Monday, November 26, 2012

Please Stop Being Stupid

Have you ever watched someone planning to make a huge mistake? Of course you have, you’re a Republican. . . you see that every day from your party. The latest mistake-pending involves Grover Norquist’s tax pledge. I support the fact the party is finally planning to abandon Grover’s idiocy, but I can’t help feel that we’re just substituting another form of idiocy.

Ok, let me get this out of the way... “Grover”? WTF? Who names their kid “Grover”? And if that is your name, for the love of God, change it! Seriously, how ridiculous must Grover Norquist’s middle name be if he prefers Grover?

All right, here’s the deal. Grover came up with a pledge twenty years ago whereby anyone wanting to “prove their conservatism” would pledge never to raise taxes in any way shape or form. Everyone signs this. . . until recently. About two years ago, Grover ran smack dab into thinking conservative Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who realized that Grover’s tax pledge was stupid. Rather than leading to lower taxes and an improved economy, this stupid tax pledge became a tool which Republicans used to justify supporting subsidies for big business because any attempt to cut those subsidies (like slashing ethanol subsidies and tax breaks) resulted in howls of betrayal from Grover, who claimed said Republicans were “raising taxes.” In effect, what sounds like a good anti-tax pledge became a pledge to protect the benefits cronies got for themselves.

We’ve talked about this before and I think this is ludicrous. The tax policy the Republicans should be pushing right now is exactly what Romney was pushing – lower rates across the board and wiping out all the distorting, crony industry and company specific deductions that people like Charlie Rangel have shoved into the code. Rip all that crony crap out of the code. . . breaks for filmmaking, breaks for whiskey makers to open plants in Puerto Rico, breaks for ethanol makers, etc. We also need to cap the home mortgage deduction and end the state income tax deduction because these just work as subsidies for liberal states.

Grover doesn’t like this, but who cares about him. . . the man is named after a dog, folks!

Moreover, right now, I’m all in favor of massive tax hikes on the rich (defined as anyone making $150,000 a year or more) because people need to feel the pain of Obama’s idiocy.

Again, Dogboy won’t like this, but who cares.

So I was quite happy to hear that Republicans were starting to abandon this idiotic pledge. Unfortunately, I’m not sure they’re doing this for the right reasons. I see two reason why this pledge should be abandoned (three if you count my opposition to pledges in general): (1) to end cronyism and move us toward a flat tax that doesn’t favor liberal states and rich, liberal voters, and (2) to make people pay for voting for Obama by giving them what they voted for.

Yet, the reasons given by reliable conservative Rep. Peter King (NY) and by Sen. Saxby Chambliss (Georgia) for abandoning the pledge sound like all the wrong reasons. In particular, they both have said that “the world has changed and the economic situation is different.” And they want a genuine deal to solve the debt crisis and the fiscal crisis for the good of the country.

Good grief.

There is a huge difference between letting the other side have the things that will explode in their faces and collaborating. It’s stupid to collaborate with someone who is not acting in good faith. . . like Obama. This is the same stupid impulse that the Republicans always fall for. They will go into the negotiations in good faith. Meanwhile, Obama will savage them for protecting the rich and wanting to kill the poor. They will murmur something about “for the good of the nation.” Then they will agree to all of Obama’s tax hikes on the middle class and small business, and they will demand some minor cuts that aren’t real cuts. Obama will demand tax hikes on the rich, the Republicans will refuse and Obama will agree. Then he’ll march out to the podium and accuse them of raising taxes on the middle class, while protecting the rich from tax hikes. He will dump all the cuts on their lap as well. He will then claim that they stood in his way of getting what he wanted, so they are to blame for the economic consequences to follow. And they will smile like baboons.

Pardon me for a moment. . . motherf*$#% goddam f%$#@^ idiots!!!!

I’m back.

Why is this so hard for Republicans? This is what the Republicans should be saying:
“The President won the election and we’re going to work with him to make sure President Obama’s economic policies are in place because that is what the voters wanted.

He is right that the deficit he created has put the country at risk of bankruptcy and must be fixed. He added more debt in his first four years than all other presidents combined and that needs to stop.

And he is right that the rich have not paid their fair share during his first term because Nancy Pelosi’s Congresses created too many loopholes which the rich and which multinational companies exploited. That’s how companies like GE, run by Mr. President’s job’s czar, could earn record profits and pay no income tax... zero dollars, as they shipped jobs overseas. We are glad that President Obama has finally found the courage to do the right thing and to close those loopholes and we stand with him. We want to remove all $4 trillion of these crony loopholes from the code.

We also agree that we need to raise rates on the rich. We have heard the President’s supporters calling for a 90% tax rate, but we don’t support that. We will, however, support a return to the 50% top tax rate under Reagan, and we would agree to a 25% surcharge on millionaires and billionaires like Warren Buffett and his businesses. It’s time the rich paid their fair share.

We’re also happy to make any cuts the President suggests. Name them and we’ll send you the bill, Mr. President.

Let’s do this Mr. President.”
Do you see what I’m doing here? I’m forcing Obama to either impose devastating tax hikes on his supporters or put him in the position of defending the rich and those very loopholes he ran against. . . and expose himself as a lying hypocrite to his supporters. I’m forcing Obama to take the blame for every cut that happens because they will all be things he proposed, cuts his supporters will hate. And I’m forcing Obama to take the full blame for what will happen economically. And I lay the blame for everything on the Democrats.

That is how politics needs to be played. Unfortunately, as seen above, the Republicans continue to do it backwards. They allow themselves to be blamed for everything while getting nothing they really want because they are playing by the wrong set of rules. Wake up idiots.


Tennessee Jed said...

good luck with that one, Andrew. Nice piece, though. There is a phrase "stuck on stupid" that may apply.

tryanmax said...

Two things:

1) Grover's middle name is Glenn, a perfectly fine name for a man his age. The fact that he insists on going by Grover makes the whole of his judgement suspect.

2) Grover isn't a dog's name. It's the name of a little blue monster who waits tables (badly) and occasionally likes to dress as a superhero.

Tennessee Jed said...

Obama may not care about blame since he has won his last race. And I don't have a lot of faith in the Republican congressional leadership

T-Rav said...

Who names their kid "Grover"? The parents of a future President, that's who!!!

tryanmax said...

On a more serious note, reasoning along the lines that "the world has changed and the economic situation is different" suggests that conservative principles do not apply in all situations. This is a sentiment that conservatives ought to reject, not because we are ideologues, but simply because we believe there is A Set of Principles which apply to all situations. If what we have thought to work no longer seems to, then we should no longer continue it as if it is tradition. However, we should not immediately spurn what seems to have suddenly failed, b/c it obviously has had merit. Instead, a conservative should apply honest criticism to both the situation and the principle. There is too little of that occurring right now, whether it is regarding the "fiscal cliff" or the Hispanic vote or any number of other subjects.

This line of thinking brings a whole host of ideas to mind, so if the room will indulge me, I'll be following up throughout the day.

BevfromNYC said...

T-Rav - Good point about the name Grover! Who IS Grover Norquist anyway and why does he keep talking? One of the problems is that these people keep thinking they represent conservatives and, because they are so incendiary, the MSM LOVES to put them on as representatives of the conservative ideal.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Jed. I'm not hopeful, but I think it's worth pointing this out nevertheless. You never know who's listening?

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, He absolutely should have gone with Glenn hands down! Seriously, Grover?

I had no idea Grover was a monster who waited tables? I've only ever heard it as a dog's name -- or that one President from the dark ages. Grover Pittsburgh or something.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, It doesn't matter. Bush's term is long over and look at the mileage they get out of blaming him over and over and over and over. This is about creating a lasting perceptions -- that's why you ALWAYS attack in everything you say in politics.

Also, Obama = the Democrats. So any attack on hims is also an attack on the Democrats.

The Republicans need to learn this. They need to stop acting like they are dealing with reasonable people who are looking for good faith solutions.

Will they learn it? Doubt it. But they still need to.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Future president? Ha! Past president perhaps!

Personally, I think it was mistake. I'm thinking they bought a dog on the same day and then filled out the forms wrong.

T-Rav said...

You know, I somehow knew when I woke up this morning and saw the news that this would be the topic of discussion on the blog. Clearly I'm becoming psychic from all the tryptophan.

I feel about like you do about this. I don't mind the idea of eliminating deductions and all, per se--hey, who doesn't want a simpler tax code? What bothers me is how King, Graham et al. are going about this, saying "it's time to work together for the good of the country," etc. With that sort of mindset, it sounds like they'd be willing to surrender on anything, including actual tax rates, forms of spending, and whatever else the Dems hold a gun to their heads about.

Besides which, notice that no Democrat has shown the slightest interest in surrendering on...anything.

T-Rav said...

Bev, all I can say is thank God his parents didn't name him "Elmo Norquist."

Joel Farnham said...

Too often, the Republicans in Washington get roped into something that a thinking person would never do. Just like a mark for a con artist, the Washington Republicans sign on to things to make them look good to the Media or the Democrats (read con artists). The pledge looked good on paper, but in reality it is impractical.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Grover is a guy who created his own think tank in the 1980s and got lucky when people started taking him seriously. Since that time, he's made his money by sitting around attacking anyone who didn't toe his line while he got himself invited onto places like Fox News as paid guest.

And you are absolutely right about the problem with these people. They are loud, extreme and often not at all conservative, yet the media loves them because they can collect them all and say, "see, this who conservatives are!" And unfortunately, the Republicans play into that by signing their obnoxious pledges.

The party needs to ban their candidates form signing pledges. Those things are a disaster.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I agree. That's the worst possible reason to give because it implies that our principles failed and are only good in certain economic circumstances. It suggests that we don't really believe in them, but only think we can get away with them at some points.... i.e. we know we are just doing to help the rich, and now that things are really bad, we need to do what's right for the country and not the rich.

That's a HORRIBLE message to send.

Again, the best response is what I said. Blame Obama, but say this is what the voters want. We think it's a disaster, but we respect the voters, so we'll let Obama have what he wants... and take the blame.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I agree 100%. You don't need to abandon your principles even when you do something that runs contrary to them because politics does allow for expediency. So it's stupid to announce that they think our principles don't work.

And how you then claim the moral high ground when you do stand up and put a stop to things when you just said that the good of the country requires you to do what Obama wants? It's STUPID.

This is yet another in a long line of moments where the Republicans don't get it. They simply don't understand politics at a fundamental nature. They have taken would could be a very wise step here and turned it into what looks like a total disaster.

As an aside, eating enough tryptophan does make you physic. There are studies that prove that. ;)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav and Bev, Or "Tickle Me Grover." Yikes!

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I agree completely. The Republicans are suckers for trying to make themselves look good by pandering to the media, to the Democrats, or to anyone who asks them to prove how conservative they are. It's like they don't really have an ideology and are just faking it. . . hmmm. Perhaps we have an answer?

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I'm just saying. Cleveland's parents named him Grover, and he went on to be President (and a fairly good one, if I recall). So don't knock it too much. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Different era, man. Parents used to name their kids things like Eustace, Myrtle, Livingston, and Jamaal. Doesn't make it right in the modern world...

tryanmax said...

When it comes to presidential names, nothing beats Rutherford.

AndrewPrice said...

So what you're saying is that if you want your kid to be president, you should name them Grover Rutherford Roosevelt III?

Grr III....

Kit said...

Watching Pat Caddell's speech. He also attacks the GOP establishment for being stupid in the past election. His is more focused on the branding and narrative the GOP let the Dems use against them.
Take a look: LINK

AndrewPrice said...

Wow, if you want to hear a BS argument, Warren Buffett just wrote an editorial in which he claims that raising taxes will actually encourage investment. What a liar. I really, really want a 50% billionaire tax.


AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Does he say anything specific?

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I think what I'm really saying is that it is past time to bring facial hair back into presidential politics.

I am now reluctantly about to read what nonsense Warren has to say.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, It would be pretty interesting to have a President named Rutherford Grover Hayes who has a handle bar mustache. That would probably change the image of the country a bit! ... especially if he also brought back the noble jumpsuit!

Kit said...

He attacks Romney Campaign for not challenging Obama on Libya in the 3rd debate, not running positive ads BEFORE the convention.
"If Romney didn't mention it they (the media) didn't have to mention it."
Republicans wasted the aftermath of the 1st debate by not keeping up the attack.
He attacks the GOP for not mentioning Obamacare and says "No campaign should be run by consultants."

Let me add this:
If I was running the Romney campaign or at least a Super-Pac I would had run an ad attacking Obama for his "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”

Here is a script:
Voicer: "Amendment 1 of the Bill of Rights"
Voice: "Congress shall make no law. . . bridging the freedom of speech"
News: "A youtube video has apparently sparked outrage in the Muslim world-" "Muslim outrage over a movie-" "Muslim leaders have called for it to be banned -" etc.
Obama: "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”
Voice: "Vote to defend your 1st Amendment rights. Vote Mitt Romney in 2012."

You can re-arrange it however you want. Put the news broadcast first and the 1st Amendment reading second. However you want.

Run similar ads with the text: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" attacking Obama over the Healthcare mandate.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Caddell is wrong. For one thing, attacking Romney is a waste of time. It's a distraction. The party needs to fix it's image and stabbing a guy in the back who is no longer relevant is not only a waste of time, it sends all the wrong messages.

Secondly, Libya doesn't resonate with the public. It only matters to people who already hate Obama. To everyone else, it was just one of those things that happen overseas where we shouldn't even be. This is the problem with being too deep into the bubble -- you can't see that the rest of the country just doesn't share you obsessions and your hatreds. Ditto on Fast and Furious... the public doesn't care.

