Tag Archives: washington independent

Birthers, Bunning and Birchers: how rightwing Republicans are setting themselves up to fail

There has been no shortage recently of Republicans concern trolling for the electoral future of Democrats. As Steven Benen notes, the Republicans are so sure that passage would be a disaster for their opposition, they’ve been working furiously to make it happen. Uh huh.

Dave Weigel writes about McCain’s birther gambit against an opponent that should never have been a problem for the former presidential nominee. As he notes, despite rightwing Republican protestations that it will not be effective, Democrats and allies are poised to use this and similar fringe issues and conspiracy theories as a wedge from now till November.

The strategy is to force Republican candidates to choose between their extremist base, who views the conspiracy as undebatable gospel, and potential independent supporters, who largely run away from the slightest hint of such fringe notions.

Bunning is receiving accolades at redstate for, with the help of other rightwing Republicans, furloughing thousands of workers and cutting off unemployment relief for hundreds of thousands of Americans. While the Sunday morning pharisees would rather gossip about the WH social director, this is an issue that will not help the Republicans at the voting booth.

Last, Rachel Maddow notes that the Birchers were not only in attendance at CPAC, they were actually sponsors of the annual rightwing pilgrimage. Nearly five decades after WF Buckley exiled them, they are being welcomed back into the rightwing complex with open arms.

Much has been made of the short memory of the American electorate recently, usually in the course of concern trolling advising Democrats not to even mention anything that happened from Jan 2001 to Jan 2009. I think most of this is just plain wrong if not outright disingenuous hot air.

Every time Cheney snorts in public, rational Republicans cringe. I know that’s an increasingly small subset of the party, but that’s my point.

By Scozzafavaing anyone who doesn’t toe the birther-bunning-bircher line, and toe it with gusto, the rightwingers and Republicans are walking into more election outcomes like NY23 than like Scott Brown’s unusual victory in Massachusetts.

If the American electorate truly does have a short memory span, then the drawn out, boring debate over hcr might be reduced to two images:

  1. histrionic middle aged white people shouting about socialism, ‘government interference’ in social security and medicaid/medicare, and birth certificates
  2. representative samples of the millions of people who were uncovered before Obama signed the bill expressing untold relief that they will not have to die to ensure the profits of the health insurance industry

What will be fresh in their minds’ eyes as they enter the voting booths will be the bloody infighting fueled by the birther-Bunning-bircher troika and whatever other nuttiness the rightwingers decide to put on display between now and November.

Is there any doubt that, feeling emboldened, they will really let their freak flags fly in the coming months?

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What might have been: Sarah Palin reminds Americans what they voted against

David Weigel at TWI is reporting on the Palin speech to the “Tea Party Convention” in Nashville. I’ve dvr’d it and have only listened to the first fifteen minutes and will either update this post or write more expansively tomorrow.

For now I’ll just say that she is putting the capstone on the merger between the so called tea party — or parties — and the Republican party. It was obvious anyway, but now they’re not even trying to put up a facade. Still, I think that’s a a move that will diminish their outsider credibility and spark various internal skirmishes.

Also, by defending the Bush administration and adopting, in the first fifteen minutes at least, a combative tone reminiscent of some of her really odious posturing during the campaign, it seems that she is giving quite a gift to the administration and congressional Democrats.

Update: Okay, it’s only been a few minutes, but

…and around the world, people who are seeking freedom from oppressive regimes wonder if Alaska is still that beacon of hope for their cause…

I’d have more sympathy for her stumbling over her notes if she hadn’t repeated the strange rightwing Republican attack on Obama as somehow being dependent on teleprompters.

Update II:

…and unethical shameless tactics like considering a candidates children fair game…

Like Rush Limbaugh, John McCain and many other rightwing Republicans did to Chelsea Clinton?

and

and children with special needs are welcomed in this world and embraced

Like the way Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck used exactly the same term Rahm Emanuel used, except they used it explicitly to mock and ridicule developmentally challenged people?

Update III: her hypocrisy is shameless. Sam Stein at Huffington Post notes the following about her Sunday morning appearance on Fox

Palin also used her platform to continue a call for the president to rid himself of his closest advisers. On Attorney General Eric Holder, she labeled his handling of captured terrorists — “allowing them our U.S. constitutional protections when they do not deserve them” — a firing offense. On Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emanuel, she said his comments calling liberal groups “f-ing retards” was “indecent and insensitive” and cause for his dismissal.

But the former governor went to great and sometimes awkward lengths to insist that when conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh used the same exact term to describe the same exact group, it was simply in the role of political humorist.

“They are kooks, so I agree with Rush Limbaugh,” she said, when read a quote of Limbaugh calling liberal groups “retards.” “Rush Limbaugh was using satire … . I didn’t hear Rush Limbaugh calling a group of people whom he did not agree with ‘f-ing retards,’ and we did know that Rahm Emanuel, as has been reported, did say that. There is a big difference there.”

Also, there are now pictures and videos of the notes she scrawled on her hand; no word on whether she wrote the notes before or after she made the telepromter dig.

Again, this would normally not be a big deal if she hadn’t repeated the weird teleprompter line. Also, as Stefan Sirucek notes at HuffPo in the above link, it was a “lovefest” with pre selected questions. Criticizing Obama’s performance at the “question time” with House Republicans and overlooking this requires some world class level mental gymnastics.

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Narrative of new Republican revolution probably peaking too early

I’ve been writing that I think the chatter of a coming Democratic doomsday is not likely to actually come to pass. The Republicans and rightwingers are hugely overconfident. They are emboldened and are getting set to let their freak flag fly even while they are heading into primaries and other internal fights that are going to be very unseemly and public and that will also cost them a lot of blood.

They will almost certainly move even further to the right, thinking they need to ramp up the tantrums of August and treat the entire country to NY-23 redux. If the extremists win the bloody infighting that will be prelude to November, then independents will turn away in droves.

If the preferred candidates of the Republican party ‘elites’ and ‘establishment’ survive the circular firing squads of spring and summer, the extremist base will be angry and disillusioned and just might, perhaps in several races, support third party candidates that will in fact serve up a repeat of NY-23.

The redstaters are very busy patting themselves on the back over Sens Dorgen’s and Dodd’s announcements of retirement as well as Republican’s prospects next November, with only one advocating caution.

Greg Sargent, differentiating between the comparative number of retirements from each party and the chances of the Dems keeping a senate super majority, notes that more Republicans than Democrats are retiring.

Eric Kleefeld at TPM, along with others but not the rightwing true believers, notes that the the Democrat likely to run for Dodd’s seat, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, is way ahead of any Republican.

Republicans still aren’t offering much substance

[from Politico via The Washington Monthly] “You are saying someone should be held accountable. Name one other specific recommendation the president could implement right now to fix this,” host George Stephanopoulos said to King.

“I think one main thing would be to — just himself to use the word terrorism more often,” said King, the ranking Republican on the Homeland Security Committee.

This charge is not only exceedingly silly, it’s demonstrably untrue.

And their internal conflicts are just heating up, especially in the Texas governor’s race, the Florida senate race and the primary for a Republican challenge to Barbara Boxer.

The funding numbers aren’t looking good for the Republicans and even Michael Steele is cautious about regaining majorities.

One Minnesota Republican says Democrats are worse than terrorists and another thinks it’s a good idea to call Obama “an arrogant black man.”

These are not the actions of a party that is in fact on the brink of a resurgence.

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