One of the highlights of the 1992 election cycle was when Paul Tsongas called Bill Clinton a Pander Bear for obvious reasons. Bill not only felt people’s pain, he borrowed their ideas, policies, you name if, he’d use it. He was to politicians what Milton Berle was to comedians.
The 2016 election cycle seems to be featuring a new variation on this theme: Chris Christie as the Angry Pander Bear. I originally thought Christie might use his Ralph Kramden/Governor Asshole persona to run against the nutty GOP base but those days are long gone. He’s gone from CPAC pariah to favorite:
…Christie pitched himself repeatedly as a man of the people, someone who was willing to stand up for regular folks and fight for them. He turned a question on immigration into an opportunity to praise “hardworking people” struggling in America. In response to a question about Bush’s immigration remarks in which he had praised immigrants for their entrepreneurial character, Christie accused politicians of caring too much about what “they say on the editorial page of the New York Times and Washington Post.”
Free of the burden of being the establishment’s darling, Christie also sought to exorcise his White House ties. Asked about the time he told a constituent to “sit down and shut up,” Christie didn’t shy away, saying some people needed to hear just that advice. When the audience reacted positively, he said the Obama White House needed to hear that order. The audience reacted favorably.
I keep waiting for a Republican to stand up to wingnuts whose idea of principled politics is to hold their breath until they get their way. The Tea Party is a misnomer. The should be called the Toddler Tantrum party: holding our breath til we turn blue since 2009.
The reason for Gov. Kramden’s switch is that Poppy’s boy, Jeb the acronym, is the favored candidate of white shoe, country club establishment Republicans. Jeb is pretending to take on the extremists in his party but it won’t last. He’s a Bush and they’re experts at pandering: Poppy Bush’s entire career was an exercise in pandering, which was why it was so ironic that he lost to the original Pander Bear. History is unlikely to repeat itself: the Angry Pander Bear is unlikely to beat out Jeb the acronym for the nomination. Me, I still think they’re going to go full tilt bat shit crazy and nominate someone who will lose every state outside the hardcore hookworm/wingnut belt.
Finally, I’m trying out a nickname for John Ellis Bush. Whaddya think of Jeb the acronym or Acronym Jeb? Not as funny as Willard Mittbot Romney, but no candidate will ever be as funny as Willard. The nation’s gain was satire’s loss.