How quick Karl Rove was to criticize the left and go home without signing any books in Beverly Hills when members of Code Pink dared to confront him.
Considering what Karl Rove has done in his political career beginning when he was still in his teens, disrupting a book signing rates as minimalist activity. This man has an extensive track record of which he is proud beginning with the days when he emulated the tactics of his idol Richard Nixon.
Rove launched his dirty tricks activities when he handed out handbills to the downtrodden, particularly of the inebriated variety, encouraging them to attend a campaign headquarters opening for Alan Dixon in Illinois when the future U.S. Senator was running for secretary of state.
Then there was that occasion when Rove reported that he found a bug in his office when he was seeking to lift the sagging campaign of his lackluster Texas gubernatorial candidate Bill Clements against Democrat Mark White.
The bug was found the same day as the crucial debate between the two candidates was held and reporters, conceding that it made no sense at all for Democrats to bug Rove?s office, reported that White was thrown off stride that evening and delivered a sub par performance.
The tide turned that evening and Clements came from behind to defeat a far more articulate and overall superior candidate in White. Rove even conceded that he had watched on VHS the Richard Gere film ?Power.? Directed by Sidney Lumet, this 1986 movie contained a scene wherein Gere planted a bug in his own office and blamed it on the opposition.
Finally Rove moved up to presidential politics with his exciting new discovery George W. Bush. Candidate Bush teamed up with Bush?s brother Jeb, Florida?s governor, and Rove to steal an election that was rightfully won by Vice President Al Gore.
A variety of stunts were employed. One consisted of Jeb Bush scrubbing the voting rolls of ?suspected felons? in Florida, disenfranchising scores of minority voters without criminal records. There was then the march through the courts leading to the one vote victory at the U.S. Supreme Court with leading Federalist Society jurists Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas making the difference.
Before the courtroom scenario played itself out the Bush team and Rove conspired with Roger Ailes of Fox News to have John Ellis, a cousin of the Bushes, in charge of making election calls that evening.
When the initial call was made by cousin Ellis for Bush the remaining networks followed and the Republican candidate held the advantage of presumptive winner, which surely aided him during the entire period between election night and the ultimate decision rendering.
How quick young student Rove, then living in Salt Lake City, was to identify with Richard Nixon?s demonizing as unpatriotic those who opposed the Vietnam War. Nixon reached into his old bag of tricks to tarnish such anti-war activity activists as disloyal.
Rove led the march toward declaring as unpatriotic anyone opposing Bush on anything, even on tax cuts, following 9/11. ?We are at war!? was the unceasing mantra drummed into the public consciousness, especially at Fox News.
The idea was that we had to be vigilant in fighting foreign terrorism and that we were at war following 9/11. Hence there was to be no opposition to George W. Bush for any reason.
How interesting it was to hear Rove in an interview the other day respond to a question about his outing of Valerie Plame, a CIA anti-terrorist expert and weapons analyst. Plame was involved specifically in the very area that Bush and Rove proclaimed to be so vital.
What did Rove say when he was confronted? He responded that outing Plame was not all that important, in colloquial terms, not that big a deal.
Once more right wing hypocrisy was exposed in the case of one of the leading dirty tricksters and smear artists in American political history.
Good grief. Could it really be possible that we are already one-quarter of the way through 2010?!?
And, speaking of slicing the year into quarters, this also marks the end of the fundraising quarter for candidates seeking election in the 2010 electoral cycle. If you have the means and the motivation, it might be a swell idea to drop some change into your favorite candidate's cash box before midnight.
With that minor bit of pressure applied, on with the Wednesday edition of the Wrap....
KS-Sen: Moran Moving Out to Clear Lead in GOP Primary
SurveyUSA's semi-regular survey of the competitive Republican Senate primary in the Sunflower State came out a few days back, and found, for the first time, a decisive leader. West Kansas' Jerry Moran has forged a ten point lead over Wichita's Todd Tiahrt (42-32) in the battle to replace outgoing GOP Senator Sam Brownback (who is running for Governor). As always, SUSA did not poll a general election trial heat here. It is widely assumed, however, that either Tiahrt or Moran would be a decisive favorite.
MO-Sen: Blunt Leads Primary and General, But Warning Signs Abound
The good news for Republican Roy Blunt: a new PPP poll shows him with a thirty-point lead in the GOP primary and a four-point edge in the general election over Democrat Robin Carnahan. For Blunt, there are no shortage of cautionary notes in the poll, as well, however. For one thing, he is considerably less liked than Carnahan (though both have net negative favorability), which means if the statewide climate for Democrats improve even incrementally, he could be in trouble. Furthermore, he may get sweated in the primary, still. While he has a sizeable lead over little known state legislator Chuck Purgason, he only draws 48% of the vote against him.
NV-Sen: Tea Party In Cell Block T!
Oy. This could be a bit problematic for his political ambitions: apparently Tea Party nominee Scott Ashjian is about to face criminal charges related to passing bad checks for his business. According to local television sources, Ashjian lost his contractor's license last week, and an arrest warrant was pending. Ashjian was also in political trouble, as his candidacy was being questioned by another Independent candidate, who claimed that he was a registered Republican when he filed his candidacy as a Tea Party candidate.
