Tag Archives: tpm

Republican obstructionism delayed the 9/11 first responders aid bill

I have to disagree somewhat with Jeff’s last post blaming the Democrats as well as the Republicans for the failure to pass the bill. King was supposed to get enough Republican but couldn’t because they claimed the bill was a massive new entitlement program. They were going to kill the bill by attaching a poison pill, an amendment that would have prohibited any help at all going to any first responder who was not here legally.

I agree with those who say that any first responder, regardless of citizenship status, should get help. And the Republicans knew the Democrats would vote against such an odious amendment but they would use that vote to accuse them of giving millions to ‘illegals’ in sound bite driven campaign commercials.

It was really sleazy of the Republicans. King was diverting attention away from his failure to get Republican support by attaching amendments he knew the Democrats would reject. The Democrats finally got smart and forced the Republicans’ hand and called them out for their naked partisanship. Good for them.

In other news, some rightwing blogs and sites are walking quietly away from the bogus Laredo invasion fabrication, while the initiators are still sticking to their story. A post on the invasion appeared on redstate (link to google cache), but was disappeared by the powers that be. If you click on the link to the current page, you are directed to new posts. Maybe this is why they are so hostile to google at that site.

It’s another sign, along with the banning of the birfers, that redstate is trying desperately to overcome Erickson’s comparison of White House health care spox Linda Douglass to Goebbels and the unfortunate tweet in which he called Supreme Court Justice Souter a ‘goat fucking child molester.’

My guess is that they still have work to do in that regard.


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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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Rightwing Republican Hypocrisy Watch: McConnell slams Obama for posting plan online before summit

From TPM’s wrap up of the Sunday morning shows.

There is not even the shadow of a rational justification for this. We know by now what he and every single other rightwing Republican would be saying if the White House didn’t post their plan online before the meeting.

They would be collapsing on the floor from the vapors, their delicate senses of propriety shocked into near catatonia by 0bama’s (note the zero) abject rejection of transparency, as defined by the rightwing Republicans of course.

So, what is their reaction to Obama’s plan to, in fact, post his plan online before the summit?

Ask a silly question, get a silly answer (via TPM; scroll down for McConnell quote):

McConnell: Why Is White House Going To Post Health Care Proposal Before Summit?
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) criticized the White House’s plan to post a health care reform proposal online, just days before the upcoming health care summit. “You know, apparently we’re going to be there most of the day and have an opportunity to have a lot of discussion,” said McConnell. “But if they’re going lay out the plan they want to pass four days in advance, then why are — what are we discussing on Thursday?”


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Scott Brown sympathizes with the IRS plane bomber’s motives [Update: Babbin jokes about attack]

[Updates below]

TPM, Digby and Steve Benen, among many others, are noting that Scott Brown, newly elected to the senate by the people of Massachusetts in their wisdom, can understand what can motivate a person to fly a plane into an IRS office (via Digby):

CAVUTO: We have a guy who is just ranting at the system, ranting at the IRS, ranting at big government, the need for health care, not the need for unions – I mean really crazy stuff. I would just be curious of your reaction to all that.

SCOTT BROWN: Well It’ s certainly tragic and I feel for the families obviously that are being effected by it. And I don’t know if its related but I can just sense not only in my election but since being here in Washington people are frustrated. They want transparency. They want their elected officials to be accountable and open and talk about the things effecting their daily lives. So I am not sure if there is a connection, I certainly hope not, but we need to do things better.

One thing I certainly agree with Massachusetts’ new senator on is that, yes, we need to do better.

Update: TPM has video of Human Events editor Jed Babbin joking at CPAC about Grover Norquest possibly being the suicide pilot and getting laughs from the rightwing attendees (via TPM):

“And let me just say, I’m really happy to see Grover today,” said Babbin. “He was getting a little testy in the past couple of weeks. And I was just really, really glad that it was not him identified as flying that airplane into the IRS building.”

How do you engage with people who engage in this kind of discourse and do so in public in an avowed attempt to win people to their cause?

Update II: A regular and frequent commenter makes the following joke and the admins at redstate don’t have a problem with leaving it on their site. Redstate is notorious for quickly criticizing heresy, even banning commenter heretics and sometimes even erasing the offending comments. We can take this comment’s persistence to indicate tacit support or at least lack of strong disagreement:

Sounds like he could have been but he forgot
Richard Mullins Saturday, February 20th at 10:39AM EST (link)
to place his application. I’m still pissed that he destroyed a good Piper Cherokee by ramming it in a building. He should have save the plane and put machine guns on the wings. [emphasis added]

The title is in response to another commenter’s ‘joke’ that Stack was an Obama administration appointee. It will be interesting to see if this commenter is rebuked for making this joke and if the comment is taken down.

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RetroCons: rightwingers love Bush and Cheney

Evan McMorris-Santoro at TPM notes that Bush and Cheney epideictics are back in vogue among rightwing attendees of CPAC.

As others have noted already, the only people cheering louder than the attendees when Cheney made a surprise appearance at the end of daughter Liz’s speech were all the people who want to see the Republicans lose in 2010 and 2012.

It will be interesting, although probably totally unsurprising, to observe how the self proclaimed teabaggers react to this. This is especially so as it comes on the heels of Palin admonishing them to get their minds right and fall in line behind the Republicans. I say probably unsurprising because I expect that the vast majority of them will do just that.

They are a natural and ancient constituent of the coalition the Republican party has come to represent. For the most part, they are the heirs of the Birchers, the Mcarthyites, the Coughlinites, the Know Nothings and, at the extreme of the extreme, the KKK. Olbermann is right to ask why they are so overwhelmingly white.

It is a question they have no respectable answer for.

However, after just the first day of CPAC2010, we know their answer to this question:

Well, do you?

Bonus photo: Via The Washington Independent

Dick Cheney, with his daughter Liz, made a surprise appearance at CPAC on Thursday. (UPPA/ZUMApress.com)

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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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