Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 22, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

GOP AGONISTES....A (depressed) conservative friend writes to say that George Bush has single-handedly destroyed the Republican Party. But based on the Pew survey that prompted his comment (see below) I'd say that Bush had some help. The Gingrichization of the Republican Party has taken its toll.

But the GOP isn't doomed any more than the Democrats were in 1980. They're just in for a few years of soul searching.

Kevin Drum 7:38 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (114)

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Soul-searching? Does the modern GOP have a soul left?

Posted by: Fred on March 22, 2007 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think they are very good at soul-searching. Playing the blame game is what the Republicans do best.

Posted by: Colin on March 22, 2007 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

This would be cause for rejoicing if it was only their own party that they'd ruined, but I fear the damage goes much deeper than that.

Posted by: thersites on March 22, 2007 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

Yup, more support for government care for the poor, less support for "old fashioned" values and gay bashing. A.H. is right. The conservative GOP has won!

Posted by: Jeff S. on March 22, 2007 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

On Olberman soon (MSNBC): Patrick Leahy and John Dean (comparing the US Attorney scandal to Watergate).

Posted by: DNS on March 22, 2007 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

Democrat warming is a liberal myth; there are places in Idaho that have never been more Republican.

Posted by: Alf on March 22, 2007 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

I expected a decline in support for social conservatism - my three kids are between 20 and 24, and I'm a G.A. in biology at a community college. I'm around a lot of young people, and the Republican party is going to die off if they hold on to those foolish, backward I-can-tell-you-how-to-live-your-life notions. I did not, however, expect that the decline would be that drastic. I knew the kids my peers and I raised were liberal, but the extent was a mild surprise.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 22, 2007 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

But the GOP isn't doomed any more than the Democrats were in 1980. They're just in for a few years of soul searching.

I think this really is not correct.

The GOP has spent over three decades transforming itself into its current Conservative form. That's not going to turn around on a dime.

The most telling fact is the utter silence one hears when one asks, how might they change? Not a single useful idea emanates from them. All one gets from their vaunted think tanks is perseveration on the same talking points from years and decades past. No one on the right has even the slightest clue about how to redirect the GOP toward a more popular course that would be palatable to the leading lights on the right.

How do you go back to be the Party of Rockefeller when you've built all your ideology, policies, constituencies, and politicians to become the Party of Bush?

You don't.

You just die.

Posted by: frankly0 on March 22, 2007 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

This is interesting news, but we shouldn't count our chickens before their mothers are inseminated.

We're a long way from serious forward movement on anything.

Posted by: cld on March 22, 2007 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

"Old fashioned values about family and marriage." 76% still say "yes" to that upholding the fact that most US citizens readily delude themselves. Look around. You. Your friends. Co-workers. Oh, but not you!

Society changed. Which traditional values are we talking about? Divorce? Un-wed cohabitation? Same sex relationships? Single-parent homes? Out of wedlock births? Just those five have moved significantly the last 35 years.

What makes a tradition?

Posted by: notthere on March 22, 2007 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

Not to be an asshole, Alf, but how many electoral votes is that?

Anyone who wants a primer on what is in store for the national Republican party need only look at Kansas.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 22, 2007 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

You keep on belivin that thar AH you just keep on belivin, It is just your type that helps us all the more.Thank you sir for the Majority....

Posted by: john john on March 22, 2007 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

You're far too optimistic, frankly0. Cancer doesn't die just because it's devoted itself to malignancy (well it does, I suppose, absent aggressive treatment, when the host itself expires). Given that the host in this instance is constitutional democracy, which has beeen in fragile health for at least sixty years, I wouldn't sit back and congratulate myself on the apparent success of the chemo just yet.

Posted by: Rand Careaga on March 22, 2007 at 8:32 PM | PERMALINK

75% of Americans live within 200 miles of a coast.

Isn't it time to ditch the Electoral College?

Posted by: cld on March 22, 2007 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

cld:

Yes.

This has been another edition of simple answers to simple questions. (h/t Atrios)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 22, 2007 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

No polls on the US Attorney scandal? I can't find anything? Anyone know of a poll?

And what is the name of that scandal, anyway? USAGate?

Posted by: commentor on March 22, 2007 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

I say that as a red-state resident who hates the fact that not once have I cast a presidential ballot that "counted."

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 22, 2007 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

My wish for the USA would be a real, active, substantive third party. The 2-party system has been far too cosy and too many years of protecting their own status quo.

How confusing that might be for the lobbyists and their money, too.

Talking about which: forget the inflation in healthcare; exactly how much is enough to "lubricate" the electoral scene. Doesn't seem like anyone can set an upper limit on that, can they?

Unfortunately, I think that would take a major scandle in one of the two, but we get immunized in stages each year.

Posted by: notthere on March 22, 2007 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans succeeded in demonizing the word "liberal", but people who call themselves "moderate" agree with liberals more than with conservatives these days.

Posted by: Joe Buck on March 22, 2007 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

I put a "Should Alberto Resign" poll in the margin of my blog and one person has voted "Who is Alberto Gonzalez?" and every other vote has been "Yes" - not a single "No"

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 22, 2007 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

The Democrats' problems in 1980 were mostly not of their own making. High inflation was a relic of the OPEC embargo, and the Hostage Crisis was one that really couldn't have been predicted. Those were what defeated Carter.

Today's GOP, on the other hand, is definitely what it wants to be. It sold its soul to the devil starting in the mid-90s. It consciously and deliberately chose the politics of destruction, division, and deception. It consciously and deliberately drove out its liberals and moderates in favor of paleo- neo- and theocons. It cast its lot with slime merchants and sadists, parasites and predators.

There's nothing left to build on; nothing salvageable. Up and coming politicians who care about public service, who care about the common good, who are basically honest and decent, and want to stay that way, know better than to sign up with the GOP.

I just don't see the GOP becoming anything else than a whited scepulchre. It would have to toss out its own leaders, its own fundraisers, and dismantle its own infrastructure.

Posted by: CaseyL on March 22, 2007 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

I think the tradition at this point is a Long March, and the spending some quality time with the cadres in some caves in Hunan province....

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on March 22, 2007 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

Democrat warming is a liberal myth; there are places in Idaho that have never been more Republican.

Good one. Took me a while to get the joke.

BG,RS: I think Alf was poking fun at a common and very lame argument that global warming is a myth. Republicans in denial.

Posted by: bobb on March 22, 2007 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

Completely agree w/CaseyL. I would also add that the party was still in the throes of the slow loss of the South in 1980.

