Why The GOP Is Losing: A Photoessay

Jan 23 2009 Published by under Humor

Dear National Republican Congressional Committee:

After reading a couple of very interesting blog posts today, I took a look at your website. It only took me a minute or two to identify some of your party's biggest problems. I know you didn't ask for my advice, but I'm going to give it to you anyway. I have to. I firmly believe that a healthy and loyal opposition party is vitally important to the success of any democracy, so I would be failing in my patriotic duty if I did not.

Your first and most obvious problem may be the hardest to fix: You Have No Issues!!!

Nrcc-Issues

Seriously, that's not good. I know you've been trying to avoid acknowledging this for a while now, but if you want people to vote for you, it really, really helps if you're actually for something. It's not enough to be against things:

Nrcc2

A list of the other guy's "dirty laundry" really doesn't qualify as an issue. Or, for that matter, as being for something. I know it's fun to beat up on the other folks, but it might just possibly be more important to worry about figuring out what your issues are before you talk about other people's dirty laundry.

Stillmorefail

Labeling the "dirty laundry" as "press releases" doesn't count as an issue, either. But maybe one of those people that your press releases say you've hired can help you come up with some. If, that is, they're not all out looking for more laundry.

Something else that might help you is having some sort of ability to recognize reality:

Antisuccess

It's not an accomplishment if it didn't work.

I apologize if I was saying things that you already know, but I figured that it would be good to err on the safe side - particularly since it looks like you don't even know just how bad you're losing.

Continuing-Fail

(You need more than 16 seats, guys. That's been true for a while now.)

21 responses so far

  • Michael Fugate says:

    Jonah Goldberg on NPR said something to the effect that it was much more fun to be out of power because you could spend your time sabotaging those in power. Creating chaos is the republic strategy.

  • Pierce R. Butler says:

    The Republicans don't need no stinkin' issues - they run on character!
    [collapses in hysterical spasms]

  • melior says:

    16 seats

    Oh noes! They're using Karl Rove's "The Math" again!

  • blf says:

    I'm surprised the reptrollistas even have a website, and that it appears to not be written in crayon.

  • Leslie says:

    Yes, blf - did you hear about how the incredibly technologically savvy Obama people got to the White House and found themselves back in the Dark Ages? So it IS amazing that the Republicans' website isn't done in crayon on construction paper. And maybe the administration really DID lose those million or so e-mails - nah, let's not go too far.
    I also see that they have yet to learn that the adjective is DemocratIC, not Democrat. What an incredible lack of common decency and respect.

  • Roger Knight says:

    I believe that President Obama and certain pundits stated that the Republicans should stop listening to Rush Limbaugh.
    The problem is they have not been listening to Rush Limbaugh!
    If you actually spend some time listening to Rush and to other conservative commentators, you will find we conservatives have plenty of issues, and darn good ones at that. We want smaller government. We want less interference and regulation by government in our lives. We believe that the idea that global warming is solely caused by human activity to be a hoax intended to cause us to allow bigger and more intrusive government. We opposed the bailout. We want the federal government's budget balanced and the debt paid off. We believe we should develop petroleum resources in Alaska and off shore, develop the oil shale, and move toward making liquid fuels out of coal, because these are energy resources not dependent upon the good will of the House of Saud. Another reason for wanting the federal budget balanced is then we are not dependent upon the Saudis buying Treasury Notes for our governmental functions.
    And we are furious at those elected Republicans who have betrayed our issues by acting like big government Democrats.
    The only three things we liked about McCain was 1) his heroic service in Vietnam, 2) his opposition to pork barrel spending and earmarks, and 3) his selection of Sarah Palin, a real small government conservative hostile to corruption, as a running mate. Other than that, we did not see much difference between him and Obama.
    Note how Obama moved to the right during his campaign. He actually promised a tax cut!
    So the one change we would like to see in Republicans is to stop being so hostile to the 59% of the American electorate who identify ourselves as conservatives.

  • John Marley says:

    @Roger Knight:
    Are you living in some alternate universe?

  • BaldApe says:

    Roger Knight:
    You prove the point beautifully. I see no issues in the sense of being for something. All I see is:
    1. Against government
    2. Against regulation (but only of business. Regulation of who can sleep with whom is just fine)
    3. Against the idea of anthropogenic climate change (and, by extension, science in general)
    4. Against the bailout
    5. Against the Saudis
    6. Against "pork barrel" spending (by which you mean spending you don't like)
    Did I miss any?

