Don’t Give Jeb That Good Ol’ Religion

Suddenly the party of the Moral Majority, culture wars, and freedom of religious expression uber alles isn’t too keen on religion and politics mixing anymore.  The leader of Jebya’s Catholic faith is no longer welcome in his 2016 campaign.

“I hope I’m not going to get castigated for saying this by my priest back home, but I don’t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or my pope,” said Bush, a devout Catholic. He added that he wanted to see exactly what the pope recommended “before I pass judgment, but I think religion ought to be about making us better as people, less about things [that] end up getting into the political realm.”

I wonder how that’s going to play with the Huckster/Santorum/Rubio “strong faith guides my policies”crowd.  The guy has bigger issues though.

In an hourlong town hall, held in a narrow, three-story opera house, Bush, in his shirtsleeves, spent considerable time talking about entitlement reform and the need to fix programs like Social Security, something he noted his brother tried, and “got totally wiped out.” But on those big-ticket issues, he said, both parties need to find common ground.

“We have to reweave the web of civility,” he said, a message that plays well in a state where firebrand conservatives have not done as well. “I have deep disagreements with liberal Democrats, but I don’t assume they have bad motives.”

And on national security issues, he said, “I would like to get back to the bipartisan consensus on foreign policy,” where everyone understands “if we engage, it’s not to create war, it’s to create peace.”

“I’m like my brother, only I’ll make the absolute failure policies he implemented work!” is a hell of a campaign slogan, yes?

200 replies
  1. 1
    NonyNony says:

    Ha-ha! I’ve been seeing my right-wing family members back off from their ultra-Catholic prattlings since Francis took the throne. And now comes the public distancing of the Republican Party from the Catholic Church. I hope he either hangs on for a while or has a successor who is as committed to smacking the fingers of conservative bishops, priests and laity as he has been – the knock on effects on our own politics will be great if it can just go on for a decade or so. It might be the wedge that splits apart the bizarre conjoining of fundamentalists and Catholics that has been driving our politics for 30+ years at this point.

    Also – WTF is Jeb!’s campaign manager thinking? Does he think that Jeb! already has the Republican nomination locked up so now is the time to tack to the center? It’ll be an interesting strategy if it works, I guess.

  2. 2
    Ruviana says:

    Santorum’s Catholic. For that matter so are Brownback and Gingrich, both through conversion and looking for the “true faith.” They’ll figure out a way to work around Francisco.

  3. 3
    Sherparick says:

    Only when it comes to sex, abortion, contraception, and patriarchy. Then religion rules and the State gets to help the “religious” make those who are not follow the rules. On other stuff (from slavery to the enviroment) where someone’s ability to make lots of bucks are affected, not so much.

  4. 4
    MattF says:

    Looks like the return of ‘compassionate conservatism’. Yes, an oxymoron, and, trouble is, Francis knows more about the meaning of ‘compassion’ than the entire Republican party. Oops.

  5. 5
    Belafon says:

    I thought you all might get a kick out of this comment in a diary about Bernie Sanders and his brand of Socialism:

    Hardly a real socialist.(2+ / 0-)

    His positions on most issues are about what I used to expect moderate Republicans to espouse when I was young, so many years ago.

    I sometimes wonder if he just uses the term to scare people. lol

    No matter how far left you go, someone will accuse you of being a conservative.

  6. 6
    shell says:

    Gosh,, who knew that for these guys, the Catholic faith is really a buffet? They can pick and choose and ignore what they don’t like. Unless of course it’s about sex, abortion and beating up on gays. Then the church is infallible and they’re only being forced to follow their religious convictions.

  7. 7
    chopper says:

    I think religion ought to be about making us better as people, less about things [that] end up getting into the political realm.

    even abortion? seems legit.

  8. 8
    Big ole hound says:

    All religious assholes are still regular old assholes too. Line this GOP dozen up and if their mouths are moving the are lying. I’m plugging my ears until October of next year.

  9. 9
    gogol's wife says:

    @Belafon:

    Yes, but you have to admit there is some truth to it.

  10. 10
    feebog says:

    I don’t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or my pope,”

    Let’s hope you don’t get it from your moron brother either.

  11. 11
    El Caganer says:

    Dude can’t even get his allusions right. It’s not ‘everyone understands “if we engage, it’s not to create war, it’s to create peace,”‘ it’s ‘everyone understands “if we engage, we’ll create a desert and call it peace.”‘

  12. 12
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    Liberal Catholics ignored the previous pope. Conservatives will ignore this one.

  13. 13
    Ayn Randy says:

    It’s actually refreshing to hear Republicans admit that their religion is used when convenient. I think if more and more would admit this, the facade of this being a “Judeo-Christian country” would keep evaporating.

  14. 14
    NobodySpecial says:

    @gogol’s wife: I still note that a lot of folks who pulled the lever for Reagan in 1980 for reasons now talk about what wonderful Democrats they are, and they totally forget about the other Republican who ran as an independent on, among other things, dedicated urban renewal, slashing military spending, and fairly hardline eco-conservatism.

    Plus, you know, Rahm counts as a liberal now.

  15. 15
    Amir Khalid says:

    Isn’t anti-Catholic prejudice still a thing in some Republican circles? And isn’t Jeb being Catholic a problem in those circles? I can imagine him having to be careful when the Pope makes lefty noises. As I recall, when JFK ran, he had to promise again and again to preside as an American rather than as a Catholic. (Kerry didn’t, though.)

  16. 16
    Chris says:

    @NonyNony:

    Ha-ha! I’ve been seeing my right-wing family members back off from their ultra-Catholic prattlings since Francis took the throne.

    Decades of decades of “cafeteria Catholic” sneering from the same people who shit and pissed on their own religion’s teachings on everything from economics to foreign policy to immigration to the environment to the treatment of prisoners. I love watching these pieces of shit squirm and twist themselves into pretzels to explain why it’s okay to ignore the Papacy now that they’re finally being called on it.

  17. 17
    Emma says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: We’re not liars about it.

  18. 18
    Mike in NC says:

    Evidently Pope Francis has an actual science background, unlike corrupt businessman JEB!

  19. 19
    Knowbody says:

    Oh good, 17 months of Jeb! posts to go with the Hillary ones.

    Free hint: neither one will be president so why are we wasting time discussing them?

  20. 20
    Chris says:

    I hope I’m not going to get castigated for saying this by my priest back home, but I don’t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or my pope

    And some of us don’t get our knowledge of human biology or human psychology from the cardinals or the pope.

    Welcome to the party, pal!

  21. 21
    Chris says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Isn’t anti-Catholic prejudice still a thing in some Republican circles?

    Yes, but not in any way that really matters – if a Mormon could make it through the gauntlet of a Republican primary, if fundiegelicals could hold their nose and vote for a Mormon which most of them did, they’ll certainly do it for a Catholic.

    Anti-Catholicism is an anachronism. Plenty of fundie churches still have it, and they’ll absolutely make you aware of the fact if you’re hanging out with them socially. But that doesn’t really translate into anything political, because the right wing Catholics make up too much of the religious right – if they started attacking them the way they do, say, Muslims, the blow to the religious right would be terminal.

  22. 22
    Mike in NC says:

    @Amir Khalid: Once upon a time (30-40 years ago) there were precious few Catholic Republicans in America. Then the party decided to court the conservative clergy and back the church’s extreme birth control policies. It remains an uneasy alliance.

  23. 23
    gf120581 says:

    @Knowbody: Um, the odds are Hillary will be. So yes, we do talk about her.

    After the last few months, it’s understandable to be doubtful about Jeb!

  24. 24
    Knowbody says:

    @gf120581: I disagree. I don’t think she’s going to be the candidate any more than she was in 2008. Inevitability hurt her badly and nothing has changed.

    Sanders, O’Malley I can live with. And Warren would be front runner overnight if she would just run already.

  25. 25
    WaterGirl says:

    I can’t get too upset about politics this morning. I just ate a yummy breakfast of blueberries I had just picked from the bushes I planted in early spring, and I found my first little round zucchini and my first little regular zucchini of the season this morning, too.

    Oh, and I didn’t have to have the laser eye surgery yesterday that they thought I might need. Life is good.

  26. 26
    MomSense says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Good news!

  27. 27
    Belafon says:

    @Knowbody: It took a perfectly run campaign in 2008 to keep Clinton from being president. And she’s smart, and she knows how to learn. Notice there is almost no one running her campaign that helped her in 2008.

  28. 28
    El Caganer says:

    Francis! will be here in Philadelphia in a couple of months; they’re predicting 2 million people downtown and I suspect there will be more than that. Wonder what kind of crowd Jeb! would pull.

  29. 29
    VOR says:

    @Amir Khalid: Yes, many fundamentalist Christians still consider Roman Catholics to not be real Christians. And those fundamentalists are a key part of the Republican base.

  30. 30
    Belafon says:

    @El Caganer: I believe FOX has already reported that Jeb! pulled eleventy billion. And you can see it from the black and white pictures they show of the crowds at the Lincoln Memorial.

  31. 31
    rikyrah says:

    I love them twisting themselves in knots because of Pope Frankie.

