Tag Archives: GOP

Ornstein says ‘nihilists’ and he always knows what he’s talking about

Norm Ornstein chimed in this morning on the near future of the GOP. He views Cantor’s loss less as the beginning of a populist trend and more a preview of intracine battles yet to come in the party. It’s here.

He sets it up with pitch perfect – and delightful – disdain for our fickle media narrative:

The new dominant narrative, of course, is that the Tea Party rose up, struck back, showed its muscle and has the party establishment on its heels. That replaces the previous narrative, that the establishment rose up, struck back, and has the Tea Party on its heels.

And wraps with this:

American political parties always face a tension between their establishment and ideological wings. On the Republican side, going back more than a hundred years to the Teddy Roosevelt era, that was a struggle between moderate progressives and conservatives.

Now it is different. There are no moderates or progressives in today’s GOP; the fight is between hard-line conservatives who believe in smaller government and radical nihilists who want to blow up the whole thing, who have as much disdain for Republican traditional conservatives as they do for liberals.

Always worth a look is old Norm.

Dear Elvis, here I go again. Krauthammer’s got a good column

He looks at Gingrich’s new rise and at Newt vs. Mitt – he seems not to like the Newtster much, which is a tough place for a conservative who’s not too enthusiastic about Romney either. Krauthammer, eminence grise of the conservative press, doesn’t come right out and say so but he makes it abundantly clear between the lines.

He offers the best explanation I’ve seen of why Gingrich might sneak through for quite a while in spite of his myriad political errors, not the least of which is flipping his flop for money and showing off (think the global warming commercial with Nancy Pelosi). And, of course, his cozy relationship with the  satan Freddie Mac who, as Sean Hannity knows, caused the global financial meltdown.

The list is long. But what distinguishes Gingrich from Romney — and mitigates these heresies in the eyes of conservatives — is that he authored a historic conservative triumph: the 1994 Republican takeover of the House after 40 years of Democratic control.

Which means that Gingrich’s apostasies are seen as deviations from his conservative core — while Romney’s flip-flops are seen as deviations from . . . nothing.

But (as I’ve been saying) he’ll eventually shoot himself in the foot . . .

Gingrich has his own vulnerabilities. The first is . . . characterological rather than ideological: his own unreliability. Gingrich has a self-regard so immense that it rivals Obama’s — but, unlike Obama’s, is untamed by self-discipline.

Also, even though . . .

. . . many conservatives seem quite prepared to overlook his baggage . . [but] independents and disaffected Democrats . . .  will not be so forgiving . .  harder to overlook the fact that the man who denounces Freddie Mac to the point of suggesting that those in Congress who aided and abetted it be imprisoned, took $30,000 a month from that very same parasitic federal creation.

Finally . . .

. . .  Who is more likely to prevent that second term? And who, if elected, is less likely to unpleasantly surprise?

Who is we?

The people of the GOP do not know what GOP means.

The latest Vanity Fair/CBS News poll asked Americans what the abbreviation GOP means, and 49% of Republicans got it wrong.

(h/t friend Ed)

UPDATE: My brilliant readers dropped a few suggested names into the comments. How to choose? How to choose?

Gas and Oil Party? Greedy Oligarchs on Parade? Gotta Own the Planet?

Goobers On Parade?

Greed Over Principles?

Genius Old People!

– Gimme Oil Profits
– Gays, Out Please!
– Grubby Ol’ Panderers


Major hurdle for Republicans in 2012: Reality


Economist Dean Baker points out that Republicans are a tad miffed that their vote for Representative Ryan’s plan to end Medicare is being used against them. Various groups around the country are using the vote in attack ads against incumbents, and they lost an upstate New York congressional seat that they held for 50 years. Says Baker:

Medicare is a hugely popular program. Polls consistently show that the program has enormous public support among all political and demographic groups. Not only do Democrats and independents overwhelmingly support the Medicare program, even Republicans overwhelmingly approve of Medicare. Even Tea Party Republicans overwhelming approve of Medicare.

