Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Trouble For The Republican Party On Its Far Right Flank


There's a crackpot version of this video courtesy of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

This isn't the kind of video meant to give right-wing ideologues a warm, fuzzy feeling. It's scary to think about what does though. Morning Joe may be ground zero in the non-Fox corporate media world's anti-Hillary jihad, but their Mark Halperin pointed out in a Bloomberg column yesterday that there are even more deranged Hillary-phobes than the ones he spends his mornings with. "A virulent strain of Clinton Derangement Syndrome," he wrote, "which scientists and Republicans thought had been wiped out at the end of the last century, is now inflicting millions of conservative Americans. Some Republicans so detest Hillary Clinton they are badly underestimating how likely she is, at this point in the campaign, to be America’s 45th president. Their denial is just as strong now as it was a month ago, before Clinton began a run of political victories that have enhanced her prospects, all while the roller derby/demolition derby that is the Republican nomination contest has continued to harm the GOP’s chances of winning back the White House... Republicans are erroneously convinced they can beat Clinton solely with talk of Benghazi, e-mails, and other controversies that have nothing to do with the economy and the real lives of real people. Nowhere does the Fox News-Rush Limbaugh echo chamber more hurt Republican chances of beating Clinton than in the politics of scandal and controversy. To paraphrase the famous line attributed to Pauline Kael: everyone who conservatives know think the Clintons should be in prison. The problem is that swing voters don’t share that view in sufficient numbers to actually warrant banking a victory on placing those arguments front and center. Kevin McCarthy’s acknowledgement that the Benghazi committee was set up to damage Clinton politically has not just polluted the select committee’s efforts; it also means that one of the most effectively tried-and-true Team Clinton defenses (that any controversy that swirls around her is a ginned up political attack because Republicans don’t want to talk about real issues) has got legs straight through next November."

Yeah... when the GOP is counting on their presumed opponent to spend election day in jail-- or are already bragging about impeaching her on Day-one of her presidency-- the party establishment might as well save themselves the trouble of fighting off Trump or Carson (as of this morning, leading Trump nationally, at least according to the new CBS poll) or Cruz and just let them have the worthless nomination.

Yesterday South Carolina closet case Lindsey Graham was on Morning Joe wondering how he could possibly be losing to the sociopaths running for the Republican nomination. "The number two guy [Carson] tried to kill somebody at 14 and the number one guy [Trump] is high energy and crazy as hell. How am I losing to these guys?"

Of course, Lindsey Graham isn't the only one noticing that the far right fringe has dragged his party off the rails. Yesterday, reporting for the Washington Post, Mike DeBonis was talking about the civil war starting up within the fringe. They're already going after each other, basically because the right-wing sell-outs gave Ryan a pass-- despite his horrible record of establishment corruption. They weren't far right enough for the psychopaths they helped give voice to over the last year or two!
“You should all be replaced,” a critic told Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.). Another called Rep. Raúl R. Labrador (R-Idaho), one of the most persistent thorns in Boehner’s side, “a RINO establishment lap dog” and “another go-along to get along phony who will GLADLY step on the throats of the Conservative electorate.”

...“Look, I imagine that there’s theoretically a chance that [we] all went from being radical extremist crazies to Washington sellouts in 12 hours,” said Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), a Freedom Caucus leader. “But maybe a more likely narrative is that we really think that this is a good step for the conservative movement. And it’s up to us to try to explain that to people, and that’s what we’ve been doing.”

They would seem to have a lot of explaining to do.

The anger over Ryan’s ascent has been fueled by voices across the conservative media landscape. On the Internet, sites such as Breitbart.com and the Drudge Report have pumped out a steady stream of anti-Ryan stories casting doubt on his record, while such prominent commentators as Erick Erickson, Ann Coulter and Mickey Kaus have sharpened their teeth and urged conservatives to contact lawmakers and tell them to spurn Ryan.

Particularly brutal have been the syndicated talk-radio hosts who have helped foment the anti-establishment outrage that has kept Donald Trump atop the GOP presidential race and forced Jeb Bush, a well-financed mainstream conservative, to undertake a campaign shake-up.

Laura Ingraham last week called Ryan “basically John Boehner with better abs” and featured segment after segment attacking Ryan’s positions on trade and immigration. She also mocked his desire to spend his weekends with his family.

Another influential host, Mark Levin, lambasted Ryan as a creature of the establishment elite. “I think it’s time, ladies and gentlemen, to choose a speaker from outside the House of Representatives,” he told his audience Wednesday. “This is the best the Republican establishment can do; it’s just not good enough.”

And the biggest conservative talker of them all, Rush Limbaugh, on Thursday called Ryan a favorite of the Republican “donor class” and “the new Cantor”-- a reference to former House majority leader Eric Cantor, who was ousted last year in a GOP primary.

...[North Carolina extremist Mark] Meadows said Thursday that he and like-minded members were more concerned that Ryan might have made contradictory pledges to different groups while courting support last week. And he suggested that Ryan might be at risk of fraying the House GOP anew if he didn’t make a clearer statement before Thursday’s speaker vote.

“It’s important that a down payment be made in order to keep that supermajority intact,” he said.

A handful of House hard-liners, perhaps 10 to 15, remain proudly outside the pro-Ryan camp; most continue to back Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), a backbencher who has emphasized procedural reforms.

“I don’t know what they’re thinking, really,” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), a Webster backer, said of the Freedom Caucus.

