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If nothing else, the Republican Party is a perpetual irony-producing machine. Karl Rove, a man nicknamed "Bush's Brain" for guiding an alcoholic to two terms in the White House, suggested 2016 Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton suffered brain damage as a result of a December 2012 fall. Rove, who now contends a concussion could be a disqualifying event despite having pulled the strings for a man who knocked himself out after choking on a pretzel, has company among the GOP's leadership. On Sunday, RNC chairman Reince Priebus declared Clinton's age and health are "fair game."

Those are pretty amazing claims for any conservative to make. After all, three of the GOP's last six presidential candidates—Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and John McCain—were or would have been older on their first inauguration day than President Hillary Clinton would be on January 20, 2017.

Ronald Reagan was within days of his 70th birthday when he took the oath of office in 1981. Whether or not he was already suffering from Alzheimer's symptoms during his tenure in the Oval Office, as his sons Ron and Michael would later heatedly debate, his aides and allies were clearly concerned. As Margaret Thatcher famously described the Gipper, "Poor dear, there's nothing between his ears." Regardless, after his catastrophic performance in his first debate against Walter Mondale in 1984, Reagan rebounded with classic formulation:

"I will not make age an issue in this campaign. I will not exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience."
Please read below the fold for more on this story.

In 1996, it was 73-year-old Kansas Senator Bob Dole who carried the GOP banner against President Bill Clinton. And it was Hillary's husband who put to rest any question of Dole's age during an October 1996 debate:

"I can only tell you that I don't think Senator Dole is too old to be president. It's the age of his ideas that I question."
As early as 2006, John McCain was launching preemptive strikes against the age issue. Like Reagan, the 72-year-old former POW and war hero turned to humor. As he told a group of Republican governors at a gathering in in Florida, "I am older than dirt. More scars than Frankenstein." At turned out, it didn't help matters when the Maverick bungled his own punchline, as he did in front an MTV audience in December 2007:
"I'm older than Frankenstein. I gotta few scars. I'm older than dirt and I've got more scars than Frankenstein...Screwed up that line."
Of course, McCain needn't have worried about any blowback. After all, he wasn't a Democrat. Like Hillary Clinton.
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Comment Preferences

  •  I have full confidence (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That Hillary Clinton will age as gracefully as Ronald Reagan and John McCain.

  •  "Poor dear, there's nothing between his ears." (7+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Sun May 18, 2014 at 12:09:57 PM PDT

  •  Aren't those glasses that Rove wears of the type (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, a2nite, Lujane, anon004, vcmvo2, ichibon

    usually worn by people who want to appear as if they have a soul?

    "Trust me... I've been right before." ~ Tea party patriot

    by Calvino Partigiani on Sun May 18, 2014 at 12:12:45 PM PDT

    •  A women past child-bearing age is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paragryne, ichibon

      no longer a viable human bean.  It's hard-wired into the testosterone poisoning to reject "old" women.  Like racism, this revulsion of "old" women influences many men, but they hide it.  

      the dog you have, is the dog you need. - Cesar Millan

      by OregonWetDog on Sun May 18, 2014 at 12:21:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "testosterone poisoning" doesn't exist -- and I (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        for one am fed up with the sexism behind that anti-scientific drivel.

        This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

        by JJustin on Sun May 18, 2014 at 03:25:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Let them. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, Lujane

    This little tactic will piss off some women who wouldn't have voted for her in the first place.

    It's a net positive, even if we say nothing in defense.

    "Republicans are shameless dicks. No, that’s not fair. Republican politicians are shameless dicks." - Al Franken

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sun May 18, 2014 at 12:19:14 PM PDT

    •  And to think there are some on this blog who say (0+ / 0-)

      we don't encourage identity politics.

      New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

      by AlexDrew on Sun May 18, 2014 at 03:06:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why did the Repubs nominate Dole in '96? (5+ / 0-)

    Because John McCain was too old.

    222 house republicans support the Ryan budget that would convert Medicare to a premium-support program. In other words, they want to repeal Medicare and replace it with a system that works just like Obamacare.

    by happymisanthropy on Sun May 18, 2014 at 12:25:01 PM PDT

    •  That, plus how could they resist (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Dole's charisma?

      "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" (Yeats)

      by Remediator on Sun May 18, 2014 at 12:32:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Aw, let's not be too hard on Bob (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Remediator, vcmvo2

        I mean seriously - compared to today's Republicans, the guy was a fire-breathing Communist. And they VOTED AGAINST HIS BILL FOR THE DISABLED TO HIS FACE, when as sick and feeble as he was, he still came to sit in for what everyone thought would be a purely symbolic vote and pass of it.

        Even his so-called Republican 'friends' in Congress did that to him. Including McCain and Graham, of course.

