Monday, June 18, 2012

Romney = Dubya, Redux and Multiplied

Crossposted from Penigma:

I found this Josh Horowitz article on HuffPo, which reminded me how eagerly the right wants to attribute Bush failures to Obama's administration, and how little flack Dubya takes for the actions that occurred on his watch, with his administration.

Where is the accountability of the AGs from the Bush administration in the halls of Congressional witch hunts by Republicans? Shouldn't EVERYONE involved in failed efforts be held accountable?

That should include Solyndra --- BEGUN BY GEORGE W. BUSH, and FAST AND FURIOUS, BEGUN BY GEORGE W. BUSH. NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, a GEORGE W. BUSH initiative, modeled on his Texas initiative while governor (and that state is still in an utterly abysmal level of dysfunction, educationally) which was supported in the House by overwhelmingly Republicans - who now want to double down on it this year.

Romney is the Dubya terrible mistakes all over again, only worse, right down to the advisers, and the rumors that Jeb Bush might be his running mate. As the New York Times noted in :

"Jeb Bush and the Republican Amnesia"

The presidential candidates never tire of reminding us theirs is the party of Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln. That the modern version is, more than anything else, the party of Bush is something they prefer to omit.

The last two Republican presidents were members of the clan. Someone named Bush has been on the national ticket in six of the last eight elections.

But after spending eight years rallying behind every scheme of George W. Bush — the Medicare prescription drug program, No Child Left Behind, a trillion-dollar war based on false claims — Republicans now act as though they never met the guy. He's gone from Conquering Hero to Invisible Man.

If some Republicans had their way, however, there would be another Bush on this year's ticket, namely Jeb. Whenever speculation bubbles about a deadlocked convention turning to a unity candidate, his is the name at the top of the list of potential saviors.

Why? Because Jeb Bush makes any of the people who competed in the GOP primaries this year look like they should be running for coroner. He's an accomplished former two-term governor of a large swing state who is admired by the party's more conservative elements as well as its slightly less conservative ones.

He was rated the second best governor in America on fiscal matters by the Cato Institute, and he reaped plaudits for supporting charter schools, vouchers and other educational reforms. He won a place in the hearts of social conservatives by signing a law to keep Terry Schiavo from being taken off life support. He is popular among Hispanics, and not just because he married one of them.

But he has a huge liability: that unfortunate family connection, which is borderline radioactive. The only reason he could be taken seriously at all is that he can be portrayed as strikingly different from his delinquent brother: more serious, more intelligent, more able, less Texan. In their younger days, Jeb was always known as "the smart brother." George, says biographer Robert Draper, was "the family chucklehead."

That creates a strange dynamic. When Bobby and Teddy Kennedy ran for president, they did everything they could to evoke memories of brother Jack. If Jeb were to run, he'd have to treat George W. like the crazy uncle at Thanksgiving dinner.

But the Bushes have some experience with that approach. When George W. made his White House bid, his campaign encouraged the perception of him as the true son and rightful heir — of Reagan, not George H.W. Bush. He confided, "I'm more like Ronald Reagan than my dad."

He said that "the biggest difference between me and my father is that he went to Greenwich Country Day and I went to San Jacinto Junior High" — omitting other notable differences, like his father being a decorated combat veteran, UN ambassador, CIA director and vice president.

So it is time for a reminder of what the right wing and the Chucklehead want to do to us all over again, with the same damned mistakes, and the same failure to learn from them, and the same absence of ideas or grasp of facts and objective reality.

from the HuffPo:

NRA, Not Obama, Is Real Threat to the Rule of Law
Josh Horowitz, Executive Director, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

Posted: 06/18/2012 7:04 am

With campaign season in full swing, movement conservatives are actively promoting a narrative about the Obama administration being a "threat to the rule of law." The lightning rod for much of this invective is U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who is facing a possible contempt of Congress citation for his refusal to turn over certain Department of Justice documents relating to the ATF's discontinued "Fast and Furious" operation on the southwest border. While Republicans' rift with Holder has been well chronicled, the architect of their messaging campaign has gone largely unnoticed.

When CBS News first broke the "Fast and Furious" story in February 2011, the National Rifle Association (NRA) wasted little time in spinning the ill-advised "gun-walking" strategy -- which actually began under the George W. Bush administration in 2006 -- as evidence that the Obama administration was a danger to "civil society" and "unprecedented in its arrogant disregard for the rule of law."

Give the NRA credit. It has mastered the art of projecting its biggest and most dangerous faults onto its political opponents. This is the organization, after all, that created "Stand Your Ground" laws, which allow gun-toters to shoot other Americans even when they could otherwise safely walk away from a public confrontation. This is also the organization that actively promotes the idea that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to shoot and kill their elected officials when they sense "tyranny." The NRA's accusations about the Obama administration amount to a staggering act of hypocrisy.

That hypocrisy was on full display in a series of speeches NRA leaders gave during the weekend of June 8-9. On June 8, at a CPAC event in Chicago, NRA President David Keene hosted two "Second Amendment" panels that had surprisingly little to do with guns. Keene used his remarks to launch a broad attack on the Obama administration, stating,

Sadly, he and his principal advisors seem to me to come from a generation that sincerely believes that the ends in almost all circumstances justify the means ... A government that has that power and is willing to use it, is willing to enforce laws selectively and let its friends off the hook, is a government that... is in essence going to do great damage to the rule of law and to the civil society in which we live.

