SUMMARY: In today’s Quickie we celebrate the upcoming Olympics with our own field of challengers for the nation’s top Stupid White Guy! Exciting times. Our contestants include three Republican governors and it’s a real barn burner. Governors Kemp of Georgia, DeSantis of Florida and Abbott of Texas battle for the gold to be decided by Unf*ckers who can vote for their (least) favorite at unftr.com.
COFFEE NOTE: So our first batch finally shipped and Unf*ckers who were kind enough to preorder our Unf*ck Your Morning, Unf*ck Your Afternoon and A Decaffeinated Unf*cking blends are already sending us rave reviews including this one from our buddy Krin.
I owe you an apology. When you said that you had coffee for sale and that it was produced by Indigenous peoples, I thought that buying some would be a good way to contribute to your projects. Like many Americans, I fancy myself to be something of a coffee connoisseur, and I’m hard to please. I gave you coffee money so that you could continue researching, prepping, and creating new ways to denounce Republicans, neo-liberals, neo-conservatives, and VERY short economists. But I had no illusions about your coffee.
But then a bag of your Black Medicine [Unf*ck Your Afternoon] coffee arrived in the mail. Here is where I have to apologize. The coffee is excellent. I drink it strong, but there is no bitterness, no sourness, no extra sweetness. It’s rich and full of distinctive flavors. In fact, I am going to make it my regular coffee. I urge your listeners to do the same thing. Even if they find your use of colorful language to be somewhat problematic.
Beyond the shamelessness of the self promotion here, I thought it was important to put it out there that this coffee really is no joke. But the takeaway here is that we wanted to do something beyond just donations to help support the show so listeners aren’t out of pocket for anything they wouldn’t normally spend hard earned money on. You have hundreds of competitors for your entertainment and news dollars and to ask you to fund our thing seemed a bit indulgent. Because I have a personal commitment from my time covering native issues in journalism, this partnership was almost too good to be true. But it’s not. Every purchase goes to support Native Coffee Traders and we’re hoping to partner with other native and historically marginalized entrepreneurs as we grow. So thank you to Krin and all the Unf*ckers who helped sell out our first lot of Unf*cking blends.
For our beloved Subf*ckers, you can take 10% off your order this month (July) with the code Subfuck. Browse our selection here.
Now you may recall from our prior Quickies that we take three distinct things that are somehow related and unf*ck them with a bit more animus and sarcasm than usual. Today is a special treat because our three Quickie subjects were actually proposed by one of our top Unf*ckers, Michael Perry. So thank you Michael for the suggestion and support!
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp won a contentious gubernatorial race against Stacey Abrams in 2018 that was rife with accusations of voter suppression. Kemp, who was the secretary of state at the time and was responsible for running statewide elections, was criticized for his role in canceling more than 1.4 million voter registrations during his eight-year tenure and for his aggressive purging of voter rolls. His reign coincided with a controversial Supreme Court decision in 2013 that effectively gutted the landmark Voting Rights Act, which allowed previously monitored states to enact cumbersome voting restrictions. During one night in July 2017, Kemp’s office purged more than a half-million votes—which the state’s most influential newspaper said, “may represent the largest mass disenfranchisement in U.S. history.” He eventually beat Abrams by about 55,000 votes. Fast forward to 2021, Kemp signed one of the most restrictive voting laws in the country, essentially codifying Trump’s election fraud lies.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis embodies Trumpian politics more than any other elected official in the country. During his campaign in 2016, DeSantis displayed his mastery of the art of bootlicking when he appeared in a political ad in which he’s seen indoctrinating his kids in the ways of Trump. While DeSantis and Trump are mostly indistinguishable, the former can at least say he served in the military and had political experience before becoming a Conservative America darling. But that’s where their differences end. DeSantis, or “Mini-Trump” as he’s known, refuses to disavow lies about the 2020 election and it’s clear why: Besides Trump, he’s consistently ranked among the most liked Republicans in the country.
So what is DeSantis up to politically? Well, other than saying things like “Florida chose freedom over Fauci-ism,” he’s signed laws that target transgender athletes and protesters, and one that suppresses the vote in Florida. DeSantis and his party have also shown contempt for Florida’s electorate by trying to quash or water down ballot initiatives that were approved overwhelmingly at the polls—including one that would restore voting rights to people formerly convicted of felonies and one raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour.
Hey Abbott! Before being elected governor of Texas in 2014, Greg Abbott earned his conservative bonafides for the scores of lawsuits he brought against the Obama administration while he served as Texas attorney general, a position he held longer than anyone before him. Abbott filed more than 30 lawsuits against the Obama administration, with mixed results. For Abbott, it was a badge of honor—so much so that he reprinted a Wall Street Journal article on his government website highlighting this apparent achievement. As the Journal noted: “For Mr. Abbott, a former Texas Supreme Court justice, the effort has helped burnish his conservative credentials in a state where the Tea Party holds considerable clout.” That Abbott lost more than he won never mattered—it was all about defending Texas from the ostensible socialist messiah lording over an oppressive federal government. And, well, it worked.
