Category Archives: Tea Party

A Losing Message

Here’s a picture of a campaign sign in front of a polling place near my house:

We Said No To Saying No

We Said No To Saying No

This is an anti-immigrant, bigoted message. And it is the message that lost, big-time, state-wide on Thursday. It’s the same message that was rejected by Tennesseans four years ago when they said no to Ron Ramsey for governor. This is the same message that lost, big-time, in Nashville five years ago when Eric Crafton’s English Only effort went down in flames. It’s a message that begins with racist whackjob John Tanton and filters down into his various front groups like NumbersUSA and the Center For Immigration Studies and FAIR.

I wonder when far-right Republicans will give up on this message? Probably never. Because the constant drumbeat of immigrant-bashing on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity has given the far-right fringe the mistaken idea that this idea works. They think, “People agree with this message. This is the message I need to repeat. This needs to be my position.”

What they forget is that the Rush Limbaugh Show, Sean Hannity and Fox News are trying to win a ratings game, not an election. It is in their interests to be outrageous, inflammatory, even controversial. What we learned this week, what we learn every election, is that politicians playing to the Rush/Fox crowd by aping their messaging are going to lose. Even in Tennessee.

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Filed under immigration, Republican Party, Tea Party, Tennessee

Couldn’t Happen To A Nicer Asshole

Buh-bye, Eric Cantor. Lost his primary to a completely off-the-rails Teanut named David Brat.

I heard Brat on Chuck Toad Todd’s show this morning and he dished up some word salad that never had a coherent point. Chuck patted him on the head and told him to run along. So excuse me if I can relish in the delicious comeuppance of both the hated Chuck Todd and the wretched Eric Cantor.

Seriously, I have to wonder: it’s not like Cantor is some hippie. You don’t get much further to the right. Yet nobody saw this coming? How did this upset happen? Virginia has open primaries: did Democrats cross over and skew the results? (Yes, I still hate open primaries, always and forever. Pick a side. If you can’t, then wait for the general and you get to pick your candidate then. You do not get to pick my candidate if you aren’t in my party).

I just find that really hard to believe. My understanding is that the Democratic candidate, Mike Dickinson, is not endorsed by the Virginia Democratic Party and is something of a weirdo. In fact, he apparently missed the filing deadline to be on the Democratic ticket. So if he runs at all, it will have to be as an independent.

Cantor basically engineered the gridlock which has ground all of the peoples’ business to a halt. If Eric fucking Cantor is too liberal for Virginia Republicans, you just gotta wonder … It’s hard to see this as anything other than a big victory for the Tea Party. For a movement which has seen precious few of them of late, it’s a good reminder that there are still hotbeds of knuckle-dragging Know-nothings out there.

And Republicans: you have only yourselves to blame for this one. You gerrymandered yourselves into a Tea Party conundrum. Congratulations.

[UPDATE]:

So evidently the candidate is Jack Trammel.

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Filed under Congress, Tea Party

Controlling The Beast

Interesting:

In a warning shot to outside conservative groups, the National Republican Senatorial Committee this week informed a prominent Republican advertising firm that it would not receive any contracts with the campaign committee because of its work with a group that targets incumbent Senate Republicans.

Even more striking, a senior official at the committee called individual Republican Senate campaigns and other party organizations this week and urged them not to hire the firm, Jamestown Associates, in an effort to punish them for working for the Senate Conservatives Fund, a group founded by Jim DeMint, then a South Carolina senator, that is trying to unseat Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, and some other incumbents up for re-election next year whom it finds insufficiently conservative.

Thus the civil war inside the Republican Party has spread into the politico-industrial complex. I’m trying to think how blacklisting contractors who work for Tea Party candidates will do anything constructive. Aside from inflaming the base, isn’t that kinda going after low-hanging fruit?

What about the sugar daddies financing these folks? It’s fine to go after an ad agency, but what about the people paying the bills? What about the Koch Brothers or people like Nashville’s own Lee Beaman, a generous contributor to affiliated groups like the Club For Growth (a major backer of Ted Cruz) and Americans For Prosperity. Wonder if any of these people will get their hands slapped? It doesn’t sound like it.

The problem with the Republican Party, as I’ve written a gazillion times, is that the moderates are already extinct from a functional perspective. Even the most reasonable Republican imaginable, once elected, ends up playing on the same team as the knuckle-dragging Neanderthals who remain stubbornly committed to failed policies and ignorant ideas like “defaulting on our debt is just a pin-prick.” Time and time again we see the so-called “moderates” kow-tow to the mouthbreathers; this is how we ended up with a shuttered government for two weeks, folks. Even our spineless governor, Bill Haslam, is too weak-kneed to take on the fringe.

I’m reminded of a quote from a book I read years and years ago — I think it was Asne Seierstad’s The Bookseller Of Kabul — where a Pakistani man says he doesn’t support the brutal tactics of the Taliban in nearby Afghanistan, but he thinks Pakistan could benefit from “just a little bit of the Taliban.”

But there is no “little bit.” It’s all or nothing. And it’s the same with today’s Republicans. There’s no “little bit of the Tea Party,” it’s the whole thing. They just shut down the entire government because the moderates are extinct as a party force. That should tell you something right there.

The fact that party leadership still thinks they can control this beast they created without going after the Hydra’s head — the Koch billions — is just pathetic.

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Filed under politics, Republican Party, Tea Party

Tea Party Dumbasses

In my neighborhood people are having serious flooding issues from “infill” development — that’s where they tear down one house and put two, three or four on the same lot. Naturally the extra paving and loss of grass causes drainage problems for neighbors and right now Nashville regulations don’t require developments of under 10,000 square-feet to file a stormwater plan. That’s going to change because we’re not fucking idiots in this city, but not if people like my dumbass Tea Party neighbor have their way. My neighbor informed me that city stormwater regs are “big government” and people just need to individually take care of their perimeter and all will be well.

“Build a wall” he said because, really, what could possibly go wrong?

So here’s my suggestion: clearly you people are too dumb for urban living. Why not move out to the country and get yourself 25 acres or so. Something where you can bootstrap yourselves all the livelong day and just pat yourselves on the back for being so self-sufficient and individualistic and all.

Then you won’t have to worry about living in close quarters with neighbors, unless of course your neighbors happen to be Muslims, and then you can pop your copy of the Constitution in the shredder and eminent domain yourselves silly.

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Filed under Nashville, religion, Tea Party, Tennessee

Republicans In Disarray, Episode Eleventybillion

Anyone who doubts how completely off the rails the Republican Party has gone need look no further than so-called “moderate” (as in, “not crazy”) Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, Tennessee’s elder statesman who supposedly left his leadership post two years ago so he could be freed from the toe-the-party-line restraints of leadership and work to “make the Senate a more effective institution” and “deal with serious issues.”

Serious issues like immigration reform? The fiscal cliff? Taxation? Indeed! That has the nut wing of the GOP calling for the fainting couches, however:

In Alexander’s case, the disgruntlement keeps alive the possibility of a primary challenge in 2014, when he will run for a third term, say Cunningham and other tea party leaders in the state.

“There is a lot of chatter (about challenging Alexander),” said Mark Herr, head of the Mid-South Tea Party in Memphis.

In addition to immigration reform, the Tennessee senators have drawn flak from some conservatives this year for supporting sales taxes on Internet purchases, accepting dinner invitations from President Barack Obama, supporting income tax increases on upper incomes in order to avoid a “fiscal cliff” and supporting a cloture motion that allowed Senate Democrats to bring up a proposal for expanded background checks on gun sales. Despite voting for cloture, Corker and Alexander opposed expanded background checks themselves.

He had dinner with President Obama? Traitor!!!

Hilarious. Alexander has high approval ratings in Tennessee, and one would think his reputation as a “moderate,” “serious” politician and growing war chest would allay any fears that his seat is threatened by mouthbreathers in tricorner hats.

