Local Republicans lament GOP strategy: ‘The public thinks we are the crazies’

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
"The mouth from Texas. I'm not even going to mention his name."

Aggravated. Disappointed. Frustrated.

In conversations with Minnesota Republicans, those words (plus a few more that are not printable) summarize feelings about the GOP following the budget standoff in Washington that left congressional Republicans not just on the losing side but lost.

From their starting position two weeks ago that the federal government defund Obamacare or face a shutdown and a refusal to raise the debt ceiling, Republicans kept pulling back from their demands, walked away with nothing — and showed the nation a lot of dirty laundry.

“If the party doesn’t get their act together very soon, I see the demise of the Republican Party,” said Chris Addington, a nurse from Baytown Township. “The people, their supporters, their voters, are getting tired of the Republican Party.”

Addington is a conservative who supports the cause of dismantling Obamacare and is passionate about reducing government spending and debt.  She and other Republicans have noted that negotiation is a two-way street that they say Democrats, especially President Obama, never crossed.

Ed Griffin, an Edina businessman, cited the president’s “inability to get off his high horse and ask, ‘What isn’t working here?’ It just made everyone else more rigid.”

On the subject of Ted Cruz…

Less kind words he directs at Ted Cruz, the Republican senator from Texas who started the shutdown ball rolling. “The mouth from Texas,” Griffin calls him. “I’m not even going to mention his name.”

Griffin, like the other Republicans interviewed, shares frustration that Republicans in Congress didn’t have a more sophisticated strategy to corner Democrats on fiscal issues that resonate with the general public.  “We don’t want a tax-and-spend government,” he said. “We need to do something about long-term fiscal health. But you don’t do it by shutting government down.”

Jennifer Gumbel, an attorney from LeRoy, Minn., who identifies herself as “more in the John McCain side of the party,” said she fears that independents who might agree with Republicans are turned off by a “foolhardy” strategy.  “Defunding Obamacare, it was so obviously a no-win situation,” she said.

That’s what puzzles Jennifer DeJournett, president of the Minnesota group Voices of Conservative Women that works to elect female candidates with conservative economic leanings. “What’s your plan? Does your team agree on the path to get there?” she asked of the House Republicans’ recent strategy. “The everyday mom wonders what was accomplished.”

Even Chris Fields, secretary of the Republican Party of Minnesota, said: “I didn’t like the tactics. I personally wouldn’t have chosen Obamacare because Obama would never sign any changes.” He maintains that “Americans will take a look at what they’re getting [with Obamacare] and what they’re giving up, and they will make the decisions to relieve the impact.”

Fields defended the goal of Republican battle positions. “Both political parties are going to promote the policies that their supporters care about,” he said. “Democrats are trying to repeal sequester, and that’s the law, too.”

Next year’s elections

Equally concerning to local Republicans is how the shutdown strategy will affect next year’s elections.

Addington: “I’m still a conservative Republican, but I’m going to be even more careful about who I vote for.”

Fields: “In 2014, voters are going to take a look at the candidates and voters are going to look for an independent streak.”

Gumbel: “I think we will be in a weakened position in the next few elections.”

DeJournett: “The other side is taking advantage of the vacuum.”

Veteran GOP operative Michael Brodkorb on politics.mn, summed it up this way: “From the standpoint of posturing to win in 2014, this two week exercise has been nothing more than a circle firing squad.”

Gumbel didn’t need a metaphor to encapsulate her irritation. “The public,” she said, “thinks we are the crazies.”

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Comments (71)

  1. Submitted by Pat McGee on 10/18/2013 - 10:10 am.

    The public thinks they’re the crazies because….

    the behaviors exemplify that. If the shoe fits, wear it.

  2. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 10/18/2013 - 10:13 am.

    “We’re The Crazies”

    Main line Republicans, including Corporate America, chose to lie down with dogs. And now they’re complaining about the fleas?

  3. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/18/2013 - 10:19 am.


    That’ll happen when you do and say crazy stuff. What’s the difference between being crazy and doing crazy things? It’s the ultimate expression of entitlement… thinking you do crazy without being recognized as crazy.

  4. Submitted by Arito Moerair on 10/18/2013 - 10:32 am.


    In agreement with many intelligent political observers, I highly doubt that the shutdown itself will have any effect on 2014, and definitely not 2016. Voters can barely remember what happened last week, let alone last year.

    But that doesn’t mean the GOP won’t shoot itself in the foot again sometime down the road. The 2012 presidential primary was a sight to behold. They trotted out every loon they could find, each of them upholding their kamikaze mission to out-crazy the last guy (or gal). That will happen again in 2016, and it will be an even more impressive clown car. I am desperately hoping that Ted Cruz runs; he is the poster child for the insane, nihilistic politicians on the far-ultra-right fringe. They’re the ones who mainstream America wants nothing to do with, but the GOP manages to convince themselves that we do.

  5. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 10/18/2013 - 10:32 am.

    I’m a conservative

    who votes for the most conservative candidate. I’d like to remind my friends in the republican party that your problem isn’t attracting the independent voters. People forget that Romney won among independents by 5 points, 50-45. He lost to Obama, 51-48 because millions of conservatives stayed home.

