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The GOP is far from "relevant." Check back in a few years.

By John Martin - Posted on 09 February 2009

The Republican party can throw monkey wrenches everywhere they go.  They can even keep trying to embarrass or frustrate Obama and the Democrats as much as they want, but it's not going to help them, and it sure won't help the country.  The tactics the GOP has been employing are only going to make people even more bitter about the political climate in the U.S.-- and against both parties.  With a young, optimistic President trying to get us through a crisis, all this monkeying around will do a lot more harm to the Republicans than it will to Obama.

This is already starting to remind me of Gingrich's government shutdown in 1995, when he eventually lost his game of Chicken to Clinton-- who emerged from that battle stronger than ever.  Naturally, Obama needs to be able to build a coalition around this legislation, but voters are going to give him the benefit of the doubt for a while, no matter what this particular bill looks like in the end.   Voters do not trust the Republican Party.  As the President has pointed out-- he won the election; the overwhelming majority of American who elected him are in no hurry to run back to the GOP just because they found a litany of a little things they don't like in this bill.

"The historic young President with the political wind at his back has quickly turned testy toward those who disagree with him. Despite promises to the contrary, he's been so rigid that the defeated Republicans are relevant again." 

That's Michael Goodwin in the New York Daily News yesterday.  I'm sorry, but you can't have your assessment of this new administration taken seriously if in the next breath you label the Republican Party as "relevant."  They're playing a valuable watchdog role against the Democrats' excesses, but they have nothing to offer the country right now. 


The tactics the GOP has been employing are only going to make people even more bitter about the political climate in the U.S.-- and against both parties.

I think that's the entire point, just as the Japanese thought since Leyte Gulf that massive losses of airmen are worth it if they can sink American vessels.


And there's no sense crying over every mistake
You just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake.

The tactics the GOP has been employing are only going to make people even more bitter about the political climate in the U.S.-- and against both parties.

According to that Gallup poll, it's huring the GOP much more than the Dem's. People seem to give them some credit for trying to negotiate.

As for the relevance of the GOP, it's pretty laughable. I see their little anti-everything tactics and they are making Rush so darn proud, but they don't see the the writing on the wall. Can they be that clueless?

Precisely-- the kamikaze strategy ultimately failed because it decimated Japan's fighter/bomber pilots, and despite a patriotic frenzy whipped up by squadron commanders, it was incredibly demoralizing for the guys in the military who did the actual fighting. Now, we probably won't see any GOP Congresspersons explode (except figuratively), but they're burning what little cred they have left just to bring down the Democrats' slim margin-- the recent Gallup poll had the Dems basically even between approval/disapproval. The GOP hopes to put/keep the public perception of Democrats in the toilet, even if that means putting theirs in the septic tank. Kind of a "we're going down, but we're taking you with us!!" mentality.

And there's no sense crying over every mistake
You just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake.

I get it now. Wow-complicated!

This pretty much sums up the party. In a piece titled "Republicans see positives in negative stand"

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.) suggested last week that the party is learning from the disruptive tactics of the Taliban, and the GOP these days does have the bravado of an insurgent band that has pulled together after a big defeat to carry off a quick, if not particularly damaging, raid on the powers that be. "

Hmmm, the Taliban. I've heard a lot of comparison of  the GOP to the Taliban, but never from the party itself. Good move Sessions - the plan is to simply disrupt, derail and destroy.

"they sense a tactical victory, particularly in the framing of their opposition to the plan as a clash with congressional Democrats instead of with President Obama, who remains far more popular with voters than does Congress.

Republicans are holding congressional Democrats responsible for the wasteful spending they say is in the stimulus package, even though most of the big-ticket items -- for renewable energy, health care and schools -- are ones that Obama wanted in the package to advance his long-term goals."

And there's the point I've made in earlier threads - to a very large degree, this IS Obama's recovery bill, and the framing of it as a Democratic congressional bill loaded with Pelosi pork is a "divide and conquor" tactic. Attacking Obama for it is more difficult due to his popularity, but Pelosi - she's old meat.

Ol' Curly sums up the plan... Ideas? Fresh, relevant ideas? No need, we're the Taliban now! We can just be obstructionists and ride our popularity in on the next round.

"Curly Haugland, a Republican National Committee member from North Dakota, said there is little need for ideas when the main task for the GOP will be fighting back Democratic ones."

And for strategy? Steele summarizes:

 "The goose egg that you laid on the president's desk was just beautiful."

Some of the remarks in the comments section of media coverage on the Taliban comment:

Survive on your own merits is all Pete Sessions is saying. Those who can't support and provide for themselves take down the survivors and the strong as long as we coddle and carry them along with us.

Yes, we should all work together. And we should leave those who can't along side the road for the vultures and the coyotes to feast on.


Pete Sessions is the kind of man who can bring this country back the greatness is used to be. Bring back the days when those who could survive did survive and those who couldn't were removed from the gene pool. We don't need the weak and the broken as they are the ones pulling us down.

"We don't need the weak and the broken as they are the ones pulling us down."

Yeah, Jesus said that same thing, didn't he? 

Poor little match girl... I wonder what happened to her?
Yes, I'm sure that Andrew Carnegie and Bill Gates were really "pulled down" by those they've helped...

And there's no sense crying over every mistake
You just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake.

Speaking of people who might be eliminated from the gene pool and not be missed, I believe these two individuals might qualify. Not that I advocate violence at all!

No offense to any of the wonderful Republicans on this site, but it kind of makes my decision to abandon the "R" designation (after 12 years) look better and better. That's just my rant. Now, please, sane GOPers, please try to take back control of the party. We need you!

No offense to any of the wonderful Republicans on this site, but it kind of makes my decision to abandon the "R" designation (after 12 years) look better and better. That's just my rant.

It's not just your rant, it's mine as well.  For me, it was the 20-year time frame between Reagan and W.  In my case, an old habit is NOT that hard to break, at least in the party department. 


As as southerner,  I think I can say the following without fear of insulting my area, much as one can be angry at a family member, but heaven help those who say mean things about that member. ;-)  (You can probably relate, wc)

When I hear some of these Southern Senators speak, I cringe in embarrassment!  (Vitter, Shelby, DeMint etc) Their rhetoric is old and tired, and very "anti", while offering no positives or good ideas.  Even their southern accents, (allowing for regional differences) irritate me.  I live with southern accents daily, have one myself, and to me they are normal and charming.  But when these guys speak, they sound ignorant and stuck in a time warp.  My rational mind knows it is the words and not the accent, but my gut reacts as if I live far north, and had no idea of what the real south is like. I am sick and tired of this being our national face and voice. 

So I have a message for you southern relics:  The south IS going to rise again, but not in the way you think. It will remain a south that is proud of our culture and region, but will reject the southern strategy of old, and come to politically embrace all of our people.  So be forewarned...The people that support you will be dying out soon, and the new face of the southern GOP will not tolerate your out of touch political agenda.  Step into the 21st century, or find a new line of work.  We are tired of being humiliated by you!

You make a good point, Suzi. As a kid growing up in New England I used to LOVE southern accents.

It didn't really occur to me until you mentioned it, but lately I think even I've begun on some subconscious level to form negative associations with southern accents, which is so sad and wrong.

Lyndsey Graham's sugar-sweet, soft, southern accent makes me want to hurl.
Unfortunately Suzi, I fear that "our" South will stick out of time like old blue Minnesota did in the 1980s.

Not forever RRA.   The restless seeds of change have been planted.  It will take time for them to grow, but the younger generation is very different. ( I say this as one of the older generation).  I see it in my kids and grandkids and their friends, and know that they will eventually mold our political landscape for the better. 

Do you live in the south too?

East Tennessee, which is resistant to "change."

Put it this way, since 1856 with the first GOP Congressman elected, you know how many years a Democratic Congressman for 1st Congressional District of Tennessee has served?

Four years


Michael Barone sees some good news for our party in some upcoming elections; 

It is rumored that the GOP congressional campaign committee is going all out to capture the seat vacated by Kirsten Gillibrand.

They also expect some gains in 2010.   Obama's name will not be on the ballot then (no coat-tails), and some Dems won in 08 by razor thin margins.    Moreover, many Dems do not bother to vote in off-year elections, while Republicans tend to be "constant," regular voters.

It is not uncommon for the minority party to gain in off-years.   

