Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Continuing War: The Tea Party Vs. The GOP Establishment


"House Republicans broken into fighting factions" and "(Dole)ing Out Blame For Gridlock" are two stories that tell us the state of the GOP today.

The first story by Paul Kane at the Washington Post tells us what's happening on the Hill:

Just good buds...


"On New Year’s Day, in a cramped room in the Capitol basement, House Republican leaders faced an angry caucus. Democrats had negotiated them into a corner — virtually every American would be hit with a massive tax increase unless the House agreed to block the hikes for everyone but the wealthy.

"A freshman lawmaker seized a microphone and demanded to know how the leaders planned to vote. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) was a yes, but his top two lieutenants were 
opposed.

'If you’re for this and they’re against, we’ve got problems,' Rep. Stephen Lee Fincher (R-Tenn.) shouted at Boehner and more than 200 lawmakers present, according to Republicans who attended the closed-door meeting. Sure enough, they had problems. Hours later, Democrats helped Boehner pass the measure over the opposition of more than 60 percent of GOP lawmakers.

"That vote, to avert the 'fiscal cliff,' marked a breaking point for House Republicans, who had disintegrated into squabbling factions, no longer able to agree on — much less execute — some of the most basic government functions.



"Ever since, Boehner has cautiously tried to steer his party away from that bitter moment, with varying success. A short-term strategy, which conservatives called “the Williamsburg Accord,” emerged from a bruising mid-January retreat. It restored enough unity to permit the House to dodge a government shutdown, badger the Senate into passing its first budget in four years and open investigations of the Obama White House.

"But beyond those limited efforts, the House has not approved ambitious legislation this year. Lawmakers have instead focused on trying to re-brand the party around kitchen-table issues — although even some of those bills have run into trouble. And the most momentous policy decisions, including an immigration overhaul and a fresh deadline for raising the federal debt limit, have no coherent strategy to consolidate Republicans, much less take on the Democrats.

“'We basically have gone three or four months where we built a bit of rhythm. It’s been better than the slug-fest of the previous two years,' said Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), who fought so furiously with leaders that they removed him from the Financial Services Committee in November. But, he added, 'the thing you have to analyze is: Have we had a pretty good quarter because we stuck to the formula of Williamsburg? Or is it because we avoided the tough issues?'



"Schweikert considers himself a guarded optimist, but interviews with nearly three dozen GOP lawmakers and senior aides revealed plenty of doubt. The majority is “adrift,” according to a longtime conservative. The top five leaders hail from blue states that voted for President Obama, making them out of step with a conference dominated by red-state Republicans. A junior Republican called it a “fractured” conference when it comes to the biggest issues.
"...several Republicans, after a night of prayer, said God told them to spare the speaker."

"The leaders have come under intense scrutiny. Barely 36 hours after the caustic New Year’s Day vote, Boehner faced a coup attempt from a clutch of renegade conservatives. The cabal quickly fell apart when several Republicans, after a night of prayer, said God told them to spare the speaker. Still, Boehner came within a few votes of failing to secure his speakershipon the initial vote, an outcome that would have forced a second ballot for the first time in nearly a century."

Is "Schadenfreude" the word we're looking for here?

A typical, hard-hitting, factual piece...


The second piece by Conservative Cal Thomas on yet another Conservative web site, Townhall.com, "(Dole)ing Out Blame For Gridlock," is a servile, mealy-mouthed piece typical of Thomas, in which he actually cites himself, while leaving Tea Party politics and jumping back to the side of the Establishment GOP:



"Who doesn't admire former Republican Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole? Wounded World War II veteran, part-time comedian (Dole once described a meeting of former presidents Carter, Ford and Nixon as 'see no evil, hear no evil -- and evil'), former presidential candidate and all-around decent man, Dole was a part of government for much of his life.

"Therein lies the problem for some who stay in politics and government so long that it is easy to lose perspective and think cutting deals is more important than winning the argument.

