But how the world turns. One day, cock of the walk. Next, a feather duster.
- Aunty Entity, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, 1985
There’s this scene in the last Mad Max movie.
You know the flick, right? Two men enter, one man leaves.
Mel Gibson made the movie during the height of his popularity, back when he was handsome cheerful roguish Mel Gibson and not the miserable Jew-hating drunken misogynist Mel Gibson we all know him as today – and, boy, if you read me on a regular basis you’ve just got to figure that’s some serious foreshadowing right there, don’t you?
Beyond Thunderdome is arguably the last and least installment of the post apocalyptic trilogy, but there are still some great moments in the movie.
The defining scene comes near the end. Max has bested the monstrous Blaster in the movie’s eponymous dome and, along with his trusty band of orphans, misfits, and criminals, blows up Bartertown’s power plant in a spectacular blast of fart gas and flaming pig shit along with any hope for the recovering civilization. He kidnaps the diminutive brains of the operation for his own selfish reasons and crashes out of the city in a steampunk locomotive while fighting off leather-clad crossbow wielding gladiators. They’re rolling full speed down the tracks into the desolate radioactive wasteland pursued by an enraged army on jet-powered Baja buggies and led by Tina Turner in a chainmail miniskirt.
Max takes a long look back at the pursuing horde.
Then he carefully climbs along the outside of the train to the cab where a guy with the charming moniker of “Pigkiller” is in the driver’s seat.
Max, yelling over the roar of the slipstream and the growling engine, asks, “So, what’s the plan?”
Pigkiller grins from ear to ear and bursts out in a loud guffaw.
“Plan?” Pigkiller barks incredulously. “There ain’t no plan!”
I imagine right about now that exact scene is playing out over and over in GOP circles.
The election train is barreling down the tracks headed for November. There’s Mad Paul Ryan, he was a cop once, come to save the day, the road warrior, but now he’s grown mean and sallow faced, tormented by his demons, consumed by revenge. There’s the cranky midget, McBlaster, angrily shaking his pudgy little fist and grumpily shouting, “Who run Bartertown? Who run Bartertown?!” (Except in John McCain’s case, it’s not a rhetorical question, he really has no idea what the hell is going on). Chris Christie is the massive child-like ham-fisted mutant in leather cod piece, he’s not much on brains but he loves nothing better than squeezing the life out of his foes. Lurking in the background is Karl Rove as The Collector, he’s never going to be mayor of Bartertown, he just likes to fondle everybody’s junk. Marco Rubio as Dr. Dealgood, Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, dying time’s here he he he! And the man without a plan, Rand Pigkiller Paul.
All looking over their collective shoulders in terror at Aunty Hillary in a chainmail pantsuit, coming up fast.
Republicans are headed into 2016 the same way they went into Iraq and Afghanistan: ass backward into the unknown and no idea what the hell they’re going to do if they win.
Their election strategy, hell their plan for the country should they win the Senate and maybe even the White House in 2016, is based almost entirely on “We hates Obama, Precious, we hates him!” while gleefully rubbing their hands together and cackling maniacally – other than that they’ve got nothing.
Going into this election, the GOP has no new ideas at all, none. Zero. Zilch. Nada.
In point of fact, their primary message has been about rolling back the clock instead of going forward into the future.
For the last five years, the GOP has done nothing but pound the Obamacare drum. In the House they’ve voted more than 50 times to repeal the law, knowing they had no chance. Some conservatives have gone so far as to demand impeachment of the President over the Affordable Care Act, again knowing they have no chance of actually removing the president from office (and really, who knew republicans loved Joe Biden so much?). For years, we’ve heard how the ACA was going to destroy America, how it’s the worst thing that ever happened to freedom in the history of mankind.
Once upon a time, access to healthcare was an American issue. But once Hillary Clinton started talking about it back when she was First Lady, well, sir, that’s when conservatives suddenly remembered how Hitler probably gave everybody healthcare just before he exploded Europe and Republicans have been whipping the Nazi pony in a hysterical froth ever since – and whatever happened to those death panels anyway? Where’s Obama keeping those? And has he offed Palin’s lopsided kid yet?
In 2012, apparently oblivious to the staggering irony of it all, Republicans actually ran against Obama with the very guy who came up with the genesis of the Affordable Care Act in the first place, Mitt Romney. I suppose that you’ve got to admire that kind of chutzpah.
For the last five years John Boehner’s Twitter feed has burped out a dozen anti-Obamacare tweets every single day …
… right up until about two weeks ago, when less than three months out from the election, all of a sudden republicans have mysteriously gone dark on Obamacare (well, except for Ted Cruz, but then that figures, doesn’t it?).
And why is that, do you suppose?
Oh, c’mon, take a guess. It’s no great mystery.
Okay, fine, I’ll give it to you. It’s because Obamacare is working, that’s why. Even Bloomberg says so,
Republicans seeking to unseat the U.S. Senate incumbent in North Carolina have cut in half the portion of their top issue ads citing Obamacare, a sign that the party’s favorite attack against Democrats is losing its punch.
The shift — also taking place in competitive states such as Arkansas and Louisiana — shows Republicans are easing off their strategy of criticizing Democrats over the Affordable Care Act now that many Americans are benefiting from the law and the measure is unlikely to be repealed.
Now look, don’t get me wrong here: Obamacare is a piece of shit.
It’s too complicated. It costs too much. It doesn’t cover everybody. It doesn’t fix some significant problems. It makes certain aspects of healthcare worse. Even the most liberal of liberals are unlikely to argue with you about that. Hell, I doubt Obama would argue with you about that. But it could have been much better. It could have been much much better, we could have done it right, if republicans had actually gotten involved and helped with its original draft.
And it could have been drastically improved in the years since its implementation if conservatives had actually worked with the president instead of calling him a Nazi and acting like spoiled rotten children. If they had actually had a goddamned plan other than to oppose the president at every turn simply because they can’t think of anything better to do.
The United States is a wealthy nation. We boast that we’re the world’s only superpower. We call ourselves exceptional. And yet a significant fraction of our population doesn’t have access to basic healthcare.
We Americans actually argue over whether or not access to healthcare is a basic human right. Guns, in America owning a gun is a right, but not the ability to see a doctor.
That’s some seriously fucked up logic right there, folks.
Honestly, if the same number of Americans didn’t have access to indoor plumbing or electricity, we’d damned well do something about it (and we did). Hell even Joseph Stalin tried to extend electricity and indoor toilets to every Soviet proletarian. But healthcare? Soviets got healthcare too, massively shitty healthcare to be sure, but even shitty Soviet healthcare is better than the republican plan at this point. And, really, you’re telling me that America, America, can’t do better than the Soviet Union? Are you kidding me?
Honestly, if Obama came out in favor of electricity and running water republicans would squat in the dark, shit on their own shoes, and call it liberty.
Folks, obstruction for the sake of obstruction isn’t a plan.
Intractability out of spite isn’t a goddamned plan.
And you’ll note that even after five years republicans still haven’t presented a healthcare law of their own – well, other than Romneycare, I mean.
The only option republicans offer is a return to the past: 40 million uninsured Americans.
And suddenly, that doesn’t look so good, even to them. Even John Boehner’s pet intern stopped tweeting about it – obviously so. And that’s pretty damned significant given that the snotty sophomoric sock puppet who runs Boehner’s account has been unable to tweet about anything else for the last year.
So where does that leave them?
I mean, that was the whole deal. Republicans staked everything on the idea that Obamacare would implode, but now that it’s working, at least in general terms, they don’t know what to do.
And that, that right there, is the modern Republican Party’s trademark, flaming pig shit and no goddamned plan. Ass backward into the unknown. Obamacare is Iraq all over again. Republicans sent us in and they never, obviously never, expected us to actually win. Certainly not so soon. Because they had no plan, absolutely no plan whatsoever, for winning.
