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“Oops…”: The Week In Debates for 11/06/11-11/12/11

November 14, 2011 Leave a comment

“Rick Perry isn’t the guy you want to have a Beer with, he’s the kind of guy who got a head start on the beer before you got there.” – Stephen Colbert

I made a boo boo!

I’m a busy man. I am most busy on Wednesdays, so I did not see the CNBC debate. When I was done being busy enough to check my Facebook at 11PM however, I was greeted by somebody posting the following video that simply said, “Watch Rick Perry’s Campaign End Before Your Eyes.” Uh oh… That can’t be good. I played it.

Note: When I was writing the piece, the video was still online, but due a copyright infringement claim by CNBC, the video has been taken down. Which warrants outrage in its own right, and probably some investigation since I could make the argument that this falls more into public domain.

Oh bother… Rick Perry is going onwards with his campaign, but he’s going to face more resistance than a non-white person trying to enter a building owned by Donald Trump. Since the debate happened well after the late night programs taped, things simmered overnight, then all hellfire crashed down. Not a ton of people watched Perry’s supposedly drunken speech, but aforementioned “Oops…” video hit well over two million views the last time I checked it. This is like when Miss South Carolina talked about her maps and the people that didn’t have them. No doubt about it, the people now know of the Brain Freeze of Rick Perry. Which is quite the accomplishment itself, since only 3.3 Million people saw it, half of the previous debate’s audience.

This Turtle Is Unhappy With The Current Batch of Republican Canidates

“I want to be President — but not like this.” – Saturday Night Live’s Mitt Romney

Last week, I wrote of Rick Perry’s then-current state as a Survivor contestant on Redemption Island that was looking to stage a comeback. Well, he’s now been voted off the island. After all, do you want your President, or Presidential candidate saying, “Oops?” Oops, I accidentally unloaded our entire nuclear arsenal on Canada! Oops, I accidentally outlawed heterosexual marriage! Oops, I accidentally made Ke$ha Vice-President! I feel like at this point, Sarah Palin and George W. Bush look like they have Master’s degrees comparatively.

Substitute Ron Paul for Batman and you can see how he trains for debates on Tuesdays

But you know what my favorite thing of all this was? Ron F’n Paul. “5!” he says. Perry is scrambling searching for the answer and asking anybody and everybody like a panicked freshman during a final exam and Ron Paul is just like, “5!” Yes, Rick Perry can’t think of 3 government agencies he’d like to cut and Ron Paul is just like, “I can name 5 government agencies to cut off the top of my head while punching sharks in the damn nose you dumb-ass rookie!” Or at least that’s what I imagine Ron Paul’s inner-monologue sounding like. He kind of weird that way. He could say that and it wouldn’t be surprising in the least.

Sure, Perry may have the most money out of any candidate except Romney at this point, but all the money in the world can’t invent time travel. Or can it? I know I’d put up with 8 years of Rick Perry if I was promised the invention of time travel. Heck, Herman Cain can do all the inappropriate things he allegedly wants to do if I get Time Travel out of the deal.

So, with Rick Perry accidentally chugging laxative before a Survivor challenge involving staying in a small cave with a group of hot women for 24 hours, Rick Perry has been voted off Redemption Island. And no, doing a Top 10 list on Letterman or repeating the phrase, “I Stepped In It” does not give you a pass to come back.

“Rick Perry could shoot a puppy during the online-exclusive portion of this debate and nobody would realize it.” – Me

Damn Roadrunner...

Then there was also a debate on a Saturday night, on CBS. Don’t worry, you’re forgiven if this is the first time you’re hearing about it. I didn’t know it existed until somebody told me a few hours beforehand, and even then, I had to find confirmation that it existed via TV Guide. If you went to CBS.com beforehand or during, or basically any website on the Internet outside of CBSnews.com, the existence of this debate was a complete non-story. Since CBS themselves treated it like a non-story, the  debate was itself a non-story. Essentially, there were two notable, if you want to call them that, events surrounding the debate.

