What “The Party Of Stupid” Might Become (Updated)

By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Bobby Jindral, Governor of Louisiana, has caused quite a stir in Republican circles calling on the party to throw off the mantle of the stupid and prejudiced among us. Pleading for an end to dumbed-down conservatism, the former golden boy of the party (before a disastrous 2009 televised reply to President Obama’s address to Congress) begged the party to turn away from being the champion of the “haves” and, most importantly, jettisoning its appeal to the lowbrow of society.

It is no secret we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year with offensive, bizarre comments — enough of that.  It’s not going to be the last time anyone says something stupid within our party, but it can’t be tolerated within our party. We’ve also had enough of this dumbed-down conservatism. We need to stop being simplistic, we need to trust the intelligence of the American people and we need to stop insulting the intelligence of the voters.

That sentiment is being echoed in many of the cloistered salons of the GOP. Even bomb throwing (but weirdly cerebral)  Newt Gingrich, responding to Mitt Romney’s childish comment that he lost the election to Obama because of bribes gifts to core Democratic constituencies, seems poised to make a philosophical change of course. “I just think it’s nuts,” Gingrich said on ABC. “I mean, first of all, it’s insulting. The job of a political leader in part is to understand the people. If we can’t offer a better future that is believable to more people, we’re not going to win.” Amen.

The transition appears broad-based and involves more than a little soul-searching for the political party whose victories in the 2010 mid-term elections seemed to leave it poised for a complete take over of the government this time around. The shock of November 6th seems sincere enough and could lead to something we haven’t seen in conservative circles for some time – a push to make the party one of  ideas and not just demagoguery.

Not so long ago — before the party was held hostage by that tax-pledging Rumpelstiltskin of the Right, Grover Nordquist, — Republicans felt free to represent conservative values and the nation’s interests. Imagine a Republican congressperson saying today, “I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times.”  That was the late Everett Dirksen, the horn-rimmed Senator from Illinois, and one of the men directly responsible for the Herculean efforts to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Open Housing Act of 1968. Both laws decidedly liberal, decidedly unpopular, and decidedly needed to realize the American dream of social equality.

Voting for cloture against the southern Democrats who filibustered the measures, Dirksen told the Senate:

Victor Hugo wrote in his diary substantially this sentiment, ‘Stronger than all the armies is an idea whose time has come.’ The time has come for equality of opportunity in sharing of government, in education, and in employment. It must not be stayed or denied.’

That’s intellectual gravitas not seen in the GOP in some time. Compare it to the rhetoric from the current Republican intelligentsia, this time in the person of South Carolina Lt. Gov. André Bauer arguing against the Food Stamp Program and free school lunches for poor children:

My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better.

It doesn’t take a physicist to see how far the party’s grip on the American soul has slipped or how fast.

What can a resurrected GOP accomplish? Here are some ideas:

1.  Less Government Intrusion Into Our Lives – The GOP has a traditional and noble role of  advocating smaller government with an eye on protecting the property and privacy of its citizens. It was Dirksen who said, “It is the expansion of Federal power, about which I wish to express my alarm. How easily we embrace such business.”  Few people would disagree that endless (sometimes mindless) government regulations and bureaucratic red tape are social ills that an effective government could end. Henry David Thoreau’s observation that,  “[t]he best government is that which governs least” is as true to the American psyche now as it was in 1849.

2. Strong National Defense — The world is still a dangerous place as Einstein used to say. Whatever you think about the military-industrial complex, it’s worth remembering it is that institution that’s kept us safe and free for decades although we can certainly debate the costs of that security. It’s also worth remembering that for all our flaws, America remains the only nation in the history of the world who having once conquered foreign lands promptly returned it to the indigenous people to govern. A strong America means some sense of justice in the world if only an imperfect one.

3. Protection of Privacy – A political party founded on conservative principles could be in the forefront of protecting the privacy of its citizens. Women’s issues should be the cutting edge of that philosophy especially those relating to control over their own bodies. True conservatism means less government interference in personal decisions and a rejuvenated Republican Party could lead on this issue with perfect philosophical consistency.

4.Advocating For Small Business – The backbone for the American economy remains small business. According to the SBA, fifty percent of all American jobs remain in small business (defined as any entity employing 500 workers of fewer).  Most importantly small business fill niches in the labor market that are under-served. For example small businesses employ greater proportions of Hispanics than large businesses (65% versus 35%). Also small businesses hire more high school degree or lower attaining workers as well as more of the elderly and disabled than large business. While  small business does not match large business in campaign contributions it is the largest growth area in the economy and worthy of  support from a party openly dedicated to capitalism.

These are just a few of the areas where bona fide conservative principles aid rather than detract from the national dialogue. A return to them, and away from the religion-based rhetoric that got the GOP scorched in the last national election, would mean a stronger party and a stronger nation.

For the two-party system to work you really do need two viable political parties who are willing to both advocate and cooperate. The GOP has done a poor job of both. If demographics truly are destiny in politics, the GOP will have to change or die. For the sake of all of us, let’s hope they change.

Sources: Politico; CNN

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Update 7:46 p.m.: Is the dike breaking? South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham has added his name the growing number of Republicans rebuking Grover Norquist’s no tax hike pledge. Graham joins Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) in disavowing the now almost two decade old pledge. “I’m willing to generate revenue,” Graham said on ABC. “It’s fair to ask my party to put revenue on the table. We’re below historic averages.” New York Republican Congressman Peter King has also refused to honor the pledge bushing off any  of Norquist’s threats of retaliation saying, “A pledge you signed 20 years ago, 18 years ago, is for that Congress.” Norquist was nonplussed and blasted Chambliss. “If he wants to change his mind and become a tax increaser so we don’t have to reform government, he needs to have that conversation with the people of Georgia,” Mr. Norquist said on CNN’s “The Situation Room.” Chambliss retorted that “I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge.”  

This one is going to get good.

Source: CNN

131 thoughts on “What “The Party Of Stupid” Might Become (Updated)

  1. Great article Mark….. I don’t think the election results were a mandate for the demon-crats either….. The only reason Obama won was the key state electoral college….. Except for stupidity in the GOP they most likely would have won…..

    Both parties are out of touch with mainstream America…. Obama was the lesser of the two evils….. But should we have to continue to have our decisions based on which one poses a greater threat?

    What’s wrong wit the system we forced Germany to take before we’d leave?

  2. Problems problems problems.
    The GOP can’t easily undo the institutionalized stupidity they built into the wingnut faction. They would have to convince them that all the “facts” they have been feed are incorrect and that will not be easy.

    Less government intrusion? You mean like give up the fight to intrude between doctors and women seeking family planning help? Yeah, that’ll work.
    Better defense? We already spend more than the rest of the world put together on our military, whats left? Plus the Rand wing of the party wants us tromping around setting off land mines around the world less not more.
    Privacy might be one area they could BS their way out of. The whole ugly fatherland security apparatus was built under their watch after 9/11 & death to anyone who dared question it at the time. But they could pivot 180 on this one because it would play to that Randian base.
    The GOP already mouths a lot of words in support of small business but has no programs and no ideas about how to promote the growth of actual small businesses (most ‘small businesses’ are actually people who have incorporated themselves to gain tax advantages & they do nothing to produce jobs).

    I agree that in order to be healthy we need two sane political parties but the foundation for that has been eroded so that there is no ground on which the GOP can build that does not alienate a good portion of its current followers. The basic social contract has been broken by years of cynical manipulation

  3. The GOP lost young people, hispanics, asians, african americans, affluent women in traditionally republican suburbs, and rural people in the midwest. They would have to make gains among more than one of these groups to win the presidency in 2016. Right now, nationally they are the party of the confederacy although even cities in the south like Jackson. MS voted blue. Obama was a lot more than the lesser of two evils to those that waited in line for 8 hours to vote for him.

  4. Mark,
    What a wonderful and thoughtful essay to read on a Sunday morning. I am not sure the pre-Goldwater Republican party can be resurrected. It is too far into eyeball deep bat guano crazy.

  5. Cassidy,

    Even when it’s clearly pointed out that they “politicians” are hypocrites and are great at double speak….. Obama authorized legislation to take away more of our American Civil liberties….. Within a week of winning reelection….

  6. Well said and well covered Mark E. Great and timely subject. Group dynamics.

    It is interesting that when we diagnose and treat groups we commonly talk to groups as if they behaved entirely like individuals.

    They don’t.

