CPAC 2014: Empty Rooms, Emptier Rhetoric.

This room is actually full.  Everyone came dressed as empty chairs.

This room is actually full. Everyone came dressed as empty chairs.

Last week’s Conservative Political Action Convention (CPAC) was the annual gathering of the tribes of Right-Wing Nation.   Everybody who’s anybody in that crowd was there if they were on the good side of the event’s organizers.  Anybody  on their bad side wasn’t invited.

Apparently Blacks are on CPAC’s bad side.  The 2012 election results revealed the grim truth that the Republican Party has become an old, male, White and Southern vessel, much ado was made about how more had to be done to make outreach to those Blacks, Latinos, Asians and other people of color whom don’t find the Grand Old Party one they feel welcomed to be part of.   With that backdrop, CPAC conducted a minority outreach panel discussion.

The problem was there weren’t many minorities in attendance.   Or anybody else either.

The panel’s theme was GOP outreach to minority communities and the panelists were Virginia Senate candidate Ed Gillespie and three Black political strategists: Jason Roe, Elroy Sailor, and Robert Woodson.   All benchwarmers and nobodies.

None of the Black conservative All-Stars were there.  Ben Carson and Allen West would have showed up but couldn’t take a break from the shoe shine stand.   Mia Love was watching some White woman’s kids.  David Webb was parking cars.  Tim Scott was bussing tables and Artur Davis was frying chicken.  Herman Cain and Crystal Wright couldn’t get off their day jobs at McDonald’s. Those burgers ain’t gonna flip themselves!

Conservatives don’t have a diversity problem.  They don’t even believe in diversity.  They believe they have a messaging problem.  They have a lack of Blacks who think as they do and can carry their message back to other Blacks.   An auditorium of row after empty row of chairs may look embarrassing to those outside of CPAC, to those inside CPAC, it’s not embarrassing at all.  Opening their arms to invite more people of color in sounds nice in theory, but as a priority it isn’t one.

For years Carson, West, Cain and their ilk have yammering like kindergarten kids cranked up on too much sugar in their cherry Kool-Aid how Blacks are taken for granted by Democrats.  How Blacks are played for suckers by Democrats.  How Democrats treat Black like slaves and keep them on their plantation.

“No, I don’t want Dr. Carson as a running mate. I’M a doctor!”

Here was an opportunity to show 30 million African-Americans what the conservative alternative is and they LITERALLY COULD NOT BE BOTHERED TO SHOW UP!   Outside of the Republican National Convention, CPAC is the biggest gathering of American conservatives and if they don’t care how old, how White and how unrepresentative of the country their movement is people of color won’t either.

A word about Dr. Ben Carson placing third in the CPAC presidential straw poll behind Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.  Big deal.   Carson is the current Great Black Hope of the White Right with some fantasizing he would be a Hillary stopper as he could dent her percentage of the African-American vote.

That’s a fantasy shattered by the reality that Carson would have to step out of his CPAC/Fox News comfort zone and actually face skeptical audiences unimpressed by his vagueness and real journalists who won’t pitch him slow rollers across the plate.   If “lack of experience” is a rap Republicans have hung around Barack Obama’s neck,  he looks like a Washington lifer compared to the callow Carson who has never run for any elected office, never served in a presidential administration and doesn’t seem to have any policy positions.  Even Horny Herman Cain was more qualified.

Carson is the featured Flavor of the Month.  He soaks up the adulation of the White Right like cornbread does gravy, but like cornbread, he’ll crumble under the pressure of an actual presidential campaign.

Right-Wing Flavor of the Month (photo credit: T.J. Kilpatrick/Getty Images)

Right-Wing Flavor of the Month (photo credit: T.J. Kilpatrick/Getty Images)

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Shufflin’ Along With Shelby Steele

not shelby steele

Shelby chills on his day off.

Shelby Steele believes today’s Black leadership treads in victimhood, ducking responsibility and playing an old, played-out “Blame Whitey” game.

