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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: 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?

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.

A Photo Collage of the Repulbican Iowa Debate Winners & Losers

August 12, 2011 2 comments

"So let's say there's a bus full of children speeding off a bridge, and to save them you have to raise taxes by $10..." - Ezra Klein on the Hard Stance of the Republicans on Taxes

Loser: If at least half of this current crop of candidates actually won the Presidency, they'd instantly be in the running for Worst. President. Ever.

 

Loser: Not even seeming like a Republican at times, Huntsman buried himself with every unprofessional word and action he talked about. If there's one thing I know about him after tonight though, it's that he's Proud of basically everything he's ever laid a finger on.

Loser: Herman, who?

Loser: Between the constant bashing by Ron Paul and the thunderous applause of the audience, there was clearly a dislike of any Foreign Wars.

 

Winner: Not only is Michele Bachman stealing away her crazy and discrimination thunder, but she's just sitting quietly doing her thing until she'll called on for VP again or a Cabinet position. Either way, she's sitting pretty with less of the hassle.

Winner: Coming in late in the race, he gets a huge lead and the media attention while the weaker candidates get shoved under the rug.

Winner: Coming out early on his "7 Points to Fix the Economy," Romney had the only solid backing for a problem presented to any of the canidates all night. He'll keep his lead for at least a bit longer.

Winner: Sure, he'll never win crap, but he did an inadvertent job of turning the spotlight onto himself, confusing the crowd with his fast-talking into liking him, and he threw several people off game and off message. He's still crazy, but he livens things up.

Loser: Although he won favor with the Fox News commentators afterwords, his arguments were mostly superfluous, with his performance instantly forgettable.

Draw: Bachmann is Bachmann. Her hardline sticking to her principles would never work as Presidency, but for now, she's a Tea Party darling, which will make her very powerful through the early Caucuses.

Loser: Coming off as more than a bully than a fiery President, Pawlenty sealed his fate by picking a fight with anybody he could.

Loser: Although the whole moderating panel did a great job and asked legitimate questions all through the night, they were constantly attacked by the candidates and booed by the audience to the point I felt sorry for them.

Winner: For once, American Idol didn't have the most annoying audience on TV. Iowa beat them with hecklers, yellers, booers, and loud applause every time Ron Paul spoke. They wanted to hear what they wanted to hear, and nothing else.

Loser: Whoever picked the formatting of the debate, and I assume it's the network since they aired and mostly moderated it, did an awful job at it. candidates disappeared for long stretches of time, while some candidates hogged whole portions of the debate. In the end, it helped nobody, and even hurt a lot of the candidates.

Loser: Although 2 of the Republican candidates were from Minnesota, you would never know it with the amount of bashing that went on between them. Between them and Jesse Ventura as Governor, it's amazing the state is still livable.

Loser: In addition to being the home to that annoying crowd, they're 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.

 

"I love America, and Barack Obama is not America, so I do not love Barack Obama." - Basically Everyone's Closing Remark