Thursday, December 06, 2012
On one side we have the wealthy intellectual wing whose principal interest is maintaining a status quo that overwhelmingly benefits the top ten percent. Additionally, they would like to tweak the social safety net in a manner that would guarantee their aristocratic status for generations to come. These people are not wedded to their political positions and have already began to abandon those positions which threaten their political influence. From their perspective, immigration and tax issues are little more than bargaining chips. If their power is threatened they will jettison unpopular positions with little hesitation. That leaves us to discuss the ugly side of the party. The extremely angry, evangelical, ideologically hard right "working class and working poor" wing of the party. Additionally the libertarian wing can be bunched with this group but an argument can be made that they have always been in revolt. These people are as dedicated to their beliefs as they are wrong. They are anti-intellectual, ideologically rigid, and politically ignorant. They will not hesitate to nominate candidates that are extreme to the point of absurdity such as Christine O'Donnell and Sharon Angle. They not only believe that these clown candidates have a legitimate chance of winning, they joyfully accept losing as a badge of honor because the losing candidate was sufficiently pure. This extremist attitude is deadly to a party.
John Boehner is now wedged between the two wings of the party with no passage to safety for either him or the party. He submitted an initial fiscal cliff proposal that was far too right wing for the Democrats to consider. This is not an unusual or irresponsible act for a party leader heading into expectantly tough negotiations. As could be easily predicted, the opposition rejected it as unreasonable and extreme. However, the reaction in his own party is an indicator of the GOP's structural problems. The conservative backlash was immediate and unrelenting. John Boehner is going to be forced to move to the left and accept some policies that neither he nor his base has any desire to support, yet his base is erupting in anger over his first proposal. A proposal which he already knows has no chance of being accepted. John Boehner is now a man on an island. Caught between an empowered Democratic President, a fiscal crisis which his party is surely to be blamed for, and a base which believes that compromise is heresy.
What does this all mean? In my opinion it means that the GOP is in very serious trouble. Their base is blind to changing demographic issues and determined to oust any GOP congress member that strikes a deal with the President. The final budget deal will almost certainly infuriate the GOP base to the point of revolt. Alternatively, failure to strike a deal will set the nation on course for a recession and doom the party to a broader revolt among democrats, moderate republicans, and independents. This could spell disaster for the party in the 2012 mid term elections. My best guess is that John Boehner cuts a deal with the President and the base goes rabid, calls for his head on a platter, and supports extremist primary opponents against the members who voted for the deal. Ultimately, we already know how that move ends. In some instances these extremist lose seats in districts that were almost guaranteed to go Republican and in others they win. We are then left with fewer GOP Congressman, and the ones who get elected are extreme beyond reasonable compromise. The party has been getting smaller and more extreme which has produced this dynamic..which will cause it to get smaller and more extreme...which will cause it to get smaller and..wait, are we noticing a pattern?
Friday, February 11, 2011
2 - The GOP enacted massive tax cuts during the Bush Administration on borrowed money which ballooned the deficit. Upon retaking the House of Representatives, their first priority was to renew the massive tax cuts without paying for them. This means that they have learned their lesson about being fiscally irresponsible and running up the deficit.
3 - Between 2001 and 2006 (when the GOP controlled Congress, the White house, and the Supreme Court) the deficit ballooned as a result of two unfunded wars and an unfunded Medicare prescription program, which means that the 2006-2008 Democratic Congress is to blame for the deficit created during the Bush Administration.
4 - The United States was losing roughly 700,000 jobs per month when Barak Obama took the oath of office and this was halted within the first year of his Administration, which means that his policies caused the unemployment problem.
5 - Ronald Reagan and both Bush's ballooned the deficit over 300% and Bill Clinton left office with a budget surplus, which means that Democrats are irresponsible spenders and Republicans are fiscally responsible.
5 - The best way to help the poor, the working poor, and the working class, is to destroy the unions and give more money to the wealthy.
6 - It was critical that we renew the Bush tax cuts which went overwhelmingly to the top 10% and added 750 billion dollars to the national debt, which means that the responsible thing to do is cut programs for the poor and working class because the national debt is out of control.
7 - The housing crisis was caused by poor people who wanted to own houses, not wealthy Wall Street tycoons.
8 - Barak Obama was the first person of color to be elected to the White House and there have only been 3 Black senators since reconstruction, which means that The President's race is his greatest political advantage.
9 - The world is experiencing weather extremes including floods and storms of near biblical proportions, which proves that climate change is a hoax.
10 - The Wall Street bankers nearly destroyed the worldwide economy due to deregulation and nothing they did was illegal, which means that we need to reduce regulations in order to get the economy on track.
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
The ghost of the southern confederacy has raised its ugly head in a variety of ways as of late. Texas Governor Rick Perry spoke of secession, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell made a point of celebrating confederate history month while ignoring slavery, and most tellingly, Oklahoma lawmakers are considering raising a state militia to protect themselves from the policies of the Federal Government.