Day: June 16, 2012

From Day One

The Daily Beast‘s Michael Tomasky has written a critique about GOP behavior toward Obama and the country.  His premise is supported by Robert  Draper’s Do Not Ask What Good We Do, which focuses on just that, GOP behavior towards this president.

The Daily Beast

I’ve been reading Robert Draper’s Do No Ask What Good We Do, about the new GOP House, and it opens with a very interesting anecdote. On the night of Obama’s inauguration, Draper writes, about 15 GOP legislators from both houses–along with Newt Gingrich, journalist Fred Barnes, and pollster Frank Luntz, who arranged the evening–got together at a Washington restaurant.

They were not necessarily the party’s official leaders, but they were the emotional leaders of the new breed–Jim DeMint, Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy–which is to say, the cohort to whom many others were looking for leadership; indeed, if you know anything about Mitch McConnell, to whom the leadership was looking for leadership. They talked for four hours about what their posture should be.

They agreed that night: oppose everything in completely unity. Show, Draper writes, “united and unyielding opposition to the president’s economic policies.”

So, before President Obama had proposed a single idea, the Republicans had already decided that they would oppose everything he did. Didn’t matter what it was. Look his plans over and see where we might be able to work together? Are you kidding?

Remember, this is the middle of a near-depression. The country lost around 800,000 jobs that very month. Every economic indicator was in the toilet and quickly rushing down into the sewer. The country was at the rock-bottom point of its worst economic crisis in the lifetimes of every one of the men in that room.

One might hope under such circumstances that the agenda-setting members of a minority party would, oh, convene a meeting in which someone said something like, “You know, we don’t like this president, and we’re not going to agree with him much, but let’s remember that almost a million Americans are losing their jobs this month, so we might want to find one or two areas of agreement.”

If anyone said such a thing, which seems doubtful, Draper doesn’t record it. Instead, the posture was–oppose, and stick him with the blame.

And no, Democrats don’t behave this way. I have shown before that Democrats in Congress voted at far higher rates for Bush’s signature legislative proposals than Republicans did for Obama’s, by 41 percent to 6 percent. It’s not chiefly because Democrats are better people, although it’s certainly true that Democrats aren’t as ideologically crazed as Republicans. it’s chiefly because many Democrats were in January 2001 from purple districts. But whatever the reason, Democrats didn’t and don’t do this.

It’s pretty amazing, and it’s worse that they get away with it because it’s precisely the behavior expected of them, so no one bats an eye any more. But this is not even the behavior of apes, who are far more socialized.

THE $71 MILLION PLAN: Kochs, Rove & Casino Billionaire Team Up To Beat Dems

If these guys are looking for a repeat of the cash infused Wisconsin recall election, they need to know they have a much tougher opponent to deal with this time.  True Democracy cannot be purchased…and true Americans would not attempt to do so.

The Huffington Post

Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, whose net worth makes him one of the world’s richest men, is on a check-writing spree that will soon bring his total political contributions in this election cycle to at least $71 million, according to sources familiar with his spending. That money is spread across the spectrum of GOP super PACs, which are required to disclose donors, and nonprofits, which are not.

Adelson and his wife, Miriam, along with other family donations, have already reached $36 million, including $10 million to the Romney-backing super PAC Restore Our Future that was reported this week. But two GOP fundraisers familiar with his plans say that Adelson has given or pledged at least $35 million more to three conservative nonprofit groups: the Karl Rove-linked Crossroads GPS, another with ties to billionaires Charles and David Koch and a third with links to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

Adelson, 78, is a staunch supporter of the Israeli right and a strong foe of American unions. In recent years, Adelson has been a major financier of GOP-allied groups, but has emerged this year as the consummate super donor in the wake of 2010 court rulings that permitted corporations, unions and individuals to supply unlimited amounts of money, sometimes anonymously, to independent groups that can advocate directly for candidates.

Adelson has told friends that he might give as much as $100 million in donations this year in support of GOP candidates and conservative issues. That target now seems easily within reach and could be surpassed, say the two GOP fundraisers with ties to the casino magnate.

Continue reading here…

Politico’s: Week in one-liners: Mitt, Meghan, Huckabee

Mitt Romney, Meghan McCain and Mike Huckabee are shown.  | AP Photos

Politico

The top quotes in politics ...

“This is what qualifies as date night in the Obama household.” — President Barack Obama on bringing his wife to New York for fundraisers.

“The president bungled the line.” — Economist Paul Krugman criticizing Obama’s “doing fine” remark.

“You all ought to do your jobs.” — White House press secretary Jay Carney chiding reporters.

“Would you see that one of those chocolate, um, uh, chocolate goodies finds its way to our ride?” — GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney struggling to identify a doughnut.

“I think there’s a greater likelihood that I’ll be asked by Madonna to go on tour as her bass player.” — Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on the odds he’ll be picked as Romney’s running mate.

“I think he cost me the election, and I don’t like him.” — Former President George H. W. Bush talking about Ross Perot.

“I’m actually not a cannabis user … frequently.” — Meghan McCain chatting about marijuana.

West Wing Week: 6/15/2012 or “The Fatherhood Buzz”

The White House

Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

This week, the President welcomed the Girl Scouts, the Presidents of the Philippines and of Israel, the New York Giants, local tv anchors from around the country, and Betty White.   He also kicked off the Fatherhood Buzz Campaign, and visited One World Trade Center. That’s June 8th to June 14th or “The Fatherhood Buzz.”