First off, like the other debates, this debate was an hour and a half, but unlike the other debate, CBS was exclusively streaming the last 30 minutes online at CBSnews.com. Unless you lived exclusively in South Carolina or the West Coast, you had no way of seeing the debate in a non-offline scenario. For people like me, we were treated to yet another repeat of NCIS. Why? Ratings. The debate was watched by 5.29 million people. 5.5 million watched NCIS. Sure, it’s Saturday night, but CBS knows that people would rather see Mark Harmon’s face than Mitt Romney’s face. In fact, I’m starting it now…

2016 Bitches!

Now, I don’t know how many people watched the online portion of the debate, but because it was both online-only and on a Saturday night, Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann could have done the nasty and literally nobody would know/care. Rick Perry, you should have made your mistake then. As/is, he just gave this soundbite:

“The communist Chinese government will end up on the ash heap of history if they do not change their virtues.” – Rick Perry

Sure, it’s incredibly ignorant and stupid, but it’s not a newsmaking gaffe. Since this is Progress for Perry, or hashtag “#PerryProgress,” Newsweek said he might have won the debate by virtue of not screwing up. Also, apparently the people also like the self-deprecation he’s doing in making fun of his own gaffe. Does this mean Perry can once again stage a comeback? No. Stop that. Perry was voted off Redemption Island, remember? I know Newt Gingrich is swimming back to shore, but… You know what? Screw it.

Put them all in a room with either each other, or each other AND a gorilla. Whoever comes out alive gets the Republican Nomination. So of course, Ron Paul will win. Damn it…

Fact: Ron Paul has Jedi Skills.

Outwit. Outplay. Outlast: Mitt Romney

November 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Survivor: To Remain Alive or in Existence.

With the Holidays upon us, and Primary Season around the corner, it’s time to check-up, Survivor style, on how the Republican candidates are faring the media ringer. So does Mitt Romney prove that slow and steady wins the race? Will the Conservatives accept his rational ideas? Or do nice guys and people who draw the ire of Occupy Wall Street finish last?
Note: Because of the length of this episode, we have to separate by commercial breaks, so make sure to seek out the previous two blogs focusing on Bachmann & Perry and Herman Cain.

The One Who Wins The Million By Virtue Of Not Screwing Up, Before Being Ticked That The IRS Claims Half Of It In Income Tax

This Hat Says It, So It Must Be True. Either That Or This Hat Is Trying WAY Too Hard To Get Its Intentions Across

I’ve alluded to this before in these Survivor-style blogs, but Mitt Romney’s been put through the ringer, not once, but twice. First time in 2008, he caved under the barrage of flip-flopping charges, and inexperience with running for President, and utterly failed. 3 or 4 years later, and he’s come back again for more, this time with responses to his flip-flopping charges. No scandals are coming out, no questions he hasn’t heard before, no surprises. If there were, they would have come out by now. But no, Romney kept himself out of trouble since 2008 so he would have nothing new to deal with. Master the old stuff, and you can look like a pro.

He doesn’t really have anything new in a good way, but at least he doesn’t have anything new in an old way. He can handle the media, and he can handle his fellow candidates fairly well.  He doesn’t have to surge ahead. He can just sit around and let the Primaries come to him. He’s even doing well in Iowa, which he’s historically terrible at. All that, and he’s already started going directly after Obama for 2012.

Essentially, he only has one big problem: His Own Party.

I was recently listening to an episode of “On Point with Tom Ashbrook” this week, a program on NPR, and its exploration of Romney’s relation with his own party entitled simply, “Mitt Romney and the GOP.” Talking with various Conservative and political commentators, as well as the callers into the program, it’s interesting to hear people’s raw opinions on the man. Basically, Conservatives and Tea Partiers hate him because he’s not true to their values. A lot of people of the Christian faith hate him because he’s Mormon.

Like the Picture, Dislike the Implication

Now, if worst comes to worst for them and they’re faced with the choice of Romney vs. Obama, they won’t say, but for now, as ridiculous and idiotic as their reasons are, Romney will not have their support during the Primaries. The question is, can he overcome the apparently massive hate for him? Can he overcome perceptions of flip-flopping?

His attraction to Independents won’t matter until the general election, so until then, if he can get there, his biggest challenge will be his own party, which so far doesn’t really have a viable alternative. Unless you can’t Ron Paul, which you can’t because The Media says that Ron Paul cannot be counted, and is just a black hole to be ignored.

See? Mitt Romney is Walking On Water. Mitt Romney Is Therefore Jesus.

Outwit. Outplay. Outlast: Herman Cain

November 5, 2011 Leave a comment

A Game of Survival!

