Open Thread: Good News for Democrats

The Kochs, Adelmans, and Romneys feel they’re not getting good value for their vote-buying dollars. Karl Rove — having recovered somewhat from his election-day on-air meltdown — is happy to “help” them some more, for the right price of course. Per the NYTimes:

Top G.O.P. Donors Seek Greater Say in Senate Races
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — The biggest donors in the Republican Party are financing a new group to recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts who Republican leaders worry could complicate the party’s efforts to win control of the Senate.

The group, the Conservative Victory Project, is intended to counter other organizations that have helped defeat establishment Republican candidates over the last two election cycles. It is the most robust attempt yet by Republicans to impose a new sense of discipline on the party, particularly in primary races.

“There is a broad concern about having blown a significant number of races because the wrong candidates were selected,” said Steven J. Law, the president of American Crossroads, the “super PAC” creating the new project. “We don’t view ourselves as being in the incumbent protection business, but we want to pick the most conservative candidate who can win.”…

Representative Steve King, a six-term Iowa Republican, could be among the earliest targets of the Conservative Victory Project. He said he had not decided whether he would run for the Senate, but the leaders of the project in Washington are not waiting to try to steer him away from the race.

The group’s plans, which were outlined for the first time last week in an interview with Mr. Law, call for hard-edge campaign tactics, including television advertising, against candidates whom party leaders see as unelectable and a drag on the efforts to win the Senate. Mr. Law cited Iowa as an example and said Republicans could no longer be squeamish about intervening in primary fights…

For all the hippy-punching and firebagging so essential to us Democrats, we’ve at least had a century-old tradtion of what might be called “sunlight” campaign practices. Part of the Repubs’ success in undermining the national commenwealth over the past several generations is that keeping the actual beliefs & practices of their nominees under the public radar has been S.O.P. In my opinion, not only will it be enjoyable to watch the GOP True Beliefers and Sugar Daddies tear each other up, it will be instructive to the general voting public!

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71 replies
  1. 1
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    So there seems to be a movement afoot to have one of the satellite Rmoneys — Ann, or Trip Trap, or someone — to run for the Kerry Senate seat, now that Scottie has said he’s not a candidate.

  2. 2
    Chris says:

    My goodness gracious, is our wingnuts learning?

  3. 3
    aimai says:

    Goodtimes and bad, the grift keeps on grifting on. Karl will make money coming and going–just like Rush does better when the Republicans are out of power than when they are in.

  4. 4
    Corner Stone says:

    We couldn’t get a good, “I blame Obama” thread to rile up the blood flow ahead of the SB Open Thread?

  5. 5
    NotMax says:

    Maine governor, at elementary school, shoots at that whole quaint freedom of the press thing.

    For the third time, and the second time at a school, Maine Gov. Paul LePage has warned of what he sees as a newspaper industry in Maine full of liars.

    “My greatest fear in the state of Maine: newspapers,” LePage told children at the St. John Catholic School on Friday, according to a report from the Central Maine Morning Sentinel. “I’m not a fan of newspapers.”

    Afterward, he told reporters that he prefers TV and radio news because he believes they don’t spin the news.  Source

    To paraphrase Dickens: If the governor supposes that… the governor is a ass—a idiot.

  6. 6
    MattF says:

    Well, I’m not so sure. Remember that Rove’s strategy for defeating McCain in the 2000 primaries was to spread the rumor that McCain had an illegitimate black daughter. Republican operatives don’t suffer from sentimental illusions about Republican primary voters– my guess is that It’s likely to get ugly.

  7. 7
    Raven says:

    @Corner Stone: How do you know there will even be one?

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I thought every thread was a “I blame Obama” thread.

  9. 9
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Corner Stone:

    This is, the Super Bowl Open Thread…..with gunz, no doubt. isn’t there supposed to be some Satanic Ritual Sacrifice during the Bowl? Just askin……

  10. 10
    Chris says:

    The biggest donors in the Republican Party are financing a new group to recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts who Republican leaders worry could complicate the party’s efforts to win control of the Senate.

    The unthinkable has happened – after fifty years of blaming “party elites” for being “too liberal,” someone’s actually saying out loud that maybe, maybe the problem is being too far right.

    We’ll see if this sticks at all, though. It very well might not.

  11. 11
    Alison says:

    Okay wonks, I have a question. In the Newsweek cover story about Clinton, there was this line:

    And The New Republic, which published a blatantly inaccurate attack on her health-care proposal by a writer whom no one at that point had ever heard of and who has gone on to become one of the most self-discrediting political figures of our time.

