I’ll be in my basement room

Like Jay Rosen, I wonder if the New Jack Republican will keep up the facile contrarianism that the old New Republic was known for, but this piece by Alec MacGillis, “Scenes from the Conservative Bunker” is an instant classic. Here was my favorite part:

This one was a doozy: Scarborough recalled just how wrong Republicans, and many mainstream pundits, had been about the outcome of the election. He, too, he said, fell for the conventional wisdom in the final weeks, that Mitt Romney was riding a wave of momentum, with his big campaign crowds as ultimate proof. His source for this judgment? “[Uber-pundit] Mark Halperin called me and said, ‘I’ve never seen anything like it!’”

One conservative journalist decided the polls were wrong because another conservative journalist called and told him Romney was drawing big crowds.

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127 replies
  1. 1
    redshirt says:

    And even this – the crowds were not that big! Did they not see Obama 08 crowds?

  2. 2
    Dave says:

    This is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Hot damn do I love Halperin.

  3. 3
    Paul in KY says:

    I would like to place dead flowers on Joe & Mark’s graves.

    Then I would celebrate in my room, with a needle & a spoon.

  4. 4

    Has a major Presidential candidate ever had trouble drawing large crowds recently?

  5. 5
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I believe that he was drawing big crowds. I also believe that he then drew airplanes strafing them.

  6. 6
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @redshirt:

    Did they not see Obama 08 crowds?

    There were blahs, browns and broads in those crowds. They don’t really count. Halperin saw his fellow pale cocks in those Rmoney crowds, and was convinced that Mittens would defeat the Kenyan Usurper. White male votes are worth twice the value of those with dark skin and vaginas.

  7. 7
    Roger Moore says:

    @redshirt:

    Did they not see Obama 08 crowds?

    Sure, but the people in those crowds only count 3/5 as much as the one in Romney’s crowds.

  8. 8
    Bulworth says:

    7. Living without health insurance is a bummer, and saying you’re going to repeal Obamacare doesn’t do much for voters in that situation. It was Douthat who broke this news. “A lot of Americans don’t have health care. To those people, the Republican message on health care has nothing to say. For people without health insurance, Mitt Romney had nothing to say.”

    What about private capitalistic free market capitalist freedom health care?

  9. 9
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    His source for this judgment? “[Uber-pundit] Mark Halperin called me and said, ‘I’ve never seen anything like it!’”

    Oh, lordy. I wonder if Scarborough remembers that Halperin said McCain not being sure if he owned ten or eleven homes was bad for Obama, or if JS thinks that was smart and insightful.

    I remember the talk about Romneymentum, then I would look at the polls, and even with Gallup factored in, Romney had risen to be within the margin of error, with an occasional outlier poll giving him a small lead in Ohio, or PA “in play” because Romney had gone from -12 to -5. I’m still astounded how the wheels have fallen off Gallup as an organization.

  10. 10
    Alison says:

    Aren’t they adorable? I just want to pat them on the head. Or kick them in the nuts, whichever.

  11. 11
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy: Yes. McCain actually did.

    One conservative journalist decided the polls were wrong because another conservative journalist called and told him Romney was drawing big crowds.

    Someone posted a link to a statement by Chris Clizzilla (sp) where he basicallly said the Ohio polls were wrong because Mitt needed to win Ohio.

  12. 12
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Paul in KY: I’ll go for another girl to take my pain away. You an keep the needle and spoon.

  13. 13
    Bulworth says:

    8. “You didn’t build that” was a poorly-chosen fixation. Ted Cruz, the highly-touted new senator from Texas, made this observation, which I’ve heard from a few other conservative corners since the election. Republicans spent much of the summer, and their convention, obsessing over Obama’s garbled riff about the role that government plays in business success. It was a fish in the barrel, but, as Cruz noted, it probably didn’t resonate with the vast majority of voters who haven’t “built something.” After all, most of us are not business owners—we work for them.

    No one could have predicted….

  14. 14
    gogol's wife says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    My husband is not a news junkie. He barely glances at the NYTimes headlines as I bring in the paper. But whenever I would wring my hands about how Obama was going to lose, he’d calmly say, “There is no way Romney is going to win, based on the polls.” I’m still not sure how he absorbed that message, given how little time per day he spent on it (especially compared to me!).

  15. 15
    dan says:

    Please proceed, Republicans.

  16. 16
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Bulworth: 8. “You didn’t build that” was a poorly-chosen fixation. Ted Cruz, the highly-touted new senator from Texas, made this observation

    Wow, that’s astounding, considering the source. Of course, he’s wrong about why it was so stupid, because it was so dishonest.

  17. 17
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    Heh.

    5. Threatening a U.S. credit default in 2011 was not perhaps the most responsible thing for Republicans to do. Following on his call for allowing Republican elected officials to actually govern, Podhoretz declared, “Politicians can’t come to Washington to do nothing. That’s an oxymoron.” But following the big GOP wave of 2010, that often seemed to be the goal, he said. With the debt ceiling, in particular, there was a widespread notion that all Republicans had to do was stand pat and let the threat of default near, that this would somehow be “a really exciting moment,” causing a crisis that would “lead to, you know, fun change.” “This,” Podhoretz said drily, “was not a rational response to a particular political moment.”

