Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Republican Party’s challenge: become “a trustworthy governing party again”

Fri 9 November 2012, 10:39am

For a country that is much derided for the way it exercises its hard power overseas, the US can be commended for one thing above all others: it’s huge devotion to the exercise of democracy. Kevin Anderson of our US panel:

Last year, I worked with Tunisian journalists as they prepared to cover their elections. I was touched by their honesty when they said at the beginning of the training that they had never covered an election in which they didn’t know the outcome.

Think about that for a moment. For decades, journalists there knew who would win. There was no horse race, as flawed as that type of coverage can be. The result was known even before a single vote was cast.

So, a couple of things worth noting from Tuesday:

- The US electorate voted for a black President for the second time with barely a public mind to the question of race;

- Karl Rove and many rich donors lost their collective shirts backing not just one losing ticket, but small tickets right across the Union.

There’s no question that President Obama’s colour energised a much larger base this time, helped no doubt by the springing of the likes of internet controversialist Ann Coulter on national television and, more importantly, the tilt in demographics towards racial minorities.

But in all kerfuffle, the biggest argument was about America’s mountainous debt and it’s fragile, jobless recovery. And, in truth, President Obama barely shaded it. America remains, in the immediate wake of Tuesday’s result, a 50/50 nation.

To our European mind (where strong party systems often matter more than candidates) the US seems overly devoted to the exercise of democratic choice, with school boards, and police commissioners as well as powerful city mayoralties all up for grabs.

And its electorates are wary of handing out power willy nilly to one party or faction. In the midst of a terrific recession with terrific levels of accumulated debt they plumped for the same split status quo from before the whole thing began.

In this hyper democracy, conventional political terms don’t really make the journey across the Atlantic without some considerable adjustment in the process. Conservative, for instance, does not even mean in the US what it means in Canada.

Post War of Independence, the US has become a whiggish Republic of often competing, ill tempered and unbiddable radicals; it’s political tradition as mobile and protean as the creative destruction of the market place to which it is so devoted.

The role of the main party structures (the DNC and the RNC) is not to ‘whip’ individuals into line, but to facilitate and support (though not pay for) individual campaigns nationwide.

It has allowed for a huge degree of evolution in the traditions of both parties.

If there is an identifiable long term argument going, it’s highly internalised one and, by European terms at least, resides firmly on the centre right. Much like Irish politics it is a long term (often esoteric) argument about the nature of the state.

It began as a tension between the particularists versus the advocates of strong government amongst the revolutionary party, ie the Whigs.

Right now, the country is split 50/50 right down the middle. Yes, of course the demographic question has had an enormous bearing on the GOP’s failure to take back the reigns of national government this time

But the Republican candidate was also weighed down by the unacknowledged fact that the debt problem originated with President Bush’s low tax/high spend policy in the years before the crash of 07.

It is too often forgotten (in the rush to dismiss them as a right wing loonies) that the Tea Party began as a critical, if popular, protest against the US Republican leadership, rather than an anti-Democrat coalition per se.

As Michael Dougherty puts it in the State of the Union blog at the American Conservative: the GOP has to become a trustworthy governing party again. That’s a tough objective in country of 314,159,265 (at the latest count) liverish radicals.

Taking some pragmatic control in Congress in order to face down the fiscal cliff would be start.

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Comments (51)

  1. Harry Flashman (profile) says:

    The Republican Party will win the 2016 presidential election, there I’ve said it, you can write it down and can sneer at me on November 9th 2016 if I have egg on my face.

    I don’t claim to be Nate Silver.

    It’s just blindingly obvious that if Obama, the man who would stop the seas rising (not so as you’d notice it in the coastal counties of NJ and NY), the great orator, the Nobel Prize winner, the man whose personal history would convince the world to love the US again (how’s that working out?), could barely scrape 50% against the vulture capitalist, the gaffe-strewn, wooden white boy with the weird religion then I don’t see Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton pulling it off after another disastrous four years in which the US public debt bloats to a further $50 trillion (Jesus Mick we’re not still blaming Dubya are we? That got old a loooong time ago).

    Like the British Tories and Fianna Fail, the Republicans know how to win elections. They know how to rise again from defeat.

    All the fairy dust and moonshine about the changed demographics in the US won’t change the fact that by 2016 the US will be so thoroughly sick of Obama and his hopeless administration that even the fawning media will have turned against them.

    Sweet memories of Obama won’t carry the Dems over the line in four years time in the way George HW Bush got in on the coat tails of Reagan.

    Trust me on this one, you heard it here first.

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  2. Neil (profile) says:

    The Republican Party will win the 2016 presidential election, there I’ve said it, you can write it down and can sneer at me on November 9th 2016 if I have egg on my face.

    Why wait 4 years, Romney didn’t quite live up to your expectations this time round.

    It’s just blindingly obvious that if Obama, the man who would stop the seas rising (not so as you’d notice it in the coastal counties of NJ and NY), the great orator, the Nobel Prize winner, the man whose personal history would convince the world to love the US again (how’s that working out?),

    Leaving the rhetorical flourishes to one side (like for instance stopping the seas rising – something that was never promised or expected of one man), let’s look at that list. His oratory abilities seem fine, and we can hardly hold him responsible for the Nobel Prize (a running joke by all accounts), I would say yes the world loves the USA much more than when his predecessor was in office (so it’s working out pretty well from where I’m sitting, certainly more so than Romney ‘forget the Palestinians, Israel can decide if the US goes to war with Iran’) would have.

    could barely scrape 50% against the vulture capitalist, the gaffe-strewn, wooden white boy with the weird religion then I don’t see Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton pulling it off after another disastrous four years in which the US public debt bloats to a further $50 trillion (Jesus Mick we’re not still blaming Dubya are we? That got old a loooong time ago).