With the Holidays upon us, and Primary Season around the corner, it’s time to check-up, Survivor style, on how the Republican candidates are faring the media ringer. So will Herman Cain be voted off, or will he come back like a bat out of hell, here to spread the message of Pizza and electric fences?
Note: Because of the length of this episode, we have to separate by commercial breaks as it were, so make sure to seek out the other two blogs focusing on Bachmann & Perry and Mitt Romney.

The One That Keeps Trying To Have Sex With All The Other Contestants, Making Pretty Much Everybody Mad. Also, He Uses His Immunity Idol At All The Wrong Times.

Fact: This is the first image that comes up when you type "Herman Cain Sexy" into Google Images.

When I first heard the name Herman Cain, it was back in May when he confused the Constitution with the Declaration of Independence. I immediately dismissed him and his chances because I’d never heard of him, and he made a stupid like that. No way we’d ever hear from him again! I was of course wrong… Just as everybody else in the race was seeming to fall out of grace, here comes Herman Cain winning the Florida Straw Poll as a last ditch effort. Even back then, like a month ago, I blogged about how winning the Florida Straw Poll was stupid, and we’d never hear of him again. After all, he was a Pizza guy with no political experience. I was again… wrong. Considering how a nobody just won the Florida Straw Poll, the media started looking into him and built him up. America liked what they saw for some reason, and he shot to the top of the polls. Then, he started talking. Then he started talking more. Then, THE SCANDAL broke.

Let’s get something clear first, this is not a grand media conspiracy against Herman Cain because he’s a Republican, a Black Republican, or just because the media is mean. Why?

  1. The media built him up. They can tear him down. That’s kind of their job.
  2. Herman Cain is an inexperienced, not smart person.

A Smile Only a Pimp Could Love

Sorry. It’s true. Herman Cain never would have had a shot without the media building him up and acknowledging his existence. After all, as the 4th Estate of Government, it’s the media’s job to put you through the ringer of challenges to see if you can come out on the other side. Mitt Romney got put through with his flip-flopping and is considered a perennial frontrunner. Herman Cain is being put through, and is failing miserably.

Even before THE SCANDAL, Cain was looking less than appealing. He thought China was developing Nuclear capabilities, when they’ve had them since the 1960s. His stance on abortion has been iffy. There was the ludicrous campaign commercial. The Electric Fence “Joke.” He doesn’t care about the President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, or his name. All of this is fodder for the Obama campaign if Cain wins the nomination. At this point, Cain winning the nomination would mean an utter bloodbath for the Republicans considering Cain’s baggage.

Little Known Fact: Gloria Cain actually hates Pizza. She Always Orders Breadsticks.

True or not, THE SCANDAL is out there. And Cain isn’t helping matters. He thrashed around like a caught fish when questioned about THE SCANDAL or any of its details all week. He would deny, acknowledge, then deny the next little detail, before acknowledging its existence again. All while his wife has been suspiciously absent. She was nowhere to be found before THE SCANDAL, and she’s cancelling anything that might remotely put her in the spotlight after it. If the wife stands beside you during this time, then it gives you credibility that you’re aren’t a sleazy deviant.

Instead, Cain is digging a hole that nobody knows how far it’ll go. Will it bury him, or will it build him support and funds from everybody that believes Cain is just an innocent victim of The Media? I say he falters under pressure, but I’ve been wrong about the Hermanator twice before, so it’s anybody’s guess. Besides, it’s not like Conservatives like the alternative very much.

Now it’s time for commercial break. This an official video from Herman Cain’s YouTube page where he pays tribute to the victims of 9/11 with “God Bless America,” which he sings. The video is so wrong on so many different levels, one of which is the fact that the video seems a little bit self-serving. You know, promoting yourself on an emotional level because you’re singing a patriotic anthem in tribute to 9/11. Did Obama ever do that?

Outwit. Outplay. Outlast: Bachmann and Perry

November 5, 2011 3 comments

The Tribe Has Spoken. Oh Wait, We Have To Do A Recount.

Still a few months out from Primary season, and just about every candidate has not only shot themselves in the foot, but the leg, the abdomen, the buttocks, the other foot, an ear, a pinky finger, and that guy that Dick Cheney shot, who is kept in a target practice room in Republican Headquarters. But like all non-incumbent candidates before them, it’s a race of less mistakes. Or the least mistakes anybody cares about, and/or notices. After all, Howard Dean’s Scream wasn’t that important, but it was very visible. Because of that, John Kerry won the Democratic nomination. Was John Kerry better than Howard Dean? I don’t know, but Kerry didn’t “Whoo!”

