Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Benghazi Revelations Have Hillary Bashers on Defensive

This is proving to be big. I've talked about the difficulty of breaking into the Beltway's media narrative once it's left the station.

For about three months Hillary has just gotten the worst imaginable coverage-with not much difference in supposedly liberal enclaves like MSNBC or liberal pundits at the NY Times, etc.

Once the pack mentality breaks out most pundits seem congenitally incapable of thinking or themselves even some of the better ones.

So even the better liberal pundits like Greg Sargent or Kevin Drum never quite were willing to just dismiss Emailgate out of hand.

They will still say that even if she did nothing wrong she should have known better than to give the appearance of doing something wrong.

There has been a lot of discussion about what Boehner's resignation as Speaker will mean. Based on Kevin McCarthy who is his presumed successor's first day on the job giving interviews as the presumed successor the real pessimists may be right.

Sean Trende already sounds prophetic.

I thought the GOP might regret their shortsighted glee at axing Boehner as well but I never dreamed it'd be this quick.

But Boehner would never had said anything as stupid as McCarthy did who basically was goaded into blurting this out to show his real conservative credentials in a chat with Sean Hannity.

And the Hillary bashing narrative really has been jolted now. This has given Democrats the runway to call for the end of the Benhgazi investigation and, indeed, the investigation of the investigation.

"House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy unleashes the perfect talking point for Democrats pushing for the panel to be dismantled and investigated."

What is very heartening to see is that the mainstream press is picking up this story. The NY Times, The Washington Post, Slate, the Bloomberg piece above, even Politico though it's much lower down on its page than the latest taunts about more Hillary emails to be released.
I notice that the story was picked up on MSNBC Live earlier as well. But if you want a good gauge for how serious a jolt this is to the official narrative-the narrative may finally be about to change at least some is by seeing what the real diehard Hillary bashers are saying.

Chuck Todd in his new MSNBC show at 5 pm had to acknowledge it-he didn't look happy to and he did talk earlier about rifling through the new emails for more gossip and rumour mongering. What can Trey Gowdy investigate next? That Huma Abedin got into the movies for half price and that Citizen's United has the smoking gun that Hillary 'signed off on it?'

Todd admitted this was a boon to liberals who he said Are claiming this somehow means the Benghazi Committee is politically motivated. 

Yes, he really is trying to spin this as Ok but so what? Sure it's not political just because the next House Speaker said it is.

Meanwhile I don't know what has happened to The Atlantic but they actually have an author trying to claim that nothing has changed with McCarthy's huge gaffe.

"The expected next speaker of the House says the Benghazi committee helped drag Hillary Clinton down. Is anyone truly surprised or upset by this?"

"Color me unimpressed. The most surprising thing about this quotation is McCarthy’s coining of the word “untrustable.”

Deeming this a Kinsley gaffe requires that the truth that is revealed be new, and that there be someone surprised by it. So here’s the question: Are there people who didn’t think the Benghazi committee was designed from the start, at least in large part, to deflate Clinton? From the moment the attack happened, it was clear to Republicans that it could be used as a cudgel against her, and they’ve done so effectively. Most prominently, the committee hasn’t revealed any serious dereliction on her part, but it has circuitously led to the email scandal that has badly wounded her. Even Republicans who had serious questions about Benghazi can’t have had any misconceptions about the political edge to the process.

"Of course, the loudest voices in protest of McCarthy’s remarks are Clinton supporters. They are furious, they say. That seems unlikely. Democrats were convinced from the moment the committee was formed that it was a witch hunt. They’re not angry—they’re delighted that McCarthy has confirmed what they believed, and that now they can use it as a political weapon."

"At least in theory. A weapon to convince … whom? Are there conservatives who were single-mindedly focused on September 11, 2012, and who will be furious to learn that the committee hurt Clinton? Are there Democrats who didn’t realize this was about politics and will only now get upset? Both seem unlikely. Perhaps there are independent voters who were convinced the committee was pure and chaste and will now be furious and swing to Clinton’s support, but you should believe that when you see them."

"There’s a more charitable explanation for what McCarthy said, which short-circuits the Kinsley gaffe claim. As his spokesman lays it out, McCarthy simply means that House Republicans are going about their duties diligently; in the process they found damaging material; and that has hurt Clinton."

"Take that at face value or don’t, and it hardly matters to whether the outrage is real. Pretty much everyone on both sides already believed the committee was playing politics, and McCarthy’s comments aren’t likely to shift their convictions."

So nothing changes right? Nice try. He figures he can just say sure the committee is little more than a Super PAC to defeat Hillary Clinton but who didn't already know that?

Well, by the way the Beltway press has acted, they haven't been aware of that. If everyone really knew that Trey Gowdy isn't running a Congressional Committee so much as a Super PAC-he's kind of like a campaign manager for Jeb-then the press couldn't have treated the email scandal so credulously. It would have had to discount that the claims Gowdy's Committee is making has to be discounted as you would any political action committee.

What gave Emailgate respectability is that it was supposed to be part of a disinterested investigation that there was a legitimate public interest in.

You absolutely can't afford if your the GOP to admit that's a cover which is why Boehner would never have been so dumb.

While Trey Gowdy is basically Jeb-or possibly Rubio's-campaign manager, Kevin McCarthy should be watched. He may just prove an MVP for us Democrats.

Bottom line it's a nice try to argue nothing changes but this is clearly already wholly false. The mainstream press has picked this up widely which is going to change the narrative some at least and the House Dems will now have much more political capital that Benghazi shutdown now and may even itself deserve an ethics probe as David Brock argues.

Democrats Call for Immediate End of Benghazi Investigation After Kevin McCarthy's Jibe About Polls

The irony is that with Trey Gowdy's obsession with finding some kind of conflict of interest in something anything Hillary may have written in an email to Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, etc-no 'conflict of interest' being too trivial-the real conflict of interest has been the Benghazi Committee which McCarthy inartfully admitted on Hannity last night is nothing but the Super PAC to defeat Hillary Clinton in 2017.

Now the Dems are all over it.

"Rep. McCarthy got flustered during an interview with Sean Hannity and blew the worst kept political secret in Washington. He admitted that the Benghazi investigation is all about digging up mud on Hillary Clinton."

"The ranking member of the Select Committee on Benghazi, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said, 

“This stunning concession from Rep. McCarthy reveals the truth that Republicans never dared admit in public: the core Republican goal in establishing the Benghazi Committee was always to damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and never to conduct an even-handed search for the facts. It is shameful that Republicans have used this tragedy and the deaths of our fellow Americans for political gain. Republicans have blatantly abused their authority in Congress by spending more than $4.5 million in taxpayer funds to pay for a political campaign against Hillary Clinton.”

"The office of Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, “House Republicans were never interested in a bipartisan investigation to improve the security of Americans abroad. They’ve only been interested in pure extremist political theater. Leader McCarthy: the American people don’t want more politically-motivated “select committees” – not to smear presidential candidates, and not to assault women’s health. They want real leadership to confront the challenges we face as a nation.”

"Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) called for an immediate end to the Benghazi investigation and for Republicans to apologize to the families of the Benghazi victims, “Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy pulled the curtain back on the true purpose of the Select Committee on Benghazi – not to get the facts – but instead as a political ploy against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. This stunning admission shows a gross misuse of millions in taxpayer dollars for a purely political purpose. I believe it is time to end this investigation and for Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader McCarthy, and Chairman Trey Gowdy to apologize to the families of the four Americans who died during the attack and the American people for abusing the memories of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.”

"Republicans committed an act of fraud. They launched this investigation on false pretenses. The investigation was never meant to be about Benghazi. The Select Committee was also designed to dig up dirt on Hillary Clinton."

"House Republicans have wasted $4.5 million of your money trying to get Hillary Clinton. It’s time for the American people stand up and demand that the fraud end now."

The irony is for years the GOPers have tried to get the Clintons on abuse of government power for campaign purposes-and Gore to in 2000 with all the talk of 'No controlling legal authority.'

Turns out the investigation to discover abuse of power is the worst example of abuse of power itself. 

Irony is it's Trey Gowdy's Committee Who is Abusing Power

He's supposed to be the great crusader against abuse of power. Yet in his Ken Starr like fusing expedition to prove wrongdoing of some kind against Hillary no matter how bad-next she will admit to Huma Abedin in an email that she jaywalked as a teenager-the great abuse of power has been his own Committee that has lasted well beyond previous investigations-Pearl Harbor, JFK's assassination, Watergate, and 9/11.

Here is David Brock, the fonder of Media Matters:

"David Brock, founder of Correct The Record, released the statement below in response to Republican Kevin McCarthy’s admission last night on Fox News that the Benghazi Committee was formed to take down Hillary Clinton."

“Kevin McCarthy’s admission that the Benghazi Committee is a taxpayer funded political hit job to bring down Hillary Clinton should be the final straw for the media, for Members of Congress, for taxpayers and for the families of the four Americans who died in the Benghazi tragedy,” said Brock.

“I call on John Boehner, Trey Gowdy and House Republicans to end this investigation and issue an apology for this terrible exploitation of the deaths of four brave Americans. House Republicans led by Trey Gowdy have shamelessly, recklessly and erroneously leaked misinformation to the media and blatantly fundraised off the tragedy to benefit Republicans in 2016. It is time this investigation comes to an end and Republicans admit – like McCarthy did last night – that this entire thing was a political sham.

“Next, the House Ethics Committee must open an investigation into for this abuse of power and misuse of taxpayer funds for political purposes.”

"McCarthy told anchor Sean Hannity that “Everybody thought Hil­lary Clin­ton was un­beat­able right? But we put to­geth­er a Benghazi spe­cial com­mit­tee.A se­lect com­mit­tee. What are her num­bers today?”

Brock is right. The greatest abuse of power is for oppo research to be carried on in the People's House on their time and dime.
You have Citizen's United with its politically motivated lawsuits against Hillary while the NY Times helps publish a book attacking the Clinton Global Initiative which is a philanthropic organization that helps poor and underprivileged people around the globe. 
You have Gowdy rifling through every Hillary email with Huma Abedin or Cheryl Mills while his entire investigation is the work not of a Congressional body but a Super PAC. 

Greg Sargent Picks up Kevin McCarthy's Gloating About Benghazi Hurting Hillary's Poll Numbers

See this is why what Media Matters does is so important. It hits paydirt  now with the story about McCarthy's boast to Sean Hannity.

I wrote about this in my last post but here's the big news I've just discovered: Greg Sargent of the high profile Washington Post the Plum Line has picked up the story.

I've talked a lot in recent weeks regarding the Hillary scandal machine that it's all about the media narrative.

The media says that this email thing is a big deal. It isn't but the fact that the Beltway keeps saying it is makes it a big deal at least for the time being and can have a self-fulfilling impact on Hillary's numbers at least in the short term. But of course, a drop in her numbers is breathlessly picked up by the press and exaggerated which makes them drop even more.

The not so virtuous feedback loop at work.

I had just written about this

What I didn't know was that Greg Sargent picked it up. His picking it up is so important because what Sargent says can't be ignored by the Beltway so easily. He is part of the narrative himself.

So when the email scandal first broke Sargent himself was saying things like maybe there's nothing there but the Clintons some how seem to always find themselves the target of such with hunts which suggest even if there's no fire they are complicit by blowing smoke somehow.

This gave the scandal life if even he as a resident high profile Beltway liberal refused to push back on Emailgate at all.

So now by the same token this is big as it clearly means that Media Matters has penetrated the Beltway consciousness in a way that can't simply be ignored.

Here is Sargent:

"Top Republican suffers disastrous outbreak of candor about Hillary Benghazi probes."

To be sure he didn't say it so much to be candor but if anything to head off the desire for some Tea Partiers in the House to have Gowdy rather than McCarthy as next House Speaker. He was trying to assure the base of his piety to the creed. 

He didn't think while he was gloating about Hillary to Hannity that he might actually be putting a weapon in her hand. 

"Twitter is abuzz with the news that the man who is likely to take over as Speaker of the House suffered from an accidental outbreak of candor on national television, directly linking House GOP investigations of Benghazi to Hillary Clinton’s dropping poll numbers."

"The problem comes in the linking of this directly to Clinton’s “dropping numbers.” It suggests that the probes are less about genuine accountability than about driving up her negatives, to use the cliche so beloved by political pros. It is reasonable to surmise that the probes at this point are more about pumping out as much fog as possible to create a general impression of wrongdoing that, hopefully, will sow inchoate public doubts about Clinton. McCarthy’s quote may not prove this to be true, but it provides more support for that theory of the case."

This last paragraph shows that Sargent is still a creature of the Beltway:

"McCarthy’s quote is already being pressed into service by Clinton’s allies to delegitimize the ongoing House probes. The Clinton campaign will probably do the same, to remind people of her weathering of the 1990s trials and tribulations, though it might require some careful treading to do this while simultaneously keeping up the line that she is merely trying to earn the public’s trust by navigating the natural rigors of the process."

Why does she have to earn the public's trust about emails? And you consider her too partisan with the Republican Congress' record going back to the Clinton years?

Still just because he is a Beltway pundit his acknowledging this is a big step forward for Democrats.

Then you have the story that Boehner actually wanted Gowdy for Majority Leader.

So basically the entire House is involved in blatant campaign activities against Hillary Clinton. And they dare accuse her of conflict of interest?

UPDATE: Kevin Drum also picks up the story.

However, I take issue with this:

"In both cases, there was genuine news that justified a certain amount of coverage. But also in both cases, the amount of coverage was insanely out of sync with the actual evidence of serious wrongdoing. Welcome to the 1990s version 2.0."

What exactly was the genuine news for Whitewater? With Benghazi the legitimate issue is that the only conflict of interest is the Committee itself.

Kevin McCarthy Brags That Benghazi Committee is Hurting Hilary Clinton's Poll Numbers

Which kind of begs the question: why isn't the Benghazi Committee forced to register itself as a Super PAC?

As it's intent couldn't be more nakedly political. There's the irony. While Gowdy and friends scour every Hillary email she ever wrote to Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills with a fine tooth comb to discover any conflict of interest no matter how trivial, the investigation itself is a giant, walking, talking conflict of interest.

Remember when they mocked Al Gore in 2000 over 'No controlling legal authority./

As usual the fact that Gore was right was besides the point. Somehow he had cheated and the media picked that moral sophistry up and ran with it.

But while they claimed that Gore misused the White House for campaign activities how do they justify the Benghazi Committee that has now gone on longer than any investigation in US history-longer than Pearl Harbor, longer than JFK's assassination, longer than Watergate, 9/11.

Despite finding nothing. In my last piece I documented how the Tea Parties in the House want Trey Gowdy as new Speaker.

UPDATE: And interestingly Politico's Jake Sherman has just claimed that Boehner had urged Gowdy to go for Speaker as well.

But not to worry: Kevin McCarthy who conventional wisdom says is on a 'glide path to Speaker' also has the religion. McCarthy gloats that Benghazi Committee has hurt Hillary Cllinton's poll numbers.

"REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): The question I think you really want to ask me is, how am I going to be different? What are you going to see differently?"

"SEAN HANNITY (HOST): I love how you asked my questions. But go ahead, that was one of my questions, go right ahead."

"MCCARTHY: I knew you'd want to ask it. What you're going to see is a conservative speaker, that takes a conservative Congress, that puts a strategy to fight and win. And let me give you one example. Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she's untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened, had we not fought and made that happen."

"HANNITY: I agree. That's something good, I give you credit for that, I give you credit for sequestration, I give you credit -- I'll give you credit where credit is due."

So the question begs: by the rules set for Hillary's emails in terms of reading everything as a potential conflict interest isn't the admission by the presumed next Speaker of the House that the Bengahzi Committee has been used for oppo research to bring down Hillary's poll numbers be highly problematic in and of itself?

Isn't this deserving of its own investigation?

Rachel Bade is Politico's Hillary Bashing Queen

If you want to get the latest on Politico's hit pieces on Hillary her Twitter page is a good place to start.

I wouldn't blame you if you tweeted her letting her know exactly what we think of her yellow journalism.

I use that term quite honestly. I mean she and other Beltway hacks are just writing stories purely on Trey Gowdy's background.

Now Ms. Bade spends her whole day writing that there's something fishy about Hillary's email conversations with Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills

I actually find some other questions of more interest. Like what her discussions with Trey Gowdy go like.

His work on his Committee is blatantly political. And they laughed at Gore for saying no controlling legal authority?

You have the unedifying spectacle of someone like Ms. Bade doing everything she can to carry Gowdy's water in throwing mud at the Clinton Foundation which is a philanthropic organization that helps poor and underprivileged people around the world based on the oppo research of Citizens United and the Koch Brothers.

David Brock says there's a special place reserved in Hell for the NY Times for their biased and substandard coverage of the Clintons over the years.

I think that anyone who tries to besmirch the Clinton Foundation based on the oppo research of Citizen's United who has never helped anyone deserves a place in Hell right next door to the NY Times.

My point in talking about Bade is that Gowdy and her do everything they can to shine a harsh light on honest civil servants like Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills.

Don't they along with Citizen's United deserve the same harsh light?

Reading her is also a way to keep track of what the latest hit pieces on Hillary are about. 

Tea Party Wants Trey Gowdy for Speaker

Which is quite appropriate. If the GOP manages to beat Hillary-and likely give us yet another Bush-it will be thanks in large part to Trey Gowdy-and the complicit Beltway press.

How many of the pundits simply repeat Gowdy's innuendos and lies verbatim and then go home to pet the cat? This certainly describes Politico writer Rachel Bade.


Check out her Twitter page which if it isn't Clinton fake scandals headquarters is pretty close.

I mean Jeb could never defeat Hillary based on his own anemic efforts but Trey Gowdy feeding all his scandal mongering to a credulous press could go a long way.

So no surprise that many Tea Partiers want him for Speaker-and as Ms. Bade dutifully tweeted, Rick Scott wants Gowdy for President. As he's doing all the legwork to defeat Hillary this seems only fair.

"It’s well-known that Rep. Trey Gowdy doesn’t love being in Washington."

Read more:

Well that works out well I don't love him being there either. I'd love it if he weren't there.

"He often ducks around reporters. He scoffs when people urge him to run for leadership, saying it’s about the last thing he wants to do. And he openly wonders when he can catch the first flight back to his home state of South Carolina."

Read more:

I'll book his flight. I might even pay for it.

"Yet this is the man many Republicans tried to pressure into the race for House majority leader. And that underscores a scary reality for Reps. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Tom Price (R-Ga.): Few in the House Republican Conference are satisfied with them as the only choices for the No. 2 leadership post."

Read more:

Well the idea that Scalise could even be considered seems nuts-with his background with David Duke.

Then again, it seems nuts that he became the number three man so who's to say he can't' be number two?

As for Ms. Bade and other reporters like her we ought to launch an investigation into her close relationship with Trey Gowdy.

If Hillary's correspondences with Cherry Mills and Huma Abedin are news why aren't the correspondences of Trey Gowdy news?

We need an investigation of the investigator. and his media conduits, a la Rachel Bade.

Politico Writer Who Baits Clinton Foundation is Chummy With Trey Gowdy

It's only appropriate that some of the most rabid Tea Partiers in the House want Trey Gowdy to replace Boehner at Speaker.

After all, he is the MVP of Jeb Bush' campaign to be President. Jeb who is running as his brother only worse on most issues-rabidly anti-abortion. ending Medicare, tax cuts even more regressive than his brother's.

Jeb-or possibly Rubio-will never win on the issues. If the GOP wins it will be by attacking Hillary personally. This is how his bro squeaked by Al Gore-to be sure with an assist from the SJC

And the media is all to eager to pick up an magnify these personal attacks.

If they beat Hillary it will be by endless stories about whether or not she's a good campaigner, whether she's likable, if somehow the fake scandals of  Trey Gowdy and Citizen's United even if not really legitimate somehow show she 'ikes to cut corners and doesn't play by the rules that the rest of us play by.'

So today, Politico which every day has at least one big anti Hillary headline-either about emails, or more speculation about Biden, or breathless new polls that show she's plummeting-has an attack on the Clinton Foundation.

It's a real shame that on organziation like CGI that is philanthropic and does so much good around the world for those in need is under attack by the GOP for purely political gain. The Politico writer of this latest hit piece, Rachel Bade contains the breathless headline:

"Clinton's chief of staff gave advice to Clinton Foundation"

"New documents show the foundation had a direct line to longtime Clinton loyalist Cheryl Mills, circumventing the official State Dept. process."

Read more:

Like so much of the Beltway's coverage of the fake Trey Gowdy scandals there is little either proof-what actual evidence or quotes supplied are usually very cherrypicked-or explanation that even if the story were true it would count as anything but yet another nothingburger in the tradition of Whitewater.

I mean the question as always is:

1. Is the story accurate-and so many of the breathless headlines have proven not to be like Politico's last big 'bombshell' that Hillary 'signed off' on Huma Abedin's promotion. ,

2. Even if there is any truth in it-so what?

Last night Chris Matthews again repeated a Beltway canard that even though the Clinton scandals always prove to be phony the Clintons fail to respond properly to them.

But as they are phony how do you prove the negative?Why is the burden on those falsely accused to prove their not witches?

In Bade's piece she never shows why even if Cheryl Mills was asked for guidance on the CGI what the problem would be. It certainly doesn't break any laws.

"The Clinton Foundation had a direct line to Hillary Clinton’s former chief of staff at the State Department, seeking her advice on lucrative speaking invitations for former President Bill Clinton outside of the department’s normal ethics process, according to emails that surfaced in a federal lawsuit.

"Foundation officials sought guidance from Cheryl Mills, a longtime Clinton lawyer and friend, on whether the former president should accept paid speaking gigs in countries that could have presented public relations problems, including a North Korea appearance the charity said Hillary Clinton’s brother was pushing, the emails show."

"Mills sat on the foundation’s board before becoming the department's No. 2 official and returned to the board after leaving State in 2013."

"The emails unearthed in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the conservative group, Citizens United, offer a fuller picture of the agency's dialogue with foundation officials about whether paid speaking appearances — particularly in foreign countries — by former President Bill Clinton would pose ethical issues for his wife, the nation's top diplomat. State Department ethics officials reviewed hundreds of speaking requests for Bill Clinton submitted by the foundation and rejected only a few of them."