The Republicans can try to deny that their plan actually ends Medicare and hope that voters will be sufficiently confused that they won’t hold the vote against them. They have already been staking out this ground, claiming that they just want to “change” Medicare. Instead of saying that they would give beneficiaries a voucher to use to buy a health insurance policy, which would allow people to understand their proposal, they are instead saying that it is a system of “premium support,” which is a term that no one understands.

This may help with a few pundits, but if the Republicans can’t keep their political opponents from pointing out that their plan actually does replace Medicare’s insurance with a voucher system, this silly charade will not buy them much. People know the difference between being handed a check for $8,000 and being told to go buy insurance and the current Medicare system, which covers most of the cost of most care.

The problem is that those pesky Democrats are actually talking about what the Republicans did. For instance, New Hampshire Representative Charlie Bass tried to keep television stations from running ads that said that he voted to end Medicare, but ran up against that other pesky little problem, the first amendment. In any case, Republicans are going to do their best to convince the public that they didn’t really do what they did: vote to end Medicare.

Baker offers the GOP a simple solution: reverse the vote. Since Republicans control the House, they could hold a vote tomorrow and repeal the budget plan. And they could probably convince Harry Reid to permit a vote that would allow Senate Republicans to do the same. As Baker says, “This is the sort of advice for which they would pay political consultants millions. But the Republicans can get it here for free. If they were smart, they would take it.”

Oh goodie!!!

Ahhh, an old-fashioned knock-down drag-out – stir in a little Sarah Palin and the GOP looks to be imploding.

Apparently little Billy Kristol said:

When Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left, he brings to mind no one so much as Robert Welch and the John Birch Society. He’s marginalizing himself, just as his predecessors did back in the early 1960s. [National Review chimed in and said ‘dude.’]

And then Glenn Beck said:

I don’t even know if you understand what conservatives are anymore, Billy. People like Bill Kristol, I don’t think they stand for anything any more. All they stand for is power. They’ll do anything to keep their little fiefdom together . . .

And then Beck accused Kristol of failing to see that:

 “we are fighting the forces of evil on this planet. . . . I think he’s still trying to get Bob Dole elected. Have you done a minute of research Bill?”

Here. More here.

I think I’m going to enjoy Eric Cantor

I used to think Cantor (R-new leadership) was a level-headed guy. He’s smart, not all Christianey (Jewish in fact) and doesn’t uses an entire can of spray every morning.  He was obstructionist in the way of his party, but I always figured him to be someone who’d grow in his office.

Wrong. Apparently, he doesn’t like a proposal for a value-added tax, because . . . wait for it . . .

Cantor Dismisses Budget Fixing Proposal Because It Sounds Too European

I hope they have that in short sleeve white

from Bill at Under the Lobseterscope

Those Dems never had to meet a payroll!

I heard that tired old talking point, a charge leveled against Rep. Mike Castle (who lost the  Delaware primary) – heard it on one of the talking head shows – to make the case that Christine O’Donnell was the  better candidate. Did the Dem challenge it? Of course not. But it would have been so easy – a cursory google or wikipedia check reveals that while O’Donnell listed herself as a self-employed marketing consultant there’s no evidence of that. All of her jobs, whether paid or unpaid (could have involved marketing activity as nebulous as that phrase is) have been with political organizations or conservative advocacy groups. Can’t find a single private sector (or for profit) job in her resume.

Here are some other Republicans who have never had to meet a payroll:

GOP presidential candidate 2008: John McCain  – never had to buy health insurance either. Grew up in military, served in military, went to Congress. Public tit all the way. Never had a private sector job or met a payroll.

Former Speaker of the House: Newt Gingrich – grew up military, taught at state college, went to Congress. After Congress, it’s all non-profit advocacy organizations along with ‘fellow’ status at conservative think tanks to pay the bill. He is lately peddling Newt Inc, so that’s private I guess. But government tit till he was bounced by his party from the leadership for being a bad, bad boy.

Senator from Kentucky and Senate Minority Leader: Mitch McConnell – military and Congress all the way. No private sector. No payrolls. Solid government tit.

