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Elephant in graduation gown graduation from the

On the one hand, some Republicans apparently realize that they have a problem when it comes to the economy, but their solution does nothing but demonstrate how deep their problem really is:

Get specific.

That’s the message conservative intellectuals and strategists have for the Republican Party as it faces an assault from President Obama and Democrats on issues resonant with struggling voters such as the minimum wage and extending unemployment benefits.

For example:
“Republicans trumpet ‘free enterprise’, ‘personal responsibility’ like a college fight-song but they never explain how it is going to better the lives of people outside the conservative echo chamber,” strategist Ford O’Connell says. “It’s a major problem.”
Yeah, except opposing the minimum wage and opposing emergency unemployment benefits doesn't make people's lives better. In fact, it makes people's lives worse.

So here's a helpful hint for our Republican friends: The fact that you're having trouble explaining why you're against raising the minimum wage and extending unemployment benefits isn't a sign that you need get better at spinning your position — it's that you need a new position that isn't impossible to explain. You're not having trouble spinning the public on why you're right because you're bad at spinning things. You're having trouble because you're wrong. The solution to your problems is to change your mind.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's the best they can do (19+ / 0-)

    Republicans aren't there to make the public's life better.  They are there to increase the profits of their rich friends.  Whatever they say is for the sole purpose of trying to dupe regular people.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 08:30:30 AM PST

    •  They are there to make their own lives better (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG, yet another liberal

      and those of their wealthy benefactors. They only see the public, when they see us at all, as rubes to be fleeced – a source of money and votes.

      Or, as Eli Wallach said in The Magnificent Seven, "If God had not meant for them to be sheared, he would not have made them sheep."

      Some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

      by Omir the Storyteller on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 09:19:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  One of the things I have recently realized (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yet another liberal

      is that part of the problem is that a lot of the people in office believe this stuff. I used to assume that they were aware of how wrong a lot of what they said really was.

      The truth is though, these guys are incredibly unaware of very basic facts. I suspect that when they go looking for specific examples of how getting government out of people's lives help them, they are going to be a little horrified to realize that it doesn't help at all.

      They won't admit that of course.

      Ignorance more frequently begets confidence then knowledge. Charles Darwin

      by martianexpatriate on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 06:26:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Vague: "Replace Obamacare" (11+ / 0-)

    Specific: "You can bring a gun to your doctor's office"

    There's a freebie for you, GOP.

  •  "you have trouble explaining because you're wrong" (11+ / 0-)

    Excellent!  And true!  And funny because it's true!

  •  Is this part of their so called "rebranding"? (9+ / 0-)

    I guess putting a new sheen on an existing piece of excrement hasn't worked out so well for them.

    A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

    by METAL TREK on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 08:31:52 AM PST

  •  "a position that isn't impossible to explain" (10+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 08:39:37 AM PST

  •  It's the economy stupid...coming home to roost (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mungley, Gowrie Gal, JeffW


  •  It's about par for the course (13+ / 0-)

    they don't get that it's not how they are delivering the message that is the problem but it's their dang message that is the problem.  

    They wonder why they have a problem with women? It's not how they discuss rape or abortion or contraception that is the problem it's their position on those issues that is the problem.

    The same hold true for the economic positions.

    It's not how you are delivering the message you nit's the message.  

    Why yes there is a war on women and minorities.

    by karma5230 on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 08:40:29 AM PST

    •  Sssssh . . . don't tell them (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4mygirls, JG in MD

      The more they try to deliver the message, the more people are catching on that maybe, just maybe, these guys don't have their best interests at heart.

      Some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

      by Omir the Storyteller on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 09:24:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why there is no explanation. (4+ / 0-)

    To present an argument in favor of a particular position you need things like logic or evidence. Republicans have a hard time with that because their policies aren’t based on either of those things.

    Their policies are ideological articles of faith. You can’t prove them. You either believe them or you don’t. When Republicans implement their policies and they don’t provide the result they predicted that’s just evidence that the policy wasn’t conservative enough.

    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

    by Joe Bob on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 08:46:14 AM PST

  •  "Conservative intellectuals" have bought into (6+ / 0-)

    the same failed ideas as the rest of conservatives.
    "Paul Ryan's" budget was allegedly a failure because they didn't know how to sell austerity to those being harmed by needless cuts to important programs.

    Not only is it that the message is bad, the ones scheming up the policies are out of touch with reality. Sycophants who want Koch to get paid by a think tanks don't actually count as 'intellectuals' if they refuse to think for themselves.

