Archive for the ‘Republicans’ Category
Here’s an article that seeks to make sense of the apocalyptic tone of the GOP 2012 Primary and Presidential Election strategy. Essentially, the piece looks at the changing demographics in the US–that we are and will continue to become less-white and more educated, and sees the voting bloc for today’s GOP shrinking into the future. As a result, the current form of conservatism of the past 40 years is getting desperate to remain relevant.
What that means, and how it will play out, remains to be seen. As the author surmises, it could mean that this election will be the last chance this current manifestation of the Republican Party has to survive. I’m not endorsing this view of the future. But it’s an worth considering.
So TRC recommends 2012 or Never, by Jonathon Chait, for NY Magazine.
Obama’s election dramatized the degree to which this long-standing political dynamic had been flipped on its head. In the aftermath of George McGovern’s 1972 defeat, neoconservative intellectual Jeane Kirkpatrick disdainfully identified his voters as “intellectuals enamored with righteousness and possibility, college students, for whom perfectionism is an occupational hazard; portions of the upper classes freed from concern with economic self-interest,” and so on, curiously neglecting to include racial minorities. All of them were, in essence, people who heard a term like “real American” and understood that in some way it did not apply to them. Today, cosmopolitan liberals may still feel like an embattled sect—they certainly describe their political fights in those terms—but time has transformed their rump minority into a collective majority. As conservative strategists will tell you, there are now more of “them” than “us.” What’s more, the disparity will continue to grow indefinitely. Obama actually lost the over-45-year-old vote in 2008, gaining his entire victory margin from younger voters—more racially diverse, better educated, less religious, and more socially and economically liberal.
Portents of this future were surely rendered all the more vivid by the startling reality that the man presiding over the new majority just happened to be, himself, young, urban, hip, and black. When jubilant supporters of Obama gathered in Grant Park on Election Night in 2008, Republicans saw a glimpse of their own political mortality. And a galvanizing picture of just what their new rulers would look like.
For some reason I cannot understand, Grover Norquist holds immense power in the modern Republican Party. If Grover tells Republicans to sign their name on a sheet of paper promising to do what Grover Norquist says is best for the country, for the most part candidates and officials sign their name to that paper. They may say otherwise, but they don’t act otherwise.
Norquist holds a lot of sway in the party. He’s not the ultimate arbiter of power and all things conservative, but still, he’s a force. And his opinions on the Republican presidential candidates matters.
So what is Norquist looking for a in a president? Here is at CPAC.
Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.
All we have to do is replace Obama. … We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. … We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don’t need someone to think it up or design it.
Yep. When choosing the quote leader of the free world unquote, we need someone who will do what he is told and will not attempt to be a leader or an autonomous human being with ideas to improve the nation. No. Pick someone with hands. Because the only thing that matters to Grover Norquist is that Obama loses to any Republican who will take Grover Norquist’s orders.
I assume Norquist has Romney in mind, since Romney is not a fully autonomous human anyway, but is a well oiled deliverer of adviser determined talking points. Or so it seems.
This may be a relatively politically astute position, designed to craft future policy to decrease Americans tax burdens, but it is still toxic to the health of the nation. Putting your faith solely in congress, let alone THIS congress, will not be good for anyone.
Anyway. Conservatives, Grover Norquist is poison to your party and our country, and following him too closely will not help your cause. Don’t let him drive you in to the ground.
I care immensely about climate change, and as such, am always interested in hearing why people are willing to disregard it. The science is not up for debate. As far as TRC is concerned, there are only a few reasons anyone would say “Climate change is not real”:
- You are a scientist who works on climate issues and have seen evidence that leads you to conclude the scientific consensus is incorrect,
- You are ignorant of, not interested in, or benefit from ignoring the science and the consensus among climate scientists, which is about as strong as scientific consensus can get, or
- You are not paying attention or are paying attention to the wrong things.
Well, it turns out that the 3rd reason makes a pretty big impact. If I were to create a list of things that SHOULD NOT influence opinions on the science of climate change, I would put how Republicans in the national government vote on issues related to climate and environment right at the top of the list. If there is anything that can not change reality, it would a vote by a politician. But I would be wrong. How the GOP votes is a strong determing factor in how Americans view climate change.
The researchers behind the study created a “Climate Change Threat Index” to gauge how the public views the impact of climate change over a nine-year period, and they conclude that GOP votes on environmental legislation have a particularly outsized effect. “In an extremely partisan environment, Republican votes against environmental bills legitimate public opinion opposed to action on climate change,” the authors write. “When the Republicans increase voting support for environmental bills, it reduces partisanship and increases public support for actions to address climate change.”
Next time you think that congress doesn’t impact Americans, remember, when an anti-environmental Republican mood takes over Washington, we jeopardize the very health of our planet.
By now you’ve heard about Rick Santorum’s very big day yesterday. Rick Santorum won MN, MO, and CO. It is a big night for him, and a big result for the GOP Primary campaign. How it will affect the remainder of the race remains to be seen.
But TRC wonders about if the fluctuations are still in process. I wonder if we should read more in to Rick Santorum’s surge than we did Rick Perry’s. Is it more likely that Santorum will be nominated because his upswing is happening during the contests rather than before them? I’m not sure. The foul taste to the conservative caucus goer that is Mitt Romney obviously still remains, but how important will that be when we walk away from the caucuses and get into the voting booth in non-Midwestern/Southeastern states? It’s still hard to see Rick Santorum being the the nominee picked to compete against Barack Obama. But that doesn’t mean that he won’t be.
Also interesting, in the three states that held contests yesterday, where no delegates were awarded, Rick Santorum totaled 186,973 votes (these vote counts will likely change. These are the totals Wed morning at 8.30). 138, 957 in the non-primary in MO, 26,580 in CO‘s caucus, and 21,463 in MN‘s caucus. I don’t point this out to diminish Santorum’s victories–what his victories mean will be up the Republicans to decide–but only to highlight that we are still dealing with a very small number of voters, awarding a very small number of votes that are potentially of little importance by the time March 6 rolls around. We shall see.
I hope that Rep. Allen West, the outspoken Florida Tea Party darling, does not win reelection to the United States House of Representatives. It’s not so much because he is a Tea Party darling who imbues almost everything about politics that I find, well, gross. I can live with that.
No the reason I hope that he is removed from his position as elected representative in the US Congress is because he said this to our President:
Take your message of equality of achievement, take your message of economic dependency, take your message of enslaving the entrepreneurial will and spirit of the American people somewhere else. You can take it to Europe, you can take it to the bottom of the sea, you can take it to the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of America.
This may not be that bad. I don’t know. I’m sure this kind of thing is a winning political statement. It is probably market-tested to annoy people like me, who value equality and fairness. It is probably work-shopped to drive us fucking insane. Well, it worked. And I don’t care if you meant it to drive me crazy. I hope voters remove you from Congress.
After which, you are more than welcome to stay in the US.
Erik Erickson, from Red State, on the ugliness of the Newt v. Romney Primary Battle for Destruction:
The fight has gotten so bitter and acrimonious with only three states chosen because neither side thinks the other side can win. Gingrich supporters understand that the secularists in the media — not the Democrats, but the media to the extent it can be separated from the Obama Machine — will spend six months creeping out independent suburban voters about Mormons, holy underwear, Kolob, postmortem baptism, and views on black people and then, as the coup de grace, Barack Obama will fire up millions of dollars of ads on Bain Capital raiding pension funds forcing the government to cover the debt so Mitt Romney could make millions whether he won or lost a deal.
Romney supporters understand Newt Gingrich will open his mouth.
Mitt Romney will find it very hard to beat Barack Obama because of what Barack Obama will do to him. Newt Gingrich will find it very hard to beat Barack Obama because of what Newt Gingrich will do to himself. That’s the simple truth.
