Republican Panic

The Republican circular firing squad was out in force on Capitol Hill yesterday. Rep. Tom Davis, former chairman of the RCCC sent out a memo after they lost a solid Republican seat in Mississippi.

“They are canaries in the coal mine, warning of far greater losses in the fall, if steps are not taken to remedy the current climate,” Mr. Davis said in a memorandum. “The political atmosphere facing House Republicans this November is the worst since Watergate and is far more toxic than it was in 2006.”

The result in Mississippi, and what Republicans said was a surge in African-American turnout, suggested that Mr. Obama might have the effect of putting into play Southern seats that were once solidly Republican, rather than dragging down Democratic candidates.

Much of the talk was about the “Republican brand” being damaged beyond the possibility of repair by November. It’s like a toy company with a defective product. What do you do? Tom Cole, the new RCCC chair doesn’t have a clue, “When you lose three of these in a row you have to get beyond campaign tactics and take a hard look and ask if there is something wrong with your product.”

What we are witnessing is a once in a generation sea change election. This Neoconservative gospel was proclaimed by Irving Kristol in The Public Interest in 1965. 

  • In domestic affairs the national government should shrink (by cutting taxes on the wealthy and business regulations) 
  • In foreign affairs the government should grow (by becoming the world’s sole military superpower).

The contradictory themes of cutting taxes and growing military spending led to only one solution, giant deficits financed by foreign governments. The Republican party is about the reap the whirlwind of what they started sowing in 1981.

This entry was posted in Advertising, Barack Obama, Defense Policy, Economics, Energy Policy, Foreign Policy, Iraq War, Journalism, Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Republican Panic

  1. Morgan Warstler says:

    Republican ethics violations are the reason for the failed brand. The party is fat, dumb, and lazy. Built for the 90’s, not today.

    Anytime Bill Maher can gleefully gay bash he will. It is crucial Republicans stop moralizing, respect gay rights, let abortion be a states rights issue, open the doors to immigrants. And deeper than that, Republicans need to be the party of small business owners first. The party of ownership / stewardship will always be trusted to lead. Business owners do not feel this Republican party, not like they used to.

    Finally, I doubt very seriously whether the war has an effect on swing voters at the polls. The academics / protesters aren’t swing voters.

  2. Thom Dowting says:

    California Supreme Court Strikes Down Gay Marriage Ban

    Is this a sigh of relief for Republicans? By that I mean will they now be able to once again take up the mantle of morality by protecting the sanctity of marriage against the liberal hordes come November?


  3. Rick Turner says:

    If conservative Repugs were not so afraid that they were all gay or could catch gay cooties from the gay couple next door, they could just live and let live. But they are afraid, and so the weapon they use is fear.

  4. Zhirem says:

    Morgan: That might be the best thing I have ever read from you on this blog. Both the fat, dumb and lazy part (much of this can be said about the majority of Dems in Congress too), was great. Secondly, the idea that the Republican Americans need to embrace small business : A-men. Entrepreneurs, *not* Empire. Lastly, I think you are mistaken on the protesters / academics intense dislike for the war. At this point, very few Americans are no more than one step removed from being affected – most of us know of someone else that has a loved one either serving, getting back from, or heading back to Iraq. Two or three steps (at most) and you get to someone who knows another who has lost a loved one to the greatest foreign policy blunder in our nation’s history. But, as Mr. Bu$hco says himself: history will be the judge. It is my opinion that both you and our less-than-esteemed pResident are going to be truly amazed at the speed with which history issues a judgement on him, his administration, and a strongly-backed and argued conclusion that he is one of the worst three, if not the wholesale worst individual we Americans have ever put into that office.

    Thom: I heard about this today. It will have far-reaching effects, and I am happy for those that it benefits. In my mind, I can find no reason, no way to defend the withholding of rights from individuals based upon sexual preference. It is, quite simply, a civil rights issue. As far as the Republican Americans pushing the save the U.S. from the gay banditos (see Lewis Black), I think that ship might have sailed. It might play in West Virginia, but it won’t play in Peoria anymore. I think that Americans are largely going to be apathetic towards keeping the gays from storming the gates when they are finding it difficult to afford both gas to get to work, and lunch when they take their mid-day break. Pocketbook trumps Biblebook every time. This time will be no different.

    Rick: too many high-profile Republican Americans in office are closeted homosexuals themselves. It is their self-loathing that drives this kind of inane crap, and nothing more odious or insidious than that. One need look no further than Congressman Widestance.

