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About this blog: The Raucous Caucus shares the southpaw perspectives of this Boomer on the state of the nation, the world, and, sometimes, other stuff. I enjoy crafting it to keep current, and occasionally to rant on some issue I care about deeply...  (More)

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Where we stand, so far apart

Uploaded: Aug 5, 2016

Okay, so this blog will Not be about the disarray in the Republican Party, what with Reince Priebus “apoplectic”, Sen. McCain justifiably offended and Mr. Ryan unendorsed. We’ve covered that territory earlier, in GOPocalypse Now. Nor will it attempt to decode Le petit Orange (hereinafter LpO) : Deciphering the Short-fingered Vulgarian -- been there, or his ongoing appeal to his supporters' Compositional Amenities – done that.

This epistle won’t even speculate on rumors that he will quit this race like a stale marriage or an over-ripe casino – except to wonder, as he would, about what then happens to all those $millions in in-kind ‘loans’ he’s made to his campaign for which he expects reimbursement from … somebody. They’re no doubt Yuge! -- those planes and choppers haven’t flown themselves. Can you imagine the lawsuit blizzard if he either leaves the field, or gets un-nominated? It’s wondrous to contemplate, but I have a lesser goal in-mind.

I want to compare party platforms. Why (in the world)? Well, beyond being able to claim slogging rights for actually having read them, they are predictive of trends, and of how the respective partisans are likely to vote on issues (an 80% correlation, says one commentator). Given the aberrational nature of the standard-bearers – with Hillary being yanked lefterly, and LpO yanking us hither-and-yon by the hour, the platforms are the surest roadmaps to where the two major parties are headed.

They have very little in-common, on social issues, domestic or foreign policy. Uh-oh – the beat goes on. Here’s a sampling:

Climate Change: The Dems say that it “poses a real and urgent threat to our economy, our national security and our children’s health and futures.” The GOP sees it as a tolerance issue, dubious that change is occurring, dismissive of the science as ‘political,’ and calling for fairness toward the remaining scientists who are skeptical – both of them. It also identifies coal as a ‘clean energy source.’ It may be tropical at the poles before there is true consensus ‘twixt the partisans.

Immigration: The Republicans embraced LpO’s call for a wall, but somehow stopped short of endorsing deportation for eleven million undocumented immigrants. The Dems made no mention of a wall, and would favor a comprehensive overhaul of the law, including a pathway to citizenship for folks already here.

Speaking of Walls, regarding their Street, the GOP called current and future banking regulations an excuse to establish “unprecedented government controls over the nation’s financial markets.” Dems would prefer a return to prior precedents regarding Big Finance controls, and add a few new ones to cover innovations designed primarily to separate dupees from their savings and returns.

Minimum Wage: Dems want $15/hour, plus indexing for inflation. The GOP favors the current $7.25 floor, and would leave any variations to state and local discretion in higher cost areas.

Culture Issues: The parties remain polar opposites, with the GOP condemning abortion in all instances and calling for a Constitutional Amendment to that effect, decrying same sex marriage and supporting the religious liberty of merchants to refuse service based on their convictions. The Log Cabin Republicans, a gay rights caucus within the party, called it “the most anti-LGBT platform in the party’s 162-year history.” The Dems applaud the constitutional right ‘to marry the person you love,’ and will seek to ban discrimination against LGBTQs in employment, housing and other areas expressly covered for other groups by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Campaign Finance: The Dems called for overturning the Citizens United decision, while the GOP called for an end to remaining contribution restrictions, and advocated that outside groups’ donor identities be allowed to be anonymous.

Voting: the GOP endorsed efforts at the state level to impose ID requirements on voters, and opposed DOJ ‘bullying’ (recently, consistently successful – more on that in another blog) to overturn them. The Dems pledge to fight further efforts to abridge the ‘fundamental right to vote.’

Healthcare: the Dems vow to support the ACA and push efforts to get states to expand Medicaid coverage (majority of those remaining uninsured would thereby be covered). The GOP would repeal the ACA, expand interstate competition among insurers and flip Medicare into a private system, or limit its coverage.

The greater sage grouse and lesser prairie chicken: the GOP would pluck these birds off the endangered species list. The Dems somehow remained silent on the issue.

Both platforms reflect influences within the parties, as the Berners pushed for various progressive planks, and evangelicals, free marketeers and even the sagebrushers got licks-in on the GOP side.

There are nods to the Trumpians, as well, but the GOP document swings fair to the right of its nominee on numerous issues. Both also appear to shortchange the larger points on income inequity.

Further, this Republican platform is most notable for its implied repudiation of the RNC’s post-2012 ‘autopsy’ report, which called for outreach to minorities and young people in a kinder-gentler party way. Instead, this year’s edition hardened positions that hearken back to a bygone America, and seem unlikely to appeal to majorities of present and future voters.

If present trends continue through November (much could change – to paraphrase: Don’t gloat – VOTE!), this Republican Party can scapegoat its aberrational nominee. In so doing, it may doom itself to broader losses in ensuing elections.

So, the next time somebody tells you that there's no difference between the two major parties -- show 'em this blog.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by mememine69, a resident of Canyon Creek,
on Aug 5, 2016 at 10:15 am

Climate change exaggeration is liberalism's Iraq War. Nice work girls, nice work. Who's the redneck in the coming history books?

It wasn't a crime for climate science to only agree a CO2 end of days "could be" real and not as real as science says; "smoking causes cancer" for 35 years.
But it is a crime against humanity for you fear mongers to tell children science says it's as real as they say the planet isn't flat.
35 more years of debate and climate action failure is certain and unstoppable and will judge you drama queens as fear mongers worse than Bush.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Aug 5, 2016 at 1:58 pm

You forgot to mention that humans are reproducing so fast that there will eventually be a new item on supermarket shelves...SOILENT GREEN!

hip hip HOORAY! ...yum yum plenty!

It will most likely make its grand entrance in Africa, Haiti, and in the poorest countries. It will sell for 10 centavos a loaf and will also come in a crunchy wafer form.

As for R&D's...they won't exist. By 2020, elections will be a thing of the past. By then, most citizens of the planets will live as servants in the caliphate.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Aug 5, 2016 at 2:01 pm

Soilent Green: Web Link


Posted by MsCitizen, a resident of Mohr Park,
on Aug 6, 2016 at 4:36 pm

I have been searching for just the right insulting moniker for the Donald, and I think Le Petit Orange might be it -- LpO. Is it too subtle, though? Will he realize where it came from? After all, you kind of have to speak French to understand it, right?

Anyway, hat tip for using the moniker, and for slogging through the reading of both parties' platforms.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Aug 7, 2016 at 8:11 am

Thanks, MsC -- please use it, freely and often. "The SfV" works too, and may address the subtlety concern.

MMM (great name, BTW): are you a climate scientist? If so, who's the other guy/gal who shares your opinion? The military knows it's happening, the oil companies certainly know it's happening. The Koch brothers know it, too. The evidence is utterly compelling and devoid of political affiliation.

What would it take to convince you, lonesome hold-out?

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Aug 7, 2016 at 11:06 am

People like this one study fat stuff like Trump. yup...I agree he's fat:

Web Link

i rest my case

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Aug 7, 2016 at 11:18 am

cholo: I don't really go in for 'fat' jokes -- or 'skinny' jokes, or 'old' jokes or 'baby' jokes. They're all status offenses -- not much you can do about them. So they're boring (well, except for the one about LpO throwing that baby out of his rally because its hands were too big -- that one's kind of funny, but it really picks on his rampant defensiveness, rather than anatomy, per se).

Anyway, they say a lot more about the poster than they do about the butt of the humor. Most folks grow out of making them; some don't ever figure that out.

Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of Country Fair,
on Aug 18, 2016 at 8:37 am

Doug Miller is a registered user.

Democrats want to raise the minimum wage because they care about people at the lower end of the wage scale. Republicans are heartless and selfish and therefore are against raising the minimum wage or would favor a much smaller increase. Or so we are told.

Last Saturday I flew back to the Bay Area from Washington, DC. When I went to the Southwest kiosk to print my boarding pass, to my surprise the machine also produced baggage tags and baggage claim receipts. It didn't take long to figure out how they should be attached to the luggage. I then took my bags to the counter and put them on the scale where only one person was working. This person checked my ID, looked at the scale and then moved my luggage to a conveyor belt. The TSA routine was unchanged. Walking to the gate, I stopped to buy a newspaper. There were no cashiers anywhere. Instead there were several unattended automated cashiers much like we see at Safeway. At the end of the hall was a large restaurant. Each seat had an iPad like device. The only interaction with a person was when your food or beverage was delivered. You paid your bill using the iPad like device.

Here we have three new examples of the wonderful effects of raising the minimum wage. By my count, at least three people are no long working at Reagan National Airport. But those people will no doubt take great satisfaction in knowing that if they still had a job that they would be soon making almost twice as much as they used to make.

Posted by Ben J., a resident of Birdland,
on Aug 21, 2016 at 7:05 pm

Ben J. is a registered user.

Seattle, the latest example of progressives failed and illogical thinking on the minimum wage.
First, and common sense dictates, if you really plan on staying at a minimum wage job, your pay would go up with tenure/experience on the job anyway. What a concept!
Second, workers who did earn more were the lucky ones, as fewer of them had jobs because of the increase. And those that did keep their job, worked fewer hours.
Third, economists hired by the city of Seattle, found that the increase in wage resulted in somewhere between $5.22 a week reduction in pay to a $5.54 a week raise.(woohoo)
It's absurd for the progressive nanny-staters to really believe raising a wage will not have an impact on a business. Anyone who understands Econ 101 knows that if you require a business to pay more for labor and they cannot stay in business while paying workers more, they will; 1) hire fewer workers, or 2) give their workers fewer hours to work. In addition, when labor costs increase, the employer must charge the consumer more for their product or accept a reduced margin of profit. We all know what the smart business man will do.

Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Aug 24, 2016 at 8:00 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

My first job at age sixteen paid me $00.50 cents an hour.
At age eighteen after high school, I joined a local labor union and was hired to work on a construction project for $2.00 an hour. I was an apprentice working along side a journeyman. He had the ninety pound jack hammer, I was issued the one hundred twenty pound jack hammer. My jack hammer weighed more than I did. At the end of summer, I went off to college, never forgetting my jack hammer experience. After school I continued my work experience in the real world. I discovered the harder I worked, the harder I sought information for the task I was charged with, the greater was my rewards in salary increments and additional responsibility, and advancement. In those days everything was earned, nothing was advanced because of legislation or public social beliefs.

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