Republicans are haunted by The Stockman Effect

Sen. John Cornyn has built a successful career surfing the fickle tides of the far right nutjob fringe. That’s a remarkable challenge for a polished, well-educated, relatively sane guy who has seen a lot of the world. Cornyn’s talents were on display this fall as he used some savvy politicking to dodge a Cruz-style primary challenge from the right.

Fundamentalist icon David Barton and Texas’ dumbest Congressman Louis Gohmert both backed away from Tea Party efforts to draft them into a primary against Cornyn. The way looked clear for the senator to keep his substantial campaign war chest and focus his efforts next year on the GOP’s wider national efforts to retake the Senate.

Then Steve Stockman showed up. Again.

Stockman is the perfect symbol of the mess Republicans have built for themselves. His challenge to Cornyn is unlikely to succeed, but just by showing up, off-script, off-message, and off his meds, Stockman will put GOP dysfunction in the national spotlight at the worst possible time.

The story of how Stockman arrived in this position is part of the wider story of the Republican Party’s decline. Understanding The Stockman Effect helps explain the existential challenge facing the party and the internal fight necessary to save it.

The Stockman Effect is the veneer of credibility and the outsized influenced acquired by the bizarre cast of characters who rocketed suddenly and surprisingly into office in the ’94 wave election. Many of them found themselves transformed from local religious weirdo to “The Honorable Local Religious Weirdo” literally overnight thanks to the unexpected national Republican victory in the ’94 mid-terms. Their elevation skewed the balance of local Republican politics away from its traditional commercial focus toward conspiracy, religious paranoia and racism in ways that the party has still not successfully addressed.

I watched this happen in real time.

In 1995, I was a young law intern at the Harris County DA’s office in Houston. I earned an assignment in a District Court presided over by one of the surprise victors in the ’94 election. Judge Ernest T. Looney was an entertaining spectacle (not using real name – he’s dead, so he can’t defend himself).

Almost anyone who was serious about serving their community as an elected public official in Houston in 1994 campaigned for the Democratic nomination. Since the passage of the Civil Rights Acts in the mid-60’s, more and more Texans had been voting for Republicans for federal offices, but the grassroots infrastructure had been slow to catch up to the top-of-the ballot trend.

Exceptions, like the iconic Republican Judge Ted Poe, had earned their position through appointments by Republican Governor Bill Clements. Republican primaries for down-ballot offices were a magnet for local weirdoes who no one took seriously because they couldn’t possibly win.

Even prior to the Great Dixiecratic Wave there were some Republicans in Houston. The leadership tier was dominated by pragmatic commercial interests. Many of them, like the Bushes, were imported Yankees bringing a variety of Hamiltonian Republicanism otherwise unknown in the South. They were augmented by a thin layer of strident anti-Communists and religious fundamentalists. The party had a meaningful presence, but they had a very weak grassroots infrastructure.

Through the ‘70’s and ‘80’s the traditional Republicans were gradually augmented by a new influx of Dixiecrat refugees who bore little in common with the business class Republican establishment. There was constant tension which peaked during the first Bush Administration. In 1992, fundamentalist activist Steven Hotze organized local religious extremists and took control of the Harris County Republican Party in an ugly standoff, permanently relegating the business wing of the local party to subservient status. Still, no one saw ’94 coming.

Like Steve Stockman, Ernest T. Looney was a default candidate in a race no one was taking seriously. Looney ran unopposed in the Republican Primary in 1994 for an office few people wanted and hardly anyone cared about.

Thanks to national forces that had nothing to do with their specific races, Steve Stockman, Ernest T. Looney, and innumerable other “Republican” default candidates in 1994 found themselves elected to office. This power shift meant that crude local sideshow acts like Terry Lowry and Gary Pollan became kingmakers that no one could afford to ignore.

Judge Looney’s courtroom was a raucous and entertaining disaster. Looney interrupted trials with barely coherent rants against the District Attorney, the ATF, and whatever other public figures or current events had attracted his wandering attention. He was unpredictable and untroubled by the needless constraints of legal precedent. Judge Looney and many of the other surprise local winners in ‘94 delivered a little slice of havoc to public service in Harris County.

