Rand Paul: Tea Party Head Mad Hatter

Rassmussen Reports just released one of its famously pro-Republican polls

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2014/senate/co/colorado_senate_gardner_vs_udall-3845.html

showing a virtual tie in the Colorado U.S. Senate Race between Democratic incumbent Mark Udall and Republican challenger Corey Gardner and, coincidentally (?), NPR News runs a  tory primarily to make Republican challenger Corey Gardner a national name in pursuit of the NPR News campaign to convince the American voter that this is the year of the Republicans.

http://www.npr.org/2014/03/13/289750656/republican-candidate-heats-up-colorado-s-u-s-senate-race

After all, NPR trashes Obamacare at least weekly, and now almost daily (and several times daily) mentioning Rand Paul’s name and frequently accompanying it with a sound bite. There are 45 Republicans in the U.S. Senate but from NPR News you’d think that Paul is the only saying or thinking anything important because he’s about the only one in heavy radio rotation.  So Ted Cruz is now SO last year’s chopped liver for wrapping himself around and making himself the voice and voice of the GOP/Tea Party’s federal government shutdown. And Marco Rubio? He’s got the charisma of any fresh-faced little boy who looks like he’s wearing his father’s U.S. Senator’s clothes.

It’s been decided somewhere that Rand Paul needs to be pushed into the psyche of the American public and as frequently as possible. For what purpose, I don’t know—yet.  He’s not up for reelection until 2016 and two years from how he’s got as much chance of getting the Republican nomination for president as he has getting elected president this year.  To show how little chance the guy has to send out bids on a new design for the Oval Office rug, his GOP buddies in the Kentucky state senate are pushing a bill that would allow him to be on the 2016 state ballot as candidate for both president and reelection to the US Senate (much like Wisconsin state law enabled Paul Ryan to lose his VP bid and still keep his day job in Congress in 2012).  The state House of Representatives doesn’t like that idea so much and will most likely shoot it down if it passes the state senate.

It’s perfectly plausible that Paul has been positioned to be the once and future Head Mad Hatter of the Tea Party at a time when the Karl Roves of the GOP are attempting to separate and isolate it from the mainstream party because frankly, my dear, most Republican voters don’t give a damn about the Tea Party (except when it shuts down the federal government and then the word “damn” is heard a lot preceding the words “tea party”) except in the smallest and poorest Southern states with the highest numbers of uneducated people in America.  Rove once had pull in the GOP until his meal ticket ran out of presidential terms and he had to settle for a new career as PAC Man.  The meal ticket’s brother, Jeb, is undoubtedly planned by Rove to be his entrée to eight more years of White House entrées in 2016.

So, with Jeb in the top ticket slot, who would be the chosen one to slide into the number two spot? Hmmm, the name is on the tip of my psyche…Rand Paul.  It now all makes sense.  In front of closed doors guys like Rove decry how the Tea Party is destroying the GOP.  But behind closed doors perhaps Paul’s name was bandied about as a sure way to bring the Tea Party—and its voter base—back  into the fold and under control of the mainstream Republican Party.  The GOPowers-that-be may be willing to risk a Rand Paul presidency if it gets them a Jeb Bush presidency first.

So in the pursuit of that end, the orders went out to the subsidiary media outlets like Fox, CNN and NPR to put Rand Paul in heavy rotation and to keep his erstwhile rivals out of the limelight.  Too many choices make tea partiers nervous.  They like to keep things simple, you know.

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What’s Brewing In Arizona?

I am pessimistically optimistic about the Democrats gaining additional state and congressional states this year.  Take Arizona, please.  Gov. Jan Brewer in 2010 signed SB 1070 into law one of the most reprehensible and racist immigration “reform” bills to come down the pike since the Jim Crow laws were enacted throughout the South during the 19th and 20th centuries.  I’m sure that Brewer privately endorses the bill but due to pressure from both Arizona U.S. senators and the Arizona business community she will have to veto it.  In any other state, vetoing an anti-gay bill a year before it plays host to the Super Bowl would be a no-brainer.Except for Arizona Republicans, who lack even that much. 