It's unlikely such gains will overturn the current Dem majority, but they will bring new people into the Party, establish recognition with voters, and somewhat improve the GOP numbers, especially in downticket elections.


Yeah, thanks Gov. Patterson. He really screwed up. Not that she is a bad choice-but this is a negative consequence he was aware of. Alright, Tim Kaine, show us your stuff and try to save this seat : )

So the GOP gains seats in 2010, so what?

Historically, the President's party in off-election years lose seats, so sorry I'm not exactly pushing the panic button as some RFOs seem to be.

Now if they actually come close to retaking either house, then you can panic.

I have to say that, at this point, it is doubtful that I will EVER vote for "R" again. 

I'm just sayin...  

"I SO voted for Barack Obama!  10/25/08"

Never say never, Lesley... right now we're disgusted with the GOP for swinging way too far right and grateful for an awesome President who happens to be a Democrat.

But post 2016 things could swing way too far left and we'll be looking for an awesome Republican to lead.

That's why I refuse to choose a Party. Ever.

Just like I didn't have to worry about crossing party lines in order to vote of Obama, when the last 8 years and this economic crisis are but a memory and people start pushing for higher taxes for anyone who eats meat or dairy etc., I won't have any trouble voting for change again.

True Alina, however, at this point it seems highly unlikely for me.  Only time will tell I guess.  So, like you said...I won't say never.  

Until then, I think I will probably end up changing my party registration soon... probably to Independent.

"I SO voted for Barack Obama!  10/25/08"

I won't either, but that is because I switched to a democrat from and indepdent 6 yrs ago. I might vote for a R governor as Patterson sucks, but never for a Senator or congressman/woman. And especially probably never a President again. Bush did that to me. However I might vote for one in local elections and state elections if the Dem is really horrible. But the R would have to be really moderate otherwise, I'll vote 3rd party or not at all.
What would be nice would be if some of the GOP gains would be with people like Collins or Snowe....monderate centrists that would be willing to work WITH the administration instead of having temper tantrums.

But RRA, as Republicans we should want the party to take back the House in 2010. with real traditional Republicans not neocons. 

RFO should stand for Republicans For Obama, not Republicans For Democrats. 

Just because you want the Republicans to take Congress back, does not mean you can't be pro Obama.  Bill Clinton had his best success with a Republican Congress.

Depends on what kind of Republicans, and the crop isn't looking too promising.
The republican party needs alot more moderates. Truthfully, the only reason I am a Democrat is because I agree w/ most of their ideas, I just want them to be smarter and more responsible fiscally. I wish we did not have parties and we just a more than 2 to choose from.  
I love the 2 party system and I'm an Independent. More than 2 parties and you end up like Italy - which means either too much turnover to ever get anything done (as it's been since the Republic was formed) or, as it currently turns out (due to people being sick of the constant turnover): A Fascist Dictator ruling over a bunch of petty, squabbling mini-parties who live under the illision of Democracy. Dangerous turf.
I would love for you to get hold of Xavi the next time he/she posts here!!!
I've seen Xavi's posts in the past, and know he's Italian, but I've never seen a point in getting involved in a discussion with him. He represents a totally wacko minority that's sort of the Italian equivalent of Arian Nation. Creepy people I won't associate with, even online.
Whoa, that's good information to know alina. Thanks.  Does this minority have a name that I could google?
He is from Milano, which, in addition to being the Italian fashion capital, was also the center of rabid fascism in the country in the 1930s and early to mid 40s.
Most Milanesi are long past that, believe me. And rabid fascism was widespread in the whole country back then, in no way limited or centered in Milan. This is a new/different bunch of wackos.

It's complicated... I don't have the exact group he's part of pinned down, since there are a bunch that fit the style.

But he's definitely part of one of many extreme fringe offshoots of the already wacky Lega Nord movement.

Which, as wacky as it is, has a ton of clout right now since Berlusconi integrated them into his party as a way of gaining a majority (he doesn't give a rat's bum about them - since he has his own agenda, but uses them much like our Neocons use the Fundies).

That was quite a mind boggling read!  I wonder what fringe group blames the USA for everythig that is wrong in this world?  That would be the one he belongs to.... ;-)

At least now I know where he is coming from, and that he doesn't represent the general Italian view...thank God.

Most Italians are madly in love with America, and although that sentiment has cooled down a bit over the past 8 years, it's making a quick comeback since the Obama win. So no worries on that front... This is not to say that Italians have no issues - they do and how, but that's not generally one of them.

When it comes to Xavi, I'm sure he hates Italy more than he hates the US. He wishes the Italian Republic never existed. If anything, he envies the way our State and local governments have considerable independence from the Federal government (compared to Italy anyway). He also envies our tougher immigration laws, and most certainly our Right to Bear Arms.

Up to that point, he pretty much falls under the general lines of Northern League thought.

The fringe part comes in where he wishes we would all just have city-states and use our Right to Bear Arms to kick out anyone with a darker skin tone (including Sicilians).

Radical, racist and anti-semitic BS.

Alina - how did the coverage compare in Italy over the young woman that was on life support (that died today) with what we saw over here.  It was very similar to the Schiavo case and I wondered how deeply the Vatican was involved in that.

OT - I can't wait to see Angels and Demons.  I bet the cinematography will be wonderful!

I turned off the TV, just couldn't watch. Way too much drama, Italian style... which trust me can get nauseating. They'll be at it for weeks. The Vatican is very much involved, which makes me sick. You see, I'm huge on Separation of Church and State and preserving individual freedoms in general, which includes the right to die with dignity. I feel horrible for her poor father who's been dragged through the coals by the media. They made him look like a murderer, which is ridiculous. Even for the worse skeptics, he couldn't possibly have any motive to fight to get her off life support other than following her wishes. There was no inheritance of any kind involved, and no hospital bills either.

I wonder, do enough "traditional" Republicans remain to take Congress back? I have my doublts.

I think there are more traditional Republicans out there than we think alina.  It's just that the neocons and religious right have had such a loud voice they have hijack the power.  It's now up to us, as more moderate voices, to take it back. (From the party, not from Obama). 

I personally don't want a lot of R wins in 2010 if it means more of the same.  The GOP probably needs some more beating up before the get the message that sane people have had enough.  

Meanwhile, I'll do my part to mobilize the moderate voice for the future, all the while supporting President Obama and his vision for my country for the next 4-8 years.  Is that bipartisan, or what? ;-)



You are a true jewel, Suzi!

Now if we can get the powers-that-be in the GOP (are you listening Mr. Steele?-- I guess not!) to moderate not only their rabid ideology, but their tone and tenor (I guess I have said that about 100 times) then we might have truly a 2 party system.

Speaking of parties, in Israel (no, I don't want to start another Israeli-Palestinian debate) they now have 3 major parties, and about 20 minor ones. The three majors are Likud, Labor, and Kadima. Most of the members of Kadima came from Likud (just as many of the original Republicans came from the Whigs). Although Likud lost a lot of politicians to Kadima, it was not completely gutted as were the Whigs. Likud candidate Ben Netanyahu is favored in the PM race to be held later this month, but he will probably be elected with only a plurality of the vote. That happens a lot when there are more than 2 major parties.

I don't think I'm as much of a jewel as I am just plain hard headed.  Every time I consider changing my R to an I, I think that it would be like turing over the child to the kidnapper!  So, I'm keeping my R so I can vote R in the primaries, to vote against the worst of the lot, like say.....Sarah Palin or David Vitter.  Then I can vote my conscience in the GE.   Not a bad plan, eh?
That's been my technique, but the last several years it's been a choice between Frick or Frack andit hardly makes any difference.
A lot of people here are showing a desire to vote against Republicans on general principles.  I must admit I've been doing that for at least the last 8 years of Bush-league politics.  Right now it would take a real dog of a Democratic candidate (read: Blagojevich) to make me vote for a Republican.  I would caution, however, that the pendulum swings could convince me otherwise in the future.  Not the near future, perhaps, but eventually.

That is inevitable though.. (even if I'm dreading it..)

Blagojevich is an idiot. Good riddance!

Love ya Suzi! :0)

Love ya back Warsome. ;-)

What has been inevitable is that both parties go sour when they have too much control for too long.  Greed and the lust for power is too much for many ambitious people.  Here is where I'm counting on Obama to set a new standard,one that hopefully both parties will eventually emulate.  

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