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JAD_333
06 Dec 13,, 04:35
In a long and well-documented article, these two authors argue that the GOP is in danger of self-destructing. The article goes deep into the conflicts tearing the party apart. It's not kind to the Tea Party movement. Exposes its philosophical weaknesses.

The question is, will the party survive the Tea Party onslaught?



A GOP Civil War: Who Benefits?
Michael Medved & John Podhoretz


If the Republican Party descends into civil war over the next two years, a luncheon in October of this year will count as its Fort Sumter. On the second day of the wildly controversial government shutdown, GOP senators gathered for a private midday meal to discuss their next steps. Kelly Ayotte, elected by New Hampshire voters in 2010 as a Tea Party darling, stood up and walked toward her Texas colleague Ted Cruz. She was waving the printout of a mass email sent by the Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF), a group closely identified with Cruz. The email harshly denounced 25 GOP “traitors” who “betrayed their principles.”

How did they do such a terrible thing? By casting a procedural vote—a vote to end debate on a “continuing resolution” that would have kept the government open. Listing such conservative stalwarts as Ayotte, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, John Thune of South Dakota, and John Cornyn of Texas, the email condemned their insufficiently implacable opposition to ObamaCare and scolded them for “giving Democrats the power to implement this terrible law.” Declaring that “most Republicans promise to stand up for conservative principles during the campaign, but then let us down after they’re elected,” the SCF went on to “thank Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) for their extraordinary courage.”

A startled Cruz had to muster some of that extraordinary courage to answer an emotional Ayotte, who struck a third solon at the scene as “especially furious.” Ayotte demanded: “Will you disown this awful thing that’s aiming to hurt the majority of your colleagues?” Cruz replied: “I will not,” thus provoking a response that several of those present later described to the press as a “lynch mob.” Republican after Republican took turns blasting the golden boy of the right for his disrespect, divisiveness, immaturity, and utter failure to provide a strategy for achieving even minimal GOP gains through the deeply unpopular shutdown.

The crisis ended two weeks later with a more or less complete Republican humiliation. The government was reopened with not a single concession made to those who had engineered the crisis. Cruz then made a muted attempt to reconcile with the 44 other Republicans who had been elected to serve alongside him at least until the end of 2014. At another closed-door luncheon on October 30, Cruz attempted to reassure....

rest of article at « A GOP Civil War: Who Benefits? Commentary Magazine (http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/a-gop-civil-war-who-benefits/)

astralis
06 Dec 13,, 14:54
this is quite similar to points i made earlier, but i think the real takeaways from the article are:


It is also peculiarly anachronistic. There was once an ideological divide in the GOP, when liberal Republicans like Clifford Case (alongside Jacob Javits of New York, Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania, Edward Brooke of Massachusetts, Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, Lowell Weicker of Connecticut, and the geographical outlier Mark Hatfield of Oregon) were genuinely hostile to conservatism and protective of their place in the mainstream “establishment.” They were, indeed, RINOs, if by Republican you mean someone who generally adheres to a right-of-center point of view. But demographic and geographic changes in the United States over the past 40 years have basically made those original RINOs an extinct species. Talking about manifestly conservative politicians of the early 21st century as though they are no different from liberals rightly creates cognitive dissonance in the minds of voters who do not follow the ins and outs of Republican politics day to day, and inclines many of them to back away in discomfort as one does when seeing a married couple squabble in public.

....

One of the reasons that “true conservatives” have regularly underperformed in nomination struggles in recent years is that the differences among Republicans have become far more stylistic than substantive. They have come to involve questions of strategy and tone far more than divisions over policy.



====


Once successful, however, angry messages get stale. New targets of opportunity must be found. And many of these Anger Entrepreneurs on the right mine their gold in the negative emotions of conservatives who are having grave difficulty making sense of a world in which almost everyone they know dislikes liberalism and despises Obama but in which liberals and Obama seem to have the upper hand. The answer seducing all too many of them is that their cause has been sabotaged from within and that the best route to greater success lies in removing the saboteurs.


finally,

it's funny, too, how the authors connect aspects of the Tea Party with the Confederacy:


The determination of some extremists on the right to tear apart the Republican Party has a disturbing historical echo—hearkening back to the enthusiastic “fire-eaters” in Charleston and Montgomery who forced cooler heads to go along with secession in 1861. They knew they had little chance of prevailing in an all-out military struggle against the far more populous and industrialized North, but they became intoxicated with the romance and excitement of their doomed “glorious cause.” One of us—Michael—recently received a long letter from a furious listener of his talk-radio show. He denounced me as a “traitor” and a “gutless wimp who won’t lift a finger to rescue wounded warriors from the field of battle,” thanks to my refusal to back Ted Cruz in his shutdown strategy. My correspondent concluded his diatribe with this warning: “If you and your neo-con buddies succeed in undermining the heroic last stand fight by true conservatives and the Tea Party then we will have no alternative but to fight a second civil war. And this time, I can assure you, we will win.” Actually, we always assumed “we” had won last time, too. Certainly, the Republican Party honored the successful War for the Union as a significant triumph that gave it unbreakable majorities for more than 60 years.


hm...:)

JAD_333
06 Dec 13,, 17:14
Asty:

Those paragraphs stood out for me as well.

Another take away is the corrosive effect the liberal campaign finance laws are having on the political landscape--the idea that well-heeled individuals can create or support organizations who operate independently of the party committees and often at cross-purposes.

JAD_333
08 Dec 13,, 18:51
Well, my thread is going nowhere. Admittedly internal party struggles is a dry subject, but this one is particularly serious, as the outcome will determine the future direction of national politics and shape of government for some time to come.

Since the key is the sustainability of the Tea Party, it might be good to clarify exactly what the Tea Party is, some misconceptions about it, and its concerns. This series of articles do a pretty good job of that.

What Is the Tea Party's Economic Platform? (http://useconomy.about.com/od/Politics/p/Tea-Party-And-Economy.htm)

Tea Party Myths & Misconceptions -- Myths & Misconceptions About the Tea Party Movement (http://usconservatives.about.com/od/gettinginvolved/qt/Myths-And-Misconceptions-About-The-Tea-Party-Movement.htm)

Tea Party Myths -- Is the Tea Party a Racist Movement? (http://usconservatives.about.com/od/gettinginvolved/f/Is-The-Tea-Party-A-Racist-Movement.htm)

About.com: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303376904579135231053555194?mod=hp _opinion (http://useconomy.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=useconomy&cdn=newsissues&tm=19&f=10&tt=65&bt=4&bts=4&zu=http%3A//online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303376904579135231053555194%3Fmod% 3Dhp_opinion)

Scattered in and among these articles are links to other articles.

Not only will they reveal what the Tea Party is, but who the tea party members are and why they're upset. Their economic ideas are somewhat simplistic, but their goals are pure Jacksonian America--live and let live and stay out of my life...sounds good to me.

astralis
11 Dec 13,, 20:50
looking at it from another POV, it's actually pretty funny to note that Republican negotiators have an easier time, apparently, of coming to agreement with their Democratic counterparts than persuading their own base.

look at the recent $85 billion budget deal. ink hasn't even dried, and boehner/ryan are out in force trying to persuade the Tea Party folks and organizations that it wasn't a sell-out. i was watching bloomberg this morning, and there was some Tea Party nut saying that Paul Ryan was getting way too liberal (!!!!) and needed to watch his back if he continued to betray conservative principles.

inmates running the asylum.

Parihaka
11 Dec 13,, 21:43
The Tea Party is the birth of a new political movement. Viewed from within the traditional 'middle of the road' two party system you currently have, everything about the Tea Party seems extremist. The problem with that view is, the Tea Party has a significant electoral base that doesn't view themselves as extremist at all, but rather views the current 'normal' as extremist, trying to impose old solutions on a new world.
Most 'Republicans', as evinced over the years on this board, have more in common with Democrats than they do with the Tea Party. It's an uncomfortable marriage, and one that won't last. Say hello to a three party system and all that it implies. Being from a multi party system I find myself approving.

JAD_333
11 Dec 13,, 23:31
The Tea Party is the birth of a new political movement. Viewed from within the traditional 'middle of the road' two party system you currently have, everything about the Tea Party seems extremist. The problem with that view is, the Tea Party has a significant electoral base that doesn't view themselves as extremist at all, but rather views the current 'normal' as extremist, trying to impose old solutions on a new world.

You hit it on the nail.


Most 'Republicans', as evinced over the years on this board, have more in common with Democrats than they do with the Tea Party. It's an uncomfortable marriage, and one that won't last. Say hello to a three party system and all that it implies. Being from a multi party system I find myself approving.

Here I have to disagree with you somewhat. Most Republicans have much in common with the Tea Party, but diverge greatly on tactics. The main problem--the Tea Party is much too much in a hurry to roll back decades of progressive gains. Over the years, Republicans have had a hand in the progressive movement, mostly to the extent that they had to participate to satisfy their electorate or lose elections. Also, they have sought to mellow progressive initiatives through compromise or quid pro quo's. This was the best conservatives could do in the past given the political spectrum was weighed against them and toward social progressives. The spectrum is now gradually moving toward them. Rather than take a gentle glide path, the Tea Party is impatient and thus more inclined to take drastic measures, e.g. government shutdowns, freezing debt ceilings and, most obvious, knocking off their fellow conservative member of Congress who don't share their belief in near instantaneous change.

But there will be no third party IMO, first, because by itself the Tea Party will die on the vine and, second, because saner heads in the Tea Party establishment now realize overnight change isn't possible and devouring older conservative lawmakers, who in reality share their fundamental political beliefs, is counterproductive. Check out this article in the Washington Post about how the Tea Party establishment is signaling a change in tactics.



Stockman steps forward as Republicans step back

By Dana Milbank, Published: December 10

Rep. Steve Stockman’s moment as a viable Senate candidate lasted exactly 13 hours 47 minutes.

At 7 p.m. Monday, the far-right Stockman (R-Toxicity) announced via the right-wing Web site WND that he would challenge incumbent John Cornyn in the Texas Republican Senate primary. And for a brief period, it appeared that Stockman could pose a credible threat; his decision was...

rest of article at http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/american-politics-economy/64755-gop-civil-war-demise-party.html

astralis
12 Dec 13,, 00:48
pari,

allow me to answer this post slightly backwards.


The problem with that view is, the Tea Party has a significant electoral base that doesn't view themselves as extremist at all, but rather views the current 'normal' as extremist, trying to impose old solutions on a new world.

this isn't quite true. if you look at the Tea Party solutions, they don't want "new solutions for a new world". they want old solutions for an old world. there's a reason why Tea Partiers parade around in tricorn hats and stockings, and why they quote from the Constitution and the Federalist Papers.

their goal is to return to founding principles, with their IDEAL being, depending on the situation you talk about, a return to the 1950s (culturally), or pre-1913 (tax/welfare/representation/foreign policy). at its heart, the Tea Party is a conservative populist movement that espouses libertarianism at home and isolationism abroad. they're not so much interested in meeting the challenges of globalization and the new world so much as avoiding them. (case in point: when was the last time you heard a Tea Party person make a clear case of, say, what exactly the administration should do with Syria? or what they thought about free trade? or how to support science and technology development in the US?)

this is a reason why all the Tea Party-backed candidates for the Presidency were so, so very bad; once you move past the shibboleths of "Tax cuts good! Spending bad!" there's very little else that they offer. how many other Americans are interested in the repeal of the 17th Amendment? or back a gold standard? or, let's be brutally honest about it: how many Americans back the dissolution of Social Security and Medicare, or a flat tax?

in this sense, your statement here:


The Tea Party is the birth of a new political movement.

is not true. it is a re-emergence of a very distinct American political strain that has existed for a very, very long time. NONE of the Tea Party's principles would have been alien to a Republican opposing FDR in the 1930s for instance, except the populism. (for that matter, very few of the Tea Party's principles would have been alien to a Southern Democrat of the 1950s, either...complete with the talk of states' rights.)

after the political destruction of the GOP by FDR, their views went into hiding for decades. the populist version of this old vision emerged as part of the John Birch Society, which took the efforts of the National Journal and William F Buckley, to tamp down.

it's a peculiar strain of political thought that uses the language of victimhood and decline from former greatness; see JAD's opening blurb, especially the part about a Tea Partier identifying himself with the Confederacy.

however,


It's an uncomfortable marriage, and one that won't last. Say hello to a three party system and all that it implies.

i do agree with JAD that this will not happen. the US electoral system is simply designed for a two party system. absent a complete revolution or overhaul, this will not change.

the stated goal of the Tea Party is NOT to found its own third party. its libertarian founders know that trying to go for a third party is a good way to be stuck in the political wilderness-- see how the Libertarians have performed in elections the last 50 years.

instead, they have a very clear goal: to take over the GOP from the inside and remake it into its own image. in this they have been stunningly successful, far more so than even the religious conservatives back in the 80s-90s. in my personal view much of this came because the GOP establishment viewed the Tea Party as an useful populist tool to counter Dem charges that the GOP was merely a party of the elite wealthy...only to find out too late that as the Tea Party folks were not beholden in any way to the national GOP, their control over them was significantly less than they thought.

bonehead
12 Dec 13,, 04:16
After years of mostly silence (publicly) Boehner finally had enough and threw down the gauntlet. I don't trust ABC to be fully objective but there might be some truth to this.



House Speaker John Boehner blasted outside groups for their criticism of the bipartisan budget deal, delivering an unusually sharp rebuke today to tea party and conservative activists while signaling he has had just about enough of their intransigence.
"They're using our members and they're using the American people for their own goals," Boehner said, his voice rising with anger during a news conference at the Capitol today. "This is ridiculous. Listen, if you are for more deficit reduction, you are for this agreement."
From Boehner, it was a rare and pointed public dressing-down of Club for Growth, Heritage Action, the Koch Brothers and other conservative groups that have urged Republicans to oppose the budget deal. Boehner openly questioned the motives of such groups, demonstrating a far more aggressive posture than he usually takes.
In response to Boehner's comments, Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said his group will still stand with lawmakers who oppose the deal.
"We stand with Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Tom Coburn, Rand Paul, members of the Republican Study Committee and every other fiscal conservative who opposes the Ryan-Murray deal," Chocola said in a statement.
"We support pro-growth proposals when they are considered by Congress," he added. "In our evaluation, this isn't one of those."
RELATED: Congress Gets Job Done for Once and Strikes Budget Deal
Since taking over the House majority three years ago, tea party conservatives have regularly challenged Boehner to push for deeper spending cuts and to repeal the Obama health care law. But after emerging from the government shutdown emboldened in the eyes of his rank and file, the speaker seems to have steadied control of his base.
"American people expect us to come here, find common ground and do the best we can, stick to our principles, but govern," Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., said. "That's what this has achieved."
Still, many tea party conservatives are expected to vote against the deal, including Rep. Tim Huelskamp, one of the House's most fiscally conservative members.
"It is the typical end of the year deal I've seen from my three years up here," Huelskamp, R-Kansas, said. "It's going to increase spending with promise of spending cuts sometime in the future. At the end of the day it's going to increase the deficit, it's going to raise taxes and fees and it's not going to address the long term overspending problem in Washington which is we need to reform entitlements."
FreedomWorks, a grassroots organization that advocates for individual liberty and constitutionally-limited government, said Boehner's real problem is "with millions of individual Americans who vote Republican because they were told the GOP was the party of small government and fiscal responsibility."
"Once again Republicans, led by John Boehner, are working with Democrats to increase spending yet again on the taxpayers' tab while promising 'savings' down the road," FreedomWorks president and CEO Matt Kibbe reacted in a statement. "We know how this movie ends. How can leadership credibly promise spending cuts later, after agreeing to a plan that rolls back the sequester savings promised two debt increases ago? There's a predictable pattern here."
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said conservatives like Huelskamp should support the agreement because it does not raise taxes, it reduces the deficit and eliminates the worry of government shutdowns next year.
"We've got to find a way to make divided government work," Ryan said. "We understand in divided government we're not going to get everything we want."
House Democrats also began to cautiously embrace the agreement, which Boehner indicated will likely come to the House floor for a vote Thursday.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stressed that her caucus has not had the opportunity to fully review the deal, but indicated she could vote for it.
"We would have preferred something quite different, but we do recognize the value of coming to a decision so that we can go forward with some clarity on other legislation that we want to see," Pelosi, D-Calif., said, citing closing tax and immigration reform as two legislative priorities she would have preferred to include in the package.
The vote later this week will rely heavily on Democratic support, but some key members expressed a reluctance to support it.
Rep. Nita Lowey, the top Democrat on the Appropriations committee, criticized the agreement for cutting Medicare while also excluding an extension to unemployment benefits. Still, she admitted the deal could have been worse.
"It is absolutely outrageous that we should leave this Congress and go home for the holidays when too many people -- over a million people will not be getting their unemployment benefits," Lowey, D-N.Y., said. "But I think this is the best that we can do at this point."
The House of Representatives is expected to conclude its business for the year Friday.
ABC News' Alex Lazar contributed to this report

John Boehner Fed Up With 'Ridiculous' Tea Party Intransigence on Budget - Yahoo (http://gma.yahoo.com/john-boehner-fed-39-ridiculous-39-tea-party-194816296.html)

bonehead
12 Dec 13,, 07:05
…..And the tea party swings back.


Tea Party Super PAC predicts a "bar room brawl" inside GOP in 2014
By Rick Klein, Olivier Knox, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps
17 hours ago
Power Players
.
Tea Party Super PAC Predicts a 'Bar Room Brawl' Inside GOP in 2014

Top Line

The political director of a prominent Tea Party Super PAC predicts that “big punches” will be thrown within the GOP as groups like his gear up for primary challenges in the 2014 midterm elections against Republicans whom they view as not conservative enough.

“I think the 2014 primary cycle is going to be unlike anything that we've seen,” said the Madison Project’s Drew Ryun. “This is going to be the equivalent of a bar room brawl.”

The Republican establishment, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is going head-to-head with the Madison Project in several of the races where the Super PAC is working to replace the incumbent. But Ryun told “Top Line” they were ready for the fight.

“I think it's going to come down to a battle of tactics,” Ryun said. “They're going to have more money; we're going to have more people. And, basically, who employs the best tactics is going to come out on top of these primaries.”

Ryun acknowledged that the Tea Party had fallen short in the past in choosing “viable candidates.” It’s for this reason, he said, that the Madison Project was selective in choosing which candidates to back and pointed to the their support of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz as one example.

“Ted Cruz being a great example for us in the 2012 cycle where there's a five-way primary in that Texas primary race. We had the opportunity to meet with him, in a sense clarify for the Republican movement. This is our guy; he went on to win,” Ryun said.

The Madison Project is now considering getting involved in another Texas Senate race in 2014, following the announcement earlier this week that Texas Rep. Steve Stockman would challenge incumbent Republican Sen. John Cornyn.

Now that a bipartisan budget deal has been reached on Capitol Hill, Ryun said it would be a mistake for Republicans to negotiate away leverage over government spending levels in future fights.

“We are actually making the argument of hey, there's never been another time,” he said. “The dynamics have changed since September when Ted Cruz stood up and made the case against Obamacare. We've now seen the debacle of a roll-out. Millions of Americans kicked off. We've seen insurance costs go up.”

The cost of not fighting, Ryun said, makes the case for the Madison Project’s greater vision to “remake the Republican Party.”

“If you guys as Republicans are not going to fight when the stage is set, then it's time for us as Republicans to go back and gradually begin remaking the party,” he said.

For more of the interview with Ryun, including his explanation for why his group is backing the primary challenger to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, check out this episode of “Top Line.”

ABC News’ Betsy Klein, Alexandra Dukakis, Danny O’Shea, and John Knott contributed to this episode.

Tea Party Super PAC predicts a "bar room brawl" inside GOP in 2014 (http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/power-players-abc-news/tea-party-super-pac-predicts-a-bar-room-brawl-inside-gop-in-2014-120416972.html)

bonehead
12 Dec 13,, 07:41
At this point here are some possible outcomes from this civil war of ideologies within the GOP:

1) Total demise as the GOP breaks up. There are a lot of huge egos and a ton of money involved and both sides who are firmly entrenched. They may not be able to make nice when it is all over. That is often times what happens when you view your own members as "the enemy". Total chaos for conservatives.

2) The GOP could split into two completely separate parties. The far right and the moderate right. It really isn't difficult to see who would fall into each side.

3) The GOP simply kicks out the handful of tea party members and carries on. Leaving the tea party to do their own thing.

4) The tea party simply forces the GOP farther to the right.

5) The tea party rises and takes over the GOP.


In any of these scenarios the GOP is going to take a hit vs the democrats in the near future elections. However the democrats have been proven to follow stupidity, over play their hand, and give back seats to the GOP, or whomever the other party will be, and parity will be restored in time. The question is how much damage will be done by the democrats in the mean time and that is what those in the GOP should be thinking about. Is this fight really worth the cost? Frankly I doubt those clamoring to wage this battle are thinking of the consequences down the road.

