GOP rolling out new 50-state strategy for 2014

• Republicans unveil start of nationwide 2014 outreach campaign to attract women voters.

Brian Kilmeade of Fox News does his best to promote the effort.

• Arizona Republicans begin 2014 outreach campaign to attract Latino voters.

• Florida Republicans begin 2014 outreach campaign to attract Muslim voters.

• Maine Republicans begin 2014 outreach campaign to attract minority voters.

• Tennessee Republicans begin 2014 outreach campaign to attract women voters.

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  • Pat

    2014 scares me. While there is much talk about how the craziness of the partly led to their resounding loss, they had the same amount of craziness in 2010. The difference being that they didn’t have Romney’s relatively genial and moderate coattails for all the “rape guys” and other idiots to hang onto. Instead they all followed Sarah Palin, the woman who if anything exacerbated heir 2008 loss, and Glenn-freaking-Beck. And these stupid, terrible people won in landslides in what were previously deep-blue districts because Democrats can’t get out the vote unless it’s a presidential election. With two more years of gridlock, voter suppression, and the ridiculous gerrymandering the Tea Party carried out, I’m worried about another uprising.

    Aside from their terrible ideas, they’ve said, repeatedly, out loud, that they’ve been trying to obstruct and outright sabotage the recovery to spite Obama. It’s freaky that we basically have to electorally destroy the most powerful political party on Earth to get a government that functions at a bare minimum, let alone create progress.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ mistformsquirrel

     I largely agree; though I’m hoping, desperately hoping, that 2010 was a wakeup call, and 2014 will also benefit from the full implementation of Obamacare… that said I’m not counting on it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    Sorry, but I’m having a hard time buying “Romney’s relatively genial and moderate coattails” being a key difference between 2010 and 2014.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Ah, so their strategy is “keep appealing to nativist tendencies among white men”. You know, FDR had it about right when he said a conservative is a person who’s never learned to walk forwards.

  • TheDarkArtist

    The GOP is nothing but idiots. From the leadership, to the politicians, to the staffers and on down to the base. They’re the party of uneducated, resentful ignoramuses. They’re the party of white anger and racial suspicion. The American Taliban. They’re utterly and completely useless in every aspect. They bring no ideas, no compromises, and no connection to their constituents.

    The GOP is a dead party, desperately clinging to the last bits of life that it has, deeply resentful of the fact that this country is better off without them being in power and unable to accept those facts. It’s really pathetic.

  • reynard61

    “The GOP is nothing but idiots. Etc., etc., etc.”

    And yet, people still vote for them. Why is that?

  • AnonymousSam

    Well, I’ll put it this way: About two out of every three Republican-leaning citizens in Ohio and North Carolina either give credit to Romney for the death of Osama bin Laden or are completely unsure whether it was he or Obama who had anything to do with it.

    Romney, as you’ll recall, had absolutely nothing to do with the event.

  • reynard61

    @ AnonymousSam: Well, my question was actually meant to be more rhetorical than anything else; but you do certainly make my point. Thanks.

  • Matri

    I blame Fox News which, incidentally, has absolutely nothing to do with news.

    Or foxes.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    About two out of every three Republican-leaning citizens in Ohio and
    North Carolina either give credit to Romney for the death of Osama bin
    Laden or are completely unsure whether it was he or Obama who had
    anything to do with it.

    You’re joking. (O_O)

  • Lori

     

    You’re joking. (O_O)    

    No, he isn’t.

    Reality may have a liberal bias, but perception of reality can be biased in either direction.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/09/10/do-15-of-ohio-republicans-think-romney-killed-bin-laden-probably-not/

  • AnonymousSam
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

     

    You’re joking. (O_O)

    I’m from Ohio. It’s no joke.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I’m a little stunned that anyone could think Romney actually had command over the armed forces or could have in any way been in a position to give the orders that led to the death of Osama bin Laden.

    What’s always interesting is the memory-hole effect in which Dubya Bush can say a few days after Sept 11 2001 that the USA will spare no effort to find and track down the leaders of Al Qaeda, including OBL, and then, later on… it is not ‘a priority’.

    But hey, it’s okay as long as rich people get another tax cut. *rolls eyes*

  • vsm

     

    Because we all “just know” Republicans are automatically the best at
    catching terists. And Democrats are all just lily-livered wimps. (even
    though there is plenty proof to the contrary)

    Indeed. Democratic presidents entered both world wars, used atomic weapons against civilian targets, had wars in Korea and Vietnam and bombed Yugoslavia and Iraq. Regardless of one’s opinions of these actions, they were certainly not pacifist.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Indeed. Democratic presidents entered both world wars, used atomic weapons against civilian targets, had wars in Korea and Vietnam and bombed Yugoslavia and Iraq. Regardless of one’s opinions of these actions, they were certainly not pacifist.

    I remember this post by Gary Brecher a few months ago.  His tone is a little coarse, but his analysis comes across as pretty straightforwardly honest.  

    The gist of it being that administrations like Obama’s are actually pretty good at waging wars, but they are poor at “cheerleading” them.  By contrast, administrations like Bush II’s are great at selling the idea of war, but poor at actually executing them.  

    This might be something that follows a pattern between Democrat and Republican administrations in general.  Though I would generalize it less to the specific parties, and assign it more to conflicting cultures.  One side of the culture is all macho, concerned with showing off our strength and projecting power just to show all that we can.  The other side of just sees war as a problem to be solved, either by avoidance or expedient execution.  The first side likes the idea of war, likes to see it ongoing, while the second side sees it as something to try and efficiently bring to a conclusion.  

    The two ideals are mutually exclusive, and anyone who wants to simply end a war (even through quick victory) would be seen as “weak” by the other side for not wanting to continue the conflict.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     @FearlessSon: And you know your party is in trouble when their philosophy on war sounds like a villain monologue from ‘Metal Gear Solid’.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Hey now, the GOP is the party of principle, and if their principles say that blacks, women, queers, Muslims and other non-Christians, youngs, olds, sicks, and poors are inferior unter-menschen who deserve to be trampled under cloven hooves, then they need to start right now convincing the blacks, women, queers, Muslims and other non-Christians, youngs, olds, and poors that it’s in their best interest to be trampled under cloven hooves.

  • cjmr

    I can’t get over the Maine Republican describing ‘six or eight or ten’ African-Americans as ‘a lot of black people’.  

  • Magic_Cracker

    In his defense, he did say that one of his best friends is black. He plays basketball with the guy and everything!

  • stardreamer42

     And he expects to “get some elbows” over it. Because, y’know, black people are just naturally violent.

  • Fusina

     I dunno, the most elbowy person I ever played basketball with was a youth pastor. Damn near took out my rib cage. Um, he was/is white. Yeah, I realize you were being sarcastic there.

  • http://twitter.com/rebelsquirrel Not That Thena

    Outside of the densely populated areas, Maine is so white that “French” is still an ethnicity… complete with ethnic jokes.  

  • Tricksterson

    To be fair, in northern Maine, it is.  I’ve gone up there on work related road trips and had people look at some of my co-workers and go “Look, a black person!”

  • Kirala

     “Six to eight, did you say?”

    (For full effect, listen to Sedaris reading the line and relevant context from about 9:55-10:10. My Dutch family loves this whole piece SO MUCH.)

  • Lori

    There’s one thing wrong with that piece. It’s the bit about the blind hunters. What Sedaris doesn’t get is that in Michigan, unlike in Texas, lawmakers figured that the blind would know enough not to go out on their own without being told :)

    (I’m from Michigan—I have to stick up for them a little or I get the guilts)

  • MaryKaye

    It’s worth noting that not everyone who runs with (R) next to his/her name is part of this moral morass.  I voted for a Republican this last election because, frankly, what they were proposing, and what they’d done in the past, was better than what the (D) candidate could claim ((D) was an incumbent so we had solid evidence he was useless.)  I do question why anyone would want to associate with the (R) brand, but still, there are reasons other than being a cretin (like, it’s the only way to get on the ballot in your particular situation, and you think you could do a good job with the office).

