Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Man The GOP Should Have Nominated...

but who wasn't radical enough for the extremists in his party:  Jon Huntsman. 

 WASHINGTON -- "Jon Huntsman's run for president was widely anticipated but ultimately brief. The former Utah governor and U.S. ambassador to China urged the Republican Party to be more open-minded on social issues, less ambitious in military policy and marginally willing to negotiate. The crowds weren't too receptive. Viewed as the toughest general-election threat by the president's political advisers, Huntsman nevertheless finished third in the New Hampshire primary. He bowed out of the race shortly thereafter. 

But with the GOP now licking its wounds from the 2012 election loss, he has maintained a steady presence in the political conversation. In an interview with The Huffington Post, Huntsman laid out his vision for the Republican Party going forward. He called for neo-conservatism to be sidelined, for states' rights on issues like gay marriage to be respected, for comprehensive immigration reform to be pursued. He also said the party had to be open to compromise, including on the idea of raising marginal tax rates (as a last resort)." 

 Speaking further on why the GOP nominees were so out of touch with the electorate: 

 "Some do it professionally. Some were entertainers," he said of the Republican presidential field. "I looked down the debate stage, and half of them were probably on Fox contracts at one point in their career. You do that. You write some books. You go out and you sell some more. You get a radio gig or a TV gig out of it or something. And it's like, you say to yourself, the barriers of entry to this game are pretty damn low." 

He chuckled a bit when reminded that a pizza conglomerate, in the person of Herman Cain, had led the Iowa caucus polls at one point. "It wasn't a period where rational thinking or any kind of commitment to reality or truth or optimism necessarily prevailed," Huntsman said. "It was how can you eviscerate the opposition." 

 On marriage equality: 

"States ought to be entitled to do whatever they want," he said. 

On the tax cuts and spend presidency of George W. Bush, conservative president: 

"We weren't coming from a position of strength [in 2012]," he said. "We sounded like hypocrites talking about spending when that was all we did under George W. Bush." 

 Huntsman gets it: 

Huntsman insisted his party has to evolve. The cultivation of knee-jerk conflict, he argued, has produced remarkably little fruit. For four years, the goal was to "thwart the opposition, stymie the opposition, obfuscate, be a flamethrower, go out there and destroy the system, and here we are," he said. "We have seen the results of that mentality." 

 Fortunately for the Democrats and President Obama, the GOP embraced teh crazy and Mitt Romney, a man who had no core values. The party has only itself to blame for the utter foolishness of putting forward the group of extremist candidates, and for ultimately nominating a well-oiled weather vane.

Bruce Bartlett on Reality vs. The Conservative Movement November 26, 2012 — 
Ron Chusid 

"The conservative movement suffers from being dominated by extremists who drive out anyone who does not agree with all the counter-to-fact and irrational views which they now hold (which are very similar to the extremist views which William F. Buckley, Jr. purged from the conservative movement in the 1960′s.) 

Bruce Bartlett, who worked in the Reagan Administration, has found that it is not possible to simultaneously look at reality and be welcomed by other conservatives: I’m not going to beat around the bush and pretend I don’t have a vested interest here. Frankly, I think I’m at ground zero in the saga of Republicans closing their eyes to any facts or evidence that conflict with their dogma. Rather than listen to me, they threw me under a bus. To this day, I don’t think they understand that my motives were to help them avoid the permanent decline that now seems inevitable."


Dave Miller said...

But Shaw, he wasn't conservative enough, gaining only the reputation of being a RINO.

How the GOP changes the primary system where only someone like Rick Santorum or Romney can get nominated is the real question.

They have good candidates. Are they acceptable to the extremists who determine the nominee? That's the real question.

Rational Nation USA said...

Yes he would have been more viable to many. May have drawn many democratic votes. Dave is right though, he didn't appeal to the party base. Go figure huh?

skudrunner said...

He didn't get the endorsement from the controlling few who had decided on Romney before the primaries started.

Huntsman has the experience and ideas to win the election but the hurdle he could not overcome was the far right few who control the party. I always thought Huntsman was the best candidate but never got the chance to vote for him.

Hopefully by 2016 the GOP will be controlled by realists instead of extremists. They didn't account for the advantage of being an incumbent no matter how dreadful his record.

Silverfiddle said...

I don't disagree with you, but here is the problem I have with liberals posting such items.

Liberals love to lecture the GOP on what candidates to run (as if they have the GOP's best interest in mind, har har har...), but a liberal will always vote for the Democrat, regardless of how looney he or she may be, and would never vote for a Republican, even Jon Huntsman, so this is all just an academic exercise.

Shaw Kenawe said...

SF, you've perfectly described the crazy wing of the GOP: They'd nominate and then vote for any loon [see, Bachmann, Michele, Gingrich, Newt of the "stupid" child labor laws, Cain, Herman of the 9-9-9 mantra, and Santorum, Rick of the "contraception is wrong" nuttiness].

This post is not a lecture on anything, just a re-cap of how extreme the GOP has become. Nowhere in my post do I say I'd have voted for Huntsman. But at the very least, Huntsman would have pulled away from the radicals like Aiken and Bachmann and Santorum and brought some sanity to a party that seems to have lost its mind.

It's an academic exercise for those who won't face up to reality.

Ema Nymton said...


The "base" does not matter and did not matter to the 'establishment'.

The recent Murdoch Media/Fox News (MM/FN) 2012 Presidential primaries were a celebration of the crazies. MM/FN fired up the bases (both D and R). The _R base_ morphed the GOP into the RepublicanT Party which destined it for defeat.

The _D base_ may well have laughed and ridiculed the RepublicanT clown show over the past 18 months, but was, at the same time, also terrified by the crazy. MM/FN were so voracious in its blatant hatred of USA, the people of USA, and the President that objective observers were stunned. Could the turn-out of many of the voters be attributed to the voters reaction to the horror show that is MM/FN?

The GOP cannot change even if it wanted to. As long as MM/FN runs the GOP, it will remain the RepublicanT Party. No political organization can afford to throw away the millions of dollars of free advertizing and publicity that is MM/FN.

Jon Hunstman is the establishment symbol of a dying political party.

Ema Nymton
~ @ : o ?

FreeThinke said...

When we talk about "the crazy" this or that, it rarely-if-ever occurs to us to look in the mirror, does it?

I saw very clearly for myself many years ago that left and right are MIRROR IMAGES of one another -- a RORSCHACH image, if you will. The extremes of both sides do not oppose so much as they meet back-to-back at one point on a circle all the while vehemently insisting they are at odds.

Both left AND right are essentially tyrannical in nature.

Each wants to accrue ABSOLUTE power and control -- the kind of power that ANNIHILATES all opposition.

The disease of Self-Righteousness does that to people. The result would be equally dismal and unjust -- frankly TRAGIC -- if either side won a complete victory.

The enemy is not ideology per se, but rather the impulse to DOMINATE others, while insisting it be RIGHTEOUS so to do.

We need to indulge in more thought and less fervor in my never humble opinion.

~ FreeThinke

Dee Dee said...

The loons haven't changed. They still don't get (deny) the election.
They still want to destroy Rice. Now they want to investigate her for some other foreign fiasco back in the 1990's.
Why is Obama kissing Romney's ass? Republicans aren't and have already fed him to the wolves.

News Flash said...

Pat Robertson tells Christians that the Earth is far older than 6,000 years.
A position Robertson held until this comment.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"Both left AND right are essentially tyrannical in nature.

Each wants to accrue ABSOLUTE power and control."

I disagree with that statement. No liberal, extreme or otherwise, is crazy to impose his or her religious beliefs on our secular government.

Yet we have witnessed GOP governors propose forced vaginal probes on girls and women, and government-forced pregnancies -- by way of closing down abortion clinics or making abortion extremely difficult in their states. We even had a GOP presidential candidate tell us that contraception was "wrong."

Another example of the right's extremism is in its intransigence on compromising with the Democratic President, [who has shown time and again a willingness to work with the GOP] and the Congressional GOP's intransigence on raising taxes on the very wealthy 1%, something the American people have said they agree with--through the re-election of President Obama, and through the latest polling--60%.

It's easy to say "both sides are extreme," and then not produce any evidence of the extremism on the left.

When a political party refuses compromise, that is the party of extremism in service of domination.

The Democratic Party worked with GWB all through his presidency.

This has not been the case during Mr. Obama's presidency.

Your claim that the Democrats are as tyrannical as the GOP, IMO, has no basis in fact.

Shaw Kenawe said...

BTW, how many Democratic governors passed laws to make it MORE DIFFICULT for certain segments of our population--African Americans, Latinos, young people? Please go read my post that reports of the criminal activity a GOPer ingaged in in Florida in order to suppress the vote.

Domination? A perfect label for the people who schemed to deny Americans their vote. And the GOP is the champion.

Rational Nation USA said...

Shaw, maybe FT was speaking in broader terms?

BB-Idaho said...

The far right would have held its collective nose and voted GOP for Huntsman. IMO, Huntsman would have
pulled many of the moderates who despise the far right, and was rightly identified by the Dems as
the strongest GOP candidate. Cast aside as a RINO, he may well join
others in leaving the party to the
loudest and dumbest....

KP said...

I agree with just about everything Huntsman said. In my view, Huntsman was the best candidate that ran as a Republican this time around.

I don't pretend to have all the answers, far from it. But I do have an opinion, like everybody else, on where we are going.

@FT: the << left and right are MIRROR IMAGES of one another -- a RORSCHACH image, if you will. >>

In large part I agree with you. But there have been some real gOObs on the right recently (highlighted in this election). For some of those gOObs I am unable to draw lines across the aisle and find equally crazy comments on the level Aiken made. Dennis Kucinich is often wrong but I enjoy listening to him, he is honest and he is a smart fellow. Bernie Sanders is often wrong, but again, I like the guy and he is bright and honest. Yesterday he called on colleagues to reject proposals by former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and Erskine Bowles. I strongly disagree but he doesn’t make me want to gag the way Aiken did. Still, overall, I do agree with you, FT, that the far left and far right are hurtful to this country and in many ways are Rorschach images of one another in the way they tear America apart.

Ema: << The GOP cannot change even if it wanted to >>

I strongly disagree. Both parties continue to change; sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly. Comments from the left, that Republicans are hopelessly lost and doomed, like we heard after the 2008 election are premature. In the 2014 elections I predict a backlash at least as great as the one we saw in the 2010 elections. We are going to see large shifts in Congress. As well, large shifts in what kind of candidates run for President in 2016.

@dave << They have good candidates >>

They do, and they will run. I have been a student of human nature for a long time. In medicine and health, close minded, uninterested and addicted patients need to hit bottom before they are willing to make changes. But when they do, if they are able to refocus, we see powerful, even miraculous change for the good. In politics, we could draw an analogy to ideologues and bigots that have been found in both parties.
I think we will see significant shift in power in the Republican party and it will be a good thing. Further, that is what America will do when she begins to taste the bitter results of out of control government turned Ponzi scheme, the kind we are being force fed in California.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"Shaw, maybe FT was speaking in broader terms?" --RN

FT wrote this:

"Both left AND right are essentially tyrannical in nature."

What exactly does FT mean by that?

We have a representative form of government. Who are the people who put these so-called "tyrants" in power? And who has the power to vote them out of office? Does FT suggest that the American voter is a tyrant? If so, he should look at himself, if he does indeed vote, and think about how Democrats and Republicans attain office, and then think about who keeps them in that office [except for the president] year after year.

It's very glib to call politicans tyrants and ignore the fact that they have to run for re-election every two or six years and ignore who keeps putting them in office.

Mr. Obama won re-election with a larger percentage of the popular vote and electoral vote than did George W. Bush. When Bush won re-election in 2004, The Wall Street Journal editorially wrote that GWB had a clear mandate from the people to carry out his policies.

This time around, with Mr. Obama's share of the popular vote larger than was Bush's in '04, the WSJ says Mr. Obama has no such mandate.

Domination and tyranny!

skudrunner said...

No criminal activity has been proven regarding vote suppression. I know the left's position on voter ID but it make zero sense except something to chirp about. How many people do not have an ID, practically no one. The idea that demanding ID to vote is voter suppression is just a talking point.

The far right and far left will vote their party regardless of who the candidate is, lemming right and lemming left. The other 30% will make an intelligence choice.

Isn't Rice the one who advised to not take down bin laden when he had the chance because it would look bad. Not the greatest of advise from an adviser.

Anonymous said...

The issues of the election drew clear distinctions. The parties are not the same.
What religious zealots, bigots, and racists on the left are driving policy, or legislation on the left?

Dave Miller said...

Silver, like many, you assume that Dems vote Dem no matter what.

Thus, you defend a party that chooses a candidate that cannot appeal to a broad range of the electorate.

In 1980, Reagan won by capturing not just the GOP vote, but the blue collar Dems.

In 2008, Obama won by winning a lot of fed up Republican votes.

When partisans say the other side will never vote the other way, they are falling prey to the status quo that says, in this case, we weren't conservative enough.

I heard it and I've read it from commentators, bloggers and of course FOX News.

KP... you are correct... usually when someone realizes he or she has hit rock bottom, they rebound. The question for me is whether the GOP partisans realize they are hitting rock bottom.

I do not believe they are accepting of that reality.

They are much like the Dems after the McGovern loss... they may win here and there, but will not be able to sustain a path forward unless they change their ways.

Remember, it took Bill Clinton saying welfare as we know it is over and slamming Sista Souljah to get the Dems in the groove again.

Who is going to step up and do that for the GOP? Who will tell the Tea Party to get lost and confront some of the ugly undercurrents in the GOP?

And if there is such a person, will the party support him, or her? I don't see it.

Maybe Christie...

Anonymous said...

"We used to be the party that put out wars: Eisenhower, Korea; Nixon, Vietnam; Reagan, the Cold War. And here we talk about starting wars. That's all Republicans on the defense side seem to want to talk about -- not negotiating a way forward diplomatically, as we had under earlier Republican administrations, but always falling back on the war option as if we haven't had enough over the past 12 years," - Jon Huntsman.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"The idea that demanding ID to vote is voter suppression is just a talking point."

skudrunner, that's not what I wrote about in my comment. My comment pointed out that a prominent pol in Florida's GOP, I think his name is Greer, and former Governor Crist both said the Florida GOP was making an all out effort to suppress the vote by cutting back on early voting days and by shutting down some counties that had early voting--counties that predominantly Democratic. A GOP pol admitted that the purpose was to SUPPRESS THE VOTE.

Nothing about voter ID was mentioned.

KP said...

Dave << The question for me is whether the GOP partisans realize they are hitting rock bottom. I do not believe they are accepting of that reality. >>

KEY, I think, is to avoid thinking of the Republican party (or the Dems) as one movement, good or bad. They are not.

A man or woman desperately hoping to be healthy, or to stop smoking, or stop drinking, to lose half their body weight; one who is searching to be saved spiritually or find the meaning of life; they either accept a new reality and change critical components of their lives, including who their friends are and what is important to them, or they become a footnote in a cemetary. It is what it is.

I know this; there is a limit at which point I will not enable a man or woman or politician or political party who continue to disrespect the gifts we are given. I have a lot of patience but it can be exhausted.

Like you Dave, my work is done best face to face, in my community or in a community I immerse myself in. That does not change with the President or with my Representative or Senator. There is work to be done and if one group can't see that then the people will create one that can. Nothing controversial about that.

Rational Nation USA said...

You got your wish Shaw, I won't be back. Your bud delusional RR is company I refuse to be in. Progressivism really is a mental illness. RR proves it.

Shaw Kenawe said...


RR has not posted a comment here.

What do you refer to?

What "wish" of mine do you refer to?

PS. You're among those who say no one should paint everyone with a broad brush as representative of an entire faction just because one person in that faction is unpleasant to you or anyone else.

No one has insulted you here.

Rational Nation USA said...

Shaw, that is bullshit. Go back a post or two, read RR. Broad bush is what I do when it is warranted, and as you seem to agree with RR by your silence I can only paint you with the same brush. Just as you occasionally do

It doesn't matter as this wll be my ast comment here. Take care, and enjoy the holidays.

Good By Tea Party said...

Would'a, should'a, could'a

There was no one who could have beat Obama, unless a third party candidate split the vote.

With changing demographics, the Republican party is in trouble.

They should drop social issues like abortion.

They have to prove to Americans that they will cut spending. Something they have failed to do in decades when they were in majority.

They have to stop putting idiots in front of cameras, making idiotic statements.

Tan Man is putting up a wall to Obama on negotiations, so he can win Leader of the House again, of course needing those Tea Party (wacko) votes from his party.

Bush would have been a better president (leader) if he had listened to himself instead of the neo-con wackos he filled his administration with.

Tan Man should learn the same lesson. The Leader should be cracking the whip, not the fringe that helped lose the election.

skudrunner said...

Good By Tea Party said...

Totally agree with your statement about dropping social issues as part of their platform and putting idiots in front of the camera.

If a good choice in candidates could have won, well never know.

"Tan Man is putting up a wall to Obama on negotiations"

That goes both ways. Obama is determined to tax the successful even if it is just to sooth his ego. He is well aware that it will bring in little revenue and do nothing to cut the deficit. He wants 1.6 trillion in additional revenue and cut spending by 400 billion. Not a very balanced budget approach.

No job creation other than to spend on infrastructure, increase unemployment assistance and raid medicare.

There are no plans to create jobs coming from the administration and their only plan is to tax the "rich".

Let the Bush tax cuts expire for all, that would raise revenue.

Good By Tea Party said...


