Is Newt Gingrich really looking for his fourth wife on the campaign trail? Check out The Nation’s John Nichols’ humorous critique of the Republican Presidential candidates. Nichols spoke last week in Tucson.
Posts Tagged ‘Republican Party’
Officially, one of the stated goals of the Tequila Party is to get out the Latino vote. The Latino population is growing in numbers nationwide– and particularly in the Southwest– but their voting record is dismal.
In 2010, the Pima County Democrats invested thousands of dollars and hundreds of man-hours in registering people–particularly Latinos in Congressman Raul Grijalva’s CD7– to vote. This effort may have helped Grijalva barely squeak by right-wing extremist Ruth McClung, and it may have helped Sally Ann Gonzales and Marcario Saldate get elected to the Arizona Legislature, but it certainly didn’t help Terry Goddard, Felecia Rotellini, or Penny Kotterman. (Just think how different the Mexican American Studies debate would be if Arizona had elected Goddard governor, Rottellini attorney general, and Kotterman superintendent of public instruction.)
Personally, I think the Tequila Party is a great idea– if it focuses on getting out the Latino vote– but I am a concerned about the mixed messages from Arizona Hispanic Republicans’ blog posts. There is huge emphasis on LIVE STREAMING (her caps)– which to me spells PROPAGANDA (my caps)– and not many specifics about how the Tequila Party will actually get out the Latino vote.
Going door-to-door and canvasing at every public event– as the Democrats do– takes organization, walk lists, time, money, and hundreds of volunteers. (I know. I was one of those Democrats walking the Tucson neighborhoods in the heat with campaign literature and Permanent Early Voting List [PEVL] registration forms. You can easily spend entire Saturday morning slogging through a neighborhood and get fewer than five new, completed voter registration cards.)
Of course, why am I surprised that Arizona Hispanic Republicans would emphasize propaganda? Propaganda is Karl Rove’s signature tactic. What is surprising (sort of) is that the Three Sonorans has jumped on board with the Republican-backed Tequila Party. (Check out the audio link on the Unapologetic Liberal’s blog.)
Back to voter registration…
A stark example of the voter registration challenge facing the Tequila Party (or anyone else trying to encourage Latinos to vote) appeared in Monday’s Arizona Daily Star: Redistricting likely to shift supervisor areas slightly.
Take voter behavior in Districts 1 and 2, for example. The northwest-area[which includes Marana and Oro Valley] district has nearly 117,000 registered voters. The south-side district, even though it has a bigger population, has only about 73,000 registered voters.
As the Arizona Lottery used to tell us: You can’t win if you don’t play. Latinos will continue to be frustrated politically, as long as they don’t register and don’t vote proportionally to their numbers. Propaganda may get people pissed off, but will it encourage them to vote? Republicans have used hate speech, wedge issues [can you say Ethnic Studies?], and fact-free smear campaigns to their advantage for years. Time will only tell if the Tequila Party follows this course.
The graphic above leaves little to the imagination when you look at government spending under Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan (the father of the small government ideal), George Bush I, and George Bush II (the winner of the out-of-control spending award who was helped greatly by his 100% Republican-controlled Congress.)
I offer this history lesson because in the coming weeks we are going to hear a lot of Republican rhetoric about spending cuts and balancing our budgets at the kitchen table. Keep in mind that many of the Republicans who will be spouting this new fiscal conservatism marched in lock-step with President Bush as he destroyed our economy with tax cuts and entitlement programs we couldn’t afford, AND they were involved in the Republican Congressional blockade in December 2010 when they held out for tax cuts for the richest Americans and refused to discuss any other legislation until they secured tax cuts (which we couldn’t afford) for their cronies.
Check out Chris Hayes’ smackdown of the Republicans’ disingenuous fiscal policy decisions on the Rachel Maddow Show: GOP haunted by big spending and corporate favors.
The beginning is devoted to the Republican who will deliver the response to President Obama’s State of the Union address tonight. Paul Ryan, Congressman from Wisconsin, is now known as a fiscal conservative and has written the Roadmap for America’s Future which features privatization schemes and a number of draconian cuts– including cuts in Medicare and Social Security but, of course, not military spending. There is a bit of a problem with Ryan wearing the fiscal conservative mantel. You see, during the Bush II era, Ryan was one of the Congressional drunken sailors who spent like there was no tomorrow; he voted for the Republican tax cuts and unfunded expansion of Medicare under Bush II.
