Friday, April 30, 2010

Real Florida Orange

After months of speculating and waiting, Gov. Charlie Crist has finally quit the GOP and announced he's running for Senate as an independent. He could win, but I think he'll fade fast in the polls as his fundraising dries up and Meek starts advertising (here's one look at a best case scenario for Charlie, but it's not that encouraging). Some might ask, "Why not just retire and just lay out on one of those beautiful Florida beaches, Charlie?" That answer is obvious. Thus, in his honor, let's celebrate Tallahassee's favorite Hawaiian Tropic model:

Before she started publicly hitting on Rubio, Palin did cozy up to Charlie during her half-term as fellow governor:

"Charlie, let me give you the number for the tanning bed installer we used for the governor's mansion up in Alaska. They give a fair deal for us regular, real-American folks!"

For more on politicians who give the Jersey Shore cast a run for their money, check out this slideshow. There's also my cartoon on the tanning tax that hits the "GTL" crowd where it hurts.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Big Tent Problem...'s a lot harder to hold up than a shrinking white one. Great piece on "The Lindsey Graham Model" that also looks past 2010 at the GOP's demographic challenges and the need for a more pragmatic, inclusive strategy while still holding true to conservative values.

That said, big props to Jeb Bush for coming out against the law (among a few other Republicans). He has a track record of very diverse support from voters in his Florida gubernatorial campaigns.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Stop with all that Jibber Jabber

The Tea Party's ignorance makes political vocabulary meaningless. Nazi/communist/socialist/fascist are not synonyms even when you use one of them to describe a "liberal" president who governs as a pragmatic moderate with Democratic majorities in Congress. 

"The muddled Tea Party version of history is more than wrong and fraudulent. It's offensive. Calling Obama a tyrant, a communist, or a fascist is deeply offensive to all thereal victims of tyranny, the real victims of communism and fascism. The tens of millions murdered. It trivializes such suffering inexcusably for the T.P.ers to claim that they are suffering from similar oppression because they might have their taxes raised or be subject to demonic 'federal regulation.'" - Ron Rosenbaum, Slate

Monday, April 19, 2010

Gunning for the Government

The anniversary of Lexington and Concord (and the anti-government motivated Oklahoma City Bombing) is celebrated in and around Washington, D.C. by protesters who fear attacks on their Second Amendment rights. Just, you know, whenever Obama gets tired of expanding the gun rights they exercised today.

What if the tea party protesters were majority black? Tom Wise imagines how they would be received:

"Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters —the black protesters — spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government? Would these protester — these black protesters with guns — be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic?
...Protest is only seen as fundamentally American when those who have long had the luxury of seeing themselves as prototypically American engage in it. When the dangerous and dark “other” does so, however, it isn’t viewed as normal or natural, let alone patriotic. Which is why Rush Limbaugh could say, this past week, that the Tea Parties are the first time since the Civil War that ordinary, common Americans stood up for their rights: a statement that erases the normalcy and “American-ness” of blacks in the civil rights struggle, not to mention women in the fight for suffrage and equality, working people in the fight for better working conditions, and LGBT folks as they struggle to be treated as full and equal human beings."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jim Crow for Governor

The essay writing contest to win your civil rights back that supposedly hasn't already started...

Nice piece from Timothy Noah at Slate: What's the Matter With Virginia? (Not just Cuccinelli!)

So scary, it's becoming true?

I'm reposting this because conservative Oklahoma lawmakers envision a new volunteer militia to defend state sovereignty. FYI...the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing is just days away. 

What did you do for Brown?

Scott Brown's love/hate relationship with the Tea Parties.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

Supreme Court & Religion

Retiring Justice John Paul Stevens is the Supreme Court's only Protestant. What if Obama replaced him with a third Jew or seventh Catholic? The coverage of the Roberts, Alito, and Sotomayor confirmations did not press the issue of the Catholic majority. I don't see anyone in the Senate voicing opposition or even concern publicly for this lack of diversity. The GOP would be wise not to mention this since they have been increasing their share of the Catholic as well as the Jewish vote in the past decade. That doesn't mean some senator won't still say something stupid.

The smart money - really all the money - is on Solicitor General Elena Kagan with basically everyone calling her the front runner when considering her age, gender, and lack of a controversial paper trail. Check out this great analysis from Tom Goldstein at SCOTUSblog.

The Lost Cause

I don't know if there are any fresh perspectives left regarding the Civil War, the South, and the resurgence of "Confederate History Month" in Virginia. However, Steve Tuttle's article in Newsweek offers the perspective of a true Southerner whose heritage conflicts with Governor McDonnell's proclamation which he Tuttle sees as a step backwards for all Virginians:

"Don't get me wrong—I'm proud of my ancestors, and if I had been a Virginian in the 1860s, I would have no doubt been fighting for the South. It's ridiculous to say otherwise. But guess what? It's not the 1860s, and I'd like to think we've all—even Southerners—evolved a little in the last 150 years or so. And guess what again? The South lost. It's true. I looked it up, remember? And the reasons for the war weren't "noble and fine and honorable," like I thought they were when I was a little boy worshiping false idols and ogling a dead horse.
Imagine if your governor signed a document honoring a cause whose goal was to keep your ancestors enslaved. And please don't start up with me about how the Civil War was about states' rights, not slavery. Sure, it was about states' rights—to own slaves."

Excellent cartoon from Nate Beeler:

Monday, April 5, 2010

What's in your wallet, Mr. Chairman?

Democrats aren't the only ones to stack a race card in the deck.

UPDATE 4/7/10:
Haley Barbour never played the "fat redneck" card.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Obama's Supreme Options

Check out this great look at the options Obama will have to weigh with his next Supreme Court choice:

     "In the event of a vacancy, President Obama would have to decide how much of a fight he wants. However, no matter who he appoints, the Republicans will scream that the nominee is a far-left activist judge (unless he or she is an academic, in which case they will scream he or she is a far-left academic). Unfortunately, a rational discussion of the candidate's merits and qualifications isn't possible in the current climate of charges and countercharges. Given that most Republicans in the Senate will filibuster anyone he picks, independent of the person, Obama might just decide to pick a young liberal to fire up his own base, many of whom are disappointed with him for not pushing for a public option in the health-insurance wars. The selection of a young, liberal, woman might get them excited and willing to go vote in November.

     Reading the tea leaves on who he might pick is very difficult since it is Obama's decision and his alone. Of course, before picking Sonia Sotomayor to fill David Souter's seat, the Justice Department compiled thick dossiers on multiple potential candidates, so not much research or vetting would be required now. Still, what Obama has to weigh is how much of a fight he wants and how much that fight will distract everyone from his policy goals of reining in the banks and possibly dealing with immigration. He really, really does not want the next six months to be all about abortion.

     However, Obama is well known for wanting to change the long-time direction of America rather than winning the 24-hour news cycle. He is keenly aware that Supreme Court appointments are a major tool for doing this and he surely knows the Democrats will probably have only 51-55 votes in the new Senate, as opposed to 59 now, so this may be his only opportunity to name a real progressive." -