How About Starting With the Man in the Mirror?

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Evidently, Republicans are semi-serious about their campaign to “stamp out the uglitude”  in the hopes of winning some elections this century without redistricting every other week.  At least they’re willing to spend money on it. 

The latest pep rally took place in Charlotte, North Carolina where Republicans decided to shoot the messenger and move on.  I have to agree with Christian Science Monitor reporter, Patrik Jonsson, on the takeaway from that meeting:

The meeting confirmed what most Americans can see plainly: The Party of Lincoln is having a crisis of confidence. The failure of Mitt Romney to connect deeply enough to win a race against a vulnerable Democratic incumbent shook the party establishment, which is already dealing with a powerful internecine and absolutist revolt from right-wingers in the guise of the tea party.

For now, Republicans say they’ll focus less on changing the message than tweaking the messenger. Talk of beefing up the party’s ground game and social media activities dominated much of the discussion, as did “tone” – how ill-chosen words by a few candidates, including Mr. Romney, helped shade perceptions and weaken the party’s message.

On Sunday, the GOP’s Boy Blunder, Paul Ryan, offered up this generic insight:

We have to expand our appeal to more people and show how we will take the country’s founding principles and apply them to the problems of the day to offer solutions to fix our problems.  We have to show our ideas are better at fighting poverty, how our ideas are better at solving health care, how our ideas are better at solving the problems that people are experiencing in their daily lives. And that’s a challenge that we have to rise to. And I think we’re up for it.

I guess none of that had occurred to Ryan when he was blithely lying his way through the 2012 Republican Convention

Few would argue that Republicans don’t have to “expand [their] appeal to more people” because their base is literally dying off. But the interesting thing about Ryan’s statement is that he has a sort of “drug pusher mentality” of “. . . try it.  You’ll like it” about the GOP Platform despite the American public’s quantifiable and overwhelming repudiation of the ultra-conservative ideologies, policies and tactics that currently make up the GOP Bag O’ Tricks.

And where are these “. . . ideas better at fighting poverty. . . .at solving health care. . . at solving the problems that people are experiencing in their daily lives” going to come from?  Certainly NOT from Ryan’s own signature Budget Plan which has been exhaustively analyzed and ridiculed by economists to the extent that his own running mate had to distance himself from it.

Moreover, comments coming from GOP Leadership, on all of the hot-button issues of the day,  infer that the party is definitely in tweak rather than overhaul mode. 

But why should the electorate believe any Republican about-face when they have just been treated to the most egregious lying ever to feature in a Presidential campaign?  The one thing that is consistent about Republicans in 2012 was that they would say or do anything to get elected.  Are we to believe that has changed?

Well, don’t struggle with the answer to that one—it’s NO.  Here’s just a sample offering of Republican post-election ideas and legislation that we are expected to recognize as being “better” at fighting poverty, solving health care and the problems that people are experiencing in their daily lives”:

John Boehner: Ending Abortion Is ‘One Of Our Most Fundamental Goals This Year

At the annual anti-abortion protest March for Life, last Friday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) took the opportunity to reiterate his commitment to banning abortion in America for good.  Boehner said he will make it a national priority to “help make abortion a relic of the past. Let that be one of our most fundamental goals this year,” he said.

Okay.  This is the Speaker of the House of Representatives unveiling his number one legislative priority.  It has nothing to do with jobs, education, health care, the economy, immigration but rather a forty-year-old hobby-horse of an issue to weaken the law of the land.  And to spend Congressional time and taxpayers’ money doing it.  Again.

But wait!  Speaker Boehner isn’t finished yet.  He also managed to soak the taxpayers for more legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act, which has been adjudicated unconstitutional by numerous federal courts.

And, speaking of wasting taxpayers’ dollars, there’s this:

Michelle Bachmann’s #1 Priority for 2013: Repeal Obamacare - thirty-fourth time is a charm?

On Thursday, the first day of the 113th Congress, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) pounced on the opportunity to announce that she’d filed the first bill of the new legislative session. Something about it looked familiar.

