• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Joe The Plumberization of the Republican Party

Patrick Ruffini decries the “Joe-the-Plumberization of the GOP.”

If you want to get a sense of how unserious and ungrounded most Americans think the Republican Party is, look no further than how conservatives elevate Joe the Plumber as a spokesman. The movement has become so gimmick-driven that Wurzelbacher will be a conservative hero long after people have forgotten what his legitimate policy beef with Obama was.

[...]

Conservatives should not need Joe the Plumber to prove their middle class bona fides. We are naturally the party of the middle, and we don’t need gimmicks to prove it. Demographically, Democrats rely on being the party of the upper sixth and the lower third, while Republicans tend to do better with everyone in between. When we start losing the middle class and the suburbs, we lose big like we did in 2008.

Put another way, Republicans thrive as the party of normal Americans — the people in the middle culturally and economically. This is true of our leadership as well — we have a history of nominating figures who came first from outside politics. Our base is the common-sense voter in the middle who bought a house she could afford and didn’t lavishly overspend in good times and who is now subsidizing the person who didn’t.

Of course, they didn’t appoint Wurzelbacher as VP as they did with Sarah Palin.  The two are of a piece:  A faux populism that comes at the cost of alienating the intellectuals and serious leaders of the movement.

I’m writing this from the CPAC convention and judging from the speakers, there’s not a whole lot of recognition of the need to update the intellectual platform to accomodate a changed era.  It’s as if Jimmy Carter’s still in the White House and Roe vs. Wade was just handed down.

At least Joe isn’t giving the keynote address.

Related Posts:

About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Staring In Disbelief says:

    Well James, I think Jimmy Carter is BACK in the White House, and Roe still stands for a sweeping extra-legislative power grab that may STILL lose in a straight up referendum.

    As for the Republican brand, it has been deeply degraded by the Bush years (both he and the feckless Republican Congress). It’s time for some “wilderness years”, but maybe not many. The policies the Dems and Obama are pushing are absolutely doomed, as they have been every other time they were tried for the past three millenia. While the Republicans can hardly be the party of responsible spending at this point, remember that politics is never about being perfect to win, just being slightly less crappy than the alternative. The alternative is about to get exceedingly crappy because (as they always do) they think they can legislate away the laws of gravity and human nature.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Bithead says:

    I’m becoming increasingly non-plussed with the assertion that Joe represents an ‘unserious’ move on the part of the GOP. It’s that attitude, disaffection and condescension of the Republican rank and file, that led us to the nomination of John McCain, for example, wherein we saw the crowds running much larger for Palin than McCain.

    As that mess demonstrated clearly, the bigger danger is in the alienating of the rank and file. I’m amazed that message hasn’t been heard.

    And James, I’m less than convinced that what we have before us, ISN’T Jimmah Cater in blackface. Add to that, the issue of the GOP needing to return to it’s roots… the values it’s intelectual leaders spent so long ignoring… and the mood you describe seems to be an exact fit to the situation at hand.

    I almost told him this last night when he posted his piece… but if he really thinks that the “Republicans thrive as the party of normal Americans — the people in the middle culturally and economically”, then how is it that the only ‘serious’ candidates are those of the intelectual class? the connection Pat’s never made, in my sight, is that such a middle class party doesn’t feel the need of intelectual leadership… a beholding to an advanced inner circle.

    I agree, Wurzelbacher’s meme is overblown by his suporters… but why? The very reason that Wurzelbacher gets elevated to the degree that he does is because his end of the party has been ignored for far too long, and they’re lacthing onto him, because finally, someone’s listening to them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. [...] Joyner points to an article at Next Right I noticed last night. Patrick Ruffini decries the “Joe-the-Plumberization of the GOP.” If you want to get a sense of [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. I’m becoming increasingly non-plussed with the assertion that Joe represents an ‘unserious’ move on the part of the GOP.

    Are you asserting that Joe represents, in anyway, something serious?

    Or, perhaps, are you arguing that the GOP should go in the direction of populistic appeals?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. [...] of Joe, Joyner takes issue with the Plumberization of the GOP. Riehl takes issue with [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Also: in regards to politicking like it was 1979, the bottom line is that on so many levels, the analogies don’t hold. Indeed, the thing that brought Joe the Plumber to the national stage was the debate over the top marginal rate. However, as I have noted on several occasions (probably most completely here), the current income tax debate is very much delimited by the logics put into place under Ronald Reagan, not the paradigm that ruled during the Carter years. Another way to put it, much of the GOP argument these days (as marked by the McCain campaign as well) is the making of arguments that were relevant when Carter was in office and haven’t been updated to fit the current policy needs/parameters of the country.

    Of course, one of the grandest ironies of the whole Joe the Plumber bit is that he was never going to be negatively impacted by the Obama proposals in the first place–and yet he is used as some symbol that proves otherwise.

    It makes no sense, and appeals to such nonsensical heroes will not revitalize conservatism, nor the GOP.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. Bithead says:

    Are you asserting that Joe represents, in anyway, something serious?

    Yes. The main point being, he’s far more serious about standing on conservative principles than the supposedly more serious ‘leaders’.

    And hardly populist. (Scorn dripping off the keyboard) Say rather, principled.

    I described this a while ago in my Pajamas Media article on “Obama Worship and the Herd Mentality”. I dare to suggest that holding the intelectual crowd so high is a herd mentality, one that Republicans simply do not subscribe to, as a rule, and conservatives even more seldom. It’s one major reason McCain got clobbered.

    Wildly mixing metephors, I suggest that until we get our arms around that equation, we’re going to be in the wilderness.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Franklin says:

    Of course, they didn’t appoint Wurzelbacher as VP as they did with Sarah Palin. The two are of a piece: A faux populism that comes at the cost of alienating the intellectuals and serious leaders of the movement

    These two get linked a lot (witness the calls for Palin/Wurzelbacher 2012 from both the right AND the left), but I tend to disagree that they are alike. Palin is actually quite intelligent about the issues that she is familiar with. Joe is really not very smart at all about anything as far as I can tell.

    While the public sentiment may be that Palin was not intellectually curious about or not able to grasp the concerns of federal government, I don’t agree. Her biggest real problem was that she tried to pretend that she knew about things that she didn’t. Plus she was a serial liar.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Bithead says:

    Also: in regards to politicking like it was 1979, the bottom line is that on so many levels, the analogies don’t hold. Indeed, the thing that brought Joe the Plumber to the national stage was the debate over the top marginal rate.

    Perhaps. But the bigger story was the number of peple who agreed with the principles expressed, which is a major reason why they stuck with him.

    Another way to put it, much of the GOP argument these days (as marked by the McCain campaign as well) is the making of arguments that were relevant when Carter was in office and haven’t been updated to fit the current policy needs/parameters of the country.

    So, we shoudl update our baseline principles to match conditions? Sorry, no sale. That’s not principle, that’s pragmatism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. anjin-san says:

    Yes. The main point being, he’s far more serious about standing on conservative principles than the supposedly more serious ‘leaders’.

    Wasn’t Joe the guy who made a name for himself talking about how Obama was going to overtax him on the six figure income that he was planning on making from the business he was talking about buying? Q, had Joe ever earned six figures in his life up to this point?

    Oh yea, this is a man to be taken seriously.

    Of course the people who do take him seriously are telling us something about themselves by doing so…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. PD Shaw says:

    If Joe the Plummer didn’t exist, the G.O.P. would have to invent him. I wouldn’t describe it as a nead to be more populist per se, but for the G.O.P. to have a chance at majority status, they need to be making a claim for a big chunk of the middle that Joe represents. Joe is needed for framing issues and policies; the frame need not speak; in fact, it’s easier if the frame does not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. legion says:

    Actually, I think Joe is the continuation of a core meme of the GWB years: actually being educated about issues – as opposed to just “going with your gut” – is uncool. While the “unwashed masses vs. the overeducated elite” is a commonly-used wedge, it leads directly to party spokesmanship (if not overt leadership) going to guys like Joe, who seem positively proud of the fact that they don’t have any idea what they’re talking about (or at least, no ability to shut up when the subject turns to something like that).

    Prime example – Jindal’s ridiculous criticism last night of volcano monitoring. Another example – Palin’s campaign criticism of scientific studies of fruit flies. Both of these have extremely concrete and far-reaching impact on people’s lives, which the speakers were clueless about, but a lot of other people recognized immediately. Jindal’s derision of studies of potential natural disasters is particularly inexcusable.

    IMHO, pride in stupidity is not going to win back a lot of disaffected Repubs…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. Wayne says:

    BitHead
    Well said. The problem with the GOP is there are too many elitist as our current leaders. They tend to think they know better than anyone else and talk down to their base. They also tend to COOP some liberal agenda in hope of siphoning off liberal voters while telling their base to take a hike.

    This elitist attitude toward Joe is just another example of their arrogance. Joe has never acted like he knew everything. He unlike our elitist leaders has acknowledged many areas that he is not an expert in. He unlike our elitist leaders has shown that he has core values. Most people except the elitist know there are areas they know little about but never the less do have core values. Those who mock those with core values don’t deserve my respect.

    Anjin
    What part of word “planning” don’t you understand? To ridicule someone for having a dream and trying to realize it is pitiful. I guess the liberal way is to knock anyone that is trying to succeed without the government help.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. Wayne says:

    “actually being educated about issues – as opposed to just “going with your gut” – is uncool”

    Problem with liberals are they are indoctrinated and not educated. Try to point out facts that don’t fit their agenda and they will either ignore it, state their conclusion is settle fact , start into the name calling or many other denial methods.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. anjin-san says:

    I guess the liberal way is to knock anyone that is trying to succeed without the government help.

    Sorry Wayne, but I have a six figure income in the real world, not in a fantasy, like Joe. Did it without government help, or a college degree, for that matter.

    You nonsense about “liberals” somehow despising success is another fantasy, much like Joe thinking Obama’s proposed tax increases on incomes over 250k was going to affect him.

    I am absolutely in favor of planning and working to achieve ones dreams. But whining about how you are going to be taxed on an income that you are nowhere near achieving is pretty pathetic. That it resonated with so many “conservatives” is telling.

    Anyway, hope things are going well in whatever solar system it is that you occupy…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. Bithead says:

    Sorry Wayne, but I have a six figure income in the real world, not in a fantasy, like Joe. Did it without government help, or a college degree, for that matter.

    No doubt. Yet, who was in office when you established that busienss, and what were the marginal tax rates of the day? If they were higher, would you have decided that perhaps trying to start your business wasn’t worth it? truth is, taht’s the chocie forced on many by higher taxes.

    Well said.

    (Nod of thanks)

    This elitist attitude toward Joe is just another example of their arrogance. Joe has never acted like he knew everything. He unlike our elitist leaders has acknowledged many areas that he is not an expert in. He unlike our elitist leaders has shown that he has core values. Most people except the elitist know there are areas they know little about but never the less do have core values. Those who mock those with core values don’t deserve my respect.

    Or anyone’s, for that matter.

    I want you to think about something; When we as a nation came out of the depression, we conservatives were told that we had to hide that conservative light under a bushel, as it were; we had to be seen as being more like liberal Democrats. More intelectuual, and less bound by principle. And we did become just that.

    The direct and undeniable result of following that advice, was our political exile for 40 years. It was only when Reagan came along and started actually being conservative, that republicans started making headway.

    I submit there’s a lesson there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. [...] A BRIDGE TO THE 20TH CENTURY: James Joyner says Republicans are stuck in the past: [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. tom p says:

    He unlike our elitist leaders has acknowledged many areas that he is not an expert in. He unlike our elitist leaders has shown that he has core values. Most people except the elitist know there are areas they know little about but never the less do have core values.

    Wayne, a question as the previous is a little muddled: Do you think it is possible to have “core values” about something one is uninformed about?

    Also (for Bit too):

    The problem with the GOP is … They also tend to COOP some liberal agenda in hope of siphoning off liberal voters while telling their base to take a hike.

    While there is a part of me that sympathizes with the oft stated position of Bit, that the last thing the GOP needs to do at this point in time is “piss of the base”, how does one reconcile the fact that the “base” (of either party) is usually about 20% of the electorate, with an attempt to get an electoral majority, with out moderating some of the core positions of the party?

    By core positions of the GOP, I mean Roe, Iraq, immigration, education, etc… all of which I have at least some sympathy for. The Dems have moderated some of their positions (guns, welfare, and others I am sure) and were rewarded with electoral majorities (I am going back to 2006).

    This is an honest question, one that defies easy answers, but I would actually like to hear what you guys have to say.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. tom p says:

    Oh, and take note, fiscal conservatism is still not a core principle of the GOP.

    I too, look forward to the day when it is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. Dodd says:

    It’s as if Jimmy Carter’s still in the White House and Roe vs. Wade was just handed down.

    Carter and Roe — Obama and Boumediene… what’s the difference?

    Other than the fact that Carter actually had relevant experience when he attained the Oval Office, that is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Steve Plunk says:

    Joe is being used more by the left than by Republicans. He’s sort of a flesh and blood straw man to be pummeled. A fringe of the Republican party is allowing him to do the citizen reporter thing but he is far from a real player in the GOP. And don’t blame Joe for using the opportunity to make a few bucks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. Ben says:

    And the Democrats think it’s 1929. At least the Republicans are within a couple of decades of reality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. Michael says:

    how is it that the only ‘serious’ candidates are those of the intelectual class?

    <snark>Right on, the Republican party should be nominating the most mediocre candidates it can find. I mean, who wants someone smarter than them making important decisions?</snark>

    Do you really think the point of representative government is to put a person of average intellect in a position to make decisions for everyone else? By definition, that person can be expected to make worse decisions that half of the people he represents.

    So, we shoudl update our baseline principles to match conditions? Sorry, no sale. That’s not principle, that’s pragmatism.

    The thing is that you’re running on principles where you have either won the battle or lost the public. Reagan and Bush got you lower taxes, and the public no longer supports you on Roe vs. Wade. If you want to stick to these principles be my guest, just don’t expect to win elections.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. Doug Collins says:

    Re: Joe’s hoped-for future income:

    If the people who actually have financial success are the only opposition to big government, then we’re hosed. Once most of the electorate decide to give up and be content with their pittance, Newspeak’s “We are all Socialists Now” headline will be reality.

    The biggest difference between the USA and say -France- is that most Americans really do believe they will be doing a lot better in the future. Interfering with that belief is the invisible “third rail” that leftists (and apparently republican “intellectuals and serious thinkers”) don’t understand. Reagan did understand. Mondale, with his “I’m going to raise taxes” pledge did not.

    If you are right and this isn’t true anymore – then it’s time for conservatives to emigrate. Whatever is left will be neither conservative nor American.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. Mike_K says:

    You nonsense about “liberals” somehow despising success is another fantasy, much like Joe thinking Obama’s proposed tax increases on incomes over 250k was going to affect him.

    While I am not a fan of Joe the plumber as spokesman, your comment is also disingenuous. Obama’s tax increases will reach well below 250k and everyone with a pulse knows that. Secondly, your contempt for the possibility of Joe reaching that tax bracket suggests that your self description might be suspect.

    The GOP has several major problems, not all mentioned here. One is the fact that we have trouble with our candidates because successful conservatives tend not to gravitate toward government. We often end up with weak candidates for that reason.

    Two is the fact, well depicted by David Frum and others, that taxes are no longer the issue they once were, due to removal of large numbers from the tax rolls and the lowering of tax rates from the days when Reagan took office. Obama may give us some help here.

    Three, there are serious issues for which Republicans must provide alternate policies. One is health care. We do have to recognize that the middle class has been stressed by the combination of FICA taxes and health insurance premiums. Health IRAs will solve only a small fraction of that problem. There are alternatives in health care reform that are acceptable to conservatives, or should be.

    The Republican Congress badly damaged the brand and it will take a while to recover. Obama seems to be helping so it is now the role of the party to point out the consequences of the present course and avoid getting entangled with the culprits. Alternatives need to be offered, even if they have no chance of adoption right now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. anjin-san says:

    No doubt. Yet, who was in office when you established that busienss, and what were the marginal tax rates of the day? If they were higher, would you have decided that perhaps trying to start your business wasn’t worth it? truth is, taht’s the chocie forced on many by higher taxes.

    Your point is not without merit, but it is somewhat off-topic. The issue here is that JTP is a man who has been lionized by the GOP for complaining about being penalized for success, when in fact his success existed entirely in his own mind.

    I may have plans to hook up with Ashley Judd, but if I start talking about how people are jealous of my relationship with her, I will look like a fool, which is how most folks see ‘ol Joe. Plans are nice, but its what you have actually done in the real world that counts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. Ellen says:

    Joe the Plumber can be whatever he wants. To me, he represents one of the important figures of myth: the naif who says “But the Emperor has no clothes!” You don’t need much beyond clarity of perception to say that, but it desperately needs to be said.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. bgates says:

    By definition, that person can be expected to make worse decisions that half of the people he represents.

    You’re confusing decision-making with the GRE. Barney Frank may have done better in law school than I could have. The problem is, he’s a crook. I’m willing to trade some intellectual capacity in my representatives for honesty.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. Steve says:

    Joe the Plumber is “unserious” as much as Rick Santelli is “unserious” and the chord he struck with his now famous statements.

    Lower taxes and keeping our money to fulfill our own dreams (and yes, that can include helping other people) is what these two “spokespeople” stand for. That is American. Taxing the hell out of us and using it to fund your voting base, well, that is what Obama stands for. Funding a 1.5 trillion dollar give away as Obama has proposed is unserious.

    But I actually think Mr. Joyner just does not like the messenger versus the message. Or am I being unserious too? Perhaps I can throw around “unserious” the way Democrats threw around “cool” for Obama until it meant nothing and everything at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. anjin-san says:

    Secondly, your contempt for the possibility of Joe reaching that tax bracket suggests that your self description might be suspect.

    I don’t have contempt for his ambition, I have contempt for his complaining about being penalized for reaching a place that he has not, in fact, reached. In my book, that makes one a fraud. I believe my earlier comments make that clear, so perhaps you should read more carefully.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. Michael says:

    Joe the Plumber can be whatever he wants. To me, he represents one of the important figures of myth: the naif who says “But the Emperor has no clothes!”

    Only it turns out that the Emperor did indeed have on cloths. The naif is only important when he’s right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. I suppose this could change, but office has Joe run for as a Republican?

    James, unfortunately I think you are on a fool’s errand. Ask Young Mr. Yglesias how many “intellectual” Republicans he knows. I’m not a fan of populism, but that doesn’t make me a fan of elitism either.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. mark says:

    so…
    the gop is already the party of the ‘white guy’, so let’s pick out some more white guys to represent a party that gets slaughtered by female voters.

    get young, smart, female financial planners to make the argument for the gop. If you are in the gop, you already understand the consequences of Obama’s ‘dream’.

    the people who the gop needs to draw?
    female voters. They only come to the gop if another woman convinces them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. Some Guy says:

    Liberal/Conservative is a false dichotomy. The real division is between free people and would-be tyrants.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  35. Roux says:

    I’d rather be led by the guy who knows he’s not the smartest guy in the room, than the guy who thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room.

    Hey, but then I like Ronald Reagan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  36. tom p says:

    Okaaayyyy, let me see if I have this right: As several of you have admitted, he is “principled”, but he hasn’t got the vaguest idea of what he is talking about! And yet, he is a “spokes-person” of the “non-elitist right”… give me a break.

    Who the *F* is Joe the (not so) Plumber and why in the *F* do we give a RATS ASS what he thinks? Are we now going to listen to “Tom the Carpenter” opine about all things “nuclear weapons”?

    Let me put it to you another way: Principles with out facts are like a cart with out a horse… Ya still gotta hump that mother.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. anjin-san says:

    I’d rather be led by the guy who knows he’s not the smartest guy in the room, than the guy who thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room.

    Back in the 90s, we were led by the guy who actually was the smartest guy in the room. It did not work out too badly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  38. Some Guy says:

    Roux,

    I have to ask, why do you assume that you have to be led at all?

    America doesn’t need a leader. This idea what we’ll be OK if we just get the right guy in office is dangerous as hell.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  39. One of the first things I learned as a young engineer was that there was much I could learn from the assemblers, technicians, etc. that I worked with … while they didn’t have my theoretical background, they knew a LOT about turning ideas into practical results that a supposed “expert” like myself did not. This willingness to listen to the non-expert has served me well for 26 years in my profession.

    Were they always “intellectual”? No.

    Where they nearly always right? YES.

    Looks to me like we now have a bunch of “intellectual” wonks in BOTH parties who conflate the appearance of knowledge with actual wisdom … and as a result, can’t see the forest for the trees.

    Could it be that, because they have not indulged in copious amounts of navel-gazing like the elites, those like Joe and Sarah can still see the forest?

    Or, like Indiana Jones, they have the wisdom to avoid being mesmerized by all the swordplay of their adversary and/or try to match it slice-for-slice … instead, they pull out their gun, shoot the enemy, and lead on.

    One set of experts got us into our present mess because they told millions “don’t worry about the fine print” and encouraged our dependence upon their judgment — in the face of common sense and history with regards to personal finance …

    … now we have a second set of experts about to compel us to depend upon their judgment by force of law, ultimately, if they prevail, with no recourse if they are wrong — in the face of common sense and history about the ability of government to resolve socioeconomic problems.

    Maybe its time to realize that expertise and intellect are overrated, relative to wisdom … even the wisdom of supposedly “simple minds”.

    Maybe it’s time to keep it simple … or at least, end our predisposition to allow ourselves to become totally dependent upon “experts”.

    Often, it is the simple questions that are more effective at differentiating snake oil from Shinola.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  40. prose says:

    And pray why are intellectuals and serious leaders of the movement alienated by the likes Joe and Palin?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  41. I’m a bit put off by the notion that the GOP’s base is the “normal” person in the middle. Judging by the pure numbers in 08, and the Democratic party gain, that would not seem to be the case.

    I’d also love to see some figures on party affiliation to back up the claim that it was Democrats who bought houses they couldn’t afford. It seems to me that a lot of the problems people are having stem as much from HELOCs as ARMs and I would love to see some hard numbers on who went to the HELOC cookie jar too many times before blithely claiming it’s a quirk limited mainly to Democrats. I’d be willing to bet it’s evenly divided or that the opposite is just as likely to be true.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. Wayne says:

    “Wayne, a question as the previous is a little muddled: Do you think it is possible to have “core values” about something one is uninformed about?”

    One’s core values does not necessarily depend on one’s knowledge about any particular situation. A person can have a core value of being fair without knowing what is fair in every known and unknown situation. Having that core value helps them to look at a situation and have a good chance of coming up with solution that is somewhat fair regardless of how it would affect them. Not having that core value would result in them thinking how they would benefit from it and they would most likely come up with an unfair solution.

    Granted some people core values can change with experience or knowledge, sometime for the better and sometime for the worst. However I would be weary of anyone without core values and are only out for their best interest. Yes I am aware that what some consider righteous values are actually values of self interest.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. Wayne says:

    As for the COOP bit, I am not suggesting that GOP need to come out with strict standards and anyone that disagree with that is not welcome. Unfortunately I think too many on both sides think that way. However I think there should be core beliefs. Does someone have to share 100% of those beliefs to be in the party? No. However too many are more concern about winning election than following principles. Many of the base are tired of those who bash the core believers while stating it is all about winning then they wonder why they are losing the base. The shut up and get in line attitude just doesn’t cut it.

    Many of us believe that if the GOP didn’t spend like drunken sailors, limited government, and kept to the party core principles, they would still be in the majority. If the GOP had stuck to their principle and lost, we would be O.K. with that. However now that they lost, it suppose to be a reflection on conservative principle which simply is not true.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. JohnG says:

    Much in this thread is being made about the fact that Joe doesn’t yet have riches. So why was Joe worried about taxes on riches he didn’t have? Wasn’t it because he was planning on buying his own shop and building his own business, and weighing the hardship involved against what his future riches would really be like after the Obama redistribution happened? Isn’t this exactly what Republicans are always talking about? If you overtax the ‘rich’ then people won’t want to put in the work to become ‘rich’ in the first place.

    Here is a guy who was trying to do the same calculation in the real world with his real future that liberals apparently think is a nonsensical conservative strawman. The fact that he exists is a validation of a core Republican idea. If I work hard and make it, I won’t get to enjoy it, so why work hard in the first place? A lot of people must be thinking the same thing or else why is there so much populist resonance for him? And how exactly is this turning off the elite conservatives, unless they either don’t think that this guy who is buying into the message they are selling isn’t elite enough to be a messenger, or else they don’t believe in the message to begin with?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  45. PA says:

    Up your meds James

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  46. Jane says:

    “anjin-sin”,

    What in the world is the point of your posts on this thread?? Why the heck are liberals like you worried about Joe the Plumber or CPAC? This is a thread dealing with how Republicans and conservatives can be more effective. Here’s a little newsflash (as the despised Sarah Palin would say) for ya: they are not going to become the mirror image of liberals/Democrats.

    Little friend, just run along now and keep nodding your head about how intelligent and all-knowing the “one” is. He will find the trillions and trillions for the new spending he and democrats will pass, our future is on a sound footing! Meanwhile, just keep feeling superior about how benighted and out-of-touch Republicans are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. Wayne says:

    Tom p
    You mean like Al Gore on Global Warming or Obama on the economy? Neither one is an expert in those fields.

    Principles as applied to ethical standards are what you have when you don’t have the facts. Once you have the facts you apply your principles to them if the situation requires.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  48. SteveM says:

    “the intellectuals and serious leaders of the movement”

    Let me guess – idiots like Frum and Ruffini?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  49. SteveM says:

    Wasn’t Joe the guy who made a name for himself talking about how Obama was going to overtax him on the six figure income that he was planning on making from the business he was talking about buying? Q, had Joe ever earned six figures in his life up to this point?

    I’m gratified to see that the left is so concerned wth the well-being of the right. But I’m not so sure we should discard somebody just because he rubs your delicate sensibilities the wrong way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  50. anjin-san says:

    nice rant jane. actually, i was a republican until folks like you made it too embarassasing to go on. listening to a republican gripe about spending at this point in history is pretty laughable, bush inherited a surplus and proceeded to lead our country to the edge of fiscal disaster…

    btw, i don’t believe i have so much as mentioned obama in this thread. but feel free to keep making things up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  51. SteveM says:

    i was a republican until folks like you made it too embarassasing to go on

    Do any of you people think that this nonsense actually works with anyone?

    btw, i don’t believe i have so much as mentioned obama in this thread

    Yes, kind of add considering your supposed concern over “fiscal disaster”. Obama is set to ring up more debt in one year than Bush did in eight. But not a peep out of you about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  52. SteveM says:

    The conceit of this and many similar pieces around the web is that Bush and Rumsfeld and Cheney and Rove and Andy Card and John McCain and the rest were all a bunch of idiot “populists” who wandered in off the set of “Hee Haw” and not what they really were and are – the “elite” Republican establishment with nary a conservative bone in their bodies.

    Once you engage in that feat of metal gymnastics it’s easy to move on and demand that we start listening to David Brooks for a change, and blame the party for (can you say it without laughing?) pandering to the Joe the Plumber crowd.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  53. George B says:

    I believe Republicans need candidates who will stand on principle when no compromise is possible like Reagan at Reykjavik, the intelligence and education to argue the conservative side of the issues in a policy debate, and the ability to connect with ordinary voters with what at least appears to be genuine empathy. As an example, I could see former majority leader Dick Armey arguing the economic details of housing policy in language familiar to pickup driving bass fishermen because he has real ties to both the academia and the working class.

    I look at the resumes of most people who become candidates and it looks like they planned that line of work starting in high school. Sarah Palin connects because she appears to be a real person who accidentally became a politician in a world full of people who planned politics as a career. However, she lacks the academic background to go toe-to-toe with professional politicians in a debate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  54. Ottovbvs says:

    No…. the keynote address is being given by Rush Limbaugh and if you read most of the comments here and at Next Right you will see the base couldn’t be happier about the visibility of JTP and El Rushbo. I’m putting it down to the catharsis that a twice defeated party has to go through and therefore temporary but I fear it’s much more deep seated than that. This is a party with a real sickness in its soul brought about by a generation of polarizing tactics aimed at keeping the base loyal. That base of now consists of social conservatives and nationalists who are loyal to the point of fanaticism. They don’t want RINO’S like Collins, Specter, and you James in the party because you don’t go along with their antil thinking philosophy. The problem is that this base is at most 35% of the electorate and it’s scaring off the additional 10% who went with it last November. Confronted by someone who it’s now becoming clear is the greatest political talent in this country since FDR and who is backed by solid majorities in house and senate the plan is to hunker down, obstruct wherever possible, elevate the discourse with attacks on mice and volcanoes, and hope like hell for national failure. This is not a recipe for success it’s a recipe for marginalization.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  55. SteveM says:

    No…. the keynote address is being given by Rush Limbaugh and if you read most of the comments here and at Next Right you will see the base couldn’t be happier about the visibility of JTP and El Rushbo.

    Right, because the big problem with the GOP these last ten years or so has been the influence of these people and not the left-wing tilt of the party leadership. Dream on.

