11 points to hell

Remember back when the 2020 presidential election was heating up and the Republican Party decided they didn’t need to put together a party platform? You know, because Trump. Whatever angry wasp thought Trump had at any given moment, that was the party platform.

Now Senator Rick Scott of Florida has decided the GOP needs to spell out what they’d do if Republicans gain control of the government. He came up with an 11 point plan, and after reading it all I can say is Jesus suffering fuck. I mean Jesus suffering fuck.

Okay, my expectations were low to begin with. I mean, Rick Scott is Rick Scott and Florida is Florida…so lawdy, right? Rick Scott, remember, was forced in 1997 to resign as CEO of Columbia/HCA, the largest private for-profit health care company in the US, after the Dep’t of Justice found the company had engaged in widespread fraud and fined them US$1.7 billion (billion, you guys),  the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history. This is the guy who designed the new GOP agenda.

You can read the entire appalling thing here, if you can stomach it. To give you an indication of how unrelentingly dreadful it is, this is how it begins:

The militant left now controls the entire federal government, the news media, academia, Hollywood, and most corporate boardrooms – but they want more.

It starts with paranoia, then it gets…well, even more paranoid, with excursions into the delusional and an occasional stop on the WTF highway. Scott includes a long list of stuff that the militant left (by which I have to assume he means Democrats) “plan to destroy.”

  • American history
  • Patriotism
  • Border security
  • The nuclear family
  • Gender
  • Traditional morality
  • Capitalism
  • Fiscal responsibility
  • Opportunity
  • Rugged individualism
  • Judeo-Christian values
  • Dissent
  • Free speech
  • Color blindness
  • Law enforcement
  • Religious liberty
  • Parental involvement in public schools
  • Private ownership of firearms
  • Pickleball

Okay, he didn’t include pickleball. I made that up. I made it up for a reason. Scott wrote that his plan wasn’t for “the faint of heart” because it “will be ridiculed by the ‘woke’ left, mocked by Washington insiders, and strike fear in the heart of some Republicans.” So I just wanted to get the ridicule and the mockery started. I’m sure pickleball will be just fine. Probably.

“Temba, his arms wide.” **

So you may be thinking, “Greg, old sock, what, exactly, is Scott’s 11-point plan to stop the militant left from destroying everything but pickleball?” I’m glad you asked. And stop calling me old sock. The plan is as follows:

  1. Our kids will say the pledge of allegiance, salute the Flag, learn that America is a great country, and choose the school that best fits them.
  2. Government will never again ask American citizens to disclose their race, ethnicity, or skin color on any government forms.
  3. The soft-on-crime days of coddling criminal behavior will end. We will re-fund and respect the police because they, not the criminals, are the good guys.
  4. We will secure our border, finish building the wall, and name it after President Donald Trump.
  5. We will grow America’s economy, starve Washington’s economy, and stop Socialism.
  6. We will eliminate all federal programs that can be done locally, and enact term limits for federal bureaucrats and Congress.
  7. We will protect the integrity of American Democracy and stop left-wing efforts to rig elections.
  8. We will protect, defend, and promote the American Family at all costs.
  9. Men are men, women are women, and unborn babies are babies. We believe in science.
  10. Americans will be free to welcome God into all aspects of our lives.
  11. We are Americans, not globalists.

You may be thinking, “Wait, that’s not a plan at all; it’s just a list of jingoistic slogans and stupid talking points in response to the angry inventory of conservative grievances and fears.” To which Rick Scott would reply, “Yes, exactly, and shut up.”

Scott does go into more detail on each of those eleven points. For example, Point One is about education, and Scott assures us that under Republican control, “Public schools will teach our children to love America because, while not perfect, it is exceptional, it is good, and it is a beacon of freedom in an often-dark world.” And also, “We will not allow political or social indoctrination in our schools.”

You may be thinking, “Greg, old…uh, isn’t that contradictory? Teaching kids to love America, isn’t that political and social indoctrination?” To which Scott would respond, “No, shut up, why do you hate America?”

Another example, Point Ten on faith and religion. Under the Republican Party agenda, Scott assures us that “We will stop investing federal retirement dollars with ‘woke’ fund managers and companies that put left-wing politics ahead of profits” and “the Second Amendment was established in order to protect the freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment.”

You may be wondering, “What in the salted caramel fuck is he talking about? What’s that got to do with religion or faith? I mean…retirement funds? Guns? What? I mean, what?” To which Rick Scott would replay, “We are NOT GLOBALISTS!” And who could argue with that?

