RNC Members Want To Escalate The Name Calling

Considering the degree to which the Republicans are being rejected by most Americans outside of the south and Mormon belt, one would think that they might be trying to reevaluate their policies in the hopes of obtaining more support. With the Republican Party moving to the extreme right wing, I doubt we have ever had a major political party which has been so wrong on virtually every issue. Instead of trying to come up with rational answers to today’s problems to replace their failed policies, a group of Republicans has decided to stick with the one thing that Republicans do best: name calling.

The Politco reports that a faction of the Republican National Committee has proposed renaming the Democratic Party the Democrat Socialist Party. Note that these are members of the RNC, once again showing that there is no longer a real distinction between the kooks of the right wing and the Republican Party.

There are three problems with this plan:

  1. The Republican Party has no say over what the Democratic Party is named, even though they have not gotten the name right for years with their mistaken idea that they are being clever by calling it the Democrat as opposed to the Democratic Party.
  2. The Democratic Party does not support socialism. Besides, the Republicans have no business positioning themselves as supporters of the free market. As libertarian Will Wilkinson has pointed out, “the great success of the GOP over the last eight years has been to destroy the reputation of free markets and limited government by deploying its rhetoric and then doing the opposite.”
  3. The more Republicans claim that Democrats are socialists and attack socialists, the more American voters start thinking that socialism is something desirable, as a recent poll has demonstrated.


  1. 1
    Eclectic Radical says:

    4.) There is already a Democratic Socialist Party, and Bernie Sanders might be upset to find out his party affiliation has changed. So might the rest of the Democratic Socialists, who consider the majority of Democrats as bad as Republicans on a host of issues. 😉

    A slight bit of humor aside, this is just more proof of the inability of the Republican Party to provide statesmanship in opposition to current administration statesmanship. Whether you agree or disagree with his positions and policies, President Obama is attempting to practice statesmanship and politics is one of the tools of that effort. The GOP’s major source of statesmanship, the neoconservative bloc (again, love or hate their ideas the neoconservatives certainly had plenty of them and made the concerted attempt to use them as a basis for governance), has been reduced to intellectual bankruptcy by the Bush administration. Bereft of that source the GOP is floundering about for a new source, while playing politics in the hope no one will be able to tell the difference.

    There are Republicans, including some conservatives (Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota is not a moderate, cooperation on stimulus or not, he was one of the rumored favored conservative choices for VP alongside Bobby Jindal before Sarah Palin was pulled out of a snowdrift), who are trying to practice statesmanship. They are being marginalized by their own party.

  2. 2
    Christopher Skyi says:

    “The Democratic Party does not support socialism. Besides, the Republicans have no business positioning themselves as supporters of the free market.”

    Yeah — sort of. Team Obama, I think, clearly supports socialism for big business (bailouts, the TARP, etc.). That’s clear.   Yes, it’s for all our sakes, they say, and I’m sure they believe that.  Yet, no matter how you slice it, this is a HUGE transfer of wealth, with a lot of promises (e.g., the taxpayers will be protected, it’s not “socialism,” it an investment, and we’ll get our money back, at least, if not with a return).

    None of, Nada, has come to pass.

