February 28, 2009

The faces of the Republican party?

At CPAC:
"“This is probably too strong,” said Doug Haney, the city attorney in Carmel, Ind. and a Republican precinct committeeman, “but Hitler also gave great speeches.”

Attendees and speakers at the three-day event were nearly unanimous in their fear that President Obama and the Democrats were turning America into a socialist state. Political Media, a conservative public relations company, passed out faux “stimulus dollar” bills printed by “The Socialist State of America.” Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, the former presidential candidate who’d been roundly attacked by fiscal conservatives for approving tax increases, appeared shortly before 2 p.m. to give a red meat speech about the new president’s red menace.

“The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics may be dead,” said Huckabee, “but a Union of American Socialist Republics is being born.” Democrats, according to Huckabee, were packing 40 years of pet projects like “health care rationing” into spending bills. “Lenin and Stalin would love this stuff.”"

Then there is the "plumber" who simply will not go away.
Back in the day, really, when people would talk about our military in a poor way, somebody would shoot ‘em. And there’d be nothing said about that, because they knew it was wrong. You don’t talk about our troops. You support our troops. Especially when our congressmen and senators sit there and say bad things in an ongoing conflict.
Not to mention Michelle Bachmann's "you da man" response to Michael Steele.

And how about this from Bobby Jindal's home state?
Louisiana's transportation department plans to request federal dollars for a New Orleans to Baton Rouge passenger rail service from the same pot of railroad money in the president's economic stimulus package that Gov. Bobby Jindal criticized as unnecessary pork on national television Tuesday night.
Heh.

****

In the "bad ideology turning into bad policy" department we have Texas as the poster child for abstinence only and rising STDs. As I have noted, abstinence is a good personal decision, but horrible public policy that leaves kids actually less safe.

30 comments:

ubub said...

So when was this that you could shoot someone for their opinion about the troops?

Streak said...

I think it occurred in JoePlumberland.

Tony said...

I thought Mike Huckabee went away. Won't someone make him go away?

ubub said...

what about alan simpson - was he there, too?

steves said...

So when was this that you could shoot someone for their opinion about the troops?

I think that Lincoln threw people in jail, but I don't think that sedition (or talkin' bad about the troops) was punishable by death.

Aren't Joe's 15 minutes up?!?!?

Streak said...

Yeah, Joe seems to be describing some kind of vigilante action where dissenters are killed and the rest of the community applauds. During WWI, we had vigilantes do that to German Americans and African Americans, and sometimes the juries let them off. But none, that I know of, just for criticizing the troops (not that we have a big issue of that now, btw).

Joe's 15 minutes were up last October, or whenever McCain discovered the dumbest man in America.

Streak said...

Oh, and Tony, Mike Huckabee might be the best thing the GOP has going right now. How does that make you feel?

:)

steves said...

Joe's 15 minutes were up last October, or whenever McCain discovered the dumbest man in America.

The Left has stupid celebrities spouting off inane drivel, but at least they have some other kind of talent. Joe is just an all-around ignoramus.

steves said...

what about alan simpson - was he there, too?

Maybe. I also wonder if respected civil rights attorney, Fred Phelps was there?

Streak said...

The Left has stupid celebrities spouting off inane drivel, but at least they have some other kind of talent.

Perhaps. But I don't recall the left asking those left wing celebrities to speak to members of congress or speak at a national Democratic convention. Joe is more than an ignoramus, he is an embarrassment, but one that the Republican party doesn't seem to be embarrassed by.

Monk-in-Training said...

Well now it seems that we have more Republicans besides Rush openly saying they want President Obama to fail:

Tom Delay (former House Majority Leader)
Rick Santorum (former Sen. from Pennsylvania)
Mark Levin (radio host)

But I do also point out that Gov. Sanford of S. Carolina and Pat Robertson (former Pres. candidate and 700 club host) thinks that is wrong to want the President to fail in this time of crisis.

Sad, simply sad. The Republicans are making themselves more and more irrelevant to everyday voters by this sort of attitude.

steves said...

There are many celbs that enjoy a high degree of access to those in power (such as Sean Penn and George Clooney, who have both said some stupid stuff). I looked through the list of speakers at the National Democratic Convention and there were a few celebs, though I will agree that Joe is an idiot of a much higher caliber. I don't see any benefit in having his counsel.

Out of curiosity, what did Delay, Santorum and Levin say?

Tony said...

Monk,

In our prayer meeting a few weeks ago, one man said he 'nearly' agreed with Rush when he said he hoped Obama would fail. I countered his argument with, "As a Christian, how could we hope that anyone fail, much less the President of our beloved country?"

I disagree with several stances President Obama makes, but one thing is certain, God knows I DO NOT want him to fail. That attitude of partisanship, at a time like this in our country spells certain doom, not success (or progress, for that matter) in any way.

