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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.
What the hell is wrong with her? Seriously. "Blood Libel?" Can a person be any more stupid?

Sigh.

Look, I am not going to get into the blame game. There really is no way to prove whether violent, military rhetoric drove Jared Lee Loughner to commit the Arizona killings. So, I am not interested in pursuing that line of thought.

However, consider that for years during the Clinton administration Rush, Newt, and other Conservative leaders were very fond of saying words matter; words have consequences.

Now, of course, they are rejecting that very premise.

Go figure.

Anyway, if you will allow me a slight tangent; one tenant of recovery is to act as if you want recovery. That means putting aside the behaviors and language associated with using. It is, in effect, replacing one culture with another. It is believed that if you use a new language and follow new rules that do not have any association with drug and alcohol use you will be less likely to have urges to use.

Well, I see Democracy as a replacement for armed conflict in establishing leadership. So, if you are a believer in Democracy, that means using language reflecting that belief. Talking about armed revolution, watering the tree of liberty, etc, hardly projects a belief in Democracy.

Oh, and to go on an even sharper tangent: once again the United States has come to call an assassin by all three names........

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.

Posted Without Comment

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(Salon.com) While I'm loath to write a top-10 list, if only for fear of falling short of Dave Letterman's legendary bit, I'm making an exception in this first week of 2010 -- a moment when we get to not only make New Year's resolutions, but resolutions for the new decade. As we make those prospective pledges, let's take a moment to look back at the top 10 quotations from the last 10 years -- the ones telling us some painful truths about our country, society and worldview; the ones that might inform us of what we need to do as we move forward.

10. "They frankly own the place." -- Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., in 2009 admitting the taboo about banks' influence in Congress.

9. "Haven't we already given money to rich people ... Shouldn't we be giving money to the middle?" -- President George W. Bush in November 2002, acknowledging to advisors that he knew his tax cuts were giveaways to the super-wealthy.

8. "Keep your government hands off my Medicare." -- Anti-healthcare protester at an August 2009 congressional town hall meeting in South Carolina -- the single most succinct sign that our country has become an idiocracy.

7. "We did this for the show." -- Falcon Heene on Oct. 15, 2009, telling CNN that the Balloon Boy chase was a hoax. The declaration demonstrated that the media's 24-7 knee-jerk sensationalism is irresponsible and proved that America's culture of celebrity aspiration is completely out of control.

6. "As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know they're some things we do not know. But there're also unknown unknowns; the ones we don't know we don't know." -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Feb. 12, 2002, effectively telling us that the government had no idea what it was doing by invading Iraq.

5. "Bring 'em on." -- President George Bush on July 2, 2003, daring al-Qaida to attack U.S. troops -- yet more proof that the elite defines "toughness" as politicians flippantly sacrificing young American lives for Washington's hubristic ideologies.

4. "The investment community feels very put-upon. They feel there is no reason why they shouldn't earn $1 million to $200 million a year, and they don't want to be held responsible for the global financial meltdown." -- Daniel Fass, chairman of Obama's financial-industry fundraising party on Oct. 19, 2009, insisting that despite wrecking the economy and then being handed trillions of bailout dollars, Wall Street is a victim.

3. "$500,000 is not a lot of money, particularly if there is no bonus." -- Wall Street compensation consultant James Reda on Feb. 3, 2009, giving the New York Times a good example of just how totally out of touch the super-rich really are.

2. "I didn't campaign on the public option." -- President Obama on Dec. 22, 2009, expecting the public to forget that his presidential campaign platform explicitly promised to pass healthcare legislation giving all Americans "the opportunity to enroll in (a) new public plan."

1. "It doesn't matter." -- Vice President Dick Cheney on Nov. 5, 2006, referring to polls repeatedly showing the majority of Americans oppose the Iraq war -- a sign the ruling class truly does not care about the demands of the public.

These epigrams expose a nation that has internalized and accepted the forces of avarice, corruption, dishonesty, incompetence and insensitivity. Some of them are darkly funny, some of them are gut-wrenchingly sad -- but all of them are warnings. Whether we listen to them or not will be the difference between repeating the last decade's folly or learning from it.

Here's to resolutions for the new decade that finally choose the latter.

I Am Not Too Worried

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In science, it is understood that to overcome inertia, you have to supply an excessive amount of energy to get movement. However, once that is done, the required energy to keep things moving drops substantially.

With Firedoglake screaming bloody murder and instituting a petition to kill the bill, I see just such a theory, but put to work politically. Honestly, the chances of killing the bill are pretty slim. But, make enough noise about killing the bill, and why, and maybe the pols begin to see their pretty little butts are not so securely fastened to their congressional and senatorial seats. At that point, change will happen.

And now is the time to make some noise. The Tea Baggers have pretty much screamed themselves hoarse and are out of sync with the parliamentary moves of congress. However, I think Firedoglake is poised at precisely the right moment to strike. Though the stated goal may not be admirable, the eventual effect may be laudable.
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All Things Equal

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Except, you know, when it comes to identified Republicans, identified Democrats, and identified independents, all things are not considered equal. I noticed that there really was no poll establishing the actual percentages of Republicans vs Democrats vs independents in the nation. I figure, at this time, Republicans are a rump party with a very low identified number. So, maybe 81% of Republicans is a lower actual number than 56% Democrats. But since I am not a pollster with the ability to call thousands of people to get decent poll numbers, it is all conjecture.

However, if I had to take a guess, I would say this is Daily Kos working towards motivating the Democratic base. And the timing is about right; this would be the time to start getting the attention of progressives/liberals. Beat the drums, as it were. Work it slow and steady, and a good progressive momentum ought to be built up just in time for the 2010 election.

With the Republican party having no real leadership and no real ideas to improve things for the majority of the nation, and with the possibility of the RNC purity test pushing even more people out of the party, I figure the 20% crazy as batshit base of the Republicans will be about all they can pull to the voting booths in 2010.

Yeah, so, I am not all that worried.

A Swing Of The Pendulum

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These two post really suggest to me that we are seeing a swing in the mindset of our nation. We are moving away from fear, and starting to recognize a need for personal bravery in our everyday life.

About 10 years ago -- before the day that everything changed -- at an AA meeting I said our children are far stronger than we give them credit. I was personally attacked by several of the members that day for having the audacity to trust the safety and well-being of my children. I shook my head in amazement and left it alone, believing they would eventually learn to move away from fear. Little did I know that this was simply a symptom of the fear and cowardice that has already inflicted our nation.

Without the attacks on September 11, 2001, George W. Bush would have been a one-term president, just like his father. But after decades of fear-mongering by the conservatives in the Republican party, and a lack of personal bravery by the conservatives in the Democratic party, the attacks only strengthened the already perceived danger of life. Fear became an overwhelming force in this country. Where rational thought once was the hallmark of facing life, it was wholeheartedly abandoned that day, and our hopes and desires for safety were handed to a man completely unprepared for leadership during unremarkable times, let alone extraordinary times.

However, in terms of fear being a motivational force in electoral outcomes, George W. Bush was the pinnacle of success. Today, the majority of people will simply not vote out of fear. As a populous, I think we have learned our lessons in that regard. Like it or not, the idea of Iraq as a mistake is more or less established, with only hair-brained future conspiracy theorists making any claim to the opposite; dead-enders hanging on to that last little hope of re-establishing relevance and power through belief in fear and cowardice, a legacy of failure handed to them by their elders.

Now, the Hullabaloo post is an example of the media pinnacle of success. At least for Fox News. In more ways than I can really due justice in describing, Glenn Beck's show is a self-parody of the Fox News mind-set. It is paranoid schizophrenic thinking laid bare for all to see. If there is one thing to be grateful about, it is that this is occurring mostly in the media, and not on the floor of the congress, as happened in the 1950s with McCarthy. None-the-less, Glenn Beck is pulling on the last, lingering, strings of fear that are entwined around a small, but extremely vocal, percentage of the populous; elders of the hair-brained future conspiracy theorists. 

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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.

Legacy Chooses

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Ian Walsh believes President Obama is just about done being proactive. I agree.

The Republican/conservative brightness before the burn out I keep thinking is happening, only gets brighter and brighter, and not in a good way. As the Birthers, Tea baggers, and generally just mad at the world types, descend upon the town hall meetings, I realize that my imagining of their behavior falls quantitatively short of their capabilities.

Then, Ian had this to say:

They took the lesson of the Clinton administration to be "don't enflame (sic) the fanatics on the right--avoid social issues, and don't slash the military".  They were, of course, wrong: the radical right (and there is hardly a non-radical right left) will oppose Obama no matter what he does and if Obama is unwilling to use to the full might of the administrative apparatus against them, they will simply take advantage of his weakness to escalate.  Tactics which are seen to work, will not be abandoned, to the contrary, they will be used more and more.
don't enflame (sic) the fanatics on the right--avoid social issues

Suddenly, my imagination made a quantum jump that pictured a radical increase in the use of deadly force, with a resultant increase in dead minorities (including gay, lesbian, and transgenders).

Now, I am not about to believe one way or another that President Obama understood this possible scenario. Still, to pick health care as his first major policy push might have been for other reasons besides the time was right. Regardless of whether he recognized it was a policy that could result in the least amount of insanity and violence, in the end, it is what happened.

Ask yourself this; had President Obama picked an African American jurist for the Supreme Court, just what kind of push back do you think would have happened? Unlike health care, an African American nominee to the Supreme Court is a racial element that would have inflamed the radical right even more then the current push for health reform. I don't know about you, but my imagination in this situation includes some serious killings, maybe even a lynching or three.

What? You think that's too far? If there are calls by influential leaders of the radical right for people to bring guns to town hall meetings, my suggestion of lynchings had President Obama attempted to place an African American on the Supreme Court is going to far? Considering how easy it is for the radical right followers to kill gays, lesbians, and transgenders during less politically decisive times, any push to end DADT, or otherwise legislate equal rights for sexual orientation, would suddenly result in a decrease of killings? We are talking about a section of the electorate that thinks it is funny to print out liberal hunting licenses.

So, for whatever reason, President Obama went the path of least resistance. But, Ian is right. No matter what policy the President pursues, the radical right will fight back. And they will use any action they perceive to have already been effective. If the push for health reform does stall, and no bill is forthcoming this year, I too believe the President is dead in the water. He will achieve no further legislative goals. And even if he does pass health care reform, I still believe he's dead in the water, simply because the radical right, already inflamed and instilled with an Armageddon mindset, will simply believe the end is nigh and make a homicidal/suicidal push. They are going to take as many with them as possible.

In my opinion, any further legislative attempts by the President and violence is assured. It is already occurring. If President Obama manages to shove a version of health reform through congress, he's going to be faced with one angry, pissed off radical right. He will pretty much be unable to overcome any further resistance because civil unrest is only going to continue. Chances are, it will take up most of his administration's attention.

So, once he's done with as much of the legislative work he can realistically achieve, I suggest he turn his attention to judicial/legal house cleaning. Unleash the Justice Department and force a searching and fearless constitutional inventory of our government. There is a world of hurt in it, with much latent corruption and incompetence set to cause further decades of pain and suffering, thereby weakening our country. If he truly wants to be seen as an agent of change, the more important task he faces is exposure of the past administration's eight years of malfeasance and criminality. Hell, cleaning up the last 30 years of modern conservative governance is one damn fine legacy, if you ask me.

Now, I do not believe President Obama wants that for a legacy. But most people do not get to choose their destiny, it chooses them.

Is It Really That General

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FiveThirtyEight has a poll up about McCain/Palin and the move away from polarizing politics. Now, let me start right out and admit I'm about as knowledgeable about polls as Palin is about coherent speaking, which is to say; not at all.

None the less, is the country really moving away from the old, vilifying politics of old?

Okay, I admit it. I'm not really trying to argue with

Political Metaphysics

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Somehow, they are related. It's just that I am not intelligent, or schooled, enough to be able to explain how. If I had to categorize them, I say it's political metaphysics. Anyway, without further to do:

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