  • Roger Knight says:

    BaldApe does not take the time to read carefully: "I see no issues in the sense of being for something."
    But I wrote:
    "We want the federal government's budget balanced and the debt paid off. We believe we should develop petroleum resources in Alaska and off shore, develop the oil shale, and move toward making liquid fuels out of coal, because these are energy resources not dependent upon the good will of the House of Saud. Another reason for wanting the federal budget balanced is then we are not dependent upon the Saudis buying Treasury Notes for our governmental functions."
    Sounds like a lot of "for" things.
    Why do you want to be dependent upon the Saudis for both our energy supply and to pay the salaries of federal employees like our national park rangers and Army soldiers?
    Is it possilbe there is a danger to allowing our present $10 trillion national debt to expand at a rate of $1 trillion per year as Obama proposes? What do you suppose would happen if people stopped buying Treasury Notes?
    We would have three choices:
    1) Balancing the budget in a hurry! Sudden massive cuts in federal spending.
    2) Just print the money. Works great in Zimbabwe!
    3) The Hitler Option. Simply seize the assets of other nations with our armed forces.
    You might also ask yourself this question:
    Why are people VOLUNTARILY buying billions of dollars worth of Treasury Notes? If they know that perpetual deficits cannot be sustained forever without a huge devaluation in the value of the loans (inflation from printing the money), and thus we have a Ponzi scheme, the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, then what are they getting for all of that money?
    I can be forgiven for thinking that the Iraq War is a mercenary operation.

  • BaldApe says:

    Of course being "for" one thing means that you are "against" its opposite. But the point is that just attacking what you are against is not promoting any positive position.
    Balancing the budget in the current economic circumstances is precisely the wrong thing to do. It would be another example of how Republican ideology trumps reality.
    As to "wanting to be dependent on the Saudis," of course I don't.
    Here are a few examples of things I am for-
    Sustainable energy independence. "Drill, baby, drill" won't do it, whether you accept the evidence on climate change or not. Conservation and "green" solutions are the only sustainable solution.
    Universal science literacy. If all of our children were educated to see the world in an objective, verifiable way then evidence and reality could drive our policy decisions.
    Maximum personal freedom consistent with the common good. Let people be who they are. Get out of their bedrooms, out of their lifestyles, out of their thoughts, and mind your own business unless actual harm is being done. (I'm not implying here that anyone else has disagreed with this point of view, I'm just offering it as an example of something to be "for" without framing it as "against.")
    Maybe you can see the difference?

  • Troublesome Frog says:

    Why are people VOLUNTARILY buying billions of dollars worth of Treasury Notes? If they know that perpetual deficits cannot be sustained forever without a huge devaluation in the value of the loans (inflation from printing the money), and thus we have a Ponzi scheme, the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, then what are they getting for all of that money?

    They're probably buying them because the amount of debt we have to service right now is quite manageable by historical standards, and they're working on the assumption that we have enough sense not to continue it forever. Considering that in the state we're in, demand for US government debt is extremely high, I don't think that our first concern should be whether or not we can get credit.

  • Roger Knight says:

    Baldape, it sounds like we are in agreement on many things, it is our perspective that differs.
    Sustainable energy independence has to include drilling off shore and in ANWR. Obviously by itself it is not enough. That is not a reason to not do it. That one nuclear power plant won't supply all of our electricity needs is hardly an argument against building it.
    There are at least 3 Saudi Arabia equivalents in the oil shale of Colorado and Wyoming, perhaps 100 SA equivalents. Only recently has it become legal to even explore developing it as a fuel source!
    Coal can be made into gasoline and diesel fuel. Germany launched a mechanized war with liquid fuels made from coal. We only have 350 billion short tons of coal within the US that we know about.
    Thus developing the oil shale and coal resources without arbitrary limitations imposed through the global warming hoax is sustainable energy independence. Perhaps enough to allow each of us to drive the equivalent of 1965 Cadillacs for the next thousand years.
    Who isn't for maximum personal freedom? Get the government out of our bedrooms, out of our food choices, and out of our right to self defense. Obama's people have been universally hostile to the 2nd Amendment. Here in Seattle, we have gay rights activists strongly oppsed to any infringement on concealed weapons licenses because they want to be able to defend themselves against gay-bashers. I am all for allowing people to defend themselves and to not be at the mercy of thugs.
    I would like to see universal scientific literacy, but hey, I keep hearing people tell me that electric cars will solve our energy crisis. Uh, they use ELECTRICITY. Which has to be generated somehow. No problem if we don't mind burning that much more coal and uranium!
    And hey, we all know people incapable of grasping the proposition that as there are eight furlongs in a mile, there are 64 square furlongs in a square mile, even if you use a chessboard as a prop while trying to explain it to them! And forget trying to explain that an acre can be thought of as the area of a rectangle a furlong in length and a tenth of a furlong wide!
    Try explaining any scientific or engineering concept to them. Good luck.
    Serious. I now work in a law office and we say this about juries: Nice people, but if you have to explain to them that there are a thousand cubic decimeters in a cubic meter, you will lose them!

