Saturday, December 14, 2013

How George W. Bush failed the GOP

How didn't he? And I'm glad he did. NOT glad for what he did.

Rachel Maddow

In the eight years of the George W. Bush administration, no hearty saplings were ever able to take root in the shade of that big tree. No one expected Vice President Dick Cheney to ever be a contender for the presidency — part of his effectiveness was his willingness to say and do very unpopular things. When he snapped at ABC’s Martha Raddatz, “So?” as she questioned him about public disapproval of the Iraq war, he wrote the perfect epitaph for his vice presidency.

The unpopular presidency of George W. Bush has proved to be a blackball on the résumés of a generation of Republican leaders. Maybe Cheney’s daughter Liz will break the pattern next year with a successful Senate bid in Wyoming, but if you made it through that sentence without spitting coffee out your nose, you’re in rare company.

The fascinating turmoil in the Republican Party since 2008 is not just a personnel problem — it’s also ideological. If you were putting together a legacy to inspire the next generation of conservatives, you wouldn’t pick the Bush administration’s trailing ends of land wars, budget deficits, torture, a crusade against gay rights and a financial collapse to rival the Great Depression. The isolationism and libertarian iconography of the Ron Paul wing of the party really does appeal to young people more than Bush-Cheney Republicanism. Social conservatives really do feel backed into a corner and ready to fight against a country that is turning against them faster than most pollsters can keep up. There really is something ripe for renewal in Republicans’ self-conception as fiscal conservatives, when the clear pattern is that budget deficits grow under Republicans and shrink under Democrats. The Republican Party is a churning swirl of conflicting ideological currents, and that’s going to take some time to work out.

But part of the reason it may be taking so long already is those lost years: the period from 2000 to 2008 that effectively obviated the authority and the leadership potential of all of Washington’s Republican elites. The George W. Bush administration didn’t just cast too much shade on the next generation of leadership — it also apparently poisoned the ground.
It poisoned the whole fucking nation and it will take decades, if not generations, to repair itself.

Inside the White House, the task of growing one’s own successors must seem like one of the less pressing items on the president’s long daily to-do list. But the previous administration’s trail of scorched earth and exiles has curtailed the prospects for the Republican Party and governing conservatism more profoundly than almost anything that administration pursued in terms of policy. It is a cautionary tale that Democrats and the Obama White House should heed sooner rather than later. Grow your successors, nurture your legacy.
Bush's failures were the culmination of failed Repug policies that started under Nixon, accelerated under Reagan, and hit overdrive under Bush, who drove us into the ditch at top speed. We probably would have been OK after 9/11 were it not for his weakness to go along with Cheney's criminal Iraq war. The things he did as the most incompetent President in our history were terrible to be sure, but it put an end forever to Turdblossom's "permanent Republican majority" and for that small silver lining we should be thankful.

And for this: the next Repug President hasn't been born yet.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

From Prague concert

Thanks to 1000Magicians, UK.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Wars On Xmas And The Pope

Pretty entertaining take on this sheer right-wing idiocy from The Everlasting GOP Stoppers.

Limbaugh took out his dog whistle, tuned it, and patiently whistled to the rabble of dittoheads, “Here’s the deal. The Reagan coalition used poor white Christians to vote for rich, white libertarians. We scared up their votes using phony culture war outrage so that we could get rich capitalists into office to shred the New Deal and suck all the wealth up to the top. Then we wanted government welfare for the richest and their largest corporations, paid for by the poor and middle class. It took 30 years, but we’ve finally done it, and we’re not about to turn back now. This Pope is a serious threat to the American right, because the Church naturally splits the uprights between America’s social conservatives and economic liberals. For decades, the Catholic Church has been focusing on social conservatism. If this Pope switches to focusing on economic liberalism, as Jesus did, and if this becomes a new norm for the Church, it could eventually siphon off our voters. Even a small percentage of Christian voters flipped from the baloney culture war to the very real class war could devastate the GOP. And if this Catholic ethos were to seep into American evangelical churches, the Republican Party would go the way of the Whig Party. That is why we are desperately smearing him.”

The Tea Partiers clutched crosses and guns to their chests and nodded solemnly as their patriotic Confederate flags flapped in the nippy December breeze.

Just ... go.

Obama and the harsh reality check

If it's Thursday, yesterday must have been Morford on Obama.

You want the good news, or the wincingly bleak news that makes you shudder and sigh and wish you didn’t have such sad dreams? You want a bit of both? You should probably hear a bit of both.

Because here’s the thing: He did more or less what he said he was going to do – so far, anyway – which was to end Bush’s devastatingly stupid war(s), re-establish America as a respectable force in world affairs, orate in complete sentences so as not embarrass the nation on the international stage at every turn, shift the race discussion to the next level, enact at least some modest education reform, protect women’s rights, defend the middle class, slap back the GOP’s toxic plot to rule American politics for the next 75 years, and usher in an impossibly variegated, increasingly messy era of barely controlled, women-empowered, multicultural chaos in which old, fear-soaked white men no longer control every election, industry, media, cultural discussion, power source and hunk of propaganda in the nation.

I will never be so naive or cynical to say it doesn’t matter which party is in office (God forbid we were in a McCain or Romney presidency right now) (my em), but step back far enough and it’s more of a frothy sea of inbred powerbrokers than ever, and Obama, despite all hopes to the contrary, stands right at the helm of the ship.

