Archive for the ‘RepublicanParty’ Category

TX GOP: Purity Test at the Ballot Box

The Republican Party continues to divide itself.

Look at these ballot propaganda propositions on the 2010 Texas Republican Primary Ballot:

Ballot Proposition 1: Photo ID
The Texas legislature should make it a priority to protect the integrity of our election process by enacting legislation that requires voters to provide valid photo identification in order to cast a ballot in any and all elections conducted in the State of Texas. (For/Against)

Ballot Proposition 2: Controlling Government Growth
Every government body in Texas should be required to limit any annual increase in its budget and spending to the combined increase of population and inflation unless it first gets voter approval to exceed the allowed annual growth or in the case of an official emergency. (For/Against)

Ballot Proposition 3: Cutting Federal Income Taxes
In addition to aggressively eliminating irresponsible federal spending, Congress should empower American citizens to stimulate the economy by Congress cutting federal income taxes for all federal taxpayers, rather than spending hundreds of billions of dollars on so-called “federal economic stimulus”. (For/Against)

Ballot Proposition 4: Public Acknowledgement of God
The use of the word “God”, prayers, and the Ten Commandments should be allowed at public gatherings and public educational institutions, as well as be permitted on government buildings and property. (For/Against)

Ballot Proposition 5: Sonograms
The Texas Legislature should enact legislation requiring a sonogram to be performed and shown to each mother about to undergo a medically unnecessary, elective abortion. (For/Against)

I guess they’re trying party-building by way of five hot-button wedge issues. Republican Primary voters better answer correctly, lest they find themselves impure.

Stay classy, GOP.

GOP: Grinding Out Purity

After the Republican implosion of NY-23, GOP leaders have been trying to figure out how to prevent such a historic loss from happening again.

From the “we don’t learn lessons from history” camp, RNC member Jim Bopp recently proposed a purity test for Republican candidates, which, incidentally, Republican icons like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush would fail. The whole point of the NY-23 loss is that what works for candidates in one part of the country will not always work for a candidate of the same party in another part of the country.

The Texas GOP has the same purity problem. Their new statewide Chair is Cathie Adams of Eagle Forum infamy. By virtue of her prior inflammatory remarks, the new Texas GOP Chair is anti-inclusion.

This purity crap is happening at the local level as well. Check out Chris Winn’s special Message from the Chairman found on the Lubbock GOP website (with my emphasis):

Message from the Chairman…..

The Republican Primary Election is March 2, 2010, and we are poised to begin the process of taking our country back from the Obama Administration that

continues to push a radical tax and spend agenda, government run health care,

cap & trade, bailouts, takeover of private business, so-called stimulus spending, the Omnibus bill, and liberal social values. So far, the effort of the Pelosi/Reid Congress to increase jobs in America has resulted in growing Government jobs and more and more layoffs and cut-backs in private business. They will promote card check in order to unionize corporations in spite of the desires of workers.*** They want to increase entitlements, creating dependency on big government.

Now is the time to challenge Democrats and liberal Republicans at every level of government. Now is the time for you to decide to get involved and take an active part in the process. Now is the time to file for office in the Republican Party – the Party of leadership for 2010! I invite you to join me in the fight to take back our country!

The Lubbock County Republican Party encourages participation in the election process by anyone who wishes to run for elective office. The more candidates who file, the better it is for our Party. We want to provide choices to voters at every level from the top to the bottom of the ticket. If you are wondering if you should run for office, please contact me. I would be interested in discussing with you the opportunity to serve.

Chris Winn, Chairman
Lubbock County Republican Party

Luckily I was able to interpret these feelings correctly. Loss of essence.Leadership, my foot! Do you see the contradiction that Winn advocates? He is essentially saying that the Lubbock GOP welcomes anyone, but certain people — among them certain groups of self-identifying Republicans — need not apply. Moderate Republicans and Libertarians (who probably have “liberal social values”) are not welcomed by his special message.

I get the feeling that this purity stuff will continue in the Republican Party for several more elections, maybe even a whole 4-year cycle. As long as the GOP has this focus on purity, they will continue to whittle themselves down toward a permanent, shrinking minority.

