Wednesday, November 6, 2013

TEA PARTY LOSES! The GOP begins to take back their party from the crazies and the extremists!

In the Virginia Governor’s race, Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam won their races for the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor. The extremists, Ken ‘the Cooch’ Cuccinelli and even more radical right (yes, that is possible, but difficult) E. W. Jackson. No surprise, women were a huge part of that win, a win for McAuliffe, but also very much against the misogynistic policies of the Tea Party, and corrupt ‘Governor Trans-vaginal Ultrasound’ McDonnell.  Lt. Governor candidate E.W. Jackson made his own uniquely nutty radical right comments, which intermittently even the Cooch tried to portray as too extreme.

From Salon:
1. On gay people: “Their minds are perverted, they’re frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally and they see everything through the lens of homosexuality. When they talk about love they’re not talking about love, they’re talking about homosexual sex.”
2. On gay people (again): “Homosexuality is a horrible sin, it poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things that we can think of… It’s an authoritarian, totalitarian spirit.”
3. Political predictions: Jackson said a few weeks before the 2012 election that black voters would “overwhelmingly” vote against Barack Obama because he had endorsed marriage equality. Over 90 percent of African Americans voted for the president.
4. On Democrats: “I liken them to slave masters who brag about how good their slaves are and how well-behaved they are but let them try to be free, let them try to escape and then you find out that they don’t really think very much of them.”
5. On Planned Parenthood and the KKK: “Planned Parenthood has been far more lethal to black lives than the KKK ever was. And the Democrat Party and the black civil rights allies are partners in this genocide.”
6. On liberals and the KKK: “Liberalism and their ideas have done more to kill black folks whom they claim so much to love than the Ku Klux Klan, lynching and slavery and Jim Crow ever did, now that’s a fact.”
7. On the Democratic Party’s agenda: “An agenda worthy of the Antichrist.”
8. On Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: “The new Marine motto: ‘The Few, the Proud, the Sexually Twisted.’ Good luck selling that to strong young males who would otherwise love to defend their country. What virile young man wants to serve in a military like that?
9. On boycotting CPAC for being too gay: “The self-proclaimed gay Republicans support hate crime laws (which will be used to bludgeon the church) and oppose the Federal Defense of Marriage Amendment, without which judges will ultimately legislate homosexual ‘marriage’—making the natural family an endangered species… What would Ronald Reagan think of CPAC today?”
10. On Obama’s Muslim sensibilities: “Obama clearly has Muslim sensibilities. He sees the world and Israel from a Muslim perspective. His construct of ‘The Muslim World’ is unique in modern diplomacy. It is said that only The Muslim Brotherhood and other radical elements of the religion use that concept. It is a call to unify Muslims around the world.”
Glenn Beck has called him, “one of the biggest truth‑tellers I’ve ever seen, one of the bravest guys I’ve ever seen.”
and as noted in another Salon article that elaborates on the above, E.W. Jackson also claims that we are exclusively a Christian nation, and that all other religions are false religions.  E.W. Jackson also wanted to make women report pregnancies to law enforcement, and to require law enforcement to investigate all miscarriages.

This put E.W. Jackson in direct conflict with the majority of black voters in Virginia; but then that is arguably the very definition of tokenism by the GOP and Tea Party.  We are still waiting to see if the McAuliffe/Northam win will translate to a down-ballot shift in the legislative majorities.

The shut down of the federal government by the Tea Party certainly didn’t help. On the teabagger side, there was a concerted effort to continue to try to hype Obamacare paranoia, during the early days difficulties with the roll-out. But as growing numbers of people are finding out how much better Obamacare is than the broken system it replaced, that is less and less a successful stratagem. As noted less than two weeks ago, Obamacare, even with glitches, is more popular than the GOP.  The numbers show that the President (and presumably other leading democratic figures) have effective support to offer, while it is far less clear that is true of the radical right figures.  (Obama won Virginia in 2008 by more than 6%, and just under 4% in 2012.)
Bad news for the GOP: ‘Obamacare’ now more popular than the Republican party 
The bad news for the Republican party keeps rolling in. Two new polls were released this week and show that not only is the Republican party in bad standing with the American people, but their number one target, “Obamacare,” is actually becoming more popular than they are.
A CNN/ORC International survey and a Washington Post-ABC News poll were both released this week giving great insight into how the American people view the government, both political parties and who they blame for the recent government shutdown. According to the CNN/ORC International survey, 54 percent of the American people think it’s a bad thing that Republicans are in control of the House of Representatives, which is an 11 point increase from last December. Of the people who support Republicans leading the House, only 38 percent think it’s a good idea, representing a 13-point drop from the end of 2012. Digging deeper into the House of Representatives, over 60 percent of those polled think House Speaker John Boehner (R) should be removed from that role, with only 30 percent standing by the Speaker to remain in position.
President Obama’s approval numbers have remained lower than he would like, but are still in better shape than congressional Republicans, The CNN/ORC poll has the president’s approval rating at 44 percent, but other polls, such as the right-wing leaning Rasmussen, poll his approval at 51 percent as early as last week. While the President Obama’s numbers are low, he is still stronger in the eyes of Americans than his Republican counter parts. The poll shows that 44 percent have more confidence in President Obama, with only 31 percent showing more confidence in congressional Republicans.
However, the fact that the radical right could turnout the support they did for the Cooch, makes this less than the total mandate that the earlier polling numbers suggested.  On the right, the GOP circular firing squad has begun forming and firing, NOT anyone stepping up and taking that much touted right wing personal responsibility for the losses.  Republicans will blame anything and everything when it is their policies that are flawed and failed.

In New Jersey, Chris Christie is getting a lot of attention for a landslide win.  It was a much less likely win had Christie faced Cory Booker, whom he was too afraid to even have on the same ballot, spending millions to hold a separate election.

A more interesting election, from my perspective was the Mayoral election in New York City.  New Jersey’s population, as of 2012, is only 8,864,590; the population of New York City is 8,336,697 as of 2012 — and Mayor Bloomberg argued that was an undercount of the population.  NYC is a global hub of power, both political and economic, home of both the UN and Wall Street.  Bill deBlasio won that election by roughly 73% to his opponents 24%, on issues of stop and frisk/law and order, and arguably more significantly, the problem of wealth and income inequality.  Chris Christie won by 20%; de Blasio won by more than double that.

While acknowledging the difference between a first election and re-election, the distinction between being the executive of one of the largest cities in the world and doing the same job, more or less, in an adjoining state is less of a distinction.  Certainly New York City has had to contend with the difficulties of Hurricane Sandy every bit as much as New Jersey did.  This reflects arguably more on the issues than the emphasis given to the cults of personality of the respective winners.

The other pivotal race that was a commentary on the failings of the tea party was in Alabama, a primary race between the Tea Party candidate and the less extreme ‘business Republican’, which is the convenient label for the more openly corporate owned right wing.  The ‘business Republican’ candidate Byrne, supported by establishment Republicans and the big money behind the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, approximatey 53% for Byrne, to 47% for Young.

Why would these voters in the deep south, heart of the predominantly regional Tea Party, turn on their own? The shut down is part of it, but so is the radical extreme of Young, who is an avowed birther who openly asserts that the President was born in Kenya, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.  Young has also made extreme statements like “gay activists should all go back to California”, his support by controversial judge Roy Moore, his lies about Obama and immigration (“The Chamber of Commerce last week sided with Barack Obama in wanting to give amnesty to 12 million illegal immigrants in this country.”), religion (“I will stand on the floor of the House and say that we are a Christian nation, we are a Christian people.”), opposition to ENDA, which would end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, with a final whipped topping of end of the nation/end of the world (“Romans Chapter One talks about the end of a nation, and we don’t need to see the end of a nation.”)

The AP noted , coincidentally, that this part of the deep south has been Republican since the 1964 election – aka the southern strategy where coservative Dixicrats abandoned the Democratic party to liberals, voting for Barry Goldwater, aka becoming ‘Goldwater Republicans’. These newly minted Republicans in 1964 are the racist core of the radical right; they vote Republican because they believe that there is nothing wrong with Jim Crow laws of voter suppression, or laws mandating segregation and anti-miscegenation, or that the U.S. is a country that should be dominated by white people who form the core of the radical right conspiracy-theory-prone birthers :
The Republican primary presented a classic clash between the two sides of the Republican Party. Byrne was the establishment candidate, drawing support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and two men who held the 1st District office, Jo Bonner and Jack Edwards. Young ran as an outsider, aligning himself with the tea party and drawing praise from Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.Byrne advances to the general election Dec. 17 against the Democratic nominee, Mobile real estate agent Burton Leflore. Leflore has raised little money in a district that has voted Republican since 1964.
That this vote was even this close argues for the Tea Party not giving up control of the GOP without a helluva fight.
And then we have the Colorado vote on secession, where out of 11 counties 6 voted ‘no’ to exploring secession, and 5 voted ‘yes’. From Denver station KDVR:
The votes Tuesday in 11 mostly northeastern Colorado counties — Cheyenne, Elbert, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Logan, Moffat, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington, Weld and Yuma — will be quixotic.
Even if the secession questions had drawn support from a majority of voters in those counties, the legislature, which is still controlled by Democrats, would have to vote to allow them to leave. After that, Congress would have to agree to admit a new state.
Democrats have tried to tarnish statewide Republican candidates from the counties voting on secession; thus far, U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck, a Weld County resident, and state Sen. Greg Brophy, a gubernatorial candidate hailing from Yuma County, have both stated that they’re voting no.


  1. Sometimes candidates can win based on image and personality and not issues -- which might be the case in Chris Christie ... do you know the results of the legislative branch ... did he have any coattails ?

    BTW ... did you notice that New Jersey voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot question today that will raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.25 ... if voters can approve it, why shouldn't Minnesota's legislature ?

  2. Chris Christie is cruising on a superficial image relating to the disaster response to Hurricane Sandy.

    However it appears that not all of that money has gone where it was designated to go, and once the Hero of the Hurricane image wears off, I don't see Christie as having the image that will advance him to the level of presidential nominee. There are some very good reasons Christie could not pass the vetting to be Romney's VP candidate. He has more baggage than the stuff he is still carrying around his mid-section (and what's with that? didn't his lap band surgery work?).

    Perhaps the most telling is that Christie, according to the polls, couldn't beat Hillary Clinton to win his own state - in which regard he reminds me very much of T-Paw and Bachmann - and Romney. When you can't win your own state, national parties start to look at you with a very jaundiced eye, as well they should. When the people who know you best don't like you for the job, there is a lot there about which to be concerned.

    1. Going back a bit further, it is also worth noting that Al Gore didn't carry his home state either -- but he arguably did win the popular election except for the intervention of Duh-bya's brother and the SCOTUS to steal that election. Not something I think that either of our most recent MN presidential wannabe's could pull off, OR Chris Christie.