Skip

Don't call it a comeback
May 4, 2009 1:32 PM   Subscribe

This weekend, at a pizza restaurant in the liberal suburb of Arlington, Virginia, more than 50 people attended the first event held by the National Council for a New America - which is intended to "be a dynamic, forward-looking organization that will amplify the common-sense and wisdom of our fellow citizens through a grassroots dialogue with Republican leaders." The speakers included former presidential candidate Mitt Romney and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, who said, "This is not about messaging, this is not about branding. This is about trying to foster some discussion, because what's going on in Washington right now is not reflective of the mainstream of this country."

Also speaking was former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who said, "So our ideas need to be forward looking and relevant. I felt like there was a lot of nostalgia and the good old days in the [Republican] messaging. I mean, it's great, but it doesn't draw people toward your cause." Conservative blog RedState comments, "Until something actually happens with this effort, I am going to have to say no, there is no value in not giving it a chance." [Sarah Palin has not yet responded to her invitation to join.]
posted by Joe Beese (136 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Item One on the agenda: This "internet," is that something like e-mail?
posted by Damn That Television at 1:35 PM on May 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


Their greatest challenge will be convincing people that words and phrases like "dynamic," "forward-looking," "common sense," "wisdom," "grassroots," "discussion" and "relevant" can have any relation to the Republican party whatsoever.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:40 PM on May 4, 2009 [10 favorites]


Romney: "We are the party of the revolutionaries. They're the party of the monarchists." Late Night tv would be great if this guy had been elected president. He's dumber than Bush.
posted by stavrogin at 1:41 PM on May 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


More than 50? Not exactly a thundering herd of elephants.
posted by Rumple at 1:41 PM on May 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


No pizza for Palin?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:41 PM on May 4, 2009


"I am going to have to say no, there is no value in not giving it a chance."

Wow. Two days in and they've already gone triple-negative.
posted by el_lupino at 1:41 PM on May 4, 2009 [20 favorites]


House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, who said, "This is about trying to foster some discussion, because what's going on in Washington right now is not reflective of the mainstream of this country."

Item Two on the agenda: Is it possible that our backwards, hateful, bigoted way of thinking isn't as popular as we think it is?
posted by mattdidthat at 1:41 PM on May 4, 2009 [11 favorites]


Speaking of Bush, he's raised over 100 million for his library in 100 days. Not bad for a guy who didn't like reading. insert My Pet Goat joke
posted by Rumple at 1:43 PM on May 4, 2009


"Okay, how many want pepperoni?"
posted by briank at 1:44 PM on May 4, 2009


Item Three on the agenda: Table 19, your pizza's ready.
posted by ALongDecember at 1:44 PM on May 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


It would be stupid to laugh them off. Lots of republicans thought the democratic party was done for just a few years ago (remember the "permanent republican majority" B.S from Karl Rove?)
posted by delmoi at 1:46 PM on May 4, 2009 [20 favorites]


because what's going on in Washington right now is not reflective of the mainstream of this country.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means, what you think it means.
posted by ScotchRox at 1:46 PM on May 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


I remember this movie! Mistake Pizza.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:51 PM on May 4, 2009 [23 favorites]


More than 50?

I guess people have different definitions of what constitutes being "mainstream".
posted by chunking express at 1:53 PM on May 4, 2009


They really don't get it, do they? It's sort of sad.
posted by billysumday at 1:54 PM on May 4, 2009


More than 50? Don't Elk Lodge meetings draw more people than that?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:54 PM on May 4, 2009


If the GOP would give up its unholy alliance with the religious right and focus on their core values of lower taxes, smaller government, less regulation, freedom and strong defense they would skyrocket in the polls. If they continue the unholy alliance, continue as the party of no and keep playing their game of fear they will stay right where they are, especially with someone like Obama around who has successfully countered their fear mongering with calm, confidence and capability.
posted by caddis at 1:55 PM on May 4, 2009 [9 favorites]


It's a pretty weird choice to have the first event in their "grassroots" dialog be held in Arlington. Not so much because it's heavily blue--heck, even in DC about 10 percent of the population votes Republican, so it's not like you couldn't find conservatives even in liberal areas--it's just... it's literally inside the beltway. I give 'em an A for effort but an F for implementation, seriously.

I don't usually like it when politicians go on talk shows every four years and talk sneeringly about "the inside-the-beltway people" and how corrupt DC is and out-of-touch people who live and work there are with Real America and Real American Families (and Dems are just as bad as Republicans with this), and yes, I'm sure it's because I live inside the beltway so I'm a little offended by it. But in terms of messaging, I just don't understand why they didn't travel, say, 50 miles in ANY OTHER DIRECTION. What, you're too lazy to find a pizza place in Manassas?

This is about trying to foster some discussion, because what's going on in Washington right now is not reflective of the mainstream of this country."

THEN WHY WOULD YOU ASK PEOPLE LIVING AND WORKING IN WASHINGTON ABOUT HOW TO FIX YOUR PARTY? Jeez, guys. C'mon. This is just sad.
posted by iminurmefi at 1:56 PM on May 4, 2009 [15 favorites]


Could this have been an Elk Lodge meeting that some journalist mistook for cutting edge Republicanism?
posted by Rumple at 1:56 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


If anyone takes down Barry O. in 2012, it sure as hell isn't going to be Mitt fucking Romney.
posted by hangashore at 1:57 PM on May 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


> "We need to stand up to the administration when they're moving a questionable policies. ... It's important to have a dialogue with the American people," Boehner said.

Yeah, you guys were all over that shit during the past eight years. FAIL.
posted by you just lost the game at 1:58 PM on May 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


Okay, let me get this straight... it's not about "messaging or branding" it's about "ideas." So once they've got some fresh new ideas... then they can focus on rebranding?

So basically they're saying: "tell us how we can fool you guys more effectively, because our previous method of fooling you has worn off.. then we'll wrap it in blue and stick an american flag pin on it."
posted by pwally at 1:58 PM on May 4, 2009 [8 favorites]


Grassroots, or crabgrassroots?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:59 PM on May 4, 2009


The menu looks good.

wingnut pizza
deboned chicken wings and pine nuts are complemented with John Birch era conspiracy theories, failed economic policy, tomato sauce, sliced fresh mozzarella and fresh basil on this unpopular pie

posted by fleetmouse at 1:59 PM on May 4, 2009 [15 favorites]


If the GOP would give up its unholy alliance with the religious right and focus on their core values of lower taxes, smaller government, less regulation, freedom and strong defense they would skyrocket in the polls.

Ha! Yeah, you know why they created their "unholy alliance" with the religious right? Because the core values you speak of were obviously not enough. They've been all about the talibaptists since Reagan. If they thought for a moment they could succeed without the religious right, they'd drop them in a heartbeat. As it is, it's pretty much all they got left.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:59 PM on May 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


because what's going on in Washington right now is not reflective of the mainstream of this country

I'm starting to see this trope often enough in articles about the GOP and in comments by GOPers on things like the Huffington Post that I'm thinking this IS their new brand. This is possibly the new GOP message to the people who left the GOP and now call themselves Independents. You know, Silent Majority shit.
posted by spicynuts at 2:00 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


what's going on in Washington right now is not reflective of the mainstream of this country.

