Archive for the ‘Political Commentary’ Category

Doomed Limerick

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

The federal government’s reopened and the debt ceiling crisis was averted at the last minute. So the question now is, will this happen again? Alas, many experts believe we’re doomed to have yet another shutdown.

Doomed Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

This crisis is over for now,
But for those who are wiping their brow,
Please keep this in mind:
The very same bind
May in merely three months take a bow.

That’s ONE Dick Gone (Limerick)

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

The housecleaning over at Fox News didn’t stop with Sarah Palin: Dick Morris has been cast out, as well.

That’s ONE Dick Gone (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Say goodbye to the Dick Morris snarl.
Dick (like Palin) can no longer gnarl
All his poisonous spews,
Perched at Fox Cable News.
But alas, Fox is still keeping Karl.

Alpha-Political Verse (Election 2012)

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Alpha-Political Verse (Election 2012)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A is for abortions, which Mitt Romney vows to ban.
B is for the Birthers. Gov’nor Romney’s quite the fan.

C’s for the contempt Mitt feels for folks who aren’t rich.
D is for a sham debate — Mitt’s pseudo-moderate switch.

E’s evolving policies Mitt seem to change each day.
F is for those pesky facts. For Mitt they don’t hold sway.

G’s for global warming. Mitt no longer thinks it’s real.
H is homophobia. Gay marriage he’d repeal.

I’s for immigration. Self-deporting! What a plan!
J’s for rightwing judges. Justice Roberts is Mitt’s man.

K is for the Koch Bros. Mr. Romney’s in their debt.
L’s for all the lies Mitt tells. The truth to Mitt’s a threat.

M’s Medicare and Medicaid. Mitt screws the old and poor.
N’s for Romney’s negative campaign, fact-challenged to its core.

O’s for Mitt’s Olympics and the bailout Mitt secured.
P is for Paul Ryan’s plan. Mitt’s keeping it obscured.

Q’s for follow-up questions. Journos find them such a bore.
R’s for regulations. Mitt is anti … also for.

S is Social Security — Mitt pretends he wants to save.
T is tax cuts for the rich, which Romney donors crave.

U’s the unemployment that Mitt Romney helped create.
V is all those varmints Romney killed … and maybe ate.

W’s for lots of foreign wars. Mitt’s spoiling for a fight.
X is for your ballot mark. Be sure to do it right.

Y’s for “Yes, we can” make sure the President prevails.
And Z’s for right-wing zealots. I look forward to their wails.

(You can find my previous alpha-political verse here,
here, here, and here.)

GOP Falls Out Of Love With Roberts (Limerick)

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Republicans are in shock over the U.S. Supreme Court’s “Obamacare” decision. They’d been so sure they had Justice John Roberts in their pockets, that they’re behaving like betrayed lovers: How dare he side with the liberal wing of the court on the constitutionality question!

Many of them are enraged to the point of irrationality. In fact, even Justice Roberts seems to have noticed the GOP’s “what have you done for me lately” nastiness. He actually joked about going into hiding.

GOP Falls Out Of Love With Roberts (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The decision John Roberts just penned
Has sent ACA foes round the bend.
Up till now he’d promote
All their views with his vote.
Has their Roberts’ romance reached an end?

Pressing The Press On Voter Suppression (Limerick)

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Steve Benen has written an excellent post about the underreported voter suppression scandal:

Under the auspices of rooting out “voter fraud” — a problem that appears to exist largely in the over-active imaginations of GOP activists — Republicans are passing voter-ID measures, closing windows for early voting, and approving new laws restricting voter-registration drives, all targeting specific kinds of voters who happen to be traditional Democratic supporters.

And the Brennan Center For Justice has produced a frightening study of these “radical” voting law changes.

Now if only the media would take some time out from its hefty will-he-or-won’t-he Christie coverage, to report on this important issue.

Pressing The Press On Voter Suppression (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The GOP war on our voting
Is a problem the press isn’t noting.
Unfair laws will suppress
Dem votes with finesse,
The Republican prospects promoting.

Limerick Ode To The New, Improved Obama

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

This devout progressive has been very hard on Obama lately … and with good reason. But the debt ceiling debacle, liberal anger, and sinking poll numbers seem to have woken him up. Suddenly, Obama is the new, improved, assertive, populist President. And many former fans are welcoming back the President they thought they elected.

So, am I cheering? Well, let’s just say I’m giving Obama guarded applause. For while I like some of his jobs and tax proposals, and I love his newly confident, aggressive tone, I’m not convinced that any of this will last.

