Remember this guy?
That’s Jesse Kelly, and he really reaaaaaalllyy wants you to put him in the game, Coach:
As you might expect, if you visit the website of Jesse Kelly, the ex-Marine Tea Partyer who challenged Gabrielle Giffords in last November’s election, you will find a simple message expressing sympathy for the congresswoman and her family. And, also as you might expect, if you ask Kelly’s spokesman, as the Los Angeles Times did, you’ll hear that he’s interested only in his former opponent making a full recovery.
But behind the scenes, the story appears to be a little different. Per Ben Smith, Arizona Capitol Reports, a subscription-only insider newsletter, reported this week that:
Attorney Lee Miller, who serves as legal counsel for the Arizona Republican Party, told our reporter Kelly’s campaign contacted him earlier this week to find out how the seat would be filled if Giffords couldn’t serve…. Likewise, Dem sources say a handful of people in the minority party began looking at their options in the immediate wake of the shooting….
Kelly, if you don’t already know, has been taking heat since Giffords’ shooting for sponsoring a campaign event last year in which supporters joined him in shooting a “fully automatic M-16.” “Get on target for November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office,” the event’s announcement read.
It’s true that the M-16 event had no direct connection with Giffords’ shooting, and claims that it indirectly helped create a “climate” conducive to the shooting are dubious at best. Still, to many people, Kelly is now best known as the guy who encouraged supporters to shoot M-16s in the name of defeating a member of Congress who was, several months later, nearly shot to death. Politically, the association is toxic, and Kelly faces a formidable — maybe impossible — task in repairing the damage.
Thus, stories about him quietly looking into whether there might soon be a special election for Giffords’ seat are particularly damaging for him. Sure, the inquiry his campaign apparently made wasn’t actually that unreasonable. There were, after all, reports earlier this week that Arizona state law requires that Giffords’ seat be declared vacant if she’s incapacitated for more than 90 days. All Kelly may have done is make a discreet inquiry about whether this is true. (It isn’t; only the House itself can declare a seat vacant.) But, especially in the wake of the M-16 controversy, it looks terrible for Kelly to be seen making political calculations right now.
It’s pretty fucking unreasonable.
[cross-posted here at Angry Black Lady Chronicles]
The lizard brain never sleeps.
You know, looking at that picture, I get the impression Mr Kelly feels an urgent need to compensate for some piece of equipment not being up to snuff.
damn, this site is so much more awake than that other site.
You know, this gets to something I’ve never understood – the glamorization of the military and of war. GOPers are big on it, and even some conservadems. Bush used to like to talk about how romantic war is. The only reason this guy would make an picture like the one above is because he knows folks get off on it (or he does, or both).
I think the only solution is to get rid of military careerism and reinstate the draft…unlikely…
it’s gonna be hard for an empire to get rid of military love. maybe if we could stop being an empire, but yeah, unlikely.
@Little Boots: What other site? Are you two-timing us?
Would that all Republican males could swap their cocks for M4’s.
Bit of a twist on the old Irish toast:
It’d be thrice as funny to point and laugh at all the chest-thumping machismo of white douchebags consulting tailors to alleviate the public ridicule of hyperbolic pants’ tents.
ABL, I <3 you.
Shhh. Eschaton. But I still love you all more.
Oh, God, I do love eschaton, but I still like this site.
Good night all. Mark S., sorry for all the lies, it was for the best, really.
Hey, aren’t we due for a Bill Bennett book telling us all how much character counts?
@BR: It’s always been like that, until World War I, I think. Then the romantic idea of war was supposed to be dead, and we all were supposed to understand the horrors of it, but Vietnam happened and it was unpatriotic to not believe in romantic war, so. Sucks how the rules change.
No kidding! No f*cking kidding! Political calculations. Gah!
I hope so! He’s like Joe Miller, only without “the Alaska” and with a tragic event and the double plus of the M16.
Character matters until/unless you’re white/conservative.
