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Republican National Committee Offers More Controversy than Leadership

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In a year when the Republican grassroots is emerging as a potent political force, the party leadership under Michael Steele seems to be lost in the wilderness. As the health care takeover, giant deficits, unemployment and a general excess of government drive voters to Tea Party protests and to the voting booths, the Republican National Committee ought to be on the spot to cash in on an unprecedented opportunity. Instead it finds itself mired in controversy, wallowing ineffectively and facing challenges to its authority.

The problems started when a year of successful fundraising, in which Democrats were outstripped particularly among small donors, was more than negated by high overhead and excessive expenses, adding up to a $6 million deficit with little to show for it with the fall primary season still months away. With money frittered away on limousines, expensive hotels and travel junkets, RNC Chairman Michael Steele may be losing the confidence of major donors at the time when he needs them most.

The latest scandal is minor compared to the financial problems plaguing the party, but it has nevertheless received the most attention. The media has had a field day with the story of an RNC staffer authorizing almost $2000 in expenses for one of its fundraising contractors at Voyeur, a Hollywood topless club with a lesbian bondage theme. They may have fired the staffer, but the controversy rages on.

Then, to top things off, the RNC's fundraising efforts have been further called into question as a result of an expensive mailing in which a typo in the response phone number connected potential contributors to a $2.99-a-minute sex line instead of the RNC phone bank. A lot of blue-haired GOP stalwarts were less than amused by the experience.

One result has been muted calls for Michael Steele's resignation as RNC Chairman, kept at a low volume by the heavy atmosphere of invective over race from the left, which raises Steele's value as a prominent African American in the party. It's hard to fire the highest-ranking black man in your party when the opposition is constantly calling you racist.

At the same time other groups within the party are looking at this as an opportunity to expand their influence and fill the fundraising and campaign financing role which would normally be the domain of the RNC. American Crossroads is hoping to take over as the warchest of party insiders while Family Research Council is seeking to take over as the campaign funding arm of the religious right. Meanwhile Tea Party groups and other grassroots organizations are having a lot of success raising money and drumming up support for the large cadre of more libertarian candidates running across the nation.

Despite his considerable charisma and effectiveness as both a fundraiser and a spokesman, Steele's organizational weakness and lack of fiscal discipline have hurt the RNC substantially. It may be going too far to expect him to resign, but if he loses the support of big donors and loses the confidence of the party establishment, he and the RNC run the risk of being rendered irrelevant. Because if they cannot provide the financial backing which candidates need, then much of their real authority as a party leadership goes with it.

As the RNC declines in authority it may create opportunities for other groups, but it also produces chaos and a lack of unity which could cost Republicans the chance to reclaim power in Congress that the policies of the Obama administration have created for them.

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About Dave Nalle

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    I am not surprised that the media loves the titillation and a chance to knock someone down, and that his political enemies, even in his own party, want to damage him, but has Steele been an effective leader?

    Granted, I don’t get RNC newsletters, but it seems I have only heard criticism from his side of the aisle since he got the job. I know he started on the wrong side on NY-23. Has he been instrumental in any of the party’s successes?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Dave,

    Why this focus on Michael Steele? What has money got to do with it or Michael Steele’s leadership? If its indeed true, as you say, that the country is rising, then the midterm election, and perhaps 2012, should be a cinch – if only on ideological grounds.

    What I think you’re really doing is grasping at straws by looking for an easy target. The teapartiers haven’t delivered thus far – it’s still an undifferentiated mass, tainted besides by the lunatic fringe, however miniscule. There aren’t any true leaders from the Right, let alone presidential hopefuls, to speak of. And it must be frustrating to you.

    Hence, Michael Steele is to blame. Come on! You can do better than that.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Interesting responses. I tried to downplay the blame on Steele in this article, yet it seems to have been perceived the other way.

    Ultimately Steele has to get the blame because he is in charge of the RNC. If it does its job well he gets the credit, if it does badly he gets the blame. That’s what happenes when you’re in an executive position.

    The function of the RNC is to raise money and spend it on candidates. If, instead, it gets spent on staff, travel and entertainment then it is not doing its job properly. There is not a limitless supply of money to be raised, so using it efficiently is vitally important. That’s Steele’s real failing, and it is one which is mirrored in inefficient spending in many of the state executive committees as well.