    This is from when she was First Lady, obvs. But the piece doesn’t say who that writer was, and I was only a teenager then and paid very little attention to politics. Anyone know who this is??

  12. 12
    👽 Martin says:

    Steve King unelectable? Nonsense. All he needs is to be primaried from the right and he’ll get in line.

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The pain of “conservatives”. It is like a soothing balm to me.

    Suffer, neofeudalist scum. Suffer.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @NotMax:

    Afterward, he told reporters that he prefers TV and radio news because he believes they don’t spin the news.

    LePage’s belief is at best, naive, and at worst, terminally stupid.

  16. 16
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @MattF:

    Woman is a shill for the parasites of the health “insurance” industry.

  17. 17
    👽 Martin says:

    @Alison: Betsy McCaughey. She lied about Hillary’s plan, and then returned to scream from the rafters about death panels and other bullshit about Obamacare.

  18. 18
    Alison says:

    @MattF: Ahh thank you. And LOL at her awfulness.

    ETA: “The “No Exit” article won the National Magazine Award for excellence in the public interest”

    *facepalm*

  19. 19
    Raven says:

    @Corner Stone: Got the vegetarian tamales done this morning. The house has a great aroma of banana leaves and masa. Now for the crowd!

  20. 20
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Alison:


    Betsy McCaughey
    , I imagine they mean.

  21. 21
    dmsilev says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    So there seems to be a movement afoot to have one of the satellite Rmoneys — Ann, or Trip Trap, or someone — to run for the Kerry Senate seat, now that Scottie has said he’s not a candidate.

    Seriously? The Romney name polls about as well as bubonic plague in Massachusetts. And for good reason.

  22. 22
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Alison: Betsy McCaughey — as introduced by Andrew Effing Sullivan. She’s still a paid mouthpiece for every dishonest subgroup that profits from our current horribly broken healthcare non-system… and Sullivan, as recently as last summer’s pre-SCOTUS ACA judgement, was still defending having spread her lies as “introducing a counterargument to liberal orthodoxy”, or some patented Sully-shite like that.

  23. 23
    Alison says:

    @Anne Laurie: Yeah, in her wiki it says Sullivan said he was aware of the flaws but ran it as “a provocation to debate”. Gross.

  24. 24
    Baud says:

    @dmsilev:

    They would do better running Rafalca.

  25. 25
    Mike in NC says:

    So this means the GOP has officially disavowed St Ronnie’s 11th Commandment?

  26. 26
    Anne Laurie says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    So there seems to be a movement afoot to have one of the satellite Rmoneys — Ann, or Trip Trap, or someone — to run for the Kerry Senate seat, now that Scottie has said he’s not a candidate.

    I’d take that as an admission by the state GOP that they’re not gonna beat Markey with their current bench, so they might as well try and con a butthurt sub-Romney into self-financing a losing bid for the look of the thing.

    But from here, the Romney whelps won’t run for anything while Daddy is alive… he’s too ‘competitive’, and most of his quarter-billion fortune is still his to bequeath to an old dressage horse shelter if it looks like one or another of the lads are getting above themselves.

  27. 27
    aimai says:

    @Alison:

    Betsey McCaughey (?) i think. She kept appearing and reappearing as a health care expert.

  28. 28
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    If I may be permitted a little BSP/blogwhoring on a similar topic…

    Culture War Over, Republicans Lost

  29. 29
    Josie says:

    I don’t have any proof of this, but Steve King does not strike me as one who would go away quietly. If this new group tries to push him out, things could get really entertaining for us and educational for the electorate. This new movement sounds like a logical plan for Karl and his money guys except for the fact that they will be going up against the most right wing teahadists. There is no telling how the crazies will react.

  30. 30
    aimai says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Can the Republican party in MA really survive not fielding anyone for the Senate race? This makes my belief that Lynch will switch parties and run as an “independent” even more, well, believable. Its what I’d do if I were lynch. Then if he doesn’t get in he has positioned himself to run for Governor as a champion of the white ethnic resentment of both boston and the burbs.

  31. 31
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud: I blame Obama for that.

  32. 32
    Hill Dweller says:

    These wealthy half-wits decided to ride the tiger after President Obama was elected, to some short-term success, but now they’ve lost control. If the oligarchs think throwing some money around will regain control of the crazy, they’re dumber than I thought.

