There is not much that truly puzzles me these days. Not really, anyway. But one thing that continues to baffle me is the sheer volume of people on the left side of the aisle – including some who claim significant educations – who continue to perpetuate the concept that “both parties are the same.” I’ve talked about the ridiculousness of suggesting that “Hillary is practically a Republican,” and this one is even more absurd. I mean, if this was 1946, Hillary could conceivably be a Republican because there were actually a significant number of liberal Republicans. In fact, there were significant numbers of Democrats who were far more right wing than anything in the GOP. However, this is not 1946. It’s not even 1964, when the Republicans were led by Barry Goldwater. In fact, the 2016 version of the GOP is the most radical major political party this country has ever seen.
That’s why I have no choice but to laugh at anyone who claims the two major parties are basically two sides of the same coin. You have to have been in a coma for at least 20 years to believe that was the case. Of course, some people know they’re full of shit and say it anyway. Last week, someone told me Hillary was “practically a Republican.” When I scoffed at him, he admitted that he meant a Rockefeller Republican, which required a second scoff. The last Rockefeller Republican to serve in government was Nelson Rockefeller, and his last day in government was January 20, 1977 and he died in 1979, so that’s not exactly a contemporary reference. People who use references like that seem to believe that remembering something like that should impress me, but it doesn’t. Why would it, since it has nothing to do with contemporary politics. It would be like comparing a modern politician to Caesar or comparing the current Queen of England to King George III.
I’ll tell you how bad that reference is. Even Republicans know better. My first mentor in politics was a liberal Repubican, and the last time I saw him, in 2003, when he was in his 80s, he told me he was ashamed of what the GOP had become. In 2008, he endorsed Barack Obama for president, not John McCain and it pained him to do so. This is a lifelong Republican who became one when Hoover was president, and he told me the party was too radical these days. Therefore, you’ll have to pardon me if you’re trying to convince me you think Blue Dogs and Hillary Clinton are “Republican Lite,” and I end up laughing at you. The differences between the two parties have never been greater at any time in our history, which is obvious on virtually every issue.
I’m a helper, so I am going to give you examples of exactly how different the parties are on particular issues. The next time someone startles you by saying something as stupid as “(name of Dem) is practically a Republican” or “Both parties are equally as bad on (insert issue here),” you can shoot them this link in an email or post it on your social media profile. The greatest single reason the Republican Party has more power than it should these days is because liberals and progressives too often muddy the waters about the parties. Think about it; if less-engaged voters believe Republicans such, but they are told by our side that Democrats and Republicans are basically the same, why would you expect them to show up and vote? Too many elections are being decided by low turnout, so don’t pretend it’s not a big deal. These so-called “progressives” did it in 1980 and gave us Reagan. They did it in 1988 and gave us Bush 41. They did it in 2000 and 2004 and gave us two terms of the worst president in US history, George W. Bush. Most importantly, after it seemed we had turned the corner and helped Democrats win big in 2006 and 2008, they did it again and handed Congress to the Republicans in 2010 and 2014.
If these same people succeed this year, they could possibly give us a president that is far worse than even Bush 43, in the form of either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. PUBs and the professional left seem all too willing to convince voters that there is little to no difference between a Democratic Congress and a Republican Congress, which is nothing short of absurd. What is it about the last 36 years that would lead anyone to conclude such things?
Let’s prove the professional left to be liars whenever they even insinuate that ANY Democrat is anything like ANY Republican at this point in time. I’ll focus on the presidential candidates a little, but we have to go after Republican ideology because that’s where the problem is. How many individual Republicans have we picked off over the years, even as the party has gotten far worse? This is how you go after Republicans; you go after what they stand for.
Both Sanders and Clinton not only believe that climate change is real, but they and the entire Democratic Party have demonstrated a commitment to strengthening the already considerable efforts of the Obama Administration to change old habits and to mitigate potential damage. While many on the left continue to waste their time trying to convince right wingers that climate change is real and to take it seriously, which is a waste of time, the Democratic Party has been actively fighting it for years, taking steps for years to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels, but aLao trying to shore up our coastlines, in order to mitigate the damage that may be caused by rising seas.
On the other hand, Republicans not only keep cutting funds for disaster mitigation and laugh at the concept of disaster abatement, but most of them won’t even admit that climate change is real, and refer to it as a “hoax.” Their denial is so complete, even with the obvious evidence, that every single Republican running for president right now has promised to reverse every advance the Obama Administration has made on climate change. Look at the way they trash Al Gore for his work on nothing more than climate change education. Look at the way the entire GOP bysteps scientific consensus to focus on the three percent of climate scientists who aren’t 100% convinced that we cause climate change, to make an argument that there is no climate change.
By the way, I’m not convinced that most individual Republicans who deny climate change even believe it, but it doesn’t matter; it’s ingrained in their ideology, so they have to act in a way that denies its existence.
The same? Not even close.
Another issue where Bernie and Hillary are basically the same and the Republican Party is on the opposite side of the fence. Democrat Barack Obama has broken records when it comes to investing in alternative fuels. Individual companies have occasionally failed, like Solyndra, but overall, alternative energy generation has been growing by leaps and bounds. Last year, 30% of all new power generation was solar, wind power generation has grown by more that 25% per year since the beginning of Obama’s presidency and geothermal energy production has been expanding year-over-year, as well. And that just refers to centralized energy production via Power plants; solar and geothermal are also expanding greatly on an individual basis. WE are also investing in the expansion of battery and storage technology, which is key.
