Category Archives: Republican Party

My Hero, Paul Krugman, Doesn’t Get It

Brilliant, But Clueless

Brilliant, But Clueless

Ah, the Krug. Such a brilliant economist. So liberal. And cute! Oy, the puppy dog eyes! But how can he be so blind when it comes to Republicans?

Take this column he wrote on April 12th, Tea Parties Forever.

Today’s G.O.P. is, after all, very much a minority party. It retains some limited ability to obstruct the Democrats, but has no ability to make or even significantly shape policy.

Beyond that, Republicans have become embarrassing to watch. And it doesn’t feel right to make fun of crazy people. Better, perhaps, to focus on the real policy debates, which are all among Democrats.

But here’s the thing: the G.O.P. looked as crazy 10 or 15 years ago as it does now. That didn’t stop Republicans from taking control of both Congress and the White House.

No, Paul, the G.O.P. looked crazy to YOU ten or fifteen years ago. And there’s the rub. Krugman thinks that Of COURSE liberals are right about everything. Anyone who doesn’t see that is CRAZY!

Does he really think that every Republican is nuts? I must say that for an economist, he doesn’t seem to understand the law of averages very well.

Look. These tea parties may be astro-turfed; run by Republican big-wigs. But guess what? Barack Obama’s “grassroots” movement, at least on the Internet, was run by David Axelrod and Did that make it any less appealing or effective?

What makes a movement succeed is not how it looks to people who oppose it. It’s how it looks to people who believe in it.

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Georgie Writes a Book: A Play in One Authoritarian Act

Im A Famous Writer!

I'm A Famous Writer!

(NOTE: This play was inspired by this quote from Dubya about why he’s writing a book about his time as President:

Bush said it will be fun to write and that “it’s going to be (about) the 12 toughest decisions I had to make.” 
“I’m going to put people in my place, so when the history of this administration is written at least there’s an authoritarian voice (emphasis added) saying exactly what happened,” Bush said

Thanks, George – and thanks, M3, for the quote!)

THE SCENE: Dubya’s swank new house in Dallas, Texas. No more fake ranchin’  and clearin’ brush for this Connecticut Cowboy! George is sitting in his home office, which is decorated in Rawhide Chic and covered with pictures of him in all his Preznitial glory. He is leaning back in his brown leather office chair and playing with a pencil, apparently in deep thought.

A knock is heard at the door.)

GEORGE: Come in!

(Dubya’s wife, LAURA, enters.)

LAURA: How are things going, honey? How’s your first day as a writer?

GEORGE: Well, Lumpy, I have to admit I’m having a tough time with gettin’ started. Turd Blossom says I have to pick my twelve hardest decisions as President and write about them. Heck, all my decisions were easy. I just followed my gut and listened to Dick. I slept like a baby every night!

LAURA: Well, the Jack and Coke cocktails didn’t hurt there!

(Both laugh.)

GEORGE: Yeah, you mix a mean one, Lumpy! But seriously, you were a librarian – you know about books and things. Do you have any suggestions? I’m kinda stumped.

LAURA (sitting down in the wing chair opposite his desk): Well, honey, you could always hire a ghost writer. That’s what most people do.

GEORGE (sharply): No! I don’t want to do that. I want an – an authoritarian voice telling people EXACTLY what it was like to be in my shoes on 9/11. If you want an authoritarian, you gotta go with me!

LAURA (dryly): How true. Well, then, let’s try to make a list of your best moments in office. Let’s not worry about if they were tough decisions or not. Let’s show the people just how great you were at being The Decider!

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The Krugman Speaketh

Is this guy good, or what?

…know-nothingism — the insistence that there are simple, brute-force, instant-gratification answers to every problem, and that there’s something effeminate and weak about anyone who suggests otherwise — has become the core of Republican policy and political strategy. The party’s de facto slogan has become: “Real men don’t think things through.”

Or, as we Iraq War protesters said in 2003, “Yee-HAW! is not a foreign policy.” (And neither is “Bring It On,” as our troops in Iraq found out to their great sorrow.)

In the case of oil, this takes the form of pretending that more drilling would produce fast relief at the gas pump. In fact, earlier this week Republicans in Congress actually claimed credit for the recent fall in oil prices: “The market is responding to the fact that we are here talking,” said Representative John Shadegg.

What about the experts at the Department of Energy who say that it would take years before offshore drilling would yield any oil at all, and that even then the effect on prices at the pump would be “insignificant”? Presumably they’re just a bunch of wimps, probably Democrats. And the Democrats, as Representative Michele Bachmann assures us, “want Americans to move to the urban core, live in tenements, take light rail to their government jobs.”

Is this political pitch too dumb to succeed? Don’t count on it.

Indeed, don’t count on it. Black-and-white solutions are very appealing to Americans who are working 80 hours a week just to make ends meet. They don’t have time or energy to sift through the nuances of energy policy, which will get lost or twisted by the corporate media in translation.

Once again, I point to the superior issue-framing skills of Republicans. They know that people need immediate relief from high gas prices, but they have no intention of doing anything that would work in the long run. (John McCain’s gas tax holiday idea would have done nothing but give the oil companies more profits, whereas Hillary’s would have at least made the oil companies pay the difference.)

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A Cogent Explanation of the Florida-Michigan Mess

This is one of the best articles I’ve read about how we got in this pickle, and how it’s possible that the votes of two of the biggest states in the Union are not being counted…by the party of voter ENFRANCHISEMENT.

From Wayne Barrett at The Huffington Post. Read it and fume.

Then call HoDo at the DNC and tell him to seat those delegates NOW, or we may lose two very important swing states in the fall.

And we’d deserve it!

Our Primary System Sucks….

and we have these weird caucuses and superdelegates and primaries that “don’t count.” Yes, we do have a lot to complain about and to fix.

However, it’s still better being a Democrat during primary season than being a Republic. At least we Democrats don’t stop counting votes because we don’t like the result.

Republics seem to feel that 87%, not 100%, is the magic number of votes to count in Washington State. Ever-so-surprisingly, stopping the vote count and declaring John McMaverick the winner halted a decisive weekend sweep by Hackabee, the Candidate Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken.

“The Huckabee campaign is deeply disturbed by the obvious irregularities in the Washington State Republican precinct caucuses. It is very unfortunate that the Washington State Party Chairman, Luke Esser, chose to call the race for John McCain after only 87 percent of the vote was counted. According to CNN, the difference between Senator McCain and Governor Huckabee is a mere 242 votes, out of more than 12,000 votes counted—with another 1500 or so votes, apparently, not counted. That is an outrage.

“In other words, more than one in eight Evergreen State Republicans have been disenfranchised by the actions of their own party…”

This is just hilarious. Not only do they hate fair national elections, they hate fair elections WITHIN THEIR OWN PARTY. They’re like brothers and sisters cheating each other at “Go Fish.” Jeebus, what a bunch of crooks!

Look, I don’t think that caucus victories mean a whole heck of a lot compared to primary victories. A primary election is much more like a regular election, where hundreds of thousands, or sometimes millions, of voters come out to express their support for their chosen candidate, whereas a caucus is much more like a town hall, where supporters of candidates group together and try to convince all the caucus-goers to vote their way. I’m not saying that a caucus victory is meaningless, but I don’t see it as translating into widespread support for a candidate.

Barring a true miracle, the hated and despised McMaverick will indeed be the Republic candidate for President. But if I were he, I’d take a good look at Hackabee’s strength in the South and Midwest, and at the fact that CPAC and fundie conservatives hate me, and perhaps I’d offer Hackabee the VP slot.

Not that it will help him win. But what else can he do?

Ah, Hackenfreude. It’s a beautiful thing.

Go Go Go, Go Ronnie Go!!!

This is absolutely hilarious.

He may still be underperforming at the polls, but when it comes to supporters putting their money where their mouths are, Ron Paul has the Republican frontrunners beat hands down.

Paul, the quirky Texas congressman who’s been lighting the Internet on fire, raised $19.95 million in the last three months of 2007. That’s more donations than the combined total of the two current Republican frontrunners, John McCain and Mitt Romney, during the same period, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Andrew Malcolm.

Amazingly, Under-The-Radar Ron has as many delegates as Rudy NineEleven did before he dropped out. (I’m still reveling in the sheer bliss of not hearing Rudy described as a “front-runner,” and having to reassure people who thought he was a serious threat to our candidates in 2008. I TOLD ya he wouldn’t make it through the primaries.)

This 2008 Presidential election is obviously historic for Democrats from a race and gender standpoint; but in a strange way, I think it’s also historic on the Republic side. Each candidate that has won – and may possibly win – a primary or caucus, represents a splinter of the disintegrating popsicle stick sculpture that is today’s Republic Party.

Many people have described the conservative coalition as an uneasy three-way alliance between the corporatists (that would be Willard “Deep Pockets” Romney), the neocon warmongers (ably represented by John “Bomb Iran” McMaverick), and the rightwing fundie wackos (hello, Hackabee!). I haven’t seen a lot of references to the fourth group, however, which in some ways is the most powerful: the libertarians, who believe they have found their king in Ron Paul.

One of Raygun’s most successful cons was to make Americans believe that corporations are somehow “more efficient” than government. Poor, bloated, red-tape-filled government just couldn’t hold a candle to the lean, mean, corruption-free style of the business world. As Raygun said,

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’

[Tell that to the Gulf Coast, you heartless fuck.]

Now if the Republics were not so gifted at propaganda, and if Raygun were not such a harmless, benevolent-seeming figure, and if we had a media at that time, those words would have been recognized for what they were: A deliberate attempt to convince Americans to allow the merging of corporations and government. The true name of that system is Fascism. But alas, the same media that destroyed Jimmy Carter for trying to prevent future wars for oil was only too happy to embrace Raygun’s nightmare vision. After all, it would certainly make the moguls who owned big corporations a lot richer, and that’s all they cared about.

Enter the think tanks, the Rush Limbaughs and Sean Hannitys, the giant media conglomerates – all made possible by the evisceration of the Fairness Doctrine and the killing of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. The 80’s were marked by a huge increase in consumerism as culture; by movies like “Working Girl,” which exalted the virtues of business; and, of course, by the entry into the Republican Big Tent of evangelicals and libertarians.

Liberal types tend to think that evangelicals are unteachable. I strongly disagree with this characterization. For example, the extremely popular Democratic Governor of once-red Montana, Brian Schweitzer, garnered the Republican “Gays God and Guns” vote by stressing that if we don’t take care of the environment, there will be nowhere to hunt and fish. I believe that many evangelicals have voted, and will vote, Democratic, because we are the ones trying to address global climate change. As the Bible says, we should be stewards of the earth.

No, the truly unteachable are the libertarians. They believe right down to their souls that the government is bad and business is good. They will blather on endlessly, spewing out a fog of nineteen-syllable words they don’t even understand, to “prove” how the founders really DIDN’T want government to take care of basic human needs and that the Declaration of Independence is more powerful than the Constitution and that the “free market” will take care of those who are “deserving” and that people can “choose” whether to be sick or poor or black or female or…..It is absolutely amazing that people this deluded about the real world can even hold down jobs or manage to feed themselves. But Raygun convinced them. Greed is good! Deregulation is good! Trust Enron, not the government! Wheeeeeeeeee!

Every high-flown argument for libertarianism boils down to this, however: “Fuck you – I’ve got mine.” It’s fine if you want to be an island in your personal life, but never will this philosophy ever work for a society.

I mean, isn’t it obvious where Reaganomics has gotten us? Anyone should be able to see the direct results all around us: 47 million without health insurance; many more millions underinsured and going bankrupt because of it; gas prices out of control; the cost of living going up and real wages staying stagnant; good manufacturing jobs gone overseas; poverty increasing, unemployment going up, foreclosures and bankruptcy due to predatory lending prices and bank deregulation, two unwinnable, unending wars for resources in Afghanistan and Iraq…But somehow, libertarians are still holding onto their selfish, pathetic dreams. Obviously, the near-collapse of the American government just isn’t collapse-y enough yet. If ONLY we’d deregulate the market MORE! And privatize EVERYTHING! Taxes are “stolen money!”

I swear to Jeebus, these people don’t even realize that taxes build their roads, pay the salaries of public safety officials, pay for their schools, and keep the food supply and the air clean. They don’t get that when you cut taxes in a time of war, as Dubya did and NO OTHER PRESIDENT HAS EVER DONE, you don’t have money for all those things to keep functioning. Duh. Fucking. Duh.

And whaddaya know? Our infrastructure is crumbling. Our food and toys are poisoned. Pollution is way up. Global warming is accelerating. Our schools are crumbling and underfunded. And that wonderful, wonderful response to Hurricane Katrina! Oh, that worked out great for the folks in Mississippi and Louisiana. I’m sure they were so grateful that Bush was playing guitar and Condi was shoe-shopping while they lost their homes, their loved ones and their lives.

It is this total denial of reality that allows libertarians to become cultists for Ron Paul, a racist nutjob who advocates against public libraries and a standing army, and who thinks the black helicopters are coming for us all. (I won’t link to his website, but you can find all this stuff there.)

And you know what? I hope he wins, as Ross Perot won Maine in 1992; because I just can’t wait to hear his victory speech. That will be a major revelation of the selfish and greedy underbelly of today’s Republic Party; and one more nail in the political coffin of the most toxic criminal organization that ever stole the White House.

What I Learned in 2007

2007 was a very tough year for many people – most recently and tragically, for Benazir Bhutto and her family. Still, I hope we can all learn something from our trials and tribulations. Here are some things I learned:

Political Lesson of 2007: Republics Really Are Bent On Destroying America.

It’s true. Since the Democrats took over and Congress suddenly began to take its oversight power back, we’ve confirmed that the Republic Party is nothing but a criminal enterprise dedicated to its own enrichment and continuance. They’re willing to wiretap every American; allow terrorist attacks to go unpunished; put cronies in charge of every regulatory agency; ignore the basic needs of our soldiers in the field and deny them proper care when they return from battle; lie repeatedly under oath to Congress; torture, render and kill hundreds of thousands; allow nuclear-armed foreign nations to degenerate into chaos while attacking weak nations for their resources; claim “no one could have predicted” the horrible effects of Hurricane Katrina; permit our food, medicine and consumer goods to become contaminated with toxins; refuse to take any action to prevent global warming from becoming irreversible; and hollow out the very structure of our government and our Constitution by pursuing the theory of the “unitary executive.”

Why do they do it? In order to make a few bucks. THAT’S IT. Truly, these are the most venal, disgusting and repulsive criminals on the planet, and they must be driven out of power as soon as possible.

Personal Lesson of 2007: Appreciate What You Have, Even If You Can’t Take Credit for It.

When we are born into this life, certain gifts come along with us. Whether the Giant Green Lizard or genetics have given us that je ne sais quoi, we all have something that makes us special. Yet it’s all too easy for some of us (cough me cough) to discount our unique qualities because we didn’t earn them, or to bemoan them because they are not what society prizes. Well, enough of that! This year, I vow to enjoy the things that make me madamab, and I hope you will too.

A very, very happy 2008 to all, and may it be a vast improvement over 2007.