Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Obama/Maddow interview: on the GOP

Here is Barack Obama on the GOP, and why he criticizes individuals, but not the party as a whole:

"Well, I do think there's a difference between the parties, but here's my belief. That I'm talking to voters. And I think they're a lot of Republican voters out there, self-identified, who actually think that what the Bush administration has done, has been damaging to the country.

And, what I'm interested in, is how do we build a working majority for change? And if I start off with the premise that it's only self-identified Democrats who I'm speaking to, then I'm not going to get to where we need to go. If I can describe it as not a blanket indictment of the Republican Party, but instead describe it as the Republican Party having been kidnapped by an incompetent, highly ideological subset of the Republican Party, then that means I can still reach out to a whole bunch of Republican moderates who I think are hungry for change, as well...

Now, there is no doubt that there is a set of premises in the reigning Republican ideology that I just think are wrong. This whole notion, and then it's been captured by this back and forth about whether I'm a redistributor, I think is a great example. The notion that the progressive income tax, which was instituted by Teddy Roosevelt, supposedly John McCain's hero, is somehow un-American, I think is an example of how people have gone way off track.

The Republican Party has gone so right when it comes to how we think about our obligations to each other, how we pay for things. And as a consequence, because most people think it's pretty important to pay for roads and bridges, schools. What we've ended up doing is tax cuts, no spending cuts, huge national debt. There's a core hypocrisy to how they have governed over the last several years, that I think has to be reversed.

And so we're going to challenge those things. The important thing though is, I just want to make sure that I'm leaving the door open to people who say to themselves, well, you know, I'm a member of the Republican Party and I remember people like Chuck Percy in Illinois, or Abraham Lincoln, a pretty good Republican. That there's some core values that historically have been important to the Republican Party, but just have not been observed over the last several years."

For starters, try to imagine Sarah Palin, or John McCain for that matter, saying anything that intelligent and coherent. I doubt Palin even knows what "subset" means. Compared to this they sound like commercial jingles. To any objective mind, something like this (and the rest of the interview) would put entirely to rest the notion that Obama is an empty suit, and yet the GOParrots keep chanting that mantra anyway.

Second, let's see, "an incompetent, highly ideological subset". In other words, "kooks", as Barry Goldwater warned us decades ago. This brief comment by Obama exemplifies what I've been saying about why so many of us have left the GOP, or rather recognized that the GOP has left us. As Bill Maher used to put it, "I'd be a Republican if they would be". They talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. They talk fiscal responsibility, and then run up deficits. They talk about getting government out of our lives, then want to listen to our phone conversations, confiscate our cash without due process, and force women (in Palin's case) to carry to term the seeds of incestuous rapists. They dishonestly pretend aspects of our government that have existed for decades, such as the progressive income tax, are somehow examples of socialism, which is comical to the Keynesians, and hilarious to actual socialists.

Obama has appealed successfully to those of us who think all of that is nuts, which is why he is going to win so big on Tuesday. The Lie Machine can't work when the information is out there easy to get for anyone who wants it.

No comments: