Red and Redder

elections, Obama Administration

I’m getting ready to resurrect the old slogan “Better dead than Red.” Of course, back in the day, “red” meant “Communist.” I’m struggling to come up with a term that sums up what “red” means now, other than “we are so screwed.”

In Red State Missouri the general election candidates are all running on the platform of Redder Than Thou. There’s an open seat in the governor’s mansion; the two candidates are:

  • Chris Koster, the Democrat, who brags about being tough on crime and how he is endorsed by the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police. After Ferguson, that’s, um, a tad alarming.
  • Eric Greitens, the Republican, whose primary campaign ads featured him gunning down some farmer’s field. His major selling point is being former Navy Seal.

I’m pleased to say Kostner is ahead in the polls. Kostner appears to be okay on women’s reproductive rights and also on marriage equality and Obamacare. He may be trusted to continue the illustrious legacy of the current governor, Jay Nixon, who functioned primarily to veto whatever nonsense the legislature came up with. Greitens will, I fear, do to Missouri what Sam Brownback did to Kansas, and also will green light whatever shit-for-brains laws the state legislature comes up with. If Greitens wins, I would advise anyone with business interests in the state to get the hell out before the inauguration.

Republican Senator Roy Blunt, patron saint of lobbyists, is up for re-election. He’s one of those incumbents who feels as if he’s been around since Reconstruction, but it’s probably only been since the Coolidge Administration. The man’s a walking archetype of what’s wrong with Washington. If Blunt were an actor, he’d be the guy they’d always want to cast as the fat cat politician. Naturally, Blunt, who has never served in the military, enjoys the endorsement of the NRA and has featured this prominently in his campaign.

The NRA released an ad attacking Blunt’s opponent, Democrat Jason Kander, who is currently the Missouri Secretary of State. Kander released this ad:

Basically, Kander has the nerve to think there are some people who shouldn’t have guns. People with criminal records, for example. He’s also on the record as being opposed to “stand your ground” laws and thinks there are some places civilians shouldn’t be carrying guns,, such as schools. This makes him an official Enemy of Freedom as far as the gun nuts are concerned.

Gail Collins commented on this race, and added:

Now Hillary Clinton is running on centrist reforms like background checks, while Donald Trump wants to eliminate gun-free zones at, say, nursery schools and give people from Missouri the right to carry their permit-free concealed weapons in Midtown Manhattan.

In gratitude, the N.R.A. has been running an ad that shows an intruder smashing into a house where a woman is sleeping, alone. When the terrified resident opens the safe where she keeps her gun, said weapon vanishes, and it’s pretty much curtains. This could happen to you, if you let Hillary Clinton take away our “right to self-defense.”

Of course, a woman is less likely to be shot by an intruder than by a member of her family. And really, Missouri, do you want to have everybody in St. Louis carrying a concealed weapon? Let’s talk.

Blunt is leading in the polls, but it’s close enough that Kander “has a shot.” Please, oh please …

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  1. c u n d gulag  •  Sep 22, 2016 @5:21 pm

    The GOP and the NRA don’t want EVERY ONE in St. Louis carrying guns!
    Just the “right” (read: WHITE) people!

    Black Lives Matter?
    Not to old white peckerwoods!
    The only thing that matters about black lives, is how many of them you and/or the police can shoot without being charged without going to jail.
    So far, that’s a lot!
    “Stand your ground,” is a synonym for “Open Season on Minorities”

    You feel “threatened?”
    Shoot first, and make excuses later!

    I really hate this country, as it currently is.

    And it will get far, far worse, if t-RUMP wins – FSM FORBID!

    But I will, admittedly, laugh, when a bunch of armed white yahoo’s decide to have a shoot-out and kill one another at the ‘Walmart corral!!!’

    We can’t possibly get any fucking stupider, cant we?
    DON’T answer that!
    I know:
    “Yes, we can!!!”


  2. paradoctor  •  Sep 22, 2016 @9:11 pm

    Red? Blue? Here’s a hint: Hell has always been solid Red territory, and Heaven has always had the Blues. They haven’t changed, the parties have.

