The Horrific Speculation Continues!
First Republican Governor of New Jersey since 1988. “Tough-talking” and vulgar in the cathartic way that sad, white, middle-aged men generally respond to. Currently falling out of fashion with some GOP hardliners for conceding that a debate about gun control should at least exist. Also not-well liked because he seemed to genuinely enjoy working alongside the Commander in Chief following Hurricane Sandy. Like many middle-aged men, he will go out of his way to profess his taste in music. Being from Jersey, Christie has a love for Springsteen (he weeped like a child after receiving a post-Sandy hug from The Boss). He’s apparently never listened to the lyrics of a single Springsteen song. He’s also very fat.
As governor of New Jersey, Christie has made waves all across the nation through his incessant Tony Soprano impression and bellicose manner of speaking.
Despite the love from the moderate left for Governor Christie’s alleged bipartisanship and Obama bromance, Christie is interchangeable with any other mainstream Republican. Like Scott Walker and Jindal, Christie seeks to drain public funding from schools and crush public servant unions. The tax plan he’s been pushing is your predictable “Lower Taxes for the Wealthy, Raise Taxes for Everyone Else” formula which we’ve come to expect from the GOP as consistently as crazy opinions on rape.
Like many Republicans (and Danny Brown), Chris Christie offers “no apologies for all the misogyny.” As Governor, he utilizes pretty much any opportunity that crossed his desk to keep women in their place. A famous example of Christie’s impeccable love for the ladies has him replying to a female constituent who asked him about “jobs going down” (Jersey currently has an unemployment rate of 9.6%, almost 2% higher than the US average) by quipping that it will be she who will be the one going down (as in performing fellatio…get it??!!). Shades of Christie’s peculiar sensitivity towards women can also be seen in his threat to “take a bat out on” a 77 year old grandmother and state senator for collecting her pension and paycheck.
Unlike some of the other 2016 Republican front-runners, Chris Christie did not blatantly begin his career as a bottom feeding politician–that came later.
While he made a failed bid for a local office in 1995, Christie began his career as a Wall Street lobbyist and corporate lawyer. His debut on the political stage came as a “Bush Bundler” during George W. Bush’s first presidential campaign. This involved Christie personally giving George W. Bush’s campaign $20,000. As a “Bush Bundler,” Christie used his connections with others who used their personal networks to give Bush even more money, raising more than $100,000. As a repayment for this homage, Christie was later selected in 2002 as the US Attorney for the State of New Jersey after his resume was forwarded to Karl Rove via email.
In 2009, Chris Christie ran for New Jersey governor as an outsider Republican. He raised over six-times as much as the GOP’s preferred candidate. His candidacy was favored by the likes of GOP big leaguers such as Steve Forbes, Rudy Guiliani, and Mittens Romney.
While Christie’s history as a water-boy for Wall Street certainly didn’t make him look good in post-2008 New Jersey, his opponent was even further up the financial industry’s corrupt asshole. He went on to beat out Wall Street hag Jon Corzine by a very slim (insert fat joke here) margin, becoming the first Republican Governor of New Jersey in over 20 years.
Christie’s Wall Street history is worth bringing up. The organization under which he operated as a lobbyist was run by Bernie Madoff—practically the only guy held accountable in the 2008 crash (and he didn’t even cause it). His most notable success was winning an exemption for securities fraud in New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act, which screwed over a large portion of the working population’s 401(k) plans in the 2008 crash. It’s also worth noting that Chris Christie has been literally in bed with an investment banker for the past 25 years (get it!!?? cause he like, actually does sleep with one!! Like, SEX).
His decision to not run for president in 2012 allegedly made a lot of Republicans butthurt that they were stuck with Romney, but a lot of people on the left and right are hopeful he’s going to run again this time around. So then we can supposedly get all that highly experienced bipartisanship blahblahblah or whatever our country so badly needs. And other nonsensical campaign clichés.
(Insert another fat joke. Just because.)