Posted by: jhe on March 22, 2007 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

It looks like the two things that hurt the Democrats were National Health Care and Lewinsky. Or something coinciding with them.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on March 22, 2007 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

I say that as a red-state resident who hates the fact that not once have I cast a presidential ballot that "counted."

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 22, 2007 at 8:41 PM

I can top that. Since 1984, Presidential, Senatorial, and Congressional elections = 4 winners. I live in Idiotland, Show-Me State.

Posted by: FitterDon on March 22, 2007 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

Bobb, I think you can even read more into it than that. One of the common arguments that the denialists use against global warming is to say that it is cooler in such-and-such a spot or this place has seen cooling for the past X years. This is identical!

Of course it would be funnier if American Hock had said it.

Posted by: Yelling in the fog on March 22, 2007 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

That's cool and all, but the big Rep candidates are beating the big Dem candidates in the polls right now. It's still early, but if this is the nadir of Republican fortunes, it isn't all that bad. And two years ago people were assuming -- it wasn't even a discussion, but an assumption -- a "permanent Republican majority." With hindsight, it's easy to see how those people were blind to the reality in front of them. But that's hindsight for you. We have to stop paying attention to polls like these and do the things that produce polls like these.

Posted by: Steppen on March 22, 2007 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

You really think the Republican Party is done for?

Heh heh.

Tee ho hee.

You guys can barely even ever win a election, except for the last one and that was by the skin of your teeth, not too mention all the rumors about liberal election fraud.

The plain fact of the matter is that most people in this country are conservative. Only 9% are liberal, yet these liberals have an inordinate amount of power in the media, in hollywood, in academia and science and in the Democratic party. This is what makes them a scourage.

The Democratic party has no new ideas. Just the same socialist, communist, secularist, multiculturalist rethoric from the FDR times. The Republicans are the party of ideas: giving money back to the people who know better how to spend it, and robust military use of force in the world.

Posted by: egbert on March 22, 2007 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

FitterDon: DUDE! I live in Kansas City - Missouri. But I live in US House Dist 5 and MO Senate 10. This is my state Senator. Is this not the perfect Senator name? Jolie Justus. The Class III senate seat is hers a decade hence. I have already decided that's how it is going to be. McCaskill in class I, Justice in class III, and Missouri has two female Senators.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 22, 2007 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

Granted, this is all post-Reagan, but I see three peaks in GOP identification: Gulf War I, the Gingrich blitz, and GWB's Iraq misadventure. Beyond the conservative values control of language stuff, it seems that the Rs win control by mounting an offensive, not by representing long term values. Of course, this doesn't negate the success, 2000-04 of the 'if you can fool barely enough of the people on election day, that's all that matters', and it means they get to disparage and dismantle government and ransack the treasury. Sigh. And then when enough folks have forgotten what they've done, it's time for another round. Sigh.

Looked at from the blue side instead (and the values charts), the Ds have a fundamental advantage in popularity/identification, but the Rs make strategic forays and seize power, then bad things happen.

All that said, I've got to admit that GWB&crew (or as Billmon referred to them, The Cheney Administration) has greatly exceeded my expectations.

Posted by: MaryCh on March 22, 2007 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

It looks like the two things that hurt the Democrats were National Health Care and Lewinsky. Or something coinciding with them.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on March 22, 2007 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

And you correlate that exactly how?

I realize everybody else resisted the temptation, but I have to know.

Posted by: notthere on March 22, 2007 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it time to ditch the Electoral College?

Hell yes.

FWIW, I've been arguing that for at least 20 years.

Posted by: AkaDad on March 22, 2007 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

No Marler, what hurt the Democrats was that (for a while) the constant bashing of the majority party who owned the Presidency had the illusion of being a bold stroke against the *man*. Americans love an underdog.

Unfortunately (for you - good for the nation) after six years under Republican rule Americans have discovered what a few of us knew even in the time of Reagan - the Republican Party is bereft of ideas formed after 1940. Even worse, they've seen what a Republican dominated nation looks like and Americans aren't happy with being a rogue nation whose rulers believe themselves above the law.

Posted by: wax cylinder on March 22, 2007 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

This poll's asks some very interesting proxy questions (which I suppose Pew tests every so often). For example, on page 33, we learn that the percentage who agrees that "AIDS might be God's punishment for immoral sexual behavior" has dropped from 43% in 1987 (and 39% in 1994!) to 23% today. That's a good question to test extremist social conservatism, and now we've got a number: 23% is your batshit insane fundie base.

And looking over the trendlines, as support for social conservatism continues to decline, I expect xenophobia and cultural nationalism to become the new GOP weapon of choice. Especially since cultural nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment is geographically so widespread.

Posted by: Ryan on March 22, 2007 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

And looking over the trendlines, as support for social conservatism continues to decline, I expect xenophobia and cultural nationalism to become the new GOP weapon of choice. Especially since cultural nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment is geographically so widespread.

I recall a lot of magazine articles a few years back, projecting that by 2020 or 2030, Caucasians would be a minority in this country. Some due to immigration, but also due to intermarriage.

I'm not sure if the trend lines are still where they thought they'd be, but it strikes me that a political party based on cultural stasis and ethnic paranoia just won't have a whole lot to offer to a multi-ethnic, mixed-race, polyglot country.

Posted by: CaseyL on March 22, 2007 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

An icon for the new era.

Posted by: cld on March 22, 2007 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it time to ditch the Electoral College?

Then get behind an effort in your state to create National Popular Vote.

Posted by: Disputo on March 22, 2007 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

My wish for the USA would be a real, active, substantive third party. The 2-party system has been far too cosy and too many years of protecting their own status quo.

Well, for thatwe need to get rid of the winner-take-all system and institute some form of Instant Runoff Voting.

Posted by: Disputo on March 22, 2007 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS, I live in West St.Louis County. That's why I almost never vote for winners. One of those dogs would be an improvement over Senator Bombed. And my idiot Congressman is dedicated to saving the nation from the epidemic of flag-burning we're experiencing now.

Posted by: FitterDon on March 22, 2007 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure if the trend lines are still where they thought they'd be, but it strikes me that a political party based on cultural stasis and ethnic paranoia just won't have a whole lot to offer to a multi-ethnic, mixed-race, polyglot country.

