Friday Talking Points -- Republican Woes

[ Posted Friday, February 17th, 2023 – 19:19 UTC ]

We have to begin today with a look at the woes of the Republican Party. Because, when you think about it, why not?

The most amusing news (speaking from across the political aisle) all has to do with the Republican Party trying to come to grips with another presidential nominating process with Donald Trump as the 800-pound elephant in the room. Most of the party establishment would dearly love to see literally anyone else win the nomination than Trump, but they also fear the prospect of Trump going rogue if he doesn't win and launching his own third-party bid.

So the bigwigs and the deep-pocket GOP donors are all planning their strategy, which aims to learn the lessons from 2016, when Trump won the nomination mostly by getting only around one-third of the votes in each state's primary. While GOP voters rejected Trump by a 2-to-1 margin, the "2" in that equation was splintered between over a dozen other contenders. So this time around, the bigwigs and the big-money types are going to try to strongarm whichever candidates they wind up endorsing into agreeing to drop out early if they don't catch fire. The only problem with this wonderful scheme is what will happen if different groups of bigwigs and donors settle on different "not-Trump" candidates? If there are three or four of them who are backed by tens of millions of dollars, are the people who invested so much money in them really going to say to themselves: "Well, we spent a lot, but he's not going to win, so let's just pull the plug and start backing another candidate"? This remains to be seen.

It's not just the money, either. The Republican National Committee is currently engaging in talks with news organizations interested in hosting GOP candidate debates later this year. They are reportedly open to making a few changes in their rules, including the possibility of adopting reforms that Democrats found helpful when confronted with a large roster of candidates -- such as requiring "candidates to prove they have a certain number of grass-roots donors and meet a threshold of polling support to get on the stage."

But the biggest sticking point may be the loyalty oath. As they did in the 2016 election cycle, Republicans are likely going to demand that any candidate who participates in their official debates has to sign a pledge to eventually support the Republican presidential nominee, no matter who that turns out to be.

In 2016, this rule was pointed directly at Trump. Previously, the question hadn't really even been an issue -- of course all the Republicans would eventually support the GOP nominee. But Trump didn't seem inclined to agree. He gave a "depends on who it is" answer, when asked the question during his campaign. Eventually the R.N.C. did get Trump to sign such a pledge, but everyone by that point knew it wasn't worth the paper it was printed on -- Trump was going to do whatever Trump was going to do, no matter what he was now saying. And this time around, he's being just as coy. He recently gave the same answer in an interview with a conservative host: "It would depend on who the nominee was."

But this time the problem has an additional complication -- other Republicans who are loath to pledge to eventually support Trump, if he wins the nomination. So-called "Never-Trump Republicans" are pretty adamant about Trump's unfitness for office (to put it mildly). Some of them took this stance very early on -- way back in the 2016 campaign; some were initially Never-Trumpers only to kiss up to him after he won (which sometimes resulted in being hired by Trump, as Nikki Haley was); and some of them only recently converted to Never-Trumpism after the events of January 6th. But it is pretty morally impossible to say: "Donald Trump would be dangerous if he became president again," and then turn around a sign a pledge to support him if he wins the primaries. Some are saying this out loud -- ex-governor of Maryland Larry Hogan recently tweeted he "won't commit to supporting" Trump. Some, like ex-governor of Arkansas Asa Hutchinson, are already attacking the concept of a loyalty oath:

Historically, our party has not taken party loyalty oaths. For leaders such as myself who believe Donald Trump is not the right direction for the country -- and I said specifically that Jan. 6 disqualified him -- that would certainly make it a problem for me to give an across-the-board inclusion pledge.

This leaves the R.N.C. in a quandary. It's easy to see why they want such a pledge from all the candidates, but it's also easy to see that any of these candidates could sign such a (non-binding) pledge and then later tear it up and refuse to support Trump. The choice for a Republican candidate might come down to: lie (and sign your name to it) -- or be barred from the debate stage for telling the truth. Which sounds about right, for the morals of the Republican Party in Trumpian times, when you stop and think about it.

The R.N.C. chair is pretty adamant, though:

We do need to come out of this primary united. And we have a lot of candidates running saying, "I'll never support Trump," and if you are going to get on this debate stage, you are going to have to say, "I'm going to support the nominee." We cannot have a rigorous debate process and come out with a nominee and have anyone say, "I'm walking away."

Which completely ignores the problem such a pledge was initially designed to solve: Trump not being the nominee and walking away to form his own party. As we said, it's a double-edged conundrum for the R.N.C.

In the one place in elected government where Republicans do currently have control, it seems another "Republicans In Disarray" headline is warranted. The New York Times took a look at how things are going for the Republican House:

Six weeks into their majority, Republican leaders have found themselves paralyzed on some of the biggest issues they promised to address as they pressed to win control of the House last year, amid internal policy disputes that have made it difficult to unify their tiny yet ideologically diverse majority.

They have had to pull back even on some measures that were supposed to be easy to pass, messaging bills once described as "ready-to-go legislation" intended to articulate House Republicans' values and force politically vulnerable Democrats to take tough votes. It is an early indication of the unwieldy nature of the House Republican conference and a mark of how challenging it will be to reach consensus among themselves on far more consequential legislation that lies ahead, such as raising the debt ceiling and funding the government.

In other House GOP news, Matt Gaetz is apparently not going to be charged with having sex with an underage girl or sex trafficking, and he recently opened a committee meeting by inviting an accused murderer to lead them all in the "Pledge Of Allegiance." About par for the course, for Gaetz. Nothing like those good old-fashioned Republican family values, folks! Also, George Santos might not be the only serial fabulist in Republican ranks, as Representative Andy Ogles of Tennessee apparently also constructed his résumé out of whole cloth. And the GOP "Tinfoil Hat Committee" continues to be a particularly wet firecracker.

The big news in Republicanland this week was Nikki Haley's official announcement that she is running against Donald Trump for the GOP presidential nomination. But we've got some snarky things to say about that down in the talking points, so we merely mention it in passing here.

Over in Trumpworld, the legal news continues to be grim and unrelenting. Trump's lawyers sheepishly turned in another folder with classified markings on it as well as an aide's laptop which had some classified documents on it, just for starters.

The special counsel looking into all of Trump's possible crimes seems to be moving full speed ahead, and is now trying to convince a judge that Trump's lawyers shouldn't be able to hide being "attorney-client privilege" when what was being discussed was how to commit crimes. Trump's lawyers now need lawyers of their own, it seems.

Mike Pence has also been subpoenaed to tell what he knows about such criminal activity, but he's trying to hide behind a different legal claim, so he won't be testifying any time soon to the special counsel as the whole thing works its way through the judicial system. Meanwhile a group of Proud Boys on trial for sedition relating to January 6th are trying to subpoena Trump, but legal experts don't expect this gambit to work.

It was revealed that Trump hired some experts back in December of 2020 to look into all the claims of election fraud and whatnot -- and when they reported back to him that there simply was no fraud on any sort of magnitude that would change any of the election's results, Trump promptly ignored these conclusions.

And the icing on the legal-woes cake for Trump this week was a partial release of the special grand jury report in Georgia, which indicated: (1) that they also had found precisely zero widespread election fraud, and also that: (2) "A majority of the grand jury believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it. The grand jury recommends that the district attorney seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling." Most of the grand jury report was redacted, though, indicating that the grand jury called for other indictments as well which are now being followed up.

Trump, rather delusionally, insisted that since his name was not mentioned in the small segment of the grand jury report that was publically released, that somehow that translated into "total exoneration" for him. He even thanked the grand jury for their "Patriotism & Courage." Seems a little premature, no? We're betting that when the full grand jury report is released, Trump will be singing a completely different tune....

What else? Fox News has now been exposed as the propaganda and money-making machine it truly is, as the case against it by one of the manufacturers of voting machines revealed this week. The executives and even the fire-breathing commentators there knew full well that all of Trump's noise about election fraud was complete and utter moosepoop, but they took a look at their bottom line, shrugged, and aired all of Trump's delusional conspiracy theories anyway. They're getting sued for over a billion dollars, did we mention that?

And we'll end on a few high notes before we get to the awards section. First, America's skies are now completely balloon-free! Or maybe not, it's hard to tell. The White House did inform us that it was definitely not aliens, however, and President Biden finally addressed the nation on the subject and promised some new protocols for handling future incidents. We must admit we have tended to tune some of this news out because it really feels like a political "silly season" story at this juncture....

President Joe Biden got a clean bill of health in his annual physical, which was good to hear.

There's one committee in Washington that was actually incredibly productive in the last Congress, and shockingly enough it was a bipartisan success story. Even more shocking was the committee's name -- the "Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress." Their job was to make recommendations for how the House can actually work better and they were apparently astoundingly successful at it. It's a feel-good government story, in case you need to read one.

