Archive for Republican Primary

Donald Trump is a Dangerous Chump!

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics with tags , , on December 10, 2015 by playthell
Populist Plutoctat or shameless Charlatan?

Yet the Republican Base loves him while the Elite Weeps

 “Ye shall reap what ye sow!”

As a Yellow Dog Democrat I confess it is amusing to witness the hand wringing of the Republican establishment as Donald Trump blows up their chances of winning the presidency and possibly lose them the Senate to boot. Beyond that Trump’s hysterical anti-Muslim rants is endangering US national security by simultaneously aiding the recruitment efforts of ISIS, while making it harder for our Muslim allies to mobilize forces to attack ISIS on the ground with US backing.  Hence Donald the Clown is a liability for the GOP in domestic and foreign affairs. Yet they are only reaping what they sowed; this is why watching their public expressions of anxiety is so funny .

The establishment of the Grand Old Party aka “The Grand Obstructionist Party,” encouraged Trump’s outrageous racist antics when he fueled the so-called “Birther” movement that challenged Barack Obama’s bonafides as a native born American, thereby questioning his right to serve as President, an office he won in a national election fair and square….twice!   The Republican big wigs were mealy mouthed or remained mum on the subject because chump’s rancid rhetoric proved to be useful propaganda in their efforts to motivate the untutored, insecure, racist, and frightened white working and lower middle classes which make up the “Tea Party” trend in Republican politics and comprise the “party base.”

This is the demographic that was identified in a recent public health study as suffering the fastest growing death rate in the country.  The major causes of mortality among this group are indicative of stress filled lives lived on the edge of despair; sclerosis of the liver due to alcoholism, and drug abuse legal and illegal top the list. Hence these are desperate people looking for a savior in the post-industrial wastelands of America, and a strongman offering simple solutions to bewilderingly complex problems seems to be just what the doctor ordered.

Since nobody understands better than the plutocrats, the wealthy elite whose interests are promoted and protected by the Republican Party, that the aims and policies of their party are diametrically opposed to the economic interests of the “base,” they placate them with racism, xenophobia, and Jingoism.  All of which are personified in Donald Trump.

From the moment he announced a second run for the US presidency, the campaign waged by this pugnacious politically ignorant racist clown had all the characteristics of a fool’s errand. I thought he had no real chance at victory, but the campaign would cost him a fortune in financial losses and damage to his reputation…which was not that good to start with among many New Yorkers.   Before the campaign had hardly begun Trump’s dirty mouth and reckless diatribes cost him plenty in terms of public ridicule and lost business deals.

After his scathing comments about Mexican immigrants, accusing them of everything from being rapist and garden variety criminals to bringing infectious diseases into the US, he was roundly denounced and ridiculed in the media, and a train of corporations with whom he was doing business cut ties with the New York real estate developer and fled.   This includes television networks such as NBC and the Spanish Language TV network Univision, which aired his beauty pageant. And the government of California has voted to divest in any Trump enterprises they were doing business with.

However considering the fact that Trump has pledged to finance his own campaign, he could end up blowing a lot more dough.  For instance, the leading candidate in the race, Jeb Bush, has amassed a war chest of over a hundred Million dollars and there are millions more where that came from.  Although thus far Bush’s bread appears to have had no effect on his standing in the race, since the last time I checked he was below 5%.  It is no secret that the Republican establishment is behind Bush and wishes that Trump would disappear, as he is besmirching the party image and alienating Hispanic Americans – a constituency that party strategist with the Republican National Committee has identified as vital to a Republican victory in the 2016 presidential election.

After fiddling around for days after Trump’s scurrilous attacks on Mexicans Jeb Bush, whose wife Columba is Mexican, vociferously denounced Trumps anti-Mexican comments as “extraordinarily ugly” and assured us they are “not reflective of the Republican party.” But Trump chumped Jeb off by pointing out that his wife was Mexican and insinuated that he was pussy whipped and thus couldn’t be trusted to handle this issue objectively.

Terrified by Trump’s no-holds barred campaign style, in which mudslinging private attacks were considered fair tactics, the rest of the Republican presidential field maintained a silence that conjures up the oath of “Omerta” pledged by Mafia members. While Trump, pompous blowhard that he is, has stood firm and remained unrepentant, and despite the fact that those contenders who first stepped up to oppose him – like former Governor Rick Perry of Texas and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana – bit the dust, the rest of the Republican field have been forced to increasingly abandon their mealy mouth lawyerlike double talk and sound the alarm that a Trump victory in the primary elections would spell disaster for their Party.

They are speaking out despite fact that it will offend the racist sentiments of many in the Republican base; the beleaguered white working class whom they have courted with thinly disguised racist diatribes against President Obama.  However the party pros, the strategists like Karl Rove who understand the demographic profile of the entire US electorate, well know that the people who turn out and cheer Trump are a minority.

Hence they are worried to death about what the enigmatic, abrasive and fiercely independent Trump may do or say next.  It is fair to say that the old line Republican establishment is deeply worried about the damage Trump is doing to their brand every time he takes the stage.  His latest statements about Muslims have won the opprobrium of people around the world.

The Prime Ministers of America’s closest allies Britain and France have publicly denounced his views in extraordinary comments on US domestic politics.  Even the Mayor of London was moved to respond to a comment from Trump about the dangers posed by the Muslim population of London, that he would be much more afraid of running into Trump on the street during a visit to New York.

And as any thoughtful observer might imagine, Trump’s comments have flown like a steel balloon in the Muslim world, where they have been roundly denounced by students, scholars, politicians and of course Imams.  Tom Freedman, the erudite Foreign Affairs columnist for the New York Times, tells us in a column titled “You ain’t no American Bro”:

As for Trump, well, he may be a deal maker, but he’s no poker player ready for the Middle East five-card stud sharks. His xenophobic rhetoric and unrealistic, infantile threats of massive bombing make up the kind of simplistic hand you’d play in “Go Fish” — not in this high-stakes game. Beyond playing into ISIS’s hand by denigrating the U.S. presidency and our democratic ideals, Trump is doing real damage to America’s ability to lead a coalition, the only vehicle that can effectively address this problem.”

Despite the obvious damage this Trump chump is doing to his party and his country with his reckless rancid rhetoric, this megalomaniacal corporate martinet and amateur politician charges on oblivious to the concerns and protests of his fellow Republicans, as he trashes their dreams of capturing the Oval office with his malicious follies.  And it serves them right!

They made a Faustian Bargain by supporting or turning a deaf ear to the Tea Party and Trump’s racist attacks on President Obama, and now the Devil has come to claim their souls.  It is a poetic justice.  The Grand Obstructionist Party has just the candidate their dirty deeds deserve: A race baiting pugnacious chicken hawk and Vietnam era draft dodger, itching to squander more American blood and treasure in Middle East wars, raging through the Grand Obstructionist Party with the destructiveness of a bull in a China shop.  Indeed, they are reaping what they have sown!


Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem New York
December 9, 2015

Is Ben Carson Nuts?

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , on November 12, 2015 by playthell
Dr. Ben Carson - Crazy
Dr. Ben Carson on the campaign trail

 An Idiot Savant Who is good with his hands?

Without a doubt the most interesting thing about the rise of Dr. Ben Carson as a leading candidate for the Republican presidency is that nobody has made an issue of his race.  That no one seems to notice this is further evidence of its uniqueness as an American political event.  Although Carson will be loath to admit it – given that he is the darling of the ignorant lunatic right that make up the Republican base – the reason his race is not an issue is because the outstanding presidency of Barack Obama has laid the silly question of whether a black man is capable of handling the job a moot point.

