Tag Archives: anti-intellectualism

Should Liz Warren drop out? (Probably)

When I recently saw this news image on The Washington Post’s website, my heart sank:

The Post reports that it’s Elizabeth Warren’s registration card for the Texas state bar. “Warren filled out the card by hand in neat blue ink and signed it,” the Post reports, adding, “Dated April 1986, it is the first document to surface showing Warren making the claim in her own handwriting. Her office didn’t dispute its authenticity.”

Past reportage that I have seen has indicated that Warren once had ticked off a box indicating that she is of Native American heritage, but if that indeed is her own handwriting above, um, yeah…

The accompanying Post news story to the news photo above begins, “Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Tuesday that she was sorry that she identified herself as a Native American for almost two decades, reflecting her ongoing struggle to quiet a controversy that continues to haunt her as she prepares to formally announce a presidential bid.”

As scandals go, it could be a lot worse. It’s not a photo or photos of Warren in blackface, for fuck’s sake. And she wasn’t recorded bragging about having force-kissed anyone and having grabbed anyone’s genitals.

But for Democrats, especially intelligent ones (hi, Al Franken!), there usually is much less forgiveness and much more punishment than there is for Repugnicans.

I just don’t see Warren getting past this “Pocahontas” bullshit. It is, methinks, going to stick. Forever. At least if she’s running for president.

Not long after I thought that it’s probably all over for Warren, Sacramento Bee opinion editor Gil Duran posted an editorial titled “Elizabeth Warren Is Smarter Than Anyone Running for President. She Should End Her Campaign.” He writes:

Elizabeth Warren would make a great president. She’s smarter than anyone else in the race. She advances bold and unapologetically progressive ideas. She’s a truly fearless and earnest leader, not a cautious and mealy-mouthed politician.

But her candidacy would be a disservice to her ideas. The Washington Post’s cringe-worthy revelation that she claimed American Indian as her racial identity on official documents — despite denying she’d ever done so — should end her White House quest.

Days before her planned announcement, Warren’s once again apologizing for fudging her racial identity. It’s a devastating scandal for a campaign, with questions of character wrapped in explosive racial issues. It’s painful to watch.

I believe Warren when she says she grew up with stories about her family’s native roots. Many of us grew up with similar tales. …

He concludes:

… The vast inequalities American Indians face today are a festering wound of injustice in need of moral and economic redress. To fix such injustices, we need leaders like Warren who aren’t afraid to take on powerful forces, tackle inequality and reject the dismal status quo.

But presidential politics is a ruthless blood sport, and I doubt she can overcome this scandal. Her actions raise serious questions about her character and alienate people of color. She took Trump’s DNA bet and lost. If she runs for president, we’ll hear her apologies more than her ideas. How many more damning documents exist?

I believe Warren has an important role to play in American history. Maybe it’s not the one she really wants, but it’s the one we need. She should spare us this humiliating spectacle and continue to lead from the Senate.

For the very most part, I agree. That Warren very apparently affirmatively wrote that she’s “American Indian” on an official document does indeed raise valid questions about her character. Whether she ever actually gained anything by having claimed Native American heritage is irrelevant; she wants to be president, so this is a fair question of her honesty and character.

(Yes, indeed, “President” Pussygrabber is a thousand times worse than Warren ever could be — there is no comparison — but do we on the left really want to lower the bar to Pussygrabber’s level?)

Even if the whole “Pocahontas” fracas had never existed at all, Elizabeth Warren very most likely would have been torpedoed because she’s intelligent. (I don’t know that I agree with Gil Duran’s assertion that she’s “smarter than anyone else in the race,” but she’s definitely in the top tier where brains are concerned.)

History has demonstrated amply that American voters, many if not most of them not being all that bright themselves, usually don’t want egghead presidents — at least not presidents who act like eggheads.

It isn’t fair, and anti-intellectualism — a pillar of fascism — so often is dangerous, but it is what it is.

Warren has yet to hit double digits in any fairly recent nationwide poll of Democratic Party presidential preference that I have seen, so I’m not sure if she has a real idea of what she appears to be up against. I don’t believe in giving up, but when the fight is futile…

Warren is to make a big announcement on Saturday, presumably her official presidential announcement (on the very last day of last year, she announced the formation of her exploratory committee).

Her announcement on Saturday probably should be that she has decided not to run after all, but the Boston Herald reports that she plans to travel to several early-voting states after Saturday, indicating that she plans to stick it out, at least in the short-term future.

I still like and respect Elizabeth Warren — her having claimed some Native American heritage, in my book, is a bit weird* but not unforgivable — but I agree with Gil Duran: This is painful to watch.

