THE SHORT CON

In my 36 years I have seen some ridiculous things. I've seen Battlefield:Earth. I've seen adult human beings dump ice on their heads in honor of a motor-neuron disorder. I've seen Carrot Top live (I was 16, come on). I've seen three black lesbians karaoke "Dam That River" by Alice in Chains. I've seen a Chicago Transit Authority bus driver freestyle-A cappella a song about a woman who broke his heart in a bar. I've seen people wait in a three hour queue to eat at Olive Garden. And I deal regularly with 19 year old American college students. So I've seen some shit that left me scratching my head.

This Kim Davis / Hitlerjugend rally, though, might take the cake.

If this wasn't intended to be self-parody, they've accidentally discovered the art form and perfected it the way Henning Brand discovered phosphorus in 1669 while trying to distill gold from his urine by boiling it. They played "Eye of the Tiger." They really did. At least Survivor gets a royalty check out of this. Did I mention I saw Survivor play "Taste of Oak Lawn" in 1995, presumably for beer instead of money? It was dignified compared to this.

The thing that bothers me is that it's so painfully obvious what she's doing here. It's a pattern and she's merely the latest one. Take some kind of nonsensical stand against The Homos. Wave the Bible around a lot. Say incoherent things about the First Amendment. Become a national pariah to most but a martyr-hero to a select group off of whom you will live like a well-hidden parasite for the rest of your days. Book deals. The right wing lecture circuit. Paid appearances at every Christian Right event from here until the end of time. And of course, the inevitable GoFundMe. That worked out pretty well for the no-gays pizza parlor in Indiana. How long do you think it would have taken them to make $844,000 selling shitty pizza in the middle of a cornfield? Took about three days to raise that amount on social media.

This is the new white trash, pearl clutching version of winning the lottery. Sometimes I wonder if I should just announce some day that I refuse to teach gay students, wait about a week for the publicity to build, throw up a GoFundMe, and then tell everyone I was trolling all along after I get the first quarter-million bucks. Why not? This is a cynical, crass game. There is nothing principled about this, no more so than faking a slip-and-fall injury in a Walmart and trying to cash in on the lawsuit. Rather than being disgusted or, god help you, impressed by this spectacle I wish everyone could see it for exactly what it is: an audition.

56 thoughts on “THE SHORT CON”

  • Emerson Dameron says:

    I really, really hated Palin until I realized I was playing precisely the role her handlers scripted for me. Not this time.

  • One of the amazing things about the United States is how easy it is to extract money from the religious. A largely Protestant society, which would sneer at the practice of selling indulgences, nevertheless will fork over handfuls of cash to TV evangelists promising almost anything and everything, and to almost any religious cause claiming to be in need (and who more in need than a self-made martyr?).

    It's one of the easiest hustles ever.

  • Palin revels in the role that's scripted for her–she was doing the uber-Christian schtick for years before she was picked up by the national media.

  • Does anyone know how many marriage licenses for same-sex couples Davis was being asked to issue?

    Rowan County KY has a population of 23,000. Statistically, how busy would she really have been? What is or was the maximum number of gay marriage licenses she would have had to issue per year?

    * I love that Rowan is a "moist county", meaning it's a dry county with a "wet city", where liquor is sold. That city? Morehead.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rowan_County,_Kentucky

  • You're right, what Davis is doing is totally transparent. But what really gets me is Huckabee inserting himself into the situation, like a succubus lapping up any morsel of faith-related attention.

    Let's hypothesize that Huck is actually concerned about the persecution of Christians in America. If that's the case, then what value is he contributing by standing up on stage holding Kim Davis' hand? He's certainly not required to organize the movement or anything. That's one advantage the bigots have – a built-in network of churches ready to rally people behind their latest hateful idea.

    Republicans give Al Sharpton shit for showing up at the latest cause celebre to put his face in the action, and although Sharpton has certainly done some good in his own community, he has earned some of that scorn. Well, it appears that Huck is the same thing on the right, except probably even more pandering and less useful.

