Election '16

Thursday, March 26, 2015

John Bolton is Still a Blood-thirsty Loon, I See

It doesn’t really surprise me that Sen. Ted Cruz thinks that former UN Ambassador (R-Ironic) John Bolton is the apian patellas—that particular candidate is happy as an arsonist in a match factory when he’s signifying for the dropped-knuckle set. But a moment’s reflection on how this dumbass thinks should reflect back on Cruz.

After all, the call to bomb Iran in this recent op-ed is blatantly stupid, or, to put it in context, shamefully consistent with the rest of his mental work-product. But to put it mildly, if someone has been paying a bit of attention to nuclear proliferation, his mention of Israel’s 1981 attack on Osirak as being particularly successful is just babbling. Because the attack on Osirak didn’t end Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons program. After the 1991 US invasion of Iraq, inspectors discovered a pretty active underground nuclear program which was, depending upon who you asked, months or scant years from having bombs. The military strike damaged material capacity, but as I’ve been banging on about—it doesn’t destroy know-how, and likely increases the desirability of having such a weapon.

For that matter, in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion, Bolton was one of the very wrong people who insisted that Iraq had an ongoing nuclear program. When, no. Hussein isn’t alive now for us to ask him about it, but it looks kind of like having sanctions on and inspectors in was keeping him largely in check. So is there any earthly reason why anyone should listen to this yutz?

(X-Posted at Strangely Blogged.)

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 03/26/15 at 11:18 PM
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Categories: MessylaneousPoliticsElection '16NuttersWar In ErrorSkull Hampers

Monday, March 16, 2015

Warmongo Only Pawn in Game of Life

I think it was when Sen. Cotton actually said that Vice-President Joe Biden had never been right in 40 years (more years than this punk has been alive) that I basically had it—when in the two months this arse has been a senator has he risen to the opportunity to be right?

There’s a real question regarding where this stupor mundi came from, what with his senate run being well-funded by the usual neo-con suspects, and the hard-right economic Spartans—Club for Growth besides; to launching this letter with 46 GOP confederates and then having a nice little handshake to-do with defense contractors. (His confederates have varyingly dumb ideas of why they went along with this.)

Neidermeyer  Cotton is apparently a very driven sort of person. Made his way to Harvard as nothing less would do, and turned like Cincinnatus from the plow of his studies to war at the time of our nation’s need. Quotes the Founders and philosophers. Comes off a little bit like Otto from A Fish Called Wanda, that last bit.

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Posted by Vixen Strangely on 03/16/15 at 12:00 AM
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Senator Rubio and The Foreign Policy Gap

Via ThinkProgress, an important moment in the discussion regarding US foreign policy with respects to Iran occurred between Senator Marco Rubio and Secretary of State John Kerry:

During a tense exchange with Kerry at a Senate Foreign Relations committee on Wednesday, Rubio confronted the former Massachusetts senator. “I believe that much of our strategy with regards to ISIS is being driven by a desire not to upset Iran so they don’t walk away from the negotiating table on the deal that you’re working on,” the potential GOP presidential candidate declared. “Tell me why I’m wrong.”


Kerry responded forcefully. “Because the facts completely contradict that,” he said, before offering to discuss more details in classified session with Rubio. But the likely GOP presidential contender didn’t take up the offer and pressed on with the line of questioning, claiming that the United States is going easy on terrorism because Iran does not support America’s campaign against ISIS.

But of course, the two assumptions that he has are false—of course, the US is involved in fighting ISIL, whether Sen. Rubio thinks the response is adequate or not, and of course, Iran is also opposed to ISIL, because why in the world would a Shiite government want a radical Sunni Wahhabist caliphate in their backyard? To think, nay, insist, that the Obama Administration is soft-pedaling the fight with ISIL to please Iran would be weapons-grade ignorance. And that is precisely where Rubio is coming from.

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Posted by Vixen Strangely on 03/11/15 at 09:19 PM
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Monday, March 09, 2015

47 Dumbass Ronin

I read about the open letter to the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran last night and was just appalled. I couldn’t put my finger on why, at first. They weren’t offering aid and comfort to an enemy, per se, so you couldn’t call it treason. They weren’t in direct, private communications, solicited or otherwise, with the foreign government, so I don’t know if you could consider it a violation of the Logan Act.  But is very unusual, and the tone was, I thought, disrespectful to the President, to other negotiators at the table, and disrespectful of their offices as US Senators. Because while this letter isn’t necessarily treason or sedition—it’s a political stunt over foreign policy made wide-open, which does not strengthen the President’s hand in making a good executive deal, but rather aims at diluting the nation’s effectiveness to carry out successful diplomacy.

I know this was the aim of the letter, because the freshman Senator who spear-headed the effort, Tom Cotton, has previously admitted he wanted to sabotage the negotiations. What astonished me is that he managed to get 46 other senators to go along with him. Not a one of them read the thing and thought it might be a bad idea?

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Posted by Vixen Strangely on 03/09/15 at 09:07 PM
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Sunday, March 01, 2015

The CPAC 2015 Poll Is In

I’ve really not made a big point of following CPAC this year because I finally get that I am not the audience this whole shindig is for. Of course, part of the deal is that the prominent voices of today’s conservatism are supposed to be showcased. Yes, some of these people are running for POTUS. But that doesn’t mean I have to take it totally seriously, because the likelihood that, for example, the CPAC straw poll actually ever meant anything would probably mean that we were experiencing Ron Paul’s second term. And we are not. So, if Sen. Rand Paul has enjoyed his third CPAC poll win, this has more to do with inheriting his father’s libertarian apparatus, and less to do with anything like being able to win in 2016. (I think.)

WI Gov, Scott Walker has come in a respectable second, despite or probably because he compared union workers to ISIS, which would no doubt haunt him if he made it to a general election. His claims that facing protesting union folks prepares him for foreign policy is kind of strained, I think. And making the “Reagan” connection is so obvi. Try harder, you try-hard!

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Posted by Vixen Strangely on 03/01/15 at 01:13 AM
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Monday, January 26, 2015

That Political Thing In Iowa

You know what the Democratic Party seems to be missing? Shindigs. We do not seem to have neat gatherings like CPAC and traditions like the Ames straw poll, and hosting religious groups like The Response, or doing that very interesting “Freedom Summit” in Iowa—you know, shindigs. I watch them as a political observer, but have to admit—not my team, looks like fun. I mean, there’s Netroots Nation. It’s blogger-oriented so I should be able to really get behind that. But that’s a wonkfest. Where’s our uncovered nekkid id triumphialization? Where’s our scattering of red meat for reubens? (Why is Blogger’s spellcheck so madly unaware of the correct spelling of the perfectly jake 1930’s slang for gape-jawed hayseed? Or even the perfectly cromulent term “jake”?)

Anyway, I digress. Dave Weigel over at Bloomberg notes what “serious” 2016 candidates Mitt, Jeb, Bobby, Marco and Rand have missed.  What I believe they missed was associating too broadly with Rep. Steve King, whose blue eyes always seem to carry the faraway milkseed pollen drift of a person whose thoughts take him back again and again to the border and the constant battle against the cantaloupe-calved drug-runners whose backpacks full of Acapulco’s finest hops have once again consigned a generation to jazz music, sloth, and backtalk. There are people who think he might be a little bit too racialist to actually be an appropriate association.

And yet there are so many who do not!

Left bloggers have noted that Sarah Palin’s speech seems to have defaulted to Whargarble after her Teleprompter fail—but I listened and frankly think that although her sentence structure resembles nothing so much as an attempt at cut-up poetry using all the Republican memes, I tend to think that a sympathetic audience could have tracked what she was saying very well.

All in all—not really any surprises or over the top signifying that got my leftist goat—oh except Carly Fiorina.  She actually got my Irish up. She said:

“Like Hillary Clinton, I too have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles around the globe,” she said. “But unlike her, I have actually accomplished something. Mrs. Clinton, flying is an activity not an accomplishment.”

Oh huh? You know, I could go back to Hillary Rodham being the first student to give a commencement speech at Wellesley in 1969, or being chosen to help draft the articles of impeachment against Nixon, and point out that she was instrumental in creating SCHIP, which has insured thousands of children who might not have otherwise had access to good health care. I think it’s more apropos, though, to point out that Hillary Clinton won two elections to the US Senate which is two more than Carly Fiorina ever did, and that while Hillary blazed a trail as the first woman partner at Rose law firm and sat on the board of many successful corporations, it is true that she never was the CEO of a nearly bankrupted tech firm whose stock prices shot up like WOW after she resigned—which is the kind of “accomplishment” she is probably glad not to have on her CV.

Flying to many nations as a respected diplomat and Secretary of State is probably not an “accomplishment” in Carly Fiorina’s mind because she can raise questions about things that are negative, like Benghazi or whatever Putin is doing, but let’s ask her what to do about it.  Hard Choices, Tough Choices, meh? But still and all, a nice audition for being selected Vice Presidential candidate, maybe?

I’m sure no one will hold her being a regular Bill Maher Real Time guest against her.

(X-posted at Strangely Blogged.)

 

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 01/26/15 at 12:33 AM
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Coburn Predicts Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs Over Weekend

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The Senate’s redoubtable Dr. No, aka Tom Coburn (R-Planet Xanax), took himself off to USA Today’s Capitol Download to warn his fellow Americans that President Obama’s planned executive action on immigration will not only set Republican hair afire but could very well bring down the Republic, to boot: 

The country’s going to go nuts, because they’re going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president, and it’s going to be a very serious situation. You’re going to see — hopefully not — but you could see instances of anarchy. ... You could see violence.

And none of us really want that, do we?

Coburn accuses Obama of acting like “an autocratic leader that’s going to disregard what the Constitution says and make law anyway.” He says changes in immigration policy require passage by Congress, not just the president’s signature. 

Well, not really, but nobody seriously expects a US senator to know all of the ins and outs of our legal system, do we?

“Instead of having the rule of law handling in our country today, now we’re starting to have the rule of rulers, and that’s the total antithesis of what this country was founded on,” Cassius Coburn says. “Here’s how people think: Well, if the law doesn’t apply to the president ... then why should it apply to me?”

Evidently Coburn anticipates citizen activists teaching a lawless president a lesson by acting out lawlessly . . . ??

Of course, Coburn’s prediction is solidly rooted in historical precedent . . . the memories of blood in the streets, rioting and insurrection following President Reagan‘s imperious executive over-reach on immigration, as well as the constitutional crisis precipitated by George W Bush‘s immigration-reform-by-fiat are still fresh in the wounded psyche of liberty-loving Americans.

As Coburn seems to know, nothing else—not poverty, injustice, inequality—sets off American civic indignation like perceived encroachment on the legislative branch by the executive.  God knows Congress has done everything in its considerable power to advance immigration reform via standard practice.  Testimony to that are the stacks of comprehensive immigration reform bills brought by Congress to the president’s desk, over the last few years, only to be subjected to the “terrible, swift sword” of Obama’s veto pen.

I know that Republicans really, really hate being outsmarted by this uppity, unAmerican president that was somehow elected, then inexplicably re-elected despite all of the built-in societal safeguards to prevent such an unlikely event but, seriously, folks? you’re needlessly embarrassing yourselves before you even get a crack at demonstrating your mad governance skills.

Maybe you all ought to contemplate Dr Coburn’s “if I ruled the world” advice to the President and, if the shoe fits . . .

If I were in his office, I’d say, if you want to have a successful second term, dig down, swallow your pride, get what you can get, compromise on everything you can for the best interests of the country. Bring us back together.

Meanwhile, my plan for weathering the dark and stormy aftermath of executive apocalypse? I think, I’ll let a smile be my umbrella and trust to the paralyzing indifference that the vast majority of Americans feel toward the cacophonous background noise of American political theater.

That, and college football, should effectively stem the revolution.

Posted by Bette Noir on 11/20/14 at 12:21 PM
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Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaBedwettersElection '14Election '16

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Embrace the Suck:  Midterm Edition

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Following the fiasco of the Romney/Ryan ticket in the 2012 presidential race, the Republican National Committee decided that the time had come for the GOP to face some hard truths and make some changes.  Republican strategists compiled a post-mortem and listed areas in which the GOP needed to improve its strategies and tactics in order to win elections.  It was not a short list, but neither was it a surprising list, at least for anyone existing outside of the conservative echo chamber.

Nor is it surprising, today, that Republicans are heading into the 2014 mid-term elections with less of a clue on how to correct their course than they had in 2013.  There are all sorts of theories about why that is so, both inside and outside the party.  Some blame dark money influence, while others blame ideological rigidity and epistemic closure.

Me?  I’ve recently come to my own conclusion and, it pains me very much to say it—but I think I agree with Gov Bobby Jindal that Republicans have simply become the party of Stupid.  The people who run the party, the people who vote for the party’s candidates and the candidates themselves are disturbingly un-serious people.

And there is no shortage of concrete evidence that Republican politicians have become frivolous, witless, practitioners of sophistry who appeal to the same kinds of voters . . .

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Posted by Bette Noir on 09/14/14 at 07:37 AM
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Categories: PoliticsBqhatevwrElection '16Nutters

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Cogito ergo sum Presidential Timber

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Good Lord, please spare me from the efforts of “the intellectual leader of the Republican Party” trying to sound presidential.

First it was his fluffer-nutter of a presidential prospect book The Way Forward: Renewing The American Idea, whatever the hell that means. [Tip: reading it doesn’t help with that]

Then yesterday, Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI) took the opportunity to zing President Obama’s foreign policy for creating the “power vacuum” in Iraq and Syria that led directly to the rise of ISIS and, inexorably, the beheading of Steven Sotloff:

Ryan had been taking questions from a panel of reporters during a Milwaukee luncheon when he was asked to respond to a news report that journalist Steven Sotloff had been beheaded. The congressman asked the several hundred people in the audience to observe a moment of silence, and then suggested that the Islamic State’s rise to power coincided with a series of Obama missteps.

“I do think a good deal of this rise stem(s) from bad decisions made by the administration in foreign policy with respect to Syria and Iraq,” Ryan said, adding, “Those decisions created a vacuum which is now being filled by ISIS,” a reference to the Islamic State.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 09/04/14 at 05:52 AM
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Categories: PoliticsBqhatevwrElection '16Paul Ryan

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Republican Action Hero Mitt Romney’s Electoral Advice For The 100%

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Yesterday Willard “Mitt” Romney and his former running-mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) met up for the first time since their 2012 tilt at the White House.  The two got together for a little bromantic back and forth, waxing poetic about each other’s “presidential timber,” and to discuss the Republican Wunderkind’s entry in the 2014 preliminary round of the “Does This Serious Book Make Me Look Presidential” book writing fair. 

Ryan’s book, The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea is, I have to assume, Rep. Ryan’s plan for renewing the “American idea,” whatever that is when it’s at home . . . perhaps he felt that the old standby, “American Dream,” creates overly grand expectations among the 99%?
Brother Romney, an “action man,” himself, had this advice :

If people want to actually see action in this country and dealing with problems from education to health care, immigration to our fiscal needs ... they’re going to have to vote for Republican senators and ... a Republican president, as well.

