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McCain Veep Advice: Dump Biden

6:55 am in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

He would know. (photo: NewsHour ./ flickr)

The performance artist formerly known as Ace McCain has reached new heights in his dizzying continued efforts to inject himself into any available news story — with increasing lack of self-awareness. Seemingly oblivious to Americans’ reaction when the words “McCain” and “Vice-Presidential running mate” appear in a news story together, the Arizona Gluehorse now has advice for the president about his Veep:

John McCain said Wednesday he thinks “it might be wise” for President Barack Obama to replace Vice President Joe Biden on the ticket with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“I think it might be wise to do that,” Sen. McCain (R-Ariz.) said on Fox News, responding to a suggestion that Sarah Palin made on Tuesday night.

Stop laughing, y’all.

One can only hope, I suppose, that David Gregory might be able to snag the elusive McCain for a discussion this coming Sunday on how, exactly, he applied this wisdom four years ago when there were stars in his old man’s eyes over Palin. But Ace is very tough to book for “Meet the Press” and the other Sunday gasbag programs.

So we may never know.

Wife-Abandonment: A GOP Nominee Tradition

4:09 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Despite the heavy lift among evangelical leaders hoping to convince their flocks that Newt Gingrich’s adultery-based serial divorces aren’t misaligned with Family Values and that Newt has earned forgiveness for his bad behavior, GOP primary voters actually have a long modern tradition of nominating wife-abandoners for the Presidency.

As GOP voters weigh the stylistic differences between Mitt and Newt, it’s important for them to understand their own party’s recent tradition, as well. Mitt Romney would break the party’s pattern of presidential picks’ — those not named Bush, at least — multiple marriages. The two Presidents Bush aside, all GOP nominees since 1980 had previously shed a spouse.

1976: The GOP experimented with putting divorce on the ticket; Appointed President Gerald Ford replaced Appointed Vice President Nelson Rockefeller (of whom, more later) with Kansas Senator Bob Dole as his Veep running mate. Four years previously, Dole had disposed of his first wife, the occupational therapist who nursed him back to health in a military hospital after his severe WW2 wounds, during the Senate recess in the summer of 1972. He arrived back in Washington a single man.

By 1975, Senator Dole had acquired a Watergate apartment that came fully equipped, including new wife Elizabeth Dole, whom he’d met spring 1972. Dole’s personal history wasn’t viewed as contributory to Ford’s loss, although his discussion of “Democrat Wars” — one of which he served and was wounded in — lent him the reputation, never shed, of a partisan bomb-thrower.

Practically unknown at the time, but an intriguing footnote, was that Gerald Ford had delayed his marriage to wife Betty when he first sought his Congressional seat because he didn’t know how voters would react to his marrying a divorced ex-dancer. That year, both GOP ticket-holders’ families had divorce in their past, one recent and one distant.

1980: Ronald Reagan, he of the dysfunctional family values, had been previously married to actress Jane Wyman before he locked in the special skills of the ambitious Nancy Davis.

Reagan’s tax-cut religion, grandfatherly befuddlement and nasty hippie-bashing charmed the GOP base, who have subsequently elevated him to undeserved small-government tax-cutter sainthood. He is now the icon of the party who wouldn’t ever nominate him. But Ronald Reagan also set the trend of nominees with colorful marital histories, embraced by the base.

1984: Reagan Redux

1988: GHWBush, whose wife Barbara Pierce tolerated peccadilloes but wasn’t about to be replaced, lending as she did a certain presidential sheen, albeit drenched in melancholia, to his ambitions.

1992: Bush Redux

1996: Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole topped the ticket. See 1976, above.

2000: Little Bush becomes the country’s first SCOTUS-selected occupant of the Oval Office.

2004: Shrub Redux

2008: Vietnam War Hero John McCain defeats marital-fidelity exemplars Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee for the GOP’s nomination. McCain had returned from his Hanoi war prison only to quickly dispose of his disfigured accident-victim first wife, who in his unplanned absence had raised their children, been through painful physical rehab, gained some weight and lost six inches in height after painful operations to repair her legs.

His history was spotlighted every time chic beer heiress and Wife Number Two Cindy Hensley appeared with him, dripping with money that financed his rise in GOP circles. The GOP base mumbled about having a RINO atop the ticket, but ignored his adulterous marital history as unimportant and, critically, forgiven in some unexplained way.

