“As Christianity Fades, The Birth Rate Falls And Third World Immigration Surges”

The White establishment is now the minorityThe demographics are changing. It’s not a traditional America anymore.”

—Bill O’Reilly, November 6, 2012

y now we’ve all noticed that some of the adults in the Republican Party are talking about the party doing some soul-searching, making it more appealing to women, Latinos, young people, and, yes, even African-Americans.

These Republican grownups, folks like political gurus Steve Schmidt and Mike Murphy, realize the electorate is changing before their eyes and know that Republicans have to change too.

Ain’t gonna happen.

Not only are the extremists in control of the Republican Party not going to change—can anyone imagine Rush Limbaugh embracing immigration reform, for God’s sake?—it makes no sense for them to change, given what it is that really animates most of them.

There are two major forces that serve to energize the base of the Republican Party today. One is fundamentalist or quasi-fundamentalist religion, which is waging war against Constitution-blessed secularism. The other is an increasingly acute cultural anxiety over the browning of America.

Those two forces meet and merge in the mind of Pat Buchanan, who wrote three years ago:

In what sense are we one nation and one people anymore? For what is a nation if not a people of a common ancestry, faith, culture and language, who worship the same God, revere the same heroes, cherish the same history, celebrate the same holidays, and share the same music, poetry, art and literature?

…The European-Christian core of the country that once defined us is shrinking, as Christianity fades, the birth rate falls and Third World immigration surges.

You see, to people like Pat Buchanan—I give him credit for honesty—a diverse nation is not a nation at all. True Americans must all have European blood and belief. All others represent an existential threat to the country.

About one-half of all American children under five have Buchanan skin, a fact that makes Buchanan’s thin cultural skin crawl. And there is evidence that Americans are slowly embracing the secular nation that our Constitution establishes.

Thus it is that those in the Republican Party who care deeply and disturbingly about the threat to the “European-Christian core of the country” —those misguided but earnest folks who nominated Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, for instance—are not going to tolerate any talk of moderating the party’s positions on the social issues.

The Republican Party platform in 2016 will look much like it did this year, a document that reeks of uncompromising extremism, such as the party’s stance on reproductive rights and the status of homosexuals. The party primary process will continue to produce extremist true-believers who honor that extremist document.

Because people who are moved by faith and fear, folks who are on a mission from God or who are defending their waning cultural dominance, will not be deterred by an unfavorable election outcome. They will not be coaxed or coerced into compromise by people in their party who don’t share their enthusiasm for lost-cause crusades.

So it is that we will continue to see Tea Party-types dominate the Republican Party until such time that there is nothing much left to dominate, at least on the national scene. Republicans will always have a voice at the local and state level, even a voice in the Congress, but with uncompromising crusading conservatives in charge of its national prospects, it will one day become irrelevant as a governing national party.

When that happens, when the browning of America forces Republicans into waging only regional and state and local battles, then perhaps the adults can take the party back.

And America would be all the better for it.

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Tuesday The Thirteenth

Todd Akin, like one of those Jasonesque characters in a sequel-begetting fright flick, just won’t go away.

A sometimes Democrat-friendly polling firm, Public Policy Polling, finds that Akin is only down 48-44 to Claire McCaskill (women support Claire 55-38), even after Dr. Todd shared his pre-Neanderthalic understanding of rape and the female reproductive system with Missouri voters.

The survey found that although Akin’s favorability rating is at only 29%—that’s not a typo—his good standing among Republicans in this state has gone up from 74% to 79%. Apparently, a vast majority of Missouri Republicans have decided that Akin’s medieval pseudoscience, which claims that women’s bodies have special recognition devices that can detect sperm planted through “legitimate” violence, is the kind of science that GOP Jesus loves.

Surprisingly, among independents the race is, uh, tied, 46-46. What that means is that some of those who claimed they are independents are lying through their conservative teeth or don’t have the slightest idea what “independent’ means (not out of the question here in Missouri). Those who claimed they were not Republicans or Democrats amounted to 32% in this survey. And no one can convince me that 46% of true independents are voting for the pre-Neanderthal in this race. If that is so, Allah help us.

Also, it appears some extra dough is finding its way into the state in support of Dr. Todd.  The New York Times’ “The Caucus” reports that Akins “is receiving an influx of more than $2 million in the final days of his campaign.” The skinny:

Nearly a million of those dollars on television ad buys are coming from Mr. Akin’s campaign, while the rest is from outside groups, and there is speculation that organizations that previously distanced themselves from the six-term Congressman could be behind some of the new spending.

