Today on Blogcritics
Home » Culture and Society » Whither Now the Republican Party?

Whither Now the Republican Party?

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

In the comments section of an article by a Latina describing the unwillingness by the GOP to connect with Latino voters, I found an interesting take by "Jamie in Peru" on why the GOP seems unable to attract minority voters:

Another aspect is that many Republicans do not KNOW how to care about races or ethnicity because historically Republicans have stood for more broad-based ideology that was deemed faceless and nameless; while Democrats have been the big tent party attempting to address different issues of different people.

Republicans have posited, “it is not about the people, per se, it is about the beliefs. Beliefs for all people willing to accept them.” Democrats challenge this with the response, “a belief which to Republicans seems neutral but to the rest has been overwhelmingly white and male dominant.”

Thus a dilemma. How can one blame a party for not caring about a segment of people, when they were never taught that this was part of the plan?

If I understand this correctly, Jamie says the Republicans concentrate on "If you believe as we do, then you should be one of us", whereas the Democrats' emphasis is on "you're a part of 'X' segment of society, tell us the concerns of the 'X' segment, and we'll address them as best we can". In other words, it's about the beliefs versus about the people.

The more cynical among us might say the people path is all about getting more votes, and getting and remaining in power – and I'd have to agree that this is at least partly true. After all, how many racist white Democratic politicians witnessed the civil rights struggle of the 60's and saw a burgeoning young source of political power? As I've pointed out before, the Democrats saw which way the political wind was blowing, and embraced it. The Republicans either didn't see which way the wind was blowing, or ignored it.

Perhaps the last two sentences capture the difference between liberals and conservatives in a nutshell: liberals by nature want change, and conservatives by nature want things to stay the same. This would indicate that the Republicans, as literate and intelligent as they surely are, did indeed see the approaching change for what it was, and resisted it with all their might.

It should be so easy for the Republicans to attract even a majority of the African-American and Latino voters; after all, the African-American and Latino communities tend to hold conservative beliefs. In California's Proposition 8 ballot measure banning same-sex marriage, seven in 10 blacks and 53 percent of Latinos voted in favor of the ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage.

So, is it about the beliefs or is it about the people? The minority vote for Proposition 8 would strongly indicate that African-Americans and Latinos agree with the family values espoused by the Republican party, but when it came to the 2008 election cycle, did they vote for the party that supported their family values? Or did they vote for the party that has been striving to address the equal-rights issues, the cultural issues that are so central to their respective segments of the American people? We all know the answer: to the minorities, it was about the people, and not about the beliefs.

The minorities have the perception that the Republicans don't care about them as a people, and this perception among the Latinos was strongly reinforced in the recent Sotomayor confirmation hearings. I think I can safely say that most Republicans really didn't think Sotomayor was racist, I suspect that most Republicans thought highly of her. Be that as it may, many of the most verbal Republicans were either implying or outright claiming that she was a racist. The fact that Senator Jeff Sessions, who was denied a seat on the federal bench in 1986 by the Senate Judiciary Committee in a 9-9 vote which deemed him “grossly insensitive” on racial issues, was the Republicans' point man addressing Sotomayor's alleged racism can't have been lost on the Latino community.

Unless either the Democrats really screw things up in the next eight years or there's a major terrorist strike that the Republicans can use to accuse the Democrats of being weak on terrorism (never mind that 9/11 happened well into George's watch), I see no way the Republican party can pull itself out of the vicious circle forcing it into a death spiral to becoming a regional party.  There will be hiccups along the way, Republicans will win here or there, but the ongoing demographic changes are ensuring their eventual devolution into irrelevancy.  The Republican party can avoid this fate if they can learn to attract even forty percent of the Latino and African-American communities, but the Republican demand for loyalty to the base at all costs requires rigidity in belief rather than building that big tent for all the peoples of the land.

I suspect, or hope, that one of two things will happen:  either the libertarians will organize and pick up the pieces of the once-mighty Republican party, or (more likely) the Democrats will eventually split into two parties: one centrist, and the other more progressive (like me).  I don't think the libertarians can do it, because just like the Republicans, they're about beliefs, and not about people.

To the conservatives here, I recommend you speak to the powerful within your party.  Tell them that they must honestly reach out to minorities, that they must convince the minority voters that the Republican party really does care about what they want as a people and a culture, that they must band together and reject conservative pundits like "Barack the Magic Negro" Rush Limbaugh, "homosexuals are pedophiles" Michael Savage, and "Sotomayor's a bigot" Mark Levin.  In the end, it really is the people — the votes — that count.

Powered by

About Glenn Contrarian

White. Male. Raised in the deepest of the Deep South. Retired Navy. Strong Christian. Proud Liberal. Thus, Contrarian!
  • Clavos

    Thanks for the “recommendation,” Glenn. We’ll take it under advisement and have our people get back to yours.

  • http://www.skeeterbitesreport.com Skeeter Sanders

    It’s already too late for the Republican Party to save itself by reaching out to nonwhite voters. It crossed the Rubicon — the point of no return — when it either actively embraced or gave silent tacit approval to the so-called “Birther” movement against President Obama that insists — despite overwhelming documentary evidence to the contrary — that Obama is a foreigner who is constitutionally ineligible to hold the presidency.

    This movement is inherently motivated by racism, as it made up exclusively of angry, conservative and far-right white people who cannot accept the reality that a 54 percent majority the American people elected a black man to be president of the United States.

    The GOP base has shrunk into what the Democratic Party base was during the Civil War era: A base dominated by conservative and far-right white males who hail primarily from the South.

    The GOP, therefore, has ceased to be a national party — and is doomed to political oblivion, much like the Whig Party that the Republicans replaced in the 1870s.

    Too bad that today’s Republicans are too blinded by their rigid right-wing ideology to realize that.

  • Doug Hunter

    I think you are hitting right at the truth here, Glenn.

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

    There’s absolutely nothing more offensive and arrogant than Democrats offering their opinions on how to “save” the GOP — usually by addressing “problems” which would destroy the party’s base and drive away most of their constituents, or prejudices which do not exist in the minds of anyone except for dedicated Democrat operatives.

    The answer is always that the GOP must become some sort of minor variant of the Democratic Party, with no principles, no new ideas and no future, essentially another Whig Party — a loyal opposition whose resistance to the establishment is purely symbolic and without substance.

    As for this issue of race in the GOP it’s born purely of ignorance. African Americans and Hispanics are welcomed in the party, rise rapidly to positions of power and are given preferential treatment as candidates and leaders. While there may be prejudice against ethnic Republicans within their own communities, that prejudice does not exist in the party itself. The real prejudice is from ethnic Democrats against their brothers who espouse conservative principles.

    Nowhere is this more apparent than in Florida where there are a LOT of influential hispanic Republicans and it just drives the mostly white Democrats of that state nuts.

    BTW, I love the way that Skeeter has played the Birther card, the new meme invented entirely by the Democrats to try once again to paint Republicans as racist, despite the fact that mainstream Republicans were the first and most vocal among those repudiating the Birthers and the fact that most of the Birther activity is from outside the GOP. There’s a reason why Birther sounds so much like Bircher.

    Dave

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

    @ #1: I thought you weren’t a Republican, Clav?

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

    @ #4:

    Dave, I think you’re missing the point about race and the GOP. Glenn is largely focusing on why the party doesn’t attract more minorities, not accusing it of active racism. And I think he has a good point as regards its inflexibility.

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

    The guy Jamie who Glenn quotes has part of the idea, he just doesn’t understand the implications.

    The GOP doesn’t care about race. That means they believe everyone should be treated the same. No barriers based on race, no advantages for one race over another. They believe that people are equal. This perspective appeals to those who believe that they should succeed on their own merits and be able to benefit from the proceeds of their hard work.

    The Democrats believe in special privileges and considerations for particular groups, favoring them over other groups. This is a philosophy which is inherently bigoted, but which seems very appealing until you end up on the short end of the stick. This philosophy appeals to those who would prefer to have things given to them than to earn them and are willing to take away the property and earnings of others for their own benefit using the force of government, which sadly includes too many Americans of all races.

    For anyone who believes in human rights and liberties there is no choice between these two perspectives because one is right and one is wrong and that problem cannot be resolved.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    @ #1: I thought you weren’t a Republican, Clav?

    I’m not, Doc.

    Poetic license.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    Please note that the point of my article was NOT to attack classic Republican values. America NEEDS the Republicans, if only as a loyal (if hugely outspoken) opposition.

    The point of my article was to give a constructive suggestion on how to reinvigorate the Republican party. As it is (as I pointed out this morning in your ‘birther’ article), over half of all Republicans either do not believe or are not sure whether Obama is a natural-born citizen.

    Over half of all Republicans, Dave – so I feel quite justified in saying that your party is far too influenced by extremist pundits, and the ‘Republican base’ does not now hold to true Republican values, but has moved farther to the extreme right. As a result, in order to become a serious Republican candidate, one must satisfy an increasingly extremist base.

    And the proof? Again, over half of ALL Republicans either agree with the birthers or think the birthers might possibly be right.

    In comment #7, you listed one of the core values of what the Republican party used to stand for…but you yourself also admitted that much of the ‘birther’ movement has its roots in racism – and this movement has now shown its influence over half of your party.

    The Republicans have a choice – to stick with the increasingly extremist Republican base…or to toss them overboard as one tries to lighten a ship in danger of sinking. Keep them on board and the ship will sink – cut them off and the ship might still make it back to port.

  • Baronius

    I don’t know if there’s a point to political debate any more. Skeeter says that Republicans are racist because of some crackpots obsessed with a birth certificate. Glenn holds up the idea of treating people differently because of their race, and he isn’t labelled a racist. Judge Sotomayor labels people by race, and we’re not supposed to believe that she’s a racist.

    What does racism mean? When did refusal to consider race become racism?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Dave’s #7 is yet another repetition of his ridiculous assertions about how pure the GOP is and how racist the Democratic party is.

    A party consists of its members and leaders, not of your own ideals about its principles [or your conveniently selective history]. If you pick ten current prominent leaders of the GOP, I’ll find you at least 10 examples of repellent, misleading, distorted rhetoric designed to divide people against each other.

    The religious right, which includes Mark Sanford and others you admire so much, continues to dominate the party’s discussion of social issues.

    Implying that the Democratic Party, by supporting social programs for the poor, is deliberately fostering dependence to consolidate its power, is a slanderous Big Lie. I am a Democrat. Glenn is a Democrat. Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Howard Dean are Democrats. Not one of us is interested in creating social programs for the cynical purpose of prolonging the financial dependence of the poor. Just not true.

    This kind of ideological distortion serves no legitimate purpose. There’s plenty of room to discuss the comparative advantages of bigger government/higher taxation and smaller government/lower taxation — without resorting to lies and distortions.

    Do you still remember how to have a reasonable discussion? There is little recent evidence of it.

  • Baronius

    Handy, Dave didn’t say that or imply it, at least as far as I can see.

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

    Baronius, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Handy prefers to make up what I say based on his assumptions, rather than actually responding to me.

    Dave

  • doug

    There’s more offensive and arrogant than the hyperbole of an Internet blowhard

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    “Some” crackpots? I was wrong above – it’s not 54% of all Republicans who stated they either believed the birthers or simply weren’t sure one way or the other – it’s fifty-EIGHT percent. That’s more than ‘some’ – that’s a MAJORITY of Republicans.

    The Democratic platform you and Dave are trying to label as ‘racist’ is Affirmative Action – and if one would listen only to rhetoric, one would have to agree with the Republicans that Affirmative Action is indeed institutionalized racism.

    But rhetoric is NOT the same as reality. The anti-Affirmative-Action rhetoric evinces a simplistic world view. Why? One CANNOT simply say to millions of people who’ve just spent generations under slavery and then Jim Crow, “Okay, the Civil Right Act has passed and you’re all equal to everybody else now, so you’re on your own!”

    That might sound reasonable to Republican ears, but it doesn’t work that way. You can’t beat down an entire race of people, deny their rights to real freedom and equality for hundreds of years, and then – when they DO finally receive that freedom and equality – expect them to immediately take their place on a level playing field. Human nature simply does NOT work that way.

    When a person’s hurt and on the ground, a good man helps him up and realizes it will take time before the injured person can heal and function normally. A good man goes out of his way to help the injured person along until that injured person can finally stand on his or her own once more without any help.

    We Democrats know that this is the case with minorities – especially African-Americans – and that it takes more than a few decades to heal the wounds suffered from several generations of slavery, Jim Crow, and prejudice.

    We Democrats understand this – we get it. Just as importantly, the minorities see that we get it…and that the Republicans don’t. That’s why minorities are moving more and more into the Big Tent of the Democratic party.

  • doug

    Btw, if everyone was treated the same in the GOP, why would minorities get preferential treatment as candidates and leaders as you stated? Your contradiction sounds like affirmative action

  • Baronius

    Glenn, you judge people on race. You encourage others to do so. You are a racist. There is nothing inherently racist about birthers.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I’m certainly not deliberately misquoting or misinterpreting Dave. His comment #7 on this thread is not the first time he has indulged in sweeping generalizations that idealize the GOP and demonize the Democrats. [It’s about the 3000th time.]

    He has indeed implied, or even stated outright, that the reason blacks vote 90% Democratic is that they are dependent on government handouts.

    The GOP doesn’t care about race.

    There are a few million exceptions to this, so please provide an interpretation of this silly sentence that accounts for, say, Tom Tancredo or Steve King [of Iowa]. A party, I repeat, consists of its members.

    Or Glenn Beck, who may not officially represent the party, but probably counts very few Democrats and a lot of Tea Baggers among his followers. And who gleefully called Pres. Obama a racist recently.

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

    I’m certainly not deliberately misquoting or misinterpreting Dave.

    Whether it’s deliberate or unconscious, the fact is that you consistently misrepresent my statements.

    His comment #7 on this thread is not the first time he has indulged in sweeping generalizations that idealize the GOP and demonize the Democrats. [It’s about the 3000th time.]

    What I said is basically the same thing Jamie is quoted as saying in the article, I just say it in more detail and explain the implications. And tell me what about it is not true.

    He has indeed implied, or even stated outright, that the reason blacks vote 90% Democratic is that they are dependent on government handouts.

    I have NEVER said anything like this. Go back through all my posts and comments and you will not find a statement to this effect in any of them. I have said the same thing on this issue repeatedly and you consistently misrepresent it in this way.

    What I have said is that the Democratic party promotes a culture of dependence on government and yes, they target minorities as a constituency, but no more than they target the poor or unionists or others who look for government solutions rather than being self-reliant. This does not mean the same thing as saying that Blacks are dependent on government handouts. They are not as a group. In fact, they are advancing rapidly into the middle class.

    But the constituencies the democrats cultivate been trained and conditioned to look to the government to solve their problems, not necessarily through handouts, but through programs and services which they have been told again and again they are entitled to by the democrats.

    Do you actually deny this? Do you really want to claim that Democrats don’t as a matter of policy look to solve problems through government rather than private and individual initiative?

    The GOP doesn’t care about race.

    There are a few million exceptions to this, so please provide an interpretation of this silly sentence that accounts for, say, Tom Tancredo or Steve King [of Iowa]. A party, I repeat, consists of its members.

    A party consists of its principles and some members follow them more than others. Tancredo and King may be nativists and King’s also a religious nut, but does the fact that prominent Democrats have advocated a draft and are tax cheats (Rangel) or involved in bribery scandals (Conyers) or openly admit to being socialists (entire Progressive Caucus) mean that all Democrats also hold these views or engage in these activities?

    Or Glenn Beck, who may not officially represent the party, but probably counts very few Democrats and a lot of Tea Baggers among his followers. And who gleefully called Pres. Obama a racist recently.

    Like many of the more radical Tea Party participants, Beck repeatedly describes himself as an independent, not a Republican, largely because the GOP does not support some of his extreme views.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    “Some” crackpots? I was wrong above – it’s not 54% of all Republicans who stated they either believed the birthers or simply weren’t sure one way or the other – it’s fifty-EIGHT percent. That’s more than ‘some’ – that’s a MAJORITY of Republicans.

    Since you have a specific number, you obviously have a source quoting an unbiased poll taken recently among Republicans, right?

  • Baronius

    “Or Glenn Beck, who may not officially represent the party, but probably counts very few Democrats and a lot of Tea Baggers among his followers. And who gleefully called Pres. Obama a racist recently.”

    Does calling someone a racist make you a racist?

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

    Baronius @ #10:

    You seem to be saying that any approach to the issue which does not involve treating every individual in exactly the same way regardless of circumstances is racist. That’s not only an example of the inflexibility I was talking about, it’s also at odds with reality.

    Go ahead and treat a seventh-generation single white woman from Sioux Falls and a Hispanic father of seven from Los Angeles in exactly the same way if you like. It might fit your principles, but I guarantee you the results will be different.

  • Bliffle

    Regardless of protestations by the republican partisans here, Glenn has made a good point.

    These neo-republicans display a refined sense of principle when it hurts other people, but when it comes to their own interests they abandon principle readily.

    It is disgusting to observe the readiness with which the neo-reps abandoned republican principles (such as Fiscal Responsibility, reluctance to go to war, etc.) when George W. Bush crooked his finger and beckoned them to a moral slaughter.

    And they haven’t improved since. Now they are engaged in a partisan anti-Obama jihad, and Dave Nalle is part of the howling mob.

  • Baronius

    Dread, I think you’re being disingenuous, and that’s not your style. Should I treat them differently because of their sex, or their marital status, or birthplace? Or because of race? Would you treat a Hispanic father of seven from Los Angeles differently than a black father of seven from Los Angeles? If you would, you’re a racist. If a law would, it’s unconstitutional.

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


    Since you have a specific number, you obviously have a source quoting an unbiased poll taken recently among Republicans, right?

    He has a source. It’s a poll done by the DAily Kos. But he keeps misrepresenting the numbers. The actual number in the poll who believe Obama is not native-born is 28%, not the 58% he cites. That total includes the 30% who responded that they were “unsure”.

    Dave

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

    Baronius,

    Cultural sensitivity is the issue here. And like it or not, culture aligns with race a lot of the time, because of shared experience.

    But more than that – in the real world, you don’t treat any two people the same way.

  • Clavos

    Dave #25,

    I know where he got his numbers; that was my (obviously) ineffective attempt at sarcasm.

  • Baronius

    Of course, Dread. We don’t treat any two people the same way. Sometimes, if they’re short, we tilt our heads downward when we talk to them. And sometimes when we meet people, there’s a lot of background noise, so we have to talk louder.

    This is what I mean by “disingenuous”.

    I’m asking you if you believe that people should be treated differently based on their race. That shouldn’t be a tough question.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    You asked for my source, so here it is.

  • Clavos

    No Glenn, I didn’t ask for your source, since you provided it before my comment.

    I was actually being sarcastic about the bias of your source, the DailyKos.

    But, as I said above to Dave, my sarcasm was obviously inept.

    In any case, I don’t buy the data – not data presented by Markos Moulitsas.

    But thanks anyway.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    If you think the Research 2000 poll is bad because they do it under the Daily Kos, how about checking what Nate Silver says about them: “Research 2000 has an above-average track record”.

