Waiting For The Sarahcuda Or Someone Like Her

May 10, 2011 4:06 pm 14 comments

Firesign Theater cultists will instantly recognize the headline of this post as a play on the title of their first comedy album, “Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him,” released in 1968. Those who aren’t Firesigners can catch up here. “Electrician” is my favorite Firesign offering because it lampooned the counter culture while that culture was at its zenith. Though cultural rebels of the sixties and seventies loved this comedy act, they were often the target of the troupe’s lampooning. But FT did it in a mostly good-natured fashion, unlike the acidic manner in which Frank Zappa ridiculed hippies with the help of his band The Mothers of Invention. What made the Firesign Four so unique and so doggone funny was their impeccable timing. It was more than just stage timing, but rather timing in the sense that the troupe were quick to spot cultural trends and incorporate them into their work. That sold a heck of a lot of comedy records, which are historically slow-moving merchandise, for the “four or five crazy guys,” and they became cultural icons themselves.

The 2012 GOP presidential derby is more than a political sweepstakes. It encompasses a significant cultural component as well, which is why the first Firesign LP came immediately to mind when I set out to write this post. Its thesis is rather straightforward. While Reagan conservatives wait for Sarah Palin to get into the 2012 race for the Republican presidential nomination, the early innings of the game are going through phases where we see the GOP team’s fans clutching onto one Sarah substitute after another. None of these substitutes being The Real Thing, each successive infatuation is all too fleeting. When the realization sinks in that the current substitute of the month or week is lacking in some attribute which is essential to Sarah Palin’s appeal, the seekers (while doubtless sipping a cup of the Firesign’s favorite strange brew — “Ersatz Bros. Coffee, the REAL ONE !”), find themselves a new Palin proxy to latch onto.

Consider that Rep. Michele Bachmann was once the apple of their eyes (or, as the Firesign fellows say, “Everyone knew her as Nancy”). This infatuation lasted until the realization began to sink in that the Congresswoman from Minnesota would be savaged by the Democrat/Media complex as thoroughly as has Gov. Palin been, and further that her experience is in the legislative, not the executive, realm. History tells us that only one sitting U.S. Representative has managed to go directly from the floor of the House to an Oval Office desk. And so Bachmann Fill-In-The-Blank Overdrive began to downshift into lower gears to try to cope with the steep climb ahead.

Enter The Donald, who made the hearts of many who were longing for a bandwagon to jump onto beat faster. So desperate for a champion to challenge The One were the searchers that they were willing to throw common sense to the wind to sing Mr. Trump’s praises to any who would listen and many who didn’t want to hear it. Some of the Trumpeters were willing to stretch beyond Mr. Fantastic’s superhero abilities to forgive Trump his embrace of liberal Democrats and leftist policy positions simply because The Donald was willing to stand up to The One. Some of these are the same conservatives who still haven’t forgiven Sarah Palin for her refusal, out of friendship and loyalty, to throw John McCain under the bus. Go figure.

When the White House finally released a long form COLB which may or may not be authentic, birthers were sad to discover that most Americans were satisfied with it. Not that the president’s place of birth was ever that big of an issue for most of the electorate, as those pesky pocketbook issues continue to worry them. To quote a rather prescient Firesign Theater line from decades past, “That’s a nice story Mr. President, but where can I find a job?” Add to this the recent Trump tirade of f-bombs, and even the more delusional Trumpeters started looking for someone new, and the Donald has quickly become yesterday’s news. Or as the Firesign guys say, “Why, he’s no fun, he fell right over.”

The searchers were not without a shiny new candidate-object for long. The Fox News GOP “debate” in South Carolina this week gave them their latest love. Businessman Herman Cain could not help but shine, considering the lackluster crew with whom he shared the stage. The two left-libertarians, Rep. Ron Paul and former Gov. Gary Johnson, clearly demonstrated that they have little in common with Reagan conservatives and are just Bozos on the bus. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty had some good answers, but came off as too much of a slick politician — dare we say Romneyesque? Former Sen. Rick Santorum probably helped himself with his performance, but he still has to overcome his support for Arlen Specter at the expense of Pat Toomey in 2004 and his 18-point defeat by Bob Casey two years later, the largest margin of defeat ever for an incumbent Republican Senator in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Cain, with his common sense answers delivered in a resonant baritone easily stood head and shoulders above the others that night. His only problem was a failure to get specific in his answers, which was responsible for what Byron York describes as “the most head-scratching moment of the night”:

It started when moderator Bret Baier asked Cain about a statement Cain made in an interview in January in which Cain said that as president he would rely heavily on whatever his generals and the experts told him should be done in the war. “You’re running for president,” Baier said to Cain. “After almost ten years in Afghanistan, you don’t have your own plan yet about what you would do in Afghanistan?”

“No,” Cain answered. ‘Because it’s not clear what the mission is. That’s the bigger problem. It’s not clear what the mission is…”

Baier followed up: “How would you define winning in Afghanistan right now, as you’re looking at it as a candidate?”

“My point is,” Cain explained, “the experts and their advice and their input would be the basis for me making that decision. I’m not privy to a lot of confidential information.”

