‘a deep strain of madness’

Steve Benen: …. The candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination are a pretty scary bunch …. the two-hour display on CNN last night was a depressing reminder of what’s become of the GOP in the 21st century. That said, maybe it’s just me, but I’m starting to find the audiences for these debates even more disconcerting.

Wolf Blitzer posed a hypothetical scenario to Ron Paul, asking about a young man who makes a good living, but decides to forgo health insurance. Then, tragedy strikes and he needs care. Paul stuck to the libertarian line. “But congressman,” the moderator said, “are you saying that society should just let him die?”

And at that point, some in the audience shouted, “Yeah,” and applauded.

…. note that in last week’s debate, the mere observation that Perry has signed off on the executions of 234 people in Texas, more than any other governor in modern times, was enough to generate applause from a different GOP audience.

…. There’s a deep strain of madness running through Republican politics in 2011, and it appears to be getting worse. Those wondering why the GOP presidential field appears weak, insipid, and shallow need look no further than the voters they were choose to pander to.

Full post here


Dana Milbank: The applause identified Rick Perry as the crowd favorite when he took the stage in Tampa for Monday night’s Tea Party debate, greeting his lesser rivals as “fellas”. But two hours later, those fellas – and a gal from Minnesota – had made some serious progress toward exposing the broad-shouldered Texas governor as an empty suit.

… The lowest point for the man atop the polls came when Michele Bachmann accused Perry of cronyism, suggesting that he forced girls to receive the HPV anti-cancer vaccine because his former chief of staff was lobbying for the vaccine maker, Merck, which also “gave thousands of dollars in political donations to the governor”.

Perry answered with his trademark boastfulness: “It was a $5,000 contribution that I had received from them. I raise about $30 million. And if you’re saying that I can be bought for $5,000, I’m offended.”

…. On the defensive from beginning to end, Perry resorted to the time honored tradition of making up stuff. When Romney took issue with Perry’s previously-expressed views that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme and unconstitutional, Perry had a comeback: “Governor, you’re calling it a criminal — you said if people did it in the private sector if would be called criminal. That’s in your book.”

The crowd cheered this rejoinder, which would have been effective if Romney had indeed written such a thing. An electronic search of Romney’s book, “No Apology,” found no use of the word “criminal” in relation to Social Security. What he wrote was quite the opposite, saying that if bankers raided trusts the way politicians raid the Social Security trust, “they would go to jail.”

Full article here

Thanks Loriah

49 Responses to “‘a deep strain of madness’”

  1. 1 Cos
    September 13, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Good morning Chips and TOD friends. Does anyone know what time PBO will be in Ohio today.

  2. 4 Bill
    September 13, 2011 at 8:35 am

    I wonder if CNN is proud of teaming with the Tea Party for the debate. It was telling that neither Wolf nor any of the candidates protested to the response of the audience.

    • 5 Sue in Minnesota
      September 13, 2011 at 9:13 am

      As an American I am ashamed of that corporate sponsored debacle. That people are so callous and so incitable is, well frightening. What a bunch of neanderthals. 😯

    • 6 utaustinliberal
      September 13, 2011 at 2:35 pm

      It was telling for me that Wolf didn’t offer a rebuttal of the outright lies. As a moderator he was a joke.

  3. 7 donna dem 4 obama
    September 13, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Good Morning Chips and TOD’ville. Thanks for keeping those of us that can’t follow this stuff as closely with the constant updates. Watching the recap of that Republican Tea Party “Debate” it begs the question…Why is CNN hosting a debate with a Polical PAC?

    “Tea Party Express is not a grassroots group; its a registered political PAC that funds right-wing candidates and CNN is helping them.”


    • 8 ChristiMtl
      September 13, 2011 at 8:50 am

      Good morning Chips and TOD’ers

      Donna, I was just about to post that link, how disturbing………..

      ”If you watched the debate via the livestreamed Webcast, as I did, you saw a bit of unintentional video after the debate had ended, when Wolf Blitzer approached Rick Perry, saying he hoped they could “get together soon.” Then Blitzer patted Perry on the shoulder. “You did an excellent job tonight,” he said.”

  4. 11 Fred
    September 13, 2011 at 8:50 am

    morning TOD family
    doctor said I needed another round of treatment that starts October 3th for another 8 weeks this time
    I wanted to THANK each and every one of you who had kind words for me yesterday.THANK YOU

    Tea Party Crowd Cheers For Charging Ben Bernanke With Treason (VIDEO)

    Perry, feeling the heat from his Social Security-bashing comments, backtracks. Big-time.

    Cantor admits shutdown fights hurt the economy

    38 states rigging voting rules for GOP – Chicago Sun-Times

  5. 27 Ladyhawke
    September 13, 2011 at 8:50 am


    How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back

    Last night, Lawrence O’Donnell interviewed Tom Friedman co-author of the book “That Used To Be Us”. It was a very sobering and insightful interview about the state of our political discourse and how it impacts our standing in the world. Bottom line, other countries are passing us by and taking the lead in areas where we have traditionally dominated because of our political gridlock.

    During the interview, Tom made a comment that I can’t get out of my head. He said right now it is as if the American people are the KIDS OF DIVORCED PARENTS. It was an interesting analogy.

    Can America Get It’s Groove Back?


    • 28 jacquelineoboomer
      September 13, 2011 at 10:14 am

      Tom Friedman is very intelligent. Sometimes he goes overboard criticizing PBO, as a self-aggrandizing move, but sometimes he’s fair. The jury’s still out.

  6. 29 Fred
    September 13, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Tea Party Crowd Cheers Letting Uninsured Die

    Rick Santorum Explains How GOP Can Attract ‘Illegal — I Mean Latino — Voters

    Florida’s Anti-Gay Leader Endorses Rick Perry

    Texas’ GOP Attorney General Spikes Investigation Into Rick Perry’s Potential Execution Of An Innocent Man

  7. 31 Fred
    September 13, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Memo To Rick Perry: Social Security Is Not Facing ‘Dire Financial Challenges’

    After Promising To Focus On Jobs, Gov. Rick Scott Signals He’ll Reject Billions Of Dollars From Obama Jobs Plan

    Fla. GOP seems to scoff at jobs plan

    Romney Calls For Labor Board To ‘Respect The Rule Of Law’ While Slamming It For Following The Law

  8. 32 Fred
    September 13, 2011 at 8:55 am

    2012 GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has been no stranger to this line of criticism, saying that the NLRB’s action is a “power grab.”

    Despite 600,000 Public Sector Layoffs, Darrell Issa Says Government Shouldn’t Try To Prevent Teacher Layoffs

    If Banks Paid Their Full Taxes, We Could Rehire All 132,000 Teachers Laid Off During The Recession — Twice

    Romney Accuses ‘Labor Stooges’ At NLRB Of Political Payback

  9. 33 Fred
    September 13, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Mitt Romney, in South Carolina, takes aim at NLRB

    Romney Campaign Says Perry Is Backpedaling On Social Security

    Cantor To Obama: Let’s Nix More Than Half Your Jobs Bill

    Bachmann called Social Security ‘a tremendous fraud’ in 2010 (it’s a FOX video and it’s long so don’t bother :roll:)

  10. 35 sjterrid
    September 13, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Good morning chips and TOD family.

    I wonder if the Koch Brothers and other leaders pay these people to attend these debates. Between yelling letting the uninsured dying, I also read that Blitzer questioned Paul about what he said about Benake committing treason and he was applauded by the audience, and in the last debate when members of the audience clapped when Williams asked Perry about Texas executing over 200 people. It’s scary that people that are running for office want to pander to people that hate everything that’s in the first ammendment.

