The Daily Banter Mail Bag! Gerrymandering! John Boehner! Hot Dogs!


Welcome to this week's edition of The Daily Banter Mailbag! Today, Bob, Ben and Chez discuss gerrymandering, jittery John Boehner and hot dogs.

The questions:

1) The chances of the Democrats taking back the House in 2014 are slim thanks to gerrymandering. Do you think this has helped or hurt the GOP in terms of remaining politically relevant as a major party?
-- Frederic

Chez: In the short term it'll help them remain relevant. If by relevant you mean able to still crush a certain amount of dissent from the majority of Americans and impede any kind of progress at all. Eventually, even the gerrymandering won't be enough to save their asses should they assume that all they'll need to do is cheat when it comes to redistricting rather than actually changing their views. At this point, though, with House Republicans latching onto various Alex Jonesian conspiracy theories (Sharia Law!!!), trying to create controversies out of absolutely anything (Benghazi!!!) and basically obstructing even the most basic and non-political of Obama's decisions simply because they're Obama's decisions (Fuck you, Chuck Hagel!!!), I'm baffled as to how the GOP is a relevant party right now.

Bob: Gerrymandering is really the only thing they have going for them these days -- that and sickening control over state governments. As long as they're allowed to manipulate the system, they'll figure out a way to win.

Ben: I'm with Chez on this - it probably provides some short term benefit, but not much more. The GOP is up shit creek demographically speaking - hence the gerrymandering, voting suppression tactics and incessant attempts to promote their ethnic Republicans. They are refusing to accept that their party is fundamentally broken because 1. Their economic platform is clearly nonsense 2. Their policies on women are two centuries out of date 3. They don't accept global warming 4. Their foreign policy platform is not only stupid but actively dangerous. The GOP is philosophically redundant, but they're still savvy enough to win a few battles with dirty tricks. Mathematically it can't last for long though.

2) What was wrong with John Boehner during the State of the Union address? He looked jumpy.
-- Amy

Bob: As a former smoker, my hunch is that he was having a nic-fit and couldn't wait to hustle out for a smoke.

Ben: Boehner probably understands how screwed his party is. Obama is getting ballsier as the weeks go by in his second term, and Boehner really doesn't like it.

Chez: Joe Biden was goosing him off-camera.

3) If you were a hot dog, and you were starving, would you eat yourself?
-- Joe

Chez: If I were a hot dog I'd eat myself even if I weren't starving. Or are you trying to get me to admit that I once tried to eat my own "hot dog?" Because that should come as a shock to no one.

Bob: Definitely no. I taste weird and I don't eat hot dogs any more. Very Harry Caray of you to ask, though.

Ben: That's a complicated proposition Joe. Firstly, it depends on how much I'd have to eat of myself in hot dog form to stay alive. Secondly, I was unaware hot dogs had mouths, so it might be technically impossible to do so anyway. But let's say I was a hotdog with a mouth, and had some spare flesh, I'd certainly do it to stay alive. Actually, even if it meant dying I'd do it, because I'd starve any way right? Going out with a hotdog in your mouth isn't a bad way to go. Wait. Is this a trick question?


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