Out of Ideas, Out of Their Minds, and Out of Touch

The SNL opening skit last night poked fun at the House GOP echo chamber:

From that Frank Rich column we linked in the earlier post today:

The stimulus battle was more of the same. “This town talks to itself and whips itself into a frenzy with its own theories that are completely at odds with what the rest of America is thinking,” he says. Once the frenzy got going, it didn’t matter that most polls showed support for Obama and his economic package: “If you watched cable TV, you’d see our support was plummeting, we were in trouble. It was almost like living in a parallel universe.”

For Axelrod, the moral is “not just that Washington is too insular but that the American people are a lot smarter than people in Washington think.”

Here’s a third moral: Overdosing on this culture can be fatal. Because Republicans are isolated in that parallel universe and believe all the noise in its echo chamber, they are now as out of touch with reality as the “inevitable” Clinton campaign was before it got clobbered in Iowa. The G.O.P. doesn’t recognize that it emerged from the stimulus battle even worse off than when it started. That obliviousness gives the president the opening to win more ambitious policy victories than last week’s. Having checked the box on attempted bipartisanship, Obama can now move in for the kill.

But, you say- “Surely their unanimous no votes in the house and their unified opposition must be paying dividends!” Via the GOS, some polling data:

I honestly have never seen a party go so far out of their way to marginalize themselves, and folks who study groupthink are going to look at the last few months as a veritable gold mine. Why the Republicans have decided to, in the middle of numerous crises, ignore the outcome of an election and run headlong against a popular new President into opposition for opposition sake is beyond me.

And look, there are very legitimate reasons to oppose the stimulus bill. No one knows if it will work, and the Joe Biden gaffe that the chattering classes were worked up about a few weeks ago was a gaffe precisely because it contained a lot of truth. While I have no idea where Joe was getting his numbers, the fact is that no one knows if the stimulus bill will work, and similarly, adding 800 billion in debt should be hard. Things are looking so bad there is no way to know whether or not this bill will change the cycle we seem to be stuck in, and an argument could be made that the real game is the Geithner plan, which to date has not inspired much confidence. The current stimulus bill does have a lot of spending, but from what I understand, much of it is in the form of padding the fall.

Additionally, spending that kind of money shouldn’t be easy, and an opposition that didn’t spend every day running around yelling ‘No’ and ‘Tax cuts’ probably could have built a more effective case against the stimulus bill. Sadly, that would have required counter proposals and arguments that didn’t start and end with tax cuts. But it is the way the Republicans are going about opposition that is so ridiculous. Their unified vote is so transparently just political gamesmanship, especially when you consider that immediately after the vote, Republicans were issuing press releases touting the benefits of the bill for their district.

But, for whatever reason, the GOP simply can not figure it out. Michael Steele, the new RNC chairman is busy telling everyone there is absolutely no reason for anyone to trust the GOP, while the rest of them are spending their time running around comparing themselves to the Taliban. The reason Steele felt compelled to announce that the GOP can not be trusted is because everyone agrees they can not be trusted. He was merely stating the obvious. Rather than try to build trust, though, rather than sit back and take a breather, compose themselves, and plot a way forward for both the country and the GOP, the Washington Republicans seem intent on committing seppuku. Instead of rebranding themselves and putting forth an alternate vision, they seem to think that unified obstructionism based on the hope that things get worse is the real way forward for them. And they don’t realize that everyone sees through it.

The Rich piece notes that not all Republicans are on board the crazy train, and points to Charlie Crist and others. Fair enough, but I would also point to someone else who, despite being mocked by this website and others, seems to have figured things out and is keeping a low profile- Sarah Palin. She refused to be allowed to serve as a leader against the opposition, and seemed to play it both ways. She also removed herself from a high profile appearance at CPAC, choosing to stay at home and govern. After a disastrous couple month post-election media blitz, she seems to have figured out that keeping a low profile right now makes the most sense.

Say what you want about Sarah Palin, but she seems to be smarter than the rest of the GOP. I don’t know if it is because she is not stuck in the DC GOP cocoon, or because she has solid political instincts, or because the states are hurting so bad that she knows her state needs the help from the stimulus bill, but it is clear she has decided to not wed herself to the DC republicans. That says something, doesn’t it?

*** Update ***

This Brownstein interview with President Obama seems to suggest Obama understands the drill:

Obama said the near-unanimous Republican opposition, after all his meetings with GOP legislators, would not discourage him from reaching out again on other issues. “Going forward, each and every time we’ve got an initiative, I am going to go to both Democrats and Republicans and I’m going to say, ‘Here is my best argument for why we need to do this. I want to listen to your counterarguments, if you’ve got better ideas, present them, we will incorporate them into any plans that we make and we are willing to compromise on certain issues that are important to one side or the other in order to get stuff done,'” he said.

Cooperation on the economic agenda, he suggested, may have been unusually difficult because it “touched on… one of the core differences between Democrats and Republicans” — whether tax cuts or public spending can best stimulate growth. He predicted there may be greater opportunity for cooperation on issues such as the budget, entitlements and foreign policy. And if he keeps reaching out, he speculated, Republicans may face “some countervailing pressures” from the public “to work in a more constructive way.” White House aides suggest that regardless of how congressional Republicans react on upcoming issues, Obama will pursue alliances with Republican governors and Republican-leaning business groups and leaders.

Yet while promising to continue to seek peace with congressional Republicans, Obama also made clear he’s prepared for the alternative. “I am an eternal optimist [but] that doesn’t mean I’m a sap,” he said pointedly. “So my goal is to assume the best but prepare for a whole range of different possibilities in terms of how Congress reacts.”


In such comments, and his remarks about his willingness to work with or without Republican support in Congress, Obama may be revealing much about his conception of leadership. He was insistent that a president’s responsibility is to resist the daily (if not hourly) scorekeeping of the modern political and media system and keep his eye on the horizon.

Obama seems perfectly content to keep extending olive branches, incorporating the Republican’s ideas when they are good, and then allowing them to get no credit for anything as they marginalize themselves while he “pals around” with Republican governors like Charlie Crist.

78 replies
  1. 1
    mellowjohn says:

    i don’t think ackroyd was orange enough to be a convincing boehner.

    btw, ben stein is on cbs sunday morning right now. he doesn’t like the stimulus package. as gomer pyle used to say, "suhprize, suhprize, suhprize!"

  2. 2
    MattF says:

    One of the fundamental rules of right-wing politics is that conservatives have to be different from liberals– and if ‘different’ means dumb and self-destructive, well… it’s different, so it’s good.

  3. 3
    calipygian says:

    I eagerly await the cognitive dissonence that results in the realization that the GOP standard bearer in 2012 not only didn’t rail against the stimulus that saved America in an Eric Can’tor sort of way, but she also actually took money from that stimulus for her state and spent it on bridges and roads to nowhere to make jobs.

    My local popcorn vendor is going to get a HUGE stimulus, that’s for sure.

  4. 4

    How do you make a skit that unfunny with such easy targets, perfect ammunition, and frikking Dan Ackroyd? SNL sucks ass.

  5. 5
    aimai says:

    Amazing clip. It wasn’t actually funny, though, because it was just too believable. While I agree that it "should be difficult" to vote ourselves into deficit spending I don’t think it follows that there was actually much of a good argument that the Republicans *could* have made that no stimulus plan, or a tax cuts only stimulus plan, made sense. For one thing we are allready in deficit territory because of the ease with which Bush and the Republicans got us into deficit spending with the war. Its too late to lock the barn door on that one. A less hysterically ideological Republican leadership would never have passed the Bush tax cuts, and would never have allowed the war to be fought on supplementals. If we’d still had the Clinton surplus to play around with we could have passed the stimulus bill without going into deficit spending. If we had the financial cushion that sensible households are supposed to have at the state level, and if this weren’t a perfect storm of lost tax revenues and increased costs, we wouldn’t be in deficit territory for a one or two year problem with demand.

    This is crisis of no mean proportions. But the Republicans have insisted all the way along that its a) not happening, b) almost over, c) can’t be attacked with government policy, d) someone else’s fault, e) not a big deal as long as no CEO’s are hurt. These *are their answers* and they just aren’t good enough for a governing body.


  6. 6
    DougJ says:

    I think Palin does have better political instincts than these idiots. I think Bush did too.

  7. 7

    Say what you want about Sarah Palin, but she seems to be smarter than the rest of the GOP.

    She reminds me of Jesse Ventura, but without the intelligence. Trying so hard to be "independent" (or, mavericky, in her lexicon) … he ended up just being out there on an island by himself.

    We live in a system dominated by machine politics. It’s one thing to bitch about the machine, but it’s another to stick a finger in its eye.

    I think she will get too far out on her own limb and saw the limb off behind her. But if she doesn’t, and fools the GOP machine into hiring her as its leader, then … fine. Good for our side.

  8. 8
    Cat Lady says:


    Repubs are no longer able to be satirized. That clip was a documentary.

