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November 24, 2014

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Brian Greenspun: Where I Stand:

What it takes to be a GOP leader now

Mental contortions are mind-boggling

Monday is July Fourth, Independence Day.

It is the time we are supposed to recognize the bravery and determination of the colonists who fought so selflessly to throw off the yoke of tyranny from England. We celebrate with assorted fireworks, all-American food and an obligatory nod to the genius of our Founding Fathers who just a few years later gave us that most remarkable document, the Constitution of the United States.

At the same time we must not forget the men and women in uniform who have fought and are fighting today in faraway lands to protect the ideals of liberty and freedom that we hold so dear.

That brings me to a far less celebrated part of Independence Day and yet one of basic importance. Our political system has devolved into two main parties: Republican, of which I was a member for close to 40 years, and Democrat, which currently lays claim to me, perhaps for just a short while longer.

The right to vote, to redress grievances and to act through our three branches of government are what define us as Americans, perhaps more than other rights — except for the First Amendment that guarantees, among other things, the freedom of the press.

This past week, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, exercising that most sacred of rights, wrote the following editorial. That newspaper, located in America’s heartland, has mostly called them as it has seen them in its long history. With permission, we are reprinting the editorial here because it explains in just a few words what has perplexed me these past few years about the path taken by my once-beloved Republican Party — mostly the suspension of belief that has been required of late for membership in good standing in the GOP.

I am sure there will be a comment or two. I will forward them to Missouri.

•••

From an editorial in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, ‘Eight myths to chill an old-school Republican’s soul’:

When Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., quit the (no longer) bipartisan deficit-reduction talks last week, it was not exactly a “Profiles in Courage” moment.

Serious deficit reduction can’t be — and shouldn’t be — accomplished without tax increases and broad elimination of tax expenditures, which would have the effect of raising taxes. The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform last year acknowledged that.

But tax increases, in whatever guise, fail the current Republican purity laws. Cantor, who will run for re-election next year, understands that very well. So does Kyl, who won’t seek re-election in 2012 — although he’s generously offered himself as a vice-presidential nominee.

It’s sad to see what has happened to the Party of Lincoln, and for that matter, the party of lesser mortals like George H.W. Bush of Texas, Bob Dole of Kansas and Jack Danforth of Missouri. No one ever would mistake them for liberals, but they were statesmen who put country before party.

Today we have the spectacle of smart, patriotic men and women putting their brains and integrity on ice to please a party dominated by anti-intellectual social Darwinists and the plutocrats who finance and mislead them.

Consider the mythology that makes up GOP orthodoxy today. Imagine the contortions that cramp the brains and souls of men and women of intelligence and compassion who seek state and national office under the Republican banner.

• They must believe, despite the evidence of the 2008 financial collapse, that unregulated — or at most, lightly regulated — financial markets are good for America and the world.

• They must believe in the brilliantly cast conceit known as the “pro-growth agenda,” in which economic growth can be attained only by reducing corporate and individual tax rates, especially among the investor class, and by freeing business from environmental rules that have cleaned up America’s air and water and labor regulations that helped create America’s middle class.

• Although rising health care costs are pillaging the economy, and even though health care in America is now a matter of what you can afford, Republican candidates for office must deny that health care is a basic right and resist a real attempt to change and improve the system.

• GOP candidates must scoff at scientific consensus about global warming. Blame it on human activity? Bad. Cite Noah’s Ark as evidence? Good. They must express at least some doubt about the science of evolution.

• They must insist, statistics and evidence to the contrary, that most of the nation’s energy needs can be met safely with more domestic oil drilling, “clean-coal” technology and greater reliance on perfectly safe nuclear power plants.

• They must believe that all 11.2 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States can be rounded up, detained, tried, repatriated and kept from returning at a reasonable cost.

• Even though there are more than four unemployed persons for every available job, GOP candidates should at least hint that unemployment benefits keep people from seeking jobs.

• They must believe that the Founding Fathers wanted to guarantee individuals the absolute right to own high-capacity, rapid-fire weapons that did not exist in the late 18th century.

By no means is this list complete. It almost makes you feel sorry for the people who pretend to believe this stuff. Almost.

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  1. I was an active member of the Republican Party until the mid-80s when I felt the party had moved away from what I believed in. I have been registered as unaffiliated ever since.

    That said, I recently become a State Officer with the Nevada Chapter of the Modern Whig Party because I feel they represent a return to the party of Lincoln in spirit and in fact.

    Lincoln really was a lifelong Whig, whose pragmatism in helping to found the Republican Party at that time is evidence thereof.

    Like Mr. Greenspun I am distressed by what has happened to the Republican Party that I once belonged to. But unlike him, I can not embrace the Democrats just because they are perceived to be the only alternative.

    There are a number of serious, third party choices available to rational people.

    I urge anyone who is not happy with either of the two major parties to investigate the alternatives as I have and work to promote what they truly believe and not what we are told to choose between.

  2. It is very clear that the current 2 party system of doing things has only deteriorated our once great and strong nation. Every time it is reported that elected representatives REFUSE to compromise in order to craft laws and policies in our government, it makes me cringe.

    This is NOT the kind of government we should be promoting for our youth to emulate, as they study social studies and government in schools. This is NOT the kind of government to be PROUD of. We need more party choices and/or popular vote.

    Civil unrest and rioting are not too far away from happening on American soil, thanks to the lack of responsible governance in this country.

  3. Chunky says:

    His philosophy is one of smaller government and less government intrusion into the lives of the citizens and their employers.

    Sadly our two party system has become a diluted process of campaign ads and little more than a popularity vote.

    The Democrats have successfully selected the most commercially electable and culturally popular candidate(s). The Republicans keep offering the same stiff 1970's era gray haired old men in suits who have little or no relevance to today's society or culture.

    Regardless of party offerings, the candidates and campaigns are for all intent cookie-cutter approaches created by agencies and PR firms.

    McCain came closest to Chunky's core beliefs or maybe Obama was too far left, but it was hard to check the box for a candidate who is still living in the 60's. Too bad Obama was playing for the other team in the last election, at least he has charisma and knows Facebook and Twitter from MySpace.

    Too bad we don't have a viable third party or an undiluted two party system. There are other candidates and parties who simply don't have the backing or organization to gain real traction.

    That's what Chunky thinks!

  4. ..."a party dominated by anti-intellectual social Darwinists and the plutocrats who finance and mislead them"...

    Angle.
    Bachman.
    Palin.
    O'donnell.

    http://www.ccrider27.com/Corporate_Domin...

  5. I don't sit around wishing for a third party to emerge. It wouldn't solve anything.

    Because the heart of the problem is what basically the St. Louis Dispatch editorial outlined.

    The Republican Party has morphed into an unmitigated mess that only kowtows to the filthy rich. This has progressed over a period of 30 years now.

    The Democratic Party has remained relatively unchanged in their goals and beliefs. Only the Republicans have changed. What they have changed into, people just don't like.

    Everything they are doing is meant to destroy the middle class. They hate unions. They hate the minimum wage. They hate paying for people who are on unemployment. They hate the Affordable Care Act. They hate teachers. They hate education. To sum it all up, THEY HATE PEOPLE WHO AIN'T RICH. And to make matters worse, to make sure they do all this, they intend to suppress voters from voting them out and control campaign finances only to their advantage.

    For the life of me, I cannot figure out why Republican Party members both in the Congress and the Senate sign a document with a private citizen (Mr. Grover Norquist) that states they won't make the rich pay their fair share of taxes; taxes they have avoided paying for years. And this is after they sign a document with the Government of the United States of America where they affirm they will uphold the laws and do the best they can for America. This begs the question: Why do they work for this Norquist knucklehead and not America and do what they have been elected to do?

    The answer is not create a third party. The answer is smack every single Republican Party member out of office all the way down to Dogcatcher General. They've lost their minds. Then really, really need to wander around aimlessly out of power for at least a generation or so, in order to reflect on why they intend to only benefit a very, very small percentage of people, all in order to line their pockets with their money, while disregarding all the other ninety-nine point nine percent of the people.

    That editorial is spot on. The Republicans are in the middle of The Great Republican Power Mad Over Reach of 2011 and people still want to vote for them? Madness. Unmitigated silly madness.

    To hell with a third party. Smack Republicans out of power at the next elections. That will fix it. It's the only logical thing to do.

    Fox News don't control this country. We do.

    Wake up.

