They Started the Fire

The thing to remember about the chaos ensuing in the GOP primaries, where each week a different candidate is the new new savior before publicly shitting the bed, is that this is all the fault of the Republican party itself. They allowed the party to create this alternate reality about, well, everything that happened the last decade. They are the ones who encouraged their party to believe that a center-left Democrat is actually an America hating socialists. They are the ones who made this mess, so when they are all horrified when each week a different candidate looks the fool by pandering to the base, remember, they are the ones who encouraged the base to think all this crazy shit.

113 replies
  1. 1
    cathyx says:

    And they are the ones who decided to embrace the evangelical christians.

  2. 2
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Who are the “they” you are talking about. Who constitutes the party elite. I am not being snarky, I just don’t the inner workings of the GOP.

  3. 3
    cathyx says:

    The fact of the matter is that most people in this country aren’t that radical, but that is who the republicans decided to court.

  4. 4
    matryoshka says:

    In other news, water is wet.

  5. 5
    TX Expat says:

    Yep, I dunno who said it on here first but I’m repurposing it. The Republicans are learning, much to my delight, that no one has a good day when Frankenstein gets loose.

  6. 6
    Trentrunner says:

    Megan McArdle’s Christmas gift recommendation list is now up.

    About this, I am not shitting.

  7. 7
    gaz says:

    Thank you John Cole.

    It’s obvious, yet bears repeating.

  8. 8
    muddy says:

    Driftglass already wrote this post 6 years ago.
    http://driftglass.blogspot.com.....smell.html

    Suddenly noticing the poo smell when here they live in a septic tank. “Poo smell” is a delightful wording and ought to have gained greater acclaim.

  9. 9
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Trentrunner:

    All I want for Christmas is Megan McArdle’s two front teeth.

  10. 10
    Hungry Joe says:

    And they’re running out of fools to test-drive. If I had to call the GOP ticket right now, it’d be Jay Leno/Hank Williams, Jr.

  11. 11
    Jamie says:

    unfortunately those who have created this alternative reality are still in power. and that’s not good for anyone.

  12. 12
    Satanicpanic says:

    Do “Real American” Republicans see guys like George Will any differently than we see people like Richard Cohen or Tom Friedman?

  13. 13
    beltane says:

    It could be that they are reaping what they have sown. If that’s the case, they will just have to resort to unprecedented levels of vote suppression and outright fraud to win. Never underestimate the amount of evil these people are capable of.

  14. 14
    beltane says:

    @Trentrunner: What she really needs is her own personal chef. Anyone who needs a special machine to make bechemel sauce has no business setting foot in a kitchen.

  15. 15
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    McArdle for the win.

  16. 16
    Punchy says:

    Today John plays the part of Captain Obvious.

  17. 17
    Mino says:

    Pierce has up a retrospective going back to its origins in the love child of Wallace and Goldwater.

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/p.....10-6613783

  18. 18
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    I am just curious how it will end. As it’s been pointed out civil war isn’t a viable option for them. Walker is proving that mass oppression doesn’t work. Does the hard right rent several large stadiums and then commit mass suicide 12/21/2012? It really is hard to see how they walk back from the brink they put themselves. That rage trip they are on only ends in oblivion.

  19. 19
    Comrade Dread says:

    Unfortunately, the GOP has also been remarkably successful at pushing the envelope to the right through precisely these tactics, so we now have a party of center-right and center-left politicians who are the ‘Leftists’ and a party of frothing, hawkish, Ayn-thulu acolytes monotonously chanting the litany of Selfishness in an attempt to resurrect their Dark Lady and the hobgoblins of ‘job creation’ while wearing a cross to make people think Jesus approves of the whole shebang and passing that entire macabre pageant off as ‘conservative’ and consistent with American values.

  20. 20
    BGinCHI says:

    And since they don’t believe in governing, they are prey for the grifter class who specialize in telling people what they want to hear while picking their pockets.

    Which is of course exactly what they do when they get into power.

    See Gingrich, Stupid Fucking Egotist.

  21. 21
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    Newt has little or no organizational skills and his prickly manner has led to staff exodus. He lacks people skills beyond rabble-rousing, and the lack of support from the GOP is the story that tells itself.

    He’s a cannoneer whose discharges endanger, not the enemy fleet, but his native vessel.

    I understand why we wanthim to be the nominee, but I give him 1 chance in 5.