    Who’da thunk?

  18. 18
    aimai says:

    I can’t pick a favorite! I want to collect all of them! But Number 9 was pretty darned fantastic:

    9. The Obama administration’s move to require contraception coverage in most insurance plans was perhaps not a suicidal overreach after all. When the administration came out with the new birth control coverage rules last year, many conservatives—and not a few liberal Catholics—predicted that the rules would cost Obama big with Catholic voters, maybe enough to swing the election. Several speakers at the summit noted grudgingly that this had not occurred. Instead, they cast the contraception move as a devious ploy to win Obama the votes of women—especially young and/or single ones. Michael Barone referred darkly to the contraception controversy having helped Obama win “the Lena Dunham generation, about which the less said, the better.”

    Italics mine. Yes: let us never speak of the next generation of voters! This will surely help us with the….uh…votes.

  19. 19

    @Suffern ACE:

    Yes. McCain actually did.

    Was it McCain’s crowds were exceptionally small, or was it his crowds just looked that when compared to the crowds Obama was drawing?

  20. 20
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Bulworth: I don’t know. I thought one of the geniuses of right wing marketing over the past 40 years has been convincing the sub-assistant-general-district vice manager that he was an entrepreuer and not some worker bee.

  21. 21
    Gravenstone says:

    @Bulworth:

    Obama’s garbled riff

    How the fuck was the MSM and Republican douche nozzle chorus act of egregiously stripping that riff of its context, thus intentionally “garbling” it, in any way, shape or form Obama’s fault?

  22. 22
    Turgidson says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I remember that. His rationale was basically “Ohio is a swing state because if Ohio isn’t a swing state, Romney loses. Therefore, we will ignore as inconvenient the polls showing a durable 4-5 point lead for Obama.”

    In other words, “you and your gay wizard leader will pry this contrived horse race narrative from our cold, dead hands!”

  23. 23
    jimmiraybob says:

    Ya mean that “we create reality” wishful thinking has a flaw?

  24. 24
    Turgidson says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy:

    and besides, the Alaskan grifter was drawing huge crowds of angry white knuckledraggers down the home stretch. I don’t remember the media taking those crowds as infallible proof that McCain couldn’t lose, at least not in the same lockstep way.

  25. 25
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Gravenstone: Shame on the witless Democrats Obama for not anticipating that Republicans the media, given the chance, would resort to dirty trickshackery.

  26. 26
    Poopyman says:

    @aimai: That. is. awesome.

    Geniuses, the lot of ’em.

  27. 27
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    again, wow, considering the source

    But here was Bill Kristol reminding the summit audience that the “worst moment, economically, in middle-class Americans’ lives” in recent years was the 2007-2008 collapse, “and Barack Obama wasn’t president then and people were better off by 2012, or seemed to be.”

    Wasn’t it Martin O’Malley who just collapsed when Bob Schieffer asked him, in a scolding, ‘don’t we all already know the answer’ tone, the are we better off question?

    also, too, MSM ‘reporters’, when the man told McCain to pick Palin has a firmer grasp on reality than you do, time to rethink your basic worldview.

  28. 28
    Violet says:

    @aimai:

    “the Lena Dunham generation, about which the less said, the better.”

    Oh my. Way to appeal to both women and younger Americans.

  29. 29
    Roger Moore says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    I’m still not sure how he absorbed that message, given how little time per day he spent on it (especially compared to me!).

    Maybe he decided the best way of judging things was to take a quick look at the top line of the polls rather than listen to the pundits. Anyone who did that would get the idea that Obama was ahead in the popular vote and in the most important swing states. The only way you’d get the idea that the race was too close to call is by listening to the pundits spin things.

  30. 30
    cckids says:

    This is OT, but considering the Scout thread below, kind of hopeful:

    It always comes down to the money.

  31. 31
    NonyNony says:

    @Bulworth:

    “You didn’t build that” was a poorly-chosen fixation. Ted Cruz, the highly-touted new senator from Texas, made this observation, … it probably didn’t resonate with the vast majority of voters who haven’t “built something.” After all, most of us are not business owners—we work for them.

    Or, you know, we actually know who builds things and knows that 9 times out of ten, it isn’t the business owners we work for. It’s us. And they get the credit for it because they front the money and pay for our labor. Which is mostly fine and part of the social contract and all, but it gets irritating to see Mitt Romney take credit for building anything, given how he made his fortune by basically swooping in and systematically demolishing companies to suck all the money out of them.

  32. 32
    aimai says:

    @Turgidson:
    I too remember that incredibly bizzare statement. At the time it really made me wonder if these people had gone off their fucking rockers. I mean–I was as worried as the next person that Romney would win and would win Ohio–but the implications of that statement were so backwards that you really had to question their sanity.

    In a biography of Proust I read a marvellous description of the stupidest woman in Paris, a real society person known to Proust. She was famous for saying things like “It won’t snow tonight because they have put down salt in the streets.” That’s what I thought of when Cilizza made that remark. These people have totally put the cart before the horse and substitued wishful thinking for critical thought.

  33. 33
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @aimai:

    Yes: let us never speak of the next generation of voters!

    Barone din’t want to get caught saying what he truly believes – ‘I hate the younger generations because they didn’t worship Sarah Palin like I did and the Lena Dunham’s of that generation won’t fuck me, the uber-sexy Michael Barone. So the less said about these stuck up sluts, the better.’

  34. 34
    Jay S says:

    @aimai:
    Consider what they are likely to say about them.
    Better to be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt.

  35. 35
    Paul in KY says:

    @Roger Moore: Good one!

  36. 36
    Violet says:

    From Observation 1 in the article:

    Joe Scarborough quoted William F. Buckley’s observation that the war in Iraq “wasn’t a conservative venture” and declared that Bush “completely muddied the brand when it came to our core issue: that we are the party of small government.”

    Really? They’re just now figuring that out? And since when have Republicans been the “party of small government”? They’re for small government when it comes to the browns and the poors, but never when it comes to the military.

  37. 37
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Violet: I love the “darkly”

    Michael Barone referred darkly to the contraception controversy having helped Obama win “the Lena Dunham generation, about which the less said, the better.”

    Michael Barone, like Charles Krauthammer, was once a credible conservative who has undergone some kind of psychotic break. For Krauthammer–besides his whole bloodthirsty racist thing– it was the 2000 election, I think Barone had some kind of mid-life crisis that led him to Jeebus. Also, MacGillis links to (my Fristian through the TV psychological diagnosis for which I have no training or education) slightly deranged Ratzinger groupie Melinda Henninberger as a “liberal Catholic”

  38. 38
    eemom says:

    One conservative journalist decided the polls were wrong because another conservative journalist called and told him Romney was drawing big crowds.

    Also too, they found out Nate Silver is gay.

  39. 39
    Xantar says:

    I see the GOP still thinks what they did wrong was market stuff incorrectly. May they continue to hold to this delusion for a thousand years. Ironically, I think the one thing they might have right is that Obama wants to destroy the GOP. Or at least turn them into something other than backwards lunatics. It would make Obama’s job much easier.

  40. 40
    Paul in KY says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Much better verse :-) If it mean’t their deaths, I could ride the white pony once.

  41. 41
    handsmile says:

    Break out the hats and hooters, folks! This dispatch from last weekend’s National Review Institute summit is a veritable Kool and the Gang “Celebration” for Democrats!

    Here are some highlights from the GOP braintrust for recovering their electoral Mojo:

    Ross Douthat pines for the return of George W. Bush who “for all his many flaws was better at dealing with [working class voters] than any other leader of the party since.”

    Michael Barone decries “the Lena Duham generation, about which the less said, the better.”

    Ralph Reed exhorts “We’re returning to the get out the vote technology of the 19th century.”

    And the good times continued on “Morning Joe” today with the blowhard host raving about Scott Walker’s performance, “…and lemme show you some polls about how popular he is in Wisconsin!”

    The Klown Kar Kavalcade never disappoints for laughs!

    ETA: I see many here dug that Michael Barone tune!

  42. 42
    Turgidson says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Now that they lost the election, some of them can admit that they were blowing a whole lot of smoke, and the smoke originated from a steaming pile of bullshit they set on fire. Others, of course, really believe that Obama’s sockulist tyranny really is the root cause of all the nation’s ills, even if those ills predate Obama’s first term by decades. They probably look at Kristol like he’s some sort of alien.

  43. 43
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Doug Galt, top:
    “One conservative journalist decided the polls were wrong because another conservative journalist called and told him Romney was drawing big crowds.”
    That there is some of that epistemic closure I keep reading about.

  44. 44
    Turgidson says:

    @Violet:

    They’re also willing to countenance big government with respect to the browns if it’s for border control and deportations, and for the poors when it comes to finding reasons to incarcerate as many of them as possible and savage them for being unable to pay down their debt. And let’s not forget, surveillance of their bedroom activities – a core libertarian value if there ever was one, amirite?

  45. 45
    maya says:

    @Bulworth:

    What about private capitalistic free market capitalist freedom health care?

    I hear Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Galt will be offering free flu shots at all their offices. After the market closes, that is.

  46. 46
    Roger Moore says:

    @Violet:

    And since when have Republicans been the “party of small government”?

    Since they redefined “small government” to mean “repealing the New Deal”.

  47. 47
    Paul in KY says:

    @handsmile: If we can have them throw us into the ‘Scott Walker is the future of the Republican Party’ briar patch, then so much the better (evilly rubbing hands together in glee).

  48. 48
    trollhattan says:

    @Alison:

    Or kick them in the nuts, whichever.

    Assumes targets not in evidence.

