Tea Party

Who said the Tea Party are finished and washed up? They just nailed Eric Cantor

Political pundits had written of the Tea Party long ago, saying they were washed up and finished as a political force.

And then they rinsed?Eric Cantor,?the number two?Republican in the House of Representatives:

Shortly after eight on Tuesday night, Twitter went a little nuts, and so, presumably, did Eric Cantor, the second-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives. The Associated Press, CNN, and other news organizations had just called the Republican primary race in Virginia?s Seventh District for David Brat, a hitherto little-known economics professor who is associated with the Tea Party wing of the G.O.P. Cantor had become the first House Majority Leader to lose a primary renomination.All over Washington, commentators were called out of dinner; Fox News broke into the O?Reilly Factor; and political reporters struggled to come up with a correct historical analogy. Since virtually no one?or, at least, no one in the world of political forecasting and punditry?had predicted Brat?s victory in the primary, it would be presumptuous, at this stage, to say anything definitive about its causes or its consequences. But here are a few things that can?t easily be contested.

In the 2012 G.O.P. primary, Cantor, who has aggressively courted Tea Party voters, tacitly promoting himself as a conservative alternative to Speaker John Boehner, defeated his opponent, Floyd Bane, by 79.4 per cent to 20.6 per cent. Evidently, Brat, who teaches at Randolph-Macon College, in Ashland, Virginia, wasn?t the sort to be put off. According?to the?Wall Street Journal, his works include ?God and Advanced Mammon: Can Theological Types Handle Usury and Capitalism?? and ?An Analysis of the Moral Foundations in Ayn Rand.? He entered the race at the start of this year, and was determined to make an issue of Cantor?s ties to the Party?s Washington-based establishment. Writing for the Daily Caller, a conservative news site, in February, Brat?said:

Congressman Cantor?s profile has been erratic even by Washington standards ? flitting from eager establishmentarian coat-holder to self-glorified ?Young Gun? and back again. His loyalties, both upward and downward, have shifted in his eager embrace of the Ruling Class. Washington?s only genuine article of faith: maintaining control regardless of how that control affects the life of the folks back home.

Brat fastened onto what was perceived by elements of the G.O.P.?s grass roots to be Cantor?s willingness to compromise on immigration reform and offer some form of amnesty to immigrants who had entered the country illegally. (In Washington, the House Majority Leader was sometimes portrayed as a?barrier?to such a reform.) This issue galvanized Brat?s campaign, and brought him to the attention of conservative media figures such as Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin, who both expressed support for him. Just this past weekend, Ingraham?appeared alongside Brat?at a political rally in Virginia, and jokingly suggested that President Obama should have traded Cantor, not five Taliban leaders, for Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. Brat, meanwhile, kept hacking away on the immigration issue, saying, ?A vote for Eric Cantor is a vote for open borders. A vote for Eric Cantor is a vote for amnesty.?

Read more »

GOP gets its funds cut for breaking the no dickhead rule

The donors aren’t happy with the shenanigans by the Republicans in Washington and are pulling the pin on their funding.

On a Monday last month, Rep.?Greg Walden, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, met with some top GOP donors for lunch at Le Cirque on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. The donors, a youngish collection of financial industry types and lawyers, had some questions for Walden, a mild-mannered lawmaker from eastern Oregon known for speaking his mind.

Why, they asked, did the GOP seem so in the thrall of its most extremist wing? The donors, banker types who occupy the upper reaches of Wall Street?s towers, couldn?t understand why the Republican Party?their party?seemed close to threatening the nation with a government shutdown, never mind a default if the debt ceiling isn?t raised later this month.

That excuse isn’t going to wash with the money men, who think the GOP are being dickheads.? Read more »

Matt McCarten must be on drugs

Matt McCarten has written the most bizarre column in the Herald on Sunday, one where he?imagines?that Mitt Romney has a chance in the November election. Much and all as I’d like the Republicans to win the presidency come November I just can’t see Mitt Romney getting there:

Something evil is happening in the US. This election is going to be stolen from the people and handed to the obese, wealthy and the crazy.

American law allows corporates to donate unlimited amounts of money to politics. The far-right Koch brothers alone are putting up nearly US$200 million ($250 million).

The strategy is to use the Tea Party as their foot soldiers, book wall-to-wall advertising to tell bold-face lies, build the best voter turnout their machinery and money can buy, and, in many states where Republicans control, they have changed election laws which will disfranchise millions of Democratic voters.

The wealthy and the deluded may take control of the world’s most powerful country. The rest of us should tremble.

