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Life Support for Republicans

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There has been a lot of commentary regarding the death of the Republican Party since President Obama's election. Personally, I think this is just the ebb and flow of politics. Republicans get to be in power for a while and then the Democrats do and then back to the Republicans. Except, this time, I don't think many of us will be flowing back to the Republicans any time soon.

I should note that I used to be a Republican. I know a lot of people will find it hard to believe, but I was a Reagan supporter; however, by the time Reagan left office in 1989, I was a Democrat. One of the reasons for the switch was the AIDS epidemic. Reagan completely ignored AIDS almost until the end of his presidency when he finally uttered the word in a speech in 1987. By that time, the whole country had already uttered the word. That was it; when Bush the First ran for President, I voted for Dukakis.

Now the ebb and tide have flowed and the Democrats have full power in all three branches of government and the Republicans are digging themselves a deeper grave. Instead of reaching out and saying "What can we do to help?" the Republicans are moving farther to the right, allowing lie spreaders such as Betsy McCaughey and Sarah Palin to speak for them and bowing down to that windbag, Russ Limbaugh, whenever he speaks. It is almost as if they don't care about the future of their own political party.

But I care and so I'm offering a few tips – free of charge – to the Republicans to help them get back on the right track.

1. Stop spreading lies. Allowing the lies to continue doesn't help your cause. Do you want a party of complainers or do you want a political party that will grow? Hold an honest debate on healthcare. In fact, hold honest debates on everything. Stop holding invitation-only talks on healthcare, such as Senators John McCain and Mitch McConnell held in Miami. Must be nice not to see the protesters, but this is no way to fully get the ball rolling on a debate.

 2.  Quit the attacks on the intellectuals. Somewhere along the line, smart people became the enemy. Intellectual became a bad word. The GOP has become the party of the non-thinkers. In fact, quit attacking everything and start working on ideas. Not everything that comes from the left is wrong, just like not every conservative idea is right. By constantly attacking you never build a consensus and you never stand for anything. And, like the old saying goes: You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything.

3.  You don't want the president to fail, so quit bowing down to the man who keeps saying it – Rush Limbaugh. Quit apologizing to him when you say something he doesn't like. He doesn't run the Republican Party and, let's just say he does, kick him out. He isn't helping your cause.

4.  The time for small government isn't now. Yes, there are times when the government needs to take a back seat, but in the worst economic crisis the nation has seen since the Great Depression, now is not the time to call for smaller government. Nor is it the time to call for deficit reduction. Besides, it is a little hypocritical to call for deficit reduction under a Democratic President, when you allowed the deficit to rise like a hot air balloon under a Republican President. And, remember, Theodore Roosevelt supported a strong government. (For those who don't know, he was a Republican President.)

I think the idea that the Republican Party is dead and should be laid to rest is a bit extreme, but they could be in for a long Democratic era if they continue the path they are currently on. Gun-toting, Bible banging voters can only carry you so far; then you have to learn to get along with the rest of us.

God Bless.

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About Julie Marie Totsch

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    It seems like every couple of weeks we get one of these articles where an utterly clueless, but well meaning democrat tries to tell Republicans how to save their party from the Abyss, and in the process demonstrates zero understanding of the GOP and what its purpose is as a party and what the nature of its constituency is.

    I give this author some extra credit, though, for going into some detail and exposing additional specific examples of how she completely lacks any understanding of the nature of the Republican Party.

    1. Stop spreading lies. Allowing the lies to continue doesn’t help your cause.

    This is a common complaint. It arises from the fact that many on the left don’t understand that there is no absolute truth. Facts and events can be interpreted in more than one way, and when someone else’s interpretation does not match yours, that doesn’t actually mean they are lying, it just means that they have a different understanding of the subject.

    Do you want a party of complainers or do you want a political party that will grow?

    When people are dissatisfied with the status quo, complaining about it is appropriate and will lead to growth.

    Hold an honest debate on healthcare. In fact, hold honest debates on everything. Stop holding invitation only talks on healthcare, such as Senators John McCain and Mitch McConnell held in Miami.

    You could make this complaint just as easily of the Democrats. At least the GOP isn’t having thugs attack people at health care townhalls.

    Must be nice not to see the protestors, but this is no way to fully get the ball rolling on a debate.

    Republicans aren’t actually afraid of protesters.

    2. Quit the attacks on the intellectuals. Somewhere along the lines, smart people became the enemy. Intellectual became a bad word.

    You seem to be stuck in the elitism of the 1960s here. Nothing wrong with intellectuals, if their intellects lead them to rational conclusions. If their intellects are put in the service of failed ideologies like socialism, then they are rightly to be condemned for their ideologgy, not their intellect.

    The GOP has become the Party of the non-thinkers. In fact, quit attacking everything and start working on ideas.

    Odd, from the inside I see plenty of ideas in the GOP. Ideas which the left finds threatening and does its best to silence.

    Not everything that comes from the left is wrong, just like not every conservative idea is right. By constantly attacking you never build a consensus and you never stand for anything.

    By not attacking you allow the destructive ideas of the left to stand unchallenged, which is a strategy for defeat. It’s necessary to challenge and dispute bad ideas constantly as well as come up with your own good ones.

    3. You don’t want the president to fail,

    Of course we do. The current president represents a socialist/marxist agenda so heinous that to allow him any measure of success is to destroy America. Republicans can’t restore the Republic when they regain power if there’s no Republic left to save.

    so quit bowing down to the man who keeps saying it – Rush Limbaugh. Quit apologizing to him when you say something he doesn’t like. He doesn’t run the Republican Party and, let’s just say he does, kick him out. He isn’t helping your cause.

    Only the left believes that Limbaugh has any special power in the GOP. It’s a talking point strategy to try to diminish the influence of real leaders in the party.

    4. The time for small government isn’t now.

    All of our current problems come from government excess. The time for small governemnt was years ago, but better now than never.

    Yes, there are times when the government needs to take a back seat, but in the worse economic crisis the nation has seen since the great depression, now is not the time to call for smaller government. Nor is it the time to call for deficit reduction.

    Because hyperinflation and national bankruptcy are desirable things?

    Besides, it is a little hypocritical to call for a deficit reduction under a Democratic President, when you allowed the deficit to rise like a hot air balloon under a Republican President.

    Another common leftist fallacy is the belief that George W. Bush and his policies meaningfully represented the majority of the GOP or that the people currently speaking out against excessive spending were supporters of anything Bush did in that area. The left seems not to understand the political process which goes on in a political party which has diversity in it, where sometimes people go along with a compromise candidate like Bush because he’s electable and will draw moderate and democrat votes and just hope he doesn’t screw up and compromise too much.

    And, remember, Theodore Roosevelt supported a strong government. (For those who don’t know, he was a Republican President.)

    Roosevelt believed in a strong and effective government that served the people, not a giant, self-perpetuating and oppressive government.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    These aren’t really suggestions, are they? The first three are criticisms, along the line of “stop beating your wife”. The fourth is a suggestion, but it suggests that Republicans should give up their platform and become Democrats.

    You say that Republicans shouldn’t call for deficit reduction now, but deficits are expanding at three times the rate of Bush’s “hot air balloon”. It’s far more hypocritical to complain about Bush’s budgets while excusing Obama’s.

    On a more neutral note, I am interested in the idea of re-intellectualizing the political conversation. Both sides fall into sloganeering. How would you go about fixing that?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    On a more neutral note, I am interested in the idea of re-intellectualizing the political conversation. Both sides fall into sloganeering. How would you go about fixing that?

    Having been both a Republican and a Democrat (and having been a closet syndicalist socialist all along) the simplest answer to your question is stop assuming that there are two sides. There are considerably more than two sides to the questions posed, and by looking at it that way, you allow for ideas, instead of competitive sloganeering, to bubble up.

  • Baronius

    Dave, I’ve got a question for you. You say, “only the left believes that Limbaugh has any special power in the GOP.” Doesn’t our side fall into the same kind of thinking with our complaints about Olbermann and Garafalo, as if the majority of the leftish side of the country is that hateful?

  • zingzing

    dave: “Odd, from the inside I see plenty of ideas in the GOP. Ideas which the left finds threatening and does its best to silence.”

    so that’s why we haven’t heard them… i take it that you haven’t heard them either, since you fail to mention any… (take this opportunity to enlighten us. of course, if you’re right, your comment will immediately be deleted and you will be send to our gulag in idaho.)

    “The current president represents a socialist/marxist agenda so heinous that to allow him any measure of success is to destroy America.”

    ahh, that’s the idea. just be a totally hyperbolic nutjob.

    “destroy america…” …jeez. you’re in on your own joke, i hope.

  • zingzing

    “you will be send to our gulag in idaho”

    hrm. that’s “sent” and “cuba.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You’re sharp today.

  • zingzing

    is that to #5, or to #6, because if it’s the first, thank you, but if it’s the second, i concur in sarcasm. (i’ll just assume it’s the first. gotta go make some ammo for further discussion with ruvy. to the toilet!)

  • Baronius

    Zing, the proposals that Mackey espoused in the Wall Street Journal are largely supported by the right. For instance, health savings accounts have been on the Republican agenda for years, and were championed by GW Bush.

    On energy, Republicans have been supporting increased drilling for oil, loosening the restrictions on auto engine conversion, and the construction of new nuclear plants.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    The first, of course. The second is but an afterthought.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com Dave Nalle

    Dave, I’ve got a question for you. You say, “only the left believes that Limbaugh has any special power in the GOP.” Doesn’t our side fall into the same kind of thinking with our complaints about Olbermann and Garafalo, as if the majority of the leftish side of the country is that hateful?

    Maybe to some degree, but we’re not claiming that they are the leaders of the Democratic party or that anyone is really taking them seriously aside from the fringe. Well, Olberman has a more mainstream audience than Garofalo does. But no one on the right is silly enough to try to claim any one of them, or Rachel Maddow who is more popular than either of them, to some undeserved preeminent status.

    so that’s why we haven’t heard them…

    You haven’t heard them because the media gives them no coverage, and when they are put forward as legislation they are killed in committee and never even make it to a public debate.

    i take it that you haven’t heard them either, since you fail to mention any…

    I guess you missed my multiple articles with numerous alternative suggestions published on BC last month — oh wait, you responded to them, so you must have read them (no, I’m not that naive). Maybe you have Convenience Amnesia. Or if you’d like to see a sensible plan from Republicans, there was a writeup in the WSJ way back in May of a plan which was never allowed to see the light of day by Democrats.

    On energy, Republicans have been supporting increased drilling for oil, loosening the restrictions on auto engine conversion, and the construction of new nuclear plants.

    Nuclear plants…dead silence reigns from the media and the left. Any mention of nuclear energy instantly gets sucked into a media black hole and disappears. Even the French get nuclear. But not our head-in-the-sand leftloonies.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Actually, I have to agree with you about nuclear energy, Dave. France is using it for years, and it’s safe. The likes of the Sierra Club are playing with this issue like a political football.

  • Baronius

    I’ve never heard an intellectual argument against nuclear power. It’s always emotionalism and scare tactics.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Agree with the two – no, three – comments above. Only ever been one fatal accident at a nuclear power station.

    And that was in the Soviet Union, a country well-known for having had reliable infrastructure and machinery, safe working practices and motivated workers… :-/

  • zingzing

    me: “i take it that you haven’t heard them either, since you fail to mention any…”

    dave: “I guess you missed my multiple articles with numerous alternative suggestions published on BC last month — oh wait, you responded to them, so you must have read them (no, I’m not that naive).”

    but i thought you were being silenced…

    “Maybe you have Convenience Amnesia. Or if you’d like to see a sensible plan from Republicans, there was a writeup in the WSJ way back in May of a plan which was never allowed to see the light of day by Democrats.”

    but, but… i thought… shhhhhh.

    see, my point wasn’t that the gop has no ideas. it was just refuting the fact that you’re being silenced, and any idea that you are is just more hyperbole, not to mention “Convenience Amnesia.”

