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Category Archives: Political Theatre

Trump VIII….

The very first U.S. president was a general, as were many who followed him. However, military operations are much different now. There aren’t that many Pattons or MacArthurs left. I think this is why Trump is so popular among conservative voters. He’s a “business magnate,” which the modern-day equivalent to a pirate or a conquistador. And deep down, Americans — who rejected the monarchy and embraced democracy, which is a form of monarchy that is spelled differently — have an affection for the emotional unstable borderline personalities that were prominent on the throne. That is true leadership to them. Measured diplomacy is skullduggery. They don’t want their leaders to be politicians… that’s for ambassadors. And, after all, can’t you picture Trump, more so than Jeb Bush and especially Lindsey Graham, in the following scenes?

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2015 in Political Theatre

 

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Hairy legs and all…

I… have nothing. I’m sorry. This is just mic-drop stupidity here.

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore told a church gathering on Sunday that the U.S. Supreme Court “destroyed the institution of God,” when they legalized same-sex marriage earlier this month.

Whoa, that’s harsh. I wonder what drove them to do such a thing?

“Despite what they think, it’s not their doing. Satan drives us. He’s out there destroying everything God created including us as human beings.”

Oh, so the devil made them do it. What else has John Milton been up to?

In comments later, Moore elaborated on the sexual revolution before rambling on about gender roles, saying,  “When you start teaching kids that they have the right to choose whether they are male or female. When you talk about three or four years old, you know what they think. They don’t know much. They may learn fast. And when they get in their mind they can be a man if they’re a girl or a woman if they are a boy, I don’t know what the end is going to be. Except it will come down to things like when you take your little girl to the girl’s bathroom and you wait outside and you see some guy with hairy legs going into that bathroom, what are you going to do? What are you going to do? Are you going to stand back and let that guy go in the bathroom with your little girl?”

It seems like he’s advocating for violence against trans women. He doesn’t say “Are you going to stand back and let your little girl go into the bathroom…” with the person who doesn’t even have the decency to star in a Nair commercial. He says, “Are you going to let that *guy* go in the bathroom…”

Maybe because I’m not insane and all, but I don’t understand this obsession with transgendered people using what some insist is the “wrong” restroom. From the Duggars to this guy, the specter is always raised of sexual predators lurking around the stalls. Isn’t it possible these people just want to use the restroom? When I’m there, sex is the last thing on my mind. It’s usually the sixteen ounces of coffee I drank that morning.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2015 in Political Theatre

 

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Fear and Loathing in Bastrop

The office of the Bastrop County Republican Party is in an old lumber mill on Main Street, with peeling brown paint and a sign out front that captures the party’s feelings about the Obama administration: “WISE UP AMERICA!”

Inside, county Chairman Albert Ellison pulled out a yellow legal pad on which he had written page after page of reasons why many Texans distrust President Obama, including the fact that, “in the minds of some, he was raised by communists and mentored by terrorists.”

In my mind, I was born on Krypton, raised by a kindly farm couple, and mentored by the artificial intelligence of my dead dad. Unfortunately, that has no bearing on reality.

I also wonder if the contents of Ellison’s yellow legal pad are as cogent and rational as Jack Nicholson’s manuscript in The Shining.

So it should come as no surprise, Ellison said, that as the U.S. military prepares to launch one of the largest training exercises in history later this month, many Bastrop residents might suspect a secret Obama plot to spy on them, confiscate their guns and ultimately establish martial law in one of America’s proudly free conservative states.

This already sounds paranoid, but it’s especially absurd in light of the fact that Obama has gone on record as opposing military tactics from the police when dealing with civilians. But I suppose that was the radical Black Panther Obama who wants to let packs of Negroes run wild, setting fire to businesses, and terrorizing honest, law-abiding Americans. Today, Ellison is afraid of the Chairman Mao Obama who is going to turn America into a third-world dictatorship. Some might presume that because Obama has done nothing like this during his almost seven years in office that he probably isn’t going to get to around it. However, maybe the radical Black Panther Obama has been so busy eating fried chicken and watermelon that he’s going to have to pack all this in before the end of next year.

They are not “nuts and wackos. They are concerned citizens, and they are patriots,” Ellison said of his suspicious neighbors. “Obama has really painted a portrait in the minds of many conservatives that he is capable of this sort of thing.”

I dunno. “Nuts and wackos” seem a fair description of people who believe, with no compelling evidence, that an elected leader is either philosophically or even practically capable of establishing “martial law” in a free state.

Here in the soft, green farmlands east of Austin, some say the answer is simple: “The truth is, this stems a fair amount from the fact that we have a black president,” said Terry Orr, who was Bastrop’s mayor from 2008 to 2014.

Orr said he strongly disagrees with those views, and he supports Jade Helm. But he said a significant number of people in town distrust Obama because they think he is primarily concerned with the welfare of blacks and “illegal aliens.”

“People think the government is just not on the side of the white guy,” Orr said.

Yeah, if only the white guy could get a break in the United States.

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2015 in Political Theatre

 

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Trump in Flames…

My friend Aaron Elstein at Crain’s has a fun piece on the further unraveling of professional asshole Donald Trump.

Macy’s has become the latest corporate giant to part ways with Donald Trump.

The retailer said Wednesday that it would stop selling the Donald Trump line of menswear on its shelves since 2004, saying it was “disappointed and distressed” by  the presidential candidate’s recent remarks about Mexican immigrants.

