Plus: Here comes impeachment
Just here to say that, having read the transcript and listened to the pony soldier clip yesterday, I don't quite get the hullabaloo. So our president rambled a bit and used a memorable, if stupid, insult about his political rivals (climate deniers). Isn't that what Trump does at every appearance? And in his case is considered entertaining, and just what his supporters want? It's not my preferred form of discourse, but it didn't compromise national security. He didn't seem incompetent or deranged, just rambling and ruining an already dumb joke by too much set up. I just don't think it's a big deal, and would recommend not making it into one.
Of course there's going to be a government shutdown. The Crazy Caucus actively wants a shutdown. It's amazing how much inconvenience and suffering the American people will experience because no Republican is willing to stand up to these loons. Real profiles in courage!
“Conservatives once stood for limited government, a strong national defense, free markets, fiscal responsibility and traditional values, Pence opined. But the new GOP populists — including Trump — now reject free markets, ignore deficits and embrace international appeasement.”
Conservatives once stood for limited......? Since when? Modern day conservatism is an aspiration, and like communism, it only exists in theory!
Limited government: Nixon created the EPA and DEA.
Dubya Bush created Homeland Security, a $60 billion monstrosity that is nothing more than a bureaucratic nightmare. No one knows whose in charge, least of all, the Director of Homeland Security.
A strong National Defense: more like strong on defense spending by the Military industrial Complex; veterans and soldiers be damned. If Pence cares about National Security and our military, then why isn’t he publicly criticizing TurDville? It’s a rhetorical question, no need to answer!
Fiscal responsibility: Pence and Trump spent $8.2 trillion in four years, more than either Bush and Obama in eight years. Fiscal responsibility starts and ends only when democrats are in power because they want a democratic president to fail! McConnell’s words, not mine!
Traditional values: whose? The American Taliban, dead set on instituting a Christian version of Sharia Law? Please read the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. It clearly states no one religion is above another.
Pence is no profile in courage; he’s a combination of of the tin man and scarecrow; no heart, and definitely no brain. With Trump being the Wizard of Oz: pull back the curtain and all we’re left with is an impotent, little petulant five year old, crying his eyes out, and whining about how unfair the democrats and their radical agenda are to him.
That said, It took Pence three years since J6th to speak up about the insurrection. He still refuses to call it by its name. So enough with Pence; good riddance!
Kevin McCarthy is a secret genius. He hates Trump but can't say so. But he has a plan; follow the Newt 1995/96 playbook. Shut down the government. Impeach Biden. Make people see that Republicans are horrible horrible at governing and make Biden look sympathetic. Sabotage Trump's chances at re-election. It got Clinton re-elected in 96 and it can work in 2024!!!
And so we get another chance to revisit Perception versus Reality with regard to Joe Biden and his supposed competence for the job as President. I'm not really talking about The Bulwark here, which today is functioning as a mailman whom I have no desire to shoot. It's about the talk in media circles and elsewhere, but primarily the media given their outsized impact on public perception, and their incessant desire to put soundbites and imagery above substance. I'm realistic enough to understand that, as private enterprise corporations, they operate on a profit basis, and what generates the most revenue, eyeballs, clicks, and other measurements of success, if not fairness and factual reporting, will carry the day with them. But that does not mean that their self-interest should take priority over the greater good. It just means that they are putting their own self-interest first.
It is well past time that our sources of information engage in in-depth, factual reporting of the achievements of the Biden Administration and offer an honest assessment of their merits. What have they done right? Where have they dropped the ball? And, no less importantly, what are the (allegedly) loyal opposition's alternative plans for the future? Those are the discussions that we need to have, and on an ongoing basis. What people mutter off-the-cuff in a press conference is extraordinarily less important than what they actually do, for voters who are supposed to vote on real issues and their impact on us all more than merely perception and innuendo. Let's go there and leave the amateur-hour psychology of Biden's words, gestures, facial appearances, and other intellectually lazy attention magnets on the sidelines until they actually become substantive, if at all. A well-informed electorate should be our goal. So inform us, journalistic professionals, fully and not selectively, and with regard to what we need to know more than what you want for us to see and hear. Enough about Old Man Joe and more about the Biden Plan for America, please and thank you. And no less so about the GOP Plan for America. We've been waiting a very long time to hear that. Why are you not pushing for answers?
I'm a 33 year old introvert and I find Biden's desire to go to bed after press conference utterly normal and relatable.
Most nights of the Trump presidency, didn't we all want him to go the f*** to sleep and stop tweeting?
"The public’s perception of Biden’s mental decline is out of all proportion to reality."
Yes, Mona is right. And you know why this is happening? Because the media - Charlie included - keeps hammering the issue and treating it like Hillary's emails. Discuss the topic, just discuss it appropriately and don't give Trump a pass for being three years younger.
"Conservatives once stood for limited government, a strong national defense, free markets, fiscal responsibility and traditional values, Pence opined. But the new GOP populists — including Trump — now reject free markets, ignore deficits and embrace international appeasement."
