On Sequester, GOP Beginning to Regret Believing the GOP.
One of the dangers of a long campaign of BS is that you stand a real danger of beginning to believe your own lies. Especially when that long campaign is carried out by an institution, not individuals. People who believe the lie will join the organization to support the lie and the whole thing just snowballs. What began as spin or propaganda for political advantage becomes a guiding principle. And when you go to war against your imaginary enemy, firing blindly into the dark because you know it’s there someplace, you’re going to have real casualties.
In this case, the lie is the GOP claim to runaway government waste. That was why Republicans pushed the supposed “nothing-burger nature of the sequester,” in the words of Ed Kilgore. The GOP ran around parading the sequester as a war trophy because “of course there’s so much waste, fraud and abuse that big cuts can be absorbed without pain.”
But of course, there is not. Kilgore’s commentary is in reaction to a report by two of the Huffington Post’s best political journalists: Amanda Terkel and Sam Stein. Terkel and Stein took a look at sequester cuts and found them to be much more severe than they’d imagined.
The Huffington Post set out to do an extensive review of sequestration stories from the past week, with the goal of finding 100. What seemed like a daunting task was completed in hours. No one region of the country has been immune. Rural towns in Alaska, missile test sites in the Marshall Islands, military bases in Virginia, university towns across the country, and housing agencies in inner cities are all beginning to feel the cuts.
It’s a disturbing list of hits to essential programs, of job losses, of decreasing demand. The only person in America who could believe this was good news is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, whose love of European-style austerity and stick-it-to-the-worker policies has dropped his state’s level of job creation from 11th in the nation to 44th — in just two years. Finally, Walker will have more competition way down there at the bottom, as state after state is forced to emulate his idiotic and destructive economic policies. When everyone is forced to suck as hard as he does, maybe he won’t look so bad.
European-style austerity is here, there isn’t a huge buffer of government waste that can soften the blow, and Republicans have greeted it all with an enthusiastic round of applause, because they’ve bought their own lie.
So how is this all going to work out for America? Well, it’s called “European-style” for a reason, so there’s a place look to answer that question.
The 17-nation Eurozone set another dubious record in the opening months of 2013, as its unemployment rate continued to climb from its already record-high rate. The jobless rate also rose for the European Union as a whole as austerity efforts continue to plague the continent’s recovery from the Great Recession:The jobless rate reached 12 percent in both January and February, the highest since the creation of the euro in 1999, Eurostat, the statistical agency of the European Union, reported from Luxembourg.
The January jobless rate for the 17-nation currency union was revised upward from the previously reported 11.9 percent.
For the overall European Union, the February jobless rate rose to 10.9 percent from 10.8 percent in January, Eurostat said, with more than 26 million people without work across the 27-nation bloc.
Not well. It’s not going to work out well. Already, Republicans are starting to feel the sequester’s pinch and beginning to get cold feet about it.
That whole thing about billions in waste that can easily and painlessly be cut from federal spending is turning out to be a fairy tale. You hope enough Republicans realize they’ve bought a bill of goods before their chumpishness does too much lasting damage.
Hoping they learn a lesson about believing their own propaganda, however, is probably too much to ask.
[photo from Wikimedia Commons]
Stories to Watch: 4/1/13.
The annual White House Easter Egg Roll focused on healthy eating for children — which I guess is a crushing blow to liberty, for some reason.
A reminder on how to read these posts: hover over the links for popup tooltips with the headlines.
It’s looking like that DMCA notice on the 3D gun printer’s site is an April Fools’ hoax.
Rightwingers freak out when Google honors Cesar Chavez with a doodle on Easter. I love how these “freedom” humpers demand that everyone celebrate their holidays. Not really sure they really understand this whole “religious liberty” thing. Bonus fun: pea-brained ball of hatred Michelle Malkin confuses Cesar Chavez with Hugo Chavez and has an even bigger freak-out than the rest.
