OK, Now I’m Shocked

This will turn your stomach.

Haley Barbour met with a small group of top donors to Karl Rove’s Super PAC last week in Tampa and told them he was sorry that Chris Christie didn’t “put a hot poker to Obama’s butt” in his keynote address.

Doesn’t the former governor of Mississippi know that some slaves were branded like animals?

Barbour thought it was a private meeting (as did Rove himself when he made his joke about Todd Akin getting murdered), but Bloomberg Businessweek is reporting the comments.

UPDATE:  Barbour has apologized.

No, No, We Don’t Hate the Kenyan Muslim Communist, We’re Just Disappointed in Him

From “Obama’s new challenge:  Disappointment,” Jonathan Allen, Politico:

“Yet what emerged from Tampa was a subtle, clever shift in GOP messaging, a much more dangerous strategy for Obama than the kitchen-sink attacks that preceded the gathering.  Republicans posed — rhetorically — as Obama 2008 voters, lamenting his unfulfilled expectations as if they had been with him all along instead of trying to block him at every turn.

Both sides recognize the power of the disappointment theme:  that the hope Obama offered for mending the economy, transforming the political process and even saving the earth has faded.

“Obama’s senior campaign adviser David Axelrod described the convention Friday as an exercise in ‘base’ management, with little crossover appeal.  But the disappointment argument is aimed directly at the decisive 6 percent to 8 percent of voters, mostly independents, who were willing to give Obama a chance four years ago.

“‘Given how the GOP entered the convention on the heels of [Missouri Senate candidate Todd] Akin and the platform discussion, I think they did a very good job of keeping the ‘crazy’ out of the convention.  All the prime-time speakers were reassuring and appeared moderate on social issues,’ Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg said.  ‘In fact, it was a pretty boring convention, in a good way for the GOP.’

“[New Mexico Governor Susana] Martinez told a killer anecdote about her conversion from Democrat to Republican over dinner with her husband and GOP friends.  ‘I’ll be damned — we’re Republicans!’

“The subliminal message to moderate voters?  ‘I’ll be damned — we’re Romney-ans!'”  Emphasis added.

I think that last part is a major stretch.  Even party faithful don’t think of themselves as Romney-ans.

And being disappointed doesn’t also make you stupid.

The Inmates Will Run the Asylum If Mitt Wins

From “Why Todd Akin hurts Mitt Romney,” Bill Schneider, Politico:

“It’s bad enough for Republicans that Akin has put the Missouri Senate seat at risk. And threatened the Republican campaign to win a Senate majority. And introduced a highly divisive social issue into the GOP campaign. And shifted the debate away from jobs and the economy, where President Barack Obama is vulnerable. And highlighted the inconvenient fact that the Republican platform calls for a total ban on abortions with no exception for rape. And opened up a split in the party between mainstream conservatives and the religious right.

Akin is also making Romney look weak and ineffectual. If Romney doesn’t have clout with members of his own party, voters may ask, how can he be an effective president?

Conservatives like Akin are not afraid of Romney.  It’s not even clear that they respect him.

“Conservatives tolerate Romney for one reason:  He stands a chance of beating Obama.  Once he’s elected and a Republican House and Senate are in place, conservatives believe Romney’s job will be to sit down, shut up and sign whatever legislation the GOP Congress passes.

And stack the administration with staunch conservatives.  ‘Personnel is policy,’ they used to say in the Reagan administration.  House Republicans, who consider themselves the vanguard of the tea party revolution, have already made it clear:  They will set the Republican Party’s agenda, whoever the president is.

“You can’t tell a president to go to hell.  But that is effectively what Akin is saying to a would-be president.”  Emphasis added.

Mitt himself is bad enough.  What inevitably comes with him is far worse.  He would do anything to hold off a primary challenge in 2016.

Rove Bullies Akin

Karl Rove is furious at Missouri Senate candidate Todd (“Legitimate rape victims don’t get pregnant”) Akin for pulling back the curtain on the GOP’s extremism and insanity.  Rove is predicting that Akin will “go down in defeat with the biggest loss of any Republican candidate for Senate in modern history.”

Rove’s statement is as dumb as the Akin comment that started this whole uproar.  Missouri is a conservative state, and while Akin may lose to Claire McCaskill, it won’t be the epic loss Rove is predicting.

Rove wants Akin out because he knows how much he’s hurting the GOP effort to win the White House and other congressional races, not because he wants to spare Akin a humiliating and historic defeat.  Rove’s making an apocalyptic public statement like that just embarrasses Akin and encourages him to prove Rove wrong.

I’m delighted to see someone stand up to Rove, even if it is one of the bat-shit crazies.

Rove has spent his career stirring up people to vote against their economic interests, to basically serve the Koch Brothers and the Bain Capitals of this country, by getting them all wee wee’d up on abortion and guns and gays and immigrants.  Let him reap what he’s sown.

Todd Akin is Rove’s baby, as it were, and let Rove be forced to carry him to term in November.

“Get Off Your Asses”

From “Ryan-Akin, Romney-Trump,” Brent Budowsky,  The Hill:

“This column is an expression of contempt toward some of the wealthiest Democrats in America, who fail to understand the consequences if the forces I describe here take power in America.

“On almost all matters of high policy, the Republican ticket might well be called the Ryan-Akin team. Ryan and Akin agree on almost every major issue.

The Republican campaign might well be called the politics of Romney-Trump. Voters might ask why Donald Trump, the standard-bearer of a campaign of nut-case birtherism to advance bigot-based politics, will be showcased at the Republican convention while the last Republican president, George W. Bush, will be hidden from public view.

“Romney-Ryan, Ryan-Akin and Romney-Trump share a vision of politics that gives extremism and hate a privileged seat at the table of GOP power.

Romney, Ryan, Akin and Trump agree on almost every issue. Wealthy Democrats suffering a life crisis about whether they should enter the arena against mega-donations by the Adelsons and Koches might ponder why they make their mega-donations, why Romney and Ryan fall to their knees paying homage to them, and what kind of America we get if they buy the power of the presidency, the House, the Senate and the Supreme Court for a generation.

“The GOP wages war against Medicare and Social Security because they despise what they consider evil liberal programs. Their extremist platform before the election doesn’t scratch the surface of what they will try to do if they win the election, especially if they control Congress and courts. They know most voters disagree with them, so they lie about the president’s Medicare position and try to hide their extremism as Romney and Ryan hide their tax returns.

“When Republicans say they want to ‘take back America’ they are dog-whistling that they want to take back America from seniors who benefit from Medicare and Social Security, from uppity women who seek fair pay and freedom of choice, from uppity blacks they demonize in dishonest Trump-style welfare ads, from Hispanics they picture as climbing over walls to immigrate here and against whom they employ the shameless pandering Mitt Romney employed demonizing Hispanics even against other Republicans in Republican primaries.

To wealthy Democrats having difficulty deciding whether they should enter the arena with their fists flying against the shared vision of Ryan, Akin, Romney and Trump I propose:

Get off your asses, before it is too late.”  Emphasis added.

Quote of the Day

“Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) is now Exhibit A for the fact that the Republican Party has been taken over by radicals, extremists, ignoramuses and nuts. Not every Republican is as tactless as Akin, who publicly says what many Republicans privately believe and who publicly votes almost exactly the way Paul Ryan votes and the way a large majority of House Republicans vote. I dare any Republican to list the issues where Paul Ryan and Todd Akin disagree. All of Romney’s money, Rove’s machinations, the Koches’ cash and Adelson’s dough cannot hide the fact that on matters of major policy, Paul Ryan and Todd Akin are in nearly 100 percent agreement. Along with a majority of House and Senate Republicans.

The resonating power of the Akin fiasco is that it strips the Republicans of any remaining mask of moderation and dramatizes the fact of Republican extremism.”  Emphasis added.

Brent Budowsky, “Akin=Ryan=Palin=Cantor=McConnell=poison tea,” The Hill