Thursday, April 30, 2009

Quick! More Teabags!

The Fix - The Republican Shrinkage Problem
The new Washington Post/ABC news poll has all sorts of intriguing numbers in it but when you are looking for clues as to where the two parties stand politically there is only one number to remember: 21.

That's the percent of people in the Post/ABC survey who identified themselves as Republicans, down from 25 percent in a late March poll and at the lowest ebb in this poll since the fall of 1983(!).

In that same poll, 35 percent self-identified as Democrats and 38 percent called them Independents.

Obviously, the Republicans need to purge more moderates and talk more about socialism, pizza and teleprompters. Oh, and Dick Cheney needs to be out front more telling us what a great thing torture is.

It's the only sane thing to do to save the GOP.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"When the Legend Becomes Fact..."

I'm blogging today at Murderati about fact, fiction, and those times when the line between them gets blurry. Check it out!

Bill Kristol Channels Baghdad Bob

The affable boob Bill Kristol reaches deep into his Big Bag O'Bullshit today to earnestly tell us why Arlen Specter's switch to the Democrats is Good News for Republicans!

Summary: Hey, nothing's our fault now because we're completely out of power! We can't do anything! Isn't this AWESOME?!

Actually, upon reflection, he may have a point, just not the one he thinks he's making. The modern Republican party has proven that they're an absolute disaster when actually called on to DO anything. They're in their true element when out of power, because then they can stomp their little feet and throw teabaggy tantrums over stuff they've heard the Democrats are doing, or have a "secret plan" to do, and we know it's true because the voices in Rush Limbaugh's Oxycontin-addled head say so.

And isn't it great that the Republicans, the party of the "unitary executive" theory (not to mention the party of "sit down and shut up" for eight years), have suddenly become fans of checks and balances? It'd be even nicer if they meant it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Incredible Shrinking GOP: Specter Jumps the (Sinking) Ship

Senator Specter switching parties -
Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.

When I supported the stimulus package, I knew that it would not be popular with the Republican Party. But, I saw the stimulus as necessary to lessen the risk of a far more serious recession than we are now experiencing.

Since then, I have traveled the State, talked to Republican leaders and office-holders and my supporters and I have carefully examined public opinion. It has become clear to me that the stimulus vote caused a schism which makes our differences irreconcilable. On this state of the record, I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania.

I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary.

Now, I'm certainly not expecting Senator Specter to be as liberal as, say, Al Franken. And he insists he won't be an "automatic 60th vote for cloture." But he's always impressed me as being one of the saner Republicans, despite the fact that his name always sounded to me like it ought to belong to a James Bond villain.

As the GOP "base" demands more and more ideological purity, there may very well be more defections of moderate Republicans, or as the wingnuts derisively call them, "RINOs" (Republicans in Name Only). Hyper-conservative washed up rocker Ted Nugent even declared "Open Season" on RINO's with "no bag limits or permits required" for the "cockroaches."

Hey, good luck with the ideological purges, wingnuts. They worked so well for the Soviet Union.

UPDATE: It occurs to me that since Specter says he won't be an "automatic" vote for cloture, the biggest change may be that he ends up being the most courted and therefore one of the most powerful men in the Senate.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Please Tell Me He's Kidding

If there was ever a perfect example of how far outside the mainstream the American Right has gotten, it's Ross Douthat's bootlicking worship of Dick Cheney in the allegedly liberal New York Times:

George W. Bush seems happy to be back in civilian life, but Cheney has taken the fight to the Obama White House like a man who wouldn’t have minded campaigning for a third Bush-Cheney term.

Imagine for a moment that he’d had that chance. Imagine that he’d damned the poll numbers, broken his oft-repeated pledge that he had no presidential ambitions of his own, and shouldered his way into the race. Imagine that Republican primary voters, more favorably disposed than most Americans to Cheney and the administration he served, had rewarded him with the nomination.

There's more at the link, but the pathetic gist of the piece is that if the Republicans had just drafted Cheney, they and a "conservatism of supply-side economics and stress positions" would be doing a lot better right now.

Yes, he actually said that. He actually touts torture as a vital tenet of conservatism. That rumbling you hear is the sound of Barry Goldwater and William F. Buckley spinning in their graves.

Imagine Shooter Cheney, a guy who by the end of the Bush years was polling only slightly higher than necrotizing fasciitis, flip-flopping on his pledge not to run, then taking the field against Barack Obama, pushing a conservatism of torture and failed economic policies. That would've been a sight to see, you betcha. And he doesn't seem to be doing any better in America's rearview mirror. But to wingnuts like Douthat, their only regret is that they weren't mean and crazy enough.

Reality has really become a foreign concept to these people.

Perry: I Hate You, Federal Government! Now Can I Have Some Flu Vaccine?

So Texas Governor Rick Perry doesn't like the overbearing Federal government and thinks maybe Texas could secede.

Until disaster threatens. when he's hollering for the Feds to help:

Gov. Rick Perry today in a precautionary measure requested the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide 37,430 courses of antiviral medications from the Strategic National Stockpile to Texas to prevent the spread of swine flu.

Understand, I think he's doing exactly what a Governor in his situation needs to do. While I think all the fuss over the the swine flu outbreak sounds a lot like the whole SARS panic all over again, it doesn't hurt to have as much vaccine as you can get your hands on.

But that does reveal his whole anti-Federal government stance as a bit hollow, don't you think?

I mean, Perry doesn't seem to squawk too much about the Federal presence when it's in the form of Texas' 18 military bases. And I sincerely doubt that if Perry did ever decide to take Texas out of the Union, he'd close the economically vital Houston Ship Channel, largely expanded and constructed with Federal funds. Nor do I think he'd close the Johnson Space Center.

And all you teabaggers! You don't like Big Government? Spend a week without its benefits. Pay Granny's medical bills yourself instead of having her use Medicare. Don't drive on any highway partially paid for by Federal funds. Don't use the Internet, which began as a government project. Don't get a flu shot if you think it might have come from the Strategic National Stockpile. Etc.

Walk the walk, teabaggers. Don't just talk the talk. Otherwise, you're just like a teenager who tells her mother how oppressive she is one minute and demands a ride to the mall the next.