Thursday, October 20, 2011

58 Second Flat (Read Fast) Post-GOP Debate Analysis: A Parade Of Imbeciles

I remain just one thing, and one thing only, and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician. ~ Charlie Chaplin

Indeed, to call this current field of GOP presidential candidates a sorry bunch of humorless clowns and leave it at that would be an insult to Chaplin and his noble profession. With that in mind, here are some of the STUPIDEST things any politician running for president on a major party label has ever said:

It wasn't even Herman Cain's "apples and oranges" to describe his ridiculous "9-9-9" tax overhaul hatched by a small town accountant that would hammer the poor, kill the American auto industry turning U.S. dealerships into used car lots since the tax would apply only to "new" not "used goods," and likely turn eBay into the world's largest supermarket. Nor was it the tired old Republican "wholly owned subsidiary" of Big Oil mantra pushed by their corporate lackey Rick Perry that we can drill, blast and extract our way to energy independence, if only the EPA and its pesky clean air, clean water, clean rivers, clean environment regulations would simply disappear. 

Here's Teh STOOPID, a sampling of the "awesomeness" of Ron Paul as Rachel put it in a moment of total mind-melt — Ron Paul who said abortion was the "ultimate government tyranny" and equated Social Security to "slavery" was, curiously, the one who sometimes made sense ... Hello, anybody home?:

Ron Paul: (On "really not" keeping kids on their parents' health insurance until age 26.) "There’s been a lot of discussion about medicine, but it seems to be talking about which kind of government management is best. Our problem is we have too much. We’ve had it for 30, 40 years. We have Medicare. We have prescription drug programs. We have Medicaid." Yes ... and your point is? 

Paul: "But if you want better competition and better health care, you should allow the American people to opt out of government medicine" and "the way to do this is to not de-emphasize the medical savings account, but let people opt out, pay their bills, get back to the doctor-patient relationship."

Setting aside the fact that there is no "government medicine" (it's a private for-profit insurance system) except for the VA and modern MASH units performing miracles on the field saving the lives and limbs of our warriors ... would that we, civilians, were so lucky as to have that awesome "government medicine" at our disposal. No, we have to deal with the private insurance system, if we have any insurance at all. I suppose this libertarian twit wants us to pay for open-heart surgery or chemotherapy with chickens, too? But Paul's unnatural appeal to progressives comes from statements like these which, to quote Rachel, sound real good "in the abstract":

Paul: "Well, I think we’re on economic suicide if we’re not even willing to look at some of these overseas expenditures, 150 bases — 900 bases, 150 different countries. We have enough weapons to blow up the world about 20-25 times. We have more weapons than all the other countries put together essentially. And we want to spend more and more, and you can’t cut a penny? I mean, this is why we’re at an impasse. I want to hear somebody up here willing to cut something. Something real."

And here, Paulie attacks their deity Ronald Reagan which, admittedly, is probably the high point of his weird career, setting the morons in his midst straight; he'd had just about enough of  the idiot Herman Cain saying first, that he'd negotiate for hostages, and the next day:

Cain (stupefyingly moronic): "No, I — I said that I believe in the philosophy of we don’t negotiate with terrorists. I think — I didn’t say — I would never agree to letting hostages in Guantanamo Bay go. No, that wasn’t — that wasn’t the intent at all."
Gingrich (piously): "Just very straightforward. Callista and I did a film on Ronald Reagan. [KA-CHING, KA-CHING ... get your credit cards out, Teabaggers] There’s a very painful moment in the film when he looks in the camera and says, 'I didn’t think we did this. I’m against doing it. I went back and looked. The truth is, we did. It was an enormous mistake.'"

Paul: "Oh, yes. As a matter of fact, I don’t want to make a statement. I want to ask a question. Are you all willing to condemn Ronald Reagan for exchanging weapons for hostages out of Iran? We all know that was done."
Santorum: "That’s not — Iran was a sovereign country. It was not a terrorist organization, number one."

Paul (sarcastically): "Oh, they were our good friends back then, huh?"

Santorum (blabbering): "They’re not our good friends. They’re — they’re — they’re a sovereign country, just like the — the Palestinian Authority is not the good friends of Israel."

Paul: "He [Ronald Reagan] negotiated for hostages."

