Republican Voters Don’t Care About Russian Interference In American Elections

Three new polls show that Republicans basically agree with the leader of their party when it comes to the issue of Russian interference in American elections.

A trio of new polls show that most Americans disapprove of the President’s handling of America’s relationship with Russia in the wake of Monday’s Helsinki Summit between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, but those same polls show that most Republicans feel the exact opposite.

First up, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds a huge number of Americans disapprove of the President’s handling of the relationship with Russia:

(Reuters) – More than half of Americans disapprove of the way U.S. President Donald Trump is handling relations with Russia, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted after his controversial summit and joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

However, Trump’s performance at the Helsinki summit, where Trump refused to blame the Russian leader for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and cast doubt on the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies, did not seem to have an impact on his overall approval rating.

Forty-two percent of registered voters said they approved of Trump’s performance in office in the latest opinion poll, compared with a daily average of between 40 and 44 percent so far in July.

The poll found that 55 percent of registered voters disapproved while 37 percent approved of his handling of relations with Russia.

Among Republicans, 71 percent approved of his handling of Russia compared to 14 percent of Democrats.

(…)

A majority of registered voters, 59 percent, agree with the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia attempted to influence the U.S. election, the Reuters/Ipsos poll found. But only 32 percent of Republicans think that is true compared to 84 percent of Democrats.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll also revealed a distinct split among Republican and Democratic voters over whether Russia should be considered an adversary of the United States.

Overall, 38 percent of registered voters agreed that Russia is an enemy of the United States. About the same percent considered Russia “a competitor” while 8 percent said it was “a friend.”

However, half the Democrats said it was an enemy while only about one in three Republicans considered it so.

Forty percent of Democrats described Russia as an imminent threat while only 14 percent of Republicans agreed.

Overall, 27 percent of registered voters considered Russia an imminent threat. Only North Korea got a higher response on that question, 31 percent.

A CBS News survey found similar numbers:

Only a third of Americans (32 percent) approve of the way Donald Trump handled his summit in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a CBS News poll shows. Sixty-eight percent of Republicans approve.

Most Americans (70 percent) believe U.S. intelligence assessments that Russia interfered in the elections, though Republicans are more skeptical. Just half say they believe U.S. intelligence, while nine in ten Democrats do.

More Americans see President Trump as too friendly toward Russia than they did last year. This is largely due to an increase in the number of Democrats and independents who say so. More than three-in-four Republicans think the President has the right balance.

Thirty-nine percent of Americans report feeling less confident after the summit about Mr. Trump standing up for U.S. interests, though much of that comes from Democrats; Republicans say they are more confident or unchanged.

Republicans hold relatively more positive views of Russia than Democrats do, as has been the case since Donald Trump was elected. More Republicans call Russia at least friendly or an ally to the U.S. compared to Americans overall.

Looking ahead, a majority of Americans overall (61 percent) express at least some concern about Russia interfering in the 2018 elections, though Republicans express far lower levels of concern, while most Democrats are very concerned.

Finally, there’s a new Axios/Survey Monkey poll that emphasizes the stark partisan differences, as demonstrated in this chart:

While it may seem as though this conservative blindness regarding Russia is a new phenomenon, it actually has roots that go back several years and has much to do with cultural issues and opposition to President in Obama as it does with President Trump and his rather obvious bromance with Vladimir Putin. As far back as 2013, for example, I wrote about the fact that conservatives here in the United States had developed a seemingly odd admiration for the Russian President. In that respect, the fascination and attraction were coming from the cultural conservative wing of the Republican Party and conservative movement from persons such as Pat Buchanan and Rod Dreher. As I noted later on in 2014, this conservative enthusiasm for Putin had bled over into other parts of the conservative movement and appeared to be rooted both in cultural issues such as the extent to which Putin has sought cast himself as a protector of Christians in the Middle East and Russia’s crackdown on gays and lesbians that was most prominent in the controversial legislation adopted shortly before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and also in what can only be called contempt for Barack Obama, who the right saw as “weak” compared to the “strong” leader of Russia. All of this made the GOP fertile ground for President Trump, who made no secret of his admiration for the President of Russia.

