On “Meet the Press” today, former Secretary Of State Colin Powell condemned comments made by former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu as evidence of what he called “a dark vein of intolerance” in the Republican Party:
There’s also a dark— a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the Party. What I do mean by that? I mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities. How can I evidence that? When I see a former governor say that the president is shuckin’ and jivin’, that’s a racial era slave term.
When I see another former governor after the president’s first debate where he didn’t do very well, says that the president was lazy. He didn’t say he was slow, he was tired, he didn’t do well, he said he was lazy. Now, it may not mean anything to most Americans but to those of us who are African-Americans, the second word is shiftless and then there’s a third word that goes along with it
Powell was referring to comments Sununu made on MSNBC following the first presidential debate. “What people saw last night, I think, was a president that revealed his incompetence, how lazy and detached he is,” he said.
“I’m a registered Republican and have been my whole life, but I can say without hesitation that when it comes to women’s health, today’s Republican Party is just plain backwards. And this starts with their nominee for President, Mitt Romney.
“The last straw was Romney’s choice of running mate. Paul Ryan represents a very different kind of conservatism than I grew up with. Ryan has co-sponsored 38 anti-abortion measures, and was a co-sponsor of Congressman Akin’s controversial forcible rape legislation. This isn’t my father’s Republican Party.”
1st District Congressional candidate Carol Shea-Porter writes that it’s no wonder Congressman Frank Guinta is trying to campaign as a non-incumbent. The 112th Congress was a “disaster,” she declares.
“It was so bad,” explains Shea-Porter, “that 20 percent of their successful legislation was naming post offices. Ironically, they haven’t taken any action to keep post offices open,” she notes, “because Republicans are at odds with each other on that essential service.”
They pressed their social agenda. They tried to defund Planned Parenthood. They tried to make it more difficult for women to get private insurance coverage for birth control.
They refused to renew the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act. They still did not create a substantive jobs bill, although they worked the word “jobs” into every sentence….
The House Majority voted to privatize Medicare and turn it into voucher-care.
They voted to repeal the health care law more than 30 times, but offered no plan to replace it.
They walked away from dealing with tax cuts….
They also left behind what is being called a “fiscal cliff.”
The House also left behind the Farm Bill and, even worse, action on drought relief. This is critical to our farmers, but apparently not to the House.
Former state Rep. Jim Splaine projects big gains for Democrats in November — despite the billions of dollars that will be spent to “convince us of untruths.”
Voters will hold the Republican Party accountable for their “greed, hate and reactionary anti-American ideas,” he writes in today’s Portsmouth Herald, and we “won’t be swayed by billions spent to sell us snake oil.”
I have never seen a political party self-destruct by cheerleading greed, hate and reactionary anti-American ideas as much as the 2010-2012 version of the Republican Party — statewide and nationally.
The actions of Republican right-wingers, and their “Tea Party” and “Free State” followers, in Concord and Washington has brought shame to the many good, thoughtful moderate Republicans who have become enablers-of-the-loonies by their silence, or acquiescence. …
Fact is, the Republican right has tried to stop America in its tracks. These reactionaries have tried, nationally and in our own state, to destroy public education, which has made America strong for over two centuries. They have a war on women, on working women and men, and on our poor and senior citizens. They have assaulted our gays and lesbians. They’ve been anti-science, anti-health care, anti-education, anti-environment.
An editorial in the Nashua Telegraph says maybe voters will overlook the House scandals and maybe they won’t care about the time and energy wasted on social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.
But, the paper warns, the failed leadership of state House Speaker Bill O’Brien will be an issue in November “and that should make Republicans nervous.”
The education-funding defeat is one of several missteps for O’Brien this legislative session that raise questions whether his propensity to create controversy will spill over and taint other Republicans.
It just may be his demonstrative efforts to build for himself a cult of personality capable of restructuring state government will not only come up short, but create a backlash from which it will take the GOP years to recover.
Former state Republican party chair and Tea Party leader Jack Kimball announces his return to the political scene with typical bombast:
“We are watching the systematic dismantling of our great Republic right before our eyes. Barak [sic] Obama is continuing with his mission to ‘fundamentally change’ America into a European Socialist style country. … He is aware that in order to succeed with his plan he must bring the USA to its knees.”
Kimball, who was the featured speaker at yesterday’s “Jack is Back!” Save-Our-Republic Tea Party rally, has taken back the reins of the Granite State Patriots Liberty PAC and vows to lead the Tea Party in a fight to “send Obama packing!”
“We are the Patriots of our time and we will not be the generation to lose what those who came before us have fought to preserve. No sir, we intend to FIGHT! I am asking you to join me in that fight. … Are you with me?”
Amid the sound and fury, however, polls document New Hampshire Republicans have fled the Tea Party in droves, and outgoing national Republican committeewoman Phyllis Woods reminds us Kimball’s last leadership role didn’t turn out so well.
“He was over his head, inexperienced and not qualified for the leadership role in an organization in which he never had participated. It broke my heart. … [I]t was just too steep a learning curve for him too soon.”
New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte today opened at 25:1 odds to be the Republican vice presidential nominee on betting markets operated by Paddy Power, Ireland’s largest bookmaker.
But if you think Ayotte is going to be the V.P. pick, you should head over to Intrade for better odds. The bettors there are less upbeat about Ayotte’s chances, giving her just a 0.5% chance of being the GOP vice presidential nominee. Ayotte shares are trading at $0.05 today, down from $2.50 in mid-February.
Last week, 85 New Hampshire lawmakers voted to exempt business owners and their employees from the state’s civil rights laws if they deny wedding services based on their “conscience or religious faith.”
House Bill 1264 was clearly aimed at same-sex marriages, but the bill would have hypothetically protected the right to discriminate against any union, including interracial and interdenominational marriages.
For that reason, Rep. Barry Palmer said, the bill would have violated state and federal laws including the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other nondiscrimination statutes.
“This is not a religious exemption, this is a red herring,” he complained. “This sounds more like 1950s Mississippi than 21st century New Hampshire.”
The bill was defeated, but 85 GOP House members voted to turn back the clock and legalize discrimination. The full list follows below the fold.
Writing in the Concord Monitor, Katy Burns dissects the GOP obsession with so-called social issues. “It’s all about sex,” she writes. “First, alarms were raised about gay marriage…. Then the focus moved to Planned Parenthood…. Now the focus has moved — incredibly — to contraception….”
As legislators across the nation — many of them old and male — suddenly became obsessed with slaying that wicked contraception dragon, they pontificated that “it’s about religious freedom.” Bosh. It’s not about religious freedom, not for most of ‘em. It’s about sex. It’s about the fear that entirely too many people — coincidentally not old and often not male — are having entirely too much sex. And enjoying it!
Oral contraceptives, Burns reminds us, have had a profound impact on society. They allowed women to control their reproductive freedom for the first time in history. “And with that, their futures.”
Unshackled from their plumbing limitations, women flocked into the workplace, into higher education, into once normally “male” professions. And they started having sex without dread or shame…. The Pill and its variations have become as much a part of American women’s lives as tooth brushing.
“Cynical and increasingly desperate politicians,” who are frightened by these profound changes, are now fighting to reverse them. But the attempt to turn back history and keep women barefoot and pregnant has awakened even the apolitical. Witness “the small army of angry women who showed up at the State House to protest.”
Running to social issues doesn’t work in New Hampshire (the nation’s second least religious state). Plus, it smells like desperation. (But there are a lot of months to go until November.) Rush Limbaugh may help in certain places and among certain demographics, but New Hampshire independents are not one them.