    So could we maybe keep the name-calling focused on those who earn it?

  • Random_Lurker

     True enough- but there’s a conspicuous lack of “calling out” the crazies within the party by those that aren’t.  Maybe they fear the backlash, or maybe they tacitly agree. We can’t tell.  Either way, it’s hard to separate them when they won’t separate themselves.

  • stardreamer42

     It’s worth noting that by choosing to run with an R after their name, they are aligning themselves with the party of the Batshit Crazy and all that entails. When you choose an action, you also choose the consequences of that action.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    It’s worth noting that by choosing to run with an R after their name, they are aligning themselves with the party of the Batshit Crazy and all that entails. When you choose an action, you also choose the consequences of that action.

    I think that Ann Unemori has provided a good example here as to why someone might retain party affiliation despite not buying into the crazy.  

    There was a time when the Republican party was much more sane, and many more people were affiliated with them.  Trickle-down economics may not have worked in the long run, but I can understand the optimism of wanting to give it a shot in the first place.  Some people might have been Republicans so long, that their history of affiliation with the party is part of their own identity, and such is not so easily altered.  Or the more old school Republican politicians who are still sane (John Huntsman for example) cannot afford to simply jump ship if they ever hold any need to be elected again.  Politics is often about having the right connections to make things happen, and leaving the party means abandoning a lot of that.  

    I do not want to excuse some of the things that the Republican party has done lately, but we should no more paint all Republicans with the same brush than we should any other group.  We do not need to tolerate intolerance, but the beginning of intolerance is an unwillingness to see diversity.  

    An addendum:   I think that the increasing insanity of the Republican party as a whole has to do with those pulling the strings of its influence losing sight of that diversity themselves.  It not only makes them more intolerant and more extreme in their goals, it also alienates those in their own base who are not their “core” demographic.  

  • stardreamer42

     Ann Unemori is not (AFAIK) running for public office. If she chooses to call herself a Republican, it’s her business.

    As noted by others, the Republicans have demonstrated a ferocious degree of lockstep enforcement, including the purging of those who do not embrace the Batshit Crazy. I fully expect Huntsman to be primaried out as a RINO if he chooses to run again for his current office — if he doesn’t drink the Kool-Aid to save his chances.

    I stand by my original comment. By choosing to run with an R after your name, you willingly associate yourself with the current leadership of the Republican Party and their toxic policies. You also commit yourself to endorsing those policies if you want any support from the state and Federal party levels. And you commit to taking their financial support, which at this point is IMO not much different from blood money.

  • Lori

    I fully expect Huntsman to be primaried out as a RINO if he chooses to run again for his current office — if he doesn’t drink the Kool-Aid to save his chances.   

    I assume he has no intention of running again. That seems the most likely explanation for him saying straight up that he believes in both evolution and global warming and then cracking a joke about his fellow Republicans who don’t. [standard disclaimer about how people really shouldn’t use “crazy” that
    way]

    https://twitter.com/JonHuntsman/status/104250677051654144

  • ohiolibrarian

     Huntsman doesn’t have a current office. He used to be a governor but his most recent gig was as Obama’s ambassador to China. I gather he speaks fairly good Mandarin. A Republican with layers. He’ll never go anywhere with the current party.

  • Lori

     Oh yeah, he isn’t currently in office. I had totally forgotten. Wasn’t there talk of him running for something again once the whole “running for president as the sensible guy in a party of whackos” thing didn’t work out? If so, I assume that’s now off the table. Being reality based is not a winning strategy in the national GOP these days.

  • Ken

     

    It’s worth noting that by choosing to run with an R after their name,
    they are aligning themselves with the party of the Batshit Crazy and all
    that entails.

    I might be able to deal with that, if they ever let daylight show between them and the crazies.  Case in point, my own soon-to-be-former representative, Judy Biggert.  I’m pretty sure she didn’t believe one tenth of the R craziness, but you couldn’t prove it from her voting record over the last couple of years, since it was indistinguishable from Allen West’s.

  • Lori

    Are their any (R)s whose voting record is significantly different from the rest of their herd? GOP party discipline is enormous and has been for quite some time, so they all tend to be lockstep on virtually everything.

  • Demonhype

     It might have something to do with the fact that what the Republicans were proposing and what they’ve done in the past is, in fact, demonstrably WORSE than anything the Dem candidates could claim or had done.

    Between the Republicans efforts at de-regulating the rich corporatations, reducing their taxes to almost nothing, starting two unafforadable and unnecessary wars (one of them, at least, highly illegal), their war on women on every front (not just against abortion, but even to the point of trying to define rape out of existence), their open racism, their open efforts at voter suppression/gerrymandering (cheating), encouraging and rewarding those who send jobs overseas to sweatshops,  their constant efforts to eliminate any and all public services and move them to the highly mis-managed, highly dishonest and sociopathic private sector (including the prisons), their efforts to eliminate any and all poverty alleviation services, their efforts to raise the taxes of the poor to glut the rich and their ravenous over-stuffed military war machine, defining a corporation as a “person”, making efforts to force their religious beliefs onto the general public and to enshrine into law the “right” to monitor and control the private lives of their employees ……seriously, it just keeps coming.

    At some point, there are those of us who believe that someone who thinks that the Dems are worse must either be terminally blinded, or must  be some kind of sociopathic libertarian-type who thinks these monstrous characteristics of the Republican party are actually good things, and that privatizing everything, eliminating the middle class, removing the rights of women, minorities and LGBT people, and stealing the very lives of the poor so the rich might get richer are all excellent ways to make sure our society thrives.  No one who is clear-minded, intelligent, well-informed and concerned with the health and well-being of others not themselves could see it that way at this point.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Before following any of the links, I took this post at its face value.  It made me think, “Wow, just what would the Republican party look like doing this?”  

    I mean it, I really have trouble imagining it.  Sure, plenty of individual Republicans can be intelligent and articulate ambassadors to outreach to any of these groups, and could succeed, but as a unified party?  I just do not see how it could do it.  The only way such outreach would work is to back away from some of the positions the party as a whole would have had in the past.  This is why an individual outreach could work where an organizational one would not, a lone dissenter is easier to believe than a large group pulling a one-eighty.  

    But if the party as a whole were trying to broaden their message to include such groups?  How the heck would that happen?  I am genuinely curious as to what form that would take.  Undoubtedly it would alienate significant portions of its own base in the process, which is why I have trouble envisioning it, but it is still an intriguing thought experiment… 

  • Damanoid

    ‘ Before following any of the links, I took this post at its face value.
     It made me think, “Wow, just what would the Republican party look like
    doing this?”  ‘

    I bought into it until the bit about Florida Republicans reaching out to Muslim voters.   At this point it reads less like an unlikely event and more like some kind of logical paradox.  Add in appeals to women and gays and the concept starts to resemble an Escher landscape.

  • PorlockJunior

     Escher landscape?
    More Brueghel, I’d say.

  • ohiolibrarian

    Ohio Republicans are doing their bit by defunding Planned Parenthood and reintroducing the “Heartbeat Bill”.

    It might reassure some of you to know that Obama’s organization is not going away.

  • http://www.facebook.com/j.alex.harman John Alexander Harman

    I hope not; it was notably quiescent in 2010, and the Democratic House majority paid the price.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=659001961 Brad Ellison

    Slow learners learn slow.

  • LL

    LOL, Fred. 

    And not at all surprising. People who don’t think they’re wrong generally don’t change. They go to their grave convinced everybody else is wrong. No matter the evidence to the contrary.

    Here’s our (Texas) new Senator, Ted Cruz: 

    “So by the third debate, I’m pretty certain Mitt Romney actually French-kissed Barack Obama,” Cruz said during an address to the Federalist Society’s annual conference Friday.

    Because Romney is the only reason he lost. He was too easy on Obama. The Republican party can’t be culpable here. The Republican party isn’t doing anything wrong. 

