Newt Gingrich on Sunday hammered at the nation’s judiciary system, saying that if a court’s decision was out of step with American popular opinion, it should be ignored.
There’s “no reason the American people need to tolerate a judge that out of touch with American culture,” Gingrich said on CBS’ Face the Nation, referring to a case where a judge ruled that explicit references to religion were barred from a high school graduation ceremony….
Host Bob Schieffer asked Gingrich how he planned to enforce that. Would you call in the Capitol Police to apprehend a federal judge, he asked.
“If you had to,” Gingrich said. “Or you’d instruct the Justice Department to send the U.S. Marshall in.”
But this is what makes it really genius:
Gingrich claims his tough stance is part of a key question going into the 2012 elections: “Do you want to move towards American exceptionalism, reassert the Constitution, reassert the nature of America, or do you, in fact, want to become a secular, European, sort of bureaucratic socialist society?”
So… apparently “reasserting the Constitution” means completely ignoring it when it doesn’t agree with popular opinion? Or maybe Newt believes that American popular opinion is just instinctively attuned to the Constitution at all times?
In any case, if popular opinion is supposed to be the ultimate arbiter of what should be considered constitutional, then why do we even need a judiciary at all?
To hear Mitt Romney tell it, his two and a half years as a Mormon missionary in France in the late 1960s were tough times. The places he was staying often had no working toilet, and certainly no baths or showers, he said just this past Sunday (in an effort to divert attention from the $10,000 bet he made Rick Perry). He lived, he said, just like lower-middle income Frenchmen lived.
Turns out he was living in basically a palace, with servants, a chef, and multiple showers and bathrooms. But I guess maybe it was poor compared to his accustomed standard of living.
Thomas Sowell attempts to make the case that Republican presidential candidates should let their conservative flag fly, rather than tacking to the center or “trying to be all things to all people”.
I think Obama is widely disliked enough at this point that a candidate like Reagan (Sowell’s sole example of a successful Republican candidate who ran as a conservative) could unseat him, but who would that be, exactly? The column’s primary purpose appears to be to persuade Republican primary voters not to vote for Romney, but which of the conservative candidates are going to appeal to mainstream voters?
Cain is an unserious loose cannon who gets accused of sexual misconduct on a daily or weekly basis. Bachmann is batshit crazy-eyes insane. Rick Perry is dumb as rocks and will give people Dubya flashbacks. And Gingrich is a pompous unlikable family values hypocrite. Unpopular as Obama is, it would be a gamble at best to assume that a majority of voters would flock to any of those alternatives.
Reagan was a conservative, yes, but he was also a very charismatic and skilled politician, running against an unpopular failed incumbent. The 2012 GOP field has the second element going for them, but not the first.
Yes, the story of the 2011 elections is definitely one of resounding defeat for Republicans, with the author of Arizona’s despicable anti-immigrant SB-1070 getting recalled, and state laws or referendums to restrict collective bargaining rights, eliminate same-day voter registration, and declare fertilized eggs to be people all going down in flames, but here’s a caveat for Obama and triumphant Democrats to consider:
Aside from the Iowa state senate special election, none of these victories were by Democratic candidates. They were repudiations of anti-progressive, anti-democratic Republican policies. It’s one thing for voters to say that they don’t want to unconditionally ban all abortions, but another thing entirely for them to vote for Democrats who have shown themselves to be ineffectual losers at best, and willing corporate tools at worst.
If Democrats want to take advantage of the opposition to unpopular conservative policies, then they need to show that they really do oppose them. America is a 99% nation, not a Tea Party nation, and Obama and the Democrats would do well to start remembering that.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal posted Wednesday, the up-and-coming GOP 2012 contender and former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza summed up his bewilderment about recent demonstrations on Wall Street.
“Don’t blame Wall Street,” Cain said. “Don’t blame the big banks. If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself.”
The conservative radio talk show host described the protests as “planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration, though he admitted he didn’t “have the facts to back this up.”
“It is not a person’s fault because they succeeded. It is a person’s fault if they failed. And so this is why I don’t understand these demonstrations and what is it that they’re looking for.”
Cain also has the Quote Of The Day:
“When I was growing up I was blessed to have had parents. That didn’t teach me to be jealous of anybody and didn’t teach me to be jealous of somebody,” Cain explained.
Herman Cain is obviously an al Qaeda infiltrator sent to destroy the United States from within, but I don’t have the facts to back this up.
Hundreds of thousands of disillusioned Indians cheer a rural activist on a hunger strike. Israel reels before the largest street demonstrations in its history. Enraged young people in Spain and Greece take over public squares across their countries. Their complaints range from corruption to lack of affordable housing and joblessness, common grievances the world over. But from South Asia to the heartland of Europe and now even to Wall Street, these protesters share something else: wariness, even contempt, toward traditional politicians and the democratic political process they preside over.
They are taking to the streets, in part, because they have little faith in the ballot box.
Excuse me, but I was brought up to believe, even here in America that the right to assemble was an essential adjunct of democracy. Read the rest of the article. It’s very interesting in its use of innuendo, in the sly way it identifies protest as anti-democratic and they way it asserts that “that liberal economics combined with democratic institutions represented the only path forward.”
It’s the essence of neo-liberalism at work and the Davos-type elites are getting concerned.
While it may be true that the NYT is subtly dissing the protestors, I don’t see how their loss of faith in corrupt government systems where virtually every single politician is in the pockets of big corporations is inherently “anti-democratic”. To me it sounds more like the protestors are starved for democracy, not opposed to it. Additional quotes from the story:
“Our parents are grateful because they’re voting,” said Marta Solanas, 27, referring to older Spaniards’ decades spent under the Franco dictatorship. “We’re the first generation to say that voting is worthless.”
“We elect the people’s representatives so they can solve our problems,” said Sarita Singh, 25, among the thousands who gathered each day at Ramlila Maidan, where monsoon rains turned the grounds to mud but protesters waved Indian flags and sang patriotic songs.
“But that is not actually happening. Corruption is ruling our country.”
They really don’t sound anti-democratic to me, just anti-corruption.
“I’m glad the election’s not today,” said Democratic pollster Keith Frederick, a veteran of House races. “Every poll shows independents losing their patience for the president. These House elections tend to get nationalized, and there’s no doubt right now that as a referendum on Barack Obama, House Democrats lose.”
I would love to know what makes Frederick think that Obama is going to be more popular in 2012. If Democrats think the jobs bill is going to be enough to save them, they are sadly mistaken. Especially after Obama strips it of everything but corporate tax breaks and forces Democrats to vote for it.
“I strongly disagree with Ralph Nader. As I’ve said many times before, I believe that re-electing President Obama is an absolute imperative for our economy, our judicial system, for progressives and for our country,” said former Sen. Russ Feingold, who announced recently that he was not running for Wisconsin’s open Senate seat.
Really? Because Obama has been incompetent on the economy (and frighteningly pro-austerity), downright destructive to progressives, and has all but ignored the judiciary. More from Feingold:
Now, facing Republican candidates that are bought-and-sold by corporate money, and who want to give more tax breaks to the wealthiest and attack the rights of working Americans, the President is fighting to create jobs and provide economic security for middle class families.
Again, who is Russ talking about? Obama is almost as much a corporate creature as the Republicans, strong-armed congressional Democrats into extending Bush’s tax cuts for the rich, and has twiddled his thumbs on jobs until just recently.
I’m still not quite at the point where I would say I would prefer a Republican president, but I can’t think of a single persuasive reason why Obama deserves to keep his job. If we could get a Democratic nominee who might actually be a good president, I’d be all for it.
3 commentsSeptember 22nd, 2011 at 08:00amPosted by Eli
I think I have finally figured it out: By co-opting Republican positions on issues like extraction, tax cuts, regulations, and austerity, Obama is forcing the GOP to become more and more insane in order to stay to the right of him as an opposition party, thus making itself less and less appealing to non-crazy voters.
Obama isn’t following the Republicans to the right, he’s pushing them.
1 commentSeptember 8th, 2011 at 11:23amPosted by Eli
As a young girl from Anoka, I was shocked at the level of security in Israel. We worked on the kibbutz from 4 am to noon. We were always accompanied by soldiers with machine guns. While we were working, the soldiers were walking around looking for land mines. I really learned a lot in Israel.
Am I the only one who finds that kind of… unsettling?
Apparently the teabaggers are basically just rebranded Republican theocrats. If they’re political independents, it’s only because the Republican Party isn’t sufficiently suffused with right-wing religious fanaticism.
But the joke’s on them, because now they’re even less popular than the religious right, and even atheists and Muslims. Why, they’re even less popular than Obama’s record on the economy, and that’s saying something.
The Tea Party really is the best hope Obama and the Democrats have next year – that they nominate more unelectable crazies like Sharron Angle, Linda McMahon and Christine O’Donnell, and that voters turn against the teabaggers that they elected last year. Lesser of two evils is pretty much all they have going for them next year, so they’re going to have to be pretty damn lesser to overcome the enthusiasm gap (who could have predicted that the party that strokes its base would get better turnout than the party that kicks theirs?).
