Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Republicans continue to struggle to set future course

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  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 7:16 a.m.

    Patriot, it is _exactly_ the kind of language you just used that causes people to turn away from the GOP.

    President Reagan raised taxes, several times, and that's a fact. Eisenhower was a huge believer in investing in national infrastructure and public education. Even Nixon advocated for an overhaul of American health care financing in ways that would make your head spin.

    The Republicans once rejected the kind of grim, paranoid generalizations that your comment represents. In the 1970's the GOP told the Birchers to either get a grip on reality or take a hike. But now?

    Bottom line - the nation has _not_ moved to the left. It's still the same mix of fiscal and social moderates that it has always been.

    Unfortunately, today's Republican party has allowed itself to be dominated by a toxic blend of Wall Street greedheads and the religious ultraconservatives, and the result is, as Jindal put it, "the dumb party."

    Just _look_ at the last election cycle! Romney had to run so hard to the right to get the nomination that even with SuperPACSs and unemployment above 7% he couldn't get elected.

    "Thought is born of failure." Will the GOP start thinking?

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 10:27 p.m.

    the GOP doesn't have a leader and the America people have turned to socialism so I don't see a good ending for this sinking country no matter how you spin it.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 10:22 p.m.

    It could be as simple as Republicans not having an substance behind their talking points. In the election, Mitt Romney kept saying he had "big plans" for jump starting the economy and creating jobs. But when pressed for details, he was painfully silent.

    As they negotiate the fiscal cliff, they assert generalities like "government spending is out of control", "entitlements are killing us", and "we can fix this by closing tax loopholes". Notice that they never give details. They say "trust us" and the majority of Americans say "you've burned us before".

    There was an excellent recent article titled "Why Republicans Can't Propose Spending Cuts". The article notes "The Bowles-Simpson plan wound up punting on all the major questions because it simply couldn’t bridge that gulf between perception and reality." Republicans think there are these giant pools of easily recovered wasted money, when in fact there weren't any -- at least none that Republicans would accept (defense cuts). Republicans will jump all over a 1 million dollar study of fruit flys, but let's not discuss the 1.5 TRILLION dollar F-35 fighter.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    Dec. 16, 2012 9:59 p.m.

    Here's how we can tell about the Republican Party. If a GOP officeholder speaks in a negative way about Rush Limbaugh one day, and is backtracking his statement the following day, that means that 'ole Rushbo is still the guy nominally in charge. And if THAT's the case, then the next batch of GOP presidential wannabes will make Santorum and Bachmann seem like effete, liberal snobs. They won't get a single electoral vote outside of Utah and the old Confederacy.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 3:00 p.m.

    UTAH Bill
    Salt Lake City, UT

    Agreed.

    There's an old saying --

    A fool will hang himself if given enough rope.

    The Democrats are just giving the Republicans all the rope they want.

    For example,
    You'll never hear the head of the DNC ever trying to silence Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck -- they LOVE having them running the GOP into the ground.

    Republicans on the other hand ARE talking about how to shut them up.

    More rope, More rope...

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 2:37 p.m.

    Future course?

    Republicans don't understand the future. They can only look back.

    And course? What course? They've been wobbling all around the compass lately.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 2:00 p.m.

    The Jindal quote is especially ironic. Jindal questioned the value of federal earthquake research in his response to the State of the Union address, as if improving the ability to predict and respond to natural disasters had no conceivable benefit. Apparently he was unfamiliar with Hurricane Katrina. Jindal also signed the misnamed Louisiana Science Education Act, which is a mechanism to inject creationism into public school science curricula. If he wants the GOP to raise its intellectual standards and stop insulting the intelligence of voters, perhaps he should start at home.

    Republicans have made a cottage industry of making willful ignorance a status symbol, from Santorum's "what a snob" remark to its embrace of bad science (Bachmann and vaccines, climate change denialism, rape biology, intelligent design, etc.).

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 1:47 p.m.

    I really respect Mr Pignanelli (a Democrat) for pointing out that currently Republicans are the party of solutions and ideas. Unless you think "cash for clunkers" was a brilliant idea you may want to stop the chest-thumping and do some thinking about the future if you're a Democrat. I'm not sure why they call themselves progressives because their ideology and game plans seem to be preservation of the staus quo e.g. in education where as the first poster advocated throwing more money at it as a solution. They're keen on 19th century technologies like trains and windmills and preserving 20th century social safety net programs that are bankrupting the nation. And as demonstrated by Obamacare, tax and spend is still a basic tenet of Democrats in power.
    Yes, Republicans have issues and they did lose the trust of fiscally minded citizens in the Bush/ Trent Lott years and Romney definitely didn't go out on a limb making a case for Big Economy Dynamism vs. Big Government sclerosis but it's still surprising that the American people chose the stale philosophy of socialism- lite. Oh well, we get the Government we deserve.

  • UTAH Bill Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 12:07 p.m.

    Something to consider: When was the last time you heard a Democrat complain another Democrat was not "Liberal enough?" The Democrats have created the Big Tent president Reagan used to talk about. They minimize attacks on each other and don't threaten to yank support if one of their own fails to fully toe the party line.

    It seems like every time Republicans get together the first thing they do is determine where on the Conservative scale they fall in relationship to each other. And, they weaken other Republicans with endless arguments over who "true patriots" and "supporters of the Constitution" are within the party or who signed pledges or not. Every standard Republicans impose on other Republicans makes the tent smaller.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 10:34 a.m.

    re: Hutterite

    Winner. Winner. Chicken Dinner.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 9:29 a.m.

    Until they become a party of leadership again, punting the religious right and tea party, they will become less and less relevant. The party of stupid comments and candidates each election.

  • Henderson Orem, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 8:34 a.m.

    "Young people might just go Republican once they understand the incredible mess big-spending Democrats are leaving for them."

    Seriously doubt this.

    You also have to deal with the social and economic issues which young people increasingly side non-republican on.

    Furthermore, this is one college student who has learned to think. Even if I don't like the spending that the "evil Democrats" are doing, I know enough history to know how the GOP isn't any better. I haven't forgotten the President who repubs never refer to who was President between Clinton and Obama. I know our biggest expenditure is defenses pending. I know that when the GOP says "smaller government" they really mean fewer social programs and safety nets but just the same/more wasteful programs to Big Ag, Oil, corporations, and defense contractors. Who was the last GOP President who balanced the budget? Will the GOP finally cut into their baby, defense spending?

    So until the GOP becomes very much more liberal on social issues and admits to taking (large) cuts into defense, the GOP won't be any more attractive to young people regardless of what Democrats do.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 12:17 a.m.

    When are Utah Republicans going to fund our Constitutionally mandated public school system to a level where we aren't 51st in America in per-student funding?