Monday, November 10, 2008

Jack Roberts talks in circles

So the Republicans got slaughtered in the election, so the conversation turns to what the party needs to do to stop the bleeding. Jack Roberts wrote a guest editorial for the Oregonian with his take on what Republicans should do to regain favor with voters.

Now, I like Jack Roberts. I think he is one of the smartest guys in Oregon politics. But what he wrote, frankly, is nonsense. It's not that I disagree with his prescription - it's that what he wrote literally doesn't make sense. 

Here are some snippets:

"I also think there is plenty of room for us to argue over how best to deal with the challenge of global climate change rather than hunkering down in denial while hoping the sun spots change so that we don't have to."

The problem with this? First, the logical flaw: If we are "hoping" that sun spots change to cool the globe, this implies the climate cycle is a natural phenomena, so no amount of human behavioral change will stop it. I realize he's just trying to turn a clever phrase here, but Jack is usually much more careful than to make an argument for statewide publication that is self-refuting. 

But his argument itself basically is one of capitulation. I don't know if Jack has ever made a serious personal inquiry into the global warming controversy. I'd be disappointed if he had, because he is a smart man, and I find it hard to believe he could have actually looked into the AGW theory and was convinced that we need draconian government controls on energy consumption to deal with it.

But he is essentially arguing Republicans should just concede the question and turn our efforts to figuring out a less harmful way of dealing with it than the Democrats propose. So become Democrat-Lite. 

I think this is wrong on several fronts. First, the D's seem hell-bent on putting a Cap & Trade system in place, which will be a disaster for the economy and will do absolutely nothing to change the climate. It will create a huge new tax, a new government bureaucracy, and it will raise everyone's energy costs and kill jobs. If Republicans go along with this idiotic policy and just argue about the details, as Jack Roberts suggests, we give voters no contrast. 

It is really important that the D's own Cap & Trade lock stock and barrel so when the job killing effects become clear, and the temperature trends continue to expose the lie of the climate models, we can shove it right down their throats. 

Follow Jack's advice and we lose this opportunity. 

Jack Roberts goes on to wish for miracles:

"We need to think seriously about how to extend health insurance to the 15 percent who don't have it without reducing the quality or increasing the cost to the 85 percent who are already covered."

Well, sure. And while we are at it let's "think seriously" about how everyone can have housing and plenty to eat without burdening taxpayers with high taxes or debt. And "think seriously" about how to ensure retirement security for every American without reducing the living standards of people still working. 

When we are done with all this serious thinking, perhaps the serious adults among us will admit that life is full of tradeoffs.

It gets worse, though:

"And if we agree that improving the quality and availability of health care is better than simply continuing to spend more, shouldn't we apply the same reasoning to our schools? But that will require Republicans to end our fixation on vouchers and charter schools, which make it seem like we've given up on the public schools when our real focus should be on how to improve them."

We "agree" that it is better to improve quality and availability of health care than just continuing to spend more? I am not even sure what that means. Did he show us any way to improve the quality and availability of health care? Does anyone anywhere suggest that it can be done without spending more? 

Jack Roberts is usually not given to such breezy proclamations. 

But to take that meaningless platitude and then suggest that applying that "reasoning" to schools means we should give up on charter schools  - that is ironic in the extreme. The charter school movement is PRECISELY what he is looking for - a way to improve the quality and availability of schools without simply spending more! For the first time, because of charter schools, the debate about schools has focused on something other than money.

The charter school movement is arguably the single most important Republican-led reform of any Oregon institution in the last 20 years. It was once a partisan Republican issue, but it is now rooted firmly in the mainstream, with so many Democrat defenders that last session the OEA failed to so much as get a floor vote for their charter-school "reform" in a Senate that was 18-12 Democrat majority.

So, the one Republican-led issue that has succeeded, not only in giving us better schools without spending more, but it has become popular and mainstream to the point that there is not a single Oregon newspaper that is editorially opposed to charters.

And Jack Roberts says the Republicans should "end our fixation" with them, as a route to winning back favor with voters.

Again, I really do like Jack Roberts. His analysis and his thinking is usually far, far better than this. When I read this column I was left wondering, in the vision of Jack Roberts, exactly how would Oregon Republicans differ from the Democrats?

Here's his conclusion: 

"In essence, I believe the challenge for the Republican Party is to become more conservative and less right-wing. We need to be a party of sound principles rather than a rigid, dogmatic ideology." 

OK, again - Jack! This is just drivel! What on Earth does it mean to become more conservative and less right-wing? What exactly is the difference between "principles" and "ideology?" If we have sound principles, should we stay true to them? Or is that being too "dogmatic," and "rigid?" 

I've never known Jack to be this intellectually sloppy. Word has it that the Oregonian is going to replace Dave Reinhard's voice on the editorial pages by having monthly contributions from a panel of Republicans. Jack is one of them, along with Dave Lister, and a couple others. I just hope this piece isn't indicative of the quality of Jack's stuff in the future. 


Anonymous said...

What is it with Jack Roberts? He said that now Republicans will try to kick the conservatives out of the party or the liberals out of the party. What a straw man - nobody is saying anything of the kind.

Jack has Eugene disease.

MAX Redline said...

I think that Jack Roberts was trying - and failing - to note that we need to avoid the trap of eating our own.

Throw out the right-wing; throw out the rinos.

No, I believe he's trying to say that we need to return to the "big tent" concept.

Republicans lost this election; conservatives didn't.

Republicans lost because of several factors: when they came into power, they suddenly became little Democrats. Bush spent like a Democrat. Gordon Smith behaved like a Democrat. McCain ran like a Democrat.

