Should The GOP Let The Hard Right Pick The Nominee In 2016?

Would conservatives learn a lesson if they got everything they wanted in 2016?

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One common refrain that we’ve been hearing from the conservative wing of the Republican Party for pretty much the entirety of the Obama Presidency is the claim that the main reason that the GOP lost in 2008, and then again in 2012, is because they failed to nominate a “real conservative” as their nominee. This isn’t an new refrain, of course, it’s one that we heard in the wake of the 1992 Presidential campaign, as well as after failed attempts to capture the Senate in recent years. At its core, this argument assumes that the nation is far more conservative than recent election results would indicate, and that candidates like McCain and Romney lost largely because they were too moderate and too unwilling to paint clear differences between themselves and President Obama. While there’s plenty of evidence to indicate that both of these assumptions are wildly incorrect, they are taken as gospel among large segments of the right to the point where it’s now common to hear conservative Republicans say that they won’t accept a “moderate” nominee like Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, or Marco Rubio, who is apparently a moderate now. In that spirit Jazz Shaw proposes that the Republican Party finally put this conservative shibboleth to the test:

[W]hat say we conduct the experiment that could – and I emphasize could here – finally settle the question once and for all. Let’s just nominate somebody who has welded on all three legs of the stool and leaves not a sliver of daylight for the squishiness question. A nominee who will state without ambiguity that we’re going to bomb the crap out of anyone who is actively working against our interests. One who flatly proclaims that there will be no abortions for anyone and new Supreme Court justices will be inclined to overturn Roe v Wade. They will solemnly aver that we will slash both taxes and spending in a serious fashion, consequences be damned, and that any money spent on immigration reform will go toward arresting and deporting illegals while massively strengthening the borders. And if the only path available to deal with argumentative Democrats is to shut the government down, then By God they will personally be the one to turn out the lights as the last one out the door.

(…)

Then, in November of 2016, we should know one of two things. If the uber-conservative candidate racks up a 300ish plus electoral vote victory similar to Obama’s last outing, the critics will be vindicated and can authoritatively tell the RINOs to STFU and STFD. Just be happy with the win, accept the new paradigm and everyone can move on with their lives.

But what if they wind up taking a worse beating than Romney at the hands of Hillary? (Or whoever the Democrats nominate, assuming there is somebody out there besides the Candidate of Destiny Part Two.) Then the opposite would be true, the RINOs can happily keep up their fight to win over the middle and the debate will be settled once and for all.

This isn’t the first time something like this has been suggested. Jazz himself made a similar suggestion during the height of the Republican nomination fight in 2012 when he suggested that the GOP nominate Rick Santorum, ostensibly for the purpose of resolving this argument between the hard-core right and so-called “RINOs” once and for all. As I noted at the time, there is something appealing about the idea, even for someone not really involved in these internecine Republican fights.  Largely, this is because there is really very little objective evidence to support the idea that the GOP’s key to victory lies in tacking further to the right than they are already.

Looking at both opinion polls and election results, for example, there doesn’t seem to be much evidence to support the idea that there is fertile electoral ground in taking a hard-right stance. Whether its immigration reform, same-sex marriage, or even the details of government spending, the American public seems to be largely in disagreement with what would be considered conservative orthodoxy on a wide variety of issues. If the United States were the “conservative nation” that many on the right claim it to be, then it seems clear that this would be reflected somewhere in the opinion polls. Outside of general support for the idea of cutting spending, without getting specific on what should be cut, and an aversion to large budget deficits, though, this just doesn’t seem to be the case. If anything, the 2012 Presidential election arguably shows that the GOP is out of step with the American electorate on a wide variety of issues.

The one flaw I see in the whole strategy of letting the hard-right pick whatever nominee they want in 2016 and seeing the chips fall where they may, is that I think its unlikely that strident conservatives are going to admit defeat even when its presented to them on a silver platter. Much as they blame the GOP’s losses in 2012 and 2008 on the alleged fact that the candidates in question weren’t conservative enough, they’d find a way to blame a 2016 loss on something other than a failure of conservative ideology. The so-called “mainstream media” is always a convenient target, and would likely be one in the wake of a 2016 loss as well. They’ll argue that the so-called Establishment GOP abandoned their candidate and failed to get behind him or her during the campaign. If necessary, they’ll blame the candidate him or herself. At no point will they actually admit that the candidate lost because they dragged the party too far to the right. Until conservatives reach the point where they’re willing to admit that, Republicans are going to find themselves in the same boat they’ve been in the past two election cycles.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Campaign 2016, 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 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Brian says:

    If that did happen, and if/when they do lose, there won’t be any soul-searching. There will be scapegoating (the press! teh Liberalz!), conspiracy theories and the solemn self-serving belief that the NEXT time they get a ‘good’ nominee, it’ll show what the American people really want.