The same is ever-true for this election, and even more so. Looking back on the last election, we had a ton of professional veterans that would have made at least somewhat decent Presidents. This year? It’s a bunch of snot-nosed rookies. Fred Thompson’s been around, so he doesn’t say stupid things. Same with Rudy Giuliani. All his scandals  have been raked over, and his likelihood of saying stupid things is also very low. Victims of extremely low numbers last go-around, either of them would be viewed as Gods if they entered this time around. But nope, the only candidates from 2008 that came back are Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, but as the media has made it very clear, Ron Paul doesn’t really matter, even though like Romney, he’s also stayed very steady, if even gaining support.

So, let’s take stock of the current Republican Survivor contestants. Note: At this point in the season, I, a politically-minded Jeff Probst, have already “voted off” Jon Huntsman (Maybe for the China Season), Gary Johnston (Only if everybody else gets Dysentery), Newt Gingrich (Don’t worry, he’ll be back for All-Star Season), Rick Santorum (It’s the name) and Ron Paul (You know, because of the media and stuff).

Note: Because of the length of this episode, we have to separate by commercial breaks as it were, so make sure to seek out the other two blogs focusing on Herman Cain and Mitt Romney.

The One Quietly Sitting Near You While You Sleep Waiting For the Right Moment To Strike You With A Coconut

A Re-Creation of Bachmann's Campaign in a Month

Sure, she’s mostly harmless, but there’s always a chance she could do something. That makes for great entertainment. Or did make for great entertainment, as it were, as people who dressed up as Michele Bachmann for Halloween, only to be mistaken for Sarah Palin the whole night found out. Forever living at the bottom of polls, Bachmann is a Conservative back-up back-up, for when both Cain and Perry go bottoms up.  Also, Bachmann seen as sort of crazy, and if she ever did get nominated, there’s ample material to prove it in commercials.  Fortunately, nobody will have to face that prospect. She’s a one-trick Taunton that’s about to be cut open due to lack of funding. Oh, and how’s that Tea Party support working out?

The One Plotting A Well-Timed Comeback On Redemption Island, That Might or Might Not End Horribly

Ron Paul would be still be on Redemption Island due to his secret Ninja skills, but again, The Media kicked him out. Apparently Ninja Skills aren't exiting enough for today's political climate.

If George W. Bush was seen as a kid in Elementary school, then Rick Perry will be seen as a college frat boy. He may have some grasp of the issues and reality, but he constantly talks like he’s a nerd trying to talk to a hot girl at a bar. Nobody knows what’s coming out, but damn if he isn’t trying. People got tired of him after his poor debate performances, which Alec Baldwin hilariously parodied. Then Herman Cain stole all his thunder, which means nobody was really looking at him when he gave a speech in New Hampshire. Those who saw it think considerably less of him, but the vast majority of people did not see it. As far as they know, Rick Perry is in a hole somewhere. So, Perry is seizing the moment of Herman Cain’s weakness  and trying to take back the position of top choice for Conservatives. He’s going to continue performing in debates, he’s portraying a regular guy image, he’s trying to befriend Conservative media and he’s telling everybody to give him a second look. Will they? It’s certainly possible with the downfall of Herman Cain under way, but he only have a couple of months until primary season. Not much time to rebuild.

Now it’s time for commercial break. Here’s Rick Perry sounding all too happy that Obama is “destroying” the economy  because he reads a teleprompter. I wonder what Perry was reading while doing this commercial?

Beware the Interns: A Review of “The Ides of March”

October 12, 2011 2 comments

“Ambition Seduces. Power Corrupts.” – Tagline for The Ides of March

Although a movie, The Ides of March is not about heroes and villains. Although a movie about politics, it doesn’t push a political agenda, although some may argue that it’s implied. Although it concerns itself with scandal, it’s as much about ideals, and values, like loyalty. It’s about naive natures, playing dirty in politics, and asking just how far we are willing to go to win. But like the original Ides of March, where Ceaser met his end by friends seeking political gain, it’s a tale of betrayal and tragedy.  In Star Wars terms, The Ides of March is like watching Anakin Skywalker become a somehow more horrible version of Darth Vader.

I think the film ultimately makes three points:

  1. People are imperfect and makes mistakes.
  2. We play dirty politics because it works, it’s easy, and everybody does it, so you are forced to do it also.
  3. To win in politics, you have to compromise your values and you must sacrifice your beliefs.

Sure, none of these are revolutionary thoughts, a fact that several critics are hung up on, the movie presents its story in a credible, well-done, thrilling and shocking way.

Ryan Gosling plays Stephen Myers, a Junior Campaign Manager for Mike Morris, played by George Clooney, a Pennsylvania Governor running for the Presidential Nomination in the Democratic Primaries in a race that is so close in the context of the film, that North Carolina is somewhat relevant, even though the winner is usually decided far in advance of the state, so it seems, in real life. But not this race, as Morris’ campaign team knows that they’ll have to lock up a popular Senator’s support in order to win Ohio. If they win the state of Ohio, that it’ll be a big enough victory to propel them to the Democratic candidate for President, if not the White House itself. That’s the setup, to which the movie moves into it’s 3-act tragedy.

“We’re gonna be fine. We have to do it, it’s the right thing to do and nothing bad happens when you’re doing the right thing.” – Stephen Meyers

Stephen Meyers

Stephen is different from most political consultants because he actually believes in the cause and ability of Morris. In his mind, he can do no wrong and is the best person to help the most amount of people in the country. But since Stephen is so good, he’s also incredibly confident and prideful about his work. He also has a problem in that he’s only 30, facing a possibility of working in the White House if Morris wins. If Morris wins however, then Stephen gets a nice job for 4-8 years, then either an early retirement, or starting his own lobbyist firm, which would be menial in its own way. If Morris loses however, then Stephen goes back to a menial job at a consulting firm, waiting once more to rise up the ranks.

But Morris is also naive in his own way. To win Ohio, and therefore the Democratic nomination, all Morris has to do is promise to give the Secretary of State position to the aforementioned Senator. That’s all he has to do, but he refuses because not only would it compromise his values, but the Senator is known for being staunchly against the U.N. Does that sound like a good candidate for Secretary of State, a person that has to deal with World leaders on a regular basis? No, but if Morris doesn’t give him the position, he won’t have a chance to bring his values to the White House. He’s naive, but in a different way than Stephen, since one’s intentions are obviously more honorable than the other. Still, pride will ultimately befall both men.

It’s at this point where I can go no further without giving away explicit spoilers for the film. If you plan on seeing this film in the near future, I recommend you do not any farther, since maximum enjoyment of the film requires surprise when bombshells are dropped, and characters go as far as they do. If the film has appealed to you thus far, or the subject matter or what I’ve written appeals to you, then go see it.

“There’s only one rule in politics: you don’t f**k the intern!” – Stephen Meyers

Meyers and Molly the Intern

That’s right, as a President, you can wreak an economy, a country, or even the world, but consider yourself in royal trouble if you ever have sex with an intern. No good can ever come of it. Since Morris is prideful as a politician, he thinks he can get away with having an affair with the intern, and as long as nobody speaks of it, he’ll be fine. But then she gets pregnant.

Personally, I have a primal facination for movies that feature an inevitable horrible cascadal decline for our characters where they’re put in a situation where no good can ever come from their current situation. I’m not talking about stupid Teens in a horror film, no, I’m talking about the horror film of life. Stephen Meyers is of course sleeping with the intern himself, due to his pride, but when she receives a call at 2:30 in the morning from Morris himself, it’s an “Oh, crap…” moment that sends the mind racing towards all the possibilities the film could go down. It’s inherently funny and stereotypical that a politician would end up in this position, but then the film ratchets up the moment more by revealing that the intern is pregnant. It’s a classic catalyst to move characters into making decisions that will ultimately decide their fate.

“I’ll do or say anything if I believe in it, but I have to believe in the cause.” – Stephen Meyers

The Ohio Campaign Headquarters

Since Stephen has declared himself married to the campaign, he must set aside personal feelings for this intern that he’s partly fallen in love with during the course of their affair, and mark her as collateral damage. Stephen rationalizes that it’s best to leave her out to dry, firing her off her internship and driving her to a clinic to have an abortion rather than let Morris catch the fallout. Sure, his once perfect candidate is now tainted beyond measure, but Stephen still has a job, and in his mind at least, this is the best way to “fix things.”