OH-Sen: Undecided Vote Likely to Sway Democratic Primary
DemfromCT reported that either Democrat is competitive to pick up the U.S. Senate seat of outgoing GOP Senator George Voinovich. Quinnipiac, which did that general election poll, also surveyed the Democratic primary. Quinnipiac sees Democratic Lt. Governor Lee Fisher as a seven-point favorite over Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. Notable, however, is the fact that there is a massive pool of undecided voters (Fisher leads by just a 33-26 margin). This means, of course, that there is a wider-than-normal pool of persuadable voters for both campaigns to target between now and the primary in May. Early voting for the primary began in the state on Tuesday.
WI-Sen: Thompson Will Not Have Clear Field...IF He Runs
While official Republican-land might be clamoring for a Senate run by Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin (and our poll last week demonstrated why), we learned today that he will not have a clear field to the GOP nomination. Wealthy self-financer Terrence Wall confirmed today that he will stay in the fray even if Thompson gets off the fence (where has sat for months).
AL-05: Hits Just Keep on Coming For Newly GOP Parker Griffith
Apparently, time is not healing the wounds for Parker Griffith, the party switcher who defected from the Democratic Party in December and has received a less-than-warm welcome from the local GOP. Wayne Parker, who ran against Griffith in 2008 back in the old days when Griffith was a Democrat, elected to endorse challenger Mo Brooks rather than the new GOP incumbent in the race.
NV-03: New GOP Internal Poll Claims Freshman Dem in Deep Trouble
Looking at new numbers out of suburban southern Nevada, a cursory glance seems to indicate that freshman Democrat Dina Titus could be in real trouble. After all, a new internal poll for the campaign of GOP challenger Joe Heck shows him leading Titus by five points (40-35) in the wake of the health care reform vote. There are a couple of big caveats here, however, beyond the traditional caveats associated with an internal poll. For one thing, the poll measures the strength of an independent candidate. However, rather than picking the IAP or Libertarian candidates (who would be most likely to drain votes from Heck), they polled Barry Michaels, an Independent candidate who previously ran for Congress as a Democrat. Also, the poll was conducted amid a deluge of negative advertising directed at Titus trying to dissuade her from supporting the health care reform package.
PA-12: Is Burns Ignoring Primary Election In Favor of May Special?
One has to wonder if Tim Burns, the anointed nominee of the GOP in the forthcoming special election in John Murtha's old district (PA-12), is making a potentially exploitable error as he takes to the air. The first candidate to make a media buy, Burns notably avoided citing his party affiliation in his ad. His well-heeled primary opponent, 2008 nominee William Russell, is almost certain to make hay of that, as he had already been working hard to paint Burns as inauthentically Republican. In other PA-12 news, thought it comes as no surprise: the AFL-CIO threw their support to Democrat Mark Critz for both the Democratic primary election and the same-day special election.
WA-01: Even GOP Internal Poll Gives Inslee Solid Lead
This cannot necessarily be viewed as a sign of strength: GOP candidate James Watkins released an internal poll from Northwest GOP polling stalwarts Moore Information. The release did not show him leading longtime Democratic incumbent Jay Inslee. Indeed, it did not even show Watkins within single digits of Inslee. The poll, rather, showed Inslee with a 41-27 lead over Watkins. One must suppose that Team Watkins is trying to make hay of the fact that their candidate is holding Inslee below the 50% incumbent safety threshold. (hat tip: James L. at SSP)
RACE FOR THE HOUSE: Speaking Of SSP...
Our friends over at Swing State Project have released the inaugural edition of their Competitive House Race Ratings for 2010. As with almost all other prognostications, the ratings should offer a little bit of apprehension for Democrats, who hold the overwhelming majority of the Congressional seats that are endangered.
AL-Gov: Byrne, Davis Lead Primaries, Is Sparks More Electable Dem?
The crew over at PPP are among the first in the electoral cycle to explore the political climate in Alabama, in advance of a potentially interesting open-seat gubernatorial election there. The bottom line? If the primary favorites win out, a Republican hold looks to be the most likely outcome. In the primaries, Bradley Byrne edges Judge Roy Moore (27-23) on the Republican side, with the rest of the GOP field languishing at or below the 10% mark. Meanwhile, the two-man race on the Democratic side is closer than some might think, with Congressman Artur Davis leading state Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks by ten points (38-28, with a third candidate well back at 9%). Davis has a huge lead among African-Americans, but might have given an opening to Sparks with his vote against President Obama on health care. In the general election, it seems that Sparks is incrementally more electable than Davis. Either would be a considerable underdog against Byrne, however. The GOP frontrunner leads Sparks by thirteen points, and Davis by sixteen.
AL-Gov: In Other News, GOP Primary Reduced By One
With Bradley Byrne and "10 Commandments" Judge Roy Moore sucking up all of the oxygen on the GOP side of the Alabama Gubernatorial Primary, one of the candidates decided to headed for the exits today. Kay Ivey, the state treasurer who was best known perhaps for pouring a ton of cold water on Parker Griffith's party switch in December, decided today to move from the gubernatorial race to a bid for Lt. Governor.