Not that he necessarily wants to be there. This is easily the most acidic, obstructionist GOP in a generation, a mean-spirited, leprous party full of barely veiled racists and Tea Party wing-nuts willing to sacrifice any core value, constituent, legal precedent, national monument or social service just to undermine Obama and block him from enacting even the most basic functions and services. This appears to be the one over-arcing rule: The smart black guy can never win. No. Matter. What.

It’s true, isn’t it? America has never seen a minority party so openly hateful of a sitting president, one who is at once far more intelligent and articulate than them, but somehow, infuriatingly, far less willing/able to use that intelligence to beat them back like a pack of gun-toting monkeys. Strange.

All of which is to say: What to make of the guy, really?


I'm still down wid da O-Man. Has he done things I don't like? Yes. Has he done things I do like? Yes. Enough of them? No.

The things he has done were with a Democratic-controlled Senate and House. Doing anything significant with the whiny, petty, fearful, obstructionist, racist, and hater present House GOP is like shoveling shit against the tide.

They haven't drowned his black ass yet. Let's give him another Democratic House in '14 and see what happens.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Civic Duty Calls

Got tagged for jury duty. Jury selection this morning. See yas.


Part of my Facebook exchange with Fixer:

I did not get selected for the jury. Didn't even get seated for selection. Doesn't matter, I'm opinionated enough I coulda had the defense attorney and the prosecutor fist fight to see which one of them got to throw me out. Heh. It was an ADW and attempted murder case, both felonies. I tend to think the prosecutor overcharged to get the defendant to plead down to ADW when it probably should have been misdemeanor battery and the guy didn't fall for it so it goes to trial. I'm just guessing at that. I don't like prosecutors very much.

I sat there with my hand cupped to me ear so I could hear which I mostly couldn't anyway so the bailiff issued me a Phonic Ear which picks up transmissions from the various microphones scattered about the courtroom. At least it didn't say "Old Fart Hearing Aid" on it. I think people are just talking more quietly than they used to...
about an hour ago · Like

Fixer Don't get me started on DAs. My mother got out of jury duty by being half-deaf. The judge asked her "Mrs. Wood, if you're seated on the jury, would you be able to hear properly?" My mother's response "if they talk into my good ear I can." Mom was like that. Heh ...
about an hour ago · Like

Gordon That was my Plan C or D too. Heh.
about an hour ago · Like · 1

Gordon The judge asked the folks if there was any medical reason they couldn't serve on a jury. My answers would have been "not since I got my medical pot card" and/or "extreme flatulence".
44 minutes ago · Like · 1

Fixer I'm sure you'd have been happy to give a demonstration.
43 minutes ago · Unlike · 1

Gordon Did sneak in a coupla SBDs. Coulda turned the volume up if if I'da had to.
46 minutes ago · Like · 1

All in all, a good day.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Right = Wrong

Conservatives on the Wrong Side of History on Mandela, Most Other Things
We've known it for years.

When has the American right ever — ever — been on the right side of history?

The answer is almost never.

Consider the great political earthquakes throughout history and imagine the contemporaneous—not retrospective, as we are seeing in these phony paeans to Mandela, but in-the-moment—conservative posture. The conservative position was wrong nearly every time — not just wrong, but often morally shocking from our later perspective.

Do you support the American Revolution? I should hope so. You would not have, however, had you been a conservative in 1785. American Loyalists, perhaps 20 percent of the white population of the day, were devoted to king and crown for mostly the usual reasons: They were older, better established, had more money, were scared of change.

How about the abolition of slavery? I reckon you’re on board with that. Well, Lord knows you wouldn’t have been if you’d been among the 1860 conservatives who started a war over it (and whose apologists today insist the Civil War was not about slavery).

In terms of domestic politics, few polemical tasks are easier than demonstrating how wrong conservatism has been about pretty much everything in all of American history.
Sadly, a tradition that continues. Much more. Read on.

GOP Guide: 'How To Talk To Women'

Or "How To Never Get Laid Again!" Via TPM.

Thanks to americanbridge21st.

Quote of the Day

From History Palinized:

If you could turn stupid into a fuel, you could use Sarah Palin to leave the Solar System.
Too late. She's already left it. Heh.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Light blogging today

I'm having trouble with my internet connection today. Loads very slow and cannot click through to very much. Better than yesterday but not much. I suspect a frozen server somewhere. We'll see how it goes. Later.


It was my router interfering with the connection. Unhooked it. OK now.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

On Her Birthday, Republican National Committee Tweet Honors Rosa Parks for “Ending Racism”
And making civil rights movement unnecessary.
Dildoes, the lot of 'em.

Swedish TV Show “Biss och Kajs” (Wee-Wee and Poo-Poo) Educates Children About Bodily Functions
Late night show “Such och Foch” does similar for adults.

Report: Federal Register, a Government Agency, Still Uses Floppy Disks
It's the only agency whose data is secure.

Bob Dylan's Electric Guitar From 1965 Newport Folk Festival Sells for $965,000
To an anonymous old folkie who plans to “burn it to a crisp.”
Heh. Yeah, there are still folks who are pissed off about him going electric.