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Water Cooler – The Republican Field Just Tipped Further Towards “Crazy”

5:49 pm in Uncategorized by Bill Egnor

Balancing Act

Balancing Act by Digitalnative, on Flick

When you look at any group of people you can put them on a continuum, assuming you’re willing to be judgmental. But since most of us are, we can look at a group and make a decision on who is most sane and who is least. It is totally subjective to be sure, but it is a yardstick that can be used to measure relative sanity.

All that being said, today the Republican field for their parties nomination got measurably less sane today. You see Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour announced that the will not be seeking that nomination. There are probably a lot of reasons for this. Personally I did not think that he really had that much of a chance really. His crypto-racist statements (even if they did not feel racist to him) and his long association with groups that are overtly racist were going to make him have a lot of problems.

There were others issues, like his history as a lobbyist and his, frankly, his physical appearance compared to the rest of the field that were going to make things just a little too hot for him. For all that I think he is a dyed in the wool conservative he was not insane. Sure he had the tax cut meme tattooed on the inside of his eyelids and he does not give two hoots for the poor or even middle class in this country, but at least he is not bark at the moon insane.

By taking out one of the folks on the sane side of the equation, it has moved the median of sanity in the Republican presidential field towards “wicky-in-the-wacky-woo” and away from “evil but sane”. After all we have folks like Donald Trump (who is only pretending to run, even though he is a front runner at this point) running around talking Birtherism or Michele Bachman talking about not raising the debt ceiling and there being no consequences.

Which raises a question to me; has the Republican base reached the point where there is no candidate that will actually fulfill their requirements? Mitt Romany is in huge trouble for Romany-care, Tim Pawlenty for all his attempts to court the Teahadists has been greeted with the same enthusiasm as cold oatmeal with no honey; Michele Bachman herself actually said that the Presidents birth issue is a dead one; Newt Gingrich is a serial adulterer, and is a Catholic (not the best of the religions for the Right these days); Rick Santorum is a failed politician and folks are treating him that way; and then there is Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, both of whom are too busy making money to really want to be president.
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No Depths Too Deep For Bryan Fisher Or His Republican Guests

5:54 am in Uncategorized by Bill Egnor

no more hate

no more hate by blakeemrys, on Flickr

Yesterday one of the questions that we though was for the ages was answered. Was there anything that you could say on Fox “News” that was too far out there, too crazy even for the propaganda arm of the Republican Party? Now we know the answer is yes, but you have to do it for nearly two years before it has an affect.

There is a question that is a corollary to that one; is there anything that Bryan Fisher of the American Family Association, and a radio personality on the Right, can say that is so crazy and offensive that Republican presidential hopefuls won’t go on his show?

The answer to this one is; apparently not. For those who really don’t have time to follow abject assholes like Fisher he is one of the Terry Jones and Fred Phelps type of Christianist. He has insisted that there be no more Mosques built in the United States, he believes that American Muslims don’t have First Amendment Rights and that the U.S. military is run by homosexual and Muslim activists.

You know, just your average foaming at the mouth Religious Right Conservative. It is possible that he has gone too far this time though. Recently in a rant against the War on Poverty he said (From RightWingWatch) :

Welfare has destroyed the African-American family by telling young black women that husbands and fathers are unnecessary and obsolete. Welfare has subsidized illegitimacy by offering financial rewards to women who have more children out of wedlock. We have incentivized fornication rather than marriage, and it’s no wonder we are now awash in the disastrous social consequences of people who rut like rabbits.

Now, I already considered this guy a bigot, but he is getting into open racism with this stuff, and as we found out with Glenn Beck when you do that, you are probably a bridge too far.

In recent months his show has hosted many of the 7 dwarfs of the supposed Republican field. Fisher has hosted Tim Pawlenty, Mike Huckabee, Michele Bachmann, Haley Barbour and Newt Gingrich on his show. It would be great to think that they would understand that Fishers brand of toxic crap against Muslims and Muslim Americans was enough to keep them away, but we all know that the Right is not going to punish you for bashing Muslims.

However, folks like Gov. Barbour have enough race issue problems already without being tied to someone who is comparing poor African Americans to rabbits and saying that they are willing to be paid to fornicate.
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Gov. Barbour Tries To Retool “Welfare Queens” Meme

6:27 am in 2012 election, banality of evil, Elections by Bill Egnor

BMW apline wrecked car

BMW apline wrecked car by Kingfisherblue2009 Liz Callan, on Flickr

Mississippi Governor and probably presidential hopeful Haley Barbour is a real piece of work. With his Boss Hogg good looks and his penchant for idolizing Jim Crow groups like the Citizens Council (who enforced an economic apartheid on Southern Black citizens)  but thus far that has not stopped him from looking like he might be a viable candidate.