  32. 32
    GregB says:

    Doesn’t that blubbering Christo-fascist Pastor Hagee call the Catholic Church the ‘whore of Babylon’ or something similar?

  33. 33
  34. 34
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    Speaking as a recovering ex-Catholic, I must admit it brings a smile to my face to see how Pope Francis has changed the political narrative. No, it’s not as fast or as far as I’d like, but if it means that hateful fundamentalist assholes can’t use God as an alibi for their sins anymore, I’ll take it.

  35. 35

    “I’m like my brother, only I’ll make the absolute failure policies he implemented work!” is a hell of a campaign slogan, yes?

    The thing is, that’s exactly what all traditional Republicans, the media (but I repeat myself), and a good half of the Tea Party want. They backed away from Bush because he made their positions look bad, but they will never back away from those positions. They resent that what they believe was proven wrong, but that just makes them more desperate to tell the facts and everyone who was right to fuck off. It’s rather like how they’ve behaved about racism, which is no coincidence.

    @NobodySpecial:
    Which one of those candidates got the nomination and the presidency? Reagan was the Republican party, and way too many Democrats. Since at least 1980, mainstream, and thus ‘moderate’, Republicanism has been about anti-environmentalism, deregulation, gutting the safety net, shifting the tax burden to the poor, cowboy diplomacy, enforcing fundamentalist Christian moral dogma, and strengthening criminal law and police power in ways targeted at making it a crime to be black. Current Democratic mainstream positions are the opposite of all of that. We have a Hell of a lot of ground to make up, but the difference between the parties is more night-and-day than it has been in decades.

  36. 36
    NonyNony says:

    @Belafon:

    No matter how far left you go, someone will accuse you of being a conservative.

    There has always been purity testing for leftists.

    That said – Sanders describes himself as a democratic socialist. Democratic socialists tend to advocate for a universal welfare state and consider capitalism mostly a failure. They differ from social democrats in that social democrats think that capitalism is largely fine and just needs some regulation here and there along with a universal safety net, while democratic socialists think that society as a whole should own the means of production and that capitalism is a broken economic system.

    They differ from Lenninists/Maoists because democratic socialists argue that change should come about via the democratic process rather than through violent revolution. As such they tend to be more incrementalist. Incrementalists often get called out by the magical pony leftists for being insufficiently pure because they don’t want to have to worry about the dozen steps to get from point A to point Z, they just want to jump there all at once.

    (Anyone arguing that Sanders fits in with the “moderate Republicans” of even the 1950s needs their heads examined. At best those guys could be described as social democrats, but I’d describe them as “guys who understood that their heads would be on pikes without some minimum level of social reform” rather than even social democrats.)

  37. 37
    cmorenc says:

    I think religion ought to be about making us better as people, less about things [that] end up getting into the political realm.”

    Jeb! is indulging in some cafeteria Christianity (or Catholicism) here – with politically convenient distinctions between items which belong in the “political” realm which religion should stay the Hell out of and those which are “moral” issues it’s perfectly ok for politics to meddle in. Odd how little interest the evangelical wing of the GOP has in the crystal-clear social and economic aspects of the gospels of Jesus which would be extremely inconvenient for big biddness, should they be taken seriously.

  38. 38
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Amir Khalid: Romney being Mormon wasn’t enough of an issue to keep him from getting the nomination, so I doubt Jeb’s Catholicism will be a big issue. I expect that if he doesn’t get the nom, it will be for other, more worthy reasons. SUCH AS THAT HIS BROTHER RUINED THIS COUNTRY.

  39. 39
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Knowbody: Stupid and persistent is not an attractive combo, son.

  40. 40
    ruemara says:

    @WaterGirl: Sounds like a fantastic day! Now you can sit back and what you want.

  41. 41
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Belafon: “Notice there is almost no one running her campaign that helped her in 2008. ”

    You keep using that word, “helped”. I do not think it means what you think it means. The time to sell Hillary futures short will be when Mark Penn comes aboard.

    As for the GOP race, I figure that once the cats-in-a-sack act is over the survivor(s) will emerge to find Jeb!!!!! [0] standing there, unmussed, unfussed and holding a large sack of money. He’ll be looking for a VP candidate and he won’t be hiring from among the survivor(s).

    “Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.” ™ Terry Pratchett.

  42. 42

    @cmorenc:

    Odd how little interest the evangelical wing of the GOP has in the crystal-clear social and economic aspects of the gospels of Jesus which would be extremely inconvenient for big biddness

    Those aspects of the gospels would be good for blacks. Fundamentalism got into politics in a big way after desegregation. Big business is just riding a movement that agrees with them on almost everything, anyway. All they have to do is remind the base that liberals want more regulation, and Cleek’s Law, or ‘fuck those nigger-loving liberals’ kicks in.

  43. 43
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Patricia Kayden:
    Well, both JFKs ran as Democrats. Has there ever been a Republican nominee who was Catholic?

  44. 44
    shell says:

    @WaterGirl: Canceled medical treatment always good news. Oh, and fresh blueberries!

  45. 45
    WaterGirl says:

    @MomSense: It kind of took until this morning to sink in, I think. But, yes, very good news!

    Especially about the round zucchini! (okay, kidding about level of importance) But it is kind of exciting because I have never grown them before – they are supposed to get to be the size of a cue ball in a game of pool and they sound very fun!

  46. 46
    raven says:

    @Amir Khalid: Both JFK’s? A rare mistake! Maybe not. . .

  47. 47
    Cacti says:

    Shucks, I remember back when John Kerry was a “bad Catholic” because he didn’t follow JP2’s abortion policies.

    Funny how it’s okay for GOPer Catholics to pick and choose which of the Pope’s positions are valid.

  48. 48
    NonyNony says:

    @Knowbody:

    Sanders, O’Malley I can live with. And Warren would be front runner overnight if she would just run already.

    Neither Sanders or O’Malley are Barack Obama. Obama was a top-notch candidate so beyond anyone that Democrats have run in the past that I’ll be lucky to see a candidate that good again in my lifetime (he’s been a better-than-average president too – you don’t often get that combination in US politics – usually they’re great campaigners and mediocre presidents or mediocre campaigners who turn out to be good presidents).

    Hillary Clinton could probably beat any Democratic candidate that rises to the level of, say, a Bill Clinton (another excellent campaigner, though not in Obama’s league). O’Malley is not at Bill Clinton’s level. Sanders might be – he’s certainly getting more buzz than I expected him to and he seems to know how to work a crowd.

    (And for the record, Republicans have also had two top-notch candidates in my lifetime: Reagan and W. W was a presidential candidate machine – you could almost believe he was grown in a lab to run for President. And while Reagan was a B-list Hollywood actor he could play the part of a presidential candidate like an A-lister. They both turned out to be lousy presidents, but that just underscores how hard it is to get a candidate that is both an excellent campaigner AND a better-than-average president.)

  49. 49
    Cacti says:

    @raven:

    John Forbes Kerry.

  50. 50
  51. 51
    raven says:

    @Cacti: See, Iwas wrong!

  52. 52
    patrick II says:

    @chopper:

    Climate change is a scientific fact, and is called “political” only because it can be lied about for profit.

  53. 53
    raven says:

    Loretta Lynch being sworn in with the family bible with her mom!

  54. 54
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Emma:

    We ARE talking about religion here – it is all lies.

  55. 55
    WaterGirl says:

    @ruemara: @shell: Thanks.

    I am so inspired that I am off to replace the battery in my fitbit (it’s been dead for a few weeks) and the batteries in my scale (also dead for a few weeks). I’m not sure I realized it, but I think I was kind of in a holding pattern for 3 weeks, waiting to see how the eye thing would work.

    I finally feel free!

  56. 56

    @NonyNony:

    Republicans have also had two top-notch candidates in my lifetime: Reagan and W. W was a presidential candidate machine

    Sad, but true. Idiots at first glance, proven to be idiots by their actions as presidents, but they could work a crowd, organize, and throw red meat to the base while simultaneously looking moderate to everyone else during their campaigns. Idiot savants, experts at exactly one thing. I’m not seeing that talent in Jeb, but it’s too early to be sure. Bush’s stumbles were calculated to get an ‘Awww, shucks’ response from most of the country. Jeb just seems to end up looking confused and weak. Republicans hate weak. Again, we’ll have to see, and the competition on the Republican side is pathetic. Remember, Romney was the only candidate in 2012 who could even put together a campaign organization. He won by being the only guy who could tie his own clown shoes.

  57. 57
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    “I have deep disagreements with liberal Democrats, but I don’t assume they have bad motives.”

    I assume you do, you vile sack of Bush Crime Family shit.

  58. 58
    cahuenga says:

    This message from the party and family who brought you the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

  59. 59

    I didn’t know catholics can order a la carte from the Papal beliefs menu. I’m no theologian though.

  60. 60
    cmorenc says:

    @Belafon:

    Notice there is almost no one running her campaign that helped her in 2008.

    A very good thing, yes – BUT: the word “almost” is troubling. Who are the retreads from 2008 that require the qualifier “almost”?

  61. 61
    Belafon says:

    @Robert Sneddon: I was wondering if someone would ding me for “helped.”

