That may be the most CNN turn of phrase since “Jericho the Lion–whose brother, Cecil, was also a lion….” Some lady from the chattering class actually uttered that during last night’s political chitchat with Don Lemon. Aside from the intrinsic weirdness of that comment and whatever linguistic sloppiness or ignorance it betrays, the notion of Marco Rubio being a polished speaker is laughable in its own right. Offhand, I can’t think of another candidate in either field this year who can hold a candle to Mike Huckabee for extemporaneous eloquence. He may waste this talent in service to pandering bigotry, but it’s a true talent nonetheless. He and Sarah Palin were both principled, ideologically mellow governors who gladly worked with the opposition to get business done before they went into the gutter in pursuit of the fame and fortune of manipulating bigoted goobers. The difference is that Huckabee has done so with the gift of language.
Now that Huckabee, never mercenary enough to be an establishment favorite in the first place, has withdrawn from the race and returned to his even lower calling of television, and Jeb Bush has at long last walked away from the five-alarm dumpster fire that he made of his own failed coronation, these soi-disant “conservatives” are making a frenzied, desperate attempt to crown a viable second-tier Republican candidate as their standard bearer in the quaint hope of honorably defeating Donald Trump at the polls. Such an improbable victory would spare the Republican Party the embarrassment of having to dishonorably defeat Trump at the Convention, using some combination of floor fight muscle and dirty tricks. It ain’t going so well. The establishment is split between a greasy Elmer Gantry from Houston and a boyishly handsome Heritage Foundation talking robot from South Florida. If these two were assessed on their actual merits, they’d look like shit, so instead they’re assessed on the merits, real or imagined, of departed politicians to whom the approved historians have been most kind. To listen to their partisans, you’d think that Cruz and Rubio are both Kennedy, Churchill, Lincoln, Thatcher, and Reagan wrapped into one man. I’d be embarrassed to suggest such a thing in private while roaring drunk, but political talking heads don’t do embarrassed.
The problem with this strategy is that neither Cruz nor Rubio has shown a hope of reaching critical mass to date. We’ll see what happens tonight, when they’ll both be through their home-state primaries, but even this probably won’t be awfully encouraging when the other ten Super Tuesday states are tallied up. They’re cruising for another bruising.
The shallowly buried lede is that they’re losing because their platforms fucking suck. It’s really that simple. They’re telling Americans whose jobs have been outright given to immigrants that “immigration reform” is a further increase in legal immigration quotas and the legalization of the latest round of five or ten million-odd illegal immigrants. How embarrassingly idiotic must one be not to recognize that this dog don’t hunt? Trump is relatively credible on immigration reform in the interest of ordinary Americans, not in the interest of big business, and relative credibility is good enough with competition such as he has. He may be pandering and lying through his teeth, but he’s saying things that desperately need to be said, and the others are not. This country does have an immigration problem and a severe labor market problem as a direct consequence of immigration as it has been regulated in recent decades. I wish the reform campaign against this lawlessness were being waged by someone without a history of hiring immigrant scab labor, but Trump stepping up to the plate is better than no one at all.
The insipid horse race coverage of American political races misses some really disturbing truths about our politics. The status quo Republican base, as feebly represented by Cruz and Rubio, is the aesthetically Optimate portion of a rapacious upper middle class that is on course to destroy at least the four lowest quintiles of the American public at large. The status quo DNC/Clinton machine base is the aesthetically Brahmin portion of this same rapacious upper middle class. That there even is such a standoff in American politics today should be mortifying to both of its parties. It’s basically a fight between whether a bougie ought to portage a kayak up to International Falls on top of his Subaru for a weekend of morally edifying armstrong-powered water recreation or hitch his powerboat to the back of his dong-aggrandizing crew cab and drive to Torch Lake for a weekend of dissolution on the sandbar and Kwesi Millington for Sheriff. Oops. How did that last part slip in there? Never mind. Meanwhile there’s the Flint water supply. Bigger oops there.
That’s really what has happened to American politics. It’s the affluent indulging in a decades-long intramural fight over norms of conspicuous consumption while the water supplies in poor cities are poisoned by the government, with its knowledge in real time, like something out of the Tsarist Russian Navy. Flint is the stuff of Communist propaganda about the bad old days. It’s so bad that the propagandists wouldn’t even have to make shit up.
Trump and Sanders weren’t supposed to crash this party. They were supposed to demur and leave politics to the privileged, self-dealing affluent, those fit to engage as citizens. Instead Trump has polluted the Republican voter pool with Democrats, independents, and the normally apathetic, while Sanders has greatly energized the young, who normally turn out at percentages roughly equal to their ages, and has done so with a fraction of the free media attention lavished on Trump.
These guys are turds in the punchbowl. It’s obvious that they have the establishment on both sides badly rattled. That’s why the Clintons have been insinuating that Sanders is a racist and accusing him of shitting on Obamacare and hence Barack Obama’s legacy. That’s why the political press has been facilitating even crazier cool stories about the Republican establishment, including a concerted effort to help Nikki Haley, a batshit crazy authoritarian who schemed to suppress voting by the poor, as a much-needed sane moderate.
Another funny thing happened on the way to the political vomitorium last night. Actually, two things, come to think of it. First, CNN hosted a number of Republican poobahs, some associated with Trump, others not, to express righteous Kabuki outrage at the continued existence of racism in America and American politics in this day and age. White guys, but of course. One of these fellows was a Mississippian named Henry Barbour. Say, who Barbour this is? Who dat. This Barbour chap, who obviously came to chair the Mississippi state chapter of the RNC through sheer merit without any nepotism whatsoever, waxed indignant about how Trump and his dirty tricksters assumed that just because we’re Mississippians and Southerners we’re automatically Klan sympathizers, and how could anybody have the scandalous nerve to say such a thing. Gee, maybe because Mississippi has a notorious history, within living memory, of widespread Klan activity, Katie-bar-the-schoolhouse-door grandstanding, and racially motivated lynchings? Nah. One of Trump’s henchmen, trying to explain away the David Duke thing and the AmRen robocalls, repeatedly and very Whitely insisted that racism makes him physically sick.
Meanwhile, that white guy in Sacramento will have his black friends, as in, guys he’s actually hanging out with right this minute, know that he doesn’t approve of niggas who don’t even have anything to do with their kids. Two of the only two guys he’s talking to about absentee fathers right now are black, but other black people not hanging out with him might find that kind of language offensive, as will millions of white concern trolls who would never consider living in a black neighborhood.
The other funny thing that I mentioned in passing above was Anderson Cooper’s interview with Melania Trump. That was funny in the sense of funny farm. It was fucking creepy when I gave any thought to the fact of this woman now having political influence in my country. She appeared in a white dress, a spray-on-looking tan a couple of shades darker than Rachel Dolezal, and black eye shadow. It was some real black widow Stepford Wives shit. Some asshole inevitably come on afterwards to compliment her for being so poised and well-spoken and for speaking five languages. As Richard Nixon would have said, Christ. She was nothing of the sort. She was worse than the Rubio baseline for robotics. She looked almost soulless. Rubio at least acts like, hey, they told me to say this stuff, right? There’s some weak underlying candor there, faintly shining through the fog. Mrs. Trump said that she would be involved in “so many charities,” including ones “for the children. They are our future.” That’s how that bimbo talks. Eloquence my ass.
Then she made a series of really offensive comments about immigration vis-a-vis her own legal status: “I came here legally. I got a visa and flew back to Slovenia every few months to get it stamped.” That is, she pulled an R. Allen Stanford and bought US citizenship. That’s what semiannual to quarterly round trips across the Atlantic for immigration purposes constitute. People of normal means cannot afford to do that. Frankly, I have more sympathy for any illegal immigrant who does not commit violent crime in the United States than I have for that woman. She’s a wealthy immigrant who went on television to shit on poor immigrants. It doesn’t get much dirtier than that.
There is something psychosexually wrong with her. It’s plain as can be in contrast to Jane Sanders. We have not had an emotionally sincere first lady since Barbara Bush, of all women. Every other first lady since 1981 has been emotionally repressed and insincere. Nancy Reagan? As Richard Nixon would say, Christ, you and the astrologer. Mrs. Sanders’s demeanor is so unusual among political wives at the national level that it’s easy to forget that it can even exist. It’s a “Wet? What’s ‘wet’?” experience. I’d always had a vague sense that Melania Trump was bad news in cherchez-la-femme terms, but after that interview, holy fucking shit. There are large portions of the upper and upper-middle classes that deserve dispossession for nothing more than socializing their women to act like that. They actually aren’t that much more magnanimous towards their young men, for that matter; it’s just less obvious. Melania Trump is an indescribably fucked up model for American women. Jane Sanders, on the other hand, is such an obviously understated good role model that I’d vote for her husband just for the sake of getting someone of her caliber into the White House after my entire lifetime, minus four years, of Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama. I’m just fucking sick of all the emotional repression and insincerity. It’s like a goddamned child beauty pageant, featuring grown-ass women who should be expected to know better. Hell, I’d vote for President Rod Blagojevich 40892-424 if that meant having his wife wandering the White House grounds with that what-the-fuck-just-happened-here look in her eyes instead of a stone-cold fake bitch like Melania Trump. Candor comes in many forms, and it lives in many federal prisons.
If I ever have daughters, I want to raise them to be well-adjusted yeomen emotionally beholden to no one, not emotionally repressed, entitled little princesses who buy citizenship in other countries and use the bully pulpit to shit on the local immigrant working classes in their adopted homes. I wish more Americans felt likewise. Maybe the fruition of niggas who have something to do with their kids is their successfully keeping their daughters off CNN. And their sons.
Daddy, what’s television? Well, sweetheart, it’s garbage, mostly.