Archive for the ‘Republicans / GOP’ Category

Ah, the subtle racism (or not-so-subtle racism) of the modern white ultra-conservative, unsuccessfully shrouded in claims of fairness and voter fraud. When Eric Cantor lost his primary election to a Tea Party challenger, who spent less on his entire campaign than Cantor did on restaurants, the Tea Party was re-invigorated, several thinking they could now finally do what they dreamed: Unseat every “establishment” Republican they could.

One of the nastiest races this primary campaign season for the Republicans has been in Mississippi. For a little bit on how low it went, supporters of the Tea Party challenger snuck into a nursing home where the challenge-e’s wife resides due to Alzheimer’s in some attempt to smear the guy character-wise. And one of them later committed suicide.

But after Cantor’s loss, it looked like the Tea Party challenger, Chris McDaniel, was going to beat the current Senator, Thad Cochran. In the last few days before the election, Cochran decided to start to reach out to the “black vote.” Apparently, the laws are such that in Mississippi, there is no party affiliation for primary elections, and so long as you did not vote in the other party’s election that was before this one, you can vote.

In response, McDaniel’s Tea Party was talking about putting in election monitors, bringing allegations of voter intimidation. WND didn’t report on that, but they did report on “NAACP Monitoring Tea-Party Poll Watchers.”

And in the end, McDaniel lost. Tea Partiers rallied against it, claiming their own voters were intimidated, that there was fraud, that Cochran bought the vote with Democrats, and so that, yes, in the 21st century, we are talking about the legitimacy of Americans of African decent’s right to vote.

Meanwhile, token black female (I was corrected last time — there are one or two other black writers that WND publishes) Star Parker wrote about this in what, at least tag-line-wise, is sensible: “How McDaniel Blew It in Mississippi;” the tagline is, “Star Parker: Conservative Republicans ignore blacks to their peril.”

Here is her thesis:

Incumbent Republican Sen. Thad Cochran’s successful game plan, which drove his run-off victory over tea party challenger Chris McDaniel for Mississippi’s Republican Senate nomination, was unconventional.

But most incredible was the success of this game plan – to reach out to liberal black churches and get Democratic black voters to turn out and vote for Cochran – despite being executed in broad daylight.

Soon after Cochran lost to McDaniel in the primary, necessitating a run-off because McDaniel fell short of getting 50 percent of the vote, papers reported the intent of Cochran’s team to turn out black Democrats to overcome the thin margin by which Cochran lost.

McDaniel knew exactly what to expect. The Cochran campaign told him. Yet he remained a spectator through it all. His counter strategy was no counter strategy; he just continued what he was already doing – appealing just to Mississippi’s conservative, white electorate.

I generally agree with the basic idea: If you ignore a large constituency, you’re not going to win.

Many WND commenters disagree. Take the top-rated comment by “Rene Girrard,” who ranted: “Star, I’ll bet you voted for Obama. I’ll bet you’re part of the great hypocrisy in the black community. The black people are a strong church going culture and conservative by nature, but 90% still vote democrat. Somehow financial benefits and special job slots for blacks trump their Christian convictions? So what does it matter what McDaniel might have said to the black community?”

“ramblindon” claimed that there was voter fraud. “palinwhitehouse2016” (shudder) is actually musing about restricting the votes to whites-only, though I’m having a hard time determining if it’s a Poe or not:

It seems to me that America was a much more glorious and God-blessed country in a time, in living memory of some of us, when low information individuals were prevented from voting, across a lot of the country but certainly in the South, including Mississippi. Would it be so hard to re-introduce such laws again? Liberals might complain, but there is no doubt that we would be making a step back towards an America that readers of this site would love again.

While Star’s column was published on Friday, June 27, Leo Hohmann wrote his a day later: “Call for Volunteers to Overturn Mississippi Vote.”