It is proof that the advice given to generations of black Americans by their teachers, preachers and parents is true: If you are the first black person to enter an arena you must be “twice as good” as your white competitors so that the door will remain open for the next black person to enter.  Arguably, Barack Obama has been more than thrice as good as his predecessor George W. Bush.

Despite his pristine Anglo-Saxon pedigree and Myriad advantages as the son of a former US President /plutocrat, the incompetence of George W. Bush  led to the first successful military assault on the US since the War of 1812 -despite several warnings of the impending attack; the worst collapse of the American economy since the Great Depression of the 1930’s; a war of choice against an un-offending nation that has destabilized the entire Middle East – which they had also been warned would happen by experts on the region – created ISIS and produced the conditions for a military conflict between the US and Russia that could easily spiral into a nuclear confrontation capable of destroying the world.  In fact, its gonna take a miracle to prevent this grim scenario from materializing.  Hence by any objective standard the leadership of Barack Obama – who corrected course, stabilized the sinking ship of state, and kept the nation afloat – has been a blessing.

It is incontestable that Ben Carson greatly benefits from the fact that he is running in a political environment in which a sitting black President saved the American Auto industry; led the economic recovery from the Bush crash; protected the American homeland from major terrorist attack; killed Osama bin Laden; kept the USA from starting anymore foreign wars; provided the American people with an affordable health care plan;  made equal pay for women the law; blocked the environmentally disastrous dirty oil pipeline from Canada; signed a major nuclear arms treaty with Russia and won a coveted Nobel Peace Prize for it, and many other achievements far too numerous to list here.

However the data is easily available online for anyone who wants to find it. And the book “The New New Deal,” which details how wisely the 700 billion dollars appropriated under the Economic Recovery Act was invested in the public interest free of any evidence of corruption is readily available on Amazon.

Barack The Maginificent!

Barack being fortified with the laying on of hands.

Church Leaders Laying on Hands

Although our President has been dubbed “Barack the Magnificent” by the great and wise Calypsonian “Mighty Sparrow,” a Trinidadian, Ben Carson has not, and will not, admit his debt to President Obama is yet another example of how contemptuous he, and the Republican Party in general, is of the truth.  As I write Carson is deeply embroiled in multiple controversies about things he wrote in his Autobiography, “Gifted Hands,” which cannot be corroborated by independent investigations conducted by professional journalists.

As it looks increasingly probable that Dr. Carson was lying about several incidents that are critical to the myth he has carefully constructed about himself, the pertinent question is why?  When Dr. Carson wrote this book he was already considered one of the greatest neuro-surgeons in the world.  And he had risen to this exalted status from the slums of a deindustrializing Detroit.  As the son of a single working class mother he had not been afforded any of the advantages that most kids who go to Yale and become world renowned surgeons took for granted.  He had done it all by his own hard work, exceptional intelligence and iron discipline; a model of intestinal fortitude fueled by grand ambitions.

This would be an outstanding resume for anyone.  Hence the question is why did he feel the need to invent a series of incidents to embellish this already marvelous story?  One thing is certain; we won’t get an explanation from Dr. Carson, the author of these fables.   Indeed he has decided to adopt a stance West Indians call “wrong and strong.”

When reporters interrogate him about his claims to have met with General Westmoreland, the commander of US forces in the Vietnam War, at a time and place that the General’s schedule shows he was not present; or his claim to have sheltered white students in the biology lab of his high-school during black rioting following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, which none of the white former students interviewed by reporters remember; or the offer of a scholarship to West Point, when admission to the elite military academy is by congressional appointment and all expenses are paid, Carson becomes surly and accuses the press of being out to get him.

 Carson in a Hissy Fit
Ben Carson IV
The Liberal Media are after Me!

A rank amateur at the art and science of politics, Carson evidently had no idea of the intense media scrutiny he would receive if it looked like he could end up in the Oval office.  Now he is running around like a chicken with a freshly wrung neck leveling ridiculous charges against the press; which will only insure that they will increase the scrutiny and all the skeletons in his closet as well as the bald faced lies he has told will be uncovered and held up to public scrutiny. In other words, he has chosen a self-destructive path from which it is difficult to forsee a road to victory.

As I write the press continues to break new stories about Carson that cast further doubt about his veracity and raises new questions about his character.  For instance the Washington Post just broke a story about Dr. Carson being a defendent in a paternity suit brought by an unidentified woman in Florida, which Carson denounces as “blackmail,” yet refuses to submit to a paternity test.

This response does not pass the smell test; as a doctor Carson knows that the easiest way to determine truth from a lie in this instance is to take a DNA test.  So what’s up wit dat?  Carson may be viewed as a victim by anti-media conspiracy kooks and the fundamentalist fanatics on the Christian Right, but he is increasingly looking like a pathological liar and pompous prick to the rest of us.  Yet despite the hysterical claims that the “liberal media” is out to get him the question remains: Why did Ben Carson fabricate stories about his life?

It is conventional wisdom among medical professionals that talented surgeons suffer from “a God complex.”  When you consider what they do it is not hard to imagine how they might develop such an inflated self-concept because some of the things that they can do are God like.  Saving lives by entering a person’s body and removing malignant organs or correcting the function of body parts to make them perform better, even transplanting organs from one body to another, replacing faulty parts with good ones like taking your car to a body shop, is incredible stuff that we mere mortals can only marvel at.  Thus it is not hard to understand how a person who is capable of such amazing feats, that literally give people new and better lives, could develop a God Complex.

Alas, despite his attempts to appear humble, Ben Carson is beginning to come across as a raging megalomaniac who is out of touch with reality.  His response to a reporter who questioned him about whether he would submit to brain surgery conducted by someone who had never attempted it before reveals the extent of his egomania and hubris.

He contemptuously dismissed the question with the comment that anyone who would ask such a question, suggesting it is analogous to his run for the presidency has no idea of the level of intelligence and skill it takes to conduct neuro-surgery.   It is such a silly statement, unconnected from any sense of reality, one is forced to wonder if he is delusional, on drugs or some special species of idiot savant: a guy who performs life enhancing miracles in the operating room and spouts dangerous life threatening drivel outside.

If we followed Dr. Ben Carson’s prescriptions it would result in the deaths of many innocent people; whether we are talking about affordable health care, gun control, or his militaristic views on foreign relations – especially our relations with Russia, which would hasten the pace of our movement toward nuclear catastrophe in which millions would perish.

Given his religious fanaticism it is worth asking if Dr. Carson would welcome such a doomsday scenario, after all many fundamentalist Christians  believe that the world will end in a fiery holocust come the Rapture, which will follow the Battle of Armegeddon when God and the Devil has the final throw down; the brawl for ir all!   As crazy as this may sound to rational people, there are millions of Americans who actually believe this deranged fantasy and many of them believe that the holocaust fortold in the Bible represents nuclear war between Russia – the forces of evil, and the US the elect of God.

One need only listen to the things Carson says regarding US-Russian relations to become suspicious of whether he shares these views.  Among the things Dr. Carson has advocated on the record is “We should fight them everywhere” and “We need to be supplying weapons to the Ukraine.” This is a plan of action that would lead inexorably to a war with Russia.

Since any military conflict with the US would involve all the members of NATO, a military alliance that the US has craftily constructed to surround Russia militarily – violating the spirit if not the letter of the agreements that ended the cold war – the Russians would have no choice but to go on a nuclear alert, and should the conflict proceed we could accidentally slide into nuclear war.

