Are Republicans Living in a Different World?

To listen to the Republican candidates is to hear an entirely different campaign — one that centers on defeating Islamic State terrorists, deterring a nuclear Iran, restricting abortion, and debating whether to deport illegal immigrants and construct a wall to keep them out.the-tea-parties-constitution

To the Democratic candidates, the 2016 presidential campaign is about shrinking the gap between rich and poor; combating climate change; and expanding voting rights, gay rights and workplace equality for women.

The Republican Psychiatric Clinics must be working overtime to help these poor deluded mental cases. During the last Republican Meme Platform (the CNN “debate”) it was astounding to hear these haters and deniers constantly refer, in one way or another, to how bad everything in America is to them, despite the facts that say otherwise, and despite their primary role in the slow-moving recovery…not to mention how they continue to focus on problems everywhere except in America. The only plans I heard were ones to build a 1,900-mile wall between Mexico and the States [while the interstate highway and bridges crumble], and to spend a couple of Trillion Dollars to deport 11 million immigrants, most of whom are American citizens the same way Trumps daughters and Marco Rubio himself became American citizens…being that they were born in America!

Benghazi even came up and Jeb Bush claimed his brother “Kept us safe” during his term in office…I guess these people might have a different opinion:

  1. New Orleans [Katrina] citizens who were ignored for a week—while Bush was proclaiming his Arabian horse-dealer in charge was doing a “great job”
  2. The 4,000 killed in New York’s Twin Towers [intelligence warnings from the outgoing Clinton Administration AND from Condi Rice were ignored in their haste to plan an illegal war in Iraq]
  3. The hundreds of thousands who lost everything during the Housing Collapse [except Wall St. Investment Bankers the ones who ignored warnings from economists worldwide]

And one after another of these ass-clowns on stage at the Reagan Memorial Library kept referring to returning to the “great days of Republican rule?

That display of cognitive dissonance at the KKK rally at the Reagan Library, and later at a Trump “rally” in which he reverted to his “birther days” by allowing one of the hood-wearers to ask how can we get rid of the Muslims in this country and when can he do something about the Muslim, non-American born President in the White House shows just how out-of-touch Republicans really.

It was pretty frightening to watch as they each pounded their chests at their “accomplishments”–which are actually dismal failures for the Governors–at the state levels they represent, the lack of policy proposals–from all the rest–[other than still proclaiming they’ll repeal Obamacare] and the complete disregard for the fact that they’ve done everything possible to vote down every country-rebuildng effort put forth by the Democrats.

At a political moment of pitched voter anxiety, candidates in both parties talk in dark, sometimes apocalyptic tones — but about different issues, as if they’re addressing two different countries.

“Republicans are from Mars, Democrats are from Venus,” Republican strategist Ari Fleischer said. “The gulf between the two parties has grown wider in the last decade, not smaller.” And just do we have to thank for that? My vote is for the broadcast networks who rabble-rouse for profit.

For Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., vying for the Democratic nomination, it’s the corporate billionaire class that is destroying America by crushing the dreams and livelihoods of working people. For many Republicans, the rise of new threats abroad and cultural changes at home are destroying America by shaking its foundation.

The contrast was brought into sharper focus this past week. Republicans sparred in a three-hour debate Wednesday over issues of national security, abortion and immigration, but had little to say about middle-class economic growth. On the campaign trail, Democrats focused on liberal economic and social agendas, but barely touched on terrorist threats and the cultural issues that have become conservative rallying cries.

David Winston, a Republican pollster unaligned in the presidential race, said the economy is the top issue for all voters. “Whenever the candidates are not talking about jobs and the economy, they’re off on the wrong topic,” he said. Yet the only solutions presented on that stage were vague references and personal memes…aside from sniping at one another over their own “successes” that mostly only exist in their minds.

Some difference in emphasis is to be expected, considering that each party’s base voters are animated by different issues. At this stage in the race, the candidates are playing to those bases in an attempt to win the nomination. But the gulf in the 2016 campaign has grown particularly noticeable.

James Pethokoukis, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a right-leaning think tank, studied the transcript of Wednesday’s prime-time GOP debate. He found 10 references to the Middle East and 4 to the middle class; 23 to defunding Planned Parenthood and 3 to single parents; 7 to a border wall and 5 to economic growth.

“As a casual viewer watching this show, what did the middle class get out of it? They got, once again, a Republican Party that doesn’t have much to say about their concerns,” Pethokoukis said. “What should be the core Republican themes — growth and opportunity, upward mobility — didn’t get much play. There were 11 on stage, and they could’ve seized control and talked about these things, but it didn’t happen.”

Republican strategists claim they were frustrated that the debate moderators did not ask questions about a broader array of subjects, though CNN had signaled in advance that the debate would focus heavily on foreign affairs. And they said comparing what Republicans say in answering questions at a debate with what Democrats say in their stump speeches is unfair. Peter Wehner — a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center who, along with other conservative reformers, has attempted to make the GOP more empathetic by focusing on economic mobility — said he worries that the narrative coming out of the debate could be damaging. “I shook my head, thinking, ‘Oh, my gosh, we’ve spent 20 minutes talking about birthright citizenship,’” Wehner said.

Sanders and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton seized on the differences to paint Republicans as out of touch with the electorate. During the debate, Sanders tweeted: “Waiting, waiting, waiting. Will we hear anything about racial justice, income inequality or making college affordable?”

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook told reporters assembled at her New York headquarters on debate night: “Carly Fiorina got her biggest applause when she went on a tirade against Planned Parenthood. She even referred to a video that she’s seen that doesn’t exist, and nobody is calling them on these falsehoods and misrepresentations. They have a completely out-of-date and out-of-touch philosophy. It’s hard for me to see through their prism on some of these things.”

On Friday, Clinton told a crowd in Durham, N.H.: “You’ve got to understand, this is an ideological divide. Let’s make no mistake about it.”

Joel Benenson, Clinton’s chief strategist and pollster, said in an interview that by running in what he dubbed “the Fox News network primary,” the Republican candidates are alienating working- and middle-class voters. What anyone fails to say though is that they are speaking to appeal to only a white, racist, and gullible segment of that middle class.

“At the moment, it certainly seems that the Republicans are talking to a more narrow slice of America,” he said. “I’m not going to say it’s two different Americas because I think we’re one country, but they are talking to the base of their party, not a broader swath.”

Economic and family issues such as college affordability, the minimum wage, executive compensation, early child care and paid sick days that have formed the foundation of the Clinton and Sanders campaigns have largely been absent in the Republican discussion. Benenson said that this is a mistake and that Clinton and her campaign will try to exploit it.

“If you’re not addressing it, that’s your choice, and that’s what the Republicans are doing,” Benenson said. “They are missing the mark on what’s really affecting people’s lives and what people care most about.”

Again, that’s true, except for the white, racist, gullible segment of the electorate…and of course what used to a broadcast media that preferred substance over ratings.

 

Harvey A. Gold