*** — Not worth a whole post, but the Winn/GOP distortion of the Employee Free Choice Act is particularly galling because they literally try to tell us that it means the opposite of what it means. EFCA would create a new petition-based method for unionizing a workplace — a method that might work in environments where unionization is prevented by the employing company — without taking away any methods for unionization that already exist. EFCA would add rights rather than take them away.

Barbara Ann Comes Out Swinging

I am already loving the campaign for Texas Attorney General, even at this early stage.

Barbara Ann Radnofsky (who ran a great 2006 Senate race against KBH) is starting to get her message out in a meaningful way, and her latest point packs a mighty punch. Behold:

The current Texas Attorney General is soft on crime and hard on victims, as he targets rape victims with abusive policies. Women and those who respect women will begin looking to make a change on Election Day. The incumbent party of Texas has a woman problem in the 2010 election.

Texas rape victims have long been charged for the rape kit and related costs involved in gathering and preservation of evidence. As Attorney General, Barbara Ann will eliminate this policy and the outrageous Attorney General’s practice of approving reminder letters demanding victims make payment arrangements.

The rape kit and related costs should NOT be the financial obligation of the crime victim. Period.

(my emphasis)

Charging for rape kits (evidence gathering) is a horrible policy, one that Sarah Palin was rightly criticized for in the 2008 election. It’s not civilized to make victims pay for justice.

Barbara Ann’s latest message reinforces an accurate conclusion drawn by (among others) Meredith Shiner and Glenn Thrush: the GOP has a women problem. All but the most ultraconservative women are attacked, even within their own party. Look at the way Olympia Snowe has been treated, or even Kay Bailey to a certain extent. Look at what happened to Scozzafava in NY-23.

And, look at the way that the GOP treated the Democratic women’s caucus over the weekend while the caucus talked about women’s health issues and the gender disparity in the existing health system. House Republicans acted like schoolyard bullies, but with less sense.

Serious question time: if you are a woman (or someone who cares about women’s issues) AND you’re a Republican… why? Today’s Republican Party is working harder than ever to alienate women — if not oppress them outright.

2010 will be a time to boot the GOP even further out of power. Maybe one day their Party will re-learn how to embrace worldviews other than white male privilege, but they’ve got a long way to go.

Give ‘em hell, Barbara Ann.

Two Theocratic Dons

I don’t normally venture into religious discussion, but I will do so today for two reasons — both named Don.

First, my fellow political opinion blogger hosted at LubbockOnline.com (Dr. Donald May) has launched into PART ELEVEN of his theocratic diatribe, and I feel obliged to point out that it’s getting way past ridiculous over there.

Secularism in government is essential for democracy to work. Our founding fathers knew this, and they created a system where any one religion does not dominate through the power of government. It’s this very concept that guarantees our freedom of religion in the US, and it should be celebrated even among the theocrats who enjoy that same freedom.

Without secularism, people get caned for drinking beer.

And speaking of beer, a second Don (Don Workman) is one of two parties who have submitted protest forms to the TABC to delay or defeat the sale of alcohol in Lubbock. Chad Hasty over at KFYO has been covering Don Workman’s petition to void or delay the availability of alcohol in Lubbock County (part one and part two) despite a two-to-one election result in favor of county-wide alcohol sales.

To learn about Don Workman’s possible motivation for delaying or denying alcohol sales in Lubbock, I did “the Google” and learned more than I ever wanted to know about the split between the General Baptist Convention of Texas and the “more doctrinally pure” Southern Baptist Convention of Texas, in which Workman played an active leadership role.

Incidentally, Workman recently wrote an A-J letter to the editor saying how wonderful Alberto Gonzales will be for Texas Tech:

I hate to take exception to all my fellow Red Raiders who have written letters to the A-J criticizing Albert Gonzales, but to the contrary, my experience with Mr. Gonzales has been excellent through my 15 years on the Texas Youth Council. He was always available, courteous, and quick with a response. He was a state employee who was consistent and reliable.

