Democrats & Liberals Archives

GOP and Ideas: Put Up, or Shut Up

I keep on hearing about new ideas from the Republicans. They keep on telling us they’ve got them.

Please, I’d love the Republicans to get new ideas. Say, like torture being wrong. Say, like tax cuts not being a panacea for economic trouble. Say, like negotiating with the majority to get what they want. Maybe that’s asking a little too much, but could y’all do me a favor and actually change your party’s policy and platform like you claim you will?

Alas, this just seems like more window dressing for a party allergic to change.

“We are going to take the president head on. The honeymoon is over,” Steele said. “The two-party system is making a comeback, and that comeback starts today.

“Many have suggested that we need to be careful, that we need to tiptoe around President Obama, that we have to be careful not to take him on, at least not directly,” Steele said. “If we have the courage of our convictions, and we do, then we will and we must stand against these disastrous policies, regardless of the president’s personal popularity."

I can only hope that Republicans out there are not so foolish as to believe that the honeymoon hasn't been over for some time now, like since the Republicans slammed the door on the Stimulus Package. The Republicans have, on many of the important issues, just decided to stonewall, which is problematic for them because of the increasingly smaller size of their party in Congress. It's no good to stonewall when people can walk around your wall and do what they want anyways.

This is not a new idea that the GOP champion of ideas offers. The Republicans took the Democrats and their agenda on straight on after 2006, and succeeded in doing two things: preventing the Democrats from passing any legislation of note and themselves from gaining back much of any of the seats they were supposed to get, after having proved themselves great conservatives for putting their thumb in the liberal's eye.

The Republicans have repeatedly proved their partisan credentials over the past four or five months, just as they did during the preceding two years. And amazingly enough, they've managed to even lose one more senate seat in the process! What they haven't managed to do, is lift their party out of thirties, either philosophically speaking, or in terms of actual poll numbers.

Seriously, though, Steele's problem is, the Republican's stated solution for dealing with America's problems seem alarmingly similar to somebody else's disastrous policies, or seem like new disasters altogether. I mean, it would be very emotionally cathartic to see the big banks collapse, but then good policy isn't necessarily about what feels good, now is it? But then, for quite some time, that's what much of what of Republicans have told people has been about. When they intervened with Terri Schiavo, they were dead wrong: she had no brain left to save. But it probably felt good for a ton of those on the Religious Right. When they voted for their tax cuts, knowing it was coming out of deficit spending, I'm sure they made plenty of rich people happy, but they were still indebting us more in the process.

When they crowed about their own patriotism, how they don't criticize their Commander in Chief's policy, because that would be Blaming America First, or Making the Terrorists Grin, or whatever, they sure felt good about how they were comparing themselves and the Democrats, but they were still screwing up in the eyes of most Americans. It makes them feel good to bash the media as a bunch of liberals, but did that make the Bush Administration any more competent, its decisions any more popular?

Now they call the new president names, just like they criticized the president before. They once again scream and holler about how Barack Obama is going to drag American into a socialist pit of hell. Is it a new idea to accuse Democrats of being commies? To suggest they're going to come and take the guns?

To suggest Secession is a viable alternative to dealing with the rest of the country? I mean hell, that's not a new idea, it's not even their old idea, it's the Democratic Party's!

Maybe the first new idea that the Republicans should have is that they can't win elections by bashing Democrats anymore, not when people consider them worse and more irresponsible than the people they're bashing. They can rag on Obama's stimulus plan, but most people like that plan, and they like that Obama is taking active steps to slow and reverse the economic meltdown, and in fact would like him to do more!

Perhaps the new idea that Republicans should come up with is how to keep their heads down and just serve the public good. Rebuild the Republican image as a party of practical problem solvers, rather than rain down scorn on the people who are successfully casting themselves as such.

Perhaps the new idea is that the Republicans can have new ideas as individuals. Their current "new" idea has been to clamp down furiously on anybody who hasn't shown up as 100% in line with the party platform. They even achieved for the Democrats through that furious crusade for purity what the Democrats themselves could not achieve: their sixtieth seat in the Senate. But if they had let Specter and others follow their own judgment, rather than forcing the entire party to think and speak alike, then you would have hundreds of Repulblicans able to have good ideas, able to support good ideas, able to go where they need to go, rather than have to answer to a few pundits and party bosses who have decided that their misfortunes are mainly owing to previous liberties taken with the ideology, whose new ideas seem to be all about how to repackage the old ones as if they're somehow divine revelations.

