People have learned to assume that a Republican candidate is winking when he speaks on certain subjects. No, Jeb Bush is not actually going to repeal the minimum wage. He is not going to roll back equal rights for gay and lesbian couples. Enough voters understand a Republican candidate’s need to appease religious radicals that the candidates can remain credible despite some very dubious public positions.
For twenty years Republican candidates for Federal offices have survived on a kind of built-in duplicity. Victory depends on pandering to people who believe all those bullshit forwarded emails and Facebook posts. Electability in this context has a very special meaning. A Republican candidate becomes “electable” by appeasing base voters while convincing general election voters that he didn’t mean what he said. Needless to say, this institutionalized liar’s game has created tensions in the Republican Party. Ted Cruz is threatening to break the game.
The Tea Party was the first successful attempt by religious extremists and Neo-Confederates to start electing Republicans who share their wildest delusions. Mitt Romney was pandering. Characters like Joni Ernst, Rand Paul and Mike Lee actually believe what they are spouting. With the Presidential campaign of Ted Cruz, the whacko birds are coming home to roost.
Cruz has the potential to destroy the Republican Liar’s Game. If he does, the party alignments we have lived under since the Reagan Era will become unsustainable. No one but Ted Cruz is going to win the Republican nomination in 2016 by claiming to be the most conservative candidate. There is nothing to the right of Ted Cruz other than armed sedition. His campaign represents the end of the road in our race toward extremes. The party will have to either embrace its looniest ideas publicly, from top bottom, or explore a different approach to politics for the first time in a generation.
Political experts have largely dismissed the Cruz campaign as a stunt, placing him in a category with other Republican performance artists like Mike Huckabee, Herman Cain, and Pat Robertson. You can be certain that the Bush campaign isn’t making this mistake.
Cruz is a deadly serious candidate for two reasons. First, he is far more intelligent and capable than any of the party’s previous extremist candidates. Second, and more importantly, for the first time in more than fifty years we’re in a campaign cycle that favors grassroots appeal over insider organization.
His ideas may be crazy, but his previous opponents can tell you that he is sober, disciplined, and savvy. Whoever thinks they are going to beat Ted Cruz by watching him self-destruct needs to have a long conversation with Texas’ not-Senator David Dewhurst. This is the first time in the party’s modern history that a candidate from the extreme fringes of the far right possesses the personal and political capacity to run a fully credible national campaign.
Planning to wait for him to run out of money? Cruz isn’t going to need the usual collection of big GOP donors. He’s the Barack Obama of the right and not just because of the controversy over his birth certificate.
There isn’t a Republican alive with a more rabid, committed base of support. He probably won’t rake in the massive donations from the usual suspects, but he will dry up the well of small-scale support for everyone else, including support in the precincts. And this year, unlike in the past, that pool of grassroots support is likely to decide the nomination.
For the first time since 1964, the party is entering the primaries without a presumed nominee. The most precious resource in Republican Presidential politics is organization. Unlike the Democrats who possess a massive patronage machine that places boots on the street in any campaign, Republicans always struggle to man the precincts. That struggle is particularly difficult for a new candidate seeking the nomination for the first time.
That’s why the party almost always nominates the guy who finished second last time. The presence of a standing organization, thousands of electors, county party chairs, volunteers and other critical elements of support spread across fifty states is crucial to success but takes time to build. That’s why McCain outlasted everyone else in 2008 even though much of the party base despised him. That’s why Romney won in 2012.
No one has this advantage going into the 2016 campaign. In 1968 and 2000, party leaders plugged that gap by uniting around a candidate early. Bush and Nixon started their nominating campaigns with an almost insurmountable lead. That hasn’t happened this year. No candidate has broad enough appeal to dominate the race and no organization inside the party is strong enough to press their will.
This race is open. The base will pick the nominee.
If the base will pick the nominee then it’s hard to imagine how anyone has better odds than Ted Cruz. He is lined up with the base on every single issue to the farthest possible extent. He doesn’t have to apologize, explain or dodge on any issue that matters to them. Never once has Cruz compromised his “principles” to make anything function properly. Here is a man who has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he will do what the base wants no matter how stupid or catastrophic it may be.
A Cruz candidacy does open up new possibilities for a more rational Republican future. McCain’s 2000 playbook would work like a dream in this scenario. Unfortunately, there isn’t a single Republican candidate who is positioned to run that kind of campaign. They have all set themselves up for a run to the far right. It’s too late for any of them to pull back.
Other candidates will be forced to claim that they agree with him on almost every issue, but that they are more “reasonable” than Cruz. They will have to convince primary voters that they are more “electable” than Ted Cruz. They will have to convince a frothing grassroots base that their methods of achieving those policies will be more “effective.” They will have to play the Republican Liar’s Game.
Maybe it will work, but the Cruz campaign probably breaks the game.
Be a part of 7,129 other followers.
Yes the possibility of Theodore gaining the nomination is a real possibility that I could only pray for. The thought of getting to witness the spectacle of him running for the presidency makes me smile. No, down right giddy. So much so that I can hardly contain myself. There is no doubt that the positions he takes are surely mostly rooted in his singular goal of self aggrandizement and personal gain. The man’s a carnival barker,. and not a very good one. A scene comes to mind of a dusty cattle town in the old west. Picture a wagon surrounded by simple town folk lining up to plop down their .35 cent for a bottle of Slick Back Ted’s Miracle cure. Far righters keep up the good work . You will vote yourselves out of relevancy.
The thought of Theodore running for President makes me giddy…..
Don’t celebrate too quickly, James. As Lifer noted in one of his posts, when Cruz visited Chicago recently, he was very well received…Chicago! As much as I abhor this man, I have seen way too many crazy things happen in politics to count him out. For one thing, the base that admires him is crazier than he is but they vote in large numbers. Our only hope is that Hillary can handle Cruz and motivate voters who don’t always vote, to turn out in large numbers.
You and I see Cruz for the self-serving, narcissistic person he is, but sadly, there are many people who are never had an original thought whose votes count just as ours do.
Whoever thinks they are going to beat Ted Cruz by watching him self-destruct needs to have a long conversation with Texas’ not-Senator David Dewhurst.
Ted Cruz won in Texas by doing not much more than calling his opponent a liberal. That kind of stuff plays well here. It may even help him win the GOP nomination (current polls notwithstanding) but it’s not going to put him in the White House because the rest of the nation is not Texas.
Maybe, but Dewhurst was absolutely nasty during that campaign. I would assume that turned more than a few voters off.
I agree that Dewhurst ran two total jerk face campaigns (Senate and his last shot at Lt. Guv).
If you’re the same blusky from the chron and smeeps, welcome (back)!
It’s me and thanks. I drop in every once in a while but usually post under another name. This one populated this time for some reason so I just went with it.
This Salon piece by Joan Walsh offers an interesting comparison of Walker, Bush, Cruz, and the dark horse, Kasich.
“To recap: Walker is stumbling, Bush is widely viewed as a vulnerable frontrunner and Ted Cruz is running for president of the he-man Obama haters club and scaring GOP pragmatists. It’s clearly time for a fresher face, and some journalists think it could be Kasich. Yet his refusal to apologize for expanding Medicaid or participate in bashing the poor makes him unacceptable to many in the donor class. The contrast really helps you see what matters most to our 21st century plutocrats.
Like G.H.W. Bush, Kasich is too centrist. The tail is still wagging the GOP dog…..
Proof that Congress is too hyperpartisanly screwed up to function:
“Senator Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland put forth an amendment to ensure equal pay for women but it failed, 54 to 45, but she is a Democrat after all. Senator Deb Fischer’s amendment to ensure equal pay for women passed, 56 to 43. She is a Republican, from Nebraska.
The Senate is only getting started.”
Doug: Why the animosity, said the male parrot.
Because your narrow, cock-sure, insensitive, condescending comments offend me.
Lighten up…it’s just the Internet.
You have mentioned multiple times how sure I am in my opinions. For some reason that bothers you. Yes, I have strong opinions, as does Chris, and you, and pretty much all the posters here. Perhaps you’re bothered because you’re now questioning your own?
No Doug, we’re bothered because you back up crap with crap.
Like your bad clueless math in metric conversions on the NOAA stats in your delusional global warming denial.
” Perhaps you’re bothered because you’re now questioning your own?”
I never stop examining my views. Do I have core beliefs? Yes, but I find I learn from interacting with others and it helps reinforce my beliefs. In looking beyond that which interests me or affects me or my family, my sense of understanding and awareness for the needs of others is broadened. You ought to try it some time…..
bubba, if you look back at that, I admitted that I had a brain fart. Since sea level rise is usually specified in mm, my brain interpreted .12″ as 12mm. Yes, I am human. I make mistakes. And when I do, I admit them. Can you say the same?
” In looking beyond that which interests me or affects me or my family, my sense of understanding and awareness for the needs of others is broadened. You ought to try it some time…..”
My posts yesterday were explaining why I wouldn’t vote for something just because it benefited me personally. They were the complete opposite of “that which interests me or affects me or my family”.
Doug I DID look back and just checked it again and no you did NOT acknowledge your mistake.. At least not on the thread you screwed up your math to “justify” your unsupportable denials.
And yes, the longtimers here can attest that I do own up to my mistakes. When I do make them. Unequivocally. And I don’t lie about owning up to it either.
Dude, you have issues. How about we agree to ignore each other?
Yes Doug, I have issues. With abject liars. You can do what you want and I can do what I want (with Chris being the final arbiter. His blog you know). You know, liberty, freedom, First Amendment thingy you guys like to throw around but really don’t believe in, or at least you do but not for everyone, just yourselves?
Don’t want me to respond to your crap? Don’t post crap that’s easily debunked. Apparently beyond your capabilities.
Not completely off topic, as the blog post IS about elections.
Another installment in the why-a-Republican-should-not-be-allowed-to-be-President series….
Dr. Strangelove lives again.
This is one of the guys who brought us the Iraq invasion. How did that work out, other than for total destabilization the region? We got rid of Saddam (who like the rest of us only had a finite time left on this earth) and got ISIS in his place.
In case Bolton doesn’t remember, Iranians poured onto the streets after 9/11 to express their solidarity with America. The US may have issues with their government but Iranians in general are still friendly to the US; and they have elections of sorts that have replaced extremists with moderates. Bomb Iran and you may remove an immediate perceived threat, but it’s a stone cold certainty that you will sow even more disorder and hostility in the region.
From time to time, people like Bolton talk about rogue regimes. If, heaven help us, they get their hands on executive power again, America will have the rogue regime.
Whatever they may say about it, I think destabilization is really the whole point for them. I hear people criticize the chaos of the Arab Spring, and I’m puzzled by what their point may be. All of this unrest was always there. It’s been simmering for half a century. Our problem has more to do with rhetoric; we say, on one hand, that we’re the Leaders of the Free World, and that “democracies don’t fight wars against each other” (which is I believe an argument Dubya used), but on the other hand, we’ve always maintained a dependence on puppet regimes to keep the region off-kilter, maintaining ties to any regime that is useful to us and keeping them at odds with the ones that aren’t. Instability is perfectly fine and even desirable as long as there are governments in place that we can influence.
t fight wars against each other”
That’s ridiculous.the Nazis were democratically elected.
Eh…I believe they scored about 30% of the German vote, which is all they needed in that parliamentary system, but what they did with their power could not really be called “democracy.” Hitler was given complete authority.
t fight wars against each other”
I think it would be more accurate to say that democracies find it more difficult to start and especially stay in wars, because the leaders are subject to public opinion. A dictator can start a war on his own whim.
Don’t you just love assumptions paraded as ‘fact’?
“As in other nuclear proliferation cases like India, Pakistan and North Korea, America and the West were guilty of inattention when they should have been vigilant.”
So according to Bolton ‘vigilant’ means, bombing, and if we had just bombed India, Pakistan, North Korea (and if we follow this train off the tracks-Israel) then there would be no nuclear proliferation! It’s so easy, all we have to do is bomb whomever we want and PEACE. If you want to radicalize the politics of another nation, treat it radically, if you want to moderate the politics of another nation, treat it moderately.
I think you’re right about Cruz. It’s easy to laugh at Michelle Bachmann and some of these other weirdos. Ted Cruz is a different sort. He’s got a very well-analyzed strategy. That bit about giving up rock music after 9/11 in favor of country music was so transparently calculated, you just know he had that story in his pocket, waiting for a chance to tell it. He’s not going to make a mistake. His opponents are going to have to get him off script, but like any good lawyer, he’s probably got every contingency for every debate and public appearance mapped out in his mind.
Every candidate and all campaigns make mistakes.
Cruz is smart, but he’s never been involved in anything this big, and he won’t have an experienced team with him (they’ve already been sucked up by Bush/Walker/Paul).
Most of his mistakes will be ignored or even supported by his supporters, but he’s going to make enough goofs that I think the establishment will have plenty of opportunities to pounce on him or simply nudge him farther over whatever cliff he happens to be running towards.
Well I don’t actually think he’ll win the nomination, and you’re probably correct. But I think of the fiasco in which he failed to move his fellow GOPers to support a government shutdown. At first I saw it as a clear error on Cruz’s part, but considering the political fallout among the GOP base, I’m not so sure Cruz didn’t anticipate that result. A lot of Texans decided John Cornyn is a RINO because he wouldn’t back Cruz. Cruz’s approach to politics is very damaging to any collaborative efforts, but he’s sticking to a warrior’s mentality. I may be giving Cruz too much credit, but I’m still not sure the nomination is really his end game. I do think he genuinely wants to be president, but I also think he’s willing to accept losing as a way to boost his outsider bona fides. He’ll be able to turn losing the nomination into a benefit for himself here in Texas.
Cruz boosting his bona fides in TX
Cruz is playing games. He is getting exactly what he wants: attention. As far as his qualifications – the man lacks soul and humility, two qualities every presidential candidate needs.
“he’s not goiing to make a mistake”
I think he already did. Not a huge one, but I think that country music crap actually WAS a minor mistake. It’s so ridiculously transparent, that even the base who it’s directed too might even be a little turned off. Certainly, any undecideds on Cruz would not find that in any way attractive.
Oh, I don’t think the Cruz True Believers are going to be turned off by that. Let’s not forget we’re gearing up for primaries here. And the GOP base will grovel before anybody who talks up God and Guns and America enough.
and the far right will grovel before anyone who talks God, guns………and abortion – don’t ever forget that part of the trifecta.
I noted it below but I’ll say it again. Cruz suffers from the same Texas provincial hubris that Perry suffered in thinking he can just use the same pander to the wingnuts playbook he used successfully in Texas. Texas is off the wingnuttiness deep end (Dan Patrick Lieutenant Governor?). Thankfully we won’t even come close to that in maybe a dozen (mostly Southern and a few sparse Western mountain states).
He’s also suffering from the emperor has no clothes syndrome in basking in all the tabloid attention from even the quote unquote “legitimate media” because that’s what the 24 hour cable and online news cycle has become and they are all starved for crap and mud this early in the election process. Hence his calculated move to be first to announce.
“Hence his calculated move to be first to announce.
Cruz is so totally self absorbed that his every move is designed to focus on him whether it’s risking national default or being “first” in declaring his presidency. He LOVES the game. Winning would be icing but he is like a compulsive gambler who has to be the center of attention. He has no interest other than self-promotion. Think about how that mindset would work as president. Intelligence may be genetic, education may be opportunity, but total disdain for any view but one’s own is dangerous when that person is in a position of power.
Doe anyone remember Cheney?
1mime, Cheney won’t let us forget Cheney as he just won’t shut up.
Interestingly, there was a very fascinating profile of Jim Baker on PBS a few days ago and repeated late last night. Cheney was a dick to his fellow Republicans also who “weren’t conservative/hawkish enough” even within their own Republican administration under Reagan and George HW Bush.
It was also a fascinating behind the scene insight into the cutthroat self serving mercenary politics in the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations. Which only reinforced what I felt all along from first hand observation at the time. Reagan was an ignorant clueless ideologue and HW was a pragmatic, mature, BALANCED leader doing what he felt was best for the country. As was Jim Baker, which I knew next to nothing about prior to the documentary. Baker was willing to compromise and negotiate with the Democrats to get this done. Who woulda thunk? And it wasn’t just a paean to Bush and Baker. They noted Bush and Baker tried to hide the savings and loan failure debacle (which came to light in the Reagan Administration and CAUSED by Reagan’s deregulation of the S&L industry, but blew up under Bush) under the rug and ended up costing the country $150 Billion in bailout costs as opposed to $50 Billion if they addressed it directly when it first surfaced.
They noted that Reagan wasn’t much of a deep thinker and went along with whomever lobbied/spoke to him last. And he was useless/clueless without his advisors.
Bush was a rational and seasoned diplomat with reasoned foresight. He would not gloat or overtly celebrate the fall of Communism in Germany knowing he still needed to work cooperatively with Gorbachev to continue to whittle away at Communism globally. And Bush had Baker gather international support and United Nations mandate/resolution for the international coalition to kick Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait in Desert Storm/Shield (but not depose him because he knew if you broke it, you pay for it).
Reagan, Jim Baker, and G.H.W. Bush – Agree Reagan is a mythological creature of conservatives who not only didn’t deserve the pedestal, he deserved to be impeached.
I have great admiration for Jim Baker and G.H.W. Bush, who I have personally met. Yet, how did the GOP reward a pragmatic conservative like George H.W. Bush who governed in a bi-partisan manner and DARED to break the “no new taxes” maxim? They booted him out.
Shoulda’ been a portent of things to come….if only we moderates had read the tea leaves before us.