  22. 22
    dmsilev says:

    Yep, I dunno who said it on here first but I’m repurposing it. The Republicans are learning, much to my delight, that no one has a good day when Frankenstein gets loose.

    Obligatory nitpick: Frankenstein was the doctor, aka the creator of the monster. And at least in the original novel, the monster didn’t really do much lurching and village-terrifying. He was driven out by his creator, and then (not entirely unreasonably) set out to make his creator’s life a living hell.

  23. 23
    Davis X. Machina says:

    That rage trip they are on only ends in oblivion.

    Oblivion for some, perhaps, but Dom P, or better, on the beach all around for others.

    The GOP nomination hunt is, at the end of the day, just a fight over who gets to drive the getaway car from the back of the Treasury to the waiting Caymans-bound jet.

  24. 24
    beltane says:

    They’ve been pandering to the crazy for decades but what really did them in was the selection of Sarah Palin as Grumpy McCain’s running mate. In other words, they listened to Bill Kristol and the expected fail ensued.

  25. 25
    dmsilev says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Megan McArdle’s Christmas gift recommendation list is now up.

    Does the total cost of all the unnecessary kitchen gadgets crack the $10K line?

  26. 26

    Also the crazy base, which was driven crazy partly by party elite promoted lies, drove off all the candidates who are neither crazy stupid nor Mormon.

    I don’t know what it is about the LDS (latter day sanity) wing of the party, but they sure seem to enjoy punishment.

    I admit that, if pressed, I would have trouble thinking of knowledgeable sane Republicans who decided not to run. Hmmmm. Well Chuck Hagel for one, John Danforth, that guy in Indiana who is worried about a primary … yeah Dick Lugar, he’s sane. All from a political generation or two ago.

    I’d say the party completely lost its minds in 1994. They can’t blame Fox News.

  27. 27
    BGinCHI says:

    From Peggy Noonan’s column today at WSJ:

    And that is exactly what I’ve been hearing from Newt supporters who do not listen to talk radio. They are older voters, they are not all Republicans, and when government last made progress he was part of it. They have a very practical sense of politics now. The heroic era of the presidency is dead. They are not looking to like their president or admire him, they just want someone to fix the crisis. The last time helpful things happened in Washington, he was a big part of it.

    Have another gin, you moron. “They have a very practical sense of politics now,” which must mean that they think they understand it but they don’t. Which pretty much describes Peggy’s skill set.

    Jesus these people are stupid.

  28. 28
    Snowball says:

    I’m not sure how big of a mess they are in. They still have a 50-50 chance of winning the White House, they are highly likely to take control of the Senate and at least a 50-50 chance of keeping the House.

    I don’t think I will ever understand how the voters keep rewarding people who can’t govern. The voters claim they are upset about the deficit, but apparently want the party who caused the deficit back in power, etc etc

  29. 29
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    Per my last comment…some thoughts…

    http://www.nationaljournal.com.....r-20111208

    “When Gingrich became speaker after the GOP landslide of 1994 that he helped to engineer, Weber wasn’t the only Republican worried about the Georgian’s erratic management style. “He had a new idea every 13 seconds,” Galen said. “He just made everyone crazy. There was too much turmoil.” Those who worked closest with Gingrich liken him to a car careening down narrow mountain roads.
    Even those who remain close to Gingrich and fondly remember the hectic, agenda-driven energy of his early speakership concede that he wore his colleagues out. “We went from zero to 120 miles per hour,” recalls Jack Howard, a former senior Gingrich aide. “We tried to keep him from going through the guardrails. But he went over the cliff a couple of times.”

  30. 30
    Quarks says:

    @Trentrunner: Oh, dear. You made me look.

    I’d ask who on earth actually has two butter boats, but, considering the source….

    ETA: I think my favorite part about her confession to owning not one, but two butter boats is that this happens in the same post where she assures us that she has a “very small kitchen.” With space for two butter boats. Yeeeaaah.

    Reading that post was unhealthy and brought up very unChristmasy thoughts. I move on now.

  31. 31
    beltane says:

    @BGinCHI: What a load of disingenuous crap. Where did Peggy Noonan encounter these old, not-Republicans (give me a break) who don’t listen to talk radio? The salad bar at Applebees? If these people exist at all, they exist in nursing homes, likely suffering from late-stage Alzheimers.

    I suspect Noonan’s nostalgia for the 1990’s will be cured when Bill Clinton appears on the campaign trail to reminisce about the old times with Newt Gingrich.

  32. 32
    dogwood says:

    @beltane:

    It could be that they are reaping what they have sown.

    I said this in an earlier dying thread and I stand by it. Decades ago the Republicans outsourced their real leadership roles to evangelical grifters, talk show gasbags, and corporate fratboys with pledge cards. The actual politicians are just a side show.

  33. 33
    Trentrunner says:

    @Mino: Glorious excerpt:

    They think Newt will lose. Period. All the rest is the tattered filigree of a hundred cheap alibis.

    I have a PhD in English. I teach composition and literature for a living.

    Charles Pierce is a fucking master of my domain.

  34. 34
    JPL says:

    Big Dog could say a few things about Newt that would end his chances but will he? Everything I’ve heard so far has been complimentary.

  35. 35
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @dmsilev: SHE COULD TOO MAKE AN AWESOME BECHAMEL SAUCE THE POOR PERSON WAY BUT WHY THE FUCK SHOULD SHE HAVE TO WASTE HER PRECIOUS TIME LIKE THAT? IT’S CALLED “EFFICIENT USE OF RESOURCES,” OK?

    Whatever. Like any of you bloody peasants would know what a “bechamel sauce” was anyway. Go crack open another jar of bean jerky or whatever you untouchables eat.

  36. 36
    fasteddie9318 says:

    In all seriousness, if Megan won’t consider giving me my desired Christmas gift, which is for her to retire and go live on an ice floe for the rest of her life, why should I think about getting anything for her?

  37. 37
    BGinCHI says:

    @beltane: If there was a contest between Peggy Noonan and 50 middle school kids, where they had to write an essay on current politics in 500 words or less, and if the names were removed so there was no bias, I’ll bet you a million dollars hers would not be in the top 3.

  38. 38
    carpeduum says:

    Another brilliant deep thoughts moment by the political philosophy king Cole.

    In other news, the sun rose in the east and water is wet.

  39. 39
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    They are the ones who encouraged their party to believe that a center-left Democrat is actually an America hating socialists.

    Worse, they’ve shoved the national political scene so far to the right that Obama looks center-left.

  40. 40
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    The GOP nomination hunt is, at the end of the day, just a fight over who gets to drive the getaway car from the back of the Treasury to the waiting Caymans-bound jet.

    While that is quite true with Newt and Mittens they came awfully close with Bachmman and Perry to getting someone who wanted to pass out cool aid and not pork. The problem is the base is mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. Were is that going?

    I have a vision of a screaming Newt being carried by a mob chanting “lead us! lead us!” into the stadium on 12/21

  41. 41
    Trentrunner says:

    @BGinCHI: I’m surprised Nooners was intelligible, writhing, as she always is, pleasurably under the corpse of St. Ronald of Reagan.

  42. 42
    BGinCHI says:

    @JPL: Let’s hope Bill is waiting so that Newt will get the nomination, then go nuclear on him.

    That would be sweet revenge.

    Which is also, incidentally, the title of a great John Prine record.

  43. 43
    trollhattan says:

    @Quarks:

    Either 1: Unsalted and salted. You need not ask what kind of salt.

    Or 2. Regular and plugrá (although she might not be up to speed on those options).

  44. 44
    eyelessgame says:

    It’s really down to this: all of the intelligent conservatives (there are some) are in full-on demographic panic. They simply don’t see any way they can remain a majority party, and 2012 may be their last chance.

    Being ideologically Republican as opposed to merely wearing the jersey, they of course also think this dooms the country, as it will have “liberal” leadership into the foreseeable future. The only thing they think can forestall it is to cobble together a majority, elect another Reagan, and capture another generation. They have to win this one, in their minds. If Obama is successful – and they know that liberals can seem successful, at least – then they know they’ve lost the war forever. If President Obama got to preside over a recovering economy, everything about the conservative cause is gone forever. If he gets actual policy successes and sticks around to claim credit for them, it’ll be worse than Roosevelt for them.

    They almost lost it in 2008. Remember “peak wingnut”, “rump party” and so on? It almost happened. Even in this horrible continuing economic crappiness, the president is still odds-on to win reelection. They only get one more chance. And that’s why they need their base charging as hard as possible.

    But precisely because the demographics are so bad, all of the Republicans who actually could govern (a) don’t sound much like Reagan, and (b) don’t want to run against an incumbent.

  45. 45
    trollhattan says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Still pinin’ for the reanimated corpse of the most corrupt president of my lifetime. Yeah, another martini–dirty.

