May 2013

Party infighting is normally a Democratic vice, but Republicans have now embraced it warmly. The new kids on the block,  The Tea Party Republicans, have brought an enthusiastic new disregard for tradition – especially in the Senate – that has befuddled the old guard. Ted Cruz has gone so far as to say that he doesn’t trust Republicans.

This divide is well illustrated by the opinions of the Party’s Grand Old Man, erstwhile VP and Presidential candidate, one time Senate Minority and Majority leader, Bod Dole.

On the Sunday talk shows Dole said that the Republican party should be, “closed for repairs” and when asked if the party would welcome him today he said, “I doubt it. Reagan wouldn’t have made it, certainly Nixon wouldn’t have made it, because he had ideas. We might have made it, but I doubt it.”

What makes Dole’s argument compelling is that – unusually for a Republican – he has the facts on his side. A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that almost half of Republicans themselves think that their own party is out of touch with peoples’ concerns.

Romney and McCain. Only an extremist could consider them “moderate”.

So far out of touch that Michelle Malkin’s blog, – in a piece calmly called “Bitter Bob Dole lashes out at Republican Party” – went so far as to say, “If the Party is so intolerant of “moderates,” why did it pick standard-bearers John McCain (2008) and Mitt Romney (2012) rather than, say, Fred Thompson and Rick Santorum?”

Any party that considers the McCain or Romney who ran for the Presidency “moderate” is living in a different world than the rest of us. Just look at their running mates.

Talkin about running mates the Republican candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Virginia further illustrate just how far from the mainstream many Republicans are.

Ken Cuccinelli, Attorney General is the gubernatorial candidate. He is anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-sex ed, anti-tax and anti-science (he once investigated a UVA professor for tax-payer fraud because of his climate change views). Normally he would be the far right candidate. But his running mate, E W Jackson makes him seem almost moderate.

Jackson has said that Planned Parenthood was worse for Blacks than the KKK. He has equated homosexuality with pedophilia. He has denied that Obama is a Christian and called him dangerous to Israel. He has been against AIDs awareness programs and all sex-ed. His grasp on constitutional history is so weak that he claimed that the Constitution’s 3/5th of person slavery provision was actually an anti-slavery measure.

He is so toxic to Republicans that Cuccinelli was forced to repudiate him, saying to the Virginia-Pilot “We are not defending any of our running mates’ statements now or in the future.”

Back in the Senate, it is McCain who has become the symbol, for these arriviste Tea Party Republicans, of all that is wrong with the old Republican party. It’s main sin, in their eyes, is it’s supposed belief in compromise and conversation. Which would be funny if it weren’t so sad. The Republican party hasn’t believed in compromise and conversation since the Gingrich revolution in 1994.

Ted Cruz (him again) had no problem throwing an epithet McCain had used about him back at McCain. In a debate over the Senate budget talks he said, “I will suggest to my friend from Arizona, there may be more wacko birds in the Senate than is suspected”. (Aside: Cruz would have been more forceful if hadn’t both hedged his bets and used the passive voice.)

Cruz and Rubio. The one on the right is an adult.

Cruz also disagrees with fellow Cuban-American Senator Marco Rubio on immigration. Rubio has adopted the grown-up role of immigration reform and worked with Democrats. Cruz endeared himself to the paranoid wing of the party by rejecting anything but the fantasy that illegal immigrants will all just go away. (Which is why Rubio still has a chance to be President, but Cruz does not).

This civil war is killing Republicans at the polls. Victories by severe conservatives – who beat out more moderate incumbents or other candidates – in primaries, gave seats to Democrats they shouldn’t have won. Defeats of Dick Luger in Indiana and Mike Castle in Delaware gave Democrats two unlikely Senate seats; leaving them in control of the upper chamber. As long-time Republican politician Haley Babour said, “Purity in politics is the enemy of victory.” 

William F. Buckley Jr. said the best conservative candidate was the most conservative one still electable. Today’s Tea Party Republicans have ignored the electable piece of that admonition.

The internecine strife has even reached the radio ranters. Mark Levin called out fellow righty pundit, Michael Savage, as an ersatz conservative after Savage called out Hannity and Limbaugh for not being conservative enough. On his show he savaged Savage for changing his name from Michael Weiner. “He changed his name,” Levin said, “but you can’t blame him, he’s named after male genitalia”. Levin also derided Savage as “a real cancer on this business”. Which is the pot calling the kettle black.

The Republicans were handed an opportunity with the Benghazi, IRS, AP, and James Reson “scandals”, but they cannot help but do everything they did before to remain deeply disliked by the majority of Americans.




The “Religious” Behaving Badly and Saying the Darndest Things.

May 25, 2013

    After killing a British soldier in London this week one of his two executioners was recorded saying, “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day.” It makes one wonder if the world would be better off if there was no religion? […]

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A Republican Creates his own Math.

May 24, 2013

According to Rep. Steve King (R-IA) Obama won the Presidency because Reagan signed the 1986 immigration amnesty bill into law. Using an argument ripped from the pages of Freakonomics King’s theory is that the bill gave citizenship to 3 million immigrants. Each of these immigrants brought 5 others in – for a total new population […]

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Can the media please stop treating terrorists like rock stars?

May 23, 2013

  The media has elevated terrorists to rock star status. It wasn’t their intention, but it became their effect. After Sandy Hook we heard every intimate detail of the life of the gunman. After the Boston bombing the coverage focused on the life story of the bombers. After the London assassination we saw an endless loop of […]

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Really? – 5/23/13 A few nuggets of religion.

May 23, 2013

Wolf Blitzer assumed that a survivor of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado must be a believer – Oklahoma is in in the Bible Belt and everyone there is a Christian, right? But when he asked Rebecca Vitsmun if she thanked the Lord for coming through the disaster unscathed, she replied that she was an an Atheist. […]

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Does Congress Care that 93% of Americans Want GMOs in Food so Labeled?

May 19, 2013

An ABC poll in the summer of 2012 revealed that 52% of Americans believe that genetically modified food is unsafe, another 13% are unsure. Regardless of their opinion, 93% of Americans believe that GMOs or “bio-engineered” food should be labeled as such. You might imagine that when over 90% of us believe in something, Congress […]

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Benghazigate, IRSgate, and APgate May Not Give Republicans the Advantage They Hoped For.

May 19, 2013

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” – George Orwell It was a tough week for the President as Republicans took shots at him over a trifeca of “maybe” scandals – Benghazigate, IRSgate and APgate. But like a boxer, who […]

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What To Do About Rape in the Military.

May 17, 2013

Lt. Col. Darin Haas, the head of the sexual assault response program at Fort Campbell, Ky. was removed from his position, after violating his ex-wife’s restraining order. An unnamed Sergeant First Class (misnomer?), responsible for sexual assault  prevention at Ford Hood Tx. is under investigation for abusive sexual contact. Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, who managed the sexual […]

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“IRSgate” – Despite the Hysteria, So Far it’s not Watergate.

May 14, 2013

Republicans are determined to hang the Watergate label around the President’s neck now that it has become clear that, not only did the IRS target conservative groups, but that maybe lies have been told about who knew what, and when they knew it.  But, before we elevate “IRSgate” to the upper echelon of political malfeasance, it […]

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