    A cursory search for the facts online show that Obama’s policies contributed 1.4 tn to the national debt, much of it for the stimulus package. That benefited people by keeping their jobs alive. Meanwhile tax cuts, wars and other items prior to Obama taking office contributed a 5 tn hole in the budget. Who was it before Obama again?

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-57506201/national-debt-passes-$16-trillion-should-you-worry/

    You see that’s why Bush hasn’t got old yet Harry. Because he was the president in office prior to this one, and that’s recent. He can’t get old quickly enough for Republicans granted, because he’s a total embarrassment, an inarticulate idiot, and who’s tax cuts and wars are largely responsible for the deficit Republicans attempt and fail to blame on Obama. So no it’s not old a looooooooong time ago, it’s not old at all. It’s as recent as you can get without getting current.

    Like the British Tories and Fianna Fail, the Republicans know how to win elections. They know how to rise again from defeat.

    Maybe. Didn’t manage it just then though, and with all the advantages in their corner which had you giving Romneyshambles the edge a couple of weeks ago.

    All the fairy dust and moonshine about the changed demographics in the US won’t change the fact that by 2016 the US will be so thoroughly sick of Obama and his hopeless administration that even the fawning media will have turned against them.

    You sound like your now repeating your recent fantasy. They were so thoroughly sick of Obama that he was a gonner in 2012. But that didn’t happen and the next four years are as yet a pretty much unknown quantity. Your recent predictions haven’t been up to much though, so I wouldn’t take anything for granted.

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  3. Harry Flashman (profile) says:

    He won by barely 2% Neil, don’t lose the run of yourself, it was no awesome electoral victory. Obama won’t be running next time, the media (vain hope I know) might actually adopt the same scrutiny of the Democrat candidate that they did with Romney and signally failed to do with Obama.

    Actually I think you’ll find that Obama has racked up $16 trillion of debt on his watch, greater if I’m not mistaken than all other US presidents combined, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan account for a mere fraction of that money.

    To blame Bush for the debt is like going into an AA meeting and saying “Hello my name’s Barack and George W. Bush is an alcoholic”, it won’t fly any more, and certainly not after eight years of Democratic rule have passed.

    Just for the record Obama did say the seas would stop rising if he got elected and unlike Canute he actually believed it. A gaffe? No, only Republicans make gaffes, according to the media.

    Anyway I’ve stuck my neck out, it’ll be a Republican president in 2016, one with an Hispanic name, it might shock conventional wisdom to discover there are millions of Hispanic Republicans, and many have been elected to public office.

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  4. Kevsterino (profile) says:

    This last go-around now means 4 out of the last 6 have gone the way of Democratic victories, Flash. When the Democrats were facing a similar position in ’92, the Democratic Leadership Conference, including Bill Clinton, came up with a different strategy with programs like “Welfare to Work” etc.

    If Republicans want to win the White House again, similar adjustments are called for. If they don’t, the will go the way of the Whigs.

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  5. Kevsterino (profile) says:

    *they* will go the way of the Whigs. Need more coffee.

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  6. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    Indeed Kev. Centre right is where it’s at in the US.

    Hold on Harry. Just a cotton pickin moment. You’re taking one, I say just one, fragment of my argument and scaling it up to something other than what I actually said.

    I didn’t say it was all Bush’s fault. But the GOP have been selling small government and delivering big government. That’s where the Tea Party came in.

    It’s target was, in the first place, a supposedly conservative leadership of the GOP that has been economic avec le actualite… cutting taxes AND hiking spending…

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  7. GEF (profile) says:

    Interesting article, will the 2012 election results be a repeat of 1892?

    “When Republicans Deliberately Sowed a Financial Crisis”

    http://news.google.co.uk/news/url?ct2=uk%2F0_0_s_2_1_a&sa=t&usg=AFQjCNHopImu4VxtvCUVycTIe5zESp7NHA&cid=52778020600969&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bloomberg.com%2Fnews%2F2012-11-09%2Fwhen-republicans-deliberately-sowed-a-financial-crisis.html&ei=eTSdUIDcC4qX8QPKRQ&rt=HOMEPAGE&vm=STANDARD&bvm=section&twa=f&did=3727106118009515731

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  8. wild turkey (profile) says:

    ‘ the republican party is mad men party in a modern family america and it just doesn’t fit’

    about 2:30

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036697/#49733750

    harry, that big thump you may have heard around 4:15am 7 november was the flabby asses of a lot of white anglo saxon males getting kicked. big time. and it is also about time. i suggest that in your view obamas big sin, like the big sin of jack kennedy, is that he does not tick all the necessary boxes on the white, anglo-saxon and protestant job description.

    but harry, i feel your pain. if the current meds are not efficacious, try fukitol.

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  9. wild turkey (profile) says:

    Democracy.

    ever hear about it Harry?

    listen

    http://www.leonardcohen.com/us/video/democracy

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  10. Kevsterino (profile) says:

    Love Leonard C., I think Harry is Waiting for the Miracle, lol http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-E53gmeO-8

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  11. wild turkey (profile) says:

    Kev

    ah, veering off thread here but…. yeah, great song. saw the man at belfast odyssey a few years ago. anyway, i am still awaiting harrys response. merle haggard perhaps?

    and now totally off thread. previous post on the ozarks and fishing. i take it you are based in the St Louis metropolitan area but have you have ever done the Bitteroot around Missoula Montana? Fanfuckingtastic

    best

    wt

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  12. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    I wish someone – perhaps someone above who is apologizing for the GOP – could explain to me why they think the GOP’s recently discovered adherence to fiscal probity and deficit cutting (discovered after they lost to Obama) has any credibility given that during every single year of the 20 years they have had in power since 1980 the deficit increased ??

    I am still trying to understand the logical backflips that are required to believe that someone who increases borrowing during a recession is worse at economics than the guy who increased borrowing during a boom. Or the idea, suggested by Harry, that Obama is responsible for all $16tn of the debt, including the $12tn that was present when Bush vacated office.

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  13. wild turkey (profile) says:

    Comrade S

    a point well made and well taken, but…

    harry doesn’t do arithmetic and the republicans don’t do logic. both these disciplines have legacies as far back as the ancient greeks. the same greeks, well athenians, who gave the world the first notional taste of democracy.

    and these legacies of arithmetic and logic and democracy must be anathema to the ideologically pure GOPers and their associated zipper lickers. why else would they persist in their zealous efforts to so grotesquely twist and distort all three?

    in a real sense they are, ah, pre-historic. their preferred weapon is not the cutting edge of iron logic, but rather the stone axe.

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  14. Alias (profile) says:

    Romney correctly identified the reason why the odds were stacked against his election as president: the Democrats have engineered a near-majority (46.4%) voting class that are exempt from paying federal income tax. This class has a very strong incentive to vote for the candidate who promises to maintain their exempt status and who promises them more and greater entitlements that are to be funded by the non-exempt voting class. Indeed, Obama has spared no time in signalling that the wealthy are to be forced to pay more taxes to support the underclass who voted for the Democrats.

    Once the Democrats get the exempt class above the majority figure they’ll have sown-up the presidency for the foreseeable future. That future doesn’t look too bright for those Republicans who point out that engineering a state-dependent class can only end in a weaker America and a poorer nation, as confirmed for Romney.

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  15. Harry Flashman (profile) says:

    “the flabby asses of a lot of white anglo saxon males getting kicked.”

    Wow, so crude, offensive, racist and sexist stereotyping is acceptable now?

    Who knew?

    Stick the boot into white males, this new inclusive multi-cultural rainbow nation clearly still needs at least one obvious minority to hate.

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  16. Greenflag (profile) says:

    Alias @ 10 November 2012 at 2:50 am

    ‘Obama has spared no time in signalling that the wealthy are to be forced to pay more taxes to support the underclass who voted for the Democrats.’

    Take your head out from your rear end Alias .
    Among your ‘underclass’ who voted overwhelmingly were American Jews – 70% voted Obama .- Asian Americans (the wealthiest ethnic minority ) 76% voted Obama – also the highly educated post graduate population 80% voted Obama ,

    Those who voted for Romney were presumably those who were math challenged and enjoyed picking whichever of the multiple choice Romney’s that appealed to them

    a) Mormonic Romney
    b) Vulture Bain Capital Romney
    c) White Romney
    d) I cudda been a Mexican Romney
    e) Governor of Massachusetts Romney

    As for what you call the exempt class ? This class grew dramatically under the Bush presidency and if the USA had another 8 years of a Bush presidency under Romney the exempt class would make up 80% of the population given the idiocy of GOP policies .

    I believe one Republican county in Florida in a referendum voted for ‘slot machines ‘ and against a half a percent increase in sales tax to help fund education.

    Must have been Trump or Adelson money which persuaded these ‘gobshites ‘ to vote for keeping their children stupid and thus profits rolling into the gambling casinos of Trump and Adelson ..

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  17. Greenflag (profile) says:

    Comrade Stalin ,

    ‘Or the idea, suggested by Harry, that Obama is responsible for all $16tn of the debt, including the $12tn that was present when Bush vacated office.’

    Harry is math challenged and has a short memory as have most of the pro Romney crowd . They choose to forget that the Bush wars were run up on the national credit card and added somewhere between 3 and 4 trillion dollars to the USA debt total .

    When faced with the grim choice of either guns or butter – Bush /Cheney opted for both . And anyone with any knowledge of history or economics knows that you can’t have both .

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  18. Harry Flashman (profile) says:

    Mathematically challenged am I?

    Amount borrowed by GW Bush in eight years as president:- $3.29 trillion.

    Amount borrowed by BaH Obama in four years as president:- $5.07 trillion. And the meter’s got another four years to run.

    Yup, I can definitely see from those figures that the problem of a ballooning US debt is entirely due to Dubya.

    Remember folks if in doubt blame Bush, it never fails.

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  19. Harry Flashman (profile) says:

    Look lads, I know you’re all excited because you see a president who just won an election with a wafer-thin majority in a deeply divided nation with a majority in the House opposed to his policies and him a man that would rather be on the golf course or schmoozing in Vegas with Hollywood celebrities than actually doing the tiresome chore of running the country.

    I can see how looking at that you think you have entered the end of history, the new political paradigm. The Democrats will now rule the US forever.

    They will be the permanent party of government because as we all know people under the age of 30 never get older, people with a certain skin pigmentation, people who enjoy having sex with people of the same gender, people who carry two X’s in their chromosomes, people whose native tongue is not English, are all genetically pre-disposed to voting D every time an election comes around. It’s a scientific certainty isn’t it? It can never change.

    I mean look how the Republicans were wiped out after FDR won four straight elections, no, wait.

    Er, that’s it, how after the assassination of the young, charismatic Kennedy and Johnson’s landslide in 64 against the conservative Goldwater the Republicans disappeared, uhm, no hang on.

    Yes, after the disgrace of Nixon and the election of the progressive left-of-centre Carter no one could ever possibly vote Republican again, oh dammit!

    I know, when Clinton secured his second term against flabby old white guy Bob Dole the US proved once and for all that it was a progressive, Democrat-voting nation never again to be led by Republicans and certainly not by any idiot swaggering war-mongering Texan frat boy eh? What? Jesus, you’re not serious.

    We’ve been here before lads, enjoy the next four years, you deserve it, but as I said above don’t be losing the run of yerselves, we’ve been here before.

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  20. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    Harry,

    Remember folks if in doubt blame Bush, it never fails.

    I think you are entitled to accuse Obama of not cutting the deficit while in office. It is an accurate statement.

    But why is Bush’s record not held to the same standard ? Why didn’t Republicans use their period of six years in control of the White House and both houses of Congress to cut the deficit ?

    Don’t you think hypocrisy is an issue here ?

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  21. Harry Flashman (profile) says:

    CS as Mick rightly points out the much-maligned and usually inaccurately defined Tea Party was a reaction to the big government tax and spenders in the Republican party, fiscal conservatives were not remotely impressed by Bush’s big spending.

    However there was a small matter of two overseas wars on Bush’s watch. You might perfectly well argue that spending too much taxpayers’ money on wars is every bit as wasteful as spending it on other projects and you might well have a point however generally when it comes to fighting enemies of the nation most conservatives will grudgingly give the government a pass.

    But not to put too fine a point on it, you can actually see concrete results from Bush’s expenditure on waging wars, you might not like the results but at least you know where the money’s going.

    I’ve asked this before; where the heck has all the money Obama is so proud of spending gone? He’s ended the war in Iraq and is winding down Afghanistan but he’s still spending money like a sailor on shore leave and with about as much result.

    When FDR spent his way out of the Great Depression there was a Hoover Dam, a bright spanking new highway system and the the Tennessee Valley looked a lot prettier. What has the US taxpayer got for the billions that Obama has borrowed from the Chinese Communist Party politburo?

    A massively increased federal payroll and more generous food stamp provision ain’t gonna get the US out of recession.

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  22. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    CS as Mick rightly points out the much-maligned and usually inaccurately defined Tea Party was a reaction to the big government tax and spenders in the Republican party, fiscal conservatives were not remotely impressed by Bush’s big spending.

    Come on Harry, this is completely false. The Tea Party showed up when Obama won the election and agitated on several issues specifically the health care reforms. We wouldn’t have heard from them had McCain won. They are an (arm’s length) tool of the Republican Party.

    However there was a small matter of two overseas wars on Bush’s watch. You might perfectly well argue that spending too much taxpayers’ money on wars is every bit as wasteful as spending it on other projects and you might well have a point however generally when it comes to fighting enemies of the nation most conservatives will grudgingly give the government a pass.

    Let’s keep things simple and assume for a second the war was completely necessary and all the money spent was justified.

    How exactly does this justify deficit spending, rather than cutting other government services or increasing tax ?

    How can someone who claims to prioritize fiscal probity justify implementing tax cuts during what is (let’s assume) an hour of peril for the country ? This is where it sounds awfully like GOP deficit spending is right and necessary for the country whereas Democrat deficit spending

    I’ve asked this before; where the heck has all the money Obama is so proud of spending gone? He’s ended the war in Iraq and is winding down Afghanistan but he’s still spending money like a sailor on shore leave and with about as much result.

    Obama’s economic policy is a bloody mess, substantially because it is more or less a continuation of the consensus policy Republicans had already been implementing, with a few tweaks in the detail. That’s why I think these arguments about who would have been better on the economy are ridiculous. Had John McCain come to power in 2008 the deficits, the spending and all the rest would have continued just as they did under Obama.

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  23. Greenflag (profile) says:

    @ harryflash

    ‘Mathematically challenged am I?’

    I was underestimating :( You seem to have absolutely no idea of the situation the USA was in when the banks had to be bailed out by Bush and later Obama with guns pointed at both heads by the Wall St mafiosi :

    Neither President had any choice -well not unless they wanted to wake up to a USA minus a financial system and 50 million people with guns trying to get money for food from empty ATM /Cash points .

    Obama inherited a bankrupt financial system and a war mongering legacy from the Republicans and somehow has managed to return the country to some stability . Most reasonable people which includes perhaps half of Republicans accept that .

