Yeah, but

These guys are concerned about the direction of the Right. I am too. But I don’t know if they have a case here. Are they really scaring off moderates, and do moderates even exist any more? It looks to me like since the crazy got turned up to Atomic Blast, polls have generally moved against the Democrats. So, maybe they are scaring off some moderates – but a lot of independents are moving right. Maybe bringing the Scary is working – to scare independents away from the center in larger numbers than it is scaring moderates away from the right. So, I don’t know.

In addition, there may be a misunderstanding that this is all about tactics. There are certainly some cynical players on the right… but then there are a generation of people who have learned by repetition that anything left of Dick Cheney is MARXISM. And among them are those who because of this sincerely held misunderstanding, bring the Crazy for non-partisan reasons. To rebuke those folks is to become a Quisling to them. To warn them that it’s a political loser (rightly or wrongly) is to miss what motivates them.

So… I guess the course of action I would recommend for the smart and thoughtful conservative would be to be the leaven for the whole meal – educate and reason on the ideological side. And, on the partisan side – try to convince not just that radical partisanship will ultimately fail – but that it is also wrongheaded in and of itself.

18 comments to Yeah, but

  • RW

    It looks to me like since the crazy got turned up to Atomic Blast, polls have generally moved against the Democrats.

    Really? The answer to the question “why are people unexcited about Democrats after their being in total power for less than 8 months?” is: it’s the Republicans’ fault! Is there even a remote chance that the Democrats’ move to the left is simlpy too much/too fast for the public? ANY chance? Or is it all because of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Fox News, Ruppert Murdoch, etc., who couldn’t get Republicans elected 10 months ago or get people to watch “An American Carol”, couldn’t keep their own party to nominate the person they disdain (McCain) but they hold so much sway (suddenly, right after the grand poohbahs of the left sent out the talking points….funny how that sort of thing always happens. “the lefty spokespeople say it’s so and – voila – it’s part of the pop culure, just like that) in such a short period of time that they’ve been able to fool the public enough to make them turn against the Democrats?

    Oh, and they’re crazy.

    There’s no way that (a) the economy still sucks, (b)unemployment is on the rise (still), (c) government spending is about 3 times more than the folks are willing to accept, (d) seeing that the cash for klunkers program didn’t run very smoothly but we’re being told that the gov’t is the better cure for running our health care insurance, plus the public is getting antsy with the people in power who promised that with their elections all would start to turn & turn quickly? You know, like they’ve turned on so many of the Republican governors, according to polls, in their states? It couldn’t be that? The answer must be that it’s the fault of the right?

    I’m beginning to wonder if there is ANY THING that isn’t the fault of the right. Glenn Beck must’ve been the guy who traded away Brett Butler.

    So, maybe they are scaring off some moderates – but a lot of independents are moving right.

    I don’t think they’re moving right. I think you guys overestimated the results of an anti-GOP backlash (mainly, anti-Bush) and assumed that people were more in favor of liberalism. Well, as many congressional Democrats in swing districts just found out when they went home over the recess: they’re not.

    but then there are a generation of people who have learned by repetition that anything left of Dick Cheney is MARXISM.

    They’re cancelled out by the people who think that companies that make “unfair” profits (definition never established over ‘fair’) represent the corporate-industrial-complex that secretly runs America and that we went to war in Iraq because of oil, which we still haven’t gotten.

    You guys are the ones in power. Complete power. Claiming that your seemingly impending undoing (it’s too early) is because of the fringes on the right and that it’s up to the “good” conservatives to right the ship….well, I think it’s near the time for the left to begin to take responsibility for what they’re running instead of constantly blaming the right for the failures of the public to comprehend the ‘true’ nature of the legislation (buzz word: misinformation).

    It’s not Glenn Beck’s fault that Van Jones resigned. He put his own name on that document, which should seal the fate of ANY person wielding that sort of power.
    It’s not Rush Limbaugh’s fault that Barack Obama’s polls are tanking. He’s voted for or signed legislation that has accumulated all that spending (save for the wars, which he’s still fighting by the way).
    It’s not Michelle Bachmann’s fault that the Democratic congress is as popular as A-Rod in Fenway Park.

