Is Dan Quayle’s Son’s “Obama” Rip Serious?

Quayle for Congress/<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4jiqYcUoOk&feature=player_embedded">Creative Commons</a>

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OK, maybe after the first year and a half of Barack Obama’s tenure, and after death panels and tea parties, America was prepared for the likes of the birthers, the Tenthers, the Fourteenthers, Sharron Angle, and Rand Paul.

But no one expects a Quayle rehabilitation.

And yet Ben Quayle is running for Congress. In Arizona. On a platform of “I don’t like Barack Obama” (At least he didn’t say “Barack HUSSEIN Obama”):

Ben, 34, is the privileged child of the privileged former vice president and simple mind Dan Quayle. Dan Quayle is one of the worst, dumbest, most disastrous vice presidential picks ever, according to Time, the Guardian, Esquire, Murphy Brown, and most folks who are old enough to actually remember the 1980s and ’90s. (As MoJo pointed out in 2002, Quayle the elder can also count 9/11 and racial insensitivity among the many things he doesn’t understand.)

All of Dan Quayle’s foibles and fumbles while a heartbeat away from the Oval Office also served to distract from one plain truth: In 1969, as he became draft-eligible, Quayle had his wealthy grandfather call up a National Guard general he knew to get some strings pulled and keep Quayle out of Vietnam. Quayle served in the Indiana National Guard. In 1975, when the US withdrew from Vietnam, Quayle suddenly left the Guard.

But what of the son, you ask? Should he have to atone for his father’s sins? 

When you’re campaigning on the assumption that Barack Obama’s 567 days of tenure so far make him the worst executive officeholder in US history, and your father is a (painful) part of the nation’s executive history…well, what do you think, MoJo reader?

By the by, Ben Quayle isn’t exactly bereft of baggage himself. The sudden bastion of Arizonan civic duty has never voted in a local election. He has, however, written extensively about “chasing chicks” under a porn-name pseudonym for the website TheDirty.com. Back in February, about the best thing a Phoenix newpaper could say about Ben Quayle was: “As far as we know, Quayle’s never used an infant as a prop,” a stunt once employed by his predecessor in the Arizona 3rd District.

Six months later, Quayle was using infants as props.

This is really a weird election year.

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WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

Wow.

And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

About that: It’s unfathomably hard in the news business right now, and we came up about $28,000 short during our recent fall fundraising campaign. We simply have to make that up soon to avoid falling further behind than can be made up for, or needing to somehow trim $1 million from our budget, like happened last year.

If you can, please support the reporting you get from Mother Jones—that exists to make a difference, not a profit—with a donation of any amount today. We need more donations than normal to come in from this specific blurb to help close our funding gap before it gets any bigger.

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