Dave Weigel can’t resist a victory lap (not that I blame him):
Reporters: Please adjust your narratives. If your narrative is in the locked position, please apply the Smart Take solution that you have been provided.
Well, the Great Tea Party Comeback of 2014 lasted no longer than the Great Tea Party Implosion of 2014. Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran has narrowly won re-nomination over challenger Chris McDaniel, in a vanishingly rare case of an incumbent winning a runoff after losing round one of a primary — and in an even rarer case of turnout surging from the primary to the runoff. Oklahoma Senate candidate T.W. Shannon has been defeated by a member of the House GOP leadership. A crew of Tea Party challengers to congressman have gone down in flames across all time zones…
Erick “Voice of the GOP Gated Community” Erickson plays Pagliacci:
“At some point there will be more people with knives out to cut the strings than there will be puppeteers with checkbooks.”
Having been an elected Republican and someone who routinely takes the position of supporting conservatives in primaries and Republicans in general elections, the Mississippi race does crystalize for me the desires of many to start a third party. In essence, tea party activists are the RINOs. A Republican Party campaigning on making the Senate “conservative,” used liberal Democrats to preserve an incumbent Republican and defeat a conservative. The actual conservatives are the outsiders with the GOP establishment doing all it could to preserve its power at the expense of its principles.
The problem for those who call themselves Republicans is that it is harder and harder to say exactly what a Republican is these days. The great lesson from Mississippi is that Republican means, more or less, that if elected the party will reward its major donors, who are just different than the Democrats’ major donors. Policy differences are about different donors, not an actual agenda to shift the country in a different direction.
The Republicans have become the party of lobbyists, most of whom were on twitter celebrating their purchase….
Hey, Rick Santorum thinks “conservative politicians aren’t conservative enough”, too! Maybe you guys can get together and show the rest of us what a True Conservative Party looks like!…
Apart from savoring the schadenfreude, what’s on the agenda for the day?
Curious to see if Cochran does much to repay his valued new constituency.
agenda? meetings. wednesday is meeting day.
all. damn. day.
the meetings will continue until we figure out why productivity is so low.
@tybee: Crap, tybee, do you work where I do? Sounds like my day today, except in Austin.
I has me a great big sad… I was looking forward to reports of Congressional staffers being somehow or other locked in Antonin Scalia’s offices after hours, pictures of Mitch McConnell’s wife drooling in bed, and the smoking gun of Obama’s real birth certificate from Barbados (that’s why nobody found it before, wrong hemisphere)
Oh well, I guess I will just have to be happy with the usual GOP antics.
How’s that “big tent” workin’ out for ya?
@tybee: I once went to a meeting that was to schedule a meeting so we could come up with a meeting schedule.
I loathe Ted Rall, but this cartoon is pretty on point. Blind squirrels, etc.
@tybee: Sorry about that. If I were Empress of All Creation, I’d abolish meetings that lasted more than half an hour, make it illegal to schedule more than one per workday and require the person requesting the meeting to complete a lengthy cost-benefit analysis demonstrating the absolute necessity of the gathering before receiving a meeting permit.
So the tea party’s one big success this year has come against the lone Republican Jew. Interesting.
Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.)
I was pulling for McDaniels, myself… The way I look at it, whoever wins is going to vote the same way anyway, so I’d rather have somebody who votes to fuck the country with a snarl than one who votes to fuck us with a smile.
That’s really the thing that people, and those in the press most of all, don’t understand: The teabaggers are just everyday Republicans without the good sense to keep their mouths shut about their deepest beliefs. That’s all they are: Republicans with Tourette’s.
I’m having a hard time seeing why I should be excited or pleased or much of anything about the events in Americas Asshole ™ last night. I doubt very much that good ol Thad will change his position on anything simply because he tried campaigning as a moderate. In fact a few days ago a lot of people were telling me what a great boon for the Dems it would be to have GoT replaced by the loon. I didn’t see that either.
