Tennessee

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Who's Sane?

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Memo to the Tennessee Republican Party: YOU ARE DUMB SQUARED.

It is a long-standing, though not recently revisited, tenet of You Are Dumb Dot Net that Tennessee is the dumbest state in the Union. It's an impressive feat, even more so when you consider that Al Gore is from Tennessee and skews the curve. It's also a long-standing tenet of this column that Republicans are dumb. So imagine how dumb the official Tennessee arm of the Grand Old Party must be.

Of course, you don't have to imagine. There's plenty of evidence to point and laugh at. Like their slogan. "Leading By Conviction". If this were any other group in the world, I'd wonder how none of them could have seen the double meaning inherent in that motto, but they're TENNESSEE REPUBLICANS. We're lucky if they get the first meaning mostly right.

I saw their slogan on their website, and I was looking on their website because that's where they put their very, very stupid press release entitled "Anti-Semites For Obama". The piece hinges entirely on Louis Farrakhan's support of Obama, and manages, in spectacular Tennessee fashion, to fuck up right out of the gate. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"On Sunday, Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan on Sunday likened Obama to a new messiah, calling him 'the hope of the entire world.' That’s the same Louis Farrakhan who has a history of making openly anti-Semitic statements, calling Judaism a 'gutter religion,' and suggesting that crack cocaine might have been a CIA plot to enslave blacks.

Now, there's no denying that Louis Farrakhan won't be invited to speak at B'nai Brith anytime soon. So it seems to me that if you're going to give two examples of Farrakhan being mean to the Chosen People, you could, perhaps, make sure that both examples are ABOUT THE JEWS. Unless the Tennessee GOP is claiming that either the CIA or crack cocaine are Hebraic in nature, that second thing isn't so much anti-Semitism as it is understandable paranoia.

The logic appears to be that Farrakhan is bad, Farrakhan likes Obama, therefore Obama is bad. I'm sure the Tennessee GOP will be applying the same logic to Rick Renzi, John McCain's Arizona campaign co-chair, who just got indicted on 35 counts of being a really crooked son of a whore. Just as soon as someone manages to successfully explain "logic" to them.

Most of the rest of it is the usual rabidly pro-Israel "reasoning" found from these types of people. Someone on Obama's campaign supports negotiating with Hamas, therefore he is pro-terrorist. Oh, and one other thing. The press release went way out of its way to put the "Hussein" in every time they put "Barack" next to "Obama". And tried to pretend it wasn't any big deal.

We all know what the Hussein thing is about. It's about making fence-sitters uncomfortable. You know, the "undecideds". The people who aren't happy with the way things are now, but with enough prodding at their psyches, will be able to rationalize not voting for a black guy in November. They'll never say it's because he's got a Muslim-sounding name, or an Arabesque albedo, but when they tell you it's about his "lack of experience" or his "health care plan", you'll know that in fact, the Hussein has wormed its way into their dark hearts.

It's such a blatantly obvious ploy, in fact, that luminaries of lying like Karl Rove and John McCain have to pretend to disapprove of it. And they pretended so well that by the end of the day, the Husseins, which GOP spokeswoman Robin Smith insisted were no different than Nixon's "Milhouse" or Clinton's "Rodham", had vanished from the press release.

Which they did, by the way, only "in order to diffuse attempts by Democrats and the Left to divert attention from the main point of this release". They meant "defuse", of course, but millions of PowerPoint presentations across the nation have gotten that one wrong, so that's nothing special. What is special is the way that they've tried to spin their retreat as a courageous stand. No, really. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Our Monday, Feb 25, press release alerting voters that Sen. Barack Obama has foreign policy advisers and endorsements rooted in anti-Semitic and anti-Israel views has been twisted by Democrats who would prefer to scream 'racism!' rather than deal with Obama’s real and worrisome record. Attempts to put the Tennessee Republican Party at odds with Sen. John McCain regarding our Monday press release and his Tuesday comments are ineffective and vacant given Sen. McCain’s consistently strong record as a defender of Israel."

You hear that, Democrats? The Tennessee GOP and Senator Straight Talk are BFF, no matter how many times he tells us not to use the "Hussein" thing because it makes us look like the redneck racist assholes we are. So there! He's going to sign our yearbook, and you can't, because you called us racists.

Also, "vacant"? I know I can't reasonably expect the Tennessee GOP to string that many words together without getting one of them wrong, but what the fuck is a vacant attempt? Just because you live in a state full of vacant stares, vacant skulls, and vacant libraries doesn't mean that you can attach "vacant" to any noun you happen to grab off the street.

Tennessee. Can't live with it, and it's so fucking landlocked you can't break it off and float it out to sea without sending half a dozen other states with it.

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