Monday, February 17, 2014

Thanks, Ted

Brian Beutler in Salon tells us how Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) just handed the GOP a steaming hot turd and perhaps the 2014 elections to the Democrats.

Last week the seams holding together factions of the Republican party burst open once again. And once again, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was the guy scraping at them with a scalpel.

He didn’t shut down the government, or talk himself hoarse on the Senate floor. But he did spoil his leadership’s plan to let Senate Democrats increase the debt limit on their own without implicating any individual Republicans — including the highest-ranking Republican, who just happens to be in the midst of an unexpectedly tough election.

This can get a little technical. But suffice it to say that Republicans — for once! — wanted to not filibuster a bill. To avoid the whole 60-vote requirement they’ve made so routine, and just get on to the up-or-down final passage vote. Let 50 Dems and Vice President Biden do all the dirty work.

But ending debate on a bill and going directly to final passage requires consent from everyone in the Senate, and Cruz refused to provide his. Now several Republicans, including Mitch McConnell himself, must wear scarlet letters whenever they face conservative activists, all because Cruz wanted to court another damaging confrontation with Obama and wants the people denying it to him to suffer for their actions.

The bad blood has grown redolent.

This means that the Republicans will try to run against Obamacare, Benghazi!, and anything else they can cook up with Fox News, but it’s going to be really hard to run against the Tea Partiers who are already sharpening their knives to go after the traitors and collaborators that sold the debt ceiling down the river.

U.S. Senate candidate Dwayne Stovall stole some attention Thursday from Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) in the Republican primary against Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).

In a new ad, Stovall sits in the bed of a pick-up truck with a golden retriever and equates Cornyn with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

“As a U.S. senator from Texas, you vote for Texans, you don’t stab her in the back by voting for cloture on Obamacare. You don’t enslave it’s children with unconstitutional laws and overwhelming debt. And you certainly don’t do all this to please some guy that looks and fights like a turtle,” Stovall says.

McConnell and Cornyn came under fire from conservatives for voting Wednesday to move forward legislation increasing the nation’s borrowing limit.

“I’m a Texan. We Texans don’t need a Beltway turtle telling us how to fight,” Stovall continues, suggesting that Cornyn’s votes have been influenced by McConnell.

I suppose we should chastise Mr. Stovall for making ad hominen attacks on Mitch McConnell’s reptilian resemblance, but if the carapace fits….

Let’s just stand back and let the fun begin.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Snakes Eating Snakes

They always turn on their own.

The conservative guerrilla filmmaker James O’Keefe and his organization, Project Veritas, have been sued for wrongful termination by a former employee.

As first reported by Slate’s David Weigel, Daniel Francisco initiated the lawsuit in Westchester County, N.Y. Supreme Court on Jan. 27. Francisco, who until earlier this year worked as the executive director of Project Veritas, claimed in a court filing that he had been “wrongfully terminated” by Project Veritas, that Project Veritas had “breached its contract” with him by not paying for his final week of employment, and that O’Keefe personally had “defamed” him following his departure from the organization. The lawsuit seeks monetary damages and a declaratory judgment to stop O’Keefe from “further defaming” Francisco.

In case you don’t remember, Mr. O’Keefe was the little twerp who dressed up like what he thought a pimp would look like and filmed himself covertly trying to pull some shenanigans on ACORN.  The heavily edited film went viral, ACORN went under, and he became a darling on Fox News.  He then ran into trouble with the feds for trying to pull the same shit on Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), but was busted and plead out.

People are lined up around the block to sue him, so I hope Mr. Francisco isn’t paying his lawyer by the hour.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cleaning House

Tea Partiers go ballistic over Boehner.

The outside tea party-aligned group Senate Conservatives Fund is calling for House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to be replaced in response to House Republican leadership’s decision to push a clean debt ceiling hike.

