May 17, 2013

For me, last night brought awareness of a new low point in the dismal, embarrassing behavior of the rank and file of the Republican party in these fair Uuuuunited States. It was noticeably more depressing then usual because it was so tawdry and pathetic. No, not AP wire tapping. Not Benghazi.

I refer to umbrellagate.
First the idiot mouthbreathing knuckledraggers were delighting in the notion that Obama “had” to have someone else hold an umbrella over him. Complete with anecdata showing other Presidents holding their own umbrellas.

Of course, that was cherry picked bullshit and it is clear that Obama holds his own….and other Presidents (including St. Ronnie) find occasion to take a helping hand.

I concluded this morning that it is really rather remarkable, and a testament to basic American decency, that despite all their machinations the Republicans have not been able to produce the rampant, postapocalyptic movie fantasy USA that they seem to desire for some reason.

13 Responses to “Umbrellagate”

  1. The Iron Chemist Says:

    During the Bush/Kerry campaign in 2004, a Republican-leaning labmate brought up that Bush threw a strong first pitch at some MLB game whereas Kerry threw one that bounced to the plate. The implication was that Bush was more manly than Kerry and therefore better suited for the presidency. I guess, the Purple Hearts didn’t mean as much.

    It’s a good thing that Roger Clemens has no known political aspirations. Although now that I think about it, Fidel Castro used to be a pitching prospect, didn’t he?


  2. Jason Says:

    So this is what has you upset? Not that the IRS targeted political opponents of the president for selective enforcement while providing virtually no oversight of democrat-friendly groups? And furthermore that the administration knew this well before the election but decided to not reveal it? Not that the DOJ, using an administrative warrant, recorded phone calls of journalists for months? Not that the president, secretary of state and representative blatantly lied to the American public for months about the cause of Benghazi, again right before the election?

    But seriously, this is what you actually complain about with everything that is going on (and btw, the photo is rather iconic of this administration’s policies, don’t you think)?


  3. BikeMonkey Says:

    Your memory is rather selective don’t you think Jason? Where were you when the Bushies were pulling the same IRS crap with the NAACP ? When they were expanding the fuck out if wiretap and other sekrit spying-on-Americans crap? When they were going apeshit abou leaks?


  4. becca Says:

    I suspect the real problem was with the fact it was the Turkish prime minister instead of a whiter ally.

    But yeah. I’m with John Stewart- we can’t mock the right wing crazies for their conspiracies if the government REALLY IS OUT TO GET THEM.
    The fact that the IRS might be out to get any of us is NOT a good counterargument. It’s corrupt power run amok, and must be called out as such.

    Which is why I think umbrellagate is likely a psudeo-scandal designed to distract us from the other issues. Albeit a hilarious one.


  5. SidVic Says:

    Yeah, I have to call out the .. d/b monkey on this one. Over the years I have appreciated your advice about how to navigate what is essentially a quintessential bureaucracy, the NIH. You come across as a thoughtful reasonable metrosexual kind of guy. I have even tried to incorporate your perspective into my more hard edged approach, as I believe that it probably more productive. That stated, I must state you really come across as a horse’s ass when you delve into national politics. You are clearly blinded by partisanship. Just a couple of points:
    While I will admit a cringe at seeing Obama summon over members of our premier fighting force to hold a parasol over him, I don’t think the conservative outlets went into any particular overreach in pointing it out. The Link you offered surely wasn’t offensive in any way I could discern. Hey, how about using a tarp or take it to the portcullis of the white house if the rain was so disruptive. Strawman.
    The IRS revelations are shocking and, I would maintain that the behaviors that have come to light so far, are dangerous at a deep level. It appears as if Obama and the corrupt Chicago gang were using the vast powers of the IRS to systematically “punish their enemy’s”. This cannot be tolerated. If you can’t see this I would urge you to take stock of what you really believe is reasonable. Is it really so dislocating to even contemplate that maybe, just maybe, the democrats might have come up with a bad apple in Obama?
    To the Iron Chemist- Yeah I know it probably makes me a bad guy, but when I saw the effete throwing style of Obama, I will admit to being put off by it. To becca- the “its racism” is beyond tiresome.


  6. Oscar E Says:

    I second SidVic’s statement.

    The IRS issue should send a chill down the spine of every American – it is fine when your opponents are on the receiving end, but politics is cyclical; it may not be such fun when your family, your business, your friends etc. are on the receiving end of decisions that could destroy lives, business and families.


