Thursday, November 08, 2012

Why Republicans should drop free market economics


TO: Republican Moderates

FROM: The Special Committee to Protect You from Yourselves

SUBJECT: Positions we should abandon in light of last Tuesday's election

In the wake of last Tuesday's loss by Mitt Romney in the presidential election, Republicans need to reassess their core beliefs. They need to take a look at where the nation is going. They need to modernize. Clearly, Obama's win in this week's presidential election tells us that there are certain issues which simply don't play with the American electorate, and the Republican Party needs to listen.

It is time for Republicans to abandon free market economics.

That's right. Romney ran on one thing and one thing only: on free market solutions to the nation's economic problems. He ran on these things and lost. So it is clear that what was repudiated in this election was economic libertarianism.

Okay. Now that you are all riled up by what I  just said, calm down for just a moment. Have you peeled yourself off the ceiling? Good. Alright.

Once your heart rate has returned to normal, I want you to sit back a moment and ponder the argument I just made. Doesn't make any sense at all, does it? In fact it's kind of stupid. Whoever really believes such a thing should have his head examined. No one should abandon his core beliefs on the basis of one election. In fact, if it really is a core belief, a person should keep it no matter what.

As soon as you have pondered the absurdity of this argument against the Party's free market position on economics, think about just how bone-headed you sound when you make arguments like the ones you are now making that the Republican Party needs to abandon its position on social issues.

Many of you are at this very moment engaged in a campaign to convince rank and file Republicans that the answer to their electoral woes is to cut and run on abortion and same-sex marriage. The extent of the absurdity of this argument is hard to fathom, since, in case you didn't notice, if there was anything Romney did not emphasize during this election, it was abortion and traditional marriage.

I don't remember him (or anyone else) saying anything about either of these issues at the Republican National Convention. Nor, with one exception, did either issue ever come up in a debate. Exit poll after exit poll confirmed that Romney got exactly what he wanted: voters going to the polls with unemployment and high food and gas prices on their minds.

This presidential election was about economics. Period.

So if you are going to argue that anything is a losing issue, it's going to have to be free market economics. But for some strange reason, I don't hear any of you arguing that. And ridiculous as that argument obviously is, it is ten times more ridiculous to argue what you actually are arguing: that the pro-life position and the championing of traditional marriage are hurting the party's electoral chances--despite the fact that these positions were not issues the Republicans emphasized in this election.

So go freshen up. Get something cool to drink. And come back tomorrow with recommendations that actually make sense.


Theo said...

Great insight! What it seems to me is what usually happens is that: Republicans are scary to death to state their reasons so the media does for them. People keep their mind sucking what the media is saying and boom!

Singring said...

'In fact, if it really is a core belief, a person should keep it no matter what.'

And there you have it:

In any country where educated, intelligent people proudly proclaim that they will - and should - cling to their beliefs even if every shred of evidence available contradicts them, you will have the disastrou kind of politics we see from the Republican party.

A party of climate-science deniers, creationists, birthers and free-market economists who - even though there is no logical argument at all to support their bizarre econnomical ideas and who have just lived through one of the largest economic crises ever, brought on by exactly those economic policies, stand up again and again in the face of reality and proclaim: 'We must hold on to our core beliefs - no matter what the actual facts are.'

Anonymous said...

Back away from the ledge, Martin. You, like many of us opposed to President Obama, knew all along that Romney was a flawed candidate who prevailed in a ridiculously weak Republican field. In essence, what Romney most stood for was his dream of being elected President, and that superficiality was obvious to millions who voted for him as a vote against Obama, but did nothing to mobilize others to do the same. Now that Obamacare is unstoppable, let's see if the American people are happy with what they were promised. Let's see how Commander In Chief Obama deals with the lovely Arab Spring, and let's see if Benghazzi questions have better answers now that the election fog is gone. Let's see if gas and energy prices explode or if our economy falls backwards. In other words, Obama owns it all now, and that Hope and Change stuff is a distant memory. Second terms often turn into nightmares for American Presidents as well as their parties. BTW Singring, I'm a proud man made climate change denier if the "remedy" is dollars ripped from my wallet and my lifestyle controlled by a cabal of politicians and select scientists who are going to get the planet's temperature just right. It took Mother Nature over 6 billion years to adjust CO2 just right for humans to breathe, and now I'm supposed to trust politicians to keep it just right? I'll see you in the political combat fields. Well, actually, I won't because you're not an American citizen. Good luck with perfecting your union(s) across the pond.

Singring said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Singring said...

'It took Mother Nature over 6 billion years to adjust CO2 just right for humans to breathe, and now I'm supposed to trust politicians to keep it just right?'

Thanks, Anonymous.

Seeing as the earth is - according to the current best estimates - merely about 4.5-4.8 billion years old and that humans use oxygen from the atmosphere and exhale carbon dioxide as a waste product, your post perfectly illustrates my point. Never mind that the actual problem with rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere has nothing to do with humans 'breathing' and everything to do with global temperatures that will influence everything from sea levels to local precipitation and thus crop yields. But yeah - CO2 is 'just right' for humans to 'breathe' and so everything is just dandy.

