Showing posts with label Republican Party. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Republican Party. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Yesterday, Donald Trump gave an economic policy speech in Detroit in his subdued persona, speaking from a teleprompter. He offered a replay of the old, failed GOP trickle down economics, which results in great benefits to corporations and the very rich, but, from past experience, we know that very little benefit trickles down to people who need it most.  In the greatest exercise of self control I've seen, Trump did not strike back at several protesters who were quickly removed from the venue, though if looks could kill....

Trump spoke to a group of corporate executives at the Detroit Economic Club, who probably approved of his message. If Trump's goal was in any way aimed at attracting the votes of ordinary people, living in an economy that is struggling to recover from bankruptcy in 2013, his promise to repeal the "death tax" stood out as particularly ironic. The estate tax affects only a very small number of people in the entire country.

Though I assume Trump was also speaking to the wider world, his supporters among working class white men could hardly have been moved by the promise, unless they greatly misunderstand how few people actually pay the "death tax".
The Tax Policy Center estimates that some 10,800 individuals dying in 2015 will leave estates large enough to require filing an estate tax return (estates with a gross value under $5.43 million need not file this return in 2015). After allowing for deductions and credits, 5,330 estates will owe tax. Nearly 85 percent of these taxable estates will come from the top 10 percent of income earners and over 40 percent will come from the top 1 percent alone.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


When faced with Donald Trump as the nominee of their party, certain GOP politicians give Trump their full endorsement; others say they do not endorse The Donald but they will vote for the nominee of the party; still others say they support the nominee but do not endorse him.  Will someone in the GOP explain to me the difference between endorsing, supporting, and saying you will vote for a candidate?  The choice by Republicans to slice and dice their words is meaningless, because, in the end, they all declare their approval of Trump as the nominee, and they will have to live with that choice.

TalkingPointsMemo keeps score of Republicans in office who endorse, support, or say, "Never Trump".  Prominent Republicans who do not presently hold office, such as members of the Bush family and Mitt Romney, will not endorse, support, or vote for Trump, and I say good for them.  If there is a remnant of the GOP left after the present election, I presume the anti- and pro-Trump forces will have to make up.

The source of the present controversy that divides supporters of Trump are his rants about Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the federal judge who presides over civil litigation trials against Trump University in California, whom Trump labeled a "hater of Trump" and a "Mexican" and called upon the judge to recuse himself.  Judge Curiel was born in Indiana of Mexican immigrant parents who are now naturalized citizens.  Further, the judge is a courageous hero who, in the past, stood up to Mexican drug cartels which resulted in threats to his life, forcing him to live under federal protection for a year.

The latest racist rants by Trump attacking Judge Curiel were too much for some Republican Trump supporters/endorsers, and a number are speaking out against the accusations, calling them what they are - racist. Rather than back down, Trump doubled down in his criticism of Judge Curiel.  Other GOP office holders, including Orrin Hatch and Chris Christie, defended Trump's remarks.  If, in the end, Trump backs down (He will never apologize, as he does not do apologies.), Republicans will still live in fear of his next intemperate tweet or his next intemperate rant when someone gets under his "very thin skin", as Hillary Clinton said in her recent foreign policy speech.

To Republicans who supported, endorsed, or declared they will vote for Trump, he's your albatross. If you choose to withdraw your endorsement, support, or promise of a vote because of some future outrage over Trump's intemperate commentary, he is still your albatross, and he will hang around your necks for the indefinite future.

Saturday, January 9, 2016


Michael Gerson in the Washington Post:
Every Republican of the type concerned with winning in November has been asking the question (at least internally): “What if the worst happens?”

The worst does not mean the nomination of Ted Cruz, in spite of justified fears of political disaster. Cruz is an ideologue with a message perfectly tuned for a relatively small minority of the electorate. 

No, the worst outcome for the party would be the nomination of Donald Trump. It is impossible to predict where the political contest between Trump and Hillary Clinton would end up. Clinton has manifestly poor political skills, and Trump possesses a serious talent for the low blow. But Trump’s nomination would not be the temporary victory of one of the GOP’s ideological factions. It would involve the replacement of the humane ideal at the center of the party and its history. If Trump were the nominee, the GOP would cease to be. 
Michael, Michael, the "humane ideal at the center" of the Republican Party disappeared years ago, and the racist, sexist, loathsome Donald Trump candidacy of today is the creation of the GOP, your very own Frankenstein's monster, who is now out of control.  Trump says in plain language what the other so-called establishment Republican candidates speak in veiled code language.  (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, you know what I mean.)

As for Hilary Clinton's "manifestly poor political skills", I wonder if you watched any part of the eleven hour Benghazi!!! hearings, in which Clinton made Trey Gowdy and the other Republicans on the committee look like bumbling fools.  Maybe it's just me, but I thought Clinton's political skills, intelligence, and stamina were very much in evidence.  She would not only perform well against candidate Trump but perhaps send him over the edge to the point where even Republicans would vote for her, or, if they could not bear to cast a vote for a Democrat, they would not vote and perhaps even stay home, which would affect not only the presidential vote but down-ticket Republican candidates. 

Further, the GOP "conservatism" of today quite obviously does not involve "respect for institutions and commitment to reasoned, incremental change" and has not for quite a number of years.

You say:
Liberals who claim that Trumpism is the natural outgrowth, or logical conclusion, of conservatism or Republicanism are simply wrong. Edmund Burke is not the grandfather of Nigel Farage. Lincoln is not even the distant relative of Trump.
You are wrong, Michael. The members of the so-called "center" of the GOP, who no longer have an influential voice in the party, stayed silent through the worst of the excesses perpetrated by Republican members of Congress, thus giving them free rein to vote for their extremist agenda, with the result that the two candidates who now lead in the polls are Trump and Cruz.

Two quotes come to mind:

Silence is the voice of complicity.  (Fr Roy Bourgeois)

For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.  (Hosea 8:7)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


Brian Glyn Williams, writes in a guest post at Juan Cole's Informed Comment of the history of development of ISIL in Iraq, for which Republican candidates for the presidency now blame President Obama. The essay is a long read and a challenge for those of us with short attention spans who are accustomed to sound bites and Twitter feeds, but it is well worth attention as George W Bush's brother Jeb will soon announce his candidacy for president of the United States. A good many of George W's foreign policy advisers are already busy at work in Jeb's campaign.
Today ISIS fighter-terrorists rule over millions of Iraqis (many of whom were formerly secular Baathists under Hussein) and Syrians in a region larger than the U.K. and twice the size of Israel. It goes without saying (well except by the likes of Ms. Ziedrich) had Bush, or more correctly Paul Bremer, not fired both the Iraqi Army and Baathist Party after the 2003 invasion of Iraq there would be no ISIS today. It has been widely demonstrated that the Baathists fired by Bremer in 2003 play a major operational role in ISIS today. The Washington Post, for example, has reported that “almost all of the leaders of the Islamic State are former Iraqi officers, including the members of its shadowy military and security committees, and the majority of its emirs and princes.”

Jeb Bush, it's not courageous Ivy Ziedrich who is rewriting history. Your brother is your albatross, and you are compelled to rewrite the history of the Iraq war during the campaign, but at least some of us see your lies for what they are.
Today ISIS fighter-terrorists rule over millions of Iraqis (many of whom were formerly secular Baathists under Hussein) and Syrians in a region larger than the U.K. and twice the size of Israel. It goes without saying (well except by the likes of Ms. Ziedrich) had Bush, or more correctly Paul Bremer, not fired both the Iraqi Army and Baathist Party after the 2003 invasion of Iraq there would be no ISIS today. It has been widely demonstrated that the Baathists fired by Bremer in 2003 play a major operational role in ISIS today. The Washington Post, for example, has reported that “almost all of the leaders of the Islamic State are former Iraqi officers, including the members of its shadowy military and security committees, and the majority of its emirs and princes.”
Reading through the essay reopened wounds from the runup to war through the entire debacle, which is not yet over for us here in the US. If Cheney/Bush/Rumsfeld had set out to test just how incompetent a government could be in launching and conducting a war, they could not have done a worse job.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


The last year has been a bad one for many Republicans, but 2012 was exceptionally kind to Bobby Jindal.

The 41-year-old Louisiana governor ends the presidential campaign cycle as a staple on the Sunday talk shows, a regular subject of 2016 speculation, and a legitimate contender to become the next standard-bearer of a party that once again finds itself leaderless.

And the former Rhodes Scholar has Rick Perry to thank for it all.
You could have fooled me about Jindal.  Do any of the journalists who heap praise on the governor ever check with the folks down in Louisiana?  You know, the state which Jindal "governs", and I use the word loosely and with scare quotes, because his policies are well on their way to destroying a good many institutions in Louisiana.  Where are you, Governor Jindal?  We seldom see you or hear from you in the Gret Stet where you should be accountable, but are not.  You won't talk to the local media, even as you concentrate your efforts to claim the spotlight in the national media. Your heavy-handed style of governance from afar, along with a legislature, most of whose members are either too lazy or too frightened to cross you, make for much mischief down heah.

From an adviser  to Perry:
"Anything we asked of him [Jindal], he was there," said one former Perry campaign official. "When the tide was high and when the tide was low, he was a loyal soldier." 
How we the people of Louisiana wish we could say the same.  Yes, we know Jindal can't run for a third term, and he doesn't want to be bored when he leaves office, so he feels compelled to make friends around the country who will be beholden to him should he decide to make another run for president or vice-president.  It's amazing to me that Jindal even entertains the thought that he can ever be president, but I suppose stranger things have happened.  A little ego goes a long way, and Jindal seems to have far more than his fair share.  Still, if all else fails, surely there's a well-paid lobbyist job out there waiting for him.
Rick, Bobby's separated-at-birth twin

That the media, who hail Jindal as a shining light in the Republican Party, know so little about the wreck he has made of our state, which made such a poor showing even before Jindal's depredations is quite discouraging. 

Photo of Jindal by Gage Skidmore from Wikipedia.    

Monday, November 26, 2012


To see how swiftly Republicans have turned on Mitt Romney to blame him for the loss of the election is breathtaking.  Since Romney didn't win, he will be erased from Republican history even more thoroughly than George W Bush, as soon as the GOP is done with the blame game and vilification.  Now they say Romney was a bad candidate, after nominating him, throwing millions his way to get him elected, and remaining in shocked disbelief far too long when the election was called for the president.

All right, I'm not saying Romney was a good candidate, but when you consider the lineup of alternatives, in which only one candidate, Jon Huntsman, appeared to address the issues with a semblance of sanity (he was quickly disposed of), then the nomination of Romney actually makes sense.

Michele Bachmann
Newt Gingrich
Rick Santorum
Rick Perry
Ron Paul
Tim Pawlenty
Herman Cain

Which of the above would have done a better job than Romney?

To the GOP, I say: get off Mitt's case and do an honest self-examination about why you lost the election.  The following email to Talking Points Memo from reader JT might be helpful should you decide to do so.
The Republican Party has a problem, but it is not one candidate; it is not packaging or branding; it is not messaging that is sinking the GOP. It is the core beliefs of the vast majority of Republicans.

Their problem is their war on women; war on gays; war on minorities. It is their war on science and math and logic and education and reality. It is listening to nuckle heads like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage, Ann Coulter and Donald Trump. It is allowing entertainers to determine the direction and policy positions of a major political party. It is following the teaching of extremist religions leaders like the US Catholic Bishops.

But most of all, it is the GOP’s utter lack of respect for anyone who is not like them; supporting an idiot obscure congressman who shouts “You lie” at the President of the United States during the State of the Union Address. Not repudiating truly crazy people who cling to the thumbless notion that Barack Obama was born in Kenya. It is supporting an insane governor who waves her finger publicly in the face of the President because he rejects her lunatic positions. When the GOP allows or supports these actions, they are condoning disrespect for the majority of Americans who are not aging white men.
JT sums it up nicely.  A national party cannot dismiss so many citizens of the country (47%) and expect to win.  The leaders of a national party cannot cower in fear and allow the crazy fringes to take over and expect the party to survive.

H/T to Russ Manley for the link to TPM.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


It’s an absurd notion, but it’s fully in line with decades of Republican resistance to federal emergency planning. FEMA, created by President Jimmy Carter, was elevated to cabinet rank in the Bill Clinton administration, but was then demoted by President George W. Bush, who neglected it, subsumed it into the Department of Homeland Security, and placed it in the control of political hacks. The disaster of Hurricane Katrina was just waiting to happen.

The agency was put back in working order by President Obama, but ideology still blinds Republicans to its value. Many don’t like the idea of free aid for poor people, or they think people should pay for their bad decisions, which this week includes living on the East Coast.

