The GOP’s Twisted Priorities

The Daily Caller has a jaw-dropping exclusive about how the RNC is spending its money:

According to two knowledgeable sources, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele once raised the possibility of using party money to buy a private jet for his travel.


Steele’s spokesman, Doug Heye, did not deny that such discussions took place, responding that the RNC never had a “plan” to buy a plane. “I don’t know what somebody might have discussed or might not have discussed.”

While Steele has not purchased a plane, he continues to charter them. According to federal disclosure records, the RNC spent $17,514 on private aircraft in the month of February alone (as well as $12,691 on limousines during the same period). There are no readily identifiable private plane expenses for Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine in the DNC’s last three months of filings.


Once on the ground, FEC filings suggest, Steele travels in style. A February RNC trip to California, for example, included a $9,099 stop at the Beverly Hills Hotel, $6,596 dropped at the nearby Four Seasons, and $1,620.71 spent [update: the amount is actually $1,946.25] at Voyeur West Hollywood, a bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex.

RNC trips to other cities produced bills from a long list of chic and costly hotels such as the Venetian and the M Resort in Las Vegas, and the W (for a total of $19,443) in Washington. A midwinter trip to Hawaii cost the RNC $43,828, not including airfare.

[All emphasis mine]

Private planes, fancy hotels, expensive Hawaii junkets, lesbian bondage cubs…does that sound like the kind of folks you want running the country?

Health care reform may not be perfect, but I’d take the folks who gave us that over the folks who spend other people’s money to go to kinky sex clubs any day.


Another Day, Another RNC Fail: RNC To Hold Fundraiser At Blackwater Compound

That’s the same Blackwater which has been accused of murder, illegal weapons smuggling, bribery, fraud (including using taxpayer money to buy strippers and prostitutes) and stealing weapons from the US military, among many other serious crimes.

You know that if the DNC held a fundraiser at, say, an ACORN office then heads would roll, careers would end and the right-wing media would launch a massive weeks-long national outcry.

And yet, almost nobody in the media is making a fuss over the RNC getting into bed with Blackwater.

And to think, ACORN was only accused of was giving bad tax advice.

Double standards much?

GOP Poised For 2010 Comeback? (UPDATED With Fundraising Numbers)

Survey says…nope:

Poll respondents are evenly divided when asked whether they have confidence in Obama to make the right decisions for the country’s future, but just 19 percent express confidence in the Republicans in Congress to do so. Even among Republicans, only 40 percent express confidence in the GOP congressional leadership to make good choices.

Only 20 percent of adults identify themselves as Republicans, little changed in recent months, but still the lowest single number in Post-ABC polls since 1983. Political independents continue to make up the largest group, at 42 percent of respondents; 33 percent call themselves Democrats.


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Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, 1932 – 2009


There isn’t much I can say about Sen. Kennedy that hasn’t already been said by people far more intelligent and eloquent than I, so I will simply let Kennedy’s words speak for themselves.

Here, in its entirety, is Sen. Kennedy’s speech to the 1980 Democratic National Convention, widely regarded as one of the finest iterations and defenses of liberalism in modern American history:

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DNC Chairman Tim Kaine

The choice has been made:

Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine will become chairman of the Democratic National Committee later this month, serving as the top political messenger for Barack Obama’s administration even while he finishes his final year in the governor’s mansion, several sources said.

Kaine, who emerged as one of Obama’s vice presidential finalists this summer, will operate from Richmond in a part-time capacity until January 2010, when he will become the full-time DNC chairman. Kaine is constitutionally barred from running for reelection.

A personal friend of the president-elect, Kaine is a gregarious chief executive who is known to relish political combat and helped put Virginia in the Democratic column for the first time in almost 50 years.

I volunteered for Kaine back in 2005–he’s no Howard Dean, but he does look like a pretty solid pick.   Plus, since he’s a close ally of Obama I imagine that the DNC and White House political operation will operate in tandem.  I just hope that Kaine continues Dean’s legacy of building a 50-state Democratic infrastructure and building a national network of small donors.

VA-GOV: McAuliffe’s In

Former DNC Chairman and Hillary Clinton campaign chair Terry McAuliffe is officially running for Governor of Virginia.

McAuliffe was Chairman of the DNC from 2001 to 2005; in that time, Democrats lost two elections; the party’s fundraising consistently lagged behind the GOP’s; messaging and party discipline were terrible; and the party backed a slew of idiotic self-defeating policies.

But it would be completely unfair to blame all of that on McAuliffe–even if he did everything right, he might not have been able to single-handedly solve those problems.

What I do blame McAuliffe for, though, is the way he ran the party: poorly.   Under his leadership, state Democratic parties atrophied, starved of funds and talent.  Little to no effort was put into building the kind of web-based small donor network that propelled Howard Dean to national prominence under McAuliffe’s watch.  Under him, Democrats were consistently incapable of putting enough boots on the ground to win elections.  Under McAuliffe, the networks of volunteers and experienced political operatives that would go on to elect  Barack Obama President were never built.  Under him, millions of dollars of potential donations from small donors was never collected.

McAuliffe is politically old-fashioned.  He’s from the school of thought that says as long as you have enough wealthy donors willing to max out and as long as you can afford a lot of television commercials, you’ll win.  His leadership was fundamentally out of touch with the reality of American politics.  Every advancement Howard Dean made could have at least been started under McAuliffe; he simply refused to take a risk and modernize the Democratic Party. And that’s not the kind of leadership we need here in Virginia.

So, unless something major changes, I won’t be voting for Terry McAuliffe.  Thanks, but no thanks.