This was something I was discussing in the department with my colleagues since his announcement. Basically if Cruz can consolidate the ‘crazy’ vote going into the initial few primaries and maybe lose to Jeb in half of them but is still viable come Super Tuesday he can win the nomination. I’m not a follower of the GOP since I work in American Political Development and a life-long Democrat (and liberal for that matter) but I keep my eye on them regardless. This situation is shaping up to be a much smaller race than in the past two cycles simply because Rand isn’t going to run to risk his seat in Kentucky as the Dems are holding him to one name on the ballot. Palin won’t run, nor will Cain, in fact the name of far-right wingers willing to enter the race is rather short after Cruz with basically only Scott Walker being anything close to active and real support.
Gov. Jindal is utterly hated in La. and it has cost him immensely as a moderate corporatist turned religious conservative.
Rubio has been basically laughed off the main stage and in 2016 will most likely face a competitive candidate with Hillary running strong in Florida bringing up the whole down ballot races.
So who’s left? Kasich? Ryan? Establishment candidates who don’t stand a chance against Jeb in primaries where his Bush-ism will carry establishment candidates towards him especially with the stink of failure on Ryan and Kasich won in a landside off-year election when just two years prior Obama took the state convincingly and will most likely take it in 2016 for the Dems.
Basically without a waist-deep field to split the crazy ticket Cruz will cruise to victory unless Jeb can hold him off with some sort of Romney inevitability argument. Either way they’ll end up fodder for the Blue Wall™ but will set the tone for the GOP for the next several years. It should be interesting to see where it all goes if Cruz is left to become the de facto leader.
Walker is an appealing candidate for the crazies, and his “sticking it to the unions” will play well with the Tea Party folks.
He has more executive experience and more of a track record in winning elections, so I don’t think Cruz is going to pull all the crazies away from him.
If anything, Walker and Cruz split the crazies, making it easier for Bush.
The ‘track record of winning’ is more an illusion propagated by Walker himself. Recall elections almost never succeed and his two normal elections were in extremely positive republican years. I do admit, his strong corporatist anti-union rhetoric along with his strong conservative credentials would make him a strong candidate to split the crazy vote but that would expose his flanks never mind the still (just barely) simmering investigations into his actions when he was commissioner in Milwaukee. He could be enough to split the vote with Cruz but if he gets a few crushing victories over Cruz I could see Cruz bowing out or vice versa. More so Cruz bowing out since Walker is nearing the end of his political career with no where to move up to, he’ll go on wingnut welfare the rest of his life after this. Cruz can hide in the senate for another 6 to 12 years before being ousted finally.
Hey look, the SCOTUS made a humane ruling with the potential to help working parents:
6-3! Not surprised that Scalia and Thomas dissented, but wft Kennedy?
If you want to seriously talk about “family values”, this is actual putting your $ where your mouth is. Something that could help families bring in income is far better than all the bloviating about how families are sacred/special/the cornerstone of society.
humane ruling from SCOTUS re: pregnant UPS worker
America is the only major industrialized nation in the world that doesn’t require paid maternity leave. THAT is humane.
Why should an employer be forced to pay for work that is not performed?
Why should an employer pay for work that is not performed?
Hmm, spoken like a true male chauvinist…Let me know when you’re up for carrying a baby nine months then delivering the little bugger – paid or unpaid!
Really – it’s sort of like vacation benefits, which all should earn, and if men were having babies, I’m sure it would be at the top of their benefits request list. Come on, Doug! We live in a dual family working society – the span of time within which most women bare children are frequently their most active work years. Since this is a “role/job” only women can perform (again, let me know when you want to share the load), doesn’t it seem right that women not be penalized? It’s a familial, societal issue, and one that other civilized countries respect and support. But, hey, in your company, in America, you just sit that pregnant woman down and tell her to Man Up! You got this way, now you’re gonna have to deal with it! You got something there Doug…Man of the Year!
Don’t take my word for America’s status in this regard,
So paid vacations stick in your craw?
I have nothing against any employer voluntarily offering any paid leave they choose.
Got to be hard carrying around that big ol’ penis all day.
Doug, I can understand why the 1% and owners of the means of production would be against this, and they’re free to vote whatever is in their best interest.
But for the 99% who need maternity leave to be paid in order to TAKE it and bond with their child in a crucial time in their babies development, (I assume you’re not in the 1%) WHY would they be against this?
The 1% is well within their rights to vote for legislation that keeps them rich, at the expense of the 99%. But the middle class is well within their rights to vote for things that benefit THEIR lives.
why would the average American vote AGAINST their own interest? Why would the tens of millions of middle class voters say “thanks for that paid mat leave so i can bond with my baby, but no thanks. I’d rather you make another billion”?
Trust me Doug, the American businesses are doing just fine. Paying mat leave will not bankrupt the businesses. If that money isn’t trckled down to the middle class, all it does is to buy more coins for their Scrooge McDuck gold coin swimming pools to swim in.
the income of the 1% has gone up 250% in the past twenty years. The middle class? stagnant.
All those rubber duckies starting to wear on old Doug (-:
I donno, Doug. Why should an employer be required to do anything they don’t want to do? Why should I be required to do anything I don’t want to do? Eees a puzzle, no?
“why would the average American vote AGAINST their own interest?”
Oh, I don’t know, principles? I don’t believe that government should be used as a tool to take from one person and give to another, even if I’m on the receiving end. Here’s a quick read that may explain it: http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html
Heck, why not vote for 30 hour weeks, two months vacation, $50 minimum wage, and 18 years of maternity leave? Same thing, just a matter of degree. There are more of us than there are them, right? We could do it.
” the 1% and owners of the means of production”
“Trust me Doug, the American businesses are doing just fine…If that money isn’t trckled down to the middle class…”
So businesses are all owned by the rich, none of them struggle, they have everyone else at their mercy, and we need government to pry a little money loose. Got it.
“need maternity leave to be paid in order to TAKE it”
How much do you really love this child, that you’re not even willing to sacrifice a month or two of income? Obviously not as much as that new car, the three televisions, cell phones, Starbucks…
If money really is that tight, and you have nowhere to cut, perhaps you should delay a bit and save up. Maybe night school would be better for a while than diapers and bottles. Kids are expensive, and in the big scheme of things, maternity leave is trivial.
HOT TIP: If you’re on the lower end of the income scale, time the birth for the end of December. EFile your taxes on 1/1 and you’ll get your child credit and EITC before you even miss that paycheck.
“How much do you really love this child, that you’re not even willing to sacrifice a month or two of income? Obviously not as much as that new car, the three televisions, cell phones, Starbucks…”
You really love to trot out the stereotypes, don’t you? It never seems to occur to you that the $ could go towards diapers and other things for the baby. Or paying the rent. Or keeping the power on.
Doug, that’s how democracy is supposed to work. You fight for your best interest. Other people fight for theirs. And the end result should be a compromise where nobody gets everything they want but everybody gets something. Rght now the middle cand lower class are getting NOTHING they want, and all the benefits are flowing to the top. And if it takes the hated gov’t to enact legislation to force the transfer of wealth (because you know the 1% isn’t going to do it willingly) then that’s what it’s going to take.
But it doesn’t work if you just concede YOUR best interest in favor of the wealthy elite. Don’t worry, they’re already looking out for themselves, and they have enough power already. They don’t need your help to continue fcking you.
And yes Doug, the term “owner of the means of production” was made popular by Marx, but what does that have to do with anything? I could have just as easily said “elites” “1%” “corporate interest”. The term is interchangeable.
And btw, Marx actually had some good ideas. Communism doesn’t work, of course, because of human nature. We need incentives to excel. But there’s nothing inherently evil about it, like so many uninformed Americans seem to assume. if you actually broaden your horizons and read about other philosophies it can give you a better understanding of the world around you.
don’t worry, communism isn’t contagious. Just by exposing yourself to different ideas does not make you become a proponent of them.
“Kids are expensive, and in the big scheme of things, maternity leave is trivial.”
There’s also that critical developmental period where parents are bonding to their child. Time is precious too.
As others have said, people need to have babies to keep the society going. I have zero tolerance for the selfish business model that proclaims that the only thing I have to is generate profit, and that’s it. No, there is also the obligation to be a good citizen, and that includes promoting things that make it easier to raise children. No, I don’t expect employers to offer years of paid maternity leave or to pay for college, but I do expect them to use some common sense and common decency. When you’re digging in your heels and refusing to make reasonable accommodations for a pregnant employee, a condition that is temporary and follows a predictable time course, but you would do so for a worker who strained his back, where the prognosis is not that certain, you’re a dick and a bad citizen.
I’m rooting for this lady in her lawsuit.
Rob, we disagree about the nature of good government (not surprising). I’d disagree with communism even if it worked, and yes, I studied Marx. If you read the link I posted, you’ll see that Bastiat had a term for what you expouse: plunder. Either the powerful plunder the weak, everyone plunders everyone, or nobody plunder anyone. I would prefer the last one.
You have all the answers, don’t you Doug? Must be nice to be so certain and in such total control of your situation. Of course, empathy kind of messes with certainty, but, don’t let that get in your way.
March 26, 2015 at 7:54 am
“Don’t worry, communism isn’t contagious. Just by exposing yourself to different ideas does not make you become a proponent of them.”
Great point RobA. And that has always been the issue of the “conservatives”. The narrow myopic focus on the self and like only. Diversity is such a four letter word to the right. Of people, faces, ideas, cultures, geography, social constructs, EVERYTHING.
Blinders are a virtue to the right. As evidenced by (almost) all that is posted here by the self proclaimed conservatives. Though in the ever shifting entropic black hole of the right wing conservative continuum, I daresay fitty (50 Ohm) now falls squarely in the center to slightly left spectrum. To his chagrin. 😉
“Either the powerful plunder the weak, everyone plunders everyone, or nobody plunder anyone. I would prefer the last one.”
Can you name any civilization that existed long term that was completely devoid of this “plunder” that you so despise??
I read Bastiat’s flyer and I am willing to give the guy some latitude. So soon after the revolution a lot of people were trying to figure things out. Not like we all agree now. But I’ll give Doug his due when he says he is moving to Honduras, ( http://www.salon.com/2015/03/02/my_libertarian_vacation_nightmare_how_ayn_rand_ron_paul_their_groupies_were_all_debunked/ ) or that he is planning his move on becoming the alpha male in a highland gorilla group. Without any socialist planning with the rest of the beta males.
Fly, no I can’t, but that doesn’t mean we can’t work in that direction. I agree that the playing field is tilted in many ways toward the 1%, but disagree with (for instance) Rob on how to correct that. I don’t want any of their money. I would like a smaller government without the ability to grant so many benefits.
I want smaller gov’t…..
I have asked the conservatives who post here to tell me exactly what functions they want a federal government to provide. Enlighten me, please.
So Biscuit (spill check strickes again) says this.
“Now, legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole — with their common aim of legal plunder — constitute socialism.”
Which occurs because men have to work, work is hard, so the easy thing to do is ‘plunder’ and men are all about the easy, we are so base, unless we are writing ridiculous tomes to our preconceptions and generalizations regarding ‘men’..
17th Century meet insurance, insurance meet 17th century. Oh, I see, you have met and the fact that living cooperatively in various forms of republican democracies and installing modern sewage techniques has increased the standard of living and doubled or tripled the modern man’s life span is still ‘slavery’ to you Mr. Biscuit. You are free to return to the 17th century and I’m heading back to the dorm to smoke some weed.
“You have all the answers, don’t you Doug? Must be nice to be so certain and in such total control of your situation. Of course, empathy kind of messes with certainty, but, don’t let that get in your way.”
Why the animosity?
Babies are the engines of the economy. The produce a lot of economic activity. All national economies needs them. Women happen to carry them.
If men had them, I suspect they’d receive bonuses and paid time off and their ‘nads would be celebrated in poems.
As it is, women soldier on, balancing pregnancy, child care and work demands. Mothers in the workplace amaze me every day.
Companies that can’t see the economic value of policies that support pregnant workers are very short sighted.
Excellent point Bobo. It seems shortsightedness is another coveted “quality” of the right wing. Along with hypocrisy, myopia, selfishness, self obsession, lack of empathy, lack of perspective. lack of concern for facts,…
Thank you, Bobo for understanding the challenge women face in their multiple roles: family, mother, work. Their strength and capacity is a big reason the female gender was designed for childbirth. I feel sad for women married to men who don’t share your appreciation and understanding, Bobo.
To be realistic, all the SCOTUS did is agree to hear the case.
I’m pretty ambivalent about maternity benefits. As a husband, I was pretty shocked at the paltry maternity benefits my wife got at a major university. Worse, since we both work for the same employer, the FMLA provisions (we learned) are split between us, so we could have taken a max of 12 weeks between the two of us in family leave. Fortunately, this never came into play.
My wife – a tenured faculty member – received 0.0 days of maternity leave. She was allowed to take sick and vacation time (paid). Woo-hoo! But, she runs a research lab so she wasn’t ever going to take months off. You don’t disappear for months when you have students you are mentoring.
I also run a research lab in which I pay the people who work in the lab out of various funding sources, mostly grants. Basically, I have to make payroll in the same way as a small business. Three employees have become pregnant. One I wished I could fire because she wasn’t very good at her job (and probably could have, if firing the pregnant wife of a Marine in Iraq was my style). Instead, I waited her out and she (surprise!) decided to become a stay-at-home mom. With another, who was pretty good, I was patient and she came back after about 8 weeks to a full time schedule. With the third, who was fantastic, I was as flexible as needed to keep her happy, because she was very productive. In all cases I paid salaries for some portion of work not performed.
So that’s the rub. Pregnancy (or any debilitation, however temporary), makes you think long and hard about just how valuable that employee is (even if you are not allowed to act upon it). I wasn’t inclined to be to flexible with one and would have walked to the ends of the earth for another. One was an liability, the other an asset. How one designs rules to govern this legally, I have no idea.
The rub…sadly, you are only needing to have those thoughts about female employees, and therein falls the gender inequity.
The frequency of dealing with a temporary debilitation for a young male employee probably doesn’t crack 1% of the frequency of having to deal with a pregnancy for a young female employee.
Rather than only hiring male employees or terminating female employees when they get pregnant, we should suck it up and do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.
I’m pretty gung ho about maternity and paternity benefits. My wife, working for a state institution received a grand total of zero days maternity leave, so took vacation/sick leave. My company offers two weeks paid paternity leave to be taken any time during the first year (sadly, they didn’t double that with twins).
With one twin in NICU for six weeks with the other at home, my wife went through all of the possible vacation/sick days available. Were she like the vast majority of people, without government protections, she would have had to quit her job or not spend time at the hospital.
About 25% of workers in the US get no paid vacation. Have a baby = earn no money.
After being on the job for 25 years, the average amount of vacation days in the US is 16 days. If you are a woman having a baby, you have not been working for 25 years. The average woman working in the US has fewer than 10 vacation days. Any kind of complicated birth or baby with any issues, you won’t have enough vacation days to cover it, and even with a perfectly uneventful birth and healthy baby, 10 days is an awfully short window to get back to work.
FMLA only stops you from getting fired, and even with that, it was fought by the GOP (and I’m sure our friend Doug was not in favor of that either).
As the only industrialized nation without paid maternity leave, this is one case where American exceptionalism is a bad thing.
Actually, her getting pregnant probably saved her job. She was young and with her brand new husband in the Marines preparing to be deployed to Iraq, she was a basket case (read: not doing her job). I decided paying her until she left on a maternity leave I knew would become permanent was the least objectionable course of action.
But, listen, it’s not quite as simple as “just do the right thing.” Let’s say we mandate two months of employer-paid maternity leave. For UPS, Apple, or United, this is no big deal. A few women take advantage of it, but it’s peanuts on the bottom line. In my case, at the time, my entire payroll was two people (other than me). For two months, I’m paying half my staff to stay home. This work is not being done. There is no money to hire a temp replacement and I’m in a highly technical field where this is not trivial anyway. For some small start-ups this might literally be the difference between making it or not. Even if it is not that dire, this is basically time and money out of the owner’s pocket (he or she has to cover the work not being done somehow). If you think this is not going to have a deleterious effect on employment for women of reproductive age, you’re crazy, and it is certainly not going to help the gender pay gap.
“For UPS, Apple, or United, this is no big deal. A few women take advantage of it, but it’s peanuts on the bottom line. ”
Isn’t there usually a size exemption with employer mandates? Granted I don’t know how they would look at your lab, because I could see a bureaucrat looking at you as part of a larger Dept. or even larger a university rather than a much smaller entity, but there are lines that reasonable people could draw.
JG…you forget that I’m generally a socialist/communist (at least according to some), so you, as a small employer are not paying that (or at least all of that).
Most mandates like this have size exemptions. Heck, if you are a very small business, the Civil Rights Act doesn’t even really apply to you, and you can say, “I don’t hire women of child-birthing age” with impunity.
Most of the rest of the world jacks up taxes to some extent and the gov’t (through those taxes) foots all or most of the paid maternity leave either through direct payments or through payments and tax breaks to the company.
So yep, my taxes are going to go up because of it, but it still would be the right thing to do.
If the rest of the world is able to figure out how to make this work, why can’t we?
I actually do get and believe that the US is somewhat exceptional. Our economic and military power over the last 100+ years is essentially unparalled in that time period. We don’t really want to change that, but I don’t think offering paid maternity leave is the thing that is going turn our economy into Greece.
JG…also (and you already know this), you should have fired the woman before she got pregnant. The pregnancy was just icing on that bad performance cake.
Fly – There are size exemptions in laws like FMLA and I believe that any law covering mandatory maternity leave would and should as well.
From the Dept of Labor:
FMLA applies to all:
– public agencies, including State, local and Federal employers, and local education agencies (schools); and,
– private sector employers who employ 50 or more employees for at least 20 workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year – including joint employers and successors of covered employers.
JG, incompetent lazy employees are not unique to pregnant women (that’s a little redundant I know). I think you actually benefitted with her being pregnant and then taking leave and then leaving permanently and not having to address the problem directly.
I’ve encountered plenty of those types both male and female. And usually the employer doesn’t have the courage to take action (especially in a large corporation) and the Peter Principle comes into play as they advance and get promoted just to get rid of them from the immediate department (but not the company).
I currently have a “Sheldon Cooper” type 20+ year coworker in obnoxiousness, selfishness, lack of social graces, and various sundry peccadilloes, but without the brilliance (endearing as a sitcom caricature, not in real life. Imagine YOU being Leonard Hofstadter). And no one in 20 years had determined that he was detrimental enough to team harmony and productivity to get rid of him.
And as you noted, a productive pregnant employee you would go to the ends of the earth to assist and keep her. But as evidenced by Doug’s knee jerk “conservatism”, not everyone has the long view and will to this day and age, still slaughter the goose that lays the golden egg. Hence the government mandated protections.
If we want to be honest about it, the 50 person company limit is arbitrary and creates two classes of employees, one fully protected by the law and another that is not. There is an argument that if this is a societal issue, then it should be paid for by society in an upfront way (i.e., publicly), rather than piecemeal via employers. Some companies with particularly valuable employees (based on their educational, technical, or professional attainment) may choose to enhance maternity benefits (as they do with other benefits) to retain top talent.
But, the heart of the matter is that paid maternity leave asks either employers or the taxpayer to financially support what is a personal decision. Doing that should be based on a sound public policy goal (we want to increase the number of children being born by providing fiscal assistance for some period of post-partum time, including to those who may not need it). I’d rather see that money invested in children in a way that promotes their development and eases mothers back into the work force, such as better child care and pre-K programs.
JG: I’d rather see better child care and pre-k programs.
Of course. Add to that easy, affordable access to birth control so that couples (men and women) can plan their children’s arrival to the extent possible. Duh.
JG…my position would be that we do both. Of course we need systems (child care and Pre-k) in place to make the transition back to work easier, but that is not an either/or issue with regard to maternity leave.
I would bet it could be argued that maternity leave likely increases the probability of going back to work, in that the woman is less likely to feel guilty about leaving the newborn. Probably no good data on that but I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case.
I started participating on this blog several years ago, in no small part because it was here that I first read, in a way that it registered in my brain, guaranteed minimum income. Combine that with a public health insurance plan, a flat tax structure across both income and assets and rewriting our laws of inheritance and intellectual property hey presto, an impossible dream which makes millions of lawyers, accountants and liberal arts majors unemployed. No welfare state-any person could supplement his medical care if he had the money and the desire to change the shape of his nose. You would be ‘free’ to fire the employee because you wouldn’t be starving your employee, this real moral dilemma you faced, would be gone. How to get there?
Kind of funny that Ted Cruz is eligible to be prez even though he was born in a foreign country because his mother is American.
Meanwhile, Obama actually WAS born in this country, but all kinds of time and energy was spent on the idea that he MIGHT have been born in a foreign country, even though even if he WAS he would still be eligible due to his American mother.
So basically Cruz actually IS what the birther movement tred desperately (and unsuccessfully) to prove what Obama is.
This bit of irony I came across awhile ago,
“The question of whether Sen. John McCain is eligible for the presidency has popped up from time to time in the media and on the Internet. The controversy, such as it is, hinges on the circumstances of McCain’s birth. The Constitution lays out three eligibility requirements for presidential candidates. A candidate must be at least 35 years old, a resident of the United States for at least 14 years, and must be a “natural-born citizen.” McCain qualifies on all three; but some commentators have questioned whether he can be considered to have been natural-born because he was born on a U.S. Navy base in the Panama Canal Zone.
Now, however, the Senate has moved to put that minor controversy to rest. Yesterday, the Senate passed a resolution declaring that McCain is a natural-born citizen. The resolution was passed by unanimous consent. More surprising than the result, however, was the fact that the bill was written and submitted by Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and co sponsored by both Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). Politics makes strange bedfellows.”
I thought you might enjoy this, of course you will not hear any mention of this coming from the Cruz camp.
Serious question objv, are you really a fan of Cruz, and if so, what has he done beside obstruct that makes you a fan?
Possibly just for the whole purpose of obstruction? That seems to be a strategy the GOP is employing.
Used to be a time when pols would compromise and work together. That’s when the GOP was made up of adults and not sore losers stamping their feet and being pissed because they lost an election. They forget the old saying “you can’t win em all”.
I also find it amusing when they do when elections they claim the voters have sent a message that they support their actions, but somehow the opposite is never true.
This bit of wingnuttery is making the rounds on the Internets:
I’m waiting to see one on a car. I’d counter that if Reagan was still President (despite being dead and term-limited), his track record points more towards selling ISIS weapons in exchange for their hostages, then channeling the $ to anyone who says that they would overthrow the government if Venezuala.
People forget that all the current powers the NSA has to spy on you and surveil you were given by Ronnie Reagen. By executive order, no less.
The TP, never a group fond of actually checking facts, likes the IDEA of Reagan much more then the reality of Reagan.
If he were in politics today he’d probably be lumped in with the other idealogically impure RINO’s
Kind of like Jesus. They like the idea of Jesus but rather ignore or change his actions and words. He would be a freeloading liberal if he lived today.
Not to mention that he would also need a haircut.
Fly: Not to mention he (Jesus) would need a haircut……..
And, lose the dress!
Turtles, can you even imagine how hated he would be?
Feeding the poor, showing mercy to criminals, speaking out against entrenched power (today it’s the 1% , back then it was the Pharisees).
Jesus would be publicly enemy #1, especially when the evangelicals realized he wasn’t white.
Saying you are going to help the poor and sick is the christian thing to do, actually helping the poor and sick is socialism.
Or if Reagan were President again, he would turn tail and bail out of an overseas military commitment after a terrorist attack that kills hundreds of Marines, and then attack a Caribbean resort island in retaliation. And botch that mission also killing more Americans in friendly fire incidents and accidents than from enemy fire.
WoW! That’s all I have. Just wow.
Chris, this guy agrees with you about Cruz being able to win:
But again, the narrative for what happens next after the GOP nomination is secured is lacking.
I, for one, would absolutely love Cruz to win the nomination.
I can’t think of another candidate so repugnant outside of their narrow (albeit vocal) base. Surely, his nomination would ensure the humiliating defeat that is necessary to get the GOP to jettison the Tea Party types and move back towards center to form a sensible, credible, and electable republican party.
Even though I’m a Dem, I think the healthiest democracy is moderates running bother parties to act as a counterbalance to the other, but still with the ability ti compromise and get things done.
While I agree that humiliating defeat is the most likely outcome, there is that small, nagging fear that the Dems self destruct and the political stars align in an evil way- see Election 2000.
Cruz as the presidential candidate would not result in a bloodbath for the GOP, at least not significantly more than what Romney experienced.
43% to 45% of the voting population is not going to vote for a Democrat as President.
A ballot with Palin on the ticket after a floundering campaign received 46% of the popular vote. Romney got 47%.
At the height of his popularity, Obama got under 53% of the vote.
I believe that, on average, the states won by the GOP were won by a larger margin than the states won by the Democrats.
If anything, Cruz just makes that more true in 2016. Cruz wins Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Arizona, etc. by a bigger margin than did Romney. He loses ground in Democrat states, but he wasn’t going to win those states anyway.
With that said, never wish for a Cruz nomination. Even if there is only a 5% chance he could win the general election, I’m not willing to put the country’s future even at a 5% risk. He would not be the man I would want selecting two or three new Supreme Court justices.
Homer – don’t wish for a Cruz nomination.
This is a dangerous game and someone like Cruz doesn’t give a flip if he wins or not. Everything he has done has been to promote himself – each and every act. I don’t think Cruz wants to work that hard. He’s happy making waves and basking in the limelight. Could be wrong, but Cruz doesn’t strike me as someone who really cares if he loses, which tells me a whole lot about what the Presidency really means to him. He enjoys the process more than the job because of the attention he receives.
I don’t agree with that analysis, Homer. Chris looked at all the 2012 congressional races in a blog a while back and, if I recall correctly, found that Romney outpolled all TP-associated candidates in their districts, even the ones that won. For instance, Cruz himself won 4.4 million votes in Texas (56.5%) while running against a nearly invisible opponent. Romney won 4.55 million (57.2%). Cruz would certainly win a few states and no hard-core TP/conservative is going to vote for Hillary, but this wing represents half or less of self-identified Republicans. Some will switch sides and some won’t vote. The 538 poll found that just as many Republicans would not consider voting for Cruz as would. You could see Cruz getting only 40% of the vote, and that would be an epic landslide (even Mondale won 40.6%)
RobA, America best served with moderates….
Of course, but look at the past 6 years and tell me where the moderates are? Your logic is impecable, but reality is really different. Personally, I think cruz is having a good time….he’s all over the news and if he wins, fine, if he loses, he wins. It’s all about being the center of attention….”I, Me, Mine”…..
JG…once we get to replies of replies, I get lost, so a really long reply to you is a few posts down from here.
