My new column “Game of GOP Thrones, Sons of the Hewlett-Packard Harpy” scrutinizes this week’s three new candidates for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination alongside quotes from the fourth episode of Game of Thrones Season 5. All three “contenders” [in air quotes, for effect] play a key role as the right-wing establishment attempts to neutralize the advantages in charm and broad demographic appeal offered by the three major figures in the modern Democratic party. Mike “the Anti-Bill Clinton” Huckabee launched his book tour….er, I mean campaign, today in Hope, Arkansas and provides the dull, Evangelical “antidote” to former President Bill Clinton’s charisma. Ben “the Anti-Obama” Carson kicked off his book tour…er, I mean campaign, on Monday in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan to the sounds of a gospel a cappella performance of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” Dr. Carson will lose (himself) in his bid to become President, despite his “Anti-Obama” rhetoric which greatly appeals to the angry conservative base. Indeed, he is the “Anti-Obama” in that his persona provides a stark contrast to President Barack Obama’s eloquence and critical thinking ability. Carly “the Anti-Hillary” Fiorina was an abject failure as a candidate for Senate in California, unlike former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (New York elected her twice to serve as Senator). Fiorina announced her candidacy Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“What would you say if I told you we have a great sinner in our very midst? Shielded by gold and privilege.”
Cultural Warrior Mike Huckabee continues his seemingly never-ending quest to bring America back to the idyllic “Hamburger and Shakes” era of the 1950s. The socially conservative Huckabee opposes prayer-free schools, abortion, gay marriage, marijuana and most other features of a modernized society. He also delights in blowing racial dog whistles. In his latest book, “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy” (a favorite of Beatniks and vegans alike), he compared the singer Beyoncé Knowles to a prostitute and her husband Jay-Z to a pimp who has encouraged her to put herself on sexual display for public consumption. Huckabee also calls Beyonce’s music “mental poison.” His track record as a bigoted homophobe is well-documented[http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1207/7270.html] and he supports Religious Freedom Restoration Acts that allow business owners to discriminate against LGBT customers. And then there was the infamous “Uncle Sugar” speech where Huckabee implored: “If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it,”
“Wars teach people to obey the sword, not the Gods.”
Huckabee hungers for more ill-advised foreign conflicts, and he is more than happy to fan the flames of Islamophobia as a means to achieve those ends. He compares “Islamic radicals” to “rattlesnakes” in this recent advertisement:
“You and I both know how the world works. Too often the wicked or the wealthiest be on the reach of justice.”
Mike Huckabee is a tireless advocate for the Second Amendment and the joys of firearms ownership. While he did balance the budget of Arkansas while governor, it came at the expense of tax increases. Commendably, he took a less punitive approach to criminal justice than his predecessor as governor Bill Clinton. Clinton, it should be noted, signed the largest, most expensive crime bill in United States history (the “Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act”) into law as President in 1994 which paved the way for the U.S. to become the world’s leader in incarceration. Please refer to the excellent “Decarcerate the Garden State” blog for further information on Bill Clinton’s prison-industrial complex legacy: http://decarceratenj.blogspot.com/2015/04/prison-abolitionists-and-decarcerators.html
Mitt Romney, helpful chap that he is, pointed out on the 2008 campaign trail and in an attack ad that Huckabee had pardoned (and commuted) over 1,000 people while Governor of Arkansas.
Huckabee explained his record:
Romney’s campaign decided against airing a “Willie Horton”-style ad to attack Huckabee about a 2003 murder by a serial rapist paroled during Huckabee’s time as governor: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mckaycoppins/heres-the-willie-horton-ad-romney-almost-ran-against-mike-hu#.kwnAMwwV8
Huckabee also is showing gumption in opposing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s assault on Social Security (Christie proposed eventually raising eligibility age for Social Security and Medicare) [http://dailycaller.com/2015/04/17/huckabee-christies-plan-to-reform-social-security-medicare-is-an-insult-to-americans/].
He stated (about Christie’s proposal): “I would say it’s not just no. It’s you-know-what know. That we’re going to rip this rug out from under people who have dutifully paid in their entire lives to a system…..That’s not some kind of proposal that Republicans need to embrace. Because what we’re really embracing at that point, you’re embracing a government that lied to its people. That took money from its people under one pretense, and then took it away from them at the time they started wanting to actually get what they paid for all these years.”
“In the days before the Targaryens, the Faith Militant dispensed the justice of the Seven. Well, the Faith Militant was disarmed more than two centuries ago.”
Mike Huckabee has very little chance of becoming his party’s nominee because the funding sources well for populist Evangelical politicians ran dry long ago. Today’s article in New Republic by Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig “The Last Culture Warrior: Why Mike Huckabee will lose and what it means for evangelicals” [http://www.newrepublic.com/article/121718/mike-huckabee-announces-2016-presidential-run-why-hell-lose] illustrates that the culture wars are over, Huckabee’s side lost, and the Evangelical political machine is no longer as formidable as it was during the George W. Bush years.
In effect, Mike Huckabee is a glorified “Paid Right Wing Troll,” trolling the upcoming GOP debates with faith-based platitudes and culturally regressive quips:
“You can imagine what it was like for me, a boy from nowhere, with nothing to his name, watching these legendary men, tilting at the lists.”
Dr. Ben Carson offers the type of rags-to-riches life narrative that would have titillated Ronald Reagan. Indeed, in his rise from modest means to a stellar Neurosurgical career, Dr. Carson overcame all of the barriers to upward mobility put forth by the power elites vis-à-vis deteriorating urban infrastructures, struggling educational systems, and lack of economic opportunities. For that, he deserves great admiration and, at the very least, a Lifetime movie. However, statements like the following made by Carson on a Fox News appearance (equating gays with bestiality and the North American Man/Boy Love Association) should disqualify him for consideration for the Presidency of the United States: “Marriage is between a man and a woman. No group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn’t matter what they are. They don’t get to change the definition.”
Dr. Ben Carson unfortunately is yet another Paid Right Wing Troll. Paid Right Wing Trolls: They’re Coming To America!
“A betting man would put his money on Stannis.”
“As it happens, I am a betting man.”
Dr. Carson was the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins joined at the head. But Carson himself is conjoined at the head with the self-described “black Jesse Helms” Vernon Robinson, leader of his political and fundraising apparatus: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/01/draft-ben-carson-vernon-robinson
“All they want to do is fight and f-ck, f-ck and fight.”
Carly Fiorina recently grabbed headlines when she declared that Federal employees were to blame for the suffering economy because they watched “porn all day.” Click below to watch the video for my parody song “Porn in the U.S.A.”
Carly Fiorina’s tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard was an unmitigated disaster, which debunks the myth of Fiorina as a successful business executive: