Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Go West, Old Man
(BIG H/T to Oregon Beer Snob for allowing me to use his rendition of Guardian of the Republic)
Back in Autumn, before Marco Rubio’s career flat-lined, Allen West thought that he, Allen West, would make the perfect replacement to fill Marco Rubio’s tiny shoes, if Rubio decides to run for president. [Under Florida law, Rubio can only run for one federal office at a time.]
Despite the fact that West’s first term in the House turned into a TEA Party sideshow attraction and his bid for re-election was fraught with melodrama, culminating in a loss to a Democrat in a red district and a protracted tantrum over recounts, West appeared to be quite confident about his chances of winning a statewide election for the Senate:
If that became an open seat, of course I would run. I have a good statewide appeal and a lot of people would like me to get back on Capitol Hill.
Whatever . . . people can and do learn and change and just because Allen West came across as a narcissistic case of arrested development, more of a shouter than a doer, committed to the shock value of extreme rhetoric rather than diplomacy doesn’t mean he’ll always be that way. Maybe he’ll grow up and actually contribute something . . . ?
To that end, West has kept his profile as high as possible contributing frequently to Fox News and other conserv-o-media outlets, writing his biography Guardian of the Republic, due out in April, 2014, and blogging away.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 12/03/13 at 01:32 PM
Comments (4) •
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Ferme la Bush!
Well, it was bound to happen . . . Republicans have found a new way to distract America from Obamacare getting fixed by spreading the Too Stupid for Prime Time whopper that President Obama is closing the US embassy to the Vatican as retribution for Catholic resistance to certain employer mandates in the ACA.
Conservative media has lit up like a Hannukah bush. Drudge shrieks “Obama’s call to close Vatican embassy is ‘slap in the face’ to Roman Catholics”; WND opines “OBAMA ‘INSULTS’ CATHOLICS IN VATICAN-EMBASSY SHUTDOWN”; and the ever thoughtful dead-heads at Breitbart, seeing right to the heart of the matter report:
. . . the Obama administration is trying to diminish and discredit the Vatican’s role in the world because it’s pro-life, pro-family, and pro-religious freedom values is at odds with the Regime’s pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage stance.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 11/28/13 at 08:42 AM
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Wednesday, November 13, 2013
I Am Woman. Hear Me Roar . . .
Well, it’s almost a year now since Willard Romney limped offstage and exactly nine months, almost to the day, that the Republican National Committee floated its 100-page manifesto for The Great Rebranding of 2013: The Growth and Opportunity Project (GOP—get it? how clever is that?).
The GOP was chock full of searing insights and smart advice for a titanic course adjustment and anyone unfamiliar with the actual Republican Party might have thought “by Jingo, I think they’ve got it!”
The Republican Party needs to stop talking to itself. We have become expert in how to provide ideological reinforcement to like-minded people, but devastatingly we have lost the ability to be persuasive with, or welcoming to, those who do not agree with us on every issue.
Instead of driving around in circles on an ideological cul-de-sac, we need . . . a route into our Party that a non-traditional Republican will want to travel. Our standard should not be universal purity; it should be a more welcoming conservatism.
The Republican Party must focus its efforts to earn new supporters and voters in the following demographic communities: Hispanic, Asian and Pacific Islanders, African Americans, Indian Americans, Native Americans, women, and youth. This priority needs to be a continual effort that affects every facet of our Party’s activities, including our messaging, strategy, outreach, and budget.
AMEN! Y’all . . . a regular Rainbow Coalition, feel me?
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Posted by Bette Noir on 11/13/13 at 10:08 AM
Friday, November 08, 2013
El Cucuy Gonna Getcha, If You Don’t Watch Out
Apparently, Ted Cruz is feeling a little insecure these days what with his highly publicized catalog of freshman fiascoes and the fact that dear old Dad, Senor Crazypants, is upstaging him at every turn, lately.
The most recent sign that Cruz is making a course adjustment was news, last week, coming out of a closed-door Republican luncheon, that Cruz has promised to “not actively campaign against” his Senate colleagues or “help raise money for their primary opponents.”
What a guy!
So. What does a megalomaniac do when he’s not getting enough attention? well, this one goes out to his own backyard and barks at the president in a typically Cruz-ian display of tastelessness and deplorably bad timing.
Days away from the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination in Dallas, TX, Cruz decides that it would be appropriate to publicly warn President Obama against coming to Dallas:
President Obama should take his broken promises tour elsewhere so Texans can continue focusing on the solutions that have allowed our state to become and remain the nation’s economic and job creation powerhouse.
