boots and a dead guy in vietnam

You guys, guess what! Senator Ted Cruz has thoughts about the Democrat’s debate, and he’d like to scare you with them share them with you! Ready for fun? Here we go!

“It was more socialism, more pacifism, more weakness and less Constitution. It was a recipe to destroy a country.”

More pacifism, you guys! Sure, there was that bit in the debate where sissy Jim Webb recalled how he killed the NVA soldier who’d wounded him with a grenade — but that’s pacifism compared to what Senator Ted would have done. If he’d served in Vietnam. Or even if he’d served in the military at all. Which, you know…he didn’t. On account of he had a career to think of after college.

Senator Ted is so upset, you guys.

Senator Ted is so upset, you guys.

But Senator Ted, he regrets he didn’t serve in the military and get the opportunity to kill enemies for Jeebus.

“I will say it’s something I’ve always regretted. I wish I had spent time in the service. It’s something I respect immensely.”

Immensely, you guys! Senator Ted totally respects military service — or at least the sort of military service he’d have served if, you know…he’d served in the military. Which he didn’t. But he knows why young men and women did join and serve in the U.S. military. And that reason absolutely is NOT to serve as Al Qaeda’s Air Force

“We should be focused on defending the United States of America. That’s why young men and women sign up to join the military, not to, as you know, serve as Al Qaeda’s air force.”

You guys, Al Qaeda can hire its own air force! There are lots of young men and women of Al Qanadian descent who need jobs and would be happy to serve their nation country city-state thingy. So those pacifist Democrats can just take their pacifism and go back where they came from. And have their next debate there. In Al Qaedastan.

“It was interesting for America to see each and every Democratic candidate explain how what we need is an even weaker America, how we should withdraw even more from America, avoid any conflict whatsoever with Iran, with Russia, with ISIS, with the lunatics who want to kill us.”

You guys, it was interesting to see how the Democrats want America to withdraw from America and…uh…what? Never mind. Never mind, on account of lunatics. Still, it was an interesting thing and it was in the debate and America saw it, you guys!

Well, some of America saw it. Senator Ted would have seen it, probably. If he hadn’t been campaigning at a Pizza Hut in Kalona, Iowa while the debate was on the television.  But even though he didn’t actually see it see it, Senator Ted saw it enough to be outraged by what he didn’t see. But he would have seen it if, you know…he’d actually seen it. Which he didn’t.

“We’re seeing our freedoms taken away every day and last night was an audition for who would wear the jackboot most vigorously. Last night was an audition for who would embrace government power, for who would strip your and my individual liberties.”

Freedoms! Taken away! Every day, you guys! And totally stripped! The Democrat’s debate was a jackboot audition to see who could wear it vigorously while embracing power and liberty-stripping. Whatever that means.

It's that one guy, and he's wearing jackboots, you guys.

It’s that one guy, and he’s wearing jackboots, you guys.

But liberties are being stripped. Stripped! And jackboots are involved! You know who wears jackboots? Hitler, you guys! Hitler wears jackboots. Or did. When he was alive. Which is isn’t now. Like that other guy who threw a grenade at Jim Webb. In Vietnam. Where Senator Ted would have served if he’d been old enough. Or if he’d served in the military at all. Which, you know…he didn’t.

But okay, sure, maybe Senator Ted didn’t actually serve in the U.S. military (hint: he didn’t), but he knows what it takes to be the Commander-in-Chief. He knows what’s needed. This is what we need, you guys:

“What we need is a commander-in-chief who makes clear if you join ISIS, if you wage jihad on America, then you are signing your death warrant.”

Death warrant, you guys! Signing it. Not one Democrat had the courage to even mention death warrants! No, all they talked about was Democratic pacifism and their recipes for destroying countries. When Senator Ted becomes President of These United States he’ll totally stop U.S. troops from serving in the air force of Al Qaeda AND he’ll make ISISists sign their own death warrants, probably. In blood.

Senator Ted has thoughts and...hey, what the fuck has he got on his feet?

Senator Ted has thoughts and…hey, what the fuck has he got on his feet?

That’s the sort of leadership you’ll get from President Ted. If he wins the presidential election. Which he won’t. You know, if he wins the Republican nomination. Which he also won’t.

But still, there’s a dead guy in Vietnam who’s looking over his shoulder, because Senator Ted has a death warrant for him to sign.

 

boom, and they’re gone

This fuckwit is campaigning to be the Republican nominee for President of These United States — and they’re taking him seriously. What’s wrong with these people?

