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astralis
23 Apr 14,, 18:17
i wouldn't have believed it back in the day, but seeing ODS completely surpass BDS is quite an achievement.

there was a WaPo article today about Bob Dole making the rounds in Kansas as he went for a "thank you tour". reading about Dole carrying on as the gentleman he is almost brought a tear to the eye.

it's certainly not the same party of the first Bush and Bob Dole anymore.

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Conservative tribalism: Conservatives hate anything Barack Obama and liberals like. (http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/04/conservative_tribalism_conservatives_hate_anything _barack_obama_and_liberals.html)

Conservative Tribalism


“Common Core,” the name for a set of national education standards, is the latest rallying cry for right-wing activists. Derided as “Obamacore,” it’s been attacked as a government attempt to usurp local curriculums and impose liberal values on conservative communities. Glenn Beck calls it a plot to turn children into “cogs” under a police state, and several Republican politicians have jumped on the bandwagon, denouncing the Obama administration for supporting the standards.

If this is confusing to ordinary observers—there’s nothing totalitarian about guidelines for what students should know at the end of each grade—it’s bewildering for Common Core advocates, who just four years ago were a boring part of the American policy landscape. Common Core was a bipartisan initiative, with support from the vast majority of governors, including Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, who has since reversed course as he preps for a potential 2016 presidential run.


What happened to make Common Core an object of hate for conservative activists? The answer is easy: “The Republican revolt against the Common Core,” noted the New York Times on Saturday, “can be traced to President Obama’s embrace of it.”

That’s it. In his 2012 State of the Union, Obama gave a few words of support for the standards. “For less than 1 percent of what our nation spends on education each year,” he said, “we’ve convinced nearly every state in the country to raise their standards for teaching and learning—the first time that’s happened in a generation.” With that, the right-wing outrage machine revved into action, with a grass-roots campaign that has percolated into mainstream politics. The same Sen. Lindsey Graham who recently sponsored a resolution criticizing Common Core wasn’t aware it existed when the issue was raised at a GOP meeting last year. But, given his current primary fight against four Tea Party challengers, a stand against Common Core was worth its weight in right-wing credibility.


Of course, the Republican about-face on Common Core is only one of many such moves during the Obama presidency. An array of issues enjoyed GOP support until the president agreed with them, including payroll tax breaks for individuals, clean debt-ceiling increases, and immigration reform policies like the DREAM Act.


This near-senseless reaction is just one part of a growing tribalism that’s consumed the whole of conservative politics. It doesn’t matter the issue: If liberals are for it, then—for a large portion of the right—that means it is time to be against it.


Take light bulbs. In 2007, Congress approved—and President Bush signed—strict efficiency standards for incandescent light bulbs. The practical impact was to make 100-watt bulbs obsolete: an inconvenience, but not a huge imposition. In any case, the rule wouldn’t take effect for a few years, giving homes and businesses a chance to adjust.


Industry groups grumbled, but there wasn’t any outrage. That changed in 2011, after a Tea Party–fueled Republican Party took the House of Representatives in a landslide victory over the Democratic Party. This coincided with the implementation of the efficiency standards, and the result was a caterwaul of right-wing rage.


“From the health insurance you’re allowed to have, to the car you can drive, to the light bulbs you can buy, Washington is making too many decisions that are better left to you and your family,” declared Texas Rep. Joe Barton when he introduced a bill to reverse the guidelines.


“Instead of a leaner, smarter government, we bought a bureaucracy that now tells us which light bulbs to buy and which may put 16,500 IRS agents in charge of policing President Obama’s health care bill,” said Rep. Michele Bachmann in her response to the president’s 2011 State of the Union address, slamming the light bulb change and the Affordable Care Act. Mitt Romney picked up the torch of outrage during his presidential campaign, attacking the government for banning “Thomas Edison’s light bulb.”


None of this had anything to do with the merits of changing light bulbs, and everything to do with what it represented, namely, Obama and his liberal do-gooders. What’s more, as an energy conservation policy, the light bulb change was associated with climate change, which—to the conservative base—is nothing more than an elaborate hoax, pushed by dishonest scientists and funded by liberal billionaires like George Soros.


ndeed, the same dynamic is at work in the world of solar energy, where conservatives—led by the Koch brothers and anti-tax activists—have launched ferocious attacks on states that favor green energy. In Kansas, for instance, the Koch-backed group Americans for Prosperity has led the effort to dismantle a green energy mandate, which requires the state to obtain 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources. As the Los Angeles Times reports, conservative activists are comparing the energy mandate to the individual mandate in Obamacare.


Obviously, there are material interests at work here. The Koch brothers are oil magnates with a financial stake in stopping the spread of solar technology, which is cheaper and more effective than it’s ever been. At the same time, there’s nothing especially political about solar energy; it’s an issue with wide appeal to a variety of different groups and interests. If you want clean air, you can support solar. If you want to reduce our dependence on foreign oil—a rallying cry of presidential candidates on both sides—you can support solar, too.


But solar is also a tool in the fight against global warming, and to conservative conspiracy-mongers, that’s enough to condemn it as a step on the road to serfdom, hence claims from Fox News that the Bureau of Land Management is going after rancher Cliven Bundy to make space for a solar energy project. Totalitarianism on the march! Or something.

This tribalism is easy to mock, but it has real consequences for our ability to solve problems or do anything constructive, and not just on a national scale. In Nashville, Tenn., local officials wanted to lay the groundwork for a high-speed bus project that would connect neighboring areas and reduce the pressure on roads and existing buses. The $174 million proposal, called “The Amp,” would cut commute times for Nashville residents and had support from business groups and transit advocates. But last week, after sustained activism from the state branch of Americans for Prosperity, the Tennessee Senate passed a bill that—if approved—would kill the project and “prohibit metropolitan governments and any transit authorities created by a metropolitan government” from constructing a bus rapid transit system.

Treat this as a technocratic dispute, and it doesn’t make any sense. If state lawmakers had a problem with The Amp, they could ask local officials to re-evaluate the proposal and look for ways to reduce costs and improve safety. It goes beyond overkill to block the project and preclude Nashville from considering mass transit.


But if you treat this as a local front in an unending, all-encompassing culture war, then it’s easy to understand. To the right-wing, mass transit is just another liberal attempt to force Americans into a kind of brutalist conformity. “So why is America’s ‘win the future’ administration so fixated on railroads,” wrote conservative commentator George Will in an attack on Obama’s push for new transit infrastructure. “Because progressivism’s aim is the modification of (other people’s) behavior.” Tennessee lawmakers weren’t crippling Nashville’s attempt to manage its future growth, it was defending its residents from the creeping socialism of public transit.


At this point, the tribalist hysteria of the conservative movement is a fixture of American politics, and there’s a good chance it gets worse before it gets better. Not only is 2014 an election year, but it’s followed by the official start of the Republican presidential primary, and then—in 2016—a full-fledged presidential contest.


For the next three years, Republican politicians will be fighting to win support from a conservative base that’s rabid for red meat. And if there’s an easy path to the prize, it’s to find something a liberal likes, and denounce it.

Albany Rifles
23 Apr 14,, 20:28
Well stated....and this is going to make the next 3 years painful on to the intellect.

And as for more and more rights belongign at the local level per conservatives?

How do you reconcile the state legislature tellking Nashville what to do?

And look at the following story....

Georgia Bill Loosens Restrictions On Guns In Public Places : NPR (http://www.npr.org/2014/04/22/305814409/georgia-bill-loosens-restrictions-on-guns-in-public-places)

A state legislature causing a local government to pay additional funds in order to operate.

astralis
23 Apr 14,, 21:26
that's the irony of much of this. Common Core was, and is, a state-led project, NOT federal-led.

the ACA, too, is built upon state exchanges. when conservative governors choose to hamper this process, the result is that people get pushed onto the federal exchange...

in the end much of this has to do with massive internal disarray within the GOP. you name the subject, and there will be multiple, extremely angry sides-- and not always "establishment" vs "tea party". see immigration and tax reform, in particular.

the backlash presenting a specific plan then causes scares off the politicians, so the safe thing to do is just bang the drum on what the party DOESN'T like-- anything that comes out of Obama's mouth-- rather than try to find (even intra-party!) compromise on what it is they DO like.

it'll be interesting to see how this plays out in 2016. if it doesn't change we'll probably see President Hillary Clinton, and that'll certainly leave the Tea Party types frothing at the mouth like they did for Obama. little chance, then, that we'll see the placid GOP of old come back.

Albany Rifles
23 Apr 14,, 21:50
It reminds me many ways of the Democrats through the 1940s-1950s (rise of the Dixiecrats...who are lineal forebears of much of the Tea Party and Southern Republican views of today).

It is an interesting time for politicians.

On a side note did you see that Larry Sabato was stepping away from much of his workload at UVA...

DOR
24 Apr 14,, 03:03
The old, respected and respectable GOP needs to bite the bullet and purge itself of its hard right wing. The Democrats did it, repeatedly, and paid the price before reaping the rewards. The first time was in the late 1940s-1960s, when the Southern bigots were told to take a hike. Strom Thurmond walked out of the 1948 Democratic National Convention in protest at civil rights language inserted into the party platform, and LBJ famously noted that the South would be lost to the Democrats "for a generation" (what an optimist!) after he signed civil rights legislation.

Next, in the 1970s-1980s, the left had to go, culminating in the Dukakis presidential campaign fiasco.

Time for what's left of the GOP to take a stand.

zraver
24 Apr 14,, 04:41
DOR, The only ones who are going to get purged are the old guard. The Tea Party/Libertarian part of the party is in ascendancy. For too long the professional politicians have only paid lip service to conservative values during election time and then legislated like a liberal or a corporate crony. Romney isn't president becuase the old guard betrayed people like me and we stayed home. Watch us take the senate in a couple of months.

Asty, opposing common core is not opposing Obama, its opposing a suicide pact... have you looked at common core math techniques? Or what it teaches about the bill of rights? Its a disaster that will dumb down, not smarten up our kids.

tbm3fan
24 Apr 14,, 05:34
Mmm, I see your point clearly, Asty

bigross86
24 Apr 14,, 08:51
Simply put, what do you folks think are the chances of a more than two party political system? I'm not talking about Tea Party within the GOP, I'm talking about Libertarians gaining power, or even some unaffiliated group. The problem with a two party system is that you are forced into a "black or white" system, where you're either for everything or against everything. Even the slightest deviation has you branded as a RINO or whatever else you want to call it nowadays. Adding more parties increases the options for politicians, which increases options for the people.

Not only that, but adding more parties means that it will be much harder to reach a tyranny of the majority, and governments in general will as a general rule reach closer to the center rather than swinging to the extremes each time there is a regime change and one party comes into power instead of the other party.

bonehead
24 Apr 14,, 09:12
Right now there are still too many voters clinging to their chosen party. Another variable is that now the 1% can now directly buy sell and trade politicians like a commodity. The power of the vote is dwindling fast.

Bigfella
24 Apr 14,, 09:37
Simply put, what do you folks think are the chances of a more than two party political system? I'm not talking about Tea Party within the GOP, I'm talking about Libertarians gaining power, or even some unaffiliated group. The problem with a two party system is that you are forced into a "black or white" system, where you're either for everything or against everything. Even the slightest deviation has you branded as a RINO or whatever else you want to call it nowadays. Adding more parties increases the options for politicians, which increases options for the people.

Not only that, but adding more parties means that it will be much harder to reach a tyranny of the majority, and governments in general will as a general rule reach closer to the center rather than swinging to the extremes each time there is a regime change and one party comes into power instead of the other party.

Not under the current electoral system. Having a powerful President, physical constituencies and 2 senators per state for Congress makes it incredibly hard for any third party to get a toehold at national level. Even at state level third parties have trouble. Electoral success is limited either in scope, persistence or both. There are a whole lot of other issues, but when it comes to third parties that is the killer.

I'll make a comparison with Australia. We have a similar system minus the President. We have physical constituencies for the lower house - where government is formed; and a senate where each state elects the same number of senators. In our case, however, it is 12 per state rather than 2. Since the 1940s no new party has managed to gain any lengthy presence in the lower house. There have been some independents & occasional candidates from minor parties. The independents have sometimes had lengthy careers, but the party candidates rarely last more than a few terms We are effectively stuck in a 2 party system. Technically we have 3 parties, but the two anti-Labor parties have been in perma-coalition since the 40s & have even merged in places.

In the senate, on the other hand, independents & candidates from a variety of parties have made inroads & have held the balance of power for much (though not all) of the past 40 years. That is simply because having 6 senators per state elected at each election (and sometimes 12 - too long a story to explain) means that the percentage of the vote you need to get in opens up the system to minor parties.

The problem the US has is that the system isn't going to change in a fundamental way. The practicalities prevent it. You would need broad support behind a series of amendments. What chances do you think any campaign to fundamentally change the vision of the 'Founding Fathers' when it comes to the process of governing the nation would have? Just think how hard it would be to get rid of the largely irrelevant Electoral College & then times that by.....a lot. No side of US politics either trusts the other enough & none is going to try to take an axe to the electoral system without the support of the other. Of course, if both parties agreed to do this it wouldn't be that hard for disaffected groups to whip up a 'they're both trying to screw you' campaign & scupper the whole process.

One of the major parties could definitely split, but my bet is that the less popular part of that split would die within a generation or less.

Of course, I could be wrong....

astralis
24 Apr 14,, 15:11
z,


DOR, The only ones who are going to get purged are the old guard. The Tea Party/Libertarian part of the party is in ascendancy.

more accurately, for the most part the latter acts as a virus on the pragmatists (NOT moderates; there are no more moderates).

when it comes to standing alone the Tea Party tends to get hammered, if not by the establishment fighting back, then in the general election.

but they ARE shifting the party to the right as politicians make deals with the devil during the primaries.


Romney isn't president becuase the old guard betrayed people like me and we stayed home.

lol, Romney's problem was not that he couldn't get out the rockribbed conservatives, it was because he lost far more heavily among minorities/independents/women.

that's why the post-mortem GOP, for a brief time, talked about immigration reform and coming up (several years late) with an alternative to the ACA, etc.


Watch us take the senate in a couple of months.

it's always different with Congress than it is with the Presidency, as the composition of voters is significantly different (read: older, whiter). if Mr/Ms Tea Party wins the Presidency then i'll believe in the TP ascendancy. for the time being, i foresee the Republicans taking a few more seats in the House, MAYBE a small majority in the senate...and getting walloped in the 2016 Presidential election.


Asty, opposing common core is not opposing Obama, its opposing a suicide pact... have you looked at common core math techniques? Or what it teaches about the bill of rights? Its a disaster that will dumb down, not smarten up our kids.

Common Core isn't about techniques , or "how to get there". it's about the end-result, the standards voluntarly adopted by states. emphasis mine in the following.

Myths vs. Facts | Common Core State Standards Initiative (http://www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards/myths-vs-facts/)


Myth: The standards tell teachers what to teach.

Fact: Teachers know best about what works in the classroom. That is why these standards establish what students need to learn but do not dictate how teachers should teach. Instead, schools and teachers will decide how best to help students reach the standards.



Myth: These standards amount to a national curriculum for our schools.

Fact: The Common Core is not a curriculum. It is a clear set of shared goals and expectations for what knowledge and skills will help our students succeed. Local teachers, principals, superintendents, and others will decide how the standards are to be met. Teachers will continue to devise lesson plans and tailor instruction to the individual needs of the students in their classrooms.

astralis
24 Apr 14,, 15:19
BR,


Simply put, what do you folks think are the chances of a more than two party political system? I'm not talking about Tea Party within the GOP, I'm talking about Libertarians gaining power, or even some unaffiliated group. The problem with a two party system is that you are forced into a "black or white" system, where you're either for everything or against everything. Even the slightest deviation has you branded as a RINO or whatever else you want to call it nowadays. Adding more parties increases the options for politicians, which increases options for the people.

as BF said, not going to happen given the way the system is set up.

moreover just because there's a two party system doesn't mean what's going on in the US currently HAS to happen. in the modern context, there was plenty of give and take from the period of 1950-1995.

the main issue here leads back again to gerrymandering, which is not only bad in terms of writing off voters and protecting incumbents, but also horrible because the competition shifts to who can mobilize the most in a like-minded set of people. this leads to inflammatory rhetoric-- best way to get people out is to tell them everything they love and hold dear is under threat.


Not only that, but adding more parties means that it will be much harder to reach a tyranny of the majority, and governments in general will as a general rule reach closer to the center rather than swinging to the extremes each time there is a regime change and one party comes into power instead of the other party.

frankly i think a multi-party PR system is an invitation to paralysis as well (see italy), with coalitions constantly forming and dissolving. minority parties get an outsized voice as tie-breakers.

the US would resolve a significant number of political problems if it emulated its northern neighbor and had re-districting be given to a non-partisan commission vice the politicians themselves.

bigross86
24 Apr 14,, 15:36
Personally, I think that any government that has between 4-6 parties should be able to provide you with the variety you need to find a party that better suits you on the subjects important to you, while at the same time being stable enough to get through any coalition issues.

I know that in Israel we currently have 21 parties, and good luck getting anything really important done, as both sides will immediately call for new elections if the PM starts acting up.

astralis
24 Apr 14,, 15:56
BR,


I know that in Israel we currently have 21 parties, and good luck getting anything really important done, as both sides will immediately call for new elections if the PM starts acting up.

precisely. it's a miracle Netanyahu gets anything done because he's so dependent on keeping his coalition intact. moreover it badly weakens his ability to negotiate as an unitary player on the international field, because one daring move might precipitate his political collapse.

it's bad enough with a two-party system there; look at the difficulty the US President faces whenever a free-trade pact comes up.

astralis
24 Apr 14,, 16:08
DOR,


The old, respected and respectable GOP needs to bite the bullet and purge itself of its hard right wing

i used to hope for this, but i don't think it'll ever happen absent significant political reform.

the Dixiecrats were cut off precisely because they were seen as a seperate entity from the other Dems-- far more socially conservative, and the only reason why they had a D next to their name was because they sure as hell weren't going to be a part of the Party of Lincoln (until the Party of Lincoln embraced the devil and went to them).

moreover there was a political trade-off involved; while the Republicans now had free reign of the old Southern racists, the Dems could now appeal to the growing minority population.

as JAD pointed out earlier, the biggest factions now are super-conservatives who Want Everything Now (whatever that is; sometimes they themselves don't know what Everything means) vs super-conservatives who can deal. there's no political incentive to be moderate, which is different from being pragmatic.

SteveDaPirate
24 Apr 14,, 17:21
I’d like to see the Tea Party break off and take the very conservative folks from the Republican Party with them. Then see the more moderate Democrats come over to the Republican Party. That way you end up with the Republicans sitting firmly in the center with the Tea Party to the right and the Democrats to the Left. That would give a more comfortable ideological home to more people and hopefully rekindle the spirit of compromise in congress instead of the constant roadblocks we see today. Not that I expect it to ever come to pass…

bigross86
24 Apr 14,, 18:02
Asty, that was a typo, it's 12 parties, not 21. My bad

Red Team
24 Apr 14,, 18:04
I’d like to see the Tea Party break off and take the very conservative folks from the Republican Party with them. Then see the more moderate Democrats come over to the Republican Party. That way you end up with the Republicans sitting firmly in the center with the Tea Party to the right and the Democrats to the Left. That would give a more comfortable ideological home to more people and hopefully rekindle the spirit of compromise in congress instead of the constant roadblocks we see today. Not that I expect it to ever come to pass…

On paper that seems the ideal route for voter choices but this begs the question whether or not the Republican Party can still effectively mitigate their recent reputation of non-compromise and far right views to the electorate.

astralis
24 Apr 14,, 18:22
speaking of far right views and libertarians, here's the latest hero of the libertarian movement, feted by Rand Paul. surprise surprise, a libertarian talking about federal over-reach, with racist views...and mooching off federal resources/stealing land.

imagine if mr bundy was a black guy living in detroit, pulling off the same stunt.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/us/politics/rancher-proudly-breaks-the-law-becoming-a-hero-in-the-west.html

Rancher Savors Audience That Rallied to His Side

By ADAM NAGOURNEY
APRIL 23, 2014

BUNKERVILLE, Nev. — Cliven Bundy stood by the Virgin River up the road from the armed checkpoint at the driveway of his ranch, signing autographs and posing for pictures. For 55 minutes, Mr. Bundy held forth to a clutch of supporters about his views on the troubled state of America — the overreaching federal government, the harassment of Western ranchers, the societal upheaval caused by abortion, even musing about whether slavery was so bad.

Most of all, Mr. Bundy, 67, who was wearing a broad-brimmed white cowboy hat against the hot afternoon sun, recounted the success of “we the people” — gesturing to the 50 supporters, some armed with handguns and rifles, standing in a semicircle before him — at chasing away Bureau of Land Management rangers who, acting on a court order, tried to confiscate 500 cattle owned by Mr. Bundy, who has been illegally grazing his herd on public land since 1993.

“They don’t have the guts enough to try to start that again for a few years,” Mr. Bundy said in an interview.

Protesters claiming government overreach in Nevada paused to observe the national anthem.Credit Jason Bean/Las Vegas Review-Journal, via Associated Press
Mr. Bundy’s standoff with federal rangers — propelled into the national spotlight in part by steady coverage by Fox News — has highlighted sharp divisions over the power of the federal government and the rights of landowners in places like this desert stretch of Nevada, where resentment of Washington and its sprawling ownership of Western land has long run deep.

His cause has won support from Senator Rand Paul, the libertarian Republican from Kentucky who is likely to run for president. Senator Dean Heller, a Nevada Republican, referred to Mr. Bundy’s supporters as “patriots.” Senator Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who is the Senate majority leader and has a long history of pushing for protection of public lands, denounced the rancher’s supporters as “domestic terrorists.”

The dispute spilled over this week into Texas, where Greg Abbott, the attorney general and a Republican running for governor, challenged the Bureau of Land Management on reports that it was looking to claim thousands of acres along the Red River.

For now, Mr. Bundy appears to have won, forcing the government to back down after its rangers were met with armed Bundy supporters this month.

“The gather is now over,” said Craig Leff, a deputy assistant director with the Bureau of Land Management. “Our focus is pursuing this matter administratively and judicially.”

But if the federal government has moved on, Mr. Bundy — a father of 14 and a registered Republican — has not.

He said he would continue holding a daily news conference; on Saturday, it drew one reporter and one photographer, so Mr. Bundy used the time to officiate at what was in effect a town meeting with supporters, discussing, in a long, loping discourse, the prevalence of abortion, the abuses of welfare and his views on race.

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.


“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

A spokesman for Mr. Paul, informed of Mr. Bundy’s remarks, said the senator was not available for immediate comment. Chandler Smith, a spokesman for Mr. Heller, said that the senator “completely disagrees with Mr. Bundy’s appalling and racist statements, and condemns them in the most strenuous way.” A spokeswoman for Mr. Abbott, Laura Bean, said that the letter he wrote “was regarding a dispute in Texas and is in no way related to the dispute in Nevada.”


The crowds may be beginning to dwindle, but for much of the past two weeks, here at Mr. Bundy’s ranch in Bunkerville, 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, the rancher has been a celebrity, drawing hundreds of supporters, including dozens of militia members, many carrying sidearms, and members of Oath Keepers, a militia group, who have embraced him as a symbol of their anger and a bulwark against federal abuse.

He was honored at a celebratory party on Friday night attended by 1,500 people, who wore “domestic terrorist” name tags, listened to cowboy poetry and ate hamburgers, hot dogs and Bundy beef. “This is the beginning of taking America back,” said Shawna Cox, who had come from Kanab, Utah, to support him.

Mr. Bundy, whose family has grazed cattle here since they homesteaded in the 1870s, owes the government more than $1 million in grazing fees. He stopped paying after the bureau ordered him to restrict the periods when his herd roamed the 600,000-acre Gold Butte area as part of an effort to protect the endangered desert tortoise.

Mr. Bundy’s case happened to heat up around the time that Mr. Paul, building the foundation for a presidential campaign, struck a chord with some members of the Republican Party with warnings about governmental overreach. Mr. Paul’s latest book is titled “Government Bullies: How Everyday Americans Are Being Harassed, Abused and Imprisoned by the Feds.” In the Bundy standoff, Mr. Paul has criticized the federal government as overreaching with its use of regulations, but cautioned against any violence or lawbreaking.

Rob Mrowka, a senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity, which has been battling to get Mr. Bundy to move his cattle in deference to the tortoises, said the standoff had come to symbolize divisions across the country about the role of government, particularly here in the West.


Sympathizers have embraced Mr. Bundy as a symbol of their anger and a bulwark against federal abuse.
“It’s symbolic of the polarization and divide within the country that we saw starting with the Obama election,” he said. “This is merely a surrogate for bigger issue and topic in America today — it’s the whole idea of federalism versus states.”

The federal government owns 85 percent of the land in Nevada, a statistic repeatedly noted by Mr. Bundy’s supporters as they denounced the actions of the government. Six cattle, including two that had Bundy brands, died during the attempt to collect the animals.

“Western states don’t have the control over their land that Eastern states have over their land,” said Ivan Jones, 60, a brick mason who came here from Northern California. “Someone like the Bundys, they have been here for generations, before the B.L.M. was ever created, using this land to graze their animals. And the B.L.M. comes in and changes the rule. A small little rancher trying to make a living and they come in like big bullies.”

Toby Purvis, 51, an electrician who came here from Farmington, N.M., called the bureau operation “a land grab.”


Mr. Bundy’s case is clearly divisive. About 16,000 ranchers across the country pay relatively modest fees for their herds to use public land. The Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, while expressing sympathy with some of Mr. Bundy’s complaints, pointedly did not endorse his methods.

“This should not be confused with civil disobedience,” Mr. Mrowka said. “This is outright anarchy going on here.”

Mr. Bundy disputes the legitimacy of both the bureau and the courts that have ruled against him. “I’ll be damned if I’m going to honor a federal court that has no jurisdiction or authority or arresting power over we the people,” he said.

Still, as Mr. Bundy surveyed the dusty landscape last weekend, the only sign of law enforcement was Brad Rogers, the sheriff of Elkhart County, Ind., who had flown 1,800 miles to stand in solidarity with the embattled rancher.

With the rangers gone, “I don’t feel any threat — that’s a big change,” Mr. Bundy said. At the same time, he said he saw no reason for his supporters to leave. “As long as we are getting together as a group and as long as we feel good about being here, we are going to be here,” he said.

One of Mr. Bundy’s sons, Ammon, 38, a car fleet manager from Phoenix, said his father had taught the federal government a lesson. “We ran them out of here,” he said, sitting in a trailer set up near one of the protesters’ camp sites. “We were serious. We weren’t playing around.”

But Alan O’Neill, who had a similar struggle with Mr. Bundy when he was superintendent of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, expressed concern that the government had backed down.

“He calls himself a patriot, and says he loves America,” Mr. O’Neill said. “And yet he says he won’t follow any federal laws. You just can’t let this go by, or everybody is going to be like, ‘If Bundy can break the law, why can’t I?’ ”

Bigfella
24 Apr 14,, 18:40
I've been watching discussion of this elsewhere and it is fascinating to see people who screech about 'entitlement mentality' and 'welfare culture', 'culture of violence' when the percentage of melanin in the skin reaches a certain amount treat this guy like a hero/victim & the Gummint like Nazi stormtroopers. My personal favourite moment was when one of the heavily armed supporters explained their plan to place the women in the front of the protest if it got violent so the government would shoot them first in front of the TV cameras.

Funnily enough Glenn Beck has come out against this guy. He just happens to own land that he rents out to farmers to graze cattle.

zraver
24 Apr 14,, 22:47
z,

more accurately, for the most part the latter acts as a virus on the pragmatists (NOT moderates; there are no more moderates).

when it comes to standing alone the Tea Party tends to get hammered, if not by the establishment fighting back, then in the general election.

but they ARE shifting the party to the right as politicians make deals with the devil during the primaries.

Dissagree, in each general election where TP candidates have been on the ballot the overall trend has be to win. The TP caucus is now larger than it was in 10.



lol, Romney's problem was not that he couldn't get out the rockribbed conservatives, it was because he lost far more heavily among minorities/independents/women.

that's why the post-mortem GOP, for a brief time, talked about immigration reform and coming up (several years late) with an alternative to the ACA, etc.

Some 6 million conservative voters didn't make it to the polls. if they had Romney would have won.


it's always different with Congress than it is with the Presidency, as the composition of voters is significantly different (read: older, whiter). if Mr/Ms Tea Party wins the Presidency then i'll believe in the TP ascendancy. for the time being, i foresee the Republicans taking a few more seats in the House, MAYBE a small majority in the senate...and getting walloped in the 2016 Presidential election. [/qupte]

Doubt it, the people the dems have pegged their future to, are pissed off at the way they've been screwed. No jobs, massive debt, ruinous taxes (ACA) to pay for other peoples healthcare...



Common Core isn't about techniques , or "how to get there". it's about the end-result, the standards voluntarly adopted by states. emphasis mine in the following.

Myths vs. Facts | Common Core State Standards Initiative (http://www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards/myths-vs-facts/)

DOR
25 Apr 14,, 04:10
zraver,

I wish you were right, I really do.

If the Tea Party/Libertarian part of the GOP, as you call it, were to drive out the moderates that would guarantee Democratic victories for decades. The moderates would have to choose between starting up a ďReal GOP,Ē joining the middle-of-the-road party (thatís us Democrats these days) or being impotent independents without a chance in hell of winning actual power in the House or Senate.

But, thatís not likely simply because whatís left of the old, respected and respectable GOP still has more voters than the hard right-wing evangelicals who claim to want government out of everybodyís business (unless, of course, it involves marriage, medical marijuana, religion or social security).

Third parties, bigross86? Not likely. The distribution of power in the state and national legislatures favors the two-party system. While there are the occasional independents who caucus with one party or the other to win control of the committee system, theyíre rare. A third party that was smaller than the other two would simply have no power to do anything but spoil the efforts of the others.

But, the GOP already has a lock on that role: regardless of national interests, if the Democrats are for it, the Republicaníts are against it, and vice versa. Idiocy such as refusing to pay for past programs voted into law by two houses and signed by one president or the other are brought up only in odd-numbered years, so as to avoid having to face voters who still remember which party wrecked the economy and then caused the US to lose its top-tier credit rating.

The RINOs are what zraver calls the Tea Party/Libertarian part of the GOP. They are much closer to the John Birch Society and other radically intolerant parts of the political spectrum than they are to the ideals of the party of Lincoln (unity and equality), Teddy Roosevelt (conservation and trust-busting) and Ike (infrastructure and restrictions on business influence). Ronald Reagan couldnít win a GOP nomination today. Abraham Lincoln wouldn't even be on the ballot.

So, let Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, Gary Bauer, Ron Paul, Rush Limbaugh, the Two Pats (Robertson and Buchanan), John Ashcroft, Grover Norquist and the Koch brothers go form their own party. The GOP would be better off without them, and so would the nation.

Today, the national political center of the GOP is where Barry Goldwater used to sit.
Thatís not good. Thatís not balanced. Thatís not electable.
Time to change.

astralis
25 Apr 14,, 14:52
DOR,


Today, the national political center of the GOP is where Barry Goldwater used to sit.

hahaha, the political center of the GOP being Goldwater?? only problem is, Goldwater talked about kicking Falwell in the nuts, supported legalized abortion, had no issues with gays in the military, and was for strict environmental regulations. he called out his fellow Republicans (in the 1990s!) for being too extreme.

good luck finding a Republican not named Olympia Snowe who comes anywhere close to those views. in today's GOP, Goldwater would be considered a flaming RINO.

astralis
25 Apr 14,, 15:19
z,


The TP caucus is now larger than it was in 10.


what? the TP caucus disbanded itself in 2013 after not meeting for over two years. i believe it revived itself with 20 members later that year (down from 60 in 2010) but i haven't heard anything about it lately. i highly doubt it's back up to 2010 levels...


Some 6 million conservative voters didn't make it to the polls. if they had Romney would have won.

not sure where you get that figure. a comparison between bush in 04 and romney? (a difference of 5 million; moreover, you can't assume they were all conservative.) for that matter Obama got 10 million fewer votes than he did in '08. turnout was lower for -everyone-.

in the final calculation, the only conservative votes that would have mattered in this context would be the ones in the swing states. and there, it's doubtful that it was because of a lack of conservative enthusiasm: obama beat romney decisively (50-44) among people who decided at the last minute, while romney actually won a greater share of fellow republican votes than obama won of democrats.

bottom-line, romney did better than obama in getting the allegiance of his fellow party-members. obama beat the stuffing out of romney in the independent/undecided vote.

GVChamp
25 Apr 14,, 17:02
Hmmmm....
Samuel Best: Dispelling Myths About the 2012 Election (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/samuel-best/dispelling-myths-about-th_b_2105166.html)

As the exit polls showed, Obama won the popular vote despite losing to Romney handily among independents. Independents preferred Romney to Obama 50 to 45 percent.

astralis
25 Apr 14,, 17:30
GVChamp,

eh, i'll be happy to edit out "independents" for "undecided", and recall i was talking about the swing states.

obama's winning coalition was that of women and minority/hispanic voters. IIRC if romney won the number of hispanic voters dubya did then we'd be talking about President Romney right now. not sure if they registered as Dems afterwards.

GVChamp
28 Apr 14,, 20:46
I think that's a fair characterization. The actual politics are NOT my expertise, but apparently the Democrats have a strong "Get Out the Vote" strategy that has paid major dividends in the last few cycles. To my understanding, anyways. That would impact a lot of people who were undecided at the last minute.
IIRC, Republicans have traditionally had higher turnout among their (generally smaller) base, so if the Dems can sustain higher turnout, then the Repubs either have to increase turnout even more or expand the base a bit. I think they'll have a hard time "deepening" without turning to a lot of the tribalism you are referencing.

DOR
29 Apr 14,, 03:19
I think that's a fair characterization. The actual politics are NOT my expertise, but apparently the Democrats have a strong "Get Out the Vote" strategy that has paid major dividends in the last few cycles. To my understanding, anyways. That would impact a lot of people who were undecided at the last minute.
IIRC, Republicans have traditionally had higher turnout among their (generally smaller) base, so if the Dems can sustain higher turnout, then the Repubs either have to increase turnout even more or expand the base a bit. I think they'll have a hard time "deepening" without turning to a lot of the tribalism you are referencing.

Sadly, the GOP strategy is to deny the right to vote to people who disagree with them.

Parihaka
29 Apr 14,, 10:15
Wow, who needs The Daily Kos :biggrin:

astralis
29 Apr 14,, 14:40
heh, main difference being that most people on the Daily Kos will never acknowledge there was a time when Republicans actually contributed anything to American politics. speaking for just myself, i -want- a sane, opposition party, able to use reason instead of relying on populist conspiracy-mongering (that is, when the party is not swinging at each other).

as it is, the worst impulses of each party feed off the other.

GVChamp
29 Apr 14,, 22:44
Who sets the bar for sane? If your issue is that you don't really have two parties you like, well, damn, welcome to everyone's problem.

astralis
29 Apr 14,, 23:40
GVChamp,


Who sets the bar for sane? If your issue is that you don't really have two parties you like, well, damn, welcome to everyone's problem.

no, i need not -like- the other party to recognize it to be sane. for instance, i recognize the party of HW Bush or Reagan as sane, even if i disagreed with many of the positions. there was a recognized conservative position, yet also an understanding that democracy means pragmatism and compromise. there was an identified chain of leadership.

contrast that with the Republican Party of today, where on any particular subject you'll find two or three interpretations on the same issue, where compromise is seen as outright betrayal, no acknowledged leadership, with the worst conspiratorial impulses openly celebrated.

zraver
30 Apr 14,, 04:04
^^ as compared to the party that thinks this time sacrificing to the angry weather god will work. That claims to be for equality and equal rights while celebrating infanticide and unequal gender rights... that claims there is a war on women while paying them less. That claims to be for openness, science and equality while doing the exact opposite. If you want to see insane look left not right.

astralis
30 Apr 14,, 14:37
z...you're completely missing my point.

notice my criticism of the GOP does not include a single ideological point. i'm not criticizing the politics, i'm criticizing the utter organizational anarchy. it makes the Dems of Will Roger's time look like the model of Singaporean efficiency.

GVChamp
30 Apr 14,, 17:14
Why are HW and Reagan sane? Certainly large chunks of Democrats did not think so at the time. "Voodoo economics" coupled with the end of Detente made many Democrats think of Reagan as a lunatic bent on ending the world. The dude even had an astrologer on staff!
The current GOP is significantly more conservative than that GOP. It has also some leadership struggles, as the caucaus is more conservative than the leadership. I do not see the party as any worse than the party which put a college professor with Roosevelt-ian delusions of grandeur in charge. I quite like that they enforced loyalty for long enough to stop New Deal 3.0 from taking place.

SteveDaPirate
30 Apr 14,, 19:06
Why are HW and Reagan sane?.

I would argue that Regan's ability to raise taxes when it became apparent that it needed to be done is a good indication of sanity. He campaigned heavily against raising taxes, yet when faced with reality, he did it despite his ideology. I find it particularly remarkable that he managed to raise taxes without paying much of a political cost for it. Can you imagine a modern Republican POTUS raising taxes after campaigining against it without Gorver Norquist and half the GOP going up in flames? Idology is well and good, but a good leader can't follow idology blindly while ignoring the changing realities they face.

zraver
30 Apr 14,, 22:17
z...you're completely missing my point.

notice my criticism of the GOP does not include a single ideological point. i'm not criticizing the politics, i'm criticizing the utter organizational anarchy. it makes the Dems of Will Roger's time look like the model of Singaporean efficiency.

I see the lively debate inside the GOP about the direction of the party as part and parcel of the Democratic process... Unlike the Democrats and their enforced conformity ad attachment to wack-a-mole beliefs. Sorry but any party that embraces sacrificing to the angry weather god as a platform plank is as nutty as an Almond orchard.

astralis
01 May 14,, 00:03
z,


I see the lively debate inside the GOP about the direction of the party as part and parcel of the Democratic process... Unlike the Democrats and their enforced conformity ad attachment to wack-a-mole beliefs.

i swear i'm living in an upside down world where -dems- are accused of "enforced conformity".

by your definition the GOP has had enforced conformity since what, 1860, until the rise of the Tea Party? the GOP was known as the grown-up party for no small reason BECAUSE of their organization and discipline, the anti-thesis to the hippies and the factionalism (or or as you call it, the "lively debate") that pervaded the Democratic Party. and it was this organization and discipline that led to a string of Republican presidencies from 1968 to 1992, broken only by carter and at the end, clinton.

well, if Republicans seek to emulate the organization of the late 60s-early 70s Dems, that's their business. history indicates that's probably not such a great model to follow if winning Presidencies and getting legislative victories is your thing, though.

note again i'm -still- not talking about the politics.

astralis
01 May 14,, 00:34
steve,


Can you imagine a modern Republican POTUS raising taxes after campaigining against it without Gorver Norquist and half the GOP going up in flames?

that is precisely it.

to take an example, let's look at immigration policy. on 30 Jan 14, House Republicans came out with their new immigration policy which they supposedly agreed on as part of their 2014 legislative strategy. the policy stated that they wanted to open a path for legal status (not citizenship) for the illegal immigrants currently in the country.

this was after Romney's, uh, not-so-great showing among Hispanics in the election, and where not just the Establishment Republicans such as the RNC were calling for it, but Tea Party heroes like Rubio were calling for some sort of reform as well.

after all of this, some 19 house republicans signed on, about double that oppose it, and the rest do not want to deal with it in any way. when John Boehner spoke up about it and mocked the inaction, within days he had to walk back his statement, blaming Obama for causing Republicans to "lose trust" and therefore not support their own strategy (??).

so, on this one policy, Republicans have chosen to ignore their own strategy while abandoning their leadership (yet not electing new leaders). speaking about organization alone, this is a complete cluster-f*ck.

in the short-term, this benefits the Dems-- see how the Dems have outmaneuvered Boehner and the Republicans again and again, whether the subject is healthcare or taxes or stimulus. and lost fewer seats than they would have, due to people like Sharon Angle or Todd Akin or Christine O'Donnell. and for that matter, the Presidency itself.

in the long-term this is horrible for the nation.

neoconish
01 May 14,, 22:27
For the next three years, Republican politicians will be fighting to win support from a conservative base thatís rabid for red meat. And if thereís an easy path to the prize, itís to find something a liberal likes, and denounce it.And that is precisely what I am hoping for. Equate liberal candidates' ideas with Obama's dismal policies and do whatever it takes to make Elizabeth Warren appear as the Democratic Party's official spokesperson.

My loyalty to the center-right persuasion does not go beyond Henry Adams' famous quote: "Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds." I do not vote for a party but against another.

The Republican Party, however embarrassing, will not produce a presidential candidate who will oppose free trade, cut defense spending and bemoan American involvement abroad. A Democrat, by contrast, would be ambiguous on all three counts.

astralis
02 May 14,, 03:23
neoconish,


The Republican Party, however embarrassing, will not produce a presidential candidate who will oppose free trade, cut defense spending and bemoan American involvement abroad.

uh, have you been following the Tea Party or the libertarians recently? that's pretty much what they want to do.

zraver
02 May 14,, 14:18
neoconish,



uh, have you been following the Tea Party or the libertarians recently? that's pretty much what they want to do.

Its also what the Left DID. Our economy is flat with no real job growth and a shrinking middle class. Our liberties are inretreat with free speech zones, government spying and the PC police ready to crucify anyone who doesn't toe the line. China is overtaking us as the lead economic power (albiet with cooked books) and Russia is telling us to get our astronauts to the Space Station we built using a trampoline and now we know that at Benghazi Obama's only concern was his image.... Bitching about the Tea Party/Libertarians is smoke and mirrors to distract from the real problem- the foxes are running the chicken farm.

astralis
02 May 14,, 15:21
z,

i really don't get your point. this thread is about how conservatives have wrapped themselves so much against Obama that they're attacking things which they'd normally be for. if you want to talk about something else, you can start your own thread.

i just mentioned how this was emblematic of the greater organizational dysfunction within the GOP, and how this dysfunction is both bad for the party and ultimately for the US.

to wit, your one cogizant argument is that there IS no dysfunction within the GOP and that everything going on is simply a healthy part of the democratic process. everything else is just a parade of GOP political talking points. is it so hard to have a discussion without throwing out every single talking point you can think of?

neoconish
02 May 14,, 17:31
neoconish,
uh, have you been following the Tea Party or the libertarians recently? that's pretty much what they want to do.I disagree. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are strong proponents of American Exceptionalism, which is hard power foreign policy by another name. And by hard power I mean free trade (http://www.cato.org/research/trade-immigration/congress) and a strong military presence. On China, Russia, Israel, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and yes, on the expletive EU, neither Rubio nor Cruz nor Bush nor Perry nor Ryan nor Christie differ in any distinguishable way. The odd one out is Paul.

Yet Rand Paul may also prove to be rather malleable as he approaches the corridors of power. He has gradually wandered from the lone woods of Aqua Buddhist practices towards increasing foreign policy hawkishness. Favoring Iran sanctions and the protection of Christians in Syria is not an isolationist stance. Paul even ventured to speak before a heavyweight audience including Kissinger and Scowcroft (http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Policy/2014/0115/Rand-Paul-s-foreign-policy-pitch-to-Republicans-I-m-no-extremist), simply to underscore that a Paul presidency would bear no mark of ideological extremism.

Looking back 100 years, no serious GOP candidate for president was ever a trade opponent (bar Hoover) or an isolationist (bar Goldwater).


i just mentioned how this was emblematic of the greater organizational dysfunction within the GOP, and how this dysfunction is both bad for the party and ultimately for the US.On one level, the party takes whichever position is required by its financiers. On another level, though, it possesses a continuum of vastly experienced policy contributors. And as long as these two tiers, however conflicting, manage to settle their differences, it is possible for the administration to forge a successful foreign policy.

astralis
02 May 14,, 18:07
neoconish,


And by hard power I mean free trade and a strong military presence

Tea-Party Resistance Clouds Push for Major Trade Pacts - WSJ.com (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304579404579236530656307504)

generally speaking free trade support is soft, at best, with the grassroots. moreover, the definition of "strong military presence" seems to change depending on the situation-- for instance there's no unified Republican view on what we should do with Syria.

moreover foreign policy is not really high up on the Tea Party sense of priorities. it's domestic politics that interest them, but if they do think about foreign policy they incline the same way they do with their domestic politics, ie libertarian.

that actually represents another split in terms of the GOP foreign policy continuum; now, in addition to paleo-conservatives/realists and neo-conservatives, there is a libertarian/isolationist faction.

neoconish
02 May 14,, 19:09
Tea-Party Resistance Clouds Push for Major Trade Pacts - WSJ.com

generally speaking free trade support is soft, at best, with the grassroots.There is an apparent disconnect between grassroots Tea Partiers and their candidates. All of the prominent figures are hardcore free trade proponents and often berate the current administration for doing too little in this regard.

I believe NAFTA is demonized as it was pushed through by Clinton. But if you look at the votes (http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=103&session=1&vote=00395), the legislation garnered bipartisan support, including the likes of Ted Kennedy and Patrick Leahy. Republicans opposing NAFTA were either Dixiecrats (Helms, Thurmond, Shelby), intellectually challenged (Craig, Kempthorne, Stevens) or closet pro-union Democrats. This very element--paleoconservative, ex-Democrat and "challenged"--is preserved in the grassroots movement. It may be unfortunate, but I still appreciate the way they cast their votes when they reject decline and vote in favor of American Exceptionalism (i.e. hard power).


moreover, the definition of "strong military presence" seems to change depending on the situation-- for instance there's no unified Republican view on what we should do with Syria.The Syrian situation is complex not because of its many actors but because of its unforeseeable endgame. It evokes a variety of approaches, and you may find left-wing liberals (http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/Pelosi-Democrats-Intervention-Syria/2013/09/05/id/524118/) calling for action while stubborn neconservatives (http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/john-bolton-syria-vote-96195.html) oppose any such move. I, for one, am with Pelosi on this one. The absence of a directed US military operation, be it a humanitarian corridor or a no-fly zone, leaves a vacuum which al Qaeda has been all-too-eager to fill. Reserve also allows for Russia and Iran to continue propping up a tinfoil dictator.


moreover foreign policy is not really high up on the Tea Party sense of priorities. it's domestic politics that interest themAs long as the core of their domestic agenda is tax cuts and deregulation, either by proxy or incident, I am on board.


but if they do think about foreign policy they incline the same way they do with their domestic politics, ie libertarianBut as there is no candidate mirroring such a position, I do not see the problem.


that actually represents another split in terms of the GOP foreign policy continuum; now, in addition to paleo-conservatives/realists and neo-conservatives, there is a libertarian/isolationist faction.I grant you that there is a trifecta of paleocons, ex-Dems, and derp. But as far as candidates are concerned, I would say that Paul, the only libertarian running, would fall back on the Kissinger/Scowcroft brand of foreign policy.

Of course Paul won't win, but it will be interesting to hear him challenge the others in the upcoming debates.

astralis
02 May 14,, 20:30
neoconish,


There is an apparent disconnect between grassroots Tea Partiers and their candidates. All of the prominent figures are hardcore free trade proponents and often berate the current administration for doing too little in this regard.


frankly that doesn't make too much sense; what's needed is a renewal of Presidential fast-track authority. which, ironically, has caused another split between conservatives:

Don (http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/don-t-give-him-what-he-wants_774786.html)

which actually ties back into the original thesis of this thread, that conservatives oppose many things because of the Obama factor that they would normally support.


But as there is no candidate mirroring such a position, I do not see the problem.


OTOH it not being presidential election year, there's hardly been any real GOP leaders stepping up to the plate. we'll see what comes up in a few years.


I would say that Paul, the only libertarian running, would fall back on the Kissinger/Scowcroft brand of foreign policy.


no, i doubt he'd fall back on that. he's not a realist so much as a pure isolationist.

in any case none of the GOP candidates in 2012 really articulated much of a foreign policy. i don't expect this to change in 2016.

zraver
03 May 14,, 04:48
z,

i really don't get your point. this thread is about how conservatives have wrapped themselves so much against Obama that they're attacking things which they'd normally be for. if you want to talk about something else, you can start your own thread.

i just mentioned how this was emblematic of the greater organizational dysfunction within the GOP, and how this dysfunction is both bad for the party and ultimately for the US.

to wit, your one cogizant argument is that there IS no dysfunction within the GOP and that everything going on is simply a healthy part of the democratic process. everything else is just a parade of GOP political talking points. is it so hard to have a discussion without throwing out every single talking point you can think of?

They are so much more than talking points. But speaking of talking points, you seem to be stuck in 2010 with the oft repeated talking point that the TP is loony so ignore them, but, but, but keep watching them so you don't notice the real world results of Obama's policies. If you want insane look at the actual results of Obama. Every single one of his domestic programs has failed. He's pivoted so many times on jobs and Asia that it looks like a dance routine.

Yet despite this his allies in Congress continue to put party ahead of country. That is insane.

astralis
03 May 14,, 05:10
z,


you seem to be stuck in 2010 with the oft repeated talking point that the TP is loony so ignore them

if you actually bothered to read what i wrote, that's pretty much the -opposite- of what i'm saying. but ok.

zraver
03 May 14,, 06:56
z,



if you actually bothered to read what i wrote, that's pretty much the -opposite- of what i'm saying. but ok.

I do read what you write and it, like the OP is just another round of- we would be getting what we wanted if not for those rascally tea baggers... mixed with warnings from the GOP that it better mend its ways and get rid of its base if it ever wants to win a general election and topped with veiled hints of racism (they just oppose it because Obama is for it which is code for because he's black, they don't like black people and so are irrelevant. You're a lefty, and your points so far have been taken nearly verbatim from Paul Krugman and Jay Carney.

I don't start threads talkign about what the Des should do to win... I want them to lose and any advice I gave would be suspect. Likewise when Krugbots and obamabots start telling me what (destroy the Tea Party) the GOP needs to do to fix itself I take it as evidence that the current influence of the Tea Party is a good thing.

neoconish
03 May 14,, 11:43
frankly that doesn't make too much sense; what's needed is a renewal of Presidential fast-track authority. which, ironically, has caused another split between conservatives:I can definitely see Stelzer's argument. In his first term Obama not only delayed but downgraded the free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. The Obama administration slashed the existing writing to come up with new bills that were favorable in the eyes of pro-union Democrats. What was created with the new deals were lukewarm free trade agreements that would otherwise have had an immediate effect for businesses in either nation.

Moreover, the TTIP will not be delayed because of a Republican divide in Congress or elsewhere. The agreement is insanely unpopular in Europe. Not only due to Europe's fear of placing decisions in the hands of arbitration courts, instead of governments' rule by fancy, but especially due to the implementation of the investor-state dispute settlement clause (ISDS) (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/cc5c4860-ab9d-11e3-90af-00144feab7de.html?siteedition=intl#axzz30dl4WrUA). Germany and France are especially wary of this clause, as it would render their usual statist practices void. Negotiations have sped up thanks to the inanity of Putin, but it will take more than the promise of economic growth to get the French and Germans on board. Expect negotiations to drag on for years.

That said, it is of course very important that both the TTIP and TPP are passed ASAP. These two deals are the guarantors of decades-long growth, making their passage the most pressing legislative matter in the history of international trade. As with NAFTA in 1993, it will also be possible to reach a bipartisan consensus and ram it through both Houses of Congress, regardless of Tea Party opposition and regardless of a presidential fast-track authority.


which actually ties back into the original thesis of this thread, that conservatives oppose many things because of the Obama factor that they would normally support.Yes. It's the anti-incumbency of the unthinking Vulgarian Right. The Weekly Standard was hit by that as Robert Kagan and Bill Kristol presented their support (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Protected/Articles/000/000/010/319ksmsl.asp#) for the US intervention in Kosovo in 1999, an intervention supported by Dennis Kucinich yet opposed by 38 out of 54 Republican senators.

You see, anti-incumbency works both ways. Many left-wing Democrats will be ready to support a Republican cause as long as they can be persuaded that the cause is also Obama's or the nation's. Politics makes strange bedfellows. Always.


OTOH it not being presidential election year, there's hardly been any real GOP leaders stepping up to the plate. we'll see what comes up in a few years.On trade and defense, the leadership in Congress have proved to be reliable.


no, i doubt he'd fall back on that. he's not a realist so much as a pure isolationist.Rand Paul is a know-nothing Luddite way out of his element. But he possesses a capacity for rhetoric which is particularly appealing to the do-nothing audience. As such, he will therefore learn--perhaps by rote--the foreign policy positions of the former realist guard, which is held in high regard by older Republican voters.

It is not that I believe him to hold any such position--the fatherly influence is much too strong--but that I think he is ready to play the game in precisely this fashion. And I will enjoy watching it in the upcoming debates. The other GOP nominees will not have a field day.


in any case none of the GOP candidates in 2012 really articulated much of a foreign policy. i don't expect this to change in 2016.They did, though. It is because they all (bar Ron Paul) agreed on counter-terrorism, Iran sanctions, Israel, and defense spending that there were no distinguishable differences between them. The topic was easily and swiftly exhausted.

GVChamp
05 May 14,, 16:34
I would argue that Regan's ability to raise taxes when it became apparent that it needed to be done is a good indication of sanity. He campaigned heavily against raising taxes, yet when faced with reality, he did it despite his ideology. I find it particularly remarkable that he managed to raise taxes without paying much of a political cost for it. Can you imagine a modern Republican POTUS raising taxes after campaigining against it without Gorver Norquist and half the GOP going up in flames? Idology is well and good, but a good leader can't follow idology blindly while ignoring the changing realities they face.
Okay, but Reagan and Bush were both castigated and painted as insane. Dubya was painted as insane for a modest tax decrease, and painted as a reckless spender when he was down-right frugal compared to both his father and Reagan, and considered insane for a partially privatized social security program.
Democrats are going to call us insane no matter what, because they are the party that believes that growing your own food on your own farm for your own consumption is inter-state commerce and should be taxed to provide mammograms to under-served groups despite recent statistical evidence claiming mammograms are worthless. And then painting it as "war on wimminz!!!!AA@!aonezorz!" too.
Who cares what they think "sane" is?

astralis
05 May 14,, 16:38
neoconish,


unthinking Vulgarian Right

heh, nice epithet. unfortunately that seems to be most of the right nowadays.


Many left-wing Democrats will be ready to support a Republican cause as long as they can be persuaded that the cause is also Obama's or the nation's. Politics makes strange bedfellows. Always.



ah, you mean like the ACA...:)


On trade and defense, the leadership in Congress have proved to be reliable.


but they are not national leaders, really. IE no one is looking to mitch mcconnell or john boehner as the lodestone of GOP ideology. moreover the fact that there's no clear leader makes GOP messaging very difficult. for instance, in 2000 there was W's "compassionate conservatism"...there's no counterpart today. in fact, what you deem the vulgarian Right seems to be the loudest.


They did, though. It is because they all (bar Ron Paul) agreed on counter-terrorism, Iran sanctions, Israel, and defense spending that there were no distinguishable differences between them. The topic was easily and swiftly exhausted.

they have policy positions but no policy, if you get my meaning. there's no equivalent of an "Asia-pivot", for instance (which while executed somewhat poorly is at least a strategy).

the problem with GOP hawkishness at this point in time is that the party is riven between the isolationists and people whom want a general continuation of George W's policies...but whom also recognize that hawkishness is not popular among the war-weary US populace. that's why the overwhelming focus the last two cycles have been domestic policy uber alles. this isn't a problem that's limited to Republicans, of course, but it's notable to see the continuation of such a split while the Democratic split of the 90s (liberal internationalism vs realism) has largely been silenced.

GVChamp
05 May 14,, 17:13
And in my previous post, I want to draw a distinction between rank-and-file voters, motivated idelogues, and the actual policy-makers. Politicians get a lot of crap (much deserved), but they have the toughest job imaginable: they need to persuade people to give up money and freedom on the promise they might get something back. Yeah, we get a lot of dick-heads in office, but we elect them: I don't feel bad for us anymore than I feel bad for the girl who whines about how all men are jerks when she only dates men in biker bars. Don't be an idiot.
I think I could work with a lot of the Democrat policy-makers, like Harry Reid or Dick Durbin. I don't think they are crazy nut-jobs. Democrat ideologues, akin to the Krugman types, or worse, the people I went to college with? Yeah, they are radicals that just hate Republicans as much as the Tea Party hates Democrats. There's nothing to do there but shrug and hope they elect someone that can play ball. They are Democrats because they don't like Republicans, and to them this is a knee-jerk unexamined religion, sort of like how my future mother-in-law doesn't like blacks, gays, or Muslims because that's what she's invested her ego in.

astralis
05 May 14,, 18:20
GVChamp,


Yeah, we get a lot of dick-heads in office, but we elect them: I don't feel bad for us anymore than I feel bad for the girl who whines about how all men are jerks when she only dates men in biker bars.

gerrymandering. by creating "safe" political districts, the competition is now between who is more pure, vice who is more pragmatic.

this is an issue both parties have, but Republicans get affected by this relatively worse because their main constituency, older white males, is shrinking in size. the fight over a shrinking pie is more contentious than a fight over an expanding one.


I think I could work with a lot of the Democrat policy-makers, like Harry Reid or Dick Durbin. I don't think they are crazy nut-jobs. Democrat ideologues, akin to the Krugman types, or worse, the people I went to college with? Yeah, they are radicals that just hate Republicans as much as the Tea Party hates Democrats. There's nothing to do there but shrug and hope they elect someone that can play ball.

the issue here being that Dems can control their crazies a lot more than the GOP can control theirs.

just think on the ACA for instance; Dems really wanted single-payer or at a minimum a public option, not the circa 1993-Heritage Foundation idea behind the ACA. yet there was enough party unity for the legislative whips to cajole/bribe/threaten everyone into nodding, and the plan went forward.

compare and contrast that with the enormous amount of teethpulling that Boehner went through on almost every single bill -he- championed, most of which died when it became clear he couldn't get his folks to rally around what time of day it was, let alone the bill in question.

GVChamp
07 May 14,, 16:43
I don’t disagree. The Republican Caucus is disorganized at the moment, in large part because of the infusion of Tea Party members. That’s made a lot of things more difficult for the Republican leadership to accomplish. No major disagreement there.
However, this comes across as Concern-Trolling. Parties undergo upheaval all the time. That’s not unhealthy, that’s a normal, healthy part of the political process. It’s not a permanent condition, it’s a shifting of priorities and interest groups.
And it’s concern trolling not in the interest of the Republican Party, or the American people. It’s concern trolling to benefit the Democratic legislative agenda. We hear whining from the Dems all the time, including when the Republicans were lock-step to oppose the Democratic legislative agenda (and not disorganized) or when the Republicans proposed modest policy changes (and painted as crazy). Democrats will say whatever they can to undermine Republicans. Why should I pay attention to them now?

astralis
07 May 14,, 17:21
GVChamp,


However, this comes across as Concern-Trolling.

not really "concern trolling". most Dem partisans chortle at the sight of the Tea Party and the GOP civil war because it sabotages the GOP in the short-term. moreover it's good for the partisan gander; what type of person do you think raises the most hackles/funds, Palin or HW Bush?

in any case the original point of the article is that the civil war/Tea Party sabotages the GOP's -own agenda-.


Parties undergo upheaval all the time. That’s not unhealthy, that’s a normal, healthy part of the political process. It’s not a permanent condition, it’s a shifting of priorities and interest groups.

it's more generational rather than "all the time". the last major disruption of this sort for the GOP was in 1994-1995; before then, 1980, and before that, 1964.

from a non-partisan view i'd say this disruption is significantly worse than it was in the previous eras, because of the underlying factors of gerrymandering and the rise of the Internet. the fall of the national media and the tendency for people to gravitate towards media that largely agrees with their own POV means further splintering.

these are trends that should concern Americans as Americans, not as Republicans or as Democrats.

JAD_333
07 May 14,, 20:58
GVChamp,



gerrymandering. by creating "safe" political districts, the competition is now between who is more pure, vice who is more pragmatic.

this is an issue both parties have, but Republicans get affected by this relatively worse because their main constituency, older white males, is shrinking in size. the fight over a shrinking pie is more contentious than a fight over an expanding one.



the issue here being that Dems can control their crazies a lot more than the GOP can control theirs.

just think on the ACA for instance; Dems really wanted single-payer or at a minimum a public option, not the circa 1993-Heritage Foundation idea behind the ACA. yet there was enough party unity for the legislative whips to cajole/bribe/threaten everyone into nodding, and the plan went forward.

compare and contrast that with the enormous amount of teethpulling that Boehner went through on almost every single bill -he- championed, most of which died when it became clear he couldn't get his folks to rally around what time of day it was, let alone the bill in question.


Geez, Asty, you've uncorked the liberal viewpoint which one can liken to tunnel vision, a quality common to all partisan viewpoints. I feel sorry for you, because there is far more contentment in understanding both sides. I don't see much to gain by starting with the premise that conservatives are wrong and citing examples of where liberals didn't get their way to prove your point.

As I've said before, the so-called conservative 'tribe', to use your term, has a much bigger fish to fry with liberals, aka Democrats. Blocking the latter's initiatives is certainly not the main goal of the far-sighted ideologues on the right. Rather the goal is a fundamental change in the direction or management of the central government, much like we see in some of the states where GOP governors preside and have been successful in fiscal and some social matters.

This is not an unrealistic goal. The utter failure of liberals of late to offer realistic compromises acceptable to the right points to a divide in the electorate that is only reflected in Congress. But Congress is as good a place to begin.

Mind you, I am neither defending nor condemning this approach, although I do agree with the basic contention that the Federal government is well off the reservation in terms of its constitutional authority and, if that is not enough, far too involved in aspects of governance best left to state and local control (and discretion). I do not mean we should roll back civil rights gains or take the country backward to some nostalgic, covered-bridges era, but I do believe it is time to adjust, in a general sense, progressive strides of the past few decades. Basically, it's the pendulum concept--too far, too long in one direction seeks a correction. You see trees; I see forests. :)

SteveDaPirate
07 May 14,, 22:31
Rather the goal is a fundamental change in the direction or management of the central government, much like we see in some of the states where GOP governors preside and have been successful in fiscal and some social matters.

I’d like to think that the policies in Kansas could be instructive for the rest of the country. Gov. Brownback has used his time in office to see what happens if you drastically cut both government spending and the state income tax.

So far Brownback’s policies have gotten the state in trouble with the courts, as education is now being funded below constitutionally specified levels. The economic recovery in Kansas has fallen behind the surrounding states in the region, and big employers like Boeing are packing up and leaving. The state pension plan has $16.7 billion in unfunded pension liability, and Moody’s credit rating has just downgraded the state of Kansas’s bond rating due to unsustainable financial policies.

Our Governor’s plan to deal with this problem is to cut taxes more, spend down the remaining state reserves, and poach a few hundred million more from the highway fund. That might work once or twice, but robbing Peter to pay Paul quits working when Peter is out of money. If you know some successful GOP Governors please send them our way.

astralis
08 May 14,, 00:27
JAD,


As I've said before, the so-called conservative 'tribe', to use your term, has a much bigger fish to fry with liberals, aka Democrats. Blocking the latter's initiatives is certainly not the main goal of the far-sighted ideologues on the right. Rather the goal is a fundamental change in the direction or management of the central government,

yet the very premise of the thread is that this is not the case. see the conservative outrage over Common Core, or the result when governors refuse to participate in setting up state exchanges on the ACA, or immigration.

in each case, ask yourself if the Tea Party opposition has actually led to a change in the direction or management of the central government-- and if that change is the one that conservatives would want. :)

JAD_333
08 May 14,, 00:41
I’d like to think that the policies in Kansas could be instructive for the rest of the country. Gov. Brownback has used his time in office to see what happens if you drastically cut both government spending and the state income tax.

So far Brownback’s policies have gotten the state in trouble with the courts, as education is now being funded below constitutionally specified levels. The economic recovery in Kansas has fallen behind the surrounding states in the region, and big employers like Boeing are packing up and leaving. The state pension plan has $16.7 billion in unfunded pension liability, and Moody’s credit rating has just downgraded the state of Kansas’s bond rating due to unsustainable financial policies.

Our Governor’s plan to deal with this problem is to cut taxes more, spend down the remaining state reserves, and poach a few hundred million more from the highway fund. That might work once or twice, but robbing Peter to pay Paul quits working when Peter is out of money. If you know some successful GOP Governors please send them our way.

Let's stick with Brownback. First off, the court decision re education was from a state court and the funds at issue were a fraction of the state's education budget which actually rose year over year. The issue was over special assistance funds and some other non-funding measures. Overall, per student spending rose $300 compared to last year.

Unemployment is down 7%, slightly less than some neighboring states and half the rate in California, but the economies of all those states are varied. To make this point an issue we need to correlate it with his policies.

On Medicare, Kansas is one of 27 states that have refused Federal subsidies for the same reason Virginia has. The subsidies are set at a minimum 90% through 2020, and could be lowered before then. In any case, there is real doubt the Federal gov't could fund even 50% after 2020. The upshot for Kansas would be either to raise taxes and cut the budget, which is now devoted mostly to education. That would dump a large cost on the state because those Federal funds come tied to a provision that would require that anyone at 128% of the poverty level be eligible for state Medicare coverage. Currently the cut-off level is much lower, well below the poverty level for a single working person.

Boeing's departure had nothing to do with Brownback policies. The company cited reduced defense spending as the reason. Several hundred suppliers in the state will continue to supply parts for Boeing. The total number of jobs lost will be around 1,200. The company had not asked for tax incentives to remain in the state. But it's happening on Brownback's watch, so its understandable that people will hold him responsible.

I really didn't intend to get into the specifics of each GOP governor's records. I was speaking generically and using their tenures to illustrate that conservative leadership does not mean a return to horse and buggy days, rather a less progressive and invasive approach to government power.

JAD_333
08 May 14,, 01:01
JAD,



yet the very premise of the thread is that this is not the case. see the conservative outrage over Common Core, or the result when governors refuse to participate in setting up state exchanges on the ACA, or immigration.

in each case, ask yourself if the Tea Party opposition has actually led to a change in the direction or management of the central government-- and if that change is the one that conservatives would want. :)


Even here your premise is weak. It supposes that Common Core meets the need of school children. It also supposes that conservatives lit into it simply because Obama mentioned it a speech.

I'll concede that Obama's mention of it drew flack, but not because everything Obama says is automatically opposed by conservatives. The program was already under fire as warmed over 'No Child Left Behind (LCLB), which has largely been dismissed as a failure.

Editorial: The Trouble with the Common Core (http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archive/27_04/edit274.shtml)

Eight problems with Common Core Standards - The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/eight-problems-with-common-core-standards/2012/08/21/821b300a-e4e7-11e1-8f62-58260e3940a0_blog.html)

http://www.newsweek.com/sorry-louis-ck-youre-wrong-about-common-core-249313

Math Teacher Explains What Is Wrong with the Common Core | Diane Ravitch's blog (http://dianeravitch.net/2014/01/28/26541/)

Here's What Is Wrong With the Common Core | Larry Strauss (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/larry-strauss/common-core-schools_b_4398194.html)

This site seeks to clear up myths about Common Core. It avoids some of the more controversial aspects. And avoids entirely the political question on centralized education standards.

Myths vs. Facts | Common Core State Standards Initiative (http://www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards/myths-vs-facts/)

Personally, it may help or it may not. I'm against a central authority setting nationwide standards, which has nothing to do with Common Core as an educational tool. Let's give it a chance. Nothing else has worked yet.

Parihaka
08 May 14,, 03:35
Apropos of the Clive Bundy piece posted earlier

http://youtu.be/Stbf9GcVQ3E

astralis
08 May 14,, 16:43
JAD,


Even here your premise is weak. It supposes that Common Core meets the need of school children. It also supposes that conservatives lit into it simply because Obama mentioned it a speech.

I'll concede that Obama's mention of it drew flack, but not because everything Obama says is automatically opposed by conservatives.

heh...JAD, i think you're reflecting your common-sense, reasoned conservatism on the rest of your fellow conservatives as a whole.

sure, there's a lot of reasons to not support Common Core, or wish there are areas to be fixed. but do you really think Tea Partiers or conservative populists are viscerally opposed to Common Core because of technocratic/pragmatic reasons?

or is it because Common Core with the word "Common" makes it sound like an Obama-directed attempt to get the Feds to take over education? you tell me.

zraver
09 May 14,, 06:30
^^^ Mpst of the complaints I see are based on very well placed criticisms of how and what it is teaching. The way kids are to be taught to do basic math is insane.