Not one of them behaved as a conservative.

Given a choice between a Republican who looks like a Democrat and a Democrat who looks like a Democrat, what's the obvious decision?

You vote for the ass over the chameleon.

Anonymous said...

As a former conservative school board member, working to reform the broken school system from within, I have rarely read much of real substance from Jack Roberts. When Jack speaks of K-12 school issues, he does not make much sense.

Jack has become an Oregonian newspaper suck up, not unlike Lister; Uncle Tom Republicans. Their goals in life seem to be to gain liberal friends in the hostile territory of the People's Republic of PDX, instead of selling real conservative values.

Everything Rob says about education above is true. Rob knows real education reform; Jack does not. Rob knows conservative values; not sure what values Jack is selling. We need real conservative spokespeople; not more faux platitudes from PDX-pleasers Roberts & Lister.

Anonymous said...

What is weird about what Jack wrote is that it is such doublespeak. I've been a fan of Roberts' for years. I worked for him when he ran for governor. I've had a lot of conversations with him. I consider him a friend.

But I have never known him to dish out this kind of hooey.

I mean, if his point is we shouldn't divide ourselves but rather should seek to grow the party, fine. But that point hardly needs 800 words in the Sunday newspaper. It is trivial.

But when Jack tried to go beyond this trivial point, he just gave gobbledygook.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with the Republican party that getting rid of the attempt to Christianize the government won't solve.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with the Democrat party that getting rid of the attempt to socialize the government won't solve.

Oxygen said...

Referring to your 30% example, Rob, as a Chicago MBA you don't seem to understand economics and especially the calculus of change very well. You argue ridiculous hypotheticals. Perhaps the same confusion underlies your misunderstanding of global warming and your seeming inability to comprehend scientific evidence. I am not trying to be critical, though just illuminate logical discontinuity. Some of your statements would cause the education community to pause and possibly provide a reason why a state leadership bid was not received warmly. What was your undergraduate study? Are there technical credentials behind your statements?

Improvement in schools is within grasp and does not engage more money. By enabling private vendors to provide some parts of public education (e.g. English recovery, behavioral recovery, AP studies, gender specific classes etc.), students would be better accommodated, small business would thrive, academic progress would be less hobbled by school schedules, activities and children would engage academic cohorts in line with their interests/ preferences.

Anonymous said...

You mean the scientific evidence that shows the earth rapidly cooling? The scientific evidence that shows 100 years of warming wiped out in two years?

Who is it with an inability to comprehend scientific evidence?

Jack Roberts said...

I'm glad to see my fan club is still active.

The Oregonian asked me to write a column, not a book.

As for how my vision of the Republican Party differs from the Democratic Party, its pretty simple:

Democrats want more government, Republicans want less government.

Democrats believe the government needs more money, Republicans believe the government needs to spend its money more wisely.

Democrats believe in redistributing the wealth, Republicans believe in promoting the creation of more wealth.

Democrats believe the government is primarily responsible for our well-being, Republicans believe that individuals and families have the first responsibility to provide for themselves.

I could go on, but I think you probably get the picture.

I just happen to believe that Republicans should actively engage in the issues people are concerned about and are trying to deal with every day.

Rob, if you want to argue that we can't do anything about global climate change, then that issue will be dealt with exclusively by Democrats.

And if you really believe that charter schools (which I support) really are "arguably the single most important Republican-led reform of any Oregon institution in the last 20 years" then I would suggest that the debate over funding and reforming schools will continue to be led by Democrats.

Finally, if you throw up your hands and say there is simply nothing we can do to help extend health care coverage to the 40+ million Americans who don't have it today, then that issue will also be dealt with by Democrats, not Republicans.

In 1980, we were addressing the issues people cared about. Today, we're still addressing the issues of 1980 while the voters have moved on. I think we need to also.

Rob Kremer said...

I AM a fan of yours. That is why I was disappointed in your column.

Read what you wrote about the difference between R's and D's above .... why didn't any of that come through in your column?

Presumably, those distinctions are the "principles" you wrote about, and presumably you expect that those principles (all of which I agree with) are what will appeal to voters enough for a Republican comeback. Yet your column didn't mention a single one of them.

On global warming - yes, I WANT the issue to be wholly owned by the Democrats, as both a tactical move and as a question of what is the right thing to do. You wrote in your column that sometimes the only thing worse than the problem is the solution - that absolutely applies to what the D's want to do with global warming. They will cripple the economy with their Cap & Trade scheme. We should stand in full throated objection to it.

Does the body politic care about it right now? Perhaps. God knows they have been told time and again by the media that cataclysm is at our doorstep. But it is BS.

Let the D's have it, because mark my words - the planet is cooling. You yourself implied that warming is due to solar activity. Let's let the D's do what they will, because by 2012 it will be shown to be the biggest con job ever. It is a wonderful opportunity for R's to both do the right thing and benefit politically from it.

RE: schools... I am not sure where you stand. You support charter schools but think we should end our "fixation" on them? I'm getting mixed messages. Do you not agree that the charter school reform was the single most significant Republican led reform of any government institution in the last 20 years? If not, what was?

And yes, I think we should let the D's have the school funding issue. We should, as a party, stand for more responsible use of the limited dollars we have. We will NEVER win a bidding war for schools, and the public has moved substantially in our direction. Very recent polling shows school funding is way down the list on what people care about most on the schools issue.

You say I would let "reforming schools" be an issue left to Democrats? What reform have they ever supported? CIM/CAM? The D's don't want reform of schools - they never did. You know this, certainly. Why would you suggest that if Republicans continue to focus on charter schools as a reform, that the Democrats would own the school reform issue? That makes no sense at all!

