I’m With Jeb and Rudy

Here’s Jeb Bush:  “I used to be a conservative, and I watch these debates and I’m wondering, I don’t think I’ve changed, but it’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective.”

Here’s Rudy Giuliani on the GOP and social issues:  “It makes the party look like it isn’t a modern party, it doesn’t understand the modern world we live in.”

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, I think the Republican Party has left me.  “Back to the Future” is an entertaining movie, but it doesn’t work well as a 2012 presidential campaign slogan.

The Knives Are Out for Newt

And they’re not slicing baloney.  I’m not a big fan of Elliott “Iran Contra” Abrams, but he has a great piece up at National Review Online (“Gingrich and Reagan”) accusing Newt of dishonesty and hypocrisy in calling himself Ronald Reagan’s BFF.  You’ve probably noticed that Newt says “Reagan” as often as Rudy Giuliani says “9/11.”

The whole column is worth reading, but here are some excepts:

“[N]o candidate has wrapped himself in the mantle of Ronald Reagan more often than Newt Gingrich.  ‘I worked with President Reagan to change things in Washington,’ ‘we helped defeat the Soviet empire,’ and ‘I helped lead the effort to defeat Communism in the Congress’ are typical claims by the former speaker of the House.

“The claims are misleading at best. … Mr. Gingrich equally often spewed insulting rhetoric at Reagan, his top aides, and his policies to defeat Communism.  Gingrich was voluble and certain in predicting that Reagan’s policies would fail, and in all of this he was dead wrong.

“Thus Gingrich concluded as he surveyed five years of Reagan in power that ‘we have been losing the struggle with the Soviet empire.’  Reagan did not know what he was doing, and ‘it is precisely at the vision and strategy levels that the Soviet empire today is superior to the free world.’

“There are two things to be said about these remarks.  The first is that as a visionary, Gingrich does not have a very impressive record.  The Soviet Union was beginning to collapse….  The policies Gingrich thought so weak and indeed ‘pathetic’ worked, and Ronald Reagan turned out to be a far better student of history and politics than Gingrich.”

If Newt continues to surge against Mitt, expect more of this from “house organs” of the GOP establishment like National Review.  They are very, very afraid.

Desperate Newt Pandering to Paultards

Newt the Desperate is trying to siphon votes from Ron Paul in South Carolina by saying he wants a commission to pursue getting us back on the gold standard, which is of course one of Ron Paul’s signature issues.

Ronald Reagan appointed such a commission and, of the 17 members, 15 ultimately rejected the idea.  Guess who was one of the two in favor?  Why Ron Paul, of course.

Newtie also bashed the Fed, saying it should abandon its dual mandate of fighting both inflation and unemployment and stick to the former.

Bonus fun fact — When Sarah Palin was chosen as McCain’s Veep, she thought “the Fed” referred to the federal government and didn’t know it meant the Federal Reserve.  That would make for some interesting Emily Litella moments.

Who Moved the GOP’s Cheese?

Instead of focusing on fixing programs like Social Security and Medicare, the Republican Party suddenly is arguing these programs are somehow unAmerican and unconstitutional.  Rick Perry calls Social Security a Ponzi scheme and a monstrous lie.  Michele Bachmann declares we have to wean people off Social Security.  Marco Rubio claims these programs have weakened us as a people.  Paul Ryan wants to end Medicare as we know it.

This hasn’t been the party’s position before.  Ronald Reagan reformed Social Security, he didn’t seek to destroy it.  George W. Bush grafted a new prescription drug entitlement onto Medicare.  Now extremists have taken over the party, and their views are presented as the new mainstream, the new normal.  If you disagree, you aren’t a Republican anymore.  Who are these people?  Where did they get this authority?  Their fringe views don’t represent most rank-and-file Republicans, let alone most Americans.

The truth is that we are not victims of a Ponzi scheme, we are victims of our own government’s theft when it comes to Social Security.  There should be $2.6 trillion sitting in the Social Security trust fund, enough to last till 2036, but the government has spent that money.  Where is your Social Security?  It went to Iraq and Afghanistan.

We need to prevent another Great Depression, not fight the battles of the last one.

The Republican Party seems determined to drag us back to the 19th century, rather than face the challenges of the 21st.  What will they oppose next — indoor plumbing?