As you may have inferred from the description above, it’s voter fraud that they think may have cost them the election. Remember, if a voter voted in the primary election for Democrats – which was held earlier – then they can’t vote in the Republican primary. So, that’s what they think (or are saying, but want to back up) happened:

McDaniel’s campaign said it is finding significant evidence of voter irregularities in Tuesday’s election and is mulling legal options.

Noel Fritsch, communications director for the McDaniel campaign, said the campaign is in heavy-duty research mode right now and will be making a decision soon on whether to file legal action.

“We’re examining all the data we are able to get a hold of, but we are having a hard time getting all of the data we need right now because about half of the circuit clerks are not cooperating with our requests,” Fritsch told WND. “Despite that, based on the data we do have, we have found a lot that is heartening for us. Our preliminary findings certainly indicate that a thorough examination is warranted.”

He said that as soon as the campaign has completed the research phase, “we will decide at such time whether any legal action will be taken.”

The article is much longer than that, going into lots of unsubstantiated allegations. In what many described as the nastiest primary in the country this year, I think it’s only going to get nastier. And, I think that it is going to cost Republicans – and especially the Tea Party – the black vote. In their 2012 post-mortem, the Republican party clearly recognized that they are, in general, the Old White Men party and they need to reach out to non-caucasians. It’s stuff like this that further alienate that growing demographic that may NOT be happy with Democrats … but when the Republicans are questioning their very right to vote, well, it’s a fairly clear choice.

Edited to Add (July 1, 2014): WND’s James Simpson points out that, “Mississippi GOP, State Sued Over Vote Fraud,” with some interesting allegations that – gasp! – a federal law about voting trumps a state law! I wonder if the hypocrisy was recognized here, since these folks are usually all about the “over-reach” of the Federal government into States’ affair.s

Edited to Add (July 3, 2014): Time is reporting that McDaniel is mounting a legal challenge to the primary election results.

Edited to Add (July 14, 2014): Washington Post reports that the conspiracies are being debunked, and McDaniel’s legal ground for a challenge to the vote is pretty much non-existent.


This should be a lesson to conservatives: Most old white men with strong anti-government sentiments who don’t have media savvy are not good to hang your hat on. Cliven Bundy seemed to have it all: He had a ranch, just mindin’ his own business, and the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) wanted to fine him several $million. Why? Because he let his cattle graze on public lands.

And, marshals went in to try to enforce the order, and Cliven Bundy had a militia waiting. Or something like that.

He became a conservative darling practically overnight, a case study of apparent federal government over-reach upon the most sacred thing a man can have: his land. Tea Partier after Tea Partier, including media figures, FOX “news,” Congressmen and Senators, all fawned over him. And then he opened his mouth.

Adam Nagourney of the New York Times had him on tape stating:

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

Yeah, so blacks were better off as slaves because now they’re all on welfare. Turns out the old conservative white man is a racist. Probably not the best thing to say when you’re surrounded by media, either.

Politicians deserted him, and the media lit up. But his militia is still there. An African-American who was his (former?) bodyguard said that he would still take a bullet for him. And World Net Daily went all out attacking his detractors:

The April 25 poll, now with 543 voting, shows only 3 voters (<1%) said that his comments were racist, 8 said it was hard to say because Americans are hyper-sensitive to the issue, 23 said that they don't care because the feds are overreaching, and all the rest (509, or 93.7%) said that they were not racist. I would hazard to guess that the majority of those voting – since you have to be registered with WND, are the stereotypical ultra-conservative … old white male.

Getting into what all the WND folks wrote is beyond the scope of this post, and I honestly don't really care anymore. It's just post-hoc rationalization and digging themselves even deeper. Bundy's remarks are stereotyped, offensive, and wrong.

No, this is not a post from The Onion. Back when Supreme Court Justice Kennedy was appointed and confirmed to the Court, he was considered to be a conservative, siding often with the Court’s conservative wing. So far as I know, his general politics and policies have not changed. However, because of the shifting of the court to the more conservative side in terms of who has been appointed since him, Kennedy is now considered to be in the middle, the swing vote for whom lawyers try to tailor their arguments directly.

