Thursday, January 24, 2013

Miss McConnell Isn't At Davos This Year


Ian Bremmer, author of Every Nation For Itself is reporting from Davos for HuffPo and yesterday he was talking about what elites at this kind of elite gabfest gab about: the vulnerability of elites:
So what's the unifying challenge through all the noise? As the world struggles to bolster its resilience against economic and political uncertainty, the key risk is the increasing vulnerability of elites. We're seeing leaders of all kinds, in the developed and developing world, in politics as well as business and media, answering to constituents who grow more dissatisfied... and information-rich. Look at the riots in India over the recent rape scandal, the US Congress' abysmal approval ratings, or the phone hacking scandal at News Corp. Corruption, special interests, or a lack of transparency will spell trouble for leaders. The same goes for a widening gap between rich and poor. The threat to elites of all kinds comes in multiple forms: leaders who are battling for legitimacy will struggle to pursue long-term objectives rather than resort to reactive, 'quick fix' approaches. And in some instances, it could destabilize the very institutions-- or even governments-- that these elites represent.
Even teabaggers... even Kentucky teababggers are, relatively, "information-rich." It's a shame so much of their information is misinformation and outright propaganda disseminated through Fox News and Hate Talk Radio hosts. But somehow even Kentucky teabaggers have figured out that Miss McConnell is an enemy of everything America holds dear. And they have some plans for him in the 2014 midterms.
Many of Kentucky's Tea Party leaders are plotting a strategy to defeat U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in the 2014 Republican primary, a spokesman for a group calling itself the United Kentucky Tea Party said Tuesday.

Tea Party groups in the state are so dissatisfied with McConnell that "we are working on a battle plan with the ultimate goal to retire him next year," said John T. Kemper III of Lexington, a spokesman for the group.

...Meanwhile, an out-of-state Super PAC expressed interest in helping "the right candidate" defeat McConnell. Last year, Liberty For All spent almost $700,000 to help elect Republican Thomas Massie to Northern Kentucky's 4th Congressional District seat.

Preston Bates, executive director of Liberty For All, said in an email Tuesday that McConnell is "anything but a tea partier" and is "that special politician who could unite libertarians, independents, anti-war Democrats, everyone" against him.

"Should the right candidate emerge-- be they Republican, Democrat, or Independent-- Liberty For All will remain committed to electing those dedicated to more civil liberties, more economic freedom, and freeing America from corporate influence," Bates said.

Liberty for All is primarily funded by John Ramsey, a college student from Nacogdoches, Texas, who is armed with an inherited fortune.

...In a news release sent by email late Monday, the United Kentucky Tea Party said McConnell and state Republican leaders are being "intellectually dishonest" by calling anyone associated with McConnell's campaign a Tea Party leader.

"The Tea Parties in Kentucky are led by local grassroots individuals, not by any national organization," the statement said. "Any representation otherwise by the Republican Party leadership of Kentucky or Senator McConnell and his surrogates is inconsistent with the truth and will be vigorously and publicly disputed every step of the way."

...The latest example of [Miss McConnell making believe he's a teabagger] was last weekend, when Benton sent out an email about President Obama's proposals on gun control.

...Concern about McConnell by several Tea Party members intensified this month after McConnell brokered a fiscal cliff deal that killed planned income tax hikes on most Americans but postponed deep federal spending cuts.

Cathy Flaig, former president of the Northern Kentucky Tea Party, which covers Boone, Kenton, Campbell and Grant counties, said Tuesday her group "willingly signed" the news released issued by the United Kentucky Tea Party.

"Truth be told, most Tea Party members I know in Kentucky are polite to Sen. McConnell but not enthusiastic at all about him," Flaig said. "My question is, what has he done for Kentucky?"

An issue of strong interest in Northern Kentucky, she said, is the building of a new bridge across the Ohio River that will require tolls.

"The federal government can build a bridge in Afghanistan in eight months without tolls. Why not in Northern Kentucky?" she said. "He's Senate minority leader. It seems like he could do something to help Kentucky."

Flaig said she does not know whether the Tea Party will find a candidate next year to run against McConnell.

"I just know he's not as well liked as he thinks he is," she said.

Hans Marsen, state coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots in Elizabethtown, said he's aware that several Tea Party groups in Kentucky have formed the United Tea Party of Kentucky and issued Tuesday's news release.

"The bottom line is that, he can believe it or not, there is not great support for the senator among Tea Party members in Kentucky," Marsen said.

"It would be good to see an alternative to him on the 2014 Republican primary ballot," he said.
And that's from the bottom of the information food chain! Matt Taibbi's latest column in Rolling Stone caters to the top of that chain. "Have Republicans, and the right wing in general," he asks, "ever been more disjointed? More confused? More incapable of getting out of their own way?" He's not just talking about McConnell, but the whole sorry gaggle of Republican "leaders." Like these 3 imbeciles:

McCain, Ayotte, Graham

Watching America's political conservatives try to counter-maneuver opposite Barack Obama's re-inauguration over the course of the last week has been an incredible comedy-- like watching the Three Stooges try to perform a liver transplant on roller skates.

Let's review the basic timeline. First, Political Media, a conservative action group, decided to try to make an appeal to win the hearts and minds of Americans everywhere by declaring January 19th-- previously known as Martin Luther King Day, to the rest of us-- to be "Gun Appreciation Day."