    Confronted by someone who it’s now becoming clear is the greatest political talent in this country since FDR

    If by that you mean “barely coherent illiterate moron”, sure. Barry’s only talent is the ability to read the words others put in his teleprompter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  56. Ottovbvs says:

    Yes, kind of add considering your supposed concern over “fiscal disaster”. Obama is set to ring up more debt in one year than Bush did in eight. But not a peep out of you about it.

    Posted by SteveM | February 26, 2009 | 06:54 pm | Permalink

    Since everyone apart from you seems to know that half the overspend this fiscal is coming from Bush period committments like the bank bailout and even then it’s not remotely close to the nearly five trillion in total over the last eight years. In fact this whole statement shows your in total denial about the last eight year which lets face it suck.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  57. anjin-san says:

    Do any of you people think that this nonsense actually works with anyone?

    I’m not trying to make anything “work” I was a member of the GOP for a long time. When the know-nothings started taking over the party, I bailed. What you think about it is of little interest to me. It is funny that jane’s utter tripe about “the one” does not bother you, yet my remarks apparently do.

    Yes, kind of add considering your supposed concern over “fiscal disaster”. Obama is set to ring up more debt in one year than Bush did in eight. But not a peep out of you about it.

    I assume you mean “odd”. Look, Obama took office after Bush had driven us over the cliff. Will Obama’s parachute work? Time will tell. Do I have concerns about current spending plans? Yes, but I also have some confidence that the current government will at least have some competence as opposed to the former administration simply writing checks for tens of billions of dollars to corporations and then not even bothering to track where the taxpayer $$$ are going.

    What’s your plan for the ecnonomy? Playing Hoover probably will not get the job done…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  58. Ottovbvs says:

    If by that you mean “barely coherent illiterate moron”, sure. Barry’s only talent is the ability to read the words others put in his teleprompter.

    Posted by SteveM | February 26, 2009 | 07:21 pm |

    ………..You obviously didn’t watch that hour long press conference….And “barely coherent illiterate morons” regularly become presidents of the Harvard Law Review….You’re in deep, deep denial buddy and a very typical example of what I was talking about…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  59. anjin-san says:

    If by that you mean “barely coherent illiterate moron”, sure. Barry’s only talent is the ability to read the words others put in his teleprompter.

    Yes, that would explain how he pretty much crushed the GOP in the last election :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  60. SteveM says:

    Since everyone apart from you seems to know that blah blah blah

    I did not know that your name was “everyone”, but if you think you know that then you don’t know anything.

    The total increase in the national debt in eight years of Bush was $2.9 trillion.

    If everything goes according to Obama’s plan, he will increase the debt by $4.7 trillion. In four years. Under his best case assumptions.

    In fact this whole statement shows your in total denial about the last eight year

    blah blah Bush sucks blah blah Praise be The One blah blah ..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  61. anjin-san says:

    blah blah Praise be The One blah blah ..

    Like I was saying, when the know-nothings started taking over, it was too embarrassing to go on.

    Tripe, anyone?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  62. Ottovbvs says:

    “nice rant jane. actually, i was a republican until folks like you made it too embarassasing to go on.”

    …As was I and as my family have been for generations but when the lunatics starting taking over the asylum it was time to leave. The party is losing the upper middle classes who basically run the country. These are people who would rather rant about barely coherent illiterate morons when you are talking about someone who whatever you think of his politics is very gifted. But that’s they way they want it and I’ve no doubt are going to get it for the forseeable future.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  63. SteveM says:

    I’m not trying to make anything “work” I was a member of the GOP for a long time.

    Yes, and I’m a long time Democrat.

    When the know-nothings started taking over the party

    “Anjin-san”, you are the quintessential know nothing. You are in the possession of neither facts not reasoning ability. You are nothing at all like your namesake. “Know-Nothings”, my ass.

    I also have some confidence that the current government will at least have some competence as opposed to the former administration simply writing checks for tens of billions of dollars to corporations and then not even bothering to track where the taxpayer $$$ are going.

    You have confidence in the management ability of Obama, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Rangel, Frank, and so on? As I say, you know absolutely nothing. These people are owned and operated by those evil corporations you are so concerned about. Their “stimulus bll” was a massive payout to their corporate backers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  64. anjin-san says:

    Yes, and I’m a long time Democrat.

    Its not quite clear what you are. But I am proud to say I voted for Ronald Reagan twice.

    Run along Steve, afraid you are not worth spending any more pixels on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  65. SteveM says:

    Like I was saying, when the know-nothings started taking over

    Tell me, “anjin-san”, what does “Know-nothing” mean you you? Is it just another term like “fascist” or “asshole” you throw at people you don’t like?

    Because all you have accomplished here is to reveal yourself as an ignorant liar.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  66. SteveM says:

    I am proud to say I voted for Ronald Reagan twice.

    You voted for that Know-Nothing? That theo-con? That raiser of the nation debt? Surely not!


    Run along Steve

    Hmm, I think I’ll continue to hang out here and make note of your ignorance and dishonesty.

    But you toddle along if you’re so inclined and tell your mommy you have a boo-boo.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  67. SteveM says:

    I and as my family have been for generations but when the lunatics starting taking over the asylum

    By the lunatics, what precisely do you mean? Nixon? Ford? Reagan? George H W Bush? Bush? McCain?

    I notice that you pretentious idiots are long on sneering and very short on any coherent arguments. Very much like the liberals in fact.

    The party is losing the upper middle classes who basically run the country

    Is that how you think of yourself? As somebody who should by rights be running the country?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  68. Ottovbvs says:

    Posted by SteveM | February 26, 2009 | 07:55 pm |

    ….When the Republican party has friends like you and Joe….who needs enemies. James is on the money but he’s never going to get folks like you to face reality…….therein lies the problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  69. Bithead says:

    The Dems have moderated some of their positions (guns, welfare, and others I am sure) and were rewarded with electoral majorities (I am going back to 2006).

    Without reading the intervening responses let me just say that when democrats moderate their stated positions in election seasons they tended to do fairly well. When weekends moderate their stated positions in elections seasons, they lose their backsides every time. What does that tell you?

    Your point is not without merit, but it is somewhat off-topic.

    Now, it’s not, because as you said, that kind of question was exactly what JTP brought to the table. So let’s hear straightforward answer. What higher taxes, when you started your business have made a stable business unattainable for you, or not?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  70. SteveM says:

    When the Republican party has friends like you and Joe….who needs enemies.

    Is this your response to my question? By the lunatics, what precisely do you mean? Nixon? Ford? Reagan? George H W Bush? Bush? McCain?

    Come now, surely a natural aristocrat like you can answer a simple question.

    James is on the money

    James is under the peculiar impression that the GOP has been run these last several years by the cast of “Hee Haw” and not by exactly the sort of elites he is in love with. People just like you and James in fact. I pointed this out earlier and needless to say you ignored it and trotted out your usual ignorant ad hominems instead.

    If James (or God forbid, you) would like to try to make the case that the GOP’s current problems are the fault of the base and not the parties elite, it would be interesting to see him try.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  71. SteveM says:

    The Dems have moderated some of their positions (guns, welfare, and others I am sure) and were rewarded with electoral majorities

    The Dems have done no such thing. They are already planning on a new “assault weapons” ban, and on overturning the welfare reform from the nineties. They swung hard left and won power by doing so, while the GOP swung to the left as well and lost power for their troubles.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  72. [...] Joe The Plumberization of the Republican Party I’m writing this from the CPAC convention and judging from the speakers, there’s not a whole lot of recognition of the need to update the intellectual platform to accomodate a changed era. It’s as if Jimmy Carter’s still in the White House and Roe vs. Wade was just handeda down. [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  73. Trouble says:

    Back in the 90s, we were led by the guy who actually was the smartest guy in the room….

    To whoever said this: The weekend is coming up; could I have some of whatever that is you’re smoking? Or were you referring to Newt Gingrich?

    I’ve always been puzzled by the opinion which holds that people are smarter just because they were Rhodes scholars, edited the Harvard Law Review, etc.. Yeah, and I was exec VP of my pharmacy school honor society. Big whoop. Once you get out of college such bullcrap is unimportant at best. Most successful (I say again: successful) CEOs were B students in college.

    I guess I’m just difficult to impress.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  74. anjin-san says:

    my ass

    Well Steve, we have all been wondering where you keep you head. Thanks for clearing that up :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  75. anjin-san says:

    I’ve always been puzzled by the opinion which holds that people are smarter just because they were Rhodes scholars, edited the Harvard Law Review, etc..

    Thats not my opinion. But I do know some phenomenally bright and talented people who had face time with Clinton and said they walked away pretty close to dazzled by his obvious brilliance.

    BTW, I do think Newt is a remarkably smart and capable guy. I think Cheney is smart as hell, even if he is an evil son of a bitch. My estimation of people is based on observation, not diplomas or party affiliation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  76. anjin-san says:

    What higher taxes, when you started your business have made a stable business unattainable for you, or not?

    Actually, I work for a major corporation, though I do maintain my consulting business. Luckily, I can run that now as I did when I started, with a few computers and a home office, so I would have to say I could have, and could still make a go of it with higher taxes.

    Are higher taxes a drag? Certainly. What is the alternative at this point? The GOP policy of “spend, spend and go broke” worked even less well than the “tax and spend” policies associated with Democrats. Neither party is serious about cutting waste or government spending.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  77. SteveM says:

    My estimation of people is based on observation

    Thanks so much, “anjin-san”. We’ll give your “observations” their due consideration, don’t worry. I mean, based on your observations of Reid, Pelosi, Dodd, et al, you seem to have somehow come to the concusion that they are something other than crooks.

    I do know some phenomenally bright and talented people who had face time with Clinton

    Your definition of “phenomenally bright” doubtless looks something like “shares my left-wing views”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  78. Rocketforge says:

    [...] assuming that there is something “wrong” with conservatism and that it may need to be re-invented. “Conservatism” is a difficult thing to pin down. The Burke-ian view is the easiest one [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  79. anjin-san says:

    Well Steve, you have done your party some service. You are making JTP and Palin sound like rocket scientists…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  80. SteveM says:

    The GOP policy of “spend, spend and go broke” worked even less well than the “tax and spend” policies associated with Democrats.

    If that major corporation employs people like you in any fiscal management capacity, it would go a ways towards explaining why Americas major corporations are in such poor fiscal condition.

    Time will tell whether the Democrats are better or worse than the GOP on fiscal matters, but the evidence since 2006, and especially since Obama took office, is that they are far worse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  81. odograph says:

    FWIW, I am another ex-Republican (technically still registered). I like James’ original piece, and if he were leading the GOP hymn here I might have more hope … but the thread seems to pull out what are for me the wrong responses as well.

    I can actually relate to Joe as an aspirational figure, wanting to make more in the future … but that doesn’t really square the circle on the affect of a $250K+ tax increase. It really doesn’t affect most Americans.

    It’s truth versus truthiness.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  82. odograph says:

    “especially since Obama took office”

    Gosh, a whole month, how can they NOT fix an entire financial meltdown.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  83. SteveM says:

    You are making JTP and Palin sound like rocket scientists…

    And you are making me sound like a rocket scientist, “anjin-san”. Which I appreciate somewhat, but I’d appreciate it more if you screwed up whatever courage you possess and attempted to debate the issues instead of hiding behind this mask of faux superiority.

    James said this back in September.

    maybe McCain should announce his intention to nominate Wurzelbacher for Treasury Secretary. We’ve had worse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  84. anjin-san says:

    I mean, based on your observations of Reid, Pelosi, Dodd, et al, you seem to have somehow come to the concusion that they are something other than crooks.

    Really Skippy? Could you perchance cut and paste a few of those observations here for the whole class to see? I believe the last time I addressed any of them here on OTB, I referred to Reid as an idiot and Pelosi as a political hack advanced beyond a level supported by her skills, an opinion I still hold.

    How did that old Dylan tune go? It so reminds me of you – Idiot Wind, blowing every time you move your mouth…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  85. anjin-san says:

    If that major corporation employs people like you in any fiscal management capacity, it would go a ways towards explaining why Americas major corporations are in such poor fiscal condition.

    Its not an American corporation. But you are on a roll with the “ignorant doofus” thing. Stick with what you are good at…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  86. SteveM says:

    FWIW, I am another ex-Republican

    Right. And can I ask you what prompted you to join the Democats?

    Your friends here seem terrified to get to any debate with me. Maybe you can answer a question since they can’t.

    Gosh, a whole month, how can they NOT fix an entire financial meltdown.

    They have blown two trillion dollars in that “whole month”! I suspect that if the Republicans were spraying money around at that rate, you “former Republicans” would be exclaiming “That’s why I left!”.

    And though it’s a little known fact in some quarters, I assume that you former Republicans are very aware that your new party has been running Congress for the past two years. At what point do you intend to start taking responsiblity?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  87. anjin-san says:

    And you are making me sound like a rocket scientist

    If that were possible, I could also compute to the last digit the value of Pi

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  88. SteveM says:

    Really Skippy?

    What’s the matter, “anjin-san”? Surely a person of your superor intellect, in least in his own mind, is not allowing me to get under his skin?

    Could you perchance cut and paste a few of those observations here for the whole class to see?

    Anything to help you out, “anjin-san”.

    I also have some confidence that the current government will at least have some competence

    I’d assume that you understand that “the current government” includes such people as The Senate Majority Leader, the House Majority Leader, the head of the Senate Banking Committee, etc .

    But if it has dawned on you that these people lack the same high degree of intellect and integrity which you imagine you “observe” in The One, then I applaud your first halting steps towards enlightement.

    Then we can move on to the “competence” of people like Geithner.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  89. odograph says:

    I don’t consider myself a Democrat Steve. I consider myself a centrist or independent. I’m actually pleased that this is a trend. Some states are getting quite high levels of “no party” voters.

    On the $2T, it’s blown or not blown. In the cases of banks it is literally money invested opposed to actualized losses. The stimulus idea is similar. If it works it will yield income. As many have said it’s similar to the Bush tax cuts in that regard. The promise is that the check is in the mail.

    Being a centrist I don’t think that tax cuts are always bad (or always good). Nor do I think spending is always good. In fact, I think authentic stimulus spending is only very, very, rarely good. The economists have me convinced that we might be in one of those times.

    Greg Mankiw, Republican Economist (head of BushII’s economic advisors) points to this quote:

    “Fiscal policy (e.g., tax cut and/or government expenditure increase) has a significant stimulative impact on a less than fully employed economy. (90%)”

    He’s saying that 90% of economists think stimulus can work in a down economy. That leaves us, for rational discussion, talking a bout whether this economy is down enough.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  90. SteveM says:

    If that were possible

    It’s not merely possible, it’s happening right before your blinkered eyes.

    So at some stage in these proceedings it might be advisable for you to cease telling everybody how smart you think you are, and show what you’ve got. If anything.

    That would require you to, you now, marshall facts and logic in support of an actual argument.

    Do you know how to do that, “anjin-san”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  91. SteveM says:

    He’s saying that 90% of economists think stimulus can work in a down economy.

    I’m surprised it’s only 90%. The question is ‘what is a stimulus’? I don’t think you could get 90% to agree that what the Democrats are doing is a stimulus.

    Wha prompted you to leave the GOP? If it was economic concerns, the Democrats are alread showing you what true fiscal incompetence looks like.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  92. anjin-san says:

    On the $2T, it’s blown or not blown. In the cases of banks it is literally money invested opposed to actualized losses. The stimulus idea is similar. If it works it will yield income.

    Good point. Its worth noting, that as poorly implemented as the Bush Treasury Departments moves were last September, we were within shouting distance of an real live fiscal meltdown. There were the beginnings of bank runs that could have brought the whole house down. I have grave misgivings about TARP and the way it was handled, but we did get a return on our money.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  93. SteveM says:

    On the $2T, it’s blown or not blown.

    That’s nice and casual. No big deal then. Why did you leave the GOP again?

    In the cases of banks it is literally money invested opposed to actualized losses.

    Man, that’s dishonest. Well, I guess I’ll go out and “invest” $20 in lottery tickets. I have a better chance of ROI than with this “investment” in the banks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  94. Mike P says:

    “And James, I’m less than convinced that what we have before us, ISN’T Jimmah Cater in blackface.”

    Lovely. And yet some people wonder why the GOP is rapidly on its way to becoming a regional party built around the vestiges of the old South.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  95. Joe The Plumberization of the Republican Party

    Versus the…

    Christopher Doddization of the Democrat Party
    Barney Frankization of the Democrat Party
    Harry Reidization of the Democrat Party
    John Murthazation of the Democrat Party
    Rod Blagojavichization of the Democrat Party
    Richard Daleyization of the Democrat Party
    Rahm Emanualization of the Democrat Party
    Elliot Spitzerization of the Democrat Party

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  96. MIke_K says:

    I assume you mean “odd”. Look, Obama took office after Bush had driven us over the cliff.

    You mean CRA and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Bush attempt to rein them in in 2003 ?

    Will Obama’s parachute work? Time will tell. Do I have concerns about current spending plans? Yes, but I also have some confidence that the current government will at least have some competence as opposed to the former administration simply writing checks for tens of billions of dollars to corporations and then not even bothering to track where the taxpayer $$$ are going.

    See the link above. I do not see any competence and I think I am seeing a couple of seminar posters who claim to be Republicans like the callers to Limbaugh who usually say they are “lifelong Republicans” turned away by blah, blah, blah.

    Sorry. I’ve heard it before.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  97. anjin-san says:

    You mean CRA and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Bush attempt to rein them in in 2003 ?

    Your link is to an article written in 1999. Buy a calendar.

    I do not dispute that Democrats played more than a small part in this train wreck. But, try as they might to disown it, the GOP does, in fact own the Bush era, with all its many disasters.

    seminar posters who claim to be Republicans

    I was a member of the GOP in the 80s, left when Bush 41 took the helm. Reading is not that difficult, just apply yourself…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  98. Mark in Texas says:

    James

    “the intellectuals and serious leaders of the movement” are the people that you are listening to giving speeches at CPAC.

    Perhaps the attraction of Sarah Palin and Joe Wurzelbacher is that they seem like a breath of fresh air after the intellectuals and serious leaders of the movement. Perhaps it is also that the intellectuals and serious leaders of the movement don’t seem to like us ordinary conservative Republicans very much.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  99. MM says:

    I find it pretty telling that SteveM and Jane are the ones who are assuming anyone who disagrees with them at all is a democrat and simultaneously saying that the republican party is doing just fine thank you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  100. HC says:

    Like it or not, both parties embody coalitions and sets of beliefs that are not compatible with themselves, each party has large factions within their voting ranks who would, at heart, be happier and more at home in the other party, but they can’t cross over because of some specific issue or problem.

    Pure fiscal/economic conservatism, unallied with social and national-security conservatism, is a guaranteed election loser. The American electorate have demonstrated, on election day, repeatedly, that they like Social Security, Medicare, and (for ex) the minimum wage.

    Every single time a GOP commentator opposes the minimum wage as a concept (as opposed to a particular increase), they drive away three votes for every one they gain. The electorate sees the argument about the minimum wage in concept as having ended in 1938.

    GWB’s approval collapse did not start because of the Iraq War, it did not start because of Hurricane Katrina, the beginning of his secnd term public approval collapse was the talk of changing Social Security. The instant the GOP starting talking about it, Bush’s narrow reelection coalition began to fracture.

    Am I happy about that? No. Social Security is heading for enormous financial problems, but that doesn’t matter politically, for Republicans Social Security is still the third rail. Touch it and you die.