I think the same is true with Ann Coulter. When I was in college, she was among the most conservative crazies that we laughed at. In Family Guy there was an episode a few years ago where the area between Ann Coulter’s legs was used as a refrigerator at FOX “News.” I still have a clip of her on my computer saying that Canada is lucky the US doesn’t just roll over one day and crush it. She’s written several books, including, The Church of Liberalism: Godless and How to Talk to a Liberal (if You Must). So far as I know, she’s as conservative and crazy as she’s always been.

But, she’s not conservative enough for many on World Net Daily. She’s been supplanted by even more conservative and more crazy. That was the theme (or my interpretation of the theme) of Joseph Farah’s column (he’s the founder of WND) two weeks ago: “The Late Great Ann Coulter.”

To be sure, he still features her column (“Because agreement with me is not a requirement for being a WND commentator.”) But, there’s been a falling out:

While claiming to “love” the tea-party activists “out there in America,” she denigrates some unnamed organizations that are getting rich fighting “establishment Republicans.”

The solution to all of America’s problems, according to Ann Coulter, lies in electing Republicans – any and all Republicans. It doesn’t matter where they stand on the issues. It doesn’t matter how effective they have been in office. It doesn’t matter if they have betrayed those who elected them or the Constitution.

… I started to see some warning signs that Coulter was losing her principled edge just three years later in 2009, when she led a vicious public assault against “birthers,” as liberals and Democrats dubbed those who asked very tough questions about Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility for the White House – questions that have still never been answered, by the way. WND’s reporting staff did not escape her scathing barbs.

That did not stop me from inviting her to be a keynote speaker at WND’s 2010 “Taking America Back” national conference in Miami – nor did her anti-birther positioning prevent her from accepting the gig.

But then she crossed a bridge too far, forcing me to disinvite her.

She accepted a keynote speaking invitation from GOProud, the organization that claims to be made up of conservative Republicans who are homosexuals. In fact, the group supports some of the most radical social ideas this side of Van Jones and Bill Ayers. The event was called, appropriately, “HOMOCON.” And that’s really what GOProud has always been about – conning “conservatives” into believing they are part of the movement to preserve the foundations of American liberty and self-government.

He goes on, including more about the falling out over GOProud, but I think you get the idea. Many of the 257 comments agree with Farah.

I guess this is a symptom of the increasing polarization of American politics. I think it’s right up there with the probable fact that Ronald Reagan, whom most Republicans pay homage – especially Tea Partiers – could not get elected by today’s Republican party. It’s unfortunate when one looks upon Ann Coulter and considers her among the more reasonable vocal conservative Republicans.

When Safari starts to take up >2 GB of RAM and bog down, I know it’s time to get back to blogging because I have too many saved pages open.

First up in the list is a story that made the rounds a few weeks ago, that the GOP (that’s Republican to non-Americans not in the know) candidate for the Florida House, Joshua Black, called for President Obama to be executed. Also for those who don’t know, we do have something called “Freedom of Speech” in America, but for about 150 years, a job of the Secret Service is to investigate threats against the President that are made by those exercising their free speech.

Specifically, Mr. Black re-tweeted what someone had twat on Twitter, “I’m past impeachment. It’s time to arrest and hang him high.” and added “Agreed” to the end. When questioned, he replied, “Execution is the appropriate punishment for traitors” and later added a bit, “The execution should come after a lawful conviction, by both the Senate and a jury.” As Chelsea Shilling’s WND article write, his opponent in the primary called him out on this:

Chris Latvala, a Republican candidate for House District 67, shot back: “You aren’t seriously calling for the killing of Obama are you? I know you are crazy but good heavens. U R an embarrassment.”

Black then replied, “Execution is the appropriate punishment for traitors. Don’t you have a race? Don’t you have a primary? #MindYourOwnBusiness?”

