at this point if anyone tells me that they’re voting for a Republican I’m going to roll up a newspaper and thwack them across the nose with it and yell, “No!”

  8. 8
    Robert Johnston says:

    I blame Lincoln. When South Carolina tried to secede, he should have let them go.

    If you think we have an illegal immigration problem now, just imagine what our southern border would look like if that had happened!

    A bit more seriously, ThymeZone’s right: this is Republican SoP. The Republican party hasn’t been fit for command for a very long time. Sure, they’re more dangerous in command now, at a genuine crisis point, than ever before, but that doesn’t change the fact that ever since the Southern strategy met Grover Norquist the Republicans have been a completely crank party.

  9. 9
    TheFountainHead says:

    I’d be in favor of doing it retroactively. The Carolinas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, and Florida. Maybe a couple others. America is really too big. Trimming a little waste is just common sense

    Helped ya out there.

  10. 10
    merciless says:

    Aw, don’t be too hard on the poor republican candidates. They have nowhere to go. They can’t campaign on a legacy. Did you catch Romney’s victory speech in Michigan? He praised Ronald Reagan and George HERBERT WALKER Bush. Twice. It was no accident.

    They can’t campaign on the war; too unpopular. They can’t campaign on the economy, for reasons that we’ve been discussing this morning. Our current president has become Lord Voldemort to them, he who must not be named.

    They’re completely screwed. All they have left is, what, the best way to cook squirrel and gay terrorist abortions.

  11. 11
    cleek says:

    The Carolinas,

    there’s a big difference between NC and SC.

  12. 12
    ThymeZone says:

    I’d be in favor of doing it retroactively. The Carolinas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, and Florida.

    We shall create the new nation of North Fuckistan.

  13. 13
    myiq2xu says:

    The entire GOP field is Unfit for Command to serve do anything.

    Fixt

  14. 14
    myiq2xu says:

    We shall create the new nation of North Fuckistan.

    Will the citizens be Fuckers? Fuckheads? WTF?

  15. 15
    Robert Johnston says:

    The entire GOP field is Unfit for Command only to serve do anything be Larry Craig’s gimp.

    Fixt

    Refixt.

  16. 16
    ThymeZone says:

    Will the citizens be Fuckers

    They will be the Fuckistanians, but they will be known popularly as The Fucked.

  17. 17
    OxyCon says:

    The Repubs are doing what they do best, appealing to worst, baser sort inside all Americans.

  18. 18
    bob says:

    No Republican has been fit for command since Eisenhower, and he wasn’t REALLY a Republican. Both sides wanted him. Name a good Republican president. Really. Just try. Even Teddy Roosevelt was an Imperialist asshole, even if he was sort of decent on the economy. Go ahead. List your favorite Whig, oops, I mean Tory, oops, I mean Republican (yeah, that’s it, rePUBlican, THAT’S the ticket)president since Lincoln. Tell me his accomplishments and why he was good for the country.

  19. 19
    Punchy says:

    if somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we’d tell them what to do with the pole; that’s what we’d do.”

    Send him back to Poland?

  20. 20
    Jake says:

    “In fact,” he said, “if somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we’d tell them what to do with the pole; that’s what we’d do.”

    I will never cease to be amazed by the fact that the family values crowd is more obsessed with the terminus of the human digestive system than any five people I know.

    Maybe I’m just too vanilla but I’ve never felt the urge to stand up in front of a huge crowd and say “Hey! Let’s talk about sticking things up people’s tail pipes!”

    And if I did, Micky pHuckabee would rear up on his hind legs and label me a menace to society, children, house pets the Baby Jesus and apple pie.

    Fine. I hope it works. I hope SCarolinans rally behind pHucker and carry him to victory. I want to hear the other fRighties scream like they’ve got a telephone pole deep in their bunghole.

  21. 21
    TheFountainHead says:

    Send him back to Poland?

    I don’t know why, but that made me laugh.

  22. 22
    Rick Taylor says:

    Yep. And I don’t think it’s always been this bad either.

    I wish there was one basically sane person running for the Republican nomination, someone who was able to face reality. The problem seems to be the Republican party has become so doctrinaire, there’s a bunch of of views you you have to swear fealty to before you have a chance as a candidate, regardless of reality. Tax cuts are always the solution, we’re in a war of civilization with Islam, Saddam wouldn’t let the inspectors in, and so on. It’s disturbing; I would have thought by now the huge dissonance between some conservative views (particularly about what would happen in Iraq after we invaded) and has actually happen would force some moderate Republicans to come to their senses, if only out of desperation, but it hasn’t happened.

