A Philosopher's Blog

Old Wine in Old Bottles

Posted in Politics by Michael LaBossiere on September 25, 2010
A bottle of Pécharmant wine
Image via Wikipedia

Since the Democrats seem to be largely unable to accomplish much, despite holding the White House and Congress, I was actually hoping that the Republicans would make good on their post defeat rhetoric. They had shown some contrition over what had happened on their watch and promised that they would learn from this. I was skeptical, but willing to see what they would bring forth. The Tea Party Movement also gave me some hope-it seemed like a true, independent movement had arisen that was critical of both parties. However, it would seem that my hope (like many folks hope in Obama) was mistaken.

The Republicans recently released their Pledge to America in a lumberyard. Perhaps this was a clever pick to show, metaphorically, that they were going to rebuild America. Or maybe they were saying they were going to be nailing America (again). Or both.

For those who have been around a while, the Pledge sounds like a less impressive version of Newt’s Contract With America. Newt at least had the sense to do his event someplace other than where they sell wood.

While the Republicans are promising something new, they seem to be trying to sell old wine in the same old bottle. They did, however, paste a new label over the old one (or at least part of it). This is not very appealing, given the past results.

It is said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. Perhaps the Republicans are thus insane. Or maybe they think we are: perhaps Republican political strategy is saying the same thing over and over and hoping people will vote for them. It did work once, so perhaps it will work again. Provided that people either forget that all this is the same old stuff or are so sick of the Democrats that they will let the Republicans returns to power. Of course, in the Republicans favor, they actually have some wine (albeit old) in their bottles while the Democrats don’t even seem to have a bottle.

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24 Responses

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  1. T. J. Babson said, on September 25, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Health care doomed the Democrats.

    Most Americans would have got on board if the reforms actually controlled costs. Instead we got an incremental expansion of coverage, and huge increases in cost.

    Look at the 1099 fiasco. It doesn’t help that the politicians say they didn’t know the provisions were in there or when Nancy Pelosi says that the bill must be passed so that we can find out what is in it.

    “The extent of this new paperwork requirement on business owners is astounding, as businesses estimate that they will have to file hundreds and sometimes thousands of new 1099s per year,” the SBE Council said in a letter last week to senators.


    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 25, 2010 at 11:18 am

      I do agree that Obama expended a lot of his political capital getting health care through. While this will probably be considered his great achievement in 50 years (analogous to Social Security, perhaps) it is not seen as such. As you note, it would have been wiser to have focused on some core reforms to reduce costs and to provide better coverage.

      • Greg Camp said, on September 25, 2010 at 11:33 am

        What Obama did was waffle. FDR would have given us a public option at the very least, if not genuine comprehensive reform. Obama just added layers to an already complicated system. Unfortunately, fifty years from now, this healthcare bill will be remembered in the same terms as Johnson’s Great Society programs are today: bloated, bureaucratic, and ill-conceived.

  2. DaPoet said, on September 25, 2010 at 11:12 am

    When it comes to the Democrats and the Republicans history is repeating itself…Back during WWII there was a showdown between communism/socialism and fascism when Hitler invaded Russia. Today it is as clear as day that the democrats favor a socialist style of government while the republicans favor fascism…For those who want to disagree please look up the definition of fascism in the dictionary first…So when it comes time to vote without a viable third party to challenge either the D’s of the R’s it all depends on which style of tyranny one prefers when voting for the lesser of two evils or the between the empty wine bottle and/or the old wine in a new bottle…

    • WTP said, on September 25, 2010 at 4:32 pm

      via Webster’s, Fascism
      1) a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
      2) a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

      Note the emphasis on “central control”. Also note the “severe economic and social regimentation” (ok, I’ll give you SOME on the social, but I’m no fan of that either). Note the number of Republican’s who oppose (or so they say) “central control”. Now in regards to what has been said vs. what gets done, i.e. R’s who favor earmarks, etc., at least they play lip service to opposing central control. Not so sure about most of the D’s. But YMMV, I suppose.

  3. DaPoet said, on September 25, 2010 at 11:23 am

    I agree but unfortunately the way politics works these days instead of true health care reform what we got is about all we’ll ever get…

    • kernunos said, on September 25, 2010 at 6:29 pm

      This administrations takeover of part of the banking system and part of the automotive industry is teetering on and skirting on the fringes of fascism. Very dangerous indeed when the government is invested in corporation A that is competeing with fully private corporation B. Does anyone else see the danger here?

      • kernunos said, on September 25, 2010 at 6:52 pm

        Here is an example of the danger it can cause. This is closer to Fascism than Socialism. The federal government owns half of GM and the company contributes to Democrats’ political campaigns. Smells like Fascism. Republicans are very lost and often Dem-light but fascists I doubt.


  4. DaPoet said, on September 25, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Actually what you are describing isn’t fascism but socialism where the govt. seeks to control production by taking over the corporation. While a fascist govt. takes the side of the producers {corporations} against their employees aka the working class. Which is why one of the first things Hitler did when he came to power in Germany was to outlaw the labor unions and forced the working class to kow tow to their bosses or be sent to a concentration camp and out and out slave labor.

    What is really scary is that many of the tea baggers replacing the moderate republicans they defeated in the recent primaries are also christian conservatives who favor imposing their own religious beliefs on the rest of us through force of law. And while they claim to favor less intrusive govt. in our lives they will, once in power, work to place the church over and above the state. Just as a Sen. Blair sought to get congress to pass an amendment to make Sunday a national day of worship on behalf of the Woman’s Temperance Movement in 1888.

