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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 08:35 AM
Original message
Another Bad Week


The GOP is moving in two directions. (Illustration: KAL)

Another Bad Week
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Columnist

Tuesday 26 May 2009

All life is a blur of Republicans and meat.

- Bill Griffith


The Law of Large Numbers tells us the Republican Party is bound to get its act together sooner or later. One of these days, someone within or without the party is actually going to hit the fairway, if only by dint of repetition. Some, probably within the GOP base, would call such sentiments an expression of faith, hope for the evidence of things not seen, which is not entirely misplaced; spin the roulette wheel enough times and the ball is eventually going to click itself into your slot.

This is cold comfort for the gambler who is down to his ride, and the GOP is running out of chips. Washington Post columnist Harold Myerson detailed the carnage in his Friday column. "The dizzying downward spiral of the Republican Party continues apace," wrote Myerson. "Yesterday, the Pew Research Center released a survey showing that the percentage of Americans who answer to the name Republican is down to 22 percent -- about as low as a party can go in a two-party system."

Ouch.

Several of the Republican Party's leading lights were on full display last week - Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage specifically - and if you squinted at the transcripts of their remarks, they almost sounded like a united front on the attack against all things Obama. Any open-eyed review of their performances, however, reveals a disorganized, messy assault upon each other and the party itself.

Former vice president Dick Cheney led the way with a truly preposterous and self-serving defense of each and every discredited, disgraceful Bush-era "War on Terra" policy, up to and including torture. The networks ran it back-to-back with an address by president Obama explaining why the US no longer uses torture, why torture is a comprehensively bad idea, and why his administration is moving in a better and wiser direction. The comparison could not have been more stark. Cheney didn't really even need to speak in order to further damage his party; 75 percent of America only has to see his face to remember why the GOP has lost the last two elections by shattering margins.

Mr. Cheney was joined in the media spotlight by his daughter, Liz, who once again made the rounds to explain how her father isn't really the deranged, blood-drinking sociopath he comes off as. Bloggers at Crooks and Liars caught a telling exchange between Liz Cheney and her CNN interviewer on the question of what her father's motivations are for going so public so often of late:

L. CHENEY: I don't think he planned to be doing this, you know, when they left office in January. But I think, as it became clear that President Obama was not only going to be stopping some of these policies, that he was going to be doing things like releasing the - the techniques themselves, so that the terrorists could now train to them, that he was suggesting that perhaps we would even be prosecuting former members of the Bush administration.


"Perhaps we would even be prosecuting former members of the Bush administration," she said. Methinks daddy has been losing sleep contemplating life on the wrong side of some stout gray bars.

Last week also saw Colin Powell enter the intra-GOP fray in an attempt to drag his party back from the extremist abyss. "I believe we should build on the base because the nation needs two parties, two parties debating each other," said Powell. "But what we have to do is debate and define who we are and what we are and not just listen to dictates that come down from the right wing of the party. If we don't reach out more, the party is going to be sitting on a very, very narrow base. You can only do two things with a base. You can sit on it and watch the world go by, or you can build on the base."

The right wing of the party listened carefully and closely to Mr. Powell's remarks, and then promptly told him to get bent. Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh led the charge by denouncing Powell as a member of the "stale, the old, the worn-out GOP that never won anything."

Really, Rush? The "stale, old GOP" he denounced managed to win two presidential terms with Eisenhower, two more with Nixon, two more with Reagan, one with the elder Bush, and two more with the inferior Bush. Minus the time Watergate cost Nixon, that comes to approximately 34 years of Republicans in the White House since 1952, which is a pretty healthy rate of success, and never mind the twelve years of near-total Republican control of congress that lasted from 1994 to 2006, along with the series of far-right Justices elevated to the Supreme Court. Once could very easily argue that the GOP only started its current losing streak when guys like Limbaugh became real players in the party.

(snip)

And if all this clown-car foolishness wasn't enough already, there was a report out of Texas concerning GOP Gov. Rick Perry, who famously denounced the Obama administration's economic stimulus plan before stoking several silly weeks of talk about Texas seceding from the union. I don't want your commie-pinko stimulus money, said Perry, and if you're not really nice to us, we're going to become our own country.

Not so much for all that, as it turns out. "While Gov. Rick Perry is criticizing Washington bailouts," reported The Associated Press, "state lawmakers are planning to use $11 million in federal stimulus money to help rebuild the badly burned Texas Governor's Mansion. Perry has railed against federal bailouts and what he called the free-spending, power-hungry ways of Washington. In January, he said Texas was endangered by Uncle Sam's 'audacity.' The $11 million for renovations would come out of the $700 million rescue package for Texas."

The mind reels.

The rest: http://www.truthout.org/052609J
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WeDidIt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
1. Let this be a lesson to Progressives
Getting some of your agenda passed is better than getting none of your agenda passed.

Moving in a progressive direction slowly is better than moving backwards.

Purity is impossible unless you desire to remain in a minority postiion doing nothing but criticizing the majority.

The past eight years stands in stark contrast to the future. Remember 01/20/01 - 01-20/09 any time you get pissed off at the Democrats for njot doing enough. This is the lesson of overstepping and what it costs.
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goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Bingo for you remarks


We can learn a valuable lesson from the Republicans.

There are so many issues that we want to see only through our own "progressive"eyes.

To keep Sarah Palin and Mc Cain out of office and give our party a bigger tent was a terrific battle.

We did it and now we have to learn that everything is not going to go the way that we personally want it to ~

Colin Powell is the kind of Republican that would pull other "rational" people back into the Republican Party.

Yes, his huge UN bottle trick was I hope one that people can remember but if Colin Powell could get about 20 other major/respected Republican leaders to push Rush out of socket,we could be in trouble.

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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. You people will never get it...
The next time they get a go 'round, they'll make this last eight years look like a day at the circus. And we're making certain that people will forget how bad it was by sweeping it under the rug.
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Badgerman Donating Member (378 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 08:46 AM
Response to Original message
2. Hasn't anyone else recalled that EXACTLY the same things were said about the Dem PArty in 94 & 2002?
Same story, different spelling. Reps aren't going away, and there ain't gonna be any 1000 year Dem Reich. In fact we will be damned lucky to hold ground in 2010 and 2012.
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Wickerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. And, roughly the same stuff was said about the Rethugs in 1992
AND in 1964.

Politics is cyclical, parties reinvent themselves and the media helps them because without controversy eyeballs on the page or on the set go down.
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
4. and this is why our objectives need to be passed NOW
rather than later, when the repukes get their shit together.
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The Wizard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
6. Cheney will not go to jail
He'll transfer as much of his family's assets as possible to Dubai. Liz Cheney just hasn't found a burkah boutique that carries the style she has to wear upon arriving in Dubai.
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nichomachus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Dubai is collapsing -- I don't think Cheney will go there n/t
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The Wizard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Maybe the big money
thought Cheney was going to relocate there to avoid prosecution. That's where Halliburton landed to avoid paying taxes on the open ended government contracts that went through Cheney's office.
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Trajan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
7. Nicely done Will ...
'The stale, old, worn-out GOP' ....

Mewonders if Rush could ever recognize himself in those comments ... He has done much to marginalize his own party, and I for one hope he continues doing EXACTLY as he is doing ....

Stoking the flames of self destruction ....

It's almost summer, Will .... You're nearly there ....
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byronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
8. Excellent. K & R.
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
12. Evening kick
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Danascot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 04:36 PM
Response to Original message
13. Is there a stonger word than schadenfreude?
I could use it right about now.

May the GOP melt away like the wicked witch.
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-27-09 06:18 AM
Response to Original message
14. Morning kick
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