    Look, you guys run the whole show. And you have various outlets wililng to pass along the talking points. I can think of three major networks, the two largest newspapers in the nation, two cable news outlets, 99.9% of Hollywood movies, 98% of the shows on network television, all willing to let you give your side of the story without interruption. I don’t subscribe to the notion that talk radio, one cable news outlet and two major editorial pages are enough to brainwash the independents into taking their word as gospel when they failed at doing so less than one year ago. Doesn’t hold water.

    It’s not all coming apart because Sarah Palin said “death panels” or because some talk show host said Barack Obama was trying to indoctrinate school kids. It’s coming apart because the public doesn’t like what Obama, Pelosi, Reid, etc., are doing. It doesn’t mean that voters are willing to empty their bank accounts in order to donate to Mitt Romney’s campaign, it means that right now they’re not buying what you’re selling, especially the public health care thingie. Now, if unemployment drops to 7.5% and growth goes up to 2% gains instead of shrinkage, that could all change without anything legislatively happening. But, that’s not happening right now and blaming “the crazy” is little more than blogospheric chatter that 90% of the public is oblivious to (as it is with most things in the blogosphere) and works to your detriment, IMO. Akin to Braves blaming the Yankees for the loss to the Reds this weekend: misplaced attention. The Braves are the ones not getting the job done. Right now, the Democrats aren’t doing the peoples’ work, they’re doing the work of the DNC and their affiliates, especially the lawyers & unions. The Republicans don’t matter, as they can’t do anything.

    It really is that simple.

  • Was Reagan for fiscal sanity and limited government?

    Somebody is going to have to give me the definition of a smart and thoughtful conservative. In fact an example of a smart and thoughtful conservative who just also happens to be a Republican would be nice.

  • RW, I’m getting from you the hypothesis that the rightward move in the polls has nothing to do with the anti-Obama/Pelosi/etc campaign of the last 8 months and everything to do with the terrible things that this cabal has done in the last 8 months.. That the polls would have moved in absence of the jihad.

    Ok – that’s a possibility. It still undermines the thinking that the jihad is scaring away moderates and making the future bleak for Republicans, which I was critiquing.

    But, I don’t think that’s it. If that was it, I think that Obama would have lost the election. Because he sits where he sits after a campaign in which he promised to do everything he has done or is currently trying to do. And a whole lot more that he hasn’t even tried (making a lot of his liberal base, myself included very upset). People didn’t seem to mind so much back in November. What’s different now?

    Is it 8 more months of recession? Did people really think that January 20th we’d all wake up in an America flush with jobs? Is it government spending that, as always is about 3 times more than the public is willing to accept? Did “big stimulus” in the campaign just not register? The cash for clunkers program? Really? The only people I’ve noticed “realizing” that it wasn’t any good are the people who would have voted for Dick Cheney in the primary if he were running, and who wouldn’t even consent to live in a state that Obama might win if they could get moved out of it.

  • Buck… Reagan was Reagan. And, nobody is smart and thoughtful about every issue… And it varies from week to week. Who would have thought that Laura Bush, of all people, would be the voice of reason in the GOP this week? But, you know… find somebody like Lamar Alexandar (R-TN) who supported every Bush policy there was to support (yes, including a War for Shit and illegal wire-tapping) – but he hasn’t been shrieking about (fill in the blank: Obama’s birth certificate – Speech to schoolkids – Death Panels – SOCIALISM!!!!1!! – Secession is always an option for red-blooded Americans)… And not just that, he also isn’t defending those who are shrieking that way, and even quietly suggesting that they might be wrong about one or two of these topics…

    It indicates that he is at least reflective enough not to be led around by the nose by the likes of Glenn Beck. And, sadly, that’s an increasingly small segment of GOP type politicos.

  • RW

    What’s different now?

    Theory: a lot of those independents who voted for Obama did so because (a) anti-GOP fervor, (b) seeking security of Democrats over GOP during times of duress (people tend to swing towards Dems during economic crises, GOP during foreign crises….mommy/daddy party & all that), (c) anti-Bush fervor. Liked teleprompter-reader who they were told was ‘cool’ and who everyone liked (look, there’s even a cool video/song about him!).

    What’s different now? Now that a lot of those folks see him as a politician – which is what he was all along – instead of a celebrity that was ‘cool’, they like him about as much as they like any politician.

