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It’s not a good time to be a Republican

Not that it ever is, but now…it’s the corruption. Christie, McDonnell, and — you knew this would happen eventually to one of the dumber conservatives — Dinesh D’Souza has been indicted for violations of campaign ethics.

My big worry now with the Republicans in such disarray is that there won’t be much competition in coming elections, and stupid Democrats will nominate dull, moderate-conservative, ‘safe’ candidates.

Comments

  1. redwood says

    Not gonna lose any sleep over this, that’s for sure, especially the smarmy D’Souza. Hey, smart guy, I guess you thought you were above the law.

  2. Hatchetfish says

    The moderate useless democrats that keep getting nominated have had me wondering why we don’t have our own version of the tea party. Best answer I’ve got is that anyone who would do it is too disgusted by the democrats to bother, because liberals have standards, and joins the Greens or Socialists or similar, or just votes independent from the far left (me).

  3. Brian E says

    I think the correct spelling of Schadenfreude is Dinesh! But, truly I take no joy in anothers pain (not a guarantee).

  4. Brian E says

    Hatchetfish #2, your Democrats, liberals, are to the right of politics. The democratic version of the tea party would be, the tea party. Obama is just a nice face for the same old, same old as Bush, with a pablum of faux health care. I speak from experiece, our leftist party (labour) is sitting on, or just right of the left-right divice.

  5. Hatchetfish says

    Yes, I’m aware. My point is that the tea party has dragged the republicans right, and it’s unfortunate nothing drags the democrats left.

  6. bjtunwarm says

    Hatchetfish @ “The moderate useless democrats that keep getting nominated have had me wondering why we don’t have our own version of the tea party.”

    How soon we forget 2000 and the Greens with the cry of “Bush is just the same as Clinton” and 2004 when the Greens were caught taking money from the GOP to split the liberal vote in Pennsylvanian.

  7. says

    This got me thinking about how conservatives use name-based insults like “Obummer” and “Slick Willy.” Let’s try it out.

    Dinesh We’suesya.

    Dinesh D’Screwsya.

    Dinesh D’–alright, I’m not very good at this.

    bjtunwarm @ 6

    Yeah, I guess it pays for the Democrats not to pay lip service to the base. Tough love.

  8. says

    No, it’s not just the corruption. Denying basic public services to whole populations, as Christie’s chums did, at least one order of magnitude worse than mere corruption. It’s blatant barbaric thuggery, tantamount to an act of war (only less permanent than bombing the bridge, but done for the same reason), and calling it “corruption” only serves to whitewash and trivialize it.

  9. marcus says

    Awww… Dinesh getting hurt was the last thing I wanted to see happen. But it was on the list!

  10. David Wilford says

    Governor Chris Christie is getting deeper into the woods of corruption as well:

    Federal authorities in New Jersey have interviewed several witnesses who said the mayor of Hoboken told them in May about a state official’s threat to withhold hurricane recovery funds if the mayor did not support a development project favored by the governor, people briefed on the matter said on Wednesday.

    The statements by the witnesses, two of whom are aides to the mayor, Dawn Zimmer, support the account she gave to federal prosecutors on Sunday, and the interviews suggest that prosecutors and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have moved swiftly to investigate her accusations.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/looks-like-someones-in-trouble

    Pass the popcorn…

  11. dogmeat says

    Hatchetfish @ 2

    Best answer I’ve got is that anyone who would do it is too disgusted by the democrats to bother, because liberals have standards, and joins the Greens or Socialists or similar, or just votes independent from the far left (me).

    From what I’ve seen, following a lot of gov/politics (it’s what I teach), a lot of liberals are either holding their noses and voting Democrat, perhaps voting Libertarian (though that seems a stretch), or are staying home. Looking at the polling results, the Greens have seen an increase from ’04 and ’08 (from a bit over 100K to 170k to just under 470k), they aren’t anywhere near where they were in ’00 (2.8 million). The other left parties are so fractured and factionalized, they don’t get more than 100k The top overtly socialist parties are polling somewhere between 7 and 10 thousand votes over the last decade. I think, for some liberals, the fear of another “Bush” drives them back into the Democratic camp. Others buy the false dichotomy of conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats.

    bjtnwarm @ 6:

    How soon we forget 2000 and the Greens with the cry of “Bush is just the same as Clinton” and 2004 when the Greens were caught taking money from the GOP to split the liberal vote in Pennsylvanian.

    While they did have a controversy there in PA, it would be rather foolish to claim that they were as bad as the two major parties have been. That is right up there with those who claim the Democrats and Republicans are equally responsible for our current dysfunctional government; that Democrats have moved equally to the left as Republicans have moved to the right. We know these claims are false, so making an even more laughable equivalency argument for the Greens would be even less sustainable.

    Also, I don’t really recall the Greens claiming that Bush was just the same as Clinton as much as they argued that Gore (and Clinton) weren’t significantly better than the Republicans. When it came to their business and environmental policies at the time, that wasn’t an entirely inaccurate argument. You can’t really use the policies of Bush after the election as evidence they were wrong because Bush didn’t really campaign on the policies he actually implemented. He also used a lot of rhetoric in ’00 that turned out to be worse than false in the following 8 years, IE an air quality act that actually effectively gutted air quality standards, a forestry act that “preserved” forests while opening them up for logging, etc. In ’00, those stated goals (air quality, forest preservation, “compassionate conservative” weren’t that different from the environmental impact of a NAFTA, etc.

  12. says

    @bjtunwarm #6 – How soon YOU forget that exit polls showed that 11% of all self-described Democrats voted FOR BUSH in 2000. The traitors had far more of an impact on getting Bush elected than Nader could have possibly managed.

    I voted for Nader in 2000, and in 2004, and stand proud to say that. Sure, my vote was totally wasted: Washington state went with the Democrats in both elections.

    But the point that Hatchetfish was making is that the Democratic Party is left only in relation to the Republicans: by any possible objective metric, the Democrats are right of center, forever in pursuit of the middle of a rightward moving Overton window. There is no group able to pull the window, and thus the Democrats, to the left, in large part because Democratic cheerleaders keep screeching lies about the Green Party.

  13. says

    @Raging Bee #8 – “War” is hyperbole. “Terrorism” — which, according to the FBI, includes the intimidation or coercion of a civilian population, or attempting to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion — is the word you want.

  14. Reginald Selkirk says

    Huckabee’s comments on birth control gift for Dems

    The former Arkansas governor and potential presidential contender told fellow Republicans on Thursday that Democrats were trying to win over female voters by promising them birth control and telling them they cannot manage “their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government.”

  15. David Wilford says

    dogmeat @ 11:

    Others buy the false dichotomy of conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats.

    The experience of working in Minnesota while living in Wisconsin since 2010 has convinced me it’s not false at all. There are Congressional districts like Colin Peterson’s MN-7 (that’s PZ’s district, BTW) where you have a conservative Democrat, but given the alternative would likely be a Tea Party Republican, Peterson is vastly preferable. So I’m not so quick to castigate those Democrats who are moderates in places that aren’t all that liberal.

  16. Johnny Vector says

    I totally and literally LOL’d at Brian Lambert’s comment regarding D’Souza:

    On a related note, upon learning of this news, I broke my own personal schadenboner record by a solid three inches.

    That pretty much sums it up for me as well.

    Something’s wrong with the front page of You Are Dumb today, but here’s the link to today’s column: http://youaredumb.net/archive/all/2014/1/24

  17. anteprepro says

    I read Dinesh D’Souza’s hideous blog for a while after having the unfortunate experience of going to a speech he had at our college campus. He is a hateful and incredibly stupid individual, and that isn’t rare for a Republican, but it just stings all the more because the right-wing considers him an “intellectual”. Needless to say, I am very pleased to see him getting a little taste of what he deserves. The man doesn’t have an ethical bone in his body.

  18. David Wilford says

    Huckabee doubles down in a fundraising email to after his remarks at the RNC:

    “Guess what liberals? If you can’t stand to look at yourself in the mirror, then get ready for more of this talk, because conservatives are going to continue to fight back against your destructive policies towards women and families,” Huckabee continued in the email.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/huckabee-doubles-down-on-women-can-t-control-libidos-comment

    Praise the Lord and pass the Benjamins! I suppose this will raise some money for Huckabee, but it’s not a good thing for Republicans to go into the 2014 elections waging yet another war on women.

  19. Usernames are smart says

    a lot of liberals are … perhaps voting Libertarian (though that seems a stretch) — dogmeat (#11)

    Er, liberals who have a modicum of understanding realize that Libertarianism is just Tea Bagger Lite, without the foaming outrage (the foaming is on the inside).

    If you can stand to suffer through any of Ayn Rands turgid craptastic “books” (i.e., Libertarian Operating Manuals), you’ll quickly realize that trying to turn America into any Libertarian Paradise like Sudan or Rwanda is incredibly stupid.

  20. raven says

    Huckabee’s comments on birth control gift for Dems

    The former Arkansas governor and potential presidential contender told fellow Republicans on Thursday that Democrats were trying to win over female voters by promising them birth control and telling them they cannot manage “their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government.”

    Yeah, I saw this. It doesn’t make any sense.

    1. The libidos of anyone else are no concern or business of Huckabee. Out of the 7 billion people on earth, he has the right to worry about one libido, his own. Or maybe 2 counting his personal property.

    2. Since when are people’s libidos a national concern of the President of the USA? I don’t remember seeing that one in the constitution. We have far more important problems to worry about, unemployment, declining middle class, wars, a sluggish economy.

    3. Birth control use among American women runs around 99% in relevant cohorts according to the US CDC. The GOP War on Birth Control isn’t going to get far.

    BTW, Huckabee has three children. Not 10 or 15.

    4. I thought the GOP was for small government? And they are making our libidos their campaign issue? It’s none of their business.

    A woman voting for the GOP is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.

    Still, I’m glad Huckabee said it. It can only help the Democrats overall.

  21. raven says

    It’s not all bad.

    There are huge amounts of money flowing into the rightwingnut/GOP campaign funds. Much of it from multi-billionaires such as the Koch’s. (Obama raised much of his money from small donors.)

    1. It’s been claimed that much of that money was wasted. While there are large amounts of money, there are also large numbers of people taking their cut in salaries, expenses, and so on. We all know about the rightwingnut welfare machine.

    2. The longer I’ve watch the christofascists, the more it seems like mostly a scam. They say they are in it to save your soul and send it to jesus. They seem far more interested in their own money and power though.)

  22. TxSkeptic says

    had me wondering why we don’t have our own version of the tea party

    I’ve been agitated about this for years. During to ’08 election, Obama seemed to be campaigning as more of a progressive and the popularity soared. When he quickly showed his more centrist and corporate friendly self, the apathy started up, resulting in the devastating losses of ’10. It wasn’t so much that the GOP won, as that Obama lost. In ’12 Obama brought out some of the old rhetoric again, but by then the GOP pretty well imploded itself without his help.

    A progressive party is what I want to see. There are a considerable number of elected democrats that I think would identify this way, like those in the congressional progressive caucus. An en masse move of many of them to a new party could be very successful. You don’t need to build the base first, you need to sign up the leaders first and the masses will quickly follow. I would see them surely aligned with the dems in general, but wielding their own power. Obama has seriously ignored this group because he didn’t have to earn their support, where else would they turn.

    There would be no better time to attempt this leftward tug than when the right is at its weakest, and now, with McDonnald under indictment, Christie under investigation, Huckabe spewing vile on women, D’Souza indicted, Rush & Beck fading etc. — could there be a better time? We would need one or two really big credible names to lead the charge, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Russ, Feingold come to mind.

    It should be a strategy, not necessarily intent on taking down the democratic party, but on wielding enough power to drag it back to the left where the american public really exists.

    P.S. Starting on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s latest book The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism, and so far, am really liking it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/17/books/review/doris-kearns-goodwins-bully-pulpit.html

  23. viggen111 says

    and stupid Democrats will nominate dull, moderate-conservative, ‘safe’ candidates

    With luck, the mainstream press will get off their partisan asses and highlight democrat corruption and cure you of any notion that either party is anything but corrupt. Cherry picking examples of corruption in the party you don’t like doesn’t mean the same thing doesn’t exist in the party that you do, particularly when most news sources are so left leaning that they brush it under the rug whenever possible in order to help sabotage those dastardly tyrannical villainous evil rethuglicans.

    When you stop treating the opposite political party in a way that you otherwise claim to oppose in every other avenue of human endeavor, I’ll stop calling you a hypocrite.

  24. anteprepro says

    With luck, the mainstream press will get off their partisan asses and highlight democrat corruption and cure you of any notion that either party is anything but corrupt.

    In the distance, I hear the cry of “LIBRUL MEDIA!!1!”. And I must scoff.

    particularly when most news sources are so left leaning that they brush it under the rug whenever possible in order to help sabotage those dastardly tyrannical villainous evil rethuglicans.

    Sweet, sweet crocodile tears.

    When you stop treating the opposite political party in a way that you otherwise claim to oppose in every other avenue of human endeavor, I’ll stop calling you a hypocrite.

    What treatment are you even speaking of?

  25. David Wilford says

    viggen111 @ 26:

    My experience at Josh Marshall’s Talkingpointsmemo.com is that all corruption, regardless of party, definitely gets reported there. Lately it’s been trending Republican but part of that is that New Jersey currently has a Republican governor. It’s New Jersey, so it doesn’t matter which party is in power, because, New Jersey. That said, Bridgegate is one of the dumber scandals I’ve seen in recent years and Christie is NEVER going to get that monkey off his back.

  26. David Marjanović says

    The former Arkansas governor and potential presidential contender told fellow Republicans on Thursday that Democrats were trying to win over female voters by promising them birth control and telling them they cannot manage “their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government.”

    I haven’t giggled for so long in a long time!

  27. Amphigorey says

    We did have a left version of the Tea Party – it was called Occupy Wall Street.

    The difference is that the Occupy movement, unlike the Tea Party, was not Astroturf and it was not financed by the Kochs. The other, and more salient, difference is that the Occupy movement was deliberately and violently oppressed by the police. There was a concerted and coordinated effort by governments and by police to stamp out Occupy movements across the country.

    I live in Oakland. I watched them do it.

  28. David Wilford says

    My big worry now with the Republicans in such disarray is that there won’t be much competition in coming elections

    Here’s a dark horse presidential candidate who could well shoot to the top given the overall weakness of the GOP field as it currently stands:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susana_Martinez

    The political optics on Martinez are good. She’s Hispanic, from a western state that’s been in the Democratic column for decades that she could bring with her (and maybe Colorado too) has a law enforcement background, and she might be smart enough to not wage a war on women. So I wouldn’t count the Republicans out just yet.

  29. lpetrich says

    A good part of the problem is first-past-the-post elections. Maurice Duverger noted that FPTP tends to produce two-party systems, and the US has faithfully followed Duverger’s law for all of its existence. It has had two major parties for as long as it has had political parties. The only times where the major parties changed is when one of them collapsed, like the Federalist Party in the 1820′s and the Whig Party in the 1850′s.

    So why not introduce proportional representation? Many other countries use it, so we have plenty of experience with it.

  30. Sili says

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

    Now if only you’d get around to getting an actual leftwing party in those United States of yours …

  31. unclefrogy says

    if the only time we have had a major change in political parties is when we have had a major party collapse wouldn’t be more likely be one of the two we have collapse then to change to a different type of election?
    Say the republican party collapse and the democratic party become the conservative party absorbing the moderate and center-right segments and a new progressive party grow out of the existing splinter parties on the left consisting of the moderate left and labor and greens.

    are we seeing the logical ending of the “southern strategy” started by Nixon?

    uncle frogy

  32. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    @Ipetrich, 32,

    So why not introduce proportional representation? Many other countries use it, so we have plenty of experience with it.

    Good idea. Let’s get the two major parties working on it….

  33. says

    Canada has FPTP, and we’ve managed to keep a few minority parties around (especially provincially), even if the Liberals and Conservatives have dominated federal politics for all my lifetime. But now with the the NDP as a Official Opposition(!) and the Liberals in the wilderness, there might be some appetite for changing that, if the Libs and NDP can gang up and win the next election, and push it through.

    We had a referendum on prop-rep in Ontario a few years ago, which failed, as did BC’s trial balloon at about the same time.

  34. dogmeat says

    User’ @21

    Er, liberals who have a modicum of understanding realize that Libertarianism is just Tea Bagger Lite, without the foaming outrage (the foaming is on the inside).

    I agree, but some of their civil liberties rhetoric does gain support amongst some liberals (hence my “that’s a stretch” comment).

    David @15

    The experience of working in Minnesota while living in Wisconsin since 2010 has convinced me it’s not false at all. There are Congressional districts like Colin Peterson’s MN-7 (that’s PZ’s district, BTW) where you have a conservative Democrat, but given the alternative would likely be a Tea Party Republican, Peterson is vastly preferable. So I’m not so quick to castigate those Democrats who are moderates in places that aren’t all that liberal.

    David, I’m not sure what you mean here, your example is a choice between a conservative Democrat and a far-right Tea Party type which is actually my point regarding the false nature of the equally extremist argument. My false dichotomy comment is based on the false argument that the Democrats are as liberal as the Republicans have become conservative, that extremism is rampant on both sides. That is a patently false claim. The Democrats are right-of-center, the Republicans have become far right. While there are some Democrats who are liberal, they have very little power within their party and leave us, as a nation, with a distinct lack of liberal/left political options.

