Monday Reads: No where to run, No where to hidePosted: January 26, 2015
The crazy was out in droves this weekend in Iowa, Louisiana, and the District. It’s hard to know where to start, but when Tiger Beat on the Potomac starts calling the Republican Presidential hopeful slate the Clown Car, you have to know it’s just really bad. They are also criticizing Boehner’s disturbing trampling of the Constitution by trying to usurp foreign policy away from the executive branch. The Republicans have gone rogue and there’s no way you can trust them to participate in a democracy–or a republic–any more.
But the sequence of events does capture how much the normal courtesies between this White House and Congress have deteriorated — even in front of guests from another country.
“There appear to be no rules anymore. If you can do it, do it,” said Patrick Griffin, who recalls nothing quite like this even in the tempestuous times Griffin served as White House liaison between President Bill Clinton and Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), herself a former speaker who oversaw similar joint meetings for foreign guests, said the management of the invitation was “inappropriate” and Boehner risks squandering his power in a fit of “hubris.”
Boehner has overstepped protocol and his constitutional role as Speaker and member of the Legislative Branch.
Boehner’s office said the idea of inviting Netanyahu originated with the speaker — not the Israeli side. But the announcement capped “weeks” of talks, often through Netanyahu’s close advisor, Ron Dermer, who became Israel’s ambassador to Washington in 2013 and enjoys close ties with Republicans.
“The well-established protocol is that the leader of a foreign country would be in touch with the leader of this country about a possible visit. That didn’t occur,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters. “We did learn of this invitation shortly before it was announced. We were informed of the invitation by the Speaker’s office. So it was not the Israeli government that had contacted the administration.”
All this is happening at a time when Obama is at a crucial stage in what have been tense negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. Boehner is said to be immensely frustrated with what he sees as the White House’s failure to keep him more apprised of its thinking. And by inviting Netanyahu, he has turned over the microphone to a prominent critic of the administration’s foreign policy in the Mideast.
To try to soften the edges, Netanyahu’s visit — first announced by Boehner for February 11 — has been pushed back to March 3. This moves it closer to the March 17 elections in Israel and at the beginning of a two-week period when free air time is allotted to the parties. It also allows the prime minister to say he is responding to what has been a long-standing invite from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the heavily Jewish, pro-Israel lobby which will be holding its annual meeting in Washington then as well.
The Boehner criticism is nothing compared to this Tiger Beat on the Potomac Headline: GOP clown car runs into ditch. Most GOP presidential hopefuls were in Iowa this weekend for a so-called Freedom Forum. It was a wonderful bowl of granola just filled with nuts and flakes.
The Republican Party’s clown car has become a clown van.
With nearly two dozen possible presidential candidates, the GOP is having a seriousness deficit. There can’t possibly be that many people who are real candidates.
But they can ride in the clown car from event to event, and nobody can stop them.
At the Freedom Summit here Saturday, two dozen speakers ground through 10 hours of speeches in front of more than 1,000 far-right Republicans.
As it turned out, clown car candidates are not necessarily funny. Since they have nothing to lose, they can attack their fellow Republicans with abandon.
Usually they attack from the right, which can force the eventual nominee farther to the right than the nominee wants to go. This risks losing moderate voters in the general election.
This was not a concern at the Freedom Summit, however. The farther to the right, the better.
It was a classic cattle call, with speaker after speaker pandering to the crowd. Sometimes, however, pandering was not enough.
In the circus, the worse thing clowns lob is confetti. In the political circus, the clowns lob grenades. Verbal, to be sure, but they still can be deadly.
Sarah Palin delivers ‘bizarro’ speech to Iowa Freedom Summit and Twitter users react hilariously.
Entering to the strains of Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off,’ Palin pushed back against the litany of attacks against her recently; including allowing her son to use the Palin dog, Jill Hadassah, as a footstool and the more recent controversy over her holding up a sign reading “Fuc_ You Michael Moore,” with gun sights drawn inside of the o’s in Moore.
Along the way, Palin made references to President Obama eating dog as a child in Indonesia and accused the administration of not saving Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi.
In one memorable passage, Palin exhorted conservatives to take on presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, claiming the Republicans “have a deep bench.”
“It is good that we have a deep bench and its primary competition that will surface the candidate who’s up to the task and unify and this person has to because knowing what the media will do throughout all of 2016 to all of us it’s going to take more than a village to beat Hillary,” she said.
She’s obviously without handlers and speechwriters these days but has expressed interest in running for the nomination. She must need more cash. Meanwhile, down here in Lousyana, Bobby Jindal is proving to the world he’s extreme and extremely stupid. He spent the weekend out doing ISIS for the most religiously obnoxiously zealot on the planet.
Louisiana Governor and potential 2016 candidateBobby Jindal spoke to George Stephanopoulosone day after holding a prayer rally instead of attending the Iowa Freedom Summit with his Republican comrades.
Jindal said we needed politicians to “tell the truth” to the American people, obliquely citing hisremarks last week about the discredited idea of Muslim “no-go zones” in Europe as an example.
Strangely Stephanopoulos did not follow up on that, instead focusing on Jindal’s line at the rally in which he stated that “our god wins.”
Jindal’s plan for Amerika is to ensure all women follow his religious views on contraception and abortion and that the GBLT should be stopped from marriage with a Constitutional Amendment. So much for religious liberty. He’s even offering up a Constitutional Amendment to ban marriage for GLBT. It’s hard to see this getting any traction but I doubt he cares about the issue. He only wants the zealots to adore him.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) on Sunday said that he would support a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
The Supreme Court will weigh whether gay couples have the constitutional right to marriage this term, which has prompted conservatives to develop contingency plans.
ABC’s “This Week’ host George Stephanopoulos asked Jindal if he backed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s (R) remark that states should just ignore a Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage.
“I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. My faith teaches me that, my Christian faith teaches me that,” Jindal responded. “If the Supreme Court were to throw out our law, our constitutional amendment — I hope they wouldn’t do that — if they were to do that, I certainly will support Ted Cruz and others that are talking about making an amendment in the congress and D.C., a constitutional amendment to allow states to continue to define marriage.”
The audience made it clear how they felt about Bush when New Hampshire state Rep. William O’Brien asked them why they would vote for a guy who backs Common Core and has an overly familiar last name. “Are we going to do that again?” O’Brien asked.
The audience responded with a loud: “Noooooo!”
And Trump, a Manhattan-based real estate developer and reality TV star, lobbed radioactive bombs at both Bush and Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee. “Mitt ran and failed. He failed. So you can’t have Romney,” he said, as the audience cheered robustly.
Bush, a former Florida governor, has stepped up his efforts lately to woo Iowa influencers, although from locations outside Iowa. Romney has been talking privately with Iowa confidantes about another presidential bid since an Iowa trip in late October. But both made the much-talked-about decision not to come Saturday.
“I like Romney a lot. I do,” Altoona Republican Floyd Allen told The Des Moines Register in an interview in the lobby of Hoyt Sherman Place. “But he had his opportunity, and he blew it.”
Republican David Heath, a sales manager from Ankeny, said he thought Bush should’ve been there Saturday. “This group needs to hear his positions, his rationales,” he said.
But Heath said he was most interested in Walker, Christie and Santorum anyway.
One of the speakers, Tennessee U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, told the Register that Romney and Bush “will meet and work it out, but by and large I think the American people are looking for fresh faces and new perspective.” And that’s not Romney, she said.
Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas, took swings at the establishment candidates without naming names, telling Iowans that every candidate would tell them “they’re the most conservative guy that ever lived.”
“You know what? Talk is cheap,” said Cruz, who made more religious references than any other speaker. “The Lord tells you, you shall know them by their fruits.”
Cruz said Iowans should demand the candidates show them examples of when they stood up and fought against abortion, same-sex marriage, Common Core — and against “career politicians” of both parties.
The Dropkick Murphys–a Celtic Band–was more than irritated that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker used one of their songs to enter the shindig of hate. They basically told him to knock it off because they “literally hate him.”
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker may have scored a standing ovation at the Iowa Freedom Summit on Saturday, but not everyone was happy with his appearance.
As Walker entered the auditorium in Des Moines and waved to the crowd, the Dropkick Murphys’ hit “I’m Shipping Up to Boston,” which was featured in the film The Departed, played in the background. (You can hear it clearly during the first 15 seconds of this video from C-SPAN.)
The musical choice didn’t slip by the band unnoticed, and on Saturday night, Ken Casey, the lead singer for the Massachusetts-based band tweeted about the song’s placement.
It’s hard to say what exactly the future of our country is going to be like when we rely on a two party system for governance and one of the two parties is so far off the rails of reality to be in a different reality. The party’s coalition of religious nuts, gun nuts, neoconfederate nuts, and economic and science illiterates seem intent on insurrection rather than governance. I’m hoping people are paying attention to these kinds of shindigs because the entire party needs a complete rework. All you have to do is look at the states where they’ve taken over to see the results. They’ve all got bad economies, extreme spending deficits, and problems with schools and their environments. That doesn’t even begin to cover their treatment of women’s health and safety.
I saw some one post a poll the other day on twitter asking which Republican that folks wanted to run for President. I saw several people answer Theodore Roosevelt.
That just about sums it up.