Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury cheap sausage, not to praise it.THERE HAVE BEEN GREAT MOMENTS IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN RHETORIC. Yet there has been only one occasion of pure, unadulterated genius. That’s what happened last night: a debate staged between the Internet’s favorite Tennessee gubernatorial candidate, Basil Marceaux, and two other crazies.

After Marceaux became a viral hit, you see, a guy named James Crenshaw and some other people decided they wanted to be his campaign staff. Why would any sane people do this? It seems to us that they perhaps want to exploit him. America is fun like that! These ruffians are filming a “possible documentary” about him, your Wonkette has been told, and they put up the videos on this YouTube account, apparently to try to manufacture a sustained Internet interest in their subject. And Wednesday night, the night before today’s Tennessee gubernatorial primaries, this “staff” staged this magnificent debate at the Scarritt-Bennett Center’s Harambee Auditorium in Nashville. A Wonkette operative WITNESS TO HISTORY was there to provide us a full account of the sublime experience.

In addition to the video above, a Flickr set has been circulating among Basil watchers. It’s worth checking out. There are some pictures and fun videos of Basil and the other candidates and his “staff” of cameramen.

And now, allow your eyes to bleed as you read this glorious account:

Okay! Just got back from a gubernatorial debate between Basil Marceaux, Crazy June Griffin and Green Party candidate Howard Switzer here in Nashville. James Reesor was invited but declined and the entire thing, as you may expect, was a fucking CIRCUS. Really, I’m not sure where to start because I’m still trying to wrap my head around what just happened.

As for the campaign… I’m all about making fun of shit, but this is just sad. Still not sure how the campaign manager came upon the job, but the his name is James Crenshaw. He’s in a back brace and uses a cane to get around because he fell off a balcony one night at a party. At any rate, he took over the campaign after the original video aired on WSMV, put together a team of cameramen and they’re following Basil around shooting footage for a possible documentary. One of the other guys is a local DJ named Pimp Daddy Supreme whose real name is Shane Martin.

Basil thanked James and the staff for the support and called James up on the stage at the end to thank everyone for coming since I guess he was the one who organized it. [James] told the story about how he had the accident that put him in the back brace and ended up with too much time on his hands, so he decided to get involved in politics. Then Crazy June Griffin prayed for the all the athiests and everyone milled around a bit. James kept telling the cameramen to “stay on Basil” and make sure they caught everything.

Basil was talking to everyone and asking for us to mail him pictures (“The hard copy, not like the Twitter copy because Twitter is on paper.”) He kept telling everyone he was famous in Hollywood now, and he was really proud of it. At one point, he pulled out three giant magnets that he has on his truck that probably say outrageous things about traffic stop slavery, and his campaign people ushered him off to a corner with better light to show them off and talk about them on camera. Basil was almost falling over trying to get the magnets spread out on the floor and hasn’t slept in days.

He seems to really have no idea people are making fun of him in this way. I’m pretty sure his staff is just telling him that people are making fun of his morals and stances and he needs to stand up for what he believes in. He’s just sort of a sad old dude that a bunch of people decided to pick up and exploit. Meanwhile, Crazy June Griffin took over the piano in the corner and played repeated loud renditions of God Bless America until she realized no one cared and stomped out. See? Circus.

So anyway! The debate. For starters, they tried to open with the Pledge of Allegiance, but Basil refused to say it to the flag that was on stage because it had gold fringe (one of his platforms, remember?) They delayed the debate while they tried to find another flag, but in the end, he just left the room during the Pledge. Then he came back in and everyone had to repeat the Pledge to a picture of the American flag on someone’s CELL PHONE in the corner of the room.

With that finally out of the way, the debate got started and to be honest, I couldn’t follow 95% of what Basil was saying. He did manage to cover slavery at traffic stops, the Mexicans, Indians and flags with fringe. He frequently went off on tangents and then later asked to re-answer the questions because he was sleep-deprived and hadn’t slept since Monday. He asked for some water and Howard Switzer let him drink from his water bottle while Switzer’s campaign manager/wife (maybe?) hollered at him to wipe the rim when Basil was done drinking. Switzer was incredibly gracious the entire time and June Griffin just sort of fumed when she wasn’t answering questions.