*I don’t know. Being white is kind of boring, and maybe she wanted to try to spice things up a bit. I just don’t know. But Elizabeth Warren is no Rachel Dolezal

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Did Newt Gingrich just swiftboat ‘Massachusetts moderate’ Mitt?

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich makes a campaign stop in Laurens, South Carolina

Reuters photo

Former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, pictured above campaigning in South Carolina, where he decisively was victorious yesterday, now goes on to Florida in his quest to prevent the coronation of “Massachusetts moderate” Mitt Romney as the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nominee.

My bad — I just now watched the Newt Gingrich ad in which Gingrich states, correctly, of course, that “Massachusetts moderate” Mitt Romney hails from the state that brought us supposedly ultra-liberal Democratic presidential candidates Michael Dukakis and John Kerry. (Of course, it’s not the denotation there that is critical to the ad’s effectiveness, but it’s all of the ad’s connotations.)

The ad was talked about primarily as the ad that nails Mitt for speaking French — just like John Kerry does (the ad features brief clips of both of them speaking French) — but the ad in general likens Romney to Kerry and Dukakis and essentially asks how anyone from Massachusetts can be a real conservative.

The French connection (indeed, the ad is titled “The French Connection”is interesting, however. It serves several purposes, I think: It’s meant to indicate Romney’s supposed otherness and supposed un-Americanness (maybe even treason?) and Romney’s supposed effeteness (the French, after all, are cowardly and weak, no?); and, of course, it’s a great slur steeped in the anti-intellectualism that is so much a part of the American right wing (many if not most of whom cannot speak or write even their mother tongue correctly): He speaks French! Fluently!

It also, of course, speaks of socioeconomic class: John Kerry is rich and John Kerry speaks French. Mitt Romney is rich and Mitt Romney speaks French. They both went to expensive, exclusive Ivy League schools, where they had the luxury of learning French.

This long has been a problem for the Richie Rich wing of the Repugnican Tea Party: How to appeal to the Cooters and Skeeters and Jebs and Jethros — the “tea party” wing of the party whose votes the Richie Riches need in order to win elections — when the Richie Riches are about as far away from rednecks as you’re going to get.

However, up until now, for the most part the Repugnican Tea Party candidates who appeal primarily to the rednecks haven’t openly, publicly assaulted the aristocratic wing of their party, so Newt’s attacks on Romney’s lofty socioeconomic status seem rather novel. (“Kamikaze,” actually, might be the better word for it…)

Apparently Gingrich’s attacks on Romney in the deep red state of South Carolina worked wonders. I mean, Gingrich beat Romney in South Carolina yesterday by double digits, and since 1980, whichever Repugnican presidential primary candidate who won South Carolina also went on to win the party’s presidential nomination.

And if Gingrich wins again in Florida on January 31, it could be all over for Romney. It doesn’t matter how well Romney has been polling in the upcoming primary states as of late; if he widely is perceived as a losing candidate after having lost South Carolina and Florida, it could start a rapid domino effect that will make his previous support in those upcoming states evaporate rapidly — just as it did in South Carolina.

Romney, we know now, didn’t actually win the Iowa caucuses; the state’s Repugnican Tea Party now says that Rick Santorum won, and, as The Christian Science monitor notes, Santorum having won Iowa, Romney having won New Hampshire and Gingrich having won South Carolina “is the first time in modern GOP primary history that three different candidates won those three states.”

This indicates a Repugnican Tea Party that still is in serious disarray and that might not be sorted out for weeks to come. And if Mitt does manage to make it out of primary season alive, he might be so badly damaged that his chances of beating President Barack Obama in November are greatly diminished — and, ironically, all along Romney has polled better against Obama than have any of his primary season competitors.

We know what we would get with a President Gingrich, I think. One of Big Brother’s main slogans was:

WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

Possessing intellect — such as knowing a foreign language — is a weakness, you see, among those who can barely speak their own native English (a.k.a. Newt’s base). And the only way to be “safe” from “terrorism” and other “evil” is to have perpetual warfare against the “evildoers,” which a chickenhawkish President Gingrich no doubt would embrace, just as chickenhawk George W. Bush did. And don’t even get me started on the topic of freedom (freedom, oh, freedom — that’s just some people talkin’…).

President Thomas Jefferson apparently could speak Latin, Greek, French, Italian and Spanish on top of English. “President” George W. Bush barely fucking could speak English. That’s how “far” we Americans have come.

And now, we have in Newt Gingrich a man who essentially would represent a third (and maybe a fourth) term by George W. Bush.

I mean, it’s no accident that upon his recent departure from the race, Texas Gov. Rick Perry — who also had wanted to continue the policies and practices of the unelected Bush regime — endorsed Newt Gingrich.

