Archive for category Conservative Sell-Outs
I’ve been trying to make sense of the power grab by North Carolina Republicans.
The basic outline of their power grab is that having lost two key statewide races (governor and state supreme court), Republicans in North Carolina’s legislature, with the willing help of outgoing Republican governor McRory, passed laws to strip both the incoming governor and soon to be Democratic majority on the state’s Supreme Court of significant power.
Superficially, it’s a temper tantrum of monumental proportions. At a slightly deeper level, it’s an attack on established democratic institutions. You lose this time, I lose next time; if I try to screw you when I lose, you’re going try to do the same thing when you lose. It’s an offensive and brazen attempt to undermine the democratically determined outcome of the election. But it’s also the sort of behavior that invites such a huge backlash it seems self-defeating.
Mike Lee, sophomore senator from the embarrassed state of Utah, gets a full, ten minute standing ovation with chants of “we like Mike”, “we like Mike!
With children and mothers all around, this man, who stood up against labor laws which have prevented children from child labor got a longer standing ovation then president Eisenhower probably ever got at a speech.
Watch as much as you can stand:
The YouTube videos of Sir. Lee saying that anti child labor laws are unconstitutional no longer exist, but there are at least two websites that are trying to provide them:
I was present at a “tea party” “event” at the State Capitol, took pictures, and gave this account on this blog. Mike Lee was there, running for office. There was so much wind blowing and the dust was so thick that all of us almost choked and an American flag hit me so hard, I almost got knocked out.
But there is a better account of the scope of the deceit. I only observed three buses, but the original Tea Party, which was a TRUE grass roots movement, got the story right:
We should band together!
Update: The Deseret News had this story: Hundreds rally for Sen. Mike Lee despite low approval numbers
From the article:
“I do not approve of him and I do not think he is fulfilling the best interests of his constituents,” said Mel Walker, who held a sign that, at one point, was ripped from her hands by Lee supporters.
Sounds about right. I lost numerous “IMPEACH BUSH” signs in that manner.
Watching conservatives oppose military intervention in Syria has been entertaining to say the least. We all know that if the occupants of the White Hosue were a Republican, they’d be cheerleading for the most ruinous attack possible, telling us that Assad is the moral equal of Pol Pot, Hitler, Mussolini and Jeffrey Dahmer all rolled into one. Not so long ago, however, most of Washington DC would have joined in supporting an attack. A few years ago, an attack on Syria would have been a foregone conclusion, there would have been sporadic opposition but it would have happened, and at least inside the “establishment” would have been regarded as necessary and possibly even good. A great many Democrats supported action against Iraq in 2002 and 2003 (despite their doubts of its success) because the necessity of military action was accepted, common wisdom even if their instincts told them it was a disaster waiting to happen.
The disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan were/are simply to big to be ignored, even by hawkish political insiders. When someone as reliably dim and possessed of the conventional wisdom as George Will doesn’t favor a military strike, you know something has shifted. Read the rest of this entry »
And I’ve had some BIG ones, but this is precious.
Meatloaf tortures Romney, LIVE, on stage.
Lee Greenwood called in sick.
Rosanne Barr’s plane got delayed.
I haven’t even looked to see if Romney was wearing his flag lapel pin, and I don’t care. We all know he was wrapped in the flag.
Andrew Sullivan is on vacation so the Dishterns are doing the writing. It’s been way less wankerific, witness today’s post:
One can call it courage or arrested development. But he is, in some ways, a pellucidly bright plant bred in the conservative movement’s hydroponic greenhouse. Barely exposed to natural light, these young fertile saplings are fed with a constant drip of Koch money, sprayed with anti-liberal pesticides and brought eventually into the political marketplace with joyful children, a lovely wife and a set of abs Aaron Schock would die for (and probably has). He has no life or experience outside the greenhouse – which is why he glows with its certainties. Most important, he has that quintessential characteristic of the modern conservative – total denial of the recent past. Ryan was instrumental and supportive of the most fiscally reckless administration in modern times. He gave us a massive new unfunded entitlement, two off-budget wars and was key to ensuring that the Bowles-Simpson plan was dead-on-arrival. This alleged fire-fighter – whose credentials are perceived as impeccable in Washington – just quit being an arsonist.
Shorter version: he’s a self-serving tool who helped create the mess, pretends it didn’t happen and proposes we do the same thing again.
On the Republican side, we now have a debt-reduction plan that actually cuts tax rates for the very rich along with everyone else, vastly increases defense spending, and “balances” the entire thing on gutting care for the old, the poor and the sick (the Medicaid proposal is truly Darwinian) and ending loopholes (which Ryan refuses to specify). I’m all for ending loopholes but even then, we wouldn’t get a balanced budget for three decades because of all the defense spending and tax cutting.
This isn’t conservatism. It’s rightist theology. In a fiscal emergency, the Republicans are proposing not clear remedies but ideological fantasies that were already disproven in 1990. They have learned nothing. And the immense damage they inflicted on this country’s fiscal health in the last decade would be nothing compared to what would come under a Ryan-Romney administration.
Because it compounds the errors that came before it.
Mitt Romney delivered a speech today about the budget deficit. It’s hard to wrap your arms around Romney’s argument, because it’s an amalgamation of free-floating conservative rage and anxiety, completely untethered to any facts, as agreed upon by the relevant experts.
That’s the nicest thing he says about Romney’s speech.
Not only does Romney elide vast swaths of established facts about the deficit, it’s fairly clear that he does not operate within the mainstream understanding of the term “deficit” at all. As Jonathan Bernstein has repeatedly explained, modern Republican behavior and even language in relation to the deficit is completely nonsensical if you understand “the deficit” to mean the gap between revenue and outlays. Republican use of the term only makes sense if you define “the deficit” to mean “spending Republicans don’t like.” That’s why Republicansconsider it impossible to believe that one could simultaneously extend health insurance to the uninsured while reducing the deficit.
The final is the most damning:
It’s [the speech] an expression of conservative moral beliefs about the role of government. While loosely couched in budgetary terms, Romney is expressing an analysis that resides outside of, and completely at odds with, mainstream macroeconomic forecasting and scoring assumptions.
It occurs to me that what’s happened is incredibly simple. For today’s Republican base, caught up in the fundamentalist fervor of a war between good and evil, there is no solution that isn’t a moral solution. Those sluts who have sex outside of marriage are bad people, irresponsible people, and giving them health insurance that covers contraception is immoral. Those gays who want to get married are bad, irresponsible people and letting them marry is immoral. And so on and so on. The job of government is to enforce their morals until such time as paradise ensues.
Yesterday, the Salt Lake Tribune published an op-ed from Bishop John C. Wester of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City in which the Bishop claims:
More and more, I get the distinct impression that the voice of religion is not welcome in the public square. Even more troubling, it seems to me that the bedrock of religious freedom is being limited as our government wades into the dangerous waters of defining what is or is not a church.
The HHS definition of a church essentially creates a two-tiered structure — protecting the sanctuary while relegating works of charity to an inferior, unprotected status. For the Catholic Church, the works of charity we perform through our social service agencies, schools, and hospitals are deeply rooted in the beliefs we express in the sanctuary. To define us in any other way is to violate our right to practice what we preach.
With all due respect to Wester, he’s either being deliberately dishonest or disingenuous. I’ll let you take a few moments and enjoy Stephen Colbert’s take down of the church’s position. And interesting take on the contretemps at Andrew Sullivan’s blog reads, in part:
Birth control is for 98% of women the principal means of protecting a right central to their own liberty – the right to choose when to create a family. Chances are most women employed by Catholic universities and hospitals are part of the 98%. For these women, not having access to birth control renders a crucially important right meaningless.
Full insurance coverage is a critical part of the picture. Birth control is an expensive product – $81 a month is considered a steal with no contribution from your insurance, but that number still prices out many women. Even insurance plans that have copayscan be prohibitively pricey. Cheaper alternatives like condoms have significant failure rates. Insurance, overwhelmingly provided by employers in the American system, that covers birth control with no copays is a woman’s best bet.
Women’s freedom to control their reproductive lives should be, in my mind, a central value of a modern society. It also touches on what John McGowan talked about in his book American Liberalism when he discussed effective freedom. Denying access to or making access to contraception so complex and expensive as to effectively prohibit it is an attack on women’s effective freedom, on the ability of women to self realize their goals for themselves.