The restoration plays have all gone ’round

No one reads Mark Halperin anymore but this is a fascinating look into his mind:

If 2016 brings a Hillary Clinton-Jeb Bush contest (a bigger “if” for me than for many of my colleagues, but still…), the dynamics will be fascinating. Neither will go unchallenged for the party nomination, but both might avoid having to strain to become the standard bearer, fluently brandishing the elements required to win: money, fame, access to the media, compelling personal/political narratives, policy chops, top-shelf staffing, support from both elites and the grassroots, and the experience borne from a professional lifetime at the very highest levels of American politics.

Although both would face nomination competitors, there is a very solid chance Jeb and Hillary could emerge largely unscathed as general election candidates, and not forced to the extremes of their respective parties. They would both almost certainly follow the Bill Clinton-George W. Bush model, running in the ideological center throughout the entire race, with announcement speeches mirroring their convention acceptance speeches. In fact, on some issues, Jeb Bush might actually turn out to be more moderate than Hillary Clinton, and Clinton more conservative than Bush.

Jeb Bush has already succumbed to teahadist pressure on one of the most important issues in presidential general elections: immigration reform. And the primary is three years away. The notion he’s going to win while keeping to the middle is laughable.

The disconnect between pundits and voters on the subject of the Bush family is truly profound: W left office one of the most unpopular presidents in history. We regularly read right-wingers tell us that W wasn’t a “real conservative”.

And now the red sea will part and let us brother waltz to the nomination?

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193 replies
  1. 1
    David Koch says:

    This is Great News for McCain!

  2. 2
    Violet says:

    There’s no way Jeb wins. People hate W. Even Republicans know this–Jeb was the only one who mentioned his brother at the RNC last summer. The only one. They’d all rather pretend W. ever existed.

  3. 3
    dmsilev says:

    I dispute the notion that any look inside the mind of Mark Halperin can be described as fascinating.

  4. 4
    Hill Dweller says:

    Jeb has spent his professional lifetime at the very highest level of American politics?

  5. 5
    SatanicPanic says:

    Is there even any analysis in there?

  6. 6
    PeakVT says:

    Fuck any journalist who is talking about 2016 right now.

    … and not forced to the extremes of their respective parties.

    And fuck any journalist who think the two parties are symmetrical.

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    , there is a very solid chance Jeb and Hillary could emerge largely unscathed as general election candidates, and not forced to the extremes of their respective parties.

    Who exactly was the last Democratic candidate to be forced to extremes? And to be fair, until 2008, the same could be asked of Republicans, who generally did tack to the center during the general election.

  8. 8
    Calouste says:

    If 2016 brings a Hillary Clinton-Jeb Bush contest (a bigger “if” for me than for many of my colleagues, but still…),

    Fairly unsurprising that America’s courtiers, many of them who got their position solely via their family connections, think that the next elected king of the country will come from a contest between two of America’s former royal families, but still… Of course some of these courtiers are the same people who thought that the Clintons were too common to belong in the White House originally.

  9. 9
    Scamp Dog says:

    @dmsilev: well, in the same sense that train wrecks are fascinating, or obscure diseases are. Which makes me wish that Halperin were obscure, now that I think about it.

  10. 10
    Narcissus says:

    There are too many threads nowadays. Please eliminate three. I am not a crackpot.

  11. 11
    Ted & Hellen says:

    If no one reads him anymore, why are you fixating?

  12. 12
    Roger Moore says:

    The idea that the Republican nomination is going to be lightly contested is laughable. Citizens United has made that impossible. Every Republican multi-billionaire will want to sponsor a candidate to cater to his every whim if he wins, and every grifter who can possibly justify a candidacy will be out their trying to rake in their money. Everyone will be turning the crazy up to eleventy to try to stand out. There’s no way in hell that anyone is going to waltz to the nomination, and it’s exceedingly unlikely that they’ll be able to win it at all without paying homage to the teahadists.

  13. 13
    mainmati says:

    I occasionally encounter Halperin on the Squinty Show early mornings in the gym. I am continuously impressed by his ability to be utterly vacuous and meaningless in his “analyses” while somehow apparently impressing Squinty enough to keep his job.

  14. 14
    AHH onna Droid says:

    Somebody here mentioned Tom Wolfe today. I just spent an hour sifting through old reviews to see if attitudes have changed vis a vis his themes of racial resentment in Vanities (that is, the actual resentment is that of privilege challenged).

    My final and most direct search rather than turning up anything from the Grio or refreshing graduate student spleen dredged up American Renaissance and vdare.

    Hold me. I feel cold now.

  15. 15
    dedc79 says:

    Didn’t you hear? The new explanation for Jeb’s position on immigration reform is that he wrote the book back when no republicans were even considering citizenship as a possibility. By the time the book came out, though, the Republicans had gotten slaughtered in November, and Rubio and others had changed their tune.

  16. 16
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Violet:

    They’d all rather pretend W. ever existed.

    Except for his bestie Barack, who has him to the White House for photo shoots and giggles.

  17. 17
    Ted & Hellen says:

    And now the red sea will part and let us brother waltz to the nomination?

    Perfectly plausible. This is, after all, the dumbest country in the Western world, at least.

  18. 18
    sb says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Well, one photo of them smiling together does not mean they are “besties”.

  19. 19
    Mike in NC says:

    The Villagers have already anointed Jeb to be the one to stop in 2016.

  20. 20
    Baud says:

    I still say the Republicans best shot in 2016 is to lose big in 2014. I hope they take my advice.

  21. 21
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mike in NC:

    The Villagers have already anointed Jeb to be the one to stop in 2016.

    And we all know that their predictive powers are unassailable. The rest of the Republicans might as well pack up and go home now.

  22. 22
    jl says:

    @dedc79:

    ” The new explanation for Jeb’s position on immigration reform is that he wrote the book back when no republicans were even considering citizenship as a possibility. ”

    Hillary’s primary campaign had some big fat (hint hint) problems, but mostly on nuts and bolts convention vote strategerizing. I don’t remember her having to say ‘don’t pay any attention to my cynical maneuvering’ wrt to a big chunk of a campaign bio/PR book.

    And HRC came out looking pretty good after a tough and close nomination fight with Obama.

    So, how is HRC comparable to ‘the smarter one’ Jeb Bush?

    This dreck has ‘Halperin had to pump some typing out quick fast’ written all over it.

    Also too, BTW, TPM says HRC squashes Rubio in poll of Hispanics on 2016 prez preference. So, amazing, that cynical clumsy tokenism doesn’t seem to be working, again, for the GOP. What the heck is wrong with those Hispanics, anyway?

    Also, finally, I wonder whether any Democratic Hispanics on horizon for national office run.

  23. 23
    Redshirt says:

    I’d love to get literally get inside Halperin’s head. A fascinating, scary journey through a mental Hellscape. I’d start knocking stuff over immediately.

    Also, calling it now, why not: Clinton runs in 2016 and wins against RANDPAUL. The Wingularity occurs at 7:42 PM on November 2, 2016, and we SURVIVE!

  24. 24
    scav says:

    @sb: Now, don’t break T&H’s tender heart, That’s how he identifies all his friendses. Coexistence in an single image, interference with light rays in close proximity is magically bonding! (offer doesn’t apply to NASA images.)

  25. 25
    Redshirt says:

    @Narcissus: To the sickos at Modern Bride Magazine…

  26. 26
    efgoldman says:

    @scav:

    That’s how he identifies all his friendses.

    Both of them? And the imaginary ones?

  27. 27
    JPL says:

    @Redshirt: You really want to get inside Halperin’s head… What if that happened and there was nothing inside. He’s part of the I got mine why don’t you crowd.

  28. 28
    efgoldman says:

    @JPL:

    He’s part of the I got mine why don’t you fuck the rest of you losers crowd.

    Small edit to help you.

  29. 29
    Dr. Mouse says:

    another thing, if Hillary announces, there is no democratic primary. Period. She and Bill were good soldiers for Obama and no one will have the funds or the balls to run against her.

  30. 30
    jrg says:

    a bigger “if” for me than for many of my colleagues

    If my aunt had a scrotum, she’s be my uncle. If a cat had a square butthole, he’d poop tiny little bricks.

    But seriously, Halpern? There’s about one ingrown hair between him and Family Circus. He’s got to pull a few hundred words out his ass every few weeks, or he loses his job. That’s it… And pull he does.

  31. 31
    Redshirt says:

    @JPL: Terrible Away Missions are my specialty. :)

  32. 32
    dexwood says:

    Dumbdits love dynasties. Most of them wish they could write fiction. Jeb is a character in their fiction.