  23. 23
    myiq2xu says:

    I wish there was one basically sane person running for the Republican nomination, someone who was able to face reality.

    Fixt (but they still aren’t)

  24. 24
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Truly amusing. And they wonder why black people rate the GOP lower in popularity than the Klan. At least the Klan didn’t pretend to like us.

    Fuck Mike Huckabee, and any other dimwit who might vote for him or any other Republican. Shove that, bitch.

  25. 25
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Fuck the South. Fuck ’em. We should have let them go when they wanted to leave. But no, we had to kill half a million people so they’d stay part of our special Union. Fighting for the right to keep slaves – yeah, those are states we want to keep.

    And now what do we get? We’re the fucking Arrogant Northeast Liberal Elite? How about this for arrogant: the South is the Real America? The Authentic America. Really?

    Cause we fucking founded this country, assholes. Those Founding Fathers you keep going on and on about? All that bullshit about what you think they meant by the Second Amendment giving you the right to keep your assault weapons in the glove compartment because you didn’t bother to read the first half of the fucking sentence? Who do you think those wig-wearing lacy-shirt sporting revolutionaries were? They were fucking blue-staters, dickhead. Boston? Philadelphia? New York? Hello? Think there might be a reason all the fucking monuments are up here in our backyard?

    Fuck the South

  26. 26
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    Excuse me, stewardess. I speak Southern. Allow me to translate.

    [ahem]

    “You don’t like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your niggers,” Mr. Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas, told supporters in Myrtle Beach, according to The Associated Press.

    “In fact,” he said, “if somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our niggers, we’d tell them what to do with the pole; that’s what we’d do.”

    You’re welcome.
    .

  27. 27
    sparky says:

    IIRC, Hoover was an extremely talented bureaucrat before the Crash changed his fortunes. There’s an analogy to GWB in there, but the hell with it.

    I think it’s much much harder to give up easy feel-good slogans than people realize. Most of the great changes in the US have come about through externalities rather than through reassessments (h/t Bruce Ackerman).

  28. 28
    myiq2xu says:

    At least the Klan didn’t pretend to like us.

    Then why did they throw all those necktie parties for black people?

  29. 29
    Rick Taylor says:

    myiq2xu:

    Thanks, that is exactly what I meant to say, but couldn’t find the words.

  30. 30
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    I guess I should note that, while Republican voters are aware that the right side of the ticket reads like a completed Madlibs sheet, and are moving to Obama…

    … their judgement lately hasn’t been so hot. Maybe that’s a good reason not to vote for Obama… because these people are so stunningly wrong that they could take someone like Obama — who’s at least an awesome framework to build on, if not ready to be President — and fuck him up thoroughly.

    I dunno. Still haven’t made my decision. Still want to see Hillary act like a person with a straight spine before I shit all over my vote by picking her.

  31. 31
    Gus says:

    People are so excited about the coming election. They’re watching on the edge of their seats, because they know what’s at stake: a recording contract and the title of the next American Idol.

  32. 32
    Robert Johnston says:

    People are so excited about the coming election. They’re watching on the edge of their seats, because they know what’s at stake: a recording contract and the title of the next American Idol.

    Dollars to doughnuts that whoever wins the next American Idol is less unfit for command than whoever ends up as the next Republican presidential nominee.

  33. 33
    merciless says:

    Caidence, that’s been playing in the back of my mind too, especially since Sullivan has decided that Obama is the mancrush of his life.

    And then I put the thought away, because that’s a stupid reason to vote or not vote for someone.

    Then Obama spoke of Reagan, and I heard the sound of the progressive ballast getting thrown overboard to make room for the poor disenfranchised republicans. I mean, running to the middle to make yourself more palatable, sure, I understand that, but geez.

    Obama’s going to need some mighty mighty transcendence to overcome this.

  34. 34
    Rick Taylor says:

    While the groundwork was laid earlier, I think the Republican party and the country went over the cliff in 2000 when Bush was elected. That’s when he proved that facing reality was unnecessary to gain power. Paul Krugman extensively documented how the numbers he was giving for the effects of his tax cuts and who they would benefit were dishonest, and no one cared. The press was busy making up stories about Al Gore and the Internet; it was bizarre, and not much has changed.

