Wednesday, May 27, 2009

funnier than Sarah Palin?!

I love comical Republican politicians. My new favorite: Michael Steele!

In a recent speech, he argues that legalizing gay marriage will hurt small businesses. (it's a good exercise to pause for a moment here and try to imagine what form this argument could possibly take.)

"Now all of a sudden I've got someone who wasn't a spouse before, that I had no responsibility for, who is now getting claimed as a spouse that I now have financial responsibility for," Steele told Republicans at the state convention in traditionally conservative Georgia. "So how do I pay for that? Who pays for that? You just cost me money."

From this I concluded
a) He's really, hilariously stupid.
b) He's a total prick.
c) I am enormously looking forward to reading more about him.

So I come across this GQ interview with glee. Mr. Steele begins with an anecdote I can only describe as a creation myth:

Let’s talk about your background. You have a fascinating background. You were adopted

Tell me how it happened.
Well, from what I’ve been told, it’s really kind of a touching story. My mother, when we finally talked about it—it wasn’t until I was much older that she shared with me the story of my arriving in our home. And she said that she was unable to conceive children, and decided, you know, with her husband, that they wanted to have a family. So she went to Catholic charities here, St. Ann’s infant home in Maryland. And she said it was funny, she was walking through the nursery and she got to this one crib, and there was this baby there, and the baby stood up and reached out and said, “Mom.” And that was me.

How old would you have been?
Oh, 7, 8 months old.

And you said, “Mom”?
And reached for her. When she walked by, I reached for her. And even the nuns were, like, floored by that moment. It was very powerful when she told me that. I was a sobbing wreck when she told me that story.

what does it mean to tell such a story to GQ?

But you also decide, after graduating Johns Hopkins, to go into the priesthood? What a decision.
It’s a huge decision. And of course my friends were like, “You’re going to be a what?” You know, because I had a small reputation at Hopkins, you know—

As what?
I loved to party—still do—and have a good time

Then he tells a bitchy story about Barack Obama:

Have you had any dealings with Barack Obama?
Nooo. I tried, I tried. When he first came to Washington, I was two years into my term. At that time, I was the only African-American lieutenant governor in the country. And when Obama became senator, my office called his office several—no, more than several—times, to invite…for the two of us to sit down and get to know each other. I was gonna welcome him to my hometown, Washington, D.C. I figured, you know, take him out and get to know each other. And his office told my staff they didn’t see any need for the two of us to meet. So I’m like, “Oh-kay. All right. I don’t know what that’s all about, but that’s fine.”

And did you do that with everyone who was newly elected in the Senate?
No. I reached out to him brother to brother.

Brother to brother?
Yeah, you know: “There are only two of us, Barack, just you and me. You’re the senator, I’m the lieutenant governor.” ’Cause you didn’t have, you know, the black governors in New York and Massachusetts. It was just us.


Well, would you have this job if you were white?
Would I have this job? Now, that’s the reverse of the question I typically get. I usually get, would I have this job if the president were white? And my answer to that is yes. But would I have this job if I were white? [long pause] The answer to that is I don’t know. I don’t know. That’s a very good question. And it says a lot about, I think, where the party is right now that I can’t answer it.

Nice that he's at least thoughtful, but cmon, obviously he would not, right?
And finally, he makes avoiding/totally reframing questions look easy:

What specifically do you blame Bush for, economywise?
Oh, my goodness. The massive bailout at the end of his term? I mean, I don’t even want to use—I don’t even want to get into a blame game, ’cause that’s typical Washington stuff.

Do you have any criticism of how Dick Cheney played his role?
Oh gosh, yes. But I think, at the end of the day, the American people are a little bit better off, a little bit safer, because of what he did. Now, we can make the argument about the style of it, we can make the argument about some of the details of it, but it was effective.

it's really a political golden age


Anonymous said...

The GOP has to return back to its roots - it is only recently that it is a Western/Southern religious based party - in the past, it was actually progressive - more Northeastern. More Thurston Howell III and C. Montgomery Burns (Yalie) and less Texas Millionaire Guy. After the fall of the USSR, and the fading away of guys like Nelson Rockefeller, Bush senior, and Bill Buckley, things sort of withered on their intellectual wing. Contrast the English parties, where the conservatives realized that they couldn't win by running ex-majors of the Guards whose only sure constituency were the over 60 year old widows who thought miniskirts were horrid.