If it serves to rip the GOP apart that will be great but somehow or other they always seem to patch things up in time to do real damage to the nation. The loser talk about a write-in for the loon might happen but is more likely to result in a few hundred votes to no real end. Dreaming of a shattered GOP is fun I suppose but it would be a lot better if the Dems figured out a way to make more people want to vote FOR them instead.
It seems like the Tea Party Republicans haven’t quite realized that the Establishement Republicans merely want to dismantle the government in a neat, orderly, and quiet fashion, while selling off the parts at a profit. Meanwhile the Tea Partiers want to smash everything with a monster truck while unironically playing Lee Greenwood over a loud speaker.
Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.)
Yeah. I saw somebody on the news on Monday talking about Cochran as a “moderate”. He’s “moderate” only in that he doesn’t talk about the good ol’ days of the confederacy, but he votes the same as McDaniels would have.
@Schlemizel: That will require to crack the real nut of the problem. A lot of people in the South and in other places that are more rural and suburban have been programmed to vote ‘not Democrat’.
Until you can figure out how to short-circuit that illogical program (because lets face it, a lot of it is based on illogical feelings), then no matter what kind of Democrat you run, they will lose because they are a Democrat.
The maun thing to me is if AA voters who crissed over also turn up for other political races now–frim dogcatcher to the senate election itself. They are a minority of voters but they are hefty bloc nonetheless.
@Baud: The Purity Thing is working!
I don’t think anyone is saying we should be excited because Thad Cochran — the generic store brand equivalent of Trent Lott — is going to vote our way on any issue. But his win here is clearly going to aggravate the GOP infighting, and that’s good.
Don’t confuse amusement with excitement.
@BlueDWarrior: Basically, I’ve decided that some people will die before they change their mind. About anything whatsoever.
No matter how stupid the decisions they settled on around the age of 15, no matter how pointless and tragic their life becomes as they age and refuse to grow in wisdom, changing their mind remains the greatest fear, the highest hurdle, the continuing stupid decision to not make another decision.
There were other primaries yesterday, too, and the Tea Party got the fuzzy end of the lollipop in at least two other races. In Oklahoma, a primary for the Senate seat being vacated by Tom Coburn went to the establishment GOP Rep. James Lankford over T.W. Shannon, who had the endorsement of the usual Tea Party suspects. In Colorado, Bob Beauprez won the GOP nod to run for governor over certified loon Tom Tancredo.
I had hopes for this election being entertaining. Maybe McDaniel will mount an insurgency.
Anything to shift them toward a more inclusive version of self interest is a plus. I’ve never liked the Bolshevik version of politics, where pain is deemed desireable.
Turn 40 today.
I guess birthday stuff.
I’d rather pretend I’m not getting older, but others will not be cooperative and think today is a big deal.
@gene108: Happy birthday! Getting older beats the hell out of the alternative.
@gene108: Happy Birthday, and some things do get better after 40. You care less about things that aren’t really important now and have a better sense of what you want in life.
In any event, have lots of cake and (low-fat) ice cream and whatever it is you like to drink.
And as long as it isn’t fuzzy sweaters, enjoy anyone who takes the time to give you a gift.
ETA: Liz Warren rocks!
I think the problem is that the DLC decided back in the late 80s that the way to beat the goopers was to be the goopers. They abandoned populist positions so they could attach to the corporate teat. Now it will be very hard to pick off the sane teabaggers (there are a few) who are the anti-corporate wing of that bunch. 40 years ago their natural position would have been on the D side but too many Ds owe too much to to few. Its not the only reason, the goopers have done a good job of convincing a lot of morons that it is not business but government that is the enemy. But some are waking up to the fact that business is not their friend & the Dems have given away their claim to that ground too often in that last couple of decades.
Oh, the Dems are getting the votes – a majority of them, even – it’s more a question of how to make them count, given Republican abilities at gerrymandering. Given the way Republicans in state legislatures have drawn district lines, you could run Jesus as a Democrat in some of those districts and He would get his ass handed to him in a New York minute. “He sounds like a soshulist, and what’s all this nonsense about who his father is? Guy must be on drugs or need serious therapy, one.”
