Friday, May 4, 2007

1st Round of GOP Presidential Debate Goes to Reagan

Capitalizing on home-field advantage, former President Ronald Reagan dominated last night’s GOP presidential debate at the Reagan Library, posthumously winning the first round. That said, the remaining field of living GOP candidates are faced with an uphill battle if they’re going to overcome “The Great Communicator’s” resurgence in the party. Although, recent history has been kind to GOP candidates who lose to dead people; just ask John Ashcroft, whose senatorial bid in Missouri was upended by a deceased candidate. Ashcroft’s defeat served as a stepping stone for landing an Attorney General a gig under President Bush.

Based on what I heard during last night's non-debate, my guess is that Nancy Reagan gave the candidates a motivational speech just before going on stage, reminding them where the GOP used to stand when her husband was President. Either way, the GOP hopefuls took the stage imbibed with Ronald Reagan’s presence and the collective game plan of injecting Reagan into everything. I felt like I was listening to Jim Zabel calling an Iowa Hawkeye football game, conveniently threading in commercials into his color commentary:

Zabel: “He’s got a man wide open in the end zone. The pass is up, it’s a beauty. The Hawkeyes are going to score. Touchdown! He dropped it! Nobody around him for miles and he dropped the ball. Unbelievable! Speaking of unbelievable and dropping, come on down to Nathan Arizona’s Unpainted Furniture, where prices are dropping as we speak. That’s Nathan Arizona’s Unpainted Furniture, proud supporter of your Iowa Hawkeyes.”

Albeit a slight exaggeration, the GOP hopefuls made allusions to Reagan on several occasions. The Republican Party is still in a recovery mode after their political trouncing in the ’06 election. The GOP is suffering an identity crisis, and it appears they’re looking back to the GOP salad days of President Reagan to help find answers and conservative rebirth. During the first portion of the non-debate, I thought the Cold War was still going on. Although, maybe these guys are on to something; resurrecting a good ‘ol fashioned Cold War may be just the remedy to stamp out the War on Terror.

Before the non-debate I posed the question: Will the Real Conservative please stand up?

After the non-debate, the next question the GOP hopefuls are asking as a means of searching their party’s soul and presidential nomination is:

Will the next Ronald Reagan please stand up?

Ten Little Reagans: Which one of these lucky contestants will be the next Ronald Reagan?

Thursday, May 3, 2007

GOP Debate: “American Conservative Idolatry”

In tonight’s GOP presidential debate, or “Epic Battle for the Conservative Voter’s Seal of Approval,” the candidates will be vying to establish themselves as The Conservative of the GOP Party. In order to gauge an accurate reading, it looks like Political Fallout will have to break out its Official Sam Brownback Christian Conservative Values Scale (Compassion Not Included). Although this scale only works on religious and some social conservatives, it will be a good tool for beginning the conservative vetting process. With all the different sects and branches of conservatism popping up underneath God’s umbrella (e.g. fiscal, cultural, neo-, etc.) it would be impossible to get an exact reading.

I hope the debate moderators hit upon the conservative labeling quagmire from the very beginning, just so the audience can rest assured that all of the candidates are indeed conservatives. I imagine a lightning round of introductions playing out like this:

(Note: Candidates have been ranked by their Political Fallout Conservative Score (PFCS), which is based on the candidates’ own perception of their conservatism and cross referenced with internal polling.)

Moderator: “Will the real conservative candidate please step forward?”

Top Tier Conservatives

Sam Brownback: “I’m God’s Senator, and I’m a Full-Scale Conservative.”

Mike Huckabee: “I’m a Genuine Conservative with genuine convictions.”

Second Tier Conservatives

Tommy Thompson: “Unlike others who say they’re conservatives, yet don’t act conservatively, I’m your Reliable Conservative."

Jim Gilmore: “I’m not just your ordinary, willy-nilly conservative. Why, I’m a Faithful Conservative.”

Duncan Hunter: "I hope to be the Most Conservative."

Born-Again Conservatives

Mitt Romney: "Not only am I a Conservative, I'm a Conservative Republican."

