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Joe McQuade

Death Of The Modern GOP

174 posts in this topic

Hank, I agree with you on the social issues. Most, if not all, of them are either private matters or matters for the States to address.

As to fiscal matters, I think the Party has become obsessed with cutting taxes as a panacea for everything. That focus needs to change.

Don't get me wrong--I don't want to pay any more in taxes than I have to. But the idea that tax cuts are the be-all and end-all of policy, especially when we're running these huge deficits, partially incurred by Republican overspending and ill-advised bailouts, is short-sighted and irresponsible.

What Republicans need to do is this: (1) advocate a reform of the tax system based on a flat rate for all with minimal deductions, exemptions, etc; (2) advocate a reduction in government spending back to a level consistent with a government of limited and delegated powers, including a withdrawal of all Federal funding from any activity not reasonably related such to a government; (3) say "No," firmly but politely, to any spending program which doesn't fit that definition.

If the Party were to do that, and stop worrying about the moralists and their pet issues, it might have a chance. If not, then I fear that it is destined to be marginalized until a third force comes along to take its place. That's how the Republican Party was born in 1854, and there's no reason it can't happen again.

I also find it interesting that most of the people posting on this thread are or have been less than friendly to the Republicans during the last year or so. While everyone has something of a vested interest in a robust and functioning two-party system (since our system doesn't work well otherwise), some of the prescriptions offered strike me as being as suspect as some would see my offering advice to the Obama Administration and the Democrats. I only hope that they have the party's best interests at heart in offering advice.

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I also find it interesting that most of the people posting on this thread are or have been less than friendly to the Republicans during the last year or so. While everyone has something of a vested interest in a robust and functioning two-party system (since our system doesn't work well otherwise), some of the prescriptions offered strike me as being as suspect as some would see my offering advice to the Obama Administration and the Democrats. I only hope that they have the party's best interests at heart in offering advice.

I don't have "the party's best interests at heart" for either party. I have absolutely no interest in the success of either party.

I DO have a fervent interest in the success of our nation's government. For the separation of powers, especially a bicameral Congress, to function effectively, there must be debate and consideration on all issues. Unless and until the Republicans start offering an alternative to any policy designed to address an issue, we can have no substantive debate. Congress, therefore, will not function as intended and the separations of powers fails.

They cannot continue to harp on the same old phrases that have failed in the last 8 years. They have to start saying what "should" be done rather than just saying "no" to everything the Democrats are proposing.

aC

Edited by Au Courant

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aC--

I agree that the goal should always be to propose viable alternatives to policies with which one disagrees.

However, when the policies being proposed are seen as invalid (due to subject matter) or unviable, and there is no viable alternative, then the only course is to oppose, while pointing out why you're not floating an alternative.

I would love to see a Republican alternative to health care, education, etc., but there cannot be one, since, in my mind, there is no Federal responsibility or power over them. The only responsible course in dealing with these is to say "No." I realize you and most other posters on this site don't agree, but I cannot find any basis for Federal action in either area. And I don't care that the supreme Court would probably sustain the actions, because I believe in these areas the issue is so clear that the Supreme Court would be wrong to do so, just as it was in sustaining the worst and most intrusive aspects of the New Deal and the Great Society.

In the economic field, I do not understand how "bailing out" failing or mismanaged businesses serves any long-term interest, or how such can be deemed constitutionally valid. I also do not support, and can never support, the government owning, operating, managing or dictating how to manage, any business. That is not regulation--it is Socialism, pure and simple. It doesn't work, we know it doesn't work, and I fail to understand why we're doing this, unless the Administration itself is Socialist or leaning Socialist.

Regretfully, I have to say "No" to the Obama "initiatives." I wish I could find something viable to do other than to oppose, but I cannot. And, if we as a country are so unwise as to adopt these plans and blunder further down this road, we will come to regret it.

Unfortunately, then it will be too late to undo the mess we're creating.

This is beyond "reinventing" Republicanism. It lies at the heart of preserving what is unique about this country. It's something of a shame that so many are blinded by the President's glibness and rhetorical skills and the antipathy felt toward the last Administration that they cannot or will not understand what's being proposed and why it's so damnably damning.

Forgive my anger and frustration. It's just that I feel that every idea emanating from DC right now is designed to eviscerate the Constitution and turn us into a European statist society. And I don't like it one bit.