  • Michael Fugate says:

    Only the completely clueless could think we can burn billions of tons of fossil fuels and have no effect on climate.
    One big difference in perspective is the idea that big government is bad, but big global business is good. We are no better off with energy production in the hands of the few than in foreign countries. Without government intervention, there is no guarantee that fossil fuels mined in the US will be used solely by US citizens.
    The other thing that would save enormous amounts of money is a commitment to peace - we could close foreign military bases, stop funding "pie-in-the-sky" weapon systems that will either never work or have military "cowboys" itching to use them because they are there. We might even be able to afford medical care for our veterans.

  • llewelly says:

    Roger Knight | January 24, 2009 4:16 PM, #6:

    We believe that the idea that global warming is solely caused by human activity to be a hoax intended to cause us to allow bigger and more intrusive government.

    In much the same fashion, the 'round earth theory' is also a hoax intended to cause us to allow bigger and more intrusive alien abductions.

  • Roger Knight says:

    Michael Fugate writes: "Only the completely clueless could think we can burn billions of tons of fossil fuels and have no effect on climate."
    According to the Woods Hole folks (scientists) the natural carbon cycle involves 160 to 200 billion tons of carbon every year. They use the term "petagrams" which is a way of saying billion metric tons. Given the level of accuracy in our estimation of the planetary volume of natural photosynthesis and metabolism, we could say these tons are long, short, or metric, and still these numbers would be an accurate description of the order of magnitude of the natural carbon cycle.
    We are only transferring about 6.5 to 7 billion tons per year from the ground to the air and biomass with our use of fossil fuels.
    It is not unreasonable to conclude that any regime of government regulation of the 3.5% of the carbon cycle involving our use of fossil fuels will have as much effect on the climate as sacrificing virgins has on volcanic activity.
    But it will certainly have as much effect on our freedoms and economy, including on the coal industry, as sacrificing virgins has on the virgins!

  • MIchael Fugate says:

    And are the Woods Hole folks saying that climate change is not happening and is not anthropogenic?
    How much fossil fuel have we burned in 150 years?
    How will it affect our freedom?
    How will it affect our economy?

  • Michael Ralston says:

    So, Roger, if you have a cycle where something is created and destroyed in equal large amounts, then you create 3% more, but don't destroy any more, is the amount of the something going to go up, down, or stay the same?

  • Roger Knight says:

    According to most scientific measurements, it is generally agreed that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was about 260 ppm in 1850 and about 360 ppm in 2000, a little higher than that now. The amount of carbon dioxide represented by the difference of 100 ppm can be readily calculated from the total weight of the atmosphere being about 14.7 X pi X (50.1 million)2. Those familiar with the Pyramid Inch theory know that the diameter of the Earth is a little more than 50 million inches.
    When compared to the amount of carbon dioxide generated from the amount of coal, petroleum, and natural gas used worldwide between 1850 and 2000, we find that the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide is one fifth of the amount of carbon dioxide generated from fossil fuels.
    This can be explained by the fact that plant photosynthesis, and chemical weathering of chalk and limestone, increase when the local concentration of carbon dioxide increases.
    Farmers downwind of coal fired power plants notice higher crop yields all other factors being equal. Stockholders of Weyerhaeuser and Crown Pacific would like to see more coal fired power plants and more use of gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel. When you drive through a forest, you feed the trees with your exhaust.
    While the industrial revolution increase in carbon dioxide has been relatively constant, it is also agreed that the climate warmed considerably before the 1940's, cooled from the 1940's through the 1970's, and then warmed from the 1970's through 2000, and seems to be plateauing and even cooling since the turn of the millenium.
    What is really interesting is that the rate of plant photosynthesis has to increase by only 1-2% for the slow increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide to become a decrease. This could happen if we were to have any ACTUAL global warming. Thus, even if we were to accept the premise that our use of fossil fuels would have any effect at all on the climate, it would be a self correcting effect.
    Variations in the Sun's energy output could be the explanation for the changes in climate we have been observing since the Roman times.
    And please note, the polar bears have survived all previous changes in our climate. If global warming threatens polar bears with extinction, then how is it we still have polar bears?