Let’s reflect, though, shall we? GOP voters now find themselves almost 48 years from the GOP nominating convention at the San Francisco Cow Palace. There, wealthy divorce’ and Governor of New York Nelson Rockefeller, having lost the presidential nomination to Barry Goldwater, insisted on his right to speak to the delegates who then booed and hissed (and, by some reports, spat at) him for 16 minutes. Rockefeller was reviled by the Goldwater Family Values Party because of his divorce from the mother of his five children and quick remarriage to a just-divorced staffer named, unhappily, “Happy.” The Rockefellers put the spotlight on the two-suddenly-broken-homes issue by giving birth shortly before the hotly contested California primary, which Rockefeller narrowly lost.

Additionally, Rocky had been publicly denounced by Connecticut Senator Prescott Bush, Hitler-backer and self-appointed marital moral arbiter, father and grandfather of the later Presidents Bush.

That was the last time the re-marital history of a potential nominee hurt his chances, though. It was, coincidentally, the last public paroxysm the GOP displayed at its nominating convention. I remember it, and the reaction across America to it. Rockefeller’s treatment at the hands of his party’s delegates was an ugly episode. It has never been equaled.

And, apparently, the Family Values that animated it have been turned upside down.

Now, divorce is a requirement to be nominated for president by the GOP — if your last name isn’t Bush. I wonder: can Mitt Romney successfully buck his party’s penchant for men who’ve disposed of their wives? Or will the GOP go with what they know, and double-down (if you’ll pardon the expression) with the twice-divorced former Speaker?

Don’t be fooled by anguished Villager pundits and cable news talking heads who despair over whether the GOP base will accept Newt Gingrich’s “colorful marital history.” Far from a disqualification, it’s a prerequisite.

It’s not a bug; it’s a feature.

Was This Mitt’s “Eight Houses” Moment?

7:32 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Rich assholes usually win the GOP nomination.

When’s the last time one didn’t, really?

But they are supposed to be rich assholes, not pose as regular folks. These rich assholes are supposed to know how many houses they own (thanks, Cindy McCain, for Ace’s most memorable moment of 2008) and they are supposed to be briefed on what a grocery scanner is.

But rich assholes look idiotic trying to make “jokes” about unemployment. Romney has already criticized Barack Obama for calling unemployed Americans “bumps in the road” (he didn’t) so Mitt’s faux pas with unemployed Floridians rings really false.

Here’s a hint, Mitt: no one believes you’re unemployed. We all know you’re a rich asshole who doesn’t NEED a job to support your family. And that specific job you said you have your eye on isn’t going to be yours as long as your condescending sense of “humor” keeps peeking through that facade.

Jane Hamsher’s right: Romney’s not “the guy who looks like he fired your dad.” Romney IS the guy who fired your dad.

WaPo Presents Census Re-Alignment as ‘Good News for John McCain’

2:10 pm in Elections, Media, Politics, Republican Party by Teddy Partridge

Arizona's Sen. John McCain: still not the President. (graphic: danagraves via Flickr)

As if the non-presidency of John Sidney McCain III mattered any longer, especially after his unseemly gloating with GOP freshmen and wild homophobic rants on the Senate floor this past week, the Washington Post presented the winners and losers in reapportionment within the context of the long-concluded 2008 presidential election. Unsurprisingly, the Census reapportionment is good news for John McCain!

Eight states will gain congressional districts, including five that backed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for president two years ago. The big winner was Texas, a state that routinely backs Republicans for president. Its population has swelled by about 21 percent since 2000 and as a result will add four House seats.

The gains come at the expense of some states whose growth has been stunted by the decline of manufacturing. Many of them have been historically Democratic; of the 10 states losing seats, eight backed President Obama in the 2008 presidential election. New York and Ohio took the biggest hits, losing two congressional seats each.

After some discussion of the fact that the actual voters in these red states are more likely to vote Democratic (due to the immigration hatred that’s a plank in every GOP’s platform now) the Post presents (in paragraph TEN) the irrelevance of viewing this reapportionment as good news for John McCain:

The shift will change the partisan lean from blue to red of a net of six electoral college votes. Obama beat McCain by 192 electoral college votes in 2008.

So, yeah: 192 or 186. You’re still not president, Ace.

DADT Repeal Dead, WSJ Reports

8:23 am in LGBT, Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Citing discussions between Senate Armed Services Chair Carl Levin and newly re-elected professional bigot John McCain, the Wall Street Journal proclaims hope for repeal of DADT is lost:

Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan and John McCain of Arizona, the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, are in talks on stripping the proposed repeal and other controversial provisions from a broader defense bill, leaving the repeal with no legislative vehicle to carry it. With a repeal attached, and amid Republican complaints over the terms of the debate, the defense bill had failed to win the 60 votes needed to overcome a procedural hurdle in the Senate in September.

If Democrats can’t pass a policy supported by three-quarters of the American people, including conservatives, while open service is not of concern to current servicemembers, I’m not at all sure why Americans should vote for them.


