Free Markets, Free People

Republicans: Dumber Than A Box Of Rocks

The Republican Party is hopeless.

Given a meta-issue from heaven (smaller government, less intrusive government, less taxation, less spending) and a building mandate as exemplified by the anger at townhall meetings, they manage to fumble it completely.

Instead of actually addressing the problem (see meta-issue) they pander and play politics. Instead of talking about market solutions and less government, they decide to establish government health care as a civil right.

The Republican Party issued a new salvo in the health debate Monday with a “seniors’ health care bill of rights” that opposed any moves to trim Medicare spending or limit end-of-life care to seniors.

[...]

Intended as a political shot at President Barack Obama, the Republican National Committee manifesto marks a remarkable turnaround for a party that had once fought to trim the health program for the elderly and disabled, which last year cost taxpayers over $330 billion.

What Republicans would commit us to by making this guarantee is debt your grandchildren, and perhaps their grandchildren will have to pay to the tune of 58 trillion in unfunded liabilities. In other words, the promised benefits for Medicare are underfunded by 58 trillion in the outlying years and the Republicans have just guaranteed them. With what is anyone’s guess, but certainly not with “less taxes and less spending”.

The other thing they do, apparently unwittingly, is make health care a “civil right” (how else do you interpret something the Republicans would call a “seniors health care bill of rights?”).

That is all the opening the left needs to, at some point, throw it back in the Republican’s lap and ask why such a right exists for one group of citizens but not another. The “fairness” police will have a field day with this and the Republicans will have no answer.

If this move is indicative of the level of intelligence and leadership within the Republican party, I say go hire any random person off the street to run the party. They could not do any worse. They have a political opponent in the middle of self-destructing, and they make a dumb move like this.

Amazing.

As they say, you can’t fix stupid.

~McQ

[ad] Empty ad slot (#1)!

43 Responses to Republicans: Dumber Than A Box Of Rocks

  • I’ve been considering de-registering as a Republican for a bit now. These are the types of reasons why!

    • To Billy Hollis
      Go ahead and admit that you are not a Republican. I can’t stand people who claim to be a a converted Republican sick of all the misdeeds. A real Republican is a conservative. If you are a moderate or conservative you cannot tell me that Obama is the answer. Don’t lie! Just admit that you hate Bush and think socialism is the way to go.

      • There’s always someone who kites in on a single post and without knowing the blog or the people, makes a fool of themselves. In this case, it’s you Mr. Moore.

      • Go ahead and admit that you are not a Republican. I can’t stand people who claim to be a a converted Republican sick of all the misdeeds. A real Republican is a conservative. If you are a moderate or conservative you cannot tell me that Obama is the answer. Don’t lie! Just admit that you hate Bush and think socialism is the way to go.

        So many errors, so little time.

        Nope, I’m not a Republican, never have been, and given the performance of Bush, Frist, Hastert, McCain, et.al. that’s a point of pride. I’m not a conservative, either, though as a libertarian, I can usually get along with a true conservative (which most Republican politicians are not).

        Obama is the answer? Ha! Check this out, and maybe next time don’t make so many assumptions about someone you know nothing about.

        Is your whole world conservative-moderate-liberal? Is it all about Republican victory for you, like watching a football game? If so, you need to get out more.

  • The political posturing comes from having no core principles. Both generations of Bush exhibited this, along with Ford and Nixon. They were all “pragmatic moderates”. They don’t really know or care if what they’re saying makes much sense or is philosophically consistent, so long as it provides some short-term political advantage.

    The dumbness is in thinking that this is in the long term interest of the party. Or even their own long-term interest, given how the GOP got whipped in the last two election cycles. The last two really big turnaround victories for the GOP came when Reagan soundly beat the incumbent Carter (and then subsequently was re-elected in a landslide) and when the “Contract with America” defied almost every pundit and dramatically turned control of Congress around. What those incidents have in common is full-throated support for small government principles.

    Why these career GOP hacks can’t get that this is the route to success is just beyond me.

    • Why these career GOP hacks can’t get that this is the route to success is just beyond me.

      The total disengagement between “our people in DC” and the people they supposedly represent is so profound that it defies description. Narcissism has so blinded these idiots that the word, “represent” is defined as, “governing over” the people from which they came. No sense of origins, principal, or love of country. It’s a disgusting display of abandonment.

    • I’m inclined to give Nixon a partial pass. In his day, true conservatism was considered basically dead. I think that what saved the Republican Party in the late 40s and 50s was the Cold War and the fact that the Democrats of the 30s and 40s were too close to being Red for comfort.

      I do think it is important to be pragmatic. You need to root yourself in core principles, but realize that you will have to move forwards in small steps, sometimes taking a step back for every two steps forward. Demanding all or nothing, right now usually results in nothing.

      • I’m inclined to give Nixon a partial pass.

        If he had not instituted wage and price controls for the only time in our history, I would agree with you.

  • This looks like a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face. Or perhaps a more apt analogy is burning down your home in order to prevent your spouse from installing those awful-looking curtains in the living room.

  • So much for 2010 & 2012.

  • It also opens the door for the Dems to use budget reconciliation to get the new entitlement the Republicans are creating for them. Which morons are responsible for this idea, specifically?

  • It is time to vote all incumbents out, as many times as is necessary, until we take our country back. You can’t fix stupid or evil, but you don’t need to tolerate it.

  • My sentiments exactly, it is a sad story about the state of politics (or should I say political theatre) when GOP leadership can’t keep two thoughts in its head at the same time. They’d rather grandstand than come up with better ideas, or look to the long term viability of the party instead of blathering with the equally inept media.

  • AARRGGGGHHHHHHH!!!! What a way to blow the best opportunity in decades. The anger at D.C. is immense, and what do these Republican nitwits do? Why, more government for you. This type of stupidity is why I dropped my republican registration.

    They just don’t get it and they never will.

  • Many of us have complained over the past few years that the GOP has been nothing more than “democrat-lite” at best and completely feckless at worst. It seems, however, that the GOP leadership has decided to change that… by reflexively and moronically opposing anything the dems propose. In this case, the dems have floated the (carefully worded and camouflaged) idea that some cuts in Medicaid are necessary to stop the budget deficit getting completely out of control. Well! What’s a Republican with a new-found sense of intestinal fortitude to do in such a situation?

    Shout that Republicans will NEVER make any cuts to Medicaid because that program is a right as fundamental and precious as the rights to free speech or trial by jury!

    Yessir, THAT’LL show those democrats that the GOP is back and better than ever!

    / sarc

    O’ course, this COULD also be an effort by RINO’s to try to demonstrate that, contrary to conventional wisdom, Republicans don’t actually want to deny old people their medical care and throw them out into the cold to die. So, they’re looking to show their “compassion”… by guaranteeing that a bankrupt program will continue until it swallows up the entire GDP. “We love grandma so much that we’re willing to destroy the country to preserve her Medicare! VOTE FOR US!”

    BAH!

    The problem is that there is no politically palatable – or even feasible – solution to the unfunded mandates. If we continue on, we’re doomed at some point in the future. If we start cutting, some fraction of our elderly population that relies on Medicare and Social Security are going to suffer. Is there a way out of this box???

  • Wow. They *are* dumber than a box of rocks. This just boggles my mind.

  • The problem is that Medicare should have been reformed decades ago. The longer you put it off, the more you have to resort to “shock therapy” (by which I mean an abrubt change).

    My belief system is Western foothill individualist (basically, libertarian). Growing up the son of an ex-(real) cowboy, well digger, and gold miner, and proud John Bircher.

    However, I understand that we need to embrace political reality and move forward with gradual change more often than abrubt change. That does not mean we have to endorse Medicare or health care as civil right.

    I feel a bit stuck between the RINOs with no core values, and the Ron Paul types who want all or nothing (resulting in . . . nothing).

  • Yes, just imagine the Republican Party trying to introduce Medicare reform any time soon, which is going to be needed. They know that their “free market” health care reform would probably be just as unpopular with nervous voters if they really tried to sell it, but this strategy is going to hurt them in the long run.

  • The Democrats are philisophically anchored, and wait until the moon and stars align in their favor, once per generation or so.

    The Republicans are philisophically unmoored, and drift from election to election.

    You’d think anybody with the slightest sense could take advantage of this situation by doing what the situation screams for, but no, they’re too stupid to do that.

    Steele is a babbling idiot.

    The Republicans will gain in ’10, only because the Left is overreaching.

  • Just emailed my Republican Congressman on this.

  • Neil King, Jr., and subsequently you, utterly mischaracterize what the Republican’s are doing here. You both speak as if there is some type of Republican legislative proposal to codify a civil right to medical care. In fact, there is not, any more than the “Contract With America” was actually a legally enforceable contract that the Congress and American people were going to sign. This, like the “Contract with America” is simply the announcement of the Republican legislative agenda on medical care reform.

