BREAKING: Romney Says Republicans Are NOT 'Americans'.

by: fogiv

Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 01:25:55 AM EDT

Pants On FireNo really, that's what he said:

Four years ago, I know that many Americans felt a fresh excitement about the possibilities of a new president. That president was not the choice of our party but Americans always come together after elections. We are a good and generous people who are united by so much more than what divides us.

Of course, on the day of Obama inauguration, the Congressional Republican leadership held a secret meeting where they agreed to oppose President Obama on everything (whether it was their idea or not), including every single economic proposal -- all while the U.S. economy was crashing.

As President Barack Obama was celebrating his inauguration at various balls, top Republican lawmakers and strategists were conjuring up ways to submarine his presidency at a private dinner in Washington.

The event -- which provides a telling revelation for how quickly the post-election climate soured -- serves as the prologue of Robert Draper's much-discussed and heavily-reported new book, "Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives."

According to Draper, the guest list that night (which was just over 15 people in total) included Republican Reps. Eric Cantor (Va.), Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Paul Ryan (Wis.), Pete Sessions (Texas), Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Pete Hoekstra (Mich.) and Dan Lungren (Calif.), along with Republican Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Ensign (Nev.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.). The non-lawmakers present included Newt Gingrich, several years removed from his presidential campaign, and Frank Luntz, the long-time Republican wordsmith. Notably absent were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) -- who, Draper writes, had an acrimonious relationship with Luntz.

For several hours in the Caucus Room (a high-end D.C. establishment), the book says they plotted out ways to not just win back political power, but to also put the brakes on Obama's legislative platform.

The logic is inescapable.  The Republican nominee for President of the United States thinks the leadership of his party are neither good, nor generous people.  Since Americans always come together after elections and Republicans plotted to do the opposite, and have in fact executed those plans, Republicans are not Americans.


fogiv :: BREAKING: Romney Says Republicans Are NOT 'Americans'.
And hey, how about Clint Eastwood?


How pissed off is James Brown?
Spinning around the mic stand in his grave.
Writing angry letter to Rolling Stone.
Singing 'The Payback'; sharpening Zombie claws


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Teh Godfather: (2.00 / 3)

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

Well, that was unfortunate. (2.00 / 2)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

Heh (2.00 / 3)

I'm on the other side of you, Ryan. RT @BuzzFeedBen @ryanlizza interviewing @barackobama @invisibleobama

[ Parent ]
5th most-shared article on Le Monde this morning (2.00 / 4)
"Clint Eastwood's empty chair already famous"

It's in French, but check out the pics and hashtag -- RNC 2012 has become the laughingstock of the world! My sides are aching....

I love my country, but I think we should start seeing other people.

[ Parent ]
At least Mitt has Paul Ryan at his back. (2.00 / 3)
Not that this is a place I would trust him to be, were it me...

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

So... (2.00 / 3)
The day after the convention Ryan is being "fact-checked" over locker-room braggadocio, Beltway punditry is amusing itself with twitpics of interviews with @invisibleobama and the top of the ticket made a splash in Louisiana with a presidential, "Where did all the water come from?"

That went well.

'Honey Boo Boo' Ratings Beat Republican National Convention (2.00 / 2)

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

[ Parent ]
In the Broader Scheme of Things... (2.00 / 1)
That still strikes me as bad news.

[ Parent ]
Maybe I really am a Pollyanna, (2.00 / 2)
but I see that as a positive sign, and not just from a competitive perspective.

Greg Bear's Judgement Engine tells the story of the end of the universe and the tension between teacher and student, experience and youth, certainty and hope. There are aspects of that in this (not that I just finished re-reading it a minute ago and am extrapolating wildly or anything...).

Is it that Americans are wasteful youth not paying attention to the wisdom of their elders, indulging themselves and ignoring their Lessons?

Is it instead perhaps that they are less captured by the strictures of the past - even their own - and evolving millions of independent threads. That while almost all may fade there may as well emerge those which break the Proof?

