THE MORE THINGS CHANGE

The worst part about living through 2010 was not the outcome of the election but the preferred media narrative of the Tea Party ushering in some kind of sea change in the GOP. In reality, their overwhelming losses in 2006 and 2008 gave the Republicans a good opportunity to re-brand their party, perhaps even to come up with a new idea or two. Instead they chose simply to double down on the same selective interpretation of Reaganism that they've pounded like a drum for the past thirty years. The Tea Party was tangential, just a bunch of inchoate anger and nonsensical demands that happened to benefit the GOP at the polls. Business as usual meets populist freakshow. The result is that the GOP of 2012, despite the major domestic crises of the past four years, is not different in any meaningful way from George W. Bush's Republican Party. Look no further that the Iowa Caucus results (and impending Romney blowout in New Hampshire) for proof: the prize in these primaries goes not to the daring, but to the one who does the best job of reciting the Commandments of the faith. The party can theoretically choose anyone, and in Iowa they chose two candidates who, although different, are essentially carbon copies of the most recent GOP president.

Rick Santorum, who is likely to disappear shortly after his 15 minutes of being Not Mitt Romney, takes Bush's unwavering social conservatism and combines it with a total lack of intellectual curiosity on domestic issues – where his policy position is essentially "Steer it as far to the right as possible, then go a little further" on any given issue – and hard neocon foreign policy (Israel! Israel! Israel! Also fuck Iran!) Like Bush, Santorum has the ability to hold totally insane, occasionally terrifying policy positions but look to primary voters and TV viewers to be a nice, sane fellow. Seriously, watch Rick Santorum on a talk show. He seems nice. He sounds normal. He isn't. Contrast him, for example, with the visibly deranged Michele Bachmann to see how important this quality is in the modern GOP. Be crazy, but look sane. Don't scare everyone.

Romney, on the other hand, is like Bush in that underneath the marketing (Remember "compassionate conservatism"?) he is nothing but the classic "pro-business" corporate shill brand of Republican. He appears to care about nothing much politically, hence his numerous flip-flops on social and foreign policy issues, except cutting taxes, starving the government, and making America safe again for the ludicrously rich. Other Republicans hate him not because of this political stance; indeed, he is in perfect concert with most of them on economic issues. They hate him because he is a Mormon, and an insincere glad-hander, and an opportunist, and a pretty boy, and generally an all-around sissy. He's not a Man's Man, not a Real Christian Jesus-fearing red-blooded American. Or, more accurately, not one who can or cares to fake it. GW Bush's ridiculous cowboy act was semi-believable, at least enough to fool the rubes. Romney looks like the white bread, prep school asswipe he is.

And these are the two candidates the process appears to have chosen to duke it out. If they could somehow combine Romney's staggering wealth, fundamentally elitist economic ideas, and non-threatening self presentation with Santorum's militant social conservatism and Real Guy authenticity, they'd have the perfect candidate. That is, they'd have George W. Bush again. They rejected the glib Perot-like straight talk of Cain, Bachmann's American jihad, Perry's frat boy insincerity, the reanimated corpse of 1994 in Gingrich, and the old school liberal New England Republicanism of Huntsman. Ron Paul, as ever, is just an old coot with a devoted but insufficiently large cult of true believers. They chose Santorum (who is fundamentally unelectable, being insane) and Romney (who no one actually likes and most actively loathe).

Hey, you know who's stupid? Tim Pawlenty. He dropped out on account of a meaningless straw poll won by Michele Bachmann almost a year ago. Were he running, he would be killing it right now. The primary voters are desperate for anyone who isn't Romney, but all of their existing alternatives are obviously flawed. T-Paw is as bland as they come, an empty vessel with the requisite devotion to Reaganomics. He wouldn't be much of a general election candidate, but I bet he'd be neck-and-neck with Romney right now.

So, the GOP staggered out of 2008 with an opportunity to take the party in a new direction. Instead they punted. Refusing to come up with a single new idea, they chose the path of least resistance, the sweet spot in their comfort zone. They chose the two candidates who reminded them the most of Dubya, who was the candidate who reminded them the most of Reagan, who was the candidate who reminded them the most of Barry Goldwater. It would be bad enough if they were nominating second rate Reagan clones, but this year this appears to be a competition between two pale imitations of George W. Bush. Rather than write anything new, they're covering a cover song. With the GOP so adamant in its refusal to change and the balless, corporate Democratic Party offering only the illusion of opposition, it is no mystery why everyone can see that our ship is heading straight for the rocks but we seem to be unable to change its course.

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64 Responses to “THE MORE THINGS CHANGE”

  1. Middle Seaman Says:

    Our political system lives in an alternative reality in which everyone is rich, the climate poses no danger, equal rights don' matter, presidents are idiots considered geniuses, wars are cheap and divine and the economy is doing well. Why change? Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats feel a need to change. It's all Ford against GM.

    Except for the two Clintons, the Democrats had their Santorums and Romneys since 1976. Carer, Dokakis, Kerry and Obama are as much of a freak show as the GOP typically offers.

    It all seems more of a Jonestown than a journey to the rocks.

  2. Fiddlin' Bill Says:

    One fundamental problem with authoritarians is, they have a hard time coming up with something "new."

  3. DiTurno Says:

    I think it's just wrong to say the current GOP "is not different in any meaningful way from George W. Bush's Republican Party." The assault of government as an institution is much more extreme this time around. So is the saber rattling.

    In the 2000 general election Bush pretended to run as a moderate, talked about changing the tone, etc. That's not going to happen in 2012.

  4. Tim H. Says:

    This trainwreck would be a lot more fun to watch from a distance.

  5. c u n d gulag Says:

    In a smarter, rational, more enlightened country, with a functioning MSM, the Republican Party would be irrelevant, and only supported by that 27% of the human population which is comprised of violently stupid imbeciles with an authoritarian complex.

    But here, with our highly paid, dysfunctional, lazy, compliant, and complicit, MSM, constantly trying to prove they don't lean to the left, where any meme can become another Holy Grail, and where most of the population stays willfully ignorant until election day when they feel pressured to be relevant and vote, the Republican Party can put up yet another sociopathic thug, and as long as he/she/it says enough Jesusy and Constitutionally things to fool the rubes, they may yet again control the Executive and Legislative branches, and put them up on the mantle alongside the SCOTUS. And that would spell "T-H-E E-N-D."

    The problem isn't so much with the Republican Party, but with the people of this country, and the MSM which under/mis/informs them, or that drives them to run away from what's now considered "news."

    If the Republicans thought they had no chance with violently stupid imbeciles as their candidates, they wouldn't run them.
    But instead, the Republicans can take a sociopath, wrap them in a flag, tell them to carry the Bible, and spout bullshit about the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, and enough of the remaining 73%, the stupid and ignorant part of the population, when added to the 27% of the knuckle-dragging cave people, gives them a chance in any election to get 50% of the vote, PLUS one.

    The fault lies in our media stars, AND in ourselves.

    And the selling of "The K-Street Torquemada," Icky Sticky Rickey Santorum, as a working-class hero who oozes compassion and sincerity by "people" like George Will, David Brooks, and others in the MSM this past week, only helps to prove my point.

    And don't even get me started on the Whoreporatist Democrats, who left Main Street and sold their souls to Wall Street pimps who don't care what party you belong to, and long as the party's for them.

    We Americans are a profoundly stupid and arrogant people.

    At least the Romans could blame lead.
    What's our excuse?
    That Flouride in the water not only hardened out teeth, but our heads and hearts?

  6. Number Three Says:

    Agree 100% on T-Paw. I don't know who was advising him, but they should find another line of work. Giving up after "losing" the Iowa straw poll? Did you know (and you didn't, unless you looked it up, like me) that Santorum finished FIFTH in that meaningless event? The worst was that his only shot was to play the long game. Instead, he played a very short (very short) game. Stupid.

    On the state of the country:

    It's not (simply) the MSM. It's not even Fox News. The problem the U.S. faces today is a failure of social, economic, and political elites. A sizable proportion of affluent Americans has decided that they don't want to have a functioning modern republic any longer—if they ever really did—that what they really want is something like an above-average banana republic, with massive inequality and poverty, just so long as it's outside of their gated communities. I don't know how one solves that problem.

  7. bb in GA Says:

    Some of your words in describing a creature you have created called the RomneyBush:

    "…except cutting taxes, starving the government, and making America safe…"

    The RomneyBush's 'father', GWB – REPUBLICAN promoted and signed into Law the largest entitlement program (at the time) since the 1960s – Medicare Part D.

    How the hell is that 'starving the government'?

