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Old August 5th, 2017, 05:15 AM   #1
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The GOP Has Become the Party of the Grotesque


Southern Gothic is a literary genre and, occasionally, a political style that, like the genre, blends strangeness and irony. Consider the current primary campaign to pick the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. It illuminates, however, not a regional peculiarity but a national perversity, that of the Republican Party.

In 1986, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III — the name belongs in a steamy bodice-ripper, beach-read novel about Confederate cavalry — was nominated for a federal judgeship. Democrats blocked him because they considered him racially “insensitive.” In 1996, he got even by getting elected to the Senate. Twenty years later, he was the first senator to endorse Donald Trump, who carried Alabama by 27.7 points. Sessions, the most beloved Alabaman who is not a football coach, became attorney general for Trump, who soon began denouncing Sessions as “beleaguered,” which Sessions was because Trump was ridiculing him as “weak” because he followed Justice Department policy in recusing himself from the investigation of Russian involvement in Trump’s election.

On Aug. 15, Alabama’s bewildered and conflicted Republicans will begin picking a Senate nominee. (If no one achieves 50 percent, there will be a Sept. 26 runoff between the top two.) Of the nine candidates, only three matter — Luther Strange, Roy Moore and Rep. Mo Brooks.

Strange was Alabama’s attorney general until he was appointed by then-Gov. Robert Bentley to Sessions’s seat. Bentley subsequently resigned in the wake of several scandals that Strange’s office was investigating — or so Strange’s successor as attorney general suggests — when Bentley appointed him. The state Ethics Commission, which had scheduled an Aug. 2 hearing into charges of campaign finance violations by Strange, recently postponed the hearing until Aug. 16, the day after the first round of voting.

Twice Moore has been removed as chief justice of the state Supreme Court. In 2003, removal was for defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court regarding religious displays in government buildings. Reelected, he was suspended last year for defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision regarding same-sex marriages.

Yet Brooks is the focus of ferocious attacks on behalf of Strange, who ignores Moore. The attacks are financed by a Washington-based political action committee aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). This Washington Republican establishment strenuously tried but fortunately failed to defeat now-Sens. Marco Rubio and Ben Sasse, of Florida and Nebraska, respectively, in their 2010 and 2014 primaries. (The Rubio opponent the PAC favored is now a Democratic congressman.) The attacks stress some anti-Trump statements Brooks made while chairman of Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign in Alabama. For example, Brooks criticized Trump’s “serial adultery,” about which Trump has boasted. The PAC identifies Brooks, a conservative stalwart of the House Freedom Caucus, as an ally of Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren. Another ad uses Brooks’s support for Congress replacing the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force with an updated one, and his opposition to interventions in Libya and Syria, to suggest that Brooks supports the Islamic State.

Brooks contributed financially to Trump’s general-election effort and has named his campaign bus the “Drain the Swamp Express.” He says he supports Trump’s “agenda,” including potentially its most consequential item — ending Senate filibuster rules that enable 41 senators to stymie 59. Strange sides with McConnell against Trump in supporting current rules. Yet the PAC’s theme is that Brooks’s support of Trump is insufficiently ardent. Such ardor is becoming the party’s sovereign litmus test.

In one recent poll, the three candidates are polling in the 20s. Moore is leading; the PAC’s attacks are driving some Brooks voters to Moore. Among voters who say they are familiar with all three, Strange is third. A runoff seems certain, and if Moore (sometimes called “the Ayatollah of Alabama”) is in it and wins, a Democrat could win the Dec. 12 general election.

“Anything that comes out of the South,” said writer Flannery O’Connor, a sometime exemplar of Southern Gothic, “is going to be called grotesque by the Northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic.” But, realistically, Alabama’s primary says more about Republicans than about this region. A Michigan poll shows rocker-cum-rapper Kid Rock a strong potential Republican Senate candidate against incumbent Debbie Stabenow. Rock says Democrats are “shattin’ in their pantaloons” because if he runs it will be “game on mthrfkers.”

Is this Northern Gothic? No, it is Republican Gothic, the grotesque becoming normal in a national party whose dishonest and, one hopes, futile assault on Brooks is shredding the remnants of its dignity.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...inionsA&wpmm=1
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Old August 5th, 2017, 05:56 AM   #2
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One of Trump's favorite lines is "Drain the swamp". Maybe a more appropriate slogan would be "Clean the gutters" or "Flush the toilet"....because that's a perfect description of where the GOP stands at this point in political history.
The Grand Old Party, represented by Abraham Lincoln, Dwight David Eisenhower, George Herbert Walker Bush and now a serial adulterer celebrity and possibly … Kid Rock? A guy who is performing songs too dirty to be broadcast over the airwaves, making sex tapes, getting involved with the law over brawls and alcohol-related incidents.

But why not? Republicans around this country have shrugged their shoulders and supported one of the most unethical, morally reprehensible men on the planet. Every time a GOP lawmaker ignores Trump's tweets or decries the Russia probe or makes excuses for the president's childish behavior they are reinforcing the decline of this nation, all the while cheering "Make America Great Again". HOW?
We can't be great again with this kind of leadership. We can't lead or command or direct or administer or show superiority---in any way. This nation is flying on auto-pilot. There is no one minding the store. Elvis has left the building...and the worst part is, the Republican Party doesn't seem to even notice OR CARE.
Maybe grotesque IS the right word for our current politics...but whatever the word....this country is plummeting. We are in a downward spiral.
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Old August 5th, 2017, 08:26 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Clara007 View Post
One of Trump's favorite lines is "Drain the swamp". Maybe a more appropriate slogan would be "Clean the gutters" or "Flush the toilet"....because that's a perfect description of where the GOP stands at this point in political history.
The Grand Old Party, represented by Abraham Lincoln, Dwight David Eisenhower, George Herbert Walker Bush and now a serial adulterer celebrity and possibly Kid Rock? A guy who is performing songs too dirty to be broadcast over the airwaves, making sex tapes, getting involved with the law over brawls and alcohol-related incidents.

But why not? Republicans around this country have shrugged their shoulders and supported one of the most unethical, morally reprehensible men on the planet. Every time a GOP lawmaker ignores Trump's tweets or decries the Russia probe or makes excuses for the president's childish behavior they are reinforcing the decline of this nation, all the while cheering "Make America Great Again". HOW?
We can't be great again with this kind of leadership. We can't lead or command or direct or administer or show superiority---in any way. This nation is flying on auto-pilot. There is no one minding the store. Elvis has left the building...and the worst part is, the Republican Party doesn't seem to even notice OR CARE.
Maybe grotesque IS the right word for our current politics...but whatever the word....this country is plummeting. We are in a downward spiral.
Jobs-up, stock market-up, GDP-up, illegal alien invasion-down. Your idea of a downward spiral is more than a bit puzzling. All of this without the help of the obstructionist Democratic Party.
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Old August 5th, 2017, 09:27 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by caconservative View Post
Jobs-up, stock market-up, GDP-up, illegal alien invasion-down. Your idea of a downward spiral is more than a bit puzzling. All of this without the help of the obstructionist Democratic Party.
The DJIA, and most other economic indicators, have been going up steadily for the past 8 years. NOW you people suddenly notice that?
WTF?
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Old August 5th, 2017, 10:47 AM   #5
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Don't point out facts to them - for the trumpeteers that's an alternate reality
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Old August 5th, 2017, 10:53 AM   #6
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Grotesque coming from Tris. Oh, the irony!
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Old August 5th, 2017, 10:55 AM   #7
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Grotesque coming from Tris. Oh, the irony!
So you don't know what grotesque means either.
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Old August 5th, 2017, 12:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by caconservative View Post
Jobs-up, stock market-up, GDP-up, illegal alien invasion-down. Your idea of a downward spiral is more than a bit puzzling. All of this without the help of the obstructionist Democratic Party.


Here. Let me help you.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...rump.html?_r=0
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Old August 5th, 2017, 12:52 PM   #9
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The DJIA, and most other economic indicators, have been going up steadily for the past 8 years. NOW you people suddenly notice that?
WTF?
So let me see. In Sept of 2007 the stock market was at 14,000. By January of 2009 it was at 7000 and still falling. But that was NOT Bush's fault you said !!!!!


I had a 401 that i had left in place since mew new contract house didn't yet offer a 401 to roll it into. Luckily, since I was seriously wrapped up in both work and personal crap, my previous employer changed brokerages and cash out the stocks in my old 401. I say luckily because I hadn't been watching the market and did realize just how far it had fallen. By the time they cashed me out I had lost about 30% of the 401 value. However I didn't panic. I got some good advice and simply waited. In March of 2009 I rolled the cash into a new IRA and bought back into the market. By the time Trump was sworn into office my holdings were almost FOUR TIMES their value with NO additional investment by me. The market had risen more almost 14,000 points. But that had NOTING to do with Obama.

But now that the market has risen another couple of thousand points and it's ALL BECAUSE OF TRUMP ??????

Jesus you people are laughable.
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Old August 6th, 2017, 06:09 AM   #10
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So let me see. In Sept of 2007 the stock market was at 14,000. By January of 2009 it was at 7000 and still falling. But that was NOT Bush's fault you said !!!!!


I had a 401 that i had left in place since mew new contract house didn't yet offer a 401 to roll it into. Luckily, since I was seriously wrapped up in both work and personal crap, my previous employer changed brokerages and cash out the stocks in my old 401. I say luckily because I hadn't been watching the market and did realize just how far it had fallen. By the time they cashed me out I had lost about 30% of the 401 value. However I didn't panic. I got some good advice and simply waited. In March of 2009 I rolled the cash into a new IRA and bought back into the market. By the time Trump was sworn into office my holdings were almost FOUR TIMES their value with NO additional investment by me. The market had risen more almost 14,000 points. But that had NOTING to do with Obama.

But now that the market has risen another couple of thousand points and it's ALL BECAUSE OF TRUMP ??????

Jesus you people are laughable.

The cult will go to great lengths to protect and praise their leader. It must really gall them to think that Barack Obama brought this nation back from the brink--in fact, they would never think it or admit it.

Facts? Absurd. Stats? Never mind those.
Dates/times/places/quotes? Forget 'em.

In their small minds, Trump--in six months--has turned this nation around.

Yes, they are laughable but mostly pathetic.
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