Posts Tagged ‘Republicans’

GOP: Opposing Economic Recovery Over 2%

February 4, 2009

My U.S. representative sent email first falsely claiming that 2/3 of the stimulus package would be spent after 2012. Then, in another email, he detailed all the horrible pork that is this list. Yet, these items amount to a total of 2% of the overall stimulus package. The Republicans are playing party politics and obstruction over 2% of the proposed spending.

You see, the de facto head of the GOP has already said that he hopes that Obama fails because, if he succeeds, then the Republicans would be in danger of being a minority party for years to come.

The Republicans have taken “opposition party” to heart: They oppose Obama for any reason they can conjure, even if it means hurting Americans.

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When Tools Speak

February 3, 2009

I guess when you find some “regular” guy outside the Beltway that still likes the GOP, you ride him into the ground. The guy used as a campaign mouthpiece is now taken as some font of knowledge.

When GOP congressional aides gather Tuesday morning for a meeting of the Conservative Working Group, Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher – more commonly known as Joe the Plumber — will be their featured guest. This group is an organization of conservative Capitol Hill staffers who meet regularly to chart GOP strategy for the week.

Wurzelbacher, who became a household name during the presidential election, will be focusing his talk on the proposed stimulus package. He’s apparently not a fan of the economic rescue package, according to members of the group.

What, a republican tool who’s not endorsing a Democrat-led proposal? Who would imagine such a thing.

Wurzelbacher is the mythical Joe Six-Pack who is paraded around as what regular guys think, which makes him whoring him far worse than following polls and focus groups, which at least involve several people. Wurzelbacher is treated as if his opinion is somehow informed when, in fact, he’s just a guy with, at best, a cursory understanding of the issues. (Then, again, the same can be said of conservatives like William Kristol.)

Like Sarah Palin (and so many liberal celebrities that conservatives often criticize), Wurzelbacher thinks his fame means that he has something to say.

Are You Wife Material for Conservative Loud Mouths?

February 2, 2009

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Why do conservatives like Dick (“Barney Fag”) Armey and Mike Gallagher immediately think of women guests as wife material?

ARMEY: I’m so damn glad that you can never be my wife because I surely wouldn’t have to listen to that prattle from you every day.

GALLAGHER: It’s hysterical. Do you know how many times a week I say, “thank God I don’t have to wake up next to her.” I mean some of these callers, these shrews that call.

Last year, Limbaugh said, “Edwards might be attracted to a woman whose mouth did something other than talk.”

But think about it: these guys judge women based on what kind of wives they would make. Armey couldn’t shut his yap while Joan Walsh talked, which was particularly hypocritical given that he said that we should be focused on the real issues.

The fact is that these guys can’t persuade by their meager reasoning and have to rely on reducing women to sex objects. Armey said that Limbaugh’s “I hope Obama fails” comments and the like are just politics, trying to dismiss any critique of these rhetorical tactics. Yet, he employs them without hesistancy, showing exactly why conservatives should be flogged for making them because they are essential to their strategy.

Republican Intellectual Socialsm

December 26, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, I had one of those dangerous driving moments as I listened to Dennis Prager talk about gifted children. First, I heard him ask if children with As were any happier than children making Cs and Ds. His point was that they aren’t, so why put kids in gifted programs. To further that point, he claimed that the reason parents put their kids in gifted programs was so that the kids could make more money as adults. Nevermind that I have a child in a gifted program and that money has nothing to do with it (for me and the other parents in that class, as we have talked about it to a great extent). The point of such program is the opportunity and the capacity to learn. As my son said while in his regular class, “What’s two plus two? Too boring . . . that’s what my class is.”

Prager’s comments, however, capture the problem with too many pundits, conservatives in particular. First, their problem is a complete lack of knowledge on topics that they spew opinions about. More significantly, they desire a kind of intellectual socialism that reduces everyone to their know-nothing levels.

It was one thing to be anti-East Coast intellectualism as they were at one time, even though many of post-WWII leaders and pundits were from the East Coast. At least, I understand the point of opposing a certain school of thought that one might call “East Coast intellectualism.” But today’s conservative pundits go beyond that, demeaning any type of intellectualism, even college education itself.

Sarah Palin’s hero status among these conservatives epitomizes this resistance to knowledge as the basis for policy. Mark Davis, Dallas radio host and newspaper columnist, touted McCain’s selection of Palin as the greatest political moment of 2008. Yet, other than being ‘mavericky’ Palin has no knowledge to distinguish her as a politician. Like Prager, she throws out opinions based on no real knowledge of the topic. There’s a progression with recent Republican White House candidates. Reagan hardly had a sharp mind for detailed knowledge; instead, his appeal was mostly an emotional one (patriotism and strength) with a general policy of ‘less government’ and an economic theory he really didn’t understand in detail. (See David Stockman’s Triumph of Politics.) George W. Bush demonstrated even less detailed knowledge, although he had an MBA. In Palin, we saw such a descent into ignorance that it was uncomfortable even for Democrats and liberals.

That’s not to say conservatives are ignorant. I know too many that are engineers and very intelligent people. But the conservative leaders and, in particular, the pundits have such a disdain for intellectualism that they seem to pursue arguments, like Prager’s, that equalizes intelligence. As appealing as it is think that anyone can be president, or vice-president, that’s not really true. Excluding experience from the discussion, Palin’s body of knowledge was too puny to qualify her for VP. I want someone smarter than me in the White House, even though I’m no idiot, and neither are most Americans. The advocacy of Palin as a vice presidential candidate was not a hallmark of independent, maverick politics. It was the advocacy of incompetence, of marginal understanding of national issues, and of equalizing intelligence, the kind of socialist endeavor that conservatives froth at in any economic areas. At one point, McCain cited Palin’s PTA experience as one of her qualifications, which is one of the most ridiculous statements of the campaign.

But this is the path that conservative leaders are taking Republicans down. I know many conservatives, and most are not opposed to intelligence, and they recognize that there are different types, with not all being equal. Some admitted to being uncomfortable with Palin on the ticket, but I think they saw this elevation of ignorance as dangerous to the party, especially those conservatives who view themselves more as economic conservatives rather than religious or social conservatives.

With candidates such as Palin, it’s little wonder that Prager dismisses gifted and advanced education.

The Last Gasp for Republican Moderates

September 15, 2008

I think Sarah Palin poses a very interesting issue for the GOP, win or lose. Typically, political parties, after losing the presidential election, play the game of blaming the different party factions: “We need to move more to the middle!” and “We didn’t stick with our core (read: extreme) values and policies!”

Without a doubt, Palin has energized the Republican base and religious right, which were less than enthusiastic of McCain (and still are to some degree). If McCain wins, can we expect McCain to roll back on his 75+ flip-flops to appeal to the extreme wing of the GOP? Probably not, because Palin could argue that she was responsible for that win. And who’s to say the self-described pit bull won’t want more meat of the bone to chew on, that she won’t want to have more say in policies? (Maybe then she can finally get her ex-brother-in-law fired.)

But, if McCain loses, it won’t be blamed on Palin but on McCain because he didn’t appeal to the far right until late in the game (regardless of the fact that he started those appeals and flip-flops more than 2 years ago).

Win or lose, I’m predicting that the extreme wing of the GOP will wrest even more party control and that the moderates will have had their day. You might be a Republican who believes in limited government but in freedom from government intrustion in your personal life. And you are about to find yourself even further removed from the GOP, which about to be a beast of cultural war. A party of supposed Christian values that sees fear and war in every corner.