Funny. I remember an election. I got a little sticker and everything.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:01 PM on May 4, 2009 [48 favorites]


Whoa. The last time there was a Republican meeting like that was like 60, maybe 70 years ago. I remember they met in a beerhouse in Bavaria and there was a lot of noise about it.
posted by qvantamon at 2:02 PM on May 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


Hell, delmoi, I thought the Democratic party was done for a few years ago, what with their seeming utter unwillingness to stand and fight. We saw Gore's capitulation in '00 and Kerry's personality-free campaign of '04, and all the while we saw Democrats in Congress kowtowing to bullies and thugs. But here's the thing-- it was a failure of leadership. Once a few brave souls like Dean and Obama found their consciences and spines, the party was able to turn around.

The corruption and failure of the Republicans goes straight to the core, just as it has at least since the days of Nixon. Now a sizable portion of the American population is finally noticing it, even though the cost of getting them to notice (9/11, Katrina, Iraq, Wall Street...) was horrifying. I don't think America is going to forget so easily. It will be a long time before the stains come off the elephant.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:02 PM on May 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, who said, "This is about trying to foster some discussion, because what's going on in Washington right now is not reflective of the mainstream of this country."

Subtext:
So we're going to have this discussion outside* of Washington influence so we can really get to understand the issues facing the average American.

*by outside we mean more than 5 miles. We're busy and can't be bothered to actually travel to any place too backward.

Snark aside, I really can't wrap my brain around how they can't see how disconnected their actions are from their messaging ...
posted by forforf at 2:03 PM on May 4, 2009


wingnut pizza
deboned chicken wings and pine nuts are complemented with John Birch era conspiracy theories, failed economic policy, tomato sauce, sliced fresh mozzarella and fresh basil on this unpopular pie


You forgot to mention that 90% of the pizza gets eaten by 1% of the attendees.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:04 PM on May 4, 2009 [36 favorites]


Or on post-preview what iminurmefi said
posted by forforf at 2:05 PM on May 4, 2009


Extra plus to delmoi. Do not count these guys out. They got George "worst president of all time" Bush a second term. They will pull out all the stops next time.
posted by JHarris at 2:05 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


It would be stupid to laugh them off. Lots of republicans thought the democratic party was done for just a few years ago (remember the "permanent republican majority" B.S from Karl Rove?)
posted by delmoi at 4:46 PM


True. But there are profound differences -- Kerry lost in 2004 because he was constantly responding to attacks from the right, whereas McCain lost in 2008 despite constantly attacking the left.

I think the dominant, neo-conservative wing of the party has actually fooled themselves into believing that they can define reality with really good PR. Even traditionally far-right members/blogs/etc. are now beginning to realize that the Republican party needs to change in a few major ways if they want to be competitive in 2010 and 2012. But rather than listen to these concerns, Limbaugh et. al. simply denounce anyone with even 5% differing views as a RINO (republican in name only) and excommunicate them from the party.

Take, for example, Charles Johnson, owner of LittleGreenFootballs.com, and one of the most influential right-wing bloggers. Calling LGF anything but "hard right" on the political spectrum would be a lie, but he has recently been bombarded with criticism and hatemail for his stances on evolution (pro), global warming (there is too much science involved to dismiss it without considering it seriously), the tea parties (not helpful and overrun with Ron Paul supporters).

If you had told me 2 years ago that LGF fall out of favor among Republicans for being too "moderate," I would have laughed in your face. But this too has come to pass: the Right is now a political minority not based on their actions, but on their complete refusal to have an ideology that includes anyone but their most extreme members.

Rush Limbaugh has gotten exactly what he wanted, and now the many, many, many intelligence, decent, friendly Republicans out there are suffering as a result. The party will lose more senate seats in 2010, then get blown out in 2012 before finally realizing that they have to change their attitude.
posted by Damn That Television at 2:06 PM on May 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


It would be stupid to laugh them off. Lots of republicans thought the democratic party was done for just a few years ago

Yes and No. It's quite safe to laugh off efforts like this, where they claim it's about starting grassroots discussions, and then move right on to the same old Palinesque populist bullshit about the disconnect between Washington and the rest of the country, about "real America" vs. the big city dwellers and the power brokers. Obama's approval rating is in the 60s. Approval for TARP, the stimulus, all those things that the Republicans voted against in lockstep, are all in the majority.

The basic disconnect with the Republicans is that old canard that they're the silent majority who just need a voice. They're not. People don't like the Republicans right now and don't agree with what they're doing--the number of self-identifying Republicans has dropped to 21%. Until they accept that they're a rump and start asking how they can appeal to a broader segment--how they can rebuild a coalition between the religious right and the fiscal conservatives--they're doomed to PR exercises like this.

We should stop laughing when they find a moderate to join the Republican party. That'll indicate that someone with an R after their name has figured out that they can't win with only the diehards and the purists.
posted by fatbird at 2:06 PM on May 4, 2009


If the GOP would give up its unholy alliance with the religious right and focus on their core values

Check it:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/04/james-carville-if-gop-aba_n_195716.html

Yoda is pitching his new book and says if this happened they'd collapse. Note the comments, not too far in, the first ex-GOP Independent pipes up.
posted by spicynuts at 2:07 PM on May 4, 2009


what's going on in Washington right now is not reflective of the mainstream of this country.

Um, no.
posted by Ratio at 2:08 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey, this reminds me: did Bobby Jindal say anything after Mt. Redoubt's eruption?
posted by boo_radley at 2:11 PM on May 4, 2009


It would be stupid to laugh them off.

You do make a good point here. I mean, it's not like the moneyed corporate interests that provide the Republicans with an endless supply of cash are just going to disappHHNNXXAAHH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA MY GOD! HOLY SHIT THEY'RE MEETING AT A FUCKING PIZZA JOINT HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HO HO HO hoooo. Uh. Uh Uh-huh HA HA HA HA HA HOLY SHIT LOOK AT ROMNEY'S FACE HE'S ALL SERIOUS AAAAAHHHHHHHHHH HA HA HA HA HA HA HO HEE HEE HEE. Oh, god, I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

It's just all so beautiful.
posted by hifiparasol at 2:12 PM on May 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


Gingrich, who really wants to be the GOP candidate for president in 2012, was notably absent, and has been telling AIPAC (at their conference) that: a) Obama is bad for Israel, and b) Newt wants to bomb Iran ASAP. Ah, the joys of power politics in America.
posted by ornate insect at 2:13 PM on May 4, 2009


The Republicans are really being held hostage by their own base. They have painted themselves into this corner where the candidates who can win primaries are increasingly the candidates who can't win general elections. Spector figured that out, which is why he jumped. He realized that to win a primary battle against Toomey or someone like him, he'd have to go so far to the right himself that he'd never win the general election in a blue state like PA.

The leaders may make noices about trying to widen the appeal of the party but if anything, the Republican base seems to be trying to move the party even farther right. The general consensus on places like Redstate or Hot Air seems to be that McCain lost because he wasn't conservative enough. It's hard to see how a candidate in 2012 could win the nomination without being seriously right wing and alienating him/herself from the general electorate.
posted by octothorpe at 2:14 PM on May 4, 2009 [7 favorites]


I'd like to talk more about that imaginary pizza. Chicken, pine nuts and basil sounds good, but let's just go full-on pesto instead of tomato sauce, then bring the tomatoes back in sun-dried form. Now, what kind of cheese?
posted by box at 2:17 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Republicans are really being held hostage by their own base

I'm sorry Rush
posted by Rumple at 2:17 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


"This is not about messaging, this is not about branding. This is about trying to foster some discussion, because what's going on in Washington right now is not reflective of the mainstream of this country."
posted by Sys Rq at 2:18 PM on May 4, 2009


Now, what kind of cheese?

