Sunday, July 18, 2004

And Also Rustproofing
A year or so ago, somebody asked Wisconsin car dealer and multimillionaire Russ Darrow why he was running for the Republican nomination for Russ Feingold's Senate seat. He said it was because he could afford to. I was about half-convinced it was because his name was already on the back of about a million cars driving around Wisconsin, and maybe he hoped people would think they could get free floor mats if they pulled his lever in the voting booth. Lots of Republicans want floor mats so far. Darrow is currently the frontrunner for the Republican nom, although his campaign took the poll that shows him with a 40-8 lead over his nearest challenger, so caveat emptor. Yet it's hard to imagine Darrow, yet another in a long line of unqualified Republican dimwits across the country seeking high office because they can, being able to stand in comparison with Feingold and not come off looking like an overmatched small-town doofus. He spouts simplistic nonsense cribbed from Republican talking points, harps on his business acumen, and makes unfounded charges against Feingold's patriotism and judgment at every turn. (The slogan for his campaign is "the Right Russ," but a political cartoonist up here has suggested a more accurate take: "Russ Darrow: A Simple Man for Simple Times.") Now it turns out that Darrow's TV advertising for his umpteen car dealerships around the state might have to come off the air 30 days before the September primary and 60 days before the general election because it may violate the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. We now pause to chuckle at the irony.

Recommended Reading: David Cole of The Nation got invited to appear on The O'Reilly Factor recently, and he pushed the Fox blowhard over the edge. What viewers saw was not what Cole said and heard during the taping earlier that day, and the sordid tale is here. It's another fine example of what bugs me most about conservatives in general--it ain't what they believe in half as much as their sanctimonious hypocrisy, which Cole saw up close and personal.

And finally, here's a mindblower from the Village Voice: Journalist Wayne Madsen, who writes extensively about security issues (as befits a former member of the National Security Agency during the Reagan Administration), spins an election-day scenario in which the Bush Administration uses targeted terror warnings on November 2 to ensure that California goes Republican and they win. I am skeptical. If they wait until Election Day itself to issue terror warnings, shit better be blowing up within hours--or a large portion of the electorate will.

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