Tag Archives: crooks and liars

Teabagger Backlash: ad demands Fiorina denounce the ‘tea party’

by John

Crooks and Liars has a piece up about a Brave New Films release:

The scary music at the end might be a bit much, but it’s a very effective ad. More like this, please.

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Is there a coming rightwing and Fox ‘News’ tipping point over being all anti obama, all the time?

Update: Greg Sargent at Plumline notes that even Joe Scarborough presses Cantor over Barton keeping his job. Scarborough is pretty forthright in questioning Cantor and even uses somewhat harsh, for morning tv, language:

I’ve written before that I have very little respect for Scarborough, and he’s only criticizing Cantor over Barton because it’s bad for his party, but at least he’s facing reality.

Original post: Yesterday, Fox ‘News’ morning host Gretchen Carlson announced that, while ‘presidenting is hard,’ hosting a tv show is just as tough.

Media Matters Eric Boehlert asks whether Fox is approaching a tipping point over its attacks on Obama over seemingly every single thing, including the Gulf oil spill, which is inducing it into a full throated, though highly unpopular, defense of the multi national oil corporation that is threatening the region’s habitats and economies for generations to come:

Fox News is programmed for Obama dead-enders, that much is clear. They’re the radical minority of political hyper-partisans who hold as a matter of faith that Obama is a Manchurian candidate. It’s not just that Obama was born in Kenya and isn’t truly of this country, or culture, and that his policies are misguided and wrong for America. It runs much deeper. It’s that Obama ran for the Oval Office with the explicit plan to ruin America from within once he was elected. He ran for president in order to destroy this country by stripping it of its freedoms and liberties and transforming the United States into some sort of socialist or communist outpost.

That’s how far out on the ledge Fox News now operates. And FYI, if you view the world from that demented perspective, it probably does look like BP got jobbed. (Just like of course the Clinton White House sold nuclear secrets to China during the `90s; Democratic presidents are a treasonous bunch.)

As I said, the dead-enders represent a radical minority. And yet they have an entire right-wing media complex set up explicitly to whet their Obama-hating appetite. There is no thought put into the rhetoric anymore, or their partisan jousting. Instead, the content revolves around a very simple premise: If Obama did it, it’s wrong. Not just wrong. More like, if Obama did it, it’s evil and dangerous and ghastly and un-American.

So the stimulus bill was evil and un-American. Bailing out GM and Chrysler was evil and un-American. Passing health care reform, of course, was evil and un-America.

But securing $20 billion from BP to pay for the cleanup and to compensate working Americans for the damage done to their livelihoods. That was evil and un-American?

According to Fox News it was.

Joe Barton, Rand Paul and Sharon Angle are at the vanguard of the rigthwing Republican meltdown. Even now, in summer when most people don’t pay much attention to politics, especially in a midterm year, they are getting unfavorable attention and their numbers are suffering, although Barton appears to be in no real danger. But it’s not just their own numbers and images that are being hurt by their extremism, hence their exile to media Siberia.

But as the elections near and immigration reform is variously brought to the fore of pubic discourse, the rightwing Republicans face a tough dilemma. They not only need to continue stoking their extremist base, they are on audio and video tape doing so in the past. They also need to appeal to more moderate voters who are repulsed by what they see as dangerous demagoguery.

The appeals the rightwing Republicans need to make to the two different demographics are mutually exclusive: as they cater to one group, they anger and repel the other.

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And so it begins: rightwingers threaten violence and assassination

As predicted, the rightwingers are threatening violence and making death threats.

And some Republicans are playing along.

Democrats are pushing back and the violent rhetoric is being archived. But the threats and incitement escalate, not diminish up to and beyond the elections in November.

[Via TPM] House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told reporters he believed over 10 lawmakers have been threatened since they voted for the health care bill on Sunday.

Appearing before reporters alongside House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), Hoyer expressed concern about the recent spat of incidents targeting lawmakers, and blamed the violent rhetoric surrounding the health care debate for creating a potentially dangerous atmosphere.

And there will be more acts of domestic rightwing terrorism.

Immigration reform will cause the rightwingers and Republicans to descend once again into deep ritual outrage before the elections.

Because of the cumulative effect of seeing Obama enact more and more of the agenda he campaigned and won on, but also due to deep seated racial, ethnic and cultural anxieties, the coming debate over immigration reform might be even uglier and more extreme than the hcr debate.

The prevailing opinion is that the only question regarding the 2010 midterms is over the level of Democratic defeat and whether or not they’ll even lose their House majority. But we are really in unprecedented territory in our national political debate.

I and others have written before about the trouble the Republicans have set themselves up for by unleashing and pandering to — and even becoming — the most extreme fringe of their coalition.

They have two bad choices:

  1. continue pandering to the extremists, even as threats of violence and perhaps even murder turn into actual deeds and even as the extremists engage in vile and retrograde racist discourse in the immigration reform debate
  2. emulate WF Buckley and kick the kooks to the curb

If they pick option 1, they will alienate more and more potential supporters and greatly increase the likelihood that they will become little more than a southern and mountain west based party made up of angry and largely willfully ignorant old white people.

If they pick option 2, they will further infuriate their perpetually outraged base of extremists who will either stay home and close their wallets or even, although this seems highly unlikely, support a third party.

I think the most likely strategy will be to try to deny the dilemma and walk a line between the options I propose. But I think they will not succeed and will only get the worst outcomes from both options.

Most of the Republicans will be circumspect in their in their criticism of the ugly naked racism, the paranoia, and the blatant threats — and actual instances — of violence that will unfold before the election. They will tut-tut and harrumph and denounce the loss of civility that Obama has forced them into by his “totalitarian tactics” of using the democratic process to get elected and then pass (some of) his advertized agenda.

But they will not fully denounce most of these people or their actions and deeds.

This will cause huge numbers of voters who might otherwise consider supporting them to back away from the Republican party.

However, the Republicans will criticize and even cut loose some of the fringiest of the base. They will also fail to meaningfully and credibly maintain their current pose of complete repeal of hcr. Further, they will fail to support the base’s position of solely putting forth complete lack of cooperation regarding immigration reform.

The base will not be amused. They will talk of betrayal of primary campaign promises and will swear vengance on the “rinos” and “squishes” that most of them will come to believe their candidates are once the candidates try to moderate their rhetoric in the general election campaign.

As with McCain in 2008, this agitprop will cause the Republicans to veer erratically between extremist and center right positions, which will make them appear reckless and unready.

I certainly wouldn’t say it’s probable, but the continuing and escalating extreme rhetoric and behavior by rightwingers in the coming months, and Republican failure to make full throated denunciations of them, might make it increasingly possible that the Democrats could even pick up seats in November.

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Sociopathic: IRS murderer’s daughter calls him a “hero”

I don’t think it’s hyperbole to call this sociopathy (via TPM):

The daughter of the man who allegedly flew a plane into an IRS building in Austin, killing one person and injuring a dozen others, says her father is a hero because he stood up to the system.

“I think too many people lay around and wait for things to happen. But if nobody comes out and speaks up on behalf of injustice, then nothing will ever be accomplished,” Samantha Bell told Good Morning America.

Stack’s daughter goes on to call his last act “inappropriate,” but clings to the idea that her father’s cause was heroic. Incidentally, she apparently claimed that she felt Medicare did not give her enough money and now lives in the highly taxed nation of Norway.

Meanwhile, Crooks and Liars has a piece up on her father’s victim, Vernon Hunter. Not surprisingly, in the GMA video linked to above, Hunter’s son does not agree that flying a gasoline laden plane into a building makes a person a hero.

via crooks and liars -- click for link

The TPM piece also links to a CBS news story about people starting Facebook groups to honor the terrorist Stack. This is beneath contempt.

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Another Day, Another Rightwing Republican Flip Flop: why are they now afraid to meet with Obama on camera?

I’m sure you’ve heard of ‘dean’ Broder’s latest ridiculously out of touch panegyric of Sarah Palin, despite poll numbers from his own paper on the same day showing a sharp decline in even Republican’s estimation of her competency to sit in the oval office.

You’ve also probably seen the teams at The Daily Show and the Colbert Report, The Rachel Maddow Show and others take down the Republican and rightwing deliberate and willful ignorance regarding global warming and climate change.

But there’s another story, in line with the rightwing Republicans ramping up their blatant hypocrisy, that is even more telling about the political climate today. After demanding transparency and television cameras for hcr debates, the rightwingers and Republicans are now balking at, what else, transparency and television cameras.

The redstaters are not happy with the prospect of their side making their arguments in public. With seemingly no sense of self awareness or irony, a few of them even admit why they fear media borne sunlight:

The danger…
writeblock Thursday, February 11th at 6:46AM EST (link)
…is that this revives the bill. It gives bipartisan cover to a bill the public eyes with suspicion primarily because of a lack of bipartisanship and shading dealings behind closed doors. This show of bipartisan openness will change the dynamic of public perception–which will work in favor of its passage. Not good [emphasis added].

As this regular commenter freely acknowledges, calls for transparency were merely a tool to gin up resistance to the bill. As soon as transparency threatens to become a reality, it must be opposed at all costs.

It must be opposed because, once enough people see what the bill proposes — and that the rightwingers and Republicans offer nothing but rejectionist obstructionism — the ‘public perception’ of the bill will become favorable, which will lead to its passage.

The rightwingers and Republicans are for transparency.

Except when they’re against it.

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The Party of Hypocrisy: the label Republicans (and some Democrats) deserve and that progressives must make stick

I wrote yesterday that progressives should turn the recent flurry of rightwing Republican hypocrisy into a long term narrative of double standards that comes to the forefront of everyone’s mind every single time they see, hear or think or Republicans and rightwingers of any affiliation.

This is certainly happening in response to the continuing over the top examples of hypocrisy and has been an ongoing project of some outlets.* However, as far as the larger message from progressives goes, the notion of Republicans and rightwingers as consummate general practitioners of hypocrisy has not been a recurring theme.

In fact, what is unusual about this particular moment when we are experiencing a surge in stories about Republican and rightwing hypocrisy is not that the level of such hypocrisy has increased, but only that the coverage of that hypocrisy has increased.

And if the past is any guide, this recent uptick will be temporary unless progressives make a concerted effort to keep it at the forefront of the national narrative.

If we know a well is poisoned, we know that any water from that well is not fit to drink. This was true yesterday. It is true today and it will be true tomorrow. Any water from that well, no matter how shiny and clean the bucket seems to be, cannot be trusted to be safe.

Progressives need to establish the fundamental belief that Republicans and rightwingers — of any or no affiliations — are water from the poisoned well of hypocrisy. In time, some Republicans who are not hypocrites might gain positions of influence in their party and will not deserve that label. But, as seems obvious, this is not the way things are today.

In the mean time, if we want to avoid another 8 or 16 years of Republican rule under the leadership of Palin, Beck, O’Reilly and Limbaugh, it is the job of progressives to ensure that there is a virtually hardwired link in the mind of every voter between Republicans and rightwingers and the general — and predictable — practice of unrestrained hypocrisy.

You can check out the full Gingrich from the Daily Show last night here.

* Note, of course, that this is by no means an exhaustive, let alone any where near complete, list of recent and ongoing efforts to document and archive Republican and rightwing hypocrisy. Please feel free to provide other examples in the comments if interested.

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Rebranding the Party of No: Republicans try to put a positive spin on obstructionism

After the unexpected smackdown Obama gave the House Republicans, the rightwingers and Republicans are making clear that they are doubling down on the ‘Party of No’ obstructionism that has allowed them to monkeywrench hcr.

There’s not exactly a shortage of people offering all sorts of advice on getting messages across. One thing that seems clear is that presenting a laundry list facts and figures does not motivate adequate numbers of voters, either in the election booth or in polls and other gauges of ‘the mood of the country’ in between elections. Now I’d say that the notion of ‘the mood of the country’ is a pretty ludicrous construction. The best we can probably do is to talk about the predominant for now mood of various constituent groups of various coalitions. However, as the current teabagger infighting shows, even that may be several bridges too far.

Looking at blogs like Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo, Think Progress, Crooks and Liars, Redstate, Town Hall and any number of others will show that posters and commenters at all these sites also express ‘internal’ dissension and outright infighting. Still, on specific elections and big issues like hcr, what are at other times loose groups tend to tighten up and coalesce around candidates and issue positions, especially when confronted with such polarized choices as they pretty much inevitably are in the US.

As I noted above, facts and figures alone, however impressively arrayed, do not generally pull voters into a dedicated orbit around a candidate or policy position. I have not yet really dug into the book, but I’m tending to think Drew Weston is right when, in The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation, he argues that narratives, by reaching our emotions, are more persuasive.

As the rightwingers and Republicans have demonstrated, those stories and ’emotional truths’ need not actually be grounded in reality. However, when the narratives are actually based in fact rather than distortion, they have the beneficial effect of attracting the not insignificant number of voters who are persuaded by facts and figures.

Together with people who respond more positively to emotionally undergirded narratives, they might form a coalition that can counter the Party of No agenda of the rightwingers and Republicans.

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