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Frank Rich - Earth To GOP: The Gipper Is Dead

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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-12-07 05:59 PM
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Frank Rich - Earth To GOP: The Gipper Is Dead
http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Frank_Rich_Earth_to_GOP_G...

Frank Rich: Earth to GOP, the Gipper is dead
RAW STORY
Published: Saturday May 12, 2007

"While 10 white, middle-aged Republicans spoke glowingly at the recent debate about the lasting legacy of of former president Ronald Reagan, their party continues to crumble under the weight of the Bush Administration," Frank Rich writes this week in his Sunday New York Times column.

"Much as the Republicans hope that the Gipper can still be a panacea for all their political ills, so they want to believe that if only President Bush would just go away and take his rock-bottom approval rating and equally unpopular war with him, all of their problems would be solved," writes Rich. "But it could be argued that the Iraq fiasco, disastrous to American interests as it is, actually masks the magnitude of the destruction this presidency has visited both on the country in general and the GOP in particular."

"By my rough, conservative calculation -- feel free to add -- there have been corruption, incompetence, and contracting or cronyism scandals in these Cabinet departments: Defense, Education, Justice, Interior, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development."

In his column, Rich looks back on the optimism with which Bush and Karl Rove into the White House, noting that his fellow Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote that "We may say a final, welcome goodbye to the wedge issues that have divided Americans by race, ethnicity and religious conviction." Tracing the continuing decline of the Republican party, Rich points out that "the pressing matters that the public cares passionately about -- Iraq, health care, the environment and energy independence -- belong for now to the Democrats."

Exerpts from Rich's column:

"Wrongdoing of this magnitude does not happen by accident, but it is not necessarily instigated by a Watergate-style criminal conspiracy. When corruption is this pervasive, it can also be a by-product of a governing philosophy. That's the case here. That Bush-Rove style of governance, the common denominator of all the administration scandals, is the Frankenstein creature that stalks the GOP as it faces 2008. It has become the Republican brand and will remain so, even after this president goes, until courageous Republicans disown it and eradicate it."

"We've certainly come a long way from that 2000 Philadelphia convention, with its dream of forging an inclusive, long-lasting GOP majority. Instead of break dancers and a black Republican congressman (there are none now), we've had YouTube classics like Rove's impersonation of a rapper at a Washington journalists' banquet and George Allen's "macaca" meltdown. Simultaneously, the once-reliable evangelical base is starting to drift as some of its leaders join the battle against global warming and others recognize that they've been played for fools on "family values" by the GOP establishment that covered up for Mark Foley."

MORE

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Faygo Kid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-12-07 07:22 PM
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1. Frank Rich always nails it.
The Republicans run on the "legacy" of Ronald Reagan and blame Bill Clinton's administration for everything in the room, when in reality it's the 800 pound gorilla of the criminal Bush presidency that they are running from as fast as they can.
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-12-07 07:35 PM
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2. so does the Wiz!
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-12-07 07:41 PM
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3. Double irony. The Reagan presidency was criminal, too! n/t
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-12-07 07:50 PM
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4. Bingo n/t
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-12-07 09:04 PM
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5. .
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Lex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-12-07 09:17 PM
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6. kick
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-12-07 09:21 PM
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7. .
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-12-07 09:54 PM
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8. Like "The Thing That Would Not Die," the Nixon and Reagan administrations live on in W's regime
W's Presidency is not an a bizarre aberration: it is the logical continuation of a Republican agenda stretching back many decades. Lying lunatics like Cheney and Rumsfeld didn't come out of nowhere: they both served in Nixon's administration. John Bolton and Condoleeza Rice served under Reagan. Grover Norquist laid out the techniques for Reagan used to attack on American institutions and two decades later W is following the same script. W broought a whole gaggle of Iran-contra crooks back into power.

It's true that a big chunk of the public has an unrealistic and rosy memory of Reagan. But it's important to be realistic about who the current thugs are, where they learned their political philosophies and how they got their political training.
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-13-07 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. That's because the media goes into full hagiography mode
whenever they mention Reagan, so the public, who know only what they see on TV or hear on the radio, think Reagan was wonderful.
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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-12-07 10:01 PM
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9. Earth to G.O.P: The Gipper Is Dead(posted on Free Democracy)
OF course you didnt watch the first Republican presidential debate on MSNBC. Even the partys most loyal base didnt abandon Fox News, where Bill OReilly, interviewing the already overexposed George Tenet, drew far more viewers. Yet the few telling video scraps that entered the 24/7 mediasphere did turn the event into an instant Saturday Night Live parody without SNL having to lift a finger. The row of 10 middle-aged white candidates, David Letterman said, looked like guys waiting to tee off at a restricted country club.


Since then, panicked Republicans have been either blaming the Lets Make a Deal debate format or praying for salvation-by-celebrity in the form of another middle-aged white guy who might enter the race, Fred Thompson. They dont seem to get that there is not another major brand in the country not Wal-Mart, not G.E., not even Dennys nowadays that would try to sell a mass product with such a demographically homogeneous sales force. And thats only half the problem. The other half is that the Republicans dont have a product to sell. Aside from tax cuts and a wall on the Mexican border, the only issue that energized the presidential contenders was Ronald Reagan. The debates most animated moments by far came as they clamored to lip-sync his optimism, his morning in America, his shining city on the hill and even, in a bizarre John McCain moment out of a Chucky movie, his grin.

The candidates mentioned Reagans name 19 times, the current White House occupants once. Much as the Republicans hope that the Gipper can still be a panacea for all their political ills, so they want to believe that if only President Bush would just go away and take his rock-bottom approval rating and equally unpopular war with him, all of their problems would be solved. But it could be argued that the Iraq fiasco, disastrous to American interests as it is, actually masks the magnitude of the destruction this presidency has visited both on the country in general and the G.O.P. in particular.

By my rough, conservative calculation feel free to add there have been corruption, incompetence, and contracting or cronyism scandals in these cabinet departments: Defense, Education, Justice, Interior, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development. I am not counting State, whose deputy secretary, a champion of abstinence-based international AIDS funding, resigned last month in a prostitution scandal, or the General Services Administration, now being investigated for possibly steering federal favors to Republican Congressional candidates in 2006. Or the Office of Management and Budget, whose chief procurement officer was sentenced to prison in the Abramoff fallout. I will, however, toss in a figure that reveals the sheer depth of the overall malfeasance: no fewer than four inspectors general, the official watchdogs charged with investigating improprieties in each department, are themselves under investigation simultaneously an all-time record.

more
http://freedemocracy.blogspot.com/2007/05/frank-rich-ea...
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