  62. 62
    WaterGirl says:

    @ranchandsyrup: If they could, I might still be a catholic!

  63. 63
    Belafon says:

    @cmorenc: None of the big names are there is what I was trying to imply. She probably has some low level staff that she’s always relied on, which is why I left it open. But Penn is definitely not there.

  64. 64
    Chris says:

    @NonyNony:

    And for the record, Republicans have also had two top-notch candidates in my lifetime: Reagan and W. W was a presidential candidate machine – you could almost believe he was grown in a lab to run for President.

    Bush was the perfect candidate because he was that rarest of breeds, someone who could speak Establishment and Right Wing Base fluently. Between his born-again super-religious cred and his Texas good ole boy mannerisms, the base, the kind of people who’re now the teabaggers, felt like he was one of them. As a Connecticut-born Yalie and crown prince of one of the premiere East Coast Republican dynasties, the party establishment and Wall Street types also felt like he was one of them. He was a guy who could be convincing in the Huckabee role and the Romney role, and they haven’t found anyone like him since.

  65. 65
  66. 66
    ET says:

    Republicans have only every liked religion in politics if it can be used – either as a cudgel to beat up on republicans or as a ladder to look down from. If any religions or religious tenants don’t agree with what they want politically they marginalize, demonize, or ignore. They are the party that blended religion into their politics, the problem is that can be a double edge sword. They may have downplayed that or admit it but now they have to live with it.

  67. 67
    Chris says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Sad, but true. Idiots at first glance, proven to be idiots by their actions as presidents, but they could work a crowd, organize, and throw red meat to the base while simultaneously looking moderate to everyone else during their campaigns. Idiot savants, experts at exactly one thing.

    The other thing is that as much contempt as Bush might’ve shown for the public in his policies, when it came to actually going out and shaking hands and pressing the flesh, he liked doing it. Okay, good scripting of “spontaneous” “grassroots” event helped, but I never got the vibe that I got from Romney of a guy who didn’t like being there and resented having to pretend that he did. (Whether that’s because Bush genuinely liked what he was doing, or had learned to fake it, or had his campaign run well enough to hide it, doesn’t matter – ultimately, he understood that he had to at least appear to be friendly and personable and like the people he was with. Romney couldn’t even be bothered to pretend).

  68. 68
    cmorenc says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    I expect that if he doesn’t get the nom, it will be for other, more worthy reasons. SUCH AS THAT HIS BROTHER RUINED THIS COUNTRY.

    You must not get out enough in the sorts of GOP-friendly places where people have “Are you missing me yet” posters of GWB up on their walls. There’s a huge portion of the GOP base who sincerely believe that GWB had succeeded in taming Iraq and gone a long way toward restoring the domestic greatness of the USA! USA! USA! until that nig…um Barack Obama came along and fucked everything up. That’s not to say that they hold GWB in the same regard as Saint Ronnie the Great – who will forever be the unbeatable Chuck Norris of presidents in their view – but let’s just say they have the sort of blind spots about the actual historic facts about both GWB and St. Ronnie’s presidency of the sort that, if we were talking about one’s attentive driving skills in traffic, would have resulted in dozens of serious car crashes.

  69. 69
    NonyNony says:

    @Chris:

    He was a guy who could be convincing in the Huckabee role and the Romney role, and they haven’t found anyone like him since.

    And I thank the FSM for that because holy crap that candidate would scare me. Bush didn’t scare me in 1999 (I assumed McCain would be the candidate because of how much the Republicans I knew hated W’s father), but I’ve learned better.

  70. 70
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Belafon: Soshulism, like Conservatistism, can only be failed. (/snark)

  71. 71
    Brachiator says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Isn’t anti-Catholic prejudice still a thing in some Republican circles? And isn’t Jeb being Catholic a problem in those circles? I can imagine him having to be careful when the Pope makes lefty noises.

    There are too many Catholics in high places, including the Supreme Court, for this to be as much an issue as it once was. And fundamentalists are united with conservative Catholics in being anti-secular and anti-Muslim (and of course anti-choice and anti-gay rights).

    As I recall, when JFK ran, he had to promise again and again to preside as an American rather than as a Catholic. (Kerry didn’t, though.)

    Kerry’s opponents didn’t see him as an American, so his religion didn’t matter.

  72. 72
    satby says:

    @WaterGirl: A great feeling! Hooray for you!

  73. 73
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    Meanwhile, at Fox News….

    A few days ago I read that Rubert would be turning things over to his sons, but that Ailes would still report to Rupert.

    Now today I learn that Roger Ailes will NOT be reporting to Rupert. His new bosses will be the Rupert Spawns.

    Roger scribbled the part about “still reporting to Rupert” and handed it to a fox anchor. Made it up out of thin air.

    EDIT: Could this mean other stuff fox anchors have said on-air over the years was also not true??? I’m confused.

  74. 74
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Hilarity: watching the GOP RUN from the Catholic Church that they were best buddies with up until that Francis guy fucked up the whole racket. Anyone hear from Bill Donohoe lately? Bet he’s either stroked out or forming the New American Catholic Church (you know it’s coming if they can’t get the JPII Conservative train back on the rails).

    Also hilarious: Watching Jeb! fucking up this bad this early.

  75. 75
    boatboy_srq says:

    We have to reweave the web of civility

    Translation: Rmoney’s “quiet rooms” are still open for business. It’s a shame, but Reichwing shouters just aren’t getting [s]elected to wreak their Righteous™ havoc; and all you Other People need to STFU and accept what us Very Serious People give you.

  76. 76
    Brachiator says:

    @WaterGirl: Enjoy the day! Great to hear that you don’t have to have the surgery.

  77. 77
    Aardvark Cheeselog says:

    @El Caganer:

    Dude can’t even get his allusions right. It’s not ‘everyone understands “if we engage, it’s not to create war, it’s to create peace,”‘ it’s ‘everyone understands “if we engage, we’ll create a desert and call it peace.”‘

    “When we have sex, it’s to promote virginity.” Makes sense, right?

  78. 78
    boatboy_srq says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Is there a RC archdiocese in Uganda or somewhere that US Catholics can split off and join, like the “Anglicans” did with the C of E by splitting from the US Episcopal structure and swearing fealty to Nigeria? Just askin’.

  79. 79
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: Propaganda Machine 2.1 (2.0 had bugs – see News of the World and voicemail hacking). No more, no less.

  80. 80

    @Brachiator:

    fundamentalists are united with conservative Catholics in being anti-secular

    I think this is key. Over the past couple of generations, most of the country has gone from ‘Of COURSE I go to church every Sunday! All good people do!’ to ‘Eh.’ The fundies and busybody Catholics feel like they need allies, and their differences with each other are tiny compared to their differences with the secular world. It’s why they could overlook Romney’s Mormonism. When it came down to it, he was on their side – the side of forcing the country to applaud anything said with the word ‘God’ attached to it.

    EDIT – @boatboy_srq:
    The thing is, the rest of the Murdoch family doesn’t like Rupert’s conservative crusade, or so I’ve heard. They think it’s embarrassing and a waste of money. So who knows what they’ll do with FOX News?

  81. 81
    Geeno says:

    @Amir Khalid: Al Smith in 1928 was a Dem, too.

  82. 82
    jl says:

    Huh, in the Gospels, Jesus said that if a person asks for your cloak, give it. Why was Jesus so hung up on ‘things’ and telling us what to do with our ‘stuff’?

    Also it’s interesting to note that Jeb! seems to be flacking for his brother Dub’s bogus and sketchy and failed social security reform proposals. So I guess I will add that item to my parade or horribles about how unfair these questions are about how different Jeb! is from his brother. Just because Jeb! has stuffed his foreign policy team with old Dub advisers, put Dub in charge of his magical thinking supply side economic growth institute, and is bragging about how well Florida did under Dubs disastrous housing boom and bust, and he wants to peddle Dub’s social security reform proposals, it is very unfair and a distraction from High Policy Discussion to ask Jeb! if he is really Dub. I can see why having to answer those kind of gotcha questions and rehashing dead history that is past irritates Jeb! so much.

  83. 83
    RaflW says:

    Only Villagers think SS needs this GOP “reform.” The voters see right thru it, which is why your bro got spanked on SS.

    In other news, I fully expect Jeb! and his pals to run far, far away from the encyclical on climate change that is due out asap (and already leaked). It is no wonder that voters are cynical. Religion is sooooo the moral foundation of our policies. Except when they contradict our greed. Then, ohh, not so much.

  84. 84
    MomSense says:

    @feebog:

    I don’t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or my pope

    If they actually read the gospels, most of what Jesus preaches is what shits rich people are and that if they want to be in good stead with God they should treat the poor well. There is also all that socialism in Acts where people that withhold some of their earnings (instead of giving them to the Apostles to divide “each according to his need”) drop dead.

  85. 85
    rikyrah says:

    Girl Scouts subjected to racial insults after speaking out at Cecil County meeting
    Trang Do
    7:53 PM, Jun 16, 2015

    WMAR
    SHOW CAPTION

    A group of Girl Scouts is speaking out against racial remarks they say adults shouted at them following a public meeting in Cecil County.

