Well, my darlings, 'tis the last day of ye olde holiday weekend. I hope you're coming back rested, refreshed, and ready for the onslaught of the burning stupid.
That said, it's time to introduce you to the new savior of the Republican party:
Let's see, Liz Cheney practically lives on cable news. She also lies routinely, accuses the president of helping terrorists, and is so mindless in her attacks on the nation's elected leadership, she's something of a national embarrassment.I think I just did myself an injury. Gales of laughter are a tougher workout than you might think.
And for Republican recruiters, apparently she's perfect.
The hottest Republican property out there isn't former Vice President Dick Cheney but his daughter Liz, who has taken to the airwaves to defend her dad and the whole Bush administration on national security and GuantÃ¡namo Bay issues. Liz Cheney, who followed the former veep's hard-hitting speech criticizing President Obama's policies with a CNN appearance, is becoming so popular in conservative circles that some want her to run for office. "She's awesome. Everyone wants her to run," said a close friend.
A forceful defender of the administration and her dad, Liz Cheney has been appearing on TV with greater regularity. She brings to the screen a combination of her dad's steely focus and her mom's softer touch. "It's a two-fer. She comes off a bit better than he does sometimes," a conservative consultant said.
I can't help but find all of this rather ridiculous. For one thing, Liz Cheney's penchant for dishonesty rivals that of her father's. For another, the "Cheney" name is not exactly a strong political "brand" right now.
But Liz Cheney's not the GOP's only hope for salvation. They may also turn to a Newt:
I'm sorry. You're right. I should've told you to have a barf bag handy.
Unctuous doesn't begin to describe Newt Gingrich's "serious look" at a 2012 presidential run.
Isn't that a fine "how do you do" to return to from a nice vacation:
The Republican defeats in the last two election cycles have presented an opportunity for Gingrich to return to prominence, noted more than one Republican strategist.
"Since Republicans don't hold power, there's a void of leadership," said Ron Bonjean, a Republican strategist. "And Newt Gingrich is trying to take advantage of this opportunity as much as possible and try to assert himself as one of the leading voices of the Republican Party."
...That could include, the strategist said, the possibility running for president in 2012.
I don't care what sort of convenient "wipe myself clean with the spirit of the Lord" conversion Newt Gingrich claims to have made just before the next election cycle.
There is no stain remover strong enough to get rid of his self-inflicted pit stains. None.
They also seem to be working on their winning strategy for 2010 and 2012, which consists entirely of trying to scare us shitless. LithiumCola at Daily Kos has a possible explanation for that:
We can see some of what is going on here, I think, by taking a look at the Pew report on "Trends in Political Values and Core Attitudes: 1987-2009":
The proportion of independents now equals its highest level in 70 years. Owing to defections from the Republican Party, independents are more conservative on several key issues than in the past. While they like and approve of Barack Obama, as a group independents are more skittish than they were two years ago about expanding the social safety net and are reluctant backers of greater government involvement in the private sector. Yet at the same time, they continue to more closely parallel the views of Democrats rather than Republicans on the most divisive core beliefs on social values, religion and national security.
There are many more independents than Republicans, right now; but more independents than usual are leaning right in every area other than national security. That is to say, the weirdness gets deeper: if Republicans want to win back some of these independents they are decidedly not going with their best play. They should be going with the economy; they are going with war. This is puzzling, but it seems to me that it admits of an obvious, if troubling, interpretation.
Perhaps the Republican strategy is not to win over these burgeoning independents by enlarging the Republican tent, but rather to scare them into voting R even if they remain too disgusted with the GOP to actually join the party. The Republican party, with a strategy so understood, need take no heed of moderation or of ordinary political practice at all.
Considering the other two issues they and Independents diverge on - social values and religion - I can see why they're going for the pants-pissing terror option. If they're successful, they get to pander to their base and win Independents. The strategy often worked for them in the past.
At this time, I would like to refer them to the story of the boy who cried wolf. That is, if the lessons contained within fairy tales aren't too complicated for them to comprehend. I fear they might be.
Rounding out our firmament of GOP shining stars, I present you one of the only people in the Known Universe who liked Michael Steele's "change in a teabag" speech. Ladies and gentlemen, Sarah Palin:
Although Michael Steele's "Change in a teabag" speech (highlights) was widely mocked for its signature line ("change is being delivered in a teabag, and that's a wonderful thing"), Sarah Palin is now saying it was absolutely fabulous.
Politico's Andy Barr reports:
GOP Gov. Sarah Palin weighed in with a statement from Alaska.
"Today, we have a friend in RNC Chairman Michael Steele, and his bold and courageous speech defines his leadership goals that will guide us all through this most difficult time for our nation."
And that's probably all we ever need know about Sarah Palin's judgement. Well, lack thereof.
As far as guides through the political wilderness the Cons have found themselves in, I think they'd have been better off with a Garmin.
Let's take a brief detour to catch up with the "Nancy Pelosi's mean to the CIA. Oh, and she lies, too!1!!11!" crowd. How's that storyline working out for them? Oh, dear:
GOP Senator Richard Shelby appears to have botched a key fact about the CIA torture briefing he received in September 2002, claiming that he was in such a briefing along with Nancy Pelosi, Porter Goss, and Bob Graham.
Shelby is the only Congressional official briefed on interrogations who has been willing to say explicitly that he’d been told torture and waterboarding had been used. So anything that raises questions about the accuracy of his memory on this is key.
On a scale of believability, we can travel a pretty steep line from credible (Bob Graham) through fairly credible (Pelosi), down toward take-with-a-kilogram-sized-salt-grain (Goss) and bottoming out towards you've-got-to-be-fucking-kidding-me territory (the CIA). Shelby and the rest of the Cons fall somewhere below that, in territory the graph is unable to measure.
Still, he didn't quite make asshole of the day:
To the surprise of well, no one, the conservatives of the Senate have announced their standards for a good Supreme Court Justice:
Sen. Jon Kyl made clear he would use the procedural delay if Obama follows through on his pledge to nominate someone who takes into account human suffering and employs empathy from the bench.
Boy I sure hope Obama asked potential nominees which they enjoyed more, drowning kittens or puppies? Kyl is going to want to know.
Have I told you lately just how happy I am these fucktards are no longer in charge?