The thing is, some Republican have realized that it was a mistake not to put together a party platform in 2020. The junior Senator from Florida has taken it on himself to provide Americans with his 11-point plan to “steer America to a bright future of prosperity and peace.” And by “a bright future of prosperity and peace” he means “a grimdark dystopian tomorrow under the rule of authoritarian zealots.” It may not actually be a plan, and it may be borderline insane, but, you know…baby steps and all that.

** “Temba, his arms wide” is from the Star Trek episode “Darmok” and I think that’s all the explanation I’m going to give. You have Google; look it up. Lawdy, you’re an adult, aren’t you?

gop evolution of political discourse

Democrat: That insurrection on January 6th was awful.
Republican: Yeah, that was bad.
Dem: No way anybody could justify that sort of violence.
Rep: Well, it was bad but folks are upset about the election, so it’s sorta justifiable.
Dem: What? No. Ain’t no way you can justify assaulting the Capitol building.
Rep: Yeah, deffo justifiable.
Dem: Are you crazy?
Rep: Wasn’t just justifiable…actually justified. And maybe even a good thing?
Dem: No fucking way.
Rep: Yeah, deffo a good thing.
Dem: You’ve gone deep into the dark place, haven’t you.
Rep: Deffo a good thing. Maybe even a necessary thing.
Dem: Jesus suffering fuck.
Rep: Yep, it was absolutely good and totally necessary. Had to be done.
Dem: Can NOT believe you people.
Rep: I’m thinking we should do it again, maybe?
Dem: What about democracy?
Rep: It’s fucking ON, bitch.

Ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.

the ire of mitt

Mitt Romney was angry. Very angry. His anger burned as hot as a thousand blazing suns. Well, okay, maybe a thousand cheap birthday candles. Well, maybe a couple dozen cheap birthday candles. But still, Mitt was ever so angry. You could tell he was angry because he frowned. Not the frown he gets when the époisses de bourgogne has been served before it reached room temperature, but still it was clearly a frown.

Why was Mitt so very angry? Because he felt President Uncle Joe had been mean to Republicans. Mitt said Biden had “accused a number of my good and principled colleagues in the Senate of having sinister, even racist inclinations.” (NOTE: there are “good and principled” Republicans?) He said Biden had “charged that voting against his bill allies us with Bull Connor, George Wallace and Jefferson Davis.” (NOTE: voting against even debating the voting rights bill allies the GOP with Bull Connor and George Wallace, but maybe not Jefferson Davis.)

“You call this ‘room temperature’?”

And then Mitt paused dramatically before delivering a crushing, devastating, soul-crushing blow to Uncle Joe. He said, “So much for unifying the country and working across the aisle.” (NOTE: the GOP has dug a moat between the aisles and filled it with meth-addicted Florida alligators.) And he said it with a sneer.

It seems unlikely the Biden administration will ever fully recover from the room temperature ire of Mitt Romney. There’s a reason Romney is known far and wide as ‘Mitt Vicious’. (NOTE: Romney isn’t known far and wide as anything, let alone ‘Mitt Vicious’. He IS known close and narrow as ‘Mittens the Peevish’.)

Pundits have declared the Biden administration–and Uncle Joe his ownself–a colossal failure based on his inability in his first year in office to get the GOP, whose political survival depends on their ability to shred voting rights, to support voting rights. It seems clear to the pundits that President Uncle Joe’s ONLY hope for a successful administration is to stop suggesting that the GOP’s racist policies are based on racism; he MUST begin to foster cooperation and compromise with the GOP by accepting the god-given right of the minority to rule.

And if Biden refuses, he’ll have to face the ire of Mitt, the Towering Pale Blancmange of the Senate.

policy discussion

GOP: BIDEN GAVE AFGHANISTAN TO THE TALIBAN!!!
DEM: He implemented the deal the Trump administration negotiated.
GOP: HE DIDN’T FOLLOW TRUMP’S PLAN!!!
DEM: Trump didn’t have an actual withdrawal plan. He simply said he wanted to withdraw the troops.
GOP: TRUMP HAD A PLAN!!!
DEM: Okay. What was it?
GOP: WITHDRAW OUR TROOPS SAFELY!!!
DEM: That’s not a plan. That’s just a slogan.
GOP: IT’S A PLAN!!!
DEM: I’m not sure you understand the definition of ‘plan’.
GOP: BIDEN WANTS AFGHAN REFUGEES IN AMERICA TO VOTE FOR DEMS!!!
DEM: What?
GOP: SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!!!
DEM: Uh…


