Thursday, September 13, 2012

Last Call

As a Kentucky Democrat, I’d love nothing more than to see Mitch McConnell go down in flames in 2014 and booted out of the Senate.   But Old-Age Mutant Nimrod Turtle didn’t get to be the leader of the GOP Senate Filibuster All-Stars by being a political meathead.  He knows that with no challenger on the D side willing to even commit to a primary at this point, the only thing Mitch really has to worry about is a Tea Party retributive strike, especially if Romney crashes and burns (and this seems more and more likely).  Mitch can read the weather in Frankfort, and as such he’s loading up his campaign with Tea Party “revolutionaries”.

McConnell announced Thursday that he hired Jesse Benton — the tea party political operative who headed Texas Congressman Ron Paul’s presidential primary race — to oversee a campaign that’s still two years away and still lacking an opponent.
“We’re committed to running a presidential-level campaign in Kentucky, and that starts with a presidential campaign manager,” McConnell said in a statement. “Jesse is literally the best in the business at building and organizing conservative grassroots movements, and I’m thrilled he’s chosen to return to Kentucky to lead my campaign.”

Benton also headed the 2010 race of Paul’s son, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul. The Bowling Green eye surgeon rose from relative obscurity to win Kentucky’s other Senate seat over major candidates from both the Republican and Democratic parties.
McConnell had said he was looking for a campaign manager with experience running and winning races in Kentucky and who had a reputation for unifying people. His choice of Benton drew immediate accolades.

Mitch isn’t stupid.  He figures that the only folks that can beat him in 2014 are the Rand Paul Irregulars, and he’s decided the easiest way to get rid of them is to co-opt the hell out of them, starting with Benton.

Now look, I’d love for the Dems to win here, but Mitch muddled through 2008′s challenge from Bruce Lunsford and still won by six points, and that was about the closest race he’s ever had with the most motivated KY Dem turnout in the state in a long, long time.  Jack Conway doesn’t want to get spanked again like he did in 2010, and nobody else has bothered to step up yet.

It’s possible he may lose.  He’s certainly vulnerable.  But what worries me is that the tea party might blow Mitch out of the water anyway and install somebody even worse than Rand Paul, and frankly as much as that might play into the hands of the Dems anywhere else, we don’t exactly have a track record on non-insane Republican senators here.

We’ll see how it shakes out.  A serious TP challenge might weaken Mitch enough to beat him, but who will answer the challenge?

Podcast Versus The Stupid!

Another weekday PVTS bonus show, It's A Foreign Concept To Mitt, as Bon and I cover Mitt's meltdown in the wake of the awful event in Libya and Egypt,  Helicopter Ben pushing the Big Red Button, and Missouri Republicans overriding Gov. Jay Nixon's veto stopping employers from stripping birth control from insurance plans for religious reasons.

Listen to internet radio with Zandar Versus The Stupid on Blog Talk Radio
As always, you can click on the iTunes button to get PVTS to go, or download the episode from our archive page.

Bad Advice Moose

Sarah Palin thinks Mittens just isn't mean enough to win.  The American people want mean, dammit!

Sarah Palin says Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign should be “severely aggressive” in attacking President Barack Obama as “incompetent” and a “socialist.”

Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly asked the former Alaska governor on Tuesday if Romney’s campaign — which has come under fire from Republicans — needs to go after Obama in a “more personal way” and use buzzwords like “incompetent, dangerous, socialist.”

“Those aren’t just buzzwords,” said Palin. “Those are accurate descriptions of the commander in chief.”

“He should be very aggressive, and he should be adamant in his attacks on Obama’s record, which is so dismal, his plan, or lack of a plan of Obama’s, to get his out of these woeful times,” Palin continued. “He needs to be severely aggressive.”

Because when I think of "advice from the most respected political strategist in the game right now", Sarah Palin immediately comes to mind.  Sure.  She's got a proven track record of winni...umm...actually....she's a half-term washout that couldn't handle Alaska with tons of free government welfare, then she cost the GOP the White House, then she fell apart everywhere else.

