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A Questioning Goposaur
Alexander Burns and Jake Sherman of Politico take a look at what they call the GOP's "clueless caucus" — the Todd Akins and Allen Wests and Steve Kings and Michele Bachmanns of the Republican Party who just can't stop saying stupid things. I'll never object to talking about clueless Republicans, but here's the thing thing: the clueless caucus isn't some rump group of House Republicans who get more attention they deserve. It's pretty much infused the entire party.

For example, here is one of the Republicans who Burns and Sherman offer up as a counterpoint to the clueless caucus:

Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, perhaps the deftest communicator among the House GOP women, stepped up to be an advocate for the legislation instead. Speaking to POLITICO, Blackburn said the only thing the party can do in these moments is try to put its best messengers forward.

“I think people are going to misspeak. What we seek to do as women is to be a positive force for the right kind of change,” Blackburn said. She suggested voters might swap out some of her loquacious colleagues in coming elections.

“Many times when you want to change what’s happening, you change the players,” she told POLITICO. “Having more conservative women in Washington would be a good thing.”

But if Marsha Blackburn is supposed to be one of the "clueful" Republicans, it only serves to reinforce the depth of their problems. Sure, Blackburn replaced Rep. Trent Franks as leader of their abortion ban legislation after Franks dismissed pregnancies resulting from rape and incest. But yesterday, Blackburn defended the legislation's requirement that women report rape to police before being able to have an abortion by arguing that the purpose of the bill was to to put more rapists behind bars.

Now, I don't know about you, but I think the idea that banning abortion after 20 weeks will help stop rape is pretty damn clueless. In fact, it doesn't seem any less clueless than the guy she replaced. But even if it is, the fact that there are Republicans even more clueless than her shows just how clueless congressional Republicans really are.

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Comment Preferences

  •  IOW, they're dim, Jed! n/t (10+ / 0-)

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:40:05 AM PDT

  •  These people are pretty well educated so I doubt (5+ / 0-)

    they are clueless but they are speaking to their constituencies which are about as poorly educated as they come.  They know their audience and their audience has a collective IQ of 50.

    •  Their constituents are educated, but it's "GIGO". (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, OldDragon, JeffW, efrenzy, cybersaur

      =Garbage In, Garbage Out. The constituents want to be re-affirmed of their faith, because their faith flies in the face of reason and evidence. So they need Republicans to calm their cognitive dissonance, but patting them on the head and saying "there, there, don't fret, I'll stop those bad democrats from making you have to deal with reality, just give me your money and your vote and I'll help you go back to sleep so that you can pursue that "dream"."

      -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

      by JPax on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:02:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  True but then I know some highly educated (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Republicans who care about nothing but taxes and being greedy or several others I know from grad school..3 of them are scientists ..who got involved in right wing Evangelical churches and are socially conservative. It is because their spouse got them involved in those kind of churches or because once they had kids, they changed and decided the mega church offered more kids programs. It is strange but most of the hard core GOPers I know have at least a masters degree but a few had PHDs and one is climatologist.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:03:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Educated Republicans are able to filter out ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, wishingwell

        ... this crap.

        They know what it is. They are able to laugh it off as a fringe element because the GOP still stands for a few key things they like ... and we don't.

        It's that simple. Being enablers of the Fringe Right does not bother them enough.

        2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:16:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, you hit the nail on the head (0+ / 0-)
          It's that simple. Being enablers of the Fringe Right does not bother them enough.
          I think you are spot on based on a discussion I was able to have with one of these very well educated Republicans.  The fringe right does not bother them enough. This person just shook their heads and sighed about the teabagger fringe.  It simply did not bother her enough to change parties or have second thoughts about the GOP.  

          Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

          by wishingwell on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 06:39:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  But where they're educated makes a difference (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snapples, cybersaur
      "These people are pretty well educated so..."
      Here in the ruby red state of OK, we have institutions of higher learning like Rhema Bible College and Oral Roberts University.

      Many churches in the state also run K-12 schools that teach their own brand of science and sex education.

      Graduates of these Christian schools have a "unique" education which can lead to Todd Akins and Sally Kern type beliefs.

      These people ARE educated, in Christian institutions, which is honestly, terrifying.

      In a world of the blind, the one eyed man is a pariah. Ask Galileo. Ask Darwin.

      by OKParrothead on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 09:05:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Utterly defined by rank cluelessness (4+ / 0-)

    and their celebrations of it.


  •  The only smart Republican is.... (6+ / 0-)

    I'm still thinking. About the only smart ones I can think of are all dead.

