Gun Registration Will Turn Us Into Rwanda

Stay with me here, cause this one is a little convoluted.

GOP Congressman Jeff Duncan of SC repeated on his Facebook page the gun-nut canard that background checks will inevitably lead to a national gun registry and then, well, then the America we love will become Rwanda:

“Ask yourselves about a National gun registry database and how that might be used and why it is so wanted by progressives.  Read about the Rwandan genocide, the Hutu and Tutsi tribes.  Read that all Tutsi tribe members were required to register their address with the Hutu government and that this database was used to locate Tutsi for slaughter at the hands of the Hutu. … I use this example to warn that national databases can be used with evil consequences.”

First, we already have background checks, just not universal checks, and we don’t have a gun registry.  There is no reason that the expansion of existing background checks would lead to the creation of a registry. No one is proposing such a registry.  In fact, we have laws against such a registry.

Second, um, Jeff, you moron, the Government already knows where we live!


Obama May Have Won, But He Still Can’t Win

“Members of both parties say Mr. Obama faces a conundrum with his legislative approach to a deeply polarized Congress.  In the past, when he has stayed aloof from legislative action, Republicans and others have accused him of a lack of leadership; when he has gotten involved, they have complained that they could not support any bill so closely identified with Mr. Obama without risking the contempt of conservative voters.”*

So what’s a Kenyan Muslim Communist to do?

* “Obama Must Walk Fine Line As Congress Weighs Agenda,” Jackie Calmes, NYT

If You Don’t Like the Image…

Then please don’t share it with the rest of us.

Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer said that it was a “vast over-reaction” and “mistake” for CPAC not to invite NJ Governor Chris Christie to speak.   Ok, good.

But Krauthammer committed a “vast over-reaction” and “mistake” of his own.  He referred to Christie’s praise of President Obama’s response to Hurricane Sandy as the “Sandy embrace,” but then added, “I thought it was more than an embrace, it was kind of a lap dance, although I’m not sure I like the image.”  Me either, eeeeeeeeew.

Krauthammer is a shrink by training.  I think what he likes is the thought of the President being crushed, either literally or metaphorically.

I Love This

Republican strategist Steve Schmidt  just called the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) the “Star Wars bar scene of the conservative movement.”  What a perfect image!

He made the comment in reference to CPAC’s not inviting NJ Gov. Chris Christie to speak this year.  Schmidt called Christie “the most effective conservative governor in the country” and “somebody that could potentially change the electoral map.”

Schmidt went on to say:  “But I want to set the record straight on something, CPAC is not the Republican Party.”

Well, Steve, CPAC may not be the party, but it certainly has the GOP by the balls.


Blame Cantor?

From “How Eric Cantor Gave Us an Endless Series of Fiscal Crises,” Elspeth Reeve, The Atlantic Wire:

“The person who deserves the most blame for the sequester… is not President Obama or John Boehner, but House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. That’s not just because the Virginia Republican wanted to delay a big deficit bill until after the election, when he thought he’d be working with President-elect Mitt Romney, but because Cantor can’t decide whether the best course for his own career is to side with Boehner and more moderate Republicans or with the Tea Party radicals.

“He can’t decide whether to help Boehner negotiate with the White House to pass actual legislation or to undercut Boehner to get conservatives’ support. In the summer of 2011, Boehner had been negotiating with Obama on a grand bargain to raise the debt ceiling and reduce the deficit. Cantor helped kill it.

“From the ashes of the grand bargain rose the sequester.

“Cantor wavered again between helping Boehner and undercutting him in the back during the fiscal cliff negotiations at the end of 2012. Cantor endorsed Boehner’s ‘Plan B,’ which would have permanently extended the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $1 million a year…. But conservative Republicans revolted because there weren’t spending cuts included. Cantor seemed to draw a lesson from this. As the House got ready to vote on a Senate deal to extend the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $400,000, Cantor announced he wouldn’t support it.”

I’m no fan of Eric “Lean and Hungry” Cantor.  But you can’t blame one guy for the disfunction that the House GOP is causing right now.  He couldn’t stop it if he tried.  Cantor is like Mitt — a man of tremendous personal ambition, but not much ideology.  He’s more a victim and prisoner of the Tea Party than a true believer like, say, Michele Bachmann or Louis Gomert or Steve King.  To remain Majority Leader, Cantor must also be a champion of the Tea Party because there are so many of them.  But he does it more out of fear for his future than out of fanaticism.

Quote of the Day

“Exactly where Mitt Romney falls on the ideological spectrum – if he falls anywhere on it at all – is a mystery for the ages. He made some post-election comments, intended for an audience of donors and no one else, that suggest contempt for those who utilize government assistance programs, but mainly he was an opportunist. In Massachusetts, he said what moderates and liberals wanted to hear, and as a candidate for the Republican nomination, he said what conservatives wanted to hear. And as a major party presidential nominee, he was left with almost nothing to say. And now he’s going back to CPAC for a completely unnecessary encore. He’s done running for office and he doesn’t need to pander anymore.”

Steve Kornacki, “It’s OK to stop pretending, Mitt,” Salon

Nate Says Tea Party Will Defeat Rove

From “New Rove Group Could Backfire on G.O.P., Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight, NYT:

“Mr. Rove’s efforts could back fire, therefore, if they result in the insurgent candidate receiving more sympathetic treatment through these channels [conservative-friendly news media outlets]; the amount of so-called ‘earned media’ that the insurgent receives could outweigh the extra advertisements that the establishment candidate is able to afford.

“My analysis of fund-raising data…has found that it is generally the proportion or ratio of funds raised by each candidate that has the most power to predict races, rather than the absolute amounts.

“Suppose, for example, that the establishment candidate has raised $3 million and the insurgent candidate $500,000, a six-to-one advantage for the establishment candidate.  Mr. Rove’s group intervenes and contributes $1 million to the establishment candidate, bringing him to $4 million total.  In response, the insurgent candidate raises $500,000 through grass roots groups, bringing her to $1 million total.  Despite the absolute difference between the candidates’ fund-raising totals having increased, the ratio has declined to a four-to-one advantage for the establishment candidate from six-to-one previously, arguably leaving the insurgent candidate in better shape than before the fund-raising salvos.”

Show Them the Money

From “The GOP ‘civil war’ is going to make both sides rich,”  Alex Pareene, Salon:

“The conservative movement is a massive and elaborate moneymaking venture.  Numerous nonprofits exist almost solely to raise money, which they spend on their own salaries and, obviously, more fundraising.  A conservative Civil War is great for business.  Karl Rove throwing money at ‘electable’ Republicans is a wonderful opportunity for people to raise money for groups that promise to elect crazies.  More primary campaigns means more jobs for consultants.  More third party groups fighting for the soul of the party means more desperate pitches to gullible millionaires and billionaires.  Plus more crappy books sold in bulk to conservative book clubs!

“‘Donate to us or Karl Rove will defeat true conservatives’ is a great pitch.  Maybe even better than ‘donate to us if you actually want Republicans to win elections.’  While only an idiot would send any money to FreedomWorks, an organization that currently pays Dick Armey a six-figure salary to not work there, the last cycle showed how many well-heeled idiots are out there asking to be fleeced.

“The entire conservative movement these days seems like a successful experiment in getting rich people (and lots and lots of non-rich people, whose donations are less coveted but accepted nonetheless) to pay an ever-growing number of pundits, think tank ‘fellows’ and ‘scholars,’ failed campaign hacks and people like Ginni Thomas who seem to serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever.  Like Paul Harvey, the super PAC’s and nonprofits know it doesn’t matter if your products — in this case, ideas and candidates and electoral strategies — are worthless, as long as you push the crap convincingly.  Whether Rove succeeds or fails in helping the Republican Party, his campaign will be great for the movement.”  Italics in original.


Quote of the Day

“What’s more, the right thinks long-term, and if you look at the long-term, the whole ugly ‘fiscal cliff’ standoff was a win-win for conservatives, no matter what their passing defeats in this week’s deal. The more Washington looks dysfunctional, the more it sows dissatisfaction with the very idea of a Federal government. Yes, Democrats and the White House can argue that polls show that the Republicans would be getting most of the blame if Congress couldn’t reach agreement on the ‘fiscal cliff.’ But that’s short-term liberal wishful thinking. Long-term, this intractable dispute has undermined Americans’ faith in government, period, and the voters’ plague-on-all-your-houses view of Washington is overall a resounding ideological win for a party that wants to dismantle government, the GOP.”  Emphasis added.

Frank Rich, New York Magazine