In addition to that, I think the GOP has a stronger chance to swing 60% of the popular vote than do the Democrats. This is not true with the current GOP candidates, but in general.
Imagine Bush I, with his economic policies (as misguided as they were), coming out as pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, in favor of affirmative action in university selection, and looked at you like you were an idiot of you suggested teaching intelligent design in a science class.
That GOP candidate could push 60% of the popular vote.
I’m not sure party unity could be preserved with a Cruz nomination. If his candidacy really has legs, expect a raucous spectacle at the GOP Convention.
Please let that be on live TV!!! I would so watch it/ set the DVR!!
Albert Tuchfarber, guest columnist with Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball offers an excellent analysis of the 2016 election:
“But, what we can do now is identify facts, forces, and factors that create both risks and opportunities for the parties in 2016.
What are these facts, forces, and factors?
The best way to answer this question is to break it down into three components:
Challenges, risks, and opportunities that both major parties face;
Challenges for the Republicans; and
Challenges for the Democrats.”
Follow the link if his 3 components interest you.
JG…you might be right, but Hillary is no Reagan. No way Hillary, with all that baggage (and having a vagina) gets near 60%.
Hillary’s unfavorable ratings are high, and there is nothing anyone can learn about Hillary now that would significantly shift that lower. Heck, I’m not sure she can move even her favorability ratings much at this point.
Cruz lost some some votes to a libertarian candidate, more than Romney did in the presidential election, otherwise his totals are identical to Romney. I don’t know that he would lose those points to a libertarian (other than Rand Paul) in an actual Presidential election.
I do recall Chris’ post about the TP candidates polled worse than did Romney, but I believe that was in “competitive” or blue-leaning states. If you go across Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama (the only three I looked up), the GOP Senators in 2010 and 2012 pulled a larger percentage than did Romney.
I think a recent post by Chris suggested that the red states are turning redder, but that doesn’t help with a general election.
I cannot see any Democrat cracking 55%.
If an super-duper conservative were to run on conservative principles, and the Democrats won by 60% to 40%, I think we might see a come-to-Jesus moment for the GOP, but I just can’t see anything other than a 53% to 45% split.
To move the needle beyond that, it would take a GOP candidate that went out of his way to piss off women, far beyond the normal birth control, abortion, and equal pay debates. The candidate would have to say women don’t belong in business, should stay home and be pregnant, and should defer all decisions to men. Then, you would get the bigger swings, but no one is that stupid.
“…but no one is that stupid.”
Oh how you “misunderestimate” the depths of stupidity of the current crop of clown car Republican Presidential wannabes, Houston. Beyond Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, I wouldn’t put anything beyond the rest of them. And Christie has his own flavor of firebomb fool fuel.
I’m speechless. Is there literally nothing about ted cruz that isn’t an explicit pander? And wtf does any of that have ti do with 9/11?
More of the “Real Americans” shtick.
“My music tastes changed on 9/11. And it’s a very strange—I actually, intellectually, find this very curious, but on 9/11, I didn’t like how rock music responded. ”
I don’t even know what that means. I don’t think “rock music” responded other than to continue to make “rock music”. I guess Aerosmith should have come out with a “boot up their ass” rock and roll tune?
You know, I really used to like Taylor Swift, but I just don’t feel as though she responded well to the crisis in the Gaza Strip, so I’m now a Katy Perry fan.
I get that I don’t like Cruz’s politics, and I get that my impression of him is tainted by the fact that I don’t like his politics, but that is just crazy talk.
I still have Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky and Vaughn Williams in the CD changer, despite 9/11.
Vaughn Williams? Isn’t his first name pronounced “Rafe’?
The Lark Ascending is so hyper attenuated it is impossible to ignore.
He has no soul. At the very least, no conviction other than whatever will fulfill his personal ambitions. And he doesn’t care about insulting the intelligence of rational Americans to pander to the ignorantly devoted “Cruz lovers”.
This is interesting. Graham sounds positively sensible.
While it’s a well established fact that fringe candidates on either side often pull moderate candidates further to the left of right, maybe Cruz is SO out there that he’s having the opposite effect? Pushing candidates away from him towards the center.
One can always hope.
I was watching a clip just now about Ted Cruz. There was speculation of him really seeking the vice president nomination. The theory being that he would bring the base in at strong numbers during the general election. I am not buying it though as When Obama ran the GOP base was strongly motivated to vote. It did not turn the election for Romney or McCain. And with Palin, McCain tried and fail in that strategy. But it is an interesting view.
Here’s one guy who doesn’t think Cruz is in it to win it:
Is being the grand poobah of the far right really that big of a prize?
Here is another guy who does not think Cruz is in it to win it:
I love the part that he didn’t even think to lock up tedcruz.com
It’s now a pro Obama website.
I guess he had too by law (so he says) but this is
still pretty delicious
I don’t think this is an accident.
As I noted above, he has no convictions other that whatever benefits him. Rail against Obamacare because his wingnut groupies hate it with a passion. But when push comes to shove and that’s the cheapest option, Corrosive Cruz says sign me up!
He could have just found an insurance company on his own without using the hated Federal exchange or even paid for medical bills out of pocket on his own out of principle but noooooo, the exchange was the easiest and cheapest option so he’s all for it. For himself.
He has no problems advising poor single mothers not to use it.
I read somewhere that one of the GOP senators (I think it was cotton) had advised a woman at a town hall not to use Obamacare because her identity would get stolen by Russian gangster.
If he really stood on principle he would have just payed the penalty and let his family go without health care insurance like he wants poor families too.
Hmmmmm….Netanyahu , Hagee, Glenn Beck leaves the party (but not before he “defends” Mike Lee and Ted Cruz), Ted Cruz, Liberty University, The Late Great Planet Earth, and Red Dawn.
Is there a pattern here? Might the next Republican nominee think that he’s destined to be the “Tribulation” President? Some of my old buddies in the GOP are preoccupied with this stuff and are busy debating pre and post Trib rapture and all that good rot.
I’m not gonna deny that I see alot of what’s happening and wonder myself about the “End Times.”
Is the US a suicide nation? Is that what we’re leading up to?
I would argue that their goal is to help create the geopolitical conditions necessary to enable Biblical prophecies of the End Times. In their minds they are doing God’s work.
Yes, and that’s an absolutely terrifying thing.
Can you imagine if the nuclear football is held by a guy who would see a silver lining in a global nuclear war?
“Can you imagine if the nuclear football is held by a guy who would see a silver lining in a global nuclear war?”
Makes the people who hijack planes and fly them into buildings look like the JV squad.
In the Goodreads widget on the top right of this blog there’s a link to a great book on this subject. Highly recommended
Well, that’s certainly Iran’s plan. Just waitin’ on the 12th Imam to emerge from the Occultation… or until Obama let’s ’em build the Bomb. Really, whichever comes first.
Tracy – seems to me the best way to ensure Iran gets the bomb is to cut off negotiations, slap on more sanctions, and get UN inspectors barred from the country.
OTOH, if we make a deal that gives inspectors full, unfettered access, then we at least we can monitor the situation and have real, actionable intelligence.
seems like that’s preferable to the former, which would mean that we would have no idea what’s going on with Iran unail the day they test their bomb in the desert.
Sanctions for decades hasn’t worked yet. . Why would we think even MORE sanctions would?
“Why would we think even MORE sanctions would?”
For the same reason that some GOPers are doubling down on 60 years of failure in our Cuba policy.
Iran, Palestine, ISIS: they are all the same to all of us who get our news about the world from our media. Perhaps if we give everyone there another trillion dollars of military weapons this will peacefully resolve itself.
RobA, I would be the last to suggest additional sanctions will prove efficacious in preventing Iran from acquiring the Bomb. At best they would make life for Iranians unpleasant, and serve as an economic hindrance to Iran which *may* slow progress towards the Bomb. Additional sanctions are of limited utility.
However, the deal currently in the works is of *zero* utility. Based on Iran’s past conduct, any deal that “gives inspectors full, unfettered access” will do so on paper only; Iran will be cheating on said deal before the ink is dry. The “real, actionable intelligence” that we have managed to obtain on Iran has not come from inspectors, but rather from other in-country sources. (Natanz and other secret sites came to light through the actions of very brave people, like Alireza Jafarzadeh, willing to risk their lives to reveal the extent to which their government has been cheating on prior inspection regimes). It is quite certain that under the Kerry deal we would also have no “idea what’s going on with Iran unail [sic] the day they test their bomb in the desert.” That day would simply come sooner than it would with no deal and increased sanctions. This is one of those instances where no deal is actually the best deal for the U.S.
Iran is bent on obtaining nuclear weapons. Period. The Iranian sites (that we currently know of) where nuclear materials are being processed are hardened to an extent that nuclear weapons are the only viable method of breaching them, and we are not likely to go there. So at best we can delay, and pity the poor SOB in the White House who will eventually have to deal with the consequences of a nuclear armed Iran.
