The Sad, Strange Anomie of CPAC2013

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CPAC2013 reminded me of the story of the “dance band on the Titanic” who, knowing they were about to die, decided to continue to bravely play on in an attempt to buoy the spirits of the doomed souls on board. Harry Chapin memorialized the event with a song that contained the refrain:

Dance band on the Titanic
Sing “Nearer, my God, to thee”
The iceberg’s on the starboard bow
Won’t you dance with me?

And that particular mindset is about the only rational explanation for the behavior of establishment Republicans who have decided to continue to humor the directionless hurly-burly of movement conservatives.

These are obviously people who have assessed the costs and decided that they don’t give a rat’s whether they ever win another election.  Indeed, losers from previous bouts were featured, like conquering heroes, throughout the CPAC agenda—people like Allen West, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, John McCain—Sarah Palin! for the love of Mike.  While conservatives who actually have a snowball’s chance, like Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell, were deemed unfit.

Rand Paul, of all people, actually won the CPAC Straw Poll based, no doubt, on the crowd-pleasing appeal of his recent Senate silly-buster but I predict that, in ten minutes, the short-attention-span of movement conservatives will lock on to the next BIG thing with a bigger mouth (or a bigger bladder).

For what it’s worth, my money’s on the guy with the big mouth and the big case on himself, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who is willing to tell this sorry mob that “they are already winning” if it will advance his career.  He is the poster boy for establishment politics but selling himself as a courageous “man of the people” via TEA Party channels, which might not work anywhere else but Texas. 

In fact, Cruz has demonstrated, in a short ten weeks in office, that he is a consummate demagogue and a garden-variety bully who is willing to make a fool of himself to score points.  Cruz is a nasty piece of work and a dangerous man if for no other reason than that he is positioned to waste the people’s time and money tying Congress in knots for six years, at least.

Then, of course, there’s Paul Ryan who has told us recently that he’s not interested in campaigning anymore but prefers to make his contributions to conservatism through his now-famous policy-wonketry.  And, sure enough, his latest “Roadmap to Prosperity,” [quite reminiscent of the last one] and released just in time for CPAC, is a bold plan to whittle the 47% down to a more manageable 14% or so, through starvation and lack of health care.

If there was a pervasive aura of free-floating angst wafting through the Gaylord’s conference floor, this past weekend, maybe it had to do with the fact that so many of the 2010 conservative action shock troops—racists, homophobes, islamophobes, birthers, etc—have been silenced and sidelined in the GOP’s effort to retain some semblance of seriousness, if not sanity.

Imagine how surprised white supremacists must have been to find a workshop with the word “racist” in the title where they were not warmly welcomed.  The Republican Party had been their home, their safe harbor and suddenly they are talking about minority outreach?  Where is a white man to turn?

If these people were feeling some dislocation and lack of appreciation at CPAC, wait til they get a load of the Republican National Committee’s new “Growth and Opportunity Project”!  Michelle Malkin has already taken to the interwebz to complain that the words “constitution” and “TEA Party” don’t come up even once!! in Prince Rebus’s masterplan.

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The gist of this Republican Repair manual seems to be fewer debates (with hand-picked moderators), less air-time, less exposure to the media hopefully resulting in fewer chances for candidates to make jackasses of themselves.  Not a bad idea, for the obvious reason, but also because less public exposure means that more name recognition (ie, money and party bona fides) is required to run for office successfully. (h/t Karl Rove)

Nevertheless, no Republican has floated a plan yet for substantively attacking the “elephant (sorry) in the room” —the Republican Party Platform is retrogressive, reactionary, hyper-partisan and generally sucks in just about every particular.  And that’s after it was re-jiggered last summer. On that topic, Igor Volsky has written a great short article about “four policies that undermine the RNC’s outreach effort” from the get-go. This week provided a perfect example of how far afield the GOP is from attracting regular American voters, when every Republican in the House voted against raising the minimum wage.

On Sunday, John Boehner admitted that there actually is no “debt crisis” [but there could be if the GOP needs to fear-monger to get their way in the future].

It’s little wonder that movement conservatives are confused, at this point, especially if they spent any time listening to Mitch McConnell at CPAC who, with a rhetorical flourish, described the need to “rip it [Obamacare] out, root and branch” not too long after describing Obamacare as a fight we [GOP] lost.  By way of farewell and encouragement, McConnell channelled Saint Ronnie Reagan:

We all know government isn’t the solution. It’s a rest stop on the way to the solution. And there’s where conservatives come in.

At the rest stop?

Scary times to be a member of the “scary party” . . .

 

Posted by Bette Noir on 03/18/13 at 02:55 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaElection '14NuttersTeabaggery

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Ted Cruz. There are times I start to write about this guy and what it is that irks me about him, but, like here you go:

Sen. Cruz Objects To Multiple Sclerosis Resolution

He would vote for a resolution recognizing an Awareness for MS Week, but you never know. There might be something hinky in the fine print.

I’m sure his high school yearbook voted him most likely to go far, and you really wish he would.

At the rest stop?

I can hear foot-tapping coming from Mitch “Ah’m so old ... Ah forgot what was Ah bletherin about again ... oh yeah, Hillary and Biden, they’re OLD and we got RandPaulRyanwingnutguhvnuhrzcominouttheazzknowwhatahmsayin? nyuknyuknyuk” O’Connell’s stall, and it’s no longer Paddy’s Day.

Rand Paul, of all people, actually won the CPAC Straw Poll based, no doubt, on the crowd-pleasing appeal of his recent Senate silly-buster but I predict that, in ten minutes, the short-attention-span of movement conservatives will lock on to the next BIG thing with a bigger mouth (or a bigger bladder).

Dogwhistles get trumped by squirrels. Remember when Herman Cain was topping of the week?

They may have lost two consecutive presidential races and come up short in re-taking the Senate, but they’ve gerrymandered themselves into their conclaves in House and the greatest worry isn’t at the national level at all.

They are doing their greatest damage at the state level, so while we may get a smile from their DC demise, the statehouses are currently boiling pots of everything foul they stand for and they are passing laws rather quickly, laws that offer severe restrictions of abortion, health care, education, welfare and food programs and the whole slew of social programs aimed at giving people a hand up.

Well stated, @HBlue.  The states are a clear and present danger but I’m hoping that they will be like little isolation wards that can be fumigated later.

My favorite, lately are the sheriffs that are channeling their inner constitutionalist and refusing to enforce gun laws.  Makes you wonder how long it’ll be before they decide to stop enforcing child pornography laws because . . . FIRST AMENDMENT, DUDE! 

I guess I come from the “give ‘em enough rope” school of cultural evoliution.

If Willard were in the WH right now, I think our problems would be increased one hundred-fold.  Thank God Republicans aren’t nearly the majority that they think they are . . .

Indeed, losers from previous bouts were featured, like conquering heroes, throughout the CPAC agenda—people like Allen West…

“The West will rise again!”

Cruz’s objection to the Multiple Sclerosis resolution was a line that mentioned “expanding access to health care”.  Because if you have had your life turned upside down by a diagnosis of MS, Ted Cruz wants to be sure that’s the last bit of health care you get unless you can pay for it, moocher!

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