One of those organizations suspected of sending Akin money is the National Republican Senatorial Committee (chaired by Texas Senator John Cornyn, who is so conservative that he once almost compared homosexual marriage to a man marrying a box turtle—I kid you not), which had pulled the plug on Akin when it appeared he would not survive his lecture on evangelical gynecology. But now that he is, like Jason, alive and well, Cornyn may be funneling money to the state Republican party, which has never stopped its support of Dr. Todd.

But I want to pass on something that may help those of you who, like me, have feared that the pre-Neanderthal can pull off a win and not only embarrass Missouri, but help speed up the ongoing erosion of women’s rights.

On Sunday, I was helping to contact local potential McCaskill voters. Several times we ran across Republican women who were voting for Claire, despite the fact their husbands were not. One woman said to us:

Tell her I am a rock-ribbed Republican but I am supporting her.

I took that as good news that although the race will be mind-mindbogglingly close—considering what kind of candidate Akin is—there is a goodly number of Republican women out there who haven’t yet lost their minds.

Intrusive, Vagina-Probing, Have-The-Rapist’s-Baby-Or-Else Big Government

From HuffPo:

Notice the “at least” in the subheader. There could be more. And remember, too, that Romney and Ryan are just as extreme, when it comes to their preferences, even though Romney, but not Ryan, has tried to have it three or four or more ways on abortion.

Again, for the record, Romney’s real position, as ABC News reported in 2007 after a Republican debate:

“I would welcome a circumstance where there was such a consensus in this country that we said, we don’t want to have abortion in this country at all, period,” Romney said at the time. “That would be wonderful. I’d be delighted.”

Pressed CNN host Anderson Cooper, “The question is: Would you sign that bill?”

“Let me say it. I’d be delighted to sign that bill. But that’s not where we are,” Romney replied. “That’s not where America is today. Where America is ready to overturn Roe v. Wade and return to the states that authority. But if the Congress got there, we had that kind of consensus in that country, terrific.”

As for Paul Ryan, he said in an interview with WJHL in Roanoake, Virginia:

REPORTER JOSH SMITH: Our viewers would love know…specifically where you stand when it comes to rape, and when it comes to the issue of should it be legal for a woman to be able to get an abortion if she’s raped?

PAUL RYAN: I’m very proud of my pro-life record, and I’ve always adopted the idea that, the position that, the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life.

These are radicals. These are reactionaries. These are, in fact, radical reactionaries. Democrats have to keep pounding this into Americans’ heads, not just American women’s heads. These folks mean it when they say they want to use government—intrusive, vagina-probing, have-the-rapist’s-baby-or-else big government—to eliminate all abortions. All of us have to tell our friends, our family, our co-workers, our neighbors, about what is happening. Then we have to keep reminding them.

Even 76% of non-candidate Republicans believe abortion should be legal in the case of rape, for God’s sake, which is why Romney has tried to hide his extremism by copping a relatively less radical, but still radical nonetheless, position summarized as “only legal in the case of rape, incest, and the life of the mother.”  In the context of what he have heard from the mouths of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, that sounds like a pro-choice liberal speaking. But it isn’t. It’s still a reactionary speaking, still a radical position to hold. And besides that. Romney is still—still!—supporting Mourdock.

Whether it is this year’s crop of Republican senate hopefuls, or whether it is Mitt Romney’s expressed delight in signing a potential law that would eliminate all abortions, or whether it is Paul Ryan’s strange claim that rape is, in terms of the abortion issue, just another “method of conception“—God, that’s offensive—the message that these extremists would radically change the cultural landscape for women in this country has to be broadcast far and wide and often.

These zealots aren’t kidding, and Americans need to be told that again and again and again.

How Obama Can Win The Debate And The Election

It’s simple really.

The Obama campaign—with the help of the mainstream press—seems to have moved away from the one thing that was working against the slippery Mittens and was giving them a comfortable lead in the polls: the guy is a radical conservative who will radically transform the country into something only the Tea Party could love. Period.

They need to stop trying to paint the guy as a flip-flopper—everyone can see that by now—and tie him directly to the Republicans in Congress, particularly the Tea Party contingent, which he has supported in every conceivable way, including picking one of the most extreme VP candidates—and Tea Party favorite—in history.

Here, look at this graph from Gallup, published a month ago:

Look at those low, low, low numbers for Congress. Who could run against that bunch and lose? All Obama has to do to execute the winning strategy is to put the focus on extremists in Congress, including highlighting legislation that has come out of the Tea Party Republican House (as well as some that has come from Senate Republicans, like the radical Blunt amendment, which Romney was against before he had to backtrack), and then tie Romney’s flip-flopping body to that stake and watch him burn.

The President can point to some of the more extreme wackos in Congress—there is a rather large crop from which to choose—and ask the country: Do you want a president who will make these extremists even more powerful? Do you want to see Michele Bachmann and Allen West on your TVs every night, as they wield real power?

