Archive for the ‘GOP & The Election’ Category

Misunderestimating the Asinine

September 28th, 2010 4 comments

Steven Benen got me on this one (emphasis mine):

Just a few months ago, the American Enterprise Institute’s Norm Ornstein, not exactly a raging leftist, said House GOP leaders “are becoming the Bart Simpsons of Congress, gleeful at smarmy and adolescent tactics and unable and unwilling to get serious.”

Ornstein may have thought of that as a throwaway line, but I’ve considered it rather devastating. He didn’t just say Republicans aren’t serious; he said they can’t get serious and don’t even want to try. That’s not only a powerful critique, it has the added benefit of being true.

Early last year, as the GOP’s descent into nonsense picked up steam, there was some rejoicing on the left, and I understood why. As Republicans took on the collective persona of angry, over-medicated children, it seemed highly unlikely American voters would reward them with power. The GOP was becoming a national embarrassment, progressives assumed, and would need to come to its senses before it could return to the big kids’ table.

But that satisfaction was misplaced. Sure, Republicans abandoned the pretense of credibility, seriousness, reason, and thoughtful policymaking, but they’re nevertheless poised to make significant gains anyway. Voters care less about the GOP’s radical recklessness and more about a struggling national economy.

He’s right. Looking back at my posts from about 18 months ago, it’s almost painful how naive I was, smugly certain that people would see through the most transparent of political plays, and that the GOP would marginalize itself to obscurity. Of course, that was before the Obama and the Democrats truly revealed how weak-kneed and surrendering they could be with the GOP, but it’s not as if Democrats had never acted that way before. It’s also not as if demagoguery never worked before. But seriously: I had a much higher opinion and expectation from the centrist American voter a year and a half ago than I have now.

However bad the economy might be, it should be clear to any idiot that:

  • It was primarily Republican policies that got us into this mess;
  • While the economy is still bad, it is far, far better than it would have been thanks to the stimulus;
  • Democrats, for all their failings, have had better and more responsible policies;
  • Republicans are acting like deranged, idiotic maniacs who are mostly incapable of telling the truth;
  • Unless you’re wealthy, the Republicans are not on your side; and
  • Republicans don’t have any ideas worth listening to, certainly none that hold up to close inspection.

So, naturally, voters are set to sweep them into office–because with the massive damage left by Bush and the GOP, and the Republicans going all-out, balls-to-the-wall in obstructing every move the Democrats try to make, the Dems have only been able to partly undo the damage the GOP has done.

If campaign slogans had to be truthful, then the GOP would have to run with: “We’re Crazy and Destructive, but the Other Guys Are Ineffective at Stopping Us.”

Busting the Budget

September 24th, 2010 10 comments

If you’re a conservative, you probably hate Obama’s stimulus and health care plan, right? You see them as wasteful spending on a scale that busts the budget and explodes the deficit.

What if Obama were to propose a fiscal plan that would cost four times what the stimulus and health care bill cost, combined??? You would probably burst at the seams, and rant about how Obama is trying to destroy the nation.

Well, exactly such a plan is being proposed.

By Republicans.

From WaPo:

Even as they hammer Democrats for running up record budget deficits, Senate Republicans are rolling out a plan to permanently extend an array of expiring tax breaks that would deprive the Treasury of more than $4 trillion over the next decade, nearly doubling projected deficits over that period unless dramatic spending cuts are made.

The measure, introduced by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) this week, would permanently extend the George W. Bush-era income tax cuts that benefit virtually every U.S. taxpayer, rein in the alternative minimum tax and limit the estate tax to estates worth more than $5 million for individuals or $10 million for couples.

Aides to McConnell said they have yet to receive a cost estimate for the measure. But the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently forecast that a similar, slightly more expensive package that includes a full repeal of the estate tax would force the nation to borrow an additional $3.9 trillion over the next decade and increase interest payments on the national debt by $950 billion. That’s more than four times the projected deficit impact of President Obama’s health-care overhaul and stimulus package combined.

So, are you infuriated by the GOP yet? No? Gee whiz, what a surprise.

Four Hours

September 24th, 2010 Comments off

Four hours is all it took. The Republican “Pledge” to help small businesses died a quick death. Four hours after House Republicans released their plan to save America, complete with a whole section on how they want to help small businesses with tax breaks, they voted against a bill to give small businesses $12 billion in tax breaks, and $30 billion in loans.

Why did they oppose it? Supposedly because the lending program smelled too much like TARP, which, despite its failure to secure answerability, transparency, or policy-correction from the banks who used it, turned out to have been fairly successful. And the CBO reports that at the completion of the program, the deficit would be reduced by about a billion dollars. No, the GOP would like the Dems to drop the small-business assistance bill, and instead let the GOP pass their $750 billion deficit-ballooning tax cut extension for rich people. Because they’re fiscally responsible and all that.

So, House Democrats propose a bill which will give a huge boost to small businesses in a revenue-neutral way–and Republicans vote to kill it. Four hours after pledging to turn things around and help small businesses.

This is their “Pledge to America.” Like I said, sabotage anything that Democrats do, no matter how productive or reasonable, so they can claim that the Dems aren’t doing anything productive or reasonable.

Want a clue about how to vote? If you approve of helping small businesses, then keep in mind that they would not be getting this help were the Republicans to have a majority in the House.

A Lemon of a Pledge

September 24th, 2010 6 comments

The new Republican “Contract on America” “Pledge to America” is out. Guess what? Republicans are promising to do all the things they have been promising to do for years, but didn’t do despite having control of the House, Senate, and the presidency for several years.

And what Republican legislative proposal would be complete without a pledge to cut spending without specifics as to how they’ll do it? Oh, and they also won’t promise to stop using earmarks, the GOP’s signature spending-spree tool when they had control last time. Whee!

Of course, they say they’ll restore jobs, like they did when they drove unemployment up to 10%. And they had strong words of condemnation for Obama’s job-creation skills:

Mr. Boehner described the administration’s policies as “job killing” and said “the American people are asking, ‘Where are the jobs?’ ”

Well, let’s take a look at the jobs reports from that last half year of the Bush administration followed by the first year or so of the Obama administration:

Oh, hey, there are the jobs!

They were created by the stimulus, although the stimulus was–as predicted from the outset–too small, and so it ran out of gas before the job was completely done. And who cut the stimulus down in size? The Republicans! Yeah, let’s put them in charge of creating jobs!

In fact, the Republican plan actually says it will kill the remaining stimulus funds! The same funds that Republicans have been trying as hard as they can to take credit for with their constituents!

Yes, I am sure that keeping taxes for millionaires lower than they’ve been in living history while the government starves for revenue will do the job perfectly. After all, if you don’t repeal the Estate tax and Paris Hilton gets only a ginormous fortune instead of an even more ginormous fortune, millions of Americans will lose their jobs.

Let’s see some of their proposals:

“Stop job-killing tax hikes”–that would be the Republican-mandated return to tax levels we had during the 90’s, when we had the greatest job creation surge in recent history.

A “small businesses tax deduction”–Hmm, interesting, as the Republicans did their best to kill a $30 billion tax cut for small businesses just a few weeks ago. Sounds like they’re dedicated to this.

“Require congressional approval for any new federal regulation that would add to the deficit”–you mean, like the hundreds of billions of dollars they added to the deficit and the trillions they added to the debt? Yeah, that’ll happen. Especially since they’re going to bring back earmarks full-force.

“Repeal and Replace health care”–yeah, because the Republican health care plan we saw last year was so great, costing way more than the Democratic plan with far fewer benefits. Good idea.

…you get the idea. The rest of the list is here, along with the full text and link to the PDF of the whole thing.

All of this is BS, of course; the GOP won’t pull off a two-house takeover, and they only thing they’ll do is (a) start time- and money-wasting investigations and hearing over Obama’s birth certificate and equally lame stuff, (b) make empty legislative gestures they know will never get anywhere but they can claim were great things killed by Democrats, and (c) obstruct even more than now, even to the point of shutting down the government.

That’s their actual agenda, no matter what crap they claim in their latest PR scheme. And I promise you this: it will kill jobs, not create them.

The answer is as it has been, bolstered by real, actual numbers:

Afraid of Journalists

September 22nd, 2010 Comments off

Especially in the 2008 elections, Fox made a pointed claim: if a Democratic politician did not grant Fox full access, or if Democrats refrained from joining a debate hosted by Fox (essentially placing themselves in the hands of a network dedicated to destroying them and giving every advantage to the other side), they were “afraid of the media” and unwilling to answer honest, straightforward questions. If the Democratic candidates didn’t appear on Fox talk shows as much as Fox wanted them to, then they were afraid to “talk to journalists.” Even when Obama gave unprecedented access to Fox, appearing on Bill O’Reilly’s show (can you imagine Bush or McCain going one-to-one with Olbermann or Maddow?), he was still “afraid to come on Fox” because he didn’t give them more chances to take swings at him live on the air.

And yet, since Sarah Palin more or less blacked out the media for the most part of the 2008 elections, it now seems to be the standard with the new brand of conservative politicians to do exactly that: block out the entire mainstream media, and only speak through Fox News. And it’s not just restricting themselves to Fox–because there are perhaps a few people even on Fox who might not be 100% sympathetic–but certain personalities on Fox. Christine O’Donnell canceled out on a Fox interview last weekend because it was Chris Wallace, who sometimes will challenge right-wingers. So instead, O’Donnell is going to appear on Hannity, who is well-known as a go-to guy for cases like this.

Even more to the point, Palin even spelled out this strategy publicly, encouraging O’Donnell to do exactly that, to “speak through Fox News” and avoid the rest of the media.

And, of course, we have not heard more than the slightest peep about candidates being “afraid of the media” or unwilling to “talk to journalists” from Fox or the other right-wing sources that shouted about Democrats being that way in 2008. Even the rest of the media is somewhat mute: Palin’s outright statement of this practice was virtually ignored by the major outlets, appearing mostly on political blogs.

Since this is now becoming a new standard for right-wing politicians, it should be pointed out more. Avoiding a “news” organization that is so biased that it would be politically damaging to put yourself in their hands is one thing. But to speak only to news sources biased in your favor is something completely different–something which I am certain right-wingers–and probably more than a few on the left–would agree with if, say, a Democratic politician only agreed to appear on TV if it was with Maddow or Olbermann on MSNBC.

There has always been an attempt to cow, maneuver, and manipulate the media, but it has been a two-sided game, with the media at least usually trying to fight back. But now the game has changed, and with it the fundamental aspects of political answerability to the public.

The press is supposed to be our bulwark against tyranny, as it is in principle unafraid to challenge politicians and speak truth to the people. Thanks to Fox, right-wing politicians now have an out: their very own “news” media arm willing to campaign for them and against their opponents. And our primary defense against tyranny crumbles.

The Small-Businessman Sham

September 21st, 2010 1 comment

There they go again.

Republicans are, once again, trotting out the Democrats-are-going-to-devastate-small-business lie. Of course, they do this all the time. And it’s the same every time any issue comes up affecting wealthy corporations: the GOP wants to protect their patrons, but knows that it doesn’t look so good if they come out and say so too much. So they do what they always do, what they have done for a long time now: they trot out the “small business” owner, claim that their tax cut or whatever is going to help people like this, or that the Democratic initiative is going to hurt them somehow. And the claim is always false; when it comes down to it, the Republicans are just as liable to kill something that’s good for small business if it suits them, or to put down small businessmen if the situation calls for it.

Just two months ago, Democrats proposed $30 billion in tax cuts aimed directly at small businesses; Republicans tried to kill it. Naturally. Because they’re the champions of small businesses, right?

Or take the case of the little kid who spoke up for the S-CHIP health program, who the right-wingers savaged in an attempt to claim the program did not actually help people in financial trouble. They blasted the Frost family for not deserving help because, among other things, the family ran… you guessed it, a small business. If they’re swimming in that kind of small-business dough, they reasoned, you shouldn’t ask the government to help you out.

So when it comes down to it, they will just as easily slam the small businessman. But when it comes to passing something for Big Business, for the rich–repeal the estate tax, extend Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy, or stop another minimum wage hike–they always trot out the small businessman and say “we’re doing it for them!”

Bullshit must be called.

The GOP has been hitting the small-business meme again about Obama’s plan to uphold the Republican-authored law not to extend tax cuts for people making over $250,000, thus increasing the tax on income made over that amount by a few percent. (Sounds devastating when put in honest terms, doesn’t it!) “That’s 750,000 to 800,000 small businesses!” Orrin Hatch exclaimed; “That create most of the jobs in our society!” Boehner’s office released a statement which said, “The bottom line is that Washington Democrats’ tax hike would hit 750,000 small businesses across the U.S., which constitute 25 percent of our small business workforce.” But a large number of those “small businesses” they refer to are either “pass-through” businesses–large, billion-dollar firms who hide their incomes with a tax dodge where they claim it via individuals working for them–or are “small” businesses with huge receipts, nearly 20,000 of them with receipts over $50 million.

Only 1.9% of actual small business filers report income over the $250,000 level. Most of them will pay only a few hundred bucks more in taxes, at most. The ones who will get taxed more than that are more than wealthy enough to afford it.

No, “small businesses” will be just fine. The GOP is not trying to protect them. The GOP tried to kill $30 billion in tax cuts for them. The GOP is interested in only one thing: protecting people who are a lot wealthier than mere small businessmen.

I have noted this “small-business” sham many times in the past–because Republicans use it so often. Just a few months ago, I wrote:

They don’t give a flying frack about small businesses. They use small businesses as a front whenever they want to give something excessive to the rich, saying that if they don’t get what they want, small businesses will suffer. Similarly, if Democrats want to do something they don’t like, such as raising the minimum wage or strengthening regulations–even when small businesses are made exempt–Republicans trot out small business owners and try to claim they will be hammered by those nasty Democrats and their anti-regular-American-small-businessman ways.

Whenever you hear a right-winger say anything about “small businesses,” let that be a red flag, make it set off your BS detector, and look closely–you’ll almost certainly see a boon to rich people and corporations thinly disguised behind the suckered sap they have gulled up to the press conference podium to stand in as the face of small businessmen.

Just as I flagged it at the end of last year:

You know there’s a scam afoot when some big entity wants something enacted which will profit them handsomely, but holds up a sympathetic face as the “real” benefactor of the scheme. Wealthy people and corporations do this all the time through politicians–whenever there’s a tax cut for huge corporations, for example, the “small business owner” is always trotted out as the real reason the tax cut is being proposed. But in reality, small business owners end up getting reamed because the real benefactors, big business, become more engorged and able to crush the small business owners.

Just as I did three years ago, when I wrote about the minimum wage:

Their long-standing objection is that a minimum wage hike would hurt small businesses. Now, the term “small businesses,” when used by Republican politicians, should make a lot of flags go up. It is used by right-wingers as an excuse to defend big businesses, the huge corporations and industries that really stand to have their interests damaged. It’s a natural political maneuver; after all, one cannot garner much sympathy by saying that something will make a dent in the huge profits of giant corporations. No one would give a damn. So the small businessman is trotted out to say how he’ll be devastated by whatever new proposal is being opposed. Or he’ll be shoved in front of the cameras to talk about how this new tax cut for the rich will let him keep his business afloat, which would otherwise fall into bankruptcy.

And five years ago, when I wrote about the attempt to kill the Estate tax:

House Republicans passed a repeal of the Estate Tax, with Senate Republicans primed to sweep the bill through just as unanimously among their brethren. Of course, they posit the bill as being aimed at small businesses and small farmers, but we all know that this is utter bullshit: only a few hundred such entities are effected by the tax each year. […] And despite their claimed concern for small businesses and farmers, they did not take the plainly obvious route of exempting just small businesses and farmers. The reason, of course, is obvious: this is not a tax cut for small businesses and farmers. It’s a tax bill for (surprise!) the super-wealthy. The Walton family, for instance, were big Bush and GOP contributors, and they have been pushing relentlessly for the tax cut. By themselves, they will save tens of billions of dollars on top of the many tens of billions they will already get. This is the “small business” that the bill is truly aimed at.

It is commonly pointed out that Democrats get money from the wealthy as well, and vote to protect the interests of big corporations as well. This is true–but only to an extent. Democrats will vote for specific wealthy interests, some of the time–but when it comes to protecting the middle class, the poor, the little guy, the small business, why is it that it’s the Democrats doing this almost all of the time, with the GOP rallied to oppose them, again almost all of the time? And when it comes to cutting taxes for the rich and cutting breaks for big business already making obscene profits, why is it only ever opposed by Democrats?

Hitler As a Rule

September 19th, 2010 6 comments

And the crazy keeps on coming. Glen Urquhart, the GOP candidate for Castle’s vacated House seat, said this:

Do you know, where does this phrase ‘separation of church and state’ come from?“ Urquhart asked at a campaign event last April. ”It was not in Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists. … The exact phrase ‘separation of Church and State’ came out of Adolph Hitler’s mouth, that’s where it comes from. So the next time your liberal friends talk about the separation of Church and State ask them why they’re Nazis.

Urquhart has since tried to back away from it a bit, and I myself think the accusation that Urquhart said that Hitler “invented” separation of church and state is unfair–he was claiming that it more significantly came from Hitler, not originally in terms of who said it first or who created the concept. Not that he had a point–he was being a real ass in saying what he did, intellectually and politically dishonest.

It used to be the common idea that “whoever mentions Hitler first, loses,” meaning that invoking the image of Hitler was by and large a bogus scare tactic used when one had nothing more of reason to say. However, that rule seems to have disappeared as scores of Tea Partiers now use Hitler in an almost steady stream of comparisons to anything and everything they dislike.

The whole Hitler thing is a bit complex. The man was hardly consistent, and things he said or did were not always clear in their sincerity or motive. One could probably use him to cast aspersions on a wide variety of groups, even opposing ones. Over time, he made or was said to have made statements for and against religion; you can find many examples where he persecuted Christians but also made rather clear attacks against atheism.

So when we see statements like Urquhart’s, or the endless “Obama is Hitler” claims by his compatriots, it’s easy to fall back on the “whoever mentions Hitler first, loses” rule of thumb. This is true in a variety of arguments, about religion, gun control, and a broad range of other topics where Hitler analogies use distorted logic, out-of-context examples, or just plain ad hominem spew to attempt to use perhaps the most potent historical demon to bolster one’s point.

The problem is, then, because of dickheads abusing the Hitler analogy, we stand to lose one of the richest and most valuable historical lessons available to us. Just because Hitler is used so much as a fallback false analogy does not mean that cogent and authentic comparisons cannot be drawn and the lessons bringing us wisdom. I remember that back in the early Bush administration, when the drumbeat to war in Iraq was in full force, a very apt Nazi analogy was made, one echoed just today by a commenter, and one I made back in 2003, along with many other people who saw the parallels with this Hermann Goering quote:

“Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.”

This wasn’t some knee-jerk “Bush is Hitler!” ejaculation, it was noting something that was all too real and relevant. In the state of fear after 9/11, the country was maneuvered into war in Iraq, using exactly the tactics Goering outlined. Furthermore, the analogy was not drawn to say that Bush was a Nazi, or that the Bush administration was identical in any other way to the Nazi regime–but rather to simply make the point that this is a dishonest manner of manipulating the public, used effectively by some very bad people. And yet this analogy got shot down under the “whoever mentions Hitler first, loses” rule.