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PS to aC:

None of what I posted is or should be taken personally. It wasn't directed at you. I have a great deal of respect for you, and your positions, which are always reasonably advanced, and I say that even though we often end up on opposite sides.

Please don't take personal offense. None was intended, and if I did so, accept my apology.

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aC--

I agree that the goal should always be to propose viable alternatives to policies with which one disagrees.

However, when the policies being proposed are seen as invalid (due to subject matter) or unviable, and there is no viable alternative, then the only course is to oppose, while pointing out why you're not floating an alternative.

I would love to see a Republican alternative to health care, education, etc., but there cannot be one, since, in my mind, there is no Federal responsibility or power over them. The only responsible course in dealing with these is to say "No." I realize you and most other posters on this site don't agree, but I cannot find any basis for Federal action in either area. And I don't care that the supreme Court would probably sustain the actions, because I believe in these areas the issue is so clear that the Supreme Court would be wrong to do so, just as it was in sustaining the worst and most intrusive aspects of the New Deal and the Great Society.

Ah but that IS an alternative. None of the R speakers are saying anything at all about the appropriate role in Government of these policies - they are just saying "no" and posing dire threats of unrecoverable budget overruns or extraordinarily high taxes on "the little people". Because over the last 8 years, they were the primary causes of these things, the arguments carry no weight. I support your right to your opinions. That isn't really the point, is it? If the R party shares your opinions, they should be making the case for them. They aren't. I share the concern over the health-care point as I've said repeatedly. I've said that I think it is a major economic concern and that reliance on the free-market system has failed and will continue to fail. I also said that, if the Fed Government wants to take a large role in that issue then the amendment process should begin. If, however, an amendment does pass, then all constitutionality issues will be laid to rest. I think that is where the 2 of us differ. I infer from your writing on such topics, that the only constitutionally viable approach is one that matches the intent of the founders. I beg to differ. The "intent" of the founders was clear when they instituted the amendment process. They recognized two things: 1) Perspectives and circumstances change with time and growth and the Federal Government needed to be able to accommodate those changes; and 2) They, themselves, were far from unified on what roles the Federal Government should play. Mostly, when they couldn't come to an agreement, they just let the issue under debate ride. They left these issues to be managed by future generations. That's us.

In the economic field, I do not understand how "bailing out" failing or mismanaged businesses serves any long-term interest, or how such can be deemed constitutionally valid. I also do not support, and can never support, the government owning, operating, managing or dictating how to manage, any business. That is not regulation--it is Socialism, pure and simple. It doesn't work, we know it doesn't work, and I fail to understand why we're doing this, unless the Administration itself is Socialist or leaning Socialist.

Regretfully, I have to say "No" to the Obama "initiatives." I wish I could find something viable to do other than to oppose, but I cannot. And, if we as a country are so unwise as to adopt these plans and blunder further down this road, we will come to regret it.

Unfortunately, then it will be too late to undo the mess we're creating.

Again - back to the original point of this thread - the R's are not saying this. They are just saying "no." I do not agree that these things constitute Socialism. I'm not gonna argue that point here. I'm just sayin' that if any R or the leadership of the Rs together has said that letting any of these industries fail would be the appropriate choice, I didn't hear that. Keep in mind that the first bail-out bill was fomented and signed by GWB.

This is beyond "reinventing" Republicanism. It lies at the heart of preserving what is unique about this country. It's something of a shame that so many are blinded by the President's glibness and rhetorical skills and the antipathy felt toward the last Administration that they cannot or will not understand what's being proposed and why it's so damnably damning.

Forgive my anger and frustration. It's just that I feel that every idea emanating from DC right now is designed to eviscerate the Constitution and turn us into a European statist society. And I don't like it one bit.

Now that is where your anger is disguising your opinions. It is hard to listen to someone tell you an opinion when it is couched in language indicating that he thinks you are an idiot. You seem to think that those of us who are impressed with President Obama have no ability or willingness to evaluate his policy on substantive grounds. Since you seem to think that, I won't discuss this point further. I will ask you to recall any posts I've ever written supporting the bailouts or any of the other financial games being played. Remember them? No, or course you don't because I didn't write any.

PS to aC:

None of what I posted is or should be taken personally. It wasn't directed at you. I have a great deal of respect for you, and your positions, which are always reasonably advanced, and I say that even though we often end up on opposite sides.

Please don't take personal offense. None was intended, and if I did so, accept my apology.

I didn't take the original post personally but felt that I could respond to show that one doesn't need (or shouldn't need) to desire the success of a political party to have a valid opinion about how that party should conduct itself.

Also - I don't take this last post personally either. My last paragraph was intended to demonstrate that, again, wording can influence your audience. God knows my own inability to use the language has caused enough strife on occasion!

aC

Edited by Au Courant

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Several interesting posts prompted the following thoughts....

I don't think the GOP needs to move to the Left on fiscal matters.

But it already has. That debate ended when the Reagan Revolution cut taxes while raising spending. Since then the primary debate in this country has been about whether taxes were too low or too high. Cost of government as a percentage of GDP hasn't changed much, until the recent crisis made Keynesians of everyone except RF.

What Republicans need to do is this: (1) advocate a reform of the tax system based on a flat rate for all with minimal deductions, exemptions, etc; (2) advocate a reduction in government spending back to a level consistent with a government of limited and delegated powers, including a withdrawal of all Federal funding from any activity not reasonably related such to a government; (3) say "No," firmly but politely, to any spending program which doesn't fit that definition.
The problem with #1 is that no Congress, Dem or Repub, seems willing to eliminate byzantine tax laws, which help them direct socio-economic change and generate campaign contributions. This is like asking a dog to stop barking. The problem with #2 and #3 is that very few Americans, particularly during the current economic crisis, agree with RF's definitions.
I also find it interesting that most of the people posting on this thread are or have been less than friendly to the Republicans during the last year or so. While everyone has something of a vested interest in a robust and functioning two-party system (since our system doesn't work well otherwise), some of the prescriptions offered strike me as being as suspect as some would see my offering advice to the Obama Administration and the Democrats. I only hope that they have the party's best interests at heart in offering advice.

I certainly do. I'd love to see a sober Eisenhower-era GOP healthily leavened by moderate and, yes, even liberal voices. But that will never happen as long as the Palin/Limbaugh cadre maintains is stranglehold. The only way the GOP survives as a useful opposition party is if these hate-spewing know-nothings can be induced to leave it.

I would love to see a Republican alternative to health care, education, etc., but there cannot be one, since, in my mind, there is no Federal responsibility or power over them. The only responsible course in dealing with these is to say "No." I realize you and most other posters on this site don't agree, but I cannot find any basis for Federal action in either area. And I don't care that the supreme Court would probably sustain the actions, because I believe in these areas the issue is so clear that the Supreme Court would be wrong to do so, just as it was in sustaining the worst and most intrusive aspects of the New Deal and the Great Society.

It's impossible not to admire RF's unblinking intellectual honesty and consistency. I've said several times that the radical nature of his positions in no way renders them invalid. I think logic and evidence do that. But even if I'm mistaken and his analyses are correct, there's no getting around the fact that his unpopular, extreme views are a feeble foundation for a viable political movement or party.

In the economic field, I do not understand how "bailing out" failing or mismanaged businesses serves any long-term interest, or how such can be deemed constitutionally valid. I also do not support, and can never support, the government owning, operating, managing or dictating how to manage, any business. That is not regulation--it is Socialism, pure and simple. It doesn't work, we know it doesn't work, and I fail to understand why we're doing this, unless the Administration itself is Socialist or leaning Socialist.

Like the boy who cried wolf, conservatives have so abused the "socialist" charge that it has lost much of its sting. As President Obama said at his presser the other night, he has no desire whatsover to be a banker or an automaker. But history has forced those roles upon him temporarily, and he's striving mightily to get out from under them.

It's generally a bad idea to aim a fire hose into an apartment window, but when the place is on fire, it becomes a temporary imperative. To call Obama a socialist or a statist because of his bailout efforts is no different from calling a fireman a vandal.

Regretfully, I have to say "No" to the Obama "initiatives." I wish I could find something viable to do other than to oppose, but I cannot. And, if we as a country are so unwise as to adopt these plans and blunder further down this road, we will come to regret it.

Unfortunately, then it will be too late to undo the mess we're creating.

This is beyond "reinventing" Republicanism. It lies at the heart of preserving what is unique about this country. It's something of a shame that so many are blinded by the President's glibness and rhetorical skills and the antipathy felt toward the last Administration that they cannot or will not understand what's being proposed and why it's so damnably damning.

Forgive my anger and frustration. It's just that I feel that every idea emanating from DC right now is designed to eviscerate the Constitution and turn us into a European statist society. And I don't like it one bit.

I'm less pessimistic about America's prospects. Folks like RF have been predicting statist doom since FDR took his first oath of office, and all the world did was experience the 70 most prosperous years in history, lapsing only recently when the radical right's hands-off prescriptions had a chance to do their mischief.

A sidebar: Can conservatives stop claiming the New Deal spending programs failed and that we were rescued from the Depression only by WWII? Doesn't that argue for bigger, not smaller, government interventions? What was WWII but the biggest government stimulus package of all?

aC wrote:

I infer from (RF's) writing on such topics, that the only constitutionally viable approach is one that matches the intent of the founders. I beg to differ. The "intent" of the founders was clear when they instituted the amendment process. They recognized two things: 1) Perspectives and circumstances change with time and growth and the Federal Government needed to be able to accommodate those changes; and 2) They, themselves, were far from unified on what roles the Federal Government should play. Mostly, when they couldn't come to an agreement, they just let the issue under debate ride. They left these issues to be managed by future generations. That's us.

Bingo. The central problem with RF fundamentalism is that it rests on the false premise that the intent of the founders was unified, coherent and clear. Quite the contrary.

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I enjoy reading RF's positions, and I can appreciate how he arrived at them. I want a strong second party because I want a second point of view at the discussion table -- even and third or fourth POV. No one is perfect, but listening to all sides of an argument before making a decision is a sign of intelligence -- and our current President does just that.

My major concern is that such a rigid interpretation of the Constititution isn't viable in a global economy.

RF's position (as I understand it) is that the states should be responsible for more than they currently are. But in today's world, can you imagine 50 different everything -- from medical insurance, to traffic laws, to tariffs, to taxes, to Social Security, to education curriculum, to EPA standards, to banking and security and insurance regulations? It exists in many cases, but it would be even worse if the federal government didn't set standards.

If the states rights movement gains more traction, we'll have 50 "Herbert Hoovers" at a time when we need 1 "FDR".

Sometimes we need a strong federal government to force us to be better and less racist -- like during the civil rights movement .

Sometimes we need a strong federal government to force us to be smarter and less greedy -- like the sensible national banking regulations that were written during the last depression and gutted prior to this one.

Sometimes we just need to all row in the same direction with the same speed or we just aren't going to get anywhere at all -- like EPA standards, rail gauges, infrastructure, etc.

If I had my choice between

Plan A: Limited government, limited taxes, no social safety nets, no money for education or health care.

OR

Plan B: Expanded government, expanded taxes (up to a point), investments in people (health and education) and a social safety net to prevent starvation and death -- I'll choose Plan B every single time. When you invest in people they become productive members of society, when you don't they become drains on society. And if that makes me the dreaded "Socialist", so be it.

As to whether taxes are too high or too low -- if you are running a deficit during good times and bad, then taxes are too low.

Just my two cents worth.

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I agree, the GOP has moved further Left recently. I can't argue there. And if Richard is right, that the only answer to these social policies compatible with Republican thought is "NO," then aC is right that they need to make it their goal to articulate that.

As for the founders, I have to lean toward the more radical philosophy that the Federal Government should be a drastically limited agent of the states, with no interest or business in social issues. And I don't think there can be any valid argument against that kind of system, because all arguments against a truly Republican system in America are supposition and theory. We've never seen that kind of America, not even from the outset.

I would have to argue, with all due respect, with Carol that we never "need" a Fed. Gov. to "force" us to do anything. That some people believe a government forcing its people in a certain direction socially is sometimes acceptable is, to me, terrifying. I very much hope those were just poorly-chosen words.

I think what we see today in the evolution of our government is a move toward centralism and away from federalism. I predict that even the term "federalism" will come in the future to be considered an abberation of political nature, if we continue down this course.

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Your point is taken Hank, but consider this.

It took strong federal laws and enforcement to end lynching, the anti-miscegenation laws, and discrimination in the public arena and the work place by race and gender. There used to be four different pay levels for teachers, white male, white single female, black male and black single female, that needed to change and it thankfully did. There were people who held some power who fought that equality tooth and nail. Those are the people that needed to be "forced" to accept the "all men are equal" concept that our founding fathers fought so hard for.

