This Is No Fun

I just thought I would go on record stating that the last few weeks and months have really sucked for me. I spent my whole life in the GOP- starting in 1984 with county meetings, going to Teenage Republican camp (my friends called it Hitler Youth Camp, proving that Nazi/Republican quips are no new development), and spending the better part the fall of 1984 going door to door for John Raese in his race against Rockefeller (Raese, as you know, lost). Now, 22 years later, I find myself not only refusing to support Raese against Robert Byrd (the man who for years has embarassed me with his pork), but I have come to the conclusion that the Republicans are so corrupt, so dishonest, so beholden to special interests and fanatical lobbying groups that Byrd not only looks to be the better option, but the entire Democratic party looks better.

I don’t know when things went south with this party (literally and figuratively- and I am sure commenters here will tell me the party has always been this bad- I disagree with that, and so do others), but for me, Terri Schiavo was the real eye-opener. Sure, the Prescription Drug Plan was hideous and still gets my blood pressure pumping, and the awful bankruptcy bill was equally bad, and there were other things that should have clued me in, but really, it was Schiavo that made me realize this party was not as advertized. And it is frustrating as hell.

What makes this even more frustrating is that not only do I feel like I have been duped, but I established a lot of friends in the right wing of the blogging community- and now I read their pages and I can’t believe what I am reading, even though I know that five years ago I probably would have been saying the same or similar things. I know many of them as people- and not just GOP parrots- having spent time working on collaborative projects with them, serving on the editorial board at Red State, appearing on radio shows with them- you name it. I have, at one point in time, defended many of them from what I perceived to be unfair attacks. So I know that by and large they are not bad people (Dan Riehl is an unmitigated asshole, however). Yet I read their pages now, and through my eyes, it looks like they are so divorced from reality it makes me question what, if anything, I ever believed in.

In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias.

And it makes me mad. I still think of myself as a Republican- but I think the whole party has been hijacked by frauds and religionists and crooks and liars and corporate shills, and it frustrates me to no end to see my former friends enabling them, and I wonder ‘Why can’t they see what I see?” I don’t think I am crazy, I don’t think my beliefs have changed radically, and I don’t think I have been (as suggested by others) brainwashed by my commentariat.

I hate getting up in the morning, surfing the news, and finding more and more evidence that my party is nothing but a bunch of frauds. I feel like I am betraying my friends in the party and the blogosphere when I attack them, even though I believe it is they who have betrayed what ‘we’ allegedly believe in. Bush has been a terrible President. The past Congresses have been horrible- spending excessively, engaging in widespread corruption, butting in to things they should have no say in (like end of life decisions), refusing to hold this administration accountable for ANYTHING, and using wedge issues to keep themselves in power at the expense of gays, etc. And I don’t know why my friends on the right still keep fighting for these guys to stay in power. Why do they keep attacking decent people like Jim Webb- to keep this corrupt lot of fools in office? Why can’t they just admit they were sold a bill of goods and start over? Why do they want to remain in power, but without any principles? Are tax cuts that important? What is gained by keeping troops in harms way with no clear plan for victory? With no desire to change course? With our guys dying every day in what looks to be for no real good reason? Why?

I really don’t know where this post is going, so I will just end it now, but I do have to say the past few months have really sucked, and I am completely disillusioned.

Look- A Rabbit

See- you just have to vote Republican now:

John Kerry said what?!

By Michelle Malkin · October 31, 2006 12:32 AM

***10/31 7:35am updated with more reax below…

…909am update San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Pasadena Star News reports on the Angelides campaign event at Pasadena City College where Kerry trashed the troops…”Kerry then told the students that if they were able to navigate the education system, they could get comfortable jobs – “If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq,” he said to a mixture of laughter and gasps.”***

A general rule of thumb regarding controversies like this is to count how many posts Michelle Malkin has about the issue, and to note that there is a positive correlation to how trivial the matter is and how many posts she has about it. At my last count, she had four on her site, two on her spin-off site Hot Air (who I still think ripped their name off from me). That would tell me that this issue would be somewhere between Cindy Sheehan and crescent-shaped 9/11 memorials and Terri Schaivo in importance, but the possibility is there for a new record.

Predictably, lamentably, the right-wing blogosphere is grievously insulted and has put the grass-roots outrage machine in high gear. Expect record levels of umbrage from all corners.

I wish Kerry had not made the remark (even though he was trying to insult the President and not the troops), but I do find it a little amusing that the people who are ‘upset’ about this remark managed (if my memory is correct) to remain completely silent about this:

I am sure we all remember the Bush supporters wearing fake purple heart stickers at the 2004 RNC to mock Kerry’s service. Additionally, I note that Malkin and company have not yet moved to condemn the treatment Vietnam war hero Jim Webb is getting at the hands of Red State, where he has been compared to John Mark Karr and today called a pervert.

Of course, the ‘libertarian’ reaction is predictably ‘nuanced.’ Well, no, it really isn’t:

JOHN KERRY — a gift that keeps on giving. Unfortunately, it’s a gift for the Republicans. . . .

Kerry’s suggestion that the troops in Iraq are dumb failures is not only reprehensible, but false on the facts. In other words, a typical Kerry performance, just in time for the elections. Democrats must be wondering what they were thinking to nominate him in 2004, and why he won’t go away now.

Glenn then links to numerous outraged (OUTRAGED) folks alternately condemning Kerry and demanding an apology. A snide observer (and I am one), might wryly note that Glenn thinks the mainstream media always drops the ball, paying too much attention to trivial issues rather than issues of importance, and that is why the blogosphere is so important- to provide real reporting. I guess Glenn is right- who needs the mainstream media when you have tons of bloggers who can treat elections like games and horse races?

Again, I wish Kerry had not made the remark (or phrased it better), but really, it changes nothing. The Republican party has no plan for Iraq other than rhetorical shifts, their policies are not constructed or implemented to actually accomplish anything but rather to maintain Congressional power, and we all will be better off if the GOP is swept out of power. The Republicans are corrupt, morally bankrupt, have no ideas, no principles, and are hoping upon hope that this latest distraction will help to stop the bleeding. Unfortunately, the bleeding they care about is at the polls and not the bleeding in Iraq.

Let’s crush their hopes.

A Uniter, Not a Divider

President Bush:

Faced with potential GOP defeat in both chambers, Bush and Cheney aimed to avert that by convincing voters that they cannot risk giving the opposition party any power in Washington.

“However they put it, the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses,” Bush told a raucous crowd of about 5,000 GOP partisans packed in an arena at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, one of his stops Monday. “That’s what’s at stake in this election. The Democrat goal is to get out of Iraq. The Republican goal is to win in Iraq.”

Iraq is over. We can do little to nothing more. The war is over. Finished. It is an ex-parrot. Pretending the GOP wants to “win” and the Democrats want to “lose” is absurd, as there is no winning and losing anymore. There is just dying and election-year rhetoric.

BTW- It really is amazing what Ann Althouse will excuse away. It is almost like she has no principles.

Try Not To Barf

…while you read Glenn Greenwald describe how Mark Halperin, political director for ABC News, spent three hours groveling at the feet of Hugh Hewitt. Recall earlier statements by Halperin and ABC’s blame-it-all-on-Clinton “documentary.” Add this latest embarrassment and you don’t need a crystal ball to see that Halperin has decided to give up on fairness and chase the FOX demographic wherever it leads. I think that Billmon recently summed up best what is going on here – business is business, and fairness just doesn’t pay the bills.

Sadly I think that Mark Halperin had a real brainfart. The FOX demographic won’t follow ABC’s namby-pamby under-the-radar rightwing bias when they can get the real thing on Cable, and anyway they will never trust an outlet that employs Brian Ross. Would FOX News keep a world-famous enabler of terrorists on staff? Of course not. Plus you have to wonder about Halperin’s timing. Jumping boldly to the right after 9/11 would have had enough internal logic that the ‘wingers might not see it as pandering, and it would have given ABC five or six good years to join or even lead the violent domination of the national discourse by rightwingers. They would have made money hand over fist.

Today, where’s the benefit? The conservative wave has crested. Other than a few dead-enders like Hewitt rightwing pundits across the board (Richard Viguerie, Peggy f-cking Noonan) have decided that the current leadership needs to go down in disgrace. Bungled wars and massive failures in every aspect of government have pushed independent Americans to the left in unprecedented numbers. One sign of the changing times, Rupert Murdoch has chummed up with the Clintons to the point that he recently held a fundraiser for Hillary (Roger Ailes attended but did not give). Looking at ratings trends the national audience is clearly shifting towards stations which do not grovel at the feet of Dick Cheney and Hugh Hewitt. Yet for some inane reason the political director of ABC News has decided to change tack five years late and in the wrong direction.

Maybe there is some calculation involving juicy favors from the FCC, trademark policy favoring Disney or an NSA wiretap of Halperin planning a murder, who knows. On the face of it ABC’s decision looks pretty stupid.


Hewitt doesn’t buy Halperin’s conversion so the ABC political guru gets back on his knees. Repeatedly. The pathos of Mark Halperin’s desperate, shameless self-debasement simply baffles me. Add quixotic, since Hugh doesn’t like anybody to the left of Dick Cheney.

The self-punishing aspect of Halperin’s venue choices is even stranger. If you want to reach mainstream America go on Scarborough, Imus; even O’Reilly occasionally makes a weak stab at political independence. Limbaugh might give you an airing. Michael Savage has that Republicans-left-me independence thing, although his complaint is that they’re too far left. As a mainstream media figure you can’t just sidle up to the hackiest hacks who ever hacked and expect them to like you.

George Will- Terrorist

George Will joins the ranks of the jihadist:

A surreal and ultimately disgusting facet of the Iraq fiasco is the lag between when a fact becomes obvious and when the fiasco’s architects acknowledge that fact. Iraq’s civil war has been raging for more than a year; so has the Washington debate about whether it is what it is.

In a recent interview with Vice President Cheney, Time magazine asked, “If you had to take back any one thing you’d said about Iraq, what would it be?” Selecting from what one hopes is a very long list, Cheney replied: “I thought that the elections that we went through in ’05 would have had a bigger impact on the level of violence than they have … I thought we were over the hump in terms of violence. I think that was premature.”

He thinks so? Clearly, and weirdly, he implies that the elections had some positive impact on the level of violence. Worse, in the full transcript of the interview posted online he said the big impact he expected from the elections “hasn’t happened yet.” “Yet”? Doggedness can be admirable, but this is clinical.

Anyway, what Cheney actually said 17 months ago was that the insurgency was in its “last throes.” That was much stronger than saying we were “over the hump” regarding violence. Beware of people who misquote themselves while purporting to display candor.

George Will is clearly a one-man axis of evil. And to say this stuff, before an election, putting country before party? How dare he, the damned defeatocrat.

Santorum’s Desperation

This is charming:

.S. Sen. Rick Santorum accused state Treasurer Bob Casey of “aiding and abetting terrorism and genocide,” saying yesterday that state pension funds are invested with companies linked to terrorist-sponsoring states.
As he has done before, Santorum criticized Casey’s work ethic, saying his Democratic opponent has failed to show up for work and has not been a diligent treasurer in failing to change investment policies.

The third-ranking Republican in the Senate said preventing terrorists from getting funding was an essential part of combating terrorism.

“I’m the one trying to fight this war politically and economically so we don’t have to fight it militarily, and he is asleep at the switch because he’s not doing his job,” Santorum said.


Santorum did not cite specific examples but referred to a report by the Center for Security Policy, a conservative think tank that has pushed for divestment from companies doing business in terror-sponsoring nations.

“Bob Casey has invested Pennsylvania pension funds in companies with ties to terrorist-sponsoring states and states that engage in genocide,” Santorum said. “Bob Casey is aiding and abetting terrorism and genocide.”

I can’t believe I ever voted for these people. And all you terrorist enablers in Pennsylvania should be ashamed of yourself and better vote for Santorum, because if you don’t, we are ALL GONNA DIE. Hell, someone in Santorum’s campaign told me that Casey was going to have tea with Zawahiri and plot bombings if he gets elected. Or maybe I read that at the increasingly disgusting Red State.

Blinded by Science

The Bush Administration is:

A senior Bush political appointee at the Interior Department has rejected staff scientists’ recommendations to protect imperiled animals and plants under the Endangered Species Act at least six times in the past three years, documents show.

In addition, staff complaints that their scientific findings were frequently overruled or disparaged at the behest of landowners or industry have led the agency’s inspector general to look into the role of Julie MacDonald, who has been deputy assistant secretary of the interior for fish and wildlife and parks since 2004, in decisions on protecting endangered species.

The documents show that MacDonald has repeatedly refused to go along with staff reports concluding that species such as the white-tailed prairie dog and the Gunnison sage grouse are at risk of extinction. Career officials and scientists urged the department to identify the species as either threatened or endangered.

Most administrations would be given the benefit of the doubt about decisions like this- but not these hacks. They have earned out skepticism when it comes to scientific matters.