"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Where are GOP Moderate Activists? Please Step Forward!

When I first started this blog, I used to wake up in the morning trying to decide how I could annoy a liberal that day.  That is no longer the case -- the progressives make more sense then the hard right of the GOP in today's world.  The GOP has totally left me with their social issues being their #1 priority along with giving the Defense Department everything they want while at the same time wanting to cut the social safety net for seniors and victims of disaster.

Over the years always read the Media Research Center reports until I discovered they were not exactly telling the truth while researching what they had said before using it on here.  They were repeating the Fox News/Rush/Hannity Talking Points.   Started going to Media Matters and realized they were telling the truth as everything I wanted to use checked out.  One thing led to another and realized that the conservative media was feeding crap to listeners/viewers in order to suit their narrative that all Democrats are bad especially President Obama.  The conservative media was part of a scam on the American people IMHO just like conservative groups/think tanks have been lying and scamming to get people to donate to their cause when what they are saying is not factual.

My research day in and day out  has been enlightening to discover the so-called conservatives I once supported were dead wrong on the President.  They are still at it today this time on gun control comparing him to Hitler which disgusts me to no end.  Their lack of honesty and integrity is duly noted.  Chances of trusting them again are slim to none.  Some of the pundits/websites have zero ethics and will lie about President Obama never giving it a second thought.  I kept asking myself if they are that racist and unfortunately, I had to admit they were.  The sad part is that I think they would be treating a woman President exactly the same with their continual war on women as we are still seeing today.  A lot of today's conservatives seem to believe only in a white male dominated Country.

Guess you could say I took my blinders off discovering there is little if anything I support or respect out of the hard right GOP.   I consider myself a center right person who believes the economy would be much further on the way to recovery if it wasn't for the obstructionist House Republicans who refuse to work with the President unless absolutely forced by circumstances like the recent cliff negotiations.

I am a fiscal conservative who believes in a strong defense but not going overboard like Republicans have been doing since 2000.  Buying two new fighters, F-22 and F-35, was a huge waste of taxpayer dollars but made Lockheed-Martin and the subs very happy.  Even when Lockheed was behind schedule and over budget, the Chair of Lockheed received a $2M raise last year on top of his $25M+ annual salary.  Why are heads of defense companies paid such obscene salaries and get raises for failing?

Any GOP member of Congress who says you cannot cut Defense is lying.  There is so much waste in the DoD that it would make your head swim if you knew the facts.  That is my primary reason for supporting former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense -- he knows where the bodies are buried and how much can be saved by DoD.  Defense contractors through their GOP Senator mouthpieces are in an all out war to defeat Hagel.  Maybe they are afraid he will actually ask for accountability from Defense contractors and stop the sole source contracts to the big aerospace companies.  I have heard some dumb statements about Chuck Hagel coming from former friends like McCain and Lindsey Graham who are putting Party over Country once again.  Why is what I would like to know.  Who is pulling their strings?

Yesterday when I wrote my blog post asking Can the Republican Party be Saved was left with the sickening feeling that the GOP had gone so far right that there was no hope in bringing it back.  Lo and behold today, Michael Tomasky of The Daily Beast has some good ideas in his article about using moderates to take the GOP back to center right.  He understands in order to make DC work you have to have two viable parties not just one.  One Party system doesn't work as whoever is in charge becomes very arrogant starting to believe they answer to no one.

The problem is with this group of Republicans in Congress is that they won't face reality the Republican Party lost big on November 6th as they are still behaving like they won everything.  That mentality leaves me stunned.

The question of the day is if there are moderates who are willing to work to bring the GOP back to the center along with big dollars for a campaign to start running more moderate Republicans who are fiscal conservatives and could care less about social issues.

Prefer no social issues even enter the discussion after learning the former VP candidate and current Rep Paul Ryan is co-sponsoring another Personhood Bill.  Economy is in the tank and social issues become front and center again along with Michelle Bachmann introduced as one of the first bills of the new House another bill to end Obamacare.  Still haven't recovered from her being named to the Intelligence Committee.  Boehner and leadership are idiots for putting her on Intelligence Committee who loves to grandstand as we saw in the Presidential debates.  Facts don't matter to Bachmann -- it is the narrative.  If I was the CIA, I would be extremely careful what I said in her presence.  Do I think she would run out to a microphone -- absolutely just like the GOP Senators have been doing on Benghazi.
The big question hanging over all this is: Are there even enough moderate Republicans around in America anymore? It depends on what you mean by moderate. I mean someone who is fiscally conservative and socially moderate, but more than that, who has enough of a civic-republican streak to want this warfare to end. I have to believe that there are millions of such people out there. They just have no one to report to, no place to go. If someone builds this, they will come.
Must admit I would hope that Tomasky is correct about the number of moderates but not holding my breath.  I come from a total Red State so hope of a moderate being elected is slim to none but why not try.  The OK legislature is so hard right in the OK House that even our Supreme Court routinely knocks down their bills including the one on Personhood informing the hard right that Abortion is the law of the land and they are infringing.  That sent shock waves through the hard right here but they will try again and put that Personhood bill over education or infrastructure.  I would be glad to sign up for a center-right campaign to elect more moderates but where are they?  You have to have a backbone and nerves of steel to oppose the hard right.

