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Category Archives: 2012 elections

TIME Watches So We Don’t Have to

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Time’s Michael Scherer writes up the GOP debate, and it’s a hoot.   A sample:

 

–2 minutes. The debate hasn’t started yet, but the crowd is already restless. A mutiny is afoot. CNN may host this thing, but can CNN’s John King control it? “Let’s do the pledge,” shouts out someone in the audience, and then it happens, a spontaneous eruption of patriotism. The candidates hold their hearts onstage. This bodes well for America but poorly for the debate’s orchestrators. Note to cable producers: If you want to calm the GOP rabble in the future, plan for pre-broadcast patriotic odes.

And,

8 minutes. Pawlenty says President Obama is a “declinist,” which interestingly enough became a word in 1988, according to Merriam-Webster, right before a few years of U.S. decline. But Pawlenty is an optimist. “This idea that we can’t have 5% growth in America is hogwash. It’s a defeatist attitude,” he says. In other words, he calls out anyone who calls his hogwash “hogwash” for being full of “hogwash,” which is a strategy familiar to those who remember saying, “I know you are, but what am I?,” on the playground.

 

Sounds like Scherer nicely judged the participants’ tone and maturity levels.  But read it for yourself and laugh out loud (which is more than you did if you watched the actual debate).

 

 

h/t: Jonathan Chait, TNR

 

The Sarah Palin He Knows

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Documentarian John Ziegler writes about his experiences with the Palin campaign here.  Incredibly, after listing all the horrible and embarrassing confusions that befell him during his time defending Palin, Ziegler comes to this conclusion:

 

After all, contrary to popular belief, she is incredibly smart. Maybe she’s just getting bad advice from within her increasingly tiny and dysfunctional circle. Or perhaps she thinks it’s all good for her brand—which it probably is.

John: that’s why it’s called judgment.  Hers is poor.  It’s that simple.

Gingrich is Dead Man Walking

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Newt’s top aides quit, including his Iowa staff.  How do you define “dead man walking”?

Kabuki America

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Peeps, the Bitch was on the road over the holiday weekend, and you can read about it here, and check out our sister blog, A Bitchy Traveler, up top in the header for further Bitchy adventures.

Speaking of kabuki, let your attention wander over to this excellent piece by Dan Balz of the Washington Post, where he sums up the Palin Family Vacation so far, pointing out the challenges the matriarch faces, should she decide to do something of true substance and run.  At this point, let us banish the Palin sideshow to the wings (Lord, Lord, let it stay there) and get on with other important concerns.

The Prez and the GOP chatted this morning about the debt ceiling limit proposals, which the House GOP voted down yesterday.  This is more kabuki, allowing the GOP (and far too many Dems — shame on you, you spineless cretins) to say they voted against raising the debt limit, before they raised it…at some point before, on or immediately after August 2, the date the government runs out of money.  More kabuki, and on our tax dollars.  Look: we are going to have to raise the debt ceiling one way or another.  Call your Rep. and tell him/her to grow a pair and make the hard vote.  That’s what we pay them approximately $176,000 for.  Do you make that much?  Didn’t think so.  Nor does the B.  Yes, Dem members do need to worry, as Minority Leader Steny Hoyer said, “about 30-second political ads and attacks,” but what the heck happened to going out to the districts and educating people about why the debt ceiling needs to be raised, and what happens if it isn’t?

Thank God for Charlie Cook, truth-teller to the Suits of all political stripes:

But you don’t have to look far to sense that congressional Republicans have stepped in a deep pile of manure with their embrace of House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s proposal to convert Medicare into a voucher program. Yet they seem to want to avoid looking at their shoes.

***

But tossing the [Ryan] plan on the table with little groundwork, with the public not prepped for the fight, amounted to a political self-indulgence that the GOP could not afford, exposing GOP members to attack and handing Democrats an issue when they really didn’t have one before.

Charlie goes on to point out that, après NY-26, the Dem and the Green candidates together polled only 48%, with the GOP and Tea Party candidates taking 52%.  That may have reflected a refutation of Ryancare, but it ain’t no ringing endorsement of the Democrats, much as it pains the Bitch to admit it, and why it is always unwise to read too much into special elections.

Peeps, it’s the first day of Hurricane Season.  Enjoy.