But then he’s put against the wall due being fired due to a series of manipulations and scheming due to Stephen’s lack of loyalty stemming from his pride. It doesn’t feel good being part of the fallout from your own mistakes, so Stephen, again out of pride, threatens to take Morris down on his way out. Hearing this brings up another “Oh crap…” moment, because what’s the best way to take down the Morris campaign? The intern… knowing this, she kills herself rather than being dragged through the mud in order to destroy one man, ultimately helping another.

“Revenge makes people unpredictable.” – Tom Duffy

Meyers Looks On With New Eyes

At this point, I thought Meyers himself might take his own life out of the sheer guilt of being indirectly responsible for her death. But no, after having his mistakes used against himself in getting fired, Meyers now knows all to well the power of dirty politics. Secrets are weapons, and effective ones at that. So what’s Stephen to do? Do the same to Morris. Left with the choice of direct connections to both an affair, an abortion and a suicide, Morris is forced to not only give up the Secretary of State position in order to secure a win, but let Stephen have his boss’ old job, essentially moving up from an aide to a full-blown campaign manager to a candidate that’s now a shoe-in not only for the nomination, but presumably for the White House. But at what price does it come at?

For Morris, in order to get his supposedly great ideas to the White House, he had to make some serious moral compromises and let people into his circle that have no right being there. All of this was due to his pride of sleeping with the intern, which of course you never, ever do. The affair and ultimatum forces Morris into a position to win, but at a great cost.

For Meyers, he lost his naive nature, his hands are covered in blood, he’s responsible for having his boss fired, oh, and he’s responsible for ensuring Morris gets into the White House. He’s betrayed all of his ideals for success and revenge. All of this due to his naive nature, which led to pride, which of course led to his downfall. But where in other fields he would stay down, justifiably ruined, in politics you can come back better than ever if you just have a little dirt.

Morris Gains The Support of Senator Thompson

The final scene, which is of Meyers being prepped for an interview, is like watching minions put on Darth Vader’s suit. Make-up is applied, his ear piece is put in, the hair is made just right, and then the camera pans towards Stephen’s face. At this point, it’s the face of pure evil. It’s haunting to stare at that trademark Ryan Gosling expression, showing nothing while revealing everything. He’s morally dead inside. He used a girl’s suicide to get himself a better job. The question the movies asks in the final scene is, does he reveal the truth to the media?

I think not, since the transformation is complete. Darth Vader also regretted a little of what happened, but what’s he going to do ? He has a choice: peak in his career by the time he’s 40 by working in the White House, or shred every little bit of it, feeling guilty with nothing to distract from it. Yeah, Darth Vader is going to choose ruling the Empire.

On a movie level, it’s all well-acted, with Gosling being a compelling presence as always, and Hoffman playing the Obi-Wan Kenobi to the Vader, as Stephen’s boss and Morris’ campaign manager. Clooney is a credible politician, comfortable on expressing views he probably already believes in. It’s silly in a way, but he’s George Clooney, so you’re fine with him and his dreaminess. His directing on the other hand doesn’t live up to the potential that I once had for him some 5 or 8 years ago. There’s great moments, such as the final scene, but you can’t really feel his hand as much as I’d like to. And again, if you go into the film not knowing the plot particulars, you’ll be an equal mix of shocked and riveted throughout much of the film as the events unfold. Especially the last 30 minutes or so, which I’m surprised more critics haven’t hailed as a stunning piece of work that it is, for simply going as far as it does.

Governor Mike Morris

To put it simply, the movie puts forth that being naive has no place in current politics. Not only does it cloud your judgement, give you a false sense of pride or security, but it also keeps you from winning. Out of 73 Democrats that have ran for President, the movie states at one point, only 3 have won. That means, the movie says, that Republicans know how to run a political campaign, where even though their candidate may not be that great, they know how to approach the race realistically, how to energize their base, and how to discredit a candidate when they need to. So to compete with the Republicans, the Democrats need to move into real world, as it were. But to do that, you have to sell your soul to the devil. And of course, nothing good ever comes out of that.

4 out of 5 Stars

So Yeah, That Happened: Florida & Herman Cain Edition

September 26, 2011 2 comments

I Think EVERYBODY Should Have Free Extra Cheese, For An Extra $1.99!

