Old Business

« April 2010 »

NOTE: The original version of this column, thanks to a combination of a misreading on my part and a formatting failure on the Buffalo News' part, misidentified both the intended recipient of Paladino's e-mail and the origin of the final quote, respectively. The column has been corrected accordingly.

Memo to Carl Paladino: NO, THAT DOESN'T HELP.

Those of you who follow both this column and generally oddball political news stories may have wondered why, in the past week and a half, I haven't said anything about New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino. It does, after all, have everything I like in a news story - a Tea Party favorite, badly denied racism, and a man fucking a horse.

Well, the truth is, shit happens. And sometimes, it's for the best. After all, if I hadn't waited until today to get around to talking about Paladino, I wouldn't have had available to me his latest, completely incomprehensible excuse for his behavior.

And what behavior is that? Well, he's an old white Tea Party dude who's in trouble for racism and sexism, so if you went with the odds and guessed "forwarding e-mails", you'd be right.

But not just any e-mails. No, Paladino was clearly hoping to be crowned King of Classy, because not only did he pass around a purported Miss France 2008 sex video, but also a video of African tribesman titled "Obama Inauguration Rehearsal", Africans depicted as monkeys, the Obamas Photoshopped into a pimp and prostitute, and, of course, a video of a dude fucking a horse, because who doesn't want to show all their friends that?

Now, you'd think that'd be it for his candidacy. But crassness isn't a disqualifying factor to his supporters, who think public consequences for being exposed as a giant screaming racist fuckwad is just the "PC Police" breaking into their compound and confiscating their slurs. And so, shortly thereafter, we got Paladino's first excuse. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"I am not a racist... Sending out some emails that I resent from friends who send them to me is not a crime or infraction in my book. You can't have offended anybody, you can't have said anything that might've been off-color. Is that the kind of person we want? An absolute purist?"

Note the false dichotomy, friend to scoundrels across the universe. The problem isn't that the e-mails were off-color, it's that the e-mails derided Barack Obama for being the off color. And there's a big difference between a purist and someone who e-mails porn to a bunch of their friends. I have a bunch of friends. I bet some of those friends have porn. but none of them would e-mail porn to me, because they're not douchebags. They have common sense. They're not tone-deaf Republicans who revel in their own ignorance.

And everyone thought that was the end of it. Paladino was happy to accept the votes of the horsie-fucking set, and we'd all moved on. But apparently Paladino felt the whole scandal made him look less spiritual and cultured, because this weekend, he sent a long rambling explanation for why he forwards e-mails to all his usual porn-buddies. It featured this incredibly long and tedious story about a dead dude, a dead dog, Heaven, and Hell, and after that, the following bit of all-time retardo-awesome.

"A 'forward' lets you know that you are still remembered, you are still important, you are still loved, you are still cared for. So, next time if you get a 'forward', don't think that you've been sent just another forwarded joke, but that you've been thought of today and your friend on the other end of your computer wanted to send you a smile. You are welcome at my water bowl anytime!!"

OK, that's vomit-inducing if your aunt forwards it to you. As a cut-and-paste explanation for your wacky racist jokes, it's fucking creepy. Unless Hallmark has really changed up its "Thinking Of You" assortment to include bestiality and "Man, that president's skin sure is dark, huh?" cards, Carl's got a wildly different view of keeping in touch than the rest of us. It makes him sound like a New Age molester-uncle. Show me on the doll where the bad man "forwarded" you.

The best part is, he'd gotten away with it. At least to the extent anyone gets away with this stuff. Like Larry Craig and David Vitter, we remember that they did stuff that should have ended their political careers, and forget that it didn't actually, you know. END THEIR FUCKING POLITICAL CAREERS. But then he sent this out, of his own free and batshit will, and with any luck, it'll re-open the whole can of worms again and remind everyone how much of a dumbfuck Paladino is. Every little bit helps.