Friday, May 29, 2009

Cornyn Denounces Limbaugh And Liddy Denounces... Women


Battle For The Soul of The GOP: Whigs vs Know Nothings

Few GOP elected officials are as aware as John Cornyn is about how badly the Republican Party image as Know Nothing obstructionists, racists, and extremists is hurting the party's chances to hold its own in the 2010 elections. As head of the NRSC he's staring at a catastrophe that could rival the voters' response to Republican obstructionism and extremism in the 1930s. Between 1928 and 1936-- over the course of 4 consecutive elections, the Republican Party shed 39 Senate seats, going from 56 seats in 1928 to 48 in 1930, 35 in 1932, 25 in 1934, and, finally, as the crazed obstructionism, cries of "socialist" and the desperate extremist accelerated, to a nadir of 17 seats in 1936.

And they seem to be on their way to repeating the same pattern. They're certainly using the exact same playbook-- obstructionism and extremism. When Bush was "re-elected" in 2004, the Republicans gained 4 seats for a total of 55. It's been all downhill ever since. Two years later they lost six seats, giving the Democrats a slim 51-49 seat majority. Republican Senate candidates garnered a total of 26,674,169 votes (42.4%) across the country to the Democrats' 33,929,202 (53.9%). But that loss was nothing compared to the 9 seats they lost last year, giving the Democrats a 59-41 seat advantage. The ugly extremism then drove one of their own members, mainstream conservative Arlen Specter, to switch parties.

And as Cornyn surveys the landscape, he sees tough terrain ahead. Retirements in Ohio, New Hampshire and Missouri are setting up Democratic pick-ups and a vicious fight between a mainstream conservative and an extremist lunatic in Florida could result in a Democratic pickup there as well. On top of that, unpopular extremist incumbents in North Carolina, Louisiana and Kentucky, are giving the Democrats unexpected opportunities that would completely devastate the party's Senate caucus.

With a new poll showing that only 24% of the public sides with the GOP smear machine on Judge Sotomayor, many in the Republican Establishment are already pointing fingers. They are starting to blame the party's sorry state on the extremists and there is growing anger directed towards right-wing media-- especially at Rush Limbaugh. One joke going around Capitol Hill is that the party is being done in by the RNC-- not by the hapless Michael Steele (although he's proven to be an unmitigated disaster as well) but a different RNC: Rush/Newt/Cheney. I might add that even Steele, clueless and comical as he is, recognizes the GOP better stop slammin' and rammin' on Sotomayor.

Yesterday Cornyn did what few Republicans, other than Olympia Snowe, have been willing to do: tell the truth about the horrible damage Rush/Newt/Cheney is doing to the party. When questioned at NPR about the crackpot jihad being led by Limbaugh and Gingrich to brand Sonia Sotomayor a "racist," Cornyn said he was appalled. "This is not the kind of tone any of us want to set when it comes to performing our constitutional responsibilities of advise and consent... Neither one of these men are elected Republican officials. I just don't think it’s appropriate. I certainly don't endorse it. I think it’s wrong."

Creating a bloody vicious battle over the confirmation of a very moderate judge that no liberal advocacy group is thrilled with-- particularly not the ones that look at the overwhelming-- and devastating-- corporate influence on a Supreme Court dominated by Big Business shills like John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Sam Alito and Anthony Kennedy, may be good for ratings for extremist demagogues like Limbaugh and Fox News, but it is absolutely killing the GOP with mainstream voters. Limbaugh and Fox have business models dependent on ratings success in niche markets. That kind of strategy is just deadly for a national political party. Gingrich is also stirring up the crazies to enrich himself. As Jane Hamsher pointed out at Firedoglake last month, the Gingrich operation is dependent on donations from low dough suckers who have little idea what Gingrich does with the thousands and thousands of $20 and $30 checks that come in when he makes incendiary and divisive speeches. Like Cornyn pointed out, Gingrich isn't an elected official. He's just a hustler. And his hustle has gone to pay for things like $4 million dollars in private jet rentals, quite a lot for someone not even running for office.

