A Year in the Death of Trayvon Martin

Murdered for the crime of being Black and "suspcious."

Trayvon Martin should be alive today, but of course he isn’t.    He’s dead because a scared little creep named George Zimmerman shot and killed him a year ago to the day.

And all hell broke loose…

When we talk about race in America those conversations are often nervous, dishonest, awkward and less than candid.   Too often we end up saying things we don’t really mean but sound right.   When Whites and Blacks and other races talk about race, we’re either put on airs as we struggle to be on our best behavior and not offend.     However, there are occasions where the false fronts and fake faces are dropped and we stand toe-to-toe and just let the bullets fly.   We don’t get polite.   We get real.

For a year now that’s what I’ve sought to do as I write about the Trayvon Martin case.   I try to bring the real.   I’m not trying to be impartial.   I’m not claiming I don’t have a bias.   I’ve chosen a side and I am on Team Trayvon, not Team Zimmerman.   I’m not a vigilante.   I leave that sort of thing to frightened rabbits like Zimmerman.    Nor do I want anything bad to happen to him or his wife and co-conspirator, Shellie Zimmerman.  I want them to be safe as houses right up until the day they are both convicted of their many crimes and are sent to prison.

I’m also preparing myself for the distinct possibility they both walk.

Do you move on?   Do you put it behind you?   Does your once inflamed sense of outrage cool until it grows as cold as the corpse of Trayvon?

No.  Of course you can’t allow that.  Not if you have the slightest sense of justice.  There’s been no justice here.  All we’ve seen so far is how skillful lawyers with no conscience or scruples will go to murder the truth.   Why does Zimmerman’s defense team need access to a teenager’s social media?   Who exactly is on trial here?

We know the answer to that, don’t we?   We know it is Trayvon who is on trial.   It is Trayvon, not his killer, who must prove he wasn’t some sort of thug.   Some punk who went out in the rain not for a bag of candy and a can of iced tea, but looking for trouble.

The innocent and the guilty

After all, he was a bad kid, right?   He shouldn’t have been out at 7:00 pm roaming around in the dark.   Right?   Just because some fool he didn’t know was chasing him in the dark and confronted him with a loaded gun he wasn’t supposed to be carrying, doesn’t mean it’s not his fault?   Why, he practically made poor George Zimmerman shoot him!   Zimmerman was fighting for his life.  He had every right to defend himself!

Right?

That only makes sense if you concede one point.   You must concede Zimmerman was correct in his conclusion that a Black kid walking around at night in his neighborhood and wearing a hoodie justifies racial profiling.   Justifies ignoring police instructions not to follow and engage.  Justifies hunting Trayvon through the apartment complex.    Justifies terrifying an unarmed young man who had done nothing and wanted nothing more than to get home and out of the rain.

Justifies confronting an unarmed young man, fighting that unarmed young man, and pulling out a gun and shooting to death that unarmed young man once it became clear he was winning the fight.

The problem for Zimmerman is there is no justification.   The Stand Your Ground law is not a license to kill.   Putting your own dumb ass in a potentially dangerous situation is not a justification.   Fearing for your life because you’re getting your dumb ass kicked is not a justification.

Being a coward, being an arrogant wannabee vigilante?   That might be a justification.   If you’re a murderous coward, that is.

Even the president weighed in on the controversy.

On the anniversary of the murder, CNN published excerpts of letters provided to them by his lawyers sent to Zimmerman from both supporters and detractors.   They illustrate how wide the racial schism is and how raw the emotions are  between how  Black and White America view this case .

  “Murderer,” one e-mail’s subject line said.

“Please shoot yourself, you racist piece of sh-t,” read the body of another e-mail. “You killed an unarmed teen that you stalked.”

And several dictated the same, succinct line: “Hope you die in prison.”

These venom-drenched words are just a smattering of at least 400 e-mails and letters, all sent to George Zimmerman over the past 10 months.