  9. 9
    Libby says:

    I never thought Palin was as stupid as she sounded. She’s a crazy fundie but she played her understudy role in 08 with an eye to becoming the star in the next production and she was pitch perfect for her audience. As an American Idol strategy, she’s still looking good. Although I also hear she has some heavy PR problems in AK. So there’s that.

    In any event, a lot of GOP governors were on board for the stim bill, because they’re all looking at disastrous cuts. I read somewhere that the ‘new bipartisanship outreach’ is going to skip the Village idiots altogether and go right to the states to build support for the next big thing.

  10. 10
    Comrade Jake says:

    Jindal has largely been MIA from the current mess as well. In fact, I think most Republican Governors have kept pretty quiet. They would appear to know just how much their states need the money.

  11. 11
    rob says:

    Palin probably does have better political instincts than the rest of the GOP- let’s face it GW Bush is her role model. I always felt that she was more than likely not as crazy as the rest of them- she just played the "crazy" on the campaign trail this past fall. But then that what’s scary about her, she will play a role for political reasons. I don’t think she has one iota of deep, rational thought. Instead of not going to CPAC, she should have decided to not be John Mcain’s running mate because her 17 yo unmarried daughter was knocked up. btw, the skit is very funny.

  12. 12

    Now that Eric Cantor is a leading voice for the GOP in the House what is to be expected of these clowns?

    Mr. Cantor acknowledged that Mr. Obama had won points from the public for appearing less partisan than Republicans in this battle, but he warned that the president should not draw the wrong lesson.

    “I think it would be short-sighted for him to take away from a zero vote that he shouldn’t even mess with us anymore,” he said.

    Isn’t this the part where coyote looks down and realizes he’s run off the edge of the cliff?

  13. 13
    dmsilev says:

    Say what you want about Sarah Palin, but she seems to be smarter than the rest of the GOP.

    That’s putting the bar so low that an ant could high-jump over it.


  14. 14
    calipygian says:

    In any event, a lot of GOP governors were on board for the stim bill, because they’re all looking at disastrous cuts. I read somewhere that the ‘new bipartisanship outreach’ is going to skip the Village idiots altogether and go right to the states to build support for the next big thing.

    You should read the comments at Malkin’s place about the Clyburn provision in the bill, which would require states to spend the funds in the bill within 45 days and if the governor refuses the funds, all it takes is a simple majority vote in the state legistature to accept the funding.

    Malkin called it the "anti-Mark Sanford bill" and railed against it as a violation of the 10th Amendment and state’s rights. Her commenters are calling for a new Fort Sumter. I’m absolutely baffled by this reaction. I wanted to go over there and write a comment about how if South Carolina doesn’t want the money, they wont take it – its that simple.

    Then I remembered that it’s generally not a good idea to wander into a cage full of rabid pit bulls.

  15. 15
    Atanarjuat says:

    Of course Governor Sarah Palin is smart and wise. The misogynistic caricature of Palin that leftists desperately cling to is at complete odds with the real person, and it’s good to see that Mr. Cole has finally recognized this fact (unlike most of the America Last rabble on BJ).

    -Country First.

  16. 16
    El Cid says:

    Palin didn’t have to be that smart to see what a big bag of fail the national Republican Party was, and to conclude that she needs to stay away from them for a while.

    Meanwhile, the Republican traitors who always want to make America and Americans fail will remain committed to their triple agenda of theft, failure, and treason.

    – Country First. Save it from the Republican Treason Front.

  17. 17
    David says:

    It might be okay to oppose the new president if you hadn’t come off of eight years of unrelenting bootlicking for a man widely regarded as one of the worst- if not the worst- president in history.

    Regardless of ideology they’re horrible leaders.

    Palin: Too many clothes in 2008, too much baggage in 2012.

  18. 18

    The misogynistic caricature of Palin that leftists desperately cling to is at complete odds with the real person

    Aw, come on. She has Man Hands.

  19. 19
    Cat Lady says:


    Self-interested isn’t the same as smart or wise. She’s the poster child for self-interest.

  20. 20
    DougJ says:

    There’s a difference between being smart in the usual sense and having good political instincts. Mitt Romney is smart but has awful political instincts. Palin is an idiot but she has pretty good ones.

    This Republican obstruction plan is an intellectual plan. The idea is to set up some big dichotomy and hope that things go badly enough that you’re on the right side of it. But at a gut level, it’s pretty clear that so far it’s making the American people hate Republicans more. So it’s just the kind of thing Newt would like but Sarah Palin would hate.

  21. 21
    linda says:

    wasnt some of that dialog actual quotes made by those nitwits. eric cantor is going to be worth his weight in gold for democrats– staggering cluelessness mixed with equal parts arrogance.