I don't think it'll work forever, though it seems like: (1) cultural nationalism and xenophobia is fairly widespread whereas the opposite attitude is more concentrated, meaning that these issues will play out in more congressional districts; (2) Latino and Asian immigrants vote at a much lower rate as a percentage of the population than whites; (3) anti-immigration types will be, like the pro-life and gun rights folks, a strong one-issue voter block; and (4) immigrant-bashing will remain unabated for some time as the country gets more diverse and as manufacturing jobs/service jobs continue to disappear due to the effects of globalization.

It's unfortunate, but I do think the anti-immigrant card will be one of the GOP's strongest cards for next few cycles.

Posted by: Ryan on March 22, 2007 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

Ah. Yes. I do not envy you all. I paid close attention to the StL area when Myrna Byrd was kicked out of her state house seat, and I draw the weekly rundown of how Missouri's delegation voted at Watching Those We Chose. I should pay more attention to your side of the state. I wish my day had about 6 more hours to read the news.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 22, 2007 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

wax cylinder on March 22, 2007 at 9:31 PM:

I think it is worse than that. What scares 70% of the sane voters in the US is that the GOP moves the goal posts back 100 years every election. 1940, then 1840, 1740, etc. I think the GOP is suggesting we go back to around 1640 over the past five years, and who knows how far they aim to go eventually. They might jigger the exact target dates now that they are moving into the sixteenth century, since they might want to go back to a particularly nasty religious persecution.

Posted by: commentor on March 22, 2007 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK
Isn't it time to ditch the Electoral College?


Get rid of majority/runoff and plurality elections and the electoral college in favor of a sensible preference voting system including a single national popular election in which the president and vice president are elected simultaneously from the same pool of candidates and members of the House are elected from 5-member districts drawn in equal population districts across the country (including the territories) without reference to state lines. The President and the House represents the people, not the people of particular states; the Senate represents the states equally still.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 22, 2007 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I guess we'll soon see how dumb Americans really are.

You can have a xenophobic country survive provided they're really good at science and technology (witness--Japan)

You can have a xenophobic country without science and technology survive if they have other stuff to sell to prop up their economy (witness--Saudi Arabia)

What you can't have is a xenophobic, anti-intellectual country with nothing to sell on the world market survive.

Given the "attitudes" the present Republican party has, I wouldn't be surprised if the USA finally slid down the heap to mimic some of the worser parts of Africa.

Posted by: grumpy realist on March 22, 2007 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS, I'm kind of new to this blog thing. After seeing your site, I will be requesting answers to my stupid questions from you in the future. If you don't mind.

Posted by: FitterDon on March 22, 2007 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

Given the "attitudes" the present Republican party has, I wouldn't be surprised if the USA finally slid down the heap to mimic some of the worser parts of Africa.

Wah, wah, wah. Boo Freakin' Hoo.

That is the most dyspeptic, defeatist and overly-dramatic line of the day. This beats all of the other liberal whining and snivelling and it encapsulates, beautifully, how NONE of you understand what is going on.

Structures age, they rot, they are torn down. The Republican Party is in a low cycle--it will reinvent itself as the Democrat Party has just managed to do for itself. The worm will turn, the days will pass, and the Republicans will be on top once again. America is a great country, with cycles you can set your watch to.

None of this is surprising to me. The liberalism of 2007 is a whiny, oh-my-God-the-planet-is-dying, woe-is-me Defeat-o-Crat pee pee in my panty-pants party.

You live in the greatest idea ever--a country that gives you more liberty and opportunity than you could ever hope to find anywhere else. Do something to fix it instead of whining like the sad-sack bee-yatch you are.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on March 22, 2007 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

Chickenshit: :
"... If [Dems] gain and maintain power by becoming the Republican party, it's hard to say that the Republican party really lost."

That is one of the cleverest portions of denial you´ve ever squirted out of your ass.
Soon you will be hoisting the White Flag of Victory.

egfart: The Repub´s "robust" use of the military? LOL! I don´t think the word means anything like any word you think you know. Get a fresh, untainted dictionary, and start with the words "black" and "white". Proceed from there and come back when you´ve mastered the rudimentaries.

Posted by: Kenji on March 22, 2007 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

Stick a fork in the Republicans - they are done. Yep, write them off. Raise taxes. Nationalize healthcare. Continue to add chewing gum to support that rickety structure known as Social Security. Eliminate fossil fuel use/kill the economy. Endorse/encourage/invite illegal aliens into the country. Retreat from Iraq and the make the war on terror a "feel-good" effort. Take my gun. Abort abort abort! Be sure to tell people with a straight face "I'm from the government and i am here to help."

Posted by: Dave! on March 22, 2007 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, just like now. When government is our friend!

Posted by: Kenji on March 22, 2007 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

...You live in the greatest idea ever--a country that gives you more liberty and opportunity than you could ever hope to find anywhere else....

Posted by: Norman Rogers on March 22, 2007 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Norm. Are you sure? Thought that through? Want to cite and quote?

Posted by: notthere on March 22, 2007 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

A (depressed) conservative friend writes to say that George Bush has single-handedly destroyed the Republican Party.

Here's hoping!

Posted by: craigie on March 22, 2007 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

A (depressed) conservative friend writes to say that George Bush has single-handedly destroyed the Republican Party.

So, he really IS a uniter!

Posted by: craigie on March 22, 2007 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

Moot point, as the Repubs have been so determined to give away our liberty and cramp our real opportunities. But Mandarin lessons will soon be cheap and widely available!

Posted by: Kenji on March 22, 2007 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

Stick a fork in the Republicans - they are done. Yep, write them off. Raise taxes. Nationalize healthcare. Continue to add chewing gum to support that rickety structure known as Social Security. Eliminate fossil fuel use/kill the economy. Endorse/encourage/invite illegal aliens into the country. Retreat from Iraq and the make the war on terror a "feel-good" effort. Take my gun. Abort abort abort! Be sure to tell people with a straight face "I'm from the government and i am here to help."

Posted by: Dave! on March 22, 2007 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

Getting a little hysterical?

Trying to reflect on the Democratic Party how the Republicans have been trying to impose on the country 6 years now. Feeling a little exposed to retaliation.

Don't worry. There are too many on this side of the aisle who believe in democracy.

Unlike GWB and his crew.

Posted by: notthere on March 22, 2007 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

Or as egbert would say, "this side of the isle".
And it´s not Temptation Island, baby!

Posted by: Kenji on March 22, 2007 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK
Stick a fork in the Republicans - they are done. Yep, write them off. Raise taxes. Nationalize healthcare. Continue to add chewing gum to support that rickety structure known as Social Security. Eliminate fossil fuel use/kill the economy. Endorse/encourage/invite illegal aliens into the country. Retreat from Iraq and the make the war on terror a "feel-good" effort. Take my gun. Abort abort abort! Be sure to tell people with a straight face "I'm from the government and i am here to help."

