Dick Armey's Golden Parachute and other observations - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Dick Armey’s Golden Parachute and other observations

Thar’s a new sheriff in town and he’s a Dick! Dick Armey that is, the former Republican House Majority Leader and major mouthpiece (and manipulator) of the (alleged to be) grassroots Tea Party.

Recently it was reported Armey quit his job as the kingpin of his Tea Party group, FreedomWorks. He got an eight million dollar golden shower … err … parachute as his exit kiss. The money came from FreedomWorks donor and founder of Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Richard J. Stephenson. Don’t really know about Armey and golden showers, but what the hell, let’s start a rumor.

As reported in the Washington Post, Armey marched into the offices of FreedomWorks with an armed assistant, Beau Singleton, a retired Capital Police officer, and forced two employees of FreedomWorks, Matt Kibbe and Adam Brandon out of the building, apparently under threat of getting shot. Why else would you bring an armed man to a pissing contest? That’s the threat. It says, “This man has a gun and he will use it if I tell him to.”

dick armey

Eight million reason to like or hate Dick Armey.

Please don’t try to argue it means anything but that.

It’s like drug dealers. They go someplace to close a deal. Most of the participants are armed, but the dealers bring along these scary looking guys who have Mac-10’s or Glock 9’s under their jackets ready for use. It’s really quite impressive when some short, fat … guy … let’s say, walks into the men’s room of the Landmark Lanes — as a totally random example — to meet another guy of equally questionable fashion sense and moral character and each one of these guys has two “body guards” in tow. The bodyguards stand there looking menacing as the two principles conclude their business.

It’s impressive if you put aside your fear of what could happen if someone sneezes wrong or the guy taking a dump in the stall — who no one knew was there — flushes the toilet unexpectedly. Seriously, when that toilet flushes the safeties get switched to the “off” position and the fingers are resting on the trigger guards. Instantly. It’s impressive.

Much as it must have been impressive last September when Dick Armey marched into FreedomWorks with his armed guard and told the people who pissed him off to, “Get the [expletive deleted] out!”

  • The Baltimore Post-Examiner’s rules of decorum prevent me from using the verbiage that is more appropriate, but this is an upstanding news outlet and they have standards. I’m OK wit dat.

So what would you do if you were working away taking the hard-earned money of Teabaggers everywhere and the sorta boss walks in with an armed man who looks like he might have been a member of the Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC) at one time and tells you, “You’re fired! Get out!”

You’d look at the armed guy and then gather up your things and leave. Or, you’d start crying uncontrollably, which is what four of the people working for FreedomWorks did. Apparently the crying won over Armey who said they could stay.

The two guys who were marched out at threat of gunpoint came back, Armey was forced to resign and the rest is, as the old saying goes, history.

Just a show of hands: how many people would take a golden shower for eight million bucks? I’m raising my hand. I’ve endured plenty of indignity in my lifetime and if I could get paid $8,000,000 for just one moment of it, what the heck. Then I’m done being humiliated cause after that, why care?

Anyway, that seems to be the story all over the GOP-slash-Conservative universe these days. One faction is fighting that faction; this group of Republican Congressman is stabbing those other Republican Congressmen in the back — hell, the conservative talkers on “The Five” are even arguing amongst themselves over what this fiscal cliff business means. This one thinks that one is wrong, the young guy trying to look too cool for school is acting bored … there’s no joy in FoxWorld tonight.

the-five_320

These five are really lining themselves up for the next sequel to Fast and Furious. It’s obvious. Don’t you think?

Here’s an interesting tidbit about “The Five”: there are actually seven co-hosts of “The Five.”

“What’s that you say?”

I kid you not. Look at their website.

The show boasts seven co-hosts: Andrea Tantaros, Dana Perino (she used to be Bush 43’s official mouthpiece), Eric Boling (because he’s a fount of integrity), Greg Gutfeld (the one who is too cool for school), Kimberly Guilfoyle (the legal beagle) and the two token liberals Bob Beckel and Juan Williams. You remember Juan. He used to have a gig on NPR until he got fired for stating something many of us found to be true: getting on an airplane with Muslims makes him “nervous.”

When he’s on FoxNews Juan Williams can get away with telling Bill O’Reilly he’s full of kaka, in a polite, no foul language sort of way, but state the obvious concerning Muslims and air travel and bloop, “You’re fired! Get the [expletive deleted] outa here!”

What’s wrong with that picture? NPR over-reacted. Yeah, everyone agrees stereotyping people is a bad thing, even Juan Williams agrees with that. But millions of non-Muslim Americans have that same feeling when they are standing in the security line at the airport and see what they assume are Muslims. Could be Christian Arabs, could be Sikhs, most Americans couldn’t differentiate between a Sikh and a Muslim if their lives depended on it. Which is just one reason why stereotyping is a bad thing.

Anyway, the episode of “The Five” I saw featured Beckel, Boling, Tantaros, Gutfeld and Guifoyle. They were all perplexed over this fiscal speedbump/molehill/anthill/curb/crack/slope/slide/interruptus (I just made that one up: “fiscal interruptus)/cliff.

In all fairness to the five who were hosting “The Five,” if you’re a TeeVee talker and you get paid to jabber about political matters, than someone on your panel has to be perplexed about the topic. And everyone on the panel has to take their turns being perplexed. It makes for good television. Doesn’t matter which channel you’re watching. FoxNews or MSNBC. Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC likes to be unperplexed about this whole fiscal speedbump/molehill/anthill/curb/crack/slope/slide/interruptus/cliff thing, but he always has guests who are vexed and perplexed.

fiscalcliffgunWell, on CNN they don’t get perplexed about anything, they just report the news like good journalists. What’s up with that? Well okay, once in a while Erin Burnett gets a little vexed at the people she’s talking about and Anderson Cooper is not above showing some Menkian contempt for the people he covers, but mostly they just report the news.

Who has the upper hand? Who is winning this debate? The Republicans? The general consensus is no. After Speaker Boehner’s debacle with his “Plan B” it’s pretty clear the House GOP Caucus is in complete disarray. How about the Senate GOP Caucus? They are mostly invisible. Whenever Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is shown on TV talking to the podium, viewers change channels.

The Democrats are really winning this debate and the poll numbers prove it. But, they are Democrats so they have this great capacity to blow it. They do not have to budge on spending cuts anymore. The president and his party have been acquiescing to GOP demands for spending cuts for three years with out any reciprocation from the GOP. Now it’s time for the Dems to dictate terms. Yeah sure, throw the GOP a bone, but hands off Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid! But my cynical prediction is the Dems, i.e. the president, will throw the GOP three big bones: one each from Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Mr. President: it’s time to make your base happy.

The other debate is this: will we go crashing over that fiscal speedbump/molehill/anthill/curb/crack/slope/slide/interruptus/cliff thing or not? The five on “The Five” couldn’t even agree on that and too cool for school Greg Gutfeld was bored with the subject.

Congress is back in session January 3, 2013, the day before my … err … thirty … fifth birthday! Yeah, that’s it! John Boehner is expected to retain his title as Speaker of the House, but as his Caucus has proven, for the GOP it’s a title with no authority. If the fiscal speedbump/molehill/anthill/curb/crack/slope/slide/interruptus/cliff thing isn’t averted before they come back, everyone’s taxes will have gone up and all these deep spending cuts will be set in motion — just like Congress voted to do back in 2011, the last time they avoiding dealing with the budget. This “crisis,” such as it is, is of their own making. Which probably explains why there isn’t any urgency to fix it.

The president is back in Washington and Congress will be back in Session Sunday Evening, but the prognosis from the people paid to analyze all this is that it is unlikely any deal will be reached. We are going over the fiscal speedbump/molehill/anthill/curb/crack/slope/slide/interruptus/cliff thing.