When Abbott was elected governor in 2014, he had the largest margin of victory since Rick Perry’s re-election in 2002. Abbott has since signed some of the country’s most oppressive laws, including a strict anti-abortion measure, one targeting undocumented immigrants, and another that would allow adoption agencies to deny services to people based on religious grounds. Abbott is also following in the footsteps of Kemp and DeSantis by pushing a voter suppression bill despite no evidence of extensive—or even modest—election fraud in his state.
And there you have it folks, our final contenders for this year’s Stupid White Guy Olympics!
Manny: Wow. Just wow. I think this might be one of the finest lineups we’ve ever seen.
99: Couldn’t agree more, Manny. I think we’ll learn a lot from the floor routine next. No doubt the judges will be looking for talking points on racism, immigration….
Manny: Or everyone’s favorite...abortion! Our colleague Max has joined the contestants on the floor to introduce their routines before the judges. Let’s cut over to him now.
Max: Thanks Manny. This is exciting. First up for the floor routine is Georgia Governor Brian Kemp who can be heard describing how the new voter suppression laws in Georgia are actually the opposite. It’s the ultimate twist that even Simone Biles would have difficulty executing. Let’s listen in.
Brian Kemp: “This bill that I just signed, you know, is expanding the opportunity for people to vote early here in Georgia again with even additional potential for people to vote on Saturday and Sunday. It’s further securing the absentee ballot process by simply adding a photo ID requirement or number from your ID that will actually speed up the absentee balloting by mail process which was very slow after this last election. Take the arbitrary part of that away, so really it’s an election integrity bill but also expands access. So it’s kind of ironic that the president would be against that.”
Amazing! What a twist and flip. I’ve never seen anything like it. Now to Kemp’s bonus routine. GOP insiders are betting that this is what will put him over the top. Here he is trying to get through America’s motto.
Brian Kemp: “It is America, the land of the home and, and freedom reigns.”
That was amazing. Man, oh man, the other governors have a lot to live up to there. What a fucking dummy. Up next we have a true fan favorite, not only because he’s a fucking dick but because he represents the state we just love to hate. Here’s Florida governor Ron DeSantis using what appears to be coded racist language. Let’s listen in.
Ron DeSantis: “He is an articulate spokesman for those far left views, and he’s a charismatic candidate and you know I watched those Democrat debates, none of that was my cup of tea, but I mean, he performed better than the other people there. So we’ve got to work hard to make sure that we continue Florida going in a good direction, let’s build off the success we’ve had on Governor Scott. The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda.”
[Sound of multiple dogs barking and howling]
What on Earth is happening?
99: Looks like all of the animals in attendance are responding to the dog whistle.
Max: Right! That explains it. DeSantis started the routine off with a classic move in calling his Black opponent “articulate,” not enough to score points with the judges but certainly enough to perk them up. Then he follows through with a perfect shot saying a vote for his Black opponent would “monkey” things up. Back-to-back coded language insults in one thirty second clip. Masterful! DeSantis is already making it difficult for the judges.
For his bonus routine, Governor DeSantis has selected his campaign ad. Bold choice. Let’s take a listen.
Casey DeSantis: “Everyone knows my husband, Ron DeSantis, is endorsed by President Trump. But he’s also an amazing dad. Ron loves playing with the kids.
Ron DeSantis [Talking to his child who is building a block tower]: “Build the wall!”
CD: “He reads stories.”
RD [Holding his child and reading Trump’s The Art of The Deal aloud]: “Then Mr. Trump said, ‘You’re Fired!’ I love that part.”
CD: “He’s teaching Madison to talk.”
RD [Holding a Trump sign and pointing to the words]: “Make America great again.”
CD: “People say Ron’s all Trump, but he is so much more.”
RD [Standing over his baby’s crib—baby is wearing a MAGA onesie.]: “Big league. So good.”
CD: “I just thought you should know.”
Voiceover: “Ron DeSantis for governor.”
Good Lord what a douchebag.
While l can’t imagine topping these two, we still have one more contender from the great state of Texas, Governor Greg Abbott. You know what they say about Texas.
Manny: Everything’s bigger in Texas!
Max: And we’re about to find out if that’s true for assholes as well. When the lights went out in Texas during a bizarre climate change related deep freeze revealing the issues with a deregulated and privatized energy grid, Governor Abbott took to the airwaves to blame a curious culprit. Let’s take a listen.
Greg Abbott: “Our wind and our solar got shut down and they were, collectively, more than 10% of our power grid and that thrust Texas into a situation where it was lacking power on a statewide basis.”
Ah, yes. The old windmill caused the power outage gambit. He certainly sold the shit out of that one. I’m told we have a back-to-back lie fest from Governor Abbott’s State of the State address to close out his routine. I haven’t heard it but there has been a lot of buzz about it during the trials. Here we go.
Greg Abbott: “Politicians from the federal level to the local level have shouted, ‘Heck yes, the government is coming to get your guns!’”
Greg Abbott: “Estimates show that more than 40 million babies lost their lives to abortion in 2020.”