    – Zhirem

  5. gage says:

    I don’t know about the war not influencing swing voters. I myself am starting to resent the price tag.

  6. rhb says:

    Republican panic sounds good.

    Since Maher’s on vacation, let’s bring back Mort Sahl.

    Whether it is a swing vote or not, we can’t let the Democrats off the hook for concluding the war.

    Anyone ever read Theodore Sturgeon’s “If all men were brothers, would you let one marry your sister?

    And finally, does anyone know who Andrew Sullivan is supporting this time around?

  7. Jon Taplin says:

    Andrew Sullivan is one of Obama’s strongest supporters.

  8. pond says:

    The traditional way to solve low taxes and big military, of course, is the age-old path of empire: openly rule the lands you conquer, and squeeze them for taxes to support the state’s ‘bread and circuses’ welfare at home. This was the Roman way, and the Roman Empire lasted a whole lot longer than the American Empire is liable to.

    The American Empire does not have to rely on borrowing, though it has so far. Instead, the path chosen has been: allow American corporations to rule those lands the government military conquers. The corporations will then reap huge profits, and even at lower rates of taxation, will contribute hugely to the government revenue. Also the very-highly-paid managers of these corporations will make so much money that, even though their tax rates may be lower than 1960s levels, they will contribute more.

    The whole scheme collapses, however, when the American corporations go international, set up their corporate HQ in Dubai, or some Caribbean tax-haven island nation, and pay no US taxes at all. Then all the dead servicemen and the billions spent on armaments return almost nothing to the treasury of the administration that conquered the foreign lands for the benefit of the corporations.

    Those administration officers and lobbyists do get personal riches in return for their service to the corporations, of course. It’s only the rest of the Americans who pay the penalty.

    Morgan: it is not the scandals of the various Republican congressmen that has tarnished the Republican ‘brand,’ though that has surely played a part. The biggest blame I think must fall squarely on the White House threshold. It is the incompetence of the current Bush administration both in its wars and its domestic policies that hurt.

    First the conquest of Iraq lost President Bush the support of the independent and left-leaning citizens, those who had strongly supported him after 9/11 and through the conquest of Afghanistan. The scandal of Abu Ghraib and other tales of botched and evil counsels lost more, but as of the election of 2004, the Bush ‘brand’ still could claim about 45% approval, with another 5.5% of voters disapproving of Senator Kerry enough to pass the popular vote to the President.

    But then came Katrina, which lost a lot of right-leaning independent citizens. And then came the Dubai ports issue, and the President’s call for amnesty for illegal alien workers, which lost him the support of many solid Republicans, and drove his approval ratings down to his core of ‘yellow-dog Republicans’ at about 28%.

  9. Morgan Warstler says:

    Pond, I know it seems like that, and I agree with you Bush’s policy on immigration hurting him – more than the war – in swing voters.

    But Abramoff, Vitter, and then Larry Craig – each tore off a piece of the conventional Republican support. And like with the immigration issue, some of it, there’s some longterm upside to – I’d love for the Republican party to be the party of the gay community. I hate having christians in bed with small business owners.

    I personally think the answer for both parties is states rights. It would make most issues much less hostile, and I think there’d be net benefit to people’s satisfaction.

  10. Pingback: McCain’s Magical Mystery Tour « Jon Taplin’s Blog

  11. Jon Taplin says:

    Morgan-Admit, the problems with your “brand” go much deeper than the hypocrisy of Abramoff, Vitter and Craig. Your vision of the world where we can “take what we want and leave the rest” is just fundamentally flawed and the people know it. In 2004, you and your friends like Karl Rove, were able to use the politics of fear, but thats not working anymore, even in the bible belt (viz. Mississippi and Louisiana special elections).

    As I said before, you are going to have to retreat to the loyal opposition posture. Its a stress position, but I’m sure that you and Rush Limbaugh will learn how to adapt.

  12. ken says:

    Let’s try a totally different analysis of these results and see how it fits: For the GOP, the race is complete and there is little reason to show up and vote. For the Dems, every vote still matters and people are showing up in droves. Thus, in races where the primary is also a special election, the Dems are crushing the GOP.

    I don’t think we can yet say that this is the end of an era for the GOP. We’ll have to wait until November to know that for sure, and work hard until then to ensure that it is.