Greg Sargent identifies a misconception with Republicans’ demographic problems. The mainstream GOP leadership seem to believe that social conservatism with Todd Akin-style tone-deafness is their whole problem. But they seem to forget that Mitt Romney ran on fiscal issues with traditional GOP economic arguments and he lost pretty badly. Mitt wasn’t running a social issues campaign. Economic GOPers are pointing at the religious nutjobs, the religious nutjobs are pointing right back at them, and they’re both right.
The NYPD’s use of ‘stop and frisk’ is looking pretty damned racist. Think back to how the department handled the Occupy Wall Street squatters and you have to assume that the NYPD is just broken.
HBO programming president Michael Lombardo says copyright violators “certainly didn’t negatively impact the DVD sales” of Game of Thrones. He calls the “piracy” of GoT “a compliment.” It’s an overlooked question in the filesharing debate as to whether a pirated copy of something actually represent a lost sale. Studies show that they don’t and, in some cases, free distribution of files may actually help sales.
More of that terrorism by rightwing extremists that’s supposed to be so imaginary.
It’s quickly becoming evident that no lie is too low for shameless Republican demagogue Ted Cruz.
Republicans anti-Obamacare stance is hurting them with Latinos as much as anything else.
Sen. Bob Casey joins the growing ranks of Democrats who’ve publicly endorsed marriage equality.
Finally, Lady Gaga turned down a $1 million gig at the RNC. That’s called integrity.
[image from the White House]
Stories to Watch: 2/22/13.
Athens, Greece saw as much rain today as the normal average for the entire month of February, resulting in intense flooding.
John McCain really is a dick. You might’ve heard that when the bereaved mother of a young man shot in the Aurora theater massacre tried to engage him at a townhall meeting, he told her she needed to hear some “tough talk” about gun control. Now it turns out that the same family also sent McCain’s office a letter to tell him of their son’s story and urge meaningful action on gun violence. They received a “cold, impersonal form letter” in return. A real class act, that Sen. McCain.
In other “Arizona Republicans being jerks” news, anti-immigrant Gov. Jan Brewer went on Fox News to misrepresent polls, saying they show little support for a path to citizenship for undocumented people. That’s not just a lie, that’s a big lie. If a path to citizenship were put up for a vote, it’d win in a landslide. I’ll never understand why politicians lie about poll numbers, since it means lying to you about what you think. Why on Earth would anyone ever think that would work?
Remember when a corporation called “Murray Hill, inc.” tired to run for Congress, pointing out the absurdity of the Citizens United ruling? Yeah, now a Montana state rep has a bill to give corporations the vote. The problem is, it’s not a clever dig at the idea that corporations are people — the guy’s serious.
Ted Cruz jumps the shark and goes fullblown McCarthy, with a secret list of communists and everything.
Other polling a GOPer may try to lie to you about: a Pew poll shows that people are opposed to cutting spending, when you start getting into specific programs. The GOP is pedal-to-the-metal straight toward a brick wall on this whole sequester thing. Although, it’s starting to look like some are trying to find the brakes,
House Republicans decide they can live with the Violence Against Women Act — so long as it’s still OK to abuse women in the LGBT community, that is. And Native American women? Yeah, you’re screwed too.
David Brooks wrote something stupid again.
Whether or not it’s got a director, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — Elizabeth Warren’s idea to protect people from predatory financial types — is going to do what it was designed to do. This could turn out to be a pretty big deal. Crime-ridden Wall Street finally has a neighborhood cop.
Here’s a sequester FAQ. Yeah, that’s from a UK paper. There is no one on Earth who doesn’t have skin in this game.
Finally, it looks like Republicans have learned nothing from their heavy losses in the War on Women.
[photo via Tribuna_Shqip, Twitter]
Stories to Watch: 2/19/13.
Nevada Republican Rep. Joe Heck agreed with a wingnut talk show host that it’s “nauseating” that Gabby Giffords is a “prop” for the movement to regulate guns and suggested that she’s a mental deficient being used as a pawn. The Las Vegas Sun is reporting that Heck is “pushing back” against the idea that he agreed with the radio boob, which I guess means that when he specifically said, “I agree,” he was lying or something.
