ChrisWeigant.com

RNC PR BS

[ Posted Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 – 16:39 PDT ]

Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus is in the news this week, for his "autopsy" report on the Republican Party in the 2012 election. Priebus and a few other hardy Republican souls took months to examine what went wrong for the party, and what should be done to set things right for the next time around. Their prescription for change, unfortunately, is to change how their message is delivered rather than to change much in the way of Republican policies. I'm certainly not the first to point this out, but this idea works out to exactly the same as what you are left with when you remove the vowels from the national party chairman's name: RNC PR BS.

Without a major new direction for their policies, all the outreach and high-tech communications in the world aren't going to help. If the core agenda is the same, the results will be similar. Priebus can throw money at the problem all he wants, but in the end it will be nothing more than a Republican National Committee public relations blitz trying to sell the end product of cattle. The recommendations from the new "autopsy" (to put it even more pungently) can be likened to standing in the room of a real autopsy, and attempting to make things better by spraying air freshener around so people won't notice the stench of the carcass on the table.

I'd like to offer up my own prescriptions for the Republican Party, just in case they're truly interested in how they can modernize their party and attempt to stay relevant in national politics. The party's real problem, of course, is demographic change. The core "angry white man" base of the Republican Party is shrinking as a percentage of the voting public. Some might even call it the "old, rich, angry white guy" base, in fact, to further define its limits. Republicans are getting shellacked among pretty much every other demographic.

But Republicans aren't scaring voters away in droves just because of a few loose cannons talking about subjects like rape -- voters from other demographics are smart enough to have looked not just at what Republicans are saying but at what they do when they get in power. You can be the most polished politician around when it comes to speaking in public, but that doesn't really make the party platform any different -- and voters have been noticing.

Republicans most need traction with three major demographic groups to save their party's national electoral chances: women, minorities, and the youth. Here are the things Reince Priebus should have pointed out, issue-by-issue, if he truly wanted to transform the Republican Party so it could expand its reach among these three groups.

 

Gay marriage

One brave Republican senator has now come out in favor of gay marriage, after thinking about it for two years after his son announced he was gay. This leaves, by my count, 44 other Republican senators and over 200 Republican House members who have not offered support for gay marriage.

Republicans have spent roughly the last three decades demonizing gay people. First, it was that gays were "promiscuous" (back in the 1980s and early 1990s). "OK, fine," said gay people everywhere, "you want us to commit to each other? Then let us get married." The first beachhead of civil unions was established, which set off a backlash in the GOP who gleefully used it as a wedge issue for the next 15 years. Gay marriage was banned at the federal level, and in every state they could get it on the ballot. Some states even banned it more than once, just to drive the point home.

But now the wedge has turned. Gay marriage is now a winning proposition on the ballot. This is only going to increase over time. To put it bluntly to the Republican Party: this war is over -- you lost, and the gay folks won. Deal with it.

While there aren't that many gay people as a percentage of the population, this is an issue which resonates far beyond identity politics. Because young people, for the most part, simply can't understand why there's such an enormous fuss over the issue. The more intolerance shown from Republicans on gay rights, the more young people decide they can't ever associate themselves with the party. Intolerance, bigotry, and hatred are simply not "cool" or "hip" (or whatever the whippersnappers are calling good things these days). And while they're courting youth, perhaps Republicans could stop trying to make student loans more expensive and less available -- that might help, too.

The problem for Republicans here is a backdrop to a lot of their problems. The whole gay issue was built on religious grounds, and while politics may change over time, religion is a lot tougher to budge.

Republicans, however, may be saved from themselves on the gay marriage issue. The Supreme Court could just take the whole issue out of the hands of politicians once and for all. This would, ironically, help the Republican Party out of the corner it has painted itself in.

Republicans should return to their core value of "getting government out of people's lives" and extend that to sexual issues. "Get the government out of the bedroom!" could be a rallying cry, here.

 

Minorities

Republicans, if they're ever going to make inroads with minorities, are going to have to stop demonizing and scapegoating them, and they're going to have to support some policies which stop making minorities' lives tougher. This is a big hill for the party to climb, needless to say.

African-American citizens have been the threat Republicans have been using to scare their angry white guy base for decades. This "Southern Strategy" needs to end. In particular, Republicans could do an about-face and start championing the right to vote, rather than attacking it in an effort to disenfranchise as many minorities as possible. One of the biggest lessons from 2012 was the overwhelming backlash against all the vote-suppression laws Republicans frantically passed. Instead of depressing minority turnout, it actually motivated minority turnout. People were so outraged at the Republicans' naked power play that they became determined to vote no matter what obstacles were placed in their path. This lesson should be taken to heart by any Republicans who still think voter suppression is a good way to win elections.

As far as I know, Republicans have exactly one policy idea that favors African-Americans and tries to make their lives better. Ironically, this is because "politics makes strange bedfellows" -- Republicans are waging a war on teachers' unions, and they happen to be helping minorities as a side effect. But school vouchers cannot be the end-all answer for Republicans. It's a pretty thin portfolio, to put it another way.

Of course, the biggest minority (and the fastest-growing) is Latinos. Priebus actually did state in his autopsy that if the Republican Party can't get behind real immigration reform, it might as well just fold up its tent on the national political stage. Whether this is possible or not may play out in the next few months in Congress.

Republicans' problem, here, is (once again) their history of demonization and scapegoating. They've got to drop their harsh rhetoric, and they've got to do so very quickly. Once a solid immigration reform plan is on the table in either house of Congress, look for how many times the word "amnesty" is batted around. Every time a Republican is quoted using this word, gaining support among Latinos will become that much harder.

But again, it's not just language. Democrats have (so far) been successful at framing this issue around a "path to citizenship." They have forced Republicans to get on board this crucial part of any legislation. That's a big victory already, but watch very closely as Republicans (especially in the House) try to make that path as rocky and inaccessible as possible. Especially insidious is Rand Paul's idea requiring five more congressional votes before any pathway even opens up. Paul is attempting to allow Republicans to vote now "for" immigration reform, and then vote later to slam the door closed. Watch for other such legislative trickery to be inserted in the bill during the process.

The thing about immigrants (at least the thing that I've noticed) is that they have a much longer attention span than the average American citizen. They remember, to put it another way. The Republican Party already has a lot of baggage to overcome with Latinos, and if they try to pull a fast one this year ("We're for a path to citizenship, but we're going to make damn sure that path is as horrendously difficult as humanly possible") they may sink their chances for the next entire generation.

 

Women

Once more, it's not so much what Republicans say, it's what they've been doing to drive women away in droves. The "War On Women" is not going well, in other words.

The most-contentious front of this war is abortion, as always. The lesson the Republican Party is now sending to women across the land is: "Trust us with the reins of government, and abortion will be our number one priority." State after Republican-led state, there is a race on for who can pass the most restrictive anti-women's-health laws possible. Republicans have declared war on Planned Parenthood. They're voting for government to become more and more intrusive into what should be a discussion and a decision between a woman and her doctor. How is that "conservative" in any way?

Women are taking note. Each time one of these laws pass, more and more women turn and walk away from the Republican Party. As with gay rights, the problem here is that religion and politics don't mix especially well. I could see the Republican Party have an epiphany one day and declare: "We think government should stay the heck out of the examination room! Big Government is never the answer!" Problem is, I cannot see the Religious Right ever being able to accept this.

It's not just abortion, though. Republicans in Congress created a meaningless eighteen-month stall on the Violence Against Women Act, and then went ahead and voted for the same bill they'd been stalling. This sends a big message, guys. Republicans routinely block equal pay laws as well -- sending exactly the same message. That message is, stripped to the core: "We think old men should determine how women should live their lives." This is the ideology that needs to change, if the Republican Party doesn't want to see its share of women voters plummet in the next few years. Unfortunately, unlike immigration and gay marriage, I think this is one of the most entrenched policies in the party, meaning it'll be one of the hardest to change.

 

Rich old angry white guys aren't enough

Some Republicans are suggesting that the party flip its unquestioning support (one might almost say obeisance) to Wall Street, Big Banks, and Big Business.

Concentrating on Main Street might be a great idea for Republicans, because the Democrats are vulnerable on the issue (Democrats do lip service to Main Street issues, but only rarely manage to pass anything which changes anything in a meaningful way). Taking on "Too Big To Fail" would be an excellent opportunity. Fighting for tax cuts for the middle class instead of the uber-wealthy might be another way to go.

But the real conclusion here is that the Republican Party needs big changes of one sort or another. They could begin by tossing a few "social issues" over the side of the boat. Or, at the very least, stop demonizing their opponents in vicious attack ads designed to create fear and hatred of the "other." Maybe Reince Priebus can manage to change this culture, at the very least.

But it's not just language. It can't be just PR BS. If the Republican Party has any chance of turning around its fortunes and developing a more-inclusive brand for the future, it's going to require jettisoning some of the antediluvian thinking underlying the occasional ugly comment on rape.

Of course, I offer all of this advice up to the Republican Party knowing that it will be (at best) ignored by them, or (at worst) attacked and ridiculed. "You're on the Left, therefore you're saying Republicans should become Democrats!" might sum this attitude up, which is why I offer the advice so freely. Knowing they won't listen.

The Republican Party of the last three decades has been overwhelmingly successful with a "circle the wagons" approach to politics. This worked well when America's demographics were different, and American public opinion was more malleable on some of these wedge issues. But it's no longer the Reagan 1980s. What used to work is simply not going to work any more (or, in some regions "much longer"). Driving away Latinos, African-Americans, Asians, gay rights supporters, women, single mothers, young people, college attendees, and all the other scapegoats is taking a much bigger toll these days. The circle of wagons is a lot smaller, proportionally, and those driven out from that circle are growing in numbers each year.

The Republican Party is truly at a crossroads. It could modernize some of its positions and attitudes, in a bid to stay relevant to national politics in twenty-first century America. Or it could shrink to becoming a party of the South, the Plains, and a dwindling portion of the Mountain West.

I think I know which path Republicans are going to take in the foreseeable future. I could be wrong, but I think that path leads away from the crossroads across a pasture covered in cowflop. Reince Priebus is already skipping down this path, desperately spraying air freshener as he goes. There's another path to take -- a path which leads back to clearer air -- but somehow I don't think the Republican Party is quite ready to walk that path yet.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

36 Comments on “RNC PR BS”

  1. [1] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Feature Update

    Due to technical problems in the past, the link at the bottom of new articles to the cross-posting at the Huffington Post site has only pointed to my "author's page" there. But we're pleased to say that the problem has been fixed, and from now on this link will work the way it used to -- by taking you directly to the article itself on Huffington Post, where you can see the comments from HuffPosters. I've gotten complaints in the past that it wasn't working the way originally designed, so I wanted to point out that it has now been fixed and should from now on take you to the article itself.

    -CW

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    Their prescription for change, unfortunately, is to change how their message is delivered rather than to change much in the way of Republican policies.

    Which is EXACTLY the way it went for Democrats after the Great Democrat Shellacking Of 2010.

    "Our policies are great! It's just that we're failing to explain them properly!"

    Iddn't that funny... :D

    The biggest test on how bad things REALLY are for the Republican Party will come in 2014...

    If Republicans get shellacked again, I am willing to concede the point that the GOP is in trouble.

    On the flip side, if 2014 is a redux of 2010, I wonder how many Weigantians will be able to concede that it's the Democratic Party that is in trouble... :D

    Michale...

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    But we're pleased to say that the problem has been fixed, and from now on this link will work the way it used to -- by taking you directly to the article itself on Huffington Post, where you can see the comments from HuffPosters. I've gotten complaints in the past that it wasn't working the way originally designed, so I wanted to point out that it has now been fixed and should from now on take you to the article itself.

    Wish some of those commenters over at HuffPo could find their way over here, where opinions are TRULY diversified rather than just being a moderator imposed echo chamber..

    One comment was REALLY hilarious..

    Mr. Weigant, why are you telling them how to help themselves? These are the people who brought us Iraq, Katrina and the economic crash of 2008.

    Really!!???

    The Republicans made Katrina???

    Democrats had NOTHING to do with Iraq or the Economic Crash???

    I think the IQ of HuffPo commenters are in the single digits...

    Present company excepted, of course.. :D

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    michty6 wrote:

    <There's another path to take -- a path which leads back to clearer air -- but somehow I don't think the Republican Party is quite ready to walk that path yet.

    The only way Republicans make any progress on any issue is when it is shoved down their throat by wave after wave of public opinion. Gay marriage and immigration are the perfect examples of this.

    Why they don't just listen to what people want and offer a Conservative agenda geared towards this (like every other Conservative party in every other Western democracy) I'll never know. It's like 'well preaching bigoted hateful propaganda brought us SOME success in the least informed parts of the country, so why abandon a semi-successful strategy!'

    The fact that the most successful, prominent, popular and reasonable Conservative Governor in the country just now wasn't even invited to CPAC - yet complete morons like Palin, Bachman and Trump get the podium to spew their vile moronic nonsense - says all you need to know about how stuck in the past and unwilling to modernise they are.

  5. [5] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Dang, CW ... this post is prescient. I just downloaded this the other day and was going through it.

    Here's the link if anyone's interested:

    http://images.dailykos.com/i/user/191280/130960510-Growth-Opportunity-Project.pdf

    The interesting thing to me is that the most important thing to both parties seems to be their brand.

    Not, as both you and Michale have mentioned, their core beliefs. It's a battle of branding. Or is there any difference?

    The trick is that a good brand has consistency between what the brand says and what the company does. Google believes in doing good, for example, and backs this up by giving employees time to work on projects they believe in.

    This is where both parties could use some work in my opinion.

    For example, if more Democrats were to come out against drone warfare this would be more consistent with their brand.

    Similarly, if more Republicans were to support growing the economy, it would be more consistent with their brand. Keep in mind, they used to be the party of growth. I'm not sure if they realize how much becoming the anti-Obama party has damaged their brand. And no amount of minority voter pandering is going to fix this.

    -David

  6. [6] 
    akadjian wrote:

    p.s. Is it just me or does anyone else have an issue with pronouncing Reince Priebus?

    I can't help calling him Prince Reibus

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    p.s. Is it just me or does anyone else have an issue with pronouncing Reince Priebus?

    I can't help calling him Prince Reibus

    It's a common problem.

    It's why people on the Right can't help saying "O-bozo" or "Obummer"....

    :D

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/johnvilvens/rnc-pr-bs_b_2919334_238750057.html

    You have GOT to get this guy over here!!!

    He is definitely a kindred spirit.. :D

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Republicans are waging a war on teachers' unions, and they happen to be helping minorities as a side effect.

    CW,

    did you SERIOUSLY just write that? in what way do closing schools and neutering teacher unions help minorities? chicago is planning to close 54 schools, relocate 11 and have 6 taken over by private companies, their principals and half their teachers laid off. philadelphia too. there is zero credible evidence that any of these strategies will do anything whatsoever to help minority students. most likely the strategy is in retaliation for union activity. if the plans go through, class sizes will skyrocket. children will have to travel farther from home, through dangerous neighborhoods, usually on foot. the new schools will inherit the same problems from the old schools, with fewer teachers per student. this and other anti-union measures do NOT help minorities in any way, shape or form. how in the hell can anyone say that this is somehow for the benefit of the students? let's hear it, what evidence supports this assertion?

    ~joshua

  10. [10] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    pardon me, the chicago school board are democrats waging war on the teacher unions, with saccharine concern for the children. my mistake, i should have asked for evidentiary support for the republican war on teachers.

    ~joshua

  11. [11] 
    akadjian wrote:

    It's why people on the Right can't help saying "O-bozo" or "Obummer"..

    Don't get me wrong, Michale ... I'm thankful for Reince

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DOhKs2mngDM

    -David

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Don't get me wrong, Michale ... I'm thankful for Reince

    I am sure you are.

    Just like many on the Right are thankful for the likes of Reid, Rangel, Feinstein, Menendez and all other on the Left who have shown how corrupt, perverse and incompetent the Democratic Party is...

    IWBW :D

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    And, STILL under the IWBW category...

    I'm not sure if they realize how much becoming the anti-Obama party has damaged their brand.

    Just as I am not sure if DEMOCRATS realize how much becoming so PRO-Obama has damaged THEIR brand..

    Wouldn't you agree??

    And no amount of minority voter pandering is going to fix this.

    And yet, even though minorities have suffered worst under Obama and the Democrats, such such pandering works for Democrats..

    Go figger...

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    i should have asked for evidentiary support for the republican war on teachers.

    As with many "wars" that Republicans are accused of, the evidence is nothing but spin and twisting of facts.

    For example, the GOP wants to make women pay for their own contraceptives so as not to burden American taxpayers..

    The Democrats spin that to mean that the Republicans don't like women and are engaged in a "war on women"..

    In essence the Left takes one very unlikely and very remote possibility, the one most damaging to the GOP and, all of the sudden, THAT becomes the ONLY reason that the GOP does this or does that.

    It's pure, unadulterated spin.. Nothing more...

    To be fair, the Right does it to Democrats as well. Probably even better...

    And so it goes and so it goes....

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    michty6 wrote:
  16. [16] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Just as I am not sure if DEMOCRATS realize how much becoming so PRO-Obama has damaged THEIR brand.

    This doesn't even make sense. You mean the guy who just won a convincing victory in the last election?

    As with many "wars" that Republicans are accused of, the evidence is nothing but spin and twisting of facts.

    The "war" is actually being waged by private, for-profit education corporations.

    Republicans were just the original flag bearers for privatization (and still the most vocal). Though Obama and Democrats like Rahm are picking it up and running with it.

    The way to stop it is if public opinion stays solidly behind our public school system and teachers. So much so that politicians won't risk supporting privatization.

    -David

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    This doesn't even make sense. You mean the guy who just won a convincing victory in the last election?

    So, what you are saying is that if Republicans go against their branding, they will suffer.

    But if Democrats go against their branding, they will be rewarded..

    How does that work, exactly??

    The "war" is actually being waged by private, for-profit education corporations.

    Bull...

    The way to stop it is if public opinion stays solidly behind our public school system and teachers. So much so that politicians won't risk supporting privatization.

    Agreed.. But, as we have learned with ObamaCare, Obama and the Democrats don't necessarily follow the dictates of public opinion..

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    The "war" is actually being waged by private, for-profit education corporations.

    Bull...

    Disregard that.. I read it to mean the so-called GOP "wars" in general.

    I have no evidence to dispute your claim, just as you have no evidence to support your claim.

    What you call "war" might simply be sincere efforts on people who believe in their "faith" as you much as you believe in yours..

    It's a possibility that you must consider..

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    michty6 wrote:

    OMG. This. Is. Amazing: http://vimeo.com/62313332

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    This doesn't even make sense. You mean the guy who just won a convincing victory in the last election?

    It makes perfect sense..

    The guy won a convincing victory by pandering to minorities...

    No other explanation fits. Especially when you consider it is well documented that minorities have suffered more than white people under the Obama Administration...

    So, Obama feeds them some shiny beads and shallow flattery and viola... Convincing victory...

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    akadjian wrote:

    OMG. This. Is. Amazing: http://vimeo.com/62313332

    Hahahahah. "Tax cuts for the rich and attacks on popular programs"

  22. [22] 
    akadjian wrote:

    It's a possibility that you must consider.

    Sure. Call it a campaign then.

    The fact is, however, that there are many companies like White Hat Management who are working to privatize the school system and stand to make a lot of money if this happens.

    The plan is quite simple really. Gin up anti-government sentiment against the schools and teacher unions. Talk about the failures of the public school system. Pay a consulting company to write a white paper about the benefits of charter schools. Fund politicians who are willing to make this happen. Cut funding for public schools. When they fail ... talk about the failure of public schools. And repeat.

    We've been watching this play out in Oho over the past couple years. Here's an example of legislation just enacted to put an additional burden on public school teachers:

    http://www.plunderbund.com/2012/10/28/third-grade-reading-guarantee-will-cost-teachers-over-17000-out-of-pocket/

    One which doesn't apply to charter school teachers.

    It has nothing to do with bettering the education of students and everything to do with making money. Just like "No Child Left Behind".

    -David

  23. [23] 
    michty6 wrote:

    So Republicans just tried to repeal Obamacare for the 36th time. And they have a whole bunch of amendments that will take up an entire days work meaning hit will hit the 40s by the end of the day...

    They should pass a law that when politicians behave this stupidly and waste tax payers money that they should have a months salary stripped. It would reduce the deficit and increase the probability of politicians actually DOING THEIR DAMN JOBS AND HELPING A STRUGGLING ECONOMY.

    Meanwhile I'm going to go and tell my boss that I am going to spend the day reissuing the budget revision I proposed and was rejected by her. See how that goes down...

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    It would reduce the deficit and increase the probability of politicians actually DOING THEIR DAMN JOBS AND HELPING A STRUGGLING ECONOMY.

    Repealing ObamaCare WOULD help the economy... It sure as hell would help the Middle Class, a group ya'all CLAIM to care about...

    That's the part ya'all just don't see...

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Repealing ObamaCare WOULD help the economy... It sure as hell would help the Middle Class, a group ya'all CLAIM to care about...

    That's the part ya'all just don't see...

    If you repealed Obamacare and replaced it with, say, a public option I'm right on board.

    But the idea that stripping people of healthcare somehow helps then is completely laughable. That's before we even tough on the financial implications...

  26. [26] 
    michty6 wrote:

    *touch

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/21/senate-votes-kill-obamacare-related-tax/

    See!!

    Republicans AND Democrats can work together to repeal a moronic ObamaCare tax...

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    If you repealed Obamacare and replaced it with, say, a public option I'm right on board.

    How about replacing it with something that borders on common sense and doesn't prompt employers to go out of business or cut workers pay or hours???

    What a concept, eh??

    Something that doesn't HURT the economy and the middle class...

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    How about replacing it with something that borders on common sense and doesn't prompt employers to go out of business or cut workers pay or hours???

    ah, like single payer. well, as miyagi says:

    Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later... kwk! get squish just like grape.

    -the karate kid

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    ah, like single payer. well, as miyagi says

    Can you give me an example of a "single payer" system??

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    Kudos on the movie quote, though. :D

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    By "single payer" I am assuming you are meaning "government-run"

    Yea.. Because THAT always turns out so well..

    Can you name me on "business" that Government has run well???

    When I think of "Government Run" I think of the US Post Office that hasn't seen a black year in decades.. I think of FEMA and the Veterans Administration and the list goes on and on...

    I think of so much incompetence and so much fraud and so much abuse...

    Why anyone would think that "Government Run" health care would be the exception to all the screwed up government run businesses is beyond me.

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Excellent article, Chris.

    One way for GOP to help themselves is to take one of the autopsy's recommendations further. Primaries are better than caucuses for them. Primaries that allow independents to vote would be even better.

    The RNC should push (hard) on all 50 state parties to do this. It's the opposite approach of Virginia's (which switched to a caucus to ensure a Cuccinelli nomination).

    There are dangers and pitfalls, but overall, I'd say the benefits outweigh the negatives for both the GOP and the country.

  34. [34] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I think of so much incompetence and so much fraud and so much abuse.

    Are you sure this is real "abuse" or trumped up abuse by the corporations wanting to privatize the industry?

    Compare 2 examples.

    1. The U.S. military. The push is not yet there to privatize it (at least completely). So private PR firms are not out there running campaigns against the military. Most of the news coverage is therefore supportive of the military even though it is a public institution. And this is despite some pretty big instances of abuse such as rebuilding Iraq.

    Basically, the system works for military contractors so they're not waging PR campaigns against the military.

    2. Public education. Public education used to be one of the things that made our country the best in the world- we offered everyone a free public education. Then private PR firms started demonizing it because they smelled the opportunity for profit. In a government run education system, there's no opportunity to take a cut off the top. But if we could get the government to pay a middle man, then there's all kinds of profit which could be made.

    In this instance, corporations want to change the funding structure so they are running PR campaigns against public education.

    Don't believe the hype.

    Why anyone would think that "Government Run" health care would be the exception to all the screwed up government run businesses is beyond me.

    Why would anyone think the previous private health care system worked?

    - 30+ million uninsured
    - People denied coverage
    - Emergency rooms being used for things like the flu
    - The most costly health care in the world

    Yet that's what conservatives want. A return to this disaster. Now, don't get me wrong, it might be good for the health care industry. All that cost = lots of profit. But was it a system that served people well?

    -David

  35. [35] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Yea.. Because THAT always turns out so well..

    every system has its drawbacks, but most places who do have single-payer consider the trade-off to be worth it.

    canada, UK, taiwan and australia all have single-payer, and overall people in those places find the system to be effective and low-stress. the systems do need to be tweaked sometimes so they don't run at a loss, and people tend to need supplemental insurance for things that the government system classifies as non-essential. also, the newest and best procedures tend not to be easily available, there are wait times for non-emergency procedures, and medical professionals have somewhat lower incomes.

    but contrast those drawbacks against half the country having to mortgage their house whenever they are hospitalized, or dying because they can't afford the proper care, and it's really no contest.

    as to my original point, public schools are government run, and they have historically done an outstanding job. notwithstanding the corporate media campaign about the nation's "failing" public schools, most schools in the US do an excellent job. i suppose one difference there is that the schools are run by LOCAL government, which is much more responsive to people's needs than the federal or state government.

    this is changing too, however. billionaires like michael bloomberg, bill gates, eli broad, the waltons and numerous hedge funds are putting millions of dollars into local school board elections, effectively negating the influence of communities and parents. that is a very real threat to a government-run system that (contrary to the corporate media narrative) has up until now been wildly successful.

    ~joshua

  36. [36] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    another note to CW about the bipartisan war on teacher unions "helping" minorities:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/23/cps-school-closing-protes_n_2940021.html

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