Still, Alexander appears to be taking this Tea Party primary threat seriously. The election is still over a year away, but Tennesseans are being reminded of what a massive defender of freedom Alexander is, with this TV ad featuring a cameo by Tea Party darling Rand Paul. Here’s “Man of the people” Lamar Alexander, standing up to Dah Man (ahem, Army Corps of Engineers) to protect your right to fish below a dam (and possibly drown). Take that, Big Government! That’s some world class populism, and just to prove what Defender Of Freedom Alexander is, he made sure to have BFF Rand Paul’s ugly mug in the ad, too. Brush with greatness, I tell ya!

That oughta stomp on any Tea Party primary challenge, amiright? I’m sure the Freedom To Fish Act and Rand Paul will completely make up for all the other stuff Lamar Alexander did to piss off the Tea Party.

Alternately, Lamar Alexander thinks the Tea Party is that stupid? Who knows, he could be right. Why else spend the money and run the ad in the first place? Either way it sure speaks volumes about how the Tea Party has so-called moderates running scared.

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Filed under Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tea Party, Tennessee

“The Dog That Caught The Bus”

[UPDATE]:

The hits just keep on coming:

LOS ANGELES — After years of grueling battles over state budget deficits and spending cuts, California has a new challenge on its hand: too much money. An unexpected surplus is fueling an argument over how the state should respond to its turn of good fortune.

The amount is a matter of debate, but by any measure significant: between $1.2 billion, projected by Gov. Jerry Brown, and $4.4 billion, the estimate of the Legislature’s independent financial analyst. The surplus comes barely three years after the state was facing a deficit of close to $60 billion.

Governor Moonbeam did what Ah-nuld was unable to do in two terms. Brown is a Democrat, but a fiscally responsible one. Which just goes to show: if you want to actually balance budgets, not harp and moan about them, elect Democrats.

—————————————————–

Ruh-roh. Republicans have made budget deficit alarmism the main reason for their existence, but facts and math have thrown a wrench in their political plans:

Republicans who have made the deficit their central ideological focus are, in some sense, the dog that caught the bus. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated this month that the deficit for this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, will fall to about $642 billion, or 4 percent of the nation’s annual economic output, less than half the 2011 deficit and about $200 billion lower than the agency had estimated three months ago.

The agency forecast that the deficit, which topped 10 percent of the gross domestic product in 2009, could shrink to as little as 2.1 percent of the G.D.P. by 2015, a level most analysts say would be easily sustainable over the long run.

In fact, Republicans’ insistence on chasing the “exploding budget deficit” fairy tale has been problematic for their political strategizing:

House Republicans had envisioned a plan to reach a comprehensive deficit reduction deal predicated on a showdown in July over the debt ceiling. That showdown was supposed to drive both sides back to the bargaining table, but a rapidly falling deficit, rising tax payments and huge infusions of cash from the newly profitable, federally controlled home financing agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have scrambled those plans. Now, the debt ceiling may not have to be raised until October or November, in the next fiscal year.

Awwww…. Meanwhile, the Tea Party is digging its heels in, continuing to call for cuts and refusing to negotiate with the Senate on reconciling the two chambers’ differing budget proposals. This is all because the Republicans are in utter disarray. I’m not sure an image of a Republican Party unable to find its own ass with a map and a compass is how the GOP envisioned going into the 2014 midterms.

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Filed under budget, deficit, Republican Party, Tea Party

This Is What Passes For A Scandal?

[UPDATE]:

Hilarious:

There was a commissioner, Douglas Shulman, who was appointed by the Bush/Cheney administration five years ago, and who was in charge when the agency began treating conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status unfairly. It’s unlikely that a Republican deliberately targeted groups on the right for extra scrutiny.

But more to the point, Rubio’s demand is problematic given the fact that Shulman has already resigned, leaving the IRS last November. It’s tough for a guy to fall on his sword after he’s already packed up his stuff and gone home.

So the guy in charge of the IRS when conservative groups say they were unfairly targeted was a Bush appointee, and he’s been gone for six months.

I’d say the Teanuts have been played.

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Help me out here, people. Other than massive butthurt and shrill whining, skills which the Tea Party employ with surgical precision, I don’t get what this supposed “scandal” involving the IRS is all about.

Tea Party groups were applying for 501(c)4 status. Political groups can’t be 501(c)4s. They can’t be involved directly in politics, raise money for candidates, launch primary challenges, run for office, etc. But groups calling themselves “Tea Party” and “Patriots” had been in the news for months doing exactly that! So why is it a big deal that the IRS was looking into the activities of groups calling themselves “Tea Party” before granting them non-profit status?

What am I missing here?

Also, many on the left have mentioned the numerous ways the Bush Administration did the same and even worse, without so much as a tear from conservatives or a front page headline from the mainstream media. Remember All Saints Church in Pasadena, California? Following a 2004 anti-war sermon which went viral, the IRS investigated the church for two years and threatened its non-profit status. At the same time, conservative “Patriot pastors” telling their congregations how to vote were ignored.

Remember when the FBI infiltrated anti-war groups as they planned protests ahead of the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis? Probably not — there’s little mention of this in the corporate media.

Or what about this one:

The FBI improperly targeted Greenpeace, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and two antiwar groups in domestic terrorism investigations between 2001 and 2006, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice said in a report released today.

The IG found there was “little or no basis” for the terror investigations, and that they were “unreasonable and inconsistent with FBI policy.”

At least two of the investigations resulted in innocent people being placed on the domestic terror watch list for years, and one resulted in FBI Director Robert Mueller providing Congress with “inaccurate and misleading information,” according to the report.

Remember the Pentagon’s TALON data base, which targeted anti-war Quakers and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell protestors? Doubtful: most people have probably never heard of it. Outside the lefty press, it got little attention on cable and network news.

Remember back in 2003 when the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation took down names of anti-war protestors at an MTSU peace rally? More recently, remember when the FBI targeted Occupy Wall Street?

Imagine the Tea Party hysterics if the FBI put their leaders on the terror watch list. But you don’t see Morning Joe booking the head of PETA to discuss the ways they were targeted; today he did book Newt Gingrich. And the Wall Street Journal is calling this “Nixonian.” Seriously? So you had to wait a little longer for your tax exempt status to clear on account of your politicking. Cry me a damn river, you big babies. Call me when your name is placed on a secret domestic terror watch list.

This is one giant nothingburger, another chance for the Tea Party to whine and call for the fainting couches about how unfair everyone always is to them. Seriously? The media is playing along with this? After ignoring the far worse ways liberal groups have been targeted by different government agencies — including the IRS?

Just further proof that the media is not liberal and its infatuation with all things Tea Party has continued.

You know what I think? I think the news media are desperate for a political scandal. We had so many of them during the Bush years, and then there was Clinton’s blow job and Gennifer Flowers and TravelGate and all the other Clinton-era scandals, phony and otherwise. Obama is just too boring.

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Filed under FBI, Media, taxes, Tea Party

They Won’t Ever Be Satisfied

photo-451-e1362947626984-140x140“Dozens” of Tea Party crazies “rallied” at the Tennessee State Capitol, not to protest Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid as was the stated purpose of the event, but really just to protest Obama. Because the Teanuts will never, ever be happy as long as the Kenyan Usurper Nobummer Blackety Black Man is in “their” house:

DesJarlais spoke at the rally, which was sparsely attended. And in the crowd of around 100, most of the discontent was less with expanding Medicaid, and more with President Obama. Linda Tomasik traveled from Memphis.

The only reason I’m here is not to protest Obamacare. I’ll put it that way. It’s just because I don’t think he should be president.

Is this not hilarious? The last gasps of the disgraced Tea Party show up to hear disgraced Rep. Scott DesJarlaid talk about being “principled” in a protest of a president who just got overwhelmingly re-elected.

DesJarlais, of course, is the pro-life serial philanderer who begged his mistress to get an abortion. Yes, do tell me about how Tennessee needs to lead the nation in being “principled.” I’m all ears.

Also: There’s nothing like a pro-life doctor protesting providing healthcare to the poor. That, my friends, is the definition of fail.

I’ve said from day one that the Tea Party stands for nothing more than an inchoate rage at their cultural irrelevance, with a dash of fear of change. Doesn’t seem like the message has “evolved” in any way.

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Filed under Tea Party, Tennessee

Payback, Republican Style?

Oh my God, how did I not know that the WWE had created a villainous Tea Party wrestling character, with an evil manager sidekick? To wit:

Appearing on Monday Night Raw last week, Swagger and Colter were booed by the crowd as they overzealously talked about the Constitution, the scourge of illegal immigration, and “true patriotism.” Other promotional videos of the two show them talking about freeloading immigrants and welfare recipients in front of the Gadsden flag, which has become symbolic of the Tea Party movement.

Swagger is set to battle for the “World Heavyweight Championship” (or whatever it’s called) against Mexican wrestler Alberto Del Rio — clearly a play on the stereotypical tension between anti-immigration types and Mexicans.

Further hyping the “Tea Party” gimmick, during one match ringside commentators Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler continually referred to Colter as Swagger’s “nutjob” manager, and said that the pair had received “fan mail” from controversial conservatives like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Alex Jones.

Conservative blog Twitchy hit back at the WWE with a clever swipe at pro-”wrestling” itself: “WWE’s racist Tea Party villain as realistic as pro wrestling.”

Oooh yes, clever indeed. Nobody ever made that joke before!

Trying to think of why WWE would make fun of the Tea Party. I wonder if it has anything to do with Linda McMahon’s failed run for Connecticut Senate? McMahon, whose husband owns and operates WWE, lost handily to Democrat Chris Murphy. But I had thought McMahon was the Tea Party candidate?

Odd, but there’s no fuck you like a Republican fuck you.

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Filed under Republican Party, Tea Party

Steve Gill: Don’t Let The Door Hitya Where The Lord Splitya

Nashville-based syndicated conservative talk radio host/Tea Party hero Steve Gill is quitting his radio show. All together now: Awwwwwww. You’ll love the reason why:

He said the growing corporate influence on radio also has made it more difficult for small broadcasters to thrive.

“When we started 15 years ago, radio was a different animal,” Gill said. “The way corporations work, it’s difficult to have a grassroots, listener-focused show right now.”

Wow. The guy who never met a tax or regulation he couldn’t slam, who devoted his career to selling free market snake oil, who promoted the Tea Party every chance he got? That guy? He appears completely oblivious to the fact that the very policies he promotes has created an environment of corporate consolidation, which actually suppresses free markets and free speech.

Facepalm.

But sure, Steve. Remind me how the Muslim Brotherhood is behind the Murfreesboro Islamic Center, how we need to kill Julian Assange, or how Obama’s nomination of Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State violates the Constitution. Or how high gas prices are Democrats’ fault. Dude, you were always focused on the wrong things. The foamy-mouthed, hate-spewing, fearmongering, bash-the-left stuff. Can’t believe WKRN hired him has a “political analyst.”

I mean, I could spend all day dredging up more of Steve Gill’s greatest hits, but I think you get the point. Gill is the worst sort of political hack who never missed a chance to twist a fact or gin up an outrage if it slammed liberals, President Obama, or any politician with a “D” after their name. Amazingly, people seem to be tired of that shit! Hoocouldanode?

The free market has spoken.

I’m not crying for Gill, he’ll no doubt benefit from Wingnut Welfare. But at least he won’t be spreading his crackpot ideas on the public airwaves anymore.

By the way, I dredged up this excellent 2009 piece from the memory hole. Mary Mancini saw it all coming. She predicted not just the decline of conservative hate ratio, but the destruction of the GOP brand overall.

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Filed under conservatives, Media, Steve Gill, talk radio, Tea Party, Tennessee