Isn’t that what they call it?
Sure, gadfly, a biting pest. Incessant shrill buzzing. Irritating whine. Gadfly.
In ancient Greek mythology the gadfly was a tormenter sent to earth by the goddess Hera. See, Hera was married to Zeus, who, as it turns out, was also her brother. Yes, back then it was totally ok for siblings to marry, just so long as they weren’t both dudes – think of Mount Olympus as the North Carolina of the ancient world. On the surface everything seemed okay, Zeus and Hera appeared at fundraisers and rallies around ancient Greece and all of the other gods thought they were your average political couple. Turns out, however, that Zeus was fooling around with one of the staffers, a chick named Io, who was into unicorns, Twilight, and making YouTube Videos. Needless to say, when Hera heard about the affair there was some serious lightning and thunderbolts – Hades may hath no fury like a women scorned, and when the woman in question is a member of the ancient Greek pantheon and no less than the Goddess of Women and Marriage who is also known for her jealous rage and vengeful nature, let’s just say you might want to make sure your medical insurance covers reattachment of external plumbing. Zeus, of course, denied everything and tried to hide his infidelity from Hera. In an Olympian caliber act of douche-baggery, Zeus turned Io into a white heifer and then gave her to Hera as a gift. Let me repeat that, he turned his girlfriend into a cow and gave her to his wife as a token of his affection, hiding the crime in plain sight so to speak. Hera, not being a complete idiot, was not entirely fooled. So she had the cow put in pen and guarded by Argus Panoptes, he of the hundred eyes and crappy disposition. Now, you figure at this point Zeus would breathe a sigh of relief at not having his aforementioned external plumbing kicked into his abdominal cavity. You’d think he would firmly zip up his toga and behave himself. Nope. Remember this is the guy who turned his girlfriend into a cow. So, Zeus sends his little winged toadie, Hermes, to kill Argus. Then Zeus proceeded to do the wild thing with Io again – who, if you recall, is now a cow. Literally. (Remember that wisecrack about North Carolina? Hello). Did I mention that Zeus was sort of a douche bag? It gets worse. Zeus managed to pull a Levi Johnson, because apparently if you’re going to kill the security guard and get it on with the livestock there’s just not much point in practicing safe sex anyway. Moo. Zeus knew that if Hera found out Io was knocked up, he was never going to hear the end of it. So he bribed Io with money from his King-of-the-Gods campaign fund to say that the Cyclops was her baby’s father. But the truth was bound to come out sooner or later. And it did. There were pictures in the tabloids and one night Zeus came home smelling of hay and covered in milking-machine hickies. Hilarity ensued. Hera was what they used to call in ancient world, pissed, so she conjured up the gadfly and sent it to harass Io by stinging her and buzzing about her ears and generally being an irritating little pest.
Eventually the gadfly drove Io from Greece so Zeus could no longer find her. I think kicking Zeus’ junk into his abdominal cavity would have been more effective (and don’t give me that bro’s before ho’s nonsense either, the guy impregnated a cow. Sorry, dude, but I have to post those pictures on your mom’s Facebook page. It’s the stupid-drunk law. No exceptions) but Hera didn’t ask me.
Now, don’t worry about Io, eventually she went to Egypt where she wrote a moderately successful tell-all book and got a movie deal with the Lifetime Channel.
Zeus ended up alone, reviled by women the world over, protectively clutching his junk, and facing jail time.
It looked like it might be a happy ending all around, but things didn’t work out so good for Hera.
And the Gadfly? He moved to Texas, became a politician and continued to buzz about, biting people on the ears and making a general pest of himself.
What does this tortured mash-up of myth, metaphor, and miscreants have to do with anything? You’ll see.
In news totally unrelated to annoying gadflies, Ron Paul announced yesterday that he’s giving up active campaigning.
Supposedly he’s not suspending his campaign per se, and if conservatives choose him at the Republican Convention it’s not like he’ll turn down the nomination, but he’s not going to spend another dime trying to win the remaining state primaries.
Ron Paul’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton, said very clearly that any hopes of Paul winning the Republican presidential nomination are now officially over:
"We recognize that Governor Romney has what is very likely to be an insurmountable delegate lead, and we acknowledge that we're very, very unlikely to be able to block that nomination."
In an open letter to his fans, Ron Paul said:
“Our campaign will continue to work in the state convention process. We will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates, and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that Liberty is the way of the future. Moving forward, however, we will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted. Doing so with any hope of success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have.”
Over on Yahoo, his supporters took the news calmly:
Ron Paul did NOT admit that! This race is about delegates. And, he's been winning delegates, despite the frauds and dirty tricks committed by Romney supporters and GOP establishment!!
Lies, lies lies! He did NOT end his campaign and his TRUE supporters know this! Media liars are spreading lies again like wildfire!
He did not drop out!! he's still in the running, just focusing on delegate conventions and not popular votes... which is a good strategy bc delegates are what matter!!!
Talk about yellow journalism!!!! Their is a video on his website about these false claims!!! he is not going to waste money on advertising in Primary states, like Florida, which Romney spent 50 million dollars in. Anyone stupid enough to voter for Romney, he has one, no need to vote in primaries. Take the time off to smoke some more crack, or sniff Mitt's magic underwear!!!
More Lame Stream Media Lies.......Ron has alot more delegates than they lead you to believe maybe even more than Romney now..
Ron Paul has not quit the race, retards!!!
I will write in Ron Paul with my own blood if I have to!
I don’t know about you guys, but here in Alaska where I vote they give you a little pencil so you can darken in the circles on your ballot, you generally don’t have to use your own circulatory fluid – unless you’re voting for Satan. But I digress. As I said previously, if these people move en masse to a compound in the fetid jungles of Guyana and start eating each other and setting themselves on fire, I won’t be even remotely surprised.
Intervention from the ancient gods notwithstanding, Ron Paul is done. He’s been done for a long time, he sees it now even if his rabid supporters don’t.
And what we’re left with is exactly the 2012 election I predicted a year ago, Obama vs Romney.
Note that I do not claim any special powers of political prediction, unusual insight, penetrating perception, or any other such juju magics. And I certainly wasn’t the only one to predict that conservatives would end up with Romney right from the very start. Despite the protestations of the Paulistas, Romney’s ascendance isn’t the result of some vast media conspiracy or a deal with the Devil, rather his pending nomination was perfectly predictable for a number of reasons not the least of which were organization, political savvy, the ability to reinvent himself, lots and lots of money, and, of course, perfect hair.
But most of all, I knew he’d be the GOP candidate because Romney is a moderate (for a conservative. Bear with me for a minute).
The majority of conservatives are not, in fact, insane. The majority of conservatives are not actually slobbering extremists, glassy-eyed religious nuts, frothy barking bigots, or powdered wig wearing jingoistic nationalist war mongers who eat paint chips and draw pictures on the wall with their own feces. When it comes right down to it, most conservatives, whether they want to admit it or not, are more or less moderates – just like most liberals are. Oh sure, they’ll scream and holler and weep and wail and rail and rage against socialism and communists and Nazis and Change and the debt and big government and illegal aliens and the current generation and the homos and abortion and the lack of funding for the orbital Jesus Death Beam of Death, but they almost always pick the moderate – especially if he’s got the best haircut.
As I mentioned in a previous post, given this year’s line-up, who did conservatives pick? The guy most like Obama. Yep.
Back in 2008, who were the conservative candidates? John McCain, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, Alan Keyes, Tom Tancredo, Sam Brownback, and some other bit players like Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul. Who’d conservatives pick? John McCain. Is McCain a moderate? Compared to Huckabee, Tancredo, and Keyes? One of the main reasons McCain picked a blathering rightwing boob as his running mate was because the extremists in his party pegged him as too moderate.
2000, George W. Bush up against McCain, Keyes, Orin Hatch, Pat Buchanan, Lamar Alexander, Steve Forbes, Liz Dole, Dan Quayle, and some other riff raff like Herman Cain. Dubya a moderate? Again, compared to Alan Keyes and Pat Buchanan, yes. And remember back in 2000 Bush was considered mostly harmless by conservatives, a not-so-bright wimpy lesser version of his wimpy father – that’s why they picked Cheney as his running mate, to man him up. Nobody thought Bush would turn out to be a war mongering evangelical nutjob (OK, mostly nobody, present company excluded) – that was how most conservatives saw McCain, war hero, veteran, and son of admirals.
