22 April, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Oh, dear. Sarah Palin's gone so far off the deep end that even her loyalest cheerleaders are putting down the pom-poms:

Reihan Salam, a prominent conservative blogger and Republican strategist, has defended Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) quite a bit over the last several months. He's promoted her, made excuses for her shortcomings, and tried to convince any who'd listen that she's really not as awful as she might seem. Up until recently, Salam has argued valiantly that Palin is a credible national figure and a plausible presidential aspirant.

Now, however, Salam has reluctantly given up.

Palin's campaign antics can be forgiven. What can't be forgiven is the ham-handed way she's tried to build her national profile since she returned to Alaska. She's abandoned the bold right-left populism that won over Alaska voters -- and me -- in the first place in favor of an increasingly defensive and harsh partisanship. After making her name as a determined enemy of Alaska's corrupt Republican establishment, she recently called for Democratic Sen. Mark Begich to step down so the hilariously crooked Ted Stevens could get another crack at the seat. She loudly promised to leave federal stimulus money on the table before clawing that promise back with a whimper. One can't help but get the impression that Palin is a clownish, vindictive amateur.

Now, for example, Palin is raising hackles for naming colorful crackpot Wayne Anthony Ross to be Alaska's attorney general. It turns out that Palin may have consulted with Ross over a state senate appointment, a move that would have been against state law. As a general matter, state law is something you might want your AG to be on top of.

What I'm wondering is: Has Sarah Palin undergone some kind of secret lobotomy?

Notwithstanding the possibility of secret brain surgery on the governor, Salam is arguably understating the case. As we talked about last week, Palin's on-the-job performance since last year's presidential election has been a train-wreck. (It's apparently getting worse, too, with a new ethics complaint having been filed against her this week.)

Deary, deary me. Looks like the bloom's wearing off that rose. It's sad, really: 2012 would've been so much more amusing with her in the running.

At least Sen. Ensign's trying to fill some of the entertainment void:

Today, Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) went on MSNBC to attack the Senate Armed Services Committee report on the Bush administration's treatment of detainees. When host Chris Matthews asked Ensign whether he was shocked that our interrogation practices were based on those used by Chinese Communists to elicit false information from U.S. troops, the senator criticized him for being "inflammatory."

When Matthews insisted that he wasn't being inflammatory because he was reading directly from the report, Ensign tried to discredit the entire document by saying it was a "Democrat partisan" report:

ENSIGN: Chris, the reason I said it is because you didn't preface that with saying that was a Democrat report. That was a Democrat partisan report. And you have to understand where the people who were doing that report -- where their ideology comes from.


Ensign is right that there are often committee reports produced and released by only the minority or the majority. This report, however, was not one of them. The first page of the detainee report makes it clear that it is a document from the "Committee on Armed Services, United States Senate." ThinkProgress spoke with a committee spokesman who confirmed that the full, unanimous committee released the report. When talking with Levin today, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell noted that Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham also endorsed the report.

Yup. Them two are pure-D Democrats, all right:
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has gotten the old gang back together, this time to oppose the idea of prosecuting Bush administration officials who drew up legal justifications for torture. Joined by two friends, Sens. Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, McCain sent a letter to President Obama on Wednesday urging him not to take that course of action. And they used the president's own messaging about looking forward rather than backward to do so.

Damned dirty libruls.

And here's a beautiful thing for ye. A double-dose of awesome, in fact:

The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder notes some polling data today suggesting the Republican Party is now less popular among Americans than countries like Venezuela and China. He concluded:

My Republican friends keep asking me when I'll take the GOP seriously again and why I've stopped writing about ticky-tak political gamesmanship and GOP consultant tricks. When they're a serious party with serious ideas, then we can talk.


Firstly, I love the fact the Cons have fallen below dictatorships in Americans' opinion. Secondly, it's nice to see someone deliver such a good, sharp smack to Con bottoms.

So now that the teabagging's over, what are hysterical right-wingers to do? Attempt an armed march on Washington, no less:

Calling Glenn Beck! Here's another "frustrated Americans" event for you to champion!

David Weigel at the Windy happened to catch the latest idea from the militiamen who are starting to see their paranoid ranks rising:

A peaceful demonstration of at least a million — hey, if we can 10 million, even better — but at least one million armed militia men marching on Washington. A peaceful demonstration. No shooting, no one gets hurt. Just a demonstration. The only difference from any typical demonstration is we will all be armed.
As Weigel says, lotsa luck getting a permit for that.

I somehow don't think armed militias marching on the Capitol is going to go over so well. Way to go. They've now become so divorced from reality it's like they were never even married.

Of course, it was never anything more than a one-night stand to begin with.

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