Basil kept running overtime on his questions because no one made him any signs to tell him how much time he had left, which led to a several-minute spat with the moderator and other candidates and he concluded that at the next debate, they’d bring signs and food. He covered a pretty wide array of topics from slavery at traffic stops to kicking all the non-Christians out of the government to legalizing marijuana. Another highlight would be when the discussion turned to immigration and Basil said that if he were governor, he’d round up everyone who looked Mexican and ship them back across the border. Then if they had a green card, they could come back. Most of his answers made even less sense than everything he’s said on TV and on his website. He literally fell asleep at the podium between questions also.

Things got really interesting when June Griffin went on a passionate tirade about Native Americans and how they ruined the country until we civilized them. The audience went absolutely apeshit on her. That’s when the entire thing really started to fall apart, I guess. Basil rebutted by sticking up for the Indians and how they came from Asia and Greece to found our country and they’re our brothers and sisters and he wants to have them over for Thanksgiving dinner. Actually, he said, if he were governor he would cancel Thanksgiving because there should be no Thanksgiving without the Native Americans at the table. This is the point at which June Griffin’s Crazy completely eclipsed Basil’s nuttery and somehow he actually started to look pretty good. Poor Howard Switzer hung out in the middle and seemed to be about as uncomfortable as the rest of us.

There’s probably too much to try to relay, but there were some golden quotes from Basil (such as “I’m like MacGuyver, I’m gonna put down traps for the Mexicans….they’re coming too fast!” and “I’m not gonna let them pass a law making women go topless… If you want me federal government, come see me! I’m a Marine, I deserve a flyover.”) The entire thing was hilarious, but then I came away feeling like I’d just kicked the shit out of a handicapped kid on the playground.

[Emphasis ours.]

Thanks as always, Wonkette operative. But also thank you, Basil Marceaux. Hopefully these evil hip-hoppers will go away after your primary victory tonight and stop filming this skateboard-trick video about you, as THEY CAN GO FUCK THEMSELVES. And then you will be free at last from the shackles of traffic-stop slavery. FREE AT LAST!

Donate with CCDonate with CC


  1. The saying “Fools rush in where wise men fear to tread” applies to pretty much everything except in the Tenn gubener rayce where it is just “Fools Rush In”

  2. This story teeters between funny, sad, fucking crazy and I don’t even know what. I think the only way for this to properly end is with Basil killing Zack Wamp with his bare hands.

  3. Please make sure this stuff doesn’t get on the non-USA internets, because I am afraid the foreigners will see this and make fun of us.

  4. Basil’s got competition. Something tells me the Beard in the middle has locked up the crazy-mountain-man-living-in-a-shack-in-the-woods vote.

  5. I’m from Nashville and alas, it’s true to form; only at the time I lived there, these guys didn’t have youtube and could remain a dirty secret from the rest of the country. Did you Kesha also hails from there? Just sayin.

  6. It tickles my boner like a five-dollar whore that I get to vote for Basil this afternoon. So glad I waited to move out of the volunteer state: you just can’t find this kind of crazy in Oregon or Maryland.

  7. I forgot to mention that pot grows wild in Tennessee. I used to go pick it from the forest behind my backyard. May also explain a lot about this.

  8. [re=632546]HedonismBot[/re]: Okay. Having taken a few minutes to read Mr. Switzer’s blog, he seems to have been the sanest person in that room. Sure he’s a little nutty, but it’s Green Party nutty, not flag-waving, homo-baiting, brown-skin-hating, let’s-Christianize-everything-and-kill-all-the-heathens nutty, so he’s aight.

  9. Crazy June Griffin is in rare class of insanity:

    June Griffin, a Christian activist, said the commissioners had bowed to “pressure from the liberal press.”

    She said, “We need to raise a better generation that won’t chicken out.” She said the majority of Rhea County residents supported the resolution. Mrs. Griffin said she did not believe there are any gays living in Rhea County. She said, “Anyone I ever suspect, I go up and ask them directly.” She said anyone she had asked had denied it.

  10. To all Greentards: the reason why your fucking party never gets anything accomplished IS BECAUSE YOUR CANDIDATES ARE WILLING TO DEBATE PEOPLE LIKE THIS. See what “opening the debates” hath wrought?

