Friday, July 26, 2013

The secret agenda of "The Party of No"

Here's the context of when President Obama took the oath of office in 2009:

Our country is in economic dire straits. The Bush recession -- worst economic crisis since the Great Depression -- threatens to tank the entire world economy. Americans are losing homes, jobs and businesses. The stock market is diving.

The country is cautiously optimistic about what our new president can do to avert total disaster. Team Obama strategizes on what their first action will be: A much needed Stimulus Package.

On the other side:

The GOP publicly (except for de facto leader Rush I hope he fails Limbaugh) pledges, in this time of great emergency, to bypass petty partisanship and come together to support the new popular president. However, under the cloak of darkness, the GOP, placing politics and power above country, were hatching a sinister plot to sabotage all things Obama -- even if it meant severely hurting our country and world.

Read on:

TIME just published “The Party of No,” an article adapted from my new book, The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era. It reveals some of my reporting on the Republican plot to obstruct President Obama before he even took office, including secret meetings led by House GOP whip Eric Cantor (in December 2008) and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (in early January 2009) in which they laid out their daring (though cynical and political) no-honeymoon strategy of all-out resistance to a popular President-elect during an economic emergency.

 “If he was for it,” former Ohio Senator George Voinovich explained, “we had to be against it.” The excerpt includes a special bonus nugget of Mitt Romney dissing the Tea Party.
Read more

I do not say this lightly: If treason is an act of betraying country, what can be more treasonous than the actions (and non-actions) of the flag waving Republican party?  Salon's Joan Walsh penned an article titled, The vanishing GOP voter: For me, they can't vanish fast enough for me!


  1. I don't think it's much of a "secret"; it's pretty in-your-face in terms of a strategy.

    Republicans want to obstruct Democrats because the former doesn't believe the latter has the right solutions. And vice versa. Democrats don't believe Republicans have the right solutions.

    If I felt it best to institute a no-grills-allowed policy as member of my neighborhood council, I would expect people opposed to that to say no. Even if I explained it was better for the environment, immediate and otherwise, and that grills were a fire hazard, people who didn't believe that would still say no.

    I can't figure what's so sinister about it. If you--generality here; any Obama/liberal Democrat supporter--believe X is the way to boost the economy, and the other folks believe Y is the way, why would one expect the other to drop their beliefs and say yes?

    It seems to me that this presidency, unlike others, brought with it a feeling that politics as usual should cease to exist and the entire nation should move over and allow Obama's vision to run roughshod over everyone.

    But if one believes government involvement in everything isn't the key to happiness, or that spending more and more money only worsens problems, then I don't understand why these simple things are turned into massive plots of destruction.

    Republicans are not Democrats in ideological terms. (In every other way imaginable, but not ideologically.) If one wants the other to bow down, get out of the way, and let a one-party ideology control the entire fabric of the nation, then just say that. Spinning it into treason that others also stick to their ideology is a bit over the nest.

    Seems more like a Stalin approach to government.

  2. @Josh It's one thing to stand or principles and another thing to purposely sit on your hands when your country is in a crisis. This is the time to put country over party. Please reread:

    “If he was for it,” former Ohio Senator George Voinovich explained, “we had to be against it.”

    I read more from the link. They (GOP congressmen) stated that even if they were for something, if Obama like it, they had to vote against it.

  3. @Josh please read:

    Bob Dole, Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon wouldn’t be welcome in today’s Republican Party because they all had ideas and positive agendas, Bob Dole said Sunday.

    “Reagan couldn’t have made it,” Dole said. “Certainly Nixon couldn’t have made it, because he had ideas. We might have made it, but I doubt it.”

    Appearing on Fox News Sunday, the former Republican presidential candidate and Senate majority leader offered a brutal indictment of what his own party has become.

    “I think they ought to put a sign on the national committee doors,” Dole said of the GOP, “that says closed for repairs until New Year’s Day next year and spend that time going over ideas and positive agendas.”