Some applaud his lawsuit against NBC over the altering the recording of his police call, allegedly to “create the myth that George Zimmerman was a racist and predatory villain.”

Other missives — many packed with vitriol and anger — provide a glimpse into the emotion that overcame the nation when Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin, a black teen, in Sanford, Florida, exactly one year ago.

Like the friendly letters, there are recurring themes: condemnation of Zimmerman’s conduct that night, mocking the website he established to collect donations for the legal defense and even ridiculing the physical appearances of him and his wife, Shellie.

Zimmerman is vilified as a predator in these letters, while Martin is portrayed as a “baby” or “child.” Dozens are riddled with profanity and crude anatomical references.

In contrast, others saw the racial controversy as a ginned-up conspiracy to condemn Zimmerman and made references to “the race-baiting media” and “threats by the black community and their leaders.”

“Black people take every opportunity to claim they’ve been wronged,” said one letter, while another encouraged Zimmerman to keep his head high: “Don’t let the damn blacks hold you back.”

What it's all about
What it’s all about

It’s a bitter laugh when Zimmerman’s supporters say “race has nothing to do with this.”  On what planet are they living on?   Not the same one I’m from.   Race has everything to do with this and it always did.   Only a deliberately blind idiot can’t see how Martin’s race, and to a lesser extent, Zimmerman’s as well factors into how the sides have been chosen and whose cause is being championed.

For many, Zimmerman is a hero defending his hood from a thug in a hoodie.   For the rest of us who only have to know the facts, not twist them, we know it is Trayvon Martin who was the only innocent victim here and the only one who was minding his own business not looking for trouble.

Trouble found him and cowardly ended his life.  The story of Trayvon lives beyond his brief 18 years.    He has become both a symbol and a martyr for this country’s pathological fear and scorn for young Black men.   We can’t ease up, can’t let up, can’t give up.   Not until this murdering piece of trash pays for his crime.  But if Zimmerman doesn’t pay for his crime (and it’s not only possible he won’t,  it’s likely) and he walks out of a Florida courtroom declared “not guilty” by the law, that won’t be an end for the pursuit of justice.

The law and justice are two separate things.   The law may set Zimmerman free.   Justice never will.

It’s a year gone by.  My hoodie is on and up in support of Trayvon Martin and his family who say they will let the jury decide.   That is how it should be.  We must allow the justice system to go forth and hope it finds its way to the truth.

It’s slow.  It’s frustrating.   At times it’s infuriating, but that’s how it has to be.  In the meantime,  me and my hoodie say ” Geraldo Rivera can kiss my ass.”

No forgiving.  Not forgetting.  Justice for Trayvon.

The job’s not done.  Trayvon sleeps, but I pray justice doesn’t sleep on Trayvon.

Stand Your Ground (and Kill Who You Want)

A wrong-headed law that gives people to kill without punishment.
A wrong-headed law that gives people to kill without punishment.

With his trial for the killing of Trayvon Martin not slated to begin until next year, don’t think for a minute George Zimmerman isn’t spending his free time dreaming up new hustles to separate suckers from their money.

His latest one is a post on his official website when Zimmerman claims  the “George Zimmerman Defense Fund is at its lowest, and new funds must be raised to support George’s living expenses and legal costs.”   Give now and you’ll receive a note that reads “Thank you for your support, [signed] your friend, George Zimmerman.”

I have no idea what kind of person would give money to a cowardly punk like Zimmerman and I hope I never meet anyone that would.   I’m not a violent man, but I do have fantasy of what I might do if George Zimmerman, a metal baseball bat, a locked room and me were to all converge simultaneously in an act of cosmic justice.

Who needs a bloody fantasy when  you can make them reality and under Florida’s twisted Stand Your Ground law you can kill who you want when you want because you want  and  nobody seems interested if  allows people to get away with murder.

