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. Mark

    So they really just want to change the medium but not the decades old message. I have no more love for government than anyone else – but this idea of trust the market is no better.

    April 19, 2014 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  2. z!

    The iPhone also mandates that you and developers do things only in *Apple's* way, and they regularly reject apps that do things they don't like.

    April 19, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. joe

    in a call for open platforms, they announce that they want to be more like apple?

    In other words: We are the GOP! We are out of touch but we hear that people like apple products. We don't know much about apple products, but we want people to like us too! Therefore we want to be like apple products, so long as that relates to these key words (which it doesn't)

    April 19, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  4. stumandoo

    Iphones are getting kicked by the democratic Android

    April 19, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. sammy750

    The GOP wants to get control of the voters and people in any means they can. They are all for big government and ruling and dictating the lives of the people of the USA. WE see that big time in the Republican controlled states. They have passed hundreds of bills to control the citizens. Voters need to wise up fast, Because Republicans are just another Russian Putin. Full control of the state, nation and people. Vote smart people.

    April 19, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. SteveInMA

    Apple is one of the most closed and proprietary systems in the world. Their marketing department says otherwise, but we call that "a lie" where I come from. Sounds remarkably similar to the GOP. They swear that they're for the common man while they steal everything that you own and then send you off to a war to make more money for a rich man's son.

    April 19, 2014 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  7. Bubba

    The outsourced and outperformed iPhone is the perfect symbol for the outdated GOP. Time for America to grow up and shed there GOP losers.

    April 19, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  8. David

    He wants the government to be like a company who outsources jobs to China so they can only pay workers 23cents per hour?

    April 19, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. divorced dad

    This is like when your parents try to be "cool" and "hip" and are inadvertently five steps behind the times.

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

    Remember folks, you can't spell iPhone without the letters N and O. And the Grand Old Tea Party are experts at "NO". In the last five years they have "enabled" exactly NOTHING. They have passed one, exactly ONE, bill to help create jobs. They have spent the rest of their time opposing legislation for NO other reason than it might be supported by the President. The Grand Old Tea Party has filibustered bills written by their OWN members because the President also supported it. Republicans don't care about "enabling" anyone, they just care about who might get credit for even the smallest successes. The ONLY "people" that Republicans care about are corporations. Their last presidential candidate, Willard "Mitt" Romney, said so. Corporations are entitled to give unlimited funds for elections. Corporations should be free of ANY regulations on their behavior. And Corporations should be allowed to treat consumers however they please with no fear of consequences. That is the message of Senator Alexander, and his party.

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

    You mean having an inferior product and getting blown away in market share by the Android Democrats?

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

    I don't know what it would be like for the republican party to be like your iphone, but I know what it would be like if your Iphone behaved as the republican party:

    Ask for directions to a restaurant and the response is:

    "No. I refuse. That would make it look as though the current administration is doing something useful, which would be bad for us."

    Then you tried to look up Edward Snowden, and it returned search results for "traitor"

    Then you looked up "different world religions" and it returns "war on Christianity"

    Try to make a presentation detailing the pros and cons of immigration, but it wont let you change the pie chart to anything other than "100% criminals taking American jobs".

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

    I do believe he meant to say the iPhoney party.

    April 19, 2014 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  14. J Anthony

    Another idiot who thinks we should run our government like a private corporation from the early 20th century...regressives in action. Hopefully the American people are smarter than that.

    April 19, 2014 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. Pete/Ark

    My old 3g flip phone works just fine ... and has outlasted the fancy new ones that everyone else in the family keeps replacing ... I'll stick with long-term reliability ... I have no need to play games or otherwise distract myself ... I hope that the sarcastic analogy is clear .

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

    If Republicans cared so much about healthcare, Why don't they propose real viable changes to the existing laws instead of voting 50 times to repeal the entire ACA?

    As for everything else, if they can offer realistic solutions, I'm willing to listen. Bur more often than not, their proposals (see the Ryan budget) would cause more harm than good to the average American.

    April 19, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Hroogar

    This is the stupidest comparison ever. The iPhone platform is completely closed, it's as far from an open platform as the American customers are from the Chinese slaves putting the iPhones together. No app can be released without Apple's approval – they are the dictators of their ecosystem and in complete control of their data. So basically this witless guy is saying: we want to create a government that watches your every move, does not allow any freedom of expression that is not in line with its policies, and exploits hapless millions on the other side of the world to sell you second-rate overpriced but heavily marketed stuff.

    April 19, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. Steve

    Well I guess they are the iPhone party, because you get nothing for your money, just the the iPhone. Mission Accomplished.

    April 19, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  19. That's iFunny

    I'm glad they didn't pick Android, but I still think the GOP is more like a BlackBerry...Old outdated, nobody wants it, nobody cares what they have, irrelevant, out of ideas...etc

    April 19, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  20. Brian from DC

    If the Republican Party is involved then average Americans are getting screwed.

    April 19, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  21. Get a better name

    "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."

    So, um, where do we go to give our opinion? Please finish your story before you post it.

    April 19, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  22. drake mallard

    the politicians are too dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it - that that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. (They vote on their own raises, healthcare, and pension plans, and we are left with the bill. ,Members of Congress sleeping in the office are thus playing on the edge to eek out even more compensation from the taxpayer. They convert use of a space - that we have paid for - intended for work into living space as they avoid rent) AS we know, the money hungry Congress men and women have taken millions from the Koch,, and that really is what drives their positions, not the interests of the American people. That makes them low-life indeed

    April 19, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  23. RickyBobby

    Too costly and non-functional. Pretty much sums up what I know of the GOP.

    April 19, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  24. caseyhd

    Does that mean the GOP will be texting us all how they are going to further squash women's rights?

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

    We have seen what happens when the banks and Wall St. get together. They helped cause the housing crash, because the regulations on both of them was very lax and never enforced. Actually the GOP is not for the 98% of the American people, they are for the uber rich 2%.

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