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The Reports of the Republican Party’s Demise Have Been Greatly Understated

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One wonders just how long it will be before the Republican party realizes that its scorched-earth, win-whatever-it-takes political tactics are consigning the party to electoral marginalization. It‘s been noted many times by moderate and left-wing pundits that the more the Republican leadership panders to the conservative base, the more moderates they alienate from the Republican party.

At first glance, it would seem that the conservatives would hold a distinct advantage. After all, according to a Gallup poll, nearly twice as many Americans, 40% to 21%, identify themselves as conservative rather than liberal. However, in that same poll, 35% of the respondents identified themselves as moderates or independents, and it is this demographic that the conservatives are abandoning in their drive to solidify the base. In the last election, Obama/Biden got 52.9%; in order for the Democrats to reach that percentage of the popular vote, they would have had to attract ninety-one percent of the moderates!

This is why the Republican party has done so poorly in the past two national election cycles.

The current Republican political model is simply untenable. They are facing one major disadvantage above all others: the instantaneous flow of information. The exchange of information leads to learning, to growing, to change, and change is, by definition, what a conservative should oppose. But what does their resistance to change, their adamant clinging to values of generations past, really do for the party as a whole? Such obstinacy only ensures that, as the world moves on, the Republican party will be left behind.

For instance, thirty years ago, would top-ranked television shows include homosexual partners? Would there have been legal homosexual civil unions and legal rights and protections, much less gay marriage? Would a mixed-race marriage not even raise an eyebrow in most of the country? Would a mixed-race man with a Muslim middle name have even been considered for a career job in the government, much less as president?

Of course not, but now, such are the norm. The world is moving on, and the Republican party is stuck in a death spiral; every time a Republican says or does or encourages something illegal, immoral, or otherwise politically abhorrent, that Republican is only accelerating their descent to political marginalization.

To wit: a short list of conservative political missteps:

  • Fox News – the ‘fair and balanced’ official sponsor of Tax Day Tea Parties
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce blasts Obama’s budget and recovery plans. In this article in the New York Post, the C-of-C’s chief economist called it “the biggest return to the welfare state we’ve seen in decades.” That was a couple weeks before the Dow Jones hit bottom at about 6600 – it’s now about 8500. It’s interesting to note that just today, banks repaid the U.S. government $68B in TARP funds, and JP Morgan Chase is now paid in full. It should also be noted that in every major recession, including the Great Depression, the economy only recovered after massive infusions of taxpayer funds. The veterans of the Japanese economic meltdown of the 90‘s that heralded their economic lost decade had three words of advice to help us recover: “More money, faster.”
  • There are the conservative pundits who wanted Ahmadinejad to win the Iranian election, and when the obviously fraudulent vote tally was published, they blamed the results on Obama.
  • Of course Fox News couldn’t be left out of it – their commentators and guests said Obama’s speech “gave 9-11 sympathizers a voice on the world stage”, and repeatedly called the President’s overseas trip an “apology tour”.
  • According to conservative pundits on Fox News, Iran is “one of the most hideous regimes in the world” (never mind that women there have FAR more rights and protection than they do in our ally, Saudi Arabia) and that our "only hope" is regime change, which term in modern politico-speak refers to assassination, coup, or invasion. Gee, a THIRD war! That’s just what the world needs, right? The same pundits also said that North Korea’s bad behavior and their arrest of two American citizens are “a humiliating repudiation of the Obama policy on North Korea” as if controlling the antics of North Korea’s Dear Leader were as simple as that!
  • From South Carolina, after a gorilla escaped from a zoo elsewhere in the state, a GOP county chairman decided that “I’m sure it’s just one of Michelle’s ancestors — probably harmless.”
  • Also from South Carolina, a campaign manager for the GOP candidate for governor tweeted, “Just heard Obama is going to impose a 40 percent tax on aspirin because it's white and it works."
  • Yet more from South Carolina, where last year a GOP house member was caught with a flyer on his desk which stated that Obama was sure to lose the black vote because he had promised a job to all black Americans, but that those black Americans were too lazy to actually want the jobs.

(Gee, one wonders how successful the South Carolina GOP will be in winning the minority vote in the next several elections?)

  • And I‘m sure by now we‘ve all heard of this repugnantly racist e-mail, sent by the legislative staff member of a GOP state senator, who only regretted that she sent it "to the wrong group."

But it’s not just about foreign policy and racism. Now RNC Chairman Michael Steele claimed that the upcoming Constitutionally-required census would be used for political gain: “Certainly the collection of this information is going to be part of an ongoing political campaign by this administration.” Not to be outdone, MN GOP Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann said that she would not be answering any questions in the census beyond how many people are in the household. Perhaps she is unaware that much more than that is required by Federal law.

We liberals can only hope that many, many conservatives fall into line behind the examples set by Steele and Bachmann, because refusal to complete the census would automatically result in lowered funding and governmental assistance and representation (but not taxation) in majority conservative areas, but then, once this happens, they’d just blame us liberals for it anyway.

One must ask, though, why are the Republicans so paranoid about the census now, but we’ve heard nary a peep from them for the past eight years? Could it be that they’ve found another strawman?

But let’s not get too far off track, because the above claims are just from the mainstream conservatives. Let’s look at some of what the far-right extremists have been doing. Remember the the Department of Homeland Security’s draft memorandum back in April? Remember the warning that the current economic and political landscape created dangerously ripe conditions for a resurgence in radicalization and extremist recruitment? Remember RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s outrage?“…talk about arrogance. Talk about insult. I mean to segment out Americans who dissent from this administration, to segment out conservatives in this country who have a different philosophy or view from this administration, and labeling them as terrorists…”

So let’s not look at words, but at deeds:

  • There’s the rural Pennsylvania paper that published an ad apparently calling for the assassination of President Obama.
  • A former Army enlisted man decided that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country, and so he opened fire in a church that espoused liberal values, killing two and wounding six more.
  • We all know about the right-wing evangelical Christian activist who recently killed an abortion provider, though the conservatives quickly claimed they had no part in encouraging such an act, never mind that Bill O’Reilly had crusaded against the victim for years, calling him “Tiller the Baby Killer”.
  • According to pundits all across the conservative spectrum including Limbaugh and Beck, James von Brunn, the longtime anti-Semite who decided to "go out with his boots on" when he attacked and killed a security guard at the Holocaust Museum, was actually a leftist! The New Republic decided to take a closer look, and found that von Brunn’s words and deeds evince his adherence to a significantly more extreme version of Pat Buchanan’s world view, for von Brunn in no wise seemed to abide by any classical liberal tenets.
  • We could mention the former leader of the uber-patriotic Minutemen, those self-appointed guardians of our borders. It seems he and two other comrades – who had been expelled from the mainstream Minutemen for their extremist views, decided to rob and kill a family, including a nine year-old girl. But this isn’t domestic terrorism, it’s "just a heinous crime."

Sure, there are Islamic extremists and even a few left-wing extremists who murder innocents, but despite the Bush administration’s assurance that left-wing extremist groups like the Earth Liberation Front were the most dangerous domestic terrorist threats to America, the number of violent hate groups in America rose more than 50% during the tenure of the Bush administration. In fact, in the ten years ending in 2005, almost sixty right-wing extremist plots were discovered and foiled. Here is a list of some of those plots. I strongly doubt a similar list of left-wing extremist plots can be reproduced by a reliable source. I really don’t think it’s an exaggeration to state that the great majority of violent extremists, those willing, even eager to take innocent lives to achieve their goals, identify much more strongly with the conservative right than with the liberal left, for that is what the available evidence shows. If someone can prove me wrong on this, please do so.

So where are we going with all this?  As late as the 1950's, conservatives held sway in both parties, but in the sixties, something happened.  The winds of change began to blow.  Some of the more powerful Democrats began to embrace the nascent change in the American psyche, or at least they adjusted their sails to run before the wind sown over generations of slavery and Jim Crow, of prejudice and misogyny, that began to make itself heard as whispers and groans of the victims of institutionalized discrimination grew in harmony with the voices of the artists of the most influential decade in musical history and howled in grief and pain with the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy.  Yes, even the most cynical among the Democrats had to acknowledge the growing power of the minority and alternative-lifestyle electorate and saw that someone, someday would reap the whirlwind…

But the Republicans saw nothing, or chose to see nothing.  They denied the cries for help in leveling the playing field from minorities, the gay community and women, and they have begun to pay the political price.  It's not without cause that the Republican party has been referred to as the party of old white men, for that's all that's left when one subtracts the women, the minorities, and the youth, the majority of each of which  now firmly reside in the Democratic camp.  Furthermore, as the years have passed, the Republican party, being less and less influenced by the liberal ideas that often come from minorities, women, and youth, has become more and more tolerant of right-wing extremists who have since gained some measure of political power in the Republican hierarchy.  The echo-chamber of right-wing hate talk , for that’s what it is, has led to a dangerous juncture. Republican party politics have become a vicious circle of who can best affix whom with the labels most offensive to the Republican base; it’s a sad thing to see the once-proud party of Reagan and Eisenhower subscribe by default to the vile tactics of the McCarthy era.  The Republican party is now reaping the whirlwind that the Democrats took pains to avoid a generation ago; it is doubtful that the GOP will emerge with as positive an image as it has even now, much less that of its glory days under Reagan, when the Republican party did indeed bestride the narrow world like a colossus.

None of us want one-party rule. Bush may well have wanted it, and Rove certainly did and worked deliberately with that goal in mind, but we liberals certainly don’t want one-party rule, such is anathema to us.  But we can’t correct the disastrous course of the Republican party for them, they have to do it themselves. Let’s hope they find the moral courage and intestinal fortitude to do so.