    For me, this what was really shocking was when Bush casually said that we had to invade because Saddam wouldn’t let the inspectors in, and no one in the mainstream media particularly cared. It was difficult to call it a lie because it was so brazen, saying completely false that was publicly known to be false because we’d lived through it, and no one asked him to clarify. He even repeated it. And Romney repeated it during the Republican debates. This is 1984 territory: “But we’ve always been at war with Eastasia.”

    Perhaps it’s because the truth is too hard to take. Saddam was complying with the UN’s demands, even dismantling his missiles, we made completely false accusations and used those to invade and overthrow his government in a war of aggression and with the opposition of most of the rest of the civilized world. That’s what happened, it’s objective truth, and it’s a point of conservative ideology that the United States is always in the right, well it becomes impossible to face reality then.

  35. 35
    Tsulagi says:

    In fact,” he said, “if somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we’d tell them what to do with the pole; that’s what we’d do.

    Isn’t that cute? Hucky getting his Republican toughy act going. Trying to show the party’s voters he’s got all their bases covered.

    Senator John McCain embracing a supply-side tax cut proposal.

    And then we have Mr. Suckup bringing up the rear. Yeah, another tax cut will solve the economy problems. Hell, why fuck around, McCain? Tell them you’d put the tax rate to 0. The resulting economy and revenue growth explosion would enable us to immediately begin paving the interstates in gold. Known truth.

    Yep, situation normal in today’s GOP.

  36. 36
    Rick Taylor says:

    And then I put the thought away, because that’s a stupid reason to vote or not vote for someone.

    Then Obama spoke of Reagan, and I heard the sound of the progressive ballast getting thrown overboard to make room for the poor disenfranchised republicans. I mean, running to the middle to make yourself more palatable, sure, I understand that, but geez.

    Speaking of facing reality as opposed to creating ones own, I’m not comfortable with Obama at this point either. I guess there’s a balance; it’s important to have a vision of how things could be, but one has to be grounded in how things are. Maybe it’s rhetoric, but he just says too many things that make me wonder if he really gets what’s been happening the last six years, and it’s really important we have someone who understands. I have no doubts about Hillary on that score, or about her ability to stay calm and focussed while having boatloads of shit thrown in her direction, so she’s who I’m supporting now.

  37. 37
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    there’s a big difference between NC and SC.

    Agreed. NC is worth saving. SC is fucking nuts.

  38. 38
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    Obama’s going to need some mighty mighty transcendence to overcome this.

    The Pony is in my stable. He said he’s going to need it brushed and trained for the 6 furlong on Super-Tuesday.

    I leave an audio tape in the stable that says “TRANSCENDENTALISM!” over and over again. It adds lustre to the coat!

  39. 39
    Innocent Bystander says:

    They are the Party of Organized Crime. I think the end game now is to get this country completely imploded before the November elections. If they can precipitate a nuclear meltdown of the economy or start another elective, unilateral war in the ME, this might provide the justification to declare martial law (anyone think the Supremes won’t be on-board with this?) so they can maintain their control on the levers of power – finally ending any pretense that democracy and justice exists in the USA. But we’re the fascists, right Jonah?

    Hope I’m dead wrong…time will tell.

  40. 40
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    this might provide the justification to declare martial law

    The thing about martial law, you need enough of a military or para-military force to enforce it. Sending the bulk of your active and reserves into a desert halfway across the world kind of works against that.

    Unless there are some Brownshirts around that I’m not aware of.

  41. 41
    mark says:

    The entire GOP field is Unfit for Command.

    How can you say that. The GOP has singlehandedly fought off homo-nups. Job well done!

  42. 42
    bob says:

    Here’s a quiz for ya: name ten accomplishments of ANY Republican president since Lincoln that served the common good. I’ll spot you Teddy Roosevelt and his trust busting. So now you only need nine, except that Reagan did away with that, so you are back to ten.

  43. 43
    Innocent Bystander says:

    Unless there are some Brownshirts around that I’m not aware of.

    Well, there is that Republican private army, Blackwater, that could be deputized. From there, I think they could quickly enlist a whole bunch of RW reactionaries to provide ‘security’. There’s probably a few hundred billion in unaccountable federal funds that could be used to enforce the status quo.