  2. David M says:

    The one flaw I see in the whole strategy of letting the hard-right pick whatever nominee they want in 2016 and seeing the chips fall where they may, is that I think its unlikely that strident conservatives are going to admit defeat even when its presented to them on a silver platter.

    I agree with this, and think the obvious takeaway would be the candidate just didn’t deliver the message properly.

  3. PogueMahone says:

    Much as they blame the GOP’s losses in 2012 and 2008 on the alleged fact that the candidates in question weren’t conservative enough, they’d find a way to blame a 2016 loss on something other than a failure of conservative ideology.

    Nah.
    Oh sure, the usual suspects typical bogeymen would get fingers pointed at them – MSM, non-whites, welfare deadbeats… but even if they got everything they wanted, once the candidate lost, they would still claim that said candidate was not a true conservative.

  4. michael reynolds says:

    Wouldn’t work. The Right doesn’t live in our reality. They aren’t engaged in politics, really, it’s religion. No lack of evidence or conflicting evidence, will move the needle for religious fanatics.

    I remember telling people back when Ronald Reagan first began to cynically unite Church and Party this: When religion and politics go into a room together, neither comes out alive. Politics eats religion and that meal of religion poisons politics.

    The Right has betrayed their religion by melding it with politics, and they’ve doomed their party.

  5. Yeah, as everyone’s noting on this thread, there’s no evidence to support the proposition that GOP voters weigh propositions based on evidence.

  6. Stonetools says:

    I’m just hoping they run the experiment. Time for a true landslide Democratic Presidential victory.

  7. steve s says:

    While there’s plenty of evidence to indicate that both of these assumptions are wildly incorrect, they are taken as gospel among large segments of the right to the point where it’s now common to hear conservative Republicans say that they won’t accept a “moderate” nominee like Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, or Marco Rubio, who is apparently a moderate how.

    Fuckin’ awesome.

  8. al-Ameda says:

    Don’t try to out think these people, you’re not going win. Whomever they nominate, they’re going to label a RINO after the loss. Either that or they blame what’s left of the Washington Post, you know, the purported Main Stream Reality Based Conspiracy.

    That said, why not Palin-Bachmann? That’s almost pay-per-view quality.

  9. Tony W says:

    Agree with the herd. If Republicans run a Santorum-like candidate, you can bank the din of “No True Scotsman” fallacies in December.

  10. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    After the stunning successes of nominating renowned moderates like McCain and Romney, I don’t see why the GOP shouldn’t keep nominating the most liberal-friendly candidates they can find.

  11. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And a rare thumbs up for Jenos, bringing the crazy when it was actually useful and on topic.

  12. Dave Schuler says:

    Essentially, I’m in agreement with Michael Reynolds above although I would phrase it a bit differently. For them to “learn their lesson” would presuppose that the positions being staked out by the Republican Party’s “hard right” are just posturing. I don’t think it’s a pose. I think they’re sincere.

  13. Kylopod says:

    I have two points to make about this suggestion.

    First of all, Jazz Shaw is making the usual right-wing assumption that election results can only be explained by the relative conservatism of the GOP candidate, without having to consider any other factors. It is this assumption that continually leads them to hold up the 1980 election as the ultimate proof of the strength of conservative candidates–as if the only reason Republicans were able to beat Carter was because they nominated a “true conservative” like Reagan rather than a squishy moderate like George H.W. Bush–and not, say, because the country was in recession and the incumbent president they were facing had an approval rating in the low 30s.

    Second, the right’s standards of what constitutes a “true conservative” keep changing. In 2008, Romney was held up by most talk radio hosts as the “true conservative” of the race, in contrast to the RINOs McCain and Huckabee (remember when Limbaugh said that Romney embodied the “three legs of the conservative stool“?). Some conservatives at the time did question Romney’s conservative credentials, but the focus was on his flip on social issues like abortion and gay rights. His health-care bill hardly received any attention from the right, and in fact you even had some future Tea Party leaders calling for the bill to be replicated on a national scale. Four years later, and Romney was regarded as the RINO of the race, not because he’d moved to the left–on the contrary, he’d moved rightward on several issues–but because the conservative movement itself had moved to his right.

    Saint Ronnie himself, the president who signed tax increases and amnesty and nominated two pro-choice justices to the Supreme Court, would hardly qualify as a “true conservative” by the standards of today’s right. Or no, scratch that–Saint Ronnie would qualify. Only Ronald Reagan wouldn’t.

    I find it interesting Jazz Shaw is holding up Santorum as the “true conservative” of the 2012 cycle. He did run to the right of Romney, but he was hardly “pure” by conservative standards. Had he been nominated and went on to lose in the general election, you can be sure the right would be crowing about how he lost only because of his moderation.

    And that’s part of the problem–the right’s definition of a “true conservative” doesn’t just shift over time, it changes retroactively to explain their losses and wins. If a Republican wins, they’ll say it was because of his conservatism, but if he loses, it’s because he was too moderate. They’ve got all their bases covered.

  14. Andre Kenji says:

    The problem is that it´s very difficult to build a political career as a someone that could considered as “hard right”. Tim Pawlenty suffered a lot as governor in Wisconsin because he could not raise taxes if he wanted to be viable in the Primaries. Many governors elected in 2010 had to backtrack on their hard right policies to be politically viable.

    That´s why there is always a bunch of people with no experience as elected official, like Pat Buchanan, Stephen Forbes and Herman Cain, on the Republican Primaries. Herman Cain would not be attractive to conservatives if he had to govern, and do things like raise taxes. Santorum himself had several votes that would alienate conservatives(No Child Left Behind, for instance).

  15. legion says:

    Doug, your question implies that the GOPparty leadership has f*ck-all to say about it. The red-meat-eating, birth-certificate-seeking, Palin-competence-believeing rank and file of the GOP has already made that decision for them.

  16. Gustopher says:

    How about an actual RINO — Hillary Clinton, with a convenient change in voter registration?

    Or, an actual rhino? A Kenyan born usurper! Perhaps a black rhino, if they aren’t extinct, just to show they aren’t racists.

  17. The problem is that the “a real conservative would have won” thing can’t be put to rest because it is non-falsifiable. Since a real conservative would have won, anyone who did not win is by definition not a real conservative. When Santorum lost, the people who minutes before were backing him as a real conservative would suddenly have all these reasons why he was really a RINO and if we had just run a real conservative instead.

  18. Scott O says:

    Silly Jazz. Doesn’t he know that Romney won? It was only massive voter fraud that gave the win to Obama.

  19. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Gustopher: If we’re talking animal symbolism, I’m trying to think of the last time the Democrats didn’t nominate a complete jackass… and I’m drawing a blank.

  20. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Kylopod: Saint Ronnie himself, the president who signed tax increases and amnesty and nominated two pro-choice justices to the Supreme Court, would hardly qualify as a “true conservative” by the standards of today’s right. Or no, scratch that–Saint Ronnie would qualify. Only Ronald Reagan wouldn’t.

    Reagan went along with the tax hikes and the amnesty as part of a deal with Tip O’Neill and the other Democratic leaders… who promptly welched on their ends of those deals. Reagan’s Supreme Court nominees

    As far as the Supreme Court… Reagan appointed O’Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia, and Kennedy. Two were/are very conservative, and the other two… well, all four proved the adage that unless a Justice has very solid conservative credentials, they will eventually drift left.

  21. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Here’s a truly radical thought: let the GOP run their own primaries. The last two times out, non-members of the GOP weighed in heavily, positioning the most moderate and liberal-tolerant candidate as the “inevitable” winner. And then, once McCain and Romney got the nominations, they suddenly became radical far-right crazies who could never be trusted with the reins of power.

    My favorite example was how the New York Times endorsed McCain, and then fabricated a story about him having an affair with a lobbyist.

    This was especially galling in the case of Romney, who was one of the most decent and talented men to run for president in a very long time.

  22. Davebo says:

    Reagan went along with the tax hikes and the amnesty as part of a deal with Tip O’Neill and the other Democratic leaders… who promptly welched on their ends of those deals. Reagan’s Supreme Court nominees

    Wait? Tip O’Neill promised Ronnie that if he’d just raise taxes and grant amnesty to all illegals that good ole Tip would ensure Reagan would get any supreme he wanted confirmed in the senate? And Reagan fell for it?? Even though Tip couldn’t even vote on confirmation being a Representative?