You forgot to add "Corrupt the purity of essence of our precious bodily fluids."

Posted by: Constantine on March 22, 2007 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

Can we send our fuzzyheaded little yellow chickenhawk to Gilligans Island? He would really be exasterbated there.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 22, 2007 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

While everyone is up in the rafters, sucking the helium and squeaking merrily, note that the March Gallup polls have the Glorious New Democratic Congress with an approval rating five points below Bush's.

Posted by: monkeybone on March 22, 2007 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

notthere
Hysterical no. I call it a realistic portrait of what life will be like with Dems in control of all branches of govt.

"Don't worry. There are too many on this side of the aisle who believe in democracy. Unlike GWB and his crew."
Ummm...you can knock him for a lot of things, but not believing in democracy is a stretch as he is the one that has been trying to spread democracy throughout the Middle East. And the current crop in congress has set the bar so high with the AG witch hunts and those important non-binding meaningless resolutions on the war. They have really got their eye on what is important...

Posted by: Dave! on March 22, 2007 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

And you correlate that exactly how?

There are at least 3 ways to intepret the graphs.

I posited that they are basically flat, but the Democrats have a dip in 93-94 followed by recovery, and a dip in 99-'00, followed by recovery. Each dip is 4 points, the rebound complete, and the rest noise.

Another commentator wrote that instead it is 3 Republican peaks: 91, 95, and '02.

Another way to read it is downward trend for Republicans since 90, with autocorrelated noise; deviations from the trends randomly (but non-causally) coinciding with interesting events.

If Bush personally had an effect, it was slightly to interrupt the otherwise downward trend of the Republicans; Gingrich may have had a transient and larger effect of the same sort.

This supports Kevin Drum's main contention. The Republican decline can not really be attributed to Bush's problems. He basically interrupted what was a downward trend in progress.

Another possibility for the fall in Democratic identification starting in '99 was the balanced federal budget beginning that year, coinciding with Democratic resistance to tax cuts.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on March 23, 2007 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

Hysterical no. I call it a realistic portrait of what life will be like with Dems in control of all branches of govt.

Ha! Spoken like a true conservaweenie crybaby.

On the other hand, I for one AM looking forward to the forced abortions of GOP-registered babies, the forced gay marriages, the destruction of the economy by forcing people to breathe clean air. You know, just like the last time the Dems ran the country.

Posted by: craigie on March 23, 2007 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers: "You live in the greatest idea ever--a country that gives you more liberty and opportunity than you could ever hope to find anywhere else. Do something to fix it instead of whining like the sad-sack bee-yatch you are."

OK, Norman, that's it.

Verbally assaulting a fellow poster with that kind of vile, sexist profanity is completely, totally unacceptable.

Hardball jousting is one thing, but you're so far out of bounds here that your in-bounds pass didn't make it past the bottom of the stairwell. You do NOT call grumpy realist -- or anyone else, for that matter -- a "bitch", or any of its variations thereof. Period.

You contribute absolutely nothing to the discussion with that kind of unnecessary abuse. If you think you're being funny -- well, let's just say I'd think again, clown.

But then, I suppose that you'd have to have a functional corpus calosum to be able to do that, wouldn't you?

So right now, I would suggest that you just shut up and take the rest of the night off, before I and a lot of others complain about your present on-line behavior and seek your banishment from this site.

In fact, I've e-mailed to Kevin a copy of this post, along with your offending one.

Consider yourself warned.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on March 23, 2007 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

Shorter Craigie: I welcome our dirty hippie overlords

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 23, 2007 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

I had a friend in college who was a total Republican in the early 1980's. Now he is an unabashed Democrat. Yah! :)

Posted by: Cal State Disneyland on March 23, 2007 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

monkeybone: While everyone is up in the rafters, sucking the helium and squeaking merrily, note that the March Gallup polls have the Glorious New Democratic Congress with an approval rating five points below Bush's.

Go read the March 21 "THE QUESTION" thread and you will see the error in your comment. Check remarks at 7:49 PM, 9:08 PM, 9:50 PM, 12:52 AM, and finally March 22, 2007 at 4:49 PM.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 23, 2007 at 12:19 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I don't know about Stormy Normie Rogers -- maybe he's found temporary solace with a couple of "inflatable datables" -- but I'M taking the rest of the night off. The guy pissed me off.

Aloha, gang -- and please, keep it above the belt.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on March 23, 2007 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

G'night Donald. Aloha.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 23, 2007 at 12:30 AM | PERMALINK

There are quite a few independents in the mix, which may be why the Republicans maintained so much control of the government for so long. Let's face it; the elections of 2000 & 2004 were Gore & Kerry's to lose, & they did. Too many Democrats were disgusted with their Party's candidates & wanted to believe that Compassionate Conservatism was real. After 9/11 Bush looked really good. So many of us were so foolish.

And Newt's Gang certainly had a lot to do with their poor showing in this poll. As I recall, Pew is conservative. If true, of course they would spin toward the most conservative candidate available.

Posted by: bob in fl on March 23, 2007 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

...you can knock him (GWB) for a lot of things, but not believing in democracy is a stretch as he is the one that has been trying to spread democracy throughout the Middle East....

Posted by: Dave! on March 22, 2007 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

Ha.ha.haha. Nice rewrite. Again.

1) Show me anything prior to March '03 that shows his primary goal was to spread democracy. 2) What a job he has done. And at what cost. Show me a positive outcome so far.

Let's see. First, we went in there to prevent the threat of "WMD"; 2) he imposed his genius crew including Bremer and Chalabi until the Iraqis demanded their own government.

We've now gone over a year of a democratically elected government and the only political movement on the ground is now coming because there is a threat of pullout, and the occupation forces are being watched for a relative even hand Sunni/Shia.

It's way too long an item to go into here. Suffice to say you base your argument on distortions of the truth. That would be lies.

Posted by: notthere on March 23, 2007 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on March 23, 2007 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

Shorter version:

I can't draw a correlation. but I'll repeat all the hot air and bullshit spoken by repugnuts, and GWBush couldn't even turn 11th September '01 into an uptrend for the Republican Party.

But it is all Clinton and the Democratioc Party's fault.
=======
Cry me a river.