    Bobby Jindal on the GOP: We must stop being the party of Stupid

    Here's another disgruntled Republican's reflections:

    Recently, since the election of Barack Obama, common sense has left the Republican Party completely. We are in the era of craziness. As David Frum has written, a deal was there to be made over the healthcare bill. Instead, this ideological purity blinded the GOP. As LBJ said it, instead of being inside the tent pissing out, we choose to be outside the tent, pissing against the wind. And we got splashed by our own nonsense. Why did we do that? Well, when a political party shrinks its electoral based to below 30% and is composed by one demographic group, all that is left are a bunch of zealots. We shrank it by kicking out of the party those who believe that abortion should be legal but limited. We shrank it by kicking out those who believe that an $11 trillion economy, like ours, needs a strong government, not a government that can be drowned in a bathtub. We shrank it when we sanctified Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck, and canonized Sarah Palin. These are the leaders of my party nowadays. How did we go from William F. Buckley to Glenn Beck? How did we go from Eisenhower and Nixon to Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann? I do not know. What I do know, however, is that these leaders remind of me of the leaders of the Whig Party. And if they continue on their nonsense, they will bring the collapse of the GOP.

    I do not recognize myself in the Republican Party anymore. As someone said it before, I did not leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me. I have the same ideological positions on most of the issues that I had when I voted for Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan and George W. Bush in 2000. However, I just cannot trust the reins of our government and nation, of this formidably complicated and complex gigantic machine that is the USA, to the amateurish leadership of the Republican Party.

    We are living through tough times. We are being challenged like I have never seen America being challenged before. China is a formidable foe, and it is out there competing against us on every field and beating us on several fronts. While our education budgets are being slashed in every state across the nation, China is doubling and tripling theirs. These are the challenges and challengers that we are facing. And we need our best and brightest to lead us, not a half-term governor or radio/TV talking heads.

    Maybe I am too old and too cynical, but I think the Republican party is in the last stages of agony. If nothing happens, we might win an election or even two, but in the long run we will lose America.

  4. @ Anonymous: Yes. Crisis. I agree. And some people do not believe that further stimulus spending, exceedingly complicated healthcare legislation, further business regulations, and more involvement from government on a federal level is the way to go.

    If one wants to fault one whose ideology is not their own, that's one thing. But to claim it sinister or obstructive to have a different worldview is bordering awfully close to bigotry. And that goes for all sides and stripes.

    @ Healthysouls: I don't doubt that there's a segment of the Republican party which is different than Republicans years past. I have no love and no need for Republicans, Democrats, or any other person who lives off of my sweat yet thinks they know what's in MY best interest.

    My comment was dealing specifically with individuals who claim it's some sinister plot and/or treasonous for people with opposing ideological views to not allow a sitting President free reign to institute a vision. (Which seems to be the stark implication of what's expected of Republicans by liberals, Dems, progs, etc.)

    Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather deal with deadlock than a dictatorship.

    I don't know nor care what or where the Republican party is today. Libertarians, conservatives, and others who differ all get tagged with the "R," same with others and the "D," and the top dog in terms of popularity per party is always the spokesman and the trendsetter; i.e. Obama's luster outshining blue-dogs or other Dems who are even more progressive. The President is the face, and that will eventually turn based on the next Dem with the biggest spotlight, just like Republicans.

    But if all Republicans just suddenly said yes to everything Democrats wanted, not only would they no longer be Republicans, but we'd go from an already flawed two-party system to a one-party system. And maybe that's what a lot of people want, but I personally appreciate that people say "No."

    These politicians, by and large, are dishonest, narcissistic, greedy, morally bankrupt, and woefully inept at their jobs.

    For me, the fact that they obstruct one another and stop government from growing larger is a dang blessing!

  5. @Josh...To ignore the deep seated ideological civil war within the GOP and it's ramifications for our government and country, is akin to an ostrich hiding his head in a hole -- living in a state of denial.

    Furthermore, it's one thing to have ideological differences (if you interpret the post to suggest that everyone has to ideologically jump onboard with Obama and the Democrats, you have mistaken the intent)and quite another to sabotage even your own ideas because you hate the president.

    As the very conservative Jennifer Rubin writes (and yes, I do not reject an idea or concept just because the so-called opposing party authored said idea.):
    What is happening, I would argue, is that just as Obama’s foreign policy became “whatever Bush did, do the opposite,” many Republicans eager both to lash out at the president and condemn his successor wear their unflinching opposition as a badge of honor. “If Obama is doing it, then it is bad,” may be satisfying but it’s hardly intelligent leadership. Once a few go down this road, more scramble after them afraid they’ll be defined as “not a real conservative.”