Not blue cheese obviously, Red Leicester? Gouda? (red on the outside, creamy white and kind of bland on the inside)
posted by Rumple at 2:18 PM on May 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


What's going on in Washington right now is not reflective of the mainstream of this country.

They're not flapping around like chickens wondering what the fuck to do about the fucked economy while simultaneously worrying about swine flu?
posted by Artw at 2:25 PM on May 4, 2009


Their first restaurant pick was Chuck E. Cheese but they wouldn't cut them a break on the free tokens.
posted by porn in the woods at 2:27 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, Chuck E. Cheese is apparently a real Paultard. You should see that motherfucker's Digg account.
posted by hifiparasol at 2:29 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is that pizza place any good? Seriously, I'm always on the lookout for good pizza in this area. I'm used to NY/No. NJ style pizza, and nothing here so far has really compared (and frankly, most has been not so good, and I'm not just talking jumbo slice here).

This is not off topic. The pizza place got it's own link and everything!
posted by inigo2 at 2:31 PM on May 4, 2009


Wait, are we talking about a jokey pizza that makes fun of Republicans, or an actual delicious pizza? I could probably go either way.
posted by box at 2:31 PM on May 4, 2009


Seriously though, not just the pizza place, but 50 people? The AA meeting down the street probably had better attendance. Is it news because Romney and Jeb were there?

I do like the fumbling attempt at re-branding though, in a schaudenfreude kind of way. It's like watching the high school fullback take an LSAT.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:31 PM on May 4, 2009


Romney on Palin:
"In the latest instance of a high-profile GOP member taking a passing swipe at the party's 2008 vice presidential candidate, former Massachusetts governor and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney jokingly dismissed Sarah Palin’s inclusion on Time’s list of influential people in an interview broadcast Sunday.

He asked, was 'the issue on the most beautiful people or the most influential people?'

Romney, appearing on CNN’s 'State of the Union,' was replying to a question from moderator John King on whether Time’s inclusion of Palin and talk show host Rush Limbaugh on their list of 'The World’s Most Influential People' was good or bad for the Republican Party.

Romney, who has not ruled out another White House bid, said he wanted more influential Republicans on the list before adding pointedly: 'I think there are a lot more influential Republicans than that would suggest.'

'But was that the issue on the most beautiful people or the most influential people?' he continued. 'I'm not sure. If it's the most beautiful, I understand. We're not real cute.'"
Oh, the fucking irony, Flip Romney!
posted by ericb at 2:32 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't be so quick to laugh. Unless the banks suddenly explode with roses, the economy is not going to be fantastic three years from now. I would not count on everyone in the States remembering that the economy was in bad shape before Obama. The American public, which has the memory span of a carnival goldfish (and even less patience) will unblinkingly stare through the thin layer of plastic keeping them alive at the vast, distorted fingers of anyone who wishes to frighten them, turn their fancy tails, and dutifully go swimming off to the other side of the bag.

While the electoral college in 2008 was truly an butt-whupping for the Republican Party, look at the popular vote: 52.9% to 45.7%. In 2004, Bush got in on 50.7% to 48.3%. And, if we discount third parties, every percentage point lost by the Democrats is a point which goes to the Republicans. Just a four percent loss for the Democrats, in the right places, would do the job.

So let's maybe not be too smug. Smugness is one of the fundamental flaws, perceived or not, of the Democratic party and here it has not yet been earned.
posted by adipocere at 2:32 PM on May 4, 2009 [12 favorites]


Unless the banks suddenly explode with roses, the economy is not going to be fantastic three years from now.

Maybe, maybe not. If it is still crappy, the short-term memory of the American public you refer to might be trumped by the other tendency to avoid changing horses in mid-stream during a crisis.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:35 PM on May 4, 2009


It's really not a big deal, but it's THE Pet Goat...
posted by Ron Thanagar at 2:36 PM on May 4, 2009


Item Two on the agenda: Is it possible that our backwards, hateful, bigoted way of thinking isn't as popular as we think it is?

Case in point:
"'It is about time to be an inclusive as we can,' said Cantor recently of the town halls, which are being organized by a new group -- that he is leading -- known as the National Council for a New America. 'What we are aiming to do it to join together in hopes of beginning a conversation with the American people.'

...That same poll showed that social issues -- like gay marriage -- are of declining potency in a political context. Forty-nine percent of the sample said they supported the idea of gay people being allowed to marry while 46 percent opposed it, a drastic shift from a 2006 Post/ABC poll where opposition (58 percent) to gay marriage far outstripped support (36 percent) for the idea."
posted by ericb at 2:38 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


>> I don't think America is going to forget so easily. It will be a long time before the stains come off the elephant.

Let this country go one pay cycle without a check - ONE - and they'll jump back to Kang from Kodos without even blinking an eye.

We'll never make progress until we smash the two-party stranglehold on legitimate options.
posted by davelog at 2:39 PM on May 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


If, by crisis, you mean war*, I would agree. Short of that, I am not so sure. 50.7% is a percentage which haunts me. At best, it's a number which represents the "stay the course," "let's not change horses in mid-stream" part of human nature, which is better than wondering if that is the percentage of the voting public who honestly thought that, yeah, this is the guy for the job!

* For all values of "war" which may or may not be officially endorsed by the US Congress, but do involve members of our military shooting at or being shot at by other people, in significant numbers.
posted by adipocere at 2:41 PM on May 4, 2009


I would not count on everyone in the States remembering that the economy was in bad shape before Obama.

Yes. C.f. Martin Van Ruin.
posted by Maximian at 2:41 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


ericb: Of course no one cares about gay marriage NOW, no one is running ads about it. When it really counts, don't worry, they'll still hate queer love.
posted by absalom at 2:43 PM on May 4, 2009


Let's not put too much stock in the 2008 election. It's not like the electorate stood up and said, "We have had enough!" All that happened was that the economy started to tank and people were feeling it in their wallets. So they voted against the incumbent party.

As we saw in 2004, it doesn't matter WHAT the current president is doing, so long as I personally am not feeling any pain. If that's the case, then everything is fine. If not, then we need the other guy in here. And if he doesn't get me my money, then I'll get the other other guy in here.

As we can clearly see, nobody started to have any second thoughts about the war, torture, illegal wiretapping, erosion of rights, or any of that trivia, it's just that we all startd to feel a little less middle class, and that was unacceptable.
posted by Legomancer at 2:43 PM on May 4, 2009 [11 favorites]


I don't see how they can stage much of a comeback anytime soon, and maybe not ever. For one thing, all that's left of the party, by and large, is the hardcore religious right. These folks not only dilute the small government message, they're almost the antithesis -- they want government INSIDE YOUR WOMB the moment a sperm touches an egg. Any government that's trying to regulate peoples' bodies cannot be called 'small government'. That also destroys the 'low regulation' argument too, for that matter. Don't regulate businesses (so they can crash the global economy with equanimity, yay), but regulate your BODIES, oh yeah, that's the 'good' kind of regulation.

Another MAJOR stumbling block to any Republican comeback is the fact that the majority of people under 35 voted Democrat, by a large margin, and it's been shown many times that once a person has settled on a party at a young age, they tend to stick with that party forever. So as the older, more conservative generation continues to die off, the numbers will look increasingly harsh for any Republican.

Finally, they have an established and well-earned reputation for being the party of old white dudes. Women, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, the poor -- the Republican Party has lost most of these segments of the population, probably for good. And with the white male portion of the population shrinking, and all of those other portions growing, well...

