Dick Morris, the world’s most dubious pundit, visited Hannity last night (11/28/11) to discuss the 2012 presidential campaign and, of course, the latest Herman Cain sex scandal – a woman who said she had a 13-year extramarital affair with him. Morris didn’t just defend Cain – without mentioning that his campaign is Morris’ client – but Morris completely dismissed the allegations as not credible and inconsequential.
As Hannity suggested that the race for the Republican nomination now seems to be between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, Morris said, “You cannot count out at this point Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann.”
As it happens, the Bachmann campaign is Morris’ client, too. Another little detail the “we report, you decide” network didn’t bother to disclose.
“What about the Herman Cain (sexual) allegations?” Hannity asked. When Morris made a dismissive noise, Hannity added, “You can’t dismiss it.”
Morris replied, “First of all, it’s an old-time, vanilla scandal. You know, there’s no sex harassment. So he had an affair!”
Cain was already done. His campaign was all about building up the Cain brand, selling books and ultimately have a larger audience for radio and speaking tours. Cain was probably as shocked as anyone else that people took him seriously enough to make him a front-runner. Cain’s affair is not that interesting, that toe sicker Dick Morris ( nothing against toe suckers, but Morris is a representative of the “family” values brand) should know when it comes to what titillates the public imagination. The interesting angle is how the wing-nut see-saw is weighted. Newt Gingrich the adulterer is flying high in the polls. Adultery kills Cain and pliable morals Newt gets a boost. The conservative mind is a horrific thing to ponder. Apparently it is filled with a thick coat of oil to make the convoluted triple back-flips easily executed, plenty of fog to use as an excuse, a storage bin well equipped with shiny new rationales, a pitch fork and other things best not mentioned in case younger readers pass by. America’s version of Iran’s radical clerics the right-wing Christianists want to give Newt a way to salvation. He needs to show more public repentance. An option, that by the way, is not open to Cain: Richard Land of The Christian Post writes,
Mr. Speaker, if you want to get large numbers of Evangelicals, particularly women, to vote for you, you must address the issue of your marital past in a way that allays the fears of Evangelical women.
You must address this issue of your marital past directly and transparently and ask folks to forgive you and give you their trust and their vote.
Mr. Speaker, I urge you to pick a pro-family venue and give a speech (not an interview) addressing your martial history once and for all. It should be clear that this speech will be “it” and will not be repeated, only referenced.
Conservative salvation awaits Newt. Cain is on his own.
Coulter Attacks Credibility Of Cain Affair Accuser: “She’s An Unemployed Single Mother”. Does Coulter watch some special channel that only broadcast wing-nut soap operas. In that world all women, except her of course, are schemers. No wonder Republicans love her, she is the walking embodiment of mindlessness, the flesh and blood two-headed Martian baby tabloid of the 1970s. Please pay attention to her America and keep her brand of incoherent ravings relevant, she has a champagne and caviar lifestyle to maintain. Where she enjoys a good laugh at the rubes who make her so wealthy she never has to do an honest day’s work.
This is typical of Mr. Gingrich’s modus operandi. He has always considered himself to be the smartest guy in the room and long chaffed at being corrected by experts when he cooked up some new plan, over which he may have expended 30 seconds of thought, to completely upend and remake the health, tax or education systems.
Because Mr. Gingrich does know more than most politicians, the main obstacles to his grandiose schemes have always been Congress’s professional staff members, many among the leading authorities anywhere in their areas of expertise.
To remove this obstacle, Mr. Gingrich did everything in his power to dismantle Congressional institutions that employed people with the knowledge, training and experience to know a harebrained idea when they saw it. When he became speaker in 1995, Mr. Gingrich moved quickly to slash the budgets and staff of the House committees, which employed thousands of professionals with long and deep institutional memories.
Of course, when party control in Congress changes, many of those employed by the previous majority party expect to lose their jobs. But the Democratic committee staff members that Mr. Gingrich fired in 1995 weren’t replaced by Republicans. In essence, the positions were simply abolished, permanently crippling the committee system and depriving members of Congress of competent and informed advice on issues that they are responsible for overseeing.
[ ]…In addition to decimating committee budgets, he also abolished two really useful Congressional agencies, the Office of Technology Assessment and the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. The former brought high-level scientific expertise to bear on legislative issues and the latter gave state and local governments an important voice in Congressional deliberations.
Gingrich and his deep insecurities about rational empirical knowledge are not exclusive to him, they have been a feature of the conservative movement for years. The contempt and fear of the right solution for a problem runs deep in the conservative psyche. While the general attitude is not exclusive to my native southern states, it is well-worn territory here. Few weeks go by that I do not hear a conservative say yea they might be book smart, but they ain’t got no common sense. If there was such a thing as common sense it hardly substitutes for technical knowledge about carcinogens in our drinking water, what are public works demands will be for new sewer lines in twenty years or how to launch a tiny craft so it hits the moon and not be lost in space. To realize that experts sometimes know more than we do takes humility. Newt and for that matter Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and similar mouth breathers who seem to think conservatism is somehow related to progress and patriotism, will have nothing to do with humility, thank you very much. Even if we rely on wisdom to make decisions about important things like public policy, that should still have a foundation in knowledge. Like Newt’s pliable ethics – personal or political, he also gets a pass on his flip-flops, but not Romney. Even though Romney’s are sometimes based on honest reevaluation – The Difference Between MittFlops and NewtFlops
Now that Newt Gingrich is the Republican front-runner (I know, it still sounds like a joke, but it’s true), people are starting to pay attention to the fact that if you go through his public statements, you’ll find as many changes of position as you will for any other candidate, including Mitt Romney. Some of these are in-the-moment howlers, like the time he assailed President Obama for not imposing a no-fly zone on Libya, then when Obama did just that a few days later, Gingrich assailed him for doing it. Others are position changes familiar to other candidates, like acknowledging and then denying climate change, and supporting and then opposing an individual mandate in health insurance.
So do Gingrich and Romney share the same character flaw of unbridled opportunism that causes these changes? The answer is no. In fact, even though they share some of the same flips, the way they happened illuminates something essential about who each man is and how they make decisions. Mitt Romney flip-flops carefully, after a period of calculation in which he determines the most appropriate strategic positioning required to achieve his short- and long-term goals. Newt Gingrich flip-flops impulsively, taking positions that sound good at a particular moment without any apparent regard for the past or the future.
I would never make the case that Romney changes positions because he actually cares about the benefits or pitfalls of a particular policy. He does seem to respond to the public, sometimes for better or worse. Newt was the prototype for Bush 43 or Cheney – reactionary and spiteful to the core. Romney probably has some core convictions, where Newt is the ultimate opportunist. Conservatives see this as strength rather than one of the worse flaws a leader of all the people can have. Regardless of a president’s political affiliations they are supposed to temper the excesses of their agenda with that in mind. Not so with the Newts and Georges. Where Democrats like to have their charts and studies and nudge people in the right direction – the Jeffersonian approach – conservatives continue to subscribe to the shove their agenda down America’s throat school of politics – Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Florida’s Rick Scott and Michigan’s John Kasich being good post Bush examples ( Conservatives abandoned Bush yet learned nothing from his disastrous governing style).
Gingrich has learned that admitting mistakes makes no sense when you can just redefine words and actions – Gingrich Gave Push to Clients, Not Just Ideas
Yet if Mr. Gingrich has managed to steer clear of legal tripwires, a review of his activities shows how he put his influence to work on behalf of clients with a considerable stake in government policy. Even if he does not appear to have been negotiating legislative language, he and his staff did many of the same things that registered lobbyists do.
The center’s own records — kept in a restricted section of its Web site, but found by The New York Times in an unsecured archived version of the site — contain several previously unreported examples.
Two years before the Florida “summit,” Mr. Gingrich made a presentation to Republican lawmakers in Georgia, promoting the work of his member companies by citing specific benefits if they were hired. For example: “VitalSpring could save the State Employee Program over $20 million a year.”
Minutes of a members-only conference call from March 2004 said the center had “arranged joint meetings” for members to present their work on electronic health records to top federal officials, noting that Mr. Gingrich “reported very positive feedback overall from these meetings.”
So Cheney did not torture people, he had them undergo enhanced interrogation. Newt is not a lobbyist he is just someone who enhances connections between special interests and political insiders. Newt, a former Speaker of the House, convicted of ethics charges, is defining what reality is. This is only fair since conservatives need a rationale, a rationale of any sort to explain away the connection between America’s deeply ingrained corporate corruption and conservatives in Congress. Maintaining this corridor of mutual corruption between Washington, conservatives and the same corporate America that threw the economy down the rabbit hole is obvious to most Americans. Conservatism requires that any kinks in the chain are always the fault of gov’mint. Thus Newt is thought of as the true conservative and the outsider, because reality is not as important as maintaining the illusion that conservatism really cares about the average American family. In the real world conservatives, always with the help of a few Democrats, have not blurred the line between the corporate plutocracy and Congress, they have erased it. Not just Newt, any of this year’s crop of conservatives will make sure the needs of the 1% are joined at the hip with conservative legislation. When that creates even worse havoc for working class Americans, the nebulous gov’mint that conservatives see through the fog will be the bad guy as the real bad guys continue to collect record profits.
I’m a gun owner, these people are nutcakes – Cyber Monday Special: Buy Guns Before Obama Enslaves And Kills You. If we passed a law that said people had to pass a mental health exam before they could own a gun, the NRA and USAAmmo would really have something to cry about. Kids, do not jump up and own when the helicopter blades are turning.
A government, for protecting business only, is but a carcass, and soon falls by its own corruption and decay.- Amos Bronson Alcott