K-thug summarizes why no one should be rooting for FreedomWorks/Club For Growth/Beck/Palin in the Republican civil war:
And if Tea Party Republicans do win big next year, what has already happened in California could happen at the national level. In California, the G.O.P. has essentially shrunk down to a rump party with no interest in actually governing — but that rump remains big enough to prevent anyone else from dealing with the state’s fiscal crisis. If this happens to America as a whole, as it all too easily could, the country could become effectively ungovernable in the midst of an ongoing economic disaster.
The point is that the takeover of the Republican Party by the irrational right is no laughing matter. Something unprecedented is happening here — and it’s very bad for America.
To be clear, the Beck/Palin wing is ascendant right now and everyone should admit that. But, as amusing as it was, the Republican debacle in NY-23 should frighten everyone.
Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon)
Everyone? Or “no one”?
@Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon): Everyone who has been surrounded.
California is a unique case, in so far as it’s got a particularly nasty set of taxation rules. This is compounded by a particularly puerile Republican Governor.
If we had McCain in office and the Dems had buckled on the line item veto back in 2007, perhaps we’d be talking about a California situation right now.
As it stands, it’s not Republicans that are obstructing government in the House and the Senate. It’s a handful of conservative democrats. A majority in the House and a 60 vote (fuck you Lieberman) Senate, combined with a few procedural rules and hijinks like the Budget Reconciliation process, means the national Dems have a lot more leverage than their California peers. And they don’t have to circumvent veto.
The Glenn Beck wing of the Republican is annoying because it constantly tries to shut down government. It’s dangerous because of the 2nd Amendment.
I disagree. The faster the GOP lurches to the right, the faster it reaches electoral irrelevance. If they nominate a bunch of teabaggers in 2010, the Democrats will be gaining seats, not losing them.
When your choices are a well-meaning but bumbling party that you may not agree with 100% or even 75% of the time, and a bunch of lunatic nuts who want to shoot your gay or Muslim neighbors in the back of the head, you’re going to go with the lesser of two evils. It’d be like if I had to choose between voting for Nixon, and voting for Dubya. I wouldn’t like that choice much, but I’d vote for Nixon in a heartbeat.
Some of what has screwed California doesn’t really apply the nation as a whole (e.g., the 2/3 requirement to pass a budget, the 2/3 requirement to raise taxes, the lunatic referendum system in which 51% can change the constitution). Still, Krugman is right in that even modest gains by (crazy) Republicans could make the country completely ungovernable.
I just keep hoping that the teabagger temper tantrum isn’t going to play well with most people. The only plan Republicans have is rooting for failure, and Democrats should be constantly hammering home that point.
Yeah, I agree — but I fear a great deal of the rest of the country would either a) stay home, or b) vote for Dubya. I mean, we had Kerry vs. Dubya and look what happened.
I realize Krugman’s argument isn’t a slam dunk. And I see the other side of it, but I think there is something genuinely scary about an all Beck/Palin party.
I think you left out one of the better quotes from the K’s piece.
What all this shows is that the G.O.P. has been taken over by the people it used to exploit.
I disagree with this quote. It’s been taken over by the people it still exploits.
Is there any other reference that this title refers to other than Porcupine Tree? If not, woot.
I think Paul is essentially correct. Scary times ahead, right?
My evil twin says, “So what?” He is beginning to feel disheartened enough to want a good round of wide spread social unrest.
Just maybe it would be really cool to see a protest clash between the urban disenfranchised and the Teabaggers. I know where I would put my money.
People who lived through 1967 (I had a ring side seat watching two American cities burn) know the irrational, explosive power of folks who are poor, screwed, shoved aside and really pissed off.
What happens when reason and compromise are off the table? Time to buy some black bandannas.
I do, too, except that I don’t think it would be more than a regional (Southern) party that mustered about 30% of the national vote come election-time.
Is there any other reference that this title refers to other than Porcupine Tree?
Yes, it’s Public Enemy.
Um, aren’t we already there? How are we not already there? Look at the way the national Republicans are acting now.
Via Sully, the upcoming purity test in Florida.
Yes, but hilarious at the same time.
Actually, the lurch of the Republican party into insanity is bad in a different way–it makes the Democratic party ever less coherent.
The crazier the Republicans get, the more people who in a sane world would be the heart and blood of the Republican party flood into the Democrats. This is largely why the party can’t agree on any ideological point anymore–the only real point of agreement left in the Democratic party is “holy fuck, we can’t let that clown show back in charge.”
Don’t get me wrong–I don’t disagree with that either! It does hurt the party, though, that we can’t explain our philosophy of governing to the country, beyond, “well, some of us think X, but others of us vehemently disagree, and we’re solidly behind all of them.”
Just to clear something up, it’s not the tea baggers protesting outside Sasha and Malia’s school, it’s the Phelps clan from Westboro.
For some reason, I just don’t think regular tea baggers would actually go that far. They’re generally really old and have grandkids and like kids in general…I think.
I wonder how long it’s going to take for the modern Republican party, dominated by Beck/Palin types, to be seen in mainstream sources as a malevolent entity, uninterested in the common good, rather than “the other side”. I’m not sure it’s reached that stage yet, myself, but on this track it’ll get there soon.
No shit, Sherlock.
The antics (I Object!) of the Tea Baggers (I Object!) during the Health Care Debate (I Object!) last week (I Object!) should terrify (I Object!) the sane members (I Object!) of the GOP.
The only reason the GOP is relevant to the legislative process now are the Senate Rules. Rules can be changed. Given sufficient reason they will be changed.
The 2010 primary season is going to be interesting. The Tea Baggers and Conservatives are, simply, the base of the GOP. Primaries are a base election. If the Palin/Armey/Limbaugh faction of the GOP run challengers to the sitting “RINO” senators we could see a repeat of NY-23 across the country. If so, the continued existence of the GOP as a national political party is up in the air.
It’s beginning to look like the 2008 presidential election was a Re-Alignment Election. If it was I can see three parties emerging by 2012:
1. The Tea Bag Party — called the GOP or something else
2. The Sane GOP + Blue Dogs — called the GOP or somethig else
3. The Democratic Party
for a couple of election cycles aligned:
1. Conservative and Hard Right
2. Center Right
3. Center Left
The Tea Baggers have demographics against them as most of their support is 65+ years old so they won’t be long-term players. But they could live on just enough to throughly destroy the Republican Party.
Everytime this subject comes up I get the idea that many people who discuss it actually believe that it is realistic to think that one possible course the Republican Party could take in the future is that without any further electoral diasters the adults come back into control and put the nuts back in the closet. I personally think the likelyhood of that happening is around 1%. So IMO there really are two likely senerios. One where the Republicans remain the party of crazy but manage to keep it enough under the surface, combined with a truely aweful performance by the Dems and/or the economy remains so that they win elections, or the second where they become so crazy that it makes it impossible for them to win elections, regardless of the economy or Dem performance, which at some point leads to a backlash from non-crazy Republican voters who then become involved in order to take back the party.
In either case the Republican party is simply not going to purge itself without it being forced on them from events and IMO the only course to a sane Republican Party is for things to get worse before they can get better.
Well, the Club For Growth seems to have decided to double-down on teabaggery, officially announcing support for Rubio in the Florida Senate primary.
Guess we’ll soon find out what oddball objects Erick ibn Erick will be sending to Charlie Christ.
I wonder if it could be argued that the G.W. Bush presidency was a “rump executive administration”.
We had purity tests, little interest in actual governing, and an attitude of “do what we want or we’ll all do nothing.”
What the GOP seems to be doing is the legislative version of the same mindset.
Grumpy Code Monkey
I’m reminded of another line from “I, Claudius”:
I’m convinced that the best way for the GOP to purge the crazy from its ranks is to let the crazy take over for a couple of cycles and demonstrate that it cannot win the elections that matter.
Demographically speaking, the teabaggers are doomed, and I think they know it at least on a subconscious level.
Erickson’s local sex toy shop better stock up on their inventory…
Oooh oooh, I pegged it, I pegged it!
I’ve never been able to watch Beck’s passion plays and laugh, read Malkin screeds and laugh, read Palin’s tweets and laugh, because aside from the fact that I don’t like laughing at the mentally imbalanced (which I sincerely believe each of those people to be), they are a fucking danger to our society.
The sooner that the Democratic Party recognizes that and takes them/the entire so-called “Conservative” wing of the Republican Party on, calling them out for what they are — liars who would undo the constitutional republic — the better we’ll all be.
Not unexpected. The Tea Baggers have all the political savvy of a kumquat.
I need to follow the Florida GOP primary more closely. Crist was a sure a shot they had to hold the seat I’ve ever seen. Rubio isn’t. Crist is going to have to move Right to get the nomination, affecting his chances — how much? I don’t know — in the general.
(Anybody know the URL of “The Interesting Times?”)
Brick Oven Bill
This is why people read Balloon Juice. Long before Glenn Beck came on the radar of any of the other progressive web-sites, Balloon Juice live-blogged the first O’Reilly-Beck debate, and scored the match 5-3 for Beck, proclaiming Beck to be the new FOX Alpha.
Only last week the grocery-store tabloid Globe stated that there were just three reasons why Barack made Michelle cry after pulling his first NCM:
1. The Olympics;
2. The Nobel Prize; and
3. Glenn Beck
This attests to the ascent of Glenn to the level of Zeus and Alfred Nobel.
Now Glenn is very literally is taking over a major political party. He has spies inside Obama’s inner ten people. He has nine congressmen feeding him information about corruption within their own parties. Behold the power of our Founding Fathers and the Principles and Ideals they established.
The Daily Kos did not herald the ascent of Glenn Beck. Balloon Juice did.
Speaking of Black themes….anyone see what happened to Sammy Sosa?
Holy fucking wow.
America is already ungovernable and elected Republicans are mostly at fault. They vote against everything, forcing the Democratic Caucus to vote in lockstep just to get anything done.
The House could afford to lose votes but the Senate can’t. They don’t have the luxury of voting their conscience (ie. Kucinich) or voting according to their red districts (ie. blue dogs who voted no).
Lose 1 D vote, HRC reform won’t happen and the Democrats get blamed for it failing. That’s really not fair, if you ask me. There are 100 members in the Senate, not 60. Passing legislation shouldn’t always have to hinge on the votes of Lieberman, Snowe and Collins. That places way too much power in the hands of those 3 individuals.
Why is o.k. for the House to pass a bill on a 218 – 217 (simple majority) margin but not o.k. for the Senate to pass the same bill on 51 – 49 margin?
The Senate is the main reason why Congress as a whole has such horrible job approval ratings. No matter how hard the House works to pass legislation, the Senate brings down the whole bunch with that ignorant filibuster.
The whole process is so inefficient.
I think irrational nonsense like the tea partiers will continue to get worse as long as constituents are shielded from moronic decisions.
Next time these loons want to shut down government, let them do it. Stop sending Social Security checks, while they are at it. This shit will come to an end real quick. We won’t even have to bankrupt the federal government in the process.
zoe kentucky in pittsburgh
What worries me is who American might elect when they’re terrified and angry– suddenly the arrogant, vindictive angry daddy party seems a lot tougher than Obama-style measured thoughtfulness and civility.
It’s what I worried about last November– that a short time before the election we’d have some kind of terrorist attack and McCain would win because he can play the part of angry, protective blowhard far better than Obama. Don’t underestimate their ability to exploit fears, especially when those fears are brought to the surface by events that hit closer to home (ie., 9/11). In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if many in the GOP are quietly banking on this possibility if/when another terrorist attack happens on American soil– that is when they’ll get their power back.
The short answer: the Senate operates under different rules than the House allowing a minority (the GOP members) to block legislation.
@Lyle4: Whenever I read something like this, I really have to hold a little chat with myself and sternly remind myself that I support the First Amendment. Because my unregulated gut says that “freedom of speech” has its limits, and these appalling thugs have gone wa-a-a-a-ay beyond. Seriously, this is just sickening.
Krugman is right. This is very scary. The Republicans are being taken over by the extremist fringe, and thanks to the Democrats’ mismanagement of the economy (watered-down stimulus, no significant reform of the financial sector), they have at least a 50-50 chance to win in 2012. And if they screw up health care reform, as it looks like they might, the teabagger Republican, whoever it might be (yes, even Palin) will probably be the favorite.
It’s not a good situation for the country.
I think those of us who think it might be ok to have generalized civil unrest as some sort of “lets see what happens” are horribly naive to think that we could do ” a little of that” and somehow make it back to sanity afterwards. Once the beast is loosed, as we saw in the Balkans, you cant always get order back. Adding to it, our population is armed and in certain sectors, to the teeth…
I am trying to stay focused and calm. We have to ride these stormy seas as an intact republic because the alternatives are just beyond horrible. While it makes for great speculative conversation for some of us, the reality is beyond what any of us can even imagine in terms of catastrophe on a social, economic and political outcomes..
I dont know sometimes what makes me more upset: the total irrational, scary movie, night of the living dead quality of the tea partiers, or the comments that I read from the left.
People who should know better spewing out irrational demands that the administration or democrats or the congress just “do” this or that — I guess using coercion or magic I suppose. Where is the awareness of the huge, cumbursome system that we have to use to stay within? Are you proposing that we just jump off the boat out of this system and into — what? Through what power do you folks imagine that we could implement “single payor” or mandate universal whatever … how does that kind of coercion vary one whit from what the tea baggers advocate? The means ARE important. The means always dictate the ends. Coercion would never bring us to where we want to be as a civilized nation of laws and a nation with way lots of diversity and wide disparaties in income and other resources.
If this tea party thing is successful, and if the left progressives cannot stay focused and themselves uphold this basic governmental structure (not saying its perfect, just the basic paradigm), we are headed for complete chaos.
All due respect to the Krug but how is this supposed to be any worse than the current situation? The current repub crew grandstands and shouts in congress and on cable, goes to teabagger rallies, and votes no on literally everything.
What do we stand to lose? I suppose the next step is once some real teabaggers win a congressional seat or two, they will start bringing their guns onto the floor of the House.
Brick Oven Bill
This Sammy Sosa is beginning to look like Michael Jackson.
Neither Sammy Sosa nor Michael Jackson is / was a Teabagger to the best of my knowledge. Both Sammy and Michael seem to be / have been more interested in themselves and shallow appearance issues than the Principle and Ideals of the Founding.
It does not appear that Sammy has had his nose-job yet.
There, fixed that for you.
I really think it’s all a reaction to Bush.
Conservatives will jump through flaming hoops before admitting the dogma failed, in practice, as applied.
Tea Party denizens are raging, weeping, cruelly disappointed conservatives.
Because they owned the whole works, getting to Bush took thirty years, and it didn’t work out the way they thought it would.
The Constitution doesn’t guarantee a certain result, it just sets up the parameters within which any one of several results can occur, it’s the real beauty of the thing, but ideologues always think it does.
“Follow the constitution and you’ll end up with classic conservatism!”. My ass you will. BROAD variance within those boundaries.
They’re going to be cruelly disappointed again.
Anyone else notice the GOP today is doing the inverse of the 20th century’s Democratic Party?
For most of the 20th century, until the Civil Rights movement succeeded (legislatively), the Democrats comprised two parties:
(1) A pro-labor, mostly liberal, ethnic, and often non-Protestant party in the North, Midwest, and West;
(2) A reactionary, anti-labor, racist segregationist party of white supremacy in the South.
The non-Southern Democrats ran the party and determined the platform. Not always successfully, but it held the New Deal together as long as they could make racist provisions and exclude agricultural labor from any rights.
But in today’s GOP, the Southern reactionaries have currently taken over and control the party, in collaboration with their Western mirrors.
Republican candidates (or potential candidates) certainly have a rich field of ordinary voters to return to their previous incarnation as the party of pro-big business moderates, but the primaries are controlled by the neo-Confederate teabaggers.
If the moderates begin strongly challenging the teabagger neo-Confederates, and can survive the primary loony bin, then I think Democrats have a lot to fear.
If the teabagger neo-Confederates consolidate into a more coherent, popular proto-fascist movement — and I mean that quite literally — then Democrats as a Party simply will not resist them, because they do not resist right wing attacks as a party. So I get nervous about that.
@ Lyle Its the Phelps clan–basically grifters who raise money by suing people who “infringe” their rights at Sidwell Friends. But the teabaggers haven’t been immune to raising hell in front of (other) people’s kids’s schools. The whole “kids praise Obama through song” hysteria included some picketing and death threats. Those were the teabaggers.
@Keith G: be careful what you wish for. The one thing that could turn the teabagger wackjobs into a real majority is “the irrational, explosive power of folks who are poor, screwed, shoved aside and really pissed off.”
National recession, expected to last into the next decade. 10% unemployment (17% by the U-6 index) and growing. Rising prices and falling wages. The constituents haven’t been shielded from moronic decisions for some time.
The difference is in the education. You’ve got clusters of people feeding on the FOX Noise new streams and continuing to buy the propaganda time and time again. As the moronic decisions of the 2000s cause the situation gets worse, certain segments of the population will become increasingly more irrational.
At this point, all you can do is educate and fix. Demonstrate that your policies will succeed, and the people who benefit from the policies (and recognize that they are benefiting from those policies), will take their new found wealth and support you.
I agree with your nervousness about the Democrats’ will to resist..
All we can do is work towards revamping the party and populating it with people who WILL do that and remove the ones who do not. I think part of the weakness that we see is because for over two decades we allowed weak right democrats to run the show — they got elected and sucked all the oxygen out of our thinking and concept. With Howard Dean we began to see a change, but that has to work itself out over time, unfortunately and there are a lot of steps forward and back in that process. Remember, our system is supposed to be hard to change — and that is the thing
Brad DeLong says Sarah Palin will show us the new, post-partisan way forward. Here is the opening paragraph, and it is not intended as a joke (emphasis mine):
It’s like “objectively pro-terrorist” 2.0!
@iu1995: To the list of Senatorial injustice you must add the fact that the senate is not even a representation of the American people, it is a representation of states. As such, if any house needs a 60% majority to pass legislation, it should be the House of Representatives.
We’re being held hostage by small backwards states with white monocultures based around agriculture, Christianity, and denialism.
No no! That’s not Brad deLong. That’s James deLong. Aquit Brad, please!
I honestly don’t get this thinking. Most people don’t like Sarah Palin, “qualifications” aside.
They’re all going to like her a lot at some time in the undetermined future? She’s managed to stay in the news since she was unveiled. They still don’t like her. Why would they change their minds? She doesn’t run anything, so it won’t be because of accomplishments. So what will that change be based on?
Sarah Palin won’t change, but tens of millions of people will, and they’ll turn to Sarah Palin.
Yeah. That’s rational.
That is not Brad Delong (the liberal economist).
Now, this may be the Zoloft talking, but I just cannot get worried about this right now. I will continue to monitor the situation, but right now I just cannot worry.
Calm down people. I’ve been through this before. This situation is not as bad as the 1960s (I concede: Yet) and the nation managed to survive that decade.
President Obama is one of the best, national, politicans this country has produced. His polices are too Center for my taste; I submit that should give a greater value to my judgement of his abilities. (Or not ;-) Because he is Center is open to the possibility – at a minimum – of persuasion opening the potential to a change to “New Deal” economic policies. IMO, that’s as good as it was going to get, given the 2008 candidates.
The Democrats control the House and there’s no indication the GOP is going to regain control. The Dems may lose a couple seats. They may even, when the dust is settled, win a couple of seats. Who Cares.
The Senate is the goal in 2010. If the Crist/Rubio primary fight is indicative the Tea Baggers are going to mount primary challenges to the “RINOs.” At this point we can’t determine anything about that or what is going to happen in the 2010 general.
2012 may as well be 2040 as far as prediction goes.
In general, a political power struggle and cat fight in the opposing party is Great News for the party holding power. A candidate too far outside the political “Landscape” of an election district won’t win. A candidate that fails to reflect the base of the nominating party won’t win either. That’s political reality. Caveat: incumbency “munges” this — see the 2006 Connecticut general election — to favor the incumbent.
If the 2008 presidential election WAS a Re-Alignment election then the GOP’s incumbents are in more danger of being upset than the Dem’s incumbents. Based on the district and yadda-yadda-yadda. But we don’t know.
And “Don’t Know” means “Don’t Know.”
Take a Chill Pill, calm down, relax, and disconnect your amalgyda from your frontal lobes.
The Grand Panjandrum
Westboro Baptist Church Haters = Beckian Teabaggers – Flag Burning – Protesting at Funerals of Dead Americans Troops.
That really is the only difference so far as I can tell.
O/T but why do conservatives continue to insist people hate their mail service?
“One big joke in Washington is, if the government ends up running healthcare, it’ll be just like the U.S. Postal Service,” the Utah Republican told Don Imus this morning in his new saddle at Fox Business Network. “There will be long waiting periods, care would be expensive, and no babies would be delivered without adequate postage.”
I can say from experience, rural conservatives love their mail service, and are (incidentally) all but wholly dependent on it, because they don’t live in areas with profitable private markets.
They think it’s cheap and fast, not slow and expensive.
Hatch has an elitist view, I must say.
I’m not saying it’s not tough out there. I’m saying that if we ask the people who claim that the government never works to put their money where their mouth is, they would be singing a different tune. Social Security would be a great place to start.
It’s easy to blame anyone for the state of the economy. It’s harder to claim that the free market will provide once your Social Security check stops coming in the mail.
Keep in mind that a bunch of these people are still running around screaming about how the libruls spend all their hard-earned money. This despite the fact that blue states (as an aggregate) get less per tax dollar paid to the feds. The party that incessantly bitches about “tax and spend” charges useless crap to the national credit card faster than a drunk Paris Hilton. Enough. We don’t have to subsidize these ingrates.
Noisy, yes, and getting a lot of attention because of it. But they’re losing elections, so I don’t know how “ascendant” that makes them.
Not only is it elitist, his attempt at humor in the last line destroys his attempted point. In my experience, at least, private carriers also demand money to ship things from place to place. That’s more or less the point of private enterprise, in fact.
I agree with the impetus behind the sentiment here.
But I wish people would stop telling me to be afraid of things. I’m pretty sure we can decry the reliance on the paranoid style in politics without engaging in it ourselves. And while I understand that the BeckPalinstein Monster is actually a real entity that can cause harm, being afraid of it is fairly counterproductive. I’d rather we just work really, really hard to defeat it. Un-paranoid style.
Beats me. I’ve sent out literally thousands of letters, packages, etc in the last twenty years. Number of lost and misdirected mails: two. Pretty good average, from where I sit. I always ask anyone who pulls that “if you like the post office, you’ll love socialized medicine” bullshit “how often does your mail get lost?” It usually shuts them up.
And, why always use the Postal Service? The “government” runs the armed forces. Do they suck at that too?
Soldiers alone don’t suck. That’s weird. How’d they manage to escape the general huge governmental failure all around them?
General Winfield Stuck
The south has always been bad for America, the ground is still soaked from their misgivings with blue and black blood that will not leach away.
This is just one more germination of that rascal seed that seems to me will grow into a tough invasive weed in our body politic. And though I could be wrong, offers little similarities to the 60’s, where the undercurrent was always for positive change, despite the chaos and violence. I see none or little semblance to that theme in the present nuttery.
Oh, and the only carrier that’s done something monumentally stupid like leaving a large box of books in the yard, in the rain, twenty feet from a covered porch, was FedEx.
While I do believe the Teabagging contingency freak show has enough oomph to raise hell with the Faux News crowd and a few local elections throughout greater wingnuttia, on a national level they strike me as a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade version of Ralph Nader.
They will spoil the plans of those on the right more than the center and the left. But they still need a watchful eye and tending to.
NOT Brad DeLong, the Other DeLong at Pajamas Media.
The comments there are great: Dubya and Sarah are the only people with INTEGRITY in the country. That’s sure the first word I think of when either of those two pops into my poor head.
Of all the people that rely on the mail, older, white rural (generally, conservatives) are the most dependent, and love it the most.
Hatch doesn’t know this? These are people who have been buying things by mail for their entire lives. I used to deliver tractor tires, and live chickens, and (once) a 3 foot sawblade.
They were just despondent when Sears discontinued those huge catalogues. I thought I was going to have to bring in counselors. They went completely into paranoid conspiracy mode when Social Security went to electronic deposit.
Just call it the “Crazy Old Uncle Party” – or COUP – and be done with it.
Much like your crazy uncle, they will make the most noise and be the most obnoxious relative present at any event. And just like your crazy uncle, nobody really pays attention to the message behind the bluster. And when he’s gone everyone will say, “What a fucking lunatic” and have a good chuckle at his expense.
But to tea-baggers, elections are irrevelant. If you lose, that means it’s time for REVOLUTION!
A potential problem related to the one Krugman points out is that lack of an at least semi-responsible opposition in our two-party system can cause serious distortion in political discourse that might not occur, for example, in a parliamentary system in which there are multiple parties. The media is already biased towards false equivalence, and an either/or framing gets reinforced by the two party system, i.e., “if the Ds are right, then the Rs must be wrong” or, worse, “if the Ds are wrong, then the Rs must be right.” Thus, if Obama and the dems are viewed as failing, then this will leave the teabaggers as the only alternative and people might turn to them out of frustration. We needn’t go all Godwin about that but, along the lines of what someone said above, I’d rather have Nixon than Palin or Huckabee.
It is important also to know, in my opinion, that some of this crazy tea party stuff can wreak huge damage in local elections. These local jump off points can lead to major influences in regional and national decisions. Such things as mapping legislative districts to funding or unfunding critical services happen at the local level quite a bit.
So while I agree that we should not get to freaked out nationally, we had all better watch the local going-ons. Case study in point, a tea-bagger like local, well funded group just upset 3 out of four contests in our county council races, placing in the office, people who are anti environment, anti tax and bought and paid for by the developers and real estate folks. So lets pay attention — dont just assume that other folks will take care of it…they might not
I think this is really unlikely. CA legislators are all elected from fairly small and politically homogenous (mostly rural) districts and the CA GOP is extremely right-wing.
A party structured around the CA style antigovernment ideology can’t gain control of the house because it’s too proportionally weighted towards urban areas (who demand functional governemnt).
This approach could temporarily control the the Senate (as they have now) but it’s going to be very difficult to hold it for any length of time as it’s really unlikely that a hard right GOP can hang on to any senate seats for more than a cycle or two outside of the mountain west an deep south.
Even in CA, I think the GOP is hanging on by a thread. They were fairly strong when I was a kid, but I think they’re now barely clinging to their 1/3 and there isn’t any way they can win an open governorship.
Look, it’s basic political science. You HAVE to be vigilant to make sure your interests are being heard. Assuming you can vote ’em in once and ignore it is a strategy for failure.
@kay: No kiddin’. And this…
I too depend on USPS because I live in a market that’s unprofitable for FedEx and UPS to deliver to…north Austin, Texas.
But the way I see it, at least it’s ideologically consistent for conservatives. They defend insurance companies, who can’t be arsed to cover someone who had a broadly-defined preexisting condition, and they defend private carriers, who can’t be arsed to deliver to someone who lives 30 minutes from their shipping facility. Sounds like roughly the same quality of service to me.
If he’s worried about the Postal Service being “expensive” it’s like any other high volume delivery entity.
Urban compressed areas provide the revenue, while rural areas are a net loss, because it costs just about as much to deliver 100 pieces per mile as it does 1 piece per mile, but the per mile revenue is not the same.
The way to save money would be to end rural, red state “free” delivery, actually.
General Winfield Stuck
Man, I sure agree with this. Though in the past the formula for coming together to win elections was how it was done. But what is different now, is the full circle completion of the “southern strategy” that has put the southern tea bagger types in full control of the GOP. This is their tribe now and change or moderation will not likely occur to win elections IMHO.
That leaves for the short term a GOP energized and crazy as shithouse rats, but electorally impotent. It also leaves dems in the drivers seat, at least for the short term.
It’s speculation, but I suspect that at some point moderate goopers will get fed up with putting liberals in charge as their only option, and set out to form a new party. If that happens it could spell bad news for dems and the country. We were not set up to be a three party system. And I bet the founders new we wouldn’t survive long as such, which is why they gave us a Constitutional Republic instead of a Parliamentary system.
People like Larison, Sullivan and NE Rockefeller repubs, and dare I say maybe Mr. Cole, would even things out more and allow the southern wingnuts to become again viable electorally, and then Gawd hep us all.
Of course by then we might all be nukular dust so it wouldn’t matter much.
I screwed the pooch on that one. Most definitely NOT Brad DeLong, and my sincere apologies to him for mixing him up with that craziness.
Yep. But its keeping the focus for our left progressives..
Not to get into any horrible controversy, but more to illustrate missed opportunity, 4,000 people, who would have swung the election completely in our favor, voted for partner equality legislation and made no choice for anything else on their ballots! The Democrats completely blew identifying this important constituency and its a harsh lesson learned…
@Llelldorin: I’m not quite sure that is true. A) More people who would once have called themselves Republicans are not referring to themselves as Independents. (I see this in my own family where my once-Ditto-head brother finally woke up and smelled that coffee but cannot bring himself to register Dem.) and B) the old saw “I don’t belong to an organized political party: I’m a Democrat” has a long and storied history.
But on the whole, I think the purging of the Republican party is going to be a good thing for the country. I think that vast swath of moderates and thinking conservatives pushed out thereby will eventually form a new party that will become a more thoughtful and less shrill foil to the Dems. It will probably drag a bunch of conservative and moderate Dems away. Again, not sure this is a bad thing. I think this will make the Rs the true fringe party and tip things a bit more “left of center” in this country.
I could be wrong though. Wouldn’t be the first time. ;-)
and it’s still exploiting them
@Mayken: aarggh! I fail. That first complete sentence should read:
Fed Ex is not driving 5 miles out to deliver a birthday card, for 44 cents. The Postal Service has to, because 1st class has to be delivered the day it’s received.
Doesn’t Utah have vast areas with very few people in them? You’d think he’d get that.
I also think that during this time, the Democrats will also have to do some restructuring of our party. We need major tune up to the folks currently in the Congress and that has to start with a new approach at the local level. From my own hard fought experience down in the trenches of the local Democrats, this is not a slam dunk. These folks resist change and so it has to come at them at times in disruptive ways, cause they do not listen quickly to “outsiders” with new fangled ideas or approaches..
Just Some Fuckhead
Why does Orrin Hatch hate George Washington?
@kay: On the other hand, I think it’s safe to say that the area I live in isn’t so incredibly remote that UPS would have to outsource packages to the post office. And yet they do.
In other words, we’re not just talking about vast areas with very few people. Freakin’ suburbia is too expensive for them to deliver to.
@Elie: The Democratic Party, by being a political party, is supposed to be resistant to the demands of the other, particularly when losing, political party.
This is, unfortunately, not the case. And it is most certainly not because of fear or confusion, but because many of the most powerful people and institutions of the Democratic Party actually prefer the pro-upper-class and pro-hawk views of their Republican ‘opponents’.
And there’s very few institutional mechanisms by which ordinary grassroots Democrats may assert real control over ‘their’ party’s agenda and policies. (You can pass all the state and local resolutions you want, but they’ll have zero actual effect unless the candidates or parties want to do that anyway.)
I don’t get Krugman thinks we’re supposed to find the “California” argument persuasive. IIRC the problem is you need a supermajority to raise taxes. Well it’s not like the state is not getting any tax revenue. They need to figure out how to cut more spending instead.
Going still further O/T: last week’s New Yorker review of two new biographies of Ayn Rand had a great opening sentence, to the effect that she was probably the only person ever featured on a US postage stamp who believed the government had no business delivering mail.
Right. Because those massive budget cuts unleashed by the Governator earlier this year were so effective at fixing California’s myriad of problems.
Except for the fact that it just made everything exponentially worse.
Weak troll is weak today.
DougJ, I live in California and he has some very valid points. The Dems do need to be called out on their tendency to defend their pet projects as much as the right. The problem is that the right won’t raise taxes on anything to cover the shortfall and as a result everybody is ultimately suffering who doesn’t pull in a mid-six figure salary.
Her and Ronald Reagan. Hatch can privatize the postal service. I suggest he bring that up next session.
The idea that it’s “expensive” for consumers is just incorrect, and it’s only “inefficient” because it’s a big goddamn country, and they go to every address.
I think it’s becoming more and more clear why conservatives completely ignored reforming health care. It’s difficult, and they’re morons.
The Post Office’s total cost per residence is $235 a year, or about 20/month. You get mail delivery no matter where you live, from Midtown Manhattan to Point Barrow Alaska at the same rate. And the Post Office 660 million pieces of mail to as many as 142 million delivery points each day with a more than 99% accuracy rate.
That’s pretty damn impressive IMHO. I only hope healthcare is as good as the Post Office.
Noooo. The problem is that the right thinks cutting schools to bare bones is the way to go. I wouldn’t care if I paid $25 more to register my car or $10 to park at the beach or whatever. The right thinks it’s HELPING me and many other fair minded Californians. What they are doing is destroying education to make the elitist class happy.
Wrong on every level.
licensed to kill time
Conservatives register Tea Party as an official third party in Florida
Sorry if this has been posted already, but Fear The Teabaggers! They are surrounding us with their soggy bags!
I also don’t get the contempt for the Postal Service, where right-wingers mention it and presume that everyone’s just going to snigger along. I assume it has something to do with the experience of waiting in a slow-moving line staffed by a mildly bored-seeming worker; but it’s not like private enterprises don’t rely on slow-moving lines staffed by mildly bored-seeming workers.
I previously thought there was a dog-whistle kind of thing going on, because the Postal Service always seems to have more people-of-color than other employers. But I can’t imagine that’s true in Orrin Hatch’s Utah.
I really get angry at people who think the P.O. is inefficient. As a business owner it’s actually very economical. The big problem for the USPS is employee costs. I am not advocating they cut salaries. I advocate they start looking for ways to downsize things that aren’t pulling their weight cost wise.
Privatizing the post office is a stupid thing to do. The UPS and Fed Ex would eat it alive and then goodbye to paying $.44 for a stamp, that I promise. It will easily be over $1 to do so.
Sure, in a world where I can pay my Chase bill online, that is fine but when people start seeing the costs that will be passed onto them by businesses that rely on mailing statements and so forth, it seems like a shortsighted thing to do IMHO.
Actually, I was just thinking that it would be great if there were federal health clinics (for routine and preventive care) alongside every post office.
Post offices in small towns are meeting places. If the right insists on making the post office private, I promise that those branches will close. People who live in rural places do so not always by choice. The Post Office to ME is part of the commons. It’s good to have a service that can deliver mail from one coast to another in 3-5 days for .44 cents. Try getting UPS to do that and do it quickly for that kind of money. They charge surcharges of surcharges and ground takes sometimes 10 days to arrive from NY to LA.
Sorry, if I have to pay another .10 for a stamp, so be it. If the PO goes private and I hear one whiner from a red state complain about losing a post office, I am going to scream.
Actually, that is my point — reflecting on the comments about how the Republicans were going to have to change and that the splintered party revamping to do a new moderate wing would be attractive to some of the Democrats.
I think that our entire political system is going to be challenged and NEEDS to be challenged to come up with the right match to what we need versus the past. The corporo Democrats fit a delusional system built on excess and exagerration and was not linked to the grass roots. We indeed are probably going to possibly have to “tea party” them from another direction to fix the situation. I am agreeing with you that they will not allow change of the scope needed, within the system as it exists now
It made sense for the Postal Service, because they’re going to your address anyway, but it does make it a little difficult to listen to conservatives marvel at the efficiency of the private carriers.
Who are dependent on the government entity for the last, least profitable mile.
Works like a charm! As long as you have a base level of subsidized universal service.
Why couldn’t the gov’t give the PO some cash to have some of the bigger locales carve out space for a health clinic? I have a PO near me that does passports for a small cost. Why not this?
Yep, DHL sure worked out didn’t it? Their closing hurt a lot of people.
In the end, they were a victim of bad management and a monopolized market. UPS and Fed Ex will KILL a privatized USPS.
Fuck the cons on this one. They are dead wrong about the PO.
If the party was made up of reasonable people like Jim Jeffords or Lincoln Chafee I could accept them as a legit counterparty.
Proof or it didn’t happen.
My mail always goes through to my customers. The few times it doesn’t is a glitch by the CUSTOMER in terms of providing an address to us.
As for expense? Let’s see…I send a 1 pound box to NY for $4.95 via USPS and it arrives in 3 days. The same box would cost me $7-9 with UPS, take up to 7 days to arrive AND they charge me gas and residence surcharges.
Real fucking efficient Orrin, you whore.
But midtown Manhattan is subsidizing that Points Barrow, Alaska delivery at 44 cents a piece or it wouldn’t work.
Mail should be 15 dollars a piece in rural Alaska. It’s not, but only because revenue to cover costs per mile is shared.
Oh and lines at the PO? Sure at lunch there tend to be BUT I go to the DMV and wait 10 times as long.
As for other typical USPS complaints, they need to prove it by showing me COUNTLESS examples. One or two aren’t going to work.
For example, if I drop off mail to be sent out, I can drop off multiple packages on the back dock where there is always SOMEBODY stationed. No wait times there. If I need stamps, I can always order them on the net, go to the local drugstore or if I have to, go to the automated kiosk in the PO lobby. Gee, real hard.
If I have to wait in line, the reason I have to wait at all is because some schlub is up at the booth with a package they haven’t sealed, addressed or anything AND that customer holds us up getting pissed that he/she can’t get the USPS employee to seal their box for them. F-that.
See, if there are lines it’s because a-holes tie up the smart people who KNOW the drill.
You make a great point. Maybe we need to privatize the PO just to make people like these wake up and realize the common good is worth paying for sometimes.
@kay: A ha, very good point! I had not thought of that.
Of course in the end, it still doesn’t change the conclusion: people railing against USPS are morons.
@zoe kentucky in pittsburgh:
They’ve already started up with the Ft Hood murders was the first terrorist attack on US soil since 911 and it happened on Obama’s watch bullshit. I really wish there was a way for him to avoid Texas tomorrow.
Agreed. If there are segments of the population who buy into this thinking, fine. We should label them the town morons they are and start ignoring their moranic comments (yes, intentional misspelling grammar police).
The south is full of people who think their way is the best way. It’s not. If it was, they’d stop taking mine and many other state’s tax dollars to subsidize their crapholes.
Sorry, if these idiots think it’s okay to shove their uninformed views down my throat, fine, that’s free speech. I promise, the day they no longer get one PENNY of fed subsidies from other states like California (who could rightfully use it) they will be sorry.
Oh well. I love how somebody in Mississippi tells us Californians how to manage our affairs. I joke if we could keep the funds we send states like yours, we would never NEED to cut any fucking services.
Bull, the man was a coward and mentally ill. He couldn’t deal or handle the pressure. It’s no more a terrorist act than the many school shootings that happened on Bush’s watch.
General Winfield Stuck
catching up I see.
GET RID OF THE FILIBUSTER AND THEN JUST RAM THROUGH THE RIGHT STUFF. ALSO, start pulling federal dollars away from ignorant effers in red states. HURT THEM and make their political representatives come back hat in hand and if that isn’t good enough, take away their advil too and ipods. This country has been in the power and service of morons for too long… BTW, a good friend of mine works at Fox and they laugh at their viewers (except for crypto-fascist Murdock)
“Right. Because those massive budget cuts unleashed by the Governator earlier this year were so effective at fixing California’s myriad of problems.”
Really? Given that the biggest problem seems to be a fiscal deficit, you gotta think the cuts weren’t “massive” enough.
...now I try to be amused
One of America’s dirty little secrets is that many Americans don’t really like democracy. It’s always been this way. They might talk a libertarian line but their motives and methods look authoritarian to me. The best way to render the teabaggers impotent is to make them ridiculous.
...now I try to be amused
[The second paragraph of my previous post was also by ellaesther and should be in blockquote.]
If only California could live as a low tax state like Mississippi, which gets more federal money than its citizens pay in taxes, then everyone would be happy, and Californians might aspire to be as happy, healthy, and economically developed as Mississippi.
If you think getting health care through Congress is tough, just try getting this rule through the Senate. You’re going to tell the ten most conservative Senators in the Dem Party that you want to make their votes not matter any more?
HA! HAHAHA! HAHA! HA!
Good luck with that. A rules change to the filibuster rule is open to a (you guessed it) filibuster. One of the reasons that Frist’s nuclear option was somewhat laughable.
And that’s just what’s happening in Florida:
My guess is that the Cubans will stay with the Republicans and the white guys in the Panhandle will go Teabagger.
Why yes, that is what I think. Quite surprising to hear that from someone who otherwise spouts out moronic platitudes.
I visit MS once a year. Sorry, I get the sarcasm but if I have to live like that, then might as well move to Canada :(
Well, the GOP is blocking ANYTHING that is reasonable. I believe somebody on the left wanted to raise DMV fees like $25 a person. It got shot down. Another suggestion was to raise the dock fees for private yachts. Shot down.
I can go on and on yet it’s all the left’s fault that California is drowning. If you look at what they cut, you’d think the school children and college kids were the reason we are in such deep shit.
@The Populist: Canadians are all dead or dying in death camps because they have soci_alized medicine. Haven’t you seen the protest signs and heard the horror stories mentioned by right wing AM radio hosts?
In Canada, if you need surgery, they first make you wait 80 years, and then when you finally get an appointment, they make you go out naked and deliver a speech in front of a bunch of other middle schoolers because you forgot it was the final exam, and then your mother comes in and is very disappointed… Wait, no, that’s just a recurring nightmare. Actually they make you wait 80 years and then they kill you.
Huh? Hehe, just reading and responding. That is why I come to this blog.
I heard a commentator mention re. California that the vehicle tax that Arnie cut brought in about $7 billion / year, and has been in effect for 3 years, and surprisingly the California budget deficit is about $21 billion.
Is that true?
El Cid, you are a funny one! Hehe.
Well, I guess it’s better than Mississippi where the best hope the poor have to fix their health issues is to pray. Now I am all for the right of religion, but if you prayer is something that works, why are there so many a-holes in this world?
Gray Davis was ousted in an expensive recall that saw the likes of Gary Coleman, Mary Carey the porn star and some other infamous schlub running against Ahnuld.
Darrell Issa was responsible and he funded the recall efforts. All that over an increase in DMV fees. Wow.
“Well, the GOP is blocking ANYTHING that is reasonable. I believe somebody on the left wanted to raise DMV fees like $25 a person. It got shot down. Another suggestion was to raise the dock fees for private yachts. Shot down.”
Yeah, like $25/boat dock fees is going to affect the CA budget. Roughly speaking the budget is $85 Billion. If they’re not bringing in that much revenue and can’t raise taxes (‘cuz of the evil GOP) they need to find more to cut (and cut harder in places they’ve already cut).
i remember it well. the difference is that when the right tries that shit this time, they won’t be going up against people who are
trying to put daisies in the barrels of their guns. when the ghetto comes after them, i predict we’ll see the backsides of a whole lot of right wing chairborne commandos. instead of ‘make love not war’, they’ll hear a lot of, ‘i will bust a cap right in your right wing ass’.
BULL. Every dollar counts.
Sorry, boat fees ADD up. Raising the luxury tax ADDS UP. Taxing commercial properties the CURRENT GOING RATE ADDS UP.
Where do we cut anymore? Should more kids go fucking hungry? Should we build more and more jails to house pot smokers and petty thieves?
Please. The schools are fucking dying in this state. Our colleges are underfunded because THEY are the easiest institutions to dig into for budget savings.
It’s bull Koz. Every dollar counts. Shit, I argue we should legalize pot and allow more casinos into this state so we can make some cash off those. If Vegas hates that idea fuck them. They keep trying to take our corporations away, so we can take their lucrative businesses and not allow the indian gaming tribes the right to monopolize that market and not pay for their fair share of the infrastructure.
@Mayken: I just don’t know about this idea that the moderates who left the GOP will make some sane new conservative party. Sure, they maybe disavow the “how many land wars in Asia can we start” crowd and the “replace the Constitution with the Bible crowd” but the thing they will never renounce is their brand of glibertarian free marketism that destroys competitive markets and the middle class. And deep down, that’s the stuff that is really breaking this country.
If we have serious social turbulence again in this country, we won’t end up with a more left-wing government when it’s done. Quite the contrary. Bet on that.
Anyone on the left who’s wishing for turbulence in this country either (a) doesn’t have kids or (b) doesn’t know much about history.
Unless the way they’re cutting the budget–along with the programs they’re cutting–isn’t being done in a logic or effective manner in the first place. “Cutting harder” (which is hilariously moronic, by the way) isn’t going to make a difference. That’s like applying the “CLAP LOUDER” plan to budget issues in place of the war.
And not OT at all, Michael Steele, the gift that keeps on giving:
Michael Steele: Some White Republicans Are ‘Scared Of Me’
The popcorn is already popping for this one.
UPS charges an extra fee for “rural” delivery.
@The Populist: Um. The people doing the subsidizing are the blue, urban areas of the country. They already understand this. The red, “real America” areas will just bitch and moan about how expensive postage is. They will not understand why.
KS Miami @ 110 or 101
Democracy is a bitch. Unfortunately I thought that is what we want. Ramming down stuff and coercing stupid people because “they have been running things too long”, is an understandable emotion that I also have. But we cannot have it and actually say that we believe in democratic governance. By explicit reality, you always face the possibility that the majority are morans. Why do you think those elitist constructs such as the electoral college and the senate came into being? They were the founding father’s backstop acknowledging that democracy sometimes leads to rule by the rabble, so to speak.
We have to strive for balance and that balance is not couched in the language of coercion but of hard won learning and over time accomodation and assimilation… in themselves controversial and antithetical to purists on all sides.
Aint nothing easy or a snap…
It’s a universal delivery system with a private component that operates alongside the public portion, and the private services directly benefit from the base-line universal service.
It goes the other way too. The Postal Service uses private trucking contractors to haul mail from one end of the country to another.
We can do these sorts of things, and competently.
Conservatives are just sort of underachievers :)
again, dougj, major kudos to your headline writing skills!
now i try to be amused:
“One of America’s dirty little secrets is that many Americans don’t really like democracy. It’s always been this way. They might talk a libertarian line but their motives and methods look authoritarian to me. The best way to render the teabaggers impotent is to make them ridiculous.”
I would add that its hard to make them seem ridiculous when there is so much unserious ridiculousness around us from all sides these days…from Samy Sosa skin lightening to unreal reality shows, to you name it, the ridiculous and fantasy reality make such distinctions very hard.
anyone see the GOP is now calling Cao from La. “Mao” ?
“Where do we cut anymore? Should more kids go fucking hungry? Should we build more and more jails to house pot smokers and petty thieves?
Please. The schools are fucking dying in this state. Our colleges are underfunded because THEY are the easiest institutions to dig into for budget savings.
It’s bull Koz. Every dollar counts. Shit, I argue we should legalize pot and allow more casinos into this state so we can make some cash off those. If Vegas hates that idea fuck them. They keep trying to take our corporations away, so we can take their lucrative businesses and not allow the indian gaming tribes the right to monopolize that market and not pay for their fair share of the infrastructure.”
Get started then. One from column A, one from column B, etc.
Just don’t raise taxes until you cut enough to get some Republican votes (or cut enough that you don’t need them).
I think the misunderstanding here is basically that you and Koz do not want the same thing, so it’s natural that Koz’s ‘solution’ won’t result in what you want. You want good schools, available to all. What the GOP wants, esp. the CA GOP, is for the public school system to collapse. To basically crash, so starved of money that it can’t operate. Then the wingnuts step in, and say “see? this proves that the gummint DOESN’T work!” Then at that point, the fantasy goes, they abolish public schools and replace them with vouchers. Of course this will result in most children, esp. nonwealthy ones, not being able to attain a good education, or even any education at all, but for Koz et al, that’s a feature, not a bug.
To the GOP, it’s win-win: they get their taxes lowered, another part of the wicked gummint is drowned in the bathtub, and the next generation is much more ignorant and ill-educated, and thus less likely to figure out how thoroughly they’ve been boned.
Cheryl from Maryland
How does Orrin Hatch get a rate lower than 44 cents on his FedEx? Because it costs me $7.00 to send a letter via FedEx. Sure, it gets there a day earlier, but it costs 15 times a much.
licensed to kill time
Rush Limbaugh compares Obama to Ft. Hood murderer:
The sad thing is that its not necessarily a minority of democrats who are at least somewhat ambivalent about public schools and the taxes necessary to support them. Many times the self defined conservatives/Republicans may be a minority in a given population, but when vote for school funding comes up, SURPISE, the initiative gets voted down by a majority of voters that would have to include democrats.
At the end of the day, much of the noise and confusion is and will be not about conservative vs progressive but more the heterogeneity of both in at least one party, our own, the Democrats. The Republicans, for better or worse have purged themselves of their moderates, so they have step one in a multistep process that could have them end up with a new more competent party or a splintered set of factions with no ability to govern. It would be mistake to think that this is not going to happen to the Democrats are some point…hopefully not as severely, but right now, we are the winners, so it isnt likely to happen now. But we have a lot of pressure along the changing fault lines of our own demographics and social issues — including a huge gap between the rich and poor getting ever wider…
Just Some Fuckhead
@General Winfield Stuck: Was that a shot, Stuck?
Just Some Fuckhead
Yeah, total shame he has to ruin ’em with a post.
These fantasies about the Repubs reforming themselves aren’t going to come true because the conservatives have worked hard for years to make themselves independent of their political party for support. Think about it: all those right-wing think tanks and sinecure foundations, the “wingnut welfare,” kept the right wingers employed and churning out nutty Laffer-style propaganda back in the dark days when the Repubs were out of power.
Likewise, the independent life support system of talk radio and Faux Noise kept the far-right crazies visible and active back when by rights they all should’ve been out of work and homeless.
That strengthened the GOP back prior to 1994, when they were out of power.
But today, these same independent life-support systems insure that the GOP is completely out of control of the party leadership. Limbaugh and Beck don’t have to pay attention to the GOP party leadership because their revenue stream doesn’t depend on the GOP leadership. Likewise, the people like Gingrich who are employed by far-right foundations don’t need to care about what the leaders of their party think.
So the GOP has spun completely out of control. The mechanisms they used to retain power and extend it when they were out in the cold pre-1994 are now destroying the party. With no ability for the GOP leadership to control the crazies by cutting off their funding or shutting down their institutions, the GOP leadership is helpless to prevent the nut jobs from taking over the party.
It’s different on the other side of the aisle. Democrats have no independent life support system akin to the wingnut welfare setup. Democrats depend on their party leadership for support. Fortunately, the Democrats have sane leadership right now. Obama and Rahm may be too centrist for some folks, but one thing they’re not is gibbering lunatics babbling insane drivel.
I don’t see this ending any other way than the Republican party disintegrating and disappearing the way the Whigs did after the 1860s.
General Winfield Stuck
@Just Some Fuckhead:
nope, in jest. What is your concern?
General Winfield Stuck
@Just Some Fuckhead:
Was that a shot, fuckhead?
Just Some Fuckhead
@General Winfield Stuck: Yes.
General Winfield Stuck
@Just Some Fuckhead:
You can usually tell when I take a shot. Are you going to be monitoring my comments for them?
Or John Allen Muhammad, the DC sniper. Of course, I’ve always contended that Muhammad was the example that disproved the “no terror attacks during the Bush years” boast. But if you count Fort Hood as a terrorist attack, you’ve got to count the DC sniper, as well as the Muslim kid who drove his SUV into a crowd at the University of NC to protest the treatment of Muslims.
Gex, I am with you. Sarcasm gets the best of me sometimes. I say end it then. My answer to the right wing psychofants is to END IT ALL. Hate socialized medicine? End medicare. Hate socialism? End social security, unemployment, day care, public schools, public parks, public beaches, public roads, public police, public fire fighting, public military, etc. Sell it all to the highest bidder.
Then when it all goes to even more shit, poor idiots getting poorer and the super rich mega corps run it all, then what will these idiots have? They can cry about liberalism but the founding fucking fathers were some of the most LIBERAL people in the world. Liberal does not fucking mean lacking religious beliefs. It means people are free to choose their path, people are equal, etc. These tards are so fucking dumb they think it means something bad because Rush says so.
The sad part of it is, take away everything that is “socialized” in this country since day one of it’s founding and these loons would be freaking out. It’s easy to whine about perceived socialism but when people start realizing their situation will go from bad to triple worse, they MAY wake up. Some will accept it because they always have Jebus to pray to. Others will freak. Others will go into survival/fuck society mode (not hard for some since they make up most of these downtrodden moranic tea bag movements).
Freedom is having a system that allows us all safety nets and the ability to succeed and provide for our families or oneself. Freedom is not following the party line to a tee and defending the right of the super-rich. Nobody wants to make the rich poor. People who think this are truly lost.
Just Some Fuckhead
@General Winfield Stuck: Who is “them”? Feeling a little paranoid?
Oh and to all who keep saying California needs to cut more. Explain in detail where these cuts should come from.
From what I can figure out, the “fat” is in:
Public prisons (prison guard unions guarantee so much overtime it’s ridiculous AND cost-effective)
Whenever we have a major brush fire, the firefighters go to work. Problem for me is we wind up defending homes of the rich in rural, fire prone areas who should pay a tax surcharge for fire services.
You can cut back on police but that’ll NEVER fly.
You can cut Cal Trans but when freeways and roads start causing damages to cars, good luck on winning that argument.
Prisons are a joke in this state and the guards union is more powerful than any other in California. Teachers are not overpaid but their bosses are. You can fire some administrators but laying off rank and file teachers is short sighted.
Where else can one cut the fat? Sell off public lands? In this economy??? Wow, talk about fire sale bargains.
Sell more offshore oil deals? Sure, they could do that and have.
The only fat left is to tax in the places people refuse to allow the increases to happen.
Oops, meant cost prohibitive above. Duh.
I keep repeating myself, and here I go again.
A major issue is money. There is a lot of money tied up in the Republican name, and as long as it’s there the hard right and moderate right will fight to keep the name rather than go form a third party; REGARDLESS how otherwise wise in all other ways that might be. It’s this pull of existing gold that will drive the interparty conflict over the next two or three election cycles and which MIGHT keep it together through this party crisis. Without the gold the splintering would be pretty much inevitable.
Note that the Democratic party already went through this; the lessons there apply to the Republicans. The gold isn’t just money (though the large coffers matter) it’s familiarity for elections and rules set so the party doesn’t need to meet signature petitions to qualify for ballot slots and state-paid primaries and, well, you get the drift.
General Winfield Stuck
@Just Some Fuckhead:
Them are “shots” in case you can’t read to well. You just seem interested in my comments to others is all. If you are going to monitor them (comments) for “shots” I just want to make sure my speling is up to par.
I hear your point and don’t disagree with the differences that you cite between what is happening with the Republicans and the Democrats.
While you project an outcome for the Republicans, what outcome do you project for the Democrats, who I think need a little house cleaning and tightenning into the grassroots. I am not a purist, but sheesh, its been hard watching so many right leaning dems undercut progressive strategy and policy, almost becoming what the Republicans could have been, had they been sane. Still, I want a strong progressive voice and I think that the progressive public wants more effective and vigorous representation instead of always taking half a loaf to the corporists…Since we don’t have “outsiders” calling the shots, and as has been discussed upstring, Democrats don’t change easily from the inside, what means do we have to refresh and invigorate our ideas and strategies?
Just Some Fuckhead
@General Winfield Stuck: Oh. Nah, I just asked because I wasn’t sure.
General Winfield Stuck
@Just Some Fuckhead:
Not to be hard on government workers, of which I am one, but we could cut the fat from union jobs. Or more specifically, we could cut the corruption. When a cop puts in a time sheet where he claims he worked 200 hrs in a 2 week period, some alarm bells should go off. Especially when nothing has happened, like say, zombie riots, outbreak of alien pods, nothing, has happened.
One is a bad thing that needs some investigation, a whole stack with people claiming they’ve worked 150 to 213 hrs in 2 weeks is something union reps should come down on like a ton of bricks. And it’s costing CA money and reputation. Just my 2 cents
On CSPAN BookTV this weekend two “reporters” talked about their new book “Sarah from Alaska”. It would seem that many do not like her whether they are from Alaska or not and regardless of party affiliation. She has burned a lot of bridges.
The two reporters looked like they were teenagers and had gushy deliveries that were unlike that of any journalist I’ve ever listened to. They kept referring to themselves as journalists, though, and to what journalists “do”. The woman (identified as working for Fox News previously) repeatedly giggled like a high-schooler. The guy was identified as a digital journalist. WTF? It was weird. The whole presentation seemed like something you’d find on a Facebook page. “She used to come to the back of the campaign bus to talk to us but now she doesn’t like us anymore.”
Is THIS the future of journalism? Jesus. Palin is an idiot obviously. But these two authors appeared to be cut from similar thin cloth.
Rubio’s been winning straw polls and the Crist organization is starting to bleed concern noises. Polling primaries is one tough gig but without polling we’re whistling in the wind.
General Winfield Stuck @ 60
Race riots, murder of Civil Rights Workers (= ACORN, if I may,) John Birch Society, the Minutemen, Left Wing offices being trashed and fire bombed, church bombings, and so on and so forth culminating in the shootings at Howard University and Kent State were as much a part of the 1960s as SDS, The Counterculture, and the DFHs.
And there was Left Wing bombings & etc. as well. To give equal time. :-)
We’ve seen some of that but not to anywhere near the amount of violence from the Right and no violence, yet, from the Left.
@aimai: Whew, thank you. I always read these comments in order and I almost had a heart attack at that attribution.
Cripes. Late to the party on this one. Briefly, K-thug is totally ignorant of the Byzantine ways of California politics. Yep, the GOP is a nub, but no one, not the Democrats, not the Republicans, have any interest in solving California’s budgetary mess. And the leadership of both parties got together behind closed doors to work a budget deal that ultimately was as stupid as any previous open door deal.
California does not have high spending. That hasn’t been true since the 70s before prop 13 passed.
For a “blue state” its spending is quite low. When you account for cost of living, it’s one of the lowest in the nation. That’s because Republicans have the power to hijack the budget process, and they do it, every fucking year.
I grew up in California. I remember being blown out of my mind by how well-funded public schools are in the rest of the country, even in areas that aren’t exactly rich. I figured all public school students had to share textbooks, all schools had buildings that were dilapidated and closed off with no money to repair them, all teachers had to use their own money to buy school supplies, etc.
I can only imagine how bad things are for the kids now. In the last 10 years, per person inflation adjusted spending has declined considerably, while the prison budget has exploded.
No more service cuts. Reform the prison system. Stop taxing commercial property at rates that were locked in by prop 13 three decades ago. Reform the proposition system.
I was wondering one thing – if the GOP went on the route they are going now (more Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, etc.), would the Dems move away from triangulation and went more towards true progressivism? I am sure more people would not mind races between “true D’s” and “true R’s”. After all, *someone* has to win!
Then again, as a result of this “polarization”, would there be a “centrist” party, full of Lieberman/Olympia Snowe/Lindsey Graham/most of the leaders in both parties, David Broder, etc. that the “establishment” would quickly create in order to fill the void?