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Memo to GOP: Don’t Run on What Voters Don’t Want

September 1st, 2011 at 1:08 am | 56 Comments |

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With the national debt skyrocketing, a faction on the right is hoping to turn the 2012 election into a debate on entitlement reform. No doubt, many Democrats are hoping the very same thing.

Democrats would view that development as a chance to gain politically, while some Republicans would see it as a chance to demonstrate their purity.

Charging forth under the motto of William F. Buckley, standing “athwart history, yelling Stop,” many conservatives have an affection for martyrdom. And it is not a uniquely conservative mistake to believe that, if something is hard, it is also worthwhile.

Running on entitlement reform would be very hard. Social Security, the centerpiece of American social insurance, is far more popular than tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans or other beloved positions of supposed fiscal hawks. Though many Americans recognize that Medicare is on an unsustainable course, they also want to ensure that the elderly can have sufficient medical care. And bromides about “self-reliance” apart from “socialistic” government intervention can be grating when they come from millionaires who have collected many years’ worth of government paychecks. Moreover, it’s hard to run a presidential campaign, a genre of the broad brush, with the mechanical pencil of policy minutia.

Yet the difficulty of running on entitlements should not obscure the fact that running on entitlements and focusing excessive energy on curbing entitlements will not solve what truly ails the economic health of the nation and drives our immediate and medium-term deficits: the poor employment picture. Hundreds of billions would be shaved off of the federal deficit with a revitalized economy, and a rotten economy is accelerating our entitlements crisis.

If you want to destroy the sustainability of Social Security and other social insurance programs, ignoring the economy is a good first step. Of course, economic stagnation also imperils the ability of the United States to project power, diminishes the standard of living, and makes it harder for Americans (and others across the globe) to have a lifestyle of comfort. Economic despair would have profound ripples throughout the American social fabric and the global order. Conversely, if the US can transcend the economic doldrums of the past decade, Social Security would require relatively little reform to become indefinitely sustainable, and even Medicare reform would become much more manageable. Solving the economy will help solve entitlement issues, but curbing the growth of Medicare, etc. will not, alas, solve our economic problems: very few businesses are refusing to hire because they fear the escalating costs of Medicare two decades down the road.

Furthermore, running on the poor economy has the additional advantage that this economy is immediately tangible. There’s no need for Republicans to get caught in the weeds of arguments about projections, revenue metrics, and benchmarks for growth when they can instead simply tell voters to check the unemployment rate, to look at their diminishing paychecks, or to see how their neighbors are doing.

Republicans would have much to gain by making the economy the door to a broader critique of the Obama administration: that this economic frustration is representative of a broader failure to channel the energies of a free people; that, rather than focusing on the practical trials of American workers, this administration chose instead to use this crisis to indulge in ideology; that its rapid expansion of regulatory power has served not to level the playing field but instead to provide a vehicle for favoritism and political payback. Many of the excesses and limitations of the Obama administration can be seen in its economic policies, so Republicans can make a broader, principled case against Obama while also being anchored in the economic realities of the moment.

Republicans can say to voters, In 2008, you voted in Barack Obama and scores of Democrats in hopes of a new way forward. Disappointment has been the recompense for all your hopes. We can offer a better path. Growth built not on debt but on innovation and production. An economy based not on hollowing out and corporate raiding, where the profits go to an ever-shrinking minority, but on the productive labor of the broad range of the American workforce, where a true rising tide will lift all boats. We can offer an economy of freedom, where opportunity is not the purview of the few but the promise of the many. The world has changed over the past decade, but the thinking of many in Washington has not kept pace with that change. Well, now is the time to renew the American spirit of freedom, innovation, and prosperity—not for some Americans but for all Americans.

Such an aspirational, forward-looking message has, I think, more in it electorally and intellectually than do hectoring declarations that the Democrat party (or the RINO establishment or the federal government as a whole) is a hive of traitorous socialists who hate the United States and freedom. It also has a lot more zip than endlessly insisting, No, I really don’t want to push Granny off a cliff. In fact, based on current actuarial projections, at the rate of current spending, the Social Security trust fund will be depleted by such-and-such a date, unless we start to adjust COLA standards and….

Originally posted at A Certain Enthusiasm.

Recent Posts by Fred Bauer



56 Comments so far ↓

  • hisgirlfriday

    A quibble about your reading Buckley’s famous quote into this.

    Today’s Republicans like Ryan are not standing athwart history yelling “Stop!” as Buckley conservatives did because Ryan Republicans simply aren’t conservatives. They are radicals.

    As radicals, modern day Republicans are standing athwart history yelling, “Go get in the time machine!”

    Ryan would have us go back in the time machine before the passage of Social Security and Medicare and back to the tax rates favored by Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon in 1929.
    Rick Perry and Ron Paul would have us go back in the time machine before the passage of the 16th Amendment. And so on.

    For the first time in history, Republicans see a chance, however slight, to finally defeat LBJ and FDR and Woodrow Wilson and they are taking it.

    • beemerron

      Don’t forget Lincoln

    • TJ Parker

      Amen. Huckabee as a candidate would have once raised some eyebrows: a former pastor as president. But now, two unabashed theocrats are running for the nomination, with one in a clear lead. The GOP is no longer the party of Buckley: its the party of that great American patriot, Jesus Christ.

      • medinnus

        According to Christ’s teachings, he’d be gravely appalled at what the Religious Reich does in His name.

  • ggore

    By not offering ANYTHING themselves and opposing EVERYTHING the President proposes that would better the job/unemployment situation which would in itself increase revenues and help the deficit situation they rail constantly about, the Republicans exacerbate the problem, which allows them to berate the President and hopefully defeat him in the next election.

    They are therefore completely willing to sacrifice the country and economy to gain the office, the same way they were perfectly willing to see the economy of the country and planet go into the toilet over the debt ceiling. Very crafty. But also something a good percentage of the voting public would consider anti-American if not treasonous, this voter included.

  • bubba11

    So Huntsmann thinks the U.S. needs to compete again, build again, etc. I’m waiting to see how he sees this happening. It’s nice to say, but let’s hear how we’re supposed to “go and do.”

    Waiting anxiously . . . . .

    • Grace

      For your sake, I hope you’re not holding your breath on this.

      Notice the poster’s entire piece basically exhorts GOPers to ‘say’ all the same things they were saying for the 2010 elections. Not so much as a vague wink-wink to even pretend they should actually put forth any ideas or specifics for improving the economy. Always rhetoric, but never any plan except the tired old tax cut and deregulation BS that has been proven thoroughly ineffective.

      Their 2010 blather was all about jobs, jobs, jobs!! How’s that workin’ out for ya? All I’ve seen since they arrived are multiple efforts to crawl up women’s vaginas, the same old tax-cuts-for-the-wealthiest-cures-all-ills rhetoric, and endless determination to block anything that might have even the vaguest hope of improving the economy.

  • andydp

    Frankly the GOP has already given the Democrats their election talking points:

    The GOP wants to destroy Medicare as we know it and your representative voted for it !!!
    (Never mind its for those younger than 55) all they have to do is add: “FOR YOUR KIDS”

    The Ryan budget would raise the debt ceiling by $ 5 Trillion and your representative voted for it !!!

    Even though they ran on a platform to “create jobs” all they did was pass a bunch of “symbolic” bills that went nowhere and your representative voted for them.

    Gov Perry thinks Social Security is a Ponzi scheme and he wants to eliminate it.

    • Smargalicious

      Andy, you’re a moron.

      So, the Dims are thinking of running on a ‘Mediscare’ pogrom? Let ‘em.

      The numbers are irrefutable: we’re broke.

      After FDR and LBJ’s massive socialist inventions, and all the resulting millions of fatherless welfare parasites, illegals and their anchor babies, we find out that the White law-abiding taxpayers are now outnumbered. We’ve reached the tipping point.

      God help us all.

      • TJ Parker

        “The numbers are irrefutable: we’re broke.”

        Hi again, Smegmalicious!

        What numbers are these? What was the magic line of demarcation between the debt and deficit of Bush and the debt and deficit of Obama which marked the line at which “we went broke”?

        C’mon. The numbers don’t lie: give me the numbers.

        By the way: if we did adopt Ryan’s budget, and we take that big old future debt and transfer it from the government to the American citizenry individually, then what we’d see is that, while the government would no longer be broke, individual Americans will be broke. How exactly can American become a prosperous nation when the vast majority of its people live in poverty? This doesn’t make sense. The numbers don’t lie!

        • Smargalicious

          TJ, please. Blaming Bush is sooo yesterday. Obama owns it.

        • medinnus

          When in doubt, blame Obama. Nice to know your arguments are as bankrupt as your supposed Christianity and your morals.

          Bloody White Supremists are at least open about their bigotry. Your kind skulks in the shadows looking for little boys to bugger.

        • larocquj

          The Smarg Hypothesis

          I’ve got it! Smarg is actually a Marxist Socialist citizen of Kenya who wants President Obama to win the 2012 election so much he or she is posing as a right-wing, radical white supremacist to convince independents and moderates that the Tea Party is nuts.

          Genious, Smarg. Diabolical to be sure. But, genius!

      • dante

        Would these be the numbers of the people who overwhelmingly approve of Medicare, the numbers of people that the GOP was trying appeal to when they came out time and again to ‘save’ Medicare during the Health Care debate, or the numbers of people who would rather see tax breaks for the rich go away as opposed to cutting social programs?

      • CautiousProgressive

        @Smarg: “we find out that the White law-abiding taxpayers are now outnumbered. ”

        Your points would be enormously strengthened if you left out the blatant racism.

        • Houndentenor

          But racism is at the core of his argument. This is the base of the GOP, at least in the south. They are usually smart enough not to be so blatant about it but in private conversations it comes up constantly. Since I’m white, people say the most horrific things in front of me assuming that like most of their acquaintances, I will agree with them or at least say nothing while they use the n-word and spout the same racist bullshit. Imagine their surprise. And of course they don’t think of themselves as racist and are SHOCKED that anyone would accuse them of such. The GOP has been playing with fire in courting this mentality for decades and it’s starting to spill out into the mainstream, mostly because the more sensible factions of the party were able to keep a lid on the more hateful factions. Those days are over and in many parts of the country, it’s out in the open. Sadly, most of the conservative pundits live in a Georgetown or Manhattan bubble and don’t see any of this. I confront it every day.

        • Smargalicious

          This is what destroyed southerner’s public schools, infest their cities, and forever made them rock-solid Republicans:

          http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2011/08/black-teen-mobs-target-st-louis-cyclists-in-knock-out-game/

        • Smargalicious

          Tell me progressive one, are these folks racists if they target White victims?

          http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/crime/8583-flash-mob-attacks-at-wis-fair-police-to-file-hate-crimes-charges

      • SteveT

        Could you please stop with the personal insults and name calling everytime you disagree with someone?

    • Grace

      Just want to note a technical correction to your comment, which is otherwise spot on:

      There is no ‘Ryan budget’ except insofar as he is credited with authoring the nearly-unanimously approved HOUSE REPUBLICAN budget. It is also the endorsed budget of nearly every REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, including even the ‘moderate/RINO’ Huntsman. Almost to a person, Republican officeholders and candidates have endorsed the House Republican budget that would end Medicare for those under 55 and replace it with CouponCare, while granting new and extravagantly generous tax cuts for the wealthiest citizens.

  • Scritor

    You know, it’s too late.

    Firstly, almost every Republican voted for the Ryan budget.
    Secondly, Newt Gingrich got railed for criticizing its craziness.
    Thirdly, even the most visible moderate (Huntsman) committed to the Ryan budget.

    Basically, if you go around making statements like “Solving the economy will help solve entitlement issues, but curbing the growth of Medicare, etc. will not, alas, solve our economic problems: very few businesses are refusing to hire because they fear the escalating costs of Medicare two decades down the road.” then you provide (a) the exact justification for why the Affordable Care Act is visionary, long-term legislation that deals with a significant recurring challenge to starting businesses and hiring workers and (b) a concise refutation to the “uncertainty” shell game that Republicans have been braying about since Obama was elected, with (c) the correct diagnosis of Keynesian government spending to boost the economy out of the doldrums somewhat obvious.

  • balconesfault

    Growth built not on debt but on innovation and production. An economy based not on hollowing out and corporate raiding, where the profits go to an ever-shrinking minority, but on the productive labor of the broad range of the American workforce, where a true rising tide will lift all boats. We can offer an economy of freedom, where opportunity is not the purview of the few but the promise of the many. The world has changed over the past decade, but the thinking of many in Washington has not kept pace with that change. Well, now is the time to renew the American spirit of freedom, innovation, and prosperity—not for some Americans but for all Americans.

    Yadda yadda yadda.

    The GOP better be ready to tell America what they have to offer that’s different from re-warmed economics of the Bush years … or they’re not ready to be taken seriously no matter how pretty their rhetoric.

  • TJ Parker

    But maybe voters don’t know what they want until they’re told what they want.

  • bdtex

    “We can offer a better path. Growth built not on debt but on innovation and production. An economy based not on hollowing out and corporate raiding, where the profits go to an ever-shrinking minority, but on the productive labor of the broad range of the American workforce, where a true rising tide will lift all boats. We can offer an economy of freedom, where opportunity is not the purview of the few but the promise of the many. The world has changed over the past decade, but the thinking of many in Washington has not kept pace with that change. Well, now is the time to renew the American spirit of freedom, innovation, and prosperity—not for some Americans but for all Americans. ”

    Why didn’t the GOP offer that “over the past decade”? We could look at the GOP’s voting record over the past decade as a comparison.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    “a broader failure to channel the energies of a free people” Wow, I never knew it was the Republican party that has caused me to get up in the morning and go to work. Otherwise I guess I would have used my energy smoking crack, becoming a Muslim and making others practice Sharia law, and becoming a parasite (ie civil servant)

    “We can offer a better path. Growth built not on debt but on innovation and production. An economy based not on hollowing out and corporate raiding, where the profits go to an ever-shrinking minority, but on the productive labor of the broad range of the American workforce, where a true rising tide will lift all boats” Such carefully laid out detail, let me guess that this will be achieved by the exact same methods that GWB brought us the roaring economy of his administration (except for the part of at the end it drove off a cliff)

    Sorry Fred, platitudes won’t work. I want a concrete plan just how the hell you propose to bring manufacturing jobs back from China to America, or to prevent such jobs going there in the future. I can hire a Chinese factory worker for $500 a month and he would be happy for so much. (my father in law owns a factory in China, I know what the workers make)

    • balconesfault

      Not only that … but as Wikileaks indicated the other day – the factory can basically kill local residents. And unfortunately those regulations that upset Bauer so much try to prevent our local industries from killing Americans.

      China (2009) “The following is neither an overstatement nor is it hyperbole. It is a fact. The contaminated waters of the Pearl River and other water sources in Guangdong are as serious a threat to the region’s health and economic sustainability as the decline in exports, the closure of small and medium enterprises and the increasing utilization of land for nonproductive reasons.” Local residents in some heavily polluted areas display effects such as cancers and bone diseases stemming from exposure to high levels of arsenic, cadmium and other toxins. http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/01/

      • Frumplestiltskin

        but balcone, don’t you know it is better to be a slave and work in horrible conditions then…something. Anyway, that is why slavery was not so bad for the blacks and they should be grateful that southerners owned them, they had jobs and didn’t have to pay taxes, the lucky bastards. And what has the environment ever done for me lately? Hell, we can all buy big mansions and have hepa air filters (at least those humans who deserve to have them, the rest are not really human)

        • balconesfault

          but balcone, don’t you know it is better to be a slave and work in horrible conditions then…something.

          Well … that “something” is watching your children starve.

          In a capitalist society employers can always bid labor against one another, pushing conditions down to subsistence levels, as long as people need to feed their kids, and there are no larger forces (unions, government) that can be relied upon to protect standards of living.

          And this isn’t class warfare … because not every employer wants to pollute the waters, or cut wages to below subsistence levels.

          Rather, it should be seen as a battle to protect the interests of those “virtuous” employers who want to maintain high ethical, environmental, and worker standards for their companies … because the unregulated free market will too often punish them for their virtue and reward the worst actors, to the detriment of us all.

  • PingGuy

    The problem isn’t the message, it’s the plan. Rich people don’t need help getting richer, but that isn’t stopping the GOP from trying to do so. I should add that as of today I have officially written off Huntsman due to his horrible plan to make the rich richer. If he comes to his senses before 2016 we’ll see, but otherwise no frickin’ way.

    • ggore

      The plan to make the rich richer sure has worked so far, hasn’t it? More wealth is concentrated in the ultra-rich now than at any time in the history of the country. The ultra rich were given the Bush Tax Cuts, they are still promoted as the “Job-Creators” (saviors) of the economy, etc. But they are also the owners and board members and CEO’s of the very companies that shut down plants and moved all the jobs to China and Mexico, so that title of “Job-Creator” does NOT fly with this voter!

    • Anonne

      This.

    • balconesfault

      It is amazing that the middle class in America, which because the envy of the world in no small measure due to the workplace standards that unions fought for, for the social safety net put into place by the New Deal, for war against monopolies and the concentration of wealth at the top that began with Teddy Roosevelt … began voting in the 70′s for politicians whose primary goal was to widen the gap between the rich and the middle class, and eventually to create a game of devil-take-the-hindmost so that anyone befallen by bad luck quickly loses out on in America.

  • zephae

    that this economic frustration is representative of a broader failure to channel the energies of a free people; that, rather than focusing on the practical trials of American workers, this administration chose instead to use this crisis to indulge in ideology

    That sounds less like a critique of the President and more like a critique of the Republican House. Let’s review that actual sequence of events: Obama gets elected –> he passes a massive (but too small) stimulus measure (mid Feb 2009)–> while that goes into effect he starts the Healthcare debate –> the debate lasts about a year (mid March 2009) –> Obama makes rumblings about Cap and Trade with no dice –> Obama passes Financial Reform (Jul 2010) –> Republicans win the mid-terms and switch the debate to debt and deficits (Nov 2010) –> Obama makes a deal on the Bush tax cuts to use the lame duck Congress for some quick passage of social legislation (Dec 2010). We have been stuck talking about debt and deficits ever since.

    So basically the critique you charge comes down to saying that Obama shouldn’t have taken any time to let his economic policies go into effect, he should’ve just clairvoyantly known what was going to happen. Meanwhile, the Republicans have refused to allow the debate to change for a second to the economy and unemployment and have made defeating Obama their only priority. With all this we’re supposed to believe that it’s Obama and the Democrats that have “indulged in ideology”? That would be hilarious if it wasn’t sad and wrong.

    that its rapid expansion of regulatory power has served not to level the playing field but instead to provide a vehicle for favoritism and political payback. Many of the excesses and limitations of the Obama administration can be seen in its economic policies

    I have seen this canard in various forms without any substantive reference to what it’s supposed to mean. Put up or shut up.

