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Local and National GOP Out of Touch

By Kevin Osborne · October 8th, 2008 · Porkopolis
1 Comment
       

There’s an old saying: “All politics are local.”

The phrase, attributed to longtime House Speaker Tip O’Neill, emphasized his belief that a politician’s success is directly tied to an ability to understand and influence the issues of his constituents. Put simply, elected officials must appeal to the mundane and everyday concerns of those they represent because it’s those intimate matters — not lofty, intangible concepts — that voters care about most.

But the saying also can be applied to major political parties and their problems.

With Republican presidential nominee John McCain now trailing in most polls with less than a month until Election Day, his campaign has let it be known it will try to divert attention away from the financial crisis befalling the U.S. economy and instead focus on the alleged character defects of Barack Obama, his Democratic rival. In other words, it’s time to begin slinging mud in earnest and see what, if anything, sticks.

Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain’s running mate, started the latest assault Oct. 4 with her remarks that Obama was “palling around with terrorists” due to his passing association with William Ayers, a former 1960s radical who lives near Obama in Chicago and gave support to his 1995 state senate campaign.

It’s become clear that the McCain/Palin ticket is intellectually bankrupt and has run out of substantive policy ideas that appeal to middle-class voters and their concerns.

Because the GOP has spent the better part of the last decade preaching the Gospel of Unfettered Free Markets and pushing the idea that virtually all regulation and oversight is bad for business, the party finds itself with little defense now that the Wall Street ship has run aground.

To be sure, many congressional Democrats were willing accomplices during that time, but it was Republican leaders who were steering the ship and setting policy. Most Americans are breathing a sigh of relief that another of the GOP’s chief plans from that era, the privatization of Social Security, never occurred.

Just as the national Republican Party finds itself adrift and without clear direction so, too, does it local counterpart.

Nowhere is this clearer than in the bungling and gaffes of the Hamilton County Republican Party and its chairman, Alex Triantafilou. Last month the local party was cited by the Ohio Auditor’s Office for improperly spending about $800 in taxpayer money on a lavish meeting held at downtown’s private Queen City Club. The February 2007 meeting of the party’s executive committee included such expenses as hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, a private room and parking.

Of course, if the GOP wants to spend its contributions from rank-and-file members throwing a shindig for party leaders so they can decide on endorsements and other matters, it’s certainly allowed — unless the cash comes from the account that includes proceeds from the Ohio Political Party Fund, which some of it did.

That’s the fund taxpayers can voluntarily choose to support by checking a box on income tax forms. Such funds can be used only for activities that directly benefit the party, such as voter registration efforts and administrative duties.

When informed of the violation by state officials, Triantafilou reimbursed the fund but remained defiant. “I still reject the notion that it’s taxpayer money, because it’s a voluntary contribution,” he told The Enquirer. “They’re not being involuntarily taxed, they’re making a choice to support that fund.”

Such an attitude reveals the true beliefs of many people currently in power at the Republican Party. While they try to peg Democrats as “elitists” and out of touch, their own haughty ways expose just how disconnected they are from the everyday Americans struggling to make ends meet.

Perhaps if the GOP suffers enough losses in November it will cause leaders to remember their roots in the tradition of fiscal conservatism, balanced budgets and being more concerned with what’s good for Main Street instead of well-heeled contributors and their lobbyists.


PORKOPOLIS TIP LINES: 513-665-4700 (ext. 147) or pork@citybeat.com


 
 
 
 

 

 
11.01.2008 at 09:38 Reply
Our beautiful soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin is the best future leader for this nation, not Senator Barak Obama. Our beautiful soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin is also would be better at leading our nation in the future after a McCain Presidency than Senator Barak Obama would be in leading our nation in the future starting in January 2009. There are great reasons our soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin would be a better future leader than Senator Barak Obama. The greatest reason for our soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin's is ideology. Our soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin is conservative in that she is pro life, marriage, guns, low taxes, low government spending, small government, unintrosive government, traditional and judeo Christian values, Bible reading and prayer in our public schools, and military spending.She is also pro free and private enterprize. Senator Barak Obama is a liberal who is anti every thing that I have described that our soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin is pro about or for. A second reason that our soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin is superior is because of experience. As a governor she has two years of executive administrative governing experience that Senator Barak Obama does not have. A final reason that our soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin is superior is because of political accomplishments. When our soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin came to office she accomplished 3 major things which are as follows: she showed great leadership in the 3 following areas: government reform, the state budget and the economy, and wise use of natural resources. She reformed government by standing up to the big oil companies by breaking up the monopoly on power and resources. She insisted on competition and basic fairness which ended the control that the oil companies had on the state, and thereby returning control of the state back to the people. She also stood up to the special interest and lobbyist, and produced major ethics reform. She lead well in the state budget by generating a surplus which came about by vetoing a half billion dollars of wasteful spending, ending the abuses of earmark spending by congress, and by getting rid of the private jet, the chef, and the chuffer. Economically under her leadership she brought about the largest private-sector infrastructure project in North American history. She also suspended the state fuel tax, and when oil and gas prices went up dramatically, and filled up the state treasury, she sent a large share of that revenue back where it belonged - directly to the people of Alaska . On natural resources she has shown great leadership by beginning a nearly forty billion dollar natural gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence. When the last section of the pipeline is laid and its valves are opened, will lead America one step farther away from dependence on dangerous foreign powers that do not have our interests at heart. Senator Barak Obama has done nothing, so please vote John McCain for President and give to our beautiful soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin the opportunity that she deserves leading the nation into the future after a John McCain presidency. When our soon to be Vice President does lead the nation as President after a John McCain presidency,she will be the greatest President that we have ever had. Finally she is smarter than Senator Barak Obama Thank You John Warren

 

 
 
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