Monday, November 12, 2012

3 and 1/2 Reasons Republicans Should Be Glad They Lost

Okay, my Republican Friends: enough with the predictions of gloom and doom.  What Would Reagan Do, people?  Reagan wouldn't talk about the country being awful these days, and he wouldn't despair.  Let's try to find the bright side here, folks.  And there really is one.  Three and a half, even.

Seriously, Grover.
1. The Game of Tax-Raising Chicken Can End.  A.K.A. Grover K. Norquist: will you please go now?

Grover Norquist (founder of Americans for Tax Reform or ATR) has been holding the Republican Party hostage for years now.  He's bullied almost all Republicans running for any national office to sign his no-raising-taxes-ever pledge.

And then he puts together a highly-biased yearly rating based on his own estimation of what votes should count as "raising taxes" and which should not.  He threatens legislators with rating given votes in his yearly tally.  And he has been very successful in keeping Rs in his line...

...But he's gotta go.  And this election gave the Republicans the perfect excuse to tell Grover to go take a long walk off a short pier.

This is the Grover we should be listening to:


NOT this one (btw, awesome job by Matthews in this clip at unpacking what Grover is doing to the country):


Guys, seriously: this No-Raising-Taxes-Ever thing is stupid.  

It's untenable.  And no matter how you try, you will not Starve the Beast.  You're only postponing the inevitable, and wasting tons of money on running up debt in the meantime.  This is really NOT fiscal conservatism - and the smart Republicans know it.  The thing is: Republicans want the government to do things, too.  And we don't live in a one-party system or a center-right country.  We live in a country where people disagree.  So you have to work with Democrats.  You can't pretend we don't exist and still seek to govern a country where so many of us Democrats vote.  So get over it.  Get over this pie-in-the-sky theory that you can manipulate and strategize your way into running the country without ever involving Democrats.  It's childish, and it isn't working well for the people who elected you.  And btw, it's largely not reciprocated.  Most Democrats are willing and happy to work with Republicans, as long as the work is earnest and somewhat fair.  For all that Fox likes to pretend President Obama hasn't been willing to work with Republicans, that's really not the way the history has been.

Please take this time to kick Grover Norquist and his toddler-temper-tantrum way of "governing" to the curb, then come talk to other people about how we should structure our tax code - because the tax code is not working well for America.  The administrative costs are too high, there is too much complexity, and we do not have enough revenue to do the things we want government to do.  Grown ups realize that and need to do something about it.

You know who are some good fiscal conservatives who can help you find your mojo again?  The Concord Coalition.  Or you can start from Simpson-Bowles.

Either way, the Era of No-Raising-Taxes-Ever Is Dead.  Long live the Era of... Responsible Budgeting???

2. The Republican Party Can (But May Not) End the Reign of the Tea Party.

My, What a Lovely Tea Party.  Not.
Since just about everybody on the air - including Fox News - has said it, Rs may have noticed that the demographic makeup of our country is changing.  W recognized it, but ultimately bowed to the right on immigration reform.  McCain was chastised for not playing to the right, and so Romney did.

Well, he lost.  He got just about all the right-wing and race-based votes he could possibly get... and he still lost.

Republican Friends, running as the White Male Party isn't going to work, and your attempts to gain more women's votes while also trying to bring the government into their very personal decisions will not work, no matter how prettily you say it or what devastatingly attractive politicians you have say it.  Just ask Todd Akin or Richard Mourdock.  Or Paul Ryan, who not only lost the Vice Presidency, he even had trouble winning his House seat.  So pretty please - in the name of Dick Lugar - it's time to get rid of the Tea Partiers.

It's time to figure out what you really believe and agree on as a more inclusive Party - to listen to the few moderates you have left, and to figure out what's really, really important of the conservative things you want for the country, and what is not.

These guys are at least smart and capable of working with others.

Then you should probably run a candidate who can appeal to somebody besides just white dudes.  Someone like: Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, etc.

Not her.

And sure, find some smart women to run.  Senator Kelly Ayotte is okay.  So is Governor Susana Martinez - and she's Latino.  But please, don't pick extremists like Nikki Haley.  Or Jan Brewer.  That won't go well.

2b. The Republican Party Can (But May Not) End the Reign of Karl Rove.

I think we've learned something about Karl Rove in this election.  We've learned that it may be that true that Rove is Bush's Brain - BUT Bush was either Rove's heart or his body (or both?) - because the symbiosis they shared has not transferred to other Republicans with whom Rove has worked.  Rove ran negative, awful ads that spoke to the worst of Americans.  And he retained none of the cross-party or cross-generational appeal that W had at times.  Rove is not, shall we say, lifting up the Republican Party.

3. Mitt Romney Would Have Been a Bad President.

He's impulsive, he doesn't understand how the government works (nor does he seem interested in learning), and he could have messed up something really tenuous and important - like Iran.  Nobody knew what he would be like as president, and that's a problem.  When you equivocate so much that everybody from conservative to liberal is worried about what you would be like in office, that's a bad sign for your ability to govern.

Conclusion:  So please take this time to regroup, my conservative people.  We need two parties that are functioning and have real, fact-based ideas for how to solve problems.  Please stop kowtowing to the extremists, sexists, and racists in your party, and come back when you are interested in actually governing.  Governing is good.  And we Americans miss you being a constructive Party.  

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