Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ms. Lesley Gore Has Always Been My Favorite Governor of New Jersey

It’s Still My Party
by Ms. Christine Todd Whitman
An Op-Ed from the April 29, 2009 New York Times

. . . And I’ll cry if I want to. You’d cry too, if it happened to you!
Ms. Lesley Gore, 1963

As I approach that day when I stop pushing fifty and start pulling on it, I can’t help but notice I’m just an unhappy cross between Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle and Douglas Adams’s Arthur Dent: I wake up some days, convinced I missed some giant chunk of time, either from a really long nap or getting lost in one of the space-time-probability axises.

As they like to say in the HBO series The Wire: “Ya feel me?” 

Now THAT'S a lot of crying.
There was that time when even the White House had to acknowledge that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, or even programs for or plans of same. So, being the vindictive, petty, small-minded person that I am, I could not WAIT to see who was going to get the assignment to say “D’OH!” Well, not only am I STILL waiting, but I’ve been forced to listen to Karen Hughes, Condoleezza Rice, and Richard “You Don’t Know DICK!” Cheney all step up and DENOUNCE everyone who was saying the reason for the American invasion of Iraq was because of suspected WMD programs. Anyone who claimed such a thing was “re-writing history.” 

Wait a minute--was there a Kurt Vonnegut time quake or a Madeleine L’Engle wrinkle in time, and I just missed it? What was George W. Bush’s address to the United Nations and Colin Powell’s presentation to the Security Council about? Not to mention the endless series of statements FROM Richard “You Don’t Know DICK!” Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, and Karen Hughes in the run up to the invasion. Come on now! I don’t mind so much that YOU people have the three second memory that goldfish are supposed to have…but why are you assuming **I** am that clueless? As they say where I come from: I may have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night.

Ms. Lucille Ball, back when she was Queen
of the Bs. Even before she was Lucy, there
was a lot to love.
But we digress. In the days since Arlen Specter refocused his famed Wall of Opportunism from “Nominal Republican” to “Nominal Democrat,” I kept getting that feeling where I’ve either seen a miracle or been hit over the head with a rubber hammer. First, there’s Olympia Snowe (K. Hepburn impersonator—Me.) writing to New York Times readers, decrying the day the Bush White House lost China--I mean Jim Jeffords. She then invokes the name of GOP nagual don Ron, and calls for a GOP that where “our belief in restraining government spending, pro-growth policies, tax reduction, sound national defense, and maximum individual liberty” run supreme. As for everything else: we’ll just all agree to disagree. Thus Spake Snowethustra

Now, Lesley Gore…I mean Christine Todd Whitman dusts off a really dusty civics book, and says “The United States needs two vibrant, competitive parties. With the economic crisis, the war in Iraq and countless other issues facing the nation, the stakes are too high to simply let one ideological segment of the country determine our fate. And a Moron says ‘What?’” Okay, I made up that last part. Nevermind where Ms. Whitman has been, but where on earth does she think I have been for the last eight years?

Ms. Joan Blondell. Arguably not one of the
big beauty queens of the era, but she knew
how to work it.
When was the last time anyone in the GOP even PRETENDED to think two political parties was maybe a good idea, maybe? Talking pluralism AFTER you get your ass handed to you, that don’t count. Was I not supposed to notice (back in the day) all the GOP flacks trashing Ms. Doris Kearns Goodwin’s thesis about President Lincoln? Ms. Goodwin in “Team of Rivals” argues President Lincoln’s success was due, in no small part, to Lincoln’s insistence on including “rivals”--meaning political opponents--in his cabinet, especially during a time of civil war. On The Daily Show with John Stewart, John Bolton appeared, and hotly denied everything Ms. Goodwin argued. A furious Jon Stewart then telephoned Ms. Goodwin, demanding to know why she played The Daily Show.

When the Republicans held majorities in both houses of Congress, the presidency, and President George W. Bush became the third in the number of appointments to the federal judiciary (328, behind only Presidents Clinton’s 379 and Reagan’s 384), did anyone NOT get fired for even suggesting support for a two party system? When Monica Goodling, Harriet Myers, Kyle Sampson, and maybe Alberto Gonzales (he can’t remember) made America nostalgic for the high morals and impeccable ethics of John Mitchell’s Department of Justice, did anyone say “the stakes are too high to simply let one ideological segment of the country determine our fate (and a moron says ‘What?’)”? Maybe Patrick Leahy, but nobody cares what he says.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
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Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisFirst 100 Days

I mean, a member of the GOP says the war in Iraq merits OPEN and HONEST DEBATE between BOTH Parties? Here I thought I was facing hard time in hypocrite hell—but Ms. Whitman…! Dag, I’m back working on my papers, requesting a pardon. I got hope!