It’s an effort that has been tried repeatedly by House Republicans—at least 33 times—only to fail, or ultimately be shot down by the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats.

And that, on the heels of a highly criticized failure, by the House, to wrap up work on a relief package for victims of Superstorm Sandy or move on a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

[So far, not much has changed.] 

Or, how about this:

New Mexico Rep. Cathrynn Brown—The Rapists’ Advocate

New Mexico state Rep. Cathrynn Brown proved that this week by introducing a bill aimed at throwing rape victims in jail if they refuse to honor their rapist’s right to control their body by carrying his child. This sort of insult to rapists will not stand, so Brown, standing up bravely for rapists who want the suffering they’ve inflicted to carry on and on for their victims, has proposed banning abortion for rape victims on the phony grounds that it’s “tampering with evidence”.

That ought to put a stop to slutty single girls using abortion as a contraceptive—a favorite Republican meme.

Or this:

Arizona Proposes Law Requiring Loyalty Oath for Graduation from Public Schools

Arizona Republicans—some of the most Republicanuttiest in the Land are trying to mandate that religious oaths about defending the Constitution be recited in order to graduate high school. 

Here’s the proposed oath:

I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; so help me God.

That should help.  And how about the people who already take oaths like that?  Like sherriffs? who inform the President they will not be enforcing his gun laws because they’re UNCONSTITUTIONAL [in their humble opinion]

If you’re not convinced this is really stupid, how about the part that says “I take this obligation freely”?  Shouldn’t they add something like “because I really, REALLY need to graduate.”

And, just in case all of that fails to rebrand the GOP, there’s always election rigging . . .

How About Splitting Electoral Votes?  Yeah!  That’s the Ticket . . .

Virginia Republicans have been on a ruthless tear in the past few weeks. On Inauguration Day, when Democratic state Sen. Henry L. Marsh III was attending the festivities in Washington, Republicans pushed through a surprise redistricting bill that passed along party lines—20 to 19. Marsh’s district would be carved up to create another African-American-dominated district in the vicinity of Richmond while essentially erasing a Democratic-controlled district in rural western Virginia currently held by former gubernatorial nominee Creigh Deeds.

The bill was proposed and pushed through with such speed that Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell said he was taken by surprise but would reserve judgment on whether he would actually veto the bill. After outcry over the electoral scheme, his office said the governor opposed the larger change, a position aped by the current AG and GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli—a telling head fake toward the center by one of the most extreme candidates in recent memory. If he actually becomes governor this fall, I’m willing to bet he’ll change his mind right quick.

As John Avlon, of The Daily Beast, commented:

Situational ethics are rampant in hyperpartisan politics, but this proposal is a perversion of political reform—transparently cynical and self-interested. It is the mark of a desperate party trying to rig the election results to stay in power for as long as it can. If Republicans want to remain competitive in swing states, they should work harder to reach out beyond their conservative populist base. These sordid proposals are nothing more than a scam and a scheme with the American people as the intended mark and the White House as the glittering prize. 

I’m afraid this is still, very much, your Granddad’s GOP.

Posted by Bette Noir on 01/28/13 at 12:16 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsElection '14Election '16Nutters

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Talk of beefing up the party’s ground game and social media activities dominated much of the discussion

Yeah, I can hardly wait to see them lumbering to the facebooks and the tweeter, so they can talk to the cool kids.

Maybe they can get help from Sarah Palin on how to use facebook. I understand she has time on her hands now.

The entire issue begins with that little throwaway line “...a vulnerable President.”  Obama was only vulnerable, or rather more vulnerable than any other sitting President, in their minds. From the very beginning they believed so strongly that Obama’s first election was a fluke, and that 2010 better expressed the will of the “real” Americans, that they couldn’t bring themselves to believe that he would give ANY republican a run for their billions. They never lost that arrogant misperception for the entire race.
In reality Obama was a strong candidate with a huge popular following. The only question was: would he have the skill to turn that popular base out to vote in a contested election.