Palin “Reintroduction” Tour

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The Bitch is trying to get worked up over Sarah Palin’s new house, national tour and movie, but she just can’t.  It’s not that she thinks Palin won’t run.  It doesn’t matter how prepared — or unprepared — a Palin Presidential is — it’s still Palin, and she is a rotten candidate: wacky conservatism aside, she doesn’t bone up on issues, she isn’t disciplined, she wastes time obsessing over slights real or imagined.  You can put lipstick on the pig, and all that.

Chris Cillizza reports:

“There has been zero outreach, zero effort,” said one senior South Carolina strategist of Palin. “Even when she was here for the [Gov. Nikki] Haley endorsement and the book signing, she swooped in [and] swooped out.”

An Iowa operative closely monitoring the 2012 race in the state although unaligned with any candidate echoed that sentiment. “If [Palin] is doing any outreach at all, it would have to be totally under the radar and not with the traditional activist crowd.”

Cillizza also tells us she hasn’t been in New Hampshire since 2008.

The Bitch suspects Palin, if she’s running at all and not just drumming up publicity for her movie, may be counting on the strength of her reinvigorated grassroots, using the movie as her facilitator and the ‘Net as her organizer.  Kinda breakin’ the mold there, breakin’ new ground.  Kinda rogue-ey.  Kinda not. Iowa and New Hampshire voters, especially, view themselves as entitled to kick the candidates’ tires.  They can’t do that if the candidate doesn’t show up.

Walkin’ My Baby Back Home

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Earlier today the Bitch posted another comment on John Boehner’s dependence on the Ultra conservative wing of his party, and at various other times wondered why, in the name of God, the Grand Old Party kept doubling down on economic nuttiness.  Now of course, by definition progressives think Republicans are nutty, so nothing new there.  However, some stories circulating today imply that cracks are appearing in the GOP unity.  (YAY!)

First up, we have the Ryan Plan, which is possibly the defining issue of the NY-26 special election.  As Nate Silver points out, it’s hard (and dumb) to pin too much on a special election with a 3rd party candidate variable, but the Bitch argues that all Silver’s evidence just points toward Medicare  as a deal-breaker.  Specifically, the D messaging of the GOP vision for Medicare.

However,

“The tea party itch has definitely not been scratched, so the voices who were saying, ‘Let’s do this in a way that’s politically survivable,’ got drowned out by a kind of panic,” a top GOP consultant involved in the debate said, on condition of anonymity.

“The feeling among leadership was, we have to be true to the people who put us here. We don’t know what to do, but it has to be bold.”

Another GOP insider involved to the process was more morbid: “Jumping off a bridge is bold, too.”

We’ll know how this turns out tomorrow, won’t we?  (Hint: one goes “splat” when one jumps off a bridge…)

Next, we have this radio interview with Alvin Brown, the first African-American mayor of Jacksonville, FL; and the first Democratic mayor in 20 years.  Michele Martin talks with Mayor-Elect Brown, who said he’d take a pay cut, among other things to move Jax to “the next level.”   Check out minute 2:45, when Martin asks the Mayor-Elect to discuss his tri-partisan coalition.  Clearly he had local, “Main Street” GOP support, given his focus on jobs and putting Jax back to work.  Key takeaway: “You can’t cut your way out of the situation.”  So true; but more to the point, Republicans chose to support him.  The Bitch asks why, and suspects it’s because of his “jobs” focus, which includes accepting (The Evil) federal support.  Proving that some “Main Street” Republicans are smarter about stupid purity tests than the national party….

Then we have the GOP Human Bellwether himself, the Junior Senator from Massachusetts, The Honorable Scott Brown.  First, he beat out Martha Coakley for the late Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, presaging the 2010 GOP sweep.  Then in a first-blush-o’-love, Senator Brown embraced the Ryan Plan… until he encountered pushback from the Good Folks at Home (the Bitch must assume) and changed his mind.  Ooopsies!

In point of fact, the GOP had been warned that the Ryan Budget (which depends upon Ryan’s proposed cuts to Medicare) was a non-starter, but they went along because, as quoted above, they “didn’t know what to do, but it [had] to be bold.

And now they’re stuck.  [Cue canned applause.]

While one should never discount the Dem ability to turn a lead into a loss, the Bitch must ask, what ABOUT that GOP House majority?

Freudian Slip?

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T-Paw’s hometown newspaper filed The Announcement on the obits page….

(h/t Political Wire)

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