Political Animal


June 28, 2012 5:21 PM Another Thing the Election Could Be “About”

By Ed Kilgore

While we’re considering what Mitt Romney might privately think about his conservative friends’ distracting efforts to make the election “about” something other than the economic indicators his campaign has made the alpha and omega of national life, how’s about the contempt charge the House http://www.scpr.org/news/2012/06/28/33012/house-votes-hold-us-attorney-general-eric-holder-c/">passed today aimed at the Attorney General? Is that, or the underlying conspiracy theories, a good campaign topic? If not, then why are House Republicans escalating this to the point of beyond and back, provoking a walkout by members of the Congressional Black Caucus? Next they’re probably going to court to get a civil order, and that will be appealed, and on and on it will go, with 90% of the public not having any idea what it’s all about other than a lot of angry white guys going after two African-American leaders.

I’ve that today I am watching Fox News for the first time in ages, and their coverage of the vote seems mainly to be about how historic it is, as though the sheer act of will by House Republicans to take this action proves its validity. This will embolden conservatives to make more “history” between now and November. It’s important to keep in mind that many, perhaps most, of these people don’t actually give a damn about the economy; it’s just an excuse to pursue the ideological agenda they support all the time. It’s hard to imagine they’ll keep their demons under wraps all the way til the election, at the request of a presidential candidate they don’t much like or trust and fully intend to boss around if he wins. If they do plan to fall in line, they certainly aren’t off to a good start.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Peter C on June 28, 2012 5:30 PM:

    Maybe they'll clap Holder in irons and imprison him in the jail in the basement of the House. That'll look good. The base will love it and the rest of their support will melt away.

    Our message: They are out of control. They're nuts.

  • barkleyg on June 28, 2012 5:34 PM:

    "Itís important to keep in mind that many, perhaps most, of these people donít actually give a damn about the economy"

    Common! Many should be "less than a handful"!

  • T2 on June 28, 2012 5:40 PM:

    geez, they are so damn crazy. There's gotta be something to it besides just racial hatred, right? There has to be something else. But try as I might, I can't identify one reasonable thing that's occurred in 3.5 years now that is sooooooooo bad as to drive these people so nuts. I mean, we just had a GOPer president, white guy, who put us in two wars, killing lots of Americans, for nothing. Who wrecked our economy, drastically increased the size of government, and was so unpopular that his name isn't even mentioned any more at all. Turned a Budget Surplus into the largest Deficit ever. None of that drove them crazy. But then we elect a black guy and all hell breaks loose. Maybe it's just that simple.

  • Kathryn on June 28, 2012 6:30 PM:

    Pretty much I think that's it T2, but probably any Democrat would have had a constant fight with the GOP; however, Pres. Obama's race drove a considerable percentage of their base insane and I have always felt that the Tea Party is a direct response to his election. Had Sec. Clinton been elected, I am not at all sure there would have been the Tea Party. Guess we'll never know for sure. I remember vividly seeing a scared looking frizzy haired white woman in Arkansas clinging to another white woman while she warbled, I want by country back, back from whom is and was pretty obvious.

  • c u n d gulag on June 28, 2012 6:53 PM:

    If Hillary would have been President, misogyny would have made an equally fine replacement for race.

    Sure, they hate the Nigrah - but the always hated the 'Lesbian Beeyotch" just as much.
    Maybe more.

    The R's decided to allow people who had been kept int he attic, closet, or basement, out to demonstrate in public.
    People who, since Goldwater was running - and, as extreme as he was, he didn't want to be embarrassed by these total loons - were always kept away from the general public, where they could do the least harm..

    And now, they have to figure out how to let the Frankenstein Monstesr that they helped allow, if not create and encourage.

    And here they are now - "Hoist By Their Own RETARD'S!"

    Somehow, I'm more optimistic than I was a day ago.
    When people find out what R's want to take out of the ACA by repealing it, even the some, if not most, of the dimmest feckin' idjit's, might realize what the difference is between parties.

  • Doug on June 28, 2012 7:05 PM:

    After a loss in a general election, one often hears how a Presidential candidate "depressed" his base or otherwise turned off those he was attempting to appeal to. This November may be the very first election where the MINOR candidates lose the election for the one running for the Presidency.
    It's a "first" I'm more than willing to let the GOP have...

  • exlibra on June 28, 2012 7:41 PM:

    That House vote? Contrary to what the Faux might be pushing, it was more "histrionic" than "historic".

    "rkerdst ferving", dear Craptcha? Agree with the first bit, but not the second; it was more brillig" than "ferving", IMO.

  • TCinLA on June 28, 2012 8:09 PM:

    a lot of angry white guys going after two African-American leaders.

    Change to: "a lot of dumbass white southern morons going after two African-American leaders."

    Proof they are crazy: This month, the Texas Republican Party put in their state platform a demand for the end of teaching "critical thinking" in public schools because of its "focus on behavior modification" that has "the purpose of challenging the student's fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority."

    Crazy dumb and Southern. What is it with these people? Is it something in the water down there, or just the loss of IQ from all the "inbreeding"?

  • Kordo on June 28, 2012 10:13 PM:

    The Crazy is strong today, but I'm sticking with my original (early 2009) prediction- The Black Guy getting elected will drive the Republican base nuts; they'll elect loons to the House; the loons will behave with all the decorum of a pack of blue-assed baboons on meth; this behavior, to the extent that it makes any impact on the general public at all, will disgust the Independents; 2012 takes care of itself.

    What I didn't count on?

    1. The ACA actually passing, and surviving the Supreme Court challenge.
    2. The Republican establishment allowing the loons to drive the bus.
    3. Birtherism becoming anything more than a punchline.
    4. The War on Vagina (seriously?? "Hey, guys! I have an idea! Let's completely alienate 51% of the electorate! There's no way that can go wrong!)

    I think we can all agree I'm a political visionary. I await your book deals/paid-blogger offers. I will need a hefty alcohol allowance included in the contract.

  • James M on June 29, 2012 12:26 AM:

    @TCinLA on June 28, 2012 8:09 PM:

    "Crazy dumb and Southern. What is it with these people? Is it something in the water down there, or just the loss of IQ from all the "inbreeding"? "


    I grew up in a part of Oklahoma nicknamed 'Little Dixie', so I think I have some street cred on this. Southerners are not imbeciles but they are a strange and wondrous breed. Very complex. If I might be allowed to make a sweeping generalization, I would say that coastal urbanites have a strong interest in public policy but little interest in community. Conversely, many of the southerners I have known have a strong sense of community but little knowledge of or interest in public policy. Kind of a 'Those folks up in Washington D.C."(with Washington being pronounced with an 'R') attitude. National politics is far away and largely irrelevant to one's daily life.

    Okies, for example, are the nicest people in the world. However, you soon learn (if you are a liberal) that there are 2 topics you simply can not discuss with strangers: politics and religion. If you do you will think you have stepped into a time machine and traveled to a previous century! Okies are for the most part religious people who care deeply about their families, friends, neighbors and community. They will do anything to help someone in need and are generous and open-hearted (outside of the 2 themes mentioned above).

    I share your disgust with much of what goes on in the South (Especially in Texas, but then I am biased!). However, I don't think it is a good idea to write off all southerners.

  • Rugosa on June 29, 2012 9:22 AM:

    James, I have relatives who are Okies by transplant, and I think you are right about Southerners generally. Where I disagree with you is when you say we coastal urbanites have little interest in community. We define "community" to include more than just our personal family, friends, and neighbors. Public policy defines the way we take care of our community of 300 million, and so we care very much about it. We are well aware that national politics are very relevant indeed to our daily lives, ACA being a good example. The dumb asses in OK (my sister's epithet) who don't think beyond their own front yards don't see how their precious "freedom" is keeping them dumb and poor.

  • T2 on June 29, 2012 9:30 AM:

    Ms. T2 is not nearly so political as I. Today she looked at the ACA decision and said "I'm not sure what this means for healthcare, I'm not even sure whats in ACA (she is an RN !)
    but there's no reason to read it all because if Romney wins it will all be gone anyway".
    I said, "you should check it out...there's some pretty good stuff in that ACA." And sadly left for work...realizing once and for all what a pitiful job the Obama Admin has done explaining the ACA to the citizens.

  • castanea on June 29, 2012 1:46 PM:


    My god am I tired of the "blame Obama from the left" schtick.

    You want people to know about the ACA? Then educate them yourself.

    The administration can't commandeer the airwaves and force people to sit and listen to its explanation, especially if those people would rather watch "American Idol."

    Any message from Democrats that has to go through the lame American media will be watered down and warped by those very media. If you've learned one thing over the past 20 years in the US, that should be it.

    The only thing that irks me as much as idiot teabaggers on the right are self-righteous leftists who think that by "holding their noses and voting" every two years they have earned the right to sneer at any politician who doesn't pass their litmus test for ideological purity.

  • castanea on June 29, 2012 1:49 PM:

    To be clear, I was not accusing T2 of being a sneerer.