You know what, Mitt?  You should totally follow her advice.  Yes.  Immediately.  Run the most negative campaign ever devised, relentlessly, using your billionaire buddies and buy up every speck of ad time on TV to call Obama a socialist.  Do this now.

It'll be great.  Trust her!  When has Sarah Palin ever crashed and burned politically?

Honey Boo Boo... Enough Already!

I hadn't watched Toddlers and Tiaras, or any of the reality shows that involve kids.  I get too angry at what I see.  Except for the occasional guilty Bridezilla marathon, I really avoid that stuff in general.  So it took a while for me to see the horror that is Honey Boo Boo.

This little girl was raised to be deranged.  She has no more of an idea of how the world works than a potato.  And actually, I do believe people have tried harder to teach potatoes.  Her parents aren't living in our reality, and they are setting little precious up for a long and ugly fall in the years ahead.  This child actually thinks when she stamps her foot the world will stop and wait for her command.

Normally, I'd say to each their own, but in this case it would be great to see a complete refusal to cooperate and kill this show.  Viewers are adding to the train wreck that is a child's life.  She may not get better, ever, but she sure as hell won't while being encouraged to be as outrageous and obnoxious as possible.  Her parents are nuts, and they are bringing a perfect chip off the crazy old block into this world.  Goody for them.  Meanwhile, good parents aren't exciting enough to watch, and are eating cereal for dinner while Honey Boo Boo and company are at a steakhouse, getting paid to gorge and annoy.

Something is wrong with that formula.

Cowardly Council Faces Backlash

When Springfield City Council approved a bill two weeks ago limiting the penalties for marijuana possession, several members made clear that they did so only to repeal it at the first opportunity.
Monday, 18 speakers signed up to tell council members what they thought of that idea. By and large, it wasn’t complimentary.
“Such a tactic is showing the voting public your distrust in them and makes a mockery of the initiative process,” said Daryl Bertrand, who described himself as a “grateful former medical cannabis user.”
We don't need parents to think for us.  We don't need a city government that uses tricks to get past what it considers to be unworthy of our votes.  We don't need to be told that voting is too expensive, that they will just tell us what to do and we should be grateful for them.  
Maranda Reynolds, who spearheaded efforts to draft and circulate the petition, said the charter guarantees citizens the “power to propose any ordinance ... and to adopt or reject the same at the polls.”
“It does not say they’ll have that power only if council feels like granting it to them,” she said, adding that the more than 2,100 signatures gathered show “it’s clear this issue matters to the people of Springfield.”
It matters to us, and it matters that we are not shafted by the people set there to represent us and look out for our interests.  Our interests are in voting and making our own decisions. 

The Worst Campaign Ever

Expanding on today's earlier post that yes, Obama is vulnerable on the events in Bengazi, Charles Pierce makes the argument that Romney really should be cleaning Obama's clock regarding this week's events and has basically been handed the election on a silver platter, only to piss it all away because he's a gigantic moron.

In case you missed it, Barack Obama lost the election over the past few days. Lucky for him, however, he is running against Willard Romney, who is ham-handed, maladroit, and generally the biggest horse's ass of a professional politician this side of the Country of the Houyhnhnms. There is one principle of incumbency beyond the control of presidents, their spinmeisters, the punditocracy, and the voters. That is that Shit Happens. On the day of Jimmy Carter's inauguration, for example, who'd ever heard of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini? In August of 2001, not even anyone in the Bush administration apparently gave a damn about al Qaeda. Over the past few days, Shit has Happened in a such a way as to present the Republican challenger with a Republican's Comstock Lode of talking points, debating tricks, and attack advertisements.

He goes on to point out that the Chicago Teachers Union strike, Bibi's chest-thumping on Iran, Moody's making noises about another credit downgrade and the events in Cairo and Benghazi this week should, if operated by a competent campaign, be vaulting Romney ahead in the polls in what really should amount to the worst week President Obama has had all year.

Instead, Romney has imploded.