Common sense dictates that potentially thousands of gay and lesbian football fans with their friends and family were planning buying tickets for the 2015 Super Bowl at the University of Phoenix Stadium.  You would think that Arizona Republicans would get that if it was legal to deny the gay population ANYTHING in the state based on an individual’s personal religious convictions, that a few thousand airline tickets won’t be purchased, hundreds of hotel/motel rooms and rental cars won’t be rented, thousands of extra restaurants and fast food places meals won’t be bought, thousands of souvenirs won’t be purchased, and so the lost-income dominoes will fall.  The business community doesn’t like to see millions of tourist dollars refused to be accepted and they have told Brewer that in no uncertain terms.   But Brewer, if she decides to run for governor again in 2018 after taking a state constitution-mandated four-year break, will need the support of teabaggie Republicans and so she must give the appearance of weighing a most weighty decision over the entire five-day period in which a governor must sign or veto new legislation before she vetoes it.  At least that’s how Brewer hopes it will appear to Republican voters if she decides 2018 is her comeback year.

 

The immigration law was the equivalent of the “stop-and-frisk black males” law in New York City.  It gave law enforcement the legal right to stop any motor vehicle anywhere anytime to command “Show us your papers, plees” (like the good Nazis the Brewer and the state legislature wanted Arizona law enforcement to be) for the reasonable cause of the driver and/or its inhabitants being brown-skinned.  Brewer and the Republican-controlled state legislature cared not one whit that this was in total violation of the 14th Amendment until the U.S. Supreme Court told them it was and gutted most of the act.  Law enforcement can still stop brown-skinned motor vehicle occupants at will to ask for papers but can’t do much legally after that.

I bring up SB 1070 to make a point. That was just the latest in much repressive legislation essentially written by Arizonan right-wing lobbyist groups and passed into law by Republicans.  Organizations like the Center for Arizona Policy, remarkably a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization that is “committed to promoting and defending life, marriage, and family, and religious liberty”, has been running state politics for the past ten years.  SB 1062, the anti-gay law that Brewer will most definitely have to veto, was their baby.  So, with all this repressive legislative history, why do Republicans and the Tea Party still run state politics? Why do the majority of Arizona voters keep them in power year after year? Is election fraud and voter suppression at work here?

This pattern of keeping states Red no matter how repressive and bigoted the Republican-controlled government is worries me.  Too many voters are bound and determined beyond all logic and reason to vote against their own best self-interests.  Many of my fellow liberals hope for a big Blue election year in 2014, as do I, but I won’t be surprised if we only make small yardage up the middle instead of running downfield for a touchdown.  Too many Republican-installed voter ID laws block the field and then there’s that nasty problem of rigging the vote count as in Florida 2000 and as in Ohio 2004.

It’s not a matter of seeing the glass as half-empty or half-full. I just hope there’s something in the glass for Democrats come November 5, 2014, the day after Election Day.

Maverick Meets Frankenstein: John McCain vs. The Tea Party

http://www.msnbc.com/hardball/arizona-gop-turns-mccain

The pundits who in 2012 predicted tea partiers would claim Mitt Romney lost because he wasn’t conservative enough have been proven correct.  I think this signals that tea partiers are positioning themselves to take over the GOP.  The Tea Party is indeed the Frankenstein’s monster of Karl Rove and Dick Armey.  They didn’t create it but infused it with a criminal but malleable brain.  Now, despite a lot of evidence to the contrary,  tea partiers feel Almighty empowered and invulnerable, exactly the way Walter White felt after he blew up Gus Fring.

