Wither the Republican Party? by dnd

The Republicans seem to be in a meltdown mode lately. The Christian right, the Bush big government types, the neo-cons, the thinkers like David Brooks and Peggy Noonan and Kathleen Parker, and the “Contract on America” crowd like Newt Gingrich all seem to be at odds.

And it seems the entire base hates McCain.  Witness the defections of the hard-core to the Obama camp.  Even Barry Goldwater’s granddaughter, CC, is supporting Obama.

Republicans no longer appear to be “conservatives.”  They are not the party of Teddy Roosevelt or Barry Goldwater.  They are not the party of Nelson Rockefeller or Gerald Ford or Lincoln Chafee.  They most certainly are not the party of Abraham Lincoln. They are not even the party of Ronald Reagan, who brought them to recent prominence.  They are not the party of men and women of conviction and principles.  John McCain has said that he’s a “Teddy Roosevelt” Republican, but he’s not even close.  T.R. was the first president to call for universal health care and national health insurance.

As an independent and believer of the two party system, I find this troubling.  I’m a fiscal conservative and social liberal.  It is my sincere hope that the Republican party will get it together and return to their roots of small government and minimum government interaction with our daily lives.



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78 responses to “Wither the Republican Party? by dnd

  1. At the risk of sounding like I’m nitpicking I have to take exception with something in your post dnd, and it’s funny because Sheila I were discussing this very point a few days ago.

    History shows it’s not Democrats that break the bank it’s the repugs, for the life of me I don’t how the expression “I’m a fiscal conservative and social liberal.” found it’s way into the popular lexicon. When I see or hear that expression it really gets my hackles up as I feel it validates the repug charge that all taxes are evil and all the Dems want to do is raise your taxes. Maybe we need to redefine what exactly it means to be a fiscal conservative.

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  3. dnd

    I’m not against taxation. I’m against unfair taxation. And really against government waste.

  4. I understand dnd, it just seems to me a lot of Dems need to qualify being a liberal, and go out of their way to say “but I’m not one of those tax and spend liberals”. “tax and spend liberals” is a GOP created myth. That’s my point.

  5. dnd

    “Tax and spend” is such a funny phrase. Of course all collected tax revenue is spent! That’s what taxes are for.

    It’s much more fiscally responsible to spend tax revenue rather that go into debt like this administration has done.

  6. dnd

    David Brooks has an interesting piece in the NYT today:

    “This meltdown is not just a financial event, but also a cultural one. It’s a big, whopping reminder that the human mind is continually trying to perceive things that aren’t true, and not perceiving them takes enormous effort.”


    He cites Nassim Taleb, a brilliant guy who made a bundle in the derivatives markets. His book “Fooled by Randomness” is a great quick, easy read, and I highly recommend it. He also wrote a textbook on derivatives, but unless you understand stochastic calculus, I wouldn’t recommend it…



  7. chefsheila

    I am a Fiscal Conservative with Bleeding Heart Liberal Tendancies.

    That’s a 90’s saying that stuck for those of us who want what is common sense in a society.

    Even you are Brian. We all want conservative spending or now its Pay As You Go.

    We all want good programs to give a person a leg up out of poverty to become a productive citizen and to help the handicapped.

    Independents put that mantle on to defend against the crazy right wing rants and what was left of the Left who wanted us to keep programs that were wasting money and not working.

    The Dems of the 70’s lost their way and corruption took over. BIG government was a fact. Now its the Reps turn to heal a thought process and party.

    I believe the Dems have swung MY way, that is why I registered with them. WE now are the best peoples to govern.

    Obama will govern with moderation fiscally and will finally get our peoples what we need.

    A government that can take care of their disadvantaged and still balance their budget is the goal.

    Of course its not going to happen over night, but we are all for it now. That is a great thing.

  8. dnd

    Apparently Anne Applebaum has lost faith with the Republican party too:

    “Yesterday, while reading the latest polling data on John McCain, Sarah Palin and their appeal — or growing lack of it — to ” independent women voters” it suddenly dawned on me: I am one of these elusive independent female voters, and I have the credentials to prove it. ”


  9. dog's eye view

    David Brooks today, per dnd’s link:

    “It’s a big, whopping reminder that the human mind is continually trying to perceive things that aren’t true, and not perceiving them takes enormous effort.”

    I would say that David Brooks’ written commentary and PBS punditry itself is a great Exhibit A to this statement.

    DBrooks has exceptional powers of observation, is clearly highly intelligent, writes engagingly and frequently lays out his facts clearly — and then draws precisely a different conclusion than the facts outlined would support, based on his ideology and his unconscious belief in the superiority of his opinions.

    Have read many of his columns where he is almmmmost there, and then reels back from making the ideological leap that telling the truth requires.

    (Like: “hey, there’s a problem here with a GOP position” or “hey, maybe this non-GOP idea or person makes sense in this situation.”)

    After the election, it might be fun to go over some of his columns for examples.

  10. chefsheila

    That outstanding Brian, but its not what I’m spouting.

    I want to see a 15% lead for Obama to win on November 4th.

    I want him to win by 15%. 🙂

  11. nannymm

    Nice post, dnd. Although, I hope it takes the repugs a long time to find they’re way again. They have caused so much havoc in this country and the world that I don’t want to see them in power again. We are going to need many many years to undue all the damage they have done….at least, that which it isn’t already too late to undue.
    Given the common usage of the terms “fiscal conservative” and “social liberal,” I’m not sure one can be both. It seems to me that in order to support many of the social policies that liberals advocate (universal healthcare, free quality education, environmental responsibility, energy independence, good jobs, etc) one must also support paying for those policies. If one is an honest broker, that is.
    Spending is not a dirty word; neither is taxing. As a society we must tax in order to fund those programs that we need in order to be a decent and civil society. And I would argue that any society that doesn’t provide medical care to all its people, cannot call itself either decent or civil. Likewise, a society that doesn’t provide food and shelter to the poor and the sick is not, IMO, a civil society.
    Furthermore, a government that won’t invest in roads and bridges, and college education for our young, and new medical and energy technology, and programs to ensure the safety of the products that we use, and protection of the air we breathe and water we drink, is a government that is not serving its people. It is a government that is failing and is weakening itself.
    As for the people who argue against paying taxes that are to be used for the common good, they are foolish. They are blinded by selfish interest, IMO. They aren’t looking to the future; they aren’t planning ahead.
    That’s not fiscally responsible. That’s selfishness.

  12. nannymm

    I forgot to add, I am a proud liberal Democrat who is socially liberal and fiscally RESPONSIBLE. Part of being responsible is paying my way and looking out for others. It also means not leaving a mess for my children and grandchildren to clean up.
    But that is exactly what the repugs do every time they get their hands on the reins of power.

  13. dnd

    Being socially liberal to me means keeping the government’s nose out of individuals business. I do however support social programs that benefit us all, e.g., public education and healthcare, as well as programs that help the needy. I want a government that is both efficient and effective. However that is an impossible objective in large bureaucracies. Reducing the role of government and focusing on what’s really important, as opposed to special interests, is what I’d like to see.

    As Thomas Jefferson wrote: “The government is best which governs least.” (or was that Thomas Paine?)

  14. nannymm

    But, dnd, “special interests” is a very broad term that encompasses just about everything, including health care, education, and programs for the needy. It is groups that lobby for these “special interests” that bring about some very valuable programs and legislation. For example, The Americans with Disabilities Act would never have been passed without a “special interest” group to lobby for it. The same can be said for Veteran’s Benefits, Food Safety Laws, OSHA standards, environmental laws and regs, etc.
    I contend that ALL of these special interests are important to at least a segment of society. The trick is to find a balance in what government does.
    Unfortunately, the repugs have squandered a substantial portion of our wealth on unnecessary wars and the “military
    industrial complex.” They have also allowed the private sector to destroy the wealth of the people by their failure to properly govern (regulate) the financial sector.
    What we need, IMO, is MORE government, not less. And, unlike you, I do believe that government can be both relatively efficient and effective. Bill Clinton was doing a reasonably good job of it. Had he had more time and a more cooperative congress, I think he could have done alot more.
    Maybe time limits are a mistake….but that’s for another day.

  15. dnd

    Point taken. I agree that the ADA act and care for the needy are “special interests.” However public education and health care are not. They are in the general interest. Even if one doesn’t have any children, educating other’s children is in one’s self interest. Ditto health care. The bridge to nowhere is a special interest in my book.

    I’ve worked in the government. I’ve seen the waste firsthand. I’ve seen how political it is and consequentially both inefficient and not effective. That’s why I feel the way I do.

    BTW, Bill Clinton reduced the size of government. Significantly. Worked pretty well, don’t you think? That is until Bush got into the White House and increased the size of government.