Conservative Flavor of the Week (formerly the Neoconservative Special)

John McCain: "I was a Conservative when it was cool not being Conservative and not a Conservative when it was cool, but now I assure you that I am indeed a Conservative. For now anyway."

Non-Practicing Conservatives (formerly L*beral Conservatives)

Rudy Giuliani: "I'm a Conservative (pause) no, really, I am."

Tune in tonight to watch the candidates battle it out for the no-holds-barred Conservative Rubber Stamp.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

How Do You Spell Stubborn?


“Mission Accomplished – 4 Years Later”

Doc Fallout’s Spin Machine: Bush’s VETO Speech

Bush: “…members of the House and the Senate passed a bill that substitutes the opinions of politicians for the judgment of our military commanders”

Doc’s Spin: Military commanders = military commander (singular), meaning the Chief Executive Officer (who by the way happens to be an opinionated politician as well).

Bush: “It makes no sense to tell the enemy when you plan to start withdrawing.”

Doc’s Spin: Bush is right. This would be like telling the enemy when you plan on entering, thus providing them time to pack their bags and head to Iraq.

Bush: “All the terrorists would have to do is mark their calendars and gather their strength and begin plotting how to overthrow the government and take control of the country of Iraq.

Doc’s Spin: The terrorists already mark their calendars every day with their daily “To Do” list:

1. Gather strength
2. Plot overthrow of Iraq
3. Send thank you note to Bush for helping fuel their cause

Bush: “I believe setting a deadline for withdrawal would demoralize the Iraqi people, would encourage killers across the broader Middle East and send a signal that America will not keep its commitments. Setting a deadline for withdrawal is setting a date for failure, and that would be irresponsible”.

Doc’s Spin: Duh, this has already happened without setting a deadline for withdrawal.

Bush: “That means America's commanders in the middle of a combat zone would have to take fighting directions from politicians 6,000 miles away in Washington, D.C. This is a prescription for chaos and confusion, and we must not impose it on our troops.”

Doc’s Spin: For definition of “chaos & confusion,” see current policy of “Bush and Bush.”

Bush: “It's true that not everyone taking innocent life in Iraq wants to attack America here at home, but many do. Many also belong to the same terrorist network that attacked us on September the 11th, 2001 and wants to attack us here at home again. We saw the death and destruction al Qaeda inflicted on our people when they were permitted a safe haven in Afghanistan. For the security of the American people, we must not allow al Qaeda to establish a new safe haven in Iraq.”

Doc’s Spin: Like the 9/11 – al Qaeda connection, the Iraq War is getting old, and now Bush wants to set up a terrorist franchise in Iran.

Bush: “Without a war-funding bill, the armed forces will have to consider cutting back on buying new equipment or repairing existing equipment. Without a war-funding bill, we add to the uncertainty felt by our military families. Our troops and their families deserve better, and their elected leaders can do better.”

Doc’s Spin: Bush is right, our elected leaders can do better. How do you spell success in Iraq?


Doc Fallout is Political Fallout’s resident Spin Doctor and has been spinning the truth before spinning the truth was in vogue.


More Fallout...

Iraq: Rural America's foreign war (Iowa Independent)

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Rants Seduces Pettengill to the Dark Side

Christopher Rants: "Come, Dawn...come to the Dark side of the Minority Force..."
Big Tobacco’s Major Player, House Minority Leader Christopher Rants, used his behind the scenes charm* to seduce Dawn Pettengill to the Dark Side of the Minority Force. Dawn’s supporters are hailing her defection as courageous. Meanwhile, her opponents are calling her move an act of betrayal, while Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Leader of the Democratic Empire dismissed her move as “…more of a shift on paper…” Ouch, even in the cutting edge world of a paper-shuffling bureaucracy, that analogy had to hurt.

*Rants’s behind the scene charms consist of frequent temper tantrums, labor union bashing, and writing “Democrats are a bunch of poo poo heads” on the state house bathroom stalls with water-soluble markers.