  33. 33
    Corner Stone says:

    @Ben Franklin: Oh man. Why’d you have to mention gunz? Can’t we have just one freakin thread without a spittle flecked rant by aimai?
    I’m running out of towels for my display.

  34. 34

    @aimai:

    Then if he doesn’t get in he has positioned himself to run for Governor as a champion of the white ethnic resentment of both boston and the burbs.

    Isn’t he already the champion of such voters”

    Running against his own party’s candidate does not seem like a good way to win the governor’s race. A candidate needs friends, not still pissed off enemies.

  35. 35
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @MattF: I wonder if they don’t bother to mention her name because she went on to become lt. Governor of New York, or because she went on to marry big time private equity multi-billionaire WR Ross?

  36. 36
    Corner Stone says:

    @Raven: What’s the filling again? I guess I missed what’s inside them.

  37. 37
    Anne Laurie says:

    @aimai:

    This makes my belief that Lynch will switch parties and run as an “independent” even more, well, believable.

    Gosh, and here I thought I might be the only person wondering about Stevie Ironworker! When he started ‘signalling’ pre-Cowan, I figured he wanted something specific from the state Democratic party. But since they didn’t (couldn’t?) ante up, taking money under the table from the GOP to run as a spoiler against Markey and whichver mope they scrape up for the ( R ) ticket certainly wouldn’t contradict anything we know about Lynch’s character, would it?

  38. 38
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I’m running out of towelsbowels for my display.

    My shit is gone too.

  39. 39
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    How many candidates can they pay not to run?

  40. 40
    Yutsano says:

    @Or something like that.Suffern Ace: As many as it takes would be my guess. Sounds like the only real wild card is Lynch, and that could get entertaining especially if he has to rely on the western part of the state to win.

  41. 41
    Todd says:

    @MattF:

    Betsy McCaughey

    I reserve the C word for people like her. Bitch has been a malignant tumor on our society for at least two decades.

    She would be in the top 100 of any list I could compose of “first folks to be lined up in front of a machine gun after the Revolution”.

  42. 42
    aimai says:

    @James E. Powell:

    Well, sure, but the calculation for both a Republican/independent run for the Senate is that there are enough of “those people” to vote a candidate in. In Brown’s case he got lucky because of the off brand nature of the election for Senate that year. People say he’s still considering running for Governor and if he does he will go for it with gusto because the run for the Governor’s spot always brings out the suburban vote splitter and suburban white vote. In Lynch’s case I’m sure he’d play the same hand. He’d try to straddle the far right side of the middle and say to his former Democratic buddies “look, the commonwealth is more conservative than you admit and at least I’m better than a stone Republican.” To the Republicans and Independents (here called Unenrolled) he’d say “I’m a Scott Brown/Bill Weld/name your poison style mavericky maverick who can’t be pigeonholed but for damn sure I’m better than [whoever the dems are running].

  43. 43
    Anne Laurie says:

    @James E. Powell:

    Running against his own party’s candidate does not seem like a good way to win the governor’s race.

    Do you live in Massachusetts? We practically hold the patent on The Politics of Resentment, a/k/a/ “spite voting”. It wouldn’t do him any good in a race liable to draw national attention, but Lynch could certainly attract a lot of Masshole voters by positioning himself as “the guy who those smaaaht Haaavad richies didn’t want to be yawh senahterrr”.

    I’d almost enjoy the combat, if it were Lynch versus Scott Brown. There’s not much the governor can do to fck stuff up single-handed in this state — we survived Romeny, after all.

  44. 44
    aimai says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Heh heh. Great minds with low expectations think alike.

  45. 45
    Raven says:

    @Corner Stone: Black beans, sweet potato, queso blanco and Hatch green chilies.

  46. 46
    22over7 says:

    @aimai:

    There was some discussion right after the election as to whether Karl would recover from his enormous failures, and whether he could continue the grift or whether the money men would see through it. Now we have our answer.

    The republican party–the long con.

  47. 47
    PeakVT says:

    @Or something like that.Suffern Ace: In most important contests, they’ll only have to take out one or two. Or the moneybag alliance could pay another whackjob to get into a race and split the anti-establishment vote. I don’t think it will be all that expensive compared to what they blew on Rmoney.

  48. 48
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Raven:

    Are you vegan? It sounds like a good substitute for pork, but I have a religious objection to going veggie.

