Sunday, July 26, 2009

Can Thaddeus McCotter Lead The House GOP Caucus Over The Cliff? (PLUS: Of course it mattered that Prof. Gates isn't white)


Sleazy Republican clown Thaddeus McCotter-- pictured above rocking out-- is certainly one of the most endangered GOP incumbents. He barely held onto his seat in 2008-- 51% with no serious opposition-- and Obama won his suburban Detroit (parts of Wayne and Oakland counties) district 54-45%. A member of the House Financial Services Committee-- and an ineffectual member of the GOP obstructionist House leadership-- McCotter has taken immense sums of legalized bribes from the Financial Sector his committee is supposed to oversee. Since assuming office just 6 years ago he's already accepted $738,953 from the banksters, insurance crooks and real estate interests and in return has always put their interests over those of his constituents.

Most of his twittering lately has been against health care reform, but this weekend he thinks he found the issue that will connect with voters: making a ruckus about Obama apologizing to James Crowley, the Cambridge police officer who arrested Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates a few days ago. A typical right-wing "bright shiny object" ploy to get people's minds off real issues, McCotter plans to lead the charge of racists and media hacks on their latest jihad against President Obama. (Let me again recommend you read Digby's piece The Frenzy Begins, about how the Republicans and their allies in the media, particularly cable news, get "obsessed with manufactured wingnut shitstorms designed to distract and diminish the president's stature and sap his political capital just when he needs it the most.")

When the Republican Party ripped off the DCCC incumbent protect mechanism-- the Front Line Program-- this year, starting the Patriot Program to try to salvage the apparently doomed careers of its most vulnerable members, McCotter was the very first one to get onto the list. That list that has increased with every passing day of Republican Party obstructionism, with 15 new names just added to those most likely to be defeated: Mike Rogers (AL), Mary Bono Mack (CA), birther Bill Posey (FL), Tom Rooney (FL), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL), Lynn Jenkins (KS), John Fleming (LA), Bill Cassidy (LA), Michele Bachmann (MN), Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO), Lee Terry (NE), Scott Garrett (NJ), Dean Heller (NV), Charlie Dent (PA) and Cynthia Lummis (WY). Ironically, Lynn Jenkins and Mary Bono Mack are in greater jeopardy from Republican activists in the right-wing base-- Jenkins because she just voted against Mike Pence's anti-choice amendment and Bono Mack because the teabaggers in the desert claim she's too pro-environment.

These 15 were added to the original 10, none of whom are considered likely to survive the 2010 midterm elections: McCotter, of course, plus Dan Lungren (CA), Ken Calvert (CA), Brian Bilbray (CA), Dave Reichert (WA), Judy Biggert (IL), Anh Cao (LA), Erik Paulsen (MN), Leonard Lance (NJ) and Chris Lee (NY).

You might be interested in knowing that most of the Democratic incumbents viewed by the DCCC as the most vulnerable are conservative Blue Dogs who have been as opposed to progress as the Republicans. Democrats most likely to lose their seats in 2010-- if membership in the DCCC Frontline Program is any indication-- include reactionaries like John Barrow (Blue Dog-GA), Leonard Boswell (Blue Dog-IA), Bobby Bright ((Blue Dog-AL), Chris Carney (Blue Dog-PA), Travis Childers (Blue Dog-MS), Joe Donnelly (Blue Dog-IN), Brad Ellsworth (Blue Dog-IN), Gabby Giffords (Blue Dog-AZ), Parker Griffith (Blue Dog-AL), Baron Hill (Blue Dog-IN), Ann Kirkpatrick (Blue Dog-AZ), Frank Kratovil (Blue Dog-MD), Walt Minnick (Blue Dog-ID), Harry Mitchell (Blue Dog-AZ), Glenn Nye (Blue Dog-VA), and Zack Space (Blue Dog-OH).

There's not a single conservative-voting member on that list I'd shed a tear for any more than I would for any of the defeated Republicans. Conservatives, no matter from which party, are bad for American families and bad for America in general. Inside the Democratic Party, they tend to water down the best of what progressives have to offer, and often do more damage than Republicans alone can do. If health care reform fails, it won't be just because of Republicans; the fault will lie squarely on the shoulder of corrupt right-wing Democrats (many of whom are listed above) who are working with the Republicans to sabotage the legislation.

Back to the Republicans for a moment. They somehow missed including Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin wingnut who has been leading the Republican charge on behalf of Wall Street special interests in Congress and has continued to make an idiot out of himself at every opportunity, on their Patriot list. They may be in for a very nasty surprise. In fact, you can donate to his political demise through Act Blue right here at StopPaulRyan.


by Ken

I'm relieved that Howie got us into the Gates episode, because I've been standing on the sidelines gaping in dumbfounded horror at the combination of:

(a) the obvious racism of the incident

Let me put it in the form of a statement rather than a question: If Professor Gates were white, there is not the slightest possibility -- absolutely zero -- that the incident would have unfolded the way it did.

(b) the nevertheless-exact-opposite conclusion reached -- so loudly -- by the country's die-hard white racist establishment

That cop may really believe that his behavior wasn't at all determined by race (when in fact it was clearly totally determined by race), but that just goes to show that you don't have to think you're engaging in race-discriminatory behavior to be doing so. Hey, it's possible that even Rush Limbaugh doesn't know that every fiber of his sorry being is permeated with every sort of crippling bigotry; that wouldn't make him any less bigoted. It just makes it that much harder to get at the bigotry.

So why was I, even so, startled by the Infotainment News Media's ritual asault on the president, for answering a question on the subject, rather than on his attackers with their blind ignorance, bigotry, and opportunism. Judging from this spectacle, an observer might think that race relations have been set back -- or rather were previously farther back than we thought -- by about 50 years.

However, the president's insistence on making a teaching moment of this controversy may produce a more hopeful outcome. For example, I noticed a head in this morning's Washington Post:

After Arrest. Cambridge Reflects on Racial Rift

The subhead is: "Forum to Explore Deep-Seated Issues."

Well, hello!

That way lies the possibility of moving forward. It's the exact opposite way from allowing the Rush Limbaughs and Pat Buchanans of the world to spew their ignorant and vicious poisons while pretending they're anything other than deeply convicted white supremacists.

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At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Blue Girl said...

Of course he would have. I posted about my experience being seen by a policeman breaking in through a window. Let's just say my experience as a white woman at midnight was nothing like his experience as a black man in broad daylight.

At 11:10 AM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Great link and great story, BG. Thanks!

It blows my mind that we are even entertaining the possibility that race wasn't a factor here, and almost surely the central factor.


At 8:15 PM, Blogger blakeformichigan said...

"If Professor Gates were white, there is not the slightest possibility -- absolutely zero -- that the incident would have unfolded the way it did."

That is an extremely frustrating statement to read. It just isn't true -- particularly if you are poor.

At 8:25 PM, Anonymous Gregg's Health Insurance News said...

I know plenty of white guys that mouthed off to the police and ended up getting taken in for acting beligerant. I don't think it has anything to do with his color. He wouldn't show I.D., he cursed them out and insulted his mother,and even ethnic officers on the scene said he was acting a little crazy. He's lucky he didn't get tasered...lot's of white people on youtube getting tased.

At 8:05 AM, Blogger KenInNY said...

GHIN, you have almost all of your facts dead wrong. It's all your demented imagination, or maybe just the usual right-wing propaganda lies.

I don't doubt that you know lots of people who have run-ins with the cops, and I doubt that any of them are widely known Harvard professors attempting to get into their own homes.

Blake, I feel bad for you, but you haven't given me any clue as to what's untrue about my statement. Are you saying that poor white people are hassled by cops? I don't doubt it. But again, we're talking about THIS situation, in which a well-known Harvard professor was attempting to unjam the front door of his own house.


At 8:58 AM, Anonymous Balakirev said...

"He wouldn't show I.D., he cursed them out and insulted his mother,and even ethnic officers on the scene said he was acting a little crazy."

He did show an ID, he didn't curse anybody out, he didn't insult anybody's mother, and nobody thought he was acting crazy. The officer refused in turn to produce his badge and name until Gates stepped outside, which was a trick that allowed him to arrest Gates. your version with the facts, and see if you can figure out which is wrong. You have only one hour before we collect your paper. Good luck!

At 2:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been begging the Democrats to finally put this roach back into Wayne County. This creepazoid has become so fearful that he has linked with some unions, the same groups he had despised.

Send this mama's boy back to Livonia and out of politics. Also, gerrymander the district so that he can sneak his way back in the future.

