There is a runoff election tonight in Mississippi in the race between incumbent Republican Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel, who is backed by the Tea Party and other right-wing activists. Cochran has the support of the GOP establishment who prefer his bland predictability and being a good soldier to McDaniel’s radicalism which would make him a potential wild card and threat to Mitch McConnell’s plans if the Republicans take control of the Senate.
Nobody paid much attention to the race until McDaniel forced Cochran into a run-off in the primary. Cochran is expected to go down in flames to the hard-charging McDaniel. In an act of desperation, Cochran is pleading for Mississippi Democrats, especially Blacks to save his seat. Republican are sending poll watchers to “observe” Democratic voters.
The only reason the Republicans are sending “poll watchers” is not to protect the integrity of the vote but to intimidate Black voters. On the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer where Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner lost their lives buried in the Mississippi mud, this is a repulsive act of Good Ol’ Fashioned Southern Racism.
As regards Sen. Thad Cochran, if he isn’t isn’t cut from the same dirty cloth as James Eastland, John Stennis, Theodore Bilbo, Trent Lott and the other undistinguished gang of losers, idiots and bigots Mississippi keeps sending to the upper chamber in Washington, he’s only a more genteel and low profile version.
He’s been there a long time (36 years), is a committed supporter of pork barrel politics and has accumulated a horrid record on social issues.
Cochran is received an 11% rating from the NAACP, indicating an anti-affirmative-action stance, but that’s positively sparkling compared to his 0% rating by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record and 0% by the Human Rights Campaign, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance.
Not that the challenger (and almost certainly the next U.S. Senator from Mississippi) is any sort of prize. In fact, McDaniel is even less appealing than Cochran.
McDaniel, who surprisingly led Cochran by 1,400 votes in the June 3 primary, has been able to mask how far right he really is. Investigative magazine Mother Jones in 2013 reported that McDaniel was featured speaker for a neo-confederate, pro-secessionist conference in Jones County where many attendees wore Confederate uniforms.
Last Saturday, The New York Times, which has sent two reporters to cover the runoff, interviewed Carl Ford, a 77-year-old lawyer in McDaniel’s hometown of Ellisville. A staunch McDaniel backer, Ford admitted being active in the county’s Sons of Confederate Veterans.
What The Times didn’t know is that Ford had been a Klan lawyer who in 1998 served as a defense attorney for the late Sam Bowers of Laurel. Bowers was Imperial Wizard of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan during the civil rights era. The White Knights was a Mississippi-born group which the FBI charged with plotting several brutal murders.
Bowers was three times prosecuted as the mastermind for violent racial crimes. A state jury in 1967 deadlocked by one vote on convicting Bowers for the firebomb slaying of respected Hattiesburg grocer Vernon Dahmer, an NAACP voting rights leader. Retried in 1998, with Ford on the defense team, Bowers was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the Dahmer murder. Bowers died in prison in 2006.
I have no doubt a Tea Party prick like McDaniel will do his best to get that NAACP rating down to zero and make the dead and damned souls Stennis, Eastland and Bilbo smile on whatever rock in hell they’re squatting on.
If there were a way for both Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel to lose, the U.S. Senate would be better for it. It’s equal parts laughable and contemptible that Cochran is looking to Black Democrats to save his worthless old ass.
This is some real “the devil you know” shit.
If I were a voter in Mississippi tonight, I’d hold my nose, pull the lever for Cochran and tell any “poll watcher” to bacdafucup off me.
No matter who wins nothing good is coming the way for Black Mississippians from either of these two good old boys.
What in the hell is up with Republicans and their obsession for making these utterly inept and inane comparisons between slavery and anything else? Is this some new fetish with you guys or what?
Sarah “Pay Me!” Palin: “Our free stuff today is being paid for by taking money from our children and borrowing from China,” she said at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition’s fall fundraiser at the State Fairgrounds Saturday night. “When that money comes due—and this isn’t racist, but it’ll be like slavery when that note is due. We are going to beholden to the foreign master.”
Rand “This Really Is My Hair” Paul: “With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to healthcare, you have to realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me,” Paul said recently in a Senate subcommittee hearing.
“It means you believe in slavery. It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses.”
Sean Hannity bestie Dr. Ben Carson: “You know Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,” Carson, who is African American, said Friday in remarks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington. “And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control.”
Repeat Offender Michelle “Batshit-Crazy” Bachmann: Health Reform: In a 2009 speech in Colorado, Bachmann railed against healthcare reform. “What we have to do today is make a covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing. This will not pass.” Claiming that many Americans already pay half their income to taxes, she said, “This is slavery…It’s nothing more than slavery.”
– National Debt: In January, Bachmann offered her now infamous take on American colonial history in which she declared that the Founding Fathers “worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States.” Bachmann then framed her speech as an argument against the “slavery” of the national debt. “It is a slavery, it is a slavery that is a bondage to debt and a bondage to decline,” she said. “It is a subservience of a sovereign people to a failed, self-selected elite.”
In 2011, Batshit Bachmann and Rick “Foamy” Santorum were the two GOP presidential contenders to sign a pledge against same-sex marriage which included a passage that stated Black families were better off under slavery.
“Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA‘s first African-American President.”
Governor Goodhair Rick Perry: “I think we’re going through those difficult economic times for a purpose, to bring us back to those Biblical principles of … not spending all of our money, not asking for Pharaoh to give everything to everybody and to take care of folks, because at the end of the day, it’s slavery. And we become slaves to government.”
Extra Super Fun Fact: Perry’s family hunting camp was known as “Niggerhead” ranch.
Nevada Assemblyman Jim Wheeler: A Nevada assemblyman said he would vote in favor of legislation allowing for slavery if it was something his constituents wanted him to do.
Jim Wheeler, a Republican from Gardnerville, was talking to a crowd of Storey County Republicans in August he when said “yeah I would” vote for slavery if that’s what his constituents wanted.
“If that’s what they wanted, I’d have to hold my nose, I’d have to bite my tongue and they’d probably have to hold a gun to my head, but yeah, if that’s what the citizens of the, if that’s what the constituency wants that elected me, that’s what they elected me for,” he said. “That’s what a republic is about. You elected a person for your district to do your wants and wishes, not the wants and wishes of a special interest, not his own wants and wishes, yours.”
Fair and Balanced equal time inclusion from Joe “I Say Whatever Crazy Think I Think” Biden: “Look at what they [Republicans] value, and look at their budget. And look what they’re proposing. [Romney] said in the first 100 days, he’s going to let the big banks write their own rules — unchain Wall Street,” Biden said a rally in Danville, Va. “They’re going to put y’all back in chains.”
Chattel slavery was an absolute evil and as practiced in the United States it became a monstrous abomination. All these cheap politicians and cheaper talking heads are not only engaging in racially insensitive and tone-deaf metaphors with their banal slavery comparisons, they are exhibiting lazy thinking to the extent they think at all.
Republicans in particular should know better. One of their own, Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves, an accomplishment his fellow Grand Old Party comrades point to with chest-puffing pride when they come in from criticism for their racial views.
It’s doubtful Abe would be down for the casual way Republicans throw the word “slavery” around today. After all, he is the guy who said, “Whenever I hear any one arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”
Me too, and it’s a little early, but how about a remake of 12 Years A Slave starring Palin, Perry, Bachmann, Paul, Carson, West and Wheeler? As the slaves.
“We can talk about baseball. Talk about politics. Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he’s treated. We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country. The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.”
There must be a whistle going off somewhere only conservatives and Republicans can hear that reveals Aaron really was saying, “President Obama is left with his foot in the stuck in the mud from all of the [racist] Republicans [everywhere, but especially in Congress] with the [racist] way he’s treated.”
That has to be the only answer, because there was NOTHING in Aaron’s remarks that put all the Republicans in America in general or in Congress on blast as being racists which is a term Aaron never used.
It would seem crying wolf about racism is not a malady confined only to The Left. I guess all those right-wingers losing their shit missed the part where Aaron said, “We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements,” huh?
It is 2014, we have twice elected a black president, and Jackie Robinson is an American icon, celebrated annually on April 15. And yet: Hank Aaron is receiving hate mail, which reminds us that black people are still held to a different standard, when it comes to expressing strong opinions on race.
“Hank Aaron is a black man,” Frank Robinson told me on Tuesday, after helping to light the Empire State Building in Dodger blue to honor the 67th anniversary of another Robinson’s debut. “He only spoke his mind. I have seen and heard other people in this country say worse things, and they don’t get hate mail. It shows you we still have a ways to go.”
Robinson — a Hall of Fame player, the first African-American manager and MLB’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Development — did not list those “worse things,” but here are a few: Tea Party rallies where people hoist signs showing a Hitler mustache on President Obama, activists sending around emails portraying the president as a monkey, Braves fans calling Aaron the N-word, repeating what the home run king endured 40 years ago.
On Tuesday, USA Today columnist Bob Nightengale, who wrote the original piece, clarified that Aaron did not directly compare Republicans to the Ku Klux Klan. “Never in our 50-minute conversation did Aaron suggest anyone critical of President Obama is racist,” Nightengale wrote. “Never did he compare the Republican Party to the Ku Klux Klan. . . . Simply, Aaron stated that we are fooling ourselves if we don’t believe racism exists in our country.”
Whether or not Aaron meant to invoke the KKK, the ensuing hate mail is a larger story. The Braves received hundreds of calls, emails and letters eviscerating Aaron, according to USA Today. “Hank Aaron is a scumbag piece of (expletive) (racial slur),” read one of the notes.
I asked Robinson the obvious follow-up to his initial comment: Are we still in a place in our society where a black person makes controversial comments, and is more vulnerable to vicious criticism than a white person?
“I think so,” he said. “We have made great progress, but we still have a different standard. And it’s too bad. But we keep fighting, and we keep going forward, and taking the cause forward.”
I’m not even a fan of baseball. Don’t like the game and don’t watch it, but I know what men like Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson have done for both their sport and to make this country a less blind, less backward and less racist place than it has been. The fact that Aaron’s wisdom prompts such knee-jerk reactions and bigoted invective is proof of how blind, backward and racist America remains.
There is nothing anyone can say that in way diminishes Aaron’s standing as the man who broke Babe Ruth‘s home run record and was reviled, vilified and had life threatened by bigots every step of the way who could not their tiny little minds around the idea that a “nigger” could surpass the legendary Bambino.
It is laughable that someone tapping on their tablet or laptop can even slightly tarnish the luster of Aaron’s accomplishments. This is a man who took the worst the most hostile racists could throw at him and emerged triumphant and his pride intact. This is a country that still bitterly resents whenever a Black man speaks the truth about race instead of what they think is the truth.
Aaron was asked why for 40 years he has kept all the hate mail he receives.
“To remind myself that we are not that far removed from when I was chasing the record. If you think that, you are fooling yourself. A lot of things have happened in this country, but we have so far to go. There’s not a whole lot that has changed.”
Can a brother get a “boom shakalaka” from the choir?
The mouth-foaming frenzy of Aaron’s conservative critics proves him to be a prophet. He’s still hammering home the truth.
I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter turnout machine.”
~ Doug Preisse, Republican Party chairman of Franklin County
Here’s the thing about the sacred right to vote. It’s only a right as long as you have it. They don’t have to take it away from all at once. Killing it off by a slow death of a thousand cuts will get the job done just as effectively.
The hard-right conservatism of the Republican Party does not appeal to Black voters. This is simply a fact. Here in Ohio, a perennial battleground state, the Republicans recognize this and have resolved to address it by doing all they can to suppress the Black vote as Think Progress reported:
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has followed through on promises to restrict voting opportunities in his state. The change, announced Tuesday, eliminates extended early voting hours on weekdays, the final two days before Election Day as well as Sunday voting, a day typically important to African-American voters because churches use it to turn out votes.
The early voting period is vital to the elderly, low-income voters, and anyone else with limited means to get to the polls, not to mention that it cuts down on election-day long lines and chaos. MSNBC notes that in 2008, black voters made up 56 percent “of all weekend voters in Cuyahoga County, Ohio’s largest, even though they made up just 28% of the county’s population.”
Husted’s announcement comes on the heels of other Ohio initiatives to suppress turnout. Ohio just passed two bills that eliminates an entire week of early voting and end the practice of mailing absentee ballots.
Naturally Husted would never say he’s going to make it harder to vote. The Big Lie told by the GOP is they are streamlining the process and making it fairer.
“In 2014, absentee voters will have the option of voting in person for four weeks, or they can vote without ever leaving home by completing the absentee ballot request form we will be sending all voters,” Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said. “Our goal is to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat and to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity in the voting process no matter which method they choose.”
“Easy to vote and hard to cheat?” That’s a different line than Husted’s rap last year when his office and the state’s 88 country boards conducted investigations looking for fraud in the 2012 presidential elections and came back with 135 cases they recommended for prosecution.
Wow. That many? Go get those crooks, Jon-Boy! Uh-uh. Not so fast. Every whiff of smoke doesn’t mean there must be a forest fire.
“Voter fraud does exist, but it is not an epidemic,” Husted said. “To put this into context, … that’s 135 referrals out of more than 5.6 million votes cast.”
Well, that’s disappointing, but 135 cases is good enough for the G.O.P. Let’s go ahead and shorten the early voting period by six full days and get rid of same-day voter registration. While we’re at it let’s cut the number of voting machines in the state and increase wait time for voters at the polls. Especially those old Black ones. Watching them shiver in the November cold to cast their ballots will be fun!
Once upon a time Blacks had to march in the streets and even die for the right to vote. Just because marches aren’t popular and nobody’s dying doesn’t mean Blacks can relax and stop fighting to keep and protect their hard-won rights.
The Republicans are engaged in one of the historically most efficient political tactics: suppress the vote and by making it harder for people whom aren’t going to vote for you to for vote for the other guy, you win. Voter suppression works for Republicans and that is today’s Black History Moment. If we sit idly by it will be tomorrow’s Black future.
What the enemies of our progress take away we can take back. IF we are willing to fight for it. Hoping someone else will come along and get our rights back won’t do it. When it comes to voter suppression Husted and Kasich are only getting started.
A lot of people found 2013 to be a bad year. MSBNC had a really bad year.
The ratings have been in the toilet. They moved Ed Schultz out of prime-time to a Saturday afternoon (!) dead zone and then back to just-out of prime time though his show wasn’t getting clobbered as badly as the hapless Chris Hayes is by the invincible O’Reilly Factor.
MSBNC gave Alec Baldwin a “talk” show. At least, I guess it was. It got yanked off the air so fast over Baldwin’s bad temper and big mouth that it’s hard to remember what kind of show it was supposed to be.
Martin Bashir lost his afternoon show for suggesting someone should defecate in Sarah Palin’s mouth.
Just to wrap things up in a big red bow, on the Melissa Harris-Perry show, the panel had a big tee-hee over Mitt Romney welcoming a new grandson, an adopted Black baby named Kieran Romney, to the family and hilarity ensued on the show.
“Everybody loves a baby picture,” Harris-Perry said, “and this was one that really, a lot of people had emotions about this baby picture this year. This is the Romney family. And, of course, there on Governor Romney’s knee is his adopted grandson, who is an African-American, adopted African-American child, Kieran Romney.”
As Harris-Perry made the introduction, panelist Pia Glenn sang “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn’t the same,” a tune whose original lyrics read “one of these things doesn’t belong.”
“And that little baby, front and center, would be the one,” she added.
“And isn’t he the most gorgeous?” Harris-Perry said. “My goal is that in 2040, the biggest thing of the year will be the wedding between Kieran Romney and North West. Can you imagine Mitt Romney and Kanye West as in-laws?”
Comedian Dean Obeidallah chimed in by reducing the baby to a token. “I think this picture is great,” he said. “It really sums up the diversity of the Republican party, the RNC. At the convention, they find the one black person.”
I don’t like Mitt Romney and he would have been a lousy president, but while he is rich elitist and exhibits no particular concern for other races it doesn’t by default mean he’s overtly hostile to them either. But even if he was that’s no reason to make fun of his Black grandson.
Harris-Perry quickly issued an apology on Twitter and her MSNBC page, but it was too late. She had handed her critics a sword and they pounced to impale her with it accusing her of reverse-racism against the Romneys.
At the beginning of her Saturday program Harris-Perry issued another apology to Governor Romney’s family and those she offended with her failed attempt at humor, but didn’t make it though the segment before breaking down tearfully.
Romney was scheduled to appear on Fox News the next day where he was certain to be asked about the controversy, but the blogosphere wasn’t about to wait for him as one critic sneered, “She’s only sorry because her producer/ station caught so much backlash, they knew they needed to apologize. I seriously doubt it’s heartfelt. Even abusers can turn on the tears when apologizing. Not buying into her act.”
I’ve met Melissa Harris-Perry. She’s an academic, not an actress.
When someone says they’re sorry and it’s them saying it and not a spokesperson, agent or some crisis manager, it should be accepted as genuine and heartfelt until proven otherwise. Everyone screws up. It’s how you handle the screw-up and move past it that matters.
Some folks insist on having their pound of flesh and will keep carving until they get it.
She fucked up. She apologized multiple times. The object of the insult accepted the apology.
On her Right flank, MHP is taking flak for an apology judged insincere. On her Left flank, MHP is catching hell for apologizing at all. They’re both full of it. Only the blindest partisans and the terminally cynical would doubt the sincerity of the apology.
Romney didn’t seem to as he said on Fox, “I think people recognize, and the folks at MSNBC who have apologized recognize, people like me are fair targets: If you get in the political game, you can expect incoming. For children, that’s beyond the line. I think they understand that and feel that as well. I think it’s a heartfelt apology, and I think for that reason we hold no ill will whatsoever.”
That should be it. Of course it’s not.
Mitt Romney didn’t have to accept Harris-Perry’s apology as being sincere. That he did speaks to his compassion and understanding that human beings–even ones on MSNBC–fail and when they try to do the right thing after doing the wrong thing, they should be forgiven.
Nothing has changed how I feel about Harris-Perry and her guests heavy-handed and dim-witted attempt at humor at a child’s expense. But let’s not overreact here, okay? This isn’t the first person in the media to screw up and go after a kid or any other soft target. MHP used poor judgment and she got rightfully called out for it.
I hope she learns from her mistakes and grows from the experience. Too often others in the same position haven’t apologized. Not sincerely, not insincere or at all.
For every one Harris-Perry royally effing up there are dozens of examples of a Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Bill Maher, Al Sharpton or Alec Baldwin saying something simultaneously stupid and horrific and any apology, if one is offered at all, comes grudgingly and delivered with a smirk, a snicker and a wink.
I didn’t see any of that in Harris-Perry’s apology. I guess her haters did.
In the depressingly vast sea of Whiteness of cable TV talking heads, Melissa Harris-Perry provides a shot of not only much needed racial diversity, but a degree of intelligence, wit and class to a medium conspicuously short of all the above.
It’s time to forgive and forget and mostly forget.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, acknowledged Wednesday that he would allow a vote in the House on a newly-minted Senate deal on debt and spending.
“We fought the good fight. We just didn’t win,” he said on WLW radio in Ohio.
Boehner additionally confirmed that he would “absolutely” allow the whole House to vote on a plan introduced on Wednesday in the Senate. That bipartisan plan, unveiled by Senate leaders, would fund the government through mid-January and raise the debt ceiling until early February.
Which begs the musical question…
How in the hell was this any sort of “good fight?”
What exactly was the high-minded principle The Boner and his fellow knuckle-dragging troglodytes were fighting for worth shutting down the entire government for three weeks, throwing thousands of federal workers out of work and cutting off their checks (while Congress made sure they were still receiving their pay) pushing the country into default and making the United States of America look like the nuttiest asylum ever run by the most insane inmates?
“We Just Didn’t Win.”
Which means The Boner is a loser. The Caveman Caucus is full of grunting losers. The Republican Party is a loser. Ted “Canadian Bacon” Cruz is the biggest loser right along his fellow losers in the collective of whiny losers called the Tea Party. That is a good thing to come out of a bad thing.
Ultimately the cavemen caved in. What else could they do? Though the extremist whack jobs in Congress and their little cheerleaders on Fixed News were ready to crash and burn the American economy for the sake of a temper tantrum, eventually the adults wrested the controls away from them and narrowly avoided one potentially very hot mess.
So if the Boner is wimpiest wimp that ever wimped in American political history and is a Dead Man Walking in his remaining tenure as Speaker of the House of Crazy People, who were the winners here?
NOBODY WINS in a sorry spectacle like this and you are on crazy pills if you think anybody won jack. The Congressional crazies will be all over the television and the radio and the Internet telling anyone who will listen, “We WON! We shut down the government! We brought the country to a screeching halt. Man, we ROCK! We are such total bad-asses! High-five and chest bumps all around!”
This will be nothing more than the hollow victory yelps of crazy people and no different from the whiskey-fueled ranting of a mangy drunk arguing with himself on a standing-room bus as a puddle of pee runs down his leg and all the other riders desperately try to pretend the foul-smelling lout isn’t really there.
That is what the Republican Party is now. Mangy, ranting drunks who annoy everyone and stink of stale ammonia strong piss.
We’ll take a break from this unnecessary exercise in brinkmanship and be back for more of the same after the Xmas when “The Real Assholes of Washington D.C.” returns for its next season.
What have we learned? We have learned John Andrew Bohner is the 61st Speaker of the House and a total neutered whipped dog who is regularly kicked around by 30 extremists in his own caucus and he lives in fear of the next kick in the rib.
I’d feel sorry for the Boner if I wasn’t revolted by his submissive groveling weakness and his gutless “I don’t give a shit what happens to the country as long as I’m still Speaker” self-preservation motivation.
See you in January.
- John Boehner Is Worse Speaker In History (davidmixner.com)
- Top ten losers – and a few winners – in the DC debt ceiling debacle (rickdunhamblog.com)
- Republicans are unfit to govern (themoderatevoice.com)
- Has Ted Cruz already moved to quash emerging Senate deal to end the Republican shutdown? (dailykos.com)
This was the week the new fall season of television got underway. Did you catch The Ted Cruz Show this week?
Limited production values. Lousy acting. Boring script. If there ever was a program that deserved cancellation before the debut, Senator Cruz’s phony filibuster to defund Obamacare was definitely it.
Terrible Ted hopes he call bullshit the American people into believing he has the votes to repeal President Obama signature domestic accomplishment (he doesn’t) and that he isn’t operating out of craven calculation and cynically pandering to the GOP wing-nuts in hopes of winning the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 (he won’t).
What makes me sick is how some purer-than-thou liberals actually sided with Cruz when he came out against bombing Syria in retaliation for Bashir al-Assad using chemical weapons against civilians. All of sudden Cruz was being called “principled.” That’s what I can’t stand about some liberals is how they will deep French kiss their worst enemies if they happen to agree with them on something.
If Cruz endorsed motherhood, the flag and apple pie, I’d be opposed to all three. I don’t want to on the same side as Cruz on anything. I can’t believe a principled liberal like a Paul Wellstone, Howard Metzenbaum or Ted Kennedy would crawl in bed with a rattlesnake like Cruz and expect him not to bite, but such is the sorry state of contemporary liberalism.
Normally, there would be an issue or two where I could find common ground with Cruz, but my distaste for the smug bastard makes it impossible for me to even WANT to find common ground.
The TED talk by Cruz lasted 21 hours and 19 minutes. He talked about how terrible/awful/no good Obamacare was. He said most senators have bad haircuts and wear cheap suits. He professed his fondness for White Castle hamburgers. He read from Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham.”
Showing my age here, but I remember when the Senate was once dubbed “the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body.” Reading Dr. Seuss does not seem to rise to that level of debate Cruz missed the point of the story. By the end , the protagonist ends up liking green eggs and ham. Does that mean Cruz really likes Obamacare?
When his time expired the Senate voted 100-0 to move to consider the legislation from the House to keep the government open and paying its bills with Democrats vowing to strip the defunding poison pill out of it.
That’s right. One hundred to zip. When he was through showing off and wee-weeing in his Depends, Cruz voted to go ahead and proceed with the legislation he claimed he’d talk about until he dropped.
Which only made this particular bit of political theater more of a pointless farce than it already was. The only purpose it accomplished was to give a first-term, junior Senator a spotlight. Cruz delights in being abrasive and pushing his mug into every passing camera even if it means he doesn’t actually get much done in the Senate.
The Cat in the Hat responds to Senator Cruz invoking “green eggs and ham.”
The Cruz style of politics as a contact sport is where you piss into a glass, toss in an ice cube, declare it to be lemonade and roll your eyes in shocked disbelief as to why everyone isn’t lining up for a swig.
Because no matter whether you’re pulling for the Duluth Democrats or the Rockford Republicans, most Americans don’t care which side wins as much as they care about stuff getting done. Simply calling attention to yourself by being the loudest and rudest a-hole standing on a table and pounding on your chest doesn’t do dick but annoy everyone in earshot.
Cruz wouldn’t be the first newbie to the Senate who gambled the best way to the top is not by the long slog of building a legislative record of accomplishments (Obama sure didn’t) and in Washington, even exhibitions of unbridled ambition this naked aren’t unusual.
What is unusual is how bound and determined Cruz is to sharpen his elbows and jab in the ribs either Democratic foe or Republican ally as if neither one of them can respond with an act of payback that chops him off at the ankles. If being the darling of right-wing radio and blogs is all it took to win the Republican presidential nomination, Cruz would have it locked up and Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and all the other potentials could skip 2016. However, just being the darling of right-wing radio and blogs is not the same thing as being the darling of the party elders and the big shots who write the checks and Cruz is not that guy.
Washington is a small town with big egos and long, ugly memories. Cruz hasn’t been there long enough to know this, but 2016 is still far enough away for him to learn
- Jon Stewart Torches Ted Cruz’s Fake Filibuster (VIDEOS) (talkingpointsmemo.com)
- Should Ted Cruz Have Read From Dr. Seuss’s Vile Anti-Japanese Work Rather Than Green Eggs & Ham? (reason.com)
- Cancel The Ted Cruz Show! (rippdemup.com)
Maureen Dowd, the New York Times columnist whose rep is based upon her sharp-edged nasty snark than deep political insights sniped at President Obama over the Senate’s failure to pass any meaningful gun legislation, “Unfortunately, he still has not learned how to govern,” Dowd wrote with each word dripping in acidic scorn, “How is it that the president won the argument on gun safety with the public and lost the vote in the Senate? It’s because he doesn’t know how to work the system. And it’s clear now that he doesn’t want to learn, or to even hire some clever people who can tell him how to do it or do it for him. “
Dowd, who has never held any elected office besides runner-up to the homecoming queen helpfully suggested Obama should look to Hollywood for pointers on what to do, “The White House should have created a war room full of charts with the names of pols they had to capture, like they had in “The American President.”
