Wednesday, February 08, 2017


BuzzFeed's Tarini Parti quotes an unnamed GOP operative who says that Mitch McConnell was playing eleventy-gazillion-dimensional chess last night when he prevented Elizabeth Warren from speaking on the Senate floor:
... those who are familiar with McConnell insist the Republican leader didn’t make a political miscalculation by invoking an arcane Senate rule. In fact, things went as he planned, they say.

The thinking is that the elevation of Warren ... works in the party’s favor.

“I think everybody inside and outside the Senate knows that McConnell doesn’t do anything without a plan,” said one GOP strategist. “His ability to see around the corner is entirely unrivaled.”

“Any attention that people pay to Elizabeth Warren is good for Republicans,” the strategist said. “She just isn’t the type of candidate who would do well in states that Democrats lost last cycle.”
Oh. So if the senator wielding the Coretta Scott King letter had been someone other than Warren, McConnell might have held his tongue?

Sorry, I don't believe Republicans think that way. To Republicans -- and to the Republican base -- there are only two kinds of people: people who think exactly like them and traitors who should be driven out of public life, if not brought up on treason charges and summarily executed. The list of people in the latter category isn't short. It includes everyone who deviates from Correct Conservative Thinking at any given time, and often includes many Republicans.

To see how that works, here's Sean Spicer at today's press briefing accusing John McCain -- John McCain -- of dishonoring a dead servicemember.

KRISTEN WELKER, NBC NEWS: Yemen has withdrawn permission for the United States to run special operations ground missions against suspected terrorists in the wake of the recent raid there that claimed so many civilian lives. Does that not undercut the administration's ability to fight terrorism in that region, and do you stand by your assessment that it's a success?

SEAN SPICER: Well, I'll take the last one first. It's absolutely a success, and I think anyone who would suggest it's not a success does disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens. He fought knowing what was at stake in that mission, and anybody who would suggest otherwise doesn't fully appreciate how successful that mission was, what the information they were able to retrieve was, and how that will help prevent future terrorist attacks.

WLKER: Even Senator John McCain called it a failure.

SPICER: I understand that. I think my statement's very clear on that, Kristen.
There's more -- watch the clip. But the message is unmistakable: Nobody questions us, not even John McCain.

Okay, that's Spicer and President Trump, not Mitch McConnell. In all likelihood, McConnell would stop short of attacking a fellow Republican.

But the idea that any prominent Republican thinks there's only a short list of juicy targets, and that other critics of Republican policies would be left unscathed, is ludicrous. You cross the Republicans, you're a traitor to America -- that's how it's worked for years. Just criticizing the Republicans at all is precisely what gets you on the un-American traitor list.

So far, heartland white America has agreed with the Republicans' give-no-quarter approach. Unswerving opposition to all critics is just fine. That's not the "ability to see around the corner." It's not subtle strategizing. It's shooting at everything that moves that isn't one of your own troops.


Anonymous said...

Calling Yemen a failure dishonors the one person who died there. By contrast, calling Benghazi a failure honors the four people who died there. It makes perfect sense when you think about it. That is, when you think about it in terms of partisan-skewed bullshit and sheer disgraceful shamelessness.

Jimbo said...

The Turtle does not play eleventy-gazillion dimensional chess. Like a good Southern Conservative, he just plays "Massive Resistance". That's not subtle parliamentary maneuver. Massive resistance was the response to Garland and every single effort of Obama to work with the Senate GOP. The Garland Gambit was a high stakes gamble that paid off in the end but not through any cleverness on the part of the Turtle. He's at best, a mediocre Majority Leader who History will quickly forget.

Anonymous said...

Oregon Democrat Jeff Merkley defied Senate Republicans by reading into the record the letter from Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) had been stopped from reading hours earlier.

Raw Story reports: Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) read King’s letter to then-Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC) — a notorious “Dixiecrat” during the civil rights era — opposing Sessions as too racist to serve on a federal court.

“Mr. Sessions has used the awesome powers of his office to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters,” King wrote in the letter.

Round here that's know as a big f u.
Ten Bears

Merkley, unlike Warren, was allowed by McConnell to finish reading the letter, which was already on the congressional record from the long-ago judicial hearing.

Their Democratic colleague, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, joined Warren and Merkley in reading King’s letter on Wednesday morning.

“It’s a sad day for our democracy, Mr. President, when the words of Coretta Scott King are not allowed on the floor of the U.S. Senate,” Brown said.

rclz said...

Hearkens back to the Vietnam years. "America Love it or leave it."

Next they'll be stomping protesters and shooting college students.

In fact isn't someone trying to pass a bill making it legal to run over protesters? Do they know that works both ways and that those boys with the sheets over their heads have been known to have a march?

DTR said...

In the same press conference, Spicer gave his role as Ivanka Trump spokesmodel a whirl. After the tirade about poor misused Ivanka, Nobody followed up with the most obvious question; can you explain the president's position on the fact that Ivanka's products are made in China, Indonesia, Vietnam when he has been so vehement against other companies who do so.

Oh silly me. It's about making money stupid.

Mart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mart said...

Think has more to do with 99% of Repubs I talk to viscerally hate Professor Warren. i.e. That bitch wants to give all our money to the blahs. Rush et al have cast their spell well. They were just putting Pocahontas in her place...