Michael David Dunn will be brought from Brevard County to Jacksonville after entering a not-guilty plea to charges of murder and attempted murder in the Friday shooting death of a 17-year-old student at a Jacksonville gas station.

Dunn, 45, of Satellite Beach, waived extradition and should be en route back to Jacksonville before Thursday to face charges in the death of Jordan Russell Davis, according to Lt. Tod Goodyear, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

A gun collector in Jacksonville for his son’s wedding, Dunn told police he felt “threatened” after an argument with the Wolfson High student over loud music coming from a sports-utility vehicle parked next to him at the Gate station at 8251 Southside Blvd. Davis was in the back seat when “there were words exchanged,” followed by gunfire at 7:40 p.m., said Jacksonville homicide Lt. Rob Schoonover.

“Our suspect produced a weapon and started firing into the vehicle. Our victim was shot a couple of times,” Schoonover said. “ … They were listening to the music. It was loud; they [other teens] admitted that. But I mean that is not a reason for someone to open fire on them.”

Jordan Davis.  Victim.  Dead.
Jordan Davis. Victim. Dead.

Schoonover said Dunn and his girlfriend were next to the red SUV containing Davis and three of his friends. Dunn’s girlfriend was inside when Dunn and Davis exchanged words. Shots were fired, leaving Davis hit and eight or nine bullet holes in the SUV, Schoonover said.

The couple drove off after Dunn told her he had “fired at these kids,” Schoonover said. They went to their hotel, then returned to Brevard County when they learned what had happened from local news.

Witnesses gave police Dunn’s license plate number, which led police to his home. Schoonover said Dunn was planning to turn himself in when he was arrested.

Ever been at a red light when right next to you some big-ass Escalade rolled up and the bass was bumping so loud it’s not just rattling their windows, it’s rattling yours too?   How many times have you wished you could scream, “Hey!  Turn that shit DOWN!”   But you don’t.  You just sit there fuming and wishing the damn light would turn green already.

Or maybe if you’re strapped and feeling like you’ve had about as much as you can stand, you do tell the rude kids in the big-ass Escalade to turn that shit down.  Maybe you even follow them and decide to enforce some city codes about noise.

Dunn’s attorney explained what her client’s defense would be for shooting the unarmed Davis, “It will be very clear that Mr. Dunn acted very responsibly and as any responsible firearms owner would have acted under these circumstances.”

Lemonidis told a Jacksonville television station, “All he did was pull up next to this car, or the car pulled up next to him, he’s on the passenger side of their car, and he said, he rolled down his window and politely said, ‘Would you mind turning that music down?'” Lemonidis said. “And the driver apparently turned it off immediately. Then he hears from the back, ‘That (expletive), he can’t, that (expletive), we ain’t going to tell us where to turn our music down,’ and boom, they cranked it back up as loud as it would go. Louder than it had been.”

“When he saw the shotgun barrel come up in the rear passenger window, he saw about three to four inches of it,” Lemonidis said. “He estimated the gauge of the shotgun, the type, everything, he’s very familiar with firearms, as I said, owns firearms and has since he was in third grade. He immediately went into self-defense mode, which any responsible firearms owner would do.”

When informed the police said no weapon was found in the vehicle Davis was riding in, Lemonidis replied, “I humbly suggest that they may not have looked hard enough, and it certainly would not have been in the vehicle when they looked unless they had stopped it immediately, which I doubt they did.”

Lemonidis did not say whether Dunn would invoke the Stand Your Ground defense.

This isn’t self-defense.  This isn’t even Zimmerman’s bullshit claim that his role as part of a neighborhood block watch gave him the authority to stalk, confront and kill Trayvon Martin.   This is straight-up street justice when whatever it is that annoys or scares you is all the pretext needed to pull out your piece and start blasting.

Haven’t we been here before?  Yes, we have and we will revisit this story again with only the names and places changing as long as Florida and other states in this gun-crazy country makes hunting human beings legal.

