Friday, June 27, 2008



The fighters: if they can't fight Iranians or Koreans, they'll fight each other

Instead of appealing to mainstream American voters, McCain is still trying to convince the extreme right wing of the GOP that he's an acceptable replacement for their hero, George W. Bush. Yesterday he was in Ohio begging religious fanatics with bizarre views for their votes, and ignoring the independent and moderate voters who will decide the 2008 election. He's paying attention to extremists like Grover Norquist-- who referred to Senator Obama as "John Kerry with a tan," and to the snake-handlers and warmongers that make up the rest of what's left of Ronald Reagan's frayed and disintegrating GOP coalition.
“He needs to find his voice a little better in Ohio,” said Mike Gonidakis, executive director of Ohio Right to Life, one of several leaders who met with McCain for more than an hour. “He pledged to us we’d hear a lot more from him and that he’d be speaking his voice on these issues.”

The officials said they walked away impressed with McCain’s positions, and said they believed the “ship is turning” in conservative support for the Republican presidential candidate.

The group spoke about McCain’s pro-life voting record, as well as his support for state amendments banning gay marriage (though he did not support a federal one). They urged him to highlight these stances, especially in events in their swing state.

The problem for McCain, of course, is that if the ship is turning on the fringes of GOP extremism, the ship is all but sunk for the three-quarters of Americans who have had enough of the kind of divisive and hate-filled politics that excites these kooks. And if it's bad for McCain, it's even worse for the rubber stamps who have posed as members of Congress for the past few years. Karen Hanretty is the communications director for the panic-stricken NRCC and the message she communicated to Republican House incumbents isn't the message anyone was looking for: "This is a challenging environment. Any Republican running for office has to run basically on an independent platform, localize the race and not take anything for granted. There are no safe Republican seats in this election." That probably accounts for why they haven't been able to recruit any top tier candidates, not even in traditionally Republican districts. Instead they're stuck with a gaggle of clueless self-funding millionaires who can't relate to ordinary Americans.

This would also account for why Boehner and Blunt have lost control of the Republican congressional caucus. Members have been deserting them and their hated and destructive policies in greater and greater numbers. Every day more Republicans are crossing the aisle and voting with the Democrats, leaving Boehner, Blunt and Doody isolated with a shrinking band of far right extremists and Bush dead-enders. Yesterday's Hill:
House Republican leaders' embarrassing failure to hold the line against a Medicare-related bill this week raised new questions about whether the rank and file will adopt an every-man-for-himself strategy as the election draws near.

The 355-59 drubbing came despite a personal plea from Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) to rally his caucus against Democratic attempts to shove the so-called Medicare "doc fix" down the GOP's throat.

While some argue that the bill was a special case, the vote also symbolized a potential turning point in the GOP leadership's ability to hold its troops in line, even on politically difficult votes.

It remains to be seen what it could mean for votes on children's health care legislation and other measures, with Democrats looking to pad the remainder of the House legislative calendar with issues that could reverberate at the polls.

Boehner made an aggressive push to persuade Members to oppose the doc fix bill during Tuesday morning's weekly GOP Conference meeting-- including telling one Member to vote no on the bill if he wanted a choice committee assignment. While aides said later that the comment was made in jest, not everyone in the room took it that way.

Boehner also employed the term "dead asses" in making his pitch, a phrase he used previously when imploring Members to step up their fundraising for the party.

But hours later, 129 Republicans joined with all 226 Democrats present to pass the bill, which would prevent cuts in physician fees under Medicare. Many Republicans switched their vote to yes after it became clear the bill was going to pass overwhelmingly. By that point, Republicans had given up efforts to whip the bill and accepted that they weren't able to hold their troops in line.

One Republican Congressman, Wayne Gilchrist of Maryland says the vote was just more evidence that Republican members of Congress are putting their own diminishing chances of re-election ahead of party discipline. "The ship is sinking and somebody yelled 'every man for himself,'" explained the veteran legislator.

The fear and smear tactics and the reactionary policies helped Republicans lose 3 recent special elections in deeply red districts. The internal Republican memo circulating around Washington says its going to get much, much worse. The review says the coming catastrophe for Republicans is a combination of hatred for Bush's policies, which they have all rubber stamped, and out-of-touch extremist candidates running bad campaigns. A vicious war between Tom Cole of the NRCC and Minority Leader John Boehner is exacerbating the Republicans' dismal outlook. What you hear over and over in GOP circles these days is about the "negative brand" the Republican Party has become.

And for those wondering just who the last of the Bush Cheney dead-enders are still left rubber stamping and obstructing progress in the House are... well the full vote is here but I would like to highlight some names of the worst of the worst I don't think there will be any surprises here:

Michelle Bachmann R-MN)
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Charles Boustany (R-LA)
Paul Broun (R-GA)
Eric Cantor (R-VA)
Scott Garrett (R-NJ)
Steny Hoyer-supported Kay Granger (R-TX)
Steve King (R-IA)
Patrick McHenry (R-NC)
John Shadegg (R-AZ)

Since, as usual, John Shadegg was at the bottom of the barrel, we called his progressive Democratic opponent, Bob Lord for a comment. He told us that this week "John Shadegg said that he thinks all Americans have health care. When 9 million children and 47 million Americans don't have health care coverage, it is hard to imagine a more careless and uninformed statement coming from a member of the House Subcommittee on Health. Unfortunately for Arizona, this is a continuing pattern for Shadegg. He voted against SCHIP 3 times and even wants to do away with Head Start and the Department of Education. He is a Washington extremist and Arizona's families deserve better."

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At 6:22 AM, Blogger MickeyWhite said...

Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
She is no conservative.
See her unconstitutional votes at my old blog:
See current info at:

Rossville TN


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