Luckily things in the US are cyclic. They'll go through a bad patch like the Democrats did after McGovern. It is after all a two party system, you have to vote for Kang or Kodos.

Anonymous said...

In other funny comments by appointees of Barack Hussein Obama...

Sotomayor had this to say:

“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

“Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences,” she said later, regarding non-white, female judges, “our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.”

Also, there is a 2005 video of Sotomayor, speaking with potential law clerks, saying that a *****“court of appeals is where policy is made.”***** She added: “And I know — I know this is on tape, and I should never say that because we don’t make law. I know. O.K. I know. I’m not promoting it. I’m not advocating it ...”

Funny how humor is not just about Sarah Palin, Eh?

Anonymous said...

when you start your comment with Barack "Hussein" Obama, you're a bit hard to take seriously. above, i see one reasonable comment about conservatism, and one right-wing nut job.

Anonymous said...

Really, what is Barack Hussein Obama's name? Have I missed something? Oh, yeah, I forgot, we must never mention his middle name, for that be insensitive or even worse, and of course, we must refuse to engage in substantive debate and instead answer every sane comment with the usual hypocritcal false outrage or other ad hominem attacks. Sure glad you cleared that up for me...

Anonymous said...

BTW, regards Palin, the average American knew very little about her record except the SNL parody. In fact, polling data actually showed that many folks attributed statements made by *Tina Fey* to Palin, that did not even EXIST.

Worse, her much maligned Supreme Court comments in the Couric interview were portrayed as incompetence by the media,(which voted for Obama overwehlmingly) and they were too intellectually lazy to review her involvement in the SCOTUS Baker v Exxon decision/case just a few months prior to the more famous interview quips, where she commented at length! She sang like a bird.

It never occured to them that her team on the ticket she came aboard had prescripted her "acceptable" answers, no, she was just *dumb*.

Funny how those other interviews were on tape, posted on Utube, and ignored. Palin sure is funny...

How many folks reading these comments were aware of these facts before I listed them?

Elizabeth Vicary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth Vicary said...


"It was needless hugging — they are in the hallways before they go to class. It wasn’t a greeting. It was happening all day."

NOREEN HAJINLIAN, the principal of George G. White School in Hillsdale, N.J., where hugging is banned.

Anonymous said...

i don't watch SNL. i've seen many of her interviews. she doesn't know what she's talking about. she's an idiot. i don't need tina fey or anyone else to tell me that.

and there's a difference between "substantive debate" and regurgitating the same right wing talking points i hear from every right wing nut.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more with 'Anon' at
6:23 am , May 28th. I, too, don't
watch SNL, but anyone listening to
Palin's interviews, particularly the
ones with Katie Couric, couldn't
help but be aghast at how ignorant
and sophomoric she sounded.
After all, she's not just someone
completely new to the press - she's
the sitting Governor of the State
of Alaska and she was ignorant and
foolish sounding on the most basic of questions. For example - 'what papers or magazines do you read ?'.
Boy, now there's a tough one :).
That people even would think of
comparing her to Hilary Clinton,
an exceedingly bright and informed
person, just boggles the mind.


Anonymous said...

..actually, I'd like to talk with some Republicans/Texans/Rednecks about the torture employed by US forces, including rape and all this other really necessary stuff "to save American lives"...

Anonymous said...

I can't help but notice how many of the posts are anonymous. I also can't help but notice that EV seems to have no problem with the anonymous posts which are in agreement with her own viewpoints, while at the same time any anonymous poster who disagrees with her is labeled as 'chicken shit'. Her blog, her rules, but still, it does tell us something about her thinking process (or lack thereof).

Anonymous said...

We need a Nuremberg trial for US war crimes!

Bill Brock said...

Godwin's law comment:

Yes, Cheney almost certainly committed war crimes. But to me, that statement is not that far away from saying "Yes, Patton shouldn't have slapped that PTSD soldier." The end does not justify the means, but the end may be a mitigating circumstance. (But what possible mitigating circumstance could there be for Abu Ghraib?)