1 commentAugust 18th, 2011 at 08:08amPosted by Eli
The NYT recently revived Obama’s old quote from early in his presidency that he would rather be a good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president, in the context of talking about what he has to do to turn his presidency around before he’s up for re-election. But really, that only makes sense if you buy the premise that he hasn’t been a good president, which can only be properly evaluated if you know what his goals are.
There is room for agreement between the two views, however: Regardless of whether Obama is a successful Republican or an unsuccessful Democrat, he has been an absolutely miserable politician who has demoralized his own base, alienated independents, and done nothing to win over Republicans. (Well, actually, he’s done quite a lot to win over Republicans, but none of it has worked.) And the economy and employment situation is still terrible, although I suppose that could also be considered a matter of perspective – the wealthy are still doing fine, if not better, but the overwhelming majority of the electorate are not feeling very secure.
So is Obama a good president or a mediocre one? I think the answer mainly depends on how much money you have. Is he a one-term president or a two-term one? I think the answer mainly depends on how crazy the Republican nominee is.
1 commentAugust 11th, 2011 at 07:42amPosted by Eli
And really, who can blame them? Both parties got their shot at running the government, and both parties failed miserably because they cared more about their corporate and wealthy donors than the people they were elected to serve.
There is definitely room for a third party (although it would really be more like a second party at this point), but not if it’s just a corporate “centrist” party positioned between the other two corporate parties. The only kind of third party that’s going to gain any traction would be a populist one that promises to represent ordinary people instead of corporations and the wealthy.
Tom Friedman and Chris Cillizza are absolutely right that there is a palpable hunger for a third-party alternative to the godawful Republicans and Democrats, but I really don’t think that a new corporate-owned party positioned between the two corporate-owned parties that we already have is going to represent our interests any better.
Most people I know think the Daily Caller story about Michele Bachmann’s supposedly debilitating migraines is the Republican establishment’s attempt to get her out of the way for the 2012 election, but I think maybe Tucker Carlson is just trying to reassure us that she won’t be trying to wreck the country 24/7.
Republicans understand that voters in “the base” turn out if motivated, and the undecideds in the middle do not. Consequently, they tailor their electoral strategy to pumping up their base to maximize that turnout, and they don’t worry about the middle all that much because they’re proportionally less of a factor. The Democrats, on the other hand, repeatedly throw their base under the bus in pursuit of those fickle undecideds who probably aren’t voting anyway.
Tell me again why alienating your base in pursuit of independents is a good electoral strategy?
(This is, of course, assuming that this actually is the Democrats’ electoral strategy and not just an excuse for pursuing conservative policy goals on behalf of their corporate benefactors. But as excuses go, it’s a pretty transparently ridiculous one.)
Shorter Thomas Sowell: Why is no one taking this fire seriously? Stop jabbering and posturing and throw some gasoline on it already!
I also liked the part where he explains that raising taxes on the rich is both a socialist takeover and an ineffective empty gesture. And where he explains that voting should be a privilege for the educated overclass rather than a right extended to just any peon.
Somehow, I don’t think restricting the electorate to only well-informed people would work out quite the way Sowell pictures. On the other hand, quizzing voters would be so unwieldy and contentious, so maybe we should use income or net worth as a proxy for knowledge and intelligence, since after all only the smartest and best-educated people get rich, right?
You know the old cliche gag where someone has an angel on one shoulder telling them to do the right thing, and a devil on the other shoulder telling them the exact opposite? The GOP is kind of looking like that right now, and the devil is winning.
Representing the angel (relatively speaking, this is the GOP we’re talking about), David Frum:
Look at the issues the House GOP has decided to showcase this summer:
A) A budget plan that would gradually withdraw Medicare coverage from everyone younger than 55, to the point where the Congressional Budget Office estimates that senior citizens will be paying two-thirds of their health coverage out of pocket by 2030.
B) A threat to force a default on the obligations of the United States by August unless the president yields on point A.
Tea Party conservatives complain that Republicans who advocate restraint, responsibility and moderation do so in order to be nice to Obama. That’s utterly upside down. Restraint, responsibility and moderation are indispensable to the defeat of President Obama. It is Tea Party conservatism itself that is Obama’s last, best hope for a second term.
The Obama campaign can only redirect attention from the president’s own record to GOP kookiness if the GOP cooperates. The conclusion that you’d think would follow: don’t do it.