  11. I’ve been thinking about the difference between these folks and the politicians in South Carolina. I think its that Basil and June are earnest and well meaning, but each a full bubble off plumb. That’s very different than the SC bunch with the possible exception of Alvin. Alvin, though, doesn’t seem to have thought through any genuine stands such as regarding slavery at traffic stops. The rest of the SC bunch, whether they are hiking the Apalachian Trail or having one night stands in cemetaries, they are neither earnest nor well meaning. I think Tennessee comes off better if on that count alone.

  12. [re=632553]Potater[/re]: Oh shit dude. I can’t speak for Maryland (hi there Michael Steele), but if you review some voter’s guides for Portland mayoral elections, you’ll find some real treasures. The nomadic hippie lady who wants to rebuild Portland in the image of Arcosanti (because “we need an arc-ology”). The dude who thinks he’s a spaceship. &c.

  13. [re=632565]ForTheTurnstiles[/re]: Can any of them compete with the perennial Senate candidate from Montana who drank too much colloidal silver (somehow it was supposed to help him survive the Y2K apocalypse) and turned blue as a result?

  14. [re=632568]Potater[/re]: Come for the fishing, stay for the strippers.

    [re=632574]HedonismBot[/re]: well, he survived the Y3K apocalypse, right? That dude may have been onto something… I barely survived by dint of this foil hat. (it’s full of peyote, your mileage may very)

  15. [re=632568]Potater[/re]: On second thought, don’t move to Portland. Unless you like being unemployed or a stripper, AND you like having the fake-friendly locals asking you where you’re from and when you intend to go back to L.A.

  16. [re=632559]donner_froh[/re]: The Rhea County Commission, meeting in a carnival atmosphere in the same courtroom where the Scopes Monkey Trial was held….. Thank Gawd for the temporal symmetry or our world.

  17. Basil Marceaux is a Pennsylvania native–just like Newt Gingrich! And me! I don’t know why all the crazies leave my native state, but when they do, they sure make a great impression wherever they go. Except for Tom Vilsack, who is too dull to ever become president, or even to become governor of Iowa again.

  18. I wish there was a live stream of this. It’s so ridiculous that I completely believe it, yet it’s so batshit insane that I don’t believe it. Also, I was really bored yesterday and could have used a new drinking game.

  19. This is coming from someone who earnestly donated money, and knocked on a few doors, for Mike Gravel. Gravel’s a little nutty but he’s earnest and I think (or thought, whatever, I don’t believe anything anymore. Too depressing.) had some good ideas.

    I’m all for making fun of Palin or Steele or others. (Sorry for another aside, but I tried to find a Democrat to list with them for some degree of objectivity but outside of the crooks I can’t think of any Democrat who is as bad. And poor Biden, he gets shit on but isn’t half as bad as people make him out to be. Fuck.) But yeah, I’m all for making fun of Palin and others because they’re manipulative and horrible and just outright mean. Destroying them is okay because they’re just awful. But Marceaux and Greene are just sad. Hearing people talk about them is much the same as watching that British fuck Simon Cowell tear down stupid people who have dreams of being superstars. It’s just mean to make fun of these people. It’s not fun, it’s not funny, it’s just petty and cruel and mean spirited.

    I know it’s a thin line to walk. There’s not much difference between Marceaux crazy and Tancredo crazy. I don’t know, I’m just feeling very uncomfortable about Marceaux and Greene and a few others.

  20. [re=632596]Oh hell to the no[/re]:
    “It’s so ridiculous that I completely believe it, yet it’s so batshit insane that I don’t believe it.”
    Welcome to U.S. ‘Merca, 2010.

  21. [re=632565]ForTheTurnstiles[/re]:

    Maryland has had it’s share of unusual candidates. John Kimble used to regularly run against Albert Wynn for the US House district that is made up mostly of the parts of PG County nearest to DC and a little of Montgomery…in other words a hard place for a Republican to get elected. (Wynne has since been defeated by Donna Edwards, a Democrat)

    Highlights of Mr. Kimble’s campaigns:

    – He felt that all gun owners in the State should be required to buy trigger locks from his company.
    – He wanted specific law banning “brothels” from being located next to elementary schools. Brothels are not, of course, legal in Maryland for a start.
    – He campaigned with Wynn’s ex-wife as his campaign manager and she told people not to vote for Wynn basically because he’d left her for a white woman.