The sad point is, as I was reminded upon Troy’s reiteration, we still see echoes of it today, in statement’s like Gingrich’s Sharia ban proposal. We’re being attacked by Islam, and the people who are defending these terror mosque jihadists are putting us in danger. I would not go so far as to suggest that Gingrich is going to suggest forcing all Muslims to wear a star-and-crescent armband or something of that nature. But to note that a certain tactic is being used is quite instructional, in terms of how it is used and to what ends. It is instructional in that people should remember, understand, and be immune to its effects. After 9/11, Republicans discovered that this tactic–the combination of stoking fear, claiming ownership of patriotism, and accusing the other side of being traitors who are endangering the country–won elections. And they have not given up on it.

Alas, the very people who should be sitting up and taking note are the same ones who scream about Obama being the New Hitler because he wants to nudge health care a few inches more towards a public model.

The Hitler rule, apparently, is now amended: “Whoever mentions Hitler first to denounce liberals, wins.”

Scared Spitless of the Media

September 17th, 2010 3 comments

Sarah Palin on how the latest whackjob Tea Partier, Christine O’Donnell, is going to have to campaign:

She’s going to have to learn very quickly to dismiss what some of her handlers want. Remember what happened to me in the VP. […]

So she’s going to have to learn that, yes, very quickly. She’s going to have to dismiss that, go with her gut, get out there, speak to the American people. Speak through FOX News and let the Independents who are tuning in to you, let them know what it is that she stands for, the principles behind her positions.

Yes, she should go the Palin route and simply avoid any media organization that will ask her questions she doesn’t want to answer. (“In what way, Charlie?”) And it’s not because Fox News is a biased source which will only empower her, ignore or dismiss her negatives, and trash her opponent. It’s because Fox is the only fair and balanced news organization out there who won’t join the liberal media campaign to unfairly malign any reasonable conservative who comes along, by asking them savagely biased “gotcha” questions like, “What newspapers do you read,” or “What are your foreign policy credentials?”

The magical powers of perspective should not be misunderestimated.

Categories: "Liberal" Media, GOP & The Election Tags:

An Appeal to Bigotry

August 16th, 2010 35 comments

Well, it’s official: now that Obama has spoken out in approval of the Cordoba House project [Clarification: he did not “approve it” or even “approve of it” per se; he only supported their right do so], Republicans are grabbing the issue as an election-year theme. Never mind that this should be an issue of religious liberty. Never mind that this is a clear appeal to lump together all Muslims under the terrorist label and use them as a political scapegoat.

Who cares about any of that when you can get people to vote for you?

Count me as disgusted. Not surprised, just sickened.

Issue Clean-up: Near the Sacred Ground of Zero

August 14th, 2010 13 comments

So, having a mosque community center with an inter-faith chapel built by peaceful, anti-terror Sufi Muslims within a few blocks of Ground Zero is not OK, but having these establishments within a few blocks of the same site is just fine (several are NSFW):

Pussycat Lounge & Hamilton Room
A-1 Metro Parties
Adult New York Escorts
New York Dolls Gentlemen’s Club
Male Strippers
Adult Models Dating and Escorts

I wouldn’t be surprised if at least a few of those places started business after 9/11. I’m pretty certain that if another strip joint or escort service were to go up in the area, no one would object.

Glad we have our respectfulness for the sacred nature of the site in order.

Also, it was found last week that since 9/11, Muslim prayer sessions have been held regularly in an inter-faith chapel within the Pentagon.

Along the same lines of my comments of the repeal-the-Fourteenth-Amendment movement, whether or not you agree with the idea of Muslims of any stripe keeping a respectful distance, the fact remains that such feelings are not what this discussion is about. This is election-year politics. If the demagogues felt that the community center was not a good target and the strip clubs were, then it’d be all about the strip clubs. The public row is fueled not by indignation, but by stark, aggressive, uncaring opportunism.

Addenda: I forgot to mention that the Imam behind the NY project was tapped by Karen Hughes of the Bush administration for overseas tours representing a more moderate Islam. Also, Obama finally threw his hat in, probably now seeing the matter as being resolved enough for his comments to not inflame things and wants to help put the matter to rest.

What Were You Saying About Confirming Judges?

August 3rd, 2010 Comments off

This chart shows what is perhaps one of the most under-reported stories in D.C. today:


Remember when Democrats refused to confirm Bush’s most extreme judges, and right-wingers screamed about how the filibuster was unconstitutional, and all that crap? Yeah, I know, this is old news–the GOP is being hypocritical as hell, yet again. The filibuster was toxic and traitorous and so on, but now Republicans use it virtually all the time, breaking records year after year, so that now a 60-vote majority is virtually required for everything.

Republicans acted like confirming judicial nominees was even a more important matter, the courts were tied up and it’s the president’s right to get anyone he wants approved by the Senate, no matter what their politics, and (again) so on and so on… and now Republicans are blocking nominees like never seen before.

Right now, the Party of No is blocking pretty much anything coming down the pike–even a tax cut for small businesses, which Republicans claim is their forte, they voted against as a bloc. Health care for the heroes who worked at Ground Zero and now suffer? Screw them!

What excuses are given? The goddamned DemocRATs didn’t allow us to attach huge tax cuts to the rich and every other thing we ever wanted tacked on to these bills as amendments, they wanted to force us to vote on these issues up-or-down! After all those years WE were in power and let Democrats add as many amendm… uh, OK, well, we shut them down and treated them like they didn’t exist, but now they’re fascist bastards anyway!!!!

Stuff like this, in addition to the we-love-fat-cat-bankers, the we-love-BP, we want to give Paris Hilton billions but the jobless are lazy and don’t deserve relief, and the fact that the GOP is going even more extreme as time goes on… even with people hating incumbents this year, it is still astonishing that people cannot see who is causing the damage.

You want Congress to do something about jobs? If Republicans get more than 40 in the Senate (they won’t retake the majority, that’s for sure), then you can bet that the near-total filibuster marathon will become an all-out standstill, or worse, Democrats will start to cave and things will start to roll back to the Bush years.

They have made it clear: as long as the Democrats hold the White House and a majority, they are determined to grind D.C. to a halt and make the country fail.

What really astonishes me: the Democrats and left-leaning independents don’t see this as a clarion call to march to the polls in droves. The Stimulus, Health Care, the auto industry revived and profitable, Wall Street reform, credit card reform… all despite near-monolithic opposition from the GOP, the Democrats have managed to get through as much big-ticket legislation in two years and others get through in four or eight. If you’re a liberal, it would be hard to claim that they haven’t accomplished anything, or as much as they could have. But if you fail to get out the vote, you’ll see either nothing or a hard, sharp turn to the right.

The alternative, should the Left fail to do the right thing: Democrats scrap the filibuster. In hindsight, they clearly should have taken the GOP up on this when the “Nuclear Option” was being threatened a few years back–it would have made no difference then, but a huge difference over the past two years. And if the Democrats do toss out the filibuster, and hang on to a majority in the House and a 4- or 5-vote margin in the Senate, with the filibuster gone they could accomplish even more.