  49. 49
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Representative Steve King, a six-term Iowa Republican, could be among the earliest

    Just to play amateur junior political consultant, he strikes me as a bad target. I’d think that’s a small enough party and media market, with just enough Jeebus-lovin’, brown-hatin’, fetus-worshippin’ crazy to get King the nomination out of spite for those New York outsider types.

  50. 50
    Raven says:

    @Ben Franklin: No, it’s for guests. I made about 60 chicken tamales yesterday and they are in the steamer reheating.

    eta I also saw it as a bit of a challenge to make palatable chow for lettuce heads.

  51. 51
    patroclus says:

    Sullivan’s best known infliction of ignorance on the American body politic was, of course, Charles Black with his “blahs are stupid” shtick, but McCaughey is undoubtedly his most destructive. If health insurance reform had passed in 1994 rather than become effective in 2014, we’d have had 20 years of health insurance (and a mechanism of paying for health care) for untold thousands and possibly millions of people who have died since 1994. McCaughey was regarded as a legitimate health care expert back then and the Clinton administration’s attempt at pushback was undermined because of the supposedly liberal New Republic’s endorsement of her. If she had merely been relegated to the WSJ and conservative organs, her impact would not have been the same.

    Compare that to 2009, when everyone knew all about her (after her tenure as LG in NY and her failed attempt to run for Governor as a DEMOCRAT) against Pataki. She’s a paid conservative hack, roughly akin to the climate change deniers in the oil industry. The Obama administration was able to deal with her lies (“death panels”) more effectively, albeit not without some difficulty. She is a truly awful person, who has made a LOT of money effectively killing people for profit.

    Gee thanks Andrew!

    And, uh, can Ohio be called yet, Karl??!!

  52. 52
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: So there seems to be a movement afoot to have one of the satellite Rmoneys — Ann, or Trip Trap, or someone — to run for the Kerry Senate seat, now that Scottie has said he’s not a candidate.

    Oh…. my… oh, please, oh sweet Mormon Jeebus please let one of the Mittlets be angry enough to try to avenge Daddy. My be would be Ann would be all for it–an unlikeable Servilia of the Junii, for any fans of HBO’s version of Roman history– but I think Ol’ Willard’s actually too increase Tagg’s or Trak’s allowance enough to run.

  53. 53
    catclub says:

    @Alison: It was also a key point in the recent fisking of Andrew Sullivan, who was the Editor at the time of the article. ONe of those gifts from him that keep on giving.

  54. 54
    Anoniminous says:

    @Raven:

    Good lord. Super Bowl food is supposed to contain the three basic food groups of the American Diet:

    1. Sugar (50%)

    B. Fats (30%)

    III. Carbohydrates (30%)*

    Scrag that sh_t and hie thyself hence and pick up a six pack of frozen pizzas.

    * Because no self-respecting footballer will give less than 110%

  55. 55
    Roger Moore says:

    @Chris:

    is our wingnuts learning?

    No, but the residual non-wingnut faction of the GOP seems to be.

  56. 56
    trollhattan says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Steve King’s schtick ain’t gonna play in Des Moines. His congressional district is safely tucked away in NW Iowa but he’d lose to a Dem a US Senate race.

  57. 57
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @Roger Moore: Karl Rove is a wing nut. Lets not pretend that because he is close to the big money that he’s David brooks.

  58. 58
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Todd: Will I go to Hell if I chortle at the image of Sullivan throwing his hairy little body in front of her to defy the firing squad?

    Wait a minute — if there is a Hell, I’ve got a reserved seat already. At least I’m sure of the best company!

  59. 59
    sm*t cl*de says:

    Mr. Law […] and said Republicans could no longer be squeamish about intervening in primary fights

    So when he says “Republicans” he is quite explicit about meaning “the party’s owners” rather than voters.

  60. 60
    22over7 says:

    @Or something like that.Suffern Ace:

    I disagree. Karl Rove is a grifter. He uses wingnuttia to further his ends, but wingnuts at least have morality. A screwed-up, hateful, ignorant morality, but a defineable one nonetheless. Karl is an amoral grifter, out for himself, and interested only in power and money (which are often the same thing).

  61. 61
    Roger Moore says:

    @patroclus:

    If health insurance reform had passed in 1994 rather than become effective in 2014, we’d have had 20 years of health insurance (and a mechanism of paying for health care) for untold thousands and possibly millions of people who have died since 1994.

    Wow, it’s almost too depressing to think about. The benefits of HCR might well have been enough to swing the 2000 election for Gore, with all the benefits that would have come from that. And it would have been good for the deficit, too, so between not having the fiscal insanity of the Bush years and a better baseline, we would be in dramatically better shape today.

  62. 62
    JS says:

    You’ve got to admit, Rove has a great track record for using millions and millions of dollars that resulted in Republicans losing.

  63. 63
    Lizzy L says:

    @Roger Moore: To say nothing of all those folks who would be, you know, not dead — because they could actually afford to get their rotten teeth fixed, or their diabetes diagnosed, or drugs for their high blood pressure…. Yeah, that would have been cool.

  64. 64
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Good grief! Karl Rove is still alive? I thought for sure he was going to get disappeared after that expensive fiasco last fall.

  65. 65
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    con a butthurt sub-Romney into self-financing a losing bid for the look of the thing.

    That explanation makes the most sense. They just want to limit their financial loss in that race.

  66. 66
    Roger Moore says:

    @Or something like that.Suffern Ace:

    Karl Rove is a wing nut

    No, he isn’t. The defining feature of the wingnuts is the belief that it’s better to lose with an ideologically pure candidate than win with a centrist. Rove has advocated the idea that the Republicans should run candidates who are as far right as they can get and still win. That’s a key difference that keeps Rove from classifying as a wingnut.

  67. 67
    patroclus says:

    @Roger Moore: Indeed. Now, I don’t want to go overboard – humans are mortal and many would have died anyway and health insurance reform is not a cure-all. But, that’s 20 lost years – and all those horrific examples from Michael Moore’s Sicko (the movie was almost unwatchable, but the examples were real) might have had a way to get better health care and might be living today as productive tax-paying members of society. The defeat of HCR in 1994 was truly devastating (I think Sullivan, with his NHS experience, realized this and consequently changed his tack).

    We don’t typically regard it that way. Instead, most focus on the poorly-executed politics and the supposed Hillary over-reach. And back then, we hadn’t yet experienced a decade+ of conservative politics with all their lies (WMD, “compassionate” conservatism, Iraq, torture, Judy Miller, Cheney, Bush v. Gore, Katrina, DOMA, DADT etc…). But it really was a catastrophe and why HCR was a BFD in 2010. And Obama’s re-election sealed it into law. In my view, it was one of the biggest accomplishments in all of American history coming after a devastating collosal failure 20 years prior.

  68. 68
    Ben Franklin says:

    Kerrey opens with some substance; likely a product from Hillary’s tenure, but new blood was necessary….

    Kerry commended the Israeli decision to release frozen tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority as an important step. Israel’s monthly tax transfers to the Palestinians – the result of taxes and customs duties that Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinians – are a key element in the Palestinian government budget.
    In his conversation Sunday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Kerry said Obama “is very interested in the peace process and aware of the economic hardships of the Palestinian people,” Abbas spokesman Nabel Abu Rdeneh said. Rdeneh also noted that Kerry said he would visit the region for further talks with Abbas “to preserve the political path.” No time was set for the visit.
    The State Department said Kerry spoke of his personal commitment to peace between Israelis and the Palestinians. Kerry pledged to continue efforts with the Congress to release budget support funds for the Palestinian Authority and noted the positive step the Israelis had taken by releasing the tax revenues.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/.....z2Jsdk1kwD

  69. 69
    JWL says:

    They don’t want King to run in Iowa? Maybe they can talk Dick Lugar into moving to River City and throwing his hat in the ring. That’s the type they’re looking for.

    All those fuckers really need, want, and perhaps even still expect, are enough elected officials who don’t sound crazy when they talk, and for one simple reason: in order to remain a viable national party. But the joke is on them, because their inner Pandora’s Army of batshit-fringe-crazy people have been unleashed, and they can’t be stuffed back into their old box… and the judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

  70. 70
    Chris says:

    @Roger Moore:

    You’ve got a point there.

    I’ve always held that it doesn’t matter if you’re a real wingnut or just using them or pretending to be for your own reasons… but it does, tactically if not morally. Because they don’t react the same way when under pressure. A true believer like Goebbels will go hara kiri, a chickenshit like Goering will just surrender, a craven opportunist like Himmler will try to cut a deal.

  71. 71
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    Donors have too much influence in this process that it makes me sick. Money should not not not not not be considered speech, at least for the purposes of elections.

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