  16. nannymm

    Your point re: Bill Clinton is also well taken, dnd. 😀
    About the term “special interest,” perhaps we need to distinguish between good and bad, useful and wasteful, meaningful and worthless.

  17. dnd

    For those who missed the Colbert Report last night, the Yo-Yo Ma and Friends performance at the end of the show was truly bizarre. Ya gotta see it:


  18. dnd

    I think we can agree that an expanded roll for the GAO would be a good thing 😉

  19. dnd

    “HERSHEY, Pa. — Republican John McCain and running mate Sarah Palin are sweeping through battleground Pennsylvania as polls show them trailing the Democratic ticket, but McCain says it’s wonderful to fool the pundits and is vowing to pull an upset.”


    “Those who cast the votes decide nothing.
    Those who count the votes decide everything.”
    — Josef Stalin

  20. nannymm

    Totally, dnd. 😎

  21. dnd

    Yeah Brian. There’s that Hollywood elites thing again.

  22. McCain down to 1 in Georgia

    InsiderAdvantage/Poll Position Georgia
    Sample: 637 registered likely voters
    Margin of Error: +/- 3.8%
    Conducted Oct 27
    McCain: 48%
    Obama: 47%
    Barr: 1%
    Other: 1%


  23. I suspect anyone under the age of 60 upon seeing that add scratched their head and said “who those fuck are those people”


  24. October 28, 2008
    McCain Support Continues Downward Spiral
    Obama Leads by 19 Among Those Who Have Already Voted


  25. Liberal Dems Top Conservative Reps in Donations, Activism
    More Than a Quarter of Voters Read Political Blogs


  26. Rain cancels local McCain-Palin rally, Obama event goes on


    I guess the rain causes Grandpa’s rheumatism to flair up.

  27. dnd

    Dow is up 670 with five minutes until the closing bell! Woo hoo!

  28. dnd

    Forget the McCain-Palin rally. Will the rain in Philly cancel the World Series Game for a second day?

  29. What’s the World Series?


  30. dnd

    Dow closes up 890. Whirlpool cuts 5,000 jobs. Cognitive dissonance. We’re in for a bumpy economic ride.

  31. yeah I was thinking the same thing when I saw where the market closed today, we’d be better with a slower steady climb instead of these swings.

  32. BevnTempe

    Just found this on 23/6.com. If you thought the 3 presidential debates were similar, watch this to prove it.


    If I had money to bet, I would wager the stock market goes down tomorrow. There’s a pattern!

  33. nannymm

    I expect it to go down also. Today was just taking advantage of some low prices. Tomorrow we’ll see another fire sale probably. Doesn’t matter anyway. The economy is still in bad shape and getting worse.

  34. nannymm

    Teenager shot for attempting to steal a McCain sign. Good heavens! What the hell is wrong with the guy who shot him? I hope they throw the book at him.

  35. nannymm

    These people are so desperate!

    Christian right’s mailings depict disastrous future under Obama
    Terrorist strikes on four American cities. Russia rolling into Eastern Europe. Israel hit by a nuclear bomb. Gay marriage in every state. The end of the Boy Scouts.

    All are plausible scenarios if Democrat Barack Obama is elected president, according to a new addition to the campaign conversation called “Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America,” produced by the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family Action.

  36. nannymm

    Another voting rights win:

    Georgia must allow thousands of people whose citizenship was questioned by the state’s new voter verification system to vote in the upcoming election, a panel of federal judges ruled Monday.

    The court ruling will affect about 4,500 people in Georgia who had been “flagged” by the new voter verification system and faced being denied a chance to vote Nov. 4 because their citizenship was questioned.

    It could also affect more than 50,000 other registered Georgia voters also flagged by the new system because of mismatches in their personal identification information, such as discrepancies in addresses.

  37. dnd

    I think you;re the Oracle of Tempe! I too think profits will be taken tomorrow.

    And that link about the debates is a hoot!

  38. Well the Oracle of NYC here says the market will level off after the election.

  39. dnd

    “Teenager shot for attempting to steal a McCain sign. Good heavens! What the hell is wrong with the guy who shot him? I hope they throw the book at him.”

    I’m really curious about this story. First I’m curious about anybody who’d shoot a kid for stealing a yard sign. Second I’m curious about someone who obviously sits at his door, armed, waiting for someone to steal his yard sign. I mean this guy had to be laying in wait with his .22. Third, I’m waiting for the McCain/Palin campaign to comment on this story.

  40. Seriously lets be grateful the kids were white, it would have been really ugly had the boys been of color.

  41. dnd

    “Rain cancels local McCain-Palin rally, Obama event goes on”

    Who’s the “fighter” and who’s the wimp that’s afraid of a little rain?

  42. nannymm

    I’m curious about the shooter, too. Also , I agree with Brian. The right wing loonies would go crazy if those kids were black.

  43. dog's eye view

    wow this looks fun. Robert Draper (who wrote this Sunday’s NYTimes magazine feature on McCain’s choosing Palin) is blogging for GQ.

    Found this on Andrew Sullivan’s blog. Allegedly, a further account of the GOP ticket not getting along all that well. (Palin possibly being snubbed by the Old Kahuna on the Straight Talk bus.)

    We must watch this GQ blog for updates.


  44. dog's eye view

    Give this person a blog!

    Comment by NRay, 5:46, on Draper’s blogpost (link above). Love the “charmin’ the recalcitrant” line.

    “Good piece. What I find most amazing about the Palin phenomenon is how any of McCain’s people who met her failed to see that she is vapid and incurious. Is her mojo so strong that it overcomes one’s judgment while in her presence. If so, she should be hired by the State Department and put to work charmin’ the recalcitrant.

    My wife and I first met Ms. Palin through her acceptance speech at the Republican convention. Within ten seconds we were alarmed. Within twenty we were terrified. The speaker was pretty, charmingly disarming, incredibly confident, friendly and, we were certain, had no understanding whatever of the issues of the day. The infamous interviews quickly bore out our initial impression that she was a current events nitwit.

    We now know that she can look you in the eye and tell the most outrageous lie with a smile, and with the utmost in confident sincerity. She is a huckster of the first order. Instead of playing politician, she should be selling widgets to those who don’t need them and growing wealthy in the process. With her salesman’s ability to tell the customer what he most wants to hear, she cannot fail.

    In the meantime, her combination of looks, her sociopathic ability to lie and her boundless ambition make her attractive to the simple-minded folk who so adore her. Until she leaves the national stage, that makes her one of the most dangerous politicians in America.”

    Oct 28, 2008 5:46:31 PM

  45. dog's eye view

    from the Draper GQ blogpost:

    I’m sympathetic to Eskew and Wallace, and not just because they’re decent people. They’ve held their tongue from leaking what a couple of McCain higher-ups have told me—namely, that Palin simply knew nothing about national and international issues. Which meant, as one such adviser said to me: “Letting Sarah be Sarah may not be such a good thing.”

    It’s a grim binary choice, but apparently it came down to whether to make Palin look like a scripted robot or an unscripted ignoramus.

    I was told that Palin chafed at being defined by her discomfiting performances in the Couric, Charlie Gibson, and Sean Hannity interviews. She wanted to get back out there and do more. Well, if you’re Eskew and Wallace, what do you say to that? Your responsibility isn’t the care and feeding of Sarah Palin’s ego; it’s the furtherance of John McCain’s quest for the presidency.

  46. dog's eye view

    Anchorage Daily News today on Ted Stevens keeping his seat despite felony conviction and replacement options in event he resigns; good backgrounder on Alaskan and Senate law and precedent on the subject.


  47. nannymm

    That is a damning critique of Ms. Palin. Makes me ask again, what the hell was McCain thinking?”

  48. Karolenna

    Hi Gang,

    Been so busy haven’t had the chance to join you on here. Trying to stay up with your posts, though.

    Did anyone else receive the damned CD in their newspapers today about Obama put out by “Citizens United”? It scares me to death every time I go to realclearpolitics and see a change…going down. I’ve said this before, they will do and say anything to retain power. God, I wish this election was tomorrow (or yesterday).

    I’m cancelling my newspaper subscription tomorrow. The Columbus Dispatch is one of the few newspapers that have endorsed old man McInsane. Naturally the Repug Wolf family owns it and they are notorious Repugs.


  49. Barack Obama has widened his lead over John McCain in the race for President in New Hampshire. More than half of likely
    voters, 58%, say they plan to vote for Obama, 33% favor McCain, 2% prefer some other candidate, and 6% are undecided.


    Ok, this one leaves even me a little skeptical.

  50. nannymm

    Hi, Karo! Good to see you.
    We all wish it were over. But don’t worry. Obama is going to win this.

  51. nannymm

    These damn repugs belong in jail.