    Man, that Ronnie Reagan was not only senile but also ignorant of basic civics! No wonder you worship and model yourself after him!!!

  23. dennis says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    Andre, I’m pretty sure Tim Pawlenty was governor of Minnesota. (I should look this up before going out on a limb. Ok. Yep, Minnesota.) Yes, it would be difficult to build that hard-right resume if your trying to reach a broader audience; but, if all you’re doing is trying to gather up more and more base votes, that’s the ticket.

    Honestly, I was rooting for Rick Santorum in 2012 GOP primary. I knew, of course, he’d lose the general, but his honesty in the face of Romney’s all-too-obvious dishonest pandering was better. As I always say, own your s***! And Santorum owned his un-shamefacedly, while Romney turned my intestines with each twist of the truth.

    And I kinda like Pat Buchanan, crazy-azzed racist comments be damned . . .

  24. gVOR08 says:

    What @Stormy Dragon: and several others said. Within their bubble conservatism can’t fail, it can only be failed. It would be a “no true Scotsman” deal. Cruz or Rand or whoever lost, so he wasn’t a true conservative. Like Doug said, the polling and voting data is already there, but they can’t see it.

    In any case, they would rather be pure and fail than compromise. They would learn nothing from a failed experiment, and it’s dangerous. As someone said, the opposition is never more than one crisis or scandal away from power. It’s not worth taking the risk of a Cruz presidency.

  25. Latino_in_Boston says:

    Is there anyone who is so crazy insane that could not possibly be considered a RINO that could get nominated? Palin? Cruz? who would then proceed to get clobbered with a 400+ EV victory?

    I don’t know, but it sure would be great to see.

  26. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Davebo: Wait? Tip O’Neill promised Ronnie that if he’d just raise taxes and grant amnesty to all illegals that good ole Tip would ensure Reagan would get any supreme he wanted confirmed in the senate? And Reagan fell for it?? Even though Tip couldn’t even vote on confirmation being a Representative?

    I really hope you’re young enough to claim ignorance, and not as stupid as you sound.

    The tax hikes were coupled with promises of future spending cuts, which never happened. The amnesty was coupled with promises of stronger enforcement and reduced illegal immigration and a pledge to never ask for amnesty again, and we see how well that worked out.

  27. An Interested Party says:

    The tax hikes were coupled with promises of future spending cuts, which never happened. The amnesty was coupled with promises of stronger enforcement and reduced illegal immigration and a pledge to never ask for amnesty again, and we see how well that worked out.

    Ahh, so Reagan was easily duped by those nefarious Democrats…I guess the Alzheimer’s set in earlier than reported…

  28. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: Yeah, Reagan learned the value of Democratic promises — a policy continued to this day, when all of Obama’s promises come with expiration dates. When he makes a promise, the question is never “will he keep it,” but “when will he break it.”

    I tend to see the GOP like Israel, and the Democrats like the Palestinians. It’s always the GOP/Israel that’s called upon to make concessions as “good will gestures,” and it’s the Democrats/Palestinians who never seem to keep the pledges they make…

  29. Francis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: On the microscopically small chance you’re not trolling, there’s no such thing as promises in politics.

    Ever.

    If it’s not in the bill, then it’s not in the deal. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.

    Seriously, are you some kind of 13 year old girl? “But she promised!” is an unpleasant whine from a pre-adolescent. From someone who pretends to be an adult it’s just ridiculous. And it carries more than a whiff of the dolchstosslegende myth.

  30. Davebo says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I’m old enough to have voted for Reagan in his first presidential run. (And smart enough to have corrected that mistake for his next).

    Let’s try to correct the fantasy you and so many others (including many democrats) have created to help heal the hurt Reagan and other Republicans put on your poor little fee fee ok? Consider this my contribution to our new national mental healthcare initiative.

    The tax hikes were coupled with promises of future spending cuts, which never happened.

    Now you may not be old enough to remember it, or too old to remember what you had for breakfast but these facts can not be refuted.

    In 1981 the Republicans controlled the Senate and had enough power in the nominally Democratic House to pass Reagan’s enormous tax cuts. After all it was Democratic Representative Phil Graham who sponsored the tax cut bill in the House. (what? Didn’t know Graham was a democrat then???)

    A recession started in July 1981.

    In early 1982, concerned by this exploding deficit and convinced that the tax cuts had gone too far, Congress on a bipartisan basis moved to limit the damage. Despite outcries on the right that one could not raise taxes in a recession, advocates said that bringing down the deficit was more important.

    In August 1982, the unemployment rate hit 10.1 percent, while mortgage rates hovered near their all-time high at 15 percent. Reagan’s tax cuts had had a year to stimulate the economy, but they had not done so.

    So Republicans in Congress and some members of his own administration convinced Reagan to agree to a $98.3 billion tax increase, the largest peacetime increase in history. Despite current Republican claims, however, Congress did not make a “deal” to cut $3 in spending for every $1 in tax increases, although—to quiet criticism from the right—the White House began saying that there was. As Bob Dole told then–house budget chair Bill Gray, there was a deal but it was between Reagan and his speechwriters.

    It turns out that cutting 287 billion dollars in spending through the magical cutting of “waste fraud and abuse” was an even bigger pipe dream than Star Wars missile defense. We could see savings in interest payments through lower interest rates estimated by the administration to add up to 180 billion.

    Since those waste/fraud/abuse savings never materialized we had 130 billion dollars in appropriation cuts for congress to make. Of that half was to come from defense spending cuts. But Caspar Weinberger (you remember him right? The guy the first Bush pardoned for all the things he didn’t do that Bush didn’t know about?) talked Reagan out of those cuts. Of the non defense appropriations congress did come up with 30 billion in cuts to Medicaid.

    So the Reagan administration failed to deliver on more than $110 billion of cuts it had promised. On nondefense spending, Congress delivered most of what it had committed to, including in Medicare. The actual ratio between tax increases and spending cuts, which Reagan accepted, came out closer to 1-to-1. Failure to do more was entirely the responsibility of the Reagan administration.

    Grover Norquist knew all this. But then he, like those you seem to absorb from, was and is a propagandist and isn’t one to let the accurate historical record get in the way of a good talking point.

    I’d go over your misconceptions about Reagan’s amnesty deal but it’s late and I don’t wan’t to crush two paranoid fantasies of yours in one night. I’m not sure you could take it.

  31. george says:

    I am among those who think it’d be a great test for the GOP to run.

    Though I agree after they inevitably lose badly, they’ll blame the media (which is a monolithic entity for them), stupid voters, election fraud, and invoke the no-true Scotsman caveate. But at least it might give fiscal conservatives in the GOP a chance to make it a reasonable party again. Having one of two parties being bat sh*t crazy is not good for a country.

    I mean, I don’t like the Democratic Party much either, but at least they’re not completely nuts.

  32. steve says:

    ” who promptly welched on their ends of those deals.”

    This is part of the problem. The welching did not happen. Conservatives have made this up. Read Stockman, Bartlett, Bob Dole or most anyone from back then. They got most of what they wanted, but could not deliver what they said they would. Also, google magic asterisk.

    Steve

  33. I’m curious if the GOP is going to claim that Cuccinelli, E.W. Jackson, and (more than likely) Mark Obenshain weren’t conservative enough to win in Virginia when they all lose.

  34. JustAnotherPoster says:

    It’s too bad the Republican party hasn’t run a moderate in the last couple of elections so we could see how that would turn out.

  35. Hal 10000 says:

    I think the problem is not so much the candidate as the attitude the GOP base has required lately which is that you never compromised with the liberals ever ever ever. Right now, they’re saying Christie is a sell-out RINO despite a very conservative record because he dares to work Democrats. Bush has a record of working with Democrats before he went to Washington where Hastert and others pushed him into a hard-right no-compromise strategy that is inimical to effective governance. Reagan compromised all the time as did Bush 41. You can advance a conservative agenda through compromise, negotiation and give-and-take. But the GOP doesn’t want that right now.

    No, I don’t think the problem is that the candidate isn’t conservative enough or is too conservative. The problem is that the GOP is pushing politicking ahead of governing. They want someone who blows all the proper dog whistles but not someone who is actually interested in crafting a workable executable agenda, conservative or otherwise. It’s governance by talk radio and it’s killing them (and us). And the voters are responding accordingly.

  36. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Reagan went along with the tax hikes and the amnesty as part of a deal with Tip O’Neill and the other Democratic leaders… who promptly welched on their ends of those deals. Reagan’s Supreme Court nominees

    More confirmation that Reagan was, as we suspected all along, a RINO.

  37. An Interested Party says:

    I tend to see the GOP like Israel, and the Democrats like the Palestinians.

    Indeed…just like Israel, the GOP wants to make deals while practicing bad faith…

  38. Andre Kenji says:

    @dennis:

    Andre, I’m pretty sure Tim Pawlenty was governor of Minnesota. (I should look this up before going out on a limb. Ok. Yep, Minnesota.) Yes, it would be difficult to build that hard-right resume if your trying to reach a broader audience; but, if all you’re doing is trying to gather up more and more base votes, that’s the ticket.

    Dennis, he was:

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/06/tim-pawlenty-minnesota-budget-shutdown

    “Pawlenty turned in balanced budgets, Carlson explains, but only superficially. When he wasn’t skirting his pledge not to raise taxes by using linguistic jujitsu—turning a sales tax increase on cigarettes into a “health impact fee,” for instance—Pawlenty was simply redistributing the burden, from St. Paul to local authorities, or to the taxpayers themselves. According to Carlson, property taxes increased by $716 million in the eight years before Pawlenty took office; over his eight years as governor, they jumped by $2.5 billion. As Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, a Democrat, noted in April: “If the tea party really knew how much Tim Pawlenty raised taxes in Minnesota, they would throw him in Boston Harbor.””

    http://www.minnpost.com/minnpotus/2011/05/arne-carlson-gives-another-thumbs-down-day-tpaw-declares-prez

    But refusing to increase taxes in any circumstance is not a possible or good politics for any state that´s not sparsely populated and that is not reliant on oil. In Pawlenty´s case, his refusal to raise taxes at state level meant that counties had to raise taxes on local level. ]

    On the other hand, had he raised taxes on the state level his hopes in the Republican Primary would be over.

  39. Franklin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    … all four proved the adage that unless a Justice has very solid conservative credentials, they will eventually drift left.

    In other words, if you let actual thinking interfere with your far right dogma, you will realize that it is nothing but far right dogma.

  40. Andre Kenji says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I tend to see the GOP like Israel,

    Both are controlled by religious fanatics with beards.

  41. michael reynolds says:

    @Davebo: @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Ooooooh, and Davebo bitch slaps Jenos all around the room, up the stairs, through the master bedroom, back down the stairs (still slappin’!) through the kitchen and right out into the back yard. Where Jenos is basted and cooked to a juicy medium rare.

    Did you enjoy that, Jenos? I did.

  42. Kylopod says:

    @Timothy Watson:

    I’m curious if the GOP is going to claim that Cuccinelli, E.W. Jackson, and (more than likely) Mark Obenshain weren’t conservative enough to win in Virginia when they all lose.

    There actually is a point when a candidate is so cuckoo right-wing that they won’t be accused of RINOism when they lose. Instead, the charge will be that the poor, poor candidate was demonized by the evil librul media. Like I said, all bases covered.

  43. Tina Rocha says:

    Define far right? If you define John McCain or Mitt Romney right of center then our gimbel alignment and that of the majority is seriously off and I’ve never considered myself far right.

  44. Steve V says:

    To run as a true conservative a GOP candidate would have to run on a platform of repealing the New Deal. No one in the GOP is willing to do that though; they instead say they want to “reform” or “strengthen” entitlements (somewhat Orwellian). I’d love to see someone run on a platform of repealing the New Deal programs, but no one will ever do it. This, the GOp will always have their “no true Scotsman” argument. It will never be resolved. “True conservatism” is a pipe dream.

  45. michael reynolds says:

    @Steve V:

    As a Democrat I would love to see Republicans run on a platform of repealing Social Security. I’d write them a check.

  46. Steve V says:

    @michael reynolds: I listen to right wing talk radio a lot. That’s the position they’ve staked out. If they can’t say it in public then they’ve got a built in excuse for every loss they ever suffer.

  47. Andre Kenji says:

    @Steve V:

    1-) The problem of the GOP is that their base is comprised basically by people over the age of 55. They are people that benefits from the two largest government programs(Medicare and Social Security). Food stamps are basically spare change when compared to these two programs.

    So, they talk about cutting government, but on the other hand they can´t even talk about the slightest cost control on Medicare.

    2-) The GOP is similar to the far left. The far left generally votes on people that never held public office(Specially in the Executive) because no one can be governor or even an active Senator and keeps a record that satisfies these people.

    That´s why there are so many candidates in the GOP Primaries that never held any kind of Elected Public Office(Kinda, people like Alan Keyes, Pat Buchanan, Stephen Forbes, Pat Robertson, Herman Cain: most of them won state primaries, some of them were the frontrunner on the polls or and all of them got a significant percentage of the votes);

    That´s why no “hard right” candidate gets the nomination: no one can be a functional Senator or a Governor and be considered as hard right by these people. Only people that never governed can.

  48. @Timothy Watson:

    I’m curious if the GOP is going to claim that Cuccinelli, E.W. Jackson, and (more than likely) Mark Obenshain weren’t conservative enough to win in Virginia when they all lose.

    They’ll probably be described as corrupt party insiders who only one because they were McDonnell which made “the establishment” back them over “real conservative” tea party candidates.

  49. michael reynolds says:

    I’m going to reveal a little secret here: when right-wingers talk about cutting government programs, they don’t mean programs for the elderly like SS or Medicare. They don’t mean programs for veterans. They don’t mean programs for farmers. They don’t mean student loans for their kids. They don’t mean tax breaks for churches or tax breaks for rich people or tax breaks for home owners. They certainly don’t mean defense.

    Here’s what they mean: programs for black people. Shhh, don’t tell anyone. They won’t.

    See, in the mind of the right-winger he’s the victim. He’s being victimized by all sorts of people – liberals, the cool kids, smart people, gay people, but above all: black people. Black people are forever imposing on him, taking from him, making him feel bad.

    In the mind of the right-winger no one in history has suffered as much as he has. The right-winger deserves his programs. You know who doesn’t deserve a program? Black people.

    It’s about race, it’s always been about race, it will go on being about race until these creepy old people just finally die off.

  50. anjin-san says:

    @ Francis

    Seriously, are you some kind of 13 year old girl?

    The average 13 year old girl comports herself with more dignity that Jenos typically does.

    @ Jenos

    Yeah, Reagan learned the value of Democratic promises

    So Ronald Reagan, the GOP paragon, got played by Tip O’Neil? President Reagan, who conservatives hold as the greatest president/politician of the 20th Century… Even with Howard Baker, a very talented fellow himself, as his wingman? That is what you are going with? Well, we have to consider the source.

  51. @Stormy Dragon: That’s going to be a hard trick to pull since Cuccinelli was the default nominee because the more establishment Bill Bolling didn’t run because he knew he would lose in a convention. And the convention setup was chosen because the RWNJs managed to get a bunch of their friends on the party’s State Central Committee, which chose to do a convention instead of a primary.

  52. Barry says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “I’m trying to think of the last time the Democrats didn’t nominate a complete jackass… and I’m drawing a blank. ”

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww……………………..

  53. Barry says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “The tax hikes were coupled with promises of future spending cuts, which never happened.”

    I saw the figures once, and ~90% of the deficits were baked into the administration’s proposals. The GOP never wanted to cut spending to the degree required, since that’d mean that they’d have to take hits.

    And we’ve seen this confirmed by Dubya, who promptly came in and did a Reagan II.

  54. @Timothy Watson:

    From having spoken with too many Tea Partiers over the years, they’ll do what they always do when one of their candidates become an embarrassment: start playing what I like to call the “No body is in the Tea Party” game. They will deny that the candidate ever had any tea party support to begin with, and if you point out specific tea party supporters that did support the candidate, they’ll thoughtfully scratch their chin and tell you, “well, the true power of the Tea Party is that it’s a grass roots movements with no real leadership, but unfortunately that makes it easy for people to pretend they represent the tea party.”

    In the Virginia case, they’ll point out how many of the GOP state committee chairs endorsed the candidates, which proves they’re really part of “the establishment” (never mind that those state committee chairs are state committee chairs because they’re the leader of one of the local tea party groups). I know that because some of the tea partiers I know are already saying it to refute accusations that the continued tea party support for hard core soc-cons shows how insincere their limited government rhetoric is.

  55. Pinky says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    The problem is that the “a real conservative would have won” thing can’t be put to rest because it is non-falsifiable.

    This whole article is non-falsifiable. It’s about how stupid the conservatives would react if their candidate gets the ok in 2016 and loses in the general election. That’s three non-falsifiables.

