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“Imagine Cruz As President”: You Can’t Stand In A Hog Wallow Without Getting Stink All Over You

And away we go — off on another crazy cruze with Ted!

Cinch up your seatbelts, for Senator Ted Cruz (fueled by his raw ambition and flaming jet-powered ego) has come screeching out of the GOP’s presidential staging area, getting a head start on all the other wannabes seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. And what a crazy start Ted made, launching his campaign from Liberty University. Liberty U is the creation of the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, the self-promoting Christian theocrat, bigot, liar, and buffoonish pretender to be God’s chosen agent on Earth. Cruz hopes that launching there will make him “God’s candidate” — the chosen one of far-right Christian extremists who dominate the vote in the early Republican contests.

But, good Lord — Falwell? The vast majority of Americans remember him as an unholy fool, a non-stop spewer of hate. “I listen to feminists and all these radical gals,” he said. “These women just need a man in the house. That’s all they need. A man to tell them what time of day it is.” And who can forget this piece of vicious sermonizing: “AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals”? Likewise, the pompous preacher said 9/11 was “what we deserve,” claiming it was God’s punishment for feminism, gays, the ACLU and other evils. His knowledge of African-Americans was equally insightful: “The true Negro does not want integration,” he explained.

Also, in Jerry’s world: “There is no separation of church and state”; “all public schools will be closed and taken over by churches,” and “Christians will be running them”; and the Bible is “absolutely infallible,” even “in areas such as geography, science, history, etc.”

You can’t stand in a hog wallow without getting stink all over you. Yet, Crazy Ted Cruz deliberately chose to stand in Falwell’s political wallow, which leaves him reeking with the stench of Falwell’s nastiness and know-nothingism. Is Cruz running to be president of the USA — or of Liberty University?

Ted’s announcement of his presidential candidacy was a real Cruz-a-palooza! It was part Ronald Reagan, part Elmer Gantry, part John Lennon and, of course, part Jerry Falwell — yet it was totally Ted Cruz — full of blather, bloat and BS.

Not only was it staged at Liberty U but Cruz thumped the word “liberty” again and again, like a televangelist thumping the Bible. “We stand together for liberty,” the candidate declared one final time at the conclusion of the show. That was more than a little cynical. While the mass media reported that Cruz drew a packed house of 10,000 Liberty students, few news stories mentioned a pertinent fact about the crowd — the budding scholars were not at… liberty to avoid his speech, for school officials made attendance mandatory.

Another word reprised throughout the campaign event was “imagine” — used 38 times by Cruz in a sort of dreamy imitation of the John Lennon song. “Imagine health care reform that keeps government out of the way,” warbled the senator, whose family has received free, platinum-level coverage from Goldman Sachs, where his wife was a top executive. But she has now taken a leave from the Wall Street giant to join Ted’s anti-government crusade, so suddenly they had no health coverage. No problem for a hypocrite like Cruz, though — only a day after the big speech, he said he plans to sign up for Obamacare, the very program he demonized and pledged to kill.

But it was in the speech’s finale that Ted reached his crescendo of cynicism: “It is a time for truth,” he bellowed. Truth? This is a guy who fabricates facts to foment fear among the fringiest of the farthermost fringe of the right wingers. The good news is that the more he campaigns, the more obvious it will be that can’t even imagine truth. And like Falwell, he will be another fool for the history books.

 

By: Jim Hightower, The National Memo, April 1, 2015

April 2, 2015 Posted by | GOP Presidential Candidates, Republicans, Ted Cruz | , , , , , | Leave a comment

“King v. Burwell And Jindal’s Real Leverage”: Interfering With The Signals Other Republicans Are Trying To Send To The Supreme Court

Well, fate may have given Bobby Jindal his heart’s desire: a way to exert real leverage on the GOP via his aborning presidential campaign.

He sure needed some help. His efforts to be a holier-than-anyone ally of the Christian Right were probably doomed to failure against competition with the credentials of Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and Rick Perry. And his record in Louisiana–increasingly criticized by Republicans as well as Democrats–is becoming a real millstone.

But thanks to a proposal on health care he first tossed into the mix last spring, Jindal is well-positioned to argue against any Obamacare “replacement” that relies on the basic structure of the Affordable Care Act, or that incorporates its budgetary assumptions, or that can be said to “compete” with the satanic instrument of socialized medicine by treating people well.

The Washington Examiner‘s Philip Klein thinks this is potentially a very big, and not necessarily (for Republicans) very good deal:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has laid down a marker on conservative alternatives to President Obama’s healthcare law that could shape the 2016 Republican presidential race — even if he doesn’t win.

On Tuesday, Jindal wrote a letter to Congress, putting members on notice: “(C)onservatives need to focus on truly conservative health reforms — and not merely a slightly-less-liberal plan.”

He followed this up with a speech in Washington, D.C., where he took a swipe at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

“If the whole point of this election was simply to give John Boehner and Mitch McConnell nicer offices, let’s give them back,” Jindal said, as reported by my Washington Examiner colleague Jason Russell. “What is the point of having a Republican Party if it’s only going to become a second liberal party?….”

One Republican alternative plan, first unveiled last year but re-introduced for this Congress on Thursday by Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., does lean on the current Obamacare baseline. And it includes a tax increase on employer-based health insurance that helps finance generous subsidies for low-income Americans to purchase coverage.

But Republicans have another option. They could wipe out Obamacare completely, return tax and spending levels to where they would have been if the law had never passed, and build a free market alternative from scratch. This is the approach that Jindal favors and that he took when he released his own healthcare plan last year.

Going this route would mean that Republicans couldn’t spend much on subsidizing health coverage, opening them up to attacks that they’re stripping away Obamacare without offering a sufficient life raft for its beneficiaries. Jindal argues that Republicans shouldn’t fall into the trap of competing with Democrats on coverage totals and that they should instead focus on reducing costs.

Whatever the policy debate, politically speaking, it’s clear to see how Jindal’s position could influence other candidates in the Republican presidential primary. Though Jindal hasn’t been among the leaders in early presidential polls, he’s still viewed as an important policy voice among conservatives, especially on healthcare.

But there’s an even more immediate way Bobby’s attacks on any Obamacare replacement plan that seeks to “compete” with Democratic beneficence could cause problems: by interfering with the signals other Republicans are trying to send to the Supreme Court that they can avoid chaos if the Court knocks out the ACA’s subsidies in states using a federally created exchange. As reformicon Ramesh Ponnuru notes in a column criticizing Jindal’s proposal, it doesn’t just fail to avoid disruption of insurance markets and coverage–it promises a whole lot of it. And if other presidential wannabes pick up on his line of attack, the fiction that Republicans can be expected to behave responsibly in the aftermath of a shocking Supreme Court decision would vanish once and for all.

Yeah, in some respects it would be nice if Bobby just went back to his Muslim-bashing.

 

By: Ed Kilgore, Contributing Writer, Political Animal, The Washington Monthly, February 6, 2015

February 9, 2015 Posted by | Bobby Jindal, Health Reform, Republicans | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Bigots Continue Their Battle”: Despite Conservative Republicans, Gay Marriage Will Prevail

She didn’t mean it.

Alabama state legislator Patricia Todd now says she’s not going to name those among her conservative colleagues who have had extramarital dalliances, although she had threatened to do so. But she has stiffened her resolve about this much: She’ll continue to combat anti-gay bigotry, which is what started this imbroglio.

Todd, a Democrat and Alabama’s only openly gay legislator, was heartened when a federal judge struck down the state’s law banning same-sex marriage earlier this month. The ruling is another sign of the rapid advance of gay rights; if U.S. District Court Judge Callie V.S. Granade’s decision holds, Alabama will be the 37th state to permit gay marriage.

But the ruling was immediately greeted with criticism from Republicans in the statehouse, who vowed to fight it. State House Speaker Mike Hubbard, for example, pledged to “continue defending the Christian conservative values that make Alabama a special place to live.”

For Todd, that was too much. “What I heard was, ‘We’re going to defend the Christian values of Alabama and family values.’ … This rhetoric … is very hurtful in the gay community,” she told me.

So she took to her Facebook page to warn her colleagues that she would fight back.

“I will not stand by and allow legislators to talk about ‘family values’ when they have affairs, and I know of many who are and have. I will call our elected officials who want to hide in the closet OUT,” she wrote.

Her anger is understandable. For decades, conservative Christians have wielded the Bible as an instrument of division, distorting its message to buttress their bigotry. Worse, they’ve been “family values” hypocrites, indulging their own vices while casting stones at others.

As just one example, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) was implicated in a prostitution scandal in 2007. He offered an apology for his “sin” and has since been re-elected. He continues, by the way, to oppose gay marriage.

The challenge to Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage was brought by a lesbian couple, Cari Searcy and Kim McKeand, who were married in California in 2008 but live in Mobile. The major reason for their nuptials was so that Searcy could be considered a legal parent to their son, whom McKeand gave birth to in 2005, they told The Associated Press. But the state of Alabama refused to recognize their marriage.

Judge Granade, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, ruled that Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban violated the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment. And she dispensed with the absurd notion that rearing children in a same-sex marriage would loosen the bonds that tie biological parents to their offspring.

“… Alabama does not exclude from marriage any other couples who are either unwilling or unable to biologically procreate. There is no law prohibiting infertile couples, elderly couples, or couples who do not wish to procreate from marrying. … In sum, the laws in question are an irrational way of promoting biological relationships in Alabama,” she wrote.

Still, the bigots continue their battle, hoping to bend the arc of history back toward the 19th century as the nation waits for the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a definitive ruling later this year. Alabama’s attorney general is appealing Judge Granade’s ruling. And Alabama’s famously combative Supreme Court chief justice, Roy Moore, has promised to ignore the federal judge’s decision.

Further, those antediluvian voices have been echoed on the national stage by some Republicans considering a run for the presidency. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal have suggested a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

But that view is rapidly dwindling, close to obsolete outside the aging GOP base. Nearly 60 percent of Americans now support same-sex nuptials, according to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll. No matter what the Supreme Court rules, gay marriage will prevail in the not-too-distant future.

That’s why Todd is optimistic — even as she pushes back against the prejudices of some of her colleagues. “The reality is, we’re going to win this battle,” she said.

 

By: Cynthia Tucker, The National Memo, January 31, 2015

February 1, 2015 Posted by | Bigotry, Marriage Equality, Republicans | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“They’re All Cronies”: Conservatives In Iowa Resist Bush, Romney

Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney face big trouble in Iowa — influential conservatives have had enough of them.

Disdain for the party’s center-right powerhouses, who are both considering seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nominations, could have implications well beyond the nation’s first caucus state.

Iowa conservatives mirror the views of like-minded activists nationwide, and having the party’s vocal right wing blasting away could stagger either candidate throughout 2016. And it’s uncertain that conservatives would actively work in a general election for Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, or Bush, the former Florida governor.

“This could be a big problem,” said Craig Robinson, editor-in-chief of theIowaRepublican.com, a partisan web site.

With its town-hall-like precinct caucuses the first test of the nomination next winter, Iowa usually winnows the field of a party’s nomination contest and previews campaign styles and weaknesses. Just ask the Romneys and Bushes. The families have had a candidate in five competitive caucuses since 1980, and in all but one instance, the outcome foreshadowed the future.

George H. W. Bush was a barely-known former CIA director in 1980 when he stunned the political world by topping Ronald Reagan. Though Reagan would win the nomination, Bush showed enough strength to become Reagan’s running mate.

Bush faltered in Iowa in 1988 when he ran for the nomination a second time, this time as the sitting vice president, finishing third behind Kansas neighbor Bob Dole and evangelist Pat Robertson. The caucus prodded Bush to run a tougher campaign, and he went on to win the nomination and the White House.

In 2000, his son cemented his standing as the candidate to beat with a big victory over magazine editor Steve Forbes.

Romney finished second in 2008 and 2012, both times losing to Christian right favorites. It was a signal that that bloc was leery of Romney’s record.

Today, memories of Romney’s previous efforts dog him. “He’s a proven loser,” said John Eggen, a Des Moines air conditioning and heating contractor.

Another campaign, he said, would mean more debate over the 2006 Massachusetts health care law that Romney approved when governor. It’s considered the model for the 2010 federal health care law that Republicans hate.

Bush is also yesterday’s candidate, said Sabrina Graves, a stay-at-home mother from Blue Grass. Bush’s support for Common Core educational standards, which many conservatives view as big government reaching too far into local education, also gets slammed.