  33. 33
    DougJ, Friend of Hamas says:

    @Dr. Mouse:

    Yeah, I agree. And if her main opponent is Andrew Cuomo, I’ll give her money, go door-to-door, whatever.

  34. 34
    muddy says:

    @Redshirt:

    I’d love to get literally get inside Halperin’s head. A fascinating, scary journey through a mental Hellscape. I’d start knocking stuff over immediately.

    “And then the drugs wore off, leaving me in the shape of a vacuum cleaner for 3 weeks…”

  35. 35
    ChrisNYC says:

    This their dream race, the race to relive their high times — Clinton v. Bush. It’s a boomer pundit dream. Dowd, Halperin, etc. To travel back before Iraq and the financial meltdown to their own Lewinsky freak show salad days. Newt! Drudge! All the lovable scamps! Hill will be cast as the shrew and Jeb can be the tough on terror fiscal conservative with the soft heart for Messicans AND pull in Florida. BEAT THAT LIBS! With your feminazi candidate! Demographic shift my ass, the GOP is BACK! Luke Russert can do a dramatic reenactment of the Brooks Brothers riot.

  36. 36
    Turgidson says:

    Hillary “my husband brought us peace and prosperity and I was a kickass SOS for a good president” Clinton vs. Jeb “my father was a so-so one-term president who got spanked by Bill Clinton and my brother is the biggest fucking disaster to occupy the office, maybe ever” Bush?

    Bring it on.

  37. 37
    jl says:

    @ChrisNYC: Hun. But when Obama time travels, they hate him for it! How odd.

  38. 38
    srv says:

    I think the GOP needs to adopt a rule that the primary candidate does not have to be living, and that Ronald Reagan should be printed on every state ballot into perpetuity.

    Then they could have a convention party and all that, play Reagan videos, win the popular vote, but let the democrat take office and govern.

    Then rinse and repeat. Halperin could replay his fantasy every 4 years.

  39. 39
    David Koch says:

    @Dr. Mouse: I’m not so sure. I think some may run to be vice president. After all, that’s what Biden did. Biden knew he wasn’t gonna win but he wanted to get out there and perform well in the debates (which he did) and show he was running mate material (and it worked).

  40. 40
    the Conster says:

    Hillary’s got this, if she really wants it. Jebbie is a decade late, and the teatards have got him by his short hairs. Halperin is whistling past his own grave now, so this is his only chance to opine about 2016 because by the time it comes the media landscape will be such that he’ll be a footnote. Drudge ain’t walking back through that door.

  41. 41
    David Koch says:

    This just in: WaPo says Jebbie will appeal on all 5 Sunday shows this weekend. He’s runnin

  42. 42
    Baud says:

    @David Koch:

    McCain will be pissed. Jeb’s interloping on his turf.

  43. 43
    Yutsano says:

    @the Conster:

    Drudge ain’t walking back through that door.

    Seen, what you have done has been.

  44. 44
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @the Conster: Hillary will be 69 years old on Election Day 2016; if she runs and wins only Reagan will have been older when elected. This is not trivial.

    I don’t want to be age-ist, as I am old myself, and I’d support her if she ran, albeit all the while wishing we’d have had a younger candidate.

  45. 45
    Yutsano says:

    @Gin & Tonic: One term to groom a vice wouldn’t suck. It’s not like the teatard fever is gonna break any time soon.

  46. 46
    Cacti says:

    I think Hillary has a much better shot at the D-nomination than Jeb does at the R.

    The GOP is still smarting from the damage Dubya did to the brand.

  47. 47
    Redshirt says:

    @David Koch: Or, book sales. He’s got a book out! A serious, sober analysis of the issues of the day.

  48. 48
    Chris says:

    @PeakVT:

    This.

    They start off from a more or less reasonable general assumption – “extremism of the right and left are equally bad.” Then they twist themselves into pretzels trying to explain how the Republicans and Democrats are precisely as far apart from the center, when in reality the dynamic is more like “Brezhnev communism vs Gorbachev communism.”

    (And that’s just the sincere Both Sides Do It-ers, those who aren’t I’m the tank for the GOP, which is to say, not many).

  49. 49
    jl says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I don’t buy the idea that HRC will want it or necessarily win it if she runs. She won’t unless her choice of campaign staff improves It it weren’t for the arrogant Mark Penn’s incompetence, we might have an HRC presidency and wondering how Obama will do in 2016.

    Good news is that Dems have plenty of good choices for 2016 besides oldsters like HRC and Biden.

    And the GOP has…. Jeb? Who else? Christie? That’s about it. Sounds good to me. I think even handsome old Joe Biden, who I think would be one of the weaker candidates the Dems could field, would beat either one.

  50. 50
    the Conster says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    If she takes care of herself and gets tan, rested and ready, she’ll be formidable (said with a French accent). No one will be able to outsmart or outwork her, but she’ll really need to want it.

  51. 51
    Cacti says:

    @jl:

    I don’t buy the idea that HRC will want it or necessarily win it if she runs

    I think her age and the fact that she’s had some not insignificant health problems will be her biggest liabilities.

    I’m sure an opponent will offer a friendly reminder that Reagan was around the same age and went senile in office.

  52. 52
    socraticsilence says:

    The idea that Jeb is a serious contender is laughable, sure if he was Jeb Stevens he’s probably the frontrunner, 2 term governor of swing state with decent approval ratings and a good money machine— he’s not he’s Jeb Bush and he’s no more electable in the US than (forgive the Godwin) Gustav Hitler is in Munich.

  53. 53
    Cacti says:

    @jl:

    And the GOP has…. Jeb? Who else? Christie?

    Sandoval and Martinez are the GOPers who concern me most. Both Mexican-American R-governors from purple states.

  54. 54
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Violet:

    There’s no way Jeb wins. People hate W. Even Republicans know this–Jeb was the only one who mentioned his brother at the RNC last summer. The only one. They’d all rather pretend W. ever existed.

    Jeb will run to try and restore the honor of his family. Those a-holes are totally fixated on it.

  55. 55
    the Conster says:

    @Cacti:

    LOL. They’re going to appeal to the teatards, and also the rest of the country? Really? How?

  56. 56
    El Cruzado says:

    Remember, if you look into the void, the void looks at you.

  57. 57
    eemom says:

    I’ve heard of Halperin — mostly here — but I’ve never read him, never heard of anyone who read him, don’t know what publication(s) he appears in or why he was once relevant and isn’t anymore.

    It is March 8, 2013 and I don’t care who runs for president in 2016.

    Hope that helps.

  58. 58
    AxelFoley says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Except for his bestie Barack, who has him to the White House for photo shoots and giggles.

    How’s Sandusky doing again?

  59. 59
    efgoldman says:

    @Cacti:

    Sandoval and Martinez are the GOPers who concern me most. Both Mexican-American R-governors from purple states.

    But they – or any other potential GOBP nominee – will have to take a sharp lurch to the right, the same as Mittster did, to get through the primary process. After that, there’s no turning back, because their positions will be Velcroed to their asses.

  60. 60
    👽 Martin says:

    @Cacti:

    Both Mexican-American R-governors from purple states.

    Good. Run them. They’ll attract zero new Latino votes, and they’ll kill the enthusiasm of the rest of the GOP. It’ll be a Dem landslide. And they know it.

    They’re in a building with no doors. Their only solution is to destroy the building, but they are too cowardly to do it, so they keep going around and pushing on different walls hoping a door appears.

  61. 61
    jl says:

    @efgoldman:

    ” there’s no turning back, because their positions will be Velcroed to their asses. ”

    And the racist nutcase GOP teabaggers and their astroturf billionaire and Club for Growth sugar daddies will be the bigger, and much uglier, enforcers than the Dems. Which is a twofer, since it will render the GOP doubly noxious to any decent person.

  62. 62
    efgoldman says:

    @jl:

    Which is a twofer, since it will render the GOP doubly noxious to any decent person.

    Pretty much, yep.

  63. 63
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @David Koch:

    Jebbie will appeal on all 5 Sunday shows this weekend.

    Odd, that. I don’t find him the least bit appealing.

  64. 64
    Mandalay says:

    @the Conster:

    No one will be able to outsmart or outwork her

    Exactly. That’s why she became President in 2008.

  65. 65
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m convinced the headline is an Elvis Costello lyric, but damned if I can remember which one. Little help?

    Mnem +1. This week sucked.

  66. 66
    darkmatter says:

    The only fascinating thing in Halperin’s head is the amount of wind blowing through without any obstructions whatsoever. He was wrong in ’08 & ’12 and will be wrong forevermore.

  67. 67
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Rolling Stones, “Winter.”

  68. 68
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    First, nobody cares about Mark Halperin. Not even his wife.