And the Republicans could not even criticize the Democrats, because they themselves vilified the procedure and came up with the whole idea of killing it off, so they would have to be silent.

Ha! Gotcha! Of course they’d be hypocritical and blast the Dems. But the Dems should have the guts to ignore them and push ahead.

Blindly Jerking

June 18th, 2010 8 comments

Seriously, if Obama were to announce a plan to fight serial killers who target nuns and orphans, Republicans would take the side of the serial killers, just out of reflex.

Obama scored a coup with the $20 billion escrow fund (who knows how much of that will actually be paid, or if it’ll be enough to pay for what can be paid for, but hey, we can hope). Several prominent Republicans immediately took the side of BP. Palin, Limbaugh, Bachmann and others on the right were opposed to BP paying for the oil spill.

Wow. How knee-jerkingly tone deaf can you be? I mean it, seriously. And it’s not just that: they actually got upset that Obama mention God so much.

The only down side: they probably won’t pay a political price for this. Most people in America are too comfortable with the whole “It’s OK If You’re A Republican” bit. Really, a right-winger would have to sexually molest an infant on live TV to cross the line these days, and maybe not even then.

Not that I’m complaining: anything right-wingers can do to screw up the midterms for themselves is OK with me. But after Republicans succeeding by acting like hysterically demented idiots for the past year and a half, I’m not holding my breath or anything.

Using the iPhone App Store as a Campaign Tool

May 25th, 2010 Comments off

During the 2008 election, Obama used an iPhone app to help spread his message, raise money, and generally help win him the election, as part of a much broader Internet campaign strategy. Since then, many politicians and parties have published their own apps on the App Store, left- and right-wing alike.

Ari David, the Republican challenger to Henry Waxman in California’s 30th District (Malibu, Beverly Hills, & Santa Monica), is trying to win himself some free publicity by violating Apple’s App Store policy and then crying over how he’s being denied “free speech.”

Apple’s policy on this is:

3.3.12 Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple’s reasonable judgment may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users.

One may presume that Apple would rather avoid being held culpable in libel suits, or perhaps, in the same vein as keeping porn off its mobile devices, just wants as nice and calm a playground as they can manage. There is nothing at all keeping David or anyone else from publishing positive statements about their own records, but when you start smearing an opponent, Apple steps in and tells you to take it elsewhere.

Waxman claims that Apple singled out specific statements as being defamatory, and lists them. Included in the listing are allegations that Waxman “would have brought us $7 a gallon gas and … would make electricity rates ‘necessarily sky rocket.’” … “would severely hurt seniors” … “jeopardized the US and Israel” … and “TRIED TO STRANGLE family farms with insane Soviet-Style regulation.”

Yeah, that’s not defamatory.

Now, we can debate whether Apple can and/or should have such a policy, but one thing here is pretty clear: David is just using this as political fuel. Sure, maybe he was just clueless and figured that a vehement attack app would get approved. But I think it is much more likely that the entire app idea itself is a ploy to get free publicity, and make David out to be that favorite of favorites for right-wingers: the victim.

Here’s how I see it happening. At a session among his staff to see how they can get some good, free press, someone brings up the App Store policy. Political cartoonist Mark Fiore had his political cartoon app initially denied under the same policy, but after a good deal of controversy, Apple reversed itself and let it go through. Apple has a history of relenting when put under pressure. So somebody on David’s strategy team gets the idea of making an iPhone app intentionally designed to trigger the policy–enough so that it gets stopped, but not enough to look completely outrageous. When Apple inevitably rejects the app, David’s campaign goes all over the media shouting about how Apple is censoring their speech and denying them their First Amendment rights.

Right there, they have a winner: they (1) get free publicity, (2) get to play the victim, and (3) get their attacks printed free. There is zero chance that no one will listen to a story like that–at the very least, Fox will cover it, and likely other networks will follow. It’s sure to get on the local news. David’s campaign can’t lose.

They add another dimension, though: they insinuate that Apple is secretly a liberal bastion which allows Democrats to bash Republicans, but not the other way around. They try to build up an image of Apple as being populated with liberal elitists working for Democrats:

… Apple is now making an in-kind contribution to Henry Waxman by denying his competitor a modern tool for political communication. They are stifling my right to free political speech and they are carrying water for the Obama administration … Apple pulled all of their advertising from the Fox News channel … Clearly people who work at Apple are likely to be the kind of creative people who may tend to vote Democrat and hold liberal views, but this goes far beyond that. This experience with Apple clearly shows that there is a political agenda going on within the culture of the company, and business decisions are subject to Apple’s political views. … it would be interesting to see what iPhone apps Apple has approved for Democrats in which negative statements about Republicans are made, and what standard Apple has held those statements to before approval.

Never mind that Apple would reject any app with attacks like this integrated into it, Democratic or Republican. Never mind that Apple pulled its ads from Fox because Glenn Beck told people not to go to church if they heard certain words spoken there–as did dozens of other advertisers. (I guess that Geico, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, AT&T, Bank of America, General Mills, Mercedes Benz, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagon, UPS, and Radio Shack are also in on the conspiracy.) No, forget that the claims are specious and self-serving.

This goes hand-in-hand with playing the victim card–you get double the juice if you can show that you are being crushed under the heel of liberals, with Apple being transmogrified into a Silicon Valley version of the Liberal Media™.

Beyond the hopes that this story catches fire, David’s campaign undoubtedly hopes to get Apple to eventually succumb to pressure. The MSM usually caves in almost immediately when charged with being liberal, and since Apple is known to not act on such rejections until a lot of pressure is applied, the David campaign is probably hoping for the story to be out there long enough to be milked–and then the icing on the cake would be for Apple to cave and allow the app. David is trying to compound that win for himself by asserting that all of his statements are “factual” and therefore not defamatory, presumably so that if Apple succumbs to pressure and allows his app, it will appear like Apple is admitting that his statements are factual.

As for David’s final swipe that Apple probably lets Dems bash GOPers while denying right-wingers the same freedom, just do a search for “GOP,” “liberal”, “conservative,” etc. on the iPhone App Store and you’ll see that this is a baseless charge. There are a lot more right-wing apps than left-wing ones, and a lot of the right-wing ones tend to get pretty nasty–though they do not defame specific individuals within the integrated app data, the act which runs afoul of Apple’s policy.

Interestingly, try to search for “Republican” and you get a hundred apps (the limit for a search), most of them being pro-right and/or anti-left; search for “Democratic” and you get 14 apps, only a few left-wing; a search for “Democrat” scores more–88 apps–but not many are left-wing apps.