JAD_333
12 Dec 13,, 09:06
pari,

allow me to answer this post slightly backwards.



this isn't quite true. if you look at the Tea Party solutions, they don't want "new solutions for a new world". they want old solutions for an old world. there's a reason why Tea Partiers parade around in tricorn hats and stockings, and why they quote from the Constitution and the Federalist Papers.

their goal is to return to founding principles, with their IDEAL being, depending on the situation you talk about, a return to the 1950s (culturally), or pre-1913 (tax/welfare/representation/foreign policy). at its heart, the Tea Party is a conservative populist movement that espouses libertarianism at home and isolationism abroad. they're not so much interested in meeting the challenges of globalization and the new world so much as avoiding them.


Asty:


Stuff like that makes me climb walls. It's begging questions left and right. What's wrong with ''returning to founding principles'? What's wrong with being reminiscent of a bygone era? Must the validity of a principle erode with age? Why is the alternative better? What founding principles bother you? All of them or just the ones that might get in the way of the progressive agenda? The Tricorn hats and Yankee Doodle Dandy? Surely the symbolism of the Boston Tea Party hasn't escaped you.

You're also wrong on where they stand. There is nothing in the Tea Party literature about going back to 1776, 1931 or the 1950s. The Tea Party is for free trade. They have spoken out on Syria (hand off). Science and technology spending has been declining for years from a high of 35% in the 1960s to 15% 10 years ago and to 8% today. Entitlements the dems spearheaded for years has crimped discretionary spending, not the Tea Party.

The Tea Party are reactionaries. They're people resisting the enormous growth of government and government spending. They are not sitting around nostalgic for the good old days. They have a vision of America for the modern age, and it's leaner and meaner than your version. It's fine to be against them, but you had better learn what they really think. Like the old saying goes: Know your enemy.

bonehead
12 Dec 13,, 12:03
Asty:


Stuff like that makes me climb walls. It's begging questions left and right. What's wrong with ''returning to founding principles'? What's wrong with being reminiscent of a bygone era? Must the validity of a principle erode with age? Why is the alternative better? What founding principles bother you? All of them or just the ones that might get in the way of the progressive agenda? The Tricorn hats and Yankee Doodle Dandy? Surely the symbolism of the Boston Tea Party hasn't escaped you.

You're also wrong on where they stand. There is nothing in the Tea Party literature about going back to 1776, 1931 or the 1950s. The Tea Party is for free trade. They have spoken out on Syria (hand off). Science and technology spending has been declining for years from a high of 35% in the 1960s to 15% 10 years ago and to 8% today. Entitlements the dems spearheaded for years has crimped discretionary spending, not the Tea Party.

The Tea Party are reactionaries. They're people resisting the enormous growth of government and government spending. They are not sitting around nostalgic for the good old days. They have a vision of America for the modern age, and it's leaner and meaner than your version. It's fine to be against them, but you had better learn what they really think. Like the old saying goes: Know your enemy.

JAD You are focusing on the economic part of the tea party platform and as we have agreed before how you achieve the goals is just as important as the goals themselves. There are social aspects as well and that comprises huge stumbling blocks for the tea party. Lastly they really need to put a muzzle on Palin and Bachmann. Every time they get their sound bites in the media those on the fence cringe and turn away.

astralis
12 Dec 13,, 15:58
JAD,


Stuff like that makes me climb walls. It's begging questions left and right. What's wrong with ''returning to founding principles'? What's wrong with being reminiscent of a bygone era? Must the validity of a principle erode with age? Why is the alternative better? What founding principles bother you? All of them or just the ones that might get in the way of the progressive agenda? The Tricorn hats and Yankee Doodle Dandy? Surely the symbolism of the Boston Tea Party hasn't escaped you.


note that i didn't assign any prejorative comments when i said "if you look at the Tea Party solutions, they don't want "new solutions for a new world". they want old solutions for an old world."

i'm not stating that all old solutions are wrong persay. i certainly don't believe just because an idea is new, it is necessarily better.

this is very strictly meant to be a factual statement. and what this means is that if there is an issue that cannot be clearly defined somewhere in the writings of (certain) Founders, then the Tea Party flounders. there's a reason why Herman Cain and Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann and all the other Tea Party heroes couldn't hack it, and that they had to grumpily acquiese to Mitt Romney winning the nomination.


You're also wrong on where they stand. There is nothing in the Tea Party literature about going back to 1776, 1931 or the 1950s. The Tea Party is for free trade. They have spoken out on Syria (hand off). Science and technology spending has been declining for years from a high of 35% in the 1960s to 15% 10 years ago and to 8% today. Entitlements the dems spearheaded for years has crimped discretionary spending, not the Tea Party.



i don't think so. the Tea Party very clearly hates the income tax, and talks about undoing the Federal Reserve. they hate the 17th amendment. all of that is pre-1913. they don't like the modern welfare system; that's the 1930s. in some corners there's discussion about abolishing the minimum wage. state-wise, 1913 again; nationally, 1930s. their presidential hero is Calvin Coolidge.

a few of the Tea Party is for free trade; however, the overall zeitgist, though, is against it-- the Tea Party is both anti-labor AND anti-corporation. that is, when they touch upon it-- which is not much. haven't heard the Tea Party talk much either way about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or reviving the Doha Round, etc. to the extent that i've heard any discussion from the Tea Party corner about the WTO, they dislike it, much as they dislike any other international organization.

S&T, similarly...what has the Tea Party to say about it? other than federal spending is bad?


The Tea Party are reactionaries. They're people resisting the enormous growth of government and government spending. They are not sitting around nostalgic for the good old days. They have a vision of America for the modern age, and it's leaner and meaner than your version. It's fine to be against them, but you had better learn what they really think. Like the old saying goes: Know your enemy. .

you're completely correct that they're reactionaries. they're people resisting WHAT THEY BELIEVE to be an enormous growth of government and government spending, although their main focus of ire is railing against the government assisting the "undeserving". (re-read/watch Rick Santelli's CNBC rant that STARTED the whole Tea Party if you don't believe me.)

their vision of america is Gilded Age America, and we've seen how that movie goes. of COURSE they're nostalgic for the good old days; that's one of the definitions of a reactionary. at its heart the Tea Party is a libertarian, populist movement, extremely suspicious about concentration of power.

JAD_333
12 Dec 13,, 19:08
JAD,


note that i didn't assign any prejorative comments when i said "if you look at the Tea Party solutions, they don't want "new solutions for a new world". they want old solutions for an old world. i'm not stating that all old solutions are wrong persay. i certainly don't believe just because an idea is new, it is necessarily better.

Then it would seem that critiquing Tea Party principles in the context of the present world would be more enlightening than merely assuming they are unworkable, undesirable, or what have you.



this is very strictly meant to be a factual statement. and what this means is that if there is an issue that cannot be clearly defined somewhere in the writings of (certain) Founders, then the Tea Party flounders.

But it was factual only from the POV of their opponents. (The second sentence?)



i don't think so. the Tea Party very clearly hates the income tax, and talks about undoing the Federal Reserve. they hate the 17th amendment. all of that is pre-1913. they don't like the modern welfare system; that's the 1930s. in some corners there's discussion about abolishing the minimum wage. state-wise, 1913 again; nationally, 1930s. their presidential hero is Calvin Coolidge.

You're going to paint the entire Tea Party with everything every member believes. Come on. Would you define the Democratic party by what its zaniest members say?



a few of the Tea Party is for free trade; however, the overall zeitgist, though, is against it-- the Tea Party is both anti-labor AND anti-corporation. that is, when they touch upon it-- which is not much. haven't heard the Tea Party talk much either way about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or reviving the Doha Round, etc. to the extent that i've heard any discussion from the Tea Party corner about the WTO, they dislike it, much as they dislike any other international organization.

Well, under your rules if a few are for free trade, then they all are.:) Sure they hate the income tax--we all do--but in fact most of them are not against income taxes, just for lowering them. The rest? You'll have to ask a Tea Party member of Congress.



S&T, similarly...what has the Tea Party to say about it? other than federal spending is bad?

The average Tea Party person is not against S&T; they are critical of idiotic and wasteful S&T, as we all are. And I've never read where the Tea Party says all spending is bad.



you're completely correct that they're reactionaries. they're people resisting WHAT THEY BELIEVE to be an enormous growth of government and government spending, although their main focus of ire is railing against the government assisting the "undeserving". (re-read/watch Rick Santelli's CNBC rant that STARTED the whole Tea Party if you don't believe me.)

lol...yes; he's a work of art. We could trot out all the Huey Long types and the far left who support the entitlement apparatus and make even you dislike Democrats. :)0 "We oppose (http://socialistparty-usa.net/platform.html) the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization as instruments of capitalist oppression throughout the world.." [/quote]



their vision of america is Gilded Age America, and we've seen how that movie goes. of COURSE they're nostalgic for the good old days; that's one of the definitions of a reactionary. at its heart the Tea Party is a libertarian, populist movement, extremely suspicious about concentration of power.

A reactionary reacts to existing conditions. Conservative or liberal, it doesn't matter.

JAD_333
12 Dec 13,, 19:15
JAD You are focusing on the economic part of the tea party platform and as we have agreed before how you achieve the goals is just as important as the goals themselves. There are social aspects as well and that comprises huge stumbling blocks for the tea party. Lastly they really need to put a muzzle on Palin and Bachmann. Every time they get their sound bites in the media those on the fence cringe and turn away.

I agree the tactics are crude. They have too much anger. Look at the reaction to the Ryan-Murray budget. I get it, but this time they had an opportunity to appear reasonable by at least saying they would have to study it before spouting off. I think we got the best we're going to get from either side. Puny as it is, the budget is a step forward.

astralis
13 Dec 13,, 14:46
JAD,


But it was factual only from the POV of their opponents. (The second sentence?)



i don't think so. if the Tea Party had a comprehensive platform, one would expect the Tea Party to have a candidate/politician able to speak to all the points.

the Tea Party doesn't, for both counts. a huge reason for this being that the Tea Party is not an actual "party" so much as it is a decentralized movement, where each little group has their own focus/specific agenda (ie, no specific S&T agenda). it's animated by core beliefs vice policy.


're going to paint the entire Tea Party with everything every member believes. Come on. Would you define the Democratic party by what its zaniest members say?



this -isn't- what the "zaniest members" say. if i were doing that, i'd be talking about the various conspiracy theories floating around the RedState/Limbaughverse, such as the Syrian chemical weapons being a Obama-AQ allied false flag operation (you can google that, it's a thing).

everything i listed in terms of history IS a part of the Tea Party overall meme, akin to me saying that Goldwater/Ronald Reagan is the historical guidepost for the establishment GOP, or how FDR/LBJ/New Deal is the historical guidepost for the old Dems.


lol...yes; he's a work of art. We could trot out all the Huey Long types and the far left who support the entitlement apparatus and make even you dislike Democrats

you could, but i don't think it's correct to state that Huey Long started the Dems. :) you said yourself; the Tea Party is an angry populist movement, crude with tactics. they very clearly point to the Rick Santelli rant as a catalyst for the movement-- a "founder" of sorts, not a freak show.


A reactionary reacts to existing conditions. Conservative or liberal, it doesn't matter. .

no, humans tend to react to existing conditions. :) under the definition above, hippies were reactionaries because they were reacting to the culturally conservative 50s. :)

Parihaka
13 Dec 13,, 19:55
Asty, To paraphrase Jad, there is nothing new in politics. How much of the Democrat/progressive movement is new. IMHO the tea party is simply reiterating base principles of governance to argue against a movement that has been expanding since FDR. That's why they align with the GOP rather than the democrats because they are trying to remind the GOP that they supposedly represent conservatism, rather than the Dems who represent liberalism. They are simply the conservative version of the progressive movement or 'third way' as Blair et al would have had it.
I don't know enough of your system to understand why it automatically prevents a third party, I simply see the effects of a multi party system here and how it has prevented capture by extremists whilst also giving them some voice, making nearly every piece of new legislation open to negotiation. I think this would be good for the US given it's current apparent legislative logjam.

astralis
13 Dec 13,, 23:24
pari,


How much of the Democrat/progressive movement is new.

in this context, "old" or "new" is not a factor of age but merely outlook. for instance, progressives are progressives because they believe the Union can be continuously improved to a new, better model. conservatives, not so much ("A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it."). reactionaries want to actively re-create the past.


IMHO the tea party is simply reiterating base principles of governance to argue against a movement that has been expanding since FDR. That's why they align with the GOP rather than the democrats because they are trying to remind the GOP that they supposedly represent conservatism, rather than the Dems who represent liberalism.

as can be seen above, there's a difference between conservative and reactionary. even with Goldwater, there was an implicit acceptance of the modern welfare state as it stands. preventing new expansion, certainly, maybe even a moderate rollback.

but the root of the Tea Party is a distaste for (small-c) conservative tactics and traditions. they are radical reactionaries, whose worldview is that the Constitution is under assault and the Republic is in imminent danger. thus their ends justify the means.

they align with the GOP because of course their worldview is closer to that of the conservatives, and because they wish to use the GOP brand, money, and contacts. they're rather more intelligent than the old-school libertarians, whom scorned both and were correspondingly frozen out of politics.


I don't know enough of your system to understand why it automatically prevents a third party,

reams of political science 101 papers written on it; at its most basic version, winner takes all system vice a proportional system.


I think this would be good for the US given it's current apparent legislative logjam.

at the root of the current day dysfunction is the ability for highly motivated, small interest groups with strategy/funding to overwhelm masses of largely apathetic voters, combined with corrosive gerrymandering. resolving this would go a long way to fixing the system without the dramatic shift to a proportional system, which can just as easily lead to deadlock/paralysis (see Italy).

Bigfella
13 Dec 13,, 23:52
Asty, To paraphrase Jad, there is nothing new in politics. How much of the Democrat/progressive movement is new. IMHO the tea party is simply reiterating base principles of governance to argue against a movement that has been expanding since FDR. That's why they align with the GOP rather than the democrats because they are trying to remind the GOP that they supposedly represent conservatism, rather than the Dems who represent liberalism. They are simply the conservative version of the progressive movement or 'third way' as Blair et al would have had it.


Pari,

I would argue that there are some important differences between the TP movement & the 'Third Way'. TPers are much more like revolutionaries. There is a lack of compromise at its heart that is in many ways the antithesis of the 'Third Way'. Those folk sought a compromise between progressive ideas & market economics. 'Compromise' remains a dirty word among committed TPers, as JAD has illustrated several times. That will not always be the case for everyone, but having that instinct at the heart of the movement & present at its birth will have a lasting impact on outcomes.

The TP movement is also a 'bottom up' populist movement. Sure, folks with position, money & power have jumped on the train, but they didn't lay the tracks or get up a head of steam. The 'third way' was anything but populist. In fact, it spent pretty much its entire existence battling populist elements within left wing parties. It was always very much an 'insider' movement trying to move progressive parties away from traditional territory, not toward it.

These aren't just quibbles. They are important in understanding the historical parallels for the TP. I agree it is nothing new, but the best recent comparison in is the 'new left' of the 60s. A populist movement (within a particular demographic) with revolutionary overtones that morphed from a protest movement to become an important part of the Democratic Party. The comparisons are not 100%, but they are closer. This movement isn't to blame for the split in the Democratic party, but it helped to push the party further to the left at a time when the US was beginning to move the other way. While it would be unfair & simplistic to put all that happened in the following decades at the feet of that change, it seems too much of a coincidence that the only Presidential election the Dems won before the rise of the 'Third Way' was a backlash against the excesses of Nixon.

I'm not assuming the TP will have the same impact in the US, but the GOP has only won a majority of the vote at 1 of the last 5 Presidential polls and the impact of the TP during the last election was very definitely negative. The next few elections will be interesting indeed.

Parihaka
14 Dec 13,, 01:00
pari,



in this context, "old" or "new" is not a factor of age but merely outlook. for instance, progressives are progressives because they believe the Union can be continuously improved to a new, better model. conservatives, not so much ("A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it."). reactionaries want to actively re-create the past.
sorry, but that's simply liberal propaganda from within the paradigm. I return to my original, albeit poorly put post. You will never be able to understand the tea party movement unless you step outside that paradigm. Yes, every thing the tea party espouse can be related to some point in history, but there is no single point in history that reflects the tea party. They do not wish to wear hose, ride round on horses nor remove all government.
At the moment you can laugh and encourage the internal ructions, but whenever the Republican Party or whatever emerges from it does emerge, you'll be ill-equipped to deal with or too it.

Parihaka
14 Dec 13,, 01:07
Pari,

I would argue that there are some important differences between the TP movement & the 'Third Way'. TPers are much more like revolutionaries. There is a lack of compromise at its heart that is in many ways the antithesis of the 'Third Way'. Those folk sought a compromise between progressive ideas & market economics. 'Compromise' remains a dirty word among committed TPers, as JAD has illustrated several times. That will not always be the case for everyone, but having that instinct at the heart of the movement & present at its birth will have a lasting impact on outcomes.

The TP movement is also a 'bottom up' populist movement. Sure, folks with position, money & power have jumped on the train, but they didn't lay the tracks or get up a head of steam. The 'third way' was anything but populist. In fact, it spent pretty much its entire existence battling populist elements within left wing parties. It was always very much an 'insider' movement trying to move progressive parties away from traditional territory, not toward it.

These aren't just quibbles. They are important in understanding the historical parallels for the TP. I agree it is nothing new, but the best recent comparison in is the 'new left' of the 60s. A populist movement (within a particular demographic) with revolutionary overtones that morphed from a protest movement to become an important part of the Democratic Party. The comparisons are not 100%, but they are closer. This movement isn't to blame for the split in the Democratic party, but it helped to push the party further to the left at a time when the US was beginning to move the other way. While it would be unfair & simplistic to put all that happened in the following decades at the feet of that change, it seems too much of a coincidence that the only Presidential election the Dems won before the rise of the 'Third Way' was a backlash against the excesses of Nixon.

I'm not assuming the TP will have the same impact in the US, but the GOP has only won a majority of the vote at 1 of the last 5 Presidential polls and the impact of the TP during the last election was very definitely negative. The next few elections will be interesting indeed.
Not disagreeing with this in any way BF, I will simply say that I wasn't trying to draw comparisons between the TP's and progressives, merely the harping on about the TP's somehow being regressive or reactionaries and the historical analogies. Socialism in the form of FDR has been around for 80 years in the US. Seeking to revise it isn't reactionary.

Bigfella
14 Dec 13,, 02:13
Not disagreeing with this in any way BF, I will simply say that I wasn't trying to draw comparisons between the TP's and progressives, merely the harping on about the TP's somehow being regressive or reactionaries and the historical analogies. Socialism in the form of FDR has been around for 80 years in the US. Seeking to revise it isn't reactionary.

I'm pretty sure it is a dictionary perfect definition of reactionary depending on which dictionary you use: ie. wanting to return something to its previous state. I would have thought that trying to wind back 80 years of a particular policy mix would also fit the definition of 'regressive'. I also think the TP fits into a category that encompasses 'conservative revolutionaries/radicals', though that may not necessarily equate to 'reactionary'. Perhaps the issue here is whether or not you see the terms 'regressive' and 'reactionary' in this context as pejorative or not. They need not be.

Reactionary - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactionary)

Parihaka
14 Dec 13,, 04:07
I'm pretty sure it is a dictionary perfect definition of reactionary depending on which dictionary you use: ie. wanting to return something to its previous state. I would have thought that trying to wind back 80 years of a particular policy mix would also fit the definition of 'regressive'. I also think the TP fits into a category that encompasses 'conservative revolutionaries/radicals', though that may not necessarily equate to 'reactionary'. Perhaps the issue here is whether or not you see the terms 'regressive' and 'reactionary' in this context as pejorative or not. They need not be.

Reactionary - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactionary)
Och really, so Laissez Faire is regressive? It has after all been a notion since trade first began. Or are Progressives regressive, since they want to roll it back? It all depends on which colour of lens you wear, which ideology you worship at the feet of.

Bigfella
14 Dec 13,, 04:15
Och really, so Laissez Faire is regressive? It has after all been a notion since trade first began. Or are Progressives regressive, since they want to roll it back? It all depends on which colour of lens you wear, which ideology you worship at the feet of.

In this context wanting to roll back the welfare state is regressive because it is a return to a previous state. As I said, that need not be pejorative, but it seems a reasonable description.

....anyway, this rabbit hole is getting sillier by the post. Not especially relevant to the main thrust of the thread.

Parihaka
14 Dec 13,, 04:22
In this context wanting to roll back the welfare state is regressive because it is a return to a previous state. As I said, that need not be pejorative, but it seems a reasonable description.

Then everything is regressive, including the progressives.

JAD_333
14 Dec 13,, 08:02
JAD,



i don't think so. if the Tea Party had a comprehensive platform, one would expect the Tea Party to have a candidate/politician able to speak to all the points.

the Tea Party doesn't, for both counts. a huge reason for this being that the Tea Party is not an actual "party" so much as it is a decentralized movement, where each little group has their own focus/specific agenda (ie, no specific S&T agenda). it's animated by core beliefs vice policy.

Not so. The Tea Party has a platform. Tea Party Movement Platform (http://www.teaparty-platform.com/)

Its core principles govern what it might say 'to all the points' you refer to. You seem to think they should provide specifics for each issue and each program. The reason they don't should be clear to anyone who is familiar with those principles.

