Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mitt, Rick 'n' Jack

"President Obama said he wants everyone in American to go to college! What a snob!!!"

-Rick Santorum, 2/27/12

"Rick Santorum says he is against sending every American child to college! What a asshole!!!"

-Me, 2/29/12

Whoa! It would seem that Mitt Romney was able to avoid a full-tilt, political catastrophe last night by winning his home state of Michigan. Of course he had some unexpected assistance in the form of February's Flavor of the Month - Rick Santorum. The fact that Rick has made it this far is further proof that this still is a white man's world. It's also a testament to where the GOP standard is set these days. Poor old Rick is merely a symptom of a disease that will eventually prove to be fatal for that party. Truth be told, the Mittster's victory last night was really no victory at all. The fact that he only barely squeaked by a knucklehead like Santorum in the place where he is considered a native son is a sad harbinger of things yet-to-be I'm afraid.

Meanwhile, as our hero Rick valiantly struggles to reach the summit of Mount Stupid, he has commenced to do battle with yet another Democratic politician. Here's the punchline: This one has been dead for nearly fifty years.

“We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free, and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief.”

- John F. Kennedy
September 12, 1960

That is a direct quote from one of the greatest campaign speeches of the twentieth century. Fifty-two years ago when Jack Kennedy was seeking the office of president of the United States, he felt obliged to address a gathering of Protestant ministers at the Rice Hotel in Houston, Texas. You see, at that moment in history no Catholic had ever been sent to the White House by the American people. It was actually believed in some quarters that JFK would govern - not by the light of the Constitution - but on the orders of Pope John XXIII. Here is former senator Santorum's vomit-inducing interpretation of that 1960 speech by soon-to-be President Kennedy:

"To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live that says only people of non-faith can come into the public square and make their case? That makes me throw up and it should make every American….Kennedy for the first time articulated the vision saying, no, ‘faith is not allowed in the public square. I will keep it separate.’ Go on and read the speech ‘I will have nothing to do with faith. I won’t consult with people of faith.’ It was an absolutist doctrine that was foreign at the time of 1960."

-Rick Sant
February 26, 2012

That is from a televised interview he gave to George Stephanopoulis this past Sunday on ABC's "This Week". Not only is Rick a fool, he's a liar. "Go on and read the speech" he goads us. Well, I have read that speech - many, many times. Not only do I have a copy of the transcript in my files, I have a vinyl LP and a videotape of that historic address in my archives. In fact, at the bottom of this piece, I'll provide you with a link so you can see it with your own eyes on You Tube. As Mr. Rick might say, Go on and watch the speech! Kennedy never said that he would have nothing to do with faith. He never said that people who believed in God had no place in the public square. He never even vaguely implied as much.

Not long ago a collection of audio tapes were released by the Kennedy Library. They contain a series of candid conversations that Jacqueline Kennedy had with historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. in March of 1964, four months after the president's assassination. I have listened to the entire batch - which comprises eight compact discs. At one point she reveals that one of the things that impressed her the most about Jack was his faith in God, and that every night before falling asleep, he would get down on his knees to pray. It is an opinion that is held by virtually everyone who knew him personally: John F. Kennedy was a deeply religious man. That he was a deeply flawed man is now part of the historical record. That's okay. All religious people are deeply flawed. All atheists are deeply flawed. I am deeply flawed. So are you. No scoop here. Judge not, Rick. You're pretty flawed yourself, hombre!

I cannot emphasize this enough: Rich Santorum is a fool. Any political party that would allow itself to seep this far down into the ideological cesspool should never again be trusted by reasonable and enlightened people.

"I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

-Jack Kennedy

By the way, one of the perks of being Irish Catholic is that we get to refer to the late president as "Jack". It really is pathetic to read his words today and reflect upon how dumbed-down we've become as a country in the half-century since he lived in the White House. I often refer to America as "this once-great nation". Can you understa
nd why?

Happy Leap Year, everybody!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here's a link to listen to John F. Kennedy's address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association
on September 12, 1960. Go on and throw up I dare you!!!

It's as close to poetry as a political speech can get.


I love this story. At th
e moment JFK was giving that address he was seething with anger. Earlier in the day his aide Dave Powers had sent all of his shoes out to be shined. When the time came to leave for the Rice Hotel where the speech was to be delivered, the only available pair in his luggage were brown. To make matters worse, all but one of his suits - a dark blue one - were out being dry-cleaned. So Jack Kennedy delivered the most memorable address of the campaign of 1960 while committing the ultimate fashion faux pas: brown shoes on a blue suit. Fortunately for the sake of posterity, no color photographs survive of that event. Good thing, too. Needless to say, Dave Powers never made that mistake again. Another good thing.

Here is another YouTube link. John F. Kennedy arguing for universal health care:

And to think that fifty years later we're still having this same, stupid argument. I need a drink....


Jack Kennedy, Elusive Hero
by Chris Matthews

Not only is Matthews one of the smartest sons-of-bitches commenting on politics today, he's also a pretty good writer and historian. Further proof lay between the covers of his latest book. Here's a link to order it off of

And don't forget to watch hardball on MSNBC every weeknight at 7PM EST. He's as good as it gets.


Davy Jones of the Monkees has died of a heart attack in Florida at the age of sixty-six.

For those of us old enough to remember....Some Monkee moments.


At 5:07 AM, Anonymous Good Luck Charlie said...

Thanks dude. It's going to get a lot funnier when super Tuesday gets here next week. When the Newtster wins Georgia. Like you like to say, hold on kiddies.

At 8:05 AM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

Tom, you said on your last thread
"the ticket of Chris Christie and Marco Rubio is(are) not" easy to beat.
You asked we think about it.
I am thinking about it and I'm not sure why, but I agree with you. Just a gut feeling.

At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Tom V said...


You are spot on when you point out that Mitts narrow defeat of Rick in Michigan is really no defeat at all in comparison of the victory that Mitt should had achieved being he is the states favorite son is actually embarrassing for him I think. Unless the Republicans are going to pull a viable candidate out of a hat at the convention they might as well spare us all the time and money wasted going forth because after last night I'm convinced as Republicans we don't stand a prayer in the fall even if Obama stepped down and another Democrat ran it would not change the fact that we will have yet another four years of Democrat control of the White House.

At 9:52 AM, Blogger Le Grand Lapin said...

The most worrying aspect of life in these United States, is, as you describe, the current race to the summit of Mount Stupid.

The lofty peak was once so high, so totally insurmountable, that mortals dare not attempt the climb. Popular culture and political aspirants have been relentlessly chipping away at the mountain, until now, even intellectual vacuum-dwellers like Rick Santorum can easily reach the summit without a single bead of sweat violating his logo-grammed sweater vest.

Stick around, the Palin 2016 campaign will excavate and dig until the new landscape will be called Stupid Valley.

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Le Grand Lapin....

And your words should be etched into the foot of that mountain.

Good post!

Tom Degan

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

Ironically, the people who applauded Santorum's insultingly ignorant comments are the very same people, and their descendants, who were so suspicious of JFK's Catholicism.

At 10:49 AM, Anonymous SallyBowman said...

From the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, link to the speech, with text alongside it:
Address of Senator John F. Kennedy to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, September 12, 1960

At 11:02 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Le Grand Lapin -

We just elected a man with little to no experience in governance on the mantras of "Change" and "Yes We Can". Our feet are firmly planted at the summit today.

At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Wheres The Hope and Change? said...

Monsieur Le Grand Pepin

President Obama is currently doing all he can to serve out Jimmy Carter’s second term.

On the domestic front, he has halted all efforts turning back the waves of illegal aliens streaming across the Mexican border. He has jammed down America’s throat an unpopular government takeover of health care that runs roughshod over our most cherished religious freedoms.

On the economic front, his health care boondoggle only promises to hurl us further into quicksand deficits. The hundreds of billions he has spent on “stimulating” the economy has done little more than cause paralysis.

Unemployment remains at more than 8 percent despite his administration’s promises to dramatically lower it. And the truth is that with all the people who have quit looking for work, that rate is much higher.

Mr. Obama modestly promised to be a new kind of political leader who would rise above partisanship and make bold decisions. What a laughingstock.

In truth, he has led timidly just as he did serving in the legislatures in Washington and Illinois, where his record of “leadership” became a mockery of indecision for all the times he couldn’t take a stand and instead voted “present.”

It is precisely because of his inability to make hard decisions that he has basically voted “present” on crucial issues such as saving entitlement programs, curbing deficits and turning back illegal immigration.

Even on the Keystone Pipeline, Mr. Obama nixed it only because, he whined, Republicans forced his hand and didn’t give him all the time he wanted to dawdle and stall over the important issue that could provide jobs for thousands of workers.

At 12:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harley A., And I suppose you think that McCain and Palin would have done a better job?

At 1:59 PM, Anonymous Carl-John X Veraja said...

Atheists and believers are deeply flawed...nice point.
However, who am I to judge the judgmental?
Well, I guess when people don't judge themselves, someone needs to step in.

At 2:06 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

How would I know? A psuedo-conservative for a psuedo-liberal. One batty VP for another batty VP. Not a heckuva lot of difference if you ask me.

I'm guessing we wouldn't be in the middle of having to sort out ridiculous and unconstitutional mandatory insurance legislation at the moment. That'd be nice.

At 3:37 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Hi Tom, another good post. It is just amazing that someone could say the stupid things that Santorum says and not be laughed out of the race. Of course, Gingrich is not too far behind him in the crazy department. That these people can be taken seriously is a very sad indication of how low the GOP has fallen.

At 6:33 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

“Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”

~ Barry Goldwater, November 1994, as quoted in John Dean, Conservatives Without Conscience (2006)

At 7:54 PM, Anonymous John said...

This post was fun - this part is especially beautiful prose:

"Rick Santorum says he is against sending every American child to college! What a asshole!!!"

-Me, 2/29/12

At 8:11 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

"Frankly, these people frighten me."

As do men who get paid to watch other men all day.

At 1:39 AM, Blogger Suzan said...

Nicely crafted, Tom.

As usual.

I know every time Sanctorum opens his pie hole all I can think is "now tell me again what universities he went to for his MBA and JD??

Were they Pat Robertson's or Koch's?

Wish all of us could have had a shot at his "worthless" educational opportunities. I'm sure many people would have learned quite a bit more than he did.

But then he wouldn't be so useful to the know-nothings, would he?

Love ya,


At 7:21 AM, Anonymous sharon said...

No doubt Sanctorum was just trying to score some points with the religious extremists of his party. Or maybe he really does have a reading (and hearing) comprehension problem. The politicians of 50 years ago spoke in complete sentences, not sound bites, so maybe he really does have a problem following a thought all the way to the end of a sentence or paragraph. This does not bode well for the fate of the Republic.

At 6:33 PM, Anonymous Smokey Lagumski said...


Do you know if Chris Matthew's new JFK book has any mention of the White House intern Mimi Alford who had sex with JFK?

You really blasted Newt on his marital fidelities but JFK makes even Slick Willie Clinton look like an amateur when it comes to marital infidelities. I bet we will only hear crickets here about JFK's faults.

At 8:53 PM, Anonymous James said...

Hey Smoky, When you are the most powerful man on the planet, getting a little on the side is a presidential perk. Newt was never in that category and Kennedy and Clinton stayed married. Newt made an ass out of himself with such public displays of adultery.

Also it took Ken Starr and 100 million dollars to expose Clinton's affair, the repubs really went too far on that one.

At 9:10 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

James, I hope you're joking. That's the most absurd thing I've heard in a while.

At 9:34 PM, Anonymous James said...

Kennedy is one of my favorite public figures of all time so lets say that was my way to deflect criticism of a great man.

What do you think of the impeachment of Clinton?

