Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The War Is Over, But The Battle Rages On…

And then there were, er, uh, two?

Two actual GOP candidates I mean. 

And one of the two is Ron Paul, so technically it’s really just Mitt Romney.

Or is it?


Santorum’s out. For sure. Sort of. Maybe.

We made a decision over the weekend that, while this presidential race for us is over, for me, and we will suspend our campaign effective today, we are not done fighting."

We’re not done fighting.

But, we will suspend our campaign.

Santorum is out like Newt Gingrich is out.  Like Michelle Bachmann is out.  Like Rick Perry is out.  Like Herman Cain is out. 

They’re out. But they’re not out out. They quit, but they didn’t quit quit.

They lost, but they’re still fighting. 

Kind of like their queen,

It may be tempting and more comfortable to keep your head down, plod along, and appease those who demand [that you] sit down and shut up, but that’s the worthless easy path. That’s a quitter’s way out

That was Sarah Palin, during her resignation speech when she quit her job as Alaska State Governor on July 3, 2009

It’s over, but we’re not done fighting?

We’re done, but we’re not done.

We quit, but we didn’t actually quit.

What the hell does that even mean?

Honestly, suspend? We suspended our campaign. It’s so totally not like quitting.  We’re not running for office any more, but we didn’t quit. No no, quitting is for quitters.  We not quitters, we suspended our campaign. We’re suspenders

Bachmann, Gingrich, Perry, and now Santorum all “suspended” their campaign.

Then they all vowed to keep fighting (just like they all vowed to go all the way to Tampa, but I digress, as is my wont).

Refresh my memory, aren’t these the same people who so utterly despise “political correctness” and who pride themselves on “saying it like it is” without sugar coating? Really aren’t these those people?

Why the hell can’t they just admit that they lost and they are now quitting?

Honestly, I think there needs to be some kind of federal law or Constitutional amendment or a Fatwa from His Humungous, the Pope, or something that compels politicians to stand in front of a camera and say this exact line, “I quit.  I am defeated. My campaign is over. I concede. I have lost.  I am a loser. I was beaten. I am no longer a candidate. I am a worm.  I am lower than whale turds on the bottom of the sea.  I have lost, lost, lost.  I will now slink home where I will sit in my darkened living room wearing nothing but a pair of dirty boxer shorts and watch reruns of SpongeBob Squarepants while moaning like a small child with a belly ache. I will drink cheap red wine straight from the box and go unwashed and cry until my wife brings me a grilled cheese sandwich with the crust trimmed off and some Chef Boyardee Spaghetti-O’s with the little cut up weenies in ‘em.”

Then they should be publically marked with a large “L” drawn on their foreheads in indelible black Sharpie Marker and be forced to wear their underpants on the outside of their clothes for a year whenever they are out in public.

I guarantee that a law like that would dramatically cut down on this “suspend” bullshit. 

Yes, yes. I’m an idea man, everybody says so. Make sure they spell my name correctly on the Nobel, my middle name is “Goddamned.”

The battle is over.

But we’re going to keep fighting.

What? Like one of those Japanese soldiers they used to find in a cave on some long forgotten South Pacific island fifty years after World War II ended? All wild-eyed and bearded and raggedy-assed, living on rats and drinking his own piss. Still fighting for a long defunct Emperor and a nation that had been burned to the ground and rebuilt as a country that makes fuel-efficient cars, creepy Anime porn, and music that sounds like a cat and a fire alarm in a blender? Like that? Is that how they’ll “keep fighting?”  Because I would totally pay to see Rick Santorum drink his own piss, I’m just saying.

Santorum didn’t give a reason for his non-quitting campaign suspension. 

