18 thoughts on “All Three Parties Focus Their Spotlights On Horner

  1. Ambrose Charpentier says:

    Well, it would seem there is more validity to the claim that Horner is a Republican, in that he worked for 7 years for a Republican senator and identified himself until recently as a Republican. I’ve not heard anyone say Horner EVER identified himself as a DFLer. Therefore, your “he said, she said” argument equating the claims saying he’s a democrat and those saying he’s a republican are misleading. There’s a lot more mojo on the side of those claiming he’s a Republican and you ought to acknowledge that.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      Fair enough, I acknowledge that. Horner has always been a committed Republican, and his positions don’t seem to have changed.

      But folks on the far right wearing red tinted glasses, think the fact that Horner supports a couple of the more traditionally DFL positions and has not eviscerated DFLers as an MPR conservative talker makes him a DE FACTO DFLer. You and I don’t see it that way, but they do…and they’re working hard to convince others.

    2. PM says:

      And, lets face it–Durenberger would never fit into today’s Republican Party! Hell, when I was a democratic staffer working up in DC, we worked with Durenberger’s office all of the time. they were professional, courteous, and interested in good governance. they were not in any way zealots or partisans. They were perfectly happy working with democrats to get things done, and we got a lot of things done. Back then there were a whole lot of Republicans like that, too.

  2. Mike Kennedy says:

    I think the same could be said for a lot of politicians on both sides. Not only would JFK not fit in to today’s Democratic party, he probably wouldn’t even be considered for membership in the party, a cold warrior, tax cutting guy who called on people to be responsible and sacrifice.

    I think it is a liberal myth and media creation to characterize Republicans as saying no for the sake of saying no. Mr. Obama seems to have very little charm for engaging members of the opposite party.

    Clinton had no problem getting Republicans on board. They are complete opposites on personal style and compromise — and the result is increasing partisanship.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      That’s certainly the persistent conservative commentators’ spin, Mike: “JFK was more Republican than Democrat, and would be a Republican today, because he cut taxes and was tough with foreign policy.”

      With due respect, the facts just don’t support the assertion. Like Kennedy, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama cut taxes (middle class) and took tough foreign policy stands (Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Balkans, Ireland), but that doesn’t make modern day Republicans embrace them as they now claim they would embrace JFK if he were still alive.

      There is no way modern Republicans would have tolerated a guy who created the Peace Corps (“naive utopian!”) or something he called the “New Frontier,” which called for more government funding for education, medical care for the elderly, economic aid to rural regions, and government intervention to halt the recession (“socialism!”). There is no way Rush, Boehner and the gang would have tolerated a President “interfering” in state government affairs and vocally siding with the downtrodden (George Wallace refusing access to black students).

      The 1960 vintage Democrat, JFK, is much closer policywise to Barack Obama than the 1960 vintage Republican, Nixon, is to modern day Republicans, such as Boehner, McConnell. There has been some movement on both sides over the past 50 years, but the shift to the extremes has been much more dramatic on the right.

      1. PM says:

        OK, Joe, generally i agree with you, but what was your point about Wallace? Sure, i agree that he was the progenitor (along with Nixon) of the republican’s southern strategy, but it is hard to make the case that he was a republican. Many of his followers abandoned the democratic party for the republicans (LBJ cemented that), but still…

      2. Joe Loveland says:

        My point is that modern day Republicans would not embrace a President who would immediately intervene when a state govenrment official mistreats minorities, and go on TV to dress the state down, as JFK did in the case of the University Alabama and James Hood and Vivian Malone. That kind of activist federalism and that kind of championing of mistreated minorities are not hallmarks of the conservative movement in 2010. If Obama did that in AZ today, for instance, conservatives would freak.

  3. Mike Kennedy says:

    You didn’t get the point. I didn’t say JFK is closer to Republicans than Democrats. I said JFKs party of then is different than now.

    First, your history is a bit off. JFK reduced the top income tax rates on the rich from 90 percent to 70 percent. His tax cuts (though he was dead by the time they passed) were across the board, not to just the middle class, not even by a long shot.

