Referendum on the GOP

20 thoughts on “Referendum on the GOP”

  1. Romney’s latest pronouncements do seem to reflect a growing anxiety on the part of the extremist-controlled GOP. It is no longer a mere political contest, it is a religious culture war to them.

    You’ve done a good job of evidence-collecting here, PT.

    1. It took all of fifteen minutes to gather these quotations. I suspect they are only the tip of the iceberg and that many more less prominent Republicans are saying the same thing.

  2. I know many lifelong Republicans that will be voting for Obama in November as well as a Democratic Congress. They see what’s going on and have no allegiance with a party that is now causing them more harm than good.

      1. Oh, I’m sure they are. One in particular is a die-hard Republican, but he cannot and will not vote for Romney – he will be voting Obama. Now, Congress may be different, but he’s not happy with them either. So who knows.

  3. The Republican party does need to do some soul-searching. I think the same can be said of the Democratic party, though. While the Democrats are closer to the middle ground, they still have issues, and I think there is certainly room for them to move closer to the middle. The Republicans are so far from the middle, that they have become completely out of touch with reality. With only these two parties to work with, and with the Republicans completely unwilling to compromise, the US government is essentially locked in a dysfunctional state. Politicians are too worried about keeping their jobs, and not worried enough about fixing the government. At the same time, we’re given only two choices – not good and completely screwed up. What kind of a government offers these two choices to their people?

    We can’t raise taxes a little and cut spending a little. We have a choice to cut spending and screw a lot of people over (oddly most of these people appear to be Republican – and are voting to be screwed). Or we can vote to avoid cutting spending as much as possible and not raise taxes at all (apparently, since the Democrats appear too freaked out to even suggest it). It all comes down to money-in and money-out. Everyone else in the country (who isn’t an idiot or desperate) can balance their checkbooks. Why can’t the government? Why is borrowing more money from China always the selected option?

    Meanwhile, economists, who know the score, are shitting Nike swooshes over the whole thing, and trying to get some press. Yes, there are solutions. No, they don’t involve letting one party have their way. The two must work together. Now how likely is that?

    1. With all due respect, Dood, I can’t help but cringe when I see the national economy correlated to family budgeting, as in:

      Everyone else in the country (who isn’t an idiot or desperate) can balance their checkbooks. Why can’t the government? Why is borrowing more money from China always the selected option?

      What you are discussing is the same as the quarrel between Hayek and Keynes. Those European countries who embrace “austerity” are following Hayek and the Obama administration is trying to follow Keynes. And as far as China is concerned, you might consider that our indebtedness to them has a side benefit: they have a vested interest in our fiscal success to protect their investment.

      1. I understand the side-benefit of tying them to us, and how that prevents a financial war between the two countries – a sort of economic mutually assured destruction policy. The Chinese see this too. But I look at their massive investment in infrastructure, and I look at their inroads into other countries, not just the US. Will they reach a point where the balance tips and they know they can survive an economic war? That’s a bit of a concern. MAD only works when both sides know they can wipe each other out. We aren’t there yet, no. Right now, if they pushed that button, India would likely be the winner. But if we continue to borrow from the Chinese and continue to spend more than we bring in, will we eventually reach the point where they think they will benefit from pulling the plug? And if we get there, what would prompt them to push that button?

        But I do agree with you. It’s not a simple as balancing a checkbook. That’s an analogy. It’s far more complicated than that. I know. And I realize we can’t just cut. It has to be a balance, and it’s a balance we can’t make right away. But we can start. Or we could, if the government were functioning. And we need to move in that direction.

      2. Absolutely, we agree completely that we need a balance of both economy and equitable tax revenue. And it sure doesn’t help that a portion of the populace is sitting on piles of money protected by Grover Norquist pledges.

      3. Norquist is a good example of what’s wrong with our government — too much money buying too much influence with too many people. The Citizens United decision played right into that, too. Our government no longer belongs to We the People. It belongs to We the Wealthy. I despair of finding a way to retake control.

    2. I agree the parties need to meet in the middle and hammer out some compromises. Clearly we must both cut spending/waste/fraud and raise taxes. And more and more I’m thinking term limits are the only cure for the intransigence we’re seeing, although I can’t for the life of me see how we get legislators to pass term limits on themselves.

      I’m in over my head when it comes to international finance, but I feel we’re in perilous waters with China. They are huge and growing rapidly, and if they decide to take us down, I don’t think they’d hesitate to sacrifice their populace in ways our government would never consider.

  4. Although certainly not a prominent guru such as those you quote, I am a former conservative Republican. Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush (and Carl Rove) cured that. The GOP I once knew was conservative fiscally, but championed civil rights and other socially responsible positions. What a complete switch we have witnessed. Now the GOP is a haven for bigots and irresponsible spenders (chiefly for much more military hardware than any nation needs) and the Democrats carry the torch for social equity and were the last party to lead the way to balanced federal budgets.

    I agree with those you quote who say if President Obama wins reelection, the Republican Party is a goner without major surgery.

    1. It’s certainly not my father’s GOP, that’s for sure. And not the one I grew up with and spent so many contented years with. I’m not sure when the party positions started getting turned around, but Bush was the breaking point for me. That was after years of watching the GOP get more and more intrusive on the issue of abortion and choice. It will be interesting to see what happens to the party if Romney loses.

    2. Gabby,

      When I was a Republican the party seemed to stand for libertarian principles (small “L”), but I believe that even then I was deceived. The GOP is the party of the haves and they care about the have-nots only to the extent that it serves their ends. Welcome to the big tent.

  5. It is ironic how parties morph and change.
    Might be better to start over and create a new one.
    Because of the long campaign period and the amount of money needed to run – and the influence of large multi-national corporations and special interest groups, only the wealthy and well connected insiders have any chance of winning: two big parties that the average person can impact very little.
    The reality is that both parties “care” about people and welcome all as long as a person marches in step and believes EXACTLY as the party does do about ALL the issues – otherwise you are a horrible person.
    Both parties will say anything to get elected.
    WIsh campaign were limited to only 4 weeks, with 2-3 real debates, a written statement by each candidate on-line, and limited number of network/media equal time appearances (including entertainment venues). If they can’t get the message out in 4 weeks, the message isn’t clear. And a set budget limit with it all posted on line – with donors.
    Tired of the name calling and pettiness. Reminds me of high school.

    1. I agree the campaign “season” (more like 18 months) runs much too long, with way too much time and money being devoted to it, to the detriment of just about everything else. No business gets conducted; everyone is too busy worrying about getting reelected. Limit the length of the campaigning, have it publicly funded so the wealthy don’t have an advantage and everyone is on an even footing, and put in term limits. Right. Like our lawmakers are going to put these restrictions on themselves!

      1. You mean the insurance plans, pensions, and medical care that our tax dollars provide for them? In addition to paying their salaries? In addition to paying for our own insurance plans, pensions, and medical care? Seriously, let’s just give them veterans’ benefits. After all, they are “serving their country” (supposedly) too. But nooooo, they get special plans just for them — on top of being allowed to give themselves pay raises!

        Man, it’s Monday morning and I’m in a baaaad mood. Sorry ’bout that.

... and that's my two cents