Thursday, July 20, 2017

Trump's Crazy Republicans Have An Arya Stark List Now


Shouldn't Nancy Ohanian be commissioned to do the official Trumpanzee family painting?

Drawing on an historical perspective, author and activist Danny Goldberg bemoaned the left's circular firing squad for Nation readers yesterday. He wrote that "With excruciating predictability, mainstreamers blame young people for low turnout and for being seduced by the Libertarian or Green parties, as if finger-wagging at youth has ever been effective. Such lectures are like a rock band blaming the audience for not giving them an encore instead of improving the show. A certain number of low-information young voters struggling with college debt, stressed out by diminished job opportunities, and terrified of global warming were not motivated by charts showing statistical economic growth during the Obama years or by Tim Kaine’s harmonica playing. It is equally absurd when some on the left refuse to admit that the United States and the world would be in a lot better shape today if imperfect Hillary Clinton had won."
Democratic Party mainstreamers should stop claiming that they and they alone are pragmatic. (Or as a smug New York Times headline put it, “The Base Wants It All. The Party Wants to Win.”) That argument has long been highly debatable, but after 2016 it is delusional. They have controlled most of the candidate selection and most of the campaigns that have resulted in the weakest presence of Democrats in elective office since the age of silent movies.
But you know who's having even worse circular firing squad problems? The political right. Trump is encouraging television ad campaigns and primaries against Republican incumbents he doesn't like for one reason or another. One of his PACs already started running ads in Las Vegas and Reno against Dean Heller (R-NV) and he and his staffers have been meeting with perspective extremists who want to run against Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Bob Corker (R-TN). And the groups that feed the right-wing base its opinions are turning their big guns on Ryan, McConnell and Republicans in Congress.
“It’s shocking the amount of pushback he’s getting from his own party,” said Carl Higbie, a former spokesman for the pro-Trump Great America PAC. “It’s time to primary some of these longstanding congressional leaders that can’t get the job done.”

Conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt trained his ire on Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), arguably the most endangered GOP Senate incumbent in 2018, for opposing the repeal and replace bill.

Hewitt questioned Heller’s intelligence, saying on his Tuesday show that he’s not the “sharpest knife in the drawer” and accusing him of not grasping the damage he was doing to the Republican Party.

Hewitt even compared the list of Republican defectors from the bill to a fictional list kept by Arya Stark, a character on HBO’s Game of Thrones, of people who have been marked for revenge after wronging her family.

“We know the list to blame. It's like #AryaStark list. And it just keeps getting longer,” Hewitt tweeted.

Hewitt said that, along with Heller, Sens. Ron Johnson (Wis.), Susan Collins (Maine), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Mike Lee (Utah) belong on that list for opposing the bill.

Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler fumed, ticking through the names of senators who he said abandoned conservative voters by opposing a subsequent measure to repeal the Affordable Care Act and put off replacement.

“[Alaska Sen. Lisa] Murkowski, [West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore] Capito and Collins. People are furious. And not one ounce of it is directed at Trump,” Meckler said.

The Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF), which funded ads in the past against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other Republicans, vowed to back primary challenges against Republicans who did not back the repeal efforts.

“Republicans have promised to repeal ObamaCare for years, and now with President Trump in the White House there is no excuse for them to break their promise,” said SCF chairman Ken Cuccinelli.

The outrage illustrated the intraparty divisions that have opened up in the Republican Party over healthcare and could imperil other parts of Trump’s agenda.

...The Drudge Report placed the blame right on Ryan and McConnell, with the heavily trafficked site's banner all day Tuesday showing a photo of Ryan and McConnell over the headline "MOST UNPRODUCTIVE CONGRESS IN 164 YEARS."
Meanwhile, back to the Democrats for a moment. Last yesterday, the GOP passed, 248-179, a heinous fracking-related bill, H.R. 2910, that will allow natural gas companies to seize private property and conduct surveys of private land without consent of the landowner. Only one Republican voted against it, but 11 from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- almost all of them Blue Dogs-- voted for it. The culprits were mostly the usual suspects who always vote with the Republicans and with the corporate special interests that pay for votes-- like Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ), Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX), Filemon Vela (Blue Dog-TX), Lou Correa (Blue Dog-CA), Tom O'Halleran (Blue Dog-AZ), Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog-OR), Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN) and Vicente Gonzalez (Blue Dog-TX). Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), who voted against this bill, told her constituents that "Billion-dollar natural gas companies have no right to infringe on Americans’ private property-- end of story. This attack on the pipeline approval process would not only allow expanded use of eminent domain, but also deny communities the opportunity to participate in the public input process. Instead, it gives corporations free rein to cause irreparable harm to the environment."

One of the worst of the oil industry whores among Democrats is Gene Green, who represents a Houston shipping channel area district with severe environmental and pollution problems. Hector Morales is a young activist and school teacher challenging Green for the seat he has used for too long to serve the interests of Big Oil against the interests of his own constituents. He's one of the few progressives challenging an entrenched incumbent conservaDem anywhere in the country-- the toughest job in politics (please contribute to his campaign here). This morning, when we asked him about Green's vote with the Republicans, he told us that "This should not come as a surprise as Gene Green is one of the founding members of the Congressional Oil & Gas Caucus along with Henry Cuellar and Vicente Gonzalez, to name a few. Green was also one of the scarce Democrats that voted in favor of the Keystone Pipeline with the abhorrent excuse the pipeline. Perhaps the Congressman should look no further than the Manchester neighborhood deep in the heart of the 29th Congressional District where all the refineries are located. After all, the low-income, heavily Latino community has high rates of childhood leukemia, asthma, and bronchitis-- an observation that has been backed up by data from the Environmental Protection Agency and the University of Texas which found “unacceptable” levels of cancer-causing pollutants in Manchester’s air. Gene Green is nothing more than a corporate shill who has gotten away with representing the oil and gas companies while claiming to look after the well being of the community he has sworn to protect. But with $260,000 worth of campaign contributions in this quarter alone from special interests, what more could you expect?"

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At 9:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Danny Goldberg is an idiot. He'd eagerly trade the future of 7.5 billion people for a symbolic (and impotent) democrap victory, followed by more galloping neoliberalism and the next economic crash therefrom.

The republicans are just as stupid. They think that passing lege to kill poor, sick people is what jesus would have done. And they think giving private property rights to corporations is what the holy spirit would do. And anyone honoring their pledge to protect and defend the constitution should be run out of government.

And American voters SHALL affirm one side or the other in 16 months... again... still.

At 2:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stealing private land for private profit is an unfortunate aspect of the Kelo decision - the only time I agreed with the decision of the SCOTUS "conservatives" over the so-called liberals. With that precedent in place, corporations can already pretty much do what this fracking bill codifies. They just don't have to take the trouble now to go through the judicial process for as long a period.

At 3:59 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

To the first Anonymous above, you are the idiot, not Danny Goldberg. He is, if anything, brilliant and has been a liberal voice for decades. We need many more like him!

It does not help efforts to turn our country and its representatives back towards decency by trashing people like Danny. Progressives are a mixed bag who differ on various issues - this is what democracy is all about. The Republicans' lock step approach to governing is despicable - without analysis, critical thought, decency or common sense. Their insistence on strict adherence to voting only one way, as directed, is being pushed more and and more by McConnell and Trump. This will surely kill democracy.

At 5:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK Hone. Perhaps you're correct, generally, about Goldberg. But in the quote herein, he is very, very wrong. And he's wrong in the same mode as the Rs are with their purity purge list.

And you, yourself so eloquently indicated why. Pure tribalism is anathema to "analysis, critical thought, decency or common sense".

If the usa is to be purely tribal between the evil Rs and the corrupt Ds (Goldberg's meme), then we're truly lost without recourse.


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