    Ok, on to the tea parties. They do have two significant successes. They played a role – mistakenly – in sinking Scozzafava, but more importantly they were instrumental in electing Scott Brown. He had limited support from the RNC (even if they want to take some credit) and lots from the tea parties. He got far more money from the tea partiers than from the RNC specifically because the RNC had very little cash on hand to use for his campaign.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    This sounds incredible – the Reps being out of money.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Trying to put myself in a Republican’s point of view: the perceived lack of leadership may not be a bad thing. The GOP grassroots are certainly displaying a lot of vigour right now, and the Republicans in Congress (and leading lights elsewhere) just seem to have decided to go with the flow – and are perhaps all the more effective for it.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Michael Steele’s charisma? He was managing to come across as preternaturally goofy — long before there was a Voyeur club scandal. He has a public image roughly equivalent to Joe Biden’s: repeated foot in mouth incidents succeed in hiding his talent and intelligence.

    This goofball image may be a media creation, like Biden’s, but Joe and Mike supply plenty of ammunition, and they are too entertaining for the media to ignore.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Tea partiers may well have helped get Scott Brown elected, but I can’t help feeling they will have buyer’s remorse. Some already do.

    In order to get reelected in still-blue Massachusetts, Brown will have to moderate his positions repeatedly. He already aggravated some with his “RINO” vote for a jobs bill.

    Brown is no right-wing ideologue. [I also don’t think he’s particularly well qualified to be a senator; time will tell.] And tea partiers have not shown a lot of flexibility so far in stretching their rigid principles pragmatically. Two or three more votes for an Administration bill that costs money, and the TP will disown Brown.

    Which may actually help him get re-elected. Massachusetts politics is threatening to get as weird as California’s.

    Brown spread a false rumor that Rachel Maddow was going to be drafted to run against him. She called him “a jerk” on the air for refusing to back down from the silly story, concocted for fund-raising.

    But some of us wish she would reconsider. It would certainly make for an entertaining race!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #5,

    A pretty good a/c of the conservatives’ dilemma. The “go with the flow” strategy sounds reasonable enough. Biding time.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Unless ‘going with the flow’ of populist anger begins to grate on the nerves of independent voters in swing districts, a problem that could be compounded if extremist candidates get nominated in primaries.

    Driving moderates out of the party directly works against making the party broad-based and nationally powerful.

    Tea partiers may indeed strongly influence primaries. But Republicans might want to consider listening to voices of reason like David Frum in planning for November contests.

    No reason they should listen to me, of course. If they do indeed narrow their appeal this way, I guess I should be happy. But it contributes to the ugly, nasty polarized nature of contemporary politics.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Part of their problem is, Republicans are out of ideas. Wait and see strategy appears to be only one they’re capable of, if only to see what obtains.

    But yes, it may well backfire on them.

  • Baronius

    Dave, there’s one other related story. The NRSC got in hot water for endorsing Charlie Crist very quickly in his inept run for the Senate. They blew it. Others have withdrawn their endorsements, and even Cornyn has been backpedaling. It just contributes to the sense that the establishment of the party is out of touch.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Hey Dave,

    Just noticed the Voyer site. At least you’ve to give ‘em that: they’ve got expensive taste.

    Thanks for including it. I’m gonna check it out when I’ll be in those parts.

    I might even switch party affiliation for a treat around town. Just kidding.

  • John Wilson

    The Reps are out of ideas. They are intellectually bankrupt.

    It’s the result of laziness. They found it easy to win by being anti-communist, so they quit trying to think. For a while they got by with anti-muslim stuff after 9/11, but that’s drying up fast. They tried morphing anti-communism into anti-democrat sentiment, which worked for awhile, but recently trying to morph that into anti-socialism has failed because many young people don’t even know what a socialist is, or why socialists should be hated.

    The reps non-hate ideas have gone bust, what with the failure of the so-called “free Markets” (which just turn out to be dominated by the most powerful corporate monopolies because reps don’t have the courage of their convictions to enforce competition with anti-trust action), and all the failures resulting from trying to run government operations through private companies, which has resulted in runaway costs and corruption. And then there’s the effect of all the crazies who lead us into stupid wars, alienated citizens with attacks on gays (when society, especially young people, is going towards tolerance) and bombing and killing abortion providers.

