A Weird Thing to Behold
-Rick Santorum, 22 February 2011
Jon Stewart posed the musical question this past week on that essential viewing for political junkies, the Daily Show:
Why isn't Mitt Romney killing Rick Santorum in the primaries?
Why indeed. This is really not that difficult a question to answer. In a column this week, Kathleen Parker scolded smart-alec bloggers like myself who tend to portray southern Republicans as half-witted buffoons. She makes an awful lot of good points for a conservative - and this particular column was no exception. It would be wrong to assume that everyone from that region of the country are ignorant chuckle-heads. That is just not the case. In fact I know personally of more-than-a-few ladies and gentlemen of dear old Dixie who are just about the smartest, most sophisticated people it has ever been my privilege to meet. My problem is not with Southerners per se - not at all - just the jackasses down there who vote. Their mediocrity is reflected in the manner of men and women they send to Washington to represent them. Just listen to any of them on the floor of the House on any given day, jabbering away like diseased little mynah birds. Do I exaggerate?
My feeling on this subject would apply to the Midwest as well - which as we all know is the "new South". Why is Rick Santorum doing so well in this region of the country? What the hell is wrong with these people? Why they would favor a lying fool like Santorum over anyone defies basic reasoning. And to think, were it not for the Newt Gingrich factor - splitting up the neanderthal vote - Mr. Rick would more-than-likely be the front runner at the moment! The Illinois primary is tomorrow and it looks as if he might very well take home all of the marbles in that contest too. Have Republican voters in Illinois lost their minds? Do they not see what a hideous dingbat this man is? Are they blind to the fact that he is a dangerous extremist? He can't seem to make up his mind whether he is running for president or ayatollah. What are they putting in the water in the Land of Lincoln?
This embarrasses me to no end due to the fact that my late grandmother Loretta Doran was born and raised in Rockford. That's a photograph of her on the left that was taken one-hundred years ago in 1912, right around the time she turned sweet sixteen. Wasn't she lovely? That's my grandma! Family legend has it that she was the belle at every ball. I don't doubt that for a minute. I don't think she agreed with the platform of the Republican party all that much. From the time she became old enough to vote - until the day she died - she was a registered Democrat. Her native state's connection to Abraham Lincoln aside, the Great Emancipator's influence over the GOP had long-since evaporated by the time she entered this world in 1896, thirty-one years after his death. She would later marry my grandfather, Kentucky native (and Notre Dame graduate) Walter Clements. They would settle in South Bend, Indiana to raise a family of five children. She passed away at age sixty-eight on February 11, 1964 - which was the day that Sarah Palin was born. Talk about getting out while the getting's good. Never let it be said that my Grandmother Clements did not have perfect timing.
The same year that photo of Loretta Doran was taken (1912) the progressive Republican and ex-president Theodore Roosevelt tried to take back the White House from his former friend William Howard Taft. Although he won the primaries quite handily, the powers-that-be within the GOP refused him the nomination at the convention that summer. They had had enough of Roosevelt's enlightenment. The progressive wing of that party died at that very moment, never to be seen again.
A century later they are as intellectually rigid and politically shortsighted as they ever were. You only need to take notice of the war against American women they have been stupidly waging throughout this primary season. Mitt Romney - undeniably conservative as he is - appears to be too much of a left winger for the moronic Tea party crowd to stomach. If that doesn't tell you how far down into the ideological muck that party has sunk nothing will. The fact that uber knucklehead Rick Santorum came so close to beating him in his own state of Michigan tells me more than I want to know - not only with regard to where that party has gone - but where it appears to be going. It's not a good place either - trust me.
Still, as weird as things have gotten, the freak out of the ultra right wing in America is an amusing thing to watch. They have a surplus of unintentional comedians who never fail to delight. The road they want to take us down is a very dark and dangerous one to be sure, but there will be no shortage of hoots and giggles along the way. We're talkin' seriously dark humor here. Every American will be living in his or her very own, custom-made Dr. Strangelove movie. It is times such as these that I cannot help but bemoan the fact that Lenny Bruce did not live to be an old man. Can you even imagine what his take on the America of 2012 would have been? And if only George Carlin might have been given a few more years. We sure could use them now.
Benito Mussolini once described fascism as "the total merging of corporate and state power". We appear to be there. We've been heading toward this point for over thirty years, and yet the journey has been at such a snail's pace, only the few of us who have bothered to pay attention seem to have noticed. Think about it for a minute. A monumentally stupid man - Rick Santorum - is at this moment a major player within one of America's two, mainstream political parties. He makes George W. Bush look like Albert Einstein. With every passing political season they just keep setting the bar lower and lower and lower....
I never dreamed it could get this weird.
I was interviewed by Scott Henderson and Terry Motley on the Brass Knuckles Radio Network out of Chicago twice in the last two weeks - on March 3 and on March 17. If you have the time to spare, here are two links to listen to the programs:
March 3 - I come in at fifteen minutes:
March 17 - I come in at forty-seven minutes:
I had a lot of fun doing them. Hear the entire programs if you can. Happy listening, campers!
Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye
by Dave Powers and Kenny O'Donnell
An intimate look into the life of Jack Kennedy by the two men who knew him better than all others. A great read - and a very funny book! Let's face it - Jack Kennedy was a scream!
And join me on my Facebook page:
Please "friend" me. I have no life.
Cheerio! Pip! Pip!
It would seem that Mr. Rick's hopes in the Illinois primary came crashing down into little bitty pieces after he told a gathering that he didn't care about the unemployment rate. Somewhere Grandma Clements must be smiling. It's funny; although I was only a small boy when she passed on, I can still hear her voice in my memory.