U.S. Politics

There Is No White Knight Who Can Save The Republican Convention Now


AP Photo / Paul Sancya


That is it.

In recent weeks, House Speaker Paul Ryan (who got dragged into his current job) has been floated as a plausible alternative to the Republican Party’s vexing choice between an uncontainable Trump and Cruz, a man who has made his share of enemies on Capitol Hill with his anti-establishment stunts to shut down the government and stop legislation in its tracks. With just months to go before the nominating convention, the GOP seems to be doing what it does whenever it’s stuck between a rock and a hard place, it’s looking to a political unicorn to save it.

Politico’s Mike Allen blared Monday that “One of the nation’s best-wired Republicans sees a 54 percent chance that Ryan will end up as the nominee.” Huffington Post reported that conservative donor Charles Koch was optimistic Ryan could sweep a contested convention. And before Ryan, there were plenty of headlines that hoped Mitt Romney would stage an encore performance as the party’s nominee.

“I think it is all fantasy island,” John Feehery, a GOP strategist, told TPM. “This idea we are going to be able to pluck someone like a Paul Ryan and run him as a presidential candidate is a pretty big reach. I just don’t see it happening.”

Ryan Williams, a former spokesman for Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, agreed that a white knight at the Republican convention was a pipe dream.

“Delegates cannot walk into a convention and take the nomination. There would be outrage within the base of the party if a person who had not even competed were to take the nomination,” Williams said.

Mere rumors of a Ryan takeover at the convention has mobilized right-wing media this week, revealing just how ugly and aggressive the backlash could be for an outsider trying to skirt the primary competition and take the nomination from those who have been running for it. Breitbart News published several stories blasting Ryan. One, painted Ryan as soft on immigration and featured interviews with the family members of victims of crimes committed by immigrants who were in the country illegally.

“He needs to go pick out one of his own little darling children to sacrifice to the God of cheap labor instead of living behind security walls and allowing other people’s kids to get chosen,”Dan Golvach, whose son Spencer was killed by an immigrant who was illegally in the country, was quoted as saying in the Breitbart piece.

Breitbart also made strange and unconnected claims about Ryan and Muslims, writing that “as a result of unbridled Muslim migration into the United States, more than 2,100 U.S. girls in Wisconsin — the state represented by Ryan — are at-risk of suffering the anti-Western practice Female Genital Mutilation, according to the Population Reference Bureau (PRB).”

Another Breitbart story claimed that Ryan was “one of Congress’s biggest proponents of globalist trade pacts that send American jobs overseas.”

If April produces cheap shots about genital mutilation targeting a guy who is adamant that he doesn’t want to be the nominee and is content to merely serve in his neutral role as convention chairman, imagine what it will be like in Cleveland in July.

Any effort to promote an outsider alternative to Trump and Cruz at a contested convention would immediately be beset by the same internal GOP tensions between the grassroots and establishment wings of the party for more than five years now. In the ongoing battle for the soul of the party, the anti-establishment factions are gaining ground. To deny them their gains could shatter what remains of the party.

“The only candidate that I see that can keep the base fired up is Ted Cruz. If you knock Ted Cruz out, you are playing with fire,” said Adam Brandon, the president of FreedomWorks. “The establishment keeps talking about a civil war. The civil war is over and the grassroots has won.”

Ryan has denied at every turn he wants the job. And even the most connected voices in the party are beginning to accept that there is little chance the GOP establishment is going to get a candidate who can expand the party’s base during overtime at the convention.

Fred Malek, a prominent businessman and Republican fundraiser, admitted there is recognition and fear that putting up an alternate this late in the game could alienate the base (although he still holds out hope that Kasich could make a play at a contested convention.)

“You add insult to injury if you select someone who has not even been in this battle,” Malek said.

Lauren Fox

U.S. Politics

Sorry, media: The GOP is not imploding

attribution: WIKIPEDIA COMMONS | Sher Watts Spooner


Here’s an opposing view on the GOP’s possible demise…ks


Reports of the Republican Party’s death have been greatly exaggerated, as Mark Twain might say.

As much as we’d like to believe the hype from hand-wringing Beltway pundits and terrified Republican office-holders, the Republican Party is not on the verge of an imminent collapse just because of the possible presidential nomination of Donald Trump.

Yes, the insiders despise frontrunner Trump and wish that he would disappear into a cloud of Cheeto-colored tanning spray. Many GOP officials worry about what will happen to the rest of the Republican candidates if the real estate mogul becomes the nominee. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas worries that Trump will be an “albatross” around the necks of those lower on the ballot. The reaction from Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam about a Trump candidacy was, “Heaven help us.” Super PACs have been launched to stop the Trump train. Past GOP luminaries (and we’re using that term loosely) such as 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney have been trotted out to discredit the Donald. Republicans are even considering Texas Sen. Ted Cruz as a better alternative, no matter how much he’s disliked. Even with all of these efforts, there hasn’t been much payoff: Trump is still racking up votes and delegates.

There have been an endless stream of stories, columns, and commentaries bemoaning “the end of the Republican Party as we know it” all over every kind of media, all because of Trump’s candidacy. These are the same reporters, columnists, and commentators who usually like to declare that “Democrats are in disarray” at any sign of discord on the other side of the aisle.

If you Google “Republicans imploding” or something similar, you’ll get a wide range of stories with those words in the headlines, sometimes several per week. They started as soon as Trump declared his candidacy, continued on through the fall, and became especially frequent as Trump started amassing greater numbers of delegates on his way to a likely nomination. Actually, you see that same kind of headline with the same words every time Republicans lose an election.

We’re still waiting for the implosion.


Record numbers of voters are turning out to vote in Republican primaries and caucuses, no matter how poorly those caucuses are run and no matter how racist we might consider Trump’s GOP voters. Whether we like it or not, the would-be narcissist in chief is attracting new voters to those contests, and those overall voting numbers haven’t been matched by the Blue team. (At least the numbers of voters in each contest in Michigan were more even, but with an edge to the Republicans.) A rough estimate gives the totals so far as 18.7 million votes for Republicans and 13.1 million votes for Democrats. According to a compilation by the Pew Research Center, Republican turnout so far has been 17.3 percent of eligible voters, while Democratic turnout is lower at 11.7 percent.

The GOP still holds the House and the Senate (not past December, we hope), and 31 of the nation’s 50 governors are Republican. When it comes to state legislatures, 68 out of 98 partisan state legislative bodies are held by Republicans. In 24 states, the GOP holds both the governorship and a majority in the state legislature; there are only seven such partisan state strongholds on the Democratic side. Republicans made gains in the 2014 midterm elections of top of what they did in the famous shellacking of 2010. Those office holders and their party infrastructures aren’t going to disappear just because Trump might be at the top of the ticket.

Even if by some miracle Trump does not earn the requisite 1,237 delegates needed to secure the GOP nomination—not a very likely scenario now that he’s won big in Michigan and Mississippi and the polls look positive (for him, if not for the rest of humanity) in the next round of primaries—the fantasy of a brokered or contested convention exists only in the minds of terrified GOP elites and journalists tenting their fingers like C. Montgomery Burns on The Simpsons. If those frantically searching for a GOP establishment savior were to deny Trump the nomination, the Trumpeters who stood in line for hours to vote for Trump would be so furious that they might stay home in November, providing fewer votes for Republican candidates in down-ballot races.

It most likely won’t come to that. In all probability, we’ll hear full-throated cheers for Trump at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland when it starts on July 18. Trump’s former rivals have all pledged to support the eventual nominee, despite their current disparaging invective against him. That’s true even if, in the quiet anonymity of the voting booth, at least some of those cheering at that convention later cast their presidential votes in the “D” column.