 

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Posted by Bette Noir on 08/24/14 at 02:55 PM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '16Paul Ryan

Monday, August 04, 2014

Spooks Lying?  What Next . . .

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After five years of investigation, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is about to release a 6,300 page report that concludes that the CIA misled government officials and the public about its War on Terror interrogation program by downplaying its methods and overstating the value of prisoners and the intelligence gathered from them.

In some cases, the CIA credited “enhanced interrogation” methods for eliciting intelligence that detainees had provided willingly long before they were tortured.

Several officials who have read the document said some of its most troubling sections deal not with detainee abuse but with discrepancies between the statements of senior CIA officials in Washington and the details revealed in the written communications of lower-level employees directly involved.

Officials said millions of records make clear that the CIA’s ability to obtain the most valuable intelligence against al-Qaeda — including tips that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011 — had little, if anything, to do with “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

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Posted by Bette Noir on 08/04/14 at 12:29 PM
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Categories: PoliticsBushCoElection '16War In Error

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Trump Would Leave Americans Behind

For those who can’t see the graphic, Donald Trump (The Donald) tweeted: “The U.S. cannot allow EBOLA infected people back. People that go to far away places to help out are great-but must suffer the consequences!”

What a bloody noble bastard he is, right? No good deed goes unpunished!

He’s speaking, of course, about the decision to have Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol (Americans who heroically risked their lives to assist with the Ebola crisis in West Africa) come back to be treated here in the good old U.S. of A. You know, where we have a funny old ethos about valuing human life and not leaving heroes behind if we can help it. Usually. Unless icky germs and human suffering might be occurring—if you’re a privileged ignoramus like Trump, who has been bloviating about the risks in a nice public snit about how “leaders” are crazy to want to treat sick people.

If there were a global pandemic, it really might behoove us to know something about treating this illness, would it not? That’s not so crazy. From a humanitarian point of view, saving human lives because this disease can be beaten is not crazy, either. And of course, Trump is a public spectacle of walking derp, from his Birther flirting to his weird obsession against windmills, and it’s probably just silly of me to point out that he’s, once again, flagrantly wrong and fact-averse.

Except that people take this guy seriously enough that his name was bruited about for a presidential run once upon a time. So I would very much like to point out that he’s uniquely unqualified, not just because he doesn’t bother to know things, like the state of the art care that a mere two Ebola patients can be given in isolation here as opposed to the over-taxed situation they would have been in if left where they were.  And we’ve dealt with this kind of infection before here in the states. It’s not an “end of the world” scenario. It is medical treatment of people in real need that we probably can help—two of them. Two heroic American people.

It’s because he would let them die, because ugh. Diseases are gross. This is the thinking of an immature, selfish person at best. You know who else goes to “far away places to help out”? Like, diplomatic staff at consulates and embassies. Our soldiers. Suffer the consequences? Trump suffers the consequences of being Trump, but maybe he could stand to go off to a faraway place for awhile! In other words—anyone still interested in his political future should take a hard look at…this.

(X-posted at Strangely Blogged.)

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 08/02/14 at 09:40 PM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '16NuttersTeabaggerySkull Hampers

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

GOP Launches Stealth Attack In War On Women: Bachmann For President!

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If you think you have it hard, consider what a bad couple of years Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has had.  After that one great day in 2011 when she won the Ames, IA straw poll, poor Michele hasn’t been able to buy a break . . . not that she didn’t try.

If it’s not the FBI, DoJ and Office of Congressional Ethics poking their noses into her business and saying mean things about her leadership skills, it’s the danged homos making the bottom fall out of the Gay Reparative market.  Now Marcus is out of a scam job and it’s all down to Michele, who—Criminy—just retired from the House.  Book sales aren’t nearly covering the legal fees so it’s no time to be out of work.

But when the going gets tough, the tough get going . . . so Rep. Michele Bachmann, looking to her strengths, has decided that another run at the Oval Office might be just the thing!