    Ronald Reagan won a landslide victory because he raised a banner of “bold colors, not pale pastels.” Your likelihood of winning GOP congressional seats in 2014 won’t be because of the John McCain country club republican vote, it’ll be whether or not conservatives, and yes tea partiers, are convinced that the republican party can be trusted to carry the conservative banner.

    Because frankly, if we’re not convinced, we’ll just stay home again. We already have a liberal party in this country. We don’t need two.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/18/2013 - 11:25 am.

      “Millions of conservatives stayed home”

      The old “conservatives lose because they aren’t conservative enough” gag. I’d like to say it never gets old, but that would not be true.

      The modern American conservative is motivated largely by his hatred for Barack Obama. It is a hatred that burns with the heat of a thousand suns, and it is a hatred that consumes every fiber of his being. Why would a person like that miss a chance to vote the Kenyan Islamo-fascist bolshevik usurper out of office? “Nah, I’ll continue to let the jackboot of tyranny stay on my throat for a few more years. That Romney’s just too darn liberal!”

      Unless they’re incredibly stupid. Feel free to weigh in about how principles matter more than, well, principles.

    • Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 10/18/2013 - 12:29 pm.

      Your math is a little off…

      The President beat Gov. Romney 332 to 206. Electoral votes are the only ones that really count in this contest. As long as Republicans keep dreaming of another Reagan (who wasn’t nearly so conservative as you have made his ghost), your team will likely loose the White House again and again and again. The party that moves forward will win. The party that looks back can only sulk and play petty games like we saw this month.

      The tea leaves (and the red & blue map) don’t look good for any Republican winning the White House, as long as the Dems put up good candidates. The longer this trend continues, the more likely the GOP will become the permanent minority party in the USA.

      To quote the Dread Pirate Roberts, “get used to disappointment.”

      • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 10/24/2013 - 10:46 am.

        Simpler math

        In Dennis’s reality, he imagines the Tea Party being much larger because he doesn’t want to face the specter of how isolated and out of touch his views are. What he doesn’t get is, as his candidate moves farther right, for every Tea Party vote he picks up he loses a handful or more independents.

    • Submitted by Stephen Dent on 10/18/2013 - 12:50 pm.

      The problem with conservatives overall…

      is that their ideas, beliefs, values, and strategies are out-of-touch with most Americans in the 21st century. People understand the world is too complex, too connected, too interdependent to be a party of small government and no safety net. Food supplies need inspection; environmental issues need regulations, healthcare needs to be universal, infrastructure needs to be maintained; research and development need to occur; a good education needs to be provided to our children. No they did NOT build it themselves, as so many conservatives are convinced. When you damn government, you move backwards, not forwards, as most of our counties progress has been built on collaboration, cooperation and public private partnerships. This is the real reason the Republican Party must change. Their message is as out-of-date as many of their most fervent followers.

    • Submitted by Robert Gauthier on 10/18/2013 - 12:51 pm.

      That is a crock

      If all the conservatives stayed home, is that why we had the largest turnout for both parties in history?
      You keep regurgitating Rush Limbaugh tripe like it has a place in reality. Republicans lost because the largest turnout for an election in American history said no to the ideology of the right, radical and not so radical.

      The reality is the majority of America rejects current Tea Party illogic and the Republican party is composed of a bunch of career politicians who are only interested in their jobs (as many polls are showing). AND, there is a growing awareness that some of these crazies are a danger to their constituents- as what happened in the Utah Republican state meeting, where Bob Bennett got a standing ovation and a number of speeches admitted their mistake in ditching him last election. The state party is thinking of ditching Mike Lee, because he is a danger to the state economy which is HEAVILY dependent on military spending. This is not an isolated incident, it is happening all over the place, (Illinois, Alabama, Georgia and Arizona, to name a few places) Only in southern states is the radical right, which is largely a recreation of the old racist Dixiecrats, holding steady, and that is basically being done with race based politics.

      IS this the end of the Republican party? Not by a long shot, I personally hope your compatriots form your own party and disappear in the mists of history. The two party system will endure and the radical right will disappear into obscurity, just like their Islamic bretheren, Al Quaida.
      Radical extremists are the same, just different wrappings.

    • Submitted by jody rooney on 10/18/2013 - 02:44 pm.

      FYI Mr. Tester I considered voting for Romney

      because I don’t consider the President terribly effective but he ran too far right to retain my interest.

      As have stated before this is not the old definition of conservative – experimental changes and evaluation while leaving most spheres of an individuals life alone – this is the mean spirited out of my pocket but into my bedroom, look good on credit, guided by a God who only talks to them folks I don’t like.

      I keep pointing out all these folks voted to spend the money and now they don’t want to pay the credit card bill. That is not conservative.

    • Submitted by Lance Groth on 10/18/2013 - 03:59 pm.

      Conventional weapons, not nukes

      There’s nothing wrong with standing by your principles, whatever they may be, and fighting hard for them within the political arena. But you don’t threaten the economic viability of the United States, and undermine our faith and credit in the eyes of the world, to do so. That is too much like “destroying the village in order to save it.” I’m sure you’ve seen the recent headlines that China, Russia, Brazil and other nations are exploiting the Repub terror tactics to paint the U.S. as an unreliable partner, and to support their desire to replace the dollar as the world reserve currency. Playing in to that is nothing short of suicidal, unless you wish to see the U.S. slide into a Britain-style post WWII decline, or worse, and if these tactics were employed by the Dems, the right would be screaming treason.

      That’s why the general public, and many repubs too, are fed up with the GOP. Try it again next time around and you’ll be routed in the next elections. If you want change, you get it by winning elections and enacting law, not by threatening to blow the place up. It is only terrorists who use tactics of destruction from outside the system.

      As for obamacare, the Prez won twice running on obamacare and he will veto any attempts to tear it down, so just deal with it. It’s the law and it’s not going away. It can and should be fixed and improved, but it’s not going away. Enough with the OCD – how about focusing on jobs, the economy, and immigration reform, which you guys claim to care about? The recent hoo-hah just served to undermine the anemic recovery we do have, so I have to wonder whether that “care” is genuine.

    • Submitted by Tom Lynch on 10/18/2013 - 05:21 pm.

      Not to nitpick

      or that it makes any difference, but the popular vote was 51-47.

      • Submitted by jody rooney on 10/19/2013 - 01:13 am.

        And the popular vote in the Bush vs. Gore election?

        Gore 48.37% and Bush 47.87. Hmmm I guess the electoral college was important then.

  6. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/18/2013 - 10:59 am.

    Actually these people still don’t get it…

    It’s not their tactics it’s their agenda and their ideoology that’s out of touch and simply unworkable. Until they realize that the republican party will continue to disintegrate. And, I think we can give “moms” a little more credit; they aren’t asking what was accomplished, they know that nothing was accomplished.

  7. Submitted by Bill Coleman on 10/18/2013 - 11:53 am.

    Democrats better not rely on GOP self-destruction

    The Democrats better come up with something better than just protecting the safety net for the old and poor and rebuilding roads and bridges as a source of job creation for their platform in 2014 and 2016 or they will be on the outside looking in, hoping that they can play the role of the current Senate GOP.

    The good life for middle class Americans continues to slip away and the young underemployed are getting mad and frustrated. Just pointing fingers at the GOP for obstruction and as crazies is going to get very boring.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 10/18/2013 - 01:54 pm.

      You’re Just Saying That Because

      It’s true. Standing by while Labor continues it’s slow death spiral (rather than administering it’s final blow), continuing to kowtow to Wall Street, giving us more and worse trade agreements. They don’t give voters much more than “We’re not as bad as them.”

      Saying “We won’t cut Food Stamps as much as them” isn’t much of a slogan when food insecurity is running high and the economy can’t create enough decent-paying jobs for everyone who wants one.

      A third party? I’d just like to see two.

  8. Submitted by Duke Powell on 10/18/2013 - 12:01 pm.

    Cyndy (The RINO) just doesn’t get it…

    Cyndy Brucato is one of those Republicans who would rather lose elections rather than admit the conservative base is right on the issues.

    The Republican base is sick and tired of the Cyndy Brucato’s of the world. We are sick and tired of being taken for granted, patted on the head and shuffled off into the corner.

    We will no longer hold our nose and vote for Arne Carlson, Norm Coleman, John Kline, John McCain or any other politician who says one thing and does another.

    Guys like me and done with guys like you, Cyndy.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/18/2013 - 01:34 pm.

      And then what?

      Do you think anyone other than a few nut-jobs in construction paper tricornes would ever vote Republican again? Sitting around kvetching about Agenda 21 and Shariah law isn’t going to get the Republicans anywhere.

      I don’t think any party can win elections–save for a few local ones–without support from independents. If you insist on driving them away in the name of ideological purity (“Death to the running dog RINOs!”), you are going to accomplish nothing but scaring them off. Forget about ever winning an election in Minneapolis or St. Paul, at that rate. I wouldn’t be too sanguine about maintaining support in the more purple suburbs, either.

      Enjoy political oblivion!

    • Submitted by Bruce Johnson on 10/18/2013 - 01:56 pm.

      Daniel Larison quoted by Andrew Sullivan:

      “Because small-government conservatism is a harder sell than many of the alternatives, it is especially important for its advocates to make good judgments about what is possible and to make sound decisions that prove that they are capable of running a government of reduced and limited powers. Neither of these has been on display in the last few weeks, everyone can see it, and it would be senseless for anyone to offer up spin to the contrary.”

      Under the headline The Tea Party Is The Enemy Of Small Government.

    • Submitted by jody rooney on 10/18/2013 - 02:49 pm.

      All I can say is thank goodness you are done with

      those folks because hopefully with out their money you will go away. PS. You just mentioned all my favorite Republicans with the exception of McCain (I strongly considered him until he chose Sarah Palin) ones that I voted for when I had an opportunity.

      Arne and Al Quie are still my favorites.

  9. Submitted by jason myron on 10/18/2013 - 12:08 pm.

    “We’re The Crazies”

    That’s going to look great on campaign signs and GOP banners. The marketing possibilities are endless.

  10. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 10/18/2013 - 12:14 pm.


    People don’t -think- the GOP is crazy, they -know- it’s crazy.

    For years we’ve had people like Michelle Bachmann out there flapping their jaws about not only things they know nothing about, but actually making up things they know isn’t true. There’s a certain segment of society who will vote for them simply because they have an R after their name, but the rest of society is tired of their infantile tactics.

    I can understand the GOP has an agenda they want to move forward, but their antics is not a valid option. It’s like burning down the house when all you want to do is rearrange the living room. That’s beyond simply crazy and beyond the point of self destructive to your own goals–they’re tearing the country apart to win at any costs.

  11. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/18/2013 - 12:43 pm.

    What They REALLY Did With the Shutdown and Default Threat

    Was show the general public that the issues they were willing to shut down the government and threaten a government default over,…

    issues which they, in their isolated, insular, can’t even let ourselves become aware of any information we disagree with, alternate reality bubble,…

    have NOTHING to do with what the general public cares about.

    They lost this battle because they were fighting for things that no one ELSE wants.

    As I’ve said elsewhere, they remind me of the lyrics of an old song,…

    He’s a real nowhere man,
    Sitting in his nowhere land,
    Making all his nowhere plans for nobody.

    Until they realize how disconnected they are from everyone else’s lives, everyone else’s reality, and the things everyone else cares about, and stop trying to convince everyone else they SHOULD care about the things “conservatives” care about by endlessly lying (lies which the public has now realized WERE and ARE lies) they will continue to evaporate into irrelevance.

    So by all means, “conservatives” keep it up. We won’t miss you when you’re gone.

  12. Submitted by Bruce Johnson on 10/18/2013 - 12:44 pm.

    Since Pres. Obama has governed more or less as a liberal Republican (I know, I know, there aren’t any anymore) Republicans sound ridiculous in nearly everything they say about him and his policies.

  13. Submitted by Rich Crose on 10/18/2013 - 12:51 pm.

    Junk Product or Bad Sales Pitch?

    A man was standing on the corner selling small containers of “Smart Pills.” He was a slick salesman who promised everyone the pills would immediately raise their IQ and improve their life.

    A customer looked at the little black pills and tasted one. “This tastes like a rabbit turd,” the customer said.

    “See, you’re getting smarter already!” the salesman replied.

    In the last election America told the Republicans that their smart pills looked and tasted a lot like rabbit turds. Now, rather than reformulate the product, they decided to cover the rabbit turds with crazy hot sauce and double down on the sales pitch.

    Do they really think we’re going to buy this stuff?

  14. Submitted by Lora Jones on 10/18/2013 - 12:57 pm.

    Of course people think you’re the crazies

    you howl about every shekel spent to feed poor children while throwing money out in handfuls with 43 votes to “defund Obamacare.” Then, even though that doesn’t work any of the 43 times, you decide to shut down the government in an effort to defund it, costing us another 24 Billion, only to return to screaming about everyone else’s “spending.”

    If you want to be considered anything other than crazy, try acting like something other than crazy.

  15. Submitted by jason myron on 10/18/2013 - 02:14 pm.

    Hence your problem, Mr. Powell.

    When John Kline is considered too liberal, perhaps some introspection is sorely needed. By the way…I thought Arne was a pretty good Governor.

  16. Submitted by rolf westgard on 10/18/2013 - 03:21 pm.

    Reason for Repub loss

    The Tea Party might as well stay home, as they cannot outvote big Democratic majorities among blacks and Latinos, a growing segment. Then add in all the literate whites and most women, and you have a tough road for non gerrymandered Republican candidates.

    • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 10/18/2013 - 05:27 pm.

      RE: “non-gerrymandered Republican candidates”

      The unfortunate thing is that many of the Tea Party extremists are in “safe” congressional districts gerrymandered by state legislatures to be so.

      Many of the far right-wingers who brought us this debacle will retain office, next time around, and will be joined in their efforts by new faces as well. They are avowed to continue their crusade against the evil ObamaCare. Many of their big financial supporters demand it.

      We haven’t seen the last of this.

  17. Submitted by Kenneth Kjer on 10/18/2013 - 04:44 pm.


    The GOP violated the first rule of negotiation, always, always negotiate from a position of strength. In this instance Obamcare was already funded. The Democrats didn’t have to negotiate. Obama doesn’t care if his ratings go down to big fat zero. He can’t run for reelection again. Everything the GOP was trying to negotiate was from a weak side. What they should have done is not negotiated at all or they should have picked something that would have put the vast majority of public opinion on their side. As a life long Republican they are going to have to do something spectacular between now and the next election to get me to vote Republican in the next election. Right now I agree with most people they are incompetent and nuts.

  18. Submitted by Kenneth Kjer on 10/18/2013 - 04:57 pm.

    Local Crazies

    I live in the 6th district and look who the locals are putting up to take Bachmanns place. Emmer, the local GOP’s number one candidate. This guy is a loose cannon, he lost the Governors race to an extremely weak Democratic candidate. Then he sued Hamlin U, because they wouldn’t hire him as a professor. He has a history of drunk driving and God knows what else. On top of all that he has already said he is going to follow in Bachmanns foot steps. So does that mean he is going become as big a liar as Bachmann and verything that comes out of his mouth will be a misstatement?? I am a Republican and I am not going to vote for him or any of the current crazies that are running on the GOP ticket in the 6th. I want a candidate who is intelligent and sane.

  19. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 10/18/2013 - 05:37 pm.

    It is kind of like having your hand in the cookie jar

    The only reason the local Republicans lament the GOP strategy is because it is like getting your hand caught in the cookie jar. Lament only sets in when you get caught with a stupid strategy. You have to figure out the strategy before you undertake it. It was obvious to everyone the GOP is dysfunctional and they had a mess on their hands for a strategy. The GOP is what leaderless looks like and it isn’t going to self correct anytime soon. Just like when George W. Bush was president the entire flock of Republicans were behind him 100% and stupidity brought wrath on the whole country that is yet to be cleaned up. The locals were behind the current GOP mess too, but now want to distance themselves from it like they had nothing to do with it. The GOP continues to prove they can’t lead their own party much less the country..

  20. Submitted by Jay Seshadri on 10/18/2013 - 06:35 pm.


    As the science teaches : Every action has an equal and opposite re-action”. Ever since the country elected President Obama, the republicans have been on a path to destroy him, his presidency and this great country of ours. I am surprised by many intelligent republicans, who are moderate and really wants this country to succeed has lost their voice and have allowed the minority of the extremes in their party be thier voice- Silence of such nature is also an action and now the reaction is being played out in our daily lives. Who would get pleasure by shutting down our government and making people suffer.
    I hope the sane minded republicans get their voice back and learn to govern like they have done before.

  21. Submitted by Eric Snyder on 10/18/2013 - 07:15 pm.

    The GOP is crazy, and there’s evidence for that claim

    The problem isn’t just a perception of craziness in the GOP, but its manifest reality: a majority of congressional Republicans believe in a vast worldwide conspiracy of liberals/socialists/scientists who are, they believe, pushing the “hoax” of anthropic climate change. Half of Republican voters think a nonexistence organization, ACORN, stole the last election. Many Republicans think Obama is a secret Muslim, or secretly gay. On the conservative website WorldNetDaily you can read about how Obama actually married another man and then had people killed to cover up his history of homosexuality.

    The following are almost all from rightwingwatch. Obama is just like Hitler. America is just like Nazi Germany. Conservative Christians are just like the Jews under Hitler. I’ll let you, dear reader, construct your own theories as to how 20-30% of the country has lost its frigging mind.

    1) Conservative columnist Erik Rush claims Obama was using the shutdown to “usurp complete power.” He likened Obama’s m.o. to “that of a dictator” like Adolf Hitler.
    2) Religious conservative “ex-gays” claim that they are being persecuted just like the Jews in Nazi Germany.
    3) Another Values Voter Summit speaker, Jim Bob Duggar, claimed that the US is like Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.
    4) Larry Pratt, head of Gun Owners of America, likened gun control laws to… “We are looking at a major assault on the right to keep and bear arms, it is reminiscent of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, where they used doctors as part of their torture routines and got people sent to the camps for improvement of their mental health.”
    Pratt also believes that Obama is raising a private army to take over the US military. People like this are stopping us from passing reasonable gun legislation.
    5) Religious right activist Matt Staver compared the US with Nazi Germany.
    6) Religious right radio host Bryan Fischer recently said that “Just as the homosexual Stormtroopers for Hitler were to exterminate and eliminate the opposition and beat them into silence,” Fischer stated, “that’s what homosexual activists want to do today.” He also claims that “homofascists” will force Christians to wear patches just like the Nazis did to the Jews.
    7) Right-wing columnist Ellis Washington claims that the Affordable Care Act is…just like Nazi Germany: “Like Hitlercare, Obamacare will inevitably lead to health-care rationing, death panels, millions of uninsured and, eventually, the systematic genocide of the weak, minorities, enfeebled, the elderly and political enemies of the God-state.”
    8) David Smith, exec. dir. of the Illinois Family Institute, compared his fight against gay equality to American troops fighting….Nazi Germany.
    9) The right-wing Judicial Watch founder Larry Klayman likened the US to Nazi German and suggested that anti-Obama forces might need to for “a government in exile” like in WWII.
    10) Pastor Larry Tomczak in Charisma magazine: “It would do us well to recall that in Nazi Germany, only a small percentage of the people were part of the Nazi party. Amid the atrocities, the overwhelming majority were apathetic and afraid to speak up…. Is history repeating itself?”
    11) “Rick Wiles declared on his radio show yesterday that President Obama is the head of a “modern day Nazi regime” and the “Fourth Reich.”
    12) Right-wing Sher Zieve of Renew America writes that Obama is going to turn the US “into full-fledged Marxist Communo-Fascist elitist-ruled Islamo-Drug cartel Narco/Nazi State”
    13) Christina Michas, head of the right-wing Eagle Forum, said that the “ultimate goal” of the supporters of the Common Core education standards, Agenda 21 (a document about environmental sustainability, reducing waste and how science can inform enviro. public policy) and Obamacare was setting up “internment or re-education camps for those that will not comply with their sick agenda.”
    14) Conservative talk show host Janet Mefferd said that she can envision the “day when every Christian who supports real marriage might be made to wear a yellow patch on the sleeve, a ‘badge of shame’ to identify us as ‘anti-gay haters.’ Kind of like the Jews in Nazi Germany.” 15) “During a speech at the Wetumpka Tea Party, Elois Zeanah of the Alabama Federation of Republican Women compared the adoption of Common Core to the indoctrination of children in Nazi Germany, with President Obama teaching children and imposing an “anti-Christian, anti-capitalism, anti-America…pro-homosexuality, illegal immigration, unions, environmentalism, gun control, feminism and social justice” curriculum.
    16) Right-wing activist David Horowitz talking to a caller on a radio show:
    Caller: I wonder if you share the same opinion that I see the same thing happening in America slowly that happened in Nazi Germany, quickly.
    Horowitz: Yeah, of course I agree with that. They’re the same kind of movement. All these movements: Nazism, communism, socialism, progressivism; they are all substitutes for an authentic religion. 17) The UN Convention on the Rights of the Disabled isn’t a high-minded attempt to correct system historical wrongs against the disabled, if we’re to believe Glenn Beck. In reality, part of it is “really Orwellian or, quite honestly, fascistic from the Nazi days.”