My children have no clue what it was like to grow up during the race riots of the 1960s and I hope that they never find out.

I have no clue what it was like to live under the "Jim Crow" -- Separate and not Equal laws -- and I hope that I never find out.

Children of color born today now know that they can grow up to be President -- or any thing else that they want to be, and that is one of the best things to come out of this last election -- hope.

Just my two cents worth.

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Thursday, May. 07, 2009

How the Republicans Can Come Back

By Joe Scarborough

You could forgive Republican leaders for rolling their eyes this past week as they read obituaries declaring the death of the GOP. After all, many Washington pundits had already declared the Republican Party dead following its defeats in 1964, 1974 and 1992. The Democratic Party was also written off after taking a beating in 2004, with Republicans and Democrats alike debating whether George W. Bush's re-election would usher in a permanent Republican majority.

If it did, the Era of Republican Supremacy lasted a total of two years.

With that as our historic backdrop, I suggest that political commentators sit back, take a deep breath and relax. The Republican Party will not be leaving the political arena anytime soon. Take a quick look at Senate races in three of the bluest of blue states: polls show that in Connecticut, New York and Illinois, Republican challengers are handily ahead of Democratic incumbents, despite the fact that President Barack Obama won those states last year by an average of 25%. If history is any guide, Republicans will also pick up House seats in 2010.

But those gains could be fleeting. There's no question that Republican leaders must rebuild their party's brand after a decade of disastrous rule. To do so they should follow the advice of their first President, Abraham Lincoln, who told a beleaguered Congress during the darkest days of the Civil War that it was time to think anew.

The first thing Republicans must do is move past the current definition of conservative. Let's face it. American conservatism is now associated with wasteful spending, military adventurism and ideological conformity. The GOP took a $155 billion surplus and turned it into a $1.5 trillion debt. George W. Bush and the Republican Congress also allowed federal spending to grow at its fastest clip since the Great Society, while adding a $7 trillion burden to a Medicare program already headed toward bankruptcy.

On the international stage, Bush dismissed Colin Powell's disciplined approach to foreign policy in favor of one that guaranteed the ending of tyranny for all mankind. By Bush's second term, the GOP's foreign policy objectives were so utopian that even Woodrow Wilson would have been aghast.

Perhaps most damaging to the Republican brand is the fact that GOP leaders have allowed themselves to be defined too easily as rigid ideologues, blindly faithful to an unyielding agenda. Because of that, Obama has been able to move America dangerously leftward while blaming Republicans for the partisan divide.

For the better part of 200 years, conservatives followed a different path. British statesman Edmund Burke was the movement's founder. A fierce critic of the French Revolution, Burke had contempt for rigid ideologues of all stripes and instead attached conservatism to restraint, custom and convention.

Burke's thinking can be summed up easily: Respect reality. Understand the age you're living in, and understand its facts. As William F. Buckley said more than two years before his death, "Conservatism implies a certain submission to reality." But the approach championed by Burke and Buckley is a far cry from the mind-set embraced by today's Republican Party.

If the GOP is to move toward victory, it must again find the middle of American political life and stop being seen the way liberals were viewed for a generation: as tone-deaf ideologues mixed with self-consumed radicals. Don't get me wrong. I do not believe that conservative leaders should seek out a mushy middle ground. Rather, they should boldly call for a new era of responsibility in the U.S.

Instead of building empires abroad, Republicans should aim to balance their books at home. We should not only fight to conserve tax dollars but also work as aggressively to defend the environment. As Reagan once said, conservatives are supposed to conserve.

We should erase the shabby standards of financial oversight that have weakened us all in the age of Bernie Madoff. Corporate bailouts need to end — but Republicans must be determined to never again adopt a laissez-faire approach to Wall Street. After Black Monday, the Asian crisis, Long-Term Capital Management's meltdown, the Internet bust, the Enron scandal, WorldCom's collapse and the subprime crisis, there is nothing conservative about turning a blind eye to reckless speculation and greed.

The time for restraint is upon us — at home, abroad, in our markets and toward our environment. If Republicans once again embrace first principles, they can revive what Russell Kirk called "the forgotten genius of conservatism."

But the time to think anew is now.

Scarborough, a former GOP Congressman, is the host of MSNBC's Morning Joe and ABC Radio's The Joe Scarborough Show. His book The Last Best Hope is out in June.

Find this article at:

http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/...1896604,00.html

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On Sept. 14, Randy James of Times reviewed "The Death of Conservatism" by Sam Tanenhaus:

The Death of Conservatism

By Sam Tanenhaus; Random House; 123 pages

Burke. Buckley. Limbaugh? Modern conservatism has decayed from the positive, pragmatic force its founders envisioned into a bitter resistance movement that's given up on fresh ideas, argues Sam Tanenhaus, editor of the New York Times Book Review. While Richard Nixon backed national health insurance and Ronald Reagan tempered his muscular rhetoric with political flexibility, today's dominant conservatives are little more than "inverse Marxists," clenching an outdated dogma that would sooner see government destroyed than saved. The result is a shrinking movement inhabiting a "fringe orbit" irrelevant to the needs of today's America, an intellectual flatlining confirmed by Barack Obama's victory. Tanenhaus traces conservatism's history with respect and likens its crisis to the funk that bedeviled liberalism after the failures of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society programs (though he glosses over modern-day extremism on the left). His essay is ultimately an elegy: with the atrophy of conservative thought, the loss of genuine ideological debate leaves all of us poorer.

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I saw the review and purchased the book. (Way to expensive for its size but, what the hey.) Should arrive tomorrow or Wednesday where it will take up residence on my TBR pile (currently 108 books.)

Sigh.

aC

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Forgot to say...

I look forward to reading Tanenhaus but my position is that conservatism isn't dying - it just no longer has a political party to reflect its views.

Wonder if Tanenhaus will say anything similar,

aC

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Someone posted this at "First Read", and didn't use a real name. The reason that I'm sharing it here is that it illustrates Mr. Tanenhaus' point. The "Crazy Liberal Ideas" all came from "Republicans". There's a great deal of tongue in cheek in this post -- so submitted for your amusement/comments.

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/200...7.aspx#comments

Crazy Liberal Ideas

Thomas Jefferson – Created the Public School system because of his beliefs in Socialism.

John Quincy Adams - he worked on developing the “American System”, consisting of a high tariff (taxes for the Tea Baggers – still laugh at the name) to support internal improvements such as road-building, and a national bank to encourage productive enterprise and form a national currency – more fake Government jobs by the Socialist party.

Abraham Lincoln – Freed the slaves by destroying States’ Rights because he believed in Big Government

Ulysses S Grant - Grant's 1868 campaign slogan, "Let us have peace," was in reference to his appeal to help the American Indian and the African American – He even gets the nod for pushing through the 15th Amendment of our Constitution, which allowed African Americans the right to vote – he would have fit in very well with Acorn

Rutherford B Hayes - He vetoed bills repealing civil rights enforcement four times before finally signing one that satisfied his requirement for black rights – another Acorn volunteer?

Chester A Arthur - Arthur's primary achievement was the passage of the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act. The passage of this legislation earned Arthur the moniker "The Father of Civil Service" and a favorable reputation among historians – just another community organizer

Teddy Roosevelt – Busted up monopolies in order to redistribute the wealth, because of his Socialist leanings – right John McCain? Not to mention he was a Tree Hugger, dear Lord!!! Not to mention the Panama Canal – just another Government created job. He even regulated the Railroads – geez, was this guy even an American?

Herbert Hoover - After his successful election in November 1928, Hoover entered office with a plan for reform of the nation's regulatory system. A dedicated Progressive and Reformer, Hoover saw the presidency as a vehicle for improving the conditions of all Americans by regulation and by encouraging volunteerism – sound familiar? Damn the community organizers!!

Calvin Coolidge – famous for lack of rhetoric, is attributed for writing, “The words of a President have an enormous weight, and ought not to be used indiscriminately." – NO damnit, we must Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran, right?

Dwight D Eisenhower – Created the Interstate Highway system – you know, those shovel ready, fake government jobs? He also insisted on making Washington a model to the U.S. by integrating black and white school children – he could have worked for Acorn too, I suppose?

As you might have guessed, these are ALL Republicans and it only goes to show how far they have strayed from their roots, and how they have dumbed themselves down. Now, the Devil is always in the details in every example given, but while the Republicans used to be the progressive party, and the Democrats were the racist, Big Business folk, etc, at least the Democrats have evolved in their line of thinking, whereas the Republicans grabbed a hold of the disenfranchised Democrats that were left in the cold – the racist, Big Business, no regulations, etc –– and have clung to the last gasp of this disenfranchised group, because they are so far removed from mainstream, it is scary.

Saint Dick, Dallas, TX (Sent Monday, October 19, 2009 1:06 PM)

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TO: Sarah Palin

FROM: William Kristol

RE: I Think We've Found a Running Mate!

There is a solution to our problem of finding you a 2012 running mate who a) demonstrates your contempt for snooty competence and intellectualism, b) reflects your bank-shot adherence to family values, and c) adds to your luster by bringing even less gravitas to the ticket than you did in 2008.

From Salon:

Carrie Prejean sued over boob job

Miss California pageant organizers say the dethroned beauty queen has failed to pay back a loan for breast implants

By Tracy Clark-Flory

Oct. 20, 2009 |

Ex-Miss California Carrie Prejean is being taken to court ... over her breasts. K2 Productions, the organizer of the Miss California USA pageant, is suing the dethroned beauty queen for failing to pay back a $5,200 loan for a boob job. She elected for the plastic surgery to make her "more competitive" at the Miss USA pageant (and perhaps it did make her more competitive, but of course it didn't save her from losing in April after voicing her personal opposition to same-sex marriage).

The complaint filed Monday goes after more than just her implants, staking additional claim to the proceeds from her book, and accusing her of "missing events" and "using her title without authorization to help promote the National Organization for Marriage's 'campaign of intolerance' against gay marriage," reports New York Daily News. It also takes issue with the semi-nude shots that surfaced during the Miss USA scandal: Prejean swore she was a minor in the photos and claimed she hadn't posed for any other raunchy snapshots -- but K2 Productions alleges she was of age in the shots and that far more explicit photos of Prejean exist and could surface at any moment. In other words: There is still more to come from this salacious spectacle.

Please, say it isn't so. If a lawsuit over breast implants isn't the ugliest this scandal can get, I'm not sure I can handle what's next.

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I miss the old Republicans. You could argue with them using facts and history and concepts and every now and then, they could reason you into granting that some one of their positions was correct. As farmers like to say, it's a poor duck that NEVER finds a grain of corn!

I suppose we're in for a decade or so of divides in the Republican ranks as they sort themselves out. I expect they'll have to contend with their own versions of the Green Party for awhile as their "base" sees how much more base it can get. The Republicans won't be much opposition for the Democrats but luckily, that lot have their own ranks for the job.

Americans are only apathetic about politics when they're comfortable. That's not an unreasonable response to comfort; you sink down, put your feet up and enjoy the fruits of the day. I think this particular incarnation of the comfy times are about over. We're uncomfortable and looking to political action to fix the causes. I expect since there's such obvious corruption on the part of both parties we'll be seeing a lot more grass roots political action starting up. Maybe we'll eventually see the parties re-emerge as their own polar opposites. It's happened plenty of times through history as noted earlier in this thread.

Maybe in all the hubbub, we'll manage substantive campaign finance reform. It's my dearest wish and the one thing I least expect to see happen. It's not very likely that those who ride the gravy train will help to derail it, to paraphrase Bill Moyer. Until we separate money from politics, I doubt it will much matter what either party calls itself or what they purport to think. Money is only interested in more money.

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Good thread.

I do not think the GOP is dead. I remember in the early 80's after the Reagan revolution there was a great deal of talk about the death of the Democratic party. I am convinced the GOP will eventually get its act together and become a force of reasoned thoughtful conservative policymakers.

I agree with the above thoughts that campaign finance reform is the one change that will make a lasing difference.

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I just don't know what to say...

Poll: Majority Of Republicans Think Obama Didn't Actually Win 2008 Election -- ACORN Stole It!

Eric Kleefeld | November 19, 2009, 12:28PM

The new national poll from Public Policy Polling (D) has an astonishing number about paranoia among the GOP base: Republicans do not think President Obama actually won the 2008 election -- instead, ACORN stole it.

This number goes a long way towards explaining the anger of the Tea Party crowd. They not only think Obama's agenda is against America, but they don't think he was actually the choice of the American people at all! Interestingly, NY-23 Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman is now accusing ACORN of stealing his race, and Fox News personalities have often speculated about ACORN stealing the 2008 Minnesota Senate race for Al Franken.

The poll asked this question: "Do you think that Barack Obama legitimately won the Presidential election last year, or do you think that ACORN stole it for him?" The overall top-line is legitimately won 62%, ACORN stole it 26%.

Among Republicans, however, only 27% say Obama actually won the race, with 52% -- an outright majority -- saying that ACORN stole it, and 21% are undecided. Among McCain voters, the breakdown is 31%-49%-20%. By comparison, independents weigh in at 72%-18%-10%, and Democrats are 86%-9%-4%.

Now, the obvious comparison would be that many Democrats felt that George W. Bush didn't legitimately win the 2000 election. But there are some clear differences.

First of all, Al Gore empirically won the national popular vote in 2000, and lost in a disputed recount process in Florida. By comparison, John McCain lost the national popular vote by a 53%-46% margin.

In order to believe that Obama wasn't the true winner of the 2008 election, one would have to think that ACORN (and perhaps other groups) stuffed ballots to the tune of over 9.5 million votes, Obama's national margin.

PPP communications director Tom Jensen says: "Belief in the ACORN conspiracy theory is even higher among GOP partisans than the birther one, which only 42% of Republicans expressed agreement with on our national survey in September."

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It's just another thinly veiled form of racism by the right. It had to be something nefarious. When Bush stole his election I'm sure it was considered God's will ( not his brother's arm twisting behind the scenes in Florida). The intolerance is blinding; but these are the same people that don't believe in evolution either. Damn those intellectuals and their science!

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Some rambling thoughts

Interesting, Sarah Palin's book and book signing caused record book sales in Michigan yesterday.

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/200...18/2130578.aspx

A "Daily Show" correspondent interviewed an independent book seller in NYC, they ordered seven (7) copies of the book, which they hope that they can sell and they are not planning on ordering any more.

Lastly, a while back I read a reprint of an old article (circa 1950s) in which the author was interviewing a politicians wife. I'm working from memory here, but the question was something link "Aren't you concerned about being called elitist?" and the answer was something like "Oh no, our constituents deserve the very best representation -- why would they want less than the elite?" Why indeed. Why would any one want the village idiot to go to Washington?

just my meandering two cents worth.

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Here's another thought I have been mulling over for the past couple of days...

In my travels through the internet, I run across my share of right wing zealots. And to a man (or woman), despite all of the evidence to the contrary, they really believe that they are a majority.

I just don't understand the disregard of overwhelming evidence.

I am pretty far to the left, but I think I am a fairly reasonable person. I am OK with being in the minority. I am OK with forming coalitions, and not getting all that I want for the greater good. I don't necessarily like it, but I am OK with it.

Just my perplexed two cents worth...

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Here's another thought I have been mulling over for the past couple of days...

In my travels through the internet, I run across my share of right wing zealots. And to a man (or woman), despite all of the evidence to the contrary, they really believe that they are a majority.

I just don't understand the disregard of overwhelming evidence.

I am pretty far to the left, but I think I am a fairly reasonable person. I am OK with being in the minority. I am OK with forming coalitions, and not getting all that I want for the greater good. I don't necessarily like it, but I am OK with it.

Just my perplexed two cents worth...

When a person talks only to those who agree with them, when a person socializes only with those holding the same opinions, when a person listens only to media that feeds the conclusions one has already drawn, then he is led to believe that the majority agrees with him too.

After all, he never hears anything to refute that assumption.

The "rabid" left considers it an obligation to seek out anything being said by those who disagree with them and fight about it. The "rabid" right considers any opinions that conflict with their own to be beneath their notice.

Those of us left in the middle have the power but we also get large headaches from the opposing ends of this ideological spectrum.

aC

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I think it's a knee jerk reaction. There is a resentment towards intellectuals. It's like a reverse snobbery. "They think they're so smart". "They don't understand regular people". So if you play to that, "I'm a regular person, I'm one of you" "I'm not one of those East Coast/West Coast liberals", you build up that us against them idea.

Why has the idea of becoming smarter, more informed, better educated become a bad thing? Will millions of Americans in 2012 vote for Sarah Palin ( if she's the Republican nominee) because she's NOT Barack Obama? I mean besides the racists. Reasonable people can disagree on how to best move the country foward, but can the Republicans do better than Sarah Palin, please?

Edited by Frederick Sweeney Brooklyn

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