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Taco John
02-02-2005, 01:19 PM
Speaking of ambitious political strategies, this is the most ambitious yet. I hope it works. I didn't see it before, but Bush might actually advance the Libertarian Party by using addition by subtraction. It's the most viable party if the Democrats become irrelevant.


Dominance on GOP Agenda
Depriving Democrats of voters and money is among White House policies' other aims.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-agenda2feb02,0,3477198.story?coll=la-home-headlines


By Peter Wallsten and Warren Vieth, Times Staff Writers


WASHINGTON As the nation's trial lawyers again funneled tens of millions of dollars to Democrats and their causes in the last election, Republicans were crafting a strategy to choke off that money for future campaigns.

President Bush's agenda for the next four years, much of which he will highlight in his State of the Union address tonight, includes many proposals that would not only change public policy but, the GOP hopes, achieve an ambitious political goal: Stripping money and voters from the Democratic Party and cementing Republican dominance for years after he leaves office.

One of the clearest examples is an effort to limit jury awards in lawsuits against doctors and businesses. The caps might not only discourage "frivolous" lawsuits, as Bush argues, but also deprive trial lawyers of income from damage awards that they could then give to Democrats.

"If we could succeed in getting some form of tort reform passed medical malpractice reform or any of part of that it would go a long ways toward taking away the muscle, the financial muscle that they have," said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who ousted Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle last fall despite a heavy flood of trial lawyer money backing the Democrat.

On issue after issue, the White House is staking out positions that achieve a policy goal while expanding the GOP's appeal to new voters or undermining the Democrats' ability to compete. Interviews with Bush advisors, a recent memo drafted by a senior White House strategist and a speech last month by the Republican Party's new chairman show that the political advantages are very much part of the calculation.

Bush's plan to alter Social Security, for example, would allow younger workers to divert some of their payroll taxes into privately owned retirement accounts. GOP strategists hope it would also foster a new "investor class" that would vote Republican.

Republican support for free trade undermines labor unions which, like trial lawyers, are a bedrock of the Democratic Party, strategists say.

The president's faith-based initiative, which encourages government funding for religious social service agencies, and his opposition to legalizing same-sex marriage are popular with socially conservative African Americans, who have for decades leaned Democratic but are increasingly viewed as potential GOP voters.

Many black parents, whose children attend struggling public schools, also agree with Republicans' support for school vouchers. And Bush's call to revamp the nation's immigration laws makes the party more appealing to Latinos, another traditionally Democratic group.

"Are we doing it because it creates more Republicans? Or are we doing it because it's the right thing to do, and by the way, it also happens to create more Republicans?" asked Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform and a frequent advisor to Karl Rove, Bush's chief political advisor. "It's both."

"Every one of the ideas for the most part has merits on its own, so they're defensible," said Stephen Moore, a conservative activist who plans to raise $10 million this year to advertise on behalf of Bush's Social Security plans. "But I think, altogether, this was devised as a Karl Rove grand plan to cement in place a Republican governing coalition that could last for a generation or more."

The pursuit of larger political goals by presidents is nothing new. Advisors to President Clinton once hoped his plan to overhaul healthcare delivery would draw voters to the Democratic Party.

But GOP strategists say the difference this time is the sheer scope of Bush's political ambitions and his willingness to push sweeping ideological changes. The party is aiming for a 21st century political realignment comparable to the Democratic domination spurred by President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. Bush often refers to his agenda as building an "ownership society," a phrase that strategists compare in political terms to the New Deal: a package of programs that builds loyalty among voters for generations. While Roosevelt expanded the role of government in lifting seniors and workers out of poverty, Bush's domestic agenda stresses the creation of personal wealth and individual responsibility, pure Republican ideology.

"FDR achieved for the Democrats two generations of support, in part because people thought he had done something that was real and permanent and improved their lives," said Newt Gingrich, the former Republican House speaker who also is close to White House strategists. "Handling Social Security correctly, so that we win the argument over personal savings accounts, I think puts the liberal Democrats in a permanent minority status for a long time."