Sounds okay to me.
Erickson is getting pretty pessimistic about the chances of beating Barack Obama this year, it would seem to me, and it’s not hard to understand why. Both Gingrich and Romney have their own special set of problems, and those problem sets are huge. Not to mention that President Obama is pretty good on the campaign trail, will have a lot of money to spend, and will also, for better or worse, have Super PACs of his own that will attack at will. And despite it all, don’t forget, Obama is still pretty well liked.
For what it’s worth.
Large swaths of the Republican Party are anti-science. I don’t think I can get around that sentiment any longer. And we’ve long since hashed this out at TRC. But today I saw a comment that just takes the cake for how far beyond the pale the GOP seems to land when it comes to fundamental, basic, scientific teaching.
It comes from, not surprisingly, Rick Santorum: “If [Jon Huntsman] wants to believe he is the descendant of a monkey then he has the right to believe that, but I disagree with him on this liberal belief.”
Read that again. Everything about it is wrong. It gets evolution wrong (it does not claim humans descended from monkeys) and it amazingly claims that evolution, the central tenet of modern biology is…A LIBERAL BELIEF. I wish it were just Santorum who pedaled such nonsense, since he is easy to cast off. But it might be a party problem.
More from today’s Telegraph:
It’s not just the candidates. Fifty-two per cent of Republican voters reject the theory of evolution, saying mankind was created in present form within the last 10,000 years; just 31 per cent think man-made climate change is happening. In Congress, Republicans fought stem cell research and the HPV vaccine. Sarah Palin, ignoramus-in-chief, mocked “fruit-fly research” as a “pet project [with] little or nothing to do with the public good,” rejecting at a stroke most advances in genetics since Gregor Mendel.
Part of the culture war strategy included attacking intellectuals: describing them as weak and spineless and effete. Academics, always liberal-inclined, responded by becoming more so: “They’re so overwhelmingly liberal now it’s kind of ridiculous, and so is the scientific community. The Democratic party is drawing the votes of people with advanced degrees, and the Republican party is not,” says Mooney. So, in turn, the Republican party reacted by becoming ever more distrustful of intellectualism, and pushing wave after wave of scientists and academics from the Right to the Left. “The more the Republican party rejects nuance and attacks knowledge, the more the people who have knowledge go the other way. It shows in statistics about liberalism among professors and scientists, and distribution of PhDs across the parties: there’s a giant knowledge and expertise gap.”
And to appeal to this anti-intellectual base, the Republican elite now have to pretend to be stupider than they are.
Today is the Iowa Caucuses, most well known as the kick-off to the Presidential Election 2012. TRC is pretty excited to see what kind of madness ensues this year, and to get things rolling, we offer readers the “Everything you need to know about the candidates for today’s Iowa Caucus” primer that will get you through the rest of January 3.
So what do you need to know?
Our Prediction: It appears that Ron Paul or Rick Santorum might win the Iowa Caucuses. Or maybe Mitt Romney. But probably someone more conservative like Santorum or Paul. Or Romney.
Also, Michele Bachmann is going to be keep “fighting” to “surprise” despite having a snowballs chance, and Newt Gingrich is going to be mean because he has always said he would run a clean campaign until he peaked then started trending downward thus allowing him to finally display is true dickish nature. Which if you recall is really, really dickish.
Thus Mitt Romney is your winner. Even if he doesn’t win, he wins. I mean, look at these guys:
There you have it. Your 2012 Republican field.
How much money is it worth to lose the Presidential Election via winning the Iowa Caucus? The Republican Presidential Primary Campaign Train, as it always does, is currently going through the muckety-muck that is the the FIRST IN THE NATION EXTRAVAGANZA CAUCUS OF HIGHLY IMPORTANT SOCIAL AND EVANGELICAL CONSERVATIVE VOTER TEST OF OVERLY RIGHTWING BONA FIDES that is the Iowa Caucus.
It’s such a waste of time. Even to someone as tuned in an politically minded as TRC, we have to ask: Why does this happen? Winning the Caucus-going Iowa Republicans does not mean you will win the suburban Minnesota Republicans who vote on election day, or even the suburban Iowa Republicans who vote on election day. It means you win the small, handful of very conservative, Christian, caucus-goers who can be convinced to Caucus by barbecue sandwiches and fear of the gays. Take that, Iowa. You have once again been satirically over-simplified.*
To wit: This morning, I read a relatively boring article from Politico (as they usually are) about the potential surge of…Rick Santorum in the Iowa Caucuses. Rick Santorum: the famously anti-gay, very boring, social conservative haymaker from Pennsylvania who has won the ire of every progressive by being so calmly able to condemn entire communities of sinners with dispassionate rhetoric. Politico asks, essentially, is Rick Santorum the past or future of the Republican Party? (Note to Republicans, you really, seriously, sincerely and earnestly better hope that Rick Santorum is NOT the future of the Republican Party).
Anyway. The point of this piece, and so many others regarding Iowa, is that Rick Santorum, as well as Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann, are all fighting to be the Mike Huckabee of 2012. Remember Mike Huckabee? He was the very evangelical conservative Pastor and former Governor who plays in a rock band and ran for President in 2008 and took the nation by surprise by winning Iowa and then won nothing else and didn’t matter that much in the eventual outcome because he couldn’t actually win anything other than the very strange and unrepresentative of the nation contest that is the Iowa Caucuses? Yeah. Rick Santorum is fighting to be that guy in 2012.
Iowa, I think you’re day is done.
*I recognize that candidate Obama received a major boost by winning the Iowa Caucus in 2008. I do not think, however, that the Republican and Democratic caucus goers are equally unrepresentative nationally.
If you follow the politics of US variety, you know something about the payroll tax cut extension vote and the ensuing madness. If you do not, here is the quickest rundown ever:
There is currently a payroll tax cut, and the serious people say it saves the average middle class taxpayer about $1K a year. It expires this year. The Democrats wanted to extend it, and to pay for it, they wanted to increase taxes on Richie Richersons of America.
The Republicans want to extend it, too, kind of, because not doing so is basically increasing taxes on the middle class. Never popular. So they said, ‘sure, if Obama will make a decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline in 60 days, we will extend the payroll tax cut 60 days. And also, no tax increase on the Job Creators (GOP speak for Richie Richersons)’.
The Dems were like: ‘No Way, Jose’, and the GOP were all: ‘Oh yes way you pricks’. Then the Democrats said, ‘OK, then, we won’t increase taxes on the Richersons’. The GOP were all ‘Sweet news Mr. Reid, but the Prez still only gets 60 days on that pipe thing because, you know, jobs and oil are words we love, also we are still only extending it 60 days’.
To which Harry Reid said, ‘You assholes we’ll never accept such terms, but now that you mention it, okay we will do anything you want, as usual.’
So this proposal became a bill in the Senate, and it was passed overwhelmingly. Like 89-10 overwhelming. They probably agreed because, hey, not doing at least this is not good for anyone. So they passed a 60-day extension of the payroll tax cut, and they passed a provision that moves the KXL pipeline to a decision in 60 days (WHAT The FUCK?) and everyone was happy, especially Republicans because as usual, the Dems gave them everything they wanted.
Then the very serious people, also known as cry-baby children, that are the House GOP threw a tantrum. Probably Boehner cried and Cantor said the Senate only cares about Christmas Vacation. Then they rejected the bill. And now there is a fight between not the GOP and Dems as one would assume, but the House Republicans and everyone in the Senate. The Senate, like the grown ups, passed a terrible (TERRIBLE) bill to get a compromise to protect the paychecks of the middle class (or at least it can be spun this way) and the Boehner team in the House responded: “I hate you Dad! You never listen to ME! I’m leaving”
So, tell me, what is going on? Anyone?