FL-Gov: Could Gov's Race Become a Party For Three?
This is one of those campaign rumors that could inspire quite a discussion. Horse race fans, feel free to speculate on who would benefit the most from this: George Sheldon, a registered Democrat who was appointed by Charlie Crist to be the state secretary for Child Welfare, is considering entering the race as an Independent. He does seem to be trying to talk himself out of it (citing time and money constraints), but he did confirm that he is still considering making a bid.
TN-Gov: Candidate Withdrawal Seems To Cement Dem Nomination
It looks like the Democratic field is now cleared for businessman (and gubernatorial progeny) Mike McWherter, after state legislative leader Kim McMillan dropped her bid for Governor, preferring instead to run for Mayor of Clarksville. A Rasmussen poll last week gave the trio of Republican candidates a respectable lead over either McWherter or McMillan.
Rasmussen heads back to New York, and they concur that the GOP path to victory there is minimal (although, true to form, their vote totals for Democrat Andrew Cuomo are around a dozen points less than everyone else). They also look at the competitive primaries for Governor in Michigan, and go into Idaho, for reasons unknown.
ID-Sen: Sen. Michael Crapo (R) 60%, Generic Democrat 28%
MI-Gov (D): Andy Dillon 12%, Alma Wheeler Smith 10%, Virg Bernero 8%
MI-Gov (R): Rep. Pete Hoesktra 27%, Rick Snyder 18%, Mike Cox 13%, Mike Bouchard 6%
NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo (D) 52%, Rick Lazio (R) 29%
NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo (D) 51%, Carl Palladino (R) 28%
NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo (D) 50%, Steve Levy (R) 26%
When he is on, there is nobody funnier than Robin Williams. Jon Stewart loses it and almost falls[...]
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It's hard to imagine what someone has to do to be charged if this isn't enough. It was a very unpleasant scene and remember, people were protesting against the police violence in the Ian Tomlinson case. The protester who was struck was out of order but the police were definitely equally aggressive with the protesters. Again, the context included the death of someone by the police who made the mistake of simply walking through the area. Ian Tomlinson had nothing to do with the protests. If the police can behave in this way and get away with it, it's hard to have much trust in either them or the courts for that matter.
Open thread below.
Hat tips to John Cole at Balloon Juice and The Daily Kos (please fill out the form, people - we did)...
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...and there's probably a lot more that Keith could say in response to that teabaggin' idiot Marco Rubio in Florida, but this is good enough for now (you're a bit late with playing the whole right-wing "fear and smear" game, Rubio, by about 5-7 years I'd say - way to get your metaphorical clock cleaned in that recent debate by Charlie Crist, who, despite his issues, is a far better man)...
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Sean Hannity repeated his false claim that Al Sharpton acknowledged that health care reform was "socialism." In fact, in his comments on Fox News discussing passage of the legislation, Sharpton responded to, but did not endorse, Geraldo Rivera's statement that "some would argue" that health care reform is "socialism."
HANNITY: It's $170,000 per family. You've got to wonder, you know, how does America ever recover from that? There's some interesting things: Al Sharpton said this is socialism. We just heard Howard Dean. Joe Biden is out there saying, you know, look, if you want to call it redistribution, well, I call it being fair. And it sounds like that -- is it Marxism: to each according to his needs from each according to his ability? Is there a label: collectivism, statism, socialism? Do labels even matter? How do you describe it?
Hannity: Sharpton was "setting the record straight." Hannity previously claimed that Sharpton was "setting the record straight" during his interview with Rivera, adding, "I don't think socialism is what most Americans were expecting when they elected President Obama, but from the looks of things, that's exactly what we are getting."
Sharpton did not endorse Rivera's comment. During a March 21 Fox News appearance to discuss passage of the health care reform bill, Sharpton stated, "I think that this began the transforming of the country the way the president had promised. This is what he ran on." After Geraldo Rivera interjected, "Some would argue to socialism," Sharpton responded:
SHARPTON: Well, first of all, then we'd have to say that the American public overwhelmingly voted for socialism when they elected President Obama. Let's not act as though the president didn't tell the American people -- the president promised the American people health reform when he ran. He was overwhelmingly elected running on that, and he has delivered what he promised. I don't understand Republicans saying this is against the will of the American people. They voted for President Obama, who said this was going to be one of the first things he would do, and he's done the first hurdle of that tonight. So I think the American people was heard loud and clear. This was not some concept the president introduced after he won. He ran on this, and the American people won tonight. Because they got finally something from a president they voted for who said he was going to do exactly this.
A startling revelation from that World-Renowned scholar, J. Goldberg, Pt.Ld.This combination of state power and murderous, genocidal intent is nowhere on display in America today, not in the Obama administration (contrary to what some overheated[...]
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President Obama in January (2010):"I'd rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president," he told ABC's "World News" anchor Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview today. He isn't the only person talking about him being a[...]
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As Barb at DKos reports, it's not working.