And that brings me to my latest limerick:

Limerick Ode To The New, Improved Obama
By Madeleine Begun Kane

It fin’ly has dawned on Barack
That with lib’rals he’s lost lots of stock.
His base and foundation
Could be his salvation.
I just hope his new stance ain’t a crock.

Hunting For Pro-Science Republicans (Limerick)

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Luckily for Obama, Jon Huntsman is way too sane to snag the Republican Presidential nomination. For instance, on Sunday’s THIS WEEK with ABC’s Jack Tapper, Huntsman deplores the Republican Party’s anti-science drift:

HUNTSMAN: I think there’s a serious problem. The minute that the Republican Party becomes the party – the anti-science party, we have a huge problem. We lose a whole lot of people who would otherwise allow us to win the election in 2012. When we take a position that isn’t willing to embrace evolution, when we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 of 100 climate scientists have said, what the National Academy of Science – Sciences has said about what is causing climate change and man’s contribution to it, I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science, and, therefore, in a losing position.

Huntsman is certainly right about this disturbing trend. And that leads me to my latest limerick:

Hunting For Pro-Science Republicans
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The scientists can’t be believed,
And scholars sure leave them aggrieved.
Don’t trust any source—
That’s the GOP course:
Calling facts they don’t like ill-conceived.

Limerick Ode To A Failed Presidency

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Paul Krugman has it exactly right: The President Surrenders. The debt ceiling deal Obama negotiated with the Republican hostage takers is well beyond terrible. And the ransom Obama paid to the GOP is a presidential error beyond comprehension — one that will make today’s bad economy look like fun and games.

What will it do to the poor, the sick, the elderly, the middle class, and the unemployed? I’m way too depressed to discuss it.

Congratulations, Republicans! You’ve got yourself a right-wing Republican President.

Limerick Ode To A Failed Presidency
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Dear Obama, I’ve had it — you’ve failed.
It was time to be strong, but you bailed.
The Dems needed “bold.”
But instead you got rolled.
You’ve undermined all that we hailed.

Revisionist History On Auto Pilot

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Remember when Republicans opposed the automobile industry bailout, slamming Obama for his “government takeover?”

Now that Obama’s auto industry rescue plan is a raging success, Republicans have acknowledged their error and congratulated Obama on a job well done, right?

Hahahahaha!

So can we trust the media to make sure Republicans like Romney, Corker, Pawlenty, Kasich, and their ilk don’t scam people into thinking the bailout was their idea?

You’re kidding, right?

Revisionist History On Auto Pilot
By Madeleine Begun Kane

So what did Republicans say
To auto co bailouts? No way!
But the past they would edit
And try to take credit:
It worked, so that plan was “their” play.

Political Haiku Quintet (Updated to Add Egypt Haiku)

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Today I’m posting four political haiku which, I fear, are all more cynical than witty. (I’ve added a 5th about Egypt’s revolution which is uplifting, rather than cynical.)

Technically each of these is a senryu, though most people would label them haiku. What the heck’s a senryu, and how does it differ from haiku? I explain it all here and, believe it or not, use a three-verse limerick to illustrate the distinctions.

Politicians strive
to make a good impression
without doing good.

*****

The economy’s
either looking up or down.
Depends on your stance.

*****

Commenters bicker,
thrusting political barbs,
changing no one’s mind.

*****

How did we get here?
“Pragmatic” subjugation
of our Dem ideals.

*****

A revolution
In Egypt transforms, uplifts,
Giving hope to all.

*****

Rep. Broun’s SOTU Claptrap

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Although I have strong feelings about most things political, I don’t care whether Democrats and Republicans adopt Sen. Mark Udall’s (D-CO) proposal to sit together during Obama’s State of the Union address. I suppose it’s a nice civility gesture. But I just don’t think it makes much of a difference one way or another.

That said, I think the frequently uncivil Rep. Paul Broun’s (R-GA) reaction to the mixed seating proposal was absurd:

I already believe very firmly that it is a trap and a ruse that Democrats are proposing. They don’t want civility. They want silence from the Republicans. And the sitting together being kissy-kissy is just another way to try to silence Republicans, and also to show — to keep the American people from seeing how few of them there are in the U.S. House now. Then when people stand up to — what the Democrats are going to be doing when Barack Obama spews out all his venom, then, um, if they’re scattered throughout all the Republicans, then it won’t be as noticeable as if we’re sitting apart.

That brings me to my latest limerick:

Rep. Broun’s SOTU Claptrap
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Rep. Broun is a very odd chap:
Says mixed seating at SOTU’s a “trap.”
When “Obama spews out
All his venom” can’t shout.
Nearby Dems might force poor Broun to clap.

