Republicans fail to assess national mood

Newt Gingrich wants a colony on the moon by 2020. When Rick Perry was in the race, he managed to forget his plans for the Environmental Protection Agency in front of a national audience. And don’t even get me started on Rick Santorum.

Over the last couple of months, the Republican nominees have made American politics seem like a joke, pushing the Republican Party so far right that they’ve alienated most moderate voters.

They’ve done such a great job at being terrible, in fact, that I’ve come up with a theory: The Republican nominees are secretly Saturday Night Live cast members planning their most elaborate sketch to date.

Think about it. SNL has been making fun of politicians since the show first went on air, and in the 2008 election, Tina Fey’s performance as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin made for one of the most memorable performances to date.

How could SNL ever top that? By actually running cast members in the primaries.

Improbable as my theory is, it does raise an important question: What has happened to American politics?

The Republican Party has made such an absurd effort to be the opposite of President Barack Obama administration that it has thrown reason out the window.

The party’s stubborn refusal to consider tax hikes — Romney, for example, takes pride in the fact that he cut taxes 19 times as the governor of Massachusetts — points to an impractically narrow political platform.

Whether or not you see tax increases as the best option, our country is more than $15 trillion in debt. Tax increases should at least be one option.

In an effort to further discredit the president, the Republican Party has even blamed President Barack Obama for problems outside his control. For example, while Romney campaigned in Wisconsin, he claimed that Obama “gets full … blame for what’s happened to this economy and what’s happened to gasoline prices under his watch.”

What Romney doesn’t acknowledge is that a world market for oil sets gas prices. Rising gas prices in America are in no way indicative of Obama’s performance.

Some of the nominees, lacking valid platforms on economic issues, have chosen to focus on social concerns in an effort to frame Obama as immoral.

Santorum has called for a return to “traditional American values.” When I think of traditional American values, I think of hard work and personal accountability. For Santorum, however, these “values” are predominately focused on shunning gay marriage and promoting religion.

It’s almost as if the Republican nominees are in a race to be the most stereotypical, by-the-book conservatives to gain the support of voters unsatisfied with Obama’s progress.

Given the irrelevant nature of the Republican Party’s attacks, Obama’s frustration is understandable. In response to a recent republican budget plan passed in the house, Obama claimed that the Republican Party has become so narrow-minded and radical that even Ronald Reagan would be unable to win a Republican Primary today.

Hopefully, the Republican nominees will move closer to the middle and flesh out their agendas to make the upcoming election more engaging. If they fail to do this and Obama wins, at least they might have backup careers as comedians.


Burke Gibson is a freshman majoring in economics.


6 replies
  1. Trojan Alumn
    Trojan Alumn says:

    Funny…I don’t recall the liberals describing how gas prices are set when President Bush was in office. How can you point fingers at republicans when you seem to be supporting the worst president in the history of this country. At least give Palin credit when she said, “We don’t need somebody in the white house who is going to ‘find himself’ for the next four years.”
    It is obvious that this man was extremely under qualified to take on this job and even my liberal friends admit they made a mistake voting for him.
    Obama has surrounded himself with left wing academic people who think they know best how to run this country. This country was built on the backs of hard working independent people and this guy wants to CHANGE it into a country of dependent, the government knows whats best for you, people.

  2. Kenneth Haye
    Kenneth Haye says:

    Just another Pathetic diatribe from an Ideological Zealot.
    Have you ever considered moving to Cuba?
    You don’t appreciate what you have & likely never will.

    • Henneth Kaye
      Henneth Kaye says:

      Just another Pathetic (yes we capatilize the p) comment from a (big I!!)relevant (Triple wamee capitol: P!!)erson. have you ever considered making Sense?
      You don’t appreciate what you are & likely never will.
      Smiley Face :)!!

  3. thekatman
    thekatman says:

    Burke… good assessment of how the Re[publican Party is “screwing the pooch” so to speak. However, one of the main rules in politics, especially at this level is for the candidate to run as far right or left as they can stomach it for the primaries, then once nominated to represent their party, move towards the middle.

    As a lifelong Democrat, I am very upset with what Obama has done to this country and the fact that he and his team of advisors have made so many rookie mistakes. I didn’t’ vote for him and won’t in Nov, no matter who the Republican nominee is. Obama is working towards the financial, social and emotional destruction of our country, and yes, you don’t want the country to be mired in the old ways of the establishment, but don’t you want to know that all the work, blood, sweat and tears our forefathers have put into building this country and keep us safe and the world safe from our enemies is going to continue? I was young once, but I was smart enough, back in the day, to understand that we don’t want to give away the lifestyle and freedoms that my grandfather and father, and your great grandfathers fought for in WWII. The country that was built by what is known as The Greatest Generation That Ever Lived, ie, the post WWII Americans, is now being completely taken apart by a man whose plans for Hope and Change are not beneficial to the citizens of this country, but detrimental to our way of life and future. What is important for everyone to know is that we do not know who this man is. What we do know is that he is going to give away our missile secrets to the Russians if reelected; he blackmailed Netanyahu to not attack Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities until after the election and if the Minister agreed with Obama, that he would provide Israel with all of the high tech weapons and bunker buster bombs needed to carry out the mission… to name a few things other than the social/racial divisionary tactics he is embracing.