Posted by: notthere on March 23, 2007 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

Living around major universities the last 30 years, and having turned liberal during the recent periods reflected in the graphs, I think I have at least some local insight into why young people are now aligning with the democrats. The GOP has been prominently in the news for years. It's not all on Bush, perhaps not even mostly. When the conservative in question is Hannity or Bill O'Reilly, young smart people think "stupid blowhard". When it's Pat Robertson, they think "senile jesus man". When it's Fox News, they think "propaganda". When it's Bush, they think "incompetent, bumbling english". when it's Inhofe or any of the global warming deniers or evolution deniers, they think "science illiterate."

Honestly, these thoughts would have been provoked if conservatism were still known by George Will or William F. Buckley. What's turning young, college-educated adults away from conservatism is that conservatives are loudly making stupid arguments for the past few years.

Posted by: steve on March 23, 2007 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) >"Shorter Craigie: I welcome our dirty hippie overlords"

Oh goodie

I`ve been waiting for ~40 years to see what a hippie looks like, behaves like etc. Never have been able to get anyone to actually define the term "hippie".

Sometime things take longer than you like.

"There are three kinds of men:
1. The ones that learn by reading.
2. The few who learn by observation.
3. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." - Will Rogers

Posted by: daCascadian on March 23, 2007 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

notthere
10/7/2002
Bush Speech exerpt:
America believes that all people are entitled to hope and human rights, to the non-negotiable demands of human dignity. People everywhere prefer freedom to slavery; prosperity to squalor; self-government to the rule of terror and torture. America is a friend to the people of Iraq. Our demands are directed only at the regime that enslaves them and threatens us. When these demands are met, the first and greatest benefit will come to Iraqi men, women and children. The oppression of Kurds, Assyrians, Turkomans, Shi'a, Sunnis and others will be lifted. The long captivity of Iraq will end, and an era of new hope will begin.

...the United States and our allies will help the Iraqi people rebuild their economy, and create the institutions of liberty in a unified Iraq at peace with its neighbors.

One positive outcome: Ridding the world of the mass-murdering torturing brutal dictatorship of Saddam.

Posted by: Dave! on March 23, 2007 at 1:54 AM | PERMALINK

Dear Dave! and notthere,

I suggest visiting this fun site, tracking the word pattern of W's SOTUs. Hint: Start with "Democracy" and "Mass Destruction."

O/T, for a little fun, try "terror" and "tax."

Posted by: MaryCh on March 23, 2007 at 2:38 AM | PERMALINK

Christopher Caldwell(conservative weekly standard writer) in the Atlantic in June 1998 summed it up best. Almost 10 years ago, he saw this coming.

The Republicans are too conservative: their
deference to their southern base is persuading much of the country that their vision is a sour and crabbed one. But they're too liberal, too, as their all-out retreat from shrinking the government indicates. At the same time, the Republicans have passed none of the reforms that ingratiated the party with the "radical middle." The Republicans' biggest problem is not their ideology but their lack of one. Stigmatized as rightists, behaving like leftists, and ultimately standing for nothing, they're in the worst of all possible worlds.

That's why the Republicans have spent the past several months waiting for a Clinton scandal to blossom. Like the Democrats of the 1970s, they are now the party with a stake in institutional disruption and bad news. And their resemblance to the corrupt dynasty they overthrew does not stop there. Their party is now directionless, with only
two skills to recommend it: first, identifying and
prosecuting the excesses of its opponents; second, rigging the campaign-finance system to protect its incumbency long after it has ceased having any ideas that would justify incumbency. The Republican Party is an obsolescent one. It may continue to rule, disguised as a majority by electoral legerdemain. But it will be a long time before the party is again able to rule from a place in Americans' hearts.

Posted by: wgmck on March 23, 2007 at 3:16 AM | PERMALINK

The trouble is, none of you good American liberals seem to have noticed that the conservatives are more or less correct in their assessment of the Democratic Party. It appears to be very largely run by conservatives who are far closer to Dick Cheney's way of thinking than they are to anything which could be honestly called liberal.

Now, the fact that the reactionary Republicans have managed to alienate a lot of their potential support base by really stupid rhetoric is important. But it's really stupid policies which matter in the long term, and, alas, the Democrats (at least the leadership) seem to have essentially absorbed every stupid policy which the Republicans have come up with. Where the rank and file differ from the leadership, the leadership simply ignore them.

Hence people like egbert and American Hawk may seem to be whistling in the dark, but their friends and relatives are running the whole shebang.

Posted by: MFB on March 23, 2007 at 3:19 AM | PERMALINK

Steve: "Honestly, these thoughts would have been provoked if conservatism were still known by George Will or William F. Buckley."

Steve, a week or so ago, I whatever happened to the old model of the Republican uncle--you know, the conservative banker whose wife and kids could at least argue with him about things not related to taxes. One of the irregular trolls (can´t remember his handle) reacted as if this wqs the craziest most made-up ting he´d ever heard.

He must have been fairly young, because who here, aside from the resident nincompoops, doesn´t remember when Rockefeller Republicans ruled the party and John Birchers and fundies were out on the fringes. The new kids must think Rev Dobson and shitsacks like Inhofe always ran things. Who knew we would (almost) miss Everett Dirkson?

Posted by: Kenji on March 23, 2007 at 4:16 AM | PERMALINK

D-D-D-Dave! (daveinboca?): One positive outcome: Ridding the world of the mass-murdering torturing brutal dictatorship of Saddam.

Iraqis happy to see the back of Saddam: 80%+
Okay, so far so good...


Iraqis who think life under Yanqui rule is better than life under Saddam: 38% (even with a 0% Sunni vote, that still means a Kurd/Shiite vote of only 47%)
Shiite!

(Arbusto's promotion of democracy in Iraq was the raison de petrole given after the missing WMD's blew up in his face; this is a guy that in practice runs from democracy every chance he get though he uses it as a soft cooing word to seduce mush-heads like Dave)

Posted by: snicker-snack on March 23, 2007 at 4:33 AM | PERMALINK

Ronald McDonald from HI:

In fact, I've e-mailed to Kevin a copy of this post, along with your offending one.

Why would you E-mail someone a copy of what they can read right here? Do you operate under the assumption that you're the only one who spotted my brilliant post?

I do not apologize for calling anyone whiny when they have said something whiny; nor do I apologize for my language in any way, shape or form--you should be glad I'm here to explain things to you.

Why on Earth would you defend someone so mopey and defeatist? Calling him a bee-yatch is kind compared to the language directed at me on a daily basis. Can you please remember to grow up and quite having fainting spells whenever you're exposed to the rough and tumble world of the blog-o-sphere? Do you live in a country different from all the rest of us? I live in America, and I'm free to be whatever it is I want to be. Anyone who whines and claims we are heading down some sort of slippery slope and that we'll be like the poorest parts of Africa is a deluded fool and you should applaud my remarks.