    Second, Jeb Bush is already chickening out on his Mr Nice Guy immigration position, i.e. the ‘centrist’ position he could hang his hat on and appeal to the non-crazies. Doesn’t bode well for handling the stress of an entire campaign. And then there’s the last name thing. You’re right about the media being way more nostalgic for Bush than regular people.

    Why shouldn’t it be Rick Santorum? Last year’s second-place finisher, teabagger-friendly, white male. Seems like a perfect fit for today’s Republican base. I always overestimate the Tea Party’s ability to actually change things, but after Romney I assume they’ll scream bloody murder to keep another big-business type smooth talker. They’re out for blood.

  69. 69
    mclaren says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s from Winter Lyrics by the Rolling Stones, you addlepate. Christ on a minibike, haven’t you ever heard of google?

    Type “lyric the restoration plays have all gone round” and press ENTER.

    Sheesh.

    Typical of the kind of intellect we find in trolls like Mnemosyne. And people take this slubberdegullion seriously when she spouts drivel about the alleged future of American politics…?

  70. 70
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mnemosyne: The thing that most interested me in those hacked emails was Jebbie’s delusion that Poppy had rehabilitated Clinton’s reputation as an act of kindness.

    I’ve read that Martinez has family issues– a family member in poor health, not a scandal– that will most likely keep her from running. Other GOP contenders, IMHO: Daniels, Thune, Ron Johnson is rich and stupid, I don’t know much about Ayotte but I’m guessing she has the bug

  71. 71
    the Conster says:

    @Mandalay:

    From the dumbfuck Republican side of the equation. Obama is a once in a lifetime politician, and Iraq won’t be a problem for Hillary like it was then.

  72. 72
    efgoldman says:

    @mclaren:

    Typical of the kind of intellect we find from trolls like Mnemosyne. And people take this slubberdegullion seriously when she spouts drivel about the alleged future of American politics…?

    I think a wintry Friday night is an excellent time for you to go out behind the shed and fuck yourself.

  73. 73
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Ah, okay. Right now, Mick would be as disappointed in California as my co-worker’s visiting wife is — it’s been cold and rainy for three days now. This is not what she planned for when she flew out from England.

  74. 74
    mclaren says:

    Jeb Bush has fortunately become radioactive in U.S. politics, courtesy of his drunk-driving sociopath brother. The one good thing about the Bush years is that it has made the Bush family name into a permanent shitstain on American politics, the kind that even Clorox bleach can’t wash out.

    Jeb Bush has the same chance of getting nominated to run for president as P. Z. Myers has of becoming pope.

    (FYI: P.Z. Myers is a the well-known militant atheist scientist & author of the Pharyngula science blog.)

  75. 75
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mclaren:

    Oh, mclaren, it’s true I’ve been neglecting you lately. Sorry, but I’ve been too busy to come out and play, and I am so not in the mood right now. Maybe next week.

  76. 76
    mclaren says:

    @efgoldman:

    I think a wintry Friday night is an excellent time for you to go out behind the shed and fuck yourself.

    And that’s typical of the level of discourse we encounter from trolls on this blog. Next, you’ll announce that my mother wears army boots…

  77. 77
    Redshift says:

    @scav:

    Coexistence in an single image, interference with light rays in close proximity is magically bonding! (offer doesn’t apply to NASA images.)

    As long as they’re unmodified visible-light images, it’s okay…

  78. 78
    mclaren says:

    Newt Gingrich is insane and pathologically corrupt, but he’s not completely stupid. (Completely, mind you. Not completely!)

    When Gingrich pointed out that the Republican party today is in such dire straits that there’s no one in the conservative ranks who can get through the primaries and stand up to Hillary, he wasn’t wrong.

    The Republican party today is a collection of crazies, global-warming-deniers, anti-IRS wackos, evolution-deniers, pro-assault-rifle gun nuts, crackpot anti-fiat-currency gold coinage freaks, survivalists, racists, and misogynistic roll-back-the-womens-suffrage-movement anti-abortion cranks.

    There hasn’t been a collection of loons and demented fools gathered together in one place to compare with the current 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls since the medieval epidemic of dancing mania. Or possibly the Heavens Gate cult.

  79. 79
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @mclaren:

    Such a charmer. And you wonder why you’re so unpopular around here.

  80. 80
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @mclaren: I wish I shared your confidence, but I can pretty easily imagine Jeb getting the nod. Americans are nothing if not stupid.

  81. 81
    James E. Powell says:

    I wish I could share the apparently widespread confidence in the demise of the Bush Dynasty but I don’t. Nearly all the sycophants who fluffed him into the White House are still working in the corporate press/media. Karl Rove is still regarded as a savvy uber-pol in the Village. The Villagers maintain their reflexive disdain for any Democrats other than Evan Bayh types. The American people do not appear to have gained in intelligence or wisdom.

    And the Republicans are winning the battle to make voting more difficult for certain people who are not quite, not really, not truly American in the eyes of those who run things.

    I will believe Jeb Bush has no chance when I hear that he’s dead. Until then, he remains a threat.

  82. 82
    Redshift says:

    @Chris:

    Then they twist themselves into pretzels trying to explain how the Republicans and Democrats are precisely as far apart from the center, when in reality the dynamic is more like “Brezhnev communism vs Gorbachev communism.”

    Nah, they don’t have to twist themselves into pretzels. The center is always halfway between the two parties, so they’re always precisely the same distance from the center, QED.

    Well, they do twist themselves a little, mostly in the form of pining for a politician who believes nice centrist things and ignoring the fact that most Democrats match that description.

  83. 83
    the Conster says:

    @James E. Powell:

    Hillary’s backers will be whatever the progressive/Democratic equivalent is to wingnut Voltron – Taylor Marsh PUMAs, nutjob Palinistas, Third Way Dems, 90s Clintonistas, and Obama leftovers, along with whomever she picks up along the way who wants to see a woman be president, plus she’s white and can speak middle class. Against Jeb, the Biggest Loser’s old white guy Republican anti-immigrant oligarch brother? LOL.

  84. 84
    James E. Powell says:

    @Redshift:

    The center is always halfway between the two parties

    Not in my lifetime. The “center” is always one half step to the left of whoever is the right-wing Great Thinker of the time. Paul Ryan is the current Big Idea Man. Previous versions include Jack Kemp and Newt Gingrich.

  85. 85
    eemom says:

    @mclaren:

    Christ on a minibike, haven’t you ever heard of google?

    Christ on psycho meds, do you not get the fact that googling the fucking post title is cheating?

  86. 86
    Mandalay says:

    Halperin seems somewhat flexible on who the Repuublicans will be running in 2016. From the end of Halperin’s article linked above, dated March 6:

    Until Clinton and the Bush (sic) make their decisions, the fields are effectively frozen.

    From Halperin on Morning Joe on March 5:

    Time’s Mark Halperin — discusses why Christie is in the right and why he’s well-positioned if he chooses to run in 2016.

    WTF???

    Villagers will write absolutely anything, without any fear of contradicting themselves, as the moment grabs them.

  87. 87
    mclaren says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Really? You seriously think Jeb Bush could get nominated by the Republican party?

    Man…just imagine the campaign ads the Demos would run — [roll footage of Dubya’s worst mangled English, including “Mission accomplished!” and “We must ask the question: is our children educated?” and “I am the decider” and footage of him gibbering and giggling while hurricane Katrina drowned New Orleans] Voice over intones “We had cleansed ourselves…and now they bring the evil back!”

    Oh man. Jeb Bush nominated by Republicans? That would be a Democrat campaign strategist’s wet dream come true.

    It’s hard to believe the Republican party could be that stupid. On the other hand, I was 100% utterly totally completely WRONG when I repeatedly said that the Republicans would never nominate the Mormon Gordon Gecko in 2012, so…who knows?

    I guess the moral here is never to underestimate Republican insanity or Republican stupidity.

  88. 88
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @the Conster:

    I do wonder, if Clinton gets the nod, if the Dems could pick up a few more seats in Appalachia. Seems she still has a lot of support there.

  89. 89
    amk says:

    time-warner is spinning off time as separate “inc”. Hopefully the village’s mostest idjit will cast off to the dust bin with the spin off.

  90. 90
    Mike E says:

    @Yutsano:

    Seen, what you have done has been.

    Yoda proud, you have done.

    @efgoldman:

    I think a wintry Friday night is an excellent time for you to go out behind the shed and fuck yourself.

    This just screams for a haiku, or twelve.

  91. 91
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Redshirt:

    I’d love to get literally get inside Halperin’s head.

    You can try the jaws of life, kid, but I’d bring the CRS for backup, cuz there’s no telling what dangers lurk in that wiring…

  92. 92
    the Conster says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    I think she’d turn WV blue again, and might be able to pick off a couple of other leaners like IN and MO that swung back last election. If she really wanted to, but she’d have to really work hard, which we know she can.

  93. 93
    James E. Powell says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    I do wonder, if Clinton gets the nod, if the Dems could pick up a few more seats in Appalachia. Seems she still has a lot of support there.

    Will she be running against a black guy again? Because I’m guessing that that is the only way she will get a lot of votes from Appalachian white people.

  94. 94
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Dr. Mouse:

    if Hillary announces, there is no democratic primary. Period. She and Bill were good soldiers for Obama and no one will have the funds or the balls to run against her.

    I think you underestimate the self-identified Anti-PUMA forces, some of whom seem to hate Hillary even more than they love President Obama. Of balls, they have plenty; and as long as there are Repub ratfckrs running free, the money will be found.

  95. 95
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @mclaren:

    Really? You seriously think Jeb Bush could get nominated by the Republican party?

    Of course I’m serious. This is a serious blog. We are serious people.

  96. 96
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @James E. Powell:

    There’s a reason some of those districts in Tennessee and Arkansas had never been represented by a Republican, ever, before 2010. There’s also a reason she got more primary votes than Obama or any Republican in most of those counties. I’m not talking about turning the whole region blue (never was that way), I’m talking about winning enough seats to no longer have to try and build a congressional majority while completely ignoring the entire South.

  97. 97
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mike E:
    Go behind the shed
    And make sweet love to your own
    Orifices, please

  98. 98
    cthulhu says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    The thing that most interested me in those hacked emails was Jebbie’s delusion that Poppy had rehabilitated Clinton’s reputation as an act of kindness.

    I keyed to the same thing. There are no facts on the ground that can disabuse the Bush Clan from perceiving itself as the premier and most well-respected political dynasty in recent American history.

    I also thought it was interesting that GW was highly worried about the possibility of Clinton giving the eulogy had Poppy died during this last health scare.

  99. 99
    mclaren says:

    @James E. Powell:

    You make a series of good points. But I think you’re mistaking the general regard the mainstream media have for disgraced con artists like Karl Rove for credibility with the general public.

    There does seem to have been a sea change in public opinion on Republican policies. Check the polls on libera policies like getting out of Afghanistan, cutting the military, legalizing pot, legalizing gay marriage, increasing the minimum wage, more stimulus funding, etc. 8 years ago the polling ran against many of these policies. 4 years ago the polling was slightly in favor of ’em. Now, in 2013, the polling is overwhelmingly in favor of liberal policies. It’s not even a contest anymore. The only Americans who want a bigger military and more foreign wars and big austerity cuts in government and a ban on gay marraige are elderly white people — and they’re dying off. That whole demographic is just going away.

    And AFAICT there’s a huge dislike among the general public for most of the highly touted Republicans who could make it through the primaries. (I’m not talking guys like Huntsman here because they don’t have chance in the Republican primaries. Only the crazies could make it through the primaries now, wackaloons like Huckabee et al.)

    “Wisconsin voters would pick Hillary Clinton over their state’s own Scott Walker or Paul Ryan for president in 2016, according to PPP’s latest Wisconsin poll.

    “Clinton leads Ryan 51% to 43%, Walker 54% to 41% and Marco Rubio 52% to 38%. She has a formidable +19 favorability rating, with 56% of voters holding a favorable opinion to 37% unfavorable. Clinton’s strong numbers stem from her popularity with moderates (71/20) and independent voters (58/34). Ryan’s favorability is evenly split at 46%.”

    Source: Republican policy polling, “Republican presidential primary 2016”

    Ebola virus is more popular than the most-mentioned Republican 2016 hopefuls right now.

    And as for the Republican efforts at voter suppression…fuhgeddaboudit, as they say in New Jersey. If the Republicans have to stoop to those kinds of dirty tricks just to complete, they’ve already lost.

  100. 100
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @mclaren:

    Jesus on a unicycle, Mnem said flat out she had had a horrible week. When I have had a horrible week I don’t need to go prowling around through the googlez for stuff when i have a perfectly good and generous hive mind at my disposal, and I SURE AS EVERLOVING FUCK don’t need some snotty-nosed punk getting all sarcastic and patronizing on me. A little dab of simple humanity would not be amiss.

  101. 101
    Yutsano says:

    @Mnemosyne: He still has a brown wife and a daughter with a drug problem. Until he comes up with a decent solution for those I don’t foresee JEB! getting any kind of traction until he solves those wee little speedbumps.

  102. 102
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Why shouldn’t it be Rick Santorum? Last year’s second-place finisher, teabagger-friendly, white male. Seems like a perfect fit for today’s Republican base. I always overestimate the Tea Party’s ability to actually change things, but after Romney I assume they’ll scream bloody murder to keep another big-business type smooth talker. They’re out for blood.

    Yeah, by all TRADITIONAL Repub standards, 2016 will be Rick’s turn. Except he’s a genuine snake-handler-level Opus Dei cingulum-cinching freak and has a long documented record of petty grift trailing behind him, so the remaining not-totally-demented members of the Permanent Party are desperate to keep him off the ticket. If he staggers up to the platform in 2016, I think it’ll definitely mark the death throes of the Republican Party.

  103. 103
    Mike E says:

    @Gin & Tonic: One! Needs moar “nature”…

  104. 104
    Goblue72 says:

    Obama has barely finished filling out his 2nd term cabinet and you jackasses are talking about 2016? And you have the stones to call the Bektway insular? Yeesh.

  105. 105
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I don’t know much about Ayotte but I’m guessing she has the bug

    Early days for Ayotte — under normal circumstances she’d be campaigning for the vice-presidental slot. On the other hand, that’s what people said about Obama in 2005, and I’m sure Ms. A remembers that analogy quite as well as the rest of us.

  106. 106
    Redshirt says:

    Can you FEEL the Jeb!mentum?

  107. 107
    Elizabelle says:

    Halperin.

    Hackitude.

  108. 108
    Mandalay says:

    @mclaren:

    Jeb Bush has fortunately become radioactive in U.S. politics, courtesy of his drunk-driving sociopath brother. The one good thing about the Bush years is that it has made the Bush family name into a permanent shitstain on American politics, the kind that even Clorox bleach can’t wash out.

    That’s the least of it. Jeb’s family makes the Palins look like aristocracy:
    – His wife was caught smuggling.
    – One of his sons has been arrested for being drunk and disorderly.
    – His daughter is a drug addict.

    And Jeb was on the wrong side of the Schiavo issue. There is a noose around Jeb’s neck before he even thinks about campaigning.

    Democrats should be praying that Mr. Fuckedupfamilyvalues is the Republican candidate in 2016. And if he is I hope that they drag that phony bastard into the gutter.

  109. 109
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Anne Laurie: Early days for Ayotte —

    True, but a Senate voting record has become such an albatross lately, especially on their side, that I think the younger ones are in a hurry, see also, Li’l Marco, the Rappin’ Rubio (for the love of god, can someone get him to drop the “young hip-hop fan!” schtick? for his sake and all of ours).

  110. 110
    Anne Laurie says:

    @mclaren: You’re entirely correct in your assessment of the GOP, and yet: Somebody has to run against the Democrats, or the media buys shrivel up. And none of the existing minor parties is organized enough to run a national campaign, unless there’s a groundswell of Trotskyite or Green Party support that has entirely escaped media notice. So the millionaires & billionaires & WATBs are gonna have to conclave and scrape around in that barrel to mold some kind of half-life-sized homunculous that won’t melt back into its component slime & sawdust parts under the kleig lights, I fear.

  111. 111
    mclaren says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    If [Rick Santorum] staggers up to the platform in 2016, I think it’ll definitely mark the death throes of the Republican Party.

    If any of the freaks and extremist loons being admiringly mentioned stagger up to the platform in 2016, I think it’ll definitely mark the death throes of the Republican party.

    Huckabee? Jindal? Gingrich? Santorum? Paul Ryan? Marco Rubio? Daryl Issa? Rand Paul?

    Ai caramba. All these people are as politically toxic as Drano.

  112. 112
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Anne Laurie: But she’s just not interesting. At all. She doesn’t have a story to tell or a unique niche to occupy. Compared to Rand Paul or Ted Cruz or Scott Walker, she disappears. I can’t see it.

  113. 113
    Redshirt says:

    People thought Nixon had no chance to run for President again, and he did, and won. Beware!

  114. 114
    👽 Martin says:

    @mclaren: Agreed. I see any of a dozen Democrats being unbeatable by anyone with name recognition in the GOP. We may not pick one of them, and maybe there’s a dark horse on the right, but I cannot imagine a realistic 2016 matchup that doesn’t result in a Dem in the WH.

