Tag Archives: Karl Rove

The American Right, Atwater, and the Southern Strategy

14 Nov

President Obama’s re-election has made some people on the right go absolutely crazy. Right-wing websites and listservs are replete with cries of “America RIP”, and gosh-darn it, these people are such strong tea party patriots that they’re resorting to the most patriotic thing they can think of, now that they’ve lost a competitive race in a democratic election. 

They want to secede from the Union

European-style socialism is even encroaching this weekend on our motorsports, as Formula 1 races in Texas; Texas this weekend. (Rooting for Alonso is a safe bet).  But for those of you who may still be surprised by the outcome of the election – an outcome that only surprised people who had rejected mathematics, science, statistical probability, and evidenceyou can now be well distracted by a scandal involving the military, sex, and an abuse of the surveillance state we’ve grown and expanded since a bunch of Saudis on tourist visas blew up 3,000 Americans. 

The overreaction in the fascist corner of the national Republican Party’s shrinking, overwhelmingly white tent, is a temper tantrum of a party in crisis.

Remember Dick Morris?  The former Clinton aide, prostitute toe-licker, and Fox News “analyst” famously predicted on October 31, 2012 that Mitt Romney was really ahead and would win the election in a “landslide”. Right away, the Morris Law;  “whatever Dick Morris says is the exact opposite of reality” couldn’t have been more starkly on display. 

Watch the latest video at <a href=”http://video.foxnews.com”>video.foxnews.com</a>

The idea that people watch a “news” channel that employs this fraud named “Dick Morris” is astonishing. The fact that he’s employed at all is amazing. But never fear, Dick Morris didn’t predict a Romney landslide because he’s wrong about everything, you guys. 

No, Dick Morris predicted the Romney landslide because he was lying. It was, as they say, math he made up as a Republican to make the Romney people feel better about themselves. He was the Republican Stu Smalley. Feelings. 

Sean [Hannity, naturally], I hope people aren’t mad at me about it… I spoke about what I believed and I think that there was a period of time when the Romney campaign was falling apart, people were not optimistic, nobody thought there was a chance of victory and I felt that it was my duty at that point to go out and say what I said. And at the time that I said it, I believe I was right.

I’m glad Republicans watching their confirmation bias station have people like Dick Morris to lie to them to make them all feel better about themselves. If the opposition wants to keep itself in an ignorant bubble of dumb Limbaugh talking point regurgitation, the Democratic Party will continue to win elections by merely promoting policies based on ideas and fact. 

As a final note, in the last week we’ve witnessed an utter implosion of the Karl Rove myth. As it turns out, “Bush’s brain” wasn’t, and if he was the wonk in that bunch, it’s no wonder the country was the victim of such utter governmental malpractice for eight long years. Some are calling the grassroots Republican outrage at Rove a “civil war”. Just over 1% of the money Rove’s “American Crossroads” SuperPAC spent during the last election cycle went to actually win a race. The people who contributed to that worse-than-a-Ponzi scheme are none too pleased. If something is going poorly for Karl Rove, this is good for America. 

But Rove is a piker; an illegitimate heir to the Republican strategy to win the South and demagogue against the “other” was best explained by Ronald Reagan’s own evil genius, Lee Atwater. 

Atwater is famous for having outlined the Republican Party’s “Southern Strategy” which that party has used since the 70s to sound racist dog-whistles and win in the conservative South – a South which had rejected Republicans ever since the Civil War. Lincoln, you’ll recall, was a Republican. The Southern Strategy exists even today, as people blame Obama’s victory on minorities “takers” who “want stuff”. Read more here, but the infamous Atwater quote goes as follows

You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”

The Nation explains that, for years Republicans have bristled at that quote, hoping/claiming that it was made up. For the first time in history, the 42-minute audio of the Atwater interview from which that passage is pulled, is now online and available for you to hear. It has been found by the same fellow who earlier posted Romney’s 47% quip – James Carter IV.  

As the Republican Party searches for ways to re-invent itself, and as it complains about its electoral failure with non-white, non-male voters, it might want to consider not systematically spreading hate against those groups through its dog-whistle racism and its talk about “legitimate rape”. When the Republican Party becomes a post-Atwater entity, the country will hopefully be better off. 

The Ads

18 May

Shorter NRCC: Nancy Pelosi is a dirty bitch.

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Shorter DCCC: Jack Davis and Jane Corwin hate the olds.

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Shorter Karl Rove: Stop Jack Davis.

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Shorter House Majority PAC (Dems) : Jane Corwin is a big-spending liar.

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Shorter Kathy Hochul: You lie!

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Shorter Jack Davis: They took r jobs!

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Corwin and the ECGOP: Desperate, Scared, Violent (UPDATE: TRACKER IS CORWIN CHIEF OF STAFF)

12 May

****UPDATE:  REPUBLICAN FONZIE IS JANE CORWIN’S ASSEMBLY CHIEF OF STAFF MICHAEL L. MALLIA. WE PAY HIS SALARY ($1,419 biweekly).*** Another punk Republican kid suckling at the teat of mother Government.

Davis Bails on Channel 2

I understand why Jack Davis is backing out of the farcical Channel 2 non-debate.

First of all, who holds a political debate at 9 in the morning? Who’s watching a political debate at 9 in the morning? No one. At 9 in the morning, most people are at work. Ah, but Channel 2 will be rebroadcasting it at 12 noon, as well! It will even be simulcast on WECK 1230-AM at that time. Well, that’s also not really a very convenient time for people to watch or listen to a political debate, because people are at work. Some might opt to watch online at their desks during their lunch hour, but it’s supposed to be another gloriously sunny 70 degree day.

Under normal circumstances, a normal television station would do what serious television stations usually do and air the debate during prime time, when people are home, and when most people are done with dinner.

I checked, and apparently Channel 2 doesn’t want to pre-empt an all-new Community, and an Office repeat with a local congressional debate.

So, take it with a boulder of salt when Channel 2 disinvites Ian Murphy from participating because he wrote satire in the satirical paper for which he works – satire that poked fun at Channel 2 anchor Scott Levin. They didn’t disinvite Murphy because he’s not a serious candidate, but because they were butthurt. I don’t think “butthurt” is a good reason to exclude a legitimate political candidate, no matter how silly he may be in his satirical paper.

Channel 2 isn’t holding a serious debate because no one’s going to watch it. They’ll play some sound bites during their newscasts, and that’s about all that most voters will glean from this thing. You’ll have to seek out the video on their barely navigable website to watch the whole thing in dribs and drabs. Fail.

Baiting Davis

It’s also become quite evident that there is nothing scarier and more serious to the Erie County GOP than the fact that Jack Davis is polling in the mid-20s. They’re quite palpably freaking out over this, and they’re pulling out all the stops to destroy Davis, practically ignoring Kathy Hochul in the process. Yesterday I linked to the Karl Rove-backed video that you’ll soon be very sick of. Corwin’s campaign, led by supposed Buffalo Republican wunderkinds Nick Langworthy and Chris Grant, is panicking because this should have been a cakewalk like Lee vs. Kryzan in 2008 and Lee vs. nobody in 2010.

Davis doesn’t perform well in debates and he isn’t warm and fuzzy. The more he’s seen by voters, the less they like him. I’ve seen him debate in person on several occasions, and he’s just lousy at it. So, it’s no surprise that he pulled out of Channel 2’s “debate” today. The GOP lashed him over it, saying he can’t “be trusted” or some such nonsense.

Then yesterday evening, at David Bellavia’s event to endorse Jack Davis (and, in turn, begin his epic life’s work to motherf*ck Nick Langworthy and Chris Grant), the GOP sent someone to harass him (it worked well with the Mike Madigan video a few weeks ago).

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This is edited down to high heaven and you can’t figure out what’s happening, why it happened, or who’s harassing Jack. I don’t see Jack hitting anyone in this video, but someone off-screen shoves the cameraman who dramatically grunts for effect. A lot of shaky camerawork and bad acting. I’d like to see this within context, unedited. The Davis campaign should hire someone to track its trackers.

David Bellavia tweeted:

The tweet has since been removed changed (UPDATE).

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And a similar sentiment was posted to his Facebook page:

The Corwin campaign is desperate because its candidate came out in favor of obliterating Medicare, has a thin resume, is lying about her resume, is something of an empty container spouting GOP talking points, and is otherwise not thought of either negatively or positively in the region. By contrast, people either love or hate Davis, and most people think Hochul is the bee’s knees.

