John Boehner quit his job. One question. Why’d it take so long?
Boehner must want to go work on his tan. As Speakers of the House go I recall the reign of error of Jaunty Jim Wright and Dumbo Denny Hastert (recalling my Mighty Marvel Bullpen days), and Nimble Nancy Pelosi was no prize either, but Joltin’ Johnny Boehner brought his own special sort of suckiness to the job.
Fuck this shit. I just wanna go hit a bucket of ball, smoke a few cancer sticks and drink my scotch in peace. Beats workin’.
I wouldn’t carve out a new Mt. Everest of Leadership for Boehner, McConnell, Pelosi and Reid, but really, WHAT are we losing by this fucktard bailing and running for the exit?
A government shutdown? Had one with the Boner in charge. Endless Benghazi investigations? Still got those with the Boner in charge. Refused to raise the debt ceiling? That was the Boner again. Voting 50 FUCKING TIMES to defund Obamacare? All on the Boner’s watch. Disrespected by and unable to control the Tea Party Crazies in his caucus? That’s gotta be the Boner.
In my lifetime, there have been ten Speakers of the House. I liked some, respected a few and loathed the rest. Without question or qualification, despite the disparaging nickname, John Boehner was hands down the absolute worst, most ineffectual, limpest dick to wield the gavel. Nancy Pelosi had been bigger balls than Agent Orange.
“During the — during my years here when I voted, I have the eighth most conservative voting record in the Congress. And it does pain me to be described as spineless or a squish. And I tell you what pains me the most is when they describe me as the establishment. Now, I’m the most anti-establishment speaker we’ve ever had. You know, who was the guy who got rid of earmarks? Me. Who’s the guy that believes in regular order? Me. Who believes in allowing more members to participate in the process from both sides of the aisle? Me.”
Who’s a whiny-ass little bitch? You, John Boner Boehner. You were a squish. A spineless little slimy worm.
Don’t tell me who’s coming after him will probably be worse. Look at the flotsam and jetsam in the House Republican leadership and tell me something I don’t know. Tell me if Boehner’s replacement will be as impotent as he was?
I despise gutless, cheap political hacks like Boehner who will wear his permanent stink of failure like a cheap dollar store cologne.
Bye-bye to the Boner. The Worst Speaker of the House in my lifetime. A hemorrhoid on the nation’s asshole, John Boehner was as useless as a Trojan with a hole in it.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.
The Tea Party is not racist. The TEA Party is not racist. The Tea PARTY is not racist. THE Tea Party is not racist.
No matter how many times or how many ways you say it, you can’t deny it: The Tea Party IS racist. As hell. Let us not dither or waffle or obfuscate. When something is obvious, you must call it what it is, not what it protests it is not.
An arsonist is not someone who loves fires. An arsonist gets his rocks off by burning shit up.
A pedophile is not someone who loves children. A pedophile screws kids and screws up their lives.
The Tea Party is not made up of firebugs and scum that bugger children. A Tea Partier is not someone who simply has a philosophical and political difference with President Obama. A Tea Partier is a White person who didn’t give a shit about politics under there was a Black man in the White House.
Morgan Freeman is not my default go-to guy on politics, but he’s been around long enough to know the nativist, regressive, reactionary language of the Tea Party is merely old-fashioned racism remixed for the 21st Century and he let the bullets fly in an Daily Beast interview.
The lengths that people will go to show their prejudices! You see some of these signs that say, “TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK!” What the fuck is that? Whose country are you talking about? They are being pushed to the side, which is a good thing for them to realize: you don’t have the power you think you have in this country. Obama was legitimately elected president. If you don’t like that, fine, either move out, or make your point and get yourself elected, but don’t tear the country apart! That’s not going to get you anywhere. I think the Republicans have pretty much destroyed themselves by allowing themselves to be controlled by a small contingent of people with a lot of money.
My position on The Tea Party has evolved as their politics have regressed. They have zero tolerance for anything and anyone that does not conform to what “America” is and so too has my position that these nitwits, half-wits and dim wits should be met with tolerance and understanding. Tried that and it doesn’t work. You can’t reason with idiots whom are impervious to understanding and view even attempting to as a sign of weakness. That’s when they pounce and go for your throat.
My stance for the Tea Party is the same as Michael Corleone for the Five Families; I don’t have to wipe all of them out. Just the ones whom are my enemy.
In a day of provocations and incendiary language at Tea Party-type protests Saturday in Washington D.C., WorldNetDaily.com author and Birther attorney Larry Klayman stands out.
“I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience, and to demand that this president leave town,” said Klayman, a founder of the conservative Freedom Watch political advocacy group. Before a crowd at the “Million Vets March on the Memorials” Klayman demanded that President Barack Obama “… get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up.”
The rallies had been pitched as a protest by veterans opposed to the shuttering of monuments, but have turned into Gadsen and Confederate-flag festooned rallies reminiscent of Tea Party rallies, complete with calls by some speakers for “people to stop obeying this government.”
“In 237 years, our country has declined more than Rome took 2000 years to do,” he said. “We are ruled, quote-unquote, by a president that bows down to Allah.”
The Constitutional right of freedom of speech does not absolve citizens of responsibility for our speech. If Klayman’s incendiary words don’t rise to the standard of sedition, it skirts the edge of it. This isn’t the first time Klayman has advocated the overthrow of President Obama. In August he wrote a column pleading for the military to depose their Commander-in-Chief.
Standing by while Klayman called for a revolution were former Governor and noted quitter, Sarah Palin and Sen. Ted Cruz and neither of them distanced themselves from Klayman’s remarks. Probably because they agree with them.
This isn’t your normal Republican vs. Democrat slap-fight. This is more than a simple difference in politics. This is hate, pure and simple and no amount of apologizing for the Tea Party excuses it.
When Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fl) said in an interview the Tea Party “was no more popular than the Klan” the conservative press was annoyed and demanded other Democrats denounce his remarks.
Which few did, because while the Tea Party is more popular than the Klan their hatred of the President is exactly the same and there’s no denying that.
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.
Welcome to October. The government is closed and Obamacare is open.
We are here because John Boehner is an impotent, ineffectual, coward with no heart, no brains and no balls. Boehner is intimidated by the rabid right-wing of his caucus who have planned shutting down the government for two years. This week they revealed their extortion demands. Kill off Obamacare or they’ll kill off the government.
The Republicans have calculated can win by waging war against the government their constituents benefit from. It’s an insane strategy but these are conservatives that gone rogue and damn the consequences, “SHUT IT DOWN!”
If the American people take the bullet aimed at Obamacare, that’s a sacrifice the Republican Taliban is willing to make. It’s not like they are giving up their paychecks. That could change when the phone lines are tied up, people are calling, tweeting, yelling and cursing out their Congresscritter to cut the shit and get the government back open.
I would imagine if I had plane tickets paid for and a hotel room reserved that I can’t get a refund for a trip to a national park that is now closed, I’d be pretty pissed off right about now. The sort of pain these extremists are inflicting it the type that isn’t forgotten or forgiven. It defies political sense for the House to pick this fight, but these Republicans are jumping off a cliff with suicide vests and the ones hurt most by their own mad extremism will be ordinary people.
“It’s about fairness for the American people.” — John Boehner
Boehner, shut your lying ass mouth! You didn’t bow down to the anarchists of your caucus to be “fair” to the American people. You did it because you’re you are afraid to lose your leadership position which is funny since you’re not a leader but a pathetic figurehead.
Whenever a Republicans uses the words “fairness” and “the American people” in the same sentence put on your wading boots on because the b.s. is knee deep and rising.
Even conservative Republicans know they are waging war against the radical Republicans as Peter King (R-NY) told Fox News.
“We have too many people in our party, it’s a minority, who are following Ted Cruz, and they are tying up the entire Republican party,” King said. “The overwhelming majority of House members would vote to keep the government open. I’m tired of having Ted Cruz call the shots for the House Republicans.”
The Republican Party abdicated the role of “the loyal opposition” to become the angry obstructionists. They want to roll back, overturn, repeal, defund, remove, take away, cut, slash and burn the country back to a time when Blacks knew their place, gays stayed in the closet as by day women wore high heels and make-up as they made Dad’s martini and by night they were barefoot and pregnant.
The Republicans refuse to send to the Senate a “clean” continuing resolution that funds the government without inserting a poison pill that defunds the Affordable Care Act. If Boehner had control of his caucus, he could avoided all of this brinkmanship, but he doesn’t and he didn’t.
A negotiation usually means there’s something both sides want. What do the Republicans have that the President wants? He got his signature domestic achievement without their help and he’s got no reason to give them a damn thing now. The President and the Democrats have no reason to negotiate with themselves. Give in to the Tea Party Republicans now and they’ll be back on October 15th when the debt ceiling has to be raised with a whole new Xmas list of right-wing goodies they want.
There’s nothing for the President to negotiate. The Affordable Care Act is a settled issue. It’s gone through Congress, it’s gone through the federal courts, it’s gone through the Supreme Court, it’s gone through a presidential election and survived every attempt of the Tea Party, the GOP, the right-wing noise machine, Mittens and every other right-winger trying to kill it off. It will survive ambitious morons like Ted “The Canadian” Cruz and the caveman caucus of John “Crybaby” Boehner too.