I agree with Tomasky's ideas:
You may roll your eyes, and yes, I readily confess that this is a big and very long-term job. But making the party as right wing as it is was a big and long-term job, too, and someone did it. Moderate Republicans, and even mainstream conservative Republicans who want to see Washington function again, should get together to form and fund a network of organizations that will pursue four goals: 

First, just make moderate Republicanism visible again. Launch a public awareness campaign. Get a television show. Or at least get a stable of people to go on the other shows. Let Americans know that the viewpoint even exists. 
Second, start an organization to recruit young people, activists of all ages, and potential candidates. Start college campus clubs and newspapers or magazines. Host big conferences in Washington and elsewhere. Give people a sense of an extant community. 
Third, start running some primaries against some hard-right people in districts where victory is possible. Admittedly, there are many states and districts where there’s no chance in blazes that a moderate could beat a conservative. Many state parties have been captured lock, stock, and barrel by the tea party, even in liberal states (Maine). But there are some places where moderates could win. And the tea party may be fading. 
Fourth, set up a big think tank in Washington to advance more moderate policy ideas and, just as importantly, to urge moderation in tactics as well—that is, more civility, such that every single vote isn’t a matter of warfare. 
Will Tomasky's ideas work?  IMHO, it is worth a try.
Wanted: Moderate GOP Activists 
by Michael Tomasky 
Jan 10, 2013 4:45 AM EST 
Nothing would do more to fix American politics than if wealthy Republicans bankrolled a network of moderate GOP organizations, says Michael Tomasky. I see that Brent Bozell, who never runs out of ways to spend rich conservatives’ money, now has an outfit called For America, which is mounting a pressure campaign against Mitch McConnell over his role in the fiscal cliff deal. The online ad buy will be targeted to Kentucky and will ask, “Mitch McConnell, which side are you on?”—that of socialism or that of Kentuckyism? What struck me when I read this was: How come there isn’t a group that is taking out ads against Rand Paul, McConnell’s junior colleague, one of just five GOP senators who voted against the bill, asking him which side he’s on—the side of bare-minimum fiscal sanity or the side of ruining the economy for the sake of making an ideological point? Of course there isn’t. But there must be. In fact there is nothing—nothing—our political system needs more than a strong and well-financed moderate-Republican pressure organization. 
Think about it. Why is our politics so stuck right now? Because one of our parties has gone bonkers. Oh, sure, the Democrats aren’t altar boys. Fine. But High Broderism is blessedly dying as more and more establishment types come to see that it’s basically the GOP that’s throwing the wrench in the works. 
Read More at The Daily Beast
Looks like Brent Bozell of Media Research fame has a new group who is now threatening Republicans they are going to be primaried like the threats coming from Club for Growth and the Koch's Americans for Prosperity.  These group along with the religious right and social conservatives have taken the GOP very hard right.  They are not about to give it up without a fight that will destroy what is left of the Republican Party IMHO.

Now to find some more moderate donors who would be willing to fund this effort.  Short of that a lot of us will be supporting more moderate Dems in 2014 to kick out the obstructionist Republicans from leading the House or taking the Senate who are adverse to the word 'democracy' with their House Hastert Rule and Senate Filibuster rules.  How many people in the Country understand how dictatorial today's GOP has become in the House with the Hastert Rule and in the Senate with the filibuster which goes far beyond what was intended?
In the House, the filibuster equivalent has been the Hastert rule, an informal Republican principle under which the speaker permits to the floor for a vote only bills that have majority support of the majority party. This has empowered the extreme right wing of the Republican Party. Speaker John Boehner ignored the Hastert rule in permitting the legislation that overcame the “fiscal cliff” to get to the floor. The bill passed with only 85 Republican votes, drawing most of its support from the Democratic side of the aisle. Boehner was then barely re-elected as speaker.
There are new rules to change the filibuster in the Senate but not holding my breath on that either.  Will the 113th Congress be as unproductive as the 112th?  Sure hope not.  My wish is that some common sense returns to Republicans in Congress but frankly I wouldn't place my bet on that either.  I think today's Republicans have the common sense of a gnat as their dealing with the loss on November 6th, 2012, was to push back more becoming more obnoxious especially on gun control.  Little hope for the Republican Party to see the light.  More likely a new centrist party will form as the Democrats sure don't want all of us center right people voting in their elections.

Stay tuned as the hard right gets even loonier and more obstructionist then last year the way they are starting out in the 113th Congress.

1 comment:

SJ Reidhead said...

There are a lot of us out there. Unfortunately, we aren't billionaires. In today's GOP, money talks and everything walks. It is all about show me the money, or show me the door. Forget anything else. The GOP is on sale to the highest bidder. Republicans in the House and Senate give prostitutes a bad name.

The Pink Flamingo