Republican Follies

I haven’t really ramped up my political brain yet, but meanwhile, it’s fun watching the Republicans dance.  Today, Herman Cain dropped out of the race, and my question is, What took him so long?  A friend of mine on Facebook said, what is it?  Do they think we won’t find out?  Or that we won’t think it’s important?  Or that we’re just too dumb to understand it?  I vote for a combination of Option A and Option C.

I don’t have a high opinion of the voting public.  So Option A comes first.  They won’t even know.  Because they don’t read newspapers, or listen to NPR, or watch debates.  It’s a complete bother.  And anyway, football might be on.  Then Option C sets in.  Even if they know, they won’t understand it. 

I present to you as my Exhibit A, an email I recently received from a friend in Canada.  It was about bar codes.  It said that if you want to buy only products made in Canada or the U.S., and avoid products from China, you should pay attention to the first three numbers of the bar code, which tell the country of origin.  Well, sort of.  So I went to snopes.com and checked it out.  Then I replied to my friend with a link to snopes and said, you should check this out.  It’s only partly true.  And she said, no, I’m pretty lame about checking things.  I doubt I will ever go there.  What?  But this is how people in the U.S. choose to vote.  They saw the truth in an email…no need to look further. 

So there are probably plenty of Cainiatics (I just made that up) who will think Cain was driven from the race by the ruthless MainstreamMedia–all one word now–or by his ruthless opponents with more money who were scared of him. 

So let’s look at the remaining field.  Bachmann?  Okay, moving right along.  Perry?  Ditto.  That leaves Romney and Gingrich.  Romney is a total has-been who has been running for office his entire life, but never won anything.  It so amuses me when he calls someone a career politician.  We can’t say you qualify, Mitt, because you’re just a wannabe.  And Gingrich.  I could talk about him all day.  I do have two words for the family values people:  Newt Gingrich.  I think the Republicans are in a bad spot.  They have bad choices. 

I have some early predictions.  First, I think Romney will in fact be the nominee.  Second, I think Republicans will be about as excited about voting for him as they were about John McCain.  Third, I hesitantly think Obama is going to win. 

But in the broader picture, I get the feeling that conservatives are increasingly drawing away from the Republican Party.  It’s happened before.  Political parties have spawned and then died.  (Can you say, Whigs?)  But regardless, the Republican Party has become the Party most likely to shoot itself in the foot.  It’s almost (almost) painful to watch them carefully parse their language. 

But I really think we are witnessing a movement here.  Time will tell.

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14 responses to “Republican Follies

  1. FN lol just a couple of things

    “Because they don’t read newspapers, or listen to NPR, or watch debates. It’s a complete bother.”
    Where do you get that data? Being a retired conservative I, and many of the people I know read 5 or 6 newspapers daily. I would wager I have more time than working folks to listen to the media and since American Studies was my college major I also have a passion for it. Sattelite Radio gives me ample coverage of all the news programming which includes both Fox and NPR. Juan Williams is one of my favorites.

    “Do they think we won’t find out? Or that we won’t think it’s important?”
    Who are they and we? Does they or we include John Edwards, Anthony Weiner Bill Clinton and/or Gary Hart?,
    “But this is how people in the U.S. choose to vote. They saw the truth in an email…no need to look further.”
    ahem….all this based on one anecdote? Could it be an unsupported generalization?
    ” Romney is a total has-been who has been running for office his entire life, but never won anything”
    I guess being elected Governor of Massachusetts doesn’t count?
    “Third, I hesitantly think Obama is going to win”
    We will see. His fate may be determined byt the Supreme Courts decision on the individual mandate. Currently its 5-4 conservative.

  2. Well, you got me there pt. Somehow I completely forgot about that governor of Massachucetts thing 🙂
    1. I absolutely do not believe that you are representative of the average American voter.
    2. It absolutely does include Edwards, Weiner, Clinton and Hart (now there is reaching back into the dustbin of history lol).
    3. Emails–I know plenty of otherwise seemingly intelligent, competent people initially believed and probably still do believe Obama is a Muslim, refuses to salute the Amercian flag, and is in league with terrorists. Because they saw it in an email. If you haven’t encountered those people, then you are leading a sheltered life.
    4. Notice I did say “hesitantly”. And it will indeed be very interesting to see what SCOTUS decides. I think it will be a very sticky question. Because if the Federal Government does not have the authority to do this, where does this leave income tax?

  3. I’m surprised you didn’t choose to comment about my observations of the Republican Party. If I were a Republican (not going to happen, lol) I would be embarassed. Not that I don’t get embarassed by the Democrats too.