    I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong. Seldom turns out the way it does in this song.

    by mungley on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 08:47:38 AM PST

  •  Your last three words, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    change =   Demmokrat slogan
    your     =   hell, it's all ours
    mind    =   whas that?

    "Read what you have written 3 times and think before you hit Post while commenting when tired" Recent Experience

    by Wood Gas on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 08:52:17 AM PST

  •  The headline to this article (0+ / 0-)

    could easily be the headline to every article about any Republican solution to anything, anytime.

    Some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

    by Omir the Storyteller on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 09:08:42 AM PST

  •  Forget GOP excellence-just shoot for competence... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nautical Knots, SueDe, LMS44, home solar

    or more achievable, less incompetence.  

    But to be fair the GOP actually is achieving the aims of it's real leaders... unfortunately they divide society to do it

    The conservative base suffers from "binary brain" syndrome... they can only see things as "with me or against me".  They are not driven by a coherent ideology but much more of a faith-based, in-tribe versus out-tribe mindset... they truly do not understand the world outside their beliefs.

    The media often makes the mistake of thinking there is a left-right continuum but conservatives really are only "united" by what they are against.  That is why those who want to manipulate them focus on maintaining a constant source of threats.

    There is no unified conservative economic theory... nor an awareness they are sabotaging their own economic benefit for a very small elite.  All they know is if they help society they are helping other tribes and that is what they are against,

    BConservatism is not an ideology but a cognitive disorder -- help find a cure!

    by learn on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 09:10:33 AM PST

  •  Repubs Could Be Specific and Right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nautical Knots

    If government helped businesses get more customers by providing tax incentives, e.g., Cash for Clunkers, or 3% mortgages to increase home buying, the economic expansion would increase jobs and wages so that UI benefits extensions and MW increases would be less important.

    IOW, Keynesian stimulus to increase consumption would be consistent with the GOP's pro-business policies while simultaneously increasing jobs and wages.  Of course no Repub will ever support Keynesian stimulus because "small government" overrides everything.

    Bottom line, GOPers have painted themselves into a corner and there is no way out.  Sad.  :-)

    •  "Small government" is just an extension of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      their push for privatization.  The more governmental program and agencies that are privatized, the smaller the government.  Lots and lots of the teapartiers I interact with (and there are tons of them here in Texas), accept and support this.  They're still living in the fantasyland defined by improved efficiency and cost savings through privatizing, even though it's not worked in the past and has no chance of working in the future for the good of the working class or the poor.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 09:34:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Teapartiers are really anarchists, no? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JG in MD

        I don't think they are about efficiency as much as "drowning government in a bathtub."  They hate government because it restricts their gun rights, illegal business practices, and "freedom" to do whatever they want regardless of others.

        To me they are sociopaths who enjoy abusing the weak and government is an obstacle to their enjoyment so they want to destroy it.  Tell me I'm wrong.

        •  No, this is not the right word for teapartiers (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Unca Joseph

          Anarchists are traditionally anti-capitalists, and anti-authority, not just anti-state. The word was first coined by Proudhon, who called himself an anarchist. Anarchists are against all forms of hierarchy and unequal relationships of power, including patriarchy, monarchy, oligarchy, corporate hierarchy, racial hierarchy, and so forth.

          The word really doesn't mean what most people think it means. In fact, anarchists are completely opposite to teapartiers in socioeconomic theory. The word is often misused.

          "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

          by ZhenRen on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 03:24:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  right wing loves the punishment (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    METAL TREK, Nautical Knots, SueDe

    whenever you hear people talk about "free" enterprise and personal responsibility, they are really talking about punishing people as if society is a sporting match or an Idol show.

    If you are not "good" enough, then you lose and deserve your punishment.

    This is at the core of many disastrous policies including charter schools/standardized testing, war on drugs, 3 strikes automatic sentencing, cuts to SNAP, defunding unemployment, etc. etc.

    The whole philosophy is to foster a every man for himself, I got mine you get bent, society - with predictable results.

    Until the Democratic party gets more leaders that REALLY believe in a fairer social model, the suffering will continue to increase until some breaking point.

  •  conservatve answers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    First as much as they hate gov't they could substitute creating some public works jobs for those who have maxed out on food stamps.  This would be better because it would give people something to do, would show on their resumes they continued working, and keep them in the labor force.

    They could pass a law to allow anybody who works at min wage for over 2 years to get a 25% raise.

    They could repeal Taft Hartley and allow people thru unions rather than thru gov't to get a living wage and health insurance.

    The problem with the gop is ANY solution that will help is out of the question.

