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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 11:40 AM
Original message
Be Careful What You Wish For


(Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: j-fi, Gage Skidmore)

Be Careful What You Wish For
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

Sunday 07 November 2010

OK, so it's over. The deal has gone down, and the US House of Representatives is now in the slippery hands of John Boehner and the GOP. The Senate still belongs to Harry Reid and the Democrats, but by a smaller margin, and while the House is far in the lead when it comes to having new members with certifiable brain damage, the Senate also has some new members who are no slouches in Teh Crayzee department. Jim DeMint is a perfect example of the latter, and it may come to pass that DeMint will find himself at the center of a damaging GOP civil war.

The outlines of such an intra-party conflict have been evident for a while now, and it has centered around the so-called "Tea Party." The "Tea Party" is nothing more or less than the GOP base with a new coat of paint, claims by the "mainstream" media of this being a "movement" notwithstanding. The "Tea Party" is comprised of the exact same people who were perfectly happy to have a fundamentalist war freak in the White House during the Bush administration, and never mind the fact that Bush grew the government exponentially while preaching to the choir about "smaller government." These are the same people who kept Bush's approval rating from dropping below 20%. These are the same people who set to yowling about Terry Schiavo loud enough to get the GOP congress to mess with constitutional law. And they are the same people who think Hillary Clinton murdered Vince Foster to cover up Bill Clinton's drug-running operation out of the Mena Airport in Arkansas, etc., etc., etc.

That's the "Tea Party," and just because they changed their name and got some big money from the Koch Brothers to raise hell and screech about armed revolution doesn't change the fact that they are the GOP base, reborn and rebranded by a compliant media that puts spectacle above substance as a matter of operational principle.

The seeds of the fight began to be widely sown after the election of President Obama, which coincided with even further congressional losses for the GOP. The party was declared all but dead, and Mr. Obama began flogging various reform-minded economic and social pieces of legislation. Along came the "Tea Party," holding hysterical rallies in which the participants openly packed enough weaponry to storm Utah Beach. Then came the disruptions in the health care reform forums, and all of a sudden, one could not swing one's dead cat by the tail without striking a news station or newspaper that were giving the "Tea Party Movement" as much air and ink as could be managed.

That's when the problems began for the GOP. A number of main-party luminaries - no less than Karl Rove being among them - began to openly mock the "movement" for being a disorganized grab-bag of nonsense. These critiques became more strident once "Tea Party" candidates began to talk about openly challenging "Republican-In-Name-Only" officeholders whose views did not jibe with "Tea Party orthodoxy. And then, of course, these "RINO" officeholders found themselves in primary fights with "movement" candidates, many of who were being pimped nationally (not to mention fundraised for) by the Queen of Right-Wing Gibberish herself, Sarah Palin.

(And, as an aside, you have to wonder how many personal moments John McCain has had since his fateful decision in 2008 to elevate Palin to the national stage; I'm guessing no less than ten thousand by now.)

The main Republican Party was in a bind. For decades, they had pursued a deliberate strategy of whooping up the base, getting them all fired up about Jesus and fetuses and guns and terrorists and immigrants, which paid them great dividends. The GOP base has been the most reliable voting bloc in the country since the Reagan administration, and any GOP candidate who said the right things about that Jesus-fetus-gun-terrorist-immigrant nexus could absolutely count on their support. Fostering the base's paranoia made them an effective electoral weapon, one that delivered a long succession of GOP victories, beginning in earnest in 1994.

After 2008, however, that dog slipped the leash, and the GOP found itself fighting against, instead of depending on, that very motivated and highly insane base of voters. As the 2010 midterms approached, they found themselves making a very delicate straddle; they needed these people to win back the House, and would deal with the problem of batpoop-crazy people joining the caucus after the House majority was secured.

Well, they got what they wished for...and therein lies the problem. These new "Tea Party" congresspeople have their own agenda - Boehner's recent retreat from recent remarks that the House's main priority would be to see Obama defeated in 2012 being one example - and while many of them will happily allow themselves to be absorbed into the go-along-get-along insider's game, enough of them won't to cause very large potential headaches.

Which is where Jim DeMint comes in. Check out this report from ABC's blog The Note, which was posted on Friday:

Some of the country's most powerful conservative leaders emerged from a five-hour long strategy session on Friday with an unequivocal message of support for South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, who is facing partial blame for the GOP's failure to take control of the Senate.

DeMint has become a human punching bag in some corners of the party for forcefully backing a handful of anti-establishment primary candidates like Delaware's Christine O'Donnell and Colorado's Ken Buck, who ended up losing their general election contests.

It's a line of attack that Brent Bozell, the president of the conservative Media Research Center and a lead organizer of Friday's gathering, rejected.

