"Strategic Shoutycrackery" Edition
Despite what you may have heard, in no way did Karl Rove “lose it” or “melt down” Sunday. Instead, he simply deployed for political advantage a tactic with which every public transit rider has long been familiar: strategic craziness. To wit, making such an unbearably loud, shrieking nuisance of oneself on the train or bus that everyone will leave you the Hell alone rather than risk a rabies bite or shiv in the kidney.
And, as every pub trans rider also knows, there are only a few ways of dealing with the situation without bloodshed.
You can whip out your “Minority Report” .44 Frenum puffgun...
(I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six gusts or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this CGI I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Frenum, the most powerful puffgun in the world, and would blow your shirt clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?)
Or, if you think you’re The One
you can take it outside...
Or, if you have one handy,
you can throw a Vulcan at the problem.
But what you don’t do with a yammering shitwhistle is put him on-camera, unchaperoned, in front of millions of people.
Unless of course you’re ABC, and you got skunked last week when Fox News Contributor and Unindicted War Criminal Karl Rove zipped through the express interview lane over at rival NBC to pimp his new book and speed-lie through 240 seconds of Tom Brokaw’s slow-ball interviewing.
And speaking of NBC, the unctuous David Gregory was back from his Rove-Avoidance-Vacation this week on “Meet the Press” meting out what, in the Fluffyland locker-room, I’m sure he describes as ruthless verbal beat-downs administered to anyone who dares to step into his house and lie to the American people.
Of course, what he did in fact was piddle around with House Republican Leader Rep. John Boehner and House Democratic Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer for awhile, pausing only long enough to bust out the occasional LOLCAT
to make some stupid point or another.
Boehner: The President gave many speeches. Despite that, Republicans are still assholes. Therefore we should kill the bill.
David Gregory: Here’s a cute LOLCAT that sums up everything better than I can.
Boehner Oooh! Oooh! Lookit the Kitteh! It will be so sad for them when the Evil Gummint takes over of the Health Care system with munnies stolen – stolen! – from Medicare!
Hoyer: This is such bullshit.
Boehner And then ruins our economy.
Hoyer: Double bullshit.
Boehner: It is a Gummint Takeover! It is! It is!
Gregory: What about the mobs of teabaggers who are chanting Republican-trademarked anti-gummint slogans, while they spit on Congressmen and call them fags and n*ggers?
Boehner: I would like to take a moment away from trying to claw my way into the teabagger’s pants to emphasize that these are few, isolated incidents. And that we’ve got the best health care system in the world.
Hoyer: The tone of the debate has been driven into the sewer by douchbags like this guy sitting next to me.
Boehner: Fluffy, make him stop swearing in front of the L-O-L-C-A-T.
Gregory: There is a cost for inaction. (Reads likely doomsday scenario of doing nothing).
Boehner: There’s nobody in Washington that’s talking about inaction. Greatest health care system in the world! Gummint takeover! Danger! Danger!
Boehner: Never have we made such a big decision on partisan lines.
Because it sure seems like I can remember one or two or three or eleven times when the Dregs of Dixie have tried to kick over the checkerboard rather the play nice with the hated Yankee/Negro/Liberal/Feminist/Hippie/Union/Gay/Whatever aggressors.
“Fox News Sunday”
Or so I hear.
Back on “This Week” ...
Saturday night, outlining the likely course the Mouse Circus would take, I noted to myself that Christiane Amanpour would apparently be starring in the pilot episode of the "Amanpour and the Six White Guys" Show.
Turns out I got a couple of things wrong.
First, it ended up being Nine White Guys: six scheduled and in real time, Mitch McConnell on tape, and Republican Eric Cantor and Democrat John Larson tacked on at the last minute to round out some face-time quota.
Also there was no Christiane Amanpour on the Christiane Amanpour Show: Despite a week of advertising her Triumphant Ascension
at the last minute they plugged in Generic White Guy to host this mess.