Bush and his aides rarely reveal the political underpinnings of their policy agenda. But their ambitions were evident last month, when a memo by a senior White House strategist concerning the emerging Social Security plan was leaked to the media.

The memo, written by Peter Wehner, director of the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives, put the stakes in grand political terms, saying there would be enduring benefits for Republicans if the president's plans succeeded and Democrats came out of the debate as the "party of the past."

"For the first time in six decades, the Social Security battle is one we can win and in doing so, we can help transform the political and philosophical landscape of the country," Wehner wrote.

In an interview, Ken Mehlman, Bush's 2004 campaign manager and the new Republican National Committee chairman, called the politics of the Bush agenda an "added benefit" of a plan befitting a conservative president.

But Mehlman was more direct in a speech to party leaders on the eve of Bush's second inauguration last month, rattling off pieces of the Bush agenda as a combined weapon to "broaden and deepen" the GOP.

By proposing that workers divert some of their payroll taxes into privately controlled investment accounts, he said, the party hopes to draw voters under 30 who are worried about retirement savings. Its message, Mehlman said, is: "The Republican Party has a plan for you."

In nominating conservative judges to the Supreme Court and lower courts, Mehlman said, the ensuing debate offers a chance to "deepen the GOP by registering to vote men and women who attend church every week." The GOP's efforts to grow come as the Democratic Party struggles to find its voice. The liberal and moderate wings of the party are at odds over how to fight Bush's agenda without appearing obstructionist or overly negative, labels the GOP used effectively against Daschle and other Democrats in elections last year.

The one issue that has united Democrats is Social Security, with party strategists increasingly convinced that voters and beneficiaries are wary enough of the Bush plan to punish Republicans in future elections.

"If the Republicans can destroy Social Security, if they can privatize it out of existence, then they remove a key foundation stone for a philosophy of governance which says we're all in it together," said Robert B. Reich, former Labor secretary in the Clinton administration and now a professor at Brandeis University near Boston.

On the question of capping jury awards, trial lawyers are not likely to go down without a fight.

Plaintiff's lawyers and law firms gave more than $30 million to candidates in the 2004 election cycle, funding Democrats overwhelmingly more than Republicans, according to Dwight L. Morris & Associates, which analyzes campaign finance data.

"The Democrats in the Senate are in lock-step with the trial lawyers because they know" the lawyers are a major money source, said Thune, the Republican who defeated Daschle in South Dakota.

Referring to the goal of turning off the lawyers' financial spigot, Carlton Carl, spokesman for the Assn. of Trial Lawyers of America, said: "They want to destroy the legal rights of American families in order to take political action against the lawyers who represent people who have been injured through no fault of their own."The Bush agenda, said Norquist, crystallizes for voters the differences between the two major political parties, casting Republicans, he said, as the party of personal wealth and Democrats as the party of more government involvement.

"I think that 25 years from now, Americans will have more control over their retirement, more control over their healthcare and more control over where their kids go to school, and they will appreciate the party that gave them that," said David Boaz, executive vice president of the libertarian Cato Institute and an informal White House advisor.

RINGLEADER
02-02-2005, 01:28 PM
You've hit the nail on the head about what the Dems just aren't getting...they have the opportunity to update a program that hasn't changed much (beyond the increases in taxes) since it was first formed. They have the ability to inject some of their own beliefs to insure that they can claim credit for something that has to eventually take place. Instead Harry Reid gets out there are says "no way, no how, never".

I never expected the Dems to roll over after the last election, but how many elections do they have to lose before realizing that the "speed bump" strategy isn't working? I guess I can appreciate what they're trying to do, but politically it is just very, very stupid. If you don't want Bush to get the credit then offer up an alternative of your own.

Cochise
02-02-2005, 01:29 PM
I would definitely not mind seeing the dems sink into obscurity and the LP move up into prominence.

Taco John
02-02-2005, 01:36 PM
I would definitely not mind seeing the dems sink into obscurity and the LP move up into prominence.



Me either... It's exactly what I want. That would be perfect.

The Democrats are terrible strategists. The worst.

Amnorix
02-02-2005, 02:07 PM
Out of simple curiousity, raise your hand if you think ANY party should advance laws and public policies that are primarily aimed at destroying another political party, rather than being for the general good of the public.

