Washington Monthly blogger Martin Longman laid it on the line (actually, the headline) on Sunday: “Movement Conservatism is Dead as a National Ideology.”
Longman argued that “[w]ith each passing year, movement conservatism becomes less viable” as a vehicle for winning the White House and opined that Republicans “will lose, possibly in historic, devastating fashion” the next presidential election unless their nominee distances himself from the party base.
During the Bush era, the Left were wont to remind us that "dissent is patriotic" and being intensely critical of the president was a hallmark of a vibrant democracy, especially on matters of foreign policy and national defense. But in the Obama Era, especially in a crucial midterm election year, well, not so much.
On the July 21 Hardball, guest host Steve Kornacki brought on Mother Jones magazine writer David Corn and Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart to grouse about how Republicans who have been critical of President Obama's handling of Russia vis-a-vis the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and the Moscow-backed political unrest in Ukraine. "There was a time when politics stopped at the water's edge. That disappeared, apparently, on January 20, 2009," Capehart whined in a segment entitled "Blame Obama First."
On Sunday's Media Buzz, Senator John McCain brushed off Jon Stewart's latest blast at him over the Iraq War. Host Howard Kurtz wondered, "Is Jon Stewart fair to Republicans?" McCain bluntly answered, "No, but it doesn't matter really. He's a comedian." When Kurtz brought up Stewart's "sizable following among young people," the Republican contended that "he's a very entertaining and funny guy, but...when he says things...that are absolutely wrong, he gets away with it."
Earlier in the interview, the Fox News Channel host raised the conservative critique about the liberal media's deferential treatment of President Obama. Kurtz wondered if that was less true since his second inauguration: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Editor’s note: this article contains objectionable language.
The Democrat party is the pro-woman party right? Well on Sunday night’s episode of HBO's "True Blood," the left-leaning characters inadvertently reveal their hateful attitudes towards women, all the while mocking conservatives.
In the July 20 episode, vampires Eric and Pam are looking for the parents of their enemy, who happen to be conservative. To do this, they must go incognito at a Ted Cruz fundraiser held, (where else?) at the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas. Beforehand, the vampires are warned “They only let in a**holes.”
How do you visually represent a missed opportunity? In a Sunday column for Salon, What’s the Matter With Kansas? author Thomas Frank suggests one answer: given the Obama administration’s repeated failure to deliver much-needed leftist change, the future Obama presidential library and museum should be “designed as…a mausoleum of hope.”
Obama’s salient mistake, Frank asserts, was that he “propped up” the obviously discredited “shitty consensus ideas” of the Reagan era. He expects that the museum will portray Obama “as a kind of second FDR: the man who saved the system from itself. That perhaps the system didn’t deserve saving will be left to some less-well-funded museum.”
Jeff Shesol, a presidential speechwriter during Bill Clinton’s second term as well as a book and comic-strip author, posted a piece Friday on The New Yorker’s website about “how Republicans have learned to stop worrying and love the lawsuit” – or, less charitably, about conservatives setting aside their traditional opposition to judicial activism whenever an activist decision would benefit them.
Shesol argued that on matters such as Obamacare and gun control, “the right is having it both ways when it comes to the courts…[C]onservatives are doing exactly what they say the left has long done: rushing to litigate political questions, elevating all manner of disputes to the level of high constitutional principle, and asking judges to settle (or revisit) policy arguments that ought to be resolved by legislators or voters.”
In a Friday-morning post, Talking Points Memo editor and publisher Josh Marshall likened the Tea Party to pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine who apparently are responsible for the shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Marshall wrote, “Here we have them break into nursing homes to photographs [sic] senator's comatose wives; there Putin gives them heavy armaments designed for full scale land war in Europe.”
According to American Prospect blogger Paul Waldman, movement conservatives live in a bubble, but in this case none of the cards therein say “Moops.” Rather, each carries the name of what righties (though usually not Waldman himself) consider one or another of the Obama administration’s scandals.
In a Wednesday post, Waldman wrote that what he called “the IRS scandalette” is “an almost perfect expression of contemporary congressional Republicanism” since it features qualities such as “the obsession with conservative victimhood” as well as the GOPers’ “utter disinterest in governing” and their “obliviousness to facts.”
Fox News's Megyn Kelly has clearly had it up to here with the disinformation, misinformation, distortions and outright lies coming from the left in the wake of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision. A recent dishonest rant by Comedy Central's Jon Stewart (noted at NewsBusters by Jeffrey Meyer early Tuesday morning) and attempts by certain doctors to deny scientific truth caused Kelly to correct the record on the air.