  46. 46
    beltane says:

    @BGinCHI: At least the middle school kids would be more engaged with reality. Miss Peggy only knows the world as she sees it from the window of her limousine.

  47. 47
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @gaz:

    I called this to Tom Levenson’s attention in an email yesterday. I’m hoping he’ll find it enticing enough to forswear his pledge of “no McMegan posts for the next six months” that he rashly promised the other day.

  48. 48
    Quarks says:

    @trollhattan: Oh, I get the salted versus unsalted butter, but I was unclear in my post. These are butter boats that allow you to keep butter on your kitchen counters for up to three days. As a user of an actually small kitchen, instead of what she calls a small kitchen, I can assure you that counter space for two butter boats is not really an option for us, however delightful the resulting butter, thus our use of that exotic product called a refrigerator. You may be ashamed of our household now.

  49. 49
    dogwood says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Amen to that.

  50. 50
    trollhattan says:

    @Mino:

    Any column that begins, “No Andrew, you’re wrong.” is already living amongst the angels.

  51. 51
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Trentrunner:

    I intended to reply to you but hit the button to @gaz instead. Apologies to both.

    I called this [edit: McM’s Christmas Gift List] to Tom Levenson’s attention in an email yesterday. I’m hoping he’ll find it enticing enough to forswear his pledge of “no McMegan posts for the next six months” that he rashly promised the other day.

  52. 52
    trollhattan says:

    @Quarks:

    I was more or less amusing myself on the logic by which McMegan would decide one was just not enough. I suspect she uses a process indistinguishable from that used by my daughter when parsing the American Girl catalog.

  53. 53
    cathyx says:

    @Quarks: Why can’t you keep butter out for more than 3 days? It doesn’t go bad. It can stay out indefinitely.

  54. 54
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    The problem is the base is mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. Where is that going?

    18-fucking-61 is where it is going. Folks, if you haven’t paid attention to anything Kevin Phillips has written over the last 20 years, go get yourself an education. Civil wars are an endemic feature of Anglo-American politics for the last 400 years, with a recurrence interval of roughly 100 years, give or take. We are long overdue for one now and the only reason it can’t happen here, now, is that too much of the population is old and fat. That won’t last forever. Enjoy the peace and quiet while we have it.

  55. 55
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    OT -but this is an interesting take from a writer for the Guardian on the mother who shot herself and her kids because she was turned down for food stamps. The comments are all over the place, but many of them from the Brits basically say “how can a country be so barbaric?”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/comm.....f-comments

  56. 56
    BGinCHI says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Unleash the Walker Brigade!

    /wingnut general

  57. 57
    JPL says:

    @cathyx: Unsalted butter can go bad. Salt works as a preservative.

  58. 58
    Quarks says:

    @trollhattan: Well, whatever she may be claiming, if she indeed owns every object listed in that post, she’s not constricted by kitchen size.

    I also left out the best part: her misspelling, deliberate or not, of “Extravagent”. No, really. It’s right there in the post :)

  59. 59
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    Clarified butter lasts indefinitely.

  60. 60
    donnah says:

    re: McArdle’s kitchen. It must look like a junkyard. Salt pig? Chicken-shaped spoon holder? Sounds like a lot of crap on her counters, if you ask me.

  61. 61
    BGinCHI says:

    @Quarks: Sounds like a cross between a male escort service and a spare vagina.

  62. 62
    cathyx says:

    @JPL: I always leave my unsalted butter out in the colder weather months. I’ve never had a problem.

  63. 63
    beltane says:

    @cathyx: We always keep butter out on the counter sans butter boat. The only time I could see it being a problem is if someone lives in a very warm house. I bet McMegan keeps her thermostats at 80 degrees, just for the profligacy of it all.

  64. 64
    Quarks says:

    @cathyx: I live in Florida, where butter does go bad if it’s left out for a day. Thus the refrigerator. It doesn’t take long to bring butter back to room temperature; the real problem there is keeping eager furry feline creatures away from it.

  65. 65
    Cluttered Mind says:

    Alternate reality about the last decade? You’re vastly understating the problem. For American conservatives, there has been a not insignificant portion of their population living in an alternate reality since the Civil War, if not even longer. This has been a problem for a long, long time, and even what’s been going on recently has its roots in the Nixon administration, not the second Bush administration. At this point, thanks to News Corp. and right wing talk radio (both of which predate the last decade) it’s possible for the conservative base to live their entire waking lives inside the alternate reality. I give you a great deal of credit for breaking free of that alternate reality, Cole, but it’s been a part of American politics for a long, long time. Recognizing the enemy for what it is is the first step towards defeating it.

