Monday, April 8, 2013

Last Call

Look guys, I know this is rapidly turning into the "Stupid Crap The Rand Paul Says That Should Disqualify Him From Ever Being President" blog, but the guy is my Senator, so I feel compelled to document the atrocities.  Regardless, I gotta live with him representing me now.

Anyway, the documenting part, right.  Here's part of that CBN interview he did last week, getting some much-needed attention.

Where marriage is adjudicated, whether it’s at the federal level or at the state level, we’ve always had marriage certificates and we’ve had them at the state level. If we keep it that way, maybe we can still have the discussion go on without make the decision go all the way one way or all the way the other way.

I think right now if we say we’re only going to have a federally mandated one-man, one-woman marriage, we’re going to lose that battle because the country is going the other way right now. If we were to say each state can decide, I think a good 25, 30 states still do believe in traditional marriage, and maybe we allow that debate to go on for another couple of decades and see if we can still win back the hearts and minds of people.

Substitute "slavery" for "traditional marriage" in that sentence (and 15 for the number of states backing it) and this asshole would fit in perfectly in proto-Confederate 1853 South.  It's the same damn argument, and used for the same damn purposes it was used for 160 years ago.

Same damn party it seems, too.

A Pimm's Cup For Posterity

Former British PM (and Baroness) Margaret Thatcher died this morning after suffering a stroke, and as with Reagan, the hagiography has already begun.  It's good then to remind everyone that today's GOP would have thrown The Iron Lady out of the party, and that she would have been attacked as a BIG GUBMENT Socialist.

She supported socialized medicine. The modern-day GOP is so obsessed with trying to repeal Obamacare that they’ve held nearly 40 votes to do so. But Obamacare is actually a much more conservative health care policy than the socialized National Health Service, which Thatcher lauded as an accomplishment of the United Kingdom. “I believed that the NHS was a service of which we could genuinely be proud,” she wrote in her book, “It delivered a high quality of care — especially when it came to acute illnesses — and at a reasonably modest unit cost, at least compared with some insurance-based systems.”
She increased taxes. Spending actually rose during Thatcher’s first seven years in office, as the New York Times reports, and taxes took up a larger percentage as share of gross domestic product. Indeed, even by the end of her time in office taxes were still a higher percentage of GDP than they were when she arrived:

Thatcher also increased the Value Added Tax (VAT), which Newt Gingrich described as “European socialism” during the 2012 election cycle.
She believed in climate change. Thatcher was an early adherent to climate science, and once warned, “The danger of global warming is as yet unseen but real enough for us to make changes and sacrifices so that we do not live at the expense of future generations.”
She recognized that gun laws can limit gun violence. After a deadly shooting rampage in England, Thatcher said, “If [gun laws] need to be tightened up, or if we think that it could prevent anything more like this, then of course that will be considered.” A year later, the government passed the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988, which outlawed semi-automatic weapons, changed requirements on registering guns, allowed police to refuse a weapon to anyone they saw unfit, and allowed the Home Secretary to add other guns to the list of banned firearms.

So no, Maggie Thatcher would have, much like Reagan, been thrown out of today's ultra-conservative GOP.  Something to keep in mind. 

Rand Paul And The Dudebro Vote

The Austerity Bombermen have so far had decent success in starving out the 99%, other than what awesome victories the Democrats handed them on sequestration and whatnot.  Still, let’s be honest about the reason for the “recent GOP soul-searching” here, it’s cold political calculus on how to inflict maximum austerity and move the remaining 20% of the country’s wealth into the hands of the elite.  “Austerity Because God Said So” hasn’t worked, in fact it’s backfired into that whole “care about the poor” thing.  “Austerity Because The Math Demands It” has worked a bit better, but not as well as it could have, the Math got us the bank disaster and people actually have noticed (mainly because all-new people got to join the ranks of the poor).

That brings us to Austerity revision 3.0:  Austerity Because Don’t Tread On Me.  Enter Sen. Rand Paul, the new poster child of the VSP complete with feature article from WIN THE MORNING.

Led by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), libertarians hope to become a dominant wing of the GOP by tapping into a potent mix of war weariness, economic anxiety and frustration with federal overreach in the fifth year of Barack Obama’s presidency.
The country’s continuing fixation on fiscal issues, especially spending and debt, allows them to emphasize areas of agreement with conservative allies who are looking for ways to connect with Republicans who aren’t passionate about abortion or same-sex marriage. A Democratic administration ensures consensus on the right that states should get as much power as possible.

It’s not just socially moderate Republicans (i.e. the non-batshit crazy bigots) Paul is trying to pick up, but the disaffected younger Obama voters who have gotten around to realizing that governance is kinda hard, and that the Obama coalition is composed of folks other than young white guys.  Peeling off minorities isn’t working too well, not with the GOP reminding us daily just how much they hate us.  Same goes for women, who if anything have been pushed further into the Obama camp with gun control issues after the Newtown and Aurora massacres.

But Dudebros, well…there’s an untapped electoral gold (weed end the Fed) mine there if Rand can motivate enough of them to break away from Left.  As long as Paul can frame the current administration in zero-sum terms where the advancement of women and minorities must come at the expense of white guys, there’s a chance that the guy may be able to convert that into votes going forward.  Dudebros gotta dudebro, after all.  Rand Paul’s their guy.  If they get to keep the privilege while getting credit for “moderating” the GOP, it’s total bonus time.

Thinking Rand Paul was a sick joke meant he ended up Senator when Democrats refused to back Jack Conway enough to shut the guy down in 2010.  Now he’s going to be unleashed upon the entire country unless we start admitting the forces promoting this guy as the future of the GOP are a problem that needs to be taken seriously.


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