August 28, 2012

Playing Hardball with Chris Matthews

Seems that his contretemps with Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus over GOP race-baiting Monday has conservatives loaded for bear when they come on Hardball with Chris Matthews.

Just watched former Gov. George Pataki of New York duke it out with Matthews over strict language governing all the social issues -- gun control, abortion, welfare, taxes -- inserted in the GOP platform. Pataki, obviously mindful of the pimp-slap Matthews laid on Priebus, was very aggressive in the interview - interrupting, talking over Matthews and generally ignoring any attempt to press him on actual questions and the issues of the day.

Expect to see more of that when Hardball - or MSNBC, for that matter - tries to book guests for the sake of balance and actually trying to report what's happening on the ground in Tampa.  I'll post a link when I can put my hands on one.


As a lapsed journalist and fledgeling blogger, I take pride in creating my own content.  But this is too interesting -- and good -- not to share. 

August 27, 2012

Extremism in the defense of power

There's a reason EJ Dionne is one of my role models. He reinforces it consistently each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  

Dionne lays it down again this morning, with a typically thoughtful take on Mitt Romney's big moment at the Republican convention in Tampa, coming this week.  He writes about the central irony mentioned often in the 2012 presidential campaign - that Mitt Romney eschewed the liberalism and principles of his late father, Michigan Gov. George Romney, yet fulfilled his father's legacy by winning the Republican presidential nomination, a quest his father sought and failed to complete. 

But Dionne frames it about how the modern Republican party now represents pretty much everything that George Romney abhorred, so much so that Romney the elder walked out of the 1964 presidential nomination rather than compromise his principles on the issue of equal rights for African Americans.  But the opposition forces, led by Ariz. Sen. Barry Goldwater, are having the last laugh: 

This week, 48 years on, Mitt Romney is set to achieve what his father never could. But his great family triumph will not represent a vindication of his father’s principles. Mitt Romney reached the summit not by battling the GOP’s staunchest conservatives but by accommodating them. Nothing better captures the absolute victory of the forces of Goldwaterism than a Romney triumph on the basis of Goldwater’s ideas.

Ideas that his son - using welfare, voting rights and even President Obama's birth certificate, all hot-button,racially tinged issues - has fully embraced to reach the conservative mountaintop.

Whoever said the apple doesn't fall far from the tree never met Mitt. 

August 24, 2012

tune for our times

Never heard of the Raging Grannies, but this is destined to be a chart-topper; the coda at the end is especially delicious.  No surprise they're from San Francisco.

Meanwhile, the GOP convention is set to get under way amidst a hurricane.  Which means they could be, appropriately, all wet.

When I played college football, I was superstitious about the weather: if the game-day skies were sunny, clear and mild, we were sure to get a W; but if it was rainy, miserable or even cloudy, I was sure we'd get clobbered.
Of course it rarely worked out that way -- our best game happened on a cold, rainy Saturday when we knocked off a Top 25 team, while our most crushing defeat happened on a September day perfect for a barbecue.  Not to mention weather was the last relevant factor on a team once considered among the sport's worst.

Still, if I were a Republican, I'd be awfully nervous heading into the big gathering. A potential hurricane isn't the only rough weather on the horizon for them: the Akin mess, which could cost them control of the Senate; Mitt Romney's doubling-down on social issues and austerity by picking Paul Ryan as his running mate; their inability to gain significant ground on a weak incumbent president, poll after poll showing voters like Democrats better.

But I can't blame them for a bit of hubris, given that they've got what could be an unbeatable ace in the hole: tons and tons of cash, what former GOP Rep. Phil Gramm called "a politician's best friend."

And, unlike the Raging Grannies, they've got a million of 'em.

August 23, 2012

Pitching a no-hitter

I believe this is what's called a smoking gun.

as if those of us who get paid to do this - and try to keep a reality-based perspective - didn't already have this one figured out, particularly after GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell's repeated statements that Job 1 for his party was to make Barack Obama a "one-term president."

the question is, with all this stuff coming out - the Romney tax issue stonewalling, the lack of a Paul Ryan bump for the ticket, the gender gap favoring Democrats, the "he understands people like me" advantage Obama has in the polls, and the Akin unmasking of the REAL Republican social agenda - why this race is even close.

I have my theories...


This is just ... breathtaking.

Jamelle, the floor is yours

legitimate illegitimacy

It's interesting to witness the furor surrounding GOP Rep. Todd Akin, his remarks about "legitimate" rape and how his ties to Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's newly-minted veep candidate -- how they've sponsored tons of bills to do an end-run around Roe v. Wade by crimnializing abortion without the "moderate" excptions for rape and incest.  
Everyone from Dana Milbank to Ann Coulter have speculated how the Akin controversy will blow back on the GOP presidential ticket, particlarly after Akin defied party leaders Monday and refused to withdraw from his race against Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill.  The brouhaha has laid bare the fact that, despite assertions to the contrary from Republicans, Akin's positions have laid bare the fact that Akin's position is pretty much baked into the modern conservative movement, and will in fact be a part of the GOP's platform when the convention launches in Tampa next week.

Poll after poll shows that the view - that abortion should be illegal under any circumstances, even in the cases of rape or incest - is quite far from the American mainstream; just five percent of the public agree with that view.  The Akin situation has proven that a majority of Republicans, at least those in control of the party, believe it.  There haven't been demonstrations in the streets calling for a return to the coat-hanger, back-alley days of yore; in fact, asked on an individual basis, most parents of teenage girls and young adults - myself included - believe that at least the option of "contingency contraception," including Plan B, morning-after pills as well as surgical pregnancy terminations - shoudl be available, should the family choose to use it.  Or not.  

Most voters want to know where the hell's my job - a position President Obama has been consistently addressing in his stump speeches, while simultaneously arguing that he has a plan to Romney's carefully couched proposals to pull the nation out of the economic doldrums.  Obama consistentlty leads Romney in polls on likeability, trust and other "he cares about people like me" questions.  Romney's campaign remained flatlined, even after naming Ryan to the ticket, a move calculated to generate GOP excitement leading into the convention.

And yet... 
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