How to tell the Republican Party is not serious about fixing America’s problems


If Republicans were serious about looking for a candidate for president who could fix some of America’s tougher problems, they’d have an official delegation go see Robert Gates.

Actually, there is a tour underway that highlights the great things about America, but it isn’t Palin’s. It’s the farewell tour of Robert Gates, defense secretary to presidents George W. Bush and Obama, whose work over the past 41 /2 years has dramatically improved the state of the U.S. military. While Palin played cat-and-mouse with the press corps on Interstate 95, Gates set off on a tour of Asia and Europe, where he is receiving the gratitude of soldiers and the acclaim of allies.

Gates, who remained on the job at Obama’s request, took on sacred weapons programs at the Pentagon, fired ineffective generals, won the surge in Iraq, revived a crumbling war effort in Afghanistan and got Osama bin Laden.

During that same time, Palin quit midway through her term as Alaska governor, then went on to a life of $100,000 speaking fees, reality TV shows and incendiary political speech.

There is no such delegation from the Republican Party on the way to Gates’s house, and there probably will not be.   We are afflicted with Palin from the Republicans, even while Robert Gates affects us.  Why can’t they figure that out?

23 Responses to How to tell the Republican Party is not serious about fixing America’s problems

  1. James Kessler says:

    Pangolin writes:
    As I recall the official explanation for why the Soviet Union fell apart was that Ronald Reagan “forced” them into a spending war on military arms and the drag on their economy crushed it.

    Sound familiar.

    Well when they couldn’t hate the Soviet Union anymore they internalized their hatred and turned it against the United States. It’s the problem when you’re a group of right wing authortarianists, you are your own worst enemy.

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  2. Pangolin says:

    You know how far America has degraded itself? It’s decayed so far that we are lauding prosecution of that idiot war in Afghanistan as an achievement. I’m sure Gorbachev did the same thing just before the Soviet Union fell apart and turned to kiddy porn as a source of hard currency.

    As I recall the official explanation for why the Soviet Union fell apart was that Ronald Reagan “forced” them into a spending war on military arms and the drag on their economy crushed it.

    Sound familiar.

    p.s._ I’ll take “Republican sociopathic liars” for $100 Bob. See their response to Climate Change.

    Like

  3. James Kessler says:

    Oh here’s another example of Republican “prowess” at supporting businesses:

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/06/10/239780/wisconsin-craft-beer/
    Tucked into Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) much-discussed budget was a little-noticed provision to overhaul the state’s regulation of the beer industry. In a state long associated with beer, the provision will make it much more difficult for the Wisconsin’s burgeoning craft breweries to operate and expand their business by barring them from selling directly to restaurants and liquor stores, and preventing them from selling their own product onsite.

    The new provision treats craft brewers — the 60 of whom make up just 5 percent of the beer market in Wisconsin — like corporate mega-brewers, forcing them to use a wholesale distributor to market their product. Under the provision, it would be illegal, for instance, for a small brewer located near a restaurant to walk next door to deliver a case of beer. They’ll have to hire a middle man to do it instead.

    But more noteworthy than the provision itself is how it was enacted. The provision was quietly slipped in the massive budget legislation without any consultation from independent craft brewers, who are justifiably outraged by it. One group that clearly did have input, however, is one of the world’s largest beer makers — MillerCoors:

    Chicago-based MillerCoors, which operates a brewery and eastern division headquarters in Milwaukee, supports the proposal because it shares concerns with wholesale distributors about the possibility of Anheuser-Busch buying wholesalers throughout the country, said company spokesman James Wright.

    Joining MillerCoors in support of the provision are industry associations that have an interest in preserving the current business of beer distributors, including the industry’s lobby, the Wisconsin Beer Distribution Association. But craft brewers see the provision as “a power grab” by MillerCoors that is targeted at them. OpenMarket.org reports:

    Craft brewers say that MillerCoors is pulling a fast-one on the states legislature by selling this as a bill that would protect small beer from the brewing behemoth [Anheuser-Busch] InBev’s plan to monopolize the Wisconsin wholesale market. Craft brewers say that this is clearly not InBev’s intent, as they have passed up opportunities to purchase wholesalers in the state no less than 16 times since 2008. They say the real competition that MillerCoors is trying to protect itself against is the growing craft beer market. The restrictions the measure places on any wholesaler wishing to start-up in Wisconsin seem to support the craft brewers’ claims.

    Note: The lesson of the day, folks? Republicans, like Governor Walker, have absolutely no problem with the government meddling in the market. As long as its on behalf of very large corporations that bought..er..donated just over $20,000 to the Governor’s campaign. Even if it is a foreign owned megacorp wanting to screw over local small business.

    This rather reminds me of when back in the early days of the Bush administration the Republicans were trying to get rid of the estate tax claiming that it hurts “family farms and small businesses” so then Senate majority leader Daschele offered to exempt all estates smaller then $100 million and the Republicans refused.

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  4. James Kessler says:

    Yeah I guess it is a bit strong. I retract the “sociopathic liar” part and apologize for it.

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  5. Ed Darrell says:

    You can continue to drink that kool-aid all you want, Morgan, but you’re still nothing but a sociopathic liar.

    That’s a little strong, don’t you think? Deluded, sure — that’s what “the Kool-Aid” does. But more than that?

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  6. James Kessler says:

    Shall we go through Texas’ shenanigans under Governor Rick “My middle name is Treason” Perry and the Republicans, Morgan? Just as a comparison. Lets start with that childhood poverty in Texas has hit 25%. And what does Governor Treason do? He guts childcare services.

    But I have a hypothetical for you. Lets say you lived in a small town next to a mountain that is just full of coal that a mining company wants to get. And next to that mountain is a small river that provides your town with its water. Now the mining company wants to get that coal as fast and as cheaply as possible so it wants to blast the top off the mountain and shove the debris down into that river valley. Which means that debris would be fouling up your town’s water.

    Which do you support, Morgan? The mining company wishes or the wish of your town to keep its water clean and running?

    Because the Republicans say that the company should be allowed to do what it pleases. Even if it does massive damage to your town.

    The point, Morgan, is this: One of the jobs of government is to be a brake on the excesses of corporations. Why? Because what might be the best interest of the corporation is not necessarily the best interest of the people or of the country.

    Whereas your party has fallen under this delusion that the United States is a country solely of the rich/corporations, solely by the rich/corporations and solely for the rich/corporations.

    Oh that hypothetical? It’s not so hypothetical. There are mining companies that want to do exactly that to various towns around the country and a whole lot of Republicans who think those companies should be allowed to do that.

    You want to claim that awesomeness comes from having Republicans run the country. The years 2001-2008 prove that claim is idiotic. Your party is the party that fucked over the country. It’s time your party either acts responsibly and help or it needs to sit down and shut up.

    Because under no circumstances is your party doing a damn thing to help fix the problems this country does have right now.

    You can continue to drink that kool-aid all you want, Morgan, but you’re still nothing but a sociopathic liar.

    Like

  7. Ed Darrell says:

    Great to see you back, Bob.

    Willie Brown! He did his best to keep California great in the face of overwhelming Republicans. What a great guy. Where is Willie Brown today?

    Like

  8. onkelbob says:

    I’m over here in California, James…which has been under the stewardship of those marvelous democrats for years now. Just waiting for the awesomeness.

    Morgan, if you want people to believe you, it is recommended that you base your assertions in reality. As a former resident of California, I can name the governors who served as the “steward” of the state during my residency: Deukmejian(R), Wilson(R), Davis(D), Schwarzenegger(R). So for the past 30 years, democrats held the governor’s seat for about 6 years. Hardly a reign of terror.

    As for the legislature, even in the hay day of Willie Brown (“That’s God,” said Saint Peter, “he just likes to pretend he’s Willy Brown”) The rules and procedures of the assembly and Senate insured Republicans were able to impose their demands. Heck, Republicans won’t even let the voters decide if they want to amend the restrictions the provisions in the legislative code that so seriously hamper the state. The bad news, the new redistricting might just trim off that slim margin the Republicans hold. Then you’ll see some awesomeness when the Democrats hold 2/3 in both Assembly and Senate.

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  9. Jim says:

    Hi there, Nick!

    You’re precisely correct that the economy DID improve under both Presidents Clinton and Obama, compared with their Republican predecessors. And both Clinton and Obama barely nudged the policy norms past centrist. Can you imagine if they had actually governed as liberals?

    The last President with a truly liberal domestic policy was Lyndon Johnson. Although, by current Republican standards, one could very capably argue that Richard Nixon was more liberal than both Clnton and Obama. And President Eisenhower? Oh my. In today’s conservative bizzaro-world, that man is a Leninist. (Hey Tailgunner Joe, you were right! Ike was a commie!)

    Unfortunately for America, and especially for our poor and disenfranchised, liberalism as we knew it is probably dead. The conservative movement controls the media spin…aside from three hours a night, five nights a week on MSNBC. I give them credit. They took the crackpot ideas of anarchists and objectivists and fashioned them into a new Preamble for the late 20th and new 21st centuries.

    “A more perfect union?” Hogwash! Me, me, me, me and mine.
    “Promote the general welfare?” The hell you so say. Sink or swim.
    “We the people?” Up yours! We’re rugged individuals.

    Atlas shrugged. Jesus wept.

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  10. James Kessler says:

    Just to provide the source for the stats I said:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/steven-pearlstein-a-tale-of-two-mitts/2011/06/07/AGnPPRLH_story_1.html

    If your party was so good for the economy and businesses, Morgan, the economy wouldn’t have crashed and the banks wouldn’t have needed bailouts, started by Bush, and the auto industry wouldn’t have nearly disintegrated in this country.

    Oh that’s right…that reminds me…Republicans thought it would be a good idea for several dozen million people to lose their jobs as they thought the Big Three should have gone bankrupt.

    Yeah..so much for Republicans being oh so good for jobs.

    It’s been the better part of a year since the Republicans resumed power in the House…and yet they have yet to do a single damn thing to help the economy or create jobs. They’ve been too busy trying to stick government’s nose up women’s vagina’s, trying to ban gay marriage, trying to destroy medicare and social security and other nonsense bullshit.

    Same old republican incompetence.

    Like

  11. James Kessler says:

    Morgan writes:
    Well, here are some specifics: Left-wing policies lead to decreased business activity, decreased employment, higher prices for everything”

    Oh really? And yet the economy was far better under Clinton than it was Bush. And its better under Obama than Bush. Your precious conservatives for 8 years saw a period of absolutely no job growth, Morgan. And unemployment was far higher under Bush. More jobs were lost under Bush then were created.

    US Companies again saw record profits under Obama than Bush. The DOW is better under Obama than Bush.

    You are spouting bullsh–, Morgan.

    ALL your party does is destroy the middle class and kiss the asses of the rich.

    Since Obama’s inauguration the Dow Jones is up an average of 47%, private sector profits are back at record levels and business investment in new equipment and software is growing at about 12%.

    And you want to claim that liberals are bad for business? Yeah you are out of your g– d— little mind, Morgan. Time for you to quit drinking the kool-aid.

    No, it’s Republicans that are bad for business. The proof, Morgan? The economy crashed while your party was in the white house. The economy was moribund and doing a slow slide into that crash the entire time Bush was President.

    Your party nearly killed the economy. And we’re suppose to think your party is better for it? Yeah…you’re nuts.

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  12. James Kessler says:

    Morgan writes:
    Well, here are some specifics: Left-wing policies lead to decreased business activity, decreased employment, higher prices for everything”

    Oh really? And yet the economy was far better under Clinton then it was Bush. And its better under Obama then Bush. Your precious conservatives for 8 years saw a period of absolutely no job growth, Morgan. And unemployment was far higher under Bush. More jobs were lost under Bush then were created.

    US Companies again saw record profits under Obama then Bush. The DOW is better under Obama then Bush.

    You are spouting bullshit, Morgan.

    ALl your party does is destroy the middle class and kiss the asses of the rich.

    Like

  13. Jim says:

    Is there an Olympic medal event for “shuck and jive”? Because you’d win the gold, Morgan. I have yet to observe you answer a question with anything but a question…or an argument with anything but “so’s your mother” and “boy Ed is dumb”.

    I do give you “props”, as the kids say, for showing up and returning. That’s more than most of the hit & run conservatives have the guts to do. So good on you for that.

    But this little game of “Ed is wrong because I say so” is rather churlish to say the least. Your original post was soundly refuted. Take it like a man or show Ed where he is wrong. You’ve done neither.

    You say: “Well, here are some specifics: Left-wing policies lead to decreased business activity, decreased employment, higher prices for everything”

    That’s specific? It sounds like a very generat statement offered without a single source of information to back it up.

    So far, all you have ever brought to the table in any debate is:

    1. Cut or end taxes for the wealthiest Americans.
    2. Cut or end taxes for large corporations.
    3. Wealth will always trickle down to you little people. Just be patient.
    4. Government is worthless, except for defense.
    5. Corporations and businesses can be trusted to police themselves. They have the best interests of ordinary people at heart.

    I’m still willing to be converted back to being a Reagan Republican, as I was during my teen and college years. But you’ll have to offer something more substantive than your say-so.

    And I’ll ‘fess up. I do agree with Ed. A lot. But not always. Lordy, we’ve known each other since the mid-90’s at least. There’ve been some disagreements on public policy, on the merit of various politicians, even on theology I’d wager…though I can’t remember everything. But yeah…we usually agree. I’m quite pleased to say that. He’s an intelligent, informed person. And the best part is, when he makes a case…he actually provides statistical backing, historical support, scientific staddle and a variety expert opinion.

    I’m sorry you refuse to see that. More, I’m sorry you refuse to do that yourself. You might actually win an argument.

    Jim

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  14. Morgan, as much as you want to pretend otherwise you know Ed is right. For 30 years your party has constantly chased the lowest common denominator. It scares the people into voting for it by claiming that America is in decline but it does nothing to fix that supposed problem when its in power. It nominates and gets elected nutjobs, idealogues, religious whackos and people who shouldn’t even be county dogcatcher. And the true Republicans? The ones who are actual leaders…your party is busy chasing them out.

    I’m over here in California, James…which has been under the stewardship of those marvelous democrats for years now. Just waiting for the awesomeness.

    Whatever complaints are that this “Ed = right” guy has against Gov. Perry, some of Perry’s dazzling incompetence might go over here rather nicely. It would mean more people working, and maybe, ultimately, fewer people leaving.

    By the way, who are these “actual leaders” of whom you speak? Lowest common denominator? What are those? Religious whackos? What exactly have they been doing that actually affects people? Something like an antisemitic circumcision ban like they’re trying to get going in San Francisco? File that one under un- religious whackos.

    See, poison prose is easy to jot down. A little thirty-thousand foot, flippant, casual careless rhetoric…that’s easy too…along with name calling. Specifics are hard. Well, here are some specifics: Left-wing policies lead to decreased business activity, decreased employment, higher prices for everything, people leaving the region if they’re able to, and ultimately — thank God — a lower representation in Congress in these bluer states with onerous business-hostile laws. Because, surprise of surprises, people don’t like living that way. Even our lefties don’t like living that way! They get everything working the way they say they want, and then they leave.

    So tell me again how nicely this makes everything work, and how right Ed is.

    Like

  15. James Kessler says:

    Well, Jim, you know what a South Carolina politician said on the eve of secession:

    Too small for a Republic, too big for an insane asylum.

    Morgan, as much as you want to pretend otherwise you know Ed is right. For 30 years your party has constantly chased the lowest common denominator. It scares the people into voting for it by claiming that America is in decline but it does nothing to fix that supposed problem when its in power. It nominates and gets elected nutjobs, idealogues, religious whackos and people who shouldn’t even be county dogcatcher. And the true Republicans? The ones who are actual leaders…your party is busy chasing them out.

    There is no way the Republicans of even Reagan’s tenure of President would try to get away with “fixing the defecit” without raising taxes on the rich. Reagan raised taxes 12 times as a result of the defecit he created. 15 years ago Palin would have been laughed off the stage and Bachmann would have gotten no where near it.

    You can’t honestly even claim that Palin measures up to George H Bush much less Reagan or any other Republican president pre-W.

    Now? Now the “darlings” of the Republican party are a half term 3rd rate former governor whose main qualifications seems to be that her breasts are big enough and that she’s stupid enough to make Republican men get a hardon, a racist rich white jackass with a tv show, a Mormom so busy running from his own record, a failure of a midwest governor, an even bigger failure of a midwest congresswoman, a guy who’s had three affairs one of which he was having while persecuting a then Democrat president for having an affair and oh yes..Herman Cain…a guy who is crazy enough to think that going back to the gold standard is a brilliant idea.

    And lets not forget Governor Rick “I never met a piece of treason I didn’t like” Perry.

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  16. Jim says:

    Hi Ed!

    The question you’re really asking is, “Where are all the real Republicans?”

    What passes for a Republican today (and pretty much for the last 20 years) is more of a Libertarian or an Anarchist, with no small number of Christo-fascists thrown in.

    Bob Gates does have serious ideas. I have a sneaking suspicion that former Governor Huntsman does, too. And I am delighted he’s running. He won’t get past South Carolina, however. Republican caucus and primary voters tend to prefer nuts and extremists. Even Newt Gingrich has been kicked to the curb. Ostensibly, this is because of his extravagent spending habits. Perhaps that’s the real reason. I suspect it has more to do with the former Speaker’s rare moment of accuracy and candor in referring to the Ryan plan as “social engineering from the right”. It’s one of the few intelligent things the man has ever said. But intellect, erudition and substance are decidedly unwelcome in today’s GOP.

    Michelle Bachmann should do very well.

    As for Romney and Pawlenty, both are trying to outdo one another in appealing to the tea party extremists. If there was some heft there to begin with — and I am not sure there was — it will be burned off as the carnival continues.

    I remember the days when I split my ticket. I remember a time when I could actually get excited that there were people like Howard Baker, Jack Javits and Nancy Kassebaum hard at work alongside people named Udall, Kennedy and Simon. I also remember a time when I could open a newspaper or magazine and read informed, intelligent conservative opinion from the likes of Bill Buckley or William Safire. I might not agree, but they gave our side a run for its money and — more importantly — they forced people to think. You know, to actually use some gray matter.

    No more. The prophet said, “My people perish for lack of knowledge”. How true. How very American. At least these days.

    Dumb is “in”, Ed. Get with the program.

    Like

  17. Ed Darrell says:

    There’s a big difference between keeping the Eagle Scout rank in its proper perspective and denigrating it . . .

    The Eagle Scout perspective: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly , Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.

    Either one works toward it, or one does not.

    “Not quitting” is not a formal part of that perspective, but “Quitting” cuts against Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Thrifty and Brave.

    An Eagle perspective is a golden standard, not gilded. Palin doesn’t measure up. Gates works to measure up, and has done so as head of the CIA, transforming president of Texas A&M, and Secretary of Defense.

    There are other Republicans who come close to an Eagle perspective — few of them running, and those who are running suffering from the cynical denigration of such standards and living a life up to those standards as you show here, Morgan.

    It’s not easy being good and noble. We don’t celebrate enough those people who are, though in doing so we’d probably bring to light any number of people who should be running our nation’s great institutions. Republicans, sadly, appear not to celebrate them at all.

    Throughout history great political parties searched for people who embodied great characteristics other than self-promotion to push them into key political positions, not always successfully or wisely (George McClellan, Richard Nixon), but often with some success and great service to the nation (Washington, Grant, Eisenhower, George C. Marshall). My question is a simple one: With great people like Bob Gates, and with so many Republicans unhappy with their presidential field, why don’t they chase down some noble Americans, instead of governors who quit and chase celebrity, or governors who can’t count and run their states into a fiscal ditch? How is it, when Rep. Weiner is so roundly despised, that Newt Gingrich can collect millions of dollars to run?

    A rational, unbiased observer would be justified in concluding that the goal of the Republican Party, collectively, is not the well-being and advancement of our nation. How can we tell that? We know because there is no delegation chasing Bob Gates around to urge him to run.

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  18. Ed Darrell says:

    Your denigration of Bob Gates is off the mark. The question remains, why don’t the Republicans pursue a man of accomplishment and honor, instead of Sarah Palin?

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  19. Now now, nobody’s denigrating anything. You need to learn to appreciate these fine distinctions. There’s a big difference between keeping the Eagle Scout rank in its proper perspective and denigrating it, just like there’s a difference between Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams.

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  20. Ed Darrell says:

    I think anyone who has met Gates or heard him speak appreciates the effect that his pledge to live a good life at the receiving of his Eagle badge had on his life. Don’t denigrate an honor earned over more than 50 years with day in, day out action.

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  21. That’s okay Ed, I know how to read.

    During that same time, Palin quit midway through her term as Alaska governor, then went on to a life of $100,000 speaking fees, reality TV shows and incendiary political speech.

    A little clue here: Anytime a liberal uses the “I never said blow up the car, I just said use a lighter to check the gas tank” — it means they concede defeat.

    Another little hint about the Eagle Scout rank: It’s a lot like earning a new belt in a Martial Art. If you think it makes someone a higher level of human, you’ve missed the whole point. And if you’ve earned one, and think it makes you a higher level than those who haven’t earned it, you’ve demonstrated yourself to be unworthy of it.

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  22. Ed Darrell says:

    No one said they were upset that Palin quit and got out of the way.

    The issue here is that Bob Gates is an accomplished, quite honorable man who has worked miracles in defense and, consequently, foreign policy. Gates is a man whose judgment is sterling, and reputation very much unstained from the moment he got his Eagle Scout rank.

    Gates didn’t quit, but stayed on.

    It’s a good thing Palin quit, to make the contrast so much stronger. The question I’m asking is, why aren’t Republicans out recruiting strong candidates to contest with Romney and Huntsman down the stretch?

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  23. Anytime someone tells me they’re upset with Palin for “quitting,” ESPECIALLY when they mention these “speaking fees,” what I hear is “I’m angry with Palin because she’s more clever than I am.”

    Palinophobes like money. Just as much as she does. I’ve not yet met an exception and I don’t think I ever will.

    Like

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