The verdict that declared George Zimmerman not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin was a traumatic event for America’s civil-rights establishment, and for many black elites across the media, government and academia. When you have grown used to American institutions being so intimidated by the prospect of black wrath that they invent mushy ideas like “diversity” and “inclusiveness” simply to escape that wrath, then the crisp reading of the law that the Zimmerman jury displayed comes as a shock.

On television in recent weeks you could see black leaders from every background congealing into a chorus of umbrage and complaint. But they weren’t so much outraged at a horrible injustice as they were affronted by the disregard of their own authority. The jury effectively said to them, “You won’t call the tune here. We will work within the law.”

There’s another sort of establishment and that’s the one where Black conservatives talk about the Black experience, but not to other Black people who know it already.

That is why Steele’s sphere of influence is primarily limited to (gasp!) White male conservatives who say they are the true victims of racism, avoid any acknowledgement of the considerable advantages White Privilege affords them and are play an even older, but just as played-out game calleed “Why Can’t You Lazy Blacks Stop Complaining and Blaming Us Because You Aren’t White Like Me?”

“Can I be your Black Friend Forever, George?”

If Black liberals get paid to soothe White Guilt,  Black conservatives work their own hustle by appealing to White Denial.   Steele is fluent in the familiar language of the apologist and appeaser as he scorns the attention the “civil rights establishment” has paid to the unworthy Trayvon.

Why did the civil-rights leadership use its greatly depleted moral authority to support Trayvon Martin? This young man was, after all, no Rosa Parks—a figure of indisputable human dignity set upon by the rank evil of white supremacy. Trayvon threw the first punch and then continued pummeling the much smaller Zimmerman. Yes, Trayvon was a kid, but he was also something of a menace. The larger tragedy is that his death will come to very little. There was no important principle or coherent protest implied in that first nose-breaking punch. It was just dumb bravado, a tough-guy punch.

There was nothing in the Zimmerman trial that established Martin “threw the first punch.”   Nor is any truth to Steele’s slander that Martin was “something of a menace.”   After all, it is  the “cherubic” Zimmerman (as Steele lovingly describes him) who has the criminal record.

There is no need for similar acts of character assassination about Zimmerman’s character. The menace posed by his history is a matter of legal record.

The neighborhood watch volunteer who wanted to be a cop was arrested in July 2005 for “resisting officer with violence” and “battery of law enforcement officer.” Zimmerman got into a scuffle with cops questioning a friend for alleged underage drinking. Upon entering an alcohol education program, the charges were reportedly reduced and then waived. The next month in 2005, Zimmerman’s former fiance sought a restraining order against him because of domestic violence. Zimmerman sought a restraining order against her in return. Both were granted.

Despite Steele’s scurrilous slurs against a murdered and unarmed teenager,  it is  Zimmerman’s brushes with the law  establish he was the real “fucking punk.”   The White conservatives who make up Steele’s readership are not concerned with Zimmerman’s established record of criminality as much as they are the threat a unleashed Trayvon Martin might have.     It isn’t truth Rupert Murdoch is paying Steele to provide.   It is relief for poor, put-upon White conservatives who have nothing but fear and loathing in their hearts for every other Trayvon that hasn’t been murdered yet.

Steele is in the same class of race hustlers like Clarence Thomas, Herman Cain, Allan West, Mira Love, Niger Innis, Star Parker, Walter Williams, Larry Elder, Jesse Lee “thank God for slavery” Peterson, Uncle Tom Sowell, and of course Gentle Ben Carson.  With the exception of Carson, not one of them has any clout or following within the Black community.

“Sure. Just put on a hoodie and start running.”

Why would they? Their job is to represent themselves, not the interests of Black people as they show up at right-wing conferences, Tea Party rallies and Republican conventions telling the attendees what the are paid to say and smile pretty when the camera pans the audience so conservatives can point to those one or two grains of black pepper among all that white salt and flaunt their commitment to “diversity.”

Which is about an inch deep as it is wide, but somebody’s got to play The Spook That Sat By the Door., so why not Shelby Steele? He’s uniquely qualified to suck up to the White conservatives that keep him gainfully employed and will remain useful so long as he keeps making them feel good and exhibits he’s sufficiently grateful. When they’re done with him they’ll just throw him out and get another off the shelf just like him.