The Corwin campaign is desperate because its cakewalk is now riddled with roadblocks. She hasn’t been winning hearts and minds with her alleged ideas or positions, so she has to send out goons to harass cranky older candidates. She has to send out goons to threaten David Bellavia, and accuse him of wrongdoing. She has to send out goons to ruin David Bellavia’s life because he has the nerve to fight back.

What we’re witnessing from the party of Tom Reynolds, Chris Lee, Chris Collins, and Carl Paladino is thuggery that would seem right at home in Central American, Taiwanese, or Eastern European politics. Threats, goons, intimidation, and ruination of lives shouldn’t be part and parcel of political campaigns for a podunk congressional race in a podunk part of a podunk region.

Shame on the Erie County Republican Party, and shame on anyone who doesn’t condemn this disgraceful, dictatorial, violent thuggery. It failed in making Davis look bad. It made a desperate Corwin campaign and a scared ECGOP outfit (the one that’s supposed to cruise the detested Chris Collins to re-election) look bad, instead.

The Abandonment of Cities

17 Dec

The local dysfunctional battle over the Erie County budget illuminated once again an artificial party divide: city versus rural. While it makes some sense that parties should divide ideologically over basic policy (taxes, quantity of regulation, role of private enterprise), it is generally agreed that there are a number of “good government” items (efficiency, bureaucratic competence) that should transcend that. I would add “Interest in Cities” to that list. There is no fundamental conservative or Republican reason to not care what happens in our nation’s cities, to abandon a certain geographic area or segment of the voting public simply because of their address.

And yet, here we are, with a Republican County Executive writing off in private what has become more clear in public. I can individually defend any one of the Collin’s controversial decisions: closing county-run inner city health clinics, cutting cultural funding to groups in the city, standing firm on the county jails. But in sum, the pattern is clear, unnecessary, cynical and wrong-headed. Republicans, in general, nationally, need to do better.

In America today, Urban means African-American and African-American means Democratic. Furthermore, SUVs, parking lots and strip malls have become symbols not just of suburbs but Republicanism in the minds of most Democrats and urbanites (who often are now the same thing). But most large cities had a mix of Republican and Democratic mayors from the Civil War to the middle of the last century. Even places like Baltimore and Buffalo had Republican mayors into the 1960’s. The stark dividing line, in nearly every part of the country, is the race riots of the late ’60’s, Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy, and White Flight. North, South, East Coast or West, I had trouble finding examples of cities that had mayors of both parties after 1968. Denver and Phoenix, cities with large geographical areas that include its suburbs, are two of the few. Salt Lake City, largest city in the reddest state in the nation, hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1975.

While the national analysis of the Republican Party has focused on its shortcomings among Latinos, immigrants and the young, to me the most significant group that Republicans are failing to appeal to are urbanites. Forgetting the simple arithmetic electoral considerations, the Republican Party can not survive intellectually if it does not have policy solutions for the 58% of Americans that live in a municipality of 200,000 or more.

Republicans and conservatives believe in decentralized local control, and yet we have de facto announced that a huge portion of the electorate does not need (is not worthy of?) our governance or policy at the local level. In its stead, we compromise our principles and seek to affect from afar, contrary to our basic instincts. George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind and faith-based social services initiatives sought to reform two issues important to cities (education and social program implementation) at the national level. If the ideas came from a Democratic President they would have been pilloried for snatching local control. Instead, they were hallmarks of Compassionate Conservatism. The measures themselves are far from perfect, but at least would have been appropriate coming from the Republican mayor of large city. Instead, they arrive as federal mandates. But perhaps I am too hard on Bush – at least he had an agenda that addressed any urban concerns at all. The current Republican agenda acts as if cities do not exist. 

But, you say, the evangelical and suburban/exurban coalition pieced together by Karl Rove is successful and entrenched. The next new thing is the doubling down of that demographic: the Tea Party. Your urban appeals are Rockefeller folly – we’re looking for voters in the Cleveland suburbs and along the Florida Gulf Coast, not in Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

I have two basic responses to the Don’t-You-Know-How-It-Is argument. First, just as criminals rob banks because that’s where the money is, Republicans should attempt to appeal nationwide to urbanites because that’s where the votes are. But second, and more importantly, Republicans need to stop applying national litmus tests to local politicians.

There must be room for socially liberal (libertarian!), fiscally conservative, good government Republicans in the party at the local level who wish to run cities. Who think targeted investment, lower taxes, streamlined quality services, innovative education reform, and robust police and fire services are sound policies. Who would seek to apply conservative principles to urban problems, and do so in a socially liberal way that reflects the cosmopolitan nature of the cities they would represent. Just because Missouri and Alabama pass amendments banning gay marriage doesn’t mean the vote should be similarly unanimous among Republicans in the New York Senate. Perhaps the ideal future Republican mayor of Buffalo would never appeal to a national Republican party. Does this mean such a person should never be recruited to run Buffalo in the first place?

Democrats have run America’s cities for the last fifty years . . . into the ground. With no legitimate opposition (except their own petty bickering and infighting), Democrats have turned cities and their governments into patronage pits, corrupt vote machines, and small time turf wars. Public sector unions have become so inbred with the politicians that support them that public policy has devolved into debates over how much to raise pay and how generous to keep retirements, not how to best teach children and clear snow from roads. Conservatives could find creative solutions to urban problems, but only if we stop ignoring them and choose to.

Deficits and Politics

23 Feb


Yes, Karl Rove once said, “Deficits don’t matter” in an interview with Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic.  Of course, he readily leaves that historical point out of the deficit hawk ramblings he pens each week for The Wall Street Journal.  The intellectual dishonesty and political games of the right are so mind numbingly tedious and obvious that it is beyond the pale that anyone buys any of the bullshit these guys are selling nowadays.  It seems as if the the sum total of the Republican platform is to make demonstrably untrue statements in public and then call everyone a partisan for pointing out that the original statement was untrue, call it “Palin Politics”.  Let’s try and get back to some actual facts, shall we?

Take a look at a recently released report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities based upon data from the Congressional Budget Office.

Just two policies dating from the Bush Administration — tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — accounted for over $500 billion of the deficit in 2009 and will account for almost $7 trillion in deficits in 2009 through 2019, including the associated debt-service costs. [6] (The prescription drug benefit enacted in 2003 accounts for further substantial increases in deficits and debt, which we are unable to quantify due to data limitations.) These impacts easily dwarf the stimulus and financial rescues. Furthermore, unlike those temporary costs, these inherited policies (especially the tax cuts and the drug benefit) do not fade away as the economy recovers.

Yeah, damn that commie pinko big spending liberal Obama for loading up the deficit!  Things were much more constrained and responsible under Republican stewardship!

The reality is that chart matters politically and should be shown as often as possible by Democrats leading up to the mid-term elections.  However, there is a bigger picture here.  We need to start having some realistic and honest discussions about Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security and our national priorities if we are to really control our long term spending.  Shame is, not many elected officials aside from the President and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin seem interested in having that intellectually honest discussion.

Hell, we can barely get Democrats and Republicans in the same room to discuss healthcare without everyone thinking a “trap” is being set.

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One last resource to take a look at is this report, which I have been skimming over the past week.  It’s fascinating if you’re interested in the blocking and tackling of deficits, government spending and general policy wonkiness.  I found it sourced on The Atlantic and the interview and summary are absolutely worth a read, especially if you don’t have the stamina for the full report.

President Obama secured the support of Republican leaders for his bipartisan commission to look at ways to reduce our long term debt, but the GOP insists that any solutions with tax increases will be dead on arrival. So what would a sensible budget reform plan look like if we refused to raise taxes? Or, for that matter, if we refused to cut spending, and only raised taxes?

Rudolph Penner, former director of the Congressional Budget Office under President Reagan, has answers. With a team of academics, business people and public administrators, he answered those two questions in a monster report from the National Academies Committee on the Fiscal Future of the United States.

A key takeaway?

“The thought of actually cutting the tax burden is really quite implausible.”

Friday: Debate Watch Party

24 Sep

Thanks to the Erie County Democratic Committee & Chairman Len Lenihan for getting this information to me.

Even if you don’t have tickets to watch Karl Rove debate (read: get pwn3d by) retired 4-star General Wesley Clark, you can attend a rally with the General on Friday at 3:30 pm at Obama HQ 3258 Main Street across from St. Josephs church and near UB South Campus.

Then, join WNYMedia for a debate watch party at Coles starting at 7:30pm

UPDATE: The debate is still on. The Clark rally is canceled.