I'm honestly not sure that tort reform would be as crippling as the article suggests, but I find the "underlying" motivation of the Republicans absolutely appalling. It's just not what good governance is about, nor is it what our elected leaders are paid to do.

Honestly, though, I have no idea why I bother. The utter hatred of the two political parties and their constituents is apparently irreversible, and IMHO is terrible for the country...

Cochise
02-02-2005, 02:09 PM
Me either... It's exactly what I want. That would be perfect.

The Democrats are terrible strategists. The worst.

I was thinking more along the lines of my political philosophy... I identify with the Republicans more often than not, but the Libertarians present a far less odious alternative than the Democrats do, and one that might push the Republicans to really attempt to reduce the size and role of the federal government.

Amnorix
02-02-2005, 02:10 PM
Those of you who think the Democratic Party might be destroyed and therefore replaced by the Libertarian Party are out of your minds. The ideals and goals of the constituents of the Democratic Party are NOT going to go away, nor is the Libertarian Party able to step into the shoes of the Democratic Party in any way, shape or form.

Even if the Democratic Party were utterly destroyed (very unlikely, IMHO), it would probably just splinter and factionalize or something, with big elements of it reuniting from time to time (i.e. behind a Presidential candidate).

The Libertarian Party *might* be able to replace the Republican Party, because the tenets of the LP are closer to that of the RP's constituents, but never the Democratic Party.

Donger
02-02-2005, 02:10 PM
Out of simple curiousity, raise your hand if you think ANY party should advance laws and public policies that are primarily aimed at destroying another political party, rather than being for the general good of the public.

What if it's both?

Brock
02-02-2005, 02:12 PM
Out of simple curiousity, raise your hand if you think ANY party should advance laws and public policies that are primarily aimed at destroying another political party, rather than being for the general good of the public.

"I think that 25 years from now, Americans will have more control over their retirement, more control over their healthcare and more control over where their kids go to school, and they will appreciate the party that gave them that," said David Boaz, executive vice president of the libertarian Cato Institute and an informal White House advisor.

Raise your hand if you think these goals are a bad thing for America. Raise your other hand if you can get these things from the democratic party.

Amnorix
02-02-2005, 02:13 PM
What if it's both?

If it were *truly* both, then it's fine to advance it, I suppose. I have little doubt, however, that the priority of tort reform, and the scope of it, will be greatly enhanced by the potential damage to the Democrats, if the damage really would be that significant (I have no idea whether it would be or not).

Let me put it this way -- if undermining the Democratic Party in this fashion really would succeed as much as the article says, then tort reform would be filibustered. The Democrats are many things, but they're not so dumb as to destroy their own source of funding.

Cochise
02-02-2005, 02:31 PM
The ideals and goals of the constituents of the Democratic Party are NOT going to go away, nor is the Libertarian Party able to step into the shoes of the Democratic Party in any way, shape or form.

What happened when the Whigs disappeared and gave rise to the GOP?

They were a party that had drifted towards its strongest elements. Just before to the civil war when the nation was so deeply divided over slavery, the the Democratic-Republican Party and the brand-new GOP drew off so many Whigs that they effectively killed the Whig party, and the GOP took its place. What's the difference?

I think you're mistaken about the ideals of the party not going away. Philosophies and systems of ideas are not immune to age. People and cultures are not immune to shifts in taste and values.

The communist notion is now on the ash-heap of history, mainly because the generation that brought it to the fore has largely gone. Why couldn't that happen within a generation for late 20th century American liberalism?

SBK
02-02-2005, 02:45 PM
Out of simple curiousity, raise your hand if you think ANY party should advance laws and public policies that are primarily aimed at destroying another political party, rather than being for the general good of the public.

The utter hatred of the two political parties and their constituents is apparently irreversible, and IMHO is terrible for the country...

Point 1, if you're destroying the party that seems to be wanting to destroy the nation, then you're off to a good start.