It was an unusual way of approaching the question, to say the least. Was Cain saying that he couldn’t answer any questions about foreign policy, because he didn’t have the kind of classified information that only presidents have? When Cain met with reporters after the debate, he explained that he approached Afghanistan like he would a business decision. “A good businessman does not make a decision without considering all of the facts,” he said. “I haven’t been privy to all of the confidential information to make that decision.”

But if Cain could only formulate a policy position after receiving presidential-level briefings — did that mean he might never have a position as a candidate on Afghanistan? “That’s probably the case,” Cain said. Perhaps sensing that might be a problem down the road, he then explained that he might be able to put together “some sort of strategic approach” from publicly-available information. “What I’m saying is I will not be pushed into spitting out a plan so people can say, this is his plan.”

York says Cain’s answers on the foreign policy questions revealed “an astonishing lack of preparation on a key national security issue.” Cain faces a situation not unlike that which Gov. Palin ran up against as a vice presidential candidate in 2008. She had been a successful governor, and as such was strong on economic issues — especially energy-related ones. Though most governors are constitutionally bound to balance their states’ budgets, they had never been required to demonstrate expertise on foreign policy before Sarah Palin was put on a presidential ticket. Yet she was running for vice-president at the time, not the presidency. But now the goal posts have been moved, and the successful candidate for the GOP nomination will have to have some foreign policy chops. It’s not the kind of knowledge a candidate can acquire from a crash course on CDs or by attending college by correspondence. Gov. Palin has been working on it for two and half years now, and she recently raised the bar by hiring on Peter Schweizer to help her put the finishing touches on what we hope to soon see as a comprehensive Palin Doctrine, one which reaches far beyond her clear and commendable five point test of whether to commit U.S. troops to action overseas.

But Cain doesn’t have two and a half years to show that he’s got what it takes to handle situations which arise overseas that could seriously impact the United States. He has about a month until the next Republican debate, which is scheduled for June 7. He will also have to explain how a CEO dealing with a board of directors and shareholders is like a president who has to deal with the Senate and House. Though the relationships are similar in some ways, they are quite different in many others. If he cannot do these things, his star will fade and the seekers will latch onto The Next Big GOP Phenom. At least until the Sarahcuda gets in the race. Once that happens, everything changes. And you don’t need to hire a private investigator like Nick Danger, (sitting in his office listening to the endless staccato of raindrops on his desk, reading his name backwards in the glass — “Regnad Kcin…”), to tell you that.

- JP


  • Ron Paul’s main position is to follow the constitution- and all his votes match that. How is that “left”?

    He hasn’t changed this position in 25+ years… and Reagan spoke highly of Dr. Paul, so it would seem your analysis of having “little in common with Reagan conservatives” is a bit off. Regardless, your statement is subjective and doesn’t provide tangible value.

    BTW, if you want to be taken seriously in political discourse you need to add value to the discussion, dropping ad hominem attacks (such as “Bozos on the bus”) provides no substance. Thanks.

  • Many of us on the Right fear Ron and those like him. He believes in a true Libertarian form of government. This is why he has never been able to rise up out of his congressional district.

    He is for everyone being free to do as they please as long as it dos not personally affect them. Drugs, and prostitution.

    If Ron wants to be taken seriously and also a Republican he should agree with Republicans. But he does not.

    The other thing that seems to really hurt Ron is the bitterness hate, and down right meanness of his supporters.

    For a society to thrive it must be based in morality therefore government has the fundamental obligation to promote morality? Ron promotes and supports immorality and this is apposite of what our founding fathers wanted and set up.

  • Bill, could you better define what you mean by “rise up”? And why is it that someone who won back to back CPAC strawpolls, raised over $30 million nation wide in a campaign, has inspired two other winning congressional campaigns, was appointed Chairman of Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee and has polled, per CNN, to be the best GOP candidate to beat Obama, does not qualify as rising up?

    Ron Paul understands that drugs and prostitution are not federal issues per the Constitution and are left up to the states, there are only three federal crimes, treason, counterfeiting and crimes of the high seas.

    As for agreeing with Republicans, Dr. Paul does support the Texas GOP platform, even calling it a “grand document”. The platform is good, it’s just too bad that more elected Republicans don’t support it, certainly Rick Perry is one of the greatest violators of it with his push for the TTC and forced vaccinations.

    As for the volunteers conduct, there are a few points to make here. One, at least he has a lot of volunteers; some will be bad apples for sure. Two, a lot of the really bad meanness is from opposing supporters posing as one of his. This is done all the time to misdirect people.

    I agree that a solid moral base will help a society thrive, and Ron Paul is certainly a very morally outstanding person, and has been for a long time. He also understands however that we have to operate within the legal framework we have and can’t just make laws that suit our personal interest whenever we want. We have to respect the Constitution. He also understands that you can not successfully legislate morality. The proof is in the pudding, a good example is that America has been at the War on Drugs since the early 1970’s, since then drug use has skyrocketed along with the crimes associated with the distribution. As a result, we have the highest level of incarceration of any society, ever, which costs fortunes in court and jail costs. And all that, for what? To try to legislate morality. Total failure. Keep in mind that moral standards are subjective. I’m not sure where in the Constitution it says that the government has the fundamental obligation to promote morality, do you know where it is?

    Bill, I am failing to see how you made a single valid point against Dr. Paul.

    • When i say Rise up I mean someone needs with the qualifications and ability needs to rise up and step up to the plate.

      I do not think he believes in the Republican Party Platform..

      Does Ron agree, Preserving National Security – We believe terrorism is the greatest threat to international peace and to our safety. We urge our national leadership to protect our Constitutional rights and swiftly wage successful war on terrorists; to eliminate aid to any nation threatening us or aiding terrorists or hostile nations; to spell out consequences for terrorist activities and to publicly support other nations fighting terrorists; to reasonably use profiling to protect us; to prosecute national security breaches; and to revise laws or executive orders that erode our essential liberties.

      Ron does not want to fight against Terror. I am not sure he understands people want us dead. He wants all our troops here. I do not want to fight them in our streets i want to fight them in there streets..

      Does Ron Agree Free Speech for the Clergy – We urge change of the Internal Revenue Code to allow a religious organization to address issues without fear of losing its tax-exempt status. We call for repeal of requirements that religious organizations send
      government any personal information about their contributors.

    • Here is what the People that make up the Texas Republican party say about family values. Does Ron Agree? Will he fight for all this?

      Homosexuality – We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, refuse to recognize, or grant special privileges including, but not limited to: marriage between persons of the same sex (regardless of state of origin), custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits. We oppose any criminal or civil
      penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.

      Or how about this?

      Right To Life – All innocent human life must be respected and safeguarded from fertilization to natural death; therefore,
      the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We affirm our support for a Human
      Life Amendment to the Constitution and to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protection applies to unborn
      children. We support the Life at Conception Act. We oppose the use of public revenues and/or facilities for abortion or
      abortion–related services. We support the elimination of public funding for organizations that advocate or support
      abortion. We are resolute regarding the reversal of Roe v. Wade. We affirm our support for the appointment and election
      of judges at all levels of the judiciary who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We P – 8
      insist that the U.S. Department of Justice needs to prosecute hospitals or abortion clinics for committing induced labor
      (live birth) abortion. We are opposed to genocide, euthanasia, and
      assisted suicide. We oppose legislation allowing the withholding of nutrition and hydration to the terminally ill or
      handicapped. Until our final goal of total Constitutional rights for the unborn child is achieved, we beseech the Texas
      Legislature in consideration of our state’s rights, to enact laws that restrict and regulate abortion including:
      1. parental and informed consent;
      2. prohibition of abortion for gender selection;
      3. prohibition of abortion due to the results of genetic diagnosis
      4. licensing, liability, and malpractice insurance for abortionists and abortion facilities;
      5. prohibition of financial kickbacks for abortion referrals;
      6. prohibition of partial birth and late term abortions; and
      7. enactment of any other laws which will advance the right to life for unborn children.

      Or this?
      Unborn Child Pain Protection – We support legislation that requires doctors, at first opportunity, to provide to a woman who is pregnant, information about the nervous system development of her unborn child and to provide pain relief for her unborn if she orders an abortion.

      I know better, I know what i hear him say. There is no way that he agrees with the State party platform.

      And you have the guts to say “Bill, I am failing to see how you made a single valid point against Dr. Paul.”

      Thats just funny..But good try..

  • Bill, it seems that for the most part you and Dr. Paul have the same positions on all these issues. I know that the media does not represent his positions well and misunderstanding happen. You are welcome to disagree with Dr. Paul, but please do not mis-represent him, which you are doing, and saying things like “Ron does not want to fight against Terror” is a complete misrepresentation.

    Dr. Paul has voted to go after those who are responsible for attacks against us. He votes heavily in favor of veteran benefits, unlike many other Republicans, this is very important for our defense. He is 100% in favor of preserving national security, however he favors the use of Letters of Marque and Reprisal to go after small target groups. It’s the exact same thing as the team that took out OBL. It’s very effective, and cost friendly, overall a much better approach than fighting asymmetrical warfare with traditional ground forces.

    As for supporting free speech for clergy, absolutely he does. In fact, not only does he want to change the IRS code, he wants to get rid of it entirely. That’s actually very doable too.

    Ron Paul does not favor granting special privileges to any group, homosexuals included. Marriage is a state issue, not a federal one.

    As for Dr. Paul’s position on life, he is an obstetrician and is completely concerned about the unborn. He not only supports pro-life legislation, he introduces it. For example, he introduced the Sanctity of Life Act in 2005, 2007, and 2009.

    Here are some quick reads to give you a better perspective on his positions:

    The Partial Birth Abortion Ban
    Mr. Speaker, like many Americans, I am greatly concerned about abortion. Abortion on demand is no doubt the most serious sociopolitical problem of our age. The lack of respect for life that permits abortion significantly contributes to our violent culture and our careless attitude toward liberty. As an obstetrician, I know that partial birth abortion is never a necessary medical procedure. It is a gruesome, uncivilized solution to a social problem. Continued…

    No Federal Funding for Abortion!

    Pro-Life Action Must Originate from Principle

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