Jindal for GOP Response: More Image is Everything, But Tenets? Not So Much

Am I the only one who is amazed at how, only six months ago, John McCain and Sarah Palin were the image of the Republican Party and wanted to be and were supported by their party to be the image of the White House and now, Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal are the image?

Frankly, the choice of Steele as chair and Jindal as the person to deliver the GOP response to President Obama’s speech this evening, could not be more emblematic of just how true it is for the GOP that changing the image has absolutely nothing to do with changing their basic tenets – which is exactly what Steele said would be what he would do when he took the helm.

And damned if he isn’t doing just that. Problem is: How does anyone believe that this is going to be the way back to winning minds and votes?  Does Steele really think that his image and Jindal’s image are more persuasive than McCain’s and Palin’s? Is this an admission of how wrong McCain and Palin are as images for the GOP? What on earth does the GOP actually look like?

I know – I’m just a blogging left of center something or other. But I haven’t even gotten to the hip-hop makeover Steele wants to deploy. And I can tell you, based on firsthand experience with my very respected friend jimi izrael, I know what it is to not understand what a hip-hop makeover even means, and I’d put good money down on the fact that a whole lot of people who call themselves members of the Grand Old Party don’t have a clue about what it is either. jimi, you might be able to make some extra money translating, just like I had to ask you to do for me way back when (oh, okay – and still once in a while).

Do people even realize that if the GOP could at least accept that democracy means sometimes you don’t get to control everything, a lot of this stuff wouldn’t even be happening? Re-organizing, getting better, understanding what people want – that’s all well and good. But part of the problem for the GOP also is the fact that it absolutely refuses to accept that Obama is president and that the Democrats are in the majority in the Congress. I mean, they actually literally are in denial about how it happened and that it’s the way it is and they just, don’t, like it.

Well – the Dems didn’t like it for all those years either – but you didn’t see them rejecting everything left and right – they just kept on working.

Anyway, I’m starting to ramble more than usual. If this meaningless messing with image interests you, for more evidence that that’s all the GOP cares about (image), read and/or listen to these two NPR pieces:

A Defining Moment for Jindal-And GOP’s Future?

GOP Looks to Minorities for Leadership (interview with Juan Williams)

The GOPs actions remind me of the video for the song “Cry” where the faces change all the time but the song stays the same:

YouTube Preview Image

Cross-posted from Writes Like She Talks.

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  • greenschemes

    WEll lets see.
    1. The democrats have Howard Dean, Nanny Pelosi and Harry Reid..
    2. Obama was buds with a terrorist, Went to church for 20 years with someone who hates America.
    3. Hillary Clintons is the former first lady whose husband was nearly impeached and who was about 1 step from being impeached for Whitewater.
    4. 1/2 of Obamas cabinet nominations cant pay their taxes.

    But aside from that. People continue to want to lift up the democrats as some sort of saints compared to the Republicans. I find that truly amazing and I guess if enought people say it over and over then pretty soon the masses begin to believe it.

    Its called brainwashing.

  • D. E.Rodriguez

    Excellent, Jill.

    Reminds me of the adage “You can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy” I am sure someone will substitute the right words for boy and country.

  • CStanley

    All of that rambling might make some sense if Jindal really were just a minority face put forward to spout boilerplate ideas, but he's much brighter than that. Have you been following his trajectory in LA at all? He's an impressive executive, and over time I believe that this key characteristic (which many Republicans tend to have and conservative voters tend to seek out) will contrast with the Democratic legislative branch mentality.

    Democratic ideas are trumping right now because Republican ideas have been corrupted and implemented badly, with predictably bad results. Instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater, the conservative base realizes that the core ideas weren't wrong and the country will come to realize that when the alternative ideas prove to be harmful in many cases.

    The fact that there are some women and minority GOPers putting their face with these policies is probably helpful in the long run, as long as it's not tokenism. The GOP shouldn't adopt identity politics, but to whatever extent minorities and women are in agreement with conservative ideals, they can help show that these ideas don't just belong to old white men.

    That said, I'm not very impressed by Steele and I hope he grows into the position. He's likeable enough and photogenic, but he's lacking in substance and intellect IMO, and in that sense he fuels the kind of criticism you're engaging in here.

  • CStanley

    Just out of curiosity, for those who think the GOP is still too conservative, what do you think the new 'tenets' of the party should be? If you think the country is supporting the ideology of the Democratic party right now, then what other alternatives do you think that the minority party should or could offer?

    And I really don't get this at all:

    Am I the only one who is amazed at how, only six months ago, John McCain and Sarah Palin were the image of the Republican Party and wanted to be and were supported by their party to be the image of the White House and now, Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal are the image?

    Maybe my memory is faulty, but has it ever been 'normal' for losing candidates to be the face of a party during the immediate aftermath of the loss? Was Mondale the face of the Democratic party after his routing? Was Carter? Or even Gore? In some of those cases, the losing candidate went on to do other things and came back for an encore in some fashion, but the party certainly doesn't use them as their public personification right after the country rejected them.

  • Jim_Satterfield

    Jindal represents nothing new. No new ideas for the party, just the same old things with a new face. He's only impressive to conservative Republicans and some reporters who are desperate to prove that they are balanced so a minority that spouts the same old GOP talking points gets the star treatment.

  • greenschemes

    CStanley

    The smear tactics have started with a fervor. Anyone who might be an up and comer is target for character assassination. Its the Democrats way of making sure that America turns to fascism. Even though I must admit that if the GOP had their way in the 90's or early 00's they would have loved to beat the Dems into the ground as well. But we are dealing with the hear and now. Not what was in the past.

    The here and now is Smearing Palin, Jindal or anyone the GOP might turn to for leadership and it most likely will work because right now there is very little to tag the democrats for. They can still claim its all GOP mess and for the most part they would be right. Once they have stuff that is hung around there neck then we will see how much the people believe what is being written today.

  • http://writeslikeshetalks.com Jillmz

    The topic of this post is about the Republican's attempts to try and win via persuasion that reflects only a superficial change.

    Other than pointing out what you believe to be hypocrisy in my even pointing out the superficial nature of what the GOP is doing, do you have an opinion about…what the GOP is doing?

  • http://writeslikeshetalks.com Jillmz

    D. E. Rodriguez – thanks very much. I agree – that adage works too.

  • CStanley

    Jim, you may want to actually read about opinions in LA on Jindal, for instance here from the local press. He's criticized by the extreme right wing of the party for not being conservative enough, presumably because he's not about all tax cuts all the time.

    And yet as far as I've been able to determine, he's still enormously popular in the state (last year his approval rating was 77%, but I wasn't able to quickly put my hand on a more current poll- I'm basing my statement also on anecdotal reports from my friends and family members in LA.)

  • CStanley

    Well, Jill, do you have an opinion about what the GOP should be doing, or is your post just a criticism without offering anything positive? Because I think that's the nature of Greenschemes' complaint, that if all we hear is what the GOP is doing wrong then it comes across as though the party is damned if it does and damned if it doesn't That's particularly appropos on the point you criticize here, using new faces who are sometimes presenting an alternative to the 'grumpy white male' image of the party. How can the GOP win if people like yourself will criticize it both for failing to be inclusive of minorities and for being shallow when it does? Or is it that it only 'counts' to include such people if they have the more liberal ideas, in which case why not be Democrats?

