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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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.
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?"
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.
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.
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.
The ubiquitous opiner Justice Antonin Scalia now insults Hispanics and blacks,
as he recently insulted gays while voting rights and gay rights are
pending before the court. Then the ubiquitous Dick Morris, sounding like
Fredo Corleone, offers a plan to "take down" President Obama. Has
Morris read the Ryan budget? Meanwhile the ubiquitous Grover Norquist
appears to call Ronald Reagan a "rat head in a coke bottle" because
Reagan raised taxes, while the ubiquitous Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), in
his campaign to fully destroy the GOP brand, insults Sen. Dianne
Feinstein (D-Calif.) with constitutionally ignorant and personally
condescending comments about guns.
Regarding the conservative crack-up, can you believe that CPAC honors the ubiquitous birther Donald Trump and insults the most popular national Republican, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie? The CPAC convention shows just how far conservatives remain from the American mainstream. CPAC even gives a bad name to ubiquity, seeming to offer a greatest-hits album that recycles those Republicans most responsible for recent victories of Democrats.
The Ryan budget shows just how little Republicans have learned from losing so many elections.
Why does Mitt Romney appear tonight at CPAC? To carve a future
(monarchist) dynastic path to politics like Bush and Kennedy; a final
investment for his children, his friends and his aunties here in the
11th hour? Possibly because he can’t let go of the conviction that he is
not one of them, when he is not, and sadly, has never been. He has an
unearthly, spooky quality, says Noreen, my dental hygienist, among the
staunchest conservatives in New Hampshire. He lives here in New
Hampshire, kind of, but is among us and not of us. He governed
Massachusetts and was not one of them, while Gov. Bill Weld, New Yorker
Brahmin, fit in easily. He has tried to be so many things to so many
people — a Mormon pioneer and a westerner, a Midwestern industrialist
native son, a New England liberal — and has worn so many masks, that he
can no longer find his face. And now he is in a panic.
To merely surmise, he feels he can in his “rite of exit” from the political world prop up the Marco Rubio contention, for Rubio is now and always has been and wanted to be the Dan Quayle of our age. He is the immaculate manifestation of the imagining of a passing, geriatric generation which meets in their own reclusive revivalist tent. And there the “stale and moss-covered” visualize themselves again as young: Suppose we were not 66 now with bad knees and expanded prostates, but young, and Cuban too? And tragically for America, Bush the Second, venerable now and a storied painter of dogs, was one as well.
Heaven help us! Donald Trump has just confirmed that he will join a distinguished group of deep thinkers at the Conservative Political Action Conference next week.
We can’t wait — maybe he will re-ask for the President Obama's birth certificate, or how about demanding his grades from primary school? Or, better yet, maybe Trump will conduct a seminar on how to avoid paying your taxes and enjoy flying around in taxpayer-sponsored corporate jets?
While some focus on the freak show aspects of the coming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) meeting — does anyone really care what Sarah Palin will say, and is anyone except joyous Democrats and suicidal Republicans not yet bored by what Ted Cruz says? — the real show will lie in the Bush v. Rubio battle over immigration. Former Florida Republican Gov. Jeb Bush, who is likely running for president, has fired an anti-immigration shot over the bow of current Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who is likely running for president, by opposing a path to citizenship on immigration. Democrats are joyous.