    ‘We’ve been here before lads’

    Indeed -It’s not the first time nor the last time the Republicans have engineered a financial crisis to benefit themselves and their corporate backers .

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-09/when-republicans-deliberately-sowed-a-financial-crisis.html

    Ironically their idiocy eventually led to one of their own braking ranks and becoming the only USA President along with FDR to face down the corporate and financial extremists . I refer of course to Teddy the other Roosevelt .

    ‘Indeed enjoy the next four years, ‘

    I’d bet at least the next 20 . Hispanic voters are coming on to the voting register now at 500,000 a year and will continue this trend for another 20 years at least . Meanwhile elderly ‘Republicans ‘ will be shuffling off this mortal coil at an increasing rate in states where the GOP has a 5% narrow lead .

    Obama has created a successful coalition of minority voters Hispanics , Asians , and women (all shades ) as well as educated and working and middle class whites across the northern populous states .

    The GOP is confined to a declining demographic in the rural south and sparsely populated mountain west . Even in Texas the state is about to tilt blue based on demographics in the next decade or in fifteen years max.

    Hilary Clinton will be a shoo in as America’s first female President in 2016 if she runs and even if she doesn;t there are several other prominent women in the Democratic party who could take her place .

    The GOP have to change their message not their skin colour . It was their message which lost them this election and if they don’t change it -it will resonate even less come 2014 .

    Has President Obama the bottle to stick it to the GOP troglodytes ? We’ll see soon enough .

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  24. Greenflag (profile) says:

    Finally Florida vote is official and President Obama’s majority increased from 45,000 to 75,000 . This was achieved in spite of the local Republican Governor Scott reducing by half the number of early voting days . The Florida State court has now ruled that Scott’s decision will be reversed for all future elections .

    The next election should see Florida join New York , Pennsylvania , California , Massachusetts , Washington Michigan , Minnesota , Iowa , Wisconsin and other northern states in the blue corner .

    The GOP has strangled itself by it’s own stupidity . These guys need to be nominated for the Darwin Awards !

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  25. andnowwhat (profile) black spot says:

    Something from my YouTube suggestions http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=m-feedu&v=j1dIMGb5OKc

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  26. andnowwhat (profile) black spot says:

    So, that 8 out of 9 swing states to Obama? http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/267209-president-obama-wins-florida

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  27. Jimmy Sands (profile) says:

    If the right wishes to describe the third highest vote tally in history and 332 delegates as a photo finish than they may do themselves a disservice. The GOP has now been outvoted in 5 of the last 6 elections (they were also outvoted incidentally for the House, retaining it only by an outrageous gerrymander). If they don’t recognise the problem then they lose again. If you want those who voted against you to change their minds, telling them they’re parasites is an odd approach, and voter suppression only works if you succeed.

    The part that puzzled me was why they fought so badly but one of the few remaining cerebral conservatives, David Frum, has an interesting theory. He identifies what he calls a Conservative Entertainment Industry, an increasingly lucrative sector which has a vested interest in persuading gullible supporters that the US is moments away from Stalinism and that pollsters are corrupt liars trying to conceal huge GOP leads in public opinion. If you can make this sort of money (and billions were spent by these people this cycle) losing an election, why would you care about winning?

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  28. Alias (profile) says:

    Lefties shouldn’t get too excited with yarns of America swinging to the left. Slick snake oil salesmen like Obama do well with a particular class of voter by promising them a greater share of other peoples’ incomes, but only candidates for the Executive of American political power have the opportunity to sell snake oil and make bogus promises to the masses.

    Congress is where the real power is, and the Democrats failed to take control of the House of Representatives from the Republicans and picked up a mere two seats in the Senate.

    Therefore, America isn’t swinging to the Left – it’s just that their version of Charlie Haughey and his gombeen promises to win elections that won the day with the presidency. Give them a few more years and they’ll have to face the reality, much like the Irish now have to face it, that their is no such thing as a free ride.

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  29. Kevsterino (profile) says:

    @Alias, if Obama was a real lefty, you would have a point. But he isn’t, so you don’t.

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  30. Harry Flashman (profile) says:

    I see Greenflag has joined Wild Turkey in the inexplicable masochistic thrill that a certain type of oddly self-loathing white liberal gets at the idea of the United States becoming a white-minority nation.

    I’ve never quite understood the fondness with which some white people look forward to the prospect of whites becoming a minority in the US nor the belief that this fact will lead to better governance or a more progressive society in the US.

    The United States was founded by, to paraphrase Wild Turkey, flabby-arsed white men.

    More specifically flabby-arsed white men whose origins were in a specific group of rainy islands of the northwest coast of Europe and whose fellow flabby-arsed white men went on to create equally successful societies in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

    It was the flabby-arsed white men who laid the foundations of the most liberal, democratic, tolerant, economically successful and most stable body politic in the world.

    With the greatest of respect to Hispanics, the reason they are so keen to leave their own independent American republics to migrate to the United States is for the blindingly obvious reason that, almost without exception, nations in the American continent with Hispanic-majority populations are unmitigated political slums and shiteholes.

    Down with whitey! The US doesn’t need flabby arsed white men!

    How and ever, if Greenflag wants to persist in his sixth-form delusion that Hispanics, Asians and others are somehow genetically predisposed to vote for candidates with a D after their name who am I to disabuse him?

    Just to point out that the first Jewish prime minister in Britain was a Tory, as was the first woman PM. The first blacks to hold elected political office in the US were Republicans without exception, and prior to the election of Obama the two highest political offices ever held by blacks (and the highest ever office held by a black woman) were in the administration of George W Bush, you know what party he belonged to don’t you?

    The Republicans have dozens of potential presidential candidates who are black, Asian, women or Hispanic all of whom could wipe the floor with Hillary Clinton.

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  31. Greenflag (profile) says:

    Harry Flashpan @ 11 November 2012 at 10:57 am.

    ‘the flabby asses of a lot of white anglo saxon males getting kicked.”

    ‘I see Greenflag has joined Wild Turkey ‘

    Have I ? A very inaccurate statement there by WT . Flabby asses in the USA or indeed in Europe are not an exclusive ‘white ‘ trait although I have read that in that area the Welsh(apologies Dewie if you read this -don’t take it personal ;) ) slightly exceed the English in the British Home Nations Obesity League which came as a bit of a surprise for I would have thought that the Scots mainstays of fried Mars bars and pan fried haggis would have given the latter an extra tyre or two around the midriff ? The flabby ass world title is I believe held not by Americans who rate a mere 9th in the All World Obesity League (AWOL ) a.k.a as the Wonderful World of the Wobblies – but instead by the South Sea islanders of Tonga , Samoa and the Polynesians.

    As for white anglo saxons ? From what I understand even the term ‘anglo saxon ‘ is now considered to have more linguistic and cultural connotations than ‘racial ‘ or skin colour /shade references . Those of what was termed anglo saxon ancestry ceased being any kind of majority in the USA probably as early as the late 19th and early 20th century . Following the hordes of immigrants from Germany , Italy and other countries including Ireland from the 1840′s onwards and then huge numbers of Eastern Europeans from the 1880′s the USA brought about it’s ‘quota ‘ system to ‘protect’ those Americans of earlier national ancestry groups from being swamped by non english speaking foreigners .

    And as per recent research in the field of human DNA ancestry it appears that the vast majority of people in these islands Britain and Ireland owe most of their ancestry to the people who lived here several thousand years before there was ever a Celt or Anglo Saxon or their respective languages .

    I digress . ‘The rich have money and the poor have children ‘ was a phrase I recall my mother oft using whenever she saw a poor (white ) woman surrounded by a horde of unruly and perhaps not so well clad kids .

    The reasons for demographic change in the USA and elsewhere are many and complex and have much to do with ‘economics ‘ more so than skin colour per se .As to why ‘white folk’ in the USA and elsewhere in the world even in Ireland ‘breed ‘less than immigrants from poorer countries thats a question if anyone wants to raise it for another thread .

    Your point about Britain’s first Jewish PM is noted but you did omit the part about Disraeli having to convert to Church of England earlier in life so that he could be acceptable to the then British Victorian age prejudices .
    I note in that regard that Bobby Jindal the Republican Governor of Indian (Asia ) ancestry also said adios to his Hindu heritage and became a Christian -not sure if he was born again or not but now that I mention it it would’nt surprise me -given that from what little I know of the Hindu religion they are proponents of re-incarnation . Their God apparently insists on these poor human sods continually being reborn until they eventually reach perfection and begin life as a high born Brahman ? Well I guess Americans have their dream and Buddhists their Nirvana and the Russians their Gulags . But then from what I recall nobody ever slammed a door to a Mormon missionary or a Jehovah’s Witness with the words

    ‘Go to heaven ‘

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  32. Greenflag (profile) says:

    As a white non flabby assed male I have to admit that if I had a vote in the USA election and I had to choose between a black or heavily tanned or asian or jewish Romney and a white Obama of any religious background -I’d have voted for the white Obama ..

    Nothing to do with skin colour or religion just the math .

    Nobody is genetically disposed to voting for any particular party although there would be more than a few In Northern Ireland who might disagree .

    But I do recall one priceless event from a Republican spokesperson with an Irish name at the convention wondering how Hispanic voters -most of whom were traditional Roman Catholics could vote for a socialist pro abortion pro choice ‘socialist ‘ like Obama ?

    The answer was staring her in the face .All she had to do was to look and listen to the Tea Party fanatics and their neo con financial backers and the answer was staring her in the face .

    The Hispanic voters were simply smarter !

    And as the GOP still reeling from their own self brainwashing during this election campaign wake up to ask themselves how could it have gone so wrong one hopes that they will realise that mere ‘tokenism ‘ of the ilk of a Booby Jindal or a Condoleeza Rice or anybody else won’t work anymore .

    It’s the math and their outdated neo con failed policies which they’ll have to change .As of now the Democrats have a 30 year lead and lock on the votes of minorities and women .

    President Hilary Clinton for 2016 -2024 so the GOP have until then to get their act together . I’d recommend they don’t leave it until the last minute .

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  33. Harry Flashman (profile) says:

    “‘tokenism ‘ of the ilk of a Booby Jindal or a Condoleeza Rice or anybody else won’t work anymore .”

    My word that’s offensive Greenie!

    Both Jindal and Rice, especially Rice, are extremely competent and massively qualified potential candidates for the presidency of the US, whatever you may think of their political affiliation.

    To imply that they only got were they are today as “tokens” is a dreadful slur on them and, whilst I hate to bandy about the over-used term, damn near racist.

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  34. Kevsterino (profile) says:

    I say with more than a little confidence that the majority in this country (white folks included) do not want the USA to be a “White Man’s Country”. There are some who do, of course. But they have become a minority. They can still go to places like Idaho if nonwhiteness makes them nervous.

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  35. Jimmy Sands (profile) says:

    Both Jindal and Rice, especially Rice, are extremely competent and massively qualified potential candidates for the presidency of the US

    I think you overestimate Jindal but would agree with you that Dr. Rice would be an excellent pick. Now ask yourself how she would do in a GOP primary and why, and you may start to grasp the problem.

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  36. Greenflag (profile) says:

    I could have chosen my words better Flash now that I re read them . Yeo Rice might have made a better Presidential candidate than Romney but hey it was his turn to lose .Whose turn to lose will it be next time ?

    Any of these GOP intellectuals could make excellent candidates and have instant appeal with the Tea Party faction ? -Donald Trump , Adelson , Mourdock , Broun or Akins or Orally O’Reilly or Hannibal Hannity ?

    There must be somebody with an IQ above 85 in the top echelons of the GOP surely ? -but perhaps they’re over 85 in age too and are just not up to the rigors of a 4 year campaign ?

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  37. Greenflag (profile) says:

    kevsterino @ 11 November 2012 at 4:21 pm

    ‘ They can still go to places like Idaho if nonwhiteness makes them nervous.’

    There is also Heaven . They have lifted the anti semitic Victorian Age bar on Jews being allowed across the threshold on the grounds of their non -christianity . The Chinese are still a bit miffed about not qualifying as too are the Hindustanis . Evangelicals will of course be relieved to hear that Protestants i.e non Catholics have always been allowed into heaven but only if they were very very very very very very very good before departing this mortal coil . And as we all figured out from the maniacal rantings of Brother Baldy in religion class it was patently obvious that if any protestants made it to heaven they would be few in number due to the exacting entry standards .

    Of course in those days there were no paedophile priests or thieving bishops or janus faced cardinals in existence and even if there were they got their ‘free pass into heaven ticket ‘ the momnet they put on their dog collars or wore their mitres .

    The other option is Hell . But then GOP political planners and strategists may already feel they are there already ;)

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  38. Jimmy Sands (profile) says:

    I am still trying to understand the logical backflips

    No backflips here at all. Romney ran on a huge unfunded tax cut and defence increases. As the Economist pointed out in its endorsement, only one party was addressing the deficit and it wasn’t the GOP.

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  39. Greenflag (profile) says:

    Not just the Economist Jimmy S also the FT .

    And now I read that one of the main ‘negotiating ‘ points for the GOP which they intend using as a prop to avoiding the ‘fiscal cliff’ is that they want to close some tax loopholes so that more revenue can be collected to help bring down the deficit .

    Anyone who knows anything about the byzantine US tax code and even those who may know zero about it’s workings have already figured out that for every tax loophole closed by the Congress -ten more will be opened by the finance and tax avoidance professionals who outnumber the politicians 10 to 1 in Washington DC .

    Obama will have little option except to take this shower of lemmings over the cliff and then introduce new legislation to reduce the consequent increased tax burden on those earning under 250,000 a year .

    The GOP maybe incapable of learning anything from this election result . The ideologues are controlling the ship and it’s full steam ahead never mind the icebergs .

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  40. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    Jimmy,

    “Now ask yourself how she would do in a GOP primary and why, and you may start to grasp the problem.”

    Is e sin e go direach… This is only one of the nettles the GOP has to grasp. Heard Steve Schultz point out that his take away from the McCain campaign is that the bark of the Tea Party is much worse than its bite.

    The talk show hosts tried to kill McCain off early in the ’08 Primaries and they couldn’t.

    He also points out that the US political conservative party has stopped being Conservative and in the process has ceded almost all of their previously solid ground to the Dems (Foreign Policy, and economic management).

    Harry, you dismissed the idea earlier that near 4 trillion dollar debt when Obama came in. Fine, but do you really think the Republicans have much of a stick to beat the profligate Dems with over a stimulus package when they ran up that initial debt up to pay for tax cuts before making space for them in the Federal budget.

    As Schultz also says, “being a conservative requires an attachment to reality”. I’m not sure how many genuinely conservative voters crossed the aisle to vote Democrat, but I am pretty sure a lot of them stayed at home because they didn’t believe Romney.

    And not because Romney’s Romney, but because they don’t believe he and/or his party has a strong and consistent enough attachment to their own conservative value system.

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  41. Valenciano (profile) says:

    “The Republican Party will win the 2016 presidential election, there I’ve said it, you can write it down and can sneer at me on November 9th 2016 if I have egg on my face.”

    With the amount of egg you already have on your face, I’m surprised you haven’t suffocated. Having been on here as long as you have, forgive me if I take your predictions with a pinch of salt. 2004 you assured us that Bush would win a landslide over Howard Dean, that McCain would walk it in 2008 and that Romney would do the same this time round. You’re like a rabid Arsenal fan who insists that his team will win every game. The balance of probabilities suggests you’ll get it right one day but when that happens you’ll get no credit as it will be like a guy throwing 100 darts and eventually hitting a treble.

