Tag Archives: Republican incompetence

Verbatim

Cook: It’s Back to the ’90s for GOP

With all of the talk among some Republicans in Congress about impeachment and shutting down the government to stop Obamacare or force entitlement-spending cuts, you’d think that they were living in another reality back in the 1990s. Republicans were pursuing similar missions then, and things didn’t work out so well for the GOP. For those in need of a quick history lesson, all you need to know is that Republicans managed to lose House seats in the midterm elections of 1998. It was the only time since World War II that the party in the White House (Democrats) gained seats in a second-term, midterm election. Talk about seizing defeat from the jaws of victory!

— Charlie Cook

Enumerati

From Billionaire to Millionaire in Two Days

$1,000,000,000

Amount of an asset mistakenly listed by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) on his personal financial disclosure report filing, Political Moneyline reports.Two days later, McCaul filed an amendment to that report indicating that the amount should be listed as only $1,000,000.

Verbatim

Congressional Republicans Have Devolved Into Anarchists

The Republican Party has spent 30 years careering ever more deeply into ideological extremism, but one of the novel developments of the Obama years is its embrace of procedural extremism. The Republican fringe has evolved from being politically shrewd proponents of radical policy changes to a gang of saboteurs who would rather stop government from functioning at all. In this sense, their historical precedents are not so much the Gingrich revolutionaries, or even their tea-party selves of a few years ago; the movement is more like the radical left of the sixties, had it occupied a position of power in Congress. And so the terms we traditionally use to scold bad Congresses–partisanship, obstruction, gridlock–don’t come close to describing this situation. The hard right’s extremism has bent back upon itself, leaving an inscrutable void of paranoia and formless rage and twisting the Republican Party into a band of anarchists.

— Jonathan Chait, writing in New York Magazine.

News & Comment

Worst Presidential Vacation Ever: 5 Years Ago, Bush Took Time Out to Politick While New Orleans Drowned

George Bush was on vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, on Monday, Aug. 29, when Hurricane Katrina made landfall at 7 a.m. Of course, he wasn’t completely off duty — he had some politicking to do in the west that day. During the morning he spoke with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff who was in Washington — but the topic was not the disaster, it was immigration. At around that same, mid-morning on Monday, the first levee failed and the flooding began, but it would be 24 hours before Chertoff was made aware of it.

Meanwhile, Bush stopped briefly at the Phoenix airport to cut up for the cameras with GOP Sen. John McCain, his bitter rival from the 2000 presidential primaries. It was McCain’s 69th birthday, and Bush’s people had supplied him with a birthday cake to use as a prop. Later, Bush stopped at two senior citizens centers for some politicking — he was out promoting his unfunded Medicare drug benefit.

Bush made a quick stop in Phoenix to clown around with his frenemy Sen. John McCain, whose birthday is Aug. 29. Inset: Meanwhile Americans were drowning in New Orleans
Bush made a quick stop in Phoenix to clown around with his frenemy Sen. John McCain, whose birthday is Aug. 29. Inset: Meanwhile Americans were drowning in New Orleans

That day, Bush received an urgent request from Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, a Democrat, that read, “Mr. President, we need your help. We need everything you’ve got.” But that night, as thousands of Americans huddled in the attics of their flooded homes in New Orleans, Bush turned in early without responding to the governor’s request.

The next morning, Aug. 30, Bush gave a speech promoting his status as a wartime president at a naval base in Colorado. About noon, Chertoff was finally informed that the levees had failed 24 hours earlier.

Tuesday afternoon, Bush promoted his unfunded Medicare drug benefit at another senior center. After the event, at around 2 p.m., Bush was photographed goofing around with a guitar given to him by country singer Mark Willis.

Left: Bush plays a guitar presented to him by Country singer Mark Wills, right, backstage after Bush gave a political speech. Right: At the time of the speech, people were wading through the flooded streets of New Orleans
Left: Bush plays a guitar presented to him by Country singer Mark Wills, right, backstage after Bush gave a political speech. Right: At the time of the speech, people were wading through the flooded streets of New Orleans

Aides will later claim that Bush had refused to watch television news coverage of the disaster. At 4 p.m., he made his first public statement, during which he seemed “casual to the point of carelessness,” according to the New York Times. At 7 p.m., Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice attended a performance of “Spamalot,” the Monty Python musical, on Broadway.

read more »