Democrats & Liberals Archives

What are Republicans in Favor of?

For more than a year Republicans have objected to about everything President Obama favored. They are delighted to be called the “party of NO.” Some Republicans - Teapartiers - are against merely saying “NO”; they scream “hell, NO.” So, normal Republicans are responding with “God-damn, NO!

Listen to what the great GOP "idea man," the former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, says (or should I say "shouts") about President Obama:

"The most radical president in American history has now thrown down the gauntlet to the American people: 'I run a machine. I own Washington and there's nothing you can do about it,' Gingrich said. He urged his fellow Republicans to stop what he called Obama's "secular, socialist machine."

What is Gingrich so upset about? Obama promised during the campaign that healthcare reform would be one of his top priorities. He tried more than any president I can remember to make the bill bipartisan. In the end we have a law extremely similar to what Republican Romney got for Massachusetts. Yet, not one Republican voted for it!

And now Gingrich is calling Obama a radical? A leader of Republicans who refuse to participate in democratic governance is calling the man who pleaded for discussion and democratic compromise "the most radical president in American history"? Gingrich followed up this outrageous outburst with this electoral call to arms:

When we win control of the House and Senate this fall, Stage One of the end of Obamaism will be a new Republican Congress in January that simply refuses to fund any of the radical efforts. ... Once upon a time, I used to be Speaker of the House and I actually understand the legislative process. And the truth is, under our Constitution, the Congress doesn’t have to pass the money. ... A Republican President and a Republican Congress in February and March of 2013 will repeal every radical bill passed by this machine.

Gingrich is against whatever Obama is for. Republicans are against what Democrats are for. They were against the stimulus, even though it was originally suggested by the previous Republican administration. They were against healthcare reform. Even after its passage, the Republicans are working hard to repeal it. They are against decent financial reform. They hold up unemployment checks for the unemployed. Before President Obama has even nominated a judge to replace Justice Stevens, Republicans say they will filibuster the choice. No, no, no, no is what we have heard daily, on large and small issues, ever since President Obama was inaugurated.

And now we have this nihilistic outburst by Newt Gingrich. Read what Gingrich says. It's the rantings of a child who can't get his way. "If I can't have my way," he yells, "I'll close down the whole government. If you don't do what I say, nobody will get anything. I know. I've done this before."

Of course, he has - when Clinton was president. And he failed miserably.

So we know what Gingrich is against. We know what Republicans are against. We know what Teapartiers are against. But what are they for? In all the screaming and yelling on the air waves do Republicans give you a hint of what they are for? They are angry. Are they for being angry all the time? How would they solve the healthcare problem, the financial problem, the job problem, the education problem, the security problem......?

It's obvious that Republicans hate the Democrats and everything the Democrats favor. But what do Republicans favor? If they got into office what would they do besides nullify everything Democrats had achieved? Do Republicans have any useful ideas at all?

Posted by Paul Siegel at April 9, 2010 7:40 PM
Comment #298687


Good question. I am for limiting the size and scope of government. Livig within a budget. Neither party seems to be very good at this.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 9, 2010 8:16 PM
Comment #298688

Really Paul?

As a Republican I base my whole belief system on opposing whatever Democrats are for. I, for one, am tired of defending capitalism and am yearning for the day when Democrats stop championing socialism so that I can get a chance to advocate for Marxism for a change.

Posted by: eric at April 9, 2010 8:57 PM
Comment #298689

It is a good question and since Paul never does any more than post and run, i won’t pose any questions in my reply.

I am for smaller government
I am for lower taxes.
I am for people being held accountable.
I am for politicians who represent their constituents.
I am for healthcare that means something.
I am for government staying out of my business.
I am for a president who does not travel around the world apologizing for our great nation.
I am for following the constitution.
I am for a news media that does not have a political, liberal agenda.
I am for judges that interpret the law not writing it.
I am for a government that boots corruption and stops lying to the citizenry.
I am for all of these things and more, but our president and democratic leadership are not.

So come November, we will correct this problem.

Posted by: Beretta9 at April 9, 2010 9:04 PM
Comment #298691

If you will recall, the Democratic Congress passed the Omnibus Bill in 1993-94, which raised the top income tax bracket. This increase was passed in order to address the horrendous deficits left by Reagan and Bush #41. By the end of Clinton’s presidency, the budget deficit was eliminated, and the national debt stabilzed. Remember?

“I am for smaller government”
So am I, beginning with a reduction of the military by half. Militarism needs to be eliminated from the American psyche.

“I am for lower taxes.”
That’s nice, of course, but I am for a healthy economy. We tried lower taxes during the Bush administration, and it turned out very, very badly. The Bush tax cuts saved me a few thousand a year, but the unhealthy economy cost me tens of thousands of dollars per year. Restore economic health, and the rest will follow.

“I am for people being held accountable.”

“I am for politicians who represent their constituents.”
That’s why we vote.

“I am for government staying out of my business.”

Moving right along…

“I am for judges that interpret the law not writing it.”
Then you should be outraged by the radical rewriting of law undertaken by the SCOTUS conservatives in Citizens United. It overturned decades of law, even though the litigants were not even going in that direction. There has been no worse example in our lifetime of ‘legislating from the bench,’ and it has disastrous potential for a government of the people (by ‘people’ I mean humans, not corporations).

Obama and the Democratic leadership condemn the Citizens United decision. Incredibly, conservatives support it. I think that sums up the reality of the situation.

So where do you really stand, Beretta? With the conservatives, in support of the conservative decision on Citizens United? Or with liberals, who opposed it?

Posted by: phx8 at April 9, 2010 10:03 PM
Comment #298693

He just says ‘no’.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 9, 2010 10:22 PM
Comment #298700

I guess my thoughts could be summed up in this link:

Posted by: Beretta9 at April 10, 2010 12:03 AM
Comment #298702

What a crappy video. I can see why conservatives stick with talk radio.

Posted by: phx8 at April 10, 2010 12:18 AM
Comment #298704

People seem to forget that President Reagan inherited an economy which defied reason.

During the Carter administration we had “Stagflation” An economy that had both inflation and was stagnant at the same time . This is something that should never happen as they are opposing forces in the economy.

In 1980, The tax rate for the top bracket was lowered from 70% to 30%. Revenues increased and more money was made available to the economy and spurred growth which became to fuel for the nearly three decades of growth that followed.

The deficit was a result of congress refusing to cut spending or even keep spending at the same levels they were, prior to the increase in the revenue. Congress was controlled by the Democrats.

Another factor was the change of our economy from a wartime economy to peace time economy with the end of the Cold War.To avoid actually fighting the Soviet Union, it was necessary to outspend them on military programs. When the Cold War ended, so did a great deal of manufacturing.

Government programs have also had a destructive role in the economy. These programs cost large amounts of money and generate no income in return. They also show very little results. When looking at a lost war, just look at “The War on Poverty”. Forty plus years of fighting and the inner city is just as bad, if not worse, than it was at the start.

In 1994 the Republicans controlled Congress.

The government can only hurt the economy. Tax cuts did not make the economy unhealthy. Lower taxes means more money to invest and spend , a boost to the economy. The government pushing banks to loan money to unqualified buyers did a lot more damage than any tax cut could ever do.

Trying to say one party handled the economic downturn any better than the other is undeniably wrong. The tactic used by both presidents was exactly the same. The only reason that people think the economy is better is that standards have been lowered.An unemployment rate of nearly 10% with Obama and an unemployment rate of around 4% with Bush. I’m not a Bush fan, but people working usually means a healthy economy.

The true culprit in the economic downturn is the entitlement mentality the pervades much of America. People were living above their means through credit and made bad deals on their mortgages. Instead of teaching self-esteem in schools, we should be teaching basic economics.

Every American should have the freedom to succeed or fail based solely on their own abilities and work ethic. We all have the inalienable rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. These are the real entitlements of all people and in thes we have true equality.

Posted by: wayne at April 10, 2010 12:59 AM
Comment #298706


People seem to forget that President Reagan inherited an economy which defied reason.

During the Carter administration we had “Stagflation”

You seem to forget that stagflation started under Nixon.

In 1980, The tax rate for the top bracket was lowered from 70% to 30%. Revenues increased and more money was made available to the economy and spurred growth which became to fuel for the nearly three decades of growth that followed.

Well, maybe not, since that isn’t supported except in fantasy economics by political advocates.

The true culprit in the economic downturn is the entitlement mentality the pervades much of America. People were living above their means through credit and made bad deals on their mortgages. Instead of teaching self-esteem in schools, we should be teaching basic economics.

I agree wholeheartedly we should teach economics so that people won’t make statements like: “The true culprit in the economic downturn is the entitlement mentality the pervades much of America.”

There were these little things called CDO’s.

Posted by: gergle at April 10, 2010 1:39 AM
Comment #298712

The top marginal rates were lowered. Revenues did increase ,not from lowered rates but because SS payroll taxes increased dramatically.The burden of government cost was simply shifted to the middle class. Even with that shift Reagans legacy is a huge deficit. There was no Reagan boom.Employment did tick up some like always after a recession. This was short lived. To give Reagan credit for “three decades of growth” is fantastic nonsense. That is like giving Nixon credit for the Clinton boom.BTW The Democratic congress cut every budget Reagan submitted.


Did you catch Gingrich on Fox dissing the arms control treaty. He sat there and lied about the content,not interpretation,content. Black and white. Right in front of him.

Posted by: bills at April 10, 2010 2:52 AM
Comment #298713

Paul and all
Here is Jon Stewart setting the record straight like only he can do.

Interesting that Saint Reagan also called for a 30% decrease in nuclear weapons AND working toward eventual elimination altogether. BHO is being attacked by some on the right for doing the same.

Posted by: bills at April 10, 2010 3:01 AM
Comment #298714


Conservatives are becoming infamous for biting off their noses to spite their faces…Bill Clinton was the best President the Republicans ever had. He signed more conservative policy than any of their own, conducted a more strategic military action, and look how they treated him. Fast forward to the present. All agreed that HC Reform was necessary to help straighten out our fiscal house…our President signed into law the most conservative program ever devised by the hands of man, is using better strategies in Afghanistan, and look how they are treating him. I wonder when Democrats are going to realize that the only way to satisfy Republicans is to move out of the country, so they can live alone in all its ingloriousness?

Posted by: Marysdude at April 10, 2010 5:51 AM
Comment #298719


It is a nice, but deeply dishonest, rhetorical trick when people say what they are for, ASSUMING the government is the only reasonable structure for the provision of those things, then blames the other side for being against those things when they reject the government as the source from which they should come.