Specifics compliment core principles. If, for example, the Tea Party were confronted with 10 bills in Congress, all containing good ideas which they can support, and they controlled Congress, they would not vote to pass a single one of those bills if it could not be paid for out of revenues, because it would violate two of their core principles: 1) No debt and 2) No deficit spending.



this -isn't- what the "zaniest members" say. if i were doing that, i'd be talking about the various conspiracy theories floating around the RedState/Limbaughverse, such as the Syrian chemical weapons being a Obama-AQ allied false flag operation (you can google that, it's a thing).

People on every side say outlandish things. My liberal friend doesn't care if the Constitution is violated if it helps the poor. Does she represent all Democrats? Of course not. A Republican friend thinks Obama is a Muslim plant. I am a Republican, and I know he doesn't speak for me or the party.



everything i listed in terms of history IS a part of the Tea Party overall meme, akin to me saying that Goldwater/Ronald Reagan is the historical guidepost for the establishment GOP, or how FDR/LBJ/New Deal is the historical guidepost for the old Dems.

Yes, they use historical quotes. But as you can see from the link above, they use them to support their principles, not out of a yearning to return to the Guilded Age. It's a mistake to judge the validity of a principle by its age. Whenever you dismiss the Tea Party as throwbacks to a bygone era, make fun of their Tricorn hats and their use of American symbol, you take the easy way out. It's just a form of ad hominum logic. Instead, you and like-minded thinkers should be defending deficit spending, the debt, and why the size of the Federal government is not a problem. You have plenty of ammo from eminent economic thinkers to back you up.

Now let me tell you what I think the Tea Party is.

First, it is made up mostly of Republicans. They are approximately as conservative as most Republicans. By that I mean they take seriously the oft-stated Republican goal of a fiscally responsible government. Now, we can argue over what 'fiscally responsible' means, but let's agree for the moment that, in its extreme form, it means balanced budgets, no debt, no deficits, and a smaller government that operates within its means--that is, from revenues.

This brings us to the real difference between the Tea Party Republicans and all the other Republicans, and that is, impatience. In other words, the Tea Party is made up of Republicans who are tired of waiting. It wants the party to push harder to achieve its own principles. Pushing harder means, among other things, blocking any legislation in Congress that allows the status quo to continue. They want to starve the "beast' so it can't grow, so the debt will come down, so deficits disappear, and they want to do it now.

Until the 2010 Congressional election, the Tea Party had little clout in the House of Representatives. In fact, the Republicans were in the minority in 2010. But the election put them into the majority, and enough Tea Party members were elected to form an influential block within the party. Their impatience could now be translated into action, and it was quickly felt. Most notably, they nixed a Boehner-Obama budget deal and then precipitated a near fiscal crisis by refusing to raise the debt ceiling without matching cuts in spending. The sequester, which averted a crisis, was seen as a Tea Party victory because it did cut spending across the board, which in turn began to shrink the size of government.

However, the Tea Party still remains a faction of the majority party. To get the party to push harder, they must increase their numbers in Congress. They believe they can do this only by replacing old line Republicans with new Tea Party members. The easiest way is through primary elections. Primaries decide which candidate will face the Democrat challenger in the general election. Typically primaries have very low voter turnouts. Thus, deep-pocketed outside organizations can significantly influence the outcome. It can help a candidate raise enough money and run enough negative advertising to generate a small winning margin in favor of their candidate. Overall, the strategy hasn't worked very well. Tea Party candidates are often light-weights who squeak by in the primary only lose big to better known Democrats, but there have been some successes in deep red states, such as Texas and Kentucky where Ted Cruz and Rand Paul respectively won Senate seats.

The Tea Party continues its strategy of knocking off old-line Republicans, some of whom are proven conservatives considered out of tune with Tea Party tactics. They are challenging leading Republicans, like Senate Majority Leader McConnell of Kentucky in the 2014 elections and a slew of other senators and members. The big money is coming such conservative groups as the Club for Growth and the Senators Conservative Fund. If the Tea Party succeeds in increasing its seat count in the Senate and the House, and the GOP keeps its majority in the House and gains a majority in the Senate, it's going to be a rocky road ahead for the Democrats and progressives.

So, what is the Tea Party? It's the impatient members of the Republican party, impatient for the party to live up to its principles and prepared to impose them in the most bullheaded way possible. Their tactics aim to achieve quick results.

The most important question is, will the Tea Party succeed overall? If we measure success on a scale of one to ten, IMO, they will get a 5. A five means they'll generate enough centrifugal force to move the political spectrum to the right, but they'll fail to impose the full measure of their core principles on the running iof the government. Why? 1) Because some of their core principles are unworkable (Asty can explain why), and 2) because they will not be able to command a working majority in Congress. Plenty of old-line and moderate Republicans will still have seats in Congress. These will be able to thwart Tea Party legislation too radical for them simply by voting with the Democrats. We saw that rare occurrence happen when moderate Republicans joined with Democrats to end the government shutdown.

Postscipt: Recent polls show the Tea Party losing favor among Republicans. That emboldened McConnell and Boehner to lash out the other day at outside Tea Party organizations after they opposed the bipartisan budget introduced Rep Ryan and Sen Murray before the ink was dry. In fairness to these groups they were just upholding key Tea Party principles: No increase in spending and no new 'taxes', which the budget proposal calls for in very modest proportions. The Tea Party may be chastened by its recent defeats, but it is far from dead.

JAD_333
14 Dec 13,, 08:50
Asty, To paraphrase Jad, there is nothing new in politics. How much of the Democrat/progressive movement is new. IMHO the tea party is simply reiterating base principles of governance to argue against a movement that has been expanding since FDR. That's why they align with the GOP rather than the democrats because they are trying to remind the GOP that they supposedly represent conservatism, rather than the Dems who represent liberalism. They are simply the conservative version of the progressive movement or 'third way' as Blair et al would have had it.

I already wrote an epic about this, but just to reiterate, the Tea Party didn't choose the GOP. It's members were already Republicans.



I don't know enough of your system to understand why it automatically prevents a third party, I simply see the effects of a multi party system here and how it has prevented capture by extremists whilst also giving them some voice, making nearly every piece of new legislation open to negotiation. I think this would be good for the US given it's current apparent legislative logjam.

One reason is, we don't have a parliamentary system. In the US, third parties can have no hope of ever taking the top office in the land. Thus, the prospect of winning the presidency tends to make politicians gravitate around the two largest parties.

Blademaster
14 Dec 13,, 15:09
In this context wanting to roll back the welfare state is regressive because it is a return to a previous state. As I said, that need not be pejorative, but it seems a reasonable description.

....anyway, this rabbit hole is getting sillier by the post. Not especially relevant to the main thrust of the thread.

yeah it is, I am sure with no little help from your posts. I am starting to notice that you are fond of saying rabbit holes in response to numerous posts and that you tend to be denigrating to others that don't agree with your position.

Bigfella
14 Dec 13,, 15:32
yeah it is, I am sure with no little help from your posts. I am starting to notice that you are fond of saying rabbit holes in response to numerous posts and that you tend to be denigrating to others that don't agree with your position.

Then your perceptions of me are askew....once again. That was my way of saying that the argument had wandered off course & I didn't plan to take it any further off course. I could have said 'gone off on a tangent'. It would have meant the same thing. By all means point out where I 'denigrate' Parihaka. Please. I suppose I could have said that he was too stupid to understand my argument, but I leave such insults to others. You are in too big a glass house to be preaching at anybody. I simply disagreed about terminology & then when I felt that the argument had run its course I announced that I was done playing my part. I even gave Pari a 'like' for his last comment.

Quite why you decided to make your first post on this thread an unrequested & inaccurate critique of my posts only you could possibly understand. We were doing just fine without you. Spend more time focussing on the quality of your arguments & less on the perceived flaws in mine and we will all be a lot happier. Guess this is your way of saying the 'sunshine policy' is over. Talk about thin skinned.

astralis
14 Dec 13,, 16:33
JAD,


Whenever you dismiss the Tea Party as throwbacks to a bygone era, make fun of their Tricorn hats and their use of American symbol, you take the easy way out. It's just a form of ad hominum logic. Instead, you and like-minded thinkers should be defending deficit spending, the debt, and why the size of the Federal government is not a problem. You have plenty of ammo from eminent economic thinkers to back you up.

i think i've said enough times (on this thread alone!) that i'm NOT using "old" or "regressive" prejoratively. it's simply a statement of the type of America they want.

and i think i've done plenty of defending of the current amount of spending or the size of Federal government using economics, too. :)

finally, your assessment of what the Tea Party is. as Tea Partiers are fond of saying, We are conservatives, NOT necessarily Republicans. i don't think it's merely impatience that separates the Tea Party from the Republicans. the end goal is considerably more radical, the means to the end significantly more so. to this end they're as much enemies of the traditional GOP as they are to dems.

in fact, in the current context they're a far more significant threat to the traditional GOP. nationally Tea Party popularity has been on the decline the last four years. it's a rare election where you have a voting populace that has a difficult time between choosing a Tea Party candidate and a Democratic candidate-- it's usually very clear, one way or another. that is certainly not true in GOP primaries.

Parihaka
14 Dec 13,, 18:19
In this context wanting to roll back the welfare state is regressive because it is a return to a previous state.

So is rolling back Laisez Faire.

Parihaka
14 Dec 13,, 18:21
JAD,



i think i've said enough times (on this thread alone!) that i'm NOT using "old" or "regressive" prejoratively. it's simply a statement of the type of America they want.
And yet you've put no argument forward to justify this claim beyond those that can equally be laid at the feet of progressives.

astralis
14 Dec 13,, 22:39
pari,


And yet you've put no argument forward to justify this claim beyond those that can equally be laid at the feet of progressives.

actually, i have; you just don't accept the argument, which is a different proposition. :)

indicators of a desire to return to a (mythical) past:

- significant use of historical symbols. you don't see progressives dressing up as FDR or waving a WPA flag or quoting extensively from LBJ.
- significant reliance on the past to create current day policy. ie, "what would the Founders do?" "let's return to the gold standard!" "let's eliminate the 17th amendment!" progressives don't reach back to their particular historical heroes in this way; no progressive talks about reviving the New Deal or the Office for Economic Opportunity to solve current economic issues, for instance, yet Tea Partiers will happily discuss abolishing the Fed.

in any case, it's pretty clear that we're just talking around each other. per your discussion with BF, it would seem difficult for you to define "progressive" or "regressive" at all.

JAD_333
14 Dec 13,, 23:32
JAD,



i think i've said enough times (on this thread alone!) that i'm NOT using "old" or "regressive" prejoratively. it's simply a statement of the type of America they want.


I think you went a little farther than that, although I'll admit you didn't say they rode in stagecoaches.



and i think i've done plenty of defending of the current amount of spending or the size of Federal government using economics, too. :)

To a point, yes. But not much in explaining what would happen if Tea Party principles were put into practice. I'd love to see a 'what if' documentary made, very calm and matter-of-fact. Here's what would happen if we stopped running deficits, etc., and here's the good; the bad and the indifferent. I'd want economists rationally explaining it. No emotional stuff. If that were done, I suspect some of the Tea Party's core principles would not stand up very well in terms of promoting economic growth, but very well with people who have a Walden Pond outlook. In reality, there is no good or bad economics. It's the predominant goal that determines whose set of principles work best.



finally, your assessment of what the Tea Party is. as Tea Partiers are fond of saying, We are conservatives, NOT necessarily Republicans. i don't think it's merely impatience that separates the Tea Party from the Republicans. the end goal is considerably more radical, the means to the end significantly more so. to this end they're as much enemies of the traditional GOP as they are to dems.


When Tea Party folks say they are conservatives, but not necessarily Republicans, they mean they're not Republicans-in-name-only--RINOS. This is a reference to Republicans who espouse conservative principles but don't fight for them.

You use the term 'traditional GOP' without reference to any particular time. In reality, the term is always redefining itself, usually at a snail's pace, but sometimes in quick bursts. The GOP of the post-Civil War Reconstruction era changed so much over the next 80 years that by the time of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, unhappy Southern Democrats, looking for a conservative home, jumped ship to it. If the modern GOP still looked like the Party of Lincoln, 90% of blacks would be Republicans today. My point is, the GOP evolved, and my corollary point is, it evolved because of the force of changing electorate sentiment.

Along the way, there were Republicans who peeled off or who were marginalized by the conservative drift of the party. Their place was taken by more conservative sectors of the electorate, for example the Christian Evangelicals, who espouse conservative family values, and, more recently, the Tea Party, which espouses conservative economic and constitutional values. That said, I agree with you that Tea Party member are 'enemies' of today's moderate Republicans, but I don't agree that the dynamic of change today is any different from what it's always been, with one exception--today it's experiencing a quick burst of change thanks to the Tea Party. Where it goes from here? My sense is that the Tea Party will move GOP moderates to the right, but not all the way to their thinking, and at some point, it will compromise to preserve what influence it can.




nationally Tea Party popularity has been on the decline the last four years.


What are your sources for 4 years? This CBS poll shows otherwise. Politics (http://www.pollingreport.com/politics.htm)



it's a rare election where you have a voting populace that has a difficult time between choosing a Tea Party candidate and a Democratic candidate-- it's usually very clear, one way or another. that is certainly not true in GOP primaries.

Although there have been spectacular Tea Party losses, there have been spectacular successes. True, each one presented a clear choice.

zraver
15 Dec 13,, 00:03
pari,



actually, i have; you just don't accept the argument, which is a different proposition. :)

indicators of a desire to return to a (mythical) past:

- significant use of historical symbols. you don't see progressives dressing up as FDR or waving a WPA flag or quoting extensively from LBJ.
- significant reliance on the past to create current day policy. ie, "what would the Founders do?" "let's return to the gold standard!" "let's eliminate the 17th amendment!" progressives don't reach back to their particular historical heroes in this way; no progressive talks about reviving the New Deal or the Office for Economic Opportunity to solve current economic issues, for instance, yet Tea Partiers will happily discuss abolishing the Fed.

in any case, it's pretty clear that we're just talking around each other. per your discussion with BF, it would seem difficult for you to define "progressive" or "regressive" at all.

Asty, Huffpo alone pages and pages of stories that give Obama favorable light in comparison to the New Deal, Great Society and Great Depression...

Not to mention all the race baiting out of the left bringing up images of Jim Crow.

Given that these lapses are part of a pattern by you, one can be forgiven for thinking its deliberate.

astralis
15 Dec 13,, 02:02
JAD,


To a point, yes. But not much in explaining what would happen if Tea Party principles were put into practice. I'd love to see a 'what if' documentary made, very calm and matter-of-fact. Here's what would happen if we stopped running deficits, etc., and here's the good; the bad and the indifferent. I'd want economists rationally explaining it. No emotional stuff. If that were done, I suspect some of the Tea Party's core principles would not stand up very well in terms of promoting economic growth, but very well with people who have a Walden Pond outlook. In reality, there is no good or bad economics. It's the predominant goal that determines whose set of principles work best.

if we stopped running deficits, that would mean either taxes went up dramatically or government spending went down dramatically.

either way, demand is heavily constricted depending on the timeframe given. IE, deficits declining over 100 years would have a huge difference than deficits declining over 10.

now, the economics the Tea Party favors states that if spending goes down, then the private sector will view this favorably and respond with a huge outburst in demand that would make up for the government spending. the mechanism by which the private sector does so is unclear. it's based on earlier findings that if the government spends more during a period of full employment, then this is inflationary and inefficient.

of course, keynesian economics distinguishes between periods of full employment and not, and thus the difference.


When Tea Party folks say they are conservatives, but not necessarily Republicans, they mean they're not Republicans-in-name-only--RINOS. This is a reference to Republicans who espouse conservative principles but don't fight for them.

no, this is not completely accurate IMV. ie, Rockefeller Republicans had moderate principles and were willing to fight for them; however, conservatives called them RINOS as a way of claiming "true Republicanism".

to the extent that the epithet of RINO is being hurled around now, it is against both conservatives whom disagree with the Tea Party on tactics and Republicans whom disagree with them on principles. IE, i'm not sure if Lindsay Graham counts as a "Republican who espouses conservative principles but don't fight for them", but the folks at Red State, for instance, are happy to call him a RINO because he doesn't fight exactly the way the Tea Party wants him to. and of course, they're perfectly willing to cover Republicans whom disagree with them on matters of principle as well, say, Olympia Snowe.


You use the term 'traditional GOP' without reference to any particular time. In reality, the term is always redefining itself, usually at a snail's pace, but sometimes in quick bursts. The GOP of the post-Civil War Reconstruction era changed so much over the next 80 years that by the time of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, unhappy Southern Democrats, looking for a conservative home, jumped ship to it. If the modern GOP still looked like the Party of Lincoln, 90% of blacks would be Republicans today. My point is, the GOP evolved, and my corollary point is, it evolved because of the force of changing electorate sentiment.

yes, see above.

OTOH one must be careful about using the words "changing electorate sentiment". yes, the GOP primary electorate sentiment has changed, due to a combination of both media, inclination, and gerrymandering; the overall electorate, not so much.



What are your sources for 4 years? This CBS poll shows otherwise

your link is a collection of polls. the following NBC, Quinnipiac, another CBS (!!), CNN, ABC, Pew poll have rather different results.

Parihaka
15 Dec 13,, 03:38
in any case, it's pretty clear that we're just talking around each other. per your discussion with BF, it would seem difficult for you to define "progressive" or "regressive" at all.
Thanks Asty but English is my first language. Not only do I understand the meaning as well as the intent, I also understand the political motivations as to when you choose that it does and doesn't apply.

dalem
15 Dec 13,, 09:24
Given that these lapses are part of a pattern by you, one can be forgiven for thinking its deliberate.

Hey astralis, not to pick on z-man, but shouldn't you be jumping up and down and waving your little moderator arms at this? If I'd posted something like that directly in response to you, you'd have banned me for at least 24hrs, replied to the post, deleted MY post that you replied to, and locked the thread by now. I say that because, you know, you did. More than once.

But I'm sure that if you like your impartiality, you can keep your impartiality.

To throw in something on-topic though, I'll comment that "progressive", at least in reference to how liberals such as yourself define taxation, is when those that have more are forced to contribute a greater percentage of their income, and "regressive" is when everyone contributes the same percentage of their income. Given that, I don't know what you would call taxation that required those who have less to contribute a higher percentage than those who have more. I offer the term "subgressive" free of charge. Consider it my "stir-Friday" gift to you.

-dale

Minskaya
15 Dec 13,, 14:42
Hey astralis, not to pick on z-man, but shouldn't you be jumping up and down and waving your little moderator arms at this? If I'd posted something like that directly in response to you, you'd have banned me for at least 24hrs, replied to the post, deleted MY post that you replied to, and locked the thread by now. I say that because, you know, you did. More than once.
Flaming and totally unacceptable. I strongly advise you to excise this sort of harangue from all future posts.

rj1
15 Dec 13,, 19:12
If the party disintergrates, great. Then we need to work on disintegrating the Democratic Party and once both dissolve we can work to improve politics in this country.

rj1
15 Dec 13,, 19:17
Well, my thread is going nowhere. Admittedly internal party struggles is a dry subject, but this one is particularly serious, as the outcome will determine the future direction of national politics and shape of government for some time to come.

Not sure how the midterms will go in 2014, but the presidency in 2016 will be Democrat. What Republican out there can unify the party in the primaries? Romney couldn't, he was the ultimate compromise candidate and as soon as he was nominated I knew he'd lose, but the fact of the matter was he was the best guy available out of everyone in the Republican primary, which is sad to me.

bonehead
15 Dec 13,, 19:19
If the party disintergrates, great. Then we need to work on disintegrating the Democratic Party and once both dissolve we can work to improve politics in this country.

Amen brother. However we also have to put in place policies that will allow revamped parties to quickly return to the status quo. The people are supposed to have the power, not PAC.s, the 1%, corporations, etc. Unfortunately I don't see any politicians really getting the hint until they see their colleagues tried, convicted and swinging by a rope for their crimes against the Constitution and our country.

rj1
15 Dec 13,, 19:26
Amen brother. However we also have to put in place policies that will allow revamped parties to quickly return to the status quo. The people are supposed to have the power, not PAC.s, the 1%, corporations, etc. Unfortunately I don't see any politicians really getting the hint until they see their colleagues tried, convicted and swinging by a rope for their crimes against the Constitution and our country.

A lot of things need to be done. They're not going to be.

My dad told me I should run for politics one time. I responded "I wouldn't win!" I'm not left enough to win a Democratic primary and I'm not right enough to win a Republican primary. And I'm smart enough to not waste my money running as some 3rd party gadfly.

JAD_333
15 Dec 13,, 19:27
If the party disintergrates, great. Then we need to work on disintegrating the Democratic Party and once both dissolve we can work to improve politics in this country.

rj, what we really need is to cut PAC off at the knees. They've reduced the clout of the parties by bringing big money to bear in elections. That has caused elected legislators to work more to please them than the party organization.

rj1
15 Dec 13,, 19:37
rj, what we really need is to cut PAC off at the knees. They've reduced the clout of the parties by bringing big money to bear in elections. That has caused elected legislators to work more to please them than the party organization.

It's not enough to state what the solution to a problem is. Anyone can do that. I can fix structural issues in the world economy right now: all the leaders of the main economies come together, acknowledge that the Bretton Woods II financial system is broken and dead, and design a Bretton Woods III system whereby countries can't do competitive debasement or artificial currency pegs which harms everyone. But that's not going to happen because the leaders aren't going to get together and agree. How are you going to implement a law that cuts PACs off at the knees, with those people and their politicians fighting you all the way?

Any person that comes up with solutions to problems but is incapable of coming up with a way to do it that they can actually control or help is partaking in intellectual masturbation.

rj1
15 Dec 13,, 19:44
i do agree with JAD that this will not happen. the US electoral system is simply designed for a two party system. absent a complete revolution or overhaul, this will not change.

the stated goal of the Tea Party is NOT to found its own third party. its libertarian founders know that trying to go for a third party is a good way to be stuck in the political wilderness-- see how the Libertarians have performed in elections the last 50 years.

instead, they have a very clear goal: to take over the GOP from the inside and remake it into its own image.

I used to follow third party politics a bit when I was younger. When I did I was always an advocate for entryism. People will not vote for candidates they know will lose, period. So instead join the main party and get them to come toward your point of view.

I sometimes wish Perot won in '92. Perot was flawed but having our national politics not defined as side A vs. side B would be for the best for this country.

rj1
15 Dec 13,, 19:50
Asty, To paraphrase Jad, there is nothing new in politics. How much of the Democrat/progressive movement is new. IMHO the tea party is simply reiterating base principles of governance to argue against a movement that has been expanding since FDR. That's why they align with the GOP rather than the democrats because they are trying to remind the GOP that they supposedly represent conservatism, rather than the Dems who represent liberalism. They are simply the conservative version of the progressive movement or 'third way' as Blair et al would have had it.
I don't know enough of your system to understand why it automatically prevents a third party, I simply see the effects of a multi party system here and how it has prevented capture by extremists whilst also giving them some voice, making nearly every piece of new legislation open to negotiation. I think this would be good for the US given it's current apparent legislative logjam.

Parihaka, drawing back to FDR with this is technically incorrect. The cantankerous white populist Southerner in FDR's time was a Democrat for instance.

It does kind of remind me of Huey Long though who supposedly was going to rise up and face FDR in 1936 due to FDR not going far enough as a third-party politician before he was assassinated. (Willie Stark from All the King's Men is widely held to represent Long.)

Parihaka
15 Dec 13,, 19:58
Parihaka, drawing back to FDR with this is technically incorrect. The cantankerous white populist Southerner in FDR's time was a Democrat for instance.

It does kind of remind me of Huey Long though who supposedly was going to rise up and face FDR in 1936 due to FDR not going far enough as a third-party politician before he was assassinated. (Willie Stark from All the King's Men is widely held to represent Long.)
I think you're missing the point

JAD_333
15 Dec 13,, 20:06
Not sure how the midterms will go in 2014, but the presidency in 2016 will be Democrat. What Republican out there can unify the party in the primaries? Romney couldn't, he was the ultimate compromise candidate and as soon as he was nominated I knew he'd lose, but the fact of the matter was he was the best guy available out of everyone in the Republican primary, which is sad to me.

Who have the dems got? Biden could surprise. In any case, it's way too early to predict the dems will win. Lot's of issues could take a turn against them. Will the ACA look good by then or still look like a dog? There's Iran; the economy...possible rising inflation, etc. Or, the people just want a change and the GOP candidate looks good.

The GOP should have their act together after the 2012 demolition derby. The early running as of now includes Rubio, Paul, Perry, Cruz, Ryan, Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Santorum, Cristie... Scratch Paul, Perry and Cruz as too conservative. Scratch Huckabee and Santorum as also rans. Rubio for the Hispanic vote? They see through him. The GOP bench has a solid roster of GOP governors: Mitch Daniels and Scott Walker come to mind. Jandel is another. I'm hoping the usual clowns stay out.

rj1
15 Dec 13,, 20:09
I think you're missing the point

You're treating both parties as though they're consistent solid groups that move through time and have not changed their point of view on things. That's beyond incorrect. The party you're talking about bringing up FDR died in 1968.

There were liberals that were Republicans from mostly the northeast until the 1980s. There were conservatives that were Demorats as well. Democrats have a lot of state legislatures in the South because they're the traditional party people vote for and they make sure to let their voters know they intentionally have very little to deal with the national party and are more conservative-minded.

rj1
15 Dec 13,, 20:14
Who have the dems got? Biden could surprise. In any case, it's way too early to predict the dems will win. Lot's of issues could take a turn against them. Will the ACA look good by then or still look like a dog? There's Iran; the economy...possible rising inflation, etc. Or, the people just want a change and the GOP candidate looks good.

The GOP should have their act together after the 2012 demolition derby. The early running as of now includes Rubio, Paul, Perry, Cruz, Ryan, Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Santorum, Cristie... Scratch Paul, Perry and Cruz as too conservative. Scratch Huckabee and Santorum as also rans. Rubio for the Hispanic vote? They see through him. The GOP bench has a solid roster of GOP governors: Mitch Daniels and Scott Walker come to mind. Jandel is another. I'm hoping the usual clowns stay out.

Hillary unfortunately.

I don't think Biden would run. If he did, I don't think he'd win the primary unless there's a complete lack of quality candidates, which I'm not expecting. He's never really been able to leech on to Obama's personality and why people voted for Obama. Is Obama going to stump hard for him?

Jeb Bush might be best for the Republicans but I on principle am against any member of the Bush or Clinton families running for President at this point. Christie seems to have some supporters.

It is early though. Presidential race doesn't start til the day after midterms 2014.

JAD_333
15 Dec 13,, 20:31
I think you're missing the point

I think so too. This is where we see party names and political labels taking on too much importance. The real issue centers on the direction of politics. From FDR to present, with occasional lapses, we've seen a steady progression toward government nannyism. In the meantime parties fracture and pull right or left. The dem party fractured in the 1960s. FDR's coalition of eastern and southern Democrats fell apart after dems got serious about desegregation. But as the party of civil rights, the dems re-formed itself with civil rights supporters now in tow. That kept the progressives on the move. And to the point, we're in a pickle because they've gone too far and a reaction has set in. Hence the growing clout of disenchanted or conservatives. What in a name? :)

JAD_333
15 Dec 13,, 20:41
Hillary unfortunately.

Obviously. But she'd better watch her six. Some real talent on the ladies side is close behind. Liz Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand.



I don't think Biden would run. If he did, I don't think he'd win the primary unless there's a complete lack of quality candidates, which I'm not expecting. He's never really been able to leech on to Obama's personality and why people voted for Obama. Is Obama going to stump hard for him?

I said he could surprise. But I agree with your analysis.



Jeb Bush might be best for the Republicans but I on principle am against any member of the Bush or Clinton families running for President at this point.

Big on fed aid to education...that alone sinks him with far right. He could still get cross party support.



Christie seems to have some supporters.

Has a lot of support. He's blamed in some quarters for Romney's loss...or maybe they should blame hurricane Sandy.

Parihaka
15 Dec 13,, 22:12
I think so too. This is where we see party names and political labels taking on too much importance. The real issue centers on the direction of politics. From FDR to present, with occasional lapses, we've seen a steady progression toward government nannyism. In the meantime parties fracture and pull right or left. The dem party fractured in the 1960s. FDR's coalition of eastern and southern Democrats fell apart after dems got serious about desegregation. But as the party of civil rights, the dems re-formed itself with civil rights supporters now in tow. That kept the progressives on the move. And to the point, we're in a pickle because they've gone too far and a reaction has set in. Hence the growing clout of disenchanted or conservatives. What in a name? :)

Precisely. Rather than the current name calling and (mis) characterisation of the tea party by historical analogy, those of a conservative democrat nature would be better served actually understanding the reinvigoration of the Republican Party before the next elections.
There is nothing unusual about the current make up of the house and senate, yet the democrats have singularly failed to run either and have instead relied on presidential decree or edict. This will continue (Podesta? Really??)
If as Jad believes, and I agree with him, realists within the republican party can sway the roughly 25% of Americans who have some regard for the Tea Party movement to take a more measured approach rather than demanding everything now, those centrist/moderate/progressive democrats are going to find themselves very much in the cold within three years.
Dismissive name calling analogies aren't self serving right now. Realism is.

zraver
15 Dec 13,, 23:04
With the younger demographic abandoning the Left over Obamacare and the endless scandals the Dems are facing a very bad situation. The president is suppressing his own parties vote... The media isn;t helping, sure some sheeple will buy into the constant ragging against the Tea Party, but others will investigate for themselves and be converted by the populist message. Keeping the TP in the news just reinforces the old adage that all press is good press when your an under dog.

JAD_333
16 Dec 13,, 01:50
It's not enough to state what the solution to a problem is. Anyone can do that... How are you going to implement a law that cuts PACs off at the knees, with those people and their politicians fighting you all the way?

Any person that comes up with solutions to problems but is incapable of coming up with a way to do it that they can actually control or help is partaking in intellectual masturbation.


Are you accusing me of loping my mule intellectually?

Ok, let's go back to the issue. We were talking about PACs and how to control them. More specifically we're talking Super PACs, those that can spend all they want to support a candidate's election.

A sure way would be to reverse Citizen's United and its sister decision, SpeechNow.org. The rulings in these Supreme Court cases gave rise to Super PACs by allowing individuals and corporations to give unlimited amounts to outside political organization and removing spending limits on their efforts to help elect candidates of their choice, so long as they don't coordinate with the candidate's campaign. Contrast this to the limits on campaign contribution that candidates themselves must observe and we can understand why it is tempting for a candidate to align with the special interests of a Super PAC.

Little fixes in the FEC rules would help too. Super PACS have to disclose names of donors monthly or quarterly. By opting for quarterly reporting, they get a long window before an election in which they accept large donations without revealing the name of the donor. If voters knew who was paying for the negative ads, they might vote the other way.

In the absence of a legislative or judicial fix, the best way to counter a Super PAC is with an opposing Super PAC, hoping that at a minimum they cancel each other out. That raises the extraneous question, why spend so much money if the net result is zero? The directors and employees of the PACs have a good reason: It's their livelihood. Wealthy donors have a good reason: The sense of power they feel in believing they're influencing the direction of government.

The very best way to defend against the power of Super PACs and, for that matter, political parties is a free press, democratic elections and an educated electorate.

As for overcoming opposition to a change, the strategy is simple: Get more votes than the opposition.

Bigfella
16 Dec 13,, 05:41
Who have the dems got? Biden could surprise.

He could, but it seems unlikely. Would the party back him? Hilary has a machine that has been purring along for over 20 years. Unless some party heavy hitters back him early its hard to see him getting anywhere. he should probably just be thankful he got as close as one heartbeat away. Well above his level

Hilary isn't a great choice, though it depends what the field looks like. In addition to having been something of a hate figure when she was first lady (just wait for all the conspiracy theories from then to come racing back out into the light), but she is starting to look old. If the GOP goes with a younger candidate that may be another negative. People judge age differently in men & women, and her age could be a negative even if she was a guy.


In any case, it's way too early to predict the dems will win. Lot's of issues could take a turn against them. Will the ACA look good by then or still look like a dog? There's Iran; the economy...possible rising inflation, etc. Or, the people just want a change and the GOP candidate looks good.


It will be interesting to see just how Obama's legacy plays out in this election. Bush was so toxic that McCain didn't have much of a shot. Clinton's didn't help Gore much, though it looks a lot better in retrospect. Be interesting to see where Obama is by 2016.


The GOP should have their act together after the 2012 demolition derby. The early running as of now includes Rubio, Paul, Perry, Cruz, Ryan, Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Santorum, Cristie... Scratch Paul, Perry and Cruz as too conservative. Scratch Huckabee and Santorum as also rans. Rubio for the Hispanic vote? They see through him. The GOP bench has a solid roster of GOP governors: Mitch Daniels and Scott Walker come to mind. Jandel is another. I'm hoping the usual clowns stay out.


Did you say scratch Perry??


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6mlvQWp8S8

....sorry, couldn't miss an opportunity. :biggrin:

But seriously folks...interesting comments. Especially on Rubio. He might be a good VP pick for someone like Ryan. Youth, a bit of diversity. Is Jindal still a serious contender? I though he had some problems. What about Nikki Haley, at least for a VP spot? Is Jeb Bush a serious contender? I'm sure he has the machine, but is a third Bush really the right pick?

Christie looks like a strong contender. If he gets derailed by the 'blame him for 2012' crowd then you may be in for a re-run of the 2012 disaster, as it will indicate that the lunatics still have too much influence in the asylum. If people haven't worked out why a campaign that couldn't conduct or analyse polls properly lost an election then they are still living in the CEC bubble. There may be perfectly good reasons why Christie isn't the man, but that ain't it.

I'm looking forward to seeing who starts to come out of the woodwork after the mid-terms.

Gun Grape
16 Dec 13,, 05:59
With the younger demographic abandoning the Left over Obamacare and the endless scandals the Dems are facing a very bad situation. The president is suppressing his own parties vote... The media isn;t helping, sure some sheeple will buy into the constant ragging against the Tea Party, but others will investigate for themselves and be converted by the populist message. Keeping the TP in the news just reinforces the old adage that all press is good press when your an under dog.

They may vote Republican for 1 cycle but then the party will loose them. Most of the younger generation may have conservative fiscal values. They want to reduce the debt, curb this wild spending.

But, they will quickly part ways with the Tea Party when it comes to social values. When the Tea Party starts talking about not allowing Gay marriage,making abortions illegal,not supporting an increase to the min wage (no living wage) among other things. Then accusing anyone that doesn't agree with ALL of their policies of being RINOs they will walk away.

9 years ago, when I first started posting on the WAB (member of the great Stratgypage exodus) I was accused, by Bluesman, of trying to "Out conservative the conservatives" now I am considered either a sell out or a RINO by my party. I'm only holding on because I've been a Republican since 1981 and I'm hoping they will swing back soon. The younger demographics don't have than "Brand Loyalty"

zraver
16 Dec 13,, 07:29
But, they will quickly part ways with the Tea Party when it comes to social values. When the Tea Party starts talking about not allowing Gay marriage,making abortions illegal,not supporting an increase to the min wage (no living wage) among other things. Then accusing anyone that doesn't agree with ALL of their policies of being RINOs they will walk away.

Uhm social issues ain't TP issues, those belong to the religious right.

JAD_333
16 Dec 13,, 08:09
He [Biden] could, but it seems unlikely. Would the party back him? Hilary has a machine that has been purring along for over 20 years. Unless some party heavy hitters back him early its hard to see him getting anywhere. he should probably just be thankful he got as close as one heartbeat away. Well above his level.

Biden is not saying what he'll do; but he has been quietly working Iowa by phone. Yes, the party would back him in the general election. Bill Clinton has said as much. But the party generally stays out of the primaries and lets the candidates fight it out. Hillary's favorable is 60% among dems...Biden's is only 12%. But it must be noted that Biden won his first senate election coming from 30 points behind to beat an well-liked incumbent.

Will Hillary run? She's not saying, but at private political gatherings she's quick to point out that she and not Biden backed the decision to go after Bin Laden. Why knock the veep if you're not running? Biden for his part calls Kerry the best SecState ever. Hmmm....

Traditionally, big guns stand aside if the VP wants to run. Not so much since 1968 when the dems decided to rely on primaries over the convention system to pick candidates.

Now about Biden. He's been a great veep as veeps go, loyalty-wise, that is. He has always worked to make Obama look good and relieve him of some of the heavy lifting, unlike Chaney, who ran an alternate universe. So, he has character. There is no question he knows his foreign affairs stuff--and his budget stuff. Look how he manhandled Ryan, the ace GOP number cruncher in their debate last year. They say a library burns down when a well-connected politician like Biden dies. He is unquestionably well connected around the globe, and respected. Hillary has skeletons in the closet, Sarajevo, Benghazi, White Water, maltreatment of staff. Biden has the old plagiarism charge, and so on. Biden's problem is a public image as a jester. Could Biden get the nomination? Give him a 30% chance. Frankly, I'd rather campaign against Hillary then Biden.



It will be interesting to see just how Obama's legacy plays out in this election.

Neither Clinton nor Biden can run from it; they were there at the making.



Did you say scratch Perry??

Love Reggae...



But seriously folks...interesting comments. Especially on Rubio. He might be a good VP pick for someone like Ryan. Youth, a bit of diversity. Is Jindal still a serious contender? I though he had some problems. What about Nikki Haley, at least for a VP spot? Is Jeb Bush a serious contender? I'm sure he has the machine, but is a third Bush really the right pick?

Ryan would probably not pick Rubio for veep...two young guys? Nikki Haley? Veep choice maybe, but not ready for prime time. Jeb Bush? Good man, but a Bush. May test the waters, but hasn't much chance IMO. Jindal? Just don't see it. Christie? Will test the waters. His candor would be refreshing. There are probably a six-pak of other pols forming PACs to make a run.


I'm looking forward to seeing who starts to come out of the woodwork after the mid-terms.

Not me. Campaigns last too damn long.

Bigfella
16 Dec 13,, 08:12
Uhm social issues ain't TP issues, those belong to the religious right.

In theory. In practice there is little difference on issues such as gay marriage & abortion. While TPers may not self-identify as part of the 'religious right' there is a lot of overlap demographically & on specific issues (check out the 2nd graph at the link).


A new analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life finds that Tea Party supporters tend to have conservative opinions not just about economic matters, but also about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. In addition, they are much more likely than registered voters as a whole to say that their religion is the most important factor in determining their opinions on these social issues.2 And they draw disproportionate support from the ranks of white evangelical Protestants.

The Tea Party and Religion | Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project (http://www.pewforum.org/2011/02/23/tea-party-and-religion/)

While TPers may fit snuggly in the GOP mainstream on these issues, because they are an 'activist' movement their opinions tend to get noticed more & because they have been so active in primaries they matter more. Additionally, if they back fiscal conservatives who become notorious for socially conservative ideas or actions that will stick.

Welcome to the wonderful world of 'activist' movements. The crazy stuff always gets the headlines. The left has been putting up with this for over 40 years. it is genuinely chuckleworthy to see conservatives acting like they are the first people in history to have to deal with the phenomenon.

Bigfella
16 Dec 13,, 08:24
Biden is not saying what he'll do; but he has been quietly working Iowa by phone. Yes, the party would back him in the general election. Bill Clinton has said as much. But the party generally stays out of the primaries and lets the candidates fight it out. Hillary's favorable is 60% among dems...Biden's is only 12%. But it must be noted that Biden won his first senate election coming from 30 points behind to beat an well-liked incumbent.

Will Hillary run? She's not saying, but at private political gatherings she's quick to point out that she and not Biden backed the decision to go after Bin Laden. Why knock the veep if you're not running? Biden for his part calls Kerry the best SecState ever. Hmmm....

Traditionally, big guns stand aside if the VP wants to run. Not so much since 1968 when the dems decided to rely on primaries over the convention system to pick candidates.

Now about Biden. He's been a great veep as veeps go, loyalty-wise, that is. He has always worked to make Obama look good and relieve him of some of the heavy lifting, unlike Chaney, who ran an alternate universe. So, he has character. There is no question he knows his foreign affairs stuff--and his budget stuff. Look how he manhandled Ryan, the ace GOP number cruncher in their debate last year. They say a library burns down when a well-connected politician like Biden dies. He is unquestionably well connected around the globe, and respected. Hillary has skeletons in the closet, Sarajevo, Benghazi, White Water, maltreatment of staff. Biden has the old plagiarism charge, and so on. Biden's problem is a public image as a jester. Could Biden get the nomination? Give him a 30% chance. Frankly, I'd rather campaign against Hillary then Biden.

Sounds like Biden may be the perfect VP, but not necessarily a great Pres candidate. Hilary definitely has bigger negatives, but I'd argue she has bigger positives too. Maybe it is the distance, but from here Biden just doesn't look 'Presidential'.

I don't doubt Hilary is planning a run & getting Biden out of the way clears the field a bit better.


Neither Clinton nor Biden can run from it; they were there at the making.


Clinton can run further. She may have been there at the start, but most folk will focus on the end. She was out by Obamacare & any other 2nd term decisions. She can pick & choose what she associates herself with far better than Biden can.


Love Reggae...

Scratch is the man. I suspect he was supplying the other Perry with dope in 2012. Would explain a lot.


Ryan would probably not pick Rubio for veep...two young guys?

Fair point.


Nikki Haley? Veep choice maybe, but not ready for prime time. Jeb Bush? Good man, but a Bush. May test the waters, but hasn't much chance IMO. Jindal? Just don't see it.


Good, at least I'm paying attention. :)


Christie? Will test the waters. His candor would be refreshing.

He could be a winner if he can get past the zealots in his own party.


There are probably a six-pak of other pols forming PACs to make a run.

More money to marketing companies. Having worked in the industry for almost 2 decades I consider this compelling proof of the impending implosion of Western society.


Not me. Campaigns last too damn long.

This is where living in Oz works to my advantage. I can dip in & out.

I suspect the near-endless campaign cycle in the US is probably a key factor in alienating those who are not political junkies. They just get irritated & switch off.

astralis
16 Dec 13,, 15:18
pari,


Precisely. Rather than the current name calling and (mis) characterisation of the tea party by historical analogy, those of a conservative democrat nature would be better served actually understanding the reinvigoration of the Republican Party before the next elections.
There is nothing unusual about the current make up of the house and senate, yet the democrats have singularly failed to run either and have instead relied on presidential decree or edict. This will continue (Podesta? Really??)
If as Jad believes, and I agree with him, realists within the republican party can sway the roughly 25% of Americans who have some regard for the Tea Party movement to take a more measured approach rather than demanding everything now, those centrist/moderate/progressive democrats are going to find themselves very much in the cold within three years.


that's the logical crux of the argument. does the Tea Party act to invigorate the GOP, or does it act to sap it. i think in 2010 you could argue that it was an invigoration, given the mid-terms. but several years later?

if JAD is correct and the Tea Party is merely an impatient form of the regular GOP, what, then, differentiates the Tea Party type from the GOP once they become...more measured? :)

you could certainly be right that the pendulum will swing, as it always will. but given that i don't expect any further big-ticket Dem items to come up, i have my doubts that 2016 will be the year. 2010 was a huge political win for the republicans, but it required the financial sector bailouts (often attributed to obama), a truly terrible economy, ACA, stimulus to provide the grist for that type of reaction.

by 2012 the fervor had burned out to the point where despite a still bad economy the dems kept the Presidency, the Senate, AND made gains in the House.

frankly current-day demographics works against the Republicans, and even more specifically, the Tea Party. you don't need to take that from me; the autopsy conducted by the national GOP following their stunning 2012 defeat noted this and prescribed positions that were/are anathema to the Tea Party. perhaps the national GOP is wrong and merely having the Tea Party/GOP merger will be sufficient, but i have my doubts. if you incline towards the Tea Party to begin with, it's highly unlikely that you voted obama/dems in 2012. and we've already seen that alone is not enough.

Parihaka
17 Dec 13,, 00:41
pari,



that's the logical crux of the argument. does the Tea Party act to invigorate the GOP, or does it act to sap it. i think in 2010 you could argue that it was an invigoration, given the mid-terms. but several years later?

if JAD is correct and the Tea Party is merely an impatient form of the regular GOP, what, then, differentiates the Tea Party type from the GOP once they become...more measured? :)

you could certainly be right that the pendulum will swing, as it always will. but given that i don't expect any further big-ticket Dem items to come up, i have my doubts that 2016 will be the year. 2010 was a huge political win for the republicans, but it required the financial sector bailouts (often attributed to obama), a truly terrible economy, ACA, stimulus to provide the grist for that type of reaction.

by 2012 the fervor had burned out to the point where despite a still bad economy the dems kept the Presidency, the Senate, AND made gains in the House.

frankly current-day demographics works against the Republicans, and even more specifically, the Tea Party. you don't need to take that from me; the autopsy conducted by the national GOP following their stunning 2012 defeat noted this and prescribed positions that were/are anathema to the Tea Party. perhaps the national GOP is wrong and merely having the Tea Party/GOP merger will be sufficient, but i have my doubts. if you incline towards the Tea Party to begin with, it's highly unlikely that you voted obama/dems in 2012. and we've already seen that alone is not enough.

Which I guess takes us back to this, the only part of the original op-ed I disagree with


The common answer, promoted by prominent talk-radio hosts nearly every day and echoed at Tea Party rallies and other gatherings of true believers, involves the stubborn conviction that “real conservatism wins every time.” According to this line of reasoning, nominees like McCain or Romney (or Chris Christie or Jeb Bush) will always lose to a fiery liberal ideologue like Barack Obama because the public perceives their conservatism as wavering, inconsistent, and inauthentic. The argument is the grandchild of Richard Nixon’s 1969 argument that a “silent majority” of patriotic conservatives awaits mobilization by inspired leadership. This idea suggests that an assemblage of solid citizens has become temporarily disenchanted with electoral politics and has taken to slumbering in the family-friendly vastness of flyover country—needing only the merest kiss of a Constitutionalist Prince Charming to awaken them to eager activism that will “take our country back.” Ted Cruz gave direct expression to this notion in an interview on ABC News in July 2013. “You know, if you look at the last 40 years, a consistent pattern emerges,” he explained. “Any time Republicans nominate a candidate for president who runs as a strong conservative, we win. And when we nominate a moderate who doesn’t run as a conservative, we lose.”

This formulation ignores the experience of landslide winners such as Richard Nixon in 1972 or George H.W. Bush in 1988, whose cautious campaigns that sought to file the rough edges off their reputations for harsh conservatism (remember “a kinder, gentler America”?) hardly presented them as “strong conservatives.” Going back a bit further in political history, Nixon’s own mentor, Dwight Eisenhower, reveled in his easygoing, middle-of-the-road reputation and won two sweeping victories that revived a long-frustrated GOP after two decades in the wilderness. Just four years after Ike left office, the party turned to the most uncompromising conservative of them all, who inspired his acolytes with the ringing declaration that “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice,” but Barry Goldwater went on to lose 44 states in one of the ugliest routs in Republican history.

As for Ronald Reagan, he earned his two epic victories not by generating tidal waves of freshly mobilized conservatives but by being massively appealing to precisely those moderates that today’s Tea Party faithfuls so conspicuously despise. In fact, the percentage of all voters who described themselves as “conservatives” for Reagan’s first landslide victory in 1980 was far lower (28 percent) than the percentage who showed up for Mitt Romney’s losing effort in 2012 (35 percent, a record high). Reagan won because he carried self-described “moderates” by six points and won independents by a staggering 15 percent. With those margins at the center of the electorate, it hardly mattered that self-described Democrats outnumbered Republicans in the 1980 exit polls by a seemingly fatal margin of 43 to 28 percent.
The point of it is to claim left-of-centre conservatives have a greater chance of winning for the republicans (admittedly in response to TP hard line wishes) than more hard line conservatives would. I disagree. The options being offered are either TP adherents or those the TPer's would term RINO's, then cites Nixon, Eisenhower, Bush '88 and Reagan as having relaxed easygoing attitudes more in keeping with RINO's. The op-ed ignores choice three that all those Presidents represented: pragmatic conservatives, from the centre of the party. Maybe it was lack of choice, maybe it was obstinacy, but McCain and Romney to my outsiders view seemed to be full political spectrum centrists pretending to be conservative (almost third way progressives), rather than full blown conservatives willing to be pragmatic. Maybe the decisions end up in the same place, but the candidates look false.
A small difference maybe, but perceptually a big one. If the TPer's do nothing else but move the nominees from RINO to the middle of the bell curve of conservatism then they'll have done a service to the party.

zraver
17 Dec 13,, 01:12
pari,



that's the logical crux of the argument. does the Tea Party act to invigorate the GOP, or does it act to sap it. i think in 2010 you could argue that it was an invigoration, given the mid-terms. but several years later?

The size of the caucus grew after 2012 even as national influence was blunted by the White House directed IRS attacks.


by 2012 the fervor had burned out to the point where despite a still bad economy the dems kept the Presidency, the Senate, AND made gains in the House.

IRS attacks on TP groups, cooked books jobs report right before the election, H Clinton's Benghazi lies, Hurricane Sandy photo op, Blatant media aid during the debates, America's reluctance to vote against a war time president and the weak-sauce candidacy of Rommney.... Lots of reasons besides lack of popular TP appeal for the GOP's loss.

astralis
17 Dec 13,, 15:06
pari,

again, i'll asnwer this slightly backward.


The point of it is to claim left-of-centre conservatives have a greater chance of winning for the republicans (admittedly in response to TP hard line wishes) than more hard line conservatives would.


A small difference maybe, but perceptually a big one. If the TPer's do nothing else but move the nominees from RINO to the middle of the bell curve of conservatism then they'll have done a service to the party. .

i'm not certain what frame of reference you're using here. i don't think GOP reformists or for that matter, the authors of the OP are advocating the return of left-of-center conservatives (ie Rockefeller Republicans), or even 1996-era moderate Republicanism under Bob Dole, but merely the return of circa-2000 pragmatic conservatives.

this is a point which i've been bringing up with JAD; there ARE no more "RINOs" as the term was used; that breed was already dying out by the time Newt Gingrich took over, and were pretty much gone by 2008. there's been a re-definition of RINOs by the Tea Party to include pragmatic conservatives now.



I disagree. The options being offered are either TP adherents or those the TPer's would term RINO's, then cites Nixon, Eisenhower, Bush '88 and Reagan as having relaxed easygoing attitudes more in keeping with RINO's. The op-ed ignores choice three that all those Presidents represented: pragmatic conservatives, from the centre of the party. Maybe it was lack of choice, maybe it was obstinacy, but McCain and Romney to my outsiders view seemed to be full political spectrum centrists pretending to be conservative (almost third way progressives), rather than full blown conservatives willing to be pragmatic. Maybe the decisions end up in the same place, but the candidates look false.

McCain and Romney in their previous jobs were known to be pragmatic conservatives, not centrists-- they weren't that socially liberal. in response to primary pressure, the policies they advocated became quite conservative, Romney significantly more so than McCain-- precisely because of the increased Tea Party pressure.

certainly the GOP base wasn't happy with either McCain or Romney, but despite a prolonged nomination process for Romney, there was simply no viable alternative. "Full blown conservatives" were not willing to be pragmatic, while those pragmatic...were not deemed to be conservative. Rick Perry, for instance, was a conservative hero until he made -one- comment about the DREAM Act that deviated from the orthodoxy.

if the issue with the GOP is not with the platform, as you, JAD, and z assert (with differing arguments!), then another reason must be found for why the GOP lost the popular vote in the last five out of six Presidential elections. if it's a matter of the candidate, the question must be asked WHY is it so difficult to find/keep that "pragmatic conservative". if it's a matter of merely integrating the Tea Party into the GOP, then the question to ask is why the alliance was insufficient in 2012.

Doktor
17 Dec 13,, 15:18
GOP lost the popular vote in the last five out of six Presidential elections.

You might want to check that claim again.

Bigfella
17 Dec 13,, 15:31
You might want to check that claim again.

Pretty sure he is correct: 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008, 2012. Lost popular vote in every one. Didn't lose the Electoral College in every one, however.

Doktor
17 Dec 13,, 15:33
Pretty sure he is correct: 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008, 2012. Lost popular vote in every one. Didn't lose the Electoral College in every one, however.

I thought in the last 5 they won ;)

Bigfella
17 Dec 13,, 15:35
I thought in the last 5 they won ;)

Not catching your meaning doc. :confused:

Doktor
17 Dec 13,, 15:42
Mea culpa,

I understood it in the last 5 that GOP actually won. (2x Bush Jr, 1x Bush Sr and 2x RR.)

Bigfella
17 Dec 13,, 15:46
Mea culpa,

I understood it in the last 5 that GOP actually won. (2x Bush Jr, 1x Bush Sr and 2x RR.)

Aha. yes, you misread him. GOP has been struggling with the popular vote at Presidential elections for a generation. That isn't necessarily fatal (see 2000), but it isn't a great state of affairs. Suggests some kind of underlying shift that is a wee bit worrying & goes beyond factors specific to any one election.

rj1
17 Dec 13,, 16:51
Are you accusing me of loping my mule intellectually?

Ok, let's go back to the issue. We were talking about PACs and how to control them. More specifically we're talking Super PACs, those that can spend all they want to support a candidate's election.

A sure way would be to reverse Citizen's United and its sister decision, SpeechNow.org. The rulings in these Supreme Court cases gave rise to Super PACs by allowing individuals and corporations to give unlimited amounts to outside political organization and removing spending limits on their efforts to help elect candidates of their choice, so long as they don't coordinate with the candidate's campaign. Contrast this to the limits on campaign contribution that candidates themselves must observe and we can understand why it is tempting for a candidate to align with the special interests of a Super PAC.


So why are sitting congressmen going to vote to remove their campaign donations? You're making the assumption these are good people that vote what is best for the country instead of what is best for themselves. That's a dangerous assumption to make.


In the absence of a legislative or judicial fix, the best way to counter a Super PAC is with an opposing Super PAC, hoping that at a minimum they cancel each other out. That raises the extraneous question, why spend so much money if the net result is zero?

I've asked that about pro-abortion and anti-abortion groups for years.


The very best way to defend against the power of Super PACs and, for that matter, political parties is a free press, democratic elections and an educated electorate.

The free press is dying every day because the modern individual does not pay for news gathering, and bloggers are not a good replacement because they don't do the necessary research, don't have the financial resources, and are openly biased. People complain about Fox News or CNN. Bloggers - which look to be replacing the traditional news media - are the worst of those entities on steroids. And yes, not all of them are that way, but people go find the blogger they agree with. They don't go out and find the rational blogger that presents both sides of a situation. People, and I know I'm this way, are naturally inclined to want to read someone that confirms their opinion.

The practical effect of the internet on a political scale is it has taken this country back to the late 19th century where the news people read comes from party-published pamphlets.

rj1
17 Dec 13,, 17:12
In theory. In practice there is little difference on issues such as gay marriage & abortion. While TPers may not self-identify as part of the 'religious right' there is a lot of overlap demographically & on specific issues (check out the 2nd graph at the link).



The Tea Party and Religion | Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project (http://www.pewforum.org/2011/02/23/tea-party-and-religion/)

While TPers may fit snuggly in the GOP mainstream on these issues, because they are an 'activist' movement their opinions tend to get noticed more & because they have been so active in primaries they matter more. Additionally, if they back fiscal conservatives who become notorious for socially conservative ideas or actions that will stick.

Welcome to the wonderful world of 'activist' movements. The crazy stuff always gets the headlines. The left has been putting up with this for over 40 years. it is genuinely chuckleworthy to see conservatives acting like they are the first people in history to have to deal with the phenomenon.

The Tea Party initiated out of Ron Paul being not allowed into the Republican Party National Convention in 2008 because he wouldn't sign over his delegates to McCain. Paul and his supporters who were very libertarian then held their own "convention" not too far away and thus became the Tea Party. This group then got hijacked by a bunch of different people that wanted to use the supporters and money for their own purposes and now the Tea Party is an ideological quagmire.

Libertarians and the Religious Right in practice could not disagree more on issues, it's just they're quiet about it as they belong to the same party. A lot of your northeastern Republicans would likewise abhor the religious right where in order to keep in existance they've effectively had to be fiscally conservative, socially liberal.

I've always kind of believed that the only use Republicans have for libertarian philosophy is low taxes and that is it. The best performance of the party itself was Ed Clark in 1980 (backed by vice presidential nominee David Koch's money) who defined libertarianism as "low-tax liberalism". That led to a purge in the party by people that hated that line of thinking and the party went from 1.06% of the vote to 0.25% in 1984 where there was no such thing as a wasted vote because Reagan destroyed Mondale, but it resulted in the Libertarian Party (which was a lot of Ron Paul's support in 2008 and thus the origins of the Tea Party, if not party members people that sympathized but wouldn't vote for them) being not so much "low-tax liberalism" as much as "low taxes, reduce government". Former New Mexico governor (as a Republican) Gary Johnson did well for the party this past year doing 0.99%, by far their best result since Clark in 1980. Probably a lot of Tea Partiers that didn't want to vote for Romney (granted we're talking 0.4-0.5%).

rj1
17 Dec 13,, 17:16
With the younger demographic abandoning the Left over Obamacare and the endless scandals the Dems are facing a very bad situation.

I'm 31, so I don't know if you count me as the younger demographic and I've never been a Democrat anyway, but are we abandoning the Left over Obamacare?

zraver
18 Dec 13,, 01:34
I'm 31, so I don't know if you count me as the younger demographic and I've never been a Democrat anyway, but are we abandoning the Left over Obamacare?

Harvard poll of 18-29's

Harvard Poll: Millennials Abandon Obamacare, Would Vote to ‘Recall’ Obama | Mediaite (http://www.mediaite.com/online/harvard-poll-millennials-abandon-obamacare-would-vote-to-recall-obama/)

bonehead
18 Dec 13,, 04:03
Harvard poll of 18-29's

Harvard Poll: Millennials Abandon Obamacare, Would Vote to ‘Recall’ Obama | Mediaite (http://www.mediaite.com/online/harvard-poll-millennials-abandon-obamacare-would-vote-to-recall-obama/)

Why would kids have an issue. They can be covered under their parents policy until 25. It is the 26-30 that should be pissed but by then they should be well off on their money making careers anyway.

zraver
18 Dec 13,, 04:11
Why would kids have an issue. They can be covered under their parents policy until 25. It is the 26-30 that should be pissed but by then they should be well off on their money making careers anyway.

its more than just the ACA. That group is a strong believer in personal liberty which the NSA spying is an affront to. They also are being crushed by student debt which Obama refuses to really reform- feds underwrite the debt but let it be serviced commercially so that banks who never actually touch the money and have no risk make tens of thousands of dollars of risk free profit per student. They also can't find decent jobs in Obama's economy. The recession has never ended for the young.

Gun Grape
18 Dec 13,, 05:40
its more than just the ACA. That group is a strong believer in personal liberty which the NSA spying is an affront to. They also are being crushed by student debt which Obama refuses to really reform- feds underwrite the debt but let it be serviced commercially so that banks who never actually touch the money and have no risk make tens of thousands of dollars of risk free profit per student. They also can't find decent jobs in Obama's economy. The recession has never ended for the young.

Notice that in that poll, the majority when asked if they could re-cast their 2012 ballot would still vote for Obama. And the majority state they are not a supporter of the Tea Party.

I don't think that poll paints as rosy picture for the Tea Party/Conservative as you believe. Look at their plan to reduce spending. For cutting food stamps, for cutting defense and foreign aid and for increasing taxes on people making over a million.

zraver
18 Dec 13,, 06:05
Notice that in that poll, the majority when asked if they could re-cast their 2012 ballot would still vote for Obama. And the majority state they are not a supporter of the Tea Party.

I don't think that poll paints as rosy picture for the Tea Party/Conservative as you believe. Look at their plan to reduce spending. For cutting food stamps, for cutting defense and foreign aid and for increasing taxes on people making over a million.

Might not win them over, but if they just stay home its the same end result. 60% of them turned out to vote in a tour de force. Now they are tasting disillusionment.

JAD_333
18 Dec 13,, 06:38
I don't think that poll paints as rosy picture for the Tea Party/Conservative as you believe. Look at their plan to reduce spending. For cutting food stamps, for cutting defense and foreign aid and for increasing taxes on people making over a million.

The proposed cut to the food stamp program is a GOP initiative with party-wide support. The program needs reform. Today there are 47 million people enrolled in it and the number is growing rapidly. It now stands behind Medicare as the largest mean-tested entitlement program. Its cost has grown more than 350% since 2000, when it cost taxpayers $17 billion. Today it costs $78 billion. In addition this, USDA spends $41 million a year to advertize the program and millions more to administer it.

Both the GOP and the Dems are responsible. When Bush2 came to office there were 17 million people enrolled. When he left office there were 32 million. Under Obama the number has grown by another 15 million.

According to the Cato Institute there seems to be little direct correlation between the economic downturn and the increase in recipients. Yet, the USDA actively seeks new enrollees as do some states. This laxness follows a pattern of using entitlement programs as a form of stimulus. Another program rife with false claims is SSI Disability. There may be others. The GOP is not out to kill these programs, but to stop undeserving people from abusing them.

http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa738_web.pdf

JAD_333
18 Dec 13,, 06:52
Harvard poll of 18-29's

Harvard Poll: Millennials Abandon Obamacare, Would Vote to ‘Recall’ Obama | Mediaite (http://www.mediaite.com/online/harvard-poll-millennials-abandon-obamacare-would-vote-to-recall-obama/)


These young folk were all for Obama when he waxed idealistic, but found Jesus when...well, it began to affect their pocketbook.

JAD_333
18 Dec 13,, 07:38
So why are sitting congressmen going to vote to remove their campaign donations? You're making the assumption these are good people that vote what is best for the country instead of what is best for themselves. That's a dangerous assumption to make.

If you know your history you know that Congress has over the years passed many reforms affecting its own conduct.

But that aside, in 2002 Congress did indeed pass a law restricting the use of soft money in campaigns. This is explained in the following article published in 2003.


...although he doesn't show it, McAuliffe [chaieman of the DNC at the time]has undoubtedly been feeling less confident about the business of fundraising since November 6, 2002, when the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 took effect. Commonly known as the McCain-Feingold Act, for its sponsors in the Senate (John McCain, a Republican from Arizona, and Russ Feingold, a Democrat from Wisconsin), the law bans what had become a key source of financing for both parties: federal "soft money," or donations to a political party for general "party-building" activities such as get-out-the-vote efforts. Because such contributions were in theory not used to support specific federal candidates, they could be made in unlimited amounts, and their use was only loosely regulated by the Federal Election Commission. Under the provisions of McCain-Feingold all donations to national candidates or parties must come in the form of "hard money," which is subject to annual contribution limits and other strict regulations. (State parties are still allowed to accept soft money in accordance with individual state laws. So are certain interest and issue-advocacy groups that have no official connection to a party.)