  49. 49
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Soonergrunt: also, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit to learn that Halperin votes D in every election, so he would be honestly bewildered to be called a conservative journalist. For the longest time I thought Halperin was like a center-right Steve Kornacki, a reporter deliberately reporting through an ideological lens, I thought “The Page” was Time Inc’s effort to give conservatives an on-line forum.

  50. 50
    Roger Moore says:

    @trollhattan:

    Assumes targets not in evidence.

    I disagree. The Republicans have to have gigantic brass balls to pull some of the crap they do.

  51. 51
    Origuy says:

    To illustrate how out of touch the California GOP are, they’re still interested in what Karl Rove has to say.

    Karl Rove, former deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to President George W. Bush, will keynote the Saturday-night banquet at the California Republican Party’s 2013 Spring Convention March 1-3 at the Hyatt Regency in Sacramento.

    Maybe he’ll tell them why they should have won Ohio.

  52. 52
    Haydnseek says:

    @Hunter Gathers: Plus, Peggy Noonan saw a Rmoney yard sign! What more do you need?

  53. 53
    catclub says:

    1. The key word in the bit about birth control was ‘perhaps’.
    Either the writer is being funny, or the speaker could not go so far as to assert that it was NOT overreach at all, but an excellent policy that won him voters.

    2. Not a word on climate change. The oil (and coal!) barons still rule the GOP.

  54. 54
    Ben Franklin says:

    Apropos of this post, you might like this blast from the past…..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsCyC1dZiN8

  55. 55
    cckids says:

    @dan: That really never gets old, does it?

  56. 56

    @Soonergrunt:

    An example of a wankery feedback loop…

  57. 57
    Alison says:

    @cckids: It really doesn’t. Obama totally understands the meme generation :P

  58. 58
    catclub says:

    @Turgidson: “savage them for being unable to pay down their debt”

    True, but a lot of democratic fingers were on the bankruptcy bills. I am guessing Schumer and Biden for starters.

  59. 59
    Brachiator says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    But here was Bill Kristol reminding the summit audience that the “worst moment, economically, in middle-class Americans’ lives” in recent years was the 2007-2008 collapse, “and Barack Obama wasn’t president then and people were better off by 2012, or seemed to be.”

    I ran across an old BBC news podcast. The reporter had talked to a housewife in Orange County a year before the 2012 election. Her family had been struggling, but she had voted for Obama. She said that she was paying more attention to what the Republicans had to say.

    A year later, her family’s economic situation had improved, she gave Obama credit for this, and flat out declared that Romney seemed not to understand her concerns.

    A single example, but a clear example of the boneheaded blindness of the GOP in not understanding the electorate at all.

  60. 60
    Paul in KY says:

    @Roger Moore: Just re-using the ‘big lie’ gambit one of their ideological forebearers used to great success.

  61. 61
    cckids says:

    @Alison: Yes, he does. And the Repubs just cannot keep from saying self-evidently stupid shit that is easily mockable. Love it.

  62. 62
    handsmile says:

    @Paul in KY:

    As angelically as all the commenters and all the front-pagers on this blog have conducted their lives up to now, collectively we have not been nearly good enough for the Village consensus to become that “Scott Walker is the future of the Republican Party.”’

    Of the many many many things that fill me with joy about the 2012 election, very near the top of the list is that Scott’s very good friend and Village heartthrob Paul Ryan did not even win the vote of his hometown, Janesville, WI.

  63. 63
    Paul in KY says:

    @handsmile: Alas, I am sure you are right. Maybe Scott can make Rick Satanum seem more appealing…

  64. 64
    Emma says:

    After reading some of the comments, I broke down and read the article. Howly Mither. They were listening to each other and their media pets, and whatever didn’t fit the narrative was discarded. You know, there’s weapons-grade issues in them those minds.

  65. 65
    Alex S. says:

    Mark Halperin, Joe Scarborough… is it the 90’s? How can anyone regard Mark Halperin as an objective source? Every line I read makes it more annoying.
    They probably see huge crowds because in the Obama age they are giddy about each and every single yard sign.

  66. 66
    Hoodie says:

    @Ben Franklin: I was thinking more of this.

  67. 67
    catclub says:

    @Emma: and the writer also noted that the pundits were the smart kids in this particular classroom, while the politicos were still unfazed by the facts.

    Scary when Joe Scar is the smart pundit.

  68. 68
    Scott Supak says:

    Intrade recently revealed that ONE trader lost $6 million betting on Willard. All us Obama voters were ecstatic that it was literally raining money in there, holding Obama’s price down, and Willard’s up. It was awesome. The wingnut commenters wouldn’t shut up about the big crowds, the unskewed polling, blah blah blah. It was like taking money from a bunch of cry babies.

  69. 69
    MattF says:

    There’s just so much wrongness. The whole ‘party of small government except for sex’ is not just a teensy ignorable quirk. And there’s where Jindal wants to replace an income tax with a sales tax, see Krugman on that. The assumption that a policy requiring coverage for contraception would alienate Catholics. Well, not any Catholics I know. Et cetera.

