GOP’s “Growth and Opportunity Project” Poses Tough Questions For Colorado Republicans

The struggle of the Republican Party to adapt, both here in Colorado and nationally, to changing demographics and viewpoints that threaten the party's long-term viability, is one of the most important themes we have documented in this space since our beginnings in 2004. Here in Colorado, Democrats have emerged generally victorious in five consecutive general election cycles, adding a new chapter to the political history of this historically conservative but untamably independent state. We believe, furthermore, that the last decade of Colorado politics has revealed systemic problems within the Republican Party, which threaten a replication of the long-term minority status they hold in this state in many other places across the country.

In 2012, we watched these intertwining and systemic problems cost Republicans the presidential election–while stopping the closest the GOP has had to a comeback in Colorado, 2010's one-seat margin recapture of the state House majority, in its tracks.

Today, as they seem to clearly understand nationally if not in Colorado, the Republican Party's greatest threat to its ongoing viability is itself. A report we were pointed to this weekend from the Republican National Committee detailing the results of their post-2012 "Growth and Opportunity Project," makes a host of observations and recommendations for improving the GOP's competitiveness in coming elections. Excerpt:

Republicans have lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections. States in which our presidential candidates used to win, such as New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Florida, are increasingly voting Democratic. We are losing in too many places. 

It has reached the point where in the past six presidential elections, four have gone to the Democratic nominee, at an average yield of 327 electoral votes to 211 for the Republican. During the preceding two decades, from 1968 to 1988, Republicans won five out of six elections, averaging 417 electoral votes to Democrats’ 113.1 

Public perception of the Party is at record lows. Young voters are increasingly rolling their eyes at what the Party represents, and many minorities wrongly think that Republicans do not like them or want them in the country. When someone rolls their eyes at us, they are not likely to open their ears to us. 

At the federal level, much of what Republicans are doing is not working beyond the core constituencies that make up the Party. On the state level, however, it is a different story…

The report goes on to describe both the troubles that national Republicans have had and continue to create for themselves with younger voters, women, Hispanics, and so many others outside the party's core conservative, white, and Christian base. Interestingly, the authors contrast these failures at the "federal level" with supposedly much more successful state-level Republican governance. On page nine, the report reads off a list of accomplishments by GOP governors like John Kasich in Ohio and Bobby Jindal in Louisiana. "Republicans," declares the authors, "are thriving on the state level." 

The Republican Party needs to stop talking to itself. We have become expert in how to provide ideological reinforcement to like-minded people, but devastatingly we have lost the ability to be persuasive with, or welcoming to, those who do not agree with us on every issue.

It is time for Republicans on the federal level to learn from successful Republicans on the state level. It is time to smartly change course, modernize the Party, and learn once again how to appeal to more people, including those who share some but not all of our conservative principles.

You've probably begun to realize something important here, haven't you? When forward-thinking Republicans say "it is time for Republicans on the federal level to learn from Republicans at the state level," they are not talking about Colorado Republicans. 

Immediately after the Colorado GOP's latest wholesale drubbing in 2012, for Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry teamed up with former state Rep. Rob Witwer, co-author of The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care), and penned a column for the Denver Post titled "Republicans must improve or die." Penry and Witwer argued that the Colorado Republican Party "has sullied its brand."

Every year, we kick somebody else off the island. We make it easy for Democrats to say that we don't want the support of women, Hispanics, teachers, gays and lesbians, African-Americans, conservationists, Muslims and union members. Pretty soon there won't be anybody left to vote for us.

Folks, what have Colorado Republicans done so far this year to take their advice?

Because the abortion ban legislation run this year, with the starkest legislative language on the matter in years, doesn't make us think they have listened to Penry and Witwer. Likewise the fewer Republicans in support of civil unions this year even after the issue arguably cost them the House last year. A few Republicans stood up for the ASSET bill to create tuition equity for undocumented graduates of Colorado high schools, but hardly enough to overcome the impassioned speeches against it from other Republicans. Republicans have seized on the almost-concluded struggle over gun safety legislation with obvious intention to exploit it politically, but their long-term, credibility is jeopardized by the wild claims they made about the proposals that will shortly be proven nonsensical. And again, this is an issue that has very little resonance outside the GOP's existing base of support.

To be perfectly honest, Penry is in no position to be judgmental. In 2009, when former Sen. Dave Schultheis infamously told a reporter that that it would be his "hope" that babies would get AIDS so their mothers would "feel guilt," Penry responded, "people are entitled to their opinions," and "it's not my job to go around and censure people and tell them what to say." Meanwhile, Schultheis became the poster child for exactly what Penry bemoans today.

As you know, in 2010, Colorado Republicans did not produce a Chris Christie. They nominated Dan Maes.

In short, Colorado has become a model for Democrats of political success. For Republicans grappling with life-and-death viability issues in their party, Colorado may also be a model: for what to avoid.

54 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. AristotleAristotle says:

    What's missing from this opinion – and something I'm just going to assume is missing from the RNC's report – is an analysis of how the GOrP got here. In order to find your way out of the wilderness, you have to remember how you got lost in the first place.

    We've said it many times, but let's just say it again – the Republicans embraced social conservatism and anti-government "tax crusading." Not just strategically (although I'm sure it was exactly that at first) but eventually wholeheartedly. It took over the whole party. It's been this way for a while – how long ago did opposition to abortion find its way into the party platform? When did litmus tests begin to be applied in earnest? Actually, quite a long time ago. The first president Bush lost in no small part for being too sensible to keep his foolish "no new taxes" pledge. And he had already had to become a full anti-choice candidate just to win the nomination in 1988.

    The new rank and file of social cons and antigovernment zealots have become more reactionary as time passed*. While tolerating the likes of Olympia Snowe, Lincoln Chaffee and Richard Lugar (the latter in particular was not very moderate) for decades, they've all found themselves target for not toeing the line 100%. The long record of supporting their issues meant nothing when the tide turned. They've doubled down, purged the moderates and Reagan and Goldwater conservatives, stake out positions that horrify sane voters, and make sure the few old guard 'pubs still around don't step out of line.

    Pols is wise to point out Penry's culpability in this state of affairs. I bet that the authors of the RNC opinion are just as responsible. That's going to make turning things around that much harder for them. Chris Christie has a chance to do that, because he's pragmatic. But the zealots are not, and they hate pragmatism more than liberalism.

     

    *And as America has moved on, leaving these people behind.

  2. BlueCat says:

    It's classic rock and hard place. They can't afford to lose more of all the groups mentioned long term but they can't afford to anger the fringe they gave the keys to in the short term. 

    Even their 'thriving' on the state level damages them because all anybody outside of those states hears about is ever more draconian, extremist legislation having nothing to do with moving the economy forward for working people, such as North Dakota's latest anti-choice legislation which can only result in a costly losing battle in the courts.

    As long as all the public sees is the Ryan Plan that they rejected in the last presidential as the face of the GOP at the federal level and fringe social issue legislation as the face of the GOP at the state level,  Dems are going to continue to do very, very well.

    And, no, they can't fix it by just putting some black and brown candidates out there any more than they could win over women by just putting Sarah Palin out there. To not exactly coin a phrase… it's the policies, stupid. Not the messengers. Not the packaging. The gap between what they say about winning over the groups they need and what they do just gets wider.

  3. ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

    Mostly well written.  We on the right have issues we need to sort out.  

  4. ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

    A country where one party has a solid majority often has increasing corruption.  My hope is that the GOP can figure out how to learn to persuade on its limited gov't message all while seeking to have it followed in a consistent manner.

    • AristotleAristotle says:

      Oh, there's plenty of corruption to go around. Don't think that having that one extra party is some kind of bulwark against it.

    • BlueCat says:

      Ano that's the problem Fladen.  You still think ir it's about persuading  people to see the value in the message. People know what the message is and they reject it. For one thing,  it's even phony as a small govenrment message.  The policy has been consistantly for a government just as large and costly but in the service of a privileged few.  You can put all the lipstick on it you want. Nobody is fooled.

      The essential difference seems to be that the ideal GOP world has a tiny elite of winners and a large majority of losers which is fine as long as everybody has the (wink, wink) "opportunity" to compete in the "Opportunity Society". It's OK if that means most have to struggle to make ends meet.  That's what they get for not being winners.

      The ideal Dem world is one where  opportunity to compete is just as valued and  if you can make it to the top, good for you. But there is a recognition that, simple arithmetic being what it is, even if everyone were equally talented, hard working and deserving you just can't get more than 1% into the top 1%. and it's important for a healthy vibrant society to be one in which the overwhelminmg majority who don't win that race aren't relegated to loser status.

      After all, many worthwhile and much needed jobs don't offer great riches. So for Dems the model is a society where, even those who don't make it to the economic top can have decent lives with enough to enjoy a decent standard of living, access to quality education, healthcare, a little extra to enjoy some R&R and save something for retirement. 

      Dems just don't see the Banana Republic or the Gilded Age economic models as good ones for healthy societies in which small d democratic institutions can thrive. As long as the GOP message is…. you too can be a multi-millionaire and screw all the losers (though realistically your chances of making it into that echelon are slim),  persuasion will remain  difficult.

      • BlueCat says:

        Once again, sorry about hurried faulty editing bbut I think it should be intelligible

      • DavieDavie says:

        I guess the idea of smaller government to serve just the 1% would work (get rid of the SEC, EPA, FDA,IRS, Dept of Labor, and any other regulatory bodies that get in the way of billionaires making more in profits) except when it gets tripped up by the counterpoint of needing all those bureaucrats to write all those checks to the Oil & Gas industry, Pharmaceutical companies and of course all the contractors supplying our troops overseas in wars to spread democracy to the heathen.

        But you know their hearts are in the right place.

    • Craig says:

      I agree with you, but I am one of the growing number of moderates and former Republicans who just don't think this "Republican" Party is worth the risk, so I'll risk the corruption of the Democrats instead.  Besides.  What can they really steal.  A billion, pocket change.

    • roccoprahn says:

      The 'limited government" argument is a grift, and a loser.

      Since 1980, 2 Presidents have reduced size of government, as well as the size of the "Debt".

      Bill Clinton and President Obama.

      reagan, bush1, and bush2 dramatically increased the debt and government. republicans never reduce debt, they never shrink government. They never talk about shrinking debt or government unless they're out of the Whitehouse and in the minority. shooter even said "deficits don't matter". The very idea of republicans advocating for smaller, or "limited government" is laughable on it's face.

      2 bad options for you. Either you don't know this, that republicans always increase government when in power, always add to the debt by cutting taxes for the wealthy, even in unneccessary wars they start, and you're unqualified to discuss "limited government", or you know the red argument is a lie and you advocate for it any way.

      So with the pinko doctrine, it's pretty simple.

      Racist, homophobic, intolerant, xenophobic, anti womens' rights and anti choice, pro top 1%, anti the rest of us, pro elementary school massacres, and finally, a  penchant for running this nation's economy into the ditch.

      And you guys are really good at all of 'em.

    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

      Agree!!! Hawaii is a one party state and incredibly corrupt because of no competition.

  5. The Angry Trucker says:

    For a party that stands on its "personal liberties" platform, while not allowing people to make those personal choices for themselves, they are going to continue to lose.  If a woman wants to terminate a pregnancy, that's her and her doctors choice. If two men or two women love eachother and want to legally form a union then we should celebrate that not criticize it.

    I remember when the Republican Party was made up of a "social moderates" who truly believed that what happens in your own home is no one elses business.  Now they are more focused on forcing their radical view of morality rather than allowing people the ability to decide what is best for them.  When the "Party" decided social issues were more important than anything else I decided to change my affiliation.  

    • GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

      And the Party's current stands (both in its platform and in congressional votes) on economic, foreign policy, tax fairness, labor, national security and safety issues? Republicans are louder on social issues (obnoxiously so), but they're losers all across the board.

  6. Even this statement from the RNC indicates a severe case of rectal-cranial infarction.

    State level success for Republicans is artificially inflated by two facts. First, there are more states that lean Republican right now than there are Democratic leaning states; Republicans continue to lose the national popular vote because only a minority of the country's population live in these sparsely populated states. Second, Republicans had control of a number of state governments in 2010, allowing them to gerrymander themselves into success despite losses in the popular vote.

    To fix a problem, you have to not only recognize that you have one, but you have to be able to properly name the root causes of your problem. There are too many Republicans out there who are stuck at recognizing only the symptoms – losing elections – and not the root problems. And while there are some sideways glances being cast by some toward acknowledging one or two issues (like immigration and gay rights), even those glances seem to be fleeting and meaningless when the rest of the party is so caught up in putting themselves on pedestals of "morality".

  7. ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

    Given the GOP's problems with getting the latino vote (due to demonization of immigrants) and sticking its foot in its mouth on civil unions/personhood (abortion context), I think you are jumping to conclusions when you say the public has rejected the GOP's limited gov't message. Especially given the vote totals were not all that high in the Dems' favor in past elections. 

    • ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

      Drats – this was supposed to be a reply to BlueCat's msg. above. 

      • BlueCat says:

        Trust me.   If anyone understands such mix ups, I do.

        And I think what I said was that the public rejects the phony small government message, espcially at the federal level.  I mean it' s not as if GOP administrations, even in partnership with GOP Houses or even GOP Houses and Senates have ever given us smaller government.  In fact they are know for ballooning debt and deficit. See St. Reagan.

        It's pretty clear that  the GOP is essentially in agreement with Cheney that none of that matters.  All that matters is spending lavishly on favors to the wealthiest individuals and corporations,  subsidizing  Big Oil and Gas, Big Pharma, etc. to make the already super rich richer and the already super profitable corporations more profitable.  

        While they love to slash the kind of government jobs that create more middle class consumers with money to spend in our consumer economy, causing wide spread down turns in all the businesses large and small that the cut employees used to patronize, those slashes don't reduce government spending, debt or deficit.  The fact that they hate funding infrastructure is penny wise and pound foolish and can only lead to astronimic expenditures in the future whether we can afford them then or not. How's an allegedly small government going to handle that?

        As a small busionees owner I can tell you, we don't care if a paying customer is a  public or private sector employee.  That includes seniors with more money to spend because of social security and medicare.

        The more people with decent incomes, the better for us.  Unlike the rich, middle income private and public sector employees help small businesses remain profitable and require more employees, creating more jobs, because those middle income workers need to spend most of their money to buy what they need and pay the bills. There is no stigma in our minds to public sector jobs. We just want more people to have good jobs. Period.

        The wealthy don't need to spend the extra money we taxpayers lavish on them in various ways and are more likely to export both their money and jobs than to create wealth or jobs here for the 99%.  It seems that shrinking government jobs and services for middle and low income Americans without shrinking government spending, the debt or the deficit is what Rs really mean by "smaller government"….smaller for thee, not for me….. and we're not buying it. Not with any amount of  "messaging".

         

         

      • GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

        Elliot, you and the rest of your tribe just don't get it on your "Latino problem". It's not just "due to demonization of immigrants".

        Latinos reject Republicans'  unrelenting  drive to diminish the rights and stature of American women and minorities; to destroy the American social contract among government, citizens and commerce; to install an official American Christian (fundamentalist,reactionary) religion; to commit (eagerly) Anerican men and women to die and suffer in avoidable wars; to deny the interdependence of American labor and American wealth; and to decry that America is a great country, capable of becoming even greater and tomorrow holds promise of truly amazing American achievement for her citizens and for the world.

        Eliot, you guys don't get it that Latino voters are just average Americans. They just increased in number while you were busy cozying up to the rich and powerful. And now their voices have caught your attention. Belatedly.

        There's no Latino problem. There's a Republican problem with Americans.

        • ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

          See here Larry, contrary to your point. 
           

          • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

            Does the expression, "grasping at straws" mean anything to you? This is lipstick on a pig stuff…

            listen up…it isn't the messaging…it is the fact that you can't hide racism with messaging…Latinos know how conservatives really feel, and you will not win them over with bullshit. Most of the conservatives I know think they are BETTER than brown skinned (red skinned, black skinned, long haired, pot smoking, gay, heathen, etc., etc.) folks.

            I have news  for you…spanish speaking people aren't stupid and they will not respond to the phony rhetoric. But ignore me and keep thinking you can spin your way out of your political death spiral…I am REALLY enjoying the show.

          • BlueCat says:

            For one thing,  the majority of Latinos who voted for Obama, in addition to preferring Dems on immigration, also are strong supporters of medicare, medicaid, Obamacare and access to higher education.   For another, even if immigration reform were the only stumbling block, the GOP still can't seem to bring itself to make any real, significant policy changes there either.  If and when Rs do they will be seen as coming around to the Dems who will get most of the credit.

            And what about Asian Americans?  What do you suppose the GOP problem with them is? They're pretty much just as Dem leaning as Latinos.  And how about Jewish Americans?  In spite of all the attempts to peel off more Jewish voters by painting Obama and the Dems as enemies of Israel,  a big majority of us are strong Dem voters  and voted for Obama too.

            Rance Priebus complains that Rs are tired of being called racist all the time. Well maybe that's because so many Republicans are constantly saying so many things that sound as if they consider people who aren't both white and Christian to be not the right sort of people, not their sort of people at all.  So most of  us ( naturally there are exceptions.  Minorities don't vote 100% Dem) who aren't both white and Christian tend not to like that very much.

            Sure it's mainly because we disagree on the issues.  But, yes,  ethnic and religious minorities also defnitely notice the racism and bigotry.  And spare me the crap about not knowing what's in people's hearts.  It's pretty blatantly out there in the open. 

            It wasn't always this bad.  It seems that the decision to purge all the moderates left behind a much higher percentage of lunatics and bigots who must be tolerated and appeased, like the idiot at CPAC carrying on about how white slave owners were really doing slaves a favor by giving them food and shelter.  Nobody said anything in protest.

             

          • AristotleAristotle says:

            And see here, contrary to yours.

            Yes, I realize that this guy is in the minority, even at CPAC. But what do you suppose made this guy comfortable enough to go there and share his views? I doubt he would have been as brave (or brazen, as the case may be) to do so at any kind of mainstream political gathering.

          • roccoprahn says:

            The poll by Mr. Segura is very confusing. It's also very inconsistent. Something isn't right. When something seems off, or against common sense, it usually is.

            As well as being a huge outlier, it doesn't add up to scrutiny.

            I'll read it again. Compare it again. But it seems like bullshit. I'm not accusing a PHD from Stanford of anything. It just seems herky jerky, all over the place.

            Anyone else read it?

    • Even the limited government message has gone to far for the electorate, I'd say (given poll results).

      I was a Republican because I believed Demcrats weren't taking care of the public's money back in the 1980s. In that sense, I believed in limited government. But Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid… these are things that were instituted based on actual experiences in the past; they're needed and useful. Regulations are largely the same. So long as Libertarians and Republicans continue to believe that the best government is almost no government, they'll continue to lose on the issue of responsible governance, too.

      • ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

        Whether limited gov't has gone too far or not is a question of philosophical beliefs.  We simply aren't going to agree on that today.  The dispute I have with some of the points above is whether the rhetoric around the purported push for limited gov't is what has cost GOP elections.  

        • exlurker19 says:

          Nah, Ell, I think the hate-the-women, hate-the-blacks, hate-the-gays, hate-the-browns rhetoric is so horrible that the hate-the-government, any government rhetoric is kind of drowned out.  Most non-haters (I was looking for a substitute for most sane people) have tuned out long before they hear about drowning the government in the bathtub.

           

          So in that sense you may have a point.  Repubs suck so much, that singling out one reason they suck is kinda silly.

        • DavieDavie says:

          "Limited Government" is a meaningless abstraction to most voters.  We vote on concrete issues that matter to us (across the entire spectrum, so pick your favorites):

          1.  Is the government protecting the air I breathe, the water I drink, and the food my family eats?

          2.  Is the government trying to take away my guns?

          3.  Is the government doing enough to keep banks, financiers and insurance companies from robbing me blind?

          4.  Are my taxes just going to pay the salary of bureaucrats that are stiffling my business with too many regulations?

          Limited government, as discussed above, isn't so much an achievable goal as it is a set of priorities about where the money is being spent.

          BTW, don't expect too many (or any) replies from me, as I tire quickly of splitting hairs over minutiae or chasing rat hole discussions over irrelevant points.

        • Republican 36 says:

          We certainly may not agree today on the limited government issue but I think Phoenix is correct. People in this country look at Medicare and Social Security as programs they've paid into their entire work life. Those programs provide a basic security for people in their old age but the Republicans have campaigned against these programs as socialism and correspondingly, the electorate doesn't trust them to insure these programs will continue to exist.

          Social Security is sound until 2033.  With minimal tweaking, it can be saved for the indefinite future. President Reagan did that in the 1980's and saved it from collapse but look at today's Republicans. Many of them campaign against Social Security as socialism and they want to turn our Social Seucrity accounts over to Wall Street, the guys who almost destroyed the economy in 2008. They already have all of our 401(k) funds. What do you think the voters think when they hear that kind of rhetoric out of major Republican candidates? Voters believe the Republican Party wants to undermine Social Security because the Party ideologues think it violates party ideology. They appear not to care whether or not voters will ever receive their checks when they retire. The Republicans directly undermine voters sense of security and some Republicans, including Gov. Romney, label people who benefit from these programs as "takers" when in fact these "takers" paid into the program their entire adult life. In short, the Republicans insult these people and seem to think they can win converts to the party by doing so.

          The Republicans treat Medicare the same way. I admit Medicare has significant financial issues, especially over the next thirty years. The Republicans want to turn medicare taxes over to the states in block grants and allow them to run old age health care insurance, but that proposal only shifts the operation of the program from one governmental entity to another one without insuring elderly people can obtain health care. And that is exactly what retired individuals and those close to retirement are most concerned about – security – the sure knowledge that they can obtain quality health care at the time of life when they will need it most. By simply saying the prgarm will be sent back to the states, the Republicans have utterly failed to explain to voters how they will insure the elderly receive health care.

          I used to be a Republican too, but this is the kind of ideological nonsense that drove me out of the party. Social Security and Medicare are government programs that have great success records. We can be proud of the fact that our citizens have had some retirement income for nearly 80 years and basic retirement health care for nearly 60 years that has kept many people out of poverty and given them a continued sense of dignity in retirement because after all, they paid for it.

          When retired people need money for basic necessities like housing and food, Social Security is there for them. When the same people need basic health care at the time of life when they have the most medical problems, Medicare is there for them. Small government ideology, assertions of socialism or labeling these people as "takers," doesn't feed them, house them, or provide medical care when they are suffering. We need to save and nuture both programs.

          • Craig says:

            As another former Republican, who also happens to be 58 and relatively close to retirement, I can tell you that insecure is exactly how I feel.  I've paid the maximum into Sociat Security for 20 years.  I expect to get my money back.

            Unfortunately, the older farts still get sucked into the "Republican" line about socialism that they remember from their youth in the 1960's and crap about abortion on demand, and the guns, and the gays and they will never give it up.  When they die and the older generation becomes my peers from the 60's and 70" I except a change.  And we won't forget what the Republicans did to our 401K's ever.

            Republicans are in for a long accelerating descent into irrelevancy.

          • MADCO says:

            "almost" ?!?!!!

             

            But for the socialization of the losses and risks-  Wall St did destroy the economy in 2008.

            As they have before- and will again under current rules.

             

            Otheriwsie- well said.

        • AristotleAristotle says:

          I think it has, but that's because when a Republican states that he wants limited government, he means that he wants to get rid of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Dept. of Labor, the EPA, the SEC, the Dept. of Education, and all kinds of programs that are actually pretty popular with most of the voting public. He does NOT mean the Dept. of Defense, which he continually overfunds, and he does NOT mean any of the intrusive measures designed to keep women from having abortions, or gays from having families and marriages, or wasteful ideas like a big fence from San Diego to Laredo.

          At this point, the public has come to see the duplicity. If you regard the "small government" pledge as brand, it's as broken as Exxon. The centrists who used to find the idea of "getting government off our backs" appealing realize that the Republicans only care about getting it off the backs of big business, and that's to the detriment of most Americans. That's why Occupy Wall Street was able to change the entire political discourse.

          If you're a true believer in the message of small government, then you have your work cut out for you. Once you've lost the trust of the people, it's REAL hard to regain.

        • BlueCat says:

          I think it's because people recognize that the rhetoric about limited government is just a subterfuge. People are getting wise to what the GOP does as opposed to the noises it makes.  What it does, one more time, never shrinks government size in term of spending, debt and deficit.  It just reduces jobs and services, decreases oversight of the safety of our  environment, work places and food supply, slashes teachers, police officers, firefighters, etc., lets our infrastructure go to hell while increasing the transfer of tax dollars to a tiny elite  and  leaving  the middle class economy to shrivel.

          The right talks about limited government while presenting us with a draconian Ryan budget that raises, rather than lowers, costs, increases government subsidies for the elite and has the audacity to estimate savings based on those derived from Obamacare being in place while at the same time vowing to eliminate Obama care.

          Maybe you haven't noticed but the GOP limited government rhetoric is a bunch of cynical hogwash.  What they do is spend like drunken sailors on the elite top fraction of a percent and try to take it out of the hides of rest of us.

          This is a big complicated country and it's never going to function with a small weak central government. That's sheer fantasy. The GOP doesn't even want that. Rs just  want the big government to be under the control and for the benefit of the winners.  That's what they mean by the "Opportunity Society". It's a cut throat competition, winner take all and the bigger "all" is, the better.

          Don't hold your breath for any government savings with lower debt and deficit coming from them.  The majority of Americans certainly aren't holding their breath anymore. That's why they can't be "persuaded". Americans have finally started to believe their own eyes., not whatever comes out of GOP spin central.

           

        • BlueCat says:

          Hmm, something just occured to me. I think maybe the essential problem  is not a difference of philosophy but the place of philosophy,  or maybe more accurately ideology, in the com contemporary GOP.   Maybe it's that you and and the GOP really believe that even though laying off teachers and fire fighters may hurt a communities small businesses and cause more job loss, it's a sacrifice that's worth it in the service of ideology, especially if  you personally don't have to do the sacrificing.

          But most people have more immediate things to worry about than ivory tower ideology and if you really expect to be able to convince people who are struggling to provide a decent life for themselves and their children that they should be willing to sacrifice themselves on the alter of your precious ideology, you aren't going to have many takers.

          • BlueCat says:

            As usual full of errors. A funny thing happened late last night. The font was different and it never stopped "thinking" when I hit post and it wouldn't let me log out either.  I just Xed out and figured my comment wouldn't post but it did.  Everything normal today including the same old font. Why do such weird things seem to happen to me and others only at this site?

    • roccoprahn says:

      Please stop using the term "limited government". "gop" and "limited government" have nothing to do with eachother. Austerity, yes. But the very idea that republicans believe in "limited government is ridiculous.

      And at this point, nobody but self deludeds buy it.

      We can argue how libertarians want a free ride if you want, but you insult peoples' intelligence when you use the term "limited government" and the word republican in conjunction with eachother.

      By the way, where's that research on how Ryan/Paul's budget "saves" medicare and medicaid?

  8. Gray in Mountains says:

    One party bad? Not necessarily. GOP ran things from 1860 until about 1910. Except for the Spanish American War, massacring native people and some relatively smaller corruptions they did well for us. Dems ran things from 1910ish until 1950. Again, except for some military power being used where it shouldn't and relatively minor corruptions they also did fine. The country progressed markedly during each of these periods. People lived healthier and happier lives than they had before.

  9. Craig says:

    If you think the country prospers and makes progress because of our politicians, you are sadly mistaken.  It makes progress in spite of our politicians.

    • BlueCat says:

      Don't entirely agree.  We needed politicians to give us social security, medicare, medicaid, civil rights legislation and we elected enough of the right ones to get those things which clearly play a big role in our country's progress and prosperity.  If too many pols are hacks or cowards that's because we keep electing hacks and cowards.

      I get a little tired of the complaints about 'them" when "them" is actually us in our system and it's our fault if we allow ourselve's to be bamboozled. If all the right has to do is  yell "socialist" to cow us into voting against our own interests well, tough luck for us. 

      As much money as any PAC spends to get an a-hole elected, we still have the votes. If we're too lazy to do our job, which is to become informed voters instead of easily manipulated sheep and get out and vote,  that's on us.  The pols are our creations.

      We don't have to be ignorant idiots. Too bad too many of us are but that's life in our system where you need a majority to choose who will be our voices in government.

  10. Gray in Mountains says:

    Peace promotes prosperity and prosperity promotes progress. Politicians should be very wary of those encouraging war. I am most definitely not isolationist, but most of our wars should not have had our participation. Largely, I would agree that prosperity occurs away from politicians

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