Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Why are the Republicans so popular

I haven't posted in a while which is in some ways a reflection of the ways in which the current political environment has disheartened me.

But I am back and slightly pissed off.

My party has failed to put out its message.

This congress has been one of the most productive congresses since President Johnson's first full term. They passed a health care reform bill that, though not going as far as I would have liked, was a major advance for bringing the US into the 21 century. They passed the largest stimulus package in history in response to inheriting the most devestating recession this country has seen since the Great Depression. They overhauled the Student Loan program taking huge subsudies away from private lenders and making most of those savings available in additional Pell Grants and loans. The House even passed Cap and Trade legislation as a major step towards addressing the looming crisis' associated with Global Warming.

The stimulus package created 4 - 6 million jobs and stopped the recession from being even deeper and broader. The health care reform bill will bring private health care insurance to an additional 32million Americans while actually reducing the deficit slightly. It will also end the most obnoxious of Insurance Company abuses and it will, long term, help to reduce health care costs. And it closed the donut hole in the Prescription Drug bill passed under President Bush. It wasn't all that I wanted, but it was a major first step, long over due and ugly in its creation, but a huge start none the less.

But instead of trumpeting their successes, my party is running around with their tail between their legs while Republicans and Tea Baggers continue to tell every lie they can think of about everything this Congress has acheieved.

They lied about the Health Care Reform bill providing subsudies to illegal aliens, they lied about the health care reform bill having some thing Sarah Palin called Death Panels, they lied about the health care reform bill being a budget buster even though the CBO scored the bill as actually reducing the deficit, they lied about the bill calling for rationing, they lied about the bill taking $500Billion away from Medicare, they lied about it providing subsudies for policies that would pay for abortions. Despite not have any facts to support them, they continue to tell many of those same lies today.

They lied and continue to lie about the stimulus bill claiming that it failed completely and didn't create any jobs despite the results of every study that shows that the stimulus bill created between 4 and 6 million jobs, WHILE ACTUALLY REDUCING TAXES FOR 95% OF AMERICA'S WORKING FAMILIES! And they keep lying about our taxes going when when they have actually gone down.

They lied about the cost to America's families of the Cap and Trade legislation, using exaggerated numbers from a partisan study whose only real purpose seems to be so that they could cite a study when they lied.

They continue to deny the facts of Global despite the simple fact that EVERY published climate scientist who has studied the question agrees that human activity is the major driver in Global Warming. They put out stories that Volcanos put out more CO2 than Human Activity, which is not even close to true. Human Activity contribute atleast 100 times more CO2 to the atmosphere that volcanic activity. They put out stories that the current global warming trend is caused by sunspots or the solar cycle, neither of which is significant enough to explain the current temperature trends.

And then they say that even if Global Warming is being caused by human activity, fixing it is too expensive, again using partisan studies that have little or no basis in reality.

And somehow they have convinced themselves and many other that Global warming is a conspiracy by climate scientists, every one of them, to get more money for studies or something like that. Seeming to ignore the simple reality that if a Climate Scientist had come to the Bush Administration with a proposal for a study that would somehow disprove the human connection to global warming, the Bush Administartion would have happily funded their study and trumpeted its results.

And somehow they have convinced the American Populace that Republicans are somehow better stewards of the US Economy than Democrats. A blatant and bald-faced lie.

Compare the job growth under Democratic and Republican Presidents and its clear, the economy has consistently created more jobs under Democratic Presidents than under Republican.

During the much maigned Jimmy Carter's one term, the economy added more than 3 million jobs a year, far better than Nixon or Ford before him or Reagan and Bush after him. Under Bill Clinton the economy added 2.4 million jobs a year, far better than Reagan and BushI before him and immeasurably more than BushII whose administration was marked by the most dismal economic performance since the Great Depression and who bequeathed his predecessor the deepest recession in 70 years.

But its more than just job growth.

Each of these measure of national economic activity, job create, GDP growth, Stock prices all performed better under Democratic Presidents than Republican.

And now Republicans and Conservatives are all enraged about the Deficit pretending that the current deficits are the result of President Obama's spending spree or something. Yet another lie. They want you to forget that the most of the current deficit is the result of the previous administrations policies, fighting two wars without paying for them, the unpaid for prescription drug benefit, and the Bush Tax Cuts that benefited mostly the wealthy while exploding the deficit. Somehow now this is all President Obama's fault, the Republican party had nothing to do with the deficit. Another bald-faced lie.

The Bush era tax cuts and two unpaid for wars constitute the vast bulk of the current deficit. And this chart doesn't even show the $700Billon dollar cost of the Medicare Prescription Drug benefit that President Bush mad no attempt to pay for.

They lie because lying is working for them. And its working for them because the Democrats are not out there calling them liars every time they trot out one of their lies.

I don't know why, but they are not.

And the lies are killing us.

We need to do a better job at getting the truth out.


RKMeier said...

Good to see you back, Walt.

I don't believe that Republicans are as popular as you think. The base is VERY energized, it's true. I think that independents are leaning toward the Republicans only in that they're an alternative to the Democrats. In this way it's similar to Gingrich's ridiculous "Contract With America" takeover back in 1994.

The incoming Republicans were high-handed and not inclined to compromise, and as we've seen, their "Revolution" didn't last.

Likewise, the Democratic takeover in 2006 and (particularly)2008 created a similar situation. The Democrats were elected more as an alternative to the Republicans than for some of their more leftish platforms.

The Democratic landslide of 2008 was a result of many things: Republican incompetence, war weariness, the economy's catastrophic stumble and the phenomenon that was Barack Obama. "Wanting the Democrats to be in power" is waaaaay down on that list.

And when the Democrats came to power, led by the extreme left of the party, they acted much like 1994's GOP had, except--as you so correctly point out--they accomplished more.

Unfortunately, the Democrats pushed through an agenda that the majority of the American people do not want. Unable to completely sell the package, they resorted to dirty tricks to shove it past the American people, for whom they know best.

People are really, really pissed about that. So the question shouldn't be "Why are the Republicans so popular?", but rather, "Why are the Democrats so reviled that the American people are ready to put the same dudes back in power that they just threw out?"

And lastly, I don't believe anyone should EVER cite Jimmy Carter when trying to give props to the Democrats. You don't hear me arguing Clinton, but Carter?

Knowing you're a submariner, I have to wonder (facetiously, of course) if you were underwater from 1976-1980?

Hope to see more Ruminations soon.

Uncle Walt said...

I was underwater for some of 76 - 80, and I am not touting the entire Carter Presidency. But the point remains that even under Jimmy Carter, the pattern of the economy performing better under Democrats than it did under Republican continued.

As an aside about Carter, you might go back and read this famous Malaise Speech. It was in many ways prophetic.

I don't disagree that the Democratic victories of 2008 were partially due to the factors you mentioned. But the principle issues that the Democrats ran on, Health Care Reform and taking on Global Warming, were widely popular.

And the last poll I saw on the health care reform seemed to show that the individual elements of the health care reform package are widely popular. The fact that the whole package is unpopulare is, I believe, a testament to the success of the Republicans in attacking the reforms at every opportunity and the failure of my party to get out and just as aggressively defend what they had done. We won the legislative war and lost the public perception war.

What part of the package do you think is actually unpopular??
Ending the really egregious abuses of the health insurance companies?
Allowing kids to stay on their parents plan until they turned 36?
Bring 32 million more Americans into a health insurance plan?

Waht parts of the plan are actually unpopular.

There are no death panels. It isn't a budget buster, it is supposed to actually reduces the debt slightly, it doesn't provide federal funding for abortion nor does it provide subsudies to illegal aliens.

The things Republicans claim the bill does may be unpopular, but I suspect the things the bill actually does are mostly popular. We just did a lousy job of countering the drumbeat of criticism coming from the Republicans.

Most Americans acknowledge that Global Warming is a real problem that we need to address and I suspect that most Americans would be willing to pay the $170/year the CBO estimates that the Cap and Trade plan would cost. But, again, we let Republicans get away with telling America that it would cost the average family $2000/year. Its a bogus number and they know it, but we let them get away with that lie as well.

Hell, even the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell is popular with something like 70% of the people, yet we can't get it passed.

75% of those people making more than $250,000 a year are willing to lose the Bush Tax Cuts for their income level and Republicans refuse to identify a way to pay for the tax cuts for that wealthy 2%, yet we can't get a tax cut for the other 98% passed. Yet more lies from the Republicans about how many small business owners will be hurt when very few small business owners make that kind of money. And DEmocrats have not been out aggressively selling their plan.

The cower in the corner like scared kids and then wonder why they are getting their ass kicked.

Guess what, I am very frustrated with my party and their unwillingness to get out and brag about what they have done.

MK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MK said...

"We need to do a better job at getting the truth out."

Off course walter, the democraps are deeply unpopular because the republican bogeymen are hiding in peoples closets whispering lies to them.

It's just crazy how the democraps raging success simply can't find its way into peoples everyday lives. All those jobs, taxcuts and other wonderful things your blessed party has brought about is just invisible to the people.

It's just so strange why people are leaving democrap controlled states in droves for states controlled by those bastard, hateful republicans. So strange how they never come back even after years of being screwed over by the republicans isn't it walter.

Oh and you forgot to mention that the MSM are just shills for the republican party and have it in for your blessed leader.