Monday, January 28, 2008

I Say, I Say, Now See Here, Boy...

I liveblogged Bush's State of the Union speech, so I could provide a response to what he said...but he didn't really say anything. At least, he didn't say anything he hasn't said pretty much every day since 2003. Watching it was like being transported through time...Freedom is on the march! No Child Left Behind is a rousing success! Upper-class tax cuts are necessary to give our economy a boost! I can't imagine even someone as deranged as George W. believes that this warmed-over dross would still be inspiring in 2008, so maybe he was going for some sentimental value? Hoping we'd remember the good times, even though there haven't been any since he wrestled control of the ship of state and sent it careening into a rapidly-dissolving iceberg? Some new kind of nostalgia, perhaps? Shitstalgia?

Anyway, to my mind, the biggest political story of the young year isn't Bush's latest speech or even Teddy K's endorsement of Barack Obama. It's the sad loss of Fred Thompson from our Presidential race.

Naturally, I do not want Fred Thompson to be President. At all. In fact, except for Huckabee or Giuliani or Dick Cheney or George Bush getting elected again, that's pretty much the worst thing that could happen. But he had no chance of winning in a general and he's by far the most entertainingly ridiculous presidential candidate of our times. (And I'm including John Kerry, Michael Dukakis, Lyndon LaRouche, Ross Perot, Pat Paulsen and Alan Keyes here.)

Here's a clip of Fred begging an audience to applaud for him:

Here's Fred's really embarrassing "smackdown" of Michael Moore, essentially performing a ridiculous unfunny skit as an excuse to avoid having an actual debate about issues:

Now, Star Parker from the always-reliable is going to tell us why Fred had to drop out of the race...turns out, he's too liberal.

On the social agenda, the difference between Thompson and Mike Huckabee was palpable and significant. Huckabee understands that abortion, like the slavery issue years ago, is not a matter of constitutional nuance. It defines our core moral structure as a people and cannot be legal in a nation that exists "under God."

Wow...that is some vintage crazy...I'm intrigued how anti-abortion zealots can compare the legality of the procedure to both slavery and the Holocaust. Those things are both evil, but they're otherwise not very much alike. Can abortion be like both these institutions at once?

And what's with the "under God" thing? Star's aware that the Pledge of Allegiance is not actually part of the Constitution, yes? The Constitution uses the phrase "In the Year of Our Lord" but never once the word "God." Face. So, because we're not "a nation that exists under God," we don't have to listen to his opinion on reproductive rights. Thank God.

Having grown weary of making up some silly, factless analysis for why Fred Thompson had to drop out of the race, Star now relates blatant falsehoods about public opinion polls:

Polls show that public opinion on abortion is moving in the direction of Huckabee. Americans sense the need for moral leadership and it just wasn't there in Thompson's tepid social conservatism.

Except that, you know, it isn't. Here's USA Today:

The most basic truth is that three decades of debate have done virtually nothing to change public opinion on the central issue. Abortion is legal, and most Americans want to keep it so. Much as in 1975, only 18% of Americans would make abortion illegal in all circumstances, according to a Gallup Poll conducted in May. No matter how sincere and heartfelt the beliefs of abortion opponents, banning it or curtailing access still imposes one group's religious beliefs on other individuals.

Yeah, that link in that excerpt is to an actual Gallup poll that actually says the opposite of what Star just said. She doesn't link to any polls. The page does, however, link to a site where I can buy a hilarious conservative T-shirt, perhaps advocating my love of firearms or Ronald Reagan's dessicated corpse.

Then Star rants about how Thompson didn't want to cheat Americans out of Social Security benefits and health care enough, even comparing him to (gasp!) Barack Obama, whose agenda presumably consists of drinking the blood of every last wealthy white American while showering newly-arrived illegal immigrants with jewel-encrusted scepters.

And then there is the moral issue that free people in a free country should not have their income confiscated because politicians have concluded that they can't take care of themselves. Shouldn't you at least have a choice?

So, she starts by talking about how we're a nation "under God," and finishing by calling Universal Health Care immoral? It's just...really unthinkable to me that anyone could hold these two thoughts in their head at the same time. "I'm a good God-fearing Christian. FUCK THOSE POOR PEOPLE!" It's like being a married bachelor. I'm pretty sure Jesus was in favor of universal health care.

Not long ago, when the Republican Party was an exciting place to be (remember the "ownership society"?), transforming Social Security to an ownership system was one of the important pillars of reforms being put forward to address causes rather than symptoms of our nation's growing problems.

There were people actually EXCITED about that ownership society bullshit? Man, nerding out about senseless GOP rhetoric is more lame than being heavily into fanfic. I'd rather obsess about "Battlestar" slash than some random, half-decade-old Cato Institute crap.

If Republicans are to again capture the high ground in the battle for leadership of this country, it must be understood that the failure of the Thompson candidacy was as much substance as style.

As in, he has no substance? I think I might actually agree with this sentence...Amazing.

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