So far, the voters — and God — have awarded [Mark] Sanford at least five or six do-overs, what with the adultery, his decision to go to Argentina for an assignation without leaving his gubernatorial staff a phone number where he could be reached, that inclination to discuss embarrassing details of his sex life during press conferences, the ethics fine, the trespassing accusation, and so on. But talk about the availability of eight chances seems to suggest the newly elected congressman is leaving daylight for additional forgiveness opportunities in the future.
…even though Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney weren’t culture warriors or evangelical Christians, in the popular imagination their legacy of incompetence has become a reason to reject social conservatism as well. Just as the post-Vietnam Democrats came to be regarded as incompetent, wimpy and dangerously radical all at once, since 2004 the Bush administration’s blunders — the missing W.M.D., the botched occupation — have been woven into a larger story about Youth and Science and Reason and Diversity triumphing over Old White Male Faith-Based Cluelessness.
Of all the Iraq war’s consequences for our politics, it’s this narrative that may be the war’s most lasting legacy, and the most difficult for conservatives to overcome.
– Ross Douthat, describing the impact of the failed George W. Bush wars. In my view, the republicans will not recover until the party can openly acknowledge and move past the Bush disasters.
This is something we will not give up on because we are not going to give up on destroying the health care system for the American people.
“I got on the telephone with the president, who was in Florida, and told him not to be at one location where we could both be taken out.” Cheney kept W. flying aimlessly in the air on 9/11 while he and Lynn left on a helicopter for a secure undisclosed location, leaving Washington in a bleak, scared silence, with no one reassuring the nation in those first terrifying hours.
“I gave the instructions that we’d authorize our pilots to take it out,” he says, referring to the jet headed to Washington that crashed in a Pennsylvania field. He adds: “After I’d given the order, it was pretty quiet. Everybody had heard it, and it was obviously a significant moment.”
– Maureen Dowd, quoting Dick Cheney from a Showtime documentary on Showtime titled “The World According to Dick Cheney.” By the way, the 9/11 Commission found no documentary evidence that George W. Bush ever authorized Cheney to shoot down commercial airlines.
The United States has lost an enemy, the people of Venezuela have lost a dictator, and Satan has gained a new companion tonight.
– Representative Ted Poe, republican of Texas, commenting on the death Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.
It’s not what I meant.
– Mitt Romney, speaking on Fox News yesterday, about his infamous 47% claim. His inability to say what he really believed about virtually any issue in the campaign is what did him in.
Every year, Republican members of the House of Representatives retreat from Washington to assess their political fortunes. This year, they gathered in mid-January, at the Kingsmill Resort, in Williamsburg, Virginia. It was too cold to play golf on the resort’s renowned course, and at nearby Colonial Williamsburg, with a steady rain falling, there wasn’t a costumed Thomas Jefferson or Benedict Arnold in sight. Aside from the bar and the spa, there was no escaping the ballrooms, where, for three days, some two hundred Republicans pondered the state of their party.
Two months earlier, Republicans had lost the Presidential election and eight seats in the House. They were immediately plunged into a messy budget fight with a newly emboldened President, which ended with an income-tax increase, the first in more than twenty years. A poll in January deemed Congress less popular than cockroaches, head lice, and colonoscopies (although it did beat out the Kardashians, North Korea, and the Ebola virus). It was time to regroup.
– Ryan Lizza, writing the New Yorker.
While serving as governor of Utah, I pushed for civil unions and expanded reciprocal benefits for gay citizens. I did so not because of political pressure—indeed, at the time 70 percent of Utahns were opposed—but because as governor my role was to work for everybody, even those who didn’t have access to a powerful lobby. Civil unions, I believed, were a practical step that would bring all citizens more fully into the fabric of a state they already were—and always had been—a part of.
That was four years ago. Today we have an opportunity to do more: conservatives should start to lead again and push their states to join the nine others that allow all their citizens to marry. I’ve been married for 29 years. My marriage has been the greatest joy of my life. There is nothing conservative about denying other Americans the ability to forge that same relationship with the person they love.
All Americans should be treated equally by the law, whether they marry in a church, another religious institution, or a town hall. This does not mean that any religious group would be forced by the state to recognize relationships that run counter to their conscience. Civil equality is compatible with, and indeed promotes, freedom of conscience.
(via Andrew Sullivan)
There is trouble in paradise. Anna Marie Cox:
The marriage between the [Fox] network and the [Republican] party has been almost entirely beneficial to both entities. Working together – brazenly, even explicitly so – has been a force multiplier for the GOP brand and message. It’s not really a surprise that as the linked swimmers have started to go against the current of history, their connection puts them both at risk of drowning.
On the surface, the question appears to be: who will let go first? Jettisoning Morris and Palin suggests that Fox is loosening its grip and attempting to edge away from the Tea Party-based ideological rigor that weighed down the GOP in 2012. But almost simultaneously, Republicans have been speaking publicly about breaking away from their dependence on the network. As one strategist told Buzzfeed:
“Fox is great. But those viewers already agree with us … How else are different demographics going to get to know you if you never reach out to them?”
No matter who may be trying to end the marriage first, extricating themselves from the relationship won’t be graceful: the habits of mental cohabitation are too difficult to break. Witness the coverage of Benghazi, where conservative outrage on the channel remains strident and forceful and in harmony with Republican officials, despite the willingness of most of the country to move on to matters closer to home. It’s a positive feedback loop that spirals into irrelevance: Republicans pursue a conspiracy that only Fox viewers believe, based on reports only Fox airs, and new information gets hammered into a shape that fits the existing narrative.
We’ve got to stop being the stupid party. I’m serious. It’s time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults.
Party elders also argue that the recurring fiscal brinkmanship in Washington has been wrongheaded for Republicans, who often seem to be willing to risk the nation’s economy simply to get their way. At the same time, some Republicans expressed dismay at the inability of conservative House members to see the end-of-year tax deal as a victory since it made permanent nearly all the Bush-era tax cuts, though it raises taxes on the most affluent.
The growing consensus among wingnuts that shutting down the government is the best way to handle the debt limit gives me a (political) erection. Do it. Shut it down. Stop those SS checks. Shut down all the services people need on a daily basis. Stop the payments. It worked so well for Gingrich.
The Democrats appear to have learned and will refuse to negotiate with the terrorists, so it will be all on the GOP. When the blue hairs stop getting their SS checks and the military has former Generals on every cable channel talking about how lack of funds is impeding their ability to perform their mission, it will truly be a site to see. Can’t wait for it.
Bring it on.
I totally agree. The President should not ask for a debt limit increase. Rather, he should simply notify Congress that the limit has been reached and it is up to them to increase it so that the government can borrow to pay expenditures previously authorized by Congress
NEW RULE You can’t run for president if you don’t know how old the world is. Quizzed recently, Marco Rubio answered, “I’m not a scientist, man.” As if you have to be Galileo to Google, “How old is the earth?” And when asked his thoughts on evolution, Chris Christie said, “None of your business!” Which is what you say when someone asks you if you made a baby with the maid. Fellas, if you and your party want to be taken seriously, you don’t have to recite the collected works of Stephen Hawking — just stop regurgitating the Facebook page of Sarah Palin.
Go fuck yourself.
– John Boehner, speaking to Harry Reid, on Friday. He actually said it twice.