Archive - May 20, 2005

You Can't Handle The Tooth

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Memo to Norm Coleman: WANT SOME BACTINE?

Rhetorical devices are grand. I could very easily start this column by saying how I sometimes feel I'm too harsh on Norm Coleman. But that would be a huge lie. And by lie, I mean "rhetorical device". Because I don't think it's physically possible to be too harsh on that plastic, Stepford Republican motherfucker. Which is why it was so refreshing to see him get his teeth kicked in by George Galloway. And if you've seen Norm's teeth, you know just how much kicking that involves. It's like 32 monoliths from 2001, only with crowns and whitening treatments.

The most important thing to remember about Norm Coleman is that every single thing he does, every single action he takes, all relates back to one fact. It's a fact I'm sure he knows, but doesn't like to admit. The fact is that Norm Coleman got elected on a fluke. The death of Paul Wellstone, the selection of Walter Mondale, and the vile cavalcade of lies and spin surrounding Wellstone's memorial are what put Norm Coleman in the Capitol.

And flukes like that are a stone bitch, because you can't use them as strategic templates for next time. Coleman's staring down the barrel of an Al Franken run in 2008, and let's face it, a second plane crash would look awfully suspicious. And bland ex-VP's don't grow on trees, they just seem like they do. So Coleman's got to win in '08 on his record and his merits. I'm guessing even he knows he's fucked.

Unless, of course, he has the powerful backing of the powerful people. Which explains his Official Administration Sigmoidoscope-General routine for the past three years. If he's going to keep his cushy job come '08, he's going to need money, and influence, and prominent GOP types coming by his campaign stops. And that's why he's going after the United Nations. Since he's not a Christian, all he'd get from pandering to the religious right is non-stop attempts to get him to accept the New Testament.

And the GOP loves to hate the UN. It's an issue that crosses party divisions, uniting the tinfoil-hat New World Order paranoids, the corporations who want unlimited power to profit, and the hawks who want to bomb whoever the hell they want, whenever the hell they want. Every time Norm Coleman says "Kofi Annan", he gets $100,000 in donations. Like Pavlov's dogs, only richer and dumber.

As part of his "slam the UN" thing, Coleman's been playing Encyclopedia Brown. Except the only volume left is a tattered, stained copy of Funk & Wagnall's #17 (Put-Ret). He's been "investigating" the oil for food scandal, seemingly oblivious to all the other investigations of the oil for food scandal that have already finished. And as part of that, he accused Galloway of secretly profiting from Iraqi oil sales under the program. Galloway, a Scottish member of the British parliament and noted war opponent, brought something members of Senate committees see so rarely they forget what it looks like. Defiance.

Sure, he did show some ignorance of American politics. He ripped Coleman a new one, unaware that Coleman was not actually in need of a third orifice to spray shit out of. But other than that, he brought his A game, noting that he'd met with Saddam Hussein as many times (twice) as Donald Rumsfeld had, and Rumsfeld was selling him guns. Taking pointed shots at Coleman's campaign contributors and previous life as an anti-war protestor. Asking why Coleman's not mentioning American oil companies who were part of the oil-for-food improprieties. And under oath, denied everything. No half-measures, bullshit, or spin.

And even if he's as guilty as sin and lying through his teeth (and I'm told that if he were guilty, so many people hate him he'd be locked away for life if they could get anything on him, but anyway), you gotta respect that. We don't see enough defiance in this country. Howard Dean was a little bit defiant, and look where that got him? John Kerry was anti-defiant, and look where that got HIM. Bush & Co. aren't defiant, they just find peons and "unnamed staffers" to blame, and then change the subject until there's another runaway bride to distract us.

Galloway was defiant, and it was glorious. And Coleman was stuck pretending he didn't care, and trying to spin like the weasel on a gyroscope that is his allegorical existence. He said Galloway wasn't "a credible witness", but then, asked if he thought Galloway had lied, he equivocated. I heard Galloway's claims. You can't equivocate on that. If he's not credible, than he had to be boldly and specifically lying. Coleman didn't have a leg to stand on, and he knew it.

Not that it matters to the tinfoil hat crowd this dog-and-pony show is for, of course. But Coleman's bitchslapping got international press, and Toothboy didn't make any sane friends this week. Whether we'll remember come '08 or not, who knows. But every little bit helps.