[for lack of a better name I’ve decided to dub my sporadic political column the “Hustings Hustler.” Because I adore alliteration.]

The second GOP debate took place this week in New Hampshire, also known as the Granite State, which is a peculiar name, considering that you could carve seventeen full size New Hampshire sculptures out of the granite in California and still have some stone left over to add Barack Obama to Mount Rushmore.

New Hampshire is important to the Republican Party both because it holds the first primary and takes a serious anti-tax stance. You might believe the state’s motto is “Live Free or Die,” but it is in fact “Live Fee or Die.” The state makes up for lost tax revenue by imposing fees on everything. It’s a crucial difference: with taxation, the government takes money from its citizens. In the fee system, the government takes money from its citizens. New Hampshire also derives income from beating up Vermont for its milk money.

Mitt Romney has solidified his position as GOP front runner, which is pretty easy to do when several candidates have yet to enter the race and it’s a whopping eight months from now until the New Hampshire primary. Do you know how many penis pictures Anthony Weiner could tweet in eight months? I don’t know. More than you could shake a… never mind.

Since we last met there have been some minor changes to the field. Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum are definitely in, Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump are out.

The highlight of the Granite State Debate was T-paw attempting to weasel his way out of prior statements concerning the mutant hybrid “ObamneyCare,” a hard-to-pronounce sleight against both the President’s and Mitt Romney’s health care plans. T-paw has a point: it’s totally fair to question how Mitt Romney could be against Obama’s health care plan even as he signed into law its very model as Massachusetts governor. When Pawlenty was asked at the debate if he would “come and say that to my face,” the former Minnesota gov ran away with his big bushy squirrel tail between his legs. That’s right: he ran away from Mitt Romney, who has never done anything worse to anyone than naming his son Tagg. If T-paw’s plan to differentiate himself from Romney was to establish that a) he’s a former governor from a different state that starts with M and b) he’s a coward, Mission Accomplished!

Herman “The Godfather” Cain skirted around his prior demand for loyalty tests for Muslims in his administration. It’s too bad that he was caught showing off both his prejudice and his inability to waffle effectively when he should have talked about the economy. Cain knows about the economy because he used to sell pizza. To reduce unemployment Cain plans to offer pizza delivery jobs to every unemployed man and woman with a 1981 Toyota Cressida and a solid weed connection.

Wait. Ex-governor. Ex-senator. Ex-governor. Ex-House speaker. Ex-pizza magnate.* Of the seven people on the debate stage, only Michele Crazyboots Bachmann and Rowdy Ron Paul have jobs. That’s right: you know who’s going to fix our economy and give everyone jobs? A bunch of unemployed people.

Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich’s entire staff decided to spend more time with their not Newt Gingrich. Apparently they realized what I could have told them months ago if I wasn’t busy tweeting junk pics around the internet: Newt isn’t really running for president, he’s running so his ideas can be injected into the greater Republican debate. The big reason Newt’s people have departed en masse is they don’t believe his social media-heavy campaign strategy, which looks something like this: “vote for me and I promise not to tweet you a photo of my penis. Which is called Big Newt.”

At least, unlike Gingrich himself, his campaign staff didn’t wait until he was hospitalized with cancer to dump him.

Former Ambassador John Huntsman plans to announce his campaign plans at New York’s Liberty Park, which most likely means he’s in the running, otherwise he’d make his statement at Who Gives a Fuck Field, which is home to the New York Mets. I didn’t include Huntsman in my writeup last time. He’s a moderate Republican from Utah and his face keeps freaking me out.

We’ve all been there: you see what you think is a beautiful woman from behind, she turns around and you hear the staccato reak reak reak sound from Psycho and she has the face of Freddy Krueger but he’s been burned with acid and run over with a lawnmower. You know what I’m talking about. And she still rejects you because you’re so goddamn superficial.

All I’m saying is that I first saw Huntsman’s face in profile and I thought damn, you’re JFK-handsome. Then you see his face straight on and he’s got all the inhuman charm of a baby wombat.
But the wombat face is the least of his problems. His most recent job has been as the Ambassador to China for President Barack Hussein Obama.

They will just call him Huntsman-Chinabama.

You might think that moderate Republicans have no place in the primaries but you have to realize that historically, the GOP has been much more likely to nominate the traditional old guard (no taxes, loves big business, only pretends to give a shit about abortion) than the crazies. Nixon and George H W Bush were definitely on the moderate side, as was John McCain, that is, until he and George Bush kissed and made up and Bush replaced his brain with a Bible and some oat bran while nobody was looking.

Hell, between Huntsman and Romney and the Book of Mormon winning its Tony, it’s a great year for the tribe of Joseph Smith. If people stopped confusing them with Scientology they’d be set.

