The Progressive Republican

Filed in National by on February 2, 2014 …If I was a younger man out to fix the world, that’s the blog I’d start. Maybe I will anyway. 49 is the new 41. Anyway, that’s the growth industry; Sane Republicanism. That’s the blue sky, “the future is ours for the taking” position.

The teabags have run their course. They’s had their angry day in the sun thanks to the election of a non-white President. They were the dying gasp of Nixon’s cynical southern strategy. A mere four years after their great mid-term election triumph, the leaders of that movement are scattered and demoralized. Who talks about Ted Cruz anymore? There will be another debt ceiling increase in five days that will pass without a peep from the people who said that debt ceiling fights, and debt hysteria were going to be the killer apps of the 20-teens.

So what next? Some counter movement must be stirring somewhere. Even though I can’t see it or hear it, I know it is out there. There must be some folks who come from the Eisenhower wing of the party. Right? If there isn’t, there should be. I mean, I can sketch out a Progressive Republican manifesto right off the top of my head.

– Progressive Republicans value a small, efficient government and recognize that collusion between big business and big government is a threat to our liberty and long term economic security.

– Progressive Republicans work for widespread opportunity by pursuing regulatory policies that create predictability and social/economic mobility while limiting the ability of corporations to undermine our democracy.

– Progressive Republicans believe that the individual and family are the corner stones of effective and vibrant societies, therefor we pursue policies that recognize the broad diversity of individual and family experiences that have historically woven together to create the inclusive American experience.

Etc, etc…. It would be easy.

It would be nice to have a legitimate populist counterbalance to the Democrats out and out prostration to monied interests. Of course it would require Republicans to disavow the racism that currently serves as the focus of the party, but that is doable. In fact it is inevitable.


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Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don't tell anybody.

Comments (31)

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  1. Camptown Lady says:

    The teabags have run their course.

    The latest numbers show that so-called TEA Party fundraising is higher than establishment (Rove, et. al.) fundraising. From the NY Times;

    … conservatives seeking to pull the Republican Party to the right raised more money last year than the groups controlled by the party establishment, whose bulging bank accounts and ties to major donors have been their most potent advantage in the running struggle over the party’s future, according to new campaign disclosures and interviews with officials.

    Progressive Republicans value a small, efficient government …

    Huh? A smaller, more efficient government has been part of the GOP platform for decades. Particularly TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party members.

    Of course it would require Republicans to disavow the racism that currently serves as the focus of the party…

    Let’s see…Ted Cruz…Marco Rubio…both supported whole-heartedly by the TEA Party, and both major players within the current conservative movement.

    The Left, racism, and the Marxist dialectic, Foseti;

    ‘The right’ has no unity, actual or prospective, and thus has no definition symmetrical to that of the left. It is for this reason that political dialectics (a tautology) ratchets only in one direction, predictably, towards state expansion and an increasingly coercive substantial-egalitarian ideal. The right moves to the center, and the center moves to the left.

    Regardless of mainstream conservative fantasies, liberal-progressive mastery of American providence has become uncontestable, dominated by a racial dialectic that absorbs unlimited contradiction, whilst positioning the Afro-American underclass as the incarnate critique of the existing social order, the criterion of emancipation, and the sole path to collective salvation. No alternative structure of historical intelligibility is politically tolerable, or even – strictly speaking – imaginable, since resistance to the narrative is un-American, anti-social, and (of course) racist, serving only to confirm the existence of systematic racial oppression through the symbolic violence manifested in its negation. To argue against it is already to prove it correct, by concretely demonstrating the same benighted forces of social retardation that are being verbally denied. By resisting the demand for orchestrated social re-education, knuckle-dragging ‘bitter clingers’ only show how much there still is to do.

    Long-term, the strategy will fail…because of the iron laws of economic self-interest, or Maslov’s hierarchy of motives, if you prefer. Technology changes, man doesn’t- from Pope’s An Essay On Man, Second Epistle;

    “Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
    The proper study of Mankind is Man.
    Plac’d on this isthmus of a middle state,
    A being darkly wise, and rudely great:
    With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
    With too much weakness for the Stoic’s pride,
    He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest,
    In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast;
    In doubt his Mind or Body to prefer,
    Born but to die, and reas’ning but to err;
    Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
    Whether he thinks too little, or too much:
    Chaos of Thought and Passion, all confus’d;
    Still by himself abus’d, or disabus’d;
    Created half to rise, and half to fall;
    Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
    Sole judge of Truth, in endless Error hurl’d:
    The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!”

    Nothing changes.

  2. jason330 says:

    “The latest numbers show that so-called TEA Party fundraising is higher than establishment (Rove, et. al.)…”

    I meant electoral effectiveness. They will always be able to round up suckers and dupes.

    “Huh? A smaller, more efficient government has been part of the GOP platform for decades.”

    LOL. If you say so.

    “Let’s see…Ted Cruz…Marco Rubio…both supported whole-heartedly by the TEA Party, ”

    You forgot Bobby Jihndal. Anti-black is more accurate. You do know of Nixon? You’ve heard of the “southern strategy” I take it. Oh, I know there is some contorted logic regarding that fact that hatred and disenfranchisement is character building, but I’m talking about reality. In other words, what we actually experience in the real world. The opposite of this….

    “The right moves to the center, and the center moves to the left.”

  3. jason330 says:

    This “smaller government” thing is worth teasing out. Teabags have worked for a weak government when it comes to regulating board room malfeasance, and a strong government when it comes to regulating the bedroom.

    Progressive Republicans will see the idiocy of that and turn “smaller” government into the inverse of the teabag proposition. They could pick up a lot of D’s and I’s by doing so.

  4. Dana says:

    By “progressive Republican,” you mean “Democrat Lite.” We tied the Democrats Lite version, in the 1960s and early 1970s, the Hugh Scott/ Everett Dirksen/ Gerald Ford Republican Party, and all it gained us was Republican Presidents who talked conservative but governed as moderates, permanent minority status in the Congress, and the Democratic Party agenda moving forward, just a little bit more slowly.

    Teabags have worked for a weak government when it comes to regulating board room malfeasance, and a strong government when it comes to regulating the bedroom.

    OK, just where do you see Republicans wanting to regulate the bedroom? We oppose abortion, because an unborn child is a living human being, but abortion does not occur in the bedroom. Everything else, we don’t care what you do, as long as it involves only consenting adults, but we don’t want to see silliness like equating homosexual unions with normal marriage, and while we don’t care whether you use non-abortifacient contraception, we don’t think that other people should have to pay for it.

  5. jason330 says:

    “OK, just where do you see Republicans wanting to regulate the bedroom?”


  6. Dana says:

    “Hilarious” isn’t a response. Where, specifically, do you see Republicans trying to regulate the bedroom?

  7. pandora says:

    Rick Santorum: “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country.” And also, “Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

    Mike Huckabee equates family planning with women “controlling their libido.” Not men, who also benefit from contraceptives – Women, and only women.

    And what about all those Personhood bills that would make most birth control illegal?

    And don’t even get me started on the GOP’s greatest hits when it comes to rape.

    Keep pretending that Republicans aren’t in people’s bedrooms, but don’t be surprised when you lose the women’s vote – again. Your party consists of old white men who are dying off faster then you can replace them. To which I say, good riddance.

  8. Dana says:

    Mr Santorum expressed his opinion on artificial contraception, but also said he wouldn’t seek to outlaw it. Mr Huckabee was criticizing Democrats, saying that they were the ones making policy as though women couldn’t be responsible for themselves. Here’s his exact statement:

    If the Democrats want to insult women by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it. Let us take this discussion all across America because women are far more than the Democrats have played them to be.

    And women across America need to stand up and say ‘Enough of that nonsense.

    The personhood amendments apply to abortion, which means after conception, not artificial contraception. Of course, Democrats were pretty good at saying that some people weren’t really persons; see Dred Scot v Sandford.

  9. pandora says:

    Right. After being called out on his stupid comment, Santorum clarifies his “sexual realm” BS. And please tell my why Huckabee didn’t include men in his “libido” comment? Go on, tell me why the GOP always excludes men from their comments about sex and birth control? Or just ask Rush who calls women “sluts.” Like it, or not, your message is getting through to women loud and clear.

    And you are so wrong about your personhood amendment facts, but I’m truly beginning to believe that the female body is a complete mystery to Republicans. My condolences to Republican wives.

  10. pandora says:

    One more thing… when you’re explaining, you’re losing.

    You guys want to work on that.

  11. Jason330 says:

    A Progressive Republican wouldn’t try to argue teabagz out of their wrong views. Rather the point would be to make them less relevant. You can argue religious fanatics into adopting common sense.

  12. Impossible says:

    You’re describing this- “The time is ripe for a new alternative- progressive conservatism. Progressive conservatism would offer a fresh perspective- a synergy of populist economics, social justice, environmental stewardship, communitarianism, and traditional values that addresses the concerns of the common people.

    The re-establishment of a progressive conservative voice in American politics within the GOP would create a true opposition capable of keeping the Democrats honest, the rest of the Republicans sane, and the plutocracy firmly in check.”

    It all sounds nice, but there is no constituency for it in today’s GOP.

  13. Jason330 says:

    I think there is a constituency for that in the northeast, Midwest, west …. Everywhere moderate Republucan’s once served in congress. It might have to divorce itself from the southern GOP , but isn’t that divorce overdue?

  14. jason330 says:

    BTW – Thanks for that link. That guy absolutely nailed this:

    The corporate wing of the GOP was decisively rejected by the voters because it offered nothing but obsolete ideas driven by a bankrupt libertarian ideology that would actually exacerbate the problems America is facing. It cravenly serves the interests of the rich through an agenda composed of tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation for large corporations, crony capitalism, and climate change denial coupled with attacks on the existing social contract. These outmoded, unappealing, elite-friendly policies are marketed to mainstream Americans mixed with a toxic stew of nativism, misogyny, racism, and fear.


  15. Camptown Lady says:

    The corporate wing of the GOP…

    As opposed to the ‘corporate wing’ of the Dems?

    From The Huffington Post:

    Institute for Policy Studies, a liberal think tank, named in a new report 25 major American corporations whose CEOs were paid more last year than their firm’s total U.S. income tax bill. Of those business elites, 10 have substantive ties to Obama — including some who have official economic policy advisory positions in his administration — according to a HuffPost analysis of the report.

    All told, these 10 CEOs with Obama connections brought in over $158 million for themselves last year. Their companies’ federal tax bill, however, was a combined net benefit of $5.4 billion — meaning the federal government actually owed these companies billions of dollars. Eight of the 10 firms not only did not pay taxes; they received large refunds. The 10 companies scored combined U.S. profits of $26.8 billion.

    HuffPost’s calculations are based on data compiled in the report by the IPS. The IPS figures, in turn, are drawn from documents the companies filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    Of Obama’s corporate favorites, General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt and Honeywell CEO David Cote have served in the highest-profile public positions associated with the administration. Immelt has been pilloried with criticism ever since Obama named him head of his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. GE required massive amounts of government aid when the subprime mortgage bets made by its financial wing, GE Capital, resulted in enormous losses during the financial crisis. While the company is headquartered in the U.S., a majority of its employees are based abroad (GE is somewhat unique among major companies for disclosing this figure, a fact Immelt has touted in recent speeches), and it has a robust staff of former U.S. Treasury officials who deploy complicated accounting maneuvers to lower the company’s tax bills. Immelt made $15.2 million last year, with GE’s $3.3 billion tax benefit accounting for more than half of the 10 companies total tax benefit.

    Cote has received far less public scrutiny than Immelt, although he may have greater influence over U.S. economic policy. Obama named Cote to a previous super-committee on economic policy, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, known as the Simpson-Bowles panel. An Obama nominee, Cote was the second-ranking Republican on the Commission, behind former Sen. Alan Simpson. Once derided by liberals as an obsessively conservative approach to cutting the deficit, the Simpson-Bowles panel’s recommendations have increasingly been used by congressional Democrats to fend off more radical proposals from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and the Republican leadership. Cote scored $15.2 million in pay last year, while Honeywell secured a $471 million tax benefit. Honeywell told HuffPost that it complied with tax laws and that its executive pay standards are guided by executive performance. The company also said it is proud of Cote’s government work.

    The Obama administration declined do comment for this story…

    The system is far more extensive than two political parties, because both parties are bought and paid for.

  16. Jason330 says:

    I don’t see your point. This post acknowledged that Dems are beholden to corporations. That’s why Progressive republicans would have an opportunity. Nobody is occupying the anti -oligarchy space.

  17. Aoine says:

    Did Dana also forget the recently indicted Governor “Vaginal probe” McDonald.

    The anti-Latino ” electrify the fence” Herman Cain

    They psycho that is Alan West

    The disaster that is Rick Perry and the closing of Women’s Clinics in Texas

    the undermining of women’s rights to reproductive healthcare in South Dakota?and elsewhere……

    What Dana and his ilk fails to realize , that when you take women, the black community, the Latino community, the LGBT community , the poor and the struggling middle class, and combine them , the old white majority


  18. cassandra_m says:

    The personhood amendments apply to abortion, which means after conception, not artificial contraception.

    Anyone want to tell Dana here, what is so wrong about this or are we good with him just looking like an idiot?

  19. Liberal Elite says:

    @C “Anyone want to tell Dana here, what is so wrong about this or are we good with him just looking like an idiot?”

    The goal has always been to make crazy anti-women views sound reasonable. Rather weird leaps of logic are needed to hold up that dubious facade.

    Hey Dana… When and where does conception occur when it’s done with artificial conception? …and is it OK to discard a vial tray with a dozen fertilized eggs? …or is that mass murder?

    And then conservatives wonder why the liberals see them as having a distinct lack of moral fibre.

  20. Aoine says:

    I think we’ re all good with him looking like exactly what he is…. 😉

  21. puck says:

    Republicans can easily be convinced to drop their moral posturing on social issues once they understand it is a losing issue for them. But they will never give up their allegiance to the rich at the expense of the rest of us.

  22. Liberal Elite says:

    @p “But they will never give up their allegiance to the rich at the expense of the rest of us.”

    Sure they would. If Fox News went dark, and if Rush took one too many pills, they’d forget all of that within 6 months. It’s the STEADY diet of pro-1% propaganda coupled racist propaganda that keeps all this going. Something like this:

    “Lowering our taxes will make you richer. Really it will, but only if we work together to hurt the unions first. …Ooooh. Look at those blacks over there. Look what they’re getting for free… and YOU’RE paying for it!!! It’s OBAMACARE!!!”

    Day in and day out… the same sort of crap.

  23. Jason330 says:

    So…. a more progressive Republicanism is hopeless because it would lack the “information” and organizational infrastructure that the radical teabags enjoy?

    That’s a little too nihilistic for me. I mean, I didn’t know about until yesterday… but that it exists is something.

  24. stan merriman says:

    Progressive Conservatism is a contradiction in terms; the former alludes to economic justice emphasis in contrast to social justice, the latter alludes to the status quo and “small government”; big change and reform vs. little change and the advocacy for small government while actually doing big,intrusive government.

    Else where in the U.S., Jason, there has been a vibrant challenge to the corporatism of the DNC and state Democratic Party power structures; the Wendy initiative in Texas was 10 years in the making with a left-populist takeover of the State Party and trial lawyer establishment; read Jim Hightower about that. In California the Jerry Brown crowd made their moves years in the making; Schweitzer and Teeter up in the border states. In Ohio, the Sherrod Brown crowd mobilized to save his populist leadership and in Mass., the Eliz. Warren faction (she cultivated her shift from Republican to Democrat in Houston) took back the State Party that cottoned to the corporatists. Read economists Michael Lind and Jamie Galbraith, media people like Ed Schultz charting the populist economic path forward. This is a real movement with the long view we now see making serious headway also in diverse places like the State of Washington, Colorado and NYC. Look in the left populist direction, Jason, not seeking company with nativists, theocrats and racists driving the Republican Party into oblivion. Obama drove us to an accommodation with the corporate class when the economic system melted down because he and his people couldn’t risk destroying Wall Street when no one knew how it worked or how to remake it. Hillary got in bed them when they first lost their Arkansas foothold. Both groups within the Party must be challenged and pushed for 2016 to remake the economic system to reform and save the good parts of it.

  25. stan merriman says:

    I failed to mention populist author, radio host and columnist David Sirota, up in Colorado who among other things, founded the left’s Progressive States Network, working on shared legislation to counter right wing domination in state legislatures.

  26. Jason330 says:

    I think there is a risk in getting too caught up in the taxonomy. So, I disagree with your assertion that progressive change can only come from the left. Refuting the “nativists, theocrats and racists driving the Republican Party into oblivion” by offering an alternative to those impulses while seeking economic justice is something a Republican Party could certainly accomplish.

    For a close at home example, just look at the paradigm shift in the Democratic Party (away from being on the side of the “working man” and social mobility in favor of propping up the monied elite) as an example of how this could happen in reverse.

  27. Camptown Lady says:

    I don’t see your point. This post acknowledged that Dems are beholden to corporations.

    You said “prostration to monied interests” not corporations. A small but significant difference, an inference by omission. No big deal, at least you’re not wearing a blindfold- both parties are corrupt.

    … when you take women, the black community, the Latino community, the LGBT community , the poor and the struggling middle class, and combine them , the old white majority


    So the Democrats will hold the Senate in ’14, right?


    And the Democrats will re-take the House in 14, right?


    Some day you’ll grasp the simple fact that politics is cyclical.

  28. Jason330 says:


  29. Joanne Christian says:

    jason–I just want to personally thank you for at least trying and being open. But face it, in any form, it’s right back to “Whack A Republican”.

  30. Jason330 says:

    Thanks for recognizing my attempt. And, for what it is worth, you are right. For now all roads lead back to whack a Republican. I can’t say how long it will take me to recover from the Bush years.

    Maybe never.

  31. Jason330 says:

    “Today, Speaker John Boehner announced that the House will pass a clean debt limit bill tomorrow (ed. note: He’s since announced the vote will be Tuesday night). Democrats will provide most of the votes, Republicans will provide the rest. This outcome has been obvious for weeks.”

    Just sayin’