Category Archives: Conservatism

You Can’t Have a Substantive Debate Unless You Have Substantive Candidates

TPM’s Caitlin MacNeal published the full text of Reince Priebus’ letter to NBC pulling out of their slated February debate and there is, not surprisingly, what you might call a not-so-subtle disconnect between the debate we saw and the debate he’s describing. The debate we all saw was a candidate free-for-all in which they treated the moderators – and the audience – with blistering contempt. They interrupted each other, refused to pay any attention to time constraints or the “rules” they themselves had demanded, yelled at each other, and generally acted like grade school bullies on a tear. But that isn’t the debate Priebus apparently saw.

The CNBC network is one of your media properties, and its handling of the debate was conducted in bad faith.

Really? How’s that?

CNBC billed the debate as one that would focus on “the key issues that matter to all voters—job growth, taxes, technology, retirement and the health of our national economy.” That was not the case.

Well, Reince, they tried. Give them credit for that. But look what happened when they did.  Asked for details as you request, they either answered by asserting generalities without explaining anything or they ignored the question entirely and went off on pre-scripted irrelevant rants.

Questions were inaccurate or downright offensive.

Inaccurate how, Reince? Was Quick’s question asking Carson to explain his economic program because the numbers didn’t add up – which they don’t, not even close – inaccurate? No, it was not. But more importantly, look at Carson’s answer: It will work because I say it will work. Asked how he would build his border wall, Trump answered: I’ll do it. It’ll be easy. Then he compared it to the Great Wall of China. Like, what?!

The fault, dear Reince, lies not in the moderators but in the candidates, and it’s simply stated:


And you don’t have any, Reince. What you’ve got are faith-based imagineers who are comfortable with loopy theories and wide swaths of non-specific generalizations and unproven assertions. None of them DO detail. Asked for it, they think they’re being attacked. All of your candidates are lightweight and ignorant. None of them has the remotest idea what govt does or how it does it, and none of them give a shit about learning.

While debates are meant to include tough questions and contrast candidates’ visions and policies for the future of America, CNBC’s moderators engaged in a series of “gotcha” questions, petty and mean-spirited in tone, and designed to embarrass our candidates. What took place Wednesday night was not an attempt to give the American people a greater understanding of our candidates’ policies and ideas.

The moderators – any moderators – can’t do it in a vacuum. Those questions were NOT “petty and mean-spirited in tone, and designed to embarrass our candidates.” They were attempting to elicit “policies and ideas” except your candidates don’t have any. Their collected economic policies could be written on a napkin, and not one of them has at any point in their careers come up with an idea that wasn’t old when Reagan was a baby.

Give it up, Reince. It’s hopeless. PR and marketing spin notwithstanding, you can’t make them something they’re not. Maybe you ought to consider Cruz’s suggestion and hire Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck as your next moderators. It’ll still be a trainwreck but more fun to watch.

I Live in NH and Joan Walsh Is Right

Salon’s Joan Walsh has been taking it on the chin for saying that NH’s GOP Trump supporters were “lowest common denominators” (which isn’t what she actually said) and that that was “sad”. She has since clarified the LCD comment-

I actually wasn’t referring to the voters themselves (in fact, that makes no sense); I was talking about the solutions they seem to embrace for the country’s woes.

– but either way she meant it, it’s true. Their attitudes do reflect LCD thinking, are childish, are free from every response but visceral wishful thinking. I know this because I grew up here surrounded by these people and left here in large part because of them. I’ve come back after 40 yrs to find that very little has changed. Continue reading

Dem Base Is Not the Tea Party

WaPo pundlette Paul Waldman wants to make an article out of this: “Republicans fear their activist base. Democrats don‘t.” Like there’s something going on here. Well, there’s a couple things going on here, alright –  a mistake and the Dem elite who control the party these days.

Mistake: “The Tea Party started just as much as a movement of self-styled outsiders, but unlike activists on the left, they pursued an inside strategy from the outset, one focused clearly on elections.”

Because they were NOT outsiders. The Tea Party was started by Dick Armey with Koch Bros money and aimed at the political disruption of establishment Dems from the very beginning. Neither Armey nor the GOP establishment expected that they would use what they were taught by them on their GOP Masters. BlackLivesMatter are NOT a trained arm of Dem operatives. They have arisen from a need and are clearly not politically sophisticated yet. No comparison.

The Dem elite: The simplest way to explain why the Third Way/BD/NewDem party leaders don’t give a shit about the base is to repeat Axelrod’s comment from 2012.

“We don’t have to care. Where else are they going to go?”

Hillary and The Liberals ’16 (Updated)

The year before an election year, it is perhaps appropriate to start talking about Democrat hopefuls, party goals, and what the base of the party – liberals – will do when the Third Way Masters decree yet another Republican-lite candidate. If we’re going to have an impact on the process, we’ve got to figure out how to make an elite that believes in coddling corporations for the sake of donations understand that there’s more to democracy than raising $$$ to get elected with.

This will not be easy. Continue reading

The Conservative Double Whammy

For several weeks now, the American Legion has been running adds asking for donations – $20 a month – to help wounded veterans from the Iraq war. Nothing wrong with that but this: the core of their pitch is that “we” made promises to take care of them that “we” didn’t keep and now it’s time for “all of us” to step up and keep “our” word to those harmed when they were in “our” service.

The tone is one of finger-wagging accusation and “you oughta be ashamed of ourself” sadness that “we” let down “our” vets by cutting the medical benefits they were supposed to get. Sounds like AL is doing its patriotic duty toward our fighting men, doesn’t it? But here’s the rub: “we” didn’t cut those services. The people who did – Republicans and conservative Democrats in Congress – were universally supported, financially and otherwise, by the same American Legion that is now tut-tutting at us for allowing it to happen. Continue reading

The Myths of Christmas

Reprinted from 12.24.06 – And it will continue to be printed until the O’Reilly-originated “War on Christmas” BS ends. There’s no antidote to lies except truth.

This would be the time, if ever there was one, to reflect on the meaning of Christmas, but before we can do that to any purpose we need to clear away some of the dead wood by exploding a couple of the myths that have built up around it since the holiday became popular in the late 19th century. Chief among these is the legend that Christmas is Christian, or even religious. Continue reading

Pride of the Pubs in Tennessee

Republicans seem to have a monopoly on getting scumbags elected. Sure there’s a corrupt Dem in every other pot but the Pubs have cornered the market on running sleazy, slimebucket, greedhead pervs who promptly get caught perving all over themselves, usually in public.

The latest must make them so proud. Presenting Rep. Scott DesJarlais:

In 2012, Tennessee Republican Representative Scott DesJarlais was exposed as having had extramarrital affairs, having slept with his medical patients, and having supported his ex-wife’s decision to get two abortions before their marriage, despite his staunch public pro-life stance.

A liar, a hypocrite, a sexual predator and an adulterer who is pro-abortion. The pubs hit the trifecta plus 2 with this beauty. Rick Perry will be passing out cigars about now. When your whole political party is dedicated to spookery, slander, and selfishness, a cad like DesJarlais is a real star. Especially when, despite his you’d-think-crippling negatives, he actually wins his primary and is favored in the general against a (heh-heh! *sneer*) retired accountant.

Brilliant. Give him 2 weeks of Fox-attention and 10-1 he’s the Pubs’ next Great White Hope in the GOP presidential lottery.