Political Animal


November 19, 2012 5:44 PM “Gift” Killers

By Ed Kilgore

If there’s a constant theme I’ve been hitting since Election Day, it’s that no one should be fooled by all the “soul-searching” going on in the Republican Party. To the extent it genuinely exists, it’s mostly about rhetoric, tone, and how Republicans sell the same old ideology and policies.

At WaPo, Greg Sargent notes one of the most glaring examples of the gap between “style points” and substance involves a certain governor:

Bobby Jindal, one of the most vocal critic of Romney’s “gift” claim, has called for the repeal of Obamacare to end Obama’s “culture of dependence.”

Pols like Jindal are perfectly entitled to express their threadbare belief that conservative policies will ultimately benefit everyone in the country, typically via the classic trickle-down means. But when combined with the usual “culture of dependency” rhetoric (a favorite of Paul Ryan’s as well), it differs only in the smallest degree from Romney’s suggestion of a corrupt bargain between Democrats and those who benefit from America’s anemic version of a welfare state.

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.


  • jcricket on November 19, 2012 5:57 PM:

    And again, as many many commenters here at PA and other blog sites have observed, the conservatives don't want to change their core beliefs - they want to change the packaging so there is a New! Improved! shiny label that can get it moving off the shelf and back into the carts of America.

    Sooner or later they will have to realize what the rest of America and the world knows: No amount of packaging can make up for a crappy product.

  • hells littlest angel on November 19, 2012 6:02 PM:

    "Moderate" right-wingers like Jindal and Ross Douthat seem to sincerely believe that expressing condescension toward their fellow citizens is much better than expressing contempt for them. You've gotta think they failed to focus-group that belief.

  • c u n d gulag on November 19, 2012 6:19 PM:

    "Hey Mom, what's a Republican Twinkie?"

    'Well, Honey, it's kind of like the old Twinkie, which was artificial angelfood cake, with a synthetic white-cream filling.
    Only now, with the Republican Twinkie, it's an authentic all white filling, trying to cover itself with chocolate cake, and brown, yellow, and female and gay sprinkles.'


  • schtick on November 19, 2012 7:25 PM:

    What do you expect from Jindal or any of the teapubs? After all, they are teapubs! Jindal is just practicing the better lies they will be promoting for the 2014 election.

  • R on November 19, 2012 8:20 PM:

    Message to Republicans from Ed:

    It's the ideology, stupid!

    (Then again, earlier commenters on earlier posts have noted that we should let them try tweaking the messaging for as long as possible...send more PAC money down the toilet!)

  • Hue and Cry/weighin' in on November 19, 2012 9:07 PM:

    The occasional pundit does some soul searching on the Republican meaning of life after such a profound defeat, but it is proof the House Republicans *DO NOT* and likely *will not* as they brazenly put the failed vice presidential candidate Paul 'Lyin' Ryan front and center in the upcoming budget process. A key position.

    Video had him moving back into his seemingly small congressional office today, with a seemingly small entourage...eyes bloodshot, widow's peak prominent...might have been a) still ruined with defeat 2) throwin' down the Merlot with Boehner as they plot opposition to the duly elected.
    No private plane, as the NYT article noted, and I see he is hauling his own crap into his office.

    Yes--I too was offended by Ross Douthat's bitterspeak...what in the hell does the Republican Party stand for anyway??? Hatred???

  • anon on November 19, 2012 9:56 PM:

    Worst candidate ever--Perry.
    The Miami Herald complied these tweets afterwards:

    @JasonEmbry: The Rick Perry Presidential Campaign. Time of Death: 8:18 CST?

    @JRubinBlogger ever since that perry thing ive found it hard to focus.. i hope nothing important happened

    @daveweigel At least we know that Perry could never sexually harass someone. "You're about as tall as my... uh... uh... oops." #cnbcdebate

    @MarcACaputo I keep rewinding the Perry Meltdown, watching it over & over again w/morbid fascination like Faces of Death, the GOP campaign edition

    @AnnCoulter Ann Coulter AnnCoulter Ann Coulter Perry is just so relieved this debate is only on CNB... Um,....uh. B?... No, wait, I know this, hold on... Uh... CNB... oh crap...

    @SaintPetersblog Im not even sure @GovernorPerry could name the three branches of government. #Serious #cnbcdebate #gopdebate

    @MarcACaputo 3rd time aint the charm. Ya know Perry aint Catholic "In the name of the father, the son and the...ah..the..oops?"

    @joshtpm Lotta death row guys in Texas hoping they might be #3

    @amyewalter Maybe Perry should've watched "Bridesmaids" #unhelpfuladvice

    @murphymike Dr. Paul filling out paperwork as they haul Perry away. He's ruling it a suicide.

    @Reaganista Ah, Perry. You're nothing if not consistent. #cnbcdebate

    @rkylesmith: Perry is like that scene in Fight Club where Ed Norton beats the crap out of himself.

    @aburnspolitico Just wanna say, I'm glad we've learned so much tonight about the economy, and haven't focused on stuff like who froze up on stage

    @RyanLizza: Perry: "I really like Cain's 9-9-... um sorry, I'm blanking on the third part of it. Oops."

    @Occupy_Oklahoma Much like staring at a car wreck, or a go-go boy... #perry #GOP #FAIL

    @cosmictoast1 Al #morbidfascination watching Rick Perry is worse than anything.. Kinda like a bearded republican drag queen #wowies#GOPmeltdown

    @murphymike: It doesn't matter who won. Perry really, really, really lost. I feel sorry for him.

    Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2011/11/worst-debate-performance-ever-rick-perrys-literal-oops-moment.html#storylink=cpy

  • PTate in MN on November 20, 2012 12:57 AM:

    We are what, two weeks out from the election? It is surreal how little soul searching the Republicans have done. It is as if there was no election.

    And Romney was the best the Republicans had to offer. I guess this is how a political party dies.

  • Hue & Cry on November 20, 2012 7:28 AM:

    Rubio is a good example of the absence of soul searching as he combed thru his mind for acceptable answers when asked how old the earth is--there is the future GOP candidate jumping right into that big time pandering to the base, says he isn't a scientist, evading the answer--the same things that destroyed Romney... As Michael Bloomberg pointed out when he endorsed President Obama's second term--we need a president who believes in science.

    They were oozing with sarcasm on Morning Joe about Rubio willingly falling into the Romney trap.
    It would appear pundits more than anyone are at least now questioning the failed strategy of making sh** up to dumb it down for the Republican base.
    P.S. It is GR8 to see uber panderer Romney absent from my television and out of my head--Mitt Rob-us and Ann Toinette.