  • Tricksterson

    So I guess these guys really don’t believe in evolution.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    My first reaction was “So they’re going to try to convince women and minorities that the GOP’s boots are stamping on their faces for their own good? Good luck with that.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Unemori/100001112760232 Ann Unemori

    I’ll just be bald: out of respect for my father, a Pacific War veteran, I admit I’m a Republican. All the same, I am ashamed of what my party has become. 
    Well, all thrown at my head is profoundly deserved. 
    (Listening to “Gone With The Wind” as Ah type.)

  • Albanaeon

     Why would we do that?  You see what your party has become and maybe will work to change it.  I mean look where we are talking.  I’ve been hurt deeply by Evangelicals, yet I respect and like Fred Clark and many others here who are.  I can respect that people choose to identify with groups that aren’t perfect and are going to work to change that. 

    The Republican Leadership and bosses have earned my contempt, but you, and probably a fair number of other Republicans, have not.

  • Ursula L

    I’ll just be bald: out of respect for my father, a Pacific War veteran, I admit I’m a Republican. 

    Huh?  Why?

    “Pacific War veteran” doesn’t equal “Republican.”  “Respect for Pacific War veterans” doesn’t equal “Republican.”  

    I’ve known a fair number of US WWII veterans, Pacific and European, who were Democrats.  And a fair number who were Republicans decades ago, but changed affiliation when the Republican party started being about hate and oppression, because that isn’t what they fought for.

    When the party is no longer what your ancestor supported, sticking with it is not respecting what that ancestor believed.  

    And if your ancestors genuinely supported hate and oppression, it isn’t respect, in any way, to stick with their party.  (Which is why I’m not, quite literally, a Nazi.)  

    The fact that an ancestor of yours supported a particular political party in the past isn’t going to gain you points for supporting that party in the present when that party is actively working to promote hate and oppression.  And if you claim to be sticking with that party out of respect for that ancestor, you are only making a point of labeling that ancestor as someone who would want you to support a party promoting hate and oppression, and not worthy of respect at all, no matter what sort of military job they had at some point in their life.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Unemori/100001112760232 Ann Unemori

    He’s my dad and I love him. That the party has changed I regret, that its former ideals are forgotten make me weep. But not everything changed means the original was wrong, and and not all old ideals are outdated. My dad stood by my marriage to a man he would have shot 25 years earlier, even when I divorced said man years later. Sometimes respect is a personal thing.
    Now you have me musing on there being such a thing as an “anti-Nazi”. Or a “counter-Nazi”.
    Seems I give more credence to my enemies than to my friends.

  • Lori

     

    But not everything changed means the original was wrong, and and not all old ideals are outdated.   

    But you’re not voting for the original, you’re voting for the current. And if you liked the original ideals (that weren’t about hate and oppression), the GOP is no longer the party representing them. That means that you’re voting for/identifying with the name, not with the ideals.

    In the past the positions of the GOP and the Democrats were basically reversed from what they are now. If your father had fought in the Civil War would you be still have been voting GOP in the 1950s because of that? Most of the positions currently held by the mainstream of the Democratic Party are to the Right of the 1940s and 50s GOP on economic issues.

    As others have said, you know your dad best and you have to do what feels right to you, but this is more than a bit difficult to understand.

  • P J Evans

     If your father had fought in the Civil War would you still have been voting GOP in the 1950s because of that?

    That’s why there are so many Republicans in places like Kansas – their grandfathers and great-grandfathers were Civil War veterans who voted ‘party of Lincoln’, and nobody noticed the changes.
    Heck, my mother was registered as a Republican because of that (although she’d stopped voting for them about 1965); in 1980, when she told one of her older family members that she’d changed her registration to D, said family member’s response was ‘your father would be turning over in his grave’. (My mother’s answer to that was that someone would have to go out and pat down the grass.)

  • http://veleda-k.dreamwidth.org/ Veleda

     I’ll admit I’m rather confused by this “you should vote the way your parents would have” thing. My father was a Democratic politician, but if I started voting for racist sexist liars because they had a (D) next to their name, he’d be horribly disappointed in me. I think doing the right thing is a better way to honor his memory than partisanship.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    I think it’s more about just keeping the registration. You can vote however way you like outside of some primaries without changing your registration.

     I do think it would be kind of weird if someone felt morally compelled to vote the same way as they (imagine) their parents would have — obviously you can’t be sure that someone who backed Eisenhower way back when would have voted for Romney today, for example. 

  • Carstonio

    I suspect that most people who vote based on family tradition vote Republican. I’ve heard of families who teach their kids that Democrats defend working-class interests, but that seems different from the team loyalty shown by the other families. Similarly, I almost never hear of liberals complaining about conservative bias in the media – the complaints about Fox News are about lies and demagoguery and not bias. Folks who favor the GOP seem to really think of politics in terms of allegiances and loyalties, similar to how the party’s foreign policy thinkers see the US as beset by enemies abroad and traitors within.

  • Paul Durant

    Similarly, I almost never hear of liberals complaining about conservative bias in the media – the complaints about Fox News are about lies and demagoguery and not bias.

    Man, if you haven’t heard liberals complain of conservative bias in the news, you haven’t heard anyone talk about Occupy Wall Street. The radical sorts never shut up about how the mass media conspiracy has poisoned the minds of the public against the truth and righteousness of their specific brand of Marxism. (Only their specific brand though — every other brand of Marxism is evil and should be purged!)

    They blame the failure of OWS to gain any headway on the mass media conspiracy being aligned against them from the start, and say with the tools of corporate media bearing down on it OWS never had a chance. Instead of realizing it was the efforts of radicals like them that rapidly stripped OWS of any relevance to the 99% it was supposedly representing, changing a sincere outpouring of outrage against the worst excesses of capitalism to another self-indulgent, self-righteous college Communist coffee klatch, and no, that “consensus building” thing you did with the hand signals isn’t a revolutionary new form of governance, it’s the dumbest thing ever.

    This is why I can’t be happy at indications that the GOP is doubling down on madness, even as that same insanity pushes them further and further from relevance. The Republican party’s slow collapse into a neutron star of hateful, entitled insanity is turning into a bad thing for them (finally) and driving voters away, reducing their power and ability to hurt people, but it’s still bad for the country too. We need actual sane, reality-based conservatives. Liberals need opposition from people who are dispassionate, come from a different perspective, maybe even a bit dickish, who will accept intelligent ideas and shoot down stupid ones. With the role of the opposition being filled by wackos who oppose every idea and screaming praises to Khorne, we have to be the check against our own ideas, and it turns out we’re really bad at that. The moderate majority has become paralyzed with indecision, worrying “Oh god, is this really stupid? Are the Republicans right about me? Are people really laughing at me?” The more radical wing has sprinted off into complete dogmatism to ideas that are proven not to work and won’t shut up long enough for new, different radical ideas to arise and be stripped down to their most salient bits by the moderates. 

    What is it going to take to have a sane, fact-based form of conservatism again? I had hoped Santorum would win the nomination instead of Romney, because he’d be obliterated in the election and that might, possibly, maybe make some conservatives realize “hey, we could not possibly move further to the right than this, maybe moving further right isn’t always the answer!” But that didn’t happen, and though Romney was an utterly amoral vessel of greed and selfishness, the far-right can still claim he wasn’t as conservative as he could have been and that’s why they lost. Is there any sort of defeat they can’t rationalize away? Is anything going to force them to face reality, or are we doomed to two more decades of a completely nonfunctional political system?

  • Lori

     

    Man, if you haven’t heard liberals complain of conservative bias in the
    news, you haven’t heard anyone talk about Occupy Wall Street. The
    radical sorts never shut up about how the mass media conspiracy has
    poisoned the minds of the public against the truth and righteousness of
    their specific brand of Marxism.   

    Are you saying that you think OWS is Marxist? Because if so, that would seem to indicate that there’s a problem of some sort with the coverage of OWS.

  • Tricksterson

    I think he’s using a very broad definition of “Marxism” as in “all socialism is a branch of Marxism” whereas the opposite is true, Marxism is only one branch of socialism.

  • Tricksterson

    Couple of examples of what you’re looking for:  David Frum and the blog Chasing Glenn Beck

  • P J Evans

    Is there any sort of defeat they can’t rationalize away? Is anything going to force them to face reality, or are we doomed to two more decades of a completely nonfunctional political system?

    They’ll rationalize everything as a failure to be conservative enough, and as long as they think like that, they’ll be trying to keep government from functioning, just like they’ve done for most of the last four years.

  • Albanaeon

     Yeah, those radical OWSers.  Nothing like pointing out that the current system is crap and that its pretty much big finance’s fault to really be out-there-out-of-touch radicals…

    And of course that would be the radical agenda’s fault that the media wasn’t sympathetic and not that the media is backed by the big corporate profits that OWS is protesting.

    You wonder what is going to bring back fact-based conservatism?  Start by not demonizing legitimate opposition to the current FUBAR.  Keep eliminating the brakes and of course we’ll keep going over the edge.

  • Madhabmatics

     No man, don’t you see? The Marxist focus on the means of production was just a cover for their real agenda – watered down banking reforms. Truly, the spectre of communism hangs over us all.

  • Rowen

     Thank you for this. I’ve been down to OWS a few times, and have worked with people involved there, and the news coverage trended towards 1) Dirty hippies have (sometimes non consensual) sex and throwing trash everywhere, 2) no one having a clue as to why they’re down there (“OWS has no goals!” “Here’s a manifesto…” “OWS has no goals!!” 3) something something private property something something. . .

  • vsm

    This is a good post.

    There are actually Marxists involved with OWS. I’ve read some of their writings, and they offer pretty good analyses. Other Marxists rather disagree with them. Here’s a good interview with a Marxist aligned with the movement: http://www.solidarity-us.org/site/node/3627

    In general, the worst a left-winger can do is help marginalize Marxists and other left-of-center folks, because all that does is move the Overton window further to the right. Even if you disagree with them, it’s much better to let them be the far-left instead of becoming it yourself.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Is it similarly true that the worst thing a right-winger can do is marginalize the Tea Party and similar conservative extremists? Or is the dynamic there different?

  • Lori

    If one’s objective is to move the Overton Window to the Right then marginalizing the Tea Party probably is a bad idea.

  • vsm

    Historically, the US right has benefited greatly from supporting extremists, like how McCarthyism succeeded in permanently making socialism a dirty word, which I suspect is one of the many reasons the US is so far to the right of other Western countries. We’ll see how their play with the Tea Party works out, though. They appear to have suffered a setback in the last election, but 2010 was good for them and they have made far-right discourse almost mainstream. However, that much radicalism is not a good thing for the more reality-based factions of the Republican party who just want to exploit the working class in peace and don’t much care for fascism. So in short, it depends on what kind of right-winger you are.

  • Paul Durant

    Yeah, those radical OWSers.  Nothing like pointing out that the current system is crap and that its pretty much big finance’s fault to really be out-there-out-of-touch radicals… 

    Hi, thanks for being exactly, specifically the kind of asshole I was talking about. OWS started as “pointing out the current system is crap and it’s pretty much big finance’s fault.” That was when it was a movement most people looked on with sympathy. As the protest went on, it filled up with the full-time protestors who blight every vaguely leftist event, and they pushed the focus away from “let’s fix what’s broken” to “let’s abolish capitalism altogether and make anarchist communes and free Mumia and blah blah blah.” Decisions started to be made by those damn hand-gesture “consensus building”, which is among the worst ways you could possibly design to run any cause or organization; it had literally no ability to make tough or unpopular decisions whatsoever. OWS could accomplish nothing.

    The protests dragged on and on, the camps got smaller and smaller, the actual 99%-ers leaving because they have lives and can’t waste time sitting around accomplishing nothing but waggling their hands around. The voices of the coffeehouse Communists, already too god damn loud, became the only ones around, and as usual they started purging each other for being insufficiently pure. Every scrap of relevance the movement once had to “the 99%” was dead and gone within a couple months. Every average Joe and Jane had left and stopped caring when it became clear it was a monkeyhouse that could neither demand nor accomplish anything.

    And then the same god damn people have the audacity to act like anyone who is fed up with their self-indulgent philosophical masturbation MUST be a crypto-conservative trying to quash opposition. No. We didn’t get sick of OWS because we don’t care about the 99% — we got sick of OWS because OWS stopped caring about the 99%, and went back to the same pseudointellectual faux-revolutionary horseshit. During the time of the OWS protests/campouts, Egypt and Libya rallied their people together to throw off actual, literal dictatorships, facing far more opposition than just their media. The fact that YOU couldn’t motivate the people to join or care about your cause means you no longer had a cause that they cared about, and blaming the media for it is childish and cowardly.

  • P J Evans

     I seem to recall that OWS was trying to get those “full-time protestors who blight every vaguely leftist event” to either get with the movement or go away, and the same for the ‘black bloc’ and the anarchists,who were causing a great deal of trouble.
    Most of those protestors who show up for every even are, in my area, LaRouchies, who aren’t really leftist at all, just crazy (no insult to mentally ill people intended).

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The main problem is that left-wing movements in general tend to go by the maxim of “diversity of tactics” which is a non-phrase that really amounts to abdication of any attempt to get control over messaging.

    That being said, it’s interesting that no one central figure has come out ‘in charge’ of the Tea Party, and for all the racist dog-whistles the movement’s member use in abundance I don’t see the Paul Durants of this world deriding the Tea Party for tolerating the fringe elements of that movement.

  • Paul Durant

    I don’t see the Paul Durants of this world deriding the Tea Party for tolerating the fringe elements of that movement.
    Oh, get the fuck over yourself. You literally just saw me do that a few posts ago talking about how the Republican party is collapsing into a neutron star of pure anger and insanity. That just happened. And you didn’t realize it because you, once again, didn’t read the words posted by someone you had already decided you disagreed with, and responded to what few words you skimmed over and your smug idea of what a Bad Wrong Person would have said.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I looked at the post you indicated. You said nothing about the Tea Party specifically, which has a “wing” that is a mass movement of angry white senior citizens waving signs saying “Get the Government out of my Medicare”.

    Also? I’d almost forgotten your scintillating introduction to this here blog.

    Too bad, your intervening posts were astonishingly reasonable until you decided to have a shitfit at me and your tone reminded me of the last time you decided to triple down on the MRA talking points.

  • Paul Durant

    I looked at the post you indicated. You said nothing about the Tea Party specifically, which has a “wing” that is a mass movement of angry white senior citizens waving signs saying “Get the Government out of my Medicare”.

    I talked about how the Republican party is being driven off a cliff of insanity, and anyone with a brain stem knows that madness is being driven by the Tea Party. You smugly insulted me for not criticizing the right, I pointed out this was exactly what I did, and now you’re saying “well it doesn’t count because you didn’t use the words ‘tea party’.” Sorry, I didn’t feel the need to specifically mention the Tea Party by name when talking about the right’s dash to madness, in the same way I don’t feel the need to mention “By the way, it’s rather moist” every time I talk about water.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Considering how you have insistently and belligerently demanded exacting specifics of arguments when it suited you to do so, you haven’t got much of a leg to stand on trying to claim that one thing you said can be interpreted to imply another.

  • Paul Durant

    Do you even remember what you’re supposed to be giving me shit for? Do you remember further than one post into the history of this conversation or does it all collapse into a warm, vague haze of you being totally right and awesome and everyone who disagrees with you being wrong and stupid? 

    By the way, “asking you provide any evidence whatsoever that the thing you are saying is true” is not “belligerently demanding exacting specifics”. This is a common misconception among fundamentally dishonest assholes whose only sincere interest in any conversation with someone they disagree about anything with is to use it as another flimsy pretext to publicly masturbate about how fucking smart and moral and filled with righteous contempt they are, so I can see how you were confused.