It’s not good for the GOP brand when a small contingent of ultra-conservatives mostly from safe districts and an overly ambitious first-term Senator with presidential ambitions overrun a spectacularly weak Speaker of the House and shut down the government while threatening to create even greater chaos when the debt ceiling deadline arrives in less than two weeks. But as bad as it is for the Republicans it’s worse for the country.
People get tired of lurching from crisis-to-crisis and especially manufactured ones such as this doomed plot by Cruz and his House best buddies to defund Obamacare despite having no clear plan on how to do it besides hoping the president and the Democrats would do it for them.
They thought Obama and Harry Reid would cave. They didn’t, but now they will. The Republicans are wishing in one hand and crapping in the other and one will fill up before the other.
Give a bully your candy one day and the next he’s back for your lunch money too. You have to stop them before they break into your house and rape your sister. That’s the mentality of bullies and the House Republican caucus is lousy with bullies.
In 13 months voters will go to the polls to choose every member of the House of Representatives and it’s way past time to vote Boehner and his caveman caucus off the island.
There are many ways to become well-known as a U.S. Senator. You can be a grinder, a workhorse who shuns soundbites on Sunday morning talk shows to busy yourself doing the dirty work of writing legislation. You can wrap yourself up in the business of providing support for the folks back in your home state. You can learn the rules of the Senate and take the time to build working relationships with both sides of the political aisle.
Or you can say, “screw that,” and become well-known for being a jerk. That’s where Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) comes in. With sharpened elbows and a nasty disposition guaranteed to annoy your allies and outrage your enemies. There is a reason freshman Senators are often treated like children underfoot. They either don’t know or don’t care what the protocols are of the Senate. Guys like Cruz prefer throwing a sharp elbow and being a royal pain in the ass.
Cruz is a Princeton debating champion, Harvard Law School graduate, law clerk to the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and the former solicitor general of Texas. He’s not dumb. Just nasty. He just goes about things in dumb ways such as his slimy attack on Chuck Hagel during his confirmation hearings to become Secretary of Defense. “We do not know, for example, if he received compensation for giving paid speeches at extreme or radical groups,” Cruz told the Senate Armed Services Committee before it voted to approve Hagel’s nomination. “It is at a minimum relevant to know if that $200,000 that he deposited in his bank account came directly from Saudi Arabia, came directly from North Korea.”
That unsubstantiated slam against Hagel’s character earned Cruz a rebuke from John McCain. McCain ended up voting against his former Republican colleague, but shot down the junior senator from Texas when he said of Hagel, “no one on this committee should at any time impugn his character or his integrity.”
Cruz’s bare-knuckles approach doesn’t do much more than calling attention to how much of a jack-ass he is. We saw how much of mule’s patootie Cruz really is when he used a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting as an opportunity to lecture Diane Feinstein about the Constitution. What followed was a very public display of irritation with the upstart freshman.
“Would she consider it constitutional for Congress to specify that the First Amendment shall apply only to the following books and shall not apply to the books that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights?” Cruz said, speaking to Feinstein.
“Likewise, would she think that the Fourth Amendment’s protection against searches and seizures, could properly apply only to the following specified individuals, and not to the individuals that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the law?”
Pointing her finger and glaring at Cruz, Feinstein shot back.
“One, I’m not a sixth grader,” Feinstein said. “Senator, I’ve been on this Committee for 20 years. I was a mayor for nine years. I walked in and I saw people shot with these weapons.
“I’m not a lawyer,” she added, “but after 20 years, I’ve been up close and personal with the Constitution. I have great respect for it. … So I, you know, it’s fine you want to lecture me on the Constitution. I appreciate it. Just know I’ve been here for a long time.”
“I thank you for the lecture. Incidentally, this does not prohibit — you used the word ‘prohibit’ – it exempts 2,271 weapons. Isn’t that enough for the people of the United States? Do they need a bazooka? Do they need other high-powered weapons that other people use in close combat? I don’t think so.”
What a snot-nosed, swaggering rookie like Cruz probably doesn’t know is while he’s trying to score rhetorical points with the Fox and Friends crowd, Feinstein wasn’t just blowing smoke when it comes to having first-hand familiarity with gun violence. She could have lectured her caustic colleague of the bloody events that led to her becoming the mayor of San Francisco. Namely, the murders of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.
Feinstein went on CNN and to explain her angry reaction to Cruz’s condescending remarks.
“Well, I just felt patronized,” Feinstein told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “I felt he was somewhat arrogant about it. When you come from where I’ve come from and what you’ve seen, when you found a dead body and put your finger in bullet holes, you really realize the impact of weapons. And then as you go up the technical ladder with these weapons, and they become more sophisticated, and more the product of a battlefield, and you’ve got these huge clips, or drums of 100 bullets out there that people can buy, when you see these weapons becoming attractive to grievance killers, people who take them into schools, into theaters, into malls, you wonder, does America really need these weapons? My answer to that is no. And so it’s based on my experience.”