I wondered for a minute if Jan Brewer would actually appoint Kelly to the seat given this history and how absolutely tasteless it would be to appoint someone who pretended to shoot the candidate to that candidate’s seat after she gets shot.
And then I thought, “Who am I kidding? Of course she’ll appoint Kelly if she gets a chance. It’s not like public opinion means anything to these people.”
Villago Delenda Est
Seeing as Bush knows nothing of war, except what he’s seen in movies and TV, it’s not unusual for him to have romantic notions.
It’s not like he’s ever been in a situation where his buddy next to him has a bunch of goo where his face used to be or anything.
It’s not like he’s ever even put himself in the situation…in fact, he spent considerable effort to avoid having to be in that situation.
Because he’s a coward.
Odie Hugh Manatee
Welcome to the end of The Grand Illusion. America the beautiful isn’t so beautiful any more, is it?
No it isn’t. It’s pretty damned ugly and it’s going to get uglier.
@Odie Hugh Manatee:
An Empire (this one specifically), receding, is still a well, one of few if not lone in the world, from which dignity and honor can be drawn. America may be shrinking, but Americans can still find brilliance and greatness. We are still capable of monumental things. Know Hope. And fuck the haters.
Thankfully the law prohibits them “filling” the seat and if the House Republicans try and pull this stubnt considering the reports that have been made regarding Gabby’s recovery then it’ll pretty much cement the notion to anyone who ever had a sliver of a doubt that they are a bunch of heartless callous thugs who are only interested in power and money, namely keeping both for themselves.
which means the odds of them trying this stunt has a probabiulity factor of about 35% because if there’s one thing that these carrion eaters don’t lack is chutzpah.
Odie Hugh Manatee
No argument with what you are saying but that will not change the road we are on. Yes, there are still ‘bright light’ out there but the darkness is working hard to dim them.
Not to go Godwin but some people in WWII Germany thought they would still win, even as their world was falling apart around them.
Denial is a strong force.
Angry Black Lady
@freelancer: i’m not giving up my double spaces, you know.
Looks like a member of the Tucson tea party, which doesn’t endorse, quit in order to take a position on Kelly’s campaign last cycle. He is one of those never-voted types, although he did serve in Iraq once. His father owns a big construction company which is working on projects getting stimulus funds, so she questioned his cred.
Half of me says, “No way this idiot ever gets instated. The uproar would be deafening.” The other half points and laughs at the first half and calls her a naive idiot.
@asiangrrlMN: Brewer will be foolish enough to just appoint him. In fact it amazes me she hasn’t just done that already. The backlash in Tucson against him would be quite epic. But she laid down with teabagger dogs, now she’ll have to deal with the fleas.
@Yutsano: Hi hon. Was wondering if you were still up. Yes. I can see her doing that. She’s not very bright at all. I have to hope the backlash would be quite intense.
But, we get ahead of ourselves. Gabby has stood on her own two damn feet. I’m not counting her out yet.
@Odie Hugh Manatee:
This Country is shrinking. Economically, Militarily, Educationally, you name it. Our way of life, our expenditures, and consumerist society is facing an inevitable stenosis, and you will not find a larger advocate for sustainable living, for justifiable policy, for social freedom than I. I’m very disappointed in the government’s continuation of Bush-led foreign policy, of rendition and foreign prisoner treatment on US military bases, of the national infrastructure of the US Surveillance state as much as any educated citizen. I also wish that the militarization of local, state, and regional judicial and police forces could be countered with the full weight of the Department of Justice under the authority of the Constitution and established judicial decisions. And I will continue lobbying for those goals, because believe it or not, I trust in this country, and I hope to one day raise children to be proud citizens of this country. I, too, worry about the nation I might hand over to my children. And if I should be so blessed, I plan to raise them accordingly.
As far as your invocation of Godwin, a la
This is nothing less than a Godwin, in that you may feel like you are inherently correct in combating an illegitimate (morally) government, and that every example of a populace that doesn’t grab their pitchforks and torches at every example of statist overreach is analogous to the everyday, contemptible German Citizen that went along with the Nazi regime in total.
A SWAT team in Utah murdered a man with zero cause. Is this an instance of government power run amok? YES. Are you or I to blame for such and injustice? NO. Is this example a symptom of a larger freedom lost and a signal that as a society, we have devolved and dissociated ourselves from the larger American Value of law enforcement that is to Protect and Serve? I would argue Possibly, in fact, Probably. Does that have anything to do with the fact that I proudly call myself an American? A little. Do I blame the Federal Government? Not really.
There is a place that I inhabit where I can know that the people who represent me in this democracy that is my city, my state, and nationally know that they are held accountable to such a small figure as myself. If I am wronged, they’re going to hear it, and the same goes for my family, my friends, and everyone they know. The next 20 years in politics might represent a shrinking of our stasis in the world, but it is not denial to believe that, house to house, neighborhood to neighborhood, State to State, and nation to nation that we can’t figure shit out for ourselves and on top of it, no one will ever stop fighting to provide the opportunity for a better life for their children. If you think the opposite, if you think that’s naiveté or denial, do the rest of us a favor and wrap your lips tighter around the gun barrel. Good parents don’t tolerate defeatism.
The rest of us haven’t given up, and we won’t, ever, so long as we care for those that come after us.
Legally, she can’t just appoint a replacement. Giffords is still alive, for one thing.
@asiangrrlMN: Right now just waiting for the dryer to go off so I can run it again. Washer works great. Dryer not so much. And they’re a stacked unit so rather tricky to replace.
Gabby will most likely recover quite a bit of her functionality from what they’ve shown so far. What remains to be seen is the cognitive damage, and that will take time. There is an argument to be made that since she’s merely incapacitated, she can set up an interim replacement until her return. I’m not familiar on Arizona law on that point. I know Brewer can’t just pick someone out of teabag heaven.
When have mere things like legality ever mattered to the teaebagger horde? The librul was taken out which means that seat is rightly theirs for the plundering.
Brewer’s never going to risk a blatant illegality like that, especially given the publicity that the case has already received nationwide. Sure, the teabaggers would love it, but it would do the GOP terrible harm in the eyes of the nation, and would be overturned once the Dems went to law. There’s no reward for Brewer in that combination.
@Yutsano: By Arizona law Brewer would have to appoint someone from the same party. This case though requires a special election if the U.S. House declares a vacancy.
Political consequences? Nonsense. He’s a good-lookin’ good ol’ boy with a shed full of guns. Those people get infinite do-overs.
And infinite comb-overs when he gets to the McCain stage of existence…
@auntieeminaz: Which fortunately has not been done. Not that I doubt Brewer’s office is getting flak from the teabagger contingent to take over the seat. It also wouldn’t shock me that Kelly doesn’t know he doesn’t have a chance of either appointment or election.
I doubt she needs any motivation beyond that. She is at least aware enough to know that teh crazy is why she is where she is now.
@freelancer: I think you can fight and still acknowledge that it’s an uphill battle. I have grave doubts that this country will tilt back in a positive direction–does this mean I should go kill myself? I think not. It’s not a dichotomy to say that it’s gonna be fucking hard to stop the country from spinning off its wheels and that we should still try.
@Yutsano: Yeah. Wot morzer said above. I really don’t see this idiot getting the position, but that’s just the romantic cynic in me.
Odie Hugh Manatee
I agree with much of what you say here but at the same time I balance that against what we have to face in order to survive as a nation. Hope will never win over hate, hate has to consume itself for hope to win. Waiting until the problem people die off of old age and the minorities in our society reproduce enough to wrest control from enough crazies is not a winning strategy.
