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The Grand Old Party Is Now Just The Old Party

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British Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s most famous line has never been more true. “A week is a long time in politics”.  It seems like almost yesterday that the GOP talked of a “permanent majority”. They were so confident, so convincing, and so convinced of their hegemony that the rest of us thought it was only a matter of time.

A few short years later, and the party is rushing headlong to irrelevance. It is no longer Grand, except in its grandiosity in it’s ever more fantastical adherence to concepts utterly devoid of acceptability. It’s a delirious, deluded drunk stumbling from one disaster to another through a schizophrenic miasma of half-truths and outright lies. Its decline has been so fast, the ghosts of its glorious past or all still alive, dignified, silver templed gentlemen of the old school who no longer have a place in the overturned temple of moderation.

Can it rebuild itself? Can it truly learn the lessons of self-inflicted defeat after defeat? The answer is almost certainly no. This is not a party of the rational. It is a party of zealots, believers, built around an uncontrollable kamikaze caucus that is on the verge of throwing its leader – no shrinking violet – to the wolves. Its response to humiliation is to sink deeper into its dream-state.

It would be good to be shot of this monster. But they will linger. For the next two years at least they will hold the House. And for the next God knows how long they are likely to hold at least 41 seats in the Senate, which – barring the end of Cloture – leaves them  doing what they most enjoy, which is destroying the hopes for progress and sanity in this ungovernable megalith of a country. Casting off the shackles of inertia would be made easier if the Democratic Party rejected its own forces of tired regression, the Public Service Unions, the Progressive left, the Politically Correct, and the kneejerk welfarists.

Even now, as one of the our two major parties literally withers in front of our eyes, the hope of renewed vigor in the American Experiment seems sadly elusive. A third way that draws the best from both sides of the American cultural divide is further away than ever.

Written by coolrebel

December 21, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Obama Created The GOP War On Women – And It’s Helping Him Win

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This is Barack’s M.O. He sees opportunities and he takes them.

In 2008 Bill Clinton said some dumb stuff which let Obama drive a wedge between Hill and the black vote ( which up to that time didn’t give two hoots that BO was black ). This year, BO’s luck was Rick Santorum’s surprise show in IA primary which elevated him and his weird medieval attitudes to women right to the fore until his inevitable defeat months later. Obama just watched and stirred and drove that wedge as various other lemmings jumped onto the extreme anti-abortion position, along with their Planned Parenthood fetish, and suddenly the “War on Women” was born with help from Social Media and the blogs.

The War is really a Democratic creation and a good one. And the more Barack’s campaign and the White House goaded the far right in the GOP the more they stepped right in it. The GOP wanted Akin out of the race. He’s set to lose. The GOP would have preferred Dick Lugar and his senate vote to defeat in Indiana. The GOP as a whole doesn’t want a war on women, because soccer moms are vital to a win in swing states. Romney has been his usual tepid self on the issue so he’s tarred with its brush. And guess what, OH is starting to solidify for Obama, FL is tied, and the Mid-West is holding for the President. Romney’s momentum after the first debate is thoroughly dissipated.

Since Rick first worked his ban contraception insanity Bo has been working it to win back women, knowing that they’re the key to the show. And it looks like it paid dividends. Bless Rick Santorum and Akin and Mourdock and the loons who put all that stuff on the GOP platform. Thanks guys.

Written by coolrebel

November 2, 2012 at 9:23 pm

How Did Grover Norquist Get So Powerful?

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Hey Good Lookin’


Simple.

He may be short and fat, but Grover’s one smart fugly for building a career on a “pledge to fight any tax hikes”.

Pledges are easy for a voter to understand. People get them. They’re black and white. “Are you in or are you out?”, they shout out to all of us. And a pledge that says “I’m against raising taxes” is bound to be very popular, and therefore will quickly become binding on vote-hungry GOP congressmen looking to build up their small government bona fides in a hurry. Nobody cares that it’s based on a false morality or voodoo economics. All that stuff is high-falutin’ and technical. Everyone just likes the clarity, the simplicity, the sheer reality-show unavoidability of a good, simple pledge. And once it’s in place, and the game of musical chairs has started, you’ve got to play, or people start saying…”so you must be FOR raising taxes”. And then everyone’s on board, and the damage is done, which it most assuredly is in this case, and the pledge is very hard to walk back. Witness that even Jon Huntsman took the pledge during his few campaign debate appearances a few months ago. Poor Jon, a slave to Grover Norquist. Pretty impressive.

The pledge is a work of genius, like a good ponzi scheme, and it’s little

Grover’s ticket to ride. 


Thank you Grover!

Written by coolrebel

September 4, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Isaac, Isaac and more Isaac.

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The GOP have stepped in it, the President is reveling in it, and the media is drowning us in it because they’ve got bubkis else to tell us that we don’t already know. Everyone has a good use for a non-hurricane that’s basically a glorified rainstorm with a little attitude. And yet Isaac keeps on giving, and will do for at least another day or two, leading NPR news hour after hour after hour.

This is the media cycle of an election year. Merciless wringing of non-stories and dead-ends that we feed into the Social media mill for more discussion and reinterpretation and comment on the thin, boring vapor. We’re farting up a storm here.

Meanwhile, substantive discussion on the future of this great country gets lost in the fetid mist. We are all hopeless.

Written by coolrebel

August 29, 2012 at 6:07 am

Paul Ryan: America’s Funeral Director

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Look, I wrote this handy shovel. 

TINP looks at Paul Ryan and thinks of death.

His oily hair and oilier smile, his deep set, but bulging eyes and pallid, angular face aside though, Paul Ryan has spent the last two years barnstorming a vicious GOP budget that is basically the measurements for America’s casket. He’s the syrupy soothsayer of the nation’s doom, ringing the bell that tolls for what’s left of our social contract.

His prescription is a deadly nightshade concoction of soundbite Ayn Rand libertarianism, laced with a stripped to the bone, utilitarian amorality, and an almost puritanical certainty that would send shivers down the spine of all but the most hardened GOP policy wonk.

It’s hard to imagine anyone else getting excited about a Ryan vice-presidency but a number-crunching, emotionally barren outsourcer, like Mitt Romney. But there’s a sickly asceticism about Ryan that probably appeals to Romney’s mawkish and monkish Mormon sensibilities.

Like Romney, Ryan is on a mission to propagate a strange and other-worldly religion with limited ties to reality. Romney’s snake oil was the Book of Mormon. Ryan’s is his budget plan, a poisoned chalice of economic absurdity fervently worshipped with lemming-like and truly misguided conviction.

Like Romney, Ryan has an eerie monochromatic style, a brutally provincial, oddly entitled upbringing in small city Wisconsin, a demeanor so assuredly lacking in real humanity below the chilling surface of his wide smile and easy charm that he ushers a cold wind into any room that he enters.

Romney arrived in this world blessed to be the son of a Republican governor and respected auto executive. Ryan was a chosen son of a leading Irish family, called on the telephone by the retiring congressman in the safely Republican district of his birth to take the seat. Life has been easy for both men in different ways.

In other words, Romney and Ryan were made for each other.

Will Ryan’s arrival on the national scene reinvigorate Romney’s struggling campaign? For a myriad of reasons, that will be discussed endlessly for the next few days, almost certainly not after the initial flurry of punditry is over.

But there is at least a possibility, a sickening sliver of a chance that they could do it, and along with a victory in the Senate and a hold in the House (the former of which seems less likely by the day, thankfully), America would be a filibuster away from having its body politic measured for its casket.

A cold wind is blowing. Right now it is distant. Let it not reach the nation’s door.

Written by coolrebel

August 10, 2012 at 11:38 pm

Perception and Politics. How the GOP and Democratic Party Have It AllWrong.

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Here are two statements.

1. Romney and Obama are in a very close race for the Presidency.

2. “The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”

The first of those statements paraphrases the current – early state – of the General Election campaign ahead. The second is from this article in the Washington Post.

The only way that both can be true, and they are both true, is to include a third statement – this one mine – to the mix.

3. Supporters of the Republican Party don’t know, or choose not to accept or be influenced by what the GOP has become and what it proposes for the country if it achieves the power to implement its policy platforms. They feel – quite simply – that they have nobody else to vote for because they perceive the other party is too “extreme”.

In other words, there is a profound disconnect between perception and politics.

Mainstream GOP supporters diverge from their party’s stated goals and yet continue to support them. And the proof? Courtesy of Frank Luntz, also in the Washington Post. To paraphrase, most conservatives are actually mainstream Republicans. Or to put it another way, the party may moved to the far right, but the body of its supporters – except on the fringes – have not.  The reason the GOP has moved to the right is that the fringe has hijacked the political center, courtesy of Grover Norquist and the Tea Party among others. The Whip is wagging the dog. The GOP has become its own mini police state, which enforces the new extreme positioning based on fear at the expense of the orthodoxy of old. Lugar’s orthodoxy, for want of a better phrase.

The mirror, however, does not apply in quite the same way to the Democratic Party.

The Progressive wing of the Democrats rails endlessly on social media and in Zaccotti Park, for changes that are unlikely to ever occur, but Obama and the Democrats in Congress far more closely match the centrist positioning of most Democratic leaning voters. But even though the Progressive fringe of the Democratic Party has had precious little success in altering wider party policy, it has been used, quite brutally, as a weapon to define the entire Democratic Party as “socialist”. And the mainstream of the Democrats, terrified of schism and divide and loss of support has not fought back to discredit the left.

The horrible truth for the politically driven is this. Most Democratic and GOP voters essentially believe versions of the same “American” thing. What prevents politics from moving into a post-partisan “American” haze is the GOP as a whole pushing rightwards, and the noisy Progressive wing of the Democratic Party pushing left, which prevents the mainstream of the Democratic Party from forging a more complete connection to voters beyond its base.

Or to put it another way, it’s the outliers in each party who are calling the shots and creating the ‘divide’, leaving the middle beholden to their perceptions of the other side. And those perceptions are forged by the fringes.

Now more than ever, America truly does need a third way, an “American Way”, and if it were able to overcome the cynical, entrenched, and legally supported power of the two party system, it could use the new power of the Internet to take control and free up our constitutionally gridlocked system.

Here is my humble contribution to The American Party platform. Feel free to chime in with yours.


Written by coolrebel

April 28, 2012 at 12:59 am

Why Gingrich Will Take It To Tampa

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Newt Gingrich expected to win the nomination. But two things got in the way. Both are closely related and neither of them is called Mitt Romney. The first is Rick Sanatorium, and the second is the utter breakdown of the GOP primary system and it’s complete disconnect to the US body politic as a whole.

The turning point for Newt was his defeat in Florida. At that point, he realized that the primaries were never going to break his way. Now he’s betting on something new. Something that’s right in his wheelhouse, a perfect fusion of the novel and the historical. A brokered convention. In this scenario, far from ceding the race to Sanatorium, Newt needs Sanatorium to do enough to hole Romney below the water line. All that matters to him is that Romney isn’t able to wrap it up by the time the GOP meets in Tampa. It’s unlikely that Romney won’t get it done, but when the press says as often that something – in this case – a brokered convention – is such a remote possibility, you can bet your boots it could happen. Add to that, Romney’s increasingly anemic limp to the finish line, and Newt is banking on him being broken even if he does make beyond the count he needs. Gingrich is just crazy enough to think he can peel off enough pledged delegates somehow, anyhow, to get in the game.

Once he’s in Tampa, Newt will try to turn the clock back and use all his oratorical powers to make a strong case for himself on a second ballot, where all bets are off. This is his political fantasy in action. Appealing to the delegates in the cut and thrust of a real rather than a stage managed convention, he’ll be in his element lobbying the elite, rather than playing to the rabble. In other words, he’ll be implying that the primary system is broken, and that the vaunted base has delivered a lemon. His point will be simple. Sanatorium is un-electable, Romney is not believable, and that only Newt, and his fast-action debating power can save the day, and skewer the President in a general election.

He’s banking on three other factors. Firstly, he knows that even if the party hate him, it’ll rally to his flag come the fall. Secondly, he knows that he’ll be able to build a campaign team to polish and project him in a way that can help him overcome his negatives. And thirdly, with Marco Rubio on the ticket as he will be, Florida is in the bag.

There’s only one reason for Newt to go to Tampa, and that’s to win his way. It’s not likely, but it is very, very possible. And with that possibility comes another – that the GOP might even cast off the disastrous shackles of its cracker conservatism.

Written by coolrebel

March 15, 2012 at 12:07 pm