BTW, while nukes are the only currently viable means of breaching extremely hardened underground facilities, there are potential alternatives. The most likely alternative is kinetic energy weapons. Take a jaunt out to the asteroid belt, grab yourself a modest nickel-iron asteroid, nudge it home, and de-orbit on the desired target. Voilà, problem solved, Meteor Crater-style. No radioactive mess, no fuss, no bother. Kinda puts the ESA’s Rosetta, and NASA’s Dawn and Asteroid Redirect missions in a whole different light, eh?
We tend to think of nukes as the be all and end all of mass destruction, but they are not. Weapon systems continue to evolve, and nukes will eventually be obsoleted. The actions of rogue regimes like Iran ultimately serve only to hasten that day.
Drop a rock on ’em, baby!
Useless inspections? You mean like the “useless” inspections for Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction that couldn’t find any? Inspections that Bush & Cheney ignored because they had to play war?
The choices are admittedly poor, but being able to at least perform some inspections is a hell of a lot more than what is currently happening. NO ONE ELSE has anything else to offer. Not Bibi – not Cotton – instead, this is a joint effort of the world’s major powers. At least someone is trying to get something done other than write self-serving, egregious letters to the Ayatollah.
So, the alternative is to wait for Iran to bomb Israel, which will draw in the U.S. and we will once more be sacrificing young lives and American capital for the Middle East?
I don’t think so.
You might be interested to study in depth the history of Christianity in general and evangelism in particular.
The idea that “based on what’s happening in the world right now, I feel the end times must be near!” is the overarching theme of it, dating back hundreds of years, and people will be thinking it hundreds of years from now.
It is the product of the human phenomenon of confirmation bias and it basically guarantees that evangelism will be in that state in perpetuity.
It’s like the whole “trouble with youngsters today” trope.
It’s literally been said back to antiiquty. The “why, back in my day….” meme is a perpetual concept that will always seem current but in reality is very old.
The “end is nigh” meme is the same. It will always seem current, even though it’s very old.
Until such a time as humans do away with their literal interpretation of the Abrahamic monotheistic religions, that is.
Is the 12th Imam anything like the 12th man in College Station?
The similarities are striking.
How many republican delegates are behind the blue wall, and what percentage overall? And what is the percentage of them will even vote for the clown car candidates?
Great observation. The blue states have by far the highest population and as a result they also have most of the country’s Republicans.
How many of them will vote for a nutjob? Fewer than in Texas, but what choices will they have? At this point Jeb Bush and John Kasich are the only mainstream candidates. Kasich is unlikely to run a credible campaign and Bush’s popularity is very, very thin.
We don’t know yet whether Cruz can influence northern Republicans, but I can tell you this. Cruz was our Lincoln Day speaker here in suburban Chicago in 2013 and he was surprisingly well received.
“[Cruz is] the Barack Obama of the right.” Indeed. Those bomb throwers at the WSJ have picked up on exactly that: http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-cruz-candidacy-1427151150.
I can’t help but note that we’ve arrived at peculiar juncture in American history when the ideas of a presidential candidate whose political philosophy is rooted in constitutionally limited government are referred to as “crazy,” and the man himself labeled a “whacko bird.” Ah, well.
Although my political views largely align with Cruz, I will probably not support his candidacy. My chief beef with Cruz is his penchant for tilting at windmills. In politics, as in war, there is seldom any real advantage to be gained by picking a fight you can’t win. Fight to win, and if you don’t have a reasonable chance of winning, avoid the fight. His record in the Senate is one of politically costly stunts designed to do little but inflame the base. Not exactly a recipe for successful governance, and not what I’m looking for in a president.
“I can’t help but note that we’ve arrived at peculiar juncture in American history when the ideas of a presidential candidate whose political philosophy is rooted in constitutionally limited government are referred to as “crazy,” and the man himself labeled a “whacko bird.” Ah, well.”
Seriously Tracy, you honestly believe that’s why he’s called a whacko bird?? Especially when you answered that question in your explaination of why you won’t vote for him??
So, fly, you think Cruz is a crazy whacko bird based solely on his political tactics, not his political philosophy? If so, that’s good to hear. Out of curiosity, would you label Obama a crazy whacko bird based on his political tactics? After all, Obama’s political tactics are every bit as divisive as Cruz’s (albeit somewhat more effective).
Tracy, I’m going to regret this, but how exactly is Obama divisive?
Seems to me he tried pretty damn hard to get things done for 6 years before he realized that the GOP only cared about opposing him at every turn. Frankly, I’m surprised hr lasted 6 years before he said eff it and just started getting things done.
Exhibit A is when Cruz fought tooth and nail against Obamas proposal to expand NSA surveilance and to limit Obamas request for more military action in Syria.
Those two things are right up Cruzs wheelhouse……except when Obama proposes them, of course.
If Obama announced he wanted to repeal the ACA tomorrow, Cruz would call it tyranny.
I’ve got plenty of philosophical differences with Mr. Cruz, but his tactics top the list of what I find objectionable. I wouldn’t support someone of my own political leanings who thought if was ok to play a game of chicken with the US credit rating.
And no, I don’t see any of Obama’s tactics that are anywhere near as dangerous as Cruz’s stunt.
Good Lord. ACA House vote- Yeas: D-219, R-0, Nays: D-34, R-178. ACA Senate vote- Yeas: D/I-60, R-0, Nays: D/I-0, R-39. ‘Nuf said.
Awwww – The ole’ no Republican votes talking point. Sure no Republicans voted for it. Democrats allowed Republicans to add over a hundred amendments to the law in hopes of gaining their votes. But the GOP knew the ACA would pass without their votes so they took the courageous (eyes rolling) stand to pander to their base. They may have not voted for Obamacare but that does not mean their fingerprints are not all over it.
so it’s Obamas fault the GOP wasn’t smart enough to vote for an excellent piece of social legislation? The ACA is a huge wealth transfer to the bottom 20% of society.
with inequalitype gap getting wider and wider all the time, the aca was a badly needed piece of legislation. If the GOP didn’t see that, not sure how that’s Obamas fault
Nothing in the Constitution says a bill must be passed with votes from both parties.
And the gall of Obama and the Democrats to pass what was basically a Republican health care plan.
“Good Lord. ACA House vote- Yeas: D-219, R-0, Nays: D-34, R-178. ACA Senate vote- Yeas: D/I-60, R-0, Nays: D/I-0, R-39. ‘Nuf said.”
Again I say, seriously Tracy? You compare having a majority in Congress (and acting on it) with shutting down the government by means of a poison pill in a continuing resolution??
“your views largely align with Cruz”, yet you won’t vote for him????
Can you not see the man’s flaws and the danger a personality like his can be as President of the United States?
Can you not see [Obama’s] flaws and the danger a personality like his can be as President of the United States?
Yup TThor, the past 6+ years have been totally and truly sucky thanks to the “personality” of Obama.
Pleeeeeeease (in my best Roger Rabbit voice) bring us back to the Bush recession and two failed wars of 2008…
TTHOR wrote: Can you not see [Obama’s] flaws and the danger a personality like his can be as President of the United States?
After 6 years in office Obama has been unable to destroy the nation. So please explain to use exactly what the danger he poses to this country. Please type slow for us slow learners?
Love your blog!
Cruz has managed to put off nearly everyone he has ever encountered during his career. The Jeb Bush wing of the party will crucify him in the media if the thinks he’s even within a mile of the nomination.
As a Democrat, I’d love to see him go against Hillary. She’ll win 49 states; Cruz will barely take Texas and likely hasten its turn to blue.
Eh….Santorum was the last man standing beside Romney, and there is not much to the right of Santorum (heck…he was willing to lose 90% of voters under the age of 25 by coming out against porn).
Santorum is not as smart as Cruz, and Santorum focused more on social issues than will Cruz, but I just cannot see Cruz overcoming the mountain of money that has already started to be allocated on the GOP side.
If the recent history of this country teaches us anything, big dollars beat the people in almost all situations.
A Cruz presidency would be a disaster for the country (well…unless you are a straight white dude already making a comfortable salary), so I’m going to blissfully (and maybe naively) stay with the FiveThirtyEight analyses of the Cruz presidency.
No one as conservative as Cruz has won a nomination.
No one in recent history has won the primary without the backing of the big dollars.
And more importantly, no one likes Cruz. He isn’t even popular within his own party.
If he fires up the base and motivates people to vote GOP, then he’ll be a welcome also-ran in the primaries. If he gets too big and starts making uncomfortable waves for the party power-players, they’ll cut him up with every campaign mistake (which even the best campaigns make).
Cruz smarter than Santorum……but still won’t win….
Maybe he’ll start wearing sweater vests (-:
Not a big Hillary fan, but bewteen her and Ted it’s a no brainier. Although the bad organization and planning the e-mail episode uncovered has me thinking about 3rd parties much, much earlier than normal.
It’s human nature to focus attention on the salient differential, the outlier. There are so many whacko birds vying for the “conservative” vote in the Republican primary that even Cruz’s crap is just more undifferentiated white noise (pun intended). That’s why he announced first. To get a leg up on the other whacko bird clone doppelgangers.
And Texas is not the same as the other 49 states (thankfully). David Dewhurst was a designated Texas whipping boy/scapegoat/poster boy/piñata for the impotent rage of the Texas teabaggers against their intraparty “Washington insider” rivals. As evidenced by Dewhurst’s SECOND primary loss last year. Ted Cruz will continue to, and has already suffered from the same myopia/hubris/provincialism that Dicky Perry did in the last cycle in thinking all he needed was to suck out the same Texas like minded whacko birds in the other states to show up and vote. They were a Brigadoon like ephemeral fantasy. Perry wouldn’t have lasted even if he hadn’t embarrassingly self immolated early in 2012 with his brain fart in the debates. Sadly we won’t be able to see that from Cruz. But Perry is still delusionally lurking around for a redux of the same comic relief. And Cruz will halso ave to live down Texas’ village idiot reputation nationally with the track records of George W. Bush and Rick Perry looming over him.
Oh yeah and Cruz may have the OLD White wingnut vote. But apparently not even the younger wingnuts are moved by him. At Liberty College at least. And they were hilariously brutal too.
To Turtles’ observation, I wonder what the turnout would have been if it wasn’t mandatory?
“In Cruz’ mind, the 2016 elections provide Republicans a chance—a final chance perhaps—to win the presidency on the strength of overwhelming conservative turnout. Of white voter shock and awe. ”
“He’s the Barack Obama of the right and not just because of the controversy over his birth certificate.”
This is a little confusing. Obama is a moderate while we both know what Cruz is. Did you mean one to excite the extreme base of each respected party? Even that is confusing. Obama has disappointed the more extreme left of his party by not being loony left. Cruz born in Canada of an American mother is unfortunately constitutionally qualified to run for the Presidency. God help us if he were to win. I do remember last night Howard Dean saying Cruz is their dream candidate to run for the GOP in the 2016 general election. As he put it the guy is way too polarizing. You win by addition not subtraction. I still am not convince that Cruz will win the primary. I sure as hell will not vote for him.
Obama didn’t run in the Dem primary as a moderate. That’s just what he turned out to be. He beat Clinton on her left flank then disappointed everyone who worked on his campaign.
He will do great, particularly in Iowa. In 2012 Rick Sanatorium (dang spell check) stormed to victory in Iowa–which Republican process TOTALED 5.4 percent of all Iowan’s registered to vote. There was a tidal wave of media coverage, most of which ignored the tiny percentages, but propelled some other tiny percentage ‘tidal waves’. Because Mr. Cruz is quicker on his feet, he will do better in most other Republican primaries, he will ‘star’ in the debates by making proclamations about Constitutional law which sound more mature than your average 10th grader civics class. In the general election of 2016 this same less than 2 percent of Iowan’s registered to vote will proudly vote for Mr. Cruz. To that total add some of the other of the remaining 5.4 percent (but some will write in Francisco Franco for political and cultural reasons).
In the general election stolid, conservative, farmer ridden Iowa voted between a crazy, constitutionally challenged, foreign, funny named guy and a prosperous, politically connected religious guy for President and it wasn’t close.
Chris, in my youth I was a Jim Edgar style Republican. Due to the increasing nuttiness on the right wing, I haven’t voted for a Republican for any state or federal office for years. If your doomsday scenario comes true and Cruz is nominated (and then blowtorched by Hillary in the general election), what do you think happens next?
There is no way the base can say that Cruz isn’t conservative enough (as they said about Mccain and Romney). Do you think that a really severe beating (say, losing the Electoral College by 350+ votes, losing the Senate and maybe even the House) would draw the party base back to the center? Would enough national Republicans have the guts to refute past policies and actually try to govern sanely?
Or do you think the base would stick their fingers in their ears, yell “LALALA” and nominate a Cruz-clone in 2020?
The base isn’t going to change soon, but hopefully a Cruz debacle, regardless whether he secures the nomination, will create a gigantic opening on the sane side of the GOP that’s just too attractive to resist. Someone will show up and run the McCain 2000 playbook and change the party for good.
Or … there is another possibility.
Cruz’s failure may convince the religious right, especially where it overlaps with the Neo-Confederates, that the potential of “cooperation” has been exhausted. Instead of the GOP realigning itself, the hard red states across Dixie and the mountain west start openly governing as though Washington doesn’t exist. The militia movement strengthens. Otherwise minor spats with the Clinton Administration get out of hand as people choose to follow the “voice of God” over the godless state. Keep a careful eye on those abortion clinics.
It’s not such a stretch if you remember the ’90s.
Or maybe it all works out for the best. Who knows. We’ll see.
War between the farmers and accountants breaks out in the South! Cinco Ranch sends its main army group down I10, where they meet up with Spring Valley rebels and just when they are poised for victory, the pinchers of South Houston and the Heights close behind them in Stalingra, I mean Memorial Park. Lack of maintenance of the golf course causes fragging in the Suburban forces. Eventually the suburban army surrenders, honorably and are allowed to retreat, but must use rail when commuting to the jobs downtown.
” Instead of the GOP realigning itself, the hard red states across Dixie and the mountain west start openly governing as though Washington doesn’t exist.”
So do some of the more blue urban areas of those states start governing as if the right-wing state governments don’t exist?
I’m still waiting for the reasonable explanation from the birthers on why Cruz is eligible but Obama wasn’t. Have any of them issued one?
“Victory depends on pandering to people who believe all those bullshit forwarded emails and Facebook posts”
Chris, I might note that your Facebook posts get forwarded to me.
Do you believe them…?
Okay that was funny.
I think we both know the kind of FB posts he’s talking about.
GG: Relax. I’m not about to unlike Lifer on Facebook. I just forgot to put my trademark smiley face at the end of my comment to show I was joking!
BTW, the left-wing Facebook posts and news sites are just as bad. I get some of those forwarded as well.
Serious question objv, are you really a fan of Cruz, and if so, what has he done beside obstruct that makes you a fan?
You never got a reply on that question, did ya?
I keep trying, but to no avail.
Texan, yes, I am a fan. I doubt that he has much of a chance, but I am so tired of wishy-washy, lying, sneaky, and unethical politicians. I like Cruz’s direct style. I would vote for him over another candidate even if I differ on some points.
“Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz (born December 22, 1970) is the junior United States Senator from Texas. Elected in 2012 as a Republican, he is the first Hispanic or Cuban American to serve as a U.S. Senator from Texas. He is the chairman of the subcommittee on the Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. He is also the chairman of the subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, U.S. Senate Commerce Committee.”
Between 1999 and 2003, Cruz served as the director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission, an associate deputy attorney general at the United States Department of Justice, and as domestic policy advisor to U.S. President George W. Bush on the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign. He served as Solicitor General of Texas from 2003 to May 2008…
Appointed to the office of Solicitor General of Texas by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, Cruz served in that position from 2003 to 2008. The office had been established in 1999 to handle appeals involving the state, but Abbott hired Cruz with the idea that Cruz would take a “leadership role in the United States in articulating a vision of strict construction.” As Solicitor General, Cruz argued before the Supreme Court nine times, winning five cases and losing four.
Cruz has authored 70 United States Supreme Court briefs and presented 43 oral arguments, including nine before the United States Supreme Court. Cruz’s record of having argued before the Supreme Court nine times is more than any practicing lawyer in Texas or any current member of Congress. Cruz has commented on his nine cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court”
I wish that Cruz would have more experience as a senator or in an executive position, but then again, Obama had little experience as well. (Look where that go us.)
March 26, 2015 at 9:37 am
“I wish that Cruz would have more experience as a senator or in an executive position, but then again, Obama had little experience as well. (Look where that go us.)”
Thank you OV for highlighting your own hypocrisy. So you have an issue with Obama’s “inexperience” but still support Cruz despite his?
And talk about myopic blinders. As I noted above to TThor, yes look at how “horrible” Obama has performed with the economy steaming along, unemployment at lows not seen since prior to Bush’s devastating recession, stock market at record highs, internationally, bitch all you want, but we are not having thousands of American soldiers killed every year for no damn reason whatsoever.
Oh yeah, and Osama and Generalissimo Francisco Franco are still dead.
Your analysis is sobering. But I can’t think of a candidate who would do a better job motivating Democrats to run to the voting booth.
“With the Presidential campaign of Ted Cruz, the whacko birds are coming home to roost.”
“There is nothing to the right of Ted Cruz other than armed sedition.”
You said a mouthful with these statements and I could not agree more. We have not seen nothing yet, the whacko birds will be crawling out of the wood piles in droves . Just give it time. We will see if Cruz has the proverbial balls to stand up to the crazy remarks that he is sure to hear? Will he do the right thing and correct a questioner when they go off of the rails? How is gonna react the first time he is having a Q & A on the campaign trail and someone calls Hillary a bitch? Will he defend her, or nod his head in agreement? Should be interesting to watch this unfold no matter what side of the fence one is on.
Sadly, I concur with your assessment of Cruz’ chances to become the GOP presidential nominee; but, in my deepest self, I cannot fathom an America led by such a person.