  70. 70
    grandpa john says:

    @gogol’s wife: Well actually all the time one needed to spend was to once or twice a week, check in with Nate Silvers site or Sam Wangs Site. The rest I ignored, that’s why I never had any doubt about Obamas win only the size of it.
    Anyone who placed reliance on anything from the mouth or pen of Halperin, Should be rudely pointed at and laughed out of the room, they should also be relieved of any job relating to news casting or supposed analysis of elections

  71. 71
    pk says:

    @Bulworth:

    ,

    it probably didn’t resonate with the vast majority of voters who haven’t “built something.” After all, most of us are not business owners—we work for them.

    Which business owner does Ted Cruz work for?

  72. 72
    Bulworth says:

    Joe Scarborough quoted William F. Buckley’s observation that the war in Iraq “wasn’t a conservative venture”

    Conservatism has never failed…it has only been failed.

  73. 73
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Hoodie:

    Heh. Barbers also practiced dentistry….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7euWlQBKnw

  74. 74
    Ash Can says:

    As I read the linked article, all I could imagine was sitting in that conference and listening to speaker after speaker declare in amazement that, OMG, the sun really does rise in the east every morning; did any of you guys know that; was it always like that??

    So now that these geniuses are getting a glimmer of a clue about the overall FAIL of the GOP, I suppose the next step is for the Tea Party faction and base to reject them as insufficiently “conservative” and ideologically pure. I love how they whine about Obama wanting to destroy them as they keep shooting themselves in the foot, face, dick, etc.

  75. 75
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Scott Supak:

    Intrade recently revealed that ONE trader lost $6 million betting on Willard.

    Link for this? (I vaguely recall some manipulation in October 2012.)

  76. 76
    liberal says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    slightly deranged Ratzinger groupie Melinda Henninberger as a “liberal Catholic”

    Deadtree edition of the Wash Post publishes her. Yuck.

  77. 77
    grandpa john says:

    @Roger Moore: The cure for Rep insanity and stupidityand to bring one back to living in reality,was to check Nate’s and Sam’s site once a day

  78. 78
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    None of this is what the rubes are being told on Fox, so they will ignore it.

    Thankfully.

  79. 79
    Turgidson says:

    @Bulworth:

    Same as it ever was. The rallying cry after every GOP election loss is “we strayed from our true conservative roots/principles.”

    Always left unsaid is that they’ve never actually adhered to any such set of principles when given a chance to legislate, and when they ran a candidate who seemed to actually believe in such a set of principles in 1964, they got beaten down so hard we’re still feeling aftershocks almost 50 years later. Reagan talked a good game about some of these alleged principles, but was basically just a crook and opportunist and all around asshole whose record would now be considered Marxist tyranny by today’s GOP.

    Although I do agree that the Iraq war did not qualify as a conservative undertaking, regardless of what nebulous set of definitions we operate under. Unless conservatism = stupidity. Oh wait, maybe it was a conservative effort after all.

  80. 80
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @liberal: as their official ‘women’s issues’ blogger, no less

  81. 81
    Bruce S says:

    I watched a bit of Scarborough this morning because Krugman was on. They patronized him – although to anyone who has a grain of understanding of the deficit issues Krugman was clearly the only person at the table who wasn’t stuck in the Beltway Elite’s Bubble that frames “entitlement reform” in mostly bogus and borderline sociopathic terms (“raise the retirement and Medicare eligibility ages!”)

    Then the followed the Krugman segment by showcasing some nutty female GOPer congresscritter from (I think) Tennessee, who proceeded to spew Tea Party hysterics as Scarborough et. al. treated her like a serious person.

    When Krugman pointed out that five years of real-world empirical evidence has validated almost everything he’s been saying since the crash, Richard Hass of CFR, who is most notable as a Powell State Department enabler of the Iraq War, made some asshole comment about “You’ll be right until you’re not, and then it will be a disaster.” Fuck you, Richard Haas. With your track record on policy, you should go hide in a fucking cave for the rest of your life, not show your elite bastard face on my TeeVee talking about how other people have to sacrifice so your friends can continue socially destructive capital accumulation in the financial sectors and transfers of wealth from people who work to people who scam on a scale unprecedented in human history.

  82. 82
    Bruce S says:

    @aimai:

    “Michael Barone referred darkly to the contraception controversy having helped Obama win ‘the Lena Dunham generation, about which the less said, the better.’”

    As opposed to “the Michael Barone Generation,” about which the sooner dead, the better?

  83. 83
    burnspbesq says:

    Alec MacGillis is a sufficient reason for me to keep my subscription to TNR.

  84. 84
    MattF says:

    Oh, and an Alabama congressman wants to make failure to balance the budget an impeachable offense:

    http://thinkprogress.org/econo.....?mobile=nc

    The very soul of moderation and bipartisanship.

  85. 85
    Bruce S says:

    In reference to the bit in the article about Scott Walker, it totally escapes me how a state can elect a douche like Walker as governor and then go for Obama and Tammy Baldwin. Very weird. My best guess is that Wisconsin is a purple state wherein the actual electorate fluctuates demographically in different election cycles for various reasons. Also, that the Obama “machine” in ’12 was so well-oiled and sophisticated that they were able to effectively move people to the polls who must have sat out the Walker debacle.