None of this phases Cruz who seems to revel in starting new fires as soon as the previous ones are put out. There’s no chance a nervy punk like Cruz learns anything remotely resembling humility or even simple manners from Feinstein setting him straight. That would take a degree of class Cruz shows no signs of possessing.
That’s okay. There have always been terrible Senators like him and they usually find themselves isolated by their own rudeness, offensive ways and arrogant attitudes. Cruz isn’t even the biggest asshole from Texas serving in Congress. Not as long as Louie “Terror Babies” Gohmert is gibbering like a drunken hyena in the House.
As a senator, Cruz has six years to make a complete fool of himself. He should pace himself.
“If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.”
~ Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) on opposing the president’s health care reforms.
I wanted to find a picture of Jim DeMint and Barack Obama. You know, just a standard pic of the two politicians smiling for the cameras even while they’re thinking, “Damn but I can’t stand this guy.” The thing is there are no pictures of the two together. Jim DeMint does not like a lot of people and he would probably cut his right hand off before he would ever shake Barack Obama’s hand. It’s personal for DeMint. It’s not just business.
Then again, the list of who the conservative kingmaker dislikes is a long one and doubtlessly has as many Republicans as it does Democrats. DeMint is resigning to head up the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank and will likely see a substantial six-fold pay boost in his salary.
DeMint didn’t create the incivility, the gridlock and overall dysfunction of the Senate, but he sure didn’t mind helping it along either. As the Tea Party’s man in the upper chamber of the legislative branch, DeMint saw his job not to make Congress work better, but for it to not work at all.
Giving credit where credit is due: DeMint understood the arcane rules of the Senate and realized he could accomplish through procedure what the Republicans lacked in numerical advantage.
However, DeMint sneered at the idea of compromise and stressed absolute ideological purity even when it meant taking out his fellow Republicans such as Robert Bennett, Richard Lugar and nearly Orrin Hatch. Their crime? Being willing to work with Democrats.
DeMint has been silent on how public of a role he’ll play in electoral politics over the next two years, and its unclear whether his new position at Heritage, a not-for-profit organization that is barred from playing in politics, will limit his ability to openly push for candidates.
Nevertheless, DeMint’s departure means he could play a pivotal role in the 2014 mid-term elections — either as a conservative kingmaker or as a spoiler who backs ideological pure but fundamentally unelectable candidates, as he did in 2010 with Christine O’Donnell.
And unlike the last two cycles, when DeMint’s activities were constrained by his promise not to target colleagues in primary races, he will be free in the coming months to pick and groom primary opponents to incumbents in the Senate.
Remember, this is the guy who said he would prefer the GOP stay in the minority with “30 Marco Rubios than 60 Arlen Specters,” a moderate Republican that DeMint lined up in his crosshairs. As it turns out, Specter went rogue and switched over to becoming a Democrat rather than take on a Tea Party primary challenger DeMint was supporting, but the message was clear: to create a GOP caucus that was faithful to his brand of ultra-conservatism, DeMint would not hesitate to go after other Republicans he felt were too soft and accommodating the Democrats.
Once again in 2014, the Democrats have more of their incumbents trying to defend their seats, but an unleashed DeMint may be more worrisome to Republican senators who he considers insufficiently conservative. DeMint has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2016, but hasn’t said if he’s considering it. If the GOP selects someone too moderate for his taste, you can expect DeMint or a surrogate to mount a challenge from the Right.
As far as his replacement goes, DeMint is supposedly bullish on Rep. Tim Scott, the other African-American elected as a Republican to the House in 2010 along with the just defeated Allen West. Another Tea Party type, Scott is just as far to the Right as West, but not nearly as prone to put his foot in his mouth.
If chosen by Governor Nikki Haley to finish DeMint’s unexpired term, Scott would be the first Black Republican from the South in the upper chamber since Reconstruction. Big deal. Scott is just another Tea Bagger right-winger. When he won the election to the House in 2010, he declined an invitation to join the Congressional Black Caucus. “While I recognize the efforts of the CBC and appreciate their invitation for me to caucus with them, I will not be joining at this time,” Scott said. “My campaign was never about race.”
Even a tool like West joined the CBC. During the 2011 clash over raising the debt ceiling, Scott warned the president might face impeachment if he invoked a clause in the 14th Amendment to by pass Congress. “This president is looking to usurp congressional oversight to find a way to get it done without us. My position is that is an impeachable act from my perspective.”
If chosen to replace DeMint, much will be made of the historical nature of Scott’s appointment. Much less attention will be paid to how he is little more than DeMint in blackface.
That’s a prospect that remains to be seen if it become reality. I can respect DeMint’s unshakable commitment to conservative principles, but I despise his legacy of obstructionism and contempt for the beliefs of others.