Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Past, Present, and Future Irrelevance

This was a moment I am embarrassed to admit as a presidential historian:

Today, while reflecting on conservative thinkers turning against McCain, I considered a list of other conservative leaders and thinkers who may go heretic, and I wondered "What would Gerald Ford do?" and for one split second I thought, "Wait a minute, is Gerald Ford alive?" Almost immediately I remembered he wasn't, but even more immediately I wondered "Would it matter if he was?" The point being my brain could access the fact "Gerald Ford is irrelevant" faster than it could access "Gerald Ford is Dead".

Monday, September 22, 2008

There is a plan

Do not worry about the financial crisis, they have a plan....

Problem solved, am I right?

Seriously though, I am sick and tired of the rail splitting fundamentalists foisting his legendary chores as somehow more epic or monumental than the time he fought escaped slave river pirates.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Was Lincoln a gay?

The A. Lincoln blog argues that, contra the hopes and wishes of queer studies historians everywhere, Lincoln was not gay. Not that he didn't have romantic and sexual relations with men, that may very well be. What he argues is that Lincoln, and Buchanan for that matter, weren't gay because they "would not for example have placed their sexual behavior at the core of their sense of themselves, arranging their lifestyles and values around their sexuality as if it was their center of gravity".

Look, feather boas did not exist in the antebellum South, how could someone be gay without feather boas? This was an era that had yet to coin the term fashionista, lacked the technology of velour, and may or may not have had professional hairstylists. Without those mainstays of homosexuality, what would it even mean to be gay?

I suppose one could misconstrue gay to mean homosexual. The A. Lincoln blog even admits that by that stretch of a definition, Lincoln may have been gay: "So did Lincoln and Buchanan have same-sex relations other men? Possibly. ...But be that as it may, neither man was "gay."

Because if one cannot strike a pose, "act a diva", and embrace the inevitable gay lifestyle that all gays put at the "center of their gravity", than can one really be gay?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Abe Lincoln: Dwarf, Lout

Abe Lincoln was a dwarf and a clod whose mythical reputation has been exaggerated by historians. That's what President John Tyler's son Lyon Tyler argued anyway.

In pamphlets, books, and, one assumes, the walls of bathroom stalls, he viciously attacked Lincoln's record. He compared John Brown to Sacco and Vanzetti, equated the Union army with 1920's anarchist violence, and blamed Lincoln for World War I. He called him a backwoods idiot in a pamphlet titled "Are Handkerchiefs Superfluous? Lincoln Thought So." To him Lincoln was a "word juggler" and the Gettysburg Address was "a gilded fraud" and "bad sophism".

As long as you're reinventing the past, why stop with trashing Lincoln? Lyon Tyler agreed, arguing that slaves were "the most spoiled domestics in the world....The Southerners took the negro as a barbarian and cannibal, civilized him, supported him, clothed him, and turned him out a better Christian than Abraham Lincoln, who was a free thinker, if not an atheist."

He might as well have argued that Lincoln was a dwarf... and in fact he did (metaphorically at least); the title of his anti-Lincoln pamphlet was "John Tyler and Abraham Lincoln: Who was the Dwarf? A Reply to a Challenge"

H.T. to Dan Monroe "Lincoln the Dwarf: Lyon Gardiner Tyler's War on the Mythical Lincoln"

Monday, September 8, 2008

Wet Blanket Wolfson

Hillary Clinton strategist Howard Wolfson dashes our collective hopes of a vicious, clawing, cat fight between Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin:

"The questions are fair, but what undergirds them is an obsession in our popular culture with the "cat fight," an offensive term that describes the spectacle of two well known women fighting with one another..... Don't hold your breath. It's not going to happen."

Actually, I'm in 100% agreement with Wolfson. A cat fight is a petty sexist spectacle that demeans the participants and onlookers alike; distracting the public narrative from what should be a serious and erudite discussion of the real issues that face our nation. Let's all say it togethor: we don't want a Hillary vs Palin cat fight.

What we want is a Hillary vs Palin duel. Broadswords. At dawn. If it was good enough for Lincoln, it's good enough for them... That is unless they think they're better than Lincoln. Are they suggesting they're better than Lincon? I smell a gaffe!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

McCain Acceptance Speech Response

While we here at the Washington Pugilist are editorially bipartisan with regard to the outcome of the upcoming election- having affirmed and reaffirmed our philosophical commitment to the clinical study, analysis, and reportage of imaginary fistfights- we do feel the need to offer an official response to candidate McCain following his decidedly minced words about what it means to fight.

McCain's acceptance speech this evening acted as much as a call to service for Americans as it did to elucidate core discrepancies between himself and candidate Obama. Making sweeping declamations culled from outstanding first-hand experience about the nature, necessity and effect that war and combat can have on an individual, he convincingly played the role of the war-hewn scholar.

In the end, though, what will be seen as a tactical failing amongst an underserved constituency- that being the national network of bullies, thugs, goons, muggers, and hired guns- was summed up by these few, short sentences:
I don’t mind a good fight. For reasons known only to God, I’ve had quite a few tough ones in my life. But I learned an important lesson along the way: In the end, it matters less that you can fight. What you fight for is the real test.
To candidate McCain, we respond thusly: uhhh, no...no, no, no, no. No.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Apolitical, seemingly innocuous predictions about Sarah Palin...

Favorite movie: Thelma and Louise
Favorite author: John Grisham
Huge KISS fan
Closet full of denim jackets she rarely wears but won't throw out

Yakuza Bruisers

With two hurricanes down and an imperiled city brazenly indignant after being stood up for a second date with annihilation (classic bad boy syndrome)... here come three more motherfucking hurricanes.

Which raises the question: which candidate will stand up to the retributive Japanese Yakuza responsible for all of these deadly storms?

Idaho weatherman Scott Stevens earned himself national media play and plenty of ridicule when he theorized that Japan’s crime syndicate used a Cold War-era Russian storm machine to create Hurricane Katrina. Three years later, however, with his Weather Wars site still tickling the conspiratorial fancies of a likeminded readership, Hurricane Gustav has revitalized broader discussion of Stevens’ previously laughed-off theories.

Now, this story is precisely the type of sub-crackpotdom that we here at the Pugilist thrive on, and one we feel has the chance to be the October surprise everyone's been waiting for—in September.

So the question again presents itself: would it be McCain or Obama best putting the handle on some Japanese ninja shit?

(Take note, Jim Lehrer, this is optimus prime material for your 9/25 debate sheet)

Let’s break it down. For one, McCain’s already ended up on the bad side of some Asian wildboyz, so he’d be working with a full-on revenge mentality in addition to his rapidly deteriorating cognizance- an unpredictable combo that would spell game over for all but the fiercest of warriors. Obama, on the other hand, was raised by Muslim shadowfighters in a desert bunker dojo according to several reputable e-mail forwards- an obvious advantage- but would just as likely fall in league with the ninjas given his already well-documented hatred of America.

Tell me where I'm wrong.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

You're going to have to go a little lower than that

Boreilly, et al, are up in arms-UP IN ARMS!- at the now disproven rumors that Guv'ner Palin's daughter is the true mother of the Governess' baby. He goes so far as to call it the worst smear ever and, with characteristic taste and subtlety, compares it to Nazis and the Klan. Obviously, Bill's point is that nothing is more insulting than accusing someone of having a Down's syndrome baby... I mean, how embarrassing would that be?!? It's the ultimate smear.

I'm afraid Dr.O'Reilly* should revisit some campaigns of yore if he wants to see some real smears, because pregnant tennagers just can't compete with the ungodly ugliness of the election of 1828.

John Quincy Adam's men took to smearing Andrew Jackson's wife, Rachel Jackson, as a polygamist for unwittingly failing to fully process her divorce from her abusive ex-husband before marrying Jackson. Allegations were made in an anonymous pamphlet entitled "View of General Jackson's Domestic Relations, in Refernce to his Fitness for the Presidency" as well as in the Cincinnati Gazette and the Daily National Journal, which argued:

"[Jackson] spent the prime of his life gambling, in cock fighting and horse racing", and "tore from a husband the wife of his bosom."

The same journal asked readers to imagine what would happen if John Quincy Adams "were to take a man's wife from him pistol in hand."

Rachel Jackson was called "American Jezebel" and the question was begged "Ought a convicted adulteress and her paramour husband be placed in the highest office of this free and Christian Land?"

Distraught from the constant attacks and the unbearable thought of 4 more years of them, she died of a heart attack. Check Bristol's pulse. Still good? Ok, Rachel Jackson wins for now then. But keep me updated.

*Bill was awarded a honorary doctorate from the University of Awesome for his work in journalism. Too humble to recognize his doctoral level awesomeness, he has yet to claim the award (aka it's on my desk waiting to be picked up).

History Is Calling, President Carter, Will You Pick Up The Phone?

At the suggestion of commenter angelia sparrow, I present the further works of former President James Buchanan:

Cheating Chance: Vice Detective, Brandon Carr, despite his tattoos and bad-boy cool, lives in the closet with no intention of ever coming out. Then he meets Nevada Gaming Agent, Nick O'Malley, at a Goth convention and his perfectly constructed world starts to crack. Nick's passions for him, a restored hearse and rope bondage might drown Brandon's will. With the odds stacked against them they try to move from simply sex to something more. Sparks fly as the pair probes a world of cheating, murder, drugs and money laundering. The investigation repeatedly derails their relationship, finally forcing Brandon to choose between staying in the closet and saving Nick's life.

My hope is the positive feedback about former President Buchanan's work will inspire Jimmy Carter to release his secret homoerotic novellas. Thanks to bbmrebel for the suggestion as well, but at the risk of slowing morphing into a gay book club, we'll make this the last post about Mr.Buchanan's possible authorship (for now).

Monday, September 1, 2008

Russia's Putin saves TV crew from Siberian tiger

That was the headline from a Yahoo! News article, and this was what I pictured immediately:


Unfortunately, it seems he used a tranquilizer gun... but still... that's incredibly badass. If there is ever a Washington Pugilist Worldwide Edition, Putin will definitely be a contender.