Circus Maximus MMXVI

18 03 2015

We have a winner!

As previously mentioned, “Bread and Circuses 2016″ was in the lead as the theme name for the upcoming ongoing presidential campaign, but when I came across this phrase, I thought Yessss.

To inaugurate this chariot race, let’s (re) consider the contenders:

Republicans, short- to long-shots:
Jeb Bush
Scott Walker
.
.
Chris Christie
Marco Rubio
.
.
Legit politician, could affect debates/win a state or two, no chance:
Ted Cruz
Lindsay Graham
Mike Huckabee*
John Kasich
Rand Paul
Rick Perry
Rick Santorum*

The entertainment:
John Bolton
Ben Carson
Carly Fiorina
Bobby Jindal

Update: *Included in “legit” category only because have actually held office and have chance of affecting the chances of other candidates; otherwise would, like Jindal, be slotted as “entertainment”.

Democrats:
Hillary Clinton
.
.
.
.
.
Joe Biden
.
.
.
Martin O’Malley
Bernie Sanders
Jim Webb

Do note that this list is near-completely impressionistic, i.e., I did no additional work beyond the mostly-casual reading I’ve been doing of the race thus far. Jonathan Bernstein is a clear influence (even if I don’t always agree with him) in terms of the significance of the invisible primary, and I did look at Larry Sabato’s list in compiling this one—although, again, I don’t necessarily follow his line.

Look to the “Know Yer Politics” links to the right for more-than-just-horse (chariot?)-race coverage. In the meantime, get your togas cleaned and your sandals resoled: it’s gonna be loooong 20 months.





Let us entertain you

27 02 2015

Yes, it’s well over a year out, but I’ma itchin’—itchin‘, I tell you—gas up the theme that’s gonna take us all through the sorry mess that it our presidential campaign season.

(Just what I’m itchin’ is none of yo business.)

Anyway, I thought of “Barn-burner 2016″,  but that’s rather too square-dance-ish, don’t you think? “Flash Mob 2016″? Stale.

I then considered something throwback and classic, but I couldn’t figure out how to whittle down “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” into something both recognizable and workable.

Then I went waaaaay back and classic—Roman Empire back-and-classic—and “Bread and Circuses 2016″ is now in the lead.

My only hesitation is that, as a bread-and-roses (good thing!) socialist, the bread-and-circuses (bad thing) bit may be misleadingly close.

Still, it does have a nice ring to it, and it brings to mind bloody gladiatorial combat designed to distract us from what’s really going down behind the velvet curtains.

(She said, rolling her hands over each other. . . .)

Oh, and I could of course deal with the filter issue for “Clusterfuck 2016″ thru elision or asterixing, (Clusterfck or Clusterf*ck), but, honestly that word describes so much of our politics that it seems a shame to confine to merely one election cycle.

Anyway. The quest continues.





Wrecking ball*

26 02 2015

So, Company Man Scott** has decided that union-bustin’ = freedom-fightin‘.

In response to a question about how to defeat ISIS/ISIL, he Manfully*** argued that:

“We need have someone who leads and ultimately will send a message that not only will we protect American soil, but…freedom-loving people anywhere else in the world. We need that confidence,” he said. “If I can take on a hundred thousand protesters, I can do the same across the world.”

Yes, because union members and protesters are JUST LIKE TERRORISTS.

[redacted curse]

[redacted curse!!!!!!]

[redacted redacted cuuurrrrsssssssseeeeeHOOOOOOooooowwwwlllllll!!!!!!!!!!!}

~~~

*I was initially thinking of Emmylou’s “Wrecking Ball”, but those for Miley Cyrus’s version—“I came in like a wrecking ball”—would work well, too. That video, tho’—huh.

**I do try to be at least somewhat mature in my presidential campaign posts, but as I’ve mentioned, Walker brings out the worst in me. Given the various names/descriptions I had considered before settling on this one (for this post, at least), “Company Man” seems downright neutral. I will try to bring my Howling Badger under control, but please understand that this is as much restraint as I could currently summon. Especially after a shitstorm like this.

***Yeah, yeah, big tough guv then has to whinge (yet again!) about his words being taken out of context and the media’s out to get him, sniffle-whimper-pout. You can take on unions and terrorists, but reporters are apparently too much for you.

****No, I don’t have anything quadruple-asterixed, above, but not for nothin’, I’m still in the market for a good 2016 campaign theme. I was thinking “Clusterfuck 2016″, but I do prefer a title that’s not going to get hung up naughty-words filters.





Love me, love me, say that you love me

23 02 2015

I am all in favor of Rudy Giuliani’s continuing contributions to our nation’s political discourse.

Anything that helps to reveal  what a shit Scott Walker is is allllllll right by me.