The way Carson talks about setting up a “no fly zone” in Syria and ordering American planes to intercept any Russian aircraft that crosses it suggests that he views the situation like a schoolyard fight where one kid draws a line in the sand and dares  the other to cross it.  He even employs the language of a school yard fight, calling Vladimir Putin a “bully” who we have to “stand up to.”   As outrageous as his statements on the Affordable Health Act are, or the self-aggrandizing lies he tells to spice up his life narrative, they pale in relation to his positons on a nuclear armed and increasingly nervous Russia.

To any sane and sober observer it is clear that the election of Dr. Ben Carson – a medical version of “Dr. Strangelove” – is a terrifying thought.  Hence, contrary to his cries of harassment by the “liberal media,” bringing out the truth about just what a whacko Carson is represents their finest hour.  It is amusing to hear right-wing whites who are borderline racist accuse the press of attacking Carson because he is black!

It is a scurrilous charge that insults both the integrity of honest reporters and the intelligence of the American electorate.  The fact is that, as I previously pointed out, race has nothing to do with Carson’s troubles with the press; it is his incessant lying about his personal history and his willingness to say anything to placate the crazies in the Republican base – people who can only support a black person who is willing to deny his people’s history of oppression – i.e. the real history of the USA.

A case in point is how he speaks of America’s history of “freedom,” this from a man that would have been a slave when the constitution was written, and whose children could be auctioned off like piglets –a wretched condition that lasted 250 years!  Another striking example is his support of white racist flying the Confederate flag at NASCAR events, flying in the face of the struggle by black and white Americans to remove this symbol of slavery and treason from American life after the mass murder in a South Carolina church by a young white mass murderer who was enamored of the flag and all that it symbolized. .   The things that Carson says in defense of these positions suggest a man who is totally out of touch with reality.

For instance he says: “Swastikas are a symbol of hate for some people, too. And yet they still exist in museums and places like that. If it’s a majority of people in that area who want it to fly, I certainly wouldn’t take it down.”  This comment won him the endorsement of the retired redneck NASCAR star Richard Petty, who describes the doctor as “very humane.”  Carson is so ignorant of the world beyond the operating room he comes across as a character in a comedy of the absurd.

He apparently does not know that flying a Nazi flag in public is illegal in Germany, and if those rednecks dared to fly a Nazi flag over their events the organized Jewish community would drive NASCAR into obscurity and ruin by getting all the major corporate sponsors  withdraw their support and no television networks would broadcast their races – including FOX.  NASCAR would revert to the backwoods cracker event that it used to be. And they well know it; so that’s not going to happen.  Is this guy really so out of it that he cannot distinguish the difference between displaying a Nazi flag in a museum exhibit denouncing Nazism and triumphantly flying a Confederate flag at a NASCAR race?

Whatever one may decide in this instance, the overall character of his comments – of which we have discussed a representative sample – suggests that he is either a soulless charlatan ready to tell as many lies as he thinks he needs to in order to advance his political career; a colossal ignoramus about history, politics, economics and foreign affairs; or he has serious mental problems.  His performance in the Republican primary debate tonight, November 10th, leaves no doubt that he is an ignoramus in all of these critical areas.  He is a super-lightweight vying for the Heavy-Weight crown of politics, and his mental stability remains an open question.

How then do we explain his appeal to so many white Republicans? After all, they have put him within a few points of the lead in the Republican presidential campaign, heads and shoulders above capable career politicians like Governors Jeb Bush, John Kaicish and the governor of New Jersey, all of whom are talking crazier in an effort to compete with the frontrunners Trump and Carson. I believe the answer to this enigma lies in the nature of the contemporary Republican/Tea Party.

This is a party that has built a worldview based upon the denial of science, failure to recognize the international realities but clings to the outmoded and dangerous ideology of “American Exceptionalism,” rejection of the facts of US history, weaving a web of outright lies about their democratic opponents, and continues to refer to Russia as the “Soviet Union.”

It is also a party that resists taxing the rich among us despite a mountain of evidence that the distribution of wealth between the rich and the rest of us is economically inefficient; morally bankrupt and unchristian; openly despises the government as an institution and has convinced millions of Americans that the Federal government, which they elect, is also their enemy.  It is no wonder that such a party cannot govern.  The recent Republican rule under George Bush more than adequately makes this point.

Given the bizarre world of the Grand Obstructionist Party it is not surprising that Ben Carson looks like a hero to his base and a weirdo to the rest of us.   Carson is common fare for black Republicans; whom I have repeatedly pointed out are all strange birds – remember Herman “Suga” Cain and “Uncle” Justice Thomas, Mr. “Nine Nine Nine” and the black mummy on the Supreme Court who acts like a sounding board for the opinions of that right-wing greaser Antonin Scalia.  There seems no end to the irrational things Carson has said he believes; his vociferous insistence that the Pyramids of ancient Egypt were a granaries built by Joseph to store grain for the Jewish people, not tombs for the pharaohs as archaeologists have demonstrated for over a century.

 As dangerous a religious fanatic as any ISIS soldier
Dr. ben carson professes his religion
Nobody told this egotistical Buffoon that the US is a secular society?

 He clings to this silly belief despite the fact that, as the big builder and political rival Donald Trump pointed out, the Pyramids are solid rock structures with room for little else except the pharaoh’s tombs.  This kind of information is very easy to research, but Carson says he got his information from the Bible, which suggests that Carson has no interest in factual information or scientific analysis outside of the medical field.

This is reason enough to confidently conclude that to elect him President would be a danger to the entire world!  After all the known facts are carefully considered, one thing is certain: Something is missing in the mind and character of Ben Carson that unsuits him to be the Chief Executive of the American government and especially Commander-in-Chief of the US armed forces – the last thing the world needs now is another tough talking religious zealot and reckless chicken hawk directing American firepower.    If I had to sum it up succinctly, I’d say the guy is nuts!

To View some of Carson’s Lunacy Click Links Below
On the origins of the Universe and Evolution
Hear Dr. Ben Carson’s prescription for starting a nuclear war



Playthell Benjamin
Harlem, New York
November IIth 2015

It’s Mittster the Trickster!

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , , on April 25, 2012 by playthell
                 It’s Official: Republicans Are Running An empty Suit

         Romney’s Victory Speech is Hollow Mockery

Last night Mitt Romney pretty much sewed up the Republican nomination by sweeping the primaries in four states, and his most formidable challengers have left the field.  With only two deluded old fools – Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich – attempting to block his path, and Newt just announced he is retiring from the race next Tuesday,  Mitt is a shoo in.  Assuming the mantle of Republican standard bearer, Romney presented a victory speech that gave us a glimpse of what he stands for…and as the writer Gertrude Stein once said: “There was no there there.”

The speech was stiff and rang hollow; it was a burlesque on a serious statement of vision for a nation facing monumental issues.  After an introduction by his smiling blond Stepford wife, who thanked the audience for supporting “us,” Mitt the Stiff began his speech by enumerating a series of economic disasters that are consequences of the Republican destruction of our economy, and vainly attempted to hang the blame on President Obama, who actually saved the nation from a deep depression and turned things around.

Looking out on his adoring audience of New Hampshire airheads courting heartbreak – because win or lose it will be crying time – the Mittster said “I have a simple message.”  And as he began to speak it was clear that he misspoke; he should have said simple minded.

Although a confederation of well-paid white male pundits are praising the speech as the best ever from Mitt, it was like saying Spider Man is better looking than Freddie Kruger.  The Mittster’s monologue was characterized by vague promises, name calling, uninspired empty rhetoric and myriad absurdities.

It was all smoke and mirrors that attempted to confuse shadows with substance.   His language reminded me of the “New Speak” George Orwell introduced in his classic novel 1984.  Orwell tells us “Newspeak was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought, and this purpose was indirectly assisted by cutting the choice of words down to a minimum.”

It was as if Mitt used this as the model for his monologue, which was innocent of erudition or eloquence, and often perverted the meaning of words so that they appeared to be their opposite.  Consider the following statement Mitt makes about President Obama: “he will run a campaign of diversions, distractions, and distortions. That kind of campaign may have worked at another place and in a different time.  But not here and not now.  It’s still about the economy …and we’re not stupid.”

This is a perfect description of himself!   Mitt’s campaign began with a television ad in which they took a clip of Barack quoting John McCain’s campaign manager in the last election, and edited it to look like a statement of the President’s position.  This was a blatant amoral lie.  Romney’s entire campaign is based on lies and distortions of the President’s record, and distractions, like the phony dust up over his wife.

Its quintessential Romney speak.  The incoherent mutterings of a desperate man who has no substantive criticism of the President, and thus must rely on lies and distortions in an effort to so confuse people they will vote against their interest.

The most egregious perversion of language, and insult to his audience, is when he proclaimed “we’re not stupid” as he tries to convince them to cut their throats.  Mittster the trickster could barely conceal his contempt for this howling untutored mob, who appeared to cheer on cue.

The New Hampshire Airheads Cheer Their Demise

Laughing on the way to the Graveyard?


Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

April 25, 2012

Is Newt a Historian or Propagandist?

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , , on January 27, 2012 by playthell

     “What is this silly motherfucker yapping about?”

 Reflections on a Lying Fat Fraud

Newt Gingrich tells us that he was paid 1.6 million dollars by the quasi-government mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack for his skills as a “historian.”  But Newt has no standing among professional historians.  Dr. Gerald Horn, the John and Rebecca Moores Professor of History at the University of Houston, the most broadly learned and prolific historian presently writing in America, considers Newt a joke, a shameless poseur.

Newt was paid grand theft dough for peddling his influence with former colleagues; the was a ho for dough!  I regard his claim to be a historian as equally bogus: he is a propagandist!  The difference between the two roles is vast.  Who and what a historian is are questions that only professional colleagues can decide based on the standards they set, and one’s work is evaluated through the process of peer review.

Newt constantly refers to his Ph.D. in history, but that’s a credential: It’s the product that matters.  Arthur Schlesinger Jr., a distinguished historian, never got a Ph.D., and Barbara Tuchman – who twice won the Pulitzer Prize for her historical texts – does not hold a Ph.D. either!  Yet I know of no distinguished…or even important historical studies that are cited by professional historians which were authored by Newt.

He is a pompous poot-butt with a Ph.D.  I say he is full of Bullshit: Piled high and Deep….that’s what Ph.D. means when attached to Newt’s name!  A point of clarification is in order here.  While “Bullshit” is the term of art employed by the untutored in order to describe people with diarrhea of the mouth who constantly talk shit, I am also referencing the term as defined by Princeton Philosopher, Dr. Harry G. Frank, in his learned book on the subject aptly titled “Bullshit.”

When I listen to Newt speak, I hear a master bullshit artist and an unprincipled propagandist who will say anything for political advantage; not a careful objective historian whose motive is ferreting out the truth of the matter by the unbiased judicious weighting of the evidence. The dispassionate reading of the record.

This is fundamental to meeting the standards demanded by professional historians, whose primary objective is a faithful rendering of the past so that we might better understand from whence we have come, in the hope that it might shine some light on how we became what we are today.  And the best of all outcomes would be if that knowledge can help us find a way to a better future!  True historians understand that if we lie about it, or attempt to manipulate the facts, we will have defeated our purpose.

On the other hand there are others who claim the mantle of the historian but are labeled “Special Pleaders” by their peers.  The worst thing one who pretends to practice the historians craft can be called is “a propagandist!”  This is because propaganda perverts the objectives of the honest historian.

Whereas historians are studying the past to cast an objective light on the present, the propagandist distorts the past, even lies about it, in order to justify actions in the present.  It is a perfect definition of what Newt is about. The pompous fat fool is a virtual one man propaganda machine, who shamelessly plunders the past in order to fashion lies and half-truths that will serve his political ambitions.

He is convinced that the vast majority of Americans will have no clue as to whether he knows what he is talking about….and on this he is right.  As the cultural critic/political theorist/historian Harold Cruse pointed out, the average American is “anti-historical, anti-cultural and anti-intellectual.”  Hence a pie faced, poot-butt, pretentious propagandist can pass himself off as “a historian.”

There are an abundance of examples I could cite to demonstrate that Newt is more propagandist than historian; but Newt’s recounting of his relationship with the late icon of modern Republicanism, Ronald Reagan, says it all!  In a recent debate Newt cited Ronald Reagan 50 times, yet researchers have produced a record of Newt’s comments during Reagan’s tenure as President that showed utter contempt for Reagan’s key ideas and policies on critical foreign and domestic issues. For instance, he totally dissed Ronnie’s most significant achievement: Détente with a nuclear armed Soviet Union.

I was no fan of Ronald Reagan’s; in fact I think that Clarke Clifford, the ultimate Washington insider and power broker, got it exactly right when he called Reagan “an amiable dunce!”  But as one who served in the Strategic Air Command with a “Top Secret” security clearance, no one understood better than I the real danger of life on earth being extinguished as a consequence of an accidental nuclear war.

Hence I applauded Reagan’s attempt at Rapprochement with Communist Russia, it removed the world away from the precipice of nuclear disaster.  But that’s how a Reagan hater felt about the Gipper’s diplomacy; what about his contemporary acolyte Dr. Newt?  Writing at the website, The National Review Online, Elliot Abrams, a Reagan insider who was an Assistant Secretary of State, recalls “Such was Gingrich’s faith in President Reagan that in 1985, he called Reagan’s meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev “the most dangerous summit for the West since Adolf Hitler met with Neville Chamberlain in 1938 in Munich.”

The outrageousness of this statement is completely lost on the average American – even college educated Americans – but those who study the causes of World War II will recognize just how outrageous a statement that is.  It is a consensus of opinion that Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister, failed to recognize the evil of Nazism and instead of confronting him appeased him and this gave Hitler a Red light to invade Europe because he considered chamberlain a wimp.  Reflecting on his meeting with Hitler Neville Chamberlain wrote:

 “However much we may sympathize with a small nation confronted by a big and powerful neighbor, we cannot in all circumstances undertake to involve the whole British Empire in war simply on her account. If we have to fight it must be on larger issues than that. I am myself a man of peace to the depths of my soul. Armed conflict between nations is a nightmare to me; but if I were convinced that any nation had made up its mind to dominate the world by fear of its force, I should feel that it must be resisted.

Under such a domination life for people who believe in liberty would not be worth living; but war is a fearful thing, and we must be very clear, before we embark upon it, that it is really the great issues that are at stake, and that the call to risk everything in their defense, when all the consequences are weighed, is irresistible.”

