Saturday, September 22, 2012

Too Early To Sift Through The Ashes of The GOP?


Friday an increasingly deflated Noah Millman wrote in the American Conservative that what's gone wrong for his team isn't just that Romney is a terrible candidate. He makes a good case that the GOP sucks as well. I wonder how many right-wing congressional candidates read why he's now "convinced that what has changed the dynamics of this election has been a fundamental reevaluation not merely-- or even primarily-- of the two candidates, but of the two parties. This election is becoming nationalized, and it is becoming nationalized in the context of an across-the-board swing in the direction of the Democrats." Millman realizes the Republicans, thanks largely to Fox and Hate Talk Radio, don't talk to Americans; they just talk to themselves. And they sound absolutely insane  to a normal person. "What we're seeing," he tells his similarly deflated readers , "is a rejection not merely of Mitt Romney and his inept campaign, but of the Republican Party as it has chosen to represent itself in this election. And I suspect it is too late to reverse that judgment-- the best the GOP can hope for is that something catalyzes American distrust of Democrats to match. I’ve been saying this from the beginning of the campaign, and I stand by it. Mitt Romney is a lousy candidate-- tin-eared, brittle, easily-bullied, someone basically nobody thinks of as a natural leader. But he is not the fundamental problem. The fundamental problem is the party he is leading." Keep Ayn Romney away from poor Millman.
The Republicans Party-- not just the Romney campaign, but the party as a whole-- is running on nothing. They are running on the presumption that the country has already rejected the Democrats, and that therefore it is their turn. They are behaving as if choosing Democratic governance was some kind of “experiment” that didn’t work out, and now the American people will, of course, come back to their natural home.

By contrast, the Democrats actually made a case for their party. They explained what their party has done, and why they should be able to set the national agenda. They defended their foreign policy, their economic policy, and their social policy in strong, unapologetic terms.

...The generic Congressional ballot has shifted in the Democrats’ direction, to a 2-point lead according to the RCP average. More strikingly, a number of Senate races have shifted sharply in the Democrats’ direction, from Wisconsin to Massachusetts to Virginia. I picked these three races in particular, because they are races not races where “candidate quality” is a plausible cause of Republican troubles (as in, say, Missouri). Scott Brown is a highly popular Senator. Tommy Thompson is a highly popular former Governor. George Allen is, if not highly popular, nonetheless a former Senator. One of them is an incumbent; none of them are running against incumbents. If they lose their elections, it won’t be because they are personally unpopular, or because they just couldn’t overcome the popularity of their opponents, or because they are individually out of ideological step with their constituents. If they lose their elections, it will be because they have an “R” next to their names.

Paul Krugman doesn't have to read Noah Millman to be able to write with confidence that it  isn't just about how horrible Romney is or even how horrible Romney and Ryan are. As bad as Bush was and as grotesque as Bush and Cheney were, it all came down to the Republican  Party. It has for decades. While Millman was working on his American Conservative post for depressed wingnuts, Krugman was writing one of his most awesome pieces ever for the New York Times, Disdain For Workers, which I highly recommend you read in its entirety. Referencing Romney's 47% catastrophe at the $50,000/plate Boca Raton mansion, Krugman asks if we should "imagine that Mr. Romney and his party would think better of the 47 percent on learning that the great majority of them actually are or were hard workers, who very much have taken personal responsibility for their lives?" 

And he answers, quite definitively and quite negatively. "The answer is no."
For the fact is that the modern Republican Party just doesn’t have much respect for people who work for other people, no matter how faithfully and well they do their jobs. All the party’s affection is reserved for “job creators,” a k a employers and investors. Leading figures in the party find it hard even to pretend to have any regard for ordinary working families-- who, it goes without saying, make up the vast majority of Americans.

Am I exaggerating? Consider the Twitter message sent out by Eric Cantor, the Republican House majority leader, on Labor Day-- a holiday that specifically celebrates America’s workers. Here’s what it said, in its entirety: “Today, we celebrate those who have taken a risk, worked hard, built a business and earned their own success.” Yes, on a day set aside to honor workers, all Mr. Cantor could bring himself to do was praise their bosses.