    So the only ‘principle’ the reps evidence is being against things. Thus the rep congress is 100% opposed to Obama/Romney care, and in CA all the rep members of the legislature have signed pledges to vote “NO” and thus jam the state up because their 33% minority is enough to stop everything. Now they’re trying to pass a Prop in CA to require local communities to have 2/3 vote to pass Public Utilities.

    Despite all of their ‘anti’ agitation they have proven to be terrible spenders and each one of them in the past 30 years has run up record federal deficits. Paradoxically, they surrendered the Fiscal Responsibility issue to Clinton, the man they most hated and villified.

    This generation of reps is finished. You can’t really blame Mike Steele for going on a fin de siecle spending binge.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I’m no fan of that frighteningly tanned, self-hating closet case Charlie Crist, but it may be worth noting that while he’s now trailing badly in the GOP primary race, he polls 9 points better than Rubio does against likely Dem candidate Meek.

    The GOP is likely to win in Florida, but this demonstrates my point about nominating hard-right instead of moderate candidates, and in some states and districts the effect could be strong enough to throw the race to the Democrats. [As happened, indirectly, in upstate NY.]

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Tea partiers may well have helped get Scott Brown elected, but I can’t help feeling they will have buyer’s remorse. Some already do.

    They knew what he was before they elected him. If they regret it now I have very little sympathy for them. He’s still better than the alternative.

    Brown is no right-wing ideologue. [I also don’t think he’s particularly well qualified to be a senator; time will tell.]

    His qualifications are virtually identical to Obama’s at the same point in his career.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Baronius. I have a separate article in the works about the NRSC, whose problems go far beyond just the Crist issue.

    As for Republicans having no ideas, that’s fundamentally untrue. Republicans have lots of good ideas. They just have trouble getting anyone to listen, and many of them are dismissed because they involved undoing harm rather than doing more harm.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    Handy, I think the more likely problem for the Republicans is that they’ll nominate outsiders rather than people with experience, and end up with incompetence (either during the campaigns or in office).

  • zingzing

    dave: “many [republican ideas] are dismissed because they involved undoing harm rather than doing more harm.”

    yeah, that’s why…

    you’re your own worst enemy.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Zing, sometimes you make very little sense.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    He was responding to your own impenetrable koan: “Ideas” that “involved undoing harm rather than doing more harm.”

    Tell us: Who, exactly, dismissed these ideas for that reason? The electorate?

    One assumes you mean by harm: taxing, spending, and adding to the federal bureaucracy — a purely ideological definition of the word. That would probably apply to your definition of “ideas” as well.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “As for Republicans having no ideas, that’s fundamentally untrue. Republicans have lots of good ideas. They just have trouble getting anyone to listen.”

    With all due respect, I beg to differ. Good ideas will always be listened, if not heeded to. And you can count me among that number.

    Or are you saying perhaps that they’ve got no great communicator among their ranks? In that case, I’d agree with you.

    And if that’s a fairly correct appraisal of the situation, then what are you waiting for? I”d be knocking on their doors if I were you.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Republicans have lots of good ideas… many of them are dismissed because they involved undoing harm rather than doing more harm.

    Those are not ideas. Those are reactions.

    What else you got?

  • Boeke

    Undo harm? Undo the Iraq invasion? Undo the 9/11/01 negligence? Undo the financial collapse?

  • fatastronaut

    It would be nice to restore integrity to politics. I’m sick of both parties.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Too late under the present system. The country is on the verge of Civil War, not unlike the situation which prevailed prior to India’s home rule.

    The country had to be split between India and Pakistan to avert bloodshed.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Oh, Raj, I mean Rog….
    How you do go on.
    =)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    With hope, Handy, hope that humans will prevail.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    He was responding to your own impenetrable koan: “Ideas” that “involved undoing harm rather than doing more harm.”

    Tell us: Who, exactly, dismissed these ideas for that reason? The electorate?

    The Democrats dismissed them without consideration, actually. The electorate has been much more responsive.

    One assumes you mean by harm: taxing, spending, and adding to the federal bureaucracy — a purely ideological definition of the word. That would probably apply to your definition of “ideas” as well.

    So you think that an enormous federal deficit and high unemployment and a massive new tax burden on citizens are not harmful and are good ideas?

    It’s difficult to communicate with people who are utterly disconnected from reality.

    With all due respect, I beg to differ. Good ideas will always be listened, if not heeded to. And you can count me among that number.

    Respectfully, Roger, you don’t count. And in the current partisan environment in government Republicans could show up with the solution to all problems, handed to them with the imprimature of God himself and they would be ignored.