@Botsplainer: I have doubts that the new constituency materialized. Why would it? I couldn’t see myself getting out of bed to vote for Thad just because he asked a few days before the election.
Erickson needs to learn how to not dangle a participle.
Eh, it’s not so bad. My forties were good to me for the most part, for a number of reasons. The only real downside is how much you slow down and how many more aches and pains you have by the time you’re fifty.
Now, don’t you feel better?
@Betty Cracker: Back when I worked for Satan, we had a staff meeting that lasted several days.
I don’t understand why gerrymandering isn’t flatly illegal and why partisan committees are allowed to draw the lines. Well, I do understand it; people with an interest in skewing the outcomes set the rules. But this practice, along with unlimited cash to swing elections, is a grave threat to democracy and should be abolished.
Add the two cent rule; everybody attending the meeting except the moderator gets two pennies. They contribute one whenever they say something, and after they’re out of pennies they don’t get to say anything else.
@Boudica: Thank you. I was thinking, “the Mississippi race” has been elected as a Republican?
@Schlemizel: I think that problem was created when the constant losses at the Presidential level in the late 60s to the 90s (minus Carter) bled into the entire Democratic psyche. There was also the very real feeling of inarticulate fustration and rage at the world because the white Suburbanites and Rural folk that benefitted from the policies from Rooselvelt to Eisenhower started seeing the wells dry up, sometimes literally.
This inarticulate rage, through clever wordsmithing by Reagan-era Republicans and absolute political malfeasance from the National Democratic party at the same time, has resulted in a generation that is now programmed to vote against “Democrats” to stick it to the “limp-wristed, effete, urban Liberals” who did everything to ruin their lives. From allowing all the Mexicans in, to giving away trillions to Black women who have seven-plus children out of wedlock. If it weren’t for useless brown people and the the city-folk that tell them that everything is going to be all right and they can live like royalty if they just steal more money from hard working White folks (like the aggrieved), then the world would reach its natural balance where brown people were quietly toiled in the background and the now aggrieved whites were once again living like royalty of government largess.
@Betty Cracker: It might take a constitution amendment to force non-partisan commissions that would draw the lines along population density maps.
The fact that is is legal and tolerated now is because, I believe, the Constitution allows each state to determine how exactly to conduct it’s Congressional elections. And of course each state can determine how to conduct its own Legislature’s elections which is where this whole mess starts to begin with
@Betty Cracker: It would be easy to fix except for the politics of it.
I live in an awful district, KY-04. In an effort to dilute the notion that the People’s Republic of Louisville should have at least two congressional members intensely interested in its welfare (as well as one immediately across the river, and that district is a mess, too, because Indiana), the General Assembly figured out a set of lines that stuck a chunk of it in KY-04, which stretches from within the boundaries of the merged government all the way to Ashland, 3.5 hours away by car. This district’s main population takes in, for its biggest demographic lump, the wingnutty southern suburbs and exurbs of Cincinnati. We don’t see our pasty faced, red cheeked Congresschild Tom Massie at all; he’s completely beholden to the national conservative activists anyway, and wouldn’t do anything for any of his constituents even when asked. If there were sane lines, there’d likely be one solid progressive district and one seesawing purple district with reps who would have to bring home butter.
McConnell’s past strength was related to his ability to deliver goodies. He’s been hamstrung by the Tealiban, and can’t be happy.
@OzarkHillbilly: We fixed it in CA. Redistricting is done by a panel of retired judges.
@gene108: happy birthday!
@BillinGlendaleCA: Good on CA. It’ll never happen here in MO. The GOP can hardly win a statewide election but we have 2 Dem Reps (STL and KC) and 6 GOP reps. A Dem Gov, a Dem AG, a Dem SoS, but veto proof majorities in both the state house and state senate.
Gerrymandering works and MO is proof that you don’t need voter ID to disenfranchise people.
@gene108: The bad news is that you really have to start taking care of yourself. The good news is that it works!
Personally, I like getting older as I accumulate more wisdom and waste less time figuring out what that might be.
