Posts tagged Karl Rove

The First Scandal of 2016

Karl Rove, still in the game

The 2016 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign has def­i­nitely started. No can­di­dates have announced them­selves, but the most likely play­ers are clearly evi­dent. For the Democ­rats, most spec­u­la­tion has cen­tered around two vet­eran politi­cians: for­mer Sen­a­tor and for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Clin­ton, and Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden. On the Repub­li­can side stands a bevy of brash young Turks, each try­ing to out-​​do the oth­ers for the most pos­si­ble cam­era time. You can tell which side is already run­ning scared, and which oppos­ing can­di­date is most feared. Fox “News” and Karl Rove (des­per­ate to remain a player after back­ing so many losers in 2012) have already cre­ated a campaign-​​style attack ad.

The attacks on Sec­re­tary Clin­ton con­sist of innu­endo and spec­u­la­tion fueled by hear­ings in the House Over­sight Com­mit­tee chaired by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Dar­rell Issa (R-​​Vista, CA). Those hear­ings were in regard to a dif­fer­ent attack — the Sep­tem­ber, 2012, assault on the Amer­i­can diplo­matic post in Beng­hazi, Libya, an action which resulted in the deaths of Christo­pher Stevens (then America’s ambas­sador to Libya) and three other staffers. Repub­li­cans have already taken mul­ti­ple bites off this apple, includ­ing non-​​inhaling for­mer Gov­er­nor Mitt Romney’s clumsy and inef­fec­tive macho blus­ter­ing that began while the event was still under way; then a sen­sa­tion­al­ist first set of Con­gres­sional hear­ings in Jan­u­ary; and then the scut­tling of Susan Rice’s nom­i­na­tion for the post of Sec­re­tary of State. In no case was any wrong­do­ing revealed, only Repub­li­can frus­tra­tion at the Obama Administration’s insuf­fi­ciently pruri­ent use of the word “terrorism.”

Was any­thing sub­stan­tial dredged up in the most recent fish­ing expe­di­tion? Not accord­ing Karl Rove. Or Dar­rell Issa. (more…)

Listing To Starboard

By now it’s con­ven­tional wis­dom that the Repub­li­can Party has moved extremely far to the right. So far, in fact, that Michele Bach­mann (hereto­fore best known for this clip in which she demands that her fel­low con­gress mem­bers be inves­ti­gated for “anti-​​American ideas”) is now, incred­i­bly, a top-​​tier pres­i­den­tial candidate.

The GOP is so far to the right that it is prac­ti­cally meet­ing itself com­ing around the cor­ner, vot­ing against ideas that it once sup­ported, like tax cuts, and even ini­tia­tives Repub­li­cans once spon­sored, sim­ply because they are pro­posed by Democ­rats as pos­si­ble solu­tions to some of the nation’s problems.

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Competitive Lee

Chris Lee, member of the United States House o...

He lost his shirt, then lost his office. (Image via Wikipedia)

Cor­rected: 5/​11/​2011 2:05PM PDT

In case any of you ever thought pol­i­tics wasn’t fun, I give you the spe­cial elec­tion in NY-​​26 to be held on May 24th, called by Gov­er­nor Cuomo to replace fresh­man Chris Lee who resigned in Feb­ru­ary after the mar­ried Con­gress­man sent a shirt­less photo of him­self to a woman on an Inter­net dat­ing site.

Though Lee was one of only three Repub­li­cans in his state’s 29-​​member leg­isla­tive cau­cus, NY-​​26 has been a reli­ably Repub­li­can seat for many years, often won by as much as a 40-​​point spread. But this spe­cial elec­tion is sur­pris­ingly competitive.

The race is between GOP can­di­date Jane Cor­win and Demo­c­rat Kathy Hochul, and the con­ser­v­a­tive vote is being split by peren­nial can­di­date Jack Davis* who is run­ning on the Tea Party ticket. Rec­og­niz­ing what a blow it will be to Repub­li­can morale in 2012 if they lose another “safe” GOP seat, Karl Rove’s com­mit­tee is plow­ing $350,000 into the race on Corwin’s behalf. The DCCC has just announced they will weigh in on Hochul’s behalf with a major ad buy as well, prob­a­bly about $250,000.

Hochul is relent­lessly ham­mer­ing on the Ryan bud­get plan to gut Medicare and give fur­ther tax cuts to the wealthy, and her mes­sage is play­ing sur­pris­ingly well in dark-​​red upstate New York. The most recent polls now show the Demo­c­rat run­ning slightly ahead of her GOP rival.

*Note: In an ear­lier ver­sion of this arti­cle, we erro­neously linkes to Jack Davis, the car­toon­ist, on Wikipedia, instead of Jack Davis, the indus­tri­al­ist. We regret the error.

The Elephant in the Room

It’s right over there. It’s big and smelly, and it takes up a lot of room. Peo­ple have been tip­toe­ing around it for months, pre­tend­ing it doesn’t exist, but it’s grown too big to ignore. So let’s just walk over and con­front it directly. Some­body has to.

Are birthers sim­ply racists by another name?

Lots of peo­ple think so, and a few aren’t even afraid to say so out loud. But are they right?

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Top Man at Foggy Bottom

Presidential chat

Gen­eral Petraeus and Pres­i­dent Obama

Almost wholly lost in the media hys­te­ria over the president’s stun­ning release of his long-​​form birth cer­tifi­cate on April 27 was a sur­pris­ing series of per­son­nel moves among Obama’s mil­i­tary lead­er­ship on the same day. Robert Gates will finally draw his longed-​​for, well-​​deserved retire­ment and head home to Texas, while Leon Panetta takes over as Sec­re­tary of Defense. Lieu­tenant Gen­eral John Allen assumes com­mand in Afghanistan and David Petraeus takes over as direc­tor of the CIA.

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Show Me the Money!

American political strategist Donna Brazile.

Image via Wikipedia

The Cit­i­zens United rul­ing by the Supreme court has opened the flood­gates for cash from “inde­pen­dent par­ties” which is now flood­ing into the elec­tion. Donna Brazile explores the impli­ca­tions of this in her arti­cle today at CNN​.com.

Brazile’s arti­cle con­tains some truly aston­ish­ing facts:

The Wash­ing­ton Postreported that “inde­pen­dent” polit­i­cal oper­a­tions have spent $80 mil­lion so far, five times as much as in the 2006 elec­tion. The vast major­ity of that money is being spent on behalf of con­ser­v­a­tives to defeat Demo­c­ra­tic can­di­dates in the midterms.

More than half of the money is com­ing from undis­closed donors with patriotic-​​sounding names akin to “Amer­i­cans For Apple Pie” and “Lovers of the Stars and Stripes” — and now it appears there is even evi­dence of for­eign cor­po­ra­tion con­tribut­ing to Repub­li­cans in this elec­tion. There is no way to find out for sure where the money is com­ing from, and no require­ment to dis­close the iden­tity of con­trib­u­tors until a full year AFTER the elec­tion, if ever. But we all know Karl Rove and Ed Gille­spie have orga­nized much of this cor­po­rate effort to buy and con­trol the levers of power in America.

Thus far, every­body seems a bit gob­s­macked by the scope of this. It’s sort of come out of nowhere (though what did we expect, given that court rul­ing?) I haven’t even seen much com­men­tary on it yet… just a gen­eral appalled silence and an under­cur­rent of deep alarm. For Democ­rats it’s sort of like com­ing home to find a “For Sale” sign on the lawn, and learn­ing your estranged spouse has put the place up for sale with­out con­sult­ing you.

So…what do we think about this? What can be done about it?

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