Clearly this was a man trying to avoid a second world war in a generation, but he badly misjudged Hitler’s character and intentions, and disaster ensued.  When events are viewed from the perspective of history hindsight is always 2020, but nobody could have foreseen the full extent of the catastrophe Hitler’s forces inflicted upon the world.

This is the root of the bogus “appeasement” label the Republicans are trying to pin on President Obama…a label that clearly doesn’t fit.  Barack has a record of engaging our enemies that any Commander-In-Chief would be proud to claim. It is the same label that Newt put on Ronnie Reagan.

Hence this was no picayune charge Gingrich leveled against President Reagan, the man he now attempts to channel for legitimacy among right-wing zealots.  But this joker seems to forget there are video tapes, newspapers, radio shows, and living souls who are willing to testify to the perfidy of this shameless charlatan posing as a dedicated public servant.

Reagan insider Elliot Abrams recalls: “As a new member of Congress in the Reagan years — and I was an assistant secretary of state — Mr. Gingrich voted with the president regularly, but equally often spewed insulting rhetoric at Reagan, his top aides, and his policies to defeat Communism. Gingrich was voluble and certain in predicting that Reagan’s policies would fail, and in all of this he was dead wrong.”  Enough said, you heard it from the horse’s mouth!  Newt is a lying fat fraud!!!

His attempt to pass off propaganda as history, an exercise in which ideology is substituted for fact, in the Reagan incident, mirrors what he is now attempting to do with President Obama now.   His present knock down drag out fight with Mitt Romney –  who is contesting Newt in the GOP primary for the position of Charlatan in Chief, reveals that he is willing to say anything in his quest for power.  And he is a mouthpiece for hire.  Pay him enough money and he will concoct a version of history to suit your prejudices.

Hence the arch Zionist billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adeslson, promises Newt a few million dollars – 10 mil thus far – for his campaign to win the Oval Office, and Newt comes up with a convoluted interpretation of Middle East history which concludes that “The Palestinians are an “invented people!”  Every professional historian I know scoffs at “Heavy G’s” tirade; they point out that using his standards of evidence and twisted logic it is fairly easy to construct a narrative where the Israeli’s are an “invented people,”  Americans too!

But this  kind of Bullshit is the stock-in-trade of Nasty Newt: a shameless charlatan, and dangerous propagandist who pose as a historian.  The Republican big-wigs know he is a low down dirty Georgia dog; that’s why they are uniting to oppose him and try to wipe him out in Florida.  The Grand Obstructionist Party  is cannibalizing itself and Newt is the Big Barracuda….I love it!  Can’t get enough of it!!!!!!!

Ugly Plastic People

Newt and his Home Wrecking Harlot!



Playthell Benjamin

Harlem, New York

Janurary 27, 2012

Gop Reveals True Identity in Carolina

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , , , on January 21, 2012 by playthell

                        Newt Inciting Scared Sad Sack Southern Whites

 Playing to white Fears and Resentments

In their efforts to win the votes of white Carolinians the Republicans are revealing their true identities: soulless opportunists who are willing to play to the worst instincts of their base in order to win votes.  In South Carolina this means shamelessly playing the race card, stoking the fears and hatreds of white Republicans regarding Afro-Americans and Hispanic immigrants.

Historically South Carolina has been one of the worst states in terms of race relations.  The harshness of the system of white supremacy in this state goes back to colonial times when the African population substantially outnumbered the whites.  At one point in the 18th century the ration was three to one.

This required severe measures to keep the black population under control, which was codified in the law.   The society that emerged in South Carolina was so dependent upon oppressed and exploited black labor, first as slaves then as peons that South Carolina started the Civil War in order to maintain their slave system.

However black enslavement was not just an economic system, as professor Eugene Genovese has shown in “The Political Economy of Slavery,” it was the basis of antebellum southern society.  That’s why the patterns of race relations formed through two and a half centuries persisted for a century after slavery under the system of Segregation, which included denial of Civil Rights and widespread tenant farming or crop lien systems.

This amounted to a de jure racial caste system, enforced by legal and extra-legal police state tactics and systematic terror perpetrated by home grown terrorist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan; whose members often included officers from the local police department.  This was the South Carolina where I often visited relatives during summers as a boy.

It was solidly Democratic and it’s most famous politicians Ben Tillman and Strom Thurman – redneck crackers to the bone – were fire eating racists.  In 1948 Strom Thurman led a “Dixiecrat” revolt in the Democratic Party, when they added a civil rights plank in the party platform at the insistence of Minnesota delegate Hubert H. Humphrey.  However this very same South Carolina Redneck died a stauch member of the Republican Party!

When Lyndon Johnson pushed the Civil Rights Act through Congress and signed it into law in 1964, and then signed the Voting Rights Act into law the next year, the white south abandoned the Democrats en mass with the success of Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” that systematically exploited white fears and resentments at the dramatic successes of the Civil Rights Movement.

The Republicans used this white angst to cultivate hatred and distrust for the Federal government, which they exploit in their efforts to scrap government regulation of business and lower taxes; measures which are favored by the plutocrats in the Republican establishment. Politics does indeed make strange bedfellows!

This explains why dumb rednecks, “po as snakes without a pit to hiss in,” as my grandfather used to say, have struck a Faustian bargain with the Plutocrats and are supporting a brazen “One Percenter” like Mitt Romney, and a rotund compulsive liar, shameless hypocrite and serial philandered like Newt Gingrich; who has grown fat off the government teat while denouncing the President for extending food stamps to the impoverished masses.  People whose desperate economic condition was created by Republican economic policies that Newt supported!

With Perry dropping out, Ron Paul lost in space, and events moving so fast Sick Rick Santorum has to run just to say where he’s at;  it looks like the choice has boiled down to these two souless, morrally deformed, contepmtible montebanks.  These power hungry amoral scoundrels are prepared to play to the worst fears of this confused and racist crowd in order to win their vote.  But they could be digging their own graves with their reckless verbal arson, which respects neither truth nor civility, and Barack will bury them in the general election….unless Boobus Americanus proves even dumber than I think!

The Front Runners


Face of a serial Killer!



Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

Janurary 21, 2012

On Republican Economic Amnesia

Posted in Playthell on politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 13, 2012 by playthell

                        A Stockbroker Watching the Market Crash

 Reflections on Republican Denial

President Obama’s outstanding performance in the area of foreign policy and National Security forced the Republicans to rely on economic issues as their propaganda weapon of choice.  But now that the unemployment rate is only half a point from the 8% he promised during the last election, and we have seen three years of economic growth, they are retreating into fantasy, denial, and willfully induced amnesia.

Just this morning Republican frontrunner, Mitt Romney, accused the President’s policies of putting 25 million workers on the unemployment line; even as the non-Partisan Congressional Budget Office credits the president with saving over two million jobs with his economic stimulus plan.

Mitt’s tactics mirror those adopted by the rest of the Republican field; which is to blame Barack for not being able to magically cure the devastation of George Bush’s economic policies while arguing that the economy is coming back in spite of the President’s policies.  The truth is Barack’s performance has been magnificent when the situation he inherited from Bush, and Republican obstructionism in the Congress, is taken into account.

When Barack took office the world financial system was on the brink of collaspe.  George Bush had dramatically admitted the abject failure of his policies when he was forced to ask Congress to rescue the banks and other financial institutions that were “too big to fail.”  By some estimates trillions of American assets were lost in the financial meltdown, and if the shadowy Credit Default Markets – which is estimated to top sixty trillion dollars – had been allowed to collaspe the crisis would have been too big for the government to manage and the world would have plunged into a greater depression than the 1930s.

