Tuesday, 9/6/11, Public Square


Filed under The Public Square

15 responses to “Tuesday, 9/6/11, Public Square

  1. It’s the republicans playbook! A fairly long read but an easy one with a story you’ll recognize. I strongly encourage you to read it all — the link is below.


    Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult

    It should have been evident to clear-eyed observers that the Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe. This trend has several implications, none of them pleasant.

    John P. Judis sums up the modern GOP this way:

    “Over the last four decades, the Republican Party has transformed from a loyal opposition into an insurrectionary party that flouts the law when it is in the majority and threatens disorder when it is the minority. It is the party of Watergate and Iran-Contra, but also of the government shutdown in 1995 and the impeachment trial of 1999. If there is an earlier American precedent for today’s Republican Party, it is the antebellum Southern Democrats of John Calhoun who threatened to nullify, or disregard, federal legislation they objected to and who later led the fight to secede from the union over slavery.”

    A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress’s generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.

    A deeply cynical tactic, to be sure, but a psychologically insightful one that plays on the weaknesses both of the voting public and the news media. There are tens of millions of low-information voters who hardly know which party controls which branch of government, let alone which party is pursuing a particular legislative tactic. These voters’ confusion over who did what allows them to form the conclusion that “they are all crooks,” and that “government is no good,” further leading them to think, “a plague on both your houses” and “the parties are like two kids in a school yard.” This ill-informed public cynicism, in its turn, further intensifies the long-term decline in public trust in government that has been taking place since the early 1960s – a distrust that has been stoked by Republican rhetoric at every turn (“Government is the problem,” declared Ronald Reagan in 1980).

    The United States has nearly the lowest voter participation among Western democracies; this, again, is a consequence of the decline of trust in government institutions – if government is a racket and both parties are the same, why vote? And if the uninvolved middle declines to vote, it increases the electoral clout of a minority that is constantly being whipped into a lather by three hours daily of Rush Limbaugh or Fox News. There were only 44 million Republican voters in the 2010 mid-term elections, but they effectively canceled the political results of the election of President Obama by 69 million voters.


  2. “The Texas Forest Service put out statement saying, “This is unprecedented fire behavior. No one on the face of this Earth has ever fought fires in these extreme conditions.”

    A moment of silence for those in danger, for the fire fighters, the residents…

    • indypendent

      Rick Perry was on CBS Early Show today and was asked about the FEMA’s available funding is at 800 million and if he was worried about not having the money to fight these fires.

      To his credit, Perry said that the money could be worked out later and now is the not the time to be worrying about that. Now is the time to get people to safety and to get these fires out.

      I wonder how much this crisis will boost Rick Perry in peoples’ eyes as being a hands-on politician?

      I know that sounds cynical – but in these current political times – the politicians themselves have made alot of us deeply skeptical of their true motivation in what they say and do.

      But I do have one suggestion – why don’t a bunch of those mega churches in Texas get together and help raise funds to fight those fires and help their fellow Texans with this current tragedy?

      Or are these church people too busy spending their money on fancy prayer events that do nothing more than divide us further because ‘only Christians need apply’ was their banner.

      • indypendent

        To be honest – when I heard Rick Perry left the campaign trail to go oversee the fires in Texas – I had a brief moment of deja vu when John McCain decided to leave the campaign trail in 2008 and had to run down to Washington DC to fix the crashing economy – remember?

        But funny thing happened on the way to Washington – McCain had time to diss Letterman, appear on CBS nightly news with Katie Couric, appear at Bill Clinton’s conference and then end up at the White House meeting just to see Candidate Obama sitting at the table awaiting McCain’s arrival.

        Wow – just wow. This is just one reason I am skeptical of politicians and their motivation

  3. indypendent

    Latest poll numbers do not look good for Obama. But also take a look at the other poll results – especially the favorable ratings for Congress.

    But I’m sure the only thing we will hear from the ‘right’ side of the world is how Obama’s poll numbers are tanking. These folks seem to gloss over the fact their own ‘right-minded’ Congress Critters poll ratings are abysmal.

    These ‘right’ folks remind me of the hypocrit churchy person sitting throught the preacher’s fiery sermon on the evils of sin and this hypocrit smugly looks around the church and says ‘yes, those folks ARE real sinners’.


  4. Indy, the writer of the story about leaving the ‘cult which is the republican party’ had a bunch to say about the religious right. A lot of it reminded me of what you tell us and both of you have the ‘inside’ experience to know and warn the rest of us.

    It’s so sad.

    • indypendent

      I would also like to add that toosmart also warned us about the NeoConservatives. Although the NeoCons are not necessarily seen as religious rightees – the NeoCons have manipulated the rising power of the Religious Right into such a formidable force within the GOP.

      Together – these two groups of folks are a deadly – IMHO

  5. Exclusive Audio: Inside the Koch Brothers’ Secret Seminar

    Every two years, billionaire oil tycoons Charles and David Koch hold a hush-hush fundraiser, gathering funds to bankroll conservative campaigns—and Mother Jones has obtained an audio recording of the June 2011 event. “We have Saddam Hussein,” Charles Koch says on the tape, apparently referring to President Obama, adding that the 2012 election will be “the mother of all wars.” Attending the gathering were Fox News analysts, business magnates, and even Texas Governor Rick Perry, now running for president.


    • indypendent

      Excuse me, but when did elections turn into wars?

      Why do the Republicans always use terms like wars when they speak? Is it some kind of macho crap by very small men who are out trying to prove they’re not small?

      Or are they just bullies trying to act tough?

      I just don’t get it…

      To me, when someone calls an upcoming election the mother of all wars – that implies that only side will win and the other side will be killed and never heard from again.

      Excuse me, but that was not the way our democracy was set up to operate. The Founding Fathers made sure that the minority voice would also be heard in this democracy.

      I guess that is the part of the Founding FAthers’ wisdom these Republicans like to cherry pick – just all the good stuff they want and nothing for anyone that dares to question their authority – is that it?

      that sounds more like a dictatorship to me.

  6. indypendent

    Saw a bumper sticker the other day – You can always count on the Republicans to take the cl out of class

    Ain’t it the truth? LMAO

  7. indypendent

    I wonder how many millions, billions or even trillions of dollars are we talking about in these secret bank accounts?

    Factor this in with the current scenario of corporations sitting on $2 trillion in cash that Republicans have defended the withholding of investing this money in America until these corporations get a guaranteed profit on their investment.

    Then I thought of President John F Kennedy and his infamous speech in which he said – Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.

    America is hurting deeply right now and all I ever hear from the ‘right’ side of the aisle is how will I get a profit off anything I do for my country? Be it hiding your money in secret overseas bank accounts or sitting on $2 trillion in cash. Exactly which party is being patriotic and wanting to help the country that has helped them to become the people that can sit on $2 trillion in cash and have those secret bank accounts?

    Is that dream of JFK’s gone? Do Americans even care anymore?