Read more:
So here we have a sordid organization like Citizen's United besmirching the good name of a fine philanthropic organization lie the Clinton Global Initiative.

And even if this is true where's the crime? Well, as even Bade admits, there really is none. But it just sounds sensationalist so why not write a long piece based on the innuendo of Trey Gowdy and Citizen's United?

"Mills' involvement with some of the most sensitive speaking requests shows that top foundation officials felt comfortable seeking advice directly from Hillary Clinton's closest adviser and consulted her privately on speaking requests involving hundreds of thousands of dollars. The backchannel contacts do not appear to violate agency rules."

Read more:

As usual no rules are broken but for some reason this is still a big deal.

You know what backchannel dealing I'm interested in? Ms. Bade's very cozy relationship with Trey Gowdy. If you look at her Twitter page she's very cozy with him and she even retweeted this:

"Asked about for GOP leader, says it's a demotion from what he should be: president."

Impeccable logic-as he's leading the oppo research against Hillary Clinton it's hard to argue that he's not more deserving than Jeb Bush.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Thing to Remember About Today's GOP-Planned Parenthood Theater

At the end of the day there's not going to be a shutdown this time as Boehner is basically falling on his sword to get us through the latest game of chicken.

Today's testy GOP hearing with PP is just a chance for GOPers to primp for the cameras and serve up some red meat for the base.

So in a way when Republicans like Tommy Franks compare abortion to slavery we can laugh it off as Franks won't be able to defund it this time at least.

"Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) compared Republicans fighting to defund Planned Parenthood to abolitionists in a Tuesday interview with MSNBC."

"Franks said his fellow House conservatives understand the value of human life like those who fought for the freedom of slaves."

“The last issue that tore us apart like this was slavery,” Franks said. “And it's the same argument. Those that were for slavery said, ‘Well there’s not really a person here. There’s no person involved here.’ The Supreme Court said the same thing, just like they did in Roe vs. Wade. But there were those who understood that the foundational core principal that made this country what it was is that we believe that all of us are created, and that makes us equal.”

"MSNBC anchor Kate Snow wrapped up the interview at that point, thanking the congressman for sharing his “very strong views.”

"Franks vowed to vote against a short-term government funding bill that would maintain current levels of funding for Planned Parenthood. The bill, which is set to be put up for a vote on Wednesday, is expected to pass."

Gee, thanks for your strongly held views Congressman. You have to marvel at the kids gloves treatment of such an outrageous statement compared to the way MSNBC sicced Andrea Mitchell all over Hillary over the fake email scandal.

But here's what's we can't laugh off. But for Hillary Clinton being elected in November, 2016 Franks will indeed be able to gut PP and further roll back a woman's right to choose-which is already not doing so hot. Mother Jones argues women have already lost the War on Women.

Of course, not just a woman's right to choose but their right to contraception will come under attack in all manner of ways as will their healthcare needs more broadly. One thing I agree with Trump on is Jeb sure didn't 'mispeak' when he wondered why we spend all this money on women's health-it really does puzzle him.

Not just women's rights but also the voting rights of Latinos and African Americans will be under further attack as a GOP President would only intensify the war on the right to vote.

The SJC has already struck down part of the VRA-Clause 4. If Jeb-or Rubio-win they have a good shot at turning the Court even further Right-from 5-4 to 6-3 or 7-2.

Also say goodbye to ACA, and any kind of humane and logical immigration policy and remember that Jeb also wants to get rid of Medicare.

So while today is largely theater all Democrats must remember the stakes have never been more real.

Politico Frames Hillary's Endorsement by NEA as Another Negative Headline

One thing you learn when you try to wrap your head around economics is that framing effects are huge. You can write a journalistic piece on the same event with the same facts-without any glaring factual inaccuracies and yet create a narrative in each diametrically opposed to the other.

What drives the media is not liberal bias as Rush Limbaugh always said but the current Beltway narrative. Now everyone is claiming that Hillary is a bad politician-which is done to demoralize Democrats and make them think they have to run to Joe Biden for help.

This narrative now that she's just a bad candidate-some even allow that she'd be a great President but is a bad campaigner-is so striking as it's the diametric opposite of what the media was saying in 2011 before the 2012 election.

Then the media was wringing its hands over what a liability Biden was for the President. He was supposed to be a hopeless gaffe machine that would sink Obama's campaign.

Some pundit even wrote a book falsely claiming that the President was considering dropping Biden.

Then the media was urging Obama to replace Biden with-you guessed it, Hillary Clinton.

But that was then and this is now. The media narrative has changed. But the relative strengths and weaknesses of the two individuals hasn't.

Every story about Hillary even what is actually good news is spun into more hand wringing that's meant to be self-fulfilling. If Democrats buy into the narrative then maybe there really will be a groundswell for Biden which will further erode numbers which will increase the groundswell, etc.

The media can't allow any good news about her to trickle through. If she's up 20 points then they have to compare it to when she led by 30 points two months ago. They cite the same poll showing Bernie ahead in NH as if it's brand new news every day just about.

Of course, the recent WSJ poll that shows her up just 7 nationally they like so they keep talking about that one even though as polls go its an outlier-a lot of other recent polls showed her up over 20 points.

Now the NEA is endorsing Hillary:

"Top brass of the 3 million-strong National Education Association, the country's largest union, are recommending an endorsement of Hillary Clinton, according to an email obtained by POLITICO -- a move that has many state leaders and rank-and-file members planning to protest the early endorsement."

"The email, sent from the union's campaign office, states that the NEA PAC, the union’s political arm, is planning to hold an upcoming vote “recommending Hillary Clinton for the presidential primary.”

“After months of interactions with the three candidates who chose to participate in our process [Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders], certain things became clear,” the email states. “Clinton is the best positioned candidate to win both the Democratic primary and general election. She has unmatched organizational strength, ground game, and fundraising ability to defeat the candidate of the Koch brothers.”

"The email noted that while Clinton is the candidate the union believes is most likely to win, both Clinton and Sanders received “A” rankings on NEA’s congressional legislative scorecard, and O’Malley was voted NEA’s Governor of the Year. The email says the union hired a Republican consultant to reached out to Republican candidates, but none chose to participate in the endorsement process."

"The email also defends the timing of the early recommendation process as a chance for the union to try and identify a winner early so as to “play a significant role in the next administration’s conversation and decision-making about public education.” (In 2008, the union did not endorse Barack Obama until after he had wrapped up the nomination.)"

Read more:

"This then is good news. I appreciate that the NEA sees the value of unifying sooner rather than later around Hillary. Yet the headline on this piece is to focus on some teachers in Massachusetts who are hand wringing about the timing of endorsements."

"Clinton endorsement divides teachers union State officials and rank-and-file members plan to protest upcoming vote to endorse Hillary Clinton."

Read more:

Why should a couple of hand-wringers in Massachusetts be the tail wagging the dog on a story that is good news?

In another Politico piece of Biden hagiography today it brooded over the idea that some of Deval Patrick's network are Biden people.

"More significantly, prominent members of Patrick’s political network have shown little interest in lining up behind Clinton. Some have gravitated, for now, toward former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who’s gained no traction in the race so far. That leaves large untapped pockets of potential support for Biden."

Read more:

So that's the big threat to Hillary in Massachusetts? O'Malley supporters?

Politico then would seem to cut it's own anti Hillary screed off at the knees when they reveal that even though Deval Patrick endorsed Obama in 2008, Hillary still trounced him in the state 56-41. But it absurdly claims that Biden would be stronger than Obama!

The knots the Hillary haters are willing to tie themselves up into.

"Patrick also has a long and complicated relationship with the Clintons. President Bill Clinton appointed him as the civil rights chief in his Justice Department in the early 1990s before Patrick went on to hold corporate jobs at Coca-Cola and Texaco. Yet, in 2007, a year after his first election as governor, Patrick shocked Clinton supporters by endorsing Obama, despite the state’s heavily pro-Clinton tilt. (Clinton won the 2008 primary there 56-41.)"

"Biden, however, is a potentially stronger candidate for Massachusetts than Obama; he could draw support from the state's large number of blue-collar Democrats, who went for Clinton in 2008. A Patrick endorsement of Biden could help him attract support among the state's minority voters and high-income liberals."

Read more:

What makes him stronger? Because he's white?

Honestly, is there more of a false flag than worrying over Massachusetts? No one can claim she won't win Mass in a general election so what's the argument over?

Correct the Record Documents the Anatomy of Media Lies About Huma Abedin

I wrote about her more than once last week as she's a new target for Trey Gowdy and friends in Congress.

The GOP operative Ed Rogers had a lacerating attack on Correct the Record on Sunday which is understandable as the last thing he wants is for the record to be corrected.

"Nixonian Clinton strikes again."

"Again with Nixon. Here we are over 40 years later and Nixon is still an open would for the GOP. They have always wanted to destroy the Clintons to avenge Nixon."

"Hillary Clinton had another week where some of her various lies seemed to be uncovered, including a substantial revelation about how “directly involved” she was with senior aide Huma Abedin’s unusual employment status within the State Department. But Team Hillary doesn’t just lie about the big things. It appears the campaign can’t even resist skirting the rules about her super PAC coordinating with the campaign. It may seem trivial, but over the weekend, Clinton campaign spokeswoman Karen Finney and Correct the Record head Brad Woodhouse both tweeted out the exact same inane tweet — within 20 minutes of each other — about Clinton’s “Meet the Press” appearance. While the Federal Election Commission has yet to release a verdict on whether or not this kind of coordination actually violates the “Internet exemption” and is therefore illegal, it “certainly violates the law’s spirit.”

"And why would they even have to break this rule? It’s not as though without guidance from the Clinton campaign, her super PAC would have suddenly announced that there are plenty of unanswered questions and many more shoes to drop in the various Clinton scandals. The Clintons are proving they don’t think anything is too small to lie about and that no rule that should be left unbroken. If there is a way to get around the prohibition on campaigns and super PACs coordinating, leave it to the Clintons to show us the way"

It's rich that Rogers is critical of super PACS as they are the creature of Citizen's United-which is the group behind the whole phony email story.

I't also striking to me how similar this line of attack on her is to what they said about Gore in 2000. The idea that she lies for no reason was what they said about Gore.

So while he's shocked to hear both Clinton's campaign manager and CTR praise Hillary's Meet the Press interview I find it much more interesting that the attacks on Hillary are pretty much verbatim what they said about Gore.

If Hillary lies about trivial things that don't matter that's better than Carly Fiorina who lies about things that matter a lot. In fact the new knock on her is that she has even downsized the devil as Father of Lies.

Now she is the reigning Mother of Lies.

Meanwhile Hillary didn't lie about Huma Abedin-the media has lied-or more to the point rehashed Trey Gowdy's lies uncritically.

Here is Correct the Record here. No wonder Rogers is trying to muzzle it.

"Are you curious why, according to FiveThirtyEight, the Clinton campaign has endured roughly three months of relentlessly hostile news coverage? Well, a major contributing factor is that new outlets have shown an alarming predilection for regurgitating misleading anti-Clinton leaks that have come from right-wing organizations. Once these leaks are proven wrong, the outlets have been slow to correct their original stories, or sometimes even flat-out refused to do so."

"There are plenty of radical sources who are willing to peddle misinformation to the media. The problem begins when those lies make it into print unquestioned—as they have time and time again. Consider the most recent example below, where an utter falsehood about Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin ran as a standalone story in both the New York Timesand Politico."




"The Clinton Campaign noted that the document was only approval of the title change related to Abedin’s transition. “The Clinton Campaign argued Thursday that the document wasn’t the actual approval of the SGE status but only approved the title change that came with Abedin’s transition. The document states that the position was ‘new’ and an SGE job: ‘The incumbent serves as a Senior Adviser, Expert-Special Government Employee.’ Huma Abedin’s lawyers have maintained that she did nothing wrong, noting that government workers have moved to SGE status before.”

Of course, in the mind of the Hillary haters, the fact that she did nothing wrong shows she 'cuts corners' somehow if you accuse her of breaking the law and then she shows this that's somehow proof that she's like Nixon who did break the law.
The logic of Hillary hatred. The less sense it makes the more compelling they find it. 

Politico's Latest Front Page Biden Lovefest

As I've explained before, I love the Vice President and appreciate what he's done in service to his country as VP and previously in the Senate. He's been a great public servant and a terrific partner for President Obama.

Having said this I've been over his King Hamlet poise for some time now. The whole To run or not to run that is the question.

I don't believe he plans to run. Yet with his understandable pain over the death of his son, Beau, perhaps understandably he's been eating up the way the media has been wooing him.

They include him at the frontline of every poll which artificially brings down Hillary's numbers-which is important.

Early in the primary season this contributes to a narrative that her lead is shrinking-which can have the effect of further eroding her lead. It becomes the anti Hillary feedback loop that the Beltway media loves. l

Now CNN has taken this to a new level by rigging debate rules to get him in the first debate on October 13.

But at this point I think Biden should do the right thing and at least take this toy out of the Beltway's hands. Admit he's not running and make a moving endorsement for Hillary. 

This is not good for the Democratic party-what's good for Hillary at this point in time is what's good for the Democratic party. 

When Biden asks he says he's weighing what's best for his family. How about what's best for the party and what's best for the country? How about if the GOP wins this race it's the end of Planned Parenthood, ACA, Dodd-Frank and so many others of the President's achievements?

Anyway, here is Politico's latest Hillary hit piece sow divisions among Democrats.

"Massachusetts supporters of Joe Biden are seeking to forge an alliance between the vice president and former Bay State Gov. Deval Patrick, a close friend of President Barack Obama and prominent African-American leader whose support could open pathways to the state's potent Democratic donor network."

"Their outreach underscores a dilemma for Patrick, who is now a managing director at Bain Capital: he has political ties to both the vice president and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, whose allies have been in touch with the ex-governor too."

"Patrick has been a rare prominent Democrat to criticize Clinton’s air of “inevitability,” warning repeatedly that the absence of a serious competition for the Democratic presidential nomination could alienate voters, comments that have irked Clinton loyalists. His continued fence-sitting in the primary has fueled rumors — taken seriously by some Massachusetts Democrats, but dismissed outside the state — that he could be Biden’s running mate if the vice president decides to run for president."

"More significantly, prominent members of Patrick’s political network have shown little interest in lining up behind Clinton. Some have gravitated, for now, toward former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who’s gained no traction in the race so far. That leaves large untapped pockets of potential support for Biden."

Read more:

This whole ideology that the Democratic party is in trouble for 'coronating Hillary' I couldn't disagree with more.
The premise I guess is that it's not democratic to have little opposition in the primary. But if that's so why does no one worry about the corrupting effect of a coronation when the President runs for his second term?

Then it's not an issue. Then everyone speaks of it as an advantage as it clearly is.

You get people that make it sound like the Democrats should envy the GOP its 16 wildeyed candidates.

People are misinterpreting disagreement and division as democracy, Disunity is not democracy.

The reason the GOP has so many candidates is not because it's democratic but because no one in that party can agree about anything.

It's a symptom of dysfunction not an abundance of riches.

The Democrats in 2016 on the other hand are unified. Which is a good thing. Why if we're unified is there a desire to create disunity for the sake of? Talk about perverse?

When you have unity it means that a consensus is already present. So there isn't' the need for endless debates.

CNN's Rewrites the Debate Rules for Biden

 First you had the NY Times publishing Clinton's Cash a piece of oppo reasearch by a paid GOP operative with a bad track record for accuracy.

Now CNN is rewriting the rules in an unprecedented way to use Biden to attack Hillary. Remember, every time the name Biden is mentioned it's implcitly meant as a rebuke to Hillary.

This is the law of every story about Hillary in the Beltway press right now is every story about her has to have a negative slant to it. And outlets like the Times with Clinton Cash and now CNN with basically holding Biden's hand and offering to carry him to the debate on its back shows just how seriously the media takes its roll as Hillary's primary candidate.

This is why I see the talk about Bernie not running a negative campaign as a joke. Why would he ever have to? He benefits from the media's incessant negativity about her.

Every poll has the numbers with Biden in them as the frontline number.

As Erik Wemple notes ironically,

"CNN seems to really want Joe Biden at its Democratic debate."

It's the worst kept secret in the world. Look at the huge difference in the rules for the GOP debate. 

"As we saw over the summer, both CNN and Fox News struggled to accommodate a massive field of Republican candidates in debate formats; both outlets split the candidates into two tiers — JV and varsity — and took heat for the polling criteria used to establish the eligibility cutoff. Just a couple of weeks before its Sept. 16 debate in Simi Valley, Calif., for example, CNN amended its criteria in a way that accommodated surging candidate Carly Fiorina."

"When that debate was initially announced, back in May, the eligibility criteria were unforgiving about dithering candidates. “File a Statement of Candidacy and register with the Federal Election Commission by August 26, 2015,”demanded the sheet, in what amounted to a requirement that candidates file their papers nearly three weeks in advance of the debate."

"So that was for the overcrowded Republican field."

"What’s the corresponding criterion for the Democratic field? Have a look: “File a Statement of Candidacy or publicly state that a Statement of Candidacy will be filed with the Federal Election Commission by October 14, 2015,” requests the sheet. In other words: No need to file anything, Joe."

Interesting how different the Biden rules are than the Hillary rules. Does the RNC write CNN and the Times checks? Or is Hillary bashing a labor of love?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sumner on Today's Market Selloff

He didn't specifically mention the market but if you follow his post today that the 'case for tightening is getting weaker and weaker' with the Fed's Dudley's declaration that the Fed is most likely to raise rates-Sumner would say tighten-before the year is up then the selloff is not hard to understand.

Dudley sounds eager for a hike:

"New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley said on Monday the Fed remains on track for a likely rate hike this year and could reach its inflation target next year, faster than many other policymakers anticipate."

"Dudley said the first hike could come as soon as October as policymakers take stock of an improving economy."

The Fed "will probably raise rates later this year," with the Oct. 27-28 session "live" for the rate hike debate, Dudley said at an event sponsored by the Wall Street Journal in New York. The Fed also meets in December.:

The new data on August spending and inflation 'firmed' according to a CNBC headline:

"U.S. consumer spending grew briskly in August and a key measure of inflation firmed a bit, signs of strength in America's domestic economy that could lead the Federal Reserve to tighten interest rates despite weakness abroad."

"The Commerce Department said on Monday consumer spending increased 0.4 percent after an upwardly revised 0.4 percent rise in July."

"The figures give a bullish sign for economic growth in the third quarter"

"These data underscore the ongoing health of the consumer sector," said John Hoff, an economist at RBS Securities."

"The report could help convince investors of Fed Chair Janet Yellen's view, most recently expressed on Thursday, that the economy was strong enough to warrant a rate increase this year. New York Fed President William Dudley on Monday also said a hike was likely this year and could come as soon as October."

"Investors have been doubtful, with many betting that the Fed's first rate increase in a decade won't come until March."

Sumner though is not convinced-he points to TIPs spreads which he says weaken the argument for tightening even more:

"The recent plunge in TIPS spreads is reaching frightening proportions:

5 year = 1.09%

10 year = 1.42%

30 year = 1.61%

"Yes, I know they can be distorted by illiquidity, but they are not THAT far off market expectations. And don’t forget they predict CPI inflation, which runs about 0.3% above the Fed’s preferred PCE. In essence, the Fed has a 2.3% inflation target. They aren’t likely to hit it."

"Also recall that since 2007 the Fed’s been consistently overly optimistic about future growth in AD—the markets have been more pessimistic, and more accurate."

"Also recall that Fed policy has a big impact on the global economy."

"Also recall that the global economy seems to be moving into a disinflationary cycle."

"Given that Fed tightening has the potential (and I emphasize the potential, maybe a 1 in 6 chance) of driving the global economy into a recession, and given there is basically no upside from tightening now, the Fed’s got to ask itself one question: “Do I feel lucky today?

Here is Lawrence Summers on CNBC-he's also opposed to hike as is Krugman.

 I don't get why Dudley seems almost antsy about a hike. He says inflation may be back at 2% next year. 

Why then do it this year?

Carly Fiorina as Mother of Lies

Now she has put someone else out of work: the Devil who used to be the Father of Lies to she got into it. Another on the unemployment line thanks to her handiwork. As if she didn't put enough people out of work at Hewlett Packard.

"In an interview, host Simon Conway asked how Fiorina could claim that she didn't know about HP's deals with Iran, when the company named Redington Gulf, a Dubai-based company that sold HP's goods in Iran, HP's "Wholesaler of the Year."

"That was after my time. So I actually am not aware of that. I mean, apparently they were named that, but I don't know that. You know, it was after my time there. I can't speak to that," Fiorina said.

"Interesting. First, Redington Gulf was named Wholesaler of the Year for HP in 2003, when Carly Fiorina was very much the CEO."

"Second, this is a totally different answer than the one she delivered a week ago, to Chris Wallace."

"WALLACE: At the time, that company that was making the sales to Iran -- and you were the CEO of HP at the time -- was named the wholesaler, HP's Wholesaler of the Year."

"So, how can it be that they were doing all this business with Iran, you were calling it the -- HP was calling it the Wholesaler of the Year and you didn't know what was going on?"

"FIORINA: The Wholesaler of the Year that you're describing was doing business with another company that was doing business with Iran. Clearly, that Wholesaler of the Year, which should not have been the Wholesaler of the Year, was not honest in their dealings with us and they were not honest in their dealings with this third company."

"How does one go from knowing all about Redington Gulf being named Wholesaler of the Year, and lecturing Chris Wallace about it, to not knowing, for sure, if Redington was really named Wholesaler of the Year, and generally playing ignorant, just a few days later?"

"The answer is, of course, one does not unless they have a problem with telling the truth."

And yet she says she's the one to best call Hillary a liar? Meanwhile on Planned Parenthood she continues to stand by her lies about a 'fully formed fetus' being kept alive to harvest its brain.

“ONE OF the benefits of a presidential campaign is the character and capability, judgment and temperament of every single one of us is revealed over time and under pressure.” Since presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina made that comment at the start of the second Republican debate, there have been some telling revelations about her character and her judgment. Caught making a false claim, she couldn’t just admit she made a mistake but instead doubled down and worsened the falsehood.