  • http://writeslikeshetalks.com Jillmz

    CStanley – on the first comment you left: I completely agree with you about Jindal re: his ideas, his intelligence. It might surprise you to know this, but I was a big supporter of him being the best pick for McCain's VP – I would have to go search on my own blog (and I confess to being momentarily lazy about doing that) but I'm pretty sure I even wrote about that before McCain announced selection – I am and I was that impressed with Jindal.

    And yes, I've been following him – I follow state legislatures pretty closely and I followed how he supported, without giving an endorsement, the selection of a Democrat to be the president of the LA state senate. And I was very impressed (in a positive way) about it.

    So – to be fair, to concede slightly or at least clarify: my critique isn't about Jindal as much as it is about how it is NOW that they are giving him this airtime, this face time – and fitting him into this whole “we have to change our image but not our tenets” thing. That approach is what I object to. And it is similar, to me, in many ways re: how Palin was used (whether she was ok with it etc and all that is a different question) to put yet a different face.

    I sincerely believe that McCain and Jindal would have been a very formidable combination – far more competitive than McCain and Palin.

    So please – understand – and let me clarify: if it were me – if it were my party – I would want the substance and the intellect to be amplified, spotlighted and wrapped around the G.O.and the P. day in and day out. The longer the powers that be in the GOP accept this image is everything approach, the deeper the already existing schisms within the party are going to become.

    Thanks for your comment.

  • mikkel

    Well I for one don't think that it's tokenism, but I do think that they only have Reaganism as a model for Republicanism. I know that I'm biased but I'd like to see the Republicans give leadership that highlights shared sacrifice, helping your neighbors and the less fortunate and recognizing that over the next 10 or so years we need to put our nose to the grindstone in order to rebuild the basics of the country and keep our deficits from exploding while doing it (and yes that means tax increases). I think they'd be a very effective opposition party if they recognized the challenges and encouraged people to make sacrifices of their own free will and pitched it as a check on expansive government. Instead of railing on about the “undeserving” they should preach compassion and charity on a personal level so the government feels less pressure to step in. Instead of drill baby drill they should embrace the new energy idea and being stalwart defenders of science over political interests. I think they should use community organizing techniques to get more interest and participation in local government and have the local government focus on non-ideological issues.

    Pretty much instead of voodoo economics they should and growth at all costs, they should be about fiscal responsibility, local solutions and sustainable investment. But that's just me

  • http://writeslikeshetalks.com Jillmz

    CStanley re: your second comment:

    You ask fair questions but yeah, absolutely Mondale, Carter and Gore branded the party with a certain image – and their images remain ingrained in it – can't remove that. It's like an art form I can't think of the name for at the moment but layers upon layers, not quite découpage, not pastiche, not a fresco but something like those things.

    My point, in the seciont you quote, is that I interpret these selections as ricochet choices or decisions made by member of the GOP – whether individuals or party leadership – in a desperate attempt to try and pull together one defining sense – via an image – of what the GOP stands for. And to me – these four individuals could not represent more different images – McCain, Palin, Steele and Jindal!? What exactly was and is trying to be shown as the face of the GOP? I can't tell – even if I'm not the target audience. But more importantly, do you think that potential GOP members and current GOP members can tell?

    It just seems like a lot to ask of supporters – to go with these folks – no, wait – go with these – no, wait that's not it – let's do this. All within six months?

    Again – this is my impression. I don't speak for anyone else unless they say I do.

  • greenschemes

    Yes I do Jillmz. But I doubt you want to hear it but Ill give it a shot.

    The GOP is simply doing what the Democrats did the moment they were put in charge in 2007. They blocked government to pass resolutions after resolutions to end the war and yet they also managed to somehow pass funding for the troops only to go back to passing more resolutions and debating the evils of the war.

    Now the GOP are returning the favor. They are saying NO to spending while allowing spending to happen. Nothing has changed other then in your opinion the democrats are right and the GOP is wrong. Smearing Jindal for having the guts to stand up when it would be much better for him to shut up only makes even more transparent what you and those like you are trying to do.

    Smear anyone who might be a potential hurdle in 2010 or 2012. Thats really all this is about because we all know that the instant Palin was selected the bloggs were full of slanderous, vile defamations against here. Which told me one thing. The bloggers had been doing their research and were ready to pounce no matter who was nominated by McCain.

    The cry is foul. Politics should become civil. Yet one only has to look at the Democrats actions to surmise they are as hypocritical about that as they are most everything else.

    Its all about power. Who has it gets to make the rules and both sides with fight for it and take no prisoners in the battle.

  • http://writeslikeshetalks.com Jillmz

    Jim – I would only say that some of how Jindal has tried to work with his state legislature in terms of procuring what he believes is best for his state – since he was elected its governor – differs a bit, from what I've observed. But otherwise, I do agree with you on the substance of his ideas – I've heard him a few times now over the last week and have to say, it is exactly the same ideology as ever. That is not necessarily bad, but I just keep thinking: a lot of Americans have rejected that ideology, even if they think of themselves as center or right of center. That is why I cannot understand the staying mired in these positions. It's not worked and it's not working – this commitment to it because it is The Principles is really kookie to me. That's how movements die.

  • CStanley

    Well come on though, you use whatever assets you have. The timing, in my opinion, was all wrong for Jindal to have been chosen for VP (and just as wrong for Palin, which is why things initially looked good for the ticket and then quickly took a downturn which may have damaged her career indefinitely.)

    But the timing certainly is right to present an intellectual argument against the current Democratic policies, and if that argument is coming from a person whose skin has a bit more pigment than we're used to seeing on Republicans, that's just icing on the cake. As long as the party doesn't choose the other way around, putting identity politics above substance (which I think was the case somewhat with Steele though I hope to be proven wrong) then I'm certainly not complaining.

  • CStanley

    OK, and first let me say that I appreciate your responses and I don't mean to be piling on you today!

    But still- I think some of the 'panic mode' is being fueled by the exact kind of commentary you are making here. Everyone is pointing to the polls showing that the recent GOP rejection of the stimulus bill is so far unpopular and acting as though this means such a great deal in the long run- as if the party better hurry up and present alternatives and start compromising with the Democrats. Well, I'm sorry, but a few weeks into a new administration and new Congress is a bit soon to rush to those judgments. A huge omnibus spending bill was rushed through with an atmosphere of urgency above scrutiny, and I think the GOP was right to oppose that. Time will tell if they can be smart about when to obstruct and when to go along, and when they can win some of the smaller arguments and actually have some positive influence.

    And as for the argument that the branding is confusing- well, again I'd say that's a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' thing. If the brand is consistent, then the party's not 'big tent' but if there are various faces representing different factions of the party, that's disjointed apparently.

  • CStanley

    Mikkel, I don't agree with all of the details (on taxes, for instance, I think the approach should be to delineate which types of tax cuts are favored and under what circumstances- to go against the 'Club for Growth' mentality that all tax cuts are good. It's not that I think the party should never agree to any tax hikes at all, but I think given the Democratic party propensity to yes, tax and spend, it's healthy to have an opposition party that defaults to keeping taxes lower until or unless a hike can be shown to increase revenue in the long run without harming economic growth or leading to unsustainable increases in government expenditures.

    But anyway, there's a lot there that I do agree with and instead of just criticism of the status quo, you offer some positive suggestions.

  • http://writeslikeshetalks.com Jillmz

    CStanley's fourth comment (I'm sorry we don't have comment numbers – I hope you can follow):

    Well let's debate here with integrity. I'm left of center and have pretty much always been either center or left of center. What I think the GOP should do is something I'm happy to write about, but having never been in the GOP, I am speaking only from a “what succeeds” mentality – or what I would think would succeed. So if you can accept that, I'm fine with answering your question.

    But to answer your question about this post – absolutely it is a post instigated by the absolute dedication – explicitly and implicitly – of the GOP leadership to stick with this “change the image but nothing else” approach. I'm just flummoxed by it – which makes it great fodder for a blogger! :) (that's a little sarcasm)

    So – I take your comment here as a great sign – moving past the five stages of grief stage of anger and saying, ok then – what do we DO about this problem.

    What you do – what the GOP needs to do – if someone were asking me – is examine its platform and compare the support for those planks, as representative of its ideology, to what voters – all voters – are actually voting for these days. Compare those planks, those pieces of ideology, to how well they meet the issues that people are worried about and/or care about.

    Then, operationalize them. So, for example, humans care about humans in suffering. A lot of humans are suffering – in the US and outside the US. How does a right of center organization of people plan on comforting people who are in suffering?

    Tax cuts is insufficient. The choice of Obama, the support for the stimulus among the population and the raw suffering that exists demands something more immediate than tax cuts and something more than tax cuts.

    So – what would be conservative/right of center – that would still address human suffering in an immediate and broad-based way?

    If the conservative ideology – the plank involved – is not flexible enough to resolve this issue (of human suffering that people want to stop), then you can either figure out how to make it more flexible or you can choose to let people reject or accept your response as is.

    My opinion is that the voters rejected the solutions offered in 2008 and that a severe deprivation of flexibility is a big part of the problem for the GOP.

    But again – respond with integrity here – you asked me to answer this, I did so – but I am a left of center person looking at this.

  • CStanley

    That is not necessarily bad, but I just keep thinking: a lot of Americans have rejected that ideology, even if they think of themselves as center or right of center. That is why I cannot understand the staying mired in these positions. It's not worked and it's not working – this commitment to it because it is The Principles is really kookie to me. That's how movements die.

    What Jindal does is apply the principles correctly, and that's exactly what will eventually revive the conservative movement. His policies aren't knee jerk (which is why he's taking heat from the hard, unthinking right.)

    I think you're making a massive misdiagnosis of why the GOP has fallen out of favor. To use a silly analogy, if a heterosexual has a failed relationship, he/she doesn't become homosexual. It's not the sexual orientation that changes, it's the one relationship that needs to be ended to move on to a new relationship within that same sexual orientation. You're acting as though Americans have actually changed their philosophic beliefs, when actually I believe that most people still feel that money belongs to the people who earned it and not to the government, and that money is spent more wisely overall by the private sector making freely determined choices. We obviously know that this isn't 100% true and that people make some pretty stupid decisions with their money, and it doesn't always flow to where it's needed by any means. But I think there will always be a skepticism about whether government can redistribute it efficiently, and to what extent we should give it the power to do so.

  • http://writeslikeshetalks.com Jillmz

    I agree with you, Mikkel – I think you state it very well. The issues that face us can be stated in a way that represent common concern. Solutions can come from the left and the right but part of democracy means that we do cede ultimate control to the party in power – that's how it works – I had to accept Bush as my president – I disliked pretty much every single minute of it but I would NEVER and I never did support anyone who would simply reject working in the government or with the gov't. Rather – we use our freedoms to continue to express what we think will work and accept and work with what we're given.

    I feel that the GOP is absolutely refusing to work with what's a given.

  • http://writeslikeshetalks.com Jillmz

    Greenschemes re: your comment that starts with “The smear tactics..”

    What you write is totall eye-roll pfftt at anyone making criticisms. That's fine if that's what you believe – I'm not going to disabuse you of your opinion or really make much of an effort trying. But it's this attitude that is in your comment that has gotten the GOP to the depths its in right now – not listening, not paying attention and not recognizing what turns people off and what regular citizens are capable of learning about and seeing through.

    The image stuff will,not,work. And Democrats can't afford to get mired in it either. But blaming it all on just wanting to smear up and comers?

    Please – those up and comers do plenty to be targets all on their own. My state house district has one just like that and he's digging his own eventual fall without help from anyone else – way too overambitious. Both parties need to stay away from that – not saying they can resist, but we all know that it never ends up well.

  • greenschemes

    Well as I posted……….I doubt you will want to hear what I have to say. Thanks for being spot on.

  • CStanley

    Jill, thanks for your honest attempt to answer my question. I'd suggest though that the limitation that you admitted to- that you're outside the party looking in- is a problem that can't be overcome. It's not really helpful when Democrats suggest what the GOP should do, because by definition you would suggest them becoming more like Democrats and that's really not helpful. The same would be true if I tried to suggest what the Democratic party should do if the situation was reversed.

    I say this particularly because you seem to feel that the core philosophy shouldn't matter; in some of the specifics you presented here you move past that, suggesting instead that we on the right should look at each problem from a right sided perspective- but in your general posts and comments you've spoken more from you're own perspective and wondered why we even hold these convictions at all since they're no longer popular.
    For instance here:

    What you do – what the GOP needs to do – if someone were asking me – is examine its platform and compare the support for those planks, as representative of its ideology, to what voters – all voters – are actually voting for these days. Compare those planks, those pieces of ideology, to how well they meet the issues that people are worried about and/or care about.

    If what you suggest is to keep the guiding philosophy of the planks but figure out how to speak to the current problems from that perspective then I'm with you (and this is what I feel an intelligent conservative like Jindal actually does.)

    As far as alleviating human suffering, I think Mikkel had the correct approach from a conservative perspective- you find ways to encourage the private sector to provide more aid, by making people realize that this is a responsibility of a free society. If and when the private sector fails, we know that government will step in, so conservative leaders should promote works of charity as a means of preserving our freedom from massive government expansion.

  • http://writeslikeshetalks.com Jillmz

    Greenschemes comment re: “Yes I do but you don't want to hear it.”

    I've got a legal background – I don't ask questions for which I don't really want to hear the answers – please, if I ask, I want to know – it wasn't rhetorical.

    Let's take everything you wrote as true including and focusing on this:

    “The GOP is simply doing what the Democrats did the moment they were put in charge in 2007.”

    You think the American voters should be attracted to and vote for and re-elect people who interpret their job description as doing that?

    Then there's your answer for why the GOP will continue to fail. You really don't need to look any further.

  • greenschemes

    I wonder though if you realize when you write what you write that the reaction from the right is………….how did you put it………..totall eye-roll pfftt at anyone making criticisms.

    Everyone anymore seems to think that they have the answers. I almost always preface my response in the context that both sides do it, both sides are wrong and that both sides are power hungry which is why they do what they do.

    No one wants to read or hear the total post or my total point. They only see that oh my gawd I criticized the democrats therefore Im an abomination to this site. I must be smacked down for daring to question the integrity of the left or the motivations of ops or posters.

    My motivation is simple. Im a Republican who agrees that the GOP totally screwed the pooch the last year and that they got what they got because they Deserved it and earned it. However in the course of that same 8 years the Democrats did nothing to earn the public trust other then whine, cry and complain about the GOP.

  • http://writeslikeshetalks.com Jillmz

    CStanley on comment starting “Well come on though”

    I disagree – I think Jindal would have been an out of the box choice in the same vein as Palin, but I FAR better risk – FAR FAR easier to sell to the independents – precisely because of his intellect and the track record he'd already racked up. I could go on and on about why I believe he would have been a better pick, but I just think overall and in specifics, he is far stronger a governor and the example of LA compared to the rest of the US and what we're going through, versus Alaska and Palin's management of that state, would have played far far better – I'm in Ohio and I'm telling you, Jindal would have played VERY well here. Palin was FAR too one note and one dimensional.

    I do want to point out one flaw here: you wrote that the timing is right for an intellectual argument against the current Dem policiies:

    ok – two things lol – sorry:

    1. you know this – I'm sure – the GOP cannot rest on just presenting an argument against the Dem policies – it MUST have something that will otherwise satisfy

    2. “Current Dem policies” – this is really dangerous because it opens you (GOP) up to great attack – what current policies? There's been no time for them to work – the expectation that they can be criticized is almost non-existent by people who are watching what happens in industry, economy, income etc. So – I wouldn't recommend it – but that's me.

  • CStanley

    I feel that the GOP is absolutely refusing to work with what's a given.

    Jill, you don't think that's a bit premature to conclude when we're less than six weeks into this?

  • http://writeslikeshetalks.com Jillmz

    CStanley comment that starts with “OK” (T-Steel – you do know I'm going to be writing you for a numerated comment system!!!!)

    I disagree with the damned if you do damned if you don't comment about branding confusion. There is widespread agreement that the GOP does have an image problem. You can't erase the fact that there's a problem – but it is something that needs to be solved. Brand consistency and big tent are not mutually exclusive. I do use the Dem party as an example with myself: I did not support Obama as the primary candidate and I am not a fan by any measure. You can see threads on here from during the primary where a few members of this blog were all over me as being an Obama-hater or something – it was bad, trust me.

    HOWEVER – I support the Democratic ideology, as a general way to achieve goals. And that's why I voted for Obama. And I know I'm not alone. The brand is consistent and it is big tent.

    I don't know how the GOP gets there – part of its image is that it's elitist – no matter how many times GOP people used that word against Obama and Dems, it's really the turf of the GOP- and that includes not being big tent.

    There has to be an actual embrace of people not previously embraced – but that goes back to flexibility – if it just isn't going to feel right or good, and the GOP isn't going to do it, then you/the GOP has to live with the consequences of that.

    Look – let me say this – I really – I mean, REALLY dislike Rick Santorum – really really really. HOWEVER, when he was running in 2006 and he knew he was going to lose, do you remember that he did not change a single stance, even though some recommended he do so because of the voters he was losing? I respected that – I really did. He was consistent.

    I don't know what the answer is for the GOP – but serious self-reflection is absolutely called for.

  • CStanley

    Jill, on the Palin vs. Jindal for the VP slot- I agree with you that Jindal is a better total package, but I think that whoever got picked was probably going to be taking part in a losing ticket. Therefore, I'm just as happy that it was Palin who has probably (never say never, she may surprise) been taken out of future contention. Really I think it was stupid to pick either one of them because of lack of experience- but there weren't really any good seasoned choices.

    And of course alternatives should be presented, but the starting point is to show why we even have to have those alternatives. Besides, it's funny how those of us who said the Dems didn't present any alternatives on Iraq policy were guilty of this same thing, but the 'center left' didn't have a problem with that.

    I don't get your final point about 'what policies'. There's obviously room for a debate about whether Keynesian spending can possibly work in the current environment, and if the crisis mentality is based on an accurate perception of the economic situation then it would be beyond foolish to say we shouldn't have that debate until after we see how the trial and error works out. No one really knows, but everyone should be thinking about rational projections about each potential policy shift.

  • http://writeslikeshetalks.com Jillmz

    CStanley – the comment that starts with a quote of what I wrote:

    I understand what you're saying and I can see how you would see it this way – critique of my critique and all.

    My response is that I live in Ohio and I feel that what I've observed in the GOP here in Ohio informs much – though not all – of how I feel about what is wrong with the GOP. And again, it's just my opinion.

    Only time will tell if it's a misdiagnosis or not.

  • mikkel

    “unless a hike can be shown to increase revenue in the long run without harming economic growth”

    It's long been shown that one of the strongest correlations with long term economic growth is government debt and private debt loads. Considering that 80% of our current government debt (when looked at in terms of debt to GDP) arose out of Republican administrations I don't see how Democrats get so much blame. There is only one Democratic president in post-WWII history that increased the debt dramatically and that was LBJ (who epitomized the worst of Big Government Liberalism). Starting with Reagan, less so with Bush I and then of course Bush II the government was just completely out of control. Even further, they enabled private debt to explode (Clinton also shares this blame) by having policies that encouraged it. There's no other way to put it other than the People were not asked to sacrifice as much as the government was spending (the primary difference is it was on foreign policy, corporate subsidies and other non-welfare programs) and the government “paid” people off domestically by encouraging recklessness.

    Now that the bill is coming due the government is going to need to be there in some way or millions will suffer. There are legitimate arguments about how it should be done, but at the very minimum tens of millions will need some sort of direct assistance. It's disingenuous to pretend otherwise and I think that the people that are fortunate enough to keep their jobs and be in a good position should be asked to temporarily give more. If the Republicans are so concerned about big government they should put more pressure on companies to take write offs, and rewrite the bankruptcy laws back the way they were so people would have an easier time discharging their debts and not need as much support.

  • CStanley

    Jill, I remember you being attacked for supporting Clinton over Obama and I agree it was ugly ( I think I commented once or twice in your defense.)

    And I get what you're saying about the branding which can still be inclusive. But again I think you're misdiagnosing (maybe projecting the problems you have with accepting GOP platform and assuming that applies to others?) The brand has taken a licking, but that doesn't mean that it won't come back in favor.

    And here, I have to say that I feel that you're all over the place:
    Look – let me say this – I really – I mean, REALLY dislike Rick Santorum – really really really. HOWEVER, when he was running in 2006 and he knew he was going to lose, do you remember that he did not change a single stance, even though some recommended he do so because of the voters he was losing? I respected that – I really did. He was consistent.

    Because that consistency is part of the GOP brand. That's kind of the point of conservatism, you know? There's value in that, and it's not a fair trade to say that the party should give up some of that consistency over ideals in order to rebrand, because if it does so it loses the core of what it really is. Then it becomes the “Dem lite” problem- trying to pretend to stand for ideals that are espoused by left leaning voters but presenting them in a different package.

    I just don't think you can objectively say what the GOP should do, because really there's nothing it could do to really draw you in. Perhaps you'd support one or two candidates, but you're not going to switch affiliations. So why should the party even try to court voters like you when it would lose its base and get very little in return?

  • greenschemes

    Jill

    One last thing. I think you and many like you have written off the GOP as lost. Perhaps they are but they do not have to change what they do.

    In 1994 the same thing was said of the Democrats. They are toast. They have no message.

    The Democrats did not change much and the only thing that was able to bring them out of the wilderness was the GOP forsaking their basic pillar(fiscal responsibility)and a war. The democrats did not change much of anything from 1994 to 2006 and they are back in power.

    I believe that you and those of you branding the GOP dead are dead wrong. They only need for the Democrats to be in power long enough for people to forget that the GOP was in power before them.

  • CStanley

    I don't really disagree with much of that, but I don't see why you jumped off of my tax statement with arguments about spending. My point was simply that I do support the GOP as a voice against a 'tax and spend' mentality, and that taxes should be structured to promote private investment instead of stifling it. I also think it's important to structure taxes favorable to small business ( I think this is a prime area where the GOP could regain traction, to support the job creating engine of entrepreneurship) without favoring big corporations.

    I will rebut just a little bit though to say that LBJ was a pretty big exception, and FDR increased spending relative to GDP in such a huge manner that he did enough to last for several generations of Democratic presidencies.

  • CStanley

    I have to say that I agree with Greenscheme's last comment. It's pretty much axiomatic that parties that are out of power regain that power when the ruling party screws up, not when they do anything proactively to regain public support.

  • http://writeslikeshetalks.com Jillmz

    Okay CStanley, she said with a sideways glance – now you are cutting into my lunch!!! :) (TOTAL sarcasm)

    Responding to your comment that starts with “Thanks”:

    The limitation of not being in the GOP: but oh! This is what blogs are for, precisely – what I write might not be helpful, but then again, you never know when it might be, true? I follow all The Next Right stuff, Patrick Ruffini etc. because while they're on the right, it's important to follow moves being made, ideas being considered and rejected and so on. I've been blogging so long I long ago gave up any thought that what I write is helpful – it truly is me expressing myself. Turns out sometimes people agree and it is fruitful for discussion and understanding. But you are right – it isn't necessarily helpful (but I don't expect it to be necessarily either).

    I want to correct a perception if I might – I don't wonder why (re: certain convictions are still held) BECAUSE they aren't popular. It's not about popularity – I don't think about it in those terms at all. I don't think I used that word either.

    What I mean is that people are not supporting them or smaller and smaller numbers are supporting the convictions, as operationalized by the GOP in how it says it's going to do what it says it wants to accomplish or tackle. Sure – you can term it “popularity” but again, I don't think of it that way – people just don't think those things will work or they don't find the approach appealing or they disagree completely – I don't actually know. I'm just saying that I wouldn't think of it in terms of popularity.

    Now the sociologist and social worker hats come out: you wrote,

    “I think Mikkel had the correct approach from a conservative perspective- you find ways to encourage the private sector to provide more aid, by making people realize that this is a responsibility of a free society. If and when the private sector fails, we know that government will step in, so conservative leaders should promote works of charity as a means of preserving our freedom from massive government expansion.”

    I want to zero in on the “making people realize that this is a responsibility of a free society” – well there are just so many issues I have with that.

    First – I AGREE.

    HOWEVER – “making people realize…responsibility” in the same sentence as “free society” sets up what is almost a primordial battle – between free will and pre-destination. So – there's that. You know what I mean? They are just kind of apposite ideas.

    Second, I'm not saying that people will never and can never get that what you wrote is in fact true and how it should be (let's go back to Elliot Aronson's “The Social Animal”), but this is the problem I have with Libertarians – it's not only not pragmatic, but I don't believe humanity can ever exist in compliance with that hope that you write (and I do share) with enough conformity so that it really impacts enough to relieve the gov't.

    I am so sorry – this is going to sound lame – but I absolutely need to stop to eat lunch lol.

    I think part of the main diff between left and right is the view of humanity, what it's capable of doing, what is allowed to be tolerated as its failings and mix up some pleasure and pain principle stuff too. It's complicated, it's messy and, in a democracy, we've created what is for intents and purposes, a perpetual tug of war over whose implementation of the ideologies gets closer to fine.

    This, I believe, is the art of politics.

  • CStanley

    OK, I'm signing off in a moment too. Thanks for a good discussion.

    You're right about blogs being a place to express all opinions; I was just pointing out that people like myself and Greenschemes are necessarily going to react to this type of post in this manner (call it the 'concern troll' response, I guess, although it's not that I think you are feeding us suggestions under false pretenses as is sometimes the case.)

    I agree with the tension between freedom and responsibility, and the difficulty of the task to inspire rather than coerce people to meet those responsibilities. And I also agree that there's a difference in the views of human nature (that's why conservatism is essentially a non-ideology- we accept that there's no utopia and it's almost pointless to try to plan for one via centralized planning instead of looking inward for personal responsibility.)

    Finally, I'll just point out that I agree 100% with this column by David Brooks, and I think it speaks to some of the themes we've been discussing.

  • greenschemes

    The GOPs actions remind me of the video for the song “Cry” where the faces change all the time but the song stays the same:

    This sentence along with your video of crying people was what illicited my response. To me the entire article was defeated by ending your piece with …………..The GOP is a bunch of sniveling crybabies when as I pointed out the Democrats did the exact same thing when they were in the wilderness.

    My frustration becomes that I have totally perceived that the left is actively attempting to smear anyone that shows promise or ideas for the GOP. To me this article simply reinforced that by ending with that sentence and that video.

  • mikkel

    I look at the government as having a balance sheet where taxes are revenue and spending is expenditures. To me talking about taxes without spending or visa versa doesn't make sense. I am very much a counter-cyclical balanced budget person…meaning that I think the government should run surpluses during booms and deficits during downturns and the end result should net close to zero. That is one of the few parts of Keynesian theory I agree with although I don't think the government should try to “close the output gap” through deficit spending, the deficits would just be a natural result of continued programs and reduced revenues. The Republicans may be a voice against tax and spend but they definitely aren't a voice against debt and spend, and as Milton Friedman put it, debt increase without a tax increase is simply a tax increase deferred.

    Now the actual make up of the taxes has an impact, but that's not what the Republicans argue. They don't say that megacorporation loopholes should be closed, or that the estate tax should be kept or that taxes on capital gains and dividends should go to a progressive structure; areas that would bring in a lot of revenue with marginal effect on growth, considering that the S&P 500 companies didn't even reinvest their money into their own companies to expand during the last boom and the latter two are about wealth concentration and wealth concentration leads to lower economic growth and larger government programs. They just conflate all taxes as the same. Heck, they even lied about Joe the Plumber and his “tax increase” by deliberating confusing the different between revenue and profit.

  • http://writeslikeshetalks.com Jillmz

    Green – you completely misread why I would think of that video – I thought I was obvious but I guess not. It has ZERO to do with the notion of crybabies – that is your defensiveness kicking in. It had everything to do with the style of the video – the blending and melding.

    If you prefer – Michael Jackson's Black or White would work as well – I don't really care – it's just a filming technique thing:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZI9OYMRwN1Q

  • D. E.Rodriguez

    Jill:

    I have been following this thread from the beginning, and my hat off to you for “taking it as well as you can give,” but perhaps more importantly for your courtesy and patience—in addition to sticking by your principles, and, yet ,being “uderstanding” of the other side. This “ain't easy” and I truly admire that

    D.E. R aka Dorian or v.v.

  • CStanley

    I don't think that spending and tax revenue can be pulled apart either, but I do disagree with the idea that tax revenue is directly proportional to rates. I've noticed that you use the formula 'tax cut equals revenue decrease' and it surprises me that you'd look at it that simplistically. Obviously economic activity is affected by the tax codes, so that there's not a linear change in revenue with each tax rate increase or decrease.

    Now, don't misunderstand and think that I believe that all tax cuts would have the effect that the Kennedy or Reagan cuts had- the environment then was a very high top marginal rate, which we don't have now. And even more obviously, cutting taxes to zero would not produce more revenue.

    But in some circumstances, cutting taxes would be like a reverse profit sharing scheme- the government agrees to let corporations keep more of their profits because it knows under certain circumstances that this will drive up productivity (if there is room to do so) just as an employer might promise compensation with a share of company profits to an employee because he believes that there's room to grow the business and then there's a bigger pie to divide up.

    Again, I'm not being overly simplistic and under some scenarios, it's not reasonable to conclude that there's extra potential productivity that can be tapped into, but clearly that would sometimes be the case and revenues would rise under a lower tax rate more quickly than they would with a tax increase.

    So I'm not objecting to accounting for net revenue differences, but it should be based on projections of what the tax differential will actually do to overall revenue, not based on a straight line projection of a changed rate multiplied by current revenue stream.

    There's also a good argument, IMO, for not taxing corporations at all since consumers really do pay those taxes. Who knows how much more buying power we'd all have, and how much pent up aggregate demand that would release which could spur economic growth? Unfortunately though I don't think the populist mentality would ever allow this to become politically palatable because it just seems 'fair' to most people that corporations should pay 'their share'.

    Now the actual make up of the taxes has an impact, but that's not what the Republicans argue.

    Well, that's kind of my point. I'm criticizing the recent/current GOP for this and advocating this as an avenue to retake the issue on more solid intellectual ground. There are a few people who are already on that bandwagon, but not nearly enough yet.

  • http://writeslikeshetalks.com Jillmz

    CStanley – Brooks' column that you link to is very honest and for the most part, I'd say, yeah, sure. But at the core of it, he's just outting his fear – which is the fear that anyone who is forced to trust those for whom they might not have supported (though he did come out for Obama) could predictably possess. I know it's how I felt under Bush in particular – less so under Reagan. And I think it is incredibly analogous to how people who never supported going into Iraq feel and the fears we possessed and now, eight years later – oy. I also think his column is a sideways dig at Rush Limbaugh and others who insist that they want Obama to fail – trying to say, failure – for any reason – is not and should not be an option.

  • http://writeslikeshetalks.com Jillmz

    Dorian – thank you very much – I really appreciate it. I kind of feel like this kind of back and forth is why TMV really exists – I think it's the kind of thread thoughtful people can go through and shake their head one way, then the other way, then the other way – and maybe just have a better understanding of why anyone would think anything in particular. Doesn't always means there's action or result or solutions, but understanding in and of itself is, IMO, very underrated. :)

  • http://writeslikeshetalks.com Jillmz

    Greenschemes – I'm going to try to respond to your comments here (everyone should be pleased to know that I've known eaten some lunch):

    RE: your comment about you try to always mention (preface) that both sides have messed up etc. I think if that works for you, then that's good. I don't agree with you that all the Dems did for eight years was whine and cry. I fundamentally do not feel that way – and I have the photos of John Boehner to prove it! (that's a little sarcasm – we in Ohio can't believe how any times he let's the saline flow over his bronzer! – ok – more sarcasm).

    Anyway – I've not asserted here that the Dems haven't messed up and haven't cried and whine. The original post stands on it's own as my expression about observations I've made. I expect debate here at TMV and that's what you're giving the audience – me included. That's again what blogs are best at (except for the one-dimensional nature of them).

    RE: your comment about me writing off the GOP as dead or lost – you know, again, I feel that this says far more about your state of mind or sadness or something over the GOP's needs right now than it does with what I actually wrote – I didn't say anything remotely related to the GOP being dead or lost (in terms of losing – not sure which way you meant it though). You can trust me – well maybe not but I'm saying this: If i thought the GOP was dead, I'd have written, “The GOP is dead.” I wouldn't equivocate – and when I do equivocate, it's pretty obvious.

    But for the record – I do not believe the GOP is dead. I don't think it's lost in the sense of gone forever but I do believe it's got some kind of multiple personalities thing going on – or as I tend to describe – that face/image melding thing as in the two videos I've now linked to – OR for the Star Trek fans out there: it's like the corporeal matter going to be beamed up? You know -it's a solid, then it's particles then it reforms as a solid again? I think the GOP is in that particle stage and needs to re-coagulate or something – and find its form.

    But “dead” – that's a serious word like “hate” or “stupid” – I use them very very rarely – and I don't think the GOP is dead.

  • mikkel

    I started to write what you did but then my opinion gets very complex. For instance I think there is strong evidence for both cyclical and secular business cycles. I think it is extremely hard to make projections about future growth as a function of a tax cut or increase because it is extremely dependent on “potential productivity” as you put it…and that potential productivity is influenced by a million nonlinear variables. To me I've been convinced by reading opinions (and also forming my own based on my interpretation of systems theory applied to economics but of course at some point it becomes philosophical) that the best way to gauge potential productivity is by looking at debt loads and market saturation, as well as wage power and wealth disparity. When there is excessive debt then it shows that there is little room for future demand regardless of price. When a market gets some new core technology that drives all sorts of products, then it allows for massive new markets. When wages are expanding proportionally to GDP growth then it means that on average people's standard of living is increasing commensurate with the increase of the country and they will be looking to expand their purchases. When there is too much wealth inequality then it means that too much money is chasing too few investments and malinvestment becomes very likely.