Sitting on the dock yesterday with my redneck neighbor we talked about these things, in a way. Born and raised poor, uneducated, prison tattoos climbing his arms and facing eviction today Mel discussed politics, sociology and the human condition with me with as much depth of understanding as the Stanford grads of my recent Silicon Valley neighborhood. We agreed and disagreed no more or less than I have with anyone here.

Mel understands the complexities we face in choosing our path. He will be voting in November - Republican, most likely - but he understands and respects the 98-year-old grandmother who raised him and why she will vote Democrat. He is not impressed by Romney or the Tea Party, but he is concerned by what he sees as moral decay in our culture. The loss of family and values in exchange for self indulgence.

We talked about the variable sweep of the American historical cycle and its contrast to the deterministic and well-trod path of the cultures that came before us. More a pessimist than I (but who isn't?) he doesn't fully buy into my hope that we will find our way through all of our challenges, but he has an open mind about it and children to keep his eye on the future for.

I trust Mel and the rest of us to be as capable of figuring this all out with or without the help of the RNC or DNC, despite more than because of FOX and MSNBC. If 'Honey Boo Boo' - whatever that is - is seen as more interesting by the voting public than the RNC then perhaps it simply is.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Perhaps... (2.00 / 4)
They are watching the hole and missing the donut.  Your friend Mel sounds thoughtful and tolerant but if he thinks the Republicans aren't the standard-bearers for the "moral decay" of self-indulgence you mentioned than he hasn't been paying careful attention.  And it isn't "decay" so much as a frontal assault by a bunch of people whom have grown intellectually lazy in an era of relative prosperity and security largely provided by the very system they are insisting on dismantling.  The marriage and family values shtick is just a long con; Republicans have torn them up and danced on them whenever it suits them.  How many employers, for example, aren't perfectly content that the new normal is a two-income middle-class household?  How much damage has that done to their precious family values?  But if it keeps the employment market competitive and wages flat it's a joyful thing to them.  

Methinks there's a bit of fluff in that positive outlook; too much Boo Boo and not enough critical thinking perhaps.

[ Parent ]
You're mixing memes. (2.00 / 3)
Future Shock and the 'end of the nuclear family' were not Republican memes, but the brainchild of liberal Boomers. Libertarian capitalism isn't the core of the right half of the country, just the drumbeat of those seeking power from those quarters.

The reality is that the GOP won over Mel's generation by focusing on a different aspect of caring about family than the Democrats did to win his grandmother's generation. Neither political party consists of a pure viewpoint on family or any other topic but rather a stew of talking points crafted to move population segments for their elective purposes.

The Democrats won Mel's gramma with Hope of a chicken in every pot and children with a future. They lost Mel with a bleak view of a dead world due to the 'hopeless greed of the virus infecting the planet [humans]'.

Mel and I talked about how impossible it is to forecast the result of decisions, with the specific example of the economic bailout direction that both Bush and Obama embraced. That while the US economy survived with that non-partisan approach of pouring money into the banks and businesses the German economy survived doing the opposite, and that there is no way to go back and determine whether the opposite approaches would have worked as well.

Ryan's awful speech full of BS and outright lies worked for those it was targeting because, as one pundit awkwardly said, it was about bigger things than mere facts. Most voters pay less attention to politics than I (and I can't begin to say how little I have been paying to that or anything else outside my immediate environment) and are moved rather by ideals. Not even Moose - who on average can argue the points better than all but a few - can prove beyond dispute that different previous paths would have led to more positive present conditions. You cannot even convince me beyond a shadow of a doubt that more Jimmy Carter and less Ronald Reagan would have made America today more middle-class friendly and not instead more consistently impoverished.

If the GOP wins in this cycle - and the reason the reason it won in the mid-terms - it will not be because academic proofs of ideology have been indisputably proven to the majority of Americans. It will be because enough people feel a reason for hope in one direction but not another.