The powerful outside group’s call came in an email to supporters on Tuesday, shortly after House Republicans announced that they would give up on previous demands for a debt ceiling extension and instead support a clean hike. In the email Senate Conservatives Fund Executive Director Matt Hoskins wrote:

Republicans are giving up because they know that winning is impossible when their leaders are determined to lose. These leaders have telegraphed weakness to the Democrats and sabotaged conservative efforts so many times that Republicans now have no leverage. There’s only one solution.  John Boehner must be replaced as Speaker of the House.

Hoskins goes on to warn that Republicans will never have any leverage if Boehner stays as Speaker.

“Unless we install a new leader who will actually go on offense, Democrats will never fear us and we will never have any leverage,” Hoskins continued in the email.

The idea of governing by fear and stalemate is a short-sighted and fruitless way to get your way.  At some point, people are going to figure out that you’re all bark with very little bite, and even if they primary someone out of office, they end up losing the general election (vide Sharron Angle of Nevada, Richard Mourdock of Indiana, and Todd Aiken of Missouri).  On those rare occasions where some Tea Party favorite gets into office, they wear out their welcome with their colleagues, i.e. Ted Cruz.  (On the other hand, Tea Party favorites like Louis Gohmert provide hours of mirth on YouTube.)  So the only way they have of getting their way is to block everything, brag about it to their base, and blame the Democrats and the black guy when it blows up in their face.  At some point, the electorate will catch on to them.

Unfortunately, we haven’t reached the saturation point yet.  It probably won’t happen in this election cycle; the GOP will maintain the House and even pick up a Senate seat or two thanks to crazy-ass gerrymandering and bought-and-paid-for Koch-fiend races in safe nutsery districts.

John Boehner will survive this episode, more’s the pity, because the one thing he’s gotten really good at is getting nothing done, and that’s what the Tea Party and the GOP want.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Mitch In the Ditch

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has a problem at home.

The Herald-Leader/WKYT Bluegross poll released Thursday evening found 32 percent of those surveyed said they approve of McConnell’s job performance while 60 percent said they disapproved of the job the top Senate Republican has done. That rating is almost the same as Obama’s approval rating in the state, which is 34 percent and his disapproval is about 60 percent.

What’s more, the poll found Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) holds a small 4-point lead over McConnell in the Kentucky Senate race. The poll found Grimes with 46 percent support among Kentucky voters while McConnell has 42 percent support. That finding though is essentially within the poll’s plus or minus 3-point margin of error.

To paraphrase the immortal Jimi Hendrix, ‘scuse me while I schadenfreude.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Toxic

What does it tell you about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the head of the Republican Governors Association, if he travels all the way to Texas for a fundraiser and the GOP governor of that state and the likely Republican candidate don’t show up?

Friday, January 31, 2014

Up The Creek

The National Review, the organ of the old-school conservatives, is in financial and legal trouble.

Scientist Michael Mann is suing the Review over statements made by Canadian right-wing polemicist and occasional radio stand-in for Rush Limbaugh, Mark Steyn. Steyn was writing on the topic of climate change when he accused Mann of falsifying data and perpetuating intellectual fraud through his research.

Steyn went on to quote paid anti-climate science operative Rand Simberg — an employee of the right-wing think tank the Competitive Enterprise Institute — who compared Mann to Penn State’s convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky.

Mann, Simberg said, is “the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data.”

The magazine tried to get the case dismissed, but lost that motion.  Now, no matter what the outcome, they could be out of business just because of legal bills.  It’s never been a money-maker to begin with.  Founded in 1955 by William F. Buckley, it has been a voice against civil rights, women, gays, and proudly defended the white plutocracy against all comers.

Conservatives like to point Buckley’s legacy and the Review as the reasonable, moderate edge of an regressive, reactionary party. In its history, the magazine has consistently staked out far-right positions that favor whites over nonwhites and plutocrats over the middle and working classes.

National Review authors have railed against racial integration, called Hitler a left-wing radical, and argued with a straight face that African-Americans are inherently more violent and less civilized than whites.

