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Looking for Elba room

BY BEAU ELLIOT | JANUARY 31, 2012 7:20 AM

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In a Newt Gingrich rally in a Sarasota, Fla., airplane hangar the other day, the Washington Postreports, the speaker warming up the crowd before the former Speaker spoke (you think you're confused) said this:

"Let's send Obama back to Chicago."

Well, OK. Standard political riff. Democrats do much the same thing with GOP incumbents. In fact, there are some liberal Democrats who would also love to send President Obama back to Chicago.

But at the Sarasota hangar rally, an elderly woman shouted out, "You mean out of the country."

And at another Republican rally in Florida, the crowd wanted to send Obama back to Kenya. (Never mind that Obama has never lived in Kenya, so, technically, it's not possible to send him back. That would be low tech, not high tech.)

Really? Out of the country? Back to Kenya? What? Chicago isn't far enough away from the White House?

Either there's something in the water in Florida, or the hangover from the Obama birth-certificate lie lingers on.

With that in mind, here's a thought (or perhaps merely a notion):

If Newt Gingrich loses in Florida today, does he have to go slouching toward Elba to be reborn?

Just wondering.

Which is easier than imagining. On the other hand, it's easy to imagine John Lennon — wait, no, that's hard these days. But it's easy to imagine Mitt Romney, because he's kind of imaginary, dressed in a sort of faux French Foreign Legion outfit, screaming, "Soylent Green is Newt Gingrich."

That's because it's so easy to imagine Newt as Soylent Green. He has played so many movie roles, including that of husband.

(It's amusing that so many conservatives who bash gay marriage themselves get married numerous times [See Gingrich, not to mention former Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., one of the authors of the Defense of Marriage Act.]

(So, "defending" marriage means divorcing and remarrying many times. By that reasoning, Henry VIII was the greatest defender of marriage in British history.)

Meanwhile, far from the national scene, conservative Republicans in Iowa are working against traffic-light video cameras because they're concerned about the balance between safety and individual rights.

We lefty-liberals are also worried about the balance between safety and individual rights. But here's the difference:

When conservatives worry about the rights/safety balance, they're concerned about video cameras at traffic signals.

When lefty-liberals worry about that rights/safety balance, they're concerned about torture, Guantánamo and black-hole prisons, abrogating the Constitution and holding prisoners without trial from now until the Earth skips into some event horizon, and Dick Cheney having anything to do with the rights/safety balance (not to mention shotguns).

So there you have it: The safety/rights debate comes down to traffic video cameras on one hand and torture on the other.

Um, yeah. Not much difference in importance there.

Meanwhile, back at the really, really important national scene, the Gingrich people have an ad out attacking Mitt Romney. Well, that's hardly news. The Gingrich camp has anti-Romney ads, the Romney camp has anti-Newt ads, and they're all full of half-lies, all-out lies (Gingrich says as House speaker, he passed four-consecutive balanced budgets — he was only speaker for two of them, and they were President Bill Clinton budgets; Romney says Gingrich resigned from Congress in disgrace — the House censured Gingrich in 1997 for an ethics violation, he resigned in January 1999), and the truth stretched so much that if the truth were an ACL, it would be a season-ending injury.

But this particular Gingrich ad bashes Romney for being able to speak some French. You know, like John Kerry.

Mitt Romney speaks FRENCH? OMG.

Let's send Romney back to France, where he belongs (Not that the French might agree. The French also might not agree that Romney can actually speak French.)

For that matter, let's send all people back to where they originally came from. And I do mean originally. There we'd all be, crammed more than shoulder-to-shoulder into the Olduvai Gorge. Talk about hard to get service.

Hey, it's close to Kenya. Sarah Palin will be able to see it from there.


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