    Guns are never the principle in the commission of a crime, but they are usually an accomplice

    by MadGeorgiaDem on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:43:15 AM PDT

  •  Excellent point. The continued attempts to sell (8+ / 0-)

    the erosion of reproductive freedom by changing to a better spokesperson smack of the tactics Congressperson Ryan insists are needed to sell his stupid budget.
    It's not the messenger. It's the message.
    "We hate women", "We hate the poor" and "We hate people of color" are very hard things to make sound acceptable.

    I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong. Seldom turns out the way it does in this song.

    by mungley on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:43:18 AM PDT

  •  And they are proud of it just like their rotten (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, MadGeorgiaDem, wishingwell

    Extremist base.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:45:08 AM PDT

  •  Any woman who is a Republican (7+ / 0-)

    is clueless, by definition.

    I don't get mad. I get stabby! - Fat Tony D'Amico

    by sizzzzlerz on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:45:43 AM PDT

  •  So, according to Marsha Blackburn, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MadGeorgiaDem, Theodore J Pickle

    we should force women to give birth in order to catch their rapists?  That is their plan?

    Genius, I tells you!  Genius!

    With the Decision Points Theater, the George W. Bush Presidential Library becomes the very first Presidential Library to feature a Fiction Section.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:46:19 AM PDT

    •  The only purpose in her bringing that up.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OldDragon, JeffW

      was so she could change the subject to something that is "safe".  

      Thus she could avoid having the conversation be about how things like many pregnancies are due to rape, or at what age does a fetus begin to masturbate.

  •  You say "clueless," I say "disingenuous." (6+ / 0-)

    They aren't stupid.  They are malicious.

    "Let's see what fresh fuckwittery these dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time." -- Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

    by Rikon Snow on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:50:48 AM PDT

  •  Like a game of "Clue": Bachman in Mn with Autism (0+ / 0-)

    or Blackburn in TN with Rape.

    After all, pandering and obstructionism is a game to them.

    -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

    by JPax on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:58:32 AM PDT

  •  We are witnessing the Republican mess too. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Apparently we here in West Palm Beach Florida aren't the only ones watching the Republicans in disarray. The Palm Beach Post and BizPac have both been covering this and here is what they have said. By the way, the Dr. West in the piece is Allen West's wife:

    "PBC Republican Party meeting degenerates into brawl
    Janeen Capizola

    Palm Beach County GOP Chairman Ira Sabin with new “Interim Director of Marketing and Finance” Angela West.
    Photo: Michael Dorstewitz

    Palm Beach County GOP Chairman Ira Sabin with new “Interim Director of Marketing and Finance” Angela West.
    Photo: Michael Dorstewitz

    Fireworks erupted early at the anxiously awaited Palm Beach County Republican Executive Committee meeting Wednesday night, when Chairman Ira Sabin took the microphone after days under fire for failing to raise the funds needed to keep the party afloat.

    A blame game erupted between Sabin and former chairman of the party Sid Dinerstein, with Dinerstein saying he wasn’t going to be the George Bush to Sabin’s Barack Obama. Sabin’s daughter became so enraged, she screamed at Dinerstein to “shut up,” which prompted Sabin to publicly chastise his adult daughter. And, in an example of why the party may be out of money, a longtime big donor vowed to never give the party another dime while Sabin was chairman.

    The cash-strapped Republican Party of Palm Beach County had abruptly closed its West Palm Beach office days earlier, laying off its two full-time employees, Political Director Mark Hoch and Executive Director Cathy Brandenburg.

    Sabin opened the meeting by saying he recognizes he is “abrasive” at times, then offered his “deepest and sincerest apologies to those [he] offended.” He promised to change, saying, “My first six months were a bit rocky, but I will get better.” His effort didn’t last long before he became abrasive again, snapping at members who asked him questions.

    Sabin appointed Dr. Angela West to help fund raise as the new “interim director of marketing and finance.” West, who spoke only for a moment, supposedly met with Sabin earlier Wednesday to discuss her new role, sources told BizPac Review.

    As the circus-like meeting progressed, West looked a bit overwhelmed, and rumors were already swirling by the end of the evening that West was stunned by the level of hostility and divisiveness she witnessed.

    Sabin was asked why he didn’t attend Monday’s breakfast with Gov. Rick Scott, who addressed members of the newly launched Independent Conservative Action Network in Boca Raton. Three times Sabin maintained he was “not invited” before changing his story to say the governor’s visit was so last minute, he had other “commitments.”

    That answer didn’t sit well with some of the REC members, including someone who shouted out, “disgraceful,” and another who told Sabin it didn’t look good that the chairman of the county party wasn’t there to greet the governor.

    “I was astonished that Ira Sabin said he was not invited,” ICAN President Margi Helschien, former county GOP vice chair, told BizPac Review Wednesday.

    “All Republicans were invited. It was even included in the countywide GOP newsletter,” she said. “Former Chairman Sid Dinerstein and the county’s Republican State Committeeman, Peter Feaman, and Committeewoman Cindy Tindell attended. I do know that the first thing [the Republican Party of Florida] asked me was where was the chairman of the party?”

    Sabin’s daughter, Leah, told REC members that her organization, the Republican Jewish Coalition, was first approached by Scott’s office to host Monday’s event:

    “We were told that they did not want the party involved. They only wanted the Jewish activists involved. We were specifically told by the [Republican Party of Florida] and Gov. Scott’s office that they did not want us extending the invitation.”

    Former Palm Beach County GOP Chairman Sid Dinerstein
    Photo: Michael Dorstewitz

    Dinerstein, who served as chairman for 10 years, took the microphone to clarify some of what he said were “lies” by Sabin. Sabin had blamed Dinerstein for leaving the party broke, but Dinerstein said a party never has money after an election year.

    “I am not going to be the George Bush to Barack Obama,” Dinerstein said, pointing to Sabin, which prompted Sabin’s daughter to scream, “shut up,” to Dinerstein.

    Phil Nicozisis, a longtime donor, former GOP board member and former party fundraiser, also came up to the podium to respond to Sabin’s accusation that he “never raised a penny” for the party. Nicozisis reminded Sabin that he wrote a personal check to the party for $6,000 this year. Sabin stunned many with his retort that writing a $6,000 check was “not fundraising.”

    Nicozisis, like so many other longtime donors who said they have been put off by Sabin’s unpleasant attitude in the past six months, told Sabin he would never “see the color of his money again.”

    “Ira Sabin has failed us. He must resign,” Nicozisis told BizPac Review after Wednesday’s meeting.

    Feaman, who is also Florida’s Republican National Committeeman, proposed an ad hoc special audit committee to examine the books over the past 18 months, 12 of which were under Sabin’s position as treasurer.

    The ad hoc special audit committee consists of Tindell and REC Committeemen George Blumel, Neil Haynie and Michael Walsh.

    Sabin did say the West Palm Beach office will reopen Monday with a volunteer staff. Lobsterfest will go on and is being organized by REC Members Linda Stoch and Steven Ledowitz, who have underwritten the deposit as well.

    And the GOP website will be redesigned and more user-friendly, thanks to an $8,000 to $10,000 in-kind donation by Steven Alembik, West’s friend and a “political operative” from Boca Raton.

    Board member Marie Hope Davis, who was narrowly defeated by Sabin for the chairmanship in December, attempted to soothe the anger and address the division within the party, reminding the REC that all “must work together and must defeat Democrats.”

    After witnessing the vitriol of the meeting, that’s going to be a long, hard row to hoe.

    Read more: “Palm Beach County GOP runs out of money, staff laid off”"

  •  "We must stop being the stupid party" Jindal ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, OldDragon, JeffW

    Gov Jindal, you said it best, but going 'cold turkey' won't happen since it appears to be a genetic flaw that draws like people to the Republican Party. ;)

    *Austerity is the opposite of Prosperity*

    by josmndsn on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:05:33 AM PDT

  •  This is the same magical thinking (4+ / 0-)

    that gave us Palin in '08 and convinced the GOP that she would draw a majority of women / disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters to McCain. Didn't work then; doesn't work now.

    It's not the messenger stupid; it's the stupid message

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:07:47 AM PDT

  •  Ban abortions to stop rapists? What a concept! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, JeffW, a2nite

    This would be a breakthrough, all right, but in what? Medicine or law enforcement?

    Or maybe time travel?

    For more news, stay tuned to the Congressional GOP network.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:09:44 AM PDT

  •  We need to stop framing.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    .....what these morons say as part of the "clown car narrative" that's been used by us to dismiss their ignorant rantings out of hand.

    It seems so obvious to us that these people are around the bend, and it's completely natural and understandable to laugh, because otherwise we'd never stop screaming.

    But by holding them up to ridicule by with a satirical spin, it severely undercuts the message of how dangerous these people really are.

    What these people do is not funny, the results have been catastrophic for the country and show no sign of abating.

    What we are seeing now is a full blown "cold" Civil War emerging, and we can keep laughing at our peril.

    "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

    by jkay on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:17:59 AM PDT

    •  Yes! It's no longer funny, just plain stupid (0+ / 0-)

      You're right. While we want to laugh at the idiocies that they utter, we need to stop them cold. We need to stop saying "oh, you're so funny" to Jindal, West, etc, and start saying "Are you insane? That is so stupid!". We need to start embarrassing them, not enabling the clown car.

      Their policies are dangerous - we've seen that in play. Their hatred is dangerous - we've seen that in play. Their beliefs are dangerous - we've seen that in play.