The quintessential Teabagger. Kentucky Senator. Son of Ron “Let Him Die” Paul, a gold-obsessed Leprechaun, father of the Tea Party, and a three-time failed presidential candidate. Is ostensibly nicknamed after serial-killer fan-girl and “childish fantasy” writer Ayn Rand. Like his father, “Rand” is both a doctor and a self-styled “Libertarian” who is incredibly opposed to abortion. Also like his father, he is doomed to acquire a white, male, online troll-like following.
After probably going down in history as the presidential candidate with the most annoying fan-base, Dr. Paul Sr. has politely stepped out of the political arena at the same time his son has made his national debut. The unwarranted hype is already there.
Rand Paul ran for Senate in Kentucky in 2010. Having never held any political office or served in any political capacity whatsoever, he won based on a platform of (obviously) criticizing Big Gubmint spending, cutting taxes, Tea Party nonsense, whatever.
Like his father, Rand has his eyes set on the White House. Yet, unlike his dad, Rand is trying to make himself more palatable to the mainstream Republicans. He differs with his father on several critical stances—most notably drugs and foreign policy. While Ron Paul can thank much of his popularity to his firm stances on drug legalization and his hands-off foreign policy, Rand’s drug policies are uninspiring and his foreign policy is just slightly less hawkish than many of the other mainstream candidates. In 2012, rather than endorsing his father, Rand came out in support of the John Galtian financial leech Mitt Romney. This disappointed many of Ron Paul’s most die-hard fans (read the link for some entertaining Facebook comments), but was considered a smart political ploy if he wants some party loyalty in the future.
Rand is criminally against the EPA, blasting their continued Proudhonian quest to abolish private property. His “private property” rhetoric reaches back into our history, which is apparently the reasoning behind both his and his father’s well-publicized criticisms of the Civil Rights Act. In 2004, Ron claimed that “the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not improve race relations or enhance freedom. Instead, the forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty.” Eight years later, Rand echoed his father’s opinion, claiming that the Civil Rights Act was “not all about race relations, it’s about controlling property, ultimately”—a statement which, if taken only slightly out of context, could have come right out of the mouth of Jefferson Davis.
Yet despite the overall lunacy, Rand Paul’s policies—like his father’s, if taken on a stance by stance issue, brush upon the occasional moment of lucidity. Recently, Paul held a twelve hour long filibuster to try and block Obama’s nomination of the drone-happy John Brennan as CIA director. While it is certainly nice for Senator Paul to take a stand for sanity, celebrating his filibuster as a sign that a President Rand would be somehow preferable to any of these other schmucks takes a tremendous leap of imagination. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. If Rand Paul is the best we can hope for in the fight against Obama’s policy of Droning Everything, we’re in for more trouble than extrajudicial assassination.
Son of president, brother of other president. Former governor of Florida.
Nowhere is there anything more damning to modern American nepotism than the fact that a third Bush is again being considered for the presidency. I mean, a third Bush? What will people in the future think when looking back on this era (provided that there is a future)? Children in 2050, looking at their presidential placemats while eating their futuristic breakfast, will be puzzled as to why we went from Bush to Democrat to Bush to Democrat to Bush Again in just under thirty years. Does the GOP really lack that much imagination? Who are these Bush people and why the fuck do they always want to be president?
A Brief History of the Bush Family
Reading through the Bush family’s twentieth century history is an incredibly depressing undertaking, which buries once and for all the idea of American Meritocracy. Their tale is made all the more depressing by the fact that we will not be rid of these vermin in any conceivable amount of time.
Boasting a family ancestry that goes back to British Royalty, we’ll begin our brief overview of the Bush clan starting with Jeb and W’s grandfather, Prescott Bush. His father, Samuel Bush, was an Ohio-based industrialist who made massive amounts of wealth dealing arms in during WWI. Prescott Bush attended Yale University, where his grandfather (class of 1844) and his uncle (1904) had previously attended. While at Yale, Prescott was a member of the Skull and Bones secret society, where he supposedly stole Geronimo’s skull as a college prank (future members of Skull & Bones also include other Bush Yale grads George H.W. and George W).