The most striking thing from all three of these polls, of course, is the extent to which Republicans are out of step with the rest of the country on both the issue of Russian interference in past elections and the probability that such interference will take place in this future. In what can only be called a marked departure from the skepticism about Russia and Russian intentions that we saw as recently as six years ago during the 2012 election cycle when Republicans accused President Obama of being naive when it came to handling relations with Russia, and then again in 2014 when they attacked the President for an allegedly weak response to Russian annexation of Crimea and intervention in the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, the Republican Party, or whatever it has turned into, has become a overnight a party of Russophiles who are more concerned with attacking Democrats and American law enforcement agencies than they are with the overwhelming evidence supporting the claim that Russia is engaged in an active and ongoing effort to disrupt American politics.

To a large degree, of course, it seems clear that the main reason for this is that Republicans are merely adopting the rhetoric and the views of the leader of their party. Donald Trump has made no secret of the fact that he does not believe the reports of his own intelligence agency heads that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and that they intend on attempting to do so again in 2018 and 2020 if they’re able to get away with it. His White House has done nothing to prepare the nation for the possibility of such interference in the coming midterm elections. And, most importantly, he failed to confront the Russian President, whom he has long expressed open admiration for in the past, regarding that interference when he had the chance to do at face-to-face meetings both last year at the G-20 Summit and just this year at their summit meeting on Monday. Each time he’s been given the opportunity to confront Putin directly over this issue, the President has backed away and instead continued to make his claims that the entire Russia investigation is “Fake News” and a “witch hunt.” Given the extent to which the Republican Party has become a Trumpidian cult of personality, it’s not at all surprising that the party as a whole would come to mimic his remarks even as many of them allegedly say off the record how horrible what he’s doing might be. Talking off the record or only anonymously isn’t enough, though, and it certainly isn’t going to stop this President from behaving the way that he has for the past eighteen months.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Campaign 2018, Donald Trump, National Security, Politicians, Public Opinion Polls, Russia, Russia Investigation, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mister Bluster says:

    One Way Airfare New York to Moscow
    Aeroflot 9h 0m Nonstop from $330

    We Won’t Miss You!

    9
  2. MarkedMan says:

    Basically, if you took every ridiculous, over the top, hysterical, hand wringing stereotype people had about Republicans, it’s all been proven true at a level I would have never thought possible. 70-90% of people who self identify as Republicans buy all this crap. Nazis, pussy-grabbers, gun nuts, traitors, it just boggles the mind. Take a look at what Sacha Baron Cohen did with the gun nuts. If I had said here that a major “respected” lobbyist for the NRA would endorse giving guns to three year olds you would have laughed at me for hyperbole. Heck, I would have laughed at me! But there is Phillip Van Cleave holding a pistol with a stuffed animal head and filming a “safety video” talking about how you put the food (magazine) into the guns “tummy”. And not just the lobbyists. 30 year Republican Rep Dana Rohrabacher. Republican Rep from SC Joe Wilson. Republican Rep from Florida Matt Gaetz. Former Illinois Republican Rep Joe Walsh. Former Republican Majority Leader Trent Lott! These aren’t the fringe nutballs of the Republican Party, these ARE the Republican Party!

    30
  3. Michael Reynolds says:

    I’ll say it again: this is a cult. That’s not a political insult, it’s honest analysis. Veneration of an individual, imbuing that individual with superhuman powers – infallibility, inerrancy – in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, is cult thinking.

    Cult 45 members are simply not capable of anything other than slavish acceptance. The more the cult is attacked, the more the cult unites in a defensive formation. The willing acceptance of lies is a core part of cult life, it’s a virtue within the cult. So of course they endorse Trump’s treason, just as they endorse his racism, just as they endorse his hatred for women, just as they endorse tearing babies away from their mothers and caging them, just as they are comfortable with parades of young white men waving the swastika.

    And if, tomorrow, Trump called for rounding up Lefties and putting them in concentration camps, most Trumpaloons would go along enthusiastically, while the others would wring their hands and do nothing.

    31
  4. charon says:

    Republican voters are not just a cult, they behave as a herd. They do not care because the people they hang out with, the people they go to church with, the people their kids do sleepovers with also do not care.

    Herd behavior includes the potential to stampede. And its drip, drip drip. The Maria Butina story is sexy in a way the other stories are not, people will pay attention.

    I say these people will continue to “don’t care” until the herd stampedes and they do care. Once Trump is sufficiently discredited, his support will evaporate.

    BTW, read the Maria Butina affidavit – it isn’t just the NRA that looks bad, the National Prayer Breakfast (thus many Christian Right figures) come off as pretty compromised as well- which reflects on the GOP, not just Trump.

    23
  5. gVOR08 says:

    This is largely a reflection of the cult of personality, but thank you for pointing out that this goes back several years. Trump didn’t create this, Trump exploited it. When Trump is gone (please gawd) this will still remain.