The only thing that the media has speculated on is that it’s going to be various men that are running. They haven’t speculated, for instance, that I’m going to run. What if I decide to run? And there’s a chance I could run.

Like with anything else, practice makes perfect. “And I think if a person has gone through the process—for instance, I had gone through 15 presidential debates—it’s easy to see a person’s improvement going through that.

I haven’t made a decision one way or another if I’m going to run again, but I think the organization is probably the key.  To have an organization and people who surround you who are loyal, who are highly competent, who know how to be able to run the ball down the field in state after state—because now I think the primary process will be very different this time. It will tighten up; it will be a much shorter run than it was before.

Translation: that last group of F*k ups threw me under the bus when they weren’t smart enough to cover their tracks.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 07/23/14 at 12:03 PM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '16Hillary ClintonNuttersTeabaggeryWar On WomenRelijun

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

BAMF Commander Perry Deploys Texas National Guard To Scare Children Away

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Texas Governor Rick Perry, feeling especially presidential after a weekend trip to his new favorite destination—Iowa—came out swinging on Monday, determined to show our current lawless, weak tyrant of a president a thing or two about manly decisiveness and leadership.

Perry told Republicans in Iowa . . . “if the federal government won’t secure the border, Texas will.”

Forthwith, Perry ordered the Texas National Guard to round up 1,000 of its scariest troops to go play boogeyman on the border.

Since President Obama, himself, declined to send the troops on such a misguided mission . . .

President Obama maintains that the child-migrant crisis is not a border enforcement issue, hence he has rejected calls from Republicans – and the Texas governor – to send National Guard troops south. Children are turning themselves in to the border patrol, not running away from them, administration officials emphasize, though they allow that the border patrol is working overtime and has its hands full.

. . . Perry took matters into his own hands but warned Obama that he will be sending him the $15 million/month bill. 

On the other hand, Perry’s office explained to edgy Texas legislators that, for the time being:

. . . the money will come from “non critical” areas, such as health care or transportation.

Non-critical if you’re not sick, I guess.

Gov Perry seems confident that his bold move to secure Fortress America will be met with nationwide popular support and will definitely polish his presidential timber.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 07/22/14 at 01:22 PM
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Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaElection '16Nutters

Thursday, July 17, 2014

GOP Rep. Ellmers’ Promises Women Voters Nicer Tone And No More Pie Charts

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Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) stepped in it, last Friday and managed to get more on her when she tried to wipe it off.  And it just shouldn’t have happened. 

It happened at an under-advertised Friday afternoon panel put on by the Republican Study Committee, the House’s conservative caucus.  It didn’t even make it to the RSC website.

Only one reporter was in attendance and that was Ashe Schow of the Washington Examiner who was covering a panel discussion on the Republican Party’s outreach effort for women voters.  The GOP has entrusted that job to Rep. Renee Ellmers who heads up the Republican Women’s Policy Committee . . . a move that they might want to reconsider.

When Ashe Schow filed her report on Sunday, in an article about why the Republicans’ women’ narrative needs work, she cited, among many other things, Rep. Ellmers’ prescription that Republican men need to bring their policy discussions “down to a woman’s level” to get more female votes.

Whereupon, Rep. Ellmers responded with a statement containing the standard charge that Schow was a “liberal woman reporter” who had taken Rep. Ellmers’ words “completely out of context.” 

And, furthermore:

It is a shame that such an important moment for addressing solutions and empowering women was used to attack the open exchange of ideas. In answering a question regarding how Republicans can improve their messaging, I took the opportunity to note that everyone comes from different backgrounds and experiences - and our messaging should do the same.

If there is a problem, who is perpetuating it? Was it a room full of women laughing, bonding and sharing solutions - or a liberal woman reporter attacking the event and taking it to a dark place that does not exist?

Harrrumph!

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Posted by Bette Noir on 07/17/14 at 01:51 PM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '14Election '16NuttersWar On Women

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