February 26, 2009

"The Republican Party has been using a grab-bag of strategies to counter Obama's policies over the past month."

Says Eve Fairbanks:
They rail against the stimulus package for its (supposed) pork. They hammer home their points with gimmicky videos and props. They speak in warrior rhetoric and revel in heroic, fighting-man stunts. But if there is one strand running through all these strategies, it is that they evoke a discomfiting feeling of deja vu. We've seen this stuff before: The GOP is currently reliving John McCain's presidential campaign. The return to the strategies of their fallen candidate may be the saddest illustration of the current state of the party....

But, in the end, the most likely reason the GOP's strategy feels like McCain 2.0 might be the simplest, and the saddest: With the party so badly on the mat and nobody boldly new stepping into the ring, there's no other template beyond their last presidential candidate's--even though he lost.
Is it really that bad?

87 comments:

Joseph Hovsep said...

No, its not bad at all... if you're a liberal.

SteveR said...

The first line renders the rest worthless. There's nothing "supposed" about the pork. Its like Helen Thomas' "so called terrorists".

They better get their feces aggregated though.

paul a'barge said...

Yes, it is that bad. In fact, it's putrid.

And the Moderopulicans are not helping either.

Oh well. They said 40 days in the wilderness. What's it been, like 20 or so?

john said...

Is it really that bad?

After watching Jindal's performance, I's say so.

Alex said...

Keep at it GOPers, every day you become even more irrelevant.

Montagne Mointaigne said...

Epic fail.

More posts like this please!

john said...

Paul -

Isn't it 40 years, not days?

I don't think they can learn anything in 40 days, when they haven't during the past 8 years.

Revenant said...

They rail against the stimulus package for its (supposed) pork.

The "(supposed)" lets you know that you needn't bother listening to anything this guy has to say.

Matthias said...

It's pretty damn bad.

The Republicans have some valid points to make, but it takes time to develop a reputation of principle and they have squandered theirs so badly over the last 12 years that it will take time to recover.

In the short term, their best hope is for the Democrats to screw up really bad. It wasn't really that the Democrats got so much better between 2004 and 2008... it was that the Republicans were really that bad.

In the long term, they need to start the long and painful process of regaining their integrity.

Sofa King said...

Nice to know everyone's happy at the prospect of one-party rule. Those always work out well.

JAL said...

John --

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vue6M5m-LDk

Or as someone else blogged: "Whoever kidnapped the real bobby jindal returned him this morning"

But you don't care.

Alex said...

Sofa King - this time one party rule will work because the Democrats are in tune with the American people. They want socialism, and gosh darnit the Democrats will give it to them!

ElcubanitoKC said...

Not that I really care much about either political party, but, if it is too soon to declare this administration a FAIL; isn't to early to declare the GOP irrelevant and destroyed?

Just asking...

ElcubanitoKC said...

Alex, you remind me of a fish, and not precisely the one in the video. You can smell the blood for miles, online...amazing.

Jana said...

What Mathias said. The Republicans aren't going to gain a foothold, like, immediately upon commencement of the Obama administration, especially after their Bush-era screw-ups. I'm not sure what all of these pundits expect from Republicans. At least Obama is making it easier for them to come up with long-term goals for effective opposition by tacking as far left as possible in modern America.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Someone add an "o" to my first comment...thanks...

JAL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madawaskan said...

From enthusiasm to imposture the step is perilous and slippery; the demon of Socrates affords a memorable instance how a wise man may deceive himself, how a good man may deceive others, how the conscience may slumber in a mixed and middle state between self-illusion and voluntary fraud.

-The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire-Edward Gibbon

JAL said...

Why is it when Republicans spend like Democrats (Drug program for Medicare, NCLB, not to mention a couple hurricanes and a some less popular war or two) the Dems are all sweaty about how awful it is ... and yet the Democrat controlled congress (since 2006, isn't that right? Mmmm?), and now a Democrat president, are hitting the citizens with what will be a couple trillion dollars worth of goodies and whining that it's their turn now?

If it was bad then, how does putting our great grand kids into hock for a mouse in San Fransico and some houses in Detroit work?

I'd like to do some finshing work on my property, but I am waiting until I have some cash flow again, not maxing out the credit cards because I've always wanted it -- and besides, *I can*! (Like "I won!" nyah nyah nyah)

How about some thoughtful maturity instead of playground politics?

AJ Lynch said...

Conservatives need to hone their soundbites. That's all it will take.

I.e. Did anyone else see the bumper sticker Instapundit is linking?

"Honk If You Are Paying My Mortgage".

That will resonate with the Amercians who foot the tax bills.

traditionalguy said...

