Permanent Republican Majority

Via email, this meltdown just keeps getting better and better:

Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.’s appearance at a Michigan county Republican Party event was scrapped this week after the county chairwoman said that hosting the moderate Utah governor would mean abandoning the party’s conservative principles.

Kent County Republican Party Chairwoman Joanne Voorhees abruptly canceled the party fundraiser scheduled for Saturday.

“The voters want and expect us to stand on principle and return to our roots. Unfortunately, by holding an event with Governor Huntsman, we would be doing the exact opposite,” Voorhees wrote in an e-mail quoted in The Grand Rapids Press.

Voorhees did not specify which issues she felt were contrary to the party’s principles and did not return messages left at the party headquarters and on her cell phone.

The group Campaign for Michigan Families praised the cancellation, attributing it to Huntsman’s support of civil unions, and urged the Oakland and Kalamazoo county parties, where Huntsman is also scheduled to speak this weekend, to do the same.

Jon Huntsman, you all will recall, is the Governor of Utah, and he has an 82% 84% approval rating as Governor and is a very viable way forward for the current GOP. Say it again. He supports civil unions and has an 80+% approval rating. In Utah. He is conservative on almost every issue, but because he supports civil unions, he isn’t pure enough for the current GOP. A telegenic, authentic outsider who isn’t batshit insane. You would think the Republicans would be running to him.

This is the big problem for Republicans. Almost the entire party apparatus at the state level has been taken over by a bunch of lunatics, and few people outside of Georgia and Texas can win a state primary and then go on to win a statewide election. The reason Specter switched yesterday was because the dwindling band of sociopaths who still call themselves Republican in Pennsylvania are so detached from reality, so far removed from the mainstream, and so convinced of the utter infallibility of their own bizarre brand of “conservatism,” that someone like Jon Huntsman or Arlen Specter, who deviated slightly on a few issues here and there, just isn’t pure enough for them. This is the essence of wingnut, the kind of guy Larison was talking about yesterday:

That said, we should not simply dismiss Huston out of hand. He and those like him are the political equivalent of Darwin’s discoveries on the Galapagos: strange, unusual creatures cut off from the rest of the world that deserve to be studied and understood as the weird evolutionary offshoots that they are. It is rare to find people who seem genuinely unaware that Cheney is deeply unpopular and also implicated in atrocious crimes, and rarer still to find people who know this and still think it wise to have him making the rounds on television serving as a leading Republican spokesman. Some might say that Huston is simply a pitiable product of the conservative cocoon, but I say that he can offer us evidence for the strange mutant varieties of conservatism that have developed in isolation from reality.

The only people left in the Republican party are crazier than an outhouse rat and have teabags hanging from their hunting cap. They are the people who feverishly emailed each other stories about Obama’s birth certificate, and who are convinced that joking about Obama’s teleprompter and making impassioned speeches about earmark reform are the only route to electoral recovery. They think Michelle Bachman is on to something and the Colbert Report is truth.

This is only going to get worse.

170 replies
  1. 1
    C Nelson Reilly says:

    If the clown shoes keep getting bigger they won’t all fit into that little car

  2. 2
    Xunngom says:

    GOP: The only party I know that reloads after emptying a clip into their own foot.

  3. 3
    Woodrowfan says:

    time to invest in popcorn stock and sit back to watch the fun.. Haven’t been able to watch a major political party self-destruct since the Whigs…

  4. 4
    Joshua Norton says:

    “The voters want and expect us to stand on principle and return to our roots.

    Do they even know what their “roots” are? Once upon a time, in the not so distant past, both parties had conservative, moderate and liberal factions, so they could effectively work together. Now the righties are all bible thumpers, whack jobs and CEO’s stealing everything that isn’t nailed down.

    The party of rich people, idiots and fascist wannabe’s. Good luck with that.

  5. 5
    rob says:

    Wingnut. Love that name.

  6. 6
    Michael says:

    TAX CUTS! PORKULUS! OBAMA’S A MARXIST MUSLIM ATHEIST KENYAN MALAYSIAN SON OF PEDOPHILE FRANK DAVIS TOOL OF BIG WALL STREET INTERESTS!

    /wingnutopian loudspeaker

  7. 7
    MattF says:

    It’s interesting that all that pundit-bloviation about the two parties becoming more ideological has worked out in an unexpected fashion. One party became more ideological, and consequently, appears to be suffering death throes. Democrats, on the other hand, peered over the abyss and then went back to behaving like Democrats.

  8. 8
    El Cid says:

    This is only going to get worse.

    In the 2nd of the modern Fly movies, the girl sees the guy who’s progressively turning into a giant fly-human monster, and she says, “You’re getting worse.”

    He replies, clearly frustrated at her lack of understanding, “I’m getting better.”

    Today’s GOP.

  9. 9
    myrtle parker says:

    When will the Republican Party be safely ignored? Kinda like the Greens are now…

    My guess? When the media establishment in Washington say they are. They still have Fox News and they still have a sizeable minority in Congress. But with each passing day they are dwindling down further and further into complete and utter insignifcance.

    At some point the money bags on the Right are going to dry up. In fact, we may find it in the run-up to the October 15th health care deadline. The money’d interest groups that have payed the Republcians to block any and all healthcare are going to find themselves lobbying Republicans to cooperate so as to salvage some of their interests in health care reform. And those money’d interest groups are going to face a rump of a party that has no political interest in cooperating whatsoever.

    This already happened during the stimulus debate. The Chamber of Commerce was lobbying Republicans for the stimulus and they stubbornly refused. The difference is that the Chamber’s interests were inline with Obama’s. Not so with health care and the insurance industry. They are going to want Republicans to play ball, but Democrats will have no incentive to give anything to Republicans unless Republicans can deliver votes.

    When the private interest groups representing the insurance lobby, wall street and the pharmaceuticals leave the Republican Party then we’ll know it is over for them.

  10. 10
    The Moar You Know says:

    I was concerned for a while during the Bush Reign Of Terror that perhaps a majority of the nation had lost their minds. I’m very glad to see ongoing proof that this wasn’t the case.

    I think I’d like to see them prove the point some more, though. Just to be sure.

  11. 11
    JK says:

    The Republican Party has jumped aboard Glenn Beck’s Crazy Train and hopefully they’ll take it over the cliff.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MLp7YNTznE

  12. 12
    Mr. Stuck says:

    Who recognizes these characters? The GOP 2012 ticket?

  13. 13
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Which will bottom out first? The economy or the GOP?
    Perhaps you should re-think Peak Wingnut. Now Wingnut is obviously a renewable rescource. Perhaps Peak Wingnut can be redefined as the moment when the crazy was turned up to way past eleven, the party bottomed out, followed by mass retirements/defections, and began it’s very slow rise back out of the 21% party affiliation number. But we are obviously nowhere near that point yet. My money is that they go the way of the WHIGs and the No-Nothings, unless Obama completely screws up. He has already taken away thier national security creds, passed one of the larget tax cuts in history, and if he is able to reform health care and entitlement spending, I don’t see a reason for the GOP to exist anymore.

  14. 14
    Punchy says:

    Wow. The day an elected official from freakin’ UTAH is considered too liberal.

    Just wow.

  15. 15
    El Cid says:

    @The Moar You Know: I think a small minority, about 28% of the nation, is permanently crazy (and even higher percentages in the Deep South and populist Mountain West), and they managed to drag another quarter along with them.

    That 28% will never not be crazy and hungering after some royalist biblical apocalyptic fundamentalist neo-Confederate fascist something something government, but the struggle will be to keep a quarter of the population from ever leaning to them again.

  16. 16
    SpotWeld says:

    It’s amazing how the GOP implosion is exacttly like watching a nerdy fan convention dissolve.

    A few strong personalities rise to the positions of control, they demand uniformity in opinion. This strips away dissent and for a little while the organization pulls as a single unit and has some really remarkable success. But after a few more years the rigid framework of authority begins to fray at the edges.

    Egos get bruised, more “dissenters” are stripped away. But instead of solidfying people around a common core, the internal support of the organization is crippled. And with the sh!tstorm of drama that follows anyone who was left on the fence is driving away looking for similar but less noisome organizations to expend thier effort in.

    The GOP, a Star Trek convention that refused to let the stormtroopers come play.

  17. 17
    Mr. Stuck says:

    Could this be the 2012 GOP Ticket? The one on the left looks a little like Sarah Palin.

  18. 18
    Michael says:

    I think the NFRA dominionists really did wind up taking over the GOP, because they’re bringing the same record of accomplishment that they did in the California GOP.