  86. 86
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Scott Supak:

    That is fuckin’ fantastic. Couldn’t happen to a better bunch.

  87. 87
    Dr. Loveless says:

    @eemom:

    Also too, they found out Nate Silver is gay.

    As shorthand for Republican stupidity. “Nate Silver is gay” really belongs in the handbook alongside “Al Gore is fat.”

  88. 88
    SenyorDave says:

    @Bruce S: Whenever I see a show with Krugman on where it is a mixed group (liberals and conservatives), the cons seem to treat him patronizingly, like he’s some crazy egghead uncle. Krugman is a fucking Nobel Prize winning economist, and he is brilliant. It must be somehwat galling to Krugman to have Krauthammer or Will talk condescendingly to him. I’ll give a lot of credit to Krugman for being able to tolerate the assholes they put him up against. I feel like ripping their throats out, and I’m at home watching on TV.

  89. 89
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @MattF: I saw Mo Brooks on Lawrence O’Donnell last week. He’s a Clint Eastwood Republican, a confused old man yelling at an imaginary Obama.

  90. 90
    rikyrah says:

    of course it was nothing but a clown show on the GOP side….we all knew that.

  91. 91
    MCA1 says:

    @Turgidson: I actually think there’s something to the claim that the GOP has stopped actually being small “c” conservative, though. It’s become radical and/or reactionary, depending on the issue. Don’t fix ACA, repeal it. Don’t place our hand gently on the scales in global relations, invade sovereign nations without any international support. Don’t think about small fixes to Social Security; privatize it. Don’t ease regulations, abolish the regulatory agencies in their entirety. Don’t seriously consider how to incentivize actions to combat/minimize the effects of climate change; deny its very existence.

    Someone last week noted that calling the U.S. a “center right” nation could be correct, but it’s misinterpreted. It’s not that most Americans generally lean toward Republicanism, although that’s how it’s been used. It means we, as a population, lean a little toward conservativism and incrementalism in our policy choices and preferred leadership temperament. Which is probably universal and makes us no different than any other stable democratic nation, of course. There’s one party in American politics that caters to that preference right now, and it a’int the Republican Party.

    Tying it back to the current landscape, I take this back to the DLC and triangulation. It was frustrating, to be sure, and some results have been mixed. But, one benefit has been that since Clinton, Democrats have staked out the realm of sanity and moderation, while Republicans have been bamboozled into turning right and gunning it into a dead end in order to differentiate themselves, then trying to convince as many people as possible to turn the map upside down. In this sense, it’s absolutely true that Obama’s goal is to relegate them to “the dustbin of history” – but he’s just providing them the broom. They’ve shown they’re capable of doing the sweeping all by themselves.

  92. 92
    Boots Day says:

    @pk:

    Which business owner does Ted Cruz work for?

    The Koch brothers.

  93. 93
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Bulworth:

    7. Living without health insurance is a bummer, and saying you’re going to repeal Obamacare doesn’t do much for voters in that situation. It was Douthat who broke this news. “A lot of Americans don’t have health care. To those people, the Republican message on health care has nothing to say. For people without health insurance, Mitt Romney had nothing to say.”

    Here are some things that Mitt and Ryan could have been heard to say:

    1. Just don’t get sick.
    2. We have emergency rooms you know.
    3. Not my problem.
    4. At least you will still have your freedom…..and I and my fellow plutocrats/job creators will be able to afford to hire another footman/valet/cook/chauffer. Or Not.
    5. SOCIALISM!!!

  94. 94
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @redshirt: Were any of Mittens’ 2012 crowds larger than Obama’s 2012 crowds? You don’t even have to go back to 2008 to see that President Obama always drew larger crowds than his Repub opponents.

    Halperin is a ditz.

  95. 95
    mdblanche says:

    @MattF: Great idea. If the budget isn’t balanced, the obstructionist congressmen who won’t raise taxes or suggest any cuts get impeached. That is what this amendment would do, right? Because anything else would be just silly.

  96. 96
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Bulworth: LOL! That’s why I love the comments here. The sarcasm is delightful.

  97. 97
    danielx says:

    I can’t wait any longer…

    This is good news for John McCain.

  98. 98
    Suffern ACE says:

    @NorthLeft12: You left out spaghetti suppers. Those often bring in hundreds of dollars.

  99. 99
    Bruce S says:

    @SenyorDave:

    The most bizarre thing about Paul Krugman is that he’s actually quite moderate in his perspective – but he didn’t arrive at his views through the prism of some BS “conventional wisdom” but an in-depth understanding of macro-economics, a willingness to treat his profession’s sacred cows with rational skepticism when they don’t fit reality and a large dose of historical perspective and empiricism. He’s also developed a healthy cynicism about our political system. But he’s treated like he’s some Tribune of The Left. Which I guess he is in our screwed up, bizarrely skewed political spectrum. Krugman is about as far from an ideologue as one can find, and he’s constantly in the position of dialogue with people who know essentially nothing other than their own biases and the shared “wisdom” of self-interested elites. Compared to Krugman, the likes of Joe Scarborough and Mark Halperin are trading recycled bromides etched in Crayon. These are not very intelligent people. They’re slick and fit the mass media comfort zone perfectly, but they’re not very smart.

