Monday, September 28, 2015

The Slow, Painful & Thoroughly Enjoyable Death of the Republican Party

Washington, DC.  We are living in the end times. No, not those end times, when Jesus floats around in the sky, Christians leave their empty clothes on the sidewalks and the rest of us get seven years of permanent Black Friday at Walmart. I'm talking about the end times of the Republican Party.

The Four Horsemen of this impending Republican Apocalypse, the inevitable, malevolent spawn of the incestuous coupling of Fear and Stupidity (a match made in hell by Fox News) appear unstoppable and have the party regulars in a sweaty panic, as at least 50% of GOP voters prefer these four unelectable maniacs over traditional less obviously maniacal candidates. They are Trump, Carson, Fiorina and Cruz. Okay, Cruz is riding a Shetland pony but for the sake of beating this analogy to death it's a fucking horse.

On the first horse is Trump, the very embodiment of Pride. His narcissism forbids acknowledging any personal wrongdoing. Ever. About anything. He is reckless, tactless, racist and if intelligent hides it exceedingly well. These are all qualities admired by the 25% of Republicans who think he should be the leader of the Free World. That almost everything he promises is highly unlikely to occur means nothing to them. He's rich. That's everything.

On the second horse is Dr. Ben Carson, who exists in this contest solely to allow his fellow Republicans to hear their own racism come out of the mouth of a Black man and feel justified about their bigotry. Carson once said, "You know, Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery." Were Carson Jewish, he would likely compare free community college to the Holocaust. Conservatives eat this shit up.

On the third horse rides Carly Fiorina. While all Republican candidates are certainly liars, she has a special talent for it and obviously enjoys her craft. Widely regarded by anyone who has any knowledge whatsoever of business as an absolutely miserable CEO, Fiornia contends that her experience burning Hewlett-Packard to the ground makes her the prefect choice for president. And she does so with all the charm of Ann Coulter. Republicans assume she can compete with Hillary (just as they did with Palin), as she has a vagina. No one will notice the difference.

Finally on the fourth (very small) horse rides Ted Cruz, the poor man's Joe McCarthy. Tail Gunner Ted has managed to alienate just about every "normal" Republican in Congress, which is a nice way of saying they hate his fucking guts and wish he would get hit by a bus. Cruz brings an oily mixture of phony religiosity, ersatz patriotism and seething anti-government hatred to the contest. He has a popsicle's chance in hell of getting the nomination, but is jockeying for a possible VP nod. It will not help with the Latino vote any more than wearing a sombrero with dingle balls and playing maracas during his next speech will.

This is the perfect, apocalyptic storm for the GOP. It's not just the four candidates that spell doom, but the confluence of disastrous candidates and a base that has been decades in the dumbing-down. It's a can't lose recipe for total disaster.

Now some will look at these four sand say, "Well, it's a diverse group, more diverse than what the Democrats are offering. You've got a Black man, a woman, a Latino and a pasty-faced, puffy white guy."

True enough. They do have those physical characteristics. But they're all peddling the same failed, dangerous, hawkish, racist, pro-rich, anti-middle class policies. Blacks and Latinos will not be fooled into voting for them. Women will not mistake Carly Fiorina for Hillary Clinton, essentially comparable lady parts notwithstanding.

Republicans have made fear their best friend. They have spent years creating an embarrassingly, willfully ignorant base. They have made government a dirty word. They no longer deem intelligence, education, reason, diplomacy, and empathy to be virtues, but flaws to be sneered at and mocked. They have alienated almost every demographic that isn't old, Southern and white.

I hear the sound of hoof beats, and it's growing nearer and more urgent, the thundering tattoo of four horses galloping madly. Okay, three horses and a pony.

©2015 Kona Lowell

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Donald Trump: Republican Id or Loudmouthed, Ignorant Dick?

New York, NY  With the first Republican debate less than a month away, Donald Trump and the thing that lives on his head are nipping at Jeb Bush's heels. The RNC, conservative pundits and fellow candidates are scrambling to deal with the disruptive Trump juggernaut and maintain a semblance of decorum as well as some faint hope of retaking the White House. But it's like doing damage control after a candidate tried to explain the good side of rape. Again. And now nine Republicans know they will share a stage with an egomaniac (emphasis on maniac) who is going to mercilessly savage every last one of them with utter abandon and with no thought of party unity, all to the delight of the red meat-gnawing, slavering base who will cheer every insult, every charge of wimpiness and every disregard of common decency.

