Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Keystone Kops

John Cole: Rock Salt, Paper, Morons (alternate title: We Will, We Will, Rock Salt You!)
The moment I heard Snowe was going to vote for the bill, I began furiously refreshing Red State for the reaction. Finally, they deliver:
That is right, folks. To show unhappy they are, they are going to ask you to buy rock salt through their amazon store and mail it to Olympia Snowe. They don’t call them the Red State Strike Farce for nothing.
Seriously, how do I make a joke about this?
 Benen: RNC, 2.D'OH....
Just how embarrassing has the launch been for the Republican National Committee's new website? This afternoon, RNC Chairman Michael Steele told Fox News it isn't even a website.
"It's not even really a web site," Steele said. "It's a new platform for us."
To those that have been mocking the site by saying just that, he said it's "a beta site."
"So we're working out a lot of the kinks and the bugs. So the Democrats can have some fun," he said.
Oh, they're not the only ones. Marc Ambinder put together a very compelling top-10 list with the reasons why the RNC's relaunch "is fizzlin'."
10. In a section devoted to "future leaders," there were none.
9. In the subsequent rush to get up a "future leaders" page, they choose "you."
8. The last GOP accomplishment cited on the accomplishment page was from 2004.
7. The what's up page -- hip! starts with this sentence: "the internet has been around for a while now"
6. Administrator passwords were accidentally posted.
5. When the RNC hosted a kick-off conference call, the website was down.
4. The website cites Jackie Robinson as a GOP hero. Robinson wasn't a GOPer, and he criticized the GOP on race.
3. The first question on the conference call was from an Hispanic Republican who asked why the GOP site didn't have a Spanish-language page and noted that the White House had one.
2. Bragging about web redesigns is so 2004.
1. It's not timed with the start of any major advocacy campaign -- or political campaign. And it portrays itself as something it's not: diverse and ready to embrace new ideas. That may be what the party leadership aspires to, but, at least when it comes to diversity, a few pictures of Hispanics and African Americans doesn't make up for ... well, the history of the party.
That #6 from the list was of particular interest. The New York Daily News reported today:
In their haste to get their new Web site up and running, the Republican Party has posted online a slew of things you wouldn't normally expect.
Such as instructions on how to operate the Web site.
By the afternoon, the site had crashed altogether. Blue State Digital's Joe Rospars said, "You know your web program is in trouble when your site can't even handle the traffic bump from people making fun of your web program."
Is this what Steele meant when he said the RNC would go "beyond cutting edge"?
 kos: FL-08: Keystone GOP Kops flounder in search of Grayson opponent
And now comes U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, who dynamited that model, calling Republicans knuckle-dragging obstructionists who want the sick to "die quickly."
If this fits the definition of unstable and unhinged, it certainly seems to have served a very lucid purpose.
The Republicans are cowering in knock-kneed terror.
Potential challengers are dropping out with comical regularity.
The last credible challenger standing is former state Sen. Dan Webster, who is so conflicted he can't say yes and he can't say no.
Dan Webster is no longer standing.
Former state Sen. Dan Webster -- to no one's surprise -- has issued a statement saying he's not running against freshman U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando.
But Webster is just the latest in a long string of GOP recruitment failures in the district, as Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Thomas so entertainingly catalogs:
The Republicans look like a bunch of Chihuahuas yapping at the Rottweiler behind the fence. But this Rottweiler not only is snarling and frothing at the mouth, it also went to Harvard.
It is a crazy and smart Rottweiler.
So there is lots of yapping, but nobody is about to open the gate and take him on.
Consider state Rep. Steve Precourt.
Last week he boldly announced that Grayson was an "egomaniacal, socialist, loose cannon."
Then he announced someone else would have to do something about it because he wasn't running.
Yap. Yap. Yap.
Orange Mayor Rich Crotty once was considered the Republicans' best hope. In June, Grayson released a seven-page letter explaining in detail how he would gut Crotty over Crotty's leadership of the expressway authority.
In early July, Crotty said he had made a decision and would announce it shortly.
Days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months — until finally, the mayor gave us his verdict.
He could beat Grayson "handily." But he wasn't going to run.
Pretty slick. He declared victory and bowed out of the race.
The Republicans also tried and failed to recruit Florida House Speaker Larry Cretul of Ocala.
At one point, CNL Financial Group President Tim Seneff seemed like a perfect choice. He had no political record to attack, and he had deep pockets to offset what is expected to be a lackluster fundraising cycle.
Seneff didn't dawdle like the politicians. A couple days after his name surfaced, he opted out.
The GOP is down to what, their sixth or seventh choice? After years of DLC/Third Way-style Democrats, they're not used to facing the fighting kind. They are completely lost, without a clue what to do.
 digby: Hate Speech
They just can't help themselves, apparently:
Hitler hearts Pelosi?
That seems to be a view the National Republican Congressional Committee [which brought you the put-Pelosi-in-her-place statement last week] seems to be endorsing, judging from what the committee posts on their Twitter account.
On Tuesday morning, as the Senate Finance Committee prepared to vote on the Baucus bill, someone at the NRCC posted a bizarre Tweet linking to an altered three-minute section of the 2004 Hitler biopic "Der Untergang" from the conservative site Moonbattery -- with a voice-over of the The Fuhrer ranting about how only Nancy Pelosi shares his vision of health care reform.
The Tweet: "Funny Video: Moonbattery: Hitler Reacts to ObamaCare Maneuvers"
Hitler, played by Swiss actor Bruno Ganz, is trapped in his bunker with his generals, and rants [in the phony subtitles] about President Obama's revisions to his socialized medicine plan -- and how only he and Nancy Pelosi are still fighting the good fight.
"What the hell are the Democrats doing?" Hitler screams. "At least I have Pelosi on my side. What's wrong with them?... I socialized medicine overnight and everything's going great... Like Pelosi, I don't give a s**t about the American people."
There was a time when something exactly like this would cause a hissy fit of epic proportions, as Greenwald laboriously documented here. (Well, not exactly. That earlier controversy involved an outside group, not the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.)

The Jewish groups simply have to weigh in on this one. They certainly wasted little time going after Alan Grayson for using the word holocaust in a completely reasonable context. They were completely beside themselves on the Move On flap and have been very slow off the mark about these "Democrats are Hitler" comments, which have become so common we are starting to get used to them.

I'm not one to be delicate about language, so I'm not going to be too shocked if everyone wants to start allowing Hitler comparisons. But this double standard is out of hand. I've heard gasbags in just the last month characterize Move-On as a hate group based on this flap. If that's so, then at this point the Republican party is too.

Update: Good God:
BECK: When they're done with Fox, and you decide to speak out on something. The old, "first they came for the Jews, and I wasn't Jewish." When you have a question, and you believe that something should be asked, they're a -- totally fine with you right now; they have no problem with you.
When they're done with Fox and talk radio, do you really think they're going to leave you alone if you want to ask a tough question? Do you really think that a man who has never had to stand against tough questions and has as much power as he does -- do you really believe after he takes out the number one news network, do you really think that this man is then not going to turn on you? That you and your little organization is going to cause him any hesitation at all not to take you out?
If you believe that, you should open up a history book, because you've missed the point of many brutal dictators. You missed the point on how they always start.

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