The president should say something like this during Tuesday’s debate, which I offer the campaign free of charge:

If you think Todd Akin is nuts, if you think his mind is frozen in Iron Age ignorance, then I’ve got news for you. There are a bunch of Republicans in the House who are as strange as he is. And Paul Ryan—who Mitt Romney chose to be his running mate— is one of them. He voted with Akin on a bill that originally tried to redefine rape, the old definition not quite good enough for these people. Ryan is as far right on the issue of a woman’s right to choose as Todd Akin. He really is that wildly far right. Yet Romney picked him to sit in the White House and help him make decisions, decisions that will affect you and your daughters.

Have you ever heard of Congressman Steve King? He’s an extremist nut from Iowa. Never mind that he doubts I am an American. Never mind that. Among other crazy, extremist things, he has suggested that states should still have the right to stop couples from having access to contraception. Yes, here in 2012 he thinks that. And Congressman King backed up Todd Akin recently and even added that he had never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest. Never heard of it.

And you can go on his website and find out that he would force women “requesting” an abortion—even women who were raped—to undergo ultrasounds “and review the life within her.” I’m not making that up. He would use government force to require women to do that. Go there and look for yourself. He’s serious. He’s deadly serious.

And you know what? Mitt Romney endorsed this guy! About this wacky congressman, about this Tea Party nutjob, Romney said, “I want him as my partner in Washington!”  Partners. That’s what you are voting for if you vote for Mitt Romney. A partner with extremists in Congress. Make no mistake about it.

In fact, the entire Republican Party has been captured by such people as Steve King. People like him run that party. Just a couple of days after Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments, the Republican Party voted to put in its official platform a provision that would prevent women who are raped or who are incest victims from choosing whether to have the rapist’s baby. They would force a woman, perhaps a relative of yours, to bear the child of her attacker. Do you really want to put these people in charge of the government? Huh?

And as for the economy. Things are turning around despite the fact Republicans in Congress all joined together in an effort to sabotage the economic recovery. They have admitted that. That’s not controversial. They got together on the night of my inauguration and plotted how they might keep me from getting this economy repaired and have a second term. I’m not kidding. I’m not making that up. You all need to know how extremist this bunch in Congress is. So extreme as to jeopardize the well-being of the country just so they can get complete control of it.

And as far as entitlement programs go, you all heard what Governor Romney thinks of half the country, you know, when he was standing in front of fat cats in Florida.  He thinks people don’t want to take care of themselves. He thinks half of the population wants to be dependent on government, even people who have earned their benefits, even people who worked hard for them and are truly entitled to them. He thinks that. He said that. And you know who else thinks that? Tea Party Republicans in Congress. That’s what the whole Tea Party movement was about, remember? Do you want these folks in charge of the government? Do you want these people, most of whom have never cared all that much for our safety net, deciding the future of Social Security and Medicare? Huh?

And finally, as far as foreign policy and national security goes, we have kept the country safe. We have taken down much of al Qaeda’s leadership, including bin Laden. I got us out of Iraq and I am winding down the war in Afghanistan. But you know what? That’s not good enough for some of these extremists in Congress. That’s not good enough for Governor Romney. They want us to get more involved in Syria. You’ve seen them on television. You’ve seen them say we’ve got to do more. They want to start a war—yes, I said it—they want us to start a war with Iran, before we have even given the punishing sanctions we put in place time to work. That’s what they want and that’s what they will get if you put them in charge.

Governor Romney has surrounded himself with advisers who got us into the mess in Iraq. You want more of that? Some in Congress, even the Governor himself, seem to want us to stay and stay and stay in Afghanistan. You want to keep troops there for another ten years? Huh?

Another adviser to the Romney campaign has called on Congress to authorize war with Iran. That was after the Republican leader in the Senate called for the same thing. I’m not kidding. He wanted a vote on the authorization of force against Iran. The leader of Republicans in the United States Senate called for “a more forceful approach.” More forceful.  What does that mean except war? Another Romney adviser, who worked for George W. Bush as U.N. ambassador, is not only itching for a war with Iran, he has suggested that Israel use nuclear weapons! Again, I’m not kidding. 

There are people in Congress who would have us in wars all over the place. They want to drastically increase our defense budget, even while giving tax cuts to rich people and cutting aid to the poor here at home. And the only thing stopping them right now is you, you the voter. That’s it. If you elect Mitt Romney, if you put him and Paul Ryan in charge, you are putting the Tea Party in charge of the entire government. And all of them are hell-bent on taking us back to a time when people were begging in the streets. A time when folks didn’t have the health care they needed. They are hell-bent on getting us back into protracted wars in a strange part of the world.