Let us be clear. On all four of these issues, the president is clearly vulnerable — most directly on No. 1, because of his close ties to Emanuel and the education "reform" community, and No. 3, because the administration did not make wrecking the lives of the thieves who wrecked the economy a priority upon taking office. He is confronted in this election by a man with a positive gift for spinning gold into straw. Romney was last heard reiterating the sentiments for which he was excoriated for the past 12 hours. Give this man a steak and he'll send it back for shoe leather.

I really can't argue with Pierce's logic, too.  The President really is vulnerable on all of these issues, and yet Mitt Romney still took a huge dump on America's front porch.
That's how awful Mitt Romney is.  We'll see how much the FOX media machine can do to save Mitt.  My guess is a lot.  They'll have to.

But The Mitt Came Back, The Very Next Day

Steve M. plays devil's advocate and counters my thoughts yesterday that Mitt has blown a hole in his own campaign, pointing out that in the end, our FOX-ified public may very well turn on Obama over this on second blush.

But I think we're really jumping to conclusions if we assume the public knows that politics should stop at the water's edge and one shouldn't politicize a tragedy until a decent interval has passed and all that. Also, I think we're giving the public too much credit if we expect them to have instantly absorbed the timeline. They don't necessarily know that the embassy statement came out before the Egypt protests started, or that Romney didn't realize people were dead in Benghazi when he went political.

On the latter, I don't think we should assume the public cares. These niceties make sense to Beltway insiders and politics junkies. I don't know if they make sense to ordinary voters.

That's a decent argument, going back to my 45-45% theory that 90% of America has already made up its mind, and that the last 10% won't care until November 1st.  FOX has already completely ignored the facts of the timeline, and we're already seeing the "Media in the tank for Obama" argument from the right again, bringing us to the second half of Steve's theory, that the only gaffe was lack of security that got our Ambassador killed.  Mitt did nothing wrong...

Americans were attacked in Libya and Egypt by members of a religious faith a lot of the U.S. public has grown to despise, or at least to be very wary of. There was inadequate security in the Benghazi attack, and (as anyone who watched Rachel Maddow's show tonight knows) there have been plenty of signs of a threat to U.S. interests in Libya since the drone killing of a top Al Qaeda figure, Abu Yahya al-Libi -- a Libyan -- in June. So I'm sorry, but the Obama administration has some vulnerabilities on the question of whether there was adequate vigilance.

I'm more inclined to believe that the FOX propaganda machine will simply scream ALL MUZZIES ARE EVIL OBAMA'S IN CAHOOTS HE LET THEM DIE and then the Village will be "forced" to retract its very correct statements on Romney's mendacity.

In the end, after a night's sleep to reflect, I can't discount that there's an decent chance that FOX and friends will be able to turn what should have been a fatal blow to Romney's campaign into a "both sides do it" moment, and in fact even "Obama's fall of the Shah" moment.  We're seeing that go into effect now.  How effective it will be, well gosh, how effective has FOX News been over the last 15 years?

Having said that, the non-FOX media is brutal in its frank assessment of Romney's suitability for President. Gail Collins chronicles "Mitt's Major Meltdown":

It didn’t seem to be a lot to ask, but when the crisis in the Middle East flared up, Romney turned out to have no restraining inner core. All the uneasy feelings you got when he went to London and dissed the Olympic organizers can now come into full bloom. Feel free to worry about anything. That he’d declare war on Malta. Lock himself in a nuclear missile silo and refuse to come out until there’s a tax cut. Hand the country over to space aliens. 

Here is the Republican candidate for president of the United States on Wednesday, explaining why he broke into a moment of rising international tension and denounced the White House as “disgraceful” for a mild statement made by the American Embassy in Cairo about the importance of respecting other people’s religions: 

“They clearly — they clearly sent mixed messages to the world. And — and the statement came from the administration — and the embassy is the administration — the statement that came from the administration was a — was a statement which is akin to apology and I think was a — a — a severe miscalculation.” 

Feel free to reread this when you’re staring at the ceiling at 4 a.m. 

So as with everything else, Mitt will survive this.  If he does lose however, this is the moment where the historians will say the turning point happened and Mitt lost the ball game.


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