Of course what started the fear and loathing was Trump's ugly remarks about Mexicans.

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Obviously the vast majority of thinking, informed citizens realize that this provocative statement is not only demonstrably false, but intentionally insulting to hardworking, honest immigrants, as well as American-born Latinos. And therein lies the Republicans' problem: their base is neither thinking nor informed, which is why Trump is in second place nationally and their getting that needed share of the Latino vote is about as likely as Santana playing the Republican Convention. Actually, Trump would have even more support had he waved a Confederate flag while dumping on Mexicans.

We must remember how Trump captured the heart of the Republican base. He did it by suggesting that President Obama was not only illegally occupying the White House due to his undoubtedly Kenyan birth, but that he had also phonied up his grades and wasn't even deserving of his degrees, because, you know, he's...well, you know.

Very few Republicans objected to this, out loud anyway. But in the wake of his Mexican remarks, a few have found spines. Rick Perry, who is more likely to see the inside of a prison cell than the Oval Office, is one. George Will is another. Charles Krauthammer is one more. And Jeb is making noises that have a decidedly disapproving tone to them. Nice, since his wife is a Mexican immigrant. But it's too few and too late.

Donald Trump comes across as a profoundly ignorant man who has no idea how fucking ignorant he really is. He's brash, deceitful, arrogant, unprincipled, greedy and narcissistic. Only he can make America great again. (What we're not great now? Okay.) Only he can defeat ISIS. Only he can make China and Japan kowtow to us in trade. Only he can negotiate. Everyone else is a fucking loser. And today, Trump announced, "I will win the Latino vote."

Add delusional to the above list of character traits.

And he made this claim while being so rude, so hostile and so mansplainingly condescending to NBC's Katy Tur that even Chris Christie would have said, "Man, that guy's a jerk!"

It doesn't matter. He's in second place, and gaining. It tells you something about the GOP, and why they must be not just defeated but sent to the shitpile of History, where they so righteously deserve to molder.

Which brings us to the question in today's title, Donald Trump: Republican id or loudmouthed, ignorant dick? Answer: Yes.

©2015 Kona Lowell

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Republicans' Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

Washington, DC. There's an old saying about bad things coming in threes. I can only imagine that Republicans nationwide were praying for the week to be over and desperately hoping that that old saying would not need a revision. Unfortunately, their prayers caromed off a brass sky and their hopes are a smoking, fetid pile of ashes. I'm counting four.

1. Donald Trump and the thing that lives on his head enter the presidential race. As if there weren't enough unserious candidates making it tough for Jeb Bush to assume the mantle of Great White Hope and complete the Bush trifecta, here comes feces-thrower Trump, immediately flinging poop on the leading candidate, beating his chest and leaving no doubt that the circus has indeed come to town.

The RNC is in a collective cold sweat, because unless someone comes up with a Plan B very quickly, as in yesterday, nine Republican hopefuls will share a Fox News debate stage with a very mean-spirited, uncontrollable orangutan who cares about nothing but increasing his stockpile of bananas.

Yes, Jeb should make it out alive, although caked in orangutan shit. And the party itself will continue to be seen as pathetically out of touch as Trump, in the name of the GOP, will certainly manage to offend every minority in ways no one can yet even imagine. Democratic ad men are salivating.

2. The South finally loses the Civil War. I know, we thought it was over more than a century ago. But it took the tragic deaths of nine good people in a South Carolina church at the hands of a white supremacist Justin Bieber impersonator to remove the last symbol of their treasonous past. Even if Charlie Daniels is still proud he's a rebel and remains convinced that the South is gonna do it again, they will have to do it through gerrymandering, voter suppression/intimidation and quiet, structural racism sans the Confederate battle flag. This they can and will try to do, crocodile tears and professions of love for their Black fellow citizens notwithstanding. This tactic will eventually fail, and the tears will be real, as will our laughter.