    And it recognizes a certain reality. Russia is no longer a bunch of atheists trying to export communism to the world. Why not cozy up to them? The demonized Obama/Clinton Reset was an attempt to do just that. Following WWII there was a big question about the motives of the Soviet Union. Were they commies trying to export their ideology, or were they Russians trying to expand the Russian Empire? Putin is behaving as Russians have always behaved. And he is an enemy because he insists on being an enemy. But there is no compelling reason Russia has to be an enemy. The Russian people would be better off integrated with the West. But Putin sees it differently.

    8
  6. charon says:

    @gVOR08:

    Putin is a criminal. There is no daylight separating Putin and the Russian Oligarchs and the Russian Mob, they are all the same people. What is good for the Russian people is irrelevant to the Russian Oligarchs.

    We would do a lot better to try to mend fences with Iran, which strikes me as a much more natural ally than KSA and the UAE.

    15
  7. Liberal Capitalists says:

    Republican Voters Don’t Care About Russian Interference In American Elections

    Sure! The mentality is:

    1) Fox News says that it is not a problem… So It’s not a problem!

    2) But if it WAS going on, then it is for “our” side, so we benefit. Republicans Win! That good for US! Just wait until we sweep RED in November!

    3) But it’s not, Trump and Fox says it just doesn’t exist, so it’s OK.

    4) And all my friends say it’s just sore loser DemonRats bitching, amirite?

    We’ll finally quit paying for NATO, get out of the UN, get rid of Obamacare, quit paying taxes, get those brown folk out of OUR town, put Hillary in jail for child prostitution in Benghazi, and everything will be GREAT AGAIN !!!

    17
  8. An Interested Party says:

    It’s so nice to see a variation of Fascism in our country…

    3
  9. Ben Wolf says:

    Gallup finds the Russian issue polling at under 1% as the most important issue facing the country.
    https://news.gallup.com/poll/1675/most-important-problem.aspx

    My guess is you aren’t posting about it enough, and I suggest things like comparing Trump’s summit to kristallnacht. That should go over real well.

    1
  10. Moosebreath says:

    “To a large degree, of course, it seems clear that the main reason for this is that Republicans are merely adopting the rhetoric and the views of the leader of their party.”

    I think that another major reason is that Republicans have their own news bubble which is entirely separate from the news consumed by Democrats and most independents. They have been trained to dismiss out of hand any news which comes from a source that doesn’t follow the direct party line.

    8
  11. george says:

    Team sports. If your player gets away with a foul, its a good thing, right?

    If only Trump supporters would consider themselves as part of Team America, instead of Team Trump. And no, I don’t see that happening in the near future. If anything, all the (correct) criticism just makes them support him more.

    Most of the people who vote have already chosen their team (voting for the same party every election), and GOP voters are unlikely to change simply because their quarterback is unhinged. The question becomes, what will it take to get the 40% of potential voters who can’t be bothered to vote to take an interest?

    5
  12. Erik says:

    @Moosebreath: interesting article that makes the distinction between “bubbles” and “echo chambers” and ties in neatly with cult style manipulation.

    Edit: can’t seem to insert the link, but you can copy paste

    https://aeon.co/essays/why-its-as-hard-to-escape-an-echo-chamber-as-it-is-to-flee-a-cult

    1
  13. Steve V says:

    The GOP is benefitting from the Russian interference. Of course they will find ways to rationalize or minimize it.

    5
  14. RWB says:

    To understand why Republicans should care about Russian meddling in this election you have to understand a subtlety of 2016 that is not often stated. Putin hates Hillary Clinton. He was not working to get Trump elected, he was working to get not-Hillary elected. With few exceptions, this would have been true for any Democrat. Putin does not care about Trump or his ambitions, Getting Trump in office was just a happy coincidence for Putin. Since Putin has never been working for Trump’s interests, you have to ask yourself, what election outcome is now in Putin’s best interest The answer to that should scare the shift out of Republicans.

    4
  15. Timothy Watson says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    And if, tomorrow, Trump called for rounding up Lefties and putting them in concentration camps, most Trumpaloons would go along enthusiastically, while the others would wring their hands and do nothing.

    And ICE officers were cracking jokes about 5 year olds crying for their parents. It really shows how on point Sinclair Lewis was.

    15
  16. Kari Q says:

    To a large degree, of course, it seems clear that the main reason for this is that Republicans are merely adopting the rhetoric and the views of the leader of their party.