But the best feel-good story of the week came from Representative Jamie Raskin, who has been undergoing chemotherapy and is losing his hair as a result. So he's taken to wearing bandannas. And not just any bandannas, these days:

As [Representative Jamie Raskin] noticed his hair falling out, "I immediately thought about Little Steven, who I've always loved," he said, referring to rock-and-roll musician Steven Van Zandt. "Little Steven was my inspiration."

Van Zandt -- who is a member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, and played consigliere Silvio Dante on "The Sopranos" -- is known for his trademark bandannas.

When Van Zandt heard that Raskin had been crediting him for his own chemo head covering, he was touched.

"That was an honor to me, and I wanted to reciprocate that wonderful gesture," said Van Zandt, who is on tour and decided to send Raskin some bandannas from his own supply. "I just wanted to show a little solidarity."

He put together a package in his hotel room.

"I sent him five scarves from my personal collection here on the road, and when I get home in a few weeks, I'll send him some more," Van Zandt said.

Raskin received the bandannas -- which Van Zandt had previously worn (and washed before sending) -- on Saturday. The congressman said he was stunned by the thoughtful gift.

"I was so blown away and moved," he said. Evidently, Raskin said, "he realized that I needed a fashion upgrade."

Raskin also had some fanboy things to say about the gifts: "Whoever is making his scarves is like the Michelangelo of bandannas. They are really in a class of their own. These are a work of art."

As promised -- we told you that was a great feel-good story!


Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

We have one Honorable Mention to hand out this week, to Senator Dianne Feinstein, for announcing she will not be running for re-election in 2024. We wrote about this announcement on the day it happened, where we tried to be fair by highlighting both the things she stood for that we agreed with as well as the things we didn't. This one's personal, since DiFi is our own senator, and has long been featured in both (again, to be fair) of our awards segments here.

But this week the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week is none other than Senator Bernie Sanders, who sensed an opportunity to go on the offensive and took it and ran with it.

What with all the political dustup over supporting Social Security and Medicare this week, Bernie essentially told the Republicans: "Oh, so you now say you support these programs? Then prove it!" Here's how he threw down this gauntlet:

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and progressive Democrats on Monday reintroduced a bill to increase Social Security retirement benefits and shore up the program's finances solely by taxing corporations and the wealthy.

. . .

Sanders' legislation pushes the boundaries of the present debate over Social Security still further to the left by asking Republicans to respond to the prospect of both bigger benefits and heftier taxes.

"At a time when nearly half of older Americans have no retirement savings and almost 50 percent of our nation's seniors are trying to survive on an income of less than $25,000 a year, our job is not to cut Social Security," Sanders said in a release. "Our job is to expand Social Security so that every senior in America can retire with the dignity that they deserve and every person with a disability can live with the security they need."

Sanders' Social Security Expansion Act is unlikely to become law, but it lays down a marker for the progressive position -- namely that there's no need to cut future benefits in order close the gap between the program's projected spending and revenue. The bill serves as an implicit response to complaints from conservative policy experts that the program's funding gap cannot be closed entirely through tax increases on high earners.

. . .

To ensure the program can pay out future benefits and then some, Sanders proposes subjecting earnings over $250,000 to the 12.4% payroll tax while not counting the new taxed earnings toward a person's benefits. As of this year, only $160,200 of wage income is subject to payroll taxes. Sanders proposes levying other taxes as well, such as subjecting investment income over $200,000 to payroll taxes.

Sanders released a letter Monday from Social Security's Office of the Chief Actuary declaring that his legislation "would extend the ability of the [Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance] program to pay scheduled benefits in full and on time throughout the 75-year projection period."

In addition, the new revenue Sanders' bill would generate for Social Security enables him to finance a more generous benefit formula that would increase the benefits of low- and moderate-income earners by about 15%. He would also tie the size of benefits to a consumer price index designed to account for seniors' higher living costs.

That is what it means to support the safety net! And we're not exactly holding our breath awaiting the surge of support for the plan from the Republican side of the aisle, if you know what we mean.

For good measure, Sanders also tossed out another excellent idea:

Sen. Bernie Sanders announced this week that he will soon introduce legislation to set the minimum annual salary for U.S. public school teachers at $60,000, a change the senator said could be fully financed with progressive changes to the estate tax.

We even stumbled across a classic "Bernie being Bernie" quip from the past week. If this wasn't perfect enough for Saturday Night Live and other late-night comedy writers, the subheading of the article also helpfully points out that Sanders "ordered soup" during the meal:

The senator had no idea it was Valentine's Day. "When is that? This weekend?" Bernie Sanders asked when I greeted him for dinner on February 14 at Young Chow, a Chinese restaurant on Pennsylvania Avenue that he likes. No, I told him, it is Valentine's Day currently, right now, as this very meal is taking place. He was grumpy. "Why is Valentine's Day in the middle of the week?"

Must be a nefarious plot by the billionaires behind Hallmark and the candy and flowers industries, obviously.

Kidding aside, however, we have to admire Bernie's "strike while the iron is hot" strategy. Republicans are newly-won converts to supporting Social Security and Medicare, so the time is indeed ripe to hold their feet to the fire and show America with their votes which party supports the safety net and which party would just prefer to make empty statements about doing so.

Well done, Bernie. Nice timing!

Which is why Senator Bernie Sanders is our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week.

[Congratulate Senator Bernie Sanders on his Senate contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]


Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

Over the past few weeks, the mainstream media dropped the ball on a major story, after the flames and fireballs had been extinguished. Then Twitter went a little crazy and Republican politicians jumped into the breach, because they smelled vulnerability in a member of Joe Biden's administration.

Who also largely dropped the ball on the whole matter.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg was actually interviewed on three Sunday morning political chatfest programs on February 4th, the day after a train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. None of the journalists asked about the (quite literal) trainwreck. Buttigieg didn't bring it up either, as everyone was still consumed with the ongoing "balloon attack" stories.

In fact, Buttigieg waited 10 whole days to even send a tweet about the incident: "I continue to be concerned about the impacts of the Feb 3 train derailment near East Palestine, OH, and the effects on families in the ten days since their lives were upended through no fault of their own." Which doesn't exactly offer up much in the way of answers, obviously.

The Nation ran a scathing article about Buttigieg, where Jeff Hauser ("founder and director of the Revolving Door Project and an astute critic of corporate domination of government") shares his rather metaphor-heavy opinion:

[Transportation Secretary Pete] Buttigieg is not supposed to be sitting in first class as a passenger in government offering up political bon mots for the press. He is supposed to be putting the pedal to the metal and accelerating the Transportation Department's enforcement capacity after Elaine Chao's actively damaging reign. It's about time that Buttigieg quits auditioning for the role of White House press secretary and start doing the work of the executive branch -- executing aggressively existing laws designed to protect Americans from rapacious rail and aviation companies. An engaged secretary of transportation would have begun the process of reanalyzing the costs and benefits of a new braking rule on their first day in office. It should not take a tragedy to get him focused on the responsibilities of his office.

That's from the left. But here's what Senator Joe Manchin (the most rightward of the Democrats in the Senate) had to say about Buttigieg's lackadaisical performance:

"It is unacceptable that it took nearly two weeks for a senior administration official to show up," Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) said in a statement Thursday afternoon, urging the White House to "provide a complete picture of the damage and a comprehensive plan to ensure the community is supported in the weeks, months and years to come, and this sort of accident never happens again."

Republicans, of course, had even more scathing things to say about Pete.

Getting beyond personalities, there are tangible steps that could be taken, the New York Times helpfully pointed out (in great detail):

First and foremost, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg can direct his agency to expand the definition of "high-hazard flammable trains" to include all trains carrying any compound that could explode and poison communities, including those released and burned in East Palestine. This change would help ensure that first responders are prepared and affected communities are better informed in the event of future disasters.

The Biden administration should consider bringing back the electronic brake rule -- either through executive action or by demanding Congress pass a version of an earlier Republican-authored bill that would make it the law of the land.

But Buttigieg, the Biden administration and lawmakers should not stop there.

The Department of Transportation can finalize and implement a rule repealing the Trump administration's reckless decision to allow the transport of highly explosive liquefied natural gas by rail, a move that triggered a lawsuit from 16 attorneys general. The agency can require rail companies to deploy heat sensors known as hot-box detectors to warn train crews of overheated bearings before derailments happen. The sensors do not currently fall under federal regulation. D.O.T. can also mandate railroads' participation in a currently voluntary and unevenly used system that lets rail workers and railroads report near misses as they occur, helping regulators track risky practices.

And regulators can listen to rail workers and finalize a rule mandating minimum two-person crews on trains, as well as ensure expanded paid sick leave and other measures to reduce burnout on the rails.

Meanwhile, Congress can launch an investigation examining the rail industry's safety procedures and the Environmental Protection Agency can make sure that the rail companies pay all cleanup costs for derailments. That would lessen the burden on communities, and create a financial incentive for these industrial giants to avoid such disasters in the future.

Even in America's polarized politics, these measures could have bipartisan support. Already, [Ohio Governor Mike] DeWine, a Republican, and Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, have called for federal officials to consider expanding the definition of "high-hazard flammable trains" to make sure trains like Norfolk Southern's are better regulated. Mr. Shapiro also said lawmakers should "revisit the need for regulation requiring high-hazard flammable trains to carry more advanced safety and braking equipment."

Similarly, Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota are pressing for a re-evaluation of current rail safety rules to ensure they prevent future derailment disasters. Those demands are being echoed by the Republican Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, J.D. Vance of Ohio and Marco Rubio of Florida.

In other words, there are plenty of areas for improvement. Which should all have been immediately championed by Pete Buttigieg.

Instead, he dropped the ball. It wasn't until Twitter and the Republicans essentially shamed the media into paying attention to the aftermath of the derailment that Buttigieg even reacted.

Which is why Buttigieg was really the only choice for this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. We sincerely hope we see Pete on this Sunday's political shows, and we hope he's got a plan of action by now. Because he's wasted enough time already.

[Contact Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on his official contact page, which has no email or form, just a department telephone number, to let him know what you think of his actions.]


Friday Talking Points

Volume 695 (2/17/23)

Before we begin the talking points segment, we'd like to send our "get well" wishes to both senators from Pennsylvania. Senator Bob Casey is in the hospital following prostate surgery, and Senator John Fetterman checked himself in on the advice of doctors to treat severe depression. We hope for a full recovery for both, so they can get back to representing the Keystone State in the Senate.

This week's talking points start out with some scorn for Republicans on the subject of the safety net, and then finish with a rather tongue-in-cheek callback to some recent Republican talking points. Yes, we are going to (not at all sincerely) offer up some rather kicky messaging advice to Nikki Haley, and we're also providing the original Democratic quote that many Republicans now seem eager to rip off (because it was that kind of week). Enjoy and use responsibly, as always.


   Make some political hay while the sun shines

This is obviously getting under their skin, so rinse and repeat....

"President Joe Biden is right to be calling out Republican hypocrisy on supporting Social Security and Medicare. Because there is only one political party which has stood firm for these programs from the very start, and that is the Democratic Party. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the first Social Security law, after all, and Medicare and Medicaid were enacted under President Lyndon Baines Johnson. You know who launched his political career by fearmongering that Medicare would mean the death of freedom in America? Ronald Reagan. So it's pretty easy to understand which party has historically supported these programs and which party did not. As Biden himself might say: 'C'mon, man! It's obvious!' I mean, as Biden also said, we certainly do welcome converts to the cause of protecting Social Security and Medicare, but let's not forget who the Johnny-come-latelies to this effort truly are, OK?"


   They've always been against it!

Show the flip side of this coin, too.

"Republicans started their opposition to a federal safety net by calling Social Security and Medicare 'socialism' and darkly warned that it all would somehow lead America to descend into communism. In 1935, one Republican senator darkly warned that Social Security would: 'end the progress of a great country and bring its people to the level of the average European.' Oh, the horrors! In 1961 as Medicare was being debated, Ronald Reagan grimly predicted what would happen if it passed: 'one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children's children, what it was once like in America when men were free.' Republicans have been trying to make deep cuts to these programs for as long as I have been alive -- it is certainly nothing new for them. They have previously tried to slash benefits, privatize Social Security, or turn Medicare and Medicaid into voucher programs. That is the Republican record on America's safety net. They even want everyone to call these programs 'entitlements,' because they think it sounds more like 'welfare' if they do. They have been doing this stuff for decades and decades, folks. If they're ready to change their tune now, we welcome such a major ideological shift. But let's not forget the history of it all when we do."


   Scott throws in the towel

Breaking news today!

"Senator Rick Scott, who authored the plan to sunset Social Security and Medicare has apparently now had a change of heart. Or he's just tired of Joe Biden and all the Democrats accurately pointing out what he proposed as a Republican platform in the midterm elections -- that could be it, too. Either way, he has rewritten his plan for sunsetting all federal laws every five years to now say: 'with specific exceptions of Social Security, Medicare, national security, veterans benefits, and other essential services.' Well, that's mighty nice of him to realize, don't you think? Gosh, I guess government actually does do some good things! It only took being called out by the president to make him realize the error of his ways."


   But what about Jared?

This should really become the go-to answer any Democrat gives whenever anyone brings up the name "Hunter Biden" in any context.

"Excuse me, so you're saying that we should be vigilant to protect against members of a president's family so they don't peddle influence or access to foreign entities? Is that what your worry is? You're saying that sort of thing is corrupt? Well then, let's talk about Jared Kushner and the two billion dollars that the Saudi crown prince handed him to play around with about 12 seconds after he left his White House job after his father was forced out of the building. Let's have some investigations into that, shall we? Or the lucrative business advantages the Chinese communist government handed to Ivanka Trump while her daddy was still president, perhaps? Or the fact that close members of Donald Trump's family were even given high-ranking administration jobs and security clearances to see secret documents -- maybe that sort of thing needs some looking into, whaddyasay?"


   This is what deregulation looks like, folks

There's plenty of blame to go around on this one. Just ask any of the railroad workers who went on strike last year, they'll tell you chapter and verse.

"When politicians -- usually conservative Republicans, but far too often corporatist Democrats as well -- talk about 'deregulation,' they always frame it as some small-business owner being buried alive under government rules and paperwork. It is always portrayed as a very bad thing to 'over-regulate' any industry. Well you know what? That trainwreck in Ohio recently is a prime example of 'deregulation' in action. This is the inevitable result in getting rid of safety regulations or refusing to institute new safety regulations. Most regulations are created for a very good reason. Avoiding devastating industrial accidents is just one of those reasons. Giant corporations pay lobbyists millions of dollars to avoid regulations because they fear it might hit their bottom line. The only way to change this is to make the aftereffects of the accidents cost them even more than the safety regulations they fight so hard against. Maybe if the rail company didn't get away with paying five dollars per resident to the town affected -- or, when they realized how bad that looked, even one thousand dollars -- and instead were held liable in a court of law for a few million dollars in punitive damages for each and every resident affected... maybe then the corporations would understand that promoting safety is in their best interests. Because 'deregulation' has real-world effects. And those that lobby hard for riskier business practices should be held fully accountable."


   Haley's kickoff

We tried to, but in the end we just couldn't resist. What kicked this all off, of course, was Nikki Haley's campaign kickoff, which included the charmingly ass-kicking line: "You should know this about me, I don't put up with bullies. And when you kick back, it hurts them more if you're wearing heels." Later, when asked by Sean Hannity how she would differentiate herself from Donald Trump, Haley got a kick out of ignoring the question: "I don't kick sideways. I'm kicking forward. Joe Biden is the president. He's the one I'm running against." Obviously, Haley's campaign is alive and kicking! So we thought we'd just let our creativity kick back and relax as we came up with a few more quips for her to kick around:

"I don't mean to kick a man when he's down, but Donald Trump is a loser and the Republican Party just has got to kick the Trump habit once and for good. Otherwise we'll all be kicking ourselves later at Biden's second inauguration! Trump has got to get kicked to the curb, no matter how much he kicks and screams about it. Or kick him upstairs -- let him run Fox News or something. Personally, I don't care if he kicks the bucket, but we cannot nominate another person who instantly recognizes the line 'Get your kicks on Route 66' again. This party needs a kick in the pants, we don't need to kick the can of losing elections down the road again. So I invite everyone to kick the tires of Nikki Haley, because I think you'll find I'm a real kick in the pants when you do! I know you'll walk away saying 'she's got a real kick to her,' because I am more than ready to start kicking ass and taking names in Washington. So help me kick up my heels, America! Let's kick the 2024 Republican presidential campaign into high gear!"


   J.F.K. said it better

We're soon going to get sick of hearing this one, that is our guess. Sarah Huckabee Sanders used it in her response to the State Of The Union. Nikki Haley is leaning into it in a big way already (even calling for politicians over the age of 75 to have to pass a competency test). So we thought we'd close today talking points with the original, since it was Democrat John F. Kennedy who made the phrase famous in the political world:

It is time for a new generation of leadership, to cope with new problems and new opportunities. For there is a new world to be won.

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground


2 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- Republican Woes”

  1. [1] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I know it's from last week, but i would keep running the clip where governor Huckabee Sanders says that America faces a choice between normal and crazy, then run the raw facts side by side, and let people decide for themselves which looks like which.

  2. [2] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    “Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at seven it’s marginal, right?”
    ~president trump

    that's normal.

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