07 December, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Some of you might be aware that, due to various and sundry recounts and hurricane-delayed elections, we still have some election results trickling in for this cycle. Expect Cons to seize on some of the results to prove they're still "hip."

There's the upset in New Orleans:

Rep. "Dollar Bill" Jefferson (D-LA) has lost his seat in tonight's Louisiana elections to Republican candidate Joseph Cao, giving the Dems their own case of Ted Stevens Syndrome -- that is, a safe and well-entrenched incumbent, who holds a seat that ought to be an easy win for his party, going down to defeat on a corruption scandal.

Jefferson, of course, is the New Orleans Congressman who is currently under a multi-count federal indictment on corruption charges, in a bizarre case that involved, among other things, $90,000 in cash being found in his freezer back in 2006. That scandal wasn't enough for him to lose re-election in 2006, but the indictment that has come down since then appears to have done it.

And they're probably excited they might just possibly squeak by in LA-04:

As we noted last night, Republican John Fleming apparently came from behind to defeat Paul Carmouche in which is a very Republican district, Louisiana's 4th. But the margin was only 356 votes out of more than 90k cast. And Carmouche is not conceding.

Follow up shows there's a pretty good reason why. The current totals do not include provisional ballots (which often heavily favor Democrats) or absentee ballots (which in the past often favored Republicans but now can cut either way). They'll both be counted on Tuesday.

They'll probably seize on these victories to prove their "momentum," although one could question just how much momentum a party has when it care barely eke out wins in "safe" red districts and against indicted incumbants. There's also this rather stunning victory to contend with:

As Howie says, she's a good one:
This is exactly how 2008 should have ended the electoral fortunes of the Democrats-- the real deal, Mary Jo, who will go to Congress to fight like a tiger on behalf of working families, defeating some GOP slug-- while a crook and a right-wing Democrat go down in flames. I like it! Stivers has conceded and the local media is hailing Mary Jo as the victor.

Not exactly earning bragging rights, there.

If the "we've regained the momentum!" claim turns out to be embarrassing, expect them to run away as bravely as Michael Steele:

When former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele was running for the Senate in a pretty reliable "blue" state, he was anxious to offer evidence of his alleged centrism. Now that he wants to be chairman of the Republican National Committee, Steele is equally anxious to prove the opposite. (thanks to V.S. for the heads-up)

Last year, with some fanfare, former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele joined two prominent Republican moderates in announcing the revival of a centrist political organization, the Republican Leadership Council.

Now, Steele's name has mysteriously disappeared from the RLC's Web site.

Until recently, he was prominently listed as one of three co-founders, along with former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and former Missouri Sen. John Danforth. The change apparently happened within the past week, according to an Internet search.

What a remarkable coincidence. Just as he wants to convince the far-right GOP base that he's a reflexive, knee-jerk, conservative ideologue, Steele's name suddenly goes missing from the RLC's roster.

Looks like the extreme right of the party is gaining the ascendency. I imagine that's going to go over spectacularly well with 28% of the voters. Note to Steele: you can't rebuild a national party and win elections with only 28% of the electorate. Just thought you should know.

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm looking forward to Karl Rove's new book with interest:

Karl Rove is reportedly one of the key architects overseeing the “Bush legacy project,” predicting that the President will be remembered as a “far-sighted leader.” In a new interview with Cox News, Rove rails against all the people in America who never “accepted the legitimacy of George W. Bush,” saying that he plans to call them out in his new book:

Rove sees a presidency clouded by the way it began.

“There were people who never accepted the legitimacy of George W. Bush and acted accordingly,” he said. […]

Also reserved for between the covers of Rove’s book is his checklist of the “great many of the political actors in this town (who) never accepted him as a legitimate president.”

“I’ve got behind-the-scenes episodes that are going to show how unreceiving they were of this man as president of the United States,” Rove said, adding: “I’m going to name names and show examples.”

Why, thankee kindly, Karl! Now I don't have to go through all the trouble of finding them myself. Now my only concern is what I should serve them at the thank-you-for-resisting-George-Bush banquet.

And finally, what would Happy Hour be without some conservative fucktard moaning over the non-existent bid to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine?

We've past the point at which this can reasonably be described as foolish. Now, conservative apoplexy about the non-existent drive to reinstate the "Fairness Doctrine," is just annoying. George Will, who one might expect to know better, devoted 740 words in a nationally syndicated column to railing against a legislative initiative that no one seriously wants or expects to pass.

Because liberals have been even less successful in competing with conservatives on talk radio than Detroit has been in competing with its rivals, liberals are seeking intellectual protectionism in the form of regulations that suppress ideological rivals. If liberals advertise their illiberalism by reimposing the fairness doctrine, the Supreme Court might revisit its 1969 ruling that the fairness doctrine is constitutional. The court probably would dismay reactionary liberals by reversing that decision on the ground that the world has changed vastly, pertinently and for the better. [...]

If reactionary liberals, unsatisfied with dominating the mainstream media, academia and Hollywood, were competitive on talk radio, they would be uninterested in reviving the fairness doctrine. Having so sullied liberalism's name that they have taken to calling themselves progressives, liberals are now ruining the reputation of reactionaries, which really is unfair.

I haven't the foggiest idea what compelled George Will to write such nonsense. It's not only ridiculous, it neglects to mention to the reader that no one is seriously trying to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.
TNR's Marin Cogan recently wrote a great piece, noting that she couldn't find anyone on the left who really wants to reinstate the policy. Cogan explained, "The prospect of being in the opposition often brings out the worst in conservatives -- paranoia and self-pity."

I think it's time to let Cons lie down in a dark room with a nice, cool cloth over their foreheads until their brains stop overheating. Thorazine might be a good idea as well.

No comments: