Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Last Call For The Party Of Last Century

The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll shows overwhelming support in America for same-sex marriage:

Half of all Americans believe that gay men and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll in which a large majority also said businesses should not be able to deny serving gays for religious reasons.

Fifty percent say the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection gives gays the right to marry, while 41 percent say it does not.

Beyond the constitutional questions, a record-high 59 percent say they support same-sex marriage, while 34 percent are opposed, the widest margin tracked in Post-ABC polling.

This includes 53% support in the 33 states that don't currently allow same-sex marriage.  This debate should be effectively over (and in some ways it is).  And yet, as Greg Sargent points out, the GOP will remain firmly against same-sex equality.

Republicans are alone here: They oppose legal gay marriage by 54-40; and they don’t believe the “equal protection” clause guarantees the legal right to marry by 54-38. Majorities of independents and moderates are in the Yes camp on both.

Note the religious breakdown: White evangelical Protestants overwhelmingly oppose gay marriage, by 66-28. By contrast, white non-evangelical Protestants support it by 62-27, and white Catholics support it by 70-26.

When your base is made up of "God hates gays" bigots who justify their stupidity via religion, you become the party of fanatics.  My advice is to evolve or perish, but of course they don't believe in evolution, either.

Republicans are even more out of touch on the subject of increasing the minimum wage.

Even groups that are not congenial to the idea have been unable to find opposition. Reason, the self-styled magazine of “free minds and free markets,” which espouses libertarian views, conducted a poll in December that found 72 percent favoring a minimum wage increase, with just 26 percent opposed. In that survey, 88 percent of Democrats joined 70 percent of independents and 55 percent of Republicans in supporting a higher minimum wage.

The Republican argument against raising the minimum wage is that it's immoral because it destroys jobs.  If that were true, Washington State, which has the highest state minimum wage at $9.32 an hour, would have a terrible job creation record as thousands of jobs were destroyed, yes?

Only, surprise...the opposite happened.

In the 15 years that followed, the state’s minimum wage climbed to $9.32 -- the highest in the country. Meanwhile job growth continued at an average 0.8 percent annual pace, 0.3 percentage point above the national rate. Payrolls at Washington’s restaurants and bars, portrayed as particularly vulnerable to higher wage costs, expanded by 21 percent. Poverty has trailed the U.S. level for at least seven years.

It's like Republicans are basically wrong about everything or something like that.

Cowardly Senate Dems Block DOJ Civil Rights Head Nomination

No pleasant way around this:  Senate Democrats folded like absolute cowards on the nomination of Debo Adegbile's nomination to head the DOJ's Civil Rights division.

The U.S. Senate narrowly defeated President Obama's nominee to oversee the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division due to Republican and law enforcement objections to the role he played in the defense of convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Only 47 senators, all Democrats, voted to advance Debo Adegbile's nomination while 52 senators voted to block him, including 7 Democrats. Vice President Biden presided over the vote in the event he could break a tie, which was unnecessary after Democrats failed to muster enough support.

The Democrats voting to block the nomination were Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, John Walsh of Montana, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Chris Coons of Delaware. Coons, Pryor, and Walsh all face re-election this year. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., also voted against the nomination in the end, but only for procedural reasons that will allow him to bring it up again if he so chooses.

Adegbile's defeat occurred even after Senate Democrats last year unilaterally changed the Senate rules on judicial and executive nominations to lower the threshold from 60 to a simple majority of votes to end a filibuster. He is the first Obama nominee to lose on the floor over Democratic opposition.

Scary black man defended a scary black man in a trial.  That's the entire reason these cowards wimped out.

In a statement, Coons said he did not doubt Adegbile's qualifications but that he could not overcome concerns about his ability to do the job. "I was troubled by the idea of voting for an Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights who would face such visceral opposition from law enforcement on his first day on the job," he said, "The vote I cast today was one of the most difficult I have taken since joining the Senate, but I believe it to be right for the people I represent."

And you're the king of cowards, Chris Coons.  Delaware is a safe blue state, and you bought into the FOX News smears like a fool. Black voters have a long memory, friend.  You're about to find out how long.

Same goes for Bob Casey in a blue state like Pennsylvania.

I am so tired of this nonsense.

The Grand Obama Derangement Theory

The Power Line brain trust takes a crack at a uniting theory justifying Obama Derangement Syndrome in order to explain away why the President is both a domestic tyrant who must be brought low and a foreign policy milquetoast who nobody pays attention to.  Paul Mirengoff complains that the ideas are not mutually (and comically) exclusive.

Obama’s core stated foreign policy objectives are to keep the U.S. out of war and to transform America’s image from that of unilateralist bully to a nation that plays well with others. Thus, it makes plenty of sense that Obama would behave internationally in ways that most conservatives would find feckless and/or timid.

Now, if Paul Mirengoff had written only this paragraph, he'd have a point.  Since conservatives are all about idiotically invading countries and costing us tens of thousands in troops, millions of ruined lives, and trillions in taxpayer dollars, President Obama's reasonable notion that such a policy may not be the best idea really does come across as "feckless and/or timid" to these credibility-free numbskulls.  Alas, he keeps going right into the teeth of the derpstorm.

The real question for conservatives who note the stark difference between Obama’s domestic and international posture is not whether they are being inconsistent but whether they are missing a unifying theme. The unifying theme would be an ideological aversion to the United States sufficient to cause Obama to (1) push for the radical transformation of the nation’s domestic policy through unlawful methods and (2) weaken the nation internationally by declining to assert American influence or even willfully ceding influence, including to our adversaries.

To recap, it's 2014, the sixth year of the man's second term, and the right still hasn't gotten past 2007's "Obama obviously hates America!"schtick.  And then he ends by invalidating his original complaint:

The question, in other words, is whether Obama behaves as he does in foreign affairs because he is naive or because he understands how the world works and simply wants the U.S. to have much less say about it.

The fact that Obama effectively plays domestic hard ball might cause some to tilt — Milbank style — in favor of the second explanation. But there is considerable naivety in the substance, if not the style, of Obama’s domestic policy.

In order to explain away why the Feckless Tyrant Theory is not a oxymoronic mess, he gives you the Stupid Supervillain Theory.

Exeunt, stage reality.


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