"We've Got To Stop Being The Stupid Party" ... And Squishes
But Jindal was talking about Todd Akin, Allen West and Richard Mourdock, not Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, and Eric Cantor. And, worse, the real problem is a Republican Party base that has been brainwashed by Fox and deranged Hate Talk Radio hosts-- Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham, G. Gordon Liddy, Mike Gallagher and Bill O'Reilly-- that is electing even crazier and crazier candidates in their gerrymandered, closed little worlds of reality-denial. (Even a right-wing extremist like Texas Tea Party Senator Ted Cruz admitted yesterday, while advocating for the privatization for Social Security, that "If you watched Fox News, you thought Romney was going to win with 70%." They have a world of their own. Even the ones who play sane people on TV are out of their minds.
Just look at the Republican House freshmen; almost every single one of them is more reactionary and less reasonable than the House Member they replaced. Connie Mack (R-FL) may have been a nut but Trey Radel was a Hate Talk Radio host himself! Cliff Stearns was a lockstep right-winger but Ted Yoho's first month in Congress saw him advocating for citizens to be able to freely buy heavy military equipment so they can protect themselves... from the U.S Army! And where there was no incumbent-- lots of new districts having been created in the Old Confederacy-- Republican voters picked secessionists and radical anti-government sociopaths like Steve Stockman (R-TX), a militia freak and former congressman who was run out of office as a domestic terrorist for his connections to the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. He's baaaaack! And the first words out of his mouth: Impeach Obama! Here's a list of the new Members who are measurably further to the right than the incumbent they replaced or the district representatives whose policy agendas are closer to Benito Mussolini's than to Dwight Eisenhower's.
• Tom Cotton (R-AR)All these new crackpots in Congress is worrisome, not so much for the Democrats as for GOP leaders trying to present their party as vaguely mainstream. Boehner is being torn apart by the conundrum and was whining about it again this week. He says he's not going to negotiate with Obama anymore-- as if to pacify the radical right newcomers.
• Juan Vargas (D-CA)
• Ted Yoho (R-FL)
• Ron DeSantis (R-FL)
• Trey Radel (R-FL)
• Doug Collins (R-GA)
• Jackie Walorski (R-IN)
• Thomas Massie (R-KY)
• Andy Barr (R-KY)
• Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI)
• Richard Hudson (R-NC)
• Robert Pittenger (R-NC)
• Mark Meadows (R-NC)
• George Holding (R-NC)
• David Joyce (R-OH)
• Markwayne Mullin (R-OK)
• Jim Bridenstine (R-OK)
• Scott Perry (R-PA)
• Keith Rothfus (R-PA)
• Tom Rice (R-SC)
• Randy Weber (R-TX)
• Roger Williams (R-TX)
• Steve Stockman (R-TX)
• Chris Stewart (R-UT)
Boehner has spoken only sparingly with the press in the last month, but during his Ripon Society appearance he was remarkably candid about the problems that his approach caused with members of his conference. More than half of the conference voted against both the fiscal-cliff deal and a subsequent bill providing aid to states affected by Hurricane Sandy. Boehner suffered 12 Republican defections during his reelection vote as Speaker early in January.Last week in Charlotte, when GOP leaders met for a damage control reassessment look back at what's gone so terribly wrong, they came to the conclusion that if they're goingt o win future elections they have to cut back on the war against women-- or at least stop talking openly about how rape isn't that bad. Delusional, they claimed that their message is fine and that the problem has been some bad messengers who explain the message badly. So again, it was all Todd Akin's fault; nothing wrong with Wisconsin senior Senator Ron Johnson at all. Nor with South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan. Normal Americans will just love these stalwart Republicanos! “We don’t need a new pair of shoes; we just need to shine our shoes,” said West Virginia national committeewoman Melody Potter. And Romney shoulda/coulda won. “It’s not the platform of the party that’s the issue,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said Friday after being easily reelected to a second, two-year term. “In many cases, it’s how we communicate about it. It is a couple dumb things that people have said... It’s not about ideology…The people on the left are the people on the left, and they ask us to come to them-- which is absurd… Obama’s a hard core left-winger. I want him to compromise with us on our terms.” I guess he hasn't checked the polls lately on how the vast majority of the American people feel about the issues.
“You have no idea the suspicions and the undercurrents that it caused, frankly, a lot of my members,” Boehner said of his negotiations with Obama. “It really has, in fact, caused somewhat of a breach that I’ve been in the middle of trying to repair.”
Boehner attributed the suspicions to the younger members in the Republican ranks who are not familiar with his voting record in the years before he took the Speaker’s gavel.
“Some of our members don’t realize that while I may be a nice enough guy, and I get along with people, when I was voting I had the 8th most conservative voting record in the House,” he said. “But a lot of our newer members-- they don’t know that. And so, you know, they think I’m some squish, that I’m ready to sell them out in a heartbeat, when obviously, most of you in this room know that that ain’t quite who I am.”
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) announced they're retiring in 2014. Georgia should be an easy hold where the GOP doesn't even need to break a sweat to win and Iowa should be a good pick up opportunity. But who is the GOP base going to nominate for these two jobs. In Georgia the likeliest nominees are off the scale of craziness-- ex-drug addict and John Bircher Paul Broun, pro-rape lunatic Phil Gingrey and Georgia Peach Lynn Westmoreland. There's an extremely mediocre Democrat in an Indiana Senate seat-- as unlikely as that seems-- because the GOP base nominated someone just like Broun, Gingrey and Westmoreland last year. In Iowa, the GOP base prefers lunatic fringe, unelectable extremist Steve King to vaguely maninstreamish conservative Tom Latham. The Democrats have a mainstream candidate already, Bruce Braley, who could probably beat either one of them, but will beat Steve King by double digits.
Ohio Republican Party chairman thinks the GOP will win if they figure out how to do Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and lard up their robotic, off-putting talking points with mentions of cool, shiny things like iPads.
A big focus of the four-day session, which wraps up Saturday, was adopting a more positive attitude-- and smiling!-- when interacting with voters and reporters. New Hampshire chairman Wayne MacDonald said party leaders need to work on “not being sour-pusses on television or the radio”-- that there is a way to be firm and assertive without being mean-spirited. “Nobody is saying the Republican Party has to change our beliefs in any of our platform planks,” he said. “This party wants to serve everybody that believes in our principles.”Sure, that's what American voters want, smiley thugs telling them what to do with their private lives! And, by the way, Allen West is publicly asserting that he's not crazy and he claims he's not bitter about having lost his House seat after just one term. That's because, he said, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln only served one term in Congress each. Republicans, do you really want to stop being the stoopid party? Stop your war against women, your war against the LGBT community, your war against working people, your war against immigrants and your war against democracy... and pay attention to Robert Reich; Obama doesn't:
SUNDAY CLASSICS SCHEDULE NOTE FROM KEN
Yes, even though Sunday Classics is on hiatus, there is as promised a post coming up today, focused on the monologue of Verdi's King Philip II of Spain in Don Carlos. Alas, like the king I found myself up all night with dawn breaking through -- and still not done. So the post should make it up at 2pm PT.