Mr. Dunn, meet Mr.  Zimmerman.  You two should hang out.  You have so much in common.   Like the blood of dead young men on your hands.

Michael Dunn.  Shot Jordan Davis.  May go free.
Michael Dunn. Shot Jordan Davis. May go free.

George Zimmerman: “Sorry” I Killed Your Kid

The killer says "I'm sorry."

George Zimmerman appeared in court yesterday for his bond hearing.  His attorney said his client wished to make a statement.  From the witness stand, the killer of Trayvon Martin addressed his parents and spoke in slightly accented English,  “I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. I did not know if he was armed or not.”

The Martin family had turned down a request from Zimmerman’s attorneys for a meeting.   Now face-to-face with him, Tracy Martin wept angrily and Sabrina Fulton had no outward reaction to the apology.  The family’s attorney, Ben Crump dismissed it as “self-serving.”

I thought Zimmerman’s “apology” to the Martin family for their “loss” was too precious for words. He even managed to work in a preview of his defense strategy when he added he didn’t know how old Trayvon was or if he was armed.

I see what they did there.

Benjamin Crump, attorney for the Martin family did too.

They feel it was just so self-serving, that it was one of those things that was not sincere,” he said. “We can only guess that his motive was to get sympathy. It’s 50 days later at his bond hearing, and for the first time he’s saying, ‘I’m sorry for killing Trayvon.'”

Most people are sorry.  Sorry after they’ve been caught.

Some observers thought the bond hearing was a major setback to the prosecution’s case as the lead investigator said he couldn’t conclude  if Zimmerman’s claim he was attacked by Trayvon was untrue, nor which one was heard crying “help” that night.

The natural urge to declare winners and losers is deeply ingrained in the American psyche.   There are probably odds being given in Vegas whether Zimmerman beats the rap and walks.

Here in the land of snap decisions and short attention spans you get instant analysis by experts on whatever is the burning controversy of the day.   Way back when it used to be the job of the media to simply present the facts and let the public reach their own conclusions, but apparently everyone is so much stupider now and must have everything explained to them or they won’t know what to think.

The justice system doesn’t work well with the 24-hour news cycle.  It moves too slow and doesn’t space its dramatic  moments out between commercial breaks.   This isn’t going to discourage CNN, MSNBC or Fox from offering observations that may be flat wrong, but any sentient human being should understand going in not to fall for the hype.

Zimmerman was given a low bond of $150,000 instead of the $1 million the prosecution wanted.  He will be released and have to wear an ankle bracelet to track his whereabouts.   He isn’t the most popular guy in Florida so he’s probably going to be confined to the homes of whoever takes him in and lets him sleep on their couch.

This is the process.  It’s a long, hard journey to justice and there’s no guarantee Zimmerman will be convicted or if he is it comes along with a plea deal to a lesser charge.

But I’m cool with whatever happens.  Despite all the hand-wringing and fears that Florida would burn to the ground, there’s been no riots and no rampage of Blacks running wild on the street lashing out in rage.

That’s not to say it can’t happen, but as the process plays out everyone seems to be playing it cool and waiting to see if justice is really done.

Trayvon's parents and attorney arrive for the bond hearing.

The Affidavit of the State of Florida vs George Zimmerman

OFFICE OF THE STATE ATTORNEY
FOURTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT of FLORIDA
ANGELA B. COREY
STATE ATTORNEY

STATE OF FLORIDA VS. GEORGE ZIMMERMAN
EIGHTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, SEMINOLE COUNTY FLORIDA

AFFIDAVIT OF PROBABLE CAUSE – SECOND DEGREE MURDER

Before me, personally appeared T.C. O’Steen and K.D. Gilbreath, who after being duly sworn; deposes and says:

Your affiants, Investigators T.C. O’Steen, and Dale Gilbreath are members of the State Attorney Office – Fourth Judicial Circuit appointed in the case by State Attorney Angela B. Corey, who was assigned in the case under Executive Order of the Governor 12-72.