I am for all kinds of things, from healthcare to retirement to general happiness. I simply do not wish an organization whose only claim not to be a form of organized crime had heretofore been the consent of the governed to provide it.

phx8 says to make the government smaller by “rejecting militarism”, which takes completely for granted the peace of Europe and the relative peace in much of the rest of the world. The assumption there is that things couldn’t be worse, which is, I’m sorry to say, typical political liberal naivete. The truth is if you eliminated the entire military and every budget expenditure in its support today you would not get rid even of our current annual deficit. You would, though, within five years, be in the midst of worldwide chaos.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 10, 2010 8:17 AM
Comment #298720

It’s funny constantly hearing, reading, and seeing the intense partisanship of the people of this country. That being said, how is it that either party can expect their elected leaders to act any differently than they (and you all) are? Face it, the ONLY way we will get this country back on track is to overhaul our entire political system. The two party system no longer works. Make people vote based on policy not party. One central campaign fund, distributed evenly to all candidates, so as to level the economic playing field. If a candidate cannot make the most effective use of those funds, how can we trust him to make the most effective use of our tax dollars. Politicians today count on their “base” to elect them. Base, is simply a term used for the group of people who will vote along party lines regardless of ANY extenuating circumstances. So grow up, people. Our country is at stake, act as you wish your representatives to act. Stop the name calling and bickering. Difference in ideas is what makes our country great. Start being Americans!

Posted by: shankapotomus at April 10, 2010 8:18 AM
Comment #298721

Well, this is a great post. What are republicans in favor of? And when they say what they are i favor of, the left tells them, “no your not”. Maybe we should lok at what Americans are in favor of:

1. 84% of US voters consider government corruption and ethics most important.

2. 81% consider the economy next most important.

3. 72% consider healthcare to be 3rd most important (this is interesting, because Obamacare has already passed, so why would this issue be so important)

4. 66% consider SS to be next most importan (I guess this is true because 7,000 boomers a day retire)

5. Education, Taxes, National Security almost tie with 58% to 60%.

Now these are the things that are important to the American people. By the way, Obama and the democrats have done nothing to resolve these issues. Scource:

Posted by: Beretta9 at April 10, 2010 8:21 AM
Comment #298724


“The two party system no longer works. Make people vote based on policy not party.”

I believe this is already taking place with the Tea Party. The Tea Party is composed of 12% democrat, 35% independents, and the rest republican. Our government is based upon a 2 party system. To attempt to create a third would only weaken what we have. The goal of the Tea Party is to take back control of the Republican Party and make them answerable to conservatives. 60+% of Americans consider themselves to be conservative. Liberals, on the other hand, have hijacked the Democratic Party: only 20% of Americans consider themselves to be liberal. IMHO the Democratic Party is lost. They might as well change their name to the Socialist Party or the Liberal Party. No matter, they certainly do not represent traditional democrats and the American people are waking up to this fact.

As it stands right now the dems stand to loose at least 9 senate seats in Nov and they will probably loose control of the house. Add to that the many, many gov seats taken by the GOP.

Posted by: Beretta9 at April 10, 2010 8:38 AM
Comment #298725

“Our government is based upon a 2 party system. To attempt to create a third would only weaken what we have.”

Beretta I suppose you believe this to be true but can you point out in the Constitution where the 2 party system is mandated?

“The goal of the Tea Party is to take back control of the Republican Party and make them answerable to conservatives.”

Thank you for your honesty Beretta. Many have tried to tell us the Tea bags were fed up with both parties when after all they are just a bunch of sore losers who thought McCain was not talk radio conservative enough for them despite the mess the talk radio conservatives left the country in during their last stay in power. How short of memory does one have to be to be a tea bagger?

Posted by: j2t2 at April 10, 2010 9:00 AM
Comment #298726

>As it stands right now the dems stand to loose at least 9 senate seats in Nov and they will probably loose control of the house. Add to that the many, many gov seats taken by the GOP.
Posted by: Beretta9 at April 10, 2010 08:38 AM

And, this is supposed to be better…how!?! The GOP had things their way from ‘81 to ‘92, and even took over Congress from ‘94 to ‘06…look what THAT got us:

’80s debt tripled, taxes on middle class increased
’00s debt tripled again, taxes on middle class increased

Perhaps too much GOP is enough?

Posted by: Marysdude at April 10, 2010 9:00 AM
Comment #298729


“Beretta I suppose you believe this to be true but can you point out in the Constitution where the 2 party system is mandated.”

Cool your jets; I didn’t say a 2 party system was mandated by the Constitution. Our government IS based upon a 2 party system. Can you name me another major party in our government?

“Thank you for your honesty Beretta. Many have tried to tell us the Tea bags were fed up with both parties when after all they are just a bunch of sore losers who thought McCain was not talk radio conservative enough for them despite the mess the talk radio conservatives left the country in during their last stay in power. How short of memory does one have to be to be a tea bagger?”

I actually use the term “Tea Party”; the term tea bagger is derogatory and would be like calling a gay a “queer” or a black, the “N” word. You do realize it is a rude term, don’t you? So try to use the proper terminology, and not try to insult as do the nighttime comedians.

I don’t know where you get your info; the grassroots leadership of the TP has no interest in starting a 3rd party. The only way a TP candidate would run, is if the Republican Party refused to offer a candidate who is approved by the TP. TP is just a name and it does not represent an actual party. Our goal is to regain control of the GOP. McCain is not and never was a conservative. He is a RINO, and he does not represent the views of conservative republicans. The TP is putting the fear of God into liberals. Much like Sarah Palin. I have said on here before, SP is not running for office; she is doing what she does best, attacking the left. Now we have a thin skinned Obama arguing with her on national TV. Great!!


