Lose, Reince, Repeat
I have to hand it to Reince Priebus, the guy is no quitter.
Despite the fact that his party’s candidates turned the 2012 presidential campaign into an internationally acclaimed political farce and handily lost an election that they believed they had in the bag, Reince was undaunted. The RNC chairman spent his entire post-election Christmas vacation pounding out 100 pages of extreme makeover ideas for the GOP, some of which were pretty good ones. Ultimately, all of them were cavalierly dismissed or completely ignored by the rank and file.
So that was one year down the tubes. Now we’re heading into mid-term elections which, if current GOP trends prevail, will surely prove to be a farcical free-for-all in search of America’s Biggest Extremist. Karoli over at Crooks and Liars has astutely observed the usual Republican establishment’s pre-election jitters surfacing already:
It must be an election year, because there’s no other reason for wingers who never do anything about their crazies to react to the backlash over Austin Ruse’s statement that “liberal professors should just be taken out and shot.
We’re bound to see more such organizational hand-wringing before November but, let’s face it, Reince doesn’t really have a prayer of keeping that many congressional races sane, so that’ll be another year shot.
For example, there’s little Reince can do about this guy who’s running for a congressional seat in Arizona, Home of the Western Wingnut. Jim Brown evidently believed that his voter base would find it topically relevant to know where he stands on slavery so he posted this little gem on his Facebook page, last week:
Back in the day of slavery, slaves were kept in slavery by denying them education and opportunity while providing them with their basic needs. Not by beating them and starving them. Although there were isolated cases, of course.
Basically slave owners took pretty good care of their slaves and livestock and this kept business rolling along.
Evidently some one in the local party apparatus decided that touting slavery as good for the economy wasn’t where they wanted the party headed and Jim Brown issued the stock GOP apology that we all now know by heart:
Some people read this to mean that I didn’t think slavery was that bad. I believe that slavery is worse than death — yesterday, today and tomorrow. I apologize to anyone I offended.
“Some people” are just such bad readers and so capriciously offended, arent they?
Which brings us to the RNC’s latest plan for achieving the impossible dream of winning a presidential election. In a year that Hillary Clinton will probably run.
The plan, in a nutshell, is to gag the candidates by cutting the number of primary debates in half and choosing wingnut-friendly moderators. Because we all know, by now, that it was actually Candy Crowley who eighty-sixed Mitt Romney in 2012.
The RNC vision for primary season is to replace candidate debates with well-scripted info-mercials, in a calm, controlled environment that will be less likely to spook the
wildlife candidates into inappropriate behaviors. And there’s really no rule that says debates have to be live, right? The inability to edit out stupid stuff, gaffes and forgetfulness has undermined many fine Republican candidates.
They also plan to move up the nominating convention to June, instead of August, so they only have one cat to herd into the Fall.
Reince Priebus told California Republicans, yesterday, that the GOP’s current primary process is “a complete disaster.” Well, shoot, here we thought it was the candidates and what they think and say. And, all along, it was the primary process that made them think and say such stupid stuff.
Well, the RNC is going to fix that.
Unfortunately, not in time to put a muzzle on 2016 presidential prospect Paul Ryan (R-WI) who took to the airwaves this week to cite a white supremacist, Charles Murray, on why poor “inner city” people made their own bed.
Priebus, with a “here we go again” look on his face, had to get out in front of that one on the Sunday talk-a-thon to try to persuade Candy Crowley, and the rest of us, that this was some sort of tough love move on Ryan’s part because he just wants to help inner-city poors so much.
Priebus led with the usual “Democrats made this a thing out of nothing” defense:
Democrats are lying in wait as well to pounce on anything.
Here’s what I would say, why was Paul even talking about this? The reason he was talking about it is he devoted a large part of his life — starting back when he worked for Jack Kemp — on finding ways to tackle poverty, to free up capital, to create opportunities in urban areas around this country.
And here we thought Ryan was multi-tasking in swing states . . . .
When that didn’t shut down Crowley, Priebus offered this middle-school riposte:
Right so when Joe Biden says ‘free people up from the chains’ we don’t talk about that, but we talked about Paul Ryan who is momentarily devoting his entire life right now in this moment (literally, this means he is devoting this moment) to talk about this issue.
Nice try, Reince, but the guy who said this has already admitted he was “inarticulate” (i.e., impolitic and idiotic) and is planning an apology tour through the Congressional Black Caucus, next week. And, Reince, if you have to stand up before the cameras and defend dubious statements made by your brightest, shiniest presidential stars two and a half years before the election, I suggest you buckle your seatbelt, now, because it’s going to be a very bumpy ride. And I’m not convinced you’re up to that job.
For anyone who thinks that Paul Ryan is getting a bad rap on this, including you Mr Chairman, I highly recommend that you listen to this excellent response from Jonathan Capehart.
Same Grand Old Party, same 19th century platform, same RNC, same extremist base, same utter denial.
And for those of you who feel that both parties suck, right now, I give you Mr Haraldsson of PoliticusUSA:
Definitely, Democrats have reason to worry, and should. We should take nothing for granted. But we don’t begin to operate under the constraints of a party that has Rand Paul as their shining star.
Cheer up, Democrats. At least you’re not the Republicans.