Well, now that Mitt Romney has earned bought himself a hard-fought semi-contested victory in the record-setting anemically attended Iowa Straw poll, it’s time to look back on a week of greatness for all things G.O.P.
Let’s start with the victorious Mitt, shall we?
Mitt got in a bit of trouble when, in answering a question about why none of his sons were in the military he equated, somewhat vapidly, their Winnebago tour of Iowa on his behalf with the sacrifices of soldiers serving in Iraq.
I am not making this up:
It’s remarkable how we can show our support for our nation and one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected, because they think I’d be a great president. My son, Josh, bought the family Winnebago and has visited 99 counties, most of them with his three kids and his wife. And I respect that and respect all of those in the way they serve this great country.
Which inspired Talking Points Memo reader MD to warn of the severe risks the brothers Romney were taking:
[Romney’s quote put in mind] the once-famous Sulllivan Brothers, five Iowa boys who were all in the navy during WWII, were all serving on the same ship, and were all killed at the same time. I hadn’t thought of the Sullivan Brothers in years. After their deaths, the military put in a rule that blood relatives could not all serve in the same unit. So the Romney boys should not all be riding around in the same Winnebago.
They shouldn’t, but they are – just one sign of the great courage shown by all involved in the Mittster’s campaign.
But Mitt wasn’t alone in rhetorical silliness. Sam Brownback, apparently under siege from the ACLU for reciting the pledge of allegiance with his hand on his heart, uttered this stirring call to arms:
We should be able to say one nation Under God and the flag salute and not be worried about anybody suing us.
Dare to dream, Sam, dare to dream. Maybe you can talk to Robert Bork about putting an end to those frivolous (and non-existent) lawsuits.
But give Sam credit – he placed a solid #3 in Iowa, so we’ll get to hear more from him in the future. Here’s a hint: try railing against bad things that have, you know, actually happened.
As for Mike Huckabee, the Arkansas governor who placed second to Romney in Iowa, well, there’s no reason for him to feel left out. In an interview with a friendly blogger, Huckabee unveiled this solution to tracking illegal immigrants:
You know…I put it this way. When I hear people in Washington saying “we don’t know where these people are, we can’t keep up with them”, uh, FedEx and UPS can keep up with a CD order from Amazon.com and tell me exactly where it is from the time it leaves Amazon to the time it gets to my house. You can’t tell me that this government couldn’t find people if it wanted to. The point being, if they say they can’t, then let’s turn the system over to FedEx and UPS, ‘cause they can.
Well, sure, if you ship your illegal immigrants into the country via Fedex or UPS.
Or are you saying we should sneak into Mexico and install little tracking chips into every one of their citizens – chips which activate once they’re inside the United States?
Because that could work.
Here I have to stop and give special Kudos to Democrat Bill Richardson, who, not long after calling Byron “Whizzer” White – who voted against Roe vs. Wade – his model Supreme Court Justice, went…well, take a look:
MS. ETHERIDGE: Thank you.
Do you think homosexuality is a choice, or is it biological?
GOV. RICHARDSON: It’s a choice. It’s —
MS. ETHERIDGE: I don’t know if you understand the question. (Soft laughter.) Do you think I — a homosexual is born that way, or do you think that around seventh grade we go, “Ooh, I want to be gay”?
GOV. RICHARDSON: Well, I — I’m not a scientist. It’s — you know, I don’t see this as an issue of science or definition. I see gays and lesbians as people as a matter of human decency. I see it as a matter of love and companionship and people loving each other. You know I don’t like to categorize people. I don’t like to, like, answer definitions like that that, you know, perhaps are grounded in science or something else that I don’t understand.
It’s one thing to say you oppose gay marriage, because people can differ on the subject. After all, Clinton and Obama both walked the gay marriage no / civil unions yes tightrope in the same LOGO forum on Tuesday, and they can justify – or not – their views ad nauseum. But to completely whiff on the science – well, that puts you on a stage with the folks who just left Iowa.
I never had any strong feelings about Richardson – nice resume, kind of bland – but now I think he’s a gaffe machine, and ought to just go away.
But enough random idiocy. How about the premeditated kind? Which means…it must be Rudy Giuliani time! Rudy didn’t even try in Iowa (at 1.3% and 8th in the poll, he certainly looked it), and he’s in for two quotes!
Rudy’s first stupidity (sorry, that’s what it is) was claiming that he was at Ground Zero “as often, if not more,” than the rescue workers:
I was there working with them. I was exposed to exactly the same things they were exposed to. So in that sense, I’m one of them.
Perhaps what he meant that he was in the neighborhood a lot before 9/11, when he visited the emergency command center he sited right next to a well-known terrorist target so that (among other things) he could, within walking distance of City Hall, find alone time with Judith Nathan, who was not, at the time, wearing the rotating “Mrs. Giuliani” crown:
Hauer says Denny Young, the mayor’s alter ego, who has worked at his side for nearly three decades, eventually “made it very clear” that Giuliani wanted “to be able to walk to this facility quickly.” That meant the bunker had to be in lower Manhattan. Since the City Hall area is below the floodplain, the command center—which was built with a hurricane-curtain wall—had to be above ground. The formal city document approving the site said that it “was selected due to its proximity to City Hall,” a standard set by Giuliani and Giuliani alone….
Giuliani’s office had a humidor for cigars and mementos from City Hall, including a fire horn, police hats and fire hats, as well as monogrammed towels in his bathroom. His suite was bulletproofed and he visited it often, even on weekends, bringing his girlfriend Judi Nathan there long before the relationship surfaced. He had his own elevator. Great concern was expressed in writing that the platform in the press room had to be high enough to make sure his head was above the cameras.
Still want to run as the hero of 9/11, Rudy? Well, maybe not. How about as champion of freedom?
Freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.
Wow – I’m sure the founding fathers are rethinking all those self-evident truths they came up with 231 years ago:
…that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…
Yeah, “freedom is about authority” just has a much snappier ring to it.