GOP as the "iPhone party"
April 19th, 2014
11:43 AM ET
3 months ago

GOP as the "iPhone party"

(CNN) - "Imagine your government as your iPhone."

That was the message from Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, in the GOP's weekly address Saturday.

In a call for free markets and open platforms, Alexander argued that government should be more like Apple, Inc. - working to give private citizens the means "to create a happier, safer, more prosperous life."

It's an idea that "Republican enablers" have fought for for years and that "Democrat mandators" have prevented, he said.

"Republicans want to enable and empower you. We want to be the iPhone party."

Specifically, he cited House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's JOBS Act, which passed in 2012 with bipartisan support and was signed by President Obama. It eases the rules that the Securities and Exchange Commission enforces on small companies going through the process of becoming a publicly traded company, opening up access to new sources of revenue and lifting some regulatory burdens.

Alexander referenced the Dodd-Frank law as a Democrat counter-example, saying it makes "community bankers spend more time filling out forms than... making loans." The sweeping financial reform bill was signed into law in 2010 and meant to strengthen consumer protection, rein in complex financial products, and head off future bank bailouts; critics call it more harmful red tape.

He also pointed to legislation proposed by Republicans as examples of the "iPhone government," including pushing for more school vouchers and giving states more control of their Medicaid programs. Democrats, on the other hand, want "fixed wages and more lawsuits," he said.

Alexander chided other government organizations, too.

"Just imagine the Internal Revenue code, the Food and Drug Administration or the Labor Department enabling you rather than ordering you around," Alexander said.

Healthcare is the biggest divergence, according to Alexander, who slammed Obamacare for "mandating" too much.

"Too often, Obamacare cancels the policy you want to keep and tells you what policy to buy, even if it costs more and restricts your choices of doctors and hospitals. Republicans believe that freedom and more choices will empower you to find a policy that fits your needs and your budget," he said.

To drive home the point of an e-government, Alexander finished his address by calling on constituents to submit their own ideas.

"We'll learn from you," he said, closing out with Easter wishes.


Filed under: GOP weekly address • Lamar Alexander
soundoff (480 Responses)
  1. Not James

    conservative republican philosophy compared to phones would still have us using rotary dial, switchboard operator, party line with neighbor, everything is fine because it's tradition, mentality.

    April 19, 2014 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  2. Redcobra

    You call it control; I call it hardware and software that just works. I think a device that brings the the GOP to mind would be the Microsoft Zune, especially the brown color.

    April 19, 2014 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  3. fekt

    Then perhaps he can work in China and represent the people who build them.

    April 19, 2014 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  4. EricEric

    Republicans want to be more like Samsung ... since they already outsource everything overseas. And Republicans as enablers? GOP only want to enable the rich ... in their never-ending quest to enslave the poor.

    April 19, 2014 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  5. flowney

    @skytag says, "Apple is notorious for trying to control everything about the iPhone."
    That's why it is a superior product. Products that try to be all things to all people (as if they were politicians) always fail to deliver and disappoint most everyone.

    April 19, 2014 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  6. Bennie jet

    Yes, they are phony party.

    April 19, 2014 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  7. JOE B

    Republicans want to enable and empower you. We want to be the iPhone party?

    I am a conservative but not a Republican. What Republicans want is that the elite control you. It's basically the same thing democrats want.

    Neither party wants to enable you or empower you. Both want: more spying, more government over-reaching, to dismantle the constitution, and push you to third world standards.

    There is nothing good about these parties nothing whatsoever. They have been bought with blood money and are intent on destroying the middle class.

    April 19, 2014 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  8. olepi

    And that "iPhone" government is run by Chinese slave labor, who sometimes just jumps out of the windows to get away.

    Figures.

    April 19, 2014 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  9. peterFatKid

    as usual g rand OLD p arty guy ....didnt know what he was talking about ...but it sounded like he was hip right....LOL GOP LOL

    April 19, 2014 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  10. Max

    Great. Pick the most expensive phone, the one that has the most closed platform, the one that has been the least innovative lately, and the one known (rightly or wrongly) as having mindless followers. Bonus points for the fact that it's made in China. Brilliant, Senator Alexander. "The new GOP will be the most expensive, least accessible, least original party! Plus, we love giving China more jobs!"

    I suspect that the only reason Alexander mentions the iPhone is that it's the only one he's heard of.

    April 19, 2014 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  11. DNA

    It's like he stuck a bunch of buzzwords together with duct tape.

    April 19, 2014 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  12. Name

    Hey talk is cheap Alexander , the affordable care act already DOES a lot of the points you say, you can shop on the market place and pick a policy you can afford and you have the FREEDOM to do this ALREADY, so what else does the GOP HAVE TO OFFER?????

    April 19, 2014 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  13. citizen

    A perfect example of just how out of touch the GOP is with the real world.

    April 19, 2014 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  14. Vasya

    Once again, the Republican's just don't get it. Apple does not give its customers an enhancement of life. It gives them a substitute for getting a life.

    April 19, 2014 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  15. James

    Maybe if he'd said The Republicans are the iPhone of reproductive rights...

    April 19, 2014 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  16. rscalzo

    Funny but today's article on CNet is:

    "Six ways Apple can fix what's 'broken' about the iPhone

    April 19, 2014 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  17. rcj22001

    this old fart didn't even know what an Iphone was until last week when one of his interns showed him a picture

    April 19, 2014 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  18. BobInIrvine

    Sounds more like the GOP is phone-i. (i pronounced long "e")

    April 19, 2014 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  19. pete

    i look back at my iphone as i do on the blackberry before that, in a few years i'll probably have to add android to the list.

    April 19, 2014 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  20. Miked

    GOP has a deal with Apple to share with them all our private information so they can manipulate people's thoughts and opinion throught the invasion of your privacy. I suppose with the even popularity of superheroes to come; they're going to name drop onto themselves the "justice league" or the "avengers" of government. The Old and Stupid Party is what they should be called.

    April 19, 2014 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  21. hmmm

    It's a perfect analogy. The Republicans, like Apple, want to control what you can do, who you can do it with and how you do it.

    April 19, 2014 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  22. radar8

    Te GOP wants to be the iPhone Party, meaning that they will phone it in. I guess they already are the iPhone party.

    April 19, 2014 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  23. Henry Taylor

    It's interesting Alexander used the iPhone analogy. The GOP is the party of "I", not us or we.

    April 19, 2014 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  24. M

    So let's see. Apple is the sole arbiter of which apps iPhone users are allowed to install and is notorious for not permitting anything that could be seen as controversial. Yeah, that sounds just about like the GOP.

    Either Lamar Alexander is clueless about what the iPhone actually represents in the smartphone arena, or he's being unusually candid. Either way, his analogy is spot on.

    April 19, 2014 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  25. Tim

    I had no idea that Apple only sold iPhones to straight white rich men.

    April 19, 2014 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
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