[Editor Rich] Lowry himself famously declared “We’re winning” the War in Iraq just before catastrophic waves of sectarian violence engulfed the country and permanently scuttled the American-led reconstruction effort.

Lately contributor Mona Charen has authored a series of wildly LGBT-phobic articles, lamenting the mainstreaming of “unusual sexual identities” and accusing parents who allow their transgender children to be themselves of “child abuse.”

Too damn bad.  Heh.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Virginia Is For Looters

Via the Washington Post:

Former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were charged Tuesday with illegally accepting gifts, luxury vacations and large loans from a wealthy Richmond area businessman who sought special treatment from state government.

Authorities allege that for nearly two years, the McDonnells repeatedly asked executive Jonnie R. Williams Sr. for loans and gifts of money, clothes, golf fees and equipment, trips, and private plane rides. The gifts and loans totaled at least $165,000.

In exchange, authorities allege, the McDonnells worked in concert to lend the prestige of the governor’s office to Williams’s struggling company, Star Scientific, a former small cigarette manufacturer that now sells dietary supplements.

McDonnell, 59, is the first governor ever to face criminal charges in Virginia, a state that has prided itself on a history of clean and ethical politics, and the charges will probably accelerate a push for the legislature to tighten state ethics laws.

The criminal prosecution marks a stunning crash for a politician who was considered for the Republican vice presidential nomination in 2012 and who, just a year ago, was considered a credible prospective candidate for president.

Mr. McDonnell insists that he is innocent and blames it all on — wait for it — “overreach by the federal government.”

Wow.  That’s a rather ironic statement from someone who tried to pass a law that required that women getting an abortion have a transvaginal ultrasound whether they wanted it or not.

If convicted, Mr. McDonnell could go to prison.  I will leave it to others to come up with their own conclusions as to what kind of overreach he might face there.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Road Closed

If you have been following the story of the George Washington Bridge lane closures last September (and if you haven’t, here’s a timeline), it’s pretty hard not to conclude that Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) is in a bit of a pothole.

First he laughed off allegation that the lane closures were political retribution for the mayor of Fort Lee’s refusal to endorse him for re-election.  He made jokes — “I was the guy putting out the cones” — or some such hilarity.  Then he was in the flat denial stages and mocking the reporters who kept asking him about it.  Now that it’s been revealed that his deputy chief of staff was thick into it, he’s come out with the “I was lied to!” line.

If you give him the benefit of the doubt and accept the last point — that people did this sort of thing under his nose without him knowing about it — that doesn’t speak very well of his management style.  After all, the person who sent out the smoking gun e-mail — “Time for some traffic troubles in Fort Lee” — was Bridget Ann Kelly, his deputy chief of staff.  That’s not an intern or a low-level administrative clerk; Ms. Kelly doesn’t work in a cubicle.  And if the governor did know about the closure and has been lying about it since September, he’s got a lot of explaining to do.  So far he’s shown that explaining and apologizing is not his strong suit.

Either way, whatever chances he had for getting the GOP nomination in 2016 are now problematic.  Frankly, I never really thought he had much of a chance to begin with; the GOP bases out in the hustings would never forgive him for being nice to President Obama or showing signs of being a moderate from the East Coast, even if it is New Jersey.  On the other hand, the hard-core Tea Partiers probably liked his bully-boy performances; they’ve been lapping it up from Rush Limbaugh for years, and this bridge story is the way they like to see tough-guy politicians kick some liberal ass.

We’ve seen politicians of all parties come back and win from political oblivion before, but I’d be impressed if Mr. Christie can fully recover from this.

Bonus: Jon Stewart’s opening last night nails it.

Friday, January 3, 2014

They Really Hate It

Josh Marshall does the numbers and notes that as more and more people sign up for Obamacare, so grows the rage among the right-wingers.

It is amazing to witness the sheer depths of rage, denial and disgust many people experience as they see millions of people gaining access to affordable health care for the first time. Back on the 31st I wrote this overview which outlined how more than 9 million people now have health care coverage because of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). It now seems like the number is more like 10 million (more on that in a moment).

