It's Bush's fault!!!!!
We Need a Second Party
And some thoughts that are not mine but worth sharing:WATCHING the Republican Party struggling to agree on a presidential candidate, one wonders whether the G.O.P. shouldn’t just sit this election out You know how in Scrabble sometimes you look at your seven letters and you’ve got only vowels that spell nothing? What do you do? You go back to the pile. You throw your letters back and hope to pick up better ones to work with. That’s what Republican primary voters seem to be doing. They just keep going back to the pile but still coming up with only vowels that spell nothing.
There’s a reason for that: Their pile is out of date. The party has let itself become the captive of conflicting ideological bases: anti-abortion advocates, anti-immigration activists, social conservatives worried about the sanctity of marriage, libertarians who want to shrink government, and anti-tax advocates who want to drown government in a bathtub.
Sorry, but you can’t address the great challenges America faces today with that incoherent mix of hardened positions. I’ve argued that maybe we need a third party to break open our political system. But that’s a long shot. What we definitely and urgently need is a second party — a coherent Republican opposition that is offering constructive conservative proposals on the key issues and is ready for strategic compromises to advance its interests and those of the country.
Without that, the best of the Democrats — who have been willing to compromise — have no partners and the worst have a free pass for their own magical thinking. Since such a transformed Republican Party is highly unlikely, maybe the best thing would be for it to get crushed in this election and forced into a fundamental rethink — something the Democrats had to go through when they lost three in a row between 1980 and 1988. We need a “Different Kind of Republican” the way Bill Clinton gave us a “Different Kind of Democrat.”
Because when I look at America’s three greatest challenges today, I don’t see the Republican candidates offering realistic answers to any of them.
The first is responding to the challenges and opportunities of an era in which globalization and the information technology revolution have dramatically intensified, creating a hyperconnected world. This is a world in which education, innovation and talent will be rewarded more than ever. This is a world in which there will be no more “developed” and “developing countries,” but only HIEs (high-imagination-enabling countries) and LIEs (low-imagination-enabling countries).
And this is a world that America is hard-wired to thrive in — provided we invest in better infrastructure, postsecondary education for all, more talented immigrants, regulations that incentivize risk-taking and prevent recklessness, and government-financed research to push out the boundaries of science and let our venture capitalists pluck the best flowers. There is no way we can thrive in this era without this kind of public-private partnership. We need strong government, but limited government, which enables our companies and individuals to compete globally. It’s the kind of public-private partnership that Republicans like Dwight Eisenhower and George H.W. Bush embraced.
The second of our great long-term challenges are our huge debt and entitlement obligations. They can’t be fixed without raising and reforming taxes and trimming entitlements and defense. We absolutely cannot just cut entitlements and defense. That would imperil the personal security and national security of every American. We must also reform taxes to raise more revenues.
But when all the Republican candidates last year said they would not accept a deal with Democrats that involved even $1 in tax increases in return for $10 in spending cuts, the G.O.P. cut itself off from reality. It became a radical party, not a conservative one. And for the candidates to wrap themselves in a cartoon version of Ronald Reagan — a real conservative who raised taxes, including the gasoline tax, when he discovered his own cuts had gone too far — is fraudulent.
Our third great challenge is how we power our future — without dangerously polluting and warming the earth — as the global population grows from 7 billion to 9 billion people by 2050, and more and more of them want to drive, eat and live like Americans. Two billion more people who want to live like us? We can’t drill our way out of that challenge, which is why energy efficiency and clean power will be the next great global industry. Real conservatives — like Richard Nixon, the father of the Environmental Protection Agency, and George H.W. Bush, the author of the first cap-and-trade deal to curb acid rain — believe in conserving. The current Republican candidates are so captured by the oil and coal lobbies that they can’t think seriously about this huge opportunity for energy innovation.
Until the G.O.P. stops being radical and returns to being conservative, it won’t provide what the country needs most now — competition — competition with Democrats on the issues that will determine whether we thrive in the 21st century. We need to hear conservative fiscal policies, energy policies, immigration policies and public-private partnership concepts — not radical ones. Would somebody please restore our second party? The country is starved for a grown-up debate. — just give 2012 a pass.
Here's a hint on why you're not seeing those positions coming from the Republicans, Tom -- they don't work. Actual conservatism is dead because conservatism was given everything it asked for over a period of decades, and the result was disaster. Yes, there's a worldwide wave of austerity, which is kind of conservatism's dried up husk, but expecting the Republicans to produce new and workable conservative policies is like asking trilobites to crawl out of the rocks. Conservatism is no longer a economic policy or even a governing philosophy. It's just a cult.
You don't get new ideas from cults. You get rituals.
Yup, gonna be an interesting election. Been watching the transition of CPAC in recent years that hasn't been mentioned here? They got the Birchers, the Islamophobes, religion as policy, and the White nation, all accepted and brought in from the fringe. It's like the wackiest position is taken as truth while projections state the other side is a cult, religion, or a scam.
Guess I'll be watching tlr from the sidelines after this party implodes. Too much opinion pretending to be fact while the average conversation is an insult on a personal level devoid of topical content. Obama by over 5%, that's my prediction.