  115. 115
    danielx says:

    This presupposes that I want a look into Mark Halperin’s mind, however fascinating it may be. I would rather be sentenced to spend thirty days locked in a cell with an insurance salesman presenting the benefits of a policy type 30b, but hey, to each their own…

    @mclaren:

    the Mormon Gordon Gekko*: Win.

    *corrected.

  116. 116
    James E. Powell says:

    Well I hope it’s just me and my Cleveland mindset, but I can never be optimistic. A completely unprincipled fraud made the last election close enough to give me agita. And the Party of Evil still controls the house and thus the government.

  117. 117
    mclaren says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    You’re making excellent points here. And who knows, you may well be correct. You were certainly 100% dead right about the Mormon Gordon Gecko getting the 2012 nomination and I was completely 100% totally dead wrong, shitheadedly wrong, stupidly and blindly wrong. So props to you on that one. You got 2012 right and I got it wrong.

    The dynamic going on right now, though, is that the teahadist birther global-warming-denialist monster the billionaires and Republican superPACs created in the 1980s and 1990s and early 2000s has now taken over the Republican party, and it’s a good question whether the billionaires can wrest control of the party back from them.

    We saw what happened when the Mormon Gordon Gecko got nominated. The teahadist crazies forced him to take positions so extreme he had to denounce his own Romneycare program in order to get the nomination. That sounds like Rove and the superPACs are no longer in control of the Republican party — the survivalist racist anti-abortion “drill, baby, drill!” crazies are now in control. And they don’t care about money. They’re fanatics. The teahadists and the birthers and the anti-evolutionists are perfectly willing to go down to destruction as long as they take their perceived enemies within the Republican party with them. Those guys are like Leninists. Their philosophy is “The worse, the better!” They want to blow apart the whole system in the hope they’ll pick up the pieces, like Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the Bond movie You Only Live Twice.

    The problem is, “Let everything burn!” ain’t a real popular platform to run on…

  118. 118
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mike E:
    Trees heavy with snow
    Sirens sing from the woodshed
    Self-love is calling

  119. 119
    Mandalay says:

    @mclaren: All valid, but the cheery poll numbers you cite are based on Clinton running in 2016. And even if she has already made up her mind to run, she may not feel that way two years from now.

    I like Biden, but he is a rung below Clinton and Obama IMO. And if neither Biden nor Clinton run then things don’t necessarily look so rosy.

  120. 120
    mclaren says:

    @Redshirt:

    I lived through the first Nixon election. That was a much more extreme time politically than today (believe it or not). Every evening you’d watch a city burning on TV. The National Guard got called out to patrol the streets. There were curfews.

    Honestly, 2013 is not comparable to 1968. That was the Year of Hell. RFK blown away. MLK blown away. Mass riots across America, cities burning, the Tet Offensive, the My Lai massacre, little brown children getting blown up in Klan-bombed churches in Birmingham Alabama, Medger Evers shot down like a dog in his own driveway and his smirking admitted murderer acquitted by a racist jury in open court… Things were much much worse in 1968. That gave reptiles like Nixon and Wallace an opportunity they don’t have today.

  121. 121
    General Stuck says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    I think you underestimate the self-identified Anti-PUMA forces, some of whom seem to hate Hillary even more than they love President Obama. Of balls, they have plenty; and as long as there are Repub ratfckrs running free, the money will be found.

    You keep repeating this nonsense, but never expound on who you are talking about. If it has to do with many of us having a problem with Hillary’s behavior when she started losing the 08 nomination battle, then that did happen. But feeding your butthurt for over 5 years is a bit much. Especially with Obama and Hillary falling in what looks like political love.

    I would hazard to say that most that were put off by Hills politicking in 08, are like me. Water under the bridge, that I have always liked Hillary, except when it seemed she fell under the spell with some of her campaign rasputins and fucked a number of republican chickens.

    If she runs, I hope she leaves those dlc money grubbing consultant grifters off of her team, as they represent the dem party of the past. If she doesn’t, and accepts the basic party that Obama and his coalition built, we likely would be happy as clams. You are really a grudge holder person.

  122. 122
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mandalay: Why is it always just those two? It’s a long way to 2016. About this time in 1989 Bill Clinton was some semi-obscure governor of fucking Arkansas, for God’s sake, who was primarily known for having given the worst speech in the history of political conventions.

  123. 123
    Mike E says:

    @Gin & Tonic: A worthy volley!

    The shed’s wintry pose
    Invites self-exploration;
    mclaren knows himself

  124. 124
    General Stuck says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I don’t think she will run either. If it wasn’t for all the baggage of Bill’s time in the WH, and dealing with the republican shitholes that will hound her morning noon and night, I think she might through her bonnet in the ring. But after globe trotting for 4 years, and being 69 in 016, I don’t think she will go for it.

  125. 125
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    As I’ve said, I’ll be surprised but not shocked if in the end Hillary doesn’t run. I think she’s far more ambivalent about the Big Chair than most pols at her level, not that she doesn’t have the fire in the belly, but it doesn’t burn as hot as for her husband, even Biden. OTOH, I think she feels a certain obligation as the only woman that I can see who currently has a strong shot at it.

    I kind of think that ambivalence may be her strength this time. Does anyone else see what I do, that HRC is much less interested in being liked now? I think Amy Poehler’s going to have to recalibrate her imitation. I would love to vote for the woman who sat through those Benghazi hearings all but holding up a sign saying, “I’ll suffer you fools, but not gladly.” But then, I’m not your average voter. I like Obama’s “cool, detached, cerebral” confidence, and Bubba’s love me! love me! I feel your pain schtick wore on me. Still does.

  126. 126
    mclaren says:

    @Mandalay:

    Joe Biden is the American Stalin. He created the unconstitutional legislation on which the USA Patriot Act was based — and Biden boasts about it.

    Biden loves the War on Drugs and thinks we need much harsher penalties for marijuana. He has repeatedly said that “marijuana is a gateway drug,” a claim systematicaly disproven by all the available research.

    Joe Biden wrote the bill that created a national drug czar.

    Joe Biden adored the Iraq war and repeatedly urged America to continue fighting that endless pointless quagmire. Here’s Joe Biden the war lover, ardent supporter of the doomed Iraq war:

    Joe Biden on the Don Imus show, 8/17/2006:
    “We’ve got one last shot here to separate these parties [in the Iraq civil war], and you have to do it politically.”

    Joe Biden, Fox News, 11/21/2005: (Should we leave Iraq right now?)
    “Not immediately, no. I can understand Jack’s frustration. This is a guy who has concluded that so far we’ve handled this effort incompetently, but it seems to me that we have one last shot at getting this right.”

    Joe Biden, Charlie Rose show, 21 June 2005:
    “I personally think we should not set an exit date. I personally think we should take one last shot at trying to do this the right way. I think it still can be done.”

    Joe Biden, Face the Nation, 6/19/2004:
    “We need time. There’s one last shot at getting this right in Iraq.”

    Joe Biden, Hardball, 24 May 2004:
    “We’ve made significant mistakes. Our one last shot to get this right, unite the world, convince the Iraqi people that this is not just a U.S. occupation, is June 30.”

    Joe Biden, 11/7/2003:
    “I am convinced we have one last shot at bringing the world into Iraq,” said Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, the senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee. “We must do everything in our power to seize it.”

    One last shot…for THREE FUCKING GODDAMN YEARS. Joe Biden is George W. Bush with a kinder gentler genocidal murder program.

    Joe Biden tells ABC News: “… I think legalization [of marijuana] is a mistake. I still believe it’s a gateway drug. I’ve spent a lot of my life as chairman of the Judiciary Committee dealing with this. I think
    it would be a mistake to legalize.””

    Joe Biden criticizes George H. W. Bush for not waging a savage enough War on Drugs in 1988: “In 1988, the major drug bill he had spent years crafting became law. Included was the creation of a national drug czar, a key Biden objective and a job that went to Republican William
    Bennett. Biden vowed to be Capital Hill’s point man in pressing the new Bush administration on antidrug spending and helping Bennett navigate his way through a thorny bureaucratic thicket of multiple congressional jurisdictions. When Pres. Bush announced his 1989
    antidrug plan, Biden showed no hesitation in criticizing him for not finding initiatives already on the books. He called for higher taxes on cigarettes and tobacco (neither of which he ever used) to pay for them. Biden unleashed his old fire: “Mr. President, you say you want a war on drugs, but if that’s what you want we need another D-Day.
    Instead you’re giving us another Vietnam–a limited war fought on the cheap, financed on the sly, with no clear objectives, and ultimately destined for stalemate and human tragedy.”

    (Biden wants the War on Drugs escalated to a “D-Day”!!!)

