Will Ted Cruz Re-Evaluate his Supporters after This?

Ted Cruz posts Mandela tribute on Facebook. His fans go crazy.

You gotta read what some of them said…

Secession by Another Means


At least, let’s name this for what it is: sabotage of the democratic process. Secession by another means.

When Moderates Run for Cover

It is too seldom noted when and by whom the run to incivility was begun.  Geoffrey Kabaservice does us all a favor.

It was Mr. Gingrich who pioneered the political dysfunction we still live with. His inflammatory rhetoric provided a model for the grandstanding guerrilla warfare of Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. And his actions — particularly his move to shut down the government in 1995 and 1996 — undermined popular trust and ushered in the present political era of confrontation and obstruction.

But here’s the catch: Mr. Gingrich, of Georgia, rose to party leadership because he was the preferred candidate of the moderates themselves.

And for a commentator really swinging for the fence-poles you can’t top Charles Pierce, now writing at Esquire.

In the year of our Lord 2010, the voters of the United States elected the worst Congress in the history of the Republic. There have been Congresses more dilatory. There have been Congresses more irresponsible, though not many of them. There have been lazier Congresses, more vicious Congresses, and Congresses less capable of seeing forests for trees. But there has never been in a single Congress — or, more precisely, in a single House of the Congress — a more lethal combination of political ambition, political stupidity, and political vainglory than exists in this one, which has arranged to shut down the federal government because it disapproves of a law passed by a previous Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court, a law that does nothing more than extend the possibility of health insurance to the millions of Americans who do not presently have it, a law based on a proposal from a conservative think-tank and taken out on the test track in Massachusetts by a Republican governor who also happens to have been the party’s 2012 nominee for president of the United States. That is why the government of the United States is, in large measure, closed this morning. …

…The government of the United States, in the first three words of its founding charter, belongs to all of us, and these people have broken it deliberately. The true hell of it, though, is that you could see this coming down through the years, all the way from Ronald Reagan’s First Inaugural Address in which government “was” the problem, through Bill Clinton’s ameliorative nonsense about the era of big government being “over,” through the attempts to make a charlatan like Newt Gingrich into a scholar and an ambitious hack like Paul Ryan into a budget genius…

Yes for Us! No for Them!

How long before those who send these guys to office get a clue: ugly, selfish, destructive behavior.

Colorado House Republicans Unanimously Support Flood Relief, Unanimously Opposed Sandy Aid


Though scientists have noted that climate is a key cause of these Colorado floods, Coffman, Gardner, Lamborn, and Tipton are all deniers of climate science.

Crestview, Colorado, September 2013 flooding

Crestview, Colorado, September 2013 flooding

Petard Hoisting in the GOP

Krugman is having a morbid chuckle, as many of us are, at the Rove strategy…

…this story is all about the G.O.P. First came the southern strategy, in which the Republican elite cynically exploited racial backlash to promote economic goals, mainly low taxes for rich people and deregulation. Over time, this gradually morphed into what we might call the crazy strategy, in which the elite turned to exploiting the paranoia that has always been a factor in American politics — Hillary killed Vince Foster! Obama was born in Kenya! Death panels! — to promote the same goals.

But now we’re in a third stage, where the elite has lost control of the Frankenstein-like monster it created.

So now we get to witness the hilarious spectacle of Karl Rove in The Wall Street Journal, pleading with Republicans to recognize the reality that Obamacare can’t be defunded. Why hilarious? Because Mr. Rove and his colleagues have spent decades trying to ensure that the Republican base lives in an alternate reality defined by Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. Can we say “hoist with their own petard”?

Of course, the coming confrontations are likely to damage America as a whole, not just the Republican brand. But, you know, this political moment of truth was going to happen sooner or later. We might as well have it now.

I would just say that the roots of this are deeper than the Southern Strategy of Nixon.  He and his advisers picked up and approved of behavior that was already obtuse and provocative in the same regions of the country, only then those who practiced it called themselves Democrats.  Look into the budget hostage example of Harry Byrd in the 1960s.  The Southern Strategy was simply to say, you can keep behaving the way you are, just come on over to my house.

GOP Claims About IRS Vendetta on Tea Party Completely False

“The unredacted IRS treasury report was released today and it turns out we’ve all been lied to in a huge way. Progressive groups were singled out for scrutiny just like conservative groups. But worse than that, the IRS Inspector General misled Congress about this fact during testimony and in letters, and the progressive terms were “redacted” in the original report.”



Rand Paul Backs Down on Southern Avenger

“Multiple media sources are confirming that Jack Hunter, the white supremacist aide to Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, has “resigned” two weeks after he was outed as the Southern Avenger, a neo-Confederate columnist and radio personality famous for hiding his identity behind a cloth mask depicting a Confederate flag. Hunter also co-authored Rand Paul’s book,”The Tea Party Goes to Washington.”

After the announcement was made public, Hunter’s former editor at a South Carolina news outlet published an editorial claiming that Hunter asked him to delete all the Avenger’s columns from the outlet’s website.”