At about 7 minutes, Hayes talks about out-of-control spending by Bush and Reagan, and about 10 minutes, he talks with economist James Galbraith.
So, as you listen to state and federal government Republicans in the coming months, take their new-found fiscal responsibility with a grain of salt. We need to be vigilant or we will lose everything that doesn’t help the military-industrial complex.
Is the US on the verge of class warfare? Or in the thick of it? Check out this excerpt from an excellent Blog for Arizona article by the AZ Blue Meanie.
I have come to the conclusion that all the news reporting and commentary on the Obama-McConnell tax compromise is ignoring the (GOP) elephant in the room. It is all sound and fury to obscure the central issue of our time with which this country has yet to come to grips: a major political party is waging an insurgency war against America. As I have said before:
Republicans are engaged in a class war against the rest of America. This is an insurrection by the wealthy elites against 98% of their fellow American citizens… Republican insurrectionists are holding our government hostage in bad faith for purposes of extortion.
President Obama acknowledged the criminality of Republicans during his press conference on Tuesday:
“I’ve said before that I felt that the middle class tax cuts were being held hostage to the high end tax cuts. I think it’s tempting not to negotiate with hostage takers unless the hostage gets harmed. Then, people will question the wisdom of that strategy. In this case the hostage was the American people and I was not willing to see them get harmed.”
It is not enough for you to recognize the criminality, Mr. President. You must confront it. America does not pay ransom to hostage takers and extortionists. To do so only encourages more hostage taking and more extortionary ransom demands to be paid. Americans will not support any president who accedes to the demands of hostage takers and extortionists. Just ask Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan’s Iran-Contra “arms for hostages” co-conspirators.
This is why so many Americans across the ideological spectrum from the liberal left to the far-right Tea Party were so furious over the bailout of the banksters of Wall Street. These gangsters who turned Wall Street into a criminal syndicate of casino capitalism threatened to destroy the world’s financial system and economy if they were not rescued by the U.S. government. The government paid the ransom and thus rewarded their criminally irresponsible behavior in the interest of preventing collateral damage to the gangsters’ “hostages,” the American taxpayer, who ultimately are paying their own ransom.
These banksters of Wall Street took their taxpayer funded government ransom money and paid themselves excessive bonuses for a “job well done,” while millions of American taxpayers suffered the consequences of the banksters’ criminally irresponsible behavior by losing their jobs and their homes, and then getting stuck with the bill.
These gangsters were not satisfied with this ransom. Oh no, they wanted more. They next took our political process hostage with the help of a conservative activist U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC. Millionaires and billionaires, who will never have to disclose their identity, bought themselves a Congress for Christmas to ensure they will have a compliant Congress that will keep paying their extortionary ransom demands. America’s media conglomerates profited handsomely from all the political advertising. I am sure that the millionaire news anchors of America’s cable and network television stations will all receive a healthy end-of-year bonus as well.
And now it has come to this. The hostage takers are back again making yet another extortionary demand for ransom: tax cuts for the “two percenters” and a sweetheart deal on the estate tax for the über-rich. “Give us what we demand or we will kill any tax benefits for America’s middle class, and we will kill our hostages, America’s unemployed.” President Obama is acceding to the extortionary demands of these hostage takers to save the lives of their hostages. While his humanity and compassion are laudable, it is also misplaced.
By acceding to the hostage takers’ extortionary demands now, it will only encourage more hostage taking and more extortionary ransom demands in the future. These gangsters will take America’s most vulnerable and elderly populations hostage next, and demand that the president and the Congress turn over to them the social security and Medicare trust funds. Like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas took the very last crumb, these gangsters want to steal the very last dime of economic security from America’s middle class. They want it all.
Mr. President, you have a constitutional duty to defend this country against all enemies both foreign and domestic. This insurrection, essentially a civil war grounded upon a class war by the wealthy elite against 98% of their fellow American citizens, invokes that constitutional duty to defend the Constitution and to preserve our long-cherished American principles and values.
President Abraham Lincoln was similarly confronted with a civil war over two competing economic theories, one economic theory grounded upon liberal capitalism, and the other economic theory grounded upon the brutality of slavery. By the time Lincoln took office, 11 insurrectionist Southern states had seceded from the Union and threatened war against the United States if Lincoln did not accede to their extortionary demands.
Lincoln most certainly did not want to see the insurrectionists’ “hostages,” the American people, harmed.
If you want to read the rest, click here.