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Descent of GOP
Without a side trip to Google, can you identify the source of this quote?
The complex problems of mobility, congestion, and energy resources demand creative solutions if we are to improve the living conditions of our urban areas. Many urban centers of our nation need dependable and affordable mass transit systems. ...

Mass transportation offers the prospect for significant energy conservation. ... To encourage existing businesses to remain in urban centers and to attract new businesses to urban areas, it is vital that adequate public and private transportation facilities be provided.

Sound like something Van Jones might have said? Before you peek ahead, see if you know who was behind this bit of bragging.
He played a key role in passing the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act. He led the Clean Air Act to passage, a law that fundamentally reformed the previous law and is recognized as one of the most sweeping environmental laws ever enacted. ... As president [he] will continue to support the development of non-polluting electric vehicles and cleaner alternative fuels.
Hang on just a little longer. Before you put a name to this environmental champion, take a look at one more snippet.
In some States ... a proportion of highway funds is diverted to other purposes. This must stop. ... It is long past time for the federal government to get out of way and allow private ventures to provide passenger service to the northeast corridor. The same holds true with regard to high-speed and intercity rail across the country.
If you think these radically different positions are from different documents, you're right. If you think they're from different parties... think again.

Just as you'll never be able to hide from that Facebook picture you unwisely posted after the office Christmas party, or pull back that tweet delivered in anger, the Internet acts as a kind of preservative for political positions. No matter how badly parties and politicians might want to hide from statements they've made in the past, the web holds them like a fly in... a web.

Buried in lithologies of links and marked in ages that go past like eye blinks, these fragments of preserved politics allow us to perform a kind of digital archeology. With a search engine for a shovel and no more than patience for a brush, we can dust off lost worlds that some would just as soon stay lost.

The quotes at the start of this article come from three artifacts of the web. The first is the 1980 Republican Platform–the platform that Ronald Reagan ran on in route to becoming the ur-conservative. The second clip above, the one that showcases a candidate's environmental leadership, comes from the 1996 Dole-Kemp campaign site still ticking along on its own server 16 years later. Finally, that last bit is the most recent, still lying there on the fresh surface of the Interwebs. It's from the 2012 Republican Platform.

This past week, David Frum maintained that the problem with the GOP is that it has failed to change in the last thirty years, but the evidence of the documents shows that's absolutely not true. The GOP has changed–changed from a party that held a few extreme positions, into one that holds nothing but. By looking at issues as the manifestation of a party's "genes", you can trace the line of Republican descent from mainstream to has been.

Immigration
Watching the development of the positions is like watching features appear on a growing animal. Not everything happens at once, or in the order you might expect.  On the subject of immigration, the 1980 platform is remarkably mild.

Republicans are proud that our people have opened their arms and hearts to strangers from abroad and we favor an immigration and refugee policy which is consistent with this tradition. ... The federal government has a duty to adopt immigration laws and follow enforcement procedures which will fairly and effectively implement the immigration policy desired by the American people.
What that policy may be goes unstated. Republicans seemed willing to leave this decision until after the election, and ultimately Reagan's policy was to provide "amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally." By 1996, Bob Dole has already picked up much of the familiar rhetoric that has made Republicans such a hit with immigrant populations.
Bob Dole does not believe that immigrants who have entered the United States illegally should be entitled to government welfare services and other benefits. Bob Dole supports strengthening the Border Patrol and streamlining the deportation process for illegal aliens.
Dole spends another couple of paragraphs hammering President Clinton for being "soft on illegal immigration" and for not ceding more control of immigration to the states. His positions is almost perfectly aligned with that of the 2012 platform.
Our highest priority, therefore, is to secure the rule of law both at our borders and at ports of entry. ... State efforts to reduce illegal immigration must be encouraged, not attacked.
Between 1980 and 1996, the Republican Party moved from accepting immigration as a national issue and being open to different solutions, to a position that focused on beefing up border control and shifting immigration issues to the states. Not surprisingly, this move came with a lot of language around the threat posed by immigrants, language that in the 2012 platform associates immigrants with terrorists and drug cartels.

The federal budget
It might seem a given that conservatives were always in favor of a balanced budget amendment and chopping social programs, but the 1980 platform views the first as optional and the second as unnecessary.

By increasing economic growth, tax rate reduction will reduce the need for government spending on unemployment, welfare, and public jobs programs. However, the Republican Party will also halt excessive government spending by eliminating waste, fraud, and duplication. ... We believe a Republican President and a Republican Congress can balance the budget and reduce spending through legislative actions, eliminating the necessity for a Constitutional amendment to compel it.
George H. W. Bush was right to call Reagan's plan "voodoo economics," but at least the 1980 plan seems to believe the words of their head houngan. They didn't demand up front slicing of the social safety net to fund the tax cut, but assumed that the cut would make all other problems moot. That position is somewhat mimicked by Dole. The Dole-Kemp plan is far more focused on tax cuts than the 1980 platform, calling for an across the board 15% cut in income tax rates, and a rollback of adjustments made to keep Social Security solvent. Dole's plan also called for a no-way-out balanced budget amendment. Much of his plan is dedicated to preaching the benefits of eliminating the federal deficit, but Dole offered nothing in the way of any details on what might be chopped to pay for massive tax cuts. It was a completely voodoo-driven plan. The 2012 platform pushes farther. It calls for not just preserving all the cuts made under Bush, but a 20% across the board cut. It also calls for chopping all corporate taxes, elimination of capital gains tax, the alternative minimum tax and the inheritance tax. The 2012 platform would then impose a balanced budget amendment. Unlike Dole, they don't pretend that this would generate additional revenue for the government. Starving the government is a goal.

Unions
If you've ever wondered why blue-collar workers were swayed to Reagan's side in the 1980 race, it wasn't because they'd developed an overnight disdain for unions.

We reaffirm our commitment to the fundamental principle of fairness in labor relations, including the legal right of unions to organize workers and to represent them through collective bargaining consistent with state laws and free from unnecessary government involvement. We applaud the mutual efforts of labor and management to improve the quality of work life.
Reagan honed his political skills on the GE payroll making fiery anti-labor speeches, but little of that leaked into the platform. Although there's one sentence devoted to saying that states should be allowed to pass "right to work" laws, the 1980 platform focuses on union workers as the victims of inflation and a bad economy. Dole doesn't address union issues at all in his 1996 site, but by 2012 unions have been transformed into a prime cause of economic hardship.
We will restore the rule of law to labor law by blocking “card check,” enacting the Secret Ballot Protection Act, enforcing the Hobbs Act against labor violence, and passing the Raise Act to allow all workers to receive well-earned raises without the approval of their union representative. We demand an end to the Project Labor Agreements; and we call for repeal of the Davis-Bacon Act, which costs the taxpayers billions of dollars annually in artificially high wages on government projects. ... Ultimately, we support the enactment of a National Right-to-Work law to promote worker freedom and to promote greater economic liberty.
This is only scratching the surface of how the GOP has shifted, and I'll get to other issues in follow-up articles, but each of these three issues shows the pattern that the Republican Party has traced over the last thirty years. Starting from positions that leaned right but made at least a gesture toward tolerance, the party has shifted to uniformly more hardline positions. At the same time, it has elaborated on each of these positions, decorating each with with dozens of new proposed acts and arcane references to laws going back half a century or more. If the 1980 platform proposes a shining bridge to a conservative future, the 2012 version of that bridge is encrusted with barnacles and weighted by hundreds of bizzarre special interests that border on (and sometimes are) conspiracy theory. It's a narrower, meaner bridge with a less optimistic destination.

This tendency toward increasing specialization and elaboration is a pattern often seen in nature. Whether it's the convoluted chambers in ammonites or the massive antlers of Irish Elk, there are always groups that chart courses toward more specialized requirements and more highly ornamented forms. It's a tendency that nearly always leads to the same fate: extinction.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Recommended right off the bat, (182+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    howabout, Misterpuff, newpioneer, Mark Mywurtz, drewfromct, DRo, codairem, billlaurelMD, mofembot, randallt, rini, hyperstation, Tamar, third Party please, global citizen, GreenMtnState, sagansong, Phil S 33, sailmaker, vcmvo2, here4tehbeer, NYmom, belle1, Tara the Antisocial Social Worker, Mighty Ike, Sandy on Signal, Mostel26, SuetheRedWA, Jim R, james321, blue armadillo, Egalitare, skillet, TuffyCat, Candide08, WakeUpNeo, historys mysteries, zerelda, Dutch Doctor, sable, Plu, leonard145b, Apost8, Blue Knight, ChemBob, Sailorben, political mutt, Mistral Wind, mithra, dopper0189, Aunt Pat, NBBooks, Cameron2, salmo, qua, stormicats, Thomas Twinnings, karmsy, MartyM, marykk, snazzzybird, ms badger, dougymi, Bronx59, emal, wdrath, RJH, spooks51, Killer, ConfusedSkyes, Janet 707, Skipbidder, some other george, high uintas, malevola, Siri, Stwriley, JKTownsend, Loudoun County Dem, GrannyOPhilly, AlwaysDemocrat, wv voice of reason, whaddaya, cocinero, Byron from Denver, SueM1121, OHeyeO, Cassandra Waites, MinnesotaMom, thomask, dwayne, LOrion, maybeeso in michigan, elginblt, JamieG from Md, annrose, OpherGopher, TexasTom, skod, Womantrust, BruceMcF, nominalize, Edmund Xu, dradams, sancerre2001, Trendar, xaxnar, annieli, jm214, SherwoodB, AsianAfricanAmerican, pvasileff, zestyann, implicate order, koNko, getlost, zackamac, Sylv, Joe Bacon, ichibon, wonkydonkey, RadGal70, evilpenguin, JJG Miami Shores, irishwitch, majcmb1, Van Buren, Theden, Alumbrados, bloomer 101, tardis10, SamSinister, SteelerGrrl, MKHector, doingbusinessas, a2nite, afisher, tb92, avsp, Chi, mungley, joe pittsburgh, thackerj, burana, Ray Radlein, Gemina13, marabout40, Pragmatus, diggerspop, musicsleuth, davelf2, JeffW, shanikka, Williston Barrett, libnewsie, YaNevaNo, skyounkin, LeftArmed, ewmorr, DarkHawk98, DJ Rix, 417els, jolux, cany, TRPChicago, moondancing, aufbruch, Angie in WA State, George3, lennysfo, BYw, bill warnick, PrometheusUnbound, terabytes, Creosote, Hastur, dot farmer, Oh Mary Oh, trevzb, rbird, livingthedream, Suzanne 3

    for the two legged creature morphing into the four legged "thing" we now know as the modern GOP.  Who ever did that is brilliant!

    Expose the lies. Fight for the truth. Push progressive politics. Save our planet. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

    by lighttheway on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:03:03 AM PST

  •  Barry Goldwater (5+ / 0-)

    Was he the outlier bell weather?

    •  Except Goldwater supported gays in the military, (26+ / 0-)

      and that was quite a while ago. He was ahead of his time on gay rights. From a 1994 Washington Post article:

      in recent years he's championed homosexuals serving in the military and has worked locally to stop businesses in Phoenix from hiring on the basis of sexual orientation. This month he signed on as honorary co-chairman of a drive to pass a federal law preventing job discrimination against homosexuals. The effort, dubbed Americans Against Discrimination, is being spearheaded by the Human Rights Campaign Fund, the influential gay lobbying organization.
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...
      Goldwater was not operating out of Christian-End-Times-Nutsiness, and that means he was far from the fringe-laden opinions of the current Republican party.

      We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

      by Tamar on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:16:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Goldwater May Have Made Sense in 1994... (32+ / 0-)

        ...but in 1964 he was absolutely NUTS and it was that campaign, with its opposition to the Civil Rights Act, Social Security, and its "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice" that laid the path for the wingnuts in control of the party to today to take it over via "movement conservatism."

        “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.” ― Molly Ivins

        by RoIn on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:25:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  As a high school student, I campaigned for Johnson (44+ / 0-)

          in that election. I come from a family of hard-core liberal, sign-carrying, equal-rights supporting, war-protesting Democrats.
          Goldwater certainly came across in the election exactly the way you describe.
          A couple of years later he came to my university and gave a talk. I went, assuming he would be a crazy extremist that people in the audience would decimate with their questions.
          The opposite happened. He came across as reasonable -- even when I disagreed entirely with what he said. And when a young woman got up and started spouting truly extremist right-wing ideas, he verbally took her down. I ended up still disagreeing with him, but liking him and respecting him a great deal more.
          I think he was the precursor not of the current crazy right wingers but of the libertarian streak in the Republican party.
          But like all things Republican, their libertarian parts are infected with bigotry, hatred and dishonesty.
          I'm a big government fan myself -- I believe in government services and programs; I want a single-payer health system; I think the taxes on the rich including capital gains taxes, should increase to rates higher than the Clinton levels; I think Social Security is one of the best things our country has ever created, followed by Medicare.
          But I can at least respect the consistency of real libertarians. I don't view either of the Pauls as real libertarians -- they're only libertarian when it suits their white male viewpoint.

          We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

          by Tamar on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:42:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Difference between Goldwater and today's Repubs... (13+ / 0-)

            ...can be found in your comment right here:

            And when a young woman got up and started spouting truly extremist right-wing ideas, he verbally took her down.
            Both in 2008 and 2012, one thing that we've repeatedly seen and read about are instances where someone on the right says something truly nutty and extreme...and there's nary a smackdown from the Republican party leadership or it's presidential/VP candidates.

            More to the point...would you trust McCain or Romney to handle that extremist the same way Goldwater did all those years ago?

            Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

            by TexasTom on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:33:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  In a word (0+ / 0-)

              No.

              We can live in today or live life not understanding yesterday is a cancelled cheque, tomorrow but a promise all while we piss on today.

              by TtfnJohn on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 04:11:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Goldwater said one thing I agree with: (0+ / 0-)

              “There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me ... that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in A, B, C, and D. Just who do they think they are?”  — Senator Barry Goldwater, R-Arizona

        •  Don't forget the Cold War (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ichibon

          the USSR was scary to people back then. A huge majority of voters feared Goldwater would use nukes on the Russians. He did come across as being unhinged.

          Later in his career he did not seem so extreme. But liberals certainly saw him as a harbinger.

          I love it that Obama's channeling Harry Truman: "I don't give 'em hell; I just tell the truth and they think it's hell!"

          by sillia on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:48:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Remember the skewing of his slogan (0+ / 0-)

          In your heart, you know he's right  to In your guts you know he's nuts?

        •  Goldwater's views didn't change (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          417els, CookyMonzta, indres, BYw, bill warnick

          between 1964 and 1994. The party moved to his right.  The same views that were unacceptably extreme-right in 1964 were to the left of most of the GOP thirty years later. By the 1990s, Goldwater was endorsing Democrats for Congress... which says more about the Republican Party than it says about him.

          I think every good Christian ought to kick Falwell right in the ass.
          -- Barry Goldwater, 1981

          Our party is being hijacked by a bunch of kooks!
          -- Barry Goldwater, 1989

          When you say "radical right" today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican party and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye.
          -- Barry Goldwater, 1994

          We're the new liberals of the Republican Party. Can you imagine that?
          -- Barry Goldwater, 1996, to Bob Dole

      •  Extreme, though honest, libertarianism (17+ / 0-)

        led him to his position on gay rights.  Otherwise, the commenter is pretty much on target:

        Forty-eight years ago, Goldwater's views on economics, foreign policy, and the welfare state were all seen as occupying the rightmost extreme of mainstream American politics -- just a shade removed from the John Birch Society. Nowadays, Goldwater's fondness for economists like Milton Friedman, generals like Curtis LeMay, and presidents like Calvin Coolidge would place him well within the Republican mainstream.
        From Elias Isquith's reflections on how Goldwater's legacy lives on in Paul Ryan's vice-presidential candidacy.

        Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
        ¡Boycott Arizona!

        by litho on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:28:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Also (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aunt Pat, ConfusedSkyes, Janet 707

          His son is gay.

          Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

          by dpc on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:43:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  but the really crazy wingers, like Schlafly, (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ichibon, Nag, JerryNA, libnewsie, Seneca Doane

            are still anti-gay even when their children are gay. Look at Gingrich with a wonderful activist lesbian sister -- hasn't seemed to moderate his views on gay rights.
            An old bit of wisdom about Republicans that my husband and I always say is that they only understand problems or issues when they are directly affected -- either family members or close friends. So George Will with a son who has Down's Syndrome supported programs for people with developmental disabilities (but not for people with other types of disabilities) or Pete Domenici supported services for people with mental illness because of his schizophrenic daughter. Goldwater fits right into that type of Republican. The new (or old like Schlafly but now considered acceptable by the party) more awful type of Republican would rather disown a family member in order to stick with their antagonism against certain groups or against government providing anything for anyone other than the rich.
            Now they make an exception only for their family member or themselves but don't care anything about other people with the exact same issue -- Mary Cheney anyone? Limbaugh with his drug addiction.

            We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

            by Tamar on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:49:38 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Goldwater's campaign staff was nuts! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gneissguy

          Having met Goldwater a few times in the 70s, I found him a decent guy privately, intensely interested in photography, in particular of his home state and in general just not frothing at the mouth.

          It was fwiw hard to square the personal experience and the early public eruptions from him about stupid extremism with the campaign of 1964, which lest it be forgot won a handful of Deep South States and Arizona. Especially given that I had direct exposure to his campaign in three of those Southern states.

          When I look back at that period, I remember that his writings and campaign statements veered to the far right in the context of a very real, far right political movement. I can't decide now whether to attribute that to his own naiveté or his acceding to the con job campaign staffs sometimes pull on candidates.

          One thing is certain. Much of his campaign staff that I knew were fucking hard right lunatics, more authoritarian than libertarian and they were brutal on anyone who got in their way. Could be that Goldwater had time to reflect on that sort of thing in the 60s after absorbing one of the worst beatings ever in a presidential election. But in my limited exposure to the personal Goldwater and the public man of the 80s, I saw someone who didn't square with the neo-nazis who ran his campaign. They didn't mind playing the race card in the South for advantage over LBJ.

          I don't generally trust the assignment of libertarian beliefs that is used to explain some of the Cowboy conservatives and the others of that ilk. Libertarianism is forever tainted by its association with Ayn Rand and her cult of whacks. Goldwater and some or the cowboy clan bought into, I think, the phony western frontier myths.

          Non-sequitar. I remember with approval LBJ yanking federal contracts out of Alabama and Mississippi after the Wallace Charades began along with those of Ross Barnett. Major military installations were closed down and the Marshall Space Flight Center was deemphasized, eventually leading to Von Braun leaving. LBJ was a master string puller and it might not have been provable, but it was something we ought to be looking at for these Red States who want their low taxes along with blue state money. Screw them.

        •  He wouldn't qualify as Republican right now (0+ / 0-)

          I'd question that he'd fit into the Republican mainstream any longer.  What passes for mainstream in the party now is somewhere between Tea Party mild and Tea Party Extremist.

          Just remember the recent election.  Romney was, not so long ago, considered something of a moderate.  Out of touch, for sure, but a moderate.  To win the nomination and keep support in the party he had to morph into at best a tea party lite guy.  Still totally out of touch with the electorate but moving right which he continued to do right through the cycle.

          Goldwater came across in the election we're discussing as an extremist war monger in a country already deeply exhausted by Vietnam.   Then along with that came the attack ads of all attack ads from LBJ.  It was, remember, a time of extremes.

          Goldwater would never get nominated today.  The secular Republican saint Reagan would never get nominated either.  Nor would Nixon, Eisenhower, Coolidge and certainly not Teddy Roosevelt.  That is how far right the party is drifting, all the while denying that it's drifting at all.  At least till earlier this month.

          Even now I'm sure there are those in the party that will deny the rightward drift, the shrinking base and blame it all on left wing media (what left wing media????) and Obama giving so-called gifts out to so-called special interest groups.

          We can live in today or live life not understanding yesterday is a cancelled cheque, tomorrow but a promise all while we piss on today.

          by TtfnJohn on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 05:02:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  "movement conservatism" looks like a (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        randallt, Janet 707, cocinero, a2nite, 417els

        reference to what is commonly referred to as constipation.

        We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:59:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Goldwater was a traditional small government (20+ / 0-)

      conservative.  Towards the end of his life he had a great fear of the republican party being taken over by religious zealots.  In today's republican party he would be about as successful as Ron Paul or John Huntsman.   Google "goldwater religion quotes" if you want to gain a real appreciation for how Goldwater felt about religion and politics.  Make no mistake, even though Goldwater was a fierce advocate of the separation of church and state, he was no progressive.  What the example of Goldwater does show though, is that today's conservatives have whittled down the concept of conservatism to a point where it only fits a narrow band of views.  It's ironic that while they've narrowed conservatism they have broadened socialism.  To a lot of conservatives socialism now seems to include anything that government touches.  It's surprising that contracting out the US military entirely to mercenaries wasn't in the republican platform.

    •  He was indeed ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, bamjack, randallt

      ... except his western libertarian streak didn't include enough support for corporate welfare nor enough authoritarianism on social issues to satisfy the modern radical reactionary movement.

      He lived in the fantasy world where pulling government out of the design of complex systems would leave it up to "individual enterprise", rather than putting it under the control of corporate one-dollar-on-vote governments ... but at least he wasn't as hypocritical in his ideology as the modern radical reactionaries.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:43:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for all your comments (0+ / 0-)

      Very helpful. I love this place.

  •  Amazing! (17+ / 0-)

    Just how far they have moved.  And although they still consider Reagan their hero they would throw him out today.

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:11:20 AM PST

    •  David Frum on Bill Maher was unconvincing (7+ / 0-)

      Frum kept trying to press his case that the GOP was really okay, honest, that all these bad things were just sort of bad optics.  Faced with the suggestion that the GOP had been corrupted by big money, Frum seemed to cling to his talking points, wanting to be an odd kind of mugwump, but not a terribly convincing one.  He is persona non grata in his own party, but not very credible as a midstream voice of reason.

      •  Frum is a traditional conservative (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GrannyOPhilly, dradams, JerryNA, lennysfo

        He's correct in saying that the extremist turn in his party is deeply harmful to it, but Frum's silly free market fundamentalism and neo-con views are as wrong as any other Republican's.  Frum's advice that the party should listen to him is of a piece with other Republican attitudes:  I'm right and you guys are wrong.  Do it my way and we'll be successful.  He might be slightly more right electorally than the extremists, but on policy grounds he's just as wrong.

        Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

        by Dallasdoc on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:39:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The problem that Frum has is pretty simple, (0+ / 0-)

        which is that the far right extremism is unbelievably bad for the way he makes his living as a supposed Republican thinker.

        That's what leads him down the path of saying completely contradiction things, sometimes in the same sentence, as he tries to weave a path of accommodation between the moderately hard right wing and the slightly less hard right.

        He's still not accepting of the notion that the Republicans need to rediscover their "conscience" roots from the pre-Civil War days when there was already competition with the corporatists.

        The last election was a complete sell out to the the Kochs and the rest of the corporatists -- and there are damned few conscience GOPers left alive. He wants his bread buttered by the corporate interests while he waves seductively toward those who would have a GOP with at least a measure of integrity and actual concern for the nation as to opposed to the greedy little fucks they all are now.

        •  You're essentially right but you left a bit out. (0+ / 0-)

          There's the small detail that Frum grew up Canadian who became a rightist while campaigning for the left wing national party (New Democratic Party of all names!) way back when before he went to the States for his higher education.

          I'd suggest that his knowledge of American history doesn't reach back as far as "conscience" Republicans or even Teddy Roosevelt's "progressive" Republicanism at the end of the 19th and very early 20th Centuries.

          I agree that Frum's views are narrow, his history is weak to non-existent and that until the appearance of the Tea Party  as an organized movement within the Republican Party very happily hitched a ride on the rightward drift of the party.  At times he even helped to both steer and navigate that right turn.

          It's hard to claim to want integrity when you were one of the ones turning your party away from it at top flank speed the past four years.  Oh well, David, at least you have Stephen Harper to point to as a conservative success story.  If he'll even speak to you.

          We can live in today or live life not understanding yesterday is a cancelled cheque, tomorrow but a promise all while we piss on today.

          by TtfnJohn on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 05:20:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think there have been any conscience (0+ / 0-)

            Republicans since I was born in 1943.

            And if I lft the impression that there is anything worth anyone's time in frum, I wasn't speaking plainly enough.

            Frum is to intellectual politics as Bolton is to diplomacy, but both need the presence.

      •  Frum is peddling his e-book about why the (0+ / 0-)

        Republicans lost this election, so he is all over TV. He can see a few more facts than most Republicans, but is entirely unable to draw the appropriate conclusions from them. This is the Bush speech writer who wrote The Right Man lauding W, while noting right there in the book that he had never met a more incurious man.

        He and other supposedly Conservative pundits are all talking about the Republicans taking the wrong tone, and shouldn't bash one interest group or another, but claiming that there is nothing wring with Conservative principles.

        The weird thing is that I have never heard any of them name a single actual Conservative principle that is not racism, bigotry, misogyny, or kleptocracy. If you look at actual Edmund Burke Conservative principles, they are all Liberal Progressive principles today. Religious tolerance. Civil Rights. Holding corporations accountable. Even Tax and Spend.

        Mere parsimony is not economy. Expense, and great expense, may be an essential part in true economy. Economy is a distributive virtue, and consists, not in saving, but in selection. Parsimony requires no providence, no sagacity, no powers of combination, no comparison, no judgment.
        And there you have the entire modern Republican party, and all of the European conservatives who have no ideas other than austerity.

        America—We built that!

        by Mokurai on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 10:02:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  What's appalling (20+ / 0-)

    is that the GOP has shifted so radically to the far right over the past 30 odd years, yet has the nerve to say -- with a straight face, no less -- that PBO is taking the country down the road to "socialism." Clearly, this is a party that has no sense of history (let alone a sense of irony).

    Please, oh please, wingnuts, do run someone really, really conservative in 2016 -- and pen for us the opening chapter of "The Way of the Whigs"

    by Yankee Patriot on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:14:34 AM PST

  •  Hand in hand with the development and shifts (15+ / 0-)

    that you track here, were business policies and government policies supporting those business policies, that made it increasingly easier to undermine union negotiating power, union membership drives, and worker demands for fairness in pay, safe workplace conditions, etc.  What you track goes hand in hand with the creation of tax laws rewarding companies for sending American jobs overseas, and permitting companies to park their money in offshore accounts and away from tax liabilities.  

    What has happened is the core concept "liberty" has been adopted increasingly in the second half of the twentieth, and the first decade of the twenty-first, centuries to support the interests of big business and the super-rich, over and against workers and labor.  "Liberty" means now personal, individual freedom to make money and shoot anyone who tries to stand in the way of that.  But not just rhetorically-- rather, enshrined into ever-more labyrinthine laws that seem to provide an undergirding of reality for whatever it is that Republicans end up arguing.  

    What I'm getting at is, yes, your argument that the Republican party has changed and gotten meaner is a good one; but our government has changed too over the decades, and has permitted the playing-out of such meanness across the tax, legal, and economic landscape.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:14:58 AM PST

    •  Property rights have always trumped (12+ / 0-)

      human rights or the rights of the person. Had to. Otherwise, the ownership of persons as property would not have been consistent.
      Let us not forget that to this day, minors are considered the property of their parents and, for that matter, much of the conflict over the progress and termination of a pregnancy is a matter of asserting the paternal property right to off-spring.
      Since it wouldn't be well received to announce "every sperm enhancement is an increase in paternal property and every fetus belong to him," the proponents of property rights resort to euphemisms. Which is why "abortion rights," was such an appropriate but counter-productive phrase. In further eliminating the woman affected by the deposition of a sperm from the discussion of rights, the term reinforces the dominance of property over human rights. Ditto for including a bundle of fetal tissue and an artificial body (corporation) into the category of person. Real persons  with human rights lose out. Again.
      Why is property to be advantaged?  Probably because it is easy to see and quantify. Human rights are amorphous and hard to imagine, especially by people whose vision is restricted to superficial optics. Some people simply can't believe in what they can't see.

      We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:20:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Minors aren't considered property in the US (0+ / 0-)

        Parents have a legal duty to children, not the other way around.  Parental custody can be suspended for cause.

        •  People also have legal duties regarding other (0+ / 0-)

          property such as cars (where they leave them), cows (where they wander), dogs (whether they trained). Even how their lawns are maintained can be regulated by law. Ownership and obligation are not inconsistent. If children are to be removed, the parents are entitled to legal representation to protect their rights. Children sent to detention for minor crimes aren't. Nor, for that matter, has the  U.S. ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. There is a good reason for that. We don't recognize that children have rights. If we did, parents could not give school personnel permission to beat them with a paddle.  That the law supports corporal punishment, as a matter of routine and especially in prison, which provides the predicate for what the rest of the world considers torture is not pleasant, but denying it won't make it go away.
          The commitment to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is an aspiration that has never yet been achieved. But, we are making progress. It's what we are moving forward towards. Perhaps when we start respecting children's rights, we won't have a million runaway teens a year.
          Humans make poor parents, perhaps because they perceive it as an all cost/no benefit experience. Which is probably why most successful societies have invented reward systems to encourage good parenting. In Canada, for example, the community provides a monetary stipend for each child. In the U.S. it is considered progress when parents are enabled to ensure (pay for) health care for their children for five more years. In Africa, it is not only common knowledge that "it takes a village" to raise a child, but historically, it was the mother's brother who shouldered the obligation to provide material support for her children. Wich makes sense since, until recently, it was difficult to identify the father, but the whole village knew the mother, even if she happened to die in childbirth.
          "Families" in the U.S. is a euphemisms for authority. "Family values" is a euphemism for parental ownership, especially on the father's part.

          We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

          by hannah on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 01:53:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Freedom to shoot anyone who stands in the way (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, JerryNA
      "Liberty" means now personal, individual freedom to make money and shoot anyone who tries to stand in the way of that.  But not just rhetorically--
      Isn't that the basis for the "stand your ground" laws that the GOP/NRA is trying to pass in state legislatures?
  •  It's in their political genes (11+ / 0-)

    The Whigs went through the same process.  They thought they could bandage the divisions of their party by not writing party platforms in 1848 or 1852 (their candidates were Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott, the two generals most associated with fighting the Mexican War even though the Whigs spent the entire war demanding that no territory be annexed in the treaty that ended it).

    What split the party was slavery.  The liberals took for years to come up with the Republican Party (yes, the same one Hunter is talking about) and the conservatives became (among other things) the Know-Nothings, led by Millard Fillmore. Anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic, just anti-.

    I wonder if immigration will be the issue that fragments this Republican party.  

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:17:10 AM PST

  •  more like a fly... (0+ / 0-)

    in amber

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:17:21 AM PST

  •  This is bad (16+ / 0-)

    but whats even worse is the way that throughout the Repugs
    ever steepening descent into the darkness the "Democrats"
    have been along for the ride all the way. The shift backwards--I never use the word "Right" to describe that which is wrong--the Dems have cravenly, cowardly, and corruptedly moved with them and enabled them. Even when just a handful of Dems vote with the Repugs to put them over the top in votes for massive tax cuts to the rich, wars for oil and profit, and legalization of  fraud on Wall St., the rest of the party has refused to chastise, punish, or ostracize
    the traitors and turncoats in our midst.

    There's not much we can do about our neighbor's mess until we move to clean our own house.

    Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

    by drewfromct on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:17:47 AM PST

    •  Hard sometimes to differentiate between the (0+ / 0-)

      tide of national opinion moving away from liberalism and opportunistic politicians, but if I felt as you seem to that the Democrats are just Quislings I would look for another party.

      Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

      by ratcityreprobate on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:23:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Someone, I can't remember who, said something (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JerryNA

        To the effect that maturity was coming to understand that life was not a matter of " good and bad " but rather -- often-- one of " bad and worse. "

        I've found that to be fairly true when I look at political choices these days . . . Not always, of course, but not infrequently either.

        "Let's see what fresh fuckwittery these dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time." -- Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

        by Rikon Snow on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:44:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Funny you should say that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rikon Snow, tardis10, JerryNA

        because whenever I even mention that we should be willing to support alternative Progressive parties such as the Greens in local races, I get jumped all over and have donuts thrown at me.

        The thing to do when we are undercut by corporadems and the like is to do everything in our power to pressure the party to discourage and punish them, by either supporting the most Progressive Dems we can find in the primaries, and/or by supporting Greens in for local jobs such as school boards, town councils, etc.

        Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

        by drewfromct on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:02:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was told that even mentioning the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          drewfromct

          Greens would get you banned.   Hope that's not true . . . Guess I'll find out.

          "Let's see what fresh fuckwittery these dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time." -- Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

          by Rikon Snow on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:15:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Haven't been banned yet (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rikon Snow

            but if I do get banned here for even mentioning that we should be supporting people whom I view as our natural allies, then I don't belong here anyway.

            Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

            by drewfromct on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:34:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm certainly not suggesting you should be banned. (0+ / 0-)

              I just don't understand why you would hang out at a site dedicated to electing Democrats if "the Dems have cravenly, cowardly, and corruptedly (sic) moved with them and enabled them."  If I believed that I would be out of here in a minute.

              Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

              by ratcityreprobate on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:15:33 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I only came here because I heard "better (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tardis10, drewfromct, trevzb

                democrats" as part of the formulation.  If it's really "only democrats," I'm probably not in the right place.  I'm happy to work for all sorts of democrats -- Warren, Baldwin, Grayson, Dean -- and fellow travelers -- Sanders.  

                In other cases . . . eh, well.  

                "Let's see what fresh fuckwittery these dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time." -- Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

                by Rikon Snow on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:56:10 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  See the other reply to this (0+ / 0-)

                I don't see all Democrats behaving reprehensibly. Just too many of them. I come here to participate in a healthy intellectual discussion and exchange of ideas. In case you haven't noticed, there's a lot more going on here that Democratic partisan politics. But as far as that goes, I come here to join in those who are working to wield whatever influence we can to elect "More and Better" Dems and to move the party--and our country--forward instead of backwards.

                Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

                by drewfromct on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 10:37:43 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  That is a substantial modification of what you (0+ / 0-)

                  said in your original comment.  Where Dems were worse than Republicans and "the Dems", not some Dems were craven, corrupt and cowardly which is just bull shit.

                  Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

                  by ratcityreprobate on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 11:43:36 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  I draw a distinction... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          drewfromct, tb92, JerryNA

          ...based on the area that is represented by a conservative Democrat.  

          Or, to put it another way, I wouldn't have minded Joe Lieberman as much if he were representing, say, Indiana instead of Connecticut.  

          And I used Indiana intentionally, because we're going to be constantly frustrated by our new Democratic senator from that state...and will need to remember that he's still far better than the Republican alternative.

          Similarly, I would have been delighted if Paul Sadler had won the senate race here in Texas.  I'm sure he would vote well to the right of what I would prefer...but he still would have been worlds better than tea party nutcase Ted Cruz.

          As for voting third party...I generally reserve that for instances where the Democratic party doesn't have a candidate in a race.  Here in Texas, that's a pretty common scenario...and given a choice between voting for a Republican, Libertarian, or Green, I'll take the Green.  For that matter, given a choice between the Republican and Libertarian, I'll vote Libertarian.  If the Republican is on the ballot alone, I simply don't vote in that race.  

          Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

          by TexasTom on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:42:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, I guess (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JerryNA

            the thing to do, especially at the higher levels, is to go with the lesser of two evils. But I still hate knowing that some of us are forced to vote for "Democrats" who enable the worst of the Rethuggery. Max Baucus, for instance, shouldn't just be kicked out of the party for sinking the Public Option--he needs to be kicked good and hard in the balls!

            As for races where a Rethug runs unopposed, why not show up and write in a protest vote?  I've been toying for years with the idea of having my name legally changed to "None Of The Above" and then running a write-in campaign  :-)

            Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

            by drewfromct on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:12:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  understand (4+ / 0-)

    If you want to understand what Republicans think (?), FOXNEWS is more accurate than the party platform.  Always think the lowest common denominator, always think bigotry.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:18:08 AM PST

  •  That was going to be my guess, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA

    I kept on reading.