However in an authoritative report from Bloomberg News of March 11, 2010, about 13 months after Barack took office, we learn the following facts:

“One year after U.S stocks hit their post-financial-crisis low on March 9, 2009, the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has risen more than 68 percent, and it’s up more than 41 percent since Obama took office. Credit spreads have narrowed. Commodity prices have surged. Housing prices have stabilized.  We’ve had a phenomenal run in asset classes across the board.  If he was a Republican, we would hear a never-ending drumbeat of news stories about markets voting in favor of the president.” 

The Report goes on to note “The economy has also strengthened beyond expectations at the time Obama took office. The gross domestic product grew at a 5.9 percent annual pace in the fourth quarter, compared with a median forecast of 2.0 percent in a Bloomberg survey of economists a week before Obama’s Jan. 20, 2009, inauguration. The median forecast for GDP growth this year is 3.0 percent, according to Bloomberg’s February survey of economists, versus 2.1 percent for 2010 in the survey taken 13 months earlier.”

 The private business sector went on to enjoy record profits – three trillion – but decided to sit on the money rather than invest in the country whose taxpayers rescued them from disaster!  Professional economists have pronounced the recession over; which is to say the private sector has recovered.

Unemployment remains high because the corporate sector has decided to ship millions of jobs overseas, where they can maximize profits employing cheap labor with no benefits…These are precisely the policies favored by Mitt Romney at Bain Capital that Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry are now dogging him about.  They argue that Mitt’s financial wheeling and dealing is “Vulture” capitalism rather than “Venture” capitalism. And Mitt has yet to renounce these predatory practices, even as he aspires to become our president.


               Mitt Romney is a Shameless Charlatan!

A Contemporary Gordon Gieko?

 On Mr. One Percent and Vulture Capitalism

It is amusing to watch Mitt Romney complaining about being misquoted, his remarks taken out of context, when just a couple of weeks ago he approved a commercial that told a blatant lie about President Obama…a far worse offense.   Mitt’s ad presented an edited video-tape in which President Obama was quoting an advisor to John McCain to make it look like the remark was a statement of the President’s position.

It was a blatant lie, everybody knew it was a lie, and yet Mitt tried to justify it as just hard ball politics. In the present controversy Mitt actually said he “liked firing people.”  And when his defenders rush to point out that he was talking about insurance companies, I would hasten to remind them that Mitt has publicly proclaimed “corporations are people!”  You can’t have it both ways.

But since Mitt is a charlatan lying, or otherwise misrepresenting the truth, is his modus operandi.  Anyone who thinks my judgment of the Mittster is too harsh should Google charlatan: “A person practicing quackery or some similar confidence trick in order to obtain money, fame, or other advantages via some form of pretense or deception.”  Sounds like a perfect description of The Mittster to me.  Not only has Mitt put false statements in the President mouth, he is even trying take credit for the success of Barack’s brilliant strategy that saved the US auto-industry. The guy is such a compulsive liar he seems to forget that there are video tapes of his statements.

The fact is that Mitt Romney vehemently opposed President Obama’s plan to rescue the auto industry.  In a November 18, 2008 Op-Ed piece in the New York Times, titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” he wrote; “If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.  It won’t go overnight, bit its demise will be virtually guaranteed.”  Well, the American auto-industry is not only back, but in grand style.  It is once again leading the world.  This is a genuine American success story.

In his desperation to bask in Obama’s glory, Mitt even went so far as to announce on CBS Wednesday morning: “In the general election I’ll be pointing out that the president took the reins at General Motors and Chrysler – closed factories, closed dealerships laid off thousands and thousands of workers – he did it to try to save the business..”  The real issue here is that General Motors – a company that turned out B-29 Bombers, a flying fortress with 2 million moving parts, every 28 minutes in the middle of the last century – was collapsing, along with Chrysler, and when they appealed to the government for a loan Mitt said let them go bankrupt!  Barack Obama saved them!

President Obama’s speech with business leaders at the White House as I write, outlines a very different vision of American prosperity and unveiled a plan to do it; in fact they are doing it.  This real life Gordon Geiko, who calls himself Mitt, has no answer for Obama’s innovative approach to the economy; that’s why he is desperately trying to take credit for the President’s rescue of the auto-industry. It is unassailable evidence that the slippery rascal is a shameless charlatan!

 Detroit is Back!

 At the Detroit Auto Show January 2012!


Playthell Benjamin

Harlem, New York

Janurary 12, 2012


After Iowa: It’s Mitt and Rick!

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , , , on January 5, 2012 by playthell
 A win by the skin of his teeth

 A Fanatic or Charlatan: Pick Your Poison

In an election  which, according to the New York Times, offered the voters in the Iowa Republican Caucuses a choice between “right, far right, and far far right” each candidate took more and more ridiculous positions in order to convince voters that they are the one.  In an election where we have seen many shooting stars who flared up on the right of Mitt Romney and then burn out on the way down to earth.  After the first primary we can see these fallen stars moving off into obscurity as they read the handwriting on the wall telling them it’s over.

From the look of things Silly Ricky Perry, the swashbuckling Texas cowboy who turned out to be all hat and no cattle, seems to be throwing his hands in the air and acting like he no longer cares.  And despite an attempt at bravado Michelle Bachman, the hysterical verbal arsonist from Minnesota who constantly refers to American history, although she knows less about it than a cow knows about playing the piano, is singing her silly swansong as I write.

This heartless witch, a shameless shill for the plutocrats, is wrapping herself in the cloak of Jesus Christ even as she calls for kicking the sick to the curb and starving the hungry!  Since this sacrilege offends an un-churched heathen like me, I am forced to wonder why the “prophetic” Christian theologian Corny West so silent in the face of this outrageous blasphemy?

Mad Mickie and her Momma 

A boisterous, hilarious, buffoon, sure hate to see her go 

Ron Paul, the undercover Klan lover from Texas, will probably trudge on because he has a motley band of true believers who are the kind of fanatics that in a different cultural milieu would be suicide bombers.  But he is on a path to nowhere.  The tragedy of Congressman Paul is that he is the only person in the presidential race – including President Obama – that is willing to speak frankly about American foreign policy.  This is the source of his appeal to many of the enthusiastic youths who are working tireless for him.

Nowhere is this clearer than in his recent endorsement by Santorum’s nephew John Carver, a University of Pittsburg student, on the January third edition of “The Daily Caller,” a libertarian blog. “It is because of this inability of status quo politicians to recognize the importance of our individual liberties that I have been drawn to Ron Paul.” Says Santorum’s nephew in an article titled “The Trouble With My Uncle, “Unlike my uncle, he does not believe that the American people are incapable of forming decisions. He believes that an individual is more powerful than any group (a notion our founding fathers also believed in).

Carver goes on to say: “Another important reason I support Ron Paul is his position on foreign policy. He is the only candidate willing to bring our troops home, not only from the Middle East, but from around the world.” This sort of disillusionment with establishment politicians of both parties, buoyed by the mumbo jumbo Congressman Paul spouts about the Federal Reserve System, appeals to a wide variety of kooks, crazies and economic illiterates.  This is in the nature of things, because Paul is a kook and a crazy economic illiterate!

So we are left with The Mittster, Newt The Poot and Sick Rick.  Of these three stooges it is hard to fathom how the other two will manage to arrest the ascension of The Mittster.  His money, organization, willingness to say anything to gain political advantage, and support of the Plutocrats – which is to say the Republican establishment – give him advantages over his adversaries that appear to be insurmountable.