Point 2, you're dead on. Im so sick of the 2 sides not working together and MAKING THE COUNTRY BETTER OFF TOMORROW THAN IT IS TODAY. Playing politics is just plain retarded. But without both sides stepping up it will never improve. You can't have one side bend a little and have the other refuse to move. Of course as a conservative I would want the country to move in that direction, but I would bend on some things if I got some others that I find more important fixed. :thumb:

Amnorix
02-02-2005, 02:48 PM
The communist notion is now on the ash-heap of history, mainly because the generation that brought it to the fore has largely gone. Why couldn't that happen within a generation for late 20th century American liberalism?

Cuz about 50 million people voted for it in the last election. Sure, not all would deem themselves liberals, but let's not get carried away. The Democratic party right now is stronger than the Republicans were in the mid-60s, for example.

Actually, no, we're doomed, defeated and dead. Please ignore us.

Amnorix
02-02-2005, 02:49 PM
Point 1, if you're destroying the party that seems to be wanting to destroy the nation, then you're off to a good start.

Point 2, you're dead on. Im so sick of the 2 sides not working together and MAKING THE COUNTRY BETTER OFF TOMORROW THAN IT IS TODAY. Playing politics is just plain retarded. But without both sides stepping up it will never improve. You can't have one side bend a little and have the other refuse to move. Of course as a conservative I would want the country to move in that direction, but I would bend on some things if I got some others that I find more important fixed. :thumb:

Point 1: you're a 'tard.

Point 2: this is the first remotely intelligent thing you have said. Congratulations.

Brock
02-02-2005, 02:53 PM
Actually, no, we're doomed, defeated and dead. Please ignore us.

With Howard Dean defining the face of your party, you're probably right.

YEEEAAARRRGH!

BIG_DADDY
02-02-2005, 02:56 PM
God we can only hope. Death to the Dems, long live the Libertarians. :thumb:

jiveturkey
02-02-2005, 04:01 PM
I think that a lot of guys are jumping ahead awfully quickly.

I see the Repubs staying in control of pretty much everything for a long time but they've worked a lot of redistricting deals that will leave a large number of Dems in office for a long time as well.

Their numbers might diminish but they're not going to go away and they'll probably maintain enough numbers to remain a problem for the Repub agenda.

And how much legislating is really going to happen with 3 parties vying for power?

jiveturkey
02-02-2005, 04:05 PM
And don't you think that Libertarians will take more power away from the Repubs? Dems voters aren't going to vote for Libertarians.

Libertarians could wind up being the great equalizer. :hmmm:

Cochise
02-02-2005, 04:19 PM
I think that a lot of guys are jumping ahead awfully quickly.

Yeah, I wasn't pronouncing the party dead or anything. I was just speculating on one possible scenario. Certainly talk of any such thing is premature at best.

Taco John
02-02-2005, 04:45 PM
Those of you who think the Democratic Party might be destroyed and therefore replaced by the Libertarian Party are out of your minds. The ideals and goals of the constituents of the Democratic Party are NOT going to go away, nor is the Libertarian Party able to step into the shoes of the Democratic Party in any way, shape or form.

Nobody wants to step in the shoes that are standing in the manure.

BIG_DADDY
02-02-2005, 04:48 PM
And don't you think that Libertarians will take more power away from the Repubs? Dems voters aren't going to vote for Libertarians.

Libertarians could wind up being the great equalizer. :hmmm:

Their not smart enough to be Libertarians, good point. :thumb:

Taco John
02-02-2005, 04:53 PM
And don't you think that Libertarians will take more power away from the Repubs? Dems voters aren't going to vote for Libertarians.

Libertarians could wind up being the great equalizer. :hmmm:


The Libertarian Party doesn't fit on the conventional scale of right vs. left. It is just as likely to attract left leaning voters as it is to attract right leaning.

It's got a long way to go, but the climate keeps getting better and better for Libertarian politics.

jiveturkey
02-02-2005, 04:57 PM
The Libertarian Party doesn't fit on the conventional scale of right vs. left. It is just as likely to attract left leaning voters as it is to attract right leaning.

It's got a long way to go, but the climate keeps getting better and better for Libertarian politics.I'll be honest and tell you that I don't know a lot about the Libertarian party except that the people they put on TV are weird. :p

What I do know is that they are interested in drastically reducing the size of government and I don't know many dems that are going to jump on the wagon.

