Posted by: mutantpoodle | April 19, 2009

Checking In

Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez

Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez

A week in northern California isn’t exactly a tonic – for one thing, I was working. For another, I’m just tired of the back and forth. The latest faux outrage is that Barack Obama shook Hugo Chavez’s hand! Doubtless, he slipped Chavez our nuclear codes in the process.

And don’t get me going on the idiocy regarding the torture memos. In State and Main, Sarah Jessica Parker’s character claims to have qualms about exposing her breasts on screen. The studio head understands that this is just a ploy for more money; in the meantime, the crew is befuddled – as they point out, every man in America can draw her character’s breasts from memory. In this case, how we tortured = Claire Wellesley’s breasts. There are no surprises to be had.

It’s not good news for the Republican party when the daughter of the party’s standard-bearer makes more sense than the so-called “leadership” of her party, and his campaign manager risks his GOP bona fides by arguing that the party should embrace gay marriage.

Or rather, I should say it’s not good news because they will almost certainly be ignored, because the head of the Republican Party is Rush Limbaugh, whose latest contribution to the national discourse is to slap himself to demonstrate that torture isn’t, you know, all that bad.

(In fairness to Rush, he also said torture works because John McCain admitted that torture “broke” him. Of course, what the North Vietnamese got out of McCain wasn’t actionable intelligence, but what they wanted to hear. I know, I know – those two concepts conflict with each other. Does anyone wonder why the GOP is rudderless?)

On Teabag day, there was some Facebook flaming going back and forth in my circle of friends and acquaintances. One friend claimed her free speech rights were being trampled because her opinions were being criticized. None of the pro-teabag folks in my universe could accept this truth, from John Cole:

You know what really irritates me about the tea parties? The basic fact that if right now, it were President John McCain and not President Obama, and nothing else had changed, these tea parties wouldn’t exist. You know it, I know it, and even the teabaggers know it. It is just such transparent bullshit that it is offensive. The most these guys ever did during the last lost eight years was put a limp Porkbusters logo on their website, but now that we have President Malcom X George McGovern Shabazz, they are freaking out like there is no tomorrow. So absurd.

I have talked before of being able to talk to friends who are Republicans by focusing on problems. Usually, we can find common ground there. But even some normally sane friends have gone ’round the bend. Supporting Teabag parties (as opposed to being worried about deficits, which is, generally speaking, a highly sane and reasonable concern) is about to join belief in creationism in being, for me, an automatic out: if you believe in either, I’ll simply save myself some time and not take you seriously about that issue.

Oh, and if you think it’s a problem that Barack Obama shook hands with Hugo Chavez, you’re an idiot. Sorry – long week. I don’t feel like mincing words.

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