An HRC Unforced Error

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Obama Administration

The scandal du jour is that, it has been revealed, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conducted official government business using a personal email account and not the government one, and on top of that did not archive her emails in the Department of State archive as required.

It’s entirely possible — and I would like to think true — that she never revealed sensitive information in emails and used email only for more informal communication. But we have no way to know that, and it looks bad.

It’s also absolutely true that Republicans Did It First.

But this story looks even worse if you transport yourself back to early 2009, when Clinton first became of Secretary of State and, according to this story, initially refused to use a governmental account. The Bush administration had just left office weeks earlier under the shadow of, among other things, a major ongoing scandal concerning officials who used personal email addresses to conduct business, and thus avoid scrutiny.

The scandal began in June 2007, as part of a Congressional oversight committee investigation into allegations that the White House had fired US Attorneys for political reasons. The oversight committee asked for Bush administration officials to turn over relevant emails, but it turned out the administration had conducted millions of emails’ worth of business on private email addresses, the archives of which had been deleted.

The effect was that investigators couldn’t access millions of internal messages that might have incriminated the White House. The practice, used by White House officials as senior as Karl Rove, certainly seemed designed to avoid federal oversight requirements and make investigation into any shady dealings more difficult. Oversight committee chairman Henry Waxman accused the Bush administration of “using nongovernmental accounts specifically to avoid creating a record of the communications.”

Also, too,

Three years ago we learned that Mitt Romney oversaw the purchase of 17 state-issued hard drives, and wiped clean computers and servers that contained electronic copies of emails from his gubernatorial office. Romney later admitted the move was intended to hide official correspondence from the public and keep potentially-embarrassing information under wraps in advance of his presidential campaign. During the 2012 race, Republicans said this didn’t matter, either.

But, y’know what? I don’t happen to think “Spanky (or whomever) did it first” is a valid excuse.

If she had had a publicly spelled-out policy that only the most routine and non-sensitive communication would be conducted by email I might be inclined to not care, or to write off the criticism as nit-picking, but I haven’t heard that she did.

I’m seeing a lot of people write this off as another faux scandal, but I agree with John Cole — this was a stupid unforced error. Could it be that she gets off on being investigated?

In other news: I realize this is Bibi Netanyahu Day in Congress. I’m waiting for the reviews.

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Send Back the Clowns

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Obama Administration

Depending on the source, Jeb Bush was either a triumph or a joke at CPAC. As Steve M documents, Chris Cillizza was fairly gaga over Jeb and called his appearance at CPAC a “win.” CNN also gave him a mostly glowing review. Other reports say he was booed robustly and survived only because he had bussed in his own supporters to cheer him, allegedly from K Street.

Michael Dougherty of The American Conservative probably has it right:

Bush didn’t give a speech. He was booed throughout the conference. And he was booed some more when tackling Sean Hannity’s immigration questions. Bush was also hit with reports that he bussed in supporters from Georgetown and K Street. It was reminiscent of Romney’s 2007 performance at CPAC, including the massive party after his speech. By the next year, Romney was the great anti-McCain hope of the conference.

In other words, CPAC really is just a circus. Jeb is the choice of the establishment. The odds are he’s going to be the nominee in spite of what the base wants, and most of news media will go along with the narrative that he’s the man of the hour and the people’s choice. In short, he’s the Right’s Hillary Clinton.

On the other hand, Rand Paul won CPAC’s generally meaningless straw poll, even though Dougherty made Paul out to be in the second tier. The next four winners were Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and Jeb. Chris Christie was tenth, beaten by the likes of Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina. The New Jersey Titanic is in his post-iceberg phase. Notably, Rick Perry did even worse.

Doyle McManus of the Los Angeles Times wrote that the candidates appear to be preparing to run on foreign rather than domestic policy. This is probably smart. Not that they know anything about foreign policy, but with the American electorate it’s a lot easier to fake. The CPAC crowd was actually impressed with Walker’s “I can beat teacher’s unions so I can beat ISIS” remark. Charles Pierce wrote,

It is now conventional wisdom that CPAC this year has been a triumph for conservative hawks, and that, while Rand Paul is still popular in the hall, his extended moment as the lead act in that particular hootenanny finally may have passed. Folks are up there wanting to get their war on, and the laptop bombardiers in the audience are lapping it up. (This shebeen is in the market for any photo of the audience taken at that moment when Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods asked for all the veterans in the house to stand.) ISIS is coming for all of us, and most of the potential Republican candidates are waiting for it with Leadership, Authenticity, Exceptionalism, and a vast arsenal of featherweight banalities. But all of this substance-free talk is driven by a serious — and rather dingy — new argument that was best summed up by the Princess herself, and by Dakota Meyer, the Medal Of Honor winner who introduced her yesterday. Ostensibly, the two were there to talk about how our veterans need better care and better job opportunities. (Oddly enough, neither of them mentioned that bipartisan veterans benefits bill that Bernie Sanders shepherded to a vote last year only to have the Republicans in the Senate kill the bill dead.)

I’d love to know how many in the audience actually stood to identify themselves as “veterans,” and what percentage of the standees had really served in the military and were not just imagining it.

Elsewhere, a session on racial tolerance revealed why people of color are distrustful of Republicans.

Scott Terry of North Carolina, accompanied by a Confederate-flag-clad attendee, Matthew Heimbach, rose to say he took offense to the event’s take on slavery. (Heimbach founded the White Students Union at Towson University and is described as a “white nationalist” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.)

“It seems to be that you’re reaching out to voters at the expense of young white Southern males,” Terry said, adding he “came to love my people and culture” who were “being systematically disenfranchised.”

Smith responded that Douglass forgave his slavemaster.

“For giving him shelter? And food?” Terry said.

At this point the event devolved into a mess of shouting. Organizers calmed things down by asking everyone to “take the debate outside after the presentation.”

However, by the end of the session the group had united in anger against Kim Brown, who clearly was not One of Them.

Charles Blow actually bothered to tell us that the content of CPAC was “hackneyed and hollow,” which sounds generous on Blow’s part. Of course no one at an American conservative gathering is going to offer anything of substance. Wingnuts don’t do substance. Wingnuts do chest-thumping, foot-stomping, and talking points.

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Does the GOP Fear the Fallout from King v. Burwell? (Updated)

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Congress, Health Care, Obama Administration, Republican Party, Supreme Court

SCOTUS will hear the King v. Burwell case on March 4. This is the case in which it is alleged that states that did not set up their own exchanges under the Affordable Care Act cannot offer federal subsidies to people buying insurance through the federal exchange. The New York Times editorial board says of this,

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in one of the most anticipated cases of the term: King v. Burwell, a marvel of reverse-engineered legal absurdity that, if successful, will tear a huge hole in the Affordable Care Act and eliminate health insurance for millions of lower-income Americans — exactly the opposite of what the law was passed to do.

Even an idiot ought to be able to understand that the primary point of the exchanges is to facilitate people buying individual health policies that can be subsidized. I suspect even some Republicans realize this.

The suit is based on one ambiguously worded sentence in the ACA. In a subsection of the law dealing with tax credits, the ACA describes exchanges “established by the states.” The authors of the bill say this was a vestige of the original assumption that the states would set up their own exchanges. It wasn’t anticipated that so many would refuse to do so. But the Burwell challenge hangs on  those four words — established by the states.

The challengers did not innocently happen upon these words; they went all out in search of anything that might be used to gut the law they had failed to kill off once before, on constitutional grounds, in 2012. Soon after the law passed in 2010, Michael Greve, then chairman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is helping to finance the current suit, said, “This bastard has to be killed as a matter of political hygiene. I do not care how this is done, whether it’s dismembered, whether we drive a stake through its heart, whether we tar and feather it and drive it out of town, whether we strangle it.”

After the challengers found the four-word “glitch,” as they initially called it, they worked backward to fabricate a story that would make it sound intentional. Congress, they claimed, sought to induce states to establish exchanges by threatening a loss of subsidies if they did not. (Not coincidentally, the challengers also traveled state to state urging officials not to set up exchanges, thus helping to create the very “crisis” they now decry.) Of course, if Congress intended to introduce a suicide clause into a major piece of federal legislation, it would have shouted it from the mountaintops and not hidden it in a short phrase deep inside a sub-sub-subsection of the law. So it is no surprise that no one involved in passing or interpreting the law — not state or federal lawmakers, not health care journalists covering it at the time, not even the four justices who dissented in the 2012 decision that upheld the Affordable Care Act — thought that the subsidies would not be available on federal exchanges.