  • llewelly says:

    Farmers downwind of coal fired power plants notice higher crop yields all other factors being equal. Stockholders of Weyerhaeuser and Crown Pacific would like to see more coal fired power plants and more use of gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel. When you drive through a forest, you feed the trees with your exhaust.

    Not all crop plants have the right attributes necessary to leverage higher CO2 levels. For every nutrient, there is a concentration of optimal benefit. Above that concentration, there is no benefit. For over 700,000 years, CO2 concentrations were lower than they are today - and as a result many plants lost the ability to leverage higher CO2 levels.

    Perhaps more importantly - most plants which can benefit from higher CO2 levels require both additional water, and lower temperatures in order to make use the additional CO2. Most of America has already gotten drier due to global warming, and all of America has already warmed. These trends will continue, and they're both in the direction opposite to that needed for plants to make use of additional CO2. So far, only 2 plants have been shown to benefit from the combination of higher CO2 levels, higher temps, and less water that will result from global warming. Those plants are kudzu and poison ivy.

    While the industrial revolution increase in carbon dioxide has been relatively constant, ..

    The rate of increase in CO2 increased much more rapidly after WWII than before, and faster still after 1980 than before. It's an accelerating increase.

    .. it is also agreed that the climate warmed considerably before the 1940's, cooled from the 1940's through the 1970's,

    Only North America and Europe cooled from the 1940s through the 1970s. The globe as a whole continued to warm. That's why it's called global warming, as opposed to in-your-backyard warming.

    and then warmed from the 1970's through 2000, and seems to be plateauing and even cooling since the turn of the millennium.

    The belief that global temperature 'seems to be plateauing and even cooling since the turn of the millennium' is a myth based on mathematically invalid attempts to conjure a trend from two points.

    What is really interesting is that the rate of plant photosynthesis has to increase by only 1-2% for the slow increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide to become a decrease. This could happen if we were to have any ACTUAL global warming.

    As detailed above, most plants actually cannot benefit from the higher CO2 levels available today, much less those available in the future. Further - many plants cannot move north fast enough to keep up with global warming, and will either soon, or have already, find themselves in a less than ideal environment - resulting in massive decreases in photosynthesis. A good example is the formerly beautiful forests of lodge pole and other pines in the eastern half of my own home state of Utah, and western portions of Colorado. Warming and drying due to global warming has made that environment much more hospitable to highly destructive pine beetles. As a result, the pine beetles are destroying hundreds of thousands of acres of trees. Dead trees do not photosynthesize. Instead, they break down, or catch on fire, and much the carbon that made up the tree is transferred into the atmosphere. Dying trees are a significant contributor to rising CO2 levels (as are many other ongoing human-caused changes in vegetation).

    Variations in the Sun's energy output could be the explanation for the changes in climate we have been observing since the Roman times.

    The heat-trapping effects of human-emitted CO2 reached levels of warming comparable to the warmest end of solar variation during early in the 19th century. By the end of the 19th century, warm attributable to human CO2 emissions overwhelmed what solar variation is capable of producing. The correlation between solar output and changes in climate essentially disappears after 1950.

    And please note, the polar bears have survived all previous changes in our climate. If global warming threatens polar bears with extinction, then how is it we still have polar bears?

    Polar bears were not around to experience 'all previous changes in our climate'.
    Polar bears diverged from brown bears only 200,000 years ago. Today's CO2 levels are higher than anytime in the past 700,000 years, (and possibly much longer).
    Roger Knight, your sources have done you a terrible disservice, misleading you and making you appear to be a fool. You should be outraged.

  • Lee says:

    Roger Knight seems to be arguing that a fundamental conservative tenet is that AGW is a "hoax."
    Roger, that kind of ideologically mandated refusal to acknowledge reality is at the heart of the conservative collapse. The real world does not respect ideology - and when conservatism abandoned a commitment to science and reality in favor of convenient ideology, it sealed its eventual fate.

  • Michael Fugate says:

    Who knew polar bears had been around for 4.5 billion years.