After graduating and serving briefly in WWI, Prescott Bush went on to marry Dorothy Walker, daughter of a Wall Street banker and war-profiteer George H. Walker.
Through family connections, Prescott Bush floated from high level businesses to high level banks, before landing a gig at Brown Brothers Harriman—a US base for German industrialist and early Nazi funder Fritz Thyssen. Prescott Bush worked for and profited from many businesses that had been key in Hitler’s rise to power. Despite continuing to work for these businesses after the US had entered the war, Prescott was never held accountable when the funds were commandeered by the US government. His dealings with the Nazis were promptly covered up, and then he went on to become a United States Senator in 1952.
George H.W. Bush, raised on war-profits and Nazi-money, went off to become a fighter pilot in the Pacific in WWII at age 18. After the war (and a promotion to Lieutenant), Bush came back to get married and attend Yale. Through his family connections, he became involved in the oil industry in Texas. There he worked with moderate success at getting involved in local politics, and later won a seat in the House in 1966 as a moderate Republican. After winning reelection, Bush made an unsuccessful grab at a seat in the Senate, by the suggestion of President Nixon. Nixon, touched by Bush’s fealty, promptly appointed Bush as the ambassador to the UN.
His next several jobs were all appointments. He went on to be the Chairman of the Republican National Committee (placed by Nixon, right before Watergate). During Ford and Carter, Bush was both Envoy to China and later the Director of the CIA, which he later used as his stepping stone in a grab at the presidency in 1980. Losing the nomination to Reagan, (a man Bush famously mocked for his “voodoo economics”) Bush was selected as Reagan’s Vice President. As VP, Bush supposedly helped oversee many of the aspects of Iran-Contra. In 1986 he privately claimed he was “one of the few people that know all the details.” Before he could be questioned on his involvement, however, he was elected President—after winning one of the most racist presidential campaigns since the days of George Wallace.
As President, Bush later pardoned several key figures in the Iran-Contra affair. He also helped the United States bury their “Vietnam Syndrome” once and for all, through military “victories” in Panama and Iraq. This subsequent boost to American military confidence would have tragic implications when George H.W.’s son would take the reins.
The failures of his eldest son, even before becoming president, are worth retelling. George W. Bush, like his father (etc.) attended Yale University. Graduating at the height of the Vietnam War, Bush was in danger of losing his draft deferment. Less than two weeks before graduation, Bush decided to fulfill his patriotic duty by joining the Air National Guard—something many college graduates at the time chose to avoid getting shot at in Nam.
After finishing his military service in Alabama, George W. Bush floated around late-seventies America in a boozy haze. After attending Harvard Business School, W went on to fail in the oil industry in Texas. He also ran a failed bid for the House in the late ’70s. After losing several million in the oil business, Bush went on to become part owner of the Texas Rangers. Even with a record of colossal failures and DUIs to his name, W’s folksy demeanor and religious appeal (and help from friend Karl Rove) eventually helped him beat out the popular Democrat Ann Richards for governor of Texas in 1994. After six years as a “compassionate conservative” governor, Bush and Rove won a brutal fight against John McCain to win the Republican nomination—their tactics reaching levels more insidious than his father and Lee Atwater’s campaign twelve years earlier. After losing the popular vote against Al Gore, George W. Bush, eight years after his daddy left the White House, became the 43rd President of the United States. All it took was an unprecedented Supreme Court decision, mainly decided by placements under the Bush and Reagan years, to block a recount in a state which his brother, Jeb, was conveniently governor.
George W. Bush left the presidency in 2008 with one of lowest approval ratings in modern history. Among other disasters, he left behind two lost wars (one based on outright lies), several countries in shambles, a botched hurricane relief effort, and the largest financial crisis in recent history. Even without the 2008 crash, his efforts to transfer all the wealth to the class from which he came legitimized a level of inequality that surpasses almost every civilization in all of human history.