  22. 22
    Libby says:

    I think Palin is actually a lot smarter than she comes off. Some of that is deliberate. If you look at the video press avails that she did before she started running, she’s much more articulate than she was as a VP candidate and she showed a fairly good grasp of state issues. A lot of that "oh gosh" I’m just a hockey mom schtick was an act for the outraged base. You’ll recall they think being smart and articulate is elistist.

    That being said, she is woefully uniformed about anything outside of her Yukon bubble and clearly suffers from a lack of intellectual curiousity. She’s just not interested in knowledge that doesn’t immediately advance her own agenda.

    I think it would be a mistake to underestimate her though. She reminds me of an old co-worker who was dumb as a brick but had a uncanny knack of manipulating people who were really intelligent, always to the benefit her own petty ends. She was probably the most dishonest person I ever had the misfortune to work with, but she was able to snow Harvard grads on a regular basis.

  23. 23
    demimondian says:

    You know, it’s not as simple as all that.

    Unlike John, I do remember a party charging headlong into irrelevance with the eagerness of the damned through the gates of Hell: I watched the Democratische Götterdämmerung in 68-72. It was a time I can’t forget.

  24. 24
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Is ‘Atanarjuat’ just Rot13 for ‘‘Stakhanov’?

    Such zeal for the Party, and the Revolution, comes rarely in a generation….

  25. 25
    Faux News says:

    Please don’t feed the antana-whats-its-name Troll. I don’t even bother reading it anymore. Just skip it and move on.

    As for Palin, she needs to regroup for 2010. Does she run for Senate against the incumbent (both women hate each other) or run for Governor again. The Dems in AK now despise her as well.

    Given that she somehow wins one of those elections do you people think that Multiple Choice Mittens and 9/11 Giuliani are going to sit by and watch her get nominated for POTUS? Um, NO! They will both do their best to utterly destroy her in the primaries.

    We’re gonna need a LOT of popcorn in 2010 and 2012.

  26. 26
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Say what you want about Sarah Palin, but she seems to be smarter than the rest of the GOP.

    This argument leads ineluctably to the nomination in 2012 of something from my crisper draw – and by then, some of its contents will probably have satisfied the age-35 requirement…

  27. 27
    Left Coast Tom says:

    Palin may have better instincts than Washington Republicans, but since the latter insist on the Taliban as a model that’s a pretty low bar. She remains the narcissistic, clueless nut who united Democrats and Independents in revulsion at the prospect of a possible "President Palin".

  28. 28
    Joey Maloney says:

    staggering cluelessness mixed with equal parts arrogance.

    "Arrogance and stupidity in a single package. How efficient." -Londo Mollari

  29. 29
    bago says:

    @calipygian: Was that a wheel of time reference?

  30. 30
    Mike in NC says:

    Republicans seem intent on committing seppuku.

    Pay Per View, anyone?

    She remains the narcissistic, clueless nut who united Democrats and Independents in revulsion at the prospect of a possible "President Palin".

    Preview for 2012: Country Neiman Marcus First!

  31. 31
    John Cole says:

    @sgwhiteinfla: That skit was sublime. Did you miss the ‘when this stimulus bill causes the economy to crash’ (some of them actually said that) or the Limbaugh v. Hannity v. Savage remarks (we have all seen that), or the poking fun at them for thinking they are on a hot streak (remember, they actually DID do a celebratory dance after they all voted no before it went to the Senate), or the reaction to the press conference (they were panning it on right wing blogs). They nailed the echo chamber.

    The skit was brilliant. Only thing I would have changed was to make Boehner more orange.

  32. 32
    different church-lady says:

    Palin is smarter than the rest of the GOP?

    Now that is TRULY frightening.

  33. 33
    Ejoiner says:

    I wanted to go over there and write a comment about how if South Carolina doesn’t want the money, they wont take it – its that simple.

    No, no, no – I’m from South Carolina. We want the money its that odd dip wad of a governor who keeps playing "daddy" and informing his children that – contrary to their expectations (and job prospects) – he knows whats best for us and will turn down the funds. He recently tried to hold up unemployment benefits over some technical squabble with the bureaucracy running the program.

    And this guy is considered one of the top tier GOP governors. Says it all right there.

  34. 34
    different church-lady says:


    …she (Palin) was pitch perfect for her audience.

    The problem, for her, however, is that her audience is about 20% — not nearly enough to get elected if that same pitch makes the other 80% flee.

