Archive - Sep 14, 2011

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Memo to Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, and Ron Paul's Audience: YOU ARE DUMB.

There's a Republican debate on, of all things, a Monday night. Not just any Republican debate, but one co-sponsored by CNN, which means it's actually sponsored by two guys on Twitter and a spam Facebook account; and the Tea Party Express, which means it's actually sponsored by two guys who can't even figure out Twitter or Facebook. It's like they WANTED me to feature highlights from the debate in this week's IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS! Well, screw them. I'm going to feature the followup! That'll show 'em.

"I was a bit taken aback by that myself. We're the party of life. We ought to be coming up with ways to save lives... But the Republican party ought to be about life and protecting, particularly, innocent life. - Rick Perry, threading a needle like a Biblical camel.

Rick Perry was put in this awkward position by a crowd full of rabid teabaggers during a debate, who cheered the idea of letting someone die because they can't afford health insurance. This is, of course, callous as hell, which is why Rick Perry was forced to admit to being either stupid or a liar by saying he was "taken aback" by it. Rick Perry knows damn well what beast he feeds, and if he honestly doesn't, he's dumber than he looks.

Rick Perry's problem is that he is the living embodiment of the hypocrisy that is the GOP "culture of life". In Rick Perry's world, it's wrong to abort a blastula, but it's right to execute a few hundred criminals, including at least one very probably innocent man, then quash the investigation into whether or not he was actually innocent. In a similar vein, it's right to have more uninsured people than any state in the nation, leading to lots of people dying due to lack of health insurance. But it's wrong to GLOAT about it. What you're supposed to do, like he did in the last debate, was blame it on Obama.

"I will tell you that I had a mother last night come up to me here in Tampa, Florida, after the debate. She told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection, and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter." - Michele Bachmann, accomplishing two impossible things.

Those two impossible things? Making me sympathize with Rick Perry, and making me lose respect for Michele Bachmann. See, Perry, in one of those odd-duck decisions that make you really question what the fuck is going on inside his head, mandated the HPV vaccine as part of the vaccinations for girls in Texas. Which is a solid, science-based public health decision from a man who does not believe in science or public health. See what I mean about it being odd?

Bachmann claims the decision was financial, because Perry got campaign contributions from Merck. Which may or may not be true, but it's largely irrelevant, because Bachmann doesn't care about a measly five grand in corporate contributions. She cares about the Moral Majority's... oh, sorry, wrong decade. She cares about the Tea Party's war on sex, and the HPV vaccine, preventing, as it does, a low grade cancer-causing viral infection spread through sexual contact, is an important piece on the anti-fucking chessboard. It's right next to contraceptives and feminism.

So HPV comes from sex, and sex is bad, so HPV is good, so the HPV vaccine is bad, therefore Rick Perry is bad. Which is bad enough, but then Bachmann takes it one step further, and turns the already fucked-up, unscientific urban legend that early childhood vaccines cause autism, and transmogrifies it into "THE HPV VACCINE WILL MAKE YOUR DAUGHTERS RETARDED." I'm pretty sure even Jenny McCarthy would slap her for that.

"Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!" - The teabagger crowd, responding to one of Ron Paul's stopped-clock lucid moments.

Ron Paul has the weirdest ideological blinders of any Republican on the planet. The way I see it, he needed to make room in his blinders for his own special brand of crazy-ass libertarian blinders, so he ditched two standard-issue GOP blind spots - Christian exceptionalism and its counterpart, American exceptionalism. Ron Paul's stopped clock realizes twice a day that those things are bullshit.

So when Rick Santorum, who is apparently still running for president and being invited to the parties, went on a long run full of boilerplate Clash Of Civilizations and Hate Us For Freedom crap, Ron Paul called him on it, and explained that whether you agree with it or not, the Arab world's beef with the United States is based on actual things that actually happened, and not some mythological dichotomy.

At which point he was greeted with a chorus of resounding boos, jeers, and catcalls from the crowd, who damn well didn't come to a Tea Party Express-sponsored debate featuring the most radical slate of GOP candidates in modern history to hear some old man blather on about how America didn't get attacked for being too sexy for the globe.

There are dozens of reasons not to elect Ron Paul to anything, ever, but I guarantee you that if anything sinks Ron Paul with the GOP base, it'll be one of the rare occasions when the fog clears and he makes sense. Similarly, if Rick Perry loses the nomination, it's because he thought maybe teenage girls shouldn't get cancer from sex. And if you're taken aback by this, you're paying even less attention than Rick Perry is.