And in the devil corner we have, who else but Karl Rove:
Next year, Republicans must describe their Medicare reforms plainly, set the record straight vigorously when Democrats demagogue, and go on the attack. Congressional Republicans—especially in the House—need a political war college that schools incumbents and challengers in the best way to explain, defend and attack on the issue of Medicare reform. They have to become as comfortable talking about Medicare in the coming year as they did in talking about health-care reform last year.
There needs to be preparation and self-education, followed by extensive town halls, outreach meetings, visits to senior citizen centers, and the use of every available communications tool to get the reform message across.
Yes, a full-court press to make sure America knows all about the Republicans’ Medicare sounds like an absolutely brilliant idea! And maybe Robert Samuelson can explain that the end of Medicare is a good thing, and exactly how cutting seniors loose with $8,000 to buy private coverage will “[force the] health-care delivery system… to restructure by reducing costs and improving quality.”
Obama doesn’t really deserve to win next year, but the GOP seems determined to help him out.
Hey, remember the Republican narrative about how the Democrats got pummeled last year because Mad Socialist Obama “overreached” with his government takeover agenda? Funny thing: As soon as the GOP took power after that wave election, it immediately got to work showing everybody what real overreach looks like, attacking collective bargaining rights, and now Medicare.
The Democrats swept the Republicans out in 2006 and 2008 because the Republicans proved themselves to be incompetent and corrupt. The Republicans swept the Democrats out in 2010 because the Democrats proved themselves to be incompetent and corrupt. Now the Republicans are proving themselves to be downright malevolent, and could very well swing the backlash pendulum back to the Democrats, and in a presidential election cycle too.
If the presidential election had been held in 2010, Obama might have been in serious trouble if the Republicans nominated someone even semi-sane. But if the Republicans continue to push a nakedly pro-wealth, anti-everything-else agenda, Obama’s going to win in another landslide, whether he deserves to or not (it’s “not”, by the way).
Also, the fawning Cheney endorsement probably isn’t doing Paul Ryan any favors. If I’m his opponent, I’m running that quote on a continuous loop from now until election day.
Today Newt Gingrich announced that his wife, Callista, is in his words a “Stepford Wife.” Newt told reporters today. “Soon after I married Callista, I had her brain replaced with a robotic brain. She does anything I tell her to, which frankly, the way all wives should behave to their husbands.”
Callista has been the most public and the least known of the political partners bracing for the scrutiny of a presidential campaign. In eleven years of marriage, Callista Gingrich has never been the subject of a profile. Gingrich’s aides declined to make her available to any newspapers for an interview, to talk about her or the marriage on the record or on background, or even to suggest friends who might offer a glimpse of the would-be First Lady.
The reason: Callista is a robot.
Friends say she’s ready for the rigors of Iowa, where she went to college, and a comfortable public performer, if one who has spent much of her time on stage behind a gleaming french horn in the Fairfax City Band.
“The robotic brain I had put in her head, can handle any situation,” said Newt.
“She is much more in the model of a Laura Bush than a Hillary Clinton,” said David Bossie, the president of the conservative group Citizens United and a longtime Gingrich ally. “She just is a strong partner like Laura Bush, was but not out in front like Hillary Clinton was.”
Callista Gingrich is Newt’s third wife. He was tired of having his wives “talk back” to him and deny him sex. “Callista will have sex with me whenever I ask her too and she never talks back. If she starts to talk back, I just say the word “Speaker” and she shuts up. I love her so much.”
When asked where Newt had his wife’s brain replaced with a robotic brain, he said – “That’s something that will come out in the campaign. I will reveal that on every campaign stop ONLY to the men who promise to vote for me in 2012.”
Newt hopes to win in a landslide.
I am intrigued by the hint that Laura Bush may also be a robot.
The question of whether President Barack Obama was born on U.S. soil will have zero impact on the 2012 campaign but could significantly damage Republicans’ prospects for retaking the White House if it lingers.
Wouldn’t “significantly damage” be a little more than “zero impact”? Of course, Roll Call is just reporting a Republican consensus view, so I guess nonsensical contradiction is to be expected.
Speaking of Obama’s birth certificate, I’m surprised Obama didn’t choose to release it in late 2012 to embarrass the GOP right in the middle of their campaign against him (or, y’know, NOT AT ALL). I guess that’s what happens when you have a Democratic president who only plays hardball against his own base.
Why on earth do you need internet grassroots when your political movement is primarily about serving the interests of corporations and elites instead of ordinary people? And when those corporations and elites can funnel you more money than ordinary people could ever dream of without even breaking a sweat?