“We have excellent military leaders. We need to employ their expertise because this is a war we are fighting. That’s the bottom line.”

That’s Dr. Ben Carson. And that war we’re fighting? He’s talking — and I swear I am NOT making this up — he’s talking about the border between These United States and Mexico. And he said that in response to a question about whether the US should consider drone strikes on American soil to secure the border.

Dr. Ben Carson doesn't really LOOK crazy, but apparently is.

Dr. Ben Carson doesn’t really LOOK crazy, but apparently is.

Drone strikes. Drone strikes. You know, like we’ve been doing in Yemen and Somalia and Pakistan. This fucking lunatic thinks drone strikes are worth considering to prevent folks from illegally crossing the border to pick the watermelons you’ll be eating at your next picnic. Oh, and did I mention that Carson, as I write this, is in second place among the candidates for the Republican nomination for president? He is. Second. And what makes this even crazier is he’s running second behind Donald Trump (whose border policy, I believe, is to build a giant Wall O’ Trump — it’ll be yoooge, classy — and he’ll hire frat boys to stand guard on top of it, and if they see a brown person approach from the South they’ll shit in their own hand and fling it at the poor bastard).

Drone strikes. You know, because this is a war we’re fighting. If we have to ram a missile up some brown person’s ass, well you can’t make an omelet and all that.

“You look at some of these caves and things out there, one drone strike, boom, and they’re gone.”

Boom! Just like in the Road Runner cartoons. Of course, it costs between US$2,500 and $3,500 per flight hour to run surveillance drones. You want a strike drone — one that can fire missiles; say a Predator or a Reaper — the costs go up dramatically. It takes a team of about 180 people to operate and maintain each of those sumbitches. Also? Each Hellfire missile costs around $60,000 — and you can only use them once, you know.

Watermelon terrorists, for the love of Jeebus, won't somebody DO something?

Watermelon terrorists, for the love of Jeebus, won’t somebody DO something?

It’ll add up pretty quick, drone strikes against illegal immigrants. But hey, war, right? If that’s what it takes, then that’s what it takes. If we can provide just one decent law-abiding American the opportunity to find a career in the lucrative field of watermelon harvesting, it’ll be worth it.

Second. He’s running second. To Trump. Just saying. It is to weep.

UPDATE: I was joking about the Wall O’ Trump — but this just in (and really, I swear I’m NOT making this up):

Trump waxed on almost poetically about the wall that could bear his name on the Southwest border. “I want it to be so beautiful because maybe someday they’re going to call it the Trump wall,” he said.

Lawdy.

you get trump

[T]he same blustering verbosity that has fueled Trump will inevitably be his downfall.”

No, it won’t. It really won’t. It should be his downfall, but it won’t. It won’t because Donald Trump is precisely the sort of candidate the Republican party has been evolving toward. Trump is the distillation of the modern Republican party perspective.

Donald Trump

If you spend a quarter of a century telling members of your party (and anybody else who’ll listen) that government is always the problem and never the solution, you get Trump. If you convince your party that compromise equals failure, you get Trump. If you keep repeating that government should be run like a business, you get Trump. If you promote bluster and saber-rattling over diplomacy, you get Trump. If you equate financial success with leadership, you get Trump. If you frame personal selfishness as the hallmark of the free market, you get Trump. If you tell your party members that their economic problems are a result of illegal immigrants and lazy minorities, you get Trump. If you dismiss science and expertise in favor of fervent belief and loudly stated opinion, you get Trump. If you consistently stress that the value of a conservative is measured by how much he or she offends liberals, you get Trump.

If you cease to be a political party that’s genuinely interested in governance, you get Trump. And you get Palin. And you get Cruz and Gohmert. You get an entire political party firmly grounded in the immediate, reactive gut feelings of Joe the Plumber.

You get what you deserve.

Donald Trump

So no, the ‘blustering verbosity’ of Trump won’t be his downfall. But if we’re very, very lucky, it’ll be the beginning of the downfall of the modern Republican party. If we’re lucky, eight more years of Democratic presidents will force Republicans to evolve back into a party of principled conservatives who are more interested in getting government to work than in posturing.

That’s what the American people deserve.

i don’t know maybe who can say?

It only took Jeb! Bush three tries to get it right. Well, almost right. I’m talking about the mass murder at Mother Emanuel church in Charleston. First he said this:

“I don’t know what was on the mind or the heart of the man who committed these atrocious crimes.”

