Political Nutz

Observations on the pathetic state of American politics

Category Archives: Presidential election of 2012

Flawed Candidate, Flawed Party

Maybe there’s hope for the GOP.  It’s refreshing to begin to hear some level-headed thinking coming from the Right…. finally!  For a long time, it seemed there were no Conservatives capable of speaking without uttering hate speech, racial slurs and outright lies.  Here’s a great piece on John Feehery, a long-time GOP strategist, finally saying that maybe the Republican Party should quite repeating the slime that comes out of the mouths of nut cases like Rush Limbaugh.

“we cannot be cowed by them. When they say things that are culturally insensitive and stupid, we need to go after them.”

Gee, that would be a welcome change for the Republicans–challenging stupidity and ignorance.  I could never understand why so many smart, engaged people gave so much credence to people like Limbaugh and Beck, paranoid guys who couldn’t make it as radio shock-jocks and spent way too many years snorting dope and drowning in booze.

Of course, Mr. Feehery had to get a jab in at Mitt Romney concluding he was a “flawed candidate” but also admitting “we have a flawed party.”

This interview is encouraging in that it come on the heels of a similar commentary by another GOP strategy wonk, Mike Murphy.

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More Republican Insights into Nov. 6

Ahh yes…  The GOP really has some genius leadership.  Here’s Grover Norquist, one of the many the never-elected-to-anything leaders of the Republican Party, providing his analysis of the Presidential election:

“The president was … elected on the basis that he was not Romney and that Romney was a poopy-head.

Whew!  That’s some deep thinking.

The Republican Constituencies

I’m still catching up on post November 6 reading and came across this piece by Rich Yeselson of Change to Win.  I think he sums up the problem the GOP confronts: a shrinking base consisting of…

the paranoid billionaires, the activist and media crackpots, and the resentful elderly and white men (and, frequently, their spouses).

Writing in a similar vein, Ryan L. Cooper notes that…

The conservative movement of the Obama years has been driven first by the belief that total obstructionism would pay off electorally, and second by a delusional belief that the president (a man who passed Bob Dole’s healthcare plan, a man far to Nixon’s right on many issues) is a Kenyan Muslim Socialist who is attempting to destroy freedom forever.

I have little hope that anything will be accomplished as long as these kinds of extremist ideas guide the Republicon side of Congress.

Conservative Reflections on the Demise of the GOP

It’s easy to dislike, even despise, the current version of the Republican Party.  Far removed from clear-thinking pragmatists like Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan and GHW Bush, today’s GOPers look like raving religious extremists happy to take down the nation in defense of largely unpopular social positions and some untenable economic theories.

It’s refreshing to see at least a few folks on the Right beginning to question the future of American Conservatism.  Rod Dreher, Senior Editor of the American Conservative, writes a thought-provoking piece raising these very questions.  He notes:

“The Republican Party is becoming a perversely rigid sect, more concerned with being militantly correct than being pragmatic and successful. With each passing election cycle, their purity will become the purity of the desert.”

One of Dreher’s colleagues at The American Conservative points out other facts that ought to stir some rational thought among the Right:

“Indeed, Republicans need to reflect on the fact that they have now lost four of the last six presidential elections. And if we measure the popular vote only, the GOP has lost five of the last six. This losing trend is not unprecedented–Republicans lost five in a row in the ’30s and ’40s–but it’s surely a flashing warning light for today.

Over the first 13 decades of its history, from 1860 to 1988, the GOP won 21 of 33 presidential elections. …

… Over the last six elections, the GOP has averaged approximately 43.5 percent of the popular vote. So what does that say about Republicans on the national stage?”

Even Bill Kristol admits the Republicans will need to compromise, observing that

“Four presidents in the last century have won more than 51 percent of the vote twice: Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Reagan and Obama…”

Unfortunately, scanning readers’ comments on these pieces it appears that there are still plenty of WingNuts out there ready to fail again in defense of the extreme, railing against the Commies and Homos of the Left and saluting the likes of Rush Limbaugh.

Boehner Continues to Spin Nov. 6 Results

Speaker Boehner can always be counted on to make himself look like a simpleton.  Today, his spin on election results:

“I’m proud of the fact that our team, in a very difficult year, was able to maintain our majority.”

