GOP Viewpoint: We Got The Thumping We Deserve

Opinion piece on NPR:

Barack Obama's smashing triumph is a victory for the idea that Not Being a Republican is a grand and glorious thing.

That's not to take anything away from the magnitude of his win or the excellence of his campaign, with its distinctly Reaganesque panache. I mean, I am a Republican, and I've had it with my side, who got the thumping we deserve. And all credit to the president-elect for magnanimously reaching out to us bruised and battered conservatives in his victory address, quoting Abraham Lincoln's hauntingly beautiful line, "We are not enemies, but friends." Yep, he's my president too. And I'm fine with that.

Full piece here.

Additional excerpt from piece: Think about it: the most left-wing presidential candidate since George McGovern ran on tax cuts! Yes, he was against the war, but he did not campaign on taking U.S. foreign policy in a dramatic new direction

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so I voted against my feelings and helped elect someone that everyone else believes in. and if it doesn't work out, I have enough canned soup and bottled water to last four years.

It will be nice to have, once again, a President who can read.

I wonder where all the other Republicans have gone. We will see in 4 years if my stocks are up and my taxes are not I may stop saying I am a Republican.

Of course I am closer to a Christian Democrat really, but that is not an option in the States. I am Fine Gael

That's odd, because the European Christian Democrats in other countries have a rather different view of "social programs" than any American would.

If you read the recent Forbes Magazines rating the ten post WWI presidents , you might find yourself surprised. Bill Clinton, Lyndon Johnson and John Kennedy ranked as the top 3 of these presidents for economic prosperity, with Reagan being the only Republican falling in the top half. With regard to GDP, Johnson comes in first place, Kennedy second, Clinton 3rd, Carter 4th, Reagan fifth. The article is called "Presidents and Prosperity" and overall Democrats seem to outperform Republicans.

Overall by all criteria, Clinton comes in first place, and all Obama's "spreading the wealth" is doing is restoring the Clinton tax levels, and reversing the trend started by Reagan of redistributing wealth from the middle classes to the rich.

When Reagan took office, the top one percent of Americans owned 20 percent of all the wealth in the United States. By the time he left office this doubled to 40 percent. Clinton stalled this somewhat, but after eight years of George Bush this share increased to fifty percent, with fifty million families in the United States owning the other half.

Or another figure:

From 1950 to 1970, for example, for every additional dollar earned by the bottom 90 percent, those in the top 0.01 percent earned an additional $162, according to the Times analysis. From 1990 to 2002, for every extra dollar earned by those in the bottom 90 percent, each taxpayer at the top brought in an extra $18,000.

Or as some of the wealthiest Americans have stated:

But some of the wealthiest Americans, including Warren E. Buffett, George Soros and Ted Turner, have warned that such a concentration of wealth can turn a meritocracy into an aristocracy and ultimately stifle economic growth by putting too much of the nation's capital in the hands of inheritors rather than strivers and innovators

What most non partisan economists agree on is that income mobility has stopped and perhaps even declined since advent of the trojan horse of "supply side economics".

Why Trojan Horse? Reagans budget advisor slipped in a 1982 interview with Atlantic Monthly :

"The hard part of the supply-side tax cut is dropping the top rate from 70 to 50 percent -- the rest of it is a secondary matter," Stockman explained. "The original argument was that the top bracket was too high, and that's having the most devastating effect on the economy. Then, the general argument was that, in order to make this palatable as a political matter, you had to bring down all the brackets. But, I mean, Kemp-Roth was always a Trojan horse to bring down the top rate."

A Trojan horse? This seemed a cynical concession for Stockman to make in private conversation while the Reagan Administration was still selling the supply-side doctrine to Congress. Yet he was conceding what the liberal Keynesian critics had argued from the outset -- the supply-side theory was not a new economic theory at all but only new language and argument to conceal a hoary old Republican doctrine: give the tax cuts to the top brackets, the wealthiest individuals and largest enterprises, and let the good effects "trickle down" through the economy to reach everyone else. Yes, Stockman conceded, when one stripped away the new rhetoric emphasizing across-the-board cuts, the supply-side theory was really new clothes for the unpopular doctrine of the old Republican orthodoxy. "It's kind of hard to sell 'trickle down,'" he explained, "so the supply-side formula was the only way to get a tax policy that was really 'trickle down.' Supply-side is 'trickle-down' theory."

