Fox News Dumps Whoremonger

Fox News has not renewed its contract with Dick “Toesucker” Morris, who predicted a Romney landslide.  Morris is the former Clinton adviser who had to resign when he was caught with prostitutes at the Hay Adams Hotel across from the White House.

But I’m sure he will continue to solicit $ for his PAC and then  keep a huge chunk of that money by spending the donations on renting his own email list through Newsmax.com and having Newsmax funnel the money right back to him.

The man is sleaze personified.

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Fox Renews Rove

After the election, Roger Ailes “suspended” Karl Rove for almost a month.  I got my hopes up that his contract wouldn’t be renewed.

Alas, Fox News has announced that they’ve renewed Rove through the 2016 election.

Still waiting to hear about Palin.

Karl Rove and Dick Morris to Spend More Time with Their Families

From “Fox News Puts Karl Rove on the Bench,” Gabriel Sherman, New York Magazine:

“The post-election soul searching going on inside the Republican Party is taking place inside Fox News as well. Fox News chief Roger Ailes, a canny marketer and protector of his network’s brand, has been taking steps since November to reposition Fox in the post-election media environment, freshening story lines — and in some cases, changing the characters. According to multiple Fox sources, Ailes has issued a new directive to his staff: He wants the faces associated with the election off the air — for now. For Karl Rove and Dick Morris — a pair of pundits perhaps most closely aligned with Fox’s anti-Obama campaign — Ailes’s orders mean new rules. Ailes’s deputy, Fox News programming chief Bill Shine, has sent out orders mandating that producers must get permission before booking  Rove or  Morris.”

If only they had to get permission from me….  Mitt’s loss really is the gift that keeps on giving — I can use a break from evil Rove and smarmy Morris.

The Best Article in a Decade

Wherever you live on the political spectrum, you absolutely must, must read Bruce Bartlett’s truly amazing article, “Revenge of the Reality-Based Community,” in The American Conservative.

He talks about the censorship that the right, especially Rupert Murdoch, has tried to impose on him and about how this former supply-sider has come to agree with Paul Krugman on how to deal with the Great Recession.

A little background if you don’t know Bartlett.  He worked for Congressman Jack Kemp, for Heritage, in the second-term Reagan White House, at Treasury under Bush 41, for Cato, and wrote for all the top-line conservative publications.

Some excepts:

“My book, ImpostorHow George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy, was published in February 2006.  I had been summarily fired by the think tank I worked for back in October 2005.  Although the book was then only in manuscript, my boss falsely claimed that it was already costing the organization contributions.  He never detailed, nor has anyone, any factual or analytical error in the book.

“Among the interesting reactions to my book is that I was banned from Fox News.  My publicist was told that orders had come down from on high that it was to receive no publicity whatsoever, not even attacks.  Whoever gave that order was smart; attacks from the right would have sold books.  Being ignored was poison for sales.

“I later learned that the order to ignore me extended throughout Rupert Murdoch’s empire.  For example, I stopped being quoted in the Wall Street Journal.  Awhile back a reported who left the Journal confirmed to me that the paper had given her orders not to mention me.  Other dissident conservatives, such as David Frum and Andrew Sullivan, have told me that they are banned from Fox as well.  More epistemic closure.

“Annoyingly, however, I found myself joined at the hip to Paul Krugman, whose analysis [of the economic meltdown] was identical to my own.  I had previously viewed Krugman as an intellectual enemy and attacked him rather colorfully in an old column that he still remembers.

“For the record, no one has been more correct in his analysis and prescriptions for the economy’s problems than Paul Krugman.  The blind hatred for him on the right simply pushed me further away from my old allies and comrades.

“The final line for me to cross in complete alienation from the right was my recognition that Obama is not a leftist.  In fact, he’s barely a liberal — and only because the political spectrum has moved so far to the right that moderate Republicans from the past are now considered hardcore leftists by right-wing standards today.  Viewed in historical context, I see Obama as actually being on the center-right.

“At this point, I lost every last friend I had on the right.  Some have been known to pass me in silence at the supermarket or even to cross the street when they see me coming.  People who were as close to me as brothers and sisters have disowned me.

“So here we are, post-election 2012.  All the stupidity and closed-mindedness that right-wingers have displayed over the last 10 years has come back to haunt them.

The economy continues to conform to textbook Keynesianism.  We still need more aggregate demand, and the Republican idea that tax cuts for the rich will save us becomes more ridiculous by the day.

“At least a few conservatives now recognize that Republicans suffer for epistemic closure.  They were genuinely shocked at Romney’s loss because they ignored every poll not produced by a right-wing pollster such as Rasmussen or approved by right-wing pundits such as the perpetually wrong Dick Morris.  Living in the Fox News cocoon, most Republicans had no clue that they were losing or that their ideas were both stupid and politically unpopular.

“I’ve paid a heavy price, both personal and financial, for my evolution from comfortably within the Republican Party and conservative movement to a less than comfortable position somewhere on the center-left.  Honest to God, I am not a liberal or a Democrat.  But these days, they are the only people who will listen to me.  When Republicans and conservatives once again start asking my opinion, I will know they are on the road to recovery.”  Emphasis added.

I haven’t had Bartlett’s distinguished career, but his story, especially over the past four years, is my story ideologically and philosophically.

 

Your Friday Laugh

Go to Karl Rove’s web site, http://www.rove.com/election.

It still has a big map up with all the states colored red and blue (mostly red), showing Karl’s prediction that Mitt will get 285 electoral votes and Obama will get 253.

You’d think Karl would have had that taken down as soon as the Fox News “decision desk” told him and all of America (ok, all the Fox News viewers) that he was full of shit.

How can Karl not have minions?  All evil geniuses have minions.

Karl Rove Really Needs To Be Committed

Rove went on Fox News to say that Obama “succeeded by suppressing the vote.”

Yes, that explains all the GOP-driven Voter ID laws, decreased early voting, and excruciatingly long lines in heavily Dem/minority areas.  The people who waited in line six or seven hours weren’t rich white guys voting for Romney.  I will be forever grateful to those who stuck it out despite Karl’s best efforts to stick it to them.

First Thoughts on the Election

I was pretty confident we’d won yesterday afternoon PST when I saw that early exit polls showed that 52% of voters believed Mitt’s policies favor the rich.  At that point, I knew it didn’t matter if we were looking at an electorate like 2004 or 2008 or 2010 (which was causing dispute about the accuracy of the polls), all that mattered was that more than half of them felt this way.  I believed that single finding was disastrous, and I didn’t see how Mitt could survive.

By the end of the campaign, Mitt reminded me more and more of Sarah Palin.  I know the contrast between a guy with two advanced Harvard degrees and a complete ignoramus is stark, but when I listened to him, he spoke in the same “word salad” we got in 2008 and still get from her.  Palin’s word salad comes from not knowing anything about policy, while Mitt’s comes from not wanting to be specific about policy.  The cause is different, but the effect from both is a complete lack of confidence in their ability to lead.

Even when we thought Mitt was taking a stand on something — like supporting an abortion exception for the health of the woman or promising to keep Obamacare’s coverage for pre-existing conditions — his campaign walked it back almost immediately.  The only time he spoke from the heart was when he thought we couldn’t hear him, when he railed against the 47% percent.

Palin’s lack of a “there there” comes from lack of knowledge, Mitt’s from a lack of courage.

When someone comes across as fearful and nervous while talking about the most basic of domestic issues, as Mitt does, you inevitably wonder how this guy could be commander in chief, how he could deal with Putin if he can’t deal with cuddly Bret Baier.

So he seemed tough as nails in a bad way — when it came to killing jobs at Bain — but then also wimpy, when you’d want him to be tough.

We kept hearing that Mitt was a terrible candidate for the GOP, which was true.  It’s galling to hear someone who pays 14% in taxes talk about cutting Medicaid to poor kids and the elderly in nursing homes.  A “soak the poor” message is never appealing, especially to women, but never more so than when presented by a man worth hundreds of millions of dollars who doesn’t pay his fair share and wants to cut taxes on the rich even more.

But more than a terrible candidate for one party, Mitt is a terrible politician.  He is stiff and awkward, and can’t convey warmth or empathy.  He’s cursed with that nervous laugh and obnoxious smirk.    That’s a bi-partisan problem, one we saw with Al Gore and John Kerry.  He went into politics to finish what George Romney started, but, like many men who follow in their father’s footsteps out of a sense of obligation, he lacked his dad’s innate talent for the profession.

When we fail, we tend to make excuses and to blame others.  I hope that, as Mitt licks his wounds, he doesn’t think he lost because he’s a Mormon.  I really don’t think voters cared.  I also hope he doesn’t think we rejected him out of jealousy and resentment because he’s rich.  That’s not how or who we are.  It was the cluelessness and out-of-touchness he displayed as a result of that wealth, an inability to put himself in our shoes.  You can be rich (many, many politicians are) and still have charisma and connect with people.  Forty-four years after his assassination, it is easy for me to picture Bobby Kennedy radiating compassion as he campaigned, I see that toothy grin, those rolled-up shirtsleeves as his arms reached back in the crowd.  Was it real or fake?  I have no idea.  All that mattered was his ability to do it.

Speaking of failure and making excuses, the GOP should not blame their defeat just on Mitt.  I picture Mitt and his party as two drowning men, desperately clinging to each other and dragging each other down to their deaths.  If Mitt was a terrible candidate, he was also leading a terrible party.  Mitt oozed slickness and smarminess, but his party oozed craziness and extremism.  Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock helped take Mitt down with them.

The GOP should blame Mitt, and he should blame them.  There is plenty of blame to go around.

There is also plenty of hypocrisy that needs to be replaced with humility.  Last night on Fox News, Karl Rove shamelessly accused the President of being the one refusing to compromise and of calling his opponents unAmerican.   It is to laugh.  Sure you can get away with that on Fox, but you can’t win an election just with the Fox faithful.  The rest of us know our rubber from our glue.