So, the purpose of Burwell is to kill Obamacare, and if SCOTUS decides for the plaintiffs, it might very well succeed. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that if the states without their own exchanges lose subsidies, 13,402,890 Americans who ought to be insured by 2016 will lose out. And the entire law could quickly unravel for everyone, as the health insurance industry is thrown into chaos. I understand roughly 9 million people would lose their insurance almost immediately.

The immediate fallout from a decision for the ACA challengers would, therefore, be chaos and devastation, and the long-term consequences potentially even worse. The ripple affect could impact just about everybody, and probably not in a good way.

 This past week Republicans in Congress seemed almost frantic in demanding the Obama Administration reveal their “Plan B” to the world. What will they do to save the ACA if the subsidies are struck down in so many states? And the Administration has said, over and over, there is no Plan B. If the subsidies are lost, there’s not a whole lot that can be done to salvage anything.

But rightie media are not accepting this. The Administration is hiding Plan B. HHS denies it is preparing Plan B. The Administration won’t say it is preparing Plan B. (Actually, it plainly says there isn’t one and none are in the works.) But there must be a Plan B! How could there not be a Plan B? Of course there is a Plan B, and congressional Republicans demand to know what it is.

Smart money says all this posturing is trying to signal the Court that the actual fallout of a decision for the challengers wouldn’t really be that bad; the Administration has a Plan B! Also, when the dominoes start crashing and people find themselves cut off from health care again, they are prepared to point to the White House — See? They should have had a Plan B. It’s their fault.

Republicans also have proposed a Plan B, although no one who knows anything about health care insurance thinks it will work. And a whopping majority — 64 percent — of Americans think that if SCOTUS rules against the subsidies, Congress immediately should step up and reinstate them. Which Republicans in Congress have no intention of doing.

Which makes me think that at least a few Republicans are genuinely nervous that a ruling in their favor could bite them, hard. Deep down, a few of the less demented among them may really want the White House to jump in with a Plan B and save their butts.

Update: Here’s something interesting — a GOP senator is proposing that if the subsidies are struck down, Congress should extend them for 18 months.

The loss of subsidies for millions of people would also put the Obama administration on the offense for the first time to protect its signature healthcare law.

A White House crusade against the GOP would mean a firestorm of accusations that the party is taking away care and endangering lives  – building up for the 2016 election.

To avoid that situation, some Republicans are floating a stopgap that would keep the subsidies in place temporarily.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) promised this week that he would introduce legislation that creates a “temporary model to protect those harmed by ObamaCare” in which people could still receive financial help for their healthcare costs for 18 months after a court decision.

Startin’ to sweat a bit there, dude?

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) hinted at a similar proposal earlier in the week, promising “a short-term solution” until a Republican can enter the White House.

By some coincidence, 18 months from the likely date of the decision — end of June, 2015 — would possibly take us just past the 2016 elections.

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Neocons Attempting Another Con

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Obama Administration, Terrorism, Wingnuts Being Wingnuts

They don’t quit. The neocons at National Review — including Stephen Hayes, who will insist on his deathbed that before 9/11 Mohamed Atta did too meet with agents of Saddam Hussein in Prague — now are flogging documents that “reveal” Osama bin Laden had secret ties to Iran.

Yes, and I’m Shirley Temple’s zombie.

If you keep reading the articles, it turns out that these documents say nothing about secret ties to the Iranian government, just that a small number of al Qaeda operatives had been in Iran, somewhere, doing something, including “training.” But for all we know their long-term plans were to set off bombs in Tehran, not attend parties with the ayatollahs.

The documents were among those recovered in Osama bin Laden’s compound and were introduced in court in the trial of “a terrorism suspect.” I believe they are referring to Faruq Khalil Muhammad ‘Isa, a Canadian national currently on trial in Brooklyn for murdering five U.S. servicemen in Iraq in 2009. However, for some reason, the National Review propagandists are not calling this suspect by name or imagining he has secret ties to Iran. I guess they have no beef with Canada. Yet.

The thrust of all of the National Review‘s articles on this new “evidence” is that the Obama Administration didn’t take the continued threat of Osama bin Laden seriously.

The files do not support the view, promoted by some in the Obama administration, that bin Laden was in “comfortable retirement,” “sidelined,” or “a lion in winter” in the months leading up to his death. On the contrary, bin Laden is asked to give his order on a host of issues, ranging from the handling of money to the movement of terrorist operatives.

