Pro-waterboarding, anti-gay — the values of the values voters

Pro-waterboarding, anti-gay — the values of the values voters November 3, 2012

“You’re going to vote for the liar. Because he shares your moral values.”

“The respectable Republicans want to believe that he’ll betray the wingnut haters, and the wingnut haters are sure that he’s going to double-cross the respectable folks.”

“Have we ever had a commander-in-chief who could not distinguish between truth and fiction, as appears to be the case with Romney?”

“Top Romney Adviser: If you own a microwave, you aren’t really poor”

“We’ve clearly entered some parallel universe … campaign politics at its cynical worst.”

“We’re looking at Hubble telescope-length distances between [Romney’s] campaign ads and reality.”

“The real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin.”

“When a reporter asked him if he considered waterboarding to be torture, Romney responded ‘I don’t.’

“For Romney, any hint of concern that America might make mistakes, overextend itself or submit to virtually any constraint projects an image of weakness.”

As a matter of morality or patriotism, the Republican strategy has been a disaster because it has demonstrated more clearly than at any time since the secession crisis that a political faction can put their ideological aims ahead of the basic well-being of the country and not necessarily be punished for it by voters.”

If you want to get rid of a legal right in a democratic society, you should level with your fellow citizens about where you want to go from there. Especially if you’re running for president.”

I don’t really care what you tell your adopted daughter.”

Some gays are actually having children born to them. … It’s not right on paper. It’s not right in fact.”

“Romney and Ryan believe that I am less than you. They believe I am a second class citizen and don’t deserve the same rights that you had the privilege of being born into simply by being straight.”

“Look me in the eye, speak with a level clear voice, and say, ‘My taxes and take-home pay mean more than your fundamental civil rights, the sanctity of your marriage, your right to visit an ailing spouse in the hospital, your dignity as a citizen of this country, your healthcare, your right to inherit, the mental welfare and emotional well-being of your youth, and your very personhood.'”

“But is that what our Founders really intended to be the pursuit of our country and its people — to be happy?”

“You can make stuff up. You can lie. You can throw away any conviction you once may have had and just libel people and ignore some of the most basic teachings of the faith you claim to hold. You can proudly publish books and movies that are contemptuous of truth. For all of this, the Christian Right will pat you on the back.”

What’s going to go to charity is probably close to nothing.”

I am voting for Obama because I am a Mormon, not in spite of it.”

“You don’t claim that dinosaurs and humans walked side by side, do you?” “Of course I do.”

Romney can’t answer the question, so he just lets the ravenous, angry crowd answer for him.”

“And I recall a line in a fictional football team show. … It was called Friday Night Lights, you probably didn’t see it.”

“The night before the event, campaign aides went to a local Wal-Mart and spent $5,000 on granola bars, canned food, and diapers to put on display while they waited for donations to come in.”

“Let me in. Let me in the White House. I won’t hurt anyone, honest.”

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  • animus

    Reagan was frequently a bit vague on the whole reality vs movies question, as I recall.

  • Carstonio

    One minor clarification for Col. Wilkerson: their issue with Obama is that he’s an educated black man. Herman Cain didn’t offend their racial pecking order because he was openly contemptuous of intellectualism.

  • Antigone10

    I think that a better indication that “If you have a microwave you aren’t poor” nonsense is this:

    Second-hand microwaves are easy to come by, even cheaper.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Kitchen stoves, like any other major appliance, are expensive as fuck. If one cannot afford a microwave and one’s apartment has no kitchen or has a kitchen with a busted stove, how the fuck is one supposed to eat? Because one sure as fuck cannot afford to eat out every day if one cannot scrape together fifty dollars for a fucking microwave.

  • Lori

    If we had a functioning press corps whenever someone pulled out this business about poor people having microwaves reporters would immediately ask that person how much a microwave costs. I suspect the answer would be very revealing.