Glenn Beck, Limbaugh, Michele Bachmann and Ann Coulter may want to urge Republicans to grab their rifles and run to the streets but the Republican Party Establishment Cornyn is fronting is backing away from the burn it down strategy. Even the right-wing bloggers-- usually the most hyperbolic and frothing of the GOP's lunatic fringe-- have backed away from urging the Party to block Sotomayor's confirmation-- although there are still plenty of the crazies in the nutroots siding with Limbaugh and Gingrich. Besides Gingrich there are plenty of other Republican opportunists using the confirmation debate as a way to raise money, particularly the two religious extremists, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney because, of course, if you think God is on your side, anything-- no matter how repulsive-- is somehow done with God's approval.

Is this [the drug-addled demagogue in the video clip below] the voice of the Republican Party? He's quickly becoming the elephant in the room that's ruining the chances for a Republican Party revival. Although... hard as it is to imagine, there are even more grotesque sociopathic Republicans spewing hatred onto the airwaves than Limbaugh. Take G. Gordon Liddy, for example. He gave a perfectly acceptable-- in their bizarro universe-- explanation for why Republicans need to oppose Sonia Sotomayor: "Let’s hope that the key conferences aren’t when she’s menstruating or something, or just before she’s going to menstruate. That would really be bad. Lord knows what we would get then." I almost feel sorry for John Cornyn. Almost.

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At 2:46 PM, Anonymous Balakirev said...

24%--but that's the baseline for the GOP's core constituency, isn't it? What bothers me just a bit is that this group seems absolutely impervious to reason. Well, that and the fact that other democracies, such as the UK and France, have their own far-right wingnut parties like the GOP have become, only they represent a far smaller portion of the electorate. Are we terminally moronic in this country? Is it the alternately supine or militantly neo-con national media that has caused this? Why do we have such a large portion of fear-driven, angry, incoherent people in our midst, proportionate to the rest?

At 3:39 PM, Blogger Distributorcap said...

this could be the nail in the proverbial coffin for hispanic voters - especially in states like Florida and believe it or not, Georgia - where a little tip to one side could mean the end of GOP dominance in the south

as much as hate rush and liddy and newt and cheney and tancredo and beck - and really wish evil horrible things to happen to them - let them keep speaking - for every nut they may convert (which is so few at this point - they already have all the nuts and haters in this country) - they lose a moderate and 4 hispanics.

and liddy - way to keep the women's vote in the GOP - which already is at 46% and dropping

that 21-24% might actually be 10% before this year is up.

why i believe in a two or multi party system - the GOP is not a party -- it is a club of hate filled racist white guys who are aftraid of anyone who is not them

i never thought i would welcome such hate speech - for once limbaugh's mentor - Goebbels - the theory of the big lie will not work

good riddance to the entire GOP and i do not feel sorry for Cornyn one iota - his own hate brought this on.

At 4:31 PM, Blogger Comrade Misfit said...

Coryn's apology to el Rushbo in 3....2....1...

At 5:42 PM, Blogger Johnny Yen said...

Hey, I just discovered your blog-- I came over here from Distributorcap's blog. Outstanding. You've been added to my blogroll.

I'm working on a couple of posts-- one about how enjoyable it's going to be watching the wretched remnants of the GOP fight a Supreme Court nominee who was first appointed to the federal bench by a Republican (Bush I). And another about how similar the party is to the behavior of the fringe left at the end of the sixties/early seventies.

At 4:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Attacking Sotomayor like rabid chihuahuas has the effect of forcing lefties to defend her rather than closely examine her ideological positions.

It's a dog-and-pony show designed to divert our attention.

At 7:52 AM, Blogger Agi said...

I hope they keep this up until there's only a handful of Latinos left in the GOP.

At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your RSS feed is broken.

At 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i forgot to mention that a lot of the exteme things said by limbaugh are very dry satire.

(Yes, i listen to Rush, but i have also read ,The Audacity of Hope.)


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