  66. 66
    Baud says:

    I don’t know how I can take this analysis seriously if you’re not even going to try to hold the Democratic Party responsible for the current state of affairs.

  67. 67
    Julie says:

    @Quarks: What the hell is a ‘butter boat’? Is that like a fancy-shmancy butter dish?

  68. 68
    dogwood says:

    @trollhattan:

    I suspect she uses a process indistinguishable from that used by my daughter when parsing the American Girl catalog.

    You are selling your daughter short. My eleven year old granddaughter has an intricate American Girl catalog coding system. It basically boils down to what she wants, what she really wants and what she really, really, really, really, wants. That said, it’s a system well beyond Ms. M’s comprehension abilities.

  69. 69
    dmsilev says:

    So, apparently tomorrow will be the 89th Running of the Clowns, aka the next GOP primary debate. Cain is gone (so, one less clown on stage), and apparently Willard is starting to feel the heat and aiming his artillery at Newt. One rather expects that Newt will shoot back.

    Get the popcorn and the booze ready, it’s going to be interesting.

  70. 70
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Baud: They’ve played their own destructive part in it, to be sure. The ridiculous bipartisan fetish and belief that if you just reach across the aisle everything will magically work that a lot of “sensible liberals” have is just as much of an alternate reality with no basis in fact as anything any modern American conservative believes.

  71. 71
    Gregory says:

    They are the ones who made this mess, so when they are all horrified when each week a different candidate looks the fool by pandering to the base, remember, they are the ones who encouraged the base to think all this crazy shit.

    They had to. Modern movement conservatism has to believe in so much counterfactual bullshit — cutting taxes raises revenue, abstinence education works, we can drill our way to energy independence, ad freakin’ nauseum — that they have to convince their base over the past 30-40 years that not only is all of the above Gospel truth, but that anyone who questions it is a commie-facist-muslim-atheist.

    Let’s also not forget that the so-called “liberal media” aided and abetted them by treating factually false statements as a “he said, she-said” or worse, simply quoting the blatant lies of the right and then just “leaving it there.”

    Unfortunately, the 27% crazy base of the Republican Party is resisting the establishment’s anointing of Prince Mitt — who has said, and will continue to say, plenty of phony bullshit of his own — so the crazy is all there on full display. Even the so-called “liberal media” is having a hard time pretending it doesn’t exist. When Ronald Reagan — who was once widely regarded as far to conservative to be elected President — would be chased out of the Republican Party on a rail, you know they’re deep within John Birch territory with no way out.

  72. 72
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @Quarks:

    Ha Ha I go through alot of my favorite Kerrygold for that exact reason.

  73. 73
    Quarks says:

    @Julie: It’s a dish that helps keep butter fresh on the kitchen counter or table. The version she’s recommending allows you to put water just beneath the butter which keeps it cool through evaporation.

    This is, mind you, entirely different than the dish she recommends for serving the butter at the table, so if you are planning on getting one (or two!), be aware that you will also need a butter serving dish and presumably some implement for shifting the butter from the butter boat to the serving dish to meet her exacting standards.

    Or, you know, not.

  74. 74
    Mino says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: I saw that article. And, to add insult, even now states are returning unspent money from the program to the federal goverment. Who the fuck designs forms intended to enable them to refuse the applicants?

    And don’t even bring up Welfare to Work. I read somewhere that only 4 million of the unemployed have managed to be qualified right now. Is it any wonder so many of our kids are in real poverty?

  75. 75
    JPL says:

    @cathyx: Ah, I live in the south. I grew up in an old house in MA and our corner cabinet had a vent to the outside. Most of the year my mother would store mayo and butter there.

    edit… Amazon has a nice butter boat..btw
    http://www.amazon.com/Silverma.....B001AH65S8
    do you just squish the butter in?

  76. 76
    Baud says:

    @Cluttered Mind: Thank you! Now was that so hard.

  77. 77
    jomo says:

    Comrade Dread FTW. Ayn-thulu

  78. 78
    TX Expat says:

    @dmsilev:

    Knew I shoulda fact-checked that before stealing it. Ha!

  79. 79
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Julie:

    That’s what I was wondering, too. Is it one of those East Coast things?

    (I’ve seen the explanation of what it is, but I still don’t get the purpose.)

  80. 80
    Quarks says:

    @Mnemosyne: See, and that’s where you went wrong. You assumed Megan Mc needed a purpose for buying not just one, but two of them.

  81. 81
    feebog says:

    @ eyelessgame:

    If President Obama got to preside over a recovering economy, everything about the conservative cause is gone forever. If he gets actual policy successes and sticks around to claim credit for them, it’ll be worse than Roosevelt for them.

    This is a bit of an overstatement. The fact is that the game is rigged heavily in favor of conservatives. There is a reason we now have 29 Republican Governers vs. 20 Democrats and 1 (Chafee, RI) Independent. 24 of those 29 Republicans were elected in years where there was no Presidential election. And so, as is always the case, the sloppy middle of the American Electorate has to have a fire lit under their ass to get out and vote.

    In 2008, it was the fact that the Republicans and George W. Bush kneecapped the entire economy. But hey, they voted for a Democrat, and so everything turned out OK, don’t bother to show up for those off year elections in 2009 and 201. So now we have Cristie, McDonnell, Scott, Kaisch, Walker, Corbett, LaPage and Snyder doing their best to undo at the state level whatever Obama is trying to do at the federal level and a House full of right wing loons in congress fighting him at every turn there.

    Until voters wake up and realize that elections happen more than every four years, and those elections matter, we are going to have a Republican party to contend with.

  82. 82
    Mino says:

    Is a butter boat one of those upsidedown-in-water critters? I always wondered why soft butter would stick to the top and not fall to the bottom.

  83. 83
    Chris says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Who are the “they” you are talking about. Who constitutes the party elite. I am not being snarky, I just don’t the inner workings of the GOP.

    Yeah, I’m curious about this myself.

    Offhand, I’d say the ultimate “deciders” are the relatively small number of financiers who keep the conservative machinery (not just the party but the think tanks, media networks, “grassroots” institutions and the rest) funded and active… so, the Kochs, Scaifes and Murdochs of the world. But none of these guys are political operatives.

    If anyone has another, more nuanced answer, I’d be happy to hear it because I’m pretty sure mine’s too oversimplified to be very useful.

  84. 84
    chopper says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    i want to be able to make flawless bechamel with the press of a button. screw basic cooking skills!

  85. 85
  86. 86
    cathyx says:

    @chopper: You can buy it in a jar. No cooking skills needed.

  87. 87
    dogwood says:

    @Cluttered Mind:

    They’ve played their own destructive part in it, to be sure.

    A lot of this is just the nature of the beast. If Mittens or Newt enter the White House with Senate and House majorities, the Dems. will cooperate. Like it or not, it’s what a majority of Democratic voters think they want. Democratic Senators especially have little stomach for wielding their power to obstruct when they’re in the minority. Wingnuts live to obstruct and their voters reward it. Like it or not, despite the evidence of rapidly rising income inequality, high unemployment, the energy crisis etc., the majority of people who actually vote in this country are still leading pretty comfortable lives. If enough of them think the GOP will protect their little piece of heaven, then they’ll turn over the keys. They’ll have to hold their noses to do it though, because as candidates and human beings, Newt and Mitt are real stinkers.

  88. 88
    Citizen_X says:

    Oh, I get the salted versus unsalted butter

    Zeus forgive me, but when I read “salted and unsalted” I automatically assumed it referred to bags of dicks.

  89. 89
    Julie says:

    @Quarks: Wow, I love to cook and have a kitchen full of ‘optional’ gadgets, but that is a new one on me. We leave the butter out on the counter if we need it room temp, sans ‘boat’ and it all works out just fine. Thanks for the explanation, though!

    Also- I assumed without looking that this is somehow from Williams-Sonoma — home of $20 ‘pancake flipper.’ Now I may have to click the link to find out if I was right.

  90. 90
    opie jeanne says:

    Some of McArdle’s list is ok, but damn! she is a snob, and a not very knowledgeable one at that. She recommends Calphalon (and bitches about the price) but not All Clad? My Wusthof knife set came with a block and there was space in the block to add more knives and a pair of scissors.

  91. 91
    opie jeanne says:

    @Julie: We keep butter in the refrigerator, both in the cubby-hole and in a butter dish that gets set out a bit in advance of any meal that might require butter. It doesn’t warm up a lot usually, but a warm scone with chunks of cold butter melting on it is not a thing to sneer at.

  92. 92
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @opie jeanne:

    She recommends Calphalon

    What do you use? I find anodized aluminum the best but I worry about the effects of that over the long term.