"The big winners of 2010 are Jim DeMint and Sarah Palin and liberal and moderate Republicans can't stand it," Bozell said in an interview with ABC News. "The Republican Party owes Jim DeMint a massive debt of gratitude and a standing ovation for what he did."

But prominent Republicans, including DeMint's South Carolina colleague, Sen. Lindsey Graham, and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott have suggested that endorsing insurgent candidates was a mistake.

"If the moderates in the Republican Party want war, they're going to lose," Bozell said, holding up Graham as an example. "I guarantee you we will see their political carcasses when they come up for re-election."

(Emphasis added)


Read that last bit again.

"I guarantee you we'll see their political carcasses when they come up for re-election."

Wham and splatter, baby. Them's fighting words.

You could perhaps chalk this kind of talk up the fact that post-election bruised feelings certainly still remain between main-party Republicans and the GOP base insurgents of the "Tea Party." But the outlines of the intra-party struggle that has gone on for the last two years are encapsulated right there in that feisty little exchange. It didn't break out in full before the midterms, but now that the "Tea Party has dug themselves into Congress for real, the potential for a full-fledged flameout appear to be increasing steadily.

Thanks to the GOP base's "Tea Party" push, the main Republican Party got what it wished for: the House.

They may live to regret letting these whacked-out foxes into the henhouse.

Stay tuned.

http://www.truth-out.org/be-careful-what-you-wish-for64...
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CaliforniaPeggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
1. Amen, brother!
Recommended.

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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
2. K&R...nt
Sid
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proud patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
3. k and r
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
4. Now they have to dance with the one who brought them.
It's going to be fun to watch!
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
5. the purging of republican moderates
. . . should advantage Democrats; especially if the President continues to appear 'bipartisan' and reasonable. That's not hard in the face of republican obstinacy, but it's a natural for this president who's made compromise his political watchword this time round. Some folks reason that this is some sort of appeasement, but I see it as prudent and smart outreach to the moderate and independent voters that will be needed in any close or competitive national election. Pres. Obama's positioning himself in the political middle, while republicans are allowing their party and message to be pushed to the far right.
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3waygeek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Remember that the moderate Dems
were also purged -- the Blue Dog caucus is roughly half its previous size. I don't think Obama can pull off Clintonesque triangulation without moderates in Congress to back him up, and they're in short supply nowadays. No matter what he does, the Repubs and their captive media will portray him as far-left, and the non-captive media will pick up on some of that framing.

So Obama should just go ahead and govern from the left -- everyone will accuse him of it anyway, so he's got nothing to lose.
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Vincardog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. I am convinced he is congenitally incapable of conflict with ANYONE other than his powerless 'BASE'
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. true.
. . . he'll especially need candidates that will appeal to voters in the red states and districts. Many of the purged Democrats were tossed by republicans in those states and districts, giving them the edge for the House majority.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
6. Some Tea-Party-ish types are making more-or-less nicey-nice over at HuffPo. nt
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
7. Well put but dont count out Rove and the BCF. The TeaPotty are the Repub's "brown shirts"
In the next two years Karl Rove and the SS will systematically smear those that will not toe the line. Many will toe the line when they realize their options. In 2012 in will ride Jeb Bush (the smart son) along with moderate (relatively) good ole conservative Republican legislators. By then the true Republican base will be sick of the idiot TeaPotty'ers.
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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 12:22 PM
Response to Original message
9. K & R
:thumbsup:
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Vincardog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
10. The GOP and the DLC have been running "THE GOOD COP/BAD COP" game so long that for a change they
"THE GOOD COP/BAD COP and THE BAT SHIT CRAZY COP"

I am still waiting for ANYONE to be fighting for REAL PROGRESSIVE VALUES
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The Uncola Donating Member (519 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-08-10 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #10
33. I'm with you..
.. actual politicians actually interested in doing a damn thing for us, the people, and not just for themselves and their cronies, are in VERY short supply. I can count the number of people in DC I have any respect for on my fingers.
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Oceansaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
11. K&R...n/t
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laylah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
12. Awesome, as always; however,
punctuation "Nazi" here: "Tea Party has dug themselves into Congress for real, the potential for a full-fledged flameout appear to be increasing steadily.

Keep up the good fight, Will, one I have followed since early 2001. :hug:

Jenn
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Thanks!!!
Fixed in the main article.

:toast:

:hug:
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
16. If McConnell succeeds in his mission of making Obama a one-term President...
does he have any idea who or what will replace him? Mitch can't even get his choice for Senate on the ballot in his home state.