    This past March (2009), the  Ethisphere TARP index recorded a $21 billion drop in value.
    What in the hell is the “TARP index” you’re asking?  Is that like an ETF?  That’s exactly what is, and you should know about it, because YOU OWN SHARES of the Ethisphere TARP index.
    The TARP Index, created by the Ethisphere Institute, tracks the U.S. Federal Government’s return under its TARP investments. Out of the $306.1 billion so far handed out under TARP since its inception, there has been an unrealized loss of $123 billion, compliments mostly of the big 4: C, BAC, WFC and JPM. In other words, the U.S. Government (and its taxpaying funders) has lost over 40% of their investment. This translates into a loss of $1,082 per every US household, roughly double the proposed stimulus tax credit.
    So much for protecting the “investor”/taxpayer.
    At this point, the public just isn’t going to take it anymore, but rather than let that banks fail, team Obama is too in bed with then — not because they and the BIG banks are somehow coluding with each other to rip off the little guy. Team Obama is in bed with the BIG banks because they’re committed to saving the banks from capitialism, from failure.
    Team Obama can’t keep bailing them out (i.e., shovling more $$ into the money hole) yet they can’t them fail either. So what to do?
    Barry Ritholtz of the Big Picture Blog (and author of the highly anticipated  book, Bailout Nation) posted this today:
    Ugly Process: Rationalizing Insolvent Banks Existence
    “Of the many issues that arise via the banking bailouts we have seen, perhaps the most pernicious is how corrosive the process becomes. It corrupts even the most well intended parties.
    The latest example is the stress tests, which run the risk of being window dressing. As noted last week, the Stress Tests themselves weren’t very stressful. And, now that some of the results are coming in, the cure for inadequate capital is not more capital, but an accounting trick — converting preferred stock to common. As Paul Kasriel of Northern Trust describeed it, this amounts to nothing more than Accounting Alchemy — the finacial equivalent of lead into gold.
    US banks are suffering a solvency problem, and what they need is more capital, not an accounting sleight of hand. Yet that is precisely what they are getting — the same clever financial engineering that led to the crisis in the first place. All Treasury needs is more leverage and a few derivatives and the transformation into the financial Borg will be complete.
    From Bloomberg:

    “At least six of the 19 largest U.S. banks require additional capital, according to preliminary results of government stress tests, people briefed on the matter said.
    While some of the lenders may need extra cash injections from the government, most of the capital is likely to come from converting preferred shares to common equity, the people said. The Federal Reserve is now hearing appeals from banks, including Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp., that regulators have determined need more of a cushion against losses, they added.
    By pushing conversions, rather than federal assistance, the government would allow banks to shore themselves up without the political taint that has soured both Wall Street and Congress on the bailouts. The risk is that, along with diluting existing shareholders, the government action won’t seem strong enough.”

    All this goes to show is that receivership was the correct approach to this in the first place. Instead, we get “Gentleman B” stress tests and nonsense accounting gimmicks. The Treasury and Federal Reserve can no longer be considered honest brokers of the process. They too have been corrupted by the ugly process of rationalizing insolvent banks ongoing existence . . .
    This financial sleigh of hand isn’t going to cut it:

    Financial Times’ Martin Wolf in  his comment today carry a sobering message. Bank balance sheets need a tremendous amount of additional shoring up.
    Some not too pretty factoids:

    We appear to be less than halfway through writedowns, and the fundraising and recapitalizations to date are falling short of the equity hits. Wolf thinks the ability to raise funds privately is nada.

    Banks also have significant maturing debt in 2010 and 2011. If they can’t roll it at an attractive price, that means balance sheet shrinkage. And believe it or not, the myriad of lending support programs represents only 1/3 of the IMF’s estimate of total needs. Yes, the US has the FDIC guaranteeing bank bond issues; it will probably expand that program further. But if that continues (likely) it again continues the dangerous pretense that banks are private concerns that claim the need to give employees decent pay, when they are in fact wards of the state and should be regulated as utilities. or put into receivership and restructured.

    The gloomy calculus does not include the implosion of the shadow banking system, a bigger source of credit than the banking system. Unless private securitization can be restored (ahem, no progress on the needed reforms), even more capital in the banking system is needed.

    And as the GDP for the first quarter of 2009 comes in at NEGATIVE 6.1%, the question isn’t “are Team Obama a bunch of socialist” it’s “just how lost and out to sea is Team Obama?”
    The answer seems to be “pretty much,” they’re headed, at full steam, every further outto see, and closer to going over the edge, i.e.,
    A few days ago, the Obama administration unveiled a new program to help borrowers with second mortgages stay out of foreclosure, offering cash to servicers, investors and borrowers who modify loan terms.
    Naked Capitialism blog slams this as Yet Another Program to Enrich Banks at Taxpayer and Borrower Expense:
    “Guess what? Plenty of seconds are under water and have NO economic value. But they play like pigs in foreclosure and renegotiations. So this program will validate values above market value for these homes and unnecessarily enrich second mortgage holders, who otherwise would have to eat their losses.”
    So socialism (corporate) is now being extended to the secondary mortgage market.

