Posts Tagged ‘Newt Gingrich’

The Top 8 Dumbest Things about the Republican Party

May 1, 2009

This feature is part one of a two-part series centered on the two major political parties in the United States.  For The 8 Dumbest Things about the Democratic Party, click here.

Is the Republican party going to be ok?

Is the Republican party going to be ok?

8.  Republicans believe that The War on Drugs can be solved if we throw everyone into prison.

Republicans get to take credit for the first recorded usage of the term “War on Drugs.”  It was used by Richard Nixon in 1969 as a way to fire up the base of the party against the counter-culture hippies that despised the Vietnam War.

Thanks to the War on Drugs, our prisons are overfilled.  The cost is so high to run some of these prisons that they have to be sold to private companies.  The legislature of California actually considered selling San Quentin prison this year because of the terrible financial shape that the state is in.

And drug cartels love the illegality of drugs more than Republicans do.  Drug demand in the United States will continue and the cartels increasingly find clever ways of evading the DEA.  In fact, cartels are now building semi-submergable vessels that can avoid RADAR and infra-red in Costa Rica.  They pack these boats with up to seven tons of cocaine and park it on a deserted beach in the United States. If they can get seven tons of cocaine to the coast of the United States without being detected, they can get seven tons of anything into our country.

Legalize drugs.  Pull the rug out from under the black market.  Levy taxes on the drugs and use that money to educate kids and help addicts get help.  This is exactly what happened during prohibition.  Legalizing drugs will help to stop the violence and the kidnappings in Mexico and in the southwest.

7.  Republicans demonize higher education.

From discounting professors in their “ivory towers” to laughing in the face of modern economic theory, Republicans love to rally their base on the premise of their shared mediocrity.  Ann Coulter believes that American teachers are “inculcating students in the precepts of the Socialist Party of America—as understood by retarded people.” (link)

There are intellectuals in the party, but you’ll find few conservatives that know them by name.  For every David Brooks, there is a Carrie Prejean.  For every George Will, there is a Joe the Plumber.

This isn’t to say that there are plenty of idiots in the Democratic Party as well.  The difference is that Janeane Garafalo doesn’t get microphone time at the Democratic Convention, while Joe the Plumber, a moron, is viewed as some everyman harbinger of truth in the Republican Party.  The problem with this outlook is that it eventually permeates into the politicians themselves.  The Palin phenomenon.  A folksy former sportscaster that bounced around from college to college without any sense of history or moder political theory is voted into the governorship of Alaska.  Same thing happened with Michelle Bachmann.

The hard right tarnishes the image of the Republican Party just like the Taliban tarnishes the image of Islam.

6.  Republicans believe that corporations are more trustworthy than the government.

Let’s get this out of the way quickly.  The government has done some shitty thingsBut they have also done plenty of good things.   Let’s look at the current financial crisis as a microcosm for the shittyness of government versus the shittyness of corporations.

The government allowed for corporations to create the derivatives market as well as offer subprime mortgages to people that couldn’t afford them.  That’s shitty.

The corporations took these allowances and had a field day.  Not only did they offer subprimes to the people that couldn’t pay them, but they bundled the mortgages into a security and bet on the outcome of the security.

Johnny thinks Group A of subprime mortgage holders will only pay back 40% of the loan while Philp believes that Group A will pay back 80%.  Johnny decides to bet $32,000 on the outcome even though he only has $1,000 in the bank.  Philip bets $28,000 even though he only has $900.  Group A only pays back 40%.  Johnny wins.  Now how the fuck is Philip supposed to pay him?

5.  Republicans believe that the government doesn’t belong in your pocketbook, but it does belong in your ovaries and in your bedroom.

It seems that every time the Republican party is asked about fiscal policy, the only two words on their lips are “tax cuts.”  We’re in a war?  We Need Tax Relief.  We’re in an economic booming period?  More tax cuts.  We’re in a recession?  Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts.

People used to be offended if one was yellow and one was dark brown.

People used to be offended if one was yellow and one was dark brown.

Republicans believe that the best judge for whether you should carry your child is the federal government.  In fact, they believe that your Church should have no say in the matter.  They believe that a marriage between gay people somehow infringe on their rights.  There are going to be gay people that your children are going to be exposed to whether they are allowed to marry or not.  What difference does a certificate matter to you?

4.  Republicans believe that the Second Amendment of the Constitution is the only important one.

Not a peep came from the Republican party when George W. Bush all but suspended the Fourth Amendment with the warrantless wiretapping program.  Hell, even after he left office and we discovered that John Yoo had readied an additional memo that would have limited the First Amendment, there was no significant backlash at the Drudge Report and Red State.

But when anyone says that you probably shouldn’t be able to carry an assault weapon capable of shooting 30 times in 10 seconds, Republicans go apeshit.

Here is my compromise.  You can buy any gun you want.  However, that gun is only allowed to fire three bullets before you reload.  Gun manufacturers must make it so that a reload takes more than thirty seconds.  Military and police guns do not have to follow these regulations.

Many Republicans will say that that inhibits their ability to protect their family in case the government comes to get them.  But that’s idiotic.  The government has nuclear weapons, genius.  If they want a police state, then they’re going to get one.  Until then, three shots is all you get.

3.  Republicans say they reject big government when they are out of power, but balloon government when they are in power.

I don’t know how much longer Republicans will fall for this nonsense.  During the reigns of Reagan, Bush, and W. Bush, government grew on a massive scale.  Hell, George W. Bush added the entire Department of Homeland Security.  Government spending went through the roof with all three GOP presidents.  None of them ever balanced a budget or saw a surplus.

fiscal-conservative

It wasn’t until Bill Clinton balanced the budget late in his second term that many Americans finally realized that “fiscal responsiblity” did not belong on the Republican party platform.  Of course, the minute W took office, he squandared the surplus by adding significant tax cuts for the wealthy.  Most republicans don’t realize that the government has to PAY for tax cuts.  It is a signficant loss in revenue.  I’ll allow you to argue supply-side economic theory when a Republican balances the budget.  Until then, Bill Clinton’s “socialistic” 3% tax hike for wealthy people balanced it just fine.

2.  Republicans have shitty sources.

I don’t give a damn what some politician “believes” about global warming or Evolution.  If I want to hear about global warming, I’ll talk to chemists, geologists, and climatologists.  If I want to hear about Evolution, I’ll talk to a biological anthropologist or primatologist. There is no “big science” lobby.  These people do not get paid anywhere close to the bullshit experts from the oil lobbying firms.  They are scientists whose reputation is contingent upon their adherence to the scientific method.

Many, many scientists would like nothing more than to disprove global warming or Evolution.  They would be instant celebrities in the scientific world and they would be written about in textbooks for centuries.    But that doesn’t happen.

1. The people that vote for Republicans

On April 15, 2009 an estimated 189,000 people across the United States participated in Tax Day Tea Parties.  While simultaneously calling for an increase in defense spending, tea partiers were enraged at the 3% increase in taxes for people who make over a quarter of a million dollars a year.  Only 5% of working families in the United States will see a tax hike.

But don’t tell that to the teabaggers.

Sure, you get freedom of speech.  You just dont get to dictate policy when your guys lost.

Sure, you get freedom of speech. You just don't get to dictate policy when your guys lost.

If you asked them, taxes were through the roof on everything.  Even though the protests were sponsored by Fox News as well as two of the biggest lobbying firms in Washington, the majority of tea-party goers swallowed the kool-aid that this was a grassroots movement.

To be fair, the most vocal people on Fox and CPAC do not represent Republican voters collectively.  After all, the most moderate candidate in the Republican primaries John McCain won the 2008 Presidential nomination.  I suppose the proof of where the party is headed won’t be known until 2012.  If a Jindal, Palin, Romney, or Gingrich is selected, then they’re going in the wrong direction.  But if Jon Huntsman Jr.  is able to secure the nod, we may see a more reasonable, more intelligent Republican party.

All that and I didn’t even mention getting us into crazy wars, justifying torture, and the annual gay sex scandals.

Advertisements

Newt Gingrich in ’97: “There is no place for torture and arbitrary detention”

April 27, 2009

Good old Newt Gingrich has been in politics too long.  Quotes from his past are beginning to catch up with him and the Democratic Party just may have found a flip-flop moment that could put Gingrich in hot water with his Republican base.

Funny how being opposed to torture may actually hurt the future Republican Presidential Candidate

Being opposed to torture may actually hurt the future Republican Presidential Candidate.

In 1997, then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, released a statement that said the following:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: OCTOBER 30, 1997
SPEAKER’S STATEMENT ON VISIT OF PRESIDENT JIANG
Washington, D.C. — House Speaker Newt Gingrich released the following statement today following his meeting with Chinese President Jiang Zemin.

“As I said in China this spring, there is no place for abuse in what must be considered the family of man. There is no place for torture and arbitrary detention. There is no place for forced confessions. There is no place for intolerance of dissent.” “While we walked through the Rotunda. I explained to President Jiang how the roots of American rule of law go back more than 700 years, to the signing of the Magna Carta. The foundation of American values, therefore, is not a passing priority or a temporary trend.

That last sentence is the kicker.  Gingrich cannot hide behind the “everything changed after 9/11” bullshit that has been used to justify both torture and arbitrary detention.

In a recent interview with Greta Van Susteren, Gingrich was grilled by the side-of-the-mouth talker.  It’s not really too big of a surprise because Van Susteren’s husband is one of Sarah Palin’s advisers, so she has a vested interest in Gingrich losing the 2012 nomination.  In any case, here is the interview:

VAN SUSTEREN: But you said a minute ago that it was torture, waterboarding…
GINGRICH: No, I said it’s not something we should do.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. Is it torture or not?

GINGRICH: I — I — I think it’s — I can’t tell you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Does it violate the Geneva Convention?

GINGRICH: I honestly don’t know.

I can’t tell you?  What the fuck?  Do you know whether waterboarding is torture or not and you’re just following some stupid Republican talking point?

I do agree with Gingrich on his original statement, but I’m sure you’ll see him backpedal like no other during the primaries.  We should be opposed to torture every day.  A post 9/11 world is only an excuse for those who seek to undermine the very foundations of this country.

RWP Rating: Strange

Republican Congress members attending Tax Day Tea Parties

April 15, 2009

Digg It!

Never missing an opportunity for some fake populism, several Republican Congress members are planning to attend Tea Parties today.  No Democrats are currently slated to show.

Dont get screwed by the IRS.  Vote for the people who invented the offshore tax haven.

Don't get screwed by the IRS. Vote for the people who invented the offshore tax haven.

House minority leader John Boehner (R-OH) will attend a Tea Party in Bakersville, CA.  Apparently he needs to work on his killer tan.  House Budget Committee Chair and writer of the idiotic alternate Republican budget Paul Ryan will attend a Tea Party in Madison, WI.  Madison, known for it’s hippies, gays, atheists, environmentalists, feminists, stoners, and out-of-control Halloween parties will let out a proverbial fart in his general direction.

Former Speaker of the House and newly baptized Newt Gingrich will head up to New York for an event.  No word yet on when he will be divorcing his third wife.  We’re pulling for sometime next Thursday immediately after she is diagnosed with incurable and heavily-mutated tuberculosis.  That seems to be his style.

RWP Rating: Unusual

Full Story: The Hill

Who will be the 2012 Republican nominee? (Google Deathmatch vs. CPAC Edition)

April 6, 2009

None of them have officially announced their candidacy for President, but we don’t mind speculating a few years early.  Let’s look at some trends to analyze who has the edge as of April 2009.

Methods

Conservative Political Action Conference: Numeral values given here are a percentage of votes cast for a particular candidate.

Google Web: Total number of results for a particular candidate from a Google Web search.

Google News:  Total number of results for a particular candidate from a Google News search isolated to the last month.

Raw Data

raw-data-20121

Conservative Political Action Conference: Who has the elite?

Held in late February, CPAC is a conference where the Republican elite get together and discuss the future of the party.  It is not a good representative sample of the electorate because only the top Republicans attend the conference.  In any case, it it interesting to see who the power players in the party want to represent them in 2012.  The only potential future candidate that isn’t represented in this poll is Jon Huntsman Jr., at least for the time being.  Eric Cantor could attempt a run in 2012, but I think for now he is content to stay in Congress.

In the first strong indication of where conservative hearts lie for the 2012 presidential race, Mitt Romney won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll on Saturday, earning the backing…
In the first strong indication of where conservative hearts lie for the 2012 presidential race, Mitt Romney won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll on Saturday, earning the backing…
Percentage of Votes from CPAC

Percentage of Votes from CPAC

Winner: Mitt Romney

Google Deathmatches: Who has the history?

But what candidate has the most history and name recognition with the party?  Let’s take a look.  Because Googlefight.com only contains results from the Renaissance, I’ve decided to conduct these searches on my own.  Each candidate’s name is placed in parentheses in order to prevent irrelevant results.

Total hits from Google search

Total hits from Google search

Total hits with Google search

Percentage of total hits from Google search

Winner: Sarah Palin, easily. Ron Paul, unsurprisingly has a strong web presence, but it’s doubtful that that will turn into votes during election time.

Google News Deathmatch: Who has the buzz?

Yes, Palin may have the most history with the party, but which candidate has stayed in the limelight for the last month?  Who do Americans think of right now when they think of the Republican party?  Each candidate’s name is placed in parentheses.  Total results are taken from a one month period.

Total hits from Google search

Total hits from Google News search

Percentage of total hits from Google News search

Percentage of total hits from Google News search

Winner: Sarah Palin, again. However, Mark Sanford and Bobby Jindal are keeping up just fine in the latest news.  Mitt Romney may want to put himself out there a bit more often.

Conclusions: But what does it all mean?

None of these results should be taken too seriously at this point.  Right now, it is difficult for someone like Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich to stay in the news because they have no legislative position at this point.  The Eric Cantor addition should be viewed as a dark horse candidate.   Cantor may be perfectly happy leading the Republicans in the House.

In any case, CPAC should not be taken seriously.  They hated John McCain in 2008 and look where that got him: an early, secured nomination.  Google Deathmatch operates on the premise that a solid history of prominence in the party will help a candidate.  This is a double-edged sword.  Experience in the Republican party may mean a close association with the life and times of George W. Bush.   If Rudy Giuliani had the ability to run in 2003 instead of 2008, we may have seen him in the White House.  But the American public quickly cooled to the idea that a President had to have steel balls with the War on Terror.

Google News will be a great indicator of buzz when the campaign season gets into full gear.  Whoever can maximize their results on a weekly basis will be the next nominee.  Getting the mainstream press on your side is the best way to get into the White House.

Who do you think will square off against Obama in 2012?

Shalom.

Quick Link: Gingrich divorces third wife, reverts back to being a Baptist

April 1, 2009

Well, that certainly didn’t take long.  After going public with news that he had converted to Catholicism, the religion practiced by his current third wife Callista Bisek, Newt Gingrich has decided to call it quits.  Citing irreconcilable differences with Saint Augustine’s Just War Theory, Gingrich decided that the religion does not mesh with his conservative principles.

RWP Rating: Crazy!

Full Story: The 9/13 Project

Quick Link: Sarah Palin converts to Catholicism

April 1, 2009

Following Newt Gingrich’s lead, Sexy Sarah Palin from Alaska is going to convert to Catholicism.  When asked if she would support the Pope’s strong opposition to using condoms to fight HIV infection in Africa, Palin responded with an enthusiastic, “You Betcha!”

RWP Rating: Crazy!

Full Story: Anchorage Gazette

Newt Gingrich converts to Catholicism in time for 2012 election

March 31, 2009

Former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich converted to Catholicism this weekend, a solid 3 years before the 2012 presidential election.

Newt Gingrich dodged the Vietnam draft, but will be give a free pass on foreign policy because of the (R) by his name.

Newt Gingrich dodged the Vietnam draft, but will be given a free pass on military policy because of the (R) by his name.

Gingrich’s third (latest) wife Callista Bisek is Catholic, but Gingrich has so far remained silent as to what his motivation in converting was.  Gingrich became a Baptist while he earned his PhD in Modern European History from Tulane University.  Divorce is not allowed in the Catholic Church.  However, annulments can be granted in certain situations.

I think the political motivation here is overt.  Gingrich thinks he can secure the Catholic vote in 2012 by converting.  Mitt Romney is a Mormon and Sarah Palin is batshit crazy, so the stamp of approval from The Holy Old Dude could sway a few voters, especially in the primaries.   His only problem is that Bobby Jindal worked the Catholic conversion a few years before Newt got around to it.

Republican primary debate drinking game: One shot every time you hear the phrase “culture of life.”

RWP Rating: Unusual

Full Story: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/31/gingrich-gets-a-new-religion/