Welcome to Thunderdome!

Yes, today is Super Tuesday, and it will quite likely determine the candidate who will go on to challenge Obama in the presidential election. Let’s hope it’s not Santorum. Or Romneybot. Or Ron Paul Kenobi. Or Newton “Fruit n’ Cake.” Actually, let’s hope that all four of them meet up for a grip-and-grin photo op and a meteor strikes them. Yes, that would be the best possible scenario: the meteor that killed the Republican presidential candidate field versus Obama.

Naturally, I’d vote for the meteor; after all, it did more for American politics than Obama ever could.

But since that’s not going to happen, we’ll discuss some actualities. In what appears to be a race to the bottom for Santorum and Romneybot, both are counting on victories in Ohio to propel them to the depths; Ohio is the necessary morale booster for either candidate. Hence all the campaigning and vague talk about “manufacturing”:

At a metal works in Canton and a welding factory in Youngstown, in mailboxes and on the radio, Mr. Romney’s intense focus on these Republican-leaning voters was in evidence on Monday as he made his closing appeal in Ohio – if not as an everyman, then at least as a chief executive who knows how to generate blue-collar jobs and get factories running again.

“Other people in this race have debated about the economy, they’ve read about the economy, they’ve talked about it in subcommittee meetings, but I’ve actually been in it,” Mr. Romney told workers at a guardrail factory in Canton, where he walked among huge coils of steel. “I understand what it takes to get business successful, and to thrive.”

Yes, a predatory venture capital firm is exactly like a factory; really, the douchebags I see outside of Bain’s headquarters at lunch are virtually indistinguishable from the chumps who make sprockets in Bumfuck, Ohio!

Also, there’s no such thing as “the” economy; there are a multiplicity of interrelated economies. When I sell my bike to some hippie, that’s an economy. We’re all in the Goddamn economy, Mittensus. So shut the fuck up.

Santorum, however, was not to be outdone on the pandering front:

Mr. Santorum, who has mixed his faith-based appeal with a workingman’s sensibility born of his Pennsylvania coal and steel country roots, was not about to cede that ground.

At Dayton Christian School in Miamisburg on Monday, he urged a capacity crowd to vote for “a guy who grew up in a steel town in western Pennsylvania who no one gave any chance to be standing here in Ohio in March, because he went out and believed in free people” and in “building a stronger economy based on manufacturing.”

Yes, Rickspittle–your White Christianness and upbringing near some people who worked really hard definitely qualifies you to be president. I grew up in a small farming town; I didn’t farm, but there were some nearby. Thus, I’m not only qualified to talk about farming, but I could also be president! Isn’t democracy grand?

Whether this nonstop blue-collar asslicking will prove fruitful remains to be seen; if the past is any indicator, it probably will. Desperate people are often swindled with vague promises, and in this Republican field, vague promises are seemingly the only mode of discourse available.

But before you vote, blue-collar Super Tuesdayans, just consider this: are you willing to work for $17 a day, where a day lasts 14 hours? No? Then kiss that manufacturing bullshit goodbye.

Also, vote for Ron Paul Kenobi–I’d love to see Emperor Muslimtine crush him beneath his Imperial loafers.

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Ron Paul Kenobi and Romneybot Tag Team the GOP Debate, Smearing Santorum Everywhere

I’ve always found it odd that Republicans compete with one another over political rigidity; seemingly, they believe that the candidate who is most inflexible will be the best president. Because no president has ever had to compromise, ever. Also, in their competition they seem to forget that they also govern those who did not vote for them. But fuck those guys, am I right?

In any case, last night’s GOP debate was no different, save for the fact that Ron Paul Kenobi and Romneybot’s budding bromance turned into a WWE-style tag-team effort, which definitely ran wild over poor Rick “The Trick” Santorum:

It was Mr. Santorum’s first time in the cross hairs as a leading candidate, an uncomfortable position that has set back other Republican challengers. He did not recoil or wither under pressure, but he was placed on the defensive again and again, with Mr. Romney and Representative Ron Paul of Texas acting as a tag team in critiquing his record in Congress.

Their power moves were varied:

They criticized his earmarks [BIFF!], his vote for a provision that financed Planned Parenthood [POW!] and his support of the No Child Left Behind law [CRUNCH!], President George W. Bush’s signature education plan now out of favor with conservatives. By the end of the night, the scrutiny seemed to wear on Mr. Santorum, who was taunted with boos when he said he had voted for the education program even though “it was against the principles I believed in.”

Since Santorum has been surging all over Romney’s face in recent weeks, this debate was critical for Romney; thus, he wasted no opportunity to point out Santorum’s flaws. Moreover, despite the fact that most Americans are worried about finding a job, or whether they’ll be able to send their children to college (they won’t), the Republitards took this opportunity to sound out their conservative bona fides on immigration, healthcare, and Romney’s ability to balance a budget:

Mr. Romney played up his status as the only candidate on the stage who had never served in Washington, but Mr. Santorum would not let his rival take credit for balancing the budget as governor of Massachusetts, which is required by state law.

“Don’t go around bragging about something you have to do,” Mr. Santorum said. “Michael Dukakis balanced the budget for 10 years. Does that make him qualified to be president of the United States? I don’t think so.”

Personally, I don’t think a man whose claim to fame is a humorous neologism has much to stand on when criticizing other people’s credentials, but who am I to judge?

Santorum didn’t stand much of a chance against the Iron Bromance, and the night’s most hilarious moment came when Ron Paul Kenobi defended his television ads criticizing Santorum’s legitimacy:

When the moderator asked Mr. Paul why he was running a new television advertisement calling Mr. Santorum “a fake” conservative, Mr. Paul answered simply, “Because he’s a fake.”

“I’m real, I’m real, I’m real,” Mr. Santorum said, shaking his head.

Somehow I don’t think he was quoting J-Lo. Cogito ergo santorum, Rick the Trick.

Brokeback Campaign Stump

What happens when a stiff, patrician snob with little charm and too much cash meets a friendly racist who despite serving in the government for decades wants to abolish the government? What doesn’t happen!

Apparently, Romneybot and RPK are bonding on the campaign trail like two dudes who kind of knew each other a bit but then saw Band of Brothers together and were like, “friends forever, brah!”

Once there was a challenge of a softball game from the Ron Paul clan to the Mitt Romney clan. “They didn’t show up,” Mr. Paul says. “We didn’t schedule it. We really razz them about that, ‘You guys chickened out!’”

When Mr. Paul’s campaign jet broke down last year in Wolfeboro, N.H., Mr. Romney’s wife, Ann, offered to let Mr. Paul, an aide and one of his granddaughters stay the night at their summer home on Lake Winnipesaukee. When Mr. Romney arrived later, he offered his jet to take them home to Texas. Mr. Paul, not wanting to impose, was grateful but declined both offers.

Such is the nature of the political courtship–friendly ribbing and coy refusals leading to hushed whispers and surprised wives. Although considering this quote, I’m not sure how surprised they’d actually be:

The candidates’ spouses, Ann Romney and Carol Paul, “know each other better than any of the other wives,” Mr. Paul said. He and Mr. Romney talk “all the time” and “we’ve met all their kids.” Once he telephoned Mr. Romney just as Mr. Romney was calling him. “Sometimes I’m never sure who issued a call,” he said.

No, you hang up first!

It’s hard to deny the intense homoeroticism of the campaign trail; chubby, balding punditards eating hot dogs; sad, lonely, and probably curious Promise Keeper boys handing out bracelets; it can be lonely out there. But who would have thought that these two veteran campaigners would ever see eye-to-eye?

Such is the loving bond that two men can form on the long, hard road.

Despite Loss, Ron Paul Kenobi’s Midi-Chlorian Count Remains Strong

Romneybot eked out a minor victory against Ron Paul Kenobi on Saturday, winning by a small margin the irrelevant Maine caucus:

Although the vote had no substantive meaning in terms of delegates, losing it could have created a political headache for Mr. Romney, the former governor of nearby Massachusetts, and extended a negative storyline that had been building since last week when he lost Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri to Mr. Santorum.

Ron Paul Kenobi, ever the Jedi master, remains unflappable in the face of this small defeat:

“We’re not going away,” he told his supporters.

Despite a Romney victory, support for Ron Paul Kenobi remains strong in Maine. While New England’s republicans skew to the left of the party, Maine republicans are strongly independent; thus, Ron Paul Kenobi has found great support among the Tea Partiers there.

This is likely because old people, in their forgetfulness, tend not to remember how much of the government’s resources they soak up. They’re rather like the piece of bread floating in your French onion soup: formerly stale, crusty, and useless, they’ve found new life in the taxpayer’s broth.

I apologize if I just ruined French onion soup for you.

Panel: Westeros Weighs in on Ron Paul, Part 1

If you’re like me, you’ve probably wondered what the people of Westeros would think about Ron Paul. Well, wonder no more, my friends, because today I have convened a very special panel! What follows is an excerpt of a panel discussion where I questioned some very important Westerosi about Representative Paul.

Esteemed Moderator: I’d like to thank you for joining me. Today I welcome King Robert Baratheon, of House Baratheon; Lord Stannis Baratheon, of House Baratheon; Lord Eddard Stark, of House Stark; Queen Cersei Baratheon nee Lannister; Lord Tywin Lannister, of House Lannister; Lord Tyrion Lannister, of House Lannister; Ser Jaime Lannister, of the Kingsguard and House Lannister; and last but not least, Daenerys Targaryen, Khaleesi, and of House Targaryen. Welcome. I’ll start with you, Lord Tywin. What do you make of Representative Paul’s economic policy?

Lord Tywin: Quite frankly, I cannot make anything of it. It has the flavor of water and the substance of wind; I daresay this Paul fellow has never studied the ancient economic treatises of Westeros.

Lord Tyrion: I’d like to respond to that, if I may. Certainly, Paul does not seem to grasp the various intricacies of interconnected economic systems, but he does grasp well something my father should appreciate: the value of gold. Although unlike my father, no one claims of this Paul fellow an ability to evacuate golden coins from his bowels!

Lord Tywin: Tyrion, you make a mockery of this!

Esteemed Moderator: No, Tyrion’s quite right; Representative Paul is not rumored to shit gold. Newsletters, perhaps, but not gold.

King Robert: Listen, what’s truly important are this Paul fellow’s views on war. What say he in the matter of conflict? And does he carry an axe?

Esteemed Moderator: He is non-confrontational, and does not carry an axe.

King Robert: Then damn the man and his womanish ways! A man that prefers his tongue to an axe is no man fit for leadership!

Queen Cersei: The King speaks truly, at least for himself; his skill with an axe does far exceed the skill of his tongue.

King Robert: Damn you, too, woman! I’m tired of this talk; words are wind from an arse, and I would have some ale!

Esteemed Moderator: King Robert, I assure you there will be ale in due time. Now, Khaleesi, I would like to ask you about your views on Representative Paul. What do you think of his libertarian views?

Lady Daenerys: Well, as a person born of noble blood, libertarianism seems a bit silly. The merit of a man surely counts for something, but even the most hard-working peasant is still a peasant. However, I would see opportunities for those who wish to have their skills known; seemingly, a man is made more virtuous by work.

Ser Jaime: A simple view, and one my good brother would know not of!

Lord Tyrion: You speak the truth, good brother, for simple views are not my purview, as they are yours! My real concerns about this Paul fellow lie with his hidden points of view–he claims he advocates unfettered markets, yet knows little of modern trade and would seek to hinder currencies. He claims he would like nothing more than various territorial freedoms, yet offers no terms for the settling of disputes. He claims personal freedom as the highest dignity, yet seems to harbor a deep-rooted conservatism; I say his sights are paradox, and a man with knotted views cannot govern.

Esteemed Moderator: Well spoken. I shall pause there so that King Robert may quench his thirst. Join us later as we continue our discussion.

Ron Paul: Kindly Country Doctor or Potential Leon Czolgosz?

If you’re relying on this ambivalent article from the New York Times, the answer is definitely in the air. Whether you love or hate Ron Paul, there is no doubt that he is a fascinating guy; seemingly, he loves weed and peace and freedom, but he tempers that with healthy doses of irrelevant economic thought, racism, and genuinely crazy rigidness. How does one become a paradoxical patron of Hayekian hubris? Rosebud…

The Birth of a Legend

Ron Paul was born a straight shooter with upper-management potential. Of that there is no doubt. He has the classic credentials: vague family histories of an evil Europe that would love nothing more than to smother the baby of freedom under a blanket of tyranny; a strict upbringing that encouraged hard work and character development; and a drive to be honest and fair and baseball and apple pie and ice cream and blah blah blah:

From a young age, Ron, the third of five, and his four brothers earned pennies picking raspberries that their grandfather, a farmer, sold in Pittsburgh, and plucking dirty milk bottles from the crates of empties in their basement. Yet they saw their parents let customers short on cash slide on paying their bills for months at a time.

Ron Paul didn’t have Facebook or Sock Hops or Sadie Hawkins’s Dances or any of that crap to distract him from being an upright citizen. Moreover, he learned a valuable lesson about the free market early on:

Wartime rationing also left a mark. When he saw a local butcher shop ignoring the rules on Saturdays and selling “all the meat you wanted, at a price,” Mr. Paul wrote, it was “my first real-life experience in the free market solving problems generated by government mischief.”

I’m not really sure I see the lesson in flouting the law to make an extra buck (it kind of seems like that butcher was screwing his customers), but it’s this kind of thing that sticks in a man’s mind and helps him form an ideology. Especially if he loves steak, and he wouldn’t have gotten a steak otherwise.

The Hero’s Journey

But Ron Paul wasn’t destined to be a small-time country bumpkin, spinning philosophies from his porch and shooting varmints and cursing immigrants; no sir, his all-American athletic ability put him on a different track. Sadly, however, his honesty ruined his chances at the University of Pittsburgh (he was offered an athletic scholarship, but declined because he had an injury that he believed would make it difficult for him to compete), so he went to Gettysburg College instead, working his way through and supporting himself by the sweat of his brow. I can practically see the eagles crying!

After college, Ron Paul decided to pursue a medical degree at Duke, and this is where his zany political ideas galvanized with bad art:

At the Duke School of Medicine, the Pauls had the first two of their five children. But even with the demands of medical school and a family, Mr. Paul found time to plow through “Atlas Shrugged” and “Doctor Zhivago,” new best sellers that would inspire generations of conservatives and libertarians.

If the Ron Paul who had arrived at Gettysburg was a bundle of visceral conservative political impulses in search of an intellectual framework, he found it at Duke through his extracurricular reading.

He also began his love affair with the Austrian School of Economics, and Friedrich Hayek. This seems to be the turning point in Paulian histrionics:

Fellow medical students, too, still remember his exhortations about the gold standard and the encroaching welfare state. “He believed in not too much federal government,” said Siegfried Smith, a classmate. “And this was a time when we didn’t have a lot.”

Yet politics was still some time away; first, Ron Paul would intern in Detroit, serve two years as a flight surgeon in San Antonio, and then perform his OB/GYN residency in Pittsburgh. It was there that he would cement his opinions on abortion (an opinion that rankles many individuals as it seems in direct contradiction with his stance on personal freedom). After a few years of annoying his colleagues in Pittsburgh and forcing them to speculate on his membership in the John Birch Society for Assholes, Ron Paul would return to Texas to take over the practice of a retiring doctor. And it is with this practice that he turned toward his political destiny.

The Hero’s Return

The final straw for Dr. Paul was Nixon’s abandonment of the Gold Standard in 1971; after a few years of buying up gold, Dr. Paul ran for a congressional seat in 1974 and lost; he then won in a special election in 1976, and we’ve been stuck with him ever since.

Ron Paul’s opinions haven’t changed in decades, if ever; he writes wacky newsletters and engages in conspiracy theorizing; he insists that Americans deny globalism and forget about engaging internationally. Is he an echo of the assassin Leon Czolgosz? Czolgosz was a hard-working Republican, too; moreover, he was seemingly influenced by the wacky ideas of a few ideologues. Arguably, experience alone differentiates the two men; were it not for Czolgosz’s negative experiences with corporate interests, he might have been Representative Czolgosz (probably not, though–that last name is hard as fuck to pronounce).

I think their differing paths is illustrative of the problem with Ron Paul. He is seemingly incapable of abstracting from his own experience; moreover, he seems incapable of analyzing his own ideologies. He lacks the recursive eye of a genuine philosopher and instead possesses the rigid stare of the ideologue. Counterfactualizing experience is part of empathy, and empathy is a necessary quality in a leader.

Also, youth. Ron Paul is way too fucking old to be president.

Ron Paul Loves an Underdog (But Not that Stupid Cartoon–That Was For Commies)

There are many pressing issues facing Americans: health care policy, how to deal with Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, whether Lindsey Lohan is really a terrible person, etc. Also, the Super Bowl, which I’m told is a contest between male hominids to see who can fling a potato the most times within six hours (with commercial breaks).

Fortunately, as with any of the above topics, including the Super Bowl, Ron Paul Kenobi has weighed in:

Given the relative lack of Austrian economic discussion present in Super Bowl commentary, I’m surprised that Ron Paul Kenobi lent us his insight. In any event, it’s one of the few times where he actually doesn’t sound crazy. So treasure this moment, people. It won’t happen again.

Nevada: “Help Us, Ron Paul Kenobi, You’re Our Only Hope!”

From out of the dust of memory comes a warrior; a knight from a more elegant time, a man of principle and insight: Ron Paul Kenobi.

For too long the Empire, and its evil Emperor Barack “Muslimtine” Obama, has oppressed the good people (including corporations–they’re people, too) of Nevada. For too long, the Department of the Interior, that wretched hive of scum and villainy, has insisted on setting forth some kind of regulation so that mining companies don’t rape the shit out of Nevada’s land. But now those evil pricks at Interior are going to get what’s coming to them.