My reluctance to award the race to The Mittster at this point is based on the fact that the mathematics do not support such a conclusion.  For instance, Bachman has dropped out, and should Newt and Perry follow, their supporters might very well jump on the Santorum band wagon as the far right alternative to “The Mittster.”  This could prove Romney’s Waterloo.  So I’m hedging my bets on the winner of this contest and watch the game play out.

Newt “The Poot” Gingrich, like Herman “Sugar” Cane, appears to have entered the Republican race to sell books and increase his public profile, which would translate into mad dollars.  Hence these mugs were totally unprepared to run real campaigns nationwide.  Silly Ricky, who burst on the national scene like a white Texas Tornado, has the money but not the brains.  So we are left, it seems, with Mitt Romney and Rick Santorium, both of whom were kicked to the curb by the voters in their last statewide elections.

In The Mittster we have an unrepentant member of the “one percent” that has ravished the nation’s wealth and resources so thoroughly that 80% of us are on the brink of financial ruin, without “Obamacare” one catastrophic illness would send us to the poorhouse.  Ironically, the Reactionary Republican sloganeers are going to rue the day they ever decided to bestow the sobriquet “Obamacare” on this great entitlement of the American people.

Now that Chilly B, who is the greatest orator in American politics – so long as he is not matched with some of those preachers and lawyers in the Congressional Black Caucus – has decided to take that name and own it!!!  What, pray tell, is the flacks in the Grand Obstructionist Party to say when the President says defiantly: “Yes Obama Cares! The question is: Why don’t you!”

Yet Mitt clueless has the unmitigated gall to announce that his first act would be to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, President Obama’s magnificent gift to the American people, which was originally his idea.   This is the mark of a charlatan!  And the sleaze factor increases so long as The Mittster behaves like a dope dealer when asked about his income and taxes.  As my grandfather George would say: “Dat boy’s a liar and a fink, his feet stink, and he don’t love Jesus!”  The kindest thing that can be honestly said about Mitt is that he is a political Chameleon; Newt has called him a liar!  Although Newt’s assessment may be closer to the truth, it is a comic case of the pot maligning the kettle!

Rick Santorum is the prodigal son trying to come back home after selling out his peeps. However while much of the punditocracy is swooning over his nostalgic commentary about his grandfather’s hands, especially those who are sentimental about their immigrant roots; the elected representatives of organized labor ain’t buying it.  Although his record on labor matters are wildly liberal compared to everybody else in the Republican presidential race, the AF of L-CIO gives him a lifetime rating of 13%.   Yet even this tepid showing is going to cost Santorum dearly with the Tea Party types – whom he presumes to represent – once The Mittster’s propaganda machine targets him.

Silly Santorum!


A Bonafide Fanatic

Of course Santorum’s wacky ideas about human sexuality and reproduction, in which he says doctors who perform abortions should be tried for murder, and has pledged to work to ban contraceptives when he becomes President, will surely win him big props from the far right evangelical crowd of all colors, as well as conservative Catholics and Orthodox Jews: but it is scaring the hell out of everybody else!

Then there is Santorum’s pledge to reinstate “Don’t ask don’t Tell” in the military when a gay Marine, fighting on the front lines overseas, was booed when he spoke on a telecast at a Republican debate.  Instead of coming to this American heroe’s defense Sick rick smacked him in the face!

It was the most shameful episode in a parade of shameful episodes in this Republican primary race. That should be enough to keep Santorum in the game for a while, and it will be interesting to see how Mitt Romney handles these questions involving basic questions of women’s health and reproductive rights – considering that he had a pretty progressive record on these matters as Governor of Massachusetts, a highly civilized state where science is respected and education is revered.

From where I sit, it’s gonna be fun to watch as the Republicans cannibalize each other in a verbal blood bath!  Who can say what tomorrow will bring, ESPECIALLY AS Newt begins to launch broadside on The Mittster – from what we have seen this will include exposing the jobs killed and workers thrown on the streets by deals Romney made as an investment banker at Bain Capital.

“There will be a great debate in the Republican Party before we are prepared to have a great debate with Barack Obama,” says Newt, who has made it clear that he is ready to join with his good friend Rick to bring Mitt down.  As I write Republican primary voters seemed ready to settle for a fanatic or a charlatan.  And since I’m betting my money on the certainty that either one of these jokers will be dog meat for Chilly B. in the coming elections: I’m jumping for joy over here!  If I could break dance I’d be spinning on my head as I write!!

Playthell Benjamin

Harlem New York

Janurary 4, 2012


Part II

Will the Republicans Survive Iowa?


        The Silver Lothrio and his home wreckng Hussy!               

 Candid Reflections on the Republican Primary

In order to understand why the things Republican candidates say while vying for their party’s nomination in Iowa sound so crazy to New Yorkers, one must take into account that we live in a large and diverse country  divided into urban, suburban and rural communities. The differences in racial demographics, religious tolerance and lifestyle shape our vision of what America is…or ought to be.  The issue of gun ownership, for example, clearly illustrates this difference

In rural America guns in the home are as common as cooking pots; whereas in urban America it is harder to legally buy a gun than to walk on water. Pro-gun Republicans argue that in rural America and the suburbs guns are used for hunting and protection of life and property; it is in the nation’s cities that guns are employed by criminals to wreak mayhem and commit crimes against their fellow citizens.

Hence rural lawmakers, heeding the demands of their constituents, refuse to pass any law restricting gun ownership.   They routinely dismiss desperate pleas for gun control laws from the Mayors of big cities, whose streets have been turned into free fire zones, arguing that “the cities have a cultural problem.”  It is a thinly veiled reference to the racial composition of the cities vs. suburban and rural America.

Republicans in suburban and rural areas tend to be White, Christian fundamentalists, suspicious of science, hostile to the federal government and closet racists.  They mostly get their vision of the world from FOX News, despite a recent study showing that people who rely on FOX for news are the dumbest people in America.   Iowa is 91% white, 88 of its 99 counties are classified as rural, and evangelical Christians are a powerful force among the GOP base there.  Hence the candidates believe they must dumb down to compete.

That’s why a former tax attorney with the IRS like Michelle Bachman can promise to get rid of taxes.  And a Harvard educated man like Mitt Romney, or a former history Professor like Newt Gingrich, talk as if they don’t believe in science or government regulation and shamelessly misrepresent their political records as if they assume the voters are stupid.  All are prisoners of the gun lobby.  Hence the things they say sound crazy to us because …well they are crazy!

The Iowa caucuses are a remarkable exercise of the democratic process, politicians vying to become the most powerful person on earth come out in the sticks and virtually grovel for the votes of farmers, farmhands, school teachers, waitresses, domestic workers, housewives etc. Then in a series of small gatherings of friends and neighbors, they cast their vote to select the candidate for the next President of the United States.

It is the Apex of participatory democracy. The problem for Republicans however,  is the crazy stuff they are saying to appeal to backward Yahoos in this primary will fly like a lead balloon when the Democrats confront them with it in the general election.  Perhaps even in Iowa, giving Barack another victory in that mostly rural state, mostly white state.  And that’s a good thing for America!


Playthell Benjamin

Harlem, New york

December 3, 2012

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , on November 7, 2011 by playthell

Black Walnut and Vanilla Ice


Is Hermain Cain a Sexual Predator?

Clearly the most impressive development thus far in the presidential campaign is the rapid rise of Herman Cain from an obscure business lobbyist to the leading contender for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.  As I struggled to understand the reasons for his ascent, I was reminded of what Dr. WEB DuBois said about the rise of Booker T. Washington from a slave shack to the most powerful black man in America, who beguiled “Captains of Industry” and dined with Heads of State,  in the post Reconstruction period that followed the reunification of the nation after Civil War.

Dubois observed that Washington’s spectacular success was due to the fact that he was in step with the Zeitgeist – the spirit of the age – in America at the turn of the twentieth century.  “In an age of triumphant industrial capitalism,” said DuBois, “Washington preached a gospel of work and money.”  Dr. Kelly Miller, a contemporary of Dubois and a Dean at Howard University, described Washington’s success in similar if more poetic terms.

Comparing the “Great Accommodator” to his immediate predecessor Fredrik Douglass, Miller remarked “Douglass lived in an age of moral giants; Washington lives in an age of merchant princes.  Douglass lived in an age that honored the Golden Rule; Washington lives in the age that honors the rule of gold.”  Herman Cain embodies a major reactionary cultural trend; that’s why he gets big love from racist whites on the right who want to turn back the clock to some mythic time when white was always right and America ruled the world.

They are wild about Herman because he is willing to play Uncle Rhemus and tell dumb damaged white folk’s fables that confirm their view of themselves as exceptional, and their mythical view of an American society dominated by economic royalists and bible totin fanatics as the last best hope for mankind in a troubled world.  White Americans may once have abused black people they argue, but have long since put such attitudes and practices behind them.

I have come to believe that this passionate support for Uncle Herm by right wing whites is something of a collective public temper tantrum: ”By God if we’ve gotta have a darkie in the White House let’s have a real Jigaboo, one cast in our image that we can trust…a real southern Nigra, not some uppity Mulatto from Chicago!”  However it’s beginning to look like Brer Cain – who in his secret life is actually Brer Rabbit, the trickster – done played these silly white folks like a fiddle!  But after today, His world may come tumbling down!

Cain’s Accuser! Sharon Bailek

No Sugarcain For Her!

My man Herm is proving to be a worm; he now stands publicly accused of being a slimy sexual predator.  Alas, his accuser is a well-spoken voluptuous blond…. and it was a round unvarnished tale she told.  It sure wasn’t pretty, and I began to suspect that this coon might be cooked!  The majority of whites in Mississippi have recently gone on record stating that they believe interracial relationships should be illegal, and I suspect they mirror the feelings of many other Southern Tea Party types.  Of course, I don’t give a shit what they think…anybody should be free to hook up with whomever they want.  If they are consenting adults its nobody’s business!  But that’s the problem with the mess Uncle Herm is in.

One thing is for sure, this development will certainly tell us whether we are living in a post racial society.  For Uncle Herm has now been accused of violating the ultimate American taboo, the sexual violation of a white woman!  When he was a boy riding on the back of the bus in Georgia the white folks would be forming a possee to drag him out of his house and string him up on the nearest tree! Now he just sass the white folks on television and done call that white woman a lie!

If the white southerners whom Mississippi Governor, Haley Barbour, assures us would go overboard for Cain – “he would sweep the south said  the self-described  “fat redneck’ – continue to support Cain they we can safely assume that this nation has moved on from the bad old days of racial conflict….we’ll see.   But right now the question Uncle Herman must be asking his redneck Tea Party supporters is: “Will yhall still love me tomorrow?”


Playthell Benjamin

Harlem, New York

November 8, 2011

Raising Cain!

Posted in Black Republicans, Playthell on politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , on November 2, 2011 by playthell
The Great Pretender


Is Ignorance of the Electorate a Danger to National Security?

      Of the myriad dangers that imperil the national interests none is more frightening than the ignorance of the American electorate.  Looking at the state of American politics today, the thoughtful observer with a sense of history cannot help but marvel at the prophetic wisdom of Thomas Jefferson’s warning that a participatory democracy can’t work with an ignorant electorate because they will elect the worse people to power.   Nowhere is this more poignantly demonstrated than the astonishing rise of Herman Cain. A former pizza mogul and corporate lobbyist, Cain is the most conspicuous corporate shill to ever run for the Oval Office.

Cain’s ideas about economics are rooted in laizze faire free market dogma that would undo most of the social safety net created by the New Deal and Great Society legislation of the last century, devastating the working class and especially non-white minorities.  In Cain’s view if you are not rich or can’t find a job, it’s not due to the failures of those who own and manage the economy, “you should blame yourself!”  Not surprisingly, he is supported by the most reactionary factions of the plutocracy, such the Koch brothers.  During his career as a head of the National Restaurant Association he opposed public safety measures such as laws to curb cigarette advertising.

While his backward ideas on domestic policy are scary enough, Cain’s abysmal ignorance of foreign relations is horrifying!  Every time he opens his mouth he reveals a shocking ignorance about the world.  In a recent interview on PBS he was asked about  his plan for competing with China economically he said “we will outgrow them!”

When asked if he thought China was a military threat to the US, he replied yes because they “are beginning to build aircraft carriers like us.”  He also said he has also been told that the Chinese are trying to develop a nuclear capability.  Everybody who knows anything about China,  America’s main rival, knows they have had atomic weapons for half a century!   Yet Cain’s rival John Huntsman is not only a successful politician and businessman, but an expert on China who speaks fluent  Mandarin.  And he is virtually ignored by Republican voters!

 China Today! 


A Booming Economy with a  new Infrastructure

The Chinese Indeed  Are Building Aircraft Carriers  

Among The Best in the World! 

In other interviews Herm confessed that he hadn’t a clue what a neo-con is, and had never heard of “the right of return” question in Israel.  Considering that it was the neo-con cabal in the Bush Administration who were the architects of the illegal and disastrous invasion of Iraq, and the unresolved Palestinian/Israeli conflict will be a critical issue for any American President by virtue of the social forces unleashed in the “Arab Spring” upheaval that is transforming political reality in the region, this kind of ignorance is extremely dangerous.

Such shortcomings are more than enough to disqualify anybody from serious consideration for the presidency.  But then we catch Herm the Worm shamelessly lying on video tape about sexual harassment complaints against him.  Surely this was the last straw and this guy is gone.

Not so! Instead the right wing wolf pack is attacking the press, accusing the media of racism and a “hi tech lynching,” recycling the lame rhetoric of Uncle Justice Thomas.  Through it all Herm the worm’s approval ratings continue to soar over all other Republican Presidential contenders, and contributions to his campaign are skyrocketing.

Clearly any party that would vote this scurrilous ignoramus into the Oval Office is a danger to the stability of the United States. Yet the chances of preventing a Republican victory in 2012 are increasingly imperiled by the naiveté of the burgeoning movement for economic justice, whose activists  declare themselves above politics!!!   Thus they risk falling into irrelevance: all sound and fury achieving nothing!

Furthermore, a misguided leftist intelligentsia led by megalomaniacal political incompetents like Cornell West, is contemplating running an independent or third party candidate.  This will almost certainly result in repeating the fiasco of 2000, when support for Ralph Nader rather than Al Gore resulted in eight disastrous years of George Bush. And the usual suspects are involved!

Those who refuse to learn from history are certainly bound to repeat its mistakes George Santayana warned.  That’s why I am convinced that the greatest danger to the prospects for peace and prosperity in America is Boobus Americanus, as old Mencken aptly labeled them, the legions of ignoramuses armed with a ballot that comprise the American electorate!


Playthell Benjamin

Harlem, New York

November 2, 2011