  4. Just listened/watched a Saturday night Republican debate managed by Mike Huckabee on Fox. The panelists were the attorney generals from Fla, Va and Oklahoma. It was first rate. I have organized and managed these type of productions and I can recognize integrity when I see it. I suggest to you that the filters in place to present the Republican message are so ingrained/biased that those who don’t really have an open mind to the message of success and American exceptionalism will always resent . I see no reason to defend or excuse.

    I would rate the debate performance as follows.

    1 Newt
    2 Mitt
    3 Ron
    4 Michelle
    5 Santorum
    6 Perry

    So unless you listen to the Republican debates a lil I suggest you will be totally surprised how well prepared the nominee will be in the general election. Not listening is kind of like reading an email and accepting its content as the gospel. And perhaps it is not I who lead an insular life.:)

    Can you give me any performance based reason that you would vote for Obama again? (Without using the “Bush” word?)

  5. Unfortunately, this is a very long article, but I think it is quite balanced (even though I’m starting to hate that word since Fox co-opted it). I suspect the things I approve of Obama for are the very things you would disapprove of him for. The whole article is very thoughtful, but the first paragraph pretty much details his accomplishments. I’d say the real issue is that there is no good alternative. The Republicans really are the Party of No, and I believe it is about to sink them.
    http://www.brookings.edu/papers/2010/1104_obama_galston.aspx

  6. I just watched 60 Minutes, 2/3 of which was about the failure of the Justice Dept. to prosecute a single person on Wall Street over the financial meltdown. In terms of the article I linked in my previous comment, my feelings about the President fall more in line with the “liberal left-wing” view, at least according to the author. While I think the President faced unprecedented obstacles–unprecedented at least since the Great Depression–he pussyfooted around about it. He was so focused on bipartisanship that he failed to seize the advantage when he had it. And that is a measure of his inexperience. Republicans, being old hands at it, and much craftier, hopped on him with both feet–and that’s the way the game is played. I can’t blame them, but now I think it’s backfiring.
    And since that article only covers 2008 to 2010, it doesn’t mention killing Osama Bin Laden. I think that will play a role in the campaign.

  7. The brookings article is thorough and balanced in a political environment that is seldom either. It is academic to the point of non relevancy.”.Please don’t build me a clock when I ask for the time” kinda thing.

    I will concede that bailing out the auto and financial Industries probably saved a depression. Maybe that is a good thing, although I am not totally convinced on a theoretical basis that a market driven solution would not have been better in the long term I am not an academician but a realist and would not have wanted to live through that. As for killing of Bin Laden I am glad that he got what he deserved and for the efficient and brave operation. And because he is commander in chief he gets some credit for authorizing it. However, he had very little to do with its success on a personal basis. We have the finest, meanest, badassed, military in the world and they could have done it without him. He did display the common sense to not muck it up that he has not shown in many other decisions.

    I will have more soon on my assessment of the overall descent of American Exceptionalism and the “law” under Obama, and what I see as his growing legacy of “socialistic” policies.

  8. But to your comments on a vanishing/bumbling Republican Party, it might just be wishful thinking on your part cause it is more vibrant than the mainstreamedia portrays, so unless you actually follow conservative outlets you will by definition only be hearing what you want to hear not the dialog of reality.

    For example you would today hear Nancy Pelosi say that she has enough dirt on Newt to destroy him. And if you run with that soundbyte you might think there is substance there. The reality is that 34 of the 35 “charges” brought against Speaker Gingrich were dismissed by the house and the 35th was resolved. Anything she heard behind closed doors is privileged and she can’t reveal it. Even the threat of doing it is against the house ethics rules.
    But it makes news and grabs headlines and enables the continuing politics of “demonization.” that is sinking the country.

  9. > they don’t read newspapers, or listen to NPR, or watch debates.

    Nor do I…. What’s the point? Newspapers are shallow and rarely able to provide any real insight because they are so “today.” I do rad Newsweek. As for NPR…I don’t listen to radio.

    And debates…they are just jockeying for soundbites.

    So when you say the public is ill informed, part of that is because it is not easy to become informed. Newspapers, NPR and debates are not a credible source of good analysis.

    And for that reason, I no longer support democracy. (Not sure if I ever did, given my upbringing.) Give me a dictatorship. Just let me choose who the dictator is. Failing that, give me anarchy and let those with might make right.

    But democracy is failure. Too many voters, which is not what the founders wanted. They wanted rule by elites.

  10. Well, when we put some constructionists in Congress what happened? They formed a nucleus that paralyzed the status quo. The problem is not so much the electorate as it is the corruption of core American values. It seems the two main problems that foreshadowed the Republic slavery and immigration have damaged the experiment to the point of melt down. We need to figure out how to make diversity a strength instead of a liability. The path to that is to strengthen the core values of each citizen by providing firm leadership focused on doing just that.

  11. Sheesh. There is so much here to comment on. First, your comment about “filters” pt. What sort of filters do you think I’m exposed to? I mentioned newspapers, NPR, and debates, and let me add to that, CBS News. To sc’s comment…none of this provides in-depth analysis, because it is not analysis. It exposes you to an idea or a topic. For that, you have to read a book, in my opinion. Or if you want to read a magazine, I’d recommend the New Yorker. I once read an amazing article in there, an interview with GHW Bush, about why he refused to pursue Saddam Hussein back into Iraq, in spite of being hammered by Cheney and Rumsfeld. Or there are movies and TV programs that focus on a single issue in-depth also. But first you have to be exposed to it to even know if it’s worth spending more time on.
    And pt, I think you give yourself away when you say “unless you follow conservative outlets…” I do not. I no more watch Fox than I watch MSNBC. That isn’t news to me. But of the conservative shows,I’d say I like Greta Van Susteren best, and don’t mind Bill O’Reilly either. Hannity makes me want to go blow something up, and Glenn Beck is a total lunatic.
    But you follow these things because they speak to something you already believe. Both of us have already made our minds up, in a sense, and prefer listening to or watching things that make us most comfortable. I’d say I do my best to expose myself to different points of view. I am not an ideologue, and I am not an idiot being led down the garden path.

  12. FN First as far as news being analytic, it’s the news not theory, it should be what it is not what some one else says it is and the closer a broadcast comes to “hard” straight news the better for me. I feel comfortable in making my own analysis. So for anchors I prefer Scott Pelley on CBS he brings his news style from 60 minutes and has less histrionics than Diane Sawyer. My all time recent favorite was Peter Jennings. I like Neil Cavuto on Fox, like him a lot. His interviews with moment to moment heavy hitters are very good. I read the NY Times for the liberal slant and the Washington Post and WSJ for conservative. For analysis you have to find folks like Fish, Sowell, Freidman and Brooks. Mags like The Economist and Foreign Policy Journal are also often insightful.

    Thing is, true accurate analysis takes time for all details to emerge and a comprehensive understanding of events is often unattainable until it is history. Unfortunately for world leaders they often can’t wait on Historians to guide them in the moments policy

    SC the world is moving away from tyrants not to them. That model can no longer work with the social media revolution sweeping over everyone and removing the shackles of “propaganda.”

    .

  13. Just a follow up after Iowa. Most of the pundits had not fully understood what the key to selecting the Republican nominee and winning the white house is. It is the Superpacks. If not for them Gingrich would have won Iowa. They destroyed him in 1 30 day blitzkrieg. And they are all seemingly behind Romney, there were very few negative Romney ads in Iowa. They are all big money folk and they want Romney in. It will definitely level the playing field against Obama’s 1 Billion $ war chest in the general election and may be as big a factor as Joesph Kennedy was in 1960.

  14. Glad you weighed in again, pt. This is indeed the first big election since the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people, and we are seeing the results live and in person. The Romney machine did in fact destroy Newt, but to be fair, Newt didn’t need much help. Give him enough time and he blows himself up. I’ll say that so far, my prediction is on the way to becoming true. Romney will be the nominee, but no one will be very excited about it. I think Republicans must feel like we Dems felt about John Kerry. In fact on CBS News last night, they had a sit-down with 5 Republican voters at the Drake Diner in Des Moines before they caucaused, and asked, How many of you wish someone else was in the race? Two out of five raised their hands. I would have wondered who that someone else was supposed to be, if it hadn’t been that I heard a comment on NPR recently that the Republican superstars were staying home: Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and one other I forget. Might have been Mitch Daniels. I think Jeb is probably just biding his time, waiting for the memory of GWB to die down. The others…I can’t help but think they are concerned, shall we say, that Obama will win again, and they don’t want the pressure or the stigma of losing right out of the gate.
    New Hampshire will be interesting. They don’t much like Romney, and I think they like Dark Horse Santorum even less. I’m always very interested in what happens in Iowa, since I lived there briefly (2 years). Of course, I lived in Des Moines. There is Des Moines…and then there is Iowa. Like there is New Orleans…and then there is Louisiana. I will remind everyone that Iowa is still one of the only states where gay marriage is legal.

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