  • Lori

    This is a common misconception among fundamentally dishonest assholes
    whose only sincere interest in any conversation with someone they
    disagree about anything with is to use it as another flimsy pretext
    to publicly masturbate about how fucking smart and moral and filled with
    righteous contempt they are  

    You’d know.

    Yes, we remember the fact-free, but persistent MRA-fest with which you introduced yourself to us.

    Yes, we’ve noticed that your main topic of conversation is how those people (for various values of “those people”) have done you wrong by not being what you expect or what you’re just sure they’re supposed to be or by not respecting your authoritah or whatever the gripe is today.

  • Paul Durant

    Yes, we remember the fact-free, but persistent MRA-fest with which you introduced yourself to us. Your refusal to read the multiple sources I provided does not make my argument “fact-free”. Did you even remember that that happened? Or did you retrieve the memory as “This person is bad and wrong and stupid, because I disagreed with them. When bad and wrong and stupid people make arguments, they are fact free. Therefore, this person must have made a fact-free argument.”?
    Yes, we’ve noticed that your main topic of conversation is how those people (for various values of “those people”) have done you wrong by not being what you expect or what you’re just sure they’re supposed to be or by not respecting your authoritah or whatever the gripe is today. Yes, I have noticed the self-righteous liars who infest this comments section like to jump on me when I criticize something they ideologically aligned with, at which point they start lying about what I said, lying about what the people I criticized did, jumping from incoherent half-argument to incoherent half-argument because they totally forget what they said or read more than one post ago, and pretending this represents a failure on my part.

  • Lori

    Oh, for crying out loud. If the comments are so infested with self-righteous liars then why are you here? Aside from the obvious pot/kettle/black issue, that is?

    You certainly aren’t in any position to critisize others for lying or for jumping from ncoherent half-argument to incoherent half-argument. As I said, we remember your MRA-fest.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

     …Wow. Thank you for the link, which I reproduce here for the general good. I don’t think I’d read that comment thread. He started with “the gender pay wage gap doesn’t exist, because when you control for all these factors it’s too small for me to care about,” and then he went on to “stupid feminists are why we can’t have nice things”, and that’s before page 3 of a 10-page comment thread.

    It’s not a matter of “this is a bad and evil person, don’t listen to them”; it’s a matter of “this person is capable of stunning leaps of illogic in the flavor of sexism, so why should I listen to them?”

    Why indeed.

  • Lori

     

    Every scrap of relevance the movement once had to “the 99%” was dead and
    gone within a couple months. Every average Joe and Jane had left and
    stopped caring when it became clear it was a monkeyhouse that could
    neither demand nor accomplish anything.   

    Sure. Which is why no one involved with OWS  is trying the rolling jubilee thing or supporting striking bakery workers or helping victims of Sandy or working to block foreclosures.

    And if you say that those things are not really OWS, despite calling themselves OWS and having grown out of OWS’ original protests then you’re just Not True Scotsmaning in reverse by saying that if something is good it can’t really be part of the group in question.

     

    And then the same god damn people have the audacity to act like
    anyone who is fed up with their self-indulgent philosophical
    masturbation MUST be a crypto-conservative trying to quash opposition.
    No. We didn’t get sick of OWS because we don’t care about the 99% — we
    got sick of OWS because OWS stopped caring about the 99%, and went back
    to the same pseudointellectual faux-revolutionary horseshit. 

    I have no idea what your personal issue is with OWS, but this has now wondered quite far afield of the issue of media coverage of OWS.

     During the
    time of the OWS protests/campouts, Egypt and Libya rallied their people
    together to throw off actual, literal dictatorships, facing far more
    opposition than just their media. The fact that YOU couldn’t motivate
    the people to join or care about your cause means you no longer had a
    cause that they cared about, and blaming the media for it is childish
    and cowardly.  

    Oh for fucks sake.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    Similarly, I almost never hear of liberals complaining about conservative bias in the media

    I don’t know. I hear a lot of complaints in the news-side of the blogosphere about how traditional media under-covers a lot of liberal causes. There were complaints of the media refusing to cover OWS until it got sufficiently sexy, or failing to cover voter suppression and voter fraud. Or the fact that not a single major news outlet mentioned Taqgg Romney owning the voting machines in Ohio. Or the fact that Petraeus’s dong gets unbounded coverage while the court decision that Donald Rumsfeld is allowed to torture US citizens suspected of being whistleblowers against government wrongdoing went unmentioned. Or that Hurricane Sandy coverage barely mentioned global warming.

    In fact, most of the complaints I hear about how the media is broken these days boil down to “The media is entirely beholden to corporate interests and won’t cover anything unless their right-leaning corporate masters approve.” (“how the media is broken” here being a specific class of complaints, not the totality of them)

  • Carstonio

    In fact, most of the complaints I hear about how the media is broken these days boil down to “The media is entirely beholden to corporate interests and won’t cover anything unless their right-leaning corporate masters approve.”

     

    Very true. That’s a typical liberal complaint about the media. My point is that this complaint is about perceived content and financial benefit. The typical conservative compliant is about perceived team allegiance, a simple-minded accusation that the media favors the other team. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    Yeah, I get the idea of parents trying to convert/brainwash their kids into voting like they do, but that involves actually changing their opinions to match the parents’. I can’t imagine someone saying, “I am personally a leftist/liberal, but I only vote for conservative Republicans because my great grandmother did, my grandmother did, my mother did, and now I do. I don’t agree with their positions but that’s just how my family operates.”

  • Lori

     I can imagine someone saying “I am personally a leftist/liberal, but I tell my family that I vote for conservative
    Republicans because my great grandmother did, my grandmother did, my
    mother did, and now I do. I don’t agree with their positions but that’s
    just how my family operates.” But yeah, I can’t imagine actually voting against my own beliefs in order to conform with family voting patterns, especially when the reason for the ancestral votes very likely no longer exists. That’s part of the reason we have the secret ballot. Everyone is entitled to vote his/her own beliefs in the privacy of the voting booth. 

  • http://veleda-k.dreamwidth.org/ Veleda

     I’ll admit I’m rather confused by this “you should vote the way your parents would have” thing. My father was a Democratic politician, but if I started voting for racist sexist liars because they had a (D) next to their name, he’d be horribly disappointed in me. I think doing the right thing is a better way to honor his memory than partisanship.

  • Matri

    (My mother’s answer to that was that someone would have to go out and pat down the grass.)

    Your mom rocks, btw.

  • P J Evans

     She did, and I still want to call her up and talk.

  • AnonymousSam

    I have a hard time understanding continuing to identify yourself as something you wouldn’t support, though. I assume you vote Democrat now, but consider yourself an old-school Republican at heart?

  • Lliira

    And if your ancestors genuinely supported hate and oppression, it isn’t
    respect, in any way, to stick with their party.  (Which is why I’m not,
    quite literally, a Nazi.)

    And why I’m not pro-slave ownership.

    In the past couple decades, a lot of historical work has been done with James K. Polk’s brother’s estate regarding slave ownership. I’m a descendant of that brother. So are some distant cousins in Alabama whom my mother visited a couple years ago for the first time — we didn’t know they existed before. My branch of the family has light pink skin. That cousins’ branch has brown skin. That they welcomed her warmly says some amazing things about them. I’d rather respect them than our common ancestor, thanks.

  • Anton_Mates

     Given the Republican party’s current attitude toward veterans’ benefits I’m not entirely clear why that’s respectful, but you know your father better than I do.

  • Matri

    Heck, considering what the Republicans have done to veteran benefits, you’d be showing far more respect by kicking his face.

  • Lliira

    WTF?

    Out of respect for your father, you’re of the party that likes to throw U.S. soldiers’ lives away on unwinnable wars. Out of respect for your father, you’re of the party that doesn’t think women — you — are completely human. Out of respect for your father, you’re going against your conscience. How can you respect a parent by going against your conscience? Didn’t your parents raise you to follow your conscience, to make your own decisions, to do the right thing? Did they raise you to be an unthinking authoritarian, sticking your face under the boot? I cannot believe any parent would want that for their child.