This election was lost on four big themes: (1) women feared Republican theology, (2) Hispanics feared Republican racism, (3) rust belt males thought Romney only cared about the rich, and (4) conservatives stayed home because talk radio spent 4 years slandering everything Republican and accusing Romney of being a secret liberal.

That's all that mattered. No other issue matters. And what Caddell and Rush and many of the others are doing now is trying to cover their butts for destroying Romney by trying to blame the victim.

Commander Max said...

Imagine the fervor, if Republicans proposed-
Eliminating all deductions, loopholes, fees, etc, etc, etc...

You'll now get a postcard with one question, and one request.

How much did you make this year?

Please send us 10% of it. Thank you.

It would prove just how stupid people are.

Kit said...

Caddell attacks the "Consultant-Lobbyist Establishment".

AndrewPrice said...

Max, This is one of those interesting moments where we could actually get a lot closer to a flat tax and we could do it by making Obama do our dirty work.

The problem is that the Republicans are basically paid whores for Big Business and they love the tax code the way it is right now with all the cronyism.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I know, I'm writing about that Wednesday. And he and Rush are right about the consultants, BUT they are even more to blame for what is going wrong.

Make no mistake, talk radio has been destroying the party and they cost Romney the election... not Romney. And the attempts now to savage Romney are nothing more than CYA attempts by people like Rush to avoid the blame for what he did.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Actually, I'll move that to tomorrow and the move the piece on Jindal to Wednesday.

Kit said...


"(1) women feared Republican theology, (2) Hispanics feared Republican racism, (3) rust belt males thought Romney only cared about the rich, "

Watch the video. Its about 40min long. Watch it.

He agrees on those points. However, he asks why the Romney Campaign and the Republicans DID NOT FIGHT those brands. He also argues Rubio should've been the pick as he would've at least gotten them Florida.

This was an election we SHOULD have one but we lost.

I have respect for Romney as a man. He seems a very moral man and I would've liked for him to be President. He would've made a GREAT president but he, or his campaign staff, made numerous mistakes. They didn't hit him on Benghazi.

There is a reason we perform post-campaign autopsies. To see what we did wrong and do better next time. Saying the Romney campaign made mistakes allows us to identify where we can do better in 2016.

Why were Benghazi and Fast and Furious not issues? Because they Romney didn't bring it up enough. If he did that would've at least forced the MSM, which did not cover it, to give it some airspace.

He has points. Watch his lecture. It is worth viewing.

Kit said...

But before your Wednesday piece. At least watch the lecture.

I think he makes some good points.

"Until Republicans start challenging the media" he argues that the GOP will lose.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, The party doesn't fight these issues because half the party is pushing these things!!

How do you fight the idea that you want to take away birth control when Rick Santorum is foaming at the mouth for exactly that and half the party (60% in some states) vote for him? When Rush calls a woman a slut on the air and conservatives rush to his defense? When all the candidates sign pledges to ban abortion in all instances and weep about it on television? When two candidates suggest that rape isn't a big deal and when a huge number of conservatives get their witch-burning robes into a knot when other conservatives attack these idiots? When the platform reeks of obsession with abortion? When every candidate except two talked about deporting ever Mexican in sight? When Arizona passes laws to let its cops chase question Hispanics about their status? And when talk radio not only blares these same ideas every single day for 12 hours a day, but does it in the most extreme way. Even now, with Republicans talking about agreeing to tax hikes on the rich, what does talk radio do? It savages them for giving in.

What reasonable observer would not think the party stands exactly for these things? And how in the world is Romney supposed to fight that? Blaming Romney is an evasion... it is an attempt to ignore the fact that the things the party foams at the mouth over hurt us with the public.

As for an autopsy, sure, that's useful. But that's not what's going on. What is going on is a witch hunt. It is an attempt to dump all the blame on Romney or his sneaky consultants so that no one looks too closely at the radio talkers who destroyed him and sabotaged the party for the last four years.

And you are dreaming if you think that Benghazi or Fast and Furious matter to anyone outside of conservative ranks.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, This "Until Republicans start challenging the media" he argues that the GOP will lose. is true, but it's also wrong.

Yes, we need to fight back. But you can't fight back when you are exactly what the other side is claiming. Coke can't turn itself into a health drink just by making that claim more forcefully. As long as the party continues to play into the stereotype, the stereotype will stick.... no amount of fighting back will change anything.

Kit said...

In short, while you may think he is too harsh on the Romney campaign, you might have much to agree with him on.

The failure of the GOP to fight against the narrative that they are rich, racist, sexist homophobes who want to ban tampons.

Here is a fact he puts out: Why did Asians vote AGAINST Romney 70%? Because they believed that "Republicans don't like minorities."

"Why is the Republican Party not the anti-establishment party?"

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I do agree with him. But you're missing my point. There is a bigger problem here that can't be changed with ads by Romney.

People think the Republican party is a bunch of rich-protecting, racist, sexist homophobes because large numbers of them are, not because the Democrats invented this narrative.

If you can't fix that, then you can spent a trillion dollars on ads and you won't change a thing.

The problem with what Caddell and talk radio in particular is doing is that they don't want to fix this because they like it. Thus, they are seeking a scapegoat, and that is Romney for not "defending their image." That's deceptive.

Commander Max said...

The Republicans problems stem from being out of power for so long. On top of that the Dems were used to being the one's in charge. These roles never seemed to change. The Dems make sure to do a continuous preemptive strike, against anything conservative.

I never saw the Republicans as the party of the rich. For some reason all of the publicly rich people are all Dems, but those Reps are the problem.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, The rich thing has three roots.

First, historically, the Republicans were the party of the rich in the 1930s. Secondly, the Democrats go all out to sell themselves as the party of the "working man" even though they aren't -- they are the party of the unemployed poor and the very rich.

Third, Republicans play into this by falling for the game where the Democrats propose taxes on the rich and the Republicans adopt the Democratic rhetoric and actually talk about how they need to protect the rich because that creates jobs.

The Republicans need to learn to talk about the middle class and small business. I think they're finally learning that, but for about two decades now they've happily defended the rich and Big Business both rhetorically and in policy.

Kit said...

How, I ask, are Republicans racist?

Kit said...

Stupid, talk to minorities with the same skill as the middle-aged writers of "Character Education" stories I was forced to listen to in High School did with young people.
That is, none.

I'll take that.
But racist? Sounds a bit over-the-top.

AndrewPrice said...

Are you serious? Do you really think that the Democrats just said it and all those black and Hispanic voters just bought something the Democrats made up from whole cloth?

Go back and read this article: LINK toward the bottom of the page. It explains how conservative rhetoric comes across to the public.

Commander Max said...

The whole thing is really sad, playing on an 82 year old playbook.
That's like saying there is black born in the USA(today), that knows anything about being a slave(Except to the Democrat party).