Who can fight the great O-man? The Republicans have no one even in his class. Pied Pipers can only be beaten when the spell breaks. Who was that Governor from Alaska? She seemed immune to the Obama spell. Will the Repubbies let her try for it? They are really confused for now.

Henry said...

What Matthias said.

The Republicans are essentially leaderless, and have been from the time McCain got the nomination. With no strong executive to lead the party -- not even a Bush -- the Republicans in Congress have nothing to offer.

Sadly, this looks like the norm these days.

Think of how completely witless the Democrats behaved when the leaders of the party were Pelosi and Reed. Even WITH a majority. Having a President gives Congressional leaders cover for all manner of incompetence.

Personally I think both parties, at the Congressional level, are an historic exhibit of stupidity and corruption. It's a truly bipartisan low.

AlphaLiberal said...

Well, at least the Republicans have embraced recycling!

Curtiss said...

The current weakness of the Republican Party will be the undoing of the Democrats.

jayne_cobb said...

I'm sorry but the democrats didn't really have any set strategy either.

Oh, they threw around the phrase "culture of corruption" and harped about global warming but truth be told they were relying almost entirely on Bush hatred to deliver them.

Republicans will pretty much do the same thing. They'll rail against fiscal irresponsibility and they'll point out the Democrats' support for gun control but ultimately the Democrats will shoot themselves in the foot and the Republicans will be on the offensive.

hdhouse said...

AJ Lynch said...
Conservatives need to hone their soundbites. That's all it will take."


Ahhh AJ...off again on the magical mystery tour....

If that is all it will take.."soundbites"...hey, like everything else you loosers have tried, it will fail and go to a glorious defeat.

AJ Lynch said...

Most Americans have put the brakes on spending which will cause the economy to decline further.

They won't spend again until things start to look normal. Obama may regret busting the fed budget because it adds to the uncertainty.

He had an opportunity to make a "fiscal statement" and use executive discretion. He chose not to do that.

rhhardin said...

That use of discomfit is now supposed to be considered entirely standard, according to the dictionary.

But it strikes some as a sign of an asshole. That ought to be mentioned in the dictionary.

``Warning: old people will suspect you learned English from TV talk shows.''

Tomorrow's word: fulsome.

Cedarford said...

Matthias - In the short term, their best hope is for the Democrats to screw up really bad. It wasn't really that the Democrats got so much better between 2004 and 2008... it was that the Republicans were really that bad.

Except the Republicans left things so bad that even us moderate-conservatives have to hope the Democrats don't screw up like Bush, the Porkmeisters, Corporatists for the Rich, and deranged Religious Right elements did. It's our jobs, or stock portfolios, our homes now on life support...and many of us are facing the threat that our health care insurance goes away..so even our own life support is in question.

Republicans have to regroup. They can't get anywhere with folks like Jindal so scared of a Base soundly rejected by 80% of the American public that they have to just go on parrotting their "plays well in rural white Alabama" mantras.

More tax cuts for the Rich.
What we really need is more wars for Christian Zionism and a ban on abortions.
More deregulation to really unleash Wall Street and the banks and home construction builders. And more cheap stuff from China!
All the stuff that worked for Saint Reagan 30 years ago, except for his own sins like raising SS taxes and saving auto jobs best lost to sacred Free Trade. Smoot-Hawley! Smoot-Hawley!

AJ Lynch said...

Yeah DTL all it takes is to learn to spin BS and lies like Obama....."no more earmarks.....no more earmarks in the Stimulus package......I will go over the fed budget line by line and eliminate waste....pay as we go.......bla bla blah.

Synova said...

No, it's not that bad.

Ditto what people pointed out about the "supposed" pork.

I'd add "warrior rhetoric... heroic, fighting-man" to that. All are indications that Eve can't really be taken seriously. All she has to do is add in a comment about inauthentic masculinity and we'd be all the way there.

It sort of ranks up there with the statement I saw the other day that Republicans shouldn't insist that government is not the answer.

It sort of boggles the mind.

Steven said...

Alex said...
Sofa King - this time one party rule will work because the Democrats are in tune with the American people. They want socialism, and gosh darnit the Democrats will give it to them!

________________________________-

. . . good and hard.

BJM said...

We shall see if the left's programs and hold on the majority survives when the treasury python begins to swallow the boomer pig in 2010.

Peter V. Bella said...

Hmmmm? I wonder what all of you will say in a year or two when the Dems raise taxes on ALL of us and claim we all have to share the pain? Remember Clinton and the big lie?

john said...

JAL -

I do care. I am looking for someone who can raise the GOP's "level of analysis" beyond McCain (and I do agree with Fairbanks on that point). Jindal doesn't seem up quite up to it, yet. (Kyle gave a great rebuttal, on Constitutional grounds, to the Dems move to make D.C. a de facto state. But he's been in the Senate so long it's hard not to see him as part of the problem.)

Thanks for the youtube link. I don't have audio at the moment but I'll listen later.

Did you see this on the "Related Video" list:

piyush the reciter recites for the today show

I didn't know there was so much leftist animosity toward American's of Indian lineage. I thought they saved up all that racist hatred for African-American plantation escapees.

AlphaLiberal said...

This is rich. A group called "Accuracy in Media" is spreading false and inaccurate claims.

They give hypocrisy a bad name.

Roost on the Moon said...

Nice to know everyone's happy at the prospect of one party rule.

I'm not. I'd love an honest reasonable opposition party, and we are far worse off for not having one.

There is a lot of unseemly gloating about the Republican's increasing irrelevance, and I admit that I've done my share. That said, we'd all be better off if the Republicans could get their act together and try to actually accomplish something.

It isn't practical to make fun of volcano monitoring, for instance. If you hate the government in the abstract, why not work with the party in power to reduce things you both believe are bad?

Instead of bitching about pork, start building a movement to ban earmark spending. It really would reduce corruption and the size of government. There are pointy-headed liberal elite types who agree with you. Why not stop complaining about your hurt feelings ("those liberals think they're so great, but they're not") and work with them on it?


A party that's just about bitching and whining isn't going to cut it. As this blog has become a more partisan political blog, it has come to resemble the current state of the GOP. There are no positive suggestions made, just sniping at trivial things. Big, nuanced 2 page arguments about what dummies "the liberals" are.

They just want to be loved. They're the real racists. Can you believe the New York Times?

The party of whiners, and it is too bad.

Synova said...

What Jana said.

The Republicans aren't going to gain a foothold, like, immediately upon commencement of the Obama administration, especially after their Bush-era screw-ups.

With this, I do have a minor quibble.

Yes, Bush made mistakes. Some were big. Some not so big. But in the end he was thoroughly trashed and vilified, not by his mistakes, but by his political opposition that Obama didn't even RUN against McCain. He ran against Bush. Even though Bush wasn't running.

It wasn't McCain that lost. No matter how unimpressive he was and how bland his policies or how unappealing to conservatives he was... he didn't lose (though he might have anyway)... Bush lost. Because Obama was running against Bush.

That isn't going to work next time.

Paul said...

The Democrats have such a sense of invulnerability now that it's causing them to overreach so dramatically and with such inevitably calamitous results that all the Republicans need to do is just oppose them and be there to point the finger when things go from bad to worse.

With four years to prepare and with a LOYAL campaign staff look for Sarah Palin to be a truly formidable candidate in 2012. She has the character, principals, and charisma that can rally and inspire Republicans and conservatives. Of course she'll have the great advantage of not having to lie and pretend she's something she is not, unlike the red diaper baby who current sits in the White House.

Synova said...

Roost on the Moon... I think you're noticing now because it's not the Democrats doing it anymore.

I've been complaining about the absolute refusal to do anything constructive to help, even if it's something you would otherwise agree with, *thing* for years now.

The last few years, if George Bush had announced he had a cure for cancer and required a Democrat to help him carry it up the steps from a lab in the basement, no one would have done it because being seen to help Bush would have been political death no matter what the cause.

Balfegor said...

We shall see if the left's programs and hold on the majority survives when the treasury python begins to swallow the boomer pig in 2010.

I don't see much reason for optimism. What we're trying right now -- with the Bush/Obama approach to the major banks, and with the giant stimulus bill aimed as much as buying political support for the Democrats as at stimulating the economy -- is exactly the approach undertaken in Japan after the bubble popped. It didn't work there, and it probably won't work here either. But in Japan, the LDP has continued on in power, and I think it will be the same with the Democrats. You buy votes with pork because it works.

The upshot of Japan's approach to the popping of the bubble has been that the national debt has ballooned to cartoonish proportions. We may be concerned about our aging populations and glut of retiring boomers -- Japan's concerns dwarf ours in this regard, given their considerably more aged population, and their lower reproductive rate. Their social security system continues to limp along, even though the younger generation, and most of the older generation, seem to have woken up to the fact that the system is unsustainable in the long run. None of these problems has dislodged the LDP from power. The people I've talked to -- the young ones at least -- have often expressed a somewhat fatalistic resignation. One woman described the future of her country as "grey." Not horrific. But not glittering either.

So long as Obama's policies allow us to tread water, or at least give us a soft landing in our economic decline, I don't think there's going to be any backlash against him or his party. There would have to be something catastrophic to trigger a backlash.

It's twilight in America. (haha)

Synova said...

Or more likely... the cure for cancer would have been opposed on the grounds that it didn't work on left-handed, lesbian, eskimos or worse, didn't include a funding provision for embryonic stem-cell application.

What causes in the last eight years, causes that should be assumed to be in common between Republicans and Democrats, did the Democrats agree to work with Republicans on?

madawaskan said...

The biggest mistake perhaps that McCain made-was to suspend his campaign.

Seems she thinks she can bait the Republican party into doing just that.

m00se said...

The issue is not the Republicans and the Democrats, it's Obama and everyone else.

There are not only no corollaries to Obama on the Right, there are none on the left. Obama is the driver here, and all else are passengers.

His budgetary "magic" is confounding all on the left and right, and he is attempting such a profound redistribution of wealth that even the most dyed in the wool leftists are being left breathless.

The Republicans have nothing to combat this with, and have had nothing with which to mount a media campaign against this for some time now.

What we are seeing is not necessarily one party rule, rather it is one *man* rule. Nothing that is being attempted right now could have been attempted by anyone other than Obama.

Make no mistake, those are not words of admiration. The guy scares the snot out of me. I am pessimistically predicting that he is going to bankrupt the country in order to "achieve" his vision. The question is will he fail before or after the next presidental cycle?

Dunno...

Roost on the Moon said...

I think you're noticing now because it's not the Democrats doing it anymore.

Could be, that's fair. But can you think of something of that Bush would have conceded any ground on? I can only think of one, and the Democrats did work with him on it. The immigration bill.

Also, it's a different situation now. You're right that it was politically hard to work with such an unpopular president. But Obama isn't unpopular.

Balfegor said...

There are no positive suggestions made, just sniping at trivial things.

I don't know about that. I know what I wanted in the stimulus bill. I wanted a massive payroll (FICA) tax cut, on both the employer and employee side. Employee side, to help recapitalise American workers (i.e. prevent marginal cases from going bankrupt, help people pay down mortgage and credit card debt, etc.), and Employer side, to lower the cost of employing incremental workers and forestall increased unemployment. Unemployment benefits should have been extended on an emergency basis (funded by borrowing), but requiring annual reapproval by Congress and some sort of determination of economic emergency by the President or his Secretary of Treasury, Commerce, or Labour or something. And that's it.

Some (though certainly not all) Republican congressmen did actually push for a plan somewhat like this. But it was never a centerpiece of the Republican response to the Democrats -- there was no one plan Republicans agreed on and promoted -- and the Democrats had no interest whatsoever in listening to Republican proposals anyhow. They signalled that clearly when they excluded Republicans from the initial discussions. And Obama dutifully repeated the message in his unsuccessful attempt to woo Republicans to the Democrats' bill.

I mentioned my preference in the comments here once or twice. But from the perspective of any conservative -- what we want matters little at this point. Congress wants to go hog wild, and Obama has no inclination to stop them.

garage mahal said...

Look at the "topics" at CPAC, and there's your answer.

Seven Machos said...

That is such utter bullshit. What, really, would McCain have done differently than Obama? He was the consummate Washington insider, and he went along with the left-liberal Big Government shenanigans constantly.

To say that McCain pushed for smaller government and fiscal conservatism is just a lie. He lost largely to the extent that he did not do that. And to the extent that he did, nobody believed him. Rightly so.

Roost on the Moon said...

Balf -
Good answer, and I agree about payroll taxes, on both sides.

"There was no one plan Republicans agreed on and promoted"

36 of 41 republican senators endorsed the DeMint "American Option" plan.

So they did offer a near-unanimous answer: it was an unserious package of 3 trillion dollars worth of permanent tax cuts. Seems to me they don't care much about the deficit, either.

Sofa King said...

There are no positive suggestions made, just sniping at trivial things.

It's absolutely pointless - worse than pointless, a waste of effort - to make "positive suggestions" if nobody's listening.

That stimulus bill was passed before we could even read the damn thing, for Christ's sake. It's a disgrace.

m00se said...

As a follow up - this is even more fun:

If the economy starts to recover (big if), how will we trace it back to the "stimulus"? The answer is that we won't be able to. That won't stop Obama and the Democrats from claiming that it was the stimulus that caused the rebound.

The major point here is that this is major expansion of government being put forward in broad daylight, which will never be rolled back.

No accountability, no coherent rationale - just the steady march of "progressive" programs which will reinstate the most revered dreams of the Clinton years combined with some new, really over the top programs.

*If* the country doesnt go bankrupt, and *if* the Repulicans can find their wits and a leader, this will make the 1994 Republican takeover look weak by comparison when they come back to power and sluice out all of the these fabulous new deals.

Seven Machos said...