IMO, the only thing that is going to stop the deadly march we are on is for the haters to do something so reprehensible that the sane among them have no choice but to turn their backs on them. Anything less than that will not be enough, not with the problems we have now or the ones that will be coming home to roost (global warming, for example). Some fellow citizens of ours are going to have to do a McVeigh x 100 for this to happen before people wake up to what is happening to us.
Divide and conquer is a winning strategy and our politicians have been dividing and subdividing us for many years now. We are now so Balkanized that getting us to agree on anything is impossible. Remember how the country drew together after 9-11? Well we are going to need some fucking nut on the right to do the same thing before the sane among them will turn their backs on them.
Until then we will continue our slow slide into destruction. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving up nor am I going to sit back and take it either. I’m right there with you when it comes to making myself heard by those who were elected to lead us, but at the same time I realize that short of a ‘tsunami’ of major disaster that there is little chance that they are going to listen to us or pull their heads out of their asses. They just don’t operate that way, nor have they ever. They are in this game to get the payoff, to feather their beds and retire, leaving the mess for the next generation to deal with.
Problem is that it’s a game of musical chairs and we are running out of chairs. That and the music is becoming more discordant and hard to enjoy. When shit goes bad, people look for scapegoats because they know that they were not responsible for what happened. We’re seeing that right now with the Mad Hatters who are pissed off and refuse to see that much of what they are pissed off is because of who they have supported politically. Their ‘side’ was doing the right thing, just that it wasn’t being done ‘right’ enough and they are willing to try ‘righter’. So you end up with brown hate, poor hate, hate of ‘the other’ and so on. They are the scapegoats and if the Mad Hatters have their way they are going to bear the brunt of their hate.
Ask the Jews how that works, they have firsthand experience in dealing with shit like this.
BTW, thanks for the convo. This shit eats away at a person and it’s nice to let it out at times so it doesn’t consume a person.
I agree with everything you say, I just find offense at the idea that my attitude is naive or that I’m in denial, or that I’m a complacent citizen for not self-immolating in the face of policy that isn’t different enough from the status quo. Fuck that, I’m an American, and that doesn’t mean I love everything that the President is responsible for any more that you are culpable for Michelle Bachmann because you’re in Minnesota.
@asiangrrlMN: Maybe I’m just being pure cynic myself, but I don’t see how Brewer just stands back and lets another Dem waltz into that seat. Especially with the teabag horde (I’m liking that phrase) clamoring to make sure a Real Merikan gets in there now. They see opportunity in Giffords getting shot, which is disgusting. But they do not see the world as we do. Which is why I expect at least an attempt by Brewer to meddle in this.
@freelancer: OK. I can get that. And, I agree with your assessment that there is only so much each person can do (re: federal government, or even local government). That’s why, “we get the government we deserve” thing has always bugged me–no. If I got the government I deserved, we would have had eight years of Al Gore (hopefully, only four of Lieberman as VP).
As for Bachmann, I do feel guilty and responsible for her, even though she is not even from my district. Sigh. My personal cross to bear.
@Yutsano: I hear ya. Still, (and I’m going to use a dreaded word here), the optics would be terrible. Look at what happened to Palin’s popularity after she made that dreadful video after the shooting. There was a visceral reaction that she had gone overboard (well, duh), so much so that even the Villagers noted it. I imagine the reaction would be the same if Brewer tried to appoint by fiat a Lipton Teabagger in Gabby’s place.
@Yutsano: That’s hard for her to do in Pima county where most of the Democrats in this state are. Gabby had a difficult re-election but I would be willing to bet that the Democrats wouldn’t be complacent in a special election.
@auntieeminaz: That’s good to hear. So, I’m hoping the sheriff is safe as well?
@asiangrrlMN: I certainly hope so. He seems to be popular in Tucson and is a good friend of Gabby’s. We’re the ones stuck with the fascist Arpaio.
@auntieeminaz: UGH. My sympathies. That guy is a piece of sh–work.
@Odie Hugh Manatee:
First, I want to welcome the idea of conversation, if we can’t at least speak, then we are the very definition of extremists and enemies.
