Thursday, March 05, 2009


I've been highly critical of the Democrats in the past for appearing to be a bunch of spineless cowards who suffer from a nasty case of group-think. I am starting to think that maybe it is just something that happens to the party that is not in power. How many Republicans have tried to stand up to Rush Limbaugh? Each time, they come crawling back on their hands and knees, begging forgiveness like a worm. How embarrassing. Meanwhile, there are no new messages coming from the GOP. Just the same old messages, only this time shouted, by what appear to be more angry and intolerant masses of people.

Limbaugh's sudden elevation has been an interesting phenomenon. Evidence is beginning to surface that it is actually a political strategy, hatched in the upper eschelons of the Obama administration, with Rahm Emanuel (Obama's Chief of Staff). Barack Obama was able to win the general election because he appealed to moderates and independents. This is the group of voters, which includes yours truly, that the GOP needs to coax back if they are ever to regain power. So the plan is simple. Rush Limbaugh is extremely unpopular with centrist voters, so the Democrats deliberately elevated Limbaugh to be the face of the Republican Party.

The GOP has walked right into the trap. The fact that some politicians have tried to stand up to Rush, but were quickly put back in line, makes the party look weak and confirms peoples' suspicions that Rush controls the party. Limbaugh-in-charge strengthens the hand of the reactionary, anti-intellectual, gay bashing, evangelical, anti-evolution wing of the party. This was the sect embodied by Sarah Palin, not John McCain, and spoken for by evil men (Karl Rove), stupid men (Joe the Plumber), obnoxious she-men (Ann Coulter), and serially incorrect men (Bill Kristol). It was these people, not John McCain, that centrist voters categorically rejected in the elections of 2006 and 2008.

I can assure any conservatives that are reading this that centrist voters will not be moving back to the GOP until this wing of the Republican Party has been sidelined by a newer generation of cerebral, reasonable, respectful leaders. If someone in the GOP grows some balls and starts standing up to these fools soon, there may be time to salvage the party's reputation in time for a run at the 2012 election (David Petraeus/Mitch Daniels anyone?). If not, its going to be a long and well deserved vacation in the political wilderness.

As an American I don't particularly like to see the further disintegration of the GOP because I think a viable opposition party will help check the Dems' bad tendencies. That being said, it is striking how one man was able to completely change the Democratic Party. Obama and his team's political skills are beyond exceptional; the GOP continues to underestimate what they are up against. One day, its leaders will wake up to the fact that the opposition is no longer led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

*** Update ***

Obama currently running with 61-24 approval ratings for Independents. Meanwhile, even "moderate" GOP "intellectuals" have such an anti-Obama slant that they have even attempted to blame the faltering economy on Barack Obama. The absurdity of that is almost overwhelming.


Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, even "moderate" GOP "intellectuals" have such an anti-Obama slant that they have even attempted to blame the faltering economy on Barack Obama.

As a moderate GOP supporter, I'm not blaming the current economic state on President Obama. I am however, upset with how it's being handled.

Two radically different views are clashing here on economic policy:

Some of us think the right thing to do is to cut taxes, give people more of the money they earn, and they'll spend it. We don't believe in pumping mountains of money into companies that stuck their heads in the sand while they hemorrhaged money and did nothing about it. (Big 3? UAW? Overstaffed and overpaid management anyone?) We believe in financial responsibilty and buying the house you can afford, not the house you think you deserve.

On the other hand, some of us believe it's best to tax those who are unfairly successful and let the government decide who gets paid.

It's evident where the current administration stands, let's just hope it works. President Obama was handed a bad economy, and I'll give him a waiver on that. However, he and his democratic majority are responsible for how they handle the situation from this point forward.

Med student analogy: If you had a patient with a large wound and was rapidly losing blood, would you ignore the wound and keep giving them blood transfusions, hoping it would close up on it's own? :) Would you go as far as to forcefully take (tax) blood from another patient to continue this process?

At this point it doesn't matter what camp you're in. The administration has spoken, money is being handed out by the government, and basic mathematics can tell us that it has to come from somewhere eventually. Hopefully it'll happen late enough that you can use that doctor's salary to help us all out, comrade. :)

Anonymous said...

I've got another medical analogy for you consider a child with hemophilia who inherited her deficiency from a previous generation?

Not only would we keep giving her blood to deal with her deficiency but also we would absolutely ask others for their blood to save her. (I'll give you that we wouldn't tax people for their blood, but we would certainly ask and expect that people would)

The difference? The first analogy suggests there is a wound to fix but provides no solution to fix it. Rather we throw our hands in the air and say its too big to fix, it would require too many resources to fix so just let him die.

The second, is a problem that isn't going to go away with infusions and it may require a lot of people "sacrificing/donating" to deal with an inborn/systemic error however infusions will ultimately keep the system alive and functioning.

So my question is we decide as a society that she is worth saving? Or do we let her die, because keeping our excess blood for ourselves just in case we need it is more important than saving her life?

Anonymous said...

p.s. I'm not actually convinced that the bail out is as valuable as a blood transfusion or effective in keeping a system alive. I was just inspired to find a medical analogy that argued the other side.

Anonymous said...

Counter-point well taken. I was aiming at the tax aspect of the argument: Would it be right to donate blood and help that child out? Of course it would.

Would it be right to tax people and force them to donate? No way.

If you want to support the US automakers and US companies in general, buy their products. But support them by choice, not by tax.

Nicholas said...

I'd mention that there doesn't seem to be all that much debate from either party about the usefulness of fiscal stimulus.

One common criticism of Obama's stimulus is that the money doesn't distribute and move into the economy fast enough. For example, construction projects not moving forward fast enough.

You can consider the big 3 auto bailouts an instant fiscal stimulus if you want. The government is going to pay US workers to keep making a useful product, even if it is slightly inefficient. The stimulus is instant - millions of workers keep their jobs. Not to mention, the stimulus moves down the supply chains that keep the big 3 running. Keeping the big 3 afloat is the perfect fiscal stimulus for a recession - jobs for working class Americans producing products that we need anyways.

Once the economy recovers, and we don't need a stimulus anymore, we can let the Big 3 go under if they are still hemorrhaging.