So--the Republican Party consists primarily of two-faced hypocrites and partisan incompetents with an agenda—plus Senators Snowe and Collins. Knock me over with a feather.
Ms. Eva Gabor. When your talents are roughly two sisters and an offbeat accent, you better be able to bring it. She could.

Nevertheless, there are two additional points I want to make (my first point, just in case you missed it, was “Republicans are jerks”). First, what with all the GOP calls for a return to their salad days of whatever it was that Republicans were supposed to be for, it might behoove someone in the Grand Old Party to take a peekie at just what issues the LAST Republican legislature focused on. Second, there has been a tremendous sea change in American politics, and I know both the Republican and Democratic Parties also know it, but both Parties are pretending not to notice. 

As to my first point--not to be Captain Alienation or anything, but maybe…just MAYBE… there’s a reason the GOP has lost 51 seats in the house and 13 in the senate in the 2006 and 2008 elections. I know I am a bitter, old crank, but there ARE good reasons why I am still complaining about Bill Frist’s Senate and the House under Denny Hastert. Remember all the good things the 109th Congress accomplished? Me neither. In a December 15, 2006 editorial in the Christian Science Monitor, Mr. Daniel Schorr stuck a fork in the GOP run legislature, calling it “the most unproductive session in recent history.” 

Ms. Rita Hayworth. The story is that
back in the day, Ms. Hayworth's
paramours would go to bed with "Gilda,"
only to wake up with "Rita"--and that
was supposed to bad. Yeah, cry me a
river, you bunch of a-holes.
By the numbers, the 109th Congress was in session for only 103 days, in contrast to 110 sessions days of the “do nothing” Congress that was bane of President Truman’s existence. Of eleven departmental appropriations, only two were passed. The rest were addressed by “stopgap” resolutions. No actions were taken on immigration reform, Social Security, or Medicare. Nor was there any progress on ethics reform. 

However, the 109th Congress DID engage in what Mr. Schorr called “spirited debates” over flag burning and gay marriage. The Republicans also managed to shutdown the entire government over what I would argue was the most inappropriate and bullshit issue of the decade: Terry Shiavo. Oh, and Congressman Mark Foley was forced to resign after years of sending inappropriate e-mails to adolescent pages. That was good. Unfortunately, the House Ethics Committee decided that while Congress had been negligent in protecting the pages, no rules were broken. That was bad.

Gee—I can’t figure out why the GOP got half their ass handed to them in November of that year.

Now, for anyone who’s thinking “Oh yeah? What about Harry Reid? Are you trying to tell me Harry Reid doesn’t suck?” I have two responses. First, if you think like that, then why the hell are you reading anything I (of all people) have to say? Don’t get me wrong—I’m flattered and all—but why are you reading childish leftwing name calling, when there is so much childish rightwing name calling to be had? But be that as it may, while I have to breath in a paper bag to keep from fainting while I type this: Harry Reid does not suck….well, suck like Bill Frist anyway (There. Now I feel much better).

Ms. Jinx Falkenburg. I have an mp3 of an
episode of the radio program "Duffy's
Tavern" where she is a guest, playing
herself. She is both very funny and
quite charming.
While no one not batshit or a paid hack on the Democratic National Committee (there may be some overlap between those two groups) would call the Congress under Senator Reid’s stewardship exactly “prolific,” there are important differences between the two Senates. First, while Senator Reid did run a Senate with a Democratic “majority,” that majority was a 51 to 49 split, with the one being Joe Leiberman. Who is Joe Leiberman? Let me tell you: one of the least anticipated books in memory is New York Times columnist Gail Collins’s “How Joe Lieberman Ruins Everything.” Okay—so technically, the book is “Ruined” (not “Ruins”) and is ostensively limited to Joe Lieberman’s role in the 2000 Florida election debacle; but you have to admit Joe Leiberman does, in fact, ruin everything. FOR EXAMPLE: prior to the 2008 elections (when the GOP got the other half of their ass handed to them), whenever anything vaguely connected to Iraq or the Department of Wildly Out of Control Boondoggles and Fatherla- WHOOPS! Homeland Security was at issue, Leiberman flipped to the Republicans, causing a 50-50 tie, which required Richard “You Don’t Know DICK!” Cheney to break. Hmmm. I wonder how Cheney’s going to vote? 

In a word, the Senate was hopelessly gridlocked, especially with an opposing Party in the White House.

Contrast that with Bill Frist’s Senate: with a comfortable majority in both houses, his own Party in the White House, the Republicans had such a clear run on legislation, that President Bush was in office for five years before he vetoed a bill, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, on July 19 2006 (I have a giant rant on President Bush’s use of “signing statements,” but I will spare you. At least, for now. I’m going to need a ton of photos of 1940s hotties for THAT one…..).

My point is, if the GOP legislature under a GOP President still could not (or would not) perform their basic obligations—preferring instead to grandstand on flag burning and pimp on the tragedy of Terri Shiavo—then by any objective measure, it’s time for them to go.

Another shot of Ms. Blondell. When you
plan on going off on about Ms. Terry
Shiavo, you better bring out the big guns.
My final point (thank god there’s lots of nice pictures of Joan Blondell kicking around the internet) is the proverbial three hundred pound gorilla both Parties are pretending not to notice. As Ms. Whitman notes at the end of her teary tale, now is the time for all good moderates and conservative to come to the aide of the Party, preaching “fiscal restraint, less government interference in our everyday lives, environmental policies that promote a balanced approach between protection and economic interest, and a foreign policy that is engaged with the rest of the world.” I’m just going to let that one slide for now (see “hypocrite hell,” supra), and jump to Ms. Whitman’s implicit plea that if the few folks still willing to call themselves “Republicans” do not hang together, they will surely hang separately (something like that), because “third parties in the United States don’t have a particularly successful history.”

And Ms. Whitman is right, if she is talking about Ralph Nader, Ross Perot, George Wallace, and Pat Paulsen. But something weird happened in 2008. I can’t find the information right now, and if I am wrong, I’ll slam my hand inside a car door (or apologize to Christine Todd Whitman (my choice)). But if you looked at the various campaign finance reports, you could not help but notice that Mr. Barack Obama as an individual not only raised substantially more money than the GOP, he also raised a boatload more than the entire Democrat Party. Is that unusual? I believe so (see “slamming hand in car door,” supra).

Ms. Veronica Lake. The hell with Jessica
I would argue that while back in the day it was the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, we are seeing the dawning of a de facto third party: the Barack Obama Party. What is the Barack Obama Party? At this point, pretty much whatever President Obama wants: he’s got both the money and the street cred that the Democrats and Republicans can only dream of. 

What does it mean that the strongest and most influential political party in America is the Barack Obama Party? For the Democrats, that does not mean when President Obama says jump, they ask “How high?” It does mean they jump first, and THEN ask if that was high enough. And they’re okay with that, because by any objective measure (so far as we know), Barack Obama is a good man. But even if he wasn’t—it’s not like they’re in a position to do anything about it. 

And what does that mean for the Republicans? Well, I’d cry too, if it was happening to me.

What? Phil Spector Changed Parties? When THAT Happen?

We Didn't Have to Lose Arlen Specter 
an OP-ED by Senator Olympia Snowe, April 28, 2009, New York TImes 

Not Senator Olympia Snowe--but don't feel
bad. Many people make that mistake.
Olympia Snowe is a nice person. So is Susan Collins. I am pleased that they both have each other, so that at GOP functions, each will know that they will have at least ONE other person to talk to. Not that life has gotten THAT bad for almost the last two Republicans east of the Mississippi and north of the Mason-Dixon line, but in the last week of April 2009, their GOP dance cards got a little bleaker: Arlen Specter looked deep in his heart, and seeing there was nothing there, decided he might as well become a Democrat. Why not?

