Teh Stupid Party

bobby jindal
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who slams government spending except when it benefits his state, is begging his party for a little less stupidity.


The party that lost the last four out of five national elections, and whose electoral tent accommodates racists, misogynists, neocons, gun nuts, social Darwinists, plutocratic sociopaths, and nativists of the Know Nothing Party stripe, is setting out to rebrand itself as— wait for it— a party of populists.

“We are a populist party” declared Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, during a speech last Thursday to the Republican National Committee in Charlotte, N.C.

Jindal, a leading contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, said of Teh Party of Stupid:

“We must stop being the stupid party.

Good luck with that. You would think that after getting their butts kicked during last November’s national elections over issues like women’s reproductive rights, health care reform, and disaster relief, they would begin the 2013 legislative session with a lessons learned attitude. You’d be wrong. On the issue of women’s control over their own bodies, no less a party leader than Paul Ryan, who Charlie Pierce has christened “the zombie eyed granny starver,” co-sponsored another “personhood” bill.  Feminst.org reports:

“Conservative Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), along with 16 other representatives, have co-sponsored the “Sanctity of Human Life Act,” which would give full person rights to a human embryo. The “Sanctity of Human Life Act” was originally introduced in 2011 by Representative Paul Broun (R-GA). Broun reintroduced the bill early in the new congressional session. The bill establishes that “the life of each human being begins with fertilization, …, at which time every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.” The bill extends this protection even to any “one-celled human embryo.”

The practical effect would make abortion not only illegal but a federal civil rights crime.  On the state level,  Teh Stupid is taking even more bizarre turn.

Via ThinkProgress:

Should a recently introduced bill in New Mexico become law, rape victims will be required to carry their pregnancies to term during their sexual assault trials or face charges of “tampering with evidence.” Under HB 206, if a woman ended her pregnancy after being raped, both she and her doctor would be charged with a felony punishable by up to 3 years in state prison: Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime. Sexual assault trials are infamously grueling for survivors, who are often subjected to character assassination and other attempts to discredit their accounts. State Rep. Cathrynn Brown’s (R) bill would add the forced choice between prison or an unwanted pregnancy to these proceedings.

Apparently, rape kits are so expensive in New Mexico that it is cheaper to test for the rapist’s DNA by bringing a baby to term than it is to test his sperm gathered at the time of the crime.

Bachmann Stupid Bonnet
Michelle Bachmann, who raised $23 million for her 2012 re-election campaign, is storming the Hill once again to repeal ObamaCare.

On health care reform, wingnut extraordinaire Michelle Bachmann apparently thinks that the 34th time is the charm.

Via Eclectablog:

Republicans have been trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act since it was passed. The last time was in July 2012. That was the 33rd attempt. Today, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann tweeted this:

At noon today, I introduced the first bill of the 113th Congress to repeal Obamacare in its entirety.

After the July vote, CBS News calculated that upwards of 89 hours had been spent tilting at this ridiculous windmill to the tune of something in the area of $50 million.

On the issue of disaster relief and the broader issue of anthropogenic climate change, not only has the House dragged its feet on providing urgently needed emergency funds for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, they want to prevent the EPA from even thinking about regulating the Koch Brothers and the rest of the fossil fuel extraction industries by reintroducing a bill from last year’s session.

From Mark Sumner at Daily Kos:

…H.R. 910, also known as the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011. Despite the name, the purpose of the bill was not to reduce the (ridiculously low) federal tax on gas, or to reduce the (ridiculously low) rate that corporations pay for rights on federal land, or even to reduce the (ridiculously low) level of efforts made to develop alternative energy sources. Here’s the purpose of that bill:

To amend the Clean Air Act to prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating any regulation concerning, taking action relating to, or taking into consideration the emission of a greenhouse gas to address climate change, and for other purposes.

That’s about as clear as it can be, but just to restate for those still shaking off the shock, it was a bill to make it impossible for the EPA to do anything about greenhouse gases. Not just to keep the EPA from levying any sort of theoretical fee on carbon emissions, but to stop the EPA from even thinking about the climate.

Paul Krugman sums up the Rethug dilemma neatly in his column Monday, showing that for all its attempts to worm itself back into the heart of the American electorate, and to make its rhetoric sound less crazy, the best the GOP can hope for is a triumph of form over substance:

…prominent Republicans have begun acknowledging that their party needs to improve its image. But here’s the thing: Their proposals for a makeover all involve changing the sales pitch rather than the product. When it comes to substance, the G.O.P. is more committed than ever to policies that take from most Americans and give to a wealthy handful…

Like the new acknowledgment that the perception of being the party of the rich is a problem, this represents a departure for the G.O.P. — but in the opposite direction. In the past, Republicans would justify tax cuts for the rich either by claiming that they would pay for themselves or by claiming that they could make up for lost revenue by cutting wasteful spending. But what we’re seeing now is open, explicit reverse Robin Hoodism: taking from ordinary families and giving to the rich. That is, even as Republicans look for a way to sound more sympathetic and less extreme, their actual policies are taking another sharp right turn.

So far this month, the House Rethugs have agreed to kick the debt ceiling issue down the road for 90 days. Upcoming, they must confront a previous episode of can-kicking,  the humongous budget cuts of the  2011 sequestration law scheduled to take effect March 1. Then they must somehow forge next year’s budget, which will spur demands for a fundamental rewrite of the entire tax code.  Also too, they will likely be dealing with legislation from the Senate concerning immigration, gun control, and climate change. Meanwhile, the party sappers, those tactical engineers who can’t be bothered with all this bothersome policy and messaging nuance nonsense, are busy rigging the electoral machinery to produce future victories that defy the will of the electorate.

Unable to win the last two presidential elections, even with the help of unlimited corporate spending and undemocratic voting restrictions, Republicans are now trying to change the rules of the game again. They clearly won’t let a sense of shame stop them from rigging the next presidential election. The only thing that will stop them is widespread public outrage. Last year, their blatant efforts to change voting laws to keep students, minorities and low-income people from voting backfired in a major way, as those who saw their right to vote threatened took extra care to exercise it. Under this new scheme, it won’t matter how many Americans turn out to vote. The winner will be chosen before the first vote is cast. These Republican politicians may not take our democracy seriously, but most American voters do. The GOP will have to learn that if they can’t win elections the honest way, they aren’t going to win at all.

You know how low they’ve sunk when the only sane sounding man in the room claims to have exorcised a demon from his girlfriend in college;  made it legal to bring guns to church; and instituted the largest school voucher program in the country so that kids can learn all about earth’s 9,000 year history from the Bible. (This latter educational innovation presumably has the full support of Paul Broun, who sits on the House Science and Technology Committee and has determined that evolution is “lies from the pit of hell.”)

The GOP has a bigger problem than just messaging and policy fails.  It has a problem with reality itself.

Teh Stupid Party: The Repug Asylum is bursting at the seams


  1. Missed that moment of radio history, Terry. Can’t say I’m sorry I did. So much of what comes from the Republican noise machine is so noxious that I can’t bring myself to listen to it. To my way of thinking, Limbaugh’s rants are about as appealing as toxic sluge on a dinner plate.

    I have, though, been looking closely at the issues at the center of the gun violence debate recently. The Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre affected me in a way that none of the previous gun massacres have – the straw that broke the camel’s back, as it were. Actually, I’ve been studying that set of issues for years, but the Sandy Hook massacre focused my attention on one particular aspect of this complex problem – violent media content – and the relevant social science research.

    The hook was a news article that revealed the shooter as being habituated to violent video games. These games are the terrible leitmotif of American school gun massacres. Adam Lanza, was habituated to First Person Shooter (FPS) video games http://www.businessinsider.com/adam-lanza-played-call-of-duty-2012-12. Heath High School shooter Michael Carneal was addicted to FPS video games http://www.aim.org/media-monitor/video-games-can-kill/. Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold reacted angrily when their parents attempted to restrict their use of violent video games http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/07/05/tieing-columbine-to-video-games/. Evidence suggests that FPS video games are the very worst kind of violent media product, the most effective at desensitizing gamers to mayhem and murder while teaching them to acquire targets quickly, aim accurately, and fire effectively. Very similar products are in wide use by military and law enforcement organizations as marksmanship training aids. The computer video game industry aggressively markets these games to children, with tragic effects such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

    The science regarding the effects of violent media product is conclusive, persuasive beyond any reasonable doubt. No doubt about it – violent media product incites violence in society http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/124/5/1495.full. Strangely, it is more often conservatives who attempt to focus on media violence as a causative factor in America’s epidemic of gun violence, but, unsurprisingly, Big Media gatekeepers are having none of it. Tom Ridge’s failed attempt to introduce media violence into the public discussion just days after the Newtown massacre is but one example http://www.mediaite.com/tv/david-brooks-shuts-down-former-gop-governor-after-he-blames-video-games-for-ct-massacre/. David Brooks shut Ridge down very quickly, at the invitation of NBC Meet the Press host David Gregory. Ridge, whatever one may think of his politics – and I am no fan – served on the commission that investigated the nation’s worst ever school shooting, the Virginian Tech massacre. Clearly, the entertainment industry corporations, which is to say Big Media corporations generally, are desperate to minimize public interest in the social science research regarding media violence and marginalize all discussion of media violence as a major causative factor in America’s epidemic of gun massacres. Researchers who study media violence report that they receive hate mail http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/faculty/caa/abstracts/2000-2004/01BA.ap.pdf.

    Even a cursory study of the social science around media violence reveals that violence – gun violence in particular – is at the center of American popular culture primarily because violence – gun violence in particular – is at the center of the entertainment industry’s most lucrative product lines and revenue streams.

    The most troubling questions arise when one dares to take a close look at the entertainment industry. Here is what one widely-respected authority, J. J. Goldberg, has written:

    “It is true that Jews are represented in the media in numbers far out of proportion to their share of the population. … they make up one-fourth or more of the writers, editors, and producers in America’s ‘elite media,’ including network news divisions, top news weeklies and the four leading daily newspapers (New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal).

    “In the fast-moving world of media mega-corporations, Jews are even more numerous. In an October 1994 Vanity Fair feature profiling the kingpins of the new media elite, titled ‘The New Establishment,’ just under half of the two dozen entrepreneurs profiled were Jews. In the view of the magazine’s editors, these are America’s true power elite, ‘men and women from the entertainment, communications, and computer industries whose ambitions and influence have made America the one true superpower of the Information Age.

    “And in a few key sectors of the media, notably among Hollywood studio executives, Jews are so numerically dominant that calling these businesses Jewish-controlled is little more than a statistical observation.” –JJ Goldberg, writing in Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1996http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J.J._Goldberg

    At this point, I stop to note this passage http://www.truthbook.com/index.cfm?linkID=1410#U158_8_1 in which the Master spoke to the apostles about a millstone and those who cause “one of these little ones to stumble.”

    And I wonder, again, about this “spiritual pressure from above” http://www.truthbook.com/index.cfm?linkID=1299#U52_6_7 and when and how it will find more effective purchase on this “sin-darkened world” http://www.truthbook.com/index.cfm?linkID=1436#U184_4_4.

    Is this piece http://www.alternet.org/media/we-are-country-drenched-bloodshed-some-hard-truths-about-violence-media by Don Hazen and Jan Frel an example of that pressure finding purchase? I would like to think it is. After all, what we are after here is the insight that is “essential to living the the golden rule” and the “qualities which insure planetary group survival” http://www.truthbook.com/index.cfm?linkID=1299#U52_6_5.

  2. Propagandee

    Did ya’ll catch catch the effusive end of Limpbot’s interview with GOPer Golden Boy Marco Rubio after he let R’s comment that immigrants only come to America for free stuff go by without challenge?

    R was positively giddy, like a meth addict who just discovered the wonders of dental implants…

  3. Sticks

    Agree with all y’all but still feel like I want to say it in my own words. The gop is so off the rails that it seems they can’t conceive of righting their ship properly. Doing the necessary things like banishing the failed tea party nut jobs and supporting jobs bills and realizing that being obstinate to everything Obama does when polls show he has the support of the majority of the people probably seems truly radical to them at this point. There’s real weaknesses to Obama that they could parlay into political capital but they’d rather splash around in a pool of self serving embarrassment. They’re like the boorish drunk who keeps going on and on despite all the eye rolls and sighs around him forcing the uncomfortable listeners to come up with excuses to get away from him.

    1. BlueNose

      Hey Sticks,

      I wish it was a simple matter of putting some distance between the sane people and some drunks, but I think you already know it’s a lot more serious than that.

      I think the Repugs are decades away from the kind of caring and compassion it takes to see the importance of putting our citizens back to work. Witness the recent meeting they had where they were instructed on how to talk to women and Latinos— don’t say, “Send them all back,” and, “electric fences,” and don’t ever talk to women about “rape.”

      It’s not political capital they need; it’s a soul.

  4. Jim

    You forgot the midwest GOP is already dominated by those kicky bros from Kansas. So they cannot lose the lunacy there. So it will come from the waterlands, Those with the wet brains and alligators in their backyards. Not saying the jingo’s but more like Jebs kid, A true rethug just out of the beer drinkin days, Runnin for something in Texas i believe. Just beggin for the kickin bros to feed his pocket so he can be da man. And sneak in to finish the party off for us.

  5. Sherry

    Believe me, they want to change but I would bet my last Popsicle that they just cannot bring themselves to rid themselves of all these idiots. I fully expect the immigration bill to implode in the House. Boehner must be sweating bullets already. They are addicted to crazy. They cannot go cold turkey.

    1. Propagandee

      Hi Sherry

      Bobo is certainly among those who want the party to change, writing in today’s Times:

      “It’s probably futile to try to change current Republicans. It’s smarter to build a new wing of the Republican Party, one that can compete in the Northeast, the mid-Atlantic states, in the upper Midwest and along the West Coast. It’s smarter to build a new division that is different the way the Westin is different than the Sheraton.”

      But he’s so frantic about the party’s prospects that he can’t think straight, continuing:

      “The second G.O.P. … would be filled with people who recoiled at President Obama’s second Inaugural Address because of its excessive faith in centralized power, but who don’t share the absolute antigovernment story of the current G.O.P. Would a coastal and Midwestern G.O.P. sit easily with the Southern and Western one? No, but majority parties are usually coalitions of the incompatible. This is really the only chance Republicans have.”

      What makes him think that the GOP isn’t already a coalition of incompatibles, with supposedly anti-corporatist Teabaggers funded by uber-corporatists like the Koch Brothers? Of sociopathic Wall Street banksters in bed with religious fundamentalists and Southern rednecks? Of libertarian isolationists cohabitating with imperialist neocons?

      The differing “wings” Bobo imagines is best conceived of as wings in a crumbling insane asylum, populated by The Walking Dead of a post GOPer zombie apocalypse.

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