Investigator O’Steen was previously employed by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, and has 35 years of law enforcement experience, including 20 years handling homicide investigations. Investigator Gilbreath was previously employed by the Jacksonville, Sheriff’s Office, and has 36 years of law enforcement experience, including 24 years handling homicide investigations.

Your affiants, along with other law enforcement officials have taken sworn statements from witnesses, spoken with law enforcement officers who have provided sworn testimony in reports, reviewed other reports, recorded statements, phone records, recorded calls to police, photographs, videos and other documents in detailing the following:

On Sunday, 2/26/12, Trayvon Martin was temporarily living at the Retreat at Twin lakes, a gated community in Sanford, Seminole County, Florida. That evening Marin walked to a nearby 7-11 store where he purchased a can of iced tea and a bag of skittles, Martin then walked back to entered the gated community and was on his way back to the townhouse where he was living when he was profiled by George Zimmerman. Martin was unarmed and was not committing a crime.

Zimmerman who also lived in the gated community, and was driving his vehicle observed Martin and assumed Martin was a criminal. Zimmerman felt Martin did not belong in the gated community and called the police. Zimmerman spoke to the dispatcher and asked for an officer to respond because Zimmerman perceived that Martin was acting suspicious. The police dispatcher informed Zimmerman that an officer was on the way and to wait for the officer.

During the recorded call Zimmerman made reference to people he felt had committed and gotten away with break-ins in his neighborhood. Later while talking about Martin, Zimmerman stated “these assholes, they always get away” and also said “these fucking punks”.

During this time, Martin was on the phone with a friend and described to her what was happening. The witness advised that Martin was scared because he was being followed through the complex by an unknown male and didn’t know why. Martin attempted to run home but was followed by Zimmerman who didn’t want the person he falsely assumed was going to commit a crime to get away before the police arrived. Zimmerman got out of his vehicle and followed Martin. When the police dispatcher realized Zimmerman’s was pursuing Martin, he instructed Zimmerman not to do that and that the responding officer would meet him. Zimmerman disregarded the police dispatcher and continued to follow Martin who was trying to return to his home.

Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued. Witnesses heard people arguing and what sounded like a struggle. During this time period witnesses heard numerous called for help and some of these were recorded in 911 calls to police. Trayvon Martin’s mother has reviewed the 911 calls and identified the voice crying for help as Trayvon Martin’s voice.

Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest. When police arrived Zimmerman admitted shooting Martin. Officers recovered a gun from a holster inside Zimmerman’s waistband. A fired casing that was recovered at the scene was determined to have been fired from the firearm.

Assistant Medical Examiner Dr. Bao Performed an autopsy and determined that Martin died from the gunshot wound.

The facts mentioned in this affidavit are not a complete recitation of all the pertinent facts and evidence in the case but only are presented for a determination of Probable Cause for Second Degree Murder.

By: Investigator T.C. O’Steen, Affiant
By: Investigator Dale Gilbreath, Affiant

Sworn to and subscribed before me
This 11th day of April, 2012
Jennifer Weigel
Notary Public, State of Florida at Large

Walking While Black, Dying Too Young

Murdered for the crime of being Black and "suspcious."

I recall exactly where I was on the evening of  February 26. I was dully flipping channels between the usually boring NBA All-Star Game and the always boring Academy Awards.  I thought about getting up to make a beer run, but lazily decided even that required too much effort.  We always casually say how boredom is killing us.  We never imagine something as mundane as a run to the store could have fatal consequences.

It can and it does.  Especially when you’re young and Black and someone thinks you’re somewhere you shouldn’t be.  Like walking through their neighborhood.

Trayvon Martin, 17, was in Sanford, Florida to visit his father Tracy who lives in a gated community. During halftime of the All-Star Game that was lulling me to sleep, he went to the store to buy some iced tea and Skittles. He never made it home because George Zimmerman, part of a neighborhood watch group had been trailing Travyon in his car. He had already called the cops to report the teen as a suspicious person.

