Republicans Need to "Shed" Conservative "Orthodoxy"

Vol. 25, No. 23

Republicans Need to “Shed” Conservative “Orthodoxy”

“The [Republican] party has got to find a way to reach out to Latinos, the fastest growing voting bloc, to become a more diverse party with the ability to shed some of the orthodoxy around taxes, around spending, over the role of government, and this process is going to begin this morning, the soul-searching and redefinition.”
— NBC’s David Gregory talking about the election returns on Today, November 7.

Anchor Soledad O’Brien: “There are some people who are doing soul-searching, but there are others whose response was ‘We should be more conservative. We should be more about the Tea Party.’...”
CNN’s Don Lemon: “Yeah, doubling down on it. I’m doing a piece this weekend on my show, is it time for an intervention for the Republican Party?...I think unless the GOP becomes the GNP, which is the Grand New Party, they’re on the verge of extinction because they’re tone deaf.”
—  CNN’s Starting Point, November 9.

....But if Romney Had Won, Credit How “He Ignored Conservatives”

“If Mitt Romney wins the election, it will be because he ignored conservatives. After he won the primaries, many of the most prominent voices in the movement plead with him to run loud and proud as a conservative and to campaign overtly on conservative ideas. He never did that, and he’s ending the campaign on a moderate note, a move his strategists believe will capture the disaffected Obama voters he needs to win the election.”
— CBS News political director John Dickerson writing at Slate, November 1.

Democratic Senate Would “Free” Romney from Tea Party “Crazies”

“Ticket splitting in a meta-sense would be good because there is an interesting theory I’ve heard it would be helpful to Romney if the Democrats actually kept control of the Senate by a vote or two because that would allow Romney to tell the crazies in his own party, ‘I have to make a deal with the Democrats.’ It would free him a little bit from the Tea Party.”
— Ex-Newsweek Washington Bureau Chief and Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas, November 2 Inside Washington.

Anticipating “Scary” Reaction from Conservative Haters

“In politics as in life, the recognition of deep loss comes slowly and with no small degree of anguish before it takes hold fully. But, eventually, take hold it does. And if loss is to be Romney’s fate, the question for him will be how handles it, for the ferocity of the reaction of many of his supporters — those who despise Obama with a passion so raw and burning it is hard to comprehend — will be breathtaking, and perhaps not a little scary.”
New York magazine’s John Heilemann in a November 5 article for his magazine’s Web site.

Mitt Romney: A Racist-Enabler Like Andrew Johnson

“A Romney takeover of the White House might well rival Andrew Johnson’s ascendancy to the presidency after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865....A Romney win would be worrisome...because of his strong embrace of states’ rights and his deep mistrust of the federal government — sentiments Andrew Johnson shared. And we know what that Johnson did once in office....Johnson stood by as Southern states enacted ‘black codes,’ which restricted rights of freed blacks and prevented blacks from voting. Romney stood by last year as Republican-controlled state legislatures passed voter-identification laws, making it harder for people of color, senior citizens and people with disabilities to exercise their fundamental right to vote. “
Washington Post editorial writer Colbert I. King in his November 3 column, “Mitt Romney could be the next Andrew Johnson.”

Obama’s Libya Scandal: “Just an Argument for Ideologues”

Anchor Don Lemon: “The right and conservative media outlets have been going after the administration over reports that CIA leaders denied repeated requests for their people in Benghazi to help in the fight....Do you think that this will have any impact on who wins, or do you think this is just an argument for ideologues here?”
GPS host Fareed Zakaria: “I think it’s the latter, Don. I think this is a highly politicized set of charges and countercharges....”
— Exchange on CNN Newsroom, November 2.

GOP guest Carly Fiorina: “On the issue of trust, what is going on with regard to Libya? I mean, here we have an extraordinary thing where the President comes out on Friday and says I directed that everything possible should be done to aid our embassy under attack. That attack went on for seven hours, we now know that Secretary of Defense saying he denied requests for help over that seven hours.”
Host David Gregory: “We’ll get to Libya a little bit later.”
— Exchange a few minutes into NBC’s Meet the Press, October 28. Gregory did not bring up the subject of Libya for the remainder of the hour-long program.

New York Times Double Standard on Economic Growth

“Slow but Steady Improvement”
— Headline over October 28 New York Times editorial after the Commerce Department reported that the economy expanded at a 2.0% annual rate in the third quarter.

“Gross National Letdown”
— Headline over an October 29, 1992 editorial after report of an improved 2.7% growth rate in the third quarter of that year, during George H. W. Bush’s re-election campaign.

Matthews Celebrates: “I’m So Glad We Had That Storm Last Week”

“I am so proud of the country, to re-elect this President....A good day for America. I’m so glad we had that storm last week, because I think the storm was one of those things — no, politically I should say, not in terms of hurting people — the storm brought in possibilities for good politics.”
— Chris Matthews wrapping up MSNBC’s live election night coverage shortly before 3am ET, November 7. He apologized on the November 7 Hardball: “I said something not just stupid, but wrong.”

NBC Uses Hurricane to Push Liberal Climate Change Agenda

NBC’s Harry Smith: “First it was Hurricane Irene, then last October’s freak snowstorm, and now Sandy. Mother Nature has put an unprecedented strain on the power grid and some experts are wondering if climate change is to blame....Sandy’s relentless wind, rain, and storm surge laid the power grid to ruin. And there is a growing consensus that this is all part of a new normal.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY): “Anyone who says there’s not a dramatic change in weather patterns, I think, is denying reality.”
— NBC’s Today, November 1.

Time to Choose the Planet Over Prosperity

“The story of civilization is the long tale of crusaders battling the unceasing reality of chaos....We’ve released millions of years of stored-up carbon into the atmosphere, which is now altering the climate and threatening the very monuments of civilization we so cherish. We absolutely have it within us collectively to beat back the forces of chaos once again, but we must choose to do so, and the time for choosing is now. You are either on the side of  your fellow citizens and residents of this planet, or you are on the side of the storms as yet unnamed. You cannot be neutral. So, which side are you on?”
— Host Chris Hayes demanding action on climate change, MSNBC’s Up with Chris Hayes, November 3.

Wistfully Recalling “Magic” Obama of 2008


Correspondent Terry Moran: “Looking at Barack Obama today, on the last day of his last campaign, it is impossible not to think back to what seemed a hinge of history.”
Clip of Obama at 2008 convention: “The change we need doesn’t come from Washington. Change comes to Washington.”
Moran: “The crowds were bigger, more rapturous, more hopeful. For so many people it was magic.”
— Covering Obama’s final campaign rally of 2012 on ABC’s Nightline, November 5. [MP3 audio (1:04)]

Obama = “Tall, Cool, Cerebral” Thomas Jefferson


Fill-in co-host Willie Geist: “You’ve written a book about Thomas Jefferson, your latest biography. How is Thomas Jefferson relevant today? Beyond the obvious that he was the founder of the country, why should we still be interested about Thomas Jefferson’s life in 2012?”
Author and ex-Newsweek editor Jon Meacham: “Because he would have totally understood the Washington of John Boehner, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama. He was a tall, cool, cerebral president who won re-election, who was actually really good at politics even though he didn’t want to act as though he was. So there’s some similarities with President Obama.”
—  NBC’s Today, November 9. [MP3 audio (0:41)]


Let’s Build Bridges, Not Bombs

“For the last ten years plus, the United States has had a main national security priority, the thing we’ve spent the most money on, a trillion-plus dollars, the most American lives on, and that has been bringing democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan, with very questionable results. People I’ve spoken to, experts in this field, say we would be a lot safer, not just richer, if we had spent a lot of that money on improving infrastructure.”
— NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Richard Engel on Rock Center, November 1.

Hollywood’s Pre-Election Round of Prime Time Activism

“I hope you’re staying cool today on this unusually hot November day and I hope you don’t mind me saying: Global warming, 1; skeptics, 0.”
— “Judge Charles Abernathy” on CBS’s The Good Wife, November 4.

“I can’t believe we’re talking the 21st century and these two white idiots [Romney and Ryan] are running for something. I just think it looks like 1955. These are the most un-modern people I’ve ever seen. They’re medieval, almost. They don’t believe in abortion.”
— Actor/radio host Jay Thomas on Current-TV’s John Fugelsang: So That Happened, October 26.

“What does it say about us when we are simultaneously pro-life and pro AK-47?...What does it say about us when a black guy’s in charge and we say things like ‘it’s time to take America back’?...What does it say about us when we export democracy with Hellfire missiles, then restrict the right to vote here?...What does it say about us when we think a guy who doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, keeps his money offshore, stubs his toe and says ‘H-E-double hockey sticks’ and wears magical underwear can feel our pain?...What does it say about us when we completely forgot the colossal shit storm we were in four years ago? The answer, my friends, is not blowing in the wind. The answer is, ‘We are fucking crazy.’”
— Chuck Lorre, Executive Producer of CBS’s Two and a Half Men, in a “vanity card” plugged at the end of the November 1 episode.

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