  22. Submitted by John Appelen on 10/19/2013 - 12:06 am.

    Who won?

    Now I totally I agree that this could have been handled better, and the stop ACA play was some extreme over reach.

    Yet the GOP now has the President on record as saying he is willing to talk and negotiate on anything as long as the government is running again. They also have set up a “sense of urgency” since there is only 4 months to negotiate. They have Obama and Warren both on record defining the role of government in very pragmatic “non-wealth transfer” ways. (ie defense, regulatory, education, infrastructure) And they stood up for the views of their die hard followers. (ie good for morale)

    I am very interested to see where the next 4 months lead. Will the President keep his word and actually negotiate, or will he stand firm and keep calling the GOP folks names. Will he show character or go back on his statements?

    Maybe they will actually figure out how to bring the Revenues and Outlays lines together. That is if the GOP keeps holding fast on controlling spending. And the Democrats keep working to close a few more tax loop holes. Isn’t it great when government works…

    • Submitted by Tom Christensen on 10/19/2013 - 08:54 am.

      Just guessing

      My guess is the President will try to negotiate and the GOP will start by dumping their poison pill proposals on the table, which will kill everything. The GOP needs to move toward the center away from their fringe element positions which are currently running the party. This will be hard to do in that the moderates have been driven out of the party. If there is something in it for McConnell he will negotiate but that is only the Senate. Boehner can’t control his caucus so how is he going to negotiate when he is more concerned about his job than the country? I think the negotiating future looks very foggy at best. It all rests on the House and the past history there is not positive. The GOP is leaderless, so really all they can do is kick the can down the road in hopes of someday pulling out of their self inflicted nosedive. To recover the GOP needs to dump long term politicians, as they contain too much baggage. They need to quite alienating women and minorities because they are running out of rich white guys. They have proven rich and brilliant don’t go hand in hand. It will take a balanced approach but they can’t get their with the make-up the party currently has. Good luck Republicans! It will be a long road home.

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 10/19/2013 - 09:12 pm.

        Fringe positions?

        Please explain what fringe positions they should give up?

        • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/20/2013 - 04:20 pm.

          Here’s an example

          To lift a quote from a little higher up in the thread: “the stop ACA play was some extreme over reach.”

          Just for starters, that would be a good one for them to give up.

          • Submitted by John Appelen on 10/21/2013 - 08:39 am.

            Over reach

            My first comment did not make it so I will try again.

            I meant that using the shutdown to defund ACA was over reach.

            I find it hard to see the effort to kill ACA as a fringe effort, since the country seems pretty evenly divided regarding if ACA should exist…

            Any other examples?

            • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 10/21/2013 - 09:12 am.


              End corporate welfare and cut the defense budget by half. More? Forget the social issues. More?

              • Submitted by John Appelen on 10/21/2013 - 12:35 pm.

                Which Half?

                Below is the military pie chart. What do you want to cut? Which bases do you want to close? How many personnel do you want to fire?


                • Submitted by chris berg on 10/23/2013 - 12:55 am.

                  Which Half?

                  Reduce the number of troops in post WW2 bases in Germany and Japan. These are two of the wealthiest countries on earth – they can afford to defend themselves. This isn’t the 1950’s and 60’s.

              • Submitted by John Appelen on 10/21/2013 - 12:41 pm.

                Please define

                By corporate welfare, do you mean parts of the tax code that are used to convince companies to do certain things? Conduct reseach and other risky endeavors? Typically no money is given to the corporation, however they often do get a write off or credit…

                Or something else? Or do you have examples of where the US Treasury has sent the Corporations checks like we do to individuals who are on TANF, SNAP and other welfare programs?