Making Sense of McCain-Feingold and Campaign-Finance Reform - Seth Gitell - The Atlantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/07/making-sense-of-mccain-feingold-and-campaign-finance-reform/302758/)


The Supreme Court, however, struck down key parts of the law. It ruled that corporations have a right of free speech just as individuals do and therefore can donate to political campaigns.


“When government seeks to use its full power, including the criminal law, to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought,” Justice Kennedy wrote. “This is unlawful. The First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/us/politics/22scotus.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0


So, you see what Congress is up against in trying to control campaign financing.



I've asked that about pro-abortion and anti-abortion groups for years.

And you're no where near an answer than anybody else. I guess trying falls into the hope-springs-eternal cubbyhole.



The free press is dying every day because the modern individual does not pay for news gathering, and bloggers are not a good replacement because they don't do the necessary research, don't have the financial resources, and are openly biased. People complain about Fox News or CNN. Bloggers - which look to be replacing the traditional news media - are the worst of those entities on steroids. And yes, not all of them are that way, but people go find the blogger they agree with. They don't go out and find the rational blogger that presents both sides of a situation. People, and I know I'm this way, are naturally inclined to want to read someone that confirms their opinion.

I don't agree the free 'press' is dying. There is plenty of informative reporting out there for anyone who wants to look for it. You have to be discriminating. As for people flocking to news sources that reflect their biases, what's new about that? There were books dedicated to the liberal media bias 40-50 years ago, bashing the NYT and CBS (and they deserved it then). Things are not like they were when a few papers shaped people's opinions. Hearst could start a war and probably did back in 1898. If you want to know the truth, you have more places to look now than ever. Anyway, the sins of the media have been and always will be with us.



[/quote] The practical effect of the internet on a political scale is it has taken this country back to the late 19th century where the news people read comes from party-published pamphlets.[/QUOTE]

Except nowadays the news gets there minutes after it happens and there are so many sources it doesn't pay for the media to take many liberties with the truth.

bonehead
18 Dec 13,, 16:40
Both the GOP and the Dems are responsible.


That about sums it up. Any talk of "this side or that side" is nothing more than smoke and mirrors used to keep the voters confused and divided.

astralis
18 Dec 13,, 16:58
from the conservative josh barro.

Conservatives Have No Idea What To Do About Recessions - Business Insider (http://www.businessinsider.com/conservatives-have-no-idea-what-to-do-about-recessions-2013-12)



To be clear, conservatives absolutely do have an economic policy agenda. They favor lower taxes, less regulation, government spending cuts, more domestic energy production, school choice, free trade, and low inflation.

They often cite these policies as ones that might alleviate recession and speed recovery. They favor these policies now, they favored them in 2008, and they favored them in 2004.

That is, conservatives favor the same set of economic policies when the economy is weak and when it is strong; when unemployment is high and when it is low; when few homeowners are facing foreclosure and when many are. The implication is that conservatives believe there is nothing in particular the government should do about economic cycles.

This is a big problem. Recessions are terrible. They create enormous misery by throwing people out of work and out of their homes. How can a political ideology have nothing to say about how to address recessions?

Perhaps conservatives believe that conservative economic policies will prevent recessions, making it unnecessary to have policies aimed at addressing them. That view would involve a distinctly unconservative degree of hubris.

Perhaps conservatives concede that recessions are terrible and sometimes inevitable, but genuinely believe that nothing productive can be done to address them. If that is so, how can they favor reductions in the social safety net? The argument for cutting welfare programs is that able-bodied people should work and will do so if denied the opportunity to receive benefits without working. But the defining characteristic of an economic down-cycle is that some people who would like to work cannot find work.

Parihaka
18 Dec 13,, 21:37
from the conservative josh barro.

Conservatives Have No Idea What To Do About Recessions - Business Insider (http://www.businessinsider.com/conservatives-have-no-idea-what-to-do-about-recessions-2013-12)

Really? He's a conservative who says conservatives have no idea about economics, then goes on to list conservatives he thinks who do, then fails to differentiate between conservatives and the Republican Party.
I'm left wondering when he thinks it is that both conservatives (apart from the ones he lists) and the Republican Party forgot how to run an economy?

astralis
18 Dec 13,, 22:08
pari,

note his distinctions. he's NOT saying:


conservatives have no idea about economics

he's saying GOP policymakers have no policy ideas for what to about recessions.


then fails to differentiate between conservatives and the Republican Party.


in fact, he does a very specific differentiation:



As with many economic issues, there is a gap between conservative wonks and conservative policymakers. Many conservative economic policy wonks break with the Republican party by favoring one or more recession-specific economic policies. Economists Luigi Zingales and Glenn Hubbard have called for aggressive programs to modify mortgages. Scott Sumner, David Beckworth, Josh Hendrickson and others have promoted monetary intervention to combat recessions. Michael Strain has promoted a suite of reforms, mostly aimed at the labor market, that would aim to cut unemployment in recessions.

But acceptance of these policies among actual Republican policymakers is near zero. The standard Republican answer for what to do about a bad economy is the same as their answer about what to do about a good economy.

of course, from my POV he does not go far enough. the real reason why GOP policymakers, particularly Tea Party folks, have little idea what to do when it comes to a recession is because it goes against their story about Triumph of the Free Market. under this story, there are to be no policy ideas because government is always inferior to the market when it comes to economic decisions.

JAD_333
19 Dec 13,, 05:31
he's saying GOP policymakers have no policy ideas for what to about recessions.

in fact, he does a very specific differentiation:


of course, from my POV he does not go far enough. the real reason why GOP policymakers, particularly Tea Party folks, have little idea what to do when it comes to a recession is because it goes against their story about Triumph of the Free Market. under this story, there are to be no policy ideas because government is always inferior to the market when it comes to economic decisions.

Asty:


I find this particular avenue of debate unconstructive. Most politicians regardless of party have a poor understanding of economics. They are good at setting goals in campaigns, but once in office they rarely carry them out to the fullest extent possible. Rather, the experts they gather together to guide them usually steer them away from ruinous policies. No politician wants to precipitate an economic disaster.

astralis
19 Dec 13,, 14:43
JAD,


I find this particular avenue of debate unconstructive. Most politicians regardless of party have a poor understanding of economics. They are good at setting goals in campaigns, but once in office they rarely carry them out to the fullest extent possible. Rather, the experts they gather together to guide them usually steer them away from ruinous policies. No politician wants to precipitate an economic disaster.

this is different kettle of fish from "precipitating" an economic disaster, though.

for instance, when economists and fed officials and pretty much everyone told Congress in no uncertain terms that the world economy was teetering on the edge of utter disaster in late 2008, Congress acted with very commendable alacrity.

it's the messy grind afterwards where there's been a fairly big disconnect between what conservative policymakers are doing/advocating and what conservative economic theorists are proposing.

to be certain there's a disconnect on the liberal side too, as political reality gets in the way. but for the most part this gap is a lot smaller.

however, it's much harder to politically do anything if the principle of the party is that the government simply cannot do anything vis-a-vis the economy other than "get out of the way". something is wrong when the policy prescription for a country is the same, whether it's booming or in a horrible recession.

JAD_333
19 Dec 13,, 16:07
JAD,



this is different kettle of fish from "precipitating" an economic disaster, though.

for instance, when economists and fed officials and pretty much everyone told Congress in no uncertain terms that the world economy was teetering on the edge of utter disaster in late 2008, Congress acted with very commendable alacrity.

it's the messy grind afterwards where there's been a fairly big disconnect between what conservative policymakers are doing/advocating and what conservative economic theorists are proposing.

to be certain there's a disconnect on the liberal side too, as political reality gets in the way. but for the most part this gap is a lot smaller.

however, it's much harder to politically do anything if the principle of the party is that the government simply cannot do anything vis-a-vis the economy other than "get out of the way". something is wrong when the policy prescription for a country is the same, whether it's booming or in a horrible recession.

Asty:

You have a point, but I think you are looking at a principle and assuming it means immediate application. A principle such as 'get out of the way' would take long and careful implementation. It amounts to a sea change in the way government operates, in its approach to social programs and in its regulatory policies. One must remember that every change will be debated and many compromises will result and that could take years. We didn't get to where we are now overnight, and no rational conservative should expect that everything will be undone, even over several decades. So, a principle that would take years to unfold should be scaled accordingly. Assigning recent (4-8 years) developments to it is murky business.

astralis
19 Dec 13,, 16:41
JAD,


We didn't get to where we are now overnight, and no rational conservative should expect that everything will be undone, even over several decades.

ah, and the Tea Party, as you say, are impatient Republicans. so, what are you saying? :) heh, heh.

either way, it seems to me that the GOP has trapped itself into a corner when it comes to economic prescriptions for recessions. it used to be that they promoted monetarism and the Fed as a way to fight recessions in lieu of fiscal policy. however, these days even monetarism has been declared anathema by conservatives.

that begs the question, other than tax cuts and regulation cuts...what other policies do conservatives bring to the table for recessions?

JAD_333
20 Dec 13,, 03:10
JAD,



ah, and the Tea Party, as you say, are impatient Republicans. so, what are you saying? :) heh, heh.

Yes, they are. Impatient to begin the process and unwilling to do anything that seems to be a step backward, like the recent Ryan-Murphy budget. But just think of the enormity of undoing everything. It would take years, and besides it won't go that far. What will happen is something on the order of consolidation, reform and adjustment of policies, perhaps something on the order of Bill Clinton's surpluses. So, yes they are impatient to get going and perhaps aiming a too high, but really who needs them to state the obvious. Huge debt, recurring deficits, increasing entitlement spending and expensive government overreach... Does it take a genius to see that something has to be done? Maybe the Tea Party's meataxe approach is not the right way, but that doesn't mean every approach is wrong.

JAD_333
20 Dec 13,, 03:49
either way, it seems to me that the GOP has trapped itself into a corner when it comes to economic prescriptions for recessions. it used to be that they promoted monetarism and the Fed as a way to fight recessions in lieu of fiscal policy. however, these days even monetarism has been declared anathema by conservatives.

The Tea Party supports a brand of fiscal policy very close to Reaganomics. Cut income and corporate taxes to stimulate consumer spending; reduce government spending, reduce regulations on business, especially on small business, promote free trade and protect markets, and control inflation through monetary controls. These policies as a whole worked to end the recession that occurred mid-way through Reagan's first term, some more so than others. He did cut taxes and that did get the economy back up and rolling. Government spending wasn't cut, but annual increases were slower in comparison to the Carter years. Free trade leaned more in the direction of market control. Import duties increased. Volker, Fed chairman at the time, tamped down inflation by jacking the funds rate to 20%. I know you will dismiss Reaganomics because it relies on trickle down economics. If you say, it might have worked then but it wouldn't have worked in the recent, great recession, I would probably agree with you. Nevertheless, the question was, do the TPers have a policy. The answer is yes, and I've just outlined it for you. [/quote]


that begs the question, other than tax cuts and regulation cuts...what other policies do conservatives bring to the table for recessions?

Here:


Eliminate the national debt which creates a burden for the next generation of Americans, and slows economic growth. As quoted by Alexander Hamilton, “As on the one hand, the necessity for borrowing in particular emergencies cannot be doubted, so on the other, it is equally evident that to be able to borrow upon good terms, it is essential that the credit of a nation should be well established.”
Eliminate deficit spending and balance the books as would be expected of any American business.
Eliminate excessive taxes, which prevent families and small businesses from pursuing wealth.
Protect free markets by deregulating business.

These are more in the way of goals. Some will take longer than others to achieve. I suppose the TP would have to design policies to achieve them. Do you expect them to have a detailed playbook? Check Ryan's other budget, the one that the House had passed several times and the Senate refused to take up. Quite a bit of detail there. Once again I am just responding to your question, where's the beef. This is in no way meant to argue the actual policies proposed. I ain't that smart.

astralis
20 Dec 13,, 05:14
JAD,


The Tea Party supports a brand of fiscal policy very close to Reaganomics. Cut income and corporate taxes to stimulate consumer spending; reduce government spending, reduce regulations on business, especially on small business, promote free trade and protect markets, and control inflation through monetary controls. These policies as a whole worked to end the recession that occurred mid-way through Reagan's first term, some more so than others. He did cut taxes and that did get the economy back up and rolling. Government spending wasn't cut, but annual increases were slower in comparison to the Carter years. Free trade leaned more in the direction of market control. Import duties increased. Volker, Fed chairman at the time, tamped down inflation by jacking the funds rate to 20%. I know you will dismiss Reaganomics because it relies on trickle down economics. If you say, it might have worked then but it wouldn't have worked in the recent, great recession, I would probably agree with you. Nevertheless, the question was, do the TPers have a policy. The answer is yes, and I've just outlined it for you.

well, my question to you was not "does the TP have a policy." (they kinda-sorta do, but more akin to general goals than specific policy prescriptions. even reaganomics doesn't -quite- fit what the Tea Party has in mind (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304579404579236530656307504), although it is close.)

the question which i was getting at was, how does conservative economic policy differ when it comes to a recession, versus when times are good?

you list the conservative goals. yet as you say, these are the very same goals conservatives promoted in the 80s, in the 90s, in the 2000s, and today, despite widely changing economic circumstances.

IE reaganomics when you're in the midst of stagflation; reaganomics when you're in the midst of a tech-fueled boom; reaganomics during an era of global housing/credit bubbles; reaganomics when the bubble bursts; reaganomics again for the recovery.

if economic policy doesn't change to reflect economic circumstances, then it's quite true to state that there is no specific conservative policy for recessions.

second, i don't dismiss reaganomics. it worked in the context of stagflation. volcker cut down on inflation when it NEEDED to be cut down-- 13.5% in 1980 versus 1.2% today. reagan's fiscal policies were a combination of tax cuts and spending-- of course, not specifically because of the recession, but via the defense build up. (by the way, a difference i note between republicans and the TP: krugman made the remark that republicans seem to only believe in keynesianism when it comes to military spending, but the Tea Party, at least, is consistent with its principles on this regard.)

of course reagan also caused the deficit to rocket up, but again-- a recession is when the government SHOULD spend. many liberals derided dick cheney when he said that "Reagan proved that deficits don't matter," but i understand what he was trying to get at.

circumstances, however, change. the current recession is a different beast from stagflation. moreover, the impact of further tax cuts/freer trade/deregulation are diminished in the current day context, because you simply don't get as much bang for the buck when taxes/tariffs are already relatively low.

JAD_333
20 Dec 13,, 06:15
JAD,



well, my question to you was not "does the TP have a policy." (they kinda-sorta do, but more akin to general goals than specific policy prescriptions. even reaganomics doesn't -quite- fit what the Tea Party has in mind (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304579404579236530656307504), although it is close.)

the question which i was getting at was, how does conservative economic policy differ when it comes to a recession, versus when times are good?

If I asked the same question of far left Democrats what would I get.

How any party handles a recession depends on the probable causes of the recession. A recession is analogous to breathing. You can't inhale indefinitely. You have to exhale. No economy can expand forever. So, we have two possible questions 1) how should we handle major exhalations, or 2) can we balance expansion such that the exhalation is not so hard on people? There are many things you can to bridge the time between expansions.

Each thing has to be carefully studied. If, for example, we look at setting up a rainy-day fund to help people when they are laid off, we'd be setting aside money while times are good and paying it out when they are bad. We do a little of that now with unemployment benefits, but the benefit is much too low, about 25% of previous take home pay, and the longer a person is dependent on such a low payout, the more chance they will lose their house, their car, their life insurance, their savings, and God know what else. So, maybe we need a new type of employment insurance, paid for with premiums paid jointly by the employed person and the business he works for.

I paid federal and state unemployment taxes on my employees, but they paid nothing. The state pays 26 weeks unemployment benefits from taxes collected. In normal time, this works fine, but in recessions the state may have to borrow from the Federal government and those loans come out of Federal taxes on the employed. The payouts are too low and the system is inadequate in deep recessions when it may take up to a year or more for someone to find another job. I could go into more detail, but my point is that we have to look at all these things and see what effect they would have on the economy and individuals. An idea that starts out good, can turn out to be a dog. Should we just resign ourselves to expect some people will be hurt in recessions and that's that? I don't know any Tea Party person who would not take a close look at an insurance scheme so long as it does not raise taxes or add to the debt.


you list the conservative goals. yet as you say, these are the very same goals conservatives promoted in the 80s, in the 90s, in the 2000s, and today, despite widely changing economic circumstances.

I acknowledged that.



if economic policy doesn't change to reflect economic circumstances, then it's quite true to state that there is no specific conservative policy for recessions.

And what of the ossified Keynesians? Their entire theory boils down to keep the kite flying no matter what it costs.


second, i don't dismiss reaganomics. it worked in the context of stagflation. volcker cut down on inflation when it NEEDED to be cut down-- 13.5% in 1980 versus 1.2% today. reagan's fiscal policies were a combination of tax cuts and spending-- of course, not specifically because of the recession, but via the defense build up. (by the way, a difference i note between republicans and the TP: krugman made the remark that republicans seem to only believe in keynesianism when it comes to military spending, but the Tea Party, at least, is consistent with its principles on this regard.)

Agree, although Krugman puts the cart before the horse re Reagan's military spending. National security is job number one for the Federal government. I worked on classified threat briefings during the early 80s when we were about to make a full court press on military spending. I sent defense experts all over the country to do editorial boards and speeches to get public support for the mission. I know how bad shape the military was in after the neglect following the close of the Vietnam war. It simply had to be done, and as I've said before, borrowing for defense to meet growing threats is justified. This was when the USSR was making an all out effort to surpass us in every metric of military might and had closed the gap measurably. We turned on the afterburners and left the Soviets befuddled. That was the beginning of the end of the cold war. So, screw Krugman and his shady innuendos and liberal biases. :)


of course reagan also caused the deficit to rocket up, but again-- a recession is when the government SHOULD spend. many liberals derided dick cheney when he said that "Reagan proved that deficits don't matter," but i understand what he was trying to get at.

A recession may justify more government spending, but not spending to cover up the rot in the economic system.

astralis
20 Dec 13,, 14:54
JAD,


Should we just resign ourselves to expect some people will be hurt in recessions and that's that? I don't know any Tea Party person who would not take a close look at an insurance scheme so long as it does not raise taxes or add to the debt.


yet the conservative policy response seems to be to do less and less every time a recession hits. this is not a good trend. you mentioned a while back how politicians want to avoid precipitating an economic disaster. yet looking at the recent debt limit fight, we had the TP denying that breaching the limit would be a disaster at all. same with the financial sector or auto sector bankruptcies. if the TP can't even acknowledge fairly blatant economic disasters in the face, then one can be forgiven for thinking that the TP response to a recession will be minimal.

it seems to me, more and more, that the conservative response IS to expect that people will be hurt during recessions, too bad, too sad. all of the conservative responses-- cut taxes, reduce deficit, reduce regulation-- is meant to help things out over the medium-long term, not the short-term.


And what of the ossified Keynesians? Their entire theory boils down to keep the kite flying no matter what it costs.


this is inaccurate mirror imaging. Krugman supported the actions of Volcker in the 80s, for instance, given that high inflation was the issue, not lack of demand.


Agree, although Krugman puts the cart before the horse re Reagan's military spending.

in this case, Krugman was talking about GOP support for current day military spending, not the Cold War. "you can't BRAC this base or cut F-35 spending; my community needs those dollars." IE, they are making an economic argument that more military spending will help boost employment and demand. of course the same spending on the domestic side robs money from the private sector.


I worked on classified threat briefings during the early 80s when we were about to make a full court press on military spending. I sent defense experts all over the country to do editorial boards and speeches to get public support for the mission. I know how bad shape the military was in after the neglect following the close of the Vietnam war.

yeah, i do too...i'm not a stranger to those briefings, unfortunately. :)

our military, by the by, is in a somewhat similar situation today, albeit not half as bad as the situation was back then. two grinding wars and a long string of flawed/outright failed acquisitions in the boom years means our force is not at 100% today.


A recession may justify more government spending, but not spending to cover up the rot in the economic system.

i don't think anyone supports using government spending to re-inflate bubbles. we have many sectors that DO require more spending, such as infrastructure.

moreover, i really detest the use of "rot"; this isn't venezuela. when people use that term, it brings to mind Andrew Mellon's quote during the Depression.

“Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers. ... It will purge the rottenness out of the system.”

we saw from the experience of the Depression that this just was not the case. neo-classical economics is taught as economics 101 precisely because as an original theory, it never factored in many of the complexities of a real working economy...such as humans. the conservative response, having turned away from monetarism, has largely returned to neo-classical economics, popular in Hoover's time.

when you add in those factors, even on an efficiency basis alone a neo-classical response is economically suboptimal.

JAD_333
21 Dec 13,, 00:46
JAD,



yet the conservative policy response seems to be to do less and less every time a recession hits.

