Lowering The Bar

Republicans have a pretty low bar in general (have you seen the nutbars in the Tennessee legislature?) but now Donald Trump has convinced many Masters of the Universe of all political stripes that they have what it takes to run the government:

“A lot of people are saying, ‘My God, if Donald Trump can get elected, anybody can get elected,’ ” said Steve Westly, a former eBay executive who ran for governor of California in 2006.

Spurred by Mr. Trump’s election — or at least encouraged by it — a contingent of rich, fairly famous and largely Democratic neophytes has begun to line up for some of the most important elections of 2017 and 2018, including for governorships in Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Nevada and New Mexico, and a mayoral race in New Orleans.

Right, cuz who needs experience! Can’t be that hard, surely?

Of course, Republicans have been doing this for years. Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, Herman Cain, Kentucky’s Matt Bevin … politics is filled with Republicans with zero experience running for high office. No doubt this is because in the Republican Party, inexperience is more of a badge of honor than it is for Democrats.

We’ve got our own inexperienced businessman candidate right here in Tennessee, where a successful plumbing/HVAC contractor is thinking seriously about running for Governor on the Republican ticket. And he’s pretty proud of not knowing anything about anything, too:

“This is just about leadership and leadership around meaningful, purposeful work, and I started having conversations about public service,” Lee told the newspaper. “Ultimately, I just kind of said what it would be like to wake up in the morning instead of thinking how do I make life better for 1,100 Lee Company workers, how do I make life better for 6.5 million people?”

Lee described himself as a “very socially conservative guy who’s business minded.” He said his main priorities are jobs, education and public safety, but he acknowledged that his inexperience in politics could present a steep learning curve.

On specific questions of policy, Lee said he’s not trying to be evasive on issues, “but I’m just going, ‘Gosh, I don’t know if I would do this or that.’”

Gosh, you don’t know? Then golly gee willikers, Mr. Lee. Maybe you should sit down and figure some shit out first, y’know?

And as for this “public service” stuff, here’s a thought: try volunteering at Room In The Inn, or the women’s shelter here in town. Try working with some of the refugees in this community. Try reaching out to GLBT teens at the Oasis Center, kids who have been kicked out of their homes and have nowhere to go. You know, the modern-day equivalent of dining with the tax collectors that Jesus did back in the day (Lee supposedly opposed Metro Nashville’s non-discrimination ordinance prohibiting city contractors from discriminating against GLBT employees, so it seems he needs a little educating on some of these social issues).

Maybe before assuming you are ready for the governor’s office because you didn’t trash the family business your grandfather started (i.e., you inherited), maybe you should spend some time with the folks who didn’t get the leg up in the world that you did.

Just a thought.


Filed under Tennessee, TNGOP

10 responses to “Lowering The Bar

  1. democommie

    When the puppetmasters want legislation that unfairly impacts everyone but them, a stupid uninformed legislature is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.

  2. democommie

    I must admit to some surprise that none of your trollsockpuppetz have come rushing in to wave their hands and say, “Hilzghazemailz!!’ to demonstrate their political erudition.

    As for “amateur” pols, Reagan comes to mind, as does Jesse Ventura, as does Schwarzenegger along with Mitt Romney and Herbert Hoover (bear with me).

    Reagan was nothing but a smile and a handshake–all of the work done in his administration was done by others–with his full knowledge, I believe. He talked collegiality but he oozed privilege and radiated ignorance on very important issues. He was over his head in every area except lying and smiling and relied on the “expertise” of scumbags and fuckweasels* in the areas of foreign policy as well as child nutrition in public schools.

    Jesse Ventura was scowl and a shaken fist. Bluster was his primary tool for negotiation, intimidation and humiliation. That and his vaunted “toughness” because NAVY FUCKING SEAL–HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAH! He decided not to run for re-election and has, since then, been a fixture on the political commentatorististas scene.

    Schwarzenegger was, as it turns out, more involved in his administration’s day-to-day and seemed to “get it”. Aside from the fact that he’s literally unelectable, being foreign born to non-US citizens**, the would make a WAAAAAAAAAY better president than Trumpligula. Despite his notoriety as a sexist and sexual predator he IS human.

    Romney was happily making money in his various businesses’ strip-mining ventures involving company pension funds and the like (Bain Capitol should have prolly been spelt “Bane”) until he was asked to run the SLC Moron Olympics. He then gave the incumbent repuKKKliKKKlan governor of MA, Jane (not very) Swift, the sailor’s elbow and managed to bring Obamacare to Massachusetts–wotta guy. Since then he and a few other GOPer’s have been like the Harold Stassen wing of the party–running to obscurity every two to four years. He was a relatively intelligent man who despite being an asshole fundamentaist, understood that Billy Bulger*** ran the state and learned to work with him until Billy met his own political demise.