There are no doubt plenty of Dems with the same resume. But they’re not accusing their opponents of ‘never having met a payroll.”

Michelle Malkin doesn’t heart Karl Rove anymore

How does a Republican go from his superhero-of-myth status to RINO? By speaking ill of the Delaware primary winner who will now cost the GOP a Senate seat – one that would have been a certainty with the establishment GOP candidate. And so for Karl Rove – the uber Party man – it’s bye bye and don’t let my boot hit you on the way out. I suppose William F. Buckley is next for the chopping block, dead or not.

From the shrillest of the Fox News babes today (on her influential blog):

I just finished watching Karl Rove trashing GOP Senate primary winner Christine O’Donnell. It was on Sean Hannity’s FNC show. Might as well have been Olbermann on MSNBC. The establishment Beltway strategist couldn’t even bother with an obligatory word of congratulations for O’Donnell. He criticized her “character” and “rectitude” and claimed she hadn’t answered questions about her financial woes. She did so here. Rove mocked her security concerns as “nutty.” Yet, her concerns have been more than justified. See here (second video clip).

Rove came across as an effete sore loser instead of the supposedly brilliant and grounded GOP strategist that he’s supposed to be. Expect more Washington Republicans to start sounding like Tea Party-bashing libs as their entrenched incumbent friends go down. (Hot Air has the Rove/Hannity video.)

Sorry Karl, you are so yesterday.

Bush era tax cuts

When Bush was in  the White House and he had a GOP Congress, they passed some tax cuts. And they themselves attached an expiration date to the tax cuts. (Why?)

So now it’s Obama’s problem. Now, it’s a problem for the Democratic congress. And now, it seems the new truth is that addressing whether or not to allow them to expire – as designed by the GOP – is according to the GOP – just wrong, wrong, wrong. These guys are becoming the party of silly, silly, silly.

This morning, Ezra Klein writes about the impact of continuing the tax cuts. He says:

There is no policy that President Obama has passed or proposed that added as much to the deficit as the Republican Party’s $3.9 trillion extension of the Bush tax cuts. In fact, if you put aside Obama’s plan to extend most, but not all, of the Bush tax cuts, there is no policy he has passed or proposed that would do half as much damage to the deficit. There is not even a policy that would do a quarter as much damage to the deficit.

They’re b-a-c-k

Another interesting primary night.

From Ballooon Juice tonight:

I’m sure they will be no more extreme than they were 150 years ago. In the 1860 Election the Confederates were against:

  • Education. Ditto 2010
  • Federal Spending for infrastructure. Ditto 2010
  • Help for Free Labor and the working man. Ditto 2010
  • Federal efforts to reign in the oligarchs of the day. Ditto 2010
  • The idea that the Constitution guaranteed “personal Liberty”. Ditto 2010
  •  And then as now the Confederate Party uses the memes, rhetoric, scare tactics, and talking points of white supremacy and fear of the ‘others’ to bring the low hanging rubes into their movement.

    The Republican Party is dead. It is the Confederate Party now bitches. Get use to it.

    Oh, and get ready to party like it’s 1860.

    As I say, not as I do: PART THE SECOND

    Rep Darrell Issa (R-CA, very annoying man) is calling for a special prosecutor, to investigate Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA).

    Let’s examine these two men.

    SESTAK:  A member of the United States Navy for over 30 years, Sestak is a former three-star Vice Admiral and the highest-ranking former military officer currently serving in Congress.[3] During his career in the Navy, he led a series of operational commands, including commanding the USS George Washington aircraft carrier battle group during combat operations in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean in 2002. He served as Director for Defense Policy on the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton and, following the September 11 attacks, was selected to serve as the first Director of “Deep Blue,” the Navy’s internal think tank to provide strategic advice to the Chief of Naval Operations.[4] Though he achieved the rank of Vice-Admiral (three stars), Sestak left the Navy before he had been a Vice Admiral long enough to be able to retire at that rank. He retired at the lower rank of a two star Rear Admiral (upper half).[5]