              • Submitted by John Appelen on 10/21/2013 - 12:46 pm.

                Social Issues?

                It seems the Democrats are the big Social movers and shakers who keep putting the stick in the bee hive. (ie abortion, gay marriage, socialized healthcare, soda pop rules, wealth transfer, etc)

                I think both sides are trying to control our personal behaviors in varioyus ways…

                • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/21/2013 - 02:47 pm.

                  And there you have it.

                  Ladies and gentlemen, the modern thinking of the Republican Party in a nutshell.

                  “We would love to negotiate with you. Just stop being wrong on everything, and we’ll be happy to watch you accede to everything we want.”

                  Just out of curiosity:

                  Who brings up abortion at every turn?

                  Who introduced the anti-marriage amendment?

                  To what party did the mayor who proposed limits on soda belong most recently? And why is a corporatist megalomaniac like that taken as emblematic of anything?

            • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/21/2013 - 11:11 am.


              “I meant that using the shutdown to defund ACA was over reach.”

              Exactly. Deciding to force the government into shutdown over this was a fringe position.

              • Submitted by John Appelen on 10/21/2013 - 02:11 pm.

                Other Justification

                Forcing the “living within revenues” negotiation was a good reason for the shutdown though… It is unlikely the next 4 months of exciting negotiations would have happened without the escalating tactics.

                • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/21/2013 - 03:23 pm.

                  And therefore, you apparently feel . . . .

                  The ends justify the means.

                  Which is where this little conversational merry-go-round began, I believe.

            • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 10/21/2013 - 11:57 am.


              Killing ACA is indeed a fringe effort. Only 33% of the public supports repealing or defunding it, while the rest would prefer that it stay as-is or be expanded. That doesn’t appear to be “pretty evenly divided” unless you’re innumerate.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/19/2013 - 09:03 am.

      The ends justify the means?

      You actually think governing via repeated brinksmanship and the damage it does to our economy and our reputation in the eyes of the world is okay because it got the President to say some words you wanted to hear him say?

      People who support hostage-taking don’t have a lot of ground to stand on when calling for moral character in others.

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 10/19/2013 - 04:54 pm.


        Since the Democrats insist on growing government beyond its already bloat 38% of GDP state, what do you think the GOP should do? Just keep rubber stamping the checks?

        If Obama and crew refuse to acknowledge and prevent the ship from running onto the rocks, then something drastic was justified. Hopefully they heed the message.

  23. Submitted by Steve Hoffman on 10/19/2013 - 04:00 pm.

    “Local” Republicans?

    I live in the 6th District. “Local” Republicans elected Michele Bachmann. I doubt any of them are weighing in on the “crazies” debate, as they found the motherlode in her.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 10/19/2013 - 09:36 pm.

      What’s the matter, Steve

      don’t you believe in democracy? heh

      • Submitted by Bill Gleason on 10/20/2013 - 09:04 am.

        Part of the problem for Republicans are comments like this…

        I don’t see where Steve is saying that he doesn’t believe in democracy.

        This kind of school yard taunting is typical for many of the so-called conservative activists and this example is comparatively mild as anyone who ventures on the twitter knows. Unfortunately comments like these are taken by average folks to be characteristic of all Republicans, thus the lament: “They think we are crazy.”

        When the GOP civil war is over, hopefully the more rational side of the Republican party can re-gain control. GOP centrists are not completely blameless in this matter for having put up with the likes of the Tea Party and the Freedom (libertarian) types while it seemed to be serving their purposes.

        And so it goes.

  24. Submitted by Patrick Hickey on 10/19/2013 - 09:09 pm.

    Republicans have refused to negotiate for the last 3 years.

  25. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 10/20/2013 - 12:14 am.

    the tea party will never ever win if America stays a democracy

    Seems to me that the tea party minority hates and fears the majority of Americans. Everything they vote for and say affirms this for me. So how can a loud, angry, fearful minority ever rule? Coup perhaps. For all their talk about believing in democracy it is evident they really don’t, thus their refusal to accept the results of the last two presidential elections, thus their refusal to work within the system, thus their efforts to shut down and minimize our government at all levels. I think there is a reasonable chance that people like Cruz and his buddies would attempt a coup in order to “save” our country because of their frustration that in this democracy they will never win because they are a minority that most people don’t trust.

  26. Submitted by Annie Grandy on 10/20/2013 - 10:53 pm.

    Republicans will always be the *crazies*

    as long as the only government spending they want reduced is Social Security and Medicare both of which are *paid into* by those who end up receiving the benefits and the programs do not contribute one cent to the debt.

    Until they start to talk about reducing the big tax dollar subsidies to the hugely profitable big defense companies, big oil companies, big banks, big pharmaceutical companies, big agriculture companies, the real moochers and fraud perpetrators in the country. (They receive more billions than SNAP, WIC and other social network programs put together and they don’t need it. They’ll stop creating jobs? They don’t create jobs unless there is *demand* for their products which is provided by the average person spending their hard earned money to buy those products.)