GOP: FAKE ELECTION!!! TRUMP WON!!!
DEM: That’s just not true.
GOP: MASK MANDATES ARE OF THE DEVIL!!!
DEM: Maybe you should sit down, have a glass of water, you’ve been under…
GOP: SEND OUR KIDS BACK TO SCHOOL FOR FREEDOM!!!
DEM: …a lot of stress lately. Maybe get some sleep.
GOP: BIDEN IS A BRAINDEAD PEDOPHILE!!! IMPEACH NOW!!!
DEM: Jesus suffering fuck.
GOP: IMMIGRANTS ARE BRINGING COVID TO AMERICA IN GALLON MILK CONTAINERS!!! FOR BIDEN!!!
DEM: Would you please stop shouting?
GOP: YOU’RE CENSORING ME!!! CANCEL CULTURE!!! FREEDOM!!! 5G!!!
DEM: …
GOP: WHERE ARE YOU GOING??? RUN AWAY LITTLE BITCH! PUSSY CUCK LIB!
DEM: …


MEDIA: Democrats refuse to engage in policy discussion; Republicans upset.

the curious ‘martyrdom’ of ashli babbitt

Jesus suffering fuck. Yesterday Comrade Trump held an ego rally in Sarasota, Florida (as if Florida hasn’t suffered enough recently). Like all his ego rallies, this one was filled with the usual lies and the customary bullshit. But lately Trump has added a sparkly new element of sedition to his repertoire. At the rally yesterday, he repeated a line he’d used earlier as a distraction from the indictment (on multiple felonies) of the Trump Organization’s Chief Financial Officer and the Trump Organization itself. He asked this question:

Who shot Ashli Babbitt?

It’s not really a question, though. I mean, it’s not like Trump was asking the crowd for an answer. No, that question is a code. It’s a shout out to the seditionists who tried to stop the peaceful transfer of presidential power. Those four words contain an entire galaxy of disinformation, lies, delusions, and sedition. They imply that Ashli Babbit is some sort of martyr–that she knowingly sacrificed her life in the service of Trump.

Babbitt, as you know, was part of the violent mob that illegally stormed the Capitol Building on 1/6/21 in an effort to prevent the certification of the 2020 presidential election. She was a devoted follower of the QAnon conspiracy theory–one of those people who believed (and maybe still believe) Comrade Trump was engaged in a secret war against a cabal of Satanic, cannibalistic pedophiles (primarily Hollywood actors and Democrats) who operate a global child sex trafficking ring. Don’t ask me why Trump, who was the actual president of the United States, would have to conduct a secret war against these people. I mean, I’m confident most folks are pretty much opposed to Satanic, cannibalistic pedophiles, even if they’re NOT part of a global child sex trafficking ring. You’d think a president would have no problem publicly announcing, “I’ve had it up to HERE with all those Satanic, cannibalistic pedophiles, this shit has to stop!” But no, the QAnon folks believe Trump’s war against the pedophiles had to be conducted in secret because…something something.

So Ashli Babbitt, to support Comrade Trump in his secret war, joined the insurrection and stormed the Capitol Building. She made her way to the barricaded door of the Speaker’s Lobby, behind which several Members of Congress and their staffs were escaping. One rioter shattered a window into the Lobby, and Babbitt decided to climb through. By that point, security personnel had been alerted that pipe bombs had been discovered in parts of DC. They’d also been told some of the insurrections were probably armed. Babbitt was wearing a knapsack as she started to climb through the window. Security staff can be heard on the video shouting “Get back! Get down!” But she didn’t; she started to climb through the window. A member of the security services fired a single shot, which killed her.

For years right-wing extremists have relied on he-did-not-comply-with-police-orders as a justification for law enforcement killings of unarmed people (mostly black men). Ashli Babbitt failed to comply multiple times. First she failed to comply with police orders to stay behind the barricades outside the Capitol Building. Then she and others illegally broke into the Capitol building. She did so with the criminal intent to disrupt a legal election process. Finally, she refused to comply with the lawful orders of several armed law enforcement officers who had their weapons drawn and pointed at her.

Ashli Babbitt willfully and knowingly, despite repeated warnings, attempted to enter a restricted (and barricaded) area through a window that had been criminally breached, and was shot and killed as a result.

To Trump supporters, this makes her a martyr.

Well, not at first. At first, Trump supporters claimed the Capitol was stormed by Antifa masquerading as Trump supporters. That meant Ashli Babbitt was probably an Antifa crisis actor. I’m NOT MAKING THAT UP. Early on there were several posts on FreeRepublic that suggested Babbitt wasn’t a real Trump supporter at all, that she wasn’t even a true QAnon believer, that she was, in fact, part of a false flag operation designed “to stop Trump from having rallies.” There were even early posts suggesting that Babbitt wasn’t even dead.

“…why was she the only girl in the room with all of those Antifa and BLM people and why would she be the first to climb through the window? Wouldn’t that be a guy thing? What would a hardcore Trump supporter who is a Quanan fanatic be inside the Capitol rather than listening to Trump’s speech? [T]he people in the room did not hit the deck when the gun went off… [and] how convenient a BLM guy with the CNN reporter just happened to be in the perfect spot to record it.

This was a fake riot to embarrass the fake violent Trumpsters to give the House a reason to stop counting and shame the Repubs to hide the fake vote. This was their final coverup to get their fake President across the finish line”

But the Ashli-is-Antifa conspiracy theory died off pretty quickly and was consumed by the Ashli-the-Martyr conspiracy theory. Oh, and just to be clear, these right-wing nutjobs see her death as a murder. A deliberate murder. An assassination. A nonjudicial execution, in fact. Even members of Congress are willing to spread that lie. During a hearing with FBI Director Christopher Wray, Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar, the GOP’s current Bull Goose Loony, flat out asked, “Do you know who executed Ashli Babbitt?” Gosar went on to claim, “The Capitol Police officer that did that shooting appeared to be hiding, lying in wait and then gave no warning before killing her.”

Comrade Trump, by asking ‘Who shot Ashli Babbitt?’ is deliberately feeding that same rabid rat delirium. He’s not only telling his followers that the election was stolen from him (and them), but that his enemies are willing to kill them if they stand up for Trump. That’s not only a despicable lie, it’s dangerous. You know some of his followers are out there, armed and angry, plotting to take revenge. And some are probably willing to join Ashli Babbitt and become martyrs.

the problem with problems

The modern Republican Party (you know what? I need to stop calling them ‘the modern Republican Party’ because at this point they’re just the Republican Party; there’s no point in trying to distinguish the cowardly fuckwits who now inhabit this aggressively ignorant cultural collective from the Republican Party that used to have consistent conservative principles) has a problem with problems. In fact, they have several problems with problems.

They lack any meaningful understanding of actual socio-political problems, they have no interest in learning about them, no ability to address them in any practical way, and no real desire to resolve them. What they DO have is a clear understanding of the political optics of being seen as dealing with problems.

Republicans have an intuitive grasp of the narrative strength of heroic problem solving. It’s one of the classic story tropes. A monster exists. A hero leaves their community and goes out into a hostile world in search of the monster. They encounter difficulties and tests of courage along the way, and overcome them. They find the monster, struggle against it, nearly lose, then triumph over it. They return home again–maybe to applause, maybe just to live quietly among those they’ve made safe.

What Republicans do is turn that trope on its head. There is no monster, which means they’re not heroes, so they don’t leave the safety of their community or deal with a hostile world, and their privilege protects them from any difficulties or tests of courage they may encounter. But if they invent a monster, they can pretend to be heroes by claiming to risk themselves in a life-or-death struggle, allowing them to assert some sort of imaginary victory.

The valiant GOP stands tall against critical race trans voter fraud.

There is no monster of voter fraud. Yet Republicans claim they’re in danger and are courageously struggling overwhelming Socialist enemies to enact voting restrictions which will save…what? Elections? There is no monster of trans girl/women athletes dominating high school or college sports. Yet Republicans claim girls and young women are in danger and they are bravely enacting laws banning trans athletes from sports which will…what? Save high school track and field meets? There is no monster of critical race theory savaging the lives of students. Yet Republicans insist they’re valiantly standing up against…something…in order to rescue innocent young white students from learning that systemic racism exists, thereby saving them from…what? Caring?

Republicans present themselves as beamish boys wielding vorpal blades against burbling Jabberwoks in the tulgey wood. Hast thou slain the trans-racist-voter fraud? O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! Now to galumph back to Mar-a-Lago, chortling.

It’s all nonsense. Not silly nonsense, though. Dangerous nonsense. Because as a nation, we’re facing real fucking problems, with real fucking jaws that bite and claws that catch. Modern Republicans have gone through the Looking Glass. And there’s no sign that they’re ever coming back.

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.”

It’s a good question. It’s a question that will determine whether or not the US will have any hope of being a representative democracy.

always room for ignorance

Émile Borel, French mathematician. In 1931 he wrote: Whatever the progress of human knowledge, there will always be room for ignorance, hence for chance and probability. Borel is best known as the originator of the Infinite Monkey Theorem (and yes, I know, other mathematicians and philosophers had made similar arguments before Borel; don’t fuss at me over this).

A monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely eventually type every book in the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

Émile Borel

An English monkey, of course, using an English typewriter would eventually produce the complete works of William Shakespeare. An American monkey would bang out the screenplay to Casablanca. A Marxist monkey would produce The Communist Manifesto and all three volumes of Das Kapital. And a fantasy fiction monkeys would be able to complete A Song of Fire and Ice before George R.R. Martin ever will.

A modern Republican monkey would shit on the typewriter for an infinite amount of time and claim it’s the Constitution of the United States.

Jim Jordan, with a banana-flavored tie.

A couple of days ago, GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wrote this:

We are a big tent party. We represent Americans of all backgrounds and continue to grow our movement by the day. And unlike the left, we embrace free thought and debate.

This morning, that ‘big tent party’ voted to remove Liz Cheney as the chair of the House Republican Conference because she insisted on speaking the truth. She is not only willing, but insistent on stating categorically that Comrade Trump provoked a violent attack on the US Capitol building in an effort to steal the 2020 presidential election, that he continues to try to convince Americans the election was stolen from him, and that by doing so Trump not only undermines US election integrity, he also increases the likelihood of further violence.

For that she was removed from her position of power. Removed by a voice vote–a cowardly vote that allowed House Republicans to vote without having to go on the record. A vote that allows them to dodge any personal responsibility for voting. This is what the modern Republican Party has become.

Jim Jordan preparing to re-write the US Constitution

McCarthy claims the GOP is growing by the day; in fact, it’s shrinking. It’s shrinking largely because the GOP is no longer a political party; it has no internally consistent political philosophy, it doesn’t stand for anything other than the retention of power, it’s only ideology is grounded in pissing off ‘the libs’, and worst of all, they’ve rejected the core principles of representative democracy.

The modern GOP is a monkey angrily shitting on a typewriter, denying that they’re doing it, while trying to convince the weakminded that it smells like freedom.

liz cheney? really? fuck.

See, I assumed that when Comrade Trump lost the election, a lot of Republicans in Congress would be secretly relieved to be rid of him. I thought they’d be glad to see the back of an ignorant, petulant, vindictive, corrupt, serial liar who was completely lacking in self-discipline, decency, and honesty, and who had absolutely no sense of loyalty to others.

That was before the January 6 insurrection. After Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol, eager to disrupt the Electoral College vote, and apparently willing to assassinate Trump’s vice president, I believed a lot of Republicans would be openly relieved to be rid of him.

Lawdy, was I ever wrong. I mean, sure, I knew there’d be some weasels–unprincipled hacks like Gym Jordan and Matt Gaetz and…what’s the name of that Republican weasel from California? (Okay, I google ‘Republican weasel from California and Devin Nunes was the third result.) But I guess I believed that even the worst Republicans would still support the concept of the peaceful transition of power.

And hey, I was right about that. Sorta kinda. I mean, Liz Cheney IS one of the worst Republicans. She’s awful on just about any political metric you could name. Despite the fact that her sister Mary is a married lesbian, Liz opposed marriage equality. Like her daddy, the former vice president, Liz DOES support torture (yeah, okay, she calls it ‘enhanced interrogation’ but that shit is torture). She’s opposed to expanding voting rights, and supports most of the new state GOP anti-voting legislation. She voted to end the protection of grey wolves in the Endangered Species Act. She suggested the texts between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page were evidence of a coup and they should be investigated for treason. She voted WITH Trump 93% of the time. She is completely fucking awful.

And yet, Liz Cheney is being hailed as something of a hero. Why? Because she’s one of the few principled conservatives left in public office. Yes, her principles are appalling and backward and short-sighted–but she’s consistent with them. She did, after all, publicly condemn Trump when he abandoned our Kurdish allies when it was politically convenient for him (and for Russia). But at the same time, she suggested Trump’s decision was possible influenced by the Democrat’s attempt to impeach Trump (you know…that first time he was impeached).

This is the state of the modern Republican Party. One of the most horrible GOP politicians is also one of the few who holds consistent principles, and is the only real hope they have of remaining a viable (if selfish and amoral) political party rather than a loosely-affiliated collective of white nationalists, conspiracy theorists, religious bigots, and rabid fucking whackos (or is it ‘whackoes’?).

Next week the House Republicans will likely vote Liz Cheney out of any position of power. The week after that, there’s a better than average chance they’ll toss her in a stream to see if she floats (while chanting ‘Burn the witch!’). In the meantime, Republicans in Arizona are re-re-recounting presidential ballots, only this time they’re looking for evidence of bamboo, because somebody somewhere said it was possible that forty thousand fraudulent ballots were flown into Arizona from China, and that’s where bamboo grows. Jesus suffering fuck I am NOT MAKING THAT UP.

Help us, Cheney-wan Kenobi, you’re the GOP’s only hope.