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About Glenn Contrarian

White. Male. Raised in the deepest of the Deep South. Retired Navy. Strong Christian. Proud Liberal. Thus, Contrarian!
  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    In spite of your good intentions, Glenn, as expressed in the last paragraph, you do know, don’t you, that you’re going to be shot down.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Rog –

    Yeah, you’re right. It goes back to the old saw that a man will usually only expect from others what he would do himself. They would probably expect that my last paragraph to be insincere, for they would probably be just as sincere if they uttered the same statement.

    But I’ve said many times the high regard in which I hold Reagan. Do you know he got rid of the government subsidies to HMO’s – to the howling protests of the Democrats? And now the conservatives under Bush gave the subsidies back – to the muted protests of the Democrats.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Fail to understand your last comment, Glenn. Perhaps I don’t understand what is/was at stake (about the HMO’s, that is).

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    The remarks about Michelle Obama, though, that you’re citing – are the epitome of stupidity. It’s almost beyond belief.

  • Arch Conservative

    One could just as easily come up with a longer list of dumbass remarks made by liberal leftist moonbats Glen………You’re point?

    Not too long ago people were writing the Dem party off. Politics, like economics, cycles. Emjoy your little pipe dream of 100 years of moonbattery while it lasts Glen. That dream is certainly destined to be run down by a freight train called reality in that not to distant futre, possibly as early as 2010.

  • Arch Conservative

    That should have been 1000 years (I think you get the reference [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor].)

  • Jordan Richardson

    Arch, you say that politics runs in cycles. I guess that begs me to ask you why it matters, then, if the dream is over and “run down by a freight train called reality” possibly as soon as 2010, preferably in the form of a nicely tanned Mormon you’re in love with?

    Wouldn’t 2010’s “inevitable” right-wing breakthrough, the one you apparently see as being “reality,” simply mean another phase of the cycle and another brief period of time until the pendulum of “delusional democrats” swings back into power?

    If politics is such a flimsy mechanism, how can one particular point of view be considered “real” at all?

    When the election was on, you impressed me with your independent spirit. Now, however, it appears you’ve simply meandered right back into the old left vs. right arguments that inevitably clog these pages. What happened? You used to be a contender!

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    you’ve simply meandered right back into the old left vs. right arguments that inevitably clog these pages

    Isn’t that exactly what this piece is about?

    All i have to say about this entire thing is meant for all those young first time voters out there that thought that this one pol was less full of shit than all the rest….how do you feel about your vote now?

    How’s white house transparency look to you now?

    The only difference between GWB and BHO is the color of their skin.

    Gitmo’s not closed….nobody knows who’s visiting the white house…the auto companies are STILL declaring bankruptcy. Bankers are still taking vacations on the tax payers dime…where’s all that change we can believe in?

    You liberals have a very short, or is it convenient memory. Every time you get full control of the govt you lose it the next election cycle. Why? Because your party has more morons in it than the other party!

    Yeah, it’s a two party system and I’m tired of paying for this party, both of ’em. Turn out the lights, the party’s over!

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Glenn, history suggests that the Republicans are most effective when they are out of power and least effective and least likely to know how to capitalize on their advantages when they are in power. The last time they were counted out they came back within just a few years to have majorities in both houses and then take the White House as well, and that was when Democrats were considerably more competent and the country was in better shape than it is now.

    What you’ve got here is mostly wishful thinking, I’m afraid, combined with willful ignorance of how badly the left is alienating the mdoerate voter. It’s those moderates — increasingly radicalized and pushed to the right — who are driving Fox News to higher and higher ratings and who are showing up at the Tea Parties. They are NOT happy with Obama’s priorities and payoffs and it will show in 2010 and 2012.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Dave,

    “What you’ve got here is mostly wishful thinking, I’m afraid, combined with willful ignorance of how badly the left is alienating the moderate voter.”

    I’m afraid, Dave, you’re wrong on this score because imo, the so-called “moderate voter” population is rapidly shrinking. (If for no other reason that we’re living in hardly moderate but crisis-ridden times.) Consequently, that’s one reason, I believe, why we such nastiness from both sides – because of the polarization that’s occurring.

    I wouldn’t call the tea-party attendees “moderate voters” anymore. They may have been “moderate” during the Bush era, turning blind eye on the Iraqi adventure, but they’ve become “radicalized.” I think “hardened” is a better word.

    As to the major showdown come 2010 and 2012, we shall see. But it’s not going to be pretty, I predict. I believe we’re going to see the worst in divisive politics. All “moderates” will be taken prisoners.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    It is a two party system… I don’t even know why my party affiliation is independent! There is nothing independent about it except that the Independent party is absolutely devoid of any kind of political power. so I am in independent limbo Where are my talking points? Where is my Carl-The Architect
    I wanted to volunteer to work the voting booths and I was told I had to be either a Republican or a Democrat in NY State.
    When I checked out the link to the rural Pennsylvania paper I discovered it was Warren.
    As a liberal I am surrounded and outnumbered here and at home. Help!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #9:

    “willful ignorance”

    So now we’ve casted Glenn in an unenviable role of willfully distorting facts and opinions for the sole purpose of befuddling the mind and creating chaos and confusion whereas clear thinking ought to be the order of the day. In other words, nothing other than a shill.

    Nice!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Roger, I just wrote the most depressing article. I bet they won’t even publish it..:(

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Was it on the order of “Remembrance of Things Past”?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Remembrance of things best forgotten is more like it.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    I want to write something fun and lighthearted. I either write depressed or angry it seems to me.

  • Clavos

    I’m afraid, Dave, you’re wrong on this score because imo, the so-called “moderate voter” population is rapidly shrinking. (If for no other reason that we’re living in hardly moderate but crisis-ridden times.)

    If you’re right about that, then the article is completely off base, because, as the polls show, the ranks of self-identified conservatives are growing rapidly, far more so than the self-styled liberal group.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    liberal can be a nice word too:(

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’d stand to reason because reaction is a natural human response, right or wrong. As to the present breakdown, I have no interest in that. 2010 will serve as a test.

  • m ark

    Yeah, it’s a two party system and I’m tired of paying for this party, both of ’em. Turn out the lights, the party’s over!

    I’m with Andy.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Yeah, it’s a two party system and I’m tired of paying for this party, both of ’em. Turn out the lights, the party’s over!

    ditto

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    But you should all pay your taxes before you leave

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Arch-Con –

    If you can come up with a similar list of political missteps by Democrats – including flagrant racism of equal repugnancy, and murders of innocents just because they’re conservative – then please do so.

    But you won’t, because you can’t.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Perhaps we should try to distinguish between what’s good for the country and what’s bad, and admit that the two-party system (and their virtual split) is not necessarily indicative of the first-mentioned distinction.

    Perhaps, just perhaps, it may well be that we’re all being taken to the cleaners. And any such eventuality would seem to pose an even greater dilemma: is there a way of setting things aright, or perhaps that time is long past?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave #9 –

    If as you say the conservatives are at their best when they’re out of power, then I think most conservatives would disagree and use the Reagan era as their example. But you may be right on that point.

    However, you’re ignoring reality when it comes the the left’s ‘alienating’ of the moderate vote. While many on the left are frustrated with SOME of Obama’s decisions, the VAST majority are happy with him OVERALL.

    Not only that, but even the moderates who are unhappy with Obama face a choice – a Democratic president who is governing from the center (which by definition means taking some cues from left AND right), and an increasingly shrill Republican base that is being framed in the public view as tainted by far-right extremists, racial prejudice, and domestic terrorism.

    Please note I did not say the Republican base was guilty of those such extremism, prejudice, and domestic terrorism – I said that’s the public perception…

    …and that’s why even if the moderates don’t want to vote for Obama, they WILL vote against what they see as a party of prejudice and extremism.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    While many on the left are frustrated with SOME of Obama’s decisions, the VAST majority are happy with him OVERALL.

    YES!

  • m ark

    While many on the left are frustrated with SOME of Obama’s decisions, the VAST majority are happy with him OVERALL.

    Yes. And it’s a tyrannical majority backing Statist solutions.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos #17 – you got some ‘splainin to do…!
    If you’re right about that, then the article is completely off base, because, as the polls show, the ranks of self-identified conservatives are growing rapidly, far more so than the self-styled liberal group.
    Are you really, really sure about that? You see that 40% of Americans are conservative in ONE poll, and that’s a sign that they’re growing rapidly?

    Better check around, friend.

    I think the Seattle PI put it best: “the number of people who describe themselves as very or somewhat conservative has actually grown from 53 percent to 59 percent. In fact since 2002, the very/mostly conservative segment has held remarkably steady around 60 percent.”

    That’s actually not far off what Rush Limbaugh stated in August of last year: “Twenty-seven percent said they were somewhat liberal, and 9% said they were very liberal. That’s a total of 36% to 60. Sixty percent conservative, 30% liberal. Question D3, Battleground Poll, five days ago. Three percent of Americans did not know or refused to answer.”

    In the same article, Rush also pointed out something else that was interesting: “The percentage of Americans who define themselves as ‘somewhat liberal’ or ‘very liberal’ has always been puny. In thirteen straight polls, this percentage has never been higher than 38% (June 2004) and it has usually been much lower. The gap between self-defined conservatives and self-defined liberals has been as high as thirty percentage points and as low as twenty-one percentage points. What does that translate into in electoral politics? If conservative presidential candidates simply got all the conservative votes — if virtually all moderate voters, uncommitted voters, and liberal voters went for the liberal candidate — then the conservative candidates would win a landslide bigger than Ronald Reagan in 1988.”

