Eating Their Own (Friday the 13th)

You probably heard that Sen. Judd Gregg withdrew his nomination as Commerce Secretary. You are probably happy about this. I know I am.

What’s going on? I think Andrew Sullivan is right. One, the Republican Party has declared total war on the Obama Administration. Never mind that Americans are suffering. Never mind that the economic meltdown has replaced terrorism as the number one threat against America. All that matters to the GOP is that President Obama fails badly enough that they can win some seats back in Congress in 2010.

The BooMan thinks the current unified front against Obama will crack and crumble soon enough. He may be right; I hope he is. But it appears the GOP chose to destroy Judd Gregg’s political career rather than quietly stand by and allow him to take the Commerce Secretary position.

The story that’s current at the moment is that originally it was Judd Gregg who approached the Obama team and asked to be part of the administration. Not long ago Sen. Gregg had spoken out in favor of the idea of a big stimulus bill. But the Republican Party, as Andy Sullivan says, made Gregg’s position untenable. He recused himself on the stimulus bill vote, which managed to piss off everyone on the political spectrum. He’s so bruised up now he’s saying he won’t run for re-election to the Senate in 2010, although I understand he has left himself room to change his mind.

By all appearances, Gregg must have caught hell from his party for considering a cabinet position. It’s the most likely explanation for his behavior.

For more commentary, see No More Mr. Nice Blog, Tom Edsall, and Michael Tomasky.

21 thoughts on “Eating Their Own (Friday the 13th)

  1. Judd Gregg, I knew Chuck Hagel. Chuck Hagel was my senator. And, sir, you’re no Chuck Hagel.

    The guy they’re calling “Judge Dredd” over on wonkette has no spine at all. Good riddance to him.

    As for the declaration of total war, on the GOP’s heads be it. Here in my ultra-red state, their fabrications have worn pretty thin at the knees. Hagel’s senate replacement, Mike Johanns (Bush’s former Ag Secretary) went around for a week bellowing, “The stimulus bill is completely against Nebraska values! I won’t even touch it! No way, no how!” After it passed, he changed his tune to the one handed down from on high: “The Dems wouldn’t work with us!” Even folks who voted for McCain (and Johanns) in November could see what a massive cowpie that is.

  2. OT, but I must agree with commenters who suggested you go with a serif font, like Times New Roman. This small-sized Arial, or whatever it is, is very hard on the old eyes.

  3. Obama’s work under the Reagan/Clinton model of the electorate in which you have 1/3 with, 1/3 against, 1/3 swing. Get the swing bloc and you win. The GOP succeeded in the last decade by implementing the Rove plan to do away with the swing voters, completely bifurcate the population 50/50, believing their 50 is more likely to vote. They are simply living in denial of the re-emergence of the swing voter after Katrina, Iraq, Dover, economic meltdown,… They think if they only play harder to their 29%, it will magically turn into 51%

    Obama, on the other hand, in an effort to avoid his own version of the “health care/gays in the military/he’s too liberal” attack that will come from the Republicans no matter what he does, seems to be falling into the trap of believing that these swing voters think like Joe Lieberman. Maybe they did in 1992, but this ain’t 1992. Clearly explain what we’ve been saying for generations and things really could change.

  4. I think the Republicans have misjudged the feeling of the American people.They’re getting calls from the ditto heads and not paying attention to whats really going on.
    I was listening to NPR on Mon, they were interviewing 2 people from the banking industry, when they opened the phone line the outrage of the average listener was amazing. Bringing the US economy down will not put them back into power.
    Bring on the pitchforks.

  5. I really thought that when Bush left most of the political hacks, press flacks, dilletents, ideologues and primogenitees would have left or at least gone quiet. Sadly, it seems I was wrong.

    It hasn’t always been like this, has it? (Pete Seeger {American Masters} was on my telly this morn from 2-4 {temporary? insomnia} which is probably why I’m thinking that it really hasn’t always been this way.)

    Alas, Republican carpers continue to prove that an empty drum makes the most noise.

  6. Well, these old eyes LOVE this sans-serif font. What makes the difference for me is viewing this site (and all others) in IE7. Microsoft souped up this version of their browser with some special text rendering code to make text appear nice and sharp. I love FireFox, but had to ditch it for IE7 just for this geriatric feature. Try it, you may like it. I LOVE clean design, and while there’s still a lot of clutter on this site, it’s a big step in the right direction over the old layout. Love the new masthead by the way.

    As for Gregg, I didn’t know about all the Republican backstabbing. I read that one of the disagreements with Obama was over the 2010 census, which is in the Commerce Dept’s purview. It drives how political districts are partitioned up, and I simply don’t trust any Republican managing that effort. I could see a 2010 Republican managed census completely short shrifting and undercounting poor areas, which predominantly vote Democratic. No way do I want Gregg or any R handling that task.

  7. Moonbat, I heard today on the radio that President O was taking the census away from the Commerce Dept. and putting it under the The White House because of complaints about just that thing. No one trusted the repugs on a true count.
    From what they said, it upset Gregg. I guess being able to help our country with trade wasn’t as important as counting the people (or not) and deciding the voting districts.

  8. Sachem – 1970s Norm Coleman looks just like a girl I grew up with.

    Felicity –

    I saw that American Masters profile of Pete Seeger. Your or my idea of a great American hero must differ greatly from that of the right wingers; I find old Pete to be truly awe-inspiring.

    As for political hacks, press flacks, and dilettantes, Seeger got plenty of grief from them via McCarthy’s HUAC, and enforcers in the television and radio industries, in the 1950s and 1960s. They painted him ten kinds of a traitor (none of which were true), and kept him off the air for decades. Today we have Bruce Springsteen at Super Bowl halftime, and although he’d probably be the first to tell you he ain’t one-tenth the fiery patriot Seeger has been, he’s a great admirer of Seeger’s, and does try to keep the flame alive.

  9. In topsy-turvy GOP land, Gregg probably will come out of this stronger, as the man who was too principled to serve a liberal president, yaddeh-yaddeh. That he volunteered to serve the liberal President in the first place will be explained as Obama moving leftward, even though Obama hasn’t moved an inch since before the election.

    Remember, in GOP-land, reality doesn’t matter.

  10. I don’t think even Goldwater would be a Republican in 2009. Their efforts to sabotage Obama are bordering on treason. Since it was Repugs who committed treason by outing Valerie Plame’s identity as a CIA operative, we know it is easy for them.

  11. Bonnie, I still want someone convicted for outing Plame. That was done to try to discredit the truth her husband was saying. I believe that outing her came straight from the top and I want something done about it and I don’t ever want to see anything like that AGAIN!

  12. From Sam Stein at HuffPo comes this interesting “conversion tale”:

    There is, in fact, an element of bipartisan support for creating of a truth and reconciliation committee to investigate illegalities from the Bush years. And it comes from within Congress.

    Rep. Walter Jones, a North Carolina Republican, has signed on as a co-sponsor of legislation introduced by House Judiciary Chair John Conyers to establish “a national commission on presidential war powers and civil liberties.”

    A self-described conservative who brought “Freedom Fries” to Congress, Jones developed into one of the most vocal Republican critics of the Bush administration. He took particular umbrage at the handling of the Iraq War and the decision to prohibit photographs of returning coffins of American soldiers. Late in the past administration’s time in office he was reported to have been reading Vincent Bugliosi’s book, “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder.”

    So while it is surprising to see an elected Republican official endorse the establishment of an investigatory committee to probe the Bush years, it is slightly less surprising that that official is Jones.

    Nevertheless, Democrats on the Hill who are committed to the idea are ecstatic to have the congressman on board. Jones’ office did not return repeated requests for comment.

    I guess no one is irredeemable. They just have to want it, and they have to admit that much of what they believed went horribly wrong– which is the tough part, of course.

  13. I saw on HuffPo that Spector, after voting for the bailout, said that he’s heard from a whole bunch of repugs that they really liked the bill, but they had to vote against it for political reasons. (One selfish bastard said it was because he thought he’d have a primary race. He voted for his job, not for our jobs.)

    As to Goldwater, his whole extended family were Obama supporters. I recall a very pointed article that his … granddaughter? … penned. She said that Barry would have been an Obama supporter.

    As to font: At this size, a serif font will start to crowd together and be hard to read. Times New Roman at 11 points is very easy to read On Paper, but I’m not so sure about how it reads on an LCD panel. But there’s no reason not to play with a bunch of them. Make a change and we’ll send feedback. Btw, I have lousy eyes and can read this ok; it’s just a smidge small for me.

  14. I think Gregg got caught in a ‘Trojan Horse’ ploy. The census is every 10 years and there is no do-over. Originally, Gregg would have been in charge of the census, under the supervision of a very busy White House. The results will affect districting for the House and the payout of benfits where population is a factor.

    Had Gregg mismanaged the census to the benefit of Republicans, the WH might know they had ben had (after the fact), but they could hardly complain. Someone in Obama’s stff is as paranoid as I am, because they took the census managment into the WH. And Gregg quit. Which tends to support the theory that Gregg’s offer to serve was as hollow as the statue left outside the walls of Troy.

  15. There is talk that the Abramoff investigation is getting close to Gregg and/or that he was upset that the census deal was taken out of Commerce and put into the Executive.

    As far as the Stim. bill goes:
    there is a clause in the stim. bill which states that Governors must use the funds within 45 days or the money goes to the state legislators to distribute so eventually the people in Republican states will find out who is keeping them from getting the money the need and that will not help the R’s back at home.

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