04/04/2011 01:33 pm ET Updated Jun 01, 2011

Friday Talking Points [161] -- April Fools

To clarify that title: when you pull a prank on this particular day, you're supposed to reveal yourself as the prankster by yelling "April Fools!" (or even, as a purist might insist, "April Fools'!"). I am not doing so, hence the absence of the exclamation mark. Sadly, my task is today is not to prank anyone (I did that last year and promised I wouldn't do it again), but to catalogue the recent spate of foolishness from our national political arena. A sober list of the fools of April, rather than an excited "April Fools!" gotcha, in other words. Well, maybe not all that sober. You decide.

Speaking of foolishness, I have to begin by admitting how big a fool I am. This week, I was supposed to announce the winners of last week's "Name That War" contest. I fully intended to do so, but then when I sat down to write today, I was so consumed by all the other foolishness that I plumb forgot about judging the contest. I sincerely apologize for being this sort of a forgetful fool this week, and by way of compensation declare that the contest is still open (go read last week's article for context) and we'll still be accepting suggested replacements for (shudder) "Operation Odyssey Dawn" this week. Mea culpa all around, as well.

But back to Washington's fools. Much of this foolishness has been emanating from the Republican side of the aisle. Topping the list is a bill the United States House of Representatives passed today which declares themselves the sole arbiter of what is the "law of the land" in America. Or something. I wrote about this earlier in the week, complete with snarky references to both Schoolhouse Rock and South Park, if you're interested.

In other foolish Republican news, Ben Quayle (son of "Lil' Danny" Quayle) apparently thinks he's a comedian. His audience, sadly for him, did not seem to agree.

Speaking of comedians, several political donors have been having lots of fun filling out their "occupation" on the federal forms required to donate large sums of money to politicians. Most popular amusing response: "Domestic goddess." Others almost as amusing: "slave", "human being", and "Obama momma."

A Republican lawmaker in Montana is decrying DUI laws as "destroying a way of life that has been in Montana for years and years." You just can't make this stuff up, folks. Oh, did I mention he owns a bar?

War fever has apparently struck Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, as they vie to denounce Libya's Ghaddafi in the strongest possible terms. They've both conveniently forgotten, apparently, that they traveled to Libya in August of 2009 in part to aid Ghaddafi in buying American military equipment. Strange thing, selective memory, isn't it? Graham was even quoted this week, referring to Ghaddafi: "I believe he's an international terrorist." Um, doesn't that make you a terrorist supporter for helping arm him, then, Senator Graham? Just wondering.

President Obama is foolishly avoiding the word "war" and instead the White House came up with the Orwellian "kinetic military action" to describe what America is doing in Libya. Or perhaps they were just trying to insult Ghaddafi, who knows? After all, "KMA" is a common acronym for "kiss my ass" these days....

The president also, quite foolishly, accepted an award for transparency -- and barred the public and the media from the acceptance ceremony. This is cringe-worthy foolishness, folks.

The first big, nationally-television Republican presidential candidate debate has been postponed for half a year, reportedly due to lack of "serious" candidates. This begs the question: How can you tell? Let's take a look at who is running (or reportedly thinking about running), shall we?

Michele Bachmann -- no further comment necessary.

Rick Santorum -- recently said that abortion is the cause of Social Security's problems.

Haley Barbour -- now pushing to build a civil rights museum in Mississippi, in a desperate effort to shed his "Southern good-ol'-boy" image. Um, good luck with that, Haley.

Donald Trump -- who has somehow convinced the media to take him seriously as a candidate, suggests that Obama's not releasing his birth certificate because "it says he's a Muslim."

Herman Cain -- (who has also somehow convinced the media he's a serious candidate) in direct violation of the Constitution, says he will impose a religious test on anyone he names to his cabinet -- no Muslims need apply.

Newt Gingrich -- who is somehow simultaneously arguing that America will soon be taken over by both atheists and radical Islamists. Um, atheist Islamists, Newt? Really? Wow.

And, finally, Sarah Palin -- again, no further comment necessary.

No wonder the network decided to wait a few months to have a debate. Heh.

Moving right along, we've got yet another story exposing Tea Party Republican politicians' hypocrisy -- because they've taken enormous amounts of federal money for themselves, in the form of farm subsidies. Guess all federal spending isn't so evil, eh, guys? Especially when your name is on that "Pay to the order of" line, right?

A Fox News executive was recently caught on tape admitting that the whole "Obama is a socialist" thing was just a big joke, and not any sort of "news" at all. What a surprise!

As I said, it's been quite a week for foolishness. To top it off, every single Republican who has been mentioned as a possible contender for the presidential candidacy just announced that they were all kidding.

Well, no. That last one was a joke. Sadly, all of the other items on the list were not. Have a happy April Fools' Day, everyone!


[Continue reading this full article at, complete with our weekly picks for the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week and Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week awards. Then we end, as always, with our "talking points" section -- where we attempt to aid Democrats in framing their party's message to the public, in a compelling way.]


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