The Massive Republican Campaign to Sabotage the Affordable Care Act by Bob Cesca, HuffingtonPost.com, 11/20/2013 … This is serious business: the well-financed, broadly implemented sabotage campaign designed to rig the law for failure, while also making it more difficult for Americans to receive insurance. Sabotaging the Website…Hackers have attempted more than a dozen cyber attacks against the Obamacare website…Sabotaging the Medicaid Expansion…Americans for Prosperity, funded by Charles and David Koch, launched advertising campaigns…Sabotaging ACA Marketplace Enrollment…All roads lead back to the Kochs. There’s something especially visceral and sinister about well-protected billionaires telling middle class Americans to go without health insurance… if not enough people enroll in the exchanges, the law entirely falls apart. Combined with everything else, that’s sabotage, plain and simple…
Meet the Evangelical Cabal Orchestrating the Shutdown by Lee Fang, This post first appeared in The Nation, posted on BillMoyers.com, October 9, 2013
Republicans Facing a Test of Unity By ASHLEY PARKER, New York Times, September 26, 2013 — …conservative advocacy groups have emerged as central players — exerting outsize influence, investing tremendous time and resources.… number of key conservative organizations…ForAmerica, a Tea Party group…Heritage Action — the political arm of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research organization… Americans for Prosperity, the conservative advocacy group backed by the Koch brothers… The Club for Growth…Senate Conservatives Fund…
The Ten Hardline Conservatives Pulling the Strings of the GOP Shutdown by BillMoyers.com Staff, October 11, 2013 – Much of the coverage of the government showdown has focused on a relatively small group of hardline conservatives within the Republican caucus who have backed their party’s leaders into a fight they didn’t want. As Ryan Lizza noted in The New Yorker, these lawmakers mostly represent very safe, heavily Republican and disproportionately white districts that don’t look much like the rest of the country. Many of those on the front lines are recent arrivals to Capitol Hill, and they’re pushing a leadership they see as having been too willing to compromise with Democrats in the past. It’s an important angle… If there’s only a relatively small group of lawmakers who think defunding the law is a dandy idea… Why is this supposedly silent majority of Republicans so docile? Why don’t they push back? The answer lies in the clout wielded by an extensive web of non-governmental conservative groups supported by mountains of dark money. Those groups see the Affordable Care Act as an existential threat to their worldview and their party and have waged a multipronged campaign to kill it in its cradle…Shortly after President Obama started his second term, a loose-knit coalition of conservative activists led by former Attorney General Edwin Meese III gathered in the capital to plot strategy… “blueprint to defunding Obamacare,” signed by Mr. Meese and leaders of more than three dozen conservative groups. It articulated a take-no-prisoners legislative strategy that had long percolated in conservative circles: that Republicans could derail the health care overhaul if conservative lawmakers were willing to push fellow Republicans — including their cautious leaders — into cutting off financing for the entire federal government. With a broad, well-funded campaign, these groups have effectively shifted the balance of power in conservative Washington away from Republican leaders on the Hill and onto a cadre of true believers who will go to any length to destroy a modest set of health care reforms that, just 20 years ago, the very same conservative movement was itself advancing. So just looking at the rank-and-file members of the “suicide caucus” isn’t enough – it’s like focusing on the marionette rather than the puppet-master. View Interactive: Who’s pulling the strings?
Michael Needham: The Strategist Behind the Shutdown By STEPHEN MOORE, Wall Street Journal, October 11, 2013 – The 31-year-old Stanford business grad [president of Heritage Action, the lobbying arm of the nation's largest conservative think tank] explains how he outmaneuvered GOP leaders and why he thinks House Republicans can defund ObamaCare…Though Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is the public face of the high-risk strategy to “defund” ObamaCare, the masterminds behind it are a new generation of young conservatives, chief among them Mr. Needham. From a tactical view, the strategy has been deployed with precision…Needham is not apologetic at all for the shutdown that he sees as regrettable but necessary collateral damage if it focuses the public on the horrors of the health-care law…Mr. Needham and another young activist, Tim Chapman, wrote the business plan for Heritage Action four years ago. The idea was to tap Heritage’s network of conservative donors across the country and create a political lobbying machine to carry conservative ideas across the goal line. “The strategy from day one once it [ACA] passed was repeal, repeal, repeal,” Mr. Needham says… Mr. Needham’s new boss at Heritage is Jim DeMint, the former South Carolina senator whose former aides populate the staff of Sen. Cruz and other conservative groups and work closely with Mr. Needham. Mr. Needham is…conservative to the core, uncompromising and skilled in the smash-mouth politics now played in Washington. His first job was as research assistant…for Heritage founder Ed Feulner…Needham’s new boss at Heritage is Jim DeMint, the former South Carolina senator whose former aides populate the staff of Sen. Cruz and other conservative groups and work closely with Mr. Needham. Mr. Feulner was famous for preaching that “in the war of ideas there is no room for pacifists,” and Mr. Needham has taken those words to heart. To his admirers, he has pushed the Republicans to show backbone and stand up for principle. His detractors, many of them inside the party, denounce him as everything from cocky to a GOP wrecking ball…The concern of many Republicans, including strategist Karl Rove, is that Heritage Action’s take-no-prisoners approach is hurting the party. The latest Gallup poll shows the GOP is viewed favorably by only 28% of Americans, down 10 points since September…
Look Who’s Covertly Controlling the GOP By Amy Goodman. Craig Unge, Democracy Now! Alternet.org, August 22, 2012 [Karl Rove] Karl Rove, Scheming Election Theft and Raising a Fortune for Vicious Attack Ads, Democracy Now!  / By Amy Goodman , Craig Unger  posted on Alternet.org, August 22, 2012AG… Karl Rove has become the ultimate party boss.…CU:… it’s worth going back to how he got power back in the 1980s [in] Texas…to show Karl Rove’s power during the Bush years… in 2000…in Ohio in 2004…Rove did a lot of things that were sort of under the radar and that I think have enduring consequences, and they represent real threats to democracy…I don’t think he’s an ideologue. I think he’s about winning….There’s always been this talk of a permanent Republican majority that Rove is trying to forge, and he sees it, the nation, as being entirely Republican….…Karl Rove barely escaped indictment and rose to be the biggest powerhouse, political powerhouse, in America today…the Valerie Plame scandal…Joe Wilson…Saddam Hussein…President Bush’s State of the Union address that called for war against and launched the war against Iraq. And the allegations, of course, were not just false, but they were based on forged documents…this showed that they would stop at nothing to maintain their narrative…it’s most important to understand about this man who has now become perhaps the most powerful political operative in America…
And the Constitution, to which they take the Modern Oath, explicitly says that Congress has the explicit power to impose taxes, both to pay for our defense and to provide for the General Welfare of the nation…So, how is it possible that, when the Constitution explicitly says that one of the specific jobs of Congress is to “lay and collect taxes,” and the oath they take explicitly says that they take will do so “without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion,” that a member of Congress could possibly swear an oath to a multimillionaire K-Street lobbyist to refuse to perform one of their Constitutional duties?
…Is not a man who essentially uses threats – blackmail – that billionaire money will be used to politically destroy members of Congress who refuse to sign his pledge an enemy of the state itself – or at least an enemy of the very Constitution that lawmakers have sworn to uphold without mental reservation or evasion?
Grover Norquist has led hundreds of Republican lawmakers to the brink of treason, swearing to him that they will carry into office mental reservations about the taxation power the Constitution gives them. It’s high time to de-throne Grover, and let Congress go back to doing its Constitutionally-mandated job of taking care of the nation’s defense and general welfare, instead of just looking out for the nation’s defense contractors and cranky billionaires.
Pundits and politicians contend for the soul of the Republican party by Paul Harris, Guardian/UK, November 12, 2012 – A civil war is brewing in the GOP – between the realists who have to get elected and the ultras in the conservative media…the fascinating element of this sure-to-be-brutal conflict lies not in the opposing arguments, but in the make-up of each side. For long years, buoyed by Fox News and a legion of talk radio shockjocks, the conservative media and its allies in radical think tanks have been an integral part of the Republican party…internet scribe Matt Drudge, radio host Rush Limbaugh and anti-tax zealot Grover Norquist…Steve Deace, a radio host in Iowa…Bryan Fischer, a radio host with the American Family Association…Limbaugh…Herman Cain…What do these people all have in common? No one elects them.They are pundits and firebrands whose very existence relies on stirring up the base. That is where they get readers, listeners and donors. These people do not fear election losses. They thrive on them. Opposition suits their purpose…Among the GOP’s elected representatives – and its more traditional elites – there is a sudden outbreak of moderation.…it is not really a battle between two sets of warring politicians. Instead, it is a fight between politicians and pundits. It is policy versus talking points, voters versus ratings. Even Democrats should hope the politicians win.
Deconstructing a Demagogue By Timothy Egan, New York Times, January 26, 2012 (Newt Gingrich)
Grover Norquist, the Enforcer by Drake Bennett, Business Week, May 26, 2011
Koch Brothers: Secretive Billionaires With Eye on 2012 by Ed Pilkington, The Guardian/UK November 7, 2011
Newt Gingrich: The Indispensable Republican By John H. Richardson, Esquire, September 2010
Rove Rides Again Bush’s former strategist is secretly seizing control of the GOP – and amassing $135 million to destroy the Democrats by Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone magazine, May 27, 2010
Secrets of the Tea Party: The Troubling History of Tea Party Leader Dick Armey by Beau Hodal, Truthout, March 26, 2010
Zev Chafets’s ‘Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One,’ reviewed by David Frum, Special to The Washington Post, May 25, 2010
The Rove Presidency - Karl Rove’s Life and Political Career by Joshua Green, The Atlantic, September 2007
Karl Rove’s Split Personality by Todd S. Purdum, Vanity Fair magazine, December 2006
Meet Mr. Republican: Jack Abramoff by Matt Taibbi, Rollingstone.com, March 24, 2006
|Inside Groundswell: Read the Memos of the New Right-Wing Strategy Group Planning a “30 Front War”|