Apparently, there was a Florida Straw Poll over the weekend, on Saturday in fact, a fact that I was completely oblivious to until the news told me not only that this existed, but Herman Cain won it. Yes, Herman “My Pizza Places Look Like A Gas Station Subway” Cain was decided as the #1 pick for Republican Floridians. Or at least, for those Republican Floridians who bothered to attend.

Now, I’ve already waxed about the stupidity of the Iowa Straw Poll, but Florida is a little different. Granted, it’s still a straw poll, which by their very nature, are very bad at predicting Presidential candidates, or anything for that matter. But Florida actually has a good track record at picking candidates the last 3 times the poll has been held, picking Ronald Reagan, George Bush 1, and Bob Dole.

How The Mighty Have Fallen, And the Unlikely Have Risen... Like Pizza Dough!

Wait, where’s George Bush 2 in that? What about John McCain? Oh, that’s right, they haven’t had one in some 15 years because the idea of a Florida Straw Poll is inherently stupid. Think about it, the benefits of winning any Straw Poll are temporary at best, and the thought of spending valuable amounts of time and resources campaigning for a Straw Poll in the truly massive state of Florida is exceedingly ill-advised. That’s why Mitt Romney announced months in advance that he didn’t give a crap about any of these Straw Polls, anymore.

Still, even with not a crap given, Romney still got 14%, a very close 3rd. You know who actually made an effort in Florida? Herman Cain. Why? Because, not learning from the misguided mistake of Tim Pawlenty, he actually decided that the Florida Straw Poll was a good place to judge his progress in running for President. Unlike Pawlenty however, Cain was vindicated, and he will now continue until he finds another reason that he shouldn’t be President like he has twice before, before reconsidering.

I Was CEO of This For 10 Years!

That’s right kids, Herman Cain has thought to himself, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t be President’ not once, but twice now.

And who can blame him? Up until this point, Cain’s presence has only led to three things:

  1. An influx of Pizza jokes.
  2. Racial Diversity in the Republican Debates
  3. A Possible Audition for a Cabinet Position

Cain says that this win translates to “momentum,” but it’s illusionary momentum, if that. The other candidates think that Cain is a nice guy, and might make for a good VP, but for the people, there’s a lack of name-recognition, real political experience and let’s face it, that whole Pizza thing is a huge ‘Joke’ maker that he will never live down, nor does he want to, as he’s currently considering the slogan, “I Will Deliver,” apparently loving the joke lines Saturday Night Live writes to make fun of him. To put it simply, Herman Cain still has no chance of winning the Presidency, and selecting him for VP seems to me like a possible misguided suicide move. Again, to run for the highest political offices, you kind of have to be politically savvy, or have been in it at any point in your life, and no, running the Federal Reserve in Kansas City for a year doesn’t count.

Sorry Herman, but your Presidential Pizza is cold, soggy, and has less flavor than Pizza Hut pepperoni grease. See what I mean about the Pizza jokes? They write themselves AND they’re irresistible.

He Should Really Wear This Hat More Often; Increases His Coolness From Nilch Levels

So Yeah, That Happened: Iowa & Tim Pawlenty Edition

August 16, 2011 4 comments

After the Debate on Thursday, I said this:

[Iowa is] historically bad at being an indication of the eventual Republican nominee due to their emphasis on Homeland values. Still, everybody puts way too much emphasis on its importance.

Well, didn’t that come true? Iowa, perpetually starved for people to care about them, decided many years ago that they’d be the first line of decision when it came to Presidential Primaries. Granted, there are others just days, weeks and even months afterwords, but Iowa is 1st of 49. As a result, everybody kind of looks to Iowa even though, like I said before, they’re historically bad at predicting the eventual winner.

In the last election for instance, Mitt Romney won the Straw Poll, Mike Huckabee won the Caucus, and of course John McCain won the nomination, having come in 4th in the Caucus.  Past winners of the Straw Poll include Pat Robertson, George H.W. Bush when he was running against Reagan, Bob Dole and Phil Gramm. Point is, that except for the 2000 Republican field, the Iowa Straw Poll has gotten in wrong, EVERY TIME.

The Iowa Caucus, aka Primary, has a better track record, but that’s mainly because the whole state gets a say. Granted, it’s still skewed for the country because Iowa is such a Cliche of itself, but the Straw Poll attracts a very biased sampling of voters. For one, you have to pay $30 just to get in. That’s right, you have to pay to vote! Granted, that also gets you dinner, but still! That’s only going to attract hardcore supporters and voters! By the way, you have to be at least “16 1/2” years old to vote. There’s also allegations that you can buy the vote, and so on. All in all, 17,000 votes were cast, with the winner receiving only 4,823 Votes. Hardly a representative sample for anything.

Keeping this in mind, here’s this year’s result:

This Is On You, Iowa

Seeing these results and numbers, as frivolous as they may be, still prompted Bachmann to do this:

Let's Play: Spot the Bachmann

During the speech that triumphed her great victory, Bachmann was quoted as saying, “You have just sent a message that Barack Obama will be a one-term president.” To which there was a great applause from the crowd, echoing Thursday’s debate where after moderator Bret Baier told the candidates not to grandstand, Bachmann specifically grandstanded by saying that Obama would be a one-term President. Only problem is that for Bachmann, it kind of doesn’t matter in the long-term. Bachmann seems to be sinking most everything she has in Iowa because that’s the only place she’s assured a win. It could also be the only state she wins.

It Was Also Selling for $52

Bachmann is a polarizing figure, but polarizing in the fact that most everybody dislikes her in some regard, but for the far, far right of the party and Tea Party, she’s like the best thing ever. Still Independents and Moderates will probably avoid her like the plague. Iowa just so happens to be far right with their Homeland values, which Bachmann embraces. The fact that she’s putting forth that she was born in Iowa also kind of makes her the hometown favorite, even though she current presides over Minnesota. Still, with all of that, she almost lost to Ron Paul.

Recently, it seems like stereotypes are reinforcing themselves around me. I walked into a small-town Virginia antique store over the weekend and found all manner of racist and southern pride paraphernalia including Rebel Flags and a book from 1942 called, “Little Black Sambo,” that was described by the store as “beautifully illustrated.” Now, I’d like to think that Southern stores wouldn’t think stuff like this is OK, or even describe it in a positive manner, but that’s what they had, and it wasn’t even the only blackfaced toy or item in the store.

The 75-Year Old Political Virgin

Then there’s Iowa. I’d like to think that people from Iowa are like people from the rest of America. I’d like to think that they have the same amount of intelligence, instead of a black hole of stupidity, but this poll kind of actively goes out of its way to prove me wrong. After all, Ron Paul almost won. Think about it. Ron Paul almost won what many consider an important point in choosing the Republican nomination, and assessing your campaign. Ron Paul isn’t a fringe candidate in Iowa, no, he’s actually considered a contender and somebody they want to not only run against Barack Obama, but they think he can win against him. Not only that, but they think he’d be a great President when he gets into office.

Now, here at Random Independent, we believe that when comedian Patton Oswalt made a joke about an 120-year old President who ordered everybody to marry a Pelican, that he was actually referring to Ron Paul. And Iowa almost declared him the winner of their Straw Poll. As if we needed yet another reason to dismiss Iowa, the Iowa Caucus and the Iowa Straw Poll, Iowa makes it loud and clear that they like Ron Paul.

Moving on…

I Have the Courage To Stand, But As Soon As The Going Gets Rough, I Am Sitting the Hell Down

At least he had the best campaign poster...

Now knowing what we do about the Iowa Straw Poll, it’s insane that anybody would care that much about it, much less put all their resources into doing well in it, much less leaving the race if you don’t finish in the top 2. So naturally, in hindsight, not only is Timothy James Pawlenty insane, but a gargantuan idiot that would have made a poor President to say the least. After all, if he’ll put all his eggs into one massively stupid basket, maybe he’d also station all of the troops in France on the off-chance that Germany invades once more.

Just because you’re the first one to declare yourself as running for President isn’t going to give you an advantage either, especially if you’re as exiting as a This Old House rerun. In addition to failing to energize any sort of crowd, he also failed to get any attention, or disagree with anybody. During a debate, he coined the term “ObamneyCare” in attacking Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts healthcare system, but then went back on it when asked about it later. He was too nice a guy, or he was just weak. Either way, Pawlenty was the opposite of Presidential material, and never had a chance in hell. He thought could turn it around in Iowa, but he never even came close. So yeah, better late than never, but looking back, never is all we should have seen of Pawlenty in this race.

I would say that he’s just one less candidate we have to deal with, but now Rick Perry is in on the race. It just never ends… Until next November, that is.