Health care? You build a straw man. I never said there is nothing we can do to extend care to people. I simply took you to task for implying there was no need for any tradeoff, that we can cover everyone without costing more.

Jack, I think these are important conversations to have. I think the party needs your voice as it tries to re-establish itself.

But I am going to push and probe and point out inconsistencies as we have this conversation. I expect others to do the same to me.

I appreciate that you are willing to engage, and not get irritated by critique. That is one of the things I have always respected about you.

Anonymous said...

Jack Roberts wrote:

"Republicans want less government...

Republicans believe the government needs to spend its money more wisely....

Republicans believe in promoting the creation of more wealth.

Republicans believe that individuals and families have the first responsibility to provide for themselves."

Jack: are these "principles?" Or are they "rigid ideology?"

Steve said...

They're conservative.

This is a poster child for the Oregon Republican drift.

Jack seems to retain a clear impression of the difference between Ds and Rs but appears to have lost completely that it is the conservative elements that make Rs Republicans.

Have you not noticed Jack that
quite a number of Oregon Republicans have lost those conservative values that separate us from the Ds?

Jack, I read you message to be that we should all get on board the Democrat train.

The train that perpetrates the 17 year fraud called CIMCAM that remains today without the labels?

Are you worried Democrats will be providing that kind of school reform without us?
Where have you and the Republican leadership been while this latest Democrat dominated reform worked it's misery through our schools.

How about Minnis and her Norma Paulus imitation with ushering along the Democrat/OEA bill to lock up virtual charter school movement for the State government only?
Or the "reform" of Cultural Competency for teachers?

Is this the reform we need to be more on board with?

This is a crazy notion Jack.

Conservatives need to regain the party in Oregon so that we can stop the obscuring of these failures as bipartisan.

Long ago Republicans could have and should have taken the reigns of our Public Schools with the repeal of CIMCAM, the replacement of the state's heavily flawed assessment system and the return of local control over money sent to Salem that gets returned with mandates that degrade our schools.

Where's the "Republican" leadership when others are advancing M64? Silent.

How about M37 and M49 with property rights? Silent.

On issue after issue conservatism has left the Republican building Jack.
So what exactly are you advocating?

The mother of all Republican opportunities is the AGW hoax.

The impact of cap and trade and other Democrat agenda missiles that are being launched form the Global Warming battery make this fraud the rope that can hang the Democrats.
And your advice is for us to step up to the gallows and into the noose?
That's like earlier advice that Republicans make sure and join the financial meltdown.

On transportation our Republican leadership is entirely MIA while liberals package every expense and direct them to Democrat preferences.
And of course here again all of the tremendous shortcomings then get labeled as bipartisan.
What exactly is the game plan for our Republican leadership?
It appears to me it's more of that worn out path of pretense that they need not be conservative.

And that's the message I got from your commentary.

steady sam said...

Jack -
Some very good questions about your column have been asked here. I'd be very interested in your answers.

For instance, what DO you mean by saying R's should be "more conservative and less right wing?"

Are those Republican values you outlined "sound principles?" How are they different than ideological principles or rigid dogma?

Would you suggest that Republicans stay true to those principles? How flexible are they?

Do you really think the R's should adopt the AGW issue and try to beat the D's at it? Do you believe in the AGW hypothesis?

I know I would be interested in hearing your answers to these questions. If in fact you are going to be chiming in regularly in the Oregonian or elsewhere on Republican rebirth, it would be great to get beyond the contradictions and platitudes that Rob pointed out and learn where you really do stand.

Anonymous said...

"For instance, what DO you mean by saying R's should be "more conservative and less right wing?"

Conservative is to be "on the right" or also "right wing", just as Liberal is to be "on the left" or "left wing".

Liberals use "right wing" as a pejorative, or smear phrase. Moderates like Roberts and Lister really hate it when people don't like them, and smear them with the "right wing". They have a need to be liked, especially by those in the majority (ie Liberals) in Multnomah County and also overall in the state of Oregon.

So therefore Roberts wants less "right wing" smears, so that he can be more liked by the Liberal establishment of Oregon politics.

Reagan never felt the need to be liked by the Liberals... (respected? yes, feared? yes, but not liked). Same with Newt.

Kinda sad when you think about it....

Anonymous said...

I always thought the "O" had a knack for picking out ambiguous goofs and calling them conservatives. I hope Jack will prove me wrong.

Anonymous said...

For the record:

I don't give a lusty crap who likes me and who doesn't.

But I've never had an opinion I was ashamed to put my name on... unlike you courageous anonymous posters.


Steve said...

This isn't going to be like many other prior conversations like it and come to a screeching halt without the adequate responses, explanations and claifications, is it?
There's a good framework discussion here with some cogent points and questions raised.

Jack Roberts said...

I'm sorry, but I'm not hearing any points here worthy of a response.

Some of you are global warming deniers. I get it. I'm more agnostic on this myself. I don't pretend to understand all the science here, but it hardly makes sense to me to think we (and I mean the world, not just the U.S.) should continue using our atmosphere as an open sewer in the hopes that carbon dioxide emissions turn out not to be a problem.

From a practical standpoint, this gives voters two choices: Accept the Democratic proposals, which may wreck our economy but save the planet, or hope Republicans are right, do nothing and accept the consequences if we are wrong.

I don't believe voters are willing to accept that risk, and I personally think it is irresponsible to accept that risk. What we need to do is develop plans to address carbon dioxide emissions without wrecking our economy.

If I was sick and had conflicting doctors' opinions, one that I needed to change my diet and the other that my problems were genetic and I couldn't do anything about it, I'd change my diet.

Charter schools are fine as an expression of parental choice and an opportunity to experiment with different approaches to education but the idea that the tiny fraction of students enrolled in charter schools relieve us of the need to insist on more accountability and standards in the schools where 90% of our children are and will be educated in the future is absurd.

I think we are rightwing when we keep insisting on ideological talking points instead of offering real solutions to the problems people are concerned about. The principles I outlined in my earlier post above are a framework within which to look for those solutions, but they are not the solutions themselves.

The Reagan Revolution was successful because it addressed the real problems of the 1970s and 1980s. What are the problems we are trying to address today? It seems to me we're just trying to win elections for the sake of winning elections.

I am Coyote said...

Is Dave Lister a conservative?

Tim Lyman said...

I've heard several Republicans advocate for getting behind man caused global warming because they think it is a popular stance, while admitting they are sure its all B.S.

What kind of example do we set and what does it say about us if we embrace something we consider to be totally false for political expediency?

Anonymous said...

We can be thankful for one thing, at least: we all now know for dead certain that Jack Roberts is not the guy to lead a Republican comeback. It is obvious now why he is washed up.

Jack you see nothing worthy of responding to in the thread? How about the glaring contradictions of your own column? How about explaining what you mean by "less right wing and more conservative?"

Your ridiculous straw man on charter schools is another example of a disappointing intellectual dishonesty.

Have fun writing for the Oregonian. You deserve each other.

Anonymous said...

i am coyote said...
Is Dave Lister a conservative?

Great question. I think, based upon his actions and words, NOT!

Just a moderate/liberal Republican, lost in the People's Republic, looking for some liberal to love him.

Jack you see nothing worthy of responding to in the thread? How about the glaring contradictions of your own column? How about explaining what you mean by "less right wing and more conservative?"

Another great question!! Asked multiple times above, before Jack's last response. I would love to hear the answer. I think I will be waiting a long time, and if he ever does respond, I bet his response will be just as 'wishy-washy'.

My bet: "The Republican party will be lead out of this mess not by the old washed up Roberts, nor by the mini-me-too Lister, but by new leadership, that is conservative* and proud, principled and convicted. These people are out there, but not yet well known. And they will probably be attacked and scorned by Roberts/Lister when they become visible."

* look it up in the dictionary.

Steve said...

Jack punted.

His narrow minded mischaracterizations fit only the Ben Westlund approach and do nothing to address either his own contradictions or the pretty decent framework emerging here.

The idea he offers about Conservatives supporting charter schools is so contrived that it's insulting and foolishily wrong headed.

Never havbe I ever heard, read or got the impression from anyone BUT opponents, that conservatives believed Charter schools "releived us of the need to insist on more accountability and standards in the schools where 90% of our children are and will be educated in the future".

Where did Jack get that idea?

How does a Republican get that sort of thinking?

So set that aside Jack and face the real world. Democrats running the 90% of our schools stand in the way of genuine standards, accountability and effective policies.
Conservatives want "real"things for all of our public schools.
If the Republican party would return to conservative thinking they wouldn't be led down the Democrat path every cycle where they are stand on the sidelines pretending to also be reformers.

And Jack, you have mentioned reform a couple times now without expalining what refrom you are talking about.
Examples have been given in questioning you about what you may be talkiung about so how about an example.

Is your take on CIMCAM the same as Global Warming?
You're not sure so don't rock the boat.

David Brooks has piece in the O today that you'll find supportive.
He makes the same mistakes about so called reforming Republicans.

I have a news flash for him too.
The refromers he talks about having no institutions do indeed. It's called the Democrat Party.

You should go back and re-read this thread and try and offer some specicifity on some of the claims you have made.
Us less refined Republicans will need more details.

RINO WATCH said...

Had to chime in...

Lister is NOT a Conservative but a guy, who contrary to what he's said, wants to be liked, especially in Portland.

Roberts was (politically) washed up a long time ago (Conservative wise) but it would really be nice if he'd answer the damned points he raised and those followed up on by Steve. Ya know Jack that you're done politically (unless you change parties) so what's the risk for you to answer the damned questions?

Dylan Amo said...

It’s funny. I read Jack’s column and came away with a completely different conclusion. But having read Rob’s post … I can understand how his reading is completely logical.

But let me just suggest a different reading that can move us forward. I firmly believe that the Republican Party is the party of ideas. And that ideas … and a positive vision for America is a winning formula for us. While we might not like some of the issue selections by Jack. I believe his intention is correct. We need to be not just an opposition party as we move forward … but a party of ideas. Yes … we’ve had great ideas in the past (charter schools, welfare reform, etc.) but we need to expand our focus to include areas currently reserved to the failed logic of the Democrats.

It’s not wrong to stand by conservative principals … but principals alone will not lead us back into the minds of the voters.

And why is Dave Lister being bashed in this post? Why would you bring him up Coyote? Dave is a great guy … and a Republican that I would stand next to in ANY Portland election.

Anonymous said...

(Just typed this and left the computer a while - noticed on return that dylan had posted something that will make this sound repetitive - but thought I would post it anyway)

Jack's right about the fact that Republicans need to focus on the issues people care about today. I don't happen to think one of those is global warming - but that's not my point.

Republicans need to focus on competency and innovation. We need to focus on the things that people consider first priorities. For the Republican party to emerge relevant to the political discussion today, we must talk about the best kind of economy for tomorrow's Oregon. Jack knows a bit about this and I for one would like to read his thoughts on this.

Republicans must talk about the role of government in - not just reviving - but creating and enhancing tomorrow's successful Oregon economy, built on conservative principles. We must also talk about public safety.

With the role of counties diminishing in western Oregon - due to diminishing resources - we must talk about ways to make our communities safer. Should the state government have a larger role? Why? Why not? These are the conversations Republicans must have and must lead - if we want to be relevant.

Innovative solutions that lead to a better tomorrow. Conservative principles applied to real world problems.

For Republicans to regain relevance, we must be the party with better ideas and greater competence to execute them.

Mike Clark

Jack Roberts said...

I think both Dylan and Mike got my point. It is about ideas. And they don't have to be my ideas but they need to relate to what people care about.

While I just highlighted a couple of issues where I think Republicans have been MIA, there are plenty more. I think we should be applying conservative principles to these problems in an effort to find practical, realistic solutions.

To a great extent, we're not.

I got an e-mail from a former Republican staffer who served in the days Republicans controlled th legislature. He admitted that for the most part their only ideas were (1) opposing tax increases and (2) opposing Democrats.

That isn't good enough. We don't need an electoral strategy, we need a governing strategy. Unless we convince voters that we have a sound strategy for governing the state (or the nation) they won't trust us with the responsibility for governing by electing us.

And by the way, I am not offering (or wanting) to lead any Republican comeback. I'm simply offering my opinion. Take it or leave it.

Murphy said...

Fellas -- this isn’t too hard to figure out. Just ask yourself the follow questions: Could any republican who held the beliefs and espoused the policies of McCall, Hatfield, Packwood, Paulus, etc. win a Republican primary today?

I doubt it.

And there’s the problem.

The republican fall to irrelevancy in Oregon coincides with the invasion of far-right theocrats who see government as a tool for inculcating their values upon everyone else. Dump the gay-bashing, end the anti-choice rhetoric, stop claiming you’re the party of God, and you just might stand a chance (maybe).

Oregon is a center-left state, and you guys are debating whether to kick out what’s left of your part of the center. Apart from Smith, you’ve won no meaningful statewide elections in over twenty years even though you’ve keep pushing right ward the whole time -- and now even Smith's gone. The Democratic Party hold substantial majorities in the legislature and all statewide offices, and republicans couldn’t even put forward candidates for some state offices and congressional districts. Now you can argue that republicans can’t run to the center and win, but to suggest that they can run to the right will get them anywhere is absurd. Mr. Rock -- meet Mr. Hard Place.

The other problem is that the face of conservatism in Oregon today is Sizemore, Mannix, and right-wing radio blabbers. Not exactly a trifecta, eh?

Finally, ask yourself this: design your perfect candidate. By this I mean one that not only holds to the conservative wish-list -- no abortions, no civil unions, slicing 30% (or more) from government, off-shore drilling, building lots of new freeways, rounding up illegals, school vouchers, etc. etc -- but who also aggressively pushed this agenda, and ask yourself whether he or she would be elected. If not, if you’re not willing to compromise something, somewhere, that would violate conservative dogma, then enjoy the wilderness, republicans, because you’re going to be there a long, long time.

I am Coyote said...

OK I am going to come to the defense of Jack at this point.

While I agree with Rob that this particular op-ed was not Jack's best work, I don't see it as some "throwing down of the gauntlet." Maybe I'm wrong but I don't see THAT in there.

I also don't see Jack trying to lead the Republican party. I know in the discussions that I have had with him it has never come up and he has always seemed pretty happy where he is at.

So let's not start perscribing things to him that we don't know of yet.

Of course you comment sounded good to you in your mind before you actually wrote it.

Unfortunately reality works against your fantasy.

The Republican fall came in the late 90's AFTER a major surge by the conservatives in the late 80's and early 90's won the R's majorities in both chambers.

Then along came the "moderates" (Patridge, Westlund, Williams, Gallegos, Lundquist, Shetterly etc...) who began working across the aisle and with each and every step the electorate started seeing less and less difference between the two parties and decided to go with the real Democrats.

When Eilene Qutub lost her senate seat she said afterwards that all the polling showed that it was her support of the gas tax increase that killed her. She let the lobby talk her into it and she knew at the time that it was probably the wrong thing to do.

Now I know it is cute of you, a self professed liberal moonbat, to bring up all those social issues as if to say those were the reasons Republicans lost in this last cycle.

Yet, unfortunately for you again, none of those issues were...well...ISSUES in this election.

Which makes your entire body of work (your 7:58 comment) completely wrong and misguided.

Bummer because you probably thought so highly of it before you hit the publish button.

yip yip

Anonymous said...

I agree with Murphy. The Republicans went TOO far to the right. Oregon-wise, I voted for Dave Frohnmayer for governor, then not long after said my final good-bye to the Reps due to Lon Mabon and the OCA. I will not support candidates or policy based on the "we are right because we base our policies on The Bible....we are doing God's will, and only we know God's will" approach to politics. (FYI: Yeah, I know....some Dems can be equally myopic.) Murphy's right: unless the Reps are willing to compromise, you'll be second fiddles for a long, long time. That would be very discouraging, for I believe that the US needs two strong political parties. Right now, our country has but one.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:49 - I don't think so. It is really not the Republicans' problem that the Democrats went too far to the left. The problem is that the dominant media & celebrity-driven secular progressive culture let them get away with it because the culture is permissive and we are instructed to forget the mistakes of the past. The lurch to the left is not authorized by Obama's 52%. And it will fail. The Republicans just need to keep standing up for the private sector, freedom, liberty, responsibility. Because the left is against all of that and the Reid-Pelosi regime of the last 2 years is proof positive.