So...Ten White Guys.
Also last night, as I paced to and fro in front of the Great Castle 3DBB
carefully flowcharting out every possible combination and permutation of what might happen, I also assumed, in the main, things would unfold like so:
Karl Rove and David Plouffe would have a dork-off about ward-level micro-political-marketing and process while carefully avoiding mentioning the fact that Rove should really be doing this interview on Skype from the exercise pen of the ADX Florence federal supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.
Tom Daschle would avoid mentioning the fact that he is a Health Insurance industry stealth lobbyist.
Trent Lott would avoid mentioning Strom Thurmond.
George Will would not avoid mentioning Herbert Hoover since every good Conservative knows that it was Franklin Roosevelt caused the Great Depression. The filthy class-traitor.
Sam Donaldson would avoid moving his head violently enough dislodge what appears to be a hirsute flounder glued to the top of his skull.
So imagine my surprise when, as my eyes slowly adjusted to the Mighty Caucasian Glare blasting out of my teevee set, I caught a glimpse of what I initially took to be a nature film of a grubworm fighting with a matchbook.
With the Lords of Acid’s “I Must Increase My Bust”
for a soundtrack for some reason (Not safe for work).
Turns out it was Karl Rove, playing it all shoutycrackers and pointing frantically at a little white board.
Plouffe: I think…
Rove: Economic disaster!
Plouffe: Could I…
Rove: Destroy America!
Plouffe: If I could just get a word…
Rove: Doc fix! Doc fix! Doc fix!
Plouffe: Politics is about comparisons…
Rove: Touch my monkey! Love it!
Plouffe: Look, the fact of the matter is…
Rove: George W. Bush was the greatest President in American history!
Plouffe: Here are the actual…
Rove: Move On dot Org! Democrats bribing people. Violating federal law.
Plouffe: Karl Rove also said that the stimulus program was a failure. But in truth, the economy has grown by…
Rove: Gummint jobs! Those are all gummint jobs!
Rove absolutely would not shut the fuck up while Plouffe kept on smiling and looking to the Ineffectual Host for some hint that he was going to referee.
Of course, the hosts of the Mouse Circus aren’t referees at all. They’re fight promoters, doing for politics exactly what Don King used to do for boxing. And the uglier and bloodier things get, the better their corporate masters like it.
Ineffectual Host Who We Will Never See Again: People think the process is fucked up. And as anyone who listens to this conversation could see, it kinda is. Isn’t it President Obama’s fault that Karl Rove is a lying shitbag?
Rove: Yes. The fact that the GOP has spent an entire year obstructing every single thing the Kenyan Usurper is trying to do is absolutely Obama’s fault. I’d also like to take this opportunity to dump another wheelbarrow of meaningless Frank Luntz-certified fear-words into the middle of this pig fight: Kabuki! Aloof! Distant! Detached! Bernie Maddoff!
Plouffe: If Republicans want to run on this, maybe they want to break out that awesome fucking “Mission Accomplished” banner again.
Rove: That banner was to honor the men and women who served on the USS Abraham Lincoln. Why does David Plouffe hate our troops?
On close observation, Rove’s red-faced, bulldozing act here reminded me of his softer, slower, labyrinthine, word-parsing turn on “Fresh Air”, in that (as was noted on Friday’s Driftglass and Bluegal Podcast ) Rove’s specialty is calibrating his lie-delivery-system to exploit the bad habits of the host of whatever program he gets booked on.
On the more temperate medium of “Fresh Air” radio, he used endless parsing wordplay to dupe Terry Gross into chasing her tail until every question was a meaningless gruel of vowels and consonants on which he imposed his own interpretation, and then gave long, winding answers to his own questions.
On the more aggressive medium of Mouse Circus teevee, four important factors worked heavily in favor of Rove getting away with his ranting and blustering virtually unchallanged:
1. A weak and inept substitute teacher was running the show.The minute it was permitted to become a pig fight, the King of the Pig People was going to win it.