3. Chief Justice John Roberts saves Obamacare. After sixty attempts to kill it and deprive millions of their fellow Americans of health care, and in thousands of cases, their lives, Republicans are now facing the utterly depressing reality that The Affordable Care Act is here to stay. What makes it particularly galling, aside from not being able to watch people suffer and die, is that they were counting on the Bush-appointed Roberts to share their callous disregard for humanity and thrust a dagger into the heart of the beast. Instead, he planted that dagger squarely in their back.

Of course this will not stop them from continuing to promise their knuckle-walking base that they will repeal it and replace it with Something a Black Guy Didn't Come Up With. This will happen when monkeys fly out of their butts. Luckily, Obamacare covers that condition.

4. Closeted Republicans can now get married anywhere in the US. Not that they will. No, they will continue to shriek and keen about the death of civilization, the persecution of Christians and predict all sorts of gory and improbable end-times destruction as they fund-raise off it and desperately try to stir up as much hatred and anger at the LGBT community as is possible. Then they will sneak off to have some hot man on man sex with Adam and Steve.

I suppose we should feel sorry for our Republican enemies. They've had a rough week. We should make some sort of gesture of good will, something to demonstrate our desire to reach across the aisle and listen to their ideas. Sending Confederate flag toilet paper would be a nice touch.

©2015 Kona Lowell

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A White Guy's Post-Racial Do's & Dont's for Black People

As is well documented, Americans of all ethnicities are now living harmoniously in a post-racial society. But even though racism has been eliminated there are still some subtle do's and don'ts that Black people should adhere to, just to keep it that way. Here are some helpful examples:

1. Do not have a pool party. Yes, this seems obvious, since we white folks know you can't swim. In fact, it is probably a good idea not to have any kind of party as we will almost certainly object to the noise, to what you call "music," the number of people who show up, etc. But if you must go to a pool party, wear a short white jacket and carry a tray full of mimosas.

2. Do not have 19 kids. Yes, of course you love the Duggars! We all do! Who can resist a mindless breeding machine pumping out litters of future fundamentalist Republicans? They're so cute when they're little. But Fox News and the conservative Christians who champion the Duggars will simply see this as being the worst sort of copy cat behavior and will be forced to speak unkindly about you and your family. Remember, even though we're happily post-racial, demographics are still a bitch for us. Do emulate Chinese family planning, please. Remember one child = triple happy luck.

3. Do not run. Again, obvious. Unless you are in uniform carrying a football. Then please run as fast as you can. I've got 20 bucks on the game.

4. Do not get arrested. This is very, very important. Studies have shown that Black people do not do well in captivity and have a tendency to die. Avoid being arrested by staying in your house as much as possible and if you must go out in public, try to do so with at least two white friends whose fathers are police officers or district attorneys.

5. Do not open carry. I know it is tempting to go to the airport with your fully-loaded AR-15 or pal around with twenty of your Black friends dressed in paramilitary attire while armed to the teeth at your local Applebee's, but this behavior is specifically white penis-compensation therapy and mocking it would be insensitive, as well as the AR-15 would be really rubbing it in. Also, remember that many of the police who show up to arrest and/or kill you are in 24-7 white penis-compensation therapy so they will not be amused.

6. Do not be president. Even though we are a post-racial society, this is pushing the limits of good taste. It is acceptable to run for president as a Republican (after you disavow your heritage) but do not have the temerity to actually win, or even consider it. Remember, you are running to make us feel good about ourselves. After all we've done for you, it's the least you can do for us.

©2015 Kona Lowell

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The GOP Debates: An Embarrassment of Riches

Washington, DC. While many nations around the world are dealing with painful shortages in resources, our great country has an abundance — even a surplus — in one crucial resource: people who want to be the Republican nominee for president. And while this is of course something to celebrate, it does present some problems, especially when it comes to the twelve (yes, 12) Republican debates that will take place between August and March.

As of now, there are about 36 potential candidates, some declared, some still testing the waters. But even though that list will be eventually whittled down, it will still be in the double digits, making the debate structure unwieldy. Organizers cannot count on looming indictments to reduce the field sufficiently.

Several suggestions arose to reduce the number, like flying all the candidates to a remote and unpopulated island where their survival skills would determine who continues to the debates. However, as some are known cannibals, it was felt that they would have an unfair advantage.

Musical chairs was also briefly considered as a means of thinning the herd, but was deemed too complicated for the rhythm-challenged predominantly white group of candidates.