    Herbert Hoover is a bit of a special case. He was a Quaker and a very intelligent man. He did some great work in relief efforts during WWI and was Sec Commerce for both Wilson and Coolidge. He ran out of good ideas (or ignored them, if they came from other people) refusing to have the U.S, government step in to stimulate the economy and rein in speculation. This lack of action basically ensured the Stock Market Crash of 1929 to pretty much crater the U.S. economy. It did not go well for anyone, including Hoover in the aftermath.

    So, those five guys, all republicans, mixed record. I’d give Hoover an A- up until Black Tuesday, after that a D-.

    The rest of them, except Raygunz, were pretty much C- to C+. Reagan was an F.

    Our sixth reptilican on this list, Trumpligula, it is my fervent wish, will get an “I” for “Incomplete”. As bad as Pence is, he understands governance. Impeachment is as unlikely as Trumpligula’s ascendancy which means it is possible. If I was a praying guy, I;d be lighting so many candles that the pyre would be visible from the International Space Station.

    Of the six repuKKKliKKKlans named above ONLY ONE was elected to an office before running for president.

    Obama, both Clintons, Jimmy Carter, JFK, Truman and Roosevelt were ALL elected as politicians BEFORE becoming president. With the exception of Carter they all started out as political activists, acolytes to serving politicians or governmental bureaucrats. They all KNEW how government works before they became elected to RUN the country.

    Of the six GOPers named above, two have seen military service, Reagan was safely ensconced in Hollywood until his discharge, during WWII. Ventura was a Navy SEAL****. Of the other four only Hoover (who seems to have been an extremely courageous as well as genuinely decent and pretty smart guy) put himself in harm’s way–on several ocassions. Of those remaininhg three, Schwarzenegger was the only one who didn’t receive deferments from military service. Both Romney and Trumpligula received deferments from the draft during Vietnam, although both supported the war–just not to the extent of putting their own asses on the line–fucking cowards*****. Curiously, just about all of our great “war heroes” from the movies since about 1939 have been guys who didn’t serve in combat–in several cases they didn’t serve in any military unit. The exceptions, Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, Robert Stack and Audie Murphy didn’t, afaia, try to make political capital out of their genuinely heroic wartime efforts.

    Well, this is prolly way past too long.

    * Too many of his “experts” wound up in B41 and B43 cabinet and senior admin positions with disastrous results.

    ** Although prominent reichwingers mused about introducing an Amendment to allow it.

    ***Whitey’s younger, smarter brother.

    **** Not everyone, including ex-SEALs and other military folks agree on that.

    *****You don’t cheerlead for jingoism (I did not–and I did serve in that period) you don’t have to prove you’re a hero. You wave the flag like those two assholes, carry a weapon and proceed to the battle front.

    • Kosh III

      Gotta correct you on one point: “named above ONLY ONE was elected to an office before running for president.” It’s two. Romney and Reagan. Raygun was two term governor of CA and left a mess that Jerry Brown had to clean up. just like Jerry Brown had to clean up the mess left by Schwarzenhimmler: a 22 billion deficit.
      Sadly, one must admit that Republican Nixon was a pretty good President, aside from his paranoia and vindictiveness which eventually got him booted out. Ahhhh the good old days when Congress had a spine and some decency.

      • democommie

        I stand corrected on Mittunswillard (although his tenure as MA governor was a rocky road, at best).

        Nixon? Nah. He was a fuckbag, start to finish. A fuckbag with some good ideas but he enabled Kissinger to cause the destabilization of Cambodia and allow Pol Pot to murder at least a million of its people. He prolonged the Vietnam war, just to get himself elected the first time and he stooped to criminal activity to get elected the second time. Actually what he did the first time was a federal crime but it was never prosecuted.

        He was in a position similar to Obama vis-a-vis the Congress. But in the period between 1968 and 1976 the dems weren’t trying to starve or let people die for lack of available health care.

        Fuck Nixon. Ymmv.

  3. paradoxresearch

    Thanks for the post, Democommie.

    • democommie

      I re-read some rambling combination of jeremiad and polemic that I write when I’ve got nothing much else to to do; and I think to myself: “To what heights might I have risen if my organizational skills were even average?”

      Then I reaize that I might have developed, simultaneously; a skill for being adept at lying for GOD and profit, bullying, misogynistim and all sorts of other aesocial tendencies–and I thank the universe that I’ve got ADD and I’m not ReptiliKKKan.

  4. democommie

    Mack’s breaking radio silence over at Coyote Chronicles. I’d say, “Show him some love.”, but I think he gets enough of that. Go, join in the conversation.

  5. paradoxresearch

    Umm… sorry for not thanking you as well SB. DC’s post was a good one, but requires your blog to serve as the vehicle. Please keep going; it’s handy for an outsider to have some sense of what goes on in America.

    • democommie

      Yeah, it’s good to know what sort of vermin are running around in the streets outside your hotel!