    Sigmund Freud recognized that reality but left it to future generations after him to develop effective group psychoanalysis and treatment:

    I would not say that such an attempt to apply psychoanalysis to civilized society would be fanciful or doomed to fruitlessness.

    And with regard to any therapeutic application of our knowledge, what would be the use of the most acute analysis of social neuroses, since no one possesses power to compel the community to adopt the therapy? In spite of all these difficulties, we may expect that one day someone will venture upon this research into the pathology of civilized communities.

    (MOMCOM’s Mass Suicide & Murder Pact – 5). When Gov. Jindal and other Republicans talk to their group they naturally tend to talk as they would when talking to an individual.

    Others have noticed the divergence from individual behavioral patterns that groups habitually tend to take:

    Cosmic adults would be aware of this and would be behaving in a manner contrary to our current infantile behavior, that is as a species we would be preparing in unity.

    Instead, together we are bringing about the destruction of our home world as we also fail to prepare for demise of the Sun:

    Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

    The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    (Brainy Quotes). Something is infantile about a species when it gathers together to protect itself but instead destroys itself.

    Since Infantile behavior is sure to bring on our extinction as a species, why not morph into cosmic adults (Compromise And Settle On A Moon)?

    (The Life and Death of Bright Things). The concept applies to “groups, parties, nations and epochs” as Nietzsche pointed out.

    The Democrats are also a subgroup of the human species, and thus subject to the same maladies.

    Yesterday, Mike S in his post “Humanity’s Hubris” got down to brass tacks showing some of the dark side of the force that works upon the psychology of groups.

  7. It’s also worth remembering that for all our flaws, America remains the only nation in the history of the world who having once conquered foreign lands promptly returned it to the indigenous people to govern.

    You are kidding, right?? Or did America return the land to the NATIVE Americans when I wasn’t looking.

  8. Dredd,

    I think you have valid points….. Can you expand upon the authorities you quoted…. The next to last paragraph specifically…..

  9. OS,

    Does a political party ever really resurrect or do they change so much that they loose the ID they set out upon and become entrenched…..

    I say this based upon Lincoln turning in his grave based upon what the republican party stands for today as well as the demoncrats…….

  10. Anonymously Yours 1, November 25, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Dredd,

    I think you have valid points….. Can you expand upon the authorities you quoted…. The next to last paragraph specifically…..
    ============================================
    I take it you mean:

    The Democrats are also a subgroup of the human species, and thus subject to the same maladies.

    If so I mean that all groups follow group dynamics of the sort that has currently been focused on by Mark E in this guest post.

    My intent, among other things, was to enforce the notion that hubris is not a cure for hubris.

    IOW I would prefer that the D group offer a helping hand to the R group.

    But do not misunderstand, the Republican party has a powerful internal faction at this time that is “eyeball deep bat guano crazy” as OS said.

    I can’t help wonder if those Republicans Mark E quoted have the wherewithal to repair their compass.

    Like Mark E said, it would be better for all concerned if they could pull it off and eject the stupidity from their midst.

    I am not holding my breath, but I am also not sure they will fail.

  11. Fonda – thanks for explaining that, I guess the GOP does not need to change a thing!

    I read where the administration has put together more detailed rules for drone strikes so it is nice to know these random bombings in foreign countries will now be a continuing, formal part of out foreign policy. Like so many of these horrors both parties have a hand in the degradation. The lack of a sane party on the right has allowed Obama to stake out ground no Dem would have even considered a generation ago. That does not excuse him for his part in this atrocity but demonstrates the need for two sane parties.

  12. Dredd,

    Thank you, and that’s exactly the point….. Both are guilty of polarization of America….. Excellent tie in with Mike S. Post…..

    We can all hope….

  13. “I just think it’s nuts,” Gingrich said on ABC. “I mean, first of all, it’s insulting. The job of a political leader in part is to understand the people. If we can’t offer a better future that is believable to more people, we’re not going to win.” Amen.

    From the above quote I sheperd out, “that is believable to more people”

    Gingrich talks to his own ears. Writes to his own perceptions, Thinks within the walls of his own self aggrandizment. These traits are common and ones we are all vulnerable to at times. Newt seems to swim in this self deluded morass, and his head stays well above its murky waters, floating on the raft of money he makes from it.

    My point is, When Newt says believable he does not mean true. He means what sounds good and what we can sell to lead the sheep into our GOP pens.
    OH YES, “by the way” his personal efforts, I am sure will include several new books and countless speaking engagements, that will raise his monied raft even higher.

    PS. Is there a Cynicals Anonymous Organization I could perhaps sign up for? … I imagine Frank Luntz could format a real good 12 step program that would make me an admirer of Gingrich and all things Republican. SHEESH. :)

  14. It’s also worth remembering that for all our flaws, America remains the only nation in the history of the world who having once conquered foreign lands promptly returned it to the indigenous people to govern.

    What Old Nurse said! with the addition of the Phillipines after the Spanish-American War, and Hawaii, and dozens of other countries ranging from Mexico after the Mexican-American War of 1846 to all those Central and South American “protected” by Marine invasion forces, and Western Europe after WW II. The U.S. might not have deposited colonial empire governments a la the British Raj in those places, but it kept control over the indigenous Mexicans, Panamanians, West Germans et. al. with dollar power, NATO, etc. The U.S. is not ALL bad, but don’t fool yourself that it’s all that altruistic, either. Empires come in many forms…

  15. Bruce:

    “The fiscal crisis and a war in middle east, so where does obummer go, Burma, RELLAY?

    ****************************

    You’re so right. I suggested he go to Texas and cut wood like his predecessor but no one at the White House would listen.

  16. OT: Anonymously Yours: “What’s wrong wit the system we forced Germany to take before we’d leave?”

    I’m not quite sure I understand what you mean by that. The only point in which the Military Governors tried to put pressure on the Parliamentary Council was the relationship between the federal government and the state governments. The Military Governors tried to make the federal government as weak as possible.
    In the end the German federal government is overall about as powerful as the American federal government, although with a different profile of powers.

    Do you really think that the federal/state balance of power is the problem?

  17. It’s happening again a Republic says something that “sounds” rational and everyone thinks they have changed. Consider the source, please. Bobby Jindal was the Golden Boy of the GOP for a reason and he isn’t talking policy he is talking “messaging”. A very different kettle of fish or malarkey. Change for the GOP must be measured by how they move forward on policy fronts. On that basis as we can see in Congress if anything they have hardened their positions. Before I believe they’ve changed I will have to see policy results and votes in congress and state governments that stop trying to control women’s lives and stop trying to suppress the votes of people they don’t like. You show me a track record and then we talk change.

  18. The tea party gets a bad rap from the main stream media. But all they want is fiscal responsibilty. So lets keep the country in a nose dive.

  19. Excellent column, Mark, but I tend to agree with OS on this issue in that the damage may not be reversible and with Justice Holmes that the proof is in the eating of the pudding, not the talking about the pudding. Plus, given his track record, I’m pretty sure Jindal isn’t the guy to be leading anyone in the “charge to smart”.

  20. Frankly 1, November 25, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Fonda – thanks for explaining that, I guess the GOP does not need to change a thing!

    I read where the administration has put together more detailed rules for drone strikes so it is nice to know these random bombings in foreign countries will now be a continuing, formal part of out foreign policy. Like so many of these horrors both parties have a hand in the degradation. The lack of a sane party on the right has allowed Obama to stake out ground no Dem would have even considered a generation ago. That does not excuse him for his part in this atrocity but demonstrates the need for two sane parties.
    ================================================
    You wrote “The lack of a sane party on the right has allowed Obama to stake out ground no Dem would have even considered a generation ago.”

    Big Time bingo!

    Sometimes I drift into contemplation of theories which begin with a premise that this is scripted from a layer of planning somewhere above national governments and political parties.

  21. Ross Perot was right when he said “as soon as half the people depend on government for their existance the party’s over. He must have been talking about the same 47% Romney was.

  22. mespo727272 1, November 25, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Bruce:

    “The fiscal crisis and a war in middle east, so where does obummer go, Burma, RELLAY?

    ****************************

    You’re so right. I suggested he go to Texas and cut wood like his predecessor but no one at the White House would listen.
    =======================================
    LOL.

  23. “Bobby Jindal was the Golden Boy of the GOP for a reason and he isn’t talking policy he is talking “messaging”.”

    I agree with Justice Holmes on this as in the quote from Mark’s blog:

    “we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year”

    The concept of “brand” is a marketing one, not one of ideas. A “brand” of
    food for instance is trying to sell its’ concept, rather than its taste or it nutritional value.