Moose -- Isn't is fair to say right now that the Clinton years were pretty good? And that Clinton was ultimately very responsive to what people wanted?

dick said...

Seven,

I disagree. It was the Republicans in Congress and the Senate who were responsive to the public and Clinton went along for the ride and because he realized that they were right. I wonder if Bambi will see anything like that from all the Taxpayer Tea Parties that are going on all over the country, especially in his supportive areas like Chicago, Austin, San Francisco and New York and Boston. He may himself be popular but his stimulus plan is definitely not popular and the people are starting to make themselves known about how they feel. I wonder if His Oneness is listening to them. I doubt it. His ego is far too big to allow the poor dumb public to matter.

Peter said...

And aren't the two biggest examples of actual things accomplished by the actual Clinton administration the two things he had Republican backing on? That's right, NAFTA and welfare reform.

I never understood why the GOP loathed Clinton. He was a great Republican president (Wall Street orgy, Defense of Marriage, etc.). I blame Hillary.

Seven Machos said...

because he realized that they were right

So how do we disagree again?

The bottom line is that Clinton, even at his worst, was a moderate. His policies did work. They worked even better with freshly elected and uncorrupted Republicans in Congress writing the law.

Obama's economic policy is not going to work. The sheen is going to wear off. It's already wearing off. And Republicans will see huge gains in 2010 in Congress.

I had a birds-eye view to this process in New York City in 1994. I remember coming to work on the Upper West Side in absolute giddiness because no one believe that Republicans were going to make such great gains then. And the press was hugely against us then, too. The even uglier Gumbel called it a "temper tantrum." Remember?

Don't you people worry. Nobody except leftist moonbats watches MSNBC. And Big Media has far, far less pull than it did in 1994.

Synova said...

You're right that it was politically hard to work with such an unpopular president. But Obama isn't unpopular.

Yet.

Bush wasn't unpopular all of the time, either.

I can think of some things that the Democrats *could* have worked on in a bipartisan way or even made their own... but it would have pissed off Cindy Sheehan and KOS. And that's the "non-military" answers we were told were so important in Iraq and Afghanistan. Schools for midwives and women's rights, or say, getting the Agriculture lobby to stop obstructing efforts to promote alternatives to opium production. But the appearance of anything other than opposition to Bush's War would have been political suicide.

BJM said...

You buy votes with pork because it works.

There will be little money for pork or new programs when the boomers retire. Sure, many will continue to work as long as it is financially feasible or their health permits. However, eventually they will decline into deep old age and government dependency.

A few thing to consider:

-Private pensions and retirement medical are dicey or kaput. As a result more middle class and blue collar retirees will depend on the government.

-AARP estimates 73 percent of people aged 50 years and older do not have sufficient income and assets to withstand a long-term illness or disabling condition totaling $150,000 over three years.

-Some 85 percent of boomers participate in 401(k) plans, the highest participation rate of all age groups, says SmartMoney, all devalued, some drastically so.

-Boomers as the largest recipient of government spending will be drawing SSI until 2041. According to the Dept of Labor the average post-retirement lifespan of a SSI recipient was 18 years in 2005.

-Very soon the largest voter block will be the 78 million retired boomers. Whose vote do you think politicians will curry?

The impending SSI disaster is being completely and irresponsibly ignored by both parties and a sound a reason many of us decry expanding government spending.

We're not at the beginning of the end, or even the end of the beginning of an economic decline.

Balfegor said...

Re: Roost:

36 of 41 republican senators endorsed the DeMint "American Option" plan.

True. But if you look at the other amendments proposed -- many of them different from the DeMint amendment -- you see that almost all the Republicans voted for those too. See, e.g. S. Amdt. 197 (fails on a vote to waive the CBA in order to permit the amendment to be considered); S. Amdt. 364(this also fails on a vote to waive CBA -- this one is, in fact, a reduction in the payroll tax on the employee side); S. Amdt. 531; S. Amdt. 538.

So they did offer a near-unanimous answer: it was an unserious package of 3 trillion dollars worth of permanent tax cuts. Seems to me they don't care much about the deficit, either.

They were near-unanimous on every alternative -- these are basically just protest votes, because they know they won't win. Doesn't indicate that they agreed substantively with every one of the Republican amendments. And in fact, as I understand it, they did not.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think the Republicans are doing just fine right now. Sure, they should have put up someone besides Jindal to speak after Obama. Otherwise, they have made more good moves since the 111th Congress than the Democrats have. Just wait 2-4 years, and we shall see who is crowing. The best thing that the Republicans did was to unify over opposing the "stimulus" porkfest.

The Democrats in Congress are greatly overreaching right now, and I think it is going to come back and bite them in the ass the next election cycle. I frankly don't see them holding the House, and may lose most of their majority in the Senate.

Remember, all those new Democratic seats in the House were Republican seats 4 years ago, and almost all voted for GWB over Kerry and Gore.

Sure, they may have flipped because enough voters in those districts saw the Republicans as corrupt and unable to run the government. But the Republicans are amateurs when it comes to corruption when compared to the Democrats in Congress. Likely almost every vote the GOP lost for corruption will be coming back in 2-4 years. And there is no evidence yet that the Democrats can do anything except spend money like drunken politicians on shore leave. Trillions upon trillions, with no restraint. Obama promised no earmarks, except for in the budget that is going through right now and the "stimulus" package. But next year, guaranteed there won't be any (because he will define what we think of as earmarks and pork as something else).

steve said...

I no more trust a liberal to tell me the state of the Republican party than I do a conservative to tell me the state of the Democratic party. They are both whistling in the dark

steve said...

I no more trust a liberal to tell me the state of the Republican party than I do a conservative to tell me the state of the Democratic party. They are both whistling in the dark

Roost on the Moon said...

Doesn't indicate that they agreed substantively with every one of the Republican amendments.

Well, I buy that, I guess. Thanks for the links, too. SA538 is a hoot:
"To replace all spending and tax provisions with a direct rebate to all Americans filing a tax return."

So, yeah, I agree that they're protest votes, but they signify... what? The ideal GOP solution? "Screw You, Democrats"? They seem objectively worse than doing nothing. Especially so when it comes to the chief complaint they raise, that the stimulus is too costly.

steve said...

I no more trust a liberal to tell me the state of the Republican party than I do a conservative to tell me the state of the Democratic party. It's called whistling in the dark

Balfegor said...

So, yeah, I agree that they're protest votes, but they signify... what? The ideal GOP solution? "Screw You, Democrats"? They seem objectively worse than doing nothing. Especially so when it comes to the chief complaint they raise, that the stimulus is too costly.

I think they signify that the GOP was unable to unify behind a single comprehensive alternative or even a coherent critique. This is why the response focused on the particular spending in the stimulus bill, rather than effectively challenging the overall purpose and direction. Everyone could at least agree that this or that particular provision shouldn't be included in the bill, but there was no real agreement within the GOP on what should be there, or how the stimulus should be structured. And of course, there were a handful (especially in the House) who would have preferred doing nothing at all.

AJ Lynch said...

Moose:

You make some interesting comments about Obama acting pretty much on his own agenda. I was thinking the same thing because I find it hard to believe all those economic gurus he chose would let him expand spending like this.

Balfegor:

The Fica holiday was the way to go. Your phrase "recapitalize the American worker" is a winning soundbite IMO. The Republicans should "borrow" it.

Penny said...

Forget party affiliation for a minute.

Is there ANYONE, ANYWHERE who supports their congressmen?

Roost on the Moon said...

Steve, if it hurts less to hear it from a some McCain-voting Republicans, here you go:

Ross Douthat
David Brooks
David Frum

I've often been told that you only can do what you know how to do well, and that's be you. Be what you're like; be like yourself. And so, I'm having a wonderful time but I'd rather be whistling in the dark.

Alex said...

Roost - there is no way in hell that a liberal knows what conservatives think. I'm just using "Alpha Liberal logic".

Seven Machos said...

Actually, everyone hates the House and loves their own representative. Odd.

Daryl said...

Jindal should have delivered a barn-burning stemwinder in response to Obama's pablum. We can't out-nice or out-articulate Obama.

The only thing we can do is come up with a simple, straightforward message, and hammer it home by repeating it over and over again.

#1: Culture of Corruption - accuse Democrats of being corrupt. Use examples of corruption, and failures to punish corruption, and blocked investigations.

#2: Crazy spending - show just how nuts the Dem spending proposals are.

#3: Liar, Liar - call Barack Obama a "liar." Say flat-out that he lied on the campaign trail and broke most of his promises. Repeat this over and over, again using examples (for example, he said he wouldn't spend more than we take in, but he's using the crisis an an excuse to spend like crazy).

#4: Tell people that if you elect any Democrat, no matter how moderate they seem, you get a crazy-spending liberal. Obama promised he was a moderate, but look at him, he's way out there.

Repeat these simple messages over and over again. If someone accuses you of negativity, tell them that you need to tell the truth because the liberal media refuses to do it. Tell them that they had no problem with negativity when Bush was in office.

We need to grind Obama down. This is the way to break his popularity.

Seven Machos said...

Great, Daryl. And I am sincere. But what'll we do when we win?

Great White Father George said...

