This Is Your Brain On Bush Open Thread

You thought that I was kidding with the drug analogies. Via Sullivan, read the authoritarian Glenn Reynolds explain what happened to the libertarian Glenn Reynolds.

“Some may say, and you call yourself a libertarian. But I have decided I can be a kind of statist, big government, expansive regulation, high spending, low investing, industrial policy, aggressive religion enforcing sort of libertarian. If you look at libertarians for Bush, I would hardly be the first. . . . It’s not so bad really. It feels kind of like when you wake up in the morning and your mind is kind of blank, but in a peaceful sort of way. Rather nice, really. You know, healing.”

Righteous.

***Update***

Oops. Two minutes after writing I realize that I read the post all wrong. Oh well.

Rush!



“The Other Folks”

Saxby Chambliss certainly knows what he has to do to win the Georgia senate race. He’s got to pit white against black. He’s seen the rush to the polls by African Americans in Georgia’s early voting:

The Republican is outwardly confident, but there’s urgency in his voice as he tours North Georgia, trying to boost turnout in his predominately white base: “The other folks are voting,” he bluntly tells supporters.

The other folks are voting. I wonder what he means by that? (via)

Update:








Who Will Run The GOP?

After John McCain loses (which, barring a collision of planets, he almost certainly will), who will be in charge of the Republican party? Even if his fringe nutcase act was mostly for show, unlike a genuine article like Tom DeLay, Newt Gingrich gave the Republican party a bold and ideologically coherent leader to effectively rally the free-floating Clinton hate. Before them George “poppy” Bush supervised the tail end of the Reagan-era coke high.

Even the Powerline crowd would never describe George junior in the same terms as pure, uncut Reagan. George W. was like huffing glue – a short, delirious high then a fast dirty crash that leaves even a heavy hitter like Scott Johnson feeling dirty and slightly ashamed of himself. The GOP will not have any lingering goodwill to tap like poppy’s party did. Too bad for McCain and, yes, Sarah Palin, as a rule joke candidates don’t take over the party.

The GOP could look to the House, like they did under Clinton, for all the good that will do them. Can you name the last interesting thing that John Boehner did? Compared with a firebrand like Gingrich or a productive tyrant like Tom DeLay Boehner is a forgettable nonentity. Boehner keeps the seat warm until a real player wrangles the party behind his banner. We can set aside the Senate, which for institutional reasons is more moderate and therefore less likely to produce GOP leadership than the loopier House. The rule by extremes is too ingrained in the GOP’s DNA for a few election night massacres to wash away.

If we’re very, very lucky the ideological purity faction will win and drive the Reagan dems obamacons on the path of Cole. Is there any other choice? Can the party rally behind an ideologically tainted candidate who fails on abortion? Sensible tax policy? Torture? Habeas corpus? Unless the party’s insane Malkin wing can handle some heterodoxy from their leadership , the party is stuck with winners like House Whip Eric Cantor. The alternative is either rudderless obstructionism peppered with futile stunts, a la Boehner, or self-imposed exile into a purity-obsessed third party of far-right extremists.

So what’s next for the GOP? I don’t think that Obama hate will win the party any more traction than it gave McCain. They need a positive agenda. Unfortunately their platform was on the wrong side of history when Gingrich etched it in granite in 1994. The recent add-ons – torture, belligerent wars, islamophobic fear – had a skin of mold when Dick Cheney rolled them out in 2001. If John McCain, who honestly isn’t as stupid as his campaign has made him look, had any winning issues he would run on them. It’s not like he has not tried. They are stuck with random, flaining personal attacks because the surge in Iraq, offshore drilling, the capital gains tax and an unlicensed plumber with a tax lien all have the traction of a Yugo in Alaska.

Most likely the Republicans’ next move will look just like the McCain campaign. Like McCain the party hasn’t cared about anything more than tactics at least since the Contract with America was gutted and buried by Rove’s permanent Republican majority. The McCain team’s stupid mistakes even make a certain sense if you grant that the only thing that matters is tactics. Palin had star power, two X chromosomes and the Clinton voters were vulnerable because everybody kept saying so. Win!

Eventually, it was Schmidt who blurted out the epiphany concerning Obama. “Face it, gentlemen,” he said. “He’s being treated like a celebrity.”

