One for the ages, here. One John Boehner will never, ever live down.
Superb! It certainly beats the previous winner by a longshot.
One for the ages, here. One John Boehner will never, ever live down.
Superb! It certainly beats the previous winner by a longshot.
“Mommy, I made a poopy”
I make no bones over the fact that I hate Republicans. I hate them. Loathe ‘em. All of them. If you call yourself a Republican and I’m not related to you by blood, you can just go fuck yourself. Right now. I can’t be any more clear on that, can I? Anyone who self-identifies as “a Republican,” you’re an idiot, and you’re clearly not bright enough to know that you’re an idiot, either, which must be a real disadvantage for you as you make your way through life.
However, I must say that I have looked at the vicious, gnashed-teeth, bare-knuckled school of political combat the GOP has waged for decades—the Lee Atwater-style skull-fucking—and find their efforts superior, far superior, to the wimpish Dems, who simply never seemed to be willing to “go there” like the GOP do, ready to kill without any hesitation and never holding anything back. Say what you will about Republicans, they will shiv you. Expect it. They play to win and in the Darwinian game of American politics, that’s worth something!
I don’t care much for the Democrats either, they sure aren’t a team I root for, either, but I will admit it, I do love watching Harry Reid and his Senate pals playing such HILARIOUS hardball with hapless conservative Senator David Vitter of Louisiana. He’s just so easy to fuck with—like shooting a big fat, diaper-clad Republican hypocrite in a barrel—who could resist? Apparently not even the characteristically milquetoast and timid Democrats.
Vitter, who—of course—claims to be a Christian, is that very special sort of Republican idiot, in that he lives in a glass house—he had an important (and deeply humiliating!) cameo role in 2007’s “D.C. Madam” scandal that he doesn’t deny—yet has no qualms about throwing boulders at other people, including those who lack health care. Vitter has been an especially vocal thorn in the side of Senate Democrats over Obamacare, trying to tie a dickish amendment to the energy bill and wasting an entire week of Senate work. But diaper-wearing David Vitter is about to get his comeuppance…
In fact, it’s already started, as Politico reports:
Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, has infuriated Democrats this week by commandeering the Senate floor, demanding a vote on his amendment repealing federal contributions to help pay for lawmakers’ health care coverage.
But Democratic senators are preparing a legislative response targeting a sordid Vitter episode. If Vitter continues to insist on a vote on his proposal, Democrats could counter with one of their own: Lawmakers will be denied those government contributions if there is “probable cause” they solicited prostitutes.
I daresay, I don’t think David Vitter’s feeling so smug this morning. The deeply hypocritical Vitter, a married father of four children and a pro-gun, anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, “Family Values,” Tea party-backed conservative who says he believes in Creationism, is widely thought to be considering a run for the Governor of Louisiana in 2015. Now, thanks to Vitter’s own passive-aggressive petulant obnoxiousness, the entire country has been reminded again of his shitty diaper scandal. Nice work, asshole!
The only politician in America more embarrassing than David Vitter is Anthony Weiner!
UPDATE: My god is this man fucking stupid!
There is a long (10 pages) story that The New York Times Magazine published on its website today (”Can the Republicans Be Saved From Obsolescence?” by Robert Draper) that performs a highly informative—and often highly amusing—autopsy on just how badly the GOP fucked up the 2012 election.
There are LOL gems throughout the piece, but there’s one section that stood out for me when the author attends some focus groups in Columbus, Ohio with media-saavy G.O.P. pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson:
About an hour into the session, Anderson walked up to a whiteboard and took out a magic marker. “I’m going to write down a word, and you guys free-associate with whatever comes to mind,” she said. The first word she wrote was “Democrat.”
“Young people,” one woman called out.
“Liberal,” another said. Followed by: “Diverse.” “Bill Clinton.”“Change.”“Open-minded.”“Spending.”“Handouts.”“Green.”“More science-based.”
When Anderson then wrote “Republican,” the outburst was immediate and vehement: “Corporate greed.”“Old.”“Middle-aged white men.” “Rich.” “Religious.” “Conservative.” “Hypocritical.” “Military retirees.” “Narrow-minded.” “Rigid.” “Not progressive.” “Polarizing.” “Stuck in their ways.” “Farmers.”
That was what an all-female focus group told her. The young males in Anderson’s focus groups used terms of endearment like “racist,” “out of touch” and “hateful” to describe the Grand Old (and getting older by the day) Party.
Later that evening at a hotel bar, Anderson pored over her notes. She seemed morbidly entranced, like a homicide detective gazing into a pool of freshly spilled blood. In the previous few days, the pollster interviewed Latino voters in San Diego and young entrepreneurs in Orlando. The findings were virtually unanimous. No one could understand the G.O.P.’s hot-blooded opposition to gay marriage or its perceived affinity for invading foreign countries. Every group believed that the first place to cut spending was the defense budget. During the whiteboard drill, every focus group described Democrats as “open-minded” and Republicans as “rigid.”
“There is a brand,” the 28-year-old pollster concluded of her party with clinical finality. “And it’s that we’re not in the 21st century.”
Now contrast Kristen Soltis Anderson’s angle on the GOP’s problems with that of conservative Republican chucklehead House Judiciary Chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas. Smith is the guy who was pushing the “Keep Our Communities Safe Act” in 2011, something that if signed into law would have authorized the government to lock up certain illegal aliens indefinitely.
Now Smith, a longtime DREAM act opponent who is about as dumb as a bag of wet hair, is warning Republicans that “immigration is exactly the wrong subject to use to attract Hispanic support” in an editorial he penned for Politico yesterday (”5 reasons GOP should avoid immigration trap”) urging the GOP to oppose immigration reform because it would give Democrats “millions of votes”:
Does anyone really think Republicans are going to outbid Democrats on giving benefits to illegal immigrants?
And fifth, you have to be a little suspicious when liberal Democrats tell Republicans they have to support amnesty to win elections. Do Republicans really think they have the best interests of the GOP at heart?
Immigration is the field Democrats want to lure Republicans to play on. Why? Because Democrats know they’ll win.
Democrats have done the math and realize that legalization inevitably would give them millions of votes, meaning more victories in congressional and presidential elections.
No shit, dumbass. Why didn’t the GOP figure this out a long time ago? Were the results of the US census too “liberal” for their liking?
The Stupid Party strikes again. But immigration isn’t the only pile of, uh, “trap” that the Republicans have stepped in: I can’t wait to see the Republicans tie themselves tightly up in knots trying to defeat a measly increase in the minimum wage! (That was one of the sneakiest things Obama pulled on the GOP during the State of the Union address—there were several—and they fell for it hook, line and sinker).
Count the clowns in this picture. Hint: They’re all wearing suits and ties.
During last night’s epic Rachel Maddow piece about the Republican party’s mind-boggling real-time implosion, she described the GOP as a dog being wagged by the tail of the conservative movement and pondered why some of the movement’s most powerful pols, like Jim Demint, are picking up their toys and leaving Congress:
“[A] huge internal fight including screaming matches in their own caucus… they’re just turning off the light and abandoning what they’re doing and nobody really knows why.”
Obama has all the leverage now. If he can’t manage to negotiate a modest tax increase for the wealthy without limiting future cost of living increases for poor and middle class Social Security recipients, he’ll have proven himself to be one of the worst—if not THE worst—presidential negotiators of all time. He’s already offered up more than he had to (WHY?) and also demonstrated that his promises made during the campaign were nothing but bullshit.
Frankly, I never thought Obama was offering lefties all that much to begin with—he just wasn’t named Mitt Romney—but these guys are pathetic, why bargain with them at all? Now’s the time to shove it up their asses, if for no other reason, just on principle.
Steven Crowder: even dumber than he looks?
It’s been hilarious to watch the reichwingers having conniption fits pointing at the “union goon” in Lansing, Michigan who punched curiously smug Fox Contributor Steven Crowder: Uncle Sean Hannity, the pindicks at Breitbart.com, mean ol’ Dana Loesch, and the delightfully insane Michelle Malkin have all been tripping over themselves to get the word out about this heinous, earth-shaking, momentously evil event. You’d think that the livelihoods of working families in Michigan, and what they stand to lose in the Republican sneak attack against the unions, might be the main story, or even a tiny part of it, but no, it’s the Republican frat boy who deservedly got punched in the face—who indeed only went to Lansing in the first place so he could GET punched in the face ON CAMERA—that they all want to talk about.
Fair enough, except that these intellectual pillars of the right might want to look at his video a little more closely before they really get on-board the Steven Crowder Express, next career stop his parent’s basement…
Certainly Crowder underestimated even the Fox News audience’s ability to see—clearly—in the video evidence that he himself provided, that the supposed “union thug” was getting off the ground before he hit him.
Even his supporters want to know what happened immediately before the video starts. Why was the union guy on the ground before the fight broke out? Why did Crowder decide that this part wasn’t important enough to leave in the video he uploaded to YouTube before calling Fox News?
Is this guy for real? Did he even think this shit through?
And what does this say about Fox News and their producers’ ability to divine shit from Shinola? They’re the ones who showed the damned video. Did they even bother to LOOK at it first? Post Romneygeddon it’s not like Fox News has got a whole lot more credibility to piss away with the general public and now they’re embracing a twit like Steven Crowder in prime time? (Great idea, Roger Ailes! You’re a propaganda genius… or at least you used to be. These days, not so much).
The mighty Eclecta blog was the first place to compare the videos, the reddit community then picked up on the story and amplified it from there and now it’s made it to The New York Times. I would imagine that this will be young Mr. Crowder’s first—and probably last—time to be mentioned in the Times. I’m sure his wife and family will be so proud of him when they read this:
Unfortunately for Mr. Crowder, a look at the video broadcast on the Sean Hannity show appears to show quite clearly that he left out an important section of the footage when he put together his edit. A section of the Fox News broadcast preserved by the Web site Mediaite shows that Mr. Hannity’s producers at Fox News started the clip five seconds earlier than Mr. Crowder did. What the extra footage reveals is the man who punched Mr. Crowder being knocked to the ground seconds before and then getting up and taking a swing at the comedian.
It remains unclear what caused the man who threw the punch to fall to the ground at the start of the incident, but Mr. Crowder did say in an interview with a conservative blogger that he and other men defending the tent did get into a physical confrontation with the union activists. “We didn’t get violent with them, but we did try and push them off the tent,” he said.
So wait: Crowder pushed a guy to the ground who then got up and hit him? And then Crowder went on TV and cried about being a victim of a “union thug” who he physically provoked?
Yesterday Tea party wingnuts were donating to a “reward” fund to bring the “union thug” to “justice,” but dollars to donuts, I predict that no charges will be filed by little Stevie Crowder….
Crowder is now going full-tilt Breitbart and playing the martyr card hard, but unconvincingly:
Right now I have a former police officer, heavily armed at my house protecting my wife. The threats are severe. Prayers appreciated.— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) December 14, 2012
I’ve got a great dirty trick you can play on a three-year-old kid. Kids learn how to talk from listening to their parents, see? This is a good one. So here’s what you do. So you have a three-year-old kid and you wanna pull a trick on ‘em, whenever you’re around them.. TALK WRONG.
So now it’s like his first day of school and he raises his hand: “May I mambo dogface to the banana patch?”
“Give that kid a special test. Get him out of here.”
—Steve Martin, A Wild and Crazy Guy, 1978
That classic Steve Martin joke came immediately to mind when I read Columbia University’s Lincoln Mitchell’s essay, “Is Fox Even Helping the Republicans Anymore?” this morning. That and “if you have to ask, then the answer is almost certainly ‘no.’” Fox News has become a liability to the GOP? Who’d have ever thunk it?
A few other things popped into my head as well when I read Mitchell’s article:
This has been a difficult election season for Fox News. Among the most enduring media images of the last few days of the election are Karl Rove late on election night angrily denying that Ohio, and thus the presidency, had gone to President Obama, and Dick Morris only a few days before the election confidently predicting a Romney landslide. Morris later tried to explain away his mistake after the election by claiming he had done it to create enthusiasm among Republican voters. The incidents involving Rove and Morris, both of whom work as both commentators on Fox and political consultants to conservative clients, are obviously embarrassing for Fox, but also raise the question of whether the network has outlived its value, even to the Republican Party.
Because Fox generally reports news based on partisan talking points and ideological certainty rather than focusing on pesky things like facts, information and events, it has, in the past, been effective in encouraging misperceptions about President Obama’s background, nurturing the growth and development of the Tea Party movement and covering economic policy by referring to any spending by the government as socialism. These things have helped mobilize and misinform the right wing base of the Republican Party. Similarly, during the Bush administration, Fox helped increase support for the Gulf War by repeating White House positions on weapons of mass destruction, almost without question.
“Ideological certainty” sure is a fun term to mull over these days, isn’t it? Especially in light of what happened on Election Day. Imagine having your entire naive “conservative” (and all that implies outside of the cult) worldview crushed just like that by the sheer force of math and changing demographics… not that I have much sympathy for dolts.
How would people who watch Fox News all the time ever hear—let alone be able to mentally process—something like “Herbert Hoover presided over a bigger spending increase than Obama has”? Or that “Obama won more popular votes than any Democratic candidate for president in history—except for himself in 2008”? I’ll tell you how they process it: “He stole the election!”
If you follow, like I do, the far reich blogosphere, it’s very plain to see that these people live in a cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs fantasyland, in an America that doesn’t even exist, hasn’t really existed for years, and that will never exist again short of a genocide that would kill tens of millions of people, and which, frankly, isn’t something I expect to see happening in North America anytime soon.
Even in the minds of GOP bigwigs, this Bizarro World/“mambo dogface to the banana patch” shit is looming large: Did you read former Reagan economic adviser Bruce Bartlett—the guy who coined the term “Reaganomics”—writing in The American Conservative on how even elite Republicans view The New York Times as if it is some far left samizdat? WTF??
Interestingly, a couple of days after the Suskind article appeared, I happened to be at a reception for some right-wing organization that many of my think tank friends were also attending. I assumed I would get a lot of grief for my comments in the Suskind article and was surprised when there was none at all.
Finally, I started asking people about it. Not one person had read it or cared in the slightest what the New York Times had to say about anything. They all viewed it as having as much credibility as Pravda and a similar political philosophy as well. Some were indignant that I would even suspect them of reading a left-wing rag such as the New York Times.
I was flabbergasted. Until that moment I had not realized how closed the right-wing mind had become. Even assuming that my friends’ view of the Times’ philosophy was correct, which it most certainly was not, why would they not want to know what their enemy was thinking? This was my first exposure to what has been called “epistemic closure” among conservatives—living in their own bubble where nonsensical ideas circulate with no contradiction.
Read that last sentence again. That would describe Fox News perfectly, a place where nonsensical ideas circulate with no contradiction. EVER, or else they cut your mic. A black hole of intelligence that’s sucking the GOP faithful into a place of foolishness from which they can never return.
Back to Mitchell:
Over the last several years, this has been very helpful to the Republican Party, but during 2012, particularly in recent months, this has begun to change. Fox has now become a problem for the Republican Party because it keeps a far right base mobilized and angry making it hard for the party to move to the center, or increase its appeal as it must do to remain electorally competitive. For example, Bill O’Reilly’s explanation of why the Obama was reelected may, in fact, resonate, with the older and heavily white viewership of Fox, but it is precisely the wrong public message and messenger for the Party.
Precisely, it was the sort of grumpy old white senior citizens who reliably vote in the Republican primaries—and get their “informations” from Fox News—who forced Mitt Romney to contort himself into positions that made him an unpalatable shit-dipped pretzel to non-white, non-old, non-idiotic Americans and therefore patently un-electable.
I got yer manifest destiny right here: Romney scored the “reliable low IQ buffoon” vote, that’s for sure, and for many of us, that alone was a good enough reason to vote against him. How will the “big tent” Republicans go about courting that surefire base of the Tea party / “Moran” / covert (or overt) racist / Christian home-schooled creationist conservative bloc in elections to come without alienating absolutely everyone else?
Talk about a difficult dance step with both of your shoes tied together and nailed to the floor. Is it even possible to pull off such a doomed political tango moving forward in history? It’s a stupid uphill battle to wage to begin with. Why bother trying to swim against this kind of historical and demographic current? Why hitch your wagon to some horses who require oxygen tanks and twice daily insulin shots? It doesn’t make any sense.
Any aspiring young politician with half a brain would be a fool to think he’d be the BMOC by joining the party of people with no brains at all (Scott Brown, I’m looking at your short political career. Still glad you pledged Phi Kappa Dipshit?). Whereas, the Democrats, or at least some of them, seem more like the folks with one eye in the kingdom of the blind (I exempt Florida’s Alan Grayson from this assessment), the Republicans just seem like mean-spirited know-nothing buffoons, country blumpkins (that’s not a typo) and Jeebus freaks who belong in carnival sideshows, not voting booths. Where do you go from there when your baseline members consist of the country’s most irritating assholes and blowhards under the same “big tent”? (Think of the GOP not as a political party, but a party party. Who wants to party with the Republicans? They’ve got John Rocker signing autographs!)
And listen to the hilarious “conciliatory” noises that even the likes of Sean Hannity are starting to spout about immigration reform (he’s “evolved”—not a word typically associated with Hannity, is it?). A little late, buddy, don’t cha think? How do you solve a problem like, uh, Maria, at this late stage of the game, genius? YOU don’t. You try to fuck off with some tiny shred of dignity left! (If you care about what Sean Hannity “thinks” about immigration reform, I truly fucking pity you and anyone you come into contact with on a regular basis).
Moreover, while Fox helps the Republican Party when it slants its news coverage to the right, it damages the Party when its news coverage becomes too shoddy. A network that cannot get election night right because one of its star pundits simply refuses to accept defeat offers very little reason for potential viewers to watch it. Similarly a network whose pundits are so off in their election predictions will ultimately marginalize itself completely, as Fox is beginning to do.
Fox News “offers very little reason for potential viewers to watch it.” As Glenn Beck likes to say “Well, duh!”
If the information a news organization brings to the public is wrong and is demonstrated—easily—to be incorrect, then what is the value proposition? Fox News fills not-so-bright people’s heads with comforting bullshit and it serves to get them riled up and angry with… non-facts. It tells dum-dums, not “the news,” but what they want to hear. Study after study has shown that Fox News fans are the least informed people in America—indeed they are the very opposite of informed, as they tend to actually know less than they would had they watched no TV news at all.
There is clearly very little of nutritional value to get out of Fox News. It’s like eating Cheetos all the damned day and believing that you are consuming a futuristic health food (like Tang and Gatorade) even as you weigh 500 lbs and have to be lifted by a crane into your electric scooter.
Fox News imbicilizes its viewership. Its viewership IS the Republican base and probably comprises the greater part of its primary voters. According to Bruce Bartlett, it’s also the leadership…
Another thing that came to mind reading Mitchell’s essay was Paul Krugman’s withering quip about Newt Gingrich being “a stupid man’s idea of what a smart person sounds like.” Ouch, but it’s just so very, very true. If your mind is tiny, Newt’s must seem vast, but that doesn’t say much about the price of tea in China, just what passes for “brainy” to a group of people as dumb as a cows. Gingrich, like Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, is merely a self-confident idiot. and yet these bozos are the very ones they pass off as the smart guys because they’re louder, more emphatically blusterous and in the case of Gingrich, just flat-out fuckin’ meaner.
One of the bigger challenges facing the Republican Party is that they are perceived as the, to phrase it nicely, less smart of the two major parties. The anti-science perspective, unwillingness to speak out against absurd sounding conspiracy theories, and even the attacks on Nate Silver, presumably because Silver did somewhat sophisticated math, have contributed to this and are damaging the party. It is no coincidence that the Obama campaign had a more sophisticated targeting and turnout operation and better statistical modeling. A party that refuses to take a firm stand in support of evolution or recognizing climate change is not going to draw too many people with advanced statistical training as advisors and consultants.
Fox contributes to that environment by creating a climate where partisan rantings of people like Dick Morris are indulged while criticism by serious people like Tom Ricks is shut down and attacked. There is no inevitable link between conservatism and stupidity, but one could be forgiven for coming to that conclusion while watching Fox News. As it is currently constructed, Fox News is going to bring in almost no swing voters in the coming years. It will more likely continue to repel them through poor analysis and rants that strike the precise tone the party should be trying to avoid.
BAM. The toxic ménage à trois of the GOP, Fox News and the dumbest old coots in America means that they are perceived from the outside as being synonymous, and so herein lies the FAR BIGGER problem for the Republican party: Its very base, the braying Tea party dumbasses who they have so assiduously courted and pandered to, has made the Republican Party itself look like a BAD INVESTMENT. They can’t win lumbered with the imbecilic hordes of Fox News viewers, but they sure cannot win without them, either. What to do?
Tee-hee! This is yet another particularly vexing Catch 22 that I don’t think the GOP counted on. It goes far beyond their demographic problems and presents a much, much more immediate Wiley E. Coyote looking down to see that he’s already in very big trouble sort of crisis.
It’s also not something that I think is obvious to them—yet: Smart businessmen don’t tend to throw good money after bad. They certainly don’t keep doing it forever. Why would the people who have traditionally given money to the Republicans be foolish enough to do that again in 2016?
I think even the fucking US Chamber of Commerce got the message this time, don’t you? How could they have missed it?
Mitchell concluded by offering a final compelling reason for what I’m seeing as the “bad investment” aspect of the unholy trinity of Fox News, the GOP and the dumbest Americans:
It is in the interest of the Democrats, not the Republicans, for there to be a loud, extremist, heavily white faction in the Republican Party, constantly pushing that party rightward. One of the reasons Mitt Romney was so unable to pivot back to the center was due to the drumbeat at Fox which contributing to forcing him to the right during the primary season. Even after the primary season, when Fox became a big supporter for Romney, the rift between official editorial position and the political feelings of Fox viewers and hosts, was clear.
Unfortunately for the Republicans, while this is bad politics, it is good business for Fox. By positioning itself as the place where angry Republicans can go for their rhetorical red meat, Fox guarantees itself a sizable viewership, so the incentive for Fox to keep doing what it is doing is substantial, as is the potential damage to the Republican Party.
Good business for Fox News, but bad business for rich supporters of the Republican Party.
It’s a very difficult thing to convince someone that they’re stupid, however, it’s utterly infuriating when someone lets you know that they think you’re stupid and you suspect they might be right (I’d imagine, it’s not like this has ever happened to me). Faced with that uncomfortable power dynamic, stupid people tend to huff and puff and dig in their heels even harder when it comes to something that threatens them. As the Republican electorate gets older and has less and less influence, the growing realization that the rest of us think they’re knobs will see the thrashing displays of abject crazy get ratcheted up to levels of lunacy not yet seen, but that will just seem more and more silly, shrill and impotent as time goes on. For the Republicans, it used to be that automatically having the coalition of the stupid in their back pocket was a winning strategy. Today that’s why they’re losing and yet they can’t exactly cut them loose, either.
So the upshot of all of this is that GOP can’t really compete on a national level anymore, and if this isn’t an entirely 100% watertight truth (although the demographics sure seem to back it up) it’s still true enough.
If they were a sports team would you bet on them?
And ask yourself, even if you were stinking rich would you knowingly invest in a losing (hell, DOOMED) team?
As that notion sinks in, and becomes fully baked into the popular “loser” perception of the GOP, will the 1% continue to financially support the Republican party?
I think it’s pretty clear that the answer is gonna be NO.
(What this portends for the Democrats and one party rule in America is something beyond the scope of this already overlong post).
New York’s Jonathan Chait has written persuasively on several occasions in the past year about the rather obvious fear and desperation—but not, paranoia, a distinction I think he too kindly makes, but no matter—of Republicans and the importance to the conservative right to win big in 2012, for the reason that it might be their very last chance to win nationally before rapidly changing racial demographics in the American electorate make that all but impossible.
The Republican Party is way, way more fucked than they dared suspect. New findings from Pew Research Survey’s close analysis of the youth vote in the 2012 elections strongly suggests the GOP’s worst nightmare: The rise of an increasingly liberal young electorate that cuts across racial boundaries. They’re even losing the younger white people!
Among the 2012 electorate, more voters identified themselves as conservative (35 percent) than liberal (25 percent), and more said the government is already doing too much that should be left to the private sector (51 percent) than asserted that the government ought to be doing more to solve problems (44 percent). But this is not the case with younger voters. By a 59 percent to 37 percent margin, voters under 30 say the government should do more to solve problems. More remarkably, 33 percent of voters under 30 identified themselves as liberal, as against 26 percent who called themselves conservative.
What all this suggests is that we may soon see a political landscape that will appear from the perspective of today and virtually all of American history as unrecognizably liberal. Democrats today must amass huge majorities of moderate voters in order to overcome conservatives’ numerical advantage over liberals. They must carefully wrap any proposal for activist government within the strictures of limited government, which is why Bill Clinton declared the era of big government to be over, and Obama has promised not to raise taxes for 99 percent of Americans. It’s entirely possible that, by the time today’s twentysomethings have reached middle age, these sorts of limits will cease to apply.
Obviously, such a future hinges on the generational patterns of the last two election cycles persisting. But, as another Pew survey showed, generational patterns to tend to be sticky. It’s not the case that voters start out liberal and move rightward. Americans form a voting pattern early in their life and tend to hold to it. That isn’t to say something couldn’t shake these voters loose from their attachment to the liberal worldview. Republicans fervently (and plausibly) hoped the Great Recession would be that thing; having voted for Obama and borne the brunt of mass unemployment, once-idealistic voters would stare at the faded Obama posters on their wall and accept the Republican analysis that failed Big Government policies have brought about their misery.
But young voters haven’t drawn this conclusion — or not many of them have, at any rate. So either something else is going to have to happen to disrupt the liberalism of the rising youth cohort, or else the Republican Party itself will have to change in ways far more dramatic than any of its leading lights seem prepared to contemplate.
I personally don’t expect to see much of a reversal of fortune for Republicans. They’re a party of silly old men, “morans,” racists, idiots, jingoists and religious fanatics and to many people, this is ALL that their shit-for-brains “semiotic” stands for. How do you go about rebranding the very gestalt of American political stupidity to make it more attractive to young, liberally inclined voters?
I don’t think you can do this. How would that even work?
And which one of these mentally deficient special interest bozo groups that constitute the modern day Republican party will be the first to embrace abortion rights, universal healthcare, gay marriage, Blacks and Latinos, living wages, equal pay for women and the separation of church and state?
It would be like turning on Fox News and all of a sudden Sean Hannity had grown a fucking brain or that Bill O’Reilly woke up wondering if maybe—just maybe, I said—he’s been wrong all of these years? About almost everything?
That ain’t gonna happen…
I’ll leave you with this tasty morsel of Republican idiocy: Rick Santorum is back and he’s got a new cause: Opposing the disabled.
I’m sure this will be a winning issue for Santorum and the GOP moving forward. If at first you don’t succeed, um… pick on the cripples, I guess.
That’s moral leadership, Republican style!
Irony of ironies or just a cosmic coincidence?
Mitt Romney’s share of the popular vote in the 2012 presidential race, when all is said and done, will probably be recorded as 47 percent. Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman has noted that President Obama has actually expanded his portion of the popular vote to 50.8 percent, while Romney has fallen to 47.49 percent, which accounting for rounding down puts his percentage at the magic number of government dependent moochers that he himself estimated, at a secretly taped bigwig fundraiser, would never vote for him.
Via The Washington Post:
By virtue of rounding, Romney’s share of the popular vote will be recorded here and elsewhere as 47 percent, so long as it doesn’t rise above 47.5 percent again.
That seems unlikely. Wasserman projects that Romney’s vote share will actually head more toward 47 percent flat — 47.1 percent or 47.2 percent — because many of the outstanding ballots in the presidential race come from California and New York, which both voted for Obama by a large margin.
And Obama’s popular vote margin, in the end, is likely to be 51 percent to 47 percent.
In actual fact, Obama’s margin of victory is bigger than the elections margins seen by George W. Bush (both the 2000 and 2004 elections), Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Richard Nixon when he ran against Hubert Humphrey in 1968. All had smaller electoral margins than Obama.
Imagine if the Democrats had run a white guy at the top of the ticket in 2012 and some of the “racist” voters—who knows what percentage they represent—didn’t automatically give Romney their support? What would the GOP vs. Democrat tally been in that theoretical instance?
Not that it matters much, anymore, really: The Republicans are gonna be so fucked in 2016, even in the red states, by the rising percentage of Latino voters—just a 1% demographic change in that direction is HUGE in US electoral terms—and well, it’s going to happen. There is nothing they can do about it.
And it’s going to be fun to watch.
Dude’s really letting himself go. Look at that hair… the rumpled shirt… those wrinkled trousers… and he’s pumping HIS OWN GAS?
What’s that all about? If I didn’t know any better, I’d think ole Mitt had himself—gasp!—a Starbucks… maybe even two of them!
Trentas, from the look of things…
Via Redditor mkb95
Breitbart has a legitimate scoop today, one that may have deeply pained them to report on: The staggering technical incompetency of Mitt Romney’s ground game.
A source within the Romney campaign shared his thoughts about “Project Orca,” the campaign’s massive get-out-the-vote digital infrastructure—which failed completely—with Breitbart News:
It’s easy to point fingers after a loss and I wouldn’t normally do it, but consider what happened.
Project Orca was supposed to enable poll watchers to record voter names on their smartphones, by listening for names as voters checked in. This would give the campaign real-time turnout data, so they could redirect GOTV
resources throughout the day where it was most needed. They recruited 37,000 swing state volunteers for this.
I worked on the Colorado team, and we were called by hundreds (or more) volunteers who couldn’t use the app or the backup phone system. The usernames and passwords were wrong, but the reset password tool didn’t work, and we couldn’t change phone PINs. We were told the problems were limited and asked to project confidence, have people use pencil and paper, and try to submit again later.
Then at 6PM they admitted they had issued the wrong PINs to every volunteer in Colorado, and reissued new PINs (which also didn’t work). Meanwhile, counties where we had hundreds of volunteers, such as Denver Colorado, showed zero volunteers in the system all day, but we weren’t allowed to add them. In one area, the head of the Republican Party plus 10 volunteers were all locked out. The system went down for a half hour during peak voting, but for hundreds or more, it never worked all day. Many of the poll watchers I spoke with were very discouraged. Many members of our phone bank got up and left.
I do not know if the system was totally broken, or if I just saw the worst of it. But I wonder, because they told us all day that most volunteers were submitting just fine, yet admitted at the end that all of Colorado had the wrong PIN’s. They also said the system projected every swing state as pink or red.
Regardless of the specific difficulties, this idea would only help if executed extremely well. Otherwise, those 37,000 swing state volunteers should have been working on GOTV…
Somebody messaged me privately after my email and told me that North Carolina had the same problems—every pin was wrong and not fixed until 6PM—and was also told it was localized to North Carolina.
Mind-blowing, isn’t it?
The reichwing is still trying to wrap their heads around, not just why Romney lost, but why he failed even to match John McCain’s tallies in 2008. I tell ‘em: HEY, IT WAS GOD’S WILL.
And then I laugh in their faces. (Actually that’s not true, I don’t know any fucking Republicans).
Orca: How the Romney Campaign Suppressed Its Own Vote (Breitbart News)
David Frum. During the Bush administration, I used to really hate him, but now, kinda like how Bruce Springsteen has a grudging respect for NJ Governor Chris Christie, I think he’s pretty good (for a Republican). Pretty astute. Frum says really smart things.
Things the GOP ought to listen to.
David Frum’s instantly published new e-book, Why Romney Lost grabs the lapels of shell-shocked Republicans and attempts to talk some sense into them.
His article in The Daily Beast today, “How the GOP Got Stuck in the Past,” is a must read, an absolute must-read:
The ratification of the Obama agenda will understandably enrage and depress conservatives. Yet if there is any lesson conservatives ought to have learned from the past four years, it is the danger of succumbing to angry emotion. We’ve had four years of self-defeating rage. Now it’s time for cool.
Those who would urge the GOP to double down on ideology post-2012 should ask themselves: would Republicans have done better if we had promised a bigger tax cut for the rich and proposed to push more people off food stamps and Medicaid? Would we have done better if we had promised to do more to ban abortion and stop same-sex marriage? If we had committed ourselves to fight more wars? To put the country on the gold standard? Almost half of those surveyed on voting day said they wanted to see taxes raised on Americans earning more than $250,000. Exit polls do tend to oversample Democrats, but the tax result is consistent with other polling that has found that even Republicans would prefer to raise taxes on the rich than see cuts in Medicare.
Some combative conservatives may wish that Mitt Romney had talked more about the various plots and conspiracies they believed Obama to have launched upon the land: Fast & Furious, ACORN, Pigford, U.N. bike lanes, Obama’s imagined plan to abolish the suburbs. But while this kind of angry talk may gain eyeballs on Hannity, it’s not the stuff that swings undecided voters in Colorado and Virginia—especially not the women voters who formed 53 percent of the electorate on Tuesday; or the moderates, men and women, who formed 41 percent of it; or the nonreligiously observant, who formed three quarters of it. Only 34 percent of the vote Tuesday was made up of white men. The share of the vote that was made up of older, conservative white men must have been much smaller still. Fox Nation never was more than a very tiny slice of the American nation, and it was only sad self-delusion that ever led anyone to think otherwise.
Interesting to note how much agreement David Frum and Rachel Maddow would find themselves in, post election, isn’t it? I’d love to see Frum as a guest on her show and being interviewed by Bill Moyers, too.
How the GOP Got Stuck in the Past (The Daily Beast)
Do yourself a favor and watch this video clip at least until the end of Frum’s first answer to the big question: “Why did Mitt Romney lose?” He also gets a very good point in at around the 11 minute mark about how Republican voters were exploited and fleeced for their donations with apocalyptic, “death of America” rhetoric. Fellow Republican Joe Scarborough strongly agrees with him.
I don’t imagine listening to a smirking lib’brul lezbean school them is exactly what distraught reichwingers want to hear right now, but Rachel Maddow’s post-election wrap-up rant is a stone classic:
Ohio really did go to President Obama last night. And he really did win. And he really was born in Hawaii. And he really is legitimately President of the United States. Again. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month. And the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy. And the polls were not skewed to oversample Democrats. And Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad. Nate Silver was doing math. And climate change is real. And rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes. And evolution is a thing! And Benghazi was an attack ON us, it was not a scandal BY us. And nobody is taking away anyone’s guns. And taxes have not gone up. And the deficit is dropping, actually. And Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction. And the moon landing was real. And FEMA is not building concentration camps. And UN election observers are not taking over Texas. And moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services industry in this country are not the same thing as Communism.
Listen. Last night was a good night for liberals and for Democrats for very obvious reasons. But it was also, possibly, a good night for this country as a whole. Because in this country we have a two party system, in government. And the idea is supposed to be that the two sides both come up with ways to confront and fix the real problems facing our country. They both propose possible solutions to our real problems. And we debate between those possible solutions. And by the process of debate, we pick the best idea. That competition between good ideas, from both sides, about real problems in the real country should result in our country having better choices, better options, than if only one side is really working on the hard stuff. And if the Republican party, and the conservative movement, and the conservative media is stuck in a vacuum sealed, door locked, spin cycle of telling each other what makes them feel good, and denying the factual, lived truth of the world, then we are all deprived, as a nation, of the constructive debate between competing, feasible ideas about real problems.
Last night the Republicans got shellacked. And they had no idea it was coming. And we saw them, in real time, in real humiliating time, not believe it even as it was happening to them. And unless they’re going to secede, they’re going to have to pop the factual bubble they have been so happy living inside, if they do not want to get shellacked again. And that will be a painful process for them, I’m sure, but it will be good for the whole country - left, right, and center. You guys, we’re counting on you. Wake up.
There’s real problems in the world. There are real knowable facts in the world. Let’s accept those and talk about how we might approach our problems differently. Let’s move on from there. If the Republican party, and the conservative movement, and conservative media are forced to do that by the humiliation they were dealt last night, we will all be better off as a nation. And in that spirit, congratulations everybody. Big night.
Here are some interesting election factoids: Romney predominated only among older white men; Obama won 55% of womens’ votes, 93% of African Americans’, 71% of Latino ballots and 60% of voters ages 18 to 29.
The GOP is fucked. Well and truly fucked. It’s only going to be worse for them in 2016 as more of the old farts who make up the Republican Party shuffle off this mortal coil and more and more young Latinos join the voter rolls as Democrats.
This is raw via Google Translate, but the gist of this is quite clear.
Jesse Frederik writes in Volkskrant:
The tax loopholes of Mitt Romney also run through the Netherlands. The private equity fund Bain Capital, which presidential candidate participates, via the Dutch would route some 80 million euros in dividends have dodged.
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney benefiting from the private equity fund Bain Capital from an advantageous tax route that runs through the Netherlands. Netherlands for the American Bain, which Romney was established as a link in his extensive international web of trusts and holding companies.
Through its investment in 2004 acquired Irish pharmaceutical company Warner Chilcott via the Netherlands to run, know Bain dividends and capital gains to avoid. Since the shares in the Netherlands are housed, was approximately $ 389 million (303 million) in dividends Bain and sold for over $ 334 million (260 million euros) in shares.
This shows by Follow the Money for the Volkskrant examined filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Romneys tax returns, the U.S. tech blog Gawker revealed confidential documents from Bain, and data from the Dutch Chamber of Commerce.
According to tax Jos Peters, who advise large private equity firms occurs, Bain with the Dutch route about 80 million dividend managed to dodge. “Bain also saves a lot of Irish capital gains tax if the shares are sold,” said Peters. Bain nor the Romney campaign has responded to repeated requests for a comprehensive response.
While Romney Bain in 1999 as an active investor left, he was there as part of his severance scheme still participate. So he invested in 2004 with his wife Ann Romney also competed in the Bain Capital Fund VIII. This in the Cayman Islands based fund has a significant interest in Warner Chilcott. Of the 37.5 million shares that Warner Chilcott Bain in September 2010 in its possession, there are 25.7 million in the Bain Capital Fund VIII.
Romney, in his’ public financial disclosure report “that his shares in the Bain Capital Fund VIII ‘over a million’ worth. From the tax returns of Romney and his wife that the couple in 2010 and 2011, more than $ 2.05 million in dividends from the fund received. Their shares rose in the same period by more than $ 5.5 million in value.
Romney receives a significant portion of the proceeds from the Bain Capital Fund VIII in the form of shares. On March 10, 2011 Romney donated 19,799 shares of Warner Chilcott (with a market value of approximately $ 450,000) to a non-profit association of his son, The Tyler Foundation. This avoided Romney taxation in the United States. Gifts of shares to designated non-profit organizations are excluded from capital gains tax. Moreover, the gift tax deductible.