Sorry, but your guys have blown it. Cry all you want about the GOP and past elections. The actions of previous republicans are the reason for the TP. You guys took control and you allowed a bunch of Socialists to set he agenda for your party and now you will pay a price in November:)

Posted by: Beretta9 at April 10, 2010 9:39 AM
Comment #298730

I might add one thought to my last post. To prove my point about the purpose of the TP. I received an political advertisement this week from a candidate running for our state treasury. The advertisement said she was “approved by the Tea Party”. So it is working…

Posted by: Beretta9 at April 10, 2010 9:45 AM
Comment #298733

Hmmm…kinda like Good Housekeeping, but without the expertise or the authority…I wonder what the TP logo will look like…a tea pot? A tea bag? a Plains Indian Tepee? It will be important for you to choose a good one, because it can be used as the seal of approval on the foreheads of the chosen few who qualify. What a bunch…we don’t want to get our hands dirty, we just want to pick those whose hands GET dirty. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 10, 2010 10:22 AM
Comment #298734


The subject of this thread had to do with what Republicans want…it now sounds like the GOP might want the TP to go away…and soon.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 10, 2010 10:25 AM
Comment #298738

By your comments dude it seems like it’s the other way around. The left wants the TP and SP to go away.

Posted by: MAG at April 10, 2010 11:22 AM
Comment #298740


What ‘socialist” programs are you refering to? The HC law was modeled after the Rohmney plan in Mass. It is far from socialist. Socialist HC systems have the facilities owned by the government and providers employed by same. The new law does niether.The HCR law is not far from the Rep plan offered in opposition to Hilary care. Where is this “socialism”.If you mean getting another 35 million people insured,bear in mind that in order to get rid of perexisting exclusions,an idea with broad support, the pool has to include everybody or people will only buy insurance when they are sick. The START treaty?Bailing out the epicenters of capitalism,big banks?What gives with this?

President Obama ,on his radio address remided us that the stimulus includes tax breaks for upwards of 100 million Americans to take advantage of,help for first time homebuyers and help for college etc. This is on top of the middle class tax cut the middle class has already recieved.If the real issue was taxes the TP should be happy with BHO.If concerns are really about the increse of government size then where were they under GWB? Of course that is not the real issue,now is it. Much can be learned from TP signs demanding their country back. “Their” being middle class white people having trouble accepting that the US is no longer a white nation.

Posted by: bills at April 10, 2010 12:09 PM
Comment #298741


Perhaps Healthcare was modelled after the plan in Mass. That should be no comfort to you. The legislature that created it is dominated by Democrats and this week the state has had to resort to ORDERING the largely not-for-profit private healthcare insurance industry in the state to provide quotes after virtually every insurer suspended offering new policies.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 10, 2010 12:23 PM
Comment #298742

Obama does have a socialist agenda,’bills’. He has taken over the auto industry, the banking industry, the insurance industry, and the healthcare industry. It may not seem like the latter is true…yet, but it will. As far as trying to validate the healthcare bill by comparing it to Romneys Massachusetts policy, not a good idea. Massachusetts is going broke because of their healthcare system and asking the fed for money to support their healthcare system. Insurance premiums went UP in Massachusetts, as they will across the country. But thats what Obama is counting on. Then more and more people will be dependent on the federal govt for insurance. I’m not going to argue it, time will prove the point. Just look at Tenn. for another example. Tenncare has caused healthcare rationing, similar to Canada and Europe. You know, the countries that Obama wants to model the US after. Obama isn’t done with his socialist agenda. As he said, this stuff has to be done in pieces. If he tried to do it all at once, everyone would see through him, and reject him. More than half the country already has!

Posted by: shankapotomus at April 10, 2010 12:38 PM
Comment #298744

and phx8,

in response to your earlier comment about Clinton eliminating the budget deficit and ‘stabilizing’ the economy…your right, he did. However, economists warned when Clinton came out with his ‘awesome’ economic policy, that it would be great for about 8 years. After that, it would take a nose dive. They were right, and thats what Bush inherited. Then came 9/11. Ultimately it was too much for Bush to handle. Clintons idea of an economic plan was shortsighted and political. He was simply looking to make a legacy for HIMSELF. The benefit of the country was never in his thoughts, or at least, his actions.

Posted by: shankapotomus at April 10, 2010 12:58 PM
Comment #298746

Third parties are not successful in the U.S. because of the nature of our first-past-the-post election system and geographical districts. A third party can change an election on occasion. For example, Ross Perot’s entry in 1992 disrupted the election enough to permit Bill Clinton win w/o winning a majority of the vote.

Third parties have no staying power for exactly that reason. A third party always grabs more voters from one party. If this allows the other party to win with a minority of the votes, the losing party makes some changes or concessions that bring the third party voters back into the fold. And the members of the third party usually find the prospect of continued victories by the minority party odious.

The Tea Party could indeed split off enough Republicans to allow Democrats to win more than they would have. But probably not. Most Tea Party members dislike Democratic policies. They can figure out that their votes for their third party would be de-facto votes for Democrats.

More likely Republicans will appeal to Tea Party members and bring that passion into the November elections. Democrats may try to appeal to them too, since the majority of the Tea Party are independents of Democrats, but the leftism they are selling will not be in high demand among Tea Party members unhappy with the growth of government.

To go to the original post - what do Republicans want?

- Smaller, more effective government
- A strong national defense
- Use of market mechanisms whenever possible
- Freedom to succeed
- Defense of traditional American values

Posted by: C&J at April 10, 2010 1:30 PM
Comment #298747

“Ultimately it was to much for Bush to handle.”

Thanks shankapotomus, that’s the best one I’ve heard to date.

Bush must have had a nervous breakdown. That would explain why he signed the Socialist Prescription Pill Bill and the Department of Socialist Homeland Security.

Posted by: jlw at April 10, 2010 1:33 PM
Comment #298752

Mag you are correct, Rush Limbaugh always says, “the liberals will tell you what worries them the most”, and right now they are worried about the TP and about SP.