    I think they should go after Lugar next. He’s nowhere near strident enough when he talks about them damn libruls.

  19. 19
    BongCrosby says:

    I read earlier today that Arlen Specter voted with his party “only” 65% of the time.

    Apparently, siding with the Democrats one-third of the time makes you a RINO.

  20. 20
    plus C says:

    Just to rub it in one more time:
    “Peak Wingnut”.

  21. 21
    Mr. Stuck says:

    My post got et. Testing testing.

  22. 22
    Lola says:

    I am glad the GOP is marginalizing Gov. Huntsman. He is an impressive guy. He comes across as youthful, intelligent, and pragmatic. He reminds me of our current president. He is the only Republican I would worry about in 2012 and probably 2016.

  23. 23
    NonyNony says:

    @myrtle parker:

    This already happened during the stimulus debate. The Chamber of Commerce was lobbying Republicans for the stimulus and they stubbornly refused. The difference is that the Chamber’s interests were inline with Obama’s. Not so with health care and the insurance industry. They are going to want Republicans to play ball, but Democrats will have no incentive to give anything to Republicans unless Republicans can deliver votes.

    Ah, the insurance industry has seen the writing on the wall and that’s why they’re laying into the Blue Dogs to try to kill a public option for health care. The industry would actually love to see reform like Clinton’s early 90s proposals now with no public option available because they know that if reform of some kind doesn’t happen, they’re screwed.

    This actually leads me to consider something I hadn’t considered before – in the Senate they were going to have to pass health care reform via reconciliation because they weren’t going to be able to get past a filibuster from the Republicans. That meant that they were going to need 51 votes instead of 60 and so there was a good chance that a public option would survive. With Specter jumping ship, Reid can get to 60 with just Dems IF they ditch the public option to get the Blue Dog types on board. This may all work to kill the public option entirely, which would well and truly suck because frankly, the purely privately-run system is just unsustainable and we really need that public option to keep costs down and keep our businesses competitive with the rest of the developed world. (I absolute hate how short-term the goddamn business interests are in this country – sure short term a public option eats into easy profits, but long term a healthy subsidy for medical care helps all of our businesses, and would allow insurance companies to sell new products that are low risk for them much like French and German insurance companies do now. The reflexive anti-socialism mantras of our business class is killing our competitiveness and turning us into a backwater. They need to wake up.)

  24. 24
    Cat Lady says:

    This is only going to get worse.

    In god’s name, how? Jim Jones/Heaven’s Gate whackadoodle mass immolation? All the nutjobs have turned on each other, and the relatively sane ones are tiptoeing away. Lindsay Graham looked totally bewildered and defeated yesterday.

  25. 25
    Comrade Dread says:

    Note that they’re pissed at the fact that he supports civil unions, not even full blown gay marriage.

    Despite the fact that civil unions are a mainstream position that a majority of voters would support that would leave the official term marriage untouched.

    To a voter who was open to a compromise on the issue, this will make them more likely to reject the GOP altogether and push for full gay marriage recognition.

  26. 26
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @BongCrosby:
    The standard for purity will keep going up until the last two Republicans settle it the old-fashioned way: they’ll fight a duel to the death with hand grenades at ten paces.

  27. 27
    r€nato says:

    Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.’s appearance at a Michigan county Republican Party event was scrapped this week after the county chairwoman said that hosting the moderate Utah governor would mean abandoning the party’s conservative principles.

    You know you’re neck-deep in guano-crazy when you think merely listening to a moderate Republican politician would cause your party to abandon its conservative principles.

    Or maybe ‘conservative principles’ means sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting “LALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

    (I’m voting for the latter.)

  28. 28
    dmsilev says:

    @El Cid:

    I think a small minority, about 28% of the nation, is permanently crazy (and even higher percentages in the Deep South and populist Mountain West), and they managed to drag another quarter along with them.

    That’s the 27% Crazification Factor, the fraction of the electorate which will vote for someone who is objectively insane. It was experimentally measured during the Obama-Keyes Senate race in 2004.

    -dms

  29. 29
    slide says:

    it may seem funny but somehow I have this foreboding feeling down deep. I am concerned where this is all going to lead to. There is some real crazy stuff out there now and it’s only getting crazier and crazier. Or maybe I should take my anti-depressant medication. One or the other.

  30. 30
    4tehlulz says:

    >>Joanne Voorhees

    Obligatory

  31. 31
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Lola:

    I am glad the GOP is marginalizing Gov. Huntsman. He is an impressive guy. He comes across as youthful, intelligent, and pragmatic. He reminds me of our current president. He is the only Republican I would worry about in 2012 and probably 2016.

    He won’t get the nomination. Not crazy enough.

    The Romney/Palin/Jindal/Gingrich/Sandford cage match for the POTUS nomination in 2012 will be a thing of insane beauty.

  32. 32
    Roger Moore says:

    @Punchy:

    The day an elected official from freakin’ UTAH is considered too liberal.

    Of course he is. He has a sky high approval rating, and even in Utah you can’t get there without having substantial appeal to both parties. That’s proof that his ideology isn’t sufficiently pure. He has to adopt policies that gratuitously annoy the evil liberals in order to prove his worth to the wingnuts.

  33. 33
    eyepaddle says:

    Is this the final nail in the coffin for the Theory of Peak Wingnut?

    Perhaps the total amount of “wingnut” the world can produce has been reached, but the remaining sources of supply of “wingnut” are becoming more concentrated.

  34. 34
    TenguPhule says:

    A telegenic, authentic outsider who isn’t batshit insane. You would think the Republicans would be running to him.

    And you’d be wrong.

    Would it be cruelty or kindness to drop a large anvil down the hole that the GOP is still digging?

  35. 35
    geg6 says:

    Poor John. You will never, ever live down that whole peak wingnut thing. Because, obviously, there is no limit to how high they can turn it up. Eleven is simply the beginning. Their amps have a setting of at least eleventy billion.

  36. 36
    El says:

    All the nutjobs have turned on each other, and the relatively sane ones are tiptoeing away.

    This is better than free porn.

  37. 37
    Mr. Stuck says:

    @plus C:

    “Peak Wingnut”.

    We’ll know when peak wingnut is reached, when they start smashing watermelons in the Town Square wearing Clown Suits. At least that’s my personal threshold.

  38. 38
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    The Romney/Palin/Jindal/Gingrich/Sandford cage match for the POTUS nomination in 2012 will be a thing of insane beauty.

    They won’t get it, even with the example of Arlen Specter before them: if you’re batshit-insane enough to win the Republican primary then you’re too batshit-insane to win the general election.

  39. 39
    TenguPhule says:

    In god’s name, how? Jim Jones/Heaven’s Gate whackadoodle mass immolation? All the nutjobs have turned on each other, and the relatively sane ones are tiptoeing away. Lindsay Graham looked totally bewildered and defeated yesterday.

    Virgin Sacrifices.

  40. 40
    Jon H says:

    This morning the BBC read some listener comments about Obama. There was, naturally, an anti-Obama comment from Alaska that mentioned teleprompters.

  41. 41
    The Populist says:

    Funny…I thought what made us Americans was the fact that compromise is a key to our success?!?!!?

    So Huntsman sees this and proposes that instead of marriage, that Gay folks have the right to a civil union so they can enjoy the protections and legal status such a thing provides.

    This country has succeeded solely on the idea of compromise. Why is it these asshats don’t get any of this?

  42. 42

    Statler: “We’d love to see your act!”

    Waldorf: “In fact, we’d hate to miss your act!”

    Statler: “In fact, we’d love to hate your act!”

  43. 43
    Chum says:

    They are the people who feverishly emailed each other stories about Obama’s birth certificate, and who are convinced that joking about Obama’s teleprompter and making impassioned speeches about earmark reform are the only route to electoral recovery.

    and this guy

    The grape she is a little sour.

  44. 44
    r€nato says:

    @geg6:

    Eleven is simply the beginning. Their amps have a setting of at least eleventy billion.

    Or to put it another way, the backwash in the glass is getting really concentrated. They are boiling off all of the water and all that will be left soon is a rock-hard nugget of pure wingnut.

  45. 45
    Michael says:

    In god’s name, how? Jim Jones/Heaven’s Gate whackadoodle mass immolation? All the nutjobs have turned on each other, and the relatively sane ones are tiptoeing away. Lindsay Graham looked totally bewildered and defeated yesterday.

    Somebody is going to have to suck it up and blister the punditocracy, like Welch on McCarthy. It’ll have to be multifold, taking on Jabba/Harkonnen, Beck, Hannity and Malkin, all at once.

    My list of potential candidates for this job consists of:

    Graham
    Grassley
    Hutchison
    Hatch
    Lugar
    Martinez
    McCain
    Murkowski

    Smart money goes on Grassley, Hatch or Lugar.

  46. 46
    Cyrus says:

    Actually, call me contrarian, but I think all y’all are being too quick to blame Republican purity purges for the Hunstman dis-inviting. From the article:

    Chris Beckering, the vice chairman of the Kent County Republicans, said Vorhees booked the Huntsman event and axed it entirely on her own.

    “This was a decision that was made unilaterally by her, and it was not a party decision,” he said. “There was some concern about a lack of attendance that I know of.”

    If purity is the real reason (and if Beckering is reliable, and fuck if I know about that), then Voorhees wouldn’t have invited Hunstman in the first place. More likely there was some other problem, like low expected turnout, and insufficient purity was just an excuse. Maybe it was a dumb excuse or maybe it was no more harmful than any other possible excuse, who knows.

    That being said, I liked Huntsman’s final quote at the end of the article.

    “The party is recasting itself, which may take a few years,” he said. “I have no doubt about the Republicans’ ability to re-emerge. It simply means they’re going to have to focus on real issues, appealing to new demographics that we lost.”

    If a demographic is new, then you didn’t lose it, you never had it in the first place. Thanks for admitting that Republicans haven’t been focused on real issues in recent years, though.

    @Hunter Gathers:

    Perhaps Peak Wingnut can be redefined as the moment when the crazy was turned up to way past eleven, the party bottomed out, followed by mass retirements/defections, and began it’s very slow rise back out of the 21% party affiliation number.

    You seem to be assuming that 21 percent is as low as it can go. Why?

  47. 47
    dmsilev says:

    @Jon H:

    This morning the BBC read some listener comments about Obama. There was, naturally, an anti-Obama comment from Alaska that mentioned teleprompters.

    Wow, Sarah Palin must really be getting desperate for air time.

    -dms

  48. 48
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @The Populist:

    This country has succeeded solely on the idea of compromise. Why is it these asshats don’t get any of this?

    Republicans: “Unclean! Unclean!”

  49. 49
    NobodySpecial says:

    Virgin Sacrifices.

    Where they gonna get the virgins?

  50. 50
  51. 51
    PanAmerican says:

    They’re behaving like easy marks who got grifted. Denial is a powerful thing. As long as they continue to argue within the logic of the con they don’t have to admit they gave up their life savings for an empty box. From the outside it looks totally nuts.

  52. 52
    TenguPhule says:

    Where they gonna get the virgins?

    Doughy Pantsload, Assrocket, the gang’s all there.

  53. 53
    gbear says:

    Perhaps you should re-think Peak Wingnut.

    It seems like peak wingnut has been inverted. As we approach peak wingnut, the bottom (wingnuts doing their thing in a real world) keeps dropping farther down. They’ll be reaching nirvana and oblivion at the same moment. How zen of them.

  54. 54
    Mike S says:

    I think a 12 step program is in order. First they have to come to terms with the fact that they have a problem.

    Or they could join the WHIGS and keep them company in the political party lexicon.

  55. 55
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @SpotWeld: Your comment made me think of another group, the old SDS from the 1960’s.

  56. 56
    Michael says:

    Toomey gets his crazy on…..

    HANNITY: How do you go from, and I guess this is the question, how do you go from saying I’m a part of the Reagan revolution, where they cut taxes to stimulate the economy, he tried to lower lessen the scope and influence of government in our lives, had a strong national defense — how do you go from that to embracing the Castro brothers, Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega and calling America arrogant? How do you make that leap?

    TOOMEY: Well, Sean, for Senator Specter, it’s not much of a leap. You know, he says the Republican Party has gotten too conservative. The Republican Party was too conservative for Specter in 1980. He didn’t like what Reagan stood for, he never has. So, he’s always been a fish out of water. Now he’s gone home to where his sort of ideological home is, but again, the duplicity along the way, I think, really undermines his credibility with voters.

  57. 57
    Ana Gama says:

    Hilarious!

    Kent County, MI (home to Grand Rapids) has been notably conservative for a long time.

    BUT!

    Kent County supported Obama for President.

    So much for ideology.

  58. 58
    Mike S says:

    Where they gonna get the virgins?

    The guy that TBOGG used to call Virgin Ben.

  59. 59
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Chum: If anything, Dick Morris is even more wrong about everything than Kristol.

  60. 60
    ColoRambler says:

    Utah

    Don’t get me started.

    I grew up there in the 80s, and when I went to school in California 20 years ago, I was astonished to encounter non-insane Republicans on a fairly regular basis. The Utah variety is as bad as the Deep South variety, and if anything even more culturally homogenous.

    If someone in Utah politics with an 80% + approval rating in Utah is too liberal for the national GOP, the national GOP’s existence can probably be counted in days at this point.

  61. 61
    r€nato says:

    @gbear:

    I think it’s more like, wingnut singularity. The fuel has burned up and now the GOP is collapsing in upon itself, into a very dense object from which no light nor reason can ever emerge.

  62. 62
    gnomedad says:

    The only people left in the Republican party are crazier than an outhouse rat

    Bowlderization in a John Cole post? What the frack?

  63. 63
    JK says:

    @Michael:

    I wrote something similar about a week ago rhetorically asking when some Republican would channel Joseph Welch. I don’t see it happening at all.

    I don’t think any of the names you listed have the cujones to go Joseph Welch on Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Coulter, Bachmann etc.

    I’d love to be proven wrong on this and would be the first person to congratulate any Republican to make such a bold move.

  64. 64
    gex says:

    @Lola: The GOP won’t want a Mormon. Moderate is only his first knock, but not the only knock against them. He could go all Romney (double-Gitmo, agree that people of faith are the only good people, let’s kill the UAW, and of course ever more upper bracket tax cuts) and it wouldn’t matter. He’s not a Christian to them and that’s a deal breaker.

  65. 65
    Mike S says:

    More Sean Hannitty please. He’s one of the blind, drunk drivers that is driving the crazy bus off the cliff.

  66. 66
    eemom says:

    Look, maybe this ISN’T as crazy as it looks. Maybe the master plan is to get The Party small enough so that they can all move to Texas, secede, and form the Republican State of America. And then they can win Civil War II!

    Which is really a FINE plan, up until the Civil War II part. That’s not gonna happen, for the obvious reason that no one is gonna want to fight with them.

  67. 67
    TenguPhule says:

    The New Theory of Peak Wingnut states that the closer they approach the Event Horizon of Wingnut, the observed time of increasing wingnut stretches into eternity while never actually quite reaching it.

  68. 68
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Woodrowfan:

    Haven’t been able to watch a major political party self-destruct since the Whigs…

    You were around to see the Whig Party collapse?

  69. 69
    gnomedad says:

    @eemom:

    Look, maybe this ISN’T as crazy as it looks. Maybe the master plan is to get The Party small enough so that they can all move to Texas fit in the clown car

    Fixed for C. Nelson Reilly at #1.

  70. 70
    Jennifer says:

    This is the big problem for Republicans. Almost the entire party apparatus at the state level has been taken over by a bunch of lunatics, and few people outside of Georgia and Texas can win a state primary and then go on to win a statewide election.

    And therein lies more than one great irony.

    Neither the Republicans nor the religious right were ever secretive about how they forged their unholy alliance and built their “permanent” majority. Both the leaders of the religious right and the Republican party encouraged takeover of government at the local level by fundamentalists. They started with school boards and worked up from there. As the wackadoodles moved up the ladder of power, they increasingly imposed their own litmus tests on what stances and positions were acceptable to those running to fill the offices they vacated, since they had already demonstrated control over the local party power base. It wasn’t until the wackadoodles moved all the way to the top of the ladder – a process that took 15 – 20 years – that the full range and dangerous cost of allowing lunatics to run government was put on full display for the nation at large. It’s much easier to command control of a local base of support when you’re running for school board, because not that many people pay all that much attention to those races – just turning out your own base will secure the office. And it’s not much harder to climb through state government doing the same, because even though the issues are more contested, state powers are limited in comparison to federal ones. But when you get to the national stage, just turning out your crazy base won’t be enough to keep you in office, because now you’re dealing with issues that affect the entire nation, and you have people all over the country taking note of your lunacy. And by the time the whole country takes notice that you’re a lunatic, there’s nothing but lunatics climbing the ladder behind you, and lunatics control the entire party apparatus. There’s no way to quickly reboot – it took 15 – 20 years for the crazy train to get rolling at full speed, and it will take at least close to that long to stop it and reverse direction.