As a side note, anyone who looks back on their teen years as the best part of the life so far… are doing it wrong.
Time to go but I want to pass along this gem before I take my leave:
MT judge who gave one-month sentence to rapist orders 5-year term for vandal
Since it is an open thread, I will take the opportunity to brag a tiny bit: I got two (!!) Hubble proposals accepted. I got one last year but it is always insanely exciting to realize the space telescope will be looking at parts of the sky because I asked for it. (!!!!!!!!)
Because of all the damn meetings would be my guess.
I for one don’t miss the days of having meetings to schedule meetings. Insane.
Yes! There are parts of my life I’d happily repeat, especially if I could repeat them knowing what I know now, but I wouldn’t be a teenager again for nothin’.
I don’t believe the Tea Party will split off, but boy would it be nice. I think they’d get most of the old GOP’s voters, but more than enough would be unwilling to vote for a non-R label with insane rhetoric that neither party would ever win an election again. A lot of racists and assholes really like their discreet, ‘I’m a mature realist doing this for your own good’ language.
The GOP establishment will take this as a sign they can continue on without change, which will either force the Tea Party to become obstructionists or split off as a third party. Either way, this is good news for the country.
Yeah. And the delightful thing about Obama’s victories is that they proved that Democrats could win without these guys. Which we should by all means continue to do.
The plain fact is that these voters aren’t coming back unless the Democratic Party changes for the worst (much, much, much worst), as the Republicans did beginning in the 1960s. Nor, now that demographics are starting to sideline them, should we want them to. It’s hard enough holding together a Democratic coalition without a faction of Dixiecrats screwing things up from the inside.
I think there is a better chance that the sun will start rising in the west than that Cochran repays his new constituents.
@gene108: Happy Birthday! Old Irish proverb: do not regret growing older, ’tis a privilege denied to many!
@sparrow: That is exciting news.
I dunno. The lack of responsibility was great, and the consequence-free casual sex of the mid to late 70s was something I could eagerly embrace again.
@Botsplainer: Eagerly embrace it, then take a short rest, then take some pills and eagerly embrace something else for the rest of the night.
Paul in KY
@WereBear: A lot of them are single issue voters. Anti-Choice, Bazookas for All, etc.
Didn’t need pills back then to eagerly embrace more. And those mid to late teen and early 20s girls were more than happy to oblige.
@Schlemizel: When was the heyday of the populist Democratic Party? I’m not sure there was one. There was a generations-long wary alliance between stone-cold Southern racists, Northeast/Midwest progressives, labor, and non-WASP white people in cities (Polish, Irish, Italian, etc.). I think it gives them too much credit for coherence to count them all as populists.
IMHO the DLC rose at the same time as the tech sector, and the two reinforce each other with ideas about efficiency and innovation over stability and protection. “Atari Democrats” and all that.
To the contrary, I think it is quite easy to say what a Republican is these days: just start with “lying a-hole” and work your way down from there.
Paul in KY
@Botsplainer: I’m in Barr’s district. He’s a complete GOP toady, granny starving, sack of shit.
@Botsplainer: I was thinking of uppers rather than newer recreational, um, stimulants, but, understood.
Paul in KY
@sparrow: Wonderful news! Go find us some cool new planets.
I would just like to let Erick Erickson know that, as a liberal, I am utterly terrified and highly outraged at the thought that conservatives might split off from the GOP and form their own Third Party.
The very idea terrifies me so much that it keeps me from sleeping at night.
There is that number again
So you don’t consider FDR and his programs populist? Or HHH and LBJ and the programs the Dems brought forward from 1936 till the early 80s as populist? I guess we must have different definitions of that word.
I won’t disagree on at least most of your coalition list but the programs and goals were there to help people, populist.
@Schlemizel: Yeah, we’re probably just defining the term differently. Here’s what Wiki has to say: Populism. I’m hanging up on the anti-elite component, which I’m not entirely sure was prevalent across the coalition; I see progressivism inflected by “good populism” in the Northeast and Midwest (LaFollette, La Guardia, Henry Wallace), and “bad populism” in the South (George Wallace).
