Posts Tagged ‘Lindsey Graham’

What He Said II

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Saw this the day after I wrote the last post. Once again Jon Stewart says it better than I can. Starts a little slow. Excoriation begins at 2:19.

4 People Died

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Well, after 3 months off, I had hoped to start with something more positive, but inspiration often comes from outrage, so I want to rant a little about what Joe Klein dubbed the Benghazi Circus back in November, and which any close viewer of politics can tell you is apparently still parked in Washington DC.

Last week, Senate Republicans bestowed on themselves the dubious distinction of being the first Congress ever to filibuster a Secretary of Defense nominee. The reasons for this vary (the main reason was to see if they could dig up a little more dirt on Chuck Hagel), but one cited by both Senators McCain and Graham is that they wanted the White House to release more information on the Benghazi attacks. This latest stunt is just one in a series dating back to the campaign, with the most prominent being Senator Ron Johnson’s ill advised attack on Hillary Clinton and the gentle smackdown provided by John Kerry the following day.

In order to understand the reasons that Republicans have wasted so much energy on the Benghazi attacks, you don’t have to look far. As Kevin Drum pointed out months ago, it’s the same thing that makes Republicans think that it would be good politics to hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress over the “Fast and Furious” scandal that no one who doesn’t watch Fox had ever heard of, or that our electoral system has been severely compromised by Acorn and the six guys in the New Black Panther Party: Fox News. Even after the rest of the country had moved on, many Republicans continued to “very closely” monitor the story of “who knew what, when” after the Benghazi attacks. Why? Because it was on their TV every night.

Just to be clear, I’m not someone who thinks that there was no issue here. Clearly the White House soft pedaled the attack carried out on the anniversary of 9-11. While Susan Rice’s mentions of the “spontaneous response” to an anti-muslim video can be explained with reference to the talking points she was given by the intelligence agencies and the evolving reports from Benghazi,  President Obama’s repetitions of this incorrect narrative are harder to justify. In addition, there are lessons to be learned about how we protect our embassies in distant lands, many of which were detailed in the a State Department commissioned  report on the incident.

But let’s put this incident in historical perspective. President Obama shades the truth about four dead Americans and it’s a national tragedy that deserves months of media coverage, multiple hearings and the filibuster of a Secretary of Defense nominee who wasn’t even in the Obama Administration at the time. On the other hand, President Bush and his cronies lie our country into a war which results in the death of over a 100,000 people, including the death of 4,000 Americans and the maiming of tens of thousands of others, and there is nary a peep from those same Republicans. Where is the sense of proportion here?

Rand Paul, during the final Senate testimony of Hillary Clinton, said that if he were president he would have fired Secretary Clinton, and that the death of 4 Americans in Benghazi was the “worst tragedy since 9/11.”

First of all, Senator Paul, you’re not president, nor will you ever be president. And second of all, “the worst tragedy since 9/11″?! Were you sleeping through the entire eight years from 2000 to 2008? Again, 4 People Died. That’s a tragedy, and we mourn all Americans who die in service to this country, but were talking about 4 people, not the tens of thousands wounded in Iraq, not to mention the deaths of almost 2,000 Americans during Hurricane Katrina, or the many others who have died in mass shootings that could have been mitigated (if not stopped) if the GOP wasn’t completely in hock to the NRA.

Proportion, Republicans…

Proportion.

Poor Harry Reid

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

How would you like to have to work with these assholes?

Let the Republican Civil War Begin

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

The cracks in Republican unity are already beginning to show.

Even before the election, Politico reported that the Republican establishment was working to try to find a viable alternative candidate to defeat Sarah Palin in the 2012 primaries for president.

Increasingly, it seems that Palin would have a good shot at the nomination, starting with a win in Evangelical dominated Iowa, followed by a tougher, but not impossible race in New Hampshire, and then another good chance in South Carolina. But John Heilman’s recent piece on how she could actually win the presidency relies on the idea that New York mayor Michael Bloomburg would run, split the electoral college vote and send the election to the House of Representatives (where the Republicans would elect her president, even though she failed to win the election outright). The fact that he needs to rely on so many “ifs” for Palin to win the general election shows how difficult this would be.

Sister Sarah fought back hard on the Politico article, using her favorite Republican tactic of blaming the media, calling out Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen by name and telling them to ”man up.”   The woman’s a treasure.

Meanwhile, another intra-party skirmish has broken out in the wake of the Republicans underperformance in the Senate elections. To be sure, a 6 seat pickup is nothing to scoff at, but there’s a clear case to make that two more Senate seats (in Delaware and Colorado) would have shifted to the Republican column and a plausible case that Sue Lowden could have succeeded in Nevada where Sharron Angle failed, effectively tie-ing up the Senate and elevating Joe Biden’s official role of presiding over the Senate to more than ceremonial duty.

The day after the election, the divide was in full effect, with prominent Republicans Lindsey Graham stating the obvious:

Candidates matter,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “It was a good night for Republicans but it could have been a better one. We left some on the table….If you think what happened in Delaware is ‘a win’ for the Republican Party then we don’t have a snowball’s chance to win the White House,” he said. “If you think Delaware was a wake-up call for Republicans than we have shot at doing well for a long time.”

An anonomously sourced “high-profile” Republican senator was even more direct, saying of Senator Jim DeMint, the biggest supporter of GOP ideological purity, “It’s like you’re on the five-yard line ready to score and the quarterback calls the play and some member of your team tackles one of your members and keeps you from scoring…We came tantalizingly close to a majority.”

Fox talking head Mort Konracke was just as withering, pointing the finger at Palin and DeMint specifically:

The people who got slapped the hardest in this election — besides Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama — are Jim DeMint and Sarah Palin…Jim DeMint and Sarah Palin are responsible for the fact that the Senate did not go Republican. They’re the ones who are responsible for Christine O’Donnell. They’re the ones who are responsible for Joe Miller in Alaska. They’re the ones who are responsible for Ken Buck in Colorado. They’re the ones who are responsible for Sharron Angle in Nevada.

Kondracke also said of Palin,  ”She’s a joke even within her own party. The idea that she would be the presidential nominee is unthinkable.”

The fight between the old country club Republicans and the Tea Party nuts is going to be a fun side show over the next couple of years.