It’s GOTV weekend, so things get stupid

2014-10-31 17.05.12The stupidity has reached such a crescendo that I am violating my self-imposed blogging moratorium, or “quarantine,” as Chris Christie might call it.

I got a last minute hit piece on Ron Barber yesterday decrying his vote for the Ryan Budget.

Ah, where to begin on this.

First off, Ron Barber didn’t vote for the Paul Ryan budget. What he voted for was a budget deal negotiated by Patty Murray and Paul Ryan referred to as some as a “mini-budget deal.” It was not the Paul Ryan budget touted in his “Path to Prosperity” plan which is referenced every time a Republican candidate wants to feign seriousness about the budget. Most of the elements of Ryan’s budget were not in the deal, which led to a lot of grousing from conservatives at the time.

Even the people that sent out the mailer acknowledge that they don’t mean the actual Paul Ryan budget, but only in the fine print.

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Since it was not the Ryan Budget, many of the cuts decried in the piece (Medicare, Food Stamps) were not actually cut in the plan.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a fan of this deal when it was made (although, predictably, my troubles are from the left). I also know it is far better than the Ryan Budget. As a matter of fact, the criticisms in the piece are spot on about the Ryan Budget. Say, what kind of “scary” candidate supports the Ryan Budget?

Oh yeah, Martha McSally.

Maybe this group that wanted to call out candidates for supporting the Ryan Budget will come on out and run a piece decrying her for being so scary. Say, who sent out this piece anyhow?

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I would welcome their opposition to Paul Ryan, but something tells me they aren’t very sincere about it.

POST SCRIPTS: I’ve got a couple of extra observations to throw in here.

  • Have you noticed how Republican candidates are quick to align themselves with the Ryan Budget, but cry foul when they get called out for supporting the details of the plan? It’s like they haven’t read the thing.
  • The mailer apparently went to Democratic voters. Independent voters are on a different mail program. This is a last ditch effort to peel liberal voters away from Barber. Given how poorly Matt Heinz did as the lefty challenger to Barber last time, I think more liberal voters have already resigned themselves to Barber’s pragmatism.
  • Oh, by the way: Ron Barber is a Trotskyite overspending Obama coddler and he supports this horrible, granny murdering, poor bashing budget? Could you guys pick a knock against the guy and stick with it?
  • I received this along with two mailers from my local Republican legislative candidate after I’ve already voted. Keep spending that money, boys.

Now That’s What I Call Racism

Jan Brewer accused Barack Obama of “race baiting” this morning and was angry about accusations of bigotry.

Being accused by la Cervecera of race baiting is a bit like being accused by Randy Travis of public intoxication.

Since her side is free of race baiting and bigotry, I’m sure she’d be more than happy to see who her party is running for congress in CD 3:

Yep. Middle Easterners are dangerous. Send Jamie Farr back.

A blanket statement that all people of a certain ethnicity or origin are dangerous regardless of what they as individuals have actually done…hmm…yes kids, that’s called racism.

Brewer is scheduled to do a fundraiser for Saucedo Mercer on September 12th. Of course, since she’s against race bating and bigotry, she’ll cancel, right?

I’m not counting on it.

The interview was posted on Western Free Press’s website back in June of last year, but that hasn’t stopped a legion of Republicans from giving her their support. Will any of them drop it? Will the press put any pressure on them to?


Chief among the attacks from Ron Barber against Jesse Kelly were quotes from Kelly’s last campaign regarding Social Security and Medicare. Kelly claimed that the attacks were unfair, but refused to explain his alleged change of heart.

Unfair or no (I say “no”), it was clear that Kelly wanted to campaign as the defender of Social Security and Medicare, if the yellow police-tape like decorations on his signs were to be believed.

The thing that struck me about this was how many of the Republican budget ideas out there revolve around big changes, eviscerations really, to both programs. If these are such fantastic ideas, why not campaign on them? Especially in a Republican district like the one Kelly was running in.

It was clear that Kelly was warned off by folks in the NRCC, who presumably are tasked with selling things like the Paul Ryan budget to voters.

It appears what happened with Kelly is not an isolated case. Talking Points Memo has a story about a Republican incumbent who is not only campaigning against Medicare privatization, but for Obamacare’s Medicare provisions.

Barack Obama is deeply unpopular in West Virginia, and the congressman in question is not in a particularly tough race. This is not a guy that needs to “moderate” or “reach out.” It seems to be exactly the sort of campaign where a candidate can proudly say he’s for everything the caucus is pushing for.

If these ideas are so fantastic and are what the American people asked for, why can’t they get their candidates to campaign on them?

Mirror Gazing

The blog Arizona’s Politics did a good job of summing up the rebuttal to the ridiculous attack that Ron Barber is looking to destroy Medicare.

Well, as we’ve learned, actual facts will not get in the way of this hit. Give it a couple of weeks, they’ll be droning on about Barber personally running a death panel.

The funny part is that Jesse Kelly, along with every Republican running for anything, is a supporter of the Paul Ryan budget plan. The Ryan plan would shift more of the costs of health care to beneficiaries. That isn’t some claim of a lefty blogger, it’s what the Congressional Budget Office says:

Under the proposal, most elderly people would pay more for their health care than they would pay under the current Medicare system.

If Kelly and his supporters want to take down Medicare, fine, let them argue the merits. But falsely accusing your opponent of doing so when you support a policy that does that? Any names for that?

Mirror Gazing

This came from the NRCC yesterday:

We may have just learned Barber’s campaign plans today, but we’ve already known his political agenda for weeks. Barber is supported by Arizona boycotter Raul Grijalva and has said he would have rubber stamped all of President Obama’s policies over the last three years, including Obamacare’s $500 billion cut to Medicare. That’s the wrong direction for Southern Arizona, and voters will have a clear choice in this election.

“We’ve already known his political agenda for weeks,” sounds so nefarious. With so much lead time, they could have been a bit more creative.

We’ve got a couple of entertaining claims here. First off is the connection to Grijalva and the boycott, which is laughable given how Giffords’s political operation actively attacked Grijalva for the boycott.

The second is the claim about Medicare. Let’s trot out this gem again. I don’t know where they get the $500 billion number, and it will change for the next time some Republican will need to use it anyway. The claim is based on some changes in the Affordable Care Act regarding the way providers were compensated, and the money saved was plowed back into the Part D program for some low income beneficiaries. This claim has been shot down in the past, but they keep going with it. I guess we should admire their stubbornness.

The silliest part about the continued attacks on this front is how many of the Republicans making it support so-called “reform plans” like the ones that Paul Ryan has been pushing and is pushing again that would eviscerate medicare far more than even their wildest claims about Democratic plans.

I guess we can expect the NRCC and its “Young Gun” candidates (sorry Frank!) to come out against the Ryan plan.

Or at least the local press can ask them about it when they, you know, run ads talking about how much they are into protecting seniors.