Streams

Grand New Party

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ross Douthat, senior editor of The Atlantic and Reihan Salam, associate editor at The Atlantic and senior editor at New America, join us to talk about their new book Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream in which they argue that it's time for Republicans to finally get over Reagan.

Guests:

Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam

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Comments [63]

Peter from Sunset Park

Steve,

Do you always resort to name calling when you disagree with someone? I guess when someone disagrees with you they must be part of some right wing conspiracy? Of course, calling me names may be easier for you than talking issues. Please stick to the issues and please stop the name calling.

Jun. 25 2008 02:05 PM
jawbone from Parsippany, NJ

mc @ #58--We should be able to look at those who have the power of the airwaves and even cable broadcast spots to at least demonstrate leadership in showing the public that some things are not said by repectable people in public.

Think about Maureen Dowd repeating that Penn "joke" about Hillary Clinton which used "bitch" to describe her. It was published by the NYTimes on its op-ed page. Wow. The Great Grey Lady gave use of "bitch" to describe a sitting US senator, major party presidential nominee candidate, former First Lady its imprimateur.

Think about the various late night comediens making jokes about Hillary and the word bitch, as well as other sexist comments.

I was gobsmacked--the comediens can claim late night. What does the NYTimes claim?.

Jun. 25 2008 12:56 PM
jawbone from Parsippany, NJ

mc @ #50--Whoohoooo!

As I wrote, it was a suggestion made jokingly--but, hey, it would be so fitting....

Get the party back to its humanitarian roots--way cool.

Jun. 25 2008 12:48 PM
hjs from 11211

mc 58
most people are cattle looking for leaders

Jun. 25 2008 12:13 PM
Steve from Manhattan

Peter - are you one of those concern trolls sent over by RedState or Little Green Footballs?

And I will point out to you that at least Kerry had been to Vietnam when he ran.

Jun. 25 2008 12:10 PM
mc from Brooklyn

I think looking to any individual to solve racism, and sexism too, is a mistake. The problem is with all of us. The solution is with all of us.

Jun. 25 2008 11:49 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Katie<

I think we have to be careful with orthodoxy. For example: if you heavily tax all imports, you shut off a very clean, alternative source of energy, namely Brazilian sugar ethanol. The sugar lobby in the States has succeeded in shutting that off. It's worked out well, huh?

Closing the loopholes, ending the war, raising taxes on the wealthy are all good policy but all that will not keep up with rising health costs. WE need to grow up and decided how much health care is enough. Right now there are way too many unnecessary procedures and it drives up costs for everyone. Some get too much, some get not enough, some get nothing.

Jun. 25 2008 11:48 AM
hjs from 11211

TO 27,
guess you couldn't say something like: well after favoring whites for 300 years maybe 4 years of favoring a black person wouldn't be the end of the world. would it?

Jun. 25 2008 11:47 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Steve:

I actually share many of your thoughts about Bush. He is a disaster. I actually voted for Gore, but voted for Bush because Kerry, well, he was Kerry.

However, my disgust with Bush doesn't mean that I can support Obama and his high tolerance of racism. Bush hate is not blinding me to Obama's major faults.

As far as Bush and the Middle East, Obama is sure messing up on that already. He speaks to a Jewish group and promises that Jerusalem will never be divided, and then the very next morning he retracts this comment because he realizes that real peace will mean real compromise. Clinton or Biden would have never been so silly. Obama's inexperience is startling.

Jun. 25 2008 11:43 AM
TO from Manhattan

Hi, Graham:

I think that blue-collar and lower middle-class voters feel burned by affirmative action. They believe that they and their kids were discriminated against in hiring and college admissions. Their opposition is not to African-Americans but rather to what they see as the effects of liberal Democratic programs on "hard-working, white" people and their kids.

I don't agree with this position -- I'm pro affirmative action -- but I think that his is the issue that's causing the resentment.

Jun. 25 2008 11:43 AM
darius from brooklyn

Peter,

Was Rev. Billy Graham *not* racist? Where was their evolved sensibility then?

Jun. 25 2008 11:42 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Katie,
I think it is worth taking a look at Denmark and other countries as well. In Germany, everyone buys health insurance. It is subsidized for anyone who can't afford it. Costs are controlled by the government contracting with drug companies and providers en masse.