  7. BikeMonkey Says:

    Obama had nothing to do with it of course. IRS was headed by a Bush appointee at the time. So your “Chicago” accusations are ludicrous.


  8. SidVic Says:

    BM- Ohhhh, I wasn’t aware that it was Bush appointee, and thus Bush’s fault. Consider this a formal retraction of my previous critical comments, especially as they might be interpreted to slander Chicago. In response, I considered a long exposition of what it means to be the captain-of-the-ship, but I think I will just thank for making the point so well. Blue pill.


  9. BikeMonkey Says:

    So your captain of the ship logic means Bush and Cheney should pretty much be executed for war crimes? Or is your concept of responsibility limited to when Dems are holding the bag? Also…see Iran-Contra…a direct attack on the Constitutional separation of powers.

    Talk about your high crimes.


  10. SidVic Says:

    Ahem.. execution of ex-presidents; what has gotten into you? Impeachable offense? Are you,.. incredulous.. really pulling out the ol Cheney/bush war crimes trope? Look here, Hansel. … you’re making my point for me. Just a gentle reminder but Bush has been out of office for 4+ years. Iran Contra? Man- I must have really gotten under your skin. Ha, you forgot to mention that Gore had the election stolen from him. To be candid I do find myself repulsed by the POTUS’s serial appearances before the cameras to declare that he is but an observer of events, and believe it is beneath the leader of the freh world, but whatever…
    Honestly, whatever Bush and Reagan did, and it is arguable as to what aspects were legal or whatever. They were doing it TO Americas enemies. Therein lies the crux of the matter- are those fat stupid middle class chaps that constituted the tea party- which you so obviously despise, worthy of such treatment? Is the credulous Mormon businessman that I saw on, gasp, FOX news, who donated to Romney, someone who deserves trouble. Is he really worthy of 6 audits by three federal agencies. Dammit, the red line, whatever your political leanings, must be, that when the government starts IN on its own citizens- it must be brought to heel. Good lord man! The IRS has apologized. When has that happened before? They knew about the problem in 2010. Who was fired? How can you carry the water for these guys?


  11. CD0 Says:

    Whatever happened with IRS needs to be investigated and justice should be implemented. That said, is there proof that organization under investigation by IRS eventually did not receive the fiscal consideration that they deserved? Because if they were just scrutinized to make sure that they were in compliance with the law, being associated with individuals who oppose any form of government and taxes, I see a big difference between this and the scandals in Iraq (for instance), for which we paid with dozens of thousands of lives lost or broken.

    If this is the worst scandal of the Obama administration and we do not have to see another Enron or another massive collapse of our financial system, I think that Obama will enter History books as one of the great Presidents, who saved us from economic disaster and extended health care to all Americans.

    But what do I know? According to the Heritage Foundation/Harvard U. partnership, I am just a sub-human Hispanic, with an irreversibly low IQ that I will transmit to my descendants and responsible to bring our deficit to unacceptable levels, which has nothing to do with the costs of war…


  12. miko Says:

    The hilarious thing to me is that people know so little about how their government works that they think which party holds the WH has fuck all to do with what goes on in a massive pan-administration federal bureaucracy like the IRS.

    There are plenty of things done by Obama himself or those under him in the Executive branch that are worthy of criticism (hint: having an umbrella held by an honor guard, which is just one of their fucking jobs as an any moron who can google image search can find out, is not one of them), but because the right-wing is only capable of speaking to its base in ooga-booga language, these discussions are impossible.


  13. becca Says:

    I gotta say, I did chillax a bit about the IRS when somebody actually presented the numbers- the total number of 501c(4) denials from the IRS in any particular year was < 15 (out of thousands). Getting 'extra scrutiny' is still sketchy, and I'd like to see ways we can design policies that will minimize the human-judgement factor in what constitutes "excessively political" activity. At the same time, if you are an organization that wants tax exempt status now, this is like worrying about an environmental factor *quadrupling* your risk for earlobe cancer.

    SidVic- actually, I was going more for "nonwhite AND from a Muslim country" as being cofactors that contributed to people just expecting that we should compromise international diplomacy by letting him get soggy just for kicks. It's not about the race of the president, it's about the fact that Obama next to the Prime Minister of Turkey was going to be a recipe for right wing conspiracies, and "the Marine looks annoyed" was the best they could come up with.

    Also, I'm glad you are sure what our "premier fighting force is". I'm sure the Navy SEALs who killed Osama Bin Laden will agree with you. And then they'll hold an umbrella for their Commander in Chief, because they care about service, not ego and pretty clothes rules.


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