Sorry Rudy, The Republicans Are Not The Party of Freedom

Earlier I posted some information as to Mitt Romney’s election strategy (attack France and George Bush’s intelligence). Rudy Giuliani has also revealed how he wants to market himself. He wants to call the Republicans the “Party of Freedom.” It’s a shame that this is all marketing which has nothing to do with reality. The New York Sun reports:

Mayor Giuliani is calling on the Republican Party to redefine itself as “the party of freedom,” focusing on lower taxes, school choice, and a health care system rooted in free market principles…

Democrats, he said, would want to raise taxes to pay the higher costs of a war. “That shows a dividing line, and to me, a misunderstanding of how our economy works,” Mr. Giuliani said. He said that while Republicans believe that the American economy is “essentially a private economy,” Democrats “really believe, honest, that it is essentially a government economy.”

In other words, Giuliani wants to run on all the old canards spread by the Republicans for years which few now believe. Republicans cannot run as the party of small government after supporting big government whenever in office. Republicans cannot claim to support a “private economy” after being the party of corporate welfare and the K Street Project. Nonsense such as saying Democrats “really believe, honest, that it is essentially a government economy” makes him sound like the kookie right wingers who believe Democrats are socialists.

While Democrats might raise taxes to pay for the war, the alternative is far worse as Republicans pass on the debt and erode the value of our retirement savings with their deficits. It wasn’t long ago that Republicans recognized the value of fiscal responsibility, just as they once recognized the dangers of unnecessary foreign entanglements.

Giuliani also states the solutions to health care problems “have to be free market solutions.” Republicans have been saying this for years, but we are still waiting to see them come up with ideas that work. Previous Republican free market ideas such as HMO’s and Health Savings Accounts only worsen the problem. Giuliani brings up the old scare stories of “socialization” of medical care, failing to recognize the huge distinction between government involvement in financing health care as opposed to government control of providing health care. While he speaks of freedom, he ignores the fact that Medicare provides the financing for private health care which is more economical than privately financed health care and which is less restrictive than many private programs. If freedom is to be Giuliani’s new mantra, I am far more free in providing the care my patients need under Medicare than under many of the “free market” plans which Giuliani would prefer. The growing number who are uninsured and underinsured do not feel like they are more free under Republican health care plans which do nothing to provide them with adequate coverage. (more…)

Foreign Policy Scholars Believe War Will Decrease US Security

Political Wire reports that a survey of 1,112 international relations scholars by Foreign Policy magazine finds a remarkable concensus on the war:

Eighty-nine percent of scholars believe that the war will ultimately decrease U.S. security. Eighty-seven percent consider the conflict unjust, and 85 percent are pessimistic about the chances of achieving a stable democracy in Iraq in the next 10-15 years. Nearly all those who responded — 96 percent — view the United States as less respected today than in the past, a sentiment no doubt heavily influenced by the current war.

Georgre Bush was ranked seventh from the bottom among Presidents with regards to foreign policy. The top rankings went to Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, and Ronald Reagan.

Romney To Campaign Against France So Voters Will Forget His Flip Flops

The Boston Globe has obtained a document showing Mitt Romney’s campaign strategies. Much of this is predictable, including fears that Romney is vulnerable to charges that he has flip flopped on the issues and that his Mormon faith could be a negative with many voters. The plan has ideas for attacking the other Republican candidates, but not too directly or harshly in the hopes of ultimately getting the backing of their supporters.

Beyond the obvious, the document shows plans to play to Republican xenophobia with a resumption of France-bashing. The campaign equates Hillary Clinton with France and plans bumper stickers saying, “First, not France.”

At least some of this plan is sensible. The plan lists two ways to distinguish Romney from George Bush. The first is “Intelligence.”

Halperin’s Team Continues To Report Right Wing Smears as News

In The Way to Win ABC News political director Mark Halperin and John Harris compare Drudge to Walter Cronkite. They describe how Drudge posts things which are unsubstantiated and, since it is posted on Drudge, it becomes news which is picked up by the mainstream media. By having such items which he posts be reported by the mainstream media, Drudge has the influence of Walter Cronkite without the integrity.

If Halperin was a true journalist, the obvious response to this would be to pass on the word at ABC that Drudge is not a reliable source. Instead, despite accurately describing how misinformation is spread by Drudge, Halperin reliably spreads what Drudge posts. Not surprisingly, it appears that ABC News is the first to post tonight’s smears on Al Gore (discussed in more detail in this earlier post.) Of course they don’t mention that Drudge was greatly responsible for spreading the claims of this pseudo-research organization which has been shown to have strong Republican ties. I can only imagine how they’ll repeat all the right wing talking points in The Note.