1996, we had Bob Dole who beat out Buchanan, Forbes, Alexander, and Keyes. Dick Lugar, Phil Gramm, and some folks you’ve never heard of barely even appeared on the ballot. Both Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were courted for the nomination, both couldn’t raise enough popular interest (any) or enthusiasm (ditto) and so they declined. Ross Perot acted as a spoiler, I hear Bob Dole eggs Perot’s car and leaves a bag of flaming dog poop on his porch each November 3rd in thanks (Hallmark still doesn’t make a card for costing somebody else the election, can you believe it? Given the comments from Yahoo above, there seems to be a market).
1992, George H. W. Bush was running for a second term. Republicans decided to keep him despite offers from Pat Buchanan and David Duke to go up against Bill Clinton. In ’88 it was Vice President Bush vs. Dole, Robertson, Jack Kemp, Alexander Haig (remember him? This guy makes Cheney look like a gay peacenik vegetarian), Rumsfeld, and so on. Hell, even Ronald Reagan in 1980 appealed to both sides of the political spectrum and he’s widely viewed as way too liberal to get the GOP nomination today (but he probably would).
Democrats are no different. Given the choice between leftwing extremism and a moderate, they’ll choose the moderate every time – and it doesn’t hurt if he has good hair either.
The middle majority of Americans, left and right, aren’t all that different in their political beliefs.
Yes, yes, I know, heresy!
But the simple truth of the matter is that most people on both sides are moderates, otherwise they’d be killing each other in the streets and lighting shit on fire.
People are creatures of habit. For a lot of Americans, political affiliation has less to do with actual ideology and more to do with inertia, i.e. they’re republicans or democrats because their parents were republicans or democrats. They get all frothy about things that don’t affect them in any way whatsoever, things like abortion and gay marriage and gun ownership, because their politicians tell them too. They get all emotional and filled with righteous rage but they don’t really give their positions much actual thought. I know plenty of conservatives who aren’t even a little bit religious, believe that a woman has the right to choose, think that gays should be allowed to marry (or at least have equal privileges and rights through civil unions), want the war to end and the military budget reduced, and think we ought to do more to curb in Wall Street excess and help the poor up to and including universal healthcare (Note that Mitt Romney once advocated for all of those things too, right up until he started running for King of the Conservatives). LIberals are no different. Nowhere is this demonstrated more clearly than when people start hurling insults at each other over how the GOP freed the slaves and how the Democrats are all secretly members of the KKK, or how all liberals are baby killers and how all conservatives are slobbery Jesus freaks. For most of us, we belong to a particular party because we’ve always belonged to a particular party. Period. Most Americans think about politics the same way they regard their favorite sports team, I live here so I root for this particular team who my dad also rooted for and who therefore must be the most awesome team ever no matter what. All other teams have sex with cows. That’s it and that’s all and I’ll punch you in the face if you say otherwise. If you don’t like my team, move to Canada, Traitor!
Romney has been widely pilloried due to what is now a classic political gaffe by one of his aides, Eric Fehrnstrom, who opined that the campaign would be like an Etch-A-Sketch if Romney won the nomination, i.e. they would have to shake it up and start over for the general election.
Fehrnstrom probably shouldn’t have said that out loud, but he was, of course, absolutely right.
The candidate who wins a primary is not the candidate who wins the general election.
To win a state primary, you have to look like whatever flavor of gibbering baboon-assed extremist the local yokels want. Gays? Hate ‘em! Muslims? Nuke ‘em! Tar sands? Drill ‘em! Jesus? Love ‘em! Poor people? Screw ‘em! Moderates and undecideds and independents and the other party can’t vote in your primary in most cases anyway. Indeed, most of the folks who actually can vote in the primaries don’t bother to show up. Who does that leave? Who shows up wearing red, white, and blue at your caucus and conventions? Right. Exactly. To win the nomination, you have to appeal to those people, the nuts. But even then, who do these people pick given the choice? Nine times out of ten, they vote for the moderate. They might not like the moderate, but they know the extremists can’t win the general election. Because to win a general election, especially in an election like this one, you had better appeal to the centrists, the people in the middle of the political spectrum – not blue, not red, but purple – i.e. the moderates.
