Recently in Ideology Category

No Longer A National Party?

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I have been thinking for quite some weeks now that the Republican Party is dissolving. As I was perusing my usual blogs this evening the thought once again popped into my brain. Not more than a moment later, I found myself reading Booman Tribune:

If you think white working class guys in Ohio are lining up to vote for the "plutocrat married to a known equestrian," you are quite mistaken. Ask them who is better on the economy and they will tell you 'Obama.' This is evidence that the GOP is no longer a national party.
More and more I find myself believing the Republican Party is dying. They have lost too many moderates, too many sane conservatives, and are now left with the rabid, extreme right wackos who have not a clue on how to be a professional, rational political party.

Whether you are Democrat or Republican, Progressive or Conservative, the bottom line in being a successful political party is realizing that you have to be competent, intelligent leaders that know how to run a country. It is in this manner that one derives power organically. But to run a political party simply for the power without regard to competent leadership means the eventual death of the party.

I am not a believer in "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely." That being said, I do believe seeking power for the sake of having power does corrupt. I want a leader who's reason for running is because he believes he can do a good job. Mitt Romney is obviously not running because he believes he can do a good job. He has not shown that he believes he is a competent leader. He is running because he believes he is entitled to be President. Nothing more, nothing less.

So too the Republican party in general. They no longer present themselves with the belief of their competence at leadership. They simple believe they are entitled to be the political party in charge. And towards that end they created  propaganda machines in the forms of Right Wing Talk Radio and Fox News. Not to disseminate truth, but to simply use lies and distortions to convince intellectually lazy people that the Republican/Conservative party is the party of leadership when in actuality they are incompetent.

The Republican Party was doomed the moment the Iron Curtain collapsed. Do you really think it is simple ignorance that drives Romney to embrace the concept of another cold war with Russia? No. The people desperate for power who now advise Romney are from a time of conservative dominance in our government. The stand against Communist Russia was all consuming. It's collapse meant the removal of conservatism's claim on leadership. It's reason for existing collapsed. With the co-option of the Republican party by the extreme conservatives, it's collapse was inevitable.

Perfect!

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It really does match the truth about the Republican ticket of 2012:

Romney-Ryan logo.jpg

Oh, and hat tip to Alternate Brain.

Because It Made Me Laugh!

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howell_munster2012.jpg

And I think Booman is right:

Does anyone remember how quickly Dubya lost the good will he won through his 2004 reelection? It was really a one-two-three punch of Terri Schiavo, trying to privatize Social Security, and then the inept reaction to Hurricane Katrina, all with a deepening disaster in Iraq as a backdrop. But we shouldn't underestimate how badly he hurt himself through the privatization effort alone. That was when the Democrats finally drew a line in the sand and decided to fight back. What people have probably forgotten is that Paul Ryan introduced a Social Security privatization bill so radical that the Bush administration couldn't support it. How's this for radical?

And They Have There Gate!

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I figured it was only a matter of time before the Republicans, in desperation, would find something to use as a clarion call for impeachment. Will they succeed? Probably not. However, it would take up time in the house, preventing any real work from being accomplished, and possibly hold up the economic recovery.

Sigh. What else do they have to throw at the President? It is not like he really destroyed the economy. Indeed, he managed to enact enough legislation to help it slowly improve. And Mitt is simply not going to be able to convince most voters that the economy is tanking due to the President's policies. Meanwhile, the Republican establishment, and it's more rabid extremists (otherwise known as conservatives these days) will certainly not back Mitt. So, that leaves them with only the hope of impeachment.

So, you know, yeah. Go ahead House Republicans. Impeach President Obama. Come on, you know you want to. Oh, sure, it is an election year, but you have moral outrage on your side. As well as God. Or so you have told us many times.

Since the rabid extremists of the Republican Party (did I mention they are otherwise known as conservatives these days?) are anti-intellectual, it means they have not bothered to take history classes. If they did, they would have learned that after the impeachment of the last Democratic President, his approval ratings shot into the mid to upper 80s.

Come on! It is a winning hand! There is no down side to this. So stop pussy footing around and one of you make a motion to start impeachment proceedings. Hell, I have plenty of popcorn.

Do it! I dare you. I double dare you.

Piece Of Cake, Anyone?

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It is next you know. "Let them eat cake." It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when. I mean it. One of these days a Republican is truly going to utter a phrase that is no different then "Let them eat brioche."

These bastards are heartless.

Good Point

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This speaks for itself:

Do Not Ask Why

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I do not understand. What is it with the Republican conservative movement's inability to work and play well with others? Are they that rigidly locked into a literal, concrete form of thinking that they can not tolerate any deviation from their societal comfort zone? Is their fear of change so overwhelming that they lose all sense of respect and decorum? Are they truly suffering from a belief in their inability to deal with natural change?

In the end, all I see are cowards unable to accept human society as it has always been: an evolving, changing system of concepts, theories, and expectations that are fluid and ephemeral; defying the understanding of the very makers of the systems, leaving them utterly overwhelmed and unable to recognize there is no answer to the question 'Why?"

Whisper

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While the Republican/Conservative movement has relied mostly on the megaphone style of political persuasion, I see the Whisper Campaign as a more effective style of political persuasion for the Democrats/Progressives. Let the Republicans blast away with the few megaphone mouths (Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, et. el.). The Democrats can simply walk softly and whisper quietly to individuals among the masses. You know, do the grassroots thing.

Granted, the Teabagger's movement was a type of grassroots in that the corporate/conservative elites were able to tap the anger of the intellectually ignorant; feeding them misinformation and out right lies. But it only created a squeaking wheel. It did not constitute any huge majority, or even a respectable minority. Instead, it brought together a whole bunch of crazy, that left a poor impression on the general population.

From what I can see, the Republican/Conservative grassroots movements have been an abysmal failure, easily falling short of fund raising as accomplished by comparable progressive movements. And in what is no doubt the greatest irony of all; the Republican/Conservative grassroots rely on funding from individuals comparable to their rich, liberal, villain De jour, George Soros, the man supposedly funding the entire progressive infrastructure.

I just can't help but see the Republican/conservative elites losing power. Not when their efforts include the manipulation of ignorant, intellectually lazy people. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of the human race is not ignorant. If it was, we would still be Neanderthals living a stone age existence.

Sigh. Yes, I understand Rush, Hannity, and Beck might exemplify the modern Neanderthals, but they really are still a minority.
I am posting this at the Snelling Ave Dunn Bros. Coffee shop. Unfortunately, there were no available tables with outlets close by. Actually, every table was taken. So, I am sitting out back, which is great today, considering it is 60 degrees right now, but also lacks outlets. Anyway, work was quick, with only one consult. But it did require an assessment, and a DHS one at that.

DHS is Department of Human Services. In Minnesota, for publicly funded patients, we have to fill out a particular form, which is 18 pages long. Most of the Minnesota care HMOs (there are four of them that manage health care for Minnesota) require it to be completed, even if they are not going to get state funding for treatment.

See, many, many years ago, something called Rule 25 was created to help under-insured people get funding for treatment. These people could be employed, have health insurance, but not have substance abuse benefits, But, as in all things deemed welfare, the financial requirements became so strict, the original target population was restricted from receiving aid, and only the poor got the funding. Get a job, and you lose your funding.

Anyway, the funding was a combination of Federal grants with a certain level of matching state funds. From what I understand, Minnesota was better than most states at getting the money out there for treatment. Wisconsin, at least when I first sobered up in the mid 80s, was not so good at it.

As seems to be the case these days, in an effort to prove government inefficient, a re-write by the state (controlled by republicans, I deem, though can not prove) was done on Rule 25 recently, and they created a bloated assessment tool that goes above and beyond any reasonable effort at assessing for abuse or dependence. In my opinion, it was created with the mind-set that we had to discover a lifetime of issues in 40 to 60 minutes.

A psychiatrist that works for one of the county mental health services complained the assessment was a complete waste of time; that it attempted to be a tool for developing an actual treatment plan - instead of it's original function - which was simply to determine the necessary level of care for a person.

One of the biggest problems with my field is that it is very politicized, especially in the last decade, as Christian organizations attempt to insert their ideology into treatment services. I came across a little flier that was clearly written to coop the original intent of AA, and in direct opposition to one of the traditions, which clearly states attraction rather than promotion. This flier was describing the means to evangelize the 12 step concept.

In all things both conservative and Christian, it is a return to shaming the drunks and drug addicts. Considering Bill W. spent the first 8 months of his sobriety attempting that path, and failing, I suspect we will not really hear of any statistical success from this move. Prior to AA's creation, there really was not documented success at dealing with addiction.

In the end, I have to say I grow tired of my field. It seems more mired in bureaucracy then at any time in my 19 year career. All I want to do is help people find their way out of the hell that is addiction. Instead, it has turned into another battle ground for which ideology is the best.  

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The Republican candidate who was running for NY-23, Scozzafav, dropped out of the race today. All the way around; this is not a good sign for either the Republican party or the conservatives. While the Democratic party has often aired it's dirty laundry in public, and rarely hid infighting, in the end a consensus was build, and the party moved forward. But the Republicans are not infighting. What we are witnessing is disintegration.

The extremists have taken the title of conservatism and pushed out those who are truly conservative. In the process, they have divided the Republican party. The demands of lock-step unity the party pursued during the first 5 and a half years of the Bush presidency prevented the honest airing of policy differences and prevented compromise, creating a buildup of toxic animosity and vitriol.

This is a party that lost any ability to look within itself and see its mistakes and to accept the failures of their ideology. Instead, they cling harder to what they believed is the only way and now walk down a political blind alley. As such, they are not likely to adjust their stance to the prevailing political will of the people.

Instead of seeing politics as simple leadership, they have developed a mindset of their party as a way of life. And at this time in history, they see their way of life as needing to eradicate liberalism. Unfortunately, in their desire to destroy liberalism they have taken to destroying themselves.

Speaking His Mind

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This is what the conservatives have done for decades; they spoke their mind, regardless of it's political correctness. Hell, they did not even care if it was based on facts, or simply ignorant opinion, they said whatever they damn well pleased. Nice to see someone follow the conservative's playbook.

Novotny: John, what about this controversy over opposition to Obama's speech to school children?

Harwood: I've got to tell you Monica, I've been watching politics for a long time and this is, this one is really over the top. What it shows you is there are a lot of cynical people who try to fan controversy and let's face it, in a country of three hundred million people there are a lot of stupid people too, because if you believe that's it's somehow unhealthy for kids for the President to say work hard and stay in school, you're stupid.

Novotny: Ouch.

Harwood: In fact, I'm worried for some of those kids, I'm worried for some of those kids of those parents who are upset. I'm not sure they're smart enough to raise those kids.




More of this please. Seriously, we need more people from the progressive side of the isle speaking their mind. Honestly, no matter what, the rabid, right-wing conservatives are going to screech, whine, and basically holler, whatever the subject or issue. So, call them out on their ignorance, their stupidity, and their hypocrisy. The conservatives have shown quite some time ago that they are simply not interested in a civil, rational, educated debate. They are all about being the squeaky wheel looking to get the grease. So, let us simply squeak louder.

All Politics Is Local

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MN Progressive Project has a post up about Minnesota Republican infighting that has gotten ugly. It is the usual personal attacks on character that we have come to expect from today's Republican party. It is reminiscent of the attack George W. Bush's campaign made against John McCain back in 2000

Now, don't get me wrong. I have no doubt that Democrats of days gone by have engaged in the same personal attacks and will do so in the future. Currently, though, it appears to be a Republican trait. If anyone has done any reading on Karl Rove's past, you learn that he started his dirty, character assassination tricks at a young age, and at a local level.

I know, for myself, that in the past I never paid attention to these kind of low brow political attacks. I considered myself above them, or just felt it was not important enough for me to take into consideration. But I have come to learn that it is important these types of antics be exposed and brought to the attention of the electorate, and at a local level. Just imagine a world where Karl Rove's sleazy campaigning were exposed when he first started out, and had not been at the helm of George W. Bush's campaign, and by extension, his administration.

Eight years of George W. Bush in the White House has taught me that all politics is local. Any and all personal attacks, whisper campaigns, and other Lee Atwater dirty trick antics, whether by Republicans or Democrats, must be exposed early on at the local level, or else we can look forward once again to an incompetent and immoral presidency.


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