At first it puzzled me why the Arizona GOP Party was firing the first Tea Party salvo at John McCain, who isn’t up for reelection until 2016. I think their strategy is to let him know that if he doesn’t fall into line and goosestep with the rest of them, he’s a lame duck.  But while they’re patting each other on their shoulders for their assertiveness and take-no-prisoners approach to partisan politics, they might just have reawakened the sleeping maverick in McCain.  If he decides that he doesn’t like to be dictated to by the likes of pipsqueaks who weren’t even born when he was in a Vietnam POW camp he’s gonna start sending messages “See how lame THIS duck is” by once again voting his conscience and not the directives handed down on high from the likes of Karl Rove and the Kochs or their agents—who have been the only GOPers McCain does answer to.

The Tea Party occupies a small tract of land at the very fringe of politics but still they believe that they can seize control of the GOP.  That’s like Maine thinking it can overthrow the federal government and set up the United State of Maine.  The Arizona GOP Party division of the Tea Party is gearing up for a fight with the GOP hierarchy as to who will control the party come 2016. The tea partiers will come armed with exaggerated feelings of supremacy and destiny, the GOP hierarchy will come armed with money boys ready to park north of $600 million, ruthless veteran strategists, Fox , and what they consider their own “mainstream” Republican candidates to primary and beat these upstart whippersnappers.  I think it’s possible that we may be able to sit back, watch, and enjoy the GOP Civil War, coming to an internet and TV near you.

But a word to the wise to the Tea Party: Never bite the hand that feeds you.  You’ll wind up with a mouthful of missing teeth.

The Political Square Dance

Politics is a square dance.  Change partners, dosey doe, round and round and round we go.

The Republican Party was founded in Wisconsin in 1854 as a political vehicle for keeping slavery out of the new territories and states and for abolishing slavery altogether.  The Southern Democrats demanded that the new territories be given the right to decide for themselves the question of whether or not slavery would be allowed within their borders.  The Northern Democrats opposed abolition because they were convinced that the issue would lead to the dissolution of the Union, as it did to the Whig Party. They were right, of course, but their opposition to the abolitionists helped propel the Union into the Civil War.  The Republican Party was actually comprised of disillusioned Whigs, Democrats, Free Soilers, Know Nothings, and other alternative political parties that arose primarily over the slavery issue.

It’s possible that disagreement over issues like Syria, illegal immigration, and the war on women may be contemporary “Slavery” battlefront that dissolves the Republican Party and has it go the way of the Whigs.  You’ve got the media-made Republican mouthpieces John McCain and Rand Paul going head-to-head over bombing Syria, with McCain in a way siding with Obama while at the same time asserting Obama isn’t willing to go the distance and blast Syria into oblivion leaving only those lovely, unguarded oilfields…

It’s very clear that the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party would back the return of slavery as a states’ rights issue in a hot second, just like the Southern Democrats of old. They would also approve of the Constitutional Article I Section 9 (allowing importation of slaves into the US), Section 2 (slaves counted as 3/5 of a person for representation and taxation purposes), and Article IV Section 2 (slaveowners and their agents could cross states lines to retrieve their escaped “property”, and anyone who tried to stop them or provide assistance to said escaped property were prohibited from doing so). They would skip the 13th Amendment (abolition of slavery) entirely as if it had never been written.

What has stayed the same? Today, it’s the Democrats who are leading the fight to legalize the illegal immigrants for representation and taxation purposes and it’s the Republicans who are trying to stop them.  Swing your partners round and round, dosey doe, where she stops nobody knows. Wait a second, that’s roulette. But we don’t know where this all will stop, do we?

Why Obama Will Win

Yes, I know.  Can’t predict Obama will win or I’ll jinx it. Still 36 days to go till Election Day and anything could happen.  That’s the current thinking among the liberal media.  I bow to Rachel Maddow, Norman Goldman, Lawrence O’Donnell, Thom Hartmann and others of their high caliber in respect of their professional experience and expertise in analyzing political situations and trends.  But sometimes, too much experience can get in the way.  It’s like having a problem with the audio speakers connected to a computer.  The husband, who knows all about computers, checks for missing drivings, file corruption, registry errors and decides the audio card has failed.  His wife comes over to the computer and asks if he checked if the audio cable from the speakers became unplugged from the computer.  He hadn’t thought of that. He checks and by golly, the cat must have pulled the cable out of the audio jack on the back of the computer.  Problem solved.

Sometimes it takes someone with the lesser experience to clearly see the simple answer.  That’s why I think I have an observation that all of the professional, paid political pundits missed.  Obama will win the election because the Republican Party has decided to hand it over to him.  Look at the evidence logically: they fielded the worst slate of candidates ever seen during the Presidential primaries.  Either the candidates were flavors of the month or they never stood a chance. Every one fatally flawed and some were outright buffoons. Romney outspent every one of them and he was never able to attract more than about 25% of Republican voters.  He simply outlasted everyone else. Then he picks a running mate who is poison to senior citizens and women.  The team is quickly sinking into the dustbin of presidential campaign history.

Why is no one asking why Jeb Bush, the heir apparent to his brother, didn’t enter the race? The door has been held open for him since 2009. What about Mitch Daniels, the other much bally-hooed future front runner.  Chris Christie? He would have been more at home in the clown circus of this past year and will I guarantee he will be no more than a footnote by 2016. But why no heavy hitters, no Republican stars running for President this year?

The answer is as simple as checking to see if the audio plug was pulled out of the back of a computer: the Tea Party.  The movement started out in 2009 as a protest against the banks and taxes but for the most part what it was protesting was about as formalized as the Occupy Wall Street movement when it first started out.  But the Republican Party fairly quickly saw that the Tea Party was driven by racism and fear and was composed of low-information people with easily malleable minds that could be controlled, and just as quickly subverted the Party to suit its own needs. The Republican Party set the agenda and funded candidates for state offices and for Congress after President Obama took office.  It even promoted the birther offshoot.  The Republican Party’s goals were realized when in January 2010, the Tea Party took over control of the House and de facto control of the Senate.  This is what gave John Boehner the confidence to declare the Republicans would create jobs and Mitch McConnell to declare that the Senate Republicans’ most important job was to hold President Obama to one term.  The mistake both men and the Republican Party made was in thinking the Tea Party once in Congress could remain under their control. They were wrong. Oh, boy, were they wrong.

I truly think that both McConnell and Boehner thought they could stymie Obama’s “liberal” agenda while forwarding their own. And why not? Hadn’t the Democrats, who had lost their spine after 1981 while voting Antonin, Scalia, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts and Samuel Alito onto the Supreme Court, also voted for TARP and to approve George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq? Hadn’t they always rolled over when it counted? The three things that scuttled both men’s grand plans were: 1. The no new taxes pledge.  2. The Tea Party had plans of its own.  3. Harry Reid grew a spine.

A despot learns early on that in order to retain absolute power that can be bequeathed to his/her heirs and to even become beloved among the people you have to give the people a little something. They may grumble about wanting more, but they will also fear losing what they have.  This is the way you keep them under control.  Every despot who after seizing power with the intent of taking everything away understood that in order to retain power he/she had to employ fear, violence, imprisonment, torture, and murder.  And every despot—or his/her heirs that employed these same tactics, eventually was deposed. This is consistent throughout history.   You gotta give the people something to keep them under control, whether it be steady job with decent wages and healthcare, homeownership, retirement, or welfare.

In January 2011, the Tea Party took over Congress and state governments with one agenda: to have it their way.  Power, wealth, absolute control over every aspect of society that wasn’t signing on their agenda. And the Republican Party sat back and let them give it a try just to see if it would work.  By the end of 2011 the Republican Party could see the experiment was a dismal failure, its approval ratings were in free fall, and people in and outside its base, were getting very, very restless.  John Boehner tried to bring the Tea Party back under his control, but those horses had left the barn way back in January.

The Tea Party became the Republican Frankenstein’s monster.  I don’t think Boehner and McConnell had planned to drive the U.S. to the brink of bankruptcy over the raising the debt ceiling, and I don’t think they had planned on the Super Congress which mandated would cut off the udders of the sacred cow/milltary budget, and the push to pass the anti-abortion bills might have caught them by surprise.  What probably angered them was the Tea Party monster’s refusal to introduce or consider any jobs bills at all. In the entire history of Congress, both parties had typically found ways to compromise and work together for the greater benefit of the country.  But the Tea Party refused to be budged off its ideology and it was plain for all to see that Boehner lost control of the House in 2011 and that Eric Cantor, who had re-made himself in the image of the Tea Party, was calling the shots.

As this rupture within the Republican Party widened, its approval ratings began to tumble. When the presidential primary season rolled around, it was clear Republican voters were searching for and running to the newest Messiah, only to find the person was no more than a snake oil salesperson.  They rejected every one of them until the only non-Messiah left was Mitt Romney.  The Republican Party has not so much embraced Romney as settled for him. Settling for has no deteriorated into writing off the Presidency and hoping to retain control of at least one chamber of Congress.

The Republican Party sees that the record lowest approval ratings for Congress in history coincide with the Tea Party takeover and the move so far to the right the base and independent voters are being made to feel like they’re liberals, a feeling uncomfortable and alien to them.  It knows that if it ever hopes to regain control in D.C. and elect Jeb Bush president, it needs to kill (figuratively speaking) the Tea Party and its sycophants like Sarah Palin.  So, it is allowing Obama to be re-elected and Obamacare to remain to be a thorn in the side of its base. The base will be riled up over how the Tea Party did nothing but gridlock Congress AND enable Obama to be re-elected that it will return to electing mainstream Republicans to Congress.

Yes, the Republican Party wants to the Tea Party to die so it can be the Republican Party again and start winning presidential elections.  It’s like a phoenix which must die by fire in order to be reborn from the ashes.  There is no other logical explanation why it has fielded two absolute incompetents to run against Obama.  Romney’s falling approval ratings are bad enough but his most unforgiveable sin is that he is bringing down the ratings for Fox News, and that cannot be countenanced.  The best evidence of the Republican Party abandoning Romney is Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS group moving money out of the Romney campaign and into selected Congressional races, like those for Todd Akin and Scott Brown.  Of course Rove has aligned himself with the Tea Party and perhaps there are powers greater than him who want him gone with the Tea Party as well.

Remember that unlike the Democrats, the Republicans think long term.  They were planning their takeover of American politics back in the 70’s and they achieved that goal. Even Bill Clinton was more Republican than Democrat. So they are perfectly happy to write off eight years of Obama, who is similar to Bill Clinton in quite a few ways.  Their new four-year plan starts next year in preparation for the midterm elections in 2014. The Republican Party always believes, despite the panic it instills in its base, that it has all the time in the world. Except of course, if the Mayans were right about the world ending 12/21/2012. But I think Karl Rove bought the rights to the Mayan calendar and reset the date to 2016 if a Democrat wins the White House again.

Me Vs.You People

The 60’s left people worn out.  They’d given everything they had at the office and their activists pockets were bare.  After having been beaten and tear gassed and even shot to death by the authorities for  exercising their right to protest, people were dazed and confused as to what it had all been about.

The 70’s marked a time of spiritual awakening and the search for inner peace.  After spending a decade trying to help others, they stopped to ask, who will help Me?  But before that question could be answered they realized that they really didn’t know who “Me” was.  This gave birth to the Me Generation who decided to find out who Me was by setting out on different exploratory missions. The first mission was religious and that’s when they discovered Jesus.