    Well, the moderates DID break strongly for Obama, and what happened?

    Conservatives were historically at 60%, and now they’re at 40% – but the number of liberals shrank too! What happened? Two different polls, asking questions in different ways…but in any case the growing number of moderates, even if they’re not crazy about liberal policies, are increasingly anti-conservative because the conservatives are (rightly or wrongly) increasingly associated with prejudice, extremism, and domestic terrorism.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    m ark, President Obama does not want to be King. He just wants to clean this mess up that he was left with…please don’t be offended by the word mess, anybody here, I don’t know what else to call it.

  • m ark

    He just wants to clean this mess up that he was left with…

    Jeannie, imo were this true then he’d be unwinding the powers of government that the last administration and congress put in place.

  • Clavos

    Jeannie, imo were this true then he’d be unwinding the powers of government that the last administration and congress put in place.

    AND cutting spending way back, when in fact he’s spending at levels GWB never even contemplated.

  • Jordan Richardson

    GWB didn’t really contemplate anything, dude.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #27:

    “Yes. And it’s a tyrannical majority backing Statist solutions.”

    I don’t see why you should be complaining, Mark. Isn’t that the road to socialism?

    And then again, take # 30:

    “imo were this true then he’d be unwinding the powers of government that the last administration and congress put in place.”

    Wasn’t it only a while ago that we all bitched about Wall Street excesses and Big Business running rampant or like a loose cannon? And weren’t the reasons, some have though, because we allowed that to happen, because of what some thought was a collusion between Big Business and government?

    So what are we arguing about now? To unwind the powers of the government so that corporations would have their way, just like before? Or to put a reign on them when reign is needed?

    You can’t have it both ways, Mark. You’ve got to choose sides. Yes, we are caught between the rock and the hard place. So what else is new? In all of your criticism, I don’t see even a semblance of a solution.

  • m ark

    You can’t have it both ways, Mark. You’ve got to choose sides. Yes, we are caught between the rock and the hard place. So what else is new?

    You offer a false forced choice,Rog.

    In all of your criticism, I don’t see even a semblance of a solution.

    The solution will emerge through more or less anarchic experimentation which is going on here and there. As I’ve claimed before in comments, the way forward demands a new motive for production.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger and M ark –

    When it comes to ‘unwinding’ what the last administration did, that would be referring to the creation of the ‘unitary executive’, GWB’s propensity to issue executive orders so he wouldn’t have to bother with the troublesome route of legislation and the rule of law.

    What Obama IS doing, is increasing regulation where it is NEEDED, and trying to enforce regulations that were NOT enforced under Bush. This is called ‘leadership’.

    I’ve got my own disagreements with Obama…but none can argue that he is steamrolling the minority party as Bush certainly did. Obama’s striven for bipartisanship at every turn – and I must admit I hope the exception to the rule of his bipartisan efforts will be the passage of Universal Health Care…or at least an option to purchase such a government-funded plan.

  • Clavos

    GWB didn’t really contemplate anything, dude.

    I’m not a “dude.”

  • Jordan Richardson

    Begging your pardon, sir.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    36 – Clav

    Ha! That is exactly what my mom told me when I called her that (awhile back)! Only her preface was: “I am your mother”…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “the way forward demands a new motive for production.”

    I’m afraid then that you’ll have to invent the wheel. Neither you nor I nor anyone alive has even the germ of an idea as to what that might be. So to speak in such grandiose, high-sounding terms is not only vacuous but a pinnacle of ideology.

    I’m afraid that you’re thinking is clouded by your desire to see the world in a certain way – eventually leading to a withering of the state, am I not right? – which prevents you from examining the here and now. The goals you feverishly pursue blind you to the sense of reality.

    In my case – just to highlight the contrast – I’m more bewitched by certain values – like freedom, equality, and universal justice (well accepting the idea that we might have a significant difference of opinion as regards these things and their exact applicability.) And those things are the most important items in my itinerary and line of vision;

    So our disagreement is in essence what it has always been. I believe that the capitalist system, when properly modified, can deliver these things, and that’s all I care about.

  • m ar k

    Rog, #39 – I view it as a very practical problem and base my notions on observations of a real world.

    Yes, our disagreement remains what it has been. Tweak capitalism as you will, production rationalized by maximizing profit will result in some form of slavery, inequality and selective justice.

    PS I’ve got a friend who could come up with a ceremony for that ‘bewitched’ thing.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Speaking of vacuous pinnacles of ideology…in the cult of domination, it’s all blurry vision–whether by beer or history books.

    What bread and circus is to one portion of society, smoke and mirrors is to another.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I already argued here and elsewhere that I don’t regard economic equality as the end all and be all, and certainly not the basis of a more comprehensive concept of human equality which is embedded in their being persons. In fact, economic inequality might be reflective of some undeniable individual variations (though they don’t have to because we are free to choose what we will), and to deny the existence of these variations is to deny reality. And in light of that, any system that would deny the individual the freedom in the economic sphere would be just as coercive as anything else. Opportunities must about, in every area of human endeavor – that’s the key.

