Guns, Goons and Gravy
The particularly stench-heavy toxic brew of corporate largesse and far-right political ambitions known as ALEC got at least some modest comeuppance over the last week, as applied muscle from a panoply of progressive organizations caused a string of sugar daddies to cut their ties. It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of anti-democratic Crustaceans.
ALEC is famous for providing slow-witted Republican legislators with pre-written legislation allowing them to submit bills furthering the whims of their fatted campaign contributors without working up a sweat writing them themselves. More time for golf and shooting bunny rabbits in the woods I guess.
ALEC drew fire and began taking on water when it came to light that the organization helped cook up the Stand Your Ground laws that morphed the Castle Doctrine (one is legally permitted to defend oneself with a firearm in one’s home without retreating first) into Permissible Public Murder Due to Jittery Nerves laws, one of which was adopted in Florida and seemed to have played a role in the reluctance or lassitude of the Sanford, Florida police department when it came time to arrest George Zimmerman after he stalked and murdered 17 year old Trayvon Martin for the heinous and terrifying act of publicly eating Skittles while black.
ALEC also has been cranking out those Republican Stop the Vote laws popping up like Kudzu in the fully reddened states, designed to limit voting to the geriatric white cranks who comprise the party’s base. It’s sort of like the Golden Girls teaming up with Archie Bunker to rid the neighborhood of blacks, Latinos, gays and progressive taxes. One would think Republicans would quit carping about the horribleness of Medicare and spitting out plans to gut it since in many cases it may be the only thing keeping its voters alive…and the Republican Party.
So far Coca-Cola, Pepsico, McDonalds, Mars Inc., Blue Cross Blue Shield, Wendy’s, Kraft and the Gates Foundation are among the wealth-concentrated players who have flown the ALEC coop. Now the heavy pouting has begun. An ALEC PR flack told a “bloggers briefing” (hey, nobody called me) at the Heritage Foundation that these progressives acting mean were “part of a wider effort to shut all of us down.” That is sadder than Beaches, Old Yeller and Terms of Endearment in a triple feature. The flack moaned, “We’re getting absolutely killed in social media venues—Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. Any and all new media support you guys can provide would be so helpful, not just to us but to average people who don’t know much about this fight but are seeing us really get heavily attacked with very little opposition.” Alas, we have reached the level of Shakespearean tragedy.
Most important in all this is that ALEC has backed down on Stand Your Ground laws and foresworn participation in efforts to promulgate more. One large setback for insufferable douchebags, one small step for breathing things. None of this was lost on the NRA busy having itself a convention around the same time. The biggest news out of there was that Ted Nugent, who plays guitar like a gorilla and runs around with a bow and arrow as though chronologically frozen at the age of 13 funkified his Pampers with a rant about President Obama that got the attention of the Secret Service (I repeat: Let them have hookers!).
NRA blowhard Wayne LaPierre began pissing unsteadily from la pissoir, spewing on the media for having the temerity to cover the Trayvon Martin case, calling them, “irresponsible, duplicitous and dangerously dishonest.” One can only dream that someday American media will be so effectual. Wayne also sputtered, “Right now, there’s a reporter out there writing the NRA is paranoid and that I’m crazy.” Well, true dat, multiplied by about 100. Then he said, “That reporter should think of what it must have felt like on that fateful September day in the World Trade Center.” I don’t have the faintest friggin’ idea what he was talking about but I still laughed till I cried.
The best news is that at least for one bright shining moment the craphounds who spend all that time the rest of us don’t have, and all of that money they are making sure we never get our hands on rigging our democracy against us, took a sharp, swift kick in the jewels. Be merry my friends, be merry.