This evening I mentioned this number on Twitter and saw the full force of denial and outrage as many anti-Obamacare diehards made first contact with the actual number of Americans who’ve gained coverage under the program. More though, it was clear how in the absence of a dead in the water website to cry crocodile tears over, anti-Obamacare hardliners have suddenly gotten a whole lot angrier about Obamacare.

[...]

…there are a lot of Obamacare dead-enders out there who just blow a gasket when they make first contact with these numbers. The first claim is that Medicaid expansion somehow doesn’t count. Or it doesn’t count if a 24 year old is now covered under their parents policy because well that happened a while ago or well, something.

The best dead-ender argument is that well, maybe these people who’ve signed up for subsidized private insurance policies won’t end up paying their premiums. When the arguments get down to this level you know you’re dealing with a deep and intense form of denial. I mean, what if all these people change their mind next month and decide they don’t want the coverage after all? What if Obamacare is so bad they all die in the Spring? What if Spartacus had an airplane? If you really, really are hoping for bad news you can come up with anything to keep hope, as it were, alive.

What I find most disturbing is that these conservatives would rather that 9 million people either don’t have adequate health insurance or none at all; that people suffer through catastrophic illnesses and lose their fortune, or have to support a family member because their coverage was null and void because of a pre-existing condition.  That’s not what they’d say out loud, of course — who but a pre-spectral-seeing Scrooge would want poor people to suffer? — but that is the end result.

The real fear they harbor is that the Affordable Care Act will work and they will have been on the losing end of a century-old battle to provide better healthcare for everyone in the country, not just the rich or the employed.

It’s just one more loss to be added to the column along with Social Security, civil rights, women voting, and the many other things they’ve fought against.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Family Feud

Predictable reaction from the Tea Party over the budget deal:

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) displayed a rare flash of anger at outside conservative groups on Wednesday when asked about their opposition to a two-year bipartisan budget deal struck between Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).

“You mean the groups that came out and opposed it before they ever saw it?” a visibly angry Boehner told reporters Wednesday, his tone rising. “They’re using our members and they’re using the American people for their own goals. This is ridiculous.”

Conservative groups Club For Growth, Heritage Action, FreedomWorks and Americans For Prosperity all began speaking out against the emerging deal before it was announced on Tuesday evening. These groups hold significant sway among House Republicans and have repeatedly thwarted Boehner’s attempts to govern and pass bills.

You mean like all those proposals that the president came up with that were crafted — some would say cribbed — from Republican ideas (i.e. Obamacare) that were shot down by the G.O.P. before they even got out of the starting gate?  Heh, indeedy.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Filibusted

At long last the Senate constipation is over: the Democrats finally had enough of the GOP blockage and bullshit and changed the filibuster rules for judicial and executive branch nominees except for the Supreme Court so that now it takes but a simple majority to have an up or down vote to confirm the nominees.

The Republicans are pissed, boy howdy.  How dare the Democrats actually try to accomplish something?  And even though Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was demanding simple up or down votes for George W. Bush’s appointments when the Democrats blocked them, that was so different because it was.  Their response now is, “Just wait until we’re back in the majority!  We’ll nominate all sorts of judges that will make the Democrats rue this day forever!”  Oh, you mean like Bush appointee Janice Rogers Brown, who thinks that it’s okay for an employer to deny birth control coverage to workers because it offends their religious sensibilities and the Baby Jesus?  Confirmed.  Or Priscilla Owen, who is so right wing that even former Bush administration Attorney General Alberto Gonzales accused her of “unconscionable judicial activism”?  Confirmed.  The Republicans have been getting their wingnuts through the Senate since Ronald Reagan.

It makes me laugh hollowly to hear the Republicans carrying on like white trash in a hurricane about the “loss of comity” and “the destruction of bipartisanship.”  Yeah, and the alligators are all so worried about the welfare of the rabbits.  They were warned repeatedly that this would happen, and finally, FINALLY, it did.  The schaden makes me very freude.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sixteen Days Later

Me, this morning:

…unless there’s some Aaron Sorkin scriptwriting going on backstage, we are going to default.

I am glad to be wrong.

Oh, and this isn’t too shabby, either.

That, after all, was the whole point of this exercise in the first place, wasn’t it?  Defund, destroy, eradicate it?  Heh.

So, here we are, sixteen days and FSM knows how many breathless BREAKING NEWS banners and incredibly stupid and outlandish statements from the Tea Party and minions in the Orcosphere, and what have they got to show for it?  Nada, zip, zilch, and bupkis.  All this screeching — enough that six banshees got out of the business — and we’re basically right back where we started: Obamacare is still with us, the debt ceiling has been kicked down the road to Groundhog Day — how appropriate — and we are all sick and tired of Ted Cruz and his beetle-browed humorless scowl.

If the Democrats and the White House feel like gloating, why not?  They’ve earned it.  The only thing that will dampen it is that the GOP and the Tea Party don’t know how to cook crow, much less eat it.  Mature and rational people would take this kind of humiliation and learn from it, perhaps even do some introspection and think about where they went wrong.  Well, we all though they would do that after the ignominy of the loss in last year’s election.  They even said it was time to rethink and re-brand.  And we all know how long that lasted.

This time will be no different, and I am confident that in February 2014 we’ll be right back here for the winter classic.  That I am sure of.

What I’m most impressed with, though, is how President Obama was absolutely chill through the whole thing.  I know I used the clip from The Godfather Part II when this all started, but it’s good for another run.

And then there’s this:

Obama I got this

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Who, Me?

The folks who egged the Republicans into the shutdown are now cutting their losses and running away.

In a letter to U.S senators dated Wednesday, Koch Industries denied ever advocating for a government shutdown as a way to force the defunding of Obamacare. The letter was in response to comments on the Senate floor Tuesday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in which he blamed Koch for the shutdown, which followed a conservative push to pressure Democrats into defunding or delaying Obamacare to keep the government open.

Yeah, except:

The billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David, have been deeply involved with financing the overall effort. A group linked to the Kochs, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, disbursed more than $200 million last year to nonprofit organizations involved in the fight. Included was $5 million to Generation Opportunity, which created a buzz last month with an Internet advertisement showing a menacing Uncle Sam figure popping up between a woman’s legs during a gynecological exam.

To quote the immortal Reverend Johnson: “Son, you’re on your own.”

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Neener, Neener

Please allow me a few moments of schadenfreude as the anti-gay trolls reel from the news from the Supreme Court.

Bryan Fischer, baying hatemonger:

Gee, I wonder if he felt that way about Bush v. Gore.

If Jesus wept, it was because sanctimonious bigots like Mr. Huckabee keep slandering the Christian religion with his hatred and flatulent demagoguery.

Justice Antonin Scalia dissented mightily, if not frothily.  TPM has the top ten quotes from his bench-delivered screed:

1) ‘Diseased Root’

“We have no power to decide this case,” Scalia wrote. “And even if we did, we have no power under the Constitution to invalidate this democratically adopted legislation. The Court’s errors on both points spring forth from the same diseased root: an exalted conception of the role of this institution in America.”

“The Court is eager — hungry — to tell everyone its view of the legal question at the heart of this case.”

2) ‘Jaw-Dropping,’ ‘Black-Robed Supremacy’

“That is jaw-dropping. It is an assertion of judicial supremacy over the people’s Representatives in Congress and the Executive,” he wrote, adding that the framers of the Constitution created a judicial branch with limited power in order to “guard their right to self-rule against the black-robed supremacy that today’s majority finds so attractive.”

