Saturday, November 8, 2008
Friday evening James Dobson's Focus on the Family Action sent out a fundraising email to members that likened the victories of Barack Obama and congressional Democrats in Tuesday's election to the Nazi bombing of England during World War II. "Our nation has never faced the kind of anti-family, pro-abortion assault that we're likely to see in the coming weeks and months," the email states.
James Dobson should open his eyes and look around, the world has changed and his brand of hate-for-hire and high-tech hucksterism is no longer in favor.
If I were him, I'd be worried about the Big Man coming to call.
This little nugget from Think Progress puts the lie to that:
Today, radical right-wing blog Red State launched “Project Leper,” an attempt to professionally punish McCain staffers whom Red State’s Erick Erickson perceives to have wronged Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK). Erikson told Glenn Beck today, “Palin was the best thing that happened to” the McCain campaign. To which, Beck agreed, saying many conservatives told him they supported McCain in hopes he would die in office:
BECK: I mean, I have to tell you if I heard once, I heard 1,000 times from people, and I never said this, never said this on the air because you just don’t say these things, but I heard a million times from people, “I’m going to vote for John McCain and, you know, I mean, he’s old. Maybe we get Sarah Palin in the first term.” You know what I mean?
Listen to it:
Come Saturday Morning: Why Lieberman REALLY Wants The HSGA Gavel
Quoted from the Washington Monthly:
This seems to be routinely overlooked, but take a moment to consider what the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs actually does: it's the committee principally responsible for oversight of the executive branch. It's an accountability committee, charged with investigating the conduct of the White House and the president's administration.
As chairman of this committee for the last two years, Lieberman decided not to pursue any accusations of wrongdoing against the Bush administration. Lieberman's House counterpart -- Rep. Henry Waxman's Oversight Committee -- was a vigilant watchdog, holding hearings, issuing subpoenas, and launching multiple investigations. Lieberman preferred to let his committee do no real work at all. It was arguably the most pathetic display of this Congress.
And yet, now Lieberman acts as if keeping this chairmanship is the single most important part of his public life. Why would he be so desperate to keep the gavel of a committee he hasn't used? I'll let you in on a secret: he wants to start using the power of this committee against Obama.
Lieberman didn't want to hold Bush accountable, but he seems exceedingly anxious to keep the committee that would go after Obama with a vengeance, effectively becoming a Waxman-like figure -- holding hearings, issuing subpoenas, and launching investigations against the Democratic president.
Lieberman doesn't care about "reconciliation," he cares about going after a Democratic administration. Why else would he fight diligently to be chairman of one committee instead of another?
If you want to make sure that President Obama doesn't get CoupGated the way President Clinton was -- if you want to make sure that he has the time and freedom to pursue his agenda instead of being tied down by witchhunts the way Bill Clinton was (and do remember that Joe Lieberman, who professed to be Bill Clinton's friend, was aiding and abetting the GOP witchhunt) -- then Joe Lieberman must go. Now. Take his gavels away before he and his Republican friends can work to destroy Obama.
Personally, I'd like to see Joe Lieberman made to wear copies of the Congressional Record documenting his betrayal of the American people on chains around his skinny neck. He's a backstabber that needs to be expelled like the POS he is. And flushed.
You know the sound the washing machine makes when a load gets off-balance? Right before the safety cutoff goes CLUNK. The GOP is doing much the same thing and I'm hoping they realize soon just how stoopit they sound and shut up for a while.
From Media Matters: (all emphasis mine, mdw)
All over but the lying
by Jamison Foser
On Tuesday, Americans chose as their next president an African-American named Barack Obama who campaigned on a near-universal health-care plan, allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire, and a move away from the belligerent foreign policy of the past eight years. Republicans, and some journalists, had spent months (falsely) saying Obama is the single most liberal member of the U.S. Senate -- and maybe even a socialist. The American people responded by electing him in a landslide.
This, naturally, is very good news for the Republicans, according to many pundits. It proves once again that America remains a "center-right" nation.
Right about now, you're probably scratching your head, wondering how the election of the "most liberal" member of the Senate, a man who campaigned on a promise of near-universal health care, could possibly be described as evidence of a conservative country.
To be sure, it requires some creative thinking.