    What do these war criminals have to lose at this point? I don’t think they can throw the election and having Democrats in control of the WH and Congress with a majority of Americans demanding retribution and accountability makes this a very viable option, in their minds. Treason is a capitol crime.

  44. 44
    Jake says:

    Sending the bulk of your active and reserves into a desert halfway across the world kind of works against that.

    Just unleash Dick Ctcheney and his lawyer blastin’ blunderbuss.

  45. 45
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    Here’s a quiz for ya: name ten accomplishments of ANY Republican president since Lincoln that served the common good. I’ll spot you Teddy Roosevelt and his trust busting. So now you only need nine, except that Reagan did away with that, so you are back to ten.

    You’ll want to alter that challenge. Gotta remember that ideologically, Repubs in the Roosevelt days were the Left-Centrist Dems of today. Things didn’t switch until the Dixie shift. Lincoln doesn’t make a starting point for everything, ya know.

    And here’s one, Eisenhower set us up to tell the MIC to go fuck themselves. And just because Cheney willingly undid that doesn’t mean Eisenhower doesn’t get credit for good effort.

  46. 46
    Scotty says:

    At least they aren’t harping on the gay community.

  47. 47
    Bombadil says:

    Scotty Says:

    At least they aren’t harping on the gay community.

    That’s only because they’re running against each other. Wait until the general election.

  48. 48
    Zifnab says:

    Here’s a quiz for ya: name ten accomplishments of ANY Republican president since Lincoln that served the common good. I’ll spot you Teddy Roosevelt and his trust busting. So now you only need nine, except that Reagan did away with that, so you are back to ten.

    Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, defeating Communism with a six-shooter and a smile, tax cuts, tax cuts, cutting welfare from poor and undeserving to give to large hard-working corporations, protecting marriage, and tax cuts.

  49. 49
    jrg says:

    The thing that gets me most about this is that the people who go bananas over flag burning insist on hanging the flag of the confederacy over their capital.

    How much more unamerican can you get, than flying the flag of a failed state that tried to _LEAVE_ America?

    How about they keep their flag, we keep our federal tax dollars.

    NC is worth saving. SC is fucking nuts.

    I just wanted to re-post that. Other than Charleston and a couple of other blueish citys in SC, that state is not worth a damn – it’s a cess pool of strippers, dropouts, meth, and ignorant holy rollers.

  50. 50
    Doubting Thomas says:

    I’m glad to see some are as wary of Obama as I am. I am just not ready to go for the one who “knows how to communicate”. I got totally hoodwinked by Reagan in 1984 and I vowed never to make the same mistake again. Quit listening to the candidates who say the nice things everyone wants to hear. I’m voting for Edwards because he’s saying the things we don’t want to hear but ring true to my experience, and if he doesn’t get the nomination I’m voting Hillary because if we have to a have an establishment, corporate-approved candidate, then I want the one the right hates and knows how to fight the crap they will be flinging.

    Also, why doesn’t it bother Obama supporters that he’s getting all sorts of endorsements from the establishment politicians? How does that equate to real change?

  51. 51
    HyperIon says:

    I spent a very sad year in northern SC…in a city I always refer to as Greenvile. The highlights of that year were visits to Asheville NC. The whole time I was in SC driving around, everyone I saw pulled over by a white law enforcement officer was black. That year finally convinced me that I would go crazy if I had to live in the South.

  52. 52
    gypsy howell says:

    Well, there is that Republican private army, Blackwater, that could be deputized

    They already had a trial run in NOLA.

  53. 53
    Neal says:

    While I agree with the majority of the sentiments here regarding the modern GOP, I saw some horrible history up there in blocks in a post by Dick Bottoms. The one that linked to fuckthesouth.com.
    The founders weren’t all blue staters from up there in the northeast. Sorry. Jamestown came before Plymouth by 13 years. 4 of the first 5 presidents were from Virginia. Jefferson wrote our Declaration, he was from Virginia. Duh. James Madison (president #4) put together the Constitution which centered around a little something called “The Virginia Plan”. Cornwallis surrendered to Washington at Yorktown, VA.
    That’s just a start.
    In fact, your only northeastern early president was John Adams. Anyone ever hear of the Alien and Sedition acts? Or the fact that his son John Quincy ended up president without winning the popular vote OR the electoral college? I wonder how that happened.
    Besides, didn’t the north give us the Bush family? New Jersey I believe.
    So, while I think the modern GOP, the pHuckabee fans, and all of that nonsense is, in fact, ridiculous, I must point out that ignorance apparently spans the entire USA
    Full disclosure: Yes, I am from the south, my family has been here for 200 something years, and I am still proud of my heritage.
    The ignorance I’m seeing here from some of you guys is no better than what your railing against.
    Just a thought. Know history before trying to use it.

