Far Right Makes GOP Tent Even Smaller in Utah

The efforts by the far right to turn the Republican Party into a very small tent continue. The defeat of Robert Bennett for the Republican nomination in Utah is being called a victory for the tea parties. Bennett is a conservative Republican Senator but for the extreme right any variation from their views makes one a RINO and target for defeat.

While technically this is a victory for the tea parties, it must be remembered that the tea parties is just another name for the extreme right wing. Their battles to remove anyone who doesn’t follow their platform to the letter has gone on for years.

Bennett came under fire from the far right during his last term in the Senate:

Until this year, Bennett faced few challenges in this reliably Republican state. In 2004, no one opposed him for the Republican nomination, and his general election victory was so assured that he didn’t spend a penny on television ads. In 2006, he earned a 93 percent approval rating among Republican primary voters.

But Bennett came under fire from conservative activists for voting for then-President George W. Bush‘s bank bailout measure in 2008 and, more recently, for working with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on a health-care overhaul bill. Bennett has also taken heat for reneging on his campaign promise in 1992 to serve just two terms. He is also a close adviser to McConnell, and he sits on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, which opened him to blame for ballooning government spending.

And it was not just the tea party that criticized him; the Washington-based Club for Growth, a long-standing advocate for fiscal conservatism, began running television ads against Bennett in March — and set up a booth, alongside FreedomWorks, at the convention on Saturday.

Much of the criticism is not over specific issues:

Indeed, Bennett’s critics have been harsh and unequivocal. One of them posted this comment on Twitter during the convention: “Bob Bennett fails to even mention the Constitution once during his speech before the delegates.” Others chanted “TARP! TARP! TARP!” as he spoke, a reference to his vote for the bank bailout, the Troubled Assets Relief Program.

I find it far easier to overlook Bennett’s failure to mention the Constitution than it is to overlo0k the degree to which the tea party members are working to destroy the principles of our Constitution and the values of the Founding Fathers.

Bennett’s defeat is more a sign of the extremest views of the activists who dominated the convention as opposed to Republican voters state wide. Bennett remains more popular than the conservatives who defeated him. There has been speculation that he might still run to keep his seat. The deadline has passed for him to get on the ballot separate from the Republican Party. He could still legally run as a write in candidate, but this always makes victory far more difficult. For now Bennett says he plans to support the Republican candidate.

Obama Gives Another Excellent Speech, Providing Far Right Another Opportunity To Distort

Barack Obama gave another excellent commencement speech following his recent speech at The University of Michigan, this time at Hampton University in Virginia. Of course to read the coverage from the right wing media and blogs one would get a totally different take on what he said–which ironically is one of the messages of his speech. For an example, compare the reporting at Pajamas Media (along with their off the wall description of liberalism) to the actual text of Obama’s speech (under the fold).

Similar distortions are present on multiple conservative blogs. Once again the danger to democracy from the distortion and manipulation of information by extremist forces can be seen by simply comparing what someone has said to how their words are twisted by the right wing noise machine.


Quote of the Day

“George W. Bush has his memoir coming out in November, and it’s called ‘Decision Points.’ The memoir will reveal all the bad decisions and mistakes that George Bush made as President. This is volume one.” —David Letterman

SciFi Weekend: River Song, Weeping Angels, Pregnant Amy, Alternate Walter, Lost, Zombie Apocalypse, And Building A Time Machine

The Time of  Angels brings the return of characters from two different Steven Moffat stories from past seasons, River Song and the Weeping Angels. The Angels are significantly different from how they were in Blink, but I imagine that when we are dealing with creatures in different parts of the universe at a different point in time seeing such differences is plausible. It would be best to wait for the conclusion of the two part episode of Doctor Who airing on BBC America to say more and this week’s BBC episode, Vampires of Venice, is unfortunately not worth writing much about.

Pictures of a very pregnant Amy Pond have been floating around the internet. We’ve been told, “Viewers will have to wait and see how the pregnancy came about, but as always with Doctor Who, things are not always as they appear.” The previews at the end of this week’s BBC episode also leave a question as to how real this is.

Thursday had two excellent episodes of genre shows. This week’s episode of FlashForward was written by Robert Sawyer, who wrote the book which the series was based upon. We are getting close to the day which everyone jumped forward to and learned more about Simon. Unfortunately ratings were down, making it even less likely the show will survive.

Ever since we saw Walter take Peter from the alternate universe on Fringe I’ve been expecting the alternate Walter to show up here. Finally this happened, with the alternate Walter appearing not to have suffered the psychological problems of the Walter of this universe. The previews show we will also be seeing much more of the alternative universe, including their Olivia.

We know that Leonard Nimoy will be returning as William Bell, but this will be the last time as Nimoy says he is retiring. This also means no more appearances by Spock Prime in future Star Trek movies. While I wish Nimoy would be continuing in his occasional role on Fringe, it is better that the original Spock of our time line will not be appearing again. Now that they have established a separate time line they should develop with only one Spock around as ours did.

There was also a killer episode of Lost this week–literally. Meanwhile in the alternate time line Jack has figured out that there is a strange connection between the passengers of Oceanic Flight 815.

In other stories, IO9 asks  How Will Facebook Look After The Zombie Apocalypse? Steven Hawking explains how to build a time machine. Sequencing of the Neanderthal genome has demonstrated evidence of interbreeding with humans. So far there’s been no evidence of mixture with Cylon genes as suggested in the series finale of Battlestar Galactica.