GOP as the "iPhone party"
April 19th, 2014
11:43 AM ET
5 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. No one

    Designed in the Silicon Valley, the heart of liberal California? Manufactured in China?

    April 19, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  2. Bonechips

    Laughable!

    April 19, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  3. Erik

    The iPhone's iOS is not open source. It's locked down and very restricted. iOS doesn't even allow the user to access the file system and copy a file out without jailbreaking the device. Is that really the analogy the Senator wants to make?

    April 19, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. Jocho Johnson

    Apple products are for gays, so I guess this means the GOP is finally reaching out to the gays and welcoming them into the Party.

    April 19, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. Bill

    What a load of nonsense. The GOP only cares about the freedom of corporations and wealthy Americans to exploit the middle and lower class Americans for as much money as they can. Unless you're in the top 20% of income-earning Americans, any freedom you think you have is just an illusion. You're a slave to the money because you can't afford not to be. That's not freedom.

    April 19, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. factsareunpopular

    The entire US government should be in prison for the crimes they have commited

    April 19, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  7. Gloria in NW

    Unless a lot of voters in Republican-Gerrymandered districts figure out that continuing to vote for the GOP is voting against their own interests, it doesn't matter how many of us think the GOP is nuts, we are being out-maneuvered by vast amounts of money, suppression of education and the consolidation of media. If a lot of people don't wake up, our democracy will be shortly dead. Read up on Charles Dickens' England, because that's the life we will be living, and fairly soon.

    April 19, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  8. Miss Muppy

    The TOP is more like the "BlackBerry Party". Obsolete. Thanks for playing.

    April 19, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  9. Yooper57

    Day late and a dollar short as usual! So out of touch!

    April 19, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. Jim8

    What we need are more of those Republican debates like we has last year. The Democrats too. It's hard to hide behind rhetoric what your evil side is exposed for all to see.

    April 19, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. sthomas451

    Apple is the most closed, tightly controlled ecosystem in technology. Microsoft is more open than Apple. What a joke.

    April 19, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. Gunderson

    Aw, Heck, No,
    Freedom to do more of things yourself? Now you know you don't want that. You get lost in shuffle. You want Nanny State.

    April 19, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. focuspuller

    Brilliant, Lamar. Let the government be like an iPhone, only with a weakened, powerless iPhone, because that is what GOP ideology means.

    April 19, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  14. Big Ben

    Does this mean he wants everyone to live like Tennessee? Good Lord!

    April 19, 2014 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  15. Michael

    What the GOP also doesn't understand is that the whole iPhone ecosystem is completely closed, hardware and software; standards dictated by Apple; and whether or not an app gets into the iTunes store is at Apple's sole discretion.

    Or wait, maybe they understand completely.....

    April 19, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  16. Sarah

    Actually, when you think about this, it's pretty spot on. Democrats are Androids and Republicans are iPhones.

    Independents are Kindles.

    April 19, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  17. thecryptowizard

    The example was made for people who don't understand what the party's philosophical core. There are hundreds of ways you can twist that to be good or bad for any party. So all of you posting examples of government compared to iPhones need to give it up right away. You'll look about as silly as Senator Alexander's example.

    April 19, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  18. Kings on the back row......

    ..
    ..The tea-gop wants to eliminate about 47% of us from voting – besides, who can afford an Iphone?
    ..

    April 19, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. ndsuenglish

    You mean like the iPhone that has computer chips with encryption that the NSA can break, can track your whereabouts, and has thumbprint identification? The GOP would only add automatic filming of what you do in your bedroom. Yup, that sounds just about right.

    April 19, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  20. nc_mike

    So the GOP wants us more like Apple? Like, ensure we become like the slave laborers in China that work for poverty wages under oppressive working conditions to enrich the elite few and jumping off of buildings just to escape misery? Coming from the GOP that doesn't surprise me one bit – they've been pushing that agenda for many decades.

    April 19, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  21. Jon

    This from a party that believes that humans lived with dinosaurs like the Flintstones.

    April 19, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  22. RFL

    Sen. Alexander also forgets that the iPhone is the brainchild of a liberal......Steve Jobs.

    April 19, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  23. Richard

    Oh I get it now, they want to be over priced, proprietary, over simplified, ugly and made overseas in slave labor camps by underpaid "workers" who routinely commit suicide?

    That's entirely different than being a bunch of old, non tech savvy, over paid, under educated, wind bags who's only goal in life is to sell ignorant people lower taxes and smaller government while sucking on the corporate welfare teat and kissing corporate lobbyist butt while slamming welfare and bribery at the same time telling gay and lesbian couples that god hates them.

    If you ask me, they should go for both images, each one is equally insane so they might as well go for broke.

    April 19, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  24. John Muller

    Consider the government as the product of the worlds largest (by market cap) corporation.

    SWAT team shot your dog because you refilled your painkiller prescription 2 days to early? Must be holding it wrong.

    April 19, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. RGS

    Um, I hate to correct a US Senator. Apple & the iPhone isn't a free market and open platform. That would be Google/Android. The IOS platform is closed, strictly controlled, and only approval from Apple gets a company into the App Store.

    April 19, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
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