And okay, yeah, nobody can ever really say they know what another person is thinking or feeling and all that. But Dylann Roof wasn’t being terribly subtle about his reasoning. That Confederate flag, the two racist African flags, the open admission that he wanted to start a race war — those are pretty reliable indications of what he had in mind. And that was before the discovery of his racist manifesto.

A day later, Jeb! got a tad more specific. When asked if the murders were racially motivated, he said this:

“I don’t know! Looks like to me it was, but we’ll find out all the information. It’s clear it was an act of raw hatred, for sure. Nine people lost their lives, and they were African-American. You can judge what it is.”

A real tower of Jello, Jeb! Bush. He’s not going to rush to judgment. Raw hate? Check. Nine dead black folks? Check. Racially motivated hate crime? Well, it sorta kinda looks that way to me, but who can say? While he wasn’t quite able to commit to having a clue about Dylann Roof’s motives, Jeb! was totally mostly almost solid in his stance on South Carolina’s Confederate flag.

“My position on how to address the Confederate flag is clear. In Florida, we acted, moving the flag from the state grounds to a museum where it belonged… Following a period of mourning, there will rightly be a discussion among leaders in the state about how South Carolina should move forward, and I’m confident they will do the right thing.”

He did, in fact, order the Confederate flag flown over the Florida state house removed, and that was the right thing to do. But is it the right thing for South Carolina? I don’t know, maybe, who can say? Whatever the right thing is, Jeb! is pretty much sure South Carolina will do it. Probably.

What? How should I know? -- Jeb!

What? How should I know? — Jeb!

The various 2016 Republican candidates for presidency have staked out a fairly narrow range of positions on social issues. They fall somewhere along a graduated scale from wildly and loudly wrong (the Ted Cruz approach) to tentative ignorance and uncertainty (the Jeb! approach). Despite the fact that he’s been considered presidential material since even before his dull-witted brother befouled the White House, Jeb! has managed to maintain a near-perfect level of thick-headedness.

His position on climate change?

“I think global warming may be real. It is not unanimous among scientists that it is disproportionately manmade.”

“I’m a skeptic. I’m not a scientist.”

He’s not a scientist. But why doesn’t he believe the folks are actually are scientists? Because he’s a skeptic, and hey there are literally dozens of scientists who aren’t convinced, so there. Jeb! kinda maybe thinks he might believe those scientists. The other ones? Perhaps, maybe, who knows?

Does Jeb! have a position on all those so-called ‘religious freedom’ laws Republican legislatures keep passing to protect the rights of pastry cooks to resist gay tyranny? Of course, he does. Almost.

“I don’t know about the law, but religious freedom is a serious issue, and it’s increasingly so, and I think people that act on their conscience shouldn’t be discriminated against, for sure.”

For sure. Asking people to obey the law even if they disagree with it, that’s totally for sure discrimination. If they’re, you know, Christian and all. Otherwise, well, it’s hard to say. Possibly. It depends. But hey, what about marijuana laws? What if your state legalizes the medical use of marijuana — or even recreational use — but the federal government still says possession and sale are crimes? What if you disagree with that law? What to do, Jeb!? What to do?

“I don’t know. I’d have to sort that out.”

But sorting stuff out is such hard work. It took him three tries to sort out whether or not he’d have invaded Iraq like his feeble-minded brother. Would he have ordered the invasion ‘knowing what we know now’? Let’s see his answers:

“Yes. And by the way, Hillary Clinton would have too.”

“I misunderstood. And no, I won’t say what I would have done in hindsight.”

“Knowing what we know now, I would not invade.”

My favorite of those three responses is the second one — that pouty ‘I don’t have to answer, you can’t make me, you’re not my mom’ response. I understand it wouldn’t be easy to admit on national television that your brother is a reckless fuckwit, but I’m not sure the best strategy to deal with that problem is to suggest you’re only marginally less stupid. Tell us Jeb!, will your brother be allowed to campaign for you?

“I don’t know, I don’t know yet, we just started.”

Oh, Jeb!, you’ve been preparing for this campaign for months, if not years, and you don’t know? By refusing to acknowledge the role his gormless brother would have in a Jeb! administration, he leaves us with the image of George W. lurking in the shadows of the White House like Boo Radley. And that ain’t pretty.

W? Brother of Jeb!

W? Brother of and adviser to Jeb!

Poor Jeb! Bush — he wasn’t even able to say whether or not he’d be a good candidate in a presidential election.

“I don’t know if I’d be a good candidate or a bad one. But I kinda know how a Republican can win, whether it’s me or somebody else.”

