And now for some truth about today’s GOP, we go to Bob in the Heights


My friend Bob Eddy has something to say today about the current race for president of these United States, about which you may have heard a thing or two in the past year or so. He has an endorsement, and a prediction, and a link to a great story in Rolling Stone (that I’m still working on) with background on the evolution of the Republican Party over the last two generations into the enclave of selfish anti-tax extremists you see before you today. Bob…

Against my better judgment—I guess more than anything because I have a lot of reading time these days—I have been keeping up for some time now with the often humorous and desperate “Anyone but the Mormon!” reality show currently masquerading as the Republican primaries. I mean, who can resist? What a pack of fucking coconuts, every one of them. Excluding Ron Paul, who’s basically a nut with a couple of good ideas, and Huntsman, who is waaay too centrist for this rabid crowd, they’re a bunch of pathetic pledge-signing panderers beholden to the Tea Baggers and Christian right; scumbags who made their millions peddling their influence trying to portray themselves as “outsiders” and reformers—I’d have better luck trying to dress up and look like Kim Kardashian. I liked Bill Maher’s “New Rules for the New Year” featured in the [New York] Times last week – among my favorites: 

If you were a Republican in 2011, and you liked Donald Trump, and then you liked Michele Bachmann, and then you liked Rick Perry, and then you liked Herman Cain, and then you liked Newt Gingrich…you can still hate Mitt Romney, but you can’t say it’s because he’s always changing his mind.

And now you can add Rick Santorum to that list. Concerning Rick Perry:

The press must stop saying that each debate is “make or break” for Rick Perry and call them what they really are: “break.”

Even crusty curmudgeon Krauthammer at the [Washington] Post calls this one “a weak Republican field with two significantly flawed front-runners contesting an immensely important election.” Of course that was a couple of weeks ago, when everyone assumed it would be Romney vs. Newt: Yes Charlie, who will save America from that cloaked and quasi-American and his plan to turn this great nation into a socialistic Hieronymus Bosch painting, the commie love child of France and Cuba?!  In the same editorial he wraps it up with “If Obama wins, he will take the country to a place from which it will not be able to return (which is precisely his own objective for a second term).”

Wow!  Gives me shivers…

Bye-bye, Michele, you were my favorite! Sorry God’s mysterious plan for America doesn’t include you after all! And who can forget “I’m not going away!” Herman Cain…are you fucking kidding me? Oh yes you are, Herman, your little five minutes on stage are mercifully over. Poor Herman, the misunderstood Jimmy Stewart of the pizza business. Yes, after shuffle dancing around the harassment accusations, he then had to admit to a 13-year relationship with an Atlanta businesswoman that included him giving her monthly cash installments—but all in benevolent innocence of course, strictly friends. A friend his wife knew nothing about. You know, like George [Bailey], when he gives the town floozy some cash to go start a new life outside of Bedford Falls in “It’s a Wonderful Life!”

So anyways, with the remaining bag of nuts now taking off the gloves and heading to New Hampshire for another family cage match, the media has been dogging my phone for weeks asking if I’m ready to go on record endorsing a candidate! And my Tweeter is down!! So I’ve chosen tonight to officially give my full support to the incumbent, President O. To quote Thomas Friedman in a recent editorial, “I still don’t want my money back.” Not only that, my money says he will soundly beat any one of these weak challengers. Sorry, they just didn’t/couldn’t come up with a serious contender. Poor Mitt—will he once again face the shame and embarrassment of his party’s rejection? I see grandpa McCain has thrown him a bone of support, as if anyone gives a dry fart what he thinks—the man who gave us Sarah Palin. Dan Quayle is also for Mitt—take that Newt, IN YOUR FACE!

The nation is still recovering from a crushing recession that sent unemployment hovering above nine percent for two straight years. The president, mindful of soaring deficits, is pushing bold action to shore up the nation’s balance sheet. Cloaking himself in the language of class warfare, he calls on a hostile Congress to end wasteful tax breaks for the rich. “We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share,” he thunders to a crowd in Georgia. Such tax loopholes, he adds, “sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary – and that’s crazy.”

Preacherlike, the president draws the crowd into a call-and-response. “Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver,” he demands, “or less?”

The crowd, sounding every bit like the protesters from Occupy Wall Street, roars back: “MORE!”

The year was 1985. The president was Ronald Wilson Reagan.

That’s the opening from an excellent and fascinating piece in a recent Rolling Stone (by Tim Dickinson), entitled “How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich.” I mean no offense to those who vote and stand for the Grand Old Party, but sometimes I wonder if a lot of them really know what they’re voting for these days. It’s quite an extensive and in-depth look at the party today, and its evolution over the last 25 years. What’s most surprising is it’s filled with quotes from top level economic movers, shakers, and advisors of past Republican administrations that, frankly, barely recognize what their party has become. Reagan budget director David Stockman goes on record saying “The party has totally abdicated its job in our democracy, which is to act as the guardian of fiscal discipline and responsibility. They’re on an anti-tax jihad—one that benefits the prosperous.” Bruce Bartlett, an architect of the 1981 Reagan tax cuts says “Taxes are ridiculously low! And yet the mantra of the Republican party is tax cuts raise growth…so where’s the fucking growth?”

George Voinovich, former GOP senator from Ohio, when discussing the debt ceiling standoff of last year, likened his party’s new guard to arsonists whose attitude is “We’re going to get what we want or the country can go to hell.” Even economist Glenn Hubbard, designer of the Bush tax cuts, tells Rolling Stone there should have been a revenue contribution to the debt ceiling deal, “structured to fall mainly on the well-to-do.”

Alan Simpson, former senator and personal friend of the Gipper, says Reagan recognized raising taxes as a necessary and effective tool to bring down unwieldy deficits and wasn’t afraid to do so—he “raised taxes eleven times in eight years!” Yes, the Moses of the Republican party, the man who’s name and image is a virtual icon, only hearkened to with reverence and adulation.

Republicans have responded to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression by slashing inheritance taxes, extending the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, and endorsing a tax amnesty for big corporations that have hidden billions in profits in offshore tax havens. They also wrecked the nation’s credit rating by rejecting a debt-ceiling deal that would have slashed future deficits by $4 trillion – simply because one-quarter of the money would have come from closing tax loopholes on the rich.

How did this all start? With a smarmy little Harvard-educated Chamber of Commerce staffer and sphincter-licker named Grover Norquist, who began the hijacking of the Republican Party back in 1985 when Reagan made him point man for a pressure group called Americans for Tax Reform.

But it’s a long story, I’ve said my piece. I’ll close with something from one of the lucky few presidents who got to actually preside over a government that ran in the black—and get a hummer in the Oval Office from a hot young intern. The article mentions that a decade ago [Bill] Clinton warned the Republican tax cuts would return America to a period of “deficit upon deficit” that culminated in “the worst recession since the Great Depression.”

Obama is going to win because he will successfully make the case that his opponent’s party stands for obstructionism and the demise of the middle class. And it won’t be that hard.

Go Texans!

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5 Responses to And now for some truth about today’s GOP, we go to Bob in the Heights

  1. thatmrgguy says:

    Unfortunately for all of us, most of the voting public is, not so much stupid, but ignorant of the important issues facing us today. Most of them get their information spoon-fed to them by the mainstream media which is by and large a Progressive Leftist propaganda machine. And Fox News isn’t much better. All of the major media outlets are for big government and basically keeping the status quo.

    Consider that your Progressive/Socialist/Communist sympathizing hero, Barack Obama, has kept all of George W. Bush’s policies in place, as well as ignoring his oath to the Constitution at every turn. Is that the change you voted for? I will concede that we had more liberties under Clinton than we did under GWB, thanks to the nefarious Patriot Act. But today, we have even less liberty under Obama than we did under GWB with O’s administration’s continued support of more stringent regulations that only hurt small businesses. Those new banking regulations from Dodd (his father must be rolling over in his grave) and Frank don’t hurt the big banks at all, but will potentially destroy small community banks who don’t have the financial resources to keep up with all the new regulations. The first of January brought us over 40,000 new laws on the books.

    I personally agree that we need to close a lot of the tax loopholes for big business. But I also think that everyone should have to pay their taxes, no exceptions. That’s why I’m in favor of a flat tax with exemptions for food and fuel. There’s no reason in the world why a person or family who doesn’t pay any taxes should get a big check at the end of the year. Statistically, 1% of the population pays 95% of the taxes collected by the government. Is that fair? Progressives are all about fairness, they say. (I’m not anywhere near the 1%.)

    The people that are really hurting in this economic downturn aren’t the poor or the rich, but the middle class and I think that’s been the plan all along because without the middle class, we will become a nation of the elites with a bunch of serfs catering to their every whim, kind of like it was in the Dark Ages…or in what was once Communist Russia and we saw how well that worked out, didn’t we?

    The Constitution guarantees equality of opportunity–it doesn’t guarantee equality of outcome and it wasn’t meant to. The only time in our lives we will be completely equal is when we return to the dust from whence we came, in other words, death.

    Mike G.

    • Pat Ryan says:

      Hi Mike, nice to hear from you. Your comment raises some questions in my mind:

      –Obama has kept all of Bush’s policies in place and ignored his oath at every turn?

      –there are 40,000 new laws on the books thanks to Dodd-Frank?

      1% of the population pays 95% of the taxes?

      –there is/has been a plan to eliminate the middle class in America?

      Any further insight, or references, would be appreciated. Thanks for commenting.

  2. thatmrgguy says:

    Hi Pat,

    Here’s a link about the top 1% paying more in taxes than the bottom 95%, so in a way, I misspoke; http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c4eab53ef00e54ef1b93b8833

    A little exaggeration, but not by much; http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/111229/immigration-abortion-alcohol-new-laws-2012

    One example is Obama’s latest “recess” appointments, as well as his incursion into Libya. I’m no fan, but at least GWB went to Congress before sending our troops into harm’s way. And that is only one of many problems I have with “O.” There’s this thing we have in the U.S. Constitution called “separation of powers” and Obama seems to have forgotten that. The president is going it alone, much like many totalitarian dictators, well, like his buddy, Hugo Chavez.

    These things combined with other observations lead one to believe that the Progressives are sabotaging the middle class. The policies in place don’t hurt the poor because they receive government largess in the way of redistributed income from the haves, mostly middle class Americans, to the have nots, the poor. The very rich, people in the upper 5%, aren’t really hurt by higher taxes because they have the wherewithal to hire tax attorneys and accountants enabling them to keep as much of their earnings as is lawfully possible. Also, they end up sitting on their money instead of investing it in new business ventures that might promote job growth.

    In other words, the middle class is “screwed, glued and tattooed.”

    Oh, I almost forgot. Obama promised to close Guantanamo Prison in his first year. He has reupped the Patriot Act adding new indignities on all Americans except for the politically well-connected. (I know the House voted on it, but Obama could have vetoed it. Even if it still passed by an override of his veto, the American people would have seen that and he would be much more popular than he is now.)

    That’s what we get for putting a “community Organizer” in the White House.

    Best,

    Mike G.

    • Pat Ryan says:

      Thanks for the updates. I’m not getting a good website from your first link, though; if you’ve got another I’ll post it. On your second link: the story does say there were 40,000 new laws passed in 2011, but not 40,000 as a result of Dodd-Frank. In fact, the story indicates that all of the tens of thousands of laws in question were passed by state legislatures, not by Congress at all.

      I’m eager to see what more responses we get to your comment as well as Bob’s arguments.

  3. Bob in the Heights says:

    To any and all readers:

    First and foremost – My piece was intended to be a humorous look at the Republican primaries thus far, and a not so humorous – scary, to be exact – synopsis of the intractable and misleading current tax policy being touted by the party, one that heavily favors the rich. And again, a policy that is clearly out of sync with anything Reagan signed off on while in office.

    I mean, come on, all of them (but Huntsman, I believe) have actually signed a virginity pledge to, among other things, under no circumstances raise taxes. Evidently that tax dam is the inviolate hymen of the Republican Party. How disheartening and lame is that, when someone running for president has to sign an honor pledge from an independent group (in this case the petulant and delusional Tea Baggers) before getting to wear the party colors or expecting any support.

    What this wasn’t was a critique of President Obama, just a prediction of his win. That being said, believe me, any of my friends and colleagues could attest to the fact that I have written witheringly and often about our current president (and his party) over the last three years.

    Second – Can we all get over the hysteria of the Obama recess appointment, or as John Boner called it, “an unprecedented power grab!!”? According to the http://www.senate.gov website, Bush made 171 recess appointments during his two terms, Clinton 139, and Obama 32 so far. While we’re on presidential stats, though, I can’t resist sharing one of my favorites: vacation time! As of last August, Obama had taken 61 days. At this point in his presidency, while waging wars on two fronts and steering the U.S. economy into a ditch, slacker Bush racked up 180 days at the ranch. Hmmm, that explains a lot.

    Oh yeah, Bill Clinton? 28 days.

    Lastly – Comparing Obama’s intervention in Libya, which like virtually everything he does got slammed by Republicans no matter how he played it or the outcome – from a back seat, light-handed pussy approach to an undeclared/unconstitutional full scale war – to the (granted) Congressionally-approved, but sold on 100% bullshit, ten year and counting cluster-fuck launched by Bush? That takes quite a stretch of the imagination.

    But that’s just my opinion.

    Bob in the Heights

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