The others grasped the concept — a celebrity like J-Lo! or Britney! — and exultation overtook the room.

***

Then for a half-hour or so, the group reviewed names that had been bandied about in the past: Gov. Tim Pawlenty (of Minnesota) and Gov. Charlie Christ (of Florida); the former governors Tom Ridge (Pennsylvania) and Mitt Romney (Massachusetts); Senator Joe Lieberman (Connecticut); and Mayor Michael Bloomberg (New York). From a branding standpoint, they wondered, what message would each of these candidates send about John McCain? McInturff’s polling data suggested that none of these candidates brought significantly more to the ticket than any other.

“What about Sarah Palin?” Schmidt asked.

Now for the first time! Ever! Monster scoop!! MUST CREDIT BALLOON JUICE! Here is a transcript from that meeting:

McCain: “We need a shot in the arm. You hear me boys? In the bleepdamn arm! Election held tomorrow, that sumbitch Stokes would win it in a walk!”

Schmidt: “Well’ he’s the reform candidate, Daddy.”

McCain: “Yeah.”

Schmidt: “A lot of people like that reform. Maybe we should get us some.”

McCain: “I’ll reform you, you soft-headed son of a bitch. How we gonna run reform when we’re the damn incumbent? Is that the best idea you boys can come up with? Reform?! Weepin’ Jesus on the cross. That’s it? You may as well start drafting my concession speech right now.”

Schmidt: We could hire our own midget, even shorter than his.

McCain: Wouldn’t we look like a bunch of Johnny-come-latelies, bragging on our own midget, don’t matter how stumpy. Yeah, sure. Whatever. Call me when Matlock’s on.

Congressional Republicans will not do any better. Barring any other brilliant idea, they will flailingly mimic Obama’s tactics until they figure out that they are not getting their ass kicked by tactics (it could take a while). Obama won (is winning) because he makes a bold, mature case for Democratic solutions to relevant national problems. He didn’t shy away from health care or progressive taxation. His conscientious stand on abortion was a savvy move both in style and substance. In isolation Americans prefer Democratic issues by roughly the same margins by which Obama is winning, they just don’t like milquetoast pols who compromise their principles for approval from the harpies and trolls at FOX News.

Obama’s winning formula will stay out of reach for the GOP as long as they remain chained to their turd of a neolithic platform. Intellectuals exist who might steer them back to the 21st century, or, failing that, at least back to the Magna Carta. Too bad those guys are on the outside looking in. The wingnuts and extremists left in charge are the people most likely to steer it further onto the rocks. Yet, as they say, possession is nine tenths of the law.








Like I Said, Wingnut Bloggers

Many of you are aware that, for years, I traveled in conservative circles. As such, I am still on a number of what are considered conservative email lists. I still get the emails, and I still read them. In fact, I am glad I do, because one of the things that got me out of the current wingnuttosphere is that when I was a Republican, I listened to and read a lot of Democrats. I read the Daily Kos every day, I read Kevin Drum, I read Matt Yglesias, I embraced the Huffington Post. I think diversity of opinion is an important thing, and I like to come to my own conclusions, however addled and foolish I may be.

At any rate, I received the following email on one of my “conservative” email lists the other day:

Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read “Vote Obama, I need the money.” I laughed.

Once in the restaurant my server had on a “Obama 08” tie, again I laughed as he had given away his political preference–just imagine the coincidence.

When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need–the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I ‘ve decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful.

At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient needed money more.

I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.

In and of itself, no big deal. The kind of thing that passes as conservative humor, and something that I am sure has ricocheted around right-wing blogs and email lists everywhere. However, listen to Nicole Wallace, one of the chief McCain flaks, today on NPR. Start paying attention at around 3:35 in the interview:

Listen, you go into a restaurant and instead of leaving a tip, you stiff the waitress and give it to the homeless person outside, it is a noble thing to do, it is spreading money earned by that waitress and giving it someone outside.

Sound familiar?

Look- the intellectual wing of the Republican party is dead. What is left are brain-dead acolytes spreading meaningless and simplistic anecdotes, trite stories, and distilled nonsense passed on that has a more fitting home in AM radio. The McCain campaign, once again, is just a symptom of the real problem- an intellectually incurious and lazy movement in the final ugly spasms of death. The McCain campaign is now, in their interviews with the press, spreading what we can all recognize as wingnut email chains.

