Kamon Nandaba

A Note on the Republican Clown Car

Kamon Dreams and Stranger Things: Detail of frame from 'FLCL' episode 5, "Brittle Bullet".

There is little about Timonthy Egan’s blistering critique of the Republican Clown Car that we might call … er … ah … not unkind:

Last election cycle, the Republican presidential field was a clown car, holding the thrice-married Newt Gingrich lecturing about values, the pizza magnate Herman Cain fending off sexual harassment claims, and Michele Bachmann confusing John Wayne with a serial killer. That was just the front seat. This time around it’s a clown bus, with as many as 17 Republicans expected to compete for the nomination.

Most of them are unelectable, to say the least. But can any of them get out of the party’s winnowing period without saying things they picked up in the far right netherworld? Probably not. As previous gaffe-a-matics have shown, it pays to be crazy. And for many Republicans, crazy is the new mainstream.

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There is no ceiling for crazy in Texas, nor political consequence. This year, the Lone Star State’s most odious export is Senator Ted Cruz, who also has some concern about the nefarious designs of our military, and those Walmart tunnels. He couldn’t just say, as the Pentagon did, that our troops would soon be conducting a long-planned field operation, called Jade Helm 15. He had to dog-whistle to the mouth frothers.

“I understand a lot of the concerns raised by a lot of citizens about Jade Helm,” said Cruz. “It’s a question I’m getting a lot, and I think part of the reason is we have seen, for six years, a federal government disrespecting the liberty of citizens.” Dwight Eisenhower — look him up, Texans — is rolling over in his five-star grave.

If you don’t think the inability to distinguish a military exercise from a totalitarian takeover disqualifies you from leading the free world, Fox News has a hosting chair for you in its studios. That’s where Mike Huckabee promoted his brand of Gomer Pyle politics over the last few years, building a following for quack health remedies and Christian victimhood.

It is not so much a matter of being funny because it’s true. Rather, this bit that reads like comedy is, at the very least, a little sad because it really, really is happening. Now and then it is easy enough to fancy that what voters really want is a spectacle, but the problem with that notion is the proposition that every spectacle must be a bacchanal of ignorance and clodhopping disgrace.

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Egan, Timothy. “Fringe Festival”. The New York Times. 8 May 2015.

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That Sinking, Sickening Irony

Kamon Dreams and Stranger Things: Detail of frame from 'FLCL' episode 5, "Brittle Bullet".

“Indeed, we need a whole lot of refusal to cooperate with these tyrants, just as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and their fellow civil rights champions refused to cooperate with the Democrats who were trampling freedom and the Constitution.”

Bob Ellis

In truth, it probably is not a healthy amusement we feel upon witnessing bigots such as professional propagandist and Tea Party organizer Bob Ellis appealing to the heritage of Civil Rights icons such as Dr. King and Ms. Parks.

Although, for the moment, we will certainly take the pause―

As I have pointed out before, there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that supports counterfeit marriage. The U.S. Constitution is completely silent on marriage. Why? First, the founders of our country would not have even imagined that a culture could become so insane as to consider that two men sodomizing each other might be considered “marriage.” Further, regulating marriage is not found in the enumerated powers granted to the federal government in Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. Also, the Tenth Amendment makes it clear that any powers not specifically delegated to the federal government are retained by the states and the people (and the people of the vast majority of the states have made it clear that they believe what every civilization in human history has always recognized: that marriage can only be formed by a man and a woman).

―to wonder at the difference between left- and right-wing extremism. While revolutionary speech from the left is still disdained as dangerously undignified, we are for reasons never really explained expected to treat this kind of right-wing tantrum as a valid component of the discussion. Remember, these are people who think their free speech is violated if you simply disagree with them.

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Image note: Kamon the Would-Be. Detail of frame from FLCL episode 5, “Brittle Bullet”.

Ellis, Bob. “AL Judges Demonstrate Leadership Against Federal SSM Tyranny”. BarbWire. 4 March 2015.

The Brownback Way

Naota (at right), tugs on the electrical cable rectally feeding a sex toy designed to look like his father (bottom), while MiuMiu the cat catches some rays. (FLCL episode 4, 'Full Swing')

“In a development that falls somewhere between ‘I can’t believe he hadn’t done this already’ and ‘My God, what a monumental prick,’ Brownback issued an executive order Tuesday removing gender identity and sexual orientation from the classes of protected Kansas government employees, which include race, color, gender, religion, national origin, ancestry or age.”

Luke Brinker

Because what would we do without Kansas?

The critique is fairly straightforward; Luke Brinker of Salon opens with the basic review:

Confronting a $344 million budget deficit following the failure of his supply side economic experiment, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is a busy man these days, further slashing education in a state that had already imposed among the largest cuts in the nation, gutting the state’s pension system, and diverting funds from vital infrastructure programs in an effort to clean up the mess his tax cuts for the wealthy created. But amid all this, the governor still has time to deal with other matters, as he demonstrated today, with a quintessentially Brownbackian assault on the civil rights of LGBT Kansans.

Steve Benen wraps it into a larger consideration of conservative “culture warriors”:

Anyone tempted to believe Republican officials are slowly giving up on their staunch opposition to gay rights received quite a wake-up call this week. Much of Alabama is defying the federal courts on marriage equality; Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) are talking about amending the U.S. Constitution; and in Kansas, Gov. Sam Brownback (R) has decided to roll back LGBT protections for no apparent reason.

Or perhaps a more bland description, you know, like an actual news article from Jonathan Shorman for the Capital-Journal:

Then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, signed the order in 2007 prohibiting discrimination against most state employees on the basis of sexual orientation, The Associated Press reported at the time.

The order required agencies under the governor’s direct control to ensure they have programs to prevent harassment against gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and people who have had surgery for sex changes. It covered 25,000 of the 41,000 state employees.Sam Brownback loves riding gays' asses.  (FLCL episode 4, 'Full Swing')

On Tuesday, Brownback issued a new executive order canceling Sebelius’ order.

“This Executive Order ensures that state employees enjoy the same civil rights as all Kansans without creating additional ‘protected classes’ as the previous order did,” Brownback said in a statement.

“Any such expansion of ‘protected classes’ should be done by the legislature and not through unilateral action. The order also reaffirms our commitment to hiring, mentoring and recognizing veterans and individuals with disabilities.

In other words, equality in America should be subject to the kind will of supremacists. Just like Brownback’s deep Christian faith instructs him to usurp God’s authority on Earth. Recent generations have included in their puerile instruction from parents that the commandment about not taking God’s name in vain pertained to things like not saying, “God damn it!” or, “Jesus Christ! what was that?”

Governor Brownback reminds exactly the cost of that sinful deception; he should not take the Lord’s name in vain. Just like he pretends to supersede the U.S. Constitution, he also acts to supersede Jesus fucking Christ.

Then again, this is Kansas we’re talking about. Hateful megalomania seems epidemic in the Sunflower State.

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