He kinda knows how a Republican can win. After dangling that impotent answer, Jeb! had a couple of weeks to think about it before being asked the very same question.

“I have no clue if I’d be a good candidate, I hope I would be. I think I could serve well as president, to be honest with you. But I don’t know that either. I think you learn these things as you go along.”

No clue. He’s clueless. He is without clue. Sans la moindre idée. Here’s a hint, Jeb! So far, not so much.

And yet, remarkably, according to a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, Jeb! has taken the lead in the primary race. A full 22% of likely Republican primary voters say Jeb! is their first choice. Their first choice. It says something about the GOP 2016 candidate roster that the front-runner is a guy who spends part of every interview furrowing his brow and saying ‘I don’t know, maybe, who can say?’

I dunno, maybe? Who can say? -- Jeb!

I dunno, maybe? Who can say? — Jeb!

Jeb! Bush — he’s the smart one in the family. His feckless brother spent his recreational time clearing scrub brush on his Texas ranch. Jeb! probably spent his spare time planting the scrub brush.

jeb!

Our country is on a very bad course. And the question is: What are we going to do about it? The question for me is: What am I going to do about it? And I have decided.

I am a candidate for President of the United States.

Well, there it is. It’s official. Jeb! Bush has decided to seek the office of President of the United States.

What? You thought he was already running? You thought just because he’s been visiting all the early primary states and meeting with local GOP officials and giving speeches and attending political events that he was already campaigning? You thought he was already a candidate just because he’s been accepting tens of millions of dollars in donations and contributions? You thought just because he’s established a Super PAC and hired campaign staff and event coordinators and political consultants and strategists and pollsters that Jeb! Bush was officially in the race?

Pffft. Silly rabbit. Not at all. Jeb! Bush was simply exploring the idea of running for office.

jeb!

You see, it’s against the law for an actual candidate to directly accept corporate campaign contributions. It’s also against the law for an official candidate to accept foreign contributions, or individual cash contributions in amounts over one hundred dollars, or contributions from government contractors. And hey, it’s also illegal to accept individual non-cash contributions of more than $2,700 per election. Those laws were established to prevent corruption in the electoral process.

If Jeb! Bush had actually been a candidate, he’d have been legally required to report the amounts of money he’d raised, and who he accepted the money from, and how that money was spent. He’d have been prohibited by law from coordinating any official campaign strategies with the Super PAC that supports him.

jeb!2

But hey, Jeb! Bush hadn’t actually said he was a candidate. He hadn’t actually filed a Statement of Candidacy with the Federal Election Committee. And in his speeches to date he’d been careful to insert the phrase ‘if I decide to run.’ So he wasn’t actually a candidate. Which means Jeb! Bush wasn’t really precisely truly properly undeniably breaking the law.

Not at all. No, Jeb! Bush was merely standing off to one side and pissing on the law.

I will campaign as I would serve, going everywhere, speaking to everyone, keeping my word, facing the issues without flinching, and staying true to what I believe.

I think he’s telling the truth. I think he will campaign exactly as he would serve. I think he’ll stay true to what he believes. I think he believes the law doesn’t really apply to people like him.

He’s Jeb! Bush.

i think we can all agree with that

“The church has gotten it wrong a few times on science, and I think that we probably are better off leaving science to the scientists.”

Well, yeah, I think we can all agree with that. The Catholic Church has had a rather testy relationship with science. They’ve done some good work (so to speak) in science. Like the Big Bang Theory. Not the television series, which the Church denies being involved with, but the actual concept of the Big Bang. It was a priest, Father George Lemaître, who came up with that idea. On the other hand, the Church pretty much stepped on its own dick when it came to that Earth-is-the-Center-of-the-Universe business. But still, it was an Augustinian friar, Gregor Mendel, who developed the field of genetics. Of course, the Church turned around and pissed all over the theory of evolution. So yeah, the Church got it wrong a few times. I think we can all agree with Rick Santorum on tha….

Whoa, whoa, wait just a fucking minute here, buddy. Rick Santorum? The smarmy, homophobic, supercilious prick with the pedophile haircut and the sweater-vest — that Rick Santorum? Dude, c’mon — you expect us to agree with him on anything? What the hell was he talking about?

Santorum was talking about the Pope’s views on climate change. He was basically saying that the Pope isn’t a scientist and that…

Jeebus on cheese toast, Rick Santorum…let me get this straight…you’re saying Rick ‘Man on Dog’ Santorum is arguing that we should listen to scientists? On climate change?

That’s what he said. We’re better off leaving science to the scientists. He was….

Okay, okay. This is the same Rick Santorum who said “I always have problems when people come up and say the science is settled. That’s what they said about the world being flat.” Right?

Yeah, same guy. Only now he’s…

The same unctuous Rick Santorum who said “The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical.” Is that who we’re talking about here? That Rick Santorum?

Yeah, that’s him. My point, though, is that Santorum…

Rick ‘Obamacare is a plot to kill off Republican voters’ Santorum. You’re talking about that particular species of Rick Santorum.

Yeah, but what I’m trying to say here, if you’ll let me finish, is…

Hold on, hold on. Just want to be clear here. We’re talking about that overbearing toffee-nosed putz who argued that contraception is “a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

Yes, that’s correct. That’s the Rick Santorum we’re…wait. Toffee-nosed?

It’s an old expression. It means…never mind what it means. You know what it means. My point is that Rick Santorum is a festering pustule on the ass of the body politic. He’s a self-righteous, hubristic prig who wants to force everybody to abide by his own medieval religious beliefs. He’s a hypocritical, pretentious, small-minded, petty, pasty-faced bigot who’d be running a cult, except he has the charisma of an under-baked biscuit. There’s no good reason for anybody to listen to anything he has to say on any subject whatsoever. That’s my point.

That’s my point too. That’s exactly the point I was going to make.

Oh. Well yeah, I think we can all agree with that.

Rick "I'm a little teapot' Santorum

Rick “I’m a little teapot’ Santorum

i’m not against, i don’t think, i don’t believe

It’s really sort of amazing. Here’s Marco Rubio — Republican Senator from Florida and hopeless candidate for President of These United States — telling Bob Schieffer, the mummified host of Face the Nation, two totally contradictory statements in a row:

[I]t’s not that I’m against gay marriage. I believe the definition of the institution of marriage should be between one man and one woman.

He’s not against gay marriage — he just believes marriage should be between a man and a woman. No matter how many times I repeat that, it continues to defy my ability to make sense of it. Schieffer, to his credit, didn’t leap out of his chair and scream “What the fuck are you talking about?” He allowed Rubio to continue.

States have always regulated marriage. And if a state wants to have a different definition, you should petition the state legislature and have a political debate. I don’t think courts should be making that decision. I don’t believe same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.

But State courts have always had the power to decide if laws passed by State legislatures are in accord with the State constitution. That’s what happened in Massachusetts in 2004. And in Connecticut in 2008, and in Iowa in 2009. And also in Wyoming and Alabama and Wisconsin and Arizona and West Virginia and eighteen other states. Of the 37 states in which marriage equality exists, 26 of those states legalized it through the court system.

But Rubio had still more to say about same-sex marriage. He continued:

I also don’t believe that your sexual preferences are a choice for the vast and enormous majority of people. And, in fact, the bottom line is that I believe that sexual preference is something that people are born with.

Rubio agrees the ‘”vast and enormous majority” of folks who identify as gay are born that way. But he apparently also believes that being born gay automatically deprives those folks of the privilege of marrying somebody they love.

Here’s the interview. Rubio’s incoherent  and contradictory stance on same-sex marriage is near the end (it begins around the ninth minute):

Earlier in the interview (if you can stomach it) Rubio makes equally incoherent and garbled statements about U.S. policy towards Iran, his reasons for running for office, and climate change. This is classic Rubio — a dedicated refusal to offer up any answer that might some day be used against him. This is the guy who, when asked about the age of the Earth, said this:

“I’m not a scientist, man….[T]here are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created.”

Then followed that up with:

“It’s one of the great mysteries.”

No, it’s not. It’s not a great mystery. Rubio may not be a scientist, but folks who ARE scientist are pretty fucking clear about this NOT being anything remotely like a mystery. By weasling out of the question, Rubio is effectively saying “I’m not a scientist, and I’m not willing to believe anything scientists tell me.” He’s effectively saying “Science can go fuck itself in the neck.”

I'm not a biologist. There are multiple theories about whether this is my finger. It might be my finger. It's a mystery.

I’m not a biologist. There are multiple theories about whether this is my finger. It might be my finger. It’s a mystery.

But there’s one brightly illuminated, internally consistent, deeply suppressed thread that ties all those disjointed positions together. It’s this: Rubio wants to get elected, and he’ll attempt to avoid saying anything that might possibly cost him a vote. If he has any strong opinion about anything at all, he’ll strangle it in the crib before letting it interfere with his ambitions.

You know what’s really a mystery? How a person is able to stand erect while having a spine made of Jello.