To start, you wrote,
Let that be acknowledged as the most primal and philosophical of our distinctions. I may be relatively young at the age of 28, but there have been a near infinite number of examples where hope, and heroism has triumphed over hate.
You also wrote:
This seems like an artificial divide created falsely on lines of race that most people my age could give a shit about. The old world, current-politic lines of division are being disregarded, bit by bit. My beautiful cousin had a child with an Hispanic baseball player, and the relationship didn’t work out, and after regrouping, she found herself in love with a Jewish tradesman. They plan to wed next August. America is a remix culture where the focus has shifted from racial lines to socio-religious lines, to is the kid a basterd or not, to this new 21st century paradigm of “What is best for the kid?” and the rest is just shame-laden filler. One might argue that we live everyday in a more secular, more dissociative society than that of our parents, but at the same time, given the time that has passed, it would be negligent to deny that the pernicious and re percussive elements of “traditional” old world lifestyles have gone the way of the dodo.
Yes, my niece was born a “bastard”, but she won’t have to suffer the hypothetical indignity of my dysfunctional brother and his psycho ex-wife trying to play house for two decades for the sake of the kid. Instead she has the loving influence of well-meaning adults on both sides stressing that she is important, that her life has meaning, and not the illusion of crumbling phoniness that would have been a forced and doomed nuclear family.
The world is changing, we will change with it, but I’ll be goddamned if my niece’s cousins have any excuse to doubt that their lives could not have been better than my own. That’s my mission and my goal, and for those that have thrown in the towel, on either side of the aisle, I reserve nothing but contempt. You can’t quit, you have no moral authority to quit.
Odie Hugh Manatee
@freelancer: “… I just find offense at the idea that my attitude is naive or that I’m in denial, or that I’m a complacent citizen for not self-immolating in the face of policy that isn’t different enough from the status quo.”
I hope you aren’t thinking that was what I was saying or telling you to do.
If so, it wasn’t.
Regarding your “we get the government we deserve”, no we don’t. But the collective “we” gets the government that the collective “we” deserves. Germans in WWII tried to divorce themselves from the fact that they were complicit in what happened and we refused to let them do that.
Right or not, in our societies the collective “we” outweighs the individual we. We have done it to others in the past and we shouldn’t be surprised when it’s done to us.
On a happier note, here’s the wife playing violin and calling me an asshole at the end for catching her at it. Sorry about the poor camera action but I do get it steadied pretty quick.
She didn’t mean that asshole part…lol! I think that’s the first time she has ever called me one but it was worth it. :)
@Odie Hugh Manatee:
This isn’t a tactic to absolve myself from the things we’ve been discussing, just that it’s 4:09 AM local, and I’m dead tired. I’ve gotten into heated arguments/flame wars with people I’ve considered trolls here in the last few months and just have left it at that, but OHM, you seem to me to be neither a troll, nor a malcontent, just someone to the political left of my own self who is honestly expressing a sincerely held position.
Let me say this as sincerely as possible: this conversation is to be continued. Goodnight, sir or ma’am.
Odie Hugh Manatee
Give it another twenty-three years and get back to me on it so we can compare notes. In the meantime we can both keep up the hope, right?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not tossing in the towel or giving up on anything. I’m just being realistic (as I see it) about what we are facing and the environment we are in where we are going to have to deal with it. I’ll keep fighting and if we win that way then great! But at the same time I refuse to be blinded by the idea that all everyone has to do is hope and things will eventually get better.
Real life don’t work that way.
@Odie Hugh Manatee: Call me cynical, but I don’t think you got nookie that night. :) And your wife is cute as a button.
Odie Hugh Manatee
It’s sir, or better yet, just Doug (fer realz). No, I’m no troll nor am I a malcontent. I’m just spiritually disheartened at everything I see that is dragging us all down with no end in sight.