  3. Bill Bush  •  Sep 22, 2016 @9:15 pm

    There are Trump signs all over Caswell County NC. It is a shame, and I know some of these people. They cannot believe Trump is the better potential President. They just cannot.

  4. Swami  •  Sep 23, 2016 @1:04 am

    That old slogan of Better Dead than Red reminds me a cartoon I saw in a magazine back in the early 70’s. The cartoon was of an old woman and her husband sitting in big cushioned armchairs watching television. The woman was doing an embroidery while she watched TV. On the walls adorning the room was a collection of her framed embroideries of different slogans..The slogans read, Better Dead than Red, Kill a Commie for God, Nixon/Agnew, and Bomb Hanoi. The caption underlining the cartoon was her husband saying..How about a Home Sweet Home?

  5. goatherd  •  Sep 23, 2016 @8:54 am

    We are a lot farther from the research triangle than Bill is. I haven’t seen a single HRC sign or bumper sticker.

    There might be a reason for this. Back in the day of the Obama campaign my wife had a Obama bumper sticker. She had the suspicion that other drivers had become more aggressive. “Good old boys” like to tailgate and play “Dukes of Hazzard.” On one occasion an aggressive driver yelled out something about Obama. Then one day some concerned soul decided to help her out by peeling the bumpersticker off of her car in a parking lot, and she immediately noticed the return to “normalcy.” Sometimes it’s better to keep a low profile.

    As I was waking this morning, I recalled Maha’s post, “This is Not Freedom,” about those of us who feel compelled to purchase and carry the latest in destructive technology. It is a great illustration of how illusion trips us up and makes slaves of us, and how our delusion affects others. That’s too depressing this far in advance of cocktail hour.

    One other thing,– I didn’t watch the add with the yahoo and the very large gun, but, I think I can imagine it well enough. Doe’s this remind anyone else of the Italian Futurists? That’s another signpost on the road to fascism. …just sayin’

  6. moonbat  •  Sep 23, 2016 @10:39 am

    Read that the Clinton campaign gave Mark Cuban a front row seat at the first debate. What I would not give to be a bug on the wall at Team Clinton’s debate prep.

  7. erinyes  •  Sep 23, 2016 @12:13 pm

    The answer is lawn darts. They are SOOOO dangerous that they were banned in the US and Canada in the 80’s. I give up……

  8. bernie  •  Sep 23, 2016 @12:18 pm

    Oh the gun obsessed.  How easy it is to manipulate you.  You vote, and you fund one of the most manipulative organizations in the county.  They in turn keep a scorecard on your Senators and Congressmen using those mossy oak binoculars you covet.  They pander to them, and advertise that they will be more than glad to sell out to get a higher grade.  And you the gun obsessed say sure, you have my vote.  Then they find out that the ones they elected have not just sold out to them but to other groups who get huge tax breaks, environmental laxness, shoddy health care, and other detriments to the commonwealth.  They might even find a way to raise your prescription drug costs or gouge you more at the bank.  You find out perhaps if you are paying any attention to anything but your guns.  If not, you just notice those unexpected holes which appear in your feet and wonder who in the hell keeps shooting your feet. 

  9. Bill  •  Sep 23, 2016 @1:04 pm

    Previously, hard core freedumb types didn’t like Greitens because he used to claim to be a Democrat and supported Obama. These manly guns ads’ll learn em. Learn’m good. A matter of time before Hillary dons a minigun and blows up a yard full of Trump signs.

    Meanwhile Jesus weeps.

