Saturday, January 15, 2011

Who the hell is Reince Priebus?

Why, he's your new RNC chair!

With Michael "gaffe-fest" Steele out of the way, after a memorable two-year term of one embarrassing (for him and his party) moment after another, Priebus, previously the GOP party chair in Wisconsin before working for Steele at the RNC, stormed to a win in the seventh round of voting yesterday afternoon to capture the top spot at the Republican National Committee.

So let the Reince Priebus era begin!

Think Progress has a helpful overview of just who this guy is and what he's all about: 

– Priebus's law firm sought funds from Obama's stimulus package: Connecticut GOP chairman Chris Healy noted that Priebus's Wisconsin law firm helped its clients obtain federal stimulus funds, citing the fact that Priebus's name was attached to the "Stimulus and Economic Recovery Group." Priebus immediately responded to the story, claiming he had never worked with his firm's "Stimulus and Economic Recovery" group. 

– His law firm says the recently passed health care bill is constitutional: Priebus's law firm not only says the law is constitutional, but has touted its benefits to clients. 

– Implicated in voter caging: While Priebus was chair of the Wisconsin GOP, the state party engaged fomented voter fraud conspiracies and hatched a voter caging plot with well-funded right-wing allies to suppress minority votes. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said, "When voter suppression allegations have surfaced in Wisconsin for the past decade, the name Reince Priebus isn't far behind."

– He has the backing of many of the Barbour clan: Henry Barbour, a committeeman from Mississippi and the nephew of Gov. Hale Barbour (R-MS), enticed Priebus into running for the RNC chair. Also, Nick Ayers, a close Barbour associate and executive director of the Republican Governors Association, reportedly gave behind-the-scenes support to Priebus, leading many to believe Priebus would favor Barbour for president in 2012. Priebus responded by saying, "I'm not Haley's choice, I don't think that Haley has any horse in the race, and he's made that pretty clear on the record."

– Priebus had close ties to former chairman Michael Steele, then stabbed him in the back: Priebus was Steele's general counsel and frequently served as Steele's top liaison to committee members. In a memo sent to RNC members, Connecticut Party chairman Chris Healy said that Priebus is partly responsible for the RNC's poor performance. Commenting on Priebus' run, Steele recently said, "It's disappointing, you would hope that the bonds of loyalty were thicker than they apparently were."

– Priebus mistakenly called for Obama's execution: In a media conference call about Osama Bin Laden, Priebus slipped and accidentally called for the "execution" of Obama three separate times. "My guess is he would believe that Obama should be executed and he oughta be treated as a war criminal," Priebus explained. 

And this is from his Wikipedia page:

In the December 1, 2010 RNC candidate forum, Priebus provided a few details about his politics. He said he believes the RNC is "part of" the Tea Party movement; believes in the Christian God and stated that if he were elected as RNC chair it would be through God's blessing; believes it is the Republican Party's mission to "save our country, to save our party, and to take back the White House"; believes someone who is "pro-abortion, pro-stimulus, pro-AIG ... might not be a Republican"; and believes that being pro-life is "paramount" to the Republican Party platform. He wants to ban earmarks and to require photo IDs to vote. He opposes the legal recognition of same sex marriage.

So... he's a self-aggrandizing hypocrite and opportunist who's connected to Haley "perfect Republican" Barbour, who has been involved in racist voter suppression, who, like his former boss, is fully capable of making appalling gaffes, and who is an ideological extremist who adheres to far-right (but mainstream GOP) positions on social and economic issues and loves the Tea Party?

Wow. Does it get any better than that?

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