Tag Archives: Colin Powell

The Tattlesnake CPAC Proof GOP is Still Doomed Edition

CPAC’s Corporate Mythmakers and True Believers Headed for a Hard Fall

“Con artists have a word for the inability of their victims to accept that they’ve been scammed. They call it the ‘True Believer Syndrome.'”
— Matt Taibbi, “Wall Street’s Bailout Hustle,” Rolling Stone, Feb. 21, 2010.

You know you’re in trouble when your keynote speaker is Glenn Beck, the current Dancing Bear of the Fox Evening Zoo and promulgator of preposterous pompous carnival-clown revisionism of everything from the political thinking of progressive Tom Paine to the nature of Marxism. (Well, at least he left the cry-eye Vick’s VapoRub in the dressing room for this event.) Beck, like the rest of the Fox News team, seems to delight in unapologetically getting it wrong, time after time, and he knows his fans never read such authors as Paine or Karl Marx so, with skillful editing, ventriloquist Glenn can plant whatever Bizarro World ideas he desires in the mouths of the departed and defenseless. The most dedicated inhabitants of TV’s Beckistan no doubt reject the proof of their own eyes and ears when confronted with any reality that veers from the Ringmaster’s teachings, as any mind-locked True Believer does. It’s a matter of faith — in a Republican Jesus, or Roger Ailes’ political ads disguised as news, or Frank Luntz’s fright-laden euphemisms, or a former beauty queen turned half-term governor from Alaska. It’s amazing that they wave the flag of freedom so strenuously they apparently only want the freedom to follow a leader, and down the narrowest of ideological paths, at that.

Speaking of Gov. Mrs. Palin, she was not in appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference; not only could the organizers not meet her hefty price for speechifying, but she perhaps discerned, with the dumb canniness sometimes given to the vapid, that she wouldn’t be welcome in a crowd that voted Mitt Romney first in their last three presidential straw polls.

And then there’s the bright-eyed Romney himself; like most of his party, the former Massachusetts governor stopped making any consistent and coherent sense long ago; his speeches are now grab-bags of memorized GOP Talking Points and anti-Obama crowd-pleasers, but he has mostly refrained from the cringe-inducing personal vignettes such as tying incontinent pets to the roof of the family ride for a jaunt on the open highway or his Milquetoast macho-man exploits of gunning down small rodents with a hunting rifle. The things most people would be embarrassed to admit, Mitt banters about airily with a male model’s manly grin, which I guess proves he is a Republican to his core.

And speaking of core Republicans, we have Mr. Cheney, Richard the Lyin’-Hearted, a man with no intelligence or military experience (an appointment as Secretary of Defense does not make one an expert on interrogation or confinement), who openly boasts that his unconstitutional torture program worked, believes he competently handled his role as White House counter-terrorism chief prior to 9/11, and has a long, clanking string of wrongheaded predictions following him like a trail of empty cans tied to a cat’s tail. Cheney is arguably the most disliked politician in America, but in the upside-down world of CPAC, he is a national champion and was greeted with the garlands of approbation by the assembled worshippers in Washington that he once erroneously said would be thrown at our troops in Iraq. Perhaps as a sign of how far out in the ozone the gathered Republicans and their neoconservative cohorts orbit, many lustily cheered a Cheney run for president in 2012; Bush’s superordinate vice president had enough sense to tease and then quickly squelch that notion and spare himself the humiliation of a 50-state landslide victory for President Obama.

Cheney, on cue, availed himself of the opportunity to produce another of his wacky spells of side-splitting clairvoyance the Republicans would be resurgent in 2010 and Obama would be a one-term president. With his shot-in-the-face record of the exact opposite happening, you’d think he’d bury his cloudy crystal ball and stop making an ass of himself in this way but, then, you don’t know Dick he seems to thrive on being wrong and then denying it. Regardless of the Beltway Conventional Wisdom, three races where the Republican won against miserable Dem candidates does not make a trend and, as the overworked Cocktail Party Punditocracy clich矧oes, “in politics, a month is like a year.” With Cheney’s smug regurgitation of this trite BCW on the glowing prospects for Republicans this year, it’s bankable that it won’t be quite as bad a year for the Democrats as the GOP would like it to be. And defeating Obama in 2012? Perhaps Dick should have a candidate in mind first to complete that task none of the current GOP front-runners would come anywhere near to pushing Obama out of the presidency except Ron Paul, and Cheney and the GOP elite loathe him.

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President Scott ‘W.’ Brown in 2012?

“A couple of things are striking about the pro-[Scott] Brown spending. It’s always entertaining to watch someone self-described as an independent, political free operator getting so much support from national conservative groups. And it’s especially entertaining given that while many of these groups support ideological purges from their party, Brown is … a liberal, according political scientist Boris Shor. He is in fact more liberal than Dede Scozzafava, the unfortunate, erstwhile GOP nominee in the special House election in New York a few months back. Shor writes:

‘Browns score puts him at the 34th percentile of his party in Massachusetts over the 1995-2006 time period. In other words, two thirds of other Massachusetts Republican state legislators were more conservative than he was. This is evidence for my claim that hes a liberal even in his own party. Whats remarkable about this is the fact that Massachusetts Republicans are the most, or nearly the most, liberal Republicans in the entire country.'”
— Robert Schlesinger, “Scott Brown Benefits From Late National Republican Money,” US News, Jan. 17, 2010.

The Tattlesnake I Heard It Through the Grapevine Edition

There’s nothing more reliable than anonymously-sourced comments, as readers of the NY Times well know

Item 1. “Here’s the way it worked in the GOP when Bush Junior was in office: If some Republican senator or representative threatened to vote against the White House on an important issue, they’d get ‘The Call,’ which went something like: ‘Okay, you vote any way you want but, when you’re up for re-election, don’t count on any help from the RNC, and we’re gonna call the big money donors to the party and tell them to take you off the list. Oh, and we’re also gonna run a heavyweight Republican against you in the primary, so you may not even get to run for re-election. So, you go on and cast your vote however you want.’ You could count the number of Republicans who crossed the line on one hand. I don’t understand why the Democrats can’t do this with the Conserva-Dems.”

Item 2. “These big biotech companies like Monsanto have labs down in Mexico that experiment on all kinds of weird sci-fi stuff they couldn’t get away with in the States. This new Swine Flu virus H1N1 — is some kind of mutant combo of bird flu, swine flu and a human flu. How did those three get together naturally? If one of these weirdo genetic combos got loose outside the lab and started making people sick, you really believe in your wildest dreams that Monsanto or whoever is going to fess up and say ‘Whoops our bad! We goofed and this genetically-altered mutant virus we created got loose!’ Sure — the billions in lawsuits and bad PR would bury them.”

Item 3. “Arlen Specter’s dreaming if he thinks he’s going to win the Pennsylvania Democratic primary. Off-year primaries are where the real party faithful vote and some of these folks still remember when Specter jumped from the Democrats to the Republicans in 1965, and they’re still pissed about it. Any credible Democrat could beat him. Hell, Chris Matthews could beat him. Specter could maybe save his bacon if he became a real progressive Democrat, but he’s already shown he’s not going there. Obama and [PA Gov. Ed] Rendell will say a few good words about him, but that’s not going to save him. That old man’s living in a fairyland. His ass is astroturf in 2010, in my opinion.”

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The Tattlesnake The True Meaning of Powell’s Obama Endorsement Edition

On Meet the Press October 19th, Colin Powell took out a very thin, very sharp stiletto and carved up John McCain without ever raising his voice or uttering an angry or blatantly demeaning word, culminating with his endorsement of Barack Obama for president.

Powell has been on a crusade to resurrect his lost integrity and honor since he submitted a noxious pack of lies to the United Nations Security Council in support of Bush’s invasion of Iraq. He knows his performance was the clincher that ended the debate for many Americans if the reasonable and straightforward Powell was behind it, it must be true.

This is the final stage of Powell’s reclamation of his character and veracity rejecting the aggression and insanity of McCain’s more-war stance in favor of the kind of diplomacy he advocated before he served the interests of BushCo at the UN in 2003.

While his endorsement is unlikely to move many civilian voters, former Joint Chiefs of Staff head Powell is still respected in the military and his nod to Obama will signal to many in the armed forces, including the top brass, that it’s safe to support the Democrat this election.

Beyond that, it’s also a sign of the deep fissure in the Republican Party between the Old Guard secular conservatives, such as Powell’s former boss George H.W. Bush, James Baker and Brent Scowcroft, and the emergent power of the Christopublicans, embodied by the elevation of the inexperienced but devout Sarah Palin to vice presidential nominee.

The Old Guard, of course, were happy to use the Christopublicans to get elected, as Reagan and Bush the Elder did, but, once in office, they were put in the corner and ignored.

After Junior Bush’s installment in 2000, the Christopublicans became a much stronger force in the GOP, often calling the shots in various campaigns, although the party wasn’t willing to commit suicide by attempting to legislate such things as abortion and prayer in schools on a national basis. The Old Guard were watching closely at the blowback from the GOP’s interference in the Terri Schiavo fiasco, and the massive public rejection of such meddling it was the ultimate proof that the Christopublicans were destroying the secular conservative Republican Party of small government, deregulation and low taxes in pursuit of their mad idea of a Christian theocracy.

Powell, who rightfully credits his advancement to Bush 41, cooperated with Junior out of loyalty to the family and, out of the same loyalty, might have kept his endorsement to himself this year but, it seems plain, he was given the green light by the Old Guard, including Bush the Elder, to support Obama over McCain.

The doddering McCain himself is a marginalized figure here; the real focus is Sarah Palin, the pious End Times cipher forced upon McCain by the Christopublicans in return for their support. With an illness-prone and elderly President McCain not likely to finish out his first term, the prospect of a Rapture-Ready Palin presidency makes the Jim Dobson’s and Pat Robertson’s giddy in anticipation and causes old Cold War warriors such as Powell, who spent his military career trying to keep the nuclear fuse from being lit, shivers up the spine.

Already we have seen Old Guard Reaganauts from George F. Will to Peggy Noonan and Ken Adelman abandon the GOP for Obama; setting the stage to blame Palin and the Christopublicans for what is shaping up to be a Democratic landslide in November.

They will willingly endure four or eight years of an Obama administration in order to drive the Christopublican menace back to the fringe of the party and assert the power of the Old Guard once more.

Make no mistake, Powell’s strong endorsement of Obama shows that the secular conservatives are ready to step in and retake the GOP from the forces of Christian theocracy bent on touching off a nuclear Armageddon to fulfill their fanatical fantasies.