Trump may be changing his tune about GOP insiders, too. According to a story on Huffington Post, at Trump’s victory speech after his March 8 wins (when he wasn’t acting like a QVC pitchman), Trump talked about unifying the party.

Read more here>>>

Blog Roundup

Evening Blog Roundup – 12-3-2013

Constitutional experts man a highway overpass. (AP)


Benghazification Begins

The blurred line between caricature and reality

Boehner Hires Top Tier Immigration Policy Aide

Arafat did not die of poisoning, French tests conclude

Cisco Says NSA Costing Them Major Business Abroad

The Best Obamacare News That Nobody Is Talking About

Here’s Your Very Latest Foolproof Reason to Impeach Obama

As do-nothing Congress dithers, a million set to lose unemployment insurance

Poll: Tea Partiers More Likely Than Other GOPers To View Snowden Positively

John Boehner On 113th Congress Being Least Productive Ever: ‘We’ve Done Our Work’


Affordable Care Act

DNC Wants To Help You Talk With ‘Your Republican Uncle’ On Thanksgiving


You gotta love this idea from Democrats.  Just in time for the holidays at that…

TPM LiveWire

The Democratic National Committee is launched a Thanksgiving-themed website Wednesday called YourRepublicanUncle.com that purports to help people deal with “lively discussions with Republican relatives about politics” that occur during the holiday season.

YourRepublicanUncle.com features talking points Democrats can use during hypothetical political conversations with their family members.

“This time of year, the only thing more annoying than holiday traffic is an awkward conversation with family about politics,” DNC Digital Director Matt Compton wrote in an email announcing the site. “We designed YourRepublicanUncle.com so that it look greats and loads quickly on your phone — no getting ambushed when you go back for seconds on stuffing.”

Morning Maddow

Morning Maddow: November 15, 2013

House Speaker John Boehner (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Wisconsin Assembly votes in a late-night session to reinstate voter ID. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

House Speaker Boehner continues to insist that ENDA is not necessary. (The Hill)

Anti-abortion forces pressure vulnerable Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) to take a stand on the 20-week ban. (News&Observer)

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) won’t let the World Congress of Families meet in a Senate room. (BuzzFeed)

Louisiana elects a new Congressman tomorrow. (AP)

Washington state woman arrested for carrying a bomb, leaving another one behind at home. (Kitsap Sun)

China will loosen its one-child policy, abolish re-education camps. (NY Times)

Affordable Care Act

5 Obamacare Facts Republicans Don’t Want To Talk About

K-Sebelius Resized
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius- Photo: Center for American Progress Action Fund via Flickr

If Kathleen Sebelius personally sabotaged Healthcare dot gov, shouldn’t she be the GOP 2016 frontrunner?

The National Memo

1.  People Want To Give It A Chance

2.  If Canceling Insurance Is Bad, Repealing Obamacare Would Be A Nightmare

3.  We Don’t Have Real Sign-Up Numbers And That’s Not A Big Deal — Yet

4.  Republicans Have Made The Problems They’re Complaining About Worse

5.  The Law’s Biggest Disadvantage Is Now Its Biggest Advantage


Republicans · U.S. Politics

Republicans are Outraged

Daily Kos

Republicans are Outraged — that Americans are getting Affordable Health Care.

Republicans are Outraged — that Americans are NOT getting Affordable Health Care, fast enough.
Republicans are Outraged — that Americans have to pay Taxes.

Republicans are Outraged — that America’s Debt is NOT being paid down, fast enough.

Republicans are Outraged — that the Voter’s Right Act used to make them let everyone Vote.

Republicans are Outraged — that in Texas, North Carolina, and Virgina, there are way too many Women, Students, and poor people voting.

Republicans are Outraged — that so many Americans want to Vote.

Republicans are Outraged — that even with all their Gerrymandered Districts, they still lose Elections.

Republicans are Outraged — that so many Americans do NOT hate Government like they do.

Republicans are Outraged — that so many Americans just want a Government that works —because as recent history shows, that’s just NOT what they DO!
… Provide us a Government that works?  Hah!

Because in their world-view, THAT would be simply Outrageous!

H/t: DB

Morning Maddow

Morning Maddow

., speaks with reporters at Mul's Diner in Boston on Dec. 28, 2011.
Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass

The Rachel Maddow Blog

Obamacare number: the feds have made 330,000 subsidy calculations. (Washington Post)

Hawaii legislature meets in special session today to vote on marriage equality. (Time)

A Texas judge is expected to rule on a challenge to part of the state’s new abortion law. (AP)

San. Rand Paul will try to convince Virginia libertarians to vote for Ken Cuccinelli today. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Fmr. Sen. Scott Brown registers a PAC in New Hampshire. (Concord Monitor)

Syria submits chemical weapons destruction plan. (The Hill)

Ellis Island reopens today, a year after Superstorm Sandy. (NY Daily News)

Bill O'Reilly · Fox News Distortions

Fox’s O’Reilly Says Obama Will ‘Seize-White-Assets’ To Implement Obamacare!

O’Reilly, et al insist that they are not the “race-baiters”.  Yeah, right!

H/t: TheObamaCRAT™

GOP Extremism · GOP Partisanship

Texas Republican Judge Switches Party, Denouncing GOP as Party of Bigots and Hate-Mongers

This is is not the only defection the GOP will be facing in the next couple of years…


A Republican Judge from San Antonio, Texas, has announced he is quitting the GOP and will seek re-election as a Democrat, saying that he can no longer be part of political party whose identity is based on hate, bigotry and destrying people’s lives.

Bexar County Judge Carlo R. Key made his announcement in a YouTube campaign video, where the image shifts between the judge sitting at his bench and screenshots of Republicans—from Sen. Teed Cruz to state politicians—boosting their agenda or career by harming others.

Key’s words speak for themselves. Here’s a transcript, where he ends by urging others who share his moderate temperament and respectful demeanor to join him.

I have tried to live a life of principles. These principles have been shaped by mi familia, my community and my country. In fact, it is my dedication to these principles which has lead me to the law in the first place and has guided me to becoming a judge. These values are simple. I believe that justice demands fairness. It demands careful and intelligent probing of evidence. And above all else, justice can only be served without prejudice toward race, color, creed or whom you choose to love.

These principles have served as the bedrock upon which my rulings have been made. They are also my driving force. That is why I can no longer be a member of the Republican Party. For too long, the Republican Party has been at war with itself. Rational Republican beliefs have given way to character assassination. Pragmatism and principle have been overtaken by pettiness and bigotry. Make no mistake. I have not left the Republican Party. It left me.

I cannot tolerate a political party that demeans Texans based on their sexual orientation, the color of their skin or their ecomonic status. I will not be a member of a party in which hate speech elevates candidates for higher office rather than disqualifying them. I cannot place my name on the ballot for a political party that is proud to destroy the lives of 100s of 1000s of federal workers over the vain attempt to repeal a law that will provide health care to millions of people throughout our country.

That is why I am announcing that I am now running for re-election as a Democratic candidate for County Court of Law 11 in the 2014 elections. My principles have led me to the Democratic Party. I can only hope that more people of principle will follow me. If you believe these values are your values, then I respectfully ask you to join me and let’s work together to keep dignity, fairness and respect for rule of law in our county courts.   

Texas Democrats welcomed the judge’s decision but said they were not surprised by it.

“I’m not surprised,” said Matt Angle, director of the Lone Star Project. “Republican state leaders in Texas have moved so far out of the mainstream. They have become so divisive that fair-minded Texans are turning away. Judge Key is a prominent and respected public official, so his actions appropriately draw attention, but every day I hear from people who formerly supported Republican candidates, but now won’t do it.”