The Republican Establishment Is Absolutely Nuts

Seriously. This isn’t a problem of the ‘fringe’ of the party. By way of Oliver Willis, look at what the Layfayette County Republican Central Committee (of Missouri) has erected on a billboard:
calltowar
This isn’t a couple of guys or a crazy businessman–it’s an official division of the Republican Party.
“Prepare for war?” Because Obama might raise the amount paid on income above $250,000 by four percentage points? Or pass a healthcare bill that’s weaker than a majority of American would like (or realize)? I also like how the sign capitalizes “Beast”, when using Grover Norquist’s phrase “starve the beast”: very ominous and biblical.
And while we’re on the subject of starving the beast, if you guys really believe this horseshit, how about you dumbass motherfuckers give back the $16,219,350 Lafayette county has received from the ARRA?
It really is no different than creationism: they spout mindless catechisms that are repeated over and over, even though they make no sense. It also resembles creationism in that any sort of process doesn’t matter–there is a predetermined outcome, and inconsistencies in reaching those outcomes don’t matter. Because if a Democrat had said in response to Little Lord Pontchartrain’s disastrous policies and his re-election, “If we can’t get change through the ballot, we’ll use the bullet”–which is exactly what that sign means–they would have been called traitors.
The Republican party is out of its collective fucking mind.

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34 Responses to The Republican Establishment Is Absolutely Nuts

  1. NewEnglandBob says:

    “The Republican party is out of its collective fucking mind.”
    That sums it up perfectly.

  2. Cats101 says:

    Hi! Could someone point me to the blogs where there’s actual science as opposed to powerless people venting their spleen at some wacko political group in some flyover state? KTHX!

  3. Pierce R. Butler says:

    Cats101 – Your concern is noted.
    Does the other side of the billboard proclaim the sacredness of every human life?

  4. William says:

    So the Republican party is advocating illegally withholding your taxes?

  5. mark says:

    Cats101 – The blog says: “Mad rantings about politics, evolution, and microbiology.” What is your complaint?

  6. Brian says:

    Come on kids, you’re supposed to ignore the troll, not feed it.

  7. Eric Lund says:

    A couple of questions here.
    (1) What part of Missouri is Lafayette County, and how are the local (as opposed to statewide) politics? (The Fired Up Missouri post mentions I-70, but that could be anything between Kansas City and St. Louis.) Are they talking about Democratic or Republican incumbents around there? I’m just wondering whether they have Democratic representatives there or are likely to score an own goal.
    (2) Are they seriously advocating that people evade taxes? Whatever happened to “Render unto Caesar” and all that?

  8. Katharine says:

    Are they advocating treason yet?

  9. Katharine says:

    You know, the hilarious thing about every authoritarian establishment or opposition is the fact that they’ve always been sexually repressive. The Republicans are no exception.

  10. Art says:

    And yet their methods and rhetoric have, and likely will continue to, work.
    It isn’t about honesty, or truth, or logic, or consistency. It certainly doesn’t respect the intellect of the viewer. It isn’t intended to. It is pure, bloody minded, sophistry intended to elicit a set of responses in a particular set of people to gain a particular outcome. It is entirely a means to an end.
    It is their answer to the age-old conundrum of how far are you willing to go to support a cause. Are you willing to lie, cheat, steal or otherwise use methods outside the ideals you espouse to support the larger cause? Do the ends justify the means?
    Which is one of the reasons that the Left gets rolled every time. The Left, at least nominally, respect the people it is trying to influence and doesn’t wish to get our hands dirty touching the tools of manipulation. The Left sees hypocrisy and internal contradiction as flaws. The Right see them as signs of dedication. Dedication enough to do whatever is necessary to get the job done and faith that transgressions committed today will be forgiven once the larger cause is successful.
    It is, in their own words, the blood of Christ that washes away sin. A holy book that both tells its followers to bash the heads of babies against the wall and to love thy neighbor. A faith so wide, screwed up, that the priest can bugger young boys one minute and hand out the Eucharist the next. And see no contradiction.

  11. D. C. Sessions says:

    Come on kids, you’re supposed to ignore the troll, not feed it.

    But it’s so cute — can’t we keep it?

  12. Bill says:

    >
    > What part of Missouri is Lafayette County, …?
    >
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lafayette_County,_Missouri

  13. george.w says:

    But it’s so cute — can’t we keep it?

    Oh sure, it’s cute now, but just wait until it’s huge and dropping comment splats all over every thread. Who’s going to clean that up?

  14. zz12 says:

    Bill,
    I think you’re missing the point. I agree that the sign is silly, but “Because Obama might raise the amount paid on income above $250,000 by four percentage points?” isn’t what most of the rage from those who attend Tea Parties (and those of us who are angry at our government in general) is about. Obama has accelerated the Bush administration’s spending habits and has plunged this nation into a debt that will destroy us. The only way to eliminate debt at the federal level is to print massive amounts of money (already in progress) to create inflation, and inflation IS a tax on everyone—not just those in a high tax bracket.

  15. zz12 says:

    *Mike
    not Bill

  16. JThompson says:

    @zz12: And yet we heard nary a peep from the Tea Baggers about Bush the Lesser’s spending. Funny how out of control spending wasn’t a problem until a dark skinned man with a D after his name got elected, innit?
    As long as it was a white guy that sported an R that wanted to kill Muslims, it didn’t matter how much we spent. Why, spending ourselves into poverty for that cause was practically synonymous with patriotism, according to the tea baggers.

  17. JSmith says:

    @JThompson: As long as Republicans can claim exclusivity on patriotism, they will be able to get away with this crap.

  18. dean says:

    “Obama has accelerated the Bush administration’s spending habits and has plunged this nation into a debt that will destroy us”
    Fail. The majority of the current debt, and the debt for some time, comes from Bush’s policies. Where were all these assholes when debt was flying during bush’s time?
    Oh, they were supporting it. Never mind.

  19. Could someone point me to the blogs where there’s actual science as opposed to powerless people venting their spleen at some wacko political group in some flyover state? KTHX!

    Here you go!

  20. JasonTD says:

    Sorry, dean, that’s the not the fail you think it is. The failure of the Republicans during the Bush years to rein in spending does not give Obama and congressional Democrats a pass to continue the same mistake. The Gross Public Debt is likely to exceed the peak levels it was at during WWII as a percentage of GDP in the next few years. Only, there is not going to be any post-war boom in economic growth that will allow us to bring deficits back to zero on average while still growing spending. More and more of government spending is going to go toward paying interest on all of that debt, especially if interest rates increase in the future. And that seems like a certainty, given how low they have been for so long.
    If the current Administration and Congress had any seriousness in dealing with this issue, then you might have a point. But they don’t, so you don’t.

  21. dean says:

    jason: what part of “approximately 93-94% of the current debt belongs to bush” doesn’t make sense? saying it is somehow the fault of the current president, after less than one year in office, is ludicrous.

  22. JasonTD says:

    Looking it up at the treasury department, the total public debt outstanding the day before Bush was inaugurated (1/19/01) was $5,727,776,738,304.64. The day Obama was sworn in, it was $10,626,877,048,913.08, and as of Friday, it was 12,011,787,382,266.61. Obviously, Obama inherited all of the debt that existed when he was sworn in . Also, some of the debt that accumulated this year was from spending in the pipe already. (Although, it should be remembered that he was in Congress for 4 years before his inauguration, with his party controlling Congress for 2 of those 4 years.) So, it is certainly fair to say that Obama’s administration is only responsible for a small percentage of the current debt.
    However, I have no clue where you found that 93-94% number you attribute to Bush. It looks completely made up given what I found above, unless you really mean the FY2009 deficit, rather than debt. Besides, you completely missed my point, which was that the current administration and Congress have us on track to more than double the debt again in 10 years. (See this from the White House OMB for 2010.)
    Whoever is responsible for this mess, Obama and Co. are more concerned with fulfilling their wish-lists rather than dealing with the reality of the debt situation.

  23. dean says:

    Jason, I would have more sympathy for you and others (tea folks) had there been a hint of concern from you during the previous 8 years: i can’t speak about you, but i don’t remember protests like this in the past (or threats of violence, or anything else). the conclusion: the “concern” now has to do with the perceived problem originating with the”wrong” party, not with the spending itself.

  24. Gingerbaker says:

    “…which was that the current administration and Congress have us on track to more than double the debt again in 10 years. (See this from the White House OMB for 2010.)”

    Well, that is actually an improvement on where Bush was taking us, if one can believe any fiscal numbers coming out of that (or this) administration. Honest economists were talking about 50 T debts. The end of civilization.
    And evidently the teabaggers missed an important memo. It had to do with the fact that we are in a depression, thanks to King George. If we had not squandered a few trillion here and there recently, our economy would have disappeared. History, if we care to listen to it, tells us that we must spend our way out of a depression.
    I agree with you about the debt. But who, on either side of the aisle (with the few exceptions being the progressive caucus) has dared to speak of the largest spending boondoggle in the history of our planet, and the one area of government spending we can slash with no real downside – our obscene military budget?
    When the teabaggers start talking turkey about debt control, and start talking about not wasting one trillion dollars a year, decade in decade out, on toys that kill I will start listening.

  25. ursa major says:

    “Starve the Beast”
    I never give money to Rethuglicans or their causes.
    “Vote out incumbents”
    I always vote against the Rethuglican candidate.
    “Prepare for war”
    I prefer dealing with people by reason, but if the brown-shirted blue-noses come pounding on my door … well, there is the rifle.
    IS that what they mean?

  26. Troublesome Frog says:

    Whoever is responsible for this mess, Obama and Co. are more concerned with fulfilling their wish-lists rather than dealing with the reality of the debt situation.

    I don’t think it’s all that reasonable to jump on Obama for stimulus and bailout funds that were:
    1) more or less necessary to do something about the largest economic downturn since the Great Depression
    and
    2) borrowed at a negligible interest rate.
    Yes, if you project that we’ll be doing stimulus borrowing and spending into infinity, you have a major problem. That’s not reality, though. The government has a huge pile of programs and liabilities that have been there and would continue to be there regardless of Obama’s activities.
    Fixing our budget outlook is going to take a long time and more than one presidential administration. I’m really not inclined to listen to ridiculous claims from people who didn’t seem to bother looking at our budget for the last decade who are suddenly panicked now that their guy isn’t in charge any more.

  27. Mr Isa says:

    I have friends and relatives and in-laws who call themselves “independents” and tell me they don’t vote straight Democratic or Republican and whenever I tell them how bad the GOP is they keep telling me, “See, I’m an independent; I don’t care what you say, I’m not Democratic or Republican.” And they keep drinking the Kool-Aid of the Right Wing (some don’t even know what I’m talking about when I use the phrase “drink the Kool-Aid” and when I explain about Jim Jones and the People’s Temple, I get a blank stare …) and I can imagine their reaction to even this. Not outrage; just a dismissive shrug and an “Oh well, I’m still independent; they’re entitled to their own opinion. And besides WHO CALLED YOU A TRAITOR BETWEEN 2001 AND 2009?”

  28. JasonTD says:

    Jason, I would have more sympathy for you and others (tea folks) had there been a hint of concern from you during the previous 8 years: i can’t speak about you, but i don’t remember protests like this in the past (or threats of violence, or anything else). the conclusion: the “concern” now has to do with the perceived problem originating with the”wrong” party, not with the spending itself.