No wonder some Tejanos refer to Ted Cruz as El Cu-cuy—the boogeyman.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 11/08/13 at 12:45 PM
Tuesday, November 05, 2013
A Tale of Two Gubernatorial Contests
In a night of few surprises, Terry McAuliffe (D) came out on top in his race against VA AG Ken Cuccinelli (R), and NJ Governor Chris Christie (R) easily defended against Democratic challenger Barbara Buono. A lot of ink, virtual and digital, can be spilled over these two contests, but I am going to cover the broad outlines as I see them—
We have one somewhat Democratic win in a state that isn’t necessarily that liberal, and a Republican winning re-election in a reliably blue state that just voted to send Cory Booker (D) to Washington. This is only two contests, and neither of them give us enough information to say there’s a “trend”. Some of the voting/exit polling breakdown fascinates me in VA.
If anything, I think Cuccinelli beat himself because he really is as insulated a conservative as can be found—case in point: the sodomy thing. Seriously? You actually can’t get more socially conservative and panty-sniffing than wanting to patrol bedroom behaviors. Astonishingly, in my book, he still did better than 50% in exit polling with white males. (My personal polling experience with white males has always been very pro-sodomy.) I note that the Libertarian candidate, Robert Sarvis, did pretty well with the young people—probably Republican-identified voters who are more fiscally conservative, but not interested in Old Testament morality. The Cuccinelli campaign blew it, figuratively speaking. The best nod to Libertarian thought his campaign mustered was having Sen. Rand (You Can Say That Again!) Paul talk to the students at Liberty University, although one has to note that “libertarians” is not the plural of “Liberty University student” and that Paul spoke about eugenics and abortion, managing to miss the libertarian note in favor of reinforcing the idea of Cooch as a reductive reproductive regulator.
I don’t really have much to say about the New Jersey contest, for a handful of reasons, but most probably because I’m not even especially sure there was one? I will note that although Gov. Christie won handily, the same voters also went for increasing the minimum wage—not one of his policies. In this case, I think personality has a lot to do with it, and Barbara Buono, whatever her merits as a politician, failed to land any telling blows to her opponent, possibly out of concern that she might go “too negative”. Christie’s recent blow-up at a teacher was too recent to make any dent in his popularity, although it should have reminded of some of his more prickly moments earlier in his term. Surely, more 2016 talk for Christie will come of this win.
(X-Posted at Strangely Blogged)
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 11/05/13 at 10:49 PM
Monday, November 04, 2013
Rand Paul: Taking a Page Out of Numerous Books
If the past four weeks are a barometer, it’s going to be a loooong four years for RandPaul/2016 because, obviously, he has not yet internalized even the basics of Presidential Campaigning for Dummies.
See, when one is considering a run in a high profile national election, it’s NEVER a good idea to take a minor blip on the oppo radar and escalate it into a days-long nuclear standoff. Neither is it advisable to refer to political pundits as “hacks and haters” “unfairly targeting” you for irrefutably pointing out your sloppy work habits and lapses in judgment. That’s their job—to investigate whether or not you’re up to the job you’d like to have [or even your current one]. And, BTW, it’s not unfair to call a plagiarist a plagiarist.
In such situations the political pundit almost always comes off looking composed and well-prepared and you, dear candidate, come off looking like a testy middle-schooler.
And, of course, that’s exactly what happened to Rand Paul, this week, culminating in a disastrously silly appearance opposite George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week in which Sen. Paul seesawed between making light of the “footnote police” and yearning for the old days when he could have defended his honor with bullets and shot ne’er-do-wells like Rachel Maddow dead.
I take it as an insult and I will not lie down and say people can call me dishonest, misleading or misrepresenting. I have never intentionally done so. And like I say, if, you know, if dueling were legal in Kentucky, if they keep it up, you know, it would be a duel challenge. But I can’t do that, because I can’t hold office in Kentucky then.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 11/04/13 at 10:30 AM
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Papa Don’t Preach!
We’ve all recognized for some time now that Cruz et fils is a slightly creepy sideshow especially when both the senator and Papi share the same stage and the same awkward adoring glances.
It started out innocently enough, proud father sharing some triumphal moments around election time. And the occasional human interest backgrounder interview in which Cruz, Sr. shared a few memorable anecdotes from “daddy’s little prodigy’s” past.
Like how Cruz, Sr. introduced his precocious middle-schooler to Austrian School libertarian economics and ultraconservative interpretations of US history at the Free Enterprise Education Center (FEEC). And how Teddy and a few of his little friends from FEEC created a group known as the Constitutional Corroborators who toured local Rotary luncheons to dazzle diners with their compendious knowledge of free enterprise and the US Constitution.
We’re almost a year into Cruz Jr’s reign of terror in the US Senate, though, and Cruz, Sr seems to just be hitting his stride, warming up for the Big Push. If things go according to plan, Cruz & Cruz could get a whole lot creepier.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 10/31/13 at 12:37 PM
Saturday, October 12, 2013
No, Wait, Wait—Everyone Actually *LOVES* Ted Cruz!!
It’s true! Because wouldn’t you know it, the straw poll at the 2013 Values Voters’ Summit had him as the big winner, should he be thinking about a White House run in 2016 (and you know he is thinking about it dontcha?). And this was after he said some of the most gee-gosh-darn things, too.
You know what? On second thought, maybe it’s because he has said the most gee-gosh-darn things. You know, like joking that the president was going to disappear him and that hecklers were probably paid OFA shills. Because obviously. Nothing succeeds like flaming paranoia. (Unless you are appealing to the fringe, in which case paranoia is best known as “fitting in”.) And amongst the values voters, that enlightened bastion of Godwinning for Goobers, Homophobia for Herp-Derps, and Bible-Banging for Bigots, he actually has a crowd in which he doesn’t stand out. Good going, Ted.
Now, you might have gotten a different impression from more old-school Republican politicians like NY Rep. Peter King (who is a likely contender against Cruz should there even be a 2016 GOP primary with debates an’ all that). He doesn’t like what Cruz is laying down even a little, because by doom saying against Obamacare he kind of is making it look like a quite a reasonable system by comparison of his fantasy-world (inherited from the Sr. Cruz, because the Rev. does believe in death panels) with the affordable care reality. And for what it’s worth, many Democrats find themselves in the odd position of agreeing with Rep. King, because they, too, think Cruz has done quite a lot for making the ACA popular.
So there you go. Honestly, I think I am beginning to have a kind of hate-love thing for him. He could be my new Santorum. Anything is possible.
(X-Posted at Strangely Blogged.)
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 10/12/13 at 11:59 PM
Monday, August 19, 2013
The GOP’s Politics of Moderation
One of last week’s lighter political moments was the RNC tantrum over the runaway liberal bias of the lamestream media’s plan to immortalize Hillary Clinton [as only a TV bio-pic can] who might, or might not run for president someday.
Now, this is pretty funny stuff on a number of levels. For example, it is my contention that IF Hill decides to run, Republicans have a whale of a lot more to worry about than a three-year-old cable film tipping the scales.
And, despite the fact that FOX was in the running for production, excitable Republicans were just sure that the film would be a love-letter to Hillary. But, as those of us who remember the real-time rise of the Clintons know, there’s a lot more dirt in their past, than fluffy white clouds, for a dramatist to work with. Just ask Kenneth Starr, Monica Lewinski, Newt Gingrich . . .
And, while you’re at it, ask Newt how well that impeachment thingy went for the GOP. Remember? Newt expected the Republicans’ “divine intervention” in the Clinton presidency to guarantee a pick up of at least 30 seats, in the House, during the 1998 mid-term elections. In actual fact, a fairly disgusted America rewarded Republicans with a net loss of 5 seats instead.
And, then, of course there is the modern Republican candidates’ propensity for on-air political hara kiri, in which the clean-cut, All-American posed in front of an American flag opens his/her mouth and magically transforms into a far-right wacko-bird . . . to use a Republican-coined term.
So. It is what it is and we’re all pretty used to it by now BUT—a new idea was born in the minds of wily Republican strategists for a new way to self-immolate: the Limbaugh-moderated primary debate. Delighting conservatives and Democrats in a rare bipartisan moment.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 08/19/13 at 12:07 PM
Friday, August 16, 2013
RNC Votes Unanimously To Cut Off Nose; Spite Face
(illustration h/t the very talented Mario Piperni)
Well, it’s official, the Republican National committee is carrying out its threatened punishment of CNN and NBC over the networks’ plans to air a movie on imaginary 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. After getting wind of the film project, the RNC’s Prince Rebus sent protest letters to the heads of both networks, followed up by a protracted media-blitz pout.
Here’s a taste of the letters:
[A]s American citizens, certainly you recognize why many are astounded at your actions, which appear to be a major network’s thinly-veiled attempt at putting a thumb on the scales of the 2016 presidential election.
And the “unkindest cut of all”:
If you have not agreed to pull this programming prior to the start of the RNC’s Summer Meeting on August 14[, 2013], I will seek a binding vote of the RNC stating that the committee will neither partner with you in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates which you sponsor.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 08/16/13 at 11:39 AM
Monday, August 05, 2013
RNC Forfeits 2016 Presidential Election Because UNFAIR LIBERALS!!!
Prince Rebus of the Republican National Committee officially kicked off the 2013 “silly season” with a theatrical tantrum and ultra-silly threat to TV broadcasters CNN and NBC. NBC recently announced signing actress Diane Lane to portray Hillary Clinton in a 4-part mini-series covering Hillary’s life and times since 1998 [which she, and we, might remember as a low point in the Clinton saga] all the way up to the fabulous here-and-now.
Upon hearing that news, multitudes of Republican strategist’s, already working boiler room hours to destroy an undeclared candidate, spontaneously combusted, culminating in Priebus’ coup de grace—a Republican boycott of the 2016 presidential debates broadcasts on NBC and CNN [OUCH!].
Now, I know it’s an utterly “lib-tard” thing to do, but let’s go over a few facts here:
1) Hillary Clinton is not running for president. IF she decides to do that, then might be the time to rekindle one’s hair and scream foul, equal time, etc (if it even applies, in such a case??);
2) Clinton, herself, has not given her blessing to the project and is probably hoping for it to go away almost as much as Prince Rebus. The period, 1998 - 2013 covers a lot of material that Clinton might be happy to leave behind, like a brutal primary and losing the Democratic nomination, Clinton’s defense of Huma Abedin, who has only become a greater liability, of late, and, of course, Benghazi-gate. Why would anyone assume that a mini-series will be a laudatory piece of hero-worship?
3) IF Clinton runs, as we, the GOP and Reince Priebus know, she doesn’t need a mini-series (or an Academy Award-winning feature film) to clean their clock.
So. To review . . . it is in no way shocking, or appalling, un-American, or unfair or any of the other words Priebus used, to express his overheated faux outrage at the thought of a ratings-challenged broadcaster trying to attract some viewers with a mini-series on a wildly popular, recently retired Washington insider. If Hillary does run, no 3-year-old mini-series, no presidential debate coverage, no nothing is going to alter the GOP’s abysmal losing streak in national elections. Republicans know how to beat the odds and lose, when they’re favored to win.
But, the important thing here, from a Republican perspective, is that the base will just gobble this up and whip themselves into an anti-Democratic frenzy. FOX, the Breitbartlets, Drudge and the TEA Party howlers will flog this story for all it’s worth for at least two weeks of the recess, handily diverting attention from Congress’ abysmal performance and the delusional “defund Obamacare” campaign that seems to be all they’ve got.
Exhibit A: the Twittersphere is already lighting up faster than Michelle Malkin can twitch. What fun!
Even better, when Republicans lose the 2016 presidential election they’ll be able to blame that danged Hillary mini-series. And the FIRST AMENDMENT!!1!
Posted by Bette Noir on 08/05/13 at 02:14 PM
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
This Is Your Brain On Cruz Control
Ever since rookie Texas senator, Ted Cruz swaggered onto Capitol Hill, I have been asking myself why? why would an apparently intelligent, accomplished man willingly play the fool 24/7? At first, I was pretty much dumbfounded but, having watched and listened and examined the evidence for over six months now, I think I’m beginning to discern a sort of cynical method to Cruz’s madness.
At this point in time, I’m pretty well convinced that Ted Cruz truly believes that he is smarter than 99% of humankind. And, who knows, if I had graduated from Harvard Law, argued before the Supreme Court and then immersed myself in Texans, I might think the same.
Being full of oneself, especially in America, is no crime. God help us if it were. But there’s an extra, dark dimension to Cruz, something Machiavellian that lurks just below the surface.
Take his latest hobbyhorse—shutting down the government to defund Obamacare. The most solidly bipartisan effort in six years of US federal politics, it turns out, has been the effort on both sides of the aisle to tell Senators Lee, Cruz and Rubio to STFU! and sit down.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 07/31/13 at 12:02 PM
Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Loon Star State Working Unpaid Overtime
As many of you probably know, Texas just kicked off another one of its Super-Duper, Extraordinary, Totally Special legislative sessions (again) to ensure that their Governor, Ole “Crotch” Perry goes out with a bang . . . so to speak.
Passing SB5—Texas’ own entry into the Red States Governors’ Most Unconstitutional State Laws Derby—has taken on new urgency now that Perry has announced his decision to release the Texas Governor’s mansion to someone else. Texans are a highly competitive bunch and they don’t want Scott Walker, from “up there,” to walk off with all of the glory.
Walker’s own anti-abortion law is going to be hard to beat—it’s bagged a federal court block on its first day of implementation. And we have to give Walker points for style—9 days from introduction to passage and signed into law in a State House broom closet late Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend—even though he didn’t “stick the landing.”
Hard act to follow . . . on the other hand, Texas’ efforts have given us some of the most creative and entertaining legislative argle-bargle to disturb the airwaves in many a session. Let’s see . . . we had: accurate intercourse, the heretofore secret life of fapping fetuses, rape kit flush-outs . . .
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Posted by Bette Noir on 07/09/13 at 09:32 AM
Friday, July 05, 2013
Senator Cruz’s Stunning Intellectual Failure
As they say in the District, it’s never too soon to start a campaign. And that goes double when you’re a white-hot political comet like Senator Ted Cruz (R-Loon Star State) fancies himself to be.
Cruz strikes me as a methodical type so I’m guessing that he’s spending some time, right now, ticking off the foreign policy cred boxes on his presidential qualifications to-do list. Lately, Cruz has had a good bit of criticism for the administration’s approach to foreign policy issues large and small, accompanied by Senator Cruz’s own much better ideas, in case we’re interested.
Granted, Sen. Cruz’s foreign policy experience is, so far, limited to sniffing out Commies on the Harvard faculty but, hey . . . HARVARD!! you guys. That must make Cruz at least as smart as the Harvard guy whose actual foreign policy is such a hot mess in Cruz’s estimation.
To celebrate the military coup in Egypt, Sen. Cruz took to the pages of Foreign Policy‘s blog to pronounce President Obama’s policy a “stunning diplomatic failure:”
One would expect to find the United States standing firmly with these people. Surely, after our long and lonely search for secular and democratic partners in the Arab world, we could find some common ground with them. Surely, we could see the value of an administration in Egypt that could act as both a southern bulwark for Israel and a much-needed partner in countering the terrorist outposts in the Sinai and Horn of Africa. And surely, we could help support a government that could stand as an example for struggling states like Libya and Iran — one that proves Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East are not predestined to live in oppressive theocracies.
Tragically, America has been relegated to the sidelines.
Tragically?? Seriously, Ted?
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Posted by Bette Noir on 07/05/13 at 02:48 PM
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Postcard from Dystopia
A few days ago, in Anne Laurie’s thread about Rand Paul’s tenuous belief in democracy, the topic turned to speculation about Baby Doc’s presidential aspirations. I said:
I have a hard time believing Baby Doc could get elected to any office that required appealing to voters who are not hardcore wingnuts and Papa Doc fans. It’s not that the electorate is particularly discerning. It’s just that Baby Doc comes across as such an arrogant, smarmy prick.
I was right about Paul being an arrogant, smarmy prick, but upon further reflection, I should have known better than to think that’s a disqualifying factor in a general election. An example is right under my nose here in Florida, where Rick Scott—a Voldemort lookalike and known crook who displays all the personal warmth and charm of an anaconda—was elected governor in 2010.
True, Scott won with less than 50% of the vote, and he needed $77 million of his personal fortune, a wind at his back gusted up by the rebranded Bush dead-ender “Tea Party” plus the apathy of Democrats dispirited by a real and perceived lack of pony production on the part of President Obama and the Democratic Congress. All of this broke Scott’s way.
Some might dismiss Scott’s election as just another example of Florida insanity, like face-eating zombies, airborne fish attacks and fatal roach-eating contests. Maybe, but I think Florida is a better microcosm for America than is generally acknowledged.
Florida has left-of-center coastal enclaves, heavily armed yahoos and religious fanatics in the interior, a growing immigrant population, simmering racial tensions, a politically powerful “Screw you, Jack, I’ve got mine!” elderly population and disaffected, jobless young folks who have been robbed of their future and birthright by nature-despoiling greed-heads.
Is this not America?
As for the future, Scott’s approval ratings have consistently been among the lowest of any governor in the US, and I used to believe that all the Democrats had to do to beat him handily next year was nominate someone capable of fogging a mirror. But the Florida Democratic Party (of which I am a proud member) is a hot mess, and fault lines are emerging that could result in yet another epic fail.
Those fault lines are reflected on this blog (stupid fucking firebagger! drone-loving obot!), and you’ll see them deepen nationally as 2016 approaches. Love him or not, President Obama is a gifted politician, but he’s won his last election.
Can anyone else bring our fractured coalition together—if only for one fucking day? We better hope so. Unless the rest of you want to live in a Hiaasen novel too.
[Image credit: Buzzfeed; x-posted at Balloon Juice]
Posted by Betty Cracker on 06/20/13 at 11:06 AM