If, as Mitch McConnell claimed at CPAC today, the Democrats’ 2016 “presidential ticket looks like a rerun of the Golden Girls,” given that the all-star lineup at CPAC 2013 includes in its cast Jeb Bush, Eric Cantor, Steven Crowder, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Newt Gingrich, Bobby Jindal, Michele Bachmann, Steve King, Ron Johnson, Wayne LaPierre, Dana Loesch, Reince Preibus, Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Wayne Allyn Root, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, Scott Walker, Ben Shapiro, Allen West, the ghost of Andrew Breitbart, and Mitch himself, what rerun shows would best encapsulate:
(a) CPAC 2013?
(b) the Republicans’ prospective 2016 presidential ticket?
You know, I really don’t want to be back talking about 2016, but Jeb was all over the Sunday shows, and it was hard not to look at it as being possibly just as much about 2016 as about peddling his book. And yes, maybe it’s a little bit like being a “crack addict” to speculate about this—but really? Are we going to shrug off the legacy of big bro’ as “not baggage”?
Heavy sigh. The last quarter-century is all about Bushes. There is no escape here. How to explain?
That outsider artist reinventing himself as a premier puppy painter? Is forever linked with an Administration that oversaw a war in Iraq that will always be associated with gross abuse. (I wonder if there isn’t something in W that makes him uniquely suited to capturing the soul of puppies. They, too, are scolded for making messes they don’t entirely understand and aren’t sure what they should do to fix.)
But Jeb himself isn’t quite ready to articulate a vision for the future, at odds with his book, at odds with interviews of mere days ago. He can invoke the Reagan Administration of which his own father was a part as a time of less partisanship—but it doesn’t help him begin to explain how to arrive at a less-partisan future—anymore than his brother’s “compassionate conservatism” did. Not when the 1988 campaign of his father against Dukakis was one of the most wedge-issue-tainted smear-jobs. Not when the first Gulf War has so much to do with a very specific vision of power and patriotism. That is what W inherited—and it’s Jeb’s legacy, too, like it or not. Which is why he’s spinning like a tire in a damp rut over immigration. Does he, like his father, supposedly lack “the vision thing”? Or has he only seen too much?
No matter. Na’gonna happen. Not even if folks in the Beltway bubble want to make it happen.
Paul Ryan, the very, very serious thinker of the Republican Party, the numbers guy who puts together oh-so-serious budgets designed to throw the Olds and the Poors off their Medicare and Medicaids becauz that’s what serious people do, went on Fox News Sunday to discuss his newest veryserious budget which will be officially unveiled next Tuesday. Unfortunately he discussed it with Chris Wallace, one of the people at Fox who actually has thinkingskillz. Here is the exchange:
On Sunday morning, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) stopped by Fox News Sunday to preview his new budget, which will be released in full on Tuesday. As it had the past two years, this year’s version will call for massive cuts to social service programs, including food stamps, job training, Medicaid, and Medicare. Host Chris Wallace challenged Ryan on the viability of his plan, pointing out that he wants to repeal and replace Obamacare, and, “that’s not going to happen.”
Still, Ryan insisted that he and then-running mate Mitt Romney won the election on this issue because they “won the senior vote”:
WALLACE: Are you saying that as part of your budget you would repeal — you assume the repeal of Obamacare?
WALLACE: Well that’s not going to happen.
RYAN: Well, we believe it should. [...]
Yes, and since we believe it should happen magical Repeal Fairies will make Obamacare go away between now and when this Budget *goes into effect*.
Hmmm. I’m just imagining this scenario in a corporate conference room with the controller presenting the budget to the CEO.
CEO: “Ryan, this budget assumes that revenues will triple when we introduce our new product line of flying pigs. Are you assuming we can create flying pigs?”
CEO: “Well that’s not going to happen!”
RYAN: “Well we believe it should happen.”
How long between the end of that conversation and the issuance of the pink slip to young Ryan?
Ryan also says, after reiterating that wishing Obamacare away can make it so, that the purpose of budgets is to make hard choices. Um, no Paul. Budgets sometimes require you to make hard choices but that is not their purpose. The purpose of a budget is to make the most realistic assessment possible, based on known facts, of what your revenues and expenses for the coming fiscal period will look like. Pretending that things will happen that are not going to happen and using the budget to further right wing ideology and destroy programs that you don’t support is *not* the purpose of a budget.
You can definitely see why this oh-so-serious thinker had to scramble his way into gummint welfare for a living - he wouldn’t last 10 minutes in the real world.
“Anyone ever hear of pocket tweet, pocket dial? I mean it was pretty simple, you know. I have an iPhone 5. If anyone has an iPhone 5, the keys are small,” Brown told Boston’s FOX 25. “It’s very, very sensitive.”
He said his daughter had been teaching him how to use Facebook and Twitter, but “there are some areas that I didn’t really understand.”
“It was after her concert, we were here right in the living room and I responded to a couple of people. And then I put it in my pocket,” he said.
One of the tweets — “bqhatevwr” — quickly became a meme and was widely mocked.
“The next thing, I wake up and I said — it trended worldwide. Worldwide trending on a pocket tweet,” he said.
FOX 25’s Maria Stephanos then asked whether the tweets were just a mistake. “What else would it be?” he replied.
Okay, player—what else could they be? Let’s stipulate you were sober, because, really, I don’t care who drinks and who doesn’t, because I get ‘faced now and again, my ownself. Maybe you just had a case of the fumblefingers, typo’d, and then made Tweets you didn’t have to explain because, duh, just Tweets.
Instead, we get an explanation about asspocket-dialing. On an iPhone 5. Now, I have an Android phone myself, but it does have one of those touchpad deals. It doesn’t even recognize my dry-skinned fingers unless I’ve used a little lotion. They aren’t so weirdly receptive that you can post nonsense handsfree—and even if you could—it would be nonsense. Although there was this one time I nearly texted pi to the tenth decimal place with my butt. It was all like:
And I’m like “That’s random—except if that was pi, it would be ‘3.1415926535’—I thought my ass knew math!” and it was when I had a phone with an actual, not virtual keyboard, and I might have been tipsy like erryone else in the club, oh yeah, and I made that up because you can’t ass-dial a nearly statistically improbable series of numbers anymore than you could a nearly-English language Tweet. So, like, why front, Brown?
Unless, as is the contention of, I believe, most of us here at Rumproast, this Scott Brown guy just ain’t bright. Thus, “Bqhatevwr” has become one of our tags to symbolize not-bright things conservatives say. And I thought I would throw this down about the legend of Brown because he may resurface as a gubernatorial candidate in MA or something. And our auld acquaintance with this knob shouldn’t be forgot. So bqhatevwer for auld lang syne, my dears. His ridicule is just and deserved.
I just am not up to putting together a critique of Obama’s pretty darn good SOTU speech, which addressed climate change, gun control, and raising the minimum wage—all things quite timely and appropriate; nor am I concerned with poor Senator Marco Rubio’s long day, which started with voting against VAWA and ended with a speech where he complained that the President (who mentioned lowering the deficit, like a million times) was trying to create bigger government and boo-hoo’d over the notion that any Democratic president might ascribe motives to the GOP based on the logical outcomes of their policies as opposed to assuming in good faith that they believed their talking points. I just want to focus on what everyone will focus on, and are already all about on the Twitter engines:the Big Sip.
It’s a thing of so much awkwardness, and the water bottle is so tiny. He moves in for it like maybe, if he moves fast enough, we won’t even notice he had a case of cottonmouth and naturally, took a drink during a speech (LIKE PEOPLE DO!). (JUST NOT SO AWKWARDLY!)
Anyone want to share their impressions? Open thread.
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.
Some Villager vignettes for your consideration. First up, Dana Milbank on Joe Lieberman’s sparsely attended farewell speech in the senate:
Joe Lieberman’s Sad Send-Off
It Was a Lonely Farewell for Joe Lieberman.
...A few more senators arrived during the 20-minute speech, but even by the end Lieberman was very much alone — which is how it has been for much of his 24-year tenure. He tried to push back against the mindless partisanship that developed in the chamber, and he paid dearly for it…
What a steaming load of horseshit. Lieberman was a highly partisan actor on behalf of the insurance-financial-military complex, which filled his coffers sufficiently to retain office long after the people of Connecticut were sick of the mewling, sanctimonious prick. Given the damage he inflicted with his war-mongering and petty spite, Lieberman deserved a much grander send-off, such as ejection from the chamber via catapult to a new home in a toxic waste dump.
Instead, he got away with his many perfidies, lionized by ignorant prats like Milbank for his non-existent integrity and bipartisanship, and he’ll no doubt land on K Street, where he’ll rake in millions of dollars. We’re supposed to feel sorry for Lieberman? Boo-fucking-hoo.
Next up: hair harrumphing and fat shaming:
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With the exception of every minute of every single episode of Dancin’ Dave Gregory’s “Press the Meat,” this clip illustrates the vacuity of our fucked up political press corps about as well as anything you’ll ever see. George Stephanopoulis and Barbara Walters are discussing her recent interviews with Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie.
Wow, there’s a lot to discuss! You’ve got the Secretary of State in a tumultuous geopolitical time, what with much of the Middle East going to hell, etc., but the teaser for the segment is all about Hillary Clinton’s hair.
Walters apologetically notes that a man wouldn’t be questioned about his coif, but nonetheless, the public demands an answer, so Walters must ask. Clinton responds with the mocking tone the question deserves, but Jaysus, this is stupid. Clinton should have shaved her head on the segment and made a real statement, like Joan of Arc.
Next up, Chris Christie, possible GOP contender in 2016, governor of a hurricane-ravaged state, frequent pugnacious asshole and notorious Obama-thanker. Was the teaser to that segment about how a GOP primary candidate who is famous for his temper might navigate between the batshit crazies and plutocrats who control his party to offer a credible alternative to the Democrats? How about a bit on Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts and the looming threat of climate change to coastal areas?
Nope—it’s about fat Christie’s fat-fat ass and fat-fat-fat gut. Could voters see past his big fat blubber and consider electing such a fatty-fat motherfucker?
Again, Walters poses the question delicately, after making a joke about the “elephant in the room” in the intro. Jaysus. I half expected Christie to respond that if a woman with a speech impediment could become a top broadcast journalist, surely a fat man could aspire to the highest office in the land.
I suppose our political press corps could get even dumber, but it’s hard to imagine how unless they add Jim Hoft to the ranks. Which wouldn’t surprise me.
Post-Election Introspection time is over and now it’s time for Republicans to buckle down to the serious business of blowing up the party from the inside. And, while negotiations stagnate on their ingenious device known as the “Fiscal Cliff,” progress on alienating even huger swathes of the American electorate continues apace.
The Republican Party is truly in crisis, and that crisis is now coming to a head. The popular vote in the most recent election was less an endorsement of Obama’s performance than a refutation of GOP extremism. The fiscal cliff negotiations have presented the perfect opportunity for Republicans to begin to repair their brand—to refashion themselves as a moderately conservative party that is open to compromise. But Republicans seem determined not to seize this opportunity. Until they do, their brand will remain in trouble.
All due respect to Mr Larison, their “brand” is already on life support. Numerous post-election polls show that percentages in the high fifties and sixties disapprove of what the GOP has become, what it is doing and how it is doing it. There’s your mandate! and it’s a Kill Order.