Robert Shrum: …. The GOP debate was not only economically vapid, but downright ugly, as the participants either trafficked in, or fellow-travelled with, appeals to fear and intolerance…..
No one on that stage rose to the defense of American Muslims or ventured to reprove Cain. But most of the candidates rushed to reassure the right wing on the question of gay rights. They were against the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, for a constitutional prohibition of same-sex marriage…
…A former Republican officeholder, still active in the party, lamented that if you want to have a chance you have to cater to the fringe: “And it’s worse now that it’s ever been.”
….Waiting for Huntsman, yearning for Chris Christie of New Jersey, or Rick Perry of Texas: By the end of Monday’s debate, it was easier than ever to understand why. Americans seem to grasp the implausibility of the men – and the woman – who so starkly revealed themselves in New Hampshire. Even in the new economic doldrums, President Obama leads Romney by 6 points – and outside the South by far more – in the new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. Pawlenty gets trounced – and so would Bachmann, although it’s now conceivable that a fevered GOP might just nominate her.
I know which side I’m on as 2012 approaches, but I know the country deserves a genuine debate about the future. That wasn’t what we saw and heard from New Hampshire the other night. The debate was less serious and less substantive than Saturday Night Live…..
ABC: With Father’s Day drawing near, the President opened up about what it was like to become a father for the first time, describing a scene that he says unfolded like the “the classic comical father situation.”
When his wife told him she believed it was time to go to the hospital, he said his reaction was “like out of a sitcom”. “You know, I jump up and I’m looking for the bag. And fumbling for the car keys … .” But, when he saw his daughter for the first time “it was love at first sight,” he said. He chuckled as he recalled being up with her at 2 a.m., “feeding her and burping her. And changing her diapers. And now she’s 5’10″.”
….”I could not ask for better kids. And so, I’m not anticipating complete mayhem for the next four, five years,” he said. He jokingly added: “I should also point out that I have men with guns that surround them often … ,” adding that that security was “a great incentive” for running for re-election.
Any potential future boyfriends might want to take note. “I might invite him over to the Oval Office,” Obama said of any boys who could be in the girls’ future, “ask him for his GPA. Find out what his intentions are, in terms of career.
He added: “Malia, Sasha, if you’re watching this, I’m just joking.”
Ed Kilgore (New Republic): …. every one of (Rick Perry’s) supposed strengths turns out to be yoked to a big, potentially damaging weakness.
To begin, Texas’ economy may have done well during most of his ten-year-plus tenure as governor, but it’s done so at the price of very low levels of public services, high rates of poverty, and a long line of sweetheart corporate deals, not all of them successful, between Perry and some of his friends and allies, which could prove to be an opposition researcher’s playground.
Moreover, his budgetary record has also depended on some questionable accounting measures and a willingness to rely on the federal government he purports to loath (stimulus dollars played a big role in propping up the most recent Texas budget).
Second, while Perry has become a Tea Party favorite, he has done so in part by making inflammatory statements that may trouble even a healthy number of Republican primary voters, the most famous of which was his suggestion that secession might be on the table for Texas. In addition, he’s also made threats to withdraw the state from the Medicaid program … and even sought the power to opt Texas out of Social Security….
And finally, Perry is close to the Christian Right, but the fact of the matter is that he hasn’t chosen the most seemly of allies in that camp. As a follow-on to his famous “Pray for Rain” rally in April, he’s now planning an evangelical hoedown in August, called “The Response,” that features a sort of who’s who of radical theocrats, including John Hagee, the Christian Zionist leader whose support John McCain felt constrained to repudiate in 2008 after Hagee called Adolf Hitler an agent of God’s plans to return the Jews to their biblical homeland.
The expressed purpose of the upcoming event is to seek divine intervention to fix America, apparently via the propitiation of an angry God by the abandonment of such abominations as legalized abortion, same-sex relationships, and church-state separation…
Politicususa: A new poll released by the non-profit non-partisan group Texas Lyceum found that President Obama is almost as popular as Gov. Rick Perry in the Lone Star State. The poll found that President Barack Obama’s 51% Texas approval rating is only 3 points behind that of Governor Rick Perry (54%).
…In 2008 McCain beat Obama by 10 points in Texas, but where the Obama campaign sees hope for 2012 is in the fact that the President got 63% of the Latino vote in 2008, and 1.5 million more Spanish speaking voters will be eligible to go to the polls in 2012.
As Politico reported, “The spike in voting-eligible Hispanics offers a tantalizing prospect for Democratic strategists who have yearned to flip Texas ever since John Judis and Ruy Teixeira published their landmark book, “The Emerging Democratic Majority,” which predicted just such a shift nine years ago.”
Republicans counter with the argument that five Hispanic Republicans were elected to the Texas House in 2010, and there is no evidence that Texas will be in play in 2012 …. A lot can change between now and next fall, but the long predicted bluing of Texas could take its next step towards becoming a reality in 2012.
BooMan: For the second straight year, I declined to attend the Netroots Nation conference. I’ve always enjoyed the conferences, but I don’t belong there anymore, and this is why (a link to the Huffy Post ‘Progressives ‘Break Up’ With Obama’ story).
Let me start with the DREAM Act. If immigration reform supporters are mobilizing against the president, they need to have their heads examined. Here’s a reminder (see BooMan’s post):
…..The president is not a magician. Working against his reelection is not going to help pass the DREAM Act or any other piece of positive immigration legislation.
Moving on to gay rights …. John Aravosis has been acting like he’s been betrayed since before the president took his oath of office. The president kept his promise to repeal the DADT policy, and it was anything but easy. Aravosis says that all he wants is what the president promised, but the president never said that he approves of gay marriage. Nonetheless, he has instructed the Department of Justice to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court, he’s signed a Hate Crimes bill, and he’s expanded benefits for same-sex couples who work in the Foreign Service and executive branch.
……I’m sorry, John, but your own words condemn you …. he did the one thing that he actually has the power to do; he told the DOJ to stop defending the DOMA in court.
And then there is Jane Hamsher, who has made it her career to harass the president. The less said about her the better.
There’s a line between principled advocacy for the issues you care about and being a careerist champion of the disgruntled.
Upton Sinclair used to say, “”It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” That’s what happened to a big part of the blogosphere.