Tag Archive: Michele Bachmann


If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog – President Harry S. Truman

If you want a friend in Washington, get a bitch – Shock Comedian Bill Maher

maher

Time to go on the record: The first quote was uttered by the former president. The second one very well could be attributed to Maher…and after a few days virtually no one would give a whit.

President Truman was reminding those contemplating entering public life that having a tough backside is absolutely essential, particularly with all the slithery creatures that populate that zone of infinite wisdom that we commonly know as “Inside the Beltway.”

But when is enough, enough? When are lines crossed that should never be crossed?

Certainly we all enjoy the First Amendment right of free speech, but even with this precious liberty there are limitations (the famous restraint against yelling “Fire” in a crowded theatre comes immediately to mind).

What about uttering the N-word to describe African-Americans? Everyone knows this word is hateful and goes back to the bad ole days of bad ole Bull Connor and the attack dogs. Mercifully, those extreme days are over even though racism still exists. We should celebrate that the nominee for one political party this fall will be an African-American and the other most likely will be a Mormon. We have come far as a civilized society.

bullconnor

And yet, even with this progress, we hear that Maher in March 2011 in Dallas called former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin a “cunt,” adding, “There’s just no other word for her.” Really Bill? You also called her a “twat” and suggested that she and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann are “boobs” and “bimbos.” Any other gender specific slang for female reproductive parts that you want to throw in, Bill?

Maher’s past use of the C-word came simmering to the surface for a few nanoseconds when he gave $1 million to the president’s Super PAC. This revelation came just a few days after the president called a college student that was mocked as a “slut” and a “prostitute” by conservative radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh.

Mumsy was right when she said that “two wrongs don’t make a right.” The nation’s elites came unglued when white Anglo male Limbaugh used the “slut” word, but essentially dismissed  white Anglo male Maher’s use of the ugly C-word to describe Governor Palin. Why? Is “slut” more egregious than “cunt?” Both are awful; I dare to opine the latter is the absolute nadir of hateful sexism when it comes to crudeness and ugliness.

palin

CBS fired Don Imus for calling members of the Rutgers women’s basketball team, “nappy headed hos,” (racist and sexist at the same time), but HBO gladly rakes in “Real Time” advertiser bucks with Maher and his liberal use of the C-word.

Is the C-word the equivalent of the N-word? I am not a sociologist, so I cannot offer empirical evidence that the C-word invokes the same reaction in women that the N-word provokes among African-Americans (sounds like a critical qualitative study for a major university). One thing I do know is that both African-Americans and women have been repeatedly discriminated against during the course of this nation’s (and other nations) history and we have not wiped out the last vestiges of racism and sexism.

For those who use the N-word and/or the C-word, does it say more about the targets of the verbal venom or does it say more about you? Should we just dismiss Maher because he is a comedian because comedians are there simply to entertain?

Or should we take a stand for decency, even though some will mock us? There is never, ever any excuse, any rationalization, any explanation for using the gross c-word to describe any woman regardless of her profession, her political philosophy or place in life. There is no equivalent in terms of crudeness to the c-word. It stands alone in vulgarity. There I said it.

As a society we have learned to speak out and shame those who use the N-word to describe African-Americans. I am proud of the infrequent use of that racist word even in private. It should be totally stricken from the nation’s vocabulary.

The same applies to the C-word. We should not laugh at the ugly, hateful name calling, culminating with the C-word about any woman. Maher is not funny. The little smirk on his face and his self-adoration of his “cleverness” is egged on when we as a society express no outrage. If the C-word becomes common place in our society, it will be because we applauded and laughed when we should have deplored and condemned.

http://www.dallasvoice.com/maher-your-beautiful-theater-gonna-long-1070487.html

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/bill-maher-calls-sarah-palin-the-c-word-during-his-stand-up-act/

http://reason.com/blog/2012/03/06/its-like-totally-different-when-a-libera

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/20/bristol-awaits-obamas-call-shoulder/

http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/17982146/

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-201_162-2675273.html

The setting is a Darth Vader-style black bus, capable of waging simultaneous nuclear warfare on two or more fronts, rolling through the farm fields of Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. An unlikely visitor has just boarded the bus…

obamabus

Little Ole Me (LOM): “You asked for me, sir?”

POTUS: “You are probably wondering why I summoned a Republican from Eugene, Oregon…even though that sounds like an oxymoron…or maybe just a moro…”

LOM: “With all due respect sir we probably don’t want my neighbors to know my political affiliation. They are already really concerned about neighborhood property values.”

POTUS: “Look I only have limited time. In fact my time is running out, if things don’t change pronto. Comprende senor?

LOM: “Si, el Presidente…I am willing to serve my country. What can I possibly do to help the red, white and blue?

POTUS: “You mean the Tea Party colors? Don’t get me started…Let me get to the point. You write Almost DailyBrett, a strategic communications blog…”

LOM: “You know about Almost DailyBrett? I don’t know if I should be flattered or appalled…”

POTUS: “The question is how can I change my image, my perception and my messaging to turn around my 39 percent polling numbers nationally, and in particular win Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada and all the other swing states.”

LOM: “They really like you in San Francisco…

POTUS: “Think again. They don’t like anyone in San Francisco. Have you ever seen a happy social-justice activist?”

LOM: “Can’t say that I have ever seen a ‘happy’ activist in my entire life.”

POTUS: “What I really need to do is embrace Republican principles without setting off a rebellion among my liberal…err…progressive base…”

LOM: “That’s going to be tough sir. You are trying to do the right thing…Sorry sir…You are trying to do the correct thing without pissing off the pissed off. How can you satisfy the insatiable?”

POTUS: “I can’t afford a Ted Kennedy or Pat Buchanan-style primary challenge. I have enough problems with Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann…They are all more telegenic than me.”

LOM: “Especially Michele Bachmann…I get lost in her eyes…”

POTUS: “So do I…Let’s get off this tangent before I get in trouble with my Michelle, my belle. I already have enough comparisons with Jimmy Carter, particularly his incompetence, to have to face a similar primary challenge from the left wing of my party…”

LOM: “Mr. President. Can someone really run to the left of you? Do you really think it is still possible for a credible primary challenge to be mounted at this late date? And do you think the redistributionist social justice crowd is going to sit it out next November, if Mitt Romney or Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann is the GOP standard bearer? I think not.”

POTUS: “Maybe I just blame the Standard & Poor’s downgrade, the massive unemployment and the record $14 trillion deficit on George W. Bush and the Tea Party?…And then I can vilify the Republican nominee. I think I have a winning strategy. You don’t think I should run on my record?”

LOM: “Do the names Harry S. Truman and Ronald Reagan ring a bell?”

POTUS: “Of course, they were well respected throughout all 57 states, Alaska and Hawaii too…”

LOM: “Truman said, ‘The Buck Stops Here.’ You should declare that you are the president. You accept responsibility for the past three years, and you have a plan for the future.”

POTUS: “I do?”

LOM: “And Reagan campaigned for re-election with the mantra, ‘Morning in America.’ It was a message of optimism and hope. Why can’t you go back to offering hope for a better tomorrow? Maybe even a Shining City on the Hill?”

POTUS: “You know, I remember mentioning the notion of hope in 2008.”

LOM: “Do you remember when Bill Clinton fried his fellow Democrats with a massive welfare reform bill, so much that it even upset Hillary?”

POTUS: “You are reminding me about upsetting Hillary?”

LOM: “Sorry sir. I am just suggesting that you should infuriate Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Let them start attacking you. Your polling numbers will skyrocket…even better than taking out Osama bin Laden.”

nancyharry

POTUS: “Do you think I can send in the Navy SEALS to take out Harry and Nancy?”

LOM: “No sir. Something about the messy Separation of Powers gets in the way.”

POTUS: “And then what should I do?”

LOM: “Propose a true compromise. In exchange for closing corporate loopholes, you should offer true entitlement reform for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which represent 60 percent of the budget. Exempt everyone over 50 years of age from these changes, and then apply means testing and raise the age limit to at least 67 for all of those under 50. All additional revenue will be used for deficit reduction. Wall Street will be happy, and maybe Standard & Poor’s will restore the nation’s AAA bond rating.”

POTUS: “You mean be a leader instead of a campaigner. I am really great on the stump…Do you really think I should hack off Harry and Nancy?”

LOM: “Have you ever heard the German word, ‘Schadenfreude?’

POTUS: “Schadenfreude?”

LOM: “When Harry and Nancy are unhappy, I am happy and a whole lot of other people too, especially in the swing states.”

POTUS: “Sounds like a great strategic communications strategy.”

LOM: “Thank you Mr. President. Can I get off the bus now?”

Couldn’t help but ponder the quote on a bumper sticker, stuck on the back of gray Prius.

prius1

I was imagining the driver under the influence of a NPR news report, contemplating her sustainable garden, taking a sip from her fair-trade coffee and making a mental list of organic, veggie ingredients to pick up from the co-op market.

Before you can scream, “stereotype,” I could also envision the same bumper sticker affixed to the back of a truck with mud-flaps, gun racks with the driver listening to Rush Limbaugh and contemplating stopping off for barbecue beef brisket or chipotle pork ribs.

So what am I babbling about? My point is that many of us claim to celebrate diversity, but only as we narrowly define it. “Diversity” usually includes gender, ethnicity, creed and sexual orientation, but what it doesn’t include for way too many people in way too many instances is a contrary political point of view.

We may extol the virtues of a “marketplace of ideas,” but then we may choose to tune out commentary that does not agree with our own. Think of it this way, millions of dollars are being made by polemics (e.g. Limbaugh, Rachel Maddow, Glenn Beck, Bill Maher, Ann Coulter and until recently, Keith Olbermann), throwing raw red meat to the devoted by savagely pillaring the other point of view and resorting to name calling of the disciples that dare preach the alternative gospel.

This past week, we all know people who tuned in for Barack Obama’s State of the Union, and then switched channels when Reps. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) delivered the official GOP and Tea Party responses respectively. And before that, the metaphorical shoe was on the other foot as Republicans tuned into George W.’s State of the Union, but tuned out the Democratic response. This all brings up some simple questions:

What are we afraid of?

Didn’t we learn in school that “sticks and stones may break my bones….?”

Many of us decry the loss of civility in our society, and yet we have our own responsibility for this state of affairs by refusing to even acknowledge that the other side has any merit whatsoever. In some cases, we adopt an elitist attitude resorting to calling people “dumb” and “stupid” if they don’t share our own particular wisdom…pass the sandbox shovel please.

One of the few things that I learned in public relations is to take the time to carefully study the messaging of the competition in a business setting or the other side of the aisle against a political backdrop. By appreciating the other point of view and where the other side is coming from philosophically, you can better anticipate their rhetorical thrusts and conversely conceive the best and most credible way to counter these arguments. You are just better at your own job. bubbatruck

Sacramento was a lonely place for a Republican constitutional office holder in the 1980s, in fact there was only one, my boss, Governor George Deukmejian. The Democrats held all the other constitutional offices (Lite Gov, Secy of State, Controller, Treasurer…) and to make things worse for us they held huge majorities in the State Senate and State Assembly, the latter run at the time by the all-powerful and incredibly articulate and skillful “Da Speaker” Willie Brown.

So how did we get anything done?

The answer is that our position was difficult, but not impossible. We had the bully pulpit of the governorship. We had GOP caucuses that were big enough to sustain gubernatorial vetoes, but we also had something else that was valuable…an understanding of how the other side thought and behaved. If we were to secure legislative passage for anything that we wanted, we had to convince Willie Brown and the Democrats on how they could declare victory. As the old saying goes in Sacramento: “When in doubt, declare victory.” We knew how we could declare victory, but how would the Democrats declare victory? And if both sides cannot credibly claim victory, then you have no deal on anything, on any given day.

williebrown

We literally sat around for hours into the night, debating among ourselves as Republicans how Willie, a Democrat, could declare unmitigated and unadulterated victory. Some of the suggestions that we batted around the room did not pass the giggle test. Ultimately we had to convince Willie, particularly with arguments he could use himself, because he in turn had to sell his caucus, a caucus that was philosophically predisposed against us.

In many cases we simply could not make the sale, but in others we succeeded when the majority of the votes were stacked up against us. I am not talking about compromising your principles, and we certainly did not retreat when it came to not raising taxes and insisting on a balanced budget with a $1 billion reserve for emergencies (almost sounds quaint in these days of record deficits, doesn’t it?). But we did go out of our way to understand Willie and his caucus and we were better off for doing so.

Almost DailyBrett note: The “Closed Mind” bumper sticker brings back memories of three of Dan Quayle’s most repeated quotes: “What a waste it is to lose one’s mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.” Almost tops, “The future will be better tomorrow” and of course, “If we don’t succeed, we run the risk of failure.”

http://paulryan.house.gov/

http://bachmann.house.gov/

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/ns/msnbc_tv-countdown_with_keith_olbermann/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willie_Brown_(politician)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Deukmejian

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Quayle

%d bloggers like this: