Saturday Morning Open Thread: Alternate Universes

gop extinciton reversal
(Jack Ohman via
I remember Democrats and DFHs joking about the two biggest blowhards of the 2012 GOP Klown Kavalcade hooking up, but it seems like reality keeps outrunning satire. Dave Weigel reports:

No story will bring you more joy today than Joshua Green’s thoroughly reported autopsy of the Gingrich-Santorum “unity ticket” that never happened. It overflows with hubris, from Santorum’s insistence that this campaign by two thoroughly rejected politicians would have been strong in the general election to Santorum consultant John Brabender’s idea that Gingrich would drop out during a televised debate. The scheme collapsed because — surprise to end all surprises — Gingrich thought he belonged at the top of the ticket…

“It’s one of those things that only happens in political movies, never in real life,” [Gingrich pollster Kellyanne] Conway says, wistfully. “But for a moment it was real. It was fun, it was heady, and—for those few weeks—it was real.”

I have the image of a modern Laurel & Hardy fighting with each other over who takes the podium at the first debate with President Obama.

Apart from checking to make sure Andy Kaufman is really dead, what’s on the agenda?

51 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    I have to agree with Santorum. He should have been the top dog in that pairing. Damn Gingrich for ruining what would have been a beautiful, beautiful thing.

    There is no God.

  2. 2
    danielx says:

    A dream ticket if I ever heard of one; I’d have loved an election where the margin was 60 to 40. Talk about sending the semi-sane Republicans fleeing for the exits…

  3. 3
    WereBear says:

    I admit I am boggled by how such considerations are wrestled over. Google fame? Then Santorum. Elected height reached? Gingrich.

    It does show how monumental the egos involved.

  4. 4
    Linda Featheringill says:

    I understand Conway’s feelings.

    Political campaigns remind me of a woman who has multiple miscarriages and the occasional child. All the pregnancies are quite real. For a little while. But they have to successfully pass the milestones of viability to actually produce a living, breathing child.

  5. 5
    chopper says:

    the senate passed a budget! it’s been so long i forgot those guys actually did that sort of shit.

    of course it’ll die in the house. but still, wooooooo

  6. 6
    Sly says:

    “I’ll tell you this,” says Brabender, “If Gingrich had dropped out at the right time, Santorum would have been the nominee.” Brabender wasn’t short on moxie: He wanted Gingrich to declare in the middle of a nationally televised debate that he was dropping out and endorsing Santorum. “I couldn’t write an ad to match the political theater that would have created,” he says.

    Brabender went on to say, “Hey, it beats the shit out of a door-to-door GOTV operation, or other things that work in the real world and only nerds care about.”

  7. 7
    raven says:

    12 more hours of hoop comin right up!

  8. 8
    Linda Featheringill says:

    I’m still knee-deep in making the Chanel type jacket. If I’m a good girl today, maybe I can actually assemble the thing tomorrow.

    Coco used construction methods that seem backward to the rest of the world. You attach the lining to the material before you cut it out! Then you put the trim on before you sew the thing together.

    But some of this nonsense is probably necessary to achieve the Chanel Look. So I’m plodding along.

  9. 9
    jayboat says:

    blah, phucking, blah…

    Slow news cycle?
    let’s give the preening sociopaths some more ink.

    God damn sorry ass excuse for what passes as ‘media’ these days.

  10. 10
    WereBear says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Good luck with that. I’m forbidden to sew for public safety reasons.

    It stems from an incident where I was sewing a button on a coat, and I also sewed the coat to the couch and my pants to the coat.

    CALLING ALL IT PEOPLE: Need money? I need a consultant!

    My WordPress blog has grown beyond my ability to optimize it. I’ve got CloudFlare conflicting with my cache plugin and my empty HTTP host name interfering with the CDN.

    If that makes sense to you and you’d like to pick up a fee for fixing it, please contact me at the Way of Cats.

    I will be posting this plea all weekend… then I’ll have to search elsewhere.

  11. 11
    c u n d gulag says:

    Jayzoos H. Keerist, wearing a “fat-suit,” and giving his “Sermon On the ‘Amount,’” I actually would have paid to watch this ticket of “The Blimp & The Simp,” if they made any appearances near me.

    And though both egomaniacal sociopaths want to be President, they’d really prefer to be something else, altogether.

    Icky Sticky Ricky wants to be The Pope.

    And Newt want’s to be Bill Clinton.
    Oh, what a sad, sad, thing it is, to be a self-proclaimed genius, and not have that acclaimed by enough other people.

  12. 12
    Ramalama says:

    @WereBear: I know a thing or two about WP but am not familiar with CloudFlare other than to ask you if perhaps it’s your theme that needs updating or even replacing? One of my early themes on outgrew itself so that I couldn’t use some much-needed plugins any longer. It wasn’t until I started playing around with other themes (such a hussy) that I realized I needed to buck up and move on.

    Happy to help you out but I think the first thing you should try is activating a new theme (backup first!) that is specifically designed to handle the current version of WP.

    I got a whole bunch of properly coded themes from for really low cost (maybe I joined for a month and downloaded a bunch…).

  13. 13
    Valdivia says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    I take my hat off to you for doing that. I am sure your daughter will love it.

    I am with my foot up and dreading the moment I have to clean up my toe and change the dressing again. After yesterday I am now prepared for it and steeling myself for the pain.

    I think I might try to read and see if I can sleep some more. Amazing how such a little thing can totally turn your life upside down and exhaust you.

  14. 14
    nancydarling says:

    @Linda Featheringill: I’m impressed. I decided years ago if the choice is sew or go naked, I’d go naked. I will do household sewing—curtains, etc. There is a re-sale shop on the square in town that has real quality stuff where I shop. I have also found a seamstress who took a favorite summer dress apart for a pattern and made two of them for a fair price. It’s better for my sanity.

  15. 15
    WereBear says:

    @Ramalama: Thanks, but I don’t think it’s theme-related… it’s a traffic/VPS/cacheing thing. My other sites on the same domain, same theme & same plugins, are fine. (Also, this is a theme I purchased which was state of the art in the fall. I, too, have changed themes several times as circumstances dictate.)

    This is just another case of the blog outgrowing my skills; my stats have stalled and I’ve been getting error messages when I try to access the blog. It needs to be optimized for the extra traffic and I haven’t kept up because I’m busy DOING the stuff that led to the blog’s popularity.

    Not that I’m complaining at all. But it’s time to outsource this thing to someone with the proper skills who, ideally, is an BJ person in need of the money.

  16. 16
    Ramalama says:

    @WereBear: It’s an awesome problem to have, too much traffic! Congrats. Cats, who knew?

  17. 17
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @WereBear: @Valdivia: @nancydarling:

    Thanks for the encouragement. I’m stretching my skills a bit.

    On the other hand, there’s no other way to get a Chanel. Even fake ones cost a lot of money, probably due to the amount of labor involved.

    I might make one for me. They actually look pretty good on little old ladies.

  18. 18
    Keith G says:

    As per usual, as I prepped for the day I listened to last night’s MSNBC programs via podcast.

    I just heard Matthews suggest that “We” should waterboard Dick Cheney (you could hear his guests demure and he when back and added an ad hoc just kidding. Now, my opinion of Cheney is worse than miserable, but at some point MSNBC needs to fire this idiot.

  19. 19
    Baud says:


    Cats, who knew?

    Anyone who’s ever been on the Internet?

  20. 20
    Todd says:

    Why in hell had I never watched Arrested Development until today’s insomnia fest?

  21. 21
    WereBear says:

    @Baud: It’s my theory that the Internet has been a tremendous boon to cats because: previously, the only way someone could know what loving, goofy, and compassionate pets cats truly are would be… actually having one.

    Cats are not pack animals and will not reveal their lovely side until a person has earned the privilege. This left Cat People shouting into the wilderness, because cat skeptics do not believe them. They prefer, by some arcane brain mechanism, to assume Cat People are crazy.

