Friday, August 10, 2012
Who are today’s Republicans?
A couple of days ago, an old sparring friend of mine called to check up on me and then after a few minutes of formality, we picked up where we left off 10 years ago; arguing about politics. My very conservative Republican friend would crawl over glass to vote for another Republican. He's pretty much in line with what the national Republican surrogates are saying and doing, so I use him as a way to check the temperature of the local GOP.
My friend hasn't wavered a bit in his hatred for President Barack Obama, and he's not afraid to admit it. He said that he would vote for any one in the Republican Party over President Obama. We agreed that the economy has already hit rock bottom and whoever gets elected, will reap the rewards in a couple of years when our economy starts rolling again. I asked him about the dismal GOP presidential primary turnout, and he said it didn't matter who won the primary, considering the candidates, at that point he thought that the only requirement of a president was to have a couple working digits, so he could sign partisan Republican legislation. He said that “compromise" was equivalent to "kissing your sister.” I think that's where Republicans are today; they don't like Mitt Romney, but they will pretend to like him, not forgetting that the number-one goal is to defeat President Obama. That's why I like to talk to my buddy; he doesn’t skirt the issue. He'll admit that he's not exactly thrilled supporting a Mormon( he's a protestant evangelical), and he knows in his heart of hearts that Romney is a liberal, and he's just renting his conservative credentials until his second term. He said that he'll take that chance hoping that his party controls Congress. I can't pin down my friend's thoughts on the Tea Party. My friend is an establishment Republican, but I don't know if he's a member of the local GOP.
The national Tea Party movement is trying to replace the establishment Republican Party because they think the established GOP lack of charisma, loves the status quo and that the party needs to go back to it’s roots. A Tea Party leader in Columbia, South Carolina said this of the GOP platform"It's a piece of paper," "It doesn't mean squat."Matt' Kibbe has been the President and CEO of FreedomWorks since 2004, and he's a spokesman for Tea Party values. I think that Chris Matthews caught him off script and off guard the other day when he showed him a chart that contained the percentage of the budget every program represented. He asked him directly" what would you cut?" Mr.Kibbe wasn't ready for the question, so he said he would reform Social Security and Medicare and give block grants to the states for Medicaid. The Tea Party may be a grassroots effort, but they know that their words have to be on message with the Republican talking points. It tells me that they have a message but not a detailed plan. It was a simple question for a group that wants small government and extremely low taxes. If my memory is correct, the local established GOP is having its own power struggle with the Ron Paulites, Libertarians and Tea Party, but the latter three may the same bunch.
Here it is Tea Party,where are you going to cut?
Today's Wall Street Journal and Peggy Noonan's columns expressed their outrage over a Democratic super PAC ad featuring a Missouri steelworker named Joe Soptic who implied that Bain had closed the steel mill he was working at, leaving him without health insurance, and that eventually was a cause of his wife dying from cancer. It's a bit of a stretch anyway you look at it but so was the Willie Horton ad. It's a little late in the game for those on the right to try to claim the victim card. It's going to be a tit- for- tat from now until November. It didn't help Romney that his spokesman said that if Mr.Soptic had been living in Massachusetts, he would've had Romney care. That tidbit caused Ann Coulter's Adam's apple to bulge out even more than normal, and it also got the ire of Laura Ingraham. They both called for the firing of the Romney spokeswoman because of what she said. It's my belief that the spokeswoman wasn’t off message at all; I think the Romney camp wanted her to deliver that message to the 6% to 8% undecided vote.
It looks like the Republicans don't want their nominee, Mitt Romney, to talk about his accomplishments, such as working with Democrats in Massachusetts, his governorship, Romney care or Mormonism. This is the same party that was against the repeal of "don't ask; don't tell" where gay military personnel could hold up their hands to defend the constitution, but they would have to lie about their sexual orientation. They opposed the repeal in spirit, but they never took any real action against it. Mitt Romney said he would reinstate it, but that's just talk.
I'm sure the GOP will figure it all out by the time of their convention at the end of this month. They will come out of there united in their quest to unseat Obama and will try to convince the 6% who are undecided to do the same. Romney could make nice with the base by picking Paul Ryan as his VP choice but then once again he is conceding just to get along.