“If you’ve got problems with a man today, and the man tells you, ‘Tomorrow, I’ll be a different person’-- it doesn’t happen,” said Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.), who said he has received more than 100 calls over two days from constituents opposing Ryan.
Yes, I'm sure there are plenty of lunatics in the North Carolina suburbs of Wilmington, New Bern, Greenville and Elizabeth City and in Jacksonville and all along the state's coast. But if you really want to know what happens when right-wing ideologues and purists take over, just look to Kansas, where a neo-fascist senator, Sam Brownback, was elected governor and implemented all the policies the far right is always whining about. Kansas is one of the most Republican states in the country. After voting for FDR in 1932 and 1936, they abandoned him and the Democratic Party until Goldwater was nominated in 1964-- and never again since then. Their state Senate has 31 Republicans and 9 Democrats and the state House has 97 Republicans and 28 Democrats. Every state officer from Insurance Commissioner to Governor-- plus ever Member of Congress from Kansas-- is a Republican. Romney beat Obama 678,719 (60%) to 427,918 (38%). Of Kansas' 105 counties, Obama won just 2-- Wyandotte and Douglas. Gove, Sheridan, Scott and Rawlins counties gave him just 13% of their votes-- and Wallace county outdid them all, handing Romney an 90-9% victory over the president! But Kansans aren't happy as the real-life laboratory for far right theories of governance now. A new local poll from the Docking Institute shows that only 18% of the voters are happy with Brownback's performance and 61% of them rate his vaunted tax policies as either a "failure" or a "tremendous failure." The same percentage want him to expand Medicare and 84% oppose his insistence that colleges allow guns on campuses. In fact 82% of the voters now see through the GOP ruse that voters fraud is a significant enough problem to warrant the Secretary of State's war against voting and against democracy.
Like a similar poll conducted this spring, the fall poll portrays a much more moderate adult population than is reflected in the Legislature. That's likely due to the fact that the Fort Hays State poll surveys "adults," as opposed to "registered voters," or even "likely voters."

But the high level of dissatisfaction with Brownback and his policies may be important for Republican candidates running in the 2016 elections. They will likely have to ask themselves how closely they want to be identified with a governor who is personally unpopular, and who cannot run again himself because he is term limited.

Not surprisingly, the poll showed a wide partisan divide on most questions. But when it came to assessing Brownback, even among those who identified themselves as "strong Republicans," 45 percent said they were either somewhat or very dissatisfied with his performance. Only 9 percent said they were very satisfied.

Thirty-eight percent of "strong Republicans" said they believe his tax policies have failed to stimulate economic growth.
As we mentioned the other day, the GOP Establishment has its hands full with full-on crackpot and neo-fascist candidates wanting to run-- across the whole country-- as Republicans. The establishment is worrying that, as Politico put it yesterday, looney candidates like Sharon Angle "could again jeopardize the party's chances," not just for winning a specific seat, but for holding onto the Senate majority. And in Angle's case, "[t]he GOP in Nevada and Washington is trying to chase her out of another campaign."
Angle’s very public flirtation with a primary bid against Rep. Joe Heck, the party favorite to take on Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, is reviving Democratic dreams and Republican nightmares from the 2010 election. Angle — along with lackluster candidates Christine O’Donnell and Ken Buck — blew a winnable race for the GOP, and her name still causes eyerolls among Republicans of all stripes.

And now that Republicans finally control the Senate, they aren’t about to let Angle screw things up.

"[Heck] can win. It is about winning elections after all," said Texas Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, who chaired the National Republican Senatorial Committee during Angle’s run. Angle "had a shot and has been unsuccessful. So my money is with him."

...A divisive GOP food fight in Nevada would unquestioningly aid Democratic efforts to win the four or five Senate seats the party needs (depending on the result of the presidential election) to win back control of the chamber. Republicans already are defending seven seats in states President Barack Obama won in both presidential elections, six of which are very competitive.

Republicans view Nevada as much-needed insurance to preserve their majority. Democrats know that losing Nevada makes the math that much harder for a party that already has little margin for error... Still, some activists remain wary of Heck, who has lower ratings on scorecards from conservative groups-- even if those votes could help Heck in a general election in a blue-leaning state.

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At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"“You should all be replaced,” a critic told Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.). Another called Rep. Raúl R. Labrador (R-Idaho), one of the most persistent thorns in Boehner’s side, “a RINO establishment lap dog” and “another go-along to get along phony who will GLADLY step on the throats of the Conservative electorate.”" The far, far right of the far right will not be satisfied until Washington, DC is a smoking ruin.

As to Kansas, it has been my proposal since Brownback's reelection that Democrats simply withdraw from office everywhere in the State - as the article shows that takes almost no positions away from elected Dems anyway - and simply turn the State of Kansas into Republican no-tax, no-regulation, Creation Science heaven and let the stupid crazy m*therf@ckers see for themselves what that looks like. The Lecompton Convention and Bleeding Kansas alerted a lot of Americans as to what the "conservatives" of 1857 were up to. Surely their heirs would prove no less persuasive.

At 11:39 PM, Blogger tamtam said...

@ Anonymous

I'd hate to be schedenfreude, but I would dearly love to see Kansas descend into a far-right fascist pigpen. Not a Democrat to be found anywhere in the state, and lets see how long it would take before people start fleeing the breadbasket of America en masse.


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