Daily Banter Mail Bag!! The Firebagger Vote, Paul Ryan's Abs, and Neo-Con Civil War!!

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Welcome to this week's edition of The Daily Banter Mailbag! Today, Bob, Ben and Chez discuss the impact of far-left anti-Obama voters on the president's chances in November; the potential of a Romney electoral bump from Paul Ryan's P90X good looks; and the threats of violent rebellion from far-right zealots.

The questions:

Do you think the Firebaggers, Greenwaldians, Libetarian Leftists and other various and sundry anarcho-nihilists will have any impact in diminishing the vote for Obama (via convincing people to stay home or to write in a vanity candidate) in swing states this year?
-Christopher

Ben: They could well do. I definitely get the need to be critical of Obama, but the Libertarian Left is actively damaging to the progressive movement in general. While they preach only to their own acolytes and don't attempt to engage in meaningful dialogue with anyone else, they do have success in converting people who are disillusioned with the Democrats and the direction of the country. I understand this, but it's self defeating and pointless at the end of the day. Yeah, the Democrats suck, but some of them do good things and it's worth getting behind them when they do. Also, the alternative is so awful that it's almost criminal to let them get anywhere near power. Sadly, the Firebaggers/Greenwaldians etc etc are so obsessed with their own flawless ideology that they can't see how damaging their behavior is, particularly when the stakes are so high. I hope their influence isn't too big in swing states this year, but given how driven they are to destroy Obama, it could be a big threat to his re-election.

Chez: I think there's going to be a disillusioned segment of the progressive electorate that'll basically cross its arms and pout like my four-year-old when I won't buy her Skittles, but I think it's a very small, very far-left bloc, and that it's basically complaining among itself and creating an echo chamber only it hears. I've said it before but I can't stress how serious I am about it: I really don't think most people give a crap what Greenwald, Hamsher, Sirota etc. have to say. They're all the worst kind of liberal cliches -- and at least two of them are in it for thoroughly self-serving reasons (the third simply suffers from Asperger's). I have to believe that most people in this country who are center-left really are center-left -- they're independent thinkers, they're not ideologues, and they understand political reality. Plus I think that Romney and Ryan have now set up such a contrast with Obama when it comes to ideas and plans for the future of this country that most people really do realize that there's a lot at stake in November.

Bob: It depends on how close the election is. If the election comes down to a few swing districts and the margin is narrow, there could be hell to pay. I didn't think Ralph Nader would have an impact in the 2000 election, but it turned out that if everyone in Florida who had voted for Nader had, instead, voted for Al Gore, Gore would have won that election. The same effect will occur whether they register a protest vote or if they stay home. But whichever way they decide to register their childish disgust with the Obama administration, they'll just be helping Romney get closer to 270 electoral votes. Any liberal who would prefer to see a Romney presidency is an phenomenally huge idiot.

What do any/all of you make of the Paul Ryan "Pretty Boy" factor? Is it even close to the really weird Sarah Palin attraction that some guys had in 2008?
-Nadine

Chez: If you're the kind of person who lusts after the Winklevoss twins then you probably think Paul Ryan is 100% gorgeous man-meat. Like most hardcore conservatives, there isn't a damn thing cool or sexy about Ryan, but that's the point: the pickings are mighty slim for women on the right. Ryan is one of those guys who isn't really attractive, but since he happens to not look like, say, Louie Gohmert or Newt Gingrich, you know he gets tons of Republican pussy. Or he would, if he weren't consumed by Catholic guilt for all the times he's masturbated. But yeah, Bob made the point on the podcast this week that it's only a matter of time until beefcake pictures of Paul Ryan are released in an effort to sell Ryan in a more superficial way than the usual "he's a serious wonk" thing -- and those pictures will be released by the GOP. You can count on it. And yes, since it'll all be part of the big message, Dana Loesch will play the role of Rich Lowry this time around and openly discuss how wet the image of a shirtless Paul Ryan gets her and how she needs to seek the immediate relief of her detachable Kohl shower head with the rapid-massage setting.

Ben: Hmm, interesting take Nadine. Ryan has some actual intelligence - he's completely wrong about everything, but he can string a sentence together, and that makes the parallels with Palin a little tricky. But he is a doll like politician there to appeal to a demographic rather than be a serious running mate, so I guess there's a comparison. I think the GOP has learned from the Palin debacle, and they won't put up anyone that idiotic again.

Bob: I don't think women -- even conservative women -- are as easily fished-in by superficial good looks as men are. I think we all remember how creepy middle aged men went nuts for Sarah Palin and her task-master substitute teacher look, and they all but ignored the fact that she could barely string together a coherent sentence. Conservative women will still vote for Romney/Ryan, but moderate women will vote based on the usual criteria. However, try this on for size: I think men -- self-identified straight men -- will vote for Romney/Ryan based on their looks. It's the "central casting presidential stereotype" factor. Way too many men could vote for the Republican ticket because they're good looking, chiseled and -- most importantly -- white. This goes for both Romney and Ryan.

I have seen many posts by neo-con friends that say they will take back is country by ballot or by bullet. I'd like to know who they are going to shoot.
-Kristi

Bob: They won't shoot anyone because they're all cowards. Most of them are chickenhawks and slack-jawed, tubby weekend paintball warriors who have no idea what warfare is really all about. And they're certainly not educated enough to understand the death and destruction of the American Civil War. 620,000 Americans were killed and the states' rights side was totally decimated and was forced to surrender. Not a strong precedent for success. But you know, part of me would like to see them try. A gaggle of semi-drunk NASCAR yokels against the American military. Good luck with that.

Ben: Neo cons are completely full of it - they all preach war but none of them would (or could) actually fight when it comes down to it. Empty threats in my opinion.

Chez: If you have to ask it's probably you.

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