I don't think much of Cheney or his judgement, then or now, but context is a useful thing. When there are wars, there will be war crimes. To mention Cheney's in the same breath as the Nuremberg Trials is histrionic. (Again, OTOH, to ignore Cheney's contempt for the US Constitution, international law, and simple human decency is willful blindness.)

As for poor Mr. Steele, in over his head, he has a difficult job. The Republican party is a bit confused now because of the competing interests of the economic conservatives & social conservatives. It's in the nation's interest for the GOP to get its act together (or even become two separate parties)--it's easier for an Obama administration to succeed when a vibrant (and rational) opposition party keeps the governing party's excesses in check. (The recently-floated national sales tax is a HORRIBLE idea--extremely regressive.)

"I am ready to die out of nature, and be born again into this new yet unapproachable America I have found in the West." - Emerson

Anonymous said...

An American rapist is as bad as a German rapist.

Killing innocent civilians doesn't get better when done by US forces either.

Bill Brock said...

Well, yeah.

I'm not arguing against accountability. I'm arguing against false, profoundly ahistorical equivalences.

Anonymous said...

"ahistorical accountability"

I'd rather say: fuck what others did 70 years ago... but lets EXAMINE CLOSER WHAT WE TODAY ARE DOING/ RESPONSIBLE FOR !!!


Anonymous said...

I abhor the practices and policies of the Bush administration and its use and sanction of torture. However, people forget the palpable sense of fear that existed immediately post 9-11. Not saying for a minute that this justified the ensuing policies of the administration, but it teaches a very valuable lesson that fear is the greatest solvent for human liberty. Fear has been behind almost every gross human rights violation that seems to implicate otherwise law abiding people. We are too easily scared in this country. Hence the vitriol of our political discourse, our fear of religion and religious zealots, and our fear of Republican's who espouse conservative ideals geared to force conformity to a norm defined by the most abnormal. To add a little controversy--had a democrat been in the White House at the time of 9-11 I'm not at all sure that we wouldn't have walked down the same pathway of abuse, even if we didn't go full steam into Iraq. After all Nancy Pelosi (who personally revolts me) was more than comfortable with the torture. Noone back then had the political courage to stand out against torture on the heals of 9-11. Sadly, most of our politicians are afraid themselves.

Anonymous said...

In that photo, Steele looks like a Muppet.

No, seriously. He's like one of the Everything People from Sesame Street.

I want to remove his nose.

ATH2044 said...

"...any anonymous poster who disagrees with her is labeled as 'chicken shit'." -Anon 9:16
I think Elizabeth's only use of the word 'chickenshit' was in response to an anon poster claiming to be an IM in a chess related discussion.
"it does tell us something about her thinking process (or lack thereof)." -Anon 9:16
What the incident told me about her thinking process is that she'd prefer that posters have verifiable credentials when they claim to have significant relevant credentials.
"If you are an IM and you think otherwise, then sign your name." is a reasonable challenge to someone claiming to be an IM on a chess blog. OTOH, maybe he was just sending an instant message (IM) at the time.

Micah Hughey said...

Steele's small business argument is an argument against ALL marriage.

That's it! The GOP is against marriage, period. Heh heh.

Anonymous said...

first post

Anonymous said...

His left hand is enormous.

Anonymous said...

It's really sad. Michael Steele has promised to widen the appeal of the Republican party, because he is hip and get's it, and can translate Republican (meaning conservative) concepts effectively to the younger generations. Several problems... 1. Michael Steele is not hip! He is a middle aged politico, who spouts stereotypical cliches that only sound hip to the clueless. 2. The base of the Republican Party (meaning social conservatives) don't care about broadening their appeal. The are fanatical about their ideology. 3. Mr Steele has found out that he must first get permission to speak from the talking heads who currently drive Republican philosophy (meaning fundraising).

Anonymous said...

I like the US President's name. Now when some blasphemous terrorist attempts falsely justify their actions as attacks against deserving infidels, we can say .. "Oh yeah, well our President is Barack HUSSEIN Obama, and his are bigger than yours. Do you hear that drone buzzing over head ????"