    As to “form of slavery” you speak of, I think you’re still overly enamored with Marxist terminology. Re-read Horace Mungin’s article – an expression of faith, if you will – to the effect that we’re all moving, slowly but surely, towards universal justice. I admit it’s a long road, and that goal may never be reached in the ultimate sense. Still, it’s a journey and perhaps that’s most that can be said for it. The importance of ideals is to aim at them; reaching them is another matter.

    I have no problem with the idea that alternative practices emerge as different situations arise; but I’m not going to be “bewitched” (now, that’s the right use of the term) by such empty phrases as “new motive of production.” To be more convincing on that score, you’ve got to give me something I can chew on. At this point, it’s nothing but a slogan.

    PS: My use of “bewitch” in the first instance was not the happiest expression. “Enamored” might be a better term, especially since I, too, accused you of being enamored. And this makes us even.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    What do you think Roger, still think he’s a Marxist?

    (I’ll check back in another 6 months.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    PS: “opportunities must abound . . .”

  • mar k

    Rog, as you point out if only parenthetically, economic inequality is a matter of choice – and is not joined at the hip with variation. Thus, poverty amidst wealth is unnecessary…except these days as a consequence of capitalism.

    we’re all moving, slowly but surely, towards universal justice…

    I’ve already given my view on this ‘directionality’. I add only that, arguably, injustice has steadily increased world-wide for generations

    The importance of ideals is to aim at them; reaching them is another matter.

    bah. The importance of ideals is getting the hungry fed.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Ideals had specific context here, in relation to justice.

    As to elimination of poverty, we should be clear on the context – the world, Latin America, or the USA?

    Poverty amidst wealth? Relative poverty or poverty of some other kind? Yes, it’s unnecessary, but then again, you can’t lay it all at the feet of the capitalist system. You’re dealing with corrupted governments, dictators, and the worst scum on earth.

    Whether it is the consequence only of capitalism is also debatable. You’re ignoring all other factors.

    And I’d definitely disagree with you as to directionality of progress – unless your measure here in strictly economic terms. But I am going to insist again that economic equality does not figure high on my hierarchy of values – although there ought to be limits to wealth accumulation and greed. To insist on that as a precondition of a happy society is not only unrealistic but dreary. None of us are alike; we all have our strengths and weaknesses. What you value may not at all be what I value, and I like it like that. Plurality and diversity are far more important to me than economic equality. I don’t envy any man, and I’m sorry for you if you an envious type. And as long as opportunities abound for people to excel in whatever they want to excel, that’s the key.

    As to the minimum living standards, yes, I do believe in that. So if the world at large is the area of your concern, definitely we’ve got a long way to go. As for the good ole USA, I don’t believe poverty is the main problem. I can think of education as being more important.

    To be continued . . .

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    When it comes to ‘unwinding’ what the last administration did, that would be referring to the creation of the ‘unitary executive’, GWB’s propensity to issue executive orders so he wouldn’t have to bother with the troublesome route of legislation and the rule of law.

    If that’s your main complaint about the Bush era then you’re part of the problem, not part of the solution. How about pulling out of Iraq AND Afghanistan? How about repealing PATRIOT I and II? How about an end to attempts to force Real ID on the states? How about repealing FISA rather than expanding it even further? How about shutting down DHS?

    These are things Obama would do if he were serious about “change,” but he’s not and he won’t.

    Dave

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Hmm, interesting points to ponder. The way I see it, Democrats have usurped core GOP issues and made them their own such as gay rights. The problem I see is that moderate members of the GOP have been left out in the cold because of the sheer wealth of the Far Right elite. We fail to realize that the uberconservative engines of the GOP are driven with millions of dollars taken from “donations”. Prop 8 is the classic example. Regardless of the outcome, the bottom line is that Mormon machinery played the pivotal role. How easy it is for the uberconservatives to launder cash out of the church coffers and into political machinery — all in the name of their God.

    Think about it. 50 years ago hospitals were funded and operated by religious institutions. The offerings of the masses were generating good works in every corner of American life. And that’s how it should be if you don’t have to pay taxes. Religious operatives are now funneling cash into the political process. If that’s how they want to play it then it’s time for the churches to pay taxes. Imagine the religious having to pay taxes — they may just go back to health care. Anybody catch the point I am trying to make here?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Interesting take, Silas. Forget the Prop 8 case and the Mormon machinery. Do you have other examples in mind?