The New York-based retailer’s move comes two days after NBCUniversal said it would no longer broadcast the Miss USA or other beauty pageants owned by Mr. Trump. Four days earlier, Spanish-language network Univision bid Mr. Trump adios.

In just one speech, Trump managed to alienate Hispanics and do serious damage to his own financial interests. Let’s agree that he should not even be near the White House for a tour.
 
Serious candidates or at least mentally stable adults would have had a sit-down with leaders of the Hispanic community where he made amends and tried to move on from this. Instead Trump just doubles down. I can’t immediately think of a declared presidential candidate who torched his path to the White House so quickly and completely: New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Florida… I could probably beat him in those states now.
 
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Posted by on July 1, 2015 in Political Theatre

 

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The Clown Car Gets More Crowded…

Chris Christie is now the fourteenth declared candidate for the GOP presidential nomination.

“I think the biggest problem with so many people is getting attention, and I’ve never had any problem getting attention,” the New Jersey Republican said in an exclusive interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer. “So I think I’ll do okay.”

The interview was in a diner, which I guess is consistent with Christie’s goal of “connecting” with “real” people. Are any candidates actually trying to connect with “imaginary” people? They are not the most reliable voting bloc.

I can only assume no one has told Christie he can’t win. Or does anyone bother with these discussions anymore? Running for president these days is like having your own photography business. Everyone with access to an iPhone and the Internet is doing it. Unfortunately, most of the candidates are hopelessly out of focus.

If Christie were running in 2012 at the height of his national popularity and Obama was his Democratic challenger, his situation would be different. However, the general consensus — even among the voters who like the guy — is that Christie can be “rude” or “belligerent.” He even famously explained that he “wasn’t a bully,” which reminded me of Richard Nixon’s insistence that he wasn’t a crook. Do you really want to run the hothead against a likely female candidate? Politics is perception, and I can imagine Christie looking like an ass after every debate with Hillary Clinton.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2015 in Political Theatre

 

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Meanwhile, in crazy town…

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton announced today that “county clerks can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on religious objections to gay marriage.”

Paxton called the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage “lawless,” and said “I will do everything I can from this office to be a public voice for those standing in defense of their rights.”

My wife and I picked up registration tags for our car last week. Fortunately, the lady who waited on us wasn’t Amish.

Look, Mr. Paxton, you can disagree with a Supreme Court ruling. You can even call it immoral or unconscionable, as we now refer to Dred Scott (oh, and if you compare the marriage equality ruling to Dred Scott, which stated that the black man had “no rights the white man is bound to respect,” then you are a racist buffoon). However, what you can’t do is call it “lawless.” Please check a dictionary. You went to law school, for the love of Madonna! First years learn that laws are not inherently moral but are simply “the system of rules that a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and may enforce by the imposition of penalties.”

Also, if you were that concerned about “standing in defense” of the rights of Texas citizens, you could just hire more clerks who don’t have an issue with same-sex marriage or even those who do but actually follow the law as their jobs require. I don’t like guns, so I don’t work for a gun manufacturer.

In 2009, a Louisiana justice of the peace refused to issue a marriage licence to an interracial couple. Even Bobby Jindal, who likes gays about as much as sensible people like him, called for his resignation.

“This is a clear violation of constitutional rights and federal and state law. … Disciplinary action should be taken immediately — including the revoking of his license,” the Republican governor said.

That was just 42 years after Loving vs. Virginia, but it’d be awfully efficient if we just skipped this obnoxious “standing in front of the courthouse opposing desegregation” step in the process.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2015 in Political Theatre

 

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Fables of Huckabee…

Fables of Huckabee…

Mike Huckabee and other religious conservatives claim their resistance to marriage equality is similar to Martin Luther King’s non-violent resistance to American apartheid. But if you actually look at history, Huckabee’s actions are more in tune with another former governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, who in 1957 defied a Supreme Court decision desegrating public schools and ordered the state national guard to prevent black kids from attending Little Rock Central High School.

Faubus’s own words should sound familar: 

Those who would integrate our schools at any price are still among us. They have seized upon the present situation to promote and foment concern and discontent, because of the temporary closing of the schools. They have spread wild rumors and attempted to organize demonstrations. These are the same people and the same forces who have all along been opposed to the majority will of the people of Little Rock and Arkansas.

Last year, I stated during the September crisis that I was not elected Governor of Arkansas to surrender all our rights as citizens to an all-powerful federal autocracy…. It is my responsibility, and it is my purpose and determination, to defend the constitutional rights of the people of Arkansas to the full extent of my ability.…

Some people dread, shrink from, and grow weary of the struggle in which we are now engaged. I grow weary, also, but is there any choice? Once integration is effected totally and completely, will the peace and harmony you desire be attained? If we are to judge by the results elsewhere, anywhere, once total, or near total integration is effected, the peace, the quiet, the harmony, the pride in our schools, and even the good relations that existed heretofore between the races here, will be gone forever….

Huckabee and others might try to run from their own history and hide in the shadow of better men like MLK, but the odiousness of their beliefs will forever anchor them in the past.

Charles Mingus recorded a song in “tribute” to Faubus — an “all-American heel.” And today, I listen to it in “tibute” to Huckabee.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2015 in Political Theatre

 

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