"The good news is that the Washington Post called her out in an editorial yesterday which means that she's not going to be able to skate on this as the mainstream press is picking up on it."

"Arguing during the Sept. 16 GOP debate to defund Planned Parenthood, Ms. Fiorina offered this description of a disturbing scene that was supposedly captured on controversial undercover videos of the organization: “Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” No such scene exists, as even some of her defenders have had to admit. Ms. Fiorina was challenged by Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace to acknowledge “what every fact checker has found”: that the scene was only described by someone who claimed to have witnessed it but was not shown in the video."

When Chuck Todd actually questioned her about this on Meet the Press-you see the importance of that Washinton Post piece' if WAPO writes about it, he cant ignore it-she dissmissed the piece because WAPO denies she is telling teh truth that she started out as a secretary.


She is all for the government being shutdown to defnud Planned Parenthood:

"Ms. Fiorina may have deeply felt objections to abortion. That doesn’t excuse her use of mistruths to justify her willingness to shut down the government, which by the way she seems to consider no big deal. “I’m not aware of any hardship to anyone, other than the veterans trying to get to the World War II memorial,” she said of the last shutdown. When it comes to character and capability, that kind of blithe ignorance is another worrying sign."

When asked about her jobs record at HP she argues that she created more jobs than the 60,000 she downsized. Yes but those were foreign jobs
On a net basis her time at HP was a net loss for Americans. I don't know whether the Devil is an American citizen or not. But he too was downsized as Carly has eclipsed him as The Mother of Lies. 

The Most Important Thing to Do About Civil Rights Right Now is to Elect the Democrats in 2016

This Taking Points Memo post is exactly right:

"The future composition of the Supreme Court is the most important civil rights cause of our time. It is more important than racial justice, marriage equality, voting rights, money in politics, abortion rights, gun rights, or managing climate change. It matters more because the ability to move forward in these other civil rights struggles depends first and foremost upon control of the Court. And control for the next generation is about to be up for grabs, likely in the next presidential election, a point many on the right but few on the left seem to have recognized."

"When the next President of the United States assumes office on January 20, 2017, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be nearly 84, Justices Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy will be over 80, and Justice Stephen Breyer will be 78. Although many Justices have served on the Court into their 80s and beyond, the chances for all of these Justices remaining through the next 4 or 8 years of the 45th President are slim. Indeed, the next president will likely make multiple appointments to the Court."

"If a Republican were to take the White House you forget about all these civil rights concerns as they'd all be in peril. This is a SJC that has already voted to gut the Voting Rights Act. What happens if the balance in the Court goes from 5-4 conservatives to 6-3 or 7-2?"

If you accept that the most important thing is electing a Democrat to the White House, all the fighting over Bernie Sanders makes no sense.

My trouble with the Sanders' folks is they seem not to agree that the most important thing is to elect a Democrat. In their mind most important is a beauty contest to see who is the most progressive between Hillary and Bernie.

There is this idea that it's an awful thing that the Democrats don't' have more candidates and more debates. Why is that? I guess the feeling is that its undemocratic to have a 'coronation.'

But if that's so why is this not a worry in years the incumbent President runs? If most everyone in the party coalesces around a candidate early this isn't undemocratic but consensus.

Why the GOP Will Never be the Governing Majority

I touched on this in my last piece.

I've argued that we will only get a functioning government when we have clear one party rule.

"There is no more pernicious myth than the idea that divided government works.There are actually some not so sensible Centrists in the media who cite the 90s as an example! They paper over the fact that the GOP spent the entire 90s trying to force Clinton out of office. If that's their picture of the Garden of Eden they are kidding themselves."

"Now in saying that the answer to our problems is one party rule I can imagine some might argue that this doesn't prove it should be the Democrats that rule. But it kind of does when you see how the GOP is incapable of agreeing even with itself. "

"Governing is about agreement and consensus-after all, governing is taking action, but how do we take action if we can never agree on any particular course of action?"

"But the modern Republican party is not a party of governing, it's the party of opposition. Remember how Nixon thought he was in a disadvantage in 1960 as he had a record in the Eisenhower Administration to defend. His preference and his party's preference has always been about being in opposition."

"That's why the only worthy goal of politics today is a new era of Democratic dominance like we had in the New Deal era which ended with Nixon's election in 1968."

When you think about it, the GOP has never been good at governing-in the modern era-which we can define as the post New Deal era.

They aren't just in opposition to a Democratic government they are in opposition to governing as such.

Think about it. When the country does make the mistake of putting power in their hands they end up doing Lord of the Flies and eat their own party leaders.

They did this in the Eisenhower era as well. Ike was reviled by the Right and McCarthy declared him and others in his Administration as 'Conscious agents of the Communist party.'

Now they are all doing a gig on Boehner's grave. Listen to the sweet illusion of conservatives:

"If the House is unruly at this stage, it is because John Boehner has made it so. Never before had we seen retribution from a Speaker against his own Members at the behest of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and K Street lobbyists."

"His departure is a good thing for politics. It shows that power resides in the governed, something a lot of folks in D.C. forget. Boehner was not representative of the conservative base that gave him the majority and the Speakership. A growing portion of his Members are that base and so it is natural that he should be pushed out by them."

Being in a leadership position in the GOP turns you into the punching bag of the purists. Boehner lashed out yesterday at these 'false prophets.'

“We got groups here in town, members of the House and Senate here in town, who whip people into a frenzy believing they can accomplish things they know — they know! — are never going to happen,” he added.

Now that they have his carcass they are out for another scalp-this only whetted their appetite. Now they want Mitch McConnell's scalp.

"Presidential candidate and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) cheered House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) decision to resign during his speech at the Values Voter Summit on Friday. But he said other congressional leaders should follow suit, starting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)."

"Mitch McConnell, it's your turn," Jindal said to loud applause.

"The Louisiana governor said he was “actually angrier with the Republicans than with the Democrats” because they “don’t do the things they say they’re going to do.”

“It is time to fire these clowns and restore order once and for all,” he said.

It is this anger of course that has made Trump possible.

By the way isn't it rich to hear Jindal of all people telling the world that Trump isn't a real candidate as Jindal is at zero?

"Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) -- a co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus, which was threatening a coup against House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) -- said Friday that now that Boehner has announced his resignation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is probably "the next guy in the crosshairs."

"Mitch McConnell is infinitely worse as a leader than Boehner," Salmon told reporters Friday. "He surrenders at the sight of battle every time."

"Boehner was under extreme pressure from the House Freedom Caucus, which was pushing for a government shutdown over Planned Parenthood funding. McConnell has put in motion a plan to avert the shutdown."

"I was texting back and forth with one of my friends on the Senate side, Mike Lee," Salmon said, referring to the Utah senator. "And I said, the next guy in the crosshairs is probably going to be McConnell.”

"He would not elaborate on Lee's response."

Of course, McConnell is 'infinitely worse' as he was considerably more effective.

In the Republican party being an effective leader makes you a fake cinservative. Democrats ought to just sit back and get some popcorn.

With Boehner gone there is of course no reason to think things get better for Kevin McCarthy? He seems to be the favorite right now to move up from Majority Leader.

Sean Trende of Real Clear Politics actually thinks Boehner's fall could actually be the one thing taht gives the Dems a chance in the House which is a startling thought.

"I think conservatives have no clue how bad the Boehner resignation is for them."

"Welp, guess you have to put at least an outside chance of Ds taking the House now, up odds of D POTUS, senate considerably."

I am not ready to even entertain this as I don't want to get my hopes up too much.

But it is notable that someone like Trende-a political scientist at RealClearPolitics is saying that. My assumption is he believes that with Boehner gone more shutdowns are on the table. But if Kevin McCarthy is smart that won't happen. 

P.S. Eisenhower was actually about as close to a true conservative as you can get.

What Happened to Boehner: It's Called Civil War

A lot of people I think kind of sympathize with Boehner and can't blame him for stepping down. As he himself said a few years ago 'I need this job like a hole in my head.'

As Todd S. Purdum of Politico puts it: "Being a GOP House speaker might be the worst job in Washington."

"Like the sudden death of a terminal cancer patient whose doctors thought he had at least a few more months to live, the dramatic demise of embattled Speaker John Boehner was a surprise that could hardly be counted as a shock.

But in a larger sense, Boehner’s fall was just the latest example of the self-consuming culture that has bedeviled the House GOP conference for nearly 60 years—all the way back to the Eisenhower era. Whom the Gods would destroy, it sometimes seems, they first make the Republican leaders of Congress."

Read more:

Again, he comes across as pretty human the last few days. He just looks so happy to get out of prison.

Here he lashed out against 'false prophets.'

“We got groups here in town, members of the House and Senate here in town, who whip people into a frenzy believing they can accomplish things they know — they know! — are never going to happen,” he added.

Read more:

Indeed, even now you have most conservatives celebrating having his head. What's interesting is in how much denial conservatives are about Boehner: they honestly believe he's the reason they couldn't get rid of ACA, defnund Planned Parenthood or stop the Iran deal.

"But it could have been worse. Despite his best efforts, the Speaker wasn’t able to roll conservatives on some of his biggest priorities. For years, he hoped to cut a “grand bargain,” trading spending cuts for hundreds of billions of dollars in tax increases. Conservatives would not let him, and pressure from the grassroots forced the House instead to work toward the 2011 Budget Control Act, a package of cuts-only reforms that the Speaker has only tried to undermine ever since. And on comprehensive immigration reform—code-talk for amnesty—the Speaker never hid his views: “I think a comprehensive approach is long overdue. And I’m confident that the president, myself, others can find the common ground.” As recently as last September, Speaker Boehner told Hugh Hewitt that he was trying to “create an environment where you could do immigration reform in a responsible way next year.” It’s taken years of dedicated opposition by conservatives to prevent the Speaker’s push for amnesty from coming to fruition."

Read more:

"It had nothing to do with Boehner's jobs agenda or whatever else he thought it did. Grassroots conservatives gave him the majority on the promise that he would repeal Obamacare, stop executive amnesty and rein in the Obama Administration. He did none of the above."

"If the House is unruly at this stage, it is because John Boehner has made it so. Never before had we seen retribution from a Speaker against his own Members at the behest of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and K Street lobbyists."

"His departure is a good thing for politics. It shows that power resides in the governed, something a lot of folks in D.C. forget. Boehner was not representative of the conservative base that gave him the majority and the Speakership. A growing portion of his Members are that base and so it is natural that he should be pushed out by them."

Read more:

So the Tea Partiers are living in sweet illusion. They aren't going to magically be able to do these things now.

However, in thinking more about Boehner and his history I have to kind of revise a comment I made which is too bad as Tom Brown liked it.

"While he's wrong on most things he clearly was too reality based for his Tea Party House."

"I agree!... and well put. The Tea Party contingent doesn't even belong at the adult table, let alone the House of Representatives."

I think Tom always has the desire to believe that there are some reasonable Republicans out there somewhere. LOL.

And I do think that Boehner is too reality based for them-though any Speaker will be for them. That's why it's the worst job in the world as being the Speaker you have to be reality based.

However, the dark forces that destroyed Boehner were used and unleashed by him during the first two years of Obama's term when his party was in the minority. So he's not a totally innocent victim as Matt Yglesias argues:

"The thing about Boehner is that however cleverly you think he played the bad situation dealt to him as speaker, he very much obtained the speakership by encouraging and deploying the very same ideas that his internal enemies later turned against him. It is easy to forget this in retrospect, but in early 2009 Barack Obama was enjoying approval ratings in the high 60s. Even a third of self-described Republicans said he was doing a good job. The usefulness of deficit spending and fiscal stimulus to bolster a failing economy was, at the time, widely accepted. John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi both voted for a stimulus bill in 2008, they both voted for TARP, and they both voted for the bill authorizing the nationalization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

"But rather than cut a deal with the White House over a new round of stimulus in 2009, Boehner whipped his caucus into unanimous opposition and continued that posture of unrelenting, uncompromising opposition to Obama administration initiatives throughout the next two years."

"Boehner didn't just argue that Obama's policies were misguided in some respects. He argued that Obama was "snuffing out" the America that he grew up in and that, as a result, "there's a political rebellion brewing, and I don't think we've seen anything like it since 1776."

"The dual-pronged strategy of refusing to compromise on Capitol Hill while whipping the grassroots into a frenzy about Obama's looming tyranny worked. Boehner succeeded in keeping Republican hands entirely clean of responsibility for the state of the economy, and mobilized grassroots conservatives to turn out in much larger numbers than liberals in 2010."

"The result, however, was that after winning the midterms, the people who put Boehner there expected him to act as if he actually believed opposition to the Obama administration's policies was comparable to the Revolutionary War against Great Britain. He's never really been willing to do that, because it's ridiculous. But he did say it."

Note that his opposition to Obama's stimulus was totally partisan as he voted for George W. Bush's.

So the real point is that the GOP can never by the governing majority party it dreams of being.

There is simply no getting along with Republicans-even Republicans can't get along with Republicans. This is what comes from being the fanatical party of reaction.

Indeed as Purdon showed above, even when Eisenhower won in 1952 the GOP wasn't able to function running the House so it was just as well that the Democrats controlled it the next 40 years.

All the recent troubles we've had in Congress has come because the Republicans were able to win the House back.

This is the uncomfortable lesson of those who want more bipartisanship in Congress. They vaguely remember that there was a time when the Republican party wasn't so obstructionist. Right that was when

1. The Democrats controlled everything

2. The GOP accepted its second class status

3. Though an important caveat was that the Dems weren't totally liberal back then nor was the GOP totally conservative-there was some overlap between the parties on ideology now there's none.

I've argued that we will only get a functioning government when we have clear one party rule.

There is no more pernicious myth than the idea that divided government works.There are actually some not so sensible Centrists in the media who cite the 90s as an example! They paper over the fact that the GOP spent the entire 90s trying to force Clinton out of office. If that's their picture of the Garden of Eden they are kidding themselves.

Now in saying that the answer to our problems is one party rule I can imagine some might argue that this doesn't prove it should be the Democrats that rule. But it kind of does when you see how the GOP is incapable of agreeing even with itself.

Governing is about agreement and consensus-after all, governing is taking action, but how do we take action if we can never agree on any particular course of action? 

But the modern Republican party is not a party of governing, it's the party of opposition. Remember how Nixon thought he was in a disadvantage in 1960 as he had a record in the Eisenhower Administration to defend. His preference and his party's preference has always been about being in opposition. 

 That's why the only worthy goal of politics today is a new era of Democratic dominance like we had in the New Deal era which ended with Nixon's election in 1968. 

If we got this again, it would be an even stronger coalition than that one as that Democratic majority was based on a very shaky coalition between Northern liberals and Southern segregationists.

A Democratic majority today would truly be a liberal majority.