The last shadow candidate is Rick Perry, who is the guitarist from Aerosmith, and used to play Dylan on Beverly Hills 90210, but since Aerosmith is on hiatus while Steven Tyler offers his enormous lips as shelter for contestants on American Idol, Rick Perry is now moonlighting as governor of Texas.

Governor Perry has been hinting that he might run for president, and kicked off his non-campaign with a prayer event which “received criticism,” according to the New York Times. A negative article in the Times for Perry’s fundraising team is like winning the big high school game, the chili cook-off and banging the entire cheerleading squad on the same day!

The gist of the article suggests it’s not appropriate for a sitting governor to hold a giant evangelical prayer rally to psyche people up for when they get to heaven so they can roast the bones of non-believers. Side note: Perry’s Houston prayer rally is co-sponsored by the gay-bashing group International House of Prayer. Yes: IHOP.

Rick Perry has become more likely to announce his candidacy for several reasons. The current field of candidates is unimpressive. Sorry Mitt, but you are boring. You don’t even say any crazy Mormon things! Also, there are signs that the economy is slowing, due to lots of circumstances outside the President’s control (see Japan), and the economy could easily crater again and then Barack will have to apply for Jimmy Carter’s job as “guy who became awesome after being president.”

The Texas Governor will rely on a tried and true script:  he will turn to God and ask him if he should run, and if God answers in the form of large campaign donations from oil companies, look to Rick Perry to crash the party. In which case I’ll have a good time writing about how as a sitting governor he wanted Texas to secede from the country.

*Romney, Santorum, T-paw, Gingrich, Cain. If you got all these right you get a gold star.

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G. XAVIER ROBILLARD is a comedy writer, performer and novelist. His work has appeared in McSweeney's, Comedy Central and on NPR. Robillard is the author of the comic novel Captain Freedom: A Superhero's Quest for Truth, Justice and the Celebrity He So Richly Deserves (Harper Collins), and producer/writer/performer of the comedy album G is for Gangsta. You may entertain yourself with more of him at All Day Coffee and on Twitter.

20 responses to “Hustings Hustler: GOP Rocks the Granite State”

  1. Art Edwards says:

    “He will turn to God and ask him if he should run, and if God answers in the form of large campaign donations from oil companies, look to Rick Perry to crash the party.”

    I find I’m reading only you when it comes to the Republican field. I’m hoping you can prevail over the disgust factor and keep it up through the primaries, and beyond.

  2. SAA says:

    Dead @ ‘inhuman charm of a baby wombat.’

  3. dwoz says:

    Just a quick correction on NH…

    We play this little game of “hide the sausage” with our taxes. Any politician who dares mention the words “sales tax” or “income tax” are run out of town on a rail, wearing a brand new tar-and-feather suit. But for reasons I can’t explain nor fathom myself, we have a nice high meals and hostel tax, seriously out-of-kilter property taxes, and you have to buy your hard liquor at the state store.

    So even though (being a drinking-eating-landowner) my tax burden here in NH is pretty much exactly what I’d pay in Massachusetts, ostensibly the worst “tax and spend” state in the union, THEY are called “tax-and-spend”, and WE are called the “no taxes” state.

    The FEES for stuff, like dog licenses, drivers licenses, dump permits, and so on, are pretty much normal.

    I’ll tell you one thing though, that I learned here in NH: The republican idea of “trickle down” economics works. When George Bush cut off matching grant money to the states for medicare, education, and things like fire/safety expenditures, he was lauded as a budget hero by the GOP, by making everybody’s taxes go down. Well, since we couldn’t just board up the schools, mothball the aging fire trucks, and let granny die in the street, we had to pick up the slack, and so the George Bush Tax Cuts “trickled down” and raised my taxes more than ever before in my paltry tax-paying history, by absolute dollar amount and by percentage.

    So, yes, we are completely confused about taxes.

    • Dwoz,

      Thanks for the correction on the tax/fee issue. I was basing what I wrote about fees on those crooked lefty journalists at NPR. And my own experience getting shaken down by NH for a high-priced camp site while I lived in Taxachusetts. But I did also read that the property taxes were high.

      NY has definitely captured the brass ring of the taxiest state in the union.

      • dwoz says:

        yes, that would explain it. The budgets for the state parks have been decimated. They charge high parking and usage fees…so you have me there!

        which park did you camp in?

  4. Gloria Harrison says:

    To reduce unemployment Cain plans to offer pizza delivery jobs to every unemployed man and woman with a 1981 Toyota Cressida and a solid weed connection.


    Damn, you’re funny.

    I hate politics.

    • dwoz says:

      I was following politics intensely, but anymore it’s just too much like assaulting your face with a belt sander loaded with a 60 grit belt. It’s fun and tingly, but after a while…

      …and it’s worse when you think that someone like Michelle Bachman has a non-zero chance of actually ending up being president. And the thought of what she’d DO as president does not even hold a candle to the mindfuck of realizing what it meant just for her to BE president.