    Unfortunately none of those things can ever be formalized because they are not repeatedly measurable (this goes for economics in general actually) and a lot comes down to philosophy and vision. I happen to believe that it became evident in the mid 90s that something was seriously wrong with the economy because all the red flags referring to sustainability went off. There had been no income growth for 15 years, a series of bubbles had formed in housing, CRE and now the stock market, and wealth disparity was reaching extremes. The only good part was that there was still a lot of room for the IT market to run. But all of that has nothing to do with anything measurable and if I was older back then I couldn't have “proven” that things were entering a danger zone, but I do think that proper leadership would have avoided the worst of the dot com/housing/debt bubble. [Actually I don't because you wouldn't have been able to convince enough people. I'm pessimistic about anyone having foresight about much of anything.]

    But, if I ran the world I would have raised tax rates and made investments less lucrative during that era to encourage a weeding out. Similarly I would have supported Reagan tax cuts (although not necessarily his focus point on spending cuts) because by all measures there was a ton of extra room for production. Income was at all time highs, debt was at all time lows and there was very little wealth disparity. And I'm not sure I would have disagreed with JFK/Nixon policies very much considering the time they were in power.

  • CStanley

    Well, mikkel, that's certainly the kind of nuance and complexity that I generally anticipate from you!

    And from your last paragraph there, I guess my point is that at the extremes, we can predict these things somewhat, no? It's in the gray areas where it gets too muddy and we can't expect to micromanage productivity with tax policy.

    I think both parties end up being too simplistic about it though, because you certainly can't count on a tax cut producing great enough growth to net an overall increase in revenue (except, again, when you're operating at one extreme of really high rates- and another point I forgot to mention about that was that you can pretty much count on a rate reduction causing an increase under those circumstances just because people stop trying so hard to shelter income.) But you also can't justify more and more spending on the basis of being able to increase tax rates indefinitely either, and I rarely see signs that the Democratic party takes that caution seriously. Programs and social spending are justified by need rather than prioritizing based on what we can actually afford and sustain (that's part of Europe's problem now.)

  • greenschemes

    Well – the Dems didn’t like it for all those years either – but you didn’t see them rejecting everything left and right – they just kept on working.

    NO they kept rubber stamping what GWB and the GOP did which is why were in the mess were in now. Perhaps they should have been obstructionist and given pause to what was done the last 8 years.

    This is why now that the GOP have found some footing and are just saying no, it perhaps might just be the best thing they could have done.

    Yet my opinion remains. You wrote a post, essentially negative about the GOP. Certainly not popular. Then you end it with The crying video. What sticks out the most in peoples minds? YOUR words or the Video? Perhaps I give you too much credit.

    But essentially the biggest difference between you and me Jill is that you are a Democrat establishment person and I abhor both parties while calling myself a Republican when in reality Im a conservative more then I am a Republican. Therefore I have no problems pointing fingers at the GOP while you continue to believe that your party while it might have a few faults if you look hard enough has all the answers.

    I disagree.

  • Rudi

    Maybe the Republicans can turn to the latter day Barry Goldwater and moderate Libertarians. True fiscal conservatism, without corporate servitude, with a moderate social policy. I doubt that the isolationist policies of libertarians would fit into the current Republican mode, but the other two legs are just moderate right policy.

  • CStanley

    One of the most sensible comments I've seen from you, Rudi.

  • greenschemes

    When a market gets some new core technology that drives all sorts of products, then it allows for massive new markets.

    Which is why I have been begging the Democrats to get to work do what they say we should do. But you know what. This is another example of the Democrats saying one thing and doing something else. Can't wait for all the excuses to start rolling in that we cant do anything with Green technology because them darn GOP'ers keep blocking it. Yeah right.

    Poverty. Why isnt it fixed? Well if they fixed it they would have nothing to blame the GOP for.
    Green. Why arent we going full bore with Green. Solar, wind, tidal, geothermal? Why? Because if we do then they have nothing to blame on the GOP. Because fixing it would diminish the differences between the two parties.

    I am a states right person who believes that politics is about dividing the country. Not uniting it.

    This is and always has been the starting point for any discussion that I have regarding Democrats and Republicans. They both know that if they fix whats broke, then they are no longer needed and their basic need to have power and wealth is then squelched. And that aint gonna happen. Not in their world.

    So let the debate roar on about yes we can or no we cant.

    I find it amazing that the Democrats passed a stimulus bill and spent all their time not talking up what they passed but trying to divide the country on their own bill by pointing out that all the GOP'ers opposed it.

    They won and tried to make it sound like a loss by blaming the GOP for not voting for it.

    Blaming them for what? Not voting for something that passed. Incredible that the American public does not see thru this charade.

  • Rudi

    CS Here is even another suprise, I just found a Republican governor whose bright, competent and qualified, not white trash like Palin. This man is like the former gov of Michigan(Miliken); I could vote for a man like Jon Huntsman(here and here ), not the current clown posse. Notice that the second link is from WashTimes.

  • http://writeslikeshetalks.com Jillmz

    Green – you have constructed a straw woman:

    But essentially the biggest difference between you and me Jill is that you are a Democrat establishment person and I abhor both parties while calling myself a Republican when in reality Im a conservative more then I am a Republican. Therefore I have no problems pointing fingers at the GOP while you continue to believe that your party while it might have a few faults if you look hard enough has all the answers.

    Where were you last year – almost exactly a year ago – when I wrote about Rev. Wright and Obama?

    Where were you this past month and every other time I've written about my intense dislike of the faith-based and community initiatives now neighborhood partnerships program? Can you point me to where you slammed the GOP and Bush for its creation and expansion of that same office?

    Where were you when I wrote against the removal of the reproductive health money in the stimulus plan?

    Where were you when I wrote against Obama calling the reporter in the gym, “Sweetie” and never answering her question?

    Where were you when I wrote about how wretched the sexist treatment of Sarah Palin was?

    Where were you when I wrote against the racist, sexist image of Michelle Obama that came from a lefty blogger at Daily Kos?

    Green – I've been blogging for almost four years. After you've read my literally thousands of post that demonstrate independence that has earned me great party ire – which I cherish btw – then you can set me up as a straw woman. But if that's the best you can do, well, then really – it's no wonder that the GOP is in the particle state it's in.

  • CStanley

    Rudi, I like Huntsman too, as well as Mitch Daniels of Indiana. While the celebrity crazed media and masses focus on the 'stars' like Palin and Jindal and Crist and Schwarzenegger, I think those two are examples of the substantive direction of the party (Jindal also deserves to be on that list but he's also a celebrity, for better or worse.)

  • mikkel

    It's a four hour long documentary but I encourage you to watch “The Century of the Self” at some point. The episodes are very nicely segmented to describe four major movements of the 20th century: the transition into the Roaring 20s, post WWII conformity, the hippie self exploratory backlash and mass individual consumerism. The moral of the story is that I think he does a very good job of presenting primary sources that demonstrate how a) the idea of rational, independent consumer is completely a myth and how a lot of the modern ideals of individuality are based on constructed reality that is actively managed and b) that people are completely unpredictable about how they will respond to that constructed reality due to unforeseen consequences and at some points things just get crazy and spawn quickly shifting cultural movements that negate all efforts at control…until they retailor their message. Literally it is becoming a victim of your own success.