    Think back to the 1990s. When the GOP captured Congress in 1994, Clinton and the Dems did not hit them on abortion rights or gay rights or any of the social issues that the media likes to pretend are the GOP’s weakness, they immediately began a concerted (and false) program of allegations that the GOP had tried to cut Medicare. It was a lie, but the GOP didn’t respond in time to refute it and they paid the price.

    My point is that Clinton correctly recognized that the public simply was not motivated by a desire for small government, as such. They didn’t elect the GOP in ’94 to cut anything, that’s not what it was about. The GOP wasn’t vulnerable because they opposed abortion, or because they supported defense spending, they were vulnerable because the electorate was ready to see that as wanting to cut FDR’s ‘legacy’, and they were not on board for that.

    Conversely, conservatives who tell themselves that Medicare Part D hurt GOP election chances are deceiving themselves, Bush’s Medicare expansion is the most politically popular thing he did domestically, like it or not (I don’t like it, but that doesn’t change the facts). My cold, considered opinion is that Medicare Part D spared the world a Kerry Presidency by defanging Mediscare.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  101. anjin-san says:

    HC… don’t agree with everything you are saying, but that is some pretty insightful analysis.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  102. SteveM says:

    Lovely. And yet some people wonder why the GOP is rapidly on its way to becoming a regional party built around the vestiges of the old South.

    Right, because saying “Jimmah Cater in blackface” is just so racist. Or something. Or it lets you pretend to be offended.

    I will say that Barack Obama sure is clean and articulate. Can I say that, or is only Democrats who can say that? I can never remember the rules you clowns keep deaming up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  103. SteveM says:

    I find it pretty telling that SteveM and Jane are the ones who are assuming anyone who disagrees with them at all is a democrat and simultaneously saying that the republican party is doing just fine thank you.

    Thanks so much for displaying the reading comprehension level we’ve come to expect from the left. It’s lucky you people keep insisting on sayng how intelligent you are, or I might start to wonder who dresses you in the morning.

    Just FYI, I said neither of the things you attribute to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  104. SteveM says:

    I was a member of the GOP in the 80s, left when Bush 41 took the helm.

    Ah, yes. Bush 41 was that damn “Know-Nothing” who so offended you. Do you think anyone is going to swallow that?

    You claim to be a former Republican, but your pstng style is pure lefty troll. Nothing but lies, evasion, and smokescreens. You can’t even answer the most straightforward of questions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  105. SteveM says:

    Of course, they didn’t appoint Wurzelbacher as VP as they did with Sarah Palin. The two are of a piece: A faux populism that comes at the cost of alienating the intellectuals and serious leaders of the movement.

    Why do I get this disturbing feeling that Joyner thinks of himelf as an intellectual and “serious leader”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  106. Mandy says:

    As can be seen in responses posted here, many Republicans can’t drive the party over the cliff and into the abyss fast enough. Enjoy the ride. The rest of us, who choose to reside in reality, will take care of solving real-life problems.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  107. hitnrun says:

    The Republicans have not lacked for “serious leaders” for the last decade, serious leaders like Tom DeLay and Mitch McConnell, and it produced nothing but ballooning deficits.

    I’m endlessly entertained by the prediction of another electoral defeat in ’10 and cries that America will “finish cleaning house,” however. You guys might want to look at a map. 177 Republicans didn’t vote against Obama’s worst-of-both-worlds bill because they secretly hate black men or abstract “change”. They voted nay because in their district, supporting the bill would be political suicide. (Well, for most. For the rest, it’s because it’s pretty obvious what the economic effects of doubling the Bush debt after Bush doubled it himself are going to be. Who wants to bet on that if they don’t have to?)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  108. Jim Treacher says:

    Wasn’t Joe the guy who made a name for himself talking about how Obama was going to overtax him on the six figure income that he was planning on making from the business he was talking about buying? Q, had Joe ever earned six figures in his life up to this point?

    Oh yea, this is a man to be taken seriously.

    How dare he aspire to improve his life by working hard and playing by the rules. It’s not like this is the land of opportunity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  109. Adriane says:

    I am a BSME, graduate without honors, and never edited the Harvard Law Review.

    I have never confused the 50 states of America with the 57 countries in the Association of Islamic States. Obama did.

    I have never believed that forcing banks to loan monies to persons unable or unlikely to pay it back was sound financial policy. Obama did and surrounded himself with like minded fellows such as Raines, Pritzker, and Jameson.

    I have never claimed that the French drove Hezbolla from Lebanon. Obama chose as his Vice President a man who does.

    I have never been so morally bankrupt as to turn off the credit card security software on a web page to allow illegal and untraceable campaign donations. Obama has.

    I have never argued that the 2nd amendment to the Constitution prevented American citizens from owning guns. Obama has. Obama sponsored Illinois legislation that would make a home owner who fired within the confines of his own home in self defense a criminal. Obama rigged the publication of militia oriented 2nd Amendment law reviews to give the impression that this opinion was the more prevalent.

    But I, by the definition given here, am the anti-intellectual, the know nothing, the faux populist, and Constitution shredding Republican.

    Go figure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  110. Bithead says:

    Are higher taxes a drag? Certainly. What is the alternative at this point?

    Well, Gee… lower spending, perhaps? Telling, I think, that you didn’t think of that one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  111. Michael says:

    Well, Gee… lower spending, perhaps? Telling, I think, that you didn’t think of that one.

    Easy to say. What spending do you want to lower, and by how much?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  112. odograph says:

    Easy to say. What spending do you want to lower, and by how much?

    Obama is trying, as Bush did, to put a means test on ag subsidies. That’s a good place to start.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  113. anjin-san says:

    Well, Gee… lower spending, perhaps? Telling, I think, that you didn’t think of that one.

    Well, we do have to keep in mind that your party had many opportunities to do so, and they chose to go in exactly the opposite direction.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  114. anjin-san says:

    How dare he aspire to improve his life by working hard and playing by the rules. It’s not like this is the land of opportunity.

    Sorry Jim, I have already addressed that little canard. You will have to do better.

    I think its great JTP has big dreams. But he made 40k in 2006, so his bitching to Obama about taxes on a 200k+ income is a joke.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  115. anjin-san says:

    And James, I’m less than convinced that what we have before us, ISN’T Jimmah Cater in blackface.

    Bitsy, why don’t you tell us about Barack Obama House N_____er? You know, like the post on your blog. Show everyone what you are really all about…

    http://bitsblog.florack.us/?p=13180

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  116. Danielle says:

    Gov. Palin is the most popular govenor in the country and you are a ….professor? What a joke. Her opinion rating in Alaska to this day is higher than Obama’s and yet she’s not up to your standards. HA! Your funny.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  117. odograph says:

    Is that you Sara?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  118. Bithead says:

    Well, we do have to keep in mind that your party had many opportunities to do so, and they chose to go in exactly the opposite direction.

    Here’s the thing; Republicans are not all of a piece.a lot of us have forgotten the principles.
    Oddly enough, that’s part of the point with Joe the Plumber, or did you miss that in your attempt to get a zinger in?

    Oh, and while we have this spending bit under discussion… the ‘opposite direction’ you were complaining about? Let’s examine what spending has done since the Dmeocrats got hold of all three branches, shall we?

    The plain truth is that Barack Obama has spent, near on $33BUSD/Day since taking office. His proposals involve trillions… yes, that’s with a T… Trillions more. He knows it’s not having the effect of stopping the recession. In fact, the evidnece is already starting to come in that it’s making things worse. Yet he still wants MORE. The bovine excrement he’s spreading about cutting the deficit in half, now that he’s busted the bank, and the world economy with it, isn’t helping either. Now, admittedly, he could prove me wrong, by using the veto pen on anything with earmarks on it. But you and I both know that won’t happen.

    Word on the wires this monring is that the budget Obama’s putting forward will amount to… are you ready, here?… $4,000,000,000,000,000.00 That’s 4 trillion dollars. Or, if you like, around $12,000USD for ever living soul in the country. And you know as well as I do that budget will get far far bigger when the Democrats in Congress get ahold of it, and adds their pet projects to it. Oh.. and don’t forget the Obama cabinet members adding theirs, too. Ah, yes, we’re in the best of hands, we are. Much better than the spending republicans did with their razor thin majority, huh?

    Like to see those numbers on a graph. I’ll bet the line goes straight up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  119. Bithead says:

    Bitsy, why don’t you tell us about Barack Obama House N_____er? You know, like the post on your blog. Show everyone what you are really all about…

    http://bitsblog.florack.us/?p=13180

    Yes, indeed. But…Why not actually read the whole thing instead of just the headline? Just a thought.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  120. MIke_K says:


    Your link is to an article written in 1999. Buy a calendar.

    This is the link to the 2003 attempt. The other link was to the problem as it existed in 1999. Sorry the logical jump was too much for you.

    Snarky tone here, I see.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  121. Michael says:

    Well, we do have to keep in mind that your party had many opportunities to do so, and they chose to go in exactly the opposite direction.

    Why do we have to keep that in mind? What solutions does that offer?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  122. Michael says:

    Yes, indeed. But…Why not actually read the whole thing instead of just the headline? Just a thought.

    I read it, and your content contradicts your premise. Your definition, that you want to apply to Obama, is of a black man who seeks to do things that benefit white people. Then you offer evidence of Obama doing things that benefit black people.

    I suspect you just wanted to use the N-word while sounding sophisticated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  123. Michael says:

    Snarky tone here, I see.

    Welcome to the internet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  124. I think its great JTP has big dreams. But he made 40k in 2006, so his bitching to Obama about taxes on a 200k+ income is a joke.

    Not if he’s looking to invest a few years in turning his dreams to reality … as opposed to just giving up and getting by, which is the siren song of the Left that the stimulus bill has already begun to enable (again) by its reversals of welfare reform:

    Today, more than ever …

    Vote Democrat and protect your right to:
    Get drunk
    Get high
    Get your jollies
    Get a free Band-Aid(TM)
    Get a check
    and just get by …

    … you just have to give up your right to get ahead.