NBC's Tom Brokaw, for example, looked at county-by-county election results and concluded that counties carried by John McCain account for greater land mass than those carried by Barack Obama. This would be meaningful, if only fields and streams and rocks and trees were conservative voters. But they aren't: They are fields and streams and rocks and trees. They are neither liberal nor conservative; they tell us nothing about the nation's political leanings. People tell us something about the nation's leanings -- and more people voted for Barack Obama.
Then there's CNN's John King Wednesday night. Just try to follow his logic:
KING: Without a doubt, the electorate voted for Barack Obama, but still perceives him to be a liberal. And one thing you don't want to do when you win an election like this, a sweeping election like this, is alienate the people here in a place like Cincinnati. Why? George W. Bush carried that county four years ago. You don't want to drive them away.
So, Barack Obama is making inroads in communities that not too long ago voted Republican. The last thing you want to do if you want to keep them four years from now is to alienate them with a liberal agenda.
That simply does not make any sense. John King says Barack won a "sweeping election" even though the electorate "perceives him to be a liberal" -- so he better not pursue a "liberal agenda" or he will "alienate them."
Later that same night, King added that Obama "does not get a mandate to be a liberal." Again, this is pure nonsense. John King says voters perceive Obama to be a liberal. John King says Obama won a "sweeping victory." And yet John King says that Obama's sweeping victory among an electorate that considers him a liberal does not constitute a mandate to be a liberal. This is illogical, self-discrediting foolishness.
At least King was considerate enough to debunk his own absurd conclusions in near-real time. Conservatives making similar claims were not so kind.
Media Research Center president Brent Bozell -- who does not get nearly the recognition he deserves for being one of the most clownish figures in the conservative movement -- took to Fox News to announce that Obama had won by campaigning as a "Reaganite" and a "fiscal conservative."
Couple of problems with that claim.
First, Bozell didn't explain what he meant by "fiscal conservative," but its typical meaning -- supportive of restrained spending and balanced budgets -- is so far removed from the actual governing performance of actual conservatives that the phrase ought to be retired from use.
Second, Bozell's claim that Obama won as a "Reaganite" is a little odd, given that it wasn't that long ago that conservatives were saying Obama was campaigning on a "redistribution of wealth" that constituted "socialism." And when I say "conservatives," I mean Brent Bozell. And by "it wasn't that long ago," I mean last week.
(How much of a fraud is Bozell? In 1998, Bozell claimed the media weren't paying enough attention to Monica Lewinsky -- at a time when there were 500 news reports a day on the topic. Now he's alternately claiming Obama is a "socialist" and a "Reaganite." And in his column last week, he complained that a recent Project for Excellence in Journalism study overstated the extent of negative coverage of Obama by including "talk-radio hosts from Rush Limbaugh to Randi Rhodes" who are supposed to "express an opinion." But that complaint is completely false. The study in question specifically excluded talk radio. It's right there in the study's methodology: "Talk radio stories, which are part of PEJ's regular NCI, were not included in this campaign study of tone." If Brent Bozell tells you the sun is shining, you better grab an umbrella.)
It isn't hard to figure out why Brent Bozell makes absurd claims about Obama winning as a "Reaganite" -- he's an ideologue with far greater commitment to his agenda than to the truth.
But why would Tom Brokaw and John King and Newsweek and countless other Beltway journalists and pundits continue to say things like "America remains a center-right country" and insist that Barack Obama's clear victory does not constitute a mandate for the progressive policy positions he ran on?
It might have something to do with the long-held assumptions of many journalists and pundits (and more than a few progressives) that progressives are inherently politically weak and conservatives are inherently politically strong. (which is clearly and obviously bullshit)
Three of the most foolish pieces of punditry of the past several years reflect such assumptions.
Newsweek's Howard Fineman announced in late 2005 that Democrats were justifiably "gloomy" about their electoral prospects. It seemed preposterous, given that President Bush's approval ratings were in the tank, his mishandling of Hurricane Katrina had enraged the nation, and Republicans in Congress were being fitted for orange jumpsuits by the dozen. Still, Fineman insisted, it was true: Democrats were in trouble. One reason? A "Lack of star power." Fineman explained: "it's incontestably true that the Democrats simply aren't blessed with much charisma in the leadership ranks." The 200,000 people who stood in Chicago's Grant Park for Obama's victory speech would probably disagree. (Yes, Fineman said "leadership ranks," and Obama wasn't in the party "leadership" in 2005. But Fineman contrasted the Democrats' purported lack of "charisma" with Republicans who weren't, either, so that doesn't get him off the hook.)
