Tag Archives: 2010 Elections

The Tattlesnake – Debunking Five Current Media Myths Edition

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
— George Bernard Shaw

1. The Republicans are going to end earmarks. Ha, ha! Both parties, but especially the GOP, thrive on earmarks – not only does it bring home the bacon, but it’s a nice covert way to reward their corporate sponsors. The typically devious Republicans, with the help of some Blue Dog Dems in the Senate, are just going to change the name to something like ‘help American families add-ons’ or ‘freedom appropriation inserts’ and continue to happily earmark away.

2. The Republican Party is now strong. Another laugher. The GOP had to rebrand as the ‘new Tea Party GOP’ in 2010 and none of their candidates dared campaign with Junior Bush. In TV ads, many GOP candidates did not even mention they were Republicans. Rand Paul, the only true Teabagger in the Senate, is now making noises like a “go along to get along” guy, and various naïve Teabaggers in the House, like the anti-government-paid health care dimwit who demanded his government-paid health care ahead of schedule, have begun showing their strong streak of stupid, even before January’s official swearing in. Most of us have noticed it’s not the mid-90s anymore, with the booming economy of the Clinton years, except for Republicans like Rep. Darrell Issa. Tying the House up in endless attempts to impeach Obama is not going to endear the GOP to a crumbling nation dealing with what is really the second Great Depression. And some of the Teabaggers may be gravely offended to discover that the GOP has been lying to them. It’s going to be a fractious two years in Congress that won’t come out well for the GOP in 2012.

3. The Republicans have a plan to restore jobs. Related to the item above, and every bit as hilarious, the GOP has nothing except ‘tax cuts’ (spin and repeat, ad nauseum), and that isn’t going to create any jobs except at corporate PR firms trying to peddle the fraud that tax cuts are working to create jobs, and that’s not nearly enough to refloat the fast-sinking economy. As the fading middle-class notices its nails are ripping off trying to hang on to what they have left, brand ‘Tea Party Republican’ will become a political curse as loaded with negative connotations as ‘Communist’ or ‘Cheney’ is today.

4. The Republicans can balance the budget. The GOP hasn’t been able to balance the federal budget since Reagan took office, and without Clinton-inspired tax hikes and a few turns by Big Bill, there wouldn’t have been a surplus in 2000. Since the GOP doesn’t want to end two over-priced wars from which their corporate supporters are getting wealthier, truly reform our wastefully expensive health care system, remove corporate tax loopholes, separate commercial and investment banks, and cut the defense budget drastically, that leaves social spending like Social Security and Medicare on the block. The unvarnished truth: Even if the GOP junked all federal social programs, which they won’t be able to do, they still wouldn’t be able to balance the budget. In fact, with their tax cuts for the wealthy of prime importance, along with preserving corporate tax loopholes, they’ll be adding another trillion dollars to the debt. They’ll remain the ‘put it on the credit card and blame the Democrats’ party they’ve been for 30 years.

5. The Democrats lost because they went too far left. Au contraire, mon frere, as George Carlin used to say. Think of it: In spite of the corporate millions that poured into the Senate race in Nevada, the GOP couldn’t score what should have been an easy victory. In California, progressive and GOP target Barbara Boxer prevailed, and the Tea Party proved its basic worthlessness in the “I’m not a witch” fiasco that was Christine O’Donnell in Delaware. Only in those areas of the country dominated by Fox News and AM radio right-wing talkers, and not much counter-balancing local media, where the Teabaggers could work without serious scrutiny, did they score wins, mostly against Blue Dog Dems. The reason a lot of Dems stayed home in 2010 is that they were tired of voting for progressive Democrats and getting Republican Lite. Obama and the Dems should listen to the wisdom of Harry Truman, a Democrat who prevailed during a bad time for Dems in the late 1940s, “Given the choice between a Republican and a Democrat who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican every time.”

Obama and the Dems might also heed this advice from Give ‘Em Hell Harry: “Carry the battle to them. Don’t let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don’t ever apologize for anything.”

But let’s not expect too much.

© 2010 RS Janes. LTSaloon.org.

Today’s Quote: How the GOP Really Won the House in 2010

Big money talked and the local media walked.

“Unchecked by even rudimentary campaign finance regulation, unchallenged by a journalism sufficient to identify and expose abuses of the electoral process and abetted by commercial broadcasters that this year pocketed $3 billion in political ad revenues, the money-and-media election complex was a nearly unbeatable force in 2010.
“Of fifty-three competitive House districts where Rove and his compatriots backed Republicans with ‘independent’ expenditures that exceeded those made on behalf of Democrats-often by more than $1 million per district, according to Public Citizen-the Republicans won fifty-one. Roughly three-quarters of all GOP House gains came in districts where independent expenditures by groups like the Chamber of Commerce and Rove’s American Crossroads gave Republican candidates, some of them virtual unknowns until the outside money flowed in, the advantage. The money is powerful, of course, but that power is supercharged because of the decay, and in many cases disappearance, of independent and skeptical journalism at the state and regional levels, where elections are decided. Campaign narratives used to be created by reporters who, imperfectly but seriously, pulled together the multiple threads of an election season to give voters perspective. Now that narrative is driven by commercials-millions of them, most negative. The narrative for the most part still comes from broadcast and cable TV stations, as it has for some time, but it is now produced and paid for by economic elites that seek to define not just the results of an election but the scope and character of government itself. To neglect the money-and-media election complex or, worse yet, to imagine that progressive forces can compete within it will make the 2012 election season look like 2010 on steroids. Determined and dramatic responses are the only options if we hope to maintain anything more than the remnants of a functioning democracy.”
John Nichols & Robert McChesney, “The Money & Media Election Complex,” The Nation, Nov. 12, 2010.

The News Pauper: So You Say You Won…Fair and Square

By W.B. Dunne

This one goes out to the youngsters out there who have only begun to experience the political process in America. The ones who voted Obama into office and are now seeing the correction for the first time in these midterms:

The Democrats won in a landslide in 2010 for the first time ever in a midterm election, and the fact that there is a “Speaker Boehner” on November third is due to a Supreme Court decision, the Koch Brothers, Fox News, the US Chamber of Commerce, and Karl Rove.

The NP reminds the young voter that the great court supported the corrupted GOP with its Citizens United decision, allowing for unlimited and undisclosed money from corporations and foreign interests in the campaign. The unintended consequence was that it helped the Tea Party candidates too, and that fact threatens to split the right wing in the House of Representatives. A silver lining for Progressives if ever there was one!

Hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign interference has bought the corporate masters precious little. Speaker Boehner will get what he always wanted and was promised long ago, the mantle of Head of the GOP Majority, but it will not be what he thought it would be. He is presiding over a shattered party in disarray, and it couldn’t happen to a more corrupt deserving devil!

The right outspent the left eight to one to garner a measly majority in the House, and despite all the crowing, all that has been accomplished is the creation of a need to follow through with these untenable policies the right pretends to espouse. They say that America has given the Republicans another chance; the reality is that their corporate daddy BOUGHT them another chance.

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The Tattlesnake – Sifting Through the Post-Election Ashes Edition

First off, in my previous ‘Toast and Coast’ pieces, I accurately predicted that Republican Teabaggers Linda McMahon, Carl Paladino, and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Palins, Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell, were all toast, along with the Billionaire Girls Club of Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina. G.I. Joe Miller in Alaska and Ken Buck in Colorado are still undecided at this hour. That leaves two where the Tattler’s crystal ball was cloudy – Rand “There’s Something About an Aqua Buddha Man” Paul in Kentucky and Mark “Captain Blight” Kirk in Illinois – but 6 out of 8 ain’t bad. Ron Paul’s offshoot was the biggest surprise, but probably should not have been in a Red State that elected a turtle wax replicant like the sour-lipped Mitch McConnell to the Senate.

As I watched the televised bulletins from the Planet Xenon otherwise known as the Mainstream Media carve up and autopsy What This Election Means today, of course the MSM managed to bungle and bypass any realistic diagnosis as they became trapped in the humbug of their own quackery and delusion. A blur of the Pundit Class’ finest recruits for Perdition hilariously kept sawing on some iteration of this soggy paper-maché log: “This election will show Obama he has to cooperate with the Republicans to get things done!” Really? What has he been doing so far?

The official DeeCee Democratic Party, naturally, will take the wrong lesson from this drubbing – “We need to be more conservative!” rather than, “We have to stand for our progressive principles and stop backing down!” So, have no worries, Teabaggers, the GOP, even though a majority only in the House, will get everything it wants out of the Senate, from budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy and further corporate deregulation to, perhaps, some curtailing of unemployment benefits and elimination of the minimum wage, hastening our final plunge off the economic cliff.

And you won’t hear John Boehner solemnly announcing, “Impeachment is off the table!” To the contrary, the Republicans will be conducting proctological investigations of every person who ever spoke to Obama in an effort to find some scrap of sleaze with which to remove him from office, aided and abetted by Fox News and the other media gangsters on the right. (Orly Taitz, get ready for your Congressional appearance!) While the GOP likely won’t be successful at actually impeaching Obama, they will so muddy his name and reputation that they’ll get their wish – he’ll be a one-term footnote in history, ‘first African-American president,’ with no other accomplishments listed.

In the Tattler’s occasional Unscientific Barroom Polls, I ask tipplers of various ages and colors to state, in a few short words, what they think conservative Republicans believe in: “Tax cuts,” “Small government,” and “Strong defense,” were the most frequent answers. I then ask the same question regarding the Democrats. Most people stared at me agape, unable to think of a thing, although one respondent said “Weakness” and another uttered “Big government.” During the time of FDR, most Americans presented with the same query about Democrats would have said, “Saving the economy,” “Fighting for the little guy,” “Creating jobs.” Will the Dems learn that lesson? You have to stand for something.

In two years America will be sick of the Republicans, or what’s left of America anyway, and ready to toss the conservatives out in favor of Democrats who think they should be more conservative, and the dance will continue until the global economic collapse that is certain unless a miracle happens and Obama starts taking tips from FDR instead of Lincoln.

© 2010 RS Janes. LTSaloon.org.

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