So, other than the fact that the two senators from Maine have one less person to hang with at GOP bacchanalias, does this really mean anything else for what's left of the Grand Old Party? Well, yes it does, according to Olympia Snowe (Nice Lady-ME). In an April 28th editorial in the New York Times, titled "We Didn't Have to Lose Arlen Specter," Senator Snowe offers up the Kathryn Hepburn-style Yankee equivalent of "CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?" Now, if I were a Republican (and a nice person from Maine), I would be making much the same arguments that Senator Snowe does. She begins by pointing out that "back in the day"--1988, to be exact--the Republicans had a 55 to 45 majority over the Democrats, and there was no reason to think in 2000 that the GOP would not snag another five seats, giving THEM the 60 seat majority. The 2000 elections came--and the GOP succeeded in doing what no one dreamed they could do: lose five seats, giving the Senate a 50-50 tie. Then with the cry reminiscent of John Paul Jones ("We have not yet begun to lose!"), the 2006 and 2008 elections resulted in net losses of 51 Republicans in the House and 13 in the Senate. What is wrong with this picture?

Not that woman who played opposite
Spencer Tracy in all those movies--but if
she did, she'd have been great.....
As Ms. Snowe so graciously puts it: "There is no plausible scenario under which Republicans can grow into a majority while shrinking our ideological confines and continuing to retract into a regional party." Which while undoubtedly true, is not how I would have phrased it. I would have said "There is no plausible scenario which Republicans can grow—and I would mean “grow” as opposed to “die out”--while shrinking our average IQ and continuing to retract into a flock of complete morons." (I’m not a New England person, so even when I am being nice, I’m not all that nice).

Senator Snowe’s solution is to quote from the book of Saint Reagan: “We should emphasize the things that unite us and make these the only ‘litmus test’ of what constitutes a Republican: our belief in restraining government spending, pro-growth policies, tax reduction, sound national defense, and maximum individual liberty.” His Eminence Ronald the Good continues: “As to the other issues that draw on the deep springs of morality and emotion, let us decide that we can disagree among ourselves as Republicans and tolerate the disagreement.”
Mr. Ronald Reagan (pictured with Ms. Marilyn Monroe): "Who's the dumb guy now, huh? How 'bout it, Mr. Smart Guy? SUCK IT Weenie Boy!" (Few people realize what a potty mouth Reagan was....)

Well…..if you ask me (and no one ever does)--No. All of those points are losers in the GOP playbook. Every one of them. But I would argue even BEFORE the GOP can consider the Reagan/Snowe Plan, there are three larger millstones around the GOP’s collective neck. Those are the Party line on evolution, gay marriage, and personal attacks on Republican critics for “bias.”

"The Jury Is Still Out on Evolution"

Ms. Ann Southern. This article is so
long, pointless and boring, I'm REALLY
going to have to load up the pictures of
hot babes--all in an attempt to lend the
operation a modicum of class (as we said
back in the day).
What "jury" this is, I have no idea. But inside the scientific community, any and all GOP supposed handwringings over evolutionary biology were answered circa 1860. Honest. See James Burke's "The Day the Universe Changed" or rent the PBS dvds. Moreover, in 1925, high school PE teacher John Scopes was put on trial--and convicted-- for teaching "evolution," contrary to Tennessee law. But the shame of it all was that Mr. Scopes was probably the only science teacher in Tennessee who DIDN'T teach evolution, because every biology textbook that Tennessee authorized schools for purchase had a strong emphasis on “Darwinism.” If you have not seen WGBH's show The Monkey Trial, an episode of "The American Experience." There is also a transcript on line.

But why am I getting bees in my bonnet over evolution, as opposed to abortion and abortion related issues, like stem cells, “morning after” pills, and STD immunizations? Just my personal opinion, I think the social conservative line on abortion is also foolish and immoral, but it is not as politically disastrous as the “evolution” line.

Ms. Ava Gardner. Nobody ever told HER
about cosmology. She also knew how to
kick ass and take names.
Here's why: if you think evolutionary biology is not a “science,” you are ignorant. But that's okay—lots of folks are ignorant, and they are otherwise fine people who live full—if not particularly rich--lives. And if you think the two mutually exclusive creation myths in the Genesis scroll of the Judeo-Christian Bible are the literal, historical truth of how this universe came into being roughly five thousand years, seven days ago (featuring the talking snake), your ignorance of cosmology is matched only by your ignorance of the Bible. But you know what? You are still fine--just keep it to yourself, and be the "unspecified Protestant" WASPs are known for the world over. But even if you just can't hide "it" under the proverbial bushel, you can still be okay: you’ll just be a little eccentric. I call ignorant unspecified Protestants who are eccentric “Legion,” for they are many. HA HA HA! Oh, nevermind.

Here’s the problem. It's not enough for George W. Bush’s Republican party that THEY are all ignorant unspecified Protestants who are eccentric, they insist that EVERYONE ELSE should embrace their brand of idiocy as well. And that’s bad.

When was the last time that during an important GOP debate, some idiot DIDN'T wave a Bible, saying that if the King James version of same was good enough for the Apostle Paul, why shouldn't it be good enough for everyone? Conversely, when was the last time a GOP leader said anything about religion being a private matter between a person and their god, and not a supernatural concept to confuse children in the name of "intelligent design"?

That, pals and gals, is where the GOP rubber fails to hit the intellectual road. Despite the best efforts of people like Senator Snowe and gods like Jehovah, the closer the GOP is tied to what is known as the "fundamentalist" religious tendency, insisting everyone should embrace a cosmology that would embarrass your average Taliban cadre for its religious simplemindedness, the faster the Party will collapse.

"God Hates Gay People."

Now, I am the last person to claim to speak for any god, but I'd have to say there is more than ample evidence that if god does exist, that god hates opportunists more than god hates...oh, let’s say…FAGS. In fact, it seems to me that whatever god exists, that Spirit genuinely likes and respects gay people, because the gays are beating the hell (no pun intended) out of gods’ (supposedly) own people.

The Reverend Fred Phelps. I was going to
include a YouTube link, showing a 
demonstration where people (using the 
term loosely) insisted that god hates fags.
There are lots of clips--all disturbing.
Here’s what I mean by “opportunism:” Trading long term benefits for short term success, or “Win today; Lose you ass tomorrow.” Just my personal opinion, but gay marriage will be an opportunistic albatross, hanging around the GOP’s neck for a generation. 

One of the hallmarks of the 2004 elections were the plethora of states who enacted "one man-one woman" definitions of "marriage," to preserve "marriage," and to "protect the children" by making sure that only one man and one woman could get married. It worked great: Republican voters poured out to the polls to ban gay marriage--and incidentally re-elect George W. Bush. All well and good for the GOP (gods’ own people). 

But not really. There are good, practical reasons why two people in a committed relationship need the various legal and political protections recognized in the traditional marriage contract. So, legislatures have responded by creating "civil unions," a wholly secular institution separate but equal (cough cough) to the "religious" institution of marriage. And if you are a GOP social conservative, that's bad.

First, if the state recognizes same sex civil unions, isn’t that just "gay marriage" by another name? Of course it is. And that's bad. Why? Because God hates FAGS, that's why! Pay attention! Of course, this is the same god who also REALLY hates weaving two different kinds of thread into one cloth and moving around on the "Sabbath," but has no problem with genocide and slavery. Go figure. Again, the real problem is not that the GOP social conservative loves the god who hates fags. I mean, lots of people who aren’t god hate lots of things, and we do (relatively) okay. No, the real problem is that the GOP insists that EVERYBODY should love the god that hates fags. Oh yeah--and hate fags too. Therefore, far from creating civil unions, same sex cohabitation should be dealt with, just like we did back in the good ‘ol days: with DEATH! Now THERE'S a crowd pleaser among independents, young voters, and people with at least an upper two digit IQ.
Ms. Carole Landis. I am certain, sure she is unaware that anyone is watching her.

Nevertheless, the biggest danger to fag hating social conservatives is not the unbridled vengeance of an angry fag hating god--it's the carefully thought out opinions of state court judges. Here's the rub: as I said earlier, for everyone who does not hate fags, there are good reasons why gay people should have the secular protections that come from being "married"--despite the fact we all run the risk that allowing civil unions will make more people "decide" to be gay, just to take advantage of the law. Uh huh. Sure.

But no sweat: the state creates a separate but equal secular institution called "civil union," that gives anyone (not just the same sex marriage people) all of the protections and guarantees of marriage, only we don't call it “marriage.” Problem solved, right? Not exactly--blame it on the Blacks.

One of the big trouble makers of all time.
Also famous for pants that were extra
Back in the day, a bunch of big mouth, trouble making African American outside agitators went all the way to Topeka, and filled Oliver L. Brown's head with the then crazy idea that despite the fact that the segregated schools in Kansas were IN REALITY “equal” (which is exactly why Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund went to Topeka. They knew their onions, believe you me), “separate but equal” schools were still "bad." Don’t let me leave you on the edge of your seats, but in 1954, the Supreme Court agreed with Marshall: “Separate but equal…BAD!” Now, say what you will about the gay community and how much god may hate them, more than a few have a passing knowledge of American legal history. 