    Either the person would have no clue whatsoever, revealing himself* to be simply regurgitating a talking point which seems fine to him because he’s stuck somewhere back in the early 80s when all microwaves were a luxury item, or he’d name some ridiculous figure and we’d find out that the price of the microwave in his home had a comma in it and he just assumes everyone drops that kind of money on their small kitchen appliances. IOW, he’d show himself to be either Bush I befuddled by the checkout scanner at a grocery store or Marie Antoinette.

    *I’ve only heard this particular bit of stupid from Republican men. AFAIK the Republican women are skipping this particular talking point.

  • He’s an alien, right?  Or a time-traveler?  Or, most likely, a time-traveling alien? 

    How else to explain the “fictional football team” show about the “fictional football team” quote?

  • Lori

    Not an alien, an android with slightly faulty “personality” programming. It glitches every time he has to talk to the common folk. It works fine when he’s dealing with the riches though and that’s what matters, because that’s what he was designed to do.

  • P J Evans

     I know people who kept their old stove, even though it had a (very small) gas leak, because the new ones were too expensive for them.
    I figure I’m lucky: my current place came with a stove and a microwave. I had to buy a fridge, though.

  • Lori

     I do not understand the concept of apartments that don’t come with a stove and a fridge. I know that they exist, but I don’t see any good reason why. Part of the point of living in an apartment is not having to do or pay for maintenance yourself, much lower move-in costs than a house and being more mobile due to the relative ease of moving. Having to purchase, maintain and eventually move a heavy, expensive major appliance runs counter to the purpose.

  • hidden_urchin

    It’s really weird how some people have to emphasize that something pretty much everyone else recognizes as fictional is, in fact, fictional.  I once was talking to a woman who actually said, “Remember the part in the fictional movie Indiana Jones…”

    Is there anyone who really thinks Indiana Jones is anything other than fiction?

    I don’t get it.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Given the number of people who seriously think it’s possible to learn how to do real-world magic from Harry Potter or Dungeons and Dragons?

  • Also: Oh my god. Romney has gone Full-On “Elect Me or the hostage gets it.“, saying that if he is not proclaimed king, the house GOP will deliberately cause a new recession out of spite.

  •  Romney has also heard that some poor people are claiming to need government assistance in spite of owning 2 light bulbs and a pair of nylons.

  • Antigone10

    That makes a lot of sense- the idea that they are so out of touch with people that they have no idea what MAKES an item a luxury item.

    Of course, I’ve noticed “luxury” is always on a sliding scale.  If you’re buying cigarettes/ alcohol  nail polish/ soda when you’re on welfare, CLEARLY you don’t actually need foodstamps, right?   Because that’s how that works.

  • WalterC

     That’s not a threat though; it’s an accurate depiction of what the House Republicans will do in the past and probably will do again when they retain control in the next election. They were incompetent morons long before Romney started running for President and, regardless of who wins the election, they will remain completely and utterly worthless long after November.

  • Most big box stores sell refurbished microwave ovens that are even cheaper than that – as little as $25, from what I’ve seen – and as Antigone10 points out, there’s no shortage of used ones. And that’s not even getting into how many apartments have pre-installed microwaves. This is the “poor people’s luxury” example that gives away the game – no one is this out of touch, so it demonstrates how dishonest these people really are.

    I lived in some real ratholes in China – all of them had fridges, and all but one had a microwave. Hell, I once lived in a place where the windows didn’t shut, half the outlets didn’t work and the bed was just a plank with fabric over it. It still had a microwave and a fridge.

  • Romney has also heard that some poor people are claiming to need government assistance in spite of owning 2 light bulbs and a pair of nylons.

    What is this? 1935?

  • hidden_urchin

    Every time I think I’ve taken the Republican position as far as it can go for my NaNo novel, I come back here and find they’ve gone even farther.


  • Whaddaya do?  Shoot the hostage.  Take him out of the equation.


    I’ve already voted, so I guess I shot Romney’s hostage.

  • There’s a new ad that’s driving me absolutely mad – “ooh, this is the new normal: they things are better but look how horribly awful unemployment and budget and deficit are” – well, yeah. If you persist in putting up obstacles you can’t then blame people for tripping.

  • Tricksterson

    Anyone who claims that waterboarding is not torture and want me to take them seriously should be willing to have it done to them.

    In answer to the second article:  he’ll betray them both.  That’s how he rolls.

  • The Des Moines Register endorsed Romney because the Congressional GOP are radical obstructionists. Their position was that getting something — anything — done was better than the status quo. Then they started dribbling out Republican talking points about how “uncertainty” is causing the recovery to lag and how business leaders will feel “confident” about CEO President Romney and start going back into full production and hiring. It was a bizarre read from a newspaper that’s normally better than that.

  • P J Evans

     I lived in one with a range and an under-counter fridge that had to be defrosted every month. I don’t mind buying a fridge – we have stores where you can buy new-but-dinged for a discount, and there’s always the used ones.

  • I hear this one in the UK a lot from what might be called the working poor.

    “They’re on benefits how can they afford (random non-luxury item)? I can’t afford (random non-luxury item).”

    Me: They’re probably up to their ears in debt with Bright House.

    But no, they remain utterly convinced that this is a sign the people on benefits are better off than them and the government is coddling them. Me, I work now but I’ve been on benefits in the past and it’s not easy or good.

  • hidden_urchin

    Yeah, I had someone tell me to ” vote for life” the other day and responded that I already had.

    Voting in favor of the guy who brought us the ACA is voting for life, isn’t it?

  • The Bible has something in it about douchebags who purposely put stumbling blocks before the blind.

  • EllieMurasaki

    It’s not a stumbling block, it’s a limbo pole. They can get under it, so everyone else can too, right? And never mind that they’ve got it set to neck level for them and waist level for everyone else.

  • I do not understand the concept of apartments that don’t come with a stove and a fridge.

    If you ever move to Australia, you’ll need to bring your own fridge. Our flats don’t come with whitegoods.

  • Antigone10

    But no, they remain utterly convinced that this is a sign the people on benefits are better off than them and the government is coddling them. 


    Why do these people never quit their jobs?  If they are SO convinced that the government coddles people on benefits, than enjoy the fat of the nation if they think it’s awesome.  Or, look up the exact amount people have, and then try and live on it.

    No, seriously, this makes me rage face.

  • WalterC

     It’s such an irritating argument, too. It’s not even, “Vote for Romney because he has the business sense and policy know-how to turn the economy around.” I might disagree with that argument but at least it’s a good reason if it were true. But “Vote for Romney, or else his political allies will tank the economy out of sheer spite. Oh, and if you’re worried about the ridiculous garbage he was spewing earlier in the campaign, don’t — hopefully he’ll just turn out to be like Obama.”

    That’s absurd, and it absolutely does not bode well for the future of our democracy if that rationale became accepted as reasonable. Can you imagine? “Elect me as your governor, or I swear me and my friends will do everything we can to fuck over this entire state for the next four years.”

    What a bunch of crap. I honestly feel sorry for the person at the Register who had to write that. Even if they liked Romney, they would have probably preferred to make a better case for him as a leader that didn’t rely on essentially admitting it.

    There’s a new ad that’s driving me absolutely mad
    – “ooh, this is the new normal: they say things are better but look how
    horribly awful unemployment and budget and deficit are” – well, yeah. If you persist in putting up obstacles you can’t then blame people for tripping.

    The best part of this argument is that it completely negates their other favorite argument: that there are plenty of jobs and opportunities out there and people who are out-of-work or poor are only like that because they’re lazy and entitled.

