Archive for pandering

VIDEO: Bobby Jindal and disrespect for transgender people all in one Sunday. Somebody talk me down.

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talk-me-down

It's time for Blood Pressure Crisis Sunday! Today's blood pressure crisis was brought on by a Meet the Press (surprise!) segment with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and a subsequent and unrelated MSNBC interview with a member of the military.

Frankly, I can't bring myself to re-watch the Jindal interview, so I'll post it without the usual transcript excerpts. If you can make it through the entire thing, you'll see why I was so exasperated:

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In short, Jindal did nothing but lie and exhibit his usual hypocrisy. He was asked a direct question about the state of the Republican party, but he refused to respond, instead going off on his usual "privatize and de-unionize" education speechifying, couching his argument in gauzier terms that the non-political junkie might misinterpret in his favor. His idea of the American Dream is a countrywide enforcement of the bigotry and corporate goals of the GOP-- or as he called it "the stupid party."

He also blamed President Obama for wanting to shut down the government. Seriously.

And said we have a deficit problem. Seriously.

chart maddow budget deficit 2013 shrinkingMemo to GOP: Federal deficit shrinking at surprising rate, long-term debt stabilized for next decade 

And in a Politico op-ed today, Jindal blamed racial inequality on minorities being too proud of their heritages

Did I mention that phony, self-serving, privatization-happy, voucher-school-loving creationist Bobby Jindal now most unpopular GOP governor in U.S.? Great choice of spokesperson, GOP. Way to go.

Following Meet the Press was Weekends with Alex Witt sans Alex Witt (I can't find the video). The host interviewed a member of the military (apologies for not catching his name, rank, and serial number, but I was listening from another room and popped in only long enough to scream at the Tee Vee Machine). They were discussing Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning) who was just sentenced to 35 years in prison and announced his intention to transition from male to female.

Putting aside the arguments over whether the military prison in Fort Leavenworth should accommodate her for now, I was struck by the blatant insensitivity and apparent bigotry of the guest. His attitude screamed, "Manning casually decided to be a girl on a whim, tough luck freak, now enjoy your time in the slammer."

No, "sir," actually Manning has long struggled with gender identity, identifies as female, and has "felt that way since childhood."

How about respecting that instead of belittling and willfully making false assumptions, "sir"? Even if he broke the law, he's still a human being. How about educating yourself instead of perpetuating ignorance and misinformation, "sir"?

The increasingly deteriorating discourse and dearth of challenges to what passes for informed commentary fed to viewing and listening audiences are not only infuriating, they're scary... and they are harmful to democracy.

blood pressure

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Quote of the Day- Rand Paul Edition

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randpaulstupid

"There is a war on Christianity," Paul told an audience of mostly evangelical Christians and Jews during a luncheon at the annual Faith and Freedom Conference in Washington. "Not just from liberal elites here at home, but worldwide. And your government, or more correctly, you, the taxpayer, are funding it. You are being taxed to send money to countries that are not only intolerant of Christians, but openly hostile. Christians are imprisoned and threatened with death for their beliefs."

Rand Paul at the Faith and Freedom Coalition 6/13/13

To be followed by a much better quote-

“Yes, the long war on Christianity. I pray that one day we may live in an America where Christians can worship freely! In broad daylight! Openly wearing the symbols of their religion... perhaps around their necks? And maybe -- dare I dream it? -- maybe one day there can be an openly Christian President. Or, perhaps, 43 of them. Consecutively.”

― Jon Stewart

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Video- The Daily Show: Guess Who's Coming to Howard

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Yep, still a pig, Reince Priebus

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lipstick on a pig

Taegan found this quote at Politico from RNC chair Reince Priebus:

"It's not the platform of the party that's the issue. In many cases, it's how we communicate about it."

No, it's both, Reince. Good communication techniques are helpful, but first you need a message or twelve that, you know, resonate, or down you go again.

Priebus is now channeling Karl Rove, who said to the GOP: Just don’t *sound* intolerant.

Mitt Romney famously said, “It would be helpful to be Latino.” So he, too, was hoping to appear to be someone voters could relate to, but had no intention of changing his message. Not really. Whatever that message was at the moment.

And Bobby Jindal said, “If we want people to like us, we have to like them first.”

Again, it’s one thing to be introspective and see the error of your ways. It’s quite another to do an abrupt 180 and pretend you care, hoping nobody will notice that you’re pandering your ass off.