    • kernunos said, on September 25, 2010 at 7:12 pm

      Ah, but fascism can take many faces. Fascism is also as simple as a business that supports the fascist governemnt and then is alowed to exist. This is also a part of fascism that took place in Nazi Germany. If you did not support the Nazi party then you were run out of town or your business was destroyed. Fascism does not have to support the corp’ against the employee. This is not a requirment for fascism.

    • WTP said, on September 26, 2010 at 4:31 pm

      Assume this was in reply to me? I wasn’t describing it, Webster was. You challenged “those who want to disagree please look up the definition of fascism in the dictionary first”. I did. Now you say what I (Webster) really describes is socialism. Socialism/fascism central control/central control.

      I could address the rest of your post, but I checked out your web site and got the general idea. Just responding to your disagreement with my reply.

      • DaPoet said, on September 26, 2010 at 5:21 pm

        Unfortunately the definition you quoted from Websters dictionary didn’t go far enough and all one needs to do to use this definition for socialism is to substitute it for fascism…If you read through the rest of my posts here then you should have a clear picture of what I was saying and that the Republicans are indeed in reality and practice fascists who say one thing to get elected only to do the opposite once elected.

        • WTP said, on September 27, 2010 at 8:56 am

          Unfortunately the common standard in the United States for the meanings of English language words does not say what you want it to say. Unfortunately, you challenged someone to look up this meaning. Unfortunately, you are wrong and unfortunately you can’t bring yourself to admit it. Need to now look up the meaning of the word “unfortunate”, as it’s not clear how much of this discussion was unpredictable.

  5. DaPoet said, on September 25, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Once again a little more clearly the difference in socialism verses fascism is that socialism seeks to control the means of production by taking over the producer {corporations} on behalf of the working class whose members are the socialist parties useful idiots. While fascism on the other hand takes the side of the producers {corporations} against the working class by outlawing labor unions and quashing dissent while using a form of religion {Hitler created his own and made the Jews the scapegoats} to justify their style of authoritarian and nationalistic tyranny.

    • kernunos said, on September 25, 2010 at 7:15 pm

      The taking sides is just propaganda as a ‘means to an end’ when both Socialism and Facism end up at almost the same point. For instance, socialism does not actually make it better for the working class. Both forms of governments in history have made situations worse for both the working class and ‘merchant’ class so to speak to the benefit of the ruling class.

      • kernunos said, on September 25, 2010 at 7:20 pm

        “…..authoritarian and nationalistic tyranny.” To make clearer what I am saying is that both political philosophies lead to this. To me they are on the same side of the complete authoritarian control with political spectrums. Anarchy being the complete opposite. What the Founding Fathers’ put in place was much closer to anarchy, yet a very safe distance. I feel that we have been moving more towards a stule of socialism/fascism over those years when the country was founded little by little. The direction is what I fear.

      • DaPoet said, on September 25, 2010 at 7:23 pm

        I agree both socialism and fascism will end at the same point which is tyranny. Yet they are two very different flavors much like chocolate and vanilla ice cream. While the difference is that socialists will seek to persecute Christians on behalf of the Gay rights movement while fascist’s will seek to persecute Gays on behalf of the Christians and others who are against homosexuality.

        So choose wisely as to the flavor tyranny that you prefer to live under.

        • kernunos said, on September 25, 2010 at 7:24 pm

          I choose neither.

        • DaPoet said, on September 25, 2010 at 7:25 pm

          I prefer not to live under any form of tyranny but I’m in the distinct minority on this issue…

          • kernunos said, on September 27, 2010 at 12:28 am

            Good for you. I think most people agree but they seem to think people are saying the opposite because they are starting from a different local/perspective.

  6. DaPoet said, on September 25, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Politicians intentionally say one thing while doing another once elected into office which is why republicans talk conservative during an election year only to return to their fascist ways of championing the interests of the producers {corporations} over and above the interests of the members of the working and middle classes.

    Hence the truth in the old saying: “Actions speak louder then words.” While the average voter listens and makes his choice in the voting booth based on political rhetoric when he should have been watching and base his choice on the actions taken instead of empty promises soon to be intentionally forgotten.

    • kernunos said, on September 25, 2010 at 7:24 pm

      “Politicians intentionally say one thing while doing another once elected into office which is why republicans talk conservative during an election year only to return to their fascist ways of championing the interests of the producers {corporations} over and above the interests of the members of the working and middle classes.” Which party has been propping up corporations lately? how many trillions? You need to get out of this cookie-cutter mentality. I’m certainly not going to champion republicans but what have the Democrats done for the working class? They seem to only use them as a political tool.

  7. DaPoet said, on September 25, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Once again I agree which is why I used the term useful idiots to describe the working class whom the socialists claim to be championing. While on the other hand true and well meaning small govt. conservatives and religious conservatives who ought to know better are the useful idiots of the republican party.

    • kernunos said, on September 27, 2010 at 12:27 am

      Ah, but they seem to be bucking the party aren’t they? Not so useful as idiots. I think it is the start of the end of the Rebublican party if they do not find their way back to the sanctuary of Reagan(actually very much like the Founders in modern times) conservative waypoint. Their recent pledge does not go far enough. they apparently aren’t listenning. Mark my words.

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