    The other great irony here is that even though the lunatics have achieved their goal and now have complete control over the party, they’re still not happy. What has the GOP delivered on for them, after all their hard work over the past 20+ years in faithfully supporting the party and building its local base? Abortion remains legal and that isn’t going to change. Prayer hasn’t been re-introduced to the public school classroom. Being a homosexual not only hasn’t been criminalized; soon over 10% of the states will have legalized gay marriage. There was only a small window of opportunity for accomplishing any of these things – when wackadoodles reached the top of the ladder and before their insanity was noticed by too many voters. And none of those things got done, because the party had more important issues to address – helping out rich people and corporations. So even in the remaining rump there is widespread dissatisfaction, because the only people left at the table are the ones who made the party possible but never got their piece of cake. And they can’t get it now, because they are and always were merely useful tools, whose goals were out of step with not only the majority of voters but also the true powers-that-be behind the Republican party – rich people and corporations.

    And still, they sit there at that table, as if any moment another cake will magically appear out of thin air, if only they pray enough and have enough faith to stand firm to their principles.

  71. 71
    geg6 says:

    Linc Chaffee gets it. Too bad he didn’t get it before he got booted out of office, but he gets it nonetheless:

    In 1964, at the Republican National Convention, at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, I was an 11-year-old watching the full-throated booing of Gov. Nelson Rockefeller by the Goldwater delegates. It was memorable in its fervency. No matter that Goldwater would carry only six states later that year in a historic Democratic landslide; the message was one of ideological purity. Now, 45 years later, we are watching the same celebration of ideological purity at the cost of winning elections. […]

    I was even younger, but I remember the moment. My dad was a Rockefeller Republican. And he was horrified by how Rockefeller was treated at the ’64 RNC. He didn’t change his voter registration for another few years, but he never voted for another Republican with the sole exception of Nixon in ’68. He died a proud progressive Democrat, savaging W until his dying breath.

  72. 72
    David says:

    You’re witnessing the death of something and this is the part where it runs around with it’s head cutoff.

  73. 73
    anonevent says:

    @eyepaddle: So we wingnut is really the area under a curve that is turning into a delta function?

  74. 74
    Faux News says:

    In the 2nd of the modern Fly movies, the girl sees the guy who’s progressively turning into a giant fly-human monster, and she says, “You’re getting worse.”

    He replies, clearly frustrated at her lack of understanding, “I’m getting better.”

    Today’s GOP.

    POTD (post of the day). John get that man a BJ t shirt!

    Great movie btw. Very sad and even tragic, just like today’s GOP. Except I have no sorrow for the GOP.

  75. 75

    I can’t help quoting Dick Cheney on the GOP death spiral:

    “I think the GOP may well have some kind of presence over a period of time,” Cheney said. “The level of activity that we see today from a political standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.”

    Oops, that was a shamefully misquoted clip from Cheney talking about the Iraq insurgency back in 2003, not the GOP insurgency.

  76. 76
    Argive says:

    I thought this might happen. Seems like if you want an unvarnished look at how modern, “pure” Republicans think, you’ll want to head on over to the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler. Sad.

  77. 77
    Gordon, The Big Express Engine says:

    @eyepaddle: You have it right. The “peak” in Peak Wingnut is the volume of production of wingnut material that is being produced at any given time, not the single craziest thing that can be publicly aired. I thought John was right when he wondered this during the election. The whole tea party thing is making me revisit that assertion. I think for one day there on april 15th, the level of wingnut-crazy reached a new height. As the GOP implodes, we could see a new peak reached in a Battle of the Bulge-like moment.

    Unlike oil, however, wingnut views are a renewable resource, so we may never be able to definitely prove whether or not we have reacehd Peak Wingnut.

  78. 78
    Lee says:

    I want to know what has been the tougher call to live down?

    Peak Wingnut or Iraq War?

    Instead of Peak Wingnut…how about Wingnut Feedback Loop of Death?

    They will keep patting each other on the back about their purity and teabagging until their party implodes.

  79. 79
  80. 80
    The Golux says:

    I’m watching the Repubs implode (gleefully), and also seeing lots of posts (e.g. Kos, Digby) complaining about Blue Dogs (Nelson, Bayh) and wondering if anyone else has made the connection? On an individual basis, I’d naturally prefer a more progressive Democrat than a Blue Dog, but striving for an ideologically pure party makes me uncomfortable. A general leftward drift (which I think is likely in the cards demographically) is preferable.

    Blue Dogs can definitely cause some problems, but I think it’s better to live with them, warts and all, than willingly narrow the breadth of the party.

    Just sayin’.

  81. 81
    Sarcastro says:

    This is better than free porn.

    People still pay for porn!?

  82. 82
    Cat Lady says:

    @Michael:

    It should happen, but it won’t. The base does all the grunt work in the primaries and the general. They come in bus loads to caucuses and hold meetings in the church basements and have all of the living room meet and greets. They listen to Rush and love Hannity. That’s it. They will stay home if they’re not cultivated, which is why it will be Palin, Bachmann or Huckabee. Maybe Jindal, because Rush likes him.

  83. 83
    JK says:

    Sarah Palin to Appear on American Chopper

    “It means so much to the state of Alaska that these guys are building this bike that will honor statehood here,” Palin says in the episode, airing April 30 at 9 p.m.

  84. 84
    Jennifer says:

    Sarah Palin has become the Tonya Harding of politics.

  85. 85

    @Stooleo:

    Kristol: “Democrats will have 60 seats in the Senate, giving Obama unambiguous governing majorities in both bodies. He’ll be responsible for everything. GOP obstructionism will go away as an issue, and Democratic defections will become the constant worry and story line.”

    Bwahahahahahahaha!

  86. 86
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Cyrus:

    You seem to be assuming that 21 percent is as low as it can go. Why?

    Because it has been my experince that at least 21% of the country is batty. And that 21% is concentrated in the south and rural congressional districts. How else could you explain the fact that loons like Michelle Bachmann (R-Mars) and Steve King (R-Insane Asylum) keep getting re-elected? Go to your local gasoline concern and do an informal poll on Obama’s place of birth. At least one out of every five people will say he was born in Kenya. Or that he’s a half breed muslin. Or some other nutty rumor. Hell, I live in Illinois (small town of about 8,000), and half of the people I work with think he’s a member of some sort of secret Jihad against conservatives. They ate up the FEMA Conspiracy like it was 35 cent cheeseburger day at McDonald’s.

  87. 87
    Olliander says:

    […]…he isn’t pure enough for the current GOP.

    Do you really believe that the Democratic party is content in having Specter as a milquetoast senator? Specter more than likely will face a primary by a well-funded “true Democrat”, one who is more batshit insane than Specter. There’s no room in the Democratic party for moderation, especially for a senator who opposes EFCA.

    And liberals are not exactly cozy with Blue Dog Democrats, either. So much for not being ideologically pure. Democrats are just as closed minded.

  88. 88
    geg6 says:

    Apologies if everyone has seen this, but Michelle Bachmann is simply too good to allow her ever to lose an election.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....r_embedded

    The tariff to which she refers seems to have been written by an owl and Al Franken’s Stuart Smalley. And apparently, FDR was writing legislation for two GOP legislators and getting it passed before he was even president.

    This is a perfect illustration of today’s GOP.

  89. 89
    Prof. K&G says:

    @ColoRambler: Where were you in Utah? I grew up in Utah in the 90’s, in Park City and SLC. If you just looked at those two places, and ignored the state government, they are pretty sane. SLC Mayor Rocky Anderson was actually quite shrill – he led protests against Bush.

  90. 90

    […] [Props=Balloon Juice] Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Geek AlertJust Read IOZPresident Obama’s first 100 days: An impressive start […]

  91. 91
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @TenguPhule:

    The New Theory of Peak Wingnut states that the closer they approach the Event Horizon of Wingnut, the observed time of increasing wingnut stretches into eternity while never actually quite reaching it.

    They do seem like they want to be crushed into a quantum singularity. Either that or thier method of propulsion is severly flawed. You cannot escape a black hole or achieve light speed by the power of crazy alone.

  92. 92
    TenguPhule says:

    Specter more than likely will face a primary by a well-funded “true Democrat”, one who is more batshit insane than Specter.

    BJ welcomes the new resident troll.

  93. 93
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    Do they even know what their “roots” are?

    Their roots were best exemplified by Ron Paul, the only real small government conservative in the bunch. And they STILL treat him like a noisy street person.

  94. 94
    Ed Drone says:

    I think “peak wingnut” is actually jakin to “going Nova,” which is what the Republican Ascendancy was; we’ll soon see the remainder of the party reduced to a brown dwarf (the image somehow fits) rapidly approaching black hole status, where no light escapes, and the density creates its own gravity.

    Then again, maybe “peak wingnut” is just “drill, baby, drill” taken to its logical extreme, and the seeming abundance of wingnutotron is due to over-pumping. Shortly, the drill-shafts will collapse, or fill up with seawater.
    Ed

  95. 95
    Corner Stone says:

    @PanAmerican:

    they don’t have to admit they gave up their life savings for an empty box.

    A boat’s a boat, but a Mystery box could be anything, it could even be a boat!

  96. 96
    TenguPhule says:

    @Hunter Gatherers

    You cannot escape a black hole or achieve light speed by the power of crazy alone.

    This presumes they want to escape instead of charging in full steam ahead.

  97. 97
    Prof. K&G says:

    Also; Huntsman, though a republican, is a genuinely good guy, interested in solving actual real-world problems. If he were to take control of his party, I think it would be good for everyone. If we only have one sane party, eventually we probably won’t have any at all.

  98. 98
    TenguPhule says:

    Do you really believe that the Democratic party is content in having Specter as a milquetoast senator?

    Why not? He’ll fit right in, his spine comes pre-removed.

  99. 99
    Das Internetkommissariat says:

    @Jennifer:

    Excellent summary.
    I have one more thought to add: Since religion has forced itself into the state, the state is going to have a closer look at religion now. There is going to be a major blowback.
    I am thinknking not only of gay marriage but also stuff like ID/evolution, hate speech in churches, etc.

  100. 100
    Corner Stone says:

    @Chum: That Dick Morris article in The Hill is pure frackin gold. I swear that if you didn’t tell me who wrote that thing I would’ve bet it had to be by Jesus’ General, or possibly Jon Swift.

  101. 101
    TenguPhule says:

    If we only have one sane party, eventually we probably won’t have any at all.

    You’re not familiar with the Democratic party, are you?

    Two voices, Thirty opinions.

  102. 102
    Mnemosyne says:

    I grew up there in the 80s, and when I went to school in California 20 years ago, I was astonished to encounter non-insane Republicans on a fairly regular basis.

    You haven’t been to California recently, have you? I don’t think we have any non-insane Republicans left. I suspect that even my wingnut brother, the one who keeps a picture of Ronald Reagan on his desk, voted for Obama this year.

  103. 103
    binzinerator says:

    From Larison’s peice:

    He [Huston] and those like him are the political equivalent of Darwin’s discoveries on the Galapagos: strange, unusual creatures cut off from the rest of the world that deserve to be studied and understood as the weird evolutionary offshoots that they are.

    Ouch. That is gonna leave a welt.

    Our own Johnny Boy:

    They are the people who feverishly emailed each other stories about Obama’s birth certificate, and who are convinced that joking about Obama’s teleprompter and making impassioned speeches about earmark reform are the only route to electoral recovery. They think Michelle Bachman is on to something and the Colbert Report is truth.

    That’s pharmaceutical-grade cult-like thinking. I mean, if Limbaugh told these morans a spaceship was hiding in the tail of a comet coming to devastate Earth, they’d believe it.

    We could only hope they’d try to Rapture themselves aboard it by swallowing phenobarbital and tying a plastic bag over their heads.

    Shit, there’s no need to even get that elaborate. I bet if Rush told them to tie a plastic bag over their heads to keep their republican bodily fluids pure, a bunch of them would do it.

    Makes ‘fucktard gooper’ even more redundant, doesn’t it? Amazing that it was possible, but there ya go.

  104. 104
    Corner Stone says:

    @TenguPhule: This scares me to death with the possibility that you’re right.

  105. 105
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Jennifer:

    Sarah Palin has become the Tonya Harding of politics.

    FTMFW!

  106. 106
    BenA says:

    @Olliander:

    Do you really believe that the Democratic party is content in having Specter as a milquetoast senator? Specter more than likely will face a primary by a well-funded “true Democrat”, one who is more batshit insane than Specter. There’s no room in the Democratic party for moderation, especially for a senator who opposes EFCA.
    And liberals are not exactly cozy with Blue Dog Democrats, either. So much for not being ideologically pure. Democrats are just as closed minded.

    I guess you don’t read much, or know PA politics. Ed Rendell has all but guaranteed a clear primary for Specter. Sure you may get a couple of Dems running in the primary… but they wont get the big money… and without the big money you can’t advertise in Philly… and without Philly you can’t win a Dem primary.

    Not to mention Suburban Philly is not as liberal as a lot of people would have you believe… and it represents a large portion of Specter’s “base.”

    A more liberal Dem could win in PA, and probably would have against a nutjob like Toomey… but no way a liberal Dem wins without big bucks to advertise in the Philly market.

    The ONLY way Specter doesn’t win the PA Dem nomination is if labor comes out hard against him… and Specter does something really aggregious. It’s not clear to me that labor alone is enough to beat him in the PA primary… my guess is though he softens his EFCA stance and/or there’s some gamesmanship like voting for cloture but not the bill.

  107. 107
    sparky says:

    @Jennifer: the best short description of what happened over the past 25+ years i’ve seen. excellent.

    so now the question is what happens at the state level? do we have federal-state tussles? do they quit and go home? or do they become their own version of the pol/hack class? my guess is the latter, as the lure of money is pretty tempting. unfortunately, if it IS the latter, then the general public will have to wrest control away from them, which most people cannot be bothered to do. urgh.

  108. 108
    ET says:

    Can I just say that the funniest (though not in a total haha sort of way) thing is Rep. Michele Bachmann is referring to the “Hoot-Smalley” tariffs.

  109. 109
    Ash Can says:

    Tonight’s Fox News Current Events Entertainment freakout: Obama cracks on the Fox network and its teabaggers during today’s town hall. No wonder Fox won’t televise his 100-day presser. He’s MEEEEEEN::sob::

    (Edit: the imbedded dKos link was acting up, so here’s the Politico link: http://www.politico.com/news/s.....21870.html I do recommend cheking out the dKos story, though, because it included multiple links plus video.)

  110. 110
    Michael says:

    This presumes they want to escape instead of charging in full steam ahead.

    WOLVERINES!

  111. 111
    El Cid says:

    @Jennifer: My god. I’ve been making the exact same points for years — particularly about how one of the main factors which destroyed them was the possession of absolute power which failed to bring about the 1890s – 1920s – 1950s fundie Earthly paradise, complete with no IRS, they’d always been promised if only the Republicans really got power. It’s great to see others seeing the same evidence lead to the same conclusions.

  112. 112
    El Cid says:

    @Ash Can:

    “Those of you who are watching certain news channels on which I’m not very popular, and you see folks waving tea bags around, Obama said, “let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we are going to stabilize Social Security.”… “But,” Obama continued, “let’s not play games and pretend that the reason [for the deficit] is because of the Recovery Act.”

    They’re really, really gonna hate him for that. ‘You see those folks on that TV channel, wavin’ their little teabags around…’

  113. 113
    Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist says:

    @ET: the “Hoot-Smalley” tariffs.

    I picture an owl saying “and doggone it, people like me.”

  114. 114
    Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist says:

    @El Cid: the possession of absolute power which failed to bring about the 1890s – 1920s – 1950s fundie Earthly paradise, complete with no IRS, they’d always been promised if only the Republicans really got power.

    What really blows me away is that, even after everything that’s happened, they’re still saying that.

  115. 115
    El Cid says:

    @Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist: The super-crazies are still saying that, but they’re just not as able to convince the other quarter or so of the country to believe it too.

  116. 116
    passerby says:

    They think Michelle Bachman is on to something and the Colbert Report is truth.

    We are witnessing history. The death of a major political party right before our eyes.

    With each passing day, indeed by the hour, more and more stories like this are coming out. Imagine the numerous incidents that don’t even make it into the mainstream.

    They probably don’t think themselves unreasonable, just righteous with a heapin’ helpin’ of god glorious martyrdom…if they’re thinking at all.

    Wonder how long the death rattle will last.

    Kinda fascinating to watch.

  117. 117
    dmsilev says:

    @El Cid:

    They’re really, really gonna hate him for that. ‘You see those folks on that TV channel, wavin’ their little teabags around…’

    When the circumstance warrants, President Obama has shown himself to be quite skillful at rhetorically sticking the knife in the vital organs of his opponents.

    Like one of Pavlov’s dogs, Moe Lane at Redstate declares victory:

    I guess Obama knows about the Tea Parties *now*. “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” – M. Ghandi[sic]

    -dms

  118. 118
    TR says:

    @geg6: That video is amazing. Bachmann manages to cram about a dozen historical errors into a single minute’s worth of talking.

  119. 119
    SGEW says:

    @dmsilev: re: ridicule

    For a guy who kept on hyperventilating over Obama’s Alinsky tactics, how could Moe Lane have forgotten “Rule 5”?

    Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.

    Community Activist In The [White] House!

  120. 120
    Ash Can says:

    @dmsilev:

    Like one of Pavlov’s dogs, Moe Lane at Redstate declares victory

    LOLZ! Good grief, they just can’t help themselves, can they?

  121. 121
    Ninerdave says:

    I can’t be the only one who noticed that Voorhees is the last name of Jason from the Friday the 13th Series.

  122. 122
    Argive says:

    @BenA:

    Very true. Not to mention that the PA Democratic Party was only too happy to field Bob Casey Jr., a very pro-life Catholic, against Rick Santorum. Of course, Casey is rabidly pro-union and his dad was a ridiculously popular governor way back when. But the greater Philadelphia area is essential to winning PA, and while the city itself is pretty liberal, the suburbs aren’t. Mostly they tend toward conservative Democratic or moderate Republican politics. For the most part, they are Specter’s base, and a lot of the more moderate Republicans switched parties during the last election cycle. I agree, labor is pretty much Specter’s only real obstacle to getting the nomination.

  123. 123
    Maus says:

    My guess? When the media establishment in Washington say they are. They still have Fox News and they still have a sizeable minority in Congress. But with each passing day they are dwindling down further and further into complete and utter insignifcance. At some point the money bags on the Right are going to dry up.

    You’re looking at two things.

    The media will ALWAYS have these guys on, because they make a mint from advertising. The politicians will be defunded, sure.

    But there will always be a need to shill for homeopathic dick-pills and bose wave radios and head-on and “THE THINGS ‘DOCTORS’ DON’T WANT YOU TO READ” and such. If the GOP wingnuts weren’t such voraciously dumb consumers, they’d have been dropped ages back.

    I seriously suggest everyone (especially John Cole!) read Charlatan: America’s Most Dangerous Huckster for an explanation for the state of American politics and conservative radio.

  124. 124
    Tonal Crow says:

    I agree with Michelle Malkin: “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” Our GOP has been infiltrated with ultra-liberals, from Mitch McConnell to John Boehner, and from Michael Steele to Rush Limbaugh. I frankly am horrified at the daily firehose of hatred for God that these atheists spew, and I see a real risk that God will abandon us to our sins, as He did the Roman homosexuals. If the GOP doesn’t immediately repent, it’s doomed — and America with it. We have not only forsaken the Bible, but pissed on it, even going so far as to install a foreign-born Muslim jihadi as “President”, who has then proceeded to unilaterally disarm us and give our most important secrets directly to our enemies. I cannot in good conscience continue to support a party that has not only tolerated this abomination, but has actively aided and abetted it. Unless and until the GOP repents and deports the traitors within, I am voting for and supporting only members of the Holy Bible Party. And GOD BLESS AMERICA.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    /snark

  125. 125
    Michael says:

    Inhofe is…well…quite insane.


    Inhofe: Specter’s Switch Is “First Visible Evidence” Of GOP Comeback!

    By Eric Kleefeld – April 29, 2009, 2:19PM

    Now here’s an interesting spin on the Arlen Specter switch. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) appeared on Fox News today, where he presented the case that Specter’s switch is the first evidence that people are rebelling against Obama, and that the Republican Party is coming back!

    Inhofe explained that this was a sign that Obama and the Democrats were overreaching, just as Bill Clinton did in 1993, and the people are rebelling against it just as they did in 1994:

    “Now the evidence of this was found out when Arlen Specter made his decision,” Inhofe explained. “And that is all of a sudden, we find out that Arlen Specter is down in the Republican Party, down in terms of his popularity. The guy that ran against him and was defeated by Arlen Specter in, six years ago, now is so far ahead of him that Arlen Specter’s own advisers said there’s no way that you can win this thing unless you change to the Democratic Party. Now to me, that’s the evidence it’s coming.”

    Inhofe appears to be thinking here that the state of opinion in the Republican Party is tantamount to the nation’s opinion overall. This might be true enough if it’s just applied to his home state of Oklahoma. But as we’ve learned in 2006, 2008 and recent months, this doesn’t exactly apply to the whole country.

  126. 126
    Will says:

    Who’s Joanne Voorhees? Jason’s mother?

  127. 127
    LD50 says:

    Specter more than likely will face a primary by a well-funded “true Democrat”, one who is more batshit insane than Specter.

    BJ welcomes the new resident troll.

    About time, the old ones were getting pretty stale.

    (Um, no offense, Paul & Bob.)

  128. 128
    ColoRambler says:

    Where were you in Utah? I grew up in Utah in the 90’s, in Park City and SLC. If you just looked at those two places, and ignored the state government, they are pretty sane. SLC Mayor Rocky Anderson was actually quite shrill – he led protests against Bush.

    I grew up in SLC, in an area close to the University of Utah, with a number of U of U profs and staff as family friends, so I was insulated from the worst of it. I left in 1988. I actually moved back in 1999 and lived there for a short time. I noticed that things weren’t quite as bad — in particular, as you note, SLC proper had gotten distinctly more liberal over the previous 11 years. Even so, I and many other people who’ve lived in the area have noticed just how often your religion (or lack thereof) is an issue in Utah, and how often it isn’t in most other places in the West.

  129. 129
    Tim C. says:

    I’d like to register my extreme displeasure with comparing the GOP to Statler and Waldorf.

    1) Muppets have never started pointless wars

    2) Muppets have never betrayed their principles.

    3) Statler and Waldorf are funny.

    That is all.

  130. 130
    passerby says:

    @geg6:

    Linc Chaffee gets it. Too bad he didn’t get it before he got booted out of office, but he gets it nonetheless:

    Yes. I saw Linc Chaffee on a Maddow segment the other night (last night?). As I watched him respond to the party purity thing, echoing Specter’s assessment of the GOP’s continued march to the right, it occurred to me that he was one of the grownups.

    He struck me as being a reasonable man. It’s regrettable that we don’t have a True Conservative party, he’d still be in office I think.

  131. 131
    bvac says:

    It should be noted that the governors 84% approval rating actually represents 84 people.

  132. 132
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Wow. Batshit insane doesn’t even begin to describe the regional party that is the GOP these days. I always thought one party would be overrun by ideological purity–but I never believed the Republicans would get there first.

    I am so glad that our party is the party of grownups. I like being one of the more progressive liberals (ok, ok, I can be a bit ideological pure myself) knowing that there are moderates to balance me out.

    I salute the moderates (but not the Blue Dog Dems–they just like to posture for the sake of personal glory) of our party. As for the moderates who lean more conservative, I welcome you, too.

    Bye-bye, GOP. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  133. 133
    LD50 says:

    He struck me as being a reasonable man. It’s regrettable that we don’t have a True Conservative party, he’d still be in office I think.

    I don’t think so — he lost his job because in 2006, the GOP brand had sunk to an all-time low in New England, and so he got caught up in the overall casting out of Republicans in the northeast. If he’d done a Jeffords a couple years before, he’d still have his job now. Hell, if GWB had the sense to fire Rumsfeld a couple months BEFORE the election, LC would probably still have his job.

  134. 134
    BongCrosby says:

    2) Muppets have never betrayed their principles.

    Oh, yeah? What about Evil Bert?

    http://www.bertisevil.tv/

  135. 135
    binzinerator says:

    @The Populist:

    This country has succeeded solely on the idea of compromise. Why is it these asshats don’t get any of this?

    Because they don’t want the country to succeed. Unless they are running it.

    It’s not so much that they don’t get it; it’s that they don’t want it.

    The uber-rich, the bat-shit insane, the fundies, the bigots, the authoritarians — this is the GOP base and by and large these are the people who have consistently insisted on standing athwart the history of this nation yelling STOP. Deep down these people do not want a democracy. Period.

    They want an aristocracy, a theocracy, apartheid, a police state. Compromise, fairness, equality before the law, even rule of law — they are hostile to these things. These asshats are, paradoxically, the part of our democratic society who does not like democracy.

    It’s not logical to expect people who are at their core un-democratic to value compromise.

  136. 136
    Corner Stone says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    I always thought one party would be overrun by ideological purity

    Please expound on this. Do you mean that you thought one day the liberals would overrun the Democratic Party?
    Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

  137. 137
    Michael says:

    OT, but here’s a lovely bit of toe-dipping temperature checking from some of the astroturf sod cutters.

    If they were standing in public, they’d be at risk of getting pelted with rotten food.

    Fix Social Security, Ease the Credit Crisis

    Remember the looming Social Security crisis? If you don’t, you’re not alone. The credit crisis and economic downturn have monopolized public attention to such an extent that the Social Security crisis that was at the center of the policy debate during President George W. Bush’s second term now seems forgotten.

    This is unfortunate, for not only has Social Security not been fixed, but reform, if done right by tapping into the power of the market, can help provide new capital, which American businesses now desperately need.

    Having reformed the framework of the pension program, Chile then moved to tap into the power and dynamism of the market. “The new pension system, with freedom as its guiding principle, is founded on the individual responsibility of each worker, reflected in his own savings capacity and his own individual account, and in the private administration of the funds by properly regulated companies,” writes Büchi.

    Individual ownership of retirement benefits has helped families accumulate wealth over generations. Now parents, even of limited means, can bequeath more assets to offspring than they ever before.

    Contrary to critics, the Chilean pension system does not leave low income individuals or those unlucky enough to have made poor investments adrift. The system, Büchi notes, retains a state-supported “social safety net,” that guarantees “a minimum pension at least” to workers who have not accumulated sufficient savings and who meet certain contribution requirements.

  138. 138
    Bob says:

    Ah, kicked out by JoAnne Voorhees , former State Rep.

    http://www.michiganvotes.org/L.....spx?ID=249

  139. 139
    kay says:

    Now they’re calling Huntsman a “maverick”.

    Because he”s not insane, and he breaks with the GOP.

    popular + sane = maverick/breaks with the GOP? Crazy is the norm?

    “Mavericks” are the exception that proves the crazy rule. This is not good.

  140. 140
    p.a. says:

    Haven’t been able to watch a major political party self-destruct since the Whigs…

    The Whigs, I believe, destructed over legitimate, intractable issues- slavery, fugitive slave law etc. (Hope I am remembering correctly, my college years are a small smudge in the rearview mirror.) I think the Federalists snapped in a more Goposaurus (h/t Kos) manner.

    Linc Chaffee

    lost his job because in 2006, the GOP brand had sunk to an all-time low in New England, and so he got caught up in the overall casting out of Republicans in the northeast.

    Accurate. There was a real vibe here in RI that we couldn’t afford the Republican Senate and Chaffee had to be sacrificed. He may run for governor, and would be favored to win.

  141. 141
    geg6 says:

    Meanwhile, Dave Weigel tells me that Byron York has figured out the secret of Obama’s popularity.

    Black people. See, Obama is viewed favorably among 80% of blacks. Take black people out of the equation and Barack Obama and his policies would only be popular with 49% of whites. So, obviously, all those blacks are just backing up their brutha simply because he’s a brutha.

    The only problem with Lord Byron’s hypothesis is that 82% of blacks view Joe Biden favorably. D’oh!

  142. 142
    R-Jud says:

    @geg6:

    Apologies if everyone has seen this, but Michelle Bachmann is simply too good to allow her ever to lose an election.

    She’s totally the black lion of Wingnut Voltron: “And I’ll form… the head!”

  143. 143
    omen says:

    ma na ma na.

  144. 144
    Tim C. says:

    omen@141

    Doo doo doo do.

  145. 145
    binzinerator says:

    @gbear:

    As we approach peak wingnut, the bottom (wingnuts doing their thing in a real world) keeps dropping farther down. They’ll be reaching nirvana and oblivion at the same moment. How zen of them.

    Isn’t that more like what is supposed to happen at the edge of a black hole? It’s a gravity well of wingnuttery. Where once past the event horizon the escape velocity for rational thought approaches infinity and not even a single photon of coherent thought can escape.

  146. 146

    […] in the Republican Party are crazier than an outhouse rat…” writes John Cole over at Balloon Juice. “They are the people who feverishly emailed each other stories about Obama’s birth […]

  147. 147
    rdale says:

    Speaking from Behind the Zion Curtain, as we call it, Huntsman is a real anomaly in Utah. The GOP has an absolute stranglehold on politics here (discount Smilin’ Jim Matheson [D-weasel] of the 2nd cong. district; he’s a repub-lite). They’ve convinced the populii that the Mormon God wants them to be Republicans, and that’s how they vote. You should see some of the wackos they send to the state legislature, and at the state party level it’s even worse. The other day in the Utah County GOP meeting one of the delegates tried to get them to pass a resolution “opposing well-heeled groups that [he] claims are pushing a satanic plan to encourage illegitimate births and illegal immigration.” The resolution was titled “Resolution opposing the Hate America anti-Christian Open Borders cabal,” and warned delegates that an “invisible government” comprised of left-wing foundations was pumping money into the Democratic Party to push for looser immigration laws and anti-family legislation.

    Just a normal day in Eu-taw!

  148. 148
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    I think the peak wingnut=event horizon analogy is a very good one. To a distant observer, like us, the event horizon will take just exactly forever to reach, and the wingnuts will be vaporized, ionized, and turned into quark soup as they approach it because the quantum fluctuations will approach infinity.

    To them, nothing is different as they cross the no-return surface, it’s just that they can only communicate with others in their cozy little pinched-off pocket universe. The only regrettable thing is that we won’t be able to witness what happens to them when they encounter the singularity, as Penrose and Hawking proved all things must.

    Wingnuttia: the Black Hole of Stupid. Jump in, the water’s fine!

  149. 149
    ksmiami says:

    Note even the rich people have abandoned the Republican crazies… And they are excited about the market opportunities right now. It is nice to have a smart president and a real leader after all…

  150. 150
    ColoRambler says:

    You haven’t been to California recently, have you? I don’t think we have any non-insane Republicans left. I suspect that even my wingnut brother, the one who keeps a picture of Ronald Reagan on his desk, voted for Obama this year.

    Nope, I left in 1992. Please note that saying they were non-insane doesn’t mean I agreed with them on everything political (or even most things), just that they were able to make a coherent argument and defend it without sounding like Limbaugh, Bachmann, et. al.

    It’s worth noting that I went to a science-and-engineering-oriented school that, like most colleges, leaned strongly Democratic, but overall had a very moderate flavor, both in degree of political polarization overall and in most individuals’ approach to politics. It frankly bordered on apathetic a lot of the time. At a rough guess, something like 80% of the campus was moderate left to a bit right of center, and not terribly worked up about politics either way. Even the libertarians I knew were pretty toned down compared to the ones you encounter on the Internet these days (and they were more worried about civil liberties issues than economic ones). There were a few total wingnuts (of all ideological flavors), but they were conspicuous by their relative rarity.

    I do not think it’s coincidental that scientists and engineers have become much more strongly Democratic over the last generation, simply because many of them are (a) relatively moderate pragmatists that (b) respect logical and evidence-based thinking, and unlike 30-40 years ago, there’s now only one major political party that has any room for either of those mind-sets.

  151. 151
    roseyv says:

    The only people left in the Republican party are crazier than an outhouse rat and have teabags hanging from their hunting cap.

    Actually, it’s either better or worse than that, depending on how you want to look at it. A good many of those still calling themselves Republicans — possibly even the majority — are neither crazy nor stupid. They’re people like my mom, who call themselves Republicans simply because that’s what they’ve always called themselves, and they’re not going to officially change parties at this late state purely as a matter of principle. They don’t pay that much attention to politics generally, so while they will openly and passionately decry the Bush administration as criminal and an embarrassment, they don’t really see how endemic that criminality is, and to the extent that they do see it, they assume that eventually everything will right itself and get back to “normal.” They will call themselves Republicans until the cows come home, and then in 2012, vote for Obama, just like they did in 2008, party affiliation or no party affiliation. In other words, as small as the number of self-identifying Republicans is at this point, the number they can count on to vote for actual votes during this lifetime is likely much, much smaller.

  152. 152
    The Populist says:

    HANNITY: How do you go from, and I guess this is the question, how do you go from saying I’m a part of the Reagan revolution, where they cut taxes to stimulate the economy, he tried to lower lessen the scope and influence of government in our lives, had a strong national defense — how do you go from that to embracing the Castro brothers, Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega and calling America arrogant? How do you make that leap?

    Hey Dipshit righties and Sean Dorkity:

    Reagan RAISED taxes you doofuses.

