Be afraid... be very afraid

Meet the new GOP... Same as the old GOP?

The NRCC is governed by its chairman, U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (left), and an executive committee composed of Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The day-to-day operations of the NRCC are overseen by Executive Director Guy Harrison, who manages a staff of professionals with expertise in campaign strategy development, planning and management, research, communications, fundraising, administration, and legal compliance.


  1. Those of us who have been around for a awhile know there's nothing particularly new about today's Republican Party. The crazies have always been around, unless some of us believe fascism was an odd phenomenon of the ancient past. Something we destroyed and outgrew. And being confined to gents in silk top hats and morning coats is not likely to happen today.

    But we don't have go back that far. Look at McCarthyism and the John Birch Society. Look at the resistance which occurred during the civil rights movement simply against integration. Look at the mobs of hardhats going after anti Vietnam war protesters.

    It just doesn't go away.

  2. I've been around a while Quinty and I think they are crazier now than they have been in several decades.

  3. I'm not a fan of Pelosi by any means. But I do trust with my health care more than insurance companies. Their lobbyists and the republican party.

  4. You guys are both probably right.

    But you have to appreciate what utter depths the human race has fallen into not to be entirely surprised that the worst of the worst is coming out. Once again.

    I and my family were never personally touched by McCarthyism. But I have known people who were.

    That was bad, that was really bad.

    The goose steppers, though, had quite a personal influence on my family, as they did on a few hundred million more. That was even worse.

    And try putting yourself in the place of an American black in 1950? Hell, I passed through Mobile Alabama in 1986 and saw a group of white good ol' boys eyeing a young black, dressed distinctly Ivy, as he ran their gauntlet attempting to get away. They saw this young intelligent black as pure meat.

    Costumes change, but human nature remains pretty much the same. Though who - twenty years ago - would have thought gay marriage would be on the horizon? Is there some sort of progress gradually occurring?

    Yeah, these crazies are pretty bad, very bad. Palin is an actual national leader. Who would of thunk?

    But that's the way it always is.

  5. Word on the street is that Levi Johnson has some potentially damning information that would destroy The Palin politically if released. Apparently he shared this with a couple of other people who claim that this information would devastate her but would not reveal it.

  6. Yeah, I saw Levi on a news show, a mere snippet, talking about that.

    Snopes! They are all pure Snopes! Palin (allegedly an adult) going after this kid tooth and nail. But that's the way she goes after everyone. They are pure white trash, the chip forever on their shoulder. Just knock it off, by giving it the wrong glance. And now Levi will treat us with full frontal nudity in Playgirl. Oh what lofty heights we have come!!!

    Trash, pure white trash.

  7. Well said and very true Quinty!

  8. =

    Why don't church leaders forbid Catholics from joining the military with the same fervor they tell Catholics to stay away from abortion clinics?

    - William Blum


    "It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets."

    - Voltaire


    "In the struggle of Good against Evil, it's always the people who get killed."

    - Eduardo Galeano

    I grew up a few miles from a horse rendering plant. The place was on the way to my mother's girlhood home, so we drove past it often. The fragrance was even worse than the sulfur fumes from Lackawanna steel plants...which we had to drive by sometimes too. Maybe both steel and rendering plants are things of the past, but the stench remains strong in memory. The word "render" carries unpleasant connotations as a result.

    So it has been that Republican attempts to decorate their torture policies didn't fool me for a second. Besides, I'm a word person and an old radio man...and I watch carefully how corporations and their Republicans frame media messages. Obviously they hire good word people. I've been impressed...and only wish that folks who first were drawn to words by poems and stories had been able to keep their dreams alive, rather than sink to the level of degradation necessary to come up with a phrase like "extraordinary rendition."

    To me an extraordinary rendition would be Glenn Miller's version of Moonlight Serenade. "Rendition" and "rendering" are interesting words. Essentially to render means to give something back. A quality of vengeance has not been included, I think, until 9/11. Of course at the glue factory, horse parts were torn apart and melted down. Apparently this aspect of our foreign policy is a mix of all that. Extraordinary rendition is a brilliant description for torturing someone to death. Can any religion historians tell us what the Inquisition called such executions?

    Amy Goodman's column Monday talks about Tortured Logic. There's a phrase with a nice ring to it too.

  9. The New York Times
    November 9, 2009
    Op-Ed Columnist
    Paranoia Strikes Deep

    Last Thursday there was a rally outside the U.S. Capitol to protest pending health care legislation, featuring the kinds of things we’ve grown accustomed to, including large signs showing piles of bodies at Dachau with the caption “National Socialist Healthcare.” It was grotesque — and it was also ominous. For what we may be seeing is America starting to be Californiafied.

    The key thing to understand about that rally is that it wasn’t a fringe event. It was sponsored by the House Republican leadership — in fact, it was officially billed as a G.O.P. press conference. Senior lawmakers were in attendance, and apparently had no problem with the tone of the proceedings.

    True, Eric Cantor, the second-ranking House Republican, offered some mild criticism after the fact. But the operative word is “mild.” The signs were “inappropriate,” said his spokesman, and the use of Hitler comparisons by such people as Rush Limbaugh, said Mr. Cantor, “conjures up images that frankly are not, I think, very helpful.”

    What all this shows is that the G.O.P. has been taken over by the people it used to exploit.

    The state of mind visible at recent right-wing demonstrations is nothing new. Back in 1964 the historian Richard Hofstadter published an essay titled, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” which reads as if it were based on today’s headlines: Americans on the far right, he wrote, feel that “America has been largely taken away from them and their kind, though they are determined to try to repossess it and to prevent the final destructive act of subversion.” Sound familiar?

