Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Republican Party Is the Problem According To Conservative and Moderate Think Tanks... I Say So Are the Democrats...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


I rarely give credit to the stink hole of progressive thought Think Progress because, well, because it is a stink hole of anti concepts in motion, designed for the progressive collectivist sheeples.

However, even the clueless get it right every so often. Think Progress recently reporting on American Enterprise Institute and the centrist Brookings Institution view the Republicans are the problem caught my eye. This because I've been saying for nigh on 15 years they are the problem.

Here is the the text minus the stink hole of progressive thought's comments.

Two leading political scholars — representing the conservative American Enterprise Institute and the centrist Brookings Institution – have published a must-read article, “Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem.”

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Rep. Allen West, a Florida Republican, was recently captured on video asserting that there are “78 to 81” Democrats in Congress who are members of the Communist Party. Of course, it’s not unusual for some renegade lawmaker from either side of the aisle to say something outrageous. What made West’s comment — right out of the McCarthyite playbook of the 1950s — so striking was the almost complete lack of condemnation from Republican congressional leaders or other major party figures, including the remaining presidential candidates.

It’s noat that the GOP leadership agrees with West; it is that such extreme remarks and views are now taken for granted.

We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.

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.

When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.

“Both sides do it” or “There is plenty of blame to go around” are the traditional refuges for an American news media intent on proving its lack of bias, while political scientists prefer generality and neutrality when discussing partisan polarization. Many self-styled bipartisan groups, in their search for common ground, propose solutions that move both sides to the center, a strategy that is simply untenable when one side is so far out of reach.

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We understand the values of mainstream journalists, including the effort to report both sides of a story. But a balanced treatment of an unbalanced phenomenon distorts reality. If the political dynamics of Washington are unlikely to change anytime soon, at least we should change the way that reality is portrayed to the public.

Our advice to the press: Don’t seek professional safety through the even-handed, unfiltered presentation of opposing views. Which politician is telling the truth? Who is taking hostages, at what risks and to what ends?

Also, stop lending legitimacy to Senate filibusters by treating a 60-vote hurdle as routine. The framers certainly didn’t intend it to be. Report individual senators’ abusive use of holds and identify every time the minority party uses a filibuster to kill a bill or nomination with majority support.

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Republicans often dismiss nonpartisan analyses of the nature of problems and the impact of policies when those assessments don’t fit their ideology. In the face of the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression, the party’s leaders and their outside acolytes insisted on obeisance to a supply-side view of economic growth — thus fulfilling Norquist’s pledge — while ignoring contrary considerations.

The results can border on the absurd: In early 2009, several of the eight Republican co-sponsors of a bipartisan health-care reform plan dropped their support; by early 2010, the others had turned on their own proposal so that there would be zero GOP backing for any bill that came within a mile of Obama’s reform initiative. As one co-sponsor, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), told The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein: “I liked it because it was bipartisan. I wouldn’t have voted for it.”

And seven Republican co-sponsors of a Senate resolution to create a debt-reduction panel voted in January 2010 against their own resolution, solely to keep it from getting to the 60-vote threshold Republicans demanded and thus denying the president a seeming victory.

This attitude filters down far deeper than the party leadership. Rank-and-file GOP voters endorse the strategy that the party’s elites have adopted, eschewing compromise to solve problems and insisting on principle, even if it leads to gridlock. Democratic voters, by contrast, along with self-identified independents, are more likely to favor deal-making over deadlock.

Democrats are hardly blameless, and they have their own extreme wing and their own predilection for hardball politics. But these tendencies do not routinely veer outside the normal bounds of robust politics. If anything, under the presidencies of Clinton and Obama, the Democrats have become more of a status-quo party. They are centrist protectors of government, reluctantly willing to revamp programs and trim retirement and health benefits to maintain its central commitments in the face of fiscal pressures.

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Today, thanks to the GOP, compromise has gone out the window in Washington. In the first two years of the Obama administration, nearly every presidential initiative met with vehement, rancorous and unanimous Republican opposition in the House and the Senate, followed by efforts to delegitimize the results and repeal the policies. The filibuster, once relegated to a handful of major national issues in a given Congress, became a routine weapon of obstruction, applied even to widely supported bills or presidential nominations. And Republicans in the Senate have abused the confirmation process to block any and every nominee to posts such as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, solely to keep laws that were legitimately enacted from being implemented.

In the third and now fourth years of the Obama presidency, divided government has produced something closer to complete gridlock than we have ever seen in our time in Washington, with partisan divides even leading last year to America’s first credit downgrade.

On financial stabilization and economic recovery, on deficits and debt, on climate change and health-care reform, Republicans have been the force behind the widening ideological gaps and the strategic use of partisanship. In the presidential campaign and in Congress, GOP leaders have embraced fanciful policies on taxes and spending, kowtowing to their party’s most strident voices.

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Mike Lofgren, a veteran Republican congressional staffer, wrote an anguished diatribe last year about why he was ending his career on the Hill after nearly three decades. “The Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe,” he wrote on the Truthout Web site.

Shortly before Rep. West went off the rails with his accusations of communism in the Democratic Party, political scientists Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal, who have long tracked historical trends in political polarization, said their studies of congressional votes found that Republicans are now more conservative than they have been in more than a century. Their data show a dramatic uptick in polarization, mostly caused by the sharp rightward move of the GOP.

If our democracy is to regain its health and vitality, the culture and ideological center of the Republican Party must change. In the short run, without a massive (and unlikely) across-the-board rejection of the GOP at the polls, that will not happen. If anything, Washington’s ideological divide will probably grow after the 2012 elections.

In the House, some of the remaining centrist and conservative “Blue Dog” Democrats have been targeted for extinction by redistricting, while even ardent tea party Republicans, such as freshman Rep. Alan Nunnelee (Miss.), have faced primary challenges from the right for being too accommodationist. And Mitt Romney’s rhetoric and positions offer no indication that he would govern differently if his party captures the White House and both chambers of Congress.

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In the end, while the press can make certain political choices understandable, it is up to voters to decide. If they can punish ideological extremism at the polls and look skeptically upon candidates who profess to reject all dialogue and bargaining with opponents, then an insurgent outlier party will have some impetus to return to the center. Otherwise, our politics will get worse before it gets better.

The skips are where I have intentionally left out Think Progress commentary. I have done so precisely because for those on the rational conservative to
libertarian side of the great political divide will likely find themselves in agreement with the arguments without Think Progress propaganda Much as I have.

Of course the stink hole progressive SHEEPLES will refuse to recognize there are actually reasonable thinking conservatives and libertarians that have zero use for the reactionary SoCon driven republican party. These individuals, like myself, are individuals without a home. And, they will be the catalyst for real change in America.

If we are to survive as a free republic that recognizes the rights of the individual as well as their right to individual property the vast middle had better unite and let their voices be heard. I will assure you that neither the republican or democratic vision is where we need to travel. We need a new, independent libertarian objectivist mentality that will provide the foundation to make the tough concrete decision that will reverse our current downhill slide into the abyss of fiscal as well as social instability and insanity.

Beware the stink hole progressive siren song of prosperity and fairness under the auspices of another Obama term. Nothing could be further from the truth. Another four years of Obama is another four years on the road to greater government dependency, further restrictions on individual freedoms, greater reliance on the decisions of the elite pols which will be forced upon us by the government, and greater divisiveness as we have witnessed during the first four years of the Obama Presidency.

Obama has really been no worse than GWB, for in the final analysis Obama has merely continued the excesses of the GWB administration. Reelecting Obama will insure a continuation of those things this country once fought a war to rectify. Thank you GWB and BHO for your national political leadership, no matter how bad it was and continues to be. It is time to elect a man who can provide real change by making the hard choices and pursuing an agenda that can and will right our ship of state.

That is why I am supporting Gov. Gary Johnson who will win the Libertarian nomination to run against BHO in the 12012 general election. I humbly suggest you consider Gary Johnson and vote for him in 2012. If you want a real meaningful change in direction he is your natural choice.

Via: Memeorandum

10 comments:

  1. Les, your buffet presentation of a wonderful piece is disappointing.

    It took a man with a liberated point of view to write that. Whether you like it or not, his logic is born of rationally "liberal," progressive" ideas. And when you consider the entire piece, you must realize that what you did here, editing the way you did, was exactly the sort of divisive, dismissive ideological zealotry that a liberated person always flatly rejects.

    And that's why Republicans can't win on just their party alone. For you, just like me.

    JMJ

    JMJ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jmj - Stuff it. What I did was skip the progressive editorial bullshit and presented the actual article. I acknowledged that right up front. Then, as is my prerogative as the owner and editor of this site I clearly stated my opinion. Should you have a problem with that all I can say is stuff it again. And if it still bothers you don' t bother to visit again.

      Delete
  2. The fact that the Republicans and Romney apparently haven't learned the lessons from Iraq (not to mention other misadventures) is also troubling. Hopefully, if Mr. Romney ever does get elected, he won't be as swayed by the neocon element as former President Bush tragically was.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have no delusions things will change under a Romney administration. They won't. Nor will they change under a second Obamameister term. The more things change the more they stay the same.

      Delete
  3. "the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party"
    Glad to here you finally admit that. There are crazies on both sides, but when a replication of Joe McCarthy isn't even chastised by his own party, that's a real problem. GOP leaders are not even thinking of saying "At long last sir........"
    Not everyone who disagrees with you is an idiot, and frustration only leads to anger. You won't find many that agree with you, since your thinking is part of a very small percentage of voters, or engaged political followers. That doesn't mean you are wrong, but I wonder why you bother to engage (write a blog) if all that interaction just leads to your frustration. The key is to find solutions within our current political situation. Yes, that's hard to do given our current political situation. Rationality and objectivity were not invented by Rand. Why does it surprise you t6hat Americans are not rational and objective?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good points, I find little to disagree with. I deal with frustration on a different level than many. I somehow know you understand that statement.

      Rand was correct, absolutely correct in her assessment of "how the world ought to be." Unfortunately it never will be. Eric Cantor just confirmed it in a huge and glaring way. There is NO integrity within the republican party anymore. Just as there is none within the democratic party.

      Now, if you will excuse , I have a beautiful wife and other much more important things to attend to.

      And don't worry, I won't expose your identity. Enjoy your evening.

      Delete
  4. It's not a secret6. Expose me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, baiting me? No longer biting...

      No secret? Then expose yourself. Not my job to expose you.

      Delete
  5. Your the one who brought it up.
    Who do you think I am?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ah, you don't know.
    That's funny, I thought you did. All along.

    ReplyDelete

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