    A video taken after the April 29 meeting of the county’s Animal Care and Control Oversight Commission shows the tail end of a conflict between adults and Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay Troop 176.

    Several of the scouts spoke up during public comment to ask about the treatment of animals at the county’s animal control facility. Their concerns were raised after reading local newspaper articles about cramped, inadequate conditions.

    “I felt really bad for the animals because that wasn’t a really good home for them,” said 10 year old Amayah Spurlock.

    “We thought that it wasn’t right to treat our animals the wrong way, so I wanted to give reasons why they shouldn’t,” said Tamara Spurlock, 11.

    The girls were standing outside of the meeting with homemade signs, when they said supporters of the county’s animal control vendor, A Buddy for Life, began shouting racially tinged remarks at them.

    “They were saying, ‘Go back to Baltimore, where you belong,’ and they started pointing out me and my sisters,” said 13 year old Arianna Spurlock, who is African-American.

    “I was like sad and mad at the same time,” Amayah said.

    “They were calling us, like animals and stuff,” Arianna said. “And I didn’t really know why because if they are calling us animals, aren’t they supposed to be helping animals?”

    http://www.abc2news.com/news/i.....ty-meeting

  86. 86

    @jl:
    Because helping the poor means helping black people towards equality. If there’s one thing Obama’s presidency has proven to me, it’s that racism is not only alive and festering, it is the central pillar of Republicanism.

  87. 87
    rikyrah says:

    House Republicans take aim at key family planning program
    06/17/15 11:20 AM—UPDATED 06/17/15 11:23 AM
    By Steve Benen
    In the wake of the Republican gains in the 2010 midterms, House GOP lawmakers quickly prioritized the elimination of all Title X funding. Not surprisingly, the efforts faced massive Democratic resistance.

    But now that Republicans control both the House and Senate, far-right members are pursuing their goal with renewed vigor. Laura Bassett reported yesterday for the Huffington Post:


    The House Appropriations Labor-HHS Subcommittee released a budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2016 on Tuesday that zeroes out funding for the Title X family planning program, the only federal grant program that provides contraceptive and other preventive health services to poor and uninsured individuals who would otherwise lack access to that kind of care.

    The program subsidizes 4,100 health clinics nationwide and provides no- or low-cost family planning services to individuals who earn less than about $25,000 a year. The largest demographic the program serves is reproductive-aged women between 20 and 29 years old.

    Those who said the so-called “Republican war on women” is over may want to re-think their thesis.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-ma.....ng-program

  88. 88
    jl says:

    @RaflW: @MomSense:

    James, brother of Jesus had problem similar to that of Jesus and Pope Francis. James said ‘faith without works is dead’. Poor religious souls like Jeb! and the GOP want the pure essence of faith alone without all these damn uppity preachermen hectoring them about what to with their stuff and their time. Is that too much to ask?

  89. 89
    Punchy says:

    I have deep disagreements with liberal Democrats, but I don’t assume they have bad motives

    Very honest statement, but when the GOP has turned more right than a British NASCAR race, this is the mark of a traitor. CLEEK’S LAW IS TO OBEYED AT ALL TIMES, ALWAYS, BECAUSE DEMS ARE ICKY AND SHUT UP.

    He’s going to be painted as an untrustworthy RINO by the knuckledragging bible bangers. Adios, dumbass.

  90. 90
    RSA says:

    @MomSense:

    I don’t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or my pope

    Especially when it comes to stuff like Render unto Caesar, ‘cuz screw that.

  91. 91
    rikyrah says:

    From TOD:

    on chasing the “archie bunker voter”
    By Liberal Librarian

    In case it hasn’t been made painfully clear, the Democrats seeking to succeed Barack Obama as president have no time for his coalition.

    First, Hillary Clinton, the presumptive nominee, urges the President to “take advice” from Nancy Pelosi on the TPP trade deal. You know, just like her husband did when he was in charge. Oh, except, Mr. Clinton didn’t. Call me confused, but I thought that, aside from sheer incompetence or malfeasance, the members of a president’s party were supposed to take leadership from him, not nip at his heels over every initiative.

    Then, of course, we had Senator Bernie Sanders opining yesterday that black Americans needed to stop voting based on race. The sheer audacity of this statement is mind-boggling. There would have been no Democratic wave of 2006, or two Obama landslides, without the African American vote. And these same African Americans, before the arrival of Barack Obama, voted in almost lock-step for every tired-ass white Democratic candidate which made it through the primary meat grinder. Were blacks voting based on race when they voted for Al Gore or John Kerry?

    That was insulting enough. But that was just the shot. Here’s the chaser. Sen. Sanders then went on to say that Democrats had to regain the “working class vote”.

    Let that sink in. A sitting United States senator, caucusing with Democrats, running for the Democratic presidential nomination, an avowed socialist, made a distinction between black votes and working class votes. In his mind, the two are mutually exclusive, not overlapping in a Venn diagram. Blacks over there, working class over here.

    President Obama showed Democrats how to win. And it wasn’t by slavishly pining after the “working class vote”.

    Let’s call that vote for what it is: white voters who left the Democratic coalition in droves after the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act, and have stayed away ever since then, generation after generation giving its allegiance to the GOP.

    http://theobamadiary.com/2015/.....ker-voter/

  92. 92
    AnthroBabe says:

    The whole “reweave the web of civility” comment totally reminds me of this:

    Denis Leary in The Ref (1994): Well, it’s a, uh…complex web…[Clears Throat] of complications… which, uh, need to be weaved…and, uh, woven into a, uh, quilt…of some kind.

    If you have not seen this movie, DO IT NOW!

  93. 93
    PurpleGirl says:

    @ranchandsyrup: Technically no, but they do so anyway as issues impinge on their daily lives.

  94. 94
    jl says:

    @rikyrah:

    Should we include member of the Congressional black caucus in this critique?

    On trade, Obama’s most loyal allies are abandoning him (+video)
    The Congressional Black Caucus has been among President Obama’s strongest supporters. But trade deals bring back bad memories.
    Francine Kiefer, Chrisitan Science Monitor

    ‘ Rep. Cedric Richmond (D) of Louisiana has said that labor is going overboard and may face a backlash among House members. And yet, he seems to agree with their argument, citing stagnant wages, high unemployment, and income inequality as reasons he may vote against fast track.

    Representing the port city of New Orleans, Congressman Richmond, also a member of the black caucus, has been heavily lobbied by both labor and the administration. During the past six to seven months, he’s talked with the US trade representative and twice with the president – once face-to-face and recently on the phone.

    “The president’s done everything except let me fly Air Force One,” he chuckled. Still, he said last week, “I’m leaning no.”

    Every president since Franklin Roosevelt has had fast track authority, and Obama says he deserves the same respect. What about delivering for him and his legacy?

    “Everybody keeps saying, ‘Well, you’re part of the black caucus; the president’s black.’ So what? Clarence Thomas is black! That doesn’t mean much to me,” answers Richmond, referring to the conservative African-American who sits on the Supreme Court.

    Fudge feels similarly.

    “There’s never going to be any president that has a stronger, more supportive group in this body than this president has had. There are many of us who just disagree with him on this issue.” ‘

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/P.....-him-video

  95. 95
    Barry says:

    @Chris: “Decades of decades of “cafeteria Catholic” sneering from the same people who shit and pissed on their own religion’s teachings on everything from economics to foreign policy to immigration to the environment to the treatment of prisoners. I love watching these pieces of shit squirm and twist themselves into pretzels to explain why it’s okay to ignore the Papacy now that they’re finally being called on it.”

    I bet that we will find that the ones who yelled ‘cafeteria Catholic!’ the loudest will be the most picky eaters in the buffet line, so to speak.

  96. 96
    Belafon says:

    @rikyrah: Did Sanders actually say this:

    Then, of course, we had Senator Bernie Sanders opining yesterday that black Americans needed to stop voting based on race.

  97. 97
    Chris says:

    @MomSense:

    If they actually read the gospels, most of what Jesus preaches is what shits rich people are and that if they want to be in good stead with God they should treat the poor well. There is also all that socialism in Acts where people that withhold some of their earnings (instead of giving them to the Apostles to divide “each according to his need”) drop dead.

    I danced for the scribes and the Pharisees
    They wouldn’t dance, they wouldn’t follow me
    I danced for the fishermen James and John
    They came with me so the dance went on

    I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame
    The holy people said it was a shame
    They ripped, they stripped, they hung me high
    Left me there on the cross to die

    The more things change…

  98. 98
    Pogonip says:

    @Amir Khalid: Anti-Catholicism is mostly a liberal thing these days. You may have noticed it while reading Balloon Juice, for that matter.

  99. 99
    MomSense says:

    @jl: @RSA:

    The Republican party has become the party of greed, selfishness, and constant anger/persecution. It is so vile and pathetic that I can’t believe they have the gall to say the things they do out loud let alone in public. I can understand why Jeb is walking this tightrope with respect to his brother’s presidency. Despite all the evidence that when the Republicans got their way during W’s administration everything they did was total crap, Republicans still believe in those same policies. Supply side economics, preemptive war, torture, American might is always right because America is inherently good, deregulation, privatization, climate science denial, denying equal rights for women, anti marriage equality, etc. It’s all total bullshit.