P.S. For all of the undeserved shit that First Lady Michelle Obama gets from the wingnuts, I find Gingrich’s current wife, Callista (pictured below in South Carolina last week), to be (like Newt) a fucking skank ho. I mean, when she was his aide she apparently had an affair with Newt for six years while he was still married to his second wife (with whom he’d been having an affair while he still was married to his first wife).

Gingrich had a six year affair with Callista Bisek -- now Callista Gingrich -- before divorcing his second wife

AFP (that’s French) photo

That, and the creepy Callista Gingrich looks just like the femme fatale (there’s some more French!) in Tim Burton’s “Mars Attacks!”:

Careful! She bites

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Ding, dong, the wingnut’s gone (or, Newt’s great day)

Republican presidential candidate and businessman Herman Cain announces that he is "suspending" his presidential campaign in Atlanta

Reuters photo

Herman Cain today in his exit speech in Atlanta blamed everyone but himself for the implosion of his Repugnican Tea Party presidential bid. Indeed, though, Cain dreamed the impossible dream: to dream that one could become president of the United States of America with not just a few skeletons, but an entire mausoleum of skeletons, in his closet.

Jesus fuck, did Sarah Palin’s people write Herman Cain’s exit speech?

I watched most of Cain’s pathetic exit speech live, and mostly it consisted of Cain blaming the media (and the “political elites”) for his own downfall and claiming that protecting his family is so fucking important to him.

If Cain’s family were so vital to him, he would have kept his paws to himself all of these past many, many years, and Cain’s real problem with the media isn’t that the media have been so unfair to him, but that the media have dared not to perform as a public relations firm for him — the way the media are “supposed” to, according to the uber-egocentric Palinesque worldview.

Ironically, despite his arrogant claims that the evil media have taken away The People’s Clear Choice for President (Herman Cain, of course), that Cain refuses to take substantial personal responsibility for anything — but prefers to blame the media and others instead — demonstrates (aside from his serial sexual harassment of women, of course) that he is utterly unfit for high political office.

It was interesting to listen to Cain spin his collapse, however. Later today I might find the transcript of his exit speech and write more, but one of the top things that he said that sticks out in my mind is his ludicrous claim that he is bailing out while he still was within the top four choices for the 2012 presidency: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain.

While that technically might be true, it’s technically true only because President Hopey-Changey has no actually progressive primary opponent within his own party, unfortunately, and in recent nationwide polls of Repugnican Tea Party dipshits, Cain indeed has been at No. 3 behind Gingrich and Romney, but he has been averaging only around 15 percent.

Having the support of only around 15 percent of the members of your own party isn’t exactly a position of strength, even if it does technically put you in the “top four.”

Cain sure knows his audience of dumbfucks, though, the fucktards who actually buy utterly unqualified candidates’ claims of persecution by the media and who love to hear unqualified right-wing candidates whine about their supposed persecution at the hands of the “political elite.”

Would you want your surgeon not to have gone to medical school along with all of those other “medical elites”? Would you want your surgeon’s intellectual capacity to be no greater than your own? No? You want your surgeon to be an experienced expert? What are you, an elitist?

Why is it that in every other area of life, we expect people to know their shit, to be experts, to have earned their positions, but so many of us are perfectly OK with abject dumbfucks holding the highest political office in the land?

You sure want your surgeon to know what he or she is doing, but you’ll hand The Button to anyone?

In his speech today, Cain tried to spin his utter political inexperience as a strength. No, it has been one of his biggest weaknesses that he doesn’t know how the system works (such as that China has had nukes since the 1960s and that the U.S. Supreme Court indeed has the final word on every matter of U.S. Constitutional law) yet still feels qualified to hold the most powerful political post in the nation (indeed, probably in the world, for now, anyway).

Hopefully, the trend of blaming the media (and others) for one’s own utter unsuitability for office has crashed and burned along with the derailed “Cain train.” It was risibly pathetic when Palin tried it, but now it’s just pathetically pathetic. And hopefully the trend of rabid, suicidal anti-intellectualism that we have seen within the Repugnican Tea Party — starting perhaps most notably with Gee Dumbya Bush — is on its way out, although I’m not holding my breath on that.

Despite the fact that he already is a political corpse, Herman Cain defiantly announced today that  he “will not be silenced” — you know, the way he apparently had thought that the multiple victims of his sexual harassment were silenced by fear — and that he is “not going away.”

That might technically be true, too.

No one will forcefully silence Cain or make him go away.

Rather, he’ll just fade back into the relative obscurity from which he came. He might still be talking, but very few people still will be listening.

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