Look. I’m not going to BS you. If you give me another four years, there are some tough choices that have to be made, both here at home and across the sea. We do have to cut spending even more than I have already. We do have to address the long-term entitlement problems. And we do have to consider seriously whether we want to start a war with Iran, should the sanctions in place fail to convince them to stop advancing toward a nuclear weapon. These are hard things. They will require us to make some hard choices.

But I trust you know me. You know how I have conducted myself these past four years. You know how sober-minded I am and how I don’t do things rashly or act without good reason. I don’t have to play Macho Man on the world stage in order to look out for American interests. I don’t have to send young men and women to die to prove how strong our resolve is.

And you have seen the extremism on the other side. You have seen Governor Romney, a man who made his fortune in what a member of his own party called “vulture capitalism,” embrace the most extreme elements of his party and the most extreme policies imaginable. You’ve seen that. 

It comes down to this: Who do you trust to do the right thing as America moves forward?

Dangerous Stuff

emember John Hagee?

He was the freaky and bigoted pastor from Texas whose endorsement John McCain sought in 2008 and whose endorsement he got in 2008 and whose endorsement was eventually rejected by John McCain in 2008 because, well, the guy is part of the Christian Taliban.

This year Hagee is conducting what he calls “40 Days of Prayer,” going on until the election on November 6.  Evangelicals are big on large prayer meetings, especially when a Muslim is sitting in the White’s House. Hagee’s prayer, don’t you know, involves repentance for “the sin of idolatry“:

…we have under the banner of pluralism and hedonism, embraced and worshipped the gods of this world…

Our silence has produced a secular nation and all nations that forget You, shall be forsaken. We ask that You hear our cry, for we need You, in these desperate times, to lead us out of our politically correct fog of constant confusion and take us back to Your moral clarity.

Among the election results Hagee is praying for is the defeat of Barack Obama, although he doesn’t use his name. But we know it is Obama  because, well, just read it for yourself:

O Lord our God, You have promised to raise up righteous leaders into high places and to remove those who have displayed unrighteous authority. We earnestly pray that You will once again exalt the upright and expose the deeds of the ungodly…

We pledge to exercise our God given rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in voting for future leaders from the county courthouse to the White House who obey and honor Your Word.

We pledge to vote the Bible in selecting those that will govern our country.

Gee. I wonder who he means by “remove those who have displayed unrighteous authority“? To which party is he pledging his—and his followers’—vote?

But that last line, “We pledge to vote the Bible” should trouble any thinking American, those that haven’t been poisoned by Talibanic teaching. What the hell does “vote the Bible” mean? What can it mean? The Bible is a rather large book, full of contradictory claims and prescriptions.

Monday night on The Last Word I saw remarks made by another member of the Christian Taliban, but this one is not a loopy pastor in Texas. He is Paul Broun, a Republican who hails from, where else, Georgia. Broun has called President Obama “a Marxist” who “is destroying everything that’s made this country great,” but that’s not what is so disturbing about him.

Broun sits on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.  Yes, Science, Space, and Technology, the same committee with a member named Todd Akin, of legitimate rape and creepy gynecological theory fame.

Just as Pastor Hagee and countless evangelical and fundamentalist Christians do, Paul Broun has a Supreme Boss, an Iron Age book, which leads him to a startling conclusion:

God’s word is true. I’ve come to understand that all that stuff I was taught about evolution and Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell.

This would be a good time to remind you that he sits on the Science, Space, and Technology committee in your House of Representatives. More:

And it’s lies to try to keep me, and all the folks who were taught that, from understanding that they need a savior. You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young earth. I don’t believe that the earth is but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says.

Science, Space, and Technology, people. More:

What I’ve come to learn is that it’s the manufacturer’s handbook, is what I call it. It teaches us how to run our lives individually, how to run our families, how to run our churches. But it teaches us how to run all our public policy and everything in society. That’s the reason as your congressman, I hold the Holy Bible as being the major directions to me of how I live in Washington, D.C, and I’ll continue to do that  [raucous applause].

Besides the obvious, the Science, Space, and Technology committee has jurisdiction over “scientific research, development, and demonstration, and projects therefor,” as its website puts it.

Just why would Republican leadership put men like Todd Akin and Paul Broun on such an important committee? Because evangelicals have taken over control of the Republican Party, my friends. People who think the earth is nine bleeping thousand years old are in positions of power in our government, and are threatening to take the whole damn thing over.

I know these people. I know who they are and how they think and how much they hate anything that contradicts their interpretation of the Bible. This is dangerous stuff in terms of the future of the country. These folks mean business when they say that what science teaches, like evolution and the Big Bang theory, are “lies straight from the pit of hell.” These are not just crowd-pleasing one-liners. Paul Broun means it with all his heart.

And he means it when he says that the Bible will be his guide to governance because “it teaches us how to run all our public policy and everything in society.” The Bible is our teacher. The Bible, a book that is a collection of tales and claims written by ignorant and scientifically illiterate men living in an age when the wheelbarrow represented an advancement in technology and a time when men scribbled their divine thoughts on papyrus.

I have said this countless times, but I will continue to say it. We, you and me and other Americans not shackled by Iron Age theology, have to mount an aggressive rhetorical offensive against these fundamentalist reactionaries whenever and wherever we encounter them, on the street, in the workplace, in school, or, uh, in church. I repeat: this is dangerous stuff.

It’s our job as good citizens to point out the scandal of a Paul Broun, who thinks climate change is a hoax, or a Todd Akin, who thinks women have special rape-sperm recognition devices, sitting on, dare I say it again, the Science, Space, and Technology committee in this the twenty-first century.

Mainstream journalists won’t do it. Most politicians won’t do it. We The Thinking People have to help scientists defend science, as Bill Nye, commenting on Paul Broun’s claims, is doing:

Since the economic future of the United States depends on our tradition of technological innovation, Representative Broun’s views are not in the national interest. For example, the Earth is simply not 9,000 years old. He is, by any measure, unqualified to make decisions about science, space, and technology.

Unqualified, and dangerous.

Watch another Republican congressman invoke the Bible in a discussion about public policy followed by Paul Broun:

Roy Blunt, False Witness

The Old Testament tells us that the Lord hates “a false witness that speaketh lies.”

Uh-oh.

Without much of a pushback from Candy Crowley, Roy Blunt appeared on CNN’s State of the Union to speaketh lies about Mitt Romney’s once-prominent promise of tax cuts for all. After playing a clip of Romney saying “don’t be expecting a huge cut in taxes,” Crowley asked,

What do you make of that? Sounds like people aren’t going to get a tax cut.

BLUNT: Well, I — actually I think that’s what the governor’s been saying all the time, and it’s what most Republicans have been saying all the time. Get the rate down, eliminate the — a lot of the intricacies of the tax code…

CROWLEY: But hasn’t he been — I’m sorry. Hasn’t he been campaigning on cutting taxes?

BLUNT: No, no, no, he has always said we’re going to lower the rate and we’re going to eliminate the complexity of the tax code. That’s what he’s said consistently. It doesn’t mean revenue would go down. That would mean that people would have some sense that everybody’s paying the same thing based on the same rules, both at the corporate structure and the individual structure and I think that’s very consistent…

No, no, no,” he said. “It doesn’t mean revenue would go down.” Well, I am used to Blunt telling unchallenged lies to Missourians, but one would think when he tells lies to the nation that Candy Crowley would at least press him on it. But nope, she didn’t.

If you go to Mitt Romney’s website—in light of his “47%” comments laughingly subtitled, “Believe in America” —you will find this:

Reduce taxes,” it says, “through…tax reform.” Nothing could be clearer than that. It doesn’t say “reduce tax rates,” but “reduce taxes,” with “reduce” being commonly defined as “to bring down.” Romney promised to bring down taxes, despite Blunt’s claim that  it was really “rates” he meant. A false witness, indeed.

But that wasn’t Blunt’s biggest sin on Sunday:

CROWLEY: Let me ask you about the state of the race in Missouri. This is where you had Congressman Akin, who made a very controversial remark, which you condemned, which others condemned. You, in fact, said at the time, “We do not believe it serves the national interests for Congressman Todd Akin to stay in the race for Senate. The issues at stake are too big, and this election is simply too important. The right decision is to step aside.” 

As we all know, Todd Akin did not step aside. He is running as the Republican. And you are looking as though — the Republicans are looking as though they’re going to lose that race because Akin stayed in it. 

BLUNT: I think at the end of the day, that race does largely become a debate about the majority in the Senate. Harry Reid is majority leader. What happens there? I think that becomes really big in that race. Frankly, I think that anybody else would have been a candidate that clearly would have won, and Todd very well may win. He is on a ticket at a time when people are looking at a Senate that’s not doing its work, and the only way to change the Senate is to change the majority in the Senate. 

CROWLEY: So you are going to sell it as a party race as opposed to the individual of Congressman Akin? 

BLUNT: I think it becomes a party race in our state and lots of other places as well, as people look at these Senate races. And I’m not — I think they look at them to a great extent independently of whatever has happened in the presidential race, but I think the presidential race is going to be decided by the economy, and the economy is not where people want it to be.