So what happens when in, let's just say……IOWA, some fancy pants lawyer (not necessarily gay--all lawyers wear fancy pants) asks Assistant Attorney General Adam Hick of Pumpkin Creek what is the compelling state interest in refusing to allow same sex people to marry? Especially given that all secular benefits of “marriage” are allowed through “civil unions.” Just what exactly is the state interest in preserving a wholly religious institution, without running afoul of the establishment clause of the first amendment and the due process rights under the fourteenth amendment? Is Mr. Hick going to open his King James Bible to Leviticus, and say "See? Right here: God hates fags." Not so much.

“We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective,” is how the unanimous Iowa Supreme Court phrased it. 
"We'll always have Paris."
"But aren't there fags in Paris?"
"You're right. Well...We'll always have Leviticus......"

I mean, what are you going to say to that? “This was about the opinion of those seven justices and does not at all reflect some sea change"? Well, that's what a Mr. Bryan English of the Iowa Family Policy Center said. How's that working out for you, Brian? 

But just like Mr. Bogart and Ms. Bergman will always have Paris, bigots will always have Leviticus.

“We Hate Smart People.”

This is the one that really gets to me, even more than the five thousand year old talking snake, and the idea of god qua playa hater. 

Back in the day, one of the big slogans of environmentalists, while transitioning from Rachel Carson Cult to Mass Movement, was “Question Authority.” Why question authority? Because at the time, Kerr-McGee, General Electric, and the fine people at Babcock & Wilcox had lots of people with “authority” insisting the nuclear power was completely safe. End of story. “Nobody has ever died ever from a nuclear reactor accident, ever,” the flacks, hacks, and usual gang of idiots with advanced engineering degrees all bragged. On the other side were all those folks with long hair, raggy clothes and sandals. They said, quoting the monster in bad Frankenstein movies: “Nuclear power…BAD!” Which sounds sort of stupid—but how many nuclear engineers did the environmentalists have? None (and they counted them twice). So “QUESTION AUTHORITY” was born, largely because it sounded better than “Nuh Uh!” or “’Fraid Not!” Not much better, granted, but still better. That still didn’t keep me from cringing every time anyone said—okay, yelled “Question Authority!”

Nuclear Safety Engineer, Babcock & Wilcox,
circa 1979.
But then there was the movie “The China Syndrome,” followed closely by the Saturday Night sketch “The Pepsi Syndrome,’ then the partial core meltdown at the Three Mile Island facility in 1979, followed by the big 1986 “whoopsie” at the Ukraine’s Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant…and the whole issue of how to respond to “nuclear energy never killed nobody” stopped being such a big deal.

Similarly, we have the Grand Old Party that cut its academic teeth by opposing FDR’s New Deal (with the intellectual equivalent of wearing “Question Authority” buttons), President Ike railing at “intellectuals” (sometimes with good reason), Spiro Agnew reading aloud from Pat Buchannan about “effete intellectual snobs” and their “nattering nabobs of negativism,” followed by the convoluted defenses of Reagan’s “misstatements” every time he jumped the rails, to the George W. Bush hacks denouncing anyone not named Fox News as “biased.” 

Now—I know I’m a little weak on the whole “good-bad” thing, but isn’t bias “bad”? Don’t know, don’t care—because what the GOP calls “bias” is synonymous with four year olds yelling “nuh uh, you dumb guy!” 

Not Sarah Palin, sorry pals and gals. This
is Ms. Linda Darnell. You better believe SHE
knew what she was reading!
Here’s what I mean. In 2008, John McCain selects the sitting Alaska Governor to be his running mate, a heartbeat away from the Presidency, with the potential Presidential heart in the chest of what would have been the oldest elected president, who also had legitimate questions about his health. Various employees of the New York Times begin reporting on Governor Palin, pointing out (among other things) her rather sparse “not a complete moron” credentials. The McCain campaign returns fire, NOT by refuting the substance of the reporting, but by insisting that the New York Times is “in the tank for Obama.” Which means (I guess) that Unrepresentative Eastern Liberal Media Establishment (or the UELME) went all Randolph Hearst over Senator Obama, so would only print stories (ie “make shit up”) that said “Fire…BAD! Palin…WORSE!” Therefore, there was no point in answering these charges.

