Running the Asylum

It’s impossible to escape the breathless (and brainless) reporting of the sad, sad, spectacle that is the Republican Presidential primary, but what’s most painful, not to mention infuriating, is watching the media treat it as a serious exercise, when it’s anything but.

Last week the New York Times bothered to run a two-page foldout on the preposterous “policy positions” of the candidates, which are, except for Ron Paul, exactly the same.  None believe in Climate Change, and all fall over each other endorsing policies that will radically exacerbate it.  All would further cut the absurdly low taxes on the rich while cutting programs for everyone else.  None would produce anything that approximates a balanced federal budget, though they all risibly claim to be fanatically opposed to  runaway “spending.”  All are opposed to Obama’s mild and incremental health care reform and see socialism lurking in the pathetically weak Dodd-Frank banking law.  All are opposed to environmental protection of any kind, and on social issues, all are somewhere to the right of the Taliban.  All, except Paul, are in favor of war with Iran and increasing our destructive support of an increasingly belligerent Israel.  All, except Paul again, think torture is the greatest thing since high-fructose corn syrup, of which they naturally are all in favor, too.

In short, every one of these “candidates” is nuttier than a Christmas fruitcake, and yet the media treats them as though they are, well, fit to run for office.  Paging David Gregory…..  They’re not.   Romney, presumed to be the “electable” one, is thought of as such for no reason other than that he is blessed with the backing of the Republican Money Machine; no American has ever admitted to actually liking the guy.  It must be dispiriting to be a Fox-addled bible-thumper and come to the dawning realization that your party doesn’t give a rat’s ass about your opinion; vote for Romney or be saddled with the Kenyan commie for four more years.

No wonder they flocked to such buffoons and cretins as Cain, Perry, Bachmann, Trump (!), and on and on.  When you’re both frothingly angry and willfully stupid, poor decision making comes with the territory.  The latest flavor (heh) is Santorum, the most universally despised and pathetically hopeless of them all.  Nonetheless, today the media is treating as worthy of discussion his momentary bounce into third place, as though his 18 point loss, kooky obsession with sex, and creepy stillborn fetus story aren’t inherently disqualifying.

Of course, it is nothing more than the deep conflicts of interests that plague our corporate media that force them to pretend to believe this is some sort of contest; they’re going to be buried in billions of dollars of advertising revenue even as they get to avoid tedious, expensive reporting on anything that actually matters.  Romney will, of course, be the nominee, and despite the fact that Obama is a lousy President, he’ll still lose.  But he’ll do so by a disturbingly small margin, owing to lazy reporting and the shallow, idiotic “balance” that favors the biggest liar in every race.

Despite the fact that Romney, in the eyes of the media, anyway, is seen as “moderate,” the positions he’s been forced to take in order to appeal to the looney “base” of the Republican party are indistinguishable from any other denizen of the Clown Car, but that is probably not why he’ll lose, unfortunately.  Nor will he lose because his tax returns will reveal that he pays less tax than a WalMart greeter, although in a just world, that too would be a deal-breaker.  Sadly, Romney will lose because A) He’s a Mormon, and B) He’s a Massachusetts “liberal.”  Rush Limbaugh said so.

That’s the bed Republicans, with a healthy assist from a brain-dead media, have made for themselves, and Romney is destined to lie in it.  The rest of us will just have to put up with ten months of unadulterated horseshit to get there.  Happy New Year.


  1. dirigo says:

    Santorum, in a recently staged picture in some blasted Iowa heath, looked very presidential in garish orange hunter duds, cradling a shotgun and surrounded by his retinue, all similarly clad. An inspiration for us all.

    But I do wonder about his aim.

    This just in at the CHNN Eastern Desk: Rupert Murdoch has Twittered Rick. Something about tramping around together in orange. It’s a bromance!

  2. cocktailhag says:

    Sheesh. I think I’d be pretty safe if I were a deer.

  3. The Heel says:

    Now that was a great start into the new year. Witty, sassy, sarcastic and spunky. Keep it up!

    Happy new year, Tart!


    • cocktailhag says:

      Thanks, Heel. Actually, I thought it was a little lacking in the humor department, owing to the depressing topic.

      • avelna says:

        Depressing and infuriating. Elections anymore are pure crap and having to observe the dog and pony show for months on end is enough to make one want to retire to a cave until the whole spectacle is over with.

        • cocktailhag says:

          Yeah, as I head into my third year of this blog (Jan. 9), I don’t look forward to it; thanks, righties, for picking the least humorous candidate.

  4. dirigo says:

    ” … rule over men, not over a dead city!

    Ships are only hulls, citadels are nothing,

    When no life moves in the empty passageways.”

    … priest to Oedipus

    … Prologue

    … Oedipus Rex, Sophocles

  5. Ché Pasa says:

    But but but but, Willard Won Iowa! By a nose! God’s in his Heaven, all’s right with the world! Yay!!!!! The Theocratic Cultist beats the Theocratic Nonentity like a drum! (Is it over?)

    What gets me about all of this Republican campaign hooey is that the entire MediaPlex Industry — including nearly all of the New Media — treated Iowa’s Caucuses like they were the actual presidential campaign, with only Republican candidates. Whoever came out on top in Iowa would by implication sail on to the White House without further ado. Unless it was Ron Paul, of course. Then he there would have to be a “Stop Ron Paul!” campaign further down the road. But Willard was clearly The Annointed, and all of this breathless coverage of Iowa was just propaganda preparing the battle space as it were. The point being for the proles to come to expect and accept their New Emperor come the fall.

    It was taken for granted. And at least to my jaundiced political eye, it was all very obvious.

    The Santorum Boomlet will be allowed to have its day, then its bubble will be popped like a overripe zit.

    Who will actually sit in the Big Chair a year from now is not as certain as They — the MediaPlex Industry, our own MiniTru — is making it out to be; too many variables are in play.

    But this obsessive focus on Iowa — as if its auguries were truly meaningful — is a sign that the die is cast: pure, non-stop, unadulterated pro-Willard propaganda from here on out, with the outcome essentially foregone.

    The trick will be to sidestep the BS and short circuit the Propaganda Machine.

    That can be done from the top or from the bottom. Engaging in yet another Imperial War of Aggression is the favored means from the top; how those below go about it remains to be seen.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Well, either way you slice it, selling Willard will be a tall order.
      Watching his “victory” speech last night, I wanted to vomit. He was by turns, smarmy, overconfident, and mean, and his fake smiles made him look like a cross between a Ken doll and the Joker.
      If that’s the best the Republicans can do, the media has its work cut out.