Under Democrats, we are slowly but surely weaning ourselves off fossil fuels. It could be happening faster, of course, but again, we handed Congress to the Republicans when so many from our side suggested that Obama and Democrats were basically the same as them. Ironically, the only negative side of this is one that these same “progressives” are praising, and that is the death of the coal industry. While professional lefties are crowing about their so-called “victory,” people are losing jobs. Democrats are attempting to mitigate the negative consequences, such as proposing manufacturing plants in places in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky, where coal production is a major economic driver, but they have been killed by Republicans. In fact, a major portion of Obama’s latest budget calls for financial relief for coal miners, and the GOP is trying to kill that. (Source)
Republicans have promised to kill everything Obama has done to support increased development of alternative energy should they win. Several times over the last few years, Democrats have proposed bills to kill oil company subsidies and use the money to fund alternative energy development and the GOP has killed everyone, mostly by ignoring them and pretending they don’t exist. Republican affinity for big oil will never wane.
Yes, Democrats have guided an increase in oil and gas production that has made us the largest oil producer in the world, but they have also guided tens of billions of dollars into the burgeoning market for alternatives. The market for electric cars is growing primarily because of a much more diverse and dependable electrical system that has been developed against the Republican grain. One key to this has been fracking. And to claim that any Democrat sees fracking the same as any Republican is purely ignorant.
Fracking is not a simple issue. While there is a visceral response to oil and gas, you know, because their mere existence is seen as “evil,” the fact is, even with the progress we’re making, we will need a lot of oil for at least 2-3 more decades while we transition. And while prices recently have arguably been too low, having prices consistently below $4 a gallon is a huge relief to the people we liberals claim to care about. Fracking has made that possible. Which is why no one except the far left and professional lefties are in favor of an outright ban.
There is a huge difference between the Democratic and Republican approaches to fracking. Since fracking ultimately involves real estate and property rights, federal jurisdiction is extremely limited, which is why many Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, aren’t entirely against fracking. While advocating a ban may seem like a great idea, only the states could ban it, which has been done in a few states and regions run by Democrats. Democrats have also heavily regulated fracking. The Obama Administration and OSHA recently implemented much stricter silica exposure standards for workers and the EPA has strict silica standards that protect the surrounding community. This will go a long way toward limiting fracking to more remote areas and keep it away from populated areas.
Republicans have fought these regulations with everything they can. Every state where fracking is common and a Republican is in charge has complained mightily about these new rules and they have only stopped short of suing the Feds because it’s an election year. In fact, when you look at the states where fracking is most common, like Texas, Republicans have shown a callous disregard for the safety of the surrounding community an they have essentially ignored local fracking bans and issued permits anyway. Not only that, but Republicans in the Texas state legislation have threatened to sue local jurisdictions that ban fracking if the state loses tax revenue due to a ban. (Source)
Bernie wants to ban fracking, and Hillary wants to continue leaving it to the states and continue to heavily regulate it. Meanwhile, the Republican Party would allow fracking anywhere and everywhere. And as you can see above, we know what they think about regulation.
No difference? Are you sure?
This is an easy one. Democrats largely want guns to be regulated in a way that makes the guns themselves safer, through the use of smart technology, and they want to make them harder for bad guys to get. Bernie and Hillary differ on this; Bernie is a little more pro-NRA than he needs to be and Hillary doesn’t give a shit what the NRA thinks about anything. However, neither one of them would be a disaster on guns. Both of them would be amenable to basic registration and licensing proposals.
On the other hand, it was Democrats who banned assault weapons in 1994 and who proposed a bill to require universal background checks on all gun purchases, whereas the Republicans killed the assault weapons ban and who refused to even consider the background check bill, even though it had the support of 90% of Americans, including a majority of gun owners. In the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, Republicans’ solution was to arm more teachers and place armed guards around elementary schools.
Once again, this is a no-brainer.
Democrats believe in the 14th Amendment and believe in equal rights for everyone, whereas the Republican ideology only allows gun owners and self-proclaimed “Christian” zealots to have any rights at all. They don’t want women to have the right to do much of anything, but especially when it comes to sexuality and health care. Republicans want to ship all the brown people to wherever it is they imagine they came from and they want white men to have more rights than anyone, regardless.
There is no single area where the two parties enjoy greater differences than when it comes to financial issues. That’s why all PUB/Pro left hemming and hawing about any Democrat being “in the pocket of Wall Street” is profoundly ridiculous.
First of all, the financial industry only supports Republicans fully, as I have shown numerous times on this blog. Once in a great while, they might try to look “fair” by supporting both parties, but that support is rarely equal and those incidences are rare. So, when you claim that Hillary gets “more support from Wall Street” than Bernie, that assertion is meaningless, since the GOP gets roughly ten times as much support as she does.
One reason no bankers have been convicted and sent to jail is because of a bill, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, that transformed the financial markets and created a mortgage after-market that was not only unregulated, but where regulation of that market was against the law. Therefore, the assertion that Democrats don’t hold “Wall Street” accountable any more than Republicans is completely absurd. A lot of things that shouldn’t have been legal were made legal during the run-up to the collapse.
I would also point out that every meaningful regulation on the books, from the New Deal laws like Glass-Steagall to Dodd-Frank, has been passed overwhelmingly by Democrats and it’s been Republicans who have tried to dismantle them. And let’s be real; there is the Great Depression and there have been two massive recessions since the end of that. And both times, those massive recessions were caused by Republican policies.
No difference? What drugs are you ingesting?
I could go on and I probably will, but that will get you started. There is virtually no similarity between the two major parties. And every time you imply there is, a Republican rejoices because he knows it’s the only chance his party has.