    Source: Joe Biden on Drugs

    Joe Biden wrote the original Patriot Act in 1995 after the Oklahoma bombing of the Murah Federal Building, but lawmakers turned it down in horror and disgust — until 9/11 created the climate of fear Uncle Joe Stalin — excuse me, Biden — needed to get that loathsome treasonous piece of legislation passed.

    Seriously… And you want this vile authoriatarian wacko Joe Biden to become president???!?!?!??!

  127. 127
    Mandalay says:

    @👽 Martin:

    I cannot imagine a realistic 2016 matchup that doesn’t result in a Dem in the WH.

    How about any Democrat other than Biden or Clinton vs. some middle of the road vanilla Republican (e.g. Mitch Daniel, Tim Pawlenty)?

    I wouldn’t blindly assume that would result in the Republicans losing. Being on the right (popular) side of the issues isn’t everything in a presidential race.

    Many were astounded that Obama did not lose the last election, but I was astounbded that a candidate as horrible as Mitt Romney still managed to get 47%. If the Republicans can find someone less awful than Romney, and Clinton does not run, then I don’t think a Democrat victory is assured.

  128. 128
    Joey Maloney says:

    @JPL:

    You really want to get inside Halperin’s head… What if that happened and there was nothing inside.

    And then after fifteen minutes you find yourself spit out onto the shoulder of the Jersey turnpike. “Halperin? Halperin Halperin, Halperin!”

  129. 129
    mclaren says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    That’s the strongest argument I’ve heard so far against Hillary running. After all, back in 2006 all the pundits and all the polls confidently predicted a Hillary-Rudy Giulinai matchup in 2008. And of course neither of those people wound up nominated.

    Thing is, if Hillary doesn’t run, the Democrats have got even stronger people to run. Can you imagine if Elizabeth Warren ran for president? With her campaigning skills and her populist appeal, she’d feed every one of her Republican opponents into a meat grinder. She’d wipe the floor with the Republicans.

    And just imagine if Alan Grayson or Russ Feingold was her running mate…

  130. 130
    MikeJ says:

    Top shelf staffing? Hillary?

    Perhaps if you think caucuses don’t count, or states with black people don’t count, or states that a Republican has ever won in the history of the world don’t count, or if you don’t have the basic math skills required to do addition…

    Yeah, top shelf.

  131. 131
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @General Stuck: I was actually talking about Kelly Ayotte.

  132. 132
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mike E:
    Icicles form as
    The wind howls through the rafters
    You pleasure yourself

  133. 133
    General Stuck says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    kind of think that ambivalence may be her strength this time. Does anyone else see what I do, that HRC is much less interested in being liked now?

    Yes, I do. I think she is a unique politician, not only for being female and qualified to be president, but few have been through the fires like she has. And that doesn’t exclude her randy husband forcing her to deal with a cheating hubby as first lady. I don’t think I could be any more impressed with Hillary in her performance recently testifying on Capital hill. It was a tour de force performance delivered by a consummate politician with few equals.

  134. 134
    Redshirt says:

    LOL. That’s too fat a fastball down the middle.

  135. 135
    mclaren says:

    @Mandalay:

    Pawlenty is completely un-nominatable. I predicted that years ago, and in that case, I was right. Pawlenty is too moderate on abortion. He doesn’t hate women. He’s not a rabid racist. He’s not a global warming denier. Pawlenty has no chance. The Republican base would set him on fire and roast weenies over his flaming corpse.

    Mitch Daniel is likewise far too moderate to make it through the barbed anus of the Republican primaries.

  136. 136
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @mclaren: OCD much?

  137. 137
    General Stuck says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Oh well, sorry about that. I don’t know much about Ayotte, other than her being a wingnut, which never is a plus in my book.

  138. 138
    Anne Laurie says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    But she’s just not interesting. At all. She doesn’t have a story to tell or a unique niche to occupy. Compared to Rand Paul or Ted Cruz or Scott Walker, she disappears. I can’t see it.

    You know that, and I know that, but does Kelly Ayotte know that?

    Remember, even some Democrats who should’ve known better thought all that Sen. Obama guy had to offer was being ‘clean & articulate’ and a member of a woo-able minority.

    Ayotte is not Obama, but she’s a MOM, too also, and her Repub competitors, while numerous, also lack in the charisma department.

  139. 139
    amk says:

    @mclaren:

    And just imagine if Alan Grayson or Russ Feingold was her running mate…

    way to kill off the warren candidacy.

  140. 140
    Mandalay says:

    @mclaren:

    Seriously… And you want this vile authoriatarian wacko Joe Biden to become president???!?!?!??!

    I said I liked him. I didn’t say I wanted him to become president. I wish that Paul Wellstone would run, but sadly I think that’s unlikely. And you make a strong case that Biden’s avuncular facade conceals an authoritarian bastard.

    But I also don’t delude myself that as a practical matter his policies would be that different from Barack “assassinate-troublemakers” Obama, or Hilary “ban-flag-burning” Clinton.

    The kind of person I might want as president (Bernie Sanders? Daniel Moynihan? Paul Tsongas? Bill Bradley? Even Jon Huntsman?) just doesn’t have what is required to win the race. And I mean that as a compliment, not a criticism.

  141. 141
    Joey Maloney says:

    @El Cruzado: Remember, if you look into the void, the void looks at you.

    But if you cast into the void, you get a type error.

    Just a little programmer humor for your Friday evening.

  142. 142
    Mike E says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    The snow hides reason.
    A trip to the shed beckons;
    My need for wood grows

  143. 143
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Anne Laurie: but that’s just it. “Biracial guy with an interesting memoir and a barn burner of a convention speech” is FAR more interesting than “pretty sidekick to John McCain and Lindsey Graham.” Mitt Romney is like Joe Compelling by comparison. Ayotte is going to need to come up with something off the wall or emotionally resonant to be Her Thing. [ETA]Without that it’d be like the Democrats lining up behind Joe Donnelly or something.

  144. 144
    Mandalay says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Why is it always just those two? It’s a long way to 2016.

    Because they are the only obvious candidates, and it seems generally accepted that Clinton or Biden will get the nomination if either/both of them decide to run. That’s all. Can you suggest anyone else who is a likely alternative?

    About this time in 1989 Bill Clinton was some semi-obscure governor of fucking Arkansas, for God’s sake, who was primarily known for having given the worst speech in the history of political conventions.

    That is not the case. For my sins I was living in Arkansas in 1989, and Clinton was a national figure then just as much as (say) Governor Christie is now. He was definitely not “semi-obscure”.

  145. 145
    Joey Maloney says:

    @mclaren: footage of him gibbering and giggling while hurricane Katrina drowned New Orleans] Voice over intones “We had cleansed ourselves…and now they bring the evil back!”

    Get Joss Whedon on the phone, stat!

  146. 146
    danielx says:

    @Mandalay:

    @mclaren:

    Jeb Bush has fortunately become radioactive in U.S. politics, courtesy of his drunk-driving sociopath brother. The one good thing about the Bush years is that it has made the Bush family name into a permanent shitstain on American politics, the kind that even Clorox bleach can’t wash out.

    Guys –

    Please. First, Palin isn’t a just comparison; it’s not like being regarded as trailer trash by the Villagers (now or then) has ever served as a real barrier to to the White House – see Clinton, Bill; Carter, Jimmy; Truman, Harry; Lincoln, Abe…etc. Accomplishing anything, yes, getting there, no. Though I admit La Palin and her brood set a new standard for sleaze, actual and potential.

    As to Jeb!, well, it wouldn’t be the first time for one of those comebacks for which Sodom on the Potomac is so justly famous. I mean, Jeb hisself hasn’t actually been caught doing anything nefarious by Republican standards, which I grant are pretty goddamn flexible. Being on the “wrong” side of the Schiavo thing amounts to a gold star in certain circles of wingnutville. Redemption is always possible for Republicans, remember – there’s this guy named Gingrich whose Newticles have gotten him in repeated difficulties, but who was regarded as a serious presidential candidate some months back and is still a feature on the Sunday morning whorefests. Mark Sanford is staging a comeback, Diaper Dave Vitter never went away (okay, he’s from Louisiana, he gets a handicap).

    Chief point is that the Bush clan has been involved in nefarious shit for over half a century and has continued to get richer and more powerful the whole time. To the point where the halfwit dry drunk incompetent scion could get elected president, fuck up by the numbers, get re-elected, go out as one of the most unpopular and worst presidents in history…and have his brother discussed as a serious candidate four years after he left office…Q.E.D. Do not underestimate the Bushes; Jeb is the smart one who was supposed to get elected in 2000. Unfortunately for Jeb, he may well be like Chris Christie – another fat guy who’s not crazy enough for the wingnuts.

