Remember Rep.-elect Andy Harris (R-MD)? The anti-health care reform physician who got a heap of bad publicity when he made a fuss about having to wait a few weeks until his employer- (a.k.a. government-) provided health care kicked in? And who asked whether the government had a… public option, of sorts, from which he could buy insurance in the interim?
Turns out hubris has consequences.
According to The Daily Times, “The Maryland Republican didn’t get his top choice for a committee assignment, the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over public health issues.”
There is of course has some playable deniability here as committee assignments are somewhat competitive. Competitive in the case of the Politburo nature of conservative leadership meaning who you know and how much power you have. Though in order to give their policy views on health related issues the specious glow of expertise, right-wing Republicans have a history of giving such committee assignments to their water carrying doctors.
Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed complaints with the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against newly-minted Delaware senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell (R) for using campaign funds for personal living expenses. By misusing campaign funds, Ms. O’Donnell committed the crime of conversion; by lying about her expenditures on forms she filed with the FEC, she committed false statements; and by failing to include the campaign funds she misappropriated as income, she committed tax evasion.
“Christine O’Donnell is clearly a criminal, and like any crook she should be prosecuted,” said Melanie Sloan, CREW Executive Director. “Ms. O’Donnell has spent years embezzling money from her campaign to cover her personal expenses. Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on much these days, but both sides should agree on one point: thieves belong in jail not the United States Senate.”
CREW’s complaint is based, in part, on the affidavit of former campaign aide David Keegan. Mr. Keegan explained that in 2009, when Ms. O’Donnell was out of money, she paid her landlord, Brent Vasher, two months rent out of her campaign funds. On FEC forms, Ms. O’Donnell called the expenditures “expense reimbursements.” Mr. Keegan also attested that Ms. O’Donnell routinely used campaign funds for meals and gas, and even a bowling outing. This is not surprising given that Ms. O’Donnell has not held a steady job or had a discernable source of income for many years.
Not a good sign when your behavior is so egregious even your campaign aid is willing to throw you under the bus. Very likely misplaced pity, but I’d let the money for rent slide and have her pay a small fine for the other infractions. Like many conservatives who seem to make money solely out of the political ether, O’Donnell has a sense of entitlement. At the age of forty plus she has never held a real job. She has been a trooper in the Right’s culture wars. In many cases – such as millionaire Pat Robertson, the late Jerry Falwell and Ralph Reed, that can pay handsomely. O’Donnell has not seemed to be able to make it work. I would not be surprised if billionaire sugar daddy Richard Mellon Scaife came to her rescue or the right-wing Pravda Regnery Publishing offered her a book deal – with her book suddenly and mysteriously getting thousands in bulk orders to pull her out of her financial troubles and clean up her image in time for the next election cycle.
Jonah Goldberg is another arrogant and talentless voice on the right. That has not stopped him from getting a job on the wing-nut welfare circuit as a pundit. Gay marriage will be Bad News for Liberals, Jonah argues, because liberals hate monogamy and ABC sitcoms
Jonah Goldberg has a doozy of a syndicated column today arguing that the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the inevitability of gay marriage are both Officially Good News for Conservatives, because they are Bad News For Liberals, because now the gays are bourgeois. As we all know, what liberals have always actually wanted is not “equality” or “equal rights,” but for our radical bohemian values to undermine society until it crumbles and we can erect a glorious anarchic state built on free-gay-child-love. But gay marriage will ruin our plans!
A smart person could write a good column about the trajectory of the gay rights movement, the long journey from Gay Liberation to NOH8, the story of how America deals with radical movements by eventually allowing formerly marginal minorities to join mainstream society. But Jonah Goldberg is not a smart person and this is not a good column.
The column encapsulates Goldberg’s pathetic conservatism: It’s a philosophy defined entirely by opposition to whatever those stupid liberals want. There’s no principle beyond the adolescent desire to be contrary.
Two decades ago, the gay Left wanted to smash the bourgeois prisons of monogamy, capitalistic enterprise, and patriotic values and bask in the warm sun of bohemian “free love” and avant-garde values. In this, they were simply picking up the torch from the straight Left of the 1960s and 1970s, who had sought to throw off the sexual hang-ups of their parents’ generation along with their gray flannel suits.
As a sexual-lifestyle experiment, they failed pretty miserably, the greatest proof being that the affluent and educated children (and grandchildren) of the baby boomers have re-embraced the bourgeois notion of marriage as an essential part of a successful life. Sadly, it’s the lower-middle class that increasingly sees marriage as an out-of-reach luxury. The irony is that such bourgeois values — monogamy, hard work, etc. — are the best guarantors of success and happiness.
Any sources or citations for quote for any of this? (Monogamy is the best guarantor of success! QED!) No. But don’t worry, he has a really good example coming up:
The gay experiment with open bohemianism was arguably shorter. Of course, AIDS played an obvious and tragic role in focusing attention on the downside of promiscuity. But even so, the sweeping embrace of bourgeois lifestyles by the gay community has been stunning.
Nowhere is this more evident — and perhaps exaggerated — than in popular culture. Watch ABC’s Modern Family.
Yep. “Gay people are all bourgeois now, I learned it on a TeeVee show I watch. Liberals stink!”