It only bears repeating for those who have not read everything else I have said here for four years, but I for one support the President and his agenda as the best way forward. If not for him I would be stuck deciding between the sneering disdain of Michael Moore and Nancy Pelosi (and the many, many friends and family who share their hopeless outlook) and the frothingly-Christian GOTea (and the many many sweet and hopeful friends and family who share their views).

Without Obama I might have to hold my nose and vote GOP, because I have to hold my nose regardless.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Look... (2.00 / 3)
I certainly agree with the 'law of unintended consequences' and think that it is a sophisticated view to question the outcomes of things like the US/Germany and Carter/Reagan dichotomies you took the trouble to mention.  I share that perspective and celebrate discussing politics at that level; one of the things I consistently like about your posts.

But that's my point in regards to Mel's presumed alignment with Republicans because of "moral decay in our culture."  Pretty subjective stuff, to be sure, but when it isn't double-speak for hating the poors or the blahs (which I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt about) it is pretty thin gruel as served up by the Right.  I still maintain, as others have been pointing out with increasing urgency, that the modern Republican party are radical nihilists when it comes to the structural reforms proposed in their platform; 'progressives' are the conservatives.  Sure, they sugar coat this and wrap it in the flag but it remains a dramatic and radical experiment.  Pretending it was the wish of the founding fathers is another con on the uninformed and theologically delirious.

The "moral decay" I see is the culture of unenlightened self-interest and entitled prosperity which modern Republicans have made a cornerstone of their ideology.  It is Randian; and it is just as much hokum as "trickle-down" economics but considerably more destructive.  The derision reserved for public institutions is as 'anti-American' as any ideological threat they've ever demagogued over including anarchism, Bolshevism, communism and jihad.  And it is as home-grown as trucknutz.  Give me a break; these are the 'radicals' who are a genuine threat to our communities, parks and libraries not to mention Social Security and Medicare.

[ Parent ]
The GOP is a disaster, that isn't my point. (2.00 / 3)
In 2008 I assumed that I would be voting for Clinton. While I very much didn't like her at the time (I've got different opinions now, if she still isn't my favorite human) I knew that it was both a Democrat cycle and that Bush had taken things further rightward in many ways than I like. The GOP has taken things much much further afield since to, the point of being little more than a gaggle of frothing monocultural ideologues that I couldn't conceive of supporting at all.

But that is far from saying I agree with Democrats in general, and modern liberalism in specific.

Obama is a moderately liberal technocrat and intellectual titan, working pragmatic solutions from that direction. His influence on the direction of his party cannot be understated and is the primary reason I actually support his side as opposed to tolerating it. His less-confrontational approach has probably moderated the behavior of the party quite a lot, thank god and little fluffy bunnies.

Would the GOP have been the same with Clinton in power? Probably, due to the larger forces at work, in which case I would vote Clinton this year. But it would not have surprised me greatly if a non-Obama presidency these past four years would have led the Democrats to match spite with spite to the point that I might not know which bunch of idiots to vote for.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Curiously... (2.00 / 3)
Though I was probably even more of a determined opponent to Hillary's candidacy I agree completely with everything you have said except the premise of the speculation in your concluding paragraph.  I think the Republicans would have responded vastly differently to a Hillary Clinton presidency; largely because she is white.  As for the "larger forces" this fascinates me as a historian; I see current events as just fresh, unripe history.  

Whatever fever dreams have overtaken Republicans, and at this point it seems like nothing more than burning necessity to win power at the top allied with fearful and entitled ignorance among the grassroots, it is damned difficult to frame a credible historical context for it; they seem determined to win a political Darwin Award of some kind.

That they would be one pole for the "man on the Clapham omnibus" to make a choice between using the logic of false equivalences seems quite a cruel joke on American politics and culture; like an IQ test involving Russian roulette.