Consider yourself warned.

Please stand by--I just soiled myself out of abject terror.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on March 23, 2007 at 8:01 AM | PERMALINK

I just did some sole searching of my own and I actually found the heart of the gop.
Something something about bugs?

Posted by: RBB on March 23, 2007 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

"....A (depressed) conservative friend writes to say that...." - Drum

More day dreaming from the left, the "reality" based community whose current representatives enjoy a 28% approval rating as they continue their maniacal personal witch hunt of GWB completely ignoring their campaign promises:
-roll back tax cuts
-end NSA program
-withdraw from Iraq
-end earmarks (have you seen the recent draft?)


Also, according to the above chart, 2000 and 2004 looks to be a low points for Republicans but wasn't that the years Gore and Kerry lost?

low point in the polls yet victory at the polling booths, who knew?

Posted by: Jay on March 23, 2007 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

Well they still have unAmericanchickenHawk and al.
And maybe egbert, I think he might be fake.

Posted by: merlallen on March 23, 2007 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

It is the demographic trends that will doom the Republican party. There will come a time when less than 50% of Americans will even consider voting Republican. When that happens, the U.S. will effectively be a one party state much like states and jurisdictions like Mass., NJ, California, and DC are one party states.

Posted by: superdestroyer on March 23, 2007 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

"It is the demographic trends that will doom the Republican party. There will come a time when less than 50% of Americans will even consider voting Republican. When that happens, the U.S. will effectively be a one party state much like states and jurisdictions like Mass., NJ, California, and DC are one party states." - superdestroyer


Aw, the long lost dream of the left. Russia was a one party state too and we all remember how successful that was. At least they would defend themselves though.

Posted by: Jay on March 23, 2007 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

The GOP will be just fine in 2008, but thanks to everyone for worrying. Frankly, I don't care what the "soul" of the Republican Party is supposed to be. I care about issues. Whether Iraq is popular or not, was it the right thing to do? Yes! Is the Iraq War a failure? No! It is more clear than ever that Iraq is not going to dissolve into three separate provinces when our forces leave. Most likely, the elected government in Baghdad will survive and really take control of the situation.

If Iraq's provinces do become highly autonymous zones, the Sunni zone will be the poorest. That's because 80% of this whole Iraqi "civil war" has been about the Sunnis not wanting to share ANY of Iraq's oil wealth with the other 80% of the nation. The Sunnis will now at best get 20% and they are lucky to get that, because any cause that tucks children in the backseat of a car in order to get through a checkpoint and then blows them up deserves total defeat.

Sunni supremacy will never, ever again, curse Iraq. In fact, all areas of Iraq should soon be modernizing and prospering as fast as the Kurdish areas have been doing ever since the invasion. Also, you can't be too sure that a nation headed up by anyone as completely nasty as Saddam does not have WMD's.

Which brings us to Iran, a nation that seems to be looking for a war. Very soon a whole lot of U.S. forces will be freed up from Iraq and ready to accomodate them. Fortunately for us, The New York Times reported recently that Pashtun tribes in Pakistan are fighting al Qaeda elements and Taliban elements in a serious way. That's good if we don't have to deal with Pakistan ourselves.

But Iran could be a problem. We have learned a lot in Iraq and should be able to exploit the tremendous sentiment in Iran that does not like the reckless, extremist government in Tehran. The one good thing is that the Ahmadinejad regime, even though it espouses lots of nasty ideas, still has not actually done a lot of atrocities. It's kind of like 1950's singer Pat Boone when he was trying to rejuvenate his career by pretending to be a gangsta kind of guy.

Does the GOP still have a problem with global warming? Not in principle--because it is exactly proper to be skeptical of any theory with a lot of far-reaching and unprovable claims. Even if it turns out to be slightly true that human activities are pushing the climate, the question is whether the oceans are really going to rise by 20 feet in the next forty years?

What should we fear the most--the possibility that a rogue nation headed by a really nasty guy
might, just might, have WMD's, or the possibility that the oceans will rise by 20 feet in 2047? Some say never act until you are absolutely, completely sure of good intelligence. I say never act until you are absolutely, completely sure good science is being done. Russian and Chinese climatologists seem to think it is Western scientists who are off on an overblown humbug type of political panic.

Posted by: mike cook on March 23, 2007 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

If we're lucky the GOP will go the way of the Whigs. The name Republican is too tainted to ever again be respected by liberals, moderates, and most especially conservatives. The country needs a major party that represents actual conservative ideology instead of the so called "principles" that act as a cover for corruption and the wacky fantasies of their various cults. And, I agree Bush gets credit for driving most of the nails in their coffin, though Gingrich and Reagan deserve dishonorable mention.

Posted by: dennisS on March 23, 2007 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

"Anti-war protesters arrested at Pelosi’s office
By Chris Good
March 22, 2007
Four members of the anti-war group Code Pink were arrested outside the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Thursday afternoon, following an announcement that they would seek to take over the office.
The group’s members had planned to hold a symbolic “Pin the war on the Donkey” demonstration at Pelosi’s office to show their frustration with the Democratic leadership’s inaction on ending the war in Iraq."


The far-left lunatic fringe will destroy the Democratic Party long before the demise of the Republicans.

Pelosi catered for their vote, now she's being held hostage.

Posted by: Jay on March 23, 2007 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

Mike,

The only way that the Republicans can stay relevent is do get a higher percentage of the white vote with every election cycle. I think it is totally unrealisitic to believe that. With a growing minority population, most states will go deep blue at the U.S. Senate and U.S. House level,and more districts will become locks for Democrats since any congressional district that is 40% or more minority is a lock for the Democrats.

The worst scenerio for the U.S. but the scenerio that the Democratic party wants is for the Democrats to become the dominate party but with a small, ineffective Republican party hanging on in a few states to give the Democrata a "Bogeyman" to run against and to use to keep blacks and hispanics in line with.

Posted by: superdestroyer on March 23, 2007 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

"The only way that the Republicans can stay relevent is do get a higher percentage of the white vote with every election cycle. I think it is totally unrealisitic to believe that. With a growing minority population, most states will go deep blue at the U.S. Senate and U.S. House level,and more districts will become locks for Democrats since any congressional district that is 40% or more minority is a lock for the Democrats." - superdestroyer

And there, folks, is the institutional racism that dominates the left despite the fact the GWB has placed more minorities in positions of power than any other previous administration.

