Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019 February 2019 March 2019 April 2019 May 2019


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Sunday, November 27, 2005

Clean Up The Mess

by digby

I've always thought that in order to really put a monkeywrench into the modern GOP's political machine it was important to take out prime movers Rove, Delay, Reed and Norquist. The CIA leak scandal has wounded (perhaps mortally) Karl Rove. Ronnie Earle has weakened Delay in preparation for the coup de grace Abramoff scandal that may just take down him, Reed, Norquist and a bunch of others in short shrift.

It doesn't mean that the machine will be irreparably broken, but it won't work as smoothly as it did with the original parts. Those men have unique gifts that they honed over a long period of time to create a very efficient political mechanism. It may not be that any one of them going down would make the difference, but all of them going down at virtually the same time certainly does.

They do not look good. Here's the latest on Grover:

The knives are falling all around him, but Grover Norquist -- antitax crusader, Republican lobbyist, and Weston native -- insists they won't fall on him.

A Norquist friend and former colleague, Jack Abramoff, is under criminal investigation for his lobbying activities, some of which involved the same Native American tribe on Norquist's client roster. The noose on Abramoff appeared to have tightened Monday when his former business partner, Michael Scanlon, agreed to cooperate with prosecutors after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to bribe public officials and to defraud Indian tribes.

At a breakfast meeting with reporters the next morning, Norquist behaved as if this was all nuisance background noise, as he mostly held forth on the state of the ongoing war between the political left and right.

Finally, when pressed on the investigations, he was curt and unapologetic. ''We worked with the Choctaw Indians. We did a book, and I was hoping to do more outreach with Native Americans," said Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform. ''Jack, I'm sure he advised the Choctaws. But the Choctaws worked with ATR and they're happy with ATR."

Last year, a Senate committee investigating allegations that Abramoff defrauded Indian tribes obtained e-mail traffic from ATR, but Norquist says he had not been contacted by government prosecutors in the Abramoff case. Now the conservative activist is on the warpath against Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who is leading the Senate investigation.

After ATR turned over its e-mails, Norquist charged, McCain tried to ''steal our donor list."

''He subpoenaed our donor records and we said no," Norquist said. ''He took a shot at me and it didn't work and it embarrassed him."

Norquist then accused McCain and Senator Byron L. Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, of discrimination by targeting lobbyists who worked for Native American tribes. Abramoff and his partners collected $82 million in fees from Indian tribes and their casinos over four years.

''The implication is that it's money laundering to raise money from Native Americans, and spend it," Norquist said.

. . . And senator's camp fires back

An early favorite in the 2008 presidential race, McCain is in a delicate position with political conservatives, who have held a grudge against him since he ran in 2000 against George W. Bush.

While McCain has been trying to smooth ruffled feathers on the right, his investigation into the Abramoff scandal, which he has called ''a complex and tangled web . . . a story alarming in its depth and breadth of potential wrongdoing," reinforces the bad blood with Norquist and his political allies. Apparently, McCain could not care less.

When we asked the senator's staff for a comment on Norquist's fusillade against McCain, his chief of staff, Mark Salter, had a lot to say. ''In Norquist's world, the truth is for suckers. And it's as pointless to respond to him as it would be to respond to some street-corner schizophrenic," Salter responded.

''There is nothing remotely accurate about his recollection of the committee's dealings with him," he added. ''Nor, obviously, is his charge of discrimination credible, considering that it is made against someone who has a long and well-known record of respect for the tribes by someone who excuses ripping them off."

Grover's natural instinct is to viciously counter-attack. It's what he does. McCain is having none of it and with a weakened political machine, McCain has much less to fear by ignoring them.

I do not want John McCain to be the next president. But I think that he might be if he keeps this up. His greatest appeal to crossover Dems and independents is that he isn't afraid of these assholes like Grover Norquist and Tom DeLay. When you hear George Will sniffing about the "criminalization of politics" over bribery scandals and leaking of classified information, when you see a guy like John Warner embarrasingly attempt to dance on the head of a pin as he did this morning on Press The Meat, defending the indefensible, McCain looks damned good. Even to regular Democrats whose fondest wish is to see these arrogant scumbags have to eat their words.

These scandals are dealing a major blow to the corrupt GOP political machine, which is an unalloyed good thing. But it would be a shame if John McCain were the one who benefitted from it. He's long cast himself as a crusading reformer and the time is ripe for one of those. The Dems ought not let themselves be left in the lurch on that message. Instead of the smarmy "together, we can do better," we ought to be shouting "once again, the Democratic party is called on to do the patriotic thing and clean up the mess the corrupt Republican party has made with its free lunch policies and taxpayer rip-offs."

If we don't say it, McCain will win on personality alone.

Update: I do agree that McCain will have a hard time getting past the Christian Right in the primaries, but I fear that a whole lot of independents (and some Democrats) will make up for it. If the machine is weakened, it will be more difficult for it to shut him down in states with open primaries and even those that aren't. I personally know Democrats who will register as Republicans to vote for him in the primary. Hardcore Dems like me will never vote for such a conservative politician, but to many people in this country, he is a very attractive candidate. I think he is, by far, our biggest political threat.

Update II: Laura Rozen discusses this NY Times article taking the temperature of the country on the Bush administration (decidely cold, frigid even) and the malaise among her Republican relatives. So far they can't think of a single soul to vote for, McCain being seen a disloyal to the party.

My relatives, on the other hand, are warming to the flyboy. It's a military thing. He served. He understands. He will beat the terrorists. Suddenly, Junior and Unka Dick's lack of military service is meaningful.

Oh, and John Kerry is still a lying, lily livered coward, just like all the Democrats who want to offer therapy to the French terrorists.