Then for the next eight years, Stockman saw no sign of the wealthiest Americans "trickling down" any of their tax windfalls or investing it in business or using it to create new jobs, or do much more than hold an eight year "brie and chablis party" on their new yachts.

Which is why one of the most conservative Comptroller Generals of the United States gave Reagan the worse rating of any president in his agencies history at the end of his presidency. The ONLY time a Comptroller General criticized a president.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL; Critique of Reagan Years From Unlikely Source

The report is also among the most searing critiques ever made of the Reagan years and as such has been assailed by some conservatives as a partisan political document. Conservatives were especially upset by Mr. Bowshwer's prediction that Mr. Bush would immediately have to address many domestic problems neglected by the Reagan Administration and that the costs would be staggering.

Mr. Bowsher, 57 years old, seems an unlikely man to incur such wrath. His voice is calm and his manner is professorial. But his message is bold. He advised Mr. Bush to rethink the country's worldwide military commitments, strengthen Federal regulation of banks and stockbrokers, provide new Federal incentives for private investment in low-rent housing for poor people and avoid bashing Federal officials.

Christian Democrats in Europe, particularly Belgium and the Netherlands are responsible for the rather innovative policy with regard to abortion that has been soundly rejected in the United States.

They still take a "right to choice" position, however, the choice they offer is that if a woman chooses to have a child and raise it, the state will provide a very generous economic incentive to stay at home and do so. This has led to these two nations having the worlds lowest rates of abortion, yet still allowing a position that would be considered the "right of choice".

The Republican Party got a thumping of its own making.

In 1979, Jimmy Carter, after meeting with many Americans from all parts of society, economists, corporate executives, heads of Wall Street Investment firms, religious leaders, heads of not for profit organizations, and just plain citizens,gave what was called his "Malaise Speech". He asked THEM what was going wrong with the United States and they gave him their answer.

They all stated that Americans were becoming too materialistic, and losing the more spiritual, moral and economic values of the prior generations, such as thrift, hard work, friends and family. And they warned that America would have to start losing its most cherished freedoms if it started having to borrow money from foreign countries in order to keep up that materialistic lifestyle.

Reagan came along with his "Its morning in America" ideology, and immediately borrowed a trillion dollars from Japan to finance what basically became an eight year party based on his IBG/YBG political positioning, or simply "I'll be gone/ You'll be gone when the bill is due.

Carter 's position was for America to retain its real liberty, while Reagan began a course using military force to convince the world to maintain a lifestyle that Americans had become accustomed to, and running up larger and larger debt to do so. Close to 90 percent of the U.S. debt is to pay for past defense expenses, and hald of this debt is owed to foreign nations, the other half to the Social Security Trust Fund. The various trust funds designed to provide retirements for regular Americans, for rail workers, etc, are the only government programs that run operating surpluses. For their entire existance they have had balance sheets which have been the envy of corporate America. They are the most efficient and well operated govenrment programs that have ever been created and they were largely the means by which the Republicans have been funding larger and larger military budgets designed to serve the rather vaguely defined "National Security" which is a rather amorphous and very flexible political tool used to justify about any military venture a president chooses to engage in, real or not, more often than not designed to get taxpayers to finance the business interests of a very small and select group of very wealthy corporations. This ideology of national security has no checklist one can go over to determine if it is being used to mandate actions consistent with the ideals it claims to support. It does not obligate the United States to do something about the lack of "liberty" in places like Zimbabwe or Myanmar, just as it did not obligate the Reagan Administration to do something about the ideals of liberty in apartheid South Africa, no matter how heavy the burden on the citizens of those nations, or how cruel the regimes that exist in those places. Nor does it prevent the United States from supporting authoritarian regimes like mubarak's Egypt or the regimes in Pakistan and other places. But once access to cheap oil is threatened, talk of bringing "liberty" to Iraq, or to Iran becomes a moral cause, and also a matter of "national security"