The rank stupidity of Dowd’s brain-dead advice was not lost on Obama when he said during the White House Correspondents Dinner, “Everybody has got plenty of advice,” the president said with his own Snark Gun loaded and cocked, “Maureen Dowd said I could solve all my problems if I were just more like Michael Douglas in ‘The American President.’ And I know Michael is here tonight. Michael, what’s your secret, man? Could it be that you were an actor in an Aaron Sorkin liberal fantasy? Might that have something to do with it?”
Instead of the I.R.S. investigating the Tea Party, someone ought to investigate why the Times continues to give Dowd space to spew nonsense.
“Some folks still don’t think I spend enough time with Congress,” the president said. “‘Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?’ they ask. Really? Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?”
That was a laugh line for the president, but the next one was him speaking from the heart. “I’m sorry. I get frustrated sometimes.”
Obama has hosted Republican Senators for dinner. He invited Paul Ryan to sit down for lunch. He’s played golf with other Republicans. As far as outreach goes, the president has tried everything but a pajama party sleepover in the Lincoln Bedroom.
This is the kind of “bipartisan” reaching out b.s. that make the collective nipples of the Washington press corps hard and erect. In the wake of the I.R.S. investigations, the continued Benghazi story and the Justice Department’s surveillance of the Associated Press, last week was Christmas in May for the professional Obama bashers in the GOP and right-wing noise machine. What made things a bit more unusual was how the supposed Obama worship ping “liberal” media piled on as well.
The nature of the professional press is they are at your feet one day and at your throat the next. The easy (and lazy) way to lay the blame for the failure of Congress to get anything done even when a clear majority of Americans want it, is to go Dowd’s way and lay it all on the wimp in the White House. That allows the Republicans to claim their hands are clean and that is exactly the cover idiots like Mo Dowd provide them.
Dowd’s specialty is supposed to be politics, but she doesn’t seem to know how to count votes, how deals are cut to win votes, and how hard it is to “punish” lawmakers who don’t do the president’s bidding when they’re more afraid of special interest groups, possible primary challengers and irate voters back home than the man in the Oval Office.
Sometimes you must leave the high road and fetch your brass knuckles. Obama should have called Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota over to the Oval Office and put on the squeeze: “Heidi, you’re brand new and you’re going to have a long career. You work with us, we’ll work with you. Public opinion is moving fast on this issue. The reason you get a six-year term is so you can have the guts to make tough votes. This is a totally defensible bill back home. It’s about background checks, nothing to do with access to guns. Heidi, you’re a mother. Think of those little kids dying in schoolrooms.”
This is how bubblehead liberals like Dowd breathing the rarefied air in their ivory towers believe the world should work. Come on Obama, you gutless wonder! Be like President Josiah Bartlett and impose your will, reward your friends and punish your enemies. Guilt trip a balky Democrat if you can and ridicule them if you must. It’s easy. Just call President Bartlett and ask him!
And then what? What if Sen. Heitkamp says, “I’m sorry, Mr. President. My constituents don’t want this bill and I don’t either.” What can Obama do then? Call Harry Reid and tell him to make sure Heitkamp only gets the crappiest of committee assignments? Obama was in the Senate with Reid before he moved from the Capitol to the White House. He knows Reid has no clout juice and they don’t fear Obama, they laugh right in Reid’s face.
The truth why President Obama can’t seem to get anything through Congress the answer is simple The strategy of Congressional Republicans is to give him NOTHING. If Obama is for it, they are against it. Even if it is something Republicans normally favor. This has always been known. Now even some Republicans are ‘fessing up to the strategy, but that doesn’t shake the conviction of the skeptics who say if only Obama twisted arms a little harder and thumped that bully pulpit a little more.
There are far too many fools like Mo Dowd who think the President can do what he wants simply because he IS the President. They blame Obama because it is easier than to blame a few hundred Republican obstructionists in Washington whose policy position is if Obama is for it, they are against it. This is by design, not accident. I’m reading Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein‘s It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism and I’d be doing Dowd the biggest favor of her life if I passed it on to her to once I’m done. There are lots of answers for her between the book’s covers.
