Category Archives: Republican Secret Donors

Divided We Fail (NYT Editorial by Paul Krugman)

New York Times – Paul Krugman

Barring a huge upset, Republicans will take control of at least one house of Congress next week. How worried should we be by that prospect?

Not very, say some pundits. After all, the last time Republicans controlled Congress while a Democrat lived in the White House was the period from the beginning of 1995 to the end of 2000. And people remember that era as a good time, a time of rapid job creation and responsible budgets. Can we hope for a similar experience now?

No, we can’t. This is going to be terrible. In fact, future historians will probably look back at the 2010 election as a catastrophe for America, one that condemned the nation to years of political chaos and economic weakness.

Start with the politics.

In the late-1990s, Republicans and Democrats were able to work together on some issues. President Obama seems to believe that the same thing can happen again today. In a recent interview with National Journal, he sounded a conciliatory note, saying that Democrats need to have an “appropriate sense of humility,” and that he would “spend more time building consensus.” Good luck with that.

After all, that era of partial cooperation in the 1990s came only after Republicans had tried all-out confrontation, actually shutting down the federal government in an effort to force President Bill Clinton to give in to their demands for big cuts in Medicare.

Now, the government shutdown ended up hurting Republicans politically, and some observers seem to assume that memories of that experience will deter the G.O.P. from being too confrontational this time around. But the lesson current Republicans seem to have drawn from 1995 isn’t that they were too confrontational, it’s that they weren’t confrontational enough.

Another recent interview by National Journal, this one with Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, has received a lot of attention thanks to a headline-grabbing quote: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

If you read the full interview, what Mr. McConnell was saying was that, in 1995, Republicans erred by focusing too much on their policy agenda and not enough on destroying the president: “We suffered from some degree of hubris and acted as if the president was irrelevant and we would roll over him. By the summer of 1995, he was already on the way to being re-elected, and we were hanging on for our lives.” So this time around, he implied, they’ll stay focused on bringing down Mr. Obama.    Continue reading…

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Filed under Mitch McConnell, Republican House Takeover, Republican Secret Donors, Republicans

White House Goes Into Bunker Mode

Today begins the last full week before the midterm elections…

Daily Beast

As the GOP prepares for landslide in November (The Daily Beast’s Election Oracle forecasts a 50/50 split in the Senate and a substantial Republican lead in the House), the Obama team seems powerless to stop it. Howard Kurtz on its fascinating belief that the bully pulpit has been downsized, forcing the leader of the free world to shout for attention.

Imagine if the Chilean mining disaster had happened here in the States. President Obama would have been hammered for 69 days for failing to rescue the men, right up to the moment the first one was pulled to safety.

That’s the sensibility inside the White House these days: If there’s a bad story out there, even one far removed from the presidential orbit, the Obama crowd will own it. Every administration feels besieged at times, pilloried by the press, misunderstood by the public. But conversations with White House officials suggest a team that feels almost snakebit during a midterm election that is likely to produce substantial losses.

“There’s an alternative story here that we’re trying to tell,” says Dan Pfeiffer, the communications director. “But there’s an element of spitting in the ocean.”

During the long election slog, “a narrative takes hold, and trying to beat those narratives can be challenging and frustrating,” he says. “Some of the news coverage is focused on more of the negatives and few of the positives. But I don’t think that’s surprising, given the environment.”

Obama certainly bears responsibility for a wide range of missteps and a perverse talent for turning winning (on the Hill) into losing (in the court of public opinion). But what’s fascinating is the belief that the bully pulpit has been permanently downsized, forcing the leader of the free world to shout for attention in a cacophonous world.

It sounds absurd: Obama can instantly command attention any time he wants. He can pop onto the Today show, plop himself on Jay Leno’s couch, get himself on the cover of The New York Times Magazine, chat up the kids on MTV, diagram basketball brackets on ESPN. This week he’ll drop by The Daily Show and match wits with Jon Stewart. Everything he says is news.   Continue reading…

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Filed under Politics, President Obama, Republican Secret Donors, Republicans

Sarah Palin: GOP ‘through’ without tea party

Politico

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Monday warned Republican Party leaders that if they do not adhere to the message of the tea party, the GOP may be “through.”

In a brief interview with CNN shortly after a rally for the Tea Party Express in Reno, Palin insisted that the reports of a rift between the tea party and GOP are overblown. But she went on to lay out the consequences of a tea party-GOP split.

“I think more of the machine within the GOP is going to understand that this ‘we the people’ message is rising, and it’s resonating throughout with the independents, with hard core conservatives, with moderates, because it’s just so full of common sense and time-tested truths that can put the economy on the right track,” Palin said.

“Heaven forbid that the GOP machine strays from this message,” she said. “If so, the GOP is through.”

When asked if that meant Republicans would be wise to kick the few remaining moderates out of the party, Palin contended that it would not be necessary — though many of her endorsements have aimed to do just that.

“This is all about an independent message, moderates who just believe that government’s proper role is very constrained and restrained, according to our Constitution, that our states’ rights, our individual rights should be more powerful and made more manifest than a growing federal government — their — their power,” she said.

“So moderates can embrace that,” Palin added. “Independents certainly can.”

Today’s event in Reno follows a Saturday appearance by Palin at a GOP rally in Southern California. She will appear at another party rally this weekend in Orlando, Fla.

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Filed under Republican Secret Donors, Republicans, Sara Palin's Mama Grizzlies, Sarah Palin

Secretive Republican Donors Planning Ahead

This should come as a surprise to no one…but it’s scary as hell!

The New York Times

A secretive network of Republican donors is heading to Palm Springs for a long weekend in January, but it will not be to relax after a hard-fought election — it will be to plan for the next one.

Koch Industries, the longtime underwriter of libertarian causes from the Cato Institute in Washington to the ballot initiative that would suspend California’s landmark law capping greenhouse gases, is planning an invitation-only confidential meeting at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa to, as an invitation says, “develop strategies to counter the most severe threats facing our free society and outline a vision of how we can foster a renewal of American free enterprise and prosperity.”

The invitation, sent to potential new participants, offers a rare peek at the Koch network of the ultrawealthy and the politically well-connected, its far-reaching agenda to enlist ordinary Americans to its cause, and its desire for the utmost secrecy.

Koch Industries, a Wichita-based energy and manufacturing conglomerate run by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, operates a foundation that finances political advocacy groups, but tax law protects those groups from having to disclose much about what they do and who contributes.

With a personalized letter signed by Charles Koch, the invitation to the four-day Palm Springs meeting opens with a grand call to action: “If not us, who? If not now, when?”

The Koch network meets twice a year to plan and expand its efforts — as the letter says, “to review strategies for combating the multitude of public policies that threaten to destroy America as we know it.”   Continue reading…

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Filed under GOP Fundraising, GOP Hubris, GOP Hypocrisy, GOP Obstructionism, GOP Political Attacks, Republican Secret Donors, Republicans