“I don’t know what is worse, nominating someone merely because he’s been nominated twice before or nominating a liberal supporter of Common Core because he has a familiar name,” said former New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O’Brien, who spoke at a daylong conservative forum in Iowa Saturday featuring a long list of potential presidential candidates.

Romney and Bush did not attend. Bush, who last week spoke at length with the Iowa Republican chairman and hinted at a White House bid, cited a scheduling conflict. A spokesman for Romney did not respond to a request for comment.

Some of Saturday’s loudest cheers came when businessman Donald Trump fired away. “It can’t be Mitt because Mitt ran and failed,” Trump said, adding “the last thing we need is another Bush.”

The audience was largely hardcore conservatives, the crowd that boosted former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, also a Baptist preacher, in 2008 and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, a hero of the Christian right, four years later. Both won the Iowa caucus.

They watched Romney market himself as a fierce conservative in 2012, but never quite bought it. Saturday, they saw New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, another moderate favorite, argue that he’s a true conservative.

“If the values I’m fighting for every day in New Jersey and all across this country are not consistent with your values, then why would I keep coming back? I wouldn’t,” he said. Reaction was spotty.

The conservatives say they’ve had enough of nominees with appeal to independent and more moderate voters.

“We are tired of being told who our candidates should be,” said Donna Robinson, a Marengo saleswoman. “They say they’re conservative, then they run to the middle.”

The right wants new faces and new ideas. They were particularly impressed Saturday with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, 47, and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, 44.

“He has a proven record and he’s young,” Eggen said of Walker.

They also like people without lengthy political resumes. That’s why retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former business executive Carly Fiorina got warm receptions.

“People who have been in and around government and politics for their entire lives may no longer be able to see the truth: our government must be fundamentally reformed,” Fiorina said.

The conservatives loved it. Romney and Bush? “They’re all cronies,” Graves said. “I want someone this time who’s not a politician.”

 

By: David Lightman, The National Memo, January 26, 2015

January 29, 2015 Posted by | Conservatives, Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Wanna Play The Blame Game?”: Conservatives May Be Biting Off More Than They Can Chew

If conservatives really want to play the blame game over the murder of New York police officers, they may be biting off more than they can chew, as Kevin Drum suggests:

I assume this means we can blame Bill O’Reilly for his 28 episodes of invective against “Tiller the Baby Killer” that eventually ended in the murder of Wichita abortion provider George Tiller by anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder. We can blame conservative talk radio for fueling the anti-government hysteria that led Timothy McVeigh to bomb a federal building in Oklahoma City. We can blame the relentless xenophobia of Fox News for the bombing of an Islamic Center in Joplin or the massacre of Sikh worshippers by a white supremacist in Wisconsin. We can blame the NRA for the mass shootings in Newtown and Aurora. We can blame Republicans for stoking the anti-IRS paranoia that prompted Andrew Joseph Stack to crash a private plane into an IRS building in Austin, killing two people. We can blame the Christian Right for the anti-gay paranoia that led the Westboro Baptist Church to picket the funeral of Matthew Snyder, a US Marine killed in Iraq, with signs that carried their signature “God Hates Fags” slogan. We can blame Sean Hannity for his repeated support of Cliven Bundy’s “range war” against the BLM, which eventually motivated Jerad and Amanda Miller to kill five people in Las Vegas after participating in the Bundy standoff and declaring, “If they’re going to come bring violence to us, well, if that’s the language they want to speak, we’ll learn it.” And, of course, we can blame Rudy Giuliani and the entire conservative movement for their virtually unanimous indifference to the state-sanctioned police killings of black suspects over minor offenses in Ferguson and Staten Island, which apparently motivated the murder of the New York police officers on Saturday.

So no, conservatives shouldn’t “go there” in claiming that liberals who asked questions about the police killings in Missouri and New York and elsewhere were in some way responsible for this weekend’s tragedy. As Kevin concludes:

Maybe lots of people support lots of things, and we can’t twist that generalized support into blame for maniacs who decide to take up arms for their own demented reasons.

 

By: Ed Kilgore, Contributing Writer, Political Animal, The Washington Monthly, December 22, 2014

December 24, 2014 Posted by | Conservatives, NYPD, Police Brutality | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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