Ron Johnson and Fox News: Voices of reason?

If television is a reliable indicator (and when is it ever not?), the good cop-bad cop interrogation method is an effective way to soften folks up and make them more agreeable. The GOP has found its bad cop in the Tea Party, but I have to wonder how coordinated their shtick is.

While my understanding of good cop-bad cop is that the bad cop comes into the interrogation room, shouts at the top of his lungs, foams at the mouth a bit, and maybe tosses a Styrofoam coffee cup at the one-way mirror before yielding to the soft-spoken good cop, conservatives have stepped it up a notch. For them, it’s more like good cop screams at the top of his lungs while bad cop squats in the corner in a pair of My Little Pony Underoos while sucking the marrow out of a woolly monkey femur and randomly hissing punchlines to Sunday Family Circus comics.

Even compared to the days of Dick Cheney — whose eyeballs I expected to melt out of his face every time he came within a hectare of a church, synagogue, or Greek temple ruin — the GOP seems to be smoking more than ever from the Amanda Bynes Good-Time Bong of Parallel Realities.

The latest example: A Texas senator who didn’t get enough attention as a child has called for shutting down the government unless Obamacare is defunded, and in the process he’s managed to make our senior senator, Ron Johnson, look sober and dignified.

Obamacare has passed Congress, survived a Supreme Court challenge, and is well on its way to implementation, but some Republicans are still trying to take their ball and go home … even though it’s not their ball.

This is the strategy favored by GOP stalwarts like Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Ted Cruz of Texas.

Cruz in particular has been vocal in his call for shutting everything down unless he and his pals get their way. But instead of threatening to hold his breath until he turns blue and passes out, he’s insisting that we do.

In an interview with The Daily Caller, Cruz said, “While the ultimate goal is to repeal the law in its entirety, defunding is a crucial step so we can stop the law from being implemented before Americans get hooked on the subsidies. We cannot just wait for Republicans to take back the Senate to repeal the law. We owe it to Americans to prevent as much of it from being implemented as possible right now.”

Oh, no. What will we do if Americans get hooked on comprehensive, affordable care and stop using emergency room doctors as primary care physicians? By all means, we must preserve the status quo.

Meanwhile, during a recent visit to Iowa to not run for president (thankfully), Johnson said shutting down the government was a stupid idea: “I don’t want to play brinkmanship. I actually want to see the economy succeed. I don’t care who’s president, who’s in control, I just don’t think that’s healthy for the economy.”

And that, against my better judgment, made me temporarily proud of our senator. Pardon me, I have to go sponge-bathe my soul with hydrofluoric acid now.

In related news, Fox News has unfurled its rainbow flag and joined the global gay agenda. At least that’s the finding of a recent report by the right-wing group America’s Survival, which is alleging a “growing pro-homosexual bias” at the fabulous cable network.

Writes Media Matters for America: “The rambling, 40,000-word report was written by Peter LaBarbera, president of one of the fringiest anti-gay hate groups in America — Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH). It’s already being touted by other anti-gay hate mongers, including the American Family Association’s (AFA) Bryan Fischer.”

The most disturbing thing about this report isn’t its findings but the fact that it gives the network another chance to pretend it gives all sides a fair hearing. “See? A crypto-fascist, pro-theocratic, anti-homosexual hate group thinks we’re gay-friendly! Fair and balanced!

Good for Fox if it’s getting gayer, but somehow I’m skeptical.

Racist ‘traditions’ are still racist

Can we just all agree once and for all that if a sizeable proportion of an “honored” group finds a sports team’s name offensive that we should just abandon that name and start from scratch?

Frankly, this issue has gotten embarrassing, but it won’t go away. Most recently, the Mukwonago School District decided to ignore the state of Wisconsin’s order to change its Indian nickname. State law allows the Department of Public Instruction to intervene when a formal complaint is filed about race-based names and logos, and the school could be fined $1,000 a day if it doesn’t relent.



Yes, we have much bigger issues to confront, but I have to ask: “Why would anyone want to hold onto such a lousy tradition?”

This controversy follows on the heels of yet another media outlet’s decision to no longer refer to the Washington Redskins as the Washington Redskins because, you know, the word “redskin” is absurdly racist and offensive., which is owned by the Washington Post Co., recently gave “Redskins” the heave-ho, acknowledging the obvious.

Other media outlets and writers have taken to calling the Redskins “Washington” or “Washington’s football team,” and so on.

I’d like to follow suit. From now I will refer to the Redskins only as “that team in the NFC East that, despite its swinishly racist nickname and antediluvian sensibilities, still somehow manages to be less insufferable than the Cowboys.”

Click here to sign up for the free IB ezine – your twice-weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. If you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.