  100. 100
    burnspbesq says:

    Apparently, not all Republicans think the Republicans are in trouble.

    http://spectator.org/archives/.....ican-panic

  101. 101
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @MCA1:

    I actually think there’s something to the claim that the GOP has stopped actually being small “c” conservative, though

    I think “conservative” and “small government” are fables they tell everyone, especially themselves, to make a high-toned principle out of what they really want. Which is to keep the money they make (because they think they’re the only ones who work hard) and cut off the lazy moochers who just want handouts and always end up getting a free ride.

    (OK, _maybe_ some of them also actually still care about abortion. And a lot of them used to care more about sodomy.)

    But basically the whole ideology is about how the government when controlled by Democrats take their hard-earned money and wastes it on undeserving and ungrateful people, and when they stop doing that, everything will be great forever.

  102. 102
    Barry says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: “Michael Barone, like Charles Krauthammer, was once a credible conservative who has undergone some kind of psychotic break. For Krauthammer–besides his whole bloodthirsty racist thing–”

    When was Cabbage Pounder every credible? I think that what people mistook for credibility was the fact that back in the day he could avoid drooling when fantasizing about mass murder.

  103. 103
    Mike G says:

    Threatening a U.S. credit default in 2011 was not perhaps the most responsible thing for Republicans to do.

    Ya think?
    This one seemed to resonate with friends who don’t follow politics. Anyone who has ever taken out a loan can understand the recklessness of fucking with the national credit rating for political spite.

  104. 104
    MomSense says:

    One of my jobs was working at the inn that served as the press headquarters in Kennebunkport when GHWB was President.

    I would receive the faxed daily press briefing and then make copies for each of the press people and then distribute them. While copying it I would read it and write down a list of questions I would ask if I had the chance. Then I would watch the “journalists” just schmooze and drink and repeat whatever they were hearing from each other. It was pathetic. They also vied for attention from GHWB and loved getting invites to tool around in his boat.

    There was a salty, wire service photographer who told me that the whole thing was a sham. He said that they did all of this just so the photographers could get “the photo” or footage if his helicopter crashed or something bad happened.

  105. 105
    Bruce S says:

    @rikyrah:

    But not funny.

  106. 106
    danielx says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    “conservative” is whatever they want it to mean at any given point in time. Much like Humpty-Dumpty that way, it means just what they choose it to mean, neither more nor less*. But yes, you’ve pretty much covered the base (in several ways) appeal of the Republican Party since the implementation of the Southern Strategy: when it’s run by Democrats, the government is going to take away your money and give it to Those People, with various code words inserted. When Republicans run the government, it’s all good because the government will give your money to deserving citizens like BP and General Dynamics, which is good for you because free markets.

    *And, of course, conservatism can never fail, it can only be failed. Which is why every time they lose an election they double down on teh crazy.

  107. 107
    Barney says:

    Another highlight:

    The voter-fraud bogeyman was a distraction. … Heather Higgins, of the group Independent Women’s Voice, noted ruefully that in fact, it was the voter-registration guru hired by Republicans last year who became ensnared in allegations of widespread fraud. “We’re the ones always talking about voter fraud. Well, we did it,” she said. And Ralph Reed, the prince of the religious right, admitted that the Obama campaign had shown up Republicans at the game that he considers himself an expert in

    Surely the game Reed is an expert in is fraud? Oh, no, he thinks he’s good at “voter outreach and turnout”. it must have been someone else they hired. You have to wonder what they were doing, though, letting Reed talk about fraud. It’s like asking Bush to lecture on judicious use of intelligence.

  108. 108
    bemused says:

    This post and comments are hysterical. Republicans just don’t have the hang of this introspection thing.

    How dumb is Joe Scarborough, rhetorical question. The fact that the thickhead tells the story of him actually believing Halperin really says volumes about himself. Halperin has been a regular on the show forever. Joe should have developed a little skepticism by now and do some verifying from others. Then again, every other Republican was in the same fantasy world. Checking the actual Romney crowd sizes vs Obamas’ should have given him a clue.

  109. 109
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Bulworth: I believe Romney’s solution was that you just fire your health insurance provider. Because, well, if you get shitty insurance through work, you have so many choices. And under the old laws, if the reason you found out how shitty your insuance was because you became sick, it was really easy to just up and leave and find new coverage on the free market.

  110. 110
    Bruce S says:

    @bemused: “how dumb is Joe Scarborugh…”

    Smart enough to know that if you want to seem like the smart guy on set, you surround yourself with people even dumber, more fatuous, as reliably redundant or whose careers are totally in hock to your whims.