As for Dick Armey: he doesn’t figure into this fiscal speedbump/molehill/anthill/curb/crack/slope/slide/interruptus/cliff thing at all, he’s just concerned about his reputation (such as it is) and his $8,000,000 golden parachute. It’s going to be paid out in yearly increments of $400,000 if you’re interested. You gotta admire Armey’s optimism. He believes he will live for another 20 years. And maybe Armey believes his taxes won’t go up if the Republicans in the House can hold the president to the most recent revenue proposal to avoid the fiscal speedbump/molehill/anthill/curb/crack/slope/slide/interruptus/cliff thing. Hope springs eternal.

Spitzer-Dupree

Ah yes, who can forget Spitzer and his escort GF Asley Alexandra DuPrée. Spitzer is on the left in case you needed help with that.

And if you’re still trying to wrap your head around taking a golden shower for eight million bucks … yeah, I’m having second thoughts too. Maybe it will be a New Years resolution. Anybody got eight million bucks they want to spend? Unlike Dick Armey, I want the full weight up front. I learned a lot in my youth and rule number 1: get paid first. Any decent prostitute will tell you that. Hell, the indecent ones will tell you that … from what I’ve heard. Eliot Spitzer will tell you that.

You remember Eliot: once the prosecutor who brought down the Gambino Crime Family and then became the Democratic Governor of New York. And then it was discovered Governor Spitzer was a frequent client of the Emperor’s Club VIP. Dude! You don’t pay for prostitutes with personal or cashier’s cheques! Unless you’re in one of Nevada’s legal brothels. But still: cash only my brother! Didn’t the decent prostitutes tell you that?

Just maybe the real analogy here is that the GOP and their conservative base have circled up to give themselves one big communal golden shower. The women would be on platforms above the men and … well, you figure out your own mental image of how that would look. The Republican Party has been falling a part ever since it got in bed with the Tesbaggers, thanks in large part to Sheriff Dick. And the GOP’s collapse into one big stinking pile of … whatever … is the price they pay for forging that alliance.

Sure, they control the House of Representatives and have enough senators to block any work from being done in the Senate, but what has it got them? A 10 percent approval rating. Well, maybe that’s being too generous. Yeah, this is their golden shower, complete with payouts from their wealthy benefactors. You’d cry too if you were in Speaker John Boehner’s piss-filled shoes.

Anyway, before this slips any further down this slippery slope of scatological references, let me wish everyone a Happy fiscal speedbump/molehill/anthill/curb/crack/slope/slide/interruptus/cliff kinda New Year!

And please don’t piss (or [expletive deleted]) on the sidewalks after the New Years Eve parties. Seriously, do it in the basement, make a party out of it. Take pictures and post them on the World Wide Interwebs. Everybody loves watching and hey! You’ll be famous for a day.

Just an aside here: the [expletive deleted] usage was due in part to BPE’s guidelines of etiquette, which frown upon copious amounts of vulgarities and obscenities. Which, if you read my blog site, is quite common. F-bombs are treated like Papal blessings: we get plenty of’em. The editors of BPE should be commended for holding me to their quite reasonable standards.

But the other reason, more important I might add, was to pay homage to another Dick: Nixon, our 37th president.

Those of us who were of a cognitive age during the Watergate scandal will remember reading the excerpts from the infamous Nixon White House tapes when President Nixon and his minkies were sitting around chatting about how to subvert the U.S. Constitution.

Liberally sprinkled in the conversations were various versions of George Carlin’s “Seven Forbidden Words,” none of which I’ll write here. But back in the day when the newspapers printed the transcripts the forbidden words were noted as follows: “[expletive deleted].”

So here’s to the two Dicks who had a hand in bringing down their party in their day: Armey and Nixon! Thank you both for all the wonderful memories! Do you think Dick Nixon is looking down from Heaven, or up from Hell, shaking his fist and saying, “[expletive deleted] you, Tim Forkes!” I’d like to think so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


About the author

Tim Forkes

Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative college newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment issues, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the business of government and business was so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that reality. Contact the author.
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