What a week! And, I have to agree with Jay Carney, it’s actually been a good week, if for no other reason than its entertainment value. Scandalpalooza has downtrodden Republicans floating in a purple haze of political fairy dust and, history teaches us that when the GOP has magic on its mind it becomes rather spectacularly self-destructive.
By the end of a week of Republican non-stop merrymaking, Prince Rebus and “You’re a Mean One, Mr Gingrich” are the sole, sober voices of reason. Say what you will about Newt, but he does have decades worth of first-hand knowledge of the inner workings, serial miscalculations, over-reach and bumbling blunders that have carried the GOP to its present-day level of uselessness.
So it is that Prince and Newt are the grownups desperately calling cabs for the less inhibited partygoers before they start spewing a skinful of Impeachment Punch all over the rotunda.
In one of those cabs, we find Peggy Noonan belting out “those were the days, my friend” spliced with “we are in the middle of the worst Washington scandal since Watergate” and “the South shall rise again.” [I added that last part; it seemed to fit]
Admittedly, it’s been a while since Peggy Noonan made any sense to me. At first, I thought she was cleverly speaking in tongues. But Peggy’s Catholic and they generally frown on that kind of melodrama.
If you’re rooting for the Republican Party to survive until 2016, you probably believe that Benghazi-Gate is a game-changing strategy of diabolical brilliance. In fact, it’s really pathetic and graphically demonstrates how utterly out of juice the GOP has become.
For the first few months after the Reality of 2012 set in, some Republicans actually toyed with the idea of substantive changes to their antiquated policy platform by convincing themselves that Latinos were natural-born, big-C conservatives. The RNC did it’s little soul-search and discovered that some “serious Republicans” could stomach reaching out to black, Hispanic and Asian voters because they just knew that, if only they could articulate what’s in their little conservative hearts, minorities would drop everything and register Republican.
The GOP beat the bushes and found themselves some folks of the “right persuasion” to head up their outreach programs in the states and to sign up “more of their own kind.” Slight miscalculation. Yesterday, in Florida, one of the most important outreach outposts, the newly appointed RNC State Director Of Outreach, Pablo Pantoja, had to regretfully resign his post and switch his political affiliation from Republican to Democrat.
Here’s how he put it:
It doesn’t take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today. I have wondered before about the seemingly harsh undertones about immigrants and others. Look no further; a well-known organization recently confirms the intolerance of that which seems different or strange to them.
Who could’ve seen that coming? Meanwhile, while one faction of the GOP is strategizing about how to come up with enough voters to win a national election, again, ever . . . Hillary Clinton emerges as the Democrats secret weapon for 2016 already raining on the parades of the GOP’s Earnest Young Men potential candidates. Hillary could beat any, or all, of them tomorrow, if necessary.
Andrew Stiles at NRO implies that Secretary Clinton is dancing for donations from gay puppet-masters:
Big Money Backs Clinton on Gay Marriage
Former secretary of state and potential 2016 presidential contender Hillary Clinton announced her support for gay marriage on Monday in a video posted online by the Human Rights Campaign, one of the Democratic party’s most prolific campaign donors over the years.
The Human Rights Campaign has contributed more than $10 million to Democrats since 1990, and has spent more than $21 million on lobbying since 1998, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which describes the group as a “heavy hitter” in federal elections.
On what planet does $10 million in campaign contributions over 23 years qualify as “big money?” Hell, Sheldon Adelson shook $20 mill out of his sofa cushions for Gingrich’s Quixotic primary run before going on to spend serious cash on the actual nominee. And he’s just one dude in one election cycle.
The consensus for marriage equality is accelerating, thanks to the Democrats, notably President Obama. Conservatives like the nitwits at NRO still can’t quite believe this is happening, so they’re casting about for alternate explanations.
Republicans who have the most well-developed sense of political self-preservation will climb off the bigot bus toot sweet, leaving sad busybodies like NOM’s Brian Brown holding a pile of white sheets and “God Hates Fags” signs.