    I can’t wrap my head around this. My grandfather was a World War II veteran. A paratrooper in the Pacific Theatre. He saw hell for this country, he made hell for this country. This country broke his heart when they used nuclear weapons against civilians, but he still thought he could serve it, maybe change it for the better, so he joined the CIA. He knew this country — knew stuff he was never allowed to tell. He carried physical and psychological pain with him his whole life for this country. Working for this country made him a leftist.

    Supporting authoritarian, racist, misogynist ignoramuses who wank to war movies but know nothing about what war actually is, is the most disrespectful thing I can think of toward any veteran. Going against my conscience is the most disrespectful thing I can think of toward my grandparents and parents. Grow up and own your choices, stop blaming your father for them.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    I think that respect for your father’s military service is insufficient reason to align yourself with a party that is espousing the things described in the linked articles. And in the end, I’m not sure it’s particularly respectful anyway, because it not only aligns your name but his also with such ugly party-approved behavior as disenfranchising minorities, violating women’s agency and bodily integrity, and treating non-Christians as second-class citizens.

    It isn’t for me to tell you how you should show respect to your dad, but it does puzzle me that you think this is the way to do it.

  • P J Evans

    I wonder about people who run for office but are unwilling to put their party affiliation on their signs. (Most of them are running as Republicans.)

    I suspect that if the GOP keeps going down the road they’ve been following for the last twenty or so years (at least), that they’ll become another one of the third parties of US politics, and the Democrats will split into two parties, one left of center and one right of center.

  • stardreamer42

     In Texas, there are a number of offices which have no formal party affiliation — candidates just run, and none of them show up on the ballot with a party designation. Mileage probably varies elsewhere.

  • AnonymousSam

    The same is true of here, but mostly at the local level. The sheriff and county judges are frequently marked as (I), when marked at all. Which is a good thing as far as I’m concerned, since I’m not sure I would want a sheriff or a judge who exhibited political bias.

  • ohiolibrarian

     Actually, not having partisan markers on judges doesn’t mean they aren’t partisan. Both parties endorse judges based on things like business/union friendly, etc.

  • AnonymousSam

    Oh, of course, but it’s at least minutely reassuring that the judges themselves don’t boast about political affiliation (if in no other way than sticking it by their name).

  • thebewilderness

    I thought the Rs did well in 2010 because they convinced so many people that the POTUS was making things worse instead of better, and so many Ds thought the POTUS could have done better and chose not to. Turnout/voter suppression is still the key to every election, that and controlling the state house for purposes of gerrymandering.

  • AnonaMiss

    I’m inclined to give the guy in Maine the benefit of the doubt. If the proportion of (people with X phenotype) you notice voting is double that what you notice in the community, I don’t think it’s racist to consider that suspicious.

    Unless he made it up, in which case fuck him.

  • Lori

     

    I’m inclined to give the guy in Maine the benefit of the doubt. If the
    proportion of (people with X phenotype) you notice voting is double that
    what you notice in the community, I don’t think it’s racist to consider
    that suspicious.  

    So we’re supposed to give this guy gets a pass for making a racist statement about the election because in his every day life he’s so racist that black people other than his black friend with whom he plays basketball are literally invisible to him? I don’t think we want to say that.

    Setting that aside, his statement was fairly breathtaking in its stupidity. Maine has been solidly Dem for decades now and it’s not exactly a secret that it’s full of white people. So what exactly would have prompted Dems to try any election shenanigans in the first place? Assuming someone decided to commit totally unnecessary voter fraud because apparently they lost their entire minds and feared Romney’s vast appeal to Main voters, why would they have smuggled in a tiny group outsiders who stood out like raisins in rice pudding to implement this fraud? Makes no sense.

    Racism is a way more logical and likely explanation of Webster’s dumbassery and I don’t see any reason to bend over backwards to pretend otherwise.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I am less concerned about the guy’s potential racism (though that may be there) than his confusion of anecdotes for data.  I think that such a mentality tends to be far more damaging in the long run (and indeed allows racism to persist the way it has in the first place.)

  • cjmr

    “I’m inclined to give the guy in Maine the benefit of the doubt. If the proportion of (people with X phenotype) you notice voting is double that what you notice in the community, I don’t think it’s racist to consider that suspicious.
    Unless he made it up, in which case fuck him.”
    Because clearly, it would be a GOOD idea to try to commit voter fraud by showing up in a precinct where you are such the minority WRT race that everyone will notice you, remark on you, and remember you.  Sorry, that doesn’t pass the stink test.  
    I think the guy either doesn’t care to notice the African Americans in his town when he sees them on the street, or doesn’t go to the kind of place where they are.   

  • Madhabmatics

     Yeah I think the key thing was the “Well I asked my friends and none of them recognized them!” I live in the rural south in a p. small town with a huge black population and even here, if you asked a random white person “yo do you know any black people here” you’d likely get confused stares.

  • Dan Audy

    I think the guy either doesn’t care to notice the African Americans in his town when he sees them on the street, or doesn’t go to the kind of place where they are.  

    A huge amount of it has to do with economics.  I lived in an area with around 20% of the population being Chinese in background but if you worked a 9-5 job in the area and didn’t take the bus you would rarely if ever see them at the grocery store, on the streets, or at the park because during your off-hours the majority were at work (mostly non customer facing because of language skills) or on a slow and tedious commute home from outside the immediate area.  Someone who didn’t pay attention to demographics or get involved outside their narrow social network (White Evangelicals tend to have few social connections outside of work, church, and church related groups) could quite legitimately think that almost no Chinese lived in the area.

  • MaryKaye

     Lori wrote: 

    Are their any (R)s whose voting record is significantly different from
    the rest of their herd? GOP party discipline is enormous and has been
    for quite some time, so they all tend to be lockstep on virtually
    everything.

    In Congress, probably not.  I would not vote for a Republican for Congress for this reason.  But there are a ton of state legislatures and state executive offices, and those are all over the place politically.  If you run for Governor in my state you’d better run fairly close to the center or you’re toast; the (R) candidate tried to walk back some of his previous party-line decisions.  (But he lost anyway.  I like to think people are noticing these tactical flip-flops.)

    The person I voted for was running for Lt. Governor, which is a fairly do-nothing office here, but he had reasonable ideas about what to do with the do-nothing office.  The incumbent used it to go on junkets, as far as I can tell–he actually bragged about this in his candidate’s statement.

  • Lori

    This is a fair point. I’ve voted for Republicans for state and local offices in the past.  I haven’t done that since 2000 though. My level of disgust with the GOP will simply no longer allow me to vote for anyone with an R next to their name. I know that in some cases this probably contributes in a teeny, tiny way to a less than desirable outcome, but I just can’t do it. 

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I think that I voted for the same Republican that MaryKaye did, seeing that we are both in the same state (gathered from other comments on this blog.)  Felt kind of strange to vote for someone with an (R) next to their name, but the Progressive Voters Guide actually endorsed him as being more progressive  on certain important issues than the Democrat incumbent he was challenging.  

    I would rather vote based on a candidate’s position on issues than their party affiliation (though the later often implies the former, that is not necessarily true.)  To do otherwise invites blind loyalty, and that is far too easy for the focus of the loyalty to abuse.  

  • Anton_Mates

    Felt kind of strange to vote for someone with an (R) next to their name, but the Progressive Voters Guide actually endorsed him as being more progressive on certain important issues than the Democrat incumbent he was challenging.

    He certainly seemed progressive on social/environmental issues.  The Democrat seemed to have slightly stronger ties to labor, so I ended up going for him.  Partly on the verrry slight risk of the governor exploding and a Republican ending up in charge, in which case he’d almost certainly fall more in line with the party agenda.  But mostly on the theory that Our Mysterious State is already pretty progressive on social/environmental issues, but could use some shoring up in the labor area.

