Dick Morris Award Nominee

This time, it goes to a pollster:

A poll conducted late last month for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) shows him with a wide lead over challenger David Brat heading toward next Tuesday’s Republican primary election.

The poll, shared with Post Politics, shows Cantor with a 62 percent to 28 percent lead over Brat, an economics professor running to Cantor’s right. Eleven percent say they are undecided.

The internal survey of 400 likely Republican primary voters was conducted May 27 and 28 by John McLaughlin of McLaughlin & Associates. It carries a margin of error of +/-4.9 percentage points.

Hewitt Award Nominee

“Are you listening, Capitol Hill and America? The Bowe Bergdahl mess isn’t just a story about one deserter, but two. There’s the muddle-headed lowlife who left his post and brothers behind. And there’s the corrupt commander in chief who has jeopardized more American soldiers’ lives to “rescue” Bergdahl by bowing to the Taliban, while snubbing the surviving heroes and the eight dead American soldiers who lost their lives because of him. This cannot stand,” – Michelle Malkin, Dolchstoss princess, and living embodiment of what I described here.

Malkin Award Nominee

“He’s been leading the charge and not telling the truth about [NSA surveillance policies]. He’s been fanning the flames, and it gets to the point where my assessment is this is a guy willing to work with San Francisco Democrats to protect bait fish, and at the same time he’s Al Qaeda’s best friend in the Congress,” – Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) on Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI), a Tea Party Republican facing a primary challenge from the establishment.

Yglesias Award Nominee

“Whether one is a left-wing looney who becomes unhinged upon simply seeing this woman who loves her family and her country or is a right-wing yahoo who looks on her as some sort of high priestess of traditional values, Sarah Palin’s statement that, if she were in charge, “waterboarding is how we’d baptize terrorists” should shock the conscience … C. S. Lewis warns (I forget where exactly) about one’s glibly getting off, at God’s expense, one-liners that please the crowd but provoke unseen angels to weep. I think Palin’s guardian angel (and yes, she has one, CCC 336) wept at her comparing baptism to waterboarding,” – Edward Peters, of the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

There is also a request for an apology from Palin and the NRA from the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. See their letter to Palin here (pdf).

Yglesias Award Nominee

“Torture — waterboarding being something reasonable people may consider to constitute it — is and should be a question of grave moral consequence for Christians, and is for any Catholic familiar with the Catechism. Palin wasn’t even just jokingly comparing a serious violation of human dignity into one of the most important transcendental recognitions of it – she was mounting an expansive defense of something near torture, on the grounds that our prisoners ”would obviously have information on plots,” and therefore ought to, apparently, be subjected to a horrible practice not as a morally necessary last resort but a habit of quotidian intimidation. There’s a word for that kind of practice: barbaric. The Greeks used to use it to describe the other guys,” – Patrick Brennan, in a post called “Sarah Palin’s Barbarism”, NRO.

A reader adds:

The more troubling (and revealing) aspect of her comment is this:

it summons an ugly chapter of medieval Christianity in which violence was used as an expression of religious belief. For the Crusader, the infidel had to be converted and the danger of engagement and the blood of battle was in itself a kind of sacrament. Her reference to the danger of Jihad, torture and baptism in the same ugly speech to me is an indication that she is drawing on a brutal theology from the past.

It’s a Coulter-Boykin-esque allusion to converting Muslim prisoners by coercion. Barbarism is the right word. Needlessly incendiary as well. To which one might ask: can John McCain stay silent on this, even as the creature he foist upon the world continues to trash every principle he says he has?

Yglesias Award Nominees

“The entire Bundy affair just makes the Republican Party look bad. Are all Republicans racist? Absolutely not. But many overwhelmingly came out in support of this lunatic. I think it’s an awful day for conservatives. I think we need serious reflection because we’re not going to win 2016 with this attitude, keep doing things the same old way. We have old white men saying offensive things to women and minorities, and I’m tired of it,” – Crystal Wright.

“It isn’t enough to say I don’t agree with what he said. This is a despicable statement. It’s not the statement, you have to disassociate yourself entirely from the man. It’s not like the words exist here and the man exists here. And why conservatives, or some conservatives end up in bed with people who, you know, he makes an anti-government statement, he takes an anti-government stand, he wears a nice big hat and he rides a horse, and all of a sudden he is a champion of democracy …

Look, do I have the right to go in to graze sheep in Central Park? I think not. You have to have some respect for the federal government, some respect for our system. And to say you don’t and you don’t recognize it and that makes you a conservative hero, to me, is completely contradictory, and rather appalling. And he has now proved it,” – Charles Krauthammer.

Could this be the moment when the Fox News right finally hits bottom? Nah:

And the beat goes on …

Update from a reader with on-the-ground perspective:

I live in a very pro-agriculture and ranching area of the country, and I am friends with a quite a few Republicans who are part-time ranchers/farmers, some of whom teach at our local state U, a land grant university that has the biggest Agriculture and Natural Resources programs in the state. Both my older kids majored in Wildlife/Natural Resources in that College, and even if that is the most “liberal” degree there, they’re still close friends with the teachers and the kids from all the departments. My oldest now works with our State Land Office that manages ranching, oil and gas and other leases of state lands as well as the income derived from those leases. I guess this makes me a little bit of an “insider’ on this issue, and this is what I’ve seen.

The Bundy story, at first, tugged at everybody’s heartstrings because the family farmer is truly an endangered species all over America, and anyone who cares about that–or of the quality of your environment or the health and safety of your food – is pretty sad to see that way of life disappearing. And here in the west there are very legitimate points about land and water use and the government’s land grabbing ways that both the conservative and liberal sides can agree on.  But very quickly, as the facts became known that he was basically associating with crazy militia types and was just giving a finger to the very same laws my friends obey on a daily basis – he lost all the sane people.

The ranchers/farmers I know all want the environment to be sustainable for the future and do work closely with the Feds to help that happen. They want to be able to share the land with hunters, fishermen and campers. They follow the rules about getting permission to use Federal State land and for the rotation of grazing locations; they pay their very reasonable grazing and water use fees – and still show a good profit afterwards. Yes, New Mexico has a couple of small family ranchers who are dug in righty nut-jobs that have been fighting the Federal Government on everything from wolf reintroduction programs to free ranging rights because they think they should be able to graze their cows anywhere they want in our National Forest – but for the most part, they are isolated and don’t represent the major users of Federal land.

It also doesn’t hurt that in poverty-ridden New Mexico, between the Feds PILT income and the leases paid to our State Land Office, we take in millions and millions of dollars of precious income that is channeled directly into our schools and other important public services, and everyone knows it.

The thing that gets me is that these same Republicans share almost all of my values. They’re live and let live on issues like gay marriage, abortion.  My friends think what Cliven Bundy spouts about race and his crazy political beliefs are all dead wrong. They recognize that he is a cheater and has not paid his fair share any more than the “lazy welfare recipients” he derides. Give the gridlock we’ve seen over the past few years, they totally hate Congress for it’s worthless political games and failure to do anything good anymore. They’re angry that defense of us from terrorists has turned us into a country perpetually at war and into a surveillance state.  Of course, they still blame Obama for pretty much everything, cuz God knows the President can just wave a magic wand to make the world change.  But in contrast to years past, they seem to me to be disillusioned, frustrated, a little sad, confused, and not very sure of just what the future holds anymore.

Sadly, they still see themselves as lifelong Republicans, members of a party that no longer exists to serve them, but rather, exploit their fear and sense of hopelessness in order to elect oligarchs to power. It’s like a church that you don’t agree with but dang it, it’s the church you were baptized in and all your friends and family are there so you remain a member even if you don’t follow it’s dictates anymore. I am so hoping that because this latest stunt hits so close to home, my friends take note of how despicable this party and its spokespeople are in trying to hoodwink THEM into thinking it’s only about low taxes and self reliance and freedom from government intrusion into their private lives. I keep hoping all the really decent, old-fashioned Republicans I know start taking the party back from the liars and cheats and scofflaws who control it now.

Malkin Award Nominee

“In the last few days in terms of the people who have been yelling the loudest about [Truvada], they’ve all been associated with bareback porn. They’re all associated with bareback porn, which kind of makes my point that it’s a party drug,” – Michael Weinstein, president of the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the largest HIV/AIDS medical care provider in the U.S.

Moore Award Nominee

“It seems the height of privilege blindness to schoolmarm gays about how to engage their aggressors when Friedersdorf, in point of fact, has no idea what omnipresent psychological torture feels like… I realize I’m coming down rather hard on an ally here, but as an ally, Friedersdorf and those like him need to recognize that their first responsibility is to listen, not to dictate,” – J Bryan Lowder, doubling down on his view that all opponents of marriage equality should shut up and be denied high-profile jobs and endorsing “a little retributive succor, when we can.”

I’d say there are two premises in there that are ludicrous over-reach. All gay people live in a world of “omnipresent psychological torture”? No straight person has any right to an incorrect opinion on this question, and deserve to be written out of the discourse. Unsurprisingly, Lowder then refers to our astonishing progress over the last couple of decades as a “recent miracle.” Miracle? It sure wasn’t that. It was the result of adhering to the norms of open debate, liberal argument in making our case – precisely the approach Lowder thinks is repellent.

Let’s just say that if we had followed Lowder’s illiberal advice, there would be no marriage equality in America and a hell of a lot more “omnipresent psychological torture.”

Malkin Award Nominee

“CBS has just declared war on the heartland of America. No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values [and] conservatives. Now, it’s just wide out in the open. What this hire means is a redefinition of what is funny and a redefinition of what is comedy,” – Rush Limbaugh, losing his shit over a practicing Catholic and Sunday school teacher taking over from David Letterman.