By Bob Gaydos
What a dumb-a** effin’ country we live in.
It’s a struggle each week just to keep track of all the stupid s**t that goes on. I even feel obliged to start this column with obscenities because I want to reach all those under-40 readers who, thanks to today’s culture, don’t think you’re angry unless you say you’re p***ed.
Well, I’m p***ed. And I will try vent that anger while trying to refrain from further colorful language in honor of, well, the English language. (And there’s a concept we have stupidly abandoned, but I digress.)
Exhibit Number One, this week and for the past several weeks: In what civilized universe is the field of presidential candidates put forth by the Republican Party considered anything but an insult to the intelligence?
How are such proven intellectual lightweights as Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry still considered to be possible presidential timber? Is balsa wood the new oak? Is Rick Santorum fit to play with other children?
Is Herman Cain -- who once ran a pizza company not as many people had previously heard of as he would lead you to believe and who apparently doesn‘t know where Libya is -- to be believed when he denies four allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior and one 13-year-long extra-marital affair? Are the evangelical, family-values voters who wag the GOP tail really OK with that?
And when Cain’s lawyer says, in response to the allegation of an affair: “This appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults — a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public,” do the morally superior right-wingers buy it, or do they remember that the same argument did Democratic President Bill Clinton little good when House Republicans impeached him?
And how dumb is this: The man who led the charge against Clinton then is now said to be the leading GOP candidate, largely because of Cain’s mounting personal problems. No one can call Newt Gingrich dumb -- he won’t let you. But how preposterous is it that he rises on the ashes of Cain’s marital problems?
For those too young to remember: Gingrich has been married three times, but it’s not the numbers that count here. He dumped his first wife, who was his former math teacher, for his second wife while the first wife was in the hospital recovering from surgery for uterine cancer. The compassionate Gingrich served the divorce papers on her in her hospital bed. He then dumped his second wife, who was stricken with MS, for a much younger wife. He was having an affair with this woman at the same time he was leading the congressional campaign against Clinton for adultery.
Yet Gingrich gets the bounce from Cain’s fall over morality? Apparently so, because, unlike most of the rest of the filed, Newt knows about Libya and all those other countries and the budget stuff, too. And, although he has good reason to do so, he hasn’t lied about his first name, like Mitt Romney did. The smiling, white bread whatever-you-say-I-agree- with candidate insisted in a debate that “Mitt” is his first name, when it is actually Willard. That is consistent with his lack of credibility on every issue, yet there he is, still the favorite candidate nobody in the GOP wants.
Tell me that’s not dumb. (We’re leaving the not-dumb Ron Paul out of this discussion because the Republicans always do.)
And what about the governor of Kansas? If you do Twitter, you probably heard that a high school senior in Prairie Village, Kansas, was summoned to the principal’s office and told to apologize to Gov. Sam Brownback for comments she made about him after attending a youth conference at which he spoke. The 18-year-old coed tweeted: "Just made mean comments at Gov. Brownback and told him he sucked, in person, #heblowsalot."
See what I mean about language? Anyway, the girl never actually said that to Brownback, just sent it out to her small group of followers, but the governor’s top aide felt it necessary to monitor social media reaction to the governor and felt the comments were not “respectful.” Duh. She called the school and demanded an apology. Dumb and dumber. The girl, no dummy, said no. First Amendment. The governor backed down and apologized to her. Her Twitter following grew from 60 to 8,000 overnight.
You want another one from last week -- the idiot who pepper-sprayed fellow shoppers on Black Friday to get first shot a new X Box. I thought we were stuck in a post-recession economic malaise, but apparently Americans, lacking jobs and losing their homes, felt patriotic and spent billions last week on gadgets and high tech appliances to pump up the economy.
Which bring us back to politics and all those liberals and independents who are giving President Obama so much grief for not being all they think he should be. Have you guys looked at the sorry field of opponents mentioned above? Have you forgotten that, without any help from Republicans in Congress, he passed health care reform, banking reform and tuition reform, repealed don’t ask/don’t tell, got rid of Osama bin Laden and Moammar Gadhafi, effectively ended the war in Iraq, and extended billions in aid to Americans who really were suffering from loss of jobs and/or homes?
Do you think any of those guys would have or could have done any of that? Do you think any of them would do anything but serve their rich benefactors -- at the expense of the rest of us -- if elected president? When he is under attack from the narrow-minded, mean-spirited, anti-intelligence forces controlling the GOP today, the president needs help from his friends, not more self-centered criticism. This is not Utopia. This is America 2011.