    ISSA: In 1971, Issa allegedly stole a Dodge sedan from an Army post near Pittsburgh. The allegation was made by a retired Army sergeant, and published in a 1998 newspaper article. Issa denied the allegation. No charges were filed.[24][25]

    In 1972, Issa and his brother allegedly stole a red Maserati sports car from a car dealership in Cleveland. He and his brother were indicted for car theft, but the case was dropped.[24][25]

    Also in 1972, Issa was convicted in Michigan for possession of an unregistered gun. He received three months probation and paid a $204 fine.[26]

    On December 28, 1979, Issa and his brother allegedly faked the theft of Issa’s Mercedes Benz sedan. Issa and his brother were charged for felony auto theft, but the case was dropped by prosecutors for lack of evidence. Later, Issa and his brother were charged for misdemeanors, but that case was not pursued by prosecutors. Issa accused his brother of stealing the car, and said that the experience with his brother was the reason he went into the car alarm business.[24][25]

    A day after a court order was issued, giving Issa control of automotive alarm company A.C. Custom over an unpaid $60,000 debt, Issa allegedly carried a cardboard box containing a handgun into the office of A.C. Custom executive, Jack Frantz, and told Frantz he was fired. In a 1998 newspaper article, Frantz said Issa had invited him to hold the gun and claimed extensive knowledge of guns and explosives from his Army service. In response, Issa said, “Shots were never fired. … I don’t recall having a gun. I really don’t. I don’t think I ever pulled a gun on anyone in my life.”[26]

    I know who I’m going with on this one. Oh, there’s this too:

    Issa came to national prominence when he contributed over $1.6 million to help fund a signature-gathering drive for the petition to recall Gray Davis. At the time he made the contribution, it was widely believed that Issa intended to place himself on the ballot to replace Davis.

    I bet Sestak knows today is the 233rd day of the ninth year of the War in Afghanistan.

    (Source: Wikipedia – I checked conservapedia.com as well, but found only a hundred words on Sestak and 500 on Issa. Wikipedia of course had detailed indexes, and thousands of words on both men and literally HUNDREDS of footnotes.)

    And they think they can govern

    The Republican National Committee is developing a platform. Isn’t that nice? Except they don’t know what to put in it. So they opened a kewl new website – all interactive and stuff – and invited real Republicans to write ideas of what the party should stand for. And then the readers could vote! Isn’t that just the most civic minded thing you just ever evah heard of??? Like, isn’t it just dreamy? Oh, and they named “America Speaking Out” – absolute cutting edge stuff.

    So I went over. And I signed up for an account (activation email went into my junk email which is I think an omen). And just now I started to play and vote on stuff. And got an immediate busy signal. Tried again – more ‘sorry’ messages. More ‘so many Americans are using this site right now . . . “.

    The actual message reads:

    A very high volume of Americans are speaking out right now.  Please wait a moment and try again.

    Idiots. They can’t even run a website. They were ready to elect an old man with cancer and a half term governor beauty queen to the White House and they can’t run a website. And they want to govern me. I’m tired.

    Who they were. Who they became.

    Barry Goldwater was a conservative, but he was no racist. George Wallace was surprisingly liberal, but as a son of the South, he was deeply racist. Bill Buckley was an elite New Englander and, unlike the culture that raised him, famously racist although he is said to have changed his position in later years.

    Nixon was a moderate Republican who happened to also be a racist in spite of being from California. Politically, he used Southern racism to bring the old Dixiecrats into the Republican Party. And when he did that, he began the process that changed the character of that once grand old party.

    None of those men would fit comfortably into the party of John Boehner or Sarah Palin. None of them was religious, although Nixon is said to have prayed a lot in the last days before Goldwater walked over from the Senate to tell him it was time to go. All of them would have been stunned to see the political and cultural power that’s been granted the Religious Right.

    Steve Frazier recently penned an article in The Huffington Post about our history of “Mad Hatters” in American politics. In it he notes:

    Goldwater, the Arizona senator and 1964 Republican candidate for president, an “insurgent”? Yes, if you keep in mind his condemnation of the too-liberal elite running the Republican Party, who, in his eyes, represented a clubby world of Ivy League bankers, corrupt politicians, media lords, and “one-worlders.” Or consider the way he flirted with the freakish John Birch Society (which called President Dwight Eisenhower a “dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist Party” and warned of a Red plot to weaken the minds of Americans by fluoridating the water supply). Or the Senator’s alarming readiness to threaten to push the nuclear button in defense of “freedom,” which could be thought of as the Cold War version of “Don’t Tread on Me.” Above all, Goldwater was the avatar of today’s politics of limited government. In his opposition to civil rights legislation, he might be called the original “tenther” — that is, a serial quoter of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, which reserves for the states all powers not expressly granted to the Federal government, with which he justified hamstringing all efforts by Washington to rectify social or economic injustice. For Goldwater the outlawing of Jim Crow was an infringement on states’ rights. [MY NOTE: For Goldwater, state’s rights was a core belief; his position didn’t come out of racism.]

    Wallace, Alabama governor and 1964 presidential candidate: Bellicose calls for law and order, states’ rights, and a muscular patriotism fueled the revanchist emotions that made Wallace into more than a regional figure. When he ran in the Democratic primaries in 1964 (with the support of the John Birch Society and the White Citizens Council), he won significant numbers of votes not only in the Deep South, but in states like Indiana, Wisconsin, and Maryland, a sign of the Southernization of American politics at a time when the spread of NASCAR, country music, and the blues were Southernizing its culture as well.

    Both gentlemen fraternized with and sometimes embraced the fringe, and because of this were considered to be just too  radical. But today we have an entire element of the population celebrating ignorance and racism, and that element has found a home in the Republican party.

    (That wonderful image came via a blog called The Book Value. I don’t know where he got it.)

    Rock and hard place guys?

    The GOP has itself a lil problema with the Tea Party. A new Quinnipiac poll, just out, shows that while most Tea Partiers identify with the Republican Party, they don’t necessarily support Republican incumbents.

    “While voters say 44 – 39 percent that they will vote for a Republican over a Democratic candidate in this November’s Congressional elections, if there is a Tea Party candidate on the ballot, the Democrat would get 36 percent to the Republican’s 25 percent, with 15 percent for the Tea Party candidate, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds.”

    “The Tea Party could be a Republican dream – or a GOP nightmare. Members could be a boon to the GOP if they are energized to support Republican candidates. But if the Tea Party were to run its own candidates for office, any votes its candidate received would to a very great extent be coming from the GOP column”

    So the GOP wants to tap the energy of the Tea Party but they’re wary – and they should be. There’s a great analogy out there for the situation in which they find themselves. Wish I could think of it.

    Well that was fast

    There’s already a huge petition ad at the top of  The Drudge Report – the very large graphic says REPEAL IT NOW. Busy, busy, busy. (Reconciliation vote hasn’t even happened yet!)

    I guess hope never dies. Even when you’re a Republican.

    Cry babies

    Today, in his blog at The Washington Post (you know – the paper everyone pretends is part of the liberal media?), Ezra Klein takes aim at the nonsense Republicans are spouting – the constant whine that the Democrats’ health care reform bill doesn’t include any Republican ideas.

    That is wrong.

    Klein went to “the GOP’s “Solutions for America” homepage, which lays out its health-care plan in some detail. It has four planks. All of them — yes, you read that right — are in the Senate health-care bill.”

    He takes them one by one. And proves the lie.

    But this is more a media story than a wonky policy fight. Exactly how clever does a reporter have to be to check a fact online? And make that part of his reporting? It is what they’re supposed to do.

    So good for Ezra Klein who – despite his age – does the job the way it should be done – but is not being done by his elders, the celebrity stars of the media establishment.

    His post wraps up with:

    “And finally, we shouldn’t forget the compromises that have been the most painful for Democrats, and the most substantive. This is a private-market plan. Not only is single-payer off the table, but at this point, so too is the public option. The thing that liberals want most in the world has been compromised away.