Be careful what you wish for indeed...
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
17. i believe the repubs will learn to embrace their crazy cohorts
they are, when it all comes down to the nitty gritty, all about winning and power

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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
18. Was there really this much weaponry? Surely not.
"Along came the "Tea Party," holding hysterical rallies in which the participants openly packed enough weaponry to storm Utah Beach."
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mstinamotorcity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
19. These are the same people and
their children on steroids. The Tea Party is the Republican Party. They cannot be separated. The Moderates are the facade. They want you to think they are the reasonable ones so when they step out there with their more moderate form of theft you will be more likely to see their more rational way of thinking. Because we all know the Moderates really want to work with Our President.
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Hydra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. I agree
We're not seeing a new(or really insurgent) crowd here. We're seeing the old guard, slick as they always are, and the less varnished ones, who are enjoying their time off-leash.

Everyone talks about 11 dimensional chess or big picture- and here it is, from my perspective. They don't care how they get where they want to go. They want to impeach President Obama and force him out in 2012. They don't care how they do it or who they have in the chairs to do it.
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mstinamotorcity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-08-10 08:01 AM
Response to Reply #23
32. All this is BULLSHIT
The NOISE machine is a buzz with all that Repug loot!!!All of the distractions,Tea Party,Birthers,Rumors,200 million dollar a day trips, and the like,is to keep America asleep with that shit so they won't pay attention to the unrelenting theft that is going on in our Country. And until we change,we should NOT expect them to.


TOMBStone
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Hydra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-08-10 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #32
36. I'm not seeing much sleeping on the ground lately
I'm seeing apathy. The window dressing is disappearing piece by piece, and all I hear is "It can't happen here!!"

It can, it did, and it will continue.

"Not with a bang but with a whimper..."
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
20. Don't forget the Teabaggers want to impeach Obama the 'Kenyan'.
Included in all the past crazyshit they believe (Foster etc) this will give the wacko Birthers new life and one can ONLY PRAY they move to the forefront for maximum embarrassment and damage to the GOPukers! Excellent post, I think Frankenstein has left the building. So sorry Weekly Standard commoners are left looking at the HUGE HOLE in the wall as their Frankenstein heads for Washington D.C.!

GOP party? Oh, they existed until the crazies took over and embarrassed themselves out of existence.

One day soon. The party of Nixon and Reagan are DONE and they don't even know it yet!

:rofl:
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DinahMoeHum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Remember, in California, Jerry Brown, the new governor. . .
was, once upon a time, the governor of CA BEFORE Reagan became POTUS.

Fast forward some 35 years later: Reagan's dead and rotting. Brown is still here and has just been elected for a new turn at governor.

Ain't life grand?

:kick:
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. Yeah I have to hand it to Cali, that is one BAD ASS STATE!
Edited on Sun Nov-07-10 04:09 PM by Rex
Makes my state (Texas) look like cavemen huddling around a fire! I'd move there, but to broke...LOVE California! A blueprint for all other states to follow (HEAR that Florida?).
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Merlot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. CA got rid of voting machines - our SOS Debra Bowen is awsome
That's the blueprint for all other states to follow!
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byronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-08-10 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #26
37. She's the bomb. I love that woman.
I was at a hearing where I got to watch her grill William Wood over Diebold's little counting problems. OMG. Brilliant. Poised. Absolutely amazing person.
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John Kerry VonErich Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-08-10 06:50 AM
Response to Reply #24
31. A lot of California progressives wants the state to secede
nt
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-08-10 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #31
38. That's okay, a lot of knuckle-dragging Texans want the state to secede
but for stupid reasons...zod my state is F*d up!
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
22. The Republican Party does not cotton to insurgents...
They have always been an establishment Party. This looks like a bloodbath about to happen...
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
25. Yeah, this is the only fun part about last Tuesday
They can get the job but can they do the job? And I suspect the resounding answer is no.
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kath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-10 11:27 PM
Response to Original message
27. I'd love to see the Republican party self-destruct. Then we'd have the center-right so-called
"Democrats", who would continue moving right like they have for decades, leaving room for a liberal party - a non-corporatist party of the people - to emerge on the left,

Yeah, probably dreaming, but wouldn't it be nice?....
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deacon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-08-10 12:53 AM
Response to Original message
28. DeMint, Rubio and Rand Paul are big problems for them. n/t
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-08-10 04:45 AM
Response to Original message
29. excellent article..kick and recommend!!
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JTFrog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-08-10 04:59 AM
Response to Original message
30. K&R!
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The Uncola Donating Member (519 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-08-10 09:19 AM
Response to Original message
34. Nice read, Mr Pitt...
.. I hope you are correct.
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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-08-10 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
35. K & R
:thumbsup:
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