  10. Swami  •  Sep 24, 2016 @1:33 am

    It certainly makes me wonder to what level we’ve descended as a nation that some emotionally immature idiot firing a minigun could even be considered for any political office. Conan the Barbarian probably had more to offer in the way of intellect than Greitens the cretin. I think we’ve hit the bottom of the barrel.
    How much ability and intelligence does it take to pull a trigger? I mean really, with a hand full of peanuts and a modicum of patience I could train a monkey to operate a minigun.I don’t get what this guy Greitens is trying to convey with his macho bullshit. I get the veteran thing with the need for recognition, and trying to hold on to the high of being the big badass war dog thing, but it doesn’t impart anything more than an assuage to his own needy ego.
    If he could see himself through my eyes with my experiences and my dwindling testosterone levels..He’d be embarrassed for himself. You just can’t hold on!
    “Transiency is in the nature of all things, strive to emancipate yourself therefrom.”

  11. c u n d gulag  •  Sep 24, 2016 @8:33 am

    ‘Five shot dead at mall:


  12. Tom_b  •  Sep 24, 2016 @9:21 am

    Lots of of Clinton/Ross/Cooper stickers by me, but I am reporting from Chapel Hill. And getting out to do registration this afternoon. We REALLY want some “blue love” in NC, because the state has been a morass of corruption and hate since the 2010 gerrymandering.

    As for the police/gun situation: the cops have become a law unto themselves and I am inclined to add the FOP to the NRA on my terrorist watch list. I stand by my proposal to disarm cops, as they do in England. They can call for back up in the rare instance it is actually needed (say, to guard against unarmed black guys selling loose cigarettes in Times Square), or maybe have a non-automatic long rifle in their trunks where they can’t grab it in haste. Most people would regard this as an idealistic or unreasonable proposal, but I am absolutely serious about it and I can guarantee it would cool down police-public confrontations.

    I am also thinking gun people might be genuinely mad. I have read a few articles about lead levels in the air of shooting ranges and blood of people who work there. But, I am an actual scientist in real life and I believe in empirical data. I propose we start tracking blood lead levels post-mortem for mass shooters or post incident for violent cops.

  13. Doug  •  Sep 24, 2016 @10:58 am

    I want to comment on the comments because where some of my friends advocate much tighter gun control others advocate or also advocate disarming police. I find the twin concepts a bit frightening because there are bad people in the world – I have spent some time with them recently. Turning them loose on a world where cops and citizens are unable to meet force with force is also a formula for chaos.

    The first problem is not that citizens can have guns, but that they are increasingly not responsible for what happens with those guns. The confession, ” I did not know the gun was loaded.” should be an automatic misdemeanor, even if no one gets hurt. A child ‘accident’ involving a gun should automatically result in an arrest of the owner of the gun. The burden of proof should shift to the owner of the gun to prove that he/she had taken reasonable precautions – trigger locks, gun safe – whatever. The prevailing theme needs to be that a responsible gun owner will be held responsible – if you don’t like this liability, don’t own a gun.

    The second problem is a cousin to the first – if you are a police officer, you will be held to a HIGHER standard in the use of force than a regular citizen. If you bully people without injury, that will quickly cost you your job. Citizens will be allowed and in some areas encouraged to use phones to video cops & send in evidence of potentially abusive behavior. A single clip can be deceptive, but if a pattern emerges, the police department should be liable for not taking action if/when the officer crosses the line. ‘Dirty Harry’ is a fictional character, not a role model for anyone with a badge.

    We need to send cops to jail with hardened criminals for the use of excessive force with injury. For an ex-cop jail time becomes a real-life game of ‘Survivor’. Most won’t live through it, but the fact is – nearly 25% of victims shot by cops (fatally) are completely unarmed. A cop wearing a bulletproof vest needs to be sure, even if that means waiting til there is a muzzle flash before he returns fire.

    IMO, we need to have the DOJ (federal) investigate and when called for prosecute cops for excessive force. Local authorities, investigators and prosecutors are loathe to press charges unless there is the threat of riots and stone-cold proof of a murder. It’s got to be escalated beyond any local jurisdiction and any cops who participate in a cover-up with falsified or withheld evidence also need to be looking at hard time. This is a frightening higher standard for cops – but the current climate requires it. “Protect and Serve” has turned into “Oppress and Intimidate” and that culture threatens all society.