Meanwhile, a Missouri Republican wants to make it a felony for legislators in that state to propose gun regulations. This is one of those really insane things that get a lot of attention — but that you don’t really have to worry about. This would be so unconstitutional that (even if the bill managed to be passed in the first place) it would never survive a court challenge. In fact, it might literally be laughed out of court. “This story may appear to be some kind of parody, making the Republican protagonist out to be a foolish caricature who couldn’t exist in reality,” writes Steve Benen, “but as best as I can tell, this is real.”
Orange County, California witnesses yet another killing spree by gunfire. Just another day in America.
Republicans simply cannot stop saying amazingly stupid and sexist things about women.
Of course, this means that the one time a Democrat says something just as batty, the wingnut blogs are ecstatic.
With Republicans trying to blame President Obama for the very existence of the sequestration trigger, Michael Tomasky helpfully puts that claim in the proper context: “So fine, the White House proposed it. It did so only after months of Republicans publicly demanding huge spending cuts and refusing to consider any revenues and acting as if they were prepared to send the nation into default over spending. In other words, this was the administration’s idea in much the way that it’s a parent’s ‘idea’ to pay ransom to a person who has taken his child hostage. There was a gun to the White House’s head, which was the possibility of the country going into default.”
The team of Simpson-Bowles is back with a (really bad) deficit reduction plan.
Finally, it’s very possible that our now nearly-nonexistent campaign finance regulations could get even looser.
[cartoon via Cagle Post]
McCain Holds Nation Hostage to a Grudge.
As anyone who tries to remember will remember, “Benghazi-gate” was a trumped up scandal designed to deny President Obama reelection. Obviously, it failed. The story was that the White House covered up certain facts that would hurt Obama on the campaign trail. So a narrative was cooked up to explain why this was all a big scandal that the media should give wall-to-wall coverage.
The way the narrative was supposed to go was that the President saw electoral doom in a terrorist attack on a consulate in Benghazi. Why this was supposed to sink his chances isn’t clear nor was it ever explained. It just would, OK?
So anyway, the White House colluded with the State Department to hide the terrorist attack and blame it on anti-American rioters — as if there’s any substantial difference here. The scandal’s narrative arc had it that a terrorist attack would mean the president would have trouble being reelected, but a riot would mean he wouldn’t. Why? Because stop asking so many sensible questions, that’s why.
Of course, the president won reelection fairly easily and decisively, despite the fact that this whole terrorist/riot thing was cleared up long before election day. Despite Republicans’ best efforts to churn up a big, scary scandal, young “Benghazi-gate” had died. It now exists solely as a zombie. It has to. The problem with made up scandals is that they have to be played out to the bitter end, lest the scandal-mongers be exposed as con artists, charlatans, and liars. The problem with “Benghazi-gate” is that it’s shambled along in undead pointlessness far beyond even that end stage — which, for all practical purposes, it entered when Barack Obama was reelected back in November. It continues to lurch around only because the GOP refuses to bury it, as John McCain demonstrated so well this weekend. Steve Benen has the skinny:
McCain, just a few days after explaining how important it is not to be “disagreeable,” became unusually belligerent, asking the host whether he cares about the deaths of four Americans.
Gregory tried to get an answer anyway, responding, “You said there is a cover-up. A cover-up of what?” McCain, unable to think of anything substantive, said, “Of the information concerning the deaths of four brave Americans.”
Even for McCain, whose capacity has deteriorated sharply in recent years, this was a pathetic display.
“Remember, McCain has had several months to think about this,” Benen says. “He’s sat through classified and unclassified briefings. He’s participated in a series of congressional hearings. He’s (presumably) read the results of independent investigations, and had his own questions answered, verbally and in writing.”
John McCain should be (and in all honesty probably is) one of the most informed people in America about what went down at that consulate. Yet he claims some sort of cover up and, when pressed as to what exactly is being covered up, gives an answer pretty much equivalent to “bad stuff, OK?” The man clearly has nothing.
“The exchange on ‘Meet the Press’ wasn’t awkward; it wasn’t bizarre; it was alarming,” Benen says. That it is.
The other main whipster flogging this long deceased horse is Sen. Lindsey Graham. But Graham at least has a reason — he’s up for reelection and he faces some pretty unfair charges of being a RiNO. The best way to avoid being seen as the dreaded “moderate Republican” is to be Tea Party insane about one big, headline-grabbing issue. The base loves conspiracy theories, so Graham’s propping this one up and pretending it’s still alive.
As dishonest and deliberately partisan as Graham’s reason for perpetuating this “scandal” may be, McCain doesn’t even have that excuse. He’s just out there having some sort of old man tantrum because he’s John McCain and that’s what John McCain does. There is no scandal here, no cover up, just John McCain dealing out political payback for a grudge that should’ve grown cold a long, long time ago. McCain himself spilled the beans on that point.
“But to be honest with you, Neil, it goes back to there’s a lot of ill will towards Senator Hagel because when he was a Republican, he attacked President Bush mercilessly and say he was the worst President since Herbert Hoover and said the surge was the worst blunder since the Vietnam War, which was nonsense,” McCain told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto last week. “He was anti-his own party and people — people don’t forget that. You can disagree but if you’re disagreeable, then people don’t forget that.”
So Benghazi is just a way for McCain to hold up Chuck Hagel’s confirmation (both McCain and Graham concede that Hagel’s all but officially in, by the way). We’re into the Obama administration’s second term and McCain’s still fighting the battles of the Bush administration’s first term. That’s not politics, that’s personal. And if playing politics with the nominee for Defense Secretary is bad, then giving him the run around because you’re just pissy and a jerk is even worse. McCain is holding up the nation’s business because of a grudge that began roughly a decade ago. He’s not serving the nation’s interest. In fact, it could hardly be said he’s serving his own, since no one — himself included — is going to get anything out of this. He’s just nursing a grudge in his shrunken, cobweb-filled heart.
Want a scandal? Here’s one: Sen John McCain’s blatant abuse of power to punish a man for disagreeing with the neocons. And to make matters worse, McCain is basically punishing Hagel for being right about Iraq.
There’s your scandal. It’s a shameful one. And it’s one the media will completely ignore.
Wayne LaPierre’s Horror Show Vision for America.
Why do people need access to an unlimited number of assault weapons, endless crates of ammo, and magazines of every imaginable capacity, while being able to dodge a background check by buying it all at a gun show? According to the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, it’s because the United States is a blasted hellscape, soon to become even worse. “Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals,” writes La Pierre in an op-ed at the reliably loopy Daily Caller. “These are perils we are sure to face—not just maybe. It’s not paranoia to buy a gun. It’s survival. It’s responsible behavior, and it’s time we encourage law-abiding Americans to do just that.”
Hey Wayne, you forgot the Zombie Apocalypse.
I can boil this all down for you pretty easily; we all need guns, because people are pouring over our open southern border and setting up gangs and being al Qaeda (because Obama’s not doing anything about them lawless mezkins, you know. He wants to give them amnesty). Pretty soon, the entire country will be like Brooklyn after Hurricane Sandy, with looting and killing and who knows what all, because Obama’s bankrupting ‘murika so bad that we won’t be able to afford any police and criminals will run wild, seeking out the unarmed to prey on and that could be your family and do you want that? Well, do you? For the sweet love of God, you need a gun OR WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!
Yes, it really is that racist and paranoid and partisan and cowardly. If this is what’s going on in the average NRA member’s head, they totally shouldn’t be allowed to have firearms. They would be quite literally insane. If there are any NRA members out there reading this, is this really the way you want to be portrayed to everyone else? Because this is the stereotype: a nut who’s so afraid of the dark that he needs lots and lots of guns to shoot all the monsters. “Lapierre sounds more every day like a parody of himself: a hysterical old man who started out yelling at kids to get off his lawn and now has barricaded himself indoors with five years worth of canned food and shooting irons,” Ed Kilgore comments.