    Did people really think that January 20th we’d all wake up in an America flush with jobs?

    Obama/Biden told us if we passed their stimulus package that unemployment wouldn’t get over 8%, IIRC. Stupid statement, up there with the GOP claiming Clinton’s tax hikes would cause a recession, since that type of thing in our HUGE economy is dynamic, but….they did claim that. They promised a lot of things.

    People are finding out that all the unicorns & rainbows were really just a teleprompter & he’s just a Chicago pol.

    That’s what’s different. The Obama “coolness” is gone.

    The only people I’ve noticed


    It indicates that he is at least reflective enough not to be led around by the nose by the likes of Glenn Beck.

    Glenn Beck (obviously, this week’s item for scorn) has no power.

  • RW

    BTW, after the downturn of the war & Katrina, it became ‘cool’ to dislike Bush. Even the success of the surge didn’t help, even though Iraq was the centerpiece of the ’06 elections. The damage was done & the Bush ‘brand’ was set. Right now, and things can change, but the Obama brand of ‘cool’ has almost been eradicated.

    He’s my president too, so I hope he grows in office. But, he’s looking a lot like Arsenio Hall right now; lots of flare but fizzling fast.

    eh, it’s early. Can change in a month.

  • It is a long, long time until 2012 guys and I just don’t see Sarah Palin or Joe Scarborough makin’ the cut.

    I didn’t even know Lamar Alexander was still alive.

    And I have no intention of even trying to have an intelligent conversation with anybody who claims to believe that “if only the Republicans were in charge we would have limited government and fiscal responsibility”.

    Anybody who is old enough to vote and believes that is not worth the effort.

  • Well, I’m sure there’s more than one dynamic at play. The point is that the crazy doesn’t seem to be hurting the GOP, as much as I wish it would (isn’t there a bumper sticker to that effect?)

    If you think Glenn Beck has no power, you need to hang around my work more often. He may not have a vote in the Senate, but he deeply influences the thinking of large numbers of people who vote for the senators. I see them come in to work glassy-eyed and repeating as Gospel whatever nonsense he spewed to them the night before on TeeVee. You think I’m exaggerating? I’m not. Maybe my little company is just a haven for the political equivalent of Art Bell UFO nuts… (no offense any UFO nuts out there reading!)… but I see it. People from all around the country forwarding me Euthanizing Grandma e-mails… I see it. Tim Pawlenty – Governor of a big state & hot presidential contender getting wild-eyed at the prospect of the President speaking to schoolkids – that don’t happen in a vaccuum.

  • RW

    The point is that the crazy doesn’t seem to be hurting the GOP, as much as I wish it would

    War for oil, Theocracy, The draft is coming back if Bush is re-elected, Bush was AWOL, Bush knew about 9/11….I could type for days. One person’s “crazy” is another person’s “talking points”. And by talking points, I mean “the crazy thing started being thrown around about two weeks ago as a means to discredit people on the right who are being successful in branding Democrats/Obama”. The person President Obama chose for green jobs czar is crazy.

    He may not have a vote in the Senate, but he deeply influences the thinking of large numbers of people who vote for the senators.

    I’ll see your Glenn Beck and raise you Jon Stewart, Kanye West, George Clooney, Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Eddie Vedder, Michael Moore, Oliver Stone, Bruce Springsteen, Rolling Stone Magazine, and Spike Lee. And then I’ll give you double or nothing odds on the number of mainstream news media sources that have besmirched Glenn Beck (one person) for his political spoutings verses all those people I listed.

    I’m not sure anyone on the left wants to argue that the right has undue political influence in the pop culture.

  • Yeah… I never went out in the street one day & saw a bunch of zombies chanting “George Bush hates White People” after Kanye did his bit. I’m not talking about political influence here. I’m talking about crazy influence. How many Democratic Governors, Senators, ex-VP candidates, etc.. did you ever hear talking about “war for oil” – a meme substantially more reasonable than Obama wants to indoctrinate your kids into socialist grandmother-killers?

  • ehhh– “GWB hates *Black* People”… derrr..

  • RW

    Yeah… I never went out in the street one day & saw a bunch of zombies chanting “George Bush hates [black] People” after Kanye did his bit.