To the right, Obama looks like an extremist.
To the left, Romney looks like an extremist.
But the truth of the matter is that they’re both moderates and not all that different.
Six months ago, my conservative friends were spitting nails over “that communist bastard, Romney. He’s just like Obama!” He’s an elitist. He’s too moderate. He’s a progressive. He’s got a funny religion. He’s socialist. He’s for big government. We could never ever vote for Romney! Six months ago, Mitt Romney was the anti-Christ. Now Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich have all endorsed him. Ron Paul hasn’t yet, but he will – unless he decides to run as an independent. Christian leaders, former Republican presidents, prominent conservative pundits and personalities, they’ve all jumped on the Romney bandwagon. What changed? Is Romney less rich today? Is he any less the prep-school snob? Is he less Mormon? Is he less progressive. Is he less moderate? What?
Were conservatives wrong about Romney when they said he wasn’t a real conservative? When they said all that stuff about him six months ago?
Here’s a question, if they were wrong about Romney could they be wrong about Obama?
Heh, heh, no. Of course not. Obama belongs to the other side! He’s got a funny religion! He’s an elitist! He’s a progressive. He’s a moderate! He’s for big government! He’s a socialist! Oh no, no, no, we could never ever endorse him!
Most Americans would vote for Mutant Cannibal Hitler’s Robot Head in a pickle jar full of human baby juice, just so long as it belonged to their party.
I strongly suspect that if the only thing different about Barack Obama was his political party – and he was currently standing in Mitt Romney’s shoes – he’d be cheered just as loudly in Tampa.
Or just as diffidently.
While a lot of conservatives will eventually vote for Romney, they aren’t all that thrilled with him. Which is, of course, something else they have in common with liberals – because while most liberals will vote for Obama’s reelection, many of them aren’t all that thrilled with him either.
The 'lesser of two evils' argument is what got us in the mess in the first place. Both parties are evil and both are controlled by the same interests. It's time for a real choice.
I will no longer vote for the "lesser" of two evils. Romney is no different than McCain, who is just as liberal as Obama..
Romney and Obama serve the same Federal Reserve, Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberg interests. I ain't voting. Let Obama win for all I care. This country deserves to go over the cliff. Constitution!?!?!? Say wha??? America deserves what is coming
I will do the right thing because it IS the right thing... I will vote for or write in Ron Paul. And if Corporate America brings in a new pawn or retains the Kenyan, I'll be moving to Costa Rica. Freedom isn't a gift and noone seems worthy of it here anymore
Wish more people would see that Obama and Romney are the same.
Obama or Romney and we really aren't moving ahead as a country. Really quite sad that we are forced to choose like this. Free elections. Sad
It takes us older folks to get the idea. We are in for an ugly campaign and it does not matter who wins we are in the last days. Jesus is coming back for sure and we are all going to suffer. It is written!
It is written? Probably in blood, I’m guessing.
Seems to me this Yahoo commenter sums up the basic sentiment best:
What you people don't seem to understand, is that Romney will be NO better then Obama! Most of they're policies are the same! Only difference is that Romney wants to cut taxes for the wealthy and also cut social programs for the poor and elderly. Obama on the other hand wants to raise taxes on the wealthy and keep the social programs for the poor and elderly. And the republican establishment are warmongers and would keep the wars going and probably expand them. Obama is NOT the peace candidate he claimed to be, but at least we're NOT dropping bombs on Iran yet! Either one will lead to worse conditions for MOST Americans. DO NOT VOTE FOR EITHER ONE OF THESE BOUGHT AND PAID FOR CANDIDATES! Vote for a third party candidate NOT owned by the elite! […] We must NOT vote for the establishment candidates ever again!
So, if not a republican and not a democrat, and since Not-Republican Republican Ron Paul is out, then who?
I have a suggestion.
No, no, think about it for a minute.
Sure, he used to be a democrat, but now neither mainstream political party will claim him.