Rob Kremer said...

Ron Saxton was a lot like Packwood, Hatfield, et al. and he won the primary.

I agree that Oregon is now a center-left state. That is our problem. The Republican party has not really changed all that much - the Oregon voting public has.

Nobody is suggesting we kick out our center. That is such a fantasy - wasn't suggested here or anywhere else.

The question we face: given a voting public that has moved left, do Republicans give up the sound principles that Jack Roberts articulated above, or do we hold true to them even if it means we lose more elections?

Steve said...

Murphy and anon,

Your portrayal of republicans could not be more blue contrived.

Republicans attempting to hold ground is not an act of going "TOO far to the right".

Lon Mabon and the OCA were not the Republican party although today's version of oppostion to gay marriage is consistent with majority of the public here and nationally. Including the one Obama himself.
The religious/bible card you blues play is contrived as well.
Your imaginations are out of control.

Norma Paulus is blue through and through. Player her up as the moderate Republican no longer allowed is absurd.

Your'e the poster child for dishonest blues.

Casting Republican resistance to the left's aggression as
"the invasion of far-right theocrats" is pure nonsense.
There is not Republican push to use "government as a tool for inculcating their values upon everyone else."

Opposition to gay marriage is mainstream and NOT simply
"gay-bashing" as you distort.

Th super majority of the electorate is opoposed to late term and partial birth abortion which makes you and yours the extreme and the agressors.

As for your characterization of Republicans claiming to be the "party of God"?

That's more of your dishonest spin driven by your blue's demanding that Christianity be silenced. Again that makes you and yours extreme.

The idea that you would have ideas to help Republicans "stand a chance" is where you really set your hair on fire.

It's obvious your recomendation for Republicans would be to take on the Norma Paulus approach and turn completely Blue.

So here we are, on this, yet another parade, of blues and "reformer" Republicans casting us tradional conservatives
as some movement to the right, far right.
Attempting to be stationary is not movement. The right has no army on the move like the left with all it's sub groups does.
The loud, aggitated and agressive left pushes further left in every arena.
The only thing providing resistance are the tradional conservatives and the lingering center right common sense of Americans at large.
As the left reveals it's fanatical extremities with their new found power there may be a strong push back sooner rather later, that the progressives can't imagine possible.

Anonymous said...

Steve, it's anon you spoke to in your post above. The Reps may be trying to hold ground now, but since the 80's they've gone too far to the right for my tastes. Ex: Palin. The pipeline is God's will? Please. Lon Mabon and the OCA were not about gay marriage, Steve. I oppose gay marriage, but Lon Mabon and his ilk wanted homosexuality presented in public schools as wrong, a position I do NOT believe the public locally or nationally supports. We "blues" play the religious card only when it fits: it fits Sarah Palin, Lon Mabon, the evangelical right. It doesn't fit McCain or Tom McCall or, during the last part of his 12 yrs in the US Senate, Gordon Smith. I don't mind consevatism at all. I mind my-way-or-damnation-to-hell evangelical conservatives, just as I mind the-sky-is-falling (or warming) environmental zealots.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, I never claimed to be a conservative.

But I stand by my previous statement.

Anonymous posters are cowards.

Prove me wrong and put your name on your posts. Identify yourselves.

You won't, of course. You love to bash people behind the cover of your pseudonyms, but in the final analysis, your are gutless.

I spit on all of you.


Steve said...

anon 6:47

Sorry pal your Palin example is more complete Blue crap.
And of course you are re-phrasing what she said. Just as your blue pals claimed she said the war was God's will. She never said that either.
A healthy cross section of Alaskans have already confirmed that Palin has governed without any injection of her faith as you blues try to paint her.
Again you are wrong.

I'm glad you admit the Reps may be trying to hold ground now. The bulk of your screaming loons on the left insist they are pushing far right now.
Contrary to your duped or delusional notions since the 80's Republicans have been watered down. The early 90s had Paulus and other Rs weakening and joining the trend left driven by the other side. Her joint effort with the Katz/Kitzhaber democrats and few drifting Rs invaded our public schools with the School Reform for the 21st Century. Those unqualified and misquided "moderates" perpetrated the worst meddling mess in our school in Sate history. It continues today. A few years ago when conservative Republicans mounted a charge to repeal the refrom Paulus and Katz came back together and mindlessly defended the indefensible. Along with EVERY SINLGE democrat and a few Rs the effort was rejected.

So tell me what R movement has gone too far to the right for my tastes.

Mabon is not around, was never the Republican party and you did not get what I said.
What messure of Mabon's would have mandated teaching anything about homsexuality in public schools?

None. Here again you distort.

But you have diverted away from Rs to Mabon.
Lame stunt.

You blues contrive as you have with Palin. The fact that she is a Christian, attends, church and you had a few snipits you could distort was all you needed to trash her as some far right bible thumbper.
Again you blues were wrong and out of line. But that's wht you do.

Of course you blues always play the "evangelical right" card too trying to make out the R party as run by religious zealots.
Wrong again.
They aren't a bunch of zealots, they don;t run the R party and they are pushing the the a party to the right.
You Blues hate them for standing firm with their principals on gay marriage and abortion.
The same as they have "since the
Like other matters you twist out the McCain, Tom McCall and Smith.

During the campaign blues trashed Smith as a right winger aligned with all things Bush.
Now that he lost has he returned to being a moderate for your fresh BS?

You really are narrowly confusing conservatism with your irrational embellishment of some imaginary religious monsters.
"my-way-or-damnation-to-hell evangelical conservatives"?

So you have a beef Christianity.