"do less"? Less than what? Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright said, "less is more." He had a point of reference. What is your point of reference? Less stimulus? Less government spending?



this is not a good trend. you mentioned a while back how politicians want to avoid precipitating an economic disaster. yet looking at the recent debt limit fight, we had the TP denying that breaching the limit would be a disaster at all. same with the financial sector or auto sector bankruptcies. if the TP can't even acknowledge fairly blatant economic disasters in the face, then one can be forgiven for thinking that the TP response to a recession will be minimal.

Come on. You're assuming a delay in raising the debt ceiling would have been a disaster. In the beginning, the administration was beside itself warning it would not be able to pay the bills, but toward the end, it was coming up with ways to cope. You assume the TP didn't appreciate the economic consequences. That's a mistake. It counted on the seriousness of it to move the administration off its no-compromise stance, and it got the sequester, which in fact did lower government spending. This was no blithe move. It was calculated. The TP picks big milestones precisely to get the dems to negotiate seriously. They miscalculated how the public would react on their recent effort to hold the government hostage in exchange for defunding Obamacare, but they win. Also they didn't make a serious effort to block another debt ceiling increase. You don't have to like it to acknowledge the truth behind what they did. I disapproved just as you did, but I don't think they were stupid or blind to what might have happened if a deal wasn't worked out.


it seems to me, more and more, that the conservative response IS to expect that people will be hurt during recessions, too bad, too sad. all of the conservative responses-- cut taxes, reduce deficit, reduce regulation-- is meant to help things out over the medium-long term, not the short-term.

There is always and expectation that people will get hurt in recessions. It happens no matter what party is in control. This isn't about letting people be hurt, but about the best way to help them get passed the hurt. Therein lies the difference, not in the attitude of the parties.




this is inaccurate mirror imaging. Krugman supported the actions of Volcker in the 80s, for instance, given that high inflation was the issue, not lack of demand.

I didn't comment on Krugman's statements re inflation during the 1980s. Most every economist backed Volcker.




in this case, Krugman was talking about GOP support for current day military spending, not the Cold War. "you can't BRAC this base or cut F-35 spending; my community needs those dollars." IE, they are making an economic argument that more military spending will help boost employment and demand. of course the same spending on the domestic side robs money from the private sector.

I was trying to make the point that military spending is first a response to threats. That it stimulates the economy is good, but secondary, or should be. That sometimes parts of it are preserved solely to keep jobs and help regional economies is another matter. Krugman saw it from an economic point of view only.




yeah, i do too...i'm not a stranger to those briefings, unfortunately. :)

our military, by the by, is in a somewhat similar situation today, albeit not half as bad as the situation was back then. two grinding wars and a long string of flawed/outright failed acquisitions in the boom years means our force is not at 100% today.

In the 1980s? You were still in knickers then.:) And why 'unfortunately'?

I agree that today we're facing something akin to the neglect of the 1970s. That is, the beginning stages. We should also consider that the catch-up game is fraught with more mistakes in judgement, more waste, more abuse and more fraud. I remember the rush to catch up in the 1980s. Weinberger asked the services to submit their wish lists. Practically everything they wanted was approved and then the rush began. Maybe you know the details of weapons programs that failed. But we did fill many deficiencies and bring many effective systems on line.



i don't think anyone supports using government spending to re-inflate bubbles. we have many sectors that DO require more spending, such as infrastructure.

I don't know about the first, but I agree with the second. It would have been much better if the stimulus was spent more on old infrastructure.



moreover, i really detest the use of "rot"; this isn't venezuela. when people use that term...

Maybe 'broken parts' would be better.



neo-classical economics is taught as economics 101 precisely because as an original theory, it never factored in many of the complexities of a real working economy...such as humans. the conservative response, having turned away from monetarism, has largely returned to neo-classical economics, popular in Hoover's time.

when you add in those factors, even on an efficiency basis alone a neo-classical response is economically suboptimal.

Keynesian economics doesn't work to prevent recessions, just to cure them. The prima facie evidence is recurring recessions. It works in a recession, but only because the system decides what is to be worked upon.--what values must be upheld. Its prime value revolves around getting people to spend more, and borrow if they're out of money. Surely we can do better.

astralis
21 Dec 13,, 22:11
JAD,


"do less"? Less than what? Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright said, "less is more." He had a point of reference. What is your point of reference? Less stimulus? Less government spending?

in this context, solutions OTHER than the always-applicable "less taxes/less regulation/less government spending".


Come on. You're assuming a delay in raising the debt ceiling would have been a disaster. In the beginning, the administration was beside itself warning it would not be able to pay the bills, but toward the end, it was coming up with ways to cope.

there's limitations to what extraordinary measures can do. just because the nation took less damage than previously thought does not mean it took -no- damage.


You assume the TP didn't appreciate the economic consequences. That's a mistake. It counted on the seriousness of it to move the administration off its no-compromise stance, and it got the sequester, which in fact did lower government spending.

on the contrary. the TP was going on about how the danger was non-existent, and that reducing spending now would be a bigger plus than any result of default. it counted on EVERYONE ELSE thinking it was serious, in an effort to use national objectives to garner partisan advantage.

from sen rod johnson:


And the report that the Treasury Department came out with that said that if the U.S. does not raise the debt ceiling in time that there would be a catastrophic effect on the economy –

I think that’s – I think that’s highly irresponsible for the Treasury Department to be issuing those kinds of, I mean scare-mongering reports. The Treasury Department, I think the secretary of the Treasury, I think the president of the United States ought to be trying to calm the markets, rather than scare them. The president really ought to be leading here. And they really ought to be passing something like the Full Faith and Credit Act, or a no-default bill which would guarantee the prioritization of tax revenue coming in and spending to ensure that we don’t default. There is absolutely no reason at all for this type of government to default even if we don’t increase the debt ceiling. So I think it’s highly irresponsible of this administration to be doing the type of scare-mongering they’re doing on this issue.

So if we come to … Oct. 16 and the debt ceiling has not been raised, should the markets be concerned at that point?

Not if you had a responsible administration. There would be no cause for concern. We have more than enough revenue flowing to the federal government, if the spending was properly prioritized, there’s no reason whatsoever to default on any of the debt.

Rep Ted Yoho:


I think, personally, it would bring stability to the world markets.

lest you think i'm picking out the flakes, from the "grassroots":


According to a Pew Research Center poll released Tuesday, 52 percent of self-identified "Tea Party Republicans" believe the debt limit does not need to be raised at all. (emphasis mine)

i think it's fair to state that the Tea Party was not exactly concerned about defaulting. at the minimum, it had other concerns that it ranked higher. which goes back to my original statement, if they cannot even acknowledge obvious economic disasters, then i'm less than impressed with their ability to acknowledge, let alone deal with the long grind of recessions in any way other than the continual drone of less taxes! less regulation! less deficit!


This isn't about letting people be hurt, but about the best way to help them get passed the hurt. Therein lies the difference, not in the attitude of the parties.

if the Tea Party response to the recession is to call for reduction of food stamp benefits and unemployment insurance, then even the most friendly way to put this reaction is that the Tea Party is more concerned about the medium-long term.

the way that these calls are framed, it is in the spirit of "tough love", by getting rid of dependency and crutches...and that's the charitable view. the slightly less publicly aired view is that welfare and unemployment benefits, etc, are given to undeserving leeches out of tax money taken from productive citizens. it's not for nothing that Paul Ryan and the Tea Party put Ayn Rand on a pedestal.

either way, the implicit assumption here is that if people really want jobs, they can find it. the attitude is rather different.


I didn't comment on Krugman's statements re inflation during the 1980s. Most every economist backed Volcker.

yet what Volcker did was not part of Keynesianism. it is rather more flexible than what you describe as "keeping the kite flying no matter what the cost."


I was trying to make the point that military spending is first a response to threats. That it stimulates the economy is good, but secondary, or should be. That sometimes parts of it are preserved solely to keep jobs and help regional economies is another matter. Krugman saw it from an economic point of view only.

no, he's making the point that certain Republicans don't mind using that Keynesian economic argument when it comes to military spending. he's not advocating a bout of military spending -absent- that threat.


In the 1980s? You were still in knickers then.

ah, the threat briefings didn't stop just when you left the Puzzle Palace...old-timer. :) and they remain dry as ever.


Keynesian economics doesn't work to prevent recessions, just to cure them.

i don't think there -is- an economic theory that works to "prevent recessions". it's certainly true, though, that Keynesian economics does prescribe ways of dealing with recessions, which is viewed as bad.

OTOH, neo-classical economics and austrian economics do NOT view recessions as bad. on the contrary, they are -useful- in eliminating inefficiency. any government intervention results in weakening this effect, and is thus to be avoided. people choose to be unemployed, thus unemployment is not necessarily a bad thing because it creates job mobility, wage deflation and increased competitiveness.


Its prime value revolves around getting people to spend more, and borrow if they're out of money.

ugh...no, it isn't. Keynesian economics acknowledges that there is a fall in private demand due to the nature of a recession, and advocates for government spending to make up for the shortfall. this government spending is to be reduced when private demand increases-- Keynesianism acknowledges that government spending during a period of full employment is counter-productive and inflationary.

snapper
22 Dec 13,, 02:51
Keynesian economics doesn't work to prevent recessions, just to cure them. The prima facie evidence is recurring recessions. It works in a recession, but only because the system decides what is to be worked upon.--what values must be upheld. Its prime value revolves around getting people to spend more, and borrow if they're out of money. Surely we can do better.

Keynesian economics doesn't even do that. When there's a recession Keynesians say the Government borrows and spend more - the Obama 'stimulus' prediction and results were way out. Instead they fell back on a form of statistical fraud - in unemployment, inflation and then the 're-calculation' (or double accounting) of GDP. The problem is Keynesian borrowing is from the future - encouraging people to borrow more when clearly they need to save more is a mistake that only caters for the problem of the moment. Given successive rounds of this and your people become impoverished in real terms and the national debt accumulates. By the time Obama leaves Office the debt may well have risen more than under all previous Presidents put together. Yet still people defend him. Clueless.

JAD_333
22 Dec 13,, 09:08
JAD,



in this context, solutions OTHER than the always-applicable "less taxes/less regulation/less government spending".

Not much to work with.




there's limitations to what extraordinary measures can do. just because the nation took less damage than previously thought does not mean it took -no- damage.

Since you brought up context, the cost of the 'damage' you cite may be beneficial if it leads to a much larger overall reduction in spending.



on the contrary. the TP was going on about how the danger was non-existent, and that reducing spending now would be a bigger plus than any result of default. it counted on EVERYONE ELSE thinking it was serious, in an effort to use national objectives to garner partisan advantage.

You're not differentiating between actual strategy and what some of the TP participants said for public consumption. True; they played down the seriousness of a gov't shutdown and not raising the debt limit, but only relative to the Democrats loud cries of impending disaster. They still knew both were serious, at least to the Democrats. That is why they and their GOP colleagues chose to time their attempt to defund Obamacare at the very point where a budget CR and debt limit increase were vitally needed to keep the government open. They knew that a failure to act in a timely fashion on both measures would have serious consequences. And they hoped that would spur the Democrats, who had a fresh memory of TP brinksmanship in the previous fight over a debt limit increase, into agreeing to further spending cuts to avoid a government shutdown. What the TP didn't count on was the Democrats utter refusal to bargain and the later unwillingness of moderate Republicans to stay shutdown for long. But don't think that the TP didn't grasp the seriousness of the moment. They exploited it.




i think it's fair to state that the Tea Party was not exactly concerned about defaulting. at the minimum, it had other concerns that it ranked higher.

I disagree that they weren't concerned about defaulting, but I agree they were less concerned than the Democrats were.



which goes back to my original statement, if they cannot even acknowledge obvious economic disasters, then i'm less than impressed with their ability to acknowledge, let alone deal with the long grind of recessions in any way other than the continual drone of less taxes! less regulation! less deficit!

Whether or not they acknowledge what you consider to be economic disasters matters little to them. In their eyes those 'disasters' could be a necessary prelude to the realization of what they see as a better way to run the economy. For now their litany is, as you put it, a 'consistent drone'. I agree, but a 'drone' can't be judged while it is still only a 'drone'. If it becomes implemented, then you can judge it.


if the Tea Party response to the recession is to call for reduction of food stamp benefits and unemployment insurance, then even the most friendly way to put this reaction is that the Tea Party is more concerned about the medium-long term. [/quote]

I disagree. There is ample evidence that the food stamp program, among others, is being abused both by recipients and the administration. And corrective action would have much more than a medium-long term effect. Much of the money to run these programs is borrowed and thus increases the debt. The size of the debt has a long-term impact on the economy. So, whatever we can save now that lessens the increase in the debt will be good in the long run.



the way that these calls are framed, it is in the spirit of "tough love", by getting rid of dependency and crutches...and that's the charitable view. the slightly less publicly aired view is that welfare and unemployment benefits, etc, are given to undeserving leeches out of tax money taken from productive citizens. it's not for nothing that Paul Ryan and the Tea Party put Ayn Rand on a pedestal.

You can go one step further. What you call 'tough love' is not love at all. It's the belief that the country is straining to meet its entitlement obligations and yet they keep growing unchecked. Out of that belief comes a fear that the demands of entitlement spending (and other government spending) will gradually eat away more of the earnings of working people until the day will come when they too will be forced to lower their standard of living to keep up. It's a valid fear. The evidence is very much out there to see. So, they want to save money through reforms and stricter management of entitlement programs, and in some case, total elimination.

I understand the desire to help people, and I'm willing to do my part. But I see no lasting benefit in emptying the larder to help the needy while the means to replenish it are diminishing. If we keep going in that direction, a day may come when there will be nothing left for anyone. I realize that that is hyperbole and that we may never see that day come, but we cannot afford to do nothing to insure it doesn't. We must balance our requirements with our means to meet them, and if, in the process, the marginally needy don't get all they need from government, it must be so.


either way, the implicit assumption here is that if people really want jobs, they can find it. the attitude is rather different.

Yes, there's talk like that in the TP, but you hear it among non-political people too. And there is a good reason. All it takes is for a working person to see a few neighbors getting food stamps when they don't need them, getting SSI disability and out playing golf, or drawing unemployment and not looking for a job. I know of people like that and so do many others. This is how the talk starts and spreads. Liberals in ivory towers don't see it or, if they do, they call them exceptions. That's BS. The abuse is rampant. It's addictive. If we culled out the abusers to where only the truly needy get help, watch how fast the abusers find a job and start fending for themselves.




yet what Volcker did was not part of Keynesianism. it is rather more flexible than what you describe as "keeping the kite flying no matter what the cost."

I didn't say it was. The Fed took action to tamp down inflation. That's all.



no, he's [Krugman] making the point that certain Republicans don't mind using that Keynesian economic argument when it comes to military spending. he's not advocating a bout of military spending -absent- that threat.

Well, of course. I've said it a couple of times. Defense comes first, and if we have to borrow to see to it, then we should borrow. Once committed, we can defend the borrowing, if necessary, by pointing out that it will help the economy and provide jobs. But that is not why we're borrowing, and Krugman knows it, yet he uses that example to pin the Keynesian label on Republicans.




ah, the threat briefings didn't stop just when you left the Puzzle Palace...old-timer. :) and they remain dry as ever.

Well, young'un, mine wasn't dry. :) I had classified slides from DIA and the CIA of all sorts of secret Soviet stuff and polished speakers in crisp uniform who could scare the bejezzus of you.




i don't think there -is- an economic theory that works to "prevent recessions". it's certainly true, though, that Keynesian economics does prescribe ways of dealing with recessions, which is viewed as bad.

Pity.


OTOH, neo-classical economics and austrian economics do NOT view recessions as bad. on the contrary, they are -useful- in eliminating inefficiency. any government intervention results in weakening this effect, and is thus to be avoided. people choose to be unemployed, thus unemployment is not necessarily a bad thing because it creates job mobility, wage deflation and increased competitiveness.

A jumble of half-truths.



ugh...no, it isn't. Keynesian economics acknowledges that there is a fall in private demand due to the nature of a recession, and advocates for government spending to make up for the shortfall. this government spending is to be reduced when private demand increases-- Keynesianism acknowledges that government spending during a period of full employment is counter-productive and inflationary.

Well, you contradicted yourself. I said the object of Keynesian anti-recessionary measures was to get people spending again, and you end up with the same conclusion. In other words, stimulating private demand is the goal of increased government spending.

astralis
22 Dec 13,, 17:06
JAD,


Not much to work with.

twas my point.


the cost of the 'damage' you cite may be beneficial if it leads to a much larger overall reduction in spending.

the damage is real and present, yet the "beneficial" part, not so much. there's been a lot of research done on this, yet the most that economists can pin down is that at very high debt levels, growth -may- be reduced slightly.

very much akin to the argument used by the GOP re: global warming, ironically (which i support, by the by).


You're not differentiating between actual strategy and what some of the TP participants said for public consumption...But don't think that the TP didn't grasp the seriousness of the moment. They exploited it.

of course they exploited it. at the same time, i highly doubt they realized how bad it could be. certainly, their public statements didn't lead one to be filled with confidence in their economic knowledge.

either way the Tea Party view is not flattering.


I disagree. There is ample evidence that the food stamp program, among others, is being abused both by recipients and the administration. And corrective action would have much more than a medium-long term effect. Much of the money to run these programs is borrowed and thus increases the debt. The size of the debt has a long-term impact on the economy. So, whatever we can save now that lessens the increase in the debt will be good in the long run.

i think the stories of the food stamp abuse is wildly exaggerated. USDA noted the abuse rate went from 1% to 1.3% in the last few years, despite the recession-driven expansion. which can be compared to 3.8% in 1993. moreover, from the CATO article you referenced:

34873

does not seem to support the opinion that "there seems to be little direct correlation between the economic downturn and the increase in recipients".

moreover, you're talking about a program that is $78 billion. even assuming 50% of it was waste, it's not going to be $40 billion (or, put it in another context, 4 months in Afghanistan) that brings down the Republic.


It's the belief that the country is straining to meet its entitlement obligations and yet they keep growing unchecked. Out of that belief comes a fear that the demands of entitlement spending (and other government spending) will gradually eat away more of the earnings of working people until the day will come when they too will be forced to lower their standard of living to keep up. It's a valid fear. The evidence is very much out there to see. So, they want to save money through reforms and stricter management of entitlement programs, and in some case, total elimination.

more like a belief in that entitlement spending for other people is going to eat away their earnings.

note the focus of the cuts. food stamps. unemployment insurance. relatively piddly things in the context of the overall budget.

and what about the true drivers of the entitlement growth?

Poll: Tea Party Not on Board Medicare/Medicaid Cuts (http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/teaparty-medicare-medicaid/2011/04/19/id/393444)

What would the Tea Party cut? - CNN.com (http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/04/13/tea.party.cuts/)


"[The Ryan plan] addresses the fact that people who have paid their whole lives, that you don't want to put them into a hardship, through no fault of their own," Russell said. "At the same time, we need to make changes to the plan, for people who are younger."

http://maristpoll.marist.edu/wp-content/misc/usapolls/US110410/McClatchy/McClatchy-Marist%20Poll%20Complete%20April%2018th,%202011%20 USA%20Poll%20Tables.pdf


Do you support or oppose doing each of the following to deal with the federal budget
deficit: Cut Medicare and Medicaid?

Tea Party Supporters: No: 70%, Yes 28%, Unsure 2%

in short, seems to me rather more of "screw you, i got mine," vice some sense of noblesse oblige for the country. but we've argued this point around and around, both here and in the past.


If we culled out the abusers to where only the truly needy get help, watch how fast the abusers find a job and start fending for themselves.

which rapidly goes down the path of calling all unemployed abusers. as i said, if the assumption is that anyone whom wants a job can get it, then there's no such thing as a recession.


A jumble of half-truths.

regarding the economic theories, no, not at all. i've studied both neo-classical and austrian economics. this is the theory that undergirds the policy responses.

guess who said the following:


"I think the Austrian business-cycle theory has done the world a great deal of harm. If you go back to the 1930s, which is a key point, here you had the Austrians sitting in London, Hayek and Lionel Robbins, and saying you just have to let the bottom drop out of the world. You’ve just got to let it cure itself. You can’t do anything about it. You will only make it worse. You have Rothbard saying it was a great mistake not to let the whole banking system collapse. I think by encouraging that kind of do-nothing policy both in Britain and in the United States, they did harm."

no, not Keynes. Milton Friedman, Keynes' arch-enemy.

JAD_333
23 Dec 13,, 05:01
Asty:

I skipped some points since we're volleying back and forth on them without letup. These might be good to explore a bit more.



either way the Tea Party view is not flattering.

It would be good to have a totally objective comparative analysis. All we have are partisan points of view. Who can tell us where we'll be in 20-50-100 years using the different models we've discussed?



i think the stories of the food stamp abuse is wildly exaggerated. USDA noted the abuse rate went from 1% to 1.3% in the last few years, despite the recession-driven expansion. which can be compared to 3.8% in 1993...

