Monday, October 17, 2011

What Republicans hope the public doesn't notice

Seven years ago Republican guru Grover Norquist telegraphed the strategy.

During his presentation, Norquist explained why he believed that there would be a permanent Republican majority in America.

One person interrupted, as I recall, and said, “C’mon, Grover, surely one day a Democrat will win the White House.”

Norquist immediately replied: “We will make it so that a Democrat cannot govern as a Democrat.”

The specifics of how they're implementing that strategy now that we have a Democratic president are clear...they've become the "party of no." As an example, take a look at this history of the use of filibusters.

As Steve Benen points out:

Consider this tidbit: cloture was invoked 63 times in 2009 and 2010, which isn’t just the most ever, it’s more than the sum total of instances from 1919 through 1982. That’s not a typo.

In other words, Republicans did what they could to make governing impossible in 2009-2010. Now, with a Republican House combined with the use of the filibuster, we're at a total standstill.

As Transportation Secretary Lahood said last week about his fellow Republicans:

“A big percentage of the Republicans that were elected this time came here to do zero, and that’s what they’ve done,” he said. Those lawmakers, he said, have obstructed other people who are trying to get things done.

Even former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is sounding alarms.

"I do believe that we are now in uncharted waters when it comes to the dysfunction in our political system--and it is no longer a joking matter," former Defense Secretary Robert Gates told an audience two weeks ago at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia, where he received the Liberty Medal for national service. "It appears that as a result of several long-building, polarizing trends in American politics and culture, we have lost the ability to execute even the basic functions of government much less solve the most difficult and divisive problems facing the country. Thus, I am more concerned than I have ever been about the state of American governance."

This is nothing new to those of us who have been paying attention. But as retired Republican Congressional staffer Mike Lofgren noted a few weeks ago, the Republicans are counting on low-information voters not noticing.

A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress's generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.

A deeply cynical tactic, to be sure, but a psychologically insightful one that plays on the weaknesses both of the voting public and the news media. There are tens of millions of low-information voters who hardly know which party controls which branch of government, let alone which party is pursuing a particular legislative tactic. These voters' confusion over who did what allows them to form the conclusion that "they are all crooks," and that "government is no good," further leading them to think, "a plague on both your houses" and "the parties are like two kids in a school yard."

Ignorance on the part of the public is the card the Republicans are playing. THAT'S the message we need to get out there when it comes to tackling the dominance of the 1%.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. The above comment was removed for sexist language.

  3. I recently read an analysis by one of the religious personalities that worked with the republicans at the beginning of the rise of the 'religious right' that the other reason for obstructionism on their part is to convince the public that only turning to the Christian God and his values (as they interpret them) can save the country.

    1. Hogwash..."Anonymous" should be enough to explain the above.

  4. "The system is broken and dysfunctional...and everyone knows that."
    ~ Senator Tom Udall, USA Today 9/29/2011

    "We Have Lost The Ability To Execute Even The Basic Functions Of Government"
    ~ Robert Gates - retired Secretary of Defense speech at the Constitution Center

  5. I suppose it's only human nature to believe that men elected to public office will,for the most part,act rationally. That presumption is false. We have seen this in the real world for the last three years. This is extremely dangerous, and I pray it will stop before the country is brought to ruin. It's a complete mystery to me how this all came about, but there it is. We have a completely polarized electorate where each side believes they have the high ground. In fact neither does. A few very bad men, acting behind the scenes, are manipulating thought to their point of view, and our citizens cannot see it to save their souls. Men like Norquist, and the Koch brothers, and others are spending billions to this end, and they know they will get all their money back and then some. Folks, we better awaken because we have been asleep too long. Use your common sense and stop following these people to your doom. If you're not sure, err on the side of "throw out the bums" and start from scratch. Trust no one, unless you have crunched the facts and numbers yourself. Look for the lies hidden in the simple solutions that some profess is the absolute truth. Remember when things in this country were "right"? Go back to that default position, and don't buy into this crap about a new reality in our capitalistic society that favors the wealthy...that they will take care of us if they are given the wealth to do so. It just isn't "right" and is not part of any American Dream I know. That's all.

  6. There is no doubt in my mind that the Republicans want only a yes man in the white house.

    Norquist said as much on Morning Joe the other day. He said they want a President that knows how to sign their name and the congress will do the rest.

    Most of us know the republican congress is a wholly owned subsidiarity of the Koch Bros.

    The president will take orders from the congress and the congress will take orders from the Koch Bros.

    Everything is pointing to this. This is not a joke.

    We have some of the most stupid electorate on this country.

    Right wing radio keeps them in line and keeps tossing the red meat to keep their mind twisted.

    So much is happening so fast, as if to make things happen faster than the public can be educated.

    Destroy the jobs and people will be so preoccupied with survival they won'r have time or the money to do much paying attention to what the neocons are up to.

    This has been going on since the 80's with the election of Ronald Reagan.

    Each decade has gotten worse and the disinformation broadcast over talk radio is more and more outrageous.

    2012 Dec 22 is not far off. Will this be the time of the civil war?

    Something is going to give, but all of the power is in the hands of the rich.

    I understand large yacht orders are on the rise as an escape for the rich when American Armageddon hits.

    It will be the only place they can go to escape the wrath of the people.

    Look what's being done to stop the liberal vote. These people know they do not have the public on their side
    and they are scared. A scared animal does outrageous things, especially when they are cornered.

  7. Even after you sense that the rules of the game are changed, if you dont mould yourself to it, you are lost. People come and go-the DEMOCRCY is being heckled!. These people are msiusing the powers given to them by DEMOCRACY, making one to feel that the term for the people by the people and of the people is meaningless. The solution to this is-
    Be cynical a bit and be awake. And punish the culprit. President obama did not do this when he ignored to punish the BUNCH. The voters gave respect to the party whose leader undermined their selection by saying "he would make sure that this president a one time president". According to me-the he should have been punished for using that language in the peoples' house-period.
    Two things I never understand:
    1 What happened to the people who hated civil rights, the next day the act was passed-did they evoparate?
    2. Still there is around 50% of the people who support the party that says economic seggregations is the way of life.

    CHANGE is necessary-OBAMA failed to bring it-because- we did not want to change!!! THATs IT


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