In an interview with Jorge Ramos of Fusion TV, former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist explained that he left the Republican Party because the racism toward President Obama was “intolerable.”
Huffington Post reported that the now-Democratic candidate for governor said, “I just couldn’t take it anymore” in the GOP.
“I saw what was happening with the Republican Party,” said Crist. “They’re perceived now as being anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-minority, anti-gay, anti-education, anti-environment. I just wasn’t comfortable.”
Ramos countered that Crist only left the Republican Party when it became clear that he was going to lose the race for U.S. Senate to now-Sen. Marco Rubio (R), which Crist denied.
“No, I left the Republican Party because the Republican leadership went off the cliff,” countered Crist.
He went on to say that he couldn’t stay with a party that was “so unfriendly to the African-American president. I’ll just go there.”
“Because I was a Republican, I saw the activists and what they were doing,” said Crist, “and it was intolerable to me…and I saw how the party — some of them — were treating the African-American president and I couldn’t take it anymore. That’s a big part of why I left the party.”
Watch video about this story, embedded below via Fusion TV:
Disgraced conservative columnist John Derbyshire is urging the Republican Party to abandon its meager efforts to court voters who aren’t racist white men.
Derbyshire, who lost his job with the National Review after publishing a “nasty and indefensible” 2012 column about his racial prejudices, told Communities Digital News on Friday that the GOP would never attract enough black and women voters to be worth the effort.
“The future of the conservative movement is as a home for white ethnocentrism,” said Derbyshire, who now writes for the white nationalist site VDARE.
He said “conservatives are the only people in the U.S.A. trying to ‘transcend contentious racial issues,’” but agreed with his “friend” — white nationalist Jared Taylor – that white people should stop trying to get along with black people.
“Whites may as well start asserting themselves and join in fighting for the spoils,” Derbyshire said. “If that’s right, ‘colorblind conservatism’ is a dead end, and the future of the conservative movement is as a home for white ethnocentrism.”
He also suggested that Republicans should also give up on trying to appeal to women and become more bellicose.
“Women are just like that,” Derbyshire said. “One thing we might try would be putting some alpha males up front, instead of mealy-mouthed cringing betas.”
A Tennessee congressman feels confident that Republicans can pick up six seats in the U.S. Senate, if only candidates would stop talking until the November election.
“I would suggest when we nominate people we give them a roll of duct tape to put over their mouths so they don’t say stupid things, and maybe we can win an election,” said Rep. Ted Poe (R-TN) during an event Monday at the Heritage Foundation.
The lawmaker said Republicans should have taken the Senate in prior election cycles, but party officials failed to back candidates in spite of their views and votes, reported Mediaite.
“We’ve got some really good candidates, and it starts with that, and then we’ve got to go out and get behind our candidates and not pick every little thing – they didn’t vote for the farm bill, they did vote for this or that,” Poe said.
He cited Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who has claimed that women are to blame for divorce, and Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), who called health care law’s birth control mandate an assault on religious freedom, as some of the GOP’s best candidates.
“Let’s get on our team instead of handing the ball off – I’m the quarterback, hand the ball off to my halfback and then I tackle him,” Poe said. “Let’s quit doing that. Let’s get behind our guys.”
The U.S. Attorney for New Jersey has issued a subpoena for documents to both the Christie for Governor reelection campaign and the New Jersey Republican State Committee, an attorney for both organizations confirmed today. According to attorney Mark…
[Image via Agence France-Presse]
Republican strategists are attempting to warn the party that they have seen the biggest threat facing the GOP in the 2014 midterm elections and that it is themselves. Talking Points Memo reported on a blog post at The Hill that said the party’s tactical gurus are urging conservatives not to play their usual hostage game with the debt ceiling when it comes up for renewal for fear of a public backlash.
“What Republicans have to realize [is] the political winds are in our direction. We can’t risk changing the winds at this stage,” said GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak to The Hill. “You can shut down the Obama agenda completely if you have the Senate.”
Conservatives believe that the GOP can hold on to a majority in the House of Representatives and retake the Senate for the first time since 2006 by playing up the initial difficulties of the Obamacare rollout. However, if the disastrous government shutdown in the fall of 2013 — spearheaded by freshman Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) and other far-right Tea Party politicians — is any indication, the Republicans could squander whatever good will they may have gained with the public by attempting another such political stunt.
“When Republicans screw with the debt ceiling and threaten a government shutdown, their unfavorable ratings go up. When they talk about Obamacare, Democrats’ unfavorables go up,” said longtime GOP strategist Mark McKinnon.
“The only way you lose the House is if Dems intercept a Hail Mary pass on the debt ceiling,” an anonymous GOP planner said to The Hill. “If you lose the House, you open the door to everything.”
Nonetheless, Republican politicians appear to be gearing up for another fight when the debt ceiling comes up for renewal in February or March.
Tom Kludt at TPM wrote, “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) already foreshadowed a coming debt ceiling fight last month, and The Hill noted that fiery tea partiers like Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) “are sounding as combative as ever.”
The GOP is taking great pains to prove to the wimmins of America that, despite their fumbling attempts to transvaginal wand-love the gals for their own good, they are super cool with other things that the ladies want as long as it doesn’t have anything to do with equal pay (including for their own), or talking about their vaginas, or destroying the First Amendment with those aforementioned vaginas. Which leaves the GOP with only
forcing approving of women having lots more babies who might grow up to be another Louie Gohmert, not holding down jobs to ensure that their kids don’t become manic bomb-building pixiechildren, and probably taking time out to watch a Lifetime movie or two during the week as long as it doesn’t disrupt sammich making.
So this week the GOP is sending everyone to Camp Justwannacuddle to demystify the baffling ways of these mysterious kitchen-dwelling creatures so that they don’t startle and scare them away when attempting to woo them for their valuable votes and trust and also probably their boobs.
The National Republican Congressional Committee wants to make sure there are no Todd Akin-style gaffes next year, so it’s meeting with top aides of sitting Republicans to teach them what to say — or not to say — on the trail, especially when their boss is running against a woman.
Speaker John Boehner is serious, too. His own top aides met recently with Republican staff to discuss how lawmakers should talk to female constituents.
“Let me put it this way, some of these guys have a lot to learn,” said a Republican staffer who attended the session in Boehner’s office
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare…If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Freshman Rep. Roger Rivard (R-Rice Lake) in December discussed a case with the Chetek Alert newspaper in which a 17-year-old high school senior was charged with sexual assault for having sex with an underage girl in the school’s band room.
The newspaper quoted him as saying his father warned him, “Some girls rape easy” – meaning that after the fact they can change what they say about whether sex was consensual.
Seriously, you guys, just don’t.
Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock became the latest Republican to stir up controversy – and potential trouble for the Romney campaign – when he said during a debate that “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen.”
Not at all.
GOP Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum caused quite a stir on CNN last Friday night when he basically said rape victims should accept their babies as gifts from God.
In an interview with Piers Morgan, the most socially conservative candidate in the GOP field continued to stand steadfast in his opposition to abortion, even in cases where rape is involved.
Morgan pressed Santorum on the issue and asked how the right-wing candidate would feel if his daughter came to him begging for an abortion after being raped. Santorum said, “I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you.” He added that rape victims ought to “make the best of a bad situation.”
A series of recent polls show a continued double-digit lead for Democratic candidates among women, with the margin soaring to much higher levels among single female voters. The GOP — which lost female voters by large margins in every competitive Senate race in the 2012 election — also saw a 10-point increase in its unfavorability rating to among women to 63 percent, according to an October ABC/Washington Post poll.
Michigan lawmakers are considering a measure that would require women to purchase a separate insurance rider for abortion, even if she became pregnant as a result of rape or incest. Democratic lawmakers blasted the proposal this week because it would force women to anticipate being raped, ThinkProgress reported.
“Forcing women to decide whether they want to buy ‘rape insurance’ and even compelling parents to make the unfathomable decision about whether to buy it for their daughters is truly despicable,” State Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D) said Monday. “Requiring Michigan women to plan ahead for an unplanned pregnancy is not only illogical, it’s one of the most misogynistic proposals I have ever seen in the Michigan Legislature.”
Michigan lawmakers passed the same bill last year, but Governor Rick Snyder (R) vetoed it, saying he does not “believe it is appropriate to tell a woman who becomes pregnant due to a rape that she needed to select elective insurance coverage.”
But anti-abortion activists were able to collect enough signatures on a petition this year to force a vote on the measure again. If the Republican-controlled legislature approves it, it will automatically become law, even if Snyder does not sign it. If lawmakers do not pass it, citizens will consider it as a ballot measure in 2014.
What can I say? The boys just can’t help it. It must be the hormones.
After the ENDA vote and Tuesday’s election, it’s clear conservatives must face the inevitable and support equality
The passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (Enda) in the US Senate yesterday, with the votes of 10 Republican senators, is not the decisive victory civil rights activists might hope for – the bill still faces a hard slog through the House. More practically, as Senator Elizabeth Warren (Democrat from Massachusetts) pointed out in a typically emphatic floor speech, this single political success does nothing for the thousands of homosexual and transgendered Americans who face employment discrimination today (surveys show that between 15% and 43% of the LGBT community experience some form).
But especially considering the voting records and public statements of those 10 GOP senators – most of them had explicitly opposed ENDA at some point – it’s impossible not to see the ENDA vote as a watershed moment. Taken with Tuesday’s election results, it points to another near-abandoned front of the once-lively culture war. Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, a surprise last-minute supporter of the bill, made news last spring when he admitted that it was probably “inevitable” that a GOP candidate will support same-sex marriage. And, he generously allowed, “I think he’ll receive Republican support.”
At the time – just six months ago – that seemed like an acknowledgment that the GOP base would grudgingly accept an outlier (“I think he’ll receive Republican support”). The political atmosphere has begun to turn inside out; very soon, it will not be question of whether a GOP candidate could be a serious presidential contender and still support marriage equality, but whether a GOP candidate can be a serious presidential contender and not support marriage equality.
I take Senator Warren’s reminder about the lived realities of LGBT individuals very seriously. Many thousands of them do not live with the openness and freedom that straight people take for granted. What’s more, convincing Republican politicians to ban employment discrimination has proven to be something of an easier sell than marriage equality. Of the “ENDA 10″, only Mark Kirk, Rob Portman and Lisa Murkowski have taken a stand on the side of human decency. But advocating against the basic rights of LGBT Americans is becoming a political liability and not a strength. And, actually, ENDA yes voter John McCain (who, along with yes vote Orrin Hatch, voted against the law in 1996) recently became a vocal proponent for LGBT rights internationally. In his strident op-ed response to Vladimir Putin, he criticized the Russian leader and his allies for “writ[ing] laws to codify bigotry against people whose sexual orientation they condemn”.
Some of the movement toward gay rights on the right is admittedly of the “less bad” variety. Chris Christie’s victory in New Jersey came even as some conservatives howled over his decision to drop a court contest over a judge’s decision to allow same-sex marriage. A poll just this week in South Carolina showed that opposition to government recognition of same-sex marriage has dropped 26 points since the state passed a law against such unions in 2006 and 17 points since 2011. The law passed with 78% of the vote in 2006; in 2011 69% continued to agree with the position. Today, a bare majority, just 52%, agree … and, again, this is South Carolina, a state that Mitt Romney won by 10 pts.
Pollsters have found that support for gay marriage trends alongside the number of respondents who say they know a gay person. Support for gay rights among politicians has contained some parallel growth, most dramatically with Rob Portman’s decision to support marriage equality after his son came out as gay. (Murkowski also cited personal interactions with gay couples as a reason for her evolution on the issue.) Such one-to-one experiences are how social norms change at a fundamental level, but that kind of change takes time. If it were the only thing driving the GOP’s shift, I’d be less optimistic than I am; the reason I think the timeline is far more accelerated than even movement in polls suggest is less about personal evolution than personal greed: politicians will adapt positions to conform to what donors want and more and more donors want conservatives candidates to endorse civil rights for gay people.