They're done. Stick a fork in 'em.
posted by jamstigator at 2:45 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you're doing a fundraiser for your presidential campaign, you gotta go where the dough is.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:46 PM on May 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


Ha! Yeah, you know why they created their "unholy alliance" with the religious right? Because the core values you speak of were obviously not enough. They've been all about the talibaptists since Reagan. If they thought for a moment they could succeed without the religious right, they'd drop them in a heartbeat. As it is, it's pretty much all they got left.

I'm getting weird vibes that what's needed (whether it will happen) is a New Labour-esque appropriation of some of the opponent's ground, and the fight for the center. Tony Blair famously rewrote Clause IV of the party's constitution (about redistribution of wealth) and tried to make the party less reliant on the trade unions, moving them towards the center. Hell, they rebranded from Labour to New Labour (although back to Labour now, I feel).

So it's easy to get all smug, but it's always possible to come back from things like this.
posted by djgh at 2:46 PM on May 4, 2009


It's the conservatives' "How can we bamboozle the prols this time?" meeting.

The last one was 30 years ago, when they managed to use things like "anti-abortion" and "anti-flag-burning" (and Bush Sr. to keep the hostages in Iran until inauguration day) to get Reagan installed.
posted by Zambrano at 2:47 PM on May 4, 2009


Keep in mind that Obama only got 52.9% of the popular vote in the last election. Think about that for a minute. A candidate a good as Obama only got 52.9% of the vote against two candidates as awful as McCain/Palin.

They don't need to remake everything in some grand and brilliant way. They just need to be 3% less awful. And 3% less awful than Sarah Palin is setting the bar way way low.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:47 PM on May 4, 2009 [24 favorites]


what's going on in Washington right now is not reflective of the mainstream of this country

WHY DO TEH GAYS HATE OUR PIZZA?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:48 PM on May 4, 2009


Downsides of that:

You get Tony Blair.
Then you get Gordon Brown.
Then you get the Tory Party.
posted by Artw at 2:48 PM on May 4, 2009



If you're doing a fundraiser for your presidential campaign, you gotta go where the dough is.


Don't make me hurt you Blazecock.
posted by The Whelk at 2:50 PM on May 4, 2009


Eric Cantor: This is not about messaging, this is not about branding.

Translation: 'People of the American Continent! Rest assured that we no longer wish to burn our insignias forcibly into your hides using metal emblems heated over fiery coals! And we never really wanted to engage in SMS conversations with you, since we can't stand that tiny keyboard even on our BlackBerries.'

Jeb Bush: So our ideas need to be forward looking and relevant. I felt like there was a lot of nostalgia and the good old days in the [Republican] messaging. I mean, it's great, but it doesn't draw people toward your cause.

Translation: 'I agree about the lameness of text messaging, but I feel like maybe we'd attract more people if we kept burng our symbol into their flesh.
posted by koeselitz at 2:50 PM on May 4, 2009


Let's not put too much stock in the 2008 election.

Let's not put too much stock in the 2012 election either. At least not yet. Why? Because IT'S ONLY SPRING 2009 PEOPLE. Please, FTLOG, can we put off "2012 election filter" until at least 2010? Please?
posted by ornate insect at 2:51 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


One thing that strikes me about Republicans/Conservatives is that they're really angry about a lot of stuff.

1) Illegal immigration
2) Layabout minorities taking social services without earning access to them
3) The existential threats to Israel
4) Government intervention in the private pay-to-play health system
5) Access to abortion, some forms of contraception, and even HPV vaccine
6) The present Keynesian fiscal policy response (big deficit spending)
7) Rising societal tolerance of homosexuality

By strongly pushing against these issues they win the support of the single-issue voters, but "the mainstream" is pretty neutral on a lot of these (1, 2, 3, 4, 6) and some Republican policy positions engender very strong anti-conservative pushback (1, 5, 7).

Republicans have been fighting a rear-guard action since FDR. Eisenhower and Nixon attempted to work on limiting Big Government growth but not really work against its existence.

Push-button issues can get 25% of the population to the polls to vote for you but if they get another 25% voting against you they're not winning politics.
posted by mrt at 2:51 PM on May 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


So it's easy to get all smug, but it's always possible to come back from things like this.

But in this country, the parties don't really have the kind of top-down control over themselves in the way that they do in the UK. If any candidates start trying to appropriate Democratic positions on issues, they're going to get ripped apart by the talk show hosts and bloggers and lose in the primary.
posted by octothorpe at 2:53 PM on May 4, 2009


I wouldn't be so quick to laugh.

No, you're right. You're right. We should definitely be taking this very seriously.

*hn*

*hnx*

hnxAH HAH HA HA HA HA HA oh god I'm sorry I can't stAAAAHHHH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! FIFTY REPUBLICANS! IN A PIZZA PLACE! FIVE MILES OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY!! Oh, god. Oh, god. I just can't do it. I'm sorry. I just can't. They're just too fucking hilarious.

Oh, and for serious? This. As long as the Republican mindset is "How can we get people to swallow our top-down, paternalistic, moralistic, hypocritical method of governance" instead of "let's actually listen and find out what people want," they're going to keep failing. And as long as they keep bleeding the few people with brains in the party in favor of the Palins and the Romneys and the Bushes, they're going to fail to resonate with the American people. Maybe we've made mistakes as a group in the past, but we are able to, y'know, learn. Stop dissing my people.

From the link:
But the political climate is much different now than it was in 1993; he can't erase either the damage wrought upon the Republican brand by the Bush administration, nor -- at least in the near-term -- Obama's sky-high approval ratings.
Replace "1993" in that sentence with "2004" and it's still true. It's not "smug" to notice that the Republican party has done some pretty heinous damage to itself over the past decade.

We won, people. It's not like the Ewoks kept hiding after the second Death Star blew up. Are you going to let a bunch of Ewoks show you how to be a badass?
posted by hifiparasol at 2:57 PM on May 4, 2009 [11 favorites]


That top down control thing does not appear to be happening overly much in the UK at the moment. At least not with any degree of success.
posted by Artw at 2:57 PM on May 4, 2009


because what's going on in Washington right now is not reflective of the mainstream of this country.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means, what you think it means.


I think they know exactly what they're saying, they know it's incorrect by some obvious measures, but it's also likely to be effective to some degree given that it's also true, if you include unhappiness from several directions on political spectra. Are you happy with everything that's happening in "Washington"? Of course you're not. You may not be a tea partier, but you have your own differences of opinion with the current leadership about policy, you have your own sinking feeling that maybe the system doesn't work, maybe the elite/moneyed interests are too powerful, maybe the sausage contains too many bodies. If pressed without the messaging and branding, you might even agree that Washington doesn't effectively represent the interests of the American people.

So, this idea that Washington is out of touch is being pushed because it has real potential. It doesn't even have to win over people in order to be effective: if it can help simultaneously depress Democratic supporters and energize some segment of the Republican base, it will help the R's in the next election cycle. All without them having to do any kind of work back towards becoming a party of ideas.

Will it work? I don't know for certain. The whole "Washington is the problem" and "throw the bums out" misdirection was on full display at the Republican convention last year, and while they got some bounce from it, ultimately it was transparent enough people saw through it. But I wouldn't rule its effectiveness out. If the universe were calibrated to my political sensibilities, that convention whould have undergone gravitational collapse under the weight of the irony and hypocrisy, but it didn't, and the fact that it didn't and that the election was as close as it was shows the Republicans might have a better finger on the political pulse than I do.
posted by weston at 2:59 PM on May 4, 2009


Hey now, I didn't say it wouldn't be enjoyable to laugh at the republicans. I think there is an enormous inability to see just how bankrupt they actually are. I think if things continue to go as they are, they're done for. But we don't know what will happen in the future. If the economy gets worse, who knows.

On the other hand, the republicans haven't been doing themselves any favors. They've been acting like hysterical buffoons. Really I have no idea where they got the idea that this insane victim shtick could possibly be effective, they seem to like it. It's not going to win any moderates, ever (I don't think)

But on the other hand, there are some republicans who seem to understand what's going on David Frum and Megan McCain come to mind. Frum is a typical supply sider and I have no idea what Ms. McCain's ideology even is -- beyond making commonsense statements about how fucked the party is, it's not clear what she believes at all.

But people like Frum and especially McCain are hated by the base of the party (Rush Limbaugh has actually said that John McCain should leave the party and "take his daughter")

So I think the question is whether or not the republican party will be strangled by a base that's unable to deal with anything that doesn't fit their ideology, and therefore simply can't deal with others, or if they'll realize that in order to save anything they'll have to moderate.

But the question then is: what do they moderate? Do they jettison economic unfairness in favor of social conservatism and an economically populist "Christian Socialism"? That kind of combination could still be pretty potent. Rather then trying to trick evangelicals into voting against their economic interests, you actually support those interests. It could be a compelling argument for a country that still has a lot of religious nutters, and in opposition to a democratic party that seems incapable of pulling it's mouth off of wallstreet's ass.
posted by delmoi at 3:00 PM on May 4, 2009


Item Two on the agenda: Is it possible that our backwards, hateful, bigoted way of thinking isn't as popular as we think it is?

One thing that strikes me about Republicans/Conservatives is that they're really angry about a lot of stuff....By strongly pushing against these issues they win the support of the single-issue voters, but "the mainstream" is pretty neutral on a lot of these...

Another case in point:
"Gay marriage legalization in several states and the public's growing acceptance of same-sex unions have Democrats sensing political opportunity and some Republicans re-evaluating their party's hard-line opposition to an issue that long has rallied its base.

In recent weeks, Vermont and Iowa have legalized same-sex marriage, while New York, Maine and New Hampshire have taken steps in that direction. Polls show younger Americans are far are more tolerant on the issue than are older generations. For now at least, the public is much more focused on the troubled economy and two wars than on social issues.

In addition, over the past decade, public acceptance of gay marriage has changed dramatically.

A Quinnipiac University poll released last week found that a majority of people questioned, by a 55-38 percent margin, oppose gay marriage. But it also found that people, by a 57-38 percent margin, support civil unions that would provide marriage-like rights for same-sex couples, indicating a shift toward more acceptance.

With congressional elections next year, Republicans, Democrats and nonpartisan analysts say the changes benefit Democrats, whose bedrock liberals favor gay unions, and disadvantage Republicans, whose conservative base insists that marriage be solely between a man and a woman.

'This is not a sea change. This is a tide that is slowly rising in favor of gay marriage,' creating a favorable political situation for Democrats and ever-more difficulty for Republicans, said David McCuan, a political scientist at Sonoma State University in California.

Democrats have a broader base filled with more accepting younger voters, as well as flexibility on the issue. Hard-core liberals support gay marriage, while others, including President Barack Obama, take a more moderate position of civil unions and defer to states on gay marriage.

Conversely, the GOP base is older, smaller and more conservative. Republicans have no place to shift on the issue but to the left, because the party has been identified largely with its rock-solid opposition to gay marriage and civil unions. Also, the GOP has no titular head setting the tone on this or other issues." [more]
posted by ericb at 3:02 PM on May 4, 2009


But in this country, the parties don't really have the kind of top-down control over themselves in the way that they do in the UK. If any candidates start trying to appropriate Democratic positions on issues, they're going to get ripped apart by the talk show hosts and bloggers and lose in the primary.

I've always thought that the US was more top-down, and have been lamenting the increased partisan nature of UK politics for a while.

That top down control thing does not appear to be happening overly much in the UK at the moment. At least not with any degree of success.

Not within Labour, but that's because they're imploding. It's every man or woman for themselves at the moment, as Harriet Harman is proving (which is odd, given that she's effectively fighting for her political career). The Tories seem to be keeping everything together (although they could do nothing and still come out better than Labour. Which appears to be the plan).
posted by djgh at 3:05 PM on May 4, 2009


It used to be that the brownshirts would go to a dark, smoky beer hall, get trashed, and swear sacred oaths to make the streets run red with the blood of their mortal enemies. Now they go to a Chuck E. Cheese and order diet cokes. This is like Fascism in clown suits.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:05 PM on May 4, 2009 [12 favorites]


Do they jettison economic unfairness in favor of social conservatism and an economically populist "Christian Socialism"? That kind of combination could still be pretty potent. Rather then trying to trick evangelicals into voting against their economic interests, you actually support those interests.

I could get used to a Republican party like this, and hopefully this is what becomes of them. The evangelicals have a lot of money and a hell of a lot of influence in rural areas, but that'll wane in time, I think -- especially as the rest of the country, and the popular culture, embrace a more progressive ethic. I don't think gay people, for instance, are going to start going to go back into the closet now that they've come as far as they have, so the Christians will just have to, as the saying goes, get used to it.
posted by hifiparasol at 3:06 PM on May 4, 2009


...sorry, that's "start going back in the closet."
posted by hifiparasol at 3:09 PM on May 4, 2009


There have been false alarms before. But FWIW, Politico is now reporting that Sarah Palin will in fact be working with NCNA.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:10 PM on May 4, 2009


...even in DC about 10 percent of the population votes Republican, so it's not like you couldn't find conservatives even in liberal areas--it's just... it's literally inside the beltway. I give 'em an A for effort but an F for implementation, seriously.

GOP holds "Outside the Beltway" rebranding event inside the beltway.

"It's as if Sarah Palin is running the show."
posted by ericb at 3:10 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


THEN WHY WOULD YOU ASK PEOPLE LIVING AND WORKING IN WASHINGTON ABOUT HOW TO FIX YOUR PARTY?

Yeah -- and go with the "smart" set from the Bush years for advice!
"Republicans looking to recover from Bush-era defeats are turning to an unlikely source for advice: top aides to former President George W. Bush.

Former White House press secretary Dana Perino, former Bush counselor Ed Gillespie and former White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto are among those set to provide words of wisdom to House Republican press secretaries at their annual workshop this Friday.

GOP House Conference Communications Director Matt Lloyd said Perino, Gillespie and Fratto represented 'the gold standard for Republican communications professionals' and were obvious choices to advise the party’s messengers.

But Democrats are deriding the move to bring in the Bush veterans, calling it proof that the GOP has failed to recognize that Bush’s policies are at least partly to blame for the party’s minority status.

'Reuniting the Bush operation is like making a sequel to a very bad movie. House Republicans are better off staying home, watching soaps and coming up with new ideas for their out-of-touch party,' said Doug Thornell, spokesman for Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)."
Oh, my. Oh, my.
posted by ericb at 3:20 PM on May 4, 2009


From ericb's Romney on Palin link:

"In the latest instance of a high-profile GOP member taking a passing swipe at the party's 2008 vice presidential candidate, former Massachusetts governor and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney jokingly dismissed Sarah Palin’s inclusion on Time’s list of influential people in an interview broadcast Sunday.