Still the level of mendacity and crypto-racism from the Deep South Governor is not something I think will play in the larger election. Sure whoever the Republican candidate is will be going up against an African American in the general election and the racist minority in this nation is going to be wanting to line up behind anyone (who is white) who will run against him, but the vast majority of the nation is not going stand for that kind of thing.

Still Gov. Barbour can’t seem to help himself when it comes to making statements that are not only false but also laced with more than a hint of racism. At the recent governors conference Barbour was front and center in trying to get the Federal Government to relax the requirements for coverage in Medicaid that went with the stimulus money which boosted the state coffers.

He went so far as to say:

“We have people pull up at the pharmacy window in a BMW and say they can’t afford their co-payment.”

When arguing that States should be allowed to make Medicaid recipients pay for some of their medication. If that statement sounds familiar to you, it did to me too. It is right along the lines of the infamous story of the “Welfare Queen”.

For those who have heard the term but forgotten the story, let me refresh your memory. It was President Reagan who told the anecdote about one woman who defrauded the welfare program for $150,000 dollars, and driving a Cadillac. The only problem with this story is that it was $8,000 not 150K, and the woman went to jail on fraud charges.
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2012 Election And The 11 Republican Dwarves

6:32 am in 2012 election, Elections, Politics, Republican Party by Bill Egnor

Will 2012 be the year of the Republican Dwarves? Let me through some names at you;
Mike Pence, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mitch Daniels, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Haley Barbour, Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann. Now being political junkies you are probably going to at least know those names, with the exception of Herman Cain, who is the founder of Godfathers Pizza (a so so chain that has had decent success) who is also a regional Rightwing radio talker. But try to think outside your political knowledge bubble for a minute. Do you think anyone really knows these folks?

Sure folks know the last VP candidate from the Republican Party. She has made a business of being famous, but it has only worked because she stays either to mediums that don’t allow back and forth or safe outlets like Fox News. Her response to the Arizona shootings showed that she really does not have what it takes to be president no matter how popular she is with her fans.

Newt Gingrich is a disgraced former speaker who is better at throwing bombs than he ever was at legislating. He has a problem with the family values crowd both for leaving his wives and for the fact that he is now a Catholic. Don’t underestimate the problems this can cause with a party that 50% of all members are Evangelical Christians. There is also his distressing “Do as I say, not as I do” problem that might play with the authoritarian Right, but not with the middle that is required to win the presidency.

Mitch Daniels – Who? Sure you know his name, do you know what he stands for? Does he know what he stands for given that the Tea Party base is going to require that every candidate denies global warming, a balanced budget, continued tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy (even though this policy has bled the U.S Treasury dry) an unswerving devotion to the supposed intent of the Framers of the Constitution and an “America, Fuck Yeah!” attitude that insists we can do nothing wrong because when the U.S. does it, then it is right.
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Rounds 2 And 3 Of Republicans Screwing The Little Guy – Austerity

6:46 am in 2010 election, banality of evil, Economy, Elections, Politics, Republican Party by Bill Egnor

To hear the Republicans tell it, the problem with things, the reason they are likely to take over the House of Representatives tomorrow is all the spending that the Obama administration has engaged in. Personally I think a big part of it is all the spending groups like the Chamber of Commerce and Cross Roads GPS have done, but that is for another post.

The big push from Republicans as the campaign season is ending has been about the need to cut spending. They look at our deficit situation and they say that the reason we have such high unemployment is the massive federal spending. Things like the COBRA subsidy and unemployment benefit extensions. Of course this includes the stimulus bill with its 300 billion (300,000 million) in tax cuts, which all but the ultra wealth have received some share of in terms of payroll tax reductions.

This is where you get prominent Republicans like Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour on TV saying things like this:

“The American people do not like Obama’s policies,” Barbour told anchor Harry Smith. “They don’t like all of this outrageous spending. They don’t like running up the deficits. They don’t like piling trillions of dollars of debt on our children and grandchildren, and they don’t think it works. They think it’s been bad for the economy, that it has made it harder to create jobs.

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