Cochise
02-02-2005, 05:04 PM
I'll be honest and tell you that I don't know a lot about the Libertarian party except that the people they put on TV are weird. :p

What I do know is that they are interested in drastically reducing the size of government and I don't know many dems that are going to jump on the wagon.

Economically like republicans, socially like democrats would be a very rough way to put it (maybe).

BIG_DADDY
02-02-2005, 05:06 PM
All I know is as long as these moronic Demorats hold on to the items in my signature line their Doomed, Doomed, Doomed.

beavis
02-02-2005, 05:10 PM
Out of simple curiousity, raise your hand if you think ANY party should advance laws and public policies that are primarily aimed at destroying another political party, rather than being for the general good of the public.

I'm honestly not sure that tort reform would be as crippling as the article suggests, but I find the "underlying" motivation of the Republicans absolutely appalling. It's just not what good governance is about, nor is it what our elected leaders are paid to do.

Honestly, though, I have no idea why I bother. The utter hatred of the two political parties and their constituents is apparently irreversible, and IMHO is terrible for the country...
The "underlying" motivation of the Republicans is no different than it is for the Dems, to stay in power. One of the things that turns me off most to the left is the unabashed willingness to sell out to anything that will keep them in office.

jiveturkey
02-02-2005, 05:12 PM
Economically like republicans, socially like democrats would be a very rough way to put it (maybe).I didn't consider the social agenda. :hmmm:

beavis
02-02-2005, 05:12 PM
Those of you who think the Democratic Party might be destroyed and therefore replaced by the Libertarian Party are out of your minds. The ideals and goals of the constituents of the Democratic Party are NOT going to go away, nor is the Libertarian Party able to step into the shoes of the Democratic Party in any way, shape or form.

Even if the Democratic Party were utterly destroyed (very unlikely, IMHO), it would probably just splinter and factionalize or something, with big elements of it reuniting from time to time (i.e. behind a Presidential candidate).

The Libertarian Party *might* be able to replace the Republican Party, because the tenets of the LP are closer to that of the RP's constituents, but never the Democratic Party.
You're dead on this one. It's too bad the libertarians would be seen as too "nutty" to be viable alternative.

SBK
02-02-2005, 05:41 PM
One of the things that turns me off most to the left is the unabashed willingness to sell out to anything that will keep them in office.

Ding ding ding.

BIG_DADDY
02-02-2005, 05:54 PM
The Libertarian Party *might* be able to replace the Republican Party, because the tenets of the LP are closer to that of the RP's constituents, but never the Democratic Party.

Yea the Demorats would have to be replaced by the Communist party which is where their headed. Both the RP and DP continue to draw apart, it's a good thing the RP has all the guns so we don't end up being the People's Republic of the United States.

Cochise
02-02-2005, 06:14 PM
Maybe the more liberal Democrats could split and join with the greens, and the libertarians could soak up some of what's left and we could end up with a 3 party thing like they have going in the UK :shrug:

RINGLEADER
02-02-2005, 06:18 PM
Out of simple curiousity, raise your hand if you think ANY party should advance laws and public policies that are primarily aimed at destroying another political party, rather than being for the general good of the public.

I'm honestly not sure that tort reform would be as crippling as the article suggests, but I find the "underlying" motivation of the Republicans absolutely appalling. It's just not what good governance is about, nor is it what our elected leaders are paid to do.

Honestly, though, I have no idea why I bother. The utter hatred of the two political parties and their constituents is apparently irreversible, and IMHO is terrible for the country...


:shrug:

I think the record shows that Bush has always been an advocate for social security reform and empowering people with their own money. If his ides also result in the opposition party deciding to obstruct and consequently leads them to get no credit for any potential changes then that's hardly Bush's fault.

I'm still stumped by all the opposition to fixing something that is just terrible at what it's doing. I thought Kerry would have been a ponderous president but if he had put forth a proposal that addressed the problems with social security I would have been totally supportive.

Michael Michigan
02-02-2005, 06:34 PM
The Democrats are terrible strategists. The worst.