    Kimble got between 12-20% of the vote at various times against Wynne, not so much because most of those people liked Kimble but because they disliked Wynn, in my opinion.

    There was also a candidate for State House of Delegates from the Fort Washington – Oxon Hill area who was an immigrant from the Philippines. He decided that his son back in the Philippines must be staying there because he was being held against his will by the Marcos guys… the father/candidate tried to take the Philippine Ambassador hostage. Someone called the son, who said no, he was staying in the Philippines because he wanted to do so and the hostage stand off ended. Later, the son said he’d changed his mind and wanted to come to the US and tried to say Marcos was keeping him there as a way to expedite his visa.

  22. Did you know each year 25% of American Adults suffer from some type of mental disorder? Most of it is your usual depression (like we get from reading this blog and treat via large amounts of alcohol) but that still means a lot of people are really, really, not well.

  23. [re=632601]OldOneEye[/re]:

    I hate to sound like the elitist I am, but Basil strikes me as someone who is at the head of a long line of people that pretty much deserve the ridicule they endure.

    Don’t believe me? Ask the google to tell you all about high school graduation rates in the US, which provide the basis to argue that 20% of the US population is functionally retarded through no fault but their own.

    And these are the common sense people seeking to wrestle control of the planet from elitist fuckers like us?!!

  24. Hey rubes, don’t you know politico-conceptual/performance art when you see it? NYers btw were the first to get into this trend initially started by “electing” a tough talking transvestite with a lisp who had very public fights with his “wife” and eventually moved in with two gay friends. Now that it’s gone mainstream into the south, it is sooo ovah!

  25. “I’d just kicked the shit out of a handicapped kid on the playground.

    It’s not funny anymore.
    This is why I feel guilty when I laugh at Tracy Morgan.

  26. [re=632585]ForTheTurnstiles[/re]: Who said I wasn’t a stripper already? You don’t know me! Respect don’t pay no student loans!!

    [re=632666]tao[/re]: I’m still waiting on that designer track suit you promised me, spambot.

  27. Why is it that the really crazy, annoying bible thumper women always seem to ignore the instruction Paul gave the Corinthians about women shutting the fuck up? Because that’s the passage I’d single out for emphasis. June, I’m looking at you honey.

  28. Is the Tao post one of those “get the look” type things that you see on celebrity blogs? Where you roll over the photo and a popup tells you where to get the goods that the stars in the photo are wearing? I knew in my heart that Basil was an Ed Hardy type guy!

  29. [re=632553]Potater[/re]: No, Maryland [re=632565]ForTheTurnstiles[/re]: I can’t speak for Maryland (hi there Michael Steele)

    Don’t forget Alan Keyes and Robin Ficker.

  30. [re=632881]queeraselvis v 2.0[/re]: I’m Vernon P. Titweather IV. I should have made my comment less over the top but I cannot help myself.

  31. Once again another shining example of “amateur journalism” at its finest. Here is a REAL NEWS ARTICLE on the debate. NOTICE THEY ACTUALLY TALK TO THE PEOPLE THEY WRITE ABOUT.

    The writer of this article never once asked me ANYTHING or even introduced themselves to me, never asked me if I was serious- LIKE THE NASHVILLE SCENE WRITER DID. Then you call us “evil hip hoppers” and tell us to fuck off? Wow, not only does this make little sense… its unverified… You had a perfect opportunity to do a little digging and ACTUALLY ASK ME SOMETHING LIKE A REAL JOURNALIST… but you stayed quiet and just wrote a bunch of insulting bullshit to everyone involved after the fact and made up or played fill in the blanks as you saw fit. Im once again impressed with you guys.

    I really wish after 2 or more articles accusing me of exploiting Basil someone would actually make an attempt to call me to ask me what my motivations are… considering EVERYONE HAS MY PERSONAL EMAIL AND PHONE NUMBER… once again… fine investigating you did there. I see thats why you have such a high journalistic post… writing for a left wing blog that just insults people.

  32. There will always be borderline-lunatic people like Basil Marceaux and June Griffin running for office or otherwise promoting themselves, and there will always be people like James Crenshaw ready to exploit them for a cheap buck. (Hey Wonkette: you’re no better! Think SkoalRebel…)

    What’s REALLY funny is when, through some colossal fuck-up, they become the official candidates of a major political party, a la Alvin Greene in South Carolina and (possibly) “bicycles are socialist” Dan Maes in Colorado.