    Q2: Hey Leftists – Besides disbanding entirely and allowing unbridled liberal Ds to rule the fruited plain, What would the ideal R party look like and what would be their major policy positions – Domestic and Foreign ? (Headlines please…)

    //bb

  8. Monkey Business Says:

    @bb in GA: In a perfect world, the Democrats would be Liberal, and the Republicans would be Conservative, and they'd meet in the middle.

    What we have now is a system where the Democrats are, at best, moderate, and the Republicans are anarchist sociopaths and meeting in the middle is impossible.

    So really, it's moving the whole conversation to the left, because after 30 years I think we've all had just about enough of trickle-down economics, which at this point is suspiciously like being peed on by the rich.

  9. bb in GA Says:

    Mr Bizness:

    My betters tell me thay are not peeing on us…they say it is warm, yellow rain.

    //bb

  10. John Says:

    I continue to fail to understand how someone successfully runs for government on a platform of "down with government".

    Ultimately though, this election has been pretty much entirely about economic issues (the standard batch of social craziness has been only tangential in discussions, and I suspect that the recent half-hearted focus on the current NotRomney's social positions is simply to give people something to talk about), and the thing nobody ever seems to talk about is the crux of the problem:

    We've been fighting an unpaid-for Unlimited War for the past decade.

    There has never been a war in history, for any nation, that did not come along with a tax hike or some other increase of government revenue. Because waging war costs money, you see. Those bullets and bombs and missiles and tanks and drones and body armor kits all cost something. Yet here we are, ten years later, and we STILL have not hiked up taxes to pay for all this shit. We continue to violently disembowel any politician who dares bring up the mere *idea* of raising taxes even one dime.

    Where is the money supposed to come from? Because you could gut every last social program we have, and it would STILL not be enough to pay for our military outlays in the Grand Middle-Eastern Adventure we've been having for the past decade.

  11. c u n d gulag Says:

    Hey, bb,
    YOU'RE the conservative here.

    You first!

    Or are you happy voting for a party of sociopathic morons who don't believe in math and science, or history and ecology, and who have less of a chance of completing a Rubix Cube than does a brain-damaged, syphilitic orangutan?

    And let's not even talk about economics, where the only thing they "understand" is the Laffer-able curve, and doubling-down on what has proven NOT to work for over 30 years.

    If that's not your idea of a perfect party, YOU tell us, "what would the ideal R party look like and what would be their major policy positions – Domestic and Foreign? ( And I won't even ask for "Headlines").

  12. c u n d gulag Says:

    John,
    To their credit, they did try to save money on body armor kits and helmets.

    That them there is "snark" – lest anyone think I'm being serious.

  13. Kulkuri Says:

    The RomneyBush's 'father', GWB – REPUBLICAN promoted and signed into Law the largest entitlement program (at the time) since the 1960s – Medicare Part D.

    How the hell is that 'starving the government'?
    Because it is an unfunded mandate which takes away money the government doesn't have. That is part of starving the government. Make it pay out more than it takes in so they will have to make cuts in other areas, but not defense.

    They chose the two candidates who reminded them the most of Dubya, who was the candidate who reminded them the most of Reagan, who was the candidate who reminded them the most of Barry Goldwater.

    Each time it morphed into something worse and now is unrecognizable to the original!!

  14. Amused Says:

    I really don't understand why the Republican party is courting the most extreme right — insane religious fundamentalists, apocalyptic fanatics seeking to destroy everything as a way of hastening Rapture, quacks who are against education, hypocrites obsessed with other people's sex lives, etc. Even if you took a purely machiavellian approach to acquiring power and nothing else — what is the point of pandering to the fringe? If you stop and move over center, what are the fundies going to do, anyway? Vote Democrat as a form of revenge? Not vote at all?

  15. anotherbozo Says:

    c u n d and Kulkuri (Korean for "piggy", BTW) made great points, not to mention Ed himself, so I have little to add. But however inept and unimaginative and insubstantial the Neocon echo chamber, it has succeeded in moving the center of gravity so far to the right that the White House occupant, basically an Eisenhower or Rockefeller Republican, gets absurdly vilified as a socialist commie radical and there is widespread tacit agreement. And a climate ripe to dismantle the social gains of the past 70 years, something Goldwater couldn't have dreamed of.

    Whether the Republicans get credit for this drift, or the corporate-controlled MSM makes them share it, it's had a snowball effect that can crush us pretty soon.

    If we don't drown in warm, yellow rain first.

  16. Major Kong Says:

    Eisenhower wanted to create a Department of Peace, had a 91% top marginal tax rate and presided over a public works project the size of which Obama can only dream about.