  93. 93
    dogwood says:

    @feebog:

    Until voters wake up and realize that elections happen more than every four years, and those elections matter, we are going to have a Republican party to contend with.

    This as well as the rest of the post is spot on. Since the realignment of the post Civil Rights decade, the Democratic Party lost a lot of reliable voters. The Dem. tent is still bigger, but it’s tough to match the reliability of the smaller Rep. coalition. Voting is a class based activity. I believe the most reliable voter is a middle aged, college educated woman of color. That’s why it’s imperative for the GOP to keep minorities out of the middle class. Those folks don’t move up and get taken in by bullshit GOP claptrap the way upwardly mobile whites do.

  94. 94
    Wannabe Speechwriter says:

    When Republicans pick their candidates, conservatives do everything to protect their brand. It’s simple-none of the candidates are true conservatives. That way, if they loose, they lost because they didn’t embrace real conservative principals. However, if they win, it’s precisely because they gave up on their heresies and embraced real conservatism. If they succeed as President, they did so because of conservative principals. If they fail, it’s because they never were real conservatives to begin with. It’s quite amazing the levels with which conservatives go to make sure the word “conservative” isn’t tainted. If they devoted that energy to policy, maybe we wouldn’t have so many problems.

  95. 95
    WaterGirl says:

    @Citizen_X: You are not alone! I assumed the same thing, but then did go back to the previous comment, just to be sure. Imagine my disappointment at finding we were talking about butter.

    Edit: If I were given one of those word association tests, I would surely answer “salted dicks” in response to “bag of”, and “dicks” in response to “salted”.

  96. 96
    Chris says:

    @Wannabe Speechwriter:

    Well, the only contention I have with that is that the definition of a “real conservative” is as fluid as war with Eurasia or Eastasia. Take Bush: he cut taxes on the rich (twice) while going to war (twice), cracked down on civil liberties to prove his toughness and stuffed the Justice Department with fundiegelical activists while lending his support to measures like DOMA.

    By any rational measure, that guy was the EPITOME of a “true conservative,” and yet now he’s a liberal RINO. The reason, of course, is because he damaged the Republican brand so badly that they need to distance themselves from him via that horseshit claim. But it’s not like they pre-selected him because he was an imperfect conservative whom they knew they could blame later. They just ate one of their own, is all. So I don’t think anyone’s playing eleven-dimensional chess by selecting non-conservative candidates.

    Or are you only talking about this election cycle?

  97. 97
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Benjamin Franklin: All clad. It’s all you need.

  98. 98
    lamh35 says:

    For the first time, I’m actually kind looking forward to one of these damn GOP debates. I so wanna see the Mitt vs Newt “Rumble In The Jungle” (lucky for me though, I’m gonna be at a party).

    I’ve been saying all along, that Mittens have yet to be really challenged in any of these debates. The other contenders just couldn’t cut it. The one time Perry tried he kinda made Mittens’ hair come undone for a brief moment, but then while Perry was imploding on his own immigration question, Mittens was able to put that hair back in place and continue with his “I Wanna Be President” Ken Doll act.

    We kinda know that Mittens needs to “bring Newt down”, but do we also expect Newt to go all “guns ablazin'” on Mittens, or will it better for Newt to engage the others and ignore Mittens as if he’s just a fly on the wall.

    Very interesting debate tomorrow, n’est–ce pa?

  99. 99
    catclub says:

    There may be an interesting split in the GOP Deciderer ranks.
    Rush Limbaugh wants Newt, while Fox and Friends want Romney.
    I believe that Rush hated McCain, so his record is by no means perfect.

    Hilarity may ensue.

    I do remember that Newt was forced by Fox to make up his damn mind on whether he was running or not, and stop being paid by them.

  100. 100
    lamh35 says:

    @lamh35:

    Plus, won’t the SS Newton Leroy G be taking it in from all sides tomorrow. It’s gonna be like a dog pile right?

  101. 101
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @lamh35:

    Very interesting debate tomorrow, n’est–ce pa?

    With all due respect, non.

  102. 102
    MikeJ says:

    @lamh35:

    Plus, won’t the SS Newton Leroy G be taking it in from all sides tomorrow.

    Not the SS Newton Leroy G. The LZ Newton Leroy G. Luft Zeppelin.

  103. 103
    stickler says:

    @Julie: Butter boat: Fancy English-language translation of “butter-based mold chamber” in the original French.

    Seriously. A butter boat is a big chunk of porcelain that takes up counter space and hastens the blueing of your butter. If you like blue cheese, you’ll love blue butter.

    Or, otherwise put, something primarily of use to (A) French peasants from 200 years ago, or (B) people with more money than sense.

  104. 104
    ruemara says:

    I don’t have a butter boat. My collection of pans are random samplings of on sale iKea and cast iron/glass from various thrift stores. I got my first mixing machine this year and I just wrapped up 8 hours in the kitchen baking the gifts for this year. I expect to spend at least 2 more tomorrow. Who is this McArgel why I should pay any attention to her?

  105. 105
    opie jeanne says:

    @Benjamin Franklin: I do not have a set of anything, everything is mismatched pieces that have survived 42 years of marriage, but I do have an All-Clad skillet and a couple of pots that I adore. Mine have an aluminum core and a stainless interior, so I’m not consuming aluminum; I don’t know if stainless is any better for me so I don’t usually stir with metal utensils.
    All-Clad are about the same price as Calphalon on Amazon but I think they are actually the better value, and there are some great sales on individual pieces. I was in Williams Sonoma yesterday and saw that the 10 inch skillet is on sale right now, with a lid! And… it’s not showing up online.
    I just looked at the Calphalon line at the same store and an entire set of non-stick is only $500, so her comment that a set is something that she longs for as a really nice present, that’s really a load of crap for someone who just dropped $1500 to make perfect bechamel sauce. Heck, one single skillet as a Christmas present was fabulous for me, even if I can afford her ridiculous toy.

    The woman is insufferable.

  106. 106
    Ruckus says:

    @ruemara:
    McGargle is no one. She is of no importance, at all. And there is no reason to pay one tenth of an iota of attention to her. None whatsoever.
    Well except for a couple of little things.
    She’s always good for building up your contempt credits and being able to realize how bad it is to laugh at the well off mentally lame.

  107. 107
    opie jeanne says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Good stuff, isn’t it?

    I started out with a set of Revereware 42 years ago. My daughter has some of it now and some of it is at the cabin. I have one oddball saucepan that belonged to my grandmother and it’s not a fabulous pan but it’s just exactly right sometimes, especially for double-boiler activity.
    When we lived in the SF area we had a flat-top electric range and all of the Revereware rocked when the contents got hot, so we got a small set of flat-bottomed Cuisinart pots and pans on sale and those worked fine. I still have some of those, some are at my daughter’s, and some are at the cabin.
    The All Clad, though, those things were a revelation. I worked Seasonal at WS and they had a sale on some 7 inch skillets, and with my 40% employee discount I think they cost about $12 each. We gave them as Christmas presents and had one left over… and one day I pulled it out of the cupboard and cooked something smallish in it and we were both sold.
    My DH bought me one skillet the following year, and then a small pot the next, and a larger pot that is almost too heavy for me because I’m a wussy little old lady now. We watch for the sales at Christmas and they always have a killer price on something. If my kids realized how good those few pots are I’d have to put the derned things in my will.

    If I was a real snob I’d note that they sell Calphalon in stores like JC Penney and Target, but I’m not and Target is one of my favorite places. I doubt McArdle has set foot in one.

  108. 108
    opie jeanne says:

    @ruemara: I have a very nice non-stick pan from IKEA that cost about $7 and a nearly identical one from Target; I use them exclusively for crepes which I almost never make now because I’m too damned fat. My kitchen is probably about average, but there is a corner carousel that I use for all of the pots and pans and stuff.

  109. 109
    Wannabe Speechwriter says:

    @Chris: Oh, I agree. I was speaking more in terms of electoral politics. If you’re popular, you’re a conservative. If not, you’re a RINO. It’s that simple.

  110. 110
    Pat In Massachusetts says:

    What is really, really crazy is they think we have a center left president.

  111. 111
    The Raven says:

    Kraw. Back in January 2010 I wrote:

    It is […] difficult for me to see how the Republicans can last as a national party.–link

    Called it.

    Croak!

  112. 112
    DanielX says:

    Perhaps we are finally approaching the Wingularity, or a variation in which the only candidate acceptable to the Republican base is completely unacceptable to the (sane) majority of the electorate. Obama is a long way from perfect, but he’s not hopelessly corrupt, visibly off his rocker, out and out stupid or some combination of all three.

  113. 113
    shep says:

    The different accidents of life are not so changeable as the feelings of human nature. I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.

    — Mary Shelly

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