  35. David Wilford says

    dogmeat @ 37:

    I agree that the Democrats haven’t moved to the left like the Republicans have moved to the right, as there’s no equivalent to the tea party wing for Democrats. However when the Democratic legislature and governor successfully passed the law last spring making same-sex civil marriage legal in Minnesota, I do think they are more liberal than some give them credit for.

  36. Al Dente says

    David Wilford @38

    However when the Democratic legislature and governor successfully passed the law last spring making same-sex civil marriage legal in Minnesota, I do think they are more liberal than some give them credit for.

    Or better at reading popular opinion than you give them credit for. Politicians following where the people go is not a liberal-only tactic.

  37. David Wilford says

    Al Dente @ 39:

    It certainly didn’t hurt that the constitutional amendment passed by the then-Republican legislature in Minnesota was rejected by the voters in the Nov 2012 elections. It still took some political courage to take that as a sign to make same-sex marriage legal, rather than play it safe and do nothing. I am very glad they did the right thing.

  38. knowknot says

    - D’Sousa is still a thing?
    - I’ve often thought that one of the best ways to ensure a sane base of potentially sensible opposition to right wing, oligarchy-loving, ALEC supporting, Koch pandering (etc etc etc) nonsense is active promotion of D’Souza and Beck.
    - Beck is easy. If you can’t see that he’s openly mad, you’re very likely a danger to self and others at some level.
    - D’Souza is a little more insidious. If the sight of a proponent of Christian virtue who lacks all the obvious badges as stunningly and consistently as D’Souza isn’t a red flag, then fine, eat your lunch in the corner until your peculiar god rides into town.
    - Most obvious to me, on a moral level, has always been the absence of ANYTHING resembling empathy in his actions, words, or physical presence. Add to that his overall kid-on-the-playgound tough-because-the-teacher-likes-me snark (being an obvious lack of respect, “charity” and “humility”), general sneering disdain for his opponents, and flat out brattiness (sounds ad hominem even to me, but I can’t think of a better term) and you’ve got a solid litmus test for moral bankruptcy.
    - I’ve never liked saying this about anyone, regardless of how much I distrust or disagree with them, but the man just seems pathetically vile.
    - And yes, I wonder about myself sometimes, not least in how such a small and petty fish can so utterly disturb my mental pond.

  39. Azuma Hazuki says

    I read about this, as well as Scott Lively being brought up on crimes against humanity charges, last night. It warms the cockles of what remains of my shattered, black little heart to see this happening.

    What’s that? A pompous, sanctimonious windbag who blathers on about objective morals and moral corruption in the US turns out to be a lying sack of crap himself? Say it ain’t so! Next you’ll be telling me Ted Haggard has been with a man!

    Schadenfreude ist die schonen freude :D

  40. dogmeat says

    However when the Democratic legislature and governor successfully passed the law last spring making same-sex civil marriage legal in Minnesota, I do think they are more liberal than some give them credit for.

    David,

    To be honest, I’m increasingly of the opinion that support for same sex marriage is no longer a “liberal” position. When you reach the point that the majority support it, and that support has become stable and consistent, it’s been mainstreamed. I also struggle with the idea that Democratic support for SSM is evidence that they are still liberal, or are liberal on social issues. Some Democrats supported SSM when it wasn’t politically advantageous, but others (Obama for example) shifted to Civil Unions at the national level to address public opinion prior to switching back as opinion changed. As Al Dente points out, shifting a platform position when the polls show it is a majority position isn’t exactly a moral victory or championing a cause. It isn’t as bad as Cheney actively campaigning for the suppression of rights before leaving politics and campaigning for equality, but it is still a calculated political move.

    Granted, support for SSM at this time is more liberal that the Republicans desire to suppress people’s rights, but that doesn’t make it solidly “liberal” and certainly not in any way a balance to the Republican mad dash to the far right.

  41. David Marjanović says

    Schadenfreude ist die schonen freude

    Schadenfreude ist die schönste Freude. :-)

  42. David Wilford says

    At least some in the Republican Party realize they’ve got a problem with women, so they’re going with the following for a response to tomorrow’s State of the Union speech:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/cathy-mcmorris-rodgers-state-of-the-union-gop-response-obama

    Of course, given the recent track record of GOP responses to SOTU’s, she has to be a bit nervous and as a result it’ll probably be forgettable. Unless she suddenly reaches for a drink of water… ;^)