Goldberg has been learning at the knee of the National Review gurus of revisionism, spin and straw man arguments. Mix thoroughly with a throwing out every conceivable 70s chicle about liberals and you end up with the average fetid stew which constitutes the bile which flows from NR. Syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and some other STDs – primarily heterosexual diseases were causing death and misery for centuries before AIDS came along. If disease is the cause de celebre for the condemnation and end of sex than heterosexuals should have made the ultimate sacrifice and died out years ago. Humans are flawed and tainted with original sin – so several clergymen tell me – so sense no one is going to be untainted or giving up sex any time soon maybe it is best to get over the blame game and get people educated about sex and its consequences so they’ll make responsible informed decisions. Now back to dealing with dysfunctional momma’s boys. There is patriotism and there is patriotism. Goldberg’s is really a substitute for fidelity to conservatism, not the USA. He and his collectivists brethren on the Right don’t have the cojones to admit that is what they mean by patriotism, to march in ideological lock step with the power obsessed and greedy authoritarian goons who call themselves conservatives. These would also be the same perverted capitalists who caused the recessions of the 80s and the millenium. The ones who have created an economy that rewards wealth, not work. The kind of broken down ragged ass capitalism that rescues millionaires and lets the working class get cake. Conservatives do not and never have believed in competitive capitalism. They believe in corporate cronyism – a few Democrats do too unfortunately.
If our dog-eat-dog culture was not harsh enough Glenn Beck(like O’Donnell and Limbaugh has never had a real job or even possessed valuable work skills that an employer might need) and Joseph Lehman double down on the social-Darwinism – The Poorhouse: Aunt Winnie, Glenn Beck, And The Politics Of The New Deal
That movement’s most outspoken proponent is Fox News host Glenn Beck, who doesn’t merely pine for the pre-New Deal era in general, but regularly prevails upon his audience to recognize the particular genius of some of the period’s presidents, whose ideologies of inaction he holds up as the American ideal.
Democratic President Grover Cleveland is one such hero. When Beck and guest Joseph Lehman were discussing the proper roles of welfare and charity this summer, Lehman noted that one “extreme [position] is, you’ve got welfare only as a last resort and all assistance is private.”
It wasn’t too extreme for Beck. “And this is where we actually were a hundred years ago,” Beck said, rightly thinking — or not — of people in Aunt Winnie’s situation.
“We used to be here. In fact, Grover Cleveland has this excellent statement. In 1887, President Cleveland said, ‘Though the people may support their government, the government shall not support the people,'” Lehman responded.
“That’s great,” said Beck.
While lifting up presidents like Cleveland, he wants to tear down their successors. At Beck University, he offers a course titled “Presidents You Should Hate.” Part one focuses on Woodrow Wilson, part two on Franklin Roosevelt.
Until those men rose to power, the political field belonged to politicians in the command of business. Cleveland, however, is a distant second in the Beck view of the world to Calvin Coolidge. Beck told his audience this August that Coolidge was Ronald Reagan’s favorite president, and that he was “one of best presidents I think we’ve ever had that you don’t know very much about.”
Coolidge earned his place in Beck’s heart for refusing to send federal help to the Gulf region during the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. “And under 30 feet of water, hundreds of people died. This is the Katrina of the 1920s,” said Beck. “And, to show you the difference in how far we’ve come with progressives, at the time that this happened, nobody was standing on their roof with signs saying, ‘Help me.’ They were helping themselves.”
Whatever the victims of the flood may have done, Wall Street certainly helped itself during Coolidge’s reign from 1923 to 1929. The Dow ran from under a hundred to a high of nearly four hundred. Corporate profits and consumer debt soared. Coolidge slashed taxes. By 1929, the top 0.1 percent had income equal to 42 percent of all Americans and held 34 percent of all the savings — while eight in ten had no savings at all.
Those eight-in-ten people without savings had no cushion against the economic crashes that relentlessly afflicted the economy and had no relief against the one calamity that is entirely foreseeable: old age.
Let them die in the streets that will teach them. Beck and the Right’s class warfare is showing. That upper part of the economic ladder is populated, according to the Right, by the hardest working and the most virtuous. Certainly some well off Americans are both, but all of them are never held to the same standards of the woman who empties the bed pan of a wealthy dowager. I have heard conservatives and right-wing libertarians willing to admit that it would be harsh at first but after a generation only the strong and deserving would survive and we’d finally have that conservative utopia where only the right kind of people will remain. The intro to this article tells the story of the real Aunt Winnie and her plight.
Poverty statistics are unreliable before about 1960, when the elderly poverty rate was 35 percent, but that figure likely represents a steep decline from the day Social Security became law. Though there were no national measurements, in surveys taken between 1925 and 1932 in Connecticut, New York and Wisconsin, nearly half of elderly people lived on less than $25 per month, which survey administrators deemed “insufficient subsistence income.” A third in Connecticut had no income at all. An attempt to quantify elderly poverty in 1939, deep into the depression, using census data, found the rate may have been close to 80 percent. Whatever the national numbers, by 1974 official elderly poverty had fallen below 15 percent and by 1995 it had dropped to ten.