  35. 35
    Stuck says:

    Most of the bill, I don’t know what it will do in the short term for creating a lot of jobs. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. Well above my paygrade, which isn’t saying much at all on economics. But the part I focus on, is the long term investments in Heath and Energy (which BTW is substantial part of the spending wingers are whining about), –though doubtful to create immediate jobs, is a critical step for the long term survival of the country and it’s economy, IMHO. And I don’t really care what they called it to get this started, stimulus, spamulous, or Aunt Harriet’s Liver Pill Bill.

    **The health and energy research provisions are not talked about much by wingnuts, which leads me to wonder if they are not the real object of their ire. It cuts against the old money Blue Blood Plutocrats that REpublicans work for. New markets and new industries create anxiety in these people who have already a lock on the current ones.

    Wingnuts have been forced by public sentiment to at least lend rhetorical support for these new frontiers, but that doesn’t mean they actually want them to happen.

  36. 36
    kay says:

    I think it’s interesting that the GOP line today is that Obama isn’t bipartisan.
    1. read it, full of pork, opposed
    2. opposed on broader conservative principles ( exhibit A: Senator Gregg! he’s principled! ), socialism, FDR, blah, blah…not so much…pork…as SPENDING.
    3. didn’t get a chance to read it, might have liked it, we’ll never know, will we?
    4. Finally, McCain blames Obama when the failure of tactics 1 thru 3 become clear.
    They’ve settled on McCain blames Obama, and that’s right where we started.

  37. 37
    kay says:

    Lindsey Graham doesn’t believe in Obama’s change.
    Lindsey Graham was sold a bill of goods by Barack Obama, and that’s not fair, to…. Lindsey Graham.
    Lindsey Graham believes he can now present himself as sort of a dismayed Obama supporter. That’s amazing. That he would try that. I myself, if I were Graham, would not be able to deliver that message without busting out laughing.

  38. 38
    iluvsummr says:

    @kay: Oh he’s laughing all right. On the inside. Sadly for him we’re starting to laugh also, and there might be some pointing and tomato throwing in his future if he keeps up the poor theatrics.

  39. 39
    Jason says:

    I think Palin maybe just has the best handlers right now, probably on loan from Republican HQ. Maybe that’s why the R is a failing brand, but the "Big Hollywood" people could get a great fish-out-of-water buddy pic out of the misadventures of those handlers way out in Alaska. Think long-term, that’s what I always say.

  40. 40
    D-Chance. says:

    Speaking of your O-boy, how about the sudden non-rush to sign the Democrat Patriot Act of 2009, aka the so-called ‘stimulus’ bill?

    We HAD to have this legislation passed, and it HAD to be done by Friday, or we were all gonna DIE! They even dragged a poor son from his momma’s casket just to force a "yes" vote out of him… he probably still had the whiff of formaldehyde in his nostrils as he pushed the button.

    And after all of the fuss, all of the rush, all of the hysteria… Obama leaves on a 3-day trip out of town to have a mini-vacation with Big Mitch (already? Hell, it’s been less than a month) and won’t sign the "hurryhurryhurry" bill until sometime Tuesday. Meaning they could have waited until Monday to vote, which would have allowed Nelson time to spend with his grieving family. Nelly should be majorly pissed…

    But, it goes directly to the question… why the rush? Why not do as PROMISED BY THE DEMOCRATS and post the bill online for 48 hours before voting on it? Why, indeed. The Jackasses waited for 14 long years, and they were not going to wait another second to rape and pillage what’s left of our country’s resources. I jut hope we get a presidential "thank you, ma’am" out of the ordeal.

    George Bush may have sent this country down the hill towards a cliff, but it’s Obamamerica and the Democrats who’ve yanked the wheel away and stomped on the gas pedal…

  41. 41
    Stuck says:

    And if he keeps reaching out, he speculated, Republicans may face “some countervailing pressures” from the public “to work in a more constructive way.” White House aides suggest that regardless of how congressional Republicans react on upcoming issues, Obama will pursue alliances with Republican governors and Republican-leaning business groups and leaders.

    It’s this kind of triangulation that drove wingnut’s crazy on Bill Clinton. Given their already tenuous grip on sanity, we might have to set aside some money for mass Zoloft dispensation, or get some new wingnut’s when the current ones heads all explode.

  42. 42
    TR says:

    You want to know why the Republicans are dying? Read D-Chance’s comment here. That kind of fundamental stupidity just leads to extinction.

  43. 43
    John Cole says:

    @TR: And if they didn’t wait a couple days, they would be screaming he is not giving them the five days they need for transparency.

    Go easy on D-Chance- the wingnut plague is not easy to shake.

  44. 44
    kay says:


    It’s not credible for GOP House members to claim they didn’t read the bill, right after they spent a week attacking and misrepresenting specific provisions.
    I watched one of them argue both sides, in rapid succession. He chose a very specific provision, misrepresented it, then claimed he hadn’t read the bill.
    What’s your argument? Pork, broader conservative principles of the inherent wrong of government spending, or transparency?
    I think you should decide. You can’t both claim it’s a disaster for the country while at the same time claiming you haven’t read it.
    How do you know?

  45. 45
    jenniebee says:

    Palin has the instincts enough to know that when you’ve been spanked, you don’t play like you weren’t, you go to the wilderness and wait for the other guy to mess up (just like Churchill!) You don’t engage the opposition at the height of its popularity, you sit back, bide your time and wait for your opportunity. The Congressional Republicans might like to do the same, but they don’t have the option – they’re in DC and that forces them to do their jobs and take a position. She’s not necessarily savvier than they are, she’s just in a better spot than they are right now.

    Until things turn around for the DC Republicans, don’t expect Palin to try for the Senate. Her selling point is that she’s an outsider. Being in the Senate would hurt her brand. If she’s outworn her welcome in Alaska too much to be reelected there, her best move is probably to just start her presidential exploratory work in 2010.

  46. 46
    Napoleon says:

    I am reading the dead paper version of my local rag and they have a Cox News Network story on that little black woman who talked about being homeless to Obama at his town hall meeting in Fort Myers, and as an example of the few people whose heart strings were not plucked they quote a post from Michelle Malkin on her blog and then one from a reader "Erik E."

    Awesome – I think every story on an Obama story from now on should carry as a counterpoint from the other side the lunatic ramblings from the wingnut fringe.

  47. 47
    jcricket says:

    I think it would be a mistake to underestimate her though

    I think it would be a mistake to indulge her or treat her with kid gloves. Even her Fargo accent is fake (watch the videos of her in her first political debates before she became mayor). Alaska’s going to run into the cold, hard realities of falling oil prices starting this year.

    She’s got tons of scandals a brewin’, a bad reputation at home amongst both Democrats and the GOP (with whom she has to work to get anything done within her state).

    And the more people (except for the crazies) saw her, the less they liked her last time around. I don’t think next time will be any different. She will make 25% of the population jubilant and excited, but everyone else disgusted and turned off, and in some cases, equally turned on by voting against her.

    Unless Obama fails at fixing the economy, he’s going to win in 2012 no matter what. The question is the size of the win. If Republicans go with their worst/stupidest instincts and run Palin in 2012, it’ll be just like the stimulus debate. They’ll think they’ve latched onto something that wins, because it pisses some people off. But they’ll lose in a landslide.

    Frankly, that wouldn’t bother me. Let them dig their own grave.

  48. 48
    John Cole says:

    @jenniebee: Don’t forget, Murkowski already sent a shot across the bow regarding the Senate seat. Even if she won, Murkowski would not be afraid of bloodying her pretty bad. Additionally, Palin’s poll numbers took a beating in Alaska from her act in the general, and it is far from a sure thing that she would win a Senate seat. Regardless, if I remember correctly, even though they were down, her numbers were still really good in Alaska.

  49. 49
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Say what you want about Sarah Palin, but she seems to be smarter than the rest of the GOP.

    With the GOP having the collective IQ of a turd drying on a sidewalk, that ain’t saying much.

  50. 50
    Tokyokie says:

    [T]he Washington Republicans seem intent on committing seppuku.

    Under the bushido code, seppuku was an honor rite in which only the guy performing the rite died. The Washington GOP has no honor and would like to take as many innocent bystanders with them as possible. So I’d liken them more to suicide bombers. After all, they liken themselves to the Taliban.

  51. 51
    El Cid says:

    @Tokyokie: Yeah, but Taliban guerrillas actually got directly engaged in warfare. Republican political leaders and public ideologues are traitorous cowards who just want to run their mouths, get lots of money, and vote in ways that harm America. For the Republicans to compare themselves to the Taliban insults the Taliban.

  52. 52

    I think Palin maybe just has the best handlers right now

    Sure, but …

    Purse. Sow’s ear. Etc.

  53. 53
    Napoleon says:


    So I’d liken them more to suicide bombers.

    . . . or Kamikazes, if we are going with the Japanese angle.

  54. 54
    John Cole says:


  55. 55
    El Cid says:

    With the GOP having the collective IQ of a turd drying on a sidewalk, that ain’t saying much.

    Let’s remember that the other way of saying that Sarah Palin is smarter than the rest of the Republican Party is that the Republican Party as a whole is even dumber than Sarah Palin.

  56. 56
    gbear says:

    Say what you want about Sarah Palin, but she seems to be smarter than the rest of the GOP.

    Yea, but we seem to be ignoring that she’s at least as cutthroat as any member of the GOP. She feels no restraint when it comes to using political power to get back at people she doesn’t like. She was pushsing religious agendas and firing long-time employees as mayor of Wasila, and playing vindictive games against personal enemies while governor. She’s still not out of the woods legally for that shit.
    Even if she has smarter instincts in knowing which way the wind blows, she’s got a terminal case of IOKIYAR that no amount of national spotlight wattage can eradicate. She’ll always be a disaster looking for a place to happen.

    Edit: Ahh, I should have read down to jcricket’s post @47 before I posted this one.

  57. 57
    gnomedad says:

    If the skit were a movie, it would be on the "25 conservative films" list. They are that deluded.

  58. 58
  59. 59
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I believe that more than a few Republicans in Congress have been corrupted by the capitalistic threat our nation faces. I’d even go so far as saying a couple of them – I won’t name names but they are all over my teevee – appear to be agents for an ideaology that threatens to destroy our American way of life.

    Maybe it’s time for another HUAC commision??

  60. 60
    Tyro says:

    It wasn’t actually funny, though, because it was just too believable.

    The humor wasn’t "funny, ha ha" as much as it was funny in the sense of watching a trainwreck unfold in front of you.

  61. 61
    Comrade Kevin says:


    Speaking of your O-boy

    Do you usually refer to Black men as "boy"?

  62. 62
    Tokyokie says:

    @ http://www.balloon-juice.com/?.....nt-1151603

    But jeez, you can’t compare the current GOP to anybody without insulting the comparison. Hell, Conservatively Liberal insulted turds drying on the sidewalk awhile back.

    @ http://www.balloon-juice.com/?.....nt-1151607

    Yeah, that might be closer. The kamikaze pilots weren’t seeking to redress wrongs they’d committed, just trying to help the empire achieve glory. And most of them wound up getting blown to bits by the anti-aircraft guns or missing the target altogether. And Japan lost a whole lot of good pilots that way.

  63. 63
    Mouse Tolliver says:

    Ackroyd does a good Boner impression.

  64. 64
    Steptoe says:

    the two things about Sarah Palin that I don’t think have been adequately appreciated are, number one, if you look at the numbers, she really wasn’t that different than Barack Obama in terms of experience and time in office, and [things] like that. The real big difference between the two was she hadn’t campaigned non-stop for two years, and had she campaigned non-stop on the national stage for two years she’d have been just as polished as Barack Obama. She’s a phenomenal politician and there’s no better retail politician on the planet than Sarah Palin with a microphone in front of a crowd. So I think the big experience gap was the one that is about running on a national ticket—he had a lot more experience there and it showed up.

  65. 65
    AhabTRuler says:

    @Steptoe: No one could have predicted that AK =/ Chicago, IL either!

  66. 66
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Good points about Palin, John and Jenniebee. She does seem like the quintessential modern Republican: Good at politics, lousy at policy and all that other stuff.

    As for this:

    while he “pals around” with Republican governors like Charlie Crist.

    1) Charlie Crist is a Republican

    2) Republicans think of themselves as the Taliban

    3) Therefore, Charlie Crist is a terrorist!

    4) Obama palled around with Charlie Crist.

    5) Therefore, Palin was right–Obama is pallin’ around with terrorists!

    Kinda reminds me of Sideshow Bob’s political ad in which he charges Mayor Quimby with being soft on crime because he released horrible criminals like Sideshow Bob from jail.

  67. 67
    TR says:

    she really wasn’t that different than Barack Obama in terms of experience and time in office, and [things] like that.

    Yes, there’s not a hair’s breadth of difference in their education — Columbia BA, Harvard Law, where his scholarship got him the coveted spot as editor of the Law Review vs. five different colleges before finally winding up with a degree from U of Idaho.

    And their post-collegiate careers, same thing — doing massive campaigns in organizing workers in Chicago and teaching constitutional law at U. of Chicago vs. doing sports reporting for the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman.

    And their political careers — a decade in the Illinois State House, followed by an unsuccessful run for the House and then a landslide victory in the Senate in a statewide election in the 5th most populous state vs. being a councilman and mayor of a town of 6,000 and then winning election to the governor’s office in the 47th most populous state.

    Not a difference in the world. I often have trouble telling the two apart.

  68. 68
    eric says:

    Because I care and because it is too late, allow me to be a real Republican strategist on the stimulus. Here are the points you would want to make:

    (1) tax cuts are better than spending for teh stimulus because they are more efficient, with faster effects and do not build the debt (put aside truth for the moment, that has never been a problem for them)


    (2) fight for more tax cuts, but vote on the bill becuase the country needs it.

    So, if (a) the economy picks up quickly you say it was because of the tax cuts and the limits you placed on the dems reckless spending,


    (b) if the economy goes slow, it is because not enough tax cuts and too much non-shovel ready spending demanding by the dems.

    My god that is easy and then in either outcome, you are left with an "intellectual" argument about which approach worked better or worse (tax cuts or spending) and that is the kind of debate that most Americans tune out.

    Thus, you neutralize the economic recovery as a major issue and you then focus on liberal judges, liberal labor policies, and national security. You know, bread and butter republican demogoguery that has worked in the past. You may not win back majorities in the next election, but you should not lose ground. And most importantly, it does not have you rooting for the country to go in the crapper.


  69. 69
    gbear says:

    @TR: rotfl

  70. 70
    Elie says:

    Oh those crazy Repubs — check this out


    After all that crazy talk about Obama being a socialist, ole Lindsey Graham wants to nationalize the banks….or at least say its on the table. That is, until it seriously on the table and then again he will be against it…"just kidding, ha ha"

    These people are not credible, reliable or honest. They are manipulating scum that should be glad we no longer live during the 17th century in France when the guillotine was the great political re-education tool

  71. 71
    jsub says:

    ….what a sad, pathetic state of mind the socialistdems have right now…even worse…the losers that can’t live responsibly and within their means – just HAD to have the "Great American Dream" even when mortgage companies were showering low income families with a slice of that great pie – and now feel it’s the govt’s responsibility to be the parent, at the expense of those that DID live within their means. Sad. Are these the same moron "Americans" that were bitching after the gov’t enforced higher airport security and The Patriot Act AFTER 9/11? You know the ones – they complained how the gov’t was interfering in their lives???
    Yeah…the epitome of hypocritical.

  72. 72
    Yelli says:

    If there are any other expats out there that can’t see the video try this link.

  73. 73
    Stuck says:

    This pretty much a dead thread, but was over at MM bee hive of wisdom and came across a poignant comment from one of the worker drones.

    The only thing we can hope for is the total rebuilding of the Republican Party. We should be having backbone parties and Rino roasts (after Palin blasts them with her elephant gun).

    A party in re-flux.

  74. 74
    HRA says:

    A few years back I was home almost a year from a bad back injury and I was unable to do anything except sit for hours on end in a tilted recliner. At that time my work had consisted of cataloging government documents. This led me to watch C-Span with the thought of better understanding Congress.
    I really wanted to know why so many different committees generate hearings on the same subject year after year. What a wasteful exercise was what I was thinking.

    OMG it was an unbelievable experience to see these bastions of our government acting like little kids at recess. So it does not surprise me one bit about the "No" Republicans. I must also add it does pertain as well to the Democrats. Could it be something on the menu in the dining room?

  75. 75

    Once Al Franken gets seated, Bawlin’ John Boehner and Grandma Mitch McConnell will have a LOT more to whine about. After the 2010 elections, they’ll have wept so much they’ll need to be hospitalized to rehydrate.

    Let’s see: Obama’s pushed through a spending package that’s a bigger chunk of our economy than the New Deal was of the 1933 economy — and he did it without a sure vote from Franken in his quiver. He’s already got the hardest piece of domestic legislation over and done with. And Republicans are going to do what? Sit and spin.

    My favorite thing is seeing John McCain whine about the stimulus, even as one of McCain’s campaign advisors praises it to the skies. At this point, Obama’s most powerful foes aren’t in the GOP House and Senate caucuses — they’re in the conservatively-oriented media outlets that spent so much time giving Bush a pass on damned near everything until it was too late to stop him from doing it.

  76. 76

    […] In any event, John Cole figures that, politically, this was not a good move by the Republicans and explains why. […]

  77. 77
    jim says:

    Say what you want about Sarah Palin, but she seems to be smarter than the rest of the GOP.

    She’s no longer under the control of McCain’s Keystone Kops campaign staff – that’ll add 20 points to anyone’s IQ right there. Avoiding interviews for a whole three weeks or so when your focus-groups keep saying that the mere mention of your name makes them taste their own vomit doth not a genius take.

  78. 78

    […] might be worth rewatching that SNL skit I posted yesterday. At any rate, say it with […]

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