[ Parent ]
It's one of those unknowables. (2.00 / 2)
Things that didn't happen always make for pointless debates. That said... ;~)

Would a Clinton administration have led to FOX news creating the Tea Party? Perhaps. Would she have set a tone that combats fire with gasoline, as politicos are wont to do and Democrats excel at (though they typically pour it on themselves...)? Would that have pushed back the destructive forces the Right has assembled, or fanned their flames?

Dunno. Cannot.

But Obama's calm manner of letting other people make fools of themselves is one of my favorite things about him. I wouldn't be as honest about my fanboyhood if I didn't say that he has been something of a touchpoint for me during these years in my own actions. It may not have been lost on you that I have a regrettable tendency to lose my temper from time to time, and while I don't imagine that I will ever master that completely each time I let the cork out of the bottle I end up regretting it in the end. Obama continues to serve as an example of someone who deals more competently with much greater stresses than my own and I have to believe it has been worth the effort he put into it and perhaps made myself and others try to do as well.

Mel and I have continued our conversations over the weekend on many fronts. Very glad I have had the chance to talk with him about so many things (physics, politics, religion, sociology ad naseum). Aside from the personal satisfaction of spending time with a fellow human the specific and timely counterpoint to the implicit and explicit prejudices of my former co-Californians has been stark. Oh yes, those southern Christians rednecks are just all such a bunch of ignorant racist blah blah blah...


I deeply love discussing all of these things with folks like yourself and our fellow Moose. Great intellects who have taken the time to dive deep into the minutiae of the complexities of life are the folks I starve for by nature. But I am so very glad that my life did not follow the academic ivory tower that had seemed likely as a child but instead led me to spend so much time with those who many in ivory towers cannot even be bothered to stare down their long noses at.

Palin and her fellow circus performers may have in fact made a mockery of the Average American ("Real" Americans, in the cynical lexicon she and her fellows abuse) but the reality remains that the strength of our nation comes from our ability to include the thoughts of not only those who live at the top of the food chain. There would simply be no justification whatsoever for any of the idea and ideals of the founders of this country if Mel actually filled the cookie-cutter cartoon the pundits and Partiers apply.

Every person is brilliant. Each of us can be trusted with the contemplation and execution of matters of state. Not just our Great Leaders, not just those who rise to financial or political power. Not only the Exalted Experts, those privileged with papers of power from halls of commerce or academia.

All of us.

If the cynicism of any of the pompous voices from the fringes had any truth to them there should not be an America at all. But they aren't, and there is, and all of them forget that at their eventual peril.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
"those privileged with papers of power from halls of,,,academia" (2.00 / 1)
Awww.  And here I thought I had finally become special.  Oh well.  Guess I need to take other people seriously again.  And I owe you for taking me down a peg or two.  When you get too big for your britches, they usually split a seam and then you land in a pratfall.  Thanks for saving me from that fate.

The future is unwritten

[ Parent ]
I didn't say you were *less* brilliant... (2.00 / 3)
(other than "than me" of course...)

I don't see you as one of those taking point of privilege for being a papered pedigree. More picture you as one of those folks who would be griping right along with me after a few months in Silicon Valley about those who expect a Little Respect for their Opinions due to their Letters of Writ.

Among my favorite folks are those who can carry both a thick book and a chainsaw. Even that is a stereotype that doesn't hold a lot of water, there are plenty of purely academic nebishes whom I also love and enjoy.

Any set of proofs that sustain self-satisfaction are unsatisfactory.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Totally with you my friend (2.00 / 3)
One doesn't need a degree of any sort to be an intellectual.  Indeed the term intellectual was initially applied, as a pejorative, to journalists in France who supported Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, who was framed for espionage because he was a Jew.  It was a derisive term applied to vocal and public
"Dreyfussards,"  many of whom weren't Jewish, but made his affair into a battle over whether "French" was an ethnic or religious designation (most of the anti-dreyfussards were Catholic and still interested in fighting the bloody religious battles of the 16th century) or whether it pertained to citizenship in the republic.  

There are "organic intellectuals" and "public intellectuals" of all sorts.  There is always a danger of arrogance when one is certified as a "professional thinker."  And that danger is perhaps magnified by our current anti-intellectualism and the efforts to marginalize the academy.  But we can assume someone with a PhD doesn't necessarily know 'better' about anything, just 'more' about something.  I don't know any professors who believe there should be a degree requirement to vote or to participate in public discourse.  And when academics only engage with other academics, after a time one can smell the atrophy.

Of course, I'd love to see Paul Ryan compose a dissertation in economics and see if it would be accepted anywhere or by anyone.  I'd wager that even Milton Friedman's acolytes at U of C would make mince meat of him in a defense.

The future is unwritten

[ Parent ]
Academic rigor is a wonderful thing. (2.00 / 1)
Challenge everything, be satisfied with nothing.

As my sig line below attests, I am no more enamored with those who find justification in ignorance than those who find it in education. Any basis for "knowing" something beyond debate is the death of intellectual discourse.

Mel knew about UB313 2003, aka Xena - a planetoid larger and further than Sedna which I reported here on in 2009.

I didn't know that.

Anytime anyone for any reason pontificates a "fact" I recall a friend's late great mom Lois' ability to deflate the flated - myself included - when she spied certainty in a statement with a simple:

You don't know.

Learning is beautiful. Knowledge is priceless. Just don't ever believe too strongly that you know anything just because you studied it or god told you or your peers snigger at your cleverness in opposition, and the ghost of Lois won't have to take you down a notch.

Mel's wife and kids are gone now, back to South Carolina to stay with family. The sheriffs have been to see Mel the past two days and the landlord shows up today, there is not much that can be done to stop the inevitable course. A middle-aged man who was a young Marine will likely be on a bus before the day is out with more on his mind than I have yet been faced with in my relatively blessed life. Still, last night after rounding out conversations including quantum foam, string theory, time cones, evolution, creation and the definition of sin Mel took my hand and shook it, looking me in the eye with a courage to face honesty that I found specifically lacking in the askance eyes of my Californian neighbor cradling his glass of wine as he watched Donna and I pack up our belongings:

"I want to thank you for the intellectual conversations. I don't often get to do this, and I've enjoyed your company."

Mel may be wrong about a number of things, but he knows that and lives with the possibility. I cannot begin to say how much more respect I have for him than for California Curtis and his judgmental certitude.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Sigh (2.00 / 3)
Every person is brilliant, but let's not confound our politics with our theology.  Among those brilliant people a fair few consume the better part of their gift for imagination and invention propping up a world view with little bearing on reality, largely informed by unresolved emotional influences that are either infantile or adolescent.  This is what I call wilful ignorance and it seems endemic.

At the ripe old age of fifty-seven with a teenager evolving before my eyes it strikes me how much of our lifelong struggle to adjust to other people and the world around us is framed by motives and aspirations, concious or otherwise, which could hardly be considered 'adult.'

[ Parent ]
Yes, but my point is that that infantile certainty can be based on ignorance of many types. (2.00 / 1)
My approach to life is to have as much information as possible in an attempt to distill a little knowledge. I will defend that against unfounded "belief" to my last breath.

But I find "belief" as often if not moreso in my personal life coming from those who have amassed a lot of information rather than those operating with less. There is a tendency to find comfort in ownership of a bushel of knowledge that carries risks different from an understanding of how little one knows compared to how much there is to know.

From a relatively similar temporal perspective I find it hard to be too impressed that someone went to classes for four or six or ten years after high school. Good on ya', all in all, but I find it likely that I - or Mel's grandmother - could hold my own in a debate about many of the pieces of information presented by the instructors of those classes. There is a lot of value in the skill of critical thinking that can be developed going through the exercises we refer to as education, but the information content in a course of study is at best a particular set of opinions that are a few years out of date.

Naivete gained through ignorance is not a virtue, but it can keep you from stepping off edges that those blessed with certainty often stride off to their demise.  

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]

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