Here's what I wrote back in November, responding to Rove's inanity:

So as long as you don’t sound intolerant (or racist, or bigoted), as long as you can pretend you’re one thing while believing another, as long as you put on a good show, you’ll dupe Americans into voting for you. Never mind genuine outreach, just say the right words, sell the right product, be extra careful to couch your disdain in prettier language and voila!

Superficial fixes will pave the way to big election wins if they’re wrapped up real purty with a big bow. Those ignorami will never catch on...

Yet Reince Priebus still believes if his party members use appealing wording and the right catch phrases, yet adhere to the same anti-women, anti-LGBT, anti-voter, anti-civil rights, anti-economic growth, anti-Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security, anti-postal service, anti-union, anti-middle class policies, America will magically fall in love with them and reward them at the ballot box.

The GOP has learned nothing.

They still have no foresight or grasp of the health of our planet and want to do away with the Environmental Protection Agency.

They still want to do away with unions.

They still want to do away with the middle class.

They still want to do away with the Democratic party.

They still want to do away with free speech and expression.

They still want to do away with human dignity.

They still want to do away with civility toward anyone who is not like them, meaning white and/or Christian.

They still want to do away with health care for anyone but the wealthiest AmericansEspecially women’s health care.

They still want to do away with allowing two people who love each other to marry each other.

They still want to do away with privacy and freedom of choice.

They still want to do away with taxes for the very wealthy, not to mention productive spending and job growth at the expense of the health and welfare of this country.

No rewording can do away with all that.

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Why Bobby Jindal is aiding and abetting the transformation of the GOP into "the stupid party"

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BOBBY-JINDAL-AND-KENNETH-THE-PAGE-large

(Apologies to Kenneth the page)

Think Progress is reporting about a speech to the Republican National Committee by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in which he said that the GOP “must stop being the stupid party”:

We must stop being the stupid party. It’s time for a new Republican party that talks like adults. It’s time for us to articulate our plans and visions for America in real terms. We had a number of Republicans damage the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. We’ve had enough of that.

Perhaps one way to stop being the stupid party is to get new-- and adult-- members by ridding itself of people like Jindal. And Cantor. And Ryan. And Bachmann. And McConnell. And so many others.

TP goes on to list five ways that Jindal is responsible for transforming the GOP into "the stupid party." Here are the ways, but please link over to read the details:

1. He permits Louisiana schools to teach creationism. (We covered that here in posts about the amazing anti-creationism efforts of my teen activist pal, Zack Kopplin.)

2. He allows state employees to be fired for being gay.

3. He has signed bills to intimidate women seeking abortions. J

4. He seeks to dramatically cut taxes for the wealthy, increase taxes for everyone else.

5. He refuses to provide health care for Louisiana’s poorest.

Let's expand on those:


In that post, I wrote:

Bobby states, with a straight face, that his party will actually “have” to try to “like” people who aren’t white, male, and wealthy. They’re forced to do that now, because, hey, they’re going to run for office, for Pete’s sake! What an effort that will be! Maybe if they close their eyes real tightly and hold their noses, they can tolerate getting within a few feet of a few select people who don’t look, act, or sound like them.

Without saying “Ew!” I mean.

 The stupid party. Ew.

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Growing Latino clout forces GOP hand-- including evangelical pastors, US Chamber of Commerce-- on immigration reform

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Panderers Box

President Obama has consistently been on the side of Dreamers, as you can see here, as well as doing his best to provide Latinos (and everyone else) with comprehensive health care coverage and more. And the GOP fought him and obstructed his every plan every step of the way.

That lost them elections.

So Karl Rove said this to his fellow Republicans: Just don’t *sound* intolerant, fool America into thinking you care. Of course he did. It's all about optics.

In 2012, Mitt Romney famously said, “It would be helpful to be Latino.” Of course he did. It's all about winning. In fact, on the Maddow show, Rosie Perez mocked Romney on immigration and his “joking” about that very thing.

And Bobby Jindal said, “If we want people to like us, we have to like them first.” In that post I noted that it’s one thing to be introspective and see the error of your ways. It’s quite another to do an abrupt 180 and pretend you care, hoping nobody will notice that you’re pandering your ass off.

But pander they will, no matter how much their eyes water and they grind their teeth down to stumps. After all, cosmetics and superficial slogans and narratives are their forte. They believe that will get them the political donations and votes they need to win at the ballot box.