Your message of government reliance is beginning to attract a smaller audience among minorities.

Posted by: Jay on March 23, 2007 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

“We’re just heartbroken that Nancy Pelosi has decided to keep funding George Bush’s war, and now the war belongs to the Democrats as well as the Republicans,” said Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin. “We thought we were going to get a change when they came into power.”


Quote of the Day. LMAO!

Posted by: Jay on March 23, 2007 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Yuck it up. All those dead people are really hilarious. All those flag-draped coffins coming back from Iraq are really chuckle-worthy. Do you point and laugh at amputees? I bet you find those who suffer traumatic brain injuries real knee-slappers, huh?

Oh well. They're idiots. They enlisted, right?

True colors, eh?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 23, 2007 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

Gosh, Jay, we´re having so much fun, aren´t we?

Mike Cook: "What should we fear the most--the possibility that a rogue nation headed by a really nasty guy might, just might, have WMD's, or the possibility that the oceans will rise by 20 feet in 2047?"

Sorry, Mike, we don´t get to choose. And the GOP has severely weakened us on both scores. It´s coffee time, fellers; you guys are living in a never-was dream world.

Posted by: Kenji on March 23, 2007 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

This is all Bill Clinton's fault.

Posted by: Perry Logan on March 23, 2007 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK


Is it now time to do to "conservative" what conservatives did to "liberal" from 1966 onward?

Posted by: Andrew on March 23, 2007 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK


Is it now time to do to "conservative" what conservatives did to "liberal" from 1966 onward?

Posted by: Andrew on March 23, 2007 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

What should we fear the most--the possibility that a rogue nation headed by a really nasty guy
might, just might, have WMD's, or the possibility that the oceans will rise by 20 feet in 2047? Some say never act until you are absolutely, completely sure of good intelligence. I say never act until you are absolutely, completely sure good science is being done. Russian and Chinese climatologists seem to think it is Western scientists who are off on an overblown humbug type of political panic

I'm afraid you've missed the boat and have decided to throw a misguided pity party all for yourself.

The United States of America doesn't fear a damned thing, sir. We are led by men who stare terror in the face and back it down. They looked eye to eye with the Taliban, with Saddam and now with the insane mullahs in Iran and they have stared them down or killed them or driven them into the hills.

It's very likely that America will never face attack again. The precedent struck by this President is this--if you attack America, we will unleash hell on you, your neighbors, and people you thought we didn't know you were talking to. We fight terror with a massive conventional Army rolling over your mosques, we fight you with night raids and the knife in your ear, and we fight you with words, with strong condemnations and with diplomatic skill. We'll fight you by taking your sorry rear end to an undisclosed location and we'll pour water in your mouth until you think you're about to explode like a blowfish. We'll shoot a 60 million dollar movie just to play one time for you to make it look like we've done something to the sacred symbols of your pagan religion. We'll tickle your fancy with hot chicks in the guise of interrogators and we'll bore you to tears with pedestrian music in detention.

The best way to deal with any "madman" is to let them all think you are a bit crazy yourself. It keeps them from anticipating your moves. No one can plan to attack America because they don't know what we will do; in fact, we have now shown the world we'll do anything whenever we want and we don't care what anyone thinks of us.

This is what strength and resolve look like. Stop piddling your pants when you see it, liberals.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on March 23, 2007 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

The country needs a major party that represents actual conservative ideology instead of the so called "principles" that act as a cover for corruption and the wacky fantasies of their various cults.

"Conservative ideology" has always been a short-hand for protecting the interests of the wealthy and powerful at the expense of the people. As such I think the current Republican Party represents conservative ideology quite well, actually.

Posted by: Stefan on March 23, 2007 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

This is all Bill Clinton's fault.

I know you are joking, but consider the impeachment. It was the height of stupidity, a purely political show trial - and they failed to convict. I thought, at the time, that it was the end of the Republican Party. It was. It just took a little longer than I expected.

In 2000 Bush pretended to be from a completely different party - one that rejected the impeachment as the politics of division. Some of us knew better, but were ignored. After he slimed his way into the White House he hired Ted Olson and made it clear that he was with those who had impeached Clinton. But he had a lucky break a few months later when the nation and the world rallied around whomever held the Presidency. That's what prevented the complete collapse of the Republican Party.

The memory of that nightmare day is dimming and the cold water of the inept Republican response has woken the people to why they can't trust Republicans with public office.

Posted by: wax cylinder on March 23, 2007 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, a half-million deaths later, a wrecked economy, and ruined reputation later. On the other hand, we´re starting to get the world´s sympathy again. Whan can we do to hurry this up? George, we knew ye too well.

Posted by: Kenji on March 23, 2007 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

And the pendulum swings. So what? It's still a pendulum (thank God for BOTH sides). “Wishing” that it was not so is pure folly considering history.

Posted by: 1SG on March 23, 2007 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

No need to have the Republicans. They are an extremist group whose departure from the scene will bring much needed rationality to our domestic and foreign policies. Ultimately there will have to be a party to balance the excesses that will occur. But, with any luck, it will be a party based on ideas - rather than one based on hate and fear. It might even still be called the Republican Party, but it will be far different from the extremist brand rooted in the Confederacy we have now.

Posted by: wax cylinder on March 23, 2007 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Ryan said: "This poll's asks some very interesting proxy questions (which I suppose Pew tests every so often). For example, on page 33, we learn that the percentage who agrees that "AIDS might be God's punishment for immoral sexual behavior" has dropped from 43% in 1987 (and 39% in 1994!) to 23% today. That's a good question to test extremist social conservatism, and now we've got a number: 23% is your batshit insane fundie base."

That is a remarkably consistent number, arrived at by various methods: http://kfmonkey.blogspot.com/2007/01/repost-crazification-factor.html

Enjoy.

Posted by: Doug on March 23, 2007 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Looking at whether conservatism or liberalism are "winning" over the long haul you have to conclude that liberalism always wins, because cultures always change.

To me, conservatism means preserving the values from a way of life that people believe has worked well in the past. The way of life envisioned by many American conservatives as the Golden Age approximates what American life was like up until about a hundred years ago. It persisted until the sixties in many places. Americans are hard-working folks who produce things on farms and in factories. The men go out and work. The women stay home and raise big families because it adds to the family's prosperity to have more workers. Americans don't get divorced. Americans go to a Christian church every Sunday. Americans prefer to live in segregated areas, because it's just natural to prefer to learn, do business and marry among your "own kind." Americans don't like people who are homosexual because they don't contribute kids to the community, and they're kind of scared of them, because since no one is openly homosexual, they are afraid of what they don't understand. America doesn't need the rest of the world--we'll deal with other countries on our terms or not at all.

Surprise, surprise, surprise. Do you recognize that America when you take a spin through anywhere in the fifty states? How likely is it that we're going back to that scenario? Are we going to carry on the tradition of large families even though a college education for one's kids is a huge economic burden for most families, and you have to buy a standard van to obey the child restraint laws if you have more than four kids? Kids are going to school with openly gay classmates and aren't freaking out. A man with a white mother and a black father and a woman are leading contenders for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008. Americans claim to be Christian, but what percentage of the population actually attends church services every week, contributes to a congregation and actually knows anything about the Bible? Heck, the two Republican candidates for president in 2008 are both divorced and re-married, and one is a public womanizer.

It's a global economy whether we like it or not. If we don't join global efforts to curb pollution we're going to drown in each other's sewage and contaminants, and suffocate in each other's smog, because pollution can't see the borders on maps.

Bush thought he could declare the terms of America's relationships with other countries by using military power, but it's not working. He conclusively demonstrated that political power backed up by the threat of military power is far more effective than actually wading in with soldiers and showing the limits of that power. In any case, America can't just throw its weight around and get its way.

Conservatives can perform the useful service of informing choices among new ideas, and sometimes slowing change down to allow adjustment to new ideas. The rejection of totalitarian Communism was certainly a good call, even if sometimes the means were dubious. It would be interesting to hear serious ideas from conservatives for dealing with the problem of increasingly unstable incomes among middle-class Americans, instead of just continued bleats for "tax cuts" and depending on the "invisible hand" of the market. There are many other problems that could be legitimately be discussed from a conservative point of view.

But the Republicans remaining in office are mostly just in it to "conserve" privilege and wealth among themselves. They babble about "Christian family values" that they disregard. They don't have anything to contribute to America's future.

Posted by: cowalker on March 23, 2007 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

A cure for conservative depression is committing mass murder.

Posted by: Brojo on March 23, 2007 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

OT:


I live in Idiotland, Show-Me State.
Posted by: FitterDon

I once came out of a hotel in the Vieux Carre and as I stopped to thank the doorman for his having suggested a nice 'locals' place the day before, I noticed a car parked directly under a 'No Parking/Tow away zone sign.

It had a license plate proudly boasting of the 'Show Me State. One of the Quarter's justly notorious metermaids was also standing there looking on as the tow truck backed into position.

She said,'Well, they kinda dared me to show 'em and I just did.'

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 23, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

I was a teenager when those license plates came out. Being young hot-bodies with a sense of irony, we promptly developed the proud tradition of Porky Piggin.'

I'll wait and see if anyone knows what that is...

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 23, 2007 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK


jay: -roll back tax cuts
-end NSA program
-withdraw from Iraq
-end earmarks (have you seen the recent draft?)

shorter jay: the gop has the dems....right where they want them...

Posted by: mr. irony on March 23, 2007 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

BG: Don't look at me. I'm not gonna ask. Delicately nurtured and all that. I might be shocked or something...

*laughs^

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 23, 2007 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Porky Piggin', accompanied by Hot Lesbian Cheerleaders, made a prior appearance at Political Animal.

It was probably that thread that sent Britney Spears off the deep end.

Posted by: cld on March 23, 2007 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

"Conservative ideology" has always been a short-hand for protecting the interests of the wealthy and powerful at the expense of the people. As such I think the current Republican Party represents conservative ideology quite well, actually.

I half agree. Among true conservatives many favor tradition, rule of law, and within my lifetime fiscal responsibility, (though with an emphasis on borrowing first.) And, as American conservatives they were pretty good at "mind your own business."

Today's Republicans are a mixture of 17th century "everyone is venal so line up behind the nearest noble-born authoritarian", believers in voo-doo, and people so mad with confusion they're ready to blow up everything sight including our own country. Marginalized is too nice a future for them.

Posted by: dennisS on March 23, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK
Today's Republicans are a mixture of 17th century "everyone is venal so line up behind the nearest noble-born authoritarian"

Uh, that's what conservatism has been since it sprang up to resist classical liberalism. Yeah, it often puts on a face that adopts some of liberalisms features but with a cautionary note and excuses for retaining tight reins on power (either in government, or government staying out of the way of the powerful), but, ultimately, its about narrowing power in the status quo elites. That's what conservatism, fundamentally and unchangingly, is.

Everything else is peripheral. Always.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 23, 2007 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

"The [GOP] party's main, almost sole, purpose has been to ensure that as much money as possible goes to those who need it least and that as little as possible goes to those who need it most." Jacob Heilbrunn

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 23, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

From my never-was dream world, let me prophecize this: the Defeatocrat "deadline" for getting out of Iraq by August 2008 (or even earlier) is moot because by July of next year Iraq will be standing on its own. The limited British pull-out from Basra has not resulted in the sky falling. The American "surge" is still at least 25,000 troops short of its peak and already it seems to be having the desired effect.

But now I am really going out on a limb to predict this: next winter it's going to get even colder than this winter was in North America. If you didn't notice, 2006-2007 was a pretty average one. In fact, more studies should appear to suggest that the idea that the oceans are about to rise twenty feet by 2050 is pretty unlikely.

Now, two things, both really nasty, could happen before Nov. 2008. The American economy could crash. I don't think it is likely to, but it could. The other thing is that we could have a real and very exciting war with Iran. Something has been making Ahmadinejad be so bold and obnoxious. Maybe it's just his apocalyptic world view, but maybe it's a hole card he has up his sleeve. A real, genuine WMD could come out in an attack on the U.S.A., or maybe just another 9/11 type conventional attack that is so clever and well-planned that it does major, major damage.

At any rate, my GOP dream ticket of Condi Rice at the top and Fred Thompson as the veep is going to become a reality. Can you imagine Condi debating Hillary? If there is a veep debate I bet it is going to be Obama versus Fred, which ought to be a high class, spectacular debate on all levels. Obama will, in the end, be offered the veep spot and he will take it because he is young and has a lot of time. He won't get the top spot because he has questionable financial dealings that are not long ago enough in his past. So do the Clintons, of course, but Barack will not be able to exploit that history.

Condi and Hillary,debating. . .that could go anywhere! For the last debate, Hillary will pull the pink suit out of the closet.

Posted by: mike cook on March 25, 2007 at 6:46 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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