At 2:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


My previous post suggested that he be helped by a future gerrymander. I sincerely hope that when the state loses a congressional seat in 2012, that his piece of bat dung see his seat disappear.

At 9:09 PM, Blogger C3 said...

There is no "Obvious" racism here.

Firstly, I doubt any of you have ever lived in the South, therefore you know very little about "Racism" but talk cantankerously about the subject. Here is something to light your fires and proclaim me as a southern redneck. This story might not shock you, but its so similar its scary:

It was midnight at my local Kroger in Alpharetta, Georgia. There was but me and another woman, who was loading her groceries into a minivan about 5 parking spots behind me when I noticed a male subject sitting upon the trunk of what appeared to be a vacant car-- 2 rows in front of my vehicle. Just as I was about to exit my JEEP, which had the top removed and and a $3,000 laptop I was concerned about sitting in it, I recognized this male subject glaring at the woman loading her groceries, diligently. The glaring continued and the subject decided to move off of the trunk of the sedan and begin looking into the windows of some adjacent cars in the parking lot, which randomly walking and smoking a cigarette.

I stayed in my vehicle until the woman finished loading her groceries as the male subject began approaching her position. I began to hide my valuables, realizing that this person could be casing the cars in the lot, took note of the license plate of the car the subject was sitting upon and watched his reaction as the female in the minivan began to drive off. The male returned to the white sedan he once sat upon.

I went into to do my normal shopping, knowing my valuables were secured and I informed the lone worker at the counter that there was a suspicious looking male in the parking lot, hanging around a white sedan and gave him the tag number. About that time all HELL broke loose.

I am a white male, trained as an officer by the United States Army. I was speaking to a foriegn male of Southeast Asian descent. I understand a few things about law enforcement and racial prejudice, as I have worked on the C.O.P.S program here in Atlanta and have attended way too many military sponsored racial and sexual harassment courses to count.

An African-American (dark-skinned) woman quickly appeared and proclaimed in a furious tone that this "male subject" was her son and quickly wanted to know, " who the hell I was..." I explained the suspicious behavior peaked my interest and that I was sorry if I misunderstood what the male was doing, but that his erratic behavior caught my attention, and I felt it should be reported to someone appropriately.

Quickly, the woman escalated the situation into a shouting scenario in which she began to proclaim racism, among other things. I had never explained what race the male was to anyone, including the late-night attendant. The woman suspiciously knew about whom I was speaking and just happened to be correct. It indeed was a dark-skinned (black) African-American male.

The woman would not calm down and with every moment began to escalate the racial bias she claimed to have occured. She then admitted she thought that I was working security for Kroger. (*hint, she was looking for law suit)

When she found out I did not work for the Kroger, and as I was walking away from her going back to my Jeep, she followed me and summoned her son proclaiming that he, 18 on a school night, was with his fiancee and their baby and that, " could I think he was, Suspicious," if I wasn't a racist..."

Are you ready for this?


I had an Equality Sticker on my Jeep and the black male subject, prior to me returning outside had thoroughly examined my vehicle, to the point of noticing my sticker on the rear of the vehicle.

I kept telling the woman to back off, to get away, to leave me alone or I would call the cops, until the point where she, her son and his fiancee were provoking an all out attack on me as a White Trash, Faggot-Ass Redneck Racist." These are just a few of the words she used.

At 6:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got news for you, chief. McCotter will win in a landslide in 2010. He's against the Spendulus bill, which is doing nothing to help us here in Michigan, and a year from now he'll be trumpeting that from the mountaintops, and gaining traction with it. 15-20% unemployment rates tend to do that.

You lefties are in for a big surprise, if this is your tack... running against the Blue Dogs and McCotter. Those guys will either vote with us in the mainstream or they WILL be gone... and we in the mainstream are NOT lefty ideologues. 2010 is shaping up as a political bloodletting, and apparently you lefty ideologues are choosing to be the ones letting your own blood. Foolishly self-destructive though your choice might be, we in the mainstream will accept it, and vote accordingly.

At 8:14 AM, Blogger Neil said...

As far as GATES goes he shot off his mouth and became disorderly in public. That is nothing about race he did what he did. If he was a white woman or a purple man it did matter. AS far as Tyranny the current administration both Republican and Democrat will get what they have coming, if they have not already done the right thing. They called me CLINT


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