The Republicans need to learn to think for themselves, not apologize to Rush Limbaugh or any other pundit when they have a difference of opinion. They need to liberate themselves of the fear of what might happen if they free their minds to think about what they would do, what they would seek out. Let's keep in mind: the Democrats recovered from their decades in the political wilderness when the dissatisfied and disgruntled in their party stepped up and took on their old guard. The current President wasn't the establishment candidate. The Democrats brought in new blood, new ideas about how to approach the elections, and that made them competitive.

Which is not to say that new ideas are enough. They got to be good new ideas, appealing new ideas. But unless the Republican free themselves from the stranglehold of party orthodoxy, they won't even have the opportunity to put new ideas to the test, to see what works and what doesn't.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at May 20, 2009 7:17 AM
Comments
Comment #281796

Good post Stephen , I was vacuuming my carpets late last night and my brave hearted little chihuahua went through his Don Quixote routine against the vacuum cleaner i had the same thought about rush and many other far right republicans with their same parallel path they have taken it’s to the point of being entertaining but that’s where the similarities end he and many other far right folks have almost created a complete vacuum on earth with their marathon non stop nonsensical blather if i recall Quixote regained his senses I’m afraid rush = Moe and Michael = Larry and Cheney = Curly can’t, The new bloods as you say must take back their party and run more from center to right and center to left to expand their spectrum and ideas .

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 20, 2009 11:41 AM
Comment #281798

After listening to Steele, and then to Hannity yesterday I was reminded, yet again, that the Republicans held power over the “Greatest Economic Expansion in Our Nations History”.

I might remind these guys that, yes, they did, until through their lack of oversight they drove the American economy straight into the toilet.

Perhaps these guys would like to explain again just how groovy everything was before Obama took office to the folks that lost virtually all of their retirement funds before Obama was even sworn in.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at May 20, 2009 1:30 PM
Comment #281799

amen brother, sing it loud sing it proud!!! repubs want a small gov’t - yet they built the largest. they don’t want gov’t interference - yet they want say in all aspects of my life. (whether i should have a choice to have a child, who i should wed, when one should die) that is a lifetime of meddling. this is the real reason they have made themselves a non party. they want all the praise, and non of the pain. they do not have a single person saying “we were all wrong”. and MANY americans feel that they were all wrong. the repubs first need to turn their backs on bush admin, and say it aloud. you want a party of a fresh start, you must admit your past mistakes, all of them. no more pointing fingers. someone show some character. they just seem like an unhonorable bunch. and that is what is felt in the midwest. and boehner drank the koolaid - the orange koolaid.

Posted by: bluebuss at May 20, 2009 1:31 PM
Comment #281811

When the Democrats were out of office, they were just the un-republicans. In fact, they still define themselves largely against the PAST Republicans.

I remember when Republicans dared the Democrats to come up with a solid plan. The Democrats just said that since they were not in power, they didn’t need a detailed plan.

The Democrats sky high deficits are enough to complain about. The vast growth of government is scary.

The irony is that President Obama is the moderate. Despite rhetoric to the contary, he is staying the course in Iraq & Afghanistan and he has moderated his stand on terrorist trials. He doesn’t want to have the show trials of the past administration. The nut cases in Congress are pushing farther to the left.

If Obama would just moderate his big spending, I would be perfectly happy with my president. Harry & Nancy, however, are too ethically challenged to be accepted. Anybody who opposed these clowns for any reason is okay by me.

Posted by: Christine at May 20, 2009 9:07 PM
Comment #281812

BTW - the it looks like the real oppostion to President Obama is fellow Democrat Jim Webb. What is that all about?

Posted by: Christine at May 20, 2009 9:09 PM
Comment #281814

look at the mess in california. thats what we’re headed for at the national level. by the time the dems are done the US will have the worlds worst credit rating. so much for our posterity.

Posted by: dbs at May 20, 2009 9:50 PM
Comment #281815

“The Democrats sky high deficits are enough to complain about.”

Christine it is not the dems sky high deficit it is the countries sky high deficits. The repubs during the great economic expansion doubled the deficit and brought us to our knees economically. The TARP, as bad as it is, was from the repub administration and the stimulus was in response to the financial meltdown. The repubs did not understand we had a problem let alone a solution to the problem, so knowing the stimulus would pass without them they chose to blame the dems even though doing nothing would be devastating to the country. To mis-characterize the government response to the financial meltdown as only a dems issue doesn’t seem to me to be forgetting the cause of the problem.

“The vast growth of government is scary.”

Where were you when the repubs were talking smaller government yet growing the government none the less. Where has government increased that now causes you such alarm? Do you also stress over the “to big to fail” financial institutions becoming bigger?

Posted by: j2t2 at May 20, 2009 10:33 PM
Comment #281817

“Where were you when the repubs were talking smaller government yet growing the government none the less.”

Exactly! Under recent Republican administrations, the size of government, annual deficits and the national debt have simply exploded. The only recent administration that brought some fiscal sanity to Washington was the Clinton administration. Republicans have no credibility when it comes to fiscal responsibility. They had the opportunity and they blew it.

Posted by: Rich at May 20, 2009 11:03 PM
Comment #281820

dbs said: “look at the mess in california. thats what we’re headed for at the national level.”

You are right, dbs. If we allow Republicans back into power to do the unthinkable again like engage in a two front war which every military strategy book written in the last 200 years says don’t do, and give carte blanche to the corporations to run the markets and market place anyway they choose, then we will indeed be headed for yet another national level mess like California is experiencing under a Republican governor who didn’t have a clue how to work with his legislature.

I have railed against the debt and deficits of the Republicans and Democrats for years and years. I can’t rail against the current deficits and debt since they are mandated by the fragility of the financial system and the recession brought on in great part by the Republicans with Clinton’s help (GLB Act), and absolutely neglect of oversight and regulation by the Republicans pursuing that incredibly naive laissez faire policy.

If Republicans hadn’t wasted a trillion dollars on unnecessary and wasteful spending on military projects, and overpaying Haliburton, KBR, and Blackwater, if they hadn’t wasted another 100 billion or so on no bid contracts with big pharma on the Rx Drug part of Medicare, if they hadn’t wasted another 100 billion or so on StarWars laser defense shield technology which was never feasible, if they hadn’t given 100’s of millions of dollars cash to US soldiers to hand out, send home, or bribe officials in Iraq, if they hadn’t given mortgage lenders and financial corporations the green light to leverage their balance sheets 1000’s of times beyond their real assets, etc., etc., etc., the debt would be significantly less today and the financial crisis might never have happened. But, when Republicans get through jacking up the debt on wasteful spending, the people elect the Democrats to spend money to fix the problems the Republicans left behind. Not a very cheap remedy to say the least, but, what choice to Republicans and Democrats give the voters?

If Republicans hadn’t spent so much money injuring the economy, and enriching only a small percentage of our population, perhaps the Democrats wouldn’t have to be spending so much to heal the economy and save the middle class from the Republican waste wake.

I have no love for Democrats history, but, they were the only alternative to the destructive forces unleashed by Republican rule. And Obama’s objectives and pragmatic approach are, so far, pretty much exactly what America needs to salvage our economic future from this point forward, considering where we would be now, if Republicans were still in control.

When I think of Republicans approach to Pakistan, Afghanistan, taxes, the growing wealth gap, and their ridiculous belief that cutting taxes would have saved jobs during this recession, I am damn glad there was at least one other party alternative to deal with this economic mess in a very different fashion than Republicans would have.

I want to see an Independent Party that thinks a lot like Obama in terms of acknowledging squarely our problems and putting ideology aside to craft pragmatic solutions that will not only take care of current crises but build on a better foundation for a better future, in infrastructure, maintenance, job and economic and technological growth, and a laser like focus on working on to reduce the cost of living in areas like energy, health care, and education going forward. Let’s face it, with the need to raise taxes in the future, we have no choice but to focus on ways to reduce the cost of living to offset those higher taxes created by Republicans doubling of the national debt and cratering the economy, all in 8 years time.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 21, 2009 4:05 AM
Comment #281821

Christine et al

As a direct result of BHO/Democrat policy decisions,stimulus,unemployment benefit extension, international cooperation etc. the economy is no longer heading for a cliff. Yes, it cost a lot. Yes it worked. A little credit where it is due is in order. Pretty soon now we should be getting those who say it was all a waste of money and the problem wasn’t so bad after all. Its the same astute observation we got from those that bemoaned all the money we spent getting ready for y2k that claimed it was unnecessary because ,after all, nothing happened.