Jesus became a huge commercial success and his songs were played all over the radio and his rock opera became a classic of his time.  But Jesus demanded that you reach out to him and for people with short arms that just didn’t work so they looked inward and then someone who had re-named himself Werner Erhard stole a Buddhist concept from Alan Watts and re-packaged and marketed it as an expensive  weekend seminar  called est.  Thus, another mission was launched.

But it was still costing people money to attain personal awareness and for many people it was a one-way transaction; they were paying big bucks for the opportunity to be deprived of bathroom, eating, drinking, and sleeping rights and many of them would think during the weekend “Ok, Erhard is making a good living off of my discomfort but what’s in it for me?”  The light bulb appearing over their heads changed the world.

What’s in it for me? That single question then was re-framed as “What makes me happy?” And the answer was…money. Lots and lots of money.  Enter the 1980’s.

People who had pursued Jesus and then personal awareness were now pursuing law degrees and MBAs.  They started working at high-paying jobs and quickly found out that it wasn’t heroin or morphine nicotine or coke or alcohol that was the most addicting substance in the world: it was money. Lots and lots of money. Too much money was still not enough.  If they felt guilt over how rich they were becoming, it was all absolved by an old man with prematurely-orange hair they had installed in the White House who kept pointing to the morning sun and telling them don’t worry about how much money you’re making—we’ll make more and besides, we’re all in this together.

But there was only so much money the federal government could make and people demanded more and more. So they looked around for other sources and saw that middle class people had more money than they knew what to do with, and they saw poor people who shouldn’t have any use for money in the first place.  So, setting out on a new mission under the a flag upon which the words “Greed is good. Greed works” was written they set out to find their Me in other people’s money, turning it all into THEIR money.

It has been 30 years since the inception of that last mission, which is active still today.  And what’s more, those people have raised children to take on the mission with them.  The Me Generation has evolved into the Me-My Generation because the two words are never far apart from each other.  How dare Obama and the Democrats raise MY taxes when it doesn’t benefit ME?”  “Why can’t I run MY business any way I want to that’s best for ME?”  But some in the lower echelon in the Me-My Generation decided they needed an official name and began to call themselves “The Tea Party”, which quickly was subverted by the higher echelon who then decided they needed to take stricter control of the money drug, doling out just enough to the lower echelon to keep them both addicted and willing to support their pusher in all things just to keep the money drug supply flowing.

Then the term “those people” was added to the mix: “Why should I have to share MY wealth with THOSE PEOPLE? What’s in it for ME?”  Those people weren’t too please with being referred to as “those people” and chose their own name for themselves: “The Other 99%”.

And that’s where we are today, except “those people” has further evolved into “you people”: “We’ve given all YOU PEOPLE need to know.” There is a war out there, and it isn’t THEY vs. WE as writer Greg Palast contends, it’s ME vs. YOU PEOPLE.  The Mes see themselves besieged inside their walled estates by the masses of the 99% who want a piece of what they stole fair and square. But the Mes are quick to point out that it was all done legally—just take a look at the laws; laws that were bought and paid for by the Mes courtesy of their paid employees in Congress and the White House and the U.S. Supreme Court.  But a lot of what was taken was illegally gotten, otherwise, why the need for hidden offshore bank accounts in expensive and exotic vacation resort locations?

The MEs are already experience the cold sweats, body cramping and tremors of going through withdrawal just from the thought of losing some of their money drug supply.  The YOU PEOPLE just want their fair share of the money drug and why not? A sufficient dose is not addicting and does make the body feel good.  It’s only from decades, even centuries of overdosing that the uncontrollable need for too much sets in.

The election this year comes down to who wins a major battle in the war between ME vs. YOU PEOPLE.  If the Mes win, the YOU PEOPLE will only be allotted enough of the money drug to keep them numb enough to perform slave labor.  If the YOU PEOPLE win, more of the drug money becomes available since they get a piece of the action. The war will rage on regardless because the Mes can’t stand the pain losing it would bring, while the YOU PEOPLE will fight until their pain stops for good.