Thumbs up, Paulie. But then he reverted back to the same-old same-old libertarian mantra: cut aid to Egypt and Israel because in Egypt the Arab Spring produced a "more hostile regime." That's just not so. In fact, the Arab Spring validates the foreign aid we have been giving Egypt through the decades as a moderating force with a pro-American population in a region that is otherwise fiercely hostile to Israel (and therefore America) and is a tinderbox for conflagration. For Paul to say foreign aid makes Israel "dependent" on us is actually the point, isn't it, if we want to exert any influence on Israel to reach a peace agreement with its neighbors. 

Since aid to Israel is overwhelmingly military it has little to do with Israel getting its "sovereignty back" as a function of its "dependent" economy (?) — the same old Paulist libertarian refrain.  It has everything to do with Israel's capacity to protect and preserve its sovereignty through military security, which is where the preponderance of U.S. aid to Israel goes. Not all foreign aid is worthy of praise but neither is it a handout — it is an instrument of U.S. foreign policy; its purpose is to protect the U.S. national interest in benign and positive ways, through peace not war. At its best (rebuilding Europe and Japan, keeping the peace between Israel and its neighbors, extending the hand of friendship through the Peace Corps, and paying to denuclearize huge nuclear arsenals in the former Soviet republics to keep them from falling into terrorist hands), U.S. foreign aid packs a tremendous punch and return on a very modest investment to peacefully secure our national interest worldwide. 

Paul: "And — and look at what’s the result of all that foreign aid we gave to Egypt? I mean, their — their dictator that we pumped up, we spent all these billions of dollars, and now there’s a more hostile regime in Egypt. And that’s what’s happening all around Israel. That foreign aid makes Israel dependent on us. It softens them for their own economy. And they should have their sovereignty back." 

Ron Paul is a Republican gadfly in the good sense of the word, and the highest expression — or at least, the most self-evident one — of the inherent silliness of so-called "libertarianism." The other candidates on that stage are know-nothing morons, neo-fascists, and religious zealots. So maybe Rachel's mind-melt exuberance for Paul is because he tends to humanize them, somewhat ... He's that silver lining she's always looking for among these demonic Republicans.

The strain of xenophobic isolation running through the Republican Party today is not very different from its isolationism during World War II when the wingnut elements of Republicanism actually admired Hitler and Mussolini. Others, like Paul, believed in the fortress America idea of retreat from the world. In this fantasy world, U.S. isolation doesn't lead to Nirvana. There are lots of bad actors ready to step into the void.

Okay, Rachel: time to come down to earth from your Glenn Beck/Ron Paul fandom planet.
There were too many stupid, ignorant statements to count in this debate. Its high ratings may cut both ways. Although to some of us these people expose themselves for the utter morons and imbeciles they are, faith the viewing public stuck as it is on "reality TV" — a definite oxymoron here — will see it that way too is a leap we should not take, considering that on the other side of the podium the Idiot Punditocracy sits poised to analyze these words of GOP "wisdom." 

Some, at least, had enough self-respect not to say anything nice about this spectacle. Herman Cain, from start to finish, was a parade of utter stupidity. And Michele Bachmann is certifiably insane. Appealing to the inbred xenophobia of their lunatic fringe audience/voters, the candidates made much about cutting "foreign aid" which constitutes less than 1% of the U.S. budget, conflating  it with the trillion spent on the unnecessary Republican Bush-Cheney war in Iraq and our deepening quagmire in Afghanistan. This statement from Bachmann, in particular, which no one seemed to notice, stood out big-time for me:

Bachmann: "Cutting back on foreign aid is one thing. Being reimbursed by nations that we have liberated is another. We should look to Iraq and Libya to reimburse us for part of what we have done to liberate these nations."

Madam President Bachmann: Please to tell, who in your fantasy administration will be drawing the short straw as unfortunate U.S. envoy that delivers to the Iraqui and Libyan governments a bill to "to reimburse us for part of what we have done to liberate these nations"? Hmm ... Let's see now: We invade a country (Iraq) which had nothing to do with 9-11, and was actually a buffer against Iranian expansionism in the region, depose their brutal dictator (who had nothing to do with 9-11 and had no ties to Islamic fundamentalism) at a cost to the Iraquis of, conservatively, 150,000 innocent dead civilians, many of them killed by our own WMD as so much "collateral damage," and many more than Saddam ever killed at the height of his brutality. And to Lybia, maybe we demand a discount on the oil the transnational corporations have been exploiting for decades? 

Yeah, I can see them taking it really well. Especially the Iraquis. Do human beings have a price when they're not Americans? Because our debt may start adding up exponentially. Perhaps the Iraquis will politely double and triple down on Bachmann's bill. That is, if they don't get kind of mad and behave, well, like the Spartans:

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