I’m fairly sure it’s clear what his intention was. The fallout was:

GOP State chair Lenny Curry tweeted that Black’s comments were, “Deplorable. Despicable. Hateful.” He added, “He should go home and stay home.”

Local GOP chairman Michael Guju blasted Black’s comments: “It is impossible to accept this statement. This is wholly unacceptable and unduly provocative.”

Black resigned from the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee at Guju’s request.

According to WTSP-TV 10, Curry, Latvala and Florida Gov. Rick Scott have called for Black to drop out of the Florida House District 68 race.

But Black said he won’t leave the Republican Party or the race: “I do not take orders from the governor. I’m staying in the race.”

It’s almost as if the Tea Party wants to lose.

In this case, WND had two articles on this, one written by “commentary editor and staff writer” Chelsea Schilling, “Republican: Obama Should Be Hanged,” and the other a snippet from the Tampa Bay Times pointing out, “Secret Service Visits ‘Hang Obama’ Candidate.” Yeah, not surprising. The first article had 1,768 ratings (wow!) with an average of 4.86/5 stars, and the second a more paltry 23 ratings for 4.4/5 stars. The former also had a whopping 1562 comments, and the latter 51 comments.

Probably needless to say, the comments that are popular on these stories on WND are pro-Joshua Black.

As a little addendum, Right Wing Watch points out that Mr. Black “that all Democratic politicians should be prepared for such a fate after the second American Revolution”. Just a bit of icing on this little cake.

Another short post interlude from the 20+ so far that I’ve prepared in advanced based on WND articles while I was in Australia. The WND article is unattributed and headlined: “Lou Dobbs Tells GOP How to Win Next Election.” What he says is this:

[H]e believes former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney doomed his campaign when he said 47 percent of Americans had no incentive to embrace his campaign because they are “dependent upon government” and “pay no income tax.”

Also citing a poll showing 78 percent of Americans support legal abortions in at least some circumstances and the recent momentum for same-sex marriage, Dobbs calls for Republicans to forget the focus on social issues and embrace an economic agenda that will appeal to a wide swath of voters.

“I believe the Republican Party just has no choice but to embrace all Americans around the traditional values of the Republican Party,” he said. “That is a temperate foreign policy, a prudent fiscal policy, a pro-economic growth policy, a pro-prosperity policy and equal opportunity for all within our borders. To create a nation that is prosperous, that is at peace, and is focused on a brighter future rather than creating more debt for our children.”

This coincides with pretty much all post-2012 analyses that I have seen of the GOP election losses and the election losses since then. All those except by Tea Party and über-conservative sources who think that Republican Small-Government means the government needs to legislate all social issues and morality. However, while this post had an attached poll and 591 people voted in it, only 11% responded that, “Yes, government has no business being involved in moral issues anyway.” 77% reject Dobbs’ argument, as do the majority of the 457 comments. While WND appeals to a minority of Republicans, these are the ones who show up in the early primaries and to whom candidates must appeal if they want to make it to the actual election, and if they continue to think this, I predict more losses.

Take a look at the tags to this post if you don’t know what a RINO is. For an example, however, it would be what ultra-conservatives think of John Boehner – he’s a RINO. The evidence came on December 12 when he finally said publicly what he thinks of the Tea Party (Washington Post articles one and two, for reference):

With his assault on outside groups that have opposed him time and again over the past three years, Boehner gave voice to a growing feeling among congressional Republicans that their nominal allies at advocacy groups and think tanks have turned into puritanical partisans whose posture on many issues has undermined the GOP’s standing on Capitol Hill. Boehner’s remarks came amid increasingly strident clashes between establishment Republicans and Washington-based groups that claim the tea party banner, most prominently Heritage Action for America, the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks. …

The turning point for Boehner — who acknowledged feeling this way for several years — was an effort to sabotage the bipartisan budget deal crafted by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.). …

“Frankly, I think they’re misleading their followers,” Boehner told reporters at his weekly news briefing. “I think they’re pushing our members in places where they don’t want to be. And frankly, I just think that they’ve lost all credibility.”

Meanwhile, based on a story from The Hill, from which World Net Daily published three paragraphs under the headline, “Tea Party: Boehner Has ‘Declared War,’” WND polled its readers. It did not poll them about Boehner, but rather on what led to the comments by him — the House was debating Paul Ryan’s (Republican, and former VP candidate) budget plan, which actually passed. From this, about 84% of the 763 WND voters say that this means Ryan is a RINO [along with Boehner].

There are only two ratings (5/5) and 35 comments, but the top-rated are 10 up-votes and 0 down, by “darkknight91” and “krowbro”: “I’ve been saying this guy is a phony for years. He finally admits it.” and “I wasn’t happy when Boehner was elected then re-elected as Speaker of the House and he continues to prove me right.”

I don’t think this is really surprising for anyone who knows WND, but I thought I’d post about it since it was a major story a few weeks ago.

I wanted to wait a bit on this one because I just put up my post on WND trying to understand why Cuccinelli lost, when WND’s token black writer decided to add her 2¢. If you read that statement as racist, I invite you to find another WND writer who has non-white skin. If you can, I will take back my statement and issue an apology*.

Anyway, if you do not know about Cuccinelli, read that post first. Then come back to this one. The column in question was typed by Star Parker, a very far-right Tea Party person, and her writeup in question is entitled, “Cuccinelli’s Defeat: Blame the Republican Party.”

In my first write-up, I put the blame squarely on Cuccinelli for losing to a flawed Democrat. Cuccinelli was simply way too conservative and uncompromising to attract a majority of voters. Star Parker, unsurprisingly, has a different take.

She starts by attacking the post-mortems, saying that they “tell us more about who produces this punditry than what reality actually might be. We’re hearing that the tea party killed Cuccinelli (according to the Wall Street Journal editorial page, they “stabbed him in the back”) with the government shutdown and that, once again, a socially conservative Republican candidate has shown he can’t win the votes of women.”

Star thinks it’s the mainstream republicans: “It was not the tea party that stabbed Ken Cuccinelli in the back but the establishment of his own party. Once a real conservative candidate gets nominated, the party loses interest. And because they lose interest, they hold back funds, thus assuring their own prediction that this candidate can’t win.” She thinks that, specifically, it was “largely because of unanswered attack ads.”

She also lists three policy/demographic issues: (1) Republicans should have embraced the defunding efforts of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), (2) they should have worked harder on the “black vote,” and (3) they should have worked more on winning unmarried women because Cuccinelli had a majority of married persons voting for him (50% men, 51% women; versus McAuliff got 51% of unmarried men and 67% of unmarried women).

As someone who took one political science course in college and who has not examined exit polls, allow me to wax ignorantly for a paragraph. (1) Defunding the ACA was stupid and polls show that those attempts that led to the shutdown hurt Republicans enormously. Reminding voters of that just before the election would not have been helpful. (2) No idea/comment on this one. (3) Usually, older people are more likely to be married than younger people. Younger people are much more liberal, as a whole, than older people. I would tend to think that McAuliff winning 67% of unmarried women is because they are younger and more socially liberal and don’t want to be housewives baking their husband’s babies in their li’l ovens with no say over their bodies. Just a guess.

Parker’s column, posted two days ago, has gotten 5 ratings and averages 4.6/5 stars. It has 40 comments. They are what you’d expect with nothing too out of the ordinary. In particular, though, a line in “Ed”‘s comment caught my eye: “Our electorate now consists of a significant population of dimwitted Blacks & Hispanics.”

Um hmm… when a non-trivial fraction of your political party has this kind of attitude, don’t expect to win a lot of elections.

*As Shawn pointed out in the Comments below, there is at least one other non-white writer on WND. It appears as though I’ve never done a story of his, and it looks like I’ve only read one of his stories before, one out of hundreds. Easy to miss, like finding the black guy in an Abercrombie and Fitch ad.