    It’s not change … it’s change BACK … and from the taste, I’d say the alternative to it is Shinola.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  125. Bithead says:

    I read it, and your content contradicts your premise. Your definition, that you want to apply to Obama, is of a black man who seeks to do things that benefit white people. Then you offer evidence of Obama doing things that benefit black people.

    I suspect you just wanted to use the N-word while sounding sophisticated.

    It’s rather apparent you didn’t read it, but rather skimmed it, for a couple reasons… the most glaring of which being that had you actually read it, you’d have noted, right at the top of the page that I didn’t write it.

    That Anjin didn’t note it either doesn’t say much for you. I expect that kinda thing from him, particularly when his narrow POV gets threatened.

    Secondly, you’d have figured out that the point being made… and not just by that particular author, but by several others both before then and afterward, is that Obama isn’t helping black people. How, after all, can killing off black babies in disproportionate numbers be considered helping? Unless you’re of the same mindset as Sanger, per chance….

    Of course, as I point out in the link I added to the post the other author wrote, the Democrats have something of a history of keeping blacks on the plantation.

    Deal with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  126. MIke_K says:

    I suspect I’ve been around the internet at least as long as you have. I was commenting on the tone of what purports to be a serious discussion of the future of the Republican party. I realize that serious discussions and the internet don’t always go together.

    The Republican Congress lost their way after Bush was elected. That is why divided government is probably the safest option for the US. The present assault on freedom and economics may have a beneficial effect on what is left of the party.

    There are some serious questions posed by David Frum and others and I have reviewed several of these books on Amazon. Becoming Democrat lite is not an option, especially as the Democrat Party seems to have lost its collective mind if it thinks we can pay for all this spending without serious debasing of the currency. That said, there are problems of the middle class that need to be addressed. The first priority is probably health care. I fear Obama and company will wreck it before there is a chance for serious reform that preserves the fee-for-service system and free choice. The French system does do that and is a good model for what we could do.

    I have some suggestions here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  127. anjin-san says:

    I didn’t write it.

    Its on YOUR website pal, either take responsibility for your content, or run and hide. Pick one.

    Tell ya what bit, walk up to a black man, and have that discussion with him, using that language. Throw in the thing about “Jimmy Carter in blackface”. See if you get a nice political discourse or punched in the mouth. Its a good litmus test for this sort of thing.

    There is NO context for the use of N_____ by white folks that millions of blacks (and whites) don’t find offensive. Your blackface remark is patently offensive, and that is certainly your work.

    You are trying to hide racism behind the veneer of political discourse. (while hiding behind a computer) I am calling BS. (and CS for that matter).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  128. Bithead says:

    Its on YOUR website pal, either take responsibility for your content, or run and hide. Pick one.

    Tell ya what, Anjin; Let’s ask James if the other writers on this blog always write what he’d have written, or if he even agrees with all the angles that get covered by the other writers. Take care of that and lemme know how you make out, OK?

    You’re just looking for something to get mad about, to divert attention from getting your butt handed you, by more than just me.

    Face it, son, you’re doing the usual liberal trick of eneaging in manufactured rage. It ain’t selling… and your missing several salient points along the way, only a few of which I pointed out, didn’t help your case any.

    Blow.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  129. anjin-san says:

    Tell ya what, Anjin; Let’s ask James if the other writers on this blog always write what he’d have written, or if he even agrees with all the angles that get covered by the other writers. Take care of that and lemme know how you make out, OK?

    I have never seen any of the OTB posters publish the kind of racist crap you are responsible for. Its one of the reasons why folks such as myself, who often disagree with him, still respect him. The garbage you are turning out is simply cowardly and racist. You can try and hide behind things like “angle” or “agrees with” but hiding is all you are doing. Like I said, cowardly.

    Take the challenge bit, if you are man enough. Stop hiding behind your computer and go repeat that crap to a few black men. You won’t do it, you are too much of a punk, you will stick to the safety of your computer and patting yourself on the back, I suspect.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  130. Bithead says:

    Heh.

    Well, tell you what. I just showed it to a guy I work with.. who is black, and he tends to agree with the points made in the post.

    I also showed him your rant. I won’t bother telling you what he thinks of you. He did wonder, though, ‘who peed in this guy’s cornflakes’ this morning…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  131. anjin-san says:

    Fine bit fine. Tell ya what, I will be hanging out with a few black guys I know at a comedy show in 2 weeks. Drop by and tell them how Obama is “Jimmy Carter in blackface”. They are comedians, so if it is actually funny, they will laugh. We will see how it works out for you.

    1 guy that you already know is a valid test? Guess we know who failed statistics…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  132. Bithead says:

    Drop by and tell them how Obama is “Jimmy Carter in blackface”. They are comedians, so if it is actually funny, they will laugh.

    Well, there’s your problem. See? Truth will out. It wasn’t intended to be funny, Anjin; I’m quite serious. In just about every way, the only difference between Carter and Obama is skin tone.

    Indeed; Wasn’t it Drudge, earlier today where I noted an ad for Tshirts saying “Welcome Back Carter” With Obama’s picture above the words?

    Not exactly original, but fitting, I think.

    Your annoyance seems to come from the accuracy of the statement. Of course you’re welcome to tell us where they differ.

    And the one guy I know I’ve been working with for years, now. And you tell ME, Anjin, what short of evidence of a hospital report would you accept saying the challange had been met? You discount out of hand the concept that anyone… apparently, particulary black people, would ever disagree with you. And you expect me to play along. And you think ME racist? PLease.

    I was wrong about you, I suppose. You do have a bit of humor, after all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  133. Michael says:

    It’s rather apparent you didn’t read it, but rather skimmed it, for a couple reasons… the most glaring of which being that had you actually read it, you’d have noted, right at the top of the page that I didn’t write it.

    Huh, I didn’t realize you had other people posting on your blog. My mistake, I shouldn’t have assumed you wrote it.

    Fine bit fine. Tell ya what, I will be hanging out with a few black guys I know at a comedy show in 2 weeks.

    So wait, Bithead works with a black guy, but it’s going to take you 2 weeks before you’re around one? Hmmm….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  134. Bithead says:

    So wait, Bithead works with a black guy, but it’s going to take you 2 weeks before you’re around one? Hmmm..

    The code has been broken!

    And look, ask yourself a question ; why would he bring that up here? He’s not interested and discussion. What he’s interested in is looking superior. I think we can grade that a monumental fail.

    Huh, I didn’t realize you had other people posting on your blog. My mistake, I shouldn’t have assumed you wrote it.

    David and I have known each other a long time. Over twenty years in fact. Our long-term correspondence started back in the days the BBS. The GT network. A place called the Free File Farm, which I ran along with 1SGT’s place, which was run by my brother. The strange part about it is we’ve never met face to face. This, despite the fact that we live in the same city. No particular reason why, we just never got around to it. David is rather effective in his use of words, and very exacting. The annoying and wonderful part of it is, he generates typos about as often as I do. (Smirk)

    I suppose I have an advantage here, over Anjin, since I know him so well. The idea that anyone sane, would call him a racist would be laughable at best. Then again, there’s also the factor of getting annoyed with words, versus meanings. Shallow people have a tendency to get annoyed with words. They also have a tendency to become enamored with them. In short, they’re gullible.

    follow your nose.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  135. anjin-san says:

    In just about every way, the only difference between Carter and Obama is skin tone.

    Interesting that you just can’t get past color with Obama and feel you have to define him by it. Why can’t you just forget that he is black and treat him like a dude? You may hate his politics and policies, but just leave the color thing out of it. My prediction is that you can’t do it (and probably don’t want to, its such a good source of cheap shots).

    So wait, Bithead works with a black guy, but it’s going to take you 2 weeks before you’re around one? Hmmm..

    No, I work with black guys too, but the ones I mentioned have been friends of mine for 30+ years, so I think I am pretty safe thinking I know what they would think of Bit’s remarks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  136. Bithead says:

    Interesting that you just can’t get past color with Obama and feel you have to define him by it.

    If that is the only difference between them, you tell us, Anjin… how else do you suppose the comparison will go, eh?

    You can stop playing the offended Liberal now. You don’t do it very well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  137. Michael says:

    No, I work with black guys too

    Yeah yeah, me too. I totally have a black friend. Do you realize that of the two of you, you’re the one who assumed that a random black person would be violent?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  138. anjin-san says:

    Do you realize that of the two of you, you’re the one who assumed that a random black person would be violent?

    Not sure how often you get out Michael, but you can get most men to become violent simply by pressing the right buttons. Its a gender thing, not a racial one.

    Don’t believe me? Conduct a few tests. Go to the mall this weekend and walk up to a random guy who is with his wife. Say “Wow dude, I really love your wife’s tits”. You now have a better than 50% chance of getting in a fistfight.

    Heres another. Go to a little league game. Wait until a kid strikes out with men on base. Walk up to his father and say “man, your kid sucks at baseball. Sign him up for ballet”. Do you think you have a pretty good shot at a violent reaction?

    There are some things that people who have any class will not go within a mile of. Comments like the one about “blackface” for example. Why does bit have to bring race into that discussion at all? Can’t he just treat Obama like a man and make a straight up comparison to Carter? Apparently not. He needs that little edge he thinks he gets from the racial crack. It is called playing from a weak hand.

    A person who has some degree of sophistication knows the value of having a circuit breaker between brain and mouth. It is not that hard to offend people, and sometime its is even done without a shred of malice, but simply by thoughtlessness.

    I was in the nightclub business for many years. You had to deal with a lot of different guys under a lot of conditions, many of them less than ideal. It was always a good idea to ask yourself if something you said to a guy might get him to take a swing at you. If the answer was yes, well there is a good signal to consider rephrasing. Its not really a racial thing at all.

    Oh, and the “totally” thing? Kinda cute. If we were in high school it would be a pretty good putdown…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  139. Michael says:

    Not sure how often you get out Michael, but you can get most men to become violent simply by pressing the right buttons.

    So, you’re not racist, your sexist? Nice defense. (Hey, if you can do it to Bithead, I can do it to you, right?)

    Oh, and the “totally” thing? Kinda cute. If we were in high school it would be a pretty good putdown…

    Ha, I knew you weren’t going to let that go without comment. Good show.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  140. anjin-san says:

    If that is the only difference between them, you tell us, Anjin… how else do you suppose the comparison will go, eh?

    Ah, I see. Logic FORCED you to direct a racial insult at Obama!

    Really bit, your bizarre insistence that Obama and Carter are doppelgängers of some sort is too ridiculous to even really respond to.

    I realize that in the odd universe you inhabit, anything Michelle Malkin says is a FACT, but here on Terra firma, we need, you know, a little more to go on…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  141. anjin-san says:

    your sexist?

    Perhaps I am. Tell you what. Go take the two tests I suggested. If you don’t provoke a violent reaction in either case, I will cop to crimes against my gender…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  142. Michael says:

    Perhaps I am. Tell you what. Go take the two tests I suggested. If you don’t provoke a violent reaction in either case, I will cop to crimes against my gender…

    Oh, fiesty dialog, I like it.

    The only problem is that this is the internet. I can claim to have performed your test, just like Bithead did your earlier one, and you’d have no real way of knowing if that claim was true or not.

    In fact, I’ll go ahead and do just that. I performed both tests, in the past 10 minutes if you can believe it, and neither male showed even the slightest hint of violence. Now you have to either follow through with your pledge, or question my honesty. Isn’t the internet grand?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  143. anjin-san says:

    Oh, fiesty dialog, I like it.

    Well, I do have to thank you for stirring the pot and providing a thought provoking counterpoint to bits rather dreary and predictable nastiness, which is inevetibley followed by proclamations of triumph. And what proclamations they are! He “handed me my butt”…

    A book I just finished has had me thinking a lot about the effective use of language. “Imperium” by Robert Harris. The story of Cicero’s rise to power. One of the best historical novels I have ever read, highly recommended.

    http://www.amazon.com/Imperium-Novel-Ancient-Robert-Harris/dp/0743498666/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1235788820&sr=8-1

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  144. Michael says:

    It just so happens I’ve been wanting to get one of Cicero’s books anyway, so maybe a book about him would be good too.

    Now if only it didn’t cost money. We don’t all make 6-figure salaries you know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  145. anjin-san says:

    Now if only it didn’t cost money.

    Well, I promise it is money well spent. I wonder if we will be seeing Kindle files on bittorrent soon…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  146. Michael says:

    Well, I promise it is money well spent. I wonder if we will be seeing Kindle files on bittorrent soon…

    There’s already plenty of ebooks on bittorrent. Even some Creative Comments stuff that is legal to download.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  147. Bithead says:

    A book I just finished has had me thinking a lot about the effective use of language

    Nice to see you’re trying subjects that are totally new to you and thus expanding your horizons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  148. [...] In an era where everything is the worst somethingorantother since the Great Depression or some other time, I suppose retro comparisons are just in style.   I’ve seen several references of late to the Republicans being stuck in 1997 or 1993 or whathaveyou.  Hell, I’ve made them myself. [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  149. Ran says:

    A faux populism that comes at the cost of alienating the intellectuals and serious leaders of the movement.

    Dr. Joyner…
    You’re referring to “serious leaders” and “intellectuals” of a libertarian-conservative movement? You do see the paradoxical humor (yes?) in the notion that a movement comprised primarily of self-motivated and self-governing individuals seeks “serious” “intellectual” leaders?

    American history teaches us that our leaders, Doctor, ought be less than extraordinary mortals who reflect our values and in whom we may safely place our trust. Its about values, not power; about core principles, not status. We seek no gods, we urge no “serious” “intellectual” “leaders”, we simply want to be left alone. Prate on as you will about “faux populism”, just don’t spill the fumé blanc if Joe W. is elected to Congress.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  150. James Joyner says:

    American history teaches us that our leaders, Doctor, ought be less than extraordinary mortals who reflect our values and in whom we may safely place our trust.

    You really think Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, TR, Eisenhower, and Reagan were just ordinary schmoes? I think our best leaders have been men of extraordinary intellect.

    Is it your contention that one must choose between capable people and honorable ones? Do you really think honor is disproportionately distributed among the unsuccessful?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  151. [...] should note, too, that while I decidedly don’t want Joe The Plumber as the face of the Republican Party (any more than a sane Democrat would want Sheehan to occupy that role), I don’t dislike the [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  152. HC says:

    The Democrats are deeply vulnerable in the 2010 and 2012 elections, contrary to the ‘conventional wisdom’, but only if the GOP starts with a first principle of elective politics, which is that you have to hold your base first. If you go into an election planning to find new voters to replace a part of your base that your candidate alienates, then you’re already two strikes down before you even go to bat.

    The current GOP heartland is the South, the Dem heartland today is the Northeast and West Coast. The Ohio Valley States are the ‘swing’ states, with the mountain West as a secondary swing center.

    In this last election cycle, the GOP leadership tried to ram three candidates down the South’s throat, more or less, Rudy Guiliani, Mitt Romney, or John McCain. There was immediate pushback, there were Republicans wearing buttons two years ago that had the name ‘Rudy McRomnney’ on them with a slash through them. There were lots of signals from the Republican rank and file about their dissatisfaction with those three.

    Note that in the primaries, Huckabee won a huge swath of the GOP heartland in the South, because the cultural issues are vital there. The GOP leadership wants to move away from precisely the issues that tend to galvanize the rank and file, even as they infuriate the news media and the liberals. There weren’t many people who seriously thought Huckabee could win in the fall, but it was something of a protest vote. Note that most of the Huckabee voters did go on to vote for McCain, reluctantly, in preference to Obama…but not all, and as a result States that should have been GOP ‘locks’ were lost or turned into razor-thin wins.

    Sarah Palin, by the way, helped McCain on E-day. Without her along, he’d have lost by more in the GOP heartlands, because her presence reassured rebellious social and cultural conservatives to considerable degree.

    Voter turnout in 2008 was comparable to that of 2004, only up by a slight margin, yet GOP turnout was down by a sharp margin, while Dem turnout was up. Obama got high turnout among black and highly liberal voters, whereas John McCain just could not produce enthusiasm among voters who’d spent 8 years watching him grandstand and appeal to the media for their support.

    Note that the infamous ‘swing’ voters hardly mattered, it was all about turnout. Again.

    The GOP spent two years obsessing on this or that group of Dem voters who could be persuaded to cross over if we just dropped the social issues, and it was a waste of time. A predictable one.

    The northeastern States where Guiliani, Romney, and McCain were supposed to be competitive went so solidly Democratic that there aren’t any GOPers left in the House from that part of the country, and in the process of wasting time chasing a lost cause, the GOP dropped seats in parts of the country where they are competitive.

    Guiliani actually said at one point in a radio interview in the primary period that yes, he’d lose States in the South over his social positions, but he would be competitive in the northeast to make up for it. That was his big plan, and it was the underlying rationale in the GOP leadership for the election, and it’s a fantasy.

    The road back for the GOP is not to become more like Dems, that never works. As Harry Truman said, if you offer the electorate a choice of a Republican or a Republican, they’ll chose the Republican every time. It works the same way in reverse, in 2008 the GOP offered John McCain, pro ‘cap and trade’, ‘let’s close Gitmo’, ‘I want the ‘old media’ to like me’, ‘let’s do TARP’, etc. When you look at their stated policy positions, there just wasn’t that much space between McCain and Obama in the general election, from the POV of the conservative base they were offered Dem and Dem (slightly) lite, based on what they were claiming.

    (Yes, Obama was hiding his real agenda. So what? McCain either didn’t understand that or lacked the nerve or skill to use it, so it didn’t matter on E-day.)

    If the GOP wants to come back, their first challenge is to figure out what motivates their own side’s voters. Not what they want those voters to be motivated by, not what they wish they were motivated by, but what actually does, and then see how to present their principles and beliefs in such a way as to appeal to that electorate so they’ll turn out again.

    Or they can accept a return to the permanent minority status they lived under for 40 years.

    One basic truth to recognize is that the social conservatives are not the problem. They’re doing OK in elections on referenda even as GOPers lose, from affirmative action in Michigan to marriage in California, they’ve been racking up surprise wins with significant blue collar and minority support. If the GOP wants to wedge the Dems, they’re far more likely to be able to do it on social issues than they are taxes or trade, like it or not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  153. Michael says:

    If the GOP wants to come back, their first challenge is to figure out what motivates their own side’s voters. Not what they want those voters to be motivated by, not what they wish they were motivated by, but what actually does, and then see how to present their principles and beliefs in such a way as to appeal to that electorate so they’ll turn out again.

    So, your definition of leadership is figuring out where the crowd is going, and getting there first.

    The tiny little problem with your verbose analysis is that Democrats weren’t motivated by cap and trade, or tarp, and only slightly by gitmo. Plus we hate the ‘old media’ as much as you do. We were even split on issues like Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama didn’t just pick which topics motivated Dems, he got us motivated by the topics he picked.

    Until you party can find a candidate that will make people care about things they don’t already care about, you’re gonna stay in the wilderness.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  154. HC says:

    Obama didn’t just pick which topics motivated Dems, he got us motivated by the topics he picked

    He didn’t win on any issues at all. Dems were highly motivated by 8 years in the wilderness, they were ready to turn out for anyone, and Obama further boosted black turnout as the ‘historic’ first black president. He had tha additional benefit of a highly supportive news media.

    Meanwhile, McCain depressed GOP turnout, there just wasn’t any enthusiasm for him, and there was nothing he could do about it because he’d spent 8 years going out of his way to annoy voters he absolutely had to have to win.

    That’s what happened, and all the rest is noise.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0