Posted by: bills at May 21, 2009 8:02 AM
Comment #281824

rich, david

the republicans blew it, plain and simple. i will not defend thier screwups. the problem is the democrats are on course to make the reps spending look like milk money. california is a perfect example of what happens when liberal democrats are allowed to run the show. IMO the pendulum has swung to far in the other direction, and this will not fix the problem.

Posted by: dbs at May 21, 2009 8:37 AM
Comment #281826

bills

“As a direct result of BHO/Democrat policy decisions,stimulus,unemployment benefit extension, international cooperation etc. the economy is no longer heading for a cliff. Yes, it cost a lot. Yes it worked.”

according to who? i’de like a pair of those rose colored glasses you’re wearing, and a glass of that coolaid too please.

Posted by: dbs at May 21, 2009 8:44 AM
Comment #281829

dbs we had a choice a few months back, the conservative/repub do nothing/cut taxes to business choice or the Obama/dems choice of attacking the financial meltdown. The aggressive action by the Obama administration has had it’s intended affect without throwing millions of people out of their homes and into the streets. With the Stimulus plan just now taking effect perhaps the biggest problem, the lack of jobs, will be addressed.

“The improvement reflects the combined impact of a wide range of actions, many of them taken with little public attention, according to government officials and private economists. But more important than any single program, the sources say, is a deepening confidence from financial markets that the government is prepared to take aggressive action — a confidence that Obama officials have repeatedly worked to cultivate in speeches and public appearances.”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30858963/ns/business-washington_post

Posted by: j2t2 at May 21, 2009 9:32 AM
Comment #281835

j2t2

the jury is still out on the results of the obama plan. it may be quite some time before we know the true effect of all this spending. the current bailout of GM and chrysler IMO will be a disaster. when the gov’t is running these businesses what do you suppose will happen to the competition that dares to compete with these companies. this is nothing more than a payoff to the UAW, and it will bite us all in the ass, and take our wallets with it. what about all these dealerships that were paid for by private citizens that will now be taken without any compensation? raging socialism will not fix this country, and thats what the democrats are selling.

Posted by: dbs at May 21, 2009 11:08 AM
Comment #281837

Arnold had a diesel powered hummer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hummer_H1 to bad GM didn’t use the diesel fuel sipping Duramax diesel in the H2. And the smaller duramax in the H3. instead of gas hog V8s

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 21, 2009 11:45 AM
Comment #281840

New for half ton pickups and suvs FINGERS CROSSED! LMK Duramax made in NY small V8 4.5 Litre. design http://dieselpower.automotive.com/99730/0902dp-2010-diesel-engines/index.html
“” MPG: According to Diesel Power’s October 2008 interview with GM’s Executive Director of Diesel Engineering, Charlie Freese, the 4.5L Duramax is projected to have at least 25% better fuel efficiency than a similar gas truck under light load conditions. However, under work situations, this diesel engine is said to be 40-70% more fuel efficient compared to a similar gasoline-powered truck.”“

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 21, 2009 12:16 PM
Comment #281842

“the jury is still out on the results of the obama plan. it may be quite some time before we know the true effect of all this spending.”

I agree dbs that it will take some time, but then to just cut taxes or do nothing was not the answer, that would have lead to a depression just as it did the last time.

“the current bailout of GM and chrysler IMO will be a disaster. when the gov’t is running these businesses what do you suppose will happen to the competition that dares to compete with these companies.”

It could be a disaster but then it could work out well. I doubt the government will be running these companies at all. I think that is just a fear tactic used by the far right.

“what about all these dealerships that were paid for by private citizens that will now be taken without any compensation?”

Who is taking these dealerships? The problem as I understand it is the car companies don’t need these dealerships in the restructuring plan. The government is not confiscating the dealerships the invisible hand of the market is swatting them away as it has become inefficient to carry so many dealerships according to the business models of Toyota and Honda. Less competition in the marketplace which will lead to higher prices for the consumer will likely be the result. But that is due to we the people accepting capitalism in lieu of a representative democracy isn’t it?

“raging socialism will not fix this country, and thats what the democrats are selling.”

Raging capitalism has caused the problem, dbs, more than likely their is no real fix at this point. But a mix of capitalism and socialism has served us well in the past. Perhaps it is time to get away from the all or nothing ideology and go woth what works.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 21, 2009 12:58 PM
Comment #281843

Another fact GM the company will shed about 500 dealerships that market the Saturn, Hummer and Saab brands, which GM plans to phase out or sell. One Dealer up here in the middle of nowhere to close down was a Saturn, Hummer and Saab and GMC, He also has a Toyota and Honda dealership in the last year I’ll bet you could count the sales of GM products there on both hands.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 21, 2009 1:26 PM
Comment #281845

“”I’ll bet you could count the sales of GM products there on both hands.”” All warranty work there , Now the lone big Chevy/GMC Dealer in the city 30 miles from the little Berg dealer will be more than happy to take up the slack.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 21, 2009 1:48 PM
Comment #281865

j2t2

“Raging capitalism has caused the problem, dbs,”

no it hasn’t. corrupt politicians have. when we allow the gov’t to pick winners and losers we all lose. gov’t should referee the game, and the free market should pick the winners and losers. thats not what happened though is it. it’s not whats going to happen now either. you’ll have to excuse me if i don’t share your enthusiasm for the dealings of the boy king. IMO he will create an even bigger mess, but by the we realize this it will be to late.

Posted by: dbs at May 21, 2009 9:39 PM
Comment #281872

It was already too late…the pot was stirred…Obama may fail, but not for want of trying…want of trying is the Republican gig, i.e., get us into the mess, then wring your hands, and blame Democrats.

Posted by: Marysdude at May 21, 2009 10:54 PM
Comment #281878

“no it hasn’t. corrupt politicians have.”

You mean those politicians that are paid for and controlled by the corporate lobbyist?

“when we allow the gov’t to pick winners and losers we all lose. gov’t should referee the game, and the free market should pick the winners and losers.”

dbs, we have been doing this since the days of Reagan at least, why are you just starting to complain now? The problem we have is the “free marlarkey” is controlled by the same big corporations that control the Congress, IMHO.

” thats not what happened though is it. it’s not whats going to happen now either. you’ll have to excuse me if i don’t share your enthusiasm for the dealings of the boy king. IMO he will create an even bigger mess, but by the we realize this it will be to late.”

dbs I wouldn’t expect you to appreciate the boy king, much as I didn’t appreciate the idiot king leaving the boy king the mess, yet you stood tall for the idiot king,until it was to late,whilst he did his damage. While you may not appreciate the boy king for attempting to restore the kingdom you should at the least appreciate the fact that it was precisely the same ideology you are espousing today to fix things that got us into this mess, why would we want more of the same?

The fact is dbs I don’t appreciate Obama’s choice of Summers and Geithner nor the bail outs. But I do appreciate the fact Obama has meant this financial challenge head on with the best help he could find, ideology be damned, and took action whilst the repub/conservatives spouted old failed ideology bereft of any new ideas.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 22, 2009 8:30 AM
Comment #282068

I am anxious to see how the democrats do with the U.S., they have blamed republicans for every bad incident that occurred in the world. Now they get to sit at the “adult” table having both congress and the white house. There are no more excuses or finger pointing let’s see what you can do. Oh by the way the greatest 20th century president was a republican, (Reagan), who happen to cut taxes and bring us out of the worst recession we had since the Great Depression.

Posted by: B Brooks at May 26, 2009 2:50 PM
Comment #282080

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…the greatest American President since sliced bread, Ronald Reagan inherited a national debt of about one trillion dollars and dropped a two trillion debt on BushI. America paid a horrible price to house the ‘greatest American President’…

Posted by: Marysdude at May 26, 2009 7:28 PM
Comment #282915

Ideas? Ideas? I don’t know about ideas. I know about the principles of the Republican Party. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There are only two: Get tough or die and never give a sucker an even break.

Posted by: Stephen Hines at June 13, 2009 7:54 PM
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