If you’re disinclined to read Wayne’s apocalyptic fear porn (and who could blame you?), you can get the skinny version at ThinkProgress, where Zack Beauchamp and Ian Millhiser have helpfully boiled it all down to “The Nine Most Insane Quotes From The NRA’s New Apocalyptic Op-Ed.” And they are insane.
If this is the best argument against gun control, then I say control away. LaPierre’s problems — and those of people who think like him — can’t be solved by piles and piles of firearms. They’d benefit more from psychiatric outpatient care, with a regimen of powerful anti-psychotic pharmaceuticals. Another note to the NRA members reading this — other people don’t think this way. Fear is not the theme music of our existence. Most people actually enjoy their lives and don’t spend a minute preparing for all the people they think they’ll inevitably have to kill.
And LaPierre does argue that this is all nearly inevitable. “President Obama is leading this country to financial ruin, borrowing over a trillion dollars a year for phony ‘stimulus’ spending and other payoffs for his political cronies,” he writes. “Nobody knows if or when the fiscal collapse will come, but if the country is broke, there likely won’t be enough money to pay for police protection. And the American people know it.”
This is crazypants survivalist nutjob stuff, believed in so strongly by the mother of Adam Lanza that she stocked up on guns and ammmo, building a nice little private arsenal — just like Wayne LaPierre recommends. That collection of “protective” weapons was used to kill her, then twenty-six human beings at Sandy Hook Elementary — twenty of whom were children. In other words, far from preventing crime and protecting people, it was exactly this kind of thinking that turned an elementary school into a bloody crime scene.
That’s the world LaPierre thinks we should prepare to defend ourselves in; a world where gun nuts need guns to protect themselves from other gun nuts who need guns to protect themselves other guns nuts who… lather, rinse, repeat. It’s a prophecy that can only become self-fulfilling if enough people really believe. If enough people share Wayne LaPierre’s vision, we really can live in that world where you will need a gun to protect yourself and your family from other people with guns.
That’s Wayne La Pierre’s America — and it is sick.
It looks like Greg Sargent was right. Marco Rubio didn’t offer any real alternatives to ideas laid out by President Obama last night. The Gulp Heard ‘Round the World is getting a lot of coverage today and Rubio can be thankful of that. It’s not really all that embarrassing and it probably won’t affect his political future, while his response might’ve otherwise.
What Rubio did lay out was a perfect imitation of the Mitt Romney campaign platform — and a perfect example of what’s really wrong with the GOP. It was all tax cuts and small government and abortion and drill baby, drill. Americans didn’t like this record the last time it was played, it’s not likely they’re going to like it any better now. Set the biographical introduction aside and the rest was just complaining.
It’s convincing evidence that Republicans think their problems are all cosmetic. Prior to the election, Republicans defended attacks on minorities as proof that they weren’t willing to “pander” to them — as if not ignoring someone’s concerns is some sort of a kiss-up and not responsive government. Choosing Rubio to deliver the Republican response shows that Republicans are now ready to pander, but that this whole “responsive government” thing is just going a step too far for them. Pandering is all you’re going to get. It represents an apparent belief that Mitt Romney lost because he wasn’t a somber-faced Latino in a serious dark suit, not because Americans rejected his proposals. Republicans continue to make the mistake of thinking that Americans rejected the packaging, not the same tired, old, unappetizing slop inside it. Marco Rubio is just the latest “new and improved!” sticker slapped on the party, without any attempt whatsoever to change the party in any substantial way at all. The sticker is the only change — and it is, of course, a lie.
“Republicans face a choice,” wrote Greg Sargent this morning. “Either they can accept the realities of public opinion and become a functional opposition party, by working with Obama and Democrats to get some of what they want while allowing Obama to claim some victories of his own, as unbearable a prospect as that might seem. This is what Newt Gingrich eventually did in the 1990s. Or they can continue to reflexively obstruct everything, with an eye towards — well, it’s not clear what this would accomplish, except kicking the can down the road in hopes of taking back the Senate in 2014, making it even easier to tie up Obama’s agenda in advance of another grab at the White House in 2016.”
And the latter won’t be as easy as they may want to believe. President Obama delivered a remarkably combative State of the Union last night. For example, on he subject of climate change, he told Republicans directly, “[I]f Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will.”
I think you can sum up the GOP’s problem pretty simply: they continually set themselves up as the villain. The GOP’s strategy to win elections is to oppose and block everything, then blame Democrats and Obama for not getting anything done. The problem here is that they have to do all this obstruction right out there in the open and people are starting to notice. And that means that when they block very popular things, the public doesn’t take it as a favor.
Meanwhile, their relentless obsession with entitlements villainizes them further. They might as well all wear top hats and caps, twirling their mustaches as they demand that grandma’s Medicare and Social Security be cut, that families lose food stamps, that the jobless lose their unemployment benefits. On gun violence they side with the gun fetishists and they’ve even managed to side with rapists on an alarmingly regular basis. They side with Wall Street every chance they can get, protecting the ability of the wealthy to jam their hands in your pockets pretty much at will. When their idea of ideal income equality is raising taxes on the poor, in order to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy, they really can’t expect people to start seeing them as a heroes. You’re putting on that black top hat and cape willingly guys, no one’s forcing it on you.
If Republicans believe their problem is that Mitt Romney doesn’t look enough like Marco Rubio, the coming months will give them plenty of opportunities to realize their mistake. If they don’t come around and realize that a lack of Rubios isn’t their problem, they very well may be ineducable.
Stories to Watch: 2/12/13.
Greg Sargent takes a look at previews of Marco Rubio’s response to the State of the Union and warns that, despite all the hoopla about San Salvador Rubio, we can expect the same warmed over GOP crap Republicans have been serving over and over for years. The will be no “Republican alternative” to anything. Just a bunch of complaining.
Jonathan Chait calls out MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough for blatant hackiness and inexcusable ignorance.
Far-right Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio chose a convicted child-molester to join an armed “posse” to protect kids in schools. I’m not kidding. Sheriff Joe really is one of the very worst people in America. At least, off the top of my head.
The Violence Against Women Act passes the Senate by an extremely wide, bipartisan margin — 78-22. Now it’s up to the neanderthals in the House to get with the 21st century. The Senate Roster of Shame is entirely Republican, with only Sens. John Barrasso (WY), Roy Blunt (MO), John Boozman (AR), Tom Coburn (OK), John Cornyn (TX), Ted Cruz (TX), Mike Enzi (WY), Lindsey Graham (SC), Chuck Grassley (IA), Orrin Hatch (UT), James Inhofe (OK), Mike Johanns (NE), Ron Johnson (WI), Mike Lee (UT), Mitch McConnell (KY), Rand Paul (KY), Jim Risch (ID), Pat Roberts (KS), Marco Rubio (FL), Tim Scott (SC), Jeff Sessions (AL) and John Thune (SD) voting against it. Yeah, that’d be the same Rubio who’s suddenly supposed to be the “new face” of the GOP delivering the SOTU response tonight, casting the same old shitty War on Women votes. Ron Johnson’s getting an email from me tonight. It won’t be congratulatory.
Rubio tries to justify his vote. If there’s any justice in the world, this should overshadow his response.
Harry Reid says he will not honor any “hold” on Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel. Ed Kilgore says the confirmation is pretty much a done deal. I tend to agree.
As of this writing, rogue LA cop Christopher Dorner is using his Second Amendment freedoms to protect himself from the government. Anyone want to take bets on how well that’s going to work for him?
Sen. Ted Cruz is a prick.