  147. 147
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mandalay: Tsongas and Bradley are famous deficit scolds, FWIW.

  148. 148
    mclaren says:

    @Mandalay:

    The kind of person I might want as president (Bernie Sanders? Daniel Moynihan? Paul Tsongas? Bill Bradley? Even Jon Huntsman?) just doesn’t have what is required to win the race. And I mean that as a compliment, not a criticism.

    That is the Catch-22, isn’t it?

    The decent men and women who stand for humane sensible policies are also the ones without the savage meathook-in-the-eye instinct for infighting that would get them into the White House.

  149. 149
    MikeJ says:

    @Mandalay:

    That is not the case. For my sins I was living in Arkansas in 1989, and Clinton was a national figure then

    He gave the nominating speech for Dukakis in ’88. Obviously some people already had their eyes on him.

    It’s a pity the internet wasn’t widely used at the time. All of the google results are the NYT and WaPo complaining about the 33 minute long speech. I knew a lot of Democrats and didn’t know anyone who cared about the length.

  150. 150
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mandalay: You may remember it better than I, but certainly you’ll grant that Bill Clinton in 1989 was nowhere near the national figure that Smokin Joe or Hillary are now. As mclaren said, 2008 was guaranteed to be Hillary vs Rudy. Three years is a long time. How is, say, Julian Castro in 2013 very different from Barack Obama in 2005?

  151. 151
    mclaren says:

    @danielx:

    Your arguments here mainly serve to support Jeb Bush’s ability to win the Republican nomination. Perhaps he could; that’s certainly possible. But winning a general election as a Bush is an entirely different matter.

    All the Demos would have to do would be to run a continuous montage of Katrina footage and mutilated Iraq war vets and Condi talking about mushroom clouds and Dubya himself yapping about WMDs…oh, and by the way, you can bet that infamous “joke” video of Dubya hunting around under his desk and smirking “Where are those WMDs? No, they’re not here…not here…” would show up.

    By the time the Republican primaries were over, Jeb Bush would be a smoking cinder standing in a pair of $1000 loafers.

    As to your other point, that the Bush crime family has been involved in nefarious shit since Prescott Bush made the family fortune by helping Hitler’s arms dealer evade U.S. banking laws — sure, but that’s ancient history. People today are still pissed as hell about how Dubya screwed them over and ran off with the cash. The George W. Bush presidency remains one of the greatest disasters in the history of this country, and nobody’s forgotten it.

    If you doubt that, ask yourself: why did the Democrats have Bill Clinton campaigning for their guy Obama, while the Republicans didn’t even mention Dubya?

  152. 152
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mike E: “Wood” FTW. Good play, and it’s approaching bedtime for me.

  153. 153
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @FlipYrWhig: And Tsongas is dead, too, which is even more of a handicap.

  154. 154
    lojasmo says:

    Clinton v. Kerry v. Biden.

    Amirite?

    Seriously, not gonna fuckin happen.

  155. 155
    burnspbesq says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    all the while wishing we’d have had a younger candidate.

    Here’s your younger candidate.

    http://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/

  156. 156
    dance around in your bones says:

    It just makes me gag to think of any more arbustos (Bushes) in our government.

    Literally
    gag.

  157. 157
    Mandalay says:

    @danielx:

    Being on the “wrong” side of the Schiavo thing amounts to a gold star in certain circles of wingnutville.

    Those “certain circles of wingnutville” may determine who gets the Republican nomination, but they do not decide who wins the election.

    Voters determine that, and they will be constantly reminded that it was Jeb Bush who overrode the wishes of Schiavo’s husband and ordered doctors to resume life support for Schiavo.

    That act may earn him the eternal love of the religious right, but it is a toxic and unacceptable position for the rest of the electorate. Even old white people. I think that Democrats will ensure that it becomes a major issue if Bush decides to run.

  158. 158
    burnspbesq says:

    @mclaren:

    And people take this slubberdegullion seriously when she spouts drivel about the alleged future of American politics…?

    If the alternative is you …

  159. 159
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @burnspbesq: Indeed. NYS is like AAA ball, as far as I’m concerned, and she’s playing very smart baseball. Including being smart enough not to have everybody talking about her yet, when it’s too early.

  160. 160
    mclaren says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    You’re making by far the most powerful argument against a simple easy win by the Demos in 2016. 3 years is a damn long time. Things can change a lot in 3 years. We just don’t know at this point which Demos will be in a credible position to make a run in 2016, given the unknown circumstances on the ground 3 years from now.

    For example: what if there’s another terrorist attack?

    Or what if Obama gets us out of Afghanistan but into another disastrous endless unwinnable major foreign war and Americans finally get fed up with the endless war, war, war, nothing but war, constant war, every year a new war?

    What if there’s another global financial collapse because none of the fraud and risky financial practices that caused the 2009 financial meltdown have been fixed?

    What if the Eurozone implodes and drags the U.S. into a major depression?

    What if Obama starts using drones to blow away U.S. citizens in major U.S. cities and we get a nationwide protest backlash that makes the Occupy protests look like a boy scout camp outing?

    What if the nationwide NSA surveillance of every phone call and every e-mail made in America winds up leaking some incredibly damaging dirty laundry by one of the major Democratic contenders? (Don’t laugh: it happened to Petraeus…)

    A lot can happen in 3 years.

  161. 161
    Mandalay says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    And Tsongas is dead, too, which is even more of a handicap.

    I see that as a benefit, not a handicap. Do you really think a Tsongas presidency in 2016 would be worse than the Dubya presidencies in 2000/2004?

    ***!!! 2016 TSONGAS/MOYNIHAN 2016 !!!***

  162. 162
    mclaren says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    Gotta tell ya…this is an extremely common reaction. Including among Republicans.

    Didn’t one national Republican kingmaker remark last year on a possible Jeb Bush run for the senate presidency: “Three generations of imbeciles is enough!”…?

  163. 163
    lojasmo says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Ooh! Besties?

    How does that work?

  164. 164
    lojasmo says:

    @Dr. Mouse:

    Fuck. If hillz announces, I’m on board.

    And I hate the Clintons.

    Ted and Hellen will be outraged, one way or another.

    Win/Win

  165. 165
    burnspbesq says:

    @mclaren:

    And just imagine if Alan Grayson or Russ Feingold was her running mate

    And thinking that outs you as a Republican mole. Or feloniously detached from reality. Tell us which it is.

  166. 166
    lojasmo says:

    @Cacti:

    LOL. OK.

  167. 167
    Mike E says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Back atcha!

  168. 168
    mclaren says:

    @burnspbesq:

    If the sociopath tax avoidance lawyer hates it, it’s gotta be a good idea.

    Gift us again with your profound wisdom, sir: explain to us yet again how it’s an absolutely guaranteed lock that the Supreme Court will rule against Obamacare 7-2 against.

    How does a discredited debunked Wrong-Way-Corrigan like you even have the gall to show your face on this forum?

  169. 169
    JWL says:

    Where are you now that we need you, Harold Stassen?

  170. 170
    danielx says:

    @mclaren:

    Oh, I agree – Jeb might well achieve the nomination, regardless of having W attached to him like a ball and chain. In theory, Jeb or any other Republican candidate for that matter ought to go down in flames in 2016 barring a complete fuckup by Obama – not impossible, but unlikely.

    But I’m paranoid, I suppose, about what is going to happen between now and 2016. There’s no longer any conspiracy about the Republican voter suppression effort, it’s right out there in the open.

  171. 171
    burnspbesq says:

    @mclaren:

    Gift us again with your profound wisdom, sir: explain to us yet again how it’s an absolutely guaranteed lock that the Supreme Court will rule against Obamacare 7-2 against.

    You’re such a pathetic little non-entity that when you try to discredit someone by pointing to a past statement, you can’t even correctly describe the statement.

    I said that it was going to be 7-2 for.

    Now who looks stupid?

  172. 172
    Mandalay says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Here’s your younger candidate.

    I think you really may be on to something there.

    She doesn’t have “gravitas”, but I see that as an asset. And like Warren, she oozes likability. That could be hugely important if running against (say) the likes of any of the odious Republican candidates who lost to Romney. And of course, as a newbie, she doesn’t have to defend positions and quotes from ten years ago.

    I hope she has the spine and resilience that would be needed to win.

  173. 173
    burnspbesq says:

    @mclaren:

    How does a discredited debunked Wrong-Way-Corrigan like you even have the gall to show your face on this forum?

    You would know better than anyone. Why are you asking me?

  174. 174
    mclaren says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Someone with your track record really should not be asking a question like “Now who looks stupid?”

    That’s like handing a guy on the short bus a loaded revolver.