You know, I’ve been percolating over a long-form thing about FreedomWorks, and the revelation that the whole Tea Party notion is a decade-long bit of Astroturf cooked up between the cancer-denialists of Big Tobacco and the Koch brothers, which is all of a piece with the unifying theory of modern conservatism (“Grifters gotta grift”), but you know what? Forget it. That could be a book, someday. In the meanwhile, I think this is as insightful a glimpse into the mentality of these Kochtopi as anything you could find:
Some FreedomWorks staffers worried last year about a promotional video created ahead of FreePAC, a FreedomWorks conference held on July 26, 2012, where thousands of conservative grassroots activists nearly filled the American Airlines Center in Dallas to hear from tea party favorites, including Glenn Beck and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). The short film hailing FreedomWorks was intended to play on the large video screens inside the arena.
In one segment of the film, according to a former official who saw it, Brandon is seen waking from a nap at his desk. In what appears to be a dream or a nightmare, he wanders down a hallway and spots a giant panda on its knees with its head in the lap of a seated Hillary Clinton and apparently performing oral sex on the then-secretary of state. Two female interns at FreedomWorks were recruited to play the panda and Clinton. One intern wore a Hillary Clinton mask. The other wore a giant panda suit that FreedomWorks had used at protests to denounce progressives as panderers. (See here, here, and here.) Placing the panda in the video, a former FreedomWorks staffer says, was “an inside joke.”
Another FreedomWorks staffer who worked there at the time confirms that “Yes, this video was created.”
Uh. Huh. A very serious conservative advocacy group, indeed.
Secretary of State Clinton tangled with the preening Republican arseholes in the Senate this morning and is right now confronting the unhinged yahoos in the House. I thought she was terrific this morning, from what I saw.
However, I think Steve M at No More Mr. Nice Blog has it right when he notes that, while we lefties perceived Madam Secretary deftly catching her interrogators’ self-serving slings and arrows and hurling them squarely back at her inquisitors’ junk, the right isn’t watching the same show. In response to Senator Johnson’s obsession with Ambassador Rice’s Sunday morning talk show talking points, Secretary Clinton said:
“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans,” she said. “Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make? It our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator. Now, honestly, I will do my best to answer your questions about this. The fact is that people were trying, in real time, to get to the best information.”
Steve observes that the wingnuts have already pounced on the quote: “What difference does it make?” and notes:
They have what they want: a soundbite they can rip from context and use as a cudgel to beat the administration and Secretary Clinton with. I’m not sure if they really expect their efforts to color mainstream coverage of this story, but it’s clear that that’s what they’re hoping. They have a new “you didn’t build that,” a new “spread the wealth around,” and they’re going to wring everything they can out of it.
He’s right, I’m sure. But I’m betting they’ll meet with similar levels of success with their latest chew-toy. Which is to say, zero outside the wingnut echo chamber. Please proceed, Governor.
I suppose if there’s one silver lining to come from Susan Rice’s decision to withdraw her name from the running for Hillary Clinton’s replacement as Secretary of State, it’s that Sen. John McCain has to stop his tantrum regarding her. (Oh, but how long before the next tantrum commences?) I suppose I can see where people are coming from if they feel a little ripped off that she didn’t get further in the process because it just feels like giving in to the angry old GOP bastards, and who wants to give them an inch? On the other hand, I lean towards this being her decision to make, and getting out before it gets uglier (as McCain was threatening) is very sensible.
But where does the White House go from here regarding SoS Search? I know the current narrative is the next at-bat goes to Sen. John Kerry, because that’s who the Old Boys’ Club deems acceptable, and also they want a crack at slipping Scott Brown back into the Senate. Me, I don’t see why Obama doesn’t consider Samatha Power. (Well, actually I kind of do. I must be part troll that I’d be looking forward to “Shit-show 2: Power Boogaloo”, because if the GOP wanted to shit-stir regarding Power, well, I guess they would. But I’m a blogger and that’s blog-fodder. I’m capricious like that.)
But regarding the idea that Sen. Kerry accepting a role as SoS necessarily means losing that seat, I’m not convinced. The people of the Commonwealth have seen Brown’s act, and it’s not like there isn’t anyone who could run against him. I rather like the idea of Barney Frank in the Senate (we should be so lucky!). Although more than a few people on Twitter have mentioned Rep. Ed Markey, who I also rather like.
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.
Well. We’re not quite a month beyond Republican Obamageddon: The Sequel and it would appear that the GOP’s lip-quivering, angst-y period of brutal self-assessment has been completed, in record time, and—guess what? no changes are necessary, there’s nothing wrong with Republicans, it’s the rest of the world that’s fked up.
That’s right. They’re going full gonzo doubledown and as Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo predicts: “There Will Be Hilarity . . .”
Roger that. There already is . . .
For example, we’ve had the week-long Willard “Mitt” Romney National Pity Party including a tear-stained piece in the Washington Post describing a haggard Mitt riding his bike aimlessly through the quiet streets of La Jolla, while Ann stays inside weeping in private. Evidently, she won’t even budge to hop on her dancing horse (Rafalca, likewise, is said to be sulking in her stall, seriously off her feed).
We have photos of Mitt pumping his own gas, for Pete’s sake, without any Secret Service to take a bullet for him and, then, there’s the sad, sad Cratchitt-y tale of the Romney’s Boston Market Thanksgiving dinner. (Actually, I would have taken the Romney’s for Chick-Fil-A folks . . .)
As a woman, I’ve found the GOP’s eagerness to piss us off with all-male sperm-death panels, state-rape ultrasound-wand legislation, FCC-sponsored slut-shaming, etc., kind of puzzling. Not because the modern GOP has ever given a damn about women, but because it seems dumb for a party to go out of its way to alienate more than half of US voters in an election year.
But a post yesterday by Perfesser Heh Indeedy may reveal the real reason behind this disconnect: Conservatives still can’t tell an actual woman from a cardboard cutout:
WAR AGAINST WOMEN: Woman Raped At Occupy New Haven. #Occupyfail.
UPDATE: I suppose that this should come as no surprise considering the signals that have come from the very top of the Democratic establishment:
At the exact moment Jon Favreau is receiving high praise in pre-inaugural media puff pieces, the 27-year-old chief speechwriter for President-elect Barack Obama (not Jon Favreau, the Hollywood actor/ director) finds himself in a minor mess over a photo from a recent private party showing him groping the breast of a cardboard cutout of Hillary Rodham Clinton as an unnamed pal wearing an “Obama staff” T-shirt kisses and feeds her beer.
If you haven’t seen it, imagine the early stages of the barroom rape scene of “The Accused” with Jodie Foster. Or think prosecutor Mike Nifong’s graphic (though false) descriptions of the Duke lacrosse party. Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson danced to a similar tune at the 2004 Super Bowl. Fraternities have been closed for less.
Here’s the pic, in case you’ve forgotten. No word on whether Favreau was involved in helping accuse Republicans of running a “war against women.”
For my money, one of the best troll smack-downs in the history of the internet occurred right here on Balloon Juice when the Favreau controversy first erupted. I don’t think I can improve on the words our host used then to squash a nincompoop who was confused about the difference between an actual woman and a cardboard cutout, a brainless frat-boy prank and a hideous crime. So I will paraphrase Mr. Cole to address another nincompoop: Do you want to know what is like rape, Perfesser Heh Indeedy? Rape, you stupid fuck.
I’ll only add that every rape is a tragedy, and the wingnut obsession with any sexual assault that occurs in the same ZIP code as an Occupy encampment is creepy. But while Perfesser Heh Indeedy’s willingness to make political hay out of that particular woman’s personal tragedy is breathtakingly craven, it may shed light on a root cause of the gender gap in US politics. Therefore, it cannot be said that the Perfesser is altogether useless as a teacher.
Big Pink Inc., still smarting from that unfortunate Planned Parenthood rock-turning incident that exposed the wingnut creepy-crawlies running the joint, the inflated executive salaries, the breathtakingly large portion of donations funneled toward corporate whoring, etc., has hired Mark Penn’s flak organization to gauge PR fallout and presumably craft a communications strategy to repair the damage. Here’s a sample survey question:
Penn, as you may recall, was the genius behind the twin ”caucuses, what caucuses?” and “hard-working white Americans” strategies in the Hillary Clinton 2008 campaign that nearly destroyed the Clinton brand and almost certainly cost the current Secretary of State the nomination while leaving her campaign on the hook for millions of dollars. Penn has since gone on to be wrong about just about everything else, making a serious play for Bill Kristol’s all-time wrong record. So he’ll no doubt be a terrific asset to the Komen peeps.
Romney attack-surrogate Chris Christie thrilled his legions of wingnut fans yesterday by sneering the following at a female heckler: “Somethin’s goin’ down tonight, but it ain’t gonna be jobs, Sweetheart!”
Wingnuts love Christie’s Jersey bully-boy antics, and no doubt they relish the stark contrast between his Tony Soprano manner and the gee-whiz, milquetoast demeanor of their unsatisfactory front-runner. But some on the left criticized Christie’s choice of words, suggesting that he was telling the heckler to dig through the folds of flesh below his belt to extract and service Lil’ Smokie, or whatever Mrs. Christie calls it.
But wouldn’t you think a wannabe “political analyst” like Taylor Marsh—a woman who spent much of 2008 screeching about then-candidate Barack Obama’s sexism because he used the word “periodically” in a sentence that also contained the words “Hillary Clinton,” waxing hysterical about the sexism inherent in the now-president’s brushing-off gesture and avidly promoting the lies that Mr. Obama used “99 Problems but a Bitch Ain’t One” as a campaign theme song and flipped off Mrs. Clinton—wouldn’t she object to Mr. Christie’s handling of the female heckler? Nope:
I’m just not seeing the offense. An “offensive oral sex joke”?
This type of judgment about Christie not having any class is what makes Democrats look snooty. It’s about style, actually, with a side of political correctness from those judging him.
Imagine for a moment the ear-splitting snit if President Obama had said something even remotely comparable—ever. I guess it’s only okay if said by a white dude. Jeebus, what a hypocrite.
Huffington Post reader Andrew Rohrberger (via an Off The Bus submission) grabbed a copy of the audio of the “Run Hillary 2012” robocalls that are reportedly being made in an attempt to persuade the secretary of state to run for the White House.
The script leads one to believe we’d be living in a veritable utopia if only Clinton had won in 2008.
America would be better off today if Hillary Clinton was our president. The Wall Street robber barons would be jailed, young people could afford college and find jobs and six million homeowners wouldn’t face foreclosure. We need to change our course. Please sign our petition to draft Hillary Clinton for president.
Clinton’s not running, of course. And it’s remarkable to see that people are still holding out hope that she might change her mind. That said, the call represents an extreme version of the type of buyer’s remorse that Obama faces in the months ahead.
I can’t say I am surprised by any of this. President Obama’s support is tepid at best and among some demographic groups, nonexistent. If there was ever an election campaign ripe for a third party challenger, I believe 2012 is it.
If Hillary decides to jump in at the 11th hour, she will have my support and the support of my Blog.
The narrative that Obama is losing the base was debunked by a new CNN poll which found that support for the renomination of the president has tied an all-time high.
The CNN poll found that overall 81% of those surveyed thought that the Democratic Party should nominate Obama again. Only 18% of respondents thought that the Democratic Party should go with a different candidate.
Aided by comparison to the vastly unpopular Congress, Barack Obama has advanced to a 49 percent job approval rating in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll - his best showing since spring, and one that, if it holds, that may put his re-election prospects back within reach.
Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, poster-snob for the cognac-swirling, naval-gazing, canapé-grazing, manor-dwelling, Trans-Atlantic swells, has an Opinion on Something. I was going to excerpt it. But I just don’t have the heart at Wine Thirty. Here’s a shorter instead:
Tea Party and OWS movements should exchange saliva. Capitalism, good! Obama, bad! Clinton restoration!
Find out what this dumb motherfucker is recommending, and do the exact opposite:
I like Hillary Clinton just fine and would have voted for her in the last election had she prevailed in the Democratic primary. But the fact that she paid this idiot millions of dollars and relied heavily on his counsel was self-disqualifying.