Get that? Blunt believes, or says he believes, that Missourians will overlook Akin’s stupidity because otherwise Harry Reid will remain Majority Leader. Forget “legitimate rape” people, we’ve got to make Mitch McConnell, the chief Republican obstructionist in Congress, Majority Leader!

In other words, Blunt, who sacrificed what principles he had left on the altar of political power, hopes Missourians will do the same thing. He said a bit later:

It’s a race about the majority, and let’s see how Todd does.

Yeah, let’s see how Todd does.

My question would be this: Is there nothing a Republican candidate could say or do that would earn Roy Blunt’s permanent disapproval? If Charles Manson were a Republican and could give the party a majority in the senate, would Roy Blunt say, “It’s a race about the majority, and let’s see how Charlie does“?

Huh?

Sadly, the reason Blunt has recanted his disapproval of Akin is because, believe it or not, the man with a cave dweller’s understanding of the female reproductive system and “ladylike” behavior and who wants to privatize Social Security and Medicare, actually has a chance of winning in cave-rich Missouri.

If he had no chance, Roy Blunt wouldn’t come within a Jack Abramoff scandal of him.

For his part, Akin, with a zeal befitting an evangelical zealot, has said that there is “an amazing correlation” at work here:

When you do the right thing, you end up winning anyway.

Well, there is one thing we know: no matter who wins, neither Akin nor the principleless Roy Blunt will have done the right thing.

And if Akin ends up in the U.S. Senate, those Missourians who put him there will be just as principleless as Blunt and will have brought shame to not only their state, but to the whole country.

McCaskill Sends A Warning To Republicans

As Todd Akin, that brilliant medieval scientist, continues his “Give ‘Em The Finger Tour” around Missouri (he essentially kicked it off here in Joplin), and as he attempts to make Missouri the butt of all political jokes, Claire McCaskill appeared on MSNBC this morning and offered this rather unladylike warning to the honchos in the GOP:

Watch the national Republicans. You know, they’ve all said it was unacceptable what he did, and I think Scott Brown and Linda McMahon and a lot of candidates out there are really going to be in trouble if the national Republicans now go back on their word and come in here and try to fund Todd Akin.

McCaskill’s senate counterpart, Roy Blunt, has already decided to put political power ahead of principle and support Akin. But he has his own personal reasons for doing so. If Blunt, who is Mitt Romney’s congressional liaison, can help Republicans gain control of the senate by helping to engineer an Akin victory, he will be able to move up the leadership ladder—he is now the Vice-Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.

McCaskill is counting on national Republicans, who don’t share Blunt’s narrower interests because they have to look out for other candidates in bluish states, to keep to their word and not flirt with Akin and his goofy gynecological godliness imported from the Middle Ages.

So far, Texas Senator John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, claims he has “no plans” to put money in Akin’s campaign, but we are talking about the Republican Party here. If the race is close in a couple of weeks, I’m betting the money will flow.

As for that other money-man, Karl Rove—who famously said of Akin that, “If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts” —he probably won’t sink any money into Akin’s race, just as he didn’t offer any dough to GOP senate candidates and wingnuts Sharron Angle, Joe Miller, or Christine O’Donnell in 2010.

But again, these are Republicans. If it appears that an Akin victory is possible, and a Republican-controlled Senate is still in play, then even the murder-minded Rove may make a cash dump in Missouri.

In the mean time, the fact that Todd Akin still has his political legs, after all he has said and done, says a lot about how far Missouri politics has been corrupted by a corrosive brand of conservatism.

Leading From Behind Todd al-Akin

How many times have you heard Republicans criticize President Obama for “leading from behind”? A bunch. Here is an example of what right-wingers mean by their criticism:

To sum it up, Barack Obama’s foreign policy is based on the belief that we have surrendered or had taken from us our leadership role in the world. He’s operating intentionally as a failure.

Yeah, that’s our president, alright. He’s not only a failure, he’s means to be one!

Yesterday I heard Dan Senor, a foreign policy adviser to Mitt Romney and a man ass-deep in Bush’s decision to not lead from behind and start a foolish war in Iraq, criticize President Obama on TV  for failing to get Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to “step down.

My, my, my. I wonder why al-Assad won’t listen to the President of the United States and do what he is told? Maybe it is because Mr. Obama is a defective leader? A failure? Yeah, that’s it. I mean, if a leader asks a bad actor to get off the stage and that actor chooses to remain in the spotlight, it’s the leader’s fault, right? He has failed to lead, right? He’s a wimp, right?

Well, okay. Here’s what Dan Senor’s boss said about Todd Akin, Missouri’s torturously Talibanic Republican candidate for senate—and part-time gynecologist—after Akin’s ignorance and/or stupidity was revealed to the world:

As I said yesterday, Todd Akin’s comments were offensive and wrong and he should very seriously consider what course would be in the best interest of our country. Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside, and I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race.

That was on August 21. Naturally, being a leader of epic proportions, Romney’s declaration that Akin should “step aside” immediately caused Akin to, well, step aside, right?

Not exactly:

Todd Akin (still) staying in Missouri Senate race

Despite calls from Republican Party leaders to step down, Rep. Todd Akin announced he will remain in the Missouri Senate race against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Dammit! What’s wrong with Mittens’ leadership? If President Obama is expected to snap his fingers and have a miscreant like Bashar al-Assad disappear, then making a little twerp like Todd Akin go away ought to be easy pickin’s.

But nope, Akin remains with us, which, of course, means Mittens has failed as a leader. And not only did Akin defy him, but others have kicked sand in Romney’s face.

Among the sand-kickers are Akin’s reactionary friends who are coming to his aid, folks like Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Jim DeMint, Phyllis Schlafly, and, no surprise, the author of the infamous “Blunt amendment“—a blatant and reactionary attack on women’s health choices—Roy Blunt:

Blunt backs Akin’s Senate bid after deadline to exit race passes

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) announced his support for Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-Mo.) Senate bid after the deadline passed for Akin to exit the race.

In a statement released late Tuesday night, Blunt, a venerable figure in Missouri politics and the GOP establishment in Washington, flipped on his earlier call for Akin to exit the race.

“Congressman Akin and I don’t agree on everything, but he and I agree the Senate majority must change. From Governor Romney to the county courthouse, I’ll be working for the Republican ticket in Missouri, and that includes Todd Akin,” he said in the statement.

Not too long ago Blunt said in a joint statement with other Missouri Republican “leaders” the following:

We do not believe it serves the national interest for Congressman Todd Akin to stay in this race. The issues at stake are too big, and this election is simply too important. The right decision is to step aside.”

Dammit! There’s that pesky phrase “step aside” again. Blunt tried and failed to get Akin to quit and that means Blunt is also a wimpy leader. Shoot, when it comes to Akin, there are wimpy Republican leaders all over the place. In terms of revealing leadership qualities, little old Todd Akin is the Bashar al-Assad of the GOP!

But in Blunt’s case, instead of moaning and groaning about Akin’s tin ear, instead of telling Akin to go straight to hell, Blunt, being a resourceful, if wimpy, leader, has chosen to follow Akin and help him get elected.

Now that’s what I call leading from behind!

Godspeed, Todd al-Akin!

Todd Akin’s Hunger Games

The Big Lebowski, Jeff Bridges, was on Morning Joe this morning talking about child hunger in America. Appearing with Bill Shore, of Share our Strength, Bridges shared this sobering stat:

Almost 16 million American kids—one in five—live in poverty.

From the Share our Strength website, we can follow the progression of what happens if kids—students trying to learn—go without food:

1. That child who doesn’t have enough to eat isn’t going to do as well in school.

2. And is likely to get sick more often.

3. She’s less likely to graduate from high school and go on to college, which will have a negative impact on her economic future.

4. If this happens, then twenty years from now, she’s much less likely to be able to earn enough to feed her family.

Seen that way, combating child hunger, apart from the obvious morality of it, is simply an investment in America’s future well-being.

And Mr. Legitimate Rape, Todd Akin, is on the wrong side of this moral and practical issue, too.

According to an article in the Forum section in Sunday’s Joplin Globe, 646,000 Missouri students received free or reduced-price meals at school in fiscal year 2011. A lot of those kids benefiting from that Truman-era federal program live around here, in conservative Republican-dominated Southwest Missouri, and from its beginning the federal school lunch program was opposed by—guess who?—conservative Republicans.

Todd Akin is one of those.  The Joplin Globe reports:

According to a report in The Columbia Daily Tribune, Akin said he wasn’t opposed to feeding children, but that it wasn’t the federal government’s job to pay for it.

The state, he said, is responsible for education, and if providing breakfast and lunch was important then state and local governments could pick up the tab.

If providing breakfast and lunch was important? Huh? The Globe continued:

Akin was one of only 13 members of the House of Representatives to vote against a resolution expressing support for the National School Lunch Program. In March 2010, Akin voted against House Resolution 362, a resolution expressing support for the goals and ideals of the school lunch program.