Here of course Unions and their bosses don’t pay taxes or pass on PAYE of their employees toi fund political campaigns. At least the Koch brothers spend their own money and not those of their workers.

Matt of course tells his own lies in those few short paragraphs, especially about the alleged disenfranchisement. He also ignore the millions that the union movement pours into elections, most notably in?the?recent Wisconsin recall elections which they lost not only members money but the result as well.

Much and all as Matt thinks Romney can win, I just don’t think he can.

Young should embrace austerity now

? The Telegraph

Niall Fergusson reckons young people should be welcoming austerity measures because it means they won’t be paying for the largesse later in life and that greedy old people are?indenturing?us by way of paying for their bills

Young people should welcome austerity measures because it means huge government debts are less likely to blight their futures, historian Niall Ferguson has said.

The economic historian, who is affiliated to Oxford and Harvard Universities, says wise young voters should insist politicians pay off debts as soon as possible for the benefit and security of their own financial interests.

Speaking at the Reith Lectures on Tuesday, Professor Ferguson will argue the ?young should welcome austerity,? adding they ?find it quite hard to compute their own long-term economic interests.?

In his first lecture, which will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday, Prof Ferguson will insist the current public debt ?allows the current generation of voters to live at the expense of those as yet too young to vote or as yet unborn.?

?It is surprisingly easy to win the support of young voters for policies that would ultimately make matters even worse for them, like maintaining defined benefit pensions for public employees,? he says in an article ahead of the lecture.

He adds: “If young Americans knew what was good for them, they would all be in the Tea Party.”

Professor Ferguson argues the true size of government debt in Western democracies is many times larger than “deeply misleading” figures issued in the form of bonds because they do not record unfunded liabilities of social security and health care schemes.

“The last corporation to publish financial statements this misleading was Enron,” he wrote.

“These mind-boggling numbers represent nothing less than a vast claim by the generation currently retired or about to retire on their children and grandchildren, who are obligated by current law to find the money in the future, by submitting either to substantial increases in taxation or to drastic cuts in other forms of public expenditure,” he said.

How will the Tea Party cope with this?

Innovative taxation policies from Rick Perry might not find favour with the Tea Party:

The $5-per-customer tax on strip clubs that Perry signed in 2007?which goes by a number of nicknames, the most clever of which is the ?pole tax??was to fund an array of programs relating to sexual assault prevention and counseling, as well as subsidies for a sliver of the six million Texans without insurance. In a state with no income tax, helping those without health coverage fell to, well, those looking for women who aren?t covered.


Where is the left-wing outrage over this?

Remember in the aftermath of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting many left wing journalists and bloggers blamed Sarah Palin for the actions on moron because she had put out a brochure that purportedly had targets on it. Never-mind that Democrats has similarly published “target” brochures.

Raving looney bloggers in New Zealand like Martyn Bradbury and lap-bloggers at The Standard also joined in in blaming the right wing and the Tea Party for the shooting.

I wonder though of they will be blogging against the latest left-wing viral campaign where players in an online game actually get to shoot characterisations of right-wing?politicians,?including?Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, broadcasters Bill O’Reilly and Glen Beck amongst others.

The online first-person shooter game called?Tea Party Zombies Must Die, gives players the chance move around a decaying?Fox Newsstudio, killing zombie versions of presidential candidate,?Michele Bachmann, star of the Tea Party movement?Sarah Palin, speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and right-wing broadcaster?Glenn Beck using an array of weapons.

Other undead creatures players may encounter include likenesses of the former Senator for Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum and Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.

They can also target a series of generic characters, of which the descriptively-named “Expresses racist views anonymously on the internet modern klan zombie” and “Factory-made blonde Fox News Barbie who has never had a problem in her life zombie”.

The game, which was created by StarvingEyes Advergaming who make games for online viral campaigns, has attracted criticism from some conservatives.

But why hasn’t it attracted the same outrage fromt he left that Sarah Palin’s campaign ?brochure did?

Brent Bozell, president of Media Research Center, a right-wing media analysis organisation, said: “The liberal media have been preaching for years that conservatives are the ones who invoke violent imagery and rhetoric. Yet in the space of two days, the radical, pro-Obama left calls us ‘son-of-a-bitches’ and says they want to ‘take us out.’ And they follow that with a hideously violent game where they do just that – depicting ways of shooting prominent conservatives, presidential candidates and journalists. The news media would be in an uproar if violence had been incited against liberals. Their silence disgusts me.”