Despite being told the police had been notified and not to approach, Zimmerman did exactly the opposite. What happened next is unclear because only one of the two involved can still tell the tale, but some sort of confrontation followed, Zimmerman pulled his gun and shot Trayvon Martin dead, just 70 feet from his father’s home.

Martin, a junior at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School in North Miami-Dade, was shot and killed Feb. 26 after an altercation with the head of a neighborhood watch group in Sanford, a suburb of Orlando. Martin had been visiting his father’s fiancée and stepbrother, who live in a gated townhome community, that weekend.


Neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, who is white, spotted Martin as the teen was heading back from a snack run to a nearby 7-Eleven store. Zimmerman called police to report a “suspicious person in the area” and followed Martin in his SUV. A police dispatcher told Zimmerman to stand down and let police take over, but that is not what happened.

Zimmerman claims he had to defend himself from a kid armed with a bag of Skittles.

Instead, Zimmerman apparently confronted the Miami teen. They scuffled, and by the time police arrived Zimmerman had a bloody nose, and Martin had been shot fatally in the chest.

Zimmerman, who had a concealed weapons permit and carried a black Kie Tek 9mm semi-automatic pistol, told police he acted in self-defense. Martin was unarmed, with only $22, candy and a can of iced tea in his pockets.

Zimmerman claims self-defense though he was the only one armed.

Being part of a neighborhood watch means you WATCH. It doesn’t give you the right to play Wyatt Earp and start gunning down Black teenagers because you think they’re suspicious.

“My son left Sanford, Florida in a body bag,’ Tracy Martin told a reporter. ‘While George Zimmerman went home to go to sleep in his own bed.”

An armed man stalks, confronts and kill an unarmed teenager and the police shrug it off with a blasé, “Well, he says it was self-defense. That’s good enough for us.”

It’s supposed to matter when you kill someone even if you did so accidentally.  Why hasn’t Zimmerman been arrested?

Racial profiling by any name is still wrong and in this case, lethal. I’m always troubled when a young brother man dies when he is gunned down by a White man. But I’m equally trouble when a young brother is gunned by another young brother. Why does it have to take a White man killing a Black man before it becomes newsworthy to the media?

Zimmerman is still free and Sanford police chief Bill Lee says police don’t have enough evidence to dispute the shooter’s claim that he shot Martin in self-defense.

“Until we can establish probable cause to dispute that, we don’t have the grounds to arrest him,” the chief said. One wonders would this be so if Martin had shot Zimmerman instead?   Call it cynical,  but can anyone believe it would play out this way the other way around?. That somehow police would find just cause to get a Black kid accused of killing a White man behind bars?

Just ask Trayvon Martin’s family.   Walking while Black somewhere a White man didn’t think he belonged was Travyon’s  crime and George Zimmerman killed him for it

We’ve seen this before.  We saw it with Amadou Diallo.  We saw it with Sean Bell.  We saw it with Oscar Grant and damned if we aren’t seeing it all over again..

Since they are too stupid amd incompetent to find reasonable cause to arrest Zimmerman, the Sanford Police punted the case to the Seminole County District Attorney. His name is A. Bryant Applegate and his number is 407-665-6000. If the justice system in Florida is too broken to find a way to arrest and indict someone who stalks and shoots a Black teenager maybe the responsibility should be taken away from them and given to someone who can handle it. The U.S. Attorney’s office is 407-648-7500.

America is a nation of laws, but if it’s not a nation of justice, America will never be a nation at peace.

UPDATED: The family of Trayvon Martin is asking for concerned individuals to support their pleas for justice for their slain son by signing a petition asking for the district attorney to prosecute Zimmerman.  Please give a damn and help them out.

This is what a menace to society looks like?

