4
   

Worldview, not Racism

 
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 09:59 am
From TPM

Quote:
A new focus-group of Republican base voters by the Democracy Corps (D), the consulting and polling outfit headed up by James Carville and Stan Greenberg, presents a picture of the GOP base as being motivated by a fundamentally different worldview than folks in the middle or on the Dem side -- and they see the country as being under a dire threat.

"They believe Obama is ruthlessly advancing a 'secret agenda' to bankrupt the United States and dramatically expand government control to an extent nothing short of socialism," the analysis said." While these voters are disdainful of a Republican Party they view to have failed in its mission, they overwhelmingly view a successful Obama presidency as the destruction of this country's founding principles and are committed to seeing the president fail."


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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 2,275 • Replies: 33

 
Cycloptichorn
 
  3  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 10:00 am
@engineer,
So, instead of Racist, they are paranoid and a little crazy. Gotcha.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 10:04 am
While i do think that a few of the lunatic fringe are motivated by racism, i agree with this point. However, i'd have to say that it's incredible to me that someone as bright as Carville needed a focus group to tell him this. I would have thought that this were obvious even before Mr. Obama was elected.

(Edited in the attempt to infect this post with clarity.)
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 10:19 am
@Setanta,
I think they were expecting racism instead of paranoia. Did you see the line about fearing for Glenn Beck's life?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 10:21 am
Then they were fools, Engineer. The hysterical Chicken Little character of the charges that Mr. Obama is a socialist has been evident since his nomination.

As for Mr. Beck, personally, i'd consider it a waste of the cost of a round of 9mm ammo to put a slug in his head.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 11:09 am
@engineer,
Working to understand these conservative voters is a very good idea. I doubt if Democrats will ever win these votes.. but if Democrats can use their anger to split them off from the Republican party, that is good enough to win most elections.

I am not a Carville fan, but I agree with him here. This kid of research is probably the best role for him.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 03:59 pm
@engineer,
Quote:
Conservatives see themselves as an oppressed minority, holding on to knowledge that isn't represented in the wider media and culture: "Conservative Republicans passionately believe that they represent a group of people who have been targeted by a popular culture and set of liberal elites - embodied in the liberal mainstream media - that mock their values and are actively working to advance the downfall of the things that matter most to them in their lives - their faith, their families, their country, and their freedom."


http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/10/democracy-corps-republican-base-voters-living-in-another-world.php

Really interesting, engineer. I'm wondering (from a long way away from the US) what percentage of Republican voters actually feel a similar sense of "disfranchisement" & how permanent these sentiments might be. In a sense, it's not at all a surprising response from the extreme right, having just lost the Bush government, which so clearly mirrored their own ideals. I guess, in their eyes, Obama's agenda would look very radical, compared to what they believe is right. But (& perhaps I'm wrong here) assuming that they are an extremely vocal, small minority of Republican voters, I'm wondering how the Republican Party, as a whole, can accommodate them, keep them "in the fold", as it regroups for the next election. It could be very difficult to reconcile their expectations of the party with those of moderate Republicans. I'm thinking that these particular voters could become a major impediment to the Republican Party getting its act together again as a cohesive force.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 04:01 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

Working to understand these conservative voters is a very good idea. I doubt if Democrats will ever win these votes.. but if Democrats can use their anger to split them off from the Republican party, that is good enough to win most elections.

I am not a Carville fan, but I agree with him here. This kid of research is probably the best role for him.



I agree with you, but I hate that kind of politics; it would be sad to see the Dems become the Republicans in an attempt to keep power, by using destructive wedge issues to split the other side.

Cycloptichorn
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 04:13 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Quote:
but I hate that kind of politics; it would be sad to see the Dems become the Republicans in an attempt to keep power, by using destructive wedge issues to split the other side.


Isn't that rather like saying you hate that kind of football where players tackle opposing players to keep them from scoring touchdowns?

Politics is a rough business. Personally, I would love to see the Democrats get some spine and learn to use the tactics that have given the Republicans so much power over the past few decades (and I don't blame the Republicans for this).