    Ike would be too liberal to be a Democrat today, let alone a Republican.

  17. c u n d gulag Says:

    GOP POV:
    Ike was a WhiteKenyanCommunistFascistSocialistHeathenMuslimLovingAtheist-DFBaldHippyGayAndBlackLovingC*ckSuckingMotherF*cking RINO!!!

    And yes, Major Kong, you're right – Ike would be way too Liberal to be a Democrat today.

    Hell, so might Nixon!

  18. Eric Titus Says:

    I'm surprised that you'd belittle the tea party as "inchoate anger". I may be a progressive, but it seems to me that the tea party was as legitimate as, say, the "occupy" movement. Eventually, it was hijacked by the more extreme members of the right, but at the start the message was fairly clear.

    There does seem to be a clear shift among republican candidates–to the right. I don't see any new ideas, but when you're not the incumbent, promising "change" appears to suffice. In this election, it seems that being the only sane person will eventually result in a Romney nomination, and he might actually do OK in the general election if he can shed the Bain/Plutocrat image.

  19. Anonymouse Says:

    @Amused: you correctly stated, "I really don't understand why the Republican party is courting the most extreme right — insane religious fundamentalists, apocalyptic fanatics seeking to destroy everything as a way of hastening Rapture, quacks who are against education, hypocrites obsessed with other people's sex lives, etc. "

    That's why it's so astounding that readers on this very blog are likening them to Carter, Obama, and Kerry. When did Carter declare war on some innocent country because a psychotic sky-fairy told him to? When did Kerry ever smarmily announce that he's subordinate to his spouse because a book written by a bunch of bronze-age shepherds told him to be so? Since when has Obama insisted that he would refuse women the right to take the Pill? The insane clown posse currently running on the right believe all that and more.

  20. bb in GA Says:

    @kulkuri

    Thank you for the 'unfunded' point

    @cund gulag

    This is a Leftist blog. I am asking…you ain't answerin'…just more of the same. Your choice, of course…

    //bb

  21. bb in GA Says:

    The Next point:

    GWB was a promoter of and signed into Law the creation of the DHS with that wonderful enabling Patriot Act.

    How is that 'starving the government'? To Kulkuri's point, I don't think all that bureaucracy was an unfunded mandate.

    //bb

  22. c u n d gulag Says:

    bb,
    "What would the ideal R party look like and what would be their major policy positions – Domestic and Foreign ? (Headlines please…)."

    In answer to your question:
    How about Barack Hussein Obama and the Whoreporatist Democratic Red Dogs ('cause there ain't nothin' blue about 'em)?

    http://www.republicansforobama.org/

    Or are they a bit too pro-gay and way too "Liberal" for you?
    You may notice the word Liberal is in quotes.
    That's 'cause I ran out of pints. :-)

  23. Rick Massimo Says:

    "It would be bad enough if they were nominating second rate Reagan clones, but this year this appears to be a competition between two pale imitations of George W. Bush."

    And they manage to do it without ever mentioning that they want to do what GWB did. Or that they ever supported him. Or that he ever existed.

    Funny how that works.

  24. Patrick Says:

    Lack of political originality is really not such a terrible flaw. The Democrats have been trying to find an FDR clone since 1945.

  25. Major Kong Says:

    @bb

    I think the problem is that "conservative" does not necessarily mean "libertarian", while many libertarians tend to use those terms interchangeably. Taken to its extreme, you get the argument that "Hitler was a liberal because he liked big government".

    If you look at American politics over the last 40+ years, I'd say that liberals and conservatives both like "big government". The only difference is which parts of government they like to make big.

    "Big Government" liberals like things like EPA, Social Security, Medicare etc.

    "Big Government" conservatives like things like FBI, NSA, War on Drugs, Prisons, Military, "faith based" programs etc.

  26. c u n d gulag Says:

    Major Kong,
    Great explanation!
    But you forgot one thing – Conservatives want to reward their cronies so that their cronies will later reward them.
    But, maybe that can go without saying.

  27. acer Says:

    @bb:
    I'd settle for a GOP that *consistently* stood for responsibility (fiscal and otherwise), upheld the intellectual legacy of Buckley and Goldwater, and provided good-faith checks, balances and compromise while my fantasy Obama admin attemped to clean up Herr Bush's mess. (They could also give up already on issues of scientific consensus, like climate-change denial, but perhaps I'm asking too much.) I'm the first to admit that the actual Obama wouldn't be an adequate foil.

    Instead, the Rs are sticking with an increasingly shrill version of the Southern Strategy: Exploit Obama Derangement Syndrome, pander to the cognitive dissonance of aging NIMBY bigots, and siphon off the middle class's money for the super-rich. While we're at it, let's keep proposing interventionist foreign policy that we have no intention of bankrolling.

    It's on them to evolve, and the clock is ticking. Since the early Bush years, the right has gone from evil arrogance to blatant desperation. The 2008 crash finished off Reagan pseudo-libertarianism, "terror" is alive and at large, and now they're plumb out of ideas. Their propaganda and scare tactics are still good for about half the vote, but they're not thinking long-term, particularly in their attitude toward Hispanics and anyone too young to recall the Cold War.

    @Number Three:
    Armed revolt? You go first.

  28. acer Says:

    @MajorKong:
    You're right, of course – Small Government is something today's "conservative" campaigns on, not something he actually wants. If I were a libertarian, I'd be disgusted with the GOP – I linked arms with bigots and theocrats and all I got was this lousy economic collapse. There are no more liberals or conservatives in Washington.

    My dream American political landscape would contain at least six parties: Greens, Libertarians, Progressives, Social Conservatives, Social Darwinists, and the Guns & Dope Party. Anyone who campaigned one set of policies and them tried to implement another would be punished by exile. Membership would be determined by the Sorting Hat.

  29. bb in GA Says:

    It probably makes this blog a little more dull (I'm so sorry..) but I appreciate the measured responses to my question.

    My thesis all along has been that y'all Lefites win in the long run, if there is a long run. (that's the problem)

    Within 20 years, we old White people who are the problem will mostly be across the Rainbow Bridge (taling to Jimi) either literally or at least from the point of caring. If y'all can keep it together another 10 years – ya got it covered.

    Patience as much as possible, young 'uns, because any kind of armed conflict will ultimately contract your liberties too…

    //bb

  30. c u n d gulag Says:

    bb,
    Sadly, in 20 years, I probably won't be here to see that because I'll be over that Rainbow Bridge with you.

    After you're done with Jimi, I'd like to talk to him too.
    But first, for me – Mark Twain.

  31. Major Kong Says:

    I think the early stages of the Libya uprising are pretty indicative of what happens to armed civilians against even a third-rate military like Libya's.

    Prior to the NATO air campaign they were days from being wiped out.

    The Predator drone locking on to me from 5 miles up isn't going to be all that impressed by my pissant 7.62 rifle.

  32. Southern Beale Says:

    Just as an aside, the worst thing about the whole media fascination with the Tea Party were all of the "Who is the Tea Party? Our NewsBot Goes To A Tea Party Rally To Find Out!" stories that cropped up at regular intervals. It was everywhere from the front page of the New York Times to specials on "liberal" MSNBC to one Pew survey after another to my local TeeVee Noooze. Jesus. They all said the same thing: old white people. Gee nobody could've anticipated….

    Meanwhile, how many "Who Are The Occupiers" stories have we seen? None. It's assumed they're all young college radicals with their iPods and iPhones and that's that.

    Funny how that works.

  33. Major Kong Says:

    You haven't been keeping up with the narrative Southern Beale.

    Tea Party = "Concerned Patriots"

    Occupy = "Dirty Fucking Hippies"

    At least, that's what the nice man on Fox said.

  34. mothra Says:

    "K-Street Torquemada." Thread WIN.

  35. Daniel Says:

    Can we just have the election in June and get this over with. Do we have to subject ourselves as a nation to this GOP circle jerk of sociopaths, Tweedledums, and fascists??

  36. Daniel Says:

    I mean the General election. Let's just shorten the process and get this over with.

  37. JazzBumpa Says:

    I haven't read the rest of the comment stream, but I have to respond to bb.

    Medicare part D is a huge handout of taxpayer dollars to big pahrma, with the proviso that Medicare can't use it's enormous purchasing power to bargain for favorable pricing. Gov't money to corporations. That's how it starves the gummint.

    That it was a cynical sop to get old people to vote Rethug is just a detail.

    Fuck what the ideal Rethug party would look like. This is what the ideal Democratic party would look like:

    Recognize that SS and Medicare are sacred compacts with the American people.
    Immediately eliminate the woefully misbegotten payroll tax holiday.
    Embrace Keynesian economics (fiscal policy) as the proper agenda when the country is in a liquidity trap at the Zero Interest bound with high unemployment.
    Establish a genuinely progressive tax structure.
    Build a robust safety net for the unemployed.
    Repeal the Securities and Futures modernization acts put forth by Phil Graham and signed into law by Billy-Bob Clinton in 1999 that led directly and inevitably to the economic melt-down of 2008.
    Break up too big to fail banks.
    Prosecute Bank Fraud.
    Enforce anti-trust regulation in all industries.
    Recognize that the federal debt, either by itself or as a % of GDP is worthless as a benchmark of economic health.
    Rebuild the crumbling infrastructure.
    Stop tolerating unfair trade policies of foreign trading partners.

    That's enough for now, since fucking NONE of it will happen.

    WASF,
    JzB

  38. bb in GA Says:

    @Jzb

    Nice answer to an unasked question.

    The reason I pursued this line is kinda what you showed to be true. Most people on your end of the argument think there is no need for anything AT ALL other than the Liberal, Progressive solution to all problems. (to quote from hereabouts "Facts seem to have a Liberal bias…")

    I think you are in Gorbachev's position – Communism never has had a fair chance because it really hasn't been tried for real – only a corrupted, half assed version.

    I think you, and many others here are in the same position vis-a-vis Liberal Progressive ideas.

    //bb

  39. JazzBumpa Says:

    bb –

    For a conservative, you don't show much understanding of how modern Rethug conservatism works. Let me lay it out for you.

    A) Bush started wars and cut taxes.

    B) For good measure, he brought out Medicare Part D.

    A) bankrupts the country in general.

    B) goes a long way toward bankrupting Medicare, specifically.

    The whole point is to get us to where Sir Boner of Orange can say that we are a poor country, and Ron Paul can declare that we are bankrupt, and SS and Medicare need to be "saved."

    This is the same sense of the word "save" that originated in the Viet Nam war when to "save" the village, we had to destroy it.

    I hope you get the picture now. If not, go google Grover Norquist and read about what that rat bastard has been doing to us.

    I have grave reservations about your prediction that the left will win eventually. The Rethugs want to take us back to feudalism. The last time that happened, it went on for 1000 years.

    http://jazzbumpa.blogspot.com/2011/04/brute-economics-of-slavery.html

    WASF!
    JzB

  40. JazzBumpa Says:

    bb –

    I think you are in Gorbachev's position – Communism never has had a fair chance because it really hasn't been tried for real – only a corrupted, half assed version.

    No.

    We tried progressivism for real. It was called the New Deal, and it got us out of the Great Depression. We continued it into the 50's and 60's and had America's golden age. Ike was wildly progressive, and far to the left of current Dems (except on foreign policy, which is off-topic.)

    Conservatives hate FDR and some of them hate Lincoln. Those guys promoted equality, and a god-mandated class structure is central to conservatism.

    That's why God-fearing Rethugs have been hell-bent on dismantling it from the very beginning. Starting with Reagan, they had their chance, and they didn't waste it.

    12rh century, here we come.

    JzB

  41. Major Kong Says:

    @bb

    We had something fairly close to libertarianism in the latter half of the 19th century and it just wasn't that much fun unless your name was "Rockefeller" or "Vanderbilt".

    Now a libertarian might say "But that wasn't real libertarianism!", to which I would say that just like Communism, it doesn't really matter what it says on paper but how it actually gets implemented in the real world.

    I see today's conservatives hell bent on replacing the system that beat Communism with the one that spawned it.

  42. Mike Says:

    So, the GOP staggered out of 2008 with an opportunity to take the party in a new direction.

    Coincidentally, the Democrats staggered into 2008 with an opportunity to take the party in a new direction.

  43. JazzBumpa Says:

    bb –

    The reason I pursued this line is kinda what you showed to be true. Most people on your end of the argument think there is no need for anything AT ALL other than the Liberal, Progressive solution to all problems.

    If we didn't think they were the right solutions, we wouldn't be proposing them. The difference with your side is that we have a track record of success. Thirty years of conservatism has given us steadily declining economic growth, leading to an economic meltdown. The same thing happened 80 years ago.

    That's one of those liberal-biased facts.

    JzB

  44. c u n d gulag Says:

    bb,
    It's hysterical that you use the analogy of the Gorbachev, the USSR, and Communism.

    Because the argument now is that Little Boots Bush wasn't a REAL Conservative, and that real Conservatism hasn't failed because it's never really been tried!

    Now that them there's some really funny shit!!!

    Oh, and the fact the former Democrat, and SAG Union leader Ronnie, of the 11 tax increases, and the dramatic increase in the deficit, is still seen as the Conservative Icon.

    You pray to false God's, my friend.

    Read Major Kong's distinction between government spending under Republicans v. Democrats. It pretty much says it all.

  45. BZBee Says:

    >>They all said the same thing: old white people. Gee nobody could've anticipated….>>

    Not just any garden-variety old white people; the Teabaggers were screaming, incoherent, violent, "Get yer gummit hands off my Medicaid 'r I'll SHOOT YOU" loons.

  46. Some Guy Says:

    bb: "I demand that you libs think up TWO coherent political positions for our country to choose from, because I'm a conservative and I can't even come up with a halfassed excuse for just one."

  47. bb in GA Says:

    @Some Guy

    I demanded nothing. I politely asked.

    Thanks for the many and varied responses. I always get a nice little adder to my education and POV…along w/ the raft of sh&t :-)

    //bb

  48. Amused Says:

    @bb in GA:

    Having spent my childhood in the Soviet Union, specifically during Perestroika, I find your analogy to Gorbachev hilarious.

  49. Xynzee Says:

    Probably **the** best outcome would be a Santorum win in the primaries.

    If Romney wins, then there's a good chance that nutty-Right will try to split the ticket w an Independant. If the ticket is split, then both GOP and nutty-Right can blame each other for the loss.

    However, if Santorum surges on frothy head of nuttiness, he'll more than likely be handed his arse in the General. This would force the GOP to take a good hard look at themselves. They'd have to address the fact that continuing to pander to the crazies will drive away the sane and stable elements of the party. Of course we'll get Romney and some ticket splitter so in 4yrs we'll be facing another round of the insane clown posse.

  50. Southern Beale Says:

    I think you are in Gorbachev's position – Communism never has had a fair chance because it really hasn't been tried for real – only a corrupted, half assed version.

    That's funny, that's precisely what free market/deregulation/Libertarian types always say. The reason the free hand of the market has failed to rescue us time and time again is because we've never really given it a shot! Not really!

  51. Turok Says:

    That's not really fair to Romney. As a governor, he was way more liberal than Bush. Republicans don't hate him because of his image. They hate him because he's a RINO.

  52. bb in GA Says:

    @Amused

    It is not an analogy. I paraphrased what I heard Mr. Gorbachev say in an interview, I didn't make it up.

    //bb

  53. bb in GA Says:

    excuse me – read in an interview

    //bb

  54. Amused Says:

    @bb in GA:

    That very well may be, but you paraphrased what you heard Gorbachev say to compare it to what liberals in this country supposedly say — and I see it in the larger context of conservatives today saying that anyone who is even one micron to the left of the Far Right is a "communist".

    This is indeed hilarious — but for the fact that it's so sad — because in Russia today, the communist faction is referred to as "conservatives" and placed on the Far Right of the political spectrum. They have much more in common with American conservatives than they do with liberals: the same yearning for authoritarianism, the same preoccupation with symbols, the same prioritizing of ideology over practical considerations, the same hostility towards civil liberties, the same obsession with people's private lives, especially their sex lives, the same "freedoms for me, but not for thee" attitude towards restrictions on private conduct, the same belief in Manifest Destiny, of sorts, for their country to lord over the entire world. The only difference is communists' attitude to private property, but considering all the ways in which Russian communists and American conservatives are nearly identical, it is a minor one.

  55. bb in GA Says:

    @Amused

    I committed kind of the symmetrical sin.

    Usually in a political conversation whoever mentions Hitler or Nazis and makes any analogical comparison creates a firestorm that completely obliterates both them and any point they made.

    Same here – I was not comparing Liberals to Commies.

    I was comparing two groups whose position is that that their ideas were not fairly given a shot at success and those ideas likely would succeed if correctly implemented. If you Google 'Gorbachev still believes' I think you get an ample supply of material to back up my original point.

    Stupid me – mentioning Commies and Liberals in the same paragraph causes the Hitler/Nazi reaction.

    Besides, other posters refute the analogy that Liberal/Progressive ideas have never had a successful run (the 'Forever' President FDR's regime)

    But that is a side issue to what I originally posted.

