Ichabod's Kin
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    Did you see the Great Candidates’ Debate? Aw, well, it’s not like you missed anything.

    Republicans in the guise of “debating” is no longer (if it ever was) an opportunity to discern issues. No, it’s a red-meat party: throw it out raw to the crowd, and hear them roar. It’s a great showcase for attention-getters, like Michele Bachmann and Mr. Pizza-on-Demand, Herman Cain, who then went on Glenn Beck’s show and sucked up to that honky. No black vote for you, Herman.

     Beck, by the way, couldn’t resist weighing in meanly on Weiner-gate, which is curious given that Glenn’s considerable pile of past misbehaviors are laundry-listed in his “Seven Wonders” book, wherein he says he’s repented and expects readers to forgive him. So why does he, er,  flog Weiner so hard? It’s as if Beck is saying, “My sins were different!” It’s also why he’s not an ethicist.

     As for Bachmann, think of her as an orator if they wish, but anyone with a brain knows she’s the shallowest end of the GOP gene pool and, speaking of red meat, that’s what she’d be in a real debate against a heavyweight. So go ahead, nominate her. That sight will be more fun than using Pudge Gingrich as a pinata.

     Given all the audience smiles at the debate, you’d think Republicans have a great sense of humor. Think again. Case in point is the more recent GOP Leadership Conference at which spirits were high and knee-slapping was loud, right through comedian Reggie Brown’s pokes at Obama. It could’ve been a convention of hyenas.

     Then Brown got around to some playful pokes at Bachmann and Gingrich, causing the night to go sour, and the jokester was escorted from the stage. What the hell is wrong with these people? Obama laughs at, and tells, jokes on himself, but Republicans take themselves more than a tad too seriously.

     The guy who gave Brown the hook said it was because the comic went on too long (yeah, a couple minutes, less than some GOP speakers, including Ron Paul) but mostly because he said Reggie became “inappropriate.” That means you can’t say anything at all humorous in regard to conservatives’ darlings, for these are serious people on serious earth. Oh, dear me. Don’t they know that Republicans are also known as a “party”?

      Only one other thing gets longer faces from that crowd, and that’s to contradict Republican orthodoxy. As I’ve said before, in those circles you learn one dance move only, and that’s lock-step. No one is to say, or vote, for anything but the party line. Democrats vote for candidates of different views, and indeed the same gentry often vote against their own party in Congress and the Senate. Not the Elephants in the room, no sir: shut up and play the hand yer dealt!

     Oh, sure, Romney owned up to the notion of global warming, and for a moment I thought Fox News would go dark till they could think up some effective spin on that. What they did was better: they just didn’t talk about it, and Mitt avoids the subject hereafter. Ain’t conservatism grand?

     This means that when national politics becomes nuanced, as it always does, the straight-laced among them must become adept at particular agilities. Call it contortionism. Then the trick is to appear to be in lock-step even when flip-flopping, sort of like synchronized swimming.

     Allow me to explain. The GOP wants balanced budgets brought about by severe cuts in what makes for economic stability, but without raising taxes on people least hurt by the economy itself. Then there is war: Republicans thought they would enjoy scorched-earth, pre-emptive strikes on Obama as a presidential peace-nik, but instead he’s became a mad bomber in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Libya. And it took him no time at all to get bin Laden. You know, all the things conservatives thought they held the patents on.

     Now who’s holding up Peace Signs? Why, every hawk in the GOP, which is to say: everbody. And their reason? It all costs too much! Oh, Nellie, I remember when Republicans would be on Dems like stink on a skunk for suggesting that the price of democracy was too high, even if it meant killing all enemies including those imagined, and blowing up the world in the process.

     But moral terpitude is their fave issue. Of course, too many of their own politicians have had their pants down (who’d of guessed, given all the prudes and Bible-thumpers in their ranks) so their cover in flip-flopping is to pray for Weiner-gates. The last one featured a real Weiner, so they had a field day.

     Of course, it saved them from the story immedately preceding, that of Schwarzenegger himself. No Tweeting of his bod, just a guy who before and during his lordship of the Gold-Dust-to-Gold-Rust state, was boinging a house maid and fathering two families. Call him Arnie the Germinator. Or the Perpetrator. So whose pants were really down?

     Being aboard the GOP Bandwagon is risky. A lot of people fall off. 


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