    His support for the Korean War and his initial excursion into Vietnam and concern about communism made him a pure Cold War warrior, even more vigilant than many Republicans like Dick Nixon.

    Modern Republicans haven’t dropped bundles on education and social improvement? Who proposed the Medicare prescription drug benefit? Who has spent record money at the federal level on education? And who spent more on aid to Africa than any president in history? Yep, a Republican.

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying spending bazillions is economically healthy. After, all the more we spend on public schools, the worse they get and Medicare may never be solvent.

    It is left mythology that Obama is a centrist. He’s not. Most people now know it. No, he is not a Socialist or Communist, but he is not a moderate, and I would wager you that a majority of Americans would agree.

    My original point is that the Democratic party has moved just as far left in the modern era as the Republicans have to the right. You can deny it all you want, but I’m not buying it as a former member of the party.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      re: “Like Kennedy, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama cut taxes (middle class)..”

      That parenthetical reference I made to middle class was referring to Obama and Clinton, not JFK. I’m aware that JFK cut broadly. But thank you for the lesson anyway. I can use all the help I can get.

      I’m an unabashed liberal, and I’d vote for Kennedy today without any hesitation. I just don’t buy modern conservatives’ assertion that modern Democrats no longer resemble Kennedy.

      At the same time, I doubt many modern day conseratives would vote for a President who would create a huge government operation to battle pollution, dramatically increase entitlement spending and cut defense spending, use deficit spending to reduce unemployment (and declare “Now I am a Keynesian”) and use wage and price controls. But that was Nixon, and I know modern day Republicans don’t resonate with Republicans of that era.

  4. Mike Kennedy says:

    Conservatives did vote for someone who increased social spending, improved the environment and pollution and spent tons of money to try to stimulate the economy.

    His name was George Bush.

  5. Mike Kennedy says:

    Yes and no — a pariah with the radical wing of the party. Like any president, I admire some things he did and disdain other things. However, I guess I could say that about almost anyone, except Carter, a man I voted for yet wound up struggling to find anything I liked that he did — except get Israel and Egypt together (though I give more credit for that to Sadat, a remarkable statesman).

    You and I both know that anyone radical who runs that way or governs that way is bound to lose. The vast majority are not rigid conservatives or wild eyed liberals.

  6. PM says:

    Here is an interesting perspective on the Republican meme of “starve the beast”, from and arch Republican (although one who has been driven from the ranks of “true conservatives”)


    “I believe that to a large extent our current budgetary problems stem from the widespread adoption of an idea by Republicans in the 1970s called “starve the beast.”…While a plausible strategy at the time it was formulated, STB became a substitute for serious budget control efforts, reduced the political cost of deficits, encouraged fiscally irresponsible tax cutting and ultimately made both spending and deficits larger….Dwight Eisenhower kept in place the high Korean War tax rates throughout his presidency, which is partly why the national debt fell from 74.3% of gross domestic product to 56% on his watch. Most Republicans in the House of Representatives voted against the Kennedy tax cut in 1963. Richard Nixon supported extension of the Vietnam War surtax instituted by Lyndon Johnson, even though he campaigned against it. And Gerald Ford opposed a permanent tax cut in 1974 because he feared its long-term impact on the deficit.

    By 1977, however, Jack Kemp, Dave Stockman and a few other House Republicans concluded that the economy was desperately in need of a permanent tax rate reduction….After enactment of California’s Proposition 13–a big property tax cut with no offsetting spending cuts or tax increases–on June 6, 1978, there was an immediate change in attitude among Republican economists who were previously skeptical of a permanent cut in federal income tax rates. They could see that a tax revolt was in the making and that Republicans could very possibly ride it all the way back into the White House in 1980….Unfortunately there is no evidence that the big 1981 tax cut enacted by Reagan did anything whatsoever to restrain spending. Federal outlays rose from 21.7% of GDP in 1980 to 23.5% in 1983, before falling back to 21.3% of GDP by the time he left office.

    Rather than view this as refutation of starve the beast theory, however, Republicans concluded that Reagan’s true mistake was acquiescing to tax increases almost every year from 1982 to 1988. By the end of his presidency, Reagan signed into law tax increases that took back half the 1981 tax cut. His hand-picked successor, George H.W. Bush, compounded the error, Republicans believe, by supporting a tax increase in 1990.

    When Bill Clinton became president in 1993, one of his first acts in office was to push through Congress–with no Republican support–a big tax increase. Starve the beast theory predicted a big increase in spending as a consequence. But in fact, federal outlays fell from 22.1% of GDP in 1992 to 18.2% of GDP by the time Clinton left office.

    Although all of evidence of the previous 20 years clearly refuted starve the beast theory, George W. Bush was an enthusiastic supporter, using it to justify liquidation of the budget surpluses he inherited from Clinton on massive tax cuts year after year. Bush called them “a fiscal straightjacket for Congress” that would prevent an increase in spending. Of course nothing of the kind occurred. Spending rose throughout his administration to 20.7% of GDP in 2008….For some years Bill Niskanen of the libertarian Cato Institute has argued that STB actually increased spending and made deficits worse. His argument is that the cost of spending is ultimately the taxes that will have to be raised to pay for it. Thus fear of future tax increases was the principal brake on spending until STB came along. By eliminating tax increases as a necessary consequence of deficits, it also reduced the implicit cost of spending. Thus, ironically, STB led to higher spending rather than lower spending as the theory positsIn the latest study of STB, political scientist Michael New of the University of Alabama confirms Niskanen’s analysis. “Revenue reductions by themselves are not an effective mechanism for limiting expenditure growth,” New concluded. “The evidence suggests that lower levels of federal revenue may actually lead to greater increases in spending.”

    In effect STB became a substitute for spending restraint among Republicans. They talked themselves into believing that cutting taxes was the only thing necessary to control the size of government. Thus, rather than being a means to an end–the end being lower spending–tax cuts became an end in themselves, completely disconnected from any meaningful effort to reduce spending or deficits.

    Starve the beast was a theory that seemed plausible when it was first formulated. But more than 30 years later it must be pronounced a total failure. There is not one iota of empirical evidence that it works the way it was supposed to, and there is growing evidence that its impact has been perverse–raising spending and making deficits worse. In short, STB is a completely bankrupt notion that belongs in the museum of discredited ideas, along with things like alchemy.

    Bruce Bartlett is a former Treasury Department economist and the author of Reaganomics: Supply-Side Economics in Action and The New American Economy: The Failure of Reaganomics and a New Way Forward. He writes a weekly column for Forbes.

  7. Newt says:

    Pawlenty is going to starve the Beast except for “core functions pertaining to life, health and safety of Minnesota citizens.”

    In other words, what government should do and not one bit more.

    1. PM says:

      In that sense, it sounds as if he and Emmer are completely in tune. I suspect that the next 2 weeks of budget cutting at the state capital will be a good taste of what Emmer as Governor would be like.

  8. Joe Loveland says:

    From Minnesota Independent

    In the first gubernatorial polling since the DFL and GOP conventions in April, the Republican-endorsed candidate, Rep. Tom Emmer, leads the three DFLers running in the August primary. Emmer beat out all three candidates by 8 to 10 percent in the SurveyUSA poll commission by KSTP.

    Emmer topped Margaret Anderson Kelliher 41 to 33 percent with Independence Party (IP) candidate Tom Horner getting 9 percent and 17 percent undecided.

    Against Mark Dayton, Emmer got 41 percent to Dayton’s 34 percent. Horner received 9 percent with 15 percent undecided.

    Matt Entenza had the lowest level of support when matched with Emmer. Emmer got 41 percent to Entenza’s 31 percent. Horner had 10 percent and 16 percent were undecided.

    The margin of error was 4.1 percent.

    The poll also asked party affiliations: 36 percent of respondents were Republicans, 35 percent were Democrats and 24 percent were independents.”

  9. Mike Kennedy says:

    He is right on the mark. Tax cuts without curbing spending does absolutely nothing — and the evidence shows it.

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