I found a few Democratic congressional campaign apps, but they were completely inoffensive. Mike Oliverio’s (D-WV) app is just a poster showing a debt clock and a link to his site. Alan Mollohan’s (also D-WV) app includes a calendar of events and a bio, but is just as inoffensive. Felton Newell has a much more sophisticated app helping him run for CA-33, a Democratic safe seat, and that app also is positive only.

Republican Chris Cox, trying out for New York’s 1st District, is a Republican; his app allows you to read a short bio, donate to his campaign, and has a little game where you catch money “leaking out of the White House”–not really hardball, but it is a negative swipe at Obama rather than a positive statement about himself. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL) has an app with news and pages for volunteering and contributing (though she recently announced that she’s retiring). And Bob Latta (R-OH) has an app with mostly just links and contacts–but also a News section, in which he–guess what–attacks Democrats, accusing them of various evil-sounding misdeeds.

Those were the first three Democratic and Republican politicians I found with iPhone apps–all Dems were only positive, two of the Republicans were critical of Democrats. So much for Apple as a liberal wing of the Democratic party stifling Republicans while allow Democrats to savage right-wingers without restraint. (In fact, Al Ramirez, a Republican running for Senate in California, has his own app–and he set up residency in Ari David’s district to run for office.)

But here’s the real tell concerning Ari David: you can get political attacks into your iPhone app. Just either make the attacks general (against a party, for example), or include a News section which you can later fill with feeds of political attacks. Either that, or build a web app for the iPhone, which is not subject to Apple’s approval.

In short, David’s insinuations about Apple are patently false, right-wingers seem to be more numerous and negative in their political apps, and David could have easily have made an app which allowed him to smear Democrats and probably even Waxman–but he was either stupid, or more likely, geared his app with the intention of getting it rejected.

Again, we can debate whether Apple should have this policy at all–but whatever the outcome of that argument, Ari David is probably just another whining, conniving smear artist hoping to get his fifteen minutes.

It’s Official: 52% of Republicans Are Unbelievable Morons

November 21st, 2009 8 comments

Why? Because 52%, according to a recent poll, think that ACORN stole the election for Obama. ACORN, of course, is the right wing’s favorite new smear target.

The thing is, even if you do believe that ACORN is so corrupt that its goal is to steal elections, and so effective that it is successful at it, believing that it stole the election for Obama is so ludicrously insane as to be beyond imagination–which I will mathematically prove below.

In 2000, all it took to steal the election for Bush was a few hundred votes–and there is documented proof that Katherine Harris alone did that, by generating that intentionally fake “felon’s list” which wound up disenfranchising thousands of legitimate Democrats. Add the thousands more Republicans from Seminole and other counties who should have been disqualified but were allowed to vote by illegal means, and you’re way over the top.

But in 2008? Obama won by nine and a half million votes, and by 192 electoral votes, 365 to 173. That means ACORN would have to have stolen at least 87 electoral votes for Obama to win, assuming that in a fair vote, McCain would have won by the slimmest of margins while losing the popular vote by a few million.

If you take the states where Obama won by the fewest number of votes and assume that only the barest number necessary to put Obama over the top were stolen, that would still require ACORN to have stolen at least 935,000 votes in 14 states–and that’s assuming that the people at ACORN were criminal masterminds of unbelievable precision, knowing exactly where to steal just the right number of votes to tip the scales. (Additionally, since ACORN only operated in 21 states, it is unlikely that they were active in the 14 necessary to achieve theft by the smallest number of stolen votes.) Assuming less miraculous precision, one would have to assume that ACORN stole anywhere on the order of four or five million votes.

In the 2008 election season, however, ACORN collected a total of 1.3 million registration forms–and rejected 400,000 as incomplete or fraudulent. Which means that only 900,000 people were registered by ACORN for the election, only half of those being new voters (the other half were address changes).

Which means that even if you assume that every single last registration that ACORN filed represented a stolen vote, then you’re still 35,000 votes short of stealing the election, even with the criminal-mastermind precision.

Which is where we get the “unbelievable morons” part. But you don’t have to crunch the numbers like I did to figure that out–fact is, the idea that ACORN stole the 2008 elections is ludicrous on its very face. More than that, it is literally mathematically impossible.

What’s even more amazing to me than the fact that 52% of Republicans believing that ACORN stole the elections is that 9% of Democrats also believe that, which makes them even more unbelievable morons, albeit in a non-partisan fashion. In addition to 52% of Republicans believing that ACORN stole the election, 21% of Republicans weren’t sure–meaning that 73% of Republicans thought that it might have been possible, and only 23% reject the idea outright.

ACORN has simply become the scapegoat mechanism which is now being blamed for any loss by Republicans; unsurprisingly, Conservative candidate from NY-23, Doug Hoffman, is claiming that the only reason he lost is because ACORN “schem[ed] behind closed doors, twist[ed] arms and st[ole the] election.” He also blamed unions, but ACORN was the alleged mastermind.

Expect more of this: if a right-winger loses, that must mean that ACORN stole the vote. No matter that there is zero documented evidence, no matter that it is mathematically impossible. If a Republican lost, it simply couldn’t have happened that way honestly, so the only possible explanation is that liberals stole it, and ACORN is the scapegoat of the hour.

And their party faithful are just the unbelievable morons to buy it.

They Must Be SO Tired From All That Apologizing

May 19th, 2009 6 comments

GOP head Michael Steele just plain wore himself out apologizing nonstop for the past several months, apparently:

“The era of apologizing for Republican mistakes of the past is now officially over. It is done,” Steele said in remarks prepared for delivery Tuesday to state party chairmen. “We have turned the page, we have turned the corner. No more looking in the rearview mirror. From this point forward, we will focus all of our energies on winning the future.”

Funny, I must have missed it. Who apologized when? I think I heard about some Republicans saying that Bush spent too much, but that’s about as apologetic as I think they got.

But an “era”? Wow. A whole couple of decades of Republicans apologizing?

I know! They did it in private! Behind closed doors. That explains it–or at least it’s the only thing that could make any kind of sense, however little. Republicans acted brazenly, arrogantly in public, demonizing anyone who dared oppose them, going on unrepentant spending sprees, gleefully tearing the Constitution to shreds–and then retired to their homes every night, walked into dark closets, and spent hours and hours apologizing for their actions.

And now they’re darn tired of all that secret apologizing. No more! Time for a comeback!