    (CNN) – The Virginia State Board of Elections is putting the word out: November 4 is Election Day for everyone in the state, regardless of political party.

    The state agency issued a “Rumor Buster” press release this week with the correct date for voting in next week’s election because a fake flyer has been circulating with false information.

    Click here to see the fake flyer

    The flier said incorrectly that Republicans and Republican-leaning independent voters should vote November 4 and that Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents should vote November 5. The flyer claims that the separate dates for voting by party were enacted by the Virginia legislature to ease the strain on the polls during high turnout that is expected.

  52. chefsheila

    K! Good to see you again… How’s work?

  53. Obama leads McCain in Florida and Ohio, poll says

    In Ohio, a state that has been battered for years by unemployment and plant closings, Obama is leading McCain by 49% to 40% among people likely to vote.

    In Florida, a state that was considered a likely win for Republicans not long ago, McCain is trailing, 50% to 43%.


  54. Karolenna


    Work is okay but at times can be busy. Worked a long day yesterday from 6:50 am. I sat in outside meetings yesterday and today taking dictation. Won’t mention who the meetings were with yesterday, but most would know the guy and he is “notorious”. Haven’t used my shorthand for years and am kind of rusty, but it will come back. Have used laptops mostly these past few years for such tasks.

    My daughter called tonight and said “Mom, guess who our company is working for tomorrow?” I knew, but, hey, it’s money (Palin). Actually good $. My son, who also works for the company, called me on his way home from Chillicothe, OH where they wanted a good tech and carpenter on site for the “Palin” event tomorrow. He confirms that she has a bunch of “rookies” with her. Not many who can make decisions, unlike the Obama group when they’ve worked with them. I asked him if I could “pay” one of the company’s older techies, who is an old classic rock band roadie and a Democrat, to wear my “Vote Nov 4 – Obama ’08” T-shirt that I got for donating before 10/31. He said he probably would do it, but he’s not working the event tomorrow. Anyone know if Obama is back in Ohio before the election? This is actually the first McLame event they’ve worked. We’ll take his money just as long as he doesn’t win the election.

    Brian, I won’t be satisfied until it’s over and Obama has won. There have been too many times they’ve stolen this election. If it’s not a landslide here, there will be law suits for a long time. It’s already being talked about, and Kenneth Blackwell’s name (you know…the one who won the election for Bush in ’04) was on that CD/DVD that came in the newspaper today. He is a supporter of it.

  55. chefsheila

    K that is so fun and now you’ve sparked my interest! who was it? 🙂

    isn’t Michelle going to be there soon?

    And I’m with you, I have all my fingers and toes and eyes crossed, as well as a good prayer to the real Gipper.

  56. Presidential race in Arizona a toss-up

    TEMPE, Ariz. ––Republican John McCain leads Democrat Barack Obama by two points (46 percent to 44 percent) in Arizona, a margin that makes the race too close to call, according to a new Cronkite/Eight Poll.


  57. nannymm

    Great news! If Obama wins Arizona, he will probably sweep the country or darned close to it.

  58. Good morning everyone,

    it’s getting really frosty here, and tonight is JayZ, everyone is wondering if Obama will make a surprise appearance. That would be so very cool. Depending on when he appears in Florida, he could actually make it up here.

    I am assuming that his 1/2 show is pre-taped? It isn’t going to be live is it?

    Been to busy with work, to even follow the news.

    Have a great day.

  59. Net giants unveil web rights code

    “The code, drawn up Google Inc, Microsoft Corp and Yahoo Inc aims to reduce the scope of government requests that appear to violate free speech and other human rights principles.”


  60. chefsheila

    Colleen!! Phone Home! 🙂

  61. dnd

    FL Governor Charlie Crist has extended early voting polling hours. Long lines and lots of people voting.

  62. dnd

    “Energy expert” Palin is in Toledo explaining their energy policy. I don’t know who wrote her speech, but they should be fired. She’s just rambling and not making any sense.

  63. chefsheila

    I’m telling you, I was just thinking the same thing. I was trying to give her an open mind,,,,,,but she is only selling me on her “Archaic” beliefs and how simple minded she is….

    Me the feminist. I really did want to give her the benefit of the doubt because she is touted as an expert.

  64. chefsheila

    Notice the Polar Bear Pin she is wearing……after making sure the Polar Bear isn’t on the endangered speices list?

  65. Pingback: Wither the Republican Party? by dnd

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