Oh my goodness. A state governor taking on two federal issues by doubling down on lies. 40 million abortions. Good Lord! 3.6 million babies were born in the United States in 2020 but 40 million were aborted. Gotta love this guy’s math. He’s really going for it. Back to you Manny.
Manny: Thank you, Max. That was exciting. Before we get to your closing remarks, 99, tell our listeners how they can cast their vote for the Stupidest White Guy.
99: Sure thing! Unf*ckers can head to unftr.com to submit their vote. Voting will close in one week and results will be announced on the next full fledged Unf*cking episode.
Manny: Well that’s all from us here in sunny Florida. Thanks for joining us at the Stupid White Guy Olympic trials. On behalf of the Unf*cking team, god bless, good night and get fucked.
Funny, but not really.
In last week’s show we talked about how to define the Trump years and even offered some pointers on how to communicate with a Trump supporter. In our F*ck Rupert Murdoch episode we highlighted the decline in our national discourse and in our ability to perform the most basic of critical thinking exercises to question authority. We are so dialed into national events and beltway politics that many have lost sight of the ground battle for our civil rights and liberties.
Throughout our journey together thus far I’ve tried to point out the hidden dangers in public policy that give rise to symptoms that plague us and the forces that are aligned against us to hide these underlying conditions. So beyond this being a fun exercise to poke fun at three stupid white guys who are as ridiculous as they are dangerous, it’s meant to draw our attention to a struggle that has always been with us in the United States.
In many ways, the story of our founding is still playing out all over the country. The epic battle between State’s Rights Jeffersonians versus Hamilton Federalists and the ugly compromise that is our bicameral legislature have produced what and who we are today. While the corporate media has us looking up at the big stuff, we’re losing the battle on the ground. More and more states are working to separate us from our rights and dismantle the legislative victories that have slowly accrued over time.
At the state level it’s death by a thousand cuts. Decades of gerrymandering has given Republicans control of most governing features that citizens interact with. Republicans outnumber Democrats in absolute legislators 3,900 to 3,300. They control 61% of state legislatures. In terms of the business of government, Republicans far outnumber Democrats across the nation. Now recall when we spoke about the influence of conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation and how they’re literally crafting identical bills proposed in myriad Republican controlled legislatures. This is where the legislative echo chamber gets super scary as you can begin to see a patchwork of laws that move like a fungus over the map of America.
The Heritage Foundation shits out a bill based on specious interpretations of Chicago School economists, copy and pastes them into legislative agendas in Republican controlled states and the lawmakers, think tank experts and economists appear on conservative news outlets to promote them. Then governors like Abbott, Kemp and DeSantis take to the media and to the streets to promote them through press conferences, manufacturing crises like “the government is taking your guns,” “we killed 40 million babies” and “Biden is forcing socialism down our throats.” It’s all so perfect.
With messaging control like this they’re able to buck positive social change. They can roll back abortion access, impose harsh local sentencing laws and cash bail requirements, try to build their own border walls like in the case of Texas and craft legislation that makes it difficult to vote in certain districts. And those are the hot button issues that we can see because they’re so outrageous. But every day, throughout the country, there are small bills being considered and passed that encroach on our civil liberties and attempt to roll back our natural rights as citizens and eliminate the protections that so many people fought and died for in this grand fucked up experiment we call America.
And as if that’s not enough, there’s a long game still being played that will probably blow your fucking mind if you’ve never heard of it. They’ve been working on it since the John Birch Society was actually active and effective. Something called a Convention of States. I actually referenced this quickly in an episode a while ago but it bears explaining.
Article Five of the Constitution delineates how amendments shall be proposed and adopted. As a practical matter, a Constitutional Amendment hasn’t been passed since 1971, though there’s a super fucking cool story about how the 27th amendment, first passed in 1789 wasn’t ratified until 1992. This historic oversight was found in 1982 by a university student named Gregory Watson. He got a C on the paper but eventually got the amendment passed. It’s a neat fucking story, but it’s even more important to our story today than one might imagine.
You see, Gregory didn’t take this to Congress to get it passed. He went to the individual states because Article Five stipulates that two thirds of Congress can propose an amendment then three fourths of Congress must ratify it. But, in an effort to appease the states, this provision was extended to them as well. Two thirds of the states in the U.S. can propose an amendment and three quarters can ratify it. No Congress necessary. Spot the long game yet?
Conservative activist and lobby organization ALEC, for example and among many others, has an amendment text prepared to give broad authority to the states to reign in federal powers. It calls for each state legislature to join in a convention of the states to “impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.” That’s just ALEC. There are others, as you can imagine.
These governors might be assholes and you might be thinking, “who gives a shit because I live in a blue state.” Well. They almost have enough legislatures to propose amendments. So they’re nearly halfway there. A couple more states to propose, about seven more to ratify and abortion in the United States can be made constitutionally illegal. Do I have your attention yet?
As a bridge to our next episode, one of the primary objectives of this movement is to institute a balanced budget amendment so the federal government is required to balance the federal budget in the same manner states must. In our next episode, I’ll explain why this would be the end of the American experiment.
Until then, fuck these stupid white guys. Buy some fucking coffee. And F*ck Milton Friedman.
Here endeth the Quickie.