You simply *don't care* about the facts, you will cling to your beliefs no matter what. I guess Martin should be proud of you, as should the Koch brothers.

Anonymous said...

Gee, Singring, what's 1.2 billion years ("best estimate") among friends? I guess that scientist I just saw on tv last week who used that figure isn't as good a scientist as you. So, you're saying that humans breathe pure oxygen and that CO2 is only a waste product of our exhalations and not a natural component of the atmosphere?

Anonymous said...

My cubicle mate did better in science than me...Mother Nature took time to adjust the oxygen and nitrogen mix just right for humans to breathe. My bad. So let's all just sit back, shut up and let scientists adjust the CO2 levels just right.

Anonymous said...

Singring, about those global temperatures...don't scientists tell us that there have been extreme temperature variations long before man crawled out of the caves? I believe that BTW..growing up in the midwest and having teachers show us sea fossils and explaining that where we sat was once under water, and then being shown glaciated till rocks and being informed that where we sat was once under mountains of ice.

Singring said...

'Gee, Singring, what's 1.2 billion years ("best estimate") among friends?'

Again, you illustrate my point precisely: your attitude toward hard facts and scientific data is to sneer at it with sarcasm and contempt.

'I guess that scientist I just saw on tv last week who used that figure isn't as good a scientist as you.'

Apparently not. What station was that - Fox 'News'?

'So, you're saying that humans breathe pure oxygen and that CO2 is only a waste product of our exhalations and not a natural component of the atmosphere?'

Since I treasure the truth and factual information, I did not say that and never have said that.

There is not a sane scientist alive on this planet who would not agree that CO2 is a natural part of the atmopshere.

In fact, every single climate scientist will agree that CO2 is an *essential* part of the atmosphere if there is to be a temperate climate on this planet amenable to most of life as we know it.

But what you seem to have missed is the rather fundamental point that whether or not CO2 is a natural part of the atmosphere has nothing to do with the problem of having too much CO2 in the atmosphere so that it influences global climate in way that is (because of its effect on climate) detrimental to us and many other organisms.

Once again, you *don't care* what climate scientists actually mean when they talk about CO2 and its effect on the climate, you *don't care* what facts and physical principle climate science is actually based on and you proudly display your ignorance on these matters as if somehow you have it all figured out whereas the world's brightest scientists are all just idiots who don't even realize that CO2 is a natural part of the atmosphere.

This is, starkly illustrated, the dramatic problem we face today as a society: people who are not only ignorant, but proud of their ignorance when it comes to fundamental, essential science.

And the fact that almost half of the political system in the most powerful country in the world (the Republican Party) has been taken over by this mindest is part of the reason we are in this global mess today.

Singring said...

'I believe that BTW..'

So do I...but please explain to me what changes in CO2 concentrations and global temperature have to do with the problem we are creating today by releasing CO2 into the atmosphere?

This is like saying: 'Oh yeah, there were huge bush fires in the past, so there's no problem if we just go ahead and start a bush fire now!'

Anonymous said...

OK Singring. Just make sure you guys don't mess up the formula and put us back into another ice age.

ZPenn said...

This is why I no longer associate myself with any political parties. I vote for the candidate who comes closest to my viewpoint. Currently the Republicans and the Democrats seem so off base on almost every issue, so I don't really feel comfortable voting for either of them. I voted this election, but I didn't like it.

Anonymous said...

California's cap and trade scheme starts next week. 3 billion first year cost for businesses, 6 billion per year when emission allowances are costed out. Taxes first, trust us on remedy later. No wonder California is heading towards bankruptcy.

KyCobb said...

I would not presume to tell the GOP what its agenda should be, though I will note that the only time Romney appeared to be in this race was after the first debate in which he ditched economic libertarianism and promised no tax cuts for the rich and to not cut funding for medicare. What I do know is that the GOP can't write-off the minority vote and still win elections. Romney got 59% of the white vote and lost because the President got 80% of the minority vote. Whatever policies the GOP will promote, if it wants to win the presidency it needs to quit dog whistling to racists and demonizing hispanics and african-americans. No more demanding that millions of hispanics be uprooted and deported, no more fear-mongering about minority crime rates(violent crime has been sinking to record low rates), no more transparent attempts at vote suppression which probably merely inspired african-americans to wait the hours in line necessary to vote. Your League of the South friends won't like it, but they can't deliver the votes to elect Presidents anyway.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Cornell West has called President Obama a "Rockefeller Republican in black face". It's a good thing West is black or he would probably lose his Princeton gig. Never mind that in the past four years all Americans have lost wealth, but no segment more so than African-Americans. What's the matter with Kansas indeedy.

KyCobb said...

"Never mind that in the past four years all Americans have lost wealth, but no segment more so than African-Americans."

The American people know that was due to the catastrophic economic downturn brought on by the policies of the previous administration, and it would have been stupid to elect Romney to reinstitute the same policies that brought on the crisis in the first place.