Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Frankie: Republican Presidential Candidates 2012

-          C’mon wimp, publish me on your blog this time.
-          No, Frankie, it’s not on. We made a deal. If you must use me to spew your filth, then I’ll publish your stuff over on Obnoxious. The style over there is a little more … robust.
-          Pseudo-bourgeois hypocrite! All this is nothing more than a literary fiction; when you get right down to it, I’m nothing more than a figment of your imagination anyway.
-          Maybe, but you’re not a very pleasant figment of my imagination.
-          Pleasant, schmeasant, you’re just chicken, that’s all. What a fucking schizo wimp!
-          If … and this is a hypothetical question … if I published you this time on “Attempted Essays,” would you leave me in peace – completely in peace – for, say, two months at least?
-          A month?
-          Six weeks.
-          O.k.
-          Oh, and Frankie …
-          Yeah?
-          No explicit, graphic descriptions of what santorum really is.
-          Oh … all right!

[So, here you have it, gentle reader, Frankie in all his nasty glory. Read on at your own risk …]

They like to call themselves the greatest democracy in the world – the USA. Christ, if this were really the case, then democracy in the world is in a very bad way indeed. If this is the best democracy can do, then there can still be quite a case made for absolute monarchy.

On the one hand there’s the incumbent. Free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last! … Yes, we can!, and all that other good (bull)shit. And what did America and the world get? When you come right down to it, an old-style Chicago Democrat – a man whose prime instinct is to make any deal as long as it will keep him on top. To be fair to him – not that I have any great urge to do so, fairness is overrated, something for that wimp in whose head I’m condemned to silently rage most of the time – much of the past three years have been spent dealing with the various messes that his idiot predecessor left to him. But really, Obama has proved to be so ready to make compromises, has been so flexible that he’s shown himself to be capable of kissing his own ass. Yes, we can, folks! We can withdraw from Iraq – though we leave the country completely wrecked and tens of thousands of US “military advisors” and “defence contractors” still in place. We can close Gitmo, only, er, no, we can’t, not really. We can get Bin Laden – in the middle of a country we still call our most important regional ally, which has been sheltering him for years. We can deal with Wall Street and the banks – by letting them more or less carry on the way they were going before they wrecked everything in the first place. We can deal with national and private debt … well, we could … maybe … but Congress won’t let us.

Ah, people, but the crazy thing is, the way it looks right now, he’s going to be re-elected next November. And you know what makes this craziness down-right bizarre? That this is probably the best thing that could happen to the USA and the world because, when you look at what the opposition is offering as alternatives, any rational being is forced to the conclusion that a wishy-washy, infinitely flexible Chicago Democrat boss is better than any of the various varieties of lunatic the Republicans are likely to nominate.

Let’s be thankful for small mercies. Some of the wackiest have already bowed out; Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann (because Jesus told her to). Herman Cain is gone too and as I’m writing this reports are coming in that Jon Huntsman has given up – showing, at least, that the guy seems to actually be basically reasonable and in possession of some intelligence. Of course, that’s probably what gave him the kiss of death; I’ve a feeling that the Republican party just doesn’t do reasonable at the moment.

Let’s look at some of the more interesting fruit and nut cases who are still in there and running. They’re all rich, of course, because you have to be rich to run for the presidency in the USA; proof, should proof be needed, that the country isn’t so much a democracy as a plutocratic oligarchy. And they’re all as mad as hatters.

Take Rick Perry. This is the man who wants to abolish government agencies whose names and functions he can’t remember. The guy has been governor of Texas ever since Dubya gave up that job to move on to wrecking the US and the world. Let’s face it, anyone who thinks that America is ready to elect another Texan governor just has to be a little crazy. But then, Rick is another one of those who believe that Jesus has told him to be president. Personally, watching this circus is making me think that Jesus must be more than a little confused at the moment.

Then there’s the other Rick, Rick Santorum. Jesus seems to like Ricks. Maybe that’s what’s happening; Jesus has got drunk in heaven and started roaring out, Rick for President, as a joke and every Tom, Dick and Harry who’s called Rick thinks that Jesus means him. (Apart from Michele Bachman, but her husband, Markus, has probably been taking his inspiration from the priestly caste snob in The Life of Brian who claims during the crucifixion, “I’m Rick and so is my wife!”)

... considers entering the race as a
 compromise candidate ...
In the special private funny-farm they’ve got for Republican presidential candidates, Santorum has a whole suite reserved (he thinks it’s the Presidential Suite). He’s given his name to a rather icky by-product of anal sex (and if you don’t believe me, just google santorum). [I’ve promised the wimp not to go into any more detail about this, much as I’d like to; let no one say I’m not a man of my word.] This guy’s Catholicism is so conservative that he’s been endorsed by the evangelicals, including the wonderful Mike Huckabee (just be thankful he isn’t running to, though maybe if Santorum gets the nomination he’ll put him on the ticket as VP). Santorum is so “pro-life,” he’s not just against abortion – he believes that sex is wrong if it doesn’t lead to children. Believe me, people, this guy makes Pope Ratzinger look like a dangerously radical liberation theologian. Santorum can best be described as the American equivalent of Ahmadinejad.