The next Shelby Steele will also specialize in dispensing useless advice to his core audience.  But that core audience does not include anyone who looks like Shelby Steele.

“Yes, I’m an ass-kisser, but I’m an EXCELLENT ass kisser.”

The (Attempted) Rebooting of Malcolm X

malcolm x2

We’re down to the last days of Black History Month and I haven’t focused very much on it.   Like at all.   I’m of the belief Black History Month has gone on past its sell-by date, but that’s not my focus today.   I was given a reason to pay some attention  when found out some enterprising conservatives had seized upon  Malcolm X  ripping Democrats a new hole with his “political chumps” speech

First they came for Dr. King and tried to turn him into a Republican and now its Brother Malcolm  who is next in line to be body-snatched by the Right.

Anytime you throw your weight behind a political party that controls two-thirds of the government, and that Party can’t keep the promise that it made to you during election time, and you’re dumb enough to walk around continuing to identify yourself with that Party, you’re not only a chump, but you’re a traitor to your race.

They try and pass the buck to the Dixiecrats. Now back during the days when you were blind, deaf, and dumb, ignorant, politically immature, naturally you went along with that. But today as your eyes come open, and you develop political maturity, you’re able to see and think for yourself, and you can see that a Dixiecrat is nothing but a Democrat in disguise.

They’ve been down there four years, and they’re — all other legislation they wanted to bring up they brought it up and gotten it out of the way, and now they bring up you. And now, they bring up you. You put them first, and they put you last, ’cause you’re a chump, a political chump. –

Too Black, Too Strong, Too Malcolm.

I like that speech.   Malcolm was in the business of speaking truth to power and he didn’t hold back based upon which party was in power.   It’s easy to see why a conservative annoyed over President Obama and the Democrats constantly pulling down 80 to 90 percent of the Black vote would also like the speech.   Nearly 50 years after Malcolm made those remarks they still resonate (though the Dixiecrats part not so much).   Cutting to the chase and making it plain was a specialty of Malcolm.

But that doesn’t mean Malcolm was Herman Cain before Herman Cain.

You think Malcolm X hated on liberals alone? If you do, you know the words, but you’re lost on the melody.   You can’t cherry-pick the man’s speeches looking only for the parts that jibe with your own beliefs.  Either you take Malcolm in his totality or you leave him the hell alone!

Malcolm X didn’t simply reject Democrats. He rejected the whole damn political game because he considered it institutionally and systematically racist and discriminatory. His goals with the Nation of Islam were in direct opposition to what Dr. King and the civil rights movement was about.   Malcolm left it up to King to fight to integrate buses and lunch counters and get arrested and have dogs turned loose on him.

Martin spoke of his American dreams while  Malcolm spoke of his American nightmares.

“And when I speak, I don’t speak as a Democrat. Or a Republican. Nor an American. I speak as a victim of America’s so-called democracy. You and I have never seen democracy – all we’ve seen is hypocrisy. When we open our eyes today and look around America, we see America not through the eyes of someone who has enjoyed the fruits of Americanism. We see America through the eyes of someone who has been the victim of Americanism. We don’t see any American dream. We’ve experienced only the American nightmare.”

“They know that as long as they keep us undereducated, or with an inferior education, it’s impossible for us to compete with them for job openings. And as long as we can’t compete with them and get a decent job, we’re trapped. We are low-wage earners. We have to live in a run-down neighborhood, which means our children go to inferior schools. They get inferior education. And when they grow up, they fall right into the same cycle again. This is the American way. This is the American democracy that she tries to sell to the whole world as being that which will solve the problems of other people too.”

“Sitting at the table doesn’t make you a diner, unless you eat some of what’s on that plate. Being here in America doesn’t make you an American. Being born here in America doesn’t make you an American.”

“Me, a Republican? Now that’s funny.”

