Today’s opining on the public discourse.
And the future of the Republicon party is…
The results of the presidential straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference have just been released, and you’ll never guess who won.
Here it is in order:
- Mitt Romney
- Bobby Jindal
- Sarah Palin & Ron Paul
- Charlie Crist
Romney won last year as well. Prior to that it was Rudy Giuliani and George Allen.
So you can see what great prognosticators they are.
I’m a little surprised to see Charlie Crist in the Top Five – he just doesn’t strike me as insane enough for that crowd. Then again, it’s possible they threw his name in there for shits and giggles, and there were only the six choices. Sarah Palin and Ron Paul tying for third is hysterical. Can’t you just see that ticket?
Amazingly enough, Mike Huckabee didn’t even make the list, but it wasn’t for lack of trying:
On Thursday, Mike Huckabee offered the CPAC faithful the kind of rhetoric they want to hear.
“The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics may be dead,” said Huckabee, “but a Union of American Socialist Republics is being born.” Democrats, according to Huckabee, were packing 40 years of pet projects like “health care rationing” into spending bills. “Lenin and Stalin would love this stuff.”
The estimable Mark Kleiman, noting the bizarre remarks, said Huckabee may be “self-destructing” as a credible national figure.
Yes, yes, the CPAC crowd is the extreme of the extreme. But in the YouTube era you can’t go around mouthing this stuff and be taken seriously as a candidate for President.
I’d really love to believe that, but I don’t.
That’s just not how modern conservative politics works. In Republican circles, there’s no such thing as excessive rhetoric.
True, that. For instance, the CPAC straw poll also returned Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly as their #s 2 and 3 most favoritest media personality. This is what they consider worth watching:
Whenever Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly get together, a new black hole of wingnuttery opens up in the time-space continuum. This could eventually prove to be unhealthy for human existence.
Take last night for example:
O’Reilly: There’s got to be a reason why Feinstein and Pelosi and Leahy and all these far-left loons want to do damage to the country. This hurts the United States. Al Qaeda — you know who the happiest people in the world are on a CIA investigation? Al Qaeda. They’re the happiest people. Let’s find out what the CIA’s up to. Who does it help? It helps Al Qaeda.
Beck: Are you saying that — Wait a minute, are you saying that these guys might be un-American?
O’Reilly: I’m not saying un-American. I would never say that. I’m saying misguided severely. And maybe should be tortured.
Beck: [Laughs] Who gets to do that?
They go on to soft-peddle the torture rhetoric by contemplating Beck’s show as the instrument – and they are correct in that regard: Glenn Beck’s program is a torturous thing to watch. If you’ve never had the displeasure, check out this gem. It’s a “special” postulating that by 2014, we’ll be living in a Mad Max world. You get the feeling that Beck wants the extreme right wing to take up guns, nukes and whatever other weapons they can muster, and destroy American civilization, all because he can’t stand the idea of a popular Democrat as President.
Sad, pathetic men, aren’t they? Do you see now why I put “special” in quotes? The short bus is a little too long for people who can’t even find their ass with both hands, a GPS, and two aides.
Beck, O’Reilly et al aren’t the only ones jumping on Limbaugh’s “Root for failure!” bandwagon, either. More and more Con lawmakers have signed on for the trip:
Just before President Obama was inaugurated, hate radio host Rush Limbaugh declared, “I hope he fails.” Though some Republicans have distanced themselves from Limbaugh’s sentiment, conservatives at CPAC have fully embraced it.
In an interview with ThinkProgress today, radio host Mark Levin and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) added their voices to the chorus of conservatives hoping for Obama’s failure:
TP: What do you think about what Rush said about, I mean, do you hope, should we hope that President Obama fails?
SANTORUM: If…absolutely we hope that his policies fail.
“I believe his policies will fail, I don’t know, but I hope they fail,” added Santorum.
Steve Benen “can’t recall ever hearing so many prominent political figures hoping for American leaders’ failure like this, especially not in the midst of a crisis.” He delivers a stunning bitch-slap to the failmongers:
About a half-century ago, actor John Wayne, who was very conservative, was asked for his thoughts after JFK defeated Richard Nixon in 1960. “I didn’t vote for him,” Wayne said, “but he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job.”
Wasn’t it these self-same Cons who were telling us just a few months ago that anyone who failed to support the President is a traitor?
Cons are achieving stunning new heights of insanity and hypocrisy. And just like all insane hypocrites, they’re eating their own:
The finance director for the Republican National Committee resigned abruptly Friday afternoon, and a source familar with the situation said he was forced out.
Reince Priebus, who’s running the transition team for new RNC Chairman Michael Steele, confirmed that Tim Crawford resigned Friday after just two weeks as the committee’s interim finance director.
No word on why (sex? Drugs? Embezzlement? Saying something reasonably sane?), but an insider says he didn’t resign on his own initiative. This should get interesting – especially considering Tim Crawford is also Sarah PAC’s treasurer. Oh, the plot sickens, it does, it does!
And if you think that unfolding drama might provide hours of entertainment, you’re going to be delighted to discover just how much more is in store:
Sen. Jim Bunning (R) of Kentucky hasn’t been getting along with his party lately. Convinced that his erratic behavior, bizarre comments, poor fundraising, and weak poll numbers all but guarantee his defeat next year, the Republican Party has been pushing Bunning to retire, and quietly reaching out to other potential GOP candidates.
Bunning has responded with varying degrees of outrage. He’s no longer talking to most of his Republican colleagues. He announced this week that he no longer trusts NSRC Chairman John Cornyn. On Tuesday, Bunning talked openly about suing the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
This, however, would represent a whole new level of spite.
Already in conflict with his party’s leaders, Sen. Jim Bunning has reportedly said privately that if he is hindered in raising money for his re-election campaign he is ready with a response that would be politically devastating for Senate Republicans: his resignation.
The Kentucky Republican suggested that possible scenario at a campaign fundraiser for him on Capitol Hill earlier this week, according to three sources who asked not to be identified because of the politically sensitive nature of Bunning’s remarks.
The implication, they said, was that Bunning would allow Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat, to appoint his replacement — a move that could give Democrats the 60 votes they need to block Republican filibusters in the Senate.
“I would get the last laugh. Don’t forget Kentucky has a Democrat governor,” one of the sources quoted Bunning as saying.
“The only logical extension of that comment is, ‘(Make me mad) â€¦ enough and I’ll resign, and then you’ve got 60 Democrats,’ ” said another source who was present at the event.
Bunny’s now trying to claim he never threw that challenge in his colleagues’ teeth, but multiple sources beg to differ.
He’s a crazy SOB even by Con standards. He might just follow through. And that would propel the right-wing hysteria machine into the stratosphere. It seems, my darlings, that we are fated to live in interesting times.
We’ll see if the Cons survive them.