  153. 153
    TenguPhule says:

    @binzinerator

    See the New Theory of Peak Wingnut @65

  154. 154
    The Populist says:

    They want an aristocracy, a theocracy, apartheid, a police state. Compromise, fairness, equality before the law, even rule of law—they are hostile to these things. These asshats are, paradoxically, the part of our democratic society who does not like democracy.

    Basically, Biz, if I zipped back in time to the Revolutionary war, they’d be the royalists kissing the crown’s ass while pretending to love thy neighbor even if they are fighting against the powers that be (were)?

  155. 155
    ColoRambler says:

    Can I just say that the funniest (though not in a total haha sort of way) thing is Rep. Michele Bachmann is referring to the “Hoot-Smalley” tariffs.

    Yikes. Sounds like the swine-flu-under-Carter claim was just a warmup for the Bachmann Winger Overdrive.

  156. 156
    Corner Stone says:

    @Gordon, The Big Express Engine:

    I think for one day there on april 15th, the level of wingnut-crazy reached a new height. As the GOP implodes, we could see a new peak reached in a Battle of the Bulge-like moment.
    [para]
    Unlike oil, however, wingnut views are a renewable resource, so we may never be able to definitely prove whether or not we have reacehd Peak Wingnut.

    I guess my question with Peak Wingnut is – does each wingnut have the infinite capacity for new heights, or do they individually tap out at some level, unique to each wingnut? Does the level of new heights increase as they combine in stacked form, ala Teabag Parties? Or can we assume (even though all evidence to this point proves otherwise) that there’s a point where no matter how many you add to the mix you just can’t keep going up?
    Personally, I like to think that each wingnut is capable of an infinite level of nuttiness. I like it when a person fulfills their potential.
    And collectively, is there a point where they just might all turn into pure energy, similar to what happened on Babylon V where Martin Sheen guest starred as the SoulHunter and he captured an entire planet he judged to be dying but were in fact actually evolving?

  157. 157
    Sour Kraut says:

    @Tenguphule

    This presumes they want to escape instead of charging in full steam ahead.

    You have to admit–beard or no beard, Cheney would make a great Dr. Reinhardt.

  158. 158

    […] Posted in Daily life, GOP at 2:32 pm by LeisureGuy I would have called it the Dwindling Republican Minority, perhaps, but his post is excellent. Go read. […]

  159. 159
    Blue Raven says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    Where they gonna get the virgins?

    What do you think those chastity rings are REALLY for? On the bright side, the Jonas Brothers would be among the first to die.

  160. 160
    RememberNovember says:

    “Ideological Purity” smacks of Fascism, Nazism, Botulism, J-ism….

    then again these ethics-cleansing ,in- breeding exercises usually cull the herd, so to speak.

  161. 161
    chrome agnomen says:

    corner stone.
    they turn into pure energy only in the sense that shit is matter, and matter=energy.

  162. 162
    tc125231 says:

    The only people left in the Republican party are crazier than an outhouse rat

    Well, I think you are onto something, although a lot of these people are neither stupid, nor overtly obnoxious.

    My eldest brother, who went to Harvard, is a Life Master in chess, and was a talented litigator for 25 years is one of these guys. He just has no sense of proportion, nor any ability to evaluate quantitative empirical data when it reflects negatively on a dearly held ideology.

    Actually, he kind of reminds of of Meghan McArdle, but he’s a lot smarter than she is.

    So how do you explain this stuff?

    It’s got to be sun spot sunsitivity….or maybe alien pollution released into the atmosphere….

  163. 163
    chuck says:

    Why is it I keep picturing Joanne Voorhees wearing a hockey mask and taking out her fellow Republicans with a machete?

  164. 164

    Buck Naked Snark: The Spanish Inquisition; the Welfare of Gov. Rick Perry; Arlen Specter, Enabler of the Flailing Caucus of the Batshit Crazy; Creed & The Armies of the Night; a Helpful Hint for Gordon Brown; Bad Euphemisms for Murder …

    by Teh Nutroots | The Heretik saith, in the manner of the One True Palin: Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition… fortunately for Gonzo & Co. (explained & illustrated). Welfare state. After a whinging begging letter demanding a share of the stimulus …

  165. 165
    Just Me says:

    The only people left in the Republican party are crazier than an outhouse rat and have teabags hanging from their hunting cap. They are the people who feverishly emailed each other stories about Obama’s birth certificate, and who are convinced that joking about Obama’s teleprompter and making impassioned speeches about earmark reform are the only route to electoral recovery. They think Michelle Bachman is on to something and the Colbert Report is truth.

    I had a brief conversation yesterday, brief because a long one raises my blood pressure too much, with someone I know for whom this description is spot-on accurate. In it, he was talking about stockpiling guns and ammo and made reference to “the coming civil war” and I thought but did not say, dude, the sides are going to be wildly imbalanced in that war of yours.

  166. 166
  167. 167
    Original Lee says:

    @Jennifer: Beautiful. Just beautiful. **Sniff.** Wipes eyes, blows nose, throws Kleenex away, and uses Purell on hands.

  168. 168
    The Populist says:

    “Ideological Purity” smacks of Fascism, Nazism, Botulism, J-ism….

    It also smacks of people who aren’t smart and stubbornly hate having their worldview challenged.

  169. 169
    DFH no.6 says:

    @PanAmerican:

    This is it exactly:

    They’re behaving like easy marks who got grifted. Denial is a powerful thing.

    I know the feeling from personal experience: I remained (FSM help me) a fundamentalist Christian (Armstrong/WW Church of God variety **shudder**) far longer than I should have after I realized it was total bullshit. I can never apologize to my wife and children enough.

    Admitting that you’ve allowed yourself to be so horribly conned is a psychologically difficult. The pressure to “argue within the logic of the con”, as PanAmerican puts it, is very powerful, even after you have acknowledged to yourself that you have, in fact, been conned.

    It is a truly terrifying thing to open your eyes and say, “Damn it, I’ve been so stupidly wrong about very important things, and have spent a large portion of my time, energy, and resources that I will never get back on being so wrong”. Exclaiming that publicly is even harder. Many can never bring themselves to do it, and I understand why.

    First, of course, you have to realize you are a mark, that you have allowed yourself to be duped. The psychological pressure to wall yourself off from that realization is intense. I think most rightwingnuts will never come to that realization. In my case — religious rightwingnuttiness — I was helped by being, socially and politically at least, the “token liberal”. Don’t ask me how I squared that circle — some Orwellian doublethink was involved, no doubt.

    This is why I give major props to our esteemed host, Mr. Cole, instead of bashing him, as some commenters love to do, for his former worldview. I’ve walked a similar path. What John has done, as documented most publicly on this here blog, was hard. I was just fortunate to have the scales fall from my eyes in the early 90’s.

    I tip my hat, as it were, to those of you who never veered, who were never conned. I mean that sincerely. Just cut people like John and myself a little slack, if you would. We’re on your side, you know.

  170. 170

    […] “You can’t just say no. You can’t just obstruct or obfuscate,” Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman said in an interview with ABC News. “Instead of just kind of grousing and complaining, it would do us all a whole lot of good if we actually started engaging directly in finding compromises and common ground and shared solutions.”[ABC News, via Balloon Juice] […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] “You can’t just say no. You can’t just obstruct or obfuscate,” Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman said in an interview with ABC News. “Instead of just kind of grousing and complaining, it would do us all a whole lot of good if we actually started engaging directly in finding compromises and common ground and shared solutions.”[ABC News, via Balloon Juice] […]

  2. Buck Naked Snark: The Spanish Inquisition; the Welfare of Gov. Rick Perry; Arlen Specter, Enabler of the Flailing Caucus of the Batshit Crazy; Creed & The Armies of the Night; a Helpful Hint for Gordon Brown; Bad Euphemisms for Murder …

    by Teh Nutroots | The Heretik saith, in the manner of the One True Palin: Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition… fortunately for Gonzo & Co. (explained & illustrated). Welfare state. After a whinging begging letter demanding a share of the stimulus …

  3. […] Posted in Daily life, GOP at 2:32 pm by LeisureGuy I would have called it the Dwindling Republican Minority, perhaps, but his post is excellent. Go read. […]

  4. […] in the Republican Party are crazier than an outhouse rat…” writes John Cole over at Balloon Juice. “They are the people who feverishly emailed each other stories about Obama’s birth […]

  5. […] [Props=Balloon Juice] Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Geek AlertJust Read IOZPresident Obama’s first 100 days: An impressive start […]

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