~~~

Does this post indicate incipient Walker Derangement Syndrome? Only if he wins, people, only if he wins—and you’d better believe I’m gonna do. . . um . . . something. . . to . . . kneecap his chances.

I really don’t need to spend 4-8 years howling into the wind.





An army of me

12 08 2014

I’d really like to see a woman president, I would.

And I have a certain admiration for Hillary Clinton, I do.

But if asked if I would support her over other, to-be-determined, Democratic candidates, I would not.

The thinking behind this interview is a big reason why.





Just gonna have to be a different man

17 06 2014

I am admittedly ambivalent on the prospects of Hillary Clinton running for president.

I’d dearly love to see a woman president, but if I thought Russ Feingold had half a chance in Hades of becoming prez, I’d vote for him in a New York minute.

She’s just too. . . conservative for me to get hepped up about her.

(That said, if she’s the nominee, you can be damned sure I’ll vote for her over Ted Cruz or Rick Perry or Scott Walker: “voting while sighing” is preferable to “smashing an icepick thru my eye socket”.)

In any case, she’s received a fair amount of (mostly negative) press on her tetchiness with Terry Gross, and, honestly, her inability to give a decent answer to mildly skeptical questions about her “evolution” on gay marriage is ridiculous. She changed her mind, it’s clear she changed her mind, and yet this woman who had adopted a wonderfully FuckIt attitude while Secretary of State somehow froze up when confronted with that known aggressor Gross.

Not that it’ll matter. She might get some grief about it in the primary, but chances are her opponents will also have “evolved” on the issue and will be unwilling to press her too hard. If she makes it to the general, it won’t matter at all: many Americans who today favor same-sex marriage probably had the same views about the issue in the 1990s as Clinton did, and thus won’t hold her changing views against her.

Hell, they might even feel reassured by her vagueness about exactly when and why her views changed, not least because the course of their own change is similarly vague.

Those of who pay attention to politics often want some kind of consistency or thru-line in their candidates and politicians; we want, in some weird kind of way, for them to be better than us—or, vainly, for them to be good enough to deserve our support.

But we’re not normal—most people don’t pay attention to politics—and it’s not at all clear that the characteristics we prize or deplore in politicians matters much to the folks who don’t tune in to the race before that last Labor Day before the election.

And for better and for worse, they’re the ones who’ll have the final say on who the next president is.





You’ll meet an army of me

18 05 2014

Oh, good, a chance to run my favorite picture of Hillary Clinton:

Image by Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

Again, I like this shot because it freaks out all the right people.

And, again, I neither support nor don’t-support Clinton’s run, and if she does run, I don’t know that she’d be my candidate. I don’t have to decide now, and so I won’t.

But I bring up her possible candidacy now because Karl Rove has stated that Clinton’s age and health are fair game if she does run.

I agree.

I’ve stated before that I have some concerns about her age, if not at the outset of her presidency, then certainly by the end of a second term. The presidency is an impossible job, so all other things being equal, I’d rather someone younger than older.

The catch, of course, is that “all other things” are rarely equal: I’d vote for someone older with better policies than someone younger—Rand Paul, say—with worse policies.

Anyway, I’ve repeated ad nauseam that anything goes in presidential elections, that the only standard for any line of attack or defense is “will it work”.

And this is where Rove gets in trouble. It’s not that Clinton’s age or health in any way “should” be verboten, but that raising the issue in the wrong way can snap back at’cha. Saying she continues to suffer from a brain injury and might have dementia is dumb, and claiming she was in the hospital for a month when it is easy to confirm that she was not is super-dumb.

Which means it’ll be harder rather than easier to make this point later, if she does decide to run.

Which means this play didn’t work.

Anything goes: meet super-dumb.








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,411 other followers