Wonder how congress will go, because that's based more on pockets of beliefs.
Let me make this simple for those with comprehension issues. I feel sorry for those supporting the GOP these days. I respect your opinion. I respect your loyalty. I simply disagree and will vote for Obama this cycle because your freaking party has been taken over by the patients from the asylum.
Santorum surges into the lead
Riding a wave of momentum from his trio of victories on Tuesday Rick Santorum has opened up a wide lead in PPP's newest national poll. He's at 38% to 23% for Mitt Romney, 17% for Newt Gingrich, and 13% for Ron Paul.
Part of the reason for Santorum's surge is his own high level of popularity. 64% of voters see him favorably to only 22% with a negative one. But the other, and maybe more important, reason is that Republicans are significantly souring on both Romney and Gingrich. Romney's favorability is barely above water at 44/43, representing a 23 point net decline from our December national poll when he was +24 (55/31). Gingrich has fallen even further. A 44% plurality of GOP voters now hold a negative opinion of him to only 42% with a positive one. That's a 34 point drop from 2 months ago when he was at +32 (60/28).
Santorum is now completely dominating with several key segments of the electorate, especially the most right leaning parts of the party. With those describing themselves as 'very conservative,' he's now winning a majority of voters at 53% to 20% for Gingrich and 15% for Romney. Santorum gets a majority with Tea Party voters as well at 51% to 24% for Gingrich and 12% for Romney. And with Evangelicals he falls just short of a majority with 45% to 21% for Gingrich and 18% for Romney.
It used to be that Gingrich was leading with all these groups and Romney was staying competitive enough with them to hold the overall lead. No more- a consensus conservative candidate finally seems to be emerging and it's Santorum.The best thing Romney might have going for him right now is Gingrich's continued presence in the race. If Gingrich dropped out 58% of his supporters say they would move to Santorum, while 22% would go to Romney and 17% to Paul. Santorum gets to 50% in the Newt free field to 28% for Romney and 15% for Paul.
Of course if there's been one constant theme in this GOP race it's that once you get to the top you tend to start heading back down. Only 48% of voters say they're solidly committed to their current candidate choice, while 52% say they're open to changing their minds. Santorum's support isn't that solid and when Romney uses his superior resources to pulverize him, we could see this lead evaporate just as quickly as it was built up. But for now there's been a stunning reversal in the race and Santorum's your new leader.^^^what a bunch of baseless polarizing crap wink nod nod yourself.Santorum takes on 'environmental terror'
CNN's Adam Aigner-Treworgy
Oklahoma City (CNN) - Speaking in one of the top energy-producing states in the country, Rick Santorum tailored his stump speech here on Thursday to appeal to a raucous crowd of domestic energy-loving Okies.
Reaffirming his support for domestic natural gas production using hydraulic fracturing (or fracking), Santorum called those who oppose the process purveyors of a "reign of environmental terror."
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"We have to have all sorts of government regulations because of the threats of hydrofracking," Santorum said. "It's the new boogey man. It's the new way to try to scare you."
This tactic is used primarily in areas less familiar with the process than Oklahoma and Texas, Santorum said.
"They're preying on the northeast, saying look what's going to happen," he said. "Ooh, all this bad stuff's going to happen, we don't know all these chemicals and all this stuff. What's going to happen? Let me tell you what's going to happen, nothing's going to happen."
Santorum's disdain for environmentalists was palpable and largely shared by the crowd of nearly 1,500 people here at the Meridian Convention Center. Perhaps sensing he was preaching to the choir, Santorum expounded upon his position that manmade global warming is a myth and a plot by the left to take freedoms away from the American people.
"This was a politicization of science," Santorum said, of the science behind global warming. "You hear all the time, the left – 'Oh, the conservatives are the anti-science party.' No we're not. We're the truth party. The absurdity and the politicization and the manipulation of data, why? Because the left is always looking for a way to control you. They're always trying to make you feel guilty so you'll give them power so they can lord it over you."
Connecting this position to foreign policy, Santorum said that by catering to these "radical environmental groups" President Obama has forced the country to increase its reliance on foreign oil, and he's signaled to Middle Eastern foes that we'd need their help in the future.
"We're throwing Israel under the bus because we know we're going to be dependent upon OPEC," Santorum said. "We're gonna say, Oh Iran, we don't want you to get a nuclear weapon, wink, wink, nod, nod, go ahead just give us your oil. Folks, the President of the United States is selling the economic security of this country down the river right now."
Ahh yes Santorum. He seems to be really good at winning caucuses i.e. when nobody shows up.
Kos is on a roll this morning.
Republicans undiscover fire
There's a mythology around politics, one that sees the ballot box and the floor of Congress as a battleground of ideas. In this star-spangled arena, progressives and conservatives square off in the competition to prove the worth of their opposing philosophies and the merit of their plans. Of course it's not all high-minded rhetoric and reasoned discourse, there are selfish motives and personal ambitions, angry outbursts and plain old mistakes, but in the end the best ideas win out in the great experiment that is America! Cue the brass section and wave the flag.
