Friday, July 09, 2010

NV Senate Candidate: You Can't Be Mean to Me! I'm a Girl!

The Washington Monthly:

Nevada Republican Senate Candidate Sharron Angle:

"...dirty tricks Harry [Reid] is up to his dirty tricks one more time and he's just trying to hit the girl," Angle said on the Alan Stock Show.

"You know, isolate that Sharron Angle, marginalize her and then demonize her," she said in a separate appearance on the Heidi Harris Show. "And he has been doing that to me and what we need to do is say, 'you know Harry, it's not going to do you any good to hit the girl.'"

It's the same bullshit we've seen in regards to Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann. Any time they're criticized, one of their supporters is bound to come out with some faux-feminist claptrap like "Sexist! You're just afraid of a successful and powerful conservative woman!"

UPDATE: As someone reminded me, the die hard Hillary Clintonites (aka PUMAs) did the same thing. And they were idiots, too.

You can't have it both ways. You can't claim to be a feminist and then try to use your gender as a shield from criticism of your actual record.

And isn't calling a woman a "girl" supposed to be a no-no? Guess IOKIYAR!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Tea Party Candidate: Stop Telling People What I Said!

Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle is well-known for some nutty and some ominous statements, such as this one:

“You know, our Founding Fathers, they put that second amendment in there for a good reason and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. And in fact, Thomas Jefferson said it’s good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years.”“I hope that’s not where we’re going, but, you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying, ‘my goodness what can we do to turn this country around?’ I’ll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.”

She later retracted the statement--sort of. But she hasn't backed off on her suggestion that her followers might engage in armed insurrection if they don't get their way.

But now, it seems that Angle is threatening to sue the Reid campaign--for reposting what she said on her own Website.

After the former state Rep won Nevada's Republican Senate primary, Angle's campaign took down most of its website, and later replaced it with a relaunched version that in some ways toned down her right-wing rhetoric. But Internet pages are rarely ever forgotten -- the Reid
campaign saved the old version, and put up a website called "The Real Sharron Angle," reproducing the old content.

Then, they say, the Angle campaign sent them a cease-and-desist letter, claiming misuse of copyrighted materials in the reposting of the old website -- which was, of course, being posted for the purposes of ridiculing Angle. The Reid campaign has in fact taken down the site, rerouting visitors to another website that goes after Angle's positions, "Sharron's Underground Bunker."

This is the thing about the TPers: the only way they think they can win is by concealing how nutty most of them really are. And they're willing to go to court to hide what they themselves have said, and to hide their nuttier beliefs until its too late. Fortunately, that's harder and harder to do in the age of the Internet.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

In Iceland, the Clowns Are Running the Circus

Latest Newspaper Column:

America has long had a tradition of comedians running for public office, with varying degrees of seriousness and success.

Smother Brothers regular Pat Paulsen was known for his perennial presidential campaigns. (One slogan: "I've Upped My Standards. Now, Up Yours.") Columnist Dave Barry was also a frequent contender. (Slogan: "It's Time We Demanded Less.")

Comedy Central pundit Stephen Colbert actually went so far as to try to file for both the Republican and Democratic primaries in South Carolina in 2008. (He dropped out of the Republican race because of the $35,000 filing fee; the Democrats refused to let him on the ballot.)

Your Humble Columnist, let's remember, has also thrown his hat in the ring from time to time. ("Saturday Night Live" alumnus Al Franken doesn't make this list, by the way, because he retired from comedy before running a serious campaign to become the junior senator from Minnesota.)

But what would happen if a comedian ran a joke campaign for office - and won? To my knowledge, it hasn't happened in America yet, although I do admit to the possibility that Michelle Bachmann's career is some sort of extended comedy routine, or possibly a piece of performance art. Britain's Official Monster Raving Loony Party has had some minor electoral success, most notably in municipal council elections in the U.K.

But by far the most successful intentionally comedic politician has been Iceland's Jon Gnarr, whose so-called "Best Party" pulled down 43.7 percent of the vote in recent elections in the country's largest city, Reykjavik, thus making Gnarr the mayor and putting the other Best Party candidates (described by The New York Times as "a who's who of Iceland's punk rock scene") in charge of governing a third of the island's population.

It's been a tough couple of years for Iceland. First the economy crashed and burned in a particularly spectacular way, then the government was wracked by one corruption and cronyism scandal after another, and finally, just to top it all off, the world now blames the country for screwing up transatlantic air travel because that volcano whose name no one outside of Iceland can pronounce keeps erupting.

So maybe Gnarr, who once played in a punk band called "Runny Nose" and who's known for pranks like calling the White House, the CIA and the FBI (yes, ours) to see if any of them had found his lost wallet was just what the country needed to cheer itself up.

"We want a city that's cuddly, clean and cool, with topnotch stuff as a general rule," Gnarr and his -fellow Bestians sang in their campaign ad, a "We Are the World"-style music video which also promised "a polar bear for the Reykjavik Zoo" and "A drug-free Parliament by 2020." (some blog readers may need to click through the get the video in full screen):

Now that they've won their plurality, the Best Party faces the dilemma of the car-chasing dog who actually succeeds: Now that they've caught the thing, what do they do with it? First came the task of building a coalition government, although Gnarr solemnly insisted he wouldn't work with anyone who hadn't seen all five seasons of "The Wire."

And, he reassured the people, "No one has to be afraid of the Best Party, because it is the best party. If it wasn't, it would be called the Worst Party or the Bad Party. We would never work with a party like that." Hard to argue with that logic.

Gnarr and his cronies may have started as a spoof, but they seem to be buckling down and getting serious about doing the work of governing. "I love this city very much so I really want to do a good job," Gnarr told Britain's Financial Times last month. The Best Party's plans include harnessing Iceland's plentiful geothermal energy to turn the city into a "hub for electric cars." And I hear they really are working on getting that polar bear.

In Iceland's most populous city, the clowns really are running the circus. It's almost enough to make Your Humble Columnist think of running for office again. After all, as I often say, "How hard can it be?" Hmmmm ... that might make a good campaign slogan. Anyone want to form an exploratory committee? And can you pick up some beer on the way over?