    But I spent a long time pondering it.  Probably longer than is merited for a Lt. Governor’s race.

  • AnonymousSam

    What state was this? I know some of the Republicans running for Congress in Washington state actually seemed halfway decent. They had an ad campaign for awhile about how they were supporting gay marriage.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    What state was this? I know some of the Republicans running for Congress in Washington state actually seemed halfway decent. They had an ad campaign for awhile about how they were supporting gay marriage.

    You just said it.  

    I will grant that a lot of eastern Washington tends to be vote reliably Republican, while western Washington* tends to vote reliably Democrat.  However, due to the larger population west of the Cascades, the state as a whole tends to be weighted to the Democrats.  For a Republican to get into office here, they practically need to be moderate, and sometimes take the stereotypical liberal side on a lot of issues, if they expect to actually get enough votes to hold office.  

    * Washington’s tech and aerospace industries have produced a lot of nouveau riche people since the eighties, who live in the urban centers of western Washington, among whom the Republicans have more support, so western Washington is not entirely Democrat, but the population as a whole tends to swing that way.  Especially since those same nouveau riche tend to lean liberal on social issues which might alienate them from southern Republicans even if they have common economic ideals.  

  • Albanaeon

    I ended up voting for one Republican on the last election simply because the other two candidates were an Ayn Rand Libertarian and a Tenther Constitutionalist.  Talk about the lesser of three evils…

  • Becca Stareyes

    I could also imagine registering as a Republican if one lives in a red state that had closed primaries as a way of damage control in the primaries — basically to pick the least objectionable candidate since the Democratic candidate is at a handicap and generally push the party away from ‘party of angry straight white Christians and rich people’.  I don’t think a person like that would identify as a Republican, though, despite what it says on their voer registration. 

    I’m not sure it would be worth the spam.  I already get enough spam from various Democratic organizations (as a Democrat who occasionally donates money and signs petitions) and even then it usually ends up in the trash bin. 

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    The spam can be entertaining, though. I didn’t register as anything but I got on the Republican list. I should’ve kept the surveys; the questions were classic examples of how to phrase survey questions to get the answers you want.

  • The_L1985

    I looked at the “family values guide” just to remind myself of which people DON’T value families as much as they pretend to. I was even given a flier smearing Senator Nelson and telling me to call and complain. So I called right away to tell Bill Nelson to keep up the good work. :)

  • P J Evans

     I was in a district once with an R representative who sent out questionnaires like that – I think it must have been Congressional because one of the questions was about the Tongass forest. I remember because every effing question had answers carefully written so you had to agree with the party position or not answer at all.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    The spam can be entertaining, though. I didn’t register as anything but I got on the Republican list. I should’ve kept the surveys; the questions were classic examples of how to phrase survey questions to get the answers you want.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    With the caveat that it’s not exactly my business how someone else votes and why, the whole idea of voting a certain way because some ancestor would vote that way seems very anti-democratic (note the small ‘d’).  In effect, it’s giving the ancestor two votes, and taking away your own, which isn’t the way democracies are supposed to work, at all.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    I’m inclined to give the guy in Maine the benefit of the doubt. If the proportion of (people with X phenotype) you notice voting is double that what you notice in the community, I don’t think it’s racist to consider that suspicious.

    I wouldn’t think it’s racist to consider that unusual.  Suspicion implies malicious intent.  It’s entirely possible that a disproportionately large number of black people voted, but that in no way indicates voter fraud.

    Maybe the root cause is, in fact, that he just didn’t see fit to notice any black people, but that’s not quite as bad as the… thing.  That he’s actually engaging in.

  • WalterC

     If your first reaction when hearing reports of black people voting is to assume that they’re up to something sleazy and very criminal, you’re probably a racist. That’s… kind of a thing. If you think about it, without the racial overtones, there’s really not that much substance to Webster’s remarks.

    Why would Democratic operatives bother shipping in unregistered voters (presumably from out of state) to Maine of all places? As far as presidential politics goes, Maine is pretty much a lock for Democrats as it is; Obama carried it in 2008, Kerry carried it in 2004, Gore carried it in 2000, etc. Neither of their two Senate seats (held by Republicans) were up for election this year, and they have reliably sent Democrats to the House every two years since the mid 1990s. It makes no sense unless you’re the kind of person who just finds black people doing anything at all to be inherently unsavory.

  • DavidCheatham

    Why would Democratic operatives bother shipping in unregistered voters (presumably from out of state) to Maine of all places?

    And why would they use _black_ people for that?

    I really wish there was a good name for the anti-conspiracy-theory filter that I, and a lot of other people, run conspiracy theories through. Basically: Let’s start by assuming that the people in the story are, indeed, as evil as claimed, and that they wish to get to the goal claimed. Is the _stated method_ a reasonable way of reaching that goal?

    It’s amazing how often conspiracy theories are _internally_ nonsense.  We need a word for that, a way to distinguish  conspiracy theories that are internally   nonsense from ones that are probably wrong, but at least have some sort of internal rhyme and reason to them. Because at this point, we have some many just _completely idiotic_ conspiracy theories that we need a way to point out ‘I’m not disputing your conspiracy based on the actual facts, I’m disputing it based on the fact the theory _itself_ makes no sense.’.

    You want to come up to me and asserting the mob assassinated JFK, well, okay, you have no evidence of that, but at least it’s a _logical_ theory, and it’s really hard to disprove. So I might think you’re wrong, but I don’t think you’re crazy.

    You want to tell me that someone rigged the presidential election in Maine via busing in black people, that’s…uh…I don’t even have to check the facts of that, because it’s a completely idiotic plan that only someone completely out of touch with reality would believe.

  • DavidCheatham

    Actually, thinking about it, there are three classes of conspiracy theories:

    1) Ones that make sense, and cannot be disproved because they’re basically just about people. (Lee Harvey Oswald was working for someone, ‘let it happen on purpose’ truthers, etc.)

    2) Ones that technically would make sense, but the actual evidence tends to indicate they are wrong. (JFK assassination theories asserting the gun shots came from elsewhere, faked moon landing theories, etc.)

    3) Ones that do not make any logical sense at all. (The Pentagon attack was done by a missile, people attempted to rig the Maine presidential election, President Obama instructed people to lie about Benghazi for certain amount of time and then tell the truth, the pollster are biased toward Obama, there is in-person voter impersonation.)

    It might be noteworthy that a lot of my example of type 3 are _very recent_ Republican conspiracies, and I had to, in fact, think hard to come up with a ‘left’ conspiracy. (Although, of course, even believing the #1 version of trutherism is enough to get you kicked out of the left.)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    It’s kind of funny how the left has disowned any kind of Reichstag Fire analogies out of some kind of patriotic self-preservation. It’s in the writings of the PNAC folks – they NEEDED some kind of good, shocking terrorist act to be able to get their agenda.

  • WalterC

    I think it’s probably a good call. Motive isn’t evidence in and of itself. After all, Obama needed a valid birth certificate to be eligible to run for President, but that doesn’t prove that he faked one and placed it with the Hawaiian authorities. Before you accuse someone of doing anything like that, you should have solid evidence; anything less is spreading rumors and if you do that it only discredits you and your movement (deservedly so, in my opinion).

     Thank
    you for this. I’ve been down to OWS a few times, and have worked with
    people involved there, and the news coverage trended towards 1) Dirty
    hippies have (sometimes non consensual) sex and throwing trash
    everywhere, 2) no one having a clue as to why they’re down there (“OWS
    has no goals!” “Here’s a manifesto…” “OWS has no goals!!” 3) something
    something private property something something. . .

    If anything, the fact that OWS didn’t have an obvious, prefabricated agenda right off the bat speaks well of them in my opinion. Organic grassroots movements rarely come with pretyped model legislation ready to go, and you should always be suspicious of (ostensibly) spontaneous protests that coincidentally happen to line up neatly with the stated goals of a prominent mainstream party. It’s not necessarily astroturfing if you’re not like that, but it makes it less plausible.