Building Up the Tallest Midget

It's not March, but we're down to The Final Four

By any standard, the candidates running for the Republican presidential nomination are a sad bunch of retreads, weaklings, reactionaries and fatally flawed losers. Mitt Romney is the quintessential rich White man who can barely keep up a brave face when he’s mingling with the unwashed masses, but he’s willing to put on a brave face and hold his nose if that’s what it takes to win.

Newt Gingrich is a narcissist and an egotist whose intellectual racism and repulsive personality makes him hard even for conservatives to take. Then there’s Ron Paul. He’s a special case. He’s not a great thinker like Gingrich or a flip-flopping fake like Romney. No other candidate can claim the kind of enthusiastic support as Paul does. No other candidate seems as genuine and unpretentious as Paul.

There’s also no other candidate as extreme and out of the mainstream as Paul. I’ve made my case against Baby Doc Paul that he is an unworthy of the presidency. The Washington Post ripped away Paul’s ass-covering lies that he wasn’t aware of the racist material in his newsletters.

I don’t expect the Paul die-hards and dead enders to be the least bit disabused of their fantasy that he is a kindly old man who speaks truth to power and advocates a handful of positions that attracts uninformed liberals. Theirs is a separate reality where neither light nor truth penetrates.

The true believers are with Paul all the way until the last bomb falls on the bunker. It’s the rail-sitters and undecided who will have to finally make a call and choose between acknowledging Ron Paul either is a racist personally or just a cynical politician and manipulative businessman willing to exploit racial and homophobic fears to make a dirty buck.

What comes next in tomorrow’s primary in Florida?

Romney crushes Gingrich by double digits. The anti-Romney forces will continue to bitch and moan, but their failure to coalesce behind a single candidate makes them an annoyance, not an insurmountable obstacle.  Their choices will come down to holding their nose and pulling the lever for Mitt or watch Obama raising his right hand again next January.  Screw the Tea Party!  They will get nothing but insincere lip service from Romney and they deserve nothing.

Paul soldiers out looking for friendlier (and cheaper) caucus states and other places where the Ron Paul Race War Revolution might play well.  He’ll hang around like a bad odor while he decides whether to launch another rogue run as an independent.  Sonny boy Rand might tell dear old dad to sit his ass down in a rocking chair somewhere as not to cock block his inevitable bid in 2016.

Santorum is toast.  Put the pennies on the eyes.  His moment of glory came and went in Iowa, proving yet again that the best thing that unrepresentative state contributes to presidential contests is exposing weak candidates not ready for the real deal and croaking wannabees who had no business running in the first place.  One less repulsive right-winger gone.  No great loss.

Which doesn’t mean Rick Santorum isn’t deserving of scorn for his reprehensible remarks about rape victims and abortion. Isn’t it always the way that it’s the most pious and supposedly reverentially religious bastards who have so much love in their hearts for the unborn and nothing but contempt for the living?

On the way home the other day I passed a church where there were 150 little white crosses in the ground and a sign that read, “In the last hour there were 150 children destroyed by abortion.”

That’s pretty heavy-handed, but it takes a prick like Santorum to make it even worse for women facing the difficult choice whether to have an abortion. Piers Morgan interviewed Santorum and asked him if he could deny his daughter an abortion if she were impregnated through an act of rape.

Well, you can make the argument that if she doesn’t have this baby, if she kills her child, that, too, could ruin her life. And this is not an easy choice. I understand that. As horrible as the way that son or daughter and son was created, it still is her child. And whether she has that child or doesn’t, it will always be her child. And she will always know that. And so to embrace her and to love her and to support her and get her through this very difficult time, I’ve always, you know, I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you.

I despise Santorum. He is one of those far Right extremists whom I am incapable of saying a good word about. Beyond his casual racism, there’s his overt hatred of women. I don’t know how you could characterize Santorum’s stupidly sanctimonious remarks as anything but the most repellent kind of misogyny.

Leave it up to a man who will never face an unwanted pregnancy brought out by an act of violence to make an awful situation even worse. Why is the same people who decry government regulation and intrusions into the private life of Americans espouse views where the womb becomes a state-owned asset?

I don’t have an answer, so I turn to the Church of Carlin for one.

Sanctimonious Santorum will be a historical footnote in a matter of weeks or days. Gingrich will soon follow, but after thwarting his threat to Romney in Iowa and again in Florida, the GOP will try to shoot Newt’s zombie campaign of White Rage in the head and put him down once and for all. The powers that be want an electable empty suit to take on President Obama, not a self-centered “big thinker” who wants to colonize the moon.

The Republican establishment wants Mittens vs. Obama and they’re determined to get it.

In search of…somebody to beat Obama

The Republican demolition derby continues in this weekend’s Florida straw poll as The Herminator comes crawling from the wreckage.

Former pizza executive Herman Cain surprised rival Rick Perry with an upset victory on Saturday in a Republican presidential straw poll in Florida, dealing a disappointing loss to the Texas governor two days after a shaky debate performance.

Perry, leading in the polls for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, had needed a victory in what was an early test of strength to salve the wounds left over from a debate with his rivals on Thursday in which he struggled.

Instead, former Godfather’s Pizza executive Cain, who is far behind the two top-tier candidates Perry and Mitt Romney, won with 37 percent of 2,657 votes cast.

Perry was a distant second at 15 percent, just ahead of Romney, who won 14 percent despite not participating in the poll. Further back were Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman and Michele Bachmann.

Florida’s straw poll is a nonbinding popularity poll and is significant only in terms of showing a candidate’s strength in the state. The state contests to determine the Republican nominee do not start until early next year.

Cain, an African-American who promotes himself as a pragmatic problem-solver with a clear tax reform plan, eagerly welcomed the victory.

“This is a sign of our growing momentum and my candidacy that cannot be ignored,” Cain said after his win.

Most political analysts give him no chance of winning the nomination.

But Florida’s Republican Party had noted that since 1979 every winner of the Florida straw poll has gone on to become the party’s nominee. Senator John McCain won it in the 2008 cycle and defeated Romney to become the nominee.

"Pack your fudge for you, sir?"

As Scooby Doo might say, “R’uh-oh!”

Will the GOP really try to pull an Obama and make an African-American unknown their nominee? Hey, if all else fails,  send a Black guy to get rid of a Black guy.

Thing is they tried that once before in Illinois when the GOP recruited Alan “Carpetbagger” Keyes to knock off a young Democratic up-and-comer. That didn’t turn out so good.

Here’s what winning a straw polls means.  Nothing.  No delegates.  No states.  No nuthin’.  It’s just for bragging rights and ego strokes.

Because nobody really believes a pizza company CEO is going to be the Republican standard bearer next year.  Nobody.  The nice thing about Cain’s meaningless win is how it embarrasses Perry and Romney while emphasizing their considerable weaknesses as national candidates.

Despite the media’s desire to make it seem like the president doesn’t have a hope in hell of winning a second term, Obama was right when he said, “the odds of me being reelected are much higher than the odds of me being elected in the first place.”

That’s true and Republican insiders know it.  This is why they continue to look for still more candidates to get in the race.  The hope is someone will turn to be The One to beat Obama.  They thought it might be Governor Goodhair, yet despite vaulting Mittens as the presumed front-runner, Perry has begun reminding everyone why the more there is to learn about him the less there is to like about him.

Somewhere in New Jersey, Chris Christie is brushing pizza crumbs off his shirt and picking up a desperately ringing phone as a near hysterical Karl Rove on the other end begs, “please, baby baby, PLEASE!”

It’s a mighty long way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and until someone emerges Obama is still poised to use and abuse any and all of these chumps.

Cain: "Hey baby. I heard you dig the sexual chocolate." Palin: "Duuuuuhhh."