Right Wing Nut House


RINO Hour of Power: The Effect of Cliff Diving on Man in the Moon Republicans

Filed under: RINO Hour of Power — Rick Moran @ 5:47 pm

The Senate has acted, but what about the GOP House?

Grumblings from conservatives over the lack of spending cuts in the Senate Cliff deal is not a good sign for early passage of the agreement. Will Speaker Boehner be able to manuever his caucus into supporting it? Or will the GOP blow up the deal and bring uncertainty and chaos to Washington?

You won’t want to miss tonight’s RINO Hour of Power with host Rick Moran, and special co-host Fausta Wertz. Rick and Fausta will be joined by American Thinker’s political correspondent and frequent co-host Rich Baehr for a discussion of the political and policy implications of the potential deal.

The show streams live from 8:00 - 9:00 PM Eastern time. A podcast will be available shortly after the end of the show.

You can join us live by clicking the icon below or by clicking here.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio


RINO Hour of Power: Gun Nuts and Gun Grabbers: Who’s Right?

Filed under: RINO Hour of Power — Rick Moran @ 5:21 pm

Before most of the 20 dead children had gone cold in the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting, both sides in the gun control debate had begun forming their talking points, skewering their political enemies, and trying to ascend the moral high ground.

This is politics in modern America. He who gets their first, with the most, gets to set the parameters of the narrative and define the issue. In this case,. the momentum for some kind of gun control legislation is building and at this point, looks difficult to stop.

Tonight’s episode of the RINO Hour of Power will look at issues surrounding the shootings in Newtown and examine the tragedy from both sides. We won’t make any more sense of the shootings. But we hope to clarify areas of commonality between the two sides.

Host Rick Moran, tonight’s guest host, Rich Baehr of the American Thinker, and special guest attorney Doug Mataconis will have a lively discussion on the shootings, as well as looking at negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff.

The show streams live from 8:00 - 9:00 PM Eastern time. A podcast will be available shortly after the end of the show.

You can join us live by clicking the icon below or by clicking here.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio


In Defense of Incrementalism

Filed under: Government, History, Politics, health care reform — Rick Moran @ 10:58 am

Jonathan Chait writing in New York Magazine about Senator Marco Rubio’s “dodges” on the budget deficit and incrementalism as it relates to immigration reform:

On the budget, Rubio delivered the Republican weekly radio address, and his message was more of the old-timey religion: We must get the national debt under control. Tax increases will not solve our $16 trillion debt. Only economic growth and a reform of entitlement programs will help control the debt.

This is the classic Republican metaphysical dodge, which not only argues for keeping taxes as low as possible but refuses to acknowledge that revenue bears any relationship at all to deficits. Deficits equal spending! Two legs bad, Reagan good!

On immigration, meanwhile, Rubio is carefully positioning himself to oppose any potential deal. He is not coming out and immediately throwing his body in front of the legislative train. Rather, he pleads that we must not try to do everything at once and should instead try to reform immigration “step by step.” Of course, “step by step” is exactly the catchphrase Republicans used to oppose health-care reform. It’s a way of associating yourself with the broadly popular goal of reform while giving yourself cover to oppose any particular bill that has a chance to pass. You’re not against reform, you’re against this reform. It’s too much, too fast.

I am not enamored of Rubio as some on the right — not enough seasoning to be thinking seriously of a run for president. But Chait is misrepresenting Rubio’s position when he accuses him of refusing “to acknowledge that revenue bears any relationship at all to deficits.” Really? Raising the tax rate on the rich will bring in $80 billion a year. Last time I checked, that was more than a trillion bucks short of closing the deficit gap. It may be a good start, but unless Chait wants to jack up Middle Class tax rates as well, increased revenue is not going to come close to giving us significant deficit reduction. And it’s dishonest to accuse Rubio of refusing to say that revenue bears no relationship “at all” to deficits. That’s silly. Chait is chastizing Rubio for not agreeing with him — a sin among some on the left I suppose but hardly cause to charge the Florida senator with dishonesty.

Rubio is saying what most conservatives are saying; we don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. The problem did not suddenly appear on Obama’s watch — the Bush administration did enough damage in 8 years — but the recession has worsened it. Chait appears not to acknowledge this fundamental issue and substitutes hyperbole for a reasoned analysis of Rubio’s remarks.

We are not going to bring the deficit down all at once. We can’t deal with the problem by only raising taxes, nor are we going to be able to grow our way out of the problem. Careful, prudent cuts in military and social spending — including trying to get a handle on entitlements whose unfunded liabilities promise catastrophe in the near future — along with a tax policy that eliminates much of the corporate welfare in the tax code and limits deductions will, over several years, do the least amount of harm to the economy while gently lowering the percentage of GDP spent by government.

In other words, the best path would appear to be incrementalism — what Chait dismisses as a dodge by Rubio, but which represents the most responsible, the most prudent means of governance. And the Affordable Care Act is a perfect example.

Incrementalism applied to the health insurance crisis would not only have improved health care and access to health insurance by most Americans, but have been politically palatable to at least some of Obama’s opposition. In 2009, the president faced a crisis that was not addressed by the Bush administration; 15-18 million Americans needed health insurance, wanted health insurance, but couldn’t afford it.* There were also a couple of million Americans with pre-existing conditions who insurance companies refused to cover, or whose coverage cost so much only the very rich could afford it.

The choice: either address the immediate need to get insurance for these at risk Americans or write a mostly unnecessary, ruinously complex, 2500 page monstrosity of lawmaking that, when implemented next year, is going to cause massive upheaval, confusion, and worry for tens of millions of Americans. Choosing the latter was imprudent and an insult to good governance.

There may be no more important civic virtue than prudence. Jefferson wisely said, “The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of the public moneys.” Jefferson was well aware that imprudence in the use of public monies led to unintended consequences — the bane of good governance. When an exasperated Nancy Pelosi told a reporter in a response to a question of what exactly was in the ACA, “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it,” the speaker of the House was not making idle chatter. She was dead serious and to this day, we still haven’t grasped the enormity of what Congress has wrought in “reforming” health insurance and the health care industry.

What affect will mandated coverages have on people’s insurance policies and their cost? No one knows. How many companies will drop coverage for their employees? No one knows. What will dumping 15 million new Medicaid patients on the health care system mean? No one knows. How many doctors and hospitals will refuse to accept new Medicare and Medicaid patients because of the reduced reimbursement rates? No one knows.

These are just some of the obvious questions. The real problem is that we don’t even know all the questions to ask much less answer any of them. This is the definition of imprudence and raises the possibility that the Affordable Care Act, on balance, will be a detriment to our health care system rather than a plus.

Incrementally addressing the crisis that faced us in 2009 would have been the prudent thing to do. Covering as many Americans as possible by expanding Medicaid and subsidizing insurance for many more economically marginal citizens would have been sufficient to address the immediate needs of the people. We should have left the rest — the 108 new federal agencies, boards, panels, and commissions that are being created by this “comprehensive” legislation — for a later date when we’ve had time and experience to assess the impact on the health care system — and the federal budget — of covering millions of new patients.

The Democrats have a point that Republican opposition to almost all of the ACA meant there was, in a practical political way of speaking, no way to achieve bi-partisanship. But I submit that there were signs that the few moderates left in the party would have been glad to sign off on a less ambitious bill. Politics aside, however, this is a badly written piece of legislation that no self-respecting lawmaker should have voted for.

I reject the argument that incrementalism would have been “too hard” to accomplish and the easier course was to affect the changes all at once. Altering society in such a fundamental manner should be hard — must be hard. Force feeding such enormous changes without the slightest hint of what much of the real world impact on people’s lives and pocketbooks will be is irresponsible.

To a lesser extent. much the same could be said of the financial services reform bill — Dodd-Frank. Here too, there were problems that needed to be addressed — that could have been addressed — without resorting to creating a gargantuan new agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Besides, the real problems regarding “Too big to Fail” and the transparency of the derivatives market were inadequately addressed.

Chait may wish to argue against incrementalism in the abstract. But he doesn’t. He dismisses the idea as just more politics from Rubio and the Republicans. I have a feeling in 2014 when the ACA has caused the kind of mass confusion and chaos that it is sure to do that many liberals like Chait might rethink the efficacy of incrementalism and it’s benefits to the concept of good governance.

*The idea that 30, 40, or 50 million Americans were uninsured — depending on how hysterical the partisan who talked about the need for the ACA was — was always a dishonest figure. There were millions of “young invincibles” who didn’t want insurance at the prices they could get it at.. There were perhaps 14 million Americans who, at any one time, are between jobs but would be virtually assured of getting health insurance from their jobs once they were employed again. That makes the real uninsured figure below 20 million and perhaps fewer than 15 million.


RINO Hour of Power: GOP: Let it Burn or Let it Be?

Filed under: RINO Hour of Power — Rick Moran @ 5:34 pm

Join us tonight for another episode of the RINO Hour of Power with guest host Jeff Kropf.

The Republican Party appears split between those who want the country to dive over the fiscal cliff and those who want to stop it at nearly all costs. The schism is deep and it seems certain that much work will need to be done before 2014 if the GOP is to make any kind of comeback.

To discuss the state of fiscal cliff negotiations and the GOP dilemma, PJ Media Washington editor Bridgett Johnson will join the hosts.

The show streams live from 8:00 - 9:00 PM Eastern time. A podcast will be available shortly after the end of the show.

You can join us live by clicking the icon below or by clicking here.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio


RINO Hour of Power: GOP Edges Toward Civil War

Filed under: RINO Hour of Power — Rick Moran @ 5:23 pm

Speaker John Boehner has purged several tea party conservatives from powerful committees while conservative activists have gone nuclear on the speaker, threatening war.

Can the Republican party find its way back to unity? Or will the situation deteriorate into a full blown civil war?

We’lll discuss this and other current events on the RINO Hour of Power with your host Rick Moran and co-host Jazz Shaw. Jeff Dunn of American Thinker will join the hosts for the discussion.

The show streams live from 8:00 - 9:00 PM eastern time. A podcast will be available shortly after the end of the show.

You can join us live by clicking the icon below or by clicking here.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio


RINO Hour of Power: Cliffhanger: Can We Avoid Catastrophe?

Filed under: RINO Hour of Power — Rick Moran @ 4:50 pm

Join us for another breathtaking episode of the RINO Hour of Power, hosted by Rick Moran with special guest host Fausta Wertz.

Negotiations to prevent a fiscal calamity after January 1 are going slowly and despite some hopeful signs, the two sides are stil a long way from an agreement. Can congress and the president cut a deal before mandatory cuts in the budget and tax increases push us over the fiscal cliff. Bryan Preston of PJ Media will join Fausta and Rick to talk about the prospects for a deal and other issues surrounding the negotiations.

The show will stream live from 8:00 - 9:00 PM eastern time. A podcast will be available shortly after the end of the show.

You can join us live by clicking the icon below or by clicking here.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio


RINO Hour of Power: The Prospects for a Cease Fire in Gaza

Filed under: RINO Hour of Power — Rick Moran @ 5:12 pm

Israel and Hamas are still exchanging fire although a truce appears tantalizinginly close.

What are the prospects for a cease fire? And what about the future for Israel in a changing Middle East?

You won’t want to miss tonight’s episode of the RINO Hour of Power, hosted by Rick Moran with co-host Rich Baehr of the American Thinker.

Joining the hosts to talk about the Israeli-Hamas conflict and other related issues will be author, historian, and the Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies Michael Ledeen.

The show streams live from 8:00 - 9:00 PM eastern time. A podcast will be available shortly after the end of the show.

You can join us live by clicking the icon below or by clicking here.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio


RINO Hour of Power: Not Just Another Boring Post-Election Analysis

Filed under: RINO Hour of Power — Rick Moran @ 5:27 pm

Join us for post-election analysis that you haven’t heard or read anywhere else on this week’s RINO Hour of Power.

Hosted by Rick Moran and special co-host this week Jazz Shaw, the guys welcome Andrew Malcolm of Investors Business Daily to talk up the election and the Petreaus scandal.

The show streams live from 8:00 - 9:00 PM eastern time. A podcast will be available shortly after the end of the show.

You can join us live by clicking the icon below or by clicking here.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio


Can the GOP Win Without the Crazies?

Filed under: Birthers, Decision 2012, Politics, Tea Parties, conservative reform — Rick Moran @ 1:59 pm

Birthers, truthers, paranoids, conspiracists — the whole angry, resentful, frightened mob of right wingers who make up a good portion of the Republican base scares the wholly living hell out of most of the rest of us. They exist on a different plane of reality — uncomfortable with deep thinking, irrational when their delusions are challenged, and unable to climb out of the echo chamber in which they find comfort and support with other like minded crazies.