That’s right, Nevada knows what this rebellion needs: Ron Paul Kenobi.

One sage Nevadan had this to say:

“If Obamacare gets in, we could literally pay a fine for not buying health insurance,” Crabb continues. “The way I see that is: Get health insurance, pay the bill, and Sieg Heil!” He lifts his arm in a mock Nazi salute, accidentally showing off a tattoo of a naked woman he got on “one bad night in the Philippines.” The government doesn’t know how to solve problems, but he does. For example: Why not stop bailing out banks and cut checks to voters instead?

Truer words were never spoken: health care is exactly like the wholesale murder of a religious and ethnic group. Fucking exactly like it. And why give bailouts to those lazy-ass banks? Instead, send me some money; whisky and hookers are expensive!

Without an intervention of some kind, Emperor Muslimtine will surely put every single mining company out of business because if taxes got to high what would be the point in mining? The mining companies might just up and quit mining, leaving all that precious gold to the gnomes and dwarves! And we all know what socialist little fuckers they are.

Luckily, these brave Nevadans of Elko support a warrior for this cause; a man of the people, a noble Austrian soul: Ron Paul Kenobi. Even the “Native Americans support him” because he wants to abolish the Department of the Interior.

The government here is and always was considered a menace. The mining industry is booming now, sure, and this area’s survived decades of busts and crazes, but the current boom looks like a validation of everything Ron Paul says. Precious metals are worth more because other investments aren’t safe; gold is up because dollars aren’t pegged to anything. Paul’s ideas aren’t just scripture for the people of Elko, they are reality.

But what does Ron Paul Kenobi have to say about it? What does that sage and elegant knight from a bygone era think about mining?

“It’s just like any other corporation,” he says. “The tax should be as low as possible. I want real low taxes. That’s secondary to the problem of the welfare-warfare state. If you want to finance endless welfare, entitlements, and all these wars, you have to find all these gimmicks to finance it.”

The greedy mouth of the Emperor does not care about chafing the taxpayer’s teat; no, Emperor Muslimtine needs money to fund his “Muslimtinecare.” How else are all the women of Welfaria, Dirtburg, Rapetown, and Lazyopolis going to pay for abortions?

Thank the Force that we have Elko, Nevada, the mining companies, and Ron Paul Kenobi.

Ron Paul’s Candidacy Gets a Shot in the Pahrump

Despite some discouraging primary returns, Ron Paul, easily the most famous pot-smoking Austrian racist in the United States, still has one bastion of support in Pahrump, Nevada, home to a bunch of crazy, gun-toting white people:

This is the heart of Ron Paul country, the one county in Nevada that the 76-year-old congressman from Texas carried in the 2008 Republican caucuses, and a place that wears its libertarianism proudly.

It is also a place where many people come to be left alone. “There are a lot of people who hide in Pahrump,” said Carl England Jr., who, as pastor of a Baptist church here and also proprietor of a local septic business, knows a lot about his neighbors.

That a Baptist minister “knows a lot about his neighbors” in a libertarian community where the residents ostensibly value their privacy is probably an irony lost on many Pahrumpians. Alas, there are many ironies lost on Ron Paul supporters, so that isn’t wholly surprising.

Yet despite strong support for Mr. Paul, Mittens is gaining ground; indeed, Paul barely managed to edge out Romney in the last vote. However, given the citizenry of Pahrump, I’d wager that Mr. Paul will always do well. One convincing example is Sam Jones, an ardent Paultard, and recently tasered individual:

On this Thursday, Mr. Jones was keeping busy with two items: One was helping with preparations for Mr. Paul’s campaign stop the next day. The other was attending a court hearing to answer charges he faced stemming from a confrontation with sheriff’s deputies in which he was subdued with a Taser.

He said he had been reaching for a small copy of the Constitution that he keeps with him; the deputies said he appeared to be going for the other thing he carries on his person: his .45-caliber pistol, according to an account of his arrest in the local paper.

Pahrump is definitely Ron Paul country (not to be confused with the adjacent “Flavor Country”), and with supporters like Jones, that’s not likely to change any time soon:

“This country is becoming a police state,” he added. “If Ron Paul doesn’t get elected, we’re history.”

Thank God there are still men of conscience willing to speak the Truth.

Romneybot Is the Projected Winner of the Florida Primary

NBC News has just projected that Mitt Romney won Florida by a wide margin. It appears that Gingrich is a distant second, followed but the other GOP candidates, as well as write-in candidates Voldemort, Your Mom, Hugh Jass, Pat McCrotch, and Seymour Butts.

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