Open Thread: JEB!, Ripe to Rot

Universally beloved commentor Amir Khalid flags a Daily Beast article by (former Daily Caller star) Will Rahn, “Jeb Bush Should Face Facts: It’s Time to Drop Out“…

… After all that money spent, you’re still sagging nationally and in fourth place in New Hampshire, a state you need to win. You’ve had nearly a year to make your case. It isn’t working. You should pack it in.

The conventional wisdom a few months ago was that your brother’s catastrophic presidency would be your bid’s biggest hurdle. Now, in a fit of desperation, it looks like you’re about to draft him to stump for you. Putting aside that George W. is still despised by a not-insignificant swath of the Republican electorate, how is that going to play in the general should you somehow win the nomination? You’re making the Democrats’ job easy, Jeb. They’ll be more than happy to attach you to his legacy, and you’re doing that for them.

Speaking of the Democrats, we know what will happen if you drag this out through next spring. The going thinking right now is that the guys really low in the polls—your Rand Pauls and George Patakis—should be next to drop out. But what damage do they do to the GOP by staying in? You Bushes, meanwhile, for all your patrician aloofness, are some of the dirtiest campaigners out there, and every jab you get in at your fellow establishmentarians like Marco Rubio is going to be used against them by the left. It’s one thing to toughen up a nominee in a primary fight—it’s another to make them damaged goods, unready to lead. If you’ve got some golden piece of oppo that will take Rubio or John Kasich out of consideration, by all means use it now. Otherwise, time to step aside…

Yeah, like Bar Bush would ever permit John Ellis to jump off this train before it jumps the tracks. He’ll never be her favorite son, but he does seem to be the one who inherited the most from her — all the stolid, cruel, uncaring “patrician” contempt for everyone in the world that is not of the Bush clan.

Read more








Open Thread: Repubs in Disarray, Speaker Edition

Excellent summary of the “grandstanding charlatan” from Digby, at Salon:

Everywhere you turned, it seemed Jason Chaffetz was on television, so much so that if you didn’t know better you might think he was running for speaker himself. Lo and behold, by the weekend, he was. A week that started off with him brow-beating the director of Planned Parenthood ended with him on “Fox News Sunday” and explaining to Politico that his rationale for running for Speaker was his superior communication skills. (And truthfully, compared to McCarthy, he’s Winston Churchill.)…

The son of a man once married to Kitty Dukakis, wife of 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael, Chaffetz started off as a Jewish Democrat, then converted to Mormonism during his last year of college in Utah — and Republicanism when former President Ronald Reagan was hired as a motivational speaker for Nu Skin, the “multi-level marketing” company (think Amway) which employed Chaffetz for a decade before he entered politics. He worked as chief of staff for the famously moderate Gov. Jon Huntsman and then beat the very conservative Representative Chris Cannon by running against him from the right in the 2010 Tea Party electoral bloodbath. On Election Night, Cannon said, “the extremists who don’t want to win elections have taken over the party. We don’t want that to happen in Utah. Politics is way too important to leave to the boors.”…

And despite his politically eclectic past, Chaffetz has stuck to his arch-conservative guns during the five years he’s been in Congress. He wants to slash Social Security, ban gay marriage and look into impeaching President Obama. Still, he sees himself as a sort of mediator between the hard-core Tea Party insurrectionists and everyone else — perhaps because he’s been everything from a liberal Democrat to a moderate Republican to a hard-right zealot, depending on where the opportunities lie at any given moment.

He is a good communicator, except for the fact that he seems to have a tiny problem with the truth, which he perfectly illustrated in the Planned Parenthood hearing, when he offered up a chart so misleading that it caused Politifact to call it not only misleading, but, quoting one expert, “ethically wrong.” And while he may have a point that Kevin McCarthy screwed the pooch on Trey Gowdy’s Benghazi committee, his own history of being loose-lipped and excitable puts McCarthy’s little faux pas to shame…

Pass the popcorn… and the Gallagher-style plastic ponchos.








Open Thread: The Gowdy Fan Club Seeks New Vistas

Now that BENGHAZI!, The Musical has achieved a record run (“The Benghazi Select Committee has now become one of the longest and least active congressional investigations in history,” Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, wrote in a statement. “The Committee has squandered the last 16 months and more than 4.5 million taxpayer dollars dredging up political attacks to impact the 2016 presidential election — a severe misuse of taxpayer funds and Congressional power.”…), Trey Gowdy’s Congressional fans think he should pursue even further glory. As explained by the NY Times:

House conservatives, fearful that the post-John A. Boehner era of leadership may look more like a modestly renovated old house than a newly built one, have begun to cast about for one of their own to join the upper ranks: the head of the committee that has been ripping into Hillary Rodham Clinton for well over a year.

While Representative Kevin McCarthy of California appears to have the momentum to become the next speaker of the House, the race for his current job, majority leader, has been thrown into a bit of chaos, with the only female candidate for the post withdrawing from consideration and an incipient grass-roots effort emerging to persuade Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, who has been leading the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email account as secretary of state, to step into the race.

“He is the kind of smart fighter our country needs and the American people deserve,” Representative Mia Love, Republican of Utah, said in a prepared statement Tuesday…

Representative Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, also supports a promotion for Mr. Gowdy.

So far Mr. Gowdy, who oversees the Select Committee on Benghazi — one of the longest-running Congressional investigations in history — has kept a low profile in the leadership race. “Chairman Gowdy is focused on the Benghazi Committee and will serve in that capacity so long as the committee exists,” said a spokeswoman, Amanda Duvall, notably not ruling the run out…

The 40 or some conservatives who pushed Mr. Boehner to resign may well continue to look in their own ranks for a leader. So far they have lacked a sufficient organizing operation or a slate of candidates willing to step up…

At least one person, Mr. Gowdy’s mother, views the idea positively, even if it might pose a time-management issue. “My goodness, I think he has his hands full right now,” Novalene Gowdy said in a telephone interview. “I think he would be qualified for anything there he is there. He is a very hard worker.”

Well, as long as his momma’s okay with it, who could complain?