We made it to Baghdad in less than a month, Saddam Hussein’s regime collapsed like wet paper, and we were all cheering and throwing our hats up in the air … until it went sideways when it became apparent that nobody, no goddamned body, in the Bush Administration had even the slightest idea of what to do next.
This morning, in a mind boggling display of utterly clueless irony, John Boehner tweeted:
Leaving aside the fact that Boehner apparently tweets from an iPhone, the preferred communications device of liberals everywhere, he’s kidding right?
Republicans had eleven years to come up with a coherent workable plan for Iraq. Where is it?
Plan? There ain’t no plan!
And now Boehner’s bitching because Obama hasn’t crapped out a counter-ISIS strategy in what? A month?
They excel at picking a fight, these modern republicans. They love to fling the pig shit and light their farts on fire. Benghazi. The IRS. Birth Certificates. Death panels. But it’s all, all of it, every damned bit of it, nothing but yellow cake uranium.
Hell, the smoking gun, Benghazi, even after a dozen republican led witch hunts backed by every asset Congress could bring to bear, even the most intractable of House conservatives have to admit that there’s just nothing there. And you notice they’ve stopped talking about that too.
Immigration? Again, they’re great at blaming Obama, but where is the republican plan?
They don’t have an immigration plan. And now they’re threatening to shut down the government again if Obama takes any action via executive authority (while perversely demanding that Obama do something). Shutdown the government. Again. Blow up the power plant, cover us all in flaming pig shit. I mean, really that’s all you’ve got? Shut down the government? You can’t come up with any other plan? You know, like maybe IMMIGRATION REFORM?
No. Just shut down the government.
These idiots learned nothing the last time around. Nothing.
Folks, Boehner couldn’t even get House republicans to agree to something they all basically agree on.
And that should tell you everything you need to know. These people can’t even agree with each other even when they all agree with each other.
They’ve had five years to come up with a plan for America’s future and it’s not that they haven’t, it’s that they can’t.
The last republican with any vision was Reagan 30 years ago. And his spiritual descendants have turned his shining city on a hill into a grim fortress surrounded by a moat filled with scummy stinking stagnant water.
The only vision republicans have nowadays is hindsight. The only plan is to go backward.
Rick Perry’s been indicted and, really, what’s the campaign slogan going to be? Better the crook you know, than one you don’t!
Nixon Perry, 2016!
Jeb Bush? Because America hasn’t had enough of the Bush family, right?
Mitch McConnell was recently recorded at a Koch Brothers Donor summit, openly admitting the republican party works for the rich and for corporations – and not the people they’re supposed to be representing. If these people get their way, America would return to the days of the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers and you and I would get to pay them for the privilege of eating out of their garbage cans. These are the corporate people who, like the recently announced Burger King/Horton’s merger, demand all the benefits of the United States as their rightful hereditary due, they want America’s freedom, her economic opportunities, her protection, her law, her military might, her prestige, her investment climate, and most of all her subsidies, but they don’t want to pay for it. These people are the ultimate freeloaders, they don’t create jobs for Americans, they create jobs for everybody in the Third World. They don’t create wealth for Americans, these greedy fuckers create unlimited wealth for themselves and sit on their piles of gold like Smaug the Dragon – gloating while millions go sick and hungry and homeless. But, boy, they sure pride themselves on their Christianity, don’t they?
John McCain demands that we return to war. That’s his solution for everything. Bomb ‘em! Bomb ‘em all! Forty years later and he’s still pursuing the same losing strategy of Vietnam. Two men enter, one man leaves! Bomb ‘em! There just aren’t enough bodies for John McCain and he wasted no time last Sunday, the wine bottles were still falling in Napa Valley, when Johnny Walnuts used the early morning quake to blame Obama for the fact that republicans had no plan for Iraq after the invasion.
"The president has to understand that America must lead and, when American hasn't, a lot of bad things happen! This is not like the earthquake in San Francisco. All of this could have been avoided, like leaving a residual force behind in Iraq, and obviously the challenge is now much greater than it would have been."