Keene later expressed outrage over the administration's opposition to voter ID laws (and the purging of voter rolls in Florida), saying,

Just as the Supreme Court's ultimate authority lies in the opinions of the people, so, too, does the stability of a democracy rely on winners and losers accepting the outcome of democratic decision-making and if that is undermined that's more serious almost than anything.

The very next day, however, Keene's first vice-president, Jim Porter, reminded us that the NRA has no intention of accepting "democratic decision-making" when the votes don't go their way. Speaking to the New York Rifle and Pistol Association in Wallkill, Porter gave those in attendance the NRA's "insider" message:

NRA was started 1871 right here in New York state. It was started by some Yankee generals who didn't like the way my Southern boys had the ability to shoot in what we call the 'War of Northern Aggression.' Now y'all might call it the Civil War, but we call it the 'War of Northern Aggression' down south. But that was the very reason that they started the National Rifle Association, was to teach and train the civilian in the use of the standard military firearm and I am one who still feel very strongly that that is one of our greatest charges that we can have today, is to train the civilian in the use of the standard military firearm so when they have to fight for their country, they're ready to do it. Also, when they're ready to fight tyranny, they're ready to do it. Also, when they're ready to fight tyranny, they have the wherewithal and the weapons to do it. I charge you ladies and gentlemen that that is a very important charge for all of us to take up. It's a sacred duty for all of us to maintain. We've received it from our ancestors. You think about the War of Independence. You think about Valley Forge ... And they defeated the most powerful military force known to that time in civilization.

The "Southern boys" that Porter praises as straight-shooters believed that the democratic election of Abraham Lincoln constituted "tyranny." They engaged in the biggest act of armed insurrection in U.S. history, with disastrous results that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands. Apparently, Porter never got the memo from President Lincoln, who wrote, "Among free men, there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet."

NRA Board Member Ted Nugent never got the memo, either. Nugent, of course, recently earned a visit from the Secret Service after announcing that he would either "be dead or in jail" if President Obama was re-elected in November. On June 9th -- the same day that Jim Porter was ranting about the "War of Northern Aggression" -- Nugent attended a Republic of Texas Biker Rally in Austin, Tex., and declared:

NRA gun nut motherf--kers out there ... Put a f--king gun in your hand, Texas, stormtroopers [are] coming ... They, unfortunately, are the real enemies right now.

Two days later, the practical effect of decades of such rhetoric could be seen when pro-gun activists -- openly bearing loaded assault rifles and handguns -- crammed into the chambers of the Birmingham City Commission in Michigan to protest the arrest of a young man on charges of brandishing a weapon in public, disturbing the peace, and obstructing a police officer. Sean Michael Combs, 18, was arrested on April 13 for walking through downtown Birmingham with a battlefield rifle from World War II and refusing to show police identification to prove he was of legal age to "Open Carry." The show of force by his supporters at the city council meeting was straight out of the NRA playbook and sent the following message: "Make a law we don't like, enforce a law we don't like, and 'Second Amendment remedies' are always available to us."

Threat to the rule of law? It's not going to come from recess appointments, federal grants to community organizations, mandates for reproductive health care, relaxed deportation rules for young immigrants or a discontinued operation run out an ATF field office in Phoenix, as the right wing would like us to believe. The ATF and Justice Department clearly betrayed their own principles in allowing "Fast and Furious" (and the earlier "Wide Receiver" operation) to happen in the first place, but there is no evidence the "gun-walking" strategy was ever adopted on a national (or even statewide) scale. Furthermore, Attorney General Holder has made it clear the operation was "unacceptable" and will not be repeated under his watch.

But a powerful special interest group that continues to promote the "legitimacy" of political violence after the attempted assassination of a congresswoman in Tucson, without either shame or remorse? That is a very serious threat to the rule of law. As are NRA policies that promote the unnecessary use of lethal violence on our streets. As Trayvon Martin's mother recently noted, "There is something very wrong if there's a law that a person is using to defend himself for killing a kid."

The next time a Republican like Darryl Issa or fellow NRA Defender of Freedom Award winner Ken Cuccinelli rants about the Obama administration's "disregard for the law," someone might want to ask them about their steadfast support for an organization that believes chopping off the heads of Democrats is an acceptable way to resolve political differences.


  1. But, but, but, Obama has already lost Bloomberg, what chance does he have now?

  2. We trade in one crime family every 4 years (sometimes 8) for another.

    Look at it objectively, there is no difference in the major things between the criminals that occupy the White House now, and the ones who have come before. Barry is a bigger spender, a bigger warmonger, and has as much respect for his oath of office as the previous occupant of the White House, which is to say none at all. Is the Patriot repealed? Hardly, in fact, as Glenn Greenwald has noted the arguments Obama has used to justify his un-Constitutional acts are the same ones that W used when he was in office.

    Think about it: W could have gone after Clinton if he wanted to, just like Clinton could have gone after Bush Sr. but didn't. Why didn't they? Because they were all involved in running cocaine into this country under Reagan. Allegedly. But it's true.

    What was my point? Oh yeah, voting one criminal enterprise into office over another is still voting for criminals.