Finally, Anonymous says they’ll disrupt the White House feed for the SOTU.
[cartoon via Truthdig]
Nugent SOTU Invite Not Helping the Gun Lobby’s Cause.
It probably won’t surprise anyone too much to learn that Republicans in congress own more guns than their Democratic counterparts. More than twice as many GOP congress critters own firearms than dems — 119 to 46. This probably has as much, if not more, to do with demographics than ideology. Republicans tend to be elected from more rural districts, where hunting and fishing are common pastimes. Democrats tend to come from more urban districts, where they really don’t have a lot of use for a firearm.
Still, Texas Republican Rep. Steve Stockman might want to tread a little lightly for a bit, because I doubt his heavily-armed colleagues are too awfully happy with him right now. At a time when polling shows a vast majority in support of gun control, Stockman has invited a Motor City motormouth who vehemently opposes regulation to be his guest at tonight’s State of the Union Address. And said motormouth is promising to run his mouth.
Conservative rocker Ted Nugent says that the media underestimates him so he will “dominate” them and the “lies of the left” following President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday.
Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) on Monday announced that he had invited Nugent to attend the annual speech, even though the pro-gun activist had been investigated by the Secret Service for threatening the life of the president.
Speaking to KFYI talk radio host Mike Broomhead on Monday, Nugent said that he would attend the speech “knowing that everything President Obama ever said has been a masterful scam – a masterful smoke-and-mirrors deceit, fraud, scam from hell.”
That ought to go well.
You might remember the last time Nugent decided to share his wisdom with the world. He caught the attention of the secret service. Previously, he threatened to shoot both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton with an assault rifle — not privately and off-the-record, but on stage. Like many on the right, Nugent seems to confuse debate for something like a celebrity roast, where the most unfair, unfounded, and insulting comment scores the most points. They don’t think calling you a “libtard” is an insult, so much as a slamdunk argument.
So, are gun control advocates shaking in their shoes in advance of Nugent’s promised media tsunami? A headline of Talking Points Memo answers that question: “Ted Nugent’s SOTU Invite Is The Best News Gun Control Advocates Have Heard All Week”:
[P]roponents of things like creating universal background checks and other gun regulations predicted on Monday that Nugent’s appearance will be a boon to their side and make it harder for gun rights advocates to make their case.
“If there’s better evidence that the NRA’s Washington lobbyists have lost their way, I can’t think of it,” Mark Glaze, director of New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, told TPM Monday. “They keep finding new ways to alienate their own members, which is a strange way to run a membership organization.”
Glaze and other gun control proponents often point to surveys of gun owners that showed broad support for expanded background checks, the chief post-Newtown goal of gun control advocates and a measure the NRA leadership opposes.
Remember how I said that congressional gun numbers were probably demographic? Yeah, demographics aren’t Republicans’ friend right now. Getting some loudmouth fruitcake to shriek about how much he hates the position of most Americans isn’t going to help any either. With his invitation, Stockman’s taken everything that everyone thinks is wrong with the GOP, amped it up to eleven, and is set to broadcast it nationwide. Remember, Nugent’s the type of wingnut who thinks cooking up a zinger of an insult is the same as sitting at the feet of Socrates. Unless someone wises up right quick, Ted’s set to tell about 92% of Americans to suck his AR-15 and like it.
For the record, that’s not really helpful to the GOP’s efforts to fight gun control or gain more voters in national elections.
“You’re going to have a guy who recently threatened the life of the President opposite over 20 survivors from some of our nation’s most gruesome episodes of gun violence,” Ladd Everitt, spokesperson for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence told Talking Points Memo. “It’s heartless, and emblematic of just how radical the Republican Party has become on this issue.”
It’s also idiotic. Rep. Stockman will probably make few friends among his armed-to-the-teeth colleagues tonight. Is it possible that listening to music too loud can render you politically tone deaf? If so, that would explain Steve Stockman’s choice of SOTU guest.