Monday, October 16, 2006

Rawnsley on US Republican agony

It is always reassuring when Andrew Rawnsley adds his seal of approval to a political theory. This Sunday he confirmed many of the rumblings that predict something of a bloody nose for the Replublicans in the US mid-term elections next month.

I have been a great fan of Rawnsley ever since he was still in short trousers and did the daily Guardian parliamentary sketch. He is the king of the political one-liner.

In his article on the US elections, he surpassed himself with this one:

Any American with a television set and an IQ above room temperature has known for a long time that Iraq is far from becoming the pacified, liberal democracy that was promised in the original prospectus for the war.

I like that..."an IQ above room temperature". Nice one.

Rawnsley is particularly good at reciting some of the stranger oddities from the wilder shores of Republican congressional madness:

You have to say, it couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of people. Lynn Westmoreland is running for re-election as a Republican congressman in Georgia. His sole legislative initiative has been to press a bill requiring that the Ten Commandments be displayed in the House and the Senate. He then had to confess on television: 'I can't name them all.' In fact, he could barely name three of the commandments that he was so keen on.

Voters in Iowa have on offer the Republican Steve King. He wants to keep out illegal immigrants by constructing a 700-mile wall along the border with Mexico. Better still, he built his own model of this 'Tortilla Curtain' out of cardboard and wire which he demonstrated to Congress in Blue Peter fashion. That is outdone in the crazy stakes by the Texan Republican Sam Johnson who offered personally to fly an F-15 to nuke Syria. Afterwards, he said he was: 'Kinda joking.' Don't you love the 'kinda'.

Don Sherwood, a Pennsylvania Republican, is famous for paying an undisclosed sum to his former mistress, who had accused him of repeated assaults, to settle her lawsuit against him. He has been forced to broadcast campaign ads denying that he tried to choke her.

Down in Florida, Katherine Harris, who achieved world notoriety over the hanging chads which gave Bush the White House in the first place, is running for the Senate. According to her: 'God is the one who chooses our rulers.' Mmm. If the Great Returning Officer really does bother himself with deciding elections, then God must be mighty pissed with America to have chosen rulers like these.

Sheer quality.


  1. Of course, in Texas I'm rooting for Kinky Friedman for Govenor :)

  2. Me too, I have already sent off for my Kinky talking action doll!