  11. 36 desertflower
    September 13, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Morning all and a special shout out to Fred this morning:) Hope that you’re feeling ok…and I wish that you didn’t have to go through another round:(
    I’m dumbstruck by the ugly callousness of this party that professes to value human life. We see that they don’t.For Ron Paul. A DOCTOR, to break the oath he took, as a doctor…first, do no harm, is very telling.I thought that was the abiding tenant of the Hippocratic Oath. Maybe they should rename it . THE HYPOCRATIC OATH! Dig the hole deeper, guys.Then bury yourselves in it. They all disgust me.

  12. September 13, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Some good job news—–H.H. Gregg, an Indianapolis-based electronics and appliance store, is opening 17 stores in Chicago area on Thursday, bringing 700 jobs. Any store openings and added jobs—-a good thing.

  13. September 13, 2011 at 9:51 am

    I sometimes wonder if this freakshow is on purpose – to cleanse the system in 2012, some come 2014 and especially 2016 the GOP can rid itself of the teaparty extremists saying “look you had your candidate in 2012 and he got blown out of the water”.

    I do worry that they could speed up this “teachable moment” and parachute in a “sane” candidate before the November 2011 registration deadline. Saying – you all watched this freakshow, now here is a serious candidate – get in line behind him.

    There isn’t a redeemable candidate in this current bunch –

    Romney as been running for the Presidency since 2005, but probably even before that as he likely had the Presidency in mind when he was running for Governor. He is so wooden and unnatural, a millionaire robber baron who was a liberal Republican in his 50’s and is now trying to be a far right Republican in this camapign.

    Newt Gingrich went on a two week vacation right after the kickoff to his candidacy. His campaign went bankrupt once already and he lost all of his senior staffers. He’s not running to win, but to become relevant again to make money after the campaign.

    Jon Huntsman is supposed to be the moderate nice guy spends all of his time attacking the President for not being a leader and using a teleprompter. He didn’t have the guts to rebuke the crowd for that display last night – some leader himself. He’s a billionaire from his fathers business whose big break was making those styrofoam clamshell cartons for McDonalds hamburgers. This guy would be great for the environment.

    Rick Santorum – Google him. He’s a hard right social conservative with past quotes he cannot run from even as he tries to use more moderate language nowadays. He’s unelectable in a general election.

    Michelle Bachmann would have defaulted on the debt ceiling – disqualified and unqualified.

    Ron Paul is a libertarian who wants to end any and all federal agencies.

    Herman Cain is auditioning for a Fox television gig rather than running the the Presidency. He’s a soundbyte candidate.

    Rick Perry called Social Security a ponzi scheme, tried to force 13 yr olds to get a HPV vaccination because of his closeness to the vaccine provider company Merck.

  14. September 13, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Good morning TODville. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood…..Celebrating 25 years of marriage, to the same woman. Imagine that. i may/or may not be on line if my plans work out(surprise).
    Howsomever, since when did the teabaggers become a party. They are a PAC and should not have been on CNN. What the hell were they thinking?

  15. 46 anniebella
    September 13, 2011 at 11:34 am

    You mean to tell me that a Texas cowboy wear make up. What else is it we don’t know about good old Perry?

  16. 47 GGail
    September 13, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Good morning Chipsticks and TOD family. What’s really scary about the audience is that THESE PEOPLE LIVE AMONG U & ME.

  17. 48 Obama Grandmama
    September 13, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I do think Perry would be a dangerous opponent in the election and the part saying he lied and totally misrepresented Romney’s words of SS being criminal in his book when it was essentially the opposite and was so easily believed by the crowd worries me. I do think he would be a stark contrast from our guy, but shudder to think we could get him. Actually I shudder to think we could get any of those on stage and know they are all lying.

    • September 13, 2011 at 12:45 pm

      The thing that I find thoroughly disturbing about the cheers and applause at the execution of 232 people in Texas and the urging from the Tea Party audience to let a sick young man die, is not so much that they exemplify the party’s character but that there are actually that many people living in this country.

      They are not Americans; they are the audience in the ancient and bloody Roman gladiator contests. Fight to the death. Thumbs up. Thumbs down. They no longer sound to me like school yard thugs; they sound simply insane, horrifyingly dangerous to be running around free. Were these people always with us?

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