  •  I suspect they are smug about their honesty for the first and looking up the exact amount people get would be a little complicated since you’d have to allow for housing benefit and similar as well for the second. (It’s not impossible for someone working part time on a minimum wage to end up with less disposable income than if they were on Jobseekers allowance but that suggests the minimum wage is too low more than anything).

  • Jmu

    I also deeply enjoyed the Register’s description of their hope for a Romney administration:

    Romney should not squander an opportunity to build consensus in
    Washington by wasting time on issues that animate many in his party. We
    cannot rewind the clock on progress for minorities, women, gays and
    lesbians. We must make it easier for immigrants to come here to live and
    work legally and stop making criminals of those who are living here
    lawfully, paying taxes and raising families. The federal government must
    continue to insist on clean air and water and encourage clean and
    renewable energy.

    I mean, that makes perfect sense, right? It would be hard to find a Presidential candidate who supported “progress for minorities, women, or gays and lesbians“.

    There isn’t a single candidate on the ballot for any party that wants to “make it easier for immigrants to come here to live and work
    legally and stop making criminals of those who are living here lawfully,
    paying taxes and raising families

    And of course, Obama is legendary for his disregard and contempt for “clean air and water and “clean energy” spending.

    Nope. The only guy on the ballot who could possibly effect that sort of thing is Mitt Romney. Even though he has criticized many of these specific initiatives in the past and has never expressed any interest in making bigger advances on them at present… well, hopefully he was just kidding when he said those things.

  • WalterC

    Well, that’s not quite right. Anyway, most of those were supposed to be quotes with links interspersed in them…

  • hidden_urchin

    Yeah, I think College Humor did a sketch on that a couple of years ago.

    Here it is:

  • reynard61

    “Is there anyone who really thinks Indiana Jones is anything other than fiction?”

    One of the links in this post has a guy who thinks that there were dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark — and that there was, indeed, a Noah’s Ark. (*AND* he’s one of the people who decides what schoolbooks the children of Texas are going to use!) You do the math.

  • When my cousin was 3 and I was 18 we had a tea party – the usual kid thing with toys and empty teacups – and what I though was really weird was that she always referred to it as “pretend” tea. I had very limited experience with small children but I’d got the impression little kids ought to be insisting that it’s *not* pretend tea. (She’d have starved in Neverland, that’s for sure). It had to be her parents’ influence but I still have no idea why.

    She grew up to be the first family member I dropped from Twitter for Glenn Beck-retweeting.

  • hidden_urchin

    That’s really sad. I remember some of the games I played with my friends at around five. In the moment we were absolutely flying the Enterprise around the universe protecting worlds from all manner of dangerous threats and is there any problem that can’t be solved by reversing the polarity? Of course I knew our playset wasn’t a real spaceship and the patient dog was not an alien. But I was lucky enough to be allowed to set that aside for a couple of hours and make it whatever I could think of.

    Has anyone seen the ” Written by a kid” webseries. It’s pretty cool and reminds me of the stories I used to come up with.

  • WalterC

     You’re surprised that a Tea Partier is also a fan of Glenn Beck?

  • Lori


    is there any problem that can’t be solved by reversing the polarity?   

    Very few. It’s the interstellar equivalent of duct tape. (It stands to reason that there must be also be some interstellar equivalent of WD40 to use on the problems that can’t be fixed by reversing the polarity, but I can’t think what that would be.)

  • Probably a nadion pulse or something. The technobabble got pretty severe on DS9 for a while, and it got almost physically painful at times.

  • Steph

    No, everyone knows that being “for life” means letting people without insurance die and cheering for capital punishment.  (At least, that’s what the Republican primary debates taught me.)

  • Jenny Islander

    I have seen this argument more times than I can stomach: If you find yourself in need of government benefits you should first sell every single thing that makes your life easier, every single thing that you could afford before but can’t replace now.  Drop all paid services that don’t actually keep you breathing.  Then you can get benefits.

    One of these jackasses actually argued that kids don’t really need beds, so their parents should sell them and use the money for food.  (The beds, not the kids.)  On a less extreme note, I’ve seen repeated inability to comprehend that if you try to interview for a groomed and polished office job while looking shabby and desperate, you won’t get a callback.

  • WalterC

     Wasn’t that the logic behind the Victorian era “less eligibility” in England, which was the deliberate policy of making life on welfare worse than the worst possible existence outside of the system?

    For example, if you were a carpenter who fell on hard times and had to go on public assistance, you were expected to first exhaust all of your resources. This meant selling off all of your non-essential properties, including the tools of your trade, which at the time were pretty expensive, often inherited, and very difficult to replace.

    Not surprisingly, this meant that many people who went on welfare would basically be unable to get off.

    The only reason this system worked, of course, was because the bureaucrats in charge of administering it basically ignored that policy in its entirety. They realized that forcing former tradesmen to essentially destroy their ability to return to work would essentially guarantee that they remained poor, and that the other little cruelties they were supposed to impose (splitting up husbands and wives, taking away children, barring people in poorhouses from going outside unsupervised) would end up causing the cycle of dependency they wanted to avoid.

  • Albanaeon

    Of course, if the poor aren’t suffering, and I mean really obviously suffering, then they might be tempted to stay that way.  Puritan Work Ethic in full on mode.  Not working is sin, poverty is punishment for that sin and other moral failings, and should therefor be as much as a scourge as possible to cleanse them and put them back on the path to righteousness as soon as possible.  That it doesn’t really work that way is never a failing of a quasi-religious belief.  Particularly when it gives you the chance to always feel good and superior about one’s self.

    It’s particularly bad that now you really can’t find a reason for people to work their butts off any more.  Technology and education and productivity honestly means a 40-50 hour work week is probably *counterproductive* in terms of health, happiness and productivity as well as finding enough “work” for people to do in the first place.  So, having people being able live comfortably off a dole might be better for all of us.  For one, shrinking the pool of people looking for work helps workers get better jobs, and those jobs, if they really need people, will really need to be better than the dole to keep them.  Shorter work hours means more jobs to fill, and people spending more time on leisure, and thus being happier and healthier.  And for the economy, to keep it running it just needs to have money flowing in it.   Giving it directly to people is by far the most efficient way of doing that. 

    It’d be easy to resent the person that sat on the couch and played video games, but really, if they pay rent and buy games and pizza and what have you, there contribution to the economy is probably the same as if they are working part-time in a low paying job.  Maybe even more.  But we’ve been so subsumed by the “Puritan Work Ethic” that its hard to not morally judge that couch potato and not question why we work so hard for so little.

  • Cor Aquilonis

    “Top Romney Adviser: If you own a microwave, you aren’t really poor”

    From personal experience that, if you say the words “I don’t have a microwave,” or “I don’t have a TV” in the average American workplace, you will have several offers of them from coworkers within the month.  Many, many people have extras laying around at home that work fine, that they just haven’t gotten rid of yet.

    My last microwave, my current television and DVD player were gifts from coworkers or family that were going to throw them out.  My computer was purchased for $110 from a university that was getting rid of old equipment.  My blackberry was a gift from a friend who was upgrading her phone, and the data package is on a family plan with employee discount – it costs less per month than a dumb-phone on my own.  People who have a problem with poor people having basic electronics just haven’t gotten creative about how they get the electronics.

    Sometimes I wonder if it’s a basic empathy deficit: if the pundit can’t imagine anyone getting electronics from any source other than retail purchase, then poor people must, MUST be squandering their income on retail purchases of electronics.

  • Tricksterson

    Not only that but that some remnant of it, or even the whole thing is still up there on Mt. Ararat.  This is a meme that started with several phony documentaries in the 60s and 70s and lives on today thanks to, you guessed it, Lahaye and Jenkins.

  • Tricksterson

    Both of the computers I’ve owned have been gifts, one from my sister, the other from a friend.