Thursday, June 13, 2013

DeMint Is Ready To Go To War-- Against Conservative Republicans


It was bad enough for the GOP's Know Nothing base of bigots and racists when Jefferson Beauregard Sessions' filibuster of comprehensive immigration reform was shut down Tuesday with an overwhelming bipartisan 82-15 vote. But if the Hatred and Bigotry wing of the GOP didn't get the message clear enough, the Senate was back 2 hours later to vote on the motion to proceed with the debate and that one passed 84-15. It was sad and lonely to be a racist in the Senate on Tuesday. Ted Cruz was so frustrated that he almost cried. He admitted that the immigration reform bill would pass the Senate and prayed aloud that the crazy Republicans from gerrymandered Southern districts would somehow kill it in the House. The 15 proud racists:
John Barrasso (R-WY)
John Boozman (R-AR)
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Mike Enzi (R-WY)
Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
Mark Kirk (R-IL)
Mike Lee (R-UT)
Jim Risch (R-ID)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Tim Scott (R-SC)
Jefferson B Sessions III (R-AL)
Richard Shelby (R-AL)
David Vitter (R-LA)
DeMint is no longer in the Senate. He resigned to become a lobbyist for right-wing causes. But he still has his extremist PAC, the Senate Conservative Fund, and the twerp who runs it for him, Matt Hoskins, fired a shot over the bows of Miss McConnell, John Cornyn and the other 26 Republicans who voted to move forward. He singled out the half dozen running for reelection in 2014 for a special threat: Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Susan Collins (R-ME), John Cornyn (R-TX), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Miss McConnell (R-KY). Sounds like they'd be willing to contribute to primary challenges. Here's the letter they sent out to their donors:
Fellow Conservatives:

The bill will make the problem of illegal immigration worse, but that didn't stop 28 Republicans from voting to advance it. They either support amnesty or mistakenly believe they can work with Barack Obama and Harry Reid to fix it.

Here's the current list of "Amnesty Republicans" who need to hear from us. If this bill passes, they will be largely responsible because of their votes yesterday. They had a chance to stop it when 60 votes were required, but they chose not to. (The six highlighted senators are up for re-election in 2014.)

Alexander (R-TN), Ayotte (R-NH), Blunt (R-MO), Burr (R-NC), Chambliss (R-GA), Chiesa (R-NJ), Coats (R-IN), Cochran (R-MS), Collins (R-ME), Corker (R-TN), Cornyn (R-TX), Fischer (R-NE), Flake (R-AZ), Graham (R-SC), Hatch (R-UT), Heller (R-NV), Hoeven (R-ND), Isakson (R-GA), Johanns (R-NE), Johnson (R-WI), McConnell (R-KY), Moran (R-KS), Paul (R-KY), Portman (R-OH), Rubio (R-FL), Thune (R-SD), Toomey (R-PA), Wicker (R-MS)

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY)-- the Republican Leader-- not only supported the bill, he also pressured his Republican colleagues to join him. This isn't surprising given that he supported the 1986 amnesty and likes GOP cover when he casts liberal votes.

As you may recall, Senator McConnell also voted for the Wall Street bailout, to raise the debt limit by $2.4 trillion, to raise taxes on 80% of American families, and to fund the implementation of Obamacare. Each time, he selfishly asked his colleagues to join him even though it could cost them their elections.

This debate is a test of his leadership and so far he's failing it.

U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) is also working behind closed doors to pass this bill. Senator Cornyn is peddling an amendment that is designed to give Republicans cover to support the final bill. He says the amendment will increase border security, but in truth it won't change the underlying bill that guarantees amnesty and only promises border security.

If this bill passes, Senators McConnell and Cornyn will bear the most responsibility. Even if they vote against the final bill, they are working the hardest to persuade their colleagues to walk over this policy cliff.

Please contact the senators who voted for amnesty yesterday and urge them to stop this bill before it's too late.

Call Senator McConnell at (202) 224-2541 and Senator Cornyn at (202) 224-2934.

Thank you for your support. We'll keep fighting.
Yesterday, the right-wing propaganda web site, Daily Caller, warned the fringe base that McConnell is getting ready to surrender. Meanwhile, as you know, DeMint runs the Heritage Foundation, a fascist institution at the heart of the Republican Party. In his great new book, The Machine, Lee Fang strips the operation bare of it's lofty pretensions.
The Heritage Foundation, founded in 1973 to lead the “New Right” revolution against liberalism, became the cornerstone of the conservative movement during the eighties when it structured many of President Reagan’s policies and appointments. Heritage expanded through the years, but continued the core goal of assisting congressional Republicans and Republican administrations. A People for the American Way report noted that Heritage officials declared that much of the second President Bush’s domestic policies were “straight out of the Heritage play book.” And indeed they were, from Bush’s faith-based initiatives to endless orders to deregulate business. Top conservative talkers like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have long referred to Heritage as the source for their research. The idea factory model of Heritage is streamlined by a Heritage website called Policy Expert, which allows hundreds of conservative scholars to be dispatched for media appearances, conferences, or to town hall meetings hosted by Republican lawmakers, where they can provide academic cover for Republican policies. Additionally, Heritage’s “Candidates Briefing Book” is widely used among almost all Republican candidates for Congress, providing them talking points and statistics to campaign on. Heritage also maintains one of the largest job banks for the conservative movement, with full-time staffers organizing employment conferences for right-wing operatives at every stage of their careers. By supplying policy ideas, hosting an endless array of conservative experts to testify on behalf of legislation, as well as other services, Heritage has become what many correctly call the “most influential conservative think tank.”

Much of Heritage’s decisive influence, however, must be measured by its primary-- if underrecognized-- role in coordinating the conservative movement and thereby setting the strategy for advancing cohesive right-wing ideals. Heritage sets the agenda for state-level conservative think tanks through the State Policy Network umbrella group, and its affiliated “Resource Bank” conference, while also providing assistance for right-wing think tanks internationally through its partnership with the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. During the Obama presidency, Heritage took an even more aggressive stance, pulling together the key elements of the conservative coalition to fight progressives at every opportunity.

Starting in 2006, Heritage began holding a weekly meeting called the Blogger Briefing in its offices to allow conservative voices from the blogosphere to meet top Republican strategists and politicians and hash out framing advice. In early 2012, the American Legislative Exchange Council faced a growing corporate boycott over its role in crafting the “Stand Your Ground” law that permitted a boy in Florida to be shot by a vigilante neighborhood patrolman. The public relations strategy to combat the criticism was crafted at the Heritage Bloggers Briefing. Attendees were asked to help design a “Stand with ALEC” social media campaign.

Flaunting their disregard for their status as a nonpartisan tax-exempt nonprofit, Heritage hosted officers from Republican campaign committees at blogger meetings where the Republican campaign officers suggested strategies for defeating Democrats or promoting Republicans. However, most of the Blogger Briefings are policy related, and have ranged from how to defeat health reform to how to extend the Bush tax cuts. Heritage’s Robert Bluey, the director for its Center for Media and Public Policy, worked to build a rapid response network of right-wing bloggers and journalists not just through the Blogger Briefing, but also through private listservs and collaborations with other online conservative news outlets., an online portal to conservative opinion and radio-show hosts, was initially created by Heritage, but was later bought by Salem Communications. During the Obama presidency, Heritage spawned a new social networking website called Heritage for America. Organized under the 501c(4) tax code, which permits issuebased political advocacy, Heritage for America sought to connect grassroots activists with against Democrats.

To guide the movement, Heritage provides the practical service of connecting conservative scholars and strategists with active donors around the country. There are regional committee groups for Heritage in Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, New York City, Omaha, and several other cities. A typical regional committee event would bring a conservative celebrity such as karl Rove or radio host Herman Cain for a short speech, and afterward a cocktail party would provide a chance for donors to mingle with local Republican staffers and local conservative activists. For higher-level donors, there are “President’s Club” conferences, such as the President’s Club meeting in the cavernous Reagan International Trade Center in Washington, D.C., on May 4, 2009. More of a pep rally than an ideas conference, the President’s Club conference was essentially a day of speeches from right-wing Republicans on how the party would triumph over progressive reforms promised by Obama. At dinner, Rush Limbaugh regaled the crowd with a reprise of his radio routine, then began boasting about his $400 million contract with the radio conglomerate Clear Channel. “I’ve never had financially a down year. There’s supposedly a recession,” he said, grinning. He continued, “Back in February we already had 102% of 2008 overbooked for 2009. So I always believed that if we’re going to have a recession, just don’t participate!” The crowd of donors erupted in laughter. At the front-row dinner table, Thomas Saunders, a wealthy Wall Street investor and a top donor to Heritage and many other right-wing causes, was seated between Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint.

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