        "Jika Anda membutuhkan produk untuk meningkatkan kualitas hubungan seksual Anda atau membutuhkan produk obat pembesar penis!" - Bintangpasutri

        by Fordmandalay on Sun May 18, 2014 at 01:41:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Karl Rove fucked up (11+ / 0-)

    He said it. On the record. Out of his own dumbfuck mouth. It wasn't a whisper campaign. It wasn't said off-the-record-but-not-really to some Village useful idiot. It wasn't a faceless rumor on the campaign trail with plausible deniability to the head of the snake.

    He said it. On Fox News. Like a moron.

    It's like he forgot how this shit is done.

    And I think that is a tell. A big one.

    The GOP and their Billionaire Overlords have no fucking idea what to do about 2016. None.

    Age? Seriously? Age as a liability? You want to tell the very demographic of millions of American voters that you, as the Right, can least afford to alienate and piss off that being old is a problem? That the older you are the less capable and less able you are? That older people are done, and need to be put out to pasture?  

    That's just fucking stupid. Flat out.

    Millions of American women have been waiting their whole lives to cast a vote for the first woman President of the United States. The Obama phenomena deferring the chance has, if anything, just increased that deep-seeded desire among those millions.

    This is what stupid people who have no idea what to do next do. Fling spaghetti at the wall. Hope it sticks. Hope something sticks.

    Ultimately, they need her not to run.

    That is their plan.

    Tell the woman who lived through "Vince Foster was murdered" and "Chelsea was the product of rape" that she better not run.. because they will be rough on her.


    Bonus. The closer we get to 2016, the closer we are to her confirming she is in. If she is in, a lot of big Republican names will more than likely sit 2016 out. Scott Walker? Brian Sandoval? Jeb Bush? Paul Ryan? Chris Christie? I bet they all kill two birds with one stone and skip their own lots being harmed for good and let Rand Paul or Rick Perry or Santorum or some other dim schmuck lose as a purity-driven sacrificial lamb for the cause. A landslide election they both skip and get to watch people they hate get ruined and for all in the beatdown at the same time.

    The Movement Conservative Right has no fucking idea how to deal with Hilary Clinton. None. She is the most known political commodity in American politics. Second only to her husband in that department. There is no candidate the GOP can run that can really change the dynamics of 2016. Worse, for the Movement Conservative Right, the reality that the demographics of the 1980's and 90's are dead, and that the demographics of 2008 and 2012 are not going to lead to squeaker elections where cheating and local pols abusing their power as (R) Secretaries of State, AG, and Governor can tip the outcome.

    The counter-narrative, full of elderly Republican icons just sitting on the tip of your tongue, being so easy to jump to just re-enforces how fucking stuck they are.

    If she doesn't sit this one out, that means that they need her to utterly implode on the national campaign trail. I wouldn't make that bet.  

    "Real journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." -George Orwell

    by LeftHandedMan on Sun May 18, 2014 at 12:26:38 PM PDT

  •  Georgia O'Keeffe and Michelangelo (0+ / 0-)

    both lived into their high-90s.

    And both did pretty good work.  

    "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" (Yeats)

    by Remediator on Sun May 18, 2014 at 12:32:18 PM PDT

  •  The RW is Projection-O-Rama (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, a2nite, anon004

    (The "O-Rama" suffix is hep lingo for the rightwing base.)

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun May 18, 2014 at 12:52:14 PM PDT

  •  THAT'S GREAT NEWS!!!FOR JOHN McCAIN!!!!!1!!!111!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, a2nite

    Dole and Reagan, also too....

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sun May 18, 2014 at 01:28:49 PM PDT

  •  They're all too old. nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  The problem is old white Rcon men in America; (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    they need to STFU & get out of the way.

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Sun May 18, 2014 at 02:35:05 PM PDT

  •  We should not pick on men (0+ / 0-)

    that have the intellect of 6th graders

    In loyalty to their kind, they cannot tolerate our minds. In loyalty to our kind, We cannot tolerate their obstruction.

    by mojave mike on Sun May 18, 2014 at 02:46:00 PM PDT

  •  Fixed -- (0+ / 0-)
    If nothing else, the Republican Party is a perpetual irony producing machine. Karl Rove, a man nicknamed "Bush's Brain" for guiding an alcoholic to two terms in the White House,

    Bushit was not an alcoholic.  He was a dry drunk (who continued to drink) and cocaine burn-out.

    Or, in fewer words, a total fuck-up.

    This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

    by JJustin on Sun May 18, 2014 at 03:24:22 PM PDT

  •  Yeah and Mitt Romney (0+ / 0-)

    wasn't any spring chicken either at 65/66!

    Blessed are the hearts that can bend; for they can never be broken Albert Camus

    by vcmvo2 on Sun May 18, 2014 at 05:31:47 PM PDT

  •  Rove did some good. (0+ / 0-)

    This is the first time in 6 years I've seen the loons on one particular PUMA website go after a Republican.

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