Tag Archives: Tea Party

A Note from the Past: My 2010 Election Post

This is a revised post from 2010.  So much of it is still relevant, but a lot has changed since then.  And not for the better.  I’ll repost it more or less as is and use it as a starting point for my current political thoughts as we get closer to the election….

 

I’ve thought a lot about this over the last few days as we head to the 2010 election. For Progressive’s like me, it’s forecast to be a rough one who’s results may lead us backward as opposed to foreward.

And, once again, the South will lead us there. We’ve always been good at looking fondly backward in the South–whether the facts support it or not.  That makes for fertile ground for the Republicans.  I’ve always said:  “Republicans look backwards with Fear while Democrats look forward with Hope.

That got me thinking. Why is it the South is such a stronghold for the Republicans? Here are my thoughts:

  1. The South is heavy with fundamentalists and evangelical religions. These people have been played by the Republican Party like a cheap violin. Here is what I would say to them: Open your eyes. Under Bush, the Republicans controlled the government and did not ban abortion or execute any of the other points of your agenda. If they didn’t do it then, they won’t do it now. They are using you. Wise up.  
  2. There is a history of Patriarchy in the South that is not dead. Many people, especially in smaller towns and rural areas, still follow the leadership of local political leaders with little thought. They are used to being led without questions or taking time to check the facts because they think they “know” the person and he/she is “one of us.”  
  3. Education is not really valued by a large portion of Southerners. They are suspicious of the overly educated and think they don’t understand them. The Republicans are very good at playing dumb and coming off as one of the “good ole boys” while they use the votes of the poor whites in the South to channel money and benefits to their rich friends on Wall Street.
  4. Southerners resists looking at anything too deeply. Introspection is not valued in the South. Action is….The Republican’s play on this very well.
  5. Facts don’t mean much in the South. Truth has always been conceptual rather than a reality. Any region that can convince itself for over 150 years that the Civil War was about “states rights” rather than slavery is capable of any kind of self-delusion.
  6. The South tends to hate the idea of Big Government, even if they enjoy the benefits. They can over look little things like Social Security, Medicare, new bridges and highways, and insurance that covers pre-existing conditions and college kids. They somehow don’t make the connection that the federal government provides these things…
  7. Southerners value personal freedom above all else, as long as you are a straight white man.
  8. The President is Black and he’s a Democrat. To a large group of folks in the South, this alone is enough reason to vote Republican. Although you may never get them to admit it…

What can Democrats do to change all this and win the South?

  1. Learn to fight. The South and most of the Country values people who stand up for their principles. The GOP has Balls and the Democrats have Brains. You have to have both to win in the South.
  2. Push for independent, bipartisan redistricting commissions.
  3. Get out your message. We’ve got to publicize the benefits of the legislation we do pass and how it helps the poor and middle class as opposed to the Rich. The Democrats and The President have failed miserably at this for the few years. We have real achievements, but no one knows it.
  4. Take on the bullies at Fox News. We have got to make people realize this is not a news organization, but a propaganda machine that provides entertainment to the ignorant. We should be pushing companies not to advertise on Fox News. We should be telling the Management to turn it off in Public places like restaraunts and gyms.
  5. Call a liar a liar. This relates to number 1, but I can’t stress this enough. The Republicans look right in the camera and lie. And no one calls them on it. We have to start making people aware that there are things called “Facts” and stand up for them.
  6. Make this about Class Warfare. A class war is going on for years and most of the country just started to realize this. And the Republicans started it. Call’em on it. 
  7. Make it clear: Unless you have an individual income of greater than $200,000 or a combined Family income of over $300,000, there is absolutely no financial reason to vote for the Republicans. If you want to vote for what is best for your pocketbook, vote for the Democrats. The Republicans really only answer to the Corporations and the wealthy.
  8. Make Obama white. That’s about the only way you can get about 35% of white Southerners to support the Democrats. We have to focus on the remaining 65% of the South with open minds.
  9. Wait it out….The older, closed minded, prejudiced Southerners are dying off. The younger ones are more open minded,  better educated and have seen more of the world. These are the Southern Democrats of tomorrow.
  10. Make your Democratic friends vote. Even if you have to go to their house or job and throw them in the car and take them to the polls. There are more Democrats than Republicans in many parts of the South. The problem is Republicans always vote and Democrats don’t. If more Democrats would actually just show up at the polls, we would win a lot more races.

Those are my thoughts for now.

All I have left to say is:

If you are a Democrat, get off your butt and vote. There are no excuses.

If you are a Republican-why don’t you just book a spa day for Tuesday and let the election go? That would really be best for all of us….

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Demographic Shifts That Are Sinking The Republican Party

There is a lot of good news for Democrats and bad news for Republicans in this article from ThinkProgress.org.  It makes it even more obvious how the GOP’s days in power are numbered.

I find the information on education and the value of a college degree especially interesting….