Isn’t it nice to live in a world where you can make stuff up and everyone will just believe you? Good luck to Steele on that.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Gallup has a good breakdown of where the GOP is losing ground. Young college graduates in the Midwest seem a big problem for them. Whites strayed from the GOP far more than blacks, but mostly because not too many blacks were in the party in the first place. People of all income levels, married and not married, left in almost equally significant numbers. The only groups that did not leave the party were conservatives and frequent churchgoers. The base, in other words. Maybe Steele believes it’s time for a comeback because there’s no one else left to bolt from the party. Or so he hopes.

So, there’s no sign of a turnaround, but if Michael Steele says there is, then perhaps we should pay attention. You gotta respect a man who has spent so much time apologizing to his wardrobe.

Categories: GOP & The Election Tags:

Specter and the Spiral

April 30th, 2009 4 comments

Wow. I take an international flight and when I come back, Arlen Specter’s a Democrat.

I knew it might happen, but did not expect it to happen so soon. The Dems may now have their super-majority, some 21 months ahead of schedule. When Norm Coleman and/or Tim Pawlenty stop being asses and let Minnesotans have the senator they voted for, the Democrats will have the magic 60. Already, Democrats may now have enough to stop a filibuster, if they can get everybody on their caucus to vote for cloture on their bills.

One has to wonder why he did it now. Was he bargaining with the Dems for a powerful position and only now the deal came through? Was he negotiating with the GOP and they got far too tough with him? Or maybe both of those?

A big part of this, however, seems less about the GOP making threats to get Specter to toe the line and more about Specter realizing that he’s on a sinking ship. A new poll finds that while Democratic Party identification remains strong at 35%, only 21% of voters self-identify as Republicans, a low point for the party. “Independent” Americans now number 38%. Specter himself noted that 200,000 Republican Pennsylvanians had switched from Republicans to Democrats in the past year, a remark which has many saying that Specter is being quite open about this being more about winning an election and less about values and principles.

But Specter more clearly stated that it was about the GOP leaving moderates behind; it was about the party shifting too far to the right, making the Democrats more palatable to moderates. Whatever the strategic reasons Specter had, his point about the party leaving him behind is valid–in fact, that’s exactly why he no longer was a viable Republican candidate. Is it principled to hang on to a party which is increasingly alienating you and will likely vote you out of office in the primaries?

What has been said about the Republican Death Spiral seems to be coming true. The GOP’s solution is not to go big-tent, but to close the tent even tighter around the extremists–thus making more and more moderates leave the party, which makes the party more extremist still, which forces out more moderates. Remembering back to the 90’s, conservatives tried to make “liberal” a dirty word; today, they are trying to do the same with the “Democrat” Party. And while they have had some success, they have inadvertently made their own party’s name far more unpalatable simply by acting like enormous jerks.

The question is, is the GOP actually dying? How far does the party have to sink before it stops being viable? It might not be so bad for the GOP, because despite people not wanting to call themselves “Republican,” given only two choices, they may very well, more often than not, choose the Republican candidate. Hobson’s choice and all that. Look at McCain, how much of the vote that he got despite party identification being almost half of the percentage of actual votes he got. True, a lot of those votes were won with plain old smear tactics and the fact that there was a grizzled veteran war hero running against an inexperienced black guy. But I believe that a lot of people who voted for McCain were IINO–Independents In Name Only, Independents who used to be Republicans and simply could not bring themselves to vote for a Democrat. They may not identify as Republicans any more, but they still vote that way.

What I am waiting for is for someone to realize that there are probably now more conservatives out of the GOP than in it, and to fill that power vacuum occupying moderate Republicans and centrists. Right now there is no one because everyone still sees the GOP as monolithic, and another party leaning to the right might split the vote and get a Democrat elected. But if an “Independent Party” (better yet, an “Independence Party”) could address the voters from left-of-extremist Republicans to moderate Democrats, they might get enough of a vote that they could supplant the former Republican Party and marginalize them. In fact, such a move might be the only way that segment of the political spectrum can become credible again.

In a way, I hope they don’t–I hope the GOP continues to spiral into irrelevancy and disorder, putting more and more radical and laughable candidates up for the Democrats to shoot down. But if they do form a new party, maybe within say 2 or 3 election cycles they could become tenable enough to gain more Congressional seats than the GOP. They might even have a chance to win the presidency. I would not feel quite as bad about that relative to a present-day Republican taking office. Imagine John McCain as he was in 2000 winning. He was still conservative, but you at least felt that he would speak more truth and work across the aisle, instead of being just another GOP sock puppet, like he was this time around.

Of course, the formation of a new party might be hindered by the GOP, which, while dying, still would be a monolithic force with a massive support base, a force to be reckoned with. They will feel entitled to be the voice of the right wing, and those still inhabiting the party will not give up power so easily.

There are some who are still trying to bring the old party around. Interestingly, Olympia Snowe–one of three moderate Republicans, who, along with Specter, has come under fire from an increasingly hard-core and frightened GOP–wrote an editorial which urged the party to learn from this like they should have learned from the Jeffords defection. In short, stop moving even further to the right, and return to more moderate, Reaganesque big-tent roots that gained the party the power it squandered under Bush. The real question, however, is what Snowe is trying to say to her party. Is she hinting at and laying the groundwork for the potential that she too may defect if the GOP continues to radicalize itself and marginalize her? Or did she write the op-ed in the voice of a Reagan-era Republican in an attempt to immunize herself from the GOP panicking, lest they try to apply the thumbscrews to her even harder? Either way, one has to wonder if she really believes that the GOP is in fact capable at this point of moving back to the center; it is becoming increasingly difficult to see them doing so.

As a side note, here’s a thought: Obama may be garnering his Obama Republicans, just not the same way Reagan got his Democrats. Instead of working with the other party, pols who might otherwise have been Republicans are now joining the Democratic Party. As the GOP has shrunk to its core, the Democratic Party has expanded to include the middle (with Republicans at least claiming that they happily cede the traitorous wretches). The Democrats have Lieberman, Jeffords, and Specter now, along with a passel of “Blue Dog” Democrats. With a super-majority, Obama will be busy enough dealing with them. The GOP made it explicitly clear to Obama: “Our prime mission is to oppose you as a united front and try our best to make you fail.” No amount of bipartisanship can penetrate that; as the old saying goes, it takes two to Tango. The GOP has refused Obama’s invitation. But Obama can instead gain bipartisanship within his own party, in that there exist within it conservative Democrats who will hold Obama to a more centrist course.

Ironically, the Democrats have been criticized for taking in “anyone who looked capable of winning an election, beliefs be hanged.” First, the Republicans are the ones who abandoned their beliefs to gain power; that’s one of the main reasons they are in this fix now. Second, the Dems are not surrendering their beliefs, they are taking on the Reagan “big tent” strategy–including people in the center and dealing with them, as opposed to shutting them out. Again, another major reason Dems are gaining so much more. I have the feeling that if Republicans did this, nobody but the extremists would be accusing them of ditching their beliefs. Reagan was lauded for this; Obama is being criticized.

