A Tie For This Week’s BOW Award!

October 18, 2008

Let’s begin this week’s BOW (Buffoon Of the Week) Award entry with a hypothetical.  Say you live in a Congressional district in a large swing state, one in the south, perhaps one with a history of complicated and contentious elections.  Say you’re a Democrat, but the district is heavily Republican and so you’ve really never even considered a political career.  You’re a successful businessman, and really that’s just fine with you.

But then fate intervenes.  The six-term conservative Republican Congressman who has been representing your district and making a name for himself as a crusader against child abuse and for “family values” turns out to have been exchanging suggestive emails with teenaged male Congressional pages.  He resigns in disgrace, and recognizing an opportunity, you pounce!  You’re elected to the House of Representatives and immediately have to start fundraising and making a name for yourself in the House, because you just KNOW that the Republicans are going to want this seat back, and given the conservative makeup of the district, reelection is going to be tough.

Given all those things, don’t you think it would be wise to keep your pants zipped, at least for a little while?  Don’t you think it would be prudent to avoid ANY sort of misstep or moral lapse that might give your constituents reason even to consider voting against you?  Don’t you think you could manage to go two years — less actually — without tomcatting around like a horny seventeen year-old?  Well, of course you do, gentle reader, because you have a brain in your head instead of in your dick. 

Unfortunately for Democrats everywhere, the same cannot be said for Representative Tim Mahoney, Democrat of Florida’s 16th Congressional District.  Not only did Mahoney have an affair with an aide, not only did he then fire her and reach an agreement to pay her $121,000.00 in what can only be called hush money, but apparently this was not his only affair.

Now there are other acts of buffoonery to consider this week.  John McCain has completed the sale of his soul to Satan by employing the same firm that savaged him during his 2000 race for the White House to smear Barack Obama with so-called “Robocalls” — automated telephone calls that in this case are spreading all sorts of lies, baseless attacks, and guilt-by-association innuendo.  This after promising that he would never use robocalls in his campaign.

No BOW Award post would be complete these days without a nomination for Sarah! Palin, who said earlier this week while campaigning in North Carolina, that she loved visiting “pro-America areas of this great nation.”  Here’s the whole quote:

“We believe that the best of America is in the small towns we get to visit, and in the wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard-working, very patriotic, very pro-America areas of this great nation.”

By “pro-America” she seemed to mean “pro-McCain-Palin” because in her mind the two are synonymous.    She’d probably be surprised to learn that there are plenty of people in big towns and cities in this country who think of themselves as “very patriotic.”  I’m CERTAIN that there are people who are voting for Barack Obama who consider themselves “very patriotic.”  Unbelievable.

And yet this week Sarah! was out done by Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, a Republican from Minnesota, who took Palin’s disgusting jingoism even further, venturing into McCarthy territory.  Bachmann was on MSNBC with Chris Matthews the other night, and she began by saying that she was afraid that Barack Obama held “anti-American views.”  She then said that “the people Barack Obama has been associating with are anti-American, by and large.”  “By and large”?  Okay, I suppose one could say that Obama has an association with Bill Ayers, who was violently anti-Vietnam War 40 years ago.  That sort of qualifies.  But who else?  And before anyone on the right DARES to say Jeremiah Wright, let me remind you that the man is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces who has devoted his life to preaching the gospel and helping the poor.  You might not like things he has said about this country, but he has earned the right to speak his mind.  And as someone who has been known to criticize the leaders and policies of my government loudly and passionately, I can tell you that such criticism is born not of hatred for my country, but of love for it; of my understanding of how great it can be and my despair at seeing it, at times, fail to live up to its promise.  Patriotism is not blind devotion to one’s nation right or wrong; it is loving one’s country enough to want to do whatever one can to make it a better place.

But back to Michelle Bachmann.  No she wasn’t finished.  Here’s a transcript of her exchange with Matthews as related by David Neiwert on www.crooksandliars.com :
Matthews: How many Congresspeople, members of Congress are in that anti-American crowd you describe?

Bachmann: [Deer in the headlights]

Matthews: How many Congresspeople you serve with — I mean, there’s 435 members of Congress —

Bachmann: — well right now —

Matthews: — how many are anti-American in that Congress right now that you serve with?

Bachmann: You’d have to ask them, Chris, I’m focusing on Barack Obama and the people he’s been associated with —

Matthews: But do you suspect that a lot of the people you serve with —

Bachmann: — and I’m very worried about their anti-American nature.

Matthews: Well, he’s the United States Senator from Illinois, he’s one of the people you suspect as being anti-American. How many people in the Congress of the United States do you think are anti-American? You’ve already suspected Barack Obama. Is he alone, or are there others?

Bachmann: [Deer in the headlights]

Matthews: How many do you suspect of your colleagues do you suspect of being anti-American?

Bachmann: I would say, what I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look — I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America? I think the people would love to see an expose like that.
There it is, folks.  The ghost of Joe McCarthy rears its ugly head in the form of a not-too-intelligent Congresswoman from Minnesota.  “Are they pro-America or anti-America”?  And who will be the judge of this, Congresswoman?  You?  Are you so perfect in your patriotism that you can be the arbiter of who qualifies as “pro-America”, whatever that means, and who does not?  My parents used to talk to me about McCarthyism all the time, because they never wanted America to forget what happens when questioning our nation’s policies and leaders becomes “un-American.”  This woman, this so-called public servant, would dare to suggest that someone — ANYONE — is less “pro-America” than she because they disagree with her on matters of policy and politics?  She is calling for a witchhunt, plain and simple, and she risks unleashing forces she can’t possibly understand all for the purpose of scoring cheap political points.

This week’s BOW Award goes to two members of Congress for displaying two entirely different types of abject stupidity:  Tim Mahoney (D-FL) and Michelle Bachmann (R-MN).  Take a BOW, both of you; you’ve earned it.  I look forward to seeing both of you voted out of office on November 4.

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