Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Republicans' real goal

I believe that this blog from Winning Progressive pretty much captures the real spirit of the Republican party (i.e. the PTR or Party for The Rich).


  1. Oh please. WP is one of the most hyper-partisan sites I have ever read. Their stuff is so ridiculous that they had to shut down comments to their articles because they couldn't defend the ridiculous ultra-partisan babble that they put up. WP is just as bad as those bobble-heads on the evening cable news talkshows with all the hyperbole they throw around. If you don't like the fiscal and monetary policies over the last 2 years and think they haven't fixed our economy, then you're out to destroy the government? That's ridiculous. And people who write at WP feel like this is such a war and "us versus them" that it shows that not only is Washington screwed up but also the blogosphere.

    WP calls trying to fix Social Security and Medicare "destroying it". Yet both are not sustainable in their current form, so the status quo is not an option. And unfortunately, the President's 2012 budget that he proposed in February did little to address these programs' long term viability. The talk about how prior administrations "drove up deficits" - yet not all deficits are created equally. And running a deficit 5 or 10 years ago that was only 2-3% of GDP is much different than deficits today that are around 9% of GDP. Spending as a percentage of GDP has never hit 25% during my lifetime until now. We are spending more than ever at a time we can least afford to do so.

    As you correctly pointed out in a previous blog, we really have no idea what is being proposed by either side because it's being done behind closed doors and we haven't seen anything on paper. So it's really hard to tell who is and who is not being reasonable.

    As Michael McConnell wrote recently, the absence of any written budgetary documents makes it impossible to tell which side is being "serious" and which side is being intransigent. Instead of specific proposals, scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and open to examination by press and public, we get vague generalities about "trillions" of dollars in supposed savings based on who-knows-what changes in policy.

  2. No matter how much you may not like WP, the posting I refer to seems manifestly correct. In fact, I thought that it was pretty much non-controversial given the statements that Republicans themselves have made, ranging from Reagan's "government is the problem" to Norquist's "I simply want to reduce it [government] to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub". "Starving the beast" is also a self-proclaimed Republican strategy for making government insolvent through unrestricted spending and tax cuts. Can you please give us the names of several Republicans (not from New England) who have repudiated these ideas?

    I'm not sure what you mean by "hyperpartisan." As you know, I consider the public political utterances of Republicans to be beneath contempt. I have argued that position on too many occasions -- that's why I often chide myself by asking "What part of beneath contempt don't I understand."

    No one has forced most Republicans to deny that there is climate change, yet they continue to do so. (They don't just deny that it is man-made.) No one has forced them to fight against evolution and assert that "this is a Christian Nation" and demand days of prayer blah blah blah. No one has forced them to assert that tax cuts pay for themselves. I think that all in all, hyperpartisanism is a fair and balanced position to take when dealing with the PTR.

    To Anonymous: I appreciate your taking the time to argue statements I make -- keeps me honest, after all -- but calling WP hyperpartisan isn't an argument. I try to back up my opinions pretty often with careful argument and links to various studies, books and articles etc. Nevertheless, I have been unable to report much of worth in what Republicans and "conservatives" have to say, and so I occasionally refer to them as beneath contempt. (I only comment on what they say -- who know what they really think.) You can try to convince me otherwise, but calling WP names won't do the trick. If you need something more congenial, try Fox News or some other blog. I rather hope, though, that you'll continue arguing the facts here as you see them.

  3. Saying that Republicans want to "destroy" government is an exaggeration. Same for saying that they want the economy to fail. Using terms like that isn't helpful to an honest discussion on the issues.

  4. And that is what I meant by "hyperpartisan" - using terms like "destroy" and "fail".

  5. Privatizing Medicare and Social Security WILL destroy these programs. The nature of these programs is that they are government programs. They are some of the fairest, most efficient and popular social programs ever devised by anyone anywhere, ever. The Republican plans for them will make them unrecognizable, hence destroy them (I gave a detailed analysis -- with numbers -- of the tender mercies Ryan has in mind for Medicare). The same way transplanting the brain of an ape into a human, even if successful, would destroy that individual.

    There is no doubt that the Republicans want Obama to fail as a president. Their leaders have said so and their actions clearly say so.

    When words like "destroy" and "fail" are used correctly and accurately, they are not hyperpartisan. The truth certainly has an anti-Republican bias, but that's not the fault of the truth.

    I have quoted facts and figures from highly respected sources to show that Republican beliefs and policies are simply incorrect and either ineffective or harmful. Yet the PTR persists in the Big Lie or, at least, in enabling the Big Lie.

    The list of Republican-enabled idiocies is so grotesque that I would be embarrassed if I had to defend them. Would you willingly associate with someone who didn't think worldwide climate change is happening? (Where would one think the glaciers are going?) What about asserting that the Founding Fathers made this a "Christian Nation"? Can you have meaningful talks with folks who deny evolution and think the world is 5000 years old? What about the economic statistics of Clinton's tax increases vs. Bush's cuts? What about the sinfulness of homosexuality, or that it is a "choice"?

    You simply can't be a rational person and still associate with people who believe this claptrap. I know all Republicans don't believe it either, but they won't disassociate themselves or their party from it. That's because they think it's a WINNING strategy for them. And that's a basic reason I can't respect them (there are others).