At 12:47 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Clinton didn't bother me near as much as he did many conservatives. As a conservative, it's a little wierd but I didn't have a huge problem with him as liberals go. As far as promiscuity, it appears that it is the rule for these guys rather than the exception no matter the party, so I don't pay much attention to it really. The Republicans were just playing the game. But, in no way is adultery somehow okay just because they're in the highest office in the land. On the contrary, it behooves them to be held to a higher standard. In fact, it is fairly well known that state secrets have been breached due to this weakness.

At 7:50 PM, Anonymous Harry from Mass said...


You libs sure put on your rose colored glasses when it comes to marital infidelities amongst your heros like JFK, Teddy "chappaquidick" Kennedy, and slick Willie Clinton.

You guys really ripped Newt a new Ahole when what he did was a drop in the bucket compared to your liberal heros.

Clinton opened his presidential library not too long ago.

For history's sake, I think they should have Monica Lewinsky's stained dress permanently displayed there. Its a good conversation piece.

At 9:30 PM, Anonymous James said...

Hey Harry, You are absolutely right, it is called being partisan. I do it and you do it, everybody loves to defend their team.

At 9:58 PM, Anonymous James said...

Hey Harry, Who do you think harmed the nation more, Clinton or Bush?

At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Harry from Mass said...

Hey James,

you libs really crapped on Newt not too long ago here on Tom Degans blog. You should thank Newt who forced Slick Willie to the center and helped Slick Willie
balance the budget.

When Dubya took office, the economy was already heading south and then 9/11 occurred. We can argue if 9/11 would have occurred if Slick Willie had the balls to take out Bin Laden when given the opportunity. Slick Willie did not have the balls to take out Bin Ladin. I believe he OK'd an airstrike soon after that turned out to knock out an aspirin factory.

Bush didn't blame the economy goin south on Slick Willie like the current bozo is blaming his predecessor.

James, keep your fantasy alive about JFK and Camelot if it makes you happy.

At 7:08 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Harry from (the wonderful liberal state of) Mass, you tap-danced around the question James asked, so I'll ask the very same question of you again...

Who do you think harmed the nation more, Clinton or Bush?

At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Harry from Mass said...

lol JG,

You and Dave Dubya tap dance better than Fred Astaire when it comes to answering questions!

For example, you guys always deflect or distort answers to JTFs questions.

What is killing this country is the unaccountable spending of washington's central planners. In a nutshell, it is way too easy to spend someone elses money.

JG, I have a rhetorical question for you. Stockton, California is about to file for bankruptcy.

What political party runs Stockton, CA?

At 3:40 PM, Anonymous James said...

People like Harry always paint them self's into a corner, he cannot admit even once that his side made a mistake or screwed up because that would lead to more admissions. And before he knew it he would be turning into a Liberal!

I do not have that problem as much as Harry has, I stated years ago on another blog that anyone who voted for the Patriot Act should be removed from office. I still stand by that statement.

And those sentiments are even stronger for all who voted yes to the HDAA bill.

Democratic politicians are rich anonymous strangers who for the most part do not give a shit about what I think. Harry would be smart to feel the same about Republican politicians also.

At 4:18 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Harry from (the wonderful liberal state of) Mass, I see you're still dancin'! ;-)

No glory...

At 6:30 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Aww, isn't that cute? Just the Harry is tap dancing around me as one of his distractions.

He won't answer a question any more than his alter ego did.

These dupes cannot answer any questioning of their indoctrination.

They are programmed to say, "Bush was a liberal/progressive," now.

That makes everything; I mean everything, all the liberals' fault... in their cult beliefs. If their masters told them to blame the Jews, they would oblige, and add Jews to their “hate list” of unions, immigrants, blacks, the unemployed, the poor, teachers, journalists, scientists, and public employees. Did I leave out college student “sluts”?

Surprise, surprise.

At 11:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell ya what's cute it's the dynamic duo JG and DD.
Well, maybe not as cute as they thing they are

At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave Dubya,

Do you support free speech on your blog?

Either you won't respond or you will tap dance around answering the question.


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