    Or are you saying perhaps that they’ve got no great communicator among their ranks? In that case, I’d agree with you.

    No, that would be largely irrelevant. If no one is listening it doesn’t matter how great a communicator you are.

    Those are not ideas. Those are reactions.

    Paul Ryan put forward a simple and comprehensive set of alternative proposals when Obama pretended to be interested and was completely ignored.

    Undo harm? Undo the Iraq invasion? Undo the 9/11/01 negligence? Undo the financial collapse?

    Yes. A lot could be done to reverse the consequences of all of those, and Obama certainly isn’t doing it.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Respectfully, Roger, you don’t count. And in the current partisan environment in government Republicans could show up with the solution to all problems, handed to them with the imprimature of God himself and they would be ignored.”

    Then your assumption, Dave, is that the entire country has become unreasonable, because the Republicans can get no fair hearing, not even from their own supporters.

    Do you realize the position you’re boxing yourself in?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    The “current partisan environment” was not created by the actions of one party. Takes two to tango.

    And I was just pointing out that your definition of “harm” is so rigid and ideological that you felt no need to flesh it out. If you start with the premise that all tax increases are evil and all tax cuts are good, that government spending is by definition suspect [or worse], then, yeah, you’re gonna end up with a very very “partisan environment.”

    If on the other hand you’re open to the idea that tax reform may mean increasing some taxes and lowering others, and that government spending is capable of being used effectively to soothe a crisis and incentivize desired results, then there might be the basis for some give and take.

    If both sides insist that it’s all or nothing, we may end up with nothing.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Apparently, Dave persists in thinking that saying “no” to something, anything, counts as having ideas.

    If that’s all the Rep can possibly muster, they’re doomed and they had better take their talking points from the teapartiers. At least those folks are vocal, never mind intelligible.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Roger, when the unacceptable is being proposed you have to say “no” to it before you can ove on to more sensible solutions. There is a singular honor in saying “no” to that which is wrong.

    And Handy, when it comes to tax reform I’m open to all sorts of options, but certainly few of them involve any kind of increase of the already crushing tax burden on the working people of this country who will be paying more in taxes per capita than the citizens of any other free nation once these health care “reforms’ are implemented.

    When a nation reaches the point where those receiving support from the government are more numerous than those paying taxes to the government, the only possible outcome is disaster. We’re almost there.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    dave: “Zing, sometimes you make very little sense.”

    no, dave. i make perfect sense. it’s you who has gone off. your explanation of why you’re being ignored is pure blindness. it’s not because you’re “undoing harm.” because you’re not.

    it’s because you contribute JACK SHIT.

    tell me one thing you (or your party) has done to better the world over the last decade, generation, era, shit, i don’t care.

    or you can tell me that republican ideas “are dismissed because they involved undoing harm rather than doing more harm.”

    if it was up to the republicans we’d be in 1950 and mccarthy would rule the earth. and we’d all drink malts on sundays. and we’d all fuck our wives missionary style on sunday afternoons.

    we’d envy cows getting their teet’s milked, we’d hunt wild game wishing we had any.

    my main point is THAT’S NOT WHY your being ignored. it’s not because you’re righteous. you’re self-righteousness is your big problem. that’s why we hate you.

    figure out why you’re really “wrong.” or why we think you are. then you can really have a confrontation. this “they involved undoing harm rather than doing more harm” shit is nothing but a fantasy. you don’t know your enemy. know you enemy’s criticism of you. that’s not it. and that’s not the truth either.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “When a nation reaches the point where those receiving support from the government are more numerous than those paying taxes to the government, the only possible outcome is disaster.”

    Sure, Dave, we are heading that way. But how did this come about? Are you saying that the majority of the population suddenly became lazy and unwilling to work? Well, if that’s your view of all the rest of us who are “unproductive,” then we already have no country (by your own definition) and what happens next doesn’t really matter.

    Of course we know your retort – the corrupt unions, overpaid, lazy workers, etcetera, etcetera – which is why the American companies moved offshore. And of course, the government as the major enabler.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    actually, zing, sundays don’t sound too bad, but do we have the malts before or after time spent with the mrs?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    the already crushing tax burden on the working people of this country who will be paying more in taxes per capita than the citizens of any other free nation once these health care “reforms’ are implemented.

    I’d certainly be interested in some actual facts and figures to back up that whopper.

