"There is no such thing as a moderate Republican. A moderate Republican is a liberal." - Rush Limbaugh
From TPM: "In an interview with The Hill, Robert Gibbs explained why he has taken to calling out media hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Rick Santelli or Jim Cramer: "There's a certain amount of theater to it that might make it more fun, but it's important that people understand the policy." And his take on the GOP infighting over Limbaugh: "If your enemies are fighting themselves, then don't get in the way."
When some conservatives argue, as the Wall Street Journal's Daniel Henninger did yesterday, that Republicans should "relearn the core idea handed down to them by Ronald Reagan," it seems there is a lot of wiggle room for interpretation. As the Political Animal reports: "According to a recent Treasury Department study, Ronald Reagan proposed the largest peacetime tax increase in American history as part of a budget deal to get the federal deficit under control. The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) of 1982 was signed into law on Sept. 3, and most of its provisions took effect on Jan. 1, 1983.
During debate on TEFRA, many conservatives predicted economic disaster. They argued that raising taxes in the midst of a severe recession was exactly the wrong thing to do. "Every school child knows you don't raise taxes in a recession unless you want to make it worse," The Wall Street Journal's editorial page warned. Said Rep. Newt Gingrich, "I think it will make the economy sicker." The Chamber of Commerce of the U.S. said it had "no doubt that it will curb the economic recovery everyone wants."
Looking at the data, however, it is very hard to see any evidence that TEFRA had a negative effect on growth. Indeed, one could easily make a case that its enactment stimulated growth.
It's a reminder of just how wrong the exact same cast of characters has been for quite a long while. When Reagan raised taxes, Gingrich, the WSJ editorial page, and conservative activists thought it would produce awful results. It didn't. When Clinton raised taxes, the same motley crew raised the same dire warnings about recessions and unemployment. They were wrong again. When Bush cut taxes, these same observers predicted robust economic growth and balanced budgets for years to come. That ... how do I put this gently ... didn't quite work out.
And now, here we are again, with Obama presenting an ambitious economic plan, some of which includes targeted tax increases. And wouldn't you know it, Gingrich, the WSJ editorial page, conservative activists everywhere, and a handful of useless Democrats are complaining about the dire consequences of modest tax increases."
In an opinion piece in Politico, John Feehy writes: "It is now highly fashionable for Republican thought leaders to throw George W. Bush under the bus. I didn’t work in the White House, and nobody will ever confuse me with a “Bushie.” But in my view, our 43rd president took enough arrows from the left. He shouldn’t have to take so many from the right.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, in a recent speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, summed up the right’s newfound disgust with all things Bush: “There is a Bush-Obama continuity in economic policy, which is, frankly, a disaster for this country and cannot work.”Newt’s comments were purposefully provocative and perfectly wrong."
Politico reports: "One reality check on the Newt mania: He remains a deeply unpopular figure in America, having never rehabilitated himself after his 1998 fall on a broad scale, though he has done so within Republican circles.
The latest poll I can find on him, a Quinnipiac national survey from 2007, found that a remarkable 47% of Americans had unfavorable opinions of him. The survey found that 22% had favorable views, and the balance didn't know enough. That's a tough place to start."
"President Obama -- talk about a tough gig, and talk about optimism. The guy is saying it's a good time to buy stocks. So here's what you do. Instead of that latte you buy in the morning, pick yourself up a thousand shares of GM." --David Letterman
"By the way, ladies and gentlemen, Rush Limbaugh is the new face of the Republican Party. And I'm thinking, if I see any more of Rush Limbaugh, I'm going to have to send my housekeeper out to buy me painkillers." --David Letterman
"The Republican Party said it would donate Sarah Palin's $150,000 wardrobe to a needy cause. That's nice, that's nice. They looked around. It turns out the neediest cause is the Republican Party." --Jimmy Fallon
"President Obama has installed his long-time friend Julius Genachowski as chairmen of the FCC I speak for all of the Americans here when I say, we're f**king thrilled to have you, buddy." --Jimmy Fallon
"Microsoft is promoting its new search engine, called Kumo, to compete with Google. Bill Gates promised that it will make Microsoft the No. 1 place on the web for things that have already been invented." --Jimmy Fallon
"And the Federal Reserve chairman said today that the $700 billion bailout of the banks is not going to be enough money. When did the Federal Reserve become like a car mechanic, you know? 'Yeah, we can get the economy running for maybe $700 billion, but there's no guarantee it's not gonna stall out on you.'
Well, now, the government has given AIG $30 billion more. We gave them $165 billion. Now we're giving them $30 billion. You know what AIG stands for? 'And it's gone!'" --Jay Leno
"And when is it -- I mean we're not even talking millions, we're talking billions -- and when is it enough? Even kids have to do something for their allowance, don't they? Can't we get these AIG guys to mow the lawn or take out the garbage? Do something. Pick up trash in orange jump suits, maybe?" --Jay Leno
"The Dow Jones numbers are so low today they were made an honorary NBC affiliate. That's how bad the economy is." --Jay Leno
"I'll tell you how bad the economy is. Listen, I was in Beverly Hills, and I saw a guy driving an American car." --Jay Leno