Their silence disgusts me too. Let’s see if Martyn Bradbury will publish a vitriolic laden post about the left-wing nutters who made this game or will he just explain it all away as “just a funny game”.

I’m?picking?he will just remain silent and continue his mad rantings about the latest baby recipes he found in John Key’s wheelie bin.

The violence of the left wing in New Zealand

Much was made, erroneously, of the motivations of Jared Laughner. The Standard leapt straight in and branded him a Tea Party supporter without a shred of evidence, and then went on to malign and implicate Sarah Palin as well. Bomber at Tumeke also?falsely?brought Sarah Palin into the blame game for the crazed actions of an idiot.

Both of these left wing hate speech sites somehow connected political rhetoric with violence by someone not even connected with either Sarah Palin or the Tea Party. In fact all evidence points to Jared Laughner being a anarco-communist. That however doesn’t stop them telling the story they want to tell no matter how false or misleading it is.

The left-wing holds itself up as being enlightened, and above such violence. Their rhetoric never uses such nasty words as ‘target’, or ‘hitlist’, oh no, they hold much more considered debates with their followers. Like this poster currently adorning fences on?the?North Shore in Auckland

Judith Collins Shoot Yourself poster from People Not Profit Collective

Poster on North Shore, Auckland

I have no idea who “People Not Profit Collective” is but I’ll bet a million dollars that they aren’t Tea Party members or Sarah Palin supporters. If posters can make people flip out and attempt to kill politicians then this one is right up there.

I doubt though we will see any left wing blog decrying this poster though. Because, you know, they have a much higher and more peaceful level of debate than the right wing who are all gun crazy, baby eating?demagogues.

Desperate spin to smear Palin

With the attempted assassination of a Democractic Congresswoman predictably the leftwing have attempted to pin the attack on,?variously, Sarah Palin and then the Tea Party.

As is usual they went off half cocked. Bet they don’t don’t correct their smears either.

For the record:

One of many?tweets from catieparker, a woman who supposedly knew Jared Lee Loughner, the man who supposedly has been detained as a suspect in the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords. She says: “I haven’t seen him since ’07. Then, he was left wing.”

Via?Jeralyn at TalkLeft. Also?at TalkLeft, screenshots from Loughner’s YouTube page, which make him look deranged. His favorite books include “The Communist Manifesto” and “Mein Kampf” ? for what it’s worth.

Hmmm, hardly right wing treatises there. It would be highly unlikely that a left-wing nutter who holds a grudge would either be a fan of Sarah palin or a member of the Tea party.

Andrew Bolt looks at?the?desperate attempts to frame Palin as well.

But the fact is whatever we may think of this graphic from last March, it?s highly unlikely to have been a factor in a shooting allegedly committed by a man who seems from his?MySpace page and?YouTube site to be completely mad, raving about thought control and a ?third currency?, burning the US flag and citing as his ?favorite books? not just?Mein Kampf but A Communist Manifesto.

The ad that Eddie and Bomber gleefully claim targeted a congresswoman for death is in actual fact about health care.

There is a lot more we need to know about this attempted assassination – and the murder of a young girl at the scene – before making any conclusions except for this one: those who already blame Palin are sick and they lie. They are also spreading exactly the kind of murderous hate they purport to despise.

Eddie at The Standard though seems to think this is all because of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.

Only one US Congressperson has ever been assassinated ? Leo Ryan during the?Jonestown Massacre. Gabrielle Giffords may become the second after a gunman?shot her and others, killing at least one, in Arizona. This appears to be part of a rising tide of violence from America?s far-right Tea Party movement, driven on by Glenn Beck and others.

Their commenters fall for the disgusting spin hook line and sinker, they love calling people RWNJ, but from the comments on the site it is clear the only nut-jobs are them.

Likewise with Bomber at Tumeke, ever quick for him to jump on the wrong band-wagon, he has likewise jumped to the wrong conclusion.

Sarah Palin will be banging her head against her keyboard after naming Gabrielle Giffords as a target…

As is usual for the useful idiots of the left, they have confused co-relation with causality. There is really no helping the fools. It is the same logic that lets left-wing crim huggers blame the Police for the death of fleeing criminals. When they jump, boots and all into these sort of daft conspiracies they simply make themselves look deranged, which they are of course.

Next year's slogan?

I think I have found next year’s election slogan for Whaleoil endorsed candidates

“We have shown we’re not the Democrats,” says Brown. “We have broken into the House of Representatives. We have the highest share of the vote for any minor party since World War II. We aren’t there to keep the bastards honest” [the famous slogan of the now-defunct Democrats]. “We’re there to replace the bastards.