  3. 3
    Christopher Skyi says:

    Should the U.S. change it’s name to the U.S.S.A. (United Socialist States of America)?

    From The Big Picture blog:

    Today is May Day, and while International Workers’ Day (Labour Day in the UK), means little in the USA, its a big holiday in Europe. Banks and markets are closed on the continent, (England celebrates on Monday).
    Speaking with Mike Panzner, author of  “When Giants Fall: An Economic Roadmap for the End of the American Era”, this morning (his clients are mostly Europeans) made me think about this:  Which region is the true Socialist state?

    -Europe has cradle to grave health care plans, generous unemployment benefits, and free or subsidized college costs.
    -The US gives away public assets (oil, gas, mineral rights)  for pennies on the dollar, has huge subsidies and tax breaks, and bails out reckless speculators.

    It turns out that both regions are welfare states — only in Europe, the natural population (i.e., people) is the recipient, while in the US, the corporate population is the beneficiary.
    Food for thought . . .

  4. 4
    Fritz says:

    The major reason mineral rights are “public assets” is that the Federal government refuses to let people buy 70-95% of the land in most Western states.

  5. 5
    Fritz says:

    Should we have a betting pool on the % Federal voting ownership in GM by election day 2010?

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    How about a betting pool on the number of conservative writers who cite this as a case of Obama nationalizing private business as opposed to an attempt to bail out a failing company?

    We can also set up a betting poll to predict the number of conservative bloggers who ignore the whole subject if the plans are successful and the government gets out of GM.

  7. 7
    Fritz says:

    Ron, when the government converts a loan into a 50% voting stake in a company, how is that not nationalizing a private business?  Especially when the terms of the proposed deal are hugely sweeter to the government as a creditor than to the other bondholders as creditors.

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:


    There is a tremendous difference between government forcibly nationalizing business (as some right wingers have been saying Obama plans) and a bail out plan for a company which otherwise was going under.

  9. 9
    Fritz says:

    Ron, you just moved the goalpost.

    So, out of curiosity, what percentage of GM voting stock will be government-owned in November 2010?

  10. 10
    Ron Chusid says:

    Not at all. This is exactly what I’ve been talking about all along in criticizing the claims from the right that Obama is a socialist.

    I think you are finally catching on to what I am saying (except for thinking that this is a change rather than where I had the goal post all along).

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    As for the second part–I have no idea what percentage it will be in 2010. The goal is zero but I don’t know when or if  they can achieve this considering the state of the US auto industry.

  12. 12
    Fritz says:

    So your position is that government purchase and ownership of large corporations isn’t socialism if the sale to the government is not mandated?

  13. 13
    Ron Chusid says:

    I’m saying that what has occurred has nothing to do with socialism, even if it does represent more government action than you would want (as well as more government action than Obama would normally do if not in response to a crisis).

  14. 14
    Fritz says:

    Ron, maybe we are operating from completely different encyclopedias, but it seems to me that the government owning a majority of a very large industrial corporation has a lot to do with socialism.

    And I also don’t know how any of us could determine what Obama would “normally do”.

  15. 15
    Ron Chusid says:

    No, owning a corporation is not socialism at all. Socialism is owning the means of production on a nationwide level, not an individual company. Owning shares in a company with the goal of restoring private ownership after rescuing the company is quite contrary to socialism.

  16. 16
    Fritz says:

    Ron, if the Obama administration sells off its stake in GM before the next election, I will cheerfully admit to undue concern.

    Don’t something like 90% of the bondholders have to agree to get shafted to make the government takeover work, though?

  17. 17
    Fritz says:

    Ah… Things are making more sense. 

    Almost all creditors have to agree to get screwed in favor of the government and the union in order for the administration’s restructuring plans to pass court muster.  I was wondering how this would be accomplished without waterboarding. 

    Most of the creditors are banks which have, gosh, received TARP funds (that, in some cases, the Treasury is not letting them repay).  So the administration is able to put prodigious pressure on those creditors to take a reduced cut of Chrysler and later GM.


    “Based on the pressure the administration has put on a number of my clients who have received no TARP funds in the last 24 hours, I cannot imagine the pressure that it brought to bear on the lenders in our group who received TARP funding,” Lauria said.

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