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. con thug

    You missunderstood him, he said iphony

    April 19, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. srcactus

    Good concept, and the message is good But we need to see an honest messenger not another Pinocchio! Who ya got Buddy?

    April 19, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. 'Nother-Son-'O-Ursus.Rexx

    Re: "…Imagine your government as your iPhone." {Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; via the GOP's weekly address, Saturday.}

    I CAN’T afford an I-phone because, despite ‘30+’ commendations, earned as a municipal paramedic-preceptor for the premier eastern seaboard E.M.S….
    I can’t find even part-time, minimum wage employment!

    Lamar Alexander / ALL republicans seem to have their ‘elect H.R. Clinton-throttle(s)’, set, permanently, (like an F/A-18, leaping from a catapult), to full-afterburner!

    MY suggestion?

    1.) Decide if ‘Republicanism’ is merely making tasteless, inflammatory speeches to the ‘base’, OR…
    2.) Decide if they (if Republicans), want to start getting elected, again…

    If #1, above, is the concept, change NOTHING in the Republican Party platform; in the meantime, I further suggest Republicans contract with whoever printed the ‘autopsy’ report, and let ‘em now they’ve a further order or two, (2014 / 2016), ‘on-the-way’;
    Just as sure as a ‘1St. Due’ engine-&-truck company!

    If Republicans prefer #2, above…

    A.) Hire Sandra Fluke as a consultant on women’s issues / voter outreach;
    B.) likewise…hire equally seasoned veterans in the hispanic, native American, gay, and Afro-American communities!
    C.) Forget the Middle East and concentrate on Jobs for Americans / domestic infrastructure recreation, etc.
    D.) LOSE Todd Akin, Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Christ Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, and/or, anyone / everyone, else, associated with the leaky lifeboats of the lost culture war…
    E.) Abandon Hobby Lobby & Chik-Fil-A to their fates…
    F.) Get OUT of people’s (‘adults, only’), marriage-choices, bedrooms, (‘religious or non-religious’) belief issues, unless requested…
    And forget abortion / contraception / condom use as party platform issues!

    We’ll have to make sure someone is assigned to wake Mrs. Clinton, in time to dress for her Inaugurals!

    April 19, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. steve

    What the GOP doesn't get is that Steve Jobs was a Democrat and so are most of the people who work for Apple in Cupertino.

    April 19, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  5. omeany

    I wonder how many times Sen. Lamar Alexander had to say the words "Republican enablers" before he could do it without laughing!

    April 19, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. lloyd roberts

    Apple enables you? Apple traps you in their system and doesn't appreciate competition. Comparing the republican party to an I-phone, it amazes me that this guy is in the US Congress, and for how many years? He's been there like twenty years, yeah he likes competition. Give ma a break Lamar

    April 19, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  7. bulk001

    1. First I use an iPhone but it is not an open device. One company, Apple, controls what you can and can't put on your device or do with it. It is Apple's way or the highway. This is actually a pretty good analogy for the GOP but not sure that they want to emphasize that.
    2. Does Mr. Alexander think we are idiots? Deregulation of the banks is what got us into the worst financial trouble since the 1930's! Banks aren't lending because they are filling out paperwork – they are hoarding cash so they can pay fines for past criminal actions, pay their CEO's and pass the Fed stress tests!

    April 19, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  8. icrapper

    GOP you are beyond out of touch with reality. The icrap is typical democrat tech what a joke this whole government thing is. You guys should get fired and forced to dig ditches for a living.

    April 19, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  9. Johan S

    Poor steve jobs, a liberal democrat (at least socially), must be rolling in his grave. And yes he's definitely a democrat, he offered to design Obama's 2012 posters. He invited Al Gore to the board of Apple. He believes in climate change. He was buddhist. He publicly stated that he wanted Al Gore to run for president in 2004. His family gave money to the Obama campaign in 08.

    April 19, 2014 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  10. tatanka

    Be honest now, GOP. Would you really rather be a Samsung S5?

    April 19, 2014 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  11. Greg

    A lot of regulation is simply the result of abuse. Corporate America has fully embraced this concept. The vast majority of companies have interna rules in place to stop/limit the abuse of a few bad actors. Our country cannot tolerate economic collapsed brought on by abuses in the financial services sector. Our country cannot afford tax code abusers. Our country cannot afford environmental distasters like the deep well horizon. Our country cannot afford chemical plant explosions like what happened in West, Texas. Our country cannot thrive as a democracy with unfrettered money flooding into our political system. We have lots of regulations and unfortumately we need a lot of regulations to govern our complex society. The idea of returning to some 19th century mindset when everything was much simpler is driven by a few elites who want to grab everything they can, maximize their power. At its core, the GOP mindset is driven by greed in the hope that greed somehow manifests as a virtue.

    April 19, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  12. Too Funny

    Do they not realize that when you build an app for an iPhone, Apple has all sorts of regulations, takes a significant portion of your proceeds, and requires Apple's approval. Also, they block any sort of cross compatibility which limits their customer's choices.

    April 19, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  13. vortex100

    The GOP is more like the rotary phone party:. old fashioned, use to be good a long time ago, no longer needed and pathetically out of date.

    April 19, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  14. CoolCMo

    Just when you thought that republicans couldn't be any more out of touch with reality... wow...

    April 19, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  15. Bill

    They are like the iphone company.Their leader is dead,slaves make the phones,and only the top prospers.

    April 19, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. OldCoder

    Politicians shouldn't use words that they don't know the meaning of, like Open Source. Using Apple as an example. Huh?

    April 19, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  17. Mike

    Apple is well-known for their high prices and tight control of their iProducts. The GOP may want to give the impression they are all for freedom but to the tech-savvy, the parallel they are using just confirms they are out of touch. Now if the GOP started pushing open source, but then where are the monopoly profits?

    April 19, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. Francisco

    And what are the democrats? The Android Party?

    April 19, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. ksobserver

    And the Iphone is a totally restricted device. You are only able to use what they want you yo use. Any app or any program not Apple approved. Sounds very much like what the rightwing nutcase party wants to apply to this country.

    April 19, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  20. Dale C.

    Steve Jobs was a staunch Democrat. I'm quite sure he would not approve of this GOP senator referencing his greatest product and linking its image to Republicans!

    April 19, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  21. N8r

    This is like all other recent moves by the GOP to repackage their political ideology. They have to change more than their outward appearance and message delivery to be more successful in a country with scrambling demographics and world views. Wanting to associate your governance style with a "cool visionary" company doesn't make it so. Besides just like the current GOP, Apple's best days may be behind it for a while after the death of its founder and visionary Steve jobs.

    April 19, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  22. Shane

    GOP – We will happily scoop up anything after it has completed it's life cycle of relevance and call it our own...The kids used to play with these things right??

    April 19, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  23. iPhone isnt open source

    Leave it to the old dying republicans to cite the wrong tech product when it comes to open source ideas. I think your argument would have gone over better using Google as an example, or Linux... etc.

    April 19, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. rkoloski

    I'm a software engineer and I've got nothing in particular against iPhones, but it's a CLOSED PLATFORM, controlled entirely by ONE private company, that SUES EVERYONE TO PREVENT COMPETITION.

    GOP or Dems, can you please make an attempt to think past your nose in constructing a metaphor?

    April 19, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. GarryQwen

    More mindless drivel from the red neck right. The last time they were in charge, they destroyed the economy. Why would anyone want to experience that again?

    April 19, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
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