All we have to do is replace Obama. ...Memorize this, kids. It's well written (Norquist is a stylist) and he's dead right.
We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don't need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. ...
We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don't need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate. ...
Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen ... This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.
Four points from me:
■ Frum paints this as an example of Romney's weakness:
They have reconciled themselves to a Romney candidacy because they see Romney as essentially a weak and passive president who will concede leadership to congressional conservatives:In this he's dead wrong.
This is not evidence of Romney's weakness, but the strength of the billionaires who now fund (and increasingly own) the Republican Party. See below for explanation.
■ The Movement Conservative Project (current home, the modern Republican Party) has itself been couped in a hostile takeover run by its funding billionaires (see here for that discussion).
The takeover is nearly complete; coup leaders (the funding billionaires) have cleared the city. They're busily rounding up the fleeing soldiers (non–Tea Party–loyal "party regulars") still hiding in surrounding villages (party committees).
The regulars have two choices — join the coup or find new work. Norquist has joined the coup (read the caption). Frum, Steve Schmidt and a good many others have not. Some who have not surrendered have found new work. Others are facing a decision.
If you're looking for proof, look at the conflict between the AFP-funded (Koch–funded) Tea Party–branded candidates in 2010 and the desire of real party regulars to actually win the Senate that year.
Then look at the selection of billionaire-supported Paul Ryan as VP, versus all the safe Pawlentys of the world. Ryan is an election-killing choice according to party regulars, Dems as well as Republican. Dems are ecstatic; Republican regulars know the election is over.
But don't worry, fans-of-Koch — the AFP-loyal coup continues in the states, the Scott Walkers of the world are still reporting for duty, and at some point, vote manipulation (all types) will give national power back to Republicans. Then watch if they ever give it up.
Read Norquist's quote again. They'll try it till they get it. It's catfood for Tea Party grannies as well, but by then it will be too late.
I'll have more on this later; the dynamics among the four R-party groups — the voters (TP-believing rubes); the two types of candidates (AFP-funded and TP-branded; all others); the top party elders (the Norquists and Roves, the Schmidts and Frums); and their owners, "ten billionaires" who now control the purse — this interplay is fascinating to watch and easy to suss.
We're seeing an historical takeover, in my view, and I'll detail it separately later. But for now, just observe the battle. Frum is on one side with the resisting old-party regulars, and Norquist on the other, bowing to the coup.
Choices. For Norquist and Rove, an easy one to make. For guys like Frum and Schmidt — well, maybe they have their own lines of conscience. Maybe.
For the rest of you elders and regulars, pick your career carefully. MSNBC can't hire all of you.
■ The battle has moved firmly to the states — governorships, state house races, state House and Senate battles. You're seeing it already. Reread the quote — Norquist just told you the plan.
■ Romney knows his role, in the same way that Scott Walker knows his role.
Romney's role is to bow to the coup, play the role outlined above, and execute the plan. That's not weakness; that's being a good soldier.
The difference between Romney and the lesser good soldiers — Romney will cash in like an owner when the Koch-couped Republicans finally do take power. His reward will be great; he has no incentive not to go along.
My bottom line — If you're not watching Koch-and-friends play their Republican cards, you're not watching the game. They're at the center of it.
And if you don't think the phrase "Tea Party" has two meanings, you're misusing the term.
Tea Party voters really do believe; it's an ideology they eagerly buy. Tea Party politicians are branded salesmen, hawking a product and running under a banner; employees. Some believe, some just do the job.
As I said before, fascinating stuff, if it weren't all so dangerous. Still, something to amuse us before the climate takes center stage.
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