Also ruled out were a talent contest, an MMA-style cage fight, a round of Truth or Dare, who's mate is more popular than Bill Clinton as well as Governor Christie's suggestion of a hotdog eating contest.

Fortunately, Fox News came up with a plan, for at least the first debate, that being that only announced candidates can participate and all must place in the top 10 of an average of the five most recent polls, as recognized by Fox News (whatever that means). This scheme will of course be immediately shitcanned if Carly Fiorina doesn't make the cut because there absolutely must be a woman on the stage at all times. Ditto for Dr. Ben Carson and your choice of Latino.

Yet even with these rules in place, it is likely that there will be more than ten debaters on the stage. And that could likely include the high-polling Donald Trump and that thing that lives on his head.

CNN came up with a different plan, splitting their September debate into two parts: the 10 highest polling candidates, and "candidates who meet the minimum threshold of 1 percent in public polling but are ranked outside the top 10." This is very clever, and considerate, as legitimate candidates will not be forced to stand in puddles of drool or inhale the smoke from burning hair while explaining how Obama is responsible for the Iraq War.

While there are certainly reasons to grumble in this great country of ours, lack of Republican candidates willing to lie repeatedly in public and on video is definitely not one of them. Never before have so many stepped forward to take us several steps backwards. The GOP debates are an embarrassment of riches. Okay, make that just an embarrassment.

©2015 Kona Lowell

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Republican Budget: Because F*ck You

Washington, DC. With the wind at their backs, the Republican-controlled 114th Congress is wasting no time in proving that the previous Congress, renowned for its historic obstruction, record number of filibusters, minimal legislation, extraordinary disrespect for the president and an utter lack of feck, was not an aberration.

Two months into their majority, two Republican congressmen (Grimm and Schock) have resigned in disgrace, three of their presidential hopefuls (Christie, Perry and Walker) are facing possible criminal charges, they've held funding for HSA hostage over immigration, held up confirmation for AG nominee Loretta Lynch in the hopes that they could insert anti-choice language into a human trafficking bill, invited a foreign head of state (in sneering contempt of protocol) to address the august body and undermine the President amid delicate nuclear arms talks and became traitorous, lovesick correspondents with the Ayatollah Khamenei, who rebuffed their schoolboy advances.

Legislatively, they've pushed the Keystone XL Pipeline, tried to repeal Obamacare for the 59th time and reluctantly pulled their own anti-abortion bill when Republican women legislators deemed it too medieval, even for them.

One would imagine they would need to catch their breath. But no.

To absolutely no one's surprise, House Republicans dropped trou, squatted down on the Capitol steps and dumped their budget plan. The 10-year blueprint for how to totally destroy every positive step made by the present administration is basically the same one Representative Paul Ryan has peddled four times previously, the one ridiculed by every major economist and denounced by nuns for being too much like something Satan might come up with.

I won't bore you with too many details, because you can close your eyes and imagine it right now, especially if you're a fan of The Walking Dead, but in a nutshell, it cuts spending by 5.5 trillion dollars over its ten years, in a sort of political/economic version of the Black Death.  Of course you know who will feel those spending cuts: the poor and the middle class.

And of course it cuts taxes for the wealthy and corporations who never pay taxes anyway, because fuck you.

And it cuts Medicaid funding by 913 billion dollars over ten years and relegates the program to the states in the form of block grants, because fuck you.

And it cuts billions from SNAP, known as Food Stamps, because fuck you.

And of course it repeals Obamacare, and with the Medicaid cuts, would knock an estimated 37 million Americans off the rolls of the insured, because fuck you.

But don't worry. It increases military spending, because fuck you.

Of course this budget will be widely touted by all Republicans, young and old, male and female, far right and farther right, on the Sunday morning shows, the op-ed pages of The Wall Street Journal and that place where truth goes to die, Fox News. Most of the media will tell us that this proposed budget is courageous and unavoidable, like all of our glorious wars, because fuck you.

There is, however, a way to prevent this budget from ever becoming reality. It's called voting. Yes, there's an alternative to that: bloody revolution, which I readily admit would be cathartic and possibly thrilling in a horrible sort of way, but at my age, I'll opt for voting. Because, Republicans, fuck you.

©2015 Kona Lowell