Modern Age Revolution

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Republicans Cannot Accept That A Black President Was Just Re-Elected

These gentlemen have just been informed that the votes of people living in cities are indeed legitimate.

Republicans have been having substantial trouble processing the thumping they received at the hands of Barack Obama in the 2012 election. It started on Election Night, with Karl Rove literally refusing to accept that the state of Ohio had voted to re-elect President Obama:

And it’s been downhill ever since.

Public Policy Polling recently found that 49% of Republican voters believe “that the president did not legitimately win reelection because ACORN interfered with the vote. A full 50 percent of Republicans said Democrats engaged in some sort of voter fraud.” Of course, this is absolutely insane because ACORN was forced to shut down in 2010 after being falsely accused of stealing the 2008 election.

To reiterate: Republicans have become so unhinged from reality that almost half of the party’s voters believe an organization that has ceased to exist for years was involved in a diabolical conspiracy to rig the 2012 election.

But the madness doesn’t stop there. Top Republican donors are now publicly saying that votes from cities and urban areas should be flat out discounted:

In terms of sheer numbers, Obama won by five million votes. But [GOP megadonor Foster] Friess dismissed that margin, arguing that a 350,000 vote flip across four states (which he couldn’t name) would have given Romney the election.

“To me, 350,000 votes is not a huge mandate, even though the total numbers, which take into account a lot of those center cities, went for Obama.”

When I asked him if he was saying that votes from “center cities” should be discounted, his answer, in full, was: “Yes.”

I asked him why. His response:

“Because of the movement across the country in the state legislatures. Right now the Republicans have their tails between their legs. What I’m trying to say—there’s no reason for them to have their tails between their legs because the American people on balance, I believe, want free markets. They do not want to have a system where there’s more people riding the wagon than pulling the wagon. I believe the majority of the American people want to be wagon-pullers.”

As Robert Schlesinger of U.S News and World Report notes, “To hear it put so bluntly and unequivocally is still fairly breathtaking: The national popular vote doesn’t count because it takes into account city voters.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Republicans are moving now to reshape the Electoral College to reflect their belief that the votes of people living in cities are worth less than those of their rural counterparts. It is, in essence, a natural evolution of the Southern Strategy.

In American politics, the Southern strategy refers to the Republican Party strategy of gaining political support or winning elections in the Southern section of the country by appealing to racism against African Americans.

The states where this is occurring are states that went for President Obama in both 2008 and 2012: Virginia, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Washington. And no, Republicans are not being subtle about their intentions. In Virginia, State Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Grayson County) shared the following lament:

“If it’s going to continue winner-take-all — it doesn’t matter which side is running — it’s going to all come down to how many people vote in the metropolitan areas and it doesn’t matter what the rural voters do,” Carrico said.

Sadly for Carrico, his Senate colleagues torpedoed the bill.

In Washington, Rep. Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley) similarly mourned the rise of people in cities voting their preferences:

“A lot of voters in Eastern Washington feel disenfranchised. They feel their votes don’t count,” Shea said.

Washington has a law on the books to cast its electoral votes for the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of the state’s totals, if enough other states agree to do the same. That’s a bad plan, Shea said, because states have different voting laws and presidential ballots. It’s unworkable, and probably unconstitutional, he added, and HB 1091 would cancel that law.

Committee Chairman Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, asked Shea who would have been president right now if all the states had such a system in 2012.

“I don’t know,” Shea replied. “I’d have to do the math.”

“It would not be Barack Obama,” Hunt said.

Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford is one of the few Republicans to express major skepticism about the legitimacy of the idea:

“To me, that’s like saying in a football game, ‘We should have only three quarters, because we were winning after three quarters and the[y] beat us in the fourth,” Weatherford, a Republican, told the Herald/Times. “I don’t think we need to change the rules of the game, I think we need to get better.”

Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker continues to send out mixed signals about his intentions for the state:

He called it “interesting” and “plausible” in an interview with the Journal Sentinel last month, but said he neither supported nor opposed it.

Talking to “Newsmax” on Saturday, Walker said we “have to be very careful in making changes like that,” but called the idea “worth looking at.”

But in a separate interview with the Journal Sentinel, Walker acknowledged major concerns.

“You concede it would have dramatic impact on the targeting of the state?” Walker was asked.

“Right. Exactly right. . . . That’s why I qualified (my earlier statements). . . . I just said I hadn’t ruled it out. I’m not embracing it,” Walker said.

“The most important thing to me long term as governor on that is what makes your voters be in play,” said Walker, voicing the concern that ending winner-take-all would make the state “irrelevant” in presidential campaigns.