Those who don't play to win have no business playing.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 04:18 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

Quote:
but I hate that kind of politics; it would be sad to see the Dems become the Republicans in an attempt to keep power, by using destructive wedge issues to split the other side.


Isn't that rather like saying you hate that kind of football where players tackle opposing players to keep them from scoring touchdowns?

Politics is a rough business. Those who don't play to win have no business playing.


Nah, it's like one side using dirty and destructive blocking techniques instead of just hitting the other side hard - but fair.

The Republicans used the Abortion wedge to successfully divide the Dem party - and that's been nothing but a distraction and a destructive thing for politics in America. I wouldn't countenance doing the same for the other side.

Cycloptichorn
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 04:45 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Quote:

Nah, it's like one side using dirty and destructive blocking techniques instead of just hitting the other side hard - but fair.


If destructive blocking techniques are used... it is because they are effective and carry no penalty. This is the responsibility of the referee-- if the referees don't penalize dangerous blocks that are effective... then it is a fool who doesn't use them. This of course begs the question of what "fair" means-- again that definition is up to the referee.

In politics, the voters are the referee-- and voters are obviously quite receptive to what you are saying is "unfair" politics including the abortion wedge issue. If the voters buy it, the Democrats are idiots to handicap themselves.

Quote:

The Republicans used the Abortion wedge to successfully divide the Dem party - and that's been nothing but a distraction and a destructive thing


This is a contradiction... was it "successful" or was it "nothing but a distraction" (of course whether it was destructive depends on which side you are on-- but I sure wish the Democrats could be more destructive).


0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 05:04 pm
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
Really interesting, engineer. I'm wondering (from a long way away from the US) what percentage of Republican voters actually feel a similar sense of "disfranchisement" & how permanent these sentiments might be. In a sense, it's not at all a surprising response from the extreme right, having just lost the Bush government, which so clearly mirrored their own ideals.


Since Ronald Regan was inaugurated in January, 1981, Mr. Obama is the first true liberal in the White House. Mr. Clinton could, with charity, be described as a conservative Democrat. Conservative Democrats are more common in his neck of the woods. The largest concentration are in Texas and Louisiana, and Arkansas, where Clinton was governor before running for the White House, is north of Lousiana and northeast of Texas--and politically very similar.

For many people under the age of 50, they've never seen anyone approaching a liberal in the White House (not at least while they were old enough to understand national politics). This is very distressing for them. One of the pillars of recent conservative propaganda is that the United States is basically a conservative nation, has always been a conservative nation, and is the product of conservative values in practice. It doesn't matter that this is not true--they believe it. For them, nothing could be more distressing, more redolent of political disaster than that someone whom they consider to be not just a liberal, but a socialist radical, now occupies the Oval Office. Naturally, mealy-mouthed conservative demagogues of radio and television have whipped this distress up to a fever-pitch.

I don't think that people with such attitudes represent a significant portion of the population, but they do represent a significant minority in the population, mostly because many of them are sufficiently young not to remember Mr. Carter, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Kennedy. For the Republican Party to succeed, they will need to come up with slates of candidates who can appeal to moderate Republicans (many of whom very likely stayed home last election day) and appeal to the hard-core right of the party. As it stands right now, the "leaders" of the conservative movement in the United States are radio and television rabble-rousers who are unlikely to run for office, and who, if they did, would alienate an even larger proportion of the electorate than those who weren't willing to go out and vote for Mr. McCain. And of course, there is Miss Palin.

These people aren't politically insignificant, but for as long as demagogues like Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck are the voice of the conservative movement, and Sarah Palin is the only face of the Republican Party, they will politically marginalized. For the Republican Party to succeed in the long term, they will need to come up with candidates who can unite the wary, more moderate members of the party with the hard-core right. This may help them to take some seats in the House of Representatives and perhaps even the Senate. But it is not currently a formula for retaking the White House. Any Republican who could beat Mr. Obama in 2012 will necessarily be a "dark horse" right now, which is to say, someone who no one has yet identified. It certainly won't be Miss Palin, who is considered lunatic fringe by a sufficient number of voters that it is highly unlikely that she could win a national election.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 05:54 pm
@Setanta,
Thanks for your detailed response, Setanta. And thanks for noticing that I posted. Wink

Quote:
I don't think that people with such attitudes represent a significant portion of the population, but they do represent a significant minority in the population, mostly because many of them are sufficiently young not to remember Mr. Carter, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Kennedy. For the Republican Party to succeed, they will need to come up with slates of candidates who can appeal to moderate Republicans (many of whom very likely stayed home last election day) and appeal to the hard-core right of the party. As it stands right now, the "leaders" of the conservative movement in the United States are radio and television rabble-rousers who are unlikely to run for office, and who, if they did, would alienate an even larger proportion of the electorate than those who weren't willing to go out and vote for Mr. McCain. And of course, there is Miss Palin.

These people aren't politically insignificant, but for as long as demagogues like Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck are the voice of the conservative movement, and Sarah Palin is the only face of the Republican Party, they will politically marginalized. For the Republican Party to succeed in the long term, they will need to come up with candidates who can unite the wary, more moderate members of the party with the hard-core right.


Yes, this was along the lines of my thinking, too. But I was thinking it was just a post-Bush thing. I really can appreciate how thoroughly shocked ultra conservatives might be after so many more years of conservative governments than that . (Gosh, imagine the impact of a real socialist president!)

The response of the extreme US right rather reminds me of the response of the left in Oz in 1975. (Though admittedly possessing some real flaws) the Whitlam government could be accurately described, I think, as the most "progressive" government ( the furthest "left") we'd experienced. Certainly voters of my generation. Personally, I know I was absolutely devastated by the "coup" which ousted Labor. It took a lot of us quite a long time to recover from losing a government that so closely represented our ideals & to become involved in mainstream politics again. We was robbed! Wink It might be just as hard for the extreme right of the Republican Party membership to adjust to more pragmatic political representation from their party as it was for us "lefties" in Oz to adjust to Labor's policies becoming more pragmatic to win office. The Whitlam government now looks wistfully almost like some sort of aberration to business as usual Oz politics. To think some of us hot heads thought they didn't go far enough! Ah well. You live, you learn .... sigh.
But seriously, the ultra right of the Republican Party might just become a bigger thorn in their own party's side than in that of the Democrats. Especially if they continue to have such vocal representation in the US media. (I'm wondering, will the Limbaughs & Becks & their kin still be around in say, 5 years time, when presumably (?) US politics will have "normalized"? )

0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 06:00 pm
We've never really experienced anything like Gough Whitlam's overthrow here. I mean, we can't really, because we don't have that problem with a Governor General. The closest we've come to it is the Civil War, which was different thing altogether, and is now fading into the past. (When i was a boy, it was much more present for us--they celebrated the centennial of the war while i was in elementary school, and that was a big deal.)

However, imagine it would have affected Australians if there had been 30 years of Tory governments after the fall of Whitlam, and most people had become reconciled to it. People under the age of 50 would not have clearly remembered anything else, people under 40 probably would not have remembered anything else at all, and people 30 and under would have known nothing but Tory government. That's a great deal like what has happened here, with the exception that Clinton was Democrat, although to many people like me, there is little to choose between a conservative Democrat and most Republicans.

I was raised by conservative Democrats, but it didn't take.
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 06:37 pm
@Setanta,
The real problem I see with this particular population is that I can see them becoming violent. Their worldview is that their country is absolutely at stake. The forces of evil are arrayed against them and there is no peaceful outlet for them to fight back since the media is denied to them. Now you have armed protesters showing up to town hall format meetings and record gun and ammo sales. This is not to say that the majority would be this way, but you only need a minority of a minority to get violent to produce real problems.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 06:38 pm
@Setanta,
I don't want to imagine what 30 years of conservative government might feel like, Setanta! And I certainly wouldn't want to experience it! Shocked

No, I see what you're saying & agree with you.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 08:37 pm
@Setanta,
So's there's no misunderstanding, Setanta. (Not sure if there was or not, but better to be sure than sorry ... Smile )
I wasn't suggesting that anything similar to Whitlam's overthrow had actually occurred in the US. I used that Oz example to talk about the demoralizing effects on the Whitlam government's (left) supporters when Labor lost office. I was suggesting that far right Republican voters could be experiencing a similar sense disenfranchisement as a result of Bush losing office to Obama.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 09:37 pm
@msolga,
Yeah, i understand that part. The significant difference is that Whitlam was screwed out of office by the Governor General, and the Republicans simply lost an election because they had lost the confidence of the majority of the electorate.

What is ironi in all of this is the power of the paranoia of American conservatives, in a case in which they don't have any real reason for their paranoia--and then compare that to the Whitlam debacle. There was a bank which had no depositors and made no investments, and was funded by money which came from a former Air America employee. Air America was, of course, a CIA operation in southeast Asia at the time of the Vietnam war, so the connection of the opposition campaign to the CIA is irresistable. The Southeast Asia Station chief then was Richard Colby (who later became Director of Central Intelligence), who was a close friend of John Kerr, the Governor General. I believe that ABC revealed all of this information in a broadcast which as much as suggested that the CIA bankrolled the media campaign against Whitlam, and when he was challenged by the Senate on the supply bill, Kerr used that as an excuse to jerk the rug out from under Whitlam and offer Fraser the opportunity to form a government. That's what, i believe, the Cunning Coney once told me.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 09:39 pm
I had probably better explain that so American readers will understand. Gough Whitlam was a left-wing Prime Minister of Australia who proposed to pull Australian troops out of Vietnam. So the CIA bankrolled a campaign to topple his government, and in 1975, succeeded due to the influence which Richard Colby, CIA station chief, had with John Kerr, Governor General of Australia--and a Whitlam appointee if i'm not mistaken.

The CIA conspired to overthrow the democratically elected government of Australia because Nixon's government did not approve of their policies. Ironically, Nixon has already resigned by the time the plan came to fruition.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Oct, 2009 02:03 am
@Setanta,
I feel like this has become the "Oz coup" thread. Sorry, sorry, everyone! Embarrassed

Just to clarify. Gough Whitlam's Labor Party won the Australian election in 1972. One of his major platform promises was to withdraw Australian troops from Vietnam, ( by then a hugely unpolpular war with Australians) which he promptly did, soon after winning government. A number of Whitlam government initiatives were viewed as being "socialist" by conservative forces in this country & were constantly challenged by the conservative opposition & its supporters. An early election was called by Whitlam, largely as a result of the pressure from conservative forces, which Labor again won, though with a reduced majority. Then, in 1975, what was called the "Khemlani loans affair" erupted (secret, unauthorized government loans from o/seas, from a "suspect" source - sounds ridiculous now, but a huge "scandal", beaten up by the media at the time). The upper house of parliament (controlled by the conservative opposition) blocked supply to the government. Whitlam was on the verge of calling a double dissolution (which would have lead to another election), but before he was able to do that, his government was sacked by the John Kerr, Australia's Governor-General (The Queen's representative in Australia) on grounds of the financial mismanagement. Many/most on the left of Oz politics vehemently opposed the dismissal (on all sorts of grounds) & also rejected the Governor General using his position in this manner. I won't go into too much detail, but John Kerr did have CIA connections & the CIA did appear to be very displeased with the Whitlam government, for a number of reasons, including Pine Gap, security of intelligence information, etc, etc ... There was considerable speculation (particularly from the left of politics) that John Kerr's action was at the bidding of the CIA & that the "loans affair" was just a cover for the dismissal. This is why the dismissal of the Whitlam has been called a "coup" by some. In a nutshell, the Whitlam government was never considered "legitimate" by conservative forces in this country & their powerful supporters. Amongst other initiatives, the Whitlam government introduced Medicare (free health care) , free tertiary education, ended a very unpopular involvement of this country in the Vietnam war .... (Oh & Whitlam because the first "western" leader to engage officially with China.)

I'm really sorry for diverting the thread topic like this, engineer, but I just wanted to get the record straight.
 

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