  111. 111
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Dr. Loveless:

    As shorthand for Republican stupidity, “Nate Silver is gay” really belongs in the handbook alongside “Al Gore is fat.”

    We expended many pixels trying to explain that over the last couple of days, but yours is the most succinct explanation yet. Thanks!

  112. 112
    bemused says:

    Sounds probable. He only has to sound smart to other conservatives. I try not to pay much attention to him, he’s such an egotist, but has he been making any noises about trying another run at office?

  113. 113
    Tonal Crow says:

    I love the smell of epistemic closure in the afternoon!

  114. 114
    Tonal Crow says:

    @bemused:

    How dumb is Joe Scarborough, rhetorical question. The fact that the thickhead tells the story of him actually believing Halperin really says volumes about himself. Halperin has been a regular on the show forever. Joe should have developed a little skepticism by now and do some verifying from others. Then again, every other Republican was in the same fantasy world. Checking the actual Romney crowd sizes vs Obamas’ should have given him a clue.

    But checking the crowd sizes would have required consulting media other than Fox, which are, by their definition, “liberal” and “biased”. Thus, there was nothing useful to learn by doing so. QED, closure achieved. Damn the — uh, uh, nevermind! — full speed ahead!

  115. 115
    scav says:

    @Tonal Crow: What’s the step after closure? Epistemic Vacuu Lock. (No one can hear you scream.)

  116. 116
    bemused says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    No, communicating with the other side is gross disloyalty and gets you kicked out of the club.

  117. 117
    Fred says:

    Well they did everything they could to keep the economy down but, darnit, it just didn’t work good enough.

    But really, all the GOP needs to do is:
    Raise taxes on the rich. Gosh knows they can afford it.
    Give universal health care.
    Support equal rights for women. And cotraception too.
    Stop beating on people of color.
    Stop rattlin’ sabers every time some loony hollers Jihad

    And try running a candidate that knows how to hide how much he dispises those people.

    Nahh. Never happen.

  118. 118
    Kay says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    But checking the crowd sizes would have required consulting media other than Fox, which are, by their definition, “liberal” and “biased”. Thus, there was nothing useful to learn by doing so. QED, closure achieved. Damn the — uh, uh, nevermind! — full speed ahead!

    People in NW Ohio said Romney brought buses of supporters to rallies. Now, Democrats do the same thing in Ohio, labor, etc. but I laughed when I read they were all relying on Halperin for crowd size because he never goes to these rallies, does he?

  119. 119
    black onion says:

    If the Republican party were a hotel, the GOP would be changing the sheets on all the beds and calling it a “remodel.”

    I hope they never learn.

  120. 120
    drkrick says:

    @pk:

    Which business owner does Ted Cruz work for?

    I’m guessing the Koch brothers, but perhaps a subsidiary.

  121. 121
    satch says:

    Romney/Ryan may not have won in Janesville, but those stout burghers re-elected Eddie Munster to another congressional term.

  122. 122
    BC says:

    “[Uber-pundit] Mark Halperin called me and said, ‘I’ve never seen anything like it!’”

    These people are really stupid. The reason Obama’s large crowds were important is because his campaign used them to fill in their database on voters. To get a ticket, you completed a form with your name, address, telephone #, e-mail address, and how you wanted to volunteer with the campaign. This information was uploaded into the database and the campaign staff could ask for volunteers, make sure you voted, etc. I’m sure Romney’s campaign collected the same information, but their database crashed and could not be used to turn those large crowds into verifiable voters. Seems like Halperin got caught looking at the superficial and not the substantial.

  123. 123
    MCA1 says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Yeah, I guess I agree w/r/t the modern Republican Party and its consistent ability (genius?) at rhetorically wedding pure self-interest, greed and tribalism with some kind of political branding and making people feel better about the fact that their overriding individual political ethos is either IGMFY or resentment and fear of the Other.

    I was, however, under the impression that at one time or another (Teddy Roosevelt ? The Eisenhower Era?) the GOP was more the small “c” conservative incrementalists, whose purpose within the American political ecosystem was to avoid great social upheaval and be sure those crazy Democrats/Populists/whoever didn’t overdo things, and keep the pendulum from swinging too wildly one way or the other. A more European concept of conservatism, I guess. Perhaps even principled and Burkean! I don’t know – maybe my knowledge of the history of our politics is made up of purchasing the mythology perpetuated by the parties more than actual rigorous study.

  124. 124
    Bruce S says:

    @BC:

    Seems like Halperin got caught looking at the superficial and not the substantial.

    Hey, that’s why they pay this “uberpundit” the big bucks.

  125. 125
    centerfielddj says:

    Re. Scarbororough, Halperin and the rest of their movement:

    “They are who we thought they were.”

    Stupid.

  126. 126
    David Koch says:

    @Bulworth: and yet Buckley and morning joke were rabid cheerleaders for the invasion.

  127. 127
    Montarvillois says:

    Obama’s upcoming win was in the air and obvious from reading online banter of ordinary people, the left confident in their optimism the right on edge.

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