What about Newt Gingrich? Newt by name, Newt by nature, I say – the man has many similarities with a resentful lizard suffering from halitosis. This is the guy who, as House Speaker, gridlocked American politics back in the nineties because he didn’t like Bill Clinton (or because he thought Bill Clinton didn’t like him). He wants to build a fence between the USA and Mexico; should he be elected and succeed in this, he’s going to piss off an awful lot of rich Americans who would then have to pay decent wages for legal gardeners and household helps.

Ron Paul is a bit of a maverick. One of his basic problems is that he’s in the wrong party. Paul’s views make him a natural leader of the Libertarians but, since they don’t have any national clout, he has to settle for being a Republican. The guy has the advantage of being pretty consistent and faithful to his principles; the problem is that these principles often tend to put him outside the real world. I think he’d feel happier in an America where the South had won the Civil War – then he wouldn’t have to feel continually oppressed by big Federal Government. He’s winning a lot of support from liberal-minded people, who like his positions on (non-)intervention in world affairs with things like foreign wars, his personal abhorrence of capital punishment and his opposition to the War on Drugs. They’re fooling themselves – all Paul really stands for is asserting the rights of the individual over those of communal society and of individual states at the expense of Washington. What this would mean in practice is that in Massachusetts, Oregon and California you could get legally stoned, in Texas and South Carolina you’d probably be hanged for possessing a joint. Liberal thinking people who tend to admire Paul should not forget that one of his heroes and major philosophical influences is Ayn Rand.

It could also be argued that his age might mean that America would finish up with a president suffering from dementia. I don’t see any problem in this; Ronald (it’s morning in America) Reagan proved that this can be done without seriously disrupting daily business and the press could once more ask the interesting questions, What did the president forget and when did he forget it?

In the end, it doesn’t really matter – the way things look at the moment, Mitt Romney is going to get the GOP nomination. What a prospect! This is a man who believes that some of the lost tribes of Israel settled in America, were visited there by Jesus after his resurrection and left divinely inspired records, written on golden plates in a language called “Reformed Egyptian,” to be discovered by Joseph Smith (guided by angels) nearly eighteen hundred years later. He also believes that God doesn’t want you to drink coffee.

The man became a multi-millionaire, running companies which specialised in asset stripping and hedge funds. His business background is firmly among the people who caused the financial crisis of 2008, the consequences of which are still reverberating around the globe.

He has the advantage of being more flexible than Obama. Having introduced a package for universal health care as Governor of Massachusetts in that state, he now claims to be against “Obamacare,” though the basic differences between the two measures are minimal. Watching him throughout the campaign for the Republican nomination, he seems to be a chameleon, one capable of taking on whatever opinions necessary to attract the majority of Republican voters in order to achieve the nomination. His basic claim for suitability for the job is his long experience in business – if elected he would then, logically, run the USA as a successful CEO runs a company. One wonders how he will deal with employees – oops, sorry, citizens – who don’t live up to agreed targets and reach agreed goals.

In the end, it probably won’t make all that much difference whether Obama or Romney rule the USA for the next four years. The best you can say for them both is that most of the alternatives are a lot worse. Isn’t modern US democracy wonderful?

The wimp usually finishes up his posts with some music. I’d like to dedicate this little number to Rick Santorum.

Pictures retrieved from:


  1. Well, thanks, Frankie. Most informative. Despite the fact that it was more information than I actually required (partly due to not having a vote in the Presidential election), it was rather entertaining information, and fairly even-handed. I wondered which candidate had the pensive portrait in front of the microphones. He seemed to be the odd one out. And if he is Ahmedinejad, his presence still seems to be the odd one out.

    But when you suggest that the presidential race illustrates that democracy is in a bad way, I wonder what more you expect from democracy.

    It mirrors the people. It cannot save them from themselves.

  2. Why, Frankie - it sounds as if you've been hanging around with a lot of U.S. lefties lately; the authentic type; not the Paul type - all they wanna do is get stoned. ;-)

    To Vincent - I'm not sure that the U.S. democracy "mirrors the people". It could but it really doesn't because it's big money that gets these characters to the levels they've reached. Even the Republicans aren't happy with this election year's crop of psychos. And it's no wonder Mitt is on top, as he's got the most loot.

    I'm currently placing some trust in Elizabeth Warren for Mass Senate. Her money's largely coming from people like me. That sounds familiar, though (Obama) I worry a bit that she too will be shredded to pieces by The Machine.

    Well done. You've a great grasp on U.S. politics. For a For'ner. ;-)

  3. Correction on Warren - she's running for U.S. Senate, trying to unseat Rep. Scott Brown.

  4. I hope Frankie will allow me to come back on this and assure you, Gina that I didn’t mean to insult any individual American, though my remark could be taken that way.

    Perhaps I can elaborate the point a little? The difficulty with any democracy is how it can protect minorities, who may suffer lack of representation. When I say ‘minorities’, please don’t make the hasty assumption that I’m referring to, say, blacks and gays.

    The way I see it, America is polarised. It doesn’t seem to have an instinct for consensus and compromise, preferring the open battle. This could have the effect of making almost everyone into part of a minority. For example, if I were suddenly a US citizen, I wouldn’t want to vote for either of the major parties, finding each in its own way too extreme. Others would be less picky, and would compromise their principles to vote on some tribal basis - i.e. which party best soothed their prejudices. To aid this, the politicians stoke up prejudices more than is good for the country.

    So the political system grinds on through the use of power, obtained via big money.

    When I look for what does unite almost all Americans, I find the notion of freedom comes very high, where freedom mainly means free enterprise, i.e. capitalism. The ghost of McCarthyism may have evaporated, but the idea that communism is ‘unamerican’ still lingers. Example: ‘socialist’ as a term of abuse, used to kill off a political initiative.

    So if, as you imply, the selection of presidential candidates is based on loot, loot cannot dictate. A candidate won’t be adopted as the one to run unless the Party considers that he or she has a chance in the democratic poll. (In addition, electoral law could be changed to put a cap on how much money could be spent in campaigning, to give poorer candidates a chance. Laws are changed via the democratic system.

    Which implies that those like you and me, who deeply mistrust power based on big money, especially when it’s donated by generators of big money (corporate interests), are too minor in numbers to change the system. And that’s how democracy mirrors the people.

    Of course the people’s mind is sometimes changed when a hero arises to elevate a minority view and shame the majority. E.g. the heroic action of Rosa Parks. But this is not exclusive to democracy. The Arab Spring started in a profoundly undemocratic Tunisia with the heroic action of Mohamed Bouazizi.

  5. Vincent - I agree wholeheartedly with your analysis. I was thinking myopically when I responded in my earlier comment, since the post was so focused on the Republican primary, which I'm following as closely as I can...for what it's worth.

    So far as criticisms of Americans goes, I'm one of the first to jump on the bandwagon, so I was not insulted. After all, I am not U.S. born; I'm a naturalized citizen. Further, living in Massachusetts sometimes requires a wake-up call to how deeply divided the nation really is. It's not so much divided, as splintered.

    Thanks for your thoughtful response.

  6. nice blog.

    a visit from philippines. :)

  7. Vincent, Gina, somehow I don't think Frankie will be responding to your comments - he's into "venting" a lot more than dialogue.

    He is, of course, the ultimate cynic, expecting always to see the worst in everything and never be disappointed. As such, his patron saints are, of course, Statler and Waldorf.
    Still, there is a place for this kind of outrageous broadside - if Frankie's diatribes have any sort of nobler role models (not that he's probably aware of them),then Jonathan Swift's Modest Proposal is one of the most illustrious examples. And sometimes, things in society just make one want to howl.

    It is an interesting question as to how far the USA is a democracy and how far a plutocracy/oligarchy. The "democratic" structures many western societies have, have quite a history and are syncretions of more or less democratic, oligarchical, traditional, open and hidden power systems. The most that can be said of them is that they - at some level - draw their legitimacy from a kind of general acceptance/agreement/acquiescence on the part of people as a whole; a basic social contract to which we all more or less agree, rather than the more or less veiled exercise of force majeure.
    My great fear is that this basic social acquiescence is on the verge of breakdown in the USA - particularly from the extreme right. The acceptance of those left of centre of the result of the 2000 presidential election, despite obvious gerrymandering in Florida was a sign that they (and Gore) put the basic unity and stability of society above their personal preferences. My nightmare for this year is Obama retaining the White House by a tiny majority - worse, even, a minority of popular votes but a majority in the electoral college. Then, I am afraid, will the extremists on the right call out secession and unpack the vast arsenals of weapons they have been collecting ...

  8. Splendid! I disagree, but splendid. See you in six weeks.

  9. Your dark twin did a wonderful job with this subject, writing a very balanced post about the chaos of this year's US presidential election candidates. I too am very frightened of the potential for absolute disaster that I'm watching develop just the other side of the border. It doesn't seem like very long ago that the opinions of right wing fundamentalists were considered very marginal. They ought to be, possibly they still are, but the major media (known in the US as the Fifth Estate) haven't lived up to their responsibilities for fair and balanced coverage of serious matters. The levels of cognitive dissonance are scary indeed.


Your comments are, of course, welcome. I've had to reinstall captchas recently as - like most other bloggers - I was being plagued by spambots.


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