  100. 100
    Barry says:

    @Belafon: “Notice there is almost no one running her campaign that helped her in 2008.”

    Yes, apparently she hired everybody from Obama’s campaigns that she could.

    Which is a great sign.

  101. 101
    Belafon says:

    @Pogonip: I haven’t seen anywhere that’s specifically targeted Catholicism while praising other denominations. I’m pretty sure we hate on all religions equally.

  102. 102
    jl says:

    @Belafon: No. I think there are problems with how Sanders views his potential role as a president in dealing with racial and ethnic injustice and prejudice. But, I don’t think he said that at all.

  103. 103
    MomSense says:

    @rikyrah:

    It is not worth chasing the racist, white vote. Keep fucking that chicken Dems and you will lose.

  104. 104
    GxB says:

    @Mike in NC: IIRC he has a masters in chemistry. I’m by no means a religious person, but this Pope fellow, damn I like a lot of what he says.

  105. 105
    jl says:

    @Amir Khalid: For protestant fundies and their fellow travelers who want to use religion as a political weapon, Catholicism is like Judaism: the attitude depends on their political utility on a given day.

  106. 106
    Brachiator says:

    @rikyrah:

    The program subsidizes 4,100 health clinics nationwide and provides no- or low-cost family planning services to individuals who earn less than about $25,000 a year. The largest demographic the program serves is reproductive-aged women between 20 and 29 years old.

    And there’s this. Just released info about US birth rate.

    The teen birth rate has hit a new record low, according to federal data released on Wednesday….

    Among teens from ages 15 to 19, the birth rate dropped 9% in 2014 to 24.2 births per 1,000 women. Since 1991, the researchers report that the birth rate for this age group has dropped 61%.

    Inevitably, conservatives will claim it’s because of abstinence programs, not birth control. Oh, wait.

    Some data suggests that teens are less sexually active than the past, and those that are having sex are using birth control more often. Some experts speculate that increased access to affordable birth control and better sex education have also played a role.

    http://time.com/3924069/teen-birth-rate/

  107. 107
    Betty Cracker says:

    @MomSense: Another sure-fire path to electoral defeat: Falling for and reposting Villager and ratfucker-crafted “Dems in Disarray!” memes.

  108. 108
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @rikyrah: Cecil County is Klan country. For real.

  109. 109
    Chris says:

    @Pogonip:

    Do liberals sometimes say things about the Catholic religion that goes way beyond anything I’d agree with myself? Sure. Is it anything they don’t also say about Islamic, Jewish, or Protestangelical religions? Not really, no. At most, you can accuse liberals of being overzealously anti-religious. Specifically targeting one religious group? No.

    PS: by “liberals,” we’re not referring to anywhere close to a majority, or even enough to significantly influence politics.

    PPS: I’ve also seen more than enough praise for various Catholics, from American nun groups to the Pope, here and on other blogs that any perceived “anti-Catholicism” is, to say the very least, not the only opinion out there.

  110. 110
    Belafon says:

    @jl: I hope not. I find the article rather over the top (and I say that as someone who leans slightly more Clinton than Sanders). I would like to see some evidence that Sanders is separating minorities and whites. If he is, then he’ll be toast in the primaries, but I just don’t see any Democrat being that stupid. Could they be evil? Yes, but I see that as Chafee’s role.

  111. 111
    jc says:

    I think what Jebush is saying is that to today’s Republicans, morality and business don’t mix. He doesn’t get economic policy from the church, he gets it from lobbyists.

  112. 112
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @jl: no shit.

  113. 113
    NorthLeft12 says:

    Yes, it is one thing to separate Church and State when the church in question is apparently being led by a DFH, as opposed to those fine religions which are being led by the spiritual clone of Dick Cheney. And that is a Dick Cheney who is not sympathetic to the LGBT population.

    Remember people, this is just starting. Sixteen more months of this insanity.

  114. 114
    MomSense says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Whatever, Betty. Chasing the racist, white vote is not going to work. There were plenty of examples in the 2014 election. If you think my opinion on Sanders’ statements equals the Democrats in disarray meme, that’s your opinion. I’m a nobody who is of a way lower pay grade than the Democratic party or campaign decision makers. I’m not the one speculating about what to do about the white, working class vote. I think all that speculation is more of a problem than my non-important opinion about it.

  115. 115
    Cacti says:

    @MomSense:

    Whatever, Betty. Chasing the racist, white vote is not going to work.

    For a recent example, see Allison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky, who called herself a “Clinton Democrat” and wouldn’t even answer publicly whether she voted for the current POTUS.

    Dog whistling to try and score points with a solidly Republican voting bloc is a waste of time, and makes the Dem candidate doing it look like a pandering fool at best, and a crypto-racist at worst.

  116. 116
  117. 117
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: I see the Murdoch succession in the same light I see the Walton succession: guy with vision (however good or bad) hands over the keys, and the kids do fvckall with it but scr3w things up. I’ll believe the younger Murdochs aren’t entitled Reichwing douchebags when young Jamie there comes clean about News of the World (his former stomping ground), voicemail hacking (performed under his leadership), and whatever it was Rebekah Brooks did for ol’ Rupert that got her so much cover.

  118. 118
    jl says:

    @MomSense: I agree. However, I think that it is a mistake to interpret any disagreement a politician has with Obama as a sign that the politician is distancing himself from Obama based on the horrible politics of chasing bigoted white voters. I also think it is a mistake to over interpret impromptu comments that politicians make, and twist them into definitive statements.about their attitudes towards racial justice.

    I think Sanders needs to show more consideration to issues of racial discrimination and injustice as their own issues, not just part of his thinking about economic injustice and inequality. In an interview yesterday, when asked about it, Sanders said that demographics was not his ‘cup of tea’. Sanders needs to think about how dismissive that sounds to large segments of the population. So, it is a potential problem. I think asserting that Sanders said, for example, that African-Americans voted for Obama just because of his race is stuffing words into his mouth.

  119. 119
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @jl: I agree with all of that.

  120. 120
    Betty Cracker says:

    @MomSense: My bad — that comment was meant for rikyrah, not you (you were just responding to her comment, which is what I meant to do as well).

    I agree about Sanders’ truly offensive statement from 2014 (it was hashed out in comments at the bottom of this thread yesterday), and I agree about not wasting time chasing racist voters.

    My worry is that all the “OMG Hillary is dissing Obama” crap is going to blow up in our faces. I don’t think it’s smart to do Rove’s (or whomever is playing the role of Rove these days) work for him.

  121. 121
    Cacti says:

    I think Bernie is sincere and well-meaning in his beliefs that all issues are bound up in class and economics.

    But it smacks of the sort of privileged naivety one can afford to have as a white male in American society, and frankly, it’s not a view that’s shared by those belonging to disfavored minority groups.

    On the contrary, it tends to come across as the whitesplaining of inequality.

  122. 122
    Knowbody says:

    @jl: It’s a complete mischaracterization of what he said. He specifically said that Democrats cannot afford to vote based on race. That would extend to gender as well, it’s a guaranteed loss in 2016.

  123. 123
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Pogonip: Modern liberal anti-Catholicism is a product of three decades of John Paul II and Benedict XVI (the latter referred to with deep [un]affection as Cardinal Nazinger), Bill Donohue and his Catholic League (and other similarly wingnutty voices from the laity), multiple horrific child abuse scandals, financial shenanigans (including some dioceses’ declaring bankruptcy so they wouldn’t have to pay punitive damages for child abuse), and some just plain reactionary spiritual guidance overall (sex ed / sexual health / contraception and abortion toward the top of that list but not alone). It’s not your grandfather’s anti-Catholicism, which was more about Papism as some nebulous undesirable: there are good reasons for the Left to have been critical of Roman Catholicism over the last several decades.

  124. 124
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Belafon:

    I haven’t seen anywhere that’s specifically targeted Catholicism while praising other denominations. I’m pretty sure we hate on all religions equally.

    this. I don’t see a dime’s difference between any and all religions. It is all about forcing people to act the way you want them to.

  125. 125
    Belafon says:

    @jl:

    Sanders said that demographics was not his ‘cup of tea’.

    He’ll definitely have to come up with an answer for that. We’re not one big white country, and not all of our problems are class problems.

  126. 126
    Chris says:

    @Cacti:

    This is basically the shorter of all the stuff I wrote yesterday. In sum: this.

  127. 127
    SRW1 says:

    @Pogonip:

    That victim complex is trans-denominational.

  128. 128
    Betty Cracker says:

    @jl: One point — the interview in which Sanders made his clumsy and inarticulate statement took place in 2014. I wonder why is it blowing up now? (I’ve seen it at other sites, not just this one.)

  129. 129
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    One point — the interview in which Sanders made his clumsy and inarticulate statement took place in 2014. I wonder why is it blowing up now?

    @Betty Cracker: Do you not think that the heavy hitters keep all this crap on a server somewhere for precisely such contingencies? Of course they do. As for spreading it around, well, there’s plenty of well-meaning useful idiot Dems to do the dirty work for them.

  130. 130
    Belafon says:

    @Betty Cracker: All those statements Clinton made about the TPP were made somewhere beetween 2009 and 2012.

    And I think it’s an important thing for Sanders to figure out and answer for because it will affect his governing style. It sounds like he was a great mayor in VT, but the state’s not exactly the bastion of diversity.

  131. 131
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    What I find worrying (as a foreign Democratic sympathiser) is that Bernie Sanders needs someone to hand him a clue about a very important part of the party’s voting base, one with a long history of voting in its rational self-interest. To generalise a bit, black Americans voted Republican when it was the party of Lincoln, and now they vote for the party of the Civil Rights Act. And they didn’t vote for Obama out of mere racial solidarity, as Sanders seems to suppose: in 2008 and 2012, Obama was plainly the better nominee.

    Others have pointed out here, Democrats don’t win without the black voting bloc. It doesn’t serve Sanders well to underestimate that bloc or to talk down to those who make it up, as he appears to be doing in that quote.

  132. 132
    Brachiator says:

    @Knowbody:

    It’s a complete mischaracterization of what he said. He specifically said that Democrats cannot afford to vote based on race.

    What was the context of this statement, ’cause it is sounding pretty stupid.

    @Betty Cracker:

    Ah, thanks for the link. Yeh, Sander’s statement is clumsy and inarticulate. And it was made in 2014. Referencing it now seems to want to stir up crap on slow news cycle days. And it creates an impression of Sanders that may become the conventional wisdom, and make it hard for him to overcome.

  133. 133
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @cmorenc: Hubby and I were driving in Silver Spring, MD which is a pretty blue city and laughed ourselves silly when we saw a pickup truck with a “Do you miss me yet?” sticker with GWB’s photo. We couldn’t believe that such monstrosities existed. I assume the truck owner was just a very bitter yahoo since no one in their right mind misses Bush.

  134. 134
    VOR says:

    hmm, Mark Penn is leaving Microsoft in September. They claim he intends to start a hedge fund. Will Hillary take him back?

  135. 135
    Knowbody says:

    @Brachiator: it only becomes “conventional wisdom” if it’s brought up by Hillary backers who want to see him lose.

    Which makes zero sense to me. If your issue is “2016 Democrats aren’t very good on issues like race” why the fuck would you back Hillary fucking Clinton?

  136. 136
    Alex S. says:

    @GxB:

    He’s the greatest revolutionary currently alive, ahead of Castro.

  137. 137
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @rikyrah: Good luck to Bernie on chasing the White working class then. We’ll see how far he gets with all of that.

  138. 138
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @rikyrah:

    Everyone knows that those Girl Scouts are the real racists.

  139. 139
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Knowbody: Which Democrats vote on race?

  140. 140
    Cervantes says:

    “It is beyond comprehension that we, as a nation, have not focused attention on the fact that millions of young people are unable to find work and begin their careers in a productive economy,” Sanders said. “We cannot turn our backs on this national tragedy.”

    Sanders and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) last Thursday [June 4, 2015] introduced legislation to provide $5.5 billion for states and local governments to employ 1 million youth from ages 16 to 24 years old.

    Sanders linked high unemployment to incarceration rates. A recent Sentencing Project study projected that one in three black males are likely to be imprisoned at some point in their life. The figures for Hispanics and whites are, respectively, one in six and one in 17.

    “The answer to unemployment and poverty is not and cannot be the mass incarceration of young African Americans,” Sanders said. “It’s time to bring hope and economic opportunity to communities across the country.”

    And for his trouble, some genius is going to call him a white supremacist, again.

    And as for John Conyers, it’s only a matter of time before we discover he’s a Klansman, too.

  141. 141
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Belafon & @Amir Khalid: I agree 100% with your points about Sanders’ statement. It was clueless as hell, and even if he’s only running to shove HRC to the left on economic issues (which is what I think he’s doing — he’s not delusional on par with Kucinich, IMO), he needs to appeal to a diverse national party, not just Vermonters.

    @Cervantes: That was earlier this month, and the controversial statement discussed above was late last year. Funny how the more recent info is getting zero play.

  142. 142
    Origuy says:

    @GxB:

    IIRC he has a masters in chemistry.

    Turns out that was incorrect. He got a chemical technician’s degree, equivalent to an AA, and worked for a food company before going to seminary. Some Catholic newspaper claimed he had a masters in chemistry.

  143. 143
    Brachiator says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    @Betty Cracker:

    What I find worrying (as a foreign Democratic sympathiser) is that Bernie Sanders needs someone to hand him a clue about a very important part of the party’s voting base, one with a long history of voting in its rational self-interest.

    Let’s look at this from another angle. There appears to be a new conventional wisdom that could set the Democrats up for a defeat. There is the idea that Obama’s two electoral victories were a fluke, that he was a black president elected by a huge black bloc. The Republicans have long hung their fortunes on this, and now Democrats are being encouraged by some to take the country back for white people by appealing to white people.

    This ignores the Obama coalition. I noted before that Obama got huge majorities of the Latino vote. He also got huge majorities of Asian voters of all Asian ethnicities, including Vietnamese, who previously voted Republican.

    In 2012, Obama got 69 percent of the Jewish vote, a “massive defection” of the 74 percent that he got in 2008, but still a large majority.

    And of course, Obama got a majority of the black vote.

    So, rationally, it would seem that there was an Obama coalition made up of many Americans. The white working class who did not vote for him (and obviously there were many who did), should be invited to join the coalition and it should be the aim of the Democratic nominee to expand this coalition.

    But the narrative that troublemakers prefer is that the Democratic nominee should concentrate on wrangling the alienated white middle class, and sullen Negroes should just fall in line like they’re supposed to do. Latinos seem barely to exist, and are probably just illegal anyway.

  144. 144
    MomSense says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    No worries.

  145. 145
    shell says:

    Kinda slow blog day

  146. 146
    Pogonip says:

    @Belafon: It’s toned down somewhat since Doug J. left.

  147. 147
    Alex S. says:

    I think Sanders is …partly…. right in focusing on class again. When the New Deal coalition fell apart, in 1968, class lost its lead as a driving political force. Nixon’s Southern Strategy brought back race, and Obama also exploited that. Feminism has been a strong ally of the Democratic Party and personally, I think that whole cultural movement had an admirable success. Then there were the “culture wars”, i.e. the divisions of faith, guns (and the whole coastal elites vs. the heartland), and finally sexual orientation. It has a certain logic that class is making a comeback. In fact, the neglect of it might be partly to blame for high inequality. But one shouldn’t bring it up by pushing other issues down.

  148. 148
    Brachiator says:

    @Knowbody:

    Which makes zero sense to me. If your issue is “2016 Democrats aren’t very good on issues like race” why the fuck would you back Hillary fucking Clinton?

    As opposed to who?

  149. 149
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Hubby and I were driving in Silver Spring, MD which is a pretty blue city and laughed ourselves silly when we saw a pickup truck with a “Do you miss me yet?” sticker with GWB’s photo. We couldn’t believe that such monstrosities existed. I assume the truck owner was just a very bitter yahoo since no one in their right mind misses Bush.

    @Patricia Kayden: Shit, it’s a thing. I just saw a brand new Audi – still had the paper plates and everything – with a brand-new “Bush/Cheney 2004” sticker, one that had obviously been saved for “the new car”, applied lovingly to the bumper.

    I’m always a little bit impressed by the True Believers. You gotta work hard to be that crazy.

  150. 150
    trollhattan says:

    Awww, Li’l Rand(y) Paul’s fav band won’t be besties with him.

    Paul’s admiration for Rush has continued on into adulthood and he’s frequently used the band’s music to score his political life, from victory rallies to campaign commercials, all of which must make what drummer Neil Peart told Rolling Stone in an article published yesterday even more painful: Peart, a newly minted American citizen, would never vote for Paul.

    Plus, Peart told Rolling Stone, it’s “very obvious” Paul “hates women and brown people.” Ouch. Those can’t be easy words for Paul to hear given his life-long admiration of Peart’s work. But maybe the Kentucky Republican saw this coming. He and Rush have had a somewhat contentious public relationship since his rise to national prominence in 2010. Back then, a lawyer for the band tried to get Paul to stop using its music at his events and to stop quoting lyrics in his speeches, citing copyright infringement. At the time, the lawyer wrote, “This is not a political issue — this is a copyright issue. We would do this no matter who it is.”

  151. 151
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Funny how the more recent info is getting zero play.

    Also funny* are some of the comments about:

    1. His “controversial statement” from last year.

    2. His other “controversial statement” (about feminism) from the latter part of the last century.

    *Where by “funny” I mean “ridiculous.”

  152. 152
    trollhattan says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:
    That does it, I’m getting that new Escalade to provide a home for my “Nixon’s the One” and “Ronny Isn’t Completely Gone, Yet” stickers.

    ETA Wasn’t too far into 2009 when I began seeing “How’s that hope and change working out for you?” stickers [wordy, I know] popping up in the ‘burbs. Never got the opportunity to shout “Pretty darn well!” at an owner.

  153. 153
    Tree With Water says:

    From Al Smith, to JFK, to Jeb!* mumbling into his mash potatoes about the Pope. Is this a great country or what?

    * (isn’t that how Liza! Minelli also bills her shows?).

  154. 154
    gvg says:

    Its hard not to chase the working and middle class white vote because we can see they are nuts and against themselves when they vote republican. It doesn’t dis the Black voters to notice the a certain segment of the white population has been manipulated into voting against their own best interests. Seeing some people behave stupidly tries my self control. By stupidly I mean voting for people that are ripping them off over and over. That they are racists is how they are manipulated but they really should get smarter. So I do not think we can help a few comments now and then about for instance they would be better off if they joined a union. Now investing a great deal of effort chasing them…no. Supposedly pointing out evidence just causes people ti be more certain but for instance I really wish some Kentucky pol just blurted out Kentucky care is Obamacare.

    If we could break the southern anti-union mindset, we could get a lot of things done faster. It may not make strategic sense but I can appreciate a pol telling these idiots things like that. If they weren’t so stupidly stuck on racism…..

    We need to get it mentioned a lot more that Black democrats were voting Dem at nearly the same rate before Obama as during. Republicans have been scaring them for a long time.

  155. 155
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Pogonip: I would note that some the commenters on this blog who make virulently anti-Catholic statements have stated that they were victims of abuse.

  156. 156
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Brachiator:

    There is the idea that Obama’s two electoral victories were a fluke, that he was a black president elected by a huge black bloc. The Republicans have long hung their fortunes on this, and now Democrats are being encouraged by some to take the country back for white people by appealing to white people.

    Who is advocating that?

  157. 157
    Belafon says:

    @Brachiator: Yeah, I know what those pushing the narrative are wanting: Obama was a black man and black people voted him into office and now that he’s gone, Republicans can win again. Sure, he probably got a few percent more blacks to go to the polls because of his color, but it’s also been shown that he lost a few percent because of his color. But it’s not the 80s: Republicans aren’t going to win with just white people ever again. And sorry, they’re not going to get any more votes from nonwhites or women by just putting Rubio, Fiorina, or Carson on the ticket.

  158. 158
    Fair Economist says:

    You really have to S….T……R……E……T……C…….H to find something offensive in Bernie’s 2014 statements. He just says you should vote for the guy who will make your life better, not the one with the same skin color. Would MLK disagree?

  159. 159
    Cervantes says:

    @Fair Economist:

    MLK was a Klansman, too.

  160. 160
    Brachiator says:

    @Fair Economist: There is nothing offensive in Sander’s statement. It is just clunky and irrelevant as presented.

  161. 161
    fuckwit says:

    Herpy derpy glubbity glubbity blub…. church is “pro-life” so Terri Schiavo… church is pro-poor so FUCK THE CHURCH I’M MY OWN MAN GODDAMMIT

  162. 162
    Knowbody says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    I believe the phrase is “a hit dog howls loudest” because there sure are a hell of a lot of people in this thread protesting about not voting on race.

    @Brachiator: anybody but Clinton.

  163. 163
    RaflW says:

    @Pogonip:

    Anti-Catholicism is mostly a liberal thing these days. You may have noticed it while reading Balloon Juice, for that matter.

    People tried to make that claim here in MN during the anti-gay amendment vote here a couple years ago. But the reality is that many, many progressives understand that average Catholics are quite different from their gay-bashing bishops and (some) priests. The vigorous disagreements (and yes, some scorn) is towards Catholic elites, including such (cafeteria believers) as Rick Santorum.

  164. 164
    fuckwit says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Or, not quite textbook abuse, but creepy-ass inappropriate shit from priests and religious family members.

    There is also something fundamentally creepy about a religion where all the grown men and women in the parish must call the religious authorities “father”, and those “fathers” are not allowed to have legit sex or relationships.

    Also too, catholicism, like fundamentalist christianity and islam, is impossibly patriarchal, but probably not any moreso than those.

  165. 165
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Fair Economist & @Brachiator: Nah, it was straight up offensive. I’m sure he didn’t mean it the way it came out, but it’s no stretch to find it offensive, IMO. But it would be a mistake to make that one inarticulate statement the measure of the man. He’s got a record, and it’s a good and inclusive one.

  166. 166
    Brachiator says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Who is advocating that?

    For a start, some who are yanking Sanders’ statements out of context. Secondarily, almost anyone who makes a big deal about the black vote without noting that almost everyone who was not a butthurt white working class male voted for Obama.

    To say that a Democrat cannot win without the black vote may be true, but it does not take into account Obama’s achievement in appealing to a range of voters and winning twice.

  167. 167
    Chris says:

    @Brachiator:

    Agree with much of this.

    Here’s my thing: as Riyakh pointed out a little while ago, the black working class gets it. The Hispanic working class gets it. The Asian working class gets it. The American Indian working class gets it. Doubtless these voters are often disappointed in the Democratic Party and doubtless some of them are voting “based on their race,” but this hasn’t stopped them from coming together and standing with each other in support of the Democratic Party and a more pro-working-class agenda. (Witness how many of the fast-food worker activists, for example, weren’t white).

    The only group that doesn’t “get it,” which still has large numbers of people for whom voting Republican is even an option, is working class whites. Why is that? Sanders is all about the idea that it’s because Democrats are too pro-corporate, but as noted above, that hasn’t had the same effect on all these other working class groups – and it kind of ignores other issues that are important to a lot of whites but that it’s not polite to mention out loud.

  168. 168
    Brachiator says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    But it would be a mistake to make that one inarticulate statement the measure of the man. He’s got a record, and it’s a good and inclusive one.

    Yep. This statement obviously is not all that Sanders is about.

    The campaign is just starting out. The question is whether Hillary and Bernie understand what Obama put together in winning twice and whether they can build on that achievement. These candidates, and any others who come up, have to find a way to be inspiring. And Sanders even more so, since he is a relative unknown to many people.

    @Knowbody:

    anybody but Clinton.

    That’s funny.

  169. 169
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Brachiator: So you’re saying that people who are taking Sander’s quote out of context and failing to acknowledge the importance of the non-black Obama voters are encouraging people to “take the country back for white people by appealing to white people”?

  170. 170

    @Brachiator:

    Referencing it now seems to want to stir up crap on slow news cycle days.

    An alternative explanation is that Sanders is getting more attention now that he’s officially a presidential candidate. Every candidate gets a healthy level of additional scrutiny, and that includes going back and looking at stuff they’ve said over their entire career. That’s why, for instance, people were making a big deal about stuff ¡Jeb! wrote about slut shaming back before he was even governor of Florida.

  171. 171

    @trollhattan:

    ETA Wasn’t too far into 2009 when I began seeing “How’s that hope and change working out for you?” stickers [wordy, I know] popping up in the ‘burbs. Never got the opportunity to shout “Pretty darn well!” at an owner.

    There’s a truck I see on my morning walks that has a “Who Is John Galt?” bumper sticker, and I always think about sneaking up and writing “A fictional character” on it. Of course, I never have a pen, and I wouldn’t do that kind of thing anyway, but it’s a nice fantasy.

  172. 172
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Cacti:

    and frankly, it’s not a view that’s shared by those belonging to disfavored minority groups.

    Which is a shame, because IIRC, the last speech MLK gave before he died touched heavily on the extent to which racism was ultimately a tool for the rich to keep poor blacks and poor whites divided and at each other’s throats.

  173. 173
    wrb says:

    The hostility shown toward the white working class, and their hope for a good future (and acknowledgment of the devastation they have suffered) in places like this brings me despair. “Assholes to the left of me assholes tho the right of me”

  174. 174
    jl says:

    @Citizen Alan: I was a kid, but I recall that was a big source of conterversy of King among whites. Quoting King on that subject and watching the reaction might be a good way to spot those butthurt working class whites who have racial issues but are really very sure that they are not bigots.

  175. 175
    jl says:

    @wrb:

    ‘ The hostility shown toward the white working class, and their hope for a good future (and acknowledgment of the devastation they have suffered) in places like this brings me despair. ‘

    I think it is the toxic effect of several decades of using race and ethnicity as a wedge issue to break up the New Deal coalition by splitting off bigoted whites, and sweeping up enough confused fence sitters and generally scared and insecure white. And then, the destroy the New Deal. That is the Southern Strategy. I think that strategy has produced collateral damage among many voting blocs, not just the intended targets.

    I think some people get defensive about any discussion that all groups, including whites, have suffered from reactionary policies, because often hard to tell whether it is some kind of dogwhistle, or not.

  176. 176
    Cervantes says:

    @Chris:

    the black working class gets it. The Hispanic working class gets it. The Asian working class gets it. The American Indian working class gets it. Doubtless these voters are often disappointed in the Democratic Party and doubtless some of them are voting “based on their race,” but this hasn’t stopped them from coming together and standing with each other in support of the Democratic Party

    Because the modern Democratic Party as an institution has the virtue of not being nakedly racist and does not pursue policies that are nakedly racist (with regard to voting rights, for example).

    This virtue is less relevant to people who don’t have to deal with racism every day.

    If you accept all this, what should we conclude about Bernie Sanders?

  177. 177
    Kay says:

    @Chris:

    Democrats share of the white vote is really consistent. It’s about 40%.

    Obama’s 39 percent showing among white voters matched the percentage that Bill Clinton received in 1992 — albeit it in a competitive three-way race — and exceeded the percentage of the white vote earned by Walter Mondale in 1984, Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George McGovern in 1972.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....o-problem/

  178. 178
    JustRuss says:

    @Chris:

    He (Bush) was a guy who could be convincing in the Huckabee role and the Romney role, and they haven’t found anyone like him since.

    Part of the problem–and it’s a good problem to have from my side of the fence–is that anyone who can pull that off will be compared to W, who is toxic to most of the voting population. The silver lining to W’s cloud of fuck-up.

  179. 179
    Cacti says:

    @Kay:

    Democrats share of the white vote is really consistent. It’s about 40%.

    More or less.

    The current GOP is always going to get more of the white vote nationally.

    Bush was able to win in 2004 because he did particularly well with all women voters (48%) and Hispanic voters (42%). The reason the 2016 GOP candidate has a steep uphill climb is because they have real problems with both of the above groups. And Mitt got drubbed even carrying 60% of the white vote (highest since 1988).

  180. 180
    Kay says:

    It’s really much more complicated than “the white working class vote and the black working class vote”

    We don’t do that great with measuring income of voters because it’s self-reported and in my opinion political media don’t like to talk about it in any rigorous or specific way other than the boring “what will the lunch bucket voters do?” sort of code or proxy.

    Yes, indeed, Obama did very well among women, Latinos, and African-Americans. But in sharp contrast to 2008, the partisan split along income lines is huge. Obama’s vote percentage declines in straight line fashion as income rises. He got 63 percent of the votes of Americans making less than $30,000 and 57 percent of those making between $30,000 and $50,000. Above $50,000, the Other America kicks in. Romney won 53 percent of the votes of Americans making between $50 and a $100 thousand and 54 percent of the votes of Americans making above $100,000.

    http://www.accuracy.org/releas.....me-divide/

  181. 181
    Kay says:

    @Cacti:

    Kasich is telling donors he got 25% of the AA vote in Ohio. I have not yet verified this :)

    The Democrat was an absolute godammned disaster, so maybe he did.

  182. 182
    Brachiator says:

    @Betty Cracker: Nope. I am saying that some people are ignoring the significance of Obama’s coalition, and that this benefits the fools and racists who look for any means of disparaging Obama and the Democrats.

    Also, as I noted, the campaign is really just beginning. What Sanders said in 2014 doesn’t matter nearly as much as what he will be saying today and tomorrow.

  183. 183
    boatboy_srq says:

    @wrb: If the WWC hadn’t proven to be such bigoted tightwad entitled a##h0les over the last six and a half years, maybe they wouldn’t catch so much heat. There wouldn’t be a TEA Party without them, and we wouldn’t see near the amount of TABMITWH dogwhistle b#llsh!t. Nixon’s and Atwater’s “Southern Strategy” was aimed at this group, and not at people of color, for a reason.

  184. 184
    Kay says:

    Income is just really tricky. If you exit poll a college student and she makes 8k a year is she a “poor” Democratic voter? Probably not, right? What she is is young.

    If you exit poll a Romney voter who makes 100K a year is he in the “higher income” Romney group or is it that higher income often comes (if it comes) at middle aged or later? Maybe he should be in the “old” group.

    I think it can be hard to tease it out, but if Obama is getting 63% of people who make 30k or less then it’s hard for me to conclude that “the working class” are Democrats’ problem.

  185. 185
    MomSense says:

    @Kay:

    I think it can be hard to tease it out, but if Obama is getting 63% of people who make 30k or less then it’s hard for me to conclude that “the working class” are Democrats’ problem.

    Exactly. So why do we keep hearing about this white, working class vote? Is it a Democratic problem with a regional subset of white, working class vote? It seems like we have made far too many strategic and/or tactical choices (see 2014 election) based on conventional wisdom or media narratives and it doesn’t turn out well for us.

  186. 186
    MomSense says:

    @Kay:

    The Democrat was an absolute godammned disaster, so maybe he did.

    Yes, yes he was. I still don’t understand the vetting screw up. Somebody forgot or neglected to do their job.

  187. 187
    Kay says:

    @MomSense:

    I think it’s pretty simple. No one good wanted to challenge a middling-popular incumbent because the vast majority of incumbents are re-elected. They wait.

    I don’t blame them. Should Cordray leave DC and a job he seems to really like for a race he is probably going to lose or should he wait for a better race? I’d wait. He’s only in his fifties. He’s got time.

  188. 188
    Kay says:

    @MomSense:

    I don’t know, but I heard a better description of “middle class” the other day. It isn’t income because income changes according to region- “middle class” in San Francisco isn’t middle class where I live.

    It’s lifestyle- a set of expectations and some security. So, own home or have reliable affordable decent rental, working automobile not a panic button issue, access to decent, adequately funded schools, safe community, a vacation every year, access to credit if you need some, and some retirement security.

    I like that better.

    Maybe some of this is “working class” being conflated with “middle class” or income level confusion.

  189. 189
    Kropadope says:

    @MomSense: I think the reason for the narrative is that the Democrats haven’t had a whole lot of success passing laws to help working class people. They’re doing a great job proposing such policies, but most people don’t follow politics that closely and are only aware of results. Then, you have situations like the ACA, which helps the working-class but conventional wisdom says is only for the indigent, and the ARRA, which helped a lot of workers only in the sense that it helped salvage a desperate situation. So, unfortunately, the potential political gains for these policies were lost.

    As far as the focus on the “white” aspect of the working class, some of it may have to do with white privilege. However, we all know well that minorities are also hard-working people. While minority groups vote predominantly for Democrats, I’m left wondering if part of the reason for low-turnout among minorities is the lack of any large-scale, clear accomplishments on behalf of working people.

  190. 190
    agorabum says:

    @Sherparick: yeah, their catholicism is about sex freakouts. Not about helping the poor.

  191. 191
    Kay says:

    @Kropadope:

    The Fight for Fifteen people think they are figuring it out. It’s labor-funded and it is diverse.

    They gathered in Detroit this past weekend, 1200 strong, with banners ringing the room from the many delegations: Los Angeles, St Louis, Little Rock, New York City, Philadelphia, Nashville and more. Fast food workers – young and old; black, brown and white; kids and grandkids on hips – crowded into the Cobo Convention center to talk in small groups and plan for the next phase of how they “have each other’s back.”
    The place hummed with the energy of well over a thousand people coming together to create change, to discover themselves and each other, to find their voice. The mood was both urgent and festive. T-shirts throughout the hall proclaimed: “WE ARE WORTH MORE!” and “ON STRIKE TO LIFT UP MY FAMILY.”

    I think it’s one of the most interesting alliances in politics because they don’t even bleong to a labor union. It got better as it went along because they got university adjuncts to join, so there went the education divide which also (of course) plays along class lines.

    If they can grow this it could be amazing.

    http://blog.dol.gov/2015/06/16.....ise-union/

  192. 192
    A guy says:

    Pretty sure the pope is still of the opinion that two dude going down on each other is a sin

  193. 193
    fuckwit says:

    @NonyNony: There have always been purity tests for EVERYTHING! Lefties. Righties. Sports fans. Music fans. There wil always be “true believers” and there will b “bandwagoners” who come to the party once it kicks into full swing. There will always be people who insist this matters,, and those who insist it does not.

  194. 194
    sm*t cl*de says:

    Deeply religious politician discovers new concern that religion should stick to its own limited domain, and not interfere in the private life of corporations. Part #192.

  195. 195
    fuckwit says:

    @Citizen Alan: DING DING DING! That’s the core of it. It’s been used for a very long time. With the most barbaric results having been by a weird little Austrian corporal. When people are poor and suffering it’s always best to find a scapegoat so that they don’t attack the rich oppressors instead.

  196. 196
    Nutella says:

    Speaking of cafeteria Catholics:

    If a good Catholic follows all the church’s teachings then the good Catholic is against birth control AND against abortion AND against capital punishment.

    There are probably no more than a handful of Americans who are against all three.

    The rest of them should quit using the doctrines of the Catholic church as a political guide on birth control and abortion unless they’re going to also be guided by the church on capital punishment.

    This will not happen since our neocon “Catholics” actually think they can tell the church what’s a sin and what’s not based solely on their politics.

  197. 197
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Nutella:

    This will not happen since our neocon “Catholics” actually think they can tell the church what’s a sin and what’s not based solely on their politics.

    There’s actually a term for that. It’s called Protestantism.

  198. 198
    Sm*t Cl*de says:

    I wonder how that’s going to play with the Huckster/Santorum/Rubio “strong faith guides my policies”crowd.

    They will side with him. Same as ever.

  199. 199
    A guy says:

    Kay— show me those exit polls

  200. 200
    jonas says:

    @El Caganer: Heh. Back in the day, hoisting yourself on your own Tacitean petard like that would have been disqualifying, but our political class isn’t brought up on Classics anymore, so just a few geeks get to have a chuckle at Jeb’s expense. Oh well.

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