Dept. of Kudos

Wow. Lots of candor these past few days from the Right. Now is, I suppose, as good a time as any to offer up my hosannas.

First up, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. He had this to say at the "First Draft of History" conference, sponsored by The Atlantic:
Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R-S.C.) offered unusually blunt assessments of the fringe elements of his party and conservative media on Thursday, calling the popular and bombastic Fox News host Glenn Beck a "cynic" whose show was antithetical to American values.

"Only in America can you make that much money crying," Graham said of Beck. "Glenn Beck is not aligned with any party. He is aligned with cynicism and there has always been a market for cynics. But we became a great nation not because we are a nation of cynics. We became a great nation because we are a nation of believers."

Appearing before a crowd of Washington's elite power players and opinion-makers, Graham spoke largely without filter, offering acidic takes on subject well beyond Beck. The Senator called the birther community that questions the president's U.S. citizenship "crazy" and implored them to "knock this crap off" so the country could get on to more important matters.

"I'm here to tell you that those who think the president was not born in Hawaii are crazy," said Graham, who went on to dispel another myth: that Obama is a closet Muslim.

Good on you, Sen. Graham. You have earned a good mark in my "not entirely insane" GOP ledger, and I will cut you some slack the next time you play along with your party's obstructionist agenda.

Next up, also at "F'DOH" (which seems like the place to be right now). former McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt:
That famous infighting of the core McCain campaign versus Sarah Palin is still continuing, with former McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt openly saying at the Atlantic's "First Draft of History" symposium that it would be "catastrophic" if Palin were to win the Republican nomination in 2012.

Schmidt said:"Most politicians of prominence write a book. My honest view is that she would not be a winning candidate for president and if she was the results would be...catastrophic. It's fairly inconceivable she could be elected."

Why, yes! It is fairly inconceivable that she could be elected, and it would be catastrophic if it came to pass. Thanks, Steve Schmidt! It's almost enough to make me forgive you for foisting her on the American public in the first place. (Oh, wait. No, it's not.)

Last up, David Brooks. (OK, so Brooks' Right-wing bona fides are a bit tarnished of late. I still think it counts.)
Over the years, I have asked many politicians what happens when Limbaugh and his colleagues attack. The story is always the same. Hundreds of calls come in. The receptionists are miserable. But the numbers back home do not move. There is no effect on the favorability rating or the re-election prospects. In the media world, he is a giant. In the real world, he’s not.


So the myth returns. Just months after the election and the humiliation, everyone is again convinced that Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and the rest possess real power. And the saddest thing is that even Republican politicians come to believe it. They mistake media for reality. They pre-emptively surrender to armies that don’t exist. They pay more attention to Rush’s imaginary millions than to the real voters down the street. The Republican Party is unpopular because it’s more interested in pleasing Rush’s ghosts than actual people. The party is leaderless right now because nobody has the guts to step outside the rigid parameters enforced by the radio jocks and create a new party identity. The party is losing because it has adopted a radio entertainer’s niche-building strategy, while abandoning the politician’s coalition-building strategy.
Nothing there we didn't already know, or kind of expect from Brooks. But still, nice to see it all so tidily laid out.

Thanks, fellows. Appreciate the honesty. Now, let's see if any of this makes any difference.

Update: (H/t Political Animal.) My, my, my. The hits just keep on coming. Now you, Joe Scarborough.
Chicago is a beautiful city that would have made a perfect backdrop for the Olympics. The President was right to fly to Copenhagen to try to land the games, not for the sake of his city, but for the good of his country. The fact President Obama failed makes me respect him more for taking the chance, and the fact many right-wing figures opposed the President's mission shows just how narrow-minded partisanship makes us all.


  1. The birthers, the tea baggers, the screamers, and the deathers continued extreme minority presence will become tiresome to mainstream America, if it has not already done so. To all the birthers in La, La Land, it is on you to prove to all of us that your assertion is true, if there are people who were there and support your position then show us the video (everyone has a price), either put up or frankly shut-up. I heard Orly Taitz, is selling a tape (I think it’s called “Money, Lies and Video tape”). She is from Orange County, CA, now I know what the mean when they say “behind the Orange Curtain”, when they talk about Orange County, the captial of Conspiracy Theories. You know Obama has a passport, he travel abroad before he was a Senator, but I guess they were in on it. In my opinion the Republican Party has been taken over the most extreme religious right (people who love to push their beliefs on others while trying to take away the rights of those they just hate) and that’s who they need to extract from their party if they real want to win. Good Luck, because as they said in WACO, “We Ain’t Coming Out”. I heard that she now wants to investigate the “Republican 2009 Summer of Love” list: Assemblyman, Michael D. Duvall (CA), Senator John Ensign (NV), Senator Paul Stanley (TN), Governor Mark Stanford (SC), Board of Ed Chair, and Kristin Maguire AKA Bridget Keeney (SC).

  2. Paul, don't blame birthers on the Republicans, unless you are willing to blame truthers on the Democrats. Deal?

    As to the wisdom of Pres. Obama going to pitch Chicago, and losing badly, well, the losing badly part is what hurt him. If Chicago came in a close second, fine, but to squander political capital in such a crazy fashion is senseless. Part of the office of the President's power is the perception that she can make things happen and influence people. Demonstrating the lack of such influence can't be good for future negotiations, such as with the Iranians, just to pick an example. So yes, I blame the President for miscalculating and spending valuable coin on a trinket when we have real, serious issues that need all the influence and persuasion he can muster.

    But, if he learns that being viewed as a rock star doesn't mean he has real influence, and no one is going to give him anything just because he asks, then the lessons will have come at a cheap price.