Farah Has the Winning Formula for Republicans

Joseph Farah has been carefully observing the behavior of the Republicans and he thinks he knows why they’re screwing up so badly. The answer, I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear, is that they’re not acting enough like Ronald Reagan. Not the real Reagan, of course, but the entirely fictitious St. Ronald the Magnificent, who exists only in the conservative imagination.

Reagan made the Republican and conservative agenda clear and appealing – even for a jerk like me who was recruited by the cultural and political Marxist establishment inside America to do big things, to get, much like Barack Obama, a free indoctrination at one of their chosen universities, to be one of the leaders of “the movement.”

How did Reagan do that?

  • He laid out a positive and clear program for defeating totalitarianism, expanding freedom at home and abroad, growing the economy and empowering the people.
  • Rather than play defense against Democrats, liberals and leftists, Reagan fought on offense – laying out his own appealing agenda for rolling back socialism.
  • He did these things, all the while being told by media, his opponents and many in his own party that he could never accomplish his objectives.

Since Reagan left office in 1989, the Republican Party establishment has acted like everything Reagan did in his eight years in office was a fluke. Maybe they really think it was.

All of this is just vague nonsense, of course. Let’s talk specifics. If the Republicans had looked to Ronald Reagan for guidance on how to handle the debt ceiling fight, what would they have done? Well, they would have raised the debt ceiling without a fight. Reagan did that 18 times in his 8 years in office. During his national radio address in 1986, when Congress was fighting over whether to raise the debt ceiling, Reagan said:

“Unfortunately, Congress consistently brings the government to the edge of default before facing its responsibility. This brinkmanship threatens the holders of government bonds and those who rely on Social Security and veterans benefits. Interest rates would skyrocket, instability would occur in financial markets, and the federal deficit would soar. The United States has a special responsibility to itself and the world to meet its obligations. It means we have a well-earned reputation for reliability and credibility — two things that set us apart from much of the world.”

Farah, on the other hand, thinks the Republicans are sell-outs and wimps for not keeping the government shut down and for agreeing to raise the debt limit at all. So once again we have a perfect example of conservatives adoring the Reagan In Their Head and pretending that the real Reagan didn’t exist.

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  • StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Farah Has the Winning Formula for Republicans

    No he hasn’t.

  • StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Come to think of it I dont think there *is* a winning formula for that bunch of losers.

    But if there is its pretty complicated and involves a lot of unobtainium and Justaintthereisite.

  • StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    pretending that the real Reagan didn’t exist.

    Well, if Reagum had never been, in fairness it prob’ly would be a better world we live in now.

    No “Reagunomics”.

    No Iran-Contra. No much more stuff I can’t even begin to list.

    Most like a much better US Pres during the 1980’s? But who?

    Maybe Jesse Jackson (spelling /memory?) would’ve made a great first African American one ‘stead o’Bama?

    Not that Bracak has been that bad mind you.

    (Still think Hilary would’ve been the best choice in ’08 but hey moot point now.That’s a whole ‘notha alt history right there.)

  • blf

    Joseph Farah has been carefully observing the behavior of the Republicanshallucinating again about theethugs…


  • Al Dente

    the cultural and political Marxist establishment inside America

    Joe, a political opinion to the left of the Tea Party’s ideology is not Marxist.

  • Michael Heath

    Ed, your general point is of course historically accurate. However I don’t think raising the debt ceiling as president is an illustrative anecdote except perhaps to illustrate that conservatives now in power are nihilistic where that attribute was mostly missing and mild in President Reagan.

    Conservatives/Republicans currently don’t hold the executive branch or the Senate and therefore are the minority ideology/party, where they use different tactics when they aren’t wielding majoritarian power from when they do or at least hold the executive branch. Their primary tactic when in the minority is obstructionism, a tactic they used even back when most of southern conservatives were Democrats, e.g., staving off civil rights laws for 75 years.

    But because Democratic members of Congress in the 1980s were wedded to the national interest far more than ideology or partisan concerns, President Reagan had the luxury of acting as if he was most always presiding over the majority. And that seems largely due to his eventually buying into then-Fed. Chairman Paul Volcker’s view of monetary and fiscal policy – which was fiscal conservatism rather than Mr. Reagan’s initial stated preference for austerity contradicted by his proliferate spending. And while liberals can also obstruct, it’s a general attribute of conservatism to be obstructionist but not of liberalism, who must instead guard against being too naively optimistic about change.

    Where I may be wrong is that Farah, Tea Partiers, and other conservative Christians have now solidified their numbers in the GOP and reveal the incredible degree of nihilism these overlapping groups practice. Their nihilism is arguably a disqualifier for authentic Reaganism, though my confidence this is true is tenuous. I do have little doubt that we’d see a bigger ruckus from these groups if Romney were president and the GOP held the Senate and the House. However I also conclude that a President Romney, Santorum, or even Gingrich would have leveraged GOP congressional leaders and the Democratic party to pass a higher debt ceiling. That’d be very similar to how President Bush relied on the same groups when the financial crisis hit in late-2008; though of course Dems held Congress. However they needed GOP congressional leaders in the minority to deliver some votes.

    And it’s not like Republicans are the only ones to obstruct legislation where the opposition has no case. If the passage of legislation is required but symptomatic of deeper unaddressed root causes, like the debt ceiling, we’ll see Democrats vote no as well. I think to distance themselves from their base’s perception of who is responsible for the root cause defect that required voting for symptomatic legislation like debt ceiling hikes when all would prefer debt decrease (over the intermediate and long-term). E.g., then-Senator Barack Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling at least once. From this perspective the Republicans are acting like any minority party with the exception of emergent base’s complete disregard for outcomes.

    I think what the debt ceiling does reveal about modern-era conservatives in the afore-mentioned groups is the demonstrated lack of concern is so great they’ll eagerly risk catastrophe. That’s coupled to how deep they’re into denialism and their complete isolation from what experts understand. Of course there’s other examples as well, e.g., their rejection of evolution and global warming being two illustrative examples.

    But this shouldn’t be surprising for a group that also celebrates biblical last days and the evil nature it would take to make such a thing come true.

  • dingojack

    As opposed to the very real threat of St. Ronnie of Alzheimer’s, you mean.

    Ronnie “We start bombing in fifteen minutes”* Ray-gun.




    * A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but worse, a deficient mind is a terrible thing to put in charge of nuclear arsenal that could have extinguished all intelligent life on Earth!

  • raven

    The GOP does think they have the winning formula already.

    1. Gerrymander wherever you can, as much as you can. For Cthulhu’s sake, why do you think they invented computers.

    2. Voter suppression. The best minds of the GOP have been working for the last century to make sure that only GOP voters can vote. Poll taxes, literacy tests, killing a few of the wrong voters here and there, etc..

    These days, they can’t just hang a few minorites or women from tree limbs to discourage the rest. But they do what they can. In some cases, actually counting the votes presents opportunities. You simply collect the Democratic ballots and “lose” them.

    Mostly it is coming up with convoluted rules to make it hard for the poor and minorities to vote. Texas is blatant at that and they are blazing a new trail in preventing women from voting.

    Needless to say, this is all very undemocratic. As polyhaters, they have added…democracy and voting to their ever growing lists of hate targets.

  • Alverant


    Don’t forget if it wasn’t for Reagan, chances are the Taliban wouldn’t have existed or at least not be as powerful as it was. And without that Taliban, NYC wouldn’t have had its horrific altercation to its skyline on 9/11/01. We also shouldn’t forget all those countries that suffered under tyrants the US put in power because they were “better” than the ones the people elected.


    You’re creating a false dichotomy. Saying “both sides do it” ignores the magnitude and puts them on equal footing. How often have liberals in Congress shut down the government? Which political party uses the filibuster the most often and for petty purposes? Think about that.

  • raven

    The other GOP winning formulas, we see every day.

    Discriminate against the poor, minorities, children, and women.

    Keep adding new groups to your “lets beat up on them” list. Occasionally they talk about abolishing Social Security and Medicare. That always goes over really well among the old people who use SS and Medicare.

    I read somewhere that a few decades ago, scientists were roughly 50:50 Democrats and Republicans. These days only 6% are Republicans. Their War on Science was their most successful war so far.

    Collect all the lunatic fringers you can. Fundie xians, creationists, white supremacists, neo-Confederates, Loonytarians. Geocentrists, alt-meds, war mongers, xian Dominionists, totalitarian democracy haters; you name it, they collect it. It is truly a witch’es brew of superstition, fantasy, kooks, and the worst and darkest our society has produced.

  • pacal

    Whoreshiping politicians has a very long history and is of course dull and standard idiotic thinking. So St, Ronald of Reagan joins such “illuminaries” as St. John of Kennedy.

  • D. C. Sessions

    So St, Ronald of Reagan joins such “illuminaries” as St. John of Kennedy.

    Well, they did have a lot in common, such as being very effective speakers and suffering similar cognitive declines while in office.

  • jnorris

    The conservatives adore the Reagan In Their Head, of all the voices, its their favorite.

  • http://timgueguen.blogspot.com timgueguen

    Alverant, it’s a reasonable assumption that any other US President would have sent lots of support to the mujahedeen. In fact funding to Afghan opposition forces began 6 months before the Soviet invasion, at the behest of Zbginiew Brzezinksi.

  • Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    He laid out a positive and clear program for defeating totalitarianism, expanding freedom at home and abroad, growing the economy and empowering the people.

    And I would only ask, if it was both positive and clear then either:

    a) republicans won’t even follow a positive, clear program to benefit the national interest when they have an opportunity for pettiness, vindictiveness, and selfish gain


    b) it’s positive and clear, but doesn’t actually work… and republicans don’t have the sense to realize when a policy isn’t working if you just frame it positively and clearly.

    In either of these 2 scenarios, I submit, the republican party should be disqualified as a reasonable proponent of candidates and policies

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    “if only the upper-class has access to education, million of working class people will end up in a position of intellectual inferiority compared to their lords and master despite being potentially way smarter than them.”

    As was observed by Louis XVI*, Marie Antoinette, Robespierre and thousands of other folks during “The Terror”, being “intellectually superior” to the people who ran the guillotine was not of much help in the event.

  • raven42

    The thing about Reagan is that although he put out all kinds of vapid platitudes in his speeches and such, he was actually a fairly pragmatic politician, if one who pragmatically pursued a lot of thoroughly repugnant things. His current worshipers seem to be really big on Reagan’s empty rhetoric, but are utterly ignorant of how he actually did things. Even if he espoused lots of terrible ideas and did some pretty awful things, Reagan was at least enough of an adult to get things done.

  • steffp

    @democommie #16

    as an aside: The “reign of terror” (Sept.1793-July’94) cost about 41,000 lives, about half of the death toll of a single of the many defeated peasant revolts of the 16th and 17th century…