    Yes, the Republicans has had too much narrative about religion, but that’s because Obama has attacked religion. People are very concerned over their Christian/Judeo religious rights being taken away by this Administration. What about the Muslim rights? Obamacare provides for Muslim rights to be adhered to, but not anyone else’s rights. Why is that? Why is it that Muslims do not have to participate in Obamacare, and nor does the federal gov employee and Congress, yet we are required to participate or be fined? That sounds like a Muslim tactic of Sharia Law IMHO.

    Yes, the Republicans have made it known that they’re against gay marriage and abortion. That’s their party platform, but hey…. what are the concerns of today. Not gay marriage nor abortion. It’s how to get this country back on its feet economically, to be the economic power it once was, to provide a business friendly environment so that these businesses can create jobs for you, your friends, family and everyone else who is either unemployed, underemployed or not working at all and just gave up. What about those whose entire lifestyle is based on living on federal and state entitlement money? That lifestyle choice has to be ended. Entitlement programs were designed to provide our citizens with help during hard times, until you could get back on your feet, after losing a job, being hurt, etc. All Obama wants to do is to create more entitlement programs, so that these people become dependant wards of the state and not self-sufficient citizens. This is the evil side of entitlement programs. The government now can control what you do, and can manipulate your vote. Once you’re hooke don federal money as a means of support, you’re hooked for a very long time and therefore, you are a slave to the government and its money. this must stop. At least, the Republican platform is to end entitelment programs, as best as can be reasonable, but also before doing so, to create the oppty for the people whose lives depend on this money to learn skills, get a job… any job at this point, and learn to be self sufficient. there is no reason why it is considered acceptable for a woman to have a bunch of kids, from many men who do not support the kids, and live at a federally subsidized home, have the grandmother become the foster parent of her own grandkids, and both mom and grandmother bringing in $100,0000+ of federal and state entitlement money…. and drive a Mercedes E350, both. Think I’m kidding? I know this example as fact.

    The Repubs want to change this mentality and help these folks move beyond being slaves to the government. This is what the Dems has lost sight of over the past 30 years. And yes, the Repubs are not the same party your parents were affiliated with either… It’s a shame,

    Let’s hope the Republicans get their act together soon and mount an effective campaign to beat Obama in Nov, because if Obama wins, he will be free to do whatever he wants, politically, and I am concerned that it won’t be pretty.

    As an aside. have you ever thought about why Hillary Clinton was magically pulled out of contention for the Dem nominee in 2008 and an absolute unknown just surpased her in the polls and won the election?

    think about it for a while. it’s not what we’ve been led to believe…..

    • Amanda
      Amanda says:

      Oh hi ‘katman’, as a woman I’d say that women’s rights ARE a ‘concern of the day’, and are tightly related to economic concerns. Lately the Republicans have been passing all number of bills that affect women’s economic status. For example, Scott Walker of Wisconsin repealed the equal pay enforcement act, even though women in his state only get paid 3/4 as much as a man for the same job. Similarly, the House just passed a bill that would make it legal for a doctor to refuse to treat you in an emergency setting if it conflicted with their morals, or even transfer you to a different hospital. Which means that I could be paying for health insurance each month, and then show up at an ER and be left to die because the doctor doesn’t want to treat me. That’s not good economics (and it’s not good for my life). Similarly, the Blunt amendment was effectively an employer-enforced tax on birth control, even when used for non-pregnancy prevention purposes. Employees pay for the health insurance they get through their employer, so you shouldn’t be able to make these women pay AGAIN if their employer is super-religious. Women’s rights, easy access to affordable birth control, and the legalization of abortion, etc, are inherently tied to our economic interests, because it sure is hard to be independent and provide for your family if you are being paid less than a man, are charged more for your health insurance than a man (and now, with no guarantee of emergency services), and people are constantly trying to shut down avenues of access to low-cost contraceptives (ie, Planned Parenthood).

  4. Christopher Ganiere
    Christopher Ganiere says:

    California also has plenty of debt, but we also have some of the highest tax rates in the Western USA.

    Looking across our worldwide competitors, we have gone from a low tax nation, full of innovation and prosperous, to a high tax nation where Google, Apple, & Microsoft spend millions of dollars to avoid billions in taxes. Lowering taxes makes it less desirable to use accountants, lawyers and other nations to avoid taxes. It is a question of economics.

    As for spending, it has increase an unprecedented amount in the last eight years. Wages and pensions for federal workers have gone from competitive to unsustainable.

    The answer is to evaluate what we as a people want our federal government to do. We need to confront the fact that the money for everything that federal government does, comes from us, the tax payers, and that the federal government’s costs for everything is significantly higher because of the massive borrowing (about 40 cents of every dollar spent).

    How long can we borrow and spend 40 cents of every dollar? Eventually there will be no buyers of our debts, as it will become increasingly obvious that we don’t intend to pay the money back.

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