  • You will all be relieved to know that Survivor did NOT authorize Kim Davis to use "Eye of the Tiger":

    https://www.yahoo.com/music/survivor-did-not-grant-kentucky-county-clerk-kim-128671777736.html

    'Survivor founding member and “Eye of the Tiger” co-writer Jim Peterik sent a statement to Billboard making clear that the band did not authorize the song’s use at Tuesday’s rally.

    “I was very surprised and dismayed at the misuse of the song I co-wrote with Frankie Sullivan for Rocky lll,” he said. “The song has motivated thousands through the years to reach beyond their limits. Its use for the release of Kim Davis does not support my views or my politics. I have contacted my publishers to make sure this usage is stopped immediately.”'

  • I'm convinced that her husband was coached to dress like a stereotype of a redneck hillbilly for the event as part of the stunt. Surefire way to draw snarky comments which then feed the larger narrative of liberal disdain for "real Americans." Don't take the bait, people!

  • Reminded me of this from DODGEBALL:
    "Cotton McKnight: Ladies and gentlemen, I have been to the Great Wall of China, I have seen the Pyramids of Egypt, I've even witnessed a grown man satisfy a camel. But never in all my years as a sportscaster have I witnessed something as improbable, as impossible, as what we've witnessed here today! "

  • She'll ride first class on the Backlash Grifter Gravy Train for the rest of her days. I think we all see the writing on the wall: she's President Trump's first Supreme Court nominee.

  • GoFundMe is no longer accepting campaigns in defense of formal charges, claims of heinous crimes, or violent, hateful, sexual, or discriminatory acts.
    Poor Kim has missed the boat.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    If GoFundMe won't take money, and I were a cynical and greedy bastard, I'd create HelpJesusFundMe, where I can skim 5% off of all donations to "Christian" martyr-wannabe's like this git!

    Why, oh why, was I born with a conscience?!?!?!?!?!

  • Hand it to Huckabee – his people managed to strong arm Cruz out of the spotlight – Huck is an old hand at this – Cruz is still learning – I wonder if either will stage a rally for the Muslim flight attendant who refuses to serve booze on Express Jet? Also it would be nice to get some video of Kim Davis spending some of her GoFundMe money shopping at her local Walmart on a Sunday!

  • I don't see Trump as being religious. I'm sure he claims to be because you can't win the Republican nomination without it, but I can't see him in his heart of hearts being religious. I'm guessing he probably looks at religious people as dopes.

  • As a native of Morehead and Rowan County, I can tell you that if she is able to walk into her office for work today, it won't be for long. She will surely lose her seat in the next election, if she even runs at all. My family and friends tell me that the city and county residents she serves are sick of her shit and hate what all this has done to our hometown. In my opinion, it won't be long before the Christian Cash Train picks her up and she resigns from her job.

  • Strawberry Shortfuse says:

    I don't actually think Davis is going to see much of the windfall. I think she's a very stupid–albeit vile–person who did exactly what the Koch Outrage Machine coached her to do, and Liberty Counsel recognized they had a live one. She's gonna spend a few more weeks lapping up the attention and sense of righteousness everyone around her is telling her she's entitled to, then the whole circus is gonna move on to the next patsy and she's going to wake up one day absolutely confused when the Huckster's people (and her lawyers) are no longer taking her calls.

    Liberty Counsel, on the other hand, the professional grifters, are actually going to cash in on this. MONORAIL!

  • This narrative seems to ignore the fact that she has, or hopefully eventually had, a very high paying clerks job. If I offered to give you even $850,000 right now in exchange for the kind of generational sinecure her family has enjoyed, would you accept? If she wasn't such an asshole I might honestly feel sorry watching her be used by Huckabee and his ilk.

  • Boy, this would be a great scam for every indicted incompetent CEO, wouldn't it?
    When your embezzlement and mismanagement gets revealed, just go public that you're the victim of "culture wars." Then run a GoFundMe and sit back and laugh while you collect the loot.
    If only the Hillside Strangler or the BTK Killer had thought of this, they'd be wealthy culture heroes today…

  • Ms. Davis would do well to cash in early and then save her money. While I suspect that in quite a lot of the country (geographically), she will be able to find fairly steady employment as a "she just shows up and tells us how much she still believes in Jesus and how He wants us to reject the law in His name" speaker, she does not immediately come across as someone who will be able to come up with a second thing to say.