"In a Memorial Day weekend interview with Chris Wallace on 'Fox News Sunday,' Dole called the inability of modern government to solve America's problems 'almost unreal.' He said while he was in the Senate, 'We weren't perfect by a long shot, but at least we got our work done.'



"In the interview, Dole was critical of his Republican Party: 'I think they ought to put a sign on the national committee doors that says closed for repairs until New Year's Day next year and spend that time going over ideas and positive agendas.'

"He's right about positive agendas, but why is it always Republicans who are seen as the impediment to progress? Why aren't Democrats labeled obstructionists or chastised for advocating policies that lead to escalating debt?

"Dole described former House Speaker Newt Gingrich as 'brilliant in many respects' but then added he's 'the kind of guy that can lead the revolution, but he can't lead after he succeeds.'

"Maybe not, but if Gingrich had not succeeded, Democrats would probably still control the House of Representatives and be unrestrained in pursuing increased spending, government redundancies and entitlement programs. But where are the leaders who should have succeeded Gingrich?



"Here's the problem for Republicans. First, they assert values that seem to be in decline and advocate for a Constitution that no longer defines, much less controls, government. Faced with a nation of crumbling families, out-of-wedlock births, the loss of lives through abortion, demands for approval of alternate lifestyles and a greed and entitlement mentality that has driven the national debt to record highs, Republicans are finding it difficult to pull people back from the edge of an economic and moral cliff.

"Second, Republicans have done a poor job of arguing their positions. They are still debating economic and moral philosophy, while much of the country focuses on self.

"Third, the public education system appears to work against Republicans, often teaching ideas antithetical to Republican values (hard work, self-sufficiency, accountability) and keeping poor children locked in failed schools that ensure most will live their lives dependent on entitlement programs instead of educating them so that they can become contributing members of society.

"Fourth, Republicans seem always to be responding to the Democrat agenda, rather than forcing Democrats to respond to theirs. Democrats are compassionate to the plight of those less fortunate; Republicans care only for the wealthy, or so the stereotype goes. Republicans are hurt by the 'compassion' argument every time. George W. Bush fell into the Democrats' trap when he claimed to be a 'compassionate conservative.' What could be more compassionate than teaching people how to live independent of government? Compassion isn't about giving people other people's money. Compassion is about teaching people how to earn their own money.

"Bob Dole experienced combat. He didn't negotiate with the enemy to see if a compromise could be reached. That's what Neville Chamberlain did with Adolf Hitler with disastrous results. Dole and his fellow soldiers fought to win.

"While Democrats are not the 'enemy,' many of their ideas are the enemy of prosperity, individual initiative, self-control, personal responsibility and entrepreneurial capitalism.

"Instead of just talking about their ideas Republicans need to start showing people their ideas work. It will be a tough sell, especially when major media will likely oppose them at every turn.



"I've said it before, but we need to start seeing more people who have overcome difficult circumstances by embracing Republican and conservative ideas and values. Inspiration has always been at the heart of American leadership. Bob Dole has inspired many veterans. It's long past time for his party to escape its ideological rut and try to inspire again."

For an oldish story by Marc Perkel, read "The Official Dirt on Bob Dole Page" here --> http://www.perkel.com/politics/dole/.

The story from the Post is relatively objective but the second story is a whiny piece typical of Thomas, and we must address and analyze a few of the sentences in his strange diatribe:



"...why is it always Republicans who are seen as the impediment to progress? Why aren't Democrats labeled obstructionists or chastised for advocating policies that lead to escalating debt?"

(The answer to the first question is "because Republicans are impediments to progress," and to the second, "because Conservatives are "obstructionists" and they advocate "policies that lead to escalating debt.")

"...if Gingrich had not succeeded, Democrats would probably still control the House of Representatives and be unrestrained in pursuing increased spending, government redundancies and entitlement programs."

(A strange one -- how did Gingrich "succeed?"  And when did President Obama reach the heights of the increased spending under Dubya?  And what are "government redundancies?)

"But where are the leaders who should have succeeded Gingrich?"

(Still sitting on their rears and saying, "No?"  That would be Cantor, Boehner, and company who are your leaders, Cal.)

"Here's the problem for Republicans. First, they assert values that seem to be in decline and advocate for a Constitution that no longer defines, much less controls, government. Faced with a nation of crumbling families, out-of-wedlock births, the loss of lives through abortion, demands for approval of alternate lifestyles and a greed and entitlement mentality that has driven the national debt to record highs, Republicans are finding it difficult to pull people back from the edge of an economic and moral cliff."

(A very revealing comment that in shorthand would read, "We can't assert our values -- they're killing us at the polls...but we can't help it and here are our pet peeves once again: "crumbling families, out-of-wedlock births," etc., etc.)



"...Republicans have done a poor job of arguing their positions. They are still debating economic and moral philosophy, while much of the country focuses on self."

(Keep away from the economy and morality, they're killing us at the polls.)

"...the public education system appears to work against Republicans, often teaching ideas antithetical to Republican values (hard work, self-sufficiency, accountability) and keeping poor children locked in failed schools that ensure most will live their lives dependent on entitlement programs instead of educating them so that they can become contributing members of society."

(A cutie, and I'd hate to have to be the one to diagram this sentence...he manages to say that schools understand that Conservative "values" suck, while spouting phony values like hard work and Charter School nonsense.  None of this while we can produce worker bees for the elites to feed off of.)



"Democrats are compassionate to the plight of those less fortunate; Republicans care only for the wealthy, or so the stereotype goes. Republicans are hurt by the 'compassion' argument every time. George W. Bush fell into the Democrats' trap when he claimed to be a 'compassionate conservative.' What could be more compassionate than teaching people how to live independent of government? Compassion isn't about giving people other people's money. Compassion is about teaching people how to earn their own money."

(The most ridiculous paragraph in the whole piece, although he hits the nail on the head describing the difference between Conservatives and non-Conservatives, Cal needs the help of a dictionary f-a-s-t; I don't think he understands the meaning of "compassionate," which is no big surprise, but it leads into a fallacious trap, that compassion means people learn to live independently of their own government, work for a living,  and don't have to pay taxes -- but again, it's no big surprise.)

"Bob Dole experienced combat. He didn't negotiate with the enemy to see if a compromise could be reached. That's what Neville Chamberlain did with Adolf Hitler with disastrous results. Dole and his fellow soldiers fought to win."

(Translation: still no compromises in Washington for Cousin Cal...and that's what's wrong with Conservatism, that's why the Cons need to fix the vote, and that's why there is a Civil War going on in the GOP.  Note to self: Does this sound like the old Bob Dole talking about himself, or just Thomas rewriting history?"

"While Democrats are not the 'enemy,' many of their ideas are the enemy of prosperity, individual initiative, self-control, personal responsibility and entrepreneurial capitalism."

(Yep, the Democrats are the Enemy.)

"I've said it before, but we need to start seeing more people who have overcome difficult circumstances by embracing Republican and conservative ideas and values. Inspiration has always been at the heart of American leadership. Bob Dole has inspired many veterans. It's long past time for his party to escape its ideological rut and try to inspire again."



(As Cal quotes himself, we wonder why he can't find "people who have overcome difficult circumstances by embracing Republican and conservative ideas and values."  Could it be that outside of the Young Republicans on our college campuses, they don't exist?  At any rate, Cal sees how the Party has almost reached a point of extinction by spouting their ideological beliefs -- it's time to trot out those old social values and lie through their teeth, as always.)

Analyzing oped pieces by propagandists like Thomas is easy, as long as you recognize that they have to lie.  There is no rationale behind their core belief, that the elites were born to rule and the 99 percent were born to starve and serve -- just like the Good Old Days of the Age of Feudalism...before it's too late for the country and the Constitution, Conservatism must be criminalized.



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"You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too
late."

Ralph Waldo Emerson


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