2012 saw the beginning of this. Last month, Republican “mega donor” Paul Singer poured millions into an advocacy group that’s actually the second he’s seeded to push the GOP toward the middle (over the last decade he’s given $17m to the cause). Singer himself, whose son is gay, sees opposition to LGBT discrimination as a step toward full equality, including recognition of same-sex marriage. He also sees this position as fundamentally conservative, and, ironically, the language he uses in support of gay rights echoes that of unreconstructed culture warrior Ted Cruz’s against the Affordable Care Act. He warns that a crack down on gay rights would come if “America engages in a terrible, terrible retreat from freedom, towards fascism, communism, whatever,” Singer has said, “some totalitarian harsh state.”
Opposition to ACA is actually an instructive point for Republicans resisting the momentum of gay rights. In Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli suffered for his association with backwards attitudes toward reproductive rights and personal privacy. That he appears to have profited from his early and vocal zeal to repeal Obamacare – or, at the very least, that this was less of a disastrous position for him than his anti-gay views – has rallied the right on that issue. Perhaps just as important, conservatives seem tickled that the tide of popular culture finally seems to be channeled into their side.
Personally, I believe the ACA will wind up working, and that history will validate it as an improvement over the tragic state of healthcare coverage prior to its passage. But as someone who believes in the value of a robust two-party system, I hope that the positive feedback loop that’s heartened conservatives means a return to economic conservatism as its defining principle. I mean, I still think a lot of those conservative policies won’t work, but to leave behind the ugliness and personal indignities of legislated inequality would mean immeasurable progress.
We’re one of the few stable democracies in the world where the dominant conservative cohort rejects social moderates out of hand. Put another way, what do you call a fiscal conservative who wants to dismantle government involvement in national healthcare but who stays out of the gay marriage debate, the pro-life debate and rejects attempts to relax gun laws? The Prime Minister of Canada.
Canadian politics, at the moment, doesn’t seem like the place to be picking role models. But one can hope for a future in which the response to an anti-equality Republican running for president elicits the response a Canadian might have: “What, are you on crack?”
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2013
[Happy Gay Couple Getting Married On The Playground Of A Park via Shutterstock]
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) said Tuesday that House Republicans should have a single goal: Help the GOP take back the Senate.
“Everything we do in this body should be about messaging to win back the Senate,” Sessions, the former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee and current chairman of the House Rules Committee, told Roll Call.
“That’s it. If you don’t want Benghazis to happen or you want an investigation for Benghazi, if you want an investigation on the IRS as opposed to the excuses that [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid is all about, if you do not like what’s happening at the [National Security Agency], then you gain the Senate.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says it will be more engaged in next year’s midterm elections to help elect Republicans who understand business.
After watching House Republicans and their tea party-backed allies in Senate bring the nation to the brink of default in their quixotic effort to derail the Affordable Care Act, the business group said Friday it has no other choice than to get serious.
“The need is now more than ever to elect people who understand the free market and not silliness,” said Scott Reed, senior political strategist for the chamber.
That would set up a showdown between big business-backed GOP candidates and those favored by the ideologically driven wing, and one activist suggested Friday that Republican losses in 2016 could split the party into hostile conservative and moderate factions.
At least seven Republican senators, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, will face primary challenges next year.
The GOP needs to pick up six seats to regain control of the 100-member chamber they lost in 2006, and the party also hopes to protect its 32-seat majority in the U.S. House.
The Republican brand took a major hit during the 16-day government shutdown engineered by tea party-backed lawmakers, with GOP favorability ratings hitting record lows earlier this month, dropping 10 percentage points from September.
Another poll showed that 49 percent of U.S. adults view the tea party movement unfavorably, compared to 30 percent who do view it favorably.
“I would do anything, and I will continue to do anything I can, to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare,” said Sen. Ted Cruz.
Watch video, courtesy of Bloomberg News, below: