I have bad news for all of you election/schadenfreude junkies out there… like all good things, Newt Gingrich Humiliation Week is drawing to a close. Yes, there may be a few last sparks from whatever Sunday talkfest Newt is gracing with his presence this weekend, and he’ll continue trudging through the small towns of New Hampshire and other early primary/caucus states next week. Between the media’s gnat-like attention span and a presumed (if woefully late) improvement in message discipline by Gingrich and his press secretary, though, most of the fun probably has already been had.
The good news, however, is that starting Monday, it will be Tim Pawlenty‘s turn in the barrel… with Michelle Bachmann lining up a possible announcement toward the end of the week, and Jon Huntsman claiming dibs for sometime in June.
It’s downright considerate for the Republican presidential wannabes to present themselves to the public like this — one after the other, close together but evenly spaced like… um, well, like the revolving ducks in a shooting gallery.
Which probably isn’t how they envisioned it, of course. Given the amount of hubris involved in thinking one has a shot at the White House, the candidates and their staffs likely imagine it as more like scheduling the big opening weekend of a Hollywood movie. You know, the kind of thing where you want to have the spotlight of public attention all to yourself.
Unfortunately, running for the GOP presidential nod isn’t quite like that. It means subjecting yourself to the crossfire of multiple litmus tests, struggling to differentiate yourself from your competitors even as you all pander to the same interest groups, practicing your dog-whistle techniques… in short, advertising your unlimited affection for the fiercest lunacies of your party’s base (a group with more collective resentments than common sense) while trying to simultaneously hide it from any sane voters who may be watching.
No wonder it goes so badly for so many of them.
(Cross-posted at Firedoglake.)
Finally, a U.S. President talking some sense about the situation between Israel & the Palestinians. Of course I think the two-state approach is not a viable solution, and of course he provides neither carrot nor stick to get either side to embrace his vision (e.g. cutting off the very liberal aid we dole out to both parties), but at least he spent a little of his “I Killed Osama” politcal capital on the issue!
…to be Fabulous!
Feel the Rainbow, Newt!
Tip of the ‘Nose to Film Critic Buddy!!
I was curious what the wrong-wingers are making of the calls to end subsidies to Big Oil, and was pleasantly surprised to see Peter Suderman over at Hit & Run agree not only with ending Big Oil’s subsidies, but also taking a whack at corporate favoritism in the tax code across the board. Bravo! Curious though that he doesn’t mention the role the Repugs played in Big Oil pork. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that were he blogging back in ’03, he would have been decrying the squandering of our tax dollars on Big Oil!
Let’s go for Big Ag next!
Was reading about Bin Laden’s ‘trail’ from Kabul to Abbotabad, when this little bit caught my eye:
“Gul also accompanied bin Laden to Kunar, where they met Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and his military chief Kashmir Khan, who “provided protection for the group before they continued to an unknown location at the request of Hekmatyar,” the interrogation report said.”
Surely not the same Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who was Shrubya’s ally among the Northern Alliance in 2001, and his daddy’s ally back in the 1980s? Et tu, Brute? The Bush’s old pal is a bit irked by the killing of their mutual ’80s pal Osama. Don’t take his crocodile tears too seriously folks as he whines about all the U.S. injustices in the region, just remember that it was his militia that leveled Kabul after the Soviet occupation because he didn’t get the job he wanted.
Shrubya’s architects of torture and other reactionaries are falling over themselves in the rush to justify coercive interrogation based on the link between the recent successful destruction of Bin Laden and the name of Osama’s courier given during a standard interrogation session.
The article is interesting, but Peartree3′s comment really caught my eye:
“What does it say about the character of a person who WANTS to believe that torture works?”
Man walks into a bar and asks for an “Osama Bin Laden.” Bartender asks “What’s in it?”
Man says “Two shots and a splash of water.”
-Tip of the ‘Nose to Democrat Buddy
Some early reactions from various parties to the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death:
Sean Hannity, Fox News: “What we want to know here at Fox, is ‘Why did it take Obama three years to catch him?’”
Donald Trump: “”I am really honored to play such a big role in hopefully, hopefully getting rid of him”
Tea Party Nation head & Birther Judson Phillips: “How do we know it’s really Osama Bin Laden? We demand that he produce see long form death certificate!”
Apple Spokesperson Lynn Fox: “See? We told you that retaining your locational information was a good thing! Osama sure loved his iPhone!”
Got any more?
*Update 5/2/11* Checked out Redstaters. In spite of their happiness in the killing of their great BugBear, they can’t help but throw in some spite, first with a slap at us for “the relentless drumbeat of “war crimes” for those who did so much of the long and lonely work to make this possible.” Academic Elephant, the “war crimes” were perpetrated by Shrubya for invading a country in contravention of international law that had absolutely nothing to do with Osama Bin Laden (as well as war crimes shit like not protecting the Iraqi antiquities museum, National Library, letting folks raid uranium out of the Tuwaitha Reactor . Dumbass. His pal streiff can’t help himself, he has to take a swipe at Code Pink, whom, he presumes, will hold a “take back the night march’ some place to mourn his passing.” Asshole. streiff’s big fear now? That Obama will use this as the justification to close down Guantanamo. I guess streiff was too lazy or blinded by ideology to notice that Osama was located through classic intelligence work, not through another 100 waterboardings of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed or Osama Bin Laden’s driver.
*Update 5/2/11, 5:10P* spoke with a reactionary co-worker, who echo’d streiff’s sentiments – he claimed that intelligence gleaned from Gitmo was responsible for locating Bin Laden. I guess for conservatives, old-fashioned intelligence work just isn’t as sexy as waterboarding and ‘enhanced interrogation techniques.’
*Update 5/4/11* Heh Fox had to find something to criticize. Shep Smith floats a trial (leaden) balloon that Obama’s operation was illegal. I thought reactionaries loved violent action and results by enemy means necessary? I guess the Wrong Wing Wurlitzer is throwing shit on the wall looking for something that will stick to nay say Obama’s achievement. There is always a backlash, this will just be hard for them to spin.
Another battle lost in the class war (assuming you the reader isn’t one of the wealthy)! The Supreme Court just struck down what is really the only tool to combat Corporate ‘dirty tricks’ and sleaziness – the class action suit.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it was a particularly good tool, what with a few lawyers making obscene amounts of money from a settlement while we the consumer get a coupon for $10 off on our next purchase of more product from the greedy defendant. But with the Congressionals mutated into Ultimate Tools by unlimited corporate campaign financing, the trend of reduced consumer legislative protection and the corruption of existing consumer protection agencies will continue to accelerate. And at least as part of each settlement, the Corporation would be required to discontinue their predatory practice du jour.
Time for Obama to channel his inner FDR and threaten to expand the SCOTUS to 11 members, with two very young and very extreme lefties as candidates! Otherwise, we are stuck with the Supreme Tools in the Roberts Court, whose overt mission is to reverse 100 years of pro-consumer and pro-freedom legislation through extreme judicial activism.