It’s fine with me if conservatives searching for a Black hero bashing liberals as vigorously as they do  and they try to misappropriate some of Malcolm’s words to do it.   I’m not concerned because its pretty hard to retrofit a Black Nationalist acolyte of Elijah Muhammad like Malcolm X for the Fox News generation.  If they’re not careful they might mess around and expose themselves to a worldview that was at war with their own.  Enlightenment is what Black History Month is supposed to be about after all.   However, if they delude themselves it was only the asses of liberals he had a foot in they will totally miss what Malcolm made plain.

It’s fine with me if conservatives searching for a Black hero bashing liberals as vigorously as they do  and they try to misappropriate some of Malcolm’s words to do it.  It’s  hard to retrofit a fiercely symbol of Black manhood like Malcolm X as a Fox News Republican, but the Right can try if they want.    It won’t stick.   Malcolm rejected the choice of Democrat or Republican as a false choice,  but  if some White Tea-Party types want to read though The Bullet of the Ballot speech looking for some grenades to lob at Barack Obama they can go for it.    They should be careful not to mess around and expose themselves to a worldview  at war with their own.  Enlightenment is what Black History Month is supposed to be about after all.   However, if they delude themselves it was only the asses of liberals he had a foot in they will totally miss what Malcolm made plain.

…the black masses are learning for the first time in 400 years the real truth of how the white man brainwashed the black man, kept him ignorant of his true history, robbed him of his self-confidence. The black masses for the first time are understanding that it’s not a case of being anti-white or anti-Christian, but it’s a case of seeing the true nature of the white man. We’re anti-evil, anti-oppression, anti-lynching. You can’t be anti-those things unless you’re also anti-the oppressor and the lyncher. You can’t be anti-slavery and pro-slavemaster; you can’t be anti-crime and pro-criminal. In fact, Mr. Muhammad teaches that if the present generation of whites would study their own race in the light of their true history, they would be anti-white themselves.

This was a brother who didn’t play favorites.   Malcolm X didn’t see any distinction between White liberals and White conservatives.  He only saw oppressors whose shared racial identity made them adversaries of his own.    Too Black.  Too Strong.  Too much Malcolm to be any kind of Republican.

Any attempt by half-wit right-wingers seeking to body-snatch Malcolm X and turn him into  yet another zombiefied chicken-n’-biscuit eatin’ disgrace to the race like Herman Cain will be met with the acidic contempt and brutal truth it deserves.

Artur Davis: Obama’s Personal Judas

They smile in your face…

“For there to be betrayal, there would have to have been trust first.”

~ Suzanne Collins/The Hunger Games

Politics is a game of strange bedfellows, shifting allegiances, and trusted allies today that will be blood enemies tomorrow.

And prostitutes.  Lots and lots of prostitutes.   Not the kind that have sex for money.  The kind that screw over anyone if they think they can profit from it.

Davis a political prostitute.  In 2008, he was a Democratic congressman who seconded Barack Obama’s nomination for President of the United States.   Four years later he was no longer a Democrat, no longer a Congressman and no longer supporting Obama.   Now he has become a Republican who not only supports Mitt Romney, he wears his betrayal of the man he literally embraced as a badge of honor.

A new anti-Obama website, Why I Changed My Vote, features former supporters who say they will now vote against the president.   There  are testimonials from “Lucas W.”,  “ Jodi C.” and “Lynne B.” all testifying how the scales have fallen from their eyes and they’re ready to switch to Mitt.

Then there’s this one guy.  The only one with a first and last name.  Barack Obama’s old pal.  Artur Davis.

You may recall Davis from his appearance as Judas at the Republican National Convention making a pubic spectacle of himself.   He wasn’t content to simply throw Obama under the bus.  He had to drive it too and back it up a few times just to remove any doubt how big of a backstabber he really was.

I don’t have much use for most high-profile Black Republicans, but I have more respect for Herman Cain,  Mia Love, Michael Steele, or Allen West than I do for Davis.   They have been consistent in opposing the president.   They never sat next to Obama with laughing and joking.   They never pretended to support him.   They never smiled in his face and stabbed him in the back.

Artur Davis did.    Who would you find it harder to forgive?   A committed enemy or a disloyal friend?