UPDATE: David Dayen has more at News Desk, with his excellent analysis of SecDef Gates’ quotes.

Will Obama Hassle Senate GOP for Hurting Our Troops in Wartime?

10:47 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Yesterday’s failed DADT ‘repeal’ aside, the point remains that the Senate Republicans, led by bitter and confused war hero John McCain, have decided to block funding authorization for active-duty troops in two theaters of active conflict, during wartime. Will President Obama bother to make this point, ever?

This kind of even-potential Congressional inaction was described by the previous administration, whenever any wishlist was left off a war authorization bill or troops funding supplemental, in terms previously reserved for Benedict Arnold and Tokyo Rose.

Democrats may not like the idea of our President being like George W Bush, but let’s face it: drones-at-weddings, unlawful detention, targeted assassinations, our secret prison planet, NSA data-mining, state secrets to thwart judicial process, and Gitmo — he’s Bush on steroids.

Also, record deportations, family separations, and military troops at our Southern border.

So he wants to be like Bush. Then why won’t he own the Bush attitude toward a Congress that has thwarted his will? Unless, of course, Congress didn’t thwart his will yesterday?

Is that even possible?

Rapidly Deteriorating Hypocrite John McCain Becomes Hysterical After DADT Vote [*]

4:04 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Kerry Eleveld of The Advocate and Chris Geidner of Metro Weekly had an opportunity to ask John McCain (R-SoreWinner) about people being hounded out of the military after being asked if they were gay based upon intrusions into their private emails. Despite the case of Mike Almy, who did not tell but was asked on this basis, it never happens, according to McCain.

Transcript courtesy of Wonk Room/Think Progress:

MCCAIN: We do not go out and seek. Regulations are, we do not go out and seek to find out if someone’s sexual orientation. We do not!

ELEVELD: But senator, that’s not…

MCCAIN: That is the fact! That is the fact. Now ma’am, I know the military very well, and I know what’s being done. And what is being done is that they are not seeking out people who are gay. And I don’t care what you say, I know it’s a fact.

ELEVELD: It’s not what I say.

MCCAIN: I dont’ care what you say! And I don’t care what others say. I’ve seen it in action. I’ve seen it in action. I have sons in the military, I know the military very well. So they’re not telling you the truth.

ELEVELD: Senator, just to make sure…

MCCAIN: Just to make sure. We do not go out and seek out and find out….

ELEVELD: Private emails are not being searched? Private emails are not being searched?

MCCAIN: …See if someone is gay or not. We do not go out and see whether someone is gay or not.

ELEVELD: There are documented cases…

MCCAIN: They do not, they do not, they do not. You can say that they are, you can say [inaudible] it’s not true!… Yea, I’d like to see…

GEIDNER: It is the case of Mike Almy, Senators.

MCCAIN: Bring them to our office. It is not the policy, it is not the policy, it is not the policy.

GEIDNER: But it is the case that it’s happening, Senator.

MCCAIN: It is not the policy, it is not the policy, it is not the policy You can say that it is the policy, sir if you choose to. It is not the policy. I would be glad to get that to you in writing.

headline h/t Truth Wins Out

WaPo’s “Media Critic” Kurtz on Mehlman’s Open Secret

10:38 am in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

"Media critic" at the Washington Post Howard Kurtz informs his readers today that Ken Mehlman’s gayitude was an open secret. Another media critic might actually, you know, criticize the media over such an open secret well-known to everyone who produces media but no one who consumes it, but not Kurtz. Speaking of Open Secrets, though, Ken has a few others of interest as well: donations to anti-gay politicians.

Ken Mehlman, the former Republican chairman and Bush campaign chief, has disclosed that he is gay.

"It’s taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life," he told Marc Ambinder, who writes: "Mehlman acknowledges that if he had publicly declared his sexuality sooner, he might have played a role in keeping the party from pushing an anti-gay agenda."

This was an open secret in Washington. But now that question–should Mehlman have worked against the anti-gay marriage amendments pushed by the GOP?–can be asked just as openly.

Actually, for a media critic, the question can be asked just as openly: should the DC media have protected its readers from Mehlman’s apparently awful secret, to the point of CNN editing out Bill Maher’s outing of Mehlman from the re-run of the Larry King show? It says a whole lot more about our Versailles media — supposedly Howie Kurtz’s "beat" — that their pet critic acknowledges the open secret but doesn’t question how that secret came to be open to everyone but the consumers of that media.

For Howie Kurtz, the open secret is the secret. But not worth reporting or (ha!) criticizing.

Especially when an entire movie was made that focused on hypocritical politicians and political operatives — with Mehlman in a starring role?  . . . Read the rest of this entry →

Bob Schieffer: Reporter or Russert-Like Sphinx?