“You would agree it would have that effect?” he was asked.

“Yeah. I think that’s a real concern,” he said.

But no one can compare with State Rep. Pete Lund (R-Shelby Township) of Michigan, who not only sobbed about being marginalized by people in cities, but also revealed just how unscrupulous he and his Republican cohorts are:

Rep. Pete Lund, R-Shelby Township, confirmed this week he plans to reintroduce legislation that would award all but two of Michigan’s 16 Electoral College votes according to congressional district results. The remaining two would go to the candidate winning the statewide majority.

“I believe it’s more representative of the people — closer to the actual vote,” said Lund, who proposed a similar bill in 2012. “It got no traction last year. There were people convinced Romney was going to win and this might take (electoral) votes from him.”

After looking for every other option in the world, Republicans finally shoved Mitt Romney down the throats of the American public and saw his (and their party’s) reputation annihilated on a scale few people ever anticipated. Their response? Doubling down on Jim Crow policies and declaring that votes from urban areas are not “representative of the people.”

And so, The Long War continues.

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I Dare You Clowns To Nominate Newt Gingrich.

“I am a joke.”

The one word that can be used to describe completely unserious human being, Newt Gingrich, is “disgrace”. As in “disgraced former House Speaker, Newt Gingrich.” As in, the kind of disgrace that has an affair while his first wife is suffering from cancer and asks the woman that will become his second wife to marry him before he is officially divorced from first wife. As in, the kind of disgrace that does the same thing eighteen years later to his second wife, when he has an affair with a young congressional aide who would go on to become his third wife.

Newt Gingrich’s second wife, Marianne Gingrich, said the following about him in an August 2010 profile in Esquire:

But there was something strange and needy about him. “He was impressed easily by position, status, money,” she says. “He grew up poor and always wanted to be somebody, to make a difference, to prove himself, you know. He has to be historic to justify his life.”

She says she should have seen the red flags. “He asked me to marry him way too early. And he wasn’t divorced yet. I should have known there was a problem.”

Within weeks or months?

“Within weeks.”

That’s flattering.

She looks skeptical. “It’s not so much a compliment to me. It tells you a little bit about him.”

And he did the same thing to her eighteen years later, with Callista Bisek, the young congressional aide who became his third wife. “I know. I asked him. He’d already asked her to marry him before he asked me for a divorce. Before he even asked.”

He told you that?

“Yeah, he wanted to — ”

But she stops. “Hey, turn off the tape recorder for a second. This is going to go places …”

Newt Gingrich is the kind of disgrace who could grow up poor and proceed to say the following about people who grow up poor:

“They have no habit of staying all day, they have no habit of I do this and you give me cash unless it is illegal.”

The kind of disgrace that mocks child labor laws by saying:

“I believe the kids could mop the floor and clean up the bathroom and get paid for it, and it would be OK.”

The kind of disgrace that portrays himself as a serious intellectual, and yet, would have you believe that he doesn’t know exactly what he is doing when he engages in blatantly racist rhetoric like the following:

Gingrich sought to lay blame for the recession, as well as the economic and social upheaval in Detroit, on Obama and his policies. “President Obama is the most successful food stamp president in American history,” Gingrich said. “I would like to be the most successful paycheck president in American history.”

The kind of disgrace that would have the audacity to say the following about the first biracial President of the United States of America:

“What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?” Gingrich asked, according to the report. “That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.”

“This is a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president,” Gingrich said.

“I think Obama gets up every morning with a worldview that is fundamentally wrong about reality,” he added. “If you look at the continuous denial of reality, there has got to be a point where someone stands up and says that this is just factually insane.”

Somehow, this disgrace is the current frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination. This is who the base of the modern Republican Party wants to serve as their representative to the rest of the world.

I dare you clowns to nominate Newt Gingrich for President of the United States.

I dare you.

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Are You Unemployed? Surprise! Republicans Hate You.

“You want a job? Ha! No.”

It is a known fact that the Republican Party has no interest in working to fix the catastrophically high unemployment rate in this country. After lying through their teeth during the 2010 midterms about all the jobs they planned to create, the Republican majority in the House of Representatives went to work doing everything but passing legislation designed to create jobs.

Their first piece of legislation, H.R. 1, was an appropriations bill to continue funding the government that slashed discretionary funding for a seemingly endless array of vital programs. H.R. 1 sought to “kill a program that helps low-income families weatherize their homes and permanently reduce their home energy bills, cut federal funds for employment and training services for jobless workers and for clean water and safe drinking water by more than half, and raise the risk that the WIC nutrition program may not be able to serve all eligible low-income women, infants, and children under age 5.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had its funding slashed by more than $1.3 billion.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was placed in the crosshairs for a 10% budget cut, cutting about $241 million from the agency’s budget.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) experienced a 30% cut in its budget.

“But these cuts were necessary for job growth,” Republicans told you.

But Mark Zandi, Moody’s Analytics chief economist, told you that H.R. 1 could cost “about 700,000 jobs through 2012.”

Zandi’s analysis, first reported by the Washington Post, predicts that the GOP budget plan would reduce economic growth by .5 percent this year and by .2 percent in 2012.

“Significant government spending restraint is vital, but given the still halting economic recovery, it would be counterproductive for that restraint to begin until the economy is creating enough jobs to bring down the still very high unemployment rate,” Zandi writes in his report.

And in response to the notion that the Republican plan would actually result in job cuts across the United States, the utterly abysmal Speaker of the House, John Boehner, told the country, “So be it.”

The Ohio Republican was asked at his weekly news conference about the prospect of federal job cuts if a House GOP plan to trim $100 billion in government spending passes.

“Over the last two years since President Obama has taken office, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs,” Boehner said. “And if some of those jobs are lost in this, so be it. We’re broke. It’s time for us to get serious about how we’re spending the nation’s money.”

The reporter who asked the question noted, however, that the government might have to pay federal unemployment assistance to laid-off workers, potentially adding more costs.

Now, this is just the first piece of legislation the Republican controlled House of Representatives passed, a spectacular devastation of the already desolate employment picture in this country. They decided to follow this up with a one-two punch of the wholly symbolic, utterly worthless, and highly counterproductive H.R. 2, “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act”. That’s right, the second thing Republicans did once they gained control of the House was attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Would you be surprised to believe that the “job killing health care law” was actually responsible for creating more than 200,000 private sector jobs (more than 1/5) of the 1.1 million private sector jobs created between the ACA being signed by President Obama in March 2010 and January 2011?

(ed. note: No, you are not surprised.)

But those are only the first two pieces of legislation the Republican controlled House passed. Now, I bet you are thinking to yourself, “What could these clowns possibly do to complete the hat trick of not giving a fuck about the unemployed?” How about rolling out H.R. 3, also known by the repugnant name “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act”? As you can easily imagine, this law was not designed to create jobs. It was designed, however, to redefine what “rape” means in the United States of America:

For years, federal laws restricting the use of government funds to pay for abortions have included exemptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. (Another exemption covers pregnancies that could endanger the life of the woman.) But the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” a bill with 173 mostly Republican co-sponsors that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has dubbed a top priority in the new Congress, contains a provision that would rewrite the rules to limit drastically the definition of rape and incest in these cases.

With this legislation, which was introduced last week by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Republicans propose that the rape exemption be limited to “forcible rape.” This would rule out federal assistance for abortions in many rape cases, including instances of statutory rape, many of which are non-forcible. For example: If a 13-year-old girl is impregnated by a 24-year-old adult, she would no longer qualify to have Medicaid pay for an abortion. (Smith’s spokesman did not respond to a call and an email requesting comment.)

Yes, that’s right. Republicans in the House went from misguidedly trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, to attempting to create a new kind of rape known as “forcible rape.”

But, okay, fine. This doesn’t prove that Republicans hate the unemployed. It just proves that they have not even the slightest interest in doing anything to improve the catastrophically high unemployment rate. I guess, then, we should turn to the actual things Republicans have said and done regarding the unemployed to make the case.

Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV) claimed that extending unemployment benefits was creating “hobos.”

Heller said the current economic downturn and policies may bring back the hobos of the Great Depression, people who wandered the country taking odd jobs. He said a study found that people who are out of work longer than two years have only a 50 percent chance of getting back into the workforce. “I believe there should be a federal safety net,” Heller said, but he questioned the wisdom of extending unemployment benefits yet again to a total of 24 months, which Congress is doing. “Is the government now creating hobos?” he asked.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced legislation that would have required people applying for unemployment to pass a drug test in exchange for benefits.

Hatch introduced an amendment to the tax extenders bill that would require those who are applying for some of the benefits in that bill, including unemployment and welfare benefits, to pass a drug test in exchange for the benefits.

“Drugs are a scourge on our society — hurting children, families and communities alike,” Hatch said in a statement. “This amendment is a way to help people get off of drugs to become productive and healthy members of society, while ensuring that valuable taxpayer dollars aren’t wasted.”

Under the Hatch amendment, individuals who fail to qualify for benefits because they failed a drug test wouldn’t necessarily be jailed, but would be enrolled in a state or federal drug treatment program.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) basically told the unemployed to stop complaining about not having a job and…go back to work. At the job they don’t have anymore.

Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul has a blunt message for the millions of Americans who remain unemployed in the long-term: “Accept a wage that’s less than [you] had at [your] previous job” and “get back to work.”

According to Paul, the issue is “bigger than unemployment benefits” and the Tea Party-backed Senate hopeful made his position on the matter clear in an interview with talk radio host Sue Wylie on WVLK-AM last week.

“As bad as it sounds, ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that’s less than we had at our previous job in order to get back to work and allow the economy to get started again,” Paul explained. “Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen.”

Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) decided it would be a top-notch idea to compare the unemployed to alcoholics and drug addicts.

FARENTHOLD: Drug testing for recipients of various welfare programs, I really think that’s something that needs to be considered. We’ve gotta, you know, nobody wants to starve anybody. Everybody wants to help folks out. But we’ve got a system where you can stay on unemployment for an awfully long time. And I think we need to create a system of decreasing benefits over time to encourage you to get a job. I think anybody who’s had an alcoholic in their life or somebody with a drug problem, realizes that until things get bad enough there’s no incentive to change. I think that we’re so generous in some of our social problems that people are unwilling to get a job outside in the heat. Rather than get 15 dollars to go get roofing they’d rather get 9 or 10 dollars in benefits. I think drug testing is not an unreasonable requirement to get benefits.

The current Republican governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett, had the genius stroke that unemployed individuals in Pennsylvania are consciously choosing not to work:

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett on Friday accused some jobless Pennsylvanians of choosing to collect unemployment checks rather than going back to work, prompting swift criticism from his Democratic opponent and one of the state’s top labor leaders.

“The jobs are there. But if we keep extending unemployment, people are just going to sit there,” Corbett told Harrisburg radio station WITF at a campaign stop in Elizabethtown. “I’ve literally had construction companies tell me, ‘I can’t get people to come back to work until . . . they say, “I’ll come back to work when unemployment runs out.” ‘ “

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) once said, “[C]ontinuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work.”

I could go all day like this, citing example after example of Republicans explicitly sharing their disdain for the unemployed. Or I could just once again point out that in all the time Republicans have controlled the House of Representatives since asking “Where are the jobs?” during the 2010 midterms, they have passed NOT A SINGLE FUCKING PIECE OF JOBS LEGISLATION.

But they will, however, keep coming after the reproductive rights of women in this country. Because they hate the unemployed almost as much as they hate women.

The House is scheduled to vote this week on a new bill that would allow federally-funded hospitals that oppose abortions to refuse to perform the procedure, even in cases where a woman would die without it.

Under current law, every hospital that receives Medicare or Medicaid money is legally required to provide emergency care to any patient in need, regardless of his or her financial situation. If a hospital is unable to provide what the patient needs — including a life-saving abortion — it has to transfer the patient to a hospital that can.

Under H.R. 358, dubbed the “Protect Life Act” and sponsored by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), hospitals that don’t want to provide abortions could refuse to do so, even for a pregnant woman with a life-threatening complication that requires a doctor terminate her pregnancy. This provision would apply to the more than 600 Catholic hospitals governed by the Catholic Health Association, which are regulated by bishops and prohibited from performing abortions.

Almost.

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How Is It That No Republican Knows What Socialism Actually Means?

“This tastes like socialism. I blame Obama.”

If there is one thing we have learned since the inauguration of President Barack Obama, it is the fact that while Republicans have no fucking clue what socialism looks like in the real world, they have absolutely no qualms about slinging the term around to describe anything they dislike.

In the real world, socialism is simply defined as “an economic system in which the means of production are either state owned or commonly owned and controlled cooperatively.” For Republicans, such as Michele Bachmann, socialism can be defined as a) the Affordable Care Act, or as Bachmann has referred to it, “the crown jewel of socialism”; and b) anything and everything else of which President Obama even slightly approves.

In September 2009, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael “I’m The Cow On The Tracks” Steele blasted out a fundraising e-mail in response to President Obama’s speech to Congress regarding health care reform. In response to President Obama making comments such as “our health care system is placing an unsustainable burden on taxpayers” and “in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they get sick,” Michael Steel wrote the following:

“Send a virtual post card[sic] to Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid and let them know you won’t tolerate their socialist power grab.”

Shortly after Steele’s e-mail went out, John Boehner, who is currently serving as one of the worst Speakers of the House the United States of America has ever seen, was asked point blank on Meet The Press whether he thought President Obama was a socialist. This was the exchange:

DAVID GREGORY: Do you really think the President is a socialist?
JOHN BOEHNER: Listen, when you begin to look at how much they want to grow government, you can call it whatever you want, but the fact is —
GREGORY: What do you call it though?
BOEHNER: This is unsustainable. We’re broke.
GREGORY: That’s fine. Do you think the President is a socialist?
BOEHNER: No!
GREGORY: Okay. Because the head of the Republican Party is calling him that.
BOEHNER: Listen, I didn’t call him that, and I’m not going to call him that.

Here’s how you know John Boehner thinks you are a fucking moron without a clue about what is going on in this country. In February 2009 (seven months earlier), John Boehner referred to the Obama administration’s budget proposal and economic stimulus plan as “one big down payment on a new American socialist experiment.” I am pretty sure this is known in most circles as “fear mongering.”

In March 2010, a Harris poll found that 67% of Republicans believed President Obama was a socialist. Just to put that in context for you, that is more Republicans than the amount who believed President Obama wanted to take away Americans’ right to own guns (61%), is a Muslim (57%), was not born in the United States and is therefore ineligible for the presidency (45%), and is a racist (42%).

(More Republicans think President Obama is a socialist than he is a racist! I cannot be the only one who finds that stunning.)

In the midst of the intellectual black hole known as the 2012 Republican presidential primary, the candidates have been jockeying furiously to one-up each other in expressing delusional claims about President Obama’s socialist nature. Mitt Romney, he who possesses negative moral fortitude, said the following about President Obama:

“What President Obama is, is a big-spending liberal,” he continued. “He takes his political inspiration from Europe and from the socialist democrats in Europe. Guess what? Europe isn’t working in Europe. It’s not going to work here.”

Completely unserious human being, Newt Gingrich, babbled at length about Obama’s “socialist policies.” Rick Perry, asshole extraordinaire, was quoted by one of the debate moderators as once saying that the Obama administration is “hell-bent toward taking America toward a socialist country.”

Perhaps one of the most egregious examples of Republican ignorance occurred this year following President Obama’s State of the Union address. Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) –an outright moron who has said everything from “cap-and-trade would kill people; the Affordable Care Act will dictate what kind of car Americans can drive; the health care reform effort reminds him of “Northern Aggression”; and that he considers President Obama to be a Hitler-like figure intent on establishing a Gestapo-like security force to impose a Marxist dictatorship on Americans”– tweeted the following response to President Obama’s State of the Union address:

“Mr. President, you don’t believe in the Constitution. You believe in socialism.”

This is also the same man who, when the Center for Disease Control launched a public-service campaign on the benefits of a healthy diet in the midst of the 2010 midterms, responded by saying, “This is what the federal, CDC, they gonna be calling you to make sure you eat fruits and vegetables, every day. This is socialism of the highest order!”

However, this is not some new thing for Republicans. Please do not make the mistake of giving these clowns the benefit of the doubt. Ronald “Ronaldus Magnus” Reagan once said that Medicare and Medicaid were part of an advancing socialism that would “invade every area of freedom in this country.”

That was in 1961.

1961.

So you should consider it wholly unsurprising that during an interview with Time magazine, Rick “Governor Goodhair” Perry expressed the following thoughts on socialism:

TIME: Now that you’ve been in the race for while, do you feel pressure to temper some of your rhetoric, like calling the Obama administration socialist?

PERRY: No, I still believe they are socialist. Their policies prove that almost daily. Look, when all the answers emanate from Washington D.C., one size fits all, whether it’s education policy or whether it’s healthcare policy, that is, on its face, socialism.

The ignorance, it is dwarfing.

Let’s turn to Steve Benen over at The Washington Monthly to break this all down:

“Socialism” is not a synonym for “stuff Republicans don’t like.”

Aside from Obama’s advances on gay rights and reproductive rights, there’s just not much in this White House’s agenda that moderate Republicans wouldn’t have found tolerable a decade or two ago. The Affordable Care Act largely relies on private insurers, rather than socialized medicine. Cap and trade was a Republican idea. Keynesian stimulus has been the basis for U.S. economic policy for both parties for eight decades. Investments in infrastructure and education have traditionally been bipartisan priorities.

So what on earth is Rick Perry talking about? By his reasoning, nearly every liberal democracy on the planet — in East Asia, in Europe, in North America, etc. — are fallen dominoes, overtaken by socialists. Presidential candidates, especially those likely to win, shouldn’t be quite this unintelligent.

So, just remember, every time you hear a Republican use the word “socialism” to describe something, you can be extremely confident they have no idea what the fuck they are talking about.

Especially Rick Perry.

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