The mystery is how does Davis think he can parlay his duplicitous double-dealing into political gains.  The Republicans enjoy  how he tweaks Obama, but what other use does he have to them?   Davis isn’t the man to lead a mass defection of Blacks out of the Democratic Party.   He proved he was a delusional loser when he ran for governor of Alabama thinking  he could woo conservative votes by spouting conservative positions, only to find he couldn’t even win the Democratic nomination.   Now he’s thinking of running  for Congress again, but this time as a Republican in Virginia .

But who would ever trust Davis?   The thing about a rat is nobody trusts them.   If Davis  played Obama cheap, why should Republicans believe he will be loyal to them?   A politician without ambition is rare, but a politician without principle is common and Artur Davis is quite  common.   Davis now speaks at Tea Party functions and has come out in support of  voter I.D. laws that would disenfranchise and suppress the Black vote.   That’s no surprise.  If you’re willing to stick it to one Black man you know, sticking it to 36 million Blacks you don’t shouldn’t be a problem.   After all, it was Black voters in Alabama that supported his White Democratic opponent over Davis, in part due to his pandering for  White support by opposing the president’s  health care reforms.

“Wait Mr. Eastwood! I’m not Barack Obama”

Davis gambled he could oppose Obama’s signature domestic policy initiative despite it’s popularity with his Black constituents.   He lost that bet and the nomination by a whopping 25 points.   Not long after an embittered Davis left his state,  party and president behind.

Unscrupulous.  Unprincipled.   Unfaithful.   If that’s the guy the G.O.P. wants on their side, Artur Davis is happy to accommodate them.   They might want to keep one eye looking out to make sure he’s at their side.  It could be hazardous to have Davis anywhere close to your back.

Herman Cain: Shut Up, Fool!

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman…oh wait…yes, I did. And I’d like to again.”

It would be easy to give Mitt Romney the Shut Up, Fool! award for a second consecutive week.  Hell, after his “47 percent” remarks he’s made a strong bid for Lifetime Achievement status, but that was the Real Romney we heard sneering about the flotsam and jetsam of the country.   This was a country club,  wealthy, White Republican male bitching to other country club, wealthy White Republican males in his natural habitat.

Mitt didn’t misspeak.  He said what he meant and personally I found his momentary lapse of candor refreshing.  I don’t want him to stop now.  I want him to keep this up right up to Election Day.   There’s always another fool willing to step up and oh look, here’s a fool we haven’t heard from in a while.

When last we heard from Herman Cain  he was suspending his presidential campaign over allegations of sexual harassment were levied against him by several women, all White, emerged and another woman, also White, came forth detailing a long-term affair (ew!) with the former pizza CEO.

Cain quickly dropped out of sight and wasn’t asked to speak at the Republican National Convention, but he emerged from whatever rock he had been under to make several silly statements including if he hadn’t torched his own campaign with his inability to keep his sausage  in his pants, he would be beating President Obama in the polls.

“Stupid people are ruining America, and we’ve got to take it back,” he said at an appearance before 300 people at the University of Florida before he serenaded them with a rendition of “Believe In Yourself” from The Wiz.

Cain ended his political campaign amid allegations of multiple affairs and sexual harassment. But he said he would have a “substantial lead” over Obama if he had won the GOP nomination.

“The reason is quite simple: I have some depth to my ideas,” he said.

Depth to his ideas?   The only depth Cain cares about is the depth of a woman’s cleavage when he’s checking her out.

The only thing Cain brought to the Republican presidential primary was a total lack of qualifications and a lust for White women.   He said he would have no interest in serving in a Romney Administration.   Good thing.  There’s already servers, janitors and cooks working at the White House.   They don’t need Cain’s coonin’ ass making goo-goo eyes at Ann Romney.

If only Cain were the Republican nominee.   Obama would be up by 20 points and Republicans would be committing ritual suicide in mass numbers.   This election would already be over.  Alas, due to the Herminator fiendin’ for the White stuff we were denied the spectacle of Black-on-Black crime as Obama publicly kicked Cain’s ass in three televised debate/bitch slaps.

It was a missed opportunity for the American electorate but it’s good enough for a Shut Up, Fool! award.

She: “Herman, please! Not in public!”
He: “Michelle, don’t act like you don’t love my hat”

The Wrong Guys For the Right Reason?

