Dear Big Daddy,
Although I’m a Democrat, I just had a religious epiphany: Grover Norquist is the Antichrist and anyone signing his no-tax pledge now has the Mark of the Beast. So much for being the party of morals and religion.
Look, I got your letter but you didn’t ask a question. You didn’t even ask for my advice. The only reason I’m writing this at all is because I’m a caring, sensitive spirit.
They don’t make antichrists like they used to. In my day, we had Charles Manson, a legit crazy man with a swastika tattooed between his Bachman eyes. Norquist looks like a really annoyed middle school geometry teacher who signed the “I won’t pay more than $100 for a suit” pledge. Blah.
And I have my doubts about you being a Democrat. I mean, you did link “morals” and “religion.” There’s a fish riding a bicycle in there somewhere.
This is where some Republican will try to claim that I say I’m against name-calling politics but make an exception when it’s Democrats calling Republicans names. For the record, I am completely in favor of name-calling in politics.
I am against lunatics in politics, however. Which made the Republican presidential debate in Iowa like taking a power-sander to my eyeballs. Not that there weren’t adults onstage. Mitt Romney is a seasoned, relatively mainstream Republican, circa 1987, and has the looks to play president in a movie (hopefully one with a really big asteroid). Gold standard aside, Ron Paul is a smart, interesting guy with a consistent message that’s a lot closer to the Republican mainstream than a lot of folks would care to admit. And while your average gerbil in a coma is a better candidate than Tim Pawlenty, he’s nobody’s radical and doesn’t fit any clinical definition of insane.
Now let’s look at the folks who actually got votes in the Iowa Straw Poll (Paul aside). Rick “I take my Civil War reenactments a little too seriously” Perry beat out Romney with write-ins. He’s like George W. Bush, except with more charm and less substance. Rick “You can’t say that on television” Santorum went from fringe to mainstream (well, rural Iowa mainstream) in the course of one vote, even though there are Frisco club kids in leather hot pants who think about man-love less often than he does. Herman Cain showed there’s a place for a black Republican – if you’re chiroptera guano crazy enough (Look it up if you have to, but please don’t order it on a pizza).
And then there’s the owner of the most famous pair of eyes since Betty Davis. Bachmann’s like a smarter Sarah Palin, in the same way that your cat is smarter than your kitchen table. And come to think of it, she kinda looked like a startled cat on that Newsweek cover – and a lot of other photos I’ve seen of her. I’ll probably be called sexist, but sorry, I have eyes too.
What does a cat do the moment after you startle it? Depending on the cat, there’s a good chance it will take your face off. And with this cat, you can substitute “face” with “financial standing in the bond markets.” This is a candidate who is pledging to drive the car off a cliff – and voters are rushing to strap their kids in the back seat.
Trust me, I was a money guy. As much as people lust after money, it’s ugly stuff, a surefire path to anger and strife. But, no matter your political stripe, and whether you agree or not, we need to have some sort of government, and that government is going to need some money. Even if we agreed to get rid of every social program out there, governments have a role in stabilizing the financial system, running courts, and all sorts of other things conservatives hold dear.
And so we need bastards like me, with skin thicker than Palin’s skull and an utter indifference to the hatred of others, to manage that money. The same traits that kept me from being governor made me one of the best treasurers this state ever had. Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, you really do want to elect someone with the good sense to hire a few bastards like me and listen to them when they have something important to say.
So, a bit of advice to Republicans: you may think Obama’s a socialist, but to actual liberals, he’s been more disappointing than a cancelled Phish concert. You can beat this guy. You could choose the moral purity path taken by the California Republican Party. Or you could play to win.
I hope you choose purity.