A Tragic Limerick Ode To John McCain

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

If John McCain hadn’t done quite so much damage to our nation, I could almost feel sorry for him. After all, it’s hard not to pity a man who’s turned into a pathetic shell of a human being.

McCain’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal temper tantrum is only the latest example of the sad, ugly person that McCain’s become:

A Tragic Limerick Ode To John McCain
By Madeleine Begun Kane

John McCain seems embittered and mean,
Acting worse than a badly raised teen.
His convictions? No more!
Just conniptions galore.
He’s lost heart, and he’s left with just spleen.

Premature Concession Syndrome — A Remedial Limerick

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

I’ve finally figured out what’s wrong with President Obama: He suffers from PCS (Premature Concession Syndrome.) The latest example is his proposed federal employee wage freeze. But as Rachel Maddow said last night in her Charlie Brown commentary: “This White House consistently gives up its concessions at the start, before getting anything in return.”

Here’s hoping this open limerick to President Obama helps:

Premature Concession Syndrome — A Remedial Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Dear Obama, it’s Law 101
That in deal making don’t jump the gun:
Never give stuff away
With the hope that one day
You might get something back — this ain’t done.

Your opponent will simply want more.
He will threaten to walk out the door
Unless you accede
To his limitless greed.
Learn this rule or you never will score.

You claim that you earned a JD.
I’ve got one of my own, so you see
Why I don’t understand
How you fail to demand
Quid pro quo from the damn GOP.

An Open Limerick To Republican Supporters

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

As you know, I think Republican supporters are wrong about everything. But I have to assume they have a good faith belief that Republican pols want to make things better for the American people. And I’d like to think some of them would reevaluate their votes if they knew about the GOP’s real priority.

What am talking about? In an interview with National Journal, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has admitted to a totally different goal:

“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” McConnell said, adding, “Our single biggest political goal is to give [the Republican] nominee for president the maximum opportunity to be successful.”

There’s no ambiguity here: Republicans are taking a strong stand for partisan politics over good policy. And that leads me to my latest two-verse limerick:

An Open Limerick To Republican Supporters
By Madeleine Begun Kane

To those who are suff’ring frustration
And see GOP wins as salvation,
Those pols led by Mitch
Dragged us into this ditch
And will not do what’s good for our nation.

No, they won’t get us out of this hole,
Cuz McConnell has one single goal:
Make the Prez a one-termer,
He brags — does not murmur.
So please think when you go to the poll.

Alpha-Political Verse: Election 2010

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Every so often I sum up a period in alpha-political verse. For instance, I did one about the opening months of the Obama administration. I also did two about the Bush administration, one a not-so-fond farewell to Bush and Cheney and the other a satirical summary of their disastrous first term.

This mid-term election period has been so bizarre, that I couldn’t resist doing another one:

Alpha-Political Verse: Election 2010
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A is for Alaska, whose incumbent needs good spelling.

B is for Barack. The GOP sure wants his dwelling.

C is for Christine who’s anti-gay and masturbation.

D’s for Delaware debates, where laughter ain’t ovation.

E is for elections. Dems lose bad — so say the seers.

F’s for foreign cash galore supporting GOPers.

G is for Glenn Beck and all the crazy stuff he says.

H is for Sec. Hillary. Too bad that gal ain’t Prez.

I’s for Darrell Issa who is itching to impeach.

J is for John Boehner — smells majority in reach.

K is for Ken Mehlman who is fin’ly out as gay.

L’s for Libertarians who, like Rand, to regs say “Nay!”

M is for Joe Miller — seems he doesn’t like the press.

N’s for Speaker Nancy P. Her House is sure a mess.

O’s For Bill O’Reilly versus Joy and Whoopi. Wow!

P’s for Paladino. Angry bully? Yes, and how!

Q’s for all the questions the extremists won’t address.

R’s for Reid’s tough Angle bout. I’m worried, I confess.

S is for Mike Steele who claims to run the RNC.

T is for the Tenthers and their anti-fed law spree.

U is for our Union which secessionists would flee.

V is for the voters drinking Kool-Aid-flavored tea.

W’s for the many wars we’re fighting — can’t keep track.

X is for the xenophobic anti-”other” pack.

Y is for the youth. We really need them at the polls.

And Z’s for right-wing zealots. We must squash their ugly goals.

When Is A Slap, Not A Slap?

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Talk about your faux controversies! Taegan Goddard posted a debate video of Democrat Rep. Ed Perlmutter and Republican challenger Ryan Frazier along with this comment: “Note to candidates: No matter how annoying your opponent may be, don’t slap them.”

So I click on the video, expecting to see an actual slap. Instead I see two men in a heated debate, both of whom are gesticulating wildly and invading each other’s space, and one of whom (Frazier) is being incredibly annoying.

Physical contact was inevitable the way both men were moving their arms and hands. And so at one point, Perlmutter’s hand brushed Frazier’s hand, and Frazier actually said: “Ed, don’t hit me man, come on!” Then Perlmutter, who certainly hadn’t hit Frazier, got all milk-toasty, saying: “Sorry. Sorry. You’re right. Sorry. You’re right.”

So now Permutter’s getting a slaphappy rep, and everyone’s arguing about nonsense, instead of the issues. Even Ann Althouse finds the whole thing silly.

And that brings me to my latest limerick:

When Is A Slap Not A Slap?
By Madeleine Begun Kane

This motion described as a slap
Was barely the teeniest tap:
A mere touch — nothing more,
Cuz each man moved galore.
They should each keep their hands on their lap.

Open Limerick To The Anti-Government Crowd

Monday, October 11th, 2010

It seems the “keep the government away from my Medicare” crowd is even larger and more confused than we thought:

A new study by The Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University shows that most Americans who say they want more limited government also call Social Security and Medicare “very important.” They want Washington to be involved in schools and to help reduce poverty. Nearly half want the government to maintain a role in regulating health care.

That brings me to my latest two-verse limerick:

Open Limerick To The Anti-Government Crowd
By Madeleine Begun Kane

You folks who cry out for less gov
Have lots of gov programs you love:
You think Medicare’s great
And you’d surely berate
Any pol who gave SS a shove.

You hate taxes for highways and schools,
But you don’t want your kids taught by fools.
And you’re quick to unload
When your bridges corrode.
Please wake up — don’t be Tea Party tools.

Limerick Ode To Carl Paladino

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

I’m a liberal New York Democrat, and I’ll say one thing for Carl Paladino — the guy has chutzpah. After his bizarre, near-violent attack on the New York Post’s Fred Dicker last week, he had the audacity to describe gubernatorial opponent Andrew Cuomo as “out of control.”

Apparently this is how an in-control candidate behaves:

1. Accuses his opponent (Andrew Cuomo) of cheating on wife.

2. Accuses Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post of bias because it didn’t ask Cuomo about wife-cheating.

3. Menaces and comes dangerously close to physically harming the old, frail-looking Fred Dicker because Dicker had the audacity to ask if he had any evidence that Cuomo cheated on his wife.

4. Promises to produce wife-cheating evidence at the appropriate time.

5. Denies that he promised to produce wife-cheating evidence.

6. After a video of his bullying, abusive, and near-violent attack on Dicker draws a negative response and a loose cannon perception, even among Republicans, tells the Wall Street Journal he wants to focus on the issues.

Limerick Ode To Carl Paladino
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Paladino is always irate,
Spreading venom and anger and hate.
He claims to be able,
But seems quite unstable.
If he wins, we are screwed — no debate.

Obama’s Half-Assed Message

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Dear President Obama:

Please enlighten me. What exactly is your strategy to win back your base and persuade liberals to vote this November?

Does your plan involve pissing off progressives even more? Does it entail compensating for your lack of strength and progressive vision by blaming progressives for our own apathy?

If so, then you’re doing a really good job.

Obama’s Half-Assed Message (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Dear Obama, you’re right — Dems must vote.
But there’s something I simply must note:
You’re weak and a muck up.
Don’t tell your base “Buck up!”
All you’re doing is getting our goat.

Harry Reid’s Not So Hot Remark

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

When it comes to sexism posing as a compliment, I try to cut Harry Reid’s generation some slack. But Senator Reid really ought to know better:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had an unusual form of praise for New York’s junior senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, this morning at the fundraiser Mayor Bloomberg hosted for him at his townhouse – referring to her as “the hottest member” as she sat just a few feet away, according to three sources.

The comment prompted Gillibrand to turn red, according to the sources, and created a bit of stir among the small crowd there.

That leads me to my latest limerick:

Harry Reid’s Not So Hot Remark
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Kirsten Gillibrand’s hot says Sen. Reid —
The Sen’s “hottest member,” indeed.
Now I know Harry’s old,
And I don’t mean to scold,
But that “compliment’s” sexist. Take heed.

Here’s more on subtle sexism, including my Gender At Work essay. (Gender at Work, under the name My Most Attractive Adversary, is the lead Gender Gap chapter essay in a pair of college textbooks by Gary Goshgarian: The Contemporary Reader and Readings For Today.)