National Party News

National Party News

Boehner and the squeeze play

The pundits have, as usual, been stating the obvious: The pressure on Speaker Boehner mounts as the likelihood of the Senate passing legislation on immigration, guns, and even budgets, increases.

In response to questions about whether he would invoke the so-called "Hastert Rule" — that you need a majority of your caucus before you even bring up legislation — he shot back, “it was never a rule to begin with.” Then, he used the qualifier that it was important to pass bills with “strong Republican support.”

Speaker Boehner gets it.

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GOP Cruzin' to a bruisin' with gun background check filibuster

If Senate Republicans succeed in their filibuster against gun background checks — which are supported by 90 percent of voters and would prevent those on terror watch lists from getting guns to mass murder our children — it will be one more dagger in the heart of the discredited Republican brand that may well bring a rule change in the Senate that is long overdue.

The great curse of Republican politics, and the great reason that Democrats have won so many national elections in the last decade, is that GOP politics is now an arms race among extremists who drive each other and drive the GOP further outside mainstream America.

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Hillary Surges, Reince Priebus escalates GOP war on women, Americans demand jobs

Hillary Clinton has taken a commanding position in national politics, and as I wrote in my latest column, it would be spectacular if Bill and Hillary Clinton would work with the Clinton Global Initiative to devise major new jobs proposals.

Meanwhile, both parties should be embarrassed by the latest depressing jobs report. And Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus escalated the GOP war against women with his intellectually dishonest but highly revealing cheap-shot against Planned Parenthood that misrepresented the group's position on abortion.

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Ben Carson and the wealthy conservative victim class

When I heard Dr. Ben Carson, the latest rightist flavor of the minute (rightist flavors come and go in minutes these days) whine about the supposedly evil, vicious, white, liberal racists who are picking on poor Dr. Carson, I immediately thought that with Leno and Fallon competing to host NBC's "The Tonight Show," perhaps Carson was throwing his beret into the ring.

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Rubio continues panderfest; Boehner claims ownership of the sequester

It was a big week for Republicans. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), dubbed by some the "savior" of the GOP, continued his policy of pandering by joining the ubiquitous Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and the ubiquitous Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in their latest filibuster, aimed at allowing the next mass murderer to escape background checks before killing more kids.

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Elizabeth Warren v. Rand Paul: Why Obama should avoid Nantucket

As The Hill’s long-time commentator John Feehery adroitly suggests in his column this week, “Populism run amok,” it is not only the young 'uns at CPAC that are going all Jacksonian — Sarah Palin, Rand Paul and others — but also the new Massachusetts senator, Democrat Elizabeth Warren. Exactly so. And in so many ways; she is an Okie grandmother who knows how to bake a cake and loves Tom Brady. She is as country as is Sarah Palin, and I am sure she knows herself to be the anti-Palin. And it was the Democrats, with recent Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, who first opened to door to Andrew Jackson.

Recall that Andrew Jackson’s rant against the Boston and Virginian snobs was a complete success, and that when the opposition came to fight back, they had to go country as well. The Democrats have already done so with Warren. And that is why President Obama should not bask at Nantucket this year.

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Rove, RNC and GOP bigwigs rig the rules against the right

For insider Republican bigwigs, 2013 is the year of the double deal. They pay homage to CPAC while they write rules for the 2016 presidential campaign designed to fix the game against conservatives whose issues they claim to champion. The new "blueprint" from the Republican National Committee should be read with a calculator, an abacus and a copy of Machiavelli's The Prince to understand that the real blueprint is to freeze out insurgent conservatives (does Rand Paul ring a bell?) and lock in establishment Republicans (does Bush 45 ring a bell?) at the presidential campaign level. Will we soon read a headline on Drudge revealing "GOP insider fix exposed?"

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Juan Williams is wrong, thrice

Juan Williams gets three things wrong in his latest column: the kind of things that irritate those of us Democrats who are not fans of certain other Democrats who mischaracterize our positions.

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CPAC 2013: Sarah Palin’s 'Big Gulp' moment

History can flip on a dime, and in the mists of time a symbol will emerge to memorialize the significant beginning: Washington chops down the cheery tree when we are ready for freedom. The Liberty Bell cracks to warn us to proceed with caution. We face great change in our time, and the symbol time may recall to mark it could well be the 7-Eleven “Big Gulp” container Sarah Palin brought to CPAC 2013. It was a great moment and a hilarious shtick, and Grizzly Mama is a natural comic. But it marked a definitive change in temperament, a change we have been seeing since Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul challenged the federal government’s use of drones to take American lives.


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Will anyone tell CPAC the truth?

Now that the old-line leaders of the Conservative Political Action Conference have excluded Chris Christie and any groups supporting gay and lesbian rights, is there anyone left to speak “truth to so-called power?”

Will anyone stand up this weekend and invoke Ronald Reagan, not as an ideologue, but as a pragmatist?  Will anyone talk about the accomplishments of other Republican presidents from Eisenhower on?  Will anyone mention past Republican platforms or candidates that supported equal rights for women, a strong civil rights plank, environmental protection, taking on poverty and hunger and homelessness?  

I doubt it.

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