ALEC wounded, lashing out

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a catch-all conservative policy outfit that right-wing activist Paul Weyrich founded in the ’70s and which specializes in quietly transforming clients’ feverish wish lists into legislation that pet Republican state legislatures pass more or less verbatim. Notable hobby horses include vote suppression by way of voter ID laws, reduced early voting, etc., NRA wet kisses like the infamous ‘stand your ground’ law, lax environmental protection, restricting women’s reproductive options, plus the usual focus on changing tax policy and government programs to transfer power to the wealthy and wealth to the powerful. Needless to say its leadership leans Republican in the same way that a klan meeting leans white.

The trick with this game is that even captive legislatures have a vestigial trace of self-respect, so you should at least pretend that a law printed on Natural Gas Alliance stationery was thought up by the local lege to address some theoretical local concern. Ears perked up when some of ALEC’s dimmer pets submitted laws without bothering to change any language from model bills posted on its website. Then a racist dude made national headlines for murdering a black kid in a way that no sane person could defend, and he looked likely to get away with it thanks to one of ALEC’s special gun laws. Would you want to be an official corporate sponsor of George Zimmerman? Surprisingly at least ten sponsors so far have said no.

ALEC’s first response looked promising: they reorganized their guns, gays and ‘ginas division, and they swore to get out of social issues and focus from here out on nothing but transferring wealth to the wealthy. Don’t get me wrong. I would love to hear that one star in the vast constellation of rightwing social policy outfits might have blinked out. Still, does that sound stupid or belligerent enough for today’s conservative movement?

Duh. Of course not. Go to C&L for the whole sordid tale, but to summarize ALEC has asked the children of a lesser Breitbart to coordinate an online rightwing ragegasm against the, um, shadowy liberal conspiracy to discredit their good name.

ALEC is looking specifically at Democratic strategist Karen Finney (who appears daily on MSNBC as a contributer), journalist Lisa Graves and organizer Van Jones. They are advising these wingnut bloggers to go after them in the comments of articles, on social media and throughout the blogosphere.

Now there’s behavior that I expect from folks who still mark William Buckley threatening, unconvincingly, to punch Gore Vidal in the nose as a high point in history. Never retreat. Never surrender. Countertop inspection team go!

38 replies
  1. 1
    Napoleon says:

    guns, gays and ‘ginas division

    Awesome!

  2. 2
    MikeJ says:

    C&L link borked.

  3. 3
    Rick Massimo says:

    “We’ll show THEM we’re not a bunch of shadowy political operatives who are sent into a complete and utter panic at the prospect of the public understanding what we do!”

  4. 4
    Steeplejack says:

    @MikeJ:

    C&L linky fixed.

    ETA: Also fixed in post.

  5. 5
    rlrr says:

    Wikipedia says Levon Helm died…

  6. 6
    Mickey says:

    The company that runs KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut just dropped them.
    http://goo.gl/ueWk9

  7. 7
    Brachiator says:

    SF Gate

    Levon Helm, key member of The Band, dies at 71
    __
    With songs like “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,””The Weight” and “Up on Cripple Creek,” The Band fused rock, blues, folk and gospel to create a sound that seemed as authentically American as a Mathew Brady photograph or a Mark Twain short story.
    __
    In truth, the group had only one American — Levon Helm.
    __
    Helm, the drummer and singer who brought an urgent beat and a genuine Arkansas twang to some of The Band’s best-known songs and helped turn a bunch of musicians known mostly as Bob Dylan’s backup group into one of rock’s most legendary acts, has died. He was 71.
    __
    Helm, who was found to have throat cancer in 1998, died peacefully Thursday afternoon, according to his website. On Tuesday, a message on the site said he was in the final stages of cancer.

    Rest in peace, up on Cripple Creek, and in the hearts of fans.

  8. 8
  9. 9

    This is sorta off topic, but I think is generally related to today’s utterly depraved GOP.

    Something I did not know was the Eric Cantor was the only Jew in the House GOP caucus, and when pressed in an interview by Mike Allen on whether there was anti-semitism, he went silent.

    “We’re talking about the House Republican Caucus, not America,” Allen pushed.
    Cantor then sat in silence, grimmacing for several seconds before Allen changed the topic.

    And if you watch the video, Cantor tries to turn back the conversation to economic policies that unite the GOP.

    And at the same Politico event, re focuses that common wingnut cause, above and beyond irrelevant bigotry in the gooper House.

    The GOP has repeatedly made the claim that the poorest Americans need more “skin in the game.” Today, response to a question by ABC’s Jon Karl, Cantor made it clear that Republicans are interested in raising taxes on the poor while lowering tax rates for everyone else as part of any comprehensive tax reform plan:

    And Cantor

    We also know that over 45 percent of the people in this country don’t pay income taxes at all, and we have to question whether that’s fair. And should we broaden the base in a way that we can lower the rates for everybody that pays taxes. […]

    And with putting the garble through the trusty wingnut bullshit decoder, he means , we need to tax the poor to be able to give the rich more tax breaks.

    And the cherry on top

    I’ve never believed that you go raise taxes on those that have been successful that are paying in, taking away from them, so that you just hand out and give to someone else.

    We are talking about taxes for the MC and poor people, WHO FUCKING WORK OFTEN FOR AN UNLIVABLE WAGE. With these priorities, and it’s still A HANDOUT to cut their taxes.

    The party of racism, anti semitism and Cantor only cares about soaking the poor.

    Update

    The National Jewish Democratic Council released a statement on Cantor’s remarks: “It’s both admirable and disturbing in the extreme to hear Majority Leader Cantor’s candid remarks regarding the dual challenges of racism and anti-Semitism that he has detected in the House GOP caucus.”

  10. 10
    MikeJ says:

    Oh goody. Another day of dead old guy in every fucking thread.

  11. 11
    Napoleon says:

    @General Stuck:

    Yet the guy was elected whip of the caucus.

  12. 12
    Suffern ACE says:

    @General Stuck: Well, the way interview question is structured the question may have put it in a difficult place. Had he said “No”, he may have lost as many GOP voters as he might have gained by answering “yes.”

  13. 13
    Citizen_X says:

    they reorganized their guns, gays and ‘ginas division, and they swore to get out of social issues and focus from here out on nothing but transferring wealth to the wealthy.

    In the words of Pee Wee Herman, “I love that story!”

  14. 14
    The Bobs says:

    “William Buckley threatening, unconvincingly, to punch Gore Vidal in the nose as a high point in history”

    Those of us who are sane recognize this as Buckley losing the argument.

  15. 15
    jl says:

    @General Stuck:

    Is ‘soak the poor’ going to be the GOP’s new wedge issue for the rest of campaign? Make sure the middle class knows it will be everyone else against the poor (and brown and browner), so they will be safe with the GOP?

    Not sure it will work. The spite pandering is too blatant for one thing. The fact that I think more people are worried more about becoming poorer than richer in this recovery for another. And it will make GOP vulnerable to truthful charges that they are in fact going after the working and middle class as well on income taxes and programs.

  16. 16
    TooManyJens says:

    I look forward to trolling the shit out of this when it goes online:

    http://istandwithalec.com/

  17. 17
    jl says:

    @Napoleon: No matter how problematic the out group in question, there are always a few ‘good’ ones, useful ones, a few ‘exceptions’, except only for the most psychotic racists.

    Bigots have a few best friends scattered around, and they are not always lying about the bare bones facts that they have ‘good’ ones as friends.

  18. 18
    Suffern ACE says:

    @jl: Might work, I suppose. Make the poor pay $500 per year. Give the middle class a $20 cut, tack on a trillion more in cuts for the rich and pretend that you care about that hole you just made by publicly sponsoring a balanced budget amendment that won’t ever pass. Has worked for the Republicans for 30 years. Why do you think middle class schmucks have caught on now?

  19. 19
    Amir Khalid says:

    @MikeJ:
    If you’re griping about people remembering Levon Helm’s life and art, that’s rather petty of you.

  20. 20

    Hullo!

    More Than $200,000 “Missing” From Huntsman PAC

    A mysterious company in the disclosure report. Utah officials will investigate, aide to Lieutenant Governor tells BuzzFeed.

    And here we thought Huntsman was the sane, responsible Republican …

  21. 21

    @Suffern ACE:

    American Jews vote something like 70 to 80 percent democrat in this country. And he is the only Jew in a House majority of Christian wingnuts, that talk up Israel due to pure biblical reasons. I would posit he didn’t answer ‘no’ for other reasons, such as he knew the true answer was ‘yes’ and a big wingnut frog caught stuck in his throat.

  22. 22
    Ash Can says:

    @General Stuck:

    Cantor then sat in silence, grimmacing for several seconds before Allen changed the topic.

    Too fucking bad, Eric. You (helped) break it, you bought it. This sorry mess of bigots and loons is yours, all yours.

  23. 23
    Virginia Highlander says:

    Fly, inspection team, fly!

    Obligatory.

  24. 24
    mrlwing says:

    Some links not working in the above, looks like the http part is doubled up?

  25. 25
    Mnemosyne says:

    @General Stuck:

    So why is it that the poor have to have “skin in the game” but the rich don’t?

  26. 26
    Amir Khalid says:

    On topic, Charles Pierce raised the possibility a couple of days ago that ALEC might just be lying low for the time being.

    Off topic again, the little village of Fucking, Austria (population 104) has about had it with the vulgar jokes, thank you very much. The japery started with GIs stationed there after WWII.) Fuckingers are considering a reversion to an older spelling of the name, Fugging, but I’m not sure if that will help.

  27. 27

    @Mnemosyne:

    Let me ask my dog Charlie. He says it’s because the republicans are flaming assholes. And I agree.

  28. 28
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Off topic again, the little village of Fucking, Austria (population 104) has about had it with the vulgar jokes, thank you very much. The japery started with GIs stationed there after WWII.) Fuckingers are considering a reversion to an older spelling of the name, Fugging, but I’m not sure if that will help.

    __
    We are all Fuckingers now
    /John McCain 2008

  29. 29
    jl says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Might not work now because too many middle class are worrying that, assuming they believe the GOP, that the chances are high that they will soon be the suckers who have to pay more.

    And might not work now, since not enough will believe the GOP, since the GOP has it down in their various plans, Ryan, Mitt and otherwise, the the middle class will be paying more, not less.

    And now the GOP has put Medicare on the table for chopping.

  30. 30
    4tehlulz says:

    @General Stuck: Damn it’s only April. I’m going to miss the halcyon days of 2008, when everyone was civil.

    It must be lonely for Eric, being the only member of the Judenrat.

  31. 31
    Origuy says:

    I’m hoping Diageo drops ALEC. They make a lot of the whiskies I like, including Talisker, Oban, Lavagulin, and Bushmill’s. Not to mention Guinness and Smithwick’s. What am I going to get at the pub now?

  32. 32
    Richard says:

    Squealing like a stuck pig. How appropriate for such a loathsome organization.

  33. 33
    Roger Moore says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Off topic again, the little village of Fucking, Austria (population 104) has about had it with the vulgar jokes, thank you very much. The japery started with GIs stationed there after WWII.) Fuckingers are considering a reversion to an older spelling of the name, Fugging, but I’m not sure if that will help.

    This is a big fucking deal to them!/Biden

  34. 34
    Gus diZerega says:

    Scratch an oligarch find a thug hiding behind the expensive clothes and digs.

  35. 35
    Fallsroad says:

    I thought Buckley threatened to punch Noam Chomsky in the face on TV. Not that I’d be much surprised if this was in addition to threatening Vidal.

  36. 36
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Fallsroad: He did it to Vidal first, but yeah, he said it to both of them.

  37. 37
    Miss Waterlow says:

    Amazon is a “member,” or whatever, or ALEC. So far refusing to pull out. Their spawn is golden.
    Also, ALEC plays a huge role in public education policy – vouchers, charters, for profit online schools, anti-union legislation…. There is huge public money to be pilfered from this sector. Watch out.
    You all need to write more about public education.

  38. 38
    blutroopr says:

    shouldn’t you unwashed morons be out crapping on police cars? it’s about the extent of your intellectual heft.

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