Stupid is as stupid does: The GOP says Hillary is old

For those of you keeping track of what the Republican campaign strategy will be if Hillary Rodham Clinton runs for president in 2016 (via Jezebel):

GOP strategists are trying very hard to remind potential voters in the 2016 presidential election that Hillary Clinton (who hasn’t even decided whether to run yet) will be old when she hypothetically assumes office. Like, really old.

Older than Ronald Reagan when he assumed office? No, actually — a year younger than him. Older than John McCain (who was, to be fair, dogged with worries that he was too old to be president) when he ran in 2008? No, no — three years younger, as a matter of fact. Clinton will be 69 by the next presidential election, and though the GOP has put forward no shortage of Old White Candidates in past presidential elections (including Bob Dole the oldest ever at 73), this hasn’t stopped the likes of Republibros like Mitt Romney strategist/chief jester Stuart Stevens and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from making jibes about Clinton’s age. Honestly, does anyone think this strategy won’t backfire horribly?

Uh … they don’t think it will backfire because they create their own reality. You know: Mitt Romney is going to win in a landslide. Sarah Palin is a perfect candidate for vice president. Rick Santorum and Herman Cain should be in the White House. Newt Gingrich is the perfect spokesman for family values. Benghazi is the greatest American tragedy since 9/11.

So, why would a bunch of fat old white guys not think that focusing on Hillary’s age is a viable strategy?



When Maggie Thatcher dies

There was a lot of coverage last week for the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Glowing tributes. Memories of the Iron Lady allied with Ronald Reagan and standing up to the Evil Empire of the Soviet Union.

It was a great day for global conservatives.

But the surprising thing is the overwhelming venom she inspired throughout the British empire. This song hit the top of the charts on the BBC after her death was announced:

YIKES! OK, maybe there was a coincidental rush of interest in “The Wizard of Oz” the week the baroness died. After all, the Brits don’t treat their royalty with such contempt…

What the hell is going on?

A pensioner called Phil Williams was holding a banner saying “Rest in Shame”.

“Sorry, but it needs saying, they’re burying an old woman,” said the 58-year-old former power station worker from Shotton in Flintshire.

“No one’s ever heard of Shotton apart from the fact that they lost 8,000 jobs when the steelworks closed in the early 80s”, he added.

“Look at what she did to the North, steel works, mining, the poll tax. She trialled all these things in the North and made criminals out of a million people. I have no regard for the woman.”

Protester Charmain Kenner, 58, had her back turned as Lady Thatcher’s coffin went past Trafalgar Square in the hearse.

“Thatcher’s policies were all about individualistic materialism. She created a much greater divide between rich and poor, she ruined many communities and many industries”, she said.

“Basically, she ruined this country and, to add insult to injury, we’re expected to pay for her funeral.”

Surely, there were politicians in America who were hated as much as Margaret Thatcher was in Britain (George Wallace, Richard Nixon and Strom Thurmond immediately come to mind), but I don’t remember anyone singing about having a party or celebrating their deaths like the Brits did this past week.

When the GOP talks about taxes …

Hey, what was that talk by Republicans on tax cutting and welfare and deficit spending and stuff like that all about anyway?

That quote from Lee Atwater, the political operative who helped Strom Thurmond, Ronald Reagan and George Bush (The Smarter) stay in office comes from Rick Perlstein at The Nation. In 2008, he wrote a book called Nixonland that traces the evolution of the GOP‘s Southern Strategy. If you think you’re a political junkie and haven’t read it, you’re not a political junkie.

Meanwhile if you need a fix, go here to hear the complete Atwater interview. It’s heroin for political junkies.


Ronald Reagan meets the KKK … in a movie

A little surprise while channel surfing.

I catch the end of a movie and there are a bunch of Klansmen (yes, KKK types) gathered around a burning cross, and Ronald Reagan enters the picture greeting what seems to be everyone by name.

Now this is the 1950s, so he’s not campaigning for votes from the base. This is one of those “social awareness” movies, and though this is a Klan rally, and the cross is burning, and they’re about to do something bad to someone, you naturally look around and wonder, “where’s the black guy?”

But it turns out, the Klan isn’t holding a black guy. They’re holding Ginger Rogers (I don’t know. Maybe they didn’t like one of her dance routines). And when Ronald Reagan makes them release her, Doris Day runs in and gets shot by a Klansman who appears to be her husband (I don’t know. Maybe he didn’t want to hear her sing “Que sera sera.).

I’m very confused.

The movie is “Storm Warning” from 1951. As far as I can tell, there are no black people in it. I suspect Warner Brothers didn’t want to offend moviegoers in the South by having black people in a film about the KKK. Which sort of misses the point, right?