NPR this afternoon ran interviews with NH Sen. Gregg, who turned down the Commerce spot, and with Obama's budget director.

Gregg said we were doomed. More gloomy than the Black Swan guy or Roubini.

"I don't think [Obama] was elected to bankrupt the country," Gregg said. "A government that can't be afforded."

The Obama budget weasel guy Osrqaqsz haltingly said exactly this:

"The budget also..reorient[s] incentives for providers towards better [health] care, rather than just more care." (4:44)

Better, not more!!! You can't have another pork chop; instead, you can have this fungus patty. It's better!

Reorients incentives.....what the heck does that mean???

Translation: The poor, uninsured will have some health care, and that will be morally better for all of us; the rest of us will have less health care, but we should feel good about having less while waiting for dialysis in 2014.

He basically said the economy would improve because his numbers said it would improve.

Scary.

Penny said...

Whatever the heck we all feel that we are dealing with, for or against....this, that or whatever. I think after all these years, we know that the odds favor the "dealer" who represents the "house".

Not OUR house, but THEIR house, and eventually... ANYONE that cares to pay "them" to screw US!

I suggest that we VOTE OUT INCUMBENTS as fast as they enter the PEOPLE'S house, OUR god damn house!

SCREW party affiliation.

The thieves have taken over OUR house now!

Let's give them a reason to just keep movin' on.

Congress critters are NOT our pets, and even less our "Friends in Washington."

Move 'em OUT as predictably the moon follows that sun.

Joe said...

I think the writer is being generous. The Republicans have generally acted like imbeciles. They have failed to capitalize on the growing mistrust of Obama's and the Democrat's plans. Sen. Gregg tonight on NPR was a perfect example--he came off as a complete dick (my first thought actually was; wow Obama must be wiping his brow that he didn't get this idiot as Commerce Secretary.)

Ultimately, the problem is that few Republicans are actually fiscal conservatives--being anti-socialist doesn't make you a conservative. Your average conservative poster on just this blog is more articulate than most national Republicans.

Seven Machos said...

Joe. Dude. Come on. Obama's been president a month and there isn't an election in sight. Coherence will evolve.

BJM said...

"The budget also..reorient[s] incentives for providers towards better [health] care, rather than just more care." (4:44)

It's the camel's nose.

The Congressional leadership won't touch the third rail of politics openly, but will allow the administration cover to tweak Medicare into a crisis mode via the regulatory back door. Thereby panicking the elderly and the country into accepting "emergency" universal health care.

AJ Lynch said...

Joe:

You left out "clean". We are articulate and clean. Heh.

section9 said...

Some wag wrote that these first months of the Obama Era read like the early chapters of Atlas Shrugged. There's good and bad in that. The bottom line being that modern liberalism depends on an unending supply of Other People's Money. That dog won't hunt.

The Republican Party right now is still on the mat. It has one leader worthy of the name: Palin. She reminds me of what Lincoln said of Grant: "I can't spare this man; he fights!" Obama and his people never found a way to deal with Palin other than abuse, and that's not an answer in the long run. I suspect she'll be back as a much more lethal candidate.

That said, the Republican Party deserved it's drubbing. The difference between Republican activists and Democrats is that the D's are slaves to power. They cannot understand why so many Republicans turned on Bush. In the same situation, Democrats would never have turned on one of their own if that meant losing power, patronage, and pork. It is far healthier for the Republican Party in the long run to take this whipping and this time in the wilderness now to completely purge the last vestiges of Bush Republicanism from our party, so that the populist conservatism of Goldwater can reassert itself.

I suspect, however, what is coming is a populism of the Right. The Democrats don't see this because they are caught up in triumphalismo and the Winnerism of Kos. The D's, quite without knowing it, have become the Ruling Party, and will eventually become the Party of the State, and it follows, of Reaction. This is as inevitable as night follows day.

So, the absolute sound rogering that working people have taken because of various free trade agreements, the lack of real wage increases, and whatnot will be defended by Obama because the Democrats are in bed with the Chinese, for example (Republicans were in bed with the Japanese and the Koreans-no one was going to bat for American workers...). I fully expect someone out there to arouse a nationalistic/ populist reaction to all of this-and ride that wave to Washington. That person isn't Obama. He's not real change. He's using Other People's Money to rearrange the Deck Chairs on the Titanic.

Obama doesn't have a clue what's coming. That may surprise many Democrats, but Obama is just as much an elitist as George Soros and the Davos crowd. He doesn't have a clue.

Got Aragula?

Seven Machos said...

So, the absolute sound rogering that working people have taken because of various free trade agreements

Section 9 -- You are very confused. There is no reputable libertarian or conservative who is against free trade. To the extent you understand economics, you support free trade. Period.

Derek Kite said...

Voters don't vote in governments, they vote out governments.

The GOP will be just fine. Obama every day is giving them enormous ammunition.

Someone said Only 88 more days and there won't be a DOW to drop. If you think that doesn't matter, just wait until you renew your insurance, or try to collect on a pension.

The worst thing that could happen for the GOP is that they take back both houses in 2010. Obama will have to work within limits. With adult supervision, he probably would do ok. He doesn't have any now.

Derek

Michael said...

Jindal in 2012??????

Jindal may have fudged the facts in his Katrina boat story

Louisiana Governor "Bobby" Jindal's retort to President Obama's first major address to Congress was not exactly well-received.

One Fox News panelist went so far as to call his oration "amateurish," "simplistic" and even "childish." Also, on Thursday, a report by Talking Points Memo strongly suggests Jindal's critics should add dishonest to the litany of complaints.

"During Katrina, I visited Sheriff Harry Lee, a Democrat and a good friend of mine," said Jindal during his Tuesday night speech. "When I walked into his makeshift office I'd never seen him so angry. He was yelling into the phone: 'Well, I'm the Sheriff and if you don't like it you can come and arrest me!' I asked him: 'Sheriff, what's got you so mad?' He told me that he had put out a call for volunteers to come with their boats to rescue people who were trapped on their rooftops by the floodwaters.

"The boats were all lined up ready to go - when some bureaucrat showed up and told them they couldn't go out on the water unless they had proof of insurance and registration. I told him, 'Sheriff, that's ridiculous.' And before I knew it, he was yelling into the phone: 'Congressman Jindal is here, and he says you can come and arrest him too!' Harry just told the boaters to ignore the bureaucrats and start rescuing people."

The problem with Jindal's recounting is that it may not have even happened. However, the one man who could have set the record straight -- Democrat Harry Lee, "one of the most famous politicians in Louisiana history," according to the Times-Picayune -- passed away in late 2007.

"According to numerous reports, Harry Lee did not leave the affected area of New Orleans during the crisis," wrote TPM's Zachary Roth. "But there is no reported evidence of Jindal having set foot in the area during the period when people were still stranded on roofs -- which, based on a review of news stories from the time, was only until September 3 at the very latest. Indeed, the evidence strongly suggests he did not."

"We've reviewed [Lexis] Nexis and other sources, and can find no news reports putting Jindal on the ground in the affected area during the few days after Katrina struck when people might still have needed boats to rescue them from rooftops," he added.

Michael said...

8 years of lies, deception, misdirection, mismanagement, ineptitude...and many here are whining about Obama after 35 days?

What a bunch of assholes.

vbspurs said...

Just asking...

Ernie, don't ask. This insistence on talking about the Republican Party's strategy two months in a new administration is a tactic used by the opposition to reinforce the narrative.

Here's a test.

When we're talking of anything Republican, count the liberal posters (especially new ones) who come in and use this phrase:

"Old and failed policies of the Republican Party"

Axelrod may not necessarily have his astroturfers in full force anymore, but then, people know the drill now.

Cheers,
Victoria

Balfegor said...

Section 9 -- You are very confused. There is no reputable libertarian or conservative who is against free trade. To the extent you understand economics, you support free trade. Period.

I'm not sure that's necessarily true. There are plenty of economists who have argued that in limited circumstances, trade barriers may be appropriate. Dani Rodrik and Chang Ha-Joon are two economists who are not 100%in favour of free trade in every circumstance, particularly for poor countries that are trying to develop comparative advantages in high value industries.

Invisible Man said...

Ernie, don't ask. This insistence on talking about the Republican Party's strategy two months in a new administration is a tactic used by the opposition to reinforce the narrative.

Victoria,

This bit of reasonable logic would be ok, if you didn't spend your time using the same, exact tactic against Obama. Doom, hysteria, end of America as we know it after 35 days in office.

In theory, I agree that most people spend way too much time extrapolating short term trends to a longer term view. And I don't mean the "Bush's Presidency will look magnificent by 2230". The fact is that Republicans don't look so good right now, the markets reaction to Obama doesn't look so good now, and Jindal is a disaster. But hey, who knows. In 2 years the Republicans might have a clear message and the intelectual honesty to go with it, Obama might have turned around the economy and Jindal might have a role on 30 Rock as Kenneth's assistant.

X said...

8 years of lies, deception, misdirection, mismanagement, ineptitude...and many here are whining about Obama after 35 days?

What a bunch of assholes.


200+ years of pushing involuntary servitude in one form or another is the real sign of assholishness in a Party.

Sonam said...

A hilarious moment from some hot GOP on GOP action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0CMgcCOoG8