Tuesday, December 17, 2013

'Groundswell': Stirring the Pot of Congressional Dysfunction

by Sunnyjane

But before I do that, my king-sized Sippy Cup needs a Merlot refill!
It's no secret that the House of Representatives is the most malfunctioning organ in the body politic of the United States government.

There's a history, of course: In 2008, John McCain lost and Barack Obama won.  And things haven't been quite the same since.  The new President's first -- and last -- highly significant legislation to pass into law was the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, which he signed in March of 2010.

The Taxed Enough Already movement (the Tea Party) was already making noises about government spending and lower taxes.  Then they got co-opted by the shrilling extreme right and their message turned to social issues.  Thus, by the November mid-term election, they ushered in a bunch of the most contemptible anti-Americans ever to enter that hallowed chamber.  Thus we -- and John Boehner, who became the Speaker of the House -- were cursed with the most Do-Nothing legislative body in history.

Boehner not only has the Teabaggers to endure, he also has to put up with outside groups -- yeah, they're lobbyists, regardless of what they call themselves -- who threaten dire election consequences for Republicans who go against them.  So now, to steal a quote from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, they are engaged in a great civil war for the heart and soul of the Republican Party.  Or something like that.

Is it any wonder Boehner drinks?  (Oh, there's no truth to the rumor that Boehner limps because of an old football injury.  He actually fell off his stool in a sports bar.)

What is Groundswell and Why Does it Matter?

Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, wife of Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarance Thomas, is the maker and shaker of Groundswell, a super-clandestine group of far-far-right Tea Partiers who see the Obama administration through the foggy lens of tyranny!  That is not hyperbole, dear readers; this group consists of such teabagging luminaries as former ambassador (thank God) John Bolton, former (ditto) GOP representative Allen West, journalists (huh?) from Breitbart.com, and a top aid to Sen. Ted Cruz.  Are you getting the picture here?

As David Corn of Mother Jones reported last summer, the Groundswellers have launched a
30 front war seeking to fundamentally transform the nation.  How will they win this war?  With what they hope is persuasive messaging, of course.  Like Reince Priebus, it's not their policies that are losing voters, it's the message, stupid!  And they know their audience well, using phrases such as the low-information voters, writing their propaganda on a 4th grade level, and using images like Humpty Dumpty that voters can identify with to get their points across.  (How sad is this, I ask you!) 

Immigration Reform and the Spanking of Marco Rubio

I didn't mean to take a LEFT, honestly I didn't!
Groundswell has a lot of hissy-fit issues with President Obama and Democratic lawmakers, of course, but none is as critical to them as Immigration Reform: If we lose on immigration, we lose on every other issue. The key to defeating this bill is Sen. Rubio.

Marco Rubio was one of the Gang of 8, a bipartisan group assembled in late January 2013 to tackle Immigration ReformBeing from Florida and of Cuban ancestry, Sen Rubio seemed a perfect choice to take on this important task -- particularly in light of the stiff-arming the GOP got from Latinos in the November 2012 general election.   But the Republican was in a quandary, you see, because the teabaggers got him elected and they want nothing to do with immigration reform.  It is interesting (ahem) what Rubio did in March: he actually donated $30,000 from his leadership PAC to Jim DeMint's Senate Conservative Action group, which is closely connected to Groundswell!  

The Immigration Reform bill put together by the Gang of 8 was passed in the Senate in June.  However, Boehner said it would never be brought to the House without major redo because he thinks immigration reform should come in steps.  

My, my, my!

Groundswells' War on Karl Rove

Uber-GOP Strategist Karl Rove is pretty sick of his party losing winnable elections because the most unelectable candidates were selected to run against their Democratic opponents.  Still smarting from the 2012 election, in February Rove put together a group called the Conservative Victory Project, which plans to pick the most conservative candidate who can win.  (Translation: Forget about those Tea Party candidates like Christine O'Donnell, Todd Akin, and Richard Mourdock!) 

Groundswell, however, has an entirely opposite goal.  They'll most likely end up embracing such people as Tea Party extremist Dr. Greg Brannon of North Carolina, who is for all the most radical positions in America today.  To whit, he's against public education because it dehumanizes students; he doesn't believe that states have to follow Supreme Court decisions; he thinks that bipartisan compromises enslave Americans; he believes the late Jesse Helms was a modern hero; and he supports secession so that to achieve a free and independent Southern republic.  Oh, yes, and he's been endorsed by Sen. Rand Paul.

Good luck with this, Karl.

End Note


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