    “Even the French get nuclear. But not our head-in-the-sand leftloonies.”

    i don’t think what’s stopping nuclear energy from being used more is the left (or the right). it’s locals. most people are fine with nuclear energy (i mean, we do use it quite a bit…), but no one wants it in their back yard. i’m fine with nuclear energy (and for all i know, i’m using it right now), but i do kinda get antsy thinking about a meltdown near here… new york city isn’t rural russia.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Interesting analysis, zing. There may be something to it. It is a scare word.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s like a reaction against convicted sex offenders. No one wants them in their own backyard.

  • Baronius

    Zing, there’s a big difference between being heard on BC and being a featured part of the national debate. We never admit it, but it’s true. Most of what we hear and read nationally about health care reform is framed around the Democratic proposals. Probably the most public airing of Republican-supported reforms was the Mackey article, and surely you’ll have to admit that the reaction to it was over-the-top. He’s been condemned as a traitor to his clientele, even on this site.

    Regarding nuclear power, if we want to have an intellectual national debate, we can’t let antsy feelings get in the way. Either it’s workable or it’s not.

  • zingzing

    baronius: “Zing, there’s a big difference between being heard on BC and being a featured part of the national debate.”

    i think the wall street journal counts… didn’t dave mention the wall street journal? didn’t you?

    “Regarding nuclear power, if we want to have an intellectual national debate, we can’t let antsy feelings get in the way. Either it’s workable or it’s not.”

    well, it’s clearly workable. and working. because we use it now. just not enough of it. and, unfortunately, the antsy feelings are part of the debate.

  • zingzing

    baronius: “Probably the most public airing of Republican-supported reforms was the Mackey article and surely you’ll have to admit that the reaction to it was over-the-top. He’s been condemned as a traitor to his clientele, even on this site.”

    well, that might just show a general lack of republican-supported reforms (or “ideas,” as it goes). if the republicans have more ideas, there is nothing stopping them from voicing them. nothing at all. and i’m sure they’re out there. it just may be that most of us don’t care. another factor is that the republicans are spending more time criticizing the dems’ ideas (or at least some whacked-out version of what they believe those ideas to be,) rather than voicing their own.

  • Clavos

    It’s like a reaction against convicted sex offenders. No one wants them in their own backyard.

    In Miami, we put ‘em under a bridge, like trolls.

    Really.

  • Arch Conservative

    Obama and the Dems have spent a few trillion dollars that we don’t even have in the last six months and the GOP is the problem?

    I think it’s time to change your bong water Julie.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    You haven’t smoked a bong? Okay, I will try to give you the benefit of the doubt as far as your character anyway.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Julie,

    Don’t get too ruffled by little jabs. Arch and others among us can get a lot tougher than that. This ain’t the WWF, but this IS politics after all. I don’t think Arch had any intent to cast aspersions on your character, it was just his incredulity at your positions.

    BTW, Bar, you refer to “…complaints about Olbermann and Garafalo, as if the majority of the leftish side of the country is that hateful?”

    I don’t listen or watch Garafalo all that much, but I DO watch Olbermann & Maddow regularly. They are NOT hateful. Derisive? Incredulous? Yes. Hateful? No. The derision and incredulity come easily when one looks at the wide variety of Republicans, Birthers, Deathers, general right-wing fearmongers, and on and on, who have made the repeated mistake of opening their mouths revealing the empty space above (could it be that they just have extremely large sinus cavities.) Are these the brilliant people that Dave believes are offering all the great ideas coming from the right?

    B

  • Baronius

    Julie, there’s no obligation on this board to reply to everyone. Why do you want to become a Republican again? I’m sure they’d love your vote, but from this article it doesn’t sound like you agree with them on anything, or even respect them.

    Bar, I have yet to hear anyone off BC even mention Maddow.

  • Arch Conservative

    Olbermann and Maddow get a combined audience of something like 6700. That’s why you don’t hear them get mentioned. They’re irrelevant leftist bobble heads.

    I guess the rest of us will just have to bat it back and forth until the midterm elections.

  • zingzing

    archie: “Olbermann and Maddow get a combined audience of something like 6700. That’s why you don’t hear them get mentioned.”

    um. you mentioned them. and they get mentioned plenty…

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “You haven’t smoked a bong? Okay, I will try to give you the benefit of the doubt as far as your character anyway.”

    Hysterical