They have lost power, and they aren't exactly sure why, all they know is that a lot of people, for no clear reason that they can see, have turned on them and cast them out. So they are going to start to push away everyone around them that is new, or slightly different in an effort to purge whatever has poisoned their party, and when that doesn't work, they will turn on their friends and neighbors, savaging anyone not Right enough.

In other words; here's the part where they start eating one another.

And no amount of rebranding is going to change that.
posted by quin at 3:21 PM on May 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


What’s interesting is the refusal to change despite the reality. I mean we can talk fiscal responsibility, moral family values, all that – but what form does that take?

I’m very pro-life, but I’ve been shown that in practical effect certain programs (abstinence, et.al.) don’t work and policy outlawing abortion leads to more, not less, unwanted children. So…changed my mind. Ideologically – who is *for * more aborted kids? The beef is just over the larger ‘how’s really.

But all that aside, brass tacks, it seems they’re just talking how to get elected. What buttons to push, lies to tell, all that. No doubt the Dems do the same thing.

What’s crucial is funding. This is why the Republicans are drying up. I mean – who’s against fiscal responsibility? Not conservatives. And yet, Bush, et.al. are responsible for some of the biggest government bloat in history. So ideology isn’t really what’s on the table.
What made the Dems viable is Obama’s way of doing things. Connecting with people, the community one might say, and getting them to send in a few bucks here and there en masse, organizing one might say.

As a result, Obama’s organization – whether he says he’s for setting children and puppies on fire in the middle of the street or whatnot – has to remain relatively close, ideologically, to a broad swath of people. By definition mainstream.
The GOP gets its funding mostly from rich folks. Corporations. Etc. Certain elements of ideology are fairly neutral to that framework, so they can be as radical as they wish. This attracts a certain base population who will vote accordingly, but for the most part on more concrete stuff, they have to vote with the folks paying the bills. So you get nasty environmental policy, massive tax cuts for very wealthy people, etc. etc.
Now they’re learning they can’t compete. That 100 million people with a few bucks is worth more than Joe Corporate or Mr. Rich guy who tabulate how much they give in terms of benefit to them. $20 k say – on a given issue. Joe Six pack doesn’t think that way. He gives because he wants to, not because he can make something off it.

So the GOP is looking to go that route, whether they consciously know it or not. They might make it. But that would require a radical shift of their more concrete policies which they'll probably consciously resist, some of them. Either way, right now they don’t have the organization or the community.

They’ve had the luxury of being radical because someone was paying the bills who didn’t care.
Some organization is going to pull it off. At that point we’ll have a more lively and accurate debate in the U.S. over issues between parties that are more closely allied with their respective demographics. They're saying "brand" like it's still some viable conceptual tool.

Maybe we’ll have a rise of fascism in the interim. It’s certainly possible. But those things always fail eventually. Shame they do so much damage meantime though.
Still – the nature of Obama’s organization should supersede most others. People who feel connected with something, invested in their government and a part of it, the whole decentralized nature of it, should resist a more authoritarian thrust pretty effectively.

Should. Any number of macroscale social variables could change that in the future.

But back in the day you churches and cathedrals being the largest buildings in the area, then it was state structures, shows of power, then office buildings and corporate towers. Now physical size is outmoded because how information is shared has changed. I think Obama’s organization is a response to this. And like any advanced organism, it should reproduce and outbreed everything else in the environment.

F'ing pizza joint, like pod people trying to pretend they're normal humans, give me a break. Just having meetings about having meetings.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:21 PM on May 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


I dunno, a cannibal party might be just the right branding for the harsh times ahead.
posted by Artw at 3:22 PM on May 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is "mainstreaming" anything like "waterboarding?" 'Cause I'm betting that the Repubs will reveal the deep, dark secrets of the American Dream sooner than some may think. Even if it kills us.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:49 PM on May 4, 2009


Apropos the word "mainstream" - in my country, this has long been a "dog-whistle" word for "conservative white". Kind of like appeals to "the silent majority", it's not a factual claim about being normal. It's an reassurance to a narrow class of voter that the speaker shares their beliefs about norms. When someone says "out of touch with the mainstream", they are telling their own tribe "does not agree with our norms". If that rhetorical strategy confuses a dopey non-tribe member about what views are mainstream, it's a bonus.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 3:51 PM on May 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


Maybe there will go some kind of Night of Long Knives purging soon. It will be more like Night of the Long Nine Irons or Night of the Long Tea Spoons or something appropriately WASPish and shit but....
posted by spicynuts at 4:11 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Night of the Long Golf Clubs.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:18 PM on May 4, 2009 [8 favorites]


what's going on in Washington right now is not reflective of the mainstream of this country

Technically, neither was the administration elected in 2000. But of course people with common sense and wisdom would remember that.
posted by wayofthedodo at 4:21 PM on May 4, 2009


That was knew what I meant by night of the nine irons, marisa but yeah
posted by spicynuts at 4:24 PM on May 4, 2009


Night of the Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:28 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm so street and leftist and rad that I didn't even know a nine iron was a type of golf club.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:29 PM on May 4, 2009


The silent majority has become the insufferably loud fringe.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:31 PM on May 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Joe the Plumber shares his wisdom:

Who do you see as the emerging leaders for the Republican Party?


There isn't one. You got the RNC talking about repackaging principles and values to make them hip and cool to the younger generation. You can't repackage them. They are what they are. You can't make what they are.

Some people have criticized the Republican Party as being the party of the rich. How can they change their image?

I don't know if they can change their image. I really don't. But, you also have to take into consideration that the Democrats say they are for people in poverty. They're not. They take advantage of all the tax breaks that the IRS has put in place for them. Tax lobbying is a billion-dollar industry up in Washington. Get rid of the tax code we have. Implement a fair tax—make it a level playing ground. People in poverty keep them in power—that's what people have to understand.

Do you have plans to run for public office?

Not right now. God hasn't said, "Joe, I want you to run."
posted by Joe Beese at 4:34 PM on May 4, 2009


Is that pizza place any good? Seriously, I'm always on the lookout for good pizza in this area. I'm used to NY/No. NJ style pizza, and nothing here so far has really compared (and frankly, most has been not so good, and I'm not just talking jumbo slice here).

I know one of the owners of pie-tanza. It is DELICIOUS wood-fired oven pizza (I am partial to the tomato and oregano pie). Their pasta is also good, and my NY-native husband says they are the only local place that gets his calzone right - cooked all the way through. They catered my babies' christening party, but that didn't make the news.... I was a little surprised to hear that they were going to be hosting this shindig, but it's good publicity for them.
posted by candyland at 4:36 PM on May 4, 2009


Night of the Long Nine Irons

Night of the Long Irons scans better, LOL.
posted by mrt at 4:51 PM on May 4, 2009


^ heh
posted by mrt at 4:51 PM on May 4, 2009


There was a young black lady GOP apologist on NPR today bemoaning how the Republicans just couldn't attract enough blacks, who dontchwknow are conservative by nature, everyone knows they defeated Prop 8.. et-fucking-c... That was this early afternoon, late afternoon John Sessions (who couldn't get appointed to a judgeship in the 80s under a Republican Congress because he is just too... well, damn... racist) is a done deal for the GOP head of the judiciary committee.

Wanna know why the GOP can't attract black voters chickie? John Sessions and David Duke spring to mind. Unfortunately for the main republican party the cure is neigh worse than he disease. Dump the overt racists, moderate on social conservative issues.. let those fuckers go form their own 3rd party where they belong, for all his faults, LBJ did the Democratic party a big favor in the long run.. Now the Republicans need to grow up and do similar.

(oh and the notion that Republicans are fiscally conservative is a big-flat-out lie, at least Republican politicians and all those weak wristed wankers who insist they are, should be slapped with a large dead fish)
posted by edgeways at 4:59 PM on May 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Good pizza in the D.C. area? Is Generous George's still there? Christ Jesus, that's some tasty pizza.
posted by John of Michigan at 5:06 PM on May 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've often wondered if the GOP tried to defuse the religious ownership of the word "marriage," and could sell the religious right on "church-specific marriage"as the proper term, would that calm some of the storm fronts for gay marriage? The Catholic church didn't recognise my mariages which took place before justices of the peace, but it didn't matter to me since I wasn't a Catholic, and the Catholics didn't hound me for not following their dogma, evwn rhough my second husband was Catholic. In their eyes I wasn't really married, but I didn't care.

this should never have become the huge issue it now is because it tries to make the lives of a sizeable part of the US population a political issue. If it were taken out of the political arena, would that open up discussion of other, more important issues?
posted by path at 5:22 PM on May 4, 2009


Joe the Plumber is exactly what’s wrong with the GOP (in contrast to Joe Beese who is right for many things).
Wannabe (or actual) rich dudes trying to make people believe their problems are the country’s problems. And that poverty is a character flaw. (Hell man, did you see more than $250,000 last year?)
People like this talk about ‘basic rights of individuals’ and then go one to espouse this ‘every man for himself’ philosophy. It’s the exact opposite of conservativism. You need a community and cooperation, a partnership among past, present and future generations and large or influential groups need to be restrained in power by institutions to maintain a stable society – how the hell that turned into this pro-corporate state crap and lip service for the ultra-wealthy in the GOP I have no idea. Oh, wait, money. Yeah.

JTP could just as easily called himself a liberal because John Locke was pro-property rights. All just window dressing really. I don’t think any of these people believe in a damned thing. But I don’t look at ideology anymore, I look at engineering. How an organization is organized, how it runs, communicates, what it runs on, etc. (which is why I’m Green instead of REP).

Seriously - Jeb Bush 2012? That's good for America? Same damned family (families if you count the Clintons) in power for decade after decade (barring one brilliant hiatus - but still, Hil's the Sec.State, yeah? Not like they're out of it. Hey, Chelsea v. Bush in 2012! Go USA!)
Too many people walking around with huge egos thinking they know better and the crap they set up is never going to end and they're never going to die.
Man, I'm far more worked up than I'd thought about this topic. But what the hell, I'm a damned genius I see that many people cooperating to build something they all get something out of is better than one guy or one family or whatever doing this top down hierarchy dynastic crap? Anyone at least read Shelley? (You think I'm kidding? Some people have no conception of irony)

I'm a young man and I'm tired of seeing these people's names in the papers. F'ing Gingrich?
We're supposed to be partners with the dead, not be ruled by them. Griping about how to get elected around gay marriage? What is this the 50s? We've got a black man as President. It's 2009. Put a stake in it man.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:34 PM on May 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Mitt Romney - the guy who made this speech at the RNC convention?

and by the way, Palin will work with Nat'l Council
Palin "looks forward to doing all she can to bring about positive change many desire and deserve, across Alaska and our great nation, through this National Council for a New America and others," Meghan Stapleton, a spokeswoman for SarahPAC, said in an e-mail.
My heavens what good news.
posted by Hammond Rye at 5:45 PM on May 4, 2009


(that's the Republican National Conventional Convention)
posted by Hammond Rye at 5:47 PM on May 4, 2009


Oh man, that pizza looks so delicious. Maybe I will pop over there right now. GoogleMaps puts it at 9.4 miles from my house. Which is on Capitol Hill.

P.S. Here are Arlington's 2008 election results. Take that, Eric Cantor.
posted by naoko at 5:47 PM on May 4, 2009


Palin "looks forward to doing all she can to bring about positive change many desire and deserve, across Alaska and our great nation, through this National Council for a New America and others"

Translation for non-Bizarro world speakers: Palin looks backward for inspiration to satiate her desire for bringing out many in the chains they deserve, across the great nations of Alaska and maybe Texas, through this Council for New Americas.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:53 PM on May 4, 2009


Mr. Cantor said meeting with ordinary folks is the key way "to begin a conversation with the American people" and explain Republican principles to anyone who will listen.

Oh, we heard you. We just don't like you.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:29 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


all you left wing types are just pissed that you didn't get invited or at least get to bush the tables when they finished eating. Rush, in the kitchen, in charge of the pies. Who picked up the tab and what kind of tip did they leave?
posted by Postroad at 6:41 PM on May 4, 2009



If the GOP would give up its unholy alliance with the religious right and focus on their core values of lower taxes, smaller government, less regulation, freedom and strong defense they would skyrocket in the polls.

Here's the thing. All their "core values" are either factually wrong or straw men.

Lower taxes -> Does not work economically. Taxes are already far too low and any sane economist knows it.
Smaller Government -> Makes no sense. A country of 350 million needs a big fucking government. This started out as a code word for "let the south segregate," then it meant "steal from the poor and give to the rich," then it meant "I'm pissed Clinton won even though he's to the right of Nixon by several important measures." I have no idea what the fuck it means now, if anything.
Less regulation -> Does not work, factually. Cf current economic crisis.
Freedom -> Because democrats are against freedom.
Strong defense -> Because democrats traditionally favor disbanding the army and having us all hold hands and sing Kum-by-fucking-ah while the Canadians pour across the border.


Without the cultural wingnut bullshit they just have nothing at this point. Because the democratic party is a perfectly sensible conservative party, and Barack Obama is shaping up to be a pretty good moderate-conservative president, just like Bill Clinton was.
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:48 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


As much as I've taken deep pleasure in the watching the Republicans implode, I know they are like cockroaches - you can never really get rid of them, - they always survive and repopulate.

Let's make some progress in health care, climate and equal rights while we can, then batten down the hatches - they'll be back...

These are the good days, my friends. Good days always end.
posted by trii at 7:07 PM on May 4, 2009


Isn't Jeb slated to become President soon? Daddy said that was the plan. And the Bush clan has been very effective in accomplishing its plans this past hundred years or so.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:33 PM on May 4, 2009


I’m very pro-life, but I’ve been shown that in practical effect certain programs (abstinence, et.al.) don’t work and policy outlawing abortion leads to more, not less, unwanted children. So…changed my mind. Ideologically – who is *for * more aborted kids? The beef is just over the larger ‘how’s really.

Hard to believe, but after an extended discussion with one of our MeFi members, it turns out that there really are people who insist that it is better to have more aborted babies than it is to give an inch toward measures that would reduce the number of abortions. "You can't reduce sin by making more sin" was the excuse being given.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:38 PM on May 4, 2009


posted by five fresh fish Isn't Jeb slated to become President soon? Daddy said that was the plan. And the Bush clan has been very effective in accomplishing its plans this past hundred years or so.

Hopefully, one thing Bush did well was to fuck up his family name so badly that anyone named Bush will not hold public office for the foreseeable future.
posted by mattdidthat at 7:41 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I still remember when poor and middle-class conservatives would demand lower taxes for the rich after declaring a war or two, preach personal freedom and abortion bans in the same sentence, and laud family values as long as they weren't on Medicaid. The liberal media always treated them as if they were full of sound reasons and common sense.
posted by Brian B. at 7:53 PM on May 4, 2009


That part of Arlington is very liberal, but it's packed with rich white people in houses (still) worth around a million bucks, so it's not too scary for Republicans who want streak the field and look cool for their fraternity brothers.

As for Pie-Tanza's pizza, it's decent, but despite being only a few blocks away we prefer the pie from Pizza Roma, which is a hole with zero pretension or atmosphere, just great pizza. Other good spots around there for thin crust pizza are Listrani's (the crust is different, but it works) and a bit further out is Luciano's in Tyson Corner I (upstairs, not in the food court). A slice from Luciano's that's been hit again in their oven before eating, getting the crust seared up to crispyness, is top notch.

Much further out in Reston/Herndon, try Pomodoro or Rubino's. Rubino's is another spot that can hit that bit of crusty heaven with slices seared just a touch during their second exposure in the oven.
posted by NortonDC at 9:04 PM on May 4, 2009


because what's going on in Washington right now is not reflective of the mainstream of this country.

yeah, they have good jobs, health insurance and know where their next meal is coming from - some of the mainstream don't

but i guess that's not the part of the mainstream the republicans care about, is it?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:17 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Reston/Herndon? And go outside the Beltway? Good heavens no.
posted by naoko at 10:24 PM on May 4, 2009


What made the Dems viable is Obama’s way of doing things. Connecting with people, the community one might say, and getting them to send in a few bucks here and there en masse, organizing one might say.

What made the dems viable was the fact that the republican party destroyed the country under bush. It just wasn't as apparent in '04 I guess. That was before Katrina, before the financial meltdown, etc. Seriously, you don't think Hillary would have beat McCain? She would have destroyed the other republicans, as would the other democratic candidates (except for like gravel, kucinich, etc)
posted by delmoi at 11:16 PM on May 4, 2009


As a Washington-Metro-Beltway-Area resident, I'd like to share the following anecdote:

A couple of weeks ago, The Georgetown Gilbert & Sullivan Society, of which I have been an active member for each of the six shows put on over the past two years, completed it's 36th year with a highly successful production of Ruddigore, one of the lesser known G&S works, but a fun one, and for which I did the lighting design, my first ever time at the helm for that, despite a lifetime of working in the theatre, and which was both innovative and fucking worked like gangbusters, if I do say so myself. I even worked in a disco ball.

Now, a year previous, I was entrenched in the kind of small, petty politics that only a group like that can provide, while running for a seat on the board. My 1L year had been awful, and in the end, I was hanging all of my hopes on the fact that this silly little hobby I had spent so much blood sweat and tears over at least wouldn't leave me hanging.

It did, and the politics surrounding those elections continued on through various complications for a whole damn week of cock-teasing. It was awful, let me tell you.

Fast forward back to this year, and I've been - against my better judgement - convinced to run again. This time it's personal. This is Rocky II, god-dammit! In the fall, as Master Electrician, I almost single-handedly managed the most foolishly ambitious lighting design ever imagined for Hart Auditorium for our production of Urinetown now generally agreed by students and alumni alike to be the greatest production ever performed by the group in it's history. During the winter show of Stoppard's Undiscovered Country, I got to bring the laughs as Gustl, saving what might have otherwise been a complete misfire in terms of knowing who our audience was. And then the aforementioned Ruddigore design. I was in place this time around.

And once the time came around, after all of the tech gifts had been given out and al of the toasts by the outgoing board had been made, my name was the final one called for the new board.

Justice was served, I had won, and the previous year's resentment was washed away so quickly and completely as to make me feel embarrassed that it had ever existed at all.

I've wasted y'all's time with this story only because of this:

There were WAY more than 50 people there.

Thank you.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:19 PM on May 4, 2009 [11 favorites]


Let's not put too much stock in the 2008 election. It's not like the electorate stood up and said, "We have had enough!" All that happened was that the economy started to tank and people were feeling it in their wallets. So they voted against the incumbent party.

This explains 2006 how?
posted by DU at 4:25 AM on May 5, 2009


Navelgazer: "There were WAY more than 50 people there."

How good was the food?
posted by Joe Beese at 5:17 AM on May 5, 2009


As for Pie-Tanza's pizza, it's decent, but despite being only a few blocks away we prefer the pie from Pizza Roma, which is a hole with zero pretension or atmosphere, just great pizza. Other good spots around there for thin crust pizza are Listrani's (the crust is different, but it works) and a bit further out is Luciano's in Tyson Corner I (upstairs, not in the food court). A slice from Luciano's that's been hit again in their oven before eating, getting the crust seared up to crispyness, is top notch.

Thanks for the recommendations! I do like Listrani's and Luciano's (though I don't work out that way anymore, so who knows when I'll get back out there). I'll try to check out Pizza Roma at some point.
posted by inigo2 at 5:56 AM on May 5, 2009


Could this be the point at which the GOP becomes populist, as smedlyman implies? Businesses are failing, restructuring, or going back to basics left and right. Obama is calling to close the Cayman Islands corporate tax loopholes, with popular support. Some of the shine is coming off the corporate apple. Is it possible that we could see a reduction in the political sway of corporate entities? Because if so, the logical extension of that is that the balance of power shifts -- if ever so slightly -- toward the people, and that the GOP, which relies so heavily on corporate backing, has to find both its funding and its voice in its people. That seems like the best route to revival for the GOP, and could only be an improvement for human beings everywhere.
posted by notashroom at 9:19 AM on May 5, 2009


How good was the food?

It was a damn fine potluck, actually.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:55 AM on May 5, 2009


You know, when I coached little league soccer, at the end of the season the teams that lost got to go to the big pizza buffet and every kid got a little trophy for participating. The team that won got to control both houses of Congress, the Executive branch, and got to put up whatever godless leftist abortionist they felt like for the Supreme Court for the next four to eight years (at least).

Good times.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:10 AM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pollomacho: Oh, so you were in the trilateral commission championship as well?
posted by qvantamon at 11:13 AM on May 5, 2009


I'm waiting for the first leading Republican to do to these grandstanding goons what Clinton once did to the extremists in his own ranks: reject them, excoriate them, remind people that they do not have a monopoly on conservatism and that decent right-of-center people actually find their vision repellent. And then to articulate a positive vision for taking this country forward, expanding liberty, exposing corruption, reducing government's burden, unwinding ungovernable empire, and defending civic virtue without going on Jihads against other people's vices.
If today's "conservatives" spent one tenth of the time saying what they were for rather than who they're against, they might get somewhere. But the truth is: whom they hate is their core motivation right now. That's how they define themselves. And as long as they do, Americans will rightly and soundly reject them.

posted by caddis at 3:19 PM on May 5, 2009




Grmph
posted by Artw at 5:05 PM on May 5, 2009


Do they really think that they're like the 4 people from Heroes, sitting in a cafe, trying to save the world again?
posted by iamkimiam at 9:40 AM on May 6, 2009


As long as the Republican mindset is "How can we get people to swallow our top-down, paternalistic, moralistic, hypocritical method of governance" instead of "let's actually listen and find out what people want," they're going to keep failing.

We have always been at war with Eastasia winning against the ineffectual Republican Party.

It's an upbeat revision, true, and avoids some unpleasant history. But since you're still living in the effects of said history, perhaps a bit premature?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:07 AM on May 6, 2009


When I visited D.C. last week, I walked by the Republican Committee offices and they had a sign on the door, to the effect: "Doorbell broken. Please Knock Loudly."
posted by yeti at 2:20 PM on May 6, 2009


Bell out of order. Please knock.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:41 PM on May 6, 2009


« Older Trimpin: Musical Sculptor   |   Condi Criminal Conspiracy... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post