I think the hardest thing to stomach about some in the “Republican” party these days is that they don’t seem to have good connection with the real world. Over and over again we all see examples of this disconnection, a kind of unfortunate triumph of ideology over reality. Just another reason to only mumble unintelligibly when asked my party affiliation I guess.
For example the current argument against paying for extending the payroll tax holiday with a higher tax rate on incomes over a million dollars is that it will de-incent “Job creators.” This is because because of the way some smaller companies are organized, company profits are sometimes reported as personal income. South Dakota Senator John Thune (R) has said this many times. However when asked to produce even one of these objecting small business owners, he can’t. In a survey by NPR, numerous Republican congressional offices, including Republican house and Senate leadership, were asked to produce some examples of these businessmen and women who felt that a higher personal tax would hurt their business and de-incent them. They were unable to produce a single one.
NPR then went to Facebook to ask for small business owners to talk to and found that of the business owners who responded none said that their personal tax rate had anything to do with hiring practices. One and all made the point that hiring was clearly a “payback on investment” decision based on business expansion and opportunity alone. If they had the chance to expand their businesses they would regardless of personal tax rate.
When asked about this discrepancy, Senator Thune said “Those must be exceptions.” Which sounds like exactly what a majority of Americans feel is most frustrating about Congress lately, they are not listening.
In another example presidential hopeful Rick Perry , the current Governor of Texas, made a YouTube video this week laying out some of his beliefs in a political message.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.
As President, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion. And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage.
Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again.
I’m Rick Perry and I approve this message.
At last count the video has received almost 12,000 likes and 470,000 dislikes. Which puts that particular message’s approval rating at just over .02%. The mystery quickly becomes why does Rick Perry think that’s a winning strategy? Where is his head, that over the objections of his advisers, this would sound like a good idea? When you make campaign videos the point is to appeal to the voters, who does Rick Perry’s campaign think the voters are?
The same kind of disconnection from the country’s actual political climate is evident in the thinking of many of what I’ve taken to call “Faux-Publicans.” This appellation comes from a preference for watching FOX news, often called Faux News by its detractors.
I, myself, have always found it difficult to believe Fox’s accusation of the “Liberal media bias” of almost every other news program. There are some heavily slanted “news” outlets for sure, but a general culture of “Liberal Bias?” I wonder if some of the more avid members of Fox’s audience have wondered if all of these other stations, publications and Internet news services in the US have a liberal bias, doesn’t that mean that most of the US probably leans that way as well? After all these services survive on advertising for the most part. Advertisers put their money where they sell the most product and that clearly means going for the biggest audience.
Which tends to indicate that the US audience is watching, reading, listening and is generally happier with, more “liberal” stations. This is reinforced by actual audience numbers, which clearly show that FOX’s highest show “The O’Reilly Factor” at most garners 1% of the US audience. “The Daily Show” has more than half that audience and it’s on 3 hours later at 11pm. It may possibly surpass O’Reilly’s audience because so many of it’s viewers watch it the next day on the Internet. CBS had to let Katie Couric go because the evening news show she anchored fell to a measly 2%, twice the audience of O’Reilly’s show.
Which begs the question are FOX’s viewers representative of the US population, or did they just wake up in a liberal country one day and cry “Foul!” Is the supposed “liberal bias of the Lame-Stream Media” actually a purer reflection of the country’s political identity as a whole?
As we roll down the final months to the 2012 elections, I’m sure some doubt has crossed Govenor Scott Walker’s mind, after doing what he was convinced the voters wanted, in the last 12 days over 300,000 have now signed petitions to recall him from office. He still has 18 days to go before petitioning completes.
Over and over, solid real world examples keep coming up of a persistent disconnection between a large number of so called “Conservative Republicans” and the rest of the nation. The candidates offered for Presidential election, the summer’s battle over the national Debt, even the much reviled Affordable Care Act. Which, while it’s often called “Obama Care” it more than closely resembles the legislation offered by the Republican majority during the Clinton presidency. Somehow that’s escaped the current “Republicans” in the House.
So, we come to the final realization that occurs to more and more actual Republicans every day as their supposed compatriots term them RINOs (Republican In Name Only), “Who are these guys and what’s wrong with them?”
Copyright Prentiss Gray 2011