What kind of work might Workman have been doing while interacting with our state government? Here’s a quote from Don Workman at the 2nd annual Southern Baptists of Texas Convention in November 1999:

“We let your legislators know there are Southern Baptists in Texas who believe Scripture should be legislated,” he reported.

I have never met Mr. Workman or his wife, both active Republican Party leaders in the area, but those are the words of a theocrat. I believe Mr. Workman’s interpretation of scripture may be at odds with the results of the alcohol election in Lubbock County.

There are those who want to throw out our American systems of law and governance and replace them with their interpretation of a holy book. It just so happens that two of them are named Don and live in Lubbock.

GOP: Crocodile Tears

Today’s GOP produces so many crocodile tears that they should be bottling and selling the stuff.

crocodiletears-gopJunior John in particular is trying to milk this one for all it’s worth. John Cornyn’s office sent out email Thursday and Friday with the following:

In a letter to President Obama, Sen. Cornyn expressed serious concern about the White House’s new program requesting Americans to forward email chains and other communications opposing the President’s health care policies. Sen. Cornyn is seeking assurances that the program is being carried out in a manner consistent with the First Amendment and America’s tradition of free speech and public discourse.

Sen. Cornyn’s letter also inquires about the collection of names, email addresses, IP addresses, and private speech of U.S. citizens that will be reported, which raises the specter of a data collection program.

Cornyn’s letter is already ridiculous, merely on the grounds that the White House program does not collect names and email addresses, but the content of the emails.

The letter is even more ridiculous because of the line that reads, “raises the specter of a data collection program.” Senator Cornyn gleefully supported warrantless wiretaps (and allegedly the wholesale copying of internet traffic to government servers) when GWB was calling the shots. Forwarding the content of an email you received is worlds different from tacitly copying one’s phone an internet traffic without consent. Crocodile tears.

Similarly, Congressman Randy has been getting in on the act with his birther bill antics. Of all the sponsors of the bill, he was the only one to decline to release his birth certificate. (His office issued the statement: Congressman Neugebauer will not be submitting a copy of his birth certificate.) Of course, there’s nothing remarkable about declining to show your birth certificate to the whole world, but it’s pretty hypocritical to support a bill requiring what you refuse to do.

Lastly, we have some local crocodile tears in the response that County Judge Tom Head gave to the controversial, borderline-racist text and pictures regarding Obama supporters that he posted on the public notice board at the Courthouse. Head’s eyelash-batting response was this:

He intended the posters, including one that contained racially stereotyped descriptions of Obama supporters, to spark conversation about modern issues, he said.

Nice. Head wants to have a conversation on a public notice board on which only county officials can post, and his important issue is the insulting innuendo that Obama supporters are lazy criminals. Here’s a better conversation starter: we need a new County Judge.

Grandstanding and crocodile tears.

Ladies and gentlemen, the modern GOP.

Why Republicans Can’t Govern

I am convinced that Republicans govern stupidly on purpose. It’s the only rational explanation.

When Grover Norquist infamously said he wanted to drown government in a bathtub, he wasn’t kidding, and he didn’t mean “drown only the wasteful parts of government.”

I see this in action especially at the state and federal levels. Republicans take a program that works — CHIP, Social Security, Cash for Clunkers, whatever — and try to purposefully ruin it so they can claim it as a failed program and axe it. The process is literally that basic and that absurd.

In the case of the Children’s Health Insurance Program in Texas, the GOP outsourced it to a private company who messed up enrollment in the program while “accidentally” dropping a ton of people who were enrolled. Then, the Texas GOP could — and did! — claim that demand for the program was down and that it was time to get rid of CHIP.

And the GOP is still trying to get rid of SCHIP! Even as Congress debates what form health care reform will take, GOP leaders are trying to kill SCHIP. Kill the State Childrens Health Insurance Program! In the middle of a health care debate! I couldn’t imagine a more ridiculous position if I tried.

