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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Tale of Three Turkeys



Tomorrow is one of the best days of the year to be an American. It’s a day to count our blessings, spend time with the ones we love, and enjoy some good food and some great company. But it’s also one of the worst days of the year to be a turkey. They don’t have it so good.
President Barack Obama

Today is the luckiest day ever for three American turkeys.

Two are named Tater and Tot, and they were pardoned this morning by President Obama. Spared the ignominy of being dispatched in the background as a film crew taking in a Sarah Palin Thanksgiving word salad, they will live out their lives keeping students in the Virginia Tech Animal & Poultry Sciences Department occupied ("Man, I can't believe I drew the Obama turkeys again this semester! I mean, how do I even know they're real American turkeys? And there's sixteen of the bastards! You know anything about traceless turkey poisons, dude?").

Luckier still is the third. His name is Henry McMaster, and Donald Trump made him governor of South Carolina today.

McMaster is a 70-year-old South Carolina pol who isn't particularly popular or particularly bright except in the arts of self-promotion and demonizing whoever seems unpopular to him.

McMaster made his name as Ronald Reagan's US Attorney, in which role he held more press conferences that all of his predecessors going back some two hundred years. 

In 1986, McMaster considered running for lieutenant governor and attorney general, determined he would lose, and so ran for the US Senate. He won fame for challenging his opponent, Senator Ernest Hollings, to take a drug test. Hollings, then in his 60s, replied, "Henry, I'll take a drug test if you'll take an IQ test." McMaster lost.

He ran for lieutenant governor in 1990, and lost that, too. He levered himself into the state party chairmanship from 1993 to 2002. Then he ran for attorney general and won, trading crusading against drug dealers for defending traditional marriage to get a ban on marriage equality passed (one of his chief deputies later got popped in a booze-up with a whore, in his car, in a graveyard, but let it pass, let it pass).

McMaster ran for governor in 2010 and came in third in the GOP primary to the agent of his deliverance today, UN ambassador-designate Nikki Haley.

He ran for lieutenant governor again in 2014, and his reputation for being a racist-tinged half-wit (he refused to resign from his all-white country club) came in handy against a black state senator. He won handily and has spent the last two years feuding with Haley and presiding over the state senate in, as their tradition has it, a long blue choir robe.

So Henry will get a two-year headstart on putting the "goober" back in "gubernatorial", and Mrs Haley will go to New York, where she will, doubtless, carry her greatest state initiative: instructing state workers to answer every phone call, "Hello, it's another great day in South Carolina!" with her. Call the US delegation office in New York, and you are sure to hear, "US Ambassador's Office, making America great again!"

Mrs Haley knows little of the world except that her parents come from India and that Boeing likes it when she goes to the Paris air show to ooh and ahh over their planes. She is, therefore, the perfect mouthpiece for an isolationist president. She can lecture other nations, in her ample free time, on how unions are wicked, and women's rights are unncessary ("Look at me! I got to be governor running against halfwits like Henry McMaster!"), and how public parks and public TV and radio are needless luxuries- like improved public education. And then, because she is only 44, we will have to endure at least two decades of her being pointlessly shortlisted as the GOP's first woman presidential nominee- as if the new Trumparty is ever gonna let THAT happen.

Happy turkey day, Henry. You earned it.

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