    Since you were correct that you can’t speak about my past actions/voting patterns/speech/opinions regarding government spending, let me tell you a little bit. I have always been of the opinion that deficit spending by governments should be a response to an emergency only, whether that emergency is a recession, natural disaster, a defensive military action, or whatever. Basic government services and spending need to remain within the means of government to raise money. Government shouldn’t be paying ordinary ongoing expenses with borrowed money any more than you or I should be paying rent on our credit cards. It is just not sustainable.
    It is certainly a good idea to borrow money in order to invest in something when you can expect it to give you a return greater than the money borrowed (plus the interest you pay). The problem with that on a governmental scale is that it leads to a lot of bad habits, since politicians, in general, are always looking for something new and shiny.
    So, I cheered when the combination of Clinton in the White House and Republicans in Congress (coupled with rapid economic growth) brought deficits down to nothing. And when Bush and Gore were debating what to do with the projected surplus at the time, I was wary of both of their statements because they both were planning on spending that money or giving big tax cuts as if it was guaranteed to arrive. (It didn’t.)
    In my case, at least, my position doesn’t have anything to do with which party is in control. I’ve always been a ‘deficit hawk’, I suppose. I’m sure that the tea party folks are largely driven by what Democrats are planning on spending it on, rather than that by general concern over debt. But not having pure motives doesn’t make the position itself wrong, does it?
    Projected costs in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are going to overwhelm the entire Federal budget over the course of our lifetimes if we continue ‘business as usual’. The truth of the matter is that government spending is on an unsustainable path, but no one wins elections promising to deal with problems 10+ years into the future, do they? Promise everyone the moon now (whether it’s tax cuts with no cuts in spending, or spending increases with no new taxes on the poor or middle class) and let the future take care of itself. That’s a politician’s philosophy. And it won’t change until we, as voters, demand more from them.

  29. JasonTD says:

    Gingerbaker,

    I agree with you about the debt. But who, on either side of the aisle (with the few exceptions being the progressive caucus) has dared to speak of the largest spending boondoggle in the history of our planet, and the one area of government spending we can slash with no real downside – our obscene military budget?

    I have no doubt that there is a large amount of waste in the military budget, but I think that it is naive to believe that we could do with a much smaller military overall with “no real downside.” Our military capabilities are a big part of what gives us our influence in global diplomacy. (The other major component being our economic power. As much as we might wish it were otherwise, moral authority means little, even when we had much to use.) Our strong military allows us to offer our protection to allies in exchange for cooperation on other issues of interest to us. In a sense, they then get a ‘free ride’ by not having to spend as much on their own defense. So, I think that we could certainly spend less overall by spending it smarter and still have the same level of capabilities. However, I think that our position as a military ‘superpower’ is worth the investment at the present time, given other large military powers (China and Russia) that don’t always share our interests.
    Troublesome Frog,
    I thought I was careful not to blame Obama for the current debt. I may not agree with how the ‘stimulus’ was crafted and many of the things it was (and will be) spent on, but I don’t begrudge the debt it caused given the emergency nature of the situation. As for the interest rates on that debt, they won’t stay so low forever. No one would have lent us that much money if they couldn’t expect a reasonable return on their investment.

    The government has a huge pile of programs and liabilities that have been there and would continue to be there regardless of Obama’s activities.

    That’s a big part of what I’m saying. He should be doing something about those liabilities to ensure long-term solvency rather than piling on with new ones.

  30. Troublesome Frog says:

    As for the interest rates on that debt, they won’t stay so low forever.

    That’s not how those bonds work. They’re not a variable rate mortgage or credit card. They’re issued at a face value and bought at auction for market prices based on current interest rates. The government’s payments on those bonds are locked in. And in this case, they’re locked in at very low rates.

    No one would have lent us that much money if they couldn’t expect a reasonable return on their investment.

    That’s also simply not true. Yields on certain government bonds actually dipped negative again recently. That means that the market, on average, was willing to “loan out” $1 and get slightly less than $1 in return. Why? Stability. The markets are still desperately searching for assets that won’t collapse on them, so demand for US government debt is extremely high. US government bonds are basically a mattress for nervous investors to stuff their cash into.
    What this means is that the government can borrow at extremely low interest rates. The timing is good, as the need for stimulus spending combined with the guaranteed drop in tax receipts during the recession make borrowing look like a very good idea. We’re essentially taking a bunch of investment dollars that were pulled out of private investment, borrowing them on the cheap, and then putting them back into idle industries that will make good use of them and would have had access to them if people were investing normally.

    That’s a big part of what I’m saying. He should be doing something about those liabilities to ensure long-term solvency rather than piling on with new ones.

    Since we’ve eliminated just about everything except the health care plan from the “things to blame on Obama” list, I assume that’s the one thing you mean when you refer to “piling on” the liabilities. Sorry about splicing together two of your posts, but you said this earlier:

    Projected costs in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are going to overwhelm the entire Federal budget over the course of our lifetimes if we continue ‘business as usual’.

    It’s not really accurate to roll Social Security into this bundle, so I’d like to strip it out and make the point that what’s driving our fiscal demise is the out-of-control spiraling of health care costs. Nothing else really matters (unless we decide that staying in perpetual state of “war” is sound policy).
    One way or another, health care is the thing that needs to be addressed to make all of this work, and I think it’s reasonable to make the argument that a proper health care bill is a good first step. Would I love to see lots of changes to the bill? Sure. But I’ll take anything that seems to be moving in the direction of, “Burn our current system to the ground and till salt into the soil so it can never grow back.” If we don’t, we’ll either be killed off by the cost of government health care or the cost of private health care.

  31. Gingerbaker says:

    “…Our military capabilities are a big part of what gives us our influence in global diplomacy…”

    We better learn how all the other countries get away have any influence at all, seeing as they each have only a tiny percentage of our military budget. How do they manage that, do you suppose?
    And how is our global influence index doing lately, with a track record as pitiable as ours has been. Hmmm…. we did beat Noriega quickly. And all for 20 trillion dollars over the past twenty years. Brilliantly effective strategy, that enormous military budget. Especially considering that the rest of the world doesn’t want us to use that military budget, and shakes its head at us for the unmitigated strategic lunacy that it represents.
    Not to mention the fact that we will always be a superpower even if we had essentially zero military budget, so long as we keep some nuclear weapons, and more importantly, remain one of the leading economic engines on the planet. Yet here, as we look down the maw beyond the precipice, it is our foundering economy that is our most serious national security liability. We have come to the point where the economic stupidity of our military budget is threatening our future as a nation. We can no longer afford such a boondoggle, as our national security depends not on our military presence, but upon getting our house in order. Make no mistake – we are the only fifth-world nation when it comes to our national debt, and the world financial markets are watching. Nervously.
    Sorry, Jason, you will have to do better than that.

  32. dean says:

    Jason – interesting points. If I saw any tea-party folks locally (I’ve walked through two of the rallies they’ve had in our city – the only two) that had signs with messages that did anything other than compare obama to the devil, hitler, a thief, illegal alien, terrorist, and so on, i might actually believe them. Since their signs have those messages exclusively, I don’t view them as any more than a vocal, angry extreme, having delusional beliefs about the current president (I have hunches about why, but nothing more).
    But more on course: complaints about the 2009 debt, at least, being Obama’s fault are totally off base: the 2009 fiscal year began on October 1, 2008, and most of the spending in it comes from the Bush Administration. Even adding in Obama’s “work”with the stimulus, omnibus appropriation, the CHIP bill, and the cash-for-clunkers (all of which can and should be questioned), the amount comes to a small fraction of the total amount: – about $140 billion out of a $3.5 trillion budget. That’s essentially the 96% to 4% split I referred to (my wording WAS off in my first post).

  33. muhtar says:

    Sorry, dean, that’s the not the fail you think it is. The failure of the Republicans during the Bush years to rein in spending does not give Obama and congressional Democrats a pass to continue the same mistake. The Gross Public Debt is likely to exceed the peak levels it was at during WWII as a percentage of GDP in the next few years. Only, there is not going to be any post-war boom in economic growth that will allow us to bring deficits back to zero on average while still growing spending. More and more of government spending is going to go toward paying interest on all of that debt, especially if interest rates increase in the future. And that seems like a certainty, given how low they have been for so long.
    If the current Administration and Congress had any seriousness in dealing with this issue, then you might have a point. But they don’t, so you don’t.

  34. Jason, I would have more sympathy for you and others (tea folks) had there been a hint of concern from you during the previous 8 years: i can’t speak about you, but i don’t remember protests like this in the past (or threats of violence, or anything else). the conclusion: the “concern” now has to do with the perceived problem originating with the”wrong” party, not with the spending itself.

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