GOP as the "iPhone party"
April 19th, 2014
11:43 AM ET
4 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. Martin

    Wait – they want to be the party of the "open platform"? That sure as hell ain't the iPhone. Way to totally misunderstand the tech world....

    Maybe they're the Android party (that actually works on a few levels, which is fun).

    April 19, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  2. Chris

    Um, iOS is anything but an "open platform". Are they proposing that we jailbreak the government to get it to work reasonably well?

    April 19, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  3. Jeff Wood

    Um...but Apple determines what apps go on the market and which ones get banned 'for our own good'. Sorry, don't think the GOP thought this through.

    They want open-source (of the people) government, not for-profit marketing-heavy brand-loyalty government yes?

    April 19, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. Thomas

    My message to Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee .

    We need faster , more affordable internet for all , education , trade . You sold out the FCC to corporations Mr Tortoise .

    America the slowest and most expensive internet in the world . unless you happen to be a financial investment corporation.

    Thanks for selling out the American people Senator !

    April 19, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  5. berniecat@outlook.com

    the gop are fascist that want china wages for America ! the ultimate goal is " united states of corporatist America " !!! if the average gop support that does work will finally wise up and stop supporting the demons from tearing up our constitution even more than bush did !

    April 19, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. Albert E.

    The GOP isn't the iPhone party... It's the abacus party.

    April 19, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. JJ

    i-phones are not even the dominant technology now, this guy is clueless

    April 19, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. futureVoter123

    modern repubs are invading the libertarian party. the extreme right wing are invading the GOP and taking it by storm

    April 19, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  9. 1776usa2016

    Newsflash: GOP discovers there are smartphones !!

    The GOP is irrelevant. Cares absolutely nothing about the middle-class. And has been taken over by ultra-rightwing extremists.

    .

    April 19, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  10. Will

    I wish they would broadly apply their vision of freedom, choice, and empowerment. But they won't and never will.

    April 19, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  11. Alex

    Iphone government ? Sure, that is called Chinese communist party. Let them govern in US.

    April 19, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. red1esq

    This old dinosaur should shut up. He clearly doesn't understand Apple or it's products. The iphone exists in a walled garden in which Apple decides what is good for you and what you may access. That model doesn't support what he is advocating. He just wanted to try to be "cool" by making a reference to Apple and iPhone. Moron!

    April 19, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. geewhizwow

    except they are the can and string party.

    April 19, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  14. Brainwashed_in_Church

    If' they're the iFad party, then I'm going Dem.

    April 19, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  15. Dave

    Another useless gimmick from the do nothing party of NO. Hows that Jobs "contract with America" going there Boehner? No? Didn't think so.

    April 19, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. Open Platform?

    "Apple" and "open platform" don't belong in the same sentence.

    April 19, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  17. Ignorance is Bliss

    Wouldn't the GOP want to be more like an android instead of an iphone? iphones are controlled, the app store heavily regulated, to streamline the user experience and provide stability. The "freedom" party would much rather associate with Android. iPhone is much more like the Democrats.

    April 19, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  18. rla

    Iphones and Appple are still the best phones out there for quality and security– Democrats have examples of their qualities in places like Chicago, Philadelphia or Detroit... That is third world leadership!

    April 19, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  19. Claude

    Lamar isn't the worst US senator, but comparing a private company like Apple to the democratically elected government is worse than comparing apples to oranges, it's more like comparing apples to hand grenades. Completely inappropriate comparison and proves yet again that the GOP is the home of fuzzy illogical thinking.

    April 19, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  20. George B

    Ironically, as an iPhone developer I've seen first hand how Apple exerts strict control over what appears on the iPhone – it's anything but a "free marketplace". Apple reviews every single App sent to the App Store and rejects quite a few because they fail to adhere to Apple's rules. Apple completely bans many types of Apps that would enable competition with the closed markets that Apple has developed. Then consider the steep "tax" that Apple applies to all App sales and all sales that take place through an iPhone App – usually 30% of every purchase goes directly into Apple's pocket rather than the innovators who created the products.

    Then there's the collusion between Apple and other Silicon Valley companies to artificially keep salaries low by discouraging competition for talented engineers. Worried that an open job market would encourage technical employees to seek better wages at other companies, Apple, Google, Adobe and many others agreed not to recruit or consider applications from employees at other companies who were part of the scheme.

