That Explains It

Sen. Rand Paul says vaccinations cause “profound mental disorders.”  So I guess he was vaccinated…

You know, Reince, you can have fewer debates and move up your convention, but the stupid in your party will continue to shine through.

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About That Deep Field…

I’m no fan of Mitt Romney, but Mittens was right when he looked at the GOP field  and was not impressed.  The field is certainly wide.  But deep?  Not so much.

First of all, aside from entertainment value, you can safely ignore Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, and Ben Carson.  None of these guys is going to be the 2016 Republican nominee.  Okay, maybe if Hillary finds a magic lamp in some Upper East Side antique store…  But let’s assume Alladin isn’t Ready for Hillary.

Ted Cruz probably falls in that group too.  Just because you breathe fire, doesn’t mean you’re going to catch fire.  “Clueless” and “obnoxious” aren’t high on the list of what voters look for in a candidate.

As for his fellow Texan, Rick Perry, he’ll do better than 2012, being off the pain meds and all.  So he’ll be able to remember a list of three.  Hell, maybe he’ll do four or five.  But he still comes across as dumber and goofier than George W. Bush.  He’ll have a less bizarre and humiliating, but still unsuccessful, go this time around.

As for Scott Walker and Marco Rubio, the eyes have it.  Watch a clip of Scott Walker with the sound off and just look into his eyes.  Not a helluva lot going on there, he’s the poster boy for “dumb look.”  Rubio?  Watch the water grab in the SOTU response and look at the absolute terror in his eyes.  If he panics over a sip of water, how is he going to fare in a room with Putin?  Vlad, by the way, wouldn’t give a damn if he needed a sip of water — or vodka — during a speech.  Anyone going to snicker at Mr. KGB?  I think not.  I don’t entirely write either off the way I do the others — Walker could unite the Establishment and the Tea Party and Rubio has some foreign/defense policy chops (especially compared to Walker) in an election where the Mideast Morass will feature prominently.  But really, neither one has what it takes.

Chris Christie?  Mittens knows more about him than we do from his Veep vet in 2012, and Mittens didn’t like what he learned.  Skeletons aside, Christie won’t wear well, we’ll be sick to death of him long before the NH primary.  Mitt has been gone just a few days, and Christie is already spouting nonsense about vaccines.  When his mouth isn’t full of food, it’s full of bluster and BS.

We come to Jebbie.  Mitt looked at him and saw a much less successful version of himself as a businessman.  But as a politician, Jeb is far less awkward and off-putting than Mitt.  He doesn’t make you cringe.  He’ll be the grown-up on the debate stage.  He’ll have all the money he needs.

So there you have it, America.  A “wide and deep” field — of one.

What Mitt Really Thinks About Jebbie and Christie

“But those familiar with Romney’s thinking as he’s been contemplating a run and over the years say that he has held a jaundiced view of the former Florida governor dating all the way back to his handling of the Terri Schiavo case, and has come to see Bush as a non-entity in the 2016 nomination contest. Romney is said to see Bush as a small-time businessman whose financial transactions would nonetheless be fodder for the Democrats and as terminally weighed down with voters across the board based on his family name. Romney also doesn’t think much of Bush’s political skills (a view mocked by Bush’s camp, who say Romney is nowhere near Bush’s league as a campaigner).  Romney also considers Bush the national Republican figure who was the least helpful to him during his last run for the White House, a position that has darkened Ann Romney’s view of Bush as well.

“Romney and Christie became friends in the last cycle, but Romney nevertheless has dismissed his pal as a non-factor. Thanks to the 2012 veep vetting process, Romney became intimately familiar with some of the less publicized controversies from the New Jersey governor’s past, and believes that several of those flaps would mushroom so broadly that Christie soon would be eliminated from consideration by voters and donors.”

From “How Mitt Romney Made His Decision Not To Run,” Mark Halperin, Bloomberg Politics

Oops Is In

From Politico:

“Gov. Rick Perry is inviting hundreds of prominent Republican donors and policy experts to a series of gatherings next month that are intended to rebuild his damaged national brand and lay the foundation for a potential 2016 presidential campaign….

The small-group sessions kick off Tuesday and Wednesday in Austin with a pair of lunches and dinners held in the governor’s mansion wedged between policy briefings at the nearby office of Perry senior adviser Jeff Miller. In all, Perry’s team expects he will meet in person with more than 500 major donors and bundlers from around the country in December as well as a slew of operatives, Republican National Committee members and policy experts.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/rick-perry-2016-campaign-113210.html#ixzz3KU9lYWbo

So can he remember a list of three things this time around?  Will he write them on his hand like Sarah Palin?  He’s already stolen her idea of using glasses to try to look smart.

Laugh of the Day

From Timothy Noah’s NYT review of a new biography of Nelson Rockefeller*:

“Impressed by a Thomas Aquinas quote he came across in a newspaper editorial, Rockefeller asked a staff aide to arrange a meeting with this astute theologian.  Rockefeller’s grasp of science didn’t inspire much confidence either.  After being briefed on the harm aerosol products were doing to the ozone layer, he asked: ‘How do all those spray cans get up there?'”

And you thought Dan Quayle was our dumbest Veep.

* On His Own Terms:  A Life of Nelson Rockefeller, Richard Norton Smith

It’s Not So Bad

The results in the Senate are not, as many are proclaiming, a victory for the GOP establishment, but a big win for the Tea Party.  Yes, Karl Rove and Reince Preibus got them to don sheep’s clothing for the campaign, but they will govern as the wolves they are.  Take the issue of Personhood — that a fertilized egg has the same constitutional rights you and I do.  Cory Gardner, Thom Tillis, Tom Cotton, Steve Daines, and Joni Ernst all believe that.

On the one hand, you might see it as bad news to have more crazies in Congress.  And a Tea Party senator like Joni Ernst can do a lot more damage than a Tea Party congressman like retiring Michele Bachmann, since one of 100 is far more influential than one of 435.  But the good news is that these new senators aren’t going to shut up for the next six years (or even two) and will hurt the GOP with their extremist views.  They will be baggage for the 2016 presidential nominee.

Having Republican control — especially batshit Republican control — of both houses of Congress hurts their White House prospects.  Voters will pause before turning the entire government over to this GOP, you need someone who can at least veto the wingnut stuff.

So a GOP-controlled Congress helps the Dem presidential nominee.  The Dems also have a good chance of taking back the Senate in 2016.  They’ll have the young/minority voters who don’t bother to show up for mid-terms, and they’ll have seven states up that went GOP in 2010, but for Obama in 2008 and 2012 — New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

If the Dems win the White House in 2016 and take back the Senate, what then?  Not much.  Even a President Elizabeth Warren would have to face a GOP House, so a progressive agenda would be DOA.

Our best shot at actually getting stuff done?  That would be a Republican president with a Dem Congress.  The Dems will work with a Republican prez, the GOP won’t work with a Dem.