    I made a good friend this summer, his name is Paul. He has a degree in engineering and he runs a successful business. He is also someone well-respected in his community as a civic leader. Paul is far less dogmatic than I and is politically an independent. He voted though for Obama, even though the tax increase on the wealthy will affect him. In our exchange of E Mails after the election he wrote me this. I think it is in line with Mark’s blog/thinking. You know that when I write it is with the perspective of a political junkie and cynic. Part of why I think talking with Paul and learning his ideas is so refreshing is that he is coming more from the place of someone to whom politics isn’t an avocation, but one concern among many. He also represents someone who is quite successful in his work, yet he is neither pretentious, nor greedy, nor cares solely about his own needs.

    “Why can’t the major parties put forth a candidate that is truthful?
    I am an independent. I sometimes favored the Republican candidate, and sometimes the Democratic candidate. This time it was Obama.
    Immediately after the election results were in, the excuses poured in on why Romney lost. Not on why Obama won. Of course there are numerous avenues to go down and here are a few.

    The Republican party needs to reform itself to attract minority voters, and not alienate them. The obvious result of their anti immigrant policy surely dissuaded many Latinos. Plus the obvious result of the dysfunctional abortion policy not in sync with the majority of women surely dissuaded a huge segment of the population as well.

    I believe a party that can rally around a candidate that is conservative on fiscal issues, and liberal on social issues, would be more receptive. But most of all, there needs to be a level of pragmatism that has left the party leaders. Signing a pledge to not raise taxes under any circumstance, as put forth by Grover Norquist, is just plain stupid. It is tantamount to a three year old’s tirade when they don’t get what they want. It’s no way to run a country. Signers of that pledge (as far as I know, only Republicans) are saying they want to get elected, more than they want to solve problems. I don’t know why the Democrats didn’t expose them. And do not say stupid things like ‘our main goal is to see that Obama is a one term president’ when the next election is years away. You are elected to serve the people. If you want to be in office, do your job!

    And while I’ve got your attention, if you want to differentiate yourself as a party, be the party of ‘truth’. While both parties participated in ‘ untruths’ and misleading campaigns against their opponents, my take is that the Romney campaign lost more voters by the obvious lies, particularly in Ohio. Making an obvious lie makes people wonder what else you are lying about. Interestingly, there is no punishment for the most or the biggest lies in a political campaign, and that is why this tactic is used more and more. Let your opponents be the party of ‘lies’. Introduce legislation regarding penalties for libel and slander for politicians and their so called independent committee advertisers. And, why be the party trying to stifle votes? Become the ‘welcome to everyone’ party, and not own an ‘us vs. them’ mentality.

    I’m waiting for the time when a candidate answers a question directly, and doesn’t respond with a prepared answer that has little to do with the question asked. I’m fed up with these kinds of responses, and suspect many others agree with me. The debates highlighted this behavior. If you don’t have an answer, say so. If you don’t know, say “I don’t know.” You can find out and report back.

    There are enough Fact Check organizations out there that could be used as an advantage. It should not be a tit for tat, where it’s okay for you to lie because they lied. That’s a bunch of crap.

    And there can be no argument on MATH or SCIENCE. These are to be considered as universal truths. If you don’t agree, you don’t get my vote. Maybe there are enough lemmings out there for you to attract.”

  24. People let’s not forget that this author of this article is Pro Obama’s Illegal Drone Strikes & doesn’t mind his “secret kill list” which is reactionarily consistent with somebody who imagines that Indians were given back their lands to self govern and who blathers on about the need for a “strong defense.”

  25. Speaking as a liberal, half-socialist atheist academic: Gingrich (that clinical sociopath) is right and Mark’s column is what Gingrich is talking about.

    This is a case where Gingrich’s ditching of sick wives, philandering, hypocrisy and full embrace of self-serving, misleading, self-enrichment politics is all truly beside his point: He is a smart sociopath that understands what it takes to win, and what it takes is votes, and votes are attracted by a “believable offer of a better future.”

    Here would be my prescription for a “real” Republican party:

    Leave the religious right without a home. Embrace, completely, social libertarianism. Pot smokin’, abortionist, free-speechifying, privacy lovin’ gay-rights libertarianism; the core idea that what you do in your private life with your body is not the government’s business unless you recklessly endanger others without consent.

    To end the war on drugs, to end the surveillance state, to put an end to the emerging police state in which cops commit crimes up to and including murder without so much as an investigation, to end the unconstitutional searches and the TSA.

    The “New Republicans” could embrace fiscal conservatism that still recognizes the value of and necessity of some social programs that VOTERS love. They can say, this country is ruled by the PEOPLE, and the people have spoken loud and clear and unmistakably by super-majority: They want social security so we stand behind it. They want Medicare and Health care, so we have their back. They want school lunches so we are IN. They don’t want war, so we stand in opposition to that.

    They can say, we are the stewards of the people, and our “fiscal conservatism” is to properly manage the money and business of the citizenry to accomplish the goals THEY set us with as little waste, as few taxes and as much leverage as we can muster. Our “fiscal conservatism” is the job of stopping the free riders and criminals that would abuse the system, but without denying aid to the sick, disabled, addled and at risk youth the citizenry believes need our help.

    We New Republicans do not want to be the party that rules you, but the party that obeys you. Ours is not to question what you clearly demand, our job is to meet those demands with as little waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption as possible. We are not the party of big government or small government, we are the party of the smallest, simplest, clearest, least regulation government that still meets your demands.

    Thus we are the party of ending subsidies to profitable businesses, ending tax breaks that prevent change and progress, we are the party of balancing tariffs on goods born of abusive labor and slave labor that make it impossible for American workers to compete. We are the party of getting out of the business of picking winners and losers, if we finance necessary research on your behalf it will be your property: public knowledge that cannot be patented.

    Finally, we are the party of transparency in government because although you have delegated the power of decisions to us, you have not relinquished your sovereignty, and we remain your servants with a duty to prove we act in your best interest, a duty that can only be met with transparency in our dealings.

  26. Tony C, It is kind of hard to leave the religious right at home when they are your core. They will be the ones that show up in the primaries in 2014 and 2016. Marco Rubio has that figured out.

  27. Great job Mark. I am not sure the Republican Party will ever return to normalcy and sanity. When you allow the Tea Party nut jobs to control your message, along with lobbyists like Grover Norquist, there is not much hope. The GOP wanted to not only end abortions, but contraception! I can understand their argument on abortions, but I disagree. When it comes to ending contraception, but women don’t seem to agree with that return to the kitchen type mentality.

  28. Bobby J is avoiding the racist prong of Republican strategy since Nixon. Lee Atwather invented The Southern Strategy. The effort has been to ween white rednecks away from the Democrats. It has been totally successful. Look at the Electoral Map. All the South, former Slave States, except Florida and Virginia are in the Atwater Fold. The problem is this. Back when Nixon and Raygun were working the strategy the Norhteastern states were Republican. The swing to the raciist calculations alienated the voters of New Hampshire and Maine for example. The strategy was essentially a “went in dumb, come out dumb too” strategy that took these forty plus years to play out. The RepubliCons try very hard to get the old fart white voters who used to vote Democrat to switch over. They particularly barked about Obama. In North Carolina thiey succeeded this time. Obama won in 2008 but in this election the bigots came back. You could hear it on the streets. “I dont know how this happened.”, he says solemnly. “What happened?”, I say. “You know, a nigra for President!” “Oh”. Some of these guys were first time voters and they are in their sixties. White trash have a history of not participating in democracy in NC which was fine for the oligarchs who ran the Democratic Party when blacks were legally denied the vote.. Bobby Jindahl knows all about this. As an Indian he overcame some prejudices to make his way in the RepubliCon Party in Louisiana. But he has to say openly what he knows: End The Southern Strategy.

  29. ” It’s also worth remembering that for all our flaws, America remains the only nation in the history of the world who having once conquered foreign lands promptly returned it to the indigenous people to govern. A strong America means some sense of justice in the world if only an imperfect one.”
    ——–
    What old nurse and Bukko said. Is there any country that we conquered that is not part of the US as a state or protectorate or does not now have US bases?

    =====================
    Bruce 1, November 25, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Ross Perot was right when he said “as soon as half the people depend on government for their existance the party’s over. He must have been talking about the same 47% Romney was.
    ———
    The false part of Romney’s thinking is that he was thinking of those who receive social security, medicare, medicaid, food stamps, etc. He was NOT thinking about himself or his very wealthy cohorts who got/get government help in the form of various subsidies and generous contracts. So if he includes all the rest, those of his “class”, the number is probably around 90+%

    ======================

    Bruce said, “The fiscal crisis and a war in middle east, so where does obummer go, Burma, RELLAY?”