The return of J&A's excellent adventure?

Even tragedies can present opportunities and the killing of Trayvon Martin is no exception.  The mainstream media took their sweet time in discovering what Black bloggers and media was already reporting, but now they have made this the biggest story in America.

It’s been great for ratings.  And it’s been great for Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton as well.  Instead of trying to bite off Occupy Wall Street or some other topic in the news, the two former unofficial presidents of Black America are back on their favorite beat, marching, demonstrating and protesting and all in the name of Trayvon Martin.

I have a colleague whom I used to work with at a newspaper and we get together to shoot the breeze. His problem with Jackson and Sharpton are their claims that they are “Black leaders.”

That sets my friend all the way off.  Who made THEM “Black leaders?” Did you vote for them? I know I didn’t! Where’s MY ballot?

There is something to that. Why are Jackson and Sharpton considered Black leaders? Why do Black folks even need leaders?  Who are the leaders of Latinos? Who speaks for lesbians? Who’s the great leader of Asians? Who’s the greatest White leader? Or does even posing the question seem ludicrous to even ask?

The last great Black leaders were Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.  They became leaders the hard way.  They earned it and they were killed for being leaders.  You could not find two more different men with different approaches than Martin and Malcolm.  Jackson and Sharpton on their best day couldn’t touch them on their worst. Neither one of them are worthy heirs of King’s mantle of civil rights advocacy.  Neither one of them are as bold and willing to face White supremacy the way Malcolm X did.

What keeps J&A on the front pages is the passionate hatred they provoke from right-wing critics.  Jesse and Al are considered by the Right as race hustlers who stir up trouble, shakedown businesses, show up wherever there’s a controversy and a camera and are generally unscrupulous, unprincipled, con men.  Some of this criticism is both verifiable and irrefutable.

Any honest critique of Jackson and Sharpton must take in account their pros and cons.

Once giants walked among us.

Positives: protecting civil rights, keeping a spirit of activism alive, bringing attention to issues and stories that would go unnoticed and unaddressed otherwise, ticking off the right-wing something fierce.

Negatives: attention whores, lack of identified achievable goals, unwilling to get off the stage so younger leaders can emerge, egotistical, poor tacticians, dubious personal conduct,

The biggest negative is neither Jackson or Sharpton will confront and criticize Democrats and liberals when they come up short or sell out the interests of African-Americans.  A true Black leader has to be willing to be bipartisan in their criticism.  Jackson has mildly criticized Obama and Sharpton flaunts his connections to the White House. Can you imagine J&A publicly and vocally breaking with a Democratic president the way Martin Luther King, Jr., broke with Lyndon Johnson over the Viet Nam war and poverty in America?  With Jackson and Sharpton beholden to the Democrats, they can’t be truly independent.

Martin and Malcolm may have created the template for Al and Jesse, but what sets them heads and shoulders above Sharpton and Jackson is they never craved the spotlight.  King was a reluctant convert to political activism and X transformed himself from a small-time hustler, pimp, and convict to the most powerful and charismatic spokesman for Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam until he broke with him.

Neither Martin or Malcolm were wealthy or sought the spotlight the way their would-be successors have.  You can’t fault them for finding a way to turn a buck off of being a political gadfly, but it leaves them open to charges that they are chasing publicity and dollars, not justice.

I was too young to march with Martin Luther King or listen to Malcolm X, but their authenticity was above reproach. . They were the real deal and they both got taken out for it. Al and Jesse? I think they believe what they say, but I don’t need “leaders” any more and I don’t want to be “led.”

Obama has proven you can be a leader through obtaining political legitimacy.  Jackson and Sharpton both mounted presidential bids, but they never seemed fully committed.  If conservatives really want to make J&A relics of a previous time, they need to stop trying to demonize the pair  That gets them nowhere and only makes Jackson and Sharpton even more beloved, and why not?  Pissing off the Right has a considerable upside.

Conservatives could neutralize J&A, but what it would take is something they have shown little interest in.   Make Dr. King’s dream a reality and they’re both out of business.