The topic is the science behind whether or not the contraceptive methods Hobby Lobby's owners would not cover in its employee health insurance plan on conscience grounds are or are not abortifacient in nature. In the video seen after the jump (HT Gateway Pundit), readers will see her identify certain perhaps unexpected entities which have admitted that they are:
Both CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today chose to ignore the latest news in the IRS scandal Thursday morning that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be investigating the disappearance and destruction of emails pertaining to former IRS official Lois Lerner.
Meanwhile, ABC’s Good Morning America did cover the news, but only devoted 22 seconds to the story in the form of a news brief during the 7:00 a.m. hour. News reader Amy Robach reported “[a]nd in Washington, a major development in the IRS targeting scandal. The agency is accused of targeting conservative groups. Well now there is word the Justice Department will investigate the disappearance of e-mails the agency claims were lost when a computer crashed. The e-mails were to and from Lois Lerner, a key former IRS official who has refused to testify.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
The only coverage of the ongoing border crisis featured on Thursday's NBC Today was report focused on ridiculing a Republican state lawmaker in Arizona for mistaking a bus filled with YMCA campers for one carrying illegal immigrant children. Co-host Matt Lauer teased: "...why one lawmaker is saying he's sorry this morning." Fill-in news reader Tamron Hall hyped the gaffe: "Yeah, this is a big one." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Tom Llamas declared: "Oracle, Arizona, is the latest town torn in two as protesters await the possible arrival of buses carrying migrant children....At the scene Tuesday, state lawmaker Adam Kwasman, a Republican running for Congress....It turns out that bus was actually filled with YMCA kids heading to day camp..."
No, Vox blogger Matthew Yglesias has not suggested that an appropriate slogan for the current Republican party would be “Get off our lawn!” Yglesias did, however, argue in a Tuesday post that these days, conservative politics reeks of “oldsterism,” as evidenced by developments including righties advocating large budget cuts except for programs benefiting those 55 and older; “constant bickering about Ronald Reagan”; and George Will’s “column-length rant against blue jeans.” All that and more, Yglesias declared, adds up to a “cranky” GOP that won’t win the votes of most young people.
From Yglesias’s post (bolding added; italics in original):
In a hit record from 1974, a girl repeatedly told a suitor, “I don’t like spiders and snakes.” Presumably no one back then thought the song had any political overtones, but forty years later a post on the Mother Jones website has suggested that the girl’s remark meant she probably was a right-winger.
MoJo science writer Chris Mooney reported Tuesday on a recent paper that claims conservatives have, in his account, “a ‘negativity bias,’ meaning that they are physiologically more attuned to negative (threatening, disgusting) stimuli in their environments” (including huge spiders). He asserted that righties’ extreme wariness leads them to support “a strong military, tough law enforcement, resistance to immigration, widespread availability of guns.”
Rather than spending his two weeks off developing new ways to insult conservatives, Stephen Colbert returned from vacation brandishing a tired favorite: racism. According to the Comedy Central host, “conservatives, like myself, have supported a unitary executive and the use of executive orders in the past” however, there is something “shady” about Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.
Just in case the host wasn’t making it clear enough, he played a clip of Attorney General Holder describing the “certain level of vehemence” and “racial animus” directed at him and the president. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Every so often a liberal pundit argues that even though Paul Ryan considers himself Catholic, his beliefs (on economics, at least) are closer to those of Ayn Rand than those of the Vatican. In a Friday piece for AlterNet, atheist writer CJ Werleman, author of books such as God Hates You. Hate Him Back, made a similar but far broader charge, claiming that Republicans in general routinely “conflate…Rand’s Atlas Shrugged with the Bible.”
In his article, Werleman discussed findings from a recent survey in which respondents speculated about the positions Jesus Christ would have taken on current political issues. Werleman opined that 80 percent of Democrats were right to think that Jesus would have backed universal health care (“it’s hard to imagine Jesus would deny care to those who lack the financial means to enjoy the comfort of our for-profit capitalist healthcare industry”) and declared that overall, the poll results showed that “Democrats align themselves more with the values of Jesus than [does] the proclaimed party of Jesus, the GOP.”
In the early 1970s, the press obsessed about President Nixon's alleged "isolation," especially as the Watergate scandal, which in an objective lookback has to be seen as relative child's play compared to what we're seeing now, unfolded. Proof that Nixon's "isolation" had been a constant media theme in previous months is found in an NBC Nightly News report on May 10, 1973, when a White House staff reorganization was characterized by reporter Richard Valeriani as "Nixon moving to end President('s) isolation."
On Fox News's "The Five" on Friday, Democrat Bob Beckel relayed what he said was an anonymous comment by a person in a position to know about how cut off from external advice President Barack Obama is. It seems arguably creepier than any degree of isolation Nixon may have ever had, for reasons which I will explain below. Let's see what Beckel had to say following co-host Andrea Tantaros's comment that Obama has a "Stepford staff just sort of nodding at whatever he says," and Greg Gutfeld's assertion that Obama "doesn't have anybody in his circle" with the nerve or access to intervene (bolds are mine):
Fredricka Whitfield put on the kid gloves for Marion Barry on Sunday's CNN Newsroom, and acclaimed the former D.C. mayor as a "visionary." Whitfield skirted mentioning every single controversy Barry has been involved in through his long career save one – his "infamous drug bust in 1990." She also spotlighted the Democrat's conspiracy theory that the FBI set up the sting to take him down for helping the poor: "You draw that correlation that all of those things that you did for the underserved community...and the design of this drug bust."
The anchor deferentially let Barry take credit for everything supposedly going well with the city of Washington, D.C., but failed to bring up the fact that the District became the "murder capital" of the U.S. during his tenure as mayor. Whitfield set the tone with her beyond softball first question to the current city councilman: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Telemundo anchor José Díaz-Balart lauded his brand new MSNBC show as being “for you,” “for all of us” and “for all people”on Monday. Of course, by “all of us”José Díaz-Balart meant MSNBC’s usual target audience, liberals.
Díaz-Balart invited MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell on to the show to discuss what TheLast Word host described as the outrageous Republican rhetoric that “this presidency is out of control.” Without offering any rebuttal, Díaz-Balart allowed the Lean Forward left winger to dismiss Obama’s overreach in altering legislation as the president merely “changing some dates.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
At the Associated Press on Friday afternoon, Andrew Taylor, who it should be noted covers Congress and is not routinely on the economics or business beat, relayed an Obama administration prediction that economic growth in 2014 will come in at 2.6 percent.
Taylor noted that this estimate, lowered from 3.3 percent, came about because of "the unexpected 2.9 percent drop in gross domestic product in the first quarter of this year when unusually severe weather dinged the economy." Besides failing to note that the contraction was an annualized drop (the actual contraction was about 0.7 percent), he didn't tell readers how absurdly strong growth will have to be during the rest of the year to hit that 2.6 percent target; it works out to an annualized 4.5 percent during each of this year's remaining unreported quarters. Perhaps the AP reporter isn't economically astute enough to recognize how unlikely that is — or worse, he recognized it and let it pass unchallenged.
One of the reasons President Barack Obama and the left can continue to make their cherished "budget stalemate" arguments against conservatives and Republicans is that the establishment press has memory-holed tax increases, including "the largest tax increase in the past two decades," which have already taken place. It now acts as if taxes on "the wealthy," which are really taxes on "high-income earners," have never been increased during Dear Leader's administration.
Josh Boak's coverage of the June budget surplus yesterday at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, is a case in point. After regaling readers with the administration-manipulated recent history of budget deficits (without mentioning the manipulation, of course), Boak uncritically relayed the Democrats' version of the argument that the standoff between the White House and the House of Representatives is over "sharp cuts on needed government programs" versus "higher taxes on the wealthy." Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post; numbered tags are mine):
Obamacare is succeeding, declared American Prospect blogger Paul Waldman on Thursday, and he predicts that ongoing development will bifurcate Republicans’ approaches to their 2014 congressional campaigns. Waldman thinks that purple-state GOP candidates will refrain from bashing the Affordable Care Act, but red-state candidates will discuss it in “apocalyptic terms” in order to agitate “voters [who] will still get angry every time the word [‘Obamacare’] is spoken.”
Waldman sees that split as part of a “larger Republican dilemma” caused by “the interests of the national GOP [being] at odds with the interests of the bulk of the party's officeholders,” who have to answer to the base. One result of this dilemma, he added, will be that in 2016, the eventual Republican presidential nominee “will face two dramatically different electorates; [i]t's as though they'll be running in Mississippi in the primaries, then in Ohio in the general election.”
On Friday's Hardball, Chris Matthews and Howard Dean slammed the supposedly "lunatic" Republican Party for opposing President Obama's $3.7 billion request to deal with the ongoing crisis at the U.S-Mexico border. Dean likened the political stalemate over this issue and in general in Washington to McCarthyism in the 1950s: "It reminds me of the 'who lost China' debate...where one side is frothing at the mouth and finding communists under every bed; and the other side – including some reasonable Republicans...actually trying to run the country."
Matthews endorsed the former Vermont governor's take, and targeted fiscal conservatives/the Tea Party as somehow akin to Mao's Red Guards: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
In what appears to be an act of leftist self-defense, an unbylined story at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, describes certain Colorado Democratic politicians' crticisms of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg over recent "off-base remarks about two of its cities," but noted no reactions from Republicans — who are genuinely outraged, as opposed to arguably trying to cover their political tracks.
In a story which was apparently prematurely posted at Rolling Stone Magazine's web site (link is to a separately saved Google cache copy), Bloomberg told Simon Vozick-Levinson that in recent recall elections in the Centennial State, "The NRA went after two or three state Senators in a part of Colorado where I don't think there's roads. It's as far rural as you can get." Really.
On Friday, only CBS This Morning covered the latest developments on House Speaker John Boehner's lawsuit against President Obama over a 2013 executive order delaying the ObamaCare employer mandate. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump] NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America completely ignored Boehner's office releasing the House resolution to sue the President.
However, those same morning shows did find time to cover a lawsuit against online retailer Amazon on behalf of customers being charged for accidental purchases. On Thursday evening, NBC Nightly News and ABC's World News similarly skipped the congressional move, while CBS Evening News devoted a mere twenty-two seconds to the story.
When TV’s Sunday-morning political chat shows book conservative guests, maybe they’re just trying to be evenhanded, but The Nation media blogger Leslie Savan opined in a Tuesday post that often the programs do it so that the right will be less likely to badger them about their liberal bias. As Savan put it, “Sometimes seeking balance is really a plea to call off the dogs.”
What riled up Savan in the first place was one such booking, of Dinesh D’Souza on last Sunday’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” but she also griped about the Sunday shows generally letting Tea Party guests off easy (“It’s as if mainstream media are as afraid of the far right as John Boehner is”) as well as about “the corporate media…offer[ing] their stage to far-right media figures” including Laura Ingraham.
There were three developments in the IRS-targets-the-Tea Party scandal in the past two days, all individually meriting coverage on their own right but, taken together as a package are most definitely newsworthy. Despite this, neither ABC's World News nor the CBS Evening News nor the NBC Nightly News spared even a second of coverage to them on their July 10 broadcasts.
By contrast, time was made to cover stories like country artist Garth Brooks's return to the industry (ABC), the 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth's start in the big leagues (CBS), and a baby boom in Washington, D.C., nine months after the government shutdown (NBC). Both NBC and ABC briefly mentioned the Emmy Awards nominations and all three broadcasts had time to note the passing of modeling agency executive Eileen Ford.
Kellaynne Conway and Joy Behar faced off on Wednesday's CNN Tonight over the future of ABC's The View, particularly in light of Rosie O'Donnell rejoining the cast. Host Don Lemon wondered, "Will the panel reflect American politics?" When Conway asserted that the program didn't need to be political, Behar sarcastically asked if the conservative pollster wanted the job. Conway replied, "No, no, no. I think they're not really looking for a real conservative."
The former View host later underlined that "a lot of the research showed that women did get their news from us." Conway then expressed her concern about this, which led to Lemon and Behar both making the same point about the long-running ABC program: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Chris McDaniel, candidate for the U.S. Senate from Mississippi, lost the Republican runoff to incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran last month, and now he is being led down a primrose path to political oblivion. McDaniel's passionate supporters think that a moment of crisis for the country is a good time to treat control of the Senate as if it's a prom queen election.
Hoping for yet a third primary vote, McDaniel's crew is going to prevent him from having any political career, ever again.
On Thursday morning, ABC and NBC refused to cover the latest scoop in the IRS scandal. Politicoreported on Wednesday afternoon that former IRS official Lois Lerner cautioned her colleagues about what they write in emails in case any of them come under congressional investigation.
CBS This Morning did not do much better, as the news warranted only a 19 second mention during the 7:30 a.m. half hour when covering headlines from publications across the country. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Talking to political director John Dickerson on Thursday's CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O'Donnell tried to dismiss Texas Governor Rick Perry calling the current border crisis President Obama's "Katrina moment": "Is there some truth to that or is there, as we say in Texas, is that a bunch of bull?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Dickerson flippantly replied: "Well, you know, the Katrina moment since that disaster has gotten kind of thrown around, it's become something of a political cliche. I think this might be the President's maybe twentieth Katrina moment."