  • Joe Brafford

    I have alternative reasons why the conservative philosophy is disappearing and may not recover:

    Out-of-wedlock birth rate is approaching 40%
    Divorce rate is around 50%
    Premarital sex rate is at least 75% for teens, 90% overall
    Around 30% of children live in single parent families
    High school graduation rate is less than 80% and in places like Detroit, Cleveland and many other cities, it is less than 60%
    The US has more people in prison than any other country, the most violent nation in the first world, 76% of the world’s serial killers
    About 20-25% of Americans have some form of sexually transmitted disease
    One in seven adults lack the literacy skills to read something as simple as a print ad or as complex as a ballot
    About 8.3 percent of all persons age 12 and over are involved in use of illegal drugs or the non-medical use of prescription drugs.
    Core values are disappearing (contraception is encouraged and abortion is acceptable, even the disgusting late term ones performed by the likes of Dr Tiller)
    Traditional marriage is disappearing while gay marriage is praised and pursed, shouldn’t polygamy be legal as well?
    Respect for authority is disappearing, personal responsibility, self control and accountability are disappearing
    Care to guess which group (conservatives or liberals) are contributing the most to these facts?

  • Clavos

    shouldn’t polygamy be legal as well?

    Absolutely. The state has no business regulating marital arrangements — of any kind.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    If you don’t think there’s been a lot of change already, then you haven’t been paying attention.

    What Obama is doing is governing from the center. That’s why much of what he is doing is angering the left, but he’s giving us enough that we won’t choose someone else over him.

    Likewise, despite what conservative pundits are claiming, he’s striving hard enough to be bipartisan that he will attract many moderates who would otherwise vote Republican.

    Yes, he inherited the ‘unitary executive’, a presidency stronger than at any time in history save perhaps that of Wilson in WW1. It’s hard for any man, no matter how well-meaning, to give up power that he holds in his hands. Obama might not be able to do so, but can you honestly say that ANY of the Republican candidates would have done so?

    Certainly not. Obama might still, but they would never have done so.

    He’s been in office five whole months – not even half a year – but you’ve been judging him almost that entire time. That’s like judging a chef by the way his lump of dough looks before he’s even put it in the oven.

  • Arch Conservative

    What Obama is doing is governing from the center.

    Oh is that what he’s doing? I thought he was being his arrogant, pompous self and assuming that he not only has all the answers, which we mere mortals cannot possibly comprehend, but he can easily implement them at will.

    In reality he’s nothing but a light weight political hack arrogant dickhead Marxist fuckwit who’s never been told “no” in his life and whose ego has been so coddled by the mainstream media that he has bought into the messiah mythology that has been spun about him.

    Circumstances being that, he is destined to go down in a blaze of media created glory as one of our nation’s worst presidents. If I haven’t been exactly clear about how I feel about this fraud let me put it this way….if i was walking down the street and I saw King Barry on the other side, and he was on fire, I wouldn’t even cross the street to piss on him to put the fire out.

    1/20/13

  • Arch Conservative

    “He’s been in office five whole months – not even half a year – but you’ve been judging him almost that entire time. That’s like judging a chef by the way his lump of dough looks before he’s even put it in the oven.”

    Yeah and when the German people were getting familiar with Hitler in 1933 they were thinking “hey this guy’s pretty good.”

  • Glenn Contrarian

    DAVE!

    Remember how you castigated me about one of my former articles for (1) pointing out quite correctly that the Nazis used something called “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” which had MORE constraint and oversight than the Bush administration’s program did, and (2) you were insulted that I referred to Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld as ‘chickenhawks’, which term refers to armchair generals who served little or no time in the military?

    Remember how in my article I specifically stated that I was NOT comparing the Bush administration to the Nazis, but was only pointing out that one similarity, and that I used NO insulting statements other than ‘chickenhawks’…which term is the ONLY insulting name I have EVER used on blogcritics?

    But despite the no-comparison disclaimer I included, and despite the only-insult-ever fact…YOU WERE SO OFFENDED!

    Remember how I told you that your ‘offense’ would come back to you? Check out Arch-Con’s comments #53 and #54, and compare them to my oh-so-offensive statements!

    If my (1) proven-true statement about EIP with a no-comparison disclaimer and (2) one-time EVER use of an insulting (and VERY accurate) name deserved your moral outrage, then what do Arch-Con’s remarks warrant?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    I’ll answer ahead of time for you – if I were you, I’d let Arch-Con be, because he used repugnant language containing petty, puerile accusations that are obviously (even to most conservatives) false. I say let him be, because if nothing else his post contains classic examples of the willful ignorance of the far-right wing, just as some others on BC provide examples of the willful ignorance of the far-left wing.

    But if you do so, then where does that leave you for castigating me about using obviously FAR less offensive – and completely accurate – language?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Glenn, the fact that Archie is an idiot doesn’t actually excuse you from similarly dumb statements. That’s not the way this works. His offensive statements are offensive. So are yours. One doesn’t balance out or correct the other.

    However, we generally ignore Archie’s Godwinisms and other goofy statements because no one begins to take him seriously. You should feel complimented that we take you seriously enough to complain.

    Dave

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I do indeed feel complimented that you take me seriously enough to complain.

    But to say that my statements were ‘similarly dumb’? No offense, Dave, but you know better than that.

  • Arch Conservative

    No one’s taking me seriously. That’s great. While you’re at it don’t take Eight Ball Barry’s government health care seriously, or cap and trade, or his lack of a backbone in dealing with Iran and N. Korea.

    I’m just a guy with a keyboard. The amount of influence I have over the life I have anyone reading any of my posts is nil. However the amount of influence King Barry has over your lives is far from nil. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, I find it uniquely disturbing that so many are still cheerleading him with such zeal.

    His solution to everything is more government spending and more government power over our lives and then his cultists have the audacity to be offended when the S word is used.

    Barack Hussein Obama is quite simply the biggest joke that was ever played on this nation and the fact that so many are still so ardently singing his praises like a giddy pubescent Paris Hilton worshipping 14 year old girl just proves that you can’t fix stupid.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor] Nalle, while you may not appreciate any posts in which I take more dramatic liberties I think you and I are on the same basic page when it comes to King Barry.

    Leaving out all of the colorful language I think you have just as much resentment for this man as he needlessly and wastefully spends trillion of dollars, as he attacks the basics of capitalism which led this nation prosperity and I’m sure that Dave recognizes the irony in the fact that Bush was so often accused of fear mongering yet Barry and his side of the aisle have been engaging in it nonstop since he took office both on the economy and now on health care.

    We’ve been told that you and you family will get some deadly disease tomorrow and you need Barrycare to cope with it. We were promised transparency. What we got instead was a president employing intense fear mongering to ram his radical leftist agenda through Congress without providing any time for scrutiny or debate by the American people. Danger Will Robinson… it’s government health care today or your life tomorrow. We were lied to. Well, I wasn’t. I knew he was a lying fraud all along.

    ANd I don’t really give a shit if I’m taken seriously by those who’d agree with me or those who wouldn’t. I don’t seek anyone’s approval. As I stated before this is my therapy. It’s a way to vent the anger I feel without anyone having to get hurt.

    My wife and I are closing on our first home in a few weeks. My wife just got a promotion and raise at work. Things are pretty good for us right now and we don’t owe a damn thing to King Barry, King George, shit for brains McCain or any other pandering politician. We did that. The rest of you can enjoy your little pipe dreams of Barry or some other government shill swooping in on his white horse and making all of your dreams come true.

    One last thing… On the day I move into my new home I’m going to buy a bottle of champagne. Not to celebrate the home though. No this champagne will only be opened upon the occurrence of one of three specific events… the first being the American voting public giving that prick Obama a well deserved bitch smack in the 2010 midterm elections, the second being that that bitch smack actually comes in November 2012 and the third… well I’ll let you all use your imagination for that one.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Arch –

    Congrats on your first house – I know how we felt with ours, and it was a happy time. I really do wish you and yours the very best.

    One observation – when I bought my first house, I was still a Republican.

    And a wish for the two of you – I hope your marriage and lives together are as happy as in my own marriage, because even after eighteen years together we still get told that we’re honeymooners, that we ‘need to go get a room’.

    And lastly, the single piece of advice I give to every young husband: “Never stop courting her” – because if you stop, then the marriage will go south. It does start with you.

    And one more thing – plant roses, lots of roses (and some other flowers) – because they’re plentiful, they’re free, and they’re perfect for that ‘just because’ moment.

    And one more thing! “Rub her feet” – that’s from Robert Heinlein (an arch-conservative like you), and it has served me very, very well over the years, because she is always grateful.

    You might despise my political beliefs – but I hope these will help you keep the fire lit as the years go by.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Nice touch, Glenn. But don’t turn Archie yet into a lovey-dovey human being. It’d be too much of a shock for the rest of us.

    Same here, Arch, congrats. But I shan’t give you any marital advice. I’d change them like gloves. As soon as they be getting tired of me, or vice versa, I’d engineer a big fight, casting myself in the role of a villain.

    I just couldn’t say good-bye nicely. I’d have to be a big, dragged-out fight. It was easier that way.

  • Clavos

    Good marital advice, Glenn.

    I have only this to add:

    If one day misfortune should afflict one of you with a serious illness, remember and honor the part of your vows that says “…in sickness and in health…” You will both grow from it; as individuals and as a couple.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    A Christian ideal?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Arch,

    I’m a little late to the reception (to which I suspect I wouldn’t have been invited anyway!), but congratulations on your marriage and becoming a Man of Property.

    Not sure I like what my imagination is telling me re your third champagne-popping occasion. Is that the Men With No Facial Expression I hear knocking at your door?

  • STM

    Archie hasn’t recently declared the rubber glove, has he??

    I thought they’d just bought a house, not tied the knot.

    If so, good luck Arch, you’ll need it … especially if Friday is pub night :)

    Not any more

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