    • balconesfault

      There are a lot of these talking points … you can hear 5 or 6 in 15 minutes of listening to Rush Limbaugh any given day … that are a shorthand for a tenant that’s simply accepted as true by Republicans without any need for proof. They become kind of a jazz unto themselves, with right wingers riffing from point to point without ever really fleshing out what they’re talking about, but with their devotees picking up on each reference and embracing it as if it were a completely developed and proven argument.

  • valkayec

    …that its rapid expansion of regulatory power has served not to level the playing field but instead to provide a vehicle for favoritism and political payback.

    After all the scandals and failure to protect the country from rapacious businesses during the Bush Admin., you, Mr Bauer, and the GOP want the nation to return to those same deregulation policies? Moreover, if Congress actually did its job – rather than attempting a religio-social conversion – the Admin. wouldn’t have to create the regulatory rules that even the SCOTUS says need to be done.

    How does rolling back the regs on the financial sector improve the lives of ordinary workers? Or protect them from the lies and gambling and con jobs so recently witnessed and likely to occur again?

    How will overturning the health care legislation – with its regs – help the American people afford health care or provide a more globally competitive environment that businesses need? After all, businesses have been yelling for decades that the cost of health care is far too expensive and something needed to be done to reduce those costs to both the businesses and their employees.

    How will eliminating the EPA or overturning environmental regs from other departments keep our natural landscape and the health of American families from being degraded and, ultimately, cost the nation even more? Asthma currently affects nearly one in three children. Will overturning clean air and water regs stop that epidemic?

    The simple fact is the GOP is now a branch of the largest corporations in the country and as such feel no responsibility to the nation and her people as a whole. Maybe when the GOP shows me, not just spins and empty rhetoric, that they care as much about me, my children and young grandchildren as they do about Exxon-Mobil, WalMart, or Goldman-Sachs, then I’ll listen to…and maybe trust…them again.

  • dante

    The problem is that what the American public want isn’t possible. They want a lower deficit without any cuts to goods and services that they use, and with no higher taxes to them personally. The Republicans spent the 2010 election cycle promising just that, and now have no way to actually govern… Promising generalities like “cutting government spending” only works when you have no power. Once you have to actually specify what you are going to cut, people stop liking your ideas…

    • SteveT

      That’s 100% correct.

    • Houndentenor

      Exactly. Read deficit reduction will mean significant cuts in government spending and increases in government revenue. Everyone seems to think this can be done by only making changes that will affect someone else. It’s someone else’s fault. It’s fascinating to hear these things from people who work for a government agency or for a business that is entirely dependent on government contracts. It’s hard to suppress laughter when a highly paid NASA contractor complains about big government. Without the large spending of the federal government they would be bankrupt. The cognitive dissonance accross the board is appalling. From the far left to the far right, people think we can get out of this with no pain for themselves, only to other “freeloaders”. Worse, we are now hearing social philosophy straight out of Ayn Rand in Christian Churches. Both Rand and Christ would puke hearing any of this.

      • Grace

        “Worse, we are now hearing social philosophy straight out of Ayn Rand in Christian Churches.”

        Good grief. Rand was a hardcore atheist and her social philosophy is now preached in Christian churches? Can you share some examples? I don’t doubt you but I also suspect I don’t attend either the right kind of church or in the right part of the country to hear such things.

        Is it me or does anyone else think that the propagandists in the right-wing hate media have succeeded in dropping their cultists through the looking glass? The most fervent wingnuts I encounter seem almost demented when discussing the latest fauxtrage – they appear to have abandoned all logic, consistency, and proportionality of thought. How can we continue to exist as a functioning society when 40+% of the population is making about as much sense as the guy in front of my building shouting obscenities at traffic?

        • Houndentenor

          I should be clear. Most of them have no idea it’s from Ayn Rand. It’s just what they heard on Fox News. I should bring a recording device the next time I go to my parents’ church. You wouldn’t believe the stuff that is said.

  • KOM71

    Or we could nominate these 2 guys (R/R) and not worry about the messaging because they will deliver just that plus plain talk, and still win overwhelmingly.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aNmQ3sw3ms

  • MSheridan

    Mr. Bauer, please.

    Republicans can say to voters, In 2008, you voted in Barack Obama and scores of Democrats in hopes of a new way forward. Disappointment has been the recompense for all your hopes.

    Right, we’re ALL very disappointed that they didn’t immediately fix the mess made by that unnamed last administration. Darned good thing that everything got immediately so much better when the GOP took the House in 2010, right?

    We can offer a better path. Growth built not on debt but on innovation and production.

    Hm, that’s…odd. By the rosiest of projections, the GOP-endorsed Ryan Plan wouldn’t even begin to dig us out for a decade or so, even though well before that it would have shifted a lot of costs onto the poor and middle class, which isn’t synonymous with growth for most of us. But wait, maybe, like Frum, you are not a fan of the Ryan plan so you’re talking about an alternative approach, something that the GOP hasn’t actually signed on to yet. Carry on.

    An economy based not on hollowing out and corporate raiding, where the profits go to an ever-shrinking minority, but on the productive labor of the broad range of the American workforce, where a true rising tide will lift all boats. We can offer an economy of freedom, where opportunity is not the purview of the few but the promise of the many. The world has changed over the past decade, but the thinking of many in Washington has not kept pace with that change. Well, now is the time to renew the American spirit of freedom, innovation, and prosperity—not for some Americans but for all Americans.

    Are you auditioning to be a speechwriter for the current President? Because, c’mon, that bit could have been cribbed out of almost any one of his speeches.

    Mr. Bauer, like you, I had at one time a hope that a rational GOP would emerge, but I’ve given up on it. That party you apparently thought you belonged to, a party a serious person could belong to…it’s gone. Or, to slightly reword Monty Python:

    It’s not pinin’! It’s passed on! This party is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch it’d be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolic processes are now ‘istory! It’s off the twig! It’s kicked the bucket, shuffled off the mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-PARTY!!

    • balconesfault

      Actually, this one if from Mr. Bauer.

      • MSheridan

        Thank you–my bad. It reads a lot like a Frum piece, but that was sheer carelessness on my part. Fixed.

  • Graychin

    Name one piece of job-growing legislation that could get passed in the House of Representatives.

    Obama is going to have several jobs proposals next Wednesday Thursday night. Eric Cantor and John Boehner will promise to fight every one of them to the death.

    Every Republican Congresscritter has already gone on record as favoring the Ryan plan. EVERY ONE voted for it. Huntsman might as well join the crowd.

    • KOM71

      1. The repeal of Obamacare.
      2. Net revenue neutral flattened tax reform.
      3. Regulation roll back to 2008 status.
      4. The Ryan Plan.
      5. Cut, Cap & Balance.

      • zephae

        4. The Ryan Plan.

        I see you’ll believe anything.

      • Frumplestiltskin

        KOM71, he said proposals to increase jobs, not destroy them. Repeal of Obamacare will ruin healthcare in America, costing millions of jobs as employers will no longer be able to afford to offer care.
        number 2 Republicans did not pass net renenue tax reform, it was passed in 86 but future Congresses just gutted it, so you are delusional if you don’t think it will repeat.
        Number 3: Yeah, we all know how deregulation of the financial sector turned out…
        Number 4: Too stupid for words, Ryan fantasy is more like it.
        Number 5: Cut, cap, and balance. Yeah, as though Republicans did it when they controlled the Senate, House, and WH.

        KOM, are you 15? You have to be a child

      • Graychin

        KOM –

        I specified that I wanted job-GROWING legislation – not the royalist wish list.

        • dante

          The Republicans will claim that outlawing abortion will create jobs somehow next…

  • Argy F

    After reading this post & the subsequent comments – are any of you optimistic that the well being of the majority of Americans will improve in the next decade or so?

    I admit to pessimism on this count.

    I used to think most Americans were pragmatic and believed that the best course of action was the one that most likely would lead to increased well being (in aggregate) and increased well being, especially, for those with the least wellness currently.

    I’ve come to believe that a large percentage of Americans (at least those that comment on blogs) are less concerned with practical well being and more concerned with their narrow self interest.

    Some, to be sure, aren’t voicing opinions based on self interest – but even many of these seem to be more interested in the moral platitudes one would hear from a strict father rather than an actual increase in the happiness of the people of our country.

    • Bunker555

      ^+1 Argy F

      I haven’t been so pessimistic in my 60+ years as I’ve been in the past 10 years. We started two big needless wars, gave big tax breaks to the wealthy and powerful, and ignored / neglected our old and needy. Obama may lose the next election against the Tea Christians and Tea Militarists, but this is the time for him to be like FDR and stick it to the reactionaries in the Tea Bagger GOP movement. If he won’t, who will? The banks were bailed out big time and are being given zero percent funds. Obama needs to issue an Executive Order that will force these leeches to works with distressed people, to ameliorate their pains. Not total forgiveness of debts, but more lenient loan terms and conditions.

  • huronsailor

    You’re asking the leopard to change his spots.

    As well, sooner or later, the conservative side will have to get specific about the “excessive regulations” and economic decisions that are wreaking the economy. They have been dinning out on broad accusations for so long they have lost credibility. This article falls into that same trap. As a lifelong conservative it is puzzling what some current “conservsatives” think constitutes conservatism.

    In my mind, holding extreme views is not exclusive to conservative thinkers nor does it qualify one as a conservative no matter which end of the political spectrum occupied by the “thinker”.

    Perhaps some of the people currently passing themselves off as the conservative establishment need to form another party under a new set of ideas and definitions. They are certainly beginning to stretch the definition of Conservative. Democrat and Republican no longer seem fit to pass as one or the other as terms for conservative and liberal. There are obviously conservatives and liberals in both parties if we go by time honoured definitions. Maybe it’s time a spade was called a spade in politics as well as everyday life for the sake of clarity, if nothing else.

  • NotFooledTX

    ” In 2008, you voted in Barack Obama and scores of Democrats in hopes of a new way forward. Disappointment has been the recompense for all your hopes. We can offer a better path. Growth built not on debt but on innovation and production. An economy based not on hollowing out and corporate raiding, where the profits go to an ever-shrinking minority, but on the productive labor of the broad range of the American workforce, where a true rising tide will lift all boats. We can offer an economy of freedom, where opportunity is not the purview of the few but the promise of the many. The world has changed over the past decade, but the thinking of many in Washington has not kept pace with that change. Well, now is the time to renew the American spirit of freedom, innovation, and prosperity—not for some Americans but for all Americans. ”

    Did Sarah Palin write this empty mismash of nothingness? You could have kept it simple Fred – blah, blah, blah, blah, blah would have as much meaning as the tripe you wrote.

  • zaybu

    Corporations are sitting on huge cash profits. They are not going to hire because of tax breaks or the elimination of certain regulations. They will hire when there will be an increase in demand of their products/services. How will that take place ? Millions of home owners are stuck with their property being underwater, and others have maxed their credit cards. The American people are in no mood to go out and binge on spending. Been there, done that.

    The Republicans have no plan except to oppose anything that Obama proposes, hoping that the economy will tank and Obama will get the blame. It might work if the American people are dumb enough to buy this bs. But they do remember who put the economy in its worst state since the 1930′s with two wars, an unpaid for prescription drug program, tax cuts for the rich, a housing bubble, a financial crisis, and the near disastrous debacle over the raising of the debt ceiling.

    Now if the GOP has a plan to give work to 14 million unemployed Americans, not nice words and wishful thinking, I’d like to hear it.