He expanded the Federal government to unprecedented levels of secrecy and unaccountability. He claimed presidential privileges exceeding anything Nixon ever dreamed. His administration set the bar so low that the old American adage that “anybody can become president” now comes off as more of a threat than a sign of meritocratic promise. The degree to which America (and the office of the presidency) has fallen due to Bush II is unfathomable. And yet, like his father and grandfather, he has not been held accountable for his sins–this alone should be enough to convince the American people the toxicity of this family and forever ban them from public life.
And yet, eight years later…
As his son Jeb finished up his second term as Governor of Florida in 2006, George H.W. Bush publicly broke down crying when retelling the story of Jeb’s 1994 electoral loss. “A true measure of a man is how to handle victory and how you handle defeat, so in ’94 Floridians chose to rehire the governor. They took note of his worthy opponent, who showed with not only words but with actions what decency he had, “he sobbed.
It’s odd that a man who spent his entire adult life in politics would still shed tears about a 12 year old election loss. Many have come to speculate that George Sr.’s tears weren’t for Jeb at all, but for his older son’s failed presidency, the debacle in Iraq, and possibly for the Bush clan as a whole.
While George was took his time partying through school, Jeb graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Texas at Austin in just two and a half years. His brother avoided going to Vietnam by joining the Air National Guard, Jeb—though having once considered registering as a conscientious objector—dutifully registered for the draft. As the draft was winding down in 1973, Jeb was never selected, escaping the “draft dodger” title often thrown at his chickenhawk brother.
From college, Jeb married his Mexican sweetheart and, through family friend James Baker, got an entry level position working for Texas Commerce Bank. Because he spoke fluent Spanish, in 1977, he was sent to oil-rich Venezuela to open another branch. After two years, he quit the job to help on his father’s presidential campaign, where he made the political connections which would guide him throughout the rest of his political life.
While his parents emphasized his need to make his own fortune before going into politics, Jeb’s political connections quickly got him a job in the Florida real estate business. With the help of many sweet deals from friends of the family, Jeb worked his way up from a starting salary of $41,000 to become a millionaire by the time he was 35. Through the connections he was developing with Florida’s 1% in the real estate market, Jeb first made his debut in the GOP as Florida’s commerce secretary in 1987, but quit in 1988 to help his father’s second presidential run.
In 1993, having decided he had enough money to run for office (2.26 million, to be exact), Jeb ran for governor of Florida. It was the same year his brother was running in Texas. George won, Jeb lost, and the rest, as they say, is history. Jeb went on to win his campaign in 1998, but it was too early for him to make a presidential run before his brother had the chance. Instead, he went on to win reelection in 2002—becoming the state’s first two-term Republican Governor ever.
While he supposedly ran and operated as a moderate Republican (by today’s standards, anyways), Jeb’s governorship brought about a slew of reactionary policies. He used an executive order to trash Florida’s Affirmative Action laws, replacing it with his controversial “One Florida Initiative.” He was also key in the media circus and religious pandering that ensured that Terry Schaivo’s drooling mug wouldn’t die with dignity. Now the head of the charter school think-tank education policy organization Foundation for the Excellence in Education (FEE), Jeb is touting the Florida school “reform” plan he enacted as governor. The same plan being mimicked by government officials everywhere. So, ya know, blame Jeb.
According to the current GOP consensus, they need an old timer—a wisened voice, to lead the GOP into the new Post-Romney GOP and new Post-Racial America. Their story goes that Romney was a failure (true), and all of the other supposed Republican front-runners are shit-smeared fakes (true–wait, no, that was me) and are probably too inexperienced to be president (also true).
These days, Jeb’s running around like a White Rubio (Regular Rubio considers him a mentor), touting his plan for immigration reform (and his new book). According to conventional Republican Party wisdom, Jeb holds some legitimate Latino-bait. Jeb studied Latin American affairs in college, is born to a native-born Mexican, speaks Spanish, and has lived in Latin America for a significant amount of time. His immigration plan asks for residency for undocumented workers, but no path to citizenship, and lands him somewhere to the right of Rubio’s plan. Either way, who cares. It’s all a ploy to get elected. Even while Obama received all kinds of love for his 2012 DREAM Act, the bastard was still deporting far more undocumented immigrants than the second Bush Administration. So, yeah.
In the primaries and in the election, George W. Bush’s legacy will continually be brought up. Jeb will maintain his position that History™ will be “kind” to his brother, provided his policies leave us with a future. In spite of the continued hate for his brother, his dad likely croaking in the next four years would definitely be a boost to Jeb’s political chances. It’s in the Bush family blood to profit off tragedy.
Dr. Ben Carson
Can he prove the old idiom: Once you go black, you tend to prefer that kind of thing in the future? Now considered a modern conservative “folk hero,” mainly because he oratorically dick-slapped the president during a recent prayer session. Brain surgeon with a life story so inspiring that he’s the subject of a documentary and a TV movie, based on his life, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. The perfect melanin-infused force-field to protect Republicans from accusations of racism.
Rather than ease up on racist policies, like, say, not letting black people vote, The Republican Party intends to reach out to African-Americans this next election season by parading around their new black friend, Dr. Ben Carson.
Dr. Carson has a pretty legitimate resume. Born and raised by his single mother in inner-city Detroit, Carson went on to graduate high school with honors. He went to Yale to study psychology, and then went on to the University of Michigan to study neurosurgery.
Dr. Ben Carson has a veritable fuck-ton of accomplishments in the medical community. At 33, Dr. Carson became the youngest physician to head a major division at John Hopkins, and has been the director of neurosurgery there since the mid-eighties. He was the first doctor to successfully separate Siamese twins WHO WERE JOINED AT THE BACK OF THE HEAD. He has revolutionized the brain surgery field in many areas, including hemispherectomies–which is an operation I’m too stupid to even try to understand.
He’s been hailed as a modern day Booker T. Washington, and his Horatio Alger-esque story has been promoted as proof that the American Dream still exists. With Dr. Ben around to prove the existence of American meritocracy, why do we have so many poor people? Apparently, all the 50 million Americans living in poverty need to do is just put their nose to the grindstone and become advanced brain surgeons.
Aside from his inspirational life story (have I mentioned that Cuba Gooding Jr. once played him in a movie?), his status as a well-respected brain-surgeon is also used to back some of the other big lies of the right. The line of thinking goes like this: Dr. Carson, you see, is a brain surgeon, so therefore everything he says must automatically be really intelligent. Like his belief that the earth was created by a guy named God about 6,000 years ago. “Evolution and creationism both require faith,” the famed brain surgeon says. “It’s just a matter of where you choose to place that faith.”
While not officially a Republican, Dr. Carson believes that if he would belong to a party it would be called the “Logic Party.” His logical, no nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is thoughts on taxes would have us create a flat tax system, similar to a tithe as outlined in the Good Book.
Watching Carson’s attack on Obama, “fiscal irresponsibility,” “moral decay,” and the “PC police” at the National Prayer Breakfast in early February was cathartic for many conservatives. They got to imagine that Obama and every PC liberal through him was finally getting their comeuppance through the medium of Dr. Ben Carson—professional black guy.
Yet, Dr. Ben Carson isn’t exactly the Franklin puppet the Republicans want him to be. He sounds pretty cool with the whole gay marriage thing, stating though he doesn’t believe “anyone from a group has the right to redefine a major pillar of society….any two consenting adults have the right to formalize a relationship between them.” And although his thoughts on foreign policy are fairly hawkish, he was opposed to the invasion of both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Either way, Dr. Carson’s speech vaulted him to national attention. Dr. Ben is the conservative darling of the moment, but with the amount of attention he and his personal story are getting lately, it’s clear that Dr. Ben Carson’s likely not going to disappear from the national spotlight soon. Whether his current flirt with candidacy is something he’s actually considering, or it’s just about landing another book deal or a spot on next season’s “Dancing With The Stars,” it’ll be somewhat interesting to see where it goes. Whatever happens with this guy, it should be noted that Karl Rove considers him “an exceptional human being.”
(Also, CUBA GOODING JR!!!!)
Stay tuned for another exciting exercise in masochism–The Definitive 2013 Guide to the 2016 Front-Runner Democrats!