This Is What's the Matter With Kansas
: Sam Brownback tried to create a conservative utopia. He created a conservative hell instead. [more inside]
How Ronald Reagan Used An 'Invisible Bridge' To Win Over Americans
- "Rick Perlstein's new book describes how Reagan emerged
as the leader of a potent political movement during the turbulent mid-'70s. He says the soul of Reagan's appeal was how he made people feel good." [more inside]
The Republican Party began selling new web domains
ending in .gop today at www.join.gop
. Public interest has definitely been sparked, but perhaps not for the reasons Republicans have hoped. [more inside]
United States Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, Majority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, has lost the Republican primary election in Virginia's 7th Congressional District
to Dave Brat
, a political newcomer and economics professor at Randolph-Macon College
. [more inside]
"The GOP Has Finally Found a Way to Defeat the Tea Party
Electability was trumping ideological purity—just as the establishment had planned.
In the past month since publishing his essay, "Checking My Privilege: Character as the Basis of Privilege
," Princeton freshman Tal Fortgang
has become a hero
of many in right-wing politics for his refusal to believe that he enjoys privilege. [more inside]
It's time for Americans to gather around the dinner table, eat too much, and argue about politics! A new genre of Thanksgiving-themed web pages seems to be taking off this year, that being the "How to argue with your [opposite political party] family members at Thanksgiving" genre. From the left side of the political spectrum, the Democratic National Committee has launched "The Democrat's Guide to Talking Politics with Your Republican Uncle
", and The Huffington Post chimed in with "Here's Every Argument You'll Need To Win Your Obamacare Debate This Thanksgiving
". Not to be outdone, conservatives have responded with cheat sheets of their own, including RedState.com's "Thanksgiving dinner with your liberal relatives
" and The Washington Examiner's "The Thanksgiving guide to making conservative arguments liberals can understand
". [more inside]
Happy Political Clusterf*ck Day (U.S.)
In one corner: the first federal government shutdown
, born of the House GOP/Tea Party faction's
crusade to delay, defund, and destroy Obamacare (and the Democratic Senate and President's resolve to not do that
have ping-ponged between the two houses, fighting over language to cancel healthcare reform (plus a few other items, such as the implementation of Mitt Romney's entire economic agenda
). National parks are closed
, contractors are hamstrung
, and 800,000 federal workers furloughed
until Speaker Boehner drops the "Hastert Rule"
and passes a bill the other branches can agree to.
In the other corner, heedless of the chaos
(though not without glitches
of its own): the official rollout of the Affordable Care Act and its state insurance exchanges
. The portal at Healthcare.gov
is your one-stop shop for browsing, comparing, and purchasing standardized, regulated insurance coverage
with premium rebates
, guaranteed coverage
, and expanded Medicaid for the poor (in some states)
. A crazy day, overall -- but peanuts compared to what might happen if the debt ceiling is breached in 16 days
. [more inside]
President Barack Obama will tonight give the first State of the Union address of his second term in office.
The address will again
focus strongly on the issues of jobs and the economy.
The Republican response will be delivered by Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and will focus on traditional Republican messages of lower taxes and spending
. The bilingual Senator plans to give his remarks in both English and Spanish
in an attempt to reach out to the Latino community which has proven difficult for Republican politicians to connect with.
There will also be a Tea Party response delivered by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Senator Paul will call for
reduced spending and debt and for the Republican party to be more welcoming of immigrants. Jill Stein of the Green Party
will also give a response. [more inside]
"Why Obama Is Giving Up on Right-Leaning Whites
: For decades, Democrats shaped their policies around fears of the culturally conservative white voters to the GOP. But Obama’s winning coalition has altered that calculus."
: Why the GOP is and will continue to be the party of white people"
"The Future Of The Republican Party Is By The Pool At The Biltmore
: The talk at the Miami hotel where Jeb Bush works, and Marco Rubio works out, is of the next president. But can the young senator get out from under Jeb’s shadow?"
You start out in 1954 by saying, “N-----, n-----, n-----.” By 1968 you can’t say “n-----”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N-----, n-----.”
The full audio of Republican operative and Karl Rove mentor Lee Atwater's infamous 1981 interview has been obtained and published by The Nation. [more inside]
Obama won Ohio by two points, and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown won by five, but Democrats emerged with just four of Ohio’s 16 House seats. In Wisconsin, Obama prevailed by seven points, and Democratic Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin by five, but their party finished with just three of the state’s eight House seats. In Virginia, Obama and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine were clear victors, but Democrats won just three of the commonwealth’s 11 House seats. In Florida, Obama eked out a victory and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson won by 13 points, but Democrats will hold only 10 of the Sunshine State’s 27 House seats. The Revenge of 2010
: How gerrymandering saved the congressional Republican majority
, undermined Obama's mandate
, set the terms of the sequestration fight
, and locked Democrats out of the House for the next decade
. It's not a new problem
. But if the Supreme Court guts the Voting Rights Act
, it could get a whole lot worse
. And the electoral college may
. (What's gerrymandering, you ask? Let the animals explain. Meet the Gerry-mander. Peruse the abused. Catch the movie. Or just play the game. Previously.)
And think about it for a second: this is bizarre. If Americans are in fact divided between two extremely different political ideologies, it would be an extraordinary coincidence if each of those philosophies were to hold the allegiance of nearly equal blocs of support. [more inside]
is a longtime sportswriter and author who has, among other things, reported for Grantland
, and the Boston Globe
, paneled on more than a few games
of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!
, and fished diapers out of trees
as a state forest ranger. He's also made a name for himself as one of the sharpest and most incisive political columnists since Molly Ivins. The lead writer for Esquire's Politics Blog
ever since a caustic article
on former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell cost him his Globe job
, Pierce has churned out an uninterrupted stream of clever, colorful, and challenging commentary
on the 2012 election season and its implications for the nation's future, dispatches often seething with eviscerative anger but shot through with deep love of (or perhaps grief for) country. Look inside for a selection of Pierce's most vital works for some edifying Election Eve reading. [more inside]
"I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting. It had been one of those days,'' - Jim Greer
, former state party chair of the Florida G.O.P, in a deposition for his lawsuit against the party. Scott Horton at Harper's covers
the NYT's pox-on-both-your-houses story
on vote suppression
With the U.S. Presidential election about 3 months away, and voter ID laws headed to court this Wednesday in Pennsylvania
and in other states like Texas and Minnesota, Propublica tells you Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Voter ID Laws.
to a nonproblem
] [more inside]
In less than an hour, the Supreme Court will hand down its final judgment in what has become one of the most crucial legal battles of our time: the constitutionality of President Obama's landmark health care reform law.
The product of a strict party line vote following a
of debate, disinformation
, and tense legislative wrangling, the Affordable Care Act
would (among other popular reforms
) require all Americans to buy insurance coverage by 2014, broadening the risk pool
for the benefit of those with pre-existing conditions.
The fate of this "individual mandate," bitterly opposed by Republicans despite its similarity to past plans touted by conservatives
(including presidential contender Mitt Romney
) is the central question facing the justices today
. If the conservative majority takes the dramatic step
of striking down the mandate, the law will be toothless, and in danger of wholesale reversal, rendering millions uninsured
, dealing a crippling blow to the president's re-election hopes, and possibly endangering the federal regulatory state
But despite the pessimism of bettors
, some believe
the Court will demur, wary of damaging
its already-fragile reputation
with another partisan 5-4 decision
. But those who know don't talk, and those who talk don't know
. Watch the SCOTUSblog liveblog
for updates, Q&A, and analysis as the truth finally comes out shortly after 10 a.m. EST.
Michele may have crazy eyes
, she may say crazy things
, but did you ever think she'd apply for dual citizenship with a European country with mandated health insurance
? Former Presidential nominee and perpetual font of amusement
, Michele Bachmann is now officially a Swiss citizen
This morning marked day two of marathon proceedings
in what's likely the most momentous
Supreme Court case since Bush v. Gore
: the effort to strike down President Obama's landmark health care reform law
. While yesterday was a sleepy affair of obscure technical debate
, today's hearings targeted the heart of the law -- the individual mandate
that requires most Americans to purchase insurance by 2014. With lower courts delivering a split decision
before today, administration lawyers held some hope that at least one conservative justice
could be persuaded to uphold the provision, which amortizes the risk that makes universal coverage possible
. But after a day of deeply skeptical questioning
by swing justice Anthony Kennedy
and his fellow conservatives [transcript
], the mandate looks to be in grave trouble
, with CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin going as far as calling the day "a train wreck"
for the administration. But it's far from a done deal
, with a third day
of hearings tomorrow and a final decision not expected until June.