    It goes way beyond this. They have convinced themselves that the worst possible thing that could happen is to lose power; nothing is worse than the Democratic party winning. They are willing to betray anything, embrace anything, abandon anything, if they believe doing so will keep them in power and the other side out.

    5
  17. SenyorDave says:

    How can any person not have a problem with this:

    But Trump has repeatedly branded his Putin powwow a major accomplishment. On Thursday he tweeted: “The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media.”

    At this point, imagine if Obama had done 10% of what Trump had done.

    7
  18. Kathy says:

    @RWB:

    Since Putin has never been working for Trump’s interests, you have to ask yourself, what election outcome is now in Putin’s best interest The answer to that should scare the shift out of Republicans.

    To keep Trump in power, of course. He’s an inexperienced idiot without any desire to learn better, so Putin can take advantage of him. And he’s already doing more to ruin America’s position in the world than Russia could ever hope for.

    So for now, Putin will support Trump and the GOP.

    But let’s not overestimate the enemy. Putin can’t just throw a switch and decide the election. This didn’t happen in France, for example. His kind of meddling seems to work best when 1) it passes largely unrecognized and 2) the election is close to begin with.

    We must remain vigilant, but not give in to paranoia and imagine Russian meddling in every little detail.

    10
  19. Kathy says:

    The big problem here, and I mean BIG, is that the GOP has gone full partisan on every issue. Take these examples:

    – Interference in US elections is ok, or no biggie, if the GOP wins.

    – Law enforcement is wrong when it investigates crimes committed by Republicans, otherwise it’s A-OK to tear children from their parents or shoot unarmed black and brown people.

    – News unfavorable unfavorable to Republicans or Trump are fake, regardless of source (even FOX News), even if well-sourced, even if the video of the Cheeto saying what he said is available. It’s all fake.

    I really don’t want to deal with this. Wake me up when it’s over.

    9
  20. de stijl says:

    @t:

    As Billy Dee says:

    Cult 45. It works every time.

    2
  21. Guarneri says:

    Looks like the Kramer immitators have had another bad day.

  22. de stijl says:

    I do have a minor quibble with the cult theory in that it is not a person driven cult.

    If Trump becomes an electoral liability he will be disavowed and consigned to he dustbin of Republican history just like Bush 43. Just like GWB, Trump will be abandoned when he hurts their electoral chances. Rs are essentially attuned to Al Davis’ “Just win, baby!” mantra.

    Look at how GWB placed in the recent Pew poll of “Who is best President of your lifetime?” GWB got 3%. This for a person who at one point he had 99% Republican Presidential approval ratings (and a 90% of all Americans).

    If 2018 is a 2006-style washout, Trump will be damaged goods.

    10 years from now, every extant Republican will claim to be a Never-Trumper and to have voted against him on deep, ethical principles.

    10 years from now Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh will still Supreme Court Justices.

    (I used “dustbin of history” rather than the more standard “ash heap” just to pimp Ned’s Atomic Dustbin’s Grey Cell Green video https://youtu.be/HqGzBqPnNBk. So ’90s!)

    1
  23. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    Republicans cycle through Messiahs with great regularity and quite predictably.

    1
  24. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    I really don’t want to deal with this. Wake me up when it’s over.

    We need you now. We are at an inflection point in American history.

    2
  25. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    Just like GWB, Trump will be abandoned when he hurts their electoral chances.

    I’ve no doubt the establishment will do so. I highly doubt the base will. they might, but they are too invested in him to just drop him.

    The other thing is remember the size and scope of Bush the younger’s folly, the cost in blood and treasure he incurred, but the main reason republican’s dislike him now is the financial crisis at the end of his term.

    The size and scope of Trump’s folly might be much worse. Perhaps he won’t start any wars, but he’s on track to do something more terrible than start a stupid war: he’s actively undermining the postwar international order that has kept major power wars from happening for going on 70 years now.

    It’s not just NATO, and South Korea, and the trade wars, and the WTO, and NAFTA, but the fact that he’s doing it in a way that causes resentment. The reluctance of European countries to spend more on defense might be unwise, it might be counterproductive, it might be miserly, but it’s not a means to shirk obligations or “take advantage” of the US. Making it all about money, and misstating the purpose of a defense budget as though NATO countries were adjuncts of the Pentagon, and moving the goalposts won’t endear America to her allies.

    Add tariffs impose don grounds of “national security,” complete with insults thrown at Canada’s PM, and it’s as though Trump wants to alienate the whole free world.

    And he doesn’t seem to need poorly thought-out military adventurism to do so.

    8
  26. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @george: For the right, Team Trump is Team America. To paraphrase Glenn Beck and others: although it would be good and right to set aside differences with our opponents, it simply can’t be done when our opponents hate America and want to destroy the country.

    He wishes it were possible, but guys like you are too recalcitrant to come to the middle ground–the conservatives are correct and Trump is Making America Great Again!

    1
  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Guarneri: Did that mean something?

    4
  28. de stijl says:

    Mark my words! As soon as Trump is perceived to be a loser he will be passively disavowed. (And if the losses are widely attributed to anti-EU, anti-NATO, pro-Russian sentiments expect a rapid policy 180 if it comes from a source they trust.)

    Policy does not drive voter behavior. We are pretty clearly in the era of negative-partisanship.

    The October 2006 base was highly invested in GWB. Weather vanes is too nice – these folks are brutal in the face of any sign of weakness. They will be presented a new resentment Messiah and they will salivate – eminently predictable.

    ‘Member Sarah Palin? What was her half-life? R “Messiahs” last as long as Youtube eye make-up trends.

    Adventurism is only allowed and rewarded if they are in power and ascendant.

    2
  29. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    For the right, Team Trump is Team America. To paraphrase Glenn Beck and others: although it would be good and right to set aside differences with our opponents, it simply can’t be done when our opponents hate America and want to destroy the country.

    This status is incredibly contingent and thus temporary. Rs are reverse cool scene kids. If you are ascendant and popular you are worshiped; if you are unpopular and declining you are trash and we never liked you or voted for you anyway.

    GWB once had a 90% approval and left with a 25%.

    It is inevitable that Trump will be a future liability. He will not be defended or lauded or sanctified. He will will be Akhenaten reborn. Quietly (shh!) rebuked and actively forgotten. His rule stricken from the record.

    Guaranteed.

    1
  30. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future (attributed to way too many people).

    1
  31. Matt says:

    They don’t care because they won. Some have straight up posted on facebook (couple on my friend list), shouted on tv etc things to the effect of “thank you Russia for saving us from Hillary”..

    My favorite partisan image that I’ve seen a couple times on my facebook feed is the one declaring that Trump’s haters are the ones dividing this country. IT’s funny because a couple years back these same people posted images saying that Obama is dividing this country. Like heads you lose tails I win. Sadly they don’t even see how dumb they are being.

    7
  32. charon says:

    @de stijl:

    This status is incredibly contingent and thus temporary. Rs are reverse cool scene kids. If you are ascendant and popular you are worshiped; if you are unpopular and declining you are trash and we never liked you or voted for you anyway.

    This does not need to happen slowly or gradually. Trump could go from BMOC to loser dude really fast.

    2
  33. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Ben Wolf:
    Why don’t you wave your copy of Das Kapital around, I’m sure the working classes – which as far as I can tell have had no direct contact – will be thrilled at the notion of having you as commissar.

    Ben, trying to unite the working classes across racial lines in this country is drawing to an inside straight. It’s quite a bit less likely to occur than Trump being forced out either by Mueller or in 2020. No one is interested in your revolution, and your evident belief that you represent a more realistic way forward is mistaken.

    2
  34. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    The future in this case is certain. Trump will become “Chump” – Rs do not have a policy preference for emergent Trumpism; they have a personality affinity to him because Trump is perceived as a winning anti-PC bad-ass who kicks D butt. When that perception becomes unsustainable he will be disavowed. Just like Bush 43. Guaranteed.

    People do not choose a party based on policy. They choose a policy based on who they hate. If x then anti x.

  35. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: 2016 will be remembered as the year when Good Republicans had to choose between Socialist Hillary Clinton, or Life Long Democrat Opportunist Dotard Trump. What was a Good Republican to do?

    And it really is a shame that like all Democrats, Dotard Trump was a racist.

    2
  36. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    Screw this “The future is unwritten” and all that Terminator BS. Trump will obviously fail and will be thus disavowed. It will happen. On August 29, Skynet will not become self-aware and sentient.

    Trump will become just like Bush 43 – actively forgotten. Grudgingly acknowledged.

    And really Trump was our fault anyway – we made them vote for an obviously unfit candidate because we provocatively campaigned for someone they didn’t approve of. Trump and Trumpism will be blamed on Ds.

    Can I get away with saying “Guaranteed!” one more time? Yes, I can.