The truth is it was probably never that way. It doesn't take much prompting for people to produce examples of nastiness in campaigns back Jefferson and Adams, or to revisit instances of corruption from decades or centuries gone by. We all know that Mr. Smith is a fictional character.
However, just because it's possible to unearth grizzled examples of ugliness doesn't mean that the current season is not unique. Uniquely dangerous. And what makes it dangerous is the pretense that we're still in that fantasyland were ideas arm wrestle for history's approval. In fact, that time is long past. It's not even that what's now coming from the right consists of 100% emotional, fear-based appeals without a factual basis. In 2012, a campaign of suggestive fear-mongering seems almost quaint.
It's that the Republicans have staked out a position that requires that they lie, 24/7, 365. Not shade the facts their way. Not put their own spin on the situation. Lie. Big, sloppy, and constantly.
The lies go beyond instantly dismissible claims like President Obama being the "food stamp president" (why you have to go back one whole administration to discover that more people joined the food stamp ranks under Bush than Obama, but then the Republicans don't seem to remember Bush in any case). The blatant lies extend through every aspect of the Republican platform, such as it is. The simple reason is that the Republicans have no ideas left, at least no ideas that have not been tested and proven to be failures again, and again, and again.
The economy didn't just crash under a Republican president, it crashed under Republican policies. It crashed with low taxes. It crashed with deregulated markets. It crashed with huge restrictions on union activity. It crashed with massive cuts in environmental regulations. It crashed with lowered trade barriers. It crashed with big fat Pentagon spending.
They got what they wanted. They got CEOs with no limits on their wealth. They got banks with no limits on their "creativity." They got trade agreements that guaranteed manufacturing could be moved to the dirtiest, cheapest, most desperate source available. They got massive cuts in capital gains taxes and equally large boosts in the wealth they could pass along in estates. They got everything they said would make us all wealthy. They got record oil and gas drilling. They got record giveaways of public land. They got everything they said would create jobs. They got the middle class to shoulder more, more, more of the burden so that those beautiful job creators would be free to work their magic.
They can't say the economy crashed because taxes went up, because they didn't. They can't say that the economy crashed because there was a raft of new regulation, because there wasn't. They can't blame it on "union thugs" or Saul Alinsky or the guy who writes Happy Holidays cards at Hallmark. They can't blame it on a president who was elected when the world was already in free fall. Only, of course they do. They say it because they have no choice.
For the same reason that they have to maintain that global warming is the creation of a conspiracy of scientists, and that evolution is a conspiracy of other scientists, and that gay marriage is a threat to "traditional" marriage. They have to lie about the threat of illegal immigrants. Lie about the state of the national debt. Lie about the effects of the President's health care plan. They have to lie, because lies are all they have left.
They certainly can't admit the truth about the economy. They can't admit that they did it. Own it. That their policies directly caused the worst economic failure in American history. Strike that. Make it "the greatest failure in American history since the last time that these same policies were tried." But then, they've been lying about that bit of history for years.
The truth is that the Republicans have nothing to offer. Not even anything that looks like a governing philosophy. Conservatism has moved out of the ranks of political theories and simply become a cult; one that requires that certain phrases be mouthed, that certain hatreds be nourished, and that purity be maintained regardless of cost. That schism with reality is increasingly large and increasingly obvious. They try to paper over that gap by dismissing little things like science, reason, history. Real science fails to support their contentions, so they have to write it off. Reason doesn't work for them, so any question must be met with red-faced indignity — every question a gotcha question. Real history is full of warts, quirks, and unfortunate truths that don't fit their ritualized beliefs. So they have to try to rewrite history, giving us rewrite Reagan who never raised a tax or increased a debt, rewrite FDR who created the issues he actually solved, rewrite Lincoln who championed the Confederate cause, rewrite founding fathers who never owned slaves, never supported government regulation of the economy, never wavered in their ardent love for a form of religiosity that didn't yet exist. Tricorner hats are the new tinfoil.
The real danger isn't that someone might listen to the Republicans—anyone who lies long enough and loud enough can always find an audience, especially when that someone has three quarters of the television media and ninety+ percent of radio. The danger is that we might forget that they're lying. Too often Democrats, including this president, have felt that the best way to handle Republican fantasies is to compromise with them. You can't compromise reality, no no matter how loud the lies.
Bill Clinton signed the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act into law which repealed the Glass-Steagall Act and allowed commercial, retail and investment banks to merge into superbanks. House Democrats were pretty much unopposed to be bill as well.
What about the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, passed by Democrats, which encouraged banks to give loans to deadbeats?
I remember another dumb arse Texan appointing federal judges that he privately met with and after hearing they agreed to HIS policies he appointed them. a LIFETIME commitment, isn't it?
Bush inherited a huge SURPLUS from Clinton's administration and yet left OUR COUNTRY in a huge quagmire of DEBT. Obama inherited a presidency in bad shape. THE WORST EVER. I guess you convieniently leave that part out. Is that because your beloved Rush Limbaugh esposed that on his radio show? The GOP resorts to unadultered lies.
I see we're back to discussing Boosh again.