    For all the media reports that the Dems are killing the party with the fight to the finish, could it be that it is actually a good thing? I mean, every year we get reports about how the votes in late primaries don’t count, and here we are with a situation where every last vote is important. It sure sounds like a good thing to me.

  13. Morgan Warstler says:

    Jon, you feel sooooo much. It causes too many assumptions that make me think you don’t get where I’m coming from. Be clear, I’m just as disappointed and disgusted with Rush’s sloppy thinking as I am with you. Republican party has had three groups, business men, hawks… and UGH, the social conservatives. That has ended and not too soon for me. Certainly Rush’s crowd is bummed about immigration, gay rights, moral crap – all things I’m happy to see tossed over the side by a neo-conservative/libertarian party.

    I’m love to have a new Republican party get formed: low tax, pro-small business, pro immigration, pro-choice, pro-military, pro-gay. Will it happen? Not a chance. But, to me it is easier to urge the Republican party become pro-gay and pro-choice, than it is to convince the Democratic party be low tax / low regulation.

    I’m doomed to always be in the minority. The fortunate thing is the glass is half full for me with either Obama or McCain. And while McCain reads slightly better than Obama, I have a sneaking suspicion based on who he has around him, that he only gets more moderate.

    But you unfailingly seem to fall back to thinking I’m in bed with Rush Limbaugh which is silly. I’m a Dennis Miller guy.

  14. Jon Taplin says:

    Morgan- Dennis Miller? Say it ain’t so. He’s a friggin idiot.

  15. Rick Turner says:

    States’ rights…sovereignty again. Why stop at states? How about counties rights? Municipalities? Neighborhoods? Blocks? Individual houses rights?

    There are states…Rhode Island, North Dacota, etc….which have smaller populations than many cities in the US. Why should Rhode Island have states’ rights that trump city’s rights? It’s bullshit…this states’ rights argument. It doesn’t mean anything in the big scheme of things, or perhaps states themselves should just go on the warpath and conquer one another…

    What are “states’ rights”? And why are they so important to you, Morgan? I think they represent an arcane and totally artificial political construct. This is an anachronism like the monarchy in England. I’m not totally against the idea, but if you scratch below the surface, states rights don’t mean much.

    There’s also the wonderful Jim Crow history of states’ rights which allow states to trump human rights. I’m against it… But then I’m just learning about true libertarianism, Morgan-style. Human rights don’t seem to mean much except as other humans’ necks become rungs on the ladder to material success…

  16. Morgan Warstler says:

    Jon, I was actually thinking you should be interviewed on DM… I wonder if you could stay on the NF message tho?

  17. Morgan Warstler says:

    Ok, Rick let me explain why I like states rights (listed in no particular order):

    I’m sick of talking about abortion, and I’m pro-choice. The pro-life side is winning slowly, and the states that are serious about women’s health rights issues should gladly grab that political security. Leave it up to the states, let women in South Carolina suffer accordingly, and let’s see what’s what.

    I support gay marriage. And if the Christians get given states rights for abortion (where they get to make it illegal in their state), I think they’ll deal with gay marriage in the liberal states.

    I support legalizing drugs and whoring. And again, I think that the quickest way to STOP ARGUING is to let 50 different experiments get played out on all kind of social moral issues.

    Yes, you are right that states rights was the rally cry of slavery. I grant it. But you have to admit, we fought a war to end that state right (well kinda). Once that one is off the table, and I get the credit, cause we fought a war to stop bad shit when we had to, I think you have to admit, states rights works out better for the stuff you believe.

  18. Jon Taplin says:

    Rick-I’m wrestling with this issue of Federalism, as you well know. My particular experieince is that California (and the rest of the country) would have benefited if we had been able to enforce our clean car law three years ago, instead of fighting the Bush Administration and the car companies in court. The same goes for our independance on stem cell research, on line privacy, gay rights, etc.

    We have to be careful not to just think about George Wallace standing in the school house door over this issue. In general innovation tends to happen in smaller units at the edge and the Federal Government has proved to be incapable of innovation at the edge since DARPA first funded the Internet.

    I hear your objections, but maybe there is a way to work through these show stoppers?

  19. Sunny Murchison says:

    I always liked the Republican Party because it makes one self-sufficient in its politcal theory. It is far better to be independent than to be dependent on any social agency.

    I will vote for John McCain because he is the most experienced candidate for the position of the presidency of the United State. Take a master class in the presidency and you will learn why.

    God bless.

    Sunny Murchison and Lil’ Sunny Lee
    Pasadena, California

Leave a Reply