Michelle Bachmann redefines stupid

Sorry, but this is just too good to pass up. The fact that a member of Congress could be so historically illiterate is astounding:

As a matter of fact, the recession that FDR had to deal with wasn't as bad as the recession Coolidge had to deal with in the early 20s. Yet, the prescription that Coolidge put on that -- from history -- is lower taxes, lower regulatory burden, and we saw the "Roaring 20s," where we saw markets and growth in the economy like we'd never seen before in the history of the country. FDR applied just the opposite formula. The Hoot-Smalley Act [sic], which was a tremendous burden on tariff restrictions. And then, of course, trade barriers, and the regulatory burden and tax barriers. That's what we saw happen under FDR that took a recession and blew it into a full-scale depression. The American people suffered for almost ten years under that kind of thinking.

Where do we start? We can start with the fact that the recession Coolidge dealt with wasn't even close to what FDR faced. The stock market didn't crash during the Coolidge administration, the GDP did not collapse, the banking system was still intact and he didn't inherit a 25 percent unemployment rate. The depression started in 1929, and didn't start turning around until 1933, the year FDR became president. If you want, go look up the GDP numbers yourself.

And that "Hoot-Smalley Act"? The Smoot-Hawley Act was signed into the law by Republican Herbert Hoover, and is named after Sen. Reed Smoot and Rep. Willis Hawley, both Republicans.

Somewhere in Minnesota, a village is missing its idiot.

"GOP senators say Obama off to bad start"

Headlines like this make it impossible not to respond.

Bad start? Let's review for a minute. Obama got almost exactly the stimulus bill he first proposed, and the polls show Americans approve of the job he's doing by almost 70 percent.

The GOP congress critters on the other hand have approval rates at half that. Oh, they whine, Obama wasn't bipartisan enough! Really? Obama gave the GOP their tax cuts, which made up 37 percent of the final bill. What did the Republicans bend on? Nothing, nada, zip. They had no intention of negotiating in good faith. And now they are trying to spin this as a defeat for Obama, and the suckers at CNN are buying their BS.

After eight years of GOP games, the American people aren't buying it anymore.

Where are the "Divided Republican" stories?

Ron Paul throws an alternative GOP convention, yet there is little to no coverage of this party schism, like there was about the Hillary-Obama conflict. Why?

Filibuster-loving Republicans sink to new lows

Now they are filibustering their own bills, for Stroke Treatment, Vision Care for Kids, Paralysis research, Combating Child Exploitation, etc.

They decided to stick with Sen. Tom Coburn, who has personally blocked 80 bills in the Senate using holds that prevent unanimous consent. So today, Sen. Harry Reid brought up a bunch of those bills together, and most of Coburn's GOP allies refused to let the Senate vote on these measures, even though it kills some of the legislation they sponsored and supported.

Why? Because they have successfully used the filibuster to try and paint Democrats as ineffective. So, they are willing to let kids and sick people suffer in order to score cheap political points.

GOP out of ideas

There's a lot of Republican angst over the coming elections. They fear they are going to get trounced. Democrats now lead in polls on every issue. Some Republicans like Newt Gingrich are calling for the party to chart a new course to regain the advantage. Yet he offers no new course, just a taste of the old.

The problem for the GOP is they have no new course to set. They have pushed through pretty much everything they wanted over the last six years, and Americans have discovered what a disaster that created. The only things Republicans didn't push through are policies voters really hate, like destroying Social Security.

We've hit the crest of the Republican wave, and it has no where to go but back. I'm not even sure another major terrorist attack could scare the public back their way. GOP, welcome to your nightmare.

Repulicans and dog food

Gee, what some people will say when they aren't running for reelection anymore:

"The House Republican brand is so bad right now that if it were a dog food, they'd take it off the shelf," said retiring Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (Va.)

Of course the problem is that politics isn't a brand. The GOP did a great job of pulling the wool over everyone's eyes for so long they began to believe their own BS. Now that their tax-cutting, deficit-running, self-regulating, accountability-free government has created a disaster too large to ignore, they want to blame it on bad branding.

More signs of Republican disunity

Seems The Hammer doesn't like John McCain:

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) lambasted Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) Thursday for “betraying” the conservative movement.

During a private luncheon with Republican chiefs of staff on Capitol Hill, DeLay — who has criticized McCain for years — stepped up his attacks in the wake of the senator’s reemergence as a top presidential contender. DeLay said McCain has no principles and indicated he would not endorse the senator if he won the GOP primary.

“If McCain gets the nomination, I don’t know what I’ll do,” DeLay said at the Capitol Hill Club, according to a source in the room. “I might have to sit this one out.”

He added that a McCain triumph for the GOP nomination would destroy the Republican Party.

How many other DeLay folks are willing to follow him?

The real story from Iowa: the GOP is in trouble

One look at these stats and it's clear that the GOP is in deep you-know-what:

Total Voter Turnout (approximate)356,000
Percentage of total vote
24.5% Obama
20.5% Edwards
19.8% Clinton
11.4% Huckabee (R)

When Republicans in a marginally red state can't turn out enough voters for a hotly contested caucus to give their chosen one more votes than the third-place Democrat, then we could be looking at a rout come November. Democrats and Independents are fed up with Bush and the GOP, and they are excited about voting in a Democratic administration.

Republicans set filibuster record

Senate Republicans set a new record for filibusters. They didn't just break the record, they are destroying it with their constant foot-dragging.

There have been 72 filibusters so far, beating the old record of 68. But 110th Congress is not even half over. Republicans are on track to more than double the old record, an accomplishment of delay and obstruction unparalleled any time in history.

This is the most underreported story in Washington. President Bush complains that Congress isn't doing their job, yet it's his allies in the Senate who are gumming up the works.

The GOP distraction machine

georgia10 at Dailykos has a great piece about how, faced with public opposition on almost every issue, the GOP focuses its attacks on the personalities:

And oh, what masters of deflection Republicans have become. A debate about whether to invade Iraq becomes a debate about whether Joe Wilson's undercover CIA wife hooked him up with a sweet junket overseas. A debate on stem cell research becomes a debate about whether Michael J. Fox exaggerates his symptoms. A debate about the right to privacy becomes a debate about whether Terri's blinks were voluntary. A debate on Iraq policy becomes a debate about how mean people are to General Petraeus. A debate about health care becomes a full-blown investigation into the lifestyles of 12 year old Graeme Frost and 2 year old Bethany Wilkerson. A debate about curbing global climate change becomes a debate about how many compact fluorescent light bulbs Al Gore has in his house. A debate about the shameful level of poverty in this country becomes a debate about how much money John Edwards spent on a haircut. A debate about who's qualified to be president becomes a debate about who does or does not wear a lapel pin. A debate about executive accountability becomes a debate about whether Representative Stark hurt Mr. Bush's feelings.

Knowing that they cannot emerge victoriously out of a battle of ideas, Republicans latch on to individuals instead. Public figures and private citizens alike are fair game as the right-wing noise machine turns its cacophony-creating media apparatus in non-discriminating fashion upon any individual, any prey that can serve to distract even for one minute from the utter vapidity of the Republican platform today.

I think she has a point, though I think she also misunderstands why this works. Image almost always triumphs over issues. While some of of have no problems grasping abstract political ideas, for most people those ideas need to be connected to real, live people to make sense.

Here prescription for the Democrats to ignore the GOP noise machine is only half right. The other part is that Democrats have to connect their good ideas to people, and connect the GOP's bad ideas to people as well.

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