From Ron Fournier at the ostensibly neutral, non-partisan, NATIONAL JOURNAL (not be confused with the conservative NATIONAL REVIEW), a fairly chilling critique of the rollout of the President's health-care overhaul so far: "Why Obama should be freaked-out over Obamacare"...
That article sounds pretty much like what the Tea Party Republicans predicted...especially the fact that the roll-out should have been the easy part of ACA. Signing people up should have been simple...the tough part should have been getting this behemoth bureaucracy to function smoothly.
Mon, Oct 21, 2013 8:07pm
Just as Jerry Sandusky is "Mr. Creepy", so Obama is "Mr. Freaky".
Mon, Oct 21, 2013 8:48pm
As we all are probably aware, next month is the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. I've found an article in Time, not known as a particularly conservative publication, which describes JFK as much more conservative and sensible than the spend-happy Democrats of today. Obama and all his remaining followers (what does he have now, 2 or 3?) could take a lesson from this man that they claim as part of their liberal legacy:
Mrpizza : You are correct, that JFK was more conservative than today's Dem party, just as the G.O.P. today is more conservative than Reagan or Nixon. Nixon's administration first proposed the health plan we today call Obamacare, yet today's G.O.P. totally hates the "Nixon Plan". So it would be more accurate to say both parties are further towards an extreme than they are as centrists. The Dems more liberal & the G.O.P. more conservative.
Both parties today are more extreme than back in the 50's & 60's.
Tue, Oct 22, 2013 6:13am
What you are discussing above can best be understood as the inevitable results of two migrations:
The exodus of conservative Southern & Great Plains Dems to the Republican Party following LBJ's embrace of the civil rights movement, and the exodus of many suburban Republicans (particularly in Northern and coastal metropolitan areas) to the Dems on cultural issues. No more "big tents". And an increasing number of voters who call themselves "independents" are not centrists at all, but ideologically right or left, who may abandon the G.O.P. or the Dems respectively if they think their particular party has "sold out", producing a "RINO" or "DINO" candidate.
Also the partisan/ideological identification of issues changes over time: During the 1960's, big-state Republican governors generally supported abortion rights; many Dems opposed abortion. The parties flipped after Roe vs. Wade in the 1970's. Jimmy Carter tried to play it both ways on the campaign trail in 1976. (Before he died, I had a few interesting conversations with Jimmy Carter's press secretary, Jody Powell, about the sensitivity and volatility of that issue for the Carter campaign). By Ronald Reagan's election, the ideological flip was complete. Even some Democratic members of Congress who identified themselves as anti-abortion because of their traditionalist constituencies (Dick Gephardt comes to mind) flipped when they started running for President. Conversely, Republicans from rather liberal states with Presidential ambitions have had to morph from pro-choice to pro-life, even if their heart wasn't in it.
Another example of an ideological flip: Tobacco use.
When I was attending high school in the Chicago suburbs, school administrations came under pressure to offer smoking areas for students, in part, to relieve non-smoking students of having to inhale second-hand smoke in the restrooms. Although you didn't hear that term, second-hand smoke, in those days. (I actually conducted an investigation for my high school newspaper on this issue: Did the existence of a student smoking area substantially decrease smoking in the restrooms? I did find a correlation as I visited various high schools. But I digress.)
In those days, the administration of a high school was deemed "conservative" if it resisted pressure to establish a smoking area for students. It was deemed "liberal" or "progressive" if it DID establish such an area. (Of course, incredibly in those days, faculty lounges / restrooms were filled with smoke!)
Fast-forward a couple of decades: Now, to support smoking rights and resist curbs on smoking is generally considered "conservative" or "libertarian". To vigorously oppose smoking in public places, in fact, to make it tougher and tougher to smoke tobacco virtually ANYWHERE is considered "liberal" or "progressive". (Although, ironically, marijuana decriminalization/legalization tends to unite the "liberal/progressive" and "libertarian" sides.)
I just provide the above examples to illustrate that while it may be accurate to say BOTH major political parties may have migrated closer to the ideological poles, the ideological magnet itself can flip on certain issues.
Meanwhile, although one can argue BOTH political parties are less big-tent parties than they used to be, demographically, today's G.O.P. is much narrower than today's Dems.
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Oct 22, 2013 8:27am
Maybe that's what's needed, four parties: Progressive Left, Democrat centrist leaning left, Republican centrist leaning right, and TEA Right.
Then on election day, let the voters decide which of these approaches they prefer. My guess: It would be one of the two in the middle and that would depend on the candidates of those two middle-of-the-road parties.
Other than TEA folks [far right] and Hard-core Progressives [far left], the rest of the nation is more moderate and in the middle-of-the-road politically, not wanting either extreme.
It is sad that a Godly man - who is openly a practicing Christian in real life, not just on the campaign trail - like a Jimmy Carter, or a more conservative leaning JFK, could not be nominated in today's Democratic party; just as it is equally sad that today's G.O.P. would prefer a Ted Cruz over a Dwight Eisenhower, or Papa Bush [Jeb, even though you're the smarter brother, you've got no chance of winning the G.O.P. nomination in today's G.O.P.].
Tue, Oct 22, 2013 9:51am
Mike: I think we may both be wishing for a Reagan-type candidate...question is whether or not there are any Reagan Democrats left.
Btw, Jeb Bush is a Progressive on the right...just as was Papa Bush.
Also, when people speak of far left/right in American politics, it is far different from European politics. People on the Far Right in Europe are Socialist Democrats (Nazis) and people on the Far Left are the Communists.
The Tea Party can't be Nazis (as they are demonized) because Nazis wanted big government/total govt. control.
Tue, Oct 22, 2013 9:57am
And, back to the topic...did anyone see Jon Stewart last night? He was hilarious but he probably got a phone call from the White House for mercilessly mocking ObamaCare.
Tue, Oct 22, 2013 10:01am
I would have to add the Democrats have a bigger tent right now than do the Republicans. That is due to the extremism of the Tea Party and the control it exerts upon the Republican Party...
Within the Democratic Party, you have a lot of contention between the Blue Dogs and Progressives, equally or more so than the contention between Democrats and Republicans back during Lyndon Johnson's era.
In fact, Tom Carper and John Carney, our representatives, are probably more conservative than would be either Nelson Rockefeller or George Romney.....
That would make the Dems' tent bigger, I'd have to say....
But.. if the Republicans were to split, they would then pick up the Blue Dogs, thereby forming a new center coalition... Sort of what we call here, the "Markell Republicans..." The Teas and Progressives would again be out on the wings.
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Oct 22, 2013 10:37am
EarlGrey said: "When people speak of far left/right in American politics it is far different from European politics. People on the Far Right in Europe are Socialist Democrats (Nazis) and people on the Far Left are the Communists.
The Tea Party can't be Nazis (as they are demonized) because Nazis wanted big government/total govt control."
I agree the TEA party aren't Nazis [more of wanting to turn back the clock to 1787 America, which would be great, except we don't live in that world any longer].
On the other hand, neither are the Progressives Communists. They may be Socialists [think Sweden and Norway], but NOT Communists [think Cuba, the U.S.S.R., Red China, North Korea]. There is a difference.
Jeb Bush, like Mike Castle, would have been acceptable to the G.O.P. 20+ years ago, but the party is further right now, so a moderate who leans right is now considered a RINO.
Kavips: Interesting analogy. Yes, I could see the Blue Dog DEMS moving to a moderate G.O.P. if the TEA faction left, as today's DEM party is far more liberal than those Blue Dog DEMS would like. Good point.
Tue, Oct 22, 2013 12:35pm
Mike: Most "tea folks" don't want to turn-back the clock to 1787... they want to follow the guidelines provided by the Constitution to properly run a Republic. They are also not anarchists... they want SMALLER government, not zero government. And, believe it or not, most Tea Partiers don't actually wear tri-corner hats or dress in colonial attire ;)
Also Mike, I think that "blue dogs" and Reagan Democrats (referred to as DINOs by the Progs) are almost extinct... the Progressives weeded most of them out over the past many election cycles. The new/vibrant/younger voters are leaning more and more Libertarian...the question is which side will attract this group of voters. This group wants to "vote them all out" and that just may be the right idea.
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Oct 22, 2013 7:31pm
EarlGrey: You are one of the more reasonable TEA folks I've met, some of those folks seem to want the U.S. to operate as if this were 1787, but I get your point. Darn, No tri- cornered hats.
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