  37. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    Truly, no foolin’, I did post this:

    we made them vote for an obviously unfit candidate because we provocatively campaigned for someone they didn’t approve of. Trump and Trumpism will be blamed on Ds.

    before I saw your offering:

    2016 will be remembered as the year when Good Republicans had to choose between Socialist Hillary Clinton, or Life Long Democrat Opportunist Dotard Trump. What was a Good Republican to do?

  38. george says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Ben, trying to unite the working classes across racial lines in this country is drawing to an inside straight.

    Though actually the working classes aren’t even remotely united even within racial lines in America. Or pretty much anywhere else.

    1
  39. de stijl says:

    @charon:

    Trump could go from BMOC to loser dude really fast.

    Not only could it happen, but it will happen.

  40. Hal_10000 says:

    A few caveats on these polls:

    1) Evaporative cooling. As Trump’s presidency goes on, the number of people who self-identify as Republicans shrinks, leaving a larger contingent of hard-core Trumpists.

    2) We always have to remember that most people are not news junkies. The majority probably didn’t see the press conference and are only vaguely familiar with Mueller’s investigation. So they answer with reflexive partisanship.

    3) We’re still early on. Time will tell what happens.

    4) The economy is still good, which tends to trump everything for Trump.

    With those out of the way … holy schnikies, what a poll. Insane.

    6
  41. DrDaveT says:

    Quick litmus test: if the “handling of America’s relationship with Russia” had been done by Barack Obama, exactly as Trump did it, what percentage of Republican voters would approve of it?

    5%? Less?

    ‘Nuff said.

    1
  42. DrDaveT says:

    @Kathy:

    [Putin’s] kind of meddling seems to work best when 1) it passes largely unrecognized and 2) the election is close to begin with.

    Well, and when a sufficiently large fraction of the electorate is woefully ignorant of basic facts about the world. Putin didn’t make America stupid; the GOP had to work long and hard to tee that up for him.

    3
  43. de stijl says:

    @DrDaveT:

    There is a difference between inherent stupidity, passive ignorance, and the willfully obtuse.

    All countries have stupid people; that’s just basic distribution, expected, and no bad on anyone really – it just is. And ignorance is a failure of the educational system – and passivity is a social failure. Both are correctable.

    We can cope with stupidity and address ignorance.

    Willful obtuseness is a learned behavior deployed when you do not want to acknowledge or even hear a dissenting view. A nascent form of proto-civility usually used by toddlers. La-la-la I can’t hear you. Degenerate when employed by adults. This is the dangerous behavior we are currently drowning in.

    I understand stupidity. We need to educate the ignorant.

    The last bit, though, is the maddening one. Some of our neighbors are totally cool with putting unaccompanied kids in cages – a shocking amount are gleeful at the thought. They laugh at our qualms and mock our ethics. That gap between us and them is profound and vast.

    The willfully obtuse are both unwinnable and also I don’t really want to win them anyway. They are that American thing that must be worked around.

    2
  44. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @de stijl: Just so. The Democrats have never been as prone to this in my lifetime (although there was a JFK cult-in-the-making for a few years in my teens). There was no cult of FDR (aside from hanging his portrait at Democratic National Conventions), but until very recently there was a Reagan cult that was alive and flourishing. It seems to have gone underground, to be replaced by the Church of the Orange Messiah.

    1
  45. de stijl says:

    @SC_Birdflyte:

    I used capital M Messiah, but I was also talking about lower case messiahs, too. It’s not just the Reagans I was talking about, but also the Kemps and Buchanans and Gingriches and Palins and Cruzes and Ryans and Giulianis and Rubios. All has-beens or never-weres, but at one time viewed as saviors. Called, but not chosen. Kent Hrbek to Kirby Puckett.

    The criteria are clear – you have to be charismatic, mean-spirited (pwn and provoke the libs), and you have to win. Actual policy is irrelevant. Being mean-spirited and provocative is the key required component – Rs love dicks. It’s their brand.

    4
  46. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Lava Land:
    Spoken like a true member of the cult.

  47. DrDaveT says:

    @de stijl:

    I understand stupidity. We need to educate the ignorant.

    Sure. My point was that the GOP have been actively obstructing that last one for decades now. They need an ignorant America to keep winning elections despite policies that actively harm the majority of their electoral base (and the base’s children and grandchildren). This happens to align with their educational policies, most of which are disguised as Freedom!(tm)

  48. An Interested Party says:

    you sound like that Whoopi one who exploded her insane what’s left of her brain on national TV today.

    She was no more insane and explosive than you and your fellow travelers have been around here with some of your ridiculous comments…