At the beginning of Bush’s second term, the GOP tried to kill Social Security, one of the most successful and popular government programs of all time. This attempt was met with enormous popular backlash, and the attempt was one of only a handful of GWB’s “regrets” (not mistakes, no never!) at the end of his Presidency. GWB probably only regrets that the attempt made clear the not-so-secret desire in the heart of today’s GOP to cut good government services — or sell them to their rich buddies and then cut them. The American people were rightly disgusted with such behavior.

Now the GOP is trying to kill the Cash for Clunkers program, which, so far, is a success and is having exactly the economic and environmental effects that it was designed to have. If a program is working that well, it should receive renewed funding and attention, not a first class ticket to the chopping block. But today’s GOP believes that for its own survival it has to prevent any Obama administration initiatives from succeeding at any cost, regardless of the price of failure for us all.

The deliberate GOP sabotage of government programs that work is a major reason why the American people rejected Republican rule in 2006 and 2008, and why they will do so again in 2010 and 2012.

GOP Syndrome

I think I’ve figured it out. The corpus of the modern GOP must be suffering from Korsakoff’s Syndrome.

There are six major symptoms of Korsakoff’s syndrome:

1. anterograde amnesia and
2. retrograde amnesia, severe memory loss
3. confabulation, that is, invented memories which are then taken as true due to gaps in memory sometimes associated with blackouts
4. meager content in conversation
5. lack of insight
6. apathy - the patients lose interest in things quickly and generally appear indifferent to change.

Let’s do this one in pictures:

amnesia
mccain-palin-cap-and-trade

invented memories, memory gaps
gonzales-senate

sanford

meager content in conversation
randy-blah-blah-blah

lack of insight
phil-gramm

apathy, indifference to change
climate-change-poll

Tragic, isn’t it?

No Reform for Young Republicans

Watching the GOP try to deal with issues of race is like watching a football coach and a calculus professor trade places. GOP clumsiness with race is apparent from the Sotomayor hearings, but the problem is endemic even down to the Young Republican level:

shay1

shay2

The above Facebook comments did not prevent 38-year-old (!!) Audra Shay from being elected the next Chair of the Young Republicans over the weekend. At least it was a contentious Young Republicans convention by many accounts.

If you can believe it, Meghan McCain even had some strong words about the Audra Shay election.

slide_1398_20072_largeI believe that today’s GOP has a serious problem on its hands: what to do with the racist/bigot wing of the Party? The Democrats had this problem in the 1960s, and the solution was that (most of) the bigots left and became Republicans. (They can stay there as far as I’m concerned.) Most Republicans are not racists, but it’s clear to me that tolerating those who are intolerant is a problem at all levels of the GOP, from activists to lobbyists to syndicated radio hosts to Party leaders (who are also occasionally syndicated radio talk show hosts).

Apparently the next generation of GOP leaders is not ready to ditch appeals to racism and bigotry.

The Texas GOP Split

Currently, the Texas Republican Party seems to be a 50/50 split between the crazies and the not-crazies.

A recent Rasmussen poll (and I only care what Rasmussen — the most Republican-leaning polling group out there — has to say because the poll is about Republicans) shows Perry gaining among likely Republican Primary voters after he made his infamous secession remark on April 15.

A Reseach 2000 poll puts it in perspective:

Yes, half of Texas Republicans think that Gov. Perry’s suggestion to secede was spot-on and that we would be better off for it.

Ugh.

Here’s how the rest of the USA is going to view Texas if we’re not careful:

Meanwhile, I sincerely hope that the Texas Democratic Party will have more to offer as a candidate for governor than Kinky…

Obstructionist Clowns

Well, we’re past the 100-day mark and one thing remains clear:


(Political Cartoon by R.J. Matson in The New York Observer, found via Job’s Anger)

The GOP is the party of NO. No new ideas, no desire to participate in the process, and — important to their own future — no emerging leaders.

To illustrate the fact that today’s GOP is a bunch of obstructionist clowns, here are some of my favorites from some dude’s hilarious Flickr set (click for big):


Rick Perry, Secessionist Clown


Michelle Bachmann, Crazy Clown


Newt Gingrich, “Party Like It’s 1993″ Clown

And let’s not forget the new logo for the GOP:

Happy Monday!


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