    I found this table in about 30 seconds on Google. It says it is based on data from Forbes, so it’s unlikely to be, er, socialist-biased. It lists France, China and Belgium as having the biggest tax burdens. The US figures are different for different states: NY ranks 21st and Texas 44th out of 65.

    [Lowest tax burdens on the chart: Qatar, UAE and Hong Kong.]

    The new taxes in the health bill are all aimed at upper incomes, and the tax credits, both for individuals and for small businesses, to help with buying insurance, are substantial.

    But for people getting insurance through their employer [more than half], changes in taxes are minimal.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Handy,

    You’re not combating facts with Dave but ideologies. Facts will never convince in a discussion of this sort.

    You’ve got to change mindsets and argue for a set of values.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Nonsense. Facts are our friends.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    See, that’s where we disagree. Any scoundrel can marshal facts in their defense.

    What is the point of your posting here, anyway? To hear yourself speak or to convince Dave? Truth, Handy, is relational, and the aim is to arrive at consensus rather than assure oneself that one is right. Why else would you bother to communicate?

    Well, Dave ain’t going to be convinced by facts, I guarantee it. But you’re welcome to keep on trying till the hell freezes over.

  • Tony

    You know what would be great after 8 years of “the redneck” and now all of this controversy? If Republicans looked back on their lineage to people like Eisenhower, Nixon, Rockefeller, and Reagan, and realized what the party is supposed to stand for and how they are supposed to conduct themselves.

    Republicans have fallen a long way from the time of President Eisenhower warning of the dangers of the “military-industrial complex” in his farewell speech AFTER conducting the Korean conflict.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Roger, this site is full of people making outrageous assertions without backing them up. When I can, I refute them.

    This has little to do with changing their minds, but it might be of interest to other readers, and it helps me clarify my own thinking.

    If you don’t find my arguments convincing, I guess I’ll have to cry myself to sleep. But “ideas” in the abstract are not very meaningful to me.

    Do you actually believe I distort and misuse the facts and figures I cite? Do you really find them irrelevant? Or do you just like to hear yourself type?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    the already crushing tax burden on the working people of this country who will be paying more in taxes per capita than the citizens of any other free nation once these health care “reforms’ are implemented.

    You have got to be kidding. Not only does the US have one of the lowest personal income tax rates in the developed world, it also has one of the lowest average costs of living.

    Oh, wait. According to the table I just linked to, the US does have one of the highest rates of corporate income tax. Like the Supreme Court, no doubt that’s what you mean by “people”. I see now.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    High corporate tax rates — and numerous gigantic loopholes that allow many/most companies to pay far less [or nothing].

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s all about ideas, Handy. The difference between a conservative viewpoint and a liberal one is about ideas, not facts.

    Dave can muster whatever facts he’s got in defense of his position, and you may dispute them to your heart’s content. But I’m sorry to say that it doesn’t cut it for me.

    To wit, even if his facts were “right” in support of an atrocious position, I wouldn’t be convinced. I’d attack his position for being atrocious.

    It’s about human values, Handy, more than anything else. Facts are just window dressing.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    That is ridiculous.

    He falsely stated the US tax burden has become the world’s biggest. Figures that I [and also Doc D] posted refuted that.

    I had already pointed out that his view of government “harm” [taxing and spending] was mostly or entirely ideological.

    But without evidence, it’s just dueling assertions. Plenty of that already around here.

  • zingzing

    dave’s so far gone, he thinks right wing ideas are being ignored because they’re just too good.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Too good for this world. Maybe they’ll succeed in the next.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Zing –

    my main point is THAT’S NOT WHY your being ignored. it’s not because you’re righteous. you’re self-righteousness is your big problem.

    “Thou shalt not criticize a fellow Republican”

    “Thou shalt not depart from conservative orthodoxy”

    “Thou shalt in no wise work with the Democrat party.”

    The first was from Reagan, the second from Boehner, and the last from the neo-con pundits and the Tea Party.

    But those of us who remember the Cold War know of a country where it was not allowed to criticize the Party, where it was not allowed to depart from Party orthodoxy, and where it was not allowed to work with those who were outside the Party.

    It was the Soviet Union.

    In a real democracy, at NO time should there be a continuous and complete refusal to criticize one another, to question one’s own (or one’s party’s) ideals and political positions, or to work in good faith with those of opposing political viewpoints.