Over the last two years, Congressional Republicans have forced a 43 percent reduction in the primary FEMA grants that pay for disaster preparedness. Representatives Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and other House Republicans have repeatedly tried to refuse FEMA’s budget requests when disasters are more expensive than predicted, or have demanded that other valuable programs be cut to pay for them. The Ryan budget, which Mr. Romney praised as “an excellent piece of work,” would result in severe cutbacks to the agency, as would the Republican-instigated sequester, which would cut disaster relief by 8.2 percent on top of earlier reductions.
What's wrong with the Republican Party?   I live in Louisiana, and I shudder to think what it would be like here to be on our own. Our governor, Bobby Jindal, one of the bright stars in the Republican political firmament, is in the process of privatizing or dismantling as many of our public institutions as possible before he moves on to what he hopes is a prominent role on the national scene. He will leave wreckage behind that will require decades to rebuild, if there is even the will to rebuild.  The most recent havoc is in medical education, the training of doctors, which, because it is in such a state of disarray, is causing consternation amongst doctors, hospitals, and anyone in the state who cares and is paying attention. 

The Republicans of today are ruthless social Darwinians with a dog-eat-dog mentality and no concept of the common good, no conscience for a government that cares for those amongst us who are in distress.  If you are poor, or sick without health insurance, or trying to recover from a disaster with little or no resources, then you are on your own, because your plight is your own fault, and you don't deserve to be helped by the government.  

What I don't understand is that many Republicans profess themselves Christians and claim to be pro-life.  From what I see, many of them are pro-life only for life in the womb and to hell with you after that.  Oh, and when you're at death's door, and your illness is terminal and irreversible, and you have left directives not to be kept alive on machines, they just may take up your cause in Congress and pass a law ordering that you must be kept alive at all costs, despite your expressed wishes.

What is wrong with these people?  Do we want their leaders, Romney and Ryan, running the country?   

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Col. Lawrence Wilkerson former chief of staff to Colin Powell is very blunt and candid about racism in the Republican party.
It's no surprise to me that Col Wilkerson states candidly that the Republican Party is "full of racists".  Louisiana is a very red state, and I'd agree with the colonel that the Republican Party here is "full of racists". 

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Rep Todd Akin (R - MO)
Asked why he doesn’t support abortion in most cases of rape, he responded, "From what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume maybe that didn't work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist."

Richard Murdock (Candidate for Senate - R- IN)
During last night’s Indiana Senate debate, Republican candidate Richard Mourdock went too far when he said, “…even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

Rep Joe Walsh (R - IL)
Abortion bans don’t need exceptions for the life of the mother because of “modern technology and science,” Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) said Thursday.

“With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance” of an abortion necessary to save the life of the mother, Walsh said after a debate with Tammy Duckworth, his Democratic opponent....  “… There is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing.”

Add Paul Ryan's personhood bill to amend the US Constitution: "To provide that human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization.",  Romney's all-over-the-map-but-he's-against-abortion statements, and anti-women shenanigans and misstatements of biology I have left out, and what you have are not isolated incidents but proposed policies that are part and parcel of the Republican Party.  If you don't believe me, look at their platform, pages 13 and 14.  Republicans, all of you, you own these men and the anti-women policies.  They're yours.  

Friday, August 24, 2012


Joe Scarborough on Morning Joe:
“I’m just tired of the Republican Party being the ‘Stupid Party!’.  Stupid people saying stupid things and scaring off independent voters and swing voters!”
~Joe Scarborough 

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Rep. Paul Ryan will be named Mitt Romney's running mate on Saturday, ending weeks of speculation about the No. 2 slot on the GOP ticket.

Ryan, 42, is best known as the chairman of the House Budget Committee and author of a dramatic plan to overhaul Medicare, the government-run health insurance program for senior citizens.

Ryan, a House member since 1999, has proposed to overhaul both Medicare and Medicaid, the programs that have been a hallmark of the nation's compact to provide health care to senior citizens and the poor. Under his plan, Medicare would be run by private insurers while Medicaid would be turned over to the states.

Ryan's budget plan has been widely criticized by President Obama and his fellow Democrats, who contend it would "end Medicare as we know it." Obama has called Ryan's plan "thinly veiled social Darwinism."
Romney has been described as the candidate without policies.  With his choice of Ryan, may we assume that Ryan's policies will be Romney's policies?  Ryan's plans for the country are specific, and detailed.  With prescience, The New Yorker recently published a lengthy profile of Ryan. What stands out in my memory from reading the profile is that Ryan wants to avoid any movement in the direction of a European type of government.