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

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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. Peter

    What is with Republicans and their lack of knowledge regarding technology?

    Android is the open system where pretty much anyone can design software which will work with it.

    Apple is HIGHLY RESTRICTIVE as to what they allow as a cooperative venture or an app.

    Oh, this is too funny.

    April 19, 2014 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. CaptainDorkOfTheWeeniePatrol

    "We'll learn from you."

    So, elections are not teaching you anything. You've alienated immigrants, women, gays, pro-choice, and you've lost presidential elections. That is the message.

    Now we're invited to send that same message using our iPhone.

    April 19, 2014 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. abcontador

    I would seriously consider voting republican if they werent so closely tied to organized religion - honestly that has been the single biggest reason I vote AGAINST all republicans - just the fact that they make decisions based on their "faith"

    April 19, 2014 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. Danny

    Is there really no one at all in the republican party "in touch: with reality? This has to be the most out of touch thing yet, and so entirely incorrect, while being so accidentally dead on at the same time. "If we don't like it, didn't approve it, and our investors don't profit from it, it's not allowed" should be the motto of both Apple and the Republican party.

    April 19, 2014 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. Peter

    Apple is an open system? Huh?

    This guy has zero tech knowledge.

    Well, what do you expect from a party whose main tech embracing is talk shows on AM radio!

    April 19, 2014 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  6. faithfulliberal

    The poor TeaPublicans can't even get basic facts straight. Alexander says he wants them to be the iPhone party, but Apple is often criticized by the Droid and Windoze crowd for being closed source and mandating everything to developers. Of course, in part because of that, all Apple products were completely immune the the Heartbleed virus.....hmmmm, maybe rules and restrictions are good, not bad. Maybe Dodd-Frank will prevent predatory lenders from trashing the whole economy, starting with the housing market, after the Bush administration removed nearly all of those annoying regulations that just got in the way of the plutocrats increasing their wealth even further.

    The TeaPublicans represent the top 1% and work very hard to sucker in enough others so that they can maintain their power. There just aren't enough wealthy old white folks left to prop up their 19th century worldview any longer. So, if you're not making at least a million a year, maybe you can be duped into voting to help out those who are in that economic class – after all, God himself ordained that we help the rich and throw the poor under the bus, right? Or did I get that mixed up?

    April 19, 2014 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. David

    Android would be a better choice. It is really an open system, and with that openness comes risk.

    April 19, 2014 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. tokencode

    So the republicans want a walled garden eco-system which they have full control over that puts profit first and caters to an elite minority. Sounds about right.

    April 19, 2014 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  9. Steve Smith

    The JOBS Act, is gong to turn out to be a great big consumer scam. Basically any snake oil salesman can now raise money from an unsuspecting public with very little if any regulation. Once again the GOP is aligned with hucksters that game the system and rip-off the consumers. There is a reason that Teddy R, a GOP President, start regulating businesses–if left to their own, they would exploit child labor, child labor, pollute the water and air and do anything to make a bucks. Apparently the GOP learned nothing from the 2007 bank meltdown.

    April 19, 2014 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    "Just imagine the Internal Revenue code, the Food and Drug Administration or the Labor Department enabling you rather than ordering you around," Alexander said.
    Ummm. The GOP are constantly trying to be all up in my business. Abortion rights. Gay rights. They want us all to fall in line to their personal belief system.

    April 19, 2014 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  11. Clem

    More like the I phony party...Apple must be thrilled...

    April 19, 2014 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. timelord7202

    He spins us 'round like a record... my apologies for misquoting a certain pop song made in 1985...

    April 19, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. James

    Too Funny...still laughing. The iPhone is a joke just like all politicians. I guess I will be re-registering as a liberal this November.

    April 19, 2014 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  14. Sam

    How does Cantor's JOBS act do anything to help taxpaying citizens live a healthier happier life. How does it do anything at all. I am not going public and I am not filing an IPO. Stop talking nonsense GOP and come up with some intelligent doable ideas for the economy.

    April 19, 2014 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. Tommy Tuttle

    Sure, they're exactly like Apple. A closed platform favoring the wealthy, where everything is black and white.

    April 19, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. They may be onto something.

    The iPhone discourages unapproved "deviant" apps in its perfect little fairy tale walled garden (GOP: aversion to non-traditional lifestyles, immigration).

    iPhones are commonly found in the hands and pockets of their own brand of fundies: the Apple worshippers, who, in their unquestioning pious zealotry often spread their "religious superiority" when encountering inconveniently conflicting/competing products or views, debating with cherry-picked evidence and passages, their self-righteousness glowing so brightly as to often blind them to fact and reason (GOP: Judeo-Christianity/evolution denialism/climate change denialism).

    The iPhone pays lip service to individualism and empowerment, pretending not to be a monolithic dictatorship in disguise – here look at all the pretty colors it comes in! (GOP: federal<state powers).

    The iPhone (like most Apple products) tends to be pricier than competitors, and less likely to be found in the hands of those less fortunate; Apple's profit margins suggest they like it that way (GOP: social conservatism).

    Apple, the maker of the iPhone, spends exorbitant sums of taxpa- er, customer's money on often frivolous (rounded corners anyone?) and downright paranoid levels of litigation, in a seemingly unending courtroom war (GOP: defense spending). Ok, to be fair this one is bipartisan. Samsung is at fault too 😉

    About the only thing I can't match up is supply side economics and deregulation. But I'm sure the GOP can concoct a suitable analogy somewhere.

    April 19, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  17. Sam

    Actually, thinking more about this. The GOP already is like Apple, they love outsourcing jobs.

    April 19, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  18. Aerin

    hahaha. GOP trying to pretend it is modern. hahaha.

    April 19, 2014 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  19. Grinning Libber

    As usual the GOP does not get it.
    Apple is as restrictive as they come.

    April 19, 2014 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. geladius

    Oh your self to an Orwellian nightmare of a product.

    April 19, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  21. Leonid

    Another repugnantcan that hasn't a clue.

    April 19, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    They already are outdated........just like the IPhone

    April 19, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. Ok then

    Republican leadership is still desperately trying to attach themselves to something that is not old. Good luck with that.

    April 19, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. srcactus

    Most polls speak to the acceptance of the current Washington crowd and their sympathizers.

    The winds of change are blowing!

    April 19, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  25. Chuck

    The repugs haven't made it to rotary dial yet! LOL

    April 19, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
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