Tag Archives: Republicans

Groucho Marx and the primary season of our discontent

by Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, 2/19/16

Here are some thoughts for the season, as we all try to make sense of the American way of choosing finalists in our quadrennial elections sweepstakes. And of course, 50 states and 8 territories have their own rules.

1) The other day I saw a quote from Groucho Marx’s role in “A Night at the Opera”: “You big bully, why are you hitting that little bully?”

Groucho_MarxOn the whole, Americans don’t like bullies. We tend to prefer interacting with people who are modest and respectful. But then there’s political life. The Groucho quote seems a good test in the current rough-and-tumble Republican primary struggle. Will the biggest bully win? A small-to-moderate one? Someone too nice to be a bully? Did one big bully, C., as his last act in the play yard, take down a littler one named M. in order to give himself a better chance at being someone else’s vice-presidential pick?

The next few weeks may give answers, but in any case let’s keep our eyes on the bully/insult/aggressiveness theme. And I think Groucho would find a lot more laughs in our “system.”

Photo from Wikimedia Commons by Ralph F. Stitt, Rivoli Theatre

2) “Before Donald Trump, There Was Jan Brewer” by Josh Marro, New York Times, 2/10/16, quotes the former Republican Arizona governor as saying

“Voters want somebody that can solve the problems and can do it effectively and do it right…. They just don’t want somebody that says ‘no, no, no.’ ”

Could that be good advice for the many present and now former candidates who speak against immigrants, Social Security, Medicare, Latinos, Muslims, the economically deprived, women’s rights, gun violence prevention, climate change mitigation, diplomacy, foreign countries, the President of the United States, the Pope, and a lot more…

keep reading at Politics: A View from West Chester

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Filed under 2016 election, Nathaniel Smith, Republican party

Chesco D’s and R’s and the Issues

by Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, August 27, 2015

It seems the Chester County Republican party is starting to worry about Donald Trump.

Whatever resonances the leading R presidential candidate might find in certain other parts of the country, it’s pretty clear that his peculiar combination of the cult of personality and anti-immigrant prejudice won’t play well in Chester County.

A recent email from the Chesco R party is imaginatively entitled “Chester County Republicans! Stop the Out of Touch, Local Democrat Party!” Let’s just see who is out of touch (besides Mr. Trump, of course).

First, let’s note that the email does not reproduce any document as circulated by Chester County Democrats. It actually includes, for unknown reasons, an automatic English translation of a Spanish-language ad plus the original English-language graphic. Not good scholarship; but of course, this is politics.

The “President Trump?” motif, which obviously strikes a local R nerve, has been used in several forms. Here are the text and image as they actually appeared on the CCDC Facebook page, July 30:

presidenttrump-e1440635991629
ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT THIS!
Don’t kid yourself: it can happen.
If not Trump, then Bush or Walker.
And with a Republican President, we’ll see the repeal of Obamacare, a 20-week abortion ban, the end of the EPA, and war with Iran.
If we’re going to elect Hillary or Bernie next year, we must start right NOW! The Chester County Democratic Party isn’t waiting… and neither should you. If you’ve got some time, we’ve got important work for you to do… starting TODAY!
Please call us at 610-692-5811 or email Victory2016@chescodems.org to join this historic and crucial movement. Thank you!
‪#‎FreedomFairnessOpportunity‬…

continue reading at Politics: A View from West Chester

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Filed under Democratic party, issues, Nathaniel Smith, National govt & politics, Republican party

How the system works: who gets on the ballot?

by Nathaniel Smith, The Times of Chester County, April 13, 2015

Not a Republican or Democrat? It’s a tough road to get on the ballot

People go in to vote every November (at least, that’s what both major parties hope they do). But voters mostly can’t imagine how those names got on the ballot.

Access is basically in the hands of the Republicans and Democrats in our two-party system.

Independents can get on the ballot in 2 ways….

continue reading at The Times of Chester County

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Filed under Election rights and laws, Nathaniel Smith

An Open Letter to 47 Republican Senators of the United States of America from Iran’s Hard-Liners

By William Saletan, Slate, 3/11/15

You have opened our eyes. We are brothers.

March 11, 2015

Dear senators:

Thank you for your letter of March 9 explaining your system of government. We were unfamiliar with the complexity of your laws. For three years we have been negotiating a nuclear energy agreement with your president. We now realize our mistake. As your letter makes clear, the authority to establish such agreements on behalf of your country rests with your Congress.

We are in your debt for this clarification. Moreover, your letter has prompted us to undertake a broader study of the American political system. What we have learned has opened our eyes. For 35 years, we have treated you as an adversary. Our intelligence agencies told us that your culture and your political system were radically different from ours. We now understand that we were misled. Your country is much like ours. Indeed, your Republican Congress is much like our revolutionary Islamic councils. We are brothers.

Your letter explains that our discussions with your president have been in vain because “anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement,” which can easily be cast aside by a future president or Congress. Under your Constitution, as you point out, “the president may serve only two 4-year terms, whereas senators may serve an unlimited number of 6-year terms.” Therefore, the ultimate authority to make and interpret your country’s policies resides with you, not with your president. As you note, “President Obama will leave office in January 2017, while most of us will remain in office well beyond then—perhaps decades.”

Your Republican Congress is much like our revolutionary Islamic councils….

continue reading at Slate

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Filed under Iran, Satire, US Senate