GOP as the "iPhone party"
April 19th, 2014
11:43 AM ET
6 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. Yesterday's technology tomorrow meets yesterday's policies tomorrow.

    Android is outpacing iPhone and now is the platform of choice for users under 54 years. Only with the 54+ users is iPhones more popular than Android.

    April 19, 2014 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  2. MilitaryAF

    The GOP is all for 'big business', at the expense of employees. Their mindset towards workers: Take what you're offered & be happy with it. Don't worry if income isn't enough to cover housing, food, medical & other foolishness. Just be sure to show up to work early every day, ready to put in plenty of free over-time to feed the corporate greed & increase the bottom-line.

    April 19, 2014 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. huhb

    They're more like the Telegraph Party. At least, the more advanced ones are.

    April 19, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. sparky

    The lameness is strong with this one.

    April 19, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. jbpeek

    I'd say like a vintage wine, the GOP is more like a vintage 1970 Motorola brick... including the battery saddle bag

    April 19, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. blahblahh

    the iphone is a walled garden. apple has absolute say over what goes into the appstore. you can't install anything they don't approve. it's more comparable to an authoritarian, centralized govt. this guy is totally clueless. it's like he thinks he's talking to toddlers and he still gets it wrong.

    April 19, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. Steve

    The first thing you see in the article is the picture of an old white guy.

    April 19, 2014 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. William Duque

    Please No , I like my Iphone and do not want to have to throw it away!!! I believe the GOP is more like a payphone! Old and out dated.

    April 19, 2014 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  9. Jonny Lotto

    Is the Senator sure that the words he is speaking mean what they sound like?

    The iPhone is one of the most expensive phones on the market. It's a closed system made by only one company. The apps on it are only available through one company. It uses mostly proprietary hardware available through one company or its' licensees. The users are obligated for the most part to using software from that one company to update and maintain that iphone. The only reason so many people have one is because of heavy subsidies.

    So the example of what the republicans always say they want is an Android phone. Open system. Open Market.

    But what the republicans do is the iphone; virtual monopoly. Controlled supply. Regulated users.

    April 19, 2014 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. Q

    When is the GOP going to learn that "vouchers" are like government student loans. All they do is drive up the price. The company says, "Hey, thanks for the government money. Now let's see how much we can squeeze out of you.".

    April 19, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. RickFromTexas

    Lol, the iPhone party? Brought to you by the internet, which is a series of tubes that are all connected together somehow.

    Just a hint, republicans might want to put down their pitchforks and torches before trying to become hep cats with iPhones. Too funny!

    April 19, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  12. James Hoiby

    What an ironic post! The iPhone is a excellent phone used by many, but it certainly is not "Free" and "Open" as Senator Alexander proclaims. Instead it is reviled by many as being tightly controlled and censored by Apple. Android is a platform used by more people and is considered by most to be the "Free" and "Open" choice among popular phone operating systems.

    It's gaffe's like this that prevent the Republican party from being the party of the young, and instead cement its stereotype as a party of "old white men".

    April 19, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  13. Jon

    That's also funny as Apple has the least "free and open" smart phone platform, severely limiting the flexibility and freedom developers have over their apps... This coming from an iOS and Android developer, as well as Apple fan. Apple has the best smart phone platform and user experience, but not because it is a "free and open platform." Silly republicans...

    April 19, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  14. Wrong analogy

    Free market and open platforms?

    Isn't Apple by far the most closed company in the world? Apple is built on the principle of being closed-architecture. And we want our country to be like Apple?

    Sen Alexander's comment is on par with that politician from the 90's who wanted a speed limit on the information super highway.

    April 19, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  15. Blame Me

    It's funny that Alexander has been making a living from government for years is criticizing the same establishment.
    Maybe it's time to abolish congress, since they are not working, and let America become Apple factory.

    April 19, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  16. AndroidMuch

    Ironically, this is exactly what iphone's don't allow you to do. I believe he was thinking of Android. Though, Republicans generally believe in outsourcing to far flung regions where there is no minimum wage and people work for slave wages, so yes they are like apple in that respect.

    April 19, 2014 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. Marc

    Apple's iPhone ecosystem model is fundamentally about central control of content, careful screening of Apps, huge and mysterious regulation of what is allowed, a 30 percent flat tax, bans on sexual content, and (sans jailbreaking) no freedom to install anything on your own. Sounds pretty Republican.

    The system works great for a consumer tech, horrible for a federal government for 300 million people.

    April 19, 2014 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  18. Kohei

    I hope someone takes him aside and teaches him the differences between how a company and a nation are supposed to be run.

    April 19, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. Andrew

    Apple's developer platform isn't open. It is very over-regulated... Terrible analogy. But I suppose in an election year this is all a lot of Orwellian double-speak anyways.

    April 19, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. AJ

    It's also funny that the GOP doesn't get that the iPhone is the "nanny phone," and is the exact opposite of "enabling." With its walled garden that prevents you from installing any but Apple-approved applications, and all the efforts Apple goes to so that you are prevented from using the phone in any way not sanctioned by Apple... as opposed to Android, which enables the user to to install whatever they want, regardless of the source, and places no controls on app developers.

    The iPhone is really exactly like what the GOP *ACTUALLY* is: the party that wants to control what you do with your body and who you may and may not love. Ironic that they don't see that, and completely tonedeaf of them to not understand that we do.

    April 19, 2014 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  21. voice of reason

    More like the party of phonies... they want the middle class, and women, to believe that they have their best interest in mind when they really only care about rich white men

    April 19, 2014 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. Dan

    iphone? Open Platform? Hah. The GOP just shot themselves in the foot before putting said foot in their mouth to a degree far beyond "the body has ways of shutting it down."

    April 19, 2014 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  23. Early BTC Adopter

    With democrats giving away free healthcare, education, housing, food, contraception, abortions, phones, cash & dental services we can label them the socialist party. This country would do much better without the two major parties.

    April 19, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  24. Martha C

    Agree with ThinkAgain....GOP needs to GO GO GO!

    April 19, 2014 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  25. OhCmonNow

    Well the GOP is already a 'walled garden' of sort so its a fitting comparison.

    April 19, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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