Tuesday, December 4

I Think You've Just About Got It Worked Out

Frank Donatelli, "What This Party Needs Is More Advice From Leftover Reagan Confidence Men". December 4

David Brooks, "One More Budget Battle And We're Back On Top". December 3

Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, "2016. What Else Is There To Write About?" December 4

REPUBLICAN Rebirth? More Like a Renaissance!™

Let's begin with the piece on Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio's "makeovers", which it took the combination of Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei to completely fill in. That's the sort of firepower Perry wished he could'a sailed into Edo Bay with.
Marco Rubio doesn’t want to be the “Hispanic candidate.” Paul Ryan doesn’t want to be the “austerity guy.”

And Daniel Craig doesn't wanna be typecast as Bond. So we have Cowboys vs. Aliens.

What a remarkable thing that, after fifty years of tone-deafness, Republicans figured out with just one little election that their message wasn't reaching everybody. And the solution, of course, is to try a different lipstick.
While Congress dawdled this summer, Rubio, 41, assigned his policy experts to figure out ways to help make the middle class wealthier — and add a dose of substance to the charismatic presidential hopeful’s résumé. Reaching out to academics and think tanks to build Rubio’s network, the senator and his staff developed a two-year reinvention project and an “upward mobility agenda,” including programs like early childhood education, school choice and incentives for entrepreneurs. Those are some of the proposals he’ll test-drive at the Kemp Foundation dinner, where he’ll receive the group’s second leadership award. The first winner: Paul Ryan.

Miss Congeniality: I dunno. Probably some white guy.

I'm sorry, but aren't "academics and think tanks" at the bottom of the present Republican message? And isn't "Support the elimination of taxes on the wealthy and we'll make you middle class, honest" pretty much it already?

As for "school choice", well, I've been watching domestic politics too long to imagine that shit will somehow stop floating, but do take a look at Indiana's Superintendent of Public Instruction election a month ago, fellas. This is not Taxes, this is not Abortion, or Incontinent Military Spending, issues you are convinced will live forever. You've promised the moon and a white picket fence over school "reform", and now there's enough of it around that people are beginning to notice the lack of miracles. Think "Mission Accomplished".
If he makes the sale in countless such appearances over the next two years, he’ll begin a formal presidential campaign shortly after the midterm elections of November 2014, Rubio sources tell us.

Wow. There's just no substitute for insider information.
Ryan, 42, will kick off his own drive to redefine the party — and himself — as the pre-dinner keynote speaker before 300-plus conservative faithful on the same stage, detailing his thinking on how people of all classes can rise up economically and improve socially. Top Republicans tell us Ryan tried to push his ideas for a more creative “war on poverty” during the presidential campaign but was muzzled by nervous Nellies at Mitt Romney’s Boston headquarters who didn’t see an immediate political payoff. So Ryan seethed when the “47 percent” tape emerged, convinced that the impact was worse because the campaign had no record on issues relating to inclusion or poverty, exacerbating the out-of-touch image that the hidden camera cemented.

You say "out-of-touch image", voters say "the condensed soul of the Republican party."

And, excuse me, but Paul Ryan sprung full-grown from Mitt Romney's spacious cranium this summer? He's been pelting the country with "ideas" for the last two years. He's suddenly noticed poverty?

Paul Ryan's toast, unless "still being taken seriously by Politico" becomes the major issue in 2016. Backwards-hat-wearin', flexin' motherfucker should have been smart enough to turn down Mitt Romney, if he isn't smart enough to do anything else. And he isn't.

But then, Ryan's still the House go-to guy on all things fiscally screwy, so he gets to bask in the headlines (something all these Republican intellectuals would be screaming bloody murder about if they really wanted to reform the party) for another couple years. Maybe he'll even take advice from Brooks:
But the big demand would be this: That on March 15, 2013, both parties would introduce leader-endorsed tax and entitlement reform bills in Congress that would bring the debt down to 60 percent of G.D.P. by 2024 and 40 percent by 2037, as scored by the Congressional Budget Office. Those bills would work their way through the normal legislative process, as the Constitution intended. If a Grand Bargain is not reached by Dec. 15, 2013, then there would be automatic defense and entitlement cuts and automatic tax increases.

That's right. David Brooks wants us to govern by a fucking series of unworkable, unrealistic, and, frankly, clinically delusional Financial Cliff bargains. And he believes this will turn the national debate to the Republican's turf.

(Brooks, you'll recall, got burned by the Teabaggers in 2009, after declaring his heartfelt belief of the moment that the party needed to reform itself. So this time he's betting it all on Red, apparently. Foolproof system.)

Can we just mention something? Either go fucking soul search for twenty minutes, at least, or just admit you're never changing anything except your cosmetics. Why don't we convince Boehner to start showing up blue? Your problem--and it's been your problem since Reagan--is that the things you insist are solutions to national problems are shit. And they're proven to be shit. They don't fucking work. They're designed as slogans, not solutions, but somewhere along the line you all started to drink your own snake oil. Turning the national debate towards the Republicans is like turning the key light onto Lindsey Lohan at 5 AM.

Meanwhile, former Reagan functionary Frank Donatelli has some insights, and if "former Reagan functionary" is at the top of your resume, you know you've got something:
One much-discussed approach is totally counterproductive. A few conservatives continue to pursue unfettered purity in their candidates. They blame defeat on the GOP’s “moderation” and contend that Mitt Romney was an insufficiently conservative alternative. The reasoning is that “millions” of conservatives stayed home on Election Day. If the prospect of President Obama’s reelection couldn’t bring these “millions” out to vote, one wonders what would. I remember people telling me with a straight face that Ronald Reagan wasn’t conservative enough when he was running for president.

