Is there currently any sane, intellectual leadership in the Republican party? If so, who?

I don’t mean this question facetiously. I’m completely serious. The GOP right now appears to completely subsumed in a giant temper tantrum without any intellectual leadership or clear ideological focus other than pure obstructionism (as per the completely gratuitous shutdown of Senate committee meetings going on right now) and full court press ad hominems against Obama and Congressional Dems. Actual incitements to violence are becoming less veiled. Sarah Palin has a graphic showing a map with crosshairs sighted on the districts of Democrats who voted for HRC, and the encouragement to “reload” as part of the text.

Democrats right now are being besieged with death threats and vandalism against their offices and cars. Compassionate, pro-life Christians are sending death threats to Bart Stupak, and leaving obscenity ridden voice mails wishing death on his family.

No one in the GOP is stepping up right now to be a voice of reason and calm. Ludicrous, apocalyptic language about the “destruction of the country” and the 'shredding of the Constitution" rule the day. The most responsibility we’re seeing from Republican leaders is some tepid denunciations of the violence and threats, quickly followed by justifications for them.

So who is the adult in the Republican party right now. We libs keep getting admonished by our Republican friends (not all of whom are whackos), not to judge the whole party by its nutters, and that’s fair enough, but who in the leadership right now is not one of the nutters? It’s clearly not Boner. He’s one of the endtimers. Palin? Please. Romney? I don’t know. He’s not as aggressively crazy as some of the others, but I don’t get the impression he can reign anybody in. McCain? McCain seems to have become completely embittered about getting his ass kicked by Obama and no longer makes any effort to parent his party, and has joined right in with the tantrum.

Who else is there? Who is the brains of this outfit right now? What would Reagan say about this current behavior?

Say what you will about the Dems, but you can’t say they don’t know who their boss is, or that they don’t have intellectual leadership and direction.

If you’re a non-crazy Republican, who’s going to be your Reagan? Hell, at this point even an another Dubya would look reassuring.

The front page of MSNBC.com right now has two videos up: McCain condemns threats, slams bill; and Cantor: reckless to use threats for political gain.

I can’t watch the videos at work though.

Cantor was attacking Dems for “politicing” the violence. He actually said it was “dangerous” for the Dems to complain that people are throwing rocks through their windows and threatening to muder their chikdren.

Good for McCain for condemning the violence, but he’s still all for the obstructionist tactics in the senate.

Well our Gov. Rick Perry has condemned the violence… and even said that he welcomes some of the changes in the healthcare bill. Yeah, I can hardly believe it myself.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6929640.html

How lunatic do you have to be to make Rick Perry seem reasonable?

I don’t really have anything good to say about the guy, but apparently Mitch McConnell was against the ‘shut down all business after 2 p.m. tactic’ that was used the other day, and won’t allow it to be used any further.

The GOP is trying to please the Tea Party movement and harness its passion, so there’s not much happening in the way of leadership. They’re trying to do what they think those people want. They have a tiger by the tail.

This article says that members of Congress who are receiving threats are being advised not to be secretive about them to see if bringing them out in the open will settle it down.

http://www.kansascity.com/2010/03/24/1835058/two-area-congressmen-among-democrats.html

Predictable that now when Democrats complain about the overheated rhetoric, teabagger misbehavior, and threats of violence, some of the Repubs are crying out with “ZOMG! It’s been happenin’ to us, too! We be victims here!”

Which Democrat leaders in any forum or medium have been inciting their supporters with demonizing rhetoric that is anywhere near that of the GOP and teabaggers?

I don’t think the GOP strategy is tactically viable if they truly want to take back the Senate or House. Time will tell. But the past suggests that crybaby tantrums don’t go over well with mainstreams Americans.

The most sane and intellectual leadership in the GOP right now probably comes from the relatively moderate conservative columnists (print only), such as David Frum and David Brooks.

I think it is a viable strategy (unfortunately).

I agree Americans do not like whiners but tea baggers are not seeing themselves as whiners. They are seeing themselves as decrying the socialist takeover, one world government the Dems obviously want. They believe they are the last bulwark against this tyranny and proud of it. To them playing spoiler in every way imaginable is what you do to the enemy. In short they are proud of themselves and the republicans in office are aligning with that.

Dems on the other hand I think are, by-and-large, disillusioned. They thought there was a real chance to get some meaningful reforms done and Obama & Co. have largely failed to deliver. The job situation sucks, Wall Street is running amok with a wink-and-a-nod from government, economy is crap, wages are stagnant, back-room deals galore and health care reform was a knock-down, drag-out, endless battle for a mediocre bill. And this all the while having the executive and both houses of congress. Obama has squandered the energy he built in his campaign. His jaw dropping adherence to getting bi-partisan support in the face of the overtly obstructionist republican party boggles the mind.

As such the tea baggers are energized and Dems are weary. That does not bode well for November.

The economy is picking up, jobless claims continue to shrink. And as the economy slowly but surely improves, the anger will subside (for the bulk; for a select few, it will always be there).

Just like in the 60s, the extreme hippy/anti-government fringe alienated the middle, and so the Tea Baggers will do the same. Middle America doesn’t like extremism, at least not in any sustained capacity.

So, what you are decrying from McCain is that he isn’t in lock step with the Dems in thinking that this is a good plan and is using the only legitimate means at his disposal, given the current balance of power, to fight something he obviously doesn’t agree with??

Did you think that the Dems were being obstructionist when they fought the Republicans when the shoe was on the other foot? Or was that ok then, but not ok now?

Agree completely with this. The GOP has a tiger by the tail, and they can’t let go (though they are inevitably going to get thrown off). It’s going to seriously come back to bite them in the ass (to stay with the tiger metaphor).

-XT

I believe that if the GOP doesn’t cater to the tea partiers, the tea partiers will formally split and run their own far-right candidates. Individual races aside, this means only more Democrats in office, as conservative votes would be split. I think the 'Pubs know this and are hoping a the capitulation to the fringe is only temporary (it won’t be).

:dubious: Oh, come on. 2001-2007, the Dems were never as obstructionist as the Pubs are being now, in fact they were hardly obstructionist at all. Only time they grew some balls was over a few federal court appointment confirmations. Otherwise, it was, “Thank you, sir, may I have another?”

I think Dems, by and large, are pretty happy with the HRC legislation. Of course it’s not everything they wanted, but it’s a near miracle that Obama got anything through at all, given the hysterical, saturation onslaught of corporate and media propaganda he had to fight against.

The stock market and the Obama’s approval ratings have both gotten a bounce as well. Obama’s at 51% in the Gallup today (which I think is the first day that the rolling, three day poll reflects responses taken after the passage of the HCR bill on sunday).

Obama himself says, “Go for it…be my guest.”

I think the Republicans would be stepping on their own dicks by trying to campaign on taking people’s health care away, or on dumping their kids from their health care plans. It would be childishly easy to counter a campaign like that just by specifying exactly what they’re saying they want to repeal.

The whole idea that they could repeal it, even if they took back both houses (which they won’t come close to doing for even one house) is a non-starter anyway. Two can play the filibuster game, and Obama would instantly veto it anyway. Who do they think they’re kidding? Who could be stupid enough to think they’d actually be able to repeal anything?

Well sure, that’s probably why we have Social Security reform a la privatized accounts…

-XT

What I’m decrying is that McCain has said taht the Republicans will flat out refuse to work with Dems on anythng for the rest of the session. “Lockstep” my ass. He isn’t willing to even have a discussion.

When the fuck did the Dems ever refuse to work with Republicans for an entires session? Cite? When did they threaten to filibuster any and all legislation, even legislation they agreed with? Cite? What are you talking about. There was never any shoe on another foot?

What I think some people are decrying is McCain’s apparent shift from a conservative elder stateman to wannabe demagogue.

Please cite when Democrats were quite this obstructionist for the sake of being obstructionist.

…and the turn around will be spun as evidence of the progressive, reformative, fiscally sound policies of George Bush, which only needed time to ripen for the gains to materialize (just as republicans credit Reagan for the booming Clinton economy).

He’s not fighting anything with his actions. Slowing down work in the senate isn’t going to get the Dems to reverse themselves on the law. That’s just crazy-talk.
If he’s got some frustrations, let him go beat up some hookers, or whatever it is that pubbies do to let off steam. Fucking over the armed forces in the middle of a war is not how adults handle their personal problems.

From McCain’s perspective, they DID try and work with the Dems on this. Early on the Republicans were at least nominally involved. However, this was rammed down their collective throats despite the fact that none of them (as in zero) voted for it. How would YOU feel if that were the case?

I think it’s a bad tactic. If the Republicans were smart then they would have come out with alternative plans, instead of just egging on their base with a bunch of false bullshit. But I can certainly see why they feel as they do at this point. If you can’t even see that then that says more about you than it does about them.

Apples to oranges, since afaik the Republicans never enjoyed a large enough majority to simply push through whatever they wanted regardless of whether or not every single Dem voted against something. So, they HAD to work with the Dems, at least at some level, if they were going to get anything done…which means that the things they were proposing either died or they were, by definition, compromise plans that had some bi-partisan support at some level at least.

So, you are right…this isn’t a case of the shoe being on the other foot, since the Republicans never had the same chance to force feed whatever they wanted through regardless of whether the opposition party supported it or not. Thanks for the correction.

-XT