    Until they realize that wealthy individuals/families and most large corporations of this nation are no longer paying their fair share of taxes with the low rates and their billions stashed in offshore accounts and as a result everyone else, including Republicans, have to pay more to provide basic services, usually referred to as the *commons* (fire, police, roads, bridges, schools, medicine monitoring, food inspections, etc.)

    Until they start to acknowledge that they are not the only ones in the country and that we, as a society, have a responsibility to care for those unable to care for themselves and government provides the most efficient and effective mechanisms to do that.

    Until they stop talking about nearly non-existent voter fraud as if it were a huge problem and using it as an excuse to pass laws to disenfranchise legitimate voters.

    Until they stop claiming to be the party of small government while they keep trying to pass laws that make government intrusive in individual’s sex lives and reproductive decisions.

    When those things happen and they start to propose ideas that will move the state and the country forward then Republicans will begin to shed the adjective of crazy and not before.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 10/21/2013 - 08:28 am.

      Correction and Questions

      During the payroll tax holiday, the lost contributions were made up from the general fund, which did contribute to the deficit.

      When the trust funds that were mostly paid for by the receipents go to zero because benefits being distributed are much higher than what the premiums paid can afford, what do you want to do?

      Cut benefits paid out to match receipts coming in? Raise the payroll tax rates to cover the higher costs? Or transfer money taken from the “wealthy” into the system to keep the benefits the same?

      Options 1 and 2 keep the systems mostly self sustaining. (ie earned benefits) Option 3 turns the system into a wealth transfer device like welfare. Thoughts?

      • Submitted by Annie Grandy on 10/21/2013 - 01:50 pm.

        Remove the payroll top stop now, again so the wealthy pay their fair share, and the scenario you *imagine* will never happen according to the non-partisan CBOE.

        • Submitted by John Appelen on 10/21/2013 - 02:15 pm.

          Annie Picks Option 3

          If you remove the top stop while not changing the max benefits, you are charging some people significantly more while giving them NO more. This just made your “earned benefits” system a welfare / wealth transfer system… Do you really want the system to change like that?

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 10/21/2013 - 08:51 am.

      Seems Fair


      The poor pay less and the rich pay more… And this was before the tax increase in Jan2013 which hits those in the upper brackets.

      Worse yet, it treats payroll tax as a “tax”, instead of an “earned benefit/premiums”. That means you can subtract ~7.5% off everyone making under ~$105K. I mean they are going to get it back, right? Then it really shows how much extra the “wealthy” are paying.

      If most folks are paying 20% or less, and the wealthy are paying ~29%. Now what rate do you think would be “fair”…

  27. Submitted by Carol Logie on 10/21/2013 - 08:48 am.

    You can’t alienate women, minorities, and the middle class

    and then expect them to turn around and vote for you. Anyone with half a brain can see that the engine running the republican party these days is racism, misogyny, and an obsession with punishing the middle class and working poor (for voting for Obama, I guess).

    Also not helping is the extreme fundamentalism (and influence) of the religious right wing, the denial and outright contempt of basic science, and the incredibly creepy intrusion into the doctor’s offices and bedrooms of private citizens.

    Sorry, guys. You are judged by your actions….. and until republicans realize that the problem is not how they frame the message—but the message itself—they will keep being called crazy. And losing elections.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 10/21/2013 - 12:51 pm.

      Budging in Line

      If you are standing in line for something really really important, are you okay with a bunch of people budging in line ahead of you? Even it means that you miss the event because of their actions?

      There are millions of people in line to legally immigrate to the USA. Is it okay that we tell them sorry but your spots have been taken by the people that illegally entered our country and we have given citizenship to?

      What is your rationale?

      • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/21/2013 - 02:07 pm.

        Nice non-reply

        I just read through Carol’s comment a couple of times and can’t see where she mentioned immigration reform even once.

        Nice way to try to hijack the thread!

        • Submitted by John Appelen on 10/21/2013 - 02:19 pm.

          Your amusing

          Carol noted how the GOP is alienating minorities, I assumed that she meant the Hispanics. The immigration topic seems to be the hottest DFL / GOP potato in this arena.

          Please clarify. Thanks

          • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/21/2013 - 03:26 pm.

            Well, you know what they say about people who assume.

            Probably best not to do so in future discussions.

          • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 10/21/2013 - 04:07 pm.


            Don’t forget alienating african-americans with discriminatory voter ID laws, racist drug policy, and segregated charter schools.. Or alienating the LGBT community with discriminatory marriage and benefits laws. Or ‘The Hispanics’ with draconian immigration laws. You would do well to recognize that asian populations make up a large chunk of immigrants as well. Or scientists, teachers, non-christians, etc etc etc.

            Of course, the GOP does a great job of alienating women too, an actual majority voting bloc in this country, with their backwards social and medical policies.

  28. Submitted by jason myron on 10/21/2013 - 09:20 pm.

    The GOP in a nutshell….

    “I cannot help fearing that men may reach a point where they look
    on every new theory as a danger, every innovation as a toilsome
    trouble, every social advance as a first step toward revolution, and
    that they may absolutely refuse to move at all.”
    – Alexis de Tocqueville

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