Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Teabaggers Losing Round One Of The GOP Congressional Civil War


I was struck yesterday when a CNN talking (air)head gave a one minute update on politics, explaining the intra-party maneuvering both parties are going through in DC. Only after a straightforward report on the GOP, she referred to the Democratic goings on as "backroom" dealings. CNN should look into who wrote that for her and ask him why.

It doesn't look like the extreme right has the power to prevent Boehner from taking the Speaker's chair, something most of the radicals would love to do as much as most Establishment Republicans are eager to ax Michael Steele from the RNC without coming off like the overt racists they clearly are. Last August rightists at the Club For Growth were already threatening Boehner that conservatism wasn't what they are looking for; it's a full blown reactionary agenda. The earmark brouhaha is still irking them:
Has Cantor and House Republicans learned nothing? Fiscal conservatives cheered them back in March when the House GOP announced their "no pork" diet. They voted to refuse earmarks because they understood-- correctly-- that voters hate special interest giveaways. House Republicans understood that one of the major reasons they lost the majority in 2006 was precisely because they abused their power by requesting earmarks.

So now they think they can take back the majority and revert to their old ways and everything will be lovey dovey with the conservative base?  

Think again.

If House Republicans take back the majority, fiscal conservatives should demand new leadership.  If John Boehner wants to be Speaker of the House, he can't just inherit the swamp that Pelosi promised to drain. He needs to actually drain it. And if he won't enforce a complete ban on earmarks, we need to find someone else who will.

She certainly is!

If anything, the intra-party civil war as gotten less civil since they did take back the majority in the House. The superficial focus is the fight for the #3 leadership post, the House Republican Conference Chair which Mike Pence is leaving for some nefarious reasons of his own, reasons which are probably related to his leaking to journalists that Boehner was having an affair with a lobbyist during the campaign. The whole conservative establishment, from Boehner, Cantor and Ryan to eager to please up-and-comers like Jason Chaffetz, have lined up behind corrupt Texas corporate shill Jeb Hensarling, while many far right extremists (other than Ron Paul, a Texan like Hensarling)-- fringe crackpots Steve King (IA) and John Kline (MN) are the perfect examples-- back Tea Party Queen Michele Bachmann for the same slot.

Yesterday Right Wing Watch reported that starting with Tony Perkins and the other sociopaths at the so-called Family Research Council, the religionist right is lining up solidly behind Bachmann.

While Boehner tries to placating restive teabaggers by foisting off some made-up non-positions on a few of them to shut them up, hard core right-wing extremist organizations like Concerned Women for America see right through those kinds of tactics and are demanding that the teabaggers get some real power. They're even playing a faux feminist card against the notoriously misogynistic Boehner.
[t]here are plenty of competent and fearless leaders at the ready who deserve a seat at the table. Rep. Michele Bachmann from Minnesota comes to mind. She has been an outspoken conservative leader of the Tea Party movement from the beginning, and we think she deserves serious consideration for a leadership position.

Conservative women won big this election cycle, and the Tea Party helped to propel them to victory. In fact, women in general swung 14 points for Republicans. It seems time to add a stiletto to the clubby, well-heeled leadership team.

And speaking of crackpots and malcontents, Richard Viguerie is hoping to make some money for himself with an angry anti-Boehner petition that purports to just endorse "fairness" while Viguerie is making no secret of his predictable support for Bachmann's bid, a bid that isn't going anywhere except towards causing Boehner and his cronies heartburn.
Viguerie told Newsmax in an e-mail: "Yes, I think it's important that Michele Bachmann be elected as the House Republican Conference Chair. All other leadership positions, including committee chairs, are controlled by [presumptive House Speaker] John Boehner and Eric Cantor-- men associated with the big-government Republicans that so angered the GOP's base and most of America.

"The Republican congressional leaders need to send a message that they are open under new management," he wrote. "Unfortunately, while Congressman Jeb Hensarling is a good conservative, his close association with the old guard Republican failed leadership sends the wrong message to tea partiers."

And while the civil war that was simmering all year between the GOP's establishment conservatives and the tea party reactionaries breaks out into the open, their agenda to continue concentrating the nation's wealth in the hand's of fewer and fewer people is chugging along. The graphic below, by Ezra Klein, first spotted in the Washington Post, was featured by Speaker Pelosi's blog and, last night, by Rachel Maddow.
Democrats are committed to ensuring hardworking Americans, their families and small businesses receive needed tax relief and protecting retirement security for our seniors.

Democrats will continue to fight for tax relief for the middle-class and push to extend the 2001, 2003 tax cuts for middle-class families, including the child tax credit, reductions in rates, marriage penalty relief for middle class Americans, and 97 percent of small businesses, while allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest few to expire.

A picture is worth a thousand words-- the Washington Post posted this chart comparing the average tax cut per taxpayer under President Obama’s plan (protected under statutory pay go) and the Republican plan:

UPDATE: Bachmann Withdraws From Leadership Race

Bachmann bowed to the inevitable and withdrew from the race for GOP Conference Chair. Her support for Hensarling, she says, is "enthusiastic. I look forward to continuing my consistent support of the Tea Party. I plan to advance the Tea Party ideals through their listening arm, the Tea Party Caucus. It is my wish to bring new faces to the caucus, including freshmen members.”

On the other hand, Bachmann's anti-constitutional conservative caucus will be conducting "classes" to Republicans eager to transition from conservatism to the in-crowd GOP faith: reactionary radicalism. Sean Hannity, a college dropout, Fox legal analyst Andrew Napolitano and David Barton, a Christian evangelist with a bachelor's degree from Oral Roberts "University" and who claims church-state separation is "a myth," will make up the faculty roster when the first classes of her newest crackpot scheme convene. Barton is generally seen as a crackpot although in Bachmann's bizarro world, he is a "scholar," insisting that America was founded as a Christian nation.
Interviews with both liberal and conservative constitutional scholars reveal concerns about the curriculum even as they applauded, in theory, the idea of enlightening lawmakers.

"Education is always a good idea, but not if it is so one-sided as to be a form of propaganda," said Ira Lupu, a Harvard-trained law professor at George Washington University. He doubted any sitting Supreme Court justice would participate because "it is overtly political and would involve them speculating on the decisions that might come before them."

...Lupu said many in the tea party talk about the founding document as if the protections of the Reconstruction amendments or the last 75 years of developed constitutional law never happened.

And the idea that the Founding Fathers were all on the same page? Nonsense, Lupu said. "Alexander Hamilton favored a broad view of the spending power, James Madison a narrower view."

Labels: , ,


At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does Coldplay have to do with this?

At 10:48 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

"Conservative women won big this election cycle"

In what universe?

Wrong Angle

If anything, this was the year that conservative women proved they could run every bit as whacked out and incompetent a campaign as their male brethren. The only conservative woman who looks like she might triumph in a big-stakes election is Murkowski--and they HATE her!

So much tasty freude to schaden over post-election.


Post a Comment

<< Home