Thanks for pointing that out.

Streak said...

Penn and Clooney may have said some stuff that people find stupid, but I would suspect they are quite smarter than Joe. Of course, that really does not seem like much of a standard to beat. What is it with conservatives and celebrity liberals?

As for Delay and Santorum, I can only guess. After all, Delay once compared his legal woes to those of Christ, and Santorum is best known for comparing gay people to those who have sex with animals. I am quite honest in that I would rather listen to Sean Penn speak than either one of those guys.

Tony, what did your parishioner say when you suggested that Rush was a big fat idiot? Er, or what you said?

steves said...

I would suspect they are quite smarter than Joe.

Of that, there is no doubt. My six year old says far more intelligent things than Joe.

What is it with conservatives and celebrity liberals?

I find celeb endorsements and comments typically annoying. I just don't understand why people place so much value on what they say when they haven't really shown any kind of expertise. Granted, there are some celebs that are pretty sharp, but most aren't. I feel the same about conservative celebs, so it really has nothing to do with ideology.

Hoping that the President will fail seems petty at best, nasty at worse. I know plenty of people that really don't like Obama and think his policies are bad, but have said they want him to fail.

Streak said...

No, I get it. Or at least sort of. I remember hearing Susan Sarandon speak and she addressed this issue. She herself didn't think her opinion was of any more merit than any other informed citizen, but thought that since people did listen, she would tell them what she thought.

I think the opposition to celebrity political viewpoints misses that we have a lot of voices out there, and very few of them are really that well informed and reflective. But I think John Cusack, for example, has thought things through better than Pat Robertson or David Gregory. Hell, I think that most of these people are smarter than Michelle Bachmann.

I also think that bashing celebrity liberals has become part of the conservative reflex--it is just what one does. Why more concern over George Clooney's view than James Dobson?

Tony said...

what did your parishioner say when you suggested that Rush was a big fat idiot? Er, or what you said?

Heh. Actually, it was a fair conversation, regardless that he is an ardent Rushite. Having made his statement publicly, I also rejoined publicly. Needless to say, my intention was not to shame him--several members said "Amen," after my comment.

So, after the service, I approached him, noting our political differences. He conceded that he was wrong and though he enjoys Rush (why, oh why???) he understood my point and on this "one count" Rush was off base. Sigh.

I certainly wish men like Limbaugh had no following, but with conservative thought the way it is, I really do not expect better.

On the celebrity spokesperson issue, I really don't have a problem with celebrities taking up air time, as long as they have something worthwhile and meaningful to say. Joe the Plumber, however, is an irrelevant moron, even more so now than before his fifteen minutes were up.

And speaking of Dobson, you know he has resigned Focus, don't you?

Streak said...

Yeah, I heard Dobson stepped down. Weird. But I doubt very much that he will stop being a public jerk. :)

Tony said...

No, I don't think so either, but I think being out from behind the wheel of Focus, all of his time now will be devoted to political activism. We're likely to hear plenty of spew in the coming months ahead.

Bootleg Blogger said...

This may be overly cynical, but I have to think that after Obama's victory was announced Rush slipped into a private area and screamed for joy. I don't have any facts regarding his listener numbers, book sales, or speaker fees, but I have to think his income will surge incredibly. Guys like him always do the best when they are able to rally the troops in outrage after a defeat. Unless memory is failing me, his ticket to initial celebrity was Clinton. Once Bush got into office he didn't seem to make quite as much noise. Granted he never disappeared, but his brand of condescending trash will do well with Obama in office. I actually read his first two book (borrowed, not purchased) in order to be able to say I had in discussions with his followers. I disliked him more after reading his stuff. For one thing, he gets away with critical inaccuracies all the time. The first two books were shredded by fact checkers. The saddest part for me was that his most adamant supporters that I dealt with were very involved church members where I attended. We'd have a lesson on Jesus' teachings in which they'd readily participate then afterward laugh about some scathing, hateful comments Rush had made. They never saw the disconnect.
Later-BB

Streak said...

Yeah, we will see the rise in popularity of Rush and his ilk. It will be interesting to see how far that goes this time. My sense last time was that Rush benefitted from both right wing angst and deep personal dislike of Bill and Hillary, and that is a little less evident with the Obamas, though of course, the race issue is there.

We will also see the continued dilution of the Republican party as the more rational and pragmatic leave, and the increased ridiculousness of Joe and Rush drive even more out. Those that are left will probably love Joe the Plumber and run him for congress.

steves said...

I also think that bashing celebrity liberals has become part of the conservative reflex--it is just what one does. Why more concern over George Clooney's view than James Dobson?

I don't think it is fair to lump all celebrities in together. Some are certainly more informed than others. I may disagree with Susan Sarandon, but I generally thinks she presents her opinions well. OTOH, I can't say the same for Rosie's tin-foil hat conspiracy theories on 9-11 or Tom Cruise's rant against modern psychiatry.

I am certainly not suggesting they have a voice, but I think their voice is given disproportionate attention in our celebrity obsessed culture.

I really don't have a problem with celebrities taking up air time, as long as they have something worthwhile and meaningful to say.

While the assessment of worth and menaing is probably subjective, I would say that celebrity air time has nothing to do with how accurate their statements are and all to do with how popular they are. Tom Cruise is a good example. He got to present his opinion on the efficacy of psychotropic medication, despite the fact that he has no medical or scientific training.

As for Limbaugh, he was helped by Clinton's win, but was popular before that. Streak, you asked about what it was with conservatives and liberal celebs, what is it with liberals and Rush Limbaugh? It seems as if half his listeners are liberal watchdog groups. If it weren't for my liberal friends posting stuff about Rush, I wouldn't have a clue what he was saying. At best, he probably has a little more than 10 million listeners a week and around 65% of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of him. I think many overestimate his importance.

Tony said...

I would say that celebrity air time has nothing to do with how accurate their statements are and all to do with how popular they are.

Well, of course it has everything to do with their popularity; if it wasn't for their popularity they would have no platform.

I consider myself a reasonably intelligent fellow but my audience is 100 as opposed to 100 million. That's why no one cares for my opinion. :-)

Streak said...

Steve, just check out Rush Limbaugh's appeal from the Republican's in Congress. My conservative friends tell me that Rush is an idiot and that we make a mistake by giving him air time, but when a Republican from the South disagreed with Limbaugh, his phones went nuts and the man had to practically bow and scrape before the fat man. A US Congressman had to humble himself and ask for forgiveness--not, I might add, for calling Rush some horrible name, but for suggesting that it was easier to shout stuff on the radio than actually pass legislation. Don't blame me that the Republican party is diluting down to the truly hateful right wing. It isn't the liberals who are doing this--if it were, then Republican congressmen could make fun of Rush and the left at the same time (which is what Democrats in congress do if a left-wing celebrity says something stupid).

I know you don't listen to him and aren't even interested. But you don't live in the Bible Belt, and you don't see what the southern right wing has become. Trust me. If you did, you would probably not want anything to do with this party.

Streak said...

BTw, Steve, my comment could come across as annoyed or sharp--and I really didn't mean it to sound that way. You aren't blaming me for anything, and that is not the way I wanted that to sound. But neither do I think that Rush is a figment of the left's imagination the way that Barbra Streisand is for the right, for example.

steves said...

I offer a partial retraction on my Rush statement. I just visited a conservative forum I frequent and there was praise for the speech that Rush gave to CPAC (How could he top Joe the Plumber). I made a negative comment in the thread, so I am sure to get lambasted.

I consider myself a reasonably intelligent fellow but my audience is 100 as opposed to 100 million. That's why no one cares for my opinion. :-)

I'd rather listen to you than Limbaugh, Clooney, Dobson, Cruise, or Rosie O.

ubub said...

As noted, Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, John Cusack, Alec Baldwin, George Clooney, and and many other celebrities have been politically engaged citizens for a time. I don't think any of them claim any special insight, but as was pointed out about Susan Sarandon, she has a platform and is willing to use it.

As for Joe the Plumber, he's clearly a fool, but in a certain sense he's also a model of political engagement. We might wish he was more informed, more articulate, or more whatever, but he's an active participant in our democratic republic.

In any case, they cannot be expected to give up the very things that make them worth emulating.

Also, when did Tom Cruise become part of the American left? Is he involved in electoral politics at all?

Streak said...

Ubub, that is kind of my point as well. I think that Tom Cruise and Rosie O'Donnell are pretty good examples of wackjobs outside the right wing (though Cruise seems to be well outside either wing) and are actually just as crazy as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Yet those people are routinely mocked within the left wing as well. It is not the same for Rush (as Steve noted himself, of course).

steves said...

Also, when did Tom Cruise become part of the American left? Is he involved in electoral politics at all?

I never said he was.

ubub said...

I never said that you said that he said that he was. You don't know the history of Tom Cruise, Matt. I do. ::jumps on couch::

BTW, I heard Dave Mason interviewed on the radio this morning and had no idea he was a conservative. The interviewer couldn't wrap his head around the fact that they guy who wrote Feelin' Alright was against big government and taxation. I was just pleased to hear yet another celebrity clearly articulate a strong political argument based in a consistent philosophy. He calls himself an old time British conservative, but he seems to be to fit more along the lines of a Dennis Hopper-style libertarian when put in an American context. You know, the kind that says "you'll get my drugs when you pry them out of my cold dead hands." That kind.