GOP, Intellectual Conservatism, and winning the hearts and minds of your own base

Earlier today I read several critiques of what really caused the GOP debacle in the budget wars with the Senate and President Obama: moderates, RINOs, and false conservatives.

Supposedly 50-60 of these spineless creatures were behind the inability of the GOP to do the impossible.

Rush Limbaugh was even heard to wail on his program that the GOP has become “irrelevant” and responsible for “creating one of the greatest political disasters” he has ever seen. He also blamed the spineless creatures. Luckily for us all, Rush is just an entertainer and no one in the GOP listens to him anyway.

The real reason for GOP failure

Conservatives have abandoned almost any pretext of intellectualism and desire to compete in the marketplace of ideas. They have become what they rant against: they want outcomes. They do not want to have to work for them or to justify them.

BTW – Purging the GOP of spineless creatures even further is not going to help the party.

Do not trash talk “moderates” and “RINOs” as stabbing the GOP in the back … especially when many of those RINOs have 90%+ conservative American Conservative Union (ACU) ratings, or ratings in the high 80s … AND when these folks already vote with you 99% of the time. You need allies. You do not need to threaten your allies for violating rightwing political correctness when the next election rolls around.

Some of your allies should also include conservative Blue Dogs and moderate Democrats.

24 hours later, Tea Party Nation says that it is time to declare ‘open season‘ on RINOs: “The Tea Party is still here and conservatives are now declaring open season on RINOs. The Civil War in the Republican Party is on!”

About that Big Tent thing, could it be that there is an element of the Republican party that constantly wants to purge the spineless creatures and yet maybe a small bit of housecleaning is in order among the purgers? Just some housecleaning — am a big believer in ‘big tents’. Tea Partyers and traditional GOP liberals and moderates and main street conservatives should feel welcome within the party.

Tea Party Favorability

My advice as Bill4DogCatcher

#1 – Create actual budget/appropriations for each branch of government as required by the Constitution. The House GOP (chair of such committees) drafted/passed appropriations for only 4 out of 12 required budgets (appropriations). Put your wants and cards on the table. Man up! Negotiate.

#2 – Allow amendments. Debate them. Vote straight up as yes or no. Show your math (this needs to be done for both sides — BUT when you are chair of the appropriations committees then your math matters more because you control the eventual outcome.)

—- Avoid taking 43 ‘Repeal and Replace’ votes and showboating. If you don’t have the votes then you don’t have the votes.

—- If you need public support then take your case to the public. What happened to ‘Replace’? Replace with what? Not a single House vote was ever taken on any form of ‘Replace’. …. Yes, several dartboard ‘we could do’ plans emerged from time to time but not a single one made it out of committee (chaired by GOP members) and went to the floor for a vote.

—- You don’t overturn omnibus laws (Obamacare) with an all-or-nothing vote. It could happen … but it will happen when the Keebler elves actually show up with cookies. Instead of ‘overturn’, make your case and replace portions of the law. It is because of the GOP not wanting to play ball back in 2009 that Obamacare is the abomination that it is … or is in the minds of many of the GOP. Count your votes. If you can do it your way then go for it. If not then you need to get in the game and make whatever pops out as law the best law possible.

#3 – Go to Appropriations Conference reconciliation with the Senate in good faith. Do not claim that the Senate has failed to appoint a conference committee team when your own party blocked attempts to do so 19 times over the last 5 months since April 23rd.

And please stop trashing anyone that is to the left of the far right. Some of us once voted Republican. Regularly. Some of us once automatically pulled the Republican party lever in the pollbooth when we were not sure which candidate to vote for. Regularly. But not anymore. Dear GOP, you have become scary, unstable and erratic … at least at the national level … and in several of these United States.

Dear President Obama: Enough of stupid. Open federal parks and parklands.

Dear President Obama,

If you are smart you will direct that all federal parklands be opened as of Monday. Announce that “I have heard you.”

Closing the parks is stupid. You have probably spent more money on staff to monitor and to police park closings, and on a gazillion orange cones and rented fencing to block off the parks, than if you had just left the parks open.

Close facilities but leave monuments and actual parkland open. Since you are spending $$ money to print special signs then print signs that say “Use at own risk”.

Sure, someone will get hurt and sue. That is the American way. However, you don’t close off our parks to save money that you supposedly do not have and then spend even more money to make sure that the parks are closed.

Enough of stupid. We have lots of stupid. You are just playing into the hands of people that do not like you … and I’m none too happy either about parks and “stupid”.

GOV SHUTDOWN – This isn’t some damn game … umm, yes it is: Extortion and Brinkmanship

GOV SHUTDOWN – This isn’t some damn game … umm, yes it is: Extortion and Brinkmanship

On October 4th, Friday morning  at a press conference, House Speaker John Boehner said: ”This isn’t some damn game” in supposed response to Democratic utterances that they were winning the battle of public perceptions.

Yes, yes it is a game. All political maneuverings are a game. It is the very core nature of politics to create winners and losers via gaming the system to get what you want and to deny something to someone else. Upon occasion there is the pursuit of a win-win approach, but that appears to be nowhere in our shortterm future. Pursuit of win-win requires that our representatives be so balanced in their representation that both sides must seek out allies across their aisle in order to achieve their own objectives.

Both of the major parties are playing this as a game. And in my opinion they should: there are some very important principles at play and someone needs to lose to overcome unlimited stalemate.

Passing ‘GO’ without landing in trouble:

Democrats: You got what you wanted: ACA/Obamacare. You have had plenty of time to prepare for it. There are lots of tweaks that should have been made. You should have been making some allies — yes, makings friends with folks that think you are a cootie-machine isn’t easy … but there are lots of valid points of criticism that were easy to anticipate. You have let President Obama carry the water for you in using his executive authority to tweak aspects of ACA. Bad on you. However, if you let the horde at the front gate knock down the doors then you should expect unlimited mayhem and ever more challenges to everything imaginable. … You have the ability to hold your breath and to win this one. However, if you want to be taken seriously in 2014 you now need to show that you can build budgets, manage and reduce the national debt, and recognize the concerns of Main Street … else brinkmanship will return as our debt spirals ever upward. As for brinkmanship: you do have a plan if the GOP put themselves on life support and refuse to compromise? Don’t you? You do have some negotiating points upon your sleeve … don’t you?

Republicans: You say that you just want a one year delay of Obamacare so that we can discuss the law and work things out. Hardly. You want the delay so that you  have a chance to make it a 2014 election issue and hope that you can stoke the anger factor as in 2010 and take back both houses of Congress. It is a wonderfully simple plan: buy some time, grow your stock of weapons, and then prepare to bludgeon the opposition at a time of your own choosing. There is no reason to believe that the GOP reallys wants compromise. Capitulation but not compromise is your goal. … Remember ‘Repeal and Replace’? There was never a ‘Replace’ plan put out there for us to consider — or any ‘Replace’ plan that even carried the support of a simple majority of Republicans. … I know that you don’t see it this way but you are engaged in a game of extortion: give us what we want or we will shut it down. All of it. … Redistricting due to 2010’s census will make your place in the House somewhat secure in the 2014 elections but by November 2013 I seriously doubt that the great majority of Americans are going to view you as being on their side. Enough of the extortion. Do your constitutional job and pass appropriations bills that reflect what you will pay for or not. Send the individual appropriations bills forward. You only finalized four (4) FY2014 appropriations bills within the House — you are in no position to talk about fiscal responsibility and fulfilling constitutional obligations.

My expectation at this point is that the federal government shutdown will not be resolved before we get into the national debt fight, and we will essentially go into default on our national debt.

It is what it is. No telling what it will turn out to be.

Best regards,

Bill Golden

Obamacare and the Great Shutdown of 2013

Obamacare and the Great Shutdown of 2013

In 2008 I voted for McCain for president. I was still a Republican.

Obamacare may be a poorly written law but it is something that was needed.

The GOP had a chance to make it a good or better law. During 2009 the GOP introduced 169 accepted amendments to the law while it was in committee. Yet when it came time to refine and to sell the law the GOP walked away without a single vote for it. Obamacare is a bad law courtesy of the GOP. Govern or get out.

In 2012 I voted Obama. Not out of love for Obama or the Democratic Party but because of the silliness constantly put forth by the GOP. Most of my other 2012 choices in 2012 were still Republican despite my vote for Obama.

2013 – Am completely soured on Republicans but will still vote for one or two in the upcoming Virginia election.

2014 – Am hoping that some sanity returns to the GOP … but if not I will be in good company pinching my nose and voting for that other party. And if craziness still seems to have the GOP in its grasp then I will just vote straight Democratic and hope that a GOP made up of thinking fiscal conservatives one day rises from the ashes.

Dear House GOP – Just do it! Push that BIG red button!

Dear House GOP,

You should stick to your guns in your showdown with President Obama.

Do not compromise. Do not delay the big fight for another day. Do not compromise and then come back two weeks later and start the fight anew over the national debt. Do not compromise and then come back in 12 months just before the election and turn the need for governing into election bulletpoints for the base — either your base or anyone else’s supporter base.

Just do it.

It will cause some pain. Probably some good will come out of it too.

Most importantly of all, you and WE need to get on with life. To move beyond the irrational. So just do it. We will all happily remember this episode in 2014 and vote for those that we believe were right … or less wrong.

Left or Right – Paper or Plastic – Heart or Brain? … Life is better without talkingpoints.

I’ve come to accept me for me.

The left side of my brain seems to be Democratic. The right side seems to be Republican. Where it all meets in the middle I tend to pick and choose those ideas that seem appropriate for the situation.

Am hopelessly Independent … but happy that both sides are feeding me constant thoughts and ideas.

Heart and Brain - I am with stupid


The Heart and Brain image was found while reading Sarcastic Mama on Facebook.