In the right-wing mind, there is nothing so ruinous to America as the liberation of women. The right’s entire ideological structure is built on worship of the Great White Father and veneration of the stern, Caucasian, disciplinarian dad. It’s a worldview centered on a jealous, blue-eyed Father God, a military dispatched to teach the world a lesson, and a president who serves as the national patriarch. A President Hillary Rodham Clinton poses the gravest threat to that worldview yet—perhaps even graver than the threat to it posed by the nation’s first black president, given that more than half of Americans are women. Given the composure, stamina, and toughness she demonstrated yesterday, Clinton’s performance at the Benghazi hearing made her right-wing—and mostly male—interrogators look pretty stupid by comparison. If you think the right’s rabid response to her first presidential candidacy, or to the presidency of Barack Obama, was over the top, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Because there’s nothing so threatening to patriarchy than a smart woman—especially one who is playing to win.
Source: Why Hillary Makes Right-Wingers So Crazy
When Republicans regroup after the hearing, the big question facing them will be whether their sharpest political weapon against Clinton so far has turned into a dull object—or worse yet, one that is now at serious risk of being used against them. The Benghazi committee is 18 months old.Right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh also sensed the ground shifting, telling listeners Thursday that the media had already decided that it wanted to “able to claim that the Republicans did not land a glove on Mrs. Clinton. That she showed up and that she looked good and that she was composed and that she triumphed over this, and the Republicans weren’t able to do a thing about it. That is the objective.”
Source: Benghazi Committee Hearing a Bust, Conservatives Say – Bloomberg Politics
All my life, the Republican Party has been my political home. Helping it succeed has been my work for decades. It was never perfect, but families never are.
Flawed, and given to wrong turns from time to time, we had good years and terrible years. We elected presidents, took back Congress after decades, lost it, and took it back again. Our leaders ranged from bad to extraordinary. But through it all, the GOP was the one party even vaguely amenable to limited-government conservatism, to at least some adherence to the Constitution over the social preferences of the moment, and to the constraints on government power that our Founding Fathers so cherished. It was nice while it lasted.
Today the Republican Party has two choices before it: It can either reform itself, or fracture and surrender to the Troll Party.
Let me explain what I mean. The Troll Party’s central characteristic is an ever tightening spiral of self-reinforcing and self-referential purity tests that makes communicating with anyone beyond the febrile and furious a nearly impossible task. The people pushing for this transformation aren’t a majority yet, but when a virus infects the body politic, its minuscule size belies its massive impact.
More: How the Tea Party Got Hijacked by Trump’s Troll Party – The Daily Beast
Clinton also expressed frustration with the State Department’s treatment of certain ordinary documents as classified. After an aide noted the draft of innocuous remarks about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was on the State Department’s classified messaging system, she responded, “It’s a public statement! Just email it.” Sent a moment later, the statement merely said that U.S. and British officials would work together to promote peace. “Well that is certainly worthy of being top secret,” Clinton responded sarcastically.
More: Latest Clinton Emails Show Careful Attempts To Avoid Sending Sensitive Info
Before Obamacare, the individual insurance market for people who could not get health care through their job was a nightmare. The only way for insurers to make money was to avoid getting stuck with customers who would rack up high medical bills, forcing them to expend enormous time and expense to screen potential customers for preexisting conditions. Even people who could find plans with affordable premiums had to sign contracts loaded with fine-print exclusions leaving them responsible for unexpected costs. Obamacare overhauled that market, eliminating insurers’ ability to screen out healthy customers. In the new, regulated individual markets, people buy plans regardless of their prior health status. This has been a godsend to those unable to obtain coverage before.
Republicans would repeal all these new protections. But never fear, conservatives insist. In their place will be new protections.Ramesh Ponnuru, writing in National Review, points to two protections put in place by Scott Walker’s proposal, which is the prototypical Republican “see, we do too have a plan to replace Obamacare” plan.
More: Republican Plans to Replace Obamacare Failed — NYMag
If Reagan is an empty suit to be filled like exaggerated feats of heroism in a conservative piñata, Dubya is a dark political vortex that sucks away light and hope for another Republican president. Financially, militarily, diplomatically, and by every managerial standard of leadership, Dubya is a presidential tragedy brought to you by conservative philosophers. His two terms were devastating in every major category of judging a president. There wasn’t one element of government that escaped being damaged or compromised by his policy. By the time Bush left office, it was very easy to buy into the mythology that government doesn’t work, because it was many of his advisors who helped wreck the system so thoroughly that a sense of hopelessness pervaded.
Sadly, the great Dubya disappearance might be working. In last year’s Gallup poll, George W. Bush had a positive rating for the first time in eight years. Granted it was only 49 percent favorable, but it’s still better than when he left office. And he owes the uptick in approval all to the fact that he has not been seen in six years.
What is surprising is that when he was in office the GOP establishment couldn’t get enough of him, tying their party’s fate to his misguided policies. Now that his policies have had time to show results (No Child Left Behind, Clean Air Act, cutting taxes for the rich and promising growth), it’s Democrats who are desperate to remind the country of the results of Bush’s policies, because we are still suffering from the consequences. If some neoconservatives have their way, the former president — as a man, legacy maker and political symbol — will simply fade away. It’s our job as historians, journalists and citizens to not let an amnesiac fog descend over one of the worst presidents to run this country.
More via TPM: The Case Of The Disappearing Dubya.
Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush said Tuesday that the government should have broad surveillance powers of Americans and private technology firms should cooperate better with intelligence agencies to help combat “evildoers.”
At a national security forum in the early voting state of South Carolina, Bush put himself at odds with Republican congressional leaders who earlier this year voted to end the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records.
The former Florida governor said Congress should revisit its changes to the Patriot Act, and he dismissed concerns from civil libertarians who say the program violated citizens’ constitutionally protected privacy rights.
“There’s a place to find common ground between personal civil liberties and NSA doing its job,” Bush said. “I think the balance has actually gone the wrong way.”
Bush also said the U.S. should send more troops — he didn’t say how many — and equipment to eastern European nations in response to Russia’s increasingly aggressive posture in the region. He said Russian President Vladimir Putin should know that his “adventurism” comes with “a price to pay.”
“Rather than reacting to the bad behavior, I think we need to be more forward-leaning as it relates to what the consequences will be,” Bush said.
More via Jeb Bush: NSA Needs Broader Powers to Combat ‘Evildoers’ | TIME.