Why these guys do not follow the Reagen model of victory, is baffling.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, The thing is... it wouldn't work if the Republicans didn't play into it. I can call someone stupid, but unless they give reasons for people to believe it's true, then no one will believe it. It's the same thing here -- the Republicans keep playing into these stereotypes, otherwise they would vanish.

I have no idea why they won't follow the playbook of Reagan, but right now the whole environment within the party is so poisonous that I don't think anyone could follow his playbook anymore -- the party is about infighting, not ideas anymore. I'll talk about that tomorrow.

Then on Wednesday I'm going to talk about Bobby Jindal who I am starting to really admire because he is trying to change all of this.

Commander Max said...

As you well know the aggressor sets the rules.
We have a party that acts like the battered wife(who won't say a thing).

The other thing I think of is from Animal House.
"Thank you sir, can I have another."

AndrewPrice said...

Max, That's exactly right. The history of war and politics is that the aggressor sets the rules and the aggressor usually wins. Unfortunately, the Republicans still see politics as a "gentleman's profession." It's not. It's a full contact, no-holds barred blood sport.

"Thank you sir, can I have another" should be the party motto.

Koshcat said...

I think as a party we should look at how things are coming across to people. On the other hand, we have to be careful not to go too far. Although we lost the presidency to an incumbent, we still won more districts and comfortably held the house. We lost in the senate because two candidates were morons in states begging to vote for a good GOP candidate; our candidate wasn't liberal enough for mass.; and in Montana the libertarian picked up nearly 6% of the vote. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

The repubs I think are in a decent position. There is a growing concern about all the tax increases coming up. So the ZERO can talk about raising taxes on the rich until his gums bleed but that doesn't stop the tax increases. There are also planned cuts coming. The house has already passed one budget and open to discuss the Simpson plan. The should stay on topic and tell the American people that they have been doing their job. They are waiting for the president and senate. If the dems were serious they would have a publically available counter-proposal but they aren't. They expect the repubs to fold like a cheap napkin. Not budging until there is a real proposal is strength.

Kit said...

Andrew, I have read your article and on some issues (college debt) you are right but on others you are wrong.

Gay Marriage:

" I recommend making gay marriage a question of individual conscience (so as not to interfere with religious freedom) while putting support for civil unions and anti-discrimination laws in the platform."

First, here is why I am (for the time being) against Gay Marriage. Because I firmly believe that if allowed gay rights activists would FORCE churches to comply against their conscience. The push by the Chicago feudal baro- alderman to not allow Chick-Fil-A in his area proves it. Its not about tolerance, its about using the law to control how other people think.
If I felt that it would be left to states and a firm guarantee that the churches would not be required to marry gays or punished in some way if they refuse then I would be okay with voting for it.

Lee Doren, who SUPPORTS Gay Marriage, highlights this: LINK

They accuse conservatives of "demonizing" supporters of Gay Marriage, yet the Left is worse. The Left actually seeks to SHUT UP opponents of Gay Marriage, even with the force of law.


Amnesty: Conditional. Only if we Secure the Border and offer Amnesty to certain illegals under the following conditions: (1) no felonies, (2) Basic command of the English language, (3) a provable history of some work, and (4) no strong connections to organized crime.

Kit said...

"Max, That's exactly right. The history of war and politics is that the aggressor sets the rules and the aggressor usually wins. Unfortunately, the Republicans still see politics as a "gentleman's profession." It's not. It's a full contact, no-holds barred blood sport."

Neil Kinnock said it best, "Politics is a blood sport."
It has never been a "gentlemen's sport" : LINK

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, I think the key in what you said is that "as a party we should look at how things are coming across to people."

That is something that a lot of conservatives (and most Republican politicians) are really, really bad at.

I'll give you an example from the world of economics, so we don't raise the social issues again. In the 1990s, I remember Clinton first raising the attack that the Republicans only wanted to protect the rich. At that point, some conservative (name escapes me) wrote an editorial which started roughly like this:

"Clinton says we only care about the rich? He's absolutely right and I'm proud of it. The rich create jobs and wealth. We need to do everything we can to make sure they are as free to earn as much as they want because that makes the country richer. Greed is good."

I remember reading the editorial and my first thought was... f**k. Yes, everything he said makes perfect sense economically. And if we did what he said, the country would be richer and everyone would be better off. BUT talk about having no sense of how you come across to people? Only people who understand economics and already share this guy's view will think he's right. The rest will think he's an obnoxious tool.

Unfortunately, the Republicans and conservatives are really, really, really good at saying stupid things like this.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Gay marriage is coming. The debate is lost. And it was lost because there is no legitimate argument against it. The argument against comes down to "morality" which translated into "I don't like gays." That's simple bias. And that doesn't play with the youth.

On amnesty, I'm fine with the conditions, BUT again, the idea itself needs to be embraced. Right now, I'm hearing a lot of conservatives trying to split the difference and talk about "some form of legal status." That's a disaster. That will end up with (1) a general amnesty once the ball starts rolling, (2) upsetting the base because they didn't stop the amnesty, and yet (3) angering Hispanics who will see the GOP as dragging their feet. That's the worst of both worlds.

tryanmax said...

It may help to realize that pointing out that the GOP has racist proclivities does not remove the same from the Democrat Party. Simply put, no Republican would even entertain the idea of pandering to minorities as Democrats do if they didn't at some level think of minorities as "different" as Democrats do.

Then there are the various insensitivities, such as the open hostility toward the Spanish language. Ideally, everyone would be smart enough to distinguish race from language, but in reality it just looks like Republicans hate anyone from south of the border. I struggle to think of a corollary as it pertains to Blacks other than that you've got MSNBC imagining dog whistles in every other word.

Kit said...

"Kit, Gay marriage is coming. The debate is lost. And it was lost because there is no legitimate argument against it. The argument against comes down to "morality" which translated into "I don't like gays." That's simple bias. And that doesn't play with the youth."

What about the fact that this is something new. That by redefining marriage we open the door to Polygamy? Which is almost never in a democratic and free society. Which promotes tyranny.

And will those churches that refuse to marry gays will have to be shut down?
I think that, in the wake of

Many pro-gay marriage people hold the view that support for gay marriage is a basic standard of judging someone. No, not the basic, the PRIMARY standard.

Trust me, I'm young. The fervent Pro-Gay Marriage people are some of the most intolerant and narrow minded people on the planet.


Whats wrong with conditions? I would argue to hispanics that you want these conditions on amnesty. It weeds out the bad apples who make the rest of you look bad.

Koshcat said...

It is unfortunate that whenever people on our side try to tell the truth we get vilified. The democrats have perfected the art of platitudes. Of course it doesn't help when there are outright idiots out there. I would rather those people lose anyway.

Joel Farnham said...

Bill Whittle has his take on what ails the Republican Party.

This is the condensed Reader's Digest version. He started talking about this on Nov. 7, 2012. I found it on YouTube. Bill has some provocative ideas that could work.

Kit said...

"No legitimate argument"???

There is a legitimate argument, the argument is this: Marriage and the Family is one of society's most basic institutions. We have already seen in the black community what getting rid of it does. In some areas (Chicago) the Black family has CEASED. TO. EXIST. The Hispanics are catching up. And to prove I'm not a bigoted white, pretty much the same thing is happening in Northern England among whites. The destruction of the coal mines (which had ceased to be productive) and the replacement of that employment with the welfare check has turned the community into a shamble.

We simply do not yet know what the result of allowing gay marriage will be.

Now, I am sympathetic to gay marriage. But to claim there is "no legitimate argument" against it or concerns about it is incredibly narrow-minded.

If the above arguments are not legitimate, explain how they are not.

T-Rav said...

Okay, can we go back to silly presidential names now? I mean, really.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, In politics... perception is reality. That's something the Republicans simply don't understand. People will accept you lying to them as long as they like the lie.

It doesn't make any logical sense, but then honestly, it doesn't really make sense to ask morons for their approval either, does it?

Unfortunately, the human race is stocked up on morons. We need to accept that and learn to use them.

Kit said...

Andrew, if I got overly angry, I want to apologize if I went too far. But my point still stands.

There are legitimate reasons for opposing gay marriage, or at least being concerned about it.

And your statement about "No legitimate arguments" brings to mind the idea among a fairly large number of gay marriage supporters (many of them young, alas) who hold the view that the most basic and one of the primary ways of judging someone is their view on gay marriage. If they oppose it they are utterly beyond rationale and must be bullied into agreeing or silenced through intimidation (see, Chick-Fil-A).
Thus we get cases like Emily Brooker. Where a college uses threats and intimidation to get a student to sign a statement supporting gay adoption.
I disagree with her, but she had a right to her views. And her professor, instead of trying to engage her views through questions and arguments simply decided to try and shut her up.

tryanmax said...

Kit, the difficulty is that most people don't see a connection between allowing gay marriage and the destruction of the family. How can they when there are so many other more obvious things destroying families? As such, the argument that gay marriage is the problem looks absurd. But no one is going to go back on no-fault divorce, either. Frankly, I am sold on the argument that the government needs to get out of the marriage arena if for no other reason than its involvement has brought us to the current state.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, The Spanish language thing is the perfect example.

Why do people who claim they just want the government off their backs so that everyone can live how they want care if other people speak Spanish and why are they so openly angry about it? What does it hurt them if forms are printed in two language? Why do they only seem to care about Spanish and not other languages?

I'm sure there are valid answers to each of those, but if you are Hispanic, it certainly sounds like YOU aren't wanted whereas others are and it sounds like you're being singled out, doesn't it?

On blacks, the issue is more complex. There you add historical baggage as the Democrats have been working to tar the Republicans with Democratic crimes ever since the 1960s (look at the contortions in the Rex Reed article, how he shifts the blame for slavery to modern Republicans from historic Democrats). But again, the Republicans play into it. For example, why the attacks on rap music and hip hop? Sounds like: we hate black culture. Why turn one idiotic Black Panther at a polling place into a national outrage unless you're worried about blacks voting?

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, There is nothing wrong with conditions. The problem is with the evasions. Amnesty for people who haven't committed crimes, combined with language classes... sure. "Some nebulous form of 'legal status' that we hope will never let these people become Americans" isn't. That is the worst of both worlds. You get amnesty and you still get blamed for standing in the way of it. And that's what I'm hearing on the radio right now.

It's the difference between embracing your sister's husband who you might not like and saying "yeah, she's married to him and there's nothing I can do about it, but he's not coming over for the holidays."

Individualist said...


The top tax rates under Reagan were 33% when he took office and 28% in 1986.

In 1986 he eliminated all the long term capital gains tax exclusions. At that time to offest the sale of middle america's house placing them into a 70% tax bracket there was a 60% exclusion for recording longterm gains. The IRS taxes you when the cash is received but the gain would have been earned but not realized over the length the asset was held. Bush Sr. implemented the lower capital gains rates.

I have two points: One I don't agree with capital gains rates significantly lower than the income tax rate. Nor do I agree with a lower dividend rate. The only way to do this is to tax upper income at low and even levels and to tax corporations at low levels. The reason formt he lower dividend rate is to hold off the effect of doulble taxation on corproate income because it is so high. What is meant to protect the small investor's 401k becomes a tool for the Warren Buffets to take advantage of.

You are absolutely right as to eliminating loopholes and the only President to do so in office was Ronald Reagan. I started my carreer in 1988 in a former Coopers and Lybrand office in superrich Naples Florida and I saw the effects. Extremely wealthy rich people that made six and seven figure incomes off of investments had incredible increases in taxliabilities some well over 100% due to the elimination of passive losses, at risk exclusion for reaql estate and other bennies cared out of the code.

What I think is missing is the reason the GOP is not promoting this more loudly. Big Business is givning them money. Ethanol is Archer Daniel Midland's baby I am sure.

We need Tea Party Conservatives to speak out. We need to specifically target any Republican in the pocket of Big Bussiness as Chrony Capatalist RINO's on board with OBama's socialist policies. They are going along because those loopholes also come with regulations to ensure small business can't enter the market.

We need to have the guts to call out our own. This is also why I beleive the establsihment GOP never got on board with Romney's message and why they won't really get on board with a call for a Reagan tax code.

But I can tell you this from experience. The super wealthy under Reagan's 28% tax rate paid up to twice the amount of taxes than under Jimmy Carter's 70% rate. why because Reagan made them report their actual income.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, On gay marriage, you're wrong.

1. You may be young, but you aren't representative in any way.

2. Your argument about polygamy is the perfect example of why you are wrong. Whenever you are reduced to arguing that something you oppose will be a problem because it could lead to something worse, all that says is that you have no legitimate reason to oppose the thing you are opposing.

3. How in the world can gain marriage hurt heterosexual marriage? Are you seriously going to say that marriage is so weak of an institution and so bizarrely prejudiced that the fact that a handful of gays will be allowed to claim they are married will cause heterosexual marriages all over the country to break up? Do you know how silly that sounds?

4. We do know what the result of gay marriage will be because we have it in some states and in many other countries and guess what... nothing bad happened.

5. Pro-gay marriage advocates may be obnoxious, but so opponents are just as bad... you just overlook their flaws because you like them.

Besides, we don't judge right and wrong by how much we like the people advocating it. And you're attempt to tar an issue with isolated instances again suggests that you have no valid support for your position. You just see the other side as bad people.

6. No one is suggesting shutting down churches. That's a typical red herring by opponents. No one will be force to have gay sex or attend gay wedding. Churches won't be told what they can preach.

And frankly if a church does decide to shut down just because of this issue, then that doesn't say much about their view of their mission does it?

Kit, I've considered this issue at length and none of the arguments against stand the light of day. They just come down to "I don't like gays." And that's not a valid reason to oppose something in my book.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's the best plan. But again, both sides of this debate hate that because they want to use the federal government to impose their view of morality.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I don't remember where I read that it was 50%, but either way, the idea is to force Obama into crippling taxes on the economy or to force him to stand up and defend the people he's been vilifying and expose himself as a liar.

I personally think there should be no tax on capital gains because you've already been taxed when the money was earned. To allow a capital gains tax just hits you twice. IMO. BUT, I would trade it all for simpler... "how much did you earn... send us 15%" and drop all the distinctions and deductions.

On the deductions, EXACTLY! That's the problem. The GOP is doing the bidding of Big Business who pay no tax because they have found all these great deductions to make billions in income vanish. They want the code to stay the way it is because it shifts the burden onto small business and middle class earners. We need to rip those deductions out. We need the Tea Party conservatives to prevail and to put an end to this.

Also, don't forget this point about the mortgage and state income tax deductions. Those deductions make the cost of homes and taxes in rich states like California 1/3 cheaper, and they do it using tax money collected in places like Texas.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I'm all for laughing at Grover's name again. :)

Kit said...


Those are good arguments. Not sure they fully convince me but they are good and valid. Now, why can't the Left use them? :)

"No one is suggesting shutting down churches. That's a typical red herring by opponents. No one will be force to have gay sex or attend gay wedding. Churches won't be told what they can preach."

The Left's actions indicate a mind-set like this. See, the Chick-Fil-A and Emily Brooker cases. Those incidents, as Lee Doren said regarding Chick-Fil-A*, hurts the case that it won't lead to religious persecution. Ms. Brooker was actually REQUIRED by the teacher in her diversity class to have a "homosexual experience" and write on it. Granted, she just made up an experience (which, I suspect, most classmates did) but the fact that such a thing was required is disturbing.

Note: I am not saying the Religious Right, whom I have great respect for (I live in the Bible Belt) does not have its crazies. See, Chief Justice Roy Moore.

P.S. Grover is an awesome name. If you can't comprehend that then I have no respect for you. Whatsoever.
Peace Out.

Individualist said...


I have long thought there needs to be a cap on mortgage interest deductions.

The problem is that it hurts taxpayers who have made bad choices or who have had severe income drops. IF one is in the unfortunate position to owe 50% of one's salary in interest then the 50% tax would wipe out your income. Still this is a temporary issue as it would possibly just delay eventual bankruptcy anyways.

Kit said...

While you make a good point about judging a decision based on the people advocating it. But what I am worried about is that they will use it to engage in persecution of religious beliefs.

And I am still unsure about the issue. I see many valid arguments for gay marriage in terms of individual rights but in societal terms I am concerned.

Also, I sent you an email where I put forth ideas on how to make STAR TREK: TNG better in case it is rebooted like TOS was.

EricP said...

>>"Thank you sir, can I have another" should be the party motto.>>

Careful, as apropos as that is, something tells me you'd have Kevin Bacon in a tizzy as much as Connie Britton's panties were in a bunch when Romney adopted "Clear eyes, full heart, can't lose!" during his campaign. Forget the fact Friday Night Lights' Buzz Bissinger had just endorsed Romney that week.

Oh, our dog's name may be Grover, but that's only because he looks so perfectly like a Muppet.

Kit said...

Big Business seems to like playing Republicans for chumps.

Some of Milton Friedman's biggest opponents were big business owners. (Due to his opposition to protectionism)
In one of his Free To Choose videos Donald Rumsfeld (Not our best SecDef) was brought to oppose him, I think on protectionism.
Of course, PBS also brought in a Communist so the result was at first Rumsfeld arguing with Friedman but soon siding with him against the Communist. Kinda funny when I think about it.

Individualist said...


The double taxation argument only applies to Dividend income not capital gains. The argument regarding capital gains is that the income in realized all in one year even though it is earned over time. Thus it is taxed at high income rates when the individual is a low income earner.

The issue I have with lower rates for Dividends and Capital Gains is that it places income into two categories. Income you earn from having a job and income you make from having wealth and assets.

By lowering this rate one punishes earned income to offset lower taxes on invested income. This limits the ability of people to save money for investment. Many in the GOP pushed for this under Bush Sr and I thought it a mistake then.

The other thing is that people can create investments to pay off in schemes that allow tax avoidance which gives the rich wiggle room to force a lower tax that really is not justified.

As an example if I have a private company and I want to sell it I have options. I can simply sell the stock taking a single gain or I can create a vehicle to pay me royalties on intangibles and get cash. I can give a lesser sale amount and force the buyer to sign a contract paying me a salary as a consultant.

Under a Reagan tax code with low and even rates I will choose the sale venture that bests suits my business interest.

Under a Jimmy Carter and now going back to that with OBama tax scheme I will invent a sale structure based on the best possible tax benefit regardless of whether or not this makes the best business sense. And this in the end is the problem with this approach. When people forgo better business decisions for better tax benefits decisions will be made that lead to a smaller economy as a whole.

In the 70's rich men would allow their wives to run dress shops at huge losses in order to get tax writeoffs. Money that would have been better placed into the economy in something that produced VALUE.

The first thing a politician should consider when making changes to tax law is how can I ensure that people will not end up making business decisions based on the tax code so that we don't write laws that interfere with the market. Reagan is the only President I know to ever have done this.

tryanmax said...

If I recall my history of economics correctly (and who isn't up on their history of economics?) I believe the different categories of income (i.e. income vs dividends vs gain) were created during the Great Depression. Before then, income was income. I'm not sure what implications that has.

tryanmax said...

"In the 70's rich men would allow their wives to run dress shops at huge losses in order to get tax writeoffs."

This didn't end in the 70s. My aunt runs one such dress shop.

tryanmax said...

So, I've been mulling over Buffet's article and it suddenly hit me that the straw man is right at the beginning:

“Well, it all depends on what my tax rate will be on the gain you’re saying we’re going to make. If the taxes are too high, I would rather leave the money in my savings account, earning a quarter of 1 percent.”

Those aren't an investor's only options. For starters, the savings option isn't really an option to most investors. But Buffet also expects his reader to be largely ignorant of the many types of investments available to those with the money to do so. There are various investment strategies for every economic and taxation climate. Just look at all the people hocking gold right now. They call it an investment, but it is hardly of the sort that drives economic engines. So, once again, Buffet is hiding behind imprecise and deceptive language to make a point he doesn't really even believe. The Orc of Omaha strikes again.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I think the left doesn't use those arguments because it suits their purposes to tweak the right. I don't think the left cares at all about gay rights, they just want to use gay rights as a way to attack groups that have aligned with the right.

In other words, this isn't an issue that is being discussed rationally, it's an issue where both side shout at each other and I think the left has raised it mainly to attack the right and the right has kind of fallen for it.

And you are right, some would advocate shutting down people who don't agree with them, but there's always crazies. You really have to look at the realm of possible and the realm of probable. And in that regard, the danger is always much smaller.

Also, don't confuse boycotts with legal action because there's a huge difference.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I agree, there would be some definite pain in phasing it out. So I would be willing to phase in a cap. But it really makes no economic sense to be encouraging people to buy million dollar homes. IF... if we're going to tinker with people's lives through the tax code, then we should aim to get them comfortably, sustainably middle class.

And think about this, without that unlimited deduction, do you think we would have had the same housing bubble? I doubt it. The government encourage massive overbuying.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Thanks, I'll check that. My inbox blew up this weekend with spam, so it may have gotten lost. I have over a 1000 emails of spam suddenly.

I agree that this is an issue the left is using to persecute religion. And in that regard, this is an abuse. But I think the answer would be either (1) get the government out of the business of being able to decide right and wrong and force its version of right on people (i.e. neuter the left) or (2) carve out a strong exception for religious organizations, small business, small landlords, and then let them have the rest so that again the potential to use this to attack our side is neutered.

AndrewPrice said...

Eric, Grover is a great name for a dog.... especially if he looks like a Muppet!

Yeah, Kevin Bacon would probably freak out, but that's his problem. He can sue us! LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Big Business actually dominates both parties. The Democrats just pretend they hate big business, whereas the Republicans pretend they love all business. But the reality is that Big Business wins whatever side wins.

Uncle Milty was awesome. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, Excellent points. My only beef with treating capital gains the same as income are:

1. Double-taxing dividends.
2. I don't think sales of capital equipment used to run a business should be taxed because I want to see those turned over as soon as possible.

Beyond that, I agree with you 100% and will vote for the same rates across the board. :)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I don't know the history of capital gains... they've always been separate in my life time and I've never looked at the issue in the past.

Perhaps you Aunt should start selling meth? I hear that's profitable. :)

The Orc of Omaha! LOL! Brilliant!!

I agree with you, he's setting up a false premise. No one in this day and age can "invest" their money in their savings account long term. So that is a straw man to begin with -- look at our savings rate and you'll see that.

Americans invest their money in their homes and in the pension funds in the market. Some buy bonds. A few buy gold. No one, keeps a savings account as an investment.

Also, I find it funny that he somehow things a change in tax rates will force people to change their investment behavior, but simultaneously won't force them to change their other behavior.... more one sided economics... standard liberal arguments.

Not to mention, his entire argument reeks of "if we just beat you harder, you dirty peasants will work harder."

Jen said...

Grover who???

Jen said...

I don't know if anyone saw this. It seemed to fit with the article/comments here (I could be wrong, but the way I feel right now--who cares?)


Anonymous said...

Andrew, thanks for bringing up this article. Again, it's disappointing that no one in the GOP knows how to play the board game "Diplomacy" much less has even heard about it. Because honestly, a key trick in the game is taking your opponents up on their own words. You can play along with them if you wish. Right now, I wish the GOP would push harder on the taxation issue, such as push the income bracket to take Obama at his word, or even lower it. Why? Because it would show that they do more than cognitively dissent to the other side.

Sometimes, I regard this as a third act of idiocy from the GOP this year.

1) Newt Gingrich messed up on his campaign strategy, but blamed everyone but himself for his own poor planning, even suing the state of Virginia to force himself on the ballot. Juvenile, Anyone?

2) The obssession and more extreme push on abortion. Akin and Murdoch both went into some long statements, or even got culled into making some sound bites on abortion that made them deliver some stupidity for the world over to hear and see. If anything, keep your stance short, keep it brief, and just have more issues to talk about then abortion, put on the lower end of what you talk about, because promising to vote against debt-raising bills is way more important.

3) Right now, the GOP isn't doing much more than reacting, and I said it "REACTING" rather than being manipulative or strategic in the situation. Why not demand a say, 150,000-200,000 dollar margin for the tax increase, how about trying to get the Democrats to flip-flop on their own promises? Alas, that's the problem, the GOP are brain-dead chess players, who only think about reacting at the moment, rather than think ahead. Personally, I keep feeling tempted to hope that I get a work transfer to go research in Ohio before the elections in which John Boehner is up for election, so I can vote against him. Sure, he's GOP, but he's so malleable that I can't stand him.

Individualist said...


Your aunt may own a dressw shop but if it runs at a huge loss every year then spomeone is funding this so that she can have the dress shop.

In the 1970's under the Carter tax rates where you paid a 70% marginal tax rate every dollar of loss was a 70 cent gain. To the extent that your store funded someone getting free clothing samples, the loss being partially interest on a property and other vehicles where the actual dollarrs were paid later it made sense.

This ended when the tax rate dropped to a dramatic 33% and then again to 28%. The problem is that now a dollar of loss is only worth 28 cents to you and it makes no business sense to keep a business like that in operation.

The biggest tax scam was the at risk for real estate loophole. This is where you could take losses on a limited partnership that you were not liable for. The general partner a shell corporation with only the propery for collateral took all the risk. Limited partners paid 10K for a 100K loss over seven to ten years. Essentially the government gives you 70K in tax savings. This ended in 82 and the corresponding builing boom in downtown metropolisis is in no small part responsible for the S&L scandals later in the 80's.

People really should understand the history of the tax code. If they did they would never allow these politicians to get away with what they pull on us.

Joel Farnham said...

Ah Individualist, if the People knew half as much as we know, they wouldn't have bothered to listen to Barack let alone re-elect him. Also, the tax code is kept byzantine and secretive for a keep lawyers and politicians in clover.

tryanmax said...

Jen, thanks for the article. The paragraph for #11 is literally the first explanation I've ever read or heard of how to stay on offense. Usually, it only comes up in the context of someone already having defended themselves from some attack and it seems like a nonsense suggestion b/c at that point defense is necessary. In effect, conservatives join the attack on their own under auspices that the individual is worthy of attack because they are under attack.

Sadly, conservatives need to visit Sun Tzu before adopting Alinsky tactics. Conservatives have an obvious instinct for attacking the weak, unfortunately they attack their own weak, as in the example above. It's a triple problem, at least. 1) It's misdirected offense that should be devoted to liberals. 2) It weakens our own ranks. 3) It serves to confirm liberal accusations about conservatives.

The third one bears a little explanation, and I apologize for bringing up Akin and Murdoch yet again, but I must. The problem I had with conservatives attacking those two is simply that: that conservatives were attacking. Contrary to what most conservatives believe, flushing our ranks so publicly does not assuage the independents, much less the opposition, that we do not stand for their nonsense. Quite the opposite, it confirms that such nonsense is in our ranks. And, politics being a cynical affair, the harsh reaction from conservatives appears highly cynical.

It sucks when an Akin or a Murdoch opens their fat yap and says something retarded, I agree. But it's a lose-lose for the right at that point. The only game then is damage control, and if you'll pardon the pun, stomping around like mad elephants does not limit the damage in any way. The better tactic is to do what liberals do and simply shrug and move on. Anybody wanting to drag it back up again needs to be ridiculed for focusing on a "distraction."

As with everything we've talked about today, the tactics to crib from are being used against us constantly. It should not be so hard to sort them out.

tryanmax said...

Indie, I'm sure everything you tell me is correct. I can't say that I understand how my aunt's shop stays open, but I can assure you that my uncle does.

Jen said...

Tryanmax, no problem. I posted it on the Thanksgiving open thread, but realize that not many people were doing much here (including myself).

I also posted something that day--JUST FOR YOU. Check it out. I know it's not perfect, but was hoping it would put a smile on your face.

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, Grover McGroverson III

Jen said...

Andrew, and he might be WHO??? If he's Grover Ashgrove McGroverson III, then I might know who he is, otherwise, I'm clueless.

AndrewPrice said...

obiwan, You're welcome. I agree. This is the GOP reacting, not driving events. And unfortunately, that's how they do it. They need to learn that they need to drive events if they want to win.

Moreover, they need to learn the very thing you said: a key trick in the game is taking your opponents up on their own words.

Whether it's politics, philosophical debate, judo, war or any other tactical endeavor, one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal is to use the other guy's attack against him. But for some reason, no one in the Republican Party seems able to understand this. I don't get it. I really don't see why they can't figure this out.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Obiwan, I think you actually put your finger on it with the chess analogy. GOP politicians seem to think about the moment. They never think strategically, they never think about ten minutes, ten day, ten weeks or ten years from now. They never realize that things happening across the country can be connected, they never realize that seeming unrelated things can all work together.

They really do see politics as something in a well-defined box where everything plays by a set of rules and has defined movement and defined meanings. They seem incapable of seeing the bigger picture.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, The tax code is a nightmare and it's set up to allow all these things without anyone being able to figure out what is really going. It's like hiding a crime in plain sight!

I need to figure out how to get in on these things. :(

Jen said...

Andrew, Would your comment to Obiwan be about the same as "using the left's own tactics against them" (as in taking your opponents up on their own words)?

If we are meaning relatively the same thing, then I have no problem with getting down and dirty with the dirt (no pun intended, if you know what I mean). My dad (and others as well) have said that 'we' shouldn't stoop to 'their' level. Sorry, I can't agree with that one (I don't know about anyone else here) because that's just how I am.

The left continues to play dirty pool (Chicago politics for example), the right tries to play nice (play by the rules), and they lose just about every time. Suckers.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Agreed. The tax code has been built as a way for politicians to sell influence, and they do it all the time. It's amazing how many specific things there are in the tax code because someone bought them.

And you wouldn't believe the size of the tax industry out there. Talk about wasted resources!

Joel Farnham said...


Have you seen Bill Whittle's latest? I posted the link earlier.

Powerline has it, if you don't like HotAir.

From what I can tell, Bill Whittle is on fire. If it only gives you a boost, that alone is worth the time.

tryanmax said...

Jen, *gasp!* That is so on my Christmas cookies list, now!

tryanmax said...

Though I might go lazy and make cupcake shaped Twinkies. ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Akin and Murdouck were special cases.

First, there wasn't much attack against Murdouck because what he said wasn't so bad and would have been overlooked if not for Akin. His problem was timing.

The problem with Akin was NOT that he said something stupid. If he was just stupid, then I would agree that attacking him would be asinine and counterproductive. Those are the kinds of attacks that need to stop -- where the GOP throws anyone who makes any mistake under the bus. But that's not the case here.

The problem with Akin was that he said something which affirmed the worst stereotype of the GOP at a time when that was the only attack the Democrats had and when the entire GOP had spent months trying to explain why this wasn't true. If they hadn't repudiated him with full throat, then it would just have affirmed that they were all lying when they spent the prior month trying to explain why nothing the Democrats were saying was true.

But putting him aside, you are right that the GOP does not attack enough, they react, and when they do attack, they attack their own and not the other side. And that's a disaster.

Your mention of Sun Tzu is a good one as well. As I said to Obiwan, the GOP lacks any sense of tactics or strategy. They simply assume that everything is a straight up, yes/no here/now and only-here moment. They lack any sense of a bigger picture. If they were in charge of an army, they would call the other the other side to ask when and where the battle would take place. It's stunning how blind they are.

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, Grover Norquist is a man who formed his own think tank in the 1980s with the idea of pushing the Republicans to keep working for lower taxes. He is the one who came up with the pledge that almost all Republicans sign which say this will oppose all tax hikes and will actively work to lower taxes.

Read the article I link to about the fight between Coburn and Norquist and you will see the problem with that.

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, No, I'm not talking about using their tactics against them, I'm talking about trapping them with their own words.

Obama says the rich are evil and I want to raise their taxes. BUT he is lying. The rich are his friends and he really wants to raise taxes on the middle class. My point is to call Obama's bluff... the demand that he actually raise taxes on the rich, way up. Then Obama has a choice of either hurting his own people or going out in public and defending the evil rich he's been vilifying.

That's what we're talking about. When your opponent is taking a disingenuous stance to make his rhetoric work, you call his bluff. That's basic tactics... but the GOP doesn't get that.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I saw the link earlier, but haven't actually watched it yet because it's been a busy day. Whittle is often quite good! Thanks for the link.


AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, No. 12 makes me cringe. The guy wrote this:

12) The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. Honestly, this is more of a liberal problem than a conservative one, since liberals always seem to be clamoring to rip out some functional necessity of American society so they can replace it with an ill-defined hodgepodge of ideas that they think will shift power their way or be less "mean." Our ideas work; so coming up with a constructive alternative is seldom a problem.

And that's the problem with so much of modern conservatism. You ALWAYS need to offer a solution, and conservatives have not offered actual constructive alternatives since the early 1990s. So this idea that "coming up with constructive alternatives is seldom a problem" really tells me that this guy doesn't understand the problem conservatism is having because we never offer constructive alternatives anymore. We have become the party of "we won't change anything", and that's not good enough.

tryanmax said...

Perhaps Akin was a special case, although timing was trouble there, too. The GOP was already on defense over the issue. One thing no one seems able to explain is how to get off of defense once brought there. It may not be pretty, but the best way to put the gender issue to rest is to attack the Dems as sexist until they cry uncle. I suspect they can dish it out but can't take it.

Yeah, the author seems to have missed the memo that the GOP really is the party of "no" now. (Ironically, I don't think they were yet when the moniker was assigned.) At the same time, I see what he's saying: only a leftist would have to consciously state that a successful attack requires a constructive alternative. Conservatives intuit that, so maybe our lack of alternatives and our weak attacks are one and the same.

Anonymous said...

Jen, I honestly hope the other side plays as dirty, but you really don't have to be all so dirty to simply start questioning your own opponent on their own words. You really don't. The problem is more along the lines of plenty of right-wing politicians don't dig enough into getting to know who their opponents are, what they said, and even researching the topics. For the most part, they often, with a few exceptions feel that saying no when the opponent says yes suffices.

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