In fact, nobody is going to endorse John Edwards, nobody, not Wall Street, not the Bilderbergs or the Secret Illuminati Masters of the New World Order, not the League of Women Voters (and they endorsed Clinton, think about that for a minute). Not Rush Limbaugh or John Stewart (Leno might, but nobody listens to him anyway). Talk about independent – seriously, nobody will admit to knowing this guy. Edwards? Never heard of him. Nope.
We won’t need to worry about big money influencing John Edwards, because, seriously, who’s going to give this guy money? There you go.
Extramarital affairs, secret love child, misappropriation of funds, cover-ups, shifting the blame onto subordinates, crazy ex-mistress, scandal to beat all Oval Office blowjobs, lawyer, this guy has it all. Seriously, what’s he going to do in office that would surprise you in any way? No really. While running for President of the United States under intense media scrutiny, Edwards had an affair and got his girlfriend pregnant while his own wife was dying from breast cancer and then he convinced one of his staff members to claim the baby was his by bribing the man’s wife with campaign contributions. Seriously, how could Edward top that? Ever. This guy could have jungle monkey sex with a cow in the middle of the Rose Garden while smoking crack with Marion Barry and Rod Blagojevich on a giant rug made of aborted fetuses and thousand dollar bills looted from Saddam Hussein’s treasury and the media would just sigh and print, President Edwards: Still A Douchebag.
Nixon’s secret tapes were a bunch of crotchety old white guys talking about money and their prostates, Reagan’s were about starting a war in some malaria infested shithole most Americans don’t care about and couldn’t find on a map, Ford mostly just hummed to himself and stared out the window, Bush’s were reruns of Rocky and Bullwinkle. Edwards’ secret tape was a porn movie! The guy is a natural, talk about setting the bar!
We make Edwards president, nobody, and I mean nobody, will have any overinflated expectations. At all. If this guy even lives through his term, it’ll be more than anybody expects. Seriously, he couldn’t possibly let any of us down.
I’ve already explained how we can save money on the vice president, think of the savings if we make Edwards president.
See, the way to bet here is that John Edwards is going to go to prison, right?
Which means that we already have to pay for his maintenance and upkeep. It costs, what? about $50K per year to keep a minimum security prisoner in America? Less if you don’t feed him regularly. And they can pay some of that back by making license plates, doing laundry, and giving out oral gratification in the shower. Much, much cheaper than the current presidential salary.
People are always bitching about the President taking vacations on the public dime. No need to worry about that with a federal prisoner, he’s on the clock 24/7/365. And even if he gets some furlough he’ll be wearing an ankle monitor, it’s not like he’ll be jetting off to Hawaii or Maine.
Speaking of travel, no more paying for Air Force One, if he needs to go somewhere too far for the prison bus he can always ride Con Air.
Federal prisoners come with their own security detail, no need for the Secret Service (Insert your own prostitute joke here).
We won’t have to pay the tab at Bethesda anymore either, prisoners already get inexpensive healthcare and free prostate exams.
Edwards can opt to learn a valuable skill in prison, like small engine repair or tax return preparation, so that he can find employment upon release after his term is up. He doesn’t get retirement, he gets parole contingent on finding a job.
By definition, any interactions with lobbyists and other such influence peddlers will be monitored – it says so right on the visiting room wall in big red letters.
Finding common ground with members of Congress should be easy, since so many of them are familiar with the penal system already.
Talk about leadership answerable to the people. This guy gives us any guff, we’ll spray him with a cold fire hose and throw him into the Isolation Unit for a week or two.
And of course, he’s got good hair.
John Edwards is looking at thirty years, folks. We do this right and we’ll have three decades of peace without having to listen to political attack ads and campaign speeches. Ah, the light comes on, does it? And you thought I was crazy.
Seriously, most Americans already suspect politicians are lying criminal scumbags.
With Edwards we don’t have to wonder, we’ll know.
And remember, if Edwards doesn’t work out there’ll be no need for a lengthy and expensive impeachment.
No, instead we can always have Scooter Libby shank him in the kidney for a pack of smokes.
This Election, remember the Stonekettle Station motto: Don’t just embrace the crazy, sidle up next to it and lick its ear.
And stay away from the cows. Really, I’m warning you.