However, there are interesting facts relating to education and the value of a degree as well.  Here are a couple of excerpts and a link to the full article:

The 25 top counties for net Democratic vote gain include many of the most populous counties in the country. They include Los Angeles at the top, eight of the ten most populous (LA, plus Cook [Chicago], San Diego and Orange [CA], Dallas, Kings [Brooklyn], Queens and Miami-Dade) and 15 of the top 25 most populous. The rest, without exception, are large counties that include a major city or are urbanized inner suburbs of a major city. The magnitude of Democratic gains in the top 25 ranges from 1.2 million in LA down to around 140,000.

The top gainers for the GOP, in contrast, tend to be in much smaller counties on the periphery of metropolitan areas (“exurbs”). The top 25 GOP gainers include no county in the US top 25 in population and include only one in the top 50. And the magnitude of GOP gains in the top 25 is much smaller than those enjoyed by the Democrats. Indeed, the largest GOP net gain of all—90,000 in Provo county, Utah–is not only smaller than the 25th ranked gain for the Democrats (140,000) but also smaller than Democratic gains all the way down to the 61st ranked Democratic gainer county.

Democratic strength in dense areas is clearly one reason for the Democrats’ increasing electoral potency, particularly in Presidential elections. Conversely, the concentration of GOP gains in more lightly-populated areas limits their strength now and in the future…

AND

The report notes that 34 percent of Millennial generation 25-32 year olds have a four year college degree, compared to 25 percent among Gen Xers at the same age, 24 percent among both late and early Boomers and just 13 percent among those from the Silent generation. Millennials are also receiving the highest relative values from their degrees. A Millennial college graduate has median earnings of $45,500, compared to just $28,000 for a Millennial high school graduate. Back in 1965, the gap was much narrower: a Silent Generation college graduate earned $38,800 (2012 dollars) while a high school graduate earned $31,400.

via The Hidden Demographic Shifts That Are Sinking The Republican Party | ThinkProgress.

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Republicans Aren’t The ‘Daddy Party’ Anymore – Business Insider

To see how far the GOP has fallen, this is an article in “The Business Insider” by Josh Barro.

It’s an interesting familial analogy to the situation….

Here is a brief excerpt, italics are mine, and a link to the full article:

 

If you look past the crude gender stereotype, the mommy party/daddy party frame is actually a useful way to think about politics. Government needs to uplift the poor and protect the vulnerable; it also needs to be mindful of resource limitations, encourage productivity, and conduct its own operations efficiently.

Two parties that put different weight on these values can have productive debates about making government better. But Republicans today are not holding up their end of the division of labor.

If Republicans were once the daddy party, now they’re the abusive ex-husband with a substance abuse problem party.

via Republicans Aren’t The ‘Daddy Party’ Anymore – Business Insider.

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Shutdown 2013: The Deal That Will End It

There is a lot of press about the Government shutdown brought upon us by the out of control Tea Party Loonies in Congress.  However, this is the best single write up I have seen….

This excellent article, by Noam Scheiber in the “New Republic”, summarizes where we are and how we got there with the Government shutdown- and just how desperate the GOP is becoming to find a way to end it.

It also very well points out the fractures in the GOP between the few pragmatic Republicans left in Congress and the Tea Party that, protected by heavily gerrymandered districts, is running rampantly crazy in Washington.

The best thing to come out of this is that the GOP Establishment has seen that they have created a monster with the Tea Party and that they are going to have to deal with it- or let it destroy the GOP.

I’m fine, either way….

Here is an excerpt from and a link to the full article.  It’s fascinating reading….

The problem for the GOP is that, as insulated as the House jihadis are from national trends, Senate Republicans and House pragmatists emphatically are not. When the approval rating for Republicans drops nationally, these people are badly exposed. They begin to fear for their jobs. They become desperate to cut a deal—any deal—that will end their political pain. And once they do—once there is a deal that a large chunk of Republicans either explicitly sign onto or tacitly endorse—then it is game over for the House. There is simply no House Republican leader who can resist a bill that many if not most Republicans want to see pass, a bill that has passed the Senate, and to which the only alternative is the complete annihilation of both the Republican Party and the global economy.

As we enter the home stretch, the dynamic is only reinforcing itself. The Tea Partiers have become steadily more delusional, reminding the pragmatists how insane it was to lock arms with them in the first place. “When I was home, I talked with people in our office that called in, I don’t get the sense that 70 percent [of people blame us],” House conservative Jim Jordan told Politico last week. (Good point!) On Sunday, the loonies in the House seized on a report that a mob of patriots overran the World War II Memorial and reclaimed it for … well, for whom isn’t entirely clear. But the loons in the House promptly labeled it a “game changer,” according to National Review’s Robert Costa. To them, it was the latest sign that the country sees things their way.

The pragmatists are, in turn, only becoming more anxious. Costa reports that aides to Mitch McConnell now worry they’ll have to make concessions on the sequester just to end the current crisis, whereas they’d previously assumed they could leave the sequester in place and trade it for entitlement cuts in a future grand bargain.

What Costa doesn’t discuss is the Republican leadership’s incentives, which is the final, poetic wrinkle in all of this. McConnell and Boehner, in addition to understanding how badly the Tea Partiers have hurt their party, have yet another reason to sue for peace. McConnell is facing a Tea Party primary challenge in his re-election campaign. Boehner has been repeatedly embarrassed by the Tea Partiers in his caucus, who have actively sabotaged his leadership (egged on/manipulated by Texas Senator Ted Cruz). Both men know their side has lost. Both men also know their party’s fanatics are to blame. Do you think they don’t want to see the Tea Party humiliated before all is said and done? Do you think they might want to see the Tea Partiers stuck with all the blame?

At the very least, it’s hard to believe they’ll fight too hard against any deal that accomplishes those goals. As I say, those intra-party rifts are a bummer.

via Shutdown 2013: The Deal that will end it | New Republic.

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Make 2014 a Referendum on Republican Tea Party Radicalism

I could not agree more with the sentiments expressed in this article from Ian Reifowitz at “Daily Kos.”

I encourage you to click the link and read the entire article:

These guys are toxic. In 2014 Democrats need to put all Republican candidates on the defensive by emphasizing their role in supporting the radicalism of the Tea Party, John Boehner and Ted Cruz. We need to make sure these candidates are unable to distance themselves from Republican radicalism. They need to own it. And if they double down on that radicalism, all the better. You’ll know we’ve succeeded when Republicans start saying, “Well, I’m not that kind of Republican. I’m not Tea Party.”

And within the Republican Party, these kinds of cracks are beginning to show. Relatively reasonable Republicans are ready to isolate Tea Party radicals. Elections in 2014 offer an opportunity not only to retake the House of Representatives, but to break the stranglehold the radicals have exercised over congressional Republicans for too long.

This country cannot continue to lurch from crisis to crisis because one radical faction refuses to accept the results of an election. We need two parties that compete for votes at the ballot box and then, after the elections are over, act responsibly and get down to the business of governing. The only way that\’s going to happen is if voters punish Tea Party Republican radicalism by booting a good number of Republicans out of office. Teach them a lesson they won\’t soon forget.

MORE:   Daily Kos: Make 2014 a referendum on Republican radicalism.

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NC House Republicans File Voter ID Bill

Here we go again….

And since there is no longer a Democratic Governor to veto this, it will probably pass this year….

Another attempt by the Republicans to block voters who don’t vote for them…

With demographic trends against them, the GOP’s only hope to stay in power is voter suppression- hence the bills to limit early voting, require voter ID and restrict College student voting….

They can’t continue to win on policy- even with their gerrymandered districts-so they are trying to win anyway they can-no matter the cost to Democracy…

From WRAL.com:

 

RALEIGH, N.C. — House Speaker Thom Tillis and Republican House leaders have filed a new proposal to require photo identification for voters.

House Bill 589, entitled the Voter Identification Verification Act, or VIVA, was filed Thursday afternoon, after what Tillis said was “a transparent and deliberative process” of seeking public input.

“This bill has had more discussion than anything in recent history,” said House Elections Committee Co-chairman Tim Moore.

Under the proposal, beginning in 2016, voters would be required to show a photo ID at the polls. The bill would allow “multiple forms of state-issued ID,” according to Rep. Tom Murry, R-Wake, including tribal cards, public university IDs and state employee IDs. Private university IDs would not qualify.

Voters without a photo ID will be allowed to cast a provisional ballot but would have to return to their local board of elections with a valid photo ID to have the ballot counted.

via House Republicans file voter ID bill :: WRAL.com.

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Howard Fineman: Karl Rove Is Done

From Howard’s mouth to God’s ear….

We can only hope his predictions are true.

This is a really fascinating article on the rise and, hopefully, fall of Karl Rove and the current far-right, Tea Party infused Republican Party.  It offers a great historical perspective.

Here is a brief excerpt and a link, which I encourage you to follow, to the full story by Howard Fineman at the Huffington Post:

The party of Paul, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Gov. Rick Scott of Florida and many others is a throwback to the nativism and principled know-nothing-ism of conservatives whom the likes of William F. Buckley and Ronald Reagan purged from the party long ago, making it safe for the Roves of the world to advance.

It took the likes of Buckley and Reagan two decades to rid the GOP and the mainstream conservative movement of the John Birchers, ultra-isolationists and flat-out segregationists and to create a party and a platform that would win a national election.

Now leaders and potential leaders such as Cruz (a rising force to be reckoned with) and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida need to perform the same cleansing task — and will probably have to take on the Paulites (who are paranoid conspiracy theorists at heart) to do it.

The war for the soul of the Republican Party is real, deep and reminiscent of that earlier conflict. For the GOP it ended well: they harnessed the energy at the grassroots to take over Washington.

This equally bitter GOP civil war may end in the party’s revival, too. But it won’t be Rove, or one of his clients, who is able to end it.

He’s done.

via Howard Fineman: Karl Rove Is Done.

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