3) ‘No Justification’ For Obama Administration

Chiding the Obama administration for refusing to defend DOMA in court, Scalia scoffed, “There is no justification for the Justice Department’s abandoning the law in the present case. The majority opinion makes a point of scolding the President for his ‘failure to defend the constitutionality of an Act of Congress based on a constitutional theory not yet established in judicial decisions … But the rebuke is tongue-in-cheek, for the majority gladly gives the President what he wants.”

4) ‘Legalistic Argle-Bargle’

Referring to the issue of standing, Scalia wrote, “I find it wryly amusing that the majority seeks to dismiss the requirement of party-adverseness as nothing more than a ‘prudential’ aspect of the sole Article III requirement of standing.”

“As I have said, the real rationale of today’s opinion, whatever disappearing trail of its legalistic argle-bargle one chooses to follow, is that DOMA is motivated by ‘bare … desire to harm’ couples in same-sex marriages.”

5) ‘Unimaginable Evil This Is Not’

“To be sure, if Congress cannot invoke our authority,” Scalia wrote, “then its only recourse is to confront the President directly. Unimaginable evil this is not. Our system is designed for confrontation.” He was referring to the House Republicans’ decision to defend DOMA after the Obama administration began arguing it should be struck down.

6) ‘Rootless And Shifting’

Excoriating Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion against DOMA, Scalia declared, “There are many remarkable things about the majority’s merits holding. The first is how rootless and shifting its justifications are.”

As one example, he continued, “the opinion starts with seven full pages about the traditional power of States to define domestic relations—initially fooling many readers, I am sure, into thinking that this is a federalism opinion.”

7) ‘Confusing’

Scalia continued to criticize Kennedy’s opinion, calling it “confusing” on the core issue.

“Moreover, if this is meant to be an equal-protection opinion, it is a confusing one,” Scalia wrote. “The opinion does not resolve and indeed does not even mention what had been the central question in this litigation: whether, under the Equal Protection Clause, laws restricting marriage to a man and a woman are reviewed for more than mere rationality.”

8) ‘Moral Disapproval Of Same-Sex Marriage’

“As I have observed before, the Constitution does not forbid the government to enforce traditional moral and sexual norms,” Scalia wrote. “However, even setting aside traditional moral disapproval of same-sex marriage (or indeed same-sex sex), there are many perfectly valid — indeed, downright boring — justifying rationales for this legislation. Their existence ought to be the end of this case.”

9) ‘Wild-Eyed Lynch Mob’

Accusing the majority of demonizing DOMA’s supporters, Scalia wrote, “I imagine that this is because it is harder to maintain the illusion of the Act’s supporters as unhinged members of a wild-eyed lynch mob when one first describes their views as they see them.”

He continued: “In the majority’s telling, this story is black-and-white: Hate your neighbor or come along with us. The truth is more complicated. It is hard to admit that one’s political opponents are not monsters, especially in a struggle like this one, and the challenge in the end proves more than today’s Court can handle. Too bad.”

10) ‘The Court Has Cheated Both Sides’

“Some will rejoice in today’s decision, and some will despair at it; that is the nature of a controversy that matters so much to so many,” Scalia concluded. “But the Court has cheated both sides, robbing the winners of an honest victory, and the losers of the peace that comes from a fair defeat. We owed both of them better. I dissent.”

To which Mo Roca tweeted:

On behalf of every same-sex couple and those who believe and support them, may I say with all the respect you deserve: You lost.  Your quest is now ended.  So please fuck off.

HT to JMG.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Havana Daydreaming

The chase for Edward Snowden is turning into a Marx Brothers movie.

NSA Leaker Edward Snowden was supposed to be on Aeroflot Flight 180 from Moscow to Havana. He wasn’t. But “dozens” of journalists are. It just took off. And there’s no booze service on board. Welcome to the Cuban Whistleblower Crisis.

Moscow to Havana is a 12-hour flight.  Plus, those journalists have to stay in Havana for a minimum of three days.  And it’s hot and humid there this time of year.

Heh.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Kids Are Not All Right

A new report from the College Republicans says that the GOP has totally trashed their chances with younger voters.