    But that is where the conservatives have gone, all the while never comprehending that their tactics, their current political philosophy is every bit as anti-democratic (small ‘d’) as the Soviet Union was, as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Dave,

    I have not completely given up on the Republican Party, but nearly so.

    As I noted here,

    Vice President Biden says, “Washington right now is broken.” That’s a good thing if it gives “we the people” an opportunity to fix it, something neither major party wants to do. Why should they? With few exceptions, both parties want the same things: power and more of it. The words “of the political class, by the political class, and for the political class” pretty much exclude the rest of us. Only twenty-one percent of voters nationwide say that the government has the consent of the governed; sixty-three percent of the political class think there is consent.

    It’s a mess. I don’t think Michael Steele seems to be lost in the wilderness. He is lost in the notion that His party is best, no matter what. I agree that it is better in most respects than the Democratic Party, but there are some viable alternatives and accommodations worth considering.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Such as?

    Excuse me for being so bold.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Gosh Darn! I don’t know. Perhaps you can find some enlightenment here.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That’s hardly an inspiration, DM, for enlightened human behavior.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    It inspires me

    In fact, it’s exciting discoveries like that which put modern political bickering into perspective.

    It’s “What happens to my paycheck/retirement/savings/mutual funds/gun cabinet/church/kids/granny’sinheritancesewnintothemattress if Obamacare becomes a reality?” versus “What happens if I rub these two sticks together really fast?”

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Doc,

    “What happens if I rub these two sticks together really fast?”

    And there, Sir, you have the beginnings of the Boy Scouts which, as an expat British subject you must know, had its origins with a British Army officer, Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, back in Queen Victoria’s Glorious Days.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Jolly good!

  • zingzing

    yay, the boy scouts! where we send our children to get raped. no, wait. that’s church. wait, wait. fuck it, that’s everywhere. the modern world is one big childrape factory. (i swear i wasn’t raped as a child.)

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    This conversation has officially gotten too weird for me now.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I was never in the Scouts.

    Thank goodness, apparently.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Ah, yes indeed, the legendary Baden-Powell.

    And, Dan, as a former legal practitioner you may know that B-P actually stole the idea for rubbing two sticks together to make fire from a gentleman named Ooggrah.

    The aggrieved Mr Ooggrah attempted to seek remedy through the courts, but the Law Lords ruled that as a member of the species Homo habilis he did not enjoy the protections of English law, which applied only to H. sapiens.

    Whereupon Ooggrah proceeded to bludgeon their Lordships to death with a mammoth jawbone.

    It’s still regarded by legal scholars as one of the great miscarriages of justice.

  • zingzing

    i was never in the boy scouts. i was, however, briefly in the cub scouts. before you’re a boy, apparently you’re the offspring of an animal. which i guess is true. you calling my mother an animal? fuck you.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    #59 is one of the most inspired comments I’ve ever read – the skillful use of sardonic whimsy in a political discussion is not easy, and beyond the grasp of many (including myself, more’s the pity).

  • zingzing

    glenn, you should see some examples of rightwing comedy. their sense of humor is so…

  • cannonshop

    #62 I don’t know, Zing, I think Alonzo Rachel’s pretty funny, though he’s a bit more radicalized than I am, and I could do without the religious slant to some of his skits.

    Certainly, I find him funnier than Al Franken (who, upon career death, discovered he could run for elected office with the other dishonest, arrogant and Narcissistic SOB’s…)
    Then again, Jerry Lewis never made me laugh-not even as a child.

    AS for Republicans and Ideas…

    They have lots of ideas, unfortunately, when they get the power to move forward and implement them, they can’t do so except with a Democrat in the White House-in other words, the ideas die due to lack of effort.

    Maybe we NEED to have more Kinky republicans who dig Lesbian porn, instead of the Religious Right nutters that keep floating to the top like gassy turds.

  • Baronius

    Cannon, I’ve been watching “Red Eye” lately. The show runs on Fox News at 3am; I catch the episodes on Hulu. It’s something like the McLaughlin Group if it were hosted by the MST3K robots. Very stupid and vulgar, but funny. Greg Gutfeld’s “State of the Unicorn” Address was one of the most demented things I’ve seen in a long time.

  • cannonshop

    #64 I’ll have to take a look at that.

  • Baronius

    RNC Committeeman from New Hampshire Slams Party Leadership in Resignation Letter