    Government (in a Republic democracy) is not some abstract evil invention living off "sweat." Government is of the people by the people. Government is to serve the people. Are there corrupt, greedy, dishonest, narcissistic etc. people in government?

    Hell yes!

    However, in our capitalist system are there corrupt, greedy, dishonest, narcissistic et. people that prey on the poor, working class and middle-class people?

    Hell yes!

    So, because of this corruption in our capitalist system should with dismantle and obstruct progress? Should which switch economic models?

    Hell no!

    Ditto for our governmental system. I encourage ideas not open contempt. Our country's greatness has come from the successful synergy of private sector and public sector. We have built bridges, highways (they allow for commerce), damns, canals, railroads.

    Government doing big things (think NASA) requires the combination of conservative, liberal, progressive and libertarian ideas. It requires dialogue, negotiation and compromise. American forefathers understood this and they were able to hammer out the Constitution because reasonable minds (and some unreasonable) were able to meet and bridge ideological differences.

    Once again, this is why I offer you the opportunity to guest post. I do not reject your ideas just because of your political attachments. This would not only be sill/petty it would be dangerous/unhealthy for our country.

  6. I don't ignore any division. I know there's division. There's a lot under the "Republican" banner. But as to Republican bickering and its negative impact on our nation, I don't buy that. The less the federal government can do for people, the better off the people will be. Save protecting the nation from foreign and domestic enemies, the federal government needs to relinquish control and rights back to local government.

    A lot of good people in this nation, and a lot of good government in our past. A lot of bad, too, in both cases. But I see our government differently in this modern age. There may be good people in there, but they're the overwhelming minority.

    Government has become the biggest business in the world. Bigger than Big Oil, Big Tobacco, fast-food chains, Wal-Mart and Target, and every other business. It swallows Wall Street like the whale that ate Jonah. And for one main reason: Government gets to regulate these bodies. But that certainly isn't the only reason.

    The worst part is government doesn't even produce a product.

    Lobbyists and special interests run the nation because they run politicians. Nepotism and cronyism run rampant throughout government and few care unless it's the opposite party -- an enemy to blame. We're told that private sector employees receiving large bonuses and inflated salaries of CEOs (which are gross) are a crime against humanity, but we're told this by the same people living higher than clouds off of the taxpayer and who have different healthcare, better pensions, bigger salaries and permanent fiscal security unlike the 99%.

    Public unions and corporations fund political campaigns and then get front-row seats to policy-making, and though it strangles the middle and lower-class, the only way it's reported is Republicans against unions and Democrats against corporations. Meanwhile regular taxpaying folks get it coming and going. Blame the rich! Tax more! Just make sure the federal government gets more money to expand its role.

    That the government is made up of regular Americans and that it's "our" government is a scam being perpetrated on us all. People do get to vote, sure, but only on what's advertised in their face or forced into heads by a mafia-style strong-arm. Our election system is a false dichotomy imposed on people. And any attempt to institute fairness or to clean things up becomes a bitter partisan battle where polled buzz-words are used by figureheads and cronies and where the media blitz gets to misdirect everyone from real news. A partisan battle where people absolutely love choosing sides. Having an enemy to strike down gives the average American wood. It's in our DNA, and it's exploited.

    I don't doubt that a coming together of ideologies is a good thing. But you have to be talking about good people first, not career-minded fat-cats whose livelihoods are jeopardized by commingling. That politicians say the words gives me no comfort that they mean well.

    "No" is a good word to me in the context of the federal government.

  7. Part I.

    You make good points but I find the outrage from the right to be very selective. Case in point:

    1. If government, as you say, is controlled by big lobbyist, who are the lobbyist lobbying for?

    Answer: Multi-national corporations, Major Big Energy corporations, Big Defense Contractors, Private no-bid contractors like Haliburton, Wall Street and "Too big to Fail" big banks.

    Example: Big energy (including the corrupt Ken Lay and Enron)secretly met with then Vice-president Cheney to develop a new energy policy -- this policy resulting in black and brown outs in some states like California.

    " On his 10th day as vice president, Dick Cheney established a secret "Energy Task Force," formally known as the National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG), for the purpose of making recommendations to President Bush on energy policy. In formulating a new energy strategy for America, the task force met secretly with lobbyists and representatives of the petroleum, coal, nuclear, natural gas, and electricity industries. Many of these individuals work for energy companies which gave large campaign contributions to Bush/Cheney 2000. Environmental groups were mostly excluded from the task force."

    Where was the big outrage from the GOP Tea Party?

    No where to be found.

    Where were the "let's obstruct government" folks with pitch forks?

    No where to be found.

    Where was Fox News?

    Actively selling us war in Iraq.

    2. Cheney's Halliburton and War profiteering:

    "Private or publicly listed firms received at least $138 billion of U.S. taxpayer money for government contracts for services that included providing private security, building infrastructure and feeding the troops.

    Ten contractors received 52 percent of the funds, according to an analysis by the Financial Times that was published Tuesday.

    The No. 1 recipient?

    Houston-based energy-focused engineering and construction firm KBR, Inc. (NYSE:KBR), which was spun off from its parent, oilfield services provider Halliburton Co. (NYSE:HAL), in 2007.

    The company was given $39.5 billion in Iraq-related contracts over the past decade, with many of the deals given without any bidding from competing firms, such as a $568-million contract renewal in 2010 to provide housing, meals, water and bathroom services to soldiers, a deal that led to a Justice Department lawsuit over alleged kickbacks, as reported by Bloomberg."

    Halliburton over charges America by billions:

    A Pentagon audit has found "significant" over-billing by Halliburton and its subsidiaries in Iraq and Kuwait, which may amount to $8 billion. Halliburton employees told Congressman Henry Waxman that subcontractors billed $100 for a 15-pound bag of laundered clothes, and abandoned $85,000 trucks by the roadside when they experienced simple maintenance problems, including a flat tire. Halliburton and its subsidiary, Kellogg Brown and Root, have been the source of repeated claims of over-billing since last spring. The first scandal involved a March 2003 no-bid contract worth up to $7 billion, which they received ostensibly to fight oil fires in Iraq. In December 2003, KBR was caught charging the US army $1.59 per gallon for oil imported from Kuwait, Iraq neighbor, for which it paid only 70 cents per gallon. A few weeks later KBR was caught over-billing the US army by $16 million for soldier's meals, according to Le Monde Diplomatique.

  8. Part II.

    Once again: Selective Outrage

    So one would think that when former VP Dick Cheney shows up at major GOP, Tea Party and Patriot events he would be roundly booed. He embodies everything about big government and big lobby that they hate.

    Quite the opposite, he receives standing ovations and is warmly embraced by these same folks.

    3. The biggest Scam: Defense Spending

    Five star general, Republican and president, Dwight Eisenhower warned Americans to be vigilant and alert concerning the Military-Industry Complex.

    He feared that they would use what we know now as psyops operations to keep Americans in fear so that they can justify bilking billions and billions of dollars for big Defense spending.

    You want to know who gets the lion share of your sweat and tax dollars?

    The US government spends more money on Defense than the rest of the world governments combined!

  9. I agree with you almost completely -- about 95%.

    Government shouldn't be in bed with big businesses. They shouldn't be joined at the hip; they shouldn't be scratching each others' backs. But by the same "selective outrage" token, nor should government be in bed with public-sector unions receiving mega donations while most on the "D" side of the aisle look the other way. It's causing supreme, irreparable damage to schools and children and by extension local economies which stay stagnant because they're inhabited primarily by undereducated and under-motivated people.

    Some don't view that racket as "business" because the whole "middle-class" line is pushed. A few lucky tenured people create the illusion that more taxpayer money thrown into the pool is a good thing for all.

    We shouldn't be spending even a fraction of what we spend on defense. We're in far too many countries we have no business in. We have troops in France and Germany and Japan and everywhere else. We're in drag-on, pointless wars. We waste money hand over fist on the classic Independence Day "$500 hammers" but offer veterans substandard pay and care.

    It is selective outrage from partisans. Most definitely. A lot of TPers have no problem with war. They don't care about that spending. And a lot of Dems have no problems with entitlement spending, public-sector salaries and pensions, and other outrageous spending the taxpayers have to pick up or suffer when the government can't and must sell our nation off a part at a time to foreign interests.

    And the only winners are ever politicians and their cohorts.