Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Party Of Hell No

Hey America, here's your GOP in action:

They're not even pretending anymore to be anything other than The Party Of Hell No. No solutions, no dignity, no respect, no tolerance, no no no no no.

They are nothing but petulant l'enfant terribles throwing tantrums like the children they are. No wonder the voters threw them out of power.

Ain't No Party Like A West Coast Party

The Republican civil war is moving on to Ahnold's replacement af the Governator of California. The corporate country club wing is behind former HP head Carly Fiorina, but the Teabaggers are lining up behind State Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, and a look at DeVore's history shows why:
But who, exactly, is he? Not many people beyond Republican devotees and California political watchers know the guy. The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza -- who is more plugged into local politics than most D.C.-based reporters -- copped to not really having a clue about DeVore just last week.

The assemblyman does check off the majority of boxes on the conservative purity test. He has a full pro-life record, opposed the stimulus package and the bank bailout, and has never met a tax cut he didn't like. His most famous moment in office may, in fact, have occurred when he resigned from his position as Chief Republican Whip out of anger over a tax increase agreed to by California's Republican leadership.

"We need to shake up the Republican Party," DeMint said, when announcing his endorsement. "He's gonna join the country, and not the club."

In addition to fiscal discipline, however, DeVore's closet includes some weird and potentially damaging associations. As pointed out by a Republican source, the assemblyman is connected to noted birther Floyd Brown. Brown, who is famous for creating the 1988 Willie Horton ad and, more recently, pushing an effort to impeach Barack Obama, was supported by DeVore in his efforts to attack Democratic candidates in the 2008 presidential primary.

"Poll after poll shows it works," DeVore said of Brown's deeply controversial product.

All of which is not to say that associations like these -- and his relative obscurity -- will trip DeVore up in a primary race. Indeed, he likely relishes his current frame as a man of the conservative fringe.

Eight Senate Republicans announced on Thursday that they would be backing Fiorina's bid for the nomination. The next day, the assemblyman put out a web advertisement that contained a direct dig at one of Fiorina's endorsers -- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) -- for his ghastly efforts at working with a Democrat on climate change legislation.

DeVore's Birther ties only serve to further establish his bona fides for the Wingnuts in California and nationally. The question is how long before the GOP officially drops Fiorina in order to avoid another Hoffman Effect disaster?

For you see, there's no way they'll be able to. The more the Teabaggers insist Fiorina gets thrown under the bus, the more the Democrats stand to win when the civil war wrecks the GOP.

Battle Lines

GOP Rep. Eric Cantor is taking on El Rushbo and the Teabaggers.
Cantor, in an interview today with Bloomberg, also offered some criticism of radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh's comparison of President Obama to Adolf Hitler.

"Do I condone the mention of Hitler in any discussion about politics?" said Cantor, who is the only Jewish Republican in Congress. "No, I don't, because obviously that is something that conjures up images that frankly are not, I think, very helpful."

In a climate where Republicans who criticize Limbaugh come crawling back on their knees (see TPM's "Forgive Me Rush" photo feature), Cantor's office has pointed reporters to the story, emailing the link to Glenn Thrush's post on Cantor's remarks.

I wonder how long it will take before Cantor has to apologize to Leader Limbaugh.

I'm giving it until end of the week at most.

Dealing With The Blue Dogs

The big story this morning is last night's deal with the Blue Dogs to strip any and all abortion funding from the House health care reform measure. Today's vote will indeed continue, but Nancy Pelosi has been forced to allow an amendment vote to block not only the public option from being used to pay for abortions, but from any insurance plan offered in the so called health insurance exchange. As Steve Benen reports, Pelosi had no choice.
The House Democratic leadership didn't want to go this route, but was out of options -- they just couldn't get to 218.

The idea, at this point, is to allow a vote on the amendment. Pro-choice Dems can register their opposition, but the amendment is expected to have the votes pass.

And that's when this might get a little trickier. If the Stupak/Ellsworth amendment is approved, Democrats who've withheld their support over this issue will throw their support to the larger reform bill. The angle to keep an eye on, however, is what happens to the strong, pro-choice leaders in the caucus -- will they switch sides and vote to kill the bill?

Most of the vote counts I've seen put the number of hard "no" votes in the Democratic caucus at 25. The majority can lose no more than 40. The vote is still expected for tonight, with top White House officials and cabinet sectaries working the phones and walking the halls of Congress, keeping the heat on wavering members.

On one hand, most private health insurance plans offered through the workplace simply don't cover abortions to begin with. Mine doesn't, for example. There's also a raft of state laws and limited doctors who will perform the procedure that make getting an abortion nearly impossible anyway no matter what the public option says.

On the other hand, the Dems are better people than to be misogynist assholes. The reality is this: Will the Blue Dogs who vote for the anti-abortion amendment vote for the House bill at the final vote?

I'm thinking no. If the measure dies in the House due to the abortion measure, well, there's no way anyone will ever touch health care reform in the future. Nancy just may have dealt herself into a corner, and the Blue Dogs may just end up putting the Dems out of business in 2010.

Hasn't anyone on Capitol Hill figured out that the reason the Republicans won in 1994 was because Democrats killed Clinton's health care reform?

[UPDATE 12:35 PM] BooMan argues that the price of getting this through the House is to throw women under the bus, and that the Stupak amendment is the de facto end of abortion coverage in America.

There will be a vote on the Stupak Amendment after all. And, no doubt, that amendment will pass. Private insurers will have to drop abortion coverage from plans that have it (which is most of them) in order to participate in the exchanges. The Public Option will not provide abortion coverage. People will get access to affordable health care, but they'll have to pay out of pocket for an abortion. If people want to move to a plan on the exchange, they'll lose the coverage that they currently have.

There is no guarantee that this language will survive the Conference Committee and become law, but it won't be easy to pass the Conference Report if it doesn't have the language. Once people vote for something once, they tend to get irritated if you just ignore that and remove it.

I didn't realize that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was a political party with elected officials in Congress. Now I know.

I have a difficult time arguing that he's wrong. I can understand the public option being banned from having abortion coverage, but banning any private insurance plan participating in the health insurance exchange will basically put a functional end to abortions being covered under insurance, period.

That's something I would expect from the GOP, but apparently that's the price of the Democrats as well.

StupidiNews, Weekend Edition!

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