Who told you that, Frank? We need a name. Claire Chennault? Anna Chennault? George Lincoln Rockwell?
Pursuing everyone on the farthest end of the political spectrum is futile and only results in losing more independent voters. It is significant that despite overall disappointing results, the GOP won independent voters this time.

And it's nearly as significant that you still fucking lost.
On the other side are some, mostly non-Republicans, who claim that the GOP’s social conservative positions are “turning off” moderate voters and suggest Republicans abandon traditional value voters. The problem here is that the socially liberal, economically conservative Republicans barely exist in reality. The most prominent proponent of this approach, Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts, was the only incumbent senator to lose his race last month. Social conservatives are a key part of the Republican coalition and among our most loyal supporters. It would be foolish in the extreme to walk away from such an important part of the GOP base .

True, "foolish and extreme" is what I think of, too.

By the way, Quarter-term Senator Scott Brown lost to a liberal in liberal Massachusetts. I know your people are out of it, but there can't be many who think they need to run someone more conservative to reclaim The Old Colony. Meanwhile, risible social "conservatives" lost in conservative Indiana and Missouri. But they weren't incumbents, just winners of Republican primaries, so it doesn't count?
The problem is not that social conservatives are an important part of the GOP, but rather that they are not enough alone to form a voting majority in the new America. Nor apparently are there enough social conservatives and economic conservatives to stitch together 270 electoral votes. The GOP cannot become a majority by reading people out of our party. We become a majority by adding new converts.

And one reason you're unable to do so is that most everyone else hates the fucking social "conservatives". Who, by the way, are the same people who're screaming for "more 'conservative'" candidates next time.
Fortunately, the targets available are obvious. First are Hispanics. Michael Barone compares them with the Italian immigrants of the last century and there is much truth in that comparison.

There's a shade of truth in that, at least. It's maybe the penumbra of truth. Colored by experience, perhaps. Not quite as black and white as with some other voting blocs, we might say. Quit listening to Michael Barone, we could add.
Both are family oriented and, yes, socially conservative. Italian-Americans were heavily discriminated against and chose Democrats and government help at first, but eventually sought opportunity over security and are now an important part of the GOP coalition.

Hey, Hispanics: If you make enough money, in forty or fifty years we'll treat you like family!  (Please vote like the Pope tells ya in the meantime.)
Second are women, especially single women. At a time in America when half of marriages end in divorce and an increasing number of children are born out of wedlock, women are rightly concerned about economic security. After all, they can suffer the most immediate consequences.

Maybe you can have the vital "social 'conservative'" wing pray for 'em.
I dare say Obama or liberals have no earthly idea what to do for these women – except for expanded welfare programs.

As opposed to no welfare programs.

And by the way, fuck you. "Obama or liberals" may have a lot to answer for, but it doesn't begin to touch your own little cosmetic problem with The Girls. Try the Earned Income Tax Credit. Try Headstart, the School Lunch Program, the expansion of the School Lunch Program, Medicaid, Title IX, Title X, or the national focus on domestic violence. All liberal, all Democratic programs. When last we left women to the Republican-rightist coalition they were little more than chattel.

It's the same motherfuckin' thing with you people every time. How do we keep our stranglehold on the white racist vote, and still appeal to non-whites?  How do we convince the 99% that the 1% Knows Best? What shade of lipstick will make this pig prom queen?

Keep it up.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Let's face it.

The Republicans aren't any more dead now than they were after Bush and Cheney finally left the stage.

Their best hopes for a rebirth lie in our corrupt corporatist whore Democrats performing their Dr. Frankenstein act. AGAIN.

You can't earn your Clinton Bucks™ without some scary wingnuts to triangulate against.

Anonymous said...

i wish i hadnt read your comment. everyone that reads it will be dumber because of it.

bob_is_boring said...

Pro Tip:

If you have to put "turning off" in scare quotes you've proved that you've been out of touch with the Cool Kids for, say, over 50 years.

Kathy said...

repugs have been relying upon racism and rage against non-white-men for their votes for over 50 years, and its worked pretty well... except for that colored guy in the White House and is female Sect. State, and all those wimmin Senators and Congresspersons. And now that "unmarried mothers" and dark-skinned folk are becoming the Majority of voters, the racist "Southern Strategy" (if you call appealing to the stupidest, most vicious part of human nature "strategy") aint working so well, is it? But what can the Party Of Racism, Sexism, and Anti-Science do to get votes from people who are a different race than "real" republicans? Or people who don't wanna have a baby-a-year? Or people finally noticing that the Earth's climate is changing, and NOT for the better?

I know! We'll get new hat! And put on a show!

Anonymous said...

Riley, I just successfully replaced some toilet parts and returned to finish reading your blog, and I don't know which is responsible for the rush of endorphins.

I'd like to see your blogs on the Op-Ed of the NY Times but they'd insist on bowdlerizing them and that just wouldn't do. How about connecting with Facebook (I can't believe I just said that) so I can "like" you and more people (i.e., legions of my liberated friends) can discover your fine work?


Anonymous said...

“Rubio, 41, assigned his policy experts to figure out ways to help make the middle class wealthier” – the solution … include people making $250,000 and more in the definition of “middle class” !

"the things you insist are solutions to national problems are shit. And they're proven to be shit. They don't fucking work." Correct -- we all remember how Gramm-Rudman-Hollings forced massive budget cuts that balanced the budget !

"I dare say Obama or liberals have no earthly idea what to do for these women – except for expanded welfare programs", while Republicans offer them trans-vaginal probes and the security of child-support checks !