    I’m sure you know about Nate Silver, but for those who don’t, he’s perhaps America’s foremost political statistician. In the 2008 election, Silver correctly predicted the presidential winner in 49 states and D.C. Exception: Indiana, an Obama win.

    But back to you, Dave – if there’s one common attribute that runs through most of those who hold strong political opinions, it’s the tendency to ignore or belittle any fact stated by someone from the other side, without regard to the accuracy of the stated fact.

    I suggest that you be more cautious about making such assumptions in the future.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Concerning the poll, Dave is misrepresenting me by claiming that I am misrepresenting the poll. Here’s the text:

    “Only 42 percent of Republican respondents in a Research 2000 survey, conducted for the liberal website Daily Kos, said they thought Obama was a natural born citizen; 28 percent said they did not believe Obama was born in the United States; 30 percent said they were not sure.”

    “Not sure”? After Dave’s article pointing out all the evidence that Obama certainly IS a natural-born citizen, 30 percent are ‘not sure’? I NEVER SAID that “58% didn’t believe that Obama wasn’t born in the US”…but Dave thinks I said it: “The actual number in the poll who believe Obama is not native-born is 28%, not the 58% [Glenn Contrarian] cites.”

    WHAT I STATED was “over half of all Republicans either do not believe or are not sure whether Obama is a natural-born citizen.” – and my statement is COMPLETELY accurate.

    Dave?

    Do you see your error? You claimed I said 58% believed Obama was not native-born – BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT I SAID, IS IT?

    You misrepresented me. How you respond will say much about you.

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

    I’m asking you if you believe that people should be treated differently based on their race. That shouldn’t be a tough question.

    It’s tougher than you say because it depends on your approach. For example, if you were a canvasser for a political candidate you’d have no compunction in talking directly to the white lady in Sioux Falls. You have a nice conversation which ends with the lady promising to vote for your guy.

    However, suppose you knocked on that door in LA and the Latino guy’s wife answered? And the guy was home and standing right behind her? What’s the best way of getting the couple to vote for your candidate? Remember, Mrs Latino guy answered the door.

    The answer is cultural, but since Latino is also often considered a race (in this country at any rate), the distinction isn’t all that significant.

    And to answer your question directly, no, treating someone differently on account of their race is not racist. Neither is treating everyone the same. Racism involves putting someone at a disadvantage on account of their race. It can be conscious or unconscious: you may not feel that you’ve treated the other person badly, but Señor Moreno may well come away from the encounter feeling a lot more hard done by than Ms White.

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

    The Democratic platform you and Dave are trying to label as ‘racist’ is Affirmative Action – and if one would listen only to rhetoric, one would have to agree with the Republicans that Affirmative Action is indeed institutionalized racism.

    Actually, I haven’t mentioned affirmative acation once. Try again.

    Do you see your error? You claimed I said 58% believed Obama was not native-born – BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT I SAID, IS IT?

    What you have said repeatedly is that 58% believed or were not sure. That is a way of saying it which suggests that 58% is the meaningful number, when it is not. A more accurate way of saying it would be that 28% believe he is not a native and 30% were unsure. But by putting those two numbers together you deliberately distort the results. I could say that 72% do not believe that he is foreign born, and that would be just as accurate a statement, but one which cuts the other way.

    In fact, 42% believe he is native born and 28% believe he is not native born. That means that 50% more Republicans believe he is native born than don’t. The unsure people really aren’t relevant, because unless they asked them the nature of their lack of surety we don’t know what that position means. It may well mean they have no idea what the hell the pollster is asking them about at all or that they just don’t care.

    The point is that you are distorting the results when you keep trying to lump the unsure results in with the 28% who think he’s not native born. The truth is that the smallest group of respondents in the poll were birthers, followed by people who didn’t know or didn’t care or just wanted the pollsters to go away, and the largest group (by a substantial amount) believed Obama was native born.

    And what’s more, the fact that ‘unsure’ beat out the non-native responses suggests that the poll questions were badly written or administered and that the whole thing probably ought to be chucked out.

    You misrepresented me. How you respond will say much about you.

    I hope I’ve made absolutely clear that I’m not simpleminded enough to let you get away with this bullshit.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    But by putting those two numbers together you deliberately distort the results.

    Quoted for Truth.

    …And because it bears repeating.

    Until the point sinks in.

    And what’s more, the fact that ‘unsure’ beat out the non-native responses suggests that the poll questions were badly written or administered…

    Probably by design, since the poll was commissioned by Markos Moulitsas (and probably bankrolled by George Soros).

  • Baronius

    “Hispanic men, or chicanos, can be often spotted at street festivals playing dance music. But don’t be fooled by the bright colors and festivity: they are not homosexuals. Quite the opposite. As you approach them, do not make direct eye contact with their mates, as this is considered a sign of macho.”

    – from Dr. Dreadful’s Guide to the Races

  • Irene Wagner

    I’m wondering about this poll, though, and what it really says about the difference in racial attitudes between Republicans and Democrats.

    If the question had been asked three years ago without any reference to Obama, the messiah of many Democrats and and the anti-Christ of many Republicans, the results of the poll probably would have been different. If there had been two questions, each associating the individual whose citizenship was an issue with a Harvard law degree, a foreign father, and the inability to produce a long-form birth certificate, and the only way the two questions differed was that one described a black man and one described a white man, THAT poll would have more to tell us about race than this one does.

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

    @ #36:

    What the fuck was that?

  • Mark

    But by putting those two numbers together you deliberately distort the results. I could say that 72% do not believe that he is foreign born, and that would be just as accurate a statement, but one which cuts the other way.

    …such Jedi mind tricks work only on the weak.

    Fact is, if this survey comes close to accurately representing the population, 28% is remarkable.

  • Clavos

    …if this survey comes close to accurately representing the population…

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

    I don’t know what Clav said to that but mark me down for the same!

    (Hi, farrier person :-)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    On the ‘unsure’ question, WHEN were the American people EVER “unsure” whether the president was native-born or not?????????

    ‘UNSURE’, sir, is an answer given by someone who HAS been influenced by the ‘birthers’…and you KNOW this. That’s why I was COMPLETELY ACCURATE in my statement that 58% of ALL Republicans EITHER thought Obama is not native-born (the ‘birthers’) or were UNSURE if Obama was native-born (those who were INFLUENCED by the ‘birthers’).

    And again, Dave, you’re no fool – you’re too intelligent not to know this.

    You can keep trying to cover the Republicans’ collective butts, but it won’t work.

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

    And he’s in the 58%.

  • Clavos

    That’s why I was COMPLETELY ACCURATE in my statement that 58% of ALL Republicans EITHER thought Obama is not native-born (the ‘birthers’) or were UNSURE if Obama was native-born (those who were INFLUENCED by the ‘birthers’).

    Actually, you weren’t “completely accurate.”

    “All Republicans” weren’t polled.

    Only 527 were.

    148 Republicans polled didn’t believe Obama was born in the US.

    158 weren’t sure.

    So lemme see. A little over 300 Republicans polled had some level of doubt, and from that you interpolate that nearly 32 million of the approximately 55 million registered Republicans have some level of doubt as to whether or not Obama was born in the US.

    And all this from a poll commissioned by Markos Moulitsas!

    Whew.

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

    They left out the most important answer from the questionnaire: “I don’t care.”

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

    “Jedi mind tricks.” That’s great, Mark.

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

    “Jedi mind tricks.” That’s great, Mark.

    That is great.

    They left out the most important answer from the questionnaire: “I don’t care.”

    So is that!

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

    I’m beginning to use BC of late for its comical aspects, Cindy. And I’m certain I won’t be disappointed.

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

    Irene, no one has provided any research to connect the birthers with any racist beliefs. That motivation has just been assigned to them by the left. Whether that accusationis valid has yet to be born out by any kind of study.

    Glenn: On the ‘unsure’ question, WHEN were the American people EVER “unsure” whether the president was native-born or not?????????

    Actually, many of the same people – like Jerome Corsi – raised the EXACT same issue with John McCain. It was also raised with several previous presidential candidates who were born in territories which had not yet become states.

    As for the rest, Clavos pointed out your fallacious reasoning so well there’s no need to respond further.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    Back to the original point of the article. The first two years of the Clinton administration, it looked like the Democrats were going to wipe the Republicans off the map. The next 6 years were more ambiguous. The first 2-3 years of the Bush administration were pure GOP, then the public feeling about the Iraq War shifted. Now were in the first couple of years of the Obama administration, and we’re being told that the Democrats are here to stay. This is pretty silly.

    When the public mood shifts, it starts with a previously-unthinkable thought (“maybe we shouldn’t be in Iraq”, “is Obama stupid or something?”). About three months pass before the media pick up on it. When people recognize that other people are thinking the same thing, the dam bursts.

    I guess that we’re a couple of months before a dam burst. We’re somewhere between denial (“the economy is practically booming”) and bargaining (“maybe we didn’t elect him at all”). Make no mistake, the tide is going to turn. Then it’s going to turn back in a few years, because that’s what happens in politics.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    When a party has lost two Congressional elections in a row, plus a presidential election, and when the number of Americans self-identifying as that party’s members diminish so sharply, it’s fair to ask what’s next. Just in terms of math, the GOP has to get a lot more people to vote its way in order to win elections again. The struggle between the libertarians and the social conservatives will have to be settled in some way for that to happen. Far be it from me to give y’all any advice.

    One more item from the much discussed poll [its source does give one pause] — the apparent regional bias:

    Overall, even including Democrats and independents, only 47 percent of respondents in the South said they believed Obama was born in America, with 23 percent saying he was not and 30 percent saying they were unsure. In the Northeast and Midwest, the percentage of respondents who believe Obama was born in the U.S. was over 90 percent.

    The number of GOP Congressmen who refused to allow themselves to be heard on camera confirming the president’s US birthplace was also pretty startling. It was as if they were afraid to offend the lunatic fringe of the base.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave and Clavos –

    When it comes to the veracity of the pollsters and their methods, I’ll take Nate Silver’s word over yours any day of the week. If either of you think he’s biased to the left, you can also read how he gave the normally right-leaning Rasmussen Reports an even bigger thumbs-up.

    Furthermore, Dave, you made the claim that “the fact that ‘unsure’ beat out the non-native responses suggests that the poll questions were badly written or administered and that the whole thing probably ought to be chucked out”. “Suggests”, you say. “Probably”, you say. IMO you’re doing what we in the Navy used to call ‘tap-dancing’, doing everything you can to back up your opinion when you have nothing CONCRETE to provide said back-up.

    So if you’re going continue down the conservatives’ oft-traveled road of “they’re liberals so they must be deceiving us”, you really need to have the horsepower to back it up.

    And when it comes to James Corsi, if you’ll recall, the vast majority of liberal pundits – and even most of those furthest to the left – did NOT support Corsi’s contention, and the issue died on the vine. Almost to a man, the liberal pundits noted that the ‘birthers’ contention made about as much sense as Corsi’s, and left it at that.

    This is in 180-out, direct contrast to what the neo-con pundits did…and you know it.

    And by the way, Dave – I should remind you that you said I made the claim that 58% percent of the Republicans didn’t think Obama was born in the U.S. You know I did NOT make that claim…yet you still accused me of doing exactly that.

    No, Dave, you’re NOT simpleminded. If I thought you were, I’d let you get away with it. No, you’re quite intelligent and literate – which means I don’t have to pull punches when I point out your own errors.

    In a debate between Kerry and Bush, Kerry asked Bush if he felt he’d made any mistakes during his presidency. Bush wouldn’t admit to one…not a single one. I’ve proven several times on BC that I own up to my own mistakes, and the apologies I’ve given were sincere. I do this because I learned a long time ago to be very careful around those who refuse to own up to their own obvious mistakes.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    As I’ve said before, there will be hiccups. The Republicans will still win quite a few while they’re still on their downward spiral.

    But there’s a world of difference between Clinton years and now…and thanks to the spread of the internet and other forms of media, people are much more politically aware than they once were.

    But the biggest difference between then and now, Baronius, are the changes in demographics and public perception. The public perception is that the Republicans have turned their backs on minorities, gays, women, and the youth, well, that pretty much leaves you with a party of old white guys.

    If the Democrats don’t make epic Bush-level mistakes, and if the Republicans don’t figure out a way to become a big-tent party that draws in minorities (since whites will make up less than half the country in 2030), then the Republicans will become a regional party in fact if not in name.

  • Bliffle

    Dave says:

    “The actual number in the poll who believe Obama is not native-born is 28%, not the 58% he cites. That total includes the 30% who responded that they were “unsure”.”

    Thus, 42% of republicans think Obama is native-born. The others profess uncertainty or are sure he’s not native-born. A majority of the reps will not say that Obama is native-born.

    IMO there is a group of reps who are deluded by the anti-Obama propaganda and they are beyond hope. But there is another group of reps who profess uncertainty, so that permits them to continue the slander without having to take a position. IMO that group is cowardly, because they are unwilling to take a stand based on evidence, and they are devious because that permits them to cheat while leaving themselves an escape route. Perhaps, when they are discovered for the cheats they are, they will protest “well, everyone thought the birth certificate was false.” Just as those same cheats protested “well, everyone thought Saddam had WMD”.

  • Clavos

    When it comes to the veracity of the pollsters and their methods, I’ll take Nate Silver’s word over yours any day of the week.

    1. The Nate Silver quote you gave is over nine months old, and refers to polling done during the election.

    2. Pollsters work for whomever pays the bills, in this case Markos Moulitsas, who’s so far left he has to have his lunch FedExed to him.

    And yes, pollsters DO couch questions in terms designed to elicit certain answers, interpret results according to what the client wants, etc.

    As a very wise statistician once said,

    “Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.”

    But, in any case it’s all irrelevant. Those numbers are based on a microscopic sampling of 572 self identified “Republicans.”

    But, none of this fits in with your rigid, preconceived weltanschauung, so I don’t expect you to buy into it.

  • Clavos

    …and thanks to the spread of the internet and other forms of media, people are much more politically aware than they once were.

    I agree with you here, Glenn. It may well be the reason why the people are growing increasingly wary of Obama’s hare-brained governance

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

    Unfortunately, the hard reality is that Barack Obama’s Presidential failures leading into next year’s elections will fuel the fire for the resurrection of the GOP. Just when you thought they were dead, they’ll come back. Democrats are cowards and can’t fight their way out of the open end of a paper bag. It will be Democrat cowardice which will lead to GOP resurgence. And then the politics of division will get even worse. I honestly believe that Barack Obama is the consummate practical Centrist who’s being painted into the political corner that many of his predecessors faced like Clinton, Carter, Mondale and Humphrey. The GOP ship is far from rudderless while the Democrat ship lacks the testosterone required to accomplish the job. Never in the history of this nation have we had a Congress filled with such impotent males (except , of course, when they scurry about in the dark of night screwing their mistresses or hanging out in airport men’s rooms). If there were ever a time for a female dominated political party it is now. And there are plenty of us queer guys who would join.

  • Baronius

    I wonder what percentage of those people even knew that US birth is a requirement for the presidency. I’d bet that half of them weren’t implying a coverup; they just remember something from the campaign about his brother going to school in Indonesia or something.

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

    Exactly, Baronius. Simple ignorance is a much more reasonable explanation than the silly deviousness which [edited] Bliffle and Glenn are imagining.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Any statement about how many ‘birthers’ there are and what their motivations are is necessarily speculative.

    That said, I wonder if anyone saw the scary/funny tape of the Delaware Republican Congressman’s town meeting taken over by a virulent birther woman waving her own birth certificate and screaming angrily, “I’m an American, I have a birth certificate, he should too!” Quite a few other folks cheered her on, and it got really ugly when the Congressman tried to assure them that Obama is indeed a native-born citizen.

    The Tea Baggers and the Birthers, whether they are exactly the same people or not, seem to share a deep-seated anger, much of which is fuzzily defined yet aimed directly at the president. Similar anger was captured on tape at some McCain rallies, especially in the South, last fall.

    I believe race is an element in the emotional reactions of some of these folks. I don’t have a study to back me up, and I don’t claim that the GOP is institutionally supporting this. But some GOP politicians do seem to be willing to feed on the anger, and to tread lightly when faced with contradicting the crazies.

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

    “I wonder what percentage of those people even knew that US birth is a requirement for the presidency. I’d bet that half of them weren’t implying a coverup; they just remember something from the campaign about his brother going to school in Indonesia or something.”

    That’s even a greater indictment against “the “birthers” – not knowing about the natural citizenship requirement. It surely speaks volumes of the general electorate. And if that’s the base that the desperate Republican Party is trying to appeal or to mobilize, kiss the two party system good bye.

  • Clavos

    It surely speaks volumes of the general electorate.

    And of the government.

    It “educated” them.

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

    I believe race is an element in the emotional reactions of some of these folks. I don’t have a study to back me up, and I don’t claim that the GOP is institutionally supporting this. But some GOP politicians do seem to be willing to feed on the anger, and to tread lightly when faced with contradicting the crazies.

    As SJ Reidhead illustrated in a series of articles here on BC during the election, there is a small element within the extreme independent right which is racist, but most of these birthers — and I’ve had way too much contact with them recently — are absolutely not racist. They’re just insanely anti-Obama andrace doesn’t figure in at all. I think it’s not a coincidence that Birther sounds like Bircher, and it’s Obama’s marxism which sets them off and nothing else matters at all.

    Dave

  • Glenn Contrarian

    it’s Obama’s marxism which sets them off

    Here’s another clue for the conservatives on BC. The accusations that X Democrat is a marxist/socialist/communist/fascist/bircher/whatever does NOT have the same bite that it did during the Cold War. All such (usually false, as in the above quote) accusations do is rile up the conservative base. To those of us on the left, the conservative name-calling is nothing different in motive or method from the name-calling insults one hears on the schoolyard.

    And last I recall, it was the Bush administration which:

    – presided over the death of habeas corpus;
    – instituted warrantless wiretapping and indefinite imprisonment without trial;
    – insisted on censorship of scientific research when the results didn’t agree with conservative orthodoxy;
    – refused to enforce environmental or economic oversight laws;
    – fired judges who would not toe the conservative political line;
    – refused to properly prepare for a natural disaster (Katrina) or even react to it as it was happening until pressured to by what’s left of the MSM;
    – exposed an entire CIA spy network just to hurt somebody who dared to expose Bush’s lies;
    – launched a preemptive war on false pretenses; and
    tortured our prisoners despite all the evidence that torture does NOT produce actionable intel…

    …but if we listen to Dave, it’s Obama who’s the marxist! Oooooohh, that’s so scary!

    Dave – your guys had the ball for six years and screwed up royally. The Bush administration was the worst one since WWI-era Wilson administration (not even Bush was that bad)…but to listen to you, Obama’s the marxist.

    I’ll freely admit we’ve all done our share of name-calling (myself included), but such name-calling is no different, and every bit as useless, as kids’ name-calling on the playground.

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

    If they’re insane against something, Dave, they’re fanatical. I don’t think they have acumen enough to discuss the finer points of Marxism, or of the “free-market” economy. So Obama’s “socialistic” stance may serve as a pretext, a banner, but there’s still the black man underneath it all – or shall I say, the devil.

    So perhaps they’re “sophisticated enough” not to call a spade a spade – or haven’t the balls to speak outright like the Nazis – but fanaticism masquerades under many faces. And racism is one of the elements.

  • Clavos

    How convenient.

    Obama has a black skin, so all opposition to him is automatically race-based.

    How then, do we account for opposition to Bill Clinton? To Jimmy Carter? More recently, to John Kerry? Howard Dean? John Edwards?

    Another crackpot theory, unrelated to reality and the facts.

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

    You’re welcome to account for the mind of a fanatic. I’d say any excuse will do, and racism is just one of them.

    Another rather gross pressuposition – that “the opposition” in each of the cases mentioned was in essence one and the same. That remains to be argued beyond the mere fact of asserting it.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Calling Obama a Marxist [or even a socialist] is itself “a crackpot theory.”

    It’s reflexive, ideological name-calling, ignoring any and all counterexamples, of which there are, oh maybe a million.

  • Clavos

    Calling Obama a Marxist [or even a socialist] is itself “a crackpot theory.”

    Show me the comment where I said that.

  • Baronius

    “That’s even a greater indictment against “the “birthers” – not knowing about the natural citizenship requirement.”

    Roger, I don’t know that the people who said that he’s foreign-born are “birthers”. If they don’t know about the Constitutional requirement, they would have no need to imagine a conspiracy. At most, they might think that Obama wanted to hide his Kenyan birth out of fear of losing votes.

    Is the anti-Obama anger based on his race? Of course not. The people who say so are obsessed with race. They also have a terrible track record of prediction – they were the ones saying that Iowa, then America, wouldn’t vote for a black man. There’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for the anger, the president’s policies and the bad economy.

    And what about Bush? Was the anger directed at him racial? Of course not. Liberals don’t try to analyze the reasons for the anger against Bush because they think it was justified. People only look for psychological explanations for things they don’t agree with.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Clavos, Dave referred to Obama’s “marxism” [is there a small-M Marxism?] a few comments up.

    Both of you have called him the furthest left president of all time, or something to that effect. I think that’s not a very meaningful statement, and questionable on the facts anyway.

  • Clavos

    With the possible exception of FDR, show me a US prez further to the left than BHO.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    LBJ and Wilson might be in the running.

    But we have rarely or never had an extremist president. The public’s intrinsic centrism leads most candidates to moderate their views if they expect to win, especially in the last 50-60 years.

    Even someone as far right as Reagan moderated his positions. Some of us think Bush II was an extremist. This was partly in reaction to terrorism; and on the domestic front, his economic and social-issue conservatism never enhanced his popularity at the national level.

    Look at the advisers the current president surrounds himself with. You may not agree with them, but they don’t come from the far left [or far right].

    So calling him furthest left is not so meaningful. His policies and rhetoric are sooo carefully modulated — not extreme at all. The big spending is in reaction to specific big problems. Do you think he would spend as much outside a crisis? I don’t.

  • Clavos

    His policies and rhetoric are sooo carefully modulated — not extreme at all.

    Sorry, but I don’t agree. Just his health care ideas alone qualify him for the leftmost title.

    Mind you, I’m not referring to the Idea of heath insurance/payment/distribution reform (nobody, wisely, is actually proposing health care reform — we don’t need that), but his original proposals (since modified in response to Congressional and voter outcry) were way out there.

  • Clavos

    Do you think he would spend as much outside a crisis? I don’t.

    As much? Maybe not. More than I would approve? Yes, he’s a Democrat.

    And preemptively, no I decidedly did NOT like GWB’s spending.

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

    And last I recall, it was the Bush administration which:

    – presided over the death of habeas corpus; (continued by Obama)
    – instituted warrantless wiretapping and indefinite imprisonment without trial; (continued by Obama)
    – tortured our prisoners despite all the evidence that torture does NOT produce actionable intel…(continued by Obama in a worse prison than Gitmo–as no one was actually beaten to death at Gitmo)

    Obama is not going to give up presidential power because he doesn’t have to, no matter how morally wrong it is.

  • Bliffle

    Silas says:

    “Democrats are cowards and can’t fight their way out of the open end of a paper bag. It will be Democrat cowardice which will lead to GOP resurgence. And then the politics of division will get even worse.”

    I’ll second that opinion. It’s been evident to me for some time that the dems, unlike the reps, lack the killer instinct to go in and finish the job. And Obama has a long record of appeasement, except possibly with his opposition to John Roberts as Chief Justice.

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

    Baronius,

    I wouldn’t compare the opposition to Bush with what what obtains in the case of Obama. In the first instance, the opposition was through and through ideological, exacerbated, I’d say, by the image of a Texan cowboy representing the ideals of America. In the present case, the tea-baggers and “the birthers,” to single out of the most “vocal” of the usually silent Right (and I don’t mean to include here the Christian Right), are hardly the kind of people who are moved/motivated by ideological considerations. (It was be instructive to compare the present situation with what obtained in case of Clinton: it wasn’t until the Lewinsky scandal that the wrath of the disenfranchised right turned against him).

    So my “theory” is that the tea-baggers and “the birthers,” while having resigned themselves prior to Obama’s November election to the Democratic victory, are now venting – out of desperation and sense of impotence. And while the race issue may not have been articulated in prior times as it is not now, it looms in the subconscious. Which is why people who are close to “white trash” are so venting – because they suffer all their present indignities and economic hardship at the hands of a . . . black man.

    At any case, I do suspect that Obama being black only adds fuel to the fire.

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

    And where do the crazies come from? Does one wonder if the white-backed “southern strategy” is a code phrase for something else? I don’t want to “profile” or sound stereotypical but why is it that the extreme right wing wombats come from the poorest states with the worst records in educating their young? Certainly there has to be something to keeping the oppressed in check. Isn’t that what early Christians did to increase their flock?

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

    It is amazing, isn’t it, Silas, that in this land of the free and the brave we can still boast of such a large percentage of the ignorant masses. One would think that the desire to grow and to improve should be a natural one for humankind. So you may be right. There may well be a vested interest in keeping the masses ignorant, just like the interest in keeping womenfolk barefoot and pregnant.

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

    At any case, I do suspect that Obama being black only adds fuel to the fire.

    With all due respect, Roger, I am sick and tired of Barack Obama being portrayed as a BLACK MAN. Just because he looks black doesn’t make him 100% black. He’s born of a white mother. He is as much “our” President as he is “their” President. For that matter, he IS President of the entire nation — black, white, yellow, red, gay, straight, Jew, Muslim, fat, skinny, dumb and dumber.

    If the poor, disenfranchised white trash masses would realize that the jewelry and suits their preachers wear on Sunday mornings is probably worth a year of wages, perhaps they’d think clearly. Again, I urge people to look at this little C Street organization in Washington. They’re as evil as the lobbyists on K Street. If we don’t get proactive now we are leaving behind a world of misery for our children.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Cindy, I share your impatience with the pace of change in some of the detainee policies. But surely you don’t think it’s because Obama thinks these policies are wonderful?

    He just has to deal with the reality of the consequences of changing them quickly. You and I can perhaps afford to be more idealistic and absolutist than those actually implementing policy.

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

    Obama really doesn’t have any choice about the detainees. Because they really are (with the possible exception of the Uighurs) dangerous terrorists, no one wants them back and it’s not easy to figure out something to do with them in America. I’m inclined to give him a break on this issue.

    Ultimately I think the only answer is something like the old British policy of transportation. Take them to an island somewhere on which they can live free and on their own terms, but never leave. What else can be done?

    Dave

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

    #81.

    You and I can agree on those points, Silas. But try to explain these points to a redneck. In a sense, it seems you’re in a state of denial. We do have a sizable proportion of the population with an IQ of under three digits, and they’re not dying off fast enough. In fact, judging by the quality of some the comments on BC, they’re multiplying or interbreeding. You yourself speak to this problem – of educating these masses. Well, they’re not educatable, so there! What are we going to do?

  • Bliffle

    By definition of IQ, half the people are above 100 and half below.

    IMO many people have an exaggerated notion of their own IQ.

  • Bliffle

    IMO the ‘birther’ blather IS inspired by racism. IMO traditional racists are afraid to make an outright attack on Obama as a Black man (or, maybe, as a Brown man) so they are trying to attack him in a different ‘other’ role as a Kenyan rather than an African-American. Whether he’s black or Kenyan suits their purpose.

    So, in this case, “Kenyan” is a code word for “n*gger”.

  • Bliffle

    Now comes this “McCoy” person who claimed (falsely) that medicare is going to council seniors for Euthanasia. She’s one of those who sought to undermine the Clinton 1994 healthcare bill with untrue slanders. Amazing how much echo she got from the rightists.

    McCoy, the Lewinski furor, Gore defamation, Kerry swiftboaters, Obama birthers, etc., doesn’t it make you proud to be a neo-republican (after you clean the slime off)?

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

    Well, they’re not educatable, so there! What are we going to do?
    Send ‘em to Gitmo!

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

    So, in this case, “Kenyan” is a code word for “n*gger”.

    I agree. And “Promise Keeper” is a code word for rectum.

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

    Roger,

    The problem doesn’t seem to me to lie in the realm of intelligence. It seems to have more to do with three things:

    1) indoctrination
    2) selfishness/lack of empathy (see indoctrination)
    3) did I say indoctrination yet? (okay then add the inability or lack of serendipitous experience, resulting one’s questioning one’s indoctrination.)

    The problem has been promoted by extremely intelligent people. The problem is non-existent for many people who are mentally handicapped and for many children. The problem isn’t necessarily found as a problem with the uneducated. The educated are often the most ruthless.

    Watch little children carefully, they are essentially advanced. There is no reason to expect that children turn into quasi-psychopaths that make up the bulk of humanity, just naturally. Because this doesn’t happen in all cultures. They have to be conditioned over and over to make them into such fragments of what they began as. Their enormous potential is narrowed by whatever cultural experience they are offered.

    This society is a very sick place. That’s why we get a lot of sick people in it. They didn’t start that way and they aren’t dumb.

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

    I meant ignorance, Cindy, a better term. And ignorance includes your three aspects. That’s my understanding of the word, anyway.

    No disagreement about the native intelligence of the kids; their ignorant parents are the problem, and those who have a vested interest to keep the general populace dumb – a nation of Wall-Mart consumers.

    And yes, America is the leader in producing a nation of morons.

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

    Sorry, Cindy. I don’t really mean to be this negative. I had better stop.

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

    84 – handy,

    I share your impatience with the pace of change in some of the detainee policies. But surely you don’t think it’s because Obama thinks these policies are wonderful?

    Well, then I guess you aren’t aware that he’s not changing them. He’s backing Bush’s policies, using Bush’s legal arguments and fighting against changing them–appealing cases where judges are upholding the prisoners rights.

    Closing Guantanamo is now understood as nothing more than a ruse, a sleight of hand. Because Gitmo was so close and well-exposed to criticism. But since most of the population has less of an attention span than even Dave does (see comment 4), let alone the curiosity to wander outside the boundaries of their own biases, or pay attention to anything that isn’t right under their nose or doesn’t directly threaten to take a few cents out of their pockets, most people won’t even know or care.

    He just has to deal with the reality of the consequences of changing them quickly.

    He’s tossed a bone to the left and let them chase it. Now he’ll carry on doing the same thing as Bush. He’s not giving up any power that Bush had.

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

    IMO the ‘birther’ blather IS inspired by racism. IMO traditional racists are afraid to make an outright attack on Obama as a Black man (or, maybe, as a Brown man) so they are trying to attack him in a different ‘other’ role as a Kenyan rather than an African-American. Whether he’s black or Kenyan suits their purpose.

    Your opinion is uninformed. I’ve been studying and doing my best to counter the Birthers, and while there may be some who are racist, that is absolutely NOT the primary motivation for most of them. It’s rabid anti-government, anti-elitist, anti-NWO mania and this issue just happens to be one they’ve latched onto and think they can make mileage with.

    The racism characterization is the official talking points strategy from the left to discredit the birthers and smear all conservatives in the process.

    Bliffle is very good at parroting the party line.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Sorry to hear that you are giving in to a conspiracy-theory type of sweeping generalization, Cindy. I believe both you and Dave are mistaken.

    Some of the remaining detainees may be ‘dangerous terrorists,’ but certainly not all of them. But even if they are not literally dangerous, if no country will accept them, and the Know Nothings in the US ignorantly won’t allow them into our country, there is a real dilemma about what to do. There’s no magic solution.

  • Baronius

    Birthers are no dumber or more paranoid than the people who think that Katherine Harris or Diebold stole the previous two elections.

  • Richard

    The worst thing that the Republican Party can do is pander to racialist and ethnic groups like the Democrats. All are equal in the eyes of God, and our constitution. The Democrats discovered they can get votes by playing racialist politics and pandering to racial and ethnic groups. Eventually the public will realize they are all being taken for a ride, because until we treat everyone equally, this country will continue to go down the toilet.