Dawn Pettengill captured in a Rants Trance after watching him work his Svengali powers on House floor by throwing a hypnotic temper tantrum.

Mark Twain once said, “There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice.” Tempted by the loss of power, it looks like Dawn may have succumbed to Rants’s Svengali powers. (Extracted from George du Maurier’s 1894 novel, Trilby, the word "Svengali" means a person who, with evil intent, manipulates another into what is desired.) Sounds like we have the ingredients for shooting another adaptation of Tribly here in Iowa. Now all we have to do is woo Hollywood, manipulating them with Iowa’s new film tax exemption.

The following is a dramatization of Rants working his hypnotic Svengali powers on the susceptible Dawn Pettengill. (I repeat: This is a dramatization. Do not try this at home or work, unless you’ve received your official degree in the Fine Arts of Manipulation from the Karl Rove School of Svengali.)

Tribly II: Dawn of the GOP

Rants: Look into my eyes Dawn, and imagine my eyeballs are dollar signs.

Dawn: (entranced) Yes, Mr. Rants. Dollar signs.

Rants: Focus, focus on the dollar signs.

Dawn: (still entranced) Yes, Mr. Rants

Rants: Now imagine watching me every single day, working my magic on the House floor and behind the scenes with the GOP.

Dawn: Yes, Mr. Rants.

Rants: Your Party no longer loves you, Dawn. Not like Mr. Rants’ssssssssssss Party.

Dawn: Yes, Mr. Rantssssssss…

Rants: Come join the Minority Force and watch me, yes me, work my magic by evoking my almighty procedural powers.

Dawn: Yes, Mr. Rants. You do have the power to clog up the bureaucratic machine.

Rants: If you come, Dawn. Others will follow and we will control the House next year (sinister laugh here).

Dawn: Oh, Mr. Rants, you truly are amazing.

Rants: I know, I know, Dawn. You are so wise. Now come to the Dark Side. Shall we dance?

Dawn: Yes, Mr. Rants. I would love to dance with you.

(They dance the forbidden dance.)



More Fallout...

Pettengill's Defection Finally Pays Dividends for GOP (Iowa Independent)

Pettengill Voting Record Conflicts With Switch (Iowa Independent)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Gag Me with a Silver Spoon, Laura Bush

I nearly gagged on my recycled spork when I saw a clip of Laura Bush on a “Today Show” interview, when she claimed nobody suffered more about the Iraq War than she and George. I strongly recommend putting down any eating utensils (including your bloody hands, Dick) before watching this video.

OMG! Like, gag me with a silver spoon, Laura. Did you just say nobody suffers more than you? OMG! Are you for real?

Even as a US Army veteran of the Cold War, I have better sense than to equate any or all of my suffering to someone who's serving in the Iraq War, let alone their family members who've been left behind.

Jim Hightower served up one of my favorite lines about President Bush when he said, “George Bush was born on third base, and thought he’d hit a triple.” Using this as a litmus test, I try imagining who, in their Christian Right mind, would marry someone who is completely oblivious.

And this leads me to one of my favorite Obi-wan Kenobi lines (from Star Wars IV: A New Hope and motif-in-progress for the ’08 Presidential Election): “Who's the more foolish: The fool, or the fool who follows him?” But before I begin pigeonholing our First Stepford Lady, maybe I should see if her projected compassion merits any truth.

Let’s ask*:

Michelle Barish, whose brother is serving in Iraq

Rose Forrest, who is about to be redeployed

Lindzi Bittinger-Baird, whose husband is being redeployed after serving the last 2.5 years in the Inactive Reserves

We can only pray to God (and I'm not talking about the God-fearing God, who stumbled upon George W. when he was stuck in Right field) that Laura’s doesn’t signal her hubby to steal home (code/mixed metaphor for attacking Iran).

*All videos are courtesy of the VideoVets Project. To learn more about the "VideoVets: Bring Our Troops Home" project and/or vote which video should be made into a commercial by Vietnam Veteran, Oliver Stone, go to the videovets site at