Worse than who and what they are, the establishment Republicans and even other rational conservatives tolerate them, dismiss them as inconsequential, or actively encourage them in hopes of using their energy, activism, and money to win office.

I categorize the crazies, recognizing there is overlap in and redundancy in my taxonomy:

1. The Birthers. Still alive and kicking and insisting that either a) Obama wasn’t born here; or b) he is an illegitimate president because he’s not a “natural born citizen.” They’ve only got 4 more years to prove their case.

2. Conspiracists. Runs the gamut from the birther issue mentioned above to the idea that hundreds of reputable scientists are colluding to cook the books on global warming. Several prominent congressmen - Michele Bachmann among them — have joined this group by wondering if Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s close aide, isn’t a Muslim Brotherhood plant.

3. Anti-Science crackpots. Enter the evangelical right who dismisses evolution, the Big Bang Theory, as well as other right wingers who worry about vaccinations and are convinced a woman can’t get pregnant from rape because her body automatically shuts down to prevent it.

4. Anti-intellectual. Dismissing out of hand any criticism from anyone who they believe isn’t a conservative. They are suspicious of anyone who went to an Ivy League school or who thinks for a living, and they reflexively reject nuance and logic because if you don’t feel it in your gut, you’re probably a squishy moderate.

5. Paranoids. Pure Hofstadter. Read.

6. Cry “Communist!” and let slip the dogs of war! Is there anything loopier about the crazies than their belief that the US is turning into a Marxist dictatorship? Sheesh.

It is an open question how large this segment of “conservatives” might be. Being in a better position than most to hazard an intelligent guess, I would put the percentage at more than 25% but less than 35%. I don’t believe any polls on the matter for the simple reason that the way questions about birtherism or socialism are formulated sweeps up many on the right who have questions about such things, but don’t give them much credence.

So, how much did fear and loathing of the GOP crazies by ordinary voters contribute to the party’s debacle on Tuesday?

On Wednesday, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray said the decisive Senate victories for her party had “proved to Republicans that extremists are dooming their party to disaster.”

“If Republicans want to follow the Tea Party off a political cliff, that’s their prerogative,” Murray said on a conference call with reporters. “But we will not let them take America off a cliff.”

Sorry, but it’s far more complicated than that. The self identified “Tea Party” has many faces, many factions — some of whom are rational libertarians, thoughtful federalists, or plain old Main Street Republicans.

But there is no doubt that the energy, the dynamism, and the soul of the Tea Party movement can be found in the angry, contorted faces of its members screaming about “Communism” and “Socialism” at rallies across the land. They are a fraternity of, for the most part, middle aged, Middle Class angry white males who believe they see the country they grew up in slipping away. Their vision of what America was like — a vision that obscures or ignores the more unseemly aspects of American society in decades past — lives on in Ronald Reagan’s “shining city on a hill” (a phrase The Gipper stole from Puritan leader John Winthrop). It’s a precious, if completely fanciful vision of an America that never was, but is embraced because it validates the sincere patriotic feelings felt by most ordinary Americans. They fear change because it is unsettling to have America’s perfection challenged in such a stark and obvious way.

America is changing — has always changed — and this has always unnerved some of us. It’s too easy to explain it away by saying that racism is the motivating factor in their hate. By limiting one’s explanation to the loss of white privilege, you lose sight of the traditionalist nature of their opposition to President Obama and his leftist allies.

Ed Kilgore:

As we have seen throughout history, cultural despair can lead to quiescence—to the withdrawal from politics and the building of counter-cultural institutions—or to hyper-activism—to the building of self-consiously counter-revolutionary political movements that exhibit contempt for democracy and treat opponents as enemies on an almost existential level. Maybe the kind of stuff I quoted above just reflects an emotional hangover from an election conservatives convinced themselves they were going to win. But it’s hardly new; much of the Tea Party Movement and its “constitutional conservative” ideology has involved a strange sort of anti-Americanism cloaked in super-patriotism. It wouldn’t be surprising if the same people reacted to the re-election of Barack Obama by taking their hostility to America as it is to another level.