Of course, a lot of Democrats don’t appreciate being dragged more to the center, and protest when compromises are made to satisfy the more conservative elements of the party. But at least those compromises are being made in fact due to principles or at least voter pressure, and not because of political gamesmanship. Which means that the in-party wrangling going on is, ironically, the true bipartisanship.

Coleman’s Suit Predictably Backfires: Franken Gains Votes

April 9th, 2009 1 comment

The counting is not fully completed yet, but 350 of the 400 or so rejected ballots have been reviewed, and Al Franken, who was previously ahead by 225 votes, is now ahead by 312–a gain of 87 votes. Which means that even if the all of the remaining 50 or so ballots go to Coleman (unlikely as 60% have gone to Franken on average), Franken still comes out with more votes.

This hurts Coleman more than just because Franken widens his lead; it also demonstrates something that Nate Silver points out, which is that the votes Coleman claims were not counted to his detriment actually break for Franken more. In short, if a higher court, at Coleman’s request, judges that even more absentee ballot be counted, it will almost certainly just result in Franken getting even more votes.

Coleman says he plans to press ahead anyway with an equal-protection appeal, but as Kevin Drum points out, such an appeal is unlikely to win–Coleman would have to show not just that there were differences in how ballots are counted from county to county–such differences exist everywhere–but that the differences showed bias or worked against an entire class of legitimate voters, something that can’t be demonstrated in Minnesota. Unless Coleman seriously wants to challenge based upon ideas such as that unregistered voters–whose votes Coleman wanted counted–are being discriminated against because they couldn’t vote.

Coleman cannot effectively claim that the court acted inappropriately–the process was about as fair and painfully even-handed as could possibly be asked for. The only out I can really think of is for Coleman to claim his legal team was incompetent bordering on malpractice–so much of their case was very badly handled. But then, there was nothing of substance for them to work with, so the lawyers can hardly be blamed–they had to go to court with a legal argument that amounted to little more than “because our guy didn’t win.”

The general sense is that Coleman has simply lost, and even some conservatives are saying that he should give up. Not Congressional Republicans, of course–they want Coleman to hang on until the very last appeal possible so that Franken will not be seated. The Republican Party sense of Democracy at work: we didn’t win, so we want to deny the voters representation as long as possible.

Categories: GOP & The Election Tags:

Coleman Getting a Huge Break in the Liberal Media™

April 2nd, 2009 Comments off

It has been pointed out in local commentary as well as many of the lefty blogs that Norm Coleman is getting a rather notoriously inexplicable free pass in the press, along with Republicans backing him up. True, this is not exactly the same stakes as Bush v. Gore, but it is not just an ordinary Senate election, either–this seat is the tipping point for a significant amount of vital legislation that is being blocked by the GOP with their continued extravagant abuse of the filibuster.

While Al Gore was commonly called out in the national media for being a “sore loser” because he challenged the highly questionable outcome in Florida, Norm Coleman and his GOP backers are being left alone despite rather blatant evidence that they are doing this for no other reason than to block Franken from being seated–not because the election was unfair or the vote count was wrong, but simply because they have political reasons for keeping the Democrats from getting a 59th seat in the Senate.

Even in the Minnesota press, we see signs of the false equivalency caused by a weak-kneed press fearful of being labeled as “liberal,” so it looks for fault on both sides even when it clearly belongs only on the conservative side:

To be sure, the danger of seeming to be a sore loser has dogged both candidates in the topsy-turvy race: first Franken, when he pressed for a recount of Coleman’s narrow election-night lead; and then Coleman, when he challenged the recount that left him 225 votes behind.

Franken didn’t “press” for anything–the recount was legally mandated, and Franken couldn’t have stopped it even if he had wanted to. Saying that Franken had a “sore loser” stigma because he somehow pushed for a recount is a clear indication of either a right-wing tinge or the mindless acceptance of right-wing talking points. The snippet above not only creates a false fault in Franken, it ignores the greater fault from Coleman–not that he challenged the outcome, but that he clearly intends to challenge it to the most absurd levels possible.

The media has been, to put it lightly, a tad reluctant to call out the GOP for lots of stuff which it would have a filed day with had it come from the left–like the GOP openly rallying for unprecedented partisan rancor while the media still gives them equal credit for “bipartisanship.”

But that’s just what we get for having such a Liberal Media™. We can only blame ourselves.

GOP Abandons Democracy, Principles. What Else Is New?

March 31st, 2009 Comments off

Republicans in Congress have gone so far beyond the bend that it defies comprehension. Not that I ever doubted that Republicans would stoop to anything to win an election–but this goes way further than I thought they were capably of doing publicly:

In his latest comment, Texas Sen. John Cornyn said the trial and appeals could take years to complete and Republicans might wage a WWIII if the Senate Democrats attempt to seat Franken before the appeals are complete.

Think for a second about how the Republicans would react if the Democrats tried this. They would go insane with rage, no question.

And now they are set to drag this out for years and threaten all-out war if the Democrats dare to try to seat Franken, even after he won the official election and even if the Minnesota State Supreme Court backs him up on it.

The “WWIII” aspect harkens back to the GOP’s “nuclear option” when Democrats dared to use the filibuster far less often than Republicans now do–the GOP sure loves those apocalyptic ultimatums, don’t they? In fact, this whole thing is over the fact that Franken would maybe weaken the Republicans ability to flagrantly abuse the same filibuster they once threatened nuclear war to prevent from ever being used. Their rank hypocrisy would be hilariously comical if it were not so gallingly undemocratic and ultimately harmful.

In one way it almost seems just to have a make-up election–now that the GOP has spat in the face of Minnesotans, denying them their full voice in the Senate so the GOP can cheat Democrats out of a fairly won seat, I would be amazed if they backed up the GOP by re-electing Coleman. But even if it were certain that Franken would win, it would still be a bad idea–because it would be caving in on the principle, and setting a dangerous precedent that Republicans could trash any close election they didn’t win.

It’s just hard to come up with commentary to thoroughly enough express the sheer corrupt, sleazy, unprincipled swine they are being over this.

Of course, not a peep of this on the mainstream media web sites. That damned Liberal Media™ must be blocking the news of the valiant attempts by the GOP to free Minnesotans from the threat of having elected officials.

Categories: GOP & The Election Tags:

Republicans to Minnesotans: If We Don’t Win, We’ll Ensure That You Get Screwed

March 29th, 2009 Comments off

Wow. Republicans seem pretty intent on preventing the people of Minnesota from getting full representation in the Senate.

Can you say, “sore losers”?