    A. Again, anecdotal. I’ve never seen a hot teacher having sex with a 14 year old student, but they do seem to be in existence.
    B. Do you really think that I can’t find umpteen links to sites that you read (dailykos, balloon-juice, atrios) with instances of folks calling Bush racist? THIS WEEK there have been instances of cable news hosts charging that people were outraged at the appointment of Van Jones because he’s a black guy, instead of all that communist/911truther stuff. The only things more frequent on the internet than charges of Republicans being racist are pr0n and spam.

    How many Democratic Governors, Senators, ex-VP candidates, etc.. did you ever hear talking about “war for oil”

    “George W. Bush is preventing entire nations from bidding on contracts in Iraq so his campaign contributors can continue to overcharge the American taxpayers.” – Your Guy, Howard Dean
    Guess who said that he would end “war-profiteering” if he were elected president? VP nominee, John Edwards.
    Bush was “more concerned about the success of Halliburton than having a success strategy in Iraq” – Gen. Wesley Clark

    Those were the typical political-speak sneaky instances, much like John Edwards claiming that a vote for Kerry/Edwards would mean that people like Christopher Reeve would be able to walk (meaning a vote for Bush/Cheney would keep people in wheelchairs), but during presidential debates, Moselely-Braun, Kucinich & Sharpton charged the war for oil thing. Yes, two of those three are definitely the fringe, but Sharpton is treated with kid gloves by you guys on the left (years of shakedowns have shown you guys how things should be) and he is NOT treated as the fringe by the Democratic party’s power structure, so he can’t be written off in “oh, that’s just Cynthia McKinney” sort of way. Your guys have to kiss the ring of Al Sharpton and the party does not distance itself from Sharpton (while you press that elected Republicans should immediately distance themselves from any radio or television host says something that you find offensive).

    Oh, and I can still post that picture of Michael Moore sitting next to Jimmy Carter in the presidential box seat during the ’04 convention. You won’t find pictures of Michael Savage sitting next to Bush 41 at the GOP convention. The righty “nut cases” aren’t treated as rock stars and they aren’t given virtual hand jobs by the MSM, as Michael Moore is. Dems will boycott Glenn Beck because he said that Obama is a racist but elected Democrats will continue to appear on and agree with Bill Maher during shows where he says that Republicans are racist. The left claims that the nutcases, who sit in presidential boxes at conventions, aren’t influential, but guys with talk shows…..hugely influential. You know, if the goalposts were just in the same time zone, it’d be nice.

    Now, back to the outrageous talk: add in that Sen. Durbin has charged that we’ve re-opened the gulags and Rep. Murtha has charged soldiers who were found to be innocent to be “murderers” and you have plenty of instances of elected politicians charging our military with being not just torturers in the “waterboarding is torture” mold, but in the “we’re just as bad as the Nazis and we intentionally murdered people” line of reasoning. Michelle Malkin had a best-selling book with plenty of examples, called “Deranged”, so finding instances of Democrats making some ridiculous charge is, at this time, much easier than the converse because Republicans were in power for a long peroid of time & very recently. However, give Dems 6 straight years of total power & you’ll be able to find many more instances of righty hyperbole, even though there is plenty to behold right now, but that is pretty much cancelled out by the attacks simply on Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin from Democrats….sorry, but the online left is pretty nasty. And, yeah, I know the old “but you can’t find Obama saying X” word-for-word while his subordinates are doing-just-that trick. “Plausible deniability” means something other than a reference to Watergate, after all.

    I will note, again, that in a few years – especially if the dems don’t get killed in ’10 – you’ll be able to find much more by way of righty hyperbole. It would be stupid to say that there isn’t a lot of guff out there. That’s the nature of the beast. But, the charge that the “crazy” right is a monolith that must be dealt with is an entity that is the dolphin next to the “last 7 years of history” blue whale that I recall, and recall well. Once more, two words: Sarah Palin

    I know that most of the political internet is simply a vehicle for people to endorse their own political preferences by way of besmirching the opposition’s intentions (one can get all sorts of info at dailykos, but making one’s self feel superior to the stupid a-holes on the other side is all there is at places like balloon juice, and apparently there is still a large audience for nothing more than calling the other side nasty names from the comfort & security of a keyboard) but, really, the online left claiming outrage at the sight of over-the-top political hyperbole is a bit much.