The problem is the metrics the USDA uses. It doesn't capture the structural abuse, e.g., the low threshold for qualifying and retaining benefits. Program enrollments were up 135% during the period 2007-2011. One in seven Americans now receive food stamps. The CBO estimates that by 2022, 34 million people will receive food stamps. Non-citizens have been eligible since, I believe, 2006. The administration can raise the allotments without Congressional approval.

If rising enrollments do not correlate with the downturn, something is fishy. It means the rolls are growing for no apparent economic reason.



moreover, you're talking about a program that is $78 billion. even assuming 50% of it was waste, it's not going to be $40 billion (or, put it in another context, 4 months in Afghanistan) that brings down the Republic.

Right. So what's $40 billion here and x billions there?:rolleyes:

astralis
23 Dec 13,, 15:53
JAD,


It would be good to have a totally objective comparative analysis. All we have are partisan points of view. Who can tell us where we'll be in 20-50-100 years using the different models we've discussed?


comparative analysis of the economy? it's hard to predict anything out 20 years in advance, let alone 50 to 100, and then narrow it down to a single variable, public spending. i think the closest we can get to a comparative analysis is with the various countries and their policy responses to the Great Recession, or if you're looking at a longer-term view, comparisons between the post-industrial countries from 1950-today.

i used the graph of the UK/British Empire's centuries-long debt load to make my point about how countries can carry high levels of debt, but i'll be the first to state that even using that is a bit problematic as it's hard to factor in the effects of hard shocks such as the World Wars. moreover it's hard to measure second-order effects. for instance, if you cut down on education spending you may get a long-term negative effect that's hard to measure.


Program enrollments were up 135% during the period 2007-2011. One in seven Americans now receive food stamps. The CBO estimates that by 2022, 34 million people will receive food stamps. Non-citizens have been eligible since, I believe, 2006. The administration can raise the allotments without Congressional approval.

If rising enrollments do not correlate with the downturn, something is fishy. It means the rolls are growing for no apparent economic reason.


135%? how do you figure that? the graph shows program enrollment at approximately 27 million in 2007 against 45 million in 2011 (your one in seven figure is accurate, so if the CBO did estimate 34 million in 2022 that's actually a very significant decline).

it's no surprise the rolls went up in 2008-2011 because of the severity of the recession, and the lopsidedness of the recovery, which has largely been in capital (stock market is doing great, labor market not so much). from the CATO/USDA graph, it's pretty clear that enrollment growth largely peaked circa 2011 following the large expansion from 2008-2011.


Right. So what's $40 billion here and x billions there?

the point is that focus matters. it's the slightly-bigger (in the context of the $12 trillion US economy/$3.6 trillion federal budget) equivalent of focusing on "fraud, waste, and abuse" as the solution to the deficit. it's not politically easy to go after the main drivers of the deficit, which by the by is quite popular even among the Tea Party folks-- no surprise there, as they mainly benefit the older middle-class subset that makes up much of the Tea Party.

so instead, where the axe is falling is on people that don't have quite the megaphone of US seniors...which is to say, pretty much everyone else. that's one of the reasons why i'm not impressed when the Tea Party talks about slashing the deficit to save their grandchildren's future. what skin in the game are they putting on the line?

JAD_333
23 Dec 13,, 16:22
135%? how do you figure that? the graph shows program enrollment at approximately 27 million in 2007 against 45 million in 2011 (your one in seven figure is accurate, so if the CBO did estimate 34 million in 2022 that's actually a very significant decline).

Sorry about that. The rate was 70% in participants and 135% in cost. The CBO estimate was in 2012.


it's no surprise the rolls went up in 2008-2011 because of the severity of the recession, and the lopsidedness of the recovery, which has largely been in capital (stock market is doing great, labor market not so much). from the CATO/USDA graph, it's pretty clear that enrollment growth largely peaked circa 2011 following the large expansion from 2008-2011.

The GOP tried unsuccessfully to revise eligibility rules this year.



http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/us/politics/house-passes-bill-cutting-40-billion-from-food-stamps.html?_r=0

"Republican leaders, under pressure from Tea Party-backed conservatives, said the bill was needed because the food stamp program, which costs nearly $80 billion a year, had grown out of control. They said the program had expanded even as jobless rates had declined with the easing recession...

But even with the cuts, the food stamp program would cost more than $700 billion over the next 10 years."

The last sentence is not so easy to dismiss. :)

astralis
23 Dec 13,, 16:48
JAD,


Sorry about that. The rate was 70% in participants and 135% in cost. The CBO estimate was in 2012.


from the CBO:

34887

which indeed does show a decline in SNAP participation to approximately 34 million in 2022, which would be a return to approximately pre-recession levels after accounting for population growth. total cost goes to approximately 2008 levels after accounting for US GDP/federal budget growth.

ie, after the recession, participation returns to pre-recession levels and costs go down/stabilize at slightly higher than pre-recession levels. using big numbers like "700 billion over 10 years" isn't particularly meaningful when in the same time frame the US economy is predicted to generate over $150-$180 trillion in economic activity.

astralis
25 Dec 13,, 23:55
and now for something a bit lighter for the season... :) merry x-mas, all.

34906

JAD_333
26 Dec 13,, 06:59
JAD,



from the CBO:

34887

which indeed does show a decline in SNAP participation to approximately 34 million in 2022, which would be a return to approximately pre-recession levels after accounting for population growth. total cost goes to approximately 2008 levels after accounting for US GDP/federal budget growth.

ie, after the recession, participation returns to pre-recession levels and costs go down/stabilize at slightly higher than pre-recession levels. using big numbers like "700 billion over 10 years" isn't particularly meaningful when in the same time frame the US economy is predicted to generate over $150-$180 trillion in economic activity.

A few thoughts.

The CBO projection of a falloff is still an estimate. But I agree there will be a falloff as honest people who no longer need food assistance leave the program.

The CBO figures also show continued growth in the face of an improving economy. That is troubling.

There continues to be a problem in 'laundering'--unscrupulous food store owners paying cash to recipients at a discount, e.g. in one case the owner took a 30% commission for himself. In that case--in Alabama, I believe--the USDA caught him only after he had processed several million dollars worth of bogus charges. One company even went so far as to open a chain of stores that had no merchandise and catered exclusively to recipients who cashed out their entire allotment every week.

I will be the first to agree that fraud is not a sufficient reason to deny all recipients aid, and that most recipients are honest, and need assistance. There is, however, a culture of misuse of benefits across the board in all entitlement programs that we have somehow to change.

But abuse aside, the growth in entitlements, even if all the recipients are honest, is becoming such a burden on the government that important discretionary programs are gradually being starved of funds. The question is, how long can we tolerate entitlement growth? When does it reach a tipping point after which we cannot maintain our infrastructure or adequately invest in technological development, to name a couple of areas that are vulnerable to budget cuts?

I don't see that we are thinking this through intelligently. Human need always exists. It may sound awful to say this, but it is a fact that this country grew fastest when the government did not assume the function of providing for human need (other than in times of disaster or in temporary situations). Charities, churches, and local community action provided help to the needy. Even the New Deal was geared mainly toward creating jobs, not shouldering human needs. By 'need' I mean food, medical attention, handicapped assistance, housing, and so on. Jobs stand apart as a need which has a trade off--work for an end product.

I realize I am presenting this case rather clumsily. My point is that human need has the potential to drain our resources if we meet it in all its manifestations. If we define need by arbitrary measures such as income level--the poverty line--and continue to expand the definition of need, we are bound to reach a point where those who do not have unmet needs will decline and those who do will increase. Then at some later point, when the government lacks the means to meet people's needs, what will happen to our economic strength. Will it decline and expose us to outside threats. The rise and fall of the Roman Empire provides us with an example of a government that found itself forced to meet human needs to maintain order... Can we avoid repeating the same mistake?

snapper
26 Dec 13,, 12:27
Then at some later point, when the government lacks the means to meet people's needs, what will happen to our economic strength. Will it decline and expose us to outside threats. The rise and fall of the Roman Empire provides us with an example of a government that found itself forced to meet human needs to maintain order... Can we avoid repeating the same mistake?

The light dawns.:danc:

astralis
26 Dec 13,, 16:26
JAD,

a good place to call it a day and summarize, i think.


A few thoughts.

The CBO projection of a falloff is still an estimate. But I agree there will be a falloff as honest people who no longer need food assistance leave the program.

The CBO figures also show continued growth in the face of an improving economy. That is troubling.

not really. the projected increase is modest, at best, over the course of 2014. that to me is not surprising, particularly if you consider how the economy has been improving.

IE, corporation profits and wall street has gone way up, but wages have remained flat while employment growth is still rather weak. IE, the main benefactors of a food stamp program have not seen the level of improvement that the wealthy (to include, to a lesser extent, the upper middle-class) have. moreover once the costs fall, it falls back into a stable historical norm. nothing that requires dramatic change.


The question is, how long can we tolerate entitlement growth? When does it reach a tipping point after which we cannot maintain our infrastructure or adequately invest in technological development, to name a couple of areas that are vulnerable to budget cuts?


the flip side is, we also have one of the least-burdensome tax loads in the history of US taxation. moreover, as i've demonstrated quite a few times earlier, a nation can take significantly higher levels of debt load than we do today without a major dampening effect on the economy...and with far less human suffering. and in this case, even a higher debt load in the short-term would actually be economically beneficial.


I don't see that we are thinking this through intelligently. Human need always exists. It may sound awful to say this, but it is a fact that this country grew fastest when the government did not assume the function of providing for human need (other than in times of disaster or in temporary situations). Charities, churches, and local community action provided help to the needy. Even the New Deal was geared mainly toward creating jobs, not shouldering human needs. By 'need' I mean food, medical attention, handicapped assistance, housing, and so on. Jobs stand apart as a need which has a trade off--work for an end product.

of course i recognize that there are some areas that require reform; medicare/health care costs being far and away the most important, especially given our demographics. in fact, that area alone is so costly that dealing with the other parts of government is a sideshow at best. it speaks more to an ideological desire to cut back government whether it makes sense to do so or not as opposed to a pragmatic desire to balance the books and provide money to the other deserving areas you mentioned.


Will it decline and expose us to outside threats. The rise and fall of the Roman Empire provides us with an example of a government that found itself forced to meet human needs to maintain order... Can we avoid repeating the same mistake?

finally, as an amateur historian i find the roman empire metaphor shaky at best. it was not "bread and circuses" that brought down the empire; it was the endless bouts of civil war, because the system which Augustus created was ultimately a haphazard monarchical system with a pasted-on republican face. even the much vaunted Roman Republic was never really a republic in our sense of the term, but an increasingly oligarchical system, again with that pasted-on republican face.

in fact, one would think the Roman Empire's spending habits would be a dream to any red-blooded conservative: past the bread (and that, mainly for Rome), no welfare for the poor; what services were provided, were provided by the local gang with its patrician backers; the vast majority of the spending, done on the legions. all held together by a skeleton bureaucracy. hell, past rome itself there wasn't even an official police force.

in fact, serfdom arose primarily because of the decay of the central government, not its growth; as noblemen began to squeeze their formerly free-born peasants into debt-peonage and conscript them into private armies, while Rome was turning a blind eye in its own civil wars.

Albany Rifles
26 Dec 13,, 17:15
in fact, one would think the Roman Empire's spending habits would be a dream to any red-blooded conservative: past the bread (and that, mainly for Rome), no welfare for the poor; what services were provided, were provided by the local gang with its patrician backers; the vast majority of the spending, done on the legions. all held together by a skeleton bureaucracy. hell, past rome itself there wasn't even an official police force.

Eric,

Heck that sounds like any US city in the mid-19th Century!

JAD_333
27 Dec 13,, 05:49
JAD,

a good place to call it a day and summarize, i think.

I agree, but I see the urge to plow ahead hasn't entirely waned. :)




the flip side is, we also have one of the least-burdensome tax loads in the history of US taxation. moreover, as i've demonstrated quite a few times earlier, a nation can take significantly higher levels of debt load than we do today without a major dampening effect on the economy...and with far less human suffering. and in this case, even a higher debt load in the short-term would actually be economically beneficial.

It seems to me the load is greater, but just spread out among more jurisdictions that nibble at us in many small bites. Also, if we stretch the concept of taxes to include fees and costs people and businesses pay to comply with Federal and state regulations, we're paying more than ever. Sad to say, I can offer no authoritative proof of that other than my own experience. We can crank Obamacare in the mix, at least for some people.



finally, as an amateur historian i find the roman empire metaphor shaky at best. it was not "bread and circuses" that brought down the empire; it was the endless bouts of civil war, because the system which Augustus created was ultimately a haphazard monarchical system with a pasted-on republican face. even the much vaunted Roman Republic was never really a republic in our sense of the term, but an increasingly oligarchical system, again with that pasted-on republican face.

I won't challenge your amateur status. There are somewhere around 200 theories about what caused the Roman empire to fall. Immigration, dilution of Roman identity, a series of idiot emperors, over taxation, high cost of maintaining infrastructure, high cost of defense, laziness, failure to adapt to new methods when slavery ended, and the weird Gibbonian theory that Christianity was too blame. What we do know is that homosexuality and wanton sexual practices were not to blame. In any case, my point--not well shaped--is that the empire was burdened by an ever-increasing cost of maintaining itself which periodically led to debasing the currency and high inflation. All throughout its declining years, the productive segment of society grew less productive and less able to support the cost of running the empire. That's the point I wanted to make.


in fact, one would think the Roman Empire's spending habits would be a dream to any red-blooded conservative: past the bread (and that, mainly for Rome), no welfare for the poor; what services were provided, were provided by the local gang with its patrician backers; the vast majority of the spending, done on the legions. all held together by a skeleton bureaucracy. hell, past rome itself there wasn't even an official police force.

Your bias is showing. We conservatives are not that base.


in fact, serfdom arose primarily because of the decay of the central government, not its growth; as noblemen began to squeeze their formerly free-born peasants into debt-peonage and conscript them into private armies, while Rome was turning a blind eye in its own civil wars.

You don't expect to get away with that stretch.:)

Bigfella
31 Dec 13,, 07:20
I don't heave enough context to know how significant this is. Unsure if it is part of a pattern of 'Empire strikes back' events, or just a pattern of 'Empire strikes back' stories that don't really reflect much of a change in behaviour. Perhaps groups putting money into 'establishment' sections of the GOP are simply speaking up more about it in terms of limiting TP influence. if so that is significant in itself, though not sure how much.

Still interesting.



The Chamber of Commerce is planning to spend at least $50 million on a campaign to boost establishment Republicans in primaries against Tea Party challengers, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The group's broader aim is to help the GOP win Senate control and block Tea Party Republican candidates who might lose otherwise winnable seats to Democrats.

"Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates," Chamber political strategist Scott Reed tells the Journal. "That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket."

The organization has been gearing up for a more confrontational approach toward Tea Party Republicans since the government shutdown. It has already been involved in some special elections for House primaries, and is supporting Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) against his Tea Party primary foe.

Hard-right, mistake-prone Senate candidates are widely perceived to have cost the GOP five Senate seats in recent years, in states including Missouri, Indiana and Delaware.

Potential states that could be ripe for Chamber involvement include Georgia, Iowa and North Carolina, where Tea Party candidates could complicate their party's chances of winning Senate seats.

The Chamber's push is part of a larger effort by establishment and business Republicans to seize back control of their party, according to the report.


Report: Chamber to hit Tea Party with $50M | TheHill (http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/senate-races/194030-report-chamber-planning-50m-campaign-to-curtail-tea-party)

JAD_333
16 Jan 14,, 04:36
In Defeat for Tea Party, House Passes $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill

By JONATHAN WEISMANJAN. 15, 2014

WASHINGTON — The House voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday, 359 to 67, to approve a $1.1 trillion spending bill for the current fiscal year, shrugging off the angry threats of Tea Party activists and conservative groups whose power has ebbed as Congress has moved toward fiscal cooperation.

The legislation, 1,582 pages in length and unveiled only two nights ago, embodies precisely what many House Republicans have railed against since the Tea Party movement began, a huge bill dropped in the cover of darkness and voted on before lawmakers could possibly have read it.

The conservative political action committee Club for Growth denounced it and said a vote for it would hurt any lawmaker’s conservative scorecard. Heritage Action, the political arm of the Heritage Foundation, castigated it as a profligate budget buster that is returning Washington to its free-spending ways.
Related Coverage

“Has Congress learned nothing from the Obamacare disaster?” said Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots. “We need members in the House and the Senate who are willing to keep their campaign promises, stand up for the people and protect Americans from Washington’s tax, borrow, spend and spend and spend mentality.”

The response in the Republican-led House was a collective shrug, with 166 Republicans voting for it and 64 opposing it. The Senate, controlled by Democrats, is expected to pass it easily this week.

“If I started voting how they want me to, versus what I think is right, then they’ve already won,” said Representative Mike Simpson, Republican of Idaho, who is dealing with one of the best-financed Tea Party challenges of this campaign year. “Eh, it is what it is.”

The budget process that is culminating in the passage of the spending bill has ushered in a remarkable marginalization of the Republican far right. After a politically disastrous 16-day government shutdown last fall, the House voted 285 to 144 to reopen the government on Oct. 16. Only 87 Republicans voted yes; 144 voted no.

The legislation that reopened the government set the parameters for a broad budget deal that was again denounced by conservatives. But in December, that deal passed the House 332 to 94, with 169 Republicans backing it. That budget blueprint yielded more than 1,500 pages of fine print.

For the most ardent conservatives, the spending bill passed by the House on Wednesday represented a tangible backslide from fiscal discipline, a $45 billion increase in spending compared with where the budget would have been had House Republicans let another round of automatic spending cuts take effect.

Yet it passed the House with an even greater margin — and even more Republican votes.

“Our people learned a lot of tough lessons in the last year, and I think you’re seeing the tough lessons applied,” said Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma.

In the process, Speaker John A. Boehner has reasserted control over his fractious Republican conference, leaving his far-right flank angry and isolated. The speaker’s public and private denunciations of the outside conservative groups have created conditions in which members must choose sides, and they have.

“The Tea Party groups and conservative movement in America gave the speaker his speakership, and I think it’s time for us to be grateful for what these outside groups have done,” said Representative Raúl R. Labrador, Republican of Idaho, who has remained in the Tea Party camp.

But most have aligned with the speaker in what Republican leaders say is a growing realization that incremental moves toward governance are better than the purist, ideological stands demanded by the right.

“We can push large ideas out of the House and say, ‘This is what we feel is the right thing to do,’ but if we’re going to actually move things, they’re going to have to be smaller things,” said Representative James Lankford of Oklahoma, a member of the Republican leadership.

The Heritage Foundation drafted a lengthy to-do list for the huge spending bill, which included prohibiting funds to build a prison in the United States to house detainees from Guantánamo Bay, Cuba; eliminating all money for Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s cherished high-speed rail projects; cutting the operating budget of the Fish and Wildlife Service; providing money for private school vouchers for the District of Columbia; and significantly reducing the Internal Revenue Service’s budget, with language requiring more oversight of the potential targeting of political groups.

All of those requests — about half the to-do list, in all — were carried out, and yet Heritage Action demanded a “no” vote.

That ideological purity has lost its power.

“They’re going to have their various metrics,” said Representative Greg Walden of Oregon, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. “What we need to be able to do is go home and explain what’s inside the bills and why they matter.”

Chris Chocola, president of the Club for Growth, said Wednesday that his group’s influence had not waned, but that the budget process had highlighted that “we’ve got work to do.”

“We’d love to put ourselves out of business,” he said, “but until you get a majority of economic conservatives, you’ve got to keep fighting.”

That will not sit well with Republicans now more willing to speak out against such groups.

“I hope they spend some time trying to win the United States Senate and working with us when we have a nominee to win the presidency,” Mr. Cole said. “But I don’t think condemning Republicans who are making amazing progress in a challenging environment is the appropriate thing to do.” http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/16/us/politics/in-defeat-for-tea-party-house-passes-1-1-trillion-spending-bill.html?hp&_r=0



Moderate conservatives showed some balls, and Paul Ryan, a Tea Party favorite gets a major chunk of the credit. Does this mean the Tea Party is losing traction? Hard to tell at this point. It will be a force in Congress for the foreseeable future, but how great we won't know until after the coming mid-term elections.

zraver
16 Jan 14,, 05:01
Moderate conservatives showed some balls, and Paul Ryan, a Tea Party favorite gets a major chunk of the credit. Does this mean the Tea Party is losing traction? Hard to tell at this point. It will be a force in Congress for the foreseeable future, but how great we won't know until after the coming mid-term elections.

TP candidate won in Arkansas in a special election. The Christie treatment is likely to breathe life back into some "moderate" RINO's when they see that moderation wont get them anything so they might as well go with principle.

JAD_333
16 Jan 14,, 06:10
TP candidate won in Arkansas in a special election. The Christie treatment is likely to breathe life back into some "moderate" RINO's when they see that moderation wont get them anything so they might as well go with principle.

Interesting take. Not sure what you mean by the Christie treatment. Moderation won him an election last year, although in NJ that's pretty much the only way GOP candidates can win. I can't see red state candidates ever looking at him as a model.