The Road To The Nuthouse

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Memo to the 2012 contenders: THIS IS GONNA BE FUN.

And by "fun", I mean "hilarious unless I think about the potential consequences, and then it's horrifying". Still, now that it's early 2011, we have to start the 18-month process of thinking about NOTHING except the 2012 presidential election! So, in that spirit, let's take a quick look at where the candidates, declared and otherwise, stand as of February. SPECIAL TOPIC MONKEY FRIDAY!

There are only two officially declared candidates at this point:

Rick Santorum: Rick Santorum apparently feels that the epic Google problem that Dan Savage has saddled him with won't be an obstacle to his presidential bid. Or maybe he just realizes that it pales in comparison to all the other obstacles that arise just from him being Rick Santorum.

His first official policy position? That he'll abolish the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the most liberal of the circuit courts. Congress would have to do that, which would never happen, but it's a Rick Santorum campaign promise, so it doesn't really matter. What does matter is how it benchmarks the tone for 2012. Each candidate will be forced to pick a bogeyman, then shout EXTERMINATE at it like a meth-addicted Dalek. And then they have to go on Fox and explain that they mean use the voting booth to metaphorically EXTERMINATE their enemies.

RANDALL TERRY: The presidential campaign of Operation Rescue's head fetus-wrangler is merely a publicity stunt. But then, aren't they all? Terry's is more so than most, because he's announced his intention to run against Barack Obama... in the Democratic primary. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"We will run ads on the Super Bowl 2012 that show dead babies, the victims of abortion. We will, with the help of God, bring America face to face with the victims of Obama's policies. This campaign is about human rights, ladies and gentlemen." - Terry, who, in another demonstration of the class he is so famous for, made his announcement in front of... wait for it... wait for it... the Holocaust Museum.

First of all, Randall Terry is not gonna show dead babies during next year's Super Bowl, because it costs three million bucks to do that. Randall Terry is going to TRY to get dead babies on the teevee, and the network's going to say "hell no", and he's gonna keep whatever he raises to pay for the ads and ride the Oh Noes Censorship gravy train for a couple of weeks.

Second, good luck with that. You bring America face to face with what you see is a massive human rights abuse, and you know what America's going to do? America's going to shrug, watch American Idol, and post pictures of themselves at Applebee's on Facebook. Because that's what they've done the last half-dozen times someone tried to point out human rights abuses to them. So have fun tilting at that windmill, asshole.

A couple of unannounced-but-expected candidates have also been pissing on things in the hopes of claiming their rhetorical territory.

MIKE HUCKABEE: Having decided that "likable guy who hides his extremism behind an affable nature" was getting him nowhere, Huckabee has decided to become 2012's leading Israel-humper. I mean, I know the evangelical right has a hard-on for the Holy Land so that it'll be in the hands of reasonably pale people when the End of Days comes around, but Huckabee is swinging for the fences, and hoping the fences move even farther into Palestinian territory.

"To tell Jewish people, ‘You cannot live here, you cannot raise your children here,’ this is the true racism, this is apartheid... There are vast amounts of territory that are in the hands of Muslims, in the hands of Arabs. Maybe the international community can come together and accommodate." - Huckabee, visiting Israel on a package tour deal that Joe Lieberman didn't need anymore once he decided to retire.

Fun fact - the same sentiment that will disqualify you from covering the President if you say it about Israelis will not disqualify you from RUNNING for President if you say it about Palestinians. Maybe Helen Thomas can take over Huckabee's show on Fox while he's pursuing the big prize?

TIMMEH! - It's gotta be rough being Tim Pawlenty. Not only is his book trailer, with its hilarious "Tha-WHOOOM" handshake, not helping people take him more seriously, but Batshit Bachmann is stealing all his thunder by pretending she's gonna run, too.

So what can TIMMEH do? The same thing he always does. Pick the constituency he thinks will vote for him, and pander like a 15-year-old boy who thinks "pander" means "jerk off". He's palling around with Bryan Fischer, for fuck's sake! He's vowed to sign a repeal of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. And of course, he's against raising the debt ceiling now, but he has a secret plan to cut spending and avoid default and avoid a government shutdown.

And his plan is totally different from all the other Republican plans to drastically cut federal spending without hurting anyone or pissing anyone off, which you'd know if you knew the details of Pawlenty's plan, which you don't, and could compare them to the details of all the other plans, none of which you know either.

The 2012 election! It's gonna be like watching the guy in the hospital bed next to you get his catheter inserted. You won't be able to look away. You'll snicker to yourself in secret amusement. And then the nurse will finish, and you'll realize that you're next.