Similar to Judge Looney, Stockman was a product of the GOP’s emerging mimeograph-newsletter wing, a conspiracy nut with close ties to the militia movement who had not long before been homeless and living in his car. Like Judge Looney, Stockman would be tossed out of office once serious local figures realized that they could run successfully as Republicans.

Stockman did not, however, go away. His lingering impact on the Republican Party forms the basis of The Stockman Effect. When a local weirdo acquires the ability to sign his paranoid newsletter as a former officeholder, he acquires a new sheen, a new set of connections, and a heightened ability to steer local politics.

Stockman’s chief of staff became the Executive Director of the Texas Republican Party. His wife would be a national convention delegate. And across the South wacky figures like Stockman and Judge Looney would take on new credibility as current or former elected officials tipped the balance of power further and further away from the party’s sober traditionalists. Stockman lingered around the GOP right wing like the last guy at the bar until the Tea Party gave him his opportunity to ride back to Washington as a Congressman in 2012.

Though Cornyn’s poll numbers are very weak for an incumbent, it is unlikely that Stockman will do to Cornyn what Cruz did to David Dewhurst. Cruz may be a modern day Confederate, but he’s also a politically calculating Ivy Leaguer who knows which fork to use.

Stockman, on the other hand, is a walking disaster. He has earned his place in the political world as an opportunist with a talent for the political grift who is probably incapable of managing the most basic mechanics of a campaign on that scale. Stockman makes Ted Cruz look like a credible leadership figure.

The Stockman Effect means that Cornyn and the national GOP will continue to be pushed toward the most ludicrous extremes by cartoon characters who gained their power from the institutional, grassroots weaknesses of the Republican Party. Until serious figures in the GOP gin up the courage to deal with the rot in the party, The Stockman Effect will continue to erode the party’s effectiveness and complicate efforts to maintain national relevance.

About

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He is a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago.

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Posted in Neo-Confederate, Republican Party, Tea Party, Texas, Uncategorized
39 comments on “Republicans are haunted by The Stockman Effect
  1. Turtles Run says:

    If anyone is interested, Stockman’s campaign office in Webster. Apparently, he took the term dirty politician literally because the place has been condemned.

    With pictures.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/pictures-from-inside-steve-stockman-s-condemned-campaign-office

  2. glennkoks says:

    I live in Friendswood. Stockmans home court. I’m surrounded by nutjobs who continually vote further and further to the right damned the torpedoes.

  3. Bobo Amerigo says:

    During his first race for congress, I remember hearing that his anti-government campaign was financed by his wife’s salary, the one she got at JSC.

    • DanMan says:

      isn’t he an accountant too?

      • goplifer says:

        Go find some actual work the man has done…anywhere. He claims to have an accounting degree, but there are issues around that too. The guy is a huckster from head to toe.

      • DanMan says:

        well Chris you could say the same thing about Obama, what has he ever produced? Agitation in the community to picket banks to eliminate red lining so his minions could bankrupt themselves. I guess he has that.

      • Craig says:

        Poor Dan, he’s still stuck in the 2008 campaign. Obama’s been president for nearly 5 years now and has managed to accomplish quite a bit in spite of the obstructionists in Congress. BTW, How’d that ‘make him a one-term president’ thing work out for ya?

      • DanMan says:

        hey Craig if you like your preznit you can keep your preznit. Period.

    • Craig says:

      I do and I will.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Sparkless’ censored one sided “blog” bored you too much Danny Boy? Glad you finally got out into the light of the real world. And yes we (the majority of the country) liked our President and kept him. As much as is legally allowed. No amount of irrational Stockman like tantrum throwing is going to change that. Deal with it. Get over it.

      You are a dinosaur and extincting yourself into irrelevance. But thanks for the free sideshow entertainment (at your expense) in the meantime Danny Boy.