    It strike me that Apple as a company and the iPhone ecosystem is everything that the GOP claims is wrong with America – so why do they want to be the "iPhone Party?"

    April 19, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  21. Zanarkand

    How about being a relevant modern day political party first? Baby steps.

    April 19, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  22. NYVeteran

    Lets see..the iPhone IS just like the GOP. Here are the top 10 complaints:

    10. It’s the same thing as the 4 and 4s. The phone literally has the same functionality as these two previous releases if you just download the iOs 6 upgrade. This upgrade will make your iPhone 4 or 4s have just as much internet speed and battery life as the iPhone 5. It’s literally the same thing, just a quarter of an inch smaller.

    9. Apps are mis-sized. Because some genius decided to make the screen longer (instead of wider) without notifying the millions of apps that iPhone users have to change their styling and formatting, we are left with apps that are not sized correctly. Now there is an ugly black spacebar underneath some apps.

    8. It’s thinner so the chances of breaking are higher In case you didn’t know, Americans have spent $6 billion dollars fixing their iPhones since its first release in 2007. Get ready to see that number go up because the new iPhone is more fragile than Chris Bosh. The iPhone 5 is thinner and longer and with all laws of physics considered, that means it has more of a probability to break.

    7. Impossible to text One of the biggest issues we had with the old iPhones is that the touch screen made texting rather difficult. One would think that Apple would recognize this issue and make a bit of a wider screen so that your thumbs wouldn’t hit each other when trying to press some of the keys in the middle. Instead it’s thinner, so now you will press more unintentional letters on the screen and hit each other when typing something even more than before.

    6. Siri is still an idiot Siri was cool for about a week and a half after its release on the iPhone 4s. If you ask any iPhone user, they will tell you they barely use it because she gives you wrong information after mishearing just about every command. Siri hasn’t gotten much smarter in the iPhone 5, still bombarding the user with facts and figures you weren’t even looking for.

    5. There will be a 5S There will undoubtedly be a 5s that might actually have some beneficial additions to it. We know this because of two reasons. One is because this phone sucks way too much and leaves so much room for improvement.

    The other reason is the fact that they saw thousands of people order this new phone without any knowledge as to why they needed it, so why not repeat the process with some actual noticeable differences? If this many people stood on lines for a phone they knew nothing about, who knows how many will camp out overnight for a phone with something more to offer?

    4. Connector is different Remember those good old days when you could walk into any place whether it be a restaurant or a friend’s apartment and almost be sure you will be able to charge your phone? The same charger that worked for various Apple products also conveniently could charge every type of iPhone.

    We are sad to report that those days are over, as Apple decided to change the size of the connector that the charger plugs into on the bottom of the phone. Now, the standard Apple charger that fit every phone for the past five years no longer fit into the iPhone 5.

    3. Some people already got theirs broken There are reports from all around the country that some people managed to receive a phone that was already broken when they took it out of the box . There have been reports of dented screens in delivery boxes as well.

    2. The size This thing is huge. It almsot feels like you’re carrying around a long mini tablet intead of a smart phone. Apple needer a wider screen not a long one. It is uncomortable to hold and to even have in your pocket. Technological advances as of late have usually reached new levels of convenience by being on the smaller side, no?

    1. Ridiculously priced At $600, these smart phones are getting a bit too out of hand. Their costs are only around the 50-100 dollar range to produce so making 500% profit on it seems to be a bit unfair. They already know a ton of people are going to purchase these phones, so if they lowered the price by a few hundred dollars they would still make a fortune.

    April 19, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  23. ohyikes

    So the gop wants to outsource jobs, and litigate when they can't innovate.

    April 19, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  24. jimatmad

    The tubes of the Interwebs still have the Republicans confused, I see.

    Next they'll be wearing baggy pants and a backwards hat, and ending their speeches with 'Word' in order to appeal to the 'urban' voters.

    April 19, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  25. Gurgyl

    --yes, he is right, Republican Party is a "Phony" party. This old idiot does not know the Obamacare numbers are increasing. Are we electing these clueless idiots to public offices that make Laws? I bet America is bunch of "Uneducated" to vote for these thugs. Did he even go to the website? Listen, there are lot of options therein, not to know this guy is so pathetic. Shame, just get rid off this junk for nation sake. God bless!!!

    April 19, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
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