Announcing a New 17 Part Series!

Wednesday (or, if something comes up, Friday at the latest) I will be posting the first in a seventeen part series examining the Republicans running to (hopefully, please, oh please) join John McCain and Mitt Romney in the exclusive club of Presidential election losers.  The purpose of the series is twofold.  First off, with so many candidates in the race it will be a helpful way for me, and then by extension, my readers, to learn about each of the potential nominees.  I mean, other than the “R” after his name, how much do you really know about Jim Gilmore?  Probably as much as I do at the moment, which is how to spell his name.  (Got it on the first try!)  And I’m not singling Jimmy out for any particular reason other than thinking I could spell his name without looking it up either.  Other than Scotty, Jebby, Bobby and Donnie, my knowledge of most of the candidates leaves much to be desired.  (If Fox News can call Carly Fiorina by her first name at their debate, then I can call all the male candidates by their first names.  Ah, equality.)

The other reason is simple.  To dispel the fable that any of these candidates can actually be seen as “the moderate one.”  You know it will happen eventually.  While the goats in this rodeo (2016 Goat Rodeo! Hi tengrain!) all need to run to the right to win the support of the lunatic fringe base, they then need to drift back towards the center to have any chance of winning the general election.  With this political fact in play, it is only a matter of time until one (or several) candidate declares himself (or hersel…I can’t even type it without laughing) the only one “mainstream” enough to win over moderates.  The problem with this, this cycle at least, is that none of the candidates are anything close to moderate, a fact I think is important for everyone to realize.

And while it will be a while before I reach him (since I will do the “kid’s table debaters” first to avoid them dropping out before I get to them), Ohio Governor John Kasich is already being labeled the “moderate” of the bunch by the “mainstream” media thanks to not sounding insane on climate issues.

Except, you see, the problem is…..well, the problem is he is insane on climate issues.  Or if he isn’t, the primary process has forced him to walk his sanity back to a position more in line with the lunatic fringe that somehow remembers to vote every primary election.  From ThinkProgress:

Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) is the rare GOP presidential candidate who has acknowledged that climate change is a real problem requiring us to “protect” the “creation that the Lord has given us.” But just days after earning plaudits for his relatively moderate-sounding approach in Thursday’s GOP presidential debate, Kasich adopted a climate-change denialist approach on Sunday.

On NBC’s Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd called Kasich one of the “big winners of Thursday’s debate,” and praised him for an “impressive performance for the supportive crowd” in his home state and read a Time magazine quote comparing him to Pope Francis.

Kasich distanced himself from the Pontiff on economic issues and environmental ones. “I think that man absolutely affects the environment, but as to whether, what the impact is… the overall impact — I think that’s a legitimate debate.”

He then added: “We don’t want to destroy people’s jobs, based on some theory that is not proven.”

…..

Though Kasich had previously indicated that he believed in climate science, he had also made clear that he didn’t want to do much about it.

Honestly?  I respect an outright science denier more than someone who claims they believe the science, yet think doing nothing is a ethical response to the issue.  When future generations are learning about the world leaders who did nothing to prevent the upcoming climate disaster, at least the deniers have an excuse as to why they did nothing.

This is your “moderate” Republican in 2015 folks.

And the scariest thing?  He’s far too “moderate” to come anywhere close to winning a GOP primary.

Perhaps My Favorite Ed Brayton Quote Ever….

Target has become the latest company to take a “soft” stand on the current “right to carry” controversy that has gripped the nation.  (To be blunt, the only reason this is a “controversy” is because some gun owners are fucking morons.)  If you are lucky enough not to be familiar with the issue, in a nutshell some gun owners believe that the 2nd Amendment not only gives them ownership rights to firearms, but also the right to carry their non-concealed instruments of death anywhere they so desire because AMERICA!  These geniuses defend this “right” by openly carrying their guns into restaurants and other businesses, scaring the living fuck out of employees and customers alike because the Bill of Rights doesn’t provide the right not to fear for your life due to the strangers carrying semi-automatic rifles.  In fact, even though it is as American as apple pie and Chevrolet, not even baseball can trump a gun owners right to be a total douche bag.  (Click it.  You know you want to.  It is pure batshit insanity.  Clicky clicky!)

Ed Brayton writes about Target’s response to the issue (to paraphrase Target: Please don’t scare the shit out of our customers and employees.  Please?) over at Dispatches, and hits the old proverbial nail squarely on the head with his closing.

Anyone who thinks that they have a right to take their AR-15 into a restaurant or a retail outlet shouldn’t be allowed to own one.

I know it is a cliched response, but A-fucking-men.

Seriously.  I am not a progressive who believes in completely outlawing firearms.  While I am not a hunter, my father was, and hunting is a rather large part of life here in central PA.  (Kids get the first day of deer season off of school.  I am not kidding.)  I am also rather uncomfortable with the government controlling all the guns.  And the very idea of banning firearms is incredibly impractical.  How is it going to take place, house to house searches?  Yeah, good luck with that one.  That being said, I’m also not sure the 2nd Amendment intends to grant everyone the right to own their own personal assault rifle.  I’m not even sure it intends to grant a right to gun ownership.  We require drivers to be licensed by the state, I do not see the problem in requiring gun owners to be licensed, to have to pass a training course, to have to have trigger locks installed, to have to own a gun safe, and/or various other safety regulations.  I also think that excepting legitimate reasons, guns should only be carried outside the home while hunting or to and from the range.  Gun nuts make the argument that having armed citizens around makes us safer, that if a mad man starts shooting, an armed citizen can save the day.  Yet every year we hear stories of questionable shootings committed by the police, people who are trained in the use of firearms to keep the peace.  Perhaps I don’t have the proper amount of faith in random gun owners, but the thought of untrained men, high on testosterone, pulling their guns and returning fire scares the shit out of me.  For every situation defused by an armed citizen, how many would instead have increased body counts?  As terrifying as the Colorado theater shooting must have been, how much worse could it have been if 2 or 3 civilians with Dirty Harry dreams started to add their bullets to the unfolding chaos?  Perhaps they could have identified the shooter in the dark and ended his rampage early.  Or perhaps they could have taken down a few fleeing patrons with misplaced bullets.

There is no reason to take your assault rifle to Applebee’s, except to rob the store or show off how large you believe your penis to be.  Terrorizing parents and children by waving around your handgun, mocking them with cries of “you can’t stop me” is not a right, in my opinion, it is a crime.  It is so far past time for rational firearm discussion.