Romney has a problem: he can either admit the Mass HC is a complete failure, or he can try to defend it. If he has political ambitions, it will be the former. He will have to admit it is a failure (and it is), or he will fail to get any support from the TP.

Bills, you are repeating the obama talking points. There will be no 35 million to get insurance. It is a socialist plan to destroy HC Insurance companies and eventually go to a single payer system that will require all Americans to hand their money over to the government. You live in lala land if you think this scheme will work.

“President Obama ,on his radio address remided us that the stimulus includes tax breaks for upwards of 100 million Americans to take advantage of,help for first time homebuyers and help for college etc. This is on top of the middle class tax cut the middle class has already recieved.”

I have often wondered what kind of person would be willing to drink the purple cool aid. After reading this statement, now I know.


I was one who voted for Perot and I knew at the time it was a wasted vote. But I voted against Bush Sr. because he lied about taxes. Perot took about 17-19% of the vote, allowing Clinton to win. Let’s see if democrats have enough intestinal fortitude to vote against BHO and the dems when they realize the lies being told. Obama has lied repeatedly and has not accomplished one worthwhile thing for the country. He has governed against the will of the people. It is all about Obama. This is the reason he has managed to get himself into a tit for tat with S Palin. He is like a spoiled kid to has always gotten his way, and can’t handle rejection.

Posted by: Beretta9 at April 10, 2010 3:03 PM
Comment #298758

It’s easier to criticize Clinton with the benefit of hindsight. In retrospect, his biggest mistake was signing the repeal of Glass-Steagall. There were mitigating circumstances- his veto would have been overridden- nevertheless, he signed. His other big mistake was NAFTA, which resulted in other ‘free trade’ agreements. At the time, I favored free trade. Unfortunately, technological advances made the outsourcing of almost any job possible. People in poor countries will work for a fraction of what an American asks, they have no protection from unions, and environmental regulations are weak. As a result, we’ve become a nation which produces & manufactures less and less.

I find it interesting that no conservatives will step up, and oppose the SCOTUS ruling on Citizens United. I see vague proclamations in favor of freedom and the Constitution. They want low taxes, no deficits or debts, and a pony. After that, conservatives seem to be at a loss to articulate any real ideas for the situation today.

It is not enough to want a pony. We are still in the midst of an asset deflation, which is the worst kind of recession. It takes longer to recognize, runs longer, goes deeper, and takes longer for a recovery to ensue. Unfortunately, that means no one gets a pony.

Sarah Palin? As a liberal, I’d love to see her replace Limbaugh and Beck as spokesman for the GOP and/or the TP. She just finished denouncing “this snake oil science stuff” behind Global Warming. Seriously. She really said that.

Posted by: phx8 at April 10, 2010 4:33 PM
Comment #298761

I value government that works, over government that shrinks. I value having taxes set right, so I am not paying more money to pay down the deficits that Republicans seem so good at creating.

I, too, am for accountability, and I haven’t seen **** from the Republicans in that regard. You folks are too busy going nuts over the fact that Americans rejected your leadership to actually sit down and figure out whey rejected it. You can say you’re for accountability when your plans aren’t to elect and re-elect the politicians who led your party over the cliff in the first place.

I, too, am for politicians who represent their constituents. Who are not prevented from doing so by an abuse of arcane Senate Rules. I conceded the right of the Republicans to legislate, in however misguided a fashion, a long time ago, despite my political sympathies. That’s why I pushed for a majority in 2006, and a greater one in 2008.

But above all else, I pushed for my Democratic Representatives and Senators to represent their constituents, not go chasing after people like you who have made up your minds not to vote for liberals. I pushed for my party to embrace its principles again. That seems to scare you.

I would also push for the Republicans to embrace their principles. They could embrace the principles of Ronald Reagan by ratifying yet another treaty that reduces our arms levels by a third, the one Obama just signed. I would push for them to embrace Lincoln’s protective attitude towards the union, and Eisenhower’s caution towards the ceaseless expansion of a military industrial complex, which neither wins us wars nor constitutes a burden American can carry forever.

Hell, I would call on them to embrace their own healthcare plan, which was what we essentially just passed here, and which they now denounce from a position of policy amnesia.

I would call on them to embrace Bush Sr.’s substantial foreign policy achievements, rather than perseverating on his son’s failed policies.

I am for a healthcare system that serves the needs of a nation that depends economically on a healthy population. I don’t care whether that’ a market system, or a single payer system. I only care that every American is covered, and that their ability to pay is not the determining fact in whether they live or die.

I am for a government that governs. Not too much, not to little. I am for a government that curbs the excesses of society, and helps keep things nice and neat. I don’t want it diffusing its attention with a bunch of frippery, or sitting on the sidelines while disasters on a national scale, disasters the markets aren’t preventing, wreck the lives of millions.

I am for a President whose strength and wisdom mean that even as he apologizes for what my country did wrong, he makes it easier for me to walk proudly as an American among the citizens of other nations, because he’s improving our image and proving that we can recover from the foolishness of our other leader.

I am for following the constitution, too. But I am not under the illusion that somehow, I’ve been blessed with THE right interpretations that must be imposed on everybody else. Or rather, I have plenty of opinions, but I recognize that the legal binding ones are the ones the court hands down, and that the rule of law requires that this be so. We can all argue about what the true interpretation is, but the court was constructed so that a great many points of view would come into consideration, creating a court where more than just the rote reading of law (as France has it) decides a case.

I am for a news media that reports the facts, which doesn’t go panicking people about things that aren’t true, which responsibly reports stories, and tells people more than what comes over some print newswire. I don’t care to have my political leanings fed to me. I rarely watch Olbermann, Moyers or Maddow for that reason. Not that I dislike them. I just don’t feel I have to spoonfed my own opinion.

I am for judges having the leeway and the authority to run their own courts, and not have executive branches and legislative branches straitjacketing them because folks don’t like the opinions they hand down. No court that makes important distinctive decisions, or which deals with matters of judgment in criminal cases is going to make friends of everybody with their judgments. Ensure those judgments are fair, reasonable, and within the law, and that’s it. Don’t try to force outcome out of political rancor.

I won’t keep this going any longer, the second to the last being so bloody obvious its not funny.

Point is, where is the practical brain of your party. Where are the people who are thinking more than just about how sorry and lacking in judgment everybody who disagrees with them is? Where are the people who can competently put your political principles into practice without achieving outcomes that are embarrassing to your party?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 10, 2010 5:32 PM
Comment #298763

Republicans are saying that government is too big. Silly, naive me. I was brainwashed into believing that the people are the government in so much as the system is defined as being a constitutionally limited democratic republic whereupon through democratic elections we decide what we, the people, need and want.
What Republicans want is to subjugate the people to the will of the rich and the powerful. If they don’t do that then there is a diminishment of power to those same scam artists.

Posted by: Stephen Hines at April 10, 2010 5:51 PM
Comment #298764

Stephen Hines

Indeed, you are mistaken. The government is the agent of the people but it is not the people.

If you believed that the people were George Bush and now the people are Barack Obama and that the Congress will be the people when Republicans win it back this fall, you are more liberal than most.

Stephen D

The problem is that big government doesn’t work. It promises a lot but doesn’t deliver. There are structural problems with bigness. Even if politicians are 100% honest and the smartest people in the country, you cannot make a big and complex organization smart enough to micro-manage or even to set comprehensive rules for a place as big and diverse as the U.S.

Posted by: C&J at April 10, 2010 6:46 PM
Comment #298765


There are structural problems with bigness. Even if politicians are 100% honest and the smartest people in the country, you cannot make a big and complex organization smart enough to micro-manage or even to set comprehensive rules for a place as big and diverse as the U.S.

I’ll somewhat agree with this, but what are you suggesting?

Break up the US? Give up on government altogether, or making it small enough to drown in a bathtub?

America isn’t going to get smaller and less diverse.

Anarchy doesn’t work.

Letting the rich and powerful run things hasn’t worked.

This is the essence of the half baked small government crowd. They want something, but have no clue as to it’s consequence because they don’t learn from the past. They just want the “government” off their neck, like a rebellious teenager wants freedom from his curfew. This is why the Republican party shows no sense of responsibility.

Posted by: gergle at April 10, 2010 7:10 PM
Comment #298768

Ike was the last real Republican President. Nixon could have been great, but his paranoia and thuggery ruined his administration. From Reagan thru BushI and Cheney/Bush have been nothing but children, pretending to be adult. They damaged everything they touched and then cried foul when it was pointed out. I’m sure that was how the current crop got their policy guide…look at the weaknesses of the right, and then blame those weaknesses on the left. Point fingers and yell as loud as they can, “Them damned Liberals did it, Mama!”

Posted by: Marysdude at April 10, 2010 7:30 PM
Comment #298770

I look at what you just wrote, and what else is that than just a vague political statement? Big government never works, always structural problems, a whole lot of categorical, universal statements.

But where’s the detail? Where are the case studies? It seems like the right simply accepts it uncritically, and rules out any option that involves increasing government reach in a liberal way.

I make that notation because you and I both know that the Republicans had no problem expanding things, including the deficit.

Me? I think we’ve tried things your way, as far as you could get away with it. There was a reason Karl Rove advised his president to push Medicare add-ons: Because the Republicans couldn’t leave the Democrats to ride to the rescue in some other way.

It was entirely about opposing Democrats, putting them permanently in the minority. But did the Republicans dare do it by destroying Medicare, when they had the power? No, because that would have been political suicide.

Even now, you had your tea partisan folks shouting “Keep the governments hands off my Medicare!” Your people were raising the scary stakes by saying the Democrats were going to cut benefits.

Why were Republicans arguing both sides of the same issue? Because they knew then, and know now that the entitlements are popular.

At best, the Republicans try to sneak things past people, like that Medicare voucher privatization within Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget. They know that if Democrats got a hold of it and went big with it, it could be a problem with the Republican’s older, whiter crowd.

The Republicans don’t have the real political capital to do it, and may never do it. But they can be irresponsible about it, like they were with the Drug Benefit and Medicare advantage, not only in not paying for it, but also in the way they avoided policies that could have made the programs more cost effective.

I don’t work from a basis of political dogma here. I do prefer liberal policies, but unless there is a major economic crisis ongoing, I’d just as soon avoid inflation, and also get the best bang for the taxpayer buck, both for the greater good it does, and the legitimacy it helps maintain for liberalism. If we can watch the pursestrings well, we can ensure that people’s anxieties don’t blind them to the benefits.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 10, 2010 8:06 PM
Comment #298772

As usual, you Republicans beat around the Bush. You talk in generalities, thus:

“To go to the original post - what do Republicans want?

- Smaller, more effective government
- A strong national defense
- Use of market mechanisms whenever possible
- Freedom to succeed
- Defense of traditional American values”

This sounds wonderful. I don’t know why you did not include “apple pie.” But what are Republican officials actually saying? What specific things do they want to do. All I hear from Republicans is that they are against whatever Democrats are for. How would Republicans solve any of our current problems? Give me plans, details; not a lot of baloney.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at April 10, 2010 8:26 PM
Comment #298773


I like to paraphrase Matthew -

We should render onto Caesar (government) that which is Caesar’s; render onto God that which is God’s and let the people themselves take care of the rest.

We have to understand that some problems are essentially unsolvable. We just have to live with some of what we consider injustice, discomfort, unhappiness etc. When we ask government to solve our problems, it tries. And the cure may be worse than the disease.

So we have to ask the government to do as little as possible. I am afraid that many people’s default option is to ask government to solve problems. The correct questions should be whether government intervention will make the situation better at an acceptable cost and whether government is the most appropriate problem solver.


Government has constraints. It has to be run by a bureaucracy because it has to follow rules set by political process. This precludes innovation, which is often actually illegal. A Federal manager usually doesn’t have the option to unilaterally change the “product” he delivers or the way it is delivered, even if he knows a better or cheaper alternative.

All decisions must be made in bureaucratic consultation and are subject to extensive review. We wouldn’t want it any other way with taxpayer money, but it is inefficient.

The government must often spend a dollar to make a nickel decision. You or I can just commit our own money and time. A government manager has to get three bids and/or go through existing contracts.

Have you tried to apply for a government job? If not, take a look at USA Jobs. There are dozen of questions. Each will be analyzed by the bureaucracy and the Federal manager will get the choice of the top three. Those vetting will make no systematic attempt to check the veracity of many of the claims made by the applicants. That would be … illegal.

The bottom line is that it will take the government days, weeks or months to make a decision that you could make in ten minutes.

I don’t say this to disparage government. IF you have something that requires a lot of due diligence and is not time sensitive, the government will do a great job. It also does well tasks that are well defined. That is what it should limit itself to doing.

I used to be a liberal. I think almost all young people pass through this stage. But then I learned that government cannot solve many problems. I don’t dislike government. In fact, I think government is so precious that we should use it sparingly. It just is not appropriate for many situations BECAUSE it is government. It is also LESS efficient BECAUSE it is a democracy in which elected officials will wade in and help their constituents. These are “good” things, but they create bad results.

re Republicans and government - they pander too. George Bush and Richard Nixon greatly expanded government. It is a dangerous tool to give to anybody. That is why we should work hard to limit its use.

Posted by: C&J at April 10, 2010 8:33 PM
Comment #298774


Remember that the camel is a horse designed by a government committee.

Posted by: C&J at April 10, 2010 8:46 PM
Comment #298778

I didn’t know that Matthew wrote the Constitution…wow! You really DO learn something new every day…I think Matthew meant that God only wants your soul, and everything else belongs to the winner of a Caesar/all man arm wrestle.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 10, 2010 10:01 PM
Comment #298779

Rush has been at it again…he sold you a bill of goods, ie., the camel was not a government project, it was actually engineered by Matthew.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 10, 2010 10:07 PM
Comment #298783


Matthew is just a good saying.

As for the Constitution, it was set up as a way to limit and define the scope of government. If we want to talk about things it didn’t include, it would be a very long list. And specifically, the powers not granted to the Federal government by the Constitution are reserved for the states or the people themselves.

Posted by: C&J at April 10, 2010 11:36 PM
Comment #298790

My attitude is, Government emerges from its basic rules more than it merely functions as designed.

The smart designers, like the framers, realize that power must be pit against power for one group not to permanently triumph over another, and stagnate the system with unaccountable long term dominance.

It’s also built, though, so it can function. That’s why supermajority votes are listed exceptions in the document.

Agencies have some room to innovate. In fact, that’s their point. Congress writes them into existence with an enabling act, that gives them a range of powers, and the authority to regulate and change regulation within that.

But let me ask you a question: when’s the last time you saw people messing with the recipe for the Big Mac?

Not everybody skips through the tulips, innovating as they go along. Very often, businesses get as hierarchical and hidebound as folks accuse the Government of being, and sometimes worse. It’s a risk any large organization takes. Most of the time, I would favor splitting things up.

But in Government’s case, we purposefully only have one Federal Government, and it’s got to handle a population of 300 million plus Americans over a nation that has tens of thousands of municipalities, fifty states, an Economic system with incredible throughput, Science and Technology that grows exponentially in its power day by day, and a computer network centered in America that is unprecedented in its effects on human communication.

I mean, damn, that’s a challenge! And you’re saying let’s govern that minimally. I disagree. I think we need to recognize that while the government should constantly be checked and balanced by the people, it should also have the authority and resources to do its job.

I don’t mind distributing part of the mechanisms of governance downwards. In fact, a lot of it should be there, where people can see and react to circumstances. The trick is, though, sometimes systems behave emergently, and what is alright for one person to do when they’re by themselves, because a serious problem when that same thing is done by an entire population. There’s a difference, for example (crude example, but bear with me) between one person going to the restroom by the river, and a city of millions doing so. One person, nature handles. Millions, nature can’t.

Thus, sewage treatment, and the requirement of using it. One person risking their own money on derivatives, or one company giving out bad loans is not such a problem. But when derivatives become a gambling addiction for the entire industry, and companies give bad loans across the board, what could be tolerated when a few did it becomes an intolerable danger to the system as a whole.

Some problems are intractably complex, and having the market deal with them is wise. In such cases, I think government should mainly require honesty and full disclosure, and punish those who betray their responsibilities.

But other problems? Well, history doesn’t always repeat in the markets, but it sure rhymes sometime. You deal with the common, recurring problem, do your best to seal up the loopholes.

The alternative isn’t good for the country. We don’t need another collapse like the one we just had. Folks are playing with fire if they think holding up or watering down financial reform is going to do any good. This isn’t the 90’s. People are no longer itching to open up the throttle. Now they just want to get the vehicle back to the repair shop.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2010 9:47 AM
Comment #298802


The Founders created a government that was small and exquisitely tuned to local variations and diversity. That is why it worked.

There are some things you cannot have, no matter how much people want them or how smart the people doing them are. As any organization grows, it must set up more and more levels of control, rules and regulation.

Communication becomes an issue. Every Federal Agency has whole departments that do nothing but try to keep up with changes in rules and regulations. Every Federal agency has a bureaucracy that does nothing but interface with political leaders, in order to keep them happy.

YOu are right about technology, but only to an extent. Most agencies have set up Wikis to try to keep in touch. But government workers are afraid to feed the wikis and leadership will not give up control. Many times the new media becomes just another broadcast medium. There are too many priorities and it is impossible even for an intelligent bureaucrat to keep up with the changing tides.

We have to empower people at the lower levels to take action in their own areas of expertise. This is very hard for any large organization. It is even harder for government because it is so big AND because it is political. Any bureaucrat making a controversial decision knows that he has to please the President, as well as people like Maxine Waters, James Inhofe, Dennis Kucinich and Oren Hatch - all at the same time.

The problem with government is that there are many people empowered to say “no” and very few who can make a “yes” answer stick.

Government needs to regulate and enforce the rule of law. It can lead in general directions, but it cannot manage.

The private sector, BTW, doesn’t always make good decisions. But what the private sector does well is change its mind. If your firm makes a bad decision, you lose money and may go out of business. If a government bureaucracy makes a bad decision, it can continue to throw money at it. The private sector must eliminate failure. The government can reward it.

It is an organizational problem that cannot be solved. The only option is to keep the government within bounds of what it can do.

Posted by: C&J at April 11, 2010 4:59 PM
Comment #298811

The first census, in 1790, found about 4 million citizens (men, women and children), and the founders wisely understood that a small population required less government.

The current population is about 310 million citizens, and the founders wisely allowed that size of government should be adjusted as to the need of our citizenry.

It ain’t rocket science. Size of government is what it is because citizens want it that way…except for the 3% who are Tea Baggers.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 11, 2010 7:57 PM
Comment #298845

I don’t think the founders were as obsessed with government size as modern conservatives are. They wanted function. That’s what compelled the Constitution: the Articles of Confederation, however much people liked decentralized government with limited powers, couldn’t get the job done.

But I don’t think they took the opposite case here, and nor do most Democrats. Republican are the only ones who worry so much, and to the exclusion of dealing with so many other problems about the size of government.

Let me ask you a frank question: how long do you think small government lasts when it doesn’t get the job done? You may cherish the notion, uphold the principle, but if the application of your ideas, the test of their functionality fails, you’ll be the only ones who like it.

Yes, folks in those bureaucracies have to please Congress. That’s a feature, not a bug, in the design. Oversight is a critical function in government, and though it can be politicized, if we didn’t attend to it, government would truly be out of control.

As for the Private Sector being good at changing its mind? I don’t know about that. I see them going back to the same risky behaviors, making the same errors, doing the same thing over and over again.

I’ve been hearing about these massive screw-ups since childhood, for the last generation. Maybe it’s allowed a kind of growth, but it seems like it’s swallowed a lot of growth and wealth as well.

To my mind, its a matter of identifying places where the screw ups are predictable, where forces in an economy will tend to draw the economy as a whole despite everybody’s best intentions. Conflicts of interest. Overleverage. Market valuation problems. Disclosure.

So on, and so forth. The key, if you want Government to be efficient, and people’s demand for it low, is effective, well-targeted regulation.

You’re right that there is no permanent solution to the problem, but then there are plenty of human problems that have no solution, but which we must deal with anyways, or see our good fortunes wither away. We are all mortal, at the moment, so healthcare issues are unsolveable, but would you have us simply stop doing anything, or just settle on some arbitrary position as our limit?

Life is a struggle. Government is not going to get handed the problems that people can solve by themselves, for the most part.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 12, 2010 11:37 AM
Comment #298882


I think that government is asked to do many things that it cannot do well. Politicians pander and expand their authority. Sometimes I am not thinking of size so much as interference and micro management.

A good example was welfare. Government expanded too much and ended up making the poor more desperate. Welfare reform worked. It didn’t “solve” the problem of poverty, but the result was better than the previous government alternative.

I am afraid we have gotten into this with health care. The situation required reform, but HOW the government is doing it may not work, since it expands coverage and creates mandates w/o systemically reducing total costs. The cost fixes are things that government will not do when it comes right down to it.

I am not merely being glib when I say that I love government so much I want to use it sparingly. When government wades it, it causes other things to change. For example, private charity declines when government steps in. People stop thinking of ways to save money when somebody else pays (i.e. government).

The fall of Republics, according to Madison, had been the lack of sufficient virtue. That is why the founders designed a system that didn’t require so much virtue. Ambition was set against ambition. Power was divided and various parts of society checked each other. As government grows, the power of others atrophies. Then we are left asking for virtue from out leaders. Many have not shown much of that.

Posted by: C&J at April 12, 2010 8:24 PM
Comment #319262

blah, blah, blah, blah, blah! i am so sick and tired of it all. I want healthcare. Sell it to me. Make healthcare a not for profit industry. Medical staff can still get paid good wages. cut out the middle man insurance company. Why do we need them? Is that socialism? i really don’t care if it is. Yippie. Just give me some codine at a decent price so i can stop coughing. i want a job. stop outsourcing america. I want an abortion by a doctor, not a coathanger. Leave Roe vs Wade alone. I want lots of things. Most of all, i want to stop fighting with people who want the same thing as i do but are too stupid to realize it.

Posted by: Kris at February 25, 2011 10:21 PM
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