24 February, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

My darlings, I have a veritable banquet of stupid laid out before me, and I'm at a loss over where to begin. All of it just looks so tasty, and there's only so much room.

Why don't we begin with the only smart thing Cons have done, then?

Despite what all the talking heads have been reciting ever since the House stimulus vote, Republicans aren't helping themselves any with voters. Indeed, it seems they are shooting themselves in the foot. Charlie Cook -- aka someone who actually looks at data and doesn't recite GOP talking points -- reports:

As polling very clearly shows, congressional Republicans have done nothing to help themselves by almost unanimously opposing the massive stimulus package. Indeed, they look increasingly isolated: a narrow party that is looking inward for sustenance. Selecting former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele to be national party chairman is about the only intelligent thing that Republicans have done since Election Day. At this point, a Republican rebound seems more contingent upon a Democratic collapse than anything else. Certainly, Republicans aren't doing anything these days to help bring themselves back. [emphasis mine]
Tell me, now: how pathetic is it when the single most intelligent thing they've done is select this assclown in an attempt to reverse their fortunes?

Three Senate Republicans -- Susan Collins (Maine), Olympia Snowe (Maine), and Arlen Specter (Pa.) -- were the only members of the minority party to cross party lines and vote in favor of the stimulus package. Yesterday, RNC Chairman Michael Steele suggested they'll be rewarded with primary challengers, and possibly a withdrawal of support from the national party.

Greg Sargent flagged this clip from Fox news yesterday, during which Neil Cavuto asked, "Will you, as RNC head, recommend no RNC funds being provided to help them?" Steele said he'd "talk to" state party officials in Maine and Pennsylvania about the possibility. When asked if he was at least open to withholding party support to three incumbent Republican senators, Steele added, "Oh, yes, I'm always open to everything, baby, absolutely."

Steele was probably hoping to send a message to GOP lawmakers who may be thinking about working with the White House on controversial policies, but it's an odd kind of threat. For one thing, Steele's comments probably won't mean much to Sens. Snowe and Collins. Snowe won 74% of the vote in her last campaign, and isn't up for re-election until 2012. Collins was just elected to a third term with 62% of the vote, and isn't up again until 2014. Are they going to be afraid of Michael Steele? I doubt it.


In the same interview with Cavuto, Steele added that the way to improve the economy was to signal that "the state and the federal government will spend no more money."

Steele added, "[T]e inflationary effect, the deflationary effect, all of those things are going to come to head at some point." I have no idea what this means. I'm fairly certain Steele doesn't either.

I'm fairly certain he's just as much of a fucktard as the rest of them. The only thing different is his diction.

Cons are awfully proud of themselves for being obstructionist fuckwits. They may want to take a second look at the poll numbers:

In the past few days, a number of national polls have been conducted that measure President Obama’s performance after one month in office. Beyond Obama’s continuing high job approval rating, the polls have found that the public believes Obama has made a good faith effort to work in a bipartisan manner to address America’s problems:

WaPo/ABC News: 73 percent say Obama is “trying to compromise with the Republican leaders in Congress” while just 34 percent believe Republican leaders are trying to compromise with Obama.

NYT/CBS News: 74 percent think Obama is “trying to work with Republicans in Congress” while just 31 percent think Republicans in Congress are trying to work with Obama.

Fox News/Opinion Dynamics: 68 percent believe that Obama “has sincerely tried to reach out to Republicans and be bipartisan” while only 33 percent believe Republicans have “sincerely tried to be helpful to Barack Obama and be bipartisan.”

Maybe it's just me, but I'm not really seeing much public support for Con antics, here.

Speaking of antics, it appears editors at the NYT don't like it when their reporters employ the truth about marsh mice:

Okay, this is pretty interesting. As I noted here yesterday, the infamous GOP talking point that the stimulus package contains gobs of cash for saving marsh mice found its way into a New York Times story, without the paper mentioning that the claim is untrue.

It turns out, however, that earlier drafts of the story did describe the claim as “misleading” — but Times editors removed that description from the copy, leaving the assertion to stand on its own. An email from the author of the story to a reader confirms this.
The line in the final story read:

Mr. Gingrich sees the stimulus bill as his party’s ticket to a revival in 2010, as Republicans decry what they see as pork-barrel spending for projects like marsh-mouse preservation. “You can imagine the fun people will have with that,” he said

.The story doesn’t note that there are no such funds in the bill.

A reader tells me that he emailed the author of the story, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, to discuss the omission. Here is part of her reply to him in her email, which I obtained:

I did write in the story I submitted that the assertion was misleading, but I’m sorry to report that language was removed by editors and that I didn’t notice the deletion. My initial text read like this:

“….as Republicans decry, often misleadingly, what they see as pork-barrel spending for projects like marsh mouse preservation.”

So the words “often misleadingly” were removed by editors.

Because the Cons may throw a tantrum if the NYT points out that they're lying, and we can't have that. Journalism be damned.

In the department of saving the best for last, we have two absolute gems Steve Benen dug up and polished off. First, we have "Diapers" Vitter all concerned about ethics:

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) still hasn't figured out the benefits of quiet time.

Louisiana Sen. David Vitter (R), who survived a 2007 sex scandal, called on Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) to resign Tuesday for his ethical shortcomings.

Oh my.

To be sure, Burris' problems are overwhelming, and he'd do well to step down from the Senate seat he never should have agreed to accept in the first place. No doubt, it's time for him to go.

But hearing Vitter complain about another senator's ethical shortcomings is pretty amusing. It's as if he has an incredibly short memory -- or he assumes we do.

We are, after all, talking about a far-right Republican, known for his "family values" platform, who got caught up in a prostitution ring just two years ago. Vitter, who's has spent years lecturing others about morality and the "sanctity of marriage," arranged extra-marital liaisons while on the floor of Congress. The only reason Vitter wasn't prosecuted is that the statute of limitations had come and gone.

I do believe this man has cut off all contact with common sense.

And, for our dessert, I present you:

In light of Sen. Jim Bunning's (R-Ky.) increasingly erratic behavior, and likelihood of defeat next year, the Republican establishment has practically been begging Bunning to retire. So far, he's only responded angrily and refused to back down.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, worried about losing a winnable seat in a deep "red" state, is quietly making alternate arrangements. Just this past weekend, NRSC officials met with State Senate President David Williams (R) over the weekend, apparently to talk about a primary challenge to Bunning.

Today, Bunning said he's prepared to sue his party.

Sen. Jim Bunning is vowing to fight back as his feud with Republican leadership over his 2010 re-election bid spills into the national political scene.

If Republican campaign organizations tried to recruit another candidate to run in Bunning's stead, "I would have a suit against the (National Republican Senatorial Committee) if they did that," Bunning told reporters on Tuesday. "In their bylaws, support of the incumbents is the only reason they exist."

They exist, Jim, to make sure that more Cons are elected. I do not believe you are the Con they are looking for. But good luck with that lawsuit - I'm sure it'll make everything all better.

You guys full yet? I'm stuffed.


Cujo359 said...

Bunning's brain went south about the same time that his fastball did. A lawsuit because his party won't support him? Am I reading that right?

One thing you have to admit, with guys like Bunning and Vitter around, Burris's shamelessness seems like part of the job description.

Hank said...

"We are, after all, talking about a far-right Republican, known for his "family values" platform, who got caught up in a prostitution ring just two years ago. Vitter, who's has spent years lecturing others about morality and the "sanctity of marriage," arranged extra-marital liaisons while on the floor of Congress."

To that I and I can only quote the great Oscar Wilde: "Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike."