Sunday, June 5, 2016

SS Expansion Underscores the Tactical Ineptitude of Republicans

Yglesais points this out and he's dead on. The GOPers really pulled a boner by not accepting Obama's Grand Bargain when he offered it.

Obama had actually put chained CPI and raising the Medicare age to 68 on the table. Now he's for expanding Social Security along with Hillary Clinton.

"President Obama's decision to join Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Elizabeth Warren in calling for expansion of Social Security is a big win for the left wing of the Democratic Party. Liberal Democrats and their allies in the labor union movement put this idea on the table several years ago to try to kill off enthusiasm from centrist Democrats for reducing Social Security benefits. Their strategy worked."

"But in addition to a tactical win for the left, Obama's turnabout on Social Security is the result of a cycle of tactical ineptitude on the part of the American conservative movement."

"Five years ago, conservatives had the opportunity to get a Democratic president to sign legislation that would have substantially cut entitlement spending. In exchange, they were asked to agree that high-income Americans should pay higher taxes. They refused, thinking in part that preventing Obama from scoring a bipartisan achievement would make him easier to beat in 2012."

"Obama was reelected anyway. Taxes on high-income households went up anyway. And now the politics of entitlement spending have shifted drastically to the left. The Republican Party's 2016 nominee says he opposes cuts in Social Security benefits, and mainstream Democrats have flipped away from Obama's openness to cuts to the position that benefits should be enhanced."

Indeed. In fact, in 2011 the Dems were only asking to raise taxes on those above $1 million dollars. But in 2013 it was $450,000.

In other words the Overton Window has shifted sharply to the Left to where it was in 2011. As always, well played GOPers.

Tom Brown has more from what they're saying at RedState. Erick Erickson, and friends-and others like at the National Review, Glenn Beck, etc-have had some really good anti Trump work.

Some of the best anti Trump stuff is coming from the conservative pundits.

"The fun part is they used Erick Erickson's article about Trump's comments being straight up racist, and it being pathetic that the GOP doesn't call him out on it, to further get under Mitch's skin."

"Also check out the comments between Bill S. (moderator) and "smagar." Bill ends up erasing smagar's final comment and probably banning him from the site with a "Bye, asshat" ... Lol. One of Bill's final comments to smagar:

"Trump is a racist. It's as simple as that. Erick called him out for it. And the GOP is enabling it by doing exactly what McConnell did and looking the other way. It validates what the Left has been saying all along, which is unfortunate, but Trump's cult has demonstrated that there is a large bloc of right-ish voters that agree with him and want to keep brown people out of the country."

"If it helps the Democrats, so be it. There is no room for a racist, xenophobic bigot in the White House."

"The truth hurts sometimes."

"Oh wow, I just now noticed some of the other comments there:

From cgh62:

"So glad I'm no longer part of the GOP. Gutless, balless, spineless cowards. Accept the very Devil as the nominee, just so long as they can stay in power. No principles, no ethics, no morals. Just political power."

"The rot runs deep in the GOP. It's statements like this that is making me rethink my vow to vote down ticket for Republicans after skipping the top line."



Bill S:

"This is why I will never vote for another Republican candidate, ever. At any level."

Trump is sort of the Frankenstein Monster of GOP ineptitude.


  1. Check out the title and tag line of this Jennifer Rubin article today:

    Can the economy get better? There are things both sides could agree on to help struggling workers -- but they won't happen under Trump.

    Final paragraph:

    "It’s conceivable that Congress and a new president could reach agreement on many items if they are flexible and focus on the quality of government policies, not simply on the amount spent and taxed. None of that is possible, however, with Trump in the White House."

    She also has one praising the libertarian an conservative judges who've called out Trump's dangerous rhetoric about the judiciary:

  2. I agree. If the GOP had been willing to compromise with Dems they'd have gotten some of what they want.

    By playing My Way or the Highway, there was no reason for Dems to compromise.

    So the Overton Window has moved to the Left for Dems since.

    1. What it turns out they really want I suppose is to prove to the voters back home (or at least to the wingnut media that those voters listen to) that they are pure and uncompromising. Doesn't matter that they don't accomplish anything: all that matters in their personal purity so they can forestall a primary challenge, or a Mark Levin or Heritage action downgrade in their purity score.

    2. ... one of the reasons I'd like to see the GOP fragment into 2 or more parties... so those other parties don't have to be beholden to the purity police. Perhaps a low purity score would be seen as a good thing by a competing right wing party that rejects the authority of the purity police judging them.

    3. ... of course that's the last thing the purity police want to see, because they know the only hope they have of leveraging their extremist positions into actual political power (or more importantly money for their organizations) is through a unified GOP.

    4. ... that's what makes me so happy to see a LONG time moderator and commenter at RedState like Bill S. saying he's done voting for any Republicans now. I'm sure he's like to see his own purity police, but he's in no mood to take any guff from purity police who look the other way about Trump.

  3. Replies
    1. My ideal post-Trump political party landscape:

      Democrats: stay united and regularly take 45% to 55% of the vote, at least.

      Rump-GOP: Trump party. Openly white nationalist and alt-right. Flexible on fiscal and social matters (social matters that don't involve non-whites benefiting that is). Regional (centered in the Old Confederacy). This wing breaks off a large chunk (perhaps over 50%) of the current evangelical vote. I'd like to see the alt-right evangelicals start digging into 19th century Bible verses about why slavery isn't so bad, but race mixing is (the Bible actually gives them plenty of support on this). The evangelicals here are more committed to racial issues than abortion. This party is OK with authoritarianism.

      Erick Erickson Evangelical wing: Old-line conservative extremists. Ted Cruz lovers. Anti-Trump, anti-alt right. Fiscally conservative, anti-science-they-don't-like, fundamentalist, but very much anti-racist and anti-authoritarian. Very much social conservatives. Bathroom birthers. Anti-abortion.

      Libertarians: fiscal conservative extremists. They want to privatize nearly everything (sell off the white house, national parks and privatize the military), but don't have a problem with immigration or lawsuits. Non-interventionists on foreign policy. Socially liberal, pot smokers, free-love types. Anti-authoritarians and secular.

      Neo-cons: Israel-firsters and militant interventionists. They're OK with "compassionate conservativism," big banks, billionaires, crony-capitalism, unlimited campaign spending, chamber-of-commerce and moderate sized government. Elitists. This is the Jennifer Rubin wing of conservatism. Mostly secular, though they attract conservative Jews, hawks and a sliver of evangelicals who are focused primarily on Israel-centric end-times: the Hal Lindsey, John Hagee, Left-Behind fans. Socially conservative, but not as much as Erickson.

      In such a political landscape things could actually get done I think. If the Democrats didn't outright dominate (say for some period of time), they could find at least one or two of the conservative factions to compromise with on an issue by issue basis because the conservative voice is fragmented and the Limbaughs, Levins, Hannities and Coulters of this world would be forced to take sides. The word "conservative" would lose it's meaning as a unified concept.

    2. As you know, Tom, my hope is for a period of Dem domination.

      All your various subgroups and divisions are plausible.

      So long as the Dems stay united it's all good. I think we will-the Berner challenge has been defeated. But there may well be some in the future who try to do what the Tea Party did to the GOP.

      This cycle at least, the Dem Establishment has stood tall with Hillary and state races in places like Pennsylvania and Maryland.

    3. The two main evangelical factions (the alt-right segregationist strain and the Erickson anti-abortion strain) desperately HATE each other. They both have their "fundamentalist" cores, but they are diametrically opposed to each other: one uses Bible literalism to justify racism and white nationalism, and the other uses it to vilify those ideas. Both think the other branch of evangelicals are a huge embarrassment to Christianity and both claim to be true Christians while painting the other camp as 100% pure unadulterated Satanic evil. =)

    4. "As you know, Tom, my hope is for a period of Dem domination."

      I'm all for it too, however I'd like to NOT have a disaster on our hands should they lose dominance for a period of time (say a presidency). The way any one of those factions I've laid out is, it WOULD be a disaster if those ideas actually had a chance to dominate for any amount of time (if those ideas dominated a unified GOP). Thus having the word "conservatism" literally lose it's meaning and a fragmented patchwork of smaller parties in a post-Trump world would be a great benefit to mankind! =)

    5. ... for one thing, a fractured set of post-GOP ideologies would not (I hope) find it to their advantage to run off the deep end demonizing (in the crazy, wing-nut, fact-free hyperbolic way it's done now) any of the other factions (including the Democrats) because they might need to ally with that faction to actually accomplish something someday. Perhaps that's a crazy hope, but I think that would be immensely beneficial to our politics.

    6. For fun I checked "Conservapedia" to see any signs of further deterioration of unity on the right. I notice they don't have anything nice to say about RedState, are critical of Trump (in some respects), claim Ted Cruz was funded by homosexuals, don't even have an article on Erick Erickson, and sound slightly Jew-phobic (if not a tiny bit anti-Semitic) in their article on the alt-right (which they sound very supportive of). Also they admit the Iraq War was a disaster based on a lie about WMDs (that they credit Trump for drawing attention to) and trash the neo-cons and Cheney, W, Kristol and pals. Also, they don't even have an article on #NeverTrump, cuckservatives or Milo Yiannopoulos (the self described "dangerous faggot" from Breitbart):

      Maybe I should try to get an account and write those missing articles. =)

      I'd imagine they're a bit conflicted on some of those subjects. Also they didn't mention "Lyin' Ted." They did give a table of Mark Levin's nasty nicknames for everyone (including other conservatives, including Trump) with links, but didn't mention his opposition to Trump.

  4. Also Sumner takes another swipe at Trump and his fanatical supporters populating his comments section:

    And we're not yet even to the convention!