2. A numbers-geek opponent who was clearly unprepared to deal with a crazy person, and who kept looking to the weak and inept substitute teacher to regain control over the situation.
3. Rove was off-site, making it impossible to use traditional kinds of physical interaction (arm grab, pointing, leaning in, etc.) to change the rhythm of the exchange.
4. Job security. Rove can say and do whatever he fucking well pleases and still have a happy home to go back to at Fox.
Finally, some of the more interesting exchanges took place on the down-market ”The Chris Matthews Show”, where Matthews was honest enough to ask the question:
How come Republicans aren’t paying any price for blocking everything?Good question.
Michele Norris: Because Obama never framed it that way.
Good answer. Incomplete, but correct.
Also Michael Duffy was candid enough to mention that, when he talks to Republicans off the record, they say they’re not ready to govern. That they don’t want to actually run anything. Sure, they’re more that willing to lead the pitchfork-and-torches mobs and burn the country down for partisan gain, but privately they’ll admit their leaders suck, they have no ideas, and they really don’t disagree on the basic stuff Obama is trying to do.
In other words, they’re just scumbags, and among the pig-ignorant Confederate dregs left sloshing around at the bottom of the Republican Barrel, there is absolutely no downside to being that kind of !Hulk!Smash! scumbag.
Howard Fineman laid out one of the less visible but very real consequences to the GOP’s strategy of just blocking everything: there are now a couple of hundred critical appointments in the pipeline and the fact the Senate won’t act on them is really gumming up the works.
Fineman: Because any Senator can hold up anything for any reason. And a bunch of Senators – mostly Republican, but some Democrats – have decided to do just that.
First, this is a situation that has been going on for a
Second, one, rancid DINO outlier
Ben Nelson will back GOP filibusterdoes not a bipartisan coalition make.
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) announced Monday evening that he will support a Republican-led filibuster over President Barack Obama's nominee to serve on the National Labor Relations Board.
The move is likely to infuriate labor groups who have fought hard for Craig Becker's nomination to serve on the five-member NLRB - and will likely give Republicans enough support to sustain a filibuster Tuesday.
Nelson, a conservative Democrat up for reelection in 2012, has seen his approval ratings drop sharply since he lent his support for Obama's health care bill in December and secured deals for Nebraska's Medicaid payments.
This is and always has been a Republican Thing.
As Krugman wrote in the New York Times today:
...the emotional core of opposition to reform was blatant fear-mongering, unconstrained either by the facts or by any sense of decency.From torpedoing Administration nominations en masse, to whipping the Pig People into ever higher states of frenzy, the goal of the Republican Party has always been simple and has never changed: To cripple, bankrupt, lie, terrorize and by any other means necessary render the United States of America ungovernable.
It wasn’t just the death panel smear. It was racial hate-mongering, like a piece in Investor’s Business Daily declaring that health reform is “affirmative action on steroids, deciding everything from who becomes a doctor to who gets treatment on the basis of skin color.” It was wild claims about abortion funding. It was the insistence that there is something tyrannical about giving young working Americans the assurance that health care will be available when they need it, an assurance that older Americans have enjoyed ever since Lyndon Johnson — whom Mr. Gingrich considers a failed president — pushed Medicare through over the howls of conservatives.
And let’s be clear: the campaign of fear hasn’t been carried out by a radical fringe, unconnected to the Republican establishment. On the contrary, that establishment has been involved and approving all the way. Politicians like Sarah Palin — who was, let us remember, the G.O.P.’s vice-presidential candidate — eagerly spread the death panel lie, and supposedly reasonable, moderate politicians like Senator Chuck Grassley refused to say that it was untrue. On the eve of the big vote, Republican members of Congress warned that “freedom dies a little bit today” and accused Democrats of “totalitarian tactics,” which I believe means the process known as “voting.”
And then whine their way back to power complaining about how mean everyone is and how nothing gets done.