mykeystrokes.com

"Do or Do not. There is no try."

“A Sobering Message”: What’s Wrong With The GOP

Republicans have been spending the weeks after their miserable showing in the 2012 election trying to figure out why they did so miserably. Bobby Jindal said what a lot of people were thinking by suggesting the GOP needed to stop being “the stupid party.” Karl Rove, who didn’t back one winning candidate in the recent election, is blaming the Tea Party for promoting extreme, unelectable candidates.

Republican political operative Liz Mair, who has been a communications strategist for governors Scott Walker and Rick Perry, offers a sobering message to her party:

Everyone knows that Todd Akin, Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle were not good candidates. What a lot of people don’t seem to recognize is that their opponents, even though they looked like they would perform better based on on-paper attributes, were even worse candidates. How do I know this? They lost to Todd Akin, Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle. I’m serious. Think about that for a minute.

In her blog post “Forget what you’ve heard, here’s what’s really wrong with the GOP,” she lays out five reasons why the Republican Party is seeing stars, despite an ailing economy and the best demographic advantage they will ever have.

First, a lot of bad candidates have been fielded, and a lot of crappy campaigns have been run. And no, I don’t just mean that candidate whose name immediately popped into your head there.

Second, and tied in with this, we have too many less-than-cutting-edge and insufficiently creative and/or out-of-date consultants making a lot of money off of said crappy campaigns.

Third, our technology sucks in comparison to what Democrats have.

Fourth, growing portions of the electorate—Hispanic-Americans and Asian-Americans—either loathe us or just don’t like us.

Fifth, the party seems to have forgotten that it’s supposed to stand for something—by which I mean actual principles of some sort, and not just, say, the general bumper sticker concept that “OBAMA = BAD.”

After laying out her diagnosis, she has a few prescriptions on how to treat the problems. If you’re not a fan of the GOP, you should hope that no Republican with any power heeds her advice.

 

By: Jason Sattler, The National Memo, February 5, 2013

February 6, 2013 Posted by | GOP | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Letting The Mask Slip”: Richard Mourdock, The Latest Entrant Into The Republican Rape Insensitivity Bake-Off

Dear everyone asking what it is about Republican candidates and their clumsy talk about rape: This is a feature, not a bug.

The latest entrant into the Republican rape insensitivity bake-off is Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who said tonight that “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” He, of course, joins fellow Senate candidate Todd Akin, with his now-canonical “legitimate rape” comment, and Rep. Joe Walsh, running for election in Illinois, who claimed there was no reason a woman would ever need an abortion to save her life or preserve her health. The trailblazer was Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle, who failed to unseat Harry Reid in Nevada two years ago, and famously said that if a hypothetical teenager was raped and impregnated by her father, it was an opportunity to turn “a lemon situation into lemonade.”

Here’s why this is happening: The newer crop of Republican candidates and elected officials are, more often than not, straight from the base. They’re less polished than their predecessors; they’re more ideologically pure. As a result, they’ve accidentally been letting the mask slip and showing what’s really at the core of the right-to-life movement.

For years, the movement has fought plausible charges that it is anti-woman by repackaging its abortion restrictions, in Orwellian fashion, as protections for women. They’ve done it so successfully that until recently, when so many alleged “gaffes” went viral, no one really noticed. What is the so-called Women’s Health Defense Act? A proposed ban on abortion before viability. What are “informed consent” laws purporting to give women all the information they need before having abortions? Forced ultrasounds, transvaginal, and some of them involving the forced viewing of the ultrasound, at the woman’s expense, under the stated supposition that she has no idea what’s growing inside her unless someone makes her look. (Never mind that 60 percent of women who have abortions have already given birth at least once.)

Where does rape come into this? If you doubt that the abortion obsession in this country is about sex more than it is about “babies,” just look to all this agonized public parsing about “legitimate rape” and “forcible rape.” Americans are, at least in theory, sensitive to survivors of rape, whose bodies have been cruelly used against their will, and they see a forced pregnancy as further suffering. The corollary, of course, is that pregnancy is the just punishment for consensual sex, or, if you think an embryo or fetus is the same as a person, that rape justifies capital punishment. But most people don’t think in those consistent absolutes, which is the reason that the antiabortion movement has sometimes conceded to rape exceptions, as Mitt Romney has — they’re willing to suffer them, occasionally, as a sort of gateway drug toward stigmatizing and marginalizing all abortion.

For now, antiabortion absolutists have some explaining to do, and they’re doing it very, very badly. That’s because they aren’t used to cloaking their views in the rhetoric of compassion, something George W. Bush was so much better at. They’re used to how the base talks about this stuff among themselves, when it’s open about seeing women as vessels whose decision-making is subsumed to God’s plan or to baby making. (Paul Ryan is ideologically aligned with this crowd, but usually has the political skills and earnest manner to keep him out of trouble. When he got asked in the debate about religion, he answered by talking about “science.”)

But every time a Republican politician says what he (usually he) really thinks about all this, we can ask ourselves the following: What are you if you think women have no idea what they’re doing when they have an abortion, that they need the law to bully them, if not to change their minds, then to make things as difficult as possible for them?

What are you if you think a woman’s right to her own body should be entirely subordinate to the possibility of an hours-old fertilized egg, and thus want to ban emergency contraception, as Akin does? What are you if you essentially render a pregnant woman an incubator, as Akin did when he described pregnancy as, “All you add is food and climate control, and some time, and the embryo becomes you or me”? What with all of the double-talk, I’ll be plain. You’re a misogynist.

By: Irin Carmon, Salon, October 24, 2012

October 25, 2012 Posted by | Election 2012 | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Pandering To The Stupid”: Why The GOP Breeds Politicians Like Todd Akin

The embarrassing fall of Todd Akin should induce Republicans to confront their own responsibility for the low quality of politicians they are inflicting on us (and themselves). Having developed an extremist culture that encourages figures such as Akin to seek legislative office, GOP leaders should hardly be surprised when idiotic and reprehensible remarks spill from the mouths of their candidates. (Candidates who insist, by the way, that English should be our official language when their own diction is often incomprehensible.)

Yet those same leaders insist they were shocked – yes, shocked and appalled – by Akin’s “legitimate rape” utterance, as if other Republican figures don’t blurt bizarre, nonsensical, and dumb comments as regularly as cows pass gas. Memories dim from cycle to cycle, but how can they forget Christine O’Donnell, the Tea Party queen whose defeat of an intelligent moderate Republican legislator sparked celebrations among “conservatives” across the country?

She had accused “American scientific companies” of cross-breeding animals with humans to produce “mice with fully functioning human brains,” and warned that co-educational colleges would lead to “orgy rooms.” Regarding evolution, she said the scientific theory is “a myth,” asking “Why aren’t monkeys still evolving into humans?” But her shaky grip on reality didn’t matter because she eagerly adopted the party line on economic and social issues.

O’Donnell was colorful but hardly unique. Across the country in Nevada, Sharron Angle became the party’s standard-bearer against Senator Harry Reid, proceeding to disqualify herself with calls for armed insurrection and ugly, racially charged remarks to Hispanic students. In Kentucky, Rand Paul easily won a Senate seat, whereupon he let the nation know that the Supreme Court doesn’t decide the constitutionality of laws in this country. Evidently he thinks that he does.

Cretinism of the same caliber can be found in news archives under the names of candidates failed and elected, from Carl Paladino in New York and Ken Buck in Colorado to Ron Johnson in Wisconsin and — topping any such list – Michele Bachmann in Minnesota, who once suggested that Democratic presidencies coincided with swine flu outbreaks because they had occurred under Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. (Actually, the 1976 epidemic occurred under Gerald Ford, a Republican, but Bachmann is almost always confused about dates, places, and history.)

Dim politicians of all stripes have always been with us as an unfortunate byproduct of democracy. In that vein, it must be noted that there are plenty of bright conservatives and some not-so-bright liberals, too. But have there ever been so many nominated nimrods, so concentrated within a single major party, and so enthusiastically encouraged in their ambition by powerful people who should know better?

The most famous and damning example, of course, is Sarah Palin, the blindingly ignorant vice-presidential nominee in 2008, brought to the brink of executive power by neoconservative leader William Kristol and the seasoned campaign veterans advising John McCain, notably Steve Schmidt.

We are meant to assume that the Palin episode was a freakish accident, but the irresponsibility of Ivy-educated right-wing intellectuals like Kristol and sophisticated operatives like Schmidt in promoting her was symptomatic of a broader ailment. Major financial and media powers, including the Club for Growth, the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, Rush Limbaugh, the National Review and a host of other forces within the GOP have aggressively supported candidates whose extremist views only emphasize their feeble intellect and lack of basic knowledge. For the party of the right, no standards need be imposed on those who are supposed to write laws, negotiate budgets, and oversee executive and judicial authorities. Like in the old Soviet Union, anybody who parrots the party line will do.

Don’t expect the Akin incident – or last year’s gong-show presidential primary — to provoke introspection among the top operatives and financiers of the right. Their style of politics is a daily insult to their country, but they will continue to believe that pandering to stupid is the shortest path to power.

 

By: The National Memo, August 23, 2012

August 24, 2012 Posted by | Election 2012 | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

   

%d bloggers like this: