Hello Disagreeables! I’m back from the family vacation in Florida, getting out of there a few days before Isaac was due to hit right where we were. (Since then it moved West, but for a while it was coming right at the Destin/Fort Walton Beach area.) We actually got back home on Saturday evening, and then Sunday of course was the day to recover from the vacation.
So what happened to Monday, you might ask. Well, funny story. After getting back in town I looked at the jury summons notice that was on my fridge. When I had received it a couple months ago, I did a cursory check to make sure there was nothing interfering with the date on it, and stuck it on my fridge. Looking at it Sunday morning after being off work for two weeks, I realized the summons was for yesterday, and I really needed to get back to work.
So anyway, I spent yesterday morning driving to the OC courthouse in Santa Ana and waiting in the security line before making my way to the jury waiting room. There, I waited in another line to speak to someone at Window 2, ready with my apologetic story about why I needed an emergency postponement. So I get to the front of the line, and say, “I’m sorry, but I need a postponement. I didn’t realize…” and there I was cut off when the extremely pleasant and helpful person at Window 2 nodded and said, “how is January for you?” Um, sure, that’s cool. Done. “Wait, let me validate your parking,” he said as I had started to walk away. Oh, thanks.
There’s been a concerted effort by conservatives over the last 30 years to portray dealing with the government as a bureaucratic nightmare, and there are definitely times when it can be frustrating. But this wasn’t one of those times. The evil government statists were fast, helpful, courteous, and accommodating. No point, just a story.
So much has happened in the last two weeks, and I only made a couple of posts, but I’m sure that inuyesta and snarkologist posted every day while I was gone. Hahaha. Oh man. Anyway…
I’m not even sure where to begin, honestly, with the Paul Ryan selection, Todd Akin comments, and then Mitt going birther in Michigan.
I just… I mean… so here’s the thing about that video. I know you’ve already seen it, but do me a favor and just watch it again. Afterwards, when Mitt was asked about this swipe at the president, he said it was just a joke, and humor goes a long way, and the crowd loved it. Well, okay, yes, the crowd loved it. But did the crowd laugh? Not really; some did, but that wasn’t the primary reaction of the crowd. You see, jokes are supposed to make you laugh. Did Mitt laugh? No. What the crowd did is, the crowd cheered. And Mitt didn’t laugh to let us all know he was joking, he dropped the mic to his side and nodded along to the cheering crowd. That was not a joke; it was an exhortation.
But anyway, old news, right? Maybe, but I don’t think so. I don’t think it was an isolated incident or Mitt making an awkward joke. I think that birther comment was a preview for what we will be seeing for the next three days in Tampa. Not birther comments exactly, but a concerted effort to portray Barack Obama as not American, as an Other. Chris Matthews, of whom I am not a huge fan, laid into GOP Chairman Reince Preibus for this on Morning Joe yesterday (yes, I hate my brain).
You’ve probably seen that too, but the important part for me was that even after Preibus echoed the “official” position that the GOP believes that yes, Obama was born in the United States, he immediately started talking about Obamacare as a European-style healthcare takeover, and therefore the “foreign” description of Obama is valid. Matthews was having none of it. How is Obamacare foreign when it is based on an idea cooked up by the right-wing Heritage Foundation, proposed by Republican Senators in 1996, and implemented by Mitt Freaking Romney in Massachusetts? How is that a foreign plan? What is it about Barack Obama that turns Republican plans into “foreign” plans? What is it?
This is what the next three days will be like. Republicans have been tuning their dog whistles and the orchestra is ready to start blowing. It’s going to be ugly, and I’ll probably be watching way too much of it, because, wait for it, I hate my brain.