      Or Newt.

      Or Cain.

      Or Santorum.

      • Dwoz, i don’t remember what park it was because there were flood warnings across NH so I ended up bagging the trip.

        It took me a long time to recover from the belt sander of the 2008 election coverage – but now that I’ve had 3 years I’m happy to get back in the ring. I’m a poly-slut: I only like politics for the jokes.

  5. Jeffro says:

    If Tim Pawlenty said “meat packer” one more time, I was going to start wondering about the fellow.

  6. Cheryl says:

    Oh Rick Perry. As a resident of the great state of Texas, I kind of wish he would run. Not because I want him to win, mind you. It’s just… well YOU people deal with him!

    In my fantasy world, Perry wouldn’t stand a chance of winning the presidency and we could get rid of him once and for all. But as crazy as things are in politics right now, he might actually win.

    His nickname – bestowed, I believe, by the late great Molly Ivins – is Governor Good Hair. I’d call him a laughingstock, but he keeps winning elections. The last laughingstock to be elected Governor of Texas DID become President.

    I hate politics, too.

    Great run-down of the current field, though!

    • dwoz says:

      oh, by the way…thank you for that. For sending US your cast-off governors, that is. Most appreciated. Appreciated like gout.

      I don’t know who I’m more mad at…Texas, or John McCain, for birthing that hellspawn of anti-humanity.

      • Cheryl says:

        Don’t be mad at me, man. I have never voted for him. I haven’t turned to the dark side!

        I’m pretty pissed at McCain for that too.

        You can be pissed at GW Bush – Perry was his Lt. Gov and inherited the governership when Bush became Pres. It’s his fault.

        • dwoz says:

          Blame where Blame is due:


          Not to let off the chain of heinous criminals that brought it to them, but they were the ones who turned the world of law completely upside-down.

          Since you’re name is CHERYL, you’re definitely ok in my book!

    • “… well YOU people deal with him.” I’m in Texas as well, and I second this. Also, don’t forget he jogs with laser-sited pistols and shoots coyotes: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/27/rick-perry-shoots-and-kil_n_554397.html His campaign ads are going to be like “Hee-Haw” skits.

      • Cheryl says:

        Solidarity, sister! (fist-bump)

        Yes, the coyote shooting was… something. I think he was just trying to upstage Palin in a “who’s the biggest, dumbest redneck?” contest.

        He was already pissed because Alaska is bigger than Texas, and she gets to shoot wolves from a helicopter. Since we don’t have bears in the Austin area, I guess he had to settle for a poor coyote.

        All of it makes me pretty sick.

        And now at the end of the legislative session, he’s done a lot more damage than that.

        • dwoz says:

          The only real saving grace is that the way Texas is set up, the governor is a paper tiger with a lot less political power than most other governors.

          Interesting though that he uses “cop killer” bullets in his gun. Around THESE parts, copper-jacketed hollow points are really only good for one thing: going through kevlar. They’re not particularly useful for “hunting.” Or as his ilk calls it, “sportsmanship.”

        • Cheryl says:

          Paper tiger… usually. But Perry has lately positioned himself as the king of the teabaggers in Texas – and wisely did so before the Nov. 10 elections. Since the right of the right faction pretty much swept the floor with everyone else during the mid-terms, he has been able to wield more impressive power than usual. There is no balance of power in Texas right now. Just a handful of dems and daily-threatened moderate repubs trying to hold back the worst of the worst. I think he would have a hard time justifying the massive cuts to education spending on a national scale though. Literally thousands of teachers are facing layoffs when the budget is passed. And we’re already number 48 or 49 in the country for high school graduation rates! But we don’t have any new taxes, dammit! Or fees!

          about the bullets – well, you know how Texas is about its guns and ammo. Did you know that if you have a conceal and carry license, you can bypass the security line at the state capitol building here?

        • dwoz says:

          I’m so sorry.

          I wish there was a way to give you a hug and assure you that everything would be all right.

  7. Matt says:

    Hell, between Huntsman and Romney and the Book of Mormon winning its Tony, it’s a great year for the tribe of Joseph Smith. If people stopped confusing them with Scientology they’d be set.

    I know so many people who actually do this that it’s not even funny. Well, it is, but it’s also pathetic.

    Lacking cable (and, at the time, a functional computer) I didn’t watch the debate, but that’s fine; more than five minutes of those things and I start to hear Big-Top circus music in my head. Also, I’m pretty sure “Bachmann” translates to “bugfuck crazy” in some obscure, seldom-spoken Teutonic dialect, and I really don’t need to see her put those special qualities on display once again.

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