News Roundup for 4/28/09

Mitch McConnell
McConnell; as weak-kneed on defense as he is weak-chinned in this photo

-Headline of the day-
"Flu or No Flu, Health Sec's Nomination Will Still Require 60 Votes, GOP Says."

Once again, the Republican party proves itself soft on national defense as they put up roadblocks to the nomination of Obama's Secretary of Health and Human Services. Turns out that Barack Obama -- who is pro-choice -- nominated Kathleen Sebelius, Governor of Kansas for the post. The problem? Get ready for a shock. Sebelius is pro-choice!


So Republicans, in their zeal to save little hypothetical babies, would leave us defenseless in the face of an invasion by a Mexican bacon/Chicken McNugget-hybrid virus. As Steve Benen says, "It's as if they're suffering from a pre-flu mindset." I guess they don't get that H1N1 has changed everything. Why do Republicans hate America?

Anyhoo, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell's office drew a line in the sand this morning, telling journalist Greg Sargent that the filibuster was "locked in" and dems would have to reach a 60-vote super-majority to get Sebelius behind a desk at HHS.

Somehow, I don't see that being a problem. (The Plum Line)

-You want crazy? I'll show you crazy...-
You'd have to guess that Utah County, Utah would be pretty much the center of whackjob Republican Crazyland and, depending on whether you're a "glass half full" type or a "glass is full of snakes that want to eat my eyeballs" type, you may or may not be right. Apparently, it's possible to go too far for even Utah County.

Consider this snippet from the Salt Lake Tribune about the state of the local GOP in the county:

Utah County Republicans defeated a resolution opposing well-heeled groups that a delegate claims are pushing a satanic plan to encourage illegitimate births and illegal immigration.

Don Larsen, a Springville delegate, offered the resolution, titled "Resolution opposing the Hate America anti-Christian Open Borders cabal," warning delegates that an "invisible government" comprised of left-wing foundations was pumping money into the Democratic Party to push for looser immigration laws and anti-family legislation.

Oh, it gets better.

"Larsen said Democrats get most of the votes cast by illegal immigrants and people in dysfunctional families," the article tells us. "But it's not the Democrats who are behind this strategy, Larsen said. It's the devil."

"Satan's ultimate goal is to destroy the family," Larsen said. "and these people are playing a leading part in it."

It still gets better. The resolution wasn't defeated because it was batshit crazy. No, that would be way too reasonable. According to the report, "David Rodeback, a delegate from American Fork... said the religious language Larsen used would push people away from the GOP."

It's probably a little late to worry about that now -- the time to worry about turning off voters was some time around 2006 -- but yeah, you can see Rodeback's point. We've come to expect Republicans to be squirrellier than a walnut grove, but what if voters start to see them as overly religious?

Good thing Delegate Dave stopped that ship before it sailed. (Salt Lake Tribune, via Right Wing Watch)

-Torches? Check. Pitchforks? Check.-
The defection of Sen. Arlen Specter has the Republican party in a panic, but the GOP base couldn't be happier. If the Republican electoral routs of '06 and '08 weren't purges enough, they seem hellbent on driving more moderates out of the party. Run "'good riddance' Specter" through Google's blog search and you get 2,631 hits. No doubt that number will grow as time goes on. I'd go through and quote some randomly selected rightie blogs, but I can sum it up nicely myself; "Screw off, you RiNO!"

Politico has fellow moderate GOPer Olympia Snowe's reaction to the news, "On the national level, she says, 'you haven't certainly heard warm encouraging words of how they [Republicans] view moderates. Either you are with us or against us.'"

Hey Republicans, you better drive out Snowe too. Better to have ideological party purity than any actual power. The smaller the party, the better. Screw all that "big tent" stuff -- the Republican party should be a very exclusive club.

I've even got a motto you guys can use, "If you're not crazy enough, you're not Republican enough." I encourage all Republicans to chase out all moderates from their party -- from the federal level to the city council. You can never be too careful.

The Centrist Menace is everywhere! (Think Progress)

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