Quick Hits for August 9, 2009
* Today's shock of shocks was to see Ann Coulter's editorial calling "birthers" conspiracy nuts. Sure, she went on to call something like all Democrats conspiracy nuts even worse than birthers, but she admitted both that President Obama is a citizen and the birthers are conspiracy nuts. Given that I think Ann Coulter has about as little credibility as anyone in the nation and she will say just about anything for partisan propaganda, it is a pretty big leap for her to actually say it. I also caught Michael Medved's radio show saying the same on conspiracy friday. Good to see that they are starting to see the nuttiness of it.
* While I have heard Republican after Republican say they have a health care answer, I have yet to actually hear what it is. Is there any wonder Americans perceive them as the party of "no" and the Democrats as the party of ideas at this point? Heck, Gallop even did a poll and for the first time in a very long time, TEXAS has more people identifying as Democrats than Republicans. There are still a lot of "independents" who will vote Republican, so don't think the state has turned, but it says something about the branding going on.
* The whole townhall disruption strategy of the GOP will backfire in one way or another. Either, it will create an eruption of violence in a clash which will turn ugly; or they will be viewed as the party of the uncivilized savages, who need someone to moderate them, losing the middle for the 30% of the right that still approved of GW when he left office. Either way, the strategy doesn't turn out well for the GOP.
* The GOP hasn't figured out the politics of distortion will fail them. This "list" of health care bill problems is a sham that is being exposed as just that. My Republican friends who started to talk that smack early on are now hiding, realizing it was all a lie. There are no "suicide boards" in the bill and if you think there are, I have a bridge to sell you. If you can't debate a bill on its merits or lack thereof without such grand distortions, then in time you will lose the debate. It is why GW had no credibility at the end and why the moderates continue to gradually lose faith in the GOP: they can't tell the truth. Heck, they are worse than Bill Clinton answering an intern question.
* I just don't get the GOP strategy on Sotomayor. It made no sense to go after her "identity" if you were going to oppose her. This going after her "story" and "latina" statements was silly and bad politics. It is one thing to say "activist judge" and go after her decisions, heck, what judge doesn't have a decision or two after enough years to go after; but it made no sense to go after her heritage and identity as a latina given the growing influence of hispanics and especially hispanic women in the nation today. Who is mapping these strategies? A blind man throwing darts?
* If you haven't seen the "48 things to know about Obama's health care plan" email going around, you should. It is pretty damn funny and shows just how badly the right will distort the health care debate. Apparently, they believe ACORN is now going to become a medical group; that telemedicine will replace all care meaning if you can't do it over the phone, you don't get health care; that when the government says you need to die, you will be killed; and health care will result in Logan's Run all over again, killing us all at the magical age of 35. And they call Democrats gullible.
* The unemployment rate drops from 9.5% to 9.4%. Doesn't mean that we should be celebrating with champaigne or running naked in the streets, but it is a positive sign of turn around. While we still lost jobs, if you look at the job loss charts, it is the lowest in about a year or so, and part of a shift towards lower losses since January. Some of that is attributed to the bottom being found, the work of the Bush Administration to stop the financial bleeding, the flooding of money into the system by the fed, and the increased business confidence in the new administration. The good news is that it takes about 9 to 12 months for stimulus to enter the system, which means there is more to come and it explains why many are predicting a turn around next year. It will only be effective if consumers have learned their lessons.