Election

Sep 032014
 

Good god. Skip my excerpts and go straight to the link.

Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult

It should have been evident to clear-eyed observers that the Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe. This trend has several implications, none of them pleasant. …

John P. Judis sums up the modern GOP this way:

Over the last four decades, the Republican Party has transformed from a loyal opposition into an insurrectionary party that flouts the law when it is in the majority and threatens disorder when it is the minority. It is the party of Watergate and Iran-Contra, but also of the government shutdown in 1995 and the impeachment trial of 1999. If there is an earlier American precedent for today’s Republican Party, it is the antebellum Southern Democrats of John Calhoun who threatened to nullify, or disregard, federal legislation they objected to and who later led the fight to secede from the union over slavery.”

A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress’s generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.

A deeply cynical tactic, to be sure, but a psychologically insightful one that plays on the weaknesses both of the voting public and the news media. … This ill-informed public cynicism, in its turn, further intensifies the long-term decline in public trust in government that has been taking place since the early 1960s – a distrust that has been stoked by Republican rhetoric at every turn (“Government is the problem,” declared Ronald Reagan in 1980). …

There were only 44 million Republican voters in the 2010 mid-term elections, but they effectively canceled the political results of the election of President Obama by 69 million voters.

This tactic of inducing public distrust of government is not only cynical, it is schizophrenic. For people who profess to revere the Constitution, it is strange that they so caustically denigrate the very federal government that is the material expression of the principles embodied in that document. …

Thus, the modern GOP; it hardly seems conceivable that a Republican could have written the following:

“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.” (That was President Eisenhower, writing to his brother Edgar in 1954.)

It is this broad and ever-widening gulf between the traditional Republicanism of an Eisenhower and the quasi-totalitarian cult of a Michele Bachmann that impelled my departure from Capitol Hill. …

—–
Mike Lofgren is a former congressional staff member who served on both the House and Senate budget committees.

Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult

 Posted by at 7:47 am on Wed 09/03/14
Aug 132014
 

Americans’ optimism is dying – The Washington Post By Dana Milbank Opinion writer

the gloom goes beyond wealth, gender, race, region, age and ideology. This fractious nation is united by one thing: lost faith in the United States. …

[T]he problem is the result of two decades of scorched-earth politics. That’s bad news for the rest of us, though, because the problem is larger than any leader’s ability to bring hope and change. …

“To me, this is less about economic reality than about our political system — our lack of confidence that our political leaders, regardless of party, are equipped to deal with the future.” –Fred Yang, the Democratic pollster who conducted the survey along with Republican Bill McInturff.

Americans’ optimism is dying – The Washington Post

Take it back before Idiot DUHbya and Dark Lord Cheney, back to Raygun, or further to Tricky Dick and thug Agnew, or further to Goldwater.

 Posted by at 7:39 am on Wed 08/13/14
Aug 102014
 

The Republican Party has completely traded positions with Southern Democrats, the angry white males who need to put people down to feel superior.

Leonard Pitts, Jr.: Yes, he actually said ‘war on whites’ – Leonard Pitts Jr. – MiamiHerald.com

At this point, you really have to wonder: Is it still news when a Republican says something asinine?

On the off chance it is, let us spend a few moments pondering the strange case of Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, who said last week that the Democratic Party is waging a “War on Whites.”

Yeah, he actually said that. You can look it up if you want. …

[H]ere is what Brooks said: “This is a part of the war on whites that is being launched by the Democratic Party. And the way in which they’re launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else. It’s a part of the strategy that Barack Obama implemented in 2008, continued in 2012, where he divides us all on race, on sex, greed, envy, class warfare, all those kinds of things.”

“A War on Whites.” Yet it’s President Obama who is guilty of racially inflammatory rhetoric? ,,,

Brooks doubled down, repeating the claim in an interview with a website, AL.com: “What the Democrats are doing with their dividing America by race is they are waging a war on whites and I find that repugnant.”

Okay, so let’s say the obvious first. There’s something surreal and absurd about this lecture, coming as it does from a member of the party that invented the Southern strategy and birtherism and whose voters were last seen standing at the border screaming at terrified Guatemalan kids. But it’s not the ridiculousness of Brooks’ words that should be of greatest concern. You see, Fournier is right. If something does not arrest its present trajectory, the GOP seems destined to shrink into a regional party with appeal only to older white voters. [mjh: Make that *some* older white voters, not me or most of my older white friends.] It will be irrelevant in a nation where white voters will soon cease to be a majority — no group will be a majority — and appeals to racial and cultural resentments have less power to sway elections….

Leonard Pitts, Jr.: Yes, he actually said ‘war on whites’ – Leonard Pitts Jr. – MiamiHerald.com

 Posted by at 8:11 am on Sun 08/10/14
Aug 042014
 

Don’t let it happen. VOTE. Get excited, get out and VOTE. Shut the fools down.

Nate Silver: GOP Has 60 Percent Chance Of Winning The Senate

“Summing the probabilities of each race yields an estimate of 51 seats for Republicans. That makes them very slight favorites — perhaps somewhere in the neighborhood of 60-40 — to take control of the Senate, but also doesn’t leave them much room for error,” Silver wrote at FiveThirtyEight on Monday.

Nate Silver: GOP Has 60 Percent Chance Of Winning The Senate

 Posted by at 3:55 pm on Mon 08/04/14
Aug 012014
 

An upending of reason in the House – The Washington Post By Dana Milbank Opinion writer

Just the day before, House Republicans had voted to sue Obama for using his executive authority. They called him lawless, a usurper, a monarch, a tyrant — all for postponing deadlines in the implementation of Obamacare. Now they were begging him to take executive action to compensate for their own inability to act — even though, in this case, accelerating the deportation of thousands of unaccompanied children coming from Central America would likely require Obama to ignore a 2008 law.

This was not a momentary lapse, but a wholesale upending of reason.

An upending of reason in the House – The Washington Post

Damn if he does, damned if he doesn’t. Obama can do nothing to satisfy these jerks.

 Posted by at 10:41 am on Fri 08/01/14
Jul 302014
 

Bill Moyers Essay: Everyone Should Be Entitled to Medicare | Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com

In his 1948 State of the Union message, President Harry Truman said:

HARRY TRUMAN: This great Nation cannot afford to allow its citizens to suffer needlessly from the lack of proper medical care. Our ultimate aim must be a comprehensive insurance system to protect all our people equally against insecurity and ill health.

BILL MOYERS: But every time Harry Truman proposed legislation to do just that, Congress refused to budge. In the 1960s, John F. Kennedy took up the cause:

JOHN F. KENNEDY: Our working men and women, instead of being forced to ask for help from public charity, once they are old and ill, should start contributing now to their own retirement health program through the Social Security System…

BILL MOYERS: But his proposal failed in the Senate by just two votes.

On the other side, actor Ronald Reagan, still in private life, had signed on as the American Medical Association’s hired spokesman in their campaign against Medicare. Doctors’ wives organized thousands of small meetings in homes around the country, where guests listened to a phonograph record of Reagan deploring the evils of “socialized medicine”:

RONALD REAGAN: Behind it will come other Federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country […] until one day, as Norman Thomas said […] you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.

BILL MOYERS: But now, it was Lyndon Johnson’s turn. Tragically thrust into the White House by Kennedy’s assassination, LBJ, the son of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and Harry Truman’s Fair Deal, vowed to finish what they had started. He pushed us relentlessly to get it done. … LBJ kept that promise. He pushed and drove and cajoled and traded, until Congress finally said yes. And so it was that 47 years ago, we traveled to Independence, Missouri, the hometown of Harry Truman, and there with the former president at his side, LBJ signed Medicare into law. Turning to Truman, whom he called “the real daddy of Medicare, ” Johnson signed him up as its first beneficiary. Harry Truman was 81.

Bill Moyers Essay: Everyone Should Be Entitled to Medicare | Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com

 Posted by at 11:26 am on Wed 07/30/14
Jul 272014
 

I look forward to Senate investigations into the Scopes trial and bills requiring prayer in public schools — and hand guns for all! Let the lunatics rule the asylum. That would guarantee impeachment for Obama, which would likely raise his standing with everyone else and assure another Democratic president in 2016. Bring it on, fools.

Republicans narrowly favored to capture Senate in November – CBS News

A new CBS News/New York Times Battleground Tracker estimate finds the Republicans positioned to take the Senate this year, with a likely 51-49 seat edge if the November election were held right now. The margin of error on that current seat estimate, at plus or minus 2 seats, means Democrats still have a real possibility to keep the chamber and that we head into campaign season with control up for grabs — with a closely-divided Senate surely coming in 2015 in either case.

Republicans narrowly favored to capture Senate in November – CBS News

 Posted by at 1:11 pm on Sun 07/27/14