Since 2010, Bain Capital has its shares in Warner Chilcott housed in a Dutch private company. From the beginning, there are significant benefits to Bain Capital occurred. Warner Chilcott paid from August 2010 389 million dollars in dividends. Bain sold in these years for more than $ 334 million equity Warner Chilcott.
By making use of the so-called participation exemption in the Netherlands and Luxembourg do Bain dividends and capital gains to avoid the proceeds of his shares safely bring in tax haven Cayman Islands. The participation exemption means that the profit from a shareholding of more than 5 percent is not taxed in the Netherlands. Netherlands is partly why an attractive location for holding companies of multinationals and financial funds. “We are world champions participation exemption ‘, says Jos Peters, tax specialist at Merlyn.
In the United States, Mitt Romney for months under fire from the media and his political opponents of the Democratic Party on the limited amount of his tax payments. The criticism forced Romney in September about the tax paid by him to reveal. It was already known that he benefits from tax ingenious shortcuts through the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Luxembourg.
Netherlands came in that list not yet. Wrongly, it turns out. Netherlands came rather as attractive tax junction in the news around include the shortcut tax of U.S. coffee chain Starbucks, which in England was great indignation.
Spread far and wide, won’t you?
Currently zooming up the charts at reddit/r/politics
The head of a charity in Ohio is not pleased with Paul Ryan’s photo op at a soup kitchen in Ohio, saying that the Romney campaign “ramrodded their way” into their facility unannounced.
The president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, Brian J. Antag, told the Washington Post: “We’re a faith-based organization; we are apolitical because the majority of our funding is from private donations. It’s strictly in our bylaws not to do it. They showed up there and they did not have permission. They got one of the volunteers to open up the doors.”
He added: “The photo-op they did wasn’t even accurate. He did nothing. He just came in here to get his picture taken at the dining hall.”
The Post reports that Ryan made the unscheduled stop after an event at Youngstown State University, and was there for about 15 minutes. But though the pictures taken shows Ryan apparently doing dishes, the food had already been served and everything had already been cleaned before he got there.
“Had they asked for permission, it wouldn’t have been granted. … But I certainly wouldn’t have let him wash clean pans and then take a picture,” Antag said.
I’ve always hated Paul Ryan’s guts and the more I know about the sonofabitch the more I hate him. What an ugly little man. He’s the perfect running mate for Shit Romney.
If voters in his district are dumb enough to return Rep. Scott DesJarlais back to Washington this November, it might be time for Blue states to give some serious thought to secession.
But if they don’t, it will surely behoove DesJarlais, a physician before being elected to Congress as a Tea party-favored freshman in 2010, to consider what his next career move might be. The medical field might not be so welcoming, as DesJarlais will probably soon find out.
After Huffington Post exposed the publicly “anti-abortion” Republican congressman from Tennessee and his affair with a female patient last week—including an embarrassing transcript of a phone call from 2000 in which the “family-values” GOP rep pressured the woman to get an abortion—DesJarlais admitted to the affair (and that HE was the one who recorded the call!) but now claims that the woman wasn’t even pregnant, although the context of the conversation is that she was, in fact, four months pregnant…
Last Friday, DesJarlais sent an email to his supporters, admitting that yeah, he knows it looks pretty bad, but pleading for understanding and blaming his Democratic opponent and his vindictive ex-wife for his problems!
“You have probably seen the recent media coverage regarding details of my divorce from over a decade ago. I had genuinely hoped this election would be about my record in Congress -– not a 12 year old divorce.”
How the hell can this fool think that this kind of behavior and outrageous hypocrisy WOULDN’T reflect on his hypocritical anti-choice votes? Now DesJarlais—asked just last week by John Boehner to lead a pro forma session of Congress—has been hit with a very public ethics violations charge:
The complaint filed Monday by the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington argues that regardless of whether both parties wanted the relationship, it violates a state ethics law barring any sexual relations between doctors and patients. HuffPost noted the law in a story last week.
“Tennessee law is crystal clear: Doctors are prohibited from engaging in sexual relationships with patients,” said Melanie Sloan, the head of CREW. “The only question remaining is, now that Tennessee authorities are aware of Rep. DesJarlais’ blatantly unethical and scurrilous conduct, what are they going to do about it?”
In a letter to the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners, Sloan argues that the case merits an immediate investigation and sanctions, solely based on what DesJarlais has admitted.
“It is hard to imagine behavior much more craven than a married doctor exploiting his position to conduct a sexual relationship with a patient,” Sloan said in a statement accompanying the press release about the complaint. “It is mind-boggling that when confronted with the patient/mistress’s possible pregnancy, this ardent pro-lifer urged her to have an abortion. How much hypocrisy can we stand? Where is Speaker John Boehner’s much-touted zero tolerance for unethical conduct now?”
The pro-life when it suits his purposes Tennessee congressman seems keen for his constituents to hear that the woman wasn’t actually pregnant when he insisted that she get an abortion: “I don’t mind telling people that there was no pregnancy, and no abortion,” he said in a statement to WTN-FM radio host Ralph Bristol
Never mind that insisting with such fervor and recording the call seem like desperate measures when you’re not even sure she’s pregnant, but the release of the conversation is “old news” anyway, according to his campaign. During DesJarlais’s ugly House race in 2010, allegations surfaced that he threatened his ex-wife with a gun and once held a firearm in his mouth for hours, but the almost-abortion stuff actually happens to be new.
The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports that DesJarlais blames the leak of the transcript on “a disgruntled, defeated ex-congressman, a vindictive ex-wife, and a desperate Democratic candidate.” But for screwing around with a patient and taping himself bullying her into an abortion she didn’t even need, we’ll give DesJarlais some credit here too.
It will probably come to no surprise to anyone, not even Scott DesJarlais himself, that there is a Scott DesJarlais Meme Generator.