Well….okay. I mean, the New York Times did endorse Senator Obama over Senator McCain, but was that because the NYT was in the proverbial tank for Obama? Or maybe the endorsement had something to do with Governor Palin’s complete inability to articulate anything about Russia—and yet insisted she knew all about the Russian Federation, because it was GEOGRAPHICALLY close to Alaska. Plus, when “President” (sic) Putin flew to the US, he had to fly OVER Alaska. Considering that most of us learn the difference between physical proximity and intellectual awareness when we’re about…I don’t know…FIVE YEARS OLD—you’d think someone wanting to be vice president would also grasp the concept. At least, the NY Times thought so (for and record and in the interest of full disclosure: I thought so too. But unlike the NY Times, my thoughts featured abundant sprinklings of the “F word”).

Ms. Jean Harlow, who doesn't even vaguely
get the attention she deserves. Of course,
I've always been in the tank for Ms. Harlow
(an expression that sounds dirty, but isn't
Here’s another one: Governor Palin does a pleasant walk and talk with Katie Couric. Katie asks “So Governor, what do you read to keep you in the know?” (or words to the effect). The Governor says “oh…… ummmm…. Whatever they [unspecified] put in front of me.” When pushed to be more specific, Governor Palin cannot name a single publication, and tells La Belle Couric “I’ll have to get back to you on that…” 

Now, if you don’t think the fact a sitting Governor planning on being Vice President can’t even blurt out a lie like “Oh, I read Newsweek/Time/US News & World Report/National Review/Anchorage Daily News/Lake Wobegone Herald Star/Highlights Magazine for Children every chance I get!” raises a red flag—then according to the GOP, you must be in somebody’s tank. That’s why the GOP spinners make like whirling dervishes, denouncing Katie Couric and CBS News for “gotcha” journalism.

One of my favorites: About ten days after the GOP convention, and after the Katie Couric debacle, a GOP flack is on the Fox News morning show, hosted by Joe Scarborough. Mr. Scarborough is there with four or five other “journalists,” all representing the various views of the radical right. But the Scarborough people ARE television folks after all, and they want to know from the GOP flack why Governor Palin is being shielded from interviews—because that’s how TV people make their eating money. The GOP flack whips out the “bias” card, and starts complaining about the “sexism” of the “media,” making stuff up about how Governor Palin won’t be interviewed, when if you look at the time period after Joe Biden was named Obama’s VP, Biden hardly gave any interviews at all.

This is supposedly a picture of Ms. Deborah
Kerr wearing a "bikini." Is that really a
bikini? What the hell do I care? It really is
Deborah Kerr!
Scarborough and Friends fall out of their chairs, screaming with laughter. Sure, blood is thicker than water, and we’re all trying real hard for ya honey…but Joe Biden NOT on television? Please—it’s only by the grace of a loving god and an eternally vigilant FCC that we don’t have “The Joe Biden Channel: All Joe Biden, All the Time!”

But the “we don’t have to respond, because you are biased” card became truly heinous in the run up to the Iraq War, and the immediate aftermath following the shocked SHOCKED discovery that Iraq had no WMDs, no nuclear program, and no ties with terrorist organizations period—let alone al Qaida and the 9/11 attacks.

My point is, though, the GOP will continue to shrink as long as its spokespeople say something stupid, followed by a refusal to justify the stupidity, because anyone with the bad manners to point out the stupidity is “biased.”

So no, Senator Snowe (Senator Voted Most Like Tracy Lords Character, ”The Philadelphia Story”--Me.), the Republicans returning to those kindler, gentler days of paying lip service to restraining government spending, pro-growth policies, tax reduction, sound national defense, and maximum individual liberty ain’t gonna cut the muster—at least not until your Party stops embracing a theory of evolutionary biology featuring a talking snake, insists on following a god who is a true playa hater when it comes to the gay and lesbian community, and is content to dismiss any criticism of mistakes and incompetence as the product of “liberal bias.”

Until they clean up those three things, the Republicans are going to be having much bigger fish to fry, than worry over losing a vacuous sleazeball like Arlen Specter.
NOT the newest Democratic Senator from Pennsylvania. Apparently, I am am the only one to have made this mistake.