  175. 175
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mandalay: remember when Gillibrand was the villain du jour of Daily Kos, failing various litmus tests of her truly progressive progressivism? It was a virtual rehash of their widespread loathing for Sherrod Brown for having bigfooted netroots darling Paul Hackett out of the Ohio senate race. Dodd 2008! Sometimes Quién es más liberal? is so much fun.

  176. 176
    mclaren says:

    @Mandalay:

    Warren is not just likable, she’s a relentless and brutally populist campaigner. And she hasn’t let up. Just this week Warren was laying into the fraud by big banks and grilling them with questions like “So possession of drugs merits prison time, but laundering cartel money doesn’t?” while the Treasury department officials who refused to indict the bankers dissolved into raspberry compote in front of her.

    If Warren keeps this up, she’s going to build up one hell of a media presence by 2016. And since we’re likely now heading back into recession (ECRI has already called us as entering a recession, and they have an excellent track record), another 3 years of economic pain while Warren lays into the corrupt thieving bankers every week will build up the kind of grass-roots momentum other Democratic candidates wish they could buy — but can’t.

  177. 177
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @mclaren: how is Warren on the suite of civil liberties issues that get so much attention lately? I don’t remember her having anything to say about it, but I wasn’t going out of my way to dig it up, either.

  178. 178
    dance around in your bones says:

    @mclaren:

    Didn’t one national Republican kingmaker remark last year on a possible Jeb Bush run for the senate presidency: “Three generations of imbeciles is enough!”…?

    Well, this is certainly one thing I agree with you on.

    Gads. Trying to stay up to meet my mom at the airport at practically midnight and having some angst about it. Trying not to get too many + whatevers to drive.

  179. 179
    👽 Martin says:

    @Mandalay:

    Being on the right (popular) side of the issues isn’t everything in a presidential race.

    No, I agree. But the demographics are working so horribly against the GOP that they really do need to get on the right side of the issues. Latinos aren’t going to just roll over and vote GOP because they stick Rubio on the ballot. If anything, they’re going to vote even more for Dems. And the GOP needs to take some meaningful direction to win women and young people back. They’re past winning the MOE on personality alone. This is structural.

  180. 180
    catclub says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Has anybody mentioned Scott Walker on the GOP side?
    Has won Wisconsin more than Paul Ryan has.

  181. 181
    mclaren says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Warren’s positions on civil liberties aren’t spelled out in detail on her senate website “Elizabeth Warren on the issues” but what’s there looks good:

    “Reduce size of standing army to reduce deficit. (Oct 2012)”
    “Not a good idea to strip terrorists of citizenship. (Oct 2011)”

    Her positions re: foreign military adventurism are less promising:

    “Bring US troops home from Afghanistan before 2014. (Oct 2012)”
    “Take nothing off the table with Iran’s nuclear weapon. (Sep 2012)”

    (Whoa! CIA intelligence has already reported that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program. “Mossad/CIA agree Iran has no active nuclear weapons program.”)

    “Get out of Afghanistan as fast as possible. (Dec 2011)”

    “Military action possible to stop Iranian nukes. (Oct 2011)” (Since there are no Iranian nukes and the U.S. intelligence community is firm about that, this looks ominous for Warren’s foreign policy stance…)

  182. 182
    Mandalay says:

    @👽 Martin:

    the demographics are working so horribly against the GOP that they really do need to get on the right side of the issues

    Yep, that is their biggest single problem by far in the long term. I read somewhere that every week Republicans lose thousands of potential votes because old Republicans die, and are replaced in the electorate by young voters who turn 18. If they do nothing they’ll eventually get swamped by that tidal wave, even with gerrymandering.

    Latinos aren’t going to just roll over and vote GOP because they stick Rubio on the ballot. If anything, they’re going to vote even more for Dems.

    Definitely. Here in South Florida Rubio is not wildly popular despite media portrayals. His family is fiercely anti-Castro, but many younger Cubans, and children of Cubans, don’t care about that stuff. Plus many non-Cuban Latinos resent the favored treatment received by Cubans.

    If if the Republicans want a Latino poster boy running for office they should ditch this sleazy liar ASAP.

  183. 183
    mclaren says:

    @catclub:

    I cited a poll from Wisconsin showing Hillary whipping Scott Walker’s ass if he runs. And by a huge margin. I think Walker is toast, especially given the national backlash against Walker’s union-busting. Running as a union-buster in a massive recession ain’t a big winner, IMHO.

  184. 184
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @catclub:

    This is a frivolous argument against, but I’m not sure Scott Walker has the personality. Too dopey, if you will. He’s got the best chance of the class of ’10 governors, but I’ll wait to see what happens to him in 2014.

    I don’t think it would put Wisconsin in play. Paul Ryan was supposed to do that and he didn’t even win his own hometown.

  185. 185
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I kind of think Warren should stay in the senate. It would be awesome to see what she could do as head of the Banking or Finance committee. And if we’re going to bring up the age argument, she’s only 2 years younger than Clinton. The same cautions probably apply.

    I still really love Russ Feingold. I know a lot of people here hate him for whatever dumb blog-war reasons, but I think he’s great. Seems like a longshot, though. He seems to be inching towards retirement.

  186. 186
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Walker is my hunch. He has the “story” element I was talking about before: he gets to say the liberals threw everything they had at him, twice, and he beat them back both times. He’s dim and I don’t find him charismatic or handsome, but, come on, that hasn’t been shown to stop the Republicans before. Plus he has as much Koch money as he wants, which puts him a step beyond other outsiders like Paul and Cruz. Walker is like the dopey white Jindal, but with money. That’s a fairly potent combination for that party.

  187. 187
    Groucho48 says:

    @Mandalay:

    IMHO, the recent Jebmentum is really the GOP taking Christie to task for dissing them and for acting nice to a black guy. They are showing him they have an alternative, non-crazy candidate if he doesn’t toe the line. (Yes, Jeb is perfectly willing to go as crazy as he needs to, but, he hasn’t really, yet, so, the Village can point to him as the middle of the road guy, in 2016.) I don’t think it’ll work, because Christie isn’t stupid and he knows Jeb doesn’t have a chance at winning the election, though, he’d probably have a decent shot at winning the primary.

    On the Dem side, I think Clinton would be right on the cusp of being too old and Biden will be well past it. Warren would really have to broaden her areas of expertise. Outside of economics and finance, I don’t think she has much knowledge. She has time to work on that. Not sure how interested she would be in doing so. I think the Supreme Court would be great for her, after a few years on the national scene. She could be the second appointment of the 2016 Dem President, replacing Thomas. Right after Obama replaces Scalia. A guy can dream, can’t he?

  188. 188
    kay says:

    You can’t guess on the Democratic side until Clinton decides, because her decision determines who ENTERS.
    If Clinton runs, top tier candidates on the Dem side won’t enter. If she doesn’t, they will. She changes the field.
    The other candidates have their own calculation as far as positioning, and that’s the decision to enter.
    She has something no one else has, including Jeb Bush. She has tens of millions of people who already voted for her in a national race. She has an ACTUAL base, her, specifically. She didn’t have that in ’08.
    Jeb Bush has no proven “base” outside of the people who appear on Morning Joe, Halperin iis making a lazy comparison that isn’t true, as usual.

  189. 189
    kay says:

    Also, IMO it’s naive to think the GOP field in 2016 will be AS bad as it was in 2012. Incumbents have an advantage, so they got all the grifters and cranks on their side in ’12. In 2016 they’ll have a better field.
    Who ENTERS matters. The first decision matters, and voters don’t make that one, candidates do.

  190. 190
    kay says:

    Halperin to me is worthwhile to look at because he’s the end game if self-interested advocate-pundit.

    He’s 100% pushing an agenda and it is completely self-interested. His “analysis” has to satisfy two goals: benefit Halperin, not upset anyone who might…benefit Halperin. One goal, I guess.

    In that way he’s instructive. He is utterly and completely captured and corrupt.

  191. 191
    Nutella says:

    Jeb has a “compelling personal/political narrative”?

    What about “It’s MY turn! Daddy said it was MY turn now!” is compelling?

  192. 192
    Nutella says:

    Although one good thing about a Hillary/Jeb match is that both of them are referred to by their first names to distinguish them from the rest of their political families.

    I wince when I hear everybody in the room referred to by last name except H Clinton.

  193. 193
    eyelessgame says:

    Don’t forget the advantage Jeb! has among the superstitious.

    My mother was born in 1930. In her lifetime the Republicans have only won the White House when they’ve had a ticket with Nixon or a Bush.

    They’re 9-2 with a Nixon or Bush, and 0-10 with everybody else. And Julie Eisenhower isn’t interested.

    By 2016 there might be enough magical thinking among Republicans that they may think Jeb! is what they need to win again.

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