    Now, Youtube is full of videos of cats cuddling adorably and riding Roombas. It has been a PR earthquake.

  22. 22
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    A Gingrich-Santorum (or a Santorum-Gingrich) ticket would of course not be possible, because of the preening jackasses involved.

    However, the potential for an epic electoral defeat if such a thing could hold together is certainly intriguing. Both of these turkeys think they’re charismatic. Neither one commands the bizarre cult of personality around Ron Paul, yet they think they’re touched by the invisible sky buddy of a bunch of sheepherders to have personal 24/7 access to the nuclear launch codes.

    In a more ordered, sane society, these two would be swiftly placed in padded cells to protect themselves and others from there delusions of adequacy.

    Also, what Sly said at 6. These people have no grasp on reality at all. Either one as the nominee would have been even more catastrophic than the Marquis turned out to be.

  23. 23
    Ramalama says:

    @Baud: ha, I meant as a business.

    I love cats but am so allergic to them that I had to ‘resort’ to non-allergenic dogs (Malamute mix with Huskie and wolf). My partner insisted on getting a pet. Really glad we did because with a dog you have to take them out for a walk. If you’re in, say, a different country where you don’t really speak the language, you quickly meet lots of people, including people who are friendly toward the dog and therefore you. I mean, me. Plus when you talk to the other dogs in the neighborhood, they don’t make you feel like a fool for having a bad french accent. I mean, my bad french accent.

  24. 24
    Comrade Jake says:

    We went to see Delta Rae in concert last night. Amazing band if you haven’t checked them out yet. Knowing the diverse musical tastes of the BJ commentariat, I think many of you folks would dig it.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    raven says:

    @jeffreyw: Nice

  27. 27
    Baud says:


    It’s hard to believe that future generations of humans will never know a time when people were not bombarded on a daily basis with cute pictures of domesticated animals.

  28. 28
    amk says:

    Dratz, kenyan muslin soshalist usurper missed a double digit blowout.

  29. 29
  30. 30
    "Give me that. You might break it!" (aka ThresherK) says:

    a modern Laurel & Hardy fighting with each other over who takes the podium at the first debate with President Obama.

    Laurel and Hardy really didn’t fight with each other, but with James Finlayson, Edgar Kennedy and others.

    /film pedant

  31. 31
    Baud says:


    C’est très vrai.

  32. 32
    Gypsy Howell says:

    @Linda Featheringill:
    Are you working from a pattern, and if so, which one? (I may have missed previous conversations about this) It’s been a long time since I sewed clothing, but having just finished up making new curtains for 4 rooms in the house, I’ve got the sewing bug again.

  33. 33
    Culture of Truth says:

    I want to say, ‘sweet jesus, get your shit together, Republicans’!

    on the other hand, they did nominate a well spoken moderate Republican who won a blue state. Too bad he was privileged dumbass.

  34. 34
    ThresherK says:

    a modern Laurel & Hardy fighting with each other over who takes the podium at the first debate with President Obama.

    Laurel and Hardy really didn’t fight with each other, but with James Finlayson, Edgar Kennedy and others. Hardy was the mannered, courtly alpha of the pair, and the humor came from the loyal follower Laurel seeing disaster coming but being unable to do anything about it, no matter how many times a ten-foot ladder, a flowerpot on a second-story windowsill, or a seemingly innocent mudpuddle had been the cause of disaster beforehand.

    /film pedant

  35. 35
    raven says:

    One of my father’s shipmates son’s posted this piece about the first female Naval Aviator Test Pilot. She wanted it to eventually be “no big deal”.

  36. 36
    Svensker says:


    I saw where you had hurt your toe a few days ago but it sounds like you went to the doctor and had things done to you. What happened?

  37. 37
    Culture of Truth says:

    @raven: a video of a dunk?

  38. 38
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’m mystified by the very notion. I can’t see how a Gingrich-Santorum (or Santorum-Gingrich) ticket would have looked like a winner to the rich-mofos wing of the Republican party. Or to anyone, for that matter. Now, a movie about a presidential campaign with them on a party ticket — that’s a comedy I’d pay to see.

  39. 39
    Older_Wiser says:

    @Linda Featheringill: That’s great! Fine sewing and tailoring are real art forms, IMHO. I’m old enough to have had a sewing machine since I was a teen, and one of the first things I made was a beautifully tailored, light-taffeta lined sheath from beige wool jersey, when I was 17. It was a thing of beauty and very flattering. I didn’t use the Chanel method, though I paid attention to detail, and it had a 22 in zipper in the back which allowed it to be quite form fitting. Very simple basic dress you could accessorize as you wished. Back in the 50s, skirts and dresses were lined, off the rack, even the cheap ones (I had $3.99 wool straight skirts from Lerners that were lined), but you simply can’t find that kind of tailoring anymore, even in more expensive products–it’s all about big profits now.

  40. 40
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Re: the cartoon, I’m seeing lots of stuff this week about the death of the Tea Party. Why? Their agenda is still running everything.

  41. 41
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist: the serious people at the RNC have declared it dead in a report! An honest to goodness roadmap!

  42. 42
    quannlace says:

    There was a simple way to make the ‘Unity Ticket’ work:

    The Amazing Two-Headed President!

  43. 43
    Ramalama says:

    @jeffreyw: Finally! I used the moniker of choice so that in peoples’ minds (some) the next thought would indeed be “ding dong” which for some reason is/was important to me. Don’t want to start a war or nothing but I don’t even like the Hostess treats – I much preferred Little Debbie swiss rolls but swiss rolls as a name doesn’t have quite the same je ne sais quoi as a ding dong.

    For a while when I was younger and times were different, I joked with friends that I wanted to run a cafe or restaurant called “Sapiens” so that the next thought in (some) peoples’ minds would be Homo. And that it would be a place that was specifically and definitively open to all who stepped through.

    Now, nah.

  44. 44
    kay says:

    Ugh. That memo.

    “A home for the liberal antiwar agenda”

    Donohue had an “agenda” but not the fair and balanced executives who shut him down. They were simply calling balls and strikes.

    Stop pushing your agenda, liberals! You’re getting in the way of us pushing ours! You have to love what fucking whiny babies they are. No one else gets to talk. Real debates are…not fair!

  45. 45
    marshall says:

    How about Lyndon Johnson’s idea of descending on the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago (yes, “the whole world is watching” riot one) to be the last minute unity nominee?

    On that subject, why isn’t Richard Nixon’s October surprise treason front page news in this country? Imagine if Hubert Humphrey had actually had balls, and had used this to win the Presidency. No Nixon Presidency, no Watergate, no Cheney or Rumsfeld in executive office, etc.

  46. 46
    Valdivia says:


    Hopefully the thread is not so dead that you will miss the answer: a dear friend accidentally kicked me in the big toe with his steel toed shoes, off went the nail, a doctor, a podiatrist and a surgery later I am coping with bandages and creams and antibiotics. It still hurts but much much less than yesterday. Hopefully it will remain this way even after I attempt another change of dressing on it later.

    Thanks for asking :)

  47. 47
    Kerr Lockhart says:

    This is a stain on the good name of Laurel and Hardy, who represent childlike innocence and love. Their conflicts were those of two brothers, not rivals. And they would never have advocated starving and depriving people to prove a political point. Here is a REAL Laurel & Hardy fight.

    You might be thinking of Abbott & Costello.

  48. 48
    gene108 says:


    Front page news? Hell, I’d be happy if it showed up on page A27 of any newspaper. It’s totally ignored in the states.

  49. 49
    Ecks says:

    If I were Newt I’d be leery about being under Santorum too, because what if some of it trickled down onto me?

  50. 50
    The Other Chuck says:

    Quote from Gingrich: “I’d like to have had Santorum drop out”

    oh, ick

  51. 51
    Wolfdaughter says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Probably no one will see this reply, but I just couldn’t resist.

    Adam Sandler as Santorum, and Will Ferrell as Gingrich.

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