Bernie Sanders: An Alternative To Republican Nihilism, Extremism And Destruction
Today Jeb Bush is far from a top-tier candidate. In fact, if you judge by months of consistent polling, he's struggling between the second and third tiers of the GOP's so-called "deep bench." But he is top-tier in one sense: His family's wealthy connections have contributed over $120 million to him and his SuperPAC to get him into the White House. Without that money he'd be the next to follow Scott Walker out the door.
He may be anyway. According to the Washington Post's Ed O'Keefe and Matea Gold, what Bernie calls the "billionaire class" has put Jeb on notice: Shape up or ship out. The plutocrats have warned him that he "needs to demonstrate growth in the polls over the next month or face serious defections among supporters." And the "supporters" they mean are not voters-- he has few of them anyway-- but check-writing "investors" betting on a winner for their special interests.
Bush continues to battle against a steady decline in the polls, sinking to fifth place at just 7 percent in a national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday and similarly languishing in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
The warnings from top donors come as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s exit from the race refocused the battle within the GOP’s establishment wing as one between Bush and his former protege, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Right now, the momentum appears to be behind Rubio, who has jumped ahead of Bush in most polls. At least a third of the bundlers who signed up to raise money for Walker have switched their allegiance to Rubio, while a smaller number have gone with Bush, according to people familiar with the discussions.
Bush is also facing fresh scrutiny for comments that critics say bear echoes of remarks Mitt Romney made during his 2012 GOP presidential bid, part of a pattern of awkward statements that have forced him or his campaign to clarify.
Campaigning in South Carolina last week, he said that Democrats too often win over black voters by telling them “we’ll take care of you with free stuff.” Romney made similar comments during his 2012 bid and Democrats said that Bush’s remarks were part of a pattern of Republicans insulting minority voters.
His comments could undercut what Bush allies argue would be his great strength in a general election contest: A cultural fluency that would give him crossover appeal to a diverse electorate.
|As you can see, Jeb is a lo-energy kind of Republican politician|
Jeb's response is to offer rich right-wing assholes something that might motivate them: "Those who help bring in at least $50,000 by Sept. 30 will be invited to a 'Jeb Celebration' retreat in Houston in late October that is scheduled to be attended by three generations of the Bush family, including both presidents." (Note: I didn't make that up.) One greed-driven, right-wing slimeball and private-equity crook, William Kunkler III, is still betting on Bush. "Right now the polls are measuring mood. It’s more like picking a date than a mate." Ummm ... no one is interested in being Jeb's "running mate," and as far as a "date," what everyone is wondering is when he'll drop out of the race and give us a nice long and well-deserved break from Bushes.
In his Sunday NYTimes column yesterday, Frank Bruni said he revised his idea about why Boehner was weeping while Pope Francis was speaking. He wrote:
I think he was crying, at least in part, for the ill fortunes and uncertain future of his pathologically self-destructive party. It’s something that should have all of us sobbing... One of our two major political parties is hostage to an extreme subgroup that won’t brook compromise, values theatrical protests over actual governing and is adolescent in its ideological vanity.Lindsey Graham told an ABC News reporter at the Values Voter Summit on Saturday that he fears Boehner's ouster by the teabaggers could lead to a GOP "meltdown" next year after House radicals "hurt our brand even further." And it isn't only Lindsey. As Jonathan Weisman and Michael Shear put it in the Times over the weekend, there's a real sense of dread in DC-- and on Wall Street.
The career politicians and avaricious banksters surely deserve the discomfort, but the rest of us don't. There is a prevalent "sense of dread" that an already bitter and divisive political atmosphere is about to get even worse, because of uncompromising and infantile rightists who refuse to understand the role of split government, checks and balances, and the concept of compromise.
“Having been hoisted to the speaker’s chair by what was essentially a revolt,” David Axelrod, a former senior adviser to Mr. Obama, predicted, the next speaker will not have the freedom to compromise with the president.Right-wing Hate Talk Radio psychopath Mark Levin called Kevin McCarthy, the likely next House speaker, "Eric Cantor with 10 less I.Q. points," and the radicals are already forming up head-hunting parties to go after Mitch McConnell. As former NRCC head Tom Davis (R-VA), a mainstream conservative, moaned to the Times: "Now you’ve really emboldened the right. They feel at least they have a head on the mantel."
“This group is not installing him to pursue compromise and mutual cooperation,” Mr. Axelrod said.
...“For most Republicans, resolving these issues now, instead of having the government shut down in December, would be a political plus,” Phil Schiliro, Mr. Obama’s former chief liaison to Congress, said. If the next speaker “decided that he wanted now to do a fair amount of business, there’s a window to do that.”
But Mr. Schiliro, too, expressed some pessimism, adding, “At its core, there’s a group of members in the House Republican caucus who affirmatively don’t want to govern if that means compromise. And governing always means compromise.”
Likeliest to suffer the most and feel the most pain, of course: the American people and the nation's financial health, neither of which figures in the Confederates' and extremists' political calculus. One notorious right-wing bonehead, who can't grasp the meaning of the word "conservative" and equates it with his own radical right, neo-Nazi ideology, Roger Williams (who represents a ridiculous district carefully gerrymandered to dilute Austin's Democrats while purposely skirting Democrats in Fort Worth, San Marcos, Killeen and Waco), hissed menacingly that he hopes "all Republicans, including those in the Senate, are listening to what grass-roots conservatives are saying: It is time for conservative leadership and conservative principles."
Of course, Williams isn't really a player in all this, but he's behind a ham-fisted attempt by Texas Republicans to assert their state's power as the top GOP state in the nation (38 electoral votes, 2 GOP senators and 24 GOP congressmembers). Jeb Hensarling, an overt Wall Street puppet ($6,554,094 in vaguely legalistic bribes since 2003) would like to see "Taliban Dan" weaken McCarthy and burn himself out and then step in and become speaker himself (or not), something most of the powerful Texas delegation is backing. Worse yet, six very right-wing Texas congressmen have already abandoned Bush and endorsed Ted Cruz for president: Louie Gohmert, of course, plus Brian Babin, John Ratcliffe, Randy Weber, John Culbertson and Michael Burgess. Iit is widely thought that it was Cruz who triggered the revolt against Boehner for the sake of his own campaign.
An internal truce in the vicious civil war between mainstream conservatives and the far right extremists in the GOP is not in the cards, not in Ted Cruz World. As Politico's Burgess Everett put it yesterday, if Cruz is ever going to have a time, that time is right now.
Cruz’s supporters see the showdown in Congress over Planned Parenthood and the budget-- which kicks into high gear this week and could stretch into the winter, on the cusp of voting in early states-- as a critical opening for the first-term lawmaker. With the spotlight focused on Congress, they say, it will allow Cruz to make a sustained case to tea party and evangelical voters that he’s the one candidate doing battle in the trenches for their causes, just as many of them are picking a horse in the race. The goal, he and allies stop just short of saying, is to expose his chief competitors for the outsider mantle as pretenders by comparison.A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll shows that 80% of Republican primary voters who identified themselves as regular listeners to Hate Talk Radio favored dumping Boehner (and McConnell). Many of these sheeple back Trumpy, Ben Carson and Fiorina, whose popularity in those circles is growing exponentially the more she's shown to be a compulsive liar (a trait this type of extremist always admires). But when Trump and Carson (and Huckabee) disappear, Cruz will harvest the bulk of their supporters-- as well as, in all likelihood, Fiorina as a running mate.
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, considered one of the most conservative members of Congress even by his peers, has tried to line himself up an outsider who happens to be in the Senate. And he warned of the stakes for conservatives if they don’t unify behind a conservative candidate early in 2016.Are you wondering why yesterday's Face the Nation interview with Bernie is up top? He's the alternative to all this Republican negativity, divisiveness and hatred. There is a reason that he's tied for first place in his own state of Vermont in the Republican primary. He's positive and issue-oriented and he's never run a negative political ad in his life. Watch the interview. And... if you like what you hear, there's this.
“Washington wants us divided. Washington wants conservatives splintered,”Cruz said Friday. “They want a chunk of evangelicals over here, a chunk of conservatives over here, a chunk of libertarians over here, a chunk of tea party folks over here. That’s how, if we are splintered, that a moderate establishment candidate runs up the middle with 23 percent of the vote, steals the nomination, and then loses to Hillary Clinton in the general election.”
UPDATE: A Blow To GOP Nihilism
Last night the Senate, including most Republicans, told Cruz to go screw himself when he tried to lead them down the primrose path of anarchy and self-destruction.
On Monday night, Cruz’s colleagues ignored his attempt to disrupt Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts to fund the government without attacking Planned Parenthood. In an unusual rebuke, even fellow Republicans denied him a “sufficient second” that would have allowed him a roll call vote.Cruz is the most hated man in Congress, a virtual pariah among his own colleagues who view him as a self-serving asshole who would wreck the country-- and their careers-- to further his own career.
Then, his Republican colleagues loudly bellowed “no” when Cruz sought a voice vote, a second repudiation that showed how little support Cruz has: Just one other GOP senator-- Utah’s Mike Lee-- joined with Cruz as he was overruled by McConnell and his deputies.
It was the second time that Cruz had been denied a procedural courtesy that’s routinely granted to senators in both parties. The first came after he called McConnell a liar this summer.
Cruz was incredulous on Monday, calling it an “unprecedented procedural trick."
“What does denying a second mean? Denying a recorded vote. Why is that important?” Cruz said. “When you are breaking the commitment you’ve made to the men and women who elected you, the most painful thing in the world is accountability.”
Indeed, denying Cruz a vote prevents the Texas senator from dredging up the roll call in the future and using it to attack his colleagues.
...Cruz's internal criticism of his leadership is what animates his presidential campaign, but his colleagues appear to be no longer listening. Cruz was allowed only to speak for an hour on Monday night under Senate rules, and no one was itching to grant him an exception.
“The Democrats are objecting to my speaking further. And both the Democrats and Republican leadership are objecting to the American people speaking further. I yield the floor,” Cruz said quietly.