      • DanMan says:

        Will one of you guys answer this question? Did you know Obama was lying about his golden trilogy of Obamacare or do you accept the lies as part of the deal to win the election?

        btw, Chris is sitting on one of my comments since yesterday at 10:45 am. I guess the Boston Globe link is too dicey.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Danny Boy

        Does it matter? You are not rational enough to debate any topic? Try logic some time.

    • Crogged says:

      The President answered your question in a press conference, look it up. There’s a certain Senator from Texas, with whom I don’t think you would bring up his lack of ‘experience’ or ‘production’ if he decides to run for President? Right? Even though he went to a pointy headed Ivy League school? I will give you credit for your relentless, and exhausting ability to pull Republican fat from the fire.

      • DanMan says:

        good one Crogged, I’m a conservative. My votes have been typically republican for the last several cycles but I am an undercounter as well, meaning I won’t pull ticket and I won’t vote for a candidate on either side if I don’t agree with them. David Dewhurst initially met that reality in his last successful run at Lt Gov. Check out his undercount on the GOP side and you’ll see I wasn’t alone.

        I don’t take anything Obama says at face value. So none of the rucas posse will answer the question eh? C’mon turtlehead, pinch out a response.

      • DanMan says:

        Let me clarify. I am a fiscal conservative. You can put up just about any issue you all think I have over stepped the bounds of decorum on and you will find my takes are always geared that way. Somebody said they saved my comments, pull ‘em out and check me on that.

        Before you run for the Obama category allow me this. He excoriated Bush as a senator for the profligate spending (as did I), and called the $4 trillion in debt piled on during his presidency as unpatriotic (I agree). It took Bush 8 years. Obama has added over $8 trillion in 4 years.

      • Crogged says:

        Was the condition of the US economy a constant from 2000 until 2013 so that we can say Mr. Obama was more ‘irresponsible’? Which recession was worse, the one of 2001/2 or of 2007/8?

      • DanMan says:

        for me personally it was what was showing in the late third quarter of 2008 after Ike until sometime in 2009 that had the most impact. State of the economy? In what regard? Prior to Obama we were clipping along spending at about 18% of GDP, now its at about 24% isn’t it? And its been by borrowing. The negative impacts of the debt are more long term as servicing it becomes more of a drain on growth potential because liquidity is reduced, unfettered printing of money notwithstanding.

        In my case my income was cut by half beginning in early 2009. I had very little debt and spent the next year eliminating all of it. I found after cutting my spending by a ton I was able to first pay off debt quickly and then increase my savings that I had let wane as my put my kids through school. Happy to report the situation has changed for the better and I am about where I was 10-15 years ago income wise.

        But you won’t get me into an argument protecting the spending during the Bush years as that was what caused the most fatigue for those of us that care about such things. I recall throwing up my hands when Tom DeLay stood on the steps of the capitol and declared “We have cut as much from the budget as we can!”, words Nancy Pelosi is repeating today. I do know according to BLS numbers there are about 5.5 million fewer jobs today that there was when Obama stepped into office and the total percentage of workers/work force is in Carter era territory at 62%. That right there is telling.

        I live in a majority black precinct and am by far in the minority where I live. In 2009 it was very common to be solicited everywhere in my neighborhood to sign up for government benefits. Typically a conversation would be initiated in a crowd like a check out line or something where its easy to talk to the guy next to you and quite often it seemed there would be somebody promoting benefits that they could hook you up with. I remember a guy could list by memory so many military disability categories it was amazing. And they’d talk loud enough to make sure others could hear them. They passed out cards. I have to believe I was witnessing the emergence of OFA. Now look at them. They just passed a budget that targeted military. Bi-partisan even. Anybody can guess correctly they will restore those cuts with no off-setting adjustments anywhere else. Its the game they play. The GOP elite have agreed to the new normal of $1 trillion deficits even.

        The only path forward I see is confiscation of wealth, as Pelosi and many others have openly advocated, or subjecting future generations to the burden of debt they will inherit. Or real economic growth. I don’t believe that growth can happen under the current administration. We’ll see which way it goes but its a shame to see the lost potential that so many desire because of the lockdown of the economy for political reasons.

      • Crogged says:

        A percentage is a fraction-so when the gross domestic product actually shrank–as it did in 2008-and government spending goes up–as it does when people collect unemployment and/or other government programs that kick in during emergencies, then you will see a big jump in government spend as a percentage of GDP. There is nothing sinister about it. And much of the deficit increase in the Bush years was because they cut taxes. If you take in less money, you have less money to spend. Operating deficits go up.

        So in 2008 you cut back, as I did, and involuntarily, same case for me. I’m sure most of those who lost jobs cut back and spent less. So did local governments, less economic activity means less sales tax revenue. If the federal government had cut back, if it had not rescued Detroit or issued a stimulus (which in essence was loaning money to states)-what do you think would have happened? The same or nothing at all, or would our economy have gotten better despite everyone spending less money?

        I noticed when I posted the opinion piece regarding the auto bailout you pointed out others who had been hurt by the auto industry failure-bond holders and dealers and their employees. Was that to argue we needed more people to lose their jobs, I didn’t really understand the point.

      • DanMan says:

        A percentage is a fraction? So Obama doubling the food stamp enrollment is just a fraction? m’kay, 5.5 million people is a fraction? wow, that’s clinical. The spending to GDP ratio is a very typical number that we have much empirical data to correlate to economics-wise. So are we to discount it because its just so gauche or something? In a related issue what fraction of an individual’s income do you think g’ment should control?

        Our local government did not cut back. Our leaders doubled down by pushing for a rain tax that is supposed to pull $400 million/year out of the local economy. Did you see the list of the 100 restaurants that closed in Houston in 2013 in this paper yesterday? Can you conceive that the community at large being skinned by that kind of cash having an impact on any of those businesses?

        The bigger point of my comment on the auto bail-out costs were the dollars not mentioned. The family that owned the Dodge dealership across the road from Ron Carter had just upgraded their facility. They were in their 3rd generation of owners. They had won Dodge dealership awards many times. They lost everything they had just spent and the building still sits empty and their franchise was awarded to Ron Carter. That happened hundreds of times across the US and it is never mentioned in the cost because there was no government outlay. Each of those dealerships, which cost the manufacturers zero to maintain, had dozens of employees that got canned.

        But the real tell is not one of you dems will cop to Obama lying, and lying outrageously, to get re-elected in order to push his economy killing wealth transfer scheme.

      • John Galt says:

        Dan, you say you’re a fiscal conservative, and I believe you. You say you, “won’t vote for a candidate on either side if I don’t agree with them.” My mother says the same thing. She has not voted for a democrat at any level for any reason since Sam Nunn in 1990. I’d bet you’re much the same. You either vote R or don’t vote. Fine, that’s your choice.

        You are upset about the deficit, which you ascribe entirely to spending; I’m sure you think you are taxed enough already. Over the last 50 years, federal receipts have averaged 17.9% of GDP and spending has averaged 20.5%. During Bush it was 17.6% and 19.6%. During Obama, since the recession started, the averages are 15.4% and 24.1%. So tax revenue went down dramatically while so-called mandatory spending on welfare went up. Strangely, the RW media only mentions half of this. Last year spending was down to 22.8%, but revenue was stuck at 15.8%. This level of federal revenue is unheard of since Truman was in office.

        You mention 5.5 million jobs lost. I’m not sure where that number comes from, but total private sector employment was 111 million in January 2009, when Obama took office, and was 115 million last month. 115 is higher than 111. Peak employment occurred in Jan 2008, at 116 million, so we’re still behind that, but of 8 million total private jobs lost, 5 million of those went before the man you despise took office. Public sector employment, that’s another matter. The percent of the population working for the government is at its lowest point in 60 years and has lost ~700,000 jobs over the last 5 years.