The Evolution of Political Advertising

I am constantly impressed with the standard of political advertising in the US. Their attack ads are superb, and there are none better than those by Ladd Ehlinger Jr.

Ladd Ehlinger Jr. jokes that he?s only shot campaign ads for three people, and he?s managed to get two of them named ?worst person in the world? by left-wing MSNBC talk-show host Keith Olbermann.

But even while bestowing Alabama agriculture commissioner candidate Dale Peterson with the dishonor, Olbermann seems to get the joke.

?You can tell, you can look at Olbermann and you can tell, he?s trying to look angry but he?s having a really hard time doing it,? Ehlinger said while laughing in an interview with The Daily Caller.

And that?? the over-the-top theatrics, the caricature, and the fact that you?re never quite sure how seriously to take Peterson, because you can?t tell how seriously he?s taking himself ? is the whole point, says the 41-year-old filmmaker.

?On television, you?re buying lazy people who are too fat to hit the mute button during commercials,? Ehlinger said. ?On the internet, nobody has to watch your stupid ad. You have to come up with something interesting and entertaining for them to look at.?

It?s a potent strategy. Collectively, the spots Ehlinger has created have reached more than a million viewers on YouTube and have been replayed on cable news shows, reaching millions more.

His ads are very hard hitting. Here is my favourite.

His Les Philip ad, “A Story of Two Men? is now famous, especially for it’s ending.

He has two main strategies for preparing the ads.

That the ads have alienated a few people along the way is part of the point. Ehlinger calls one of his strategies the ?brier patch.?

?The idea is that you state a position that you know is not going to be popular to everybody,? he said. ?You state a position that you know is going to get some people upset ? specifically so the other side that agrees with you will come to your defense.?

Ehlinger calls his other tactic the ?Nazareth strategy,? coined in reference to the Biblical verse in which Nathaniel doubts Jesus by asking, ?Can anything good come out of Nazareth??

?I guess what it means is you are more impressed with someone who is a success outside of your hometown,? Ehlinger said.

In other words, as soon as a homegrown candidate shows up on national TV, his standing jumps in the eyes of locals. An appearance on Fox News can be huge for a grassroots campaign.


?You have to realize they?re all underdog candidates,? Ehlinger said.

His ads are very effective, they can literally turn around a campaign. In one run-off his candidate lagged 20 points and was being out-spent by his opponent.

Barber, a Tea Party favorite, helped force GOP frontrunner Martha Roby into a runoff, but still lagged by approximately 20 points in the June 1 primary.

?We ran our initial primary race on just hard, grassroots efforts ? going door to door, driving a lot,? Barber said. ?But we were still behind.?

With just over a month left before the runoff, Barber knew he could only shake so many hands in the 16-county district. His campaign was being outspent almost seven to one, too.

?In the primary my counterpart spent half a million dollars to my 75 thousand dollars,? Barber said.

What he needed, Barber explained, was to marry his message with the right director. Ehlinger was his man.

Once they connected, the production of the ?Gather Your Armies? ad, from conception to final product, took about eight days.

That ad got major attention. Some of it distinctly negative.

Criticism of Barber has been much harsher than that of Phillip or Peterson. The campaign has received hate mail. Keith Olbermann, in a profanity-laced rant during the aforementioned ?worst person in the world? segment, called the spot an ?incitement of treason,? and announced his hope that Barber would be thrown in jail.

But the ad has had the intended effect, too, so much so that Barber cut a second spot.

Ehlinger has some sage advice for politicians that apply just as much in New Zealand as they do the USA.

It?s what he hopes to do for others, too. Ehlinger is mum on specifics, but says he is currently working with approximately four additional campaigns. The biggest problem, he says, is finding candidates that are willing to step out on a limb.

?A lot of politicians are boring. And you know, they play it safe,? Ehlinger said. ?Mitt Romney?s not going to make a viral video, because he?s too blow-dried. So the main thing is to try to find politicians who aren?t sitting there with memorized talking points.?

And that?s exactly Ehlinger?s advice, for his own clients and for others?? ditch the contrived storyline and stop pulling punches. A candidate can?t be everything to everyone, so maybe it?s time to stop pandering and take a stand.

?People respect you when you say what you believe,? Ehlinger said, ?even if you?re saying something that a third of the electorate thinks is crazy.?

Too many politicians are tan, brown or taupe. Too afraid to stand for something because they might offend someone. Ultimately though you need to get elected to make a difference and that is the hardest part.