Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Thursday, April 30th, 2009.

Justice Souter Retiring

Obama Administration, Supreme Court

Thank you, Justice Souter, for hanging in there until Bush was gone.

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New Coke


CNN’s John King reports that the GOP is launching a “rebranding” effort today to shine up the party’s image. The initiative is called the National Council for a New America. Its founders include —

  • John McCain
  • Jeb Bush
  • Haley Barbour
  • Bobby Jindal
  • Mitt Romney

Oh, stop giggling and pay attention. Now, this “council” will report to Republican leaders in Congress, and taking part in the launch party today will be

  • John Boehner
  • Eric Cantor
  • Mike Pence
  • Mitch McConnell
  • Jon Kyl
  • Lamar Alexander

I say they don’t need a new initiative. They need new blood. Maybe even a whole new gene pool. Anyway, these dinosaurs will lumber forth from Washington and hold town hall meetings all over the country so that they can listen to the American people.

Whether they will allow nonbelievers to attend these town hall meetings I cannot say. I am skeptical any of them can hold a sensible conversation with anyone who isn’t fluent in “conspeak.” Conspeak is a kind of language substitute created by randomly stringing together standard right-wing talking points and buzzwords regardless of dictionary meanings.

For example — At the New York Times, Adam Nagourney and David Herzenhorn write that Republicans are debating among themselves whether they should be working to create a bigger party or a purer party. Here’s a bit —

Patrick J. Toomey, a former head of the Club for Growth whose primary challenge to Mr. Specter led the senator to bow out in the face of what he thought was a probable defeat, said Republicans should be open to a “wide range of opinions on a wide range of issues.”

As Tbogg says, “As long as those ideas are lowering taxes on the rich, drill baby drill, keeping handguns cheap and plentiful, getting rid of capital gains taxes, and re-naming America ‘Reaganland’.”

“But I think fundamental common ground that the vast majority of Republicans share is the belief in limited government, freedom and personal responsibility,” Mr. Toomey said.

The question of how the party should respond to Mr. Specter’s departure was the main subject of a Senate Republican lunch on Wednesday. The party can be a “big tent,” said Senator John Ensign of Nevada, “but here are some core principles: fiscal responsibility, more personal responsibility, looking for a smaller, more effective government.”

In light of what Republicans actually do when they get their hands on the steering wheel of government, what are Mr. Toomey and Sen. Ensign actually saying?

“Fiscal responsibility” means lowering taxes on the wealthy and cutting programs that benefit the not-wealthy, but at the same time making sure the special interests that helped one get elected are well cared for.

“Personal responsibility” means government is to become primarily a tool for protecting the power and assets of the ruling plutocracy at the expense of the interests of the nation and its citizens.

“Smaller, more effective government” is a government rendered incapable of doing anything not covered by “fiscal responsibility” and “personal responsibility.”

Oh, and then there’s “freedom,” which is a system by which corporations are the landlords and citizens are the serfs/sharecroppers/tenants.

I’m betting that the Council’s town halls will not include anyone not a shill or a true believer.

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