It’s officially the end of an era for MSNBC and Pat Buchanan. How … anticlimactic:
My days as a political analyst at MSNBC have come to an end.After 10 enjoyable years, I am departing, after an incessant clamor from the left that to permit me continued access to the microphones of MSNBC would be an outrage against decency, and dangerous.
The calls for my firing began almost immediately with the Oct. 18 publication of Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?? [...]
Pat then goes on to blame loudmouthed Obama supporters, homosexuals, Jews, and I don’t know, maybe werewolves. Yeah, let’s say werewolves.
Buchanan’s recent book may have been MSNBC’s excuse for finally taking him off the air for good, but it seems mostly to be a “final straw” sort of thing. Buchanan has been mourning the downfall of white America for a considerable time now, so this latest book was hardly new ground for him. He has been accused of anti-Semitism even by such conservative stalwarts as William F. Buckley, and got in hot water a few years ago for a bizarre column proposing that Hitler was misunderstood. No, his pissy statement sells himself rather short on the number of ridiculously bigoted things that would regularly come from his mouth. No matter what he said on air or off, though, the network would always prop him up in front of the television cameras.
Well, it’s not like he died or anything. We’ll still be hearing from him. Maybe Fox News will give him a home, since that seems to be where discredited pundits who have otherwise worn out their welcome in polite company go to ply their trade.
By: Hunter, Daily Kos, February 16, 2012
Even Republicans have to be laughing at the circus sideshow the GOP presidential candidates are putting on. The Mitt-Rick-Herman act was so comical this week it looks concerted, almost like they collaborated with the Democratic National Committee. Team Obama is grinning so hard its ears are hurting, because 10 weeks out from the Iowa caucuses, the Republican Party is divided, the candidates are undisciplined and the voters don’t love any of them. Just in time for the real ugliness to begin a few weeks from now.
The marquee moment belongs to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, of course, indulging in birtherism on Monday night so that he could step on Tuesday’s rollout of his flat-tax plan. Sure, Perry tried to discount the birth-certificate controversy — sort of — while throwing some greasy scraps to the Trumpsters who still believe a U.S. president has actually released a fake certificate.
“I’m not really worried about the president’s birth certificate,” Perry said in an interview with CNBC. “It’s fun to poke at him a little bit and say, ‘Hey, how about, let’s see your grades and your birth certificate.’ ” Perry made sure to mention that Donald Trump recently said he didn’t think the birth certificate was real. And he said it’s “a good issue to keep alive.”
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney could have jumped all over that — if he hadn’t been busy shooting himself in the foot in the battleground state of Ohio. Yes, Romney decided a fresh flip-flop was in order, despite the fact that his critics are happy to savor his many others. While at a Republican call center in Ohio, he refused to comment on an Ohio law limiting collective bargaining that he had expressed support for months ago. After being pummeled by conservatives, Romney reiterated his, um, previous support.
Herman Cain, who tops the GOP field in a new CBS/New York Times poll, spent the last few days telling reporters who asked tough policy questions that he needed a little more time to think of an answer. He learned the hard way by saying on CNN that abortion is a family’s choice. Whoops — better to leave details out of this whole thing. Cain still can’t really be found on the campaign trail. No, the motivational speaker was in Texas selling books and giving a speech. And despite Perry’s attempt to beat Cain at his 9-9-9 game with a flat-tax plan, Cain-world still scored much buzz with a weirdo Web ad featuring his campaign manager Mark Block smoking into the camera. It already has more than 387,000 hits on YouTube.
With that kind of juice, who needs to endure the icy winds of the door-to-door campaigning Iowans demand of their caucus winners? If Cain continues to surge without leaving the book tour, then we will know that talking to voters in town-hall meetings and asking for their support is no longer necessary. In fact, perhaps televised debates aren’t, either. Perry told Bill O’Reilly in an interview on Fox News on Tuesday that while his debate performances have been disappointing, the debates themselves are a mistake. “If there was a mistake, it was probably ever doing one of the campaign [debates] when all they’re interested in is stirring up between the candidates instead of really talking about the issues that are important to the American people.” His campaign said Perry will attend one more in Michigan, but beyond that he might be a no-show.