  •  Asking Republicans to change their message (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nautical Knots, TofG

    from "free enterprise" and "personal responsibility" is like asking a leopard to change its spots.  It's not going to happen, and even if it did it wouldn't be a Republican message anymore.  The Republican party has conditioned its constituents to react to their phrasing, including makers and takers, job creators and moochers and all their other nastiness.  Without making their political opponents into lesser beings, they have no message that's not straight out corporatism.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 09:22:44 AM PST

  •  The vast majority (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bananapouch1, MaikeH, cybersaur

    of Americans support the minimum wage and unemployment benefits. Most regular republican voters even support these things. It is the Republican politicians who oppose these things.

    The Republican politicians who oppose these things are on the extreme fringe, and yet they seem to be too stupid to realize this. If they want to help themselves they should try to take positions that most of the voters agree with. Instead they continue to take extremely unpopular positions and try to spin their positions in a way that will appeal to voters.

  •  Demcrats Must (0+ / 0-)

    Repeat over and over and over that after 30 years of Republican Trickle Down economics, look at where we are now.

  •  Dig Phyllis Schlafly's agreement that the minimum (0+ / 0-)

    wage should be raised:

    True, she's all about reducing medicaid, medicare, etc. because she doesn't like the "welfare state."  True republican there.  But her point that raising the minimum wage will give families and working individuals a better chance at relying more on themselves and less on government aid, is consonant with the Dem message about income equality.

    What WE need to learn to do more, is argue in such a way as to make sense to people like Schlafly's followers.  If our framework of "income inequality" grates on their ears like nails on a chalkboard, why not, when addressing them, adopt the langauge of "raising the minimum wage helps families become less reliant on the social/government safety net"?  

    True, it doesn't solve the problem of how they want to eliminate the social/government safety net altogether.  But really, that's a somewhat different fight, and can be approached on a different rhetorical battlefield.

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

    by concernedamerican on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 09:53:42 AM PST

  •  Specific examples. (0+ / 0-)

    Absolutely.  You should get out there and earn money in the free enterprise system.  Go to your bank or your parents and get the capital to open, for instance, a defense contractor.  Buy/lobby your local representatives and get some contracts.  If you can't get capital, maybe you can just operate out of your home, or try to hustle work on the street washing windshields The difference between the later and the former is that in one the cops will feel much more free to hassle you free enterprise with useless regulations.

    As far as, definitely explain to your kids that they are going hungry because you are an insufficiently moral.  Go to church and give to god, and maybe the church has a food bank that can help.  Make sure the kids know that original sin also makes them morally corrupt and that is why they have to suffer as well. They can redeem themselves by going out and finding work.  You know in other countries where the moral corruption-work link is taken more seriously, kids as young as 8 or 9 go onto the street and sell lottery tickets.  This teachers them the value of a hard days work, and they grow up knowing that a hard days work for little pay is the path to salvation.

  •  They are hypocrites (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans have latched onto showing how they care about the poor and Americans' well-being in general when clearly their actions show that they don't. They also claim to care about the sanctity of life and are proposing, passing and campaigning on more and more anti-choice legislation but at the same time are succeeding in denying medical coverage to the poor (with blocking Medicaid) - coverage that would help the US rise from its bottom status for health and longevity among developed nations. What hypocrites.

    Ginny Mayer, Ph.D. Democrat CA State Senate Candidate - SD-35 (Orange County)

    by Ginny Mayer on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 10:18:35 AM PST

  •  Sounds like Republicans want to copy the M*A*S*H* (0+ / 0-)

    movie fight song:

    "Hit 'em in the mouth!
    Kick'em in the shins!
    Mash em', mash 'em!
    Win, win, win!

    They don't need no stinkin' solutions, just money and repeated yelling.

  •  They should just hire the McDonald's guy (0+ / 0-)

    you know, the one responsible for that "personal responsibility" website that told their employees to get a second job, not pay the rent or utility bills, not have health insurance, and never eat at fast food restaurants.

  •  the republicans (0+ / 0-)

    are never good at solutions only creating problems.

    save america defeat all republicans and conservatives

  •  I agree with O'Connel (0+ / 0-)

    We live in a representative democracy, and the way it's supposed to work is candidates explain their views and the people vote accordingly.  The Republicans ought to either explain how their policies are good for America or admit that they just don't give a rodent's rear about the poor.  If that means they can't hold office except for in the reddest of districts, well I guess that's what happens when you're out of step with the American people.

  •  I'd like to sign and circulate this petition: (0+ / 0-)

    "We know why you're ending UE benefits and cutting food stamps. It's because you're still trying to suppress the broader Main Street economy to help you win in 2014. Everyone knows why you're doing it, so stop.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 11:03:56 AM PST

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