I’ll quit fighting for what is right and good for all, as I see it, until I draw my last breath on this earth. To do any less would be giving up and I never give up.
Never. Us type-A personalities just don’t know the meaning of ‘giving up’. I like that. :)
I’ll never tell and thank you very much, she is as cute as a button! She’s my sweetie and has been for over 25 years now.
She is one of the reasons I will never give up on hope or anything else in life. She would kick my ass if I did…lol!
ETA: Back to work for a bit. Reviving an old computer for a retired couple as a freebie. They don’t have much money and need the help. Last week I refurbished a Dell laptop and gave it to another elderly couple. After this I have another pc I’m putting together from old parts for another retired couple who can’t afford one.
It’s a great way to get rid of old but good parts and make some people happy at the same time. Win-win for everyone!
@Odie Hugh Manatee:
Yuts, you doubt, but there’s room for dispute. That’s how we straights roll. Get our SO’s to loathe, and then reconcile with some good old-fashioned nookie. Okay, okay, maybe sometimes it’s new-fangled nookie, you got me.
There can only be one Doug.
Fuck it, I’m going to bed now, to my room. For serious. G’night.
Odie Hugh Manatee
It never gets old. :)
@freelancer: “There can only be one Doug.”
Yup, and the wife says that I’m that one Doug…lol!
And good night to you. :)
His spokesman is denying the story:
Of course we’ll believe the denial because these people have done a good job so far of convincing us that they are not lying liars who lie.
@Odie Hugh Manatee: Wow. She’s amazing. And, cute as a button to boot as Yutsy said.
Here’s the thing. I refuse to take responsibility for shit I have not done. I feel guilty for many things, including things for which I should not feel guilt. So, when someone tells me I have to take responsibility for, say, the invasion of Iraq, I say no. I put my foot down. I am only one woman, and I can only do so much. I think this ‘we all own it’ thing can be a way to feel like we matter as individuals in the bigger cog picture. We really don’t, not that much.
@freelancer: And let me say that it’s easy for a white straight guy to talk about the false lines of race. I fully acknowledge that your generation has a different idea of race than mine, but the problems with race still exist. And, people of color are, for the most part, more inclined to be Democrats than Republicans for many reasons.
@Yutsano: Hi. Give me a cookie. I am arguing against both sides! (freelancer and Odie, I mean). I’m a Judean splinter (yes, I know it’s splitter) in and of myself.
@Ija: Uh huh. I don’t buy it for a minute. Sorry, Kelly. You act like a total shithead scumbag, and I’m going to assume that’s exactly what you are.
Christ, what an asshole.
Story is false.
@NidanGoju: Psst — your links don’t work.
Given that so far the Tucson teabaggers have shown a complete lack of tact and human feeling, I’m willing to believe it was one of them and not someone (officially) connected with Kelly who made the call.
It’s been a day or two since I first read this and I’m still boggled no one in the Kelly operation apparently knows how to use Teh Google.
this. and I am agreeing with and enjoying reading many of your comments. Thank you for this important writing.
Otto Graf von Pfmidtnöchtlet-Pízsmőgy (formerly Mumphrey, et al.)
Governors don’t get to appoint people to House seats when they fall empty. There are special elections instead.
I’ll chime in and point out that Giffords got shot two weeks ago. Not two years ago, not even two months ago. This seems a little early to be worrying about Giffords’s constitutents having no representation, but somehow I get the feeling this guy Kelly is less worried about his district’s constituents and more worried about his own career, but I guess that’s uncivil and I’d hate to hurt his feelings.
It might also be worth pointing out that Strom Thurmond’s body was serving in Senate for about 10 years after his mind had gone on to meet the Lord, and conservatives didn’t seem too upset that his chief of staff was pretty much voting for the people of Suoth Carolina in all but name. It’s true that Thurmond served his last term having been elected by constituents who must have known how unfit he was, but even so, they effectively had one senator and an unelected guy working a puppet, and conservatives never seemed to mind.