25 April, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Yesterday, the Cons got their asses handed to them in a district they should've won easily. Today, they try to put the best possible face on a humiliating defeat:
It's the job of the parties' campaign committees to put as positive a spin on election results as possible. But now that the results are final in the special election in New York's 20th, I think the NRCC will have to do better than this.

Rep. Pete Sessions (Texas), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said that although Tedisco came up short that his message of fiscal discipline provided GOPers a blueprint on which to run next year.

"Since Election Day, we continue to hear the growing chorus of frustrated and concerned citizens who demand more from their government than profligate spending and mountains of debt that will be paid for in higher taxes by our children and grandchildren," said Sessions. "Although Jim was unsuccessful in his hope to change Washington, he has shed light on our Party's efforts to win back the majority in the House."

Frankly, if I worked for the NRCC, I'm not sure what I would have come up with, but suggesting a failed strategy in a Republican district can be duplicated for success elsewhere seems rather foolish.

Is that all they've got? I'm disappointed. Where's the conspiracy theories? Where's the howls of voter fraud? Where's Michael Steele with his zany crazy talk? I guess we'll have to wait for Monday.

One thing we do have is the fact that Michael Steele's gonna have 'splainin' to do:
Before the election, RNC Chairman Michael Steele boasted, "Our game is not up...our message still rings true with countless Americans, specifically with those in the 20th congressional district."

The New York special election was held on March 31, 2009. Wasting absolutely no time, the very next day, Steele wrote an audacious -- and foolish -- op-ed in Politico, triumphantly declaring the outcome a defeat for President Obama's agenda:

Tedisco’s victory will be a credible repudiation of the spending spree that Obama and Congress have been on since January. Even the executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee acknowledged over the weekend that the race was “a referendum on the Economic Recovery Act and Barack Obama’s policies.” Well, the DCCC is right — this likely Republican victory is a referendum on the president. [...]

Well, the voters have spoken, and while the results are still pending, Republicans are confident that the final vote tallies will show those voters have rejected the president’s approach. [...]

The ground has shifted, and is shifting, as the voters become increasingly worried about Obamanomics. [...]

Tuesday’s election was a vote of "no confidence" in the Democrats’ tax, spend and borrow approach. I hope Obama and congressional Democrats are listening.

Nostradamus he ain't.

They're not in full freak-out mode over this loss just yet, and that could be because they're busy frothing at the mouth over that DHS report on right-wing extremeism. Yes, still. And it's Michele Bachmann, she of the revolutionary talk, who's leading the charge:

With this in mind, I found it rather ... what's the word ... amusing when Bachmann took to the floor of the House this week to ask whether Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has gone "absolutely stark raving mad."

Seriously, sometimes these clowns make it a little too easy.

Bachmann then jumped into the paranoid waters, head first. "What's going to happen now?" she asked. "Will the federal government start IDing returning veterans? Start IDing gun owners? Start IDing prolifers -- and then pull us out of the line for special searches at the airports before we're allowed to get on the plane because we could be considered a rightwing domestic terrorist while we would see Osama bin Laden and his friends skate by because they're not...?"

I also loved this line: "It is intriguing to me, we have a report now that says ... 80 percent of the American people would be classified as 'right-wing extremists' under this report. Couple that with a statement made by President Obama during the campaign that we need to have a federal police force the size of the military. Add it up."

"Add it up," as in, there's a conspiracy afoot that Bachmann sees and the rest of us don't. Indeed, in the next breath, Bachmann added that it's "no wonder" people are stockpiling weapons and ammunition, since they see "the handwriting on the wall," and need to be prepared for the Obama administration, which is "looking at weapon bans."

Remember, she thinks others have gone "absolutely stark raving mad."

We can always count on Michele to bring on the batshit fucking insanity. I wonder if this woman can so much as order a meal without launching into a rant against the oppressive forces in Washington that are coming to take her equally insane supporters away?

I somehow doubt it.

Meanwhile, Pat Buchanan is busy proving that even the most well-behaved Cons believe the most outrageous things:
In addition to his frequent MSNBC appearances, where he plays a mostly well-mannered, if hardline, conservative, Buchanan also writes a column for the far-right web magazine, Human Events. And that's where he gets himself into trouble.

His most recent effort, "The Rooted and The Rootless," takes as its premise the notion that there's a "blood-and-soil, family-and-faith, God-and-country kind of nation" that's competing with a minority represented by the "rootless" Obama and his "aides with advanced degrees from elite colleges who react just like him."

Already, we're in National Socialist territory here, but let's leave that aside (with Buchanan, once you start down this path, it can be hard to stop...). What jumped out at us was Buchanan's contention that the "blood-and-soil" part of America...

does not comprehend how the president could sit in Trinidad and listen to the scrub stock of the hemisphere trash our country -- and say nothing. (our itals)

Scrub stock? We weren't familiar with that phrase. So we looked it up.

There's no record of it appearing in the New York Times since 1943. (Hey, no one ever called Buchanan hip!) Until then, it was almost exclusively used to refer to an inferior breed of farm animal, usually cattle or horses, as when the paper reported in 1907: "Financial Disturbance Forces Cattlemen to Sell "Scrub" Stock to Hold Prime Grades."

In 1934, a federal official writing in the Times about measures being taken in response to the drought of the period, used the phrase in a similar way: "In some cases the drought cattle are being exchanged for scrub stock. The scrub stock is canned and the good stock is used to replace it..."

In other words, "scrub stock" essentially means an inferior breed.

It's worse than that, though. There's evidence that theorists of racial and genetic superiority -- an area of pseudo-scientific "scholarship" that was in vogue even among mainstream intellectuals in the late 19th and early 20th century -- explicitly extended the use of the phrase beyond animals and into humans. In short, the phrase has been used by both eugenicists and racial segregationists to argue for the superiority of the white race.

And this assclown is still considered mainstream enough for MSNBC? I think it's time for the network to reevaluate that relationship.

It's hard to hold a national discourse with people this fucking stupid, prone to insanity, and unaware that racism is no longer acceptable. So it's good to see that Dems have given up trying:

Ha ha. Remember those dumbass RNC members pushing a party resolution demanding the Democrats rename themselves the "Democrat Socialist Party" because, well, Republicans have nothing left to offer the political debate except for insults? The DNC responds:

"I'm going to pass on marketing advice from folks who hadn't fully thought out the implications of using tea bags as a brand," said Democratic National Committee spokesman Hari Sevugan. "But what's clear is that when you're devoid of leadership, devoid of ideas and your only answer is to say 'no' to change, it's not surprising that angry, fringe elements take center stage at the Republican Party."

Remember when people used to take the Republican Party seriously? And remember when Democrats used to cower in fear? Now everyone mocks them with impunity.
Yeah. Those days, kinda over. And as Kos points out, there's even voices within the party joining in the mockery. Some Cons are just about sane enough to realize that the party took a wrong turn at Albuquerque and headed straight over a cliff. Cons like McCain strategist Michael Schmidt, in fact:

Schmidt also criticized his party’s political performance in the early days of the Obama presidency.

“As a matter of reality, in the first 100 days, [the Republican Party] has not done anything to improve its political position with regards to the fact that it has been a shrinking entity,” he said.

Maybe those occasional squeaks of reason from the terminally unreasonable are a good sign. Maybe they mean we'll someday have a Republican party that can almost be taken seriously again.

But I'm not holding my breath.

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