    Obama is looking forward. He is working on the new NAFTA for that part of the world.
    ===================

    Tony said, “Here would be my prescription for a “real” Republican party: ”
    ———
    I would vote for that party. Oh, I already did. It’s the Green Party.

  30. Mike Spindell 1, November 25, 2012 at 10:56 am

    “Bobby Jindal was the Golden Boy of the GOP for a reason and he isn’t talking policy he is talking “messaging”.”

    I agree with Justice Holmes on this as in the quote from Mark’s blog:

    “we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year”

    The concept of “brand” is a marketing one, not one of ideas. A “brand” of food for instance is trying to sell its’ concept, rather than its taste or it nutritional value.
    ============================================
    I want to focus on your:

    The concept of “brand” is a marketing one, not one of ideas. A “brand” of food for instance is trying to sell its’ concept, rather than its taste or it nutritional value.

    Indeed. Some of our nation’s luminaries have pointed that out both disturbingly and succinctly:

    But at another level, in another context, the realm of marketing, certain researchers in that discipline are quite bold to declare that memory in the brain can be morphed:

    A group of US marketing researchers claim that brand owners can make their customers believe they had a better experience of a product or service than they really did by bombarding them with positive messages after the event. Advocates of the technique, known as “memory morphing”, claim it can be used to improve customers’ perceptions of products and encourage them to repeat their purchases and recommend brands to friends.

    “When asked, many consumers insist that they rely primarily on their own first-hand experience with products – not advertising – in making purchasing decisions. Yet, clearly, advertising can strongly alter what consumers remember about their past, and thus influence their behaviours,” he writes in his book, How Customers Think. He says that memories are malleable, changing every time they come to mind, and that brands can use this to their advantage. “What consumers recall about prior product or shopping experiences will differ from their actual experiences if marketers refer to those past experiences in positive ways,” he continues.

    (Memory Morphing in Advertising, emphasis added). Actually, this realm is described elsewhere as a gigantic business which has itself morphed from product marketing into the political arena known as marketing “political products”.

    The world renowned linguist Noam Chomsky points out that it is common practice to market politicians in a manner not at all unlike the advertising of a commercial product:

    And one of the striking features of the modern period is the institutionalization of that process, so that we now have huge industries deceiving the public — and they’re very conscious about it, the public relations industry. Interestingly, this developed in the freest countries — in Britain and the US—roughly around time of WWI, when it was recognized that enough freedom had been won that people could no longer be controlled by force. So modes of deception and manipulation had to be developed in order to keep them under control.

    And by now these are huge industries. They not only dominate marketing of commodities, but they also control the political system. As anyone who watches a US election knows, it’s marketing. It’s the same techniques that are used to market toothpaste.

    (Noam Chomsky, emphasis added). It is the specific intent of an election team to convince you, during a re-election campaign, that your experience with the candidate was better than you thought it was.

    (A Structure RE: Corruption of Memes – 3). The Republican party has obviously been battered by brain-changing machinations of their own propagandists.

    What is obvious to us in our discussion on Mark E’s guest post is that those Republican propagandists, who just got beat in an election, are out of touch with mainstream America in terms of the toothpaste they are peddling.

    But as has also been mentioned up-thread, this allows the democrats to peddle toothpaste they never could have peddled before.

    Which brings up my worry that this whole thing is scripted by interests more powerful than mere party operatives of either party.

    I just do not trust political discourse anymore, in terms of it being based on the interests of the 99% …

  31. @Swarthmore: The point is to change cores. Strategically it is stupid to remain with a core that can only lose you an election, as Romney did.

    Just as I have argued that rank-and-file Democrats must take losses in order to open seats that give them an opportunity to move forward (as happened by happy accident with Elizabeth Warren) I argue the same thing for Republicans.

    They need to learn that embracing the religious white right, as Romney clearly tried to do, as McCain clearly tried to do, leads to a 47% or worse loss. They need to understand that the reason those people dominate the primaries is their own self-fulfilling prophecy; if their small-minded belief system is what you preach, then that is the choir that shows up to vote because you have alienated the people that are enthusiastically waiting for some other message.

    If Republicans want to avoid a loss, they need to ditch the whole shtick of coded racism, coded bigotry, coded misogyny, coded homophobia and coded patriarchy. They cannot win with white traditionalists that want to live in 1940 or 1955.

    They need a new core. My post is about what that core can be, it is actually the majority position in the USA: Be careful with our money, be careful with laws that restrict our social liberty, but we are not without empathy, caring, or charity for those truly in need, and we are supportive of communal action like roads, police protection, schools, social security, health care, non-profit research, disaster relief and similar programs.

    I am sure it would be hard, and it may lead to losses. But if they preached a different message, New Republicans could attract a new crowd to their primaries; and leave the religious right without a party to call their own.

    Heck, much of what I talk about is in the Bible, and much of what the religious right talks about is not. Or at least, is certainly not Christ’s view. Even as an atheist, I think with some research I could make a strong Bible-based argument for my “New Republican.” For example, in John 8, Christ says, “Let he who is without sin among you cast the first stone.” (and that was about a sex crime, adultery, caught in the act). After which the woman was left alone, and Christ says, “I do not condemn you either.”

  32. “Advocates of the technique, known as “memory morphing”, claim it can be used to improve customers’ perceptions of products and encourage them to repeat their purchases and recommend brands to friends.”

    To add emphasis to Dredd’s comment above. The next time you ca watch TV commercials for Coke and Pepsi. They constantly advertise short blurbs for their soda’s using cue words like “The pause that refreshes” which play on people’s emotions about the product and not about its taste.

  33. “The lack of a sane party on the right has allowed Obama to stake out ground no Dem would have even considered a generation ago.” (Frankly)

    There is a great deal of truth in that short sentence. The Republicans left a void in several areas and Obama, not a stupid man, moved the Democrats right in to fill each one.

    Jeb Bush, or whoever runs in 2016, will have a considerably shrunken base as the old angry white men continue to die off and the same narrow platform as Romney from which to campaign thanks to Obama’s so called centralist approach that permitted the takeover Frankly mentioned in the sentence quoted.

    If Obama continues to operate during the next four years as he has done the last four, he will have accomplished that which the Republicans boasted would be their “permanent majority”.

  34. Tony C, Rove courted the evangelicals, and they are not going anywhere. The church buses will roll in the Iowa caucuses. Even your candidate Ron Paul tried to appeal to the evangelicals.

  35. “If Obama continues to operate during the next four years as he has done the last four, he will have accomplished that which the Republicans boasted would be their “permanent majority”.”

    Which is an equally compelling recipe for disaster.

    Single party governments are predictive (some would say prerequisite) of authoritarian totalitarian forms of government.

  36. @Bettykath: It may have been the Green party, but the word “Republican” is the key. It has to be the Republican party simply because of the ballot access and stiffness of mind for far too many voters. 25% of the populace is going to vote for the Republican party no matter what it says or does, it is a similar to a religion in that respect. I say the same about Democrats. Of the 50% in the middle, another big chunk will vote only for a major party on the grounds of “not wasting their vote.”

    That makes it nearly impossible for a third party or independent to win a national election. But if the Republicans redefine themselves, they get that 25% of “no matter what” voters as the counterbalance to the 25% of “no matter what” Democrats, and then fight a fair fight for the middle.

    I do not think there will ever be, in the next forty years, a viable third party or Independent President of The United States. Absent severe social trauma (e.g. losing a war) social belief systems are generational (concretized in individuals by young adulthood and thus very slow to change in the macro sense). If there is going to be a “third party,” I think it will be the transformation of an existing party.

  37. Blouise, I think the republicans will pick up senate seats in 2014. We have several incumbents in very red states, and turnout will be much lower. Boehner will probably increase his house numbers. There is no imminent danger of one party government.

  38. “as happened by happy accident with Elizabeth Warren” (Tony C.)

    That was no accident. Obama could not get past the banks or Wall Street with her as the nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau without alienating a group he was wooing away from Republicans so, in typical Obama fashion, she reappeared as a candidate for Senator. She had all the attributes necessary to win the seat so the risk was a calculated one.

  39. @Blouise: The “happy accident” (or happy miscalculation) was putting the incompetent, selfish, Martha Coakley up against Scott Brown in the belief that after Kennedy, ANY Democrat could win the special election.

    I admit I do not know much about Ms. Coakley and my characterization is based upon TV and Internet information, but apparently my take (incompetent, selfish, stingy and self-absorbed) was shared by enough Democrats in Massachusetts to matter. Fortunately, because after two years of Brown, they went with somebody that actually could fill Kennedy’s shoes as a true champion of the people.

    As for Obama, I personally do not believe Obama ever tried. And I have not heard Warren give any credit to Obama for any material support or action in making her candidacy happen. That does not mean it never happened, but I haven’t seen evidence of him doing anything at all to make Warren a candidate.

  40. Tony C, Good luck organizing the new republican party. It is going to take a lot of work as talk of primary challenges to moderate republicans is already starting.

  41. @Swarthmore: And courting the evangelicals led directly to a political disaster in 2012, wouldn’t you agree? You keep repeating the evidence for my very point! They have to ditch the religious right in order to have any hope of winning.

  42. Non presidential years are low turnout years even in MA. If Warren ran in 2010 she might have lost, too. Brown could get another chance if Kerry is appointed to a cabinet position.

  43. @Swarthmore: I am not a Republican, I am not going to help them organize anything. I am talking about an intellectual exercise. If they self-immolate in a paroxysm of religious fervor, it will just be another string of losses that serve as more evidence they have to change.

  44. 2. Strong National Defense — The world is still a dangerous place as Einstein used to say. Whatever you think about the military-industrial complex, it’s worth remembering it is that institution that’s kept us safe and free for decades although we can certainly debate the costs of that security. It’s also worth remembering that for all our flaws, America remains the only nation in the history of the world who having once conquered foreign lands promptly returned it to the indigenous people to govern. A strong America means some sense of justice in the world if only an imperfect one.

    *****

    Our government and its military-industrial complex has gotten us involved in unnecessary wars that have killed and injured thousands of military personnel and innocent civilians. We seem willing to maintain a bloated military budget while the rest of the country falls apart–and while we keep whittling away our civil liberties. Is that our tradeoff for maintaining our safety? Or might there be a better way to accomplish that goal? What is our definition of a strong America?

    “Some sense of justice”: What does that mean?

    I have to agree with old nurse regarding the indigenous people of our country.

  45. Tony C, I agree with that but I don’t think they are there yet. People like Bloomberg might be but not the Texas Republican Party. Dewhurst has appointed fundamentalist teapartyers to chair committees for the upcoming legislative session. I hear Ohio republicans are not paying any attention to the election results either.

  46. Swwarthmore,
    I do not share in your prediction that the GOP will pick up Senate seats in 2014. Not if they do not change their ways with the Tea Party wingnuts.

  47. SwM,

    I believe those who dislike Obama have bought into their own misconceptions of just how smart and calculating the man is. These are the same folk who just can’t understand Clinton’s continued popularity.

    There are 2 men leading the Democratic Party … Obama and Clinton … and nothing happens without their input.

    The one thing that happened this election that impressed me more than anything else was Clinton’s final 2 week push trumpeting Obama’s message. Any individual serving in that office has to have a strong ego but, and this is what I took from that push … Obama’s is also a healthy one. He is not good at pushing his own message but Clinton is a master at message pushing. So Obama stepped back and let Clinton work his magic.

    (I wonder if we’ll see the pay back for that in 2016 … ;) )

  48. Yeah, it sure takes a healthy ego to say you have the power to execute citizens without judicial due process and the multiple Constitutional violations such a claim entails. Although in that context, healthy is used as a measure of abundance, not as a statement of quality or of character.

  49. “If Warren ran in 2010 she might have lost, too.” (SwM)

    But she didn’t. The throw-away candidate did.

    That is one of the big differences between the two party’s leadership … long-term gain thinking versus short-term gain thinking. Obama thinking versus Rove thinking.

  50. Simple fact. Just because Obama is better than “the other guy” doesn’t mean he’s a peach of a President. What he did was wrong – Constitutionally and ethically.

  51. Divorcing the platform and policies from the tactics that got the enablers in place is throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Ego may be what helped him win the campaign, but that doesn’t change that the ego required of one pushing a unitary executive agenda is still the same ego that won the campaign.

  52. Sorry, no corner for me. I still think this election was a lose big/lose small proposition but a loss is a loss nonetheless. And the biggest loser remains the Constitution and the protections it once afforded citizens. Nothing happy or accidental about that.

  53. Tony C. 1, November 25, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    @Bettykath: It may have been the Green party, but the word “Republican” is the key. It has to be the Republican party simply because of the ballot access and stiffness of mind for far too many voters………………………

    I agree with your intellectual exercise.

  54. Blouise,

    The broader point is this: That the GOP has become the party of stupid is important but ancillary to the point that both parties have become the party of pissing on the Constitution which is both stupid and antithetical to the rule of law in addition to being myopic and shortsighted. The steady erosion of civil and human rights is what led many a dictatorship into existence. Whichever party is smart enough and strong enough to reverse that erosion will be a big winner with the people but that isn’t the path to consolidated power, but rather pluralistic power and in our increasingly polarized partisan environment, no one wants to share power. This is part and parcel of the comment about the dangers of single party government.

  55. Republicans will control the house until well after 2020 when the new census comes out. If they don’t start accepting asians,hispanics and african americans as real americans, they are screwed. That is unless they can manage to further suppress the vote. Republicans still control the Supreme Court also, and they may dismantle the Voting Rights Act.

  56. ” The steady erosion of civil and human rights is what led many a dictatorship into existence.”

    I believe this steady erosion began in our courts. Our courts stank to high heaven even before the other two branches took the plunge into the sewer. The final act started when the US Supreme Court took the presidential election away from the people in 2000 and appointed a president who threw us into war and nullified our civil rights at every turn, also consolidating the tyranny of that very court that appointed him. It was a dirty business and I frankly don’t see us coming back from the brink it drew us toward. Also, about Obama: Do you expect a nice guy to win the White House under those circumstances, or now, or ever? Nothing counts any more but power. “Hundred Years of Solitude.”

  57. Gene,

    Not going down that path today because it is the same path that leads to the corner I mentioned. A blind spot.

    Kind of like our disagreement over Pelosi.

  58. Gene,

    Oops … sorry.

    Wrote the post that appears at 2:16p but went to fix my latte and get a piece of cherry strudel … then sat down and hit the post button. Thus I missed your post at 2:00p.

    “This is part and parcel of the comment about the dangers of single party government.” (Gene)

    Now that is my biggest fear and I believe something that has already occurred. And man, if people weren’t so dam interested in defending or attacking Obama they would see that his ego is healthy enough and thus he will do the work of the party … lead the party to that happy place where Republicans exist simply for show … a pseudo-second party covering the reality of single party rule.

    Why does nobody get this??!!

  59. Blouise,
    I think we will see Obama return the favor for Clinton, if Hillary runs in 2016. However, I am predicting that she will not run for President. Just a gut feeling, no facts.

  60. Blouise, nobody gets this because the “rule of two choices” really does work.

    When I did day-care for a living my own kid was 3. I found other kids harder to dal with than my own so I read books. One of them said that when the kids wouldn’t agree to an activity or a suggestion, you should “give them two choices” but make the choices actually “one” choice, i.e., “do what I want you to do.”

    Examples:

    “OK you have two choices: either you can let Jennifer keep playing with the fire engine or you can bring over one of those other trucks and follow after her fire engine with the truck.”

    “OK you have two choices: either you can go out onto the back balcony to keep on screaming or you can quiet down and stay here with us in the living room.”

    “OK you have two choices: either you can give up snack or you can wash your hands before I give you these egg rolls.”

    on and on.

    So one day I instituted the “two choices” method in my in-home day-care center. My kid watched. The next morning he came to breakfast before the children arrived for day-care. He sat down and announced, “Mommy, you have two choices. You can either give me ice cream for breakfast or chocolate cake.”

    I gave him ice cream.

  61. Ability to lead and leading properly are not the same thing.

    The only blind spot is forgiving accountability for people in your party of choice who turn a blind eye to wrongdoing for political reasons just like Pelosi did.

    In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

    Both parties are willfully blind to the damage they are doing in eroding the protections afforded by the Constitution. I don’t care a bit about either party. They could both go the way of the Dodo and I wouldn’t shed a tear. The Constitution, on the other hand, is critical.

  62. Besides … if you keep all the nut jobs … the sociopathic CEOs, the no-tax but give me infrastructure bozos, the racists and bigots, the militiamen gun totters, the charismatic Christians speaking in tongues and rolling down the aisle for a quick healing … all in one party, then you can keep an eye on them.

    Constitution … how quaint.

    I’ve had enough … I’m going to do something really important … like watching the Browns?Steelers game.

  63. raff,

    I just don’t know but I found this rather telling:

    “Warren Buffett Endorses Hillary Clinton For President In 2016

    Sorry, America. You probably imagined we’d get a break from presidential campaigning, but Warren Buffett has other ideas.

    The billionaire investor just endorsed Hillary Clinton for President in 2016.

    “I hope it’s Hillary Clinton,” Buffett, the fourth-richest man in the world, told CNN on Wednesday. “I like what she believes in. I think she’s extraordinarily able and energetic for that matter in pushing those beliefs. I don’t see how you could have anybody better qualified.”

    Never shy about sharing his beliefs with the public, Buffett sparked a national debate about taxes after penning a New York Times op-ed last year calling for higher taxes on the rich to help reduce the deficit.

    Clinton has been toying with everyone since forever, it seems, on whether or not she’ll run in 2016. She has not completely ruled it out. The former U.S. Senator and First Lady was the runner-up in the 2008 Democratic primary contest, and she has served as Secretary of State for the past four years.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/15/warren-buffett-endorses-hillary-clinton-for-president-2016_n_2137285.html

  64. Dredd,

    “Like Mark E said, it would be better for all concerned if they could pull it off and eject the stupidity from their midst.
    I am not holding my breath, but I am also not sure they will fail.”
    ========
    Let none of us forget what we have said repeatedly during the campaign. Both parties are catering to the same vested interests.
    Abandoning them is suicide for any party, whose sole purpose is to retain office and power.

    They both ride the horse of the MICS&P faction, with excellent support from alcohol, big insurance, big pharma, war on drugs, on terrorism, on true domestic democracy, etc.

    How easily we forget.

    This is just a trial balloon with the public and the party itself. The district chiefs and the ward heelers and lovers of a graft.

  65. dredd,

    “Big Time bingo!

    Sometimes I drift into contemplation of theories which begin with a premise that this is scripted from a layer of planning somewhere above national governments and political parties.”
    ========================

    Didn’t you introduce us to the power of the 148 companies who are supranational and intend to succeed national sovereignity?

  66. Gene,

    It appears that anyone who has any respect for the constitution is in limbo these days…..

    Don’t worry…. One day people will understand that polarization is the problem…..

  67. http://www.greenparty.ca/media-release/2012-11-21/elizabeth-may-parliamentarian-year

    OTTAWA – Green Leader Elizabeth May won top honours at tonight’s 2012 Parliamentarian of the Year Awards, an annual event organised by Macleans’ and L’Actualité. The MPs themselves voted in eight categories to select the winners.

    “I am so honoured to receive such an enormous award from my colleagues in the House. I am the first woman to receive the Parliamentarian of the Year award. And certainly I hope by next year, or even next week, I will not be the only Green MP,” said Elizabeth May, Green Party of Canada Leader and MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands.

    Runner-ups for the most coveted award of the night were Bob Rae (Toronto Centre) and Rodger Cuzner (Cape Breton—Canso). The full list of winners is here.

  68. BettyKath,

    Tony said, “Here would be my prescription for a “real” Republican party: ”
    ———
    I would vote for that party. Oh, I already did. It’s the Green Party.”
    ==============

    I almost got tears in my eyes while reading TonyC’s excellent propaganda. One can get tears of cynicism, can’t you?

    Now Tony’s party will never exist in the form of a reformed Republican one. I am convinced that 75 percent of the party would be lost if Tony’s dreams were realized.

    From you BK, I would ask to see some experience in creating an effective third party, which would steal votes from both parties.

  69. @Blouise: If there is any time ripe for a female President it is in the Democratic Party in 2016. If you are hinting at Hillary, I do not think Hillary is the only contender; there is a chance that Warren could pull an “Obama” and jump from a first term senator after four years to the White House.

    Hillary has baggage; including the blatant lies about ducking bullets when the video shows her meeting children with flowers; including her mismanagement of funds and incompetence in her campaign against Obama. That stuff may be forgiven, but at the moment (and not knowing the future) I would vote for Elizabeth Warren in the primary if they both ran.

  70. Mark:

    It would certainly be beneficial for all if the Republican party adopted the items you suggest. I might add another:

    Environmental Stewardship The unfortunate reality is that the average American tends to look at Environmentalists as being left wing tree huggers who they do not identify with. The Republicans could adopt a position similar to conservationists in the spirit of Theodore Roosevelt where essentially the same goal is accomplished but without the anti-business, over regulated, hippie reputation the environmentalists have earned themselves.

    One approach would be to declare as harmful spill-over costs the practice of harming the environment by industry and offer research and incentives for businesses to clean up: in short taking a platfom of “we are helping industry help the environment.” But still having the teeth to go after those who ignore this and damage it.

    Another sample approach would be to declare “Foreign oil is often provided by states with abysmal human rights records (IE saudi arabia). To create jobs in the US, abandon support for repressive regimes and clean the atmosphere we support clean generation of electricity and new technologies for electric cars.”

    The above would resonate with just about every side of the political spectrum here.

    In addition to the strategic value for the Republicans in bringing on more subscribers to their program, it would not attack the traditional environmentalists who would likely still stay with the democrats but now we would have a situation where both sides are fighting for essentially the same goal and not using this goal as a weapon against the other politically.

    More importantly, it would benefit the Earth, which last time I checked was the only place we can live currently.

  71. “I would vote for Elizabeth Warren in the primary if they both ran.” (Tony C)

    Right now, I would too, but I’ll reserve a whole-hearted yes till early 2015. I need to see how she handles that cesspool we call the United States Senate and, more importantly, how hard she works to take care of her constituents within the state. Hillary did both extremely well.

  72. TonyC.,
    “If there is going to be a “third party,” I think it will be the transformation of an existing party.”
    ===============================================

    Realpolitik is just that. In 1972 Dem campaign, the liberal, in June frontrunner, McGovern, had to waste time declaring how he was NOT FOR abortion, marijuana, socialism ,but WAS FOR stopping the Vietnam war.

    So who leads the society? Is it really the politicians?

    Let’s hope the people continue. Because the Reps and Dems are where they are and won’t change unless forced.

    State’s rights does permit local pilot projects, of which some prove worthy, like Mass. health reform. We’ll see if a sea of potheads invade Washington with attached welfare problems. Meanwhile, the rest solid citizens won’t go to prison.

  73. Anonymously Yours 1, writes I don’t think the election results were a mandate for the demon-crats either…..Why was it a mandate for Bush when Mr. Obama won by a larger number then Bush?
    (Obama’s win was bigger than John Kennedy’s in 1960 (303 electoral votes, popular vote margin of 112,827), bigger than Richard Nixon’s in 1968 (301 electoral votes, popular vote plurlaity of 512,000), bigger than Jimmy Carter’s in 1976 (297 electoral votes, popular vote margin of 1,683,247), bigger than George W. Bush’s in 2000 (271 electoral votes and a popular vote loss of 543,816). (http://www.thenation.com/blog/171085/obama-bigger-win-kennedy-nixon-carter-or-bush# )

    To me the party will never change as long as it refuses to call out its backers who wore the put the white back in the white house T shirts, hung the pres/empty chairs in effigy, talk about secession, suggest killing the president, etc. As long as they do not disavow that their words are hollow.

  74. The RepubliCon Party will never revert and do a 180 degree return to the Party of Lincoln. Right now it is the party of White Guy and Blackwater. Those folks itchinBay about individual people living off of the public troff but think nothing about their corporate mouths sucking the public tit. That does not occur to them. The Whig Party eventually disappeared and this party will go the way of the white elephant. What will probably eviolve is a party of fiscal discipline and no hunger for war. We could have three parties but this RepubliCon Party as it presents ittself now will just be a side party with a strong base in the House and Senate but never win the Presidency for forty years. The reason is they dont learn and that is coupled with the fact that they know everything. Tha tag line of this article is spot on. Stupid. The Southern Strategy was pruposely pursued for the past fforty years and now put them into their redneck red state minority in the Electoral College.

    [Music] Went in dumb, come out dumb too, hustlin round Atlanta in their Alligator shoes, they are keepin the negros down.
    -Jerry Jeff Walker from Good Ol Boys album.

    And Romney is a bum.

  75. There are two political questions to which I add a third:

    1. What can Obama accomplish with this hand he was dealt?

    2. When does the next Presidential campaign begin? As Buffett says, it is now. No time to waste. Obama is a lame duck, and where the reins go next is important.

    3. What the Phuck are we going to do to change this skit? Disorganized or not.
    ========

    We need to organize. What won for McGovern in Wisconsin (and Axelrod said for Obama’s sake nationally) was a
    ground organization, who had canvassed every voter in Milwaukee. What lost for McG in Ohio was the black district in central Cleveland under the competent hands of a party boss who had sold to Humphrey.

    Is it going to be the Republicans who are better organized than we will be? It is up to youse.

  76. A friend of mine has been stomping for the Republicans for years now; it is something she wanted to do because she was looking for an activity that didn’t expose her to a certain kind of people she would definitely meet in the Democratic campaign. She was frankly sick of them. Anyway, she got working for the Repubs but maintained her intelligence in other ways. After the failure of their recent campaign, she was surprised at their ridiculous reactions to having lost. I said, “First, Mitt tells the country that he doesn’t care about 47% of them because he can’t get their vote anyway. Then he allows this and that loose cannon Republican to insult women, talk trash, make racist attacks against this country’s president, and alienate another 20% of the people who might have considered him a possible candidate. Then he tries to manipulate the situation so the ones who want Obama can’t vote. Half of the people he has already insulted know somebody who’s overseas fighting the wars HIS GUYS STARTED and many of THEM can’t even get respect from the government that threw them in harm’s way. Why didn’t they expect to lose?”

    She nodded slowly. “They don’t think outside the box and they don’t think INSIDE the box; they just figured they could take the box.”

  77. Darren is dreaming the same dream as Tony.

    The Nixonian GOP is dead as far as care of any environmental protections.

    They are still complaining about the new light bulbs.
    that was a big freakin’ deal for the Republicans.
    Drill baby drill. Frack, frack, frack, They are cheerleaders for the old industrial monopolies.
    Does any leader in the GOP drive an electric car? Their constituents would howl about that, certainly.
    This is a party where candidates are afraid to say they believe in basic science.

  78. There was a discussion of irony the other day. This is ironic:

    While votes are still being counted, they are from heavily Democratic precincts where there were a lot of provisional and absentee ballots. As of right now, in a curious twist of karma, Romney’s vote total is at 47%. To be exact, his current total is 47.49%, which rounds down to 47%, but the final total is likely to be less than that.

    Oh, the Schadenfreude is delicious in this one.

  79. rafflaw,

    Speaking of SS and Medicare–here’s an interesting article for you:

    CEO Council Demands Cuts To Poor, Elderly While Reaping Billions In Government Contracts, Tax Breaks
    By Christina Wilkie & Ryan Grim
    Posted: 11/25/2012
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/25/deficit-reduction-council-fiscal-cliff_n_2185585.html

    Excerpt:
    WASHINGTON — The corporate CEOs who have made a high-profile foray into deficit negotiations have themselves been substantially responsible for the size of the deficit they now want closed.

    The companies represented by executives working with the Campaign To Fix The Debt have received trillions in federal war contracts, subsidies and bailouts, as well as specialized tax breaks and loopholes that virtually eliminate the companies’ tax bills.

    The CEOs are part of a campaign run by the Peter Peterson-backed Center for a Responsible Federal Budget, which plans to spend at least $30 million pushing for a deficit reduction deal in the lame-duck session and beyond.

    During the past few days, CEOs belonging to what the campaign calls its CEO Fiscal Leadership Council — most visibly, Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein and Honeywell’s David Cote — have barnstormed the media, making the case that the only way to cut the deficit is to severely scale back social safety-net programs — Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security — which would disproportionately impact the poor and the elderly.

    As part of their push, they are advocating a “territorial tax system” that would exempt their companies’ foreign profits from taxation, netting them about $134 billion in tax savings, according to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies titled “The CEO Campaign to ‘Fix’ the Debt: A Trojan Horse for Massive Corporate Tax Breaks” — money that could help pay off the federal budget deficit.

    Yet the CEOs are not offering to forgo federal money or pay a higher tax rate, on their personal income or corporate profits. Instead, council recommendations include cutting “entitlement” programs, as well as what they call “low-priority spending.”

    Many of the companies recommending austerity would be out of business without the heavy federal support they get, including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, which both received billions in direct bailout cash, plus billions more indirectly through AIG and other companies taxpayers rescued.

    Just three of the companies — GE, Boeing and Honeywell — were handed nearly $28 billion last year in federal contracts alone. A spokesman for Campaign To Fix The Debt did not respond to an email from The Huffington Post over the weekend.

    The CEO council recommends two major avenues that it claims will produce “at least $4 trillion of deficit reduction.” The first is to “replace mindless, abrupt deficit reduction with thoughtful changes that reform the tax code and cut low-priority spending.” The second is to “keep debt under control over the long-term by focusing on the long-term growth of entitlement programs.”

    CEOs are encouraged to present a Fix-The-Debt PowerPoint presentation to their “employee town hall [meetings and] company meetings.” To further help get the word out, the campaign borrowed a page from the CEOs this fall who wrote letters encouraging their employees to vote for Mitt Romney, or face job cuts. This time, the CFD has created two templates for bosses to use at their companies.

    But in the past week, in order to make their case to the millions of Americans who don’t work for them, CEOs fanned out into television, to convince the rest of the country that slashing the social safety net is the only way to reduce the deficit.

    In an interview aired Monday, Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein said Social Security “wasn’t devised to be a system that supported you for a 30 year retirement after a 25-year career.” The key to cutting Social Security, he said, was simply a matter of teaching people to expect less.

    “You’re going to have to do something, undoubtedly, to lower people’s expectations of what they’re going to get,” Blankfein told CBS, “the entitlements, and what people think they’re going to get, because you’re not going to get it.”

    Blankfein and Goldman Sachs don’t have to worry about lowering expectations. After receiving a $10 billion federal bailout in 2008, and paying it back a few years later, Goldman Sachs recently exceeded Wall Street analysts’ expectations by announcing $8.4 billion in third quarter revenues for 2012. On the heels of a great year, Blankfein is expected to take home an even larger salary than he did in 2011, when he made $16.1 million.

  80. @Elaine: This election gives us reason to believe the words of Blankfein and his ilk will be empty. We can get it, if we demand it.

    I am sure the numbers are still being arranged, but the story they will eventually tell, and the lesson that will be eventually learned, is this:

    Citizen’s United was a bust.

    Decamillion dollar donations by billionaires did not get Mitt elected, NOT EVEN CLOSE.

    Hundreds of millions of dollars did not move Ohio, or any other swing state. Nate Silver was right, the intent to vote swayed very little. The best boost Romney got all along was absolutely free; Obama’s poor performance in the first debate, and that faded.

    Pundits can say Mitt was a particularly flawed candidate, he had a posse of clowns to deal with early on, he was forced to the right, back to the left: All of that misses the point entirely, the belief that Citizen’s would let the billionaires and corporations buy the election with massive advertising campaigns no matter who their candidate was. They tried, and failed. Adelson’s money could not get Newt any traction, and it did not change the polls.

    The lesson that will be learned is a simple one; that there is a limit to the power of money in an election, and it was exceeded, and it is much, much lower than the billionaires ever thought it would be. Obama crushed Romney, even in counties where Romney outspent Obama ten to one.

    Although I would still like to see Citizen’s United overturned, I think this election, where it was in full force, proves it isn’t the bogeyman we feared. The Republican’s secret weapon misfired.

    When politicians get to grips with this lesson (and it is supported by many a story where under-funded candidates get elected anyway), campaign cash will loosen its grip on them: More campaign cash does not mean a better chance of being elected. That will free them to take actions that are contrary to the deep pockets funding their campaign but benefit their constituents and DO increase their chance of being elected.

    We see the same thing in business marketing. There is not just a point of diminishing returns as we increase the marketing budget, there is a point of vanishing returns; a point where adding $5,000 to the marketing budget would not result in a single new sale.

    The same thing is bound to be true in political marketing, at some point anybody that can be swayed has been swayed, and more money won’t matter.

    Citizen’s United may be a blessing in disguise, for politics. It opened the door the rich were dying to have opened, that they poured through in droves, that led directly to a dead end, an empty room. Well not quite empty; it had a toilet in it. They flushed a billion dollars down that toilet, and Mitt did even worse than McCain.

  81. @Shano: Darren is dreaming the same dream as Tony.

    That isn’t really my dream, or hope, or aspiration. I would actually like the Republicans (as currently constituted) to continue on their current course of self-destruction until their numbers in Congress reflect the 25% or so of the populace that actually agrees with their narrow-minded philosophies. You know, 25 senators, 110 House members.

    Then the Democratic party, at 75%, will split into factions that have to negotiate with each other; but with a much broader common base of philosophical agreement on the role of the common good.

    I am not dreaming. I am just saying, as an intellectual exercise, if the Republican Party was my client and I was trying to save their product on the brink of oblivion, this would be where my advice starts:

    Quietly and without any fanfare throw the religious right under the bus. Yes, they are your base now, but that island has sunk so close to sea level you cannot walk on it without getting mud all over you. This Mud Island cannot be saved, and you must abandon it to its fate.

    There is another island, it is populated but without leaders, and it is big. That island was almost claimed by Bush Jr, but that turned out to be just a ruse. It was a sighting on the horizon, perhaps, but he sailed past it and returned home: to Mud Island.

    That brief sighting was the island of “Compassionate Conservatism”, but to lead from there, you must become a full fledged citizen. It is the island where you can be a fiscally conservative steward of taxation and spending, while preserving the compassionate programs that level the playing field for the less fortunate, that care for the elderly, feed and educate the poor, and ensure health is not tied to wealth.

    You cannot do anything for the doomed souls on Mud Island. Organized religion is dying, and the organized votes it once brought have diminished to the point they are no longer enough to get you elected. Pursuing them splashes mud all over you: The mud of bigotry, racism and homophobia, and that excludes the extra votes you need.

    If you want to be a leader, you need to be a leader from the new island. The people there hate waste, and fraud, and abuse, and back room deals. They have compassion for those in need, and disdain for the cheaters and free riders and layabouts. They like law and order but dislike bullying and abuse by police and authority. They will tolerate high taxes if they think they are necessary to accomplish their communal goals, but they want to see that money used wisely and transparently to benefit everybody, not a few wealthy insiders. That disintegration of organized religion means they don’t want you pretending to be their religious leader. They are tolerant and expect you to be; they accept abortion and homosexuality and global warming, and they expect you to do the same. What worked on Mud Island does NOT work on the island of Compassionate Conservatism, that is the whole point. These are different places.

    Yet there are hundreds of ways you can redefine what it means to be a “conservative” and prosper politically, and be loved, respected, honored and rewarded as a leader on the island of Compassionate Conservatism.

    Or, you can stand where you are, and die a member of the grumbling, shrinking and disregarded remnant population of Mud Island, a footnote of history, the last defender of a backwater nobody cares about anymore.

    That would not be my “dream,” shano, it would just be my mercenary pitch. I don’t really care if they live or die; if I did help them it would only be if I could transform them into something more useful to society that is currently missing from our political landscape.

  82. One can only hope they will take your advice, Tony. I have a skewed perspective, having a Teapot congressman in Az., living in the reddest county in a red state. McCain/Palin gave their concession speech in my town.
    The identification with the religious right, even if they themselves do not attend church, is mind boggling.
    Its as if they feel guilty all the time so have to side with fairy tales in order to feel better.
    So glad I get to spend a lot of time in Vermont for my job, haha. Keeps me sane.

  83. TonyC,

    History proves you right. Our framers were such ideal Republicans. The only problem is that money talks, and here it has only one language: greed.

    That island is like the cartoon one, condemned to no inhabitants, cuz you know. it has no caché. Where are the car elevators, etc. Oh you can be compassionate and rich, you propose. Rich men enter the kingdom of heaven too.

    Very good propaganda. But like your 25% R and 3 way split of the Dem 75%.

  84. @Idealist: I believe, after this election, when hundreds of millions of dollars failed to move the needle toward Romney, that money will speak less loudly going forward.

    Billionaires are risk takers, but they also learn their financial lessons or they wouldn’t be billionaires. Their money did not do the work it was supposed to do; the SuperPacs let them down, money carpeted Ohio and the other swing states and they still lost 11 out of 12.

    They bet big on buying the election and they lost. This is NEW history, and they have two years to digest it, but I think eating this crow is making them sick and they won’t be making that same bid for an outright buy of an election again. Overwhelming marketing did not sway the voters; Romney had ten times the money on his side that McCain had, and he lost worst than McCain did.

  85. “before the party was held hostage by that tax-pledging Rumpelstiltskin of the Right, Grover Nordquist,”

    What an excellent description of Grover.

    Couldn’t get it out of my head while watching Grover on CNN today.

  86. Tony & Idealist: I think you’re both missing a larger point. America’s past is it’s future. The past was about about murdering hundreds of millions of brown people to achieve it’s objectives under the guise of “freedom & democracy.”

    Fact is the USA is a one party state with 2 factions who bicker over the best way to steal the spoils of American workers — meaning it’s Big Oil Multinational Corporate Party A — vs. — Big Oil Multinational Corporate Party B.

    At this historical juncture the ruling class concludes the future rests on slaughtering lots more brown people to achieve it’s objectives so why not let the brown guy do it so as to dampen those inevitable inklings the masses have for a peace craze.

    Nothing shut the anti-war movement up so much as the 1st election of Obama — so the grand bourgeoisie have perniciously calculated that nothing will shut up the movement like another term for the brown man who bids their tidings to the hilt, with decreed executive privileges that would make the founders’ bile ducts overflow & their eyes spin on their axis.

    Bottom line is if America’s owners aims are austerity for the masses & perpetual war for perpetual peace then who better to do it than Obama?

  87. Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum says he is “open” to another run for president in 2016. Santorum was asked about a possible presidential campaign Monday at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

    “I’m open to it, yeah,” Santorum replied. “I think there’s a fight right now as to what the soul of the Republican party’s going to be and the conservative movement, and we have something to say about that. I think from our battle, we’re not going to leave the field.”

  88. Copy that, leejcaroll.

    But it does have enormous humor value of you can discount how dangerous to the Constitution some of Santorum’s beliefs are.

  89. Santorum and his ilk are doomed for the foreseeable future thanks to the OCCUPY movement (relatively shortlived on the streets as it was but still seething below the surface) for it was the only thing that changed the debate against austerity and set the sights on the iniquity of the 1% and the growing economic inequality that’s the hallmark of the USA today.

  90. Rafflaw: “I think the correct phrase is they tried to steal the election!”

    Yes. She is a woman and a minority; she wanted to keep away from minority men, and guess why? She said, “They do the same thing inside their organization that they complain about outside their organization!”

    So she went to work for the Republicans. I asked her if the middle-aged white men were behaving any better than the men she had mentioned. She said: “Of course not but they are not so skillful at covering, either.”

  91. The party of the stupid re-elected its “messiah” Obama. However, it is debatable if Mr. Obama even won, since there are (as predicted) extreme cases of voter fraud in the states that do not require voter ID (which ironically, were needed for Mr. Obama to get an election). There is something obviously wrong when you have a precinct that has seven registered voters, but over 900 votes were cast in that precinct. Other counties that 100% vote for Obama, polling places that physically kicked out Republican poll watchers, groups like the NAACP and Black Panthers patrolling sites where such as a clear violation but they did it anyway – and were allowed to. Then we have all those military votes that either couldn’t get counted in time, or that mysterious plane crash that no one has heard anything else about, where thousands of military ballots were destroyed.

    If there was a clear case of a president “stealing an election” it is this one, where Obama couldn’t even fill an auditorium and had to move to a smaller one so it would not be obvious that he couldn’t draw a crowd anymore. It’s laughable, when you contrast this past election with the one involving President Bush where they alleged he “stole an election” when it was clear when the votes were counted again and again in Florida that President Bush had more votes and therefore won.

    The result when you see such apparent voter fraud and then the candidate end up winning and nothing is done, you see literally all fifty states petition to secede from the union. It’s going to get ugly and as the phrase goes “we ain’t seen nothin’ yet”. The “party of the stupid” apparently thinks the only way to get an election is to steal it with stuffed ballot boxes and precincts with 2000%+ voter turnout.

  92. Hubert,

    Why do you so hate our country? As for secession, please do. You probably live in a State that receives more from the Federal Government than it contributes.
    We don’t need States that are “welfare cheats” in our Union. You are a hateful person who probably will be damned after you die for that hatred.

  93. hubert cumberdale:

    I would like to see links to that information. I have read some conservative bloggers say the same thing but it seems like anecdotal evidence.

    Supposedly Kennedy didnt win in 1960 so it does happen. But the polls had it pretty close so who knows. I wouldnt put it past the Obama machine to engage in voter fraud but I imagine some republicans probably did too.

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