Putting Their Mouths Where Their Money Is

On some level, you have to hand it to to Governors Rick Perry of Texas, Sam Brownback of Kansas, and Terry Branstad of Iowa; this may be the first known incidence of Republicans actually walking the talk, rather than, as usual, letting others do the legwork while they cash in, and eat at Morton’s afterward.  Oh, perhaps it would have been braver for them to sign up for the wars, quaff a tall glass of fracking fluid, or work a few shifts in a Massey Energy mine, but no one, including their supporters, would ever expect them to do such a thing.  So I for one have to hand it to them, actually eating, albeit probably for the first and last time, the ammonia-laced offal their meat industry supporters have been foisting on unsuspecting Americans for two decades.

Of course, they’re still Republicans, so they ham-handedly attempt to turn a discussion of revolting corporate practices into a heartfelt lament for the idled workers, whom I’m quite certain, given their experience, would no more eat pink slime than take a dip in one of the many “waste lagoons” such companies create.  As Jon Stewart so deftly pointed out, pink slime is too disgusting for McDonald’s, an eatery famously disdained by none other than Tom DeLay, so seeing Republicans praise, and better yet, eat the stuff is a glorious sight.  What’s next?  James Inhofe retiring to the Maldives?

One thing you can say about Republicans is that they are generally able to avoid the personal consequences of their own actions, which is one reason they so routinely dismiss them.  Scott Walker is never going to work in a classroom, Mitt Romney is equally unlikely to show up uninsured at an emergency room, and the chances that Rick Santorum would need birth control are vanishingly slight.  Tellingly, the two smarter ones only nibbled delicately on patties sans bun, but ol’ Rick “Oops” Perry scarfed a big hamburger like a stoned college kid.  He also posed with a t-shirt that read, “It’s beef, Dude,” which in the most technical sense, I suppose it is.  But if you have to say so, isn’t the battle already lost?

The name for this nauseating byproduct, “finely textured lean beef,” could have been, and probably was, invented by Frank Luntz, and it’s about as truthful as any of his other monikers.  Let’s just say that if you scoop the leavings off the floor when all the obviously edible parts are removed, stick it in a centrifuge (!) to extract “bone and connective tissue”,  douse it with ammonia, and then it comes out of a giant Play-Doh putty pumper to be formed into cubes and used to dilute real meat, the term isn’t exactly a descriptive as, well, pink slime.  Naturally, it isn’t this reality that offends these esteemed officials, it’s the effrontery of anyone calling something, anything, what it is, as their pompous speeches make clear.

In their calculatedly euphemized world, things themselves don’t matter, but only the words used to describe them.  (See Interrogation, enhanced, et al…)  But you can’t eat words, especially if you’re a Republican and it’s rarely necessary, even to make a spurious point for the cameras.   Sometimes, you might even have to eat pink slime, and they did.  I guess those campaign contributions will buy a lot of Pepto-Bismol.



  1. loretta says:

    I haven’t had a hamburger since around 1987. In the past couple of years, I had a little filet mignon here and there, just for the iron. The meat industry is truly gross.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I usually try to close my eyes, but I do like a quality piece of meat here and there. I have eaten at Taco Bell in one especially penurious moment in the early 2000′s, but none since. I can safely say I missed out on pink slime, except when my cheapskate older brother, Butts, brought them to a barbeque and they scared everybody with just the smoke.

  2. Annice says:

    I’ll take a steak anytime! Although I have never in my 48 years had a hamburger from a fast food joint! Just grossed out about it, making one one the BBQ is the best, why would I want something artificial…….we should not subject schools to adopt this pink slime crap!

    • cocktailhag says:

      Thankfully schools have stopped; that’s what’s worrying our Job Creators right now, and what has the righties so riled that they’re willing to eat garbage.

  3. mikeinportc says:

    Still waiting for Hugh Carey to drink some PCBs . ;)

    When I first saw the title, I thought you were on a slime mold rant, for some reason. ( As this is the slime mold capital of the world, I get asked about it, a lot(!), every August.) I’d rather eat the slime mold.

  4. avelna says:

    And in the meantime of course, all these rethug govs. are trying their damndest to insure that those “poor, benighted” workers earn minimum wage (or less) with no benefits, under whatever working conditions their employers find cheapest and most convenient.

  5. Ché Pasa says:

    The fact that these delightful gentlemen would feel compelled to go to bat for pink slime should be a critical “ah ha!” moment for their constituents, but sadly, I’ll bet that synapse was terminated long ago.

    “MMMMM! Pink Slime is good for you!”

  6. michlib says:

    Inexcusable. How could these governors not consult with Andy Card, who would have told them you roll out new product ( or re-branded old product ) in September? And a nice Luntzian neo-noun ( it’s new – it’s Texas Tofu ) as an Orwellian trademark would give it cache with the Faux Nuze crowd.
    Ironic that the Texas gubner would scarf down the offal parading as food. Makes me think of the children of Texas and the ” education ” their state provides.

  7. Teddy says:

    I do want one of those t-shirts, though.

    Bet Rick Perry wears it to ‘the bar.’ Or to the mens room, where he apparently sidles up to urinating dudes while singing at the top of his lungs, ODing on painkillers before CNN debates.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I want a shirt, too; do you think it comes in a more flattering color, though? I’m an “Autumn.”
      As for Rick Perry in a men’s room: the less said the better, for my digestion.

      • Teddy says:

        A bad back doomed any chance Perry stood to break through. It became an open secret that he was using painkillers in sufficient dosages to keep him standing through the two-hour debates. The manager of a rival campaign was at a urinal in an empty bathroom in Hanover, New Hampshire, before the Bloomberg News debate on October 11, when he heard someone come through the door loudly singing “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.” Wondering who was making all the noise, the campaign manager turned his head and saw, to his surprise, the governor of Texas. Perry came down the row of about twenty urinals and stood companionably close by. Nonplussed, the campaign manager made a hasty exit; as the bathroom door closed, he could hear Perry still merrily singing away: “I-I-I’ve been working on the ra-a-i-i-l-road, all-l-l the live-long day . . .”

        From http://wonkette.com/468784/rick-perry-hopped-up-on-pain-pills-singing-in-the-bathroom

        My question is: does “companionably close by” mean “shared my urinal?”

        • cocktailhag says:

          I doubt that, but “companionably close” sounds too close, to me. I’ve been resisting reading more of that story, but it is sounding more and more intriguing, in the ickiest possible way. Especially the song choice: Rick Perry working “all the live long day?”
          Don’t Texas governors work, like, six weeks every other year?
          At least he wasn’t singing “I Want Your Sex,” or “Like a Virgin.”