The Implosion of the Democrat Party

Discussion in 'Politics' started by carpro, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. carpro

    carpro
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    The Implosion of the Democrat Party

    http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pnoonan/?id=110007905

    Peggy Noonan

    EXCERPT

    It was the first State of the Union Mr. Bush has given in which Congress seemed utterly pre-9/11 in terms of battle lines drawn. Exactly half the chamber repeatedly leapt to its feet to applaud this banality or that. The other half remained resolutely glued to its widely cushioned seats. It seemed a metaphor for the Democratic Party: We don't know where to stand or what to stand for, and in fact we're not good at standing for anything anyway, but at least we know we can't stand Republicans.

    SNIP

    Conservatives are always writing about the strains and stresses within the Republican Party, and they are real. But the Democratic Party seems to be near imploding, and for that most humiliating of reasons: its meaninglessness. Republicans are at least arguing over their meaning.

    The venom is bubbling on websites like Kos, where Tuesday afternoon, after the Alito vote, various leftists wrote in such comments as "F--- our democratic leaders," "Vichy Democrats" and "F--- Mary Landrieu, I hope she drowns." The old union lunch-pail Democrats are dead, the intellects of the Kennedy and Johnson era retired or gone, and this--I hope she drowns--seems, increasingly, to be the authentic voice of the Democratic base.

    How will a sane, stable, serious Democrat get the nomination in 2008 when these are the activists to whom the appeal must be made?

    Republicans have crazies. All parties do. But in the case of the Democrats--the leader of their party, after all, is the unhinged Howard Dean--the lunatics seem increasingly to be taking over the long-term health-care facility. Great parties die this way, or show that they are dying.
     
  2. Brother James

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    I hope they do implode. Then I hope the Republicans do as well.
     
  3. poncho

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    Then who would be left to sell us out to the corporations and United Nations?
     
  4. carpro

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    They will if they don't get back to their fiscally conservative roots.
     
  5. Brother James

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    When were they fiscally conservative? They've always increased the size of government every time they've been in power.
     
  6. Scott J

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    From 94 until Clinton successfully lied to the American people and the GOP leadership saw their poll numbers fall. Clinton, his spin machine, and a very, very complicit media told convinced the public that the Republicans had "shut the government down"... and that it was a bad thing.

    After that, they lost heart that the American would really tolerate program "cuts" when it came to specifics.
     
  7. Brother James

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    They've always been the party of borrow and spend since the time of Lincoln and "internal" improvements. Both parties are a disgrace to fiscal reaponsiblity.
     
  8. elijah_lives

    elijah_lives
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    On the last post, I absolutely agree. There doesn't seem to be any difference between the parties on that, since they both spend, spend, and spend.
     
  9. Scott J

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    Neither party is that uniform.

    The GOP was laissez faire and pro-capitalist until Hoover. They became a "me too" minority until Goldwater. After Goldwater they were moderates in transition to Reagan. They were briefly conservative activists between Reagan and the "government shut downs". Since then, mavericks who really want to behave like conservatives are shunned.

    The Dems are still controlled by a few powerful interests that will have to be discredited somehow. Contrary to opinion, they DO stand for something... just not something that Americans will elect so they are trapped into the role of being naysayers.
     
  10. Scott J

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    The problem isn't in the concept of cutting spending but in the specifics.

    It's easy to say I'll cut the budget... it is much harder to actually do it and fend off the special interests and liberal demagogues. For instance, the government shutdowns... the GOP was demagogued. The tried briefly to eliminate the DoE, NEA, and other non-essential, left favoring programs... they were demagogued. Reductions in the rate of spending increases were called "draconian" cuts in programs for the poor and elderly by the Dems and media.

    Pick your pet... what would you say if the first place they started was the VA or veterans benefits? How about the medical welfare your mother or grandmother say they need to get by?

    I am all for cutting spending but the political reality is that probably 90% of Americans think its someone else's favorite program that will be cut.

    In short, even though a majority say that want budgets discipline, low taxes, spending cuts, etc... their behavior at the polls typically rewards politicians who bring home the pork. I have never seen one win by telling the home folks, "I rejected that $8 million federal grant for a new park since the cuts need to come from somewhere". Have they ever said, "Yes. I favor reducing the number of people who qualify for medicare"?

    They came as close as possible to "real" spending cuts when the GOP and Clinton passed a change to the way COLA was calculated. It was sufficiently complicated enough that it couldn't be easily demagogued... besides, liberals weren't going to condemn Clinton for anything. He could have been a Goldwater and they would have loved him anyway.
     
  11. Scott J

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    BTW, in light of the fact that Clinton brought out the best in the Congressional GOP... maybe President Hillary would be a good thing.
     
  12. elijah_lives

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    What if each bill required, at the top, the constitutional authority for that bill? Along with a sunset provision?

    Yes, I know that spending cuts always involve someone elses' pet programs. Some functions of government are critical, and should be funded first (defense, customs, and the other enumerated federal powers.) In my county of 17,000, our congressman brought home $136M to turn a 2-lane road inro a 4-lane road. Mostly farmers use the road, and it's current condition is more than adequate. He also brought home money for a "learning resource center" that we don't need. I can think of lots of programs I would be willing to give up.

    As far as the VA goes, it should be funded more. (Disabled vets are owed this, IMO). I don't use it, I pay for medical care out of my own (skinny) wallet; the VA is too difficult, and I gave it up years ago, even though I am entitled to it.

    A wise man once told me that "an entitlement is not really an entitlement, if you can't use it."
     
  13. Scott J

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    See E-L... the elderly feel that their programs should receive more since they gave their time in paying taxes and working in the economy. Poverty advocates think their programs deserve more "investment". Civil Rights groups think their pets deserve more funding. Corporations and labor want corporate welfare that benefits them.

    The list goes on and on. Everyone can give a reason that their program should not only be preserved but grown.

    I advocate simply going back to the constitutional foundation and starting over. This mess is beyond repair.
     
  14. Scott J

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    There is a simple approach though.

    Freeze the budget cap at $2.57 trillion (unadjusted) for five years. Congress and the President would have to work out priorities that met the cap. Baseball teams do it. Corporations do it. Families do it.

    Why not gov't.?

    If the economy and tax receipts continue to increase at 3%-5% annually, we would see surpluses within that 5 years and begin paying down the debt in the outlying years so long as growth was held below the growth of GDP by at least 1%. You would have to basically tie gov't spending increases to last year's GDP increase. If the economy grows at 4% then gov't can increase the budget by 3%....

    But this can only occur, after we start having surpluses. We now pay more on servicing our debt than we do most programs... not a good state of affairs.
     
  15. elijah_lives

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    I'm certainly not a policy wonk, so a lot of this is beyond my scope. I"m just a small farmer struggling to give my kids a better life than I had, as I expect most people would like to do (even our USDA favors the large, corporate farm). I do believe that growing our way out of this is part of the solution, but only if we stop spending increases, as you detail. I'm very frustrated, because we are spending ourselves into bankruptcy, and both parties are THE problem.

    I've often thought that we need to wipe the slate clean, and start over.
     
  16. fromtheright

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    Scott J,

    BTW, in light of the fact that Clinton brought out the best in the Congressional GOP... maybe President Hillary would be a good thing.

    It sickens me to say this but I believe that he did help give us the '94 Republican Revolution (however short-lived it may have been).
     

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