Worse than Libertarians?

SBK
02-02-2005, 11:50 PM
:shrug:

I think the record shows that Bush has always been an advocate for social security reform and empowering people with their own money. If his ides also result in the opposition party deciding to obstruct and consequently leads them to get no credit for any potential changes then that's hardly Bush's fault.

I'm still stumped by all the opposition to fixing something that is just terrible at what it's doing. I thought Kerry would have been a ponderous president but if he had put forth a proposal that addressed the problems with social security I would have been totally supportive.

I saw DeLay on an interview after the president spoke and he said the Democratic party has become the party of no. No plan, no solution, no agenda. Classic quote. It was quite funny.

Calcountry
02-03-2005, 04:25 PM
I would definitely not mind seeing the dems sink into obscurity and the LP move up into prominence.With the birth of a Conservative party....

Cochise
02-03-2005, 04:40 PM
I saw DeLay on an interview after the president spoke and he said the Democratic party has become the party of no. No plan, no solution, no agenda. Classic quote. It was quite funny.

I heard that too, made a point to remember it. So true.

patteeu
02-04-2005, 09:55 AM
Out of simple curiousity, raise your hand if you think ANY party should advance laws and public policies that are primarily aimed at destroying another political party, rather than being for the general good of the public.

Of course, this has nothing to do with the article since the effects on the democrat party are described as an "added benefit" rather than a "primary aim."

Those of you who think the Democratic Party might be destroyed and therefore replaced by the Libertarian Party are out of your minds.

True. I think it is far more likely that one of the two major parties would import libertarian positions in an effort to attract new voters than that one of the parties would be replaced by the current LP.

BroWhippendiddle
02-04-2005, 10:02 AM
It seems to me that the dems and reps have traded places, so to speak.

A few years ago the dems was really big in giving away taxpayers money and the current administration seems to be doing just that.

Are the dems being desytroyed by their own philosophy?

FTR, The democratic party will not roll over and die, this is just Tampon Janes effort to build his libertarian party's status.

Inspector
02-06-2005, 11:01 PM
Those of you who think the Democratic Party might be destroyed and therefore replaced by the Libertarian Party are out of your minds. The ideals and goals of the constituents of the Democratic Party are NOT going to go away, nor is the Libertarian Party able to step into the shoes of the Democratic Party in any way, shape or form.

Even if the Democratic Party were utterly destroyed (very unlikely, IMHO), it would probably just splinter and factionalize or something, with big elements of it reuniting from time to time (i.e. behind a Presidential candidate).

The Libertarian Party *might* be able to replace the Republican Party, because the tenets of the LP are closer to that of the RP's constituents, but never the Democratic Party.

I had that same thought - about one party undermining another. But, when I realize that it would leave us as we are today, only with the Libertarian party instead of the Democratic party as the other major politcal party, then I don't mind it so much.

In theory, we'll still have 2 parties, just better ones.

At least that's the way I would want it to be.

Rausch
02-06-2005, 11:13 PM
I had that same thought - about one party undermining another. But, when I realize that it would leave us as we are today, only with the Libertarian party instead of the Democratic party as the other major politcal party, then I don't mind it so much.

In theory, we'll still have 2 parties, just better ones.

At least that's the way I would want it to be.

ROFL

Oh, that's good. Really....

I PRAY for a valid 3rd party, but it isn't even close to in sight...

Perot (frog ****!!!) BOTH made and killed the third party years ago...

Inspector
02-06-2005, 11:52 PM
ROFL

Oh, that's good. Really....

I PRAY for a valid 3rd party, but it isn't even close to in sight...

Perot (frog ****!!!) BOTH made and killed the third party years ago...

Yes, unfortunately you are right, or seem to be.

Dang it!!

Rausch
02-07-2005, 12:11 AM
Yes, unfortunately you are right, or seem to be.

Dang it!!

Of course I am...

Vote for me in 2012! :cuss:

SBK
02-07-2005, 01:29 AM
Of course I am...

Vote for me in 2012! :cuss:

I can't. You're an angry drunken German. You might could run against the Austrian in Cali-forn-i-ya.