erik lundegaard

Politics posts

Friday September 27, 2013

When is the GOP Going to Take Back the GOP?

In New York Magazine, Jonathan Chait runs down the list of demands from the GOP in order to prevent a government shutdown—including Paul Ryan tax reform, offshore oil drilling, keystone pipeline, tort reform, blah blah blah, and a yearlong moratorium on Obamacare—and points out its similarity to the Mitt Romney platform that U.S. voters rejected last November. Then he writes this:

The fact that a major party could even propose anything like this is a display of astonishing contempt for democratic norms. Republicans ran on this plan and lost by 5 million votes. They also lost the Senate and received a million fewer votes in the House but held control owing to favorable district lines. Is there an example in American history of a losing party issuing threats to force the majority party to implement its rejected agenda?

One of Andrew Sullivan's readers then provides an answer:

There is an obvious example: the election and subsequent secession crisis of 1860. The southern Democrats were quite clear with their threats to secede from the Union should Lincoln be elected.

Another reader details the hypocrisy of the demagogic right:

More to the point, there didn’t appear to be all too much Republican anti-government resentment during the George W. Bush Bush presidency, as the GOP pushed for Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, the executive’s asserted power to wiretap and to detain & torture US citizens without charges or a warrant, surpluses turned into deficits, the right in Raich v Gonzales to imprison folks for activity legal under state law, and the invasion for bogus reasons & failed occupation of an arbitrarily selected Middle Eastern country.

But President Bush was One of Us. The Kenyan anti-colonial secret Muslim? Less so. Hence, insane demands, in the service of taking Our country back from Them.

That's been the cry, hasn't it, since January 20, 2009: taking the country back. It's the wrong cry. The right cry (both ways) is this: When is the GOP going to take back the GOP from the Ted Cruzes of the world?

Ted Cruz reads Green Eggs and Ham, nonsensically, during 21-hour bloviation-fest.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) reads “Green Eggs and Ham,” nonsensically, during 21-hour bloviation-fest.

Posted at 08:09 AM on Sep 27, 2013 in category Politics
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Friday September 13, 2013

Quote of the Day

“Bad time to be a politician. Dibs on shooting/hanging the President.”

-- a commenter on the far-right website MinutemanNews.com, responding to an article about the problems leftists will have when/if they try to rescind the Second Amendment, as reported in Rick Perlstein's Nation article, “Stack Them In the Streets Like Cordwood”: The Gun Control Debate and Our Civic Life," Sept. 13, 2013. Some of the other comments, which Perlstein also quotes, are equally awful, with worse spelling. Perlstein's research indicates that the site, which seems a fringe organization, actually draws almost as many readers as The Nation.

Posted at 12:21 PM on Sep 13, 2013 in category Politics
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Wednesday September 04, 2013

Where Andrew Sullivan is Wrong on Syria, Obama

From Andrew Sullivan's site, which I subscribe to. First he quotes a Washington Post/ABC News poll:

Only 32 percent said Obama had explained clearly why the U.S. should launch strikes. Back in March 2003, as the Iraq War started, 49 percent said that President George W. Bush had compellingly made his case for what was then at stake.

Then he adds this:

So Obama has much less domestic support than Bush, no backing from the Brits, open hostility by the UN for immediate war, and an obviously conflicted administration. This is a war even less likely to succeed than Iraq and even less popular.

The war in Iraq didn't fail because of an erosion in domestic support; it failed for other reasons that were reflected in an erosion of domestic support. 

This is not an argument in favor of missile strikes in Syria, by the way. I don't know enough on that subject to even begin discussing it.

Posted at 10:32 AM on Sep 04, 2013 in category Politics
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Monday August 12, 2013

And for Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles

Here's a portion of Rand Paul's recent interview with Bloomberg Businessweek:

You’re a big reader of Austrian economists such as Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises, who don’t believe in stimulus and say the economy can return to health only through austerity.
You can stimulate prosperity by leaving more money in the hands of those who earn it. If you want to stimulate the economy in Louisville, leave more money in Louisville and send less to Washington. My plan has a 17 percent flat tax with very few deductions, and it would leave $600 billion in the economy. But it would work better than a government stimulus because of the Milton Friedman proposition that nobody spends somebody else’s money as wisely as they spend their own. I think you’d have a boom like you’ve never seen in this country.

Who would your ideal Fed chairman be?
Hayek would be good, but he’s deceased.

Nondead Fed chairman.
Friedman would probably be pretty good, too, and he’s not an Austrian, but he would be better than what we have.

Dead, too.

That's pretty funny. I agree with Paul's first sentence, btw, but I assume we mean different things by “those who earn it.” I also like the chutzpah in this sentence: “I think you’d have a boom like you’ve never seen in this country.” Really? So the economic history of this country, thus far, has been a disappointment to you? And with you at the helm things would finally take off? What a sweetheart.

Paul Krugman takes him down another peg.

Posted at 01:53 PM on Aug 12, 2013 in category Politics
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Wednesday August 07, 2013

By the Time I Get to Arizona, 2013

Pres. Obama traveled to Arizona today to talk about his recent housing proposal and was met by protesters outside Desert Vista High School in Phoenix.

From the Arizona Republic:

Obama foes at one point sang, “Bye Bye Black Sheep,” a derogatory reference to the president's skin color, while protesters like Deanne Bartram raised a sign saying, “Impeach the Half-White Muslim!” ...

Deanna Bartram, a 17-year-old University of Arizona student from Black Canyon City, lashed out at people who call her racist for not supporting Obama. She believes Obama supporters use the “race card” against her because they disagree with her political message.

“Obama is ruining American values. He is ruining the Constitution. He needs to go back to where he came from because obviously, he is a liar,” she said. “I am not racist. I am part Indian. Obama’s half Black, half White.”

“He’s 47 percent Negro,” shouted Ron Enderle, a 77-year-old Chandler resident who said that he and his son served as Marines and his grandson is currently serving in the Marines.

Chuck D could not be reached for comment.

By the way: Isn't it “Bye Bye Black Bird” and “Bah Bah Black Sheep”?

Posted at 04:42 PM on Aug 07, 2013 in category Politics
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