Ornstein, a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, told Fresh Air’s Terry Gross, ” It’s time to acknowledge how far the Republican Party has veered towards tolerating extreme ideological beliefs and policies, and how the GOP has embraced cynical and destructive means to advance political ends over problem-solving.”
While Dowd would have us all believe if Obama would only grow a pair he could knock some sense into the GOP. Ornstein and Mann know that’s too simple by half and despite the eagerness of the press to slice the pie into even slices of who’s to blame for the political gridlock, they aren’t reluctant to point to the Republicans as deserving the lion’s share. “…However awkward it may be for the traditional press and nonpartisan analysts to acknowledge, one of the two major parties, the Republican Party, has become an insurgent outlier — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition. When one party moves this far from the center of American politics, it is extremely difficult to enact policies responsive to the country’s most pressing challenges.”
Derailing Hillary Clinton 2016 is the real target of the Benghazi “scandal.” If it hurts Obama too, that’s just gravy to the wing nuts. According to her polling numbers, Clinton has become more popular, not less. The Republicans and Fox News haven’t laid a glove on her.
Dowd is impervious to reason, logic, history or fact. She preens from her perch as the Grey Lady’s Red-Haired Harpy lacking the gravitas of Paul Krugman, the intelligence of Thomas Friedman, the compassion of Nicholas Kristof or the social conscience of Charles Blow.
But she’s still got Obama to kick around for another three years. Unless her Republican friends successfully impeach him first. She’d probably like that.
I WENT to New York last week to cover the TV presentations for the new season, shows like “Scandal,” “Shark Tank” and a faltering “American Idol.”
I may as well have stayed here.
You know that the faltering American idol in the White House must be reeling in this scandalous spring. No Drama Obama is immersed in drama so over the top it could have been scripted by Shonda Rhimes and Karl Rove.
Who knows? If Washington keeps imploding, Hillary may run in 2016 on restoring honor to the White House.
You know Dowd is sippin’ that purple drank when an relentless Hillary-hater is looking wistfully to her for relief. Could that be why she forget how much she despises Hillary as she spitefully made clear in 2008.
As a possible first Madame President, Hillary is a flawed science experiment because you can’t take Bill out of the equation. Her story is wrapped up in her marriage, and her marriage is wrapped up in a series of unappetizing compromises, arrangements and dependencies.
Instead of carving out a separate identity for herself, she has become more entwined with Bill. She is running bolstered by his record and his muscle. She touts her experience as first lady, even though her judgment during those years on issue after issue was poor. She says she’s learned from her mistakes, but that’s not a compelling pitch…If Hillary fails, it will be her failure, not ours.
What is Dowd anyway? A smug, smart-ass who is passed off as some sort of “liberal” but comes off more like the Times version of a self-hating one like Fox’s Kirsten Powers or a TV critic? Why should anyone take seriously a political columnist who doesn’t seem to know how politics works?
If you believe the op-ed page even the Times doesn’t believe Dowd parroting the G.O.P.’s talking points about “scandals.”
The American public, Greg Sargent pointed out this morning, does not find a presidential scandal in either the Benghazi talking points or the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of right-wing groups seeking a tax-exempt and disclosure-free status.
In a C.N.N. poll released over the weekend, 61 percent of Americans say President Obama’s comments about the I.R.S. investigation were mostly or completely true, and 55 percent say the I.R.S. acted on its own. On Benghazi, 50 percent believe that early statements about the attack reflect what the administration believed at the time, compared with 44 percent – 76 percent of them Republicans – who say officials intentionally misled the public.
The blind hatred of the Republicans for this president will gradually lead them to overplay their hand. For now Obama will have to take incoming fire from the front from Republican Klingons trying to depose him as well as backstabbing “liberals” and the eighth biggest hack in journalism who have the long knives out after Obama the same way they were for Bill and Hillary, Al Gore, John Kerry and every other Democrat who doesn’t measure up to Joe Bartlett.
Because in Dowd’s wacky world, the only good Democrats are Democrat who aren’t real.
- Gibbs: I don’t read Maureen Dowd. Dowd: Backatcha (hotair.com)
- MSNBC’s Joan Walsh Blasts ‘Deeply Stupid’ Obama-Blaming Maureen Dowd Column, NRO Writer Agrees (mediaite.com)
- Maureen Dowd Discovers That Barack Obama Is Neither Andrew Shepherd Nor Josiah Bartlett (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Gentry Liberals and Brass Knuckles: The Case of Maureen Dowd (blogs.the-american-interest.com)