Jim Wright reminisces about the Republican Contract on America. A snippet:
. . . then they made a big show of signing the Contract with America in front of the TV cameras, with John Boehner front and center – and why not? He was one of the guys who wrote it. Newt Gingrich usually gets credit, but back then John Boehner was the young Paul Ryan Whiz Kid who was going to change things, man, change America. If you wonder what Ryan will look like in 20 years, well, there you go – maybe a little less orange, but Boehner is Ryan all grown up, old and leathery and cynical.
As contracts go, it was pretty straight forward. Republicans pledged on their solemn honor to reduce the size of government and make the tiny remainder accountable to the people. Boy it sure sounded good, that Contract with America. Republicans were going to clean up corruption in Congress, reform tort law, and reduce the welfare rolls.
But it was a trick. For you see, they had no honor – solemn or otherwise.
Do read the rest.
There ain’t nothin’ like ‘em.
Mark Sanford facebooks his Republican Family Values (follow the link for even more Republican Family Values):
The ex–South Carolina governor and current congressman, Appalachian Trail hiker, and perpetual seeker has written a 2,375-word Facebook post about his latest legal battle with ex-wife Jenny Sanford. Its tone, if not its exact content, will be familiar to anyone who has ever heard a middle-aged man self-righteously complain about what a mean, nasty lady his former spouse is, so feel totally free to ignore it on this beautiful Friday afternoon. Really, the only interesting thing in Sanford’s status update is the news that he has broken off his engagement with María Belén Chapur, the Argentine “soul mate” for whom he (in)famously left Jenny and the governorship of South Carolina in 2009.
No self-awareness, no self-awareness whatsoever.
Dr. Mark Thomas explains how the Republican Party is turning Sarah Palin’s fever dream of death panels into reality. It’s a long post; here’s a bit.
I mentioned in an earlier post that Republicans took that term and created a self-fulfilling prophecy. Preventing the expansion of Medicaid in a number of states is producing the same result as the death panels. The Republicans have decided that some people don’t deserve affordable health insurance. And some of them will die because of the Republicans’ attitude.
They would have also produced death panels if any of their attempts to repeal the ACA had worked. Millions who had finally been able to get insured would have lost their coverage. And for many, that quite literally means death.
The GOP has also instituted death panels when they legislate the closure of abortion clinics.
Or add needless requirements (ultrasounds, counseling) onto pregnant women seeking an abortion.
Well, the Republicans have done it again, possibly on a much grander scale this time, with Ebola.
I doubt that FDR golfed while Presidenting.
Chris Hayes tries to make sense of Republicans’ inability to recognize “treading” when they see it.
Listen to the conservatives try to explain away racism and its effects.
Now comes the Regent, another “Family Values Republican” whose self-vaunted “family values” are revealed as a sounding brass, a tinkling cymbal, signifying nothing.
Today the Regent says, “I don’t blame my wife,” even as he blames his wife.
Remember, in Republican World, “Family Values” are not values.
They are tactics.
Juan Cole wonders whether the bigots, empowered by Nixon’s odious Southern Strategy (now relabed the “Tea Party”) and the Roberts Supreme Court, may have succeeded in rolling back the most important gain of the Civil Rights Movement.
Although segregated drinking fountains haven’t reappeared, in many ways the right wing in the United States has largely undone the advances of the 1965 voting rights act.
Eugene Robinson comments on Alabama (it would be Alabama, woudn’t it) Congressman Mo Brooks farcical claim that President Obama and the Democrats are waging a “war on whites.”
Brooks is 60, which means he lived through these events. Surely he knows that it was white-imposed Jim Crow segregation — not anything black or brown people did — that divided America by race. At some level, he must realize that his overheated blather about a “war on whites” is not just ahistorical but obscene in its willful ignorance.
But maybe not. Maybe Brooks has fully bought into the paranoid myth of white victimhood that gives the opposition to Obama and his policies such an edge of nastiness and desperation.
I do not believe it can be a coincidence that this notion of whites somehow being under attack is finding new expression — not just in Brooks’ explicit words but in the euphemistic language of many others as well — at a time when the first black president lives in the White House.
The myth of victimhood is not new. Long after it was understood that slavery was morally wrong, Southern whites justified its perpetuation by citing the fear that blacks, once liberated, would surely take bloody revenge against those who had held them in bondage. Jim Crow laws and lynchings had a similar purpose. In the minds of his assassins, 14-year-old Emmett Till was tortured and killed to protect the flower of Southern womanhood.
The myth surfaces whenever Obama comments on race.
Feeding that sense of victimhood has been one of the prime tactics of white supremacists, both thet blatant ones and the subtle ones, over the centuries. So long as they can maintain an “us and them” mentality, they can keep themselves in power. As Lyndon Johnson said
If you can convince the lowest white man that he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll even empty his pockets for you.
Read the rest.
Daniel Ruth considers the House Republicans’ decision to sue President Obama for daring to do his job. A nugget:
In a debate that was a mix of a Jimmy Swaggart revival and a John Birch Society rally, with a healthy dose of scripted tea party talking points, the House voted along party lines to sue President Barack Obama because … well, just because.
Amid all the fife-and-drum weeping and wailing, Obama was accused of being a lawless tyrannical dictator stripping Americans of their freedoms in his pursuit of raw, imperial power. Ooooh, this sounds serious.
So pressing was the clear and present danger to the very core of American values that just as soon as the vote to sue Obama was finished, the House looked forward to vacation for the next five weeks. Now there’s a Minuteman moment for you.