Those 13 “members” who voted against expressing support for the school lunch program were actually all Republicans, and they represent many of the nuttiest of the nutty Tea Party conservatives. Here’s a partial list, just to give you an idea of the kind of company Akin is in:

♦ Ron Paul (Yep! that one from Texas)

♦ Paul Broun (of GA; he once suggested Mr. Obama was ready to establish a Marxist dictatorship)

♦ Jason Chaffetz (of UT; this federal school lunch hater is a big-time Romney surrogate)

♦ Virginia Foxx (of NC; who once suggested that old folks would be “put to death by their government” if Democrats’ health reform passed; she also said we have more to fear from it than “any terrorist right now in the country”)

♦ Scott Garrett (of NJ; creationist birther)

♦ Doug Lamborn (of CO; Big Bird hater; the most partisan man in Congress and a man who suggested President Obama was a “tar baby”)

♦ James Sensenbrenner (of WI; introduced The Patriot Act in the House; if that ain’t enough, he referenced the First Lady’s “big butt”; to give you a sense of his temperament, Jon Stewart said after a weird episode in the House: “Oh my God, he literally took his gavel and went home; we are officially being governed by children.”; Rolling Stone referred to him as “the dictator”)

♦ John Shadegg (formerly of AZ; a man who called the health care reform effort, “full-on Russian gulag, Soviet-style gulag health care,” and believes Muslim spies are invading Congress

You can see that Akin, given his history of reactionary weirdness, can hold his own with these folks, and you can also see that his opposition to the federal lunch program is based on some strange moral principles that, for now, only a tiny minority of Republicans in Congress hold.

As far as “state and local governments” picking up the tab for school lunches, the Globe cites the Columbia Daily Tribune as saying,

ending federal subsidies for school lunches in Missouri would add $260 million to state spending. Budget and education officials say that money is not available, and Missouri requires a balanced budget.

Missouri has already made cuts for school buses, Career Ladder programs, teacher professional development and Parents as Teachers.

So, it is clear that there is no money in the budget and no chance that Missouri legislators, overwhelmingly Republicans, would raise the revenue necessary to keep kids from going hungry at school.

And Todd Akin, who is as we speak representing Missouri in the House of Representatives and wants to represent our state in the U.S. Senate, knows that. He knows that if his opposition to the federal school lunch program ever became the GOP majority view, if his party successfully killed it, that Missouri students would go hungry.

He knows that. And all Missourians should know that he knows that.

______________________________

For her part, Claire McCaskill, who supports the federal school lunch program—which over this year will cost about the same as two month’s worth of the Afghanistan war does right now—said,

Do I want the federal government to spend less? Yes. But I don’t want to turn out the lights and go home on the most important parts of our economy.

Akin Is “Our Guy” Says Ozark Billy

Southwest Missouri congressman Ozark Billy, who recently and stupidly said, “We’re not the land of the free anymore,” has now thrown his considerable weight—that’s not really a metaphor—behind the embattled Todd Akin, according to Politico:

First-term Rep. Billy Long, who represents the conservative southwestern portion of the state, said Akin was the party’s candidate, whom he planned to support.

“The people of Missouri voted for him, and he’s our guy,” Long told POLITICO. “And either you’re for Todd Akin and I’m not for Claire McCaskill. … He’s been an underdog his whole life, he won a lot of races he wasn’t supposed to win, so I think he can win.”

Yep, against the stream of establishment sentiment, our own Ozark Billy is making a gallant stand for ignorance and bigotry, but he’s not the only local embracing  Todd Akin’s “gaffe,” which, of course was not a gaffe but a rare moment of honesty and clarity.

Jasper County pooh-bah and resident Christian moralist-slash-Glenn Beck fan, John Putnam, said Mittens “needs to rescind” his demand that Akin give up the fight, and he offered this:

I think Reince Priebus and Roy Blunt and all the people need to support the candidate that the folks from Missouri nominated and picked in the primary. I think the GOP party bosses that are trying to drum him out are creating a bigger split in the party than Todd Akin is.

We’ll see whether Romney, true to form, or Priebus or Blunt waffles on Akin and accepts the Jasper County Republican’s godly counsel, but I have to admit that, for once, I agree with John Putnam. Party bosses—and right now there ain’t no bigger boss than Mittens—are creating a “split” in the party between evangelicals, who actually believe the nutty stuff they say, and regular party guys—characters who wouldn’t know Jesus if he jolted them with a bolt of overdue lightning—who use those evangelicals to obtain political power.

But my guess is that the evangelicals who are being used will, despite their Akin-induced dissatisfaction with the party honchos, nevertheless come to GOP Jesus and work hard to get their superiors elected, what with that Black Devil, Barack What’s-His-Unholy Name, lurking in the electoral shadows.

Meanwhile, the Black Devil’s Missouri handmaiden, Claire McCaskill, will likely save her job, despite the fact that the faithful, led by conservative crusader and buffet king Billy Long, will try their best to exorcise her evil self from the United States Senate.

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