  33. I’m switching my support from the sell-out Basil Marceaux to that alluring minx, June “Miss Wet’n’Wild 1927” Griffin.

  34. Furthermore to be called an “exploiter” by people who have done more to insult and create spectacle over this candidate than anyone? You guys talk about him in the most insulting vein possible, write the CRUELEST MOST DEHUMANIZING ARTICLES ABOUT HIM I HAVE YET TO FIND ON THE INTERNET… but IM exploiting him? Really?

    I actually put real time and effort into this, helped Basil ACCORDING TO HIS WISHES… what did you guys do? Make some mean shit up? Yeah… and IM the one exploiting here. Look back at yourselves please before you throw accusations

  35. [re=632924]James Crenshaw[/re]: Mr. Crenshaw, meet Mr. Crenshaw’s attentive audience. Mr. Crenshaw’s attentive audience (that is, all you snarksters above), meet Mr. Crenshaw.

    Just admit you have a crush on each other; life will be easier afterwards.

  36. And while I think Crenshaw is exploiting Marceaux, it’s ironic that Wonkette would find fault with that. Uh, pot, this is kettle.

  37. [re=632601]OldOneEye[/re]: I hear you and recognize the distinction you’re making between Basil and Palin. But the fact is, if Basil or June or any such unfortunate soul were to win one of these elections, they would happily take office and spend our tax dollars promoting such personal causes as deporting people for what they “look like” and eliminating slavery at traffic stops(whatever THAT means) while having NO IDEA how to actually govern. So what is gained by holding back my laughter at someone who would pledge allegiance to a phone photo of the flag, but not a flag with fringe on it?

    And BTW, anyone who falls asleep at a lectern in the middle of a “debate” is either on heroin or has severe sleep apnea, either of which will soon kill someone of Basil’s age and weight. Now that IS tragic.

    [re=632719]marioninnyc[/re]: I think you’re on to something.

  38. “I’m an international celebrity.”

    “Yeah you are!”

    Oh, it warms my cockles to see that Basil is surrounding himself with nubile enablers.

    Here’s my homemade sign that I waved around outside my polling place:

  39. [re=633134]american mutt[/re]: Goddammit! My comment was scrubbed, my 1st ‘mendments have been violated. If this isn’t an example traffic-stop slavery then I don’t know what is.

  40. It’s all very well laughing about this, ’cause it is pretty damn funny. But there’s a reasonable chance the guy might be elected as the GOP candidate for governor.

    Actually, I’m Australian so I’m not sure how gubernatorial races work. But I was watching Colbert last night and he has several times now implored his TN viewers to vote for the guy. The main point being that TN rules allow *anyone* to vote in GOP primaries, so democrats and others can go out and vote in numbers for Basil, forcing the GOP to put him forward as their candidate. So there’s a chance we might see a f*cking hilariously embarassing disaster for ther GOP without risking the guy actually being elected as governor.

    Honestly I didn’t think gov elections worked like federal elections with the primaries to select a candidate for each party. I thought the gov was supposed to be a non-party-affiliated deal, so if the Governor was a Republican, that’s fine, but the actual election for Governor isn’t a GOP-run campaign.

    But if Colbert is right (and I’m 99% sure he’s never been wrong on anything, ever) then they *do* have primaries and there’s a chance for motivated Dem voters to get out and make this race the most embarrassing spectacle for the GOP ever. Colbert probably thought the sponsorship of the ice skating team was his proudest moment, but electing Basil in the primaries would eclipse that by a huge margin.

  41. Actually, I’m Australian so I’m not sure how gubernatorial races work. But I was watching Colbert last night and he has several times now implored his TN viewers to vote for the guy. The main point being that TN rules allow *anyone* to vote in GOP primaries, so democrats and others can go out and vote in numbers for Basil, forcing the GOP to put him forward as their candidate. So there’s a chance we might see a f*cking hilariously embarassing disaster for ther GOP without risking the guy actually being elected as governor.

    Read more at Wonkette:

Comments are closed.

Previous articleMo’ Federal Money For the States, Fewer Problems
Next articleHelp the American Enterprise Institute Think Of Naughty Ways To Punish Julian Assange!