Since Fineman argued that Democrats had good reason to be gloomy, they've picked up more than 50 House seats, 12 in the Senate, and the presidency. Republicans have won ... well, John Boehner has probably won a few rounds of golf, but that's about it.
Then there's NBC political director Chuck Todd. Shortly before the 2006 elections, Todd predicted that if Democrats won control of Congress, President Bush's approval rating would be above 50 percent by the following July. Democrats did win control of Congress -- and Bush's approval rating was at 30 percent the following July. And at this point, Bush wouldn't be above 50 if you added his approval ratings in the last two CBS/New York Times polls together.
And finally, the dean of the Washington press corps, David Broder: In September 2005, Broder predicted that Bush's handling of Katrina would help him regain his standing with the public. Things didn't work out that way, as Broder eventually acknowledged, but he continued to predict a Bush resurgence. In early 2007, Broder announced that "President Bush is poised for a political comeback."
It isn't just that these three predictions were wrong; people make incorrect forecasts all the time. Many of those incorrect predictions are based on reasonable analysis that just turns out to be wrong. But it has been pretty clear since mid-2005 that the Bush administration has been a spectacular failure, that the public has rejected the disastrous conservative policies President Bush had used to drive the nation into a ditch. There hasn't been any reason to believe the Republicans would rebound, other than blind faith. And that isn't something that is clear only in hindsight: It has been obvious for years.
Democrats have won the popular vote in four of the past five presidential elections. When the new Congress is sworn in, they will hold more than 250 seats in the House and at least 57 in the Senate. Public polling shows -- and has shown for quite some time -- that Americans back progressive solutions to the nation's problems. The current progressive ascendancy won't last forever, of course. But it's about time for the Beltway pundit crowd to let go of their tired old assumptions about the relative strength of the parties and the ideological leanings of the country. Unless, of course, they enjoy making fools of themselves.
Jamison Foser is Executive Vice President at Media Matters for America.
Friday, November 7, 2008
These problems can be fixed, but the fix is not cosmetic. The rot is deep. We do not need reformation of the Republican Party; we need transformation of the Republican Party. That is going to require fresh blood, new ideas, new infrastructure...and perhaps more than a little time in the wilderness.
No Rush, they are learning (and that's actually heartening to see) - the Republican party's leaders have learned (the hardest way) that the American people have had enough of incompentent leaders for a while. Palin is an h-bomb lookin for a crater. To see the right wing burying her so expeditiously inspires hope that the next election will be about substance and benefit the country, not wrench it apart.
Besides, every time I see her I think of Bullwinkle tied over a fender and I scream a little.
The very idea of four years of her was raising my blood pressure and sapping my will to live.
The impact of Tuesday was not so much the losses but that it came after the defeats in the congressional mid-term election in 2006. The Republicans have to search back decades to find consecutive election defeats on this scale.
"We have got to clean up, reform and rebuild the Republican party before we can ask Americans to trust us again," Jim DeMint, a South Carolina senator, told reporters. "This must begin with either a change or command at the highest levels or our current leaders must embrace a bold new direction."
Yesterday's meeting was held at the home of Brent Bozell, head of the Media Research Centre. About 20 people were invited including key grassroots organisers, top fundraisers and the heads of influential conservative groups such as Grover Norquist, of Americans for Tax Reform.---------
Why does he say the GOP needs to "clean up"? Because it's "dirty"
Why does he say the GOP needs "reform"? Because it's "damaged"
Why does he say the GOP needs to "rebuild"? Because it's "rotten"
Why does he say the American people won't give the GOP "trust"? Because it's "untrustworthy"
Sounds like a car that needs a major overhaul, not something I'd trust for a long trip - or a house that's been poorly-kept, used to hold violent parties and has a bad case of termites.
Good of Mr. DeMint to step up and say this, he'll probably be pilloried for it.
Also good to see our pal 'drown it a bathtub' Grover was there, I hope he realizes he looks like a total fool.
The lefties tried to warn you not to listen to these thugs, oh yes we did.