    Joe Wurzelbacher is a pretty good instance of both imitative model and object lesson. So is Linda Tripp. Learn from them, Ms. Davis. You are not at the level of Gov. Palin, who, let's give credit where it's due, did manage to run for public office and win several times. (And who, in an image-driven world, was easy on the eyes, a factor both depressing and undeniable in her success.)

    There is a fair–not massive, but fair–amount of money to be made selling the "Fags, Amirite" message to the James Dobson crowd, and I see no reason why you should not pursue it, inasmuch as you are not hindered by anything approaching a sense of humanity or self-awareness. You took this remarkably petty stand in order to make yourself a brand. You have done so. I encourage you to capitalize thereon.

    And given that said pursuit would have the added benefit of getting you the fuck out of office, I strongly encourage you to do so.

  • It does seem to be a popular racket of late. Pity it seems unlikely donor fatigue will set in anytime soon, so we're likely to be stuck watching tedious variations on this scam for the foreseeable future.

  • The right manufactures Martyrs of the Moment with such stunning regularity now that the best she can hope to do is to cash in as quickly as possible before she is replaced by a dozen new martyrs. And her cash-in isn't likely to be all that big.
    Taste of Oak Lawn? I grew up in Evergreen Park – how the hell did I never go to Taste of Oak Lawn? Line up: McDonalds, White Castle, Burger King, Wendy's…..

  • This thing only looks ridiculous to people who know better. It's outside the box thinking to people from Ken-tuck which has a very different meaning in their country.

    Let us hope the GOP uses this in the general election.

  • Townsend Harris says:

    "The Short Con" doesn't describe the half of it.
    Try Billy Wilder's "Ace in the Hole" for "money-making media circus".

  • Well, wait for Part II.

    I don't know about KY, but in CA marriage is a three-part procedure.

    1. You get the license. 2. You have the ceremony and whoever officiates fills out the rest of the license with the details and returns it to the county clerk. 3. The county clerk files the completed license and records it. Until Step 3 is complete, there is no marriage, as far as civil authorities are concerned.

    So, even of the judge ordered her to issue licenses — and she or someone in her office does — there is another opportunity for Kim to throw a monkey wrench into the works, unless the judge also ordered her to file and record the completed licenses once the wedding is over.

    This step actually puts her more in the midst of things than just issuing the license does, because the final step is the one that legally creates the marriage.

    Stay tuned.

  • @JDryden; La Palin was briefly mayor of a town of about 5,000 (leaving it hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt), then governor for less than 2 years of a state of less than 600,000, quitting before a long, long list of fraud, waste, and abuse charges got her thrown of of the job. She was reasonably good looking for awhile–particularly with the help of professional clothing, hair, and makeup experts, and tens of thousands of dollars in Other People's Money for clothing, but left to her own devices, she's not so very attractive (seen a picture of her lately?).

    She managed to hit it big briefly on the basis of her professionally-assisted looks (appealed to the low-information and elderly geezers that overwhelmingly inhabit the GOP) and her word salady, never-ending hatred and othering, which many in that party also gobble up.

  • Ridnik Chrome says:

    @postcaroline: Never thought I'd see the day when I'd be cheering for Survivor, but good for them. Politics definitely does make for strange bedfellows sometimes…

  • Heh. I was just wondering how in the hell Survivor came up with a tune named "Taste of Oak Lawn."

    I have to agree with Skipper, though: Ms. Davis is going to milk this by throwing her wrenches into the works as long as possible. If I were a taxpayer of that county, though, I'd be mighty pissed off that my tax dollars were paying someone that stupid to manage county records.

  • You haven't lived until you go to "Taste of Harvey". Of course, if you go to "Taste of Harvey" you may not make it out alive.

    Southside humor.

  • @ Katydid: All you say is true; I spoke not in praise of Gov. Palin–because who in his/her right mind would do so?–but merely to differentiate the platform from which the Governor sprang onto the National Stage of Self-Promotion, and the platform from which Ms. Davis is about to spring.

    While Ms. Davis did herself achieve election to public office (which is why she cannot be, as she should be, fired from her position), her election is even less impressive than Gov. Palin's (Gov. Palin did not rely on outright nepotism) and she does not appear to me to meet the media standards of an "attractive" person–i.e. thin, lanky, what have you–so she cannot, as Gov. Palin was, be trotted out as a "hot" spokesperson.

    I assure you, I am second to no one in my regard of Gov. Palin as a person of small accomplishments. So when I tell Ms. Davis that she must aim far, far lower than Gov. Palin, you can likely infer just where that places my opinion of the Clerk of Rowan County.

  • Death Panel Truck says:

    What she should have said:

    "I'd like to say thank you on behalf of all bigots everywhere; I hope I passed the audition!"

  • Ooops, sorry, J.Dryden; I wandered off my point, which was that the Wasilla Wendigo doesn't actually deserve the term "Governor", because she didn't earn it. She quit before she was halfway through her first term, and quit because there was more than enough scandal to get her booted from that position. That's what I was really objecting to in your post. The irony; she and her ilk refer to the twice-elected President of the United States as simply "Obama"

    As for Kim Davis; she inherited the job from her mother, and her deputy is her son. Isn't it a hoot how "pull yourself up by your own bootstrap" conservatives are often the beneficiaries of the good-old-boy network or outright nepotism? I am surrounded by so many just like her (except for the fame part). Just now on my local news, they're showing Ms. Davis proudly strutting around with "The Eye of the Tiger" booming, without a word of how she used the music without the permission of the band, and without mentioning that she is in no way being persecuted.

  • "You're right, what Davis is doing is totally transparent. But what really gets me is Huckabee inserting himself into the situation, like a succubus lapping up any morsel of faith-related attention."

    It's just too bad that "Jumping the shark" is so dated. Howzabout "JESUSIN' the shark", is that taken, yet?

  • Davis is a victim of persecution. Why? Because she cannot legally deny to others the same rights that she herself has enjoyed. Four Times!

  • @democommie; How about "Jumpin' the Jesus"?

    @daredelvis; "Trailer Trash" has classist connotations. Say what you mean.

  • Well, I was going to call dibs on GodFundMe.com, but it appears someone's already cybersquatting it. Dang it, Junior Samples needs hisseff some new churchin' overawls!

  • I came up with a variation of the grift (which I'm still too honest to participate in.):

    Set up a lemonade stand. Sell the drinks to straight people, and give them away to everybody else. Technically, I'm refusing to sell to anyone on the QUILTBAG spectrum.

    This, of course is illegal, and I'll be facing charges. Then I go to the "Praise the Lord and Loot the Collection Basket" crowd and (honestly) complain about how I'm being persecuted because I'm refusing to sell to gay people.

    Then I get a lot of money from the rubes before they realize how there's two ways to interpret what I've said, and they've picked the wrong way.

    Sneaky, isn't it?

  • RE: Huckabee

    I wonder when he leaves for Syria to fight ISIS, the people who actually are persecuting Christians.

  • Not entirely O/T I hope, but Michael Stipe told Trump and his peeps to "Go fuck yourselves" after learning they had used REM's "It's The End Of The World As We Know It" at a rally.

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  • Living right next door to Kentucky, as I do, I am not amazed or astounded by Kim's "Help Me Jesus!!" campaign.

    I don't hear about such antics in the local courthouse, and since a good friend has become (somehow) a well known courthouse employee (because he actually does a lot of work that is benificial) I thin I would have heard if LGBT folks had applied for a license that had not been provided.

    My local county has been near 100% white for a long time, as there have never been jobs looking for workers here. But driving around visiting folks I know, nowadays I see people of varying race living here. No hubbub, no carrying on, just pay the rent and move in. No Big Deal.

    I also know some gay folks that have been here for – what? 20 years now. They haven't moved away from the headache their neighbors give them.

    I hope Kim gets what she deserves in Morehead. Not elected again. Not employed any longer. Replaced by someone American – as opposed to crazed christainist.

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  • The Rev. Dr. D^3 says:

    Ed, if you stop the gift at a quarter million, you're really selling yourself short. Make sure you're into 7 figures before you call a halt. It's the American way!

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