  • P J Evans

     Well, they’re still hoping for the Cold War to come back, so they can threaten their enemies with nuclear destruction.
    Why, yes, I do think they’re evil people.

  • MaryKaye

    It might make sense if you came from somewhere where the political parties were very active presences in your life.  I could see this kind of loyalty in a union situation:  “I don’t agree with the union’s current politics, but they bailed my dad out when his shop folded, and got a doctor for my grandpa when the boiler exploded, and I can’t turn my back on them now.”

    My mother felt that way about the Catholic Church.  I don’t personally know anyone who feels that way about Democrats or Republicans but I can imagine it happening.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     My mom voted Democrat for most of her working life this way… her sensibilities are more aligned with Republicans, but she felt she owed the Democrats her allegiance for stuff they’d done for her family when they first arrived in the US. Once she retired and moved to Florida, she became more consistently Republican.

    I finally had the conversation with her this morning where I said “oh, and incidentally, the fact that you voted for the guy who wants to repeal the ACA and wants my marriage to be against the law is something that hurts my feelings on a personal level,” which I wasn’t sure I’d ever actually say to her.

  • Madhabmatics

    If you don’t remember the famous chapters of Das Kapital, RACE MIXING and LOW FAT FOODS FOR CHILDREN ONLY, it’s easy to think that these dastardly hippies might not be part of the Red Menace.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The Tea Party was totally astroturfed. My spidey-sense started tingling the instant they started sprouting up as if from nowhere and instantly getting media attention.

  • P J Evans

     CNN was paying for a bus for one group. which is about as far into the tank as a media organization can get, and I’m surprised they still have any credibility.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    O’Reilly: Black Voters Don’t Believe In ‘Self Reliance’ Or ‘American Exceptionalism’

    Considering that the doctrine of Manifest Destiny* was promulgated and executed by white politicians for their aggrandizement and domination of this continent, a doctrine that patently ignored the plight of black slaves and the existing Aboriginal peoples on this continent…

    I’m really not surprised that blacks wouldn’t believe in American Exceptionalism. (Although I’m sure many do; they’re entitled to believe whatever they want. O’Reilly just thinks they don’t exist.)

    What does surprise me is that O’Reilly is so ludicrously out of touch with this basic fact that he universalizes this ideology and assumes anyone who doesn’t believe it is perforce not a real American.


    * The forerunner of American Exceptionalism, as it was an ideology that explicitly assumed that the US government had the right to rule all of North America as the USA was supposed to be uniquely favored in history.

  • Carstonio

    Any white person who claims that blacks don’t believe in self-reliance should just drop the pretense of not having hooded sheets stashed somewhere in the house.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    The forerunner of American Exceptionalism, as it was an ideology that
    explicitly assumed that the US government had the right to rule all of
    North America as the USA was supposed to be uniquely favored in history.

    You know, though, I am not sure when right-wing types talk about American Exceptionalism and how great and true it is and how those horrid minorities and not-Real-American types don’t believe in it, the thing they’re talking about is what we think of when we talk about “American Exceptionalism”.  I think they may not mean anything more than a sort of vague sense of “America Is Teh Awesome”

  • Lori

    I think they may not mean anything more than a sort of vague sense of “America Is Teh Awesome”   

    I think this is true. I don’t think the typical person getting all up in arms about the DNFs and the “takers” not believing in American Exceptionalism has any idea what it means. Pretty much the same way that folks who rave on about the Constitution so frequently demonstrate that they haven’t actually read any of it other than the 2nd Amendment and Article II, Section 1.

    My current favorite being the Tea Party guy who came up with the brilliant idea of getting Romney into the White House by persuading enough members of the electoral college to refuse to vote to prevent the college from having a quorum, which would throw the election to the House, which would give it to Romney.

    Aside from being a fairly breath-taking show of contempt for democracy, it’s also a total fantasy. Something which anyone who has actually read the Constitution and loves it a fraction as much as the Teas claim to would know because there’s not one word in it about an electoral college quorum.

  • Tricksterson

    The People’s Choice by Jeff Greengield is an excellent, if fictional, account of something like that happening.  There are safeguards at both the federal and many states level to prevent that.  Basically if an elector refuses to vote at all he/she can be replaced, the mechanism of the replacement depending on the state.  Likewise in some, though not all states if she/he decides to vote differently than they’re pledged to.

  • Tricksterson

    Oops, that’s Jeff Greenfield

  • Turcano

    Also, it kind of ignores the fact that a majority has a quorum by default if they all show up.  All that would accomplish is to emulate Cartman in saying “screw you guys, I’m going home.”

  • EllieMurasaki

    Define ‘quorum’. If a quorum is sixty percent, then if a simple majority show up, they can’t do squat.

  • Turcano

    Judging from the survey given on the Wikipedia article, most countries that use a quorum define it as a simple majority or less (Canada’s current quorum is effectively 6.5%).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    I heard that the author of that piece (for the World Net Daily) was actually a man called “Judson Phillips”, who is (according to Wikipedia and other sources) an attorney who graduates from the University of Memphis. I assume that the University of Memphis does not list him among their notable alumni in their advertising…

  • Tricksterson

    Also while the House elects the President in such a situation, the Vice President is not automatically his running mate but picked by the Senate, which is of course controlled by the Democrats.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    *snerk* Joe Biden would have a field day needling Romney, I bet. :P

  • WalterC

    That would be a great sitcom, or a movie with Will Farrell.

  • Lori

    Oh, that would be priceless.

    Speaking of Romney and funny—as the vote totals continue to come in his share of the popular vote has continued to fall. As of today he’s down to 47.485% of the popular vote. Which rounds to 47%.

    That just warms the cockles of my heart. I hope he’s somewhere pumping his own gas and eating his nasty, plutocratic heart out, the asshat.

  • WalterC

    No but seriously, it would be a great movie. President Romney and Vice-President Biden spend the first few weeks of their terms bickering and playing pranks on each other, but then they have to get serious and work together when they become fugitives after a coup or attack on their Inauguration Day. At some point they’ll get handcuffed together and do that thing when they are being chased by the bad guys and then Biden tries to run to the left and Romney tries to run to the right and because they’re cuffed together they end up not being able to move at all. It’ll be some kind of metaphor or something for partisanship, but it also has to be slapstick.

    I don’t know who the bad guy should be though. I’m thinking Cyborg Osama, but it’ll be even better if it’s someone completely unexpected, like Chief Justice John Roberts or Newt Gingrich or even Secretary of the Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

    There should also be a scene where Romney and Biden are on the roof of something and there are ninjas all around them and they have to fight back to back and do like Matrix style flips and stuff.

    Directed by Brett Ratner.

  • WalterC

    Oh, and I forgot — there should also be a scene where they hook up with Obama and Ryan and the four of them launch a raid on the bad guy’s fortress.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I think this is true. I don’t think the typical person getting all up in arms about the DFHs and the “takers” not believing in American Exceptionalism has any idea what it means. Pretty much the same way that folks who rave on about the Constitution so frequently demonstrate that they haven’t actually read any of it other than the 2nd Amendment and Article II, Section 1.

    Indeed, I might even go as far as to say that quite a lot of the time, right-wing talking heads actually have no idea what they’re saying nor do they care; they’re pure Pavlovian creatures just making noises that get them fed without any understanding of what the words mean. Hence, say, Herman Cain saying that he supports a woman’s freedom to choose but that abortion should be illegal — the words didn’t mean anything, he just knew that “freedom” and “abortion should be illegal” are both things that get you applause.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

     http://www.orwelltoday.com/duckspeak.shtml

  • Tricksterson

    Oh and also, I forget if it’s just the senate, just the House or both (honestly when you get to this level of the Constitution you gotta wonder if Robert Anton Wilson was right about the ounding fathers smoking weed) but the vote is not by all the members but by state.  Each state gets one vote which means the states delegation has to hash it out.

  • http://dumas1.livejournal.com/ Winter

     According to the 12th Amendment, the House votes by state, but the Senators vote individually.


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