RIP, Republicans.

*** Update ***

Via the comments, here the same story is in the letters to the editor at the Chicago Tribune:

On my way to lunch recently, I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read “Vote Obama; I need the money.” I laughed. In a restaurant my server had on an “Obama 08” tie. Again I laughed. Just imagine the coincidence. When the bill came, I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Barack-Obama-redistribution-of-wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need—the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight. I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I’ve decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful. At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment, I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient deserved money more. I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.

—A. Hart, Forest Park

Nicole Wallace, lead McCain surrogate, with nothing to offer but astroturf. This was once a proud movement.

*** Update #2 ***

Sam Adams Hefeweizen is so bad it should be a felony. If Obama does usher in the NEW WORLD ORDER, first on the chopping block are these jackasses for their crimes against the reinheitsgebot. Christ, this is ten pounds of suck in a sixteen ounce bottle. Thank God I have three UFO’s left. This Sam Adams is borderline flat, has no body, a bland to nonexistent aftertaste, and almost a fake sweet quality like it fell into a vat of shitty honey brown. If this was the last beer I was to drink before my impending execution, I would just ask them to give me a piss-jar of Corona or shoot me without having a beer.

This Sam Adams crap was the hefeweizen equivalent of having sex while wearing eight condoms. If someone offers you one, give them the finger.



The Apocalypse Is Soon

For whatever reason-maybe I was slightly peevish, maybe I was feeling slightly cantankerous, maybe I was just ready for this election to be over- I went out and had a liquid dinner. Well, not actually, but I did have a bottle of red with my meal.

And, as I was sitting there enjoying my meal, a plan was hatched. As I speak, mom is digging up pictures of me in Halloween costumes past, and hopefully dad will scan some by tomorrow.

Why? Because I love you. Consider this your open thread, and consider this your opportunity to send in pictures of yourself in embarrassing Halloween costumes (MAKE SURE YOU NAME YOUR PICTURE WITH YOUR COMMENTING HANDLE). My favorite from grad school was me as John Daly’s Caddy, when all I did was wear a caddy uniform with a golf bag full of empty tequila and beer bottles and a sign on my back like a caddy wears that said “Daly, BAC .28” instead of a number.

Hopefully mom will find the picture I am looking for, and it will be pretty damned funny.








Profiles In Douchebaggery

Michael Goldfarb, lead McCain Report blogger on loan from the Weekly Standard:

Joe Klein is not impressed:

Here we have the McCain campaign’s execrable Michael Goldfarb slinging around accusations of anti-semitism–a favorite pastime, as we’ve seen this year, among Jewish neoconservatives.

Nor is Sullivan:

Michael Goldfarb, McCain spokesman, accuses Barack Obama of hanging around with anti-Semites – plural – on CNN. Asked to name one other anti-Semite other than his allegation about Rashid Khalidi, he can’t. He won’t. But he leaves it hanging, refusing to disown or retract the charge. This is pure McCarthyism. And it is the rotten core of McCain.

I know this is getting old, hearing me say it over and over again, but when I said that the McCain campaign was being run by wingnut bloggers, I was not engaging in hyperbole. I was simply describing who is running the McCain campaign- wingnut bloggers.

The GOP just needs to be destroyed.



And The Lambs Lie Down on Broad Street

And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.

And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. Exodus, Chapter 32.

***

CBN:

For these and other reasons Cindy is calling for a Day of Prayer for the World’s Economies on Wednesday, October 29, 2008. They are calling for prayer for the stock markets, banks, and financial institutions of the world on the date the stock market crashed in 1929. They are meeting at the New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Reserve Bank, and its 12 principal branches around the US that day.

“We are going to intercede at the site of the statue of the bull on Wall Street to ask God to begin a shift from the bull and bear markets to what we feel will be the ‘Lion’s Market,’ or God’s control over the economic systems,” she said. “While we do not have the full revelation of all this will entail, we do know that without intercession, economies will crumble.”

I guess we can add the bible to biology, chemistry, and the rest of the book learnin’ our modern Christians have no use for these days.