The press seems to think it was because of his daughter, Bella, who has a rare genetic disorder and was hospitalized over the weekend. As a parent myself, I’m sure Santorum loves his daughter with all of his small calloused heart and her welfare is of the utmost importance to him and I think he’s perfectly sincere when he says so. And if he did quit because he puts the welfare of his family over his own ambition, well, you know, good on him.  But I think that ship sailed about six months ago,  his daughter didn’t just get sick, she’s been sick since the moment she was conceived and she’s always going to be sick despite all the prayers to the Great Bird of the Universe to make it otherwise – well, unless secular science and the Satan-spawned stem-cell medical research Rick Santorum doesn’t believe in finds a cure, but I digress yet again.  His daughter’s tragic illness is nothing new, and I seriously doubt that it was the reason for Santorum’s decision to suspend his campaign even if his campaign does decide to officially use her as an excuse.  I have no proof of this, of course, but I strongly suspect that like the other ego-driven jackasses who have also recently fallen off the GOP bug-wagon on the way to Crazytown, Santorum bailed out so that he could claim that he went out a winner.  I think he quit, ur sorry, suspended his campaign because the polls in Pennsylvania were looking pretty damned grim for Rick Santorum.  These are the folks who know Santorum the best, and they’re the ones who handed him a big pink slip after his second term in the Senate. It’s not his daughter, it’s his ego, he just can’t stand the thought of having to admit he lost. To Romney. In his own home state. Even Gingrich didn’t have to suffer that indignity. If Santorum can’t even win over his own neighbors, hell, his own family, on his own home turf, it’s going to be damned hard to avoid having to drink his own piss on national TV.  But if he bails out now, before Pennsylvania, he can claim that he left on his own terms, i.e. as a winner – which is a lot like running the Boston Marathon for five miles, then stopping, doing a few stretches, and claiming victory by saying, “hey, at least I didn’t end up puking on myself in the middle of the street in front of my own children. I’ve still got my dignity, man, and that makes me a winner. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go give the actual winner some advice on winning…”

We will suspend our campaign.

But, we’re not done fighting!

Honestly, what the hell?

What if we actually did business that way? No really, what if we all behaved like this? As a society? What if civilization operated like some institutionalized version of Road Rage? What? You beat me to the exit?  You passed me? You cut me off? Oh no you didn’t girlfriend!  Why you dirty rotten son of a bitch! Now it is so totally on!

I know by definition we’re all supposed to be adults here, but we’re just going to go on acting like petulant children. Why not.

What if we approached civil rights like this? Sure the marches and protests and court cases are long over. We know what the right thing is.  Everybody is equal, sort of, and yeah, sure we voted for segregation and Separate But Equal and George Wallace, and sure we ended up on the wrong side of history.  But you know what? We’re just going go right on hating people based on their skin color and ethnicity and gender and sexual orientation and we’ll just keep right on trying to deny them an equal share of society. Yep. The war’s over, but we’ll just keep right on fighting for something we know is wrong.

Damned straight.

Or say the environment?  Oh yes, sure, okay, turns out that you can’t just keep dumping sewage and heavy metals and industrial waste into the water supply without consequence.  Turns out that natural resources aren’t, in fact, infinite. Turns out that if you destroy enough of an environment or kill enough of something, it goes away forever and God doesn’t just wave his big juju magic God stick and make more.  Sure, ok, we’ve seen enough dead lakes and Exxon Valdezes and Love Canals and Cancer Alleys and superfund sites and Dustbowls and mid-ocean garbage patches and Great Irish Potato Famines and deep water oil well blowouts and Salton Seas and droughts and plagues and famines to know that we can’t just keep shitting in our own nest without consequences. Sure we get that, but we’re just going to keep acting like we can because despite all evidence to the contrary and a thousand years of recorded human history and thousands, hell millions, of examples to the contrary we’re going to believe that industry will regulate itself.  In our best interest.  Just because.

Drill, Baby, drill.

And not only industry, Wall Street too.  Sure, despite the catastrophic implosions of unregulated markets during the 1720 Mississippi Bubble, or the Great Panic of 1819 (and 1837, 1847, 1857, 1884, 1893, 1896, 1901, and 1907), followed by the Wall Street Crash of 1929 which plunged the world into the Great Depression, the recession of 1937, Silver Thursday and Black Wednesday, the Dot Com Bubble, and don’t forget the Housing Market Crash, and the recent Not-So-Great Recession, what we need here is less regulation. Sure.  Because banks and business can regulate themselves and what’s good for them is good for us. We need to get out of the way of the job creators, like Lehman Brothers and Enron and Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC and, well, we’ll keep fighting for those corporate citizens, because they’re people too you know.

And you know what else those citizens need?  More tax breaks. Sure thirty years it’s been now and so far trickle-down economics has mostly trickled from the billionaires to the millionaires, but sooner or later, yeah baby, it’ll trickle right on down to us peons. You just wait. Any minute now Reagonomics is going to pay off big time. Any minute now. And sure, those rich bastards have been basking in the Bush era tax cuts for a decade now, and so far instead of creating jobs they sent about six million of them overseas or liquidated them all together, but man, you know what they need? More tax breaks. Then they’ll create some jobs. You’ll see.  Hey, only in a great country like America would unemployed folks whose jobs were sent to India be out in the street wearing Tri-Corner hats and demanding tax breaks for Millionaires.

Seriously, is this a great club or what?

Hey, here’s some good news, we got the Israelis and the Palestinians to sign another peace treaty! Because, this time, this time, man, Hamas won’t suddenly start lobbing rockets into Jewish towns and Hezbollah won’t decide to detonate a car bomb in downtown Tel Aviv or a bunch of Orthodox Jewish extremists won’t suddenly decide they just have to build a new settlement right smack in the middle of some Arab’s olive orchard.  This peace treaty is signed but we’re just going to go right on doing the same stupid shit and killing the same people and hating each other. Because that worked out so well up to now.

And speaking of bombing the Third World into democracy, sure we damned near bankrupted ourselves by invading Iraq and Afghanistan, but you know what would pay that right off, invade Iran! Peace through more war.  Of course, sadly, the war is over.  We didn’t win, but, heck, we’re not gonna lose either.  Now, we could have peace and get on with the business of rebuilding the country.  Sure, we could do that … or, we could just keep blowing shit up anyway. Maybe strap on some C4 and go light that sucker up in the middle of the market place. Keep shootin’ people randomly.  You know, like that.  We quit, but we didn’t quit quit if you know what I’m sayin’. And a hundred years from now the Iraqi equivalent of Rednecks will still be driving around Bagdad with Saddam Hussein’s flag plastered across the back window of their pickup trucks and explaining to everybody that will listen how denying Shi’ites equal rights isn’t really, actually, bigotry, it’s just a symbol of our history, man. 

Oh, yes, let us have some more of that.


You know, on second thought, it’s probably a good thing we don’t run civilization like these silly self involved bastards run campaigns, eh?





And then, this afternoon Newt Gingrich said despite suspending his campaign and bouncing checks to the state of Utah and having basically conceded, he was going to continue the fight. He said,

I want to keep campaigning!

Man, I really hope this doesn’t mean we’re all going to have to start drinking our own piss.

I’m just saying is all.


  1. It's all about the money!

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/10/what-does-suspending-mean-2/ has an article on this...

    "However, if a candidate "suspends" his campaign but doesn't officially end his candidacy, federal law does not specifically prohibit that candidate from continuing to raise funds for purposes other debt retirement."

    So if a candidate suspends a campaign, the money can still come rolling in. That money can be used to fund ads supporting the candidate's POV and ads going against the opposition.

    1. Well, I can honestly say that I did not know that. That right there is... depressing. :/

    2. Rebecca beat me too it but this is the primary reason that candidates don't official end their campaigns. Want to take any bets on whether Santorum will run in four years?

      As far as the post - Absolutely Wonderful, as usual. You are a must read for any and all political junkies like me.

    3. Thanks @kateshort, I was about to make the same point. Rick Perry was the first to put on the suspenders while his campaign fund remained active. Compare the suspenderers to Newt who is so deeply in debt that his campaign bounced a $500 check for a filing fee in Utah, Newt can't afford to suspend so he soldiers on in the hope that after the convention he'll get his debts paid by the GOP warchest.

  2. Hello Jim

    You have been missed - hope easter was good to you and yours. Meanwhile the whole "family" thing. It always seems to be politicians who are losing that "suspend" their campaign because of the family.

    Sarah Palin dragged her pregnant 17 year old daughter and the latter's stunned baby father onto the stage at the republican convention. She carried her down syndrome babe around in a bus (and an airplane - not mentioned) to publicize a book - but decided not to join the 2012 campaign because of her family. In 2012 Sarah Palin has minimal support, no policies (but she never had any of those), few staff, no RNC support and minimal fundraising - but it was the family that stopped her campaign.

    Rick Santorum - took his family all over the states - who knows where Bella was most of the time (but no doubt in good hands) - but his wife and other family members were on the stage worshiping his every word - until it was obvious he was running out of money and out of support - and suddenly his family is at the forefront. The media gives politicians an out by saying how "hard" it is on the families.

    If anyone knows of a politician who was ahead in the polls - and then "suspended" his/her campaign because of the family - do let me know.

  3. I was beginning to worry about you! Glad you're still full of piss and vinegar--whether you drank it or just produced it.

  4. Ahhh, why bother with "instead of"? Just go for the Coors Light, it already IS pee. *schnort*

  5. Petulant children - exactly. If they were 10 year old's on the dodge ball field, Sarah would be whining "it's my ball and I'm not going to let you play with it unless you let me hit you in the head!". Newt is the pudgy boy in the corner that is afraid of being hit with the ball, but tells everybody he is the key player on the team. Santorum - He keeps trying to throw the ball, but his aim is terrible and he keeps bonking Romney on the back of the head. Romney - keeps trying to look cool and knock out the captain of the other team, but the ball keeps on slipping out of his fingers and he's constantly scrambling after it, tripping on his untied $500 basketball sneakers. Just as the score gets to where it is inevitable that the other team is winning, they grab the ball and go home.

  6. I'd settle for them looking into the camera and saying "I am NOT smarter than a fifth grader." But, I'd want them to give up their money stalking afterwards too.

    Thanks Jim - always spot on.

  7. It is all about the money and that's a damn shame. I'd at least like to hear one of them say "I just ran out of money, I wasn't really beaten". It worked for me for about 15 years when I was playing ball. Almost never got beaten, but ran out of time:)

    Thanks, Jim. Another gold star on your chart!

  8. Consider if Santorum had won the actual Presidency (as if). Would he be allowed, permitted, consider "dropping out" to care for the daughter in the middle of, say a Camp David Accord? Not likely.

    Your logic is sound, and so is that of many others on this forum.

    I do mourn Santorum suspending his candidacy, however. I would have loved for the voters to have an opportunity to vote on his ideas and ideals. Granted, Mr. Santorum would reject the real world voter rejection of him and his Constitutionally flawed theocratic concepts, but that's his call. The rest of us are denied our opportunity to say "no" to this gentleman and his fractured sense of reality.

  9. Hi, Gang!
    A.N. Onymous here.

    Money considerations aside, I have a feeling that the timing comes as a result of having to consider the possibility of an embarrassing defeat in Pennsylvania.

  10. So, if these folks are in suspension, can they come back to life as they know it and re-enter the fray at the behest of their devoted, deluded minions at the nominating convention?

  11. Now Santorum is admitting he "suspended" because the money wasn't there.
    Also, I missed it, I guess, that Gingrich "suspended" his campaign, but did catch that his campaign is bouncing checks.

    1. So now being broke is "winning in a different way"?

      Tell that to the poor.

  12. Well, I for one think it's good that all these guys are going back to suspenders. I mean, since the last resurgence in the 80s, men wearing suspenders have all but disappeared on the landscape. So for these candidates to openly admit that they're forgoing the belt and eventual tightening and going back to suspenders… well, I applaud that.

  13. Suspend is a tactical move. If they quit, they lose their delegates. In theory (hah!) they might get enough, here and there, to broker the convention.

    Not gonna happen, at this point, but it's what all them were trying to do.

  14. "More tax breaks. Then they’ll create some jobs. You’ll see. Hey, only in a great country like America would unemployed folks whose jobs were sent to India be out in the street wearing Tri-Corner hats and demanding tax breaks for Millionaires."
    After 50 years or so observing politics in this country, this is certainly what I see as the "central" problem we are facing. The "Whats The Matter with Kansas?" phenom. As you pointed out, we keep having to fight the same battles over and over again (how did the less than 1 percent of the population who were southern slave owners, convince a huge number of poor southern whites to go fight for them?)
    Your litany of unmitigated financial disasters caused by lack of regulation speaks to the same definition of insanity (repeating a failing strategy over and over again thinking the next time it will work)
    In any case, to these tired eyes, it no longer looks like a battle between two ideologies: It looks like a fight between the reactionary forces of ignorance, and the side enlightenment and progress....and the battle ground is those who are constantly touting the mushy middle and imaginary compromise. If someone is dragging you 20 feet toward a cliff over and over again, convincing them to drag you only 10 isn't compromise...it's insanity.

  15. Hi Jim, et al - Twenty years ago I took a writing course in the UK, taught by a gnarly old ex-journalist, US expat professor home based at Galway, Ireland. This guy was a wonderful nutcase specializing in Old and Middle English - funny as hell. I digress.

    In one class he adopts a bad-German accent and starts presenting a proposal for attaining political and societal ascendancy for upper class, white, wealthy business leaders and politicians. He proposed fomenting inter-racial and inter-class tensions to justify the corporate takeover of government in order to institute a more appropriate control of society by those few leaders best suited to lead the nation. His character of course would play a prominent role in deciding how this plan would be implemented. The response from my classmates was funny, the prof had immediately pissed off the blacks, women or anyone with a minority bent. He apologized for the perceived insults, but stated that our assignment was to write a precise of this Nazi gent's proposal and present a counter-proposal to his quasi-Third Reich destiny for America.

    Every other student attacked the neo-Nazi proposal as anathema to the American way, and most felt that the US was already the Greatest Nation of Earth, etc. I went the other way. I wrote that Herr Nazi Consultant was not far sighted enough. His plan had merit from the perspective of obtaining power and control over government through applying disruptive democratic and economic leverage to subvert and disrupt stable societal and security structures. I proposed that he did not go far enough to utilize the natural and human resources that would be freed up by the break down of the conventional social compact.

    Once the appropriate inter-racial, inter-class and religious conflict was achieved, and public security had been compromised to raise the fear level, then the country would accept the eventual rise of a oligarchic leadership arrangement to better manage the return to security. Albeit with much more severe but understandable limits on movement and personal expression. After all, freedom is not free.

    The US would eventually be run by appropriate corporate, white, Christian leadership (all for the good of society, of course). National parks and public lands would be turned over to correct use of natural resources for mining, drilling or as closed hunting preserves for the "leaders". As Indian reservations often have mineral and forest reserves, they would be taken over by extraction industries, and the present occupants would be "invited" to remain as resident workers. The new benevolent corporate overlords would provide housing and sustenance for the working class. Not much more is needed if the understanding is that "no work, no eat". The new American model of "right use" of resources and applied force and labor "understanding" between the remaining two classes could then be exported to other nations as mandated by destiny.

    Of course, Herr Consultant believed that he would attain some high rank in the new order. But, my advice was that this gentleman would eventually outgrow his usefulness and could find better employment in one the new "mineral extraction communities."

    My instructor was alarmed by my counter proposal to accept and expand on the Nazi-lite social restructuring idea. I meant the writing assignment to present a non-serious and fanciful concept. I assured the class that I did not seriously believe the the US could or should be taken over by special interest, wealthy, corporate powers wrapped in the US flag and carrying a cross.

    Two decades later I witness Romney, Bachman, Palin, Santorum, Gingrich, Bush, Cheney, Fox News, Ryan, even Obama all chipping away at reality as we used to know it. I guess the joke's on all of us.

    1. I like the cut of your gib, Mr. Anonymous.

    2. I like the cut of your gib, Anonymous. You ai'ght.

  16. Jim,

    I really enjoy your blog. Great writing and insightful views.
    Just a laymans opinion. Keep it up.

  17. This was a great post. Surely you have something to say about the war on women's rights. I'm waiting with a bowl full of popcorn for it to arrive.

  18. And David Axelrod sticks his foot in his mouth everytime he speaks!! No demorat has ever "suspended" his campaign I'm sure!

  19. OMG, I love your blog!! I love the no BS way you think.

    (And just because I wrote "OMG", doesn't mean that I think you are God - although I checked that box in the feedback, lol - or that there is a God. Just like if I say "Santa Claus" it doesn't mean I think he really exists.)

    It's just so refreshing to read what you say, even if you are 'wordy' - shoot, to heck with conciseness, this stuff needs to be hashed out!!

  20. Heh, let me know whichever comes first, full time writer or ruler of the universe. I'll be the first in line to buy the book or cast a vote.

  21. Santorum has a history of doing whatever's best for his family despite his rhetoric. Best example I can think of is Karen Santorum's partial-birth abortion.


    When it's his wife on the line, Santorum's for protecting her. He just doesn't love yours.


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