But what actually works, what actually appeals to voters is standing up for all Americans in word and deed, not just old rich old white guys. Take this for example...

With Obama fundraising, Latinos demonstrate growing clout:

Though $30 million was a small slice of Obama's record $1.1-billion haul, the Futuro Fund inducted a new cohort of donors into national politics, and created a Latino fundraising network that other politicians are clamoring to access. Most importantly, the group's work demonstrated the growing clout of Latinos beyond the ballot box. [...]

Democrats are using the inauguration to cement ties with the new class of donors. [...]

A large share came at high-dollar events, such as a fundraiser Obama headlined at the Los Angeles home of actors Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith. But organizers also worked the phones. Concern about the GOP presidential challengers, who quarreled in the primaries over who would be tougher on illegal immigrants, helped spur contributions.

Latino donors "just didn't feel that the Republicans even understood their point of view," Lopez said. "And frankly, a lot of them said, 'I've never been asked,' which was our hunch."

So now they've been asked, and now they'll have more influence, as they should. And you know what that means...

Republican allies advocate for immigration reform. We all saw this coming:

Traditional pillars of the Republican base, such as police groups, evangelical pastors and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have begun to push skeptical GOP lawmakers to change federal immigration laws to allow most of the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants to apply for legal status.

The issue has long been fought mostly between Republicans and Democrats. But the fate of a potential immigration overhaul may be determined by battles erupting inside the GOP. [...]

Republican strategists have dubbed the emerging coalition "Bibles, badges and business." And opponents are gearing up their own lobbying machinery in favor of restricting immigration. [...]

"Republicans need to change now because the country is changing," said Nowrasteh, the immigration expert at the Cato Institute. "It is self preservation as well."

There it is: Self preservation. Bingo.

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Karl Rove to GOP: Just don't *sound* intolerant.

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Via @MzYun

Republicans are struggling to reinvent themselves, but that's not going to be easy. They've stubbornly adhered to their extreme and/or small-minded conservative beliefs and policies, because that's who they are, at least for the most part.  Here are a few examples from a post I wrote back in 2011 during the Wisconsin protests:

The GOP has no foresight or grasp of the health of our planet and wants to do away with the Environmental Protection Agency.

The GOP wants to do away with unions.

The GOP wants to do away with the middle class.

The GOP wants to do away with the Democratic party.

The GOP wants to do away with free speech and expression.

The GOP wants to do away with human dignity.

The GOP wants to do away with civility toward anyone who is not like them, meaning white and/or Christian.

The GOP wants to do away with health care for anyone but the wealthiest AmericansEspecially women’s health care.

The GOP wants to do away with allowing two people who love each other to marry each other.

The GOP wants to do away with freedom of choice.

The GOP wants to do away with taxes for the very wealthy, not to mention productive spending and job growth at the expense of the health and welfare of this country.

We need to do away with the extreme demands of the GOP.  We have no choice… but that’s exactly what they want.

Which brings us to 2012, when Mitt Romney famously said, “It would be helpful to be Latino.”

And Bobby Jindal said, “If we want people to like us, we have to like them first.” In that post I noted that it’s one thing to be introspective and see the error of your ways. It’s quite another to do an abrupt 180 and pretend you care, hoping nobody will notice that you’re pandering your ass off.

All these people who are professing to belong to the no-longer-divisive party are sadly laughable. Who did they vote for again? Who did they openly support? Oh yeah, the guy who wished self-deportation on undocumented immigrants.

Karl Rove is now saying something similar to what Jindal said. Notice the wording.

KFDI-FM: Rove said the Republican party is splintered because of intolerant and judgmental language and an unwillingness to acknowledge differences. He said the party needs to find the right language to talk about the issues without being judgmental or harsh, and it needs to have leaders who can create that kind of environment. 

So as long as you don't sound intolerant (or racist, or bigoted), as long as you can pretend you're one thing while believing another, as long as you put on a good show, you'll dupe Americans into voting for you. Never mind genuine outreach, just say the right words, sell the right product, be extra careful to couch your disdain in prettier language and voila!

Superficial fixes will pave the way to big election wins if they're wrapped up real purty with a big bow. Those ignorami will never catch on, right Karl?

You can listen to the short audio clip of Rove's mumbo-jumbo here.

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