    The mischaracterization goes even further, however. You quote the line from the NK, Jr., article where he says “The Republican Party issued a new salvo in the health debate Monday with a “seniors’ health care bill of rights” that opposed any moves to trim Medicare spending…”. This is a mischaracterization of the Republican position. In yesterday’s Washington Post op-ed announcing the Senior’s Health Care Bill of Rights, Steele states several times that he believes reforms , especially to Medicare, are necessary, but that they shouldn’t take the form of raiding Medicare of $500 billion simply so the money can be spent on yet another expensive government boondoggle. For instance, the op-ed starts out with “While Republicans believe that reforms are necessary, President Obama’s plan for a government-run health-care system is the wrong prescription.” He continues later in the op-ed, “As the president frequently, and correctly, points out, Medicare will go deep into the red in less than a decade. But he and congressional Democrats are planning to raid, not aid, Medicare by cutting $500 billion from the program to fund his health-care experiment.”

    Neither of you stop there, either. NK, Jr., goes on to uncritically report Jan Schakowsky’s remarks that the Republicans have no ideas, they are simply saying “no.” That is a criticism that I have seen here at Q&O and that you expand further upon in this post, stating “Instead of talking about market solutions and less government, they decide to establish government health care as a civil right.” The fact is that the Republicans have introduced no less than 3 bills since the beginning of May and those bills do feature market reforms and less intrusive government. These bills propose tort reforms, extending the employer tax credit to individuals, getting rid of the asinine rules prohibiting selling insurance across state lines, getting rid of the also asinine rules preventing individuals and individuals from pooling together to make deals with the insurance companies, loosening mandates to allow insurance companies to offer policies with higher deductibles and different coverages, allowing the use of HSA money to pay insurance premiums, etc. Furthermore, they have been pushing these things through speeches, mailings, editorials, townhall meetings and so forth, but you’re not going to see that if you are content to sit back and wait for the MSM (or, as they should be called, the Obama Hallelujah Chorus) to show it to you.

    Do the bills contain crap that I don’t like? Lots, but even some of those things are movement in the right direction. For instance, rather than abolishing SCHIP, the make it into a voucher that recipients can use to aid in the purchase of private health insurance. Rather than complete top-to-bottom reform of Medicare/Medicaid, they require and (for the first time ever) provide the resources for the agencies themselves to enforce against fraud (incidentally eliminating the illusory “administrative advantage” Medicare supposedly has over private insurance.)

    I note that one of the commenters brings up “Contract With America.” Well, remember the two areas where the Dems made real inroads into the popularity of it? If you can’t, they were Social Security and Medicare reform. The Dems drummed those two issues relentlessly and scared the he11 out of the geezers. Combined with the MSMs execrable coverage of the causes and results of Clinton’s government shutdown, that effectively killed the Contract. Even the article cited in the post above points out how mercilessly they hammered McCain during the campaign for his relatively benign remarks about simply restraining the growth of Medicare spending by improving its effeciency and reducing fraud and abuse. Yeah, I want the Republicans to replace that strip of cartilage running up their backs with a more osseous foundation too, but not by lopping off their legs to provide the raw material. Despite the enthusiasm in the townhall meetings, that is what will happen if the Republican’s do what you seem to want and threaten to throw Medicare, which like it or not, lots of elderly people are now dependent on, off a cliff.

    Finally, what do the Republicans say when down the road the Democrats try to throw the name of the this legislative agenda in their laps? They simply say “You were going about it the wrong way then and you still are doing it now. The best way to do it is not through government.”

    • Dang, I type probably the longest comment I have ever made on a blog and botch the last sentence. Make that “The best way to do it is not through a government takeover.”

      • The “Contract With America was NOT killed. On the contrary, it was quite successful in fulfilling its purpose, which was to get Republicans elected. The contract was not to actually pass legislation but a promise to actually bring the items in the contract to a vote in Congress. And, if I recall correctly, the Republican establishment was just as opposed to it as the Democrats, which explains why this winning tactic has not been repeated.

        If the Rep. party has been pushing some ideas it would be the first time in my lifetime, and they seem to have missed me & my wife, who is a party member. Or maybe it was that sentence or two at the end of one of the innumerable fund raising letters that I threw away after skimming the first few paragraphs. I am gratified that no donation I will ever make can cover the cost of all the phony surveys, actually fundraisng letters, they have sent me.

    • The mischaracterization goes even further, however. You quote the line from the NK, Jr., article where he says “The Republican Party issued a new salvo in the health debate Monday with a “seniors’ health care bill of rights” that opposed any moves to trim Medicare spending…”. This is a mischaracterization of the Republican position. In yesterday’s Washington Post op-ed announcing the Senior’s Health Care Bill of Rights, Steele states several times that he believes reforms , especially to Medicare, are necessary, but that they shouldn’t take the form of raiding Medicare of $500 billion simply so the money can be spent on yet another expensive government boondoggle.

      I think it is you who miss the point – no one is going to remember what Steele said in an op/ed. But everyone, seniors especially, will take the declared “Senior’s Health Care Bill of Rights” at face value to mean “no cuts, no how, no way and you promised.”

      It will become the new Republican “read my lips” statement, whether they actually said it or not. “Bill of Rights” is a game changer – now, per the title of what they propose for seniors, who are quite aware of what the real “Bill of Rights” means, will demand Republicans live up to their perception (perception = reality in politics), not yours. Whether it is really what Reps meant or not won’t matter, Republicans will have made Medicare a “right”. And at the first attempt to cut or reduce it, Republicans are political dead meat.

      It is a stupid, unnecessary move and clearly one designed to pander to a voting bloc when pandering isn’t necessary.

      That is a criticism that I have seen here at Q&O and that you expand further upon in this post, stating “Instead of talking about market solutions and less government, they decide to establish government health care as a civil right.” The fact is that the Republicans have introduced no less than 3 bills since the beginning of May and those bills do feature market reforms and less intrusive government.

      I’ve heard their ideas, and, even posted them – what I said was that those are the ideas they should be pushing right now instead of this purely political, and in my opinion, unnecessary scheme to pander to seniors for short term political gain.

      • I think it is you who miss the point – no one is going to remember what Steele said in an op/ed. But everyone, seniors especially, will take the declared “Senior’s Health Care Bill of Rights” at face value to mean “no cuts, no how, no way and you promised.”

        A fundamental difference is that Bush really did promise “No new taxes” and he really did break that promise. Perception is reality in politics, but reality has the first crack at creating perception. It’s not just something he “said in an op-ed,” it is the actual position that the party is taking and is reflected in the language of the “Bill of Rights.” As long as the Republicans maintain that position in reality, then perception will follow suit.

        Sure, the Democrats will try to wave their hands and say, “The Republicans didn’t actually say what they said.” They always do. In this case, however, the “perception” currently works in the Republicans favor. The Democrats have spent decades pushing (with some success) the idea that the Republicans hate Social Security and Medicare old people. Even now, the AARP is desperately trying to persuade the geezers that the Republicans don’t really mean it, they just hate Obama and are trying to make political hay. This makes the idea that somehow everyone is going to decide that the Republicans have fallen into unquestioning love with Medicare, despite the fact that they are explicitly claiming not to have done so, a little hard to believe.

        I’ve heard their ideas, and, even posted them – what I said was that those are the ideas they should be pushing right now instead of this purely political, and in my opinion, unnecessary scheme to pander to seniors for short term political gain.

        This would be a persuasive argument if:

        #1. Just spent an entire post pushing the idea, in no uncertain terms, that the Republicans really, really, really do love Medicare and will henceforth and in the future guard it from any cuts with their lives and sacred honor without even once mentioning what they actually said or that they actually are actively pushing many of the ideas you approve of. (OK, I was bitten by the hyperbole bug, IYKWIMAITYD.)

        #2. If you actually had, at any point in the past, even in passing, mentioned the existance of one of these bills and what was in it. Or, at any time in the past, credited even one Republican, even Ron Paul, with having these ideas or pushing them. The only post I can remember is one you wrote about Olympia Snowe in which, IIRC, you basically tarred every single other Republican with the same brush and strongly implied that they should just be “the party of no.”

        • I’ve been watching politics much to long to think nuance will win out over perception. What seniors are looking for is a guarantee.
          What they’ll perceive a “Seniors Health Care Bill of Rights” as is that guarantee. You can pretend that it will be viewed otherwise and that it won’t be seen like the “read my lips” promise of HW Bush, but I’m telling you that’s not how it will be seen and internalized. Seniors are going to take anything labeled “bill of rights” as a promise never to cut their benefits. Just watch.

          As for “persuasive” arguments, I have no idea why my defending or not defending Republican ideas has anything to do with whether or not what they did with this “bill of rights” thing is smart or not. What I have or haven’t said about Republican ideas or plans would seem as irrelevant to that point as any bills the Republicans have offered to a Democratic Congress.

        • Horsehockey. If it isn’t a right, don’t call it a right. You or the Rep. party do not get to define words, and it takes large quantities of gall to misuse an iconic American document in such a way.

          As far as McQ not posting on Rep. ideas, it is not his job to be a spokesman for your party, although he would certainly do better than the ones you have. Why have’nt you or another of the well-paid party spokesmen commented on it, since there is such a huge effort to get the word out? God knows there has been enough other spam appearing on this site over the years.

    • More “Republican” hope & change. huh?

      No thanks, their track record proves them to be liars.

      • McQ – The Republicans said “Bill of Rights”, therefore they will always support it and our children and grandchildren will always be in bondage because of those three words.

        Brown – The Republicans are compulsive liars and never deliver.

        You guys should get together sometime. Do it in Alabama (where the Republican Senators voted against No Child, Part D, TARP, the auto bailout, the Omnibus bill, and Stimuzilla) and I’ll buy the beer.

        • Yes, we could celebrate the Republicans and GW spending like drunken sailors during Bush’s terms running up the highest deficits since WWII, and the way they reached across the aisle to embrace their leftist comrades with nary a veto. Or the Kelo decision, made possible by all those great Republican court appointments, or the positively Constitution stomping bail-outs set-up and implemented by GW and the republicans before he left office, setting in motion and paving the way for Obama’s running start and putting an exclamation point on the abandonment of the people who put them in office.

          Yeah, just what we need, the same Republican’s saying; trust me.

          • Point of fact, it was the liberals on the court who made the Kelo decision, not the conservatives.

          • “Point of fact, it was the liberals on the court who made the Kelo decision, not the conservatives.”

            Well Tom-

            Point of fact, the majority of the majority was Republican, regardless of what label you wish to hang on them.

            Majority:
            Paul Stevens – Gerald Ford
            Anthony Kennedy – Ronal Reagan
            David Souter – George HW Bush
            Stephen Breyer – Bill Clinton
            Ruth Bader Ginsburg – Bill Clinton

      • Seriously, they introduced the bills. The bills say what they say. Read them. They provide an alternative to both Obamacare and decrease the government stranglehold on the medical care system that currently exists.

        You would deny support to a worthy idea because you don’t like the person propounding it?

  • It’s a tactic. Obamacare has foundered badly, and the key demographic group that has led the charge against it are the over 65 (Medicare) group. This is a powerful demographic; there are a lot of them and they ALL vote. Many of them are swing voters, and Obamacare (with its plan to cut 650B from Medicare) has scared the heck out of them. So…the Republicans are trying to win the demographic group back by offering them this plan. As with most things, the devil is in the details. “Medicare Bill of Rights” has a nice ring to it…I suspect it amounts to less than you might think.

    Lets worry about getting the far Left loons OUT of congress. Once we do that, then we can argue about program specifics.

    • Of course it is a tactic. It’s a dumb tactic. That’s my point.

      • It’s a dumb tactic.

        It is not targeting voters who put stock in the small government meta-issue. Those people will for better or worse probably vote Republican anyways.

        This tactic targets people who think politics should be about compromise and offering a solution capable of bipartisan appeal. The people who think the defining meta-issue of government is to be inclusive, tranparent, hopeful and able to embrace change. The same people who won the election for the Democrats last time.

    • No need to suspect it isn’t quite what you think, Terry just explicitly told us so.

  • The bottom line is if you voted for barak you are a government dependent parasite. You can’t hold your own weight. You blame everyone else for your problems. You don’t love America. Your greedy. You believe in killing babies and stealing from workers. You might even hate your father or most likely don’t even know who your daddy is.

    Commie Obomie and all who voted for him.

  • “Dumber than a box of rocks”? Well, yes, that is a fair description of the Republican party today. Even when they propose domething decent, as in guaranteed health care for old people, they do it for the wrong reasons. Be gratefuul that the political party of the reality-based community, the Democrats, are in control and can shift the gold fromt he dross and turn it into legislation!

    • “Reality-based”? Heck they still haven’t figured out why calling their constituents “brownshirts” and “un-American” isn’t working out so well for them. Not to mention the fact that Obama’s popularity rating is disappearing faster than a pizza at a Weight Watcher’s convention. Heh … yeah, they’ve got it all figured out, don’t they?

  • Yes, you can’t fix stoopid, especially the Republicans’ special brand of stoopid. It’s not that they’re unprincipled, it’s that the value of human freedom isn’t first on their list; other things are, like public morality.

    The real question is when and how we’re going to replace the GOP.