Don't forget personal responsibility and law & order. No, the GOP was never perfect in that sense either. No party ever was. But the GOP has completely degenerated into an authoritarian cult, hell-bent on holding its leader and his protectors exempt from any laws and/or personal responsibility. The MAGA-hijacked GOP has become like a car's windshield with an ominously growing crack. I'm losing hope that it can ever be repaired, and needs to be replaced. The other party is far from perfect, but it's all we have for now.
It’s ok to say you are going to bed. It indicates sanity. Rather than saying “ I am going to text on X”. That’s the real crazy.
Pence full well knows the reality...and he is little more than a self aggrandizing and miserable political coward. Pence needed to call Dan Quayle to make his final decision as to whether he would attempt a grotesque constitutional violation in Congress in 2020 on behalf of Trump. This man who claim's a (false) 'faith,' stood with and echoed the cruel hedonist, sexual deviant, pedophile and and criminal Trump from 2016 to 2020...and continues in the attempt to pat himself on the back even as he becomes a bit more forthcoming.
Pence has a long history of virulent misogyny and attacks on women's reproductive care, Planned Parenthood, and LGBTQ communities. I believe a reason he remained so 'loyal' to Trump is for his belief that being in the White House would help push this sick evangelical agenda further. Pence was likely Trump's primary contact with the broader evangelical community who confuses Trump with 'jesus.' When Pence shut down PP in Indiana, he was absolutely indifferent to rises in HIV and STDs especially among poor women in his state. No doubt, this was - still is - his model of Death for the nation.
Pence's sniveling cowardice and personal hate driven agenda is already part of the History and there is nothing he can do to change that fact
Mona is correct, Biden's command of foreign policy and his deft execution of it is nothing short of remarkable. There were a number of democrats that could have fixed what t***p did domestically but I really can not think of anyone who could have so quickly restored America after the disaster t***p made of foreign policy, in either party. As Mona says you can wish for a lot of things, but you have what you have and I am eternally grateful what we have is Joe Biden.
I’ve never understood the brief GOP flirtation with Tim Scott. Apparently being an anodyne nice guy is all the qualifications needed to be POTUS? There was obviously no there, there.
What was it Lincoln said to the Confederacy? Something about they will rule or ruin in all events?
The question should be " What will REPLACE this Insane Clown Posse, & will it be better, or just more of the SAME idiocy, insanity, ignorance, propagation of ignorance, prevarication, hatred as virtues, ad infinitum / absurdum ? ".
Pence might do well to ask himself exactly *how* his party went off the rails and turned away from being 1) strong on foreign policy, 2) for free markets, 3) for limited government, and 4) for fiscal responsibility.
I would ascribe the following reasons: 1) two disastrous military campaigns that mostly conservatives fought and died in unfolded with little accountability for anyone in charge after their failures, 2) free markets that gave rise to an economy where the top 10% (mostly liberals) run the economy and culture while everyone else tries to play catchup, 3) limited government failed to address conservative stances on social issues like immigration, abortion, and putting LGBTQ+ people back into the closer so they naturally turned to big government, and 4) tax breaks for the rich while refusing to touch SS/Medicare comes at the cost of fiscal responsibility via budget deficits, and given the party's gentleman's agreement between billionaires and conservative populists to exchange tax cuts for the support of the rich in GOP political campaigns, fiscal responsibility was bound to go out the window when you reduce federal revenues in order to attract political donations from the top.
All this is to say that the party's turn from conservatism to populism was wildly predictable as early as the Tea Party farce was taking place--which was mostly an astroturfed operation funded by people like the Koch Brothers (Americans for Prosperity, Freedomworks, et al), which even back then was more about fighting the culture wars than it was about fiscal responsibility. Once Treyvon Martin got killed and the Benghazi hearings happened just a couple years after the Tea Party farce it really became clear that the GOP base cared more about cultural populism than they did about any of the aforementioned conservative principals. They didn't care about small government when the NYPD rolled out stop and frisk policies or when the DHS was spying on every mosque in town. The only small government they ever cared about was on gun control and when Bureau of Land Management agents show up at the Bundy Ranch. That's why militias chocked full of AR-15s that weren't available to the public before 2004 showed up in droves to stand down federal officers carrying out their lawful duties at the Bundy Ranch in 2014. It was a dress rehearsal 7 years prior to January 6th, and just like Trump they were trying to see just how much they could get away with before they really had to go all-in some distant day when they'd need to. January 6th, 2021 was that day, and Mike Pence was just as confused about it then as he is today, but I can't see why that is because it was so obvious to me since at least the Tea Party farce was happening back in 2010.
As always, great piece. To say Pence “watched it happen” is to give him too much credit, though. He may have been a passive and incompetent VP, but his failure to speak and act against what he was seeing makes him an active accomplice in the destruction of our country.