They solicited hundreds of sponsors and sought to get 50 million people to sign a goofball petition (written in the style of the Declaration of Independence, with a plethora of "Whereas…"-es... Why do gun people insist on trying to use 18th-century syntax?) against the "tyrannical governments" that were out to take their guns. "Gun Appreciation Day" would also involve gun shows and other local events all over the country, meant as a counter-balance to the candle-toting gun control protests that were springing up over last weekend in anticipation of Obama's inauguration and the rumored plans for new gun legislation.

But even before their excellent idea gets out of the gate, it stalls out, as obnoxious reporters check the list of "Gun Appreciation Day" sponsors and find that the "American Third Position," a group that purports to represent the "unique political interests of White Americans," is one of the event's sponsors.

So now, Political Media has not only decided to hold its Gun Appreciation Event on a holiday meant to celebrate the life of a black leader who was a symbol of nonviolent protest and who was killed by a white man with a gun, it's done so with the financial help of some yahoo white supremacist group. But this doesn't derail the whole thing, as it's of course just an innocent mistake. Political Media kicks "Third Position" out and appropriately issues a statement, saying, "We have removed the group and reiterate this event is not about racial politics, it is about gun politics."

So far, so good, right? Well, then they go and actually hold their "Gun Appreciation Day" rallies all over the country, on Martin Luther King Day. And what happens? Five people get accidentally shot!

...Without even taking a position on Obama or his proposed gun law, let me say this: The president, when he makes his case, does not come across like a drooling maniac, like he's pissed off to the point of reaching back, grabbing a frying pan, and belting you across the forehead if you even think about disagreeing with him. He comes across like what he is-- a calm, experienced attorney making a rhetorical argument to adults. That, plus a lot of video of little kids' bodies being hauled out of school rooms in suburban Connecticut, can win you a lot of votes with people on the fence on the gun issue.

Then there's Wayne LaPierre, the head of the NRA. He came out after Obama's speech and gave one of his own at the Weatherby International Hunting and Conservation Awards in Reno, Nevada. In it, LaPierre weaved back and forth like a maniac, his blond forelock heaving, as he blurted out semi-coherent, quasi-grammatical defenses of "absolutism," saying things like "absolutes do exist, it's [sic] the basis of all civilization," and "without those absolutes, democracy decays into nothing more than two wolves and one lamb voting on who to eat for lunch."

He then proceeded to double down on his organization's lunatic decision to inject Obama's daughters into the national gun debate, saying, "If neither criminals nor the political class, with their bodyguards and security people, are limited by magazine capacity, we shouldn't be limited in our capacity, either."

This was clearly a reference to the controversy about the NRA's recent TV buy, in which they blasted Obama for being an "elitist hypocrite" for allowing his daughters to have Secret Service protection while Joe Sixpack has to send his kids to school without paramilitary security experts. "Protection for their kids, and gun-free zones for ours," was the ad's nutty tagline.

The NRA was rightfully blasted for that crazy-ass commercial, which made no sense on any level and mainly painted the NRA as a bunch of disturbed rage-addicts who are completely out of touch with national sentiment after Sandy Hook. (Yes, the president's kids have Secret Service protection-- to protect them from your members, you idiots!)

Overall, people like LaPierre have fallen into every single political trap that's been laid for them in the last month, allowing Democrats to paint them as humorless, frustrated and probably dangerous political radicals whose response to Sandy Hook has been to publicly attack the president's minor children and to propose more guns in schools. Even the surge in NRA membership numbers since Sandy Hook is a net minus for the NRA, politically, because it scares the hell out of normal people and will result in increased pressure on pro-NRA congressional members to distance themselves from people whose response to piles of mowed-down children is to buy more guns.

...[A]fter Sandy Hook, the Democrats have skillfully painted the Republicans as the party of scary-looking and scary-sounding white maniacs like Tennessee security-company CEO James Yeager, a shaven-headed, soul-patched anger-sick white loony who posted a video promising to go ape if gun laws are enacted. "If this goes one inch further, I'm going to start killing people," Yeager said.

Conservatives could have dealt with this post-Sandy Hook political curveball in a number of ways, from simply shutting up and working quietly behind the scenes to scuttle gun control efforts (that always worked before) to announcing willingness to engage in some extremely mild compromise (like maybe prohibiting schizophrenics from carrying machine guns near kindergartens).

Instead, they decided to piss all over Martin Luther King Day and then shoot themselves by the half-dozen in the process.

Well done, fellas! You're well on your way to solving your demographic problems.

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At 12:15 AM, Blogger John said...

I'd suggest that many reports of the imminent death of the party of the Greedy Obnoxious Predators are premature. Perhaps they are intended to obfuscate harsh realities.

The NYT time mentions that "The Republican Party now controls both legislative chambers and governorships in 24 states. Democrats have single-party control in 13."

What are they doing with that lopsided control, made possible in major part by the 2010 mid-term fiasco and subsequent gerrymandering following like clockwork?

Well, they are altering the manner in which presidential electors are chosen from "statewide winner takes all" to "district by district" apportionment.

The readily foreseeable outcome can be summarized gruesomely here:

Of course, with Reid once again demonstrating his, and the collective Democratic, spine of
Jell-O (note brand loyalty), the only real difference will be cosmetic.

The presidential alternatives: A vile, smug Repug happy to kick you in the face and crotch versus an articulate, likable Dem who gets-off by stabbing you in the back ... and then proclaiming "the congress made me do it."

John Puma


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