1:08 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Bob Schieffer is sitting on a scoop he needs to share with the world, unless his rules for ‘off-the-record’ are the same as the late Tim Russert: everything is always off-the-record unless the newsmaker specifically grants ‘permission to use.’

Nico Pitney gets the ball rolling:

"Not long ago," Schieffer added, "a staffer for a congressional leader actually asked if we could provide a private waiting room for his boss who was appearing on Face the Nation because the boss didn’t want to share a waiting room with someone from the other party."

So — who is it, Bob? And why can’t you say?

Pitney started the research at the Face the Nation guest list website:

So which congressional leader was he talking about? A review of recent Face the Nation guests shows the most recent program with guests that fit the description took place on March 21, when three congressional leaders were featured on the show:

- Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C. Majority Whip;
- Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Minority Leader
- Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Assistant Majority Leader

Except I think that’s an incomplete list. First of all, ‘not long ago’ is a general phrase and Schieffer could use it to apply to visits in the recent past. Personally, I wouldn’t use that phrase to apply to the most recent guest list it applies to, as Nico Pitney does. Secondly, these three congressional leaders all appeared on the same show, which would be noteworthy and perhaps mentioned by Schieffer. He didn’t say the congressional leader refused to share the green room with another leader — it was a member of the opposite party. Doesn’t that imply it wasn’t another leader, since that would be even more newsworthy?

Which opens up the possibilities, as follows:

March 14, 2010
Guests: White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs; Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.; and Karen Ignagni, President, America’s Health Insurance Plans

Both Alexander and Wasserman-Schultz are ‘congressional leaders,’ and certainly March 14 was ‘not long ago.’

But also:

March 7, 2010
Guests: Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind.; Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Dan Balz, The Washington Post; and Jim VandeHei, Executive Editor of Politico

Lindsey Graham is a congressional leader, and Evan Bayh’s relentless centrism and Blue-Dogginess may have convinced Bob Schieffer that he is too.


February 28, 2010
Guests: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.; Sen Tom Coburn, R-Okla.; Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D.; and Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.

Could you stand to be in a room with Coburn and Blackburn? My sympathies to Hoyer here. I too would make the demand for my own green room, if only to preserve my IQ.

Back a ways, but still this year:

January 24, 2010
Guests: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill.; CBS News Congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes; and CBS News chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford

The Blackburn/Coburn IQ rule applies here, too.

And, finally:

January 10, 2010
Guests: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich.; Peter Baker, New York Times White House Correspondent; and CBS News chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford

Given Hoekstra’s unpatriotic leakage of intelligence matters and grandstanding every time terror is in the news, if I were Dianne Feinstein, I would ask for my own room too. Plus it’s the kind of story Schieffer would tell, in his charmingly old-school way. Additionally, there is a suspicious lack of pronoun use in Schieffer’s statement:

a staffer for a congressional leader actually asked if we could provide a private waiting room for his boss who was appearing on Face the Nation because the boss didn’t want to share a waiting room with someone from the other party

So, I will repeat Nico Pitney’s question, but with a deeper pool from which you can choose: who do you think it was?

And Your Objection Is?

12:17 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

GOP Senators threaten that using reconciliation to pass health care reform, or student loan reform, would be the end of the Senate as we know it.

Lindsay Graham, in Politico (sorry, no link):

“Many Republicans who were ready to pull the trigger on the nuclear option on judges are now glad they didn’t,” Graham said. “This place would have ceased to function as we know it. If they do health care through reconciliation, it will be the same consequence.

GlueHorse McCain:

"To go to the 51 votes, instead of this traditional 60 in the United States Senate, will have cataclysmic effects."

John Thune promises flying fur:

"If they go down that road, I think the fur is going to fly," Senate Republican Conference Vice Chairman John Thune (S.D.) said. "I suspect that there is going to be an awful lot of resistance, and we will exercise our prerogatives so that the rules of the Senate are respected."

Judd Gregg (who you’ll note is identified in the approved Village manner as Obama’s first choice as Commerce Secretary in this WaPo segment):

“That would be the Chicago approach to governing: Strong-arm it through,” said Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), who briefly considered joining the Obama administration as commerce secretary. “You’re talking about the exact opposite of bipartisan. You’re talking about running over the minority, putting them in cement and throwing them in the Chicago River

All this dire Senate dysfunction! Imagine the United States Senate thrown off its smoothly running processes! Just think, the Senate might actually pass something!

These superannuated, pampered snotwaggles are so out-of-touch, they think their empty threat that the Senate as we know it would end is a BAD thing. For the American people, that is an outcome devoutly to be wished.

In fact, that’s the point, you mooks.