First Guess: The GOP Presidential Nomination and Susan Burns
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For President of the United States of America on the Republican ticket, I nominate Susan Burns of Alexandria, Virginia!
Greetings from New York, I'm Keith Olbermann, here's today's First Guess.
When the milquetoast conservative columnist of the New York Times is out bemoaning the vapidity of the Republican Presidential field, you know it's pretty damn vapid. He pointed out that right now it's basically Tim Pawlenty versus Herman Cain, the bizarre pizza magnate and commentator. The columnist complained that no-one else was stepping up to compete for the right to lose to President Obama just under 600 days from now.
The two possibly-electable Republicans have both said they are not running. That blank-slate Senator from South Dakota John Thune and former Florida governor Jeb Bush. Presuming this is the Bush who isn't lying, we move on to those lingering on the edges of candidacy. Let's review them one by one and see how uneasily the crown sits on the head.
President Michele Bachmann. [laughter]
President Mike Huckabee. [laughter]
President Newt Gingrich. [laughter] Seriously!
President Rudy Giuliani. [laughter]
President Mitt Romney. Heh.
President Donald Trump. [laughter]
President Sarah Palin. ...That woman is an idiot.
Seriously, the Republicans will not produce a viable candidate because they have none to produce, but even if there were one the debates for which I'm already selecting my choicest popcorn would cut him or her to ribbons. The GOP, the Goop, may be perfection itself when it comes to messianic messaging or don't-talk-back talking points but individual Republicans are consumed by power lust, and thus are cosmically incapable of getting out of the way of even the most obvious of choices. People forget: St. Ronald of Reagan had been the nominee-in-waiting for 12 years as 1980 approached, yet there were nine other Republican candidates that year and Reagan lost the New Hampshire primary.
So can you picture Donald Trump debating Michele Bachmann? Can you imagine the sheer joy of watching Newt finally unleashing his inner rage against Palin? The more I think of the Goop's plan to sell the television rights to their debates, the more I'm for it. In fact I think they should sell them to the people who are doing Wrestling Pay Per View.
As academic as the Republican 2012 nominating campaign may seem, there are still occasional bursts of relevant information. We learned in the last week that Congresswoman Bachmann told voters in Iowa that she is a seventh generation Iowan, even though it's apparent her ancestors immigrated not to there but to Wisconsin. Mr. Trump went on Billo the Clown and said that if we didn't steal $1.5 billion worth of oil from Iraq, all our soldier victims there, quote, "would have died in vain". Trump also released his birth certificate; he withheld however his hair's Monsanto Wear-Dated tag of approval.
Mr. Gingrich, meantime, jumped a shark of imagery, even for him, even for his party. Quoting, "I have two grandchildren, I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they're my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American."
When advised that secular atheism and radical Islam were actually mutually exclusive, Mr. Gingrich added he meant or one dominated by radical Islamists.
Well even if that's true Mr. Gingrich is now offering a range of outcomes similar to saying the planet is in imminent danger of destruction from being hit by giant asteroids, or it is in imminent danger of destruction from not being hit by giant asteroids.
Mr. Gingrich also failed to recognize that if Republicans get to run this country the way he wants them to, his grandchildren won't have to worry about religion, because nobody will know how to read, since all the teachers will have starved to death by then, and simply being the descendant of a former Speaker of the House will not make you elite enough to be granted healthcare by one of the two corporations left.
Coincidental with all this Republican nominee talk, a story from Washington that at first seems to have no connection to this. Yesterday, Paul Gauguin's famous 1899 painting Two Tahitian Women was returned to its temporary display at the National Gallery there. Last Friday, a 53 year old woman named Susan Burns attacked Gauguin's masterpiece, $80 million worth of it, grabbing it by its frame, pounding on its protective Plexiglas shield and punching it with her right fist while screaming "This is evil!"
Court paperwork filed against Ms. Burns said she told investigators, quote, "I feel that Gauguin is evil. He has nudity and is bad for the children. He has two women in the painting and it's very homosexual. I was trying to remove it. I think it should be burned. I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you." Unquote.
See, THAT'S your 2012 Republican nominee right there! She hits all the main fear buttons, she speaks to the base and that last part? I have a radio in my head, I'm going to kill you? That's a winning Republican campaign slogan if ever I've heard one!
Keith Olbermann in New York, see you in late spring.