    But while the paranoid style isn’t new, its role within the G.O.P. is.

    When Hofstadter wrote, the right wing felt dispossessed because it was rejected by both major parties. That changed with the rise of Ronald Reagan: Republican politicians began to win elections in part by catering to the passions of the angry right.

    Until recently, however, that catering mostly took the form of empty symbolism. Once elections were won, the issues that fired up the base almost always took a back seat to the economic concerns of the elite. Thus in 2004 George W. Bush ran on antiterrorism and “values,” only to announce, as soon as the election was behind him, that his first priority was changing Social Security.

    But something snapped last year. Conservatives had long believed that history was on their side, so the G.O.P. establishment could, in effect, urge hard-right activists to wait just a little longer: once the party consolidated its hold on power, they’d get what they wanted. After the Democratic sweep, however, extremists could no longer be fobbed off with promises of future glory.

  10. Furthermore, the loss of both Congress and the White House left a power vacuum in a party accustomed to top-down management. At this point Newt Gingrich is what passes for a sober, reasonable elder statesman of the G.O.P. And he has no authority: Republican voters ignored his call to support a relatively moderate, electable candidate in New York’s special Congressional election.

    Real power in the party rests, instead, with the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin (who at this point is more a media figure than a conventional politician). Because these people aren’t interested in actually governing, they feed the base’s frenzy instead of trying to curb or channel it. So all the old restraints are gone.

    In the short run, this may help Democrats, as it did in that New York race. But maybe not: elections aren’t necessarily won by the candidate with the most rational argument. They’re often determined, instead, by events and economic conditions.

    In fact, the party of Limbaugh and Beck could well make major gains in the midterm elections. The Obama administration’s job-creation efforts have fallen short, so that unemployment is likely to stay disastrously high through next year and beyond. The banker-friendly bailout of Wall Street has angered voters, and might even let Republicans claim the mantle of economic populism. Conservatives may not have better ideas, but voters might support them out of sheer frustration.

    And if Tea Party Republicans do win big next year, what has already happened in California could happen at the national level. In California, the G.O.P. has essentially shrunk down to a rump party with no interest in actually governing — but that rump remains big enough to prevent anyone else from dealing with the state’s fiscal crisis. If this happens to America as a whole, as it all too easily could, the country could become effectively ungovernable in the midst of an ongoing economic disaster.

    The point is that the takeover of the Republican Party by the irrational right is no laughing matter. Something unprecedented is happening here — and it’s very bad for America.

    Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

  11. It's hard to argue with Krugman. What happened in California was brought about by the right, incrementally. One "conservative" cause following another over time. And they basically won.

    Prop 13, term limits, the initiative process (which was originally a progressive reform a century ago) have all contributed to stifling government's ability to deal with problems.

    "Tax and spend" still resonates with Republicans, and there those who believe term limits will reduce the power of politicians to do mischief rather than transferring power and influence to lobbyists. But the intent is to weaken government. Or blindly to get the "bums" out, no matter who they are. This, I think, expresses a lack of understanding of the democratic process.

    And if the Democrats don't fight? As if they were mesmerized by the irrationality of what they face? Wanting to be "nice." Then the crazies will merely grab power, not caring about being "nice," imposing their way. And when their structure collapses an uncertain populace, not knowing where to turn, merely blindly reacts. Voting the "bums" out, or believing the lurid nonsense of a demagogue. (Bush's war, for example.)

    George Bush's mess is becoming Obama's. And when the next elections come around nobody will remember Bush, re-electing those who represent his worst aspects. The Palin right.

    I was amazed by the number of Democrats who voted for the Stupak amendment. Even Marcy Kaptur. (sp?)

    Yes, I think Krugman hit it on the nail.

  12. And let's not forget that when the National Socialists participated in Weimar's last election they received %40 of the vote.

    That is quite a lot. And perhaps reveals how far people are willing to go when times are bad. How their fear and anger and resentment against enemies real and imagined - mostly imagined - can express itself politically. Millions of Germans believed Hitler would lead Germany out of its large problems. Nor was Hitler's allure merely the light and style of his power: he encouraged optimism and enthusiasm. He would return the world's rightful respect to Germany and by militarizing found employment for millions, ending the run away inflation. German nationalists approved of this.

    Can it happen here? What would Sinclair Lewis say - my god, Palin, Limbaugh, Bush, et al are like a combination of Elmer Gantry and It Can't Happen Here. Let's hope Obama succeeds, and that the jobless rate drops. Yes, this is much more than about him, much more than that. Frankly, I think he knows that.

  13. Forty percent of the vote is an especial lot...if, as in the States, only a bit over 40% of the people bother to vote at all. Isn't it amazing how the media jumps for joy if 60% turn out? And which 40-60% is it? Those still are failing grades on my school papers.

  14. When it comes to voter turnout I think we rank fairly low in the world.

    Is it skepticism or indifference or a sense of futility which keeps so many American voters home? Of course, in countries where the ballot is new they come out in droves.

    Out of curiosity I looked up the 1933 Weimar vote. Among Nazis about 87% came out to vote while approx 80% of all eligible voters made the effort. (Speak of "most important elections in history!" As we so often hear today here.) Through much chicanery (the Reichstag fire and arrest of Communists, who opposed the National Socialists) Hitler received about 44% of the vote. 17,277,180 votes.

    That's a lot of votes. Any way you cut it.

    I got this from something called "The Electoral Geography of Weimar Germany." Wikepedia gave me the election results.