  6. Did you know WE ARE OWNED from cradle to grave by the USA Corporation that was formed to deal with a national debt since our nation's foundation? I did not until recently. If you check your legal documents pertaining to government, YOUR NAME always appears in CAPITAL letters, because the government, as I understand it, OWNS you/your life bond. We all complain about "corporate America" but little did we know that the USA is a CORPORATION!

    Dear Fellow Americans, please listen to this and take notes and make calls.
    It is time to for you to find your local individuals and join up.
    Follow this link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vXgUBxqB...

    http://republicofmissouri.org/Get_starte...

    The first link gives a complete legal history (one that is NOT taught in our highly censored American History classes at school). We are witnessing the actually collapse of each and every state and city in our country, until we see it as a nation. Please consider taking some time to watch the youtube and allow what rings true for you, speak to your personal truth. Truth is truth.

  7. Deficit reduction talks, should include major spending cuts. To date, there have been no spending cuts, it seems the democrats won't want to cut the budget they bloated. Of course it helps if you actually have a budget.

    Let's get one thing straight. There's a difference between revenue and taxation. Taxation does not necessarily lead to revenue. It leads to a reduction of the activity you are taxing. So if you go to try and tax the rich, you will have fewer rich. Trying to raise tax on corporations, they don't pay taxes, in fact no business pays taxes, no even the Las Vegas Sun. Only people pay taxes. Now we have 50% of the people who pay no federal income tax. Where is their fair share. Where is their skin in the game.

    But our politicians and our editors and publishers can't seem to grasp that simple fact. Instead, they want to put up nice little amenities with a surcharge (AKA a tax), despite the fact that nobody will use it. Case in point the monorail. Built with taxpayer money, yes, a bond is taxpayer money. And ridership is miniscule. They missed one simple fact, it's behind the casinos.

    We keep electing new people all we get is the same stuff. Why?

    Because they are 2 peas in the same pod, they are progressives they like big government. The R and D are now meaningless. Many Republicans are no better than the Democrats, that was proven over and over again. First with Bush, Clinton, Bush 2, and now Obama. All progressives increase the size of government. They place onerous regulations on the owners of businesses, largely to watch them fail as the regulations prove unworkable. Regulations suffocate business and cause unemployment. ( we conservative are working to change that)

    Add to that people have been suckered into believing a load of crap dished out by unions and democrat politicians. Unions claim to have created the middle class, did they really? Or was it the companies that used tools and trained workers to use those tools and then provided the jobs that created the middle class. American productivity produced that standard of living you now take for granted. That productivity is now being lost through regulation, and we are being out produced because of that regulation. If you wonder why those jobs went overseas, it was because of regulations. It was not corporate greed, it was corporate survival.

    Now we have a welfare state. And many people are now dependent on that welfare state. There is no more upward mobility, the regulations and the tax code have seen to that. This is no longer America, home of the brave, land of the free. It has become America, land of the dependent, land of the over spenders, land of the whiny little bitches.

    Enjoy your big government, it will forget you. Every time. It will make you a slave. And, no you don't get a vote.

  8. Republicans are the Party of Faith. The act of faith is making a decision based on a cherry picked data set, followed by a closing of the mind to further consideration or discussion.

    Closing of the mind and abstain from negotiations under any circumstances are the salient properties of Faith. It is claimed to be a reverent thing but is actually a mental trait of the dark ages where it was conceived and mastered.

    Republicans do not negotiate, they instead bring the law to pagans for the purpose of Dominion over all living things. They are charged by the highest powers in the Universe with bringing Faith to the World.

  9. I keep hearing the Democrats are the "Tax and Spend" party.
    Well, I think that makes more sense than making tax loopholes and spending like crazy(2 wars and tax loopholes for the wealthy and big corporations) like the Republicants have done. It does not make sense to spend money you do not have.

    The Republicants have sent this country into the tailspin it is in presently. They just want the voters to forget about that.

    It seems under their guidance Nevada has took a dive off a cliff and will never return, at least for next predicted 10 years.

  10. Liberalism is truly a mental disease if one believes the hogwash printed above. I have never seen so many people blame so many others for their problems. Pagans? Great Republican Power Mad Over Reach? Sooner or later under this system the definition of "rich" gets down to your level of earnings and all of a sudden there's an epiphany of conservatism that results.

  11. 2 words..........TERM LIMITS

  12. To quote a certain liberal-leaning comedian who recently performed at the Orleans: "The left has moved to the center, while the right has moved to planet bat-sh*t"