Country First, My Ass

For days, it has been obvious what the GOP dream scenario was- have the bailout pass, but with predominantly Democratic support, dub it the the Bush/Pelosi/Reid/Obama bailout, and then run against it. This is the plan that Gingrich and Ruffini and the other next generation Republicans have been salivating over. This was their big chance. Oops:

The Republican National Committee’s new advertisement critical of the the Wall Street “bailout” was produced and sent to television stations in key states before the package failed, officials at two stations said.

“Wall Street Squanders our money. And Washington is forced to bail them out with — you guessed it — our money. Can it get any worse?” asks the ad’s narrator, as the words “BAILOUT WITH OUR MONEY” cross the screen. (The answer: Obama’s plans would make it worse.)

The ad, however, seems to assume that it can safely attack a successful plan. And the reason may be the timing: Though it started airing this morning, the spot was released to stations yesterday morning, ad executives at stations in Michigan and Pennsylvania said.

Kae Buck of WLNS in Lansing said her station received the at at 7:55 a.m. Monday. Luanne Russell of Pittsburgh’s WTAE said her station received it at 10:49 Monday morning.

Got it? While the Republican Leadership was shaking hands and allegedly rallying their troops to vote for the plan, they were already cutting ads to bash the Democrats. This is why only Republicans in safe seats and leadership positions voted for it. Yesterday, they went out and blamed Pelosi for injecting partisanship into the process, causing the bill to fail, when actually they wanted it to pass so they could… use it against the Democrats. And they were not even hiding it- this was what many online (again, go read the Next Right morons) had openly said they should do, and the commercials were ready to bash the Democrats for passing the plan.

Except the plan failed. And the Republicans are caught red-handed, and will pay the price should things melt down. Not that half the GOP base or the Republican Study Group care- half of them probably think an economic disaster is an alternate route to the Rapture. Not to mention, think of the side benefits- I mean, after all, if everyone is broke, no one can afford contraception or Demon Rum.

The only thing you can count on in politics these days is the sure-fire bet that when the chips are down, the Republicans always, always always put themselves first. These guys need a solid two decades in the minority.

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

I missed this yesterday, somehow:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his top aides took credit for building a winning bailout coalition – hours before the vote failed and stocks tanked.

Shortly before the vote, McCain had bragged about his involvement and mocked Sen. Barack Obama for staying on the sidelines.

“I’ve never been afraid of stepping in to solve problems for the American people, and I’m not going to stop now,” McCain told a rally in Columbus, Ohio. “Sen. Obama took a very different approach to the crisis our country faced. At first he didn’t want to get involved. Then he was monitoring the situation.”
McCain, grinning, flashed a sarcastic thumbs up.

“That’s not leadership. That’s watching from the sidelines,” he added to cheers and applause.

John McCain, a few hours later when the bailout failed:

“Sen. Obama and his allies in Congress infused unnecessary partisanship into the process. Now is not the time to fix the blame. It’s time to fix the problem,” McCain said in a hastily called statement to the press here today.

Heads I win! Tails, you lose! And that last quote is actually a twofer, because McCain claims this is no time to be fixing blame… while blaming Obama.

Now, I understand most of us are cynical about politicians, and I understand that politicians are opportunistic, but aren’t they usually a little more subtle than this? I mean, can’t you at least try to not be blatantly full of it?

Or has McCain just given up?

Worst Campaign Ever

Serious question- is Steve Schmidt running the worst campaign ever:

David Axelrod was surrounded by a pack of camera-toting, mike-wielding, pushing-and-shoving media types, one of whom asked whether his man Barack Obama had been “too nice” in the just-completed debate with John McCain.

“I don’t think he was too nice. . . . There were clear differences. . . . He made a very strong case, absolutely,” the onetime newspaperman said in his meandering style.

Twenty feet away, McCain operative Steve Schmidt was robotically hammering home a single number.

“Senator Obama was right tonight when he said John McCain was right 11 times. . . . It was a home run for Senator McCain. . . . The person who is losing the debate, the person who is on defense, is the person who says his opponent is right 11 times,” the shaved-head strategist declared.

I don’t know how much of the fail from the McCain campaign the last few months is is a clash between John McCain’s erratic urges and lack of impulse control (remember the aide who responded that the reason they were in Colombia during an election cycle was because McCain wanted to be in Colombia, andwhat McCain wants, McCain gets) and Schmidt’s style, but this is terrible. Let me explain some more- by every account, Schmidt is an on message kind of guy, and just likes to find one thing and drill it until it is dead. The problem is that when you have a campaign that operates like that, you can not have John McCain running out and shifting the message every few days.

For example, it was taunts of “celebrity, celebrity, celebrity,” then McCain goes on the View and SNL and pictures of him boating in the Mediterranean with Anne Hathaway appear and so on. Then the most important thing ever was “experience experience experience,” and McCain picks Palin. He continuously asserts the economy is strong, then the next day this is the worst crisis ever.

Today is just the latest installment. Spend weeks talking about bi-partisanship, spend weeks saying how McCain can work across party lines, jab Obama during the debates because he is so liberal he can not work with Republicans, spend the week saying the financial crisis needs a bi-partisan solution, and then your idiot campaign manager and ad team want to pretend that agreeing with the opposing candidate is bad.

And so on. They drive their point home as if it is the most important thing ever, make sure everyone knows what their point is (Schmidt is not subtle), then the next day they pull the rug out and something else is the new most important thing ever. The cumulative effect of all of this is to create a staggering level of incoherence, and it is rational to think these guys are insane or full of shit or unstable, or maybe all three. Add to it the foolish jihad against the media, and you have the current disaster.

We All Support Checks and Balances Now

That didn’t take very long. Apparently we don’t need to actually elect a Democrat to get Republicans concerned about checks and balances and an out of control executive branch. All we needed to do was mention the possibility of this happening.

For at least five years, I have been trying to tell Republicans who were doing whatever Bush wanted to think about “What you would do if this was Bill Clinton.”

Apparently, they are now listening.

Matthews v. Cantor

By popular request, Tweety tearing into that insufferable prick Eric Cantor:

I forgot who described Cantor as someone who looks like the proprietor of the jerk store, but he reminds me of that jackass in Die Hard.

My favorite thing is when Cantor says, at about 7 minutes in, it is time to stop the finger-pointing and fix things. Why is it that every time Republicans screw something up horribly, they run around saying it is not time to point fingers and lay blame. According to them, no one should every be responsible for anything. They tried this shit in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and I remember, because I was defending Bush and company in the immediate aftermath of Katrina until it became clear that they had in fact made a total hash of it.