Archive for November, 2008


Away message

Vierdsen is away from the computer right now, mostly because it doesn’t work. Like James Bond, he will return.


Religious right still in control
Originally uploaded by johnvierdsen

Earlier last week, word went around that Don Wildmon of the American Family Association is backing SCGOP Chairman Katon Dawson for the top spot at the RNC. According to a blog for liberal magazine The American Prospect, Wildmon used as one of his reasons an interview that former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele’s interview on “Meet The Press” about Steele’s abortion views.

Now Steele has defended himself against the charges, taking to the reporters and editors of the Washington Times to explain his position: he’s against Roe, he’s for amending the constitution to criminalize abortion, and he’s in favor of the legality of abortion being decided by the states.

So, there’s that. Erick Erickson of sees Dawson with the advantage, though he’s holding off on making a solid prediction.

Right now, the odds on favorite would be someone like Katon Dawson of South Carolina. Both he and Saul Anuzis, from Michigan, know the party, are workers within the party, and can be effective. Between the two, I hear committee members slightly favor Dawson to Anuzis because, I’m told, Dawson has been able to keep the big egos in his state from hurting party efforts [ed. note: Ha!]. With everyone wanting to be the face of the Republican Party, there is no division among the RNC committee members on this point: someone is going to have to put their ego aside and bring all the party’s factions together to fight.

Oh, lordy, it’s the Mark Sanford syndrome all over again. It seems like if you can go to DC enough and network enough and spread some tasty propaganda, people won’t vet your ass. The state Republican Party has been rife with back-biting, back-stabbing and everything else short of shooting people in the back for the past several years. Want a good analogy? Dawson is like President James Buchanan. The guy who came before Abe Lincoln didn’t exercise his leadership like he should have and let our country barrel headlong into the Civil War.
Vierdsen could be wrong here, but while Dawson could be picking up points with social conservatives and the base of the party, it might not be the best thing for the RNC. The general consensus among conservatives is that the national party needs to head right. But, it will take a definition of what “conservatism” is these days.

It’ll take a smart guy (and smart staffers) who knows what it’s like to come from behind to win. It just doesn’t seem like someone who presided over a factionalized party in a solid state will be able to get the job done. The social conservatives that seem to have the power to swing the RNC chairmanship should keep that in mind — becoming allied with a guy that could dig the party a deeper hole will only marginalize your interests.


BCS an anti-trust violator?

Rep. Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat from Hawai’i, is reportedly going to introduce a bill to declare the Bowl Championship Series a violation of the United States’ anti-trust laws as an illegal restraint of trade. While he’s not joined by his close friend, Rep. Fitch, Reps. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Georgia), Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) and Jim Matheson (D-Utah) are signing on to the bill.

Is the BCS a violation of law? Don’t know. Laws regarding sports are even murkier than the rest of the U.S. Code. There is some more motivation for a playoff, though. Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops is in favor of it, as is President-elect Barack Obama. Still, Stoops said that at a recent meeting of coaches, most were against a playoff.

Yes, a playoff would make sense, in the most logical form. But, college football is a sport that is wedded to tradition that bests even Major League Baseball. Many localities make a goodly amount of cash on bowl games held there. Also, the way it works is great for the regular season. Take, for example, college basketball. A team can have a sub-.500 season, win the conference tourney and make it to the NCAA Tournament. It makes the regular season a waste of time.

Whereas, in college football, every week counts. Florida bit it against Ole Miss and has to pray for Alabama to lose to Auburn or a win in the SEC title game for the chance at a title shot. Southern Cal is basically fucked after losing to an Oregon State team that got blown out by Penn State.

As fucked up as it is, let’s keep the BCS. There’s something strangely wonderful about developing ulcers every Saturday because your team might not show up and lose its shot at the national championship.

Oh, and Alabama is 11-0 and No. 1. Suck it, bitches.

Abercrombie plans to resubmit BCS bill claiming illegal restraint of trade []


Don’t do it! YOU’RE A YOUNG MAN!
Originally uploaded by johnvierdsen

Vierdsen’s second-guessed President-elect Barack Obama a few times, and each time Obama’s come through with no problem. The pick of Joe Biden for VP didn’t look that great, but it appeared to end up as neutral or positive, in the end.

But, this thing with Sen. Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State has got to stop. It doesn’t take a genius (just watch the TV pundits) to figure out that there would be way too much drama associated with Clinton in that position. He can’t be serious about the nomination.

Here’s where it becomes political theatre.

Obama offers the position to Clinton, leaks it to the press and shows that he’s being magnanimous, while knowing that there’s no way she’d take it. She’d have to swallow her own opinions and become a talking head for the President. It would also be a hard place to run from if she plans to make another try at the presidency.

Clinton, knowing she’d never take the position, politely declines, but shows her commitment to the new president by being a leader, along with Sen. Ted Kennedy, on Obama’s health care plan.

Then, Obama picks Sen. John Kerry, as a tip of the hat to a guy that knows multiple languages, is good with foreign governments and gave Obama his coming out party at the ’04 convention.

Everybody wins.

LOOSE SPRATT ENDS: It really surprised Vierdsen that some people (cough, cough, Fogle, cough, cough) got their panties moist about the idea of SC-5 going open with Rep. John Spratt being selected as Obama’s head of the Office of Management and Budget. Um, maybe he didn’t get the message, but Obama picked fucking Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff. There’s no way Emanuel, after busting his ass to get Dems elected in red districts, would allow Obama to pick Spratt for anything.

There’s a reason people like Spratt, and Rep. Rick Boucher in Virginia, are able to win districts that they should have no business in. They’re conservative Democrats who have an excellent record of constituent service, and people remember that. If you’re good to your voters, no matter what letter is next to your name on the ballot, you’ve got a good chance at re-election (Chris Shays excepted).

Of course, the second one of these guys leave, the district immediately goes Republican. And, if you’re a smart guy like Emanuel, you don’t allow that to happen.


Gears moving on leadership battles
Originally uploaded by johnvierdsen

According to Wes Donehue, in a post he wrote yesterday, SCGOP Chairman Katon Dawson is on the move toward trying to win the chairmanship of the RNC. He’s trying to get S.C. Republicans with influence to work the committee members for votes in what looks like a three-man race (and possibly more people will announce or are working behind the scenes).

The prospect of having Dawson’s crazy missives move from Columbia fax machines to DC’s can’t be a good thing for the national party. Though, it’s understandable why a good many S.C. operatives are backing him, since it would mean influence (and jobs?) for them in the future.

In other news, Tim Scott and Dan Hamilton have been elected as the leaders of the House Freshmen, and that seems like a good idea. The Midlands get shafted again, but the geographical balance between the Upstate and the Lowcountry is important.

There’s a great story about the Revolutionary War that shows how things are like in S.C. To get the colony to agree to break away from Britain, the patriots sent around a person from the Lowcountry, a person from the Upstate, and a minister. The reasoning was no one from the Upstate would trust a wealthy Charlestonian, and the people in the Lowcountry wouldn’t trust some back-country farmer. So, they had to send a representative of both, with a man of the cloth to bind it together. At least we know that worked once.


While Katon Dawson yaks it up on his conference call…

…here’s something disturbing.


If the news coming out of the call is that he’s running, it’ll be a pretty funny race. Dawson was a member of an all-white country club (and still would be, if the press didn’t start looking into it) and the leader of the GOP in a safe Republican state. Michael Steele is a black conservative and national figure in the party, former lieutenant governor in a state tough for Republicans, and would be a hard guy to argue against for a party trying to expand its base.


Oh noes!
Originally uploaded by johnvierdsen

Vierdsen was going into his usual mid-afternoon routine when he turned on MSNBC and thought, “WTF? Is that Mark Sanford? Why are they letting him talk?!?” Sanford is at the Republican Governors Association meeting in Miami, natch, and, taking a break from enhancing his perma-tan, gave a Cliff’s Notes version (OMG! NOW HE’S ON CNN!) of his column from earlier in the week.

The MSNBC anchor said that Sanford is expected to be elected head of the RGA. Say it ain’t so, Joe. What. a. mistake.

Did Bobby Jindal (Louisiana), Tim Pawlenty (Minnesota) and Haley Barbour (Mississippi) all say no? What about Florida’s Charlie Crist? Well, Barbour was head of the RNC and probably not interested, Jindal already has a trip scheduled to Iowa (hello, 2012!), so that’s out, but Pawlenty and Crist have to be close to the top of your short list.

Really, how can you elect a guy to a national leadership post when half (nay, more than half) of his own party in his home state can’t stand him?

LOOSE ENDS: Funny, that when Vierdsen read this story in the Free Times, it seemed a lot like the one he wrote, though with less snark and swearing. That’s not to say that he thinks FT reads VD, but that news pegs are sometimes so obvious it’s like they’re walking up and introducing themselves.

Alabama Football

Dave Martin/AP

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