One of the finest non-snark posts I ever saw at Freepertown:
Tea Party Suckers.
Thank you sir, may I have another.
I am partial to the Thadsucker Proxy myself.
Glenn Beck is totally apoplectic over Mississippi. What a great way to start the day!
Person of Choler
US GDP shrinks 2.9% in first quarter, BBC
The good news,is we can blame the decline on a bad winter, but then we have to be quiet about Global Warming for a few days. So I’m emphasizing the Koch Brothers and racism when updating my colleagues.
Glenn Beck: Wrong On Iraq, Wrong On Mississippi.
Truly, his errors are global.
@Botsplainer: And just think, “Kenny Bunk” probably has a private arsenal, too.
@Person of Choler:
Thank you all for the birthday wishes and words of wisdom.
@Mustang Bobby: That is truly Dilbert-worthy.
@Betty Cracker: I used to sit in stupid meetings, look around the room at who was there and how much they cost, and do the math. It was not pretty.
@Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.):
I somewhat think this, but then I see that the TeaTards want to nix the Export/Import Bank, and might cause a fiscal crisis to get their wish, and I realize that they are not what could be called Republicans. The GOP of the past many decades has been dickish, and always out to screw lower-income people, but they didn’t seek to damage the basic tools of (state enhanced) capitalism.
Trashing the ExIm Bank is emblematic of a new level of madness.
Roy Edroso catches some masterly trolling going on:
No link to Frightfart, for obvious reasons.
Hey, they’re a lot more like communists than one might expect.* Hard core doctrine said the internal enemy is always the most dangerous, a concept that Uncle Joe Stalin truly made reality, bless his heart.
*An idea that would render residents of Freepertown totally apoplectic, which is a picture that gives me a nice warm feeling. Not as warm as the climate I hope Stalin is enduring, but warm.
Erick, Son of Himself:
Why do right-wing Republicans always say liberal Democrats instead of just Democrats?
I mean, I get why they would use that nomenclature when describing NYC, San Francisco, or Vermont Democrats, as all three of those communities are pretty liberal.
But Mississippi Democrats? Overall, I rather suspect they tend toward the religious, the moderate or conservative, and the blue dog branches of the Democratic Party, rather than being particularly liberal in outlook. That’s not to say there aren’t any tried and true libs or lefties in MS, just that I doubt they form the majority of the party there.
@FlipYrWhig: Right. One man’s populism is another man’s demagoguery.
(Women’s, too, mutatis mutandis.)
@sparrow: That is excellent!
Links or more information? (Thanks.)
And do leave some Hubble crumbs for everyone else!
I am disappointed and saddened. You have ruined my dreams of moving to Mississippi to live in one of their countless liberal artistic pantisocratic phalansteries.
Clearly, you are history’s greatest monster. At least, for this morning.
@Morzer: Headline from the Jackson Clarion Ledger:
From your lips to the noodly overlord’s orechetti.
He’s talking about pigmentation.
May he keep it for his people!
When you say pigmentation, Thad Cochrane gets all excited and the staff have to chain him up in the backroom.
@Morzer: I think you mean “pig mentation.”
Because to them liberal is a bad word, not an actual descriptor of a political stance.
Their language make a hell of a lot more sense if you replace the word “liberal” with “fucking” (or your own preferred colorful metaphor).
It works almost everywhere and has the benefit of making the subtext into the text!
People try to put us down (Talkin’ ’bout my pigmentation): Just because we get around….
@sparrow: Congratulations!!! May I ask which parts?
@RaflW: Hence why I used the image of a monster truck blasting Lee Greenwood. Teatards aren’t content with being conservative, they have to be loudly, abrasively, and confrontational-ly conservative.
@WereBear: Very few animals are capable of starving themselves to death. Most will eat whatever is available if they get hungry enough.
The exceptions? Cats and humans.
@Chris: “And the delightful thing about Obama’s victories is that they proved that Democrats could win without these guys” This!! The South has been the swing area for generations, when they swung from Dem to went GOP so went the gummint.