  • RW

    Close tag. Sorry.

  • I’m trying to be fair and to not minimize malfeasance by the online (and otherwise) left. I know it’s true, and I know there are bad actors on both sides… but however many cherry-picked instances Malkin can find of derangement or something that could be passed off as such (like Dean’s statement that was *unfortunately* a lot closer to “true” than “crazy”)… even if you found every example from the last 8 years of liberal craziness, it wouldn’t stack up to the last 8 months’ tsunami. I’m sorry.

    It’s not just an ongoing back & forth. I know there have been historical instances like this… desegregation brought out the crazy in a major way. So did Vietnam, and in it’s own smaller way Watergate. But what we’re seeing here isn’t just leafleting about the Clinton’s murdering Vince Foster. I guess it’s all about pushing that “Overton Window” to avoid any healthcare reform or something… But it’s like, in response to a pretty tepid hardly-hopey marginally-changey shift from the previous administration, entire demographics have developed some kind of political-paranoid tourette’s.

    Maybe I’ve been completely blind this past 8 years… but I just don’t think you’re seeing what I’m seeing here.

  • RW

    even if you found every example from the last 8 years of liberal craziness, it wouldn’t stack up to the last 8 months’ tsunami.

    The liberal craziness over the war alone dwarfs everything thrown at Obama. But, we see things through different prisms (I could just as easily say that someone saying that Obama is pushing us towards socialism is more true than crazy). I remember my old days on the political forum, where I met Jay G., and was having a “yeah, both sides are usually just as bad” discussion with a liberal and I’d agreed about some unbelievable righty rhetoric (I think it was the usual suspects, Fallwell or Robertson or Buchanan, the easy pickings) and said something like “it’s just like when Gephardt & Daschle was saying that the Republicans were wanting kids to go hungry” and the response was “yeah, but….they were!” We look at the same thing and see different outcomes. I look at Obama’s vote in the IL legislature and see “there is no debate, the guy voted against the Born Alive Act” while you see “he simply followed the protocols set forth under Roe vs. Wade” (or, something similar).

    desegregation brought out the crazy in a major way.

    Maybe this is why we’re at odds on the foundation: what are you meaning by ‘crazy’? Do you mean “people so outraged that they’re acting in a manner that is outside their norm” or “kuckoo for cocoa puffs off the rails”? People fighting in the streets (In deep blue area, by the way) over segregation is certainly a case were they weren’t acting with cooler heads prevailing. But, that’s not how I’m approaching “crazy”, because people with cooler heads prevailing wouldn’t paint their faces and go to soccer matches and cool heads and clear thinking wouldn’t cause people to set aside their weekends to live and die over the performance of their favored college football team. I’m using “crazy” as illustrated by people who think Obama is a muslim born in Kenya, people who think Bush allowed 9/11 to happen so we could get the oil (still haven’t, btw), who think Clinton had Vince Foster killed. Or, stuff that can’t be argued logically to have occurred. One can have a debate over whether or not the GOP really wants to do away with Medicare or whether or not Barack Obama wants socialized health care and not be crazy, IMO. I seem to recall a certain (ahem) site (ahem) that was claiming early on in the Bush years (ahem) that we were headed for (ahem) a theocracy. The authors weren’t crazy, they just saw something that made them uneasy & it was coming from an administration that they didn’t trust.

    At least I don’t think the authors were crazy. :)

    And if you mean “crazy” to mean that people became so partisan that they began to literally ‘hate’ the other side, I can tell you when the modern incarnation began. First, I say “modern incarnation” because back during our early days as a nation, the political rhetoric was off the wall. I mean, Hamilton took part in a duel, for goodness sakes! But, the beginning of today’s acrimony started with Ted Kennedy’s speech on the senate floor as he tried to, literally, ruin the reputation of Robert Bork. Since then, it’s been Katie Bar the Door, for the most part.