  54. 54
    bob says:

    Caidence, I know a little history. And aside from the trust busting and national parks, Teddy was pretty much an imperialist. Lets call them whigs, or tories or whatever label you want. This is the John Adams/Alexander Hamilton strain. I prefer the Jeffersonian/Franklinist views. Democracy vs aristocracy. The industrial revolution made the inequalities of the old agrarian system look as slow as a horse vs a Ferrari. Capitalism and communism BOTH grew from something nobody had any idea of what would come, and both have serious flaws.

    So, let’s go back to the Whigs. NOW come up with ten policies that they have come up with that make for a more perfect union, provide for the general welfare, etc, etc.

  55. 55
    sglover says:

    Good post. You are exactly correct.

    Of course, it’s me, and I have to mention that this is what the GOP has been doing for … I dunno … 30 years now?

    Correct. Make no mistake: Bush is carrying the Reagan program through to its logical conclusion. All the crimes and disasters that Bush has launched would have happened under Reagan, but for the fact that in those days the other two branches of government were still more or less independent.

    The Republican Party needs to be dismantled. That’s all there is to it.

  56. 56
    sglover says:

    No Republican has been fit for command since Eisenhower, and he wasn’t REALLY a Republican. Both sides wanted him. Name a good Republican president. Really. Just try. Even Teddy Roosevelt was an Imperialist asshole, even if he was sort of decent on the economy.

    Yeah, well, Woody Wilson wasn’t exactly a prime specimen either.

    Fact is that the overwhelming majority of American presidents have been mediocre amoral dullards.

  57. 57

    […] Update #2:  John Cole puts my whole screed faster, cheaper, better, here. […]

  58. 58
    Jake says:

    The Republican Party needs to be dismantled. That’s all there is to it.

    They seem to be doing a fairly efficient job. Let’s hope they don’t get distracted.

  59. 59
    Rick Taylor says:

    Romney (http://mitt-tv.mittromney.com/?showid=45284) has signed the Norquist pledge not to raise taxes, has promised to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, has promised to eliminate the inheritance tax, has promised to lower marginal tax rates and the corporate tax, has proposed savings incentive plans to allow Americans with moderate incomes to pay no tax on dividends, capital gains, or interest, and wants to expand our army.

    This is just insane. Bush paved the way, showing that what you promise doesn’t have to have any connection to fiscal reality, but this is even further removed from what’s possible than anything Bush proposed; at least there was a surplus for Bush to plunder.

    Giuliani has proposed eliminating the AMT, and paying for it through further tax cuts which would generate additional revenue. He also wants to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, reduce capital gains taxes, eliminate the AMT, expand the army, and he’s also committed to not increasing taxes. His tax cut plan is called the biggest in history, bigger than George Bush’s.

    Huckabee is campaigning on eliminating the IRS and replacing the income tax with a 30% sales tax.

    These people are nuts. This party is completely nuts. In any party with some degree of realism about government revenues and the economy, they’d be fringe candidates, not front runners.

    It really is bizarre; where have the grown ups in the GOP gone. It used to be the party of fiscal responsibility, but I guess they’ve found they can do better playing Santa Claus, promising endless tax cuts with no intention of paying for them, beyond foisting the accounting disaster on the Democrats and heckling them.

    (I use embedded links when I can, but sometimes they seem to cause parts of my message to disappear)

  60. 60
    Rick Taylor says:

    At least after six years of Republican hegemony and Bush getting every tax cut he ever asked for, we know what to blame for the economic tailspin:

    Part of our economic slow down is due to the massive tax increases threatened by Democrats and the resulting uncertainty.

  61. 61
    John Rohan says:

    Hey, I hate to break up this party with facts and all, but wasn’t it the DEMOCRATS who, a few years back, decided to make the South Carolina flag a nationwide issue in the first place?

    And of course, they still are

  62. 62
    dj spellchecka says:

    my thoughts on confederate flags, stolen from tapped “the flag is just as much a symbol of lawlessness in defense of apartheid as treason in defense of slavery.”

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