Tan Man is putting up the wall for his political gain (to win reelection as Leader) not the same as arguing numbers.
Whether, or not you like Obama's plan, he was reelected on that plan, that is a guide to all politicians on what the people want.
The rich were not the only ones who got a tax cut that raised the debt. I agree all should pay more.
How else can the president create jobs? He can't force companies to hire, he can create government jobs like infrastructure (needed).
Obama's numbers are full of holes, but then Republican numbers are also.
Obama is offering spending cuts and revenue increases, Republicans are only offering deduction eliminations.
Republicans say they won't talk unless entitlement programs are included in cuts, but Americans did not vote for that. Not to mention SS is not responsible for one dime of debt. It will be 30 years from now, but it is not now and is not the reason we are in debt.
Raising rates to the Clinton rates won't help a lot. Clinton had a tech wave that created 22 million jobs, that's where the extra revenue came from.
Even if a balanced budget could be reached (not possible under either parties plan) when do we start paying the 16 trillion and climbing?

Anonymous said...

"Obama is determined to tax the successful even if it is just to sooth his ego."-skudrunner

Total bull***t.

KP said...

Anon, there is some appearance to more than a few people that the move to increase taxes on the wealthy has taken on a meaning that goes beyond revenue increases. The so called movement toward "fairness" is what is bullsh*t.

I am in favor of raising additional revenue, by taxes and/or limiting deductions, but I think if we raise taxes (revenue) it should be on everybody. I am willing to pay more taxes and I make well under six figures. I think it is fair for me (and others like me) to pay more if we raise taxes on those making $250k.

If Obama and the Dems get what they want in the way of tax increases on a small segment of earners, as well as limits on deductions, it will fund the goverment for 8-10 days. C'mon, that is not a plan.

Include some significant cuts or lets get going and implement the January first plan. At this point I am good with that. Have at it Mr President and Harry Reid. I am ready to pay more and make less just to see these clowns bug scratch eachothers eyes out. They have had months and years; this is mnot a Republican failing. It is bi-partisan.

S.W. Anderson said...

If Huntsman wants to be president there's a path forward for him. Along the way, he could do a lot to change the tone and direction of the GOP, away from teh crazy and toward reality and competitiveness. It's not a quick, sure thing, but no less than Tricky Dick Nixon made it work.

Following his mid-1960's defeat in the California governor's race and after some time to lick his wounds, Nixon set out to build a loyal following within the GOP all over the country. For several years he went around making campaign appearances in support of Republicans running for Congress, governorships, even state legisltaures. He made friends not only with those candidates, but their campaign managers, contributors and local party leaders. Their appreciation was very helpful to Nixon when he ran for president in 1968. It helped him win the nomination and the office. And when he was president, it helped him get things done with Congress, because a whole lot Republicans there owed him.

You can't build a loyal base by writing a couple of books, making a few speeches and showing up on Fox regularly. You have to go out and press the flesh, be there for complete strangers. You've got to gain the gratitude of the guy from E. Jesus, Neb., running for a seat in Congress in his first policital race ever, and the lady who's trying to move up from school board seat to the state legislature in, say, Kentucky.

But in doing that, you've also got to make sure the ones you go out of your way to support aren't Sharron Angles and Allen Wests. In fact, you'd need to make a point of going out to support primary opponents of crackpots like them.

KP said...

@S.W. Anderson That is an insightful comment. Spot on.

Silverfiddle said...

Dave: I don't disagree with your comments either. I just find it amusing when concerned liberals set out to help the GOP.

Republican Racism said...

Blame Shaw for the putrid words you spew, what a slime ball

Dave Miller said...

Ah Silver... I'm not concerned except that I believe America needs 2 or 3 viable parties... We are better when both parties are smart and not just political...

FreeThinke said...

Anyone not a "quasi-Democrat" -- like the famous non-Republicans of the Northeast, who support the initiatives of the Democratic party more often than not -- is labelled an extremist" by liberal Democrats, who refuse to see themselves as "extremists" in their own rite.

I'm glad Mr. Miller would like to see greater diversity of political philosophy officially recognized and formally represented in congress, but since he is a self-admitted liberal, albeit an unusually polite one, I can't help but wonder if he really means it?

In the culture of Washington, D.C. "bipartisanship" indubitably means that Republicans agree to betray their constituents and support the agenda set by the DNC.

Anyone who opposes that agenda -- even mildly -- is branded an "extremist" -- or worse.

~ FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...

By the way, Mr. Miller, why is i that you feel qualified to decided what's "smart," and what is not?

What do you mean by "smart," anyway?

It's a very important question. I'd like to see you -- and others -- answer it honestly and directly.

~ FT

Anonymous said...

Extremists are those who spend 16 trillion more than they tax leaving America at the brink of bankruptcy, and to this day refuse to tax to pay our bills ensuring the weakening of America.
Huntsman believes in the no tax policies that have financially ruined America.
Now at long last (late) Huntsman and other Republicans want to change their thinking on our national finances (losers have a change of heart) BS