Jun. 25 2008 11:41 AM
hjs from 11211

katie 41
. Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man,
the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time
handed out military command, high civil office, legions - everything, now
restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things:
bread and circuses

Jun. 25 2008 11:40 AM
mc from Brooklyn

jawbone,
I like your thinking. Let's take over the GOP and run it as a truly progressive party.

Jun. 25 2008 11:40 AM
Katie from Forest Hills

MC,

Raise taxes and close all the loopholes for the wealthy, tax them at a higher tax rate, make them pay FICA for those who sit around a pool waiting for the dividend check to come in the mail, they aren't paying Social Security or FICA tax.

Put heavy taxes back on imports so that things are manufactured in America again. We make it too easy for the rich.

We need a strong middle class and to give people in America health care, not have to worry about food, shelter, secure job, so they can invest in the economy, affordable housing.

If things are better organized we can make a go of it and turn this mess around.

Most important, stop spending on this "war" or "occupation" and stop borrowing now to give more debt to our children and our children's children. Cash flow has to be just like our budgeting, more has to come in than goes out.

Jun. 25 2008 11:39 AM
jawbone from Parsippany, NJ

Part II of 23 (didn't show up)--

In short, while Obama speaks of his mother being on food stamps, I believe in his book he wrote that she was on food stamps while back in school working on her masters or PhD. I just read it was the PhD, but can't be certain as there's little reporting on her life.

Clarification would be much appreciated.

By the way--my father died when I was 12 and my mother never remarried. Somehow I've never realized I was raised by a single parent! And Obama's mother was single, what, a couple years prior to his being in college? Or was it later?

So confusing! Why aren't his simply biographical facts more clear? Oh, well....

Jun. 25 2008 11:39 AM
Graham from Paris


that would be "toe the line", I think. No offense intended. And, yes, it is amazing. But stranger Bush & Cheney things have happened, are happening.

Jun. 25 2008 11:38 AM
Steve from Manhattan

Peter - sure, it's true - Obama is a racist. And Bush will have a Mideast peace deal before he leaves office. And the surge is working. And we were greeted as liberators. And the Iraqis will get their government together, stop killing themselves and our soldiers, AND every Iraqi will get a pony!

Jun. 25 2008 11:38 AM
Hugh from Crown Heights

Andrea Bernstein should have called her guest on the "uncomfortable with voting for a black man" line? It was a euphemism for racism (and a racist line itself).

Jun. 25 2008 11:37 AM
darius from brooklyn

Peter,

What was racist about Obama's church?

Honestly.

Jun. 25 2008 11:37 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

Racism doesn't exist or will always exist i can't remember which.

Jun. 25 2008 11:36 AM
chris o from New York City

He talks so fast it hurts.

Jun. 25 2008 11:35 AM
Katie from Forest Hills

29

What is that in English?

Jun. 25 2008 11:35 AM
darius

It's funny how folks still tow the "maverick" line for McCain even after it's known that he's voted with Bush ~90% since 2000.

Jun. 25 2008 11:35 AM
Paul from Ridgewood NJ

There is no such thing as a "Compassionate Conservative". It's like "Jews for Jesus".

Jew for Jesus = Christian
Compassionate Conservative = Moderate (at best)
Compassionate Conservative = Liar (at worst)

Jun. 25 2008 11:34 AM
jawbone from Parsippany, NJ

Reply to first comment:

I read a "joking" comment that the left/libs/progressives should take over the Republican Party.

In its weakened state, perhaps we could move in large enough numbers to begin being elected to county and state parties, work to get populist proposals passed, etc.

I laughed at first--but haven't been able to forget that comment. We now have no opposition party--we have two parties which, now that the left side has been sidelined (Where you gonna go, Sweetie?), I almost don't recognize what's going on with the House FISA vote and Pelosis (!!!) wildly applauding it. Or taking delegates actually won by one candidate and giving them to another! Wow. I thought we stood for one person, one vote and counting the votes.

Ah, forgot that quip that it's who counts the votes that really counts.....

Anyway, a true opposition party, one that represented the less powerful would be truly wonderful. Hey, a voter can dream, right?

Jun. 25 2008 11:34 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Katie,
If you are talking about the failure of the Clinton health plan in the 90's there is plenty of blame to go around. First, the planning was too secretive, something that Hillary eventually copped to. Second, the Dem congress was no help at all, complained about the plan but only Jim McDermitt came up with an alternative. Third, the health insurance companies took aim with both barrels and flooded the media with scary, inaccurate advertisements. One thing that plan, imperfect as it was had going for it, is that it attempted to address the skyrocketing costs, something that no one is addressing now, not even Hillary.

Jun. 25 2008 11:34 AM
antonio from park slope

McCain is going to get blown out...

Jun. 25 2008 11:34 AM
Katie from Forest Hills

MC,

Denmark has health care for everyone and should be the US model for health care. People pay higher taxes, but wages are higher too. If someone will work for $100K and pay 50% tax and take home $50K, in Denmark if the taxes go up, so will the wages so that the person will still take home $50K.

Jun. 25 2008 11:34 AM
Graham from Paris


to describe certain voters as being "uncomfortable voting for" a Black candidate, no matter the office concerned, is just "precious", isn't it?

What possible respectable reason could _anyone_ _ever_ have for feeling uncomfortable for a person on account of the candidate's race?

Can the person who so spoke please explain that to us?

Jun. 25 2008 11:34 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Joe:

The thing with race is this: Shouldn't a candidate for president be able to make simple, basic, moral decisions in a timely manner? Taking 20 years to speak out against racism is not presidential. I expect a presidential candidate not to hesitate when confronting racism. Obama needed to be dragged to the realization that racism is bad. That is really troubling.

Jun. 25 2008 11:34 AM
TO from Manhattan

I meant that she'd vote for Obama in the general election if he were the candidate -- which he is.

Jun. 25 2008 11:34 AM
Hugh from Crown Heights

"Uncomfortable voting for a black man" ?!

Let's call that what it is -- RACISM.

If someone said they couldn't vote for Lieberman because they were "uncomfortable voting for a Jewish man", there would be no doubt that the person was anti-semitic.

Why is your guest won't call it racism when Obama is the victim?

Could it be something to do with the now-right-wing Atlantic, a magazine thick with supporters of the war, defender of the white faith?

Jun. 25 2008 11:33 AM
j from nyc

race has been used as an excuse by the wealthier classes not to talk about how much socially worse it is to be looked at as 'poor & white' in america, so that they don't have to actually reform the idea of a living wage and public health in this country.

if these guys could truly decipher the sense of entitlement that the rich repubs/right wing ideaologues [and some dems] have about themselves, to the point where they are willing to let the subprime and energy crisis, and coming soon, the credit crisis, happen, ruin this country's economy, just as long as they themselves don't get hurt, now that would be brilliant. start with the word 'narcissism'.

Jun. 25 2008 11:33 AM
Look in the Mirror from Manhattan

... iam pridem, ex quo suffragia nulli
uendimus, effudit curas; nam qui dabat olim
imperium, fasces, legiones, omnia, nunc se
continet atque duas tantum res anxius optat,
PANEM ET CIRCENSES. ...
(Juvenal, Satire 10.77-81)

Not much has changed in 2,000 years.

Jun. 25 2008 11:33 AM
chris o from New York City

The United Church of Christ is a predominantly white church. They don't allow racism.

Jun. 25 2008 11:32 AM
TO from Manhattan

I made calls for Obama and was told by one woman in Ohio that she would not vote for Obama in the primary because she was afraid that, as an African-American, he would "favor blacks." She apologized for her view, but told me that she "couldn't help it."

She did say, however, that she'd vote for Obama in the primary. My sense after speaking to voters in PA, Ohio and WV is that voters see an African-American candidate as potentially biased in favor of African-Americans. While this isn't good, it's something that Obama can refute, whereas blanket prejudice based on the usual racist stereotypes would be very difficult to overcome.

Jun. 25 2008 11:32 AM
hjs from 11211

Peter,
ha
how many past presidents supported racism?

Jun. 25 2008 11:32 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Katie,
I agree, something needs to happen. But McCain is laboring under the delusion that the problems can be solved in the open market despite abundant evidence that won't work, and Obama is laboring under the delusion that we can achieve a real plan without requiring everyone to pay in and participate. Other countries achieve this with a broad based tax. Neither is talking about this. But he seems to ignore the adverse selection that happens when you allow people to opt in and out of the plan.

By the way, for a family the national average is $1200 a month.

Jun. 25 2008 11:29 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

Race race race race race race...there lets not talk about race any more

Jun. 25 2008 11:29 AM
jawbone from Parsippany, NJ

Uh, Andrea, I would characterize Obama's economic status when a child and youngster as probably lower middle-class, perhaps middle-middle class.

When his mother was at university she did become pregnant, married Obama's father prior to his birth, then the father within a year or two left to study at Harvard. And then left entirely.

His mother divorced, which date I haven't found reported, and she then married an Indonesian student who was or became an oil company executive. They moved with Obama to Indonesia when he was 5-ish, first living in a regular neighborhood, then moving to a more high-echelon neighborhood.

I don't know how long his mother was a "single mom."

Obama was sent to HA to live with his grandparents and to attend one of the most presitgious high schools in HA. His grandmother was a bank "vice president," which is a pretty impressive title, but I have no idea how well a woman in such a job was paid back in the 60's-70's. Nor do I know how much his grandfather was earning. I do know they got him into this very impressive high school.

End Part I

Jun. 25 2008 11:28 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Democrats like Joe Biden and H. Clinton would have been great candiates (well, Biden can be boring, but he has the experience and doesn't make mistakes). Biden and Clinton wouldn't need 20 years to decide that praying at a racist church for 20 years is not such a good idea.

Jun. 25 2008 11:28 AM
Katie from Forest Hills

MC,

Some of that is also Clinton's fault, he campaigned as a Progressive and once he got in, he was sat down by Greenspan and Senate majority leader and told how it was going to be and he just sat back and let them run the show. President has to be rough and not let the House or Senate Republicans boss him around.

Hope Obama is our man and can pull it off.

To the guest, women on welfare are not the "welfare witch" driving a Cadillac!! If they drive, it's more like Spot the Wonder Car, it is a wonder it keeps moving and it has spots and rust.

Jun. 25 2008 11:27 AM
chris o from New York City

Republicans work very hard for the upper class, for the companies, for the people that make 6 and 7 figures. They use gods, guns and gays to get votes from people whose taxes (and fees etc.) and health care costs and education costs then go up, whose benefits than go down.

The Republican policies actually work. Inequality is growing, the rich, really the super-rich are getting richer, everyone else NOT.

Jun. 25 2008 11:27 AM
mc from Brooklyn

The caller talking about welfare forgets the fact that welfare is a miniscule sliver of the national budget. This was a code for the GOP to drive a racisit wedge into the electorate.

Jun. 25 2008 11:26 AM
Becky from Brooklyn

Why are liberals often are scorned as "elitist"? Shouldn't we want our national leader to be smart and well-educated (aka "elitist?) I, for one, would like to think that my president is smarter and more educated than I am, otherwise I would run for president myself.

Jun. 25 2008 11:24 AM
AWM from UWS

#3,

Blah, blah, blah...

Can you at least try to come up with something original? The times we live in and the problems we face demand more than cliches and talking points.

Jun. 25 2008 11:24 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Part of the divide may have been caused by some Dems characterizing the Bush and Clinton years as the same. This marginalized many people who were happy during the Clinton years.

Jun. 25 2008 11:24 AM
Katie from Forest Hills

mc,

something has to change for health care though.

people can't afford to pay $700/month for health insurance and if you make more than $1100 month for 2 people than you make too much money to get Medicaid. We need to change this. It's time.

Jun. 25 2008 11:23 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Steve,

You made my point for me. You seem unable or unwilling to see through your Bush hate to consider that the Democratic party did a poor job of choosing its candidate. Is Bush hate so high that the American electorate now sees Obama's history of supporting racism as a minor issue? So sad for America. Surely the democrats could have found a candiate who doesn't need 20 years to decide that racism is bad.

Jun. 25 2008 11:22 AM
Look in the Mirror from Manhattan

#6 chris o:

"They exploit the working class for votes, but have no interest in materially serving them."

You sound like you really go the extra mile to help the lower class.

Let me guess, your weekly schedule must be something like this:

* Monday: Volunteer in Soup Kitchen
* Tuesday: Clean out closet for old clothes to donate to poor people
* Wednesday: Volunteer at HIV Clinic in poor neighborhood
* Thursday: Teach free class to poor people on personal economics
* Friday: Fix-up elderly neighbors dilapidated home
* Saturday: Act as 'big-brother' to economically disadvantaged youth
* Sunday: Day off!

SWPL:
#62 Knowing What’s Best for Poor People

Jun. 25 2008 11:21 AM
hjs from 11211

Peter
first, you're exaggerating (or misremembering...) the position of obama's church. 2nd dems are angry not just at bush the lesser but the 8 years of GOP hypocrisy, profiteering and incompetence.

Jun. 25 2008 11:21 AM
Katie from Forest Hills

Not allowing two people who love each other of the same sex get married is symbolic of their narrowmindedness, hypocresy and denying gay people their civil rights.

The gay community should have the same right to choose whom they want to marry as I did.

Jun. 25 2008 11:21 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Democrats need to make sure they maintain a large "tent." Many Dem voters came away from the primaries with the feeling that the party did not really represent their interests because these voters were being characterized as "bitter" or "racist" by other Dems. If the Dems get as dogmatic as the Republicans they will be no better.

Jun. 25 2008 11:21 AM
Steve from Manhattan

Peter - let's ignore the fact that all that stuff about Obama isn't true. Maybe he'll be your next president because we want someone who will do a good job, not continue W's Eternal War to Resubjugate Brown People. McCain is a dangerous and confused man - war is all he knows.

Jun. 25 2008 11:20 AM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

These are just the same type of fast-talking, wishfully thinking neocons that got us into the mess we're in now. Why should anyone listent to them? I'm always amazed that they hardly ever come up for air when they speak. Like if they just talk over everyone, and don't listen what anyone else has to say, their ideas will prevail. But when you listen to what they're peddling, it's the emperor's new clothes.

Jun. 25 2008 11:19 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Katie,
Don't count on Obama to deliver national health care. I don't think he is much more serious about it than McCain.

Jun. 25 2008 11:17 AM
chris o from New York City

Haha, funny subtitle. Republicans are for the upper class, the ruling class, the ownership class. That is who they represent. They exploit the working class for votes, but have no interest in materially serving them.

Jun. 25 2008 11:16 AM
Katie from Forest Hills

This is such a nice fantasy.

After $40K on private education at a decent college another $10K for a Paralegal Certificate and I only make $15/hour with no health insurance and these people think I'll vote for McCain because he is a Christian and will help me get "the American dream."

What are these people thinking? After 30 years of Ragonmics and "outsourcing", I want Obama and national health care not another 4 years of this!!

Jun. 25 2008 11:13 AM
Steve from Manhattan

Face it guys, the Boy King has (if we're very very lucky) killed off the GOP. All you have left is Jeebus-lovin' banjo-pickin' home-schooled morons, the very rich, and graduates of Regent Law School. Bush, and by extension "conservatives" like you, have caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands, the waste of trillions of dollars, and the near-destruction of the federal government and our military. Nice job.

Jun. 25 2008 11:12 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

I am curious if the authors have any thoughts on the Democratic party? It seems to me that Bush hate is so high that Democrats are willing to overlook much about Obama. Obama belonged to a racist church for 20 years, where AIDS was blamed on white America and Farrakhan was treated as a hero. But Democrats seem blinded by such disgraces because of their strong hatred of Bush. Shouldn’t Democrats get over George W. Bush and nominate for president a person who doesn't need 20 years to speak out against racism?

Jun. 25 2008 11:12 AM
Katie from Forest Hills

Now the Supreme Court is dumping all its decisions on us before they go to their summer mansions in Martha's Vineyard.

Jun. 25 2008 11:01 AM
hjs from 11211

cool, i heard these guys on 'on point' last night. they are just pointing out the national realignment the USA is going through right now. the GOP is all but dead in the North East (bye bye bruno.) the electable center right parties in europe are FAR to the left of the states GOP.
when this is over the moderate GOP & DNC will form one coalition and a new left will form the other.

Jun. 25 2008 10:46 AM

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