February 2015

“Conservatism is the blind and fear-filled worship of dead radicalsMark Twain.

The race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination unofficially started Thursday with the beginning of the annual conservative love-in – the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). It is a beauty pageant without, thankfully, the bathing-suit portion. And there is about much depth in the Q and A.

The biggest applause goes to the most reactionary candidates – especially if they have a gift for the one liner. Sarah Palin – until the bloom went off her rose – was a CPAC goddess to the old white men. Now Ted Cruz is the favored son. But the real star of this year’s event is the latest great white hope, Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker.

Walker has set the conservative hearts aflutter as he checks both the economic and social conservative boxes. And he is making enough appropriate noises about smashing ISIS that the neocons are willing to hold his hand. Best of all, there is a sense that – unlike Cruz, Jindal, and the like – he could win.

Establishment Republicans have to show up to kiss the ring. But both candidate and audience know it is only Kabuki. They are no more than broccoli on the steak plate. Acknowledging that fact, Bush and Christie won’t give speeches; instead, they will sit for interviews with conservative talking heads Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity respectively.

Rand Paul has won the last two CPAC straw polls handily – in large part due to his non-interventionist foreign policy. But with ISIS making waves, and man-crush Bibi visiting, the chicken hawks are in the ascendance.

When Bush left office, with the American military hemorrhaging lives in Iraq & Afghanistan, isolationism was alluring. But now – with ISIS sowing the seeds of discord in the Middle-East and, in a delicious show of retro, Russia doing the dirty in Ukraine – the cold warriors are tumescent at their rediscovered relevance.

Conservatives have a long tradition of ‘The Conservative Black Man” (singular). In the House, JC Watts was a luminary (one of just six black GOP Representatives since 1935) and then Allen West briefly floated boats. Tim Scott is a quiet presence in the Senate. Presidentially, Allen Keyes took a stab in 2000 & 2008. Herman Cain, was the flavor of the month – for about a month – in 2012. And now Ben Carson strides across the GOP stage. He is adored by conservatives, who cynically know he has no chance.

CPAC is like baseball’s spring training in that regard. Every team can pretend to itself that it will make it to October – their fans full of hope. But the reality is that there are candidates whose machinations are strictly vanity. Santorum and Jindal  are exemplars of this ‘lost cause’ romanticism.

CPAC is a grand old time for the reactionary wing of the Grand Old Party. It is full of sound and fury signifying the same things it always does. The sponsor of the event, the American Conservative Union, will congratulate itself on a rousing shindig. But in all likelihood the winner of the CPAC straw poll will not go on to be the GOP’s 2016 presidential candidate.

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Really? – 2.25.15. The mystery of women’s bodies; Cancer is no big deal; America’s future in black and white (and brown).

February 25, 2015

What you learn in ‘abstinence-only’ anatomy class. During a debate over an anti-abortion bill, a Republican lawmaker in Idaho asked Monday whether women can just swallow a tiny camera in order to conduct a gynecological exam remotely with a doctor. Because the uterus is connected to the esophagus? h/t Huffington Post. Cancer is just a […]

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Really? – 2.22.15. Selective morality is bigotry; Buying a President; Is Jeb politically dead?

February 21, 2015

“Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people we personally dislike.” ― Oscar Wilde If you cherry-pick your Bible you’re not moral, you’re a bigot. In human interaction there will be times when one party feels they got the short end of the stick. In the gay marriage vs. religious businesses debate, either the […]

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There Will Be Gay Marriage – There’s No Reason For There Not To Be.

February 19, 2015

“With all the angst over gay marriage, you would think it was being made – not just legal – but mandatory.” The Supreme Court has seemingly tipped its hand on the constitutional right of gays to marry; it believes there is one. Federal courts have spoken, almost as one, to overturn equal-marriage bans in sundry […]

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Really? – 2.17.15. – Ignorance shouldn’t be contagious; Is money drowning politics?; Heroin’s new geography; Dr. Strangelove resurfaces in Arkansas.

February 16, 2015

Ignorance is a celebration. Anti-intellectualism is a badge worn by conservatives with pride. How many politicos do we need to hear say “I’m not a scientist” without consulting a scientist, before we suspect that ignorance is their shield? Kanye West has added his voice. I do not know West’s politics, but he is a soul mate […]

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It’s Winter, So Conservative Media Trots Out Its Global Warming Deniers.

February 14, 2015

“They keep saying that sea levels are rising an’ all this. It’s nowt to do with the icebergs melting, it’s because there’s too many fish in it. Get rid of some of the fish and the water will drop. Simple. Basic science.” ― Karl Pilkington, The Ricky Gervais Show. **************************************************** To hell with climatologists, I […]

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Really? – 2.13.15. Science deniers heated reaction to cold weather; Scott Walker punts on evolution; Rand Paul, the casual liar.

February 13, 2015

When ‘global’ encompasses your whole backyard. The worst thing about cold snaps is the scientific Neanderthals who sneer at global warming because it is freezing where they live – the same smug analysts who are quiet when their local temperatures hit 100º. Neither matters, of course, its ‘global warming’ – not ‘neighborhood warming’. The GOP’s […]

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Real Americans

February 9, 2015

“I have always regarded as a stroke of good fortune that I was not born or brought up in a small American town; they may be the backbone of the nation, but they are also the backbone of ignorance, bigotry, and boredom, all in vast quantities.” ― Gore Vidal Mike Huckabee, in his book ‘God, […]

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A Culture of Selfishness.

February 4, 2015

“Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The measles epidemic has shone a light on a sickness in America – selfishness. There are an increasing number of Americans who do not vaccinate their children. Some have a religious prohibition, but most […]

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