The GOP’s woman problem is that it has a serious problem with women.
Frank Rich on George Stephanopoulos's unanswered question, how the Republicans have shifted to being the party of misogyny since the 70s, and why Mitt Romney would be just as bad as Rick Santorum.
...Many Republicans are already looking past 2012. If either Romney or Santorum gains the nomination and then falls before Obama, flubbing an election that just months ago seemed eminently winnable, it will unleash a GOP apocalypse on November 7—followed by an epic struggle between the regulars and red-hots to refashion the party. And make no mistake: A loss is what the GOP’s political class now expects. “Six months before this thing got going, every Republican I know was saying, ‘We’re gonna win, we’re gonna beat Obama,’ ” says former Reagan strategist Ed Rollins. “Now even those who’ve endorsed Romney say, ‘My God, what a fucking mess.’ ”
John Heilemann in New York Magazine
on "The Lost Party"
, part one of a series on the modern Republican party in light of the 2012 presidential election. [more inside]
President Barack Obama will today give the annual State of the Union address.
There will be at least three rebuttals
in addition to a prebuttal
that occurred this morning. The address will be streamed online at Whitehouse.gov. [more inside]
When Mitt Romney Came to Town
(subtitle: The King of Bain) a 30 minute attack documentary whose "overriding sensibility is not Swift Boat — it's Frontline, replete with a calming voice of God narration and meticulous sourcing to SEC filings, court documents, and the Boston Globe" (Rolling Stone
) provides an interesting moment in the future of political messaging and funding. [more inside]
An awkward moment in politics.
(YouTube) While campaigning in a New Hampshire diner
, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spotted local Bob Garon, a regular to the diner, eating his breakfast while wearing a Vietnam veteran's cap. “Vietnam veteran!” Romney greeted Bob, as he slid down onto the diner seat for a little chat. Unfortunately for Mitt, Bob was dining there that morning with his husband
, and had to explain to Bob that his husband didn't deserve any of the benefits he fought for, and that the makers of the Constitution held marriage to be between a man and a woman. (Which doesn't really explain Mitt's great-grandfather Miles and his wives Hanna, Caroline, Catherine, Alice, and Emily
, but stilll...)
Boeing's new Dreamliner plant in South Carolina was found to be retaliation for union strikes by the National Labor Relations Board, an independent agency (On Point radio show
That's prompted Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) to launch an all-out war on the NRLB
according to Dahlia Lithwick.
After weeks of fake primaries
, fraudulent mailers
, special interest moneybombs
, and last-minute attempts at voter suppression
, Wisconsinites went to the polls yesterday in an unprecedented
round of six recall elections targeted mainly at Republican state senators for their support of Governor Scott Walker's controversial union-busting agenda
. Five of the six races were called by Tuesday evening, with Democrats taking two of the three they'd need to regain control of the state senate. The lone holdout? A dead heat between incumbent Alberta Darling and challenger Sandy Pasch in District 8 -- the very same district that saw suspicious vote-counting
by conservative Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus unexpectedly tip the balance
towards Walker ally David Prosser late in the crucial state supreme court race this past April
. The protracted count and late-night shift toward Darling coupled with Nickolaus's questionable history
soon prompted Democratic officials to make accusations of fraud
). Control of the senate now lies in the defense of two Democratic seats up for recall next week and the possible wooing of GOP Senator Dale Schultz
, the only Republican to vote against Walker's bill. Walker himself will be eligible for recall next spring
. [more inside]
Gospel singer Herman Cain's
album "Sunday Morning" is now available online. In the fifteen years
since the album was originally released the singer and baptist preacher
has also found success in the business world
, and politics
Gawker's John Cook yesterday published an exclusive report
on a trove of documents from the Nixon Presidential Library
tracing the development of Fox News to a 1970 internal memo annotated by then-consultant Roger Ailes
. Part of a 318-page cache of similar documents
, the memo -- "A Plan For Putting the GOP on TV News"
-- called for the creation of a strongly pro-Nixon news outlet operated from the White House which would disseminate partisan news packages free of charge to local affiliates across the country. By coordinating release of these targeted reports with allied politicians and duping opponents into hostile interviews, Ailes hoped to bypass the "prejudices of network news" -- a desire which led him to advocate for some unexpected political policies at the time, from campaign finance reform to anti-poverty efforts. The report comes as Fox is waging an aggressive two-front PR war with perceived ideological enemies -- calling on viewers to file IRS complaints against Media Matters' tax-exempt status
for their dogged fact-checking
of the network, while on-air hosts launched a campaign to label Jon Stewart "racist"
after he called out their record of falsehoods
following a critical interview with Chris Wallace
It's Election Day in America
, and as is so often the case in this fickle
land, the results of the 2010 midterm elections are up in the air. Although President Obama's party is expected to suffer significant losses, record numbers of districts remain competitive
, and even minute errors in polling could mean the difference between a historic Republican landslide
and an unexpectedly robust Democratic defense
. At stake are control of not just the Senate and House, but myriad state and local offices, many of which will play key roles in the dynamics of the 2012 presidential race -- and, more subtly but no less crucially, the once-in-a-decade congressional redistricting
process. Much uncertainty surrounds the behavior of the electorate -- how many will turn out, and how informed will they be? To help move those statistics in the right direction, look inside for voter guides, national and state fact checkers, and an assortment of other resources to keep tabs on as the results roll in. [more inside]
In a five part series he wrote a few years ago, blogger J. Brad Hicks breaks down how, in the mid-1960s, the Republican party made a conscious decision to rebrand themselves as the party of Christians, and in doing so, how they had to shift the ideology of the churches to what he calls a "false gospel
". [more inside]
, senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House, speaks out against Republicans
- The monumental hypocrisy of the Republican Party is something amazing to behold. And their dimwitted accomplices in the tea-party movement are not much better. They know that Republicans, far more than Democrats, are responsible for our fiscal mess, but they won't say so. And they adamantly refuse to put on the table any meaningful programme that would actually reduce spending. Judging by polls, most of them seem to think that all we have to do is cut foreign aid, which represents well less than 1% of the budget. [more inside]
President Obama spoke at length to House Republicans at their retreat in Baltimore, responding to questions after his remarks. Video
. [more inside]
The conservative movement continues to suffer problems, within
the Republican Party, without
, and, well...
The Curious Case of Alex Latifi
. "We don’t care if Latifi is innocent. Our goal is to put him out of business." Feds knock; a business is lost
: all charges dropped years after the company was charged with violating U.S. export law by sending to China classified drawings of an Army Black Hawk helicopter part and falsifying related tests. "It appears that the principal offense
committed by the defendant, Alex Latifi, was breathing while being of Middle Eastern extraction.” [more inside]
Have the wheels come off the straight talk express
? At least one sleeping giant woke up today: the NYT finally gives Sarah Palin a thorough vetting
and the results aren't pretty. The McCain campaign's aggressive - and many say dishonest - tactics in promoting Palin may have sparked the beginnings of a media backlash
. Camp McCain's reaction: We don't care and intend to stay on offense
. And about that offense, they will soon have some help: Group With Swift Boat Alumni Readies Ads Attacking Obama
. How low will things go? At this week's Values Voters Summit, 'Obama Waffles' with racial stereotypes
were all the rage.
Can the Democrats get a foothold on the religious vote?
, the BBC
have all revealed that Republican US presidential candidate John McCain has picked Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin
as his running mate on his 72nd birthday on the eve of the start of Republican National Convention
. Despite being wildly popular in Alaska, Palin has recently been involved in an investigation
over whether she dismissed a public safety commissioner because he refused to dismiss her former brother-in-law.
Want to live it up at the U.S. party conventions and get access to Senators and Congressmen? USA Today
has posted the campaign committee price lists:
If you've got the dough, you may conveniently request a convention package
online from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
The National Republican Congressional Committee
and the NRSC
on their sites, but it seems like the DSCC and DCCC
sites keep theirs under wraps.
One nation under God.
The "bold conservative"
GOP Congressman Paul Broun from Georgia is intent upon removing a vexing comma from that phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance, which was amended in 1954
when President Eisenhower was moved
by a sermon by one Reverend George M. Docherty
on the need to defend America from the "militantly atheistic communism that has already enslaved 800 million of the peoples of the earth, and now menaces the rest of the free world."
The hidden factor in Hillary Clinton's rebound:
committed Republicans voting in open primaries who want to prolong the messy battle for the Democratic nomination, encouraged by right-wing radio hosts like Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh. Or is Hillary just suddenly more palatable
to conservatives than multi-culti Obama