For all the talk of economic "conservatism" the programs that conservatives consider essentials, never to be cut, which have eaten up larger and larger shares of both budgets and deficits. These are military and police functions, and they are largely responsible for the growth of spending and "big government". Entitlement programs make up such small portions of the budget that eliminating them completely would not even begin to cover the large tax cuts Republicans have granted over the last few decades.

The Republican Party has ideologies and positions that are so disjointed and more often than not, one position is directly at odds with another, that the Party is more often than not a party that really has no ideas, but simply consists of a laundry list of catch phrases which are designed to sound good to whoever they are being tossed at, but which have little substance when examined, and more often than not cannot even begin to be used in any practical way.

The economic ideas are truly the "Voodoo Economics" spoken of by one Republican. A sort of Rube Goldberg economics machine that tears itself to pieces sometime after it is set into motion.

The Social Conservatism is simply a conglomeration of various sorts of bigotry stapled together into one of those pamplets of aphorisms and advise you see at supermarket check outs somewhere close to the National Enquirer.

More than this, the fact that the Republican Party seemed to beleive that "Joe the Plumber" was more qualified to be president than a Harvard Graduate is the final nail in the coffin of the Republican Party.

Its anti intellectual bent basically states that it does not want well educated and capable people to serve in the highest offices of government, but only political loyalists who place party before their oaths to uphold the constitution. Republicans in Congress have forgotten that the purpose of the branch of government they were elected to was to provide "checks and balances" to the Executive Branch. They have become a party which placed party and power above country.

Does anyone know Norma Bruce? Perhaps a suicide watch would be in order.

I don't see Norma's name in this thread at all.

Either you posted this in here in error or your are a colossal jerk. Possibly both.

There are some things you never joke about. One of them is whether someone might be on the verge of suicide. If a loved one is causing worry on your part that they are at risk of suicide, there are quite a few resources out there that might help. Mental Health America has a pretty good round-up.

For bringing up something so absolutely vile, frankly I hope you at least do the honest and responsible thing. If you fear someone is at risk of suicide, tell a mental health professional or a law enforcement officer. They are trained to deal with such.
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The meeting I was attending in Orlando (where gas was 2.13 this morning) wrapped up early and I drove home - about a 90 minute drive.

As I was driving across a bridge across Tampa Bay, I saw a man standing at the top of the big span in a t-shirt and shorts. He was looking over the side and holding a pair of shoes. I saw someone running down the span of the bridge away from him, and a thin woman running up the span towards him.

I called the police and turned around at the next convenient location. As I was filling the police in on the details my fine mobile phone cut out as it is wont to do on this span of bridge. I drove past the man, down to the end of the bridge and began to walk up.

As I walked up the man running down passed me and yelled as he passed, "Should we not be here? in accented English, and kept running. Cars where whizzing past at 60 MPH and there is only a painted white line to keep them from squishing anyone walking on the bridge. I ventured a guess that it was not a remarkably safe place to walk but the running man had run away. The man with the shoes was still standing at the top of the span.

I walked the remaining 100 meters or so to the man and asked him if he was OK, he said he was and asked if I was OK. I asked why he was standing on the bridge and he said he was training. Just then the police arrived.

They were foreign tourists who felt like jogging up and down on the bridge. I walked back down to the car feeling a bit foolish, but at least I didn't get squished, and I got a bit of exercise.

I have a bad habit of walking on bridges and getting hit by cars. Jogging on a bridge what a bunch of nuts.

Nope. Colossal jerk. Thought it was funny.

What can I tell you? Roving bands of Democrat-incited Negro youths put me up to it.

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