  14. Bill  •  Sep 24, 2016 @12:50 pm

    Oppress and intimidate happened in my area, over a dog. The neighborhood cop so badly wanted vindication for his girl’s dog being mauled by a rogue animal, that he incriminated a neighbor with a similar dog. Even after the court proved her dog innocent, his mind was so fixed on retribution that he ignored the courts decision and harassed her anyways. Many other solutions were available to him, but he chose the dark path. We’ve all seen this sort of thing in other situations elsewhere – a bizarre emotional fixation in lieu of proven facts. Still not sure what drives that, though I think susceptibility to mob-groupthink plays a part. A lack of emotional discipline… and general stupidity too I imagine.

  15. erinyes  •  Sep 24, 2016 @3:55 pm

    Not too many cars sporting political bumper stickers around Orlando, but the occasional pick up truck festooned with anti Hillary / anti Obama and NRA stickers can be seen. They’re usually WAY over the top, suggesting the owner / driver may be a wee bit “loopy”. I saw a half dozen or so cars with Trump stickers down in Naples a couple of weeks ago, which was to be expected. I’m not putting anything on my truck. I don’t need my paint ruined by some dip shit for Trump. I’m not all fired up about Hillary, but she wins my vote by default.
    I saw one car with a bumper sticker that begged the question ” where is Lee Harvey Oswald when you need him” . I thought that was in very bad taste, to say the least.

  16. Tom_b  •  Sep 24, 2016 @6:42 pm


    I like your idea of getting the DoJ after rogue cops; I think we should get the DoJ in charge of more cases IN GENERAL. Who the HECK decided it was a good idea to let Florida try George Zimmerman? I thought that was a bad idea from the get-go.

  17. JBM  •  Sep 25, 2016 @7:59 am

    Doug, thank you for your comments. The very idea of accountability–of responsibility–seems to have been lost. I recall when the GOP was all about “personal responsibility,” an idea that shouldn’t be abandoned just because one goes to work and especially not when one one’s work requires carrying a firearm. Such work calls for an even greater degree of personal responsibility, not a greater degree of evasion. When one violates the public trust in such a profound way as shooting an unarmed citizen, the DOJ should be involved in the investigation, or lead it.

  18. goatherd  •  Sep 25, 2016 @8:59 am

    These are trying, divided times, as witnessed by so many comments on this blog. Nothing evokes despair like having a close friend lose their minds. A very old and close friend posted some videos that struck me as bigoted and moronic. What really bothers me is that she is very bright, has a master’s degree and is a licensed mental health counselor. Normally, she would be able to separate fact from opinion, truth from distortion and confirmation bias from rational analysis. Those skills would be essential in her profession. But, something has fogged her capacity for rational thought, and it’s not pretty. How can democracy function when the electorate is delusional and descends into madness every four years?

    This election reminds me of an old story that a friend of mine told me. (It’s probably just an old joke.)

    As a boy he and a friend were hunting in rural Georgia. His friend climbed a tree to survey the area and discovered that a raccoon was up in the tree. The raccoon was cornered, and attacked him. He kept yelling, “Shoot! Shoot!”

    My friend said, “I can’t shoot, I might hit YOU!”

    “Well, shoot one of us, I’ve got to get some relief!”

  19. c u n d gulag  •  Sep 25, 2016 @9:53 am

    What Doug said…
    ‘Drops mic…”

  20. goatherd  •  Sep 25, 2016 @11:40 am

    Doug mentioned falsified evidence. The case in Charlotte has the police officers claiming that he was carrying a gun, and they found a gun on the scene, so that corroborates their story. But, an eye witness says he was carrying a book.

    I hate to think that it’s possible that police might still used “drop guns.” But, if by some chance that is the case, it will really shake things up.

    I used to work in rehabilitation. Part of our job was advocacy for people with disabilities. One persistent issue was the misunderstandings that arise when a person with a disability confronts law enforcement, or the penal system. Often a person’s disability can be misread and interpreted as strange or hostile. Of course, this case reeks of this possibility.