...[T]he G.O.P.’s disdain for workers goes deeper than rhetoric. It’s deeply embedded in the party’s policy priorities. Mr. Romney’s remarks spoke to a widespread belief on the right that taxes on working Americans are, if anything, too low. Indeed, the Wall Street Journal famously described low-income workers whose wages fall below the income-tax threshold as “lucky duckies.”

What really needs cutting, the right believes, are taxes on corporate profits, capital gains, dividends, and very high salaries-- that is, taxes that fall on investors and executives, not ordinary workers. This despite the fact that people who derive their income from investments, not wages-- people like, say, Willard Mitt Romney-- already pay remarkably little in taxes.

Where does this disdain for workers come from? Some of it, obviously, reflects the influence of money in politics: big-money donors, like the ones Mr. Romney was speaking to when he went off on half the nation, don’t live paycheck to paycheck. But it also reflects the extent to which the G.O.P. has been taken over by an Ayn Rand-type vision of society, in which a handful of heroic businessmen are responsible for all economic good, while the rest of us are just along for the ride.

In the eyes of those who share this vision, the wealthy deserve special treatment, and not just in the form of low taxes. They must also receive respect, indeed deference, at all times. That’s why even the slightest hint from the president that the rich might not be all that-- that, say, some bankers may have behaved badly, or that even “job creators” depend on government-built infrastructure-- elicits frantic cries that Mr. Obama is a socialist.

Now, such sentiments aren’t new; Atlas Shrugged was, after all, published in 1957. In the past, however, even Republican politicians who privately shared the elite’s contempt for the masses knew enough to keep it to themselves and managed to fake some appreciation for ordinary workers. At this point, however, the party’s contempt for the working class is apparently too complete, too pervasive to hide.

The point is that what people are now calling the Boca Moment wasn’t some trivial gaffe. It was a window into the true attitudes of what has become a party of the wealthy, by the wealthy, and for the wealthy, a party that considers the rest of us unworthy of even a pretense of respect.
I can't emphasize enough how important it is to elect progressives to House and Senate seats-- not garden variety, not-as-bad-as-a-Republican Democrats and not corrupt pro-Business Democrats, so not that human debris being pushed by the DCCC-- but real honest-to-goodness independent-minded progressives. We found 3 running for Senate seats this year and here are 15 House candidates who won their primaries-- some against reactionary DCCC corporate whores-- and are now running against the Republicans exemplified in the essays by both Krugman and, oddly, Millman.

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At 3:09 AM, Blogger John said...

"Too Early To Sift Through The Ashes of The GOP?"

Another rhetorical question, eh?

OK, short answer: yes too early. Why?

1) GOP voter suppression and election fraud (including electronic voting machine manipulation.) For example the RNC is still under court order of 1986 (no criminal penalty) to cease and desist from its practice of voter caging.

2) Citizens United

3) DCCC & DSCC (presumed guilty until proven otherwise but see #4, below.)

4) "Villain rotation"

5) Obama was able to revive the GOP that Bush II left in shambles in 2008. Unfortunately, I have every confidence he can and will do it again, if he has a second term, for a party that officially, systematically and hatefully excludes perhaps 80% (90%?) of the population from its concern.

Here's my partial list. Additions are invited.
(Overlap and restatement acknowledged but all categories are under continual, vigorous and vicious attack.)

1. women
2. veterans
3. poor
4. homeless
5. labor
6. union members
7. teachers
8. firefighters
9. nurses
10. police
11. government workers
12. youth
13. elderly
14. immigrants
15. people of color
16. American Indians
17. smart people
18. professors/intellectuals
19. the educated
20.. Protestants
21. girl scouts
22. media (non-FOX)
23. Hollywood
24. Democrats
25. non-Christians
26. hippies
27. community organizers
28. middle class

John Puma

At 12:48 PM, Anonymous robert dagg murphy said...

They also hate sex, telling the truth, flowers and trees and all living things. If they can't dig it (make scares in the earth), pollute it (air and water) kill it and/or torture it they think they aren't real men. They pretend to love fetuses but they hate the wondrous and beautiful entities they come in. They especially hate Jesus and his philosophy. On top of it they are total frauds and fakers. With careful observation we can notice and point out their lies. Remember we have John Stewart and Stephen Colbert on our side. Unfortunately we've lost George Carlin and Lennie Bruce. We only learn more not less and therefor with proper education we can turn things around. Obama's reelection is vital to that end.

Happy election to you John.


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