Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 28, 2009

'WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN?'.... In general, CNN's Rick Sanchez is not my cup of tea, but I have to admit, he has his moments.

This afternoon, Sanchez was interviewing Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), arguably the chamber's most conservative member, about the shrinking Republican Party, and whether the GOP's hard-right agenda is driving away mainstream voters. "Quite the opposite," DeMint said. "We're seeing across the country right now that the biggest tent of all is the tent of freedom."

"What the hell does that mean?" Sanchez asked. "The 'biggest tent' is 'freedom'? Freedom? You've got to do better than that!"

In response, DeMint argued that Americans are actually embracing the Republican message: "Americans who are normally not even political are coming out to 'Tea Parties' and protesting." This, DeMint suggested, is proof of the Republican message connecting with the electorate.

He wasn't kidding. The future of the GOP is Tea Baggers and the tent of freedom. It sounds like the message you might read in a greeting card written by Joe the Plumber.

Unfortunately for the GOP, DeMint's hollow platitudes -- "free people," "free markets," "tent of freedom" -- only help reinforce the bankruptcy of the party's message and policy agenda. Sanchez didn't know what DeMint was talking about, and it seemed as if DeMint didn't know, either.

For that matter, DeMint may want to consider whether he really has his finger on the pulse of the political world. Just a few days ago, DeMint boasted that "many" of the voters who backed Obama in November are now experiencing "buyers' remorse." A few days later, a Washington Post poll put the president's approval rating at 69%. The New York Times added today that Obama's support "is higher than that of any recent president at the 100-day mark."

It certainly doesn't look like Obama voters are experiencing "buyers' remorse." Maybe reality is skewed inside "the tent of freedom."

Steve Benen 4:40 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (46)

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Comments

It means Freedom Fries, dang-blast-it!

Posted by: Dee Mint on April 28, 2009 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

I think it means freedom from the consequences of elections! Freedom from being the minority party even though the American people said that's what they wanted you to be! Freedom from accountability when you break national and international laws and poop on the constitution! Freedom to rape the environment and the poor and to withhold others' civil rights! Freedom from not getting your way even after you scream, yell and stamp your little foot! Freedom from having a black president!

Posted by: shortstop on April 28, 2009 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

What the hell does that mean?" Sanchez asked. "The 'biggest tent' is 'freedom'? Freedom? You've got to do better than that!"

I think it was Kris Kristofferson who wrote, "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

Posted by: Danp on April 28, 2009 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

69% is really bad news for Obama. He'll have to resign at any moment now.

Posted by: Conservatroll on April 28, 2009 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

The most recent national poll - 21% of respondents identified themselves as Republicans. What a "big tent" they have over there. Oh, I forgot, there is no there there! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on April 28, 2009 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

I think it just came out unclear. DeMint meant to say the remaining Republicans are huddled under a "Tent of Stupid." Presumably for protection from that gathering storm.

Posted by: zeitgeist on April 28, 2009 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

I went through an entire two year campaign, just waiting for the day that someone calling themselves a journalist would say to one of the many lying Republicans "WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN?"

It was worth the wait.

Posted by: Nashville_fan on April 28, 2009 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

The term 'Buyer's Remorse' you will hear more and more in the coming weeks. All the other GOP slogans and smears cannot stick, see "appeaser, socialst"

So rather than actually coming up with solutions, the GOP can only think up another smear. Nice work, guys.

It's typical Rovian projection, or they are just really dense, stuck in their own ever shrinking echo chamber.

Keep it up, losers.

Posted by: Dee Mint on April 28, 2009 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

DeMint also claimed that Pat Toomey "is one of the most mainstream Americans I know."

That tells you a lot. It means that the only people that DeMint knows are the most bat-shit insane people on the planet.

Posted by: Mike S on April 28, 2009 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

The Big Tent of Freedom is the one with no one named "Sanchez" in it.

Posted by: RollaMO on April 28, 2009 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Interestingly, the term "buyer's remorse" was applied after the 2004 election. In that case, it was actually true. Bush started right in on social security and Terri Schiavo and by February or March his approval was tanking.

The Big Tent of Freedom is the one with no one named "Sanchez" in it.

Nice one.

Posted by: shortstop on April 28, 2009 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

The Big Tent of Freedom is the one with no one named "Sanchez" in it.

Except for Leslie Sanchez, one of the more vile Republican strategists on CNN/

Posted by: Danp on April 28, 2009 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Not even going to address DeMint's comment. I makes no sense.

But what I do see as the 'message' coming from Republican leadership is actually a very, very crude marketing ploy. They're attempting to build hype and 'community' by overstating the excitement and commitment the populace has with their 'brand'. In Marketing 101 you learn this technique. Simply stated, the perception of success breeds success (or 'coolness' or 'hipness', etc).

Of course, like so many other areas of endeavor, the GOP fails even at Marketing 101.

Posted by: JWK on April 28, 2009 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Someone really needs to tell Republicans that oblviousness is NOT a strategy.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on April 28, 2009 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Many US Americans don't have maps.

Posted by: Little Miss South Carolina Senator on April 28, 2009 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Leslie Sanchez will be allowed in the Big Tent of Freedom as long as she empties the trash.

Posted by: RollaMO on April 28, 2009 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

The Teabaggers are pitching a Tent of Freedom!

Posted by: Zed on April 28, 2009 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Hey everybody! There's a Tea Party in the Biggest Tent Ever! The Big Tent of Freedom, with enough Tea Bags for All! Everyone's coming!

Posted by: charles on April 28, 2009 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't the Tent of Freedom what the neighborhood pedophile sets up in his backyard?

Posted by: Disputo on April 28, 2009 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

"the biggest tent of all is the tent of freedom"

Otherwise known as the Purple Kool-Aid tent.

Posted by: Joe Friday on April 28, 2009 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Rick Sanchez misunderstood. What DeMint really said was "Tent of Fritos."

Posted by: PattyP on April 28, 2009 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Heh heh. I'm pitching a tent. Teabaggers! 69%! Heh heh! Sanchez! Dirty! Heh heh heh heh heh!

Posted by: Beavis on April 28, 2009 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Day-by-day the GOP looks more and more like an experimental, avante garde comedy troop. The only problem is that the GOP leadership isn't in on the joke, they're just reading the talking points that someone handed over to them.

Posted by: zoe kentucky on April 28, 2009 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds like the Big Tent Party of Freedom is fairly empty with only 21% of Americans identifying themselves as Republicans. DeMint(R-SC)joins Lindsay Graham(R-SC) and SC Governor Sanford as some of the more outspoken southern Republicans.

As I recall, Lindsay Graham (R-SC) staged a hissy fit against earmarks but then added millions of dollars of earmarks to the budget bill for the Myrtle Beach airport and convention center projects.

While his state ranks 46th in education with a 57% dropout rate, ranks 3rd highest in unemployment, and lacks the firefighting training and equipment to battle a fire that's raged for 10 days in N. Myrtle Beach, Gov. Sanford (R-SC) refuses to accept Obama stimulus dollars.

We'll see how DeMint's Party of Freedom feels about big government when SC needs federal assistance with swine flu, hurricanes, tornados, beach erosion, forest fires, etc.

Posted by: Carol A. on April 28, 2009 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

Aren't these the same jokers who said something like, "we make our own reality, and you just report about what we do"? Or something equally nutty and hubris-soaked?

Posted by: kentropic on April 28, 2009 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

Another asshole....would love to see his face if he knew what "tea-bagging" meant. Never mind it's probably his favorite past time.

Posted by: fred on April 28, 2009 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

It means DeMint talks stoopid like George W did, but ain't nobody buyin' it. Good for Sanchez. Spontaneous reactions are sometimes the best.

Posted by: an armchair psychologist on April 28, 2009 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

I was going to say that ""We're seeing across the country right now that the biggest tent of all is the tent of freedom." is precisely the kind of babbling drivel you hear from beauty contestants, and Little Miss South Carolina Senator was there ahead of me.

Posted by: bluestatedon on April 28, 2009 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Jimmie, I got yer tent of freedom right here, baby!

Posted by: Roger the Cabin Boy on April 28, 2009 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom from the reds and the blacks and the criminals
Prostitutes, pansies and punks
Football hooligans, juvenile delinquents
Lesbians and left wing scum
Freedom from the niggers and the Pakis and the unions
Freedom from the Gipsies and the Jews
Freedom from leftwing layabouts and liberals
Freedom from the likes of you..."

-Tom Robinson, "Power In The Darkness"

Posted by: dr sardonicus on April 28, 2009 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

Ol' Ricky used to be on a local station in Miami and I always thought he was a stooge. I have new found respect for him as a journalist . As noted above this should be the standard question asked of any politician spewing such foolishness. There are so few instances of journalists actually being doing their job of proving the emperor has no clothes.

Posted by: John R on April 28, 2009 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, freedom Senator DeMint. Let me see, you like your "free markets" with: Customized rule changes to media consolidation to suit your man Murdoch, right?; AT&T/Bellsouth mergers to pump up the oligopoly, right?; Sweetheart no-bid contracts to Repiglican corporations like Haliburton and Blackwater, right? THAT kind of free market, oh, I see. And you like 'free people' who have no rights to habeas corpus, are free to be labeled as "enemy combatants" at the whim of one man, are free to be tortured mercilessly, are free to be detained indefinitely, are free to be kidnapped and sent to secret CIA 'black sites', are free to be spyed on by their own government in violation of the law, ad naseum. THAT is the kind of freedom tent your pitching. Well, you and the other 21% of you can pitch it into the river. Why don't you go live in a dictatorship, where you belong and will get just what you deserve. C'mon DumbMint, Get Real.

Posted by: Get Real on April 28, 2009 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

It only seems like a big tent 'cause there's hardly one under it.

Posted by: kc on April 28, 2009 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

the future of the gop is tea baggers and the tent of freedom. it sounds like the message you might read in a greeting card written by joe the plumber.

no, it sounds like a gay underage porn film about the boy scouts.

Posted by: skippy on April 29, 2009 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

The reality is that Bush hated our freedoms and the Republicans defined borrow-and-spend.

Posted by: Luther on April 29, 2009 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK

Dr. Sardonicus@8:18 - thanks for the lyric. I could practically hear Tom Robinson's snarl when I read it.

Posted by: divF on April 29, 2009 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK

What he meant:

"If you are political or think you're political, if you've chosen to be political recently, if you have political thoughts and voice them, if you're a democrat or a republican, you've made that choice and voiced your opinion because you are free to do that. One of the GOP's slogans is "Protect Freedom." So whether you freely choose to be a democrat or a republican, your free choice means your a republican."

To quote David Eaton Hogg: "It's not that Spinal Tap have become less popular. I think it's just that their appeal has become...more selective."

Posted by: chrenson on April 29, 2009 at 6:40 AM | PERMALINK

Day-by-day the GOP looks more and more like an experimental, avante garde comedy troop.

I've got the sneaky suspicion the modern Republican party is a piece of socialist performance art that got slightly out of hand.

Anybody want a Freedom fry? They're kind of greasy, actually.

Posted by: ericblair on April 29, 2009 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

The Big Tent of Freedom is apparently the one where everybody inside is freed from the need to base their perceptions on actual reality. They're free to believe that their tent is big. They're free to believe that they have a tent. They're free to believe that anything they say loudly enough and long enough must be true. That's what defined them during the Bush years. Why should they change now?

Posted by: Paul Harder on April 29, 2009 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

DeMint deserves every bit of abuse thrown at him and then some. For any of us who knew him well before he ran for office, back when he was just a guy in town, (humping to make a living like the rest of us) the change in him is absolutely astounding. He used to be a stand-up, regular enough guy. The worst you could say about him was he was in marketing.

Now he is a completely empty suit with an empty, brainwashed, head, redefining the outer limits of what it means to be a self serving jerk. He has risen well above his level of incompetency grandly shattering the glass ceiling of the Peter Principle. Further, he no longer knows his old friends/neighbors or their families when they need constituent help-- except when it comes time to shamelessly troll them with personal phone calls for campaign cash. Even after blithely turning them away in a time of their need. Then, in return, he is stunned that "an old friend" would sharply end his begging call after being so insulted. The man has zero shame or concept of decency but then, in a nutshell, he defines the current GOP. Additionally, he has flogged the "Christian" label well beyond its sell-by date making a joke of not only public service, the state of South Carolina, the city of Greenville, but of the sincere faith of many who thought they once knew him.

The GOP sure got their tea party metaphor correct: A tea party GOP style was destined to include the reference to single-serve tea bags (made of inferior quality tea) since the proper way to make good hot tea is with high quality loose tea in a capacious tea pot which, unlike a tea bag, serves many more than just one's self. And, good tea made properly never leaves a bitter, rancid aftertaste as does the ubiquitous Buy-N-Large, American tea bag made of low grade "floor sweepings". What an apt metaphor for the GOP! Bravo!

Posted by: DeMint Tea With Lemon on April 29, 2009 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, Jim Demented there sure gives rousing lines of bullshit, doesn't he? I wish he was my demagogue!

Posted by: The Galloping Bullshit Artist on April 29, 2009 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

I think it just came out unclear. DeMint meant to say the remaining Republicans are huddled under a "Tent of Stupid." Presumably for protection from that gathering storm.

Thanks for that, I laughed so hard.

Posted by: Senator Jim Demented on April 29, 2009 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

69%, yeah right. Even if that was true, it's all those people still waiting for their Obama rebate checks.

new jersey drug possession charge

Posted by: lawonthestreet on April 29, 2009 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Obama didn't get 69% of the vote, did he? Then where the hell is 'buyer's remorse" coming from, huh, Jim?

Good for you, Rick.

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 29, 2009 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

"no, it sounds like a gay underage porn film about the boy scouts."

Written, directed and starring Joe the Plumber.

Posted by: Sarah Barracuda on April 29, 2009 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

As things get worse for the Republican Party, they get more extreme. They've been doing this for years, and the rewards of extremism have been found in Bush's policies of packing the justice department with non-lawyers who attended a non-accredited Christian university, with his tax policies that favored the rich and hurt the poor, and with his lying us into war.

The Democrat Party has captured moderate America, and Republicans say they need to address this by becoming more extreme. The Republicans' strategy, driven by ego, will destroy the Republican Party.

FreeClench

Posted by: FreeClench on April 30, 2009 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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