The Pencil Today:


“The funny thing is, Reagan was a flaming liberal compared to today’s American Taliban…. Any Republican today talking or governing like Ronald Reagan would earn a swift kick out of the party, labeled as a tax-raising, terrorist-negotiating, gay-loving, amnesty-granting, big spender. Yet that hasn’t stopped the American Taliban from elevating Reagan to sainthood, airbrushing out his more nuanced beliefs and actions. Republicans have been thrown to the curb for far less these days.” — Markos Moulitsas


Real Estate John posed a question to the other heavy-lidded members of the Boys of Soma early this morning.

“Tell me what you think,” he began. “I’m thinking of registering in the Republican primary.”

This was followed by the roar of silence. We were stunned. Tough Guy Mac, who’d been nursing a post-Saturday night headache, stirred in his seat.

Pistol Packin’ Pat broke the hush. “Why the hell would you do that?” he demanded.

“Well,” John said, “Mourdock has to be stopped.”


Mourdock being Richard Mourdock, current Indiana State Treasurer, and running in the Republican primary to unseat six-term US Senator Richard Lugar. Mourdock has been endorsed by a bunch of pro-business/anti-sex/to-hell-with-you organizations as well as the Tea Party-ists. Mourdock’s the kind of guy who’d consider a longtime GOP stalwart like Lugar dangerously liberal.


The whole switch-parties-to-sabotage-the-other-party’s-primary thing began back in 1980 when liberal-ish Illinois Congressman John Anderson was running in the presidential primary versus Ronald Reagan. Lots of Dems were so petrified by the future Saint Ronald that they felt compelled to swallow their dignity and call themselves Republican for a moment to stop his inexorable rise to the throne.

Anderson Went On To Run As A 3rd Party Candidate in 1980

In fact, I’d heard from another woman the other day that she was planning to vote in the GOP primary, despite being a Dem. So I had well-rehearsed advice for him.

“Lemme tell you what I told that woman, ” I said. “What happens if you’re hit by a truck and killed the day after voting in the Republican primary. That would mean the last civic act of your life would be voting Republican. Do you want that stain on your eternal soul?”

Democrats Who Voted In Republican Primaries

Real Estate John thought about this for a moment and then nodded.

This didn’t prevent the rest of the Boys from wagging their fingers at him. Tough Guy Mac pressed him, “Now, why in the hell would you do something as stupid as that?”

Pistol Packin’ Pat, the political savant among us, offered a more practical consideration. “It’s not a smart strategy,” he said. “We want Mourdock to win. The Democrats poll much better against him than against Lugar.”

Tough Guy Mac still couldn’t believe what he’d heard. He hissed, “Jesus Christ!”

“Don’t do it, John,” I added. “I’m trying to save you from yourself.”

“Alright guys,” RE John said, defensively. “I won’t do it. Jeez.”

We sat and simmered for a few moments. It occurred to me that both aspirants for the Republican nomination shared the same first name. Nobody names their kid Richard anymore, for obvious reasons.

I mused aloud: “You know, there are too many guys in politics named Richard.”

Type-A Tyler, one of the boys despite possessing the wrong plumbing, said: “There’s a reason for that.”

None of the rest of us needed to ask for an explanation.

The Biggest Richard Of Them All

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cafe DjangoBrunch, Maddie Arnold on guitar; 11am-1pm

Trained Eye Arts CenterWomen Exposed 7; Noon

Women Exposed 7

Mathers Museum of World Cultures — Exhibits, “Esse Quam Videre (To be rather than to seem), Muslim self-portraits; From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything; Picturing Archeology; 1-4:30pm

◗ IU Willkie AuditoriumIU Pre-College Contemporary dance Program presents “Springtime on the Farm”; 3pm

Max’s PlaceDog and Pony, Hoosier Hotcakes; 4:30pm

Bub’s Burgers — Poker; 5:30pm

The Player’s PubIU Extravanganza with Bob Stright; 6pm

Waldron Arts Center“Future of Jazz” featuring Jamey Aebersold; 6pm

Jamey Aebersold

IU CinemaFilm, Monika Truet’s Raw and Cooked; 6:30pm

The BishopSpirit of ’68 presents: School of Seven Bells; 9pm

Madame Walker Theatre CenterBlue Moon Sunday featuring Blackberry Jam; 7pm

Max’s PlaceSpring 2012 Coffeehouse; 7pm

Bear’s PlaceRyder Film Series: “The Fairy”; 7:30pm

One thought on “The Pencil Today:

  1. John Bergman says:

    Depends. I crossed over for a Republican ballot and voted for Santorum. I knew Romney would win, but I wanted Santorum to have as good a showing as possible so the Republicans might continue to bleed all the way up to the convention. If the Democrats you care about are a lock in the primary (as Obama is), vote for the Republican who’s gonna fuck it all up in the general election!

    As for staining one’s soul? I don’t believe in the afterlife, and don’t believe I have a soul (let’s just call it “energy,” shall we), yet unlike Republicans I still believe in fair tax policies. Which is why it grieves me that Apple paid only some 3.4 billion in taxes on enormous profits last year, while Wal-Mart, which earned less, paid some 24 billion. Radically different corporate cultures and philosophies, and I love Apple and hate Wal Mart. But right is right, and wrong is wrong. And that’s probably the most fundamental thing Fox News and the right-wing seem to have conveniently forgotten.

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