    While that documentary is a scathing indictment of the idea that capitalism and democracy actually creates “freedom” I am eager to watch this prior documentary by the same guy “Pandora's Box” that focuses on how attempting to have managed solutions makes everything fall apart and this one that is an overall critique of trying to simplify complex behavior in general.

    I'm not sure what the moral of the story is taken as a whole. I'll wait to see if the others are as convincing but if they are I'd have to say that it's obvious that conservatives are right that big government doesn't work, but liberals are right that there are times where there needs to be strong government that provides vision and leadership that private individuals don't. Scientists are right that some things can be quantified and give guidance about what works in general, but many things are impossible to measure and even if they are measured, then trying to implement the results changes the environment and invalidates the measurement. Too much too much conformity is bad, too much self centeredness is worse. Etc. etc. The key is humility, skepticism and acceptance of balancing forces.

    I thought it was the most concrete representation of Taoist thought that I've come across.

  • CStanley

    Sounds pretty interesting. On your part about the question of democracy and capitalism create freedom, I don't really think it's a question of creating it but just permitting it. But then there's the philosophic tension between freedom and it's potential use for good or evil, and the difference between the political philosophies as I see hinges on whether or not you primarily on how much you are willing to cede freedoms to government if you believe that it can drive public actions for the general good of society. Conservatives believe, not so much…and that other nongovernmental institutions like the churches and civic associations are better used for that purpose.

  • greenschemes

    Jill

    Where were you when I wrote against the removal of the reproductive health money in the stimulus plan?

    Where were you when I wrote against Obama calling the reporter in the gym, “Sweetie” and never answering her question?

    Where were you when I wrote about how wretched the sexist treatment of Sarah Palin was?

    Where were you when I wrote against the racist, sexist image of Michelle Obama that came from a lefty blogger at Daily Kos?

    Im sure I was at work.

    Secondly most of what you have pointed to I consider bad taste. Not Politics.

  • greenschemes

    Where were you last year – almost exactly a year ago – when I wrote about Rev. Wright and Obama?

    You were a Clinton supporter. Hardly a surprise that you were writing negative things about Obama.

    Where were you this past month and every other time I've written about my intense dislike of the faith-based and community initiatives now neighborhood partnerships program? Can you point me to where you slammed the GOP and Bush for its creation and expansion of that same office?

    This one we might have some common ground. While I was not opposed to it. I certainly have no support for it and believe that if left unchecked that Obama will turn it into a giant pac by allowing these so called faith based groups submit to government rules to get money which would preclude most of the right leaning faith based charities from partaking and this would be wrong.

    Green – I've been blogging for almost four years. After you've read my literally thousands of posts that demonstrate independence that has earned me great party ire – which I cherish btw – then you can set me up as a straw woman. But if that's the best you can do, well, then really – it's no wonder that the GOP is in the particle state it's in.

    Ive been essentially responding to this article and your words directed at me. If Ive assumed something that is not true then that is why YOU are the well known figure and Im just an obscure commenator on a blog in bloggville.

  • http://writeslikeshetalks.com Jillmz

    Green -you are even confusing yourself!!

    This is YOUR line – not mine: “”The GOP is simply doing what the Democrats did the moment they were put in charge in 2007.”

    You are in an echo chamber and if you are happy there, go with it. In the meantimee, please produce one thing I wrote “in support” of Hillary Clinton.

  • http://writeslikeshetalks.com Jillmz

    Green – you can't even be consistent with yourself. Regarding Bush's creation and expansion of a White House faithbased and community initiatives office that doled out more than $2.2 BILLION a year to faith-based/community orgs:

    “This one we might have some common ground. While I was not opposed to it. I certainly have no support for it and believe that if left unchecked that Obama will turn it into a giant pac by allowing these so called faith based groups submit to government rules to get money which would preclude most of the right leaning faith based charities from partaking and this would be wrong.”

    Hello? Bush? Created it? Funded it? Expanded it? For eight years?

    You have nothing to say for the GOP's continued support for that office?

  • greenschemes

    Jill

    Well Im glad to provide you with humor. Thanks for taking out of context what I wrote, changing it to mean something else and then claim Im confused.

    I was responding to your post which quoted my line. However we both know what your doing. Lets just call it a day.

  • http://writeslikeshetalks.com Jillmz

    Green – you were the first one to leave a comment in this thread – even though you didn't comment on the issue raised by the thread – you just picked on the Democrats, rather than reflect on the Republicans.

    The topic of the post was: the GOP is placing the primacy of image over the primacy of anything else, yet they keep changing the image they want people to see. I supplied to MSM clips that back that up.

    I stand by the original post. Thanks for your time.

  • greenschemes

    YOUR THESIS.
    Am I the only one who is amazed at how, only six months ago, John McCain and Sarah Palin were the image of the Republican Party and wanted to be and were supported by their party to be the image of the White House and now, Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal are the image?

    My response was:

    WEll lets see.
    1. The democrats have Howard Dean, Nanny Pelosi and Harry Reid..
    2. Obama was buds with a terrorist, Went to church for 20 years with someone who hates America.
    3. Hillary Clinton is the former first lady whose husband was nearly impeached and who was about 1 step from being impeached for Whitewater.
    4. 1/2 of Obamas cabinet nominations cant pay their taxes.

    That is the face of the Democratic party. But aside from that. People continue to want to lift up the democrats as some sort of saints compared to the Republicans. I find that truly amazing and I guess if enough people say it over and over then pretty soon the masses begin to believe it.

    Its called brainwashing.

    As I stated from the beginning. Your not going to like what I say.

  • http://writeslikeshetalks.com Jillmz

    Green – you really do not get it. But that's okay – because you've remained engaged anyway – that says something – I'm not sure what, but it really doesn't matter – that's the value of a blog and its posts' threads – people read them and take what they want, ignore what they want. Freedom of expression and all.

    I have no argument at all with what you wrote. What I wanted was commentary specifically about what I wrote – but you don't seem to want to comment on the GOP or conservatives – you only want to comment on the Dems and people you define as liberals.

    That's your choice – this is, as I keep saying, a blog – but your avoidance is obvious – I've only been trying to get you back to what I wrote about. If, after 64 comments, you still don't want to or for some reason I can't figure out are unable to comment on the GOP's failure and inability to figure out who they are or what they look like (which is what this post was noting), then you know – I think I've tried my darnedest. I can sleep knowing I tried a lot of different angles to get you to speak about the GOP and this problem I perceive that they have. That's all I ask of myself when blogging something like this.

  • greenschemes

    JIll

    You continue to insult me telling me that I dont get it. Fine. I can only surmise that you are offended that I attacked the democrats when you wanted us to attack the Republicans. As for me I attack both parties. You simply have no clue how to deal with someone who finds disdain with both parties and so you result to semi negative personal attacks on me personally by calling into question my intellect.

    Perhaps you dont get it as well. Asking these questions about what does the GOP have to do to become viable again assumes that they are broke………I disagree. I said as much.

    Perhaps the problem with both of us is that we both have an agenda that drives us to the point of not seeing the forest for the trees.