That’s understandable. Questions at debates about serious policy matters — like what his response would be to the Taliban gaining control of Pakistani’s nuclear weapons — just aren’t Rick Perry’s idea of “fun.”
By: A. B. Stoddard, Associate Editor, The Hill, October 26, 2011
Gov. Romney, Ohio Republicans are fighting to undermine collective-bargaining rights; do you agree with them? No comment.
Gov. Romney, your top rival for the Republican presidential nomination is questioning the president’s citizenship status; is this a legitimate subject for debate? No comment.
I thought it would be worth asking the campaigns of the two frontrunners — Herman Cain and Mitt Romney —for comment on [Rick Perry’s birther comments]. Are they willing to condemn it? After all, Romney has vouched for Obama’s U.S. citizenship in the past and has made Perry’s unelectability central to his campaign, and it seems likely that Perry’s flirtation with birtherism will fuel doubts about whether he has the gravity and temperament to be a good general election candidate.
Both campaigns declined to address Perry’s comments. “We’ll pass,” Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon emailed. A Romney campaign spokesperson also declined comment.
Remember, this isn’t one of those 11th-Commandment-style dynamics; Romney criticizes Perry comments all the time. But when Perry dabbles in unhinged conspiracy theories, the Romney campaign prefers to remain silent.
Greg Sargent added, by the way, that some major players in the party — Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Karl Rove, and others — have all said Perry’s comments were, at a minimum, out of line.
So where’s Romney as his top rival is taking heat from within the party?
There’s going to come a point next year when the Obama campaign is likely to say, “Mitt Romney lacks the courage and the character to be a leader.” And the criticism will sting because it’s based in fact.
Romney can end this talk very easily and demonstrate that he’s more than a craven empty suit. There are some basic yes-or-no questions — Do you condemn the booing of honorable American soldiers? Would you endorse Paul Ryan’s budget plan? Do you support public workers’ collective bargaining rights? — that the former governor could answer directly without looking for wiggle room and without a bunch of caveats to cling to later.
He just doesn’t seem to have the guts.
By: Steve Benen, Washington Monthly Political Animal, October 25, 2011
Say what you will about the birthers, but don’t call them partisan.
The people who brought you the Barack Obama birth-certificate hullabaloo now have a new target: Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a man often speculated to be the next Republican vice presidential nominee. While they’re at it, they also have Bobby Jindal, the Republican governor of Louisiana and perhaps a future presidential candidate, in their sights.
Each man, the birthers say, is ineligible to be president because he runs afoul of the constitutional requirement that a president must be a “natural born citizen” of the United States. Rubio’s parents were Cuban nationals at the time of his birth, and Jindal’s parents were citizens of India.
The good news for the birthers is that this suggests they were going after Obama, whose father was a Kenyan national, not because of the president’s political party. The bad news is that this supports the suspicion that they were going after Obama because of his race.
When I heard of the birthers’ latest targets, from a participant in my online chat, I figured it was a joke. But, sure enough, Alex Leary of the St. Petersburg Times reported that various bright lights of the birther community – Mario Apuzzo, Charles Kerchner and Orly Taitz – were casting doubt on Rubio’s eligibility.
“Senator Marco Rubio is not a natural born citizen of the United States to constitutional standards,” Kerchner writes on his blog. “He was born a dual citizen of both Cuba and the USA. He is thus not eligible to serve as the president or vice president.” A few months ago, Kerchner used the same logic to proclaim, “Jindal is NOT a natural-born citizen of the United States. His parents were not U.S. citizens when he was born.”
This relies on a rather expansive interpretation of “natural born.” At this rate, it is surely only a matter of time before birthers begin to pronounce candidates ineligible if they were born by C-section, or if their mothers were given pain medications during childbirth. Will Donald Trump demand to see their medical records?
The absurd accusations of the birthers by themselves won’t stop Jindal or Rubio from becoming president. There are far more serious impediments in their way—most recently a devastating report by The Post’s Manuel Roig-Franzia proving false the central narrative of Rubio’s political rise: that he is the son of exiles who fled Cuba under Castro. In fact, his parents left the island, apparently for economic reasons, 21/2 years before Castro came to power.