A “very difficult year”?  That’s quite a different story than the GOP pundits were telling all summer and fall.  Unemployment near 8%, a huge federal deficit, supposed faux pas in handling foreign affairs, a President with approval ratings of 50%.  The Republicons hailed all this as evidence that voters would soundly reject the Democratic Party.  It didn’t quite turn out that way, of course.  Now, in retrospect, they say it was a “difficult year”!  It wasn’t difficult until the American  People soundly rejected the GOP agenda and tossed a dozen right-wingers out of Congress and returned President Obama to the White House.

Republicons Spin the Election Results

Before many of the final state results were in last night, Speaker Boehner was already offering a twisted interpretation of voters’ intentions.  “With this vote, the American people have also made clear that there is no mandate for raising tax rates.”

Really!  An overwhelming victory at the Presidential level, Dems gaining seats in the Senate and even a few in the House and the Party of No continues to believe Americans want more tax relief for the rich.  Then, of course, Mr. Boehner suggests there’s a route to bipartisan progress… as long as the Democrats just agree with everything the Right wants.  Maybe Mr. Boehner will go on a mission to some poverty-stricken country with Mr. Romney and get a grip on what really happened.

Mitt Doesn’t Care About Me

I’m part of that 47% that pays no income tax so Mitt Romney doesn’t want to be my president.  I’ll keep that in mind as November 6th rolls around.

It’s not really my fault: I just have no income.  After forty plus years of working I’m retired and living on my own savings.  No Social Security.  I do have Medicare insurance but I did pay several tens of thousands of dollars into the program over the decades.  I didn’t save enough, though, to get into one of Mitt’s $50K per plate fund raisers so I don’t meet his criteria for which Americans matter to the Republican Party.

More Out-of-Touch Mitt

Good grief!  Mitt Romney defines “middle income” beginning at the household income of $250,000 a year.  I wonder if he realizes that’s a quarter of a million dollars.   How uninformed and out of touch with reality can he be?  The median U.S. household income is just over $50,000 and less than 2% of American families bring home over $200K a year.  These numbers are easy to find but Romney seems obsessed with making things up to suit his super-rich view of the world.

Paul Ryan a Compulsive Liar

Wow!  All along I’ve been assuming Paul Ryan ignores and twists the facts to advance his weird political agenda. That’s been the Republicon approach for the past four years so it’s to be expected.  Now I read that in a recent interview the Prevaricator-in-Chief claimed that his personal best marathon time was “two hour and fifty something.”  Read that again: 2 hours and 50 minutes.  As someone who has run more than a dozen marathons I can attest that that time is very impressive.  In fact, it would have put Mr. Ryan in about 20th place in last year’s Seattle Marathon–out of over 1,600 male runners.  And he would have finished second in his age group.

Guess what? It was a little bit of an exaggeration.  Races keep track of results and it turns out Mr. Ryan’s actual time was a little over four hours.

Why lie about this at all?  He didn’t just not remember the exact time although he will surely claim that’s what happened.  Believe me, any one who has run a marathon remembers the experience.  And if one runs it in nearly world-class time, you don’t “misremember” by an hour.

I can only conclude that Mr. Ryan is a pathological liar: he can’t help himself.  Heaven help us if this guy actually ends up in a position to run the U.S. economy.

Sept. 2 Update.  Of course, Mr. Ryan says he “misstated” his marathon time.  I wonder if he’ll admit he misstated virtually everthing he said in his GOP Convention speech.

Brooks Finally Gets It

I enjoy reading and listening to the New York Times’ David Brooks.  Too often, though, he enthusiastically parrots the Republican party line.  To his credit, in today’s NYT column he admits that the GOP has morphed into a mindless, cold, heartless band of individualists who assume everyone gets exactly what they deserve.  If you have an inherited disease, it’s your fault.  If you get rear-ended by a logging truck, you deserved it.  If your employer goes belly up and you’re without a job, you need to work harder. The only role for government is to ensure that those fortunate folks who “have made it” continue to get every possible benefit, like lower tax rates and guaranteed health insurance.  Here’s a snippet of Brooks’ conclusion:

I don’t see what the party is offering the waitress with two kids, or the warehouse worker whose wages have stagnated for a decade, or the factory worker whose skills are now obsolete.

The fact is our destinies are shaped by social forces much more than the current G.O.P. is willing to admit. The skills that enable people to flourish are not innate but constructed by circumstances.

Government does not always undermine initiative. Some government programs, like the G.I. Bill, inflame ambition. Others depress it. What matters is not whether a program is public or private but its effect on character. Today’s Republicans, who see every government program as a step on the road to serfdom, are often blind to that. They celebrate the race to success but don’t know how to give everyone access to that race.

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