      Radical Right - UnAmerican and Tacky as Hell

      by efrenzy on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:13:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Someone Powerful Is Behind The Ultrasound Bills (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, JeffW, a2nite

    All these governors did not spontaneously decide that transvaginal ultrasound is the hill where they make their stand.  

    Someone specific decided that transvaginal ultrasounds are important and that person is powerful enough to have carved this into stone and made the various governors march in lockstep.

    The natural suspect is the Kochs, since they run retreats for the governors.   It just might be that one of them is going completely nuts or senile.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:19:05 AM PDT

  •  "Clueless Caucus" article was pretty clueless (0+ / 0-)

    It seemed more like the Politico sources were part of the non-crazy GOP side of the party's civil war, pushing a rather foolish agenda:  Our party would be just fine if it weren't for the REAL idiots.  

    The problem for the GOP is that they can't win national elections with their base, and they can't win without it.

  •  Will the Dems exploit the clueless caucus in 2014? (0+ / 0-)

    The clueless caucus appears to be digging themselves a deeper hole. Will the Dems stand around and chuckle, or will they grab shovels and fill the hole?

  •  "The purpose of the bill was to put more rapist... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    behind bars?  Well then, how about a bill that would prevent the fire department from putting out fires. You know, a bill designed to put arsonists behind bars?

  •  Clueless (0+ / 0-)

    Is it just me or does the front page seem to be increasingly dominated by an adolescent level of "look at them, they're so stupid" diaries.  Perhaps it's just me.  If it's not, then maybe DK could start to get back to substantive commentary which isn't tiredly focusing on bashing the other side.  

  •  Remember Dr. Strangelove's arm? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And how he couldn't prevent it from making the Nazi salute.  What a great metaphor for how these clowns can't help themselves from spouting these abortion memes.  And of course the entire caucus is responsible because that's what they all have to support in order to keep the hard core wingers behind them.  If it truly was a small rump faction not reflective of the majority's views, they would have been shut down years ago.  

    Finally, I am not calling them Nazis.  I'm just referring to that bit in a classic movie as a metaphor.

  •  In the land of the clue-allergic the merely (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    clueless is queen.

    Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

    by blue aardvark on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 09:36:42 AM PDT

  •  The only way to keep the stupid in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    would involve corks and/or surgically implanted zippers.

    And mittens, for what's left of the literate wing of the Party to avoid irretrievable keyboarded or handwritten inanities.

    ..and they're all made out of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 09:47:28 AM PDT

  •  The End Game (0+ / 0-)

    DFA Excerpt Email:

    So what does the Republican plan do exactly?

    [GOP/Libertarian/Tea Party’s] strategy is to stall as long as possible; we’ve got to push the Senate to take action and we’ve got less than two weeks
    Last month House Republicans passed a bill that raises interest rates on student loans.

    At the time it seemed like an empty gesture. But with just 14 days before the July 1st deadline, their plan is the only one that’s been passed — and that gives Republican hardliners all the leverage.

    Here’s what the House’s plan does: instantly raises student rates to 4.64%, then puts them at the mercy of the market, potentially allowing rates to go as high as 8.5%. While we give away money to Wall Street banks, Republicans want to squeeze graduating students for every penny they can.

    President Obama and Senate Democrats initially rejected this plan, but with the clock ticking and elections looming they’re going to be looking for a compromise — on John Boehner’s and Eric Cantor’s terms.

    This is where we are. The Republicans are waiting out the clock. The Democrats are dragging their heels. And American students and families will pay the price.

    Democracy for America is going all in to pass a Senate bill that treats our students like our future, not our piggy banks. We’re organizing events all next week, culminating in a national Day of Action. We’re not waiting for Congress to act — we’re demanding action. – Howard Dean M.D.

    The government thinks it's alright to have a record of every single call that an American makes, but not alright for an American citizen to know what sovereign powers the government is negotiating away. ~ Rep. Alan Grayson

    by anyname on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 09:49:09 AM PDT

  •  Marsha Blackburn is a Clueless Moron (0+ / 0-)

    She rambles on and on - never taking a breath - and she says nothing of substance.  I have never seen so many mindless people talking and talking and talking and saying nothing of substance - while never breathing.  Blackburn is a weird person with a strange mind.  Her words often sound inappropriate and/or like word salad.  There is something utterly surreal about her.  She really is an enigma to me.  A puzzle.  She sometimes comes across as coherent for a couple of minutes - but then as she finishes a sentence or says something additional - everything becomes muddled and confused.  I don't know what is going on with her and many other far right Republicans.  

  •  Most clueless Republican EVER (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Methinks you forgot the all time champion when it comes to "clueless Republicans."
    Has everyone already forgotten Sarah Palin?
    I hope so.

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