But the wild new turn the birthers have taken should serve as a timely reminder to Republican leaders that they need to push back more forcefully against the angry and the unstable in their ranks. Too often, they have done the opposite. Jindal, for example, encouraged the birthers this year when he announced his support for legislation that would require candidates for federal office to show proof of their U.S. birth before being allowed on the ballot in Louisiana. It was, as many pointed out, a sad gesture for a man born Piyush Jindal.
Similarly, few of the Republican presidential candidates have condemned the spectators at the presidential debates who applauded the death penalty, the idea that those without health insurance should be left to die and the sentiment that the jobless are to blame for being unemployed. And it seems doubtful that we’ll hear from Republican leaders about Tea Party Nation’s new effort to get business leaders to pledge not to hire people until the Democrats’ “war against business” ends.
Of course, extremism isn’t a uniquely Republican problem. My colleague Jennifer Rubin, noting a number of anti-Semitic messages seen at Occupy Wall Street events, asked last week: “Respectable politicians and media outlets, where is the outrage?” There’s no evidence that the demonstrators blaming Jewish bankers for the nation’s troubles are anything but a small minority. But that doesn’t excuse public figures from an obligation to push back against the extremes.
The higher prominence of loons of all stripes is a natural consequence of a political system that has lost every last vestige of a political center. But in the Obama age, this is particularly a problem for Republican lawmakers who are cowed into silence by the fear that any criticism of the crazies will invite a primary challenge. Now that the birthers have begun to eat their own brightest prospects, perhaps Republican lawmakers will finally feel compelled to say something.
By: Dana Milbank, Opinion Writer, The Washington Post, October 21, 2011
When Herman Cain said he was on the GOP panel of candidates for the presidency for comic relief, I laughed, because I thought “this guy’s a joke.” But he isn’t. The polls show he is gaining more and more acceptance and popularity among those on the right; and, the facts show, this man is dangerous.
Let’s start with Mr. Cain’s racism. I believe he is a bigot.
From saying that a Muslim would have to go through certain requirements to ensure he or she isn’t a terrorist to work for him, to stating that communities should be able to ban mosques from their cities and towns, Cain has made several bigoted statements.
I am sure that the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would roll in his grave listening to Mr. Cain’s remarks. And Mr. Cain forgets where he came from. He grew up in the segregated, racist South. Has Mr. Cain looked in the mirror lately?
Or how about glancing at our Constitution? Dr. King gave his life for to ensure the civil rights for all Americans, Muslims included. And how about that First Amendment? You remember that one, something about religious freedom for all?! Hmmm.
Having a Muslim prove he isn’t a terrorist is as bigoted as requiring a black man (like Cain) prove he isn’t lazy, living on welfare, and father to numerous children with different mothers. Both are disgusting negative stereotypes and are not true.
Oh yes, I know, Mr. Cain apologized to the Muslim community; like Mel Gibson apologized to the Jewish community. An apology doesn’t change one’s heart nor one’s prejudices.
And speaking of bigotry, how about toward his own community, African-Americans?
His 9-9-9 plan makes me want to call 9-1-1!
This plan benefits the rich and places the tax burden on the middle and lower income families in America; the African-American community would be hit especially hard.
Let’s look at a few of the problems with the 9-9-9 plan, shall we?
- Capital Gains: This would ensure that a large portion of the rich’s income would essentially go untaxed. Middle and lower income families do not have the resources to invest and benefit from this tax break.
- Cutting the federal budget by 70 percent: The federal government is one of the largest employers in the United States. How many people would lose their jobs as a result of this?
- Does the 9 percent apply to purchasing homes? Stocks? What about businesses?
- Where’s the math to prove that this would work?
- When it comes to sales tax, this would amount to a tax increase for the middle, lower, and poorer income levels in America.
Herman Cain says on his website that he has top economists and well known people who back the 9-9-9 plan and can speak to its merit; yet he refuses to list them.
A vote for Herman Cain, in my opinion, is a vote for moving backward. Back before our civil rights laws, perhaps even before the First Amendment, as Mr. Cain has repeatedly dodged the question regarding former Gov. Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion being a cult or not Christian.
The bottom line is, if you want to be commander in chief of this country, you need to be able to make decisions to benefit all of this country: black, white and yes, Muslim. Oh, and Mr. Perry, that means Mormons as well.
By: Leslie Marshall, U. S. News and Woeld Report, October 12, 2011