That would require the Right to give up their fear and loathing of uppity Black men.  But since conservatives like the Koch brothers like their Negroes docile and childlike (Where’s my mint julep, Herman Cain?) and hate to be reminded racism still exists that seems unlikely.

We are going to have to learn to live with Sharpton and Jackson, warts and all.  Reservations aside, Trayvon Martin needs champions to find justice for him and while they are no Martin or Malcolm, this is the right cause even if they are the wrong men.

The right men for the right cause?

Seven Clowns in Search of a Car

Newt and Mitt are good names for clowns don't you agree?

Clowntime is over for the Herman Cain Comedy Tour, but the season in hell for the Republican Party continues to plumb even greater depths of idiocy.  With Pee Wee Herman on house arrest for the remainder of the presidential campaign he can stop being an embarrassment to the race, and I mean that in all senses of the word.

The seven remaining bozos keep finding new and novel ways to make asses of themselves.

When a guy best known for reality TV and endless, egotistical self-promotion, Donald Trump, is chosen as the moderator for a Republican presidential debate, it’s a sure sign we’ve strayed over the double line between comedy and outright insanity.

Donald Trump apparently didn’t take kindly to Ron Paul’s decision to skip the NewsMax-hosted forum moderated by the developer and reality TV star, saying it created a circus-like atmosphere around the presidential race.

 “As I said in the past and will reiterate again, Ron Paul has a zero chance of winning either the nomination or the presidency,” Trump said in a statement in response to Paul, adding, “my poll numbers were substantially higher than any of his poll numbers, at any time.”

“Few people take Ron Paul seriously and many of his views and presentation make him a clown-like candidate,” he said.

“I am glad he and Jon Huntsman, who has inconsequential poll numbers or a chance of winning, will not be attending the debate and wasting the time of the viewers who are trying very hard to make a very important decision.”

Trump referred to his book that’s coming out and his claim he is worth more than $7 billion, and asked why he is “not the right person to lead this country out of economic chaos or at least to moderate a debate. I would like to see how Ron Paul would fair in the world of big business.”

Paul was the first candidate competing in Iowa to reject the invitation for the Dec. 27 event. His move may give cover to other candidates to do the same – although Trump’s comments are a reminder of the potential problem with skipping it.

The Eight Dwarfs: Dopey, Sleazy, Crazy, Goofy, Drunky, Nutty, Horny and Clueless.

Seriously Republicans, what the hell is wrong with y’all?

Donald Trump moderating a debate?  Seriously?  What’s next?   Survivor: Devil’s Island with the Republican presidential candidates?  Maybe The X Factor or Ultimate Fighting?  A WWE bout with John Cena and the Rock in an electrified steel cage match against Mitt and Newt?

The utter weirdness of the Republican crop is beginning to devolve into a political version of the Insane Clown Posse.

The rest of the world is taking notice of this horror show as Der Spiegel blasted the Republiclowns as “a club of liars, demagogues and ignoramuses.

Africa is a country. In Libya, the Taliban reigns. Muslims are terrorists; most immigrants are criminal; all Occupy protesters are dirty. And women who feel sexually harassed — well, they shouldn’t make such a big deal about it.

Welcome to the wonderful world of the US Republicans. Or rather, to the twisted world of what they call their presidential campaigns. For months now, they’ve been traipsing around the country with their traveling circus, from one debate to the next, one scandal to another, putting themselves forward for what’s still the most powerful job in the world.

As it turns out, there are no limits to how far they will stoop.

It’s true that on the road to the White House all sorts of things can happen, and usually do. No campaign can avoid its share of slip-ups, blunders and embarrassments. Yet this time around, it’s just not that funny anymore. In fact, it’s utterly horrifying.

It’s horrifying because these eight so-called, would-be candidates are eagerly ruining not only their own reputations and that of their party, the party of Lincoln lore. Worse: They’re ruining the reputation of the United States.

When the only two candidates with enough dignity left to say they want no part of a Trump extravaganza are Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman, two bottom-feeders tracking in the single digits nationally (though Paul is polling in second place in Iowa and dropped Romney into third looking up at Paul and this week’s frontrunner, Gingrich), can there be any further doubt this is the most pathetic assemblages of wannabee presidential aspirants in decades?

Instead of the “best and the brightest” the GOP is placing their hopes of deposing President Obama with “the worst and the dumbest.”

When the crusty curmudgeon and social critic, H.L. Mencken quipped, “In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican,” he couldn’t have envisioned the supreme awfulness of the 2012 Republican presidential candidates.

But Mencken was lucky.  Being dead, he’s not stuck with having to choose from the least-awful of a bad bunch to vote for next November.  He also never had to live in a world with a Donald Trump.

Clowns are creepy enough as it is.  They get even creepier when they run for president.

"I always serve the ladies my Meat Lover's Special' sez Herm.

Herman Cain’s Temporary Love Thing

Cain has women problems and they start with his wife.

Another day, another Herman Cain booty call.

This chapter in The Never-Ending Story that is the Cain circus might be the one that breaks a finish to his phony candidacy.   Even hard-core conservatives who were propping up Cain after the first charges of sexual harassment emerged and his Libya belly flop are beginning to abandon him like fleas jumping off a dead dog’s carcass.

In the ongoing search for the Not Mitt Romney, various candidates have taken their time as the driver in the Republican clown car.  Michelle Bachmann was supplanted by Rick Perry who was undercut by Cain after he won the Florida straw poll, and as Cain sinks under the weight of the allegations of cheating and acting inappropriately, Newt Gingrich, rises in the polls.

I don’t know how much Ginger White weighs, but her calling out Cain on a 13 year affair should be too heavy a load for Cain’s inexperienced and poorly run campaign to carry and end it once and for all (and wouldn’t that be a crying shame for all the entertainment value it’s provided?).

Cain’s claims that the five women whom have called him out for not keeping his fly zipped are all “lyin’ ass b****’s, and that might have worked if weren’t faces to go with the allegations.  Maybe Cain could shrug off one or two of these women, but he’s not a good enough politician to make anybody believe all five of them are making this up.

The heat is on and Cain is melting under it.

Cain’s first brush in the political spotlight came when he challenged then-President Clinton about the costs of health insurance, but Cain is no Clinton when it comes to surviving sex scandals.  At least he hasn’t proven he can shake them off.   Gloria Cain has not exactly rushed to the defense of her husband of 43 years.  Even if she believes Herman’s denials (and I don’t know why she would),  she has to be pissed all the women Cain is accused of messing around on her with are White like Ginger White.

The race of the women Cain fooled around should not matter,  but to honest about it,  it does matter.  This is not post-racial America.  When a Black man from the South goes chasin’ after White women, it really matters when it is taken into account how no Republican can win the White House without the South.

Cain says White is “just a friend” and he was “just trying to help her financially.”   If you’re married how understanding do you think your spouse will be if the friendship goes on for 13 years, includes paying her rent, giving her gifts and swapping calls and text messages at 4:26 in the morning?

Maybe your wife would understand.  Mine would tell me to pack my stuff and get the hell out.

He’s supposedly calling his supporters asking them should he pack it in.   He’s run an unconventional campaign, but even Cain can’t ignore all the rules.  The sex lives of politicians don’t interest me, but when you’ve made moral judgments about others the way Cain has about the poor, Muslims and gays,  getting yanked off your high horse is deserved.

Cain is done.   It was obvious to any student of politics he was never going to keep up his momentum, never going to get the nomination and never be the Republican presidential nominee.   Cain’s campaign/book tour was always long on shadow, short of substance.

It’s no fun piling on Herm anymore.  His horndog ways are weird and sad and get even more weird and sad if you have any sympathy for Gloria Cain at all.  She is the Cain that deserves it, not Herman.

13 years of being Herman Cain's side piece

It feels like we’re reaching the end of the road for the Cain Train.   He’s told so many lies to so many people he could never begin to explain or apologize for all the lies, but he should start with his wife and go from there.  When any candidate says they are “reassessing” their campaign that means they’re just looking for a gracious exit strategy.

Gloria Cain says her husband “totally respects” women.   Maybe he does, but he does respect her at all?