    But it’s like, in response to a pretty tepid hardly-hopey marginally-changey shift from the previous administration

    Foreign policy wise, very little change.
    Domestically? Well, firing a CEO of a company, giving majority ownership of a company to the union, implementing, to date, 33 czars over newly created departments that are outside of congressional oversight but with billion-dollar-budgets, pushing through stimulus packages that no one had time to read (and later was found to be filled with mainly pork that wouldn’t even go into place until years in the future), trying to pass trillion dolllar healthcare packages while claiming cost savings while your own CBO says “hey, this is going to add trillions in debt”….not tepid. Hence, the uneasiness from a lot of citizens and the dropping polls. It’s not Glenn Beck, it’s Barack, Nancy & Harry. Welcome to leadership, where you get the blame when things don’t run smoothly.

    Maybe I’ve been completely blind this past 8 years… but I just don’t think you’re seeing what I’m seeing here.

    I don’t.
    I don’t expect us to see things the same.
    You guys see the tea parties as “teabaggers” who are really rednecks upset with a black president & who think he’s some sort of Nazi because CNN & MSNBC carry the clips of anyone carrying a sign that besmirches the president. I saw the large anti-war protests that were sponsored, every one of them, by ANSWER as a bunch of socialists (that’s what ANSWER is, after all) carrying Bush as Hitler posters – because I saw the clips on Youtube & conservative web sites while the MSM never showed ONE Bush-Hitler poster or ONE ANSWER sponsor banner as they were too busy portraying the crowds as grass-roots folks just against our “illegal unethical and unnecessary war on a sovereign nation” (trademark pending).

    If we saw the same things, buddy, it would stand to reason that we’d probably come to the same conclusions. Bear with me, I’m not being ‘cheap’, but making a non-ideological point about human nature: An ardent pro-lifer would look at that beautiful snapshot of your grandchild and see a baby. An ardent pro-choicer does not see a baby as it has not been born, yet. Both good people, both intelligent, both being fair in their beliefs & arguments, but they see things differently. Which is why we so often debate over the seemingly inane: we see it from different angles & it’s tough to get us to “see” it from the opposing point of view.

    BTW, I see a miracle (which is what procreation really is…..aint’ it amazin’?) and I’m happy as can be for ya. My condolences to the father for having to endure “What to expected while you’re expecting” and her discussions about her swollen ankles, though. :)

  • Why do you have to go & get all reasonable & shit with me here?

    Ok… I’m not going to further quibble about these things… but you did mention a couple of things that I should remark on …

    1) Born-Alive Act… I don’t think he was “just” doing anything. I also don’t believe that he honestly thought his vote would make it easier for born alive infants to be dumpstered… and it probably didn’t… but he voted wrong for some reason that I’m not qualified to guess at. Put another way – if he had a situation where he really had to make a choice between a program that would dumpster born-alive infants and one that would require them to be treated as live births and understood his choices clearly, he would vote for the latter instead of the former. His actual vote was closer to the former than the latter and I think that results from a failure to pay due diligence on his part. Which is plenty bad enough, but if I thought his real intention was reflected in his vote, I wouldn’t have supported him.

    2) I don’t think all the ‘baggers are crazy, or even necessarily confused by the crazy. Just a whole lot of them – especially the ones that Fox News encouraged along.

    3) I’m still somewhat concerned about the systematic attempts to undermine the system of secular government we see from the James Dobson crowd – even if it wasn’t realistic to think that they would manage a coup under Bush, and even if Bush wasn’t as helpful to them as we and they both thought he was at the time.

    4) If Fox and other networks had put the ANSWER people on their nightly panels, gave their chief a prime time TV slot, and if more than half of Democrats took every pearl that dropped from the ANSWER TV host’s lips as gospel… I think then we’d be closer. As you say, they were marginalized and popped up on YouTube.

    5) I am a pro-choice person and when I see the ultra-sound I think “baby”. I refer to her has baby, grandbaby, granddaughter, grandchild, Shayla, and I picture her bouncing on my knee. I’m also cognizant of the fact that by the most important criteria for deciding whether Mom should be forced to carry her to term if she doesn’t feel that is the right thing to do, she isn’t an example of an entity with “personhood”. So, if Mom (or nature – or God, if you’re so inclined) did decide to terminate, it would break my heart to a degree that you can’t imagine… but I wouldn’t have any say in it, and if I had my way no one else but Mom would. Not even nature.

    And thank you for the congratulations! I can’t wait!

  • Oh yeah. One more thing. Freedom Fries!

  • … Apparently my friend Dan L agrees with you on this one. Sensible people… sheesh.

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