The Republicans went into the election cycle believing, falsley, that any white man would beat Obama. They came out of it shellshocked and still unable to grasp the scope of their defeat.

They came out of it shellshocked and still unable to grasp the scope of their defeat.

@aimai I agree that the crux of the problem is that Republicans don’t think they have a problem—just a few bad breaks.

Ironically, I think it will be easier to keep them under control as long as they are in denial.  If the day comes that they finally do “grasp the scope of their defeat,” I’m afraid we’ll all be in for a very bad time, possibly including shootin’ arns.

We have to show our ideas are better at fighting poverty, how our ideas are better at solving health care, how our ideas are better at solving the problems that people are experiencing in their daily lives.

As long as they can show this by doing nothing more than asserting it, they’re golden.

That’s the whole point of the “polishing their shoes, not changing them” thing, right?

Bette and aimai; very insightful.  I do worry a bit about the “backed into a corner” scenario that they are going to start feeling any time now…

Conservatism can never fail, it can only be failed.

The modern conservative movement is neither modern, nor conservative, nor a movement.

Well, it’s kind of a movement…

I’m afraid this is still, very much, your Granddad’s GOP.

No way, both of my grandfathers were brilliant, cultured men, hardworking and honest. 

This GOP is basically a bunch of Saturday morning cartoon villains… pity none of them can transform into a robot.

Conservatism can never fail, it can only be failed.

It does have the excellent property of being completely forgettable.

The Republicans went into the election cycle believing, falsley, that any white man would beat Obama. They came out of it shellshocked and still unable to grasp the scope of their defeat.

Yeah, that whole thing of believing in the “unskewed polls” and completely refusing to accept what the, um, unbiased, polls were saying really summed up the fairy tale based reality that Rethugs were (and still are) living on.  We can just wave a wand and all these good ideas that will solve all our problems will just emerge on fairy lotus blossoms in the sparkling majik pool of wonderful conservatard reality.

They’re all fucking tone deaf.

It’s like the joke about the farmer bragging to his neighbor about how smart his new mule was. So the neighbor says, “show me what he can do.” To which the farmer nods, walks over to a woodpile, picks up the largest two-by-four he can find, walks back over to where the mule is standing, hauls way back & cracks the mule across the forehead.
The neighbor says, “What the hell did you do that for? I thought you said he was smart?” To which the farmer replies, “He is, you just have to get his attention first.”

What kind of two-by-four straight across the head is it going to take to get the GOPs attention?

What the Republicans don’t get is that their message IS getting out; that the country should be run by rich, white men, and everyone else is a “taker” who will diminish the nation’s wealth. That’s been their message the whole time, and what “gets out” in private speeches and not-so-private speeches is that they deserve the wealth and the right to run the country so they can keep it.

Doesn’t matter how they dress up the messenger, whether it’s a handsome-haired robot or a gym-rat with big blue eyes, they just don’t understand why they continue to fail.

A party of hate can’t win, folks. You may score some small victories, but in the end, realmpeople recognize you for whom you really are.

A party of hate can’t win, folks.

Donna hits the nail on the head here.  When I look around at the (granted, few) people I know who are wingers, they are people consumed by fear and hate.  People who are living happier lives tend to not want to be around these people, so they get further and further isolated into conspiracy-land, and they always, always get a daily re-injection of fear and hate from radio/Faux. 

That latter part is why I am coming to trust in demographic change making us a more liberal society; the most completely brainwashed and totally plugged in wingers are the old wingers who look to Rush and Faux for all their daily thought needs (such as they are).  I don’t think the younger, connected to much more diverse media generation is falling for this in the numbers that my elderly parents and their cohort are/have.  My folks are of the “anything an authority says is correct and must not be challenged” duck & cover generation; the rest of us, not so much.  And there lies hope…..

Donnah, I think you meant to say zombie-eyed, granny-starving, gym-rat with big blue eyes. You’re welcome.

Well, it’s kind of a movement.

  ISWYDT.

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