Moral Mondays in North Carolina

A friend of mine from the way-back years recently paid a visit from her home state of North Carolina. She was the first to tell me of a rising coalition called Moral Monday. Here’s the Why and then the What

So far this year, legislation passed or pending by [North Carolina] Republicans would eliminate the earned-income tax credit for 900,000; decline Medicaid coverage for 500,000; end federal unemployment benefits for 170,000 in a state with the country’s fifth-highest jobless rate; cut pre-K for 30,000 kids while shifting $90 million from public education to voucher schools; slash taxes for the top 5 percent while raising taxes on the bottom 95 percent; allow for guns to be purchased without a background check and carried in parks, playgrounds, restaurants and bars; ax public financing of judicial races; and prohibit death row inmates from challenging racially discriminatory verdicts.


On an overcast afternoon in early July, 300 activists pack into the white-columned Christian Faith Baptist Church to prepare for the ninth wave of Moral Monday protests at the state legislature. “Supporters on the right, civil disobedience on the left,” they’re told as they enter. The racially and socioeconomically diverse crowd has the feel of an Obama campaign revival. Eighty people take the left side of the pews, wearing green armbands to signal their intention to get arrested, nearly all of them for the first time. “The goal of Moral Monday,” says the Rev. William Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP, “is to dramatize the shameful condition of our state.”

Read more at The Nation:

One of the recent participants in a Moral Monday was Baldemar Velasquez, a long time farmworker organizer, in the mold of Cesar Chavez,  in Florida, Ohio and the eastern United States. {Here with Bill Moyers.]

The president of Toledo-based Farm Labor Organizing Committee was arrested for civil disobedience Monday at a protest in Raleigh, N.C.Mr. Velasquez, 66, was among more than 80 protesters arrested at a rally held at the North Carolina General Assembly building in Raleigh to oppose the state’s budget cuts to unemployment benefits, health-care funding, education, and other social benefits.

More than 3,000 protesters attended the rally, organized by the North Carolina NAACP.

Virginia GOP Election Rigging Unlikely For Now

Rachel Maddow has been hammering for serveral days on the Virginia GOP dirty trick of re-setting the way presidential electoral votes are apportioned.  Looks like it won’t go through. Now.

Virginia is the first of several states carried in November by President Barack Obama where the Republican-controlled legislature is considering measures to replace the winner-take-all allocation of electoral votes. The Virginia legislation survived a state Senate subcommittee on a 3-3 vote this week, but two Republicans on the full committee said Friday they would oppose the bill when it comes up for a committee vote next week, effectively killing it. And should it clear the legislature, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Friday he opposes it. Spokesman J. Tucker Martin said McDonnell, a Republican, “believes Virginia’s system works just fine.”

Shameless GOP at it Again

Many will say that the narcotic of violence, through games and movies, is doing the worst damage to the American body politic. Maybe so.  But for my money, shamelessness comes a close second.  What ever happened to it?

We’ve all seen what a natural part of human development shame is as our young ones grow.  How did it get decided that it was an unnecessary restraint on human activity, especially in the advanced western countries?  Not only has it been buried beyond sight by public exhibitionism of every kind, by soft-core copulation in almost all Hollywood movies, it is completely absent from political discourse.

People, mostly Republicans, will say any crazy thing that pops into their minds (or perhaps it hasn’t popped, but festered for a long time) and then, when called on it, double down.

Really!  Virginia Republicans sneak through a re-districting plan while a Dem is at the Inauguration.   A GOP legislator in New Mexico wants abortion to be banned on the basis that ‘it would destroy the evidence of a possible rape.’  Paul Ryan says that ‘no one’ would suggest that earned entitlements, like Social Security, would put someone in his ‘taker’ class — even though, he of course, has said so.

And then there is Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) who didn’t even attend a classified briefing on Benghazi heatedly criticizing Secretary of State Clinton about matters he knew nothing about. Here’s Juan Cole on Top Ten Republican Myths on Benghazi that Justify Hillary Clinton’s Anger

for example: 1. Republican senators keep saying that it should have been “easy” to find out what happened on September 11, 2012, by simply debriefing US personnel who had been there. John McCain, Ron Johnson and the others who make this charge are the most cynical and manipulative people in the world. The Benghazi US mission was very clearly an operation of the Central Intelligence Agency, and that is the reason that the Obama administration officials have never been able to speak frankly and publicly about it. McCain and the others know this very well, and they know that their public carping cannot be “simply” answered because the answers would endanger sources and methods. The consulate was amazingly well-guarded by some 40 CIA operatives, many of them ex-special forces, in a nearby safe house

Then there’s this: The More Republicans Know About Politics, the More They Believe Conspiracy Theories

excerpt: …the idea that everybody is equally biased, but in different directions, continues to have a key weakness—namely, the data. And if these results—and they’re not the only ones of this ilk, see for instance here and here—are really true, then it may not be a good thing for democracy to perpetuate this idea that everyone has equal biases. As Obama begins a second term after four years of implacable resistance, that’s something to ponder.