For better or worse, the Tea Party has become the Tao of the GOP. Trying to remove them would sap most of the energy and activism from the party, which is why you don’t see too many establishment or mainstream Republicans trying to marginalize them.

But despite Kilgore’s use of scare quotes for “constitutional conservative” — as if this isn’t a valid philosophical construct or something to be feared or belittled — there is actually a purpose to the Tea Party’s obsession with the Constitution. The Kilgore’s of the world definitely don’t want to debate this, but the notion of “limited” government is at the heart of the Tea Party critique of the American government. Many of them have almost a biblical belief in the sanctity of the Constitution, that it must be taken literally, word for word like the Bible, and if something like national health care doesn’t appear in it, it is by definition “unconstitutional.” Others have a childlike understanding of the meaning of federalism, or the commerce clause, that makes them suspicious of anything that augments those concepts.

But despite all this, they are the only Americans willing to debate the limits of power granted to the federal government by our founding document. In this respect, the left, who prefer to keep their options open when it comes to defining limits on federal power, finds it convenient to tar tea partiers as racists, or authoritarians, or, as Kilgore does, anti-American. Some may be all of those, but to dismiss the argument they are making with scare quotes and name calling fails to recognize the value in what, in their own misguided way, they are trying to accomplish. I would venture to say that not since the ratification debates of 1787-88 has the Constitution been so seriously studied and debated. It’s a debate that needs to happen if there is any hope of maintaining a healthy balance between individual freedom and the needs of society to progress.

But the Tea Party does not represent the totality of the GOP crazies problem. Radical Christians who want to deny basic rights to gays, and even to women, are a far larger quandary. They vote. And no candidate for the presidency who runs on the Republican ticket can avoid toeing the line on their issues. If Mitt Romney had stood up to them by maintaining his position on gay marriage, abortion and other social issues, it is very likely he would not have been nominated. It’s at least partly the reason that governors like Mitch Daniels and Chris Christie refused to enter the GOP field in 2012. Catering to the concerns of people who believe the earth was created 6,000 years ago proves to be too much for some.

It would be a dream solution for the evangelicals, the tea party, and the other crazies to form their own party, as Herman Cain suggested:

Herman Cain, the former presidential candidate who still has a robust following via his popular talk radio program and speaking tours, today suggested the most clear step to open civil war: secession. Appearing on Bryan Fischer’s radio program this afternoon, Cain called for a large faction of Republican Party leaders to desert the party and form a third, more conservative party.

“I never thought that I would say this, and this is the first time publicly that I’ve said it: We need a third party to save this country. Not Ron Paul and the Ron Paulites. No. We need a legitimate third party to challenge the current system that we have, because I don’t believe that the Republican Party … has the ability to rebrand itself,” Cain said.

Rush Limbaugh agrees:

Rush Limabugh, two months ago, echoed the sentiment. ”If Obama wins, let me tell you what it’s the end of: the Republican Party. There’s gonna be a third party that’s gonna be oriented toward conservatism,” he said.

Well, some people’s idea of “conservatism” anyway.

Of course, a third party of anti-abortion and anti-gay activists, evangelical Christians, radical anti-government Objectivists, and paranoid loons would never win a national election. But then, neither would the GOP. This wouldn’t exactly be a split between ideologues and pragmatists, but it would clearly define the divisions in the conservative movement and Republican party in such a way that one or both parties might attract enough Democrats who may be tiring of the relentless liberalism currently in vogue on the left and would seek a different brand of populism or moderate politics.

But for the present, the crazies and the GOP establishment need each other. And unless the pragmatists realize just how much of a drag the crazies are on their political fortunes, the GOP is likely to continue losing mainstream voters who look in askance on a party that tolerates such nuttiness.


RHOP Lalapalooza Election Night Blow Out Special

Filed under: RINO Hour of Power — Rick Moran @ 2:57 pm

Join host Rick Moran and a gaggle of political all star analysts for a two hour election night special on the RINO Hour of Power.

Scheduled guests include J. Christian Adams, Rich Baehr, Thomas Lifson, Bridget Johnson, Doug Mataconis, J.R. Dunne, and Nichole Hungerford.

The show will stream live from 7:00 - 9:00 PM eastern time. A podcast will be available shortly after the end of the show.

You can join us live by clicking the icon below or by clicking here.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio

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