Hmm, let’s see — which President was it who declared that Osama bin Laden had been marginalized back in 2002?

And, let’s see, which President actually got the guy? Hmm, it’ll come to me …

Seriously, does the crew at NR assume we all have Alzheimer’s?

From what I saw, at no point in any of this coverage does NR use the words Sunni or Shia. Al Qaeda is a radical Sunni sect opposed to all heretics, which in their minds would include Shia. The government of Iran is controlled by a bunch of strict Shia who consider Sunni militants to be their sworn enemies. The odds that these two are working together now are about the same as the odds that the GOP will throw the 2016 presidential election in favor of Bernie Sanders. Larry Johnson says that about 20 years ago there was a brief movement toward rapprochement between Osama bin Laden and the Shia in Tehran, but that those days are long over, and the two groups are more radically opposed to each other than ever.

Obviously, the neocon crew at NR are up to their old tricks and trying to stampede us into a war with Iran, which men of extended military experience like Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes (cough) think will be just the thing to fix all that misbehavior in the Middle East. They don’t quit. And they don’t learn.

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House Temper Tantrum

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Obama Administration

The House failed to pass a measure that would have kept the Department of Homeland Security open for three more weeks, so unless the congress critters have a passing fit of sanity the DHS shuts down tomorrow at midnight.

This was a conscience vote about trying to uphold the Constitution,” Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), one of the “no” votes, told TPM. “If you’re supposed to cave in because you don’t want 30,000 people to lose their paychecks — how do you make a stand if you don’t take a stand? … It’s the only option we have.”

The only function of the DHS is to issue paychecks to 30,000 people? Who knew?

The bill voted down was only a three-week “patch” so that the House could keep fighting awhile longer.  Republican leadership wanted the three-week bill. House Dems voted no; they’re holding out for a full funding bill. Apparently the GOP “no” voters were confused about what they were voting “no” on. Now they think they’ll get a resolution to fund the DHS for one week.

They may come back to the drawing board and offer a one-week [CR],”said Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., who voted against the three-week bill. “That’s what I heard.”

However, that’s not likely to pass any more muster with Democrats, who want long-term funding for the critical agency — nor will it solve the bigger issue of thwarting Obama’s immigration actions, say Republicans who voted in favor of the three-week bill.

After the failed vote, House GOP allies of leadership fumed at their 50 colleagues who broke ranks in hopes of forcing a better deal that isn’t like to materialize anytime soon, with the White House threatening vetoes and Senate Democrats capable of sustaining filibusters.

“You can’t say you want to fight and not understand tactically how to fight,” said Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif. “If you can’t give three more weeks to keep doing this, it’s a real problem. The 50 people who voted ‘no’ are not only reckless, they’re in favor of Obama’s amnesty. Until you can add the 218 votes, it’s going to continue to be this way. That’s the bottom line.”

Pass the popcorn, folks.

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Leonard Nimoy, 1931-2015

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blogging

Life and death are illogical.

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But Can He See Russia From His House?

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Wingnuts Being Wingnuts, Wisconsin

It’s CPAC time, boys and girls!

And the fun has begun! Scott Walker actually said this:

“I want a commander-in-chief who will do everything in their power to ensure that the threat from radical Islamic terrorists do not wash up on American soil. We will have someone who leads and ultimately will send a message not only that we will protect American soil but do not take this upon freedom-loving people anywhere else in the world,” he responded. “We need a leader with that kind of confidence. If I can take on a 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.”

Because a crowd of unarmed and peacefully if loudly protesting teachers and farmers is just like ISIS. That was so stupid even the National Review called him on it.

[Apparently Walker has made noises in the past tying unions to Communism (see Steve M). This actually echoes some very old history involving Wisconsin. Way back when Wisconsin’s infamous Senator Joe McCarthy first won a seat in the Senate, but before his infamous “I have in my hand” speech that gained him national attention for his witch hunt seeking Communists in the State Department, his signature issue was unions. He was the anti-union senator, ceaselessly arguing that labor unions were Communist fronts. (This is documented in a book by historian David Oshinsky titled Senator Joe McCarthy and the American Labor Movement [University of Missouri Press, 197-something].) As with his later fruitless witch hunts none of the people he targeted were ever found guilty of anything, but wingnuts insist up and down that McCarthy  was “right” about Communism and that the Venona papers  prove it. However, none of the people McCarthy targeted are mentioned in the Venona papers. So he remains zero-for-whatever in uncovering actual Communists.]

[Also, too, today a New York Times editorial complains that "Republicans’ support for anti-union legislation is at odds with their professed commitments to helping the middle class." Ya think?]

By all accounts Walker wowed the crowd at CPAC, who gave him a standing ovation. But Walker never struck me as someone who could get traction in a national campaign, unless perhaps he put himself in the hands of a Lee Atwater/Karl Rove sort of handler who could craft the impression that Walker has a personality. Rove himself seems to have passed his sell-by date, however, and I don’t see anyone else on the Right ready to step into the void. As we saw in 2012, it’s not that hard to become the Darling of the Right for 15 minutes or so with a masterful tossing of anti-Obama red meat, but that act doesn’t play so well outside of the Rightie Bubble.

Jeb Bush is supposed to speak at CPAC today, and there’s a move afoot among the more rabid teabaggers to walk out of the speech. Pass the popcorn.

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Petards, and Being Hoisted Thereon

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Obama Administration

So Republicans in Congress have been trying to hold the Department of Homeland Security hostage in order to pass a provision to block the President’s executive actions to shield certain illegal immigrants from deportation. They attached the block to a bill funding DHS and dared the Dems to not pass it. Now we’re three days away from a DHS shutdown, and yesterday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blinked, offering a “clean” funding bill separate from the immigration bill.

Naturally McConnell is being slammed from the Right for caving on immigration, like the little matter of shutting down Homeland Security is just an afterthought. There’s no ongoing terrorist threat or anything, you know.

Some of the crazier elements in the Senate (Cruz and Sessions) are still talking about blocking the bill, but what I’m picking up from most reporting is that Senate Republicans are pretty much resigned that they’ve lost this one. A number of polls show that most Americans would blame the GOP for a DHS shutdown. Polls also show that people think a DHS shutdown would actually be a big deal. Republicans think otherwise, possibly not understanding that DHS actually has a lot to do with border security and monitoring terrorist threats and stuff like that. Government is so confusing.

What the House will do is anybody’s guess.

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The Hoped-for Twilight of Bill-O

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News Media

Some of Bill O’Reilly’s former colleagues at CBS News are ganging up on him to dispute his accounts of his Falkland War experiences and his short association with CBS News generally. O’Reilly sees himself as a brilliant and even heroic reporter who was held back by some pernicious good-old-boys system; his colleagues remember a callow hot dog who couldn’t follow direction.

See, for example, “How Bill O’Reilly imploded at CBS following his Falklands War ‘combat’ reporting.” By O’Reilly’s account, his career at CBS was blocked because he wouldn’t play their “games.” But his manager at CBS remembers him as the rookie who showed up at pro training camp for the first time with his scrapbook of press clippings. He was incensed because he wasn’t allowed to present his footage of an alleged riot himself on the nightly news, but instead the footage was spliced in with other footage and presented by Bob Schieffer. Worse, he disregarded instructions to keep camera lights off so as not to draw attention to the filming, putting his camera crew in danger.

In other words, he was oblivious to the deeper meaning of “new hire.” And because he obviously was too much of a prima donna — and more trouble than he was worth — he was quickly let go by CBS, and he is still pissed off about it.

This was all touched off last week when David Corn and Daniel Schulman wrote for Mother Jones that O’Reilly’s accounts of his “combat reporting” in the Falklands War simply didn’t past the smell test. Over the weekend one of Bill-O’s former colleagues at CBS came forward to corroborate what Corn and Schulman wrote. Crooks and Liars has a great video.

Unfortunately, it’s doubtful this revelation will end O’Reilly’s career. The first time I saw O’Reilly on television he struck me as being such an obviously narcissistic and witless gasbag I marveled he made it to national media at all. But Bill-O’s followers love him. They even read his books, such as his book on the Lincoln Assassination that is so riddled with errors that the National Park Service won’t carry it in souvenir shops. O’Reilly has defended himself by saying its hard to know what really happened after all this time, but in fact there is little about the Lincoln assassination that wasn’t documented and preserved down to fine detail. Victorian-era people were hoarders and record-keepers to a fault, and by now more than a century of excellent scholarship has sorted through it all. The truth is that Bill O is a sloppy researcher who didn’t bother to distinguish between good and bad source material. But you can’t tell that to his fans.

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The Twilight of Guiliani

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Obama Administration

Those of us who have lived in the NYC area going back to his tenure knew Rudy Giuliani to be a petty, controlling narcissist all along, but when put on the spot to do so he could behave himself, as he did after 9/11 when the television cameras of the world were upon him. But lately he’s been letting his True Rudy flag fly.

His recent comment that he doesn’t know if the President loves America has brought on a lot of commentary about Giuliani’s sad self-destruction, It’s been a long time coming; he pretty much lost his post-9/11 glow among New Yorkers during the 2004 Republican convention. Rudy is erratic; even as mayor, he could be the soul of good sense one minute and a racist, bomb-throwing ferret-hating loon the next. He had a good run as “America’s Mayor,” but Rudy being Rudy, it wasn’t going to last forever.

The best commentary I’ve seen so far on Rudy’s latest episode of yelling at clouds is by Matt Taibbi. It begins:

Rudy Giuliani is giving me Soviet flashbacks.

With his bizarre foot-in-mouth rants about how Barack Obama doesn’t love “America” the way “we” do, Rudy — and other “They hate us!” exceptionalist ‘Muricans like Eric Erickson and Steve Forbes — are starting to remind me of the frightened, denial-sick communist die-hards I knew as a student in Russia.

Taibbi goes on to say that in 1990 he went to Leningrad to study, and so watched the Soviet Union in its death throes.  He observes that the Soviets had a strong sense of exceptionalism that clashed with, um, reality.

But the problem with exceptionalism is that it can turn unintentionally comic with the drop of a hat. You’re made to believe you’re at the center of an envious universe, but then the world changes just enough and suddenly you’re a punchline clinging to a lot of incoherent emotions. I watched this happen with my own eyes to a lot of people in the former Soviet Union.

And I feel like it’s happening here now, with Rudy and the rest of the exceptionalist die-hards. They’re hanging on to a conception of us that doesn’t really exist anymore, not realizing that “America” is now a deeply varied, rapidly-changing place, one incidentally that they spend a lot of their public lives declaring they can’t stand.

This was all on display this past week. Rudy’s bizarre, Internet-maelstrom-inspiring media tour began with remarks at a private dinner for Scott Walker. People focused on the insult to Obama, but just as interesting was the apostrophic address to a conspiratorial and exclusive you and me America of his imagination:

I do not believe — and I know this is a horrible thing to say — but I do not believe that the president loves America. . . He doesnt love you. And he doesnt love me. He wasnt brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.

Rudy was ripped by pretty much everyone to the left of James Dobson for these comments, with the White House snarkily commenting, “It was a horrible thing to say.”…

…Characteristically, and with a trial lawyer’s bravado, Rudy tried to talk his way out of the mess, rambling in self-defense to Bloomberg, CNN, Fox and anyone else who would listen. At each stop he doubled down on his remarks, concluding the tour with an incoherent rant to the New York Times in which he denied his comments about Obama were racist “since [Obama] was brought up by a white mother.”

God knows what that meant — reading this was like watching Mark Fuhrman undergo hypnosis therapy — but it was fascinating stuff.

This is my favorite part:

Conservative politicians like Rudy are a bizarre combination of constant, withering, redundant whining about Actual Current America, mixed with endless demands that we all stand up and profess our love for some other America, one that apparently doesn’t include a lot of the rest of us or the things about this country we like.

I feel sorry for Rudy that he can’t love this country the way it is. I love America even with assholes like him living in it. In fact, I’m immensely proud of our assholes; I think America has the best assholes in the world. I defy the Belgians or the Japanese to produce something like a Donald Trump. If that makes me an exceptionalist, I plead guilty.

You’ve got to admit he’s got a point about Donald Trump.

Update: Those coming here from Free Republic — haven’t heard from Freepers in awhile, I must say — please read the comment rules before commenting. I don’t approve comments that aren’t a lot more substantive than what any of you have produced so far. But since you’re Freepers you won’t read the post anyway so you won’t see this update. Anyway, long story short, please do hold your breath waiting for me to approve your comment. Seriously, please do. Please.

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