Congrats too Sparrow! Hate to admit but I found the daily astronomy pic from NASA on Freeperland, highly recommended for a daily dose of Good:
I believe it actually means ‘nigger-loving’. If you add the assumption that conservatives see liberals as being on the side of blacks (and any other minority that conservative hates), a lot of conservative behavior becomes consistent.
They may be batshit nuts, but they understand the power of rhetoric. All Democrats are liberal, see? That’s the point.
@Frankensteinbeck: It does. Other things as well, but this is the main one.
I dunno – for a long time I was thinking it actually meant “Jewish”. It could in all likelihood mean both. At least for older Republicans.
But for the younger Republicans I think it actually is just a word they stick in front of things as a negative intensifier. Where a normal person would say “I hate this awful fucking coleslaw” a young Republican would denounce the coleslaw as being part of the liberal agenda and demand that the cook be investigated for his leftist leanings.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
I kind of doubt that can happen with the Republicans they way they’re trapped in the Right Wing infotament industry. Pain may be bad governance but it keeps the ratings up.
I don’t really get Democratic voters voting for Thad. Yea I understand that Mississippi will most likely vote in the Republican candidate but I don’t believe the Teahaddists will waste their votes by writing in a candidate nor vote for the Democrat. And it seems to me that Democrats had a better chance of winning if the Republican was a larger monster. So, I get the arguments but don’t think they reflect reality.
I’d have voted for McDaniel to give the Democrat a better shot come November.
@WaterGirl: we had a meeting with a couple of companies that wanted us to do some testing. We told them it would cost somewhere between 2-3 times what the meeting had cost them (my estimate), and it was too much. I guess they were including the costs of the follow-up meetings in the price.
@Frankensteinbeck: my understanding is the “Democrat” or “liberal Democrat” has come to mean the blahs among certain racist circles. Which isn’t far from the truth in some places, unfortunately
You could argue though that Cochrane might be so tainted after soliciting (and winning with) votes from those people that the chance of a third-party write-in or even GOP voters staying home is now greater than it would have been if the teabagger nut-ball had won.
I think liberals and Democrats ignore this at their peril.
The idea that lawmakers are serving lobbyists and donors (as EE says) is not only NOT limited to the Right it is not limited to the “base”.
It’s a problem for both Parties. Arguably, Republicans have an outlet for this that can be expressed thru political action and Democrats don’t (other than labor) so Republicans may be ahead of the curve going into 2016.
The “unrest” is real. It has to be addressed by the Democratic Party.
Did anyone watch the “All In America” segment on the Chris Hayes show last night? Part of it was a re-do from a previous segment with Ben Jealous of the NAACP. Jealous pointed out that there are over 800,000 unregistered AA, latino and Asian voters in Georgia. It would cost less than 10 million to contact all of them, and presumably get most of them registered. It would turn Georgia into a blue state. Howard Dean, where are you?
He’s on Twitter promoting charter schools.
That’s when he’s not writing op eds decrying the Medicare/Medicaid cost advisory board without revealing he’s a paid advocate for that industry.
Donald Berwick is an MD who was demonized and basically driven out of DC over the payment advisory board. It’s where “death panels” came from. Providers, naturally, are not fond of it.
No: today’s right-wing hate-code for “Jewish” (after “rootless cosmopolitan” fell out of fashion) used to be “urban”, until that appellation morphed into hate-code for “n*gg*r”. Nowadays “New York” is pretty much the antisemites’ tell. Though the code gets blurred a bit these, as mindless reflexive “support for Israel” is a fundamental RW trope: though I’m sure more than few Teahadists tend to obviate the fact that Israel is actually populated mainly by Jews….
@Jay C: There’s probably a fortune to be made writing dog whistles for dummies.
I think “intellectuals” is the current code word for “Jews.”
Way late to the conversation, but if the Tea Party had the discipline, planning skills, execution skills, and general ability to function like adults, they’d have already started a 3rd party. All along I’ve assumed the fact that they act like they are their own party but they run as Republicans simply meant they are too inept, lazy, or unpopular to form a 3rd party.