    Who knew that Ronald Reagan was a secret agent of the United Nations Agenda 21 Communists? And he did it before they even existed.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:18:13 AM PST

  •  Ronald Reagan's popularity (6+ / 0-)

    was all about raising the speed limit from Jimmy Carter's frugal 55 back to 70 and removing limits on gas-guzzling cars.  People LOVED the idea that they could be selfish and somebody would say it was okay.

    They still do.

    Reagan gave them permission to be selfish, polluting, moralizing, aggressively aggressive Americans.   He masked it behind a reasonable exterior but contained within him are the roots of today's Depublican Party.

    Still enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:18:41 AM PST

    •  Huh? (8+ / 0-)

      The speed limit didn't go back up until 1987 and 1988, and then only to 65, and the law providing a federal mandate was only repealed in 1995.

      It wasn't the speed limit that got Reagan elected, it was inflation and the Iranian hostage crisis.

      Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
      ¡Boycott Arizona!

      by litho on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:34:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The speed limits were no longer enforced. (0+ / 0-)

        And we could have outside Christmas lights again.

        Hey, GOP - Get In, Sit Down, Shut up, & Hang On!

        by 88kathy on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:37:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I strongly doubt the lack of enforcement (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          88kathy, Panurge, ConfusedSkyes, JerryNA

          came from federal policy.  Rather, people got tired of going 55 and started inching it up, and defense lawyers discovered enough imprecision in radar guns that judges wouldn't enforce tickets for less than 5-7 miles over the speed limit.  As drivers realized they had that cushion, they began to exploit it and even started pushing gradually beyond it.  State troopers -- who are governed exclusively by state authorities and law -- gradually began to give ten and even fifteen miles over the limit before they would ticket, unless of course they were coming up against their quota limits at the end of the month.

          I don't remember the speed limit even being an issue in the 1980 election.  There was some controversy in the mid-70s when it was first enacted, but that had died down by the early 80s.

          Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
          ¡Boycott Arizona!

          by litho on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:44:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not to mention (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            litho, Odysseus, JerryNA, MHB

            a whole industry producing radar detectors and the ubiquitous CB radio "Smoky" warnings . . . it was the highway equivalent of Prohibition (and the widespread resistance to it).  "55" was almost universally hated, but I don't recall anyone making a (presidential) campaign issue of it . . .

            I'm sure it played a part in the increasing disdain for "big government", though, and it certainly turned deliberate lawbreaking into a national sport . . .

            Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

            by Deward Hastings on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:14:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know about "tired".... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mmacdDE

            ...because I'm not sure they ever really slowed down.

            More to the point, the speed limits were raised only on non-urban freeways and large rural freeway-graded four-lanes--and very often it was raised back up only to 65.  Before 1973, the maximum speed limit on any road not a freeway in Georgia (my home state) was 60, and I think that was true nationwide.  Once that was cut back to 55, it never went back up, except again for some big rural four-lanes, which went up to 65.

            The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

            by Panurge on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:21:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Litho (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        madcitysailor

        Reagan campaigned tirelessly against all of Carter's energy policy.  He made fun of Carters' cardigan in the White House and his first act as president was to remove the solar panels from the roof of the White House.  Although he didn't actually get the speed limit raised until the last years of his term, a major portion of his appeal was his promise to an end of the "frugal" Carter years and a celebration of gas-guzzling American bluster.  He reduced taxes on oil to drive down the price of gasoline.  He worked in many many ways to make sure that Selfish America regained its power.

        Still enjoying my stimulus package.

        by Kevvboy on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:48:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  "the Internet acts as a kind of preservative for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stormicats, Cassandra Waites

    political positions."

    Great observation.  Once upon a time, it was just historians and journalists and political scientists working meticulously through the paperwork. Today, middle and high school kids are savvy about flip flopping positions . . . which is (one) reason they sneered at Romney.

    Every honest communication poses a risk that we will hear something that could challenge or change us. -- Kenneth Cloke

    by GreenMtnState on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:22:26 AM PST

  •  all "serious" republican writers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, Skipbidder, JerryNA

    now write from #soreloserstan, and either suggest adding a few Latinos to AA tokens, want better pr, or see Obama victory as proof of deteriating American culture. They can't see any flaws in their ideas or even entertain the notion that the pendulum might be swinging back from the right.

    fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

    by mollyd on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:23:05 AM PST

  •  The GOP has devolved to the point (12+ / 0-)

    where there's nowhere left to go but either into the dustbin of history or into open fascism. All other directions point backwards, er forward, to a saner place, a place most Repubs, while paying lip service to it, are either unable or unwilling to go.

    Take Ross Douthat from his op-ed today in the NYT. He says something sane:

    This is a crisis that the Republican Party often badly misunderstands, casting Democratic-leaning voters as lazy moochers or spoiled children seeking “gifts” (as a certain former Republican presidential nominee would have it) rather than recognizing the reality of their economic struggles.
    But then he goes on to say the very thing that he claims to reject:
    This is a great flaw in the liberal vision, because whatever role government plays in prosperity, transfer payments are not a sufficient foundation for middle-class success.
    What could he possibly mean by "transfer payments"? Gifts!

    And then he goes there, back to 50's happytimeland:

    It’s not a coincidence that the economic era that many liberals pine for — the great, egalitarian post-World War II boom — was an era that social conservatives remember fondly as well: a time of leaping church attendance, rising marriage rates and birthrates, and widespread civic renewal and engagement.
    And which others remember for racial segregation, Jim Crow, social conformity, cultural blandness, HUAC, McCarthy, Nixon, and the Dulles brothers.

    What is it with these Little Lord Fauntleroys and their inability to let go of their white bread utopias? Can it be classified as a mental illness already?

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:23:13 AM PST

    •  Does anyone disagree with Douthat here? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, BobBlueMass
      This is a great flaw in the liberal vision, because whatever role government plays in prosperity, transfer payments are not a sufficient foundation for middle-class success.
      He's right.  Education is the key.  

      Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. - Gandhi

      by SpamNunn on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:31:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He's Lying. The High Taxes Don't Transfer, (9+ / 0-)

        they excess prevent wealth from ever arriving in the hands of the rich to begin with. Enormous compensation is never offered, and that leaves it circulating in the rest of the economy.

        We had less education in the early 1950's but a lot more equitable wealth and income distribution.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:43:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. (8+ / 0-)

        Ok. He's right about the transfer payment thing. But that is not the liberal vision.

        Why does he think we fight so hard for education? Fight against job destroyers, job exporters? Fight to get the tax a and healthcare burden off the backs of working and middle class families?

        Why does he think we fought for the stimulus, fight for more stimulus?

        A society is judged by how well it cares for those in the dawn of life, the children. By how well it cares for those in the twilight of life, the elderly. And, by how well it cares for those on the edge of life; the poor, the sick, and the disabled.

        by BobBlueMass on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:02:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I do (10+ / 0-)

        What could he possibly mean by "transfer payment" but wealth redistribution, or "gifts"? I.e. taking money from people who earned it and giving it to people who haven't. It's "Welfare Queens" dressed up for polite company.

        Government, without which sound education for all is simply not possible, is the foundation of every society's prosperity. Not free enterprise, not free markets, not individual initiative, not financial innovation, but sound government policy soundly implemented. I.e. the "American System", which requires taxation, i.e. "transfer payments". Someone has to build those roads and bridges, defend those borders, run those schools and invest in core research.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:03:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree with him vehemently. He forgets about (14+ / 0-)

        the role of the GI Bill, VA and FHA loans.  Millions went to college in the late forties and fifties on the GI bill and vast swaths of new middle class housing erupted in and around our cities because of VA and FHA loans.  Douthat doesn't know crap about our history or economics.  Don't give him credit for his facile lies.

        Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

        by ratcityreprobate on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:10:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think that some of them are less willful liars (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JerryNA

          than sad and delusional deniers of reality, subscribing to a worldview that while based on lies or illusions, seems real enough to them to believe in. They have grown up in it and are terrified of having it torn down. They are in certain ways like members of the antebellum southern aristocracy, living in an internally cohesive fantasy world based on lies and exploitation. Not many people have the moral courage or brain power to overcome that. They're stuck in their fantasies.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:50:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  He's lying or doesn't know Am Econ history; he's a (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MHB

        Liar.

        The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

        by a2nite on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 11:52:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah I actually thought he was one of those rare (5+ / 0-)

      sensible conservatives. Then he goes and talks about equality in the 1950s that liberals pine for. Are their minds so freaking warped that they only see the world from a white man's perspective?

      •  Like pretty much all conservatives (8+ / 0-)

        He makes dishonest arguments that contain just enough truth to seem plausible. Whether this is deliberate, or something they don't realize they do, I don't know (the former means they're dishonest, the latter just stupid).

        Sure the 50's were a prosperous time. They were also an unequal time, not just economically but racially and sexually. And the inequality was institutional, not just social and cultural. They were also culturally conformist, at least for most Americans who dared not risk leaving the mainstream (obviously, lots of very interesting stuff going on outside the mainstream, e.g. music, art, activism).

        Deep down, they all share the same view that older straight white Judeo-Christian conservative males are morally superior and everyone should listen to, follow and try to be like them. They all have this weird daddy complex that I've never quite been able to figure out, simultaneously loving and fearing some mythical daddy figure. Very old testament, obviously. They take that shit seriously, poor saps.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:58:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It depends on what you mean. (0+ / 0-)

          Some people, when talking about the '50s, mean "the '50s".  Some mean "before the '60s".  Were the '50s worse socially and culturally than times before then--worse than the '20s, '30s, or '40s, or the turn of the century, or the Victorian Era?

          The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

          by Panurge on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:25:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think they mean the actual decade (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JerryNA, MHB

            In which it was good to be a member of the racial, ethnic, religious and social majority. They're been trying to recreate ever since.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:47:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wasn't that true of times before, though? (0+ / 0-)

              In that case, "the '50s" does, in fact, mean "before the '60s".

              The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

              by Panurge on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:55:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, they're specifically referring to the 50's (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MHB

                As what they view as the high water mark of what their view as the ideal America, i.e. prosperous, peaceful, happy and well-ordered--for people like them. There had not been such a time in the US since the early 1800's.

                To them, the 20's were decadent.

                "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                by kovie on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 10:21:00 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  One can be forgiven I hope... (0+ / 0-)

      ...for concluding that "our Financial Overlords" would like nothing better than for all of us to be required to carry what they believe would be the most relevant form of Personal Identification: a summary of one's current net worth as defined by them, accurately refreshed every minute or so.

      Transfer payments that would mitigate the otherwise "abject  failure" of somewhere in the neighborhood of 99.75% of us "lesser mortals" would simply be blinding us to the reality of our absolute failure as wealth units...or something.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:56:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ok maybe I'm missing something here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JerryNA

        But I seem have a different interpretation of the term "transfer payments". Is that some sort of technical term I'm not aware of, because I read it to mean taking money from the rich and giving it to the non-rich, which is classic RW nonsense.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:06:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wikipedia has a good definition. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kovie, tardis10

          Wikipedia: Transfer Payment

          In economics, a transfer payment (or government transfer or simply transfer) is a redistribution of income in the market system. These payments are considered to be exhaustive because they do not directly absorb resources or create output. In other words, the transfer is made without any exchange of goods or services.[1] Examples of certain transfer payments include welfare (financial aid), social security, and government making subsidies for certain businesses (firms).

          -7.75 -4.67

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          There are no Christians in foxholes.

          by Odysseus on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:39:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then my original interpretation was the right one (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tardis10, a2nite, Odysseus, JerryNA

            And I stand by my statement that Douthat was basically invoking Romney's view of them as "gifts" taken from the rich to give to the non-rich, for political gain. He just used fancier words and imagery to say the same thing.

            Modern Republicans simply do not believe in top-down resource reallocation, whatever they call it. Thing is, no society can prosper, nor avoid abject poverty, without a fair amount of it. The free market is a fantasy. And whether Repubs object to reallocation on moral or practical grounds, they're simply wrong.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:45:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  It seems to work for them. (0+ / 0-)

      We were working on a new Utopia of our own back in the '60s and '70s, but for some reason we dropped it.  (Well, I didn't drop it, but just about everyone else did.) Now, even the liberal utopia is simply a sort of reformed '50s white bread, just with universal health care; green policy; and equality for minorities, women, and gays.  We dropped our Utopia, and now only the GOP has one.  Of course they're gonna be winning.

      The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

      by Panurge on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:29:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Um, maybe because utopia is a fantasy? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JerryNA

        Instead of changing human nature, we realized that we need to find better ways of harnessing its better aspects and guarding against its worse ones. And I see nothing wrong with the goals you cited above. But I agree that the GOP is still utopian. Except that their utopia is our dystopia.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:51:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It doesn't matter. (0+ / 0-)

          Our fantasies are expressions of our values and most deeply held desires, and give us a sense of direction.  Without them, we mostly just have policy positions--and, yes, a fairly basic sense of justice.  But we need to be able to say, "Here's how the world can be different--and better."  Drawing a picture of that can be highly useful.   Disparaging it as "fantasy" doesn't really serve much.

          The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

          by Panurge on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:54:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There are utopian fantasies (0+ / 0-)

            that stand a chance of being at least somewhat realized, and are just extensions of universally accepted moral values and goals, and ones that don't and are not. I would suggest that ours are more like the former and theirs the latter. So no false equivalence please. We are NOT the same, even in the quality of our dreams.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 10:57:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  OK. (0+ / 0-)

              But my whole point is that we do have dreams, and we have them for good reasons.

              The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

              by Panurge on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:43:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Parties evolve ( or devolve) (0+ / 0-)

      There was a time when the Democratic Party supported southern conservatism and segregation and republicans were the progressive party.   The solid south was once democratic and just as conservative.  

      Dustbin of history?  Perhaps.
      But only and always perhaps.

      What I find just as disturbing is how my party has changed over the same time period.   But then I care more about this party than the GOP.

      "Let's see what fresh fuckwittery these dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time." -- Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

      by Rikon Snow on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:50:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The GOP is not evolving, it's devolving (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rikon Snow, JerryNA

        If you look at US history we don't see two parties evolving along separate tracks, influencing and being influencing each other but remaining separate. Rather, we see two parties in competition, one of which evolves and the other not, with the latter party splitting or fading away, and its former members forming a new party or joining the other party, which itself eventually splits, to form a new two party system. The Federalists disappeared, its former members either dying of old age, leaving politics, or joining the Jeffersonian Republicans, the latter party eventually splitting over ideology, one part taken over by Jacksonians to become the nucleus of the modern Democratic party, the other to become the Whig party, which itself split over slavery, as did the Democratic party, the pro-slavery part of the Whig party joining the pro-slavery part of Democratic party to remain the Democratic party, and the anti-slavery parts of both forming the Republican party. And so on.

        The modern GOP as currently constructed is politically untenable. It will either disappear, splitting into two new parties, or it will cast off its far-right wing, which will form its own party, doomed to oblivion (unless some massive economic or other catastrophe launches it into power a la Weimar Germany), and remain as a much smaller and less powerful minority party, more moderate than the current GOP, gradually absorbing more conservative elements of the Democratic party as that party become more liberal again, until both parties are on some sort of parity again. But that will likely take a generation or longer.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:02:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I dunno. We've had " these" two parties (0+ / 0-)

          For the last 150 years thereabouts.   More stability with rapid communications and transport.    Think it very unlikely that either will disappear.   Both parties evolve.  The idea that only one evolves seems shortsighted.

          "Let's see what fresh fuckwittery these dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time." -- Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

          by Rikon Snow on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:11:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How has the GOP evolved since the 50's? (0+ / 0-)

            I see no evidence of such. None. Sure, Nixon did some progressive things like the EPA but that was because he had no choice, and it was just a continuation of Eisenhower's moderate policies. The GOP reached its most evolved state in the 50's and has been going downhill ever since.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:24:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I just use evolution in the sense of "adaptive (0+ / 0-)

              change."  I don't put a value on the changes.  They are either adaptive or not, successful or not.

              "Let's see what fresh fuckwittery these dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time." -- Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

              by Rikon Snow on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:53:32 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  They're not really parties... (0+ / 0-)

            ...as a European or even a Canadian would understand the word "party".  The Republicans and Democrats are broad coalitions whose constituents have changed over the years. Southern whites and rural evangelicals used to be part of the Democratic coalition; northeastern liberals like Jacob Javits and Nelson Rockefeller were Republicans. During Reconstruction African-Americans were solidly Republican, as hard as that is to imagine today.

            The constraints imposed by the federal Constitution pretty much guarantee there will always be two opposing coalitions in American politics. Whether they were called Federalist and Republican, Democrat and Whig, or Democrat and Republican, they have always been there, and only a major constitutional rewrite will change that, I think. The notion that this or that faction of the Republicans will split and form a third party is unrealistic; such a new party would surely merge back into the Republican coalition  once the futility of its independent efforts became evident, or else it would bring the majority of the old party with it, becoming essentially the Republican party by any other name.

            The core of the Republican coalition has always been big money. Some of its other elements, like evangelicals and working-class whites, have nothing to gain from big money's agenda; by siding with it they are working against their own economic interests. They belong in the Democratic party, if only they understood this. We need to go after them. Think of what we could accomplish if all working-class Americans sided with us against Wall Street.

    •  No (0+ / 0-)

      It's not and illness.
      It's about evolution. Back in the mid 1850s blacks were concidered 3/5 s human, and so not able to vote. Since emancipation, blacks have become educated, culturally advanced, and become more intergrated in society. Hell, we even have one in the White House.
      The Repubs have remained stuck in the past, refusing to evolve.
      It's is they (Republicans) who have become 3/5 ths human.
      They shouldn't be allowed to vote.

      The Job Killing Republican Party is directly responsible for the Great Bush Recession.

      by earthling1 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 03:50:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jack Kemp wept. (4+ / 0-)

    Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. - Gandhi

    by SpamNunn on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:28:05 AM PST

  •  Today's GOP has dug its own grave. No sympathy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hillbilly Dem, a2nite

    from me for them.

  •  Interesting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snazzzybird, dougfir30, tardis10

    Also interesting is that the current Democrats are mostly to the right of Reagan.

    •  Unsupported generalization. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      v2aggie2

      Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

      by ratcityreprobate on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:13:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  really?? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tardis10

        Straightforwardly true here and true elsewhere in the world as well. (New Labour in the UK is to the right of the Thatcherites.) Neoliberalism reigns.

        This is akin to suggesting that "the sky appears blue" is an unsupported generalization.

        DLC and Third Way?

        The ACA is a great example of this shift.

        This would have been a right-wing piece of legislation in the 80s and 90s. Individual mandate is Milton Freidman and Heritage Foundation stuff. Bob Dole and GWB the elder supported it. It's one of the reasons why many of us were not so thrilled about it, thinking that it wasn't a very progressive proposal.

        The liberal position is universal coverage, perhaps through some sort of single payer system. Despite the fact that the majority of the country supports this (and the majority of doctors support it), the majority of Democratic politicians do not. This is because of the lurch to the right.

        The plural of anecdote is not data.

        by Skipbidder on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:02:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The GOP hasn't changed - like fry oil... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snazzzybird, a2nite

    in the school cafeteria, past useless, it's grown thick and bitter and toxic.

    It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

    by Murphoney on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:36:36 AM PST

  •  Addiction Evolves Degenerate Thinking Over A (3+ / 0-)

    span of time, but that degenation is as wide as the body that is addicted. In the case of oil addiction, that involves all of civilization. See A History of Oil Addiction - 3 for example.

  •  Think about it - would you now vote for Nixon? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Luhks, Odysseus

    If given a choice between him and ANY of the Republican candidates for President this election?

    It's a pretty mind-blowing thought.

    New Arizona state motto; 'Yeah, but it's a dry hate!'

    by Fordmandalay on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:41:06 AM PST

  •  That 96 Dole website (0+ / 0-)

    is the best thing I've seen in a while. thanks.

  •  Appeal to vs advocate for voters (5+ / 0-)

    There is an interesting aspect to the GOP post mortem of this election. They aren't saying they need to change their platform in order to advocate for more causes people care about or change their platform in order to help more people who need it. Rather they say quite bluntly they need to appeal to more voters - i.e., they need to pander more to trick more people into voting against their own self interests.  

  •  You forgot this stage in GOP evolution (4+ / 0-)

    "Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself." - Robert G. Ingersoll

    by Apost8 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:48:31 AM PST

  •  the republicans are nothing but a party of hate (8+ / 0-)

    by building a "base" (do i hate that word) consisting of christian nuts who believe man walked with dinosaurs (does a 1/2 gov ring a bell), gun nuts, and greedy  financiers - the GOP had no place to go but into the cess pool - there was not one arm of this black widow sounding some sort of rational alarm.

    there are plenty of things wrong with the Republicans (some actually correctable, most not - but for all i care, they should go the way of the Whigs) - but the biggest 'obstacle' the GOP has is figuring out how to dump Coulter, Luntz, Norquist, Hannity, Ingraham, Krauthammer and especially Limbaugh as not only their spokespeople, but their LEADERS.   the political lambs like Romney and Boehner are nothing more than lemmings being led to the cliff by those aforementioned folks (and more) who have only one (very profitable) motive - endless hate.

    i dont listen to any of them because my sanity got bent enough having to have to listen to Romney for the past year - but the Right Wing Entertainment Complex is really the Right Wing Policy and Thought Police - it is Orwellian in every respect, from Luntz' doublespeak to Limbaugh lies, to people like Krauthammer's complete rewrites of history.

    Limbaugh and Co have only one goal - spread as much hate and destruction as possible.  If you gin up the hate enough -   well this time around it didnt work - but there is no guarantee that the Coulter/Limbaugh crew wont notch it up a few more levels to get their lemmings in office.

    unless their are any "bold" GOP leaders - which of course there are not at this point - the hate will only get worse, and i hope the party sink more and more into their own stinking shit

    He may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot...Groucho Marx

    by distributorcap on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:49:41 AM PST

  •  The single most important fact in the morphing (10+ / 0-)

    of the GOP from 1980 to 1996 to 2012 is the entrance of the evangelical Christianist right into politics. The foremost actor in that development was Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority, which was founded in 1979. MM was disbanded in the late 1980s, but by then other organizations such as James Dobson's Focus on the Family (formed in 1977), Dobson's Family Research Council (formed in 1981), and Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition (formed in 1989) had taken up the standard of public policies predicated on Biblical literalism. The reactionary portion of the GOP business community shared many of the religious and cultural viewpoints of the evangelicals, and from the beginning it has funneled huge amounts of cash to the various organizations making up the Christianist right because it recognized the political muscle that religious conservatives could exert on election day. Gradually but inexorably the GOP base became synonymous with the Christian right, which has its strength in overwhelmingly white rural and semi-rural areas across the nation.

    The overt fealty to evangelical Christianism displayed by all the GOP presidential candidates during the 2012 primary season would have been unthinkable in 1980.

    •  Remember the first Born Again (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ConcernedCitizenYouBet

      it the White House was Jimmy Carter. It was the wedding of right wing ideology to evangelical Christians that caused the plague to mutate.

      "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

      by high uintas on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:56:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not sure if this is correct (0+ / 0-)

      Although it is a change of tremendous importance, I can't understand the connection between the evangelicals and the corporate anarchists (who I think have more control over policy).

      •  The corporate anarchists (3+ / 0-)

        may not ACTUALLY care about social issues, but they at least pretend to, so that the evangelicals will support them.

      •  The supply-siders did in fact bankroll the (0+ / 0-)

        formation of the Christian Coalition, and they did not do it for religious reasons.  Thomas Frank covers how the supply-siders assembled the current coalition of foot soldiers in gory detail in his book "The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule."  

        The supply-siders are the puppet masters.  They also founded the "Heritage Foundation" and the "Club for Growth."  If one listens to Sean Hannity speak, it's immediately obvious that he is in the supply-side faction's back pocket.  Hannity uses supply-side code like "pro-growth agenda."  Sure, Hannity dishes out some hate, but the centerpiece of his program is supply-side economics.

    •  Their hooks are in the GOP. Deep. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheDuckManCometh, JerryNA

          The parasite now controls the host. If the GOP sheds this parasite, one of the two will die. It won't be the evangelicals.

      The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

      by Hillbilly Dem on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:17:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The impulse to segregate is persistent. (4+ / 0-)

    Perhaps it is a response inherent to the commitment to various natural hierarchies which assure insecure humans a spot atop the heap of God's creatures.
    Whatever the reason, if the segregation and subordination of one group or category becomes socially prohibited or inconvenient, new groups are almost immediately identified for separate and exclusive treatment. Let us not forget that the historically most avid proponents of equal treatment, initially championed "separate but equal" treatment and much later, the SCOTUS took it upon itself to conclude that separate is inherently unequal and ordered the integration of public educational facilities, prompting those who could to flee into the arms of religious establishments not covered by the secular Constitution.
    Moreover, not content to resegregate the children by religion, U.S. citizens have rushed to occupy age-restricted enclaves for elders, university students, even the affluent who seek refuge in gated communities, while the indigent get sent to prisons against (mostly) their will.
    Wherefor segregation? It is my contention that dividing the population into segments makes people easier to manage and exploit. Certainly, that seems to have been the objective behind setting up the equivalent of gated communities in Iraq, even if it had to be on a gigantic scale, such as the whole city of Fallujah, where no-one was permitted to go in or out without proper documentation.
    Segregation is evidence of the fact that our commitment to human rights is still largely aspirational. If it weren't, there would be no immigration law and no effort to erect secure fences along the nation's borders. After all, since perambulation is an essential human characteristic, to restrict where people can walk is to deprive them of a basic human right. Declaring perambulation illegal, while it is consistent with declaring ingestion, inhaling and injecting substances into one's own body to be illegal, represents a perversion of the law. The law is supposed to serve justice, not the interests of subordination or the maintenance of a hierarchy. Hierarchy is, of course, a royalist notion.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:56:20 AM PST

  •  The Hilarious Thing About (7+ / 0-)

    The GOP reaction (definitely not soul searching since it appears they have none) to their electoral beat down is their obliviousness to the obvious.  It's not their messaging, their candidates, advertisements and so on that lost the election.  It's their policies that are the problem.  They're so far right wing that most people naturally recoil from their inhumanity and callousness.

    The electoral experience of Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren demonstrates that if Democrats stand up and fight for the working class, poor and elderly, that those policies are sure fire electoral winners.  One just has to forcefully, articulately, unapologetically make the progressive/liberal, in reality pro-working class arguments.

    If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

    by stewarjt on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:57:32 AM PST

    •  It's the same thing with (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stewarjt, TheDuckManCometh

      what they now feel they need to do to get minority votes.  The GOP doesn't understand that it doesn't matter if they run black or latino candidates.  It doesn't matter if Sean Hannity's thinking on immigration has "evolved."  Because the fact of the matter is, minority populations have been dealing with white assholes like the Republicans for centuries, and still do have to deal with them on a day to day basis.  These communities aren't stupid.  And they don't forget.  Running Marco Rubio in 2016 isn't going to make the majority of Latinos in this country forget that 4 years earlier, the Republicans were referring to just about all of them as "illegals."

      Not to mention, the way the GOP acts whenever they find a minority candidate for office is to basically yell, for example "LOOK EVERYONE!  WE HAVE A BLACK DUDE!  WE'RE NOT RACIST!"

  •  Great post (7+ / 0-)

    Made me think of PATCO, the platonic ideal of anti union action, in Scott Walker's mind.  In the New Yorker article published last winter, he says that Reagan's mass firing of air traffic controllers inspired him.  So I went to Wikipedia to read about the PATCO strike.  Surprising irony: PATCO endorsed Reagan in 1980.

    "Bulshytt: Speech (typically but not necessarily commercial or political) that employs euphemism, convenient vagueness, numbing repetition, and other such rhetorical subterfuges to create the impression that something has been said." --Anathem

    by lavorare on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:59:37 AM PST

  •  Re: descent of republicans - in 1971, de-evolution (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hillbilly Dem, Hohenzollern, a2nite

    was an inside joke, who knew it would be prophetic?

    I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by bobdevo on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:14:45 AM PST

  •  Failed to change in the last 30 years? (4+ / 0-)

    How about the last 100 years.

    Republicans were for austerity during the great depression and again during this great recession.

    Republicans have been against Roe v. Wade since it was decided in the Supreme Court. They just played lip service to the ruling when it was to their advantage.

    Republicans were against and have been trying to kill Social Security since its inception. They've been saying it was unsustainable and going broke since the beginning.

    30 years? David Frum, surely you jest.

    In a world of the blind, the one eyed man is a pariah. Ask Galileo. Ask Darwin.

    by OKParrothead on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:39:42 AM PST

    •  When people talk about how (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JerryNA, historys mysteries

      the Democratic and Republican parties essentially switched to opposite ends of the political spectrum, I often argue that this is really only true with social issues.

      I think there's an argument to be made that the Republican party has always been the party of business, to varying extents.

      Also, as early as the 1880s or '90s, the Democrats had William Jennings Bryan, who was far from an economic conservative.

      Plus, the whole thing about Teddy Roosevelt leaving the GOP because he didn't feel they were hard enough on businesses.

  •  The Republican Paty is a Misnomer (3+ / 0-)

    for what is the Tea Party.

    The Republican Party as it has been defined pre-Gingrich no longer exists, mortally wounded by Richard Nixon, it has rapidly declined.

    It's all over but the obituary, and John McCain is writing that.

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:41:18 AM PST

  •  Fascinating... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hohenzollern

    I would have never thought the repubs were such socialists.  I never knew anything about platforms back then

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:59:18 AM PST

  •  The last one should be a Goposaur. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, historys mysteries

    Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

    by Words In Action on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:05:46 AM PST

  •  Wikipedia: Seth (0+ / 0-)

    Seth ... is a god of the desert, storms, and foreigners in ancient Egyptian religion. In later myths he is also the god of darkness, and chaos.
                 
    I find it interesting that your first man/elephant on the far right looks a lot like Seth.  That could explain a lot about Republicans.

    God be with you, Occupiers. God IS with you.

    by Hohenzollern on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:19:25 AM PST

  •  That picture at the start is incomplete (0+ / 0-)

    ...it needs to end with the LOLGOP picture logo

    A left-of-center blow-harded member of the goose-stepping blog-stapo since 2004.

    by floundericiousMI on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:42:33 AM PST

  •  We're always going to need a conservative party (3+ / 0-)

    ...at the very least, some old curmudgeons to shout "How 'ya gonna pay for it?" from the back row of the legislature.

    I would rather see the Republican Party "contained" rather than "extinct".

    If they become totally dysfunctional as a political party, then Wall Street will simply abandon them and take over the the Democratic Party - where the Equity Lords already have significant influence.

    I say let the marriage between RepubliCorp and The Confederacy continue... and may they continue to lose elections with 47% of the vote.

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:55:13 AM PST

  •  Nixon's the one (0+ / 0-)

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:11:31 AM PST

  •  Republicans believe in Devolution (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, historys mysteries

    Unlearning the lessons of the past, dismantling the common heritage of society for individual gain, denying reality, ignoring facts...

    They live in a shrinking world where the future is no farther away than what they want NOW, no wider than their own self interest.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:12:19 AM PST

  •  Yep. (3+ / 0-)

    When I left the USA to return to China in 1988, there were still Republicans that I thought, despite my more liberal ideas, were reasonable people with personal integrity.

    I'd be hard pressed to name any with both of the above personal characteristics now, I think the last few already resigned the party in disgust retired.

    If there are any left, I wonder: Gosh, how the heck do they sleep at night?

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:28:55 AM PST

  •  I think there is a great distance.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries

    between what the party platform said in 1980 and Reagan's beliefs on unions as you allude to here:

    Reagan honed his political skills on the GE payroll making fiery anti-labor speeches..
    I believe a certain amount of blue collar support came from his dog whistle approach to politics which he elevated to an art. The modern movement conservatives have tried to make dog whistling into a science (Frank Luntz) but have gone so shrill as to be obvious.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    by Ex Con on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:40:49 AM PST

  •  Remember, in ecology (0+ / 0-)

    the most highly specialized forms are all parasites.

    It's been a hundred years, isn't it time we stopped blaming Captain Smith for sinking the Titanic?

    by happymisanthropy on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:42:59 AM PST

  •  Important thing to remember about GOP voters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    A lot of Republican voters took Romney's nomination as a sign that the party, whatever its rhetoric, was basically operating along the lines of its 1980 platform, in other words, a reflection of fairly traditional mainstream Republicanism.  And that was something that at least potentially looked pretty good in the face of a slow economic recovery and Romney's self-presentation as Mr. Fix-it.

    I hope Romney's own words about the 47 percent, and especially since the election, combined with the rhetoric of most of their leading players, has started to dissuade people from that mistake.

  •  Make a speech entirely out of Republican quotes (4+ / 0-)

    I've wanted to see one of these at the Dem Convention the last couple times.  The right wing would attack it as socialist drivel, only to be exposed entirely when the speech was revealed to be nothing but Eisenhower, Reagan, Nixon and Bush quotes.  

  •  In 1984 I became a pro-choice Republican... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries, aufbruch

    I've moved left on 2 issues. Well, "moved left" isn't entirely accurate. Its more like "I thought about it". Because gay rights and universal healthcare weren't issues in 1984.

    Back in 1984, I took a magazine quiz that pegged me as 80% aligned with the GOP. A similar quiz in the late 90s showed me as more libertarian. In this last election, a fairly thorough online poll showed me 90% aligned with Obama and 40% with Romney.

    My conservative friends can yak all day long about how conservative principles are "timeless" and that they haven't changed. Yeah right, bud. I was there.

  •  Today's Republican Party.. (0+ / 0-)

    ...is an abomination.   To point out the differences between them and Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt is perhaps unfair due to ....well--we democrats are quite different from the party of Andrew Jackson and Grover Cleveland,  so....I'll give them a pass there.

    But the shear difference between them and Eisenhower, Goldwater, Nixon, and even Reagan and Bush Sr....is disgusting.

    Because there aren't any Republicans left anymore.  The Southern Strategy was sort of the radiation spill that created the Godzilla we're fighting against today:

    The Dixiecrats voted Republican, yes, but then invaded the Republican Party and killed and gutted  it--they're Southern Democrats, George Wallace lineage, garbed in the skins of dead elephants.   The skins are slowly beginning to rot off, though.

    Fiscal conservatives are valuable to our government...I just wish there were some in it.   They're nothing now but a charade of heavily veiled and repressed racism, and a witchhunt against a largely imaginary moocher class.

  •  Logical conclusions (0+ / 0-)

    The central problem with the GOP's policy positions and the dragging of this country well to the right-of-center from a governance perspective over the last 40 years is that none of them seems to have envisioned a logical conclusion.

    Our taxes are at historically low rates, yet according to the GOP, we're still "overtaxed" or even "taxed to death." Is there a point at which the tax rate is going to be just right, and if so, what is that number and what is it based on?

    Abortion, ever the central issue for a contingent of GOP voters, has been on a steady decline since its peak in 1981, becoming increasingly safe, legal and rare. Still, that will never be good enough for Republicans, at least not for those outside the state of Tennessee. But what if they got their way and they had the procedure outlawed? Do they think really that's going to end the war? What do they really think is the best-case scenario here, women just accepting it and getting that sandwich ready?

    The GOP really seems to hate regulation, but once government is rendered powerless to protect the environment, workplace safety and so on, will we really live in a better society, or just a more lucrative one? What protections should we insist on from corporate America, and which ones would they countenance, if not from government?

    Defense spending is seen as sacrosanct, despite the fact that we spend twice as much on our military as the next ten nations combined. What level of readiness, in real numbers and equipment, will they be happy with? Is there a level, or is the only answer, as it has been for the last four decades, "more, more, more?"

    What we've seen from the GOP is a relentless push to the right, one that has been measurably acceptable, but towards what? What are their goals? When, if ever, will they be happy with a proper level of government? What would make the GOP finally shut up and turn their attention to something other than squeezing the poor and middle class for everything they have (if anything)?

    -5.38 -4.72 T. Atlas shrugged. Jesus wept.

    by trevzb on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:50:41 AM PST

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