Titled the “Grand Old Party for a Brand New Generation,” the report is sharply critical of the GOP on several fronts. The study slams some Republicans’ almost singular focus on downsizing Big Government and cutting taxes; candidates’ use of offensive, polarizing rhetoric; and the party’s belly-flop efforts at messaging and outreach, even as the report presents a way forward and, at times, strikes an optimistic tone.

In the report, the young Republican activists acknowledge their party has suffered significant damage in recent years. A sampling of the critique on:

Gay marriage: “On the ‘open-minded’ issue … [w]e will face serious difficulty so long as the issue of gay marriage remains on the table.”

Hispanics: “Latino voters … tend to think the GOP couldn’t care less about them.”

Perception of the party’s economic stance: “We’ve become the party that will pat you on your back when you make it, but won’t offer you a hand to help you get there.”

Big reason for the image problem: The “outrageous statements made by errant Republican voices.”

Words that up-for-grabs voters associate with the GOP: “The responses were brutal: closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned.”

“[The] Republican Party has won the youth vote before and can absolutely win it again,” the report says, pointing to presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush who were competitive with that demographic. “But this will not occur without significant work to repair the damage done to the Republican brand among this age group over the last decade.”

Shorter version: “You know how you’ve always been?  Stop being like that.  Then everything will be really groovy.”

Monday, March 4, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hurt Fe-Fe’s

NPR dutifully reported that some Republicans were upset by President Obama’s inaugural address.

Whiny BabyMARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Republicans didn’t just object to President Obama’s speech, they were affronted by it. Whit Ayres is a Republican pollster and strategist.

WHIT AYRES: Republicans were hoping for something akin to the president’s 2004 convention speech where he talked about there being no red America or blue America, but a United States of America. But his tone yesterday was 180 degrees away from that tone in 2004. It was graceless, confrontational, combative, in your face.

LIASSON: It was the tone, even more than the substance, that bothered Republicans. House Budget Committee chair Paul Ryan, who was Mitt Romney’s running mate, told the Laura Ingraham Show today that Mr. Obama’s speech departed from the approach of a traditional inaugural address.

(SOUNDBITE OF RADIO SHOW)

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: There was sort of, you know, campaign’s over, bring everybody together and try and unify. That was not a speech we got and it doesn’t surprise me that he did that because he’s basically saying: I’m a liberal and I’m going to govern as a liberal and I won, so there.

They were affronted!  Oh my stars and garters!  Oh my ears and whiskers!  How will they ever recover?  This could be the end of comity and bipartisanship in Washington!

Sheesh.

After four years of some of the most vicious and childish backbiting and foot-stomping tantrums from the Republicans, plotted out on the night that Barack Obama was first sworn in four years ago, they want him to come back to them with his hat in his hand and play nice?

They should count themselves lucky that the inaugural speech didn’t include “Bite me.”

Get over it.  You lost.  Move on.  So there.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Frankly Speaking

Barney Frank is not what you would call a shrinking violet.

Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), whose 32 year career in the House of Representatives came to an end yesterday, said Friday that he’s told Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) that he would welcome an interim appointment to the seat expected to be vacated by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA).

Frank said that the fiscal cliff deal that passed the House of Representatives earlier this week and set the stage for a return to the same legislative fight in a matter of months “means that February, March and April are going to be among the most important months” for the American economy.  The outspoken Democrat indicated he would only hold the seat until the statewide special election and has no designs of carving out a career in the Senate, but he relishes the opportunity to be a part of the next fiscal battle on Capitol Hill.

“I’m not going to be coy. It’s not anything I’ve ever been good at,” Frank said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I’ve told the governor that I would now like, frankly, to do that because I would like to be a part of that. It’s only a three-month period. I wouldn’t want to do anything more. I don’t want to run again.”

Still, it would be worth it for three months just to watch John McCain fulminate.

And that would make Elizabeth Warren the senior senator from Massachusetts.