    You of course do the Liberal thing of never missing an opportunity to slobber knock Conservatives in new and inventive ways by equating the remaining Russian Commies w/ all us old farts in the USA.

    Hilarious indeed.

    //bb

  56. Nancy the math teacher Says:

    To BB, whose posts here I read with interest and respect: I should be a Republican. Both my parents were Republicans, my mother was politically active during my childhood, I still remember the Goldwater sign in the yard. I was raised with Republican ideals. These ideals included respect for knowledge and education, self-reliance to the greatest extent possible, the equality of all people, and the cultivation of our minds, bodies and environment for good. It was important to treat everyone with dignity and respect, and important to preserve and care for the good things we have been given to carry them on to our children, and important to help others become self-reliant and educated also. Waste and inefficiency were to be avoided.
    I don't know if the Republican party ever really espoused these ideals, but my pro-choice mother abandoned the party late in life and I've never seen any reason to join it.

  57. c u n d gulag Says:

    bb,
    Amused is completely correct.

    My parents are from Russia and Ukraine, and all of their friends are too, and believe me, most of them, thought not my parents, are HARD-CORE Conservatives.

    When I listen to them, I wonder wtf they ever left the USSR in the first place – except, of course, they had to because of the war.

    And when I visited Russia, what Amused said about the current Communists is 100% correct.
    They are virtually indistinguishable from American Conservatives.

  58. bb in GA Says:

    Some of y'all conflate (even in your kind remarks – Nancy and others not so..) R with conservative and/or libertarian.

    You know that's not true. Since I'm the token libertarian-conservative who posts here regularly I become ideologically responsible for every policy and personality from Nelson Rockefeller to Attila the Hun.

    That is just ridiculous, but it is the price of admission, I guess.

    I enjoy most of the answers, added education, and potential POV modifications.

    Thanks,

    //bb

  59. Dana Says:

    I'm pretty sure Ron Paul + thick-rimmed glasses = the living reincarnation of Barry Goldwater. Not Mitt Romney.

  60. eau Says:

    @Nancy the math teacher – That party sounds great! Sign me up!

  61. blinded by science Says:

    "Lack of political originality is really not such a terrible flaw. The Democrats have been trying to find an FDR clone since 1945."

    Yeah, and we thought we had one but he turned out to be Clinton.

  62. xynzee Says:

    @Nancy: The D's traditionally were a party of two parts. They were the Party for the working class in the industrial North and NE and for farmers. They were also the party of the Southern Slavers. Which is why until the mid-80s Southerners would *never* vote Republican. The working class sent their kids to university who then became the intelligencia who went on Freedom Rides.

    Somewhere along the line the R's, the same party who brought us Abolition, decided that it was politically expedient to get in bed with the unedumacated descendants of the traditional South who were cut loose when LBJ signed in Civil Rights. Thus they've been high-jacked ever since and trying to impress upon the country that MS education standards is good enough for all.

  63. bb in GA Says:

    @xynzee

    At the Presidential level the shift to predominately voting for Rs in the deep South started much earlier than in your narrative…way before any Civil Rights Laws.

    SC – last voted D in 1960 – exception Carter 1976 – Southern son.

    GA – last voted D in 1960 – exceptions 1976/80 – homeboy Carter, 1992 fellow Southron Bubba Clinton.

    AL – last voted D in 1956 – exception 1976 for Southern son – Jimmy Carter

    MS – last voted D in 1956 – Carter exception 1976

    LA – last voted D in 1960 – Carter exception 1976, Clinton 92/96

    TX – last voted D in 1968 – Carter exception in 1976

    So Texas seems to have missed the fact that the Civil Rights Laws were passed in '64 and the Slavers there didn't jump on the wagon til 1972 (or maybe they got a clue that McGovern was too Liberal for them?)

    Congressional and Senatorial shifts to R were lagging the law changes and probably support your thesis better.

    //bb (Former 'Slaver')

  64. Xynzee Says:

    @bb: thanks for the stats and educating me.

    Wonder how much that was due to running a Catholic?

    I was putting it in context of the Ds being the party of the Southern aristocracy, and power structures. Where the few held all the power (and slaves), and the poor majority became cannon fodder to support the "unique institution" of the South. Became victims of Sherman's advance through the Shenedoha and then having to pay for that wonderful symbol of Repuglican victory "Reconstruction".

    So yes the agrarian Southern experience of Democratic is different from the unionised Northern experience. Obviously, ppl are never that clear cut, but those would've been the general trends and influences.