        You rail against the flood mitigation program here. Do you think that money is being used to fill sandbags to keep the floodwaters out? It’s being used to hire local companies and local people to rebuild bayous, install storm sewers, and harden infrastructure. It’s being done locally, because the feds can’t or won’t. This is not wasteful, this is investment and the single biggest problem with the present Republican party is that they refuse to recognize the difference.

        Our deficits have been funded through borrowing, yes. Is this a long-term problem, yes, probably. Is it a short-term one? Apparently not. We issue the reserve currency, a fact that will not change for a long time. The Fed has been “devaluing” the currency by printing money to the tune of $85B per month. This has driven up inflation dramatically. Oh, wait, inflation is actually BELOW the Fed’s target rate of 2%. The Fed now holds $2.2 trillion of that debt, or 13% of the total.

        You accuse Pelosi and others of seeking to “confiscate wealth.” Dude, a tax increase on rich people who have done quite well for themselves over the last 4(0) years is not confiscating anything. Telling investors that their income is, gee, income and taxing it as such is not confiscatory.

        Finally, you relate experiences with your fellow citizens being recruited and encouraged to apply for benefits. Why was it relevant to tell us you live in a majority black area? Was that somehow germane to your point?

      • DanMan says:

        Thanks for the response John Galt. I’ll play Francisco D’ Aconia …

        Don’t know if Nunn ran after Bill White or John Sharp but I hope your mom is well.

        Like I said I won’t defend Bush and his lack of restraint but I note your later statements and that is all on Obama and his policies. We have many examples of treasury revenue increasing following tax cuts and you rightly note Obama is spending at a much higher rate of GDP than historical numbers reflect. On top of that increased spending , which you and he claims is to juice the economy, are his crippling burdens on growth. One of the biggest we weathered was during his first term when his policies were becoming laws in waves. It created a lot of uncertainty. He has exploded regulations which are always going to cost productivity. Layering his confiscation of 1/6 to 1/5 of the economy by incrementally taking over health care compounds the problems. He knew that it would, we knew that it would and lied his azz off to plow through with it anyway. Defend it if you want but even they are now defending it by saying how expensive it would be to unwind it. Ouch.

        My source was the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the 5.5 million. I couldn’t find the chart that went as far back as Carter but here’s on from August 2010 to August 2012 and it shows a drop of 4 million. Your total numbers are substantially lower than the chart I link so maybe we’re not talking about the same stat.

        http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2012/ted_20120911.htm

        The feds have spent well over $700 million on the Brays Bayou project alone in this community. The whole package of how they sold the rain tax was a scam. We live in on a coastal prairie in the tropics meaning it is flat and can rain a lot. Our streets, subdivisions, drainage systems, etc. have been and still are designed to handle a 2 year storm with newer subdivisions requiring detention for 10 year storms. Any street that has a curb and gutter system is designed to flood by virtue of the limitations we have on topographic and hydrographic realities. We are in the third year of the rain tax and by now should have collected close to $1 billion according to the ordinance. Can you name any projects proposed or underway that address flooding coming from the city? The first 100 years of that tax was to pay for the unsold bonds Bill White issued to try to shore up the lack of funding he was providing pensions.

        The Treasury pumping $85 billion/month is keeping inflation low for now by design. And inflation is artificially low as reported since it now excludes food and fuel as well. Inflation is going to be the most insidious way to capture wealth I believe but it will likely occur.

        My comment about Nancy Pelosi comes from house hearings conducted in October 2010 (just prior to the wipe out) where the dems brought in Theresa Ghilarducci who has advocated for transferring the debt of state and municipal pensions to the federal government which can be much more fluid in their money management practices. Her estimates of personal wealth held by Americans in their retirement funds vs national debt are similar and her justifications are right out of Lizzy Warren’s playbook of “you didn’t build that” concept. TG believes that frozen wealth is being with held from the economy. What is really odd yet revealing is the Fed trying to keep interest low while the states and municipalities are guaranteeing rates at 7-12% in their unfunded pensions. This issue should be coming to a head very soon. Certainly before the 2014 elections because they have to have the senate to make their move. There are plenty of articles about Pelosi’s off the cuff comment which she has run away from since the day it fell out of her mouth. Here’s another dirty local secret – Mayor Parker admits the debt is almost $10 billion for the city. She won’t deny that the health care bennies included in that sum are being transferred to Obamacare and the individuals. So retired employees will be getting a subsidy to pay for their Obamacare. Stay healthy my friends and think Medicaid.

        don’t let the copper wire break…

      • DanMan says:

        Oh, and the comment about my neighborhood is because twice I was approached at restaurants in my neighborhood and somehow ended up with a black guy talking about getting me bennies. It has never happened anywhere else. One was especially trying to get me into VA bennies and had the myriad types of claims that are practically automatic given my service description. I found it disgusting.

      • John Galt says:

        Dan,

        My numbers came from the BLS, too, but a different set of numbers. Yours is the total civilian labor force – this is defined as all non-instituitionalized people who are either employed or unemployed. It excludes those incarcerated, on active duty in the military, or who are not working or looking for work. Basically, it includes both public and private sector employees and those who are unemployed but looking for work. I referred only to private sector employment and it is, indeed, up over when Obama took office.

        http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES0500000001

        The Fed buying $85 billion per month of bonds with newly printed money is “keeping inflation low for now by design”? You might want to brush up on the economic theory, my friend. Increasing the monetary supply this way should increase inflation. The “core” inflation rate leaves out food and fuel for a reason: these are highly volatile and seasonal and distort meaningful numbers for the rest of the economy. The core rate is running about 1% right now. You are right that we will probably inflate our way out of the debt: that is precisely what happened in the 1950s to deal with WWII debt, and nobody looks back on that as a time of economic hardship (though we had several advantaged then that do not exist now).

        The total cost of Project Brays is $450, of which the Corps of Engineers is kicking in half. The drainage fee – which is explicitly intended to fund pay-as-you go projects rather than issuing bonds and kicking the can down the road, something a supposed conservative should appreciate – takes in about $100 million/year. In three years this is rather shy of the $1 billion you claimed. In my Brays Bayou-proximal neighborhood the city has rebuilt every street and installed storm sewers in the last 5 years (obviously not all with drainage money).

        I mentioned that the primary reasons why government spending have gone up are the so-called mandatory spending on social programs. Congress must actively vote to reduce these programs, which they have not done. To be sure, Obama hasn’t pushed for it (far from it), but to pin mandatory spending on whomever is sitting in the Oval Office is a bit disingenuous. Non defense discretionary spending is ~$510 billion, and has dropped during Obama’s presidency. Your estimates for government spending are constantly way too high, which is undoubtedly a subconscious bias.

        FYI, Sam Nunn was a long-term senator from Georgia, once chair of the Senate armed services committee and a relative conservative though, like many southern conservatives of the time, was a democrat.

        You wrote, “…somehow ended up with a black guy talking about getting me bennies.” I again ask why you felt it necessary to tell your readers that he was black, or that you lived in a black neighborhood. What does that matter?

      • John Galt says:

        I should have included this above, but the Project Brays and drainage fee numbers are from http://www.rebuildhouston.org.

      • DanMan says:

        Hey great link JohnGalt, thanks.

        Here’s your chart expanded a bit. Obama is about where we were when the collapse hit. According to the data on this category we are at about 115 million today which is the same as 2008.

        http://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet

        and here’s some data on the participation rate

        http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecopro.t02.htm

        I haven’t gone through much of the site but I have saved the link because it is chockablock full of data. Using these two data sets it appears the civilian participation rate in 2002 was 66.6% and in 2012 it was 63.7%. A drop of 2.9% benchmarked against 115 million = 3.4 million fewer civilian jobs. But that discounts population growth. A real standout in the data is the huge drop off of young participating in the workforce currently and projected. With annual population growing at about 0.9% and using 115 million workers that would mean we would need to add about 86,000 job/month or about 1 million/year would need to be added to stay even. As to who is to blame for the big drop off in 2008? You really want to go there? Housing and banks seem to ring a bell. I recall something about PayGo before an election and no budgets once the senate flipped. Bottom line, we’re about 5 million short of breaking even since January 2009. Again, thanks for that link.

        I’ll concede the cost of the Brays Bayou project. I was involved early on and was going off memory. Rain-tax – My number of $400 million was derived by dividing the $8 billion cited in the ballot language by the 20 year term. If I recall the actual ordinance called for $125 million the first year and $400 million/year after that. I do not dispute they are not achieving that goal but if they are only getting ¼ of it that is real news.

        Spending? The only reason any spending has gone down was removed by the new budget deal. My numbers are too high? Bias? I told you I’m a fiscal conservative so you ain’t breaking any new ground there.

        You’re really hung up on me noting Obama’s army early on aren’t you? Here’s another one. I’m the guy that stopped Al Green’s townhall meeting when I asked him to explain how adding 30-45 million to the current health care infrastructure will cost us less. He exploded and his SEIU squad jumped up in unison and began the ‘Yes We Can!” that ended the meeting with Al’s only response being “This is why we can’t discuss anything with these people! They will sacrifice the good because they can’t have perfect!” Obama changed his signature law for the 14th time today I heard earlier. Guess he’s still perfecting the good.

        btw, in my previous response the 100 years should have been 10 years in the rain tax discussion.

    • DanMan says:

      Milbank completely left out the dealers and their employees that lost out. That didn’t cost GM anything and doesn’t show up in the losses. Salaried Delfi employee pensions were reduced to pennies on the dollar. Retired muni-fund bond holders lost those. Biggest cost? customers. Obama changed the terms for GM and Chrysler from those he inherited from Bush. GM and GMAC (now Ally Bank) cost us way more than Dana will bother to report and Ackerson said no way GM should pay back that $12 billion (he says $11 billion) because they “knew the risk, like any investor”.

      My hunch is GM will be back in a couple of years asking for more. Why would we ever want to compound our losses with Obamacare? It is costing jobs.

  4. DanMan says:

    Speaking of being haunted in a smelly stable…Mikal Watts is being sued by BP for fraud. That is a lot of dem dollars getting tied up in the race to turn Texas blue. I wonder why the Chronicle hasn’t reported it yet?

    But fear not! The guy had announced a senate run but probably decided he couldn’t get past Tanuja Paruchuri the life coach and Kesha Rogers the LaRouche candidate the dems are running.

  5. lomamonster says:

    At least the horses are starting to whinny, as they did in “Young Frankenstein” when the Frau appeared. Face it – The Republicans keep a bad stable and the smell is becoming overpowering…

  6. Leftist_Hack says:

    Bark! Bark!

  7. RightOnRush says:

    I had no idea that 7 candidates had filed to run against Cornyn. It may prove to be interesting after all.

  8. John Galt says:

    That the response to Stockman’s candidacy is anything other than derisive laughter is a sign that the GOP is well off the rails.

  9. Old Dispatcher says:

    By the way…. If Republicans knew they had a problem with Judge Looney why did they not do something about it then? Did they expect the problem to take care of itself? The Republicans put too much stock in gaining offices, as in all of them, than to care about who is actually in those offices. Stockman himself is a perfect example of this.

    Now the horses are out of the barn and the Party is trying to rein them in. Good luck with that. And while you are at it give a big hat tip to right wing radio for running the Party into the ground over the last 20 years. Without their help Republicans would never have had the nutcases they have now pulling the strings.

  10. Old Dispatcher says:

    I think this is great. Republicans went to a lot of trouble to build up Stockman and his like for their own reasons and now they have lost control of their monster. If Republicans ever wonder how they came to be identified as the party of the crazy and the hate all they need to do is look into the mirror and proudly say, “YES! I built that!”

    But the answer is simple: This is nothing that a little gerrymandering won’t cure. After all, isn’t that the answer to everything?

  11. […] Stockman effect Republicans are haunted by The Stockman Effect Stockman is the perfect symbol of the mess Republicans have built for themselves. His challenge […]

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