Belated Yet Problematic

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Memo to Tim Pawlenty and Haley Barbour: GOOD LUCK, ASSHOLES.

We continue with our post-Christmas 50% off sale, in which I try to clear the back inventory of stupidity research by writing two half-columns on topics I never managed to get around to until now. Conveniently, I have developed a theme for today, which is "motherfuckers who are thankfully ruining their chances to be president in 2012".

First up, Minnesota's own Tim "TIMMEH" Pawlenty, who's had a relatively rough couple of years. First he got passed over for VP candidate in favor of Sarah Palin, then he didn't get to hang around as governor during a protracted recount, and of course there was that time that the child molester he pardoned two years ago was arrested for molesting a young girl for seven years, starting when she was 10.

Now, for the most part, I do not like to go after politicians for pardons that go badly. You go with what you know at the time, and it's a situation where you can easily be wrong. But I make exceptions for when the reasoning behind the pardon itself is suspect. You know, like when Mike Huckabee pardoned that rapist because his victim was distantly related to the Clintons, so the right decided the guy was a political prisoner. So the question is this. Why did Pawlenty pardon Jeremy Giefer? ACTUAL MOST OF A QUOTE TIME!

"[The statutory rape] involved sexual conduct between two people who became husband and wife, maintained a long-term marriage, had a family together." - an unnamed Pawlenty spokesman. Isn't that sweet? A couple of teenagers get caught doing what teenagers do, then go on to lead happy and productive lives. It's a family values triumph! Of course, at the time, Giefer was 19 and his girlfriend was... 14. Whoops.

This is classic Republican thinking, to which Pawlenty is not immune, despite being far to one side on the opportunist/idealist scale. Pawlenty pardons someone who got caught fucking a 14 year old girl when he was 19, because they got married and had kids, but vetoed a bill allowing same-sex partners to make end of life decisions for each other because, well, that would be wrong. I hope this pardon bites him on the ass as he tries to run in 2012.

And speaking of asses, biting, and 2012, that Haley Barbour sure does hate black people, doesn't he? Although in Barbour's defense, he's too genteel to frame his hatred of black people with something as crude as, say, a "NO NEGROS ALLOWED" sign on his strip club/barbecue restaurant/grocery store. No, Haley is from that school of Southern thought that hates black people by really, really loving white people, even if, or especially if, those white people hated black people too.

That's what the phrase "it's heritage, not hate" means, by the way. Loving white people who hated black people. And the heritage Barbour was loving was the heritage of the White Citizen's Councils. In a quote he has now said he didn't mean, Barbour told the Weekly Standard:

"Because the business community wouldn't stand for it. You heard of the Citizens' Councils? Up North they think it was like the KKK. Where I come from it was an organization of town leaders. In Yazoo City they passed a resolution that said anybody who started a chapter of the Klan would get their ass run out of town. If you had a job, you'd lose it. If you had a store, they'd see nobody shopped there."

Yeah, well, Cub might want to put Rainbow out of business, but they both sell fucking groceries.

This is, of course, the Relativity Theory of Racism. Everything more racist than you is racist, and everything less racist than you is good upstanding white folks. Which means Haley Barbour isn't as racist as the Klan, but is as racist as an organization that fought desegregated schools and was, in its own words, "formed to preserve separation of the races".

He said he was sorry, and since he's a Republican, that means it would be completely unfair to treat the words he told a sympathetic conservative audience as closer to his true feelings than the carefully worded statement he put out after being yelled at for a week. I mean, Rand Paul said that it's constitutional for businesses to discriminate, and that motherfucker got elected to the Senate.

Primary season's going to be FUN.