    2016 is too long away to make any concrete predictions. One thing that is sure though is that the demographic balance will have moved even further towards non caucasians and therefore a Republican party which still thinks winning elections means mobilising turnout among angry white guys and evangelicals is screwed.

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  42. Jimmy Sands (profile) says:

    2016 is too long away to make any concrete predictions.

    Perhaps, but he’s been pretty consistent so far.

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  43. Alias (profile) says:

    “And not because Romney’s Romney, but because they don’t believe he and/or his party has a strong and consistent enough attachment to their own conservative value system.”

    Then how do you explain Republicans having 240 seats in the House of Representatives compared to Democrats having 190?

    Romney’s loss is precisely that: his loss. Attempts to extrapolate his defeat into a defeat of Conservatives are not supported by the facts.

    Left-wingers (and you’re not one) spew this agenda-serving line that Republicans need to become more like Democrats if they want to get elected but the reality is vice versa. Remember, it was an ultra-conservative agenda in the mid-90s that overturned decades of Democrat dominance.

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  44. Greenflag (profile) says:

    Alias @ 13 November 2012 at 2:24 pm.

    ‘it was an ultra-conservative agenda in the mid-90s that overturned decades of Democrat dominance.

    And the same agenda sent the USA on a shopping spree while racking up two wars on the national credit car . Silent lips Bush Srs ‘No new taxes ‘ speech was a concession speech to that faction of the GOP which he needed to win his election .

    If the GOP are fiscal conservatives then Attila the Hun was a peacemaker .

    Gerrymandering and Superpac money from gambling casino moguls Adelson & Trump and the malevolent Koch Brothers as well as long term incumbency helps explain the GOP majority . So many of these seats are so one sided that they are not even contested by the opposing party.

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  45. Greenflag (profile) says:

    Mick @ As Schultz also says, “being a conservative requires an attachment to reality”. I’m not sure how many genuinely conservative voters crossed the aisle to vote Democrat, but I am pretty sure a lot of them stayed at home because they didn’t believe Romney.

    And not because Romney’s Romney, but because they don’t believe he and/or his party has a strong and consistent enough attachment to their own conservative value system.

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  46. Greenflag (profile) says:

    Schultz did’nt quite get it right ! Conservatism MAY require an attachment to reality but often it’s a reality that has passed them by or belongs to an earlier generation’s thinking .

    One would think that fiscal conservatism more so than a broader political conservatism would be more ‘reality ‘ bound but as JS and MF have pointed out above that ain’t necessarily so.

    I’m sure a lot of fiscal conservatives stayed home rather than vote for Romney -This can be seen from those Republican counties throughout the country whose vote numbers were down . They had enough to win House and Congress seats but not enough to win the Presidency .

    Even 20% of Mormons voted against Romney and I can imagine that many of them could be described as fiscal conservatives .

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  47. Greenflag (profile) says:

    Jimmy Sands @13 November 2012 at 1:19 pm

    ‘ but he’s been pretty consistent so far.’

    You don’t say ;)

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  48. Ulidian (profile) says:

    Alias

    Democrat House votes exceeded Republican ones by 478653. Of course some incumbents were unopposed & “other” candidates did stand, but it’s only rampant gerrymandering that gave Boehner his majority.

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  49. Kevsterino (profile) says:

    The Republican Party, if it is to win the White House again, is going to have to get closer to the center on the social issues and get real on the fiscal issues. Blaming immigrants and welfare layabouts for the nation’s woes works for some, but not enough to win in a national election.

    Were I a Republican strategist, I would be more concerned with the numbers among the young and those of the female gland. If they don’t do anything to change that, they will eventually lose in Congress as well.

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  50. Greenflag (profile) says:

    ‘Conservatives should demand IQ tests of Republican candidates ‘

    Is the kind of comment one would expect from the Onion or Private Eye so I was somewhat startled to see this comment given ‘Opinion’ page space in yesterdays Tuesday -13th November edition.

    Titled ‘Earth to GOP get a grip ‘ the writer Brett Stephens , a conservative and prescient forecaster of GOP defeat back in January 2012 makes some suggestions .

    His IQ test suggestion should also include a test of basic knowledge . Stephens denies any flippancy in his remark stating that there were at least 5 Senate seats in this election cycle that might have been occupied by Republicans come January -had not the ‘invincible ‘ stupidity of the candidate stood in the way .

    Another ‘gem’ from the article

    ‘Romney won the nomination for the simple reason that every other contender was utterly beyond the pale of national acceptability except Michele Bachman -just kidding .’

    Sorry I can’t link to the article -If anyone can it might , I say might provide food for thought and a modicum of hope (Unobamian hope of course) for those followers of the Alian/Flashman ilk or those who view Fox News and it’s pronouncements on reality as the ancient Greeks viewed the pronouncements of the Oracle at Delphi .

    Just in case they’re thinking of changing their ‘futuristic ‘prognostications to the Astrology section of the Daily Mail ?

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  51. Greenflag (profile) says:

    Oops omitted from above .

    Article referred to was from the WSJ (Wall St Journal ) a notorious liberal left leaning rag as we all know- or those who take Orally OReilly and Hannibal Hannity as their daily dose Newspeak would know !

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