That's why you blues want it silenced.
Never mind that heaven and hell component has zero presense in the political ideological battles of today.

If you can't get a grip on traditional conservative Republicans perhaps you should just go march on some church like your pals in California.

Anonymous said...

Another gutless anon "Steve". Eat shit.

Anonymous said...

And thanks Dylan. I appreciate your comments.

I will be contributing to the Oregonian, regularly.

I guess I am a liberal Republican. Certainly a Packwood Republican, which is ironic since I stood up in an assembly at Cleveland High School in 1972 and challenged him on his position on the ABM treaty. Most of you are too young to even know what I am talking about.

Anyway, I think there is room in this country for liberal Republicans and Conservative Democrats. And at the end of the day that is where we will find common ground.

In the meanwhile, all you anonymous cowards can throw your bricks. Nobody is paying attention to you anyway.


Anonymous said...

Yes, she said it, Steve. It's on YouTube, and she said it in her church. I'll admit to being wrong about Palin when you provide me with sources/facts that support your claim that "healthy cross section of Alaskans have already confirmed that Palin has governed without any injection of her faith." I did not/do not oppose Palin for being a Christian, I oppose her for being a far-to-the right Christian. I am a Christian, attend church, and believe that The Bible is a guide, not line-by-line fact. Now, please be exact in explaining to me what about Palin I have distorted. Movements too far to the right? Focus on the Family; Jerry Falwell; both politically active and both want the government to rule according to The Bible. I do NOT want Christianity silenced...again, I do NOT want The Bible to be our constitution. Mabon: You must not have lived in Oregon in 1992. I will do some internet research and show you that my statement about the OCA inititive is true. Steve, I don't hate anyone. You may identify with names the blues who hate, but leave me off the list. I did NOT trash Smith during the campaign. Far from it - I voted for him - so leave me off that list, too. Finally, Steve, can you soften the tone of your debate and just write what you believe? "Sorry pal," "screaming loons," "duped and delusional" add nothing to a debate. BTW - I have no pals in California.

I am Coyote said...

anon moonbat,
What da hell is it with your fixation on Lon Mabon and the OCA?

It has been over 15 years (actually closer to two decades) since he really had any influence at all.

Good Lord do you run around screaming like chicken little all the time? I mean to reach back that far to try to prove your point is just plain absurd.

And quite frankly, in the end, PROVES OURS!

That is that there is no huge "march" going on by the conservative wing of the Republican party.

There is a march going on by the liberal wing however. Because they try to use almost every election to drive out the majority of their party.

Settle down.

Steve said...

anon 851,

"I oppose her for being a far-to-the right Christian"

Well you're just wrong. I few twisted snippets an extremist does not make. The left is always casting any Republican on the political stage who exhibits any signs of Christianity as a Lon Mabon thumper.
You're doing it too.
Your brining up Mabon to begin with was a stunt with no relevancy to today's Oregon Republicans at all.

Palin has governed without any "far right Christian" activism worn on her sleeve or in her management.
That's a fact.
Oregon conservative Republicans (the un-refined) have been battling the reforming (refined) Republicans for years.
The current status is the Oregon Republican party has no identification.

You sure skipped over a bunch of more relevant points I made above.

You stayed on the religion thing and Mabon instead.

You ask.
"Finally, Steve, can you soften he tone of your debate"

Huh? It wasn't that hard.
There are many lefty loons.

I don't know if you are one or not but you might be connecting too many of my references to them, to yourself.

"duped, delusional, wrong, misrepresenting"
Take your pic.

I'd don't find your contributions any more pleasant than mine.

You apparently have a bone to pick with both Conservatives and anon posters.

Liberal Republicans Paulus, Lundquist and Westlund found plenty of common ground with Oregon Democrats. I'd day that didn't work out so well.
Where's the conservative Democrat working with Republicans?

Do we seek common ground for the sake of common ground?

In a general sense you are right. There is room in this country for liberal Republicans and Conservative Democrats.
But I can't imagine a single policy where the liberal watering down makes it acceptable.
Nationally, the prescription drug coverage is a perfect example.
In seeking to assist the needy elderly drug coverage liberals extended the coverage far beyond them to affluent who have no needs.
Locally there are many similar examples in education transportation and land use.

So yeah there's room for everyone but as a conservative I want control to be in the hands of those those who produce sound policies that work.
"Common ground" sounds good but if it results in more of the same flops we've witnessed over the past 20 years no thanks.

As for the anon posting, Steve is my real name as you may know.

It's pretty simple for me. I don't want my whole name coming up on any google search.
Just as many people, small businesses and even Intel don't take public political positions for various reasons.
You write a column for Braninstorm NW magazine and perhaps have a motivation to circulate your name familiarity. That's all fine and good, but I have no motivation.

I think your condemnation of all anon posters is a bit exceedingly judgmental.
But hey have at it.

Coyote echoed reality perfectly.

"there is no huge "march" going on by the conservative,,,There is a march going on by the liberal wing."

And with all these conversations that liberal wing plays loose with the facts about who and what we un-refined conservatives are.

Anonymous said...

"I think your condemnation of all anon posters is a bit exceedingly judgmental.
But hey have at it."

From one Anonymous "other Steve" to the Anonymous "Steve", I agree!!!

I think that this is the funniest:

" Anonymous said...
In the meanwhile, all you anonymous cowards can throw your bricks. Nobody is paying attention to you anyway."

And also this:

"Anonymous said...
I spit on all of you.



Some idiot, using the Anonymous handle slams other people for using the Anonymous handle.