So, it’s America’s fault that bad things happen? Or just Obama’s?
It all could have been avoided, this new outbreak of violence in Iraq, if only Obama had kept us in Iraq forever, right? Yeah, except for that part where we could have avoided it all together if we hadn’t invaded in the first damned place. Or that part where Congress and George W. Bush set the timeline for our withdrawal from Iraq. Or except for that part where nobody, especially supposed fiscally conservative republicans, wanted to pay for leaving such a force behind and rebuilding Iraq. Yeah, except for that, McBlaster was right on the money, as usual.
John McCain knows it, he was there when they voted for war and when they settled on the schedule and the budget. We couldn’t leave a residual force in Iraq, not without subjecting American soldiers to Iraqi law – the very Sharia law conservatives like McWalnuts fear so much. The same “law” that just cost another American his head. Our options were to pull out the troops according to the agreed upon schedule or subject them to Islamic law and Iraqi justice or … topple the Iraqi government again and start over. And that’s McCain’s plan. Do over. Go back to
1961 and invade Vietnam 2003 and invade Iraq again. He doesn’t have any new ideas, just a rerun of the last 40 years and another 5000 American lives.
I’ll tell you, for a guy who doesn’t think much of liberals, John McCain sure seems determined to keep repeating Lyndon Johnson’s Southeast Asia strategy over and over like some blood soaked version of Groundhog Day.
At this point, you’ve got to wonder how long it’ll be before he starts quoting McNamara.
Meanwhile, Rand Paul wants to throw out the Civil Rights Act.
That’s Rand’s plan. That’s how he wants to fix America. Let businesses discriminate if they want to. Let the free market fix it, because capitalism was so, so very successful at ending apartheid without laws and regulations. Sure, get rid of the Civil Rights Act, let’s do that. Good idea. That’ll bring minorities to the Republican Party. Righto, Rand, good plan.
Paul hasn’t exactly been shy about saying so and neither has his father.
As further evidence that Republicans have no plan and whose election year unity resembles a barnyard of panicked poultry, Sunday morning while John McCain was raging and rattling the bars of his bamboo cage, Paul was on Meet the Press warning people that Hillary Clinton is some kind of “war hawk” who’ll get us into another war.
No, I am not in point of fact shitting you.
If you want to see a transformational election in our country, let the Democrats put forward a war hawk like Hillary Clinton and you’ll see a transformation like you’ve never seen. People are going to find that, and I think that's what scares the Democrats the most, is that in a general election, were I to run, there's gonna be a lot of independents and even some Democrats who say, 'You know what? We are tired of war. We're worried that Hillary Clinton will get us involved in another Middle Eastern war, because she's so gung-ho.’
John McCain: Conservatives demand mowr waaaaar in the Middle East!
Rand Paul: Oh noes! Liberal Hillary Clinton will get us into another war in the Middle East!
Hillary Clinton is too gung-ho. Americans are tired of liberals getting us into Middle Eastern wars.
Rand, meet Senator Walnuts. John, Rand. You guys belong to the same bromance, right? It’s like you’re so in sync you finish each other’s sentences.
I’ll just pause for a moment here so you can admire the united front that is the Republican Party two months out from the midterm elections.
At this point the only thing republicans have in common is their hatred of Obama.
That’s their whole damned plan, we hate Obama. That’s it. That’s the whole thing.
They’ve got nothing else.
Case in point, there’s movement afoot in conservatives circles to encourage Mitt Romney to run for president against (assumed) Hillary Clinton in 2016.
I’ll just pause for a moment so you can amuse yourself with that idea.
Mitt Romney, folks. Again.
The one goddamned republican who you know for sure can’t get himself elected to the White House (Okay, two, John McCain, you got me, but since republicans no longer believe in math just go with me on this one). Romney, that’s the guy they’re thinking about running against Hillary Clinton.
Against Hillary Clinton.
Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) told MSNBC,
I think he’s [Romney] proven right on a lot of stuff. I happen to be in the camp that thinks he’s actually going to run and I think he will be the next President of the United States.
There’s a Facebook group Mitt Romney for President 2016, they’ve only got 4,600 “likes” so far but that’s more than I would have guessed – unless those are Democrats. Hmmm.
The Week says Mitt Romney is the clear republican frontrunner for 2016.
Ann Coulter, Matt Drudge, and Paul Ryan are all onboard the Draft Mitt campaign.
Ryan thinks it would be a good idea for Romney to run again because, and I quote, “Third time’s the charm.”
Against Hillary Clinton.
Shit, she won’t even have to put on the chainmail to beat that raggedy man.
I’ll just pause for a minute so you can contemplate Hillary Clinton in a chainmail miniskirt. You’re welcome.
The GOP is old and tired and bitter. They’re plumb fresh out of any new ideas and they’ve got no plan whatsoever. It’s just the same old obsessions, abortion, gays, guns, and Jesus. Bomb ‘em, bomb ‘em all!
They can’t even agree among themselves on the things they all agree on.
Now, you tell me, how are they going to run the country?
Look, I’m not saying the Democrats are great, but at least they’re going forward. Inch at a time and uphill all the way, kicking and clawing and howling at the moon – and that sure beats retreat any day of the week.
Here’s the thing, so pay attention: If the republicans take the Senate in two months and/or the White House in two years, it won’t be because of their innovative comprehensive plan for rebuilding America or their infectious enthusiasm.
No, it won’t. Obviously. Because they have neither.
It’ll be because democrats are too goddamned lazy to get off their asses and do something about it.
If you can’t win against these dour disorganized pessimists, then you don’t deserve to be in charge.
Give that some thought, won’t you?
Remember: no matter where you go, there you are!
Addendum: A note about my use of the word “lopsided,” in reference to Palin’s child.
Look at the sentence in context.
The entire point of Palin's Death Panel bullshit, the entirety of it, was because she openly accused President Obama (and by extension all liberals) of engaging in Nazi-style eugenics. Her allegation was that Obama would bring the mentally challenged, the old, the infirm, and specifically her Down Syndrome son, before a government panel to be judged and (presumably) condemned to die.
Death Panels. She accused us of being fucking Nazis, she was quite specific about it.
Yes, I used the word lopsided. I didn't use "inferior," "deficient," "defective," "retarded," "Mongoloid," "special," "handicapped," or any other demeaning or outdated euphemism. I would also point out that I didn't call him a goddamned Nazi. I used a non-threatening word with no attached social baggage. I did it on purpose to identify the child Palin herself made a political token by holding him up as different and less than her other children – and that’s exactly what she did, she didn’t say liberals were going to off Willow or Bristol or Tyvek or Snowshoe or whatever the rest of her kids are called.
I didn't bring Palin's kid into this, Palin did. Loudly. Repeatedly. She used that child as a political token, and she did it specifically because of his developmental condition. She assumed special authority because of her child. She made a specific point of it. So where is it? Where are those death panels? Where are they? She said we'd kill her kid, she said the Government would kill her kid, she said liberals would kill her kid specifically because he is mentally challenged and we are baby murdering Nazis.
So why is he still alive? Well?
Guess what, I didn’t kill her kid. Liberals didn’t kill her kid. Obama didn’t kill her kid. Obamacare didn’t kill her kid. So far as I know, he’s doing just fine. Last time I saw him in public, he was cute as a button. I don’t think he’s lopsided, she does.
But here’s the thing, kids are dying. Because they don’t have access to fucking healthcare, because spiteful insane selfish assholes like Sarah Palin don’t think they deserve it.
If Sarah Palin doesn't want me using her goddamned kid to make a political point, she shouldn't have brought him to the fight and hauled him up as different in front of the nation.
And she shouldn't have called me a fucking Nazi.
Lopsided is a hell of a lot more polite than calling the rest of us baby murdering fascists.
And unlike her, I own what I say.