And then he signs himself LISTER! What? Are we supposed to believe that it is THE Dave Lister, the East side guy? How do we know who the heck he is, when he signs on as Anonymous? And really, would the Dave Lister really say "I spit on you"?

At least with Jack Roberts we know who he is when he writes here, since he does not sign on as Anonymous.

Maybe that's how we know when Dave Lister is writing here... we shall know him by his words:
"I spit on you"

I am the Anonymous 'other Steve'

Anonymous said...

People have been posting all over the place using my name or my last name. I guess that's why you have to take everything in the blogosphere with a grain of salt.

For my part, I do not intend to ever post again. So if you see a post from Dave Lister, you will know it is not from me.

The real Dave Lister.

Anonymous said...

Oh... a final thought.

I think the reason that all these false posts are going on with my name is because I sent out an e mail a while back encouraging Republicans to post as "torridjoe".

If you don't know, "torridjoe" is Mark Bunster. He's the lib that does the website.

Bunster is a city of Portland employee. He works for the IT department but is on loan to the fire department. He spends all day, everyday, posting on his blog and posting on other blogs, blatantly ripping off the taxpayers who pay his salary.

I have e mailed Mayor Potter, Erik Sten (when he had the Fire Bureau), Nick Fish, (now that he has the fire bureau) and fire chief Sprando about this Bunster's activities but none of them have taken any action.

I guess since they agree with him, they figure he can go ahead and keep politicking on the taxpayer's dime.

I will be doing a column about him and his activities very soon.

And I would encourage all of you: Go to the liberal websites and post conservative positions using the handle "torridjoe".

It might be a lot of fun.

Dave Lister

Anonymous said...

Steve and I Am Coyote/Dave - Steve, talk about skipping points in a post.?! Where is the proof I asked for concerning this statement of yours: "A healthy cross section of Alaskans have already confirmed that Palin has governed without any injection of her faith." Also, Steve, you haven't responded to this statement from me? "Now, please be exact in explaining to me what about Palin I have distorted." What have I distorted, Steve. She said the pipline was God's will. She believes in rapture, damning all non-believers to hell. I don't want people with these beliefs running our nation. Coyote/Dave: I initially brought up Mabon because he and his ilk prompted me to leave the Republican Party. Steve responded about Mabon, so I responded back. Finally, Steve, my posts may be unpleasant for you to read, but I have not stooped to name calling as you have.

Jack Roberts said...

And I would encourage all of you: Go to the liberal websites and post conservative positions using the handle "torridjoe".

It might be a lot of fun.

Dave Lister

You're not fooling me. The real Dave Lister just posted a message right above yours saying:

For my part, I do not intend to ever post again. So if you see a post from Dave Lister, you will know it is not from me.

The real Dave Lister.

So now we know the second post was a fake.

Unless the person signing off as the real Dave Lister wasn't the real Dave Lister at all.

Maybe that was . . . the real TorridJoe!!!!

Anonymous said...

That's the internet. Just like the glory holes in Steam Portland. You never know who's dick you're sucking.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Steve said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Murphy said...

Well - I guess it’s true: Disgruntled and delusional conservative do make the best comedians.

Back on the planet Earth, let’s see what you’re up against and why conservatives can’t win statewide elections on Oregon.

To start -- Coyote groused: /“Now I know it is cute of you, a self professed liberal moonbat, to bring up all those social issues as if to say those were the reasons Republicans lost in this last cycle.

Yet, unfortunately for you again, none of those issues were...well...ISSUES in this election.”/

First, whether the so-called “social issues” were front and center at this year’s elections is inconsequential. Here’s a quick quiz: Which of the two main parties associates itself with regressive social policy?

A. The Republicans
B. The Republicans

As Mr. Kremer admitted (to his credit) Oregon is indeed a center-left state, particularly then it comes to social issues, and even when abortion, civil unions, physician assisted suicide, etc. aren’t on the ballot explicitly, any republican candidate will still have them wrapped around his or her neck like millstones, and especially among younger, well-educated voters (you know, the ones who hang around cities) advocating for regressive social issues is a loser. A quick illustration of this: in California, Prop 8 crashed and burned with the 18-29 set by 22 points ( And you think Oregonian of that age would vote much differently, you’re nuts. The tide’s against you, even on civil unions, and you can’t hold it back no matter how much you dearly want to. Republican really need to recognize that the electorate is changing -- has changed, and you ignore this fact at your political peril. You're getting a taste of it now.

And by the way -- it’s not just “this last cycle” -- it’s cycle after cycle. Tell me again the last time a “real” conservative (by your standards) won a state-wide election in Oregon -- (cue the chirping crickets).

A Republican who is pro-choice and supports civil-unions, I mean actively supports progressive views on these issues, can then run at a moderate on fiscal matters, and have some hope of winning the metropolitan suburban counties around Portland and the other cities in Oregon (where, in case you haven’t noticed, the votes are). Unless and until that someone comes along, it’s going to be a tough, tough slog for the GOP.

Ah -- but there’s the rub. The far-right religionists (with whom Republicans willingly chose to climb into bed when it looked like a good idea) will rise up in (self) righteous, furious anger and threaten to take their marbles and go home (or vote constitution party). Either tell the Christian dominionists hasta la vista and take the hit and start competing for moderate Oregonians, or be prepared to become a permanent minority party in Oregon where you can always look forward to winning water commissioner in Copper.

But if you do tell the far-right social malcontents to take a hike, and while it will take a couple of elections, republicans might then just start to be competitive statewide again. Which, believe it or not, I would applaud; sustained, decades long one party rule is never a good thing, but you’re giving us no choice.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rob Kremer said...

Knock it off. One more time and your IP is outta here.

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