  56. Pinky says:

    You know what else ticks me off about the far right? You just know if they left a sandwich out in the heat, and the mayonnaise spoiled, and they ate it, they’d blame you for it.

  57. Pinky says:

    Oh, also, remember the time that everything happened like they said it would? But if it hadn’t, you know they’d be wrong. Because they’re wrong jerks.

  58. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Here’s what they mean: programs for black people. Shhh, don’t tell anyone. They won’t.

    What they really mean is they hate programs for the left-handed. You can tell because they never talk about it.

  59. anjin-san says:
  60. Andre Kenji says:

    @Pinky:

    What they really mean is they hate programs for the left-handed. You can tell because they never talk about it.

    Michael is in one sense right, because this phenomenon happens everywhere. I see this happening in Brazil: I see lots of Middle Class people complaining about the costs of social programs that provides supplemental income to the poor(The largest of them costs something like 10 billion dollars per year), but I don´t see Middle Class people complaining about the costs of retirement(11% of the GDP, and that´s in a country that´s mostly young).

    And I don´t see Middle Class people complaining about the full pensions that highly paid public employees receive – even if you consider that Social Security is paid mostly with business taxes, so, one could argue that´s a transfer from the Private Sector employees to the highly paid Public employees.

    And one could also argue that many Europeans complains about the “cost” of keeping immigrants, as if the Natives did not use the same(Or probably more) social services.

  61. wr says:

    @Andre Kenji: “And I don´t see Middle Class people complaining about the full pensions that highly paid public employees receive ”

    Why should they complain about that? Maybe they believe that these pensions are part of their employement compensation, and that they should be paid.

    I’m sure the Brazilians I talked to in Sao Paulo were not a representative sample — they were all educated, upper middle-class people working in creative fields — but none of them had any problem with government programs intended to help people. They were angry about the way the various corrupt Brazillian governments took huge amounts in taxes claiming it was to fund these programs, but then ended up transferring most of it to the very rich… and to themselves.

  62. Pinky says:

    @Andre Kenji: Well, then, Michael’s wrong if it’s between classes rather than races.

  63. anjin-san says:

    @ michael reynolds

    It’s true. Dem negros be wantin’ free stuff…

  64. Andre Kenji says:

    @wr:

    Why should they complain about that? Maybe they believe that these pensions are part of their employement compensation, and that they should be paid.

    1-) Because in Brazil public employees that works directly with public services are underpaid. Teachers and cops are classically underpaid. The people that performs administrative tasks are well overpaid, this part of the public service is bloated.

    No one complains about that because these bureaucrats are middle class whites and because EVERYONE wants to enter the public service. The so called “concursos”, the examinations that chooses people to these jobs are a national obsession.

    2-) I speak Portuguese, and I´m tired of seeing Middle Class people complaining about Social Programs for the Poor. People says that Lula bought the poor(Specially the poor in the Northeast, where he is extremely popular) with these programs, that are relatively cheap.

    3-) People all over the world have little clues about national policy. Most polls shows that people have no clue about the largest expenses on the budget or even about how much taxes they pay.

    That´s why the idea that Obama should not enact ACA because the polls shows that people are against it are asinine.

    3-) People only complains about needless public spending only when it´s not targeted on them. That´s why the Tea Partiers are so ridiculous when they talk about Medicare. That´s why social programs for the poor, that are relatively a small expense, are so unpopular in ANY country(Take a look at Europe) and that´s why “welfare” is such a heavy word in the English language.

    4-) That´s one of the reasons that I did not support the June Demonstrations. I think that many Brazilians, specially Middle Class Brazilians(The ones that have access to employment in the Public Service and that study for free in the Public Universities) should have some love and respect for their country, not keep asking endlessly for more things from their government.

    Brazil has a very good Public Health care system when compared to other Emerging economies(Not only that, I´m far from being the only one that says that *many Americans* would give up a finger to have access to the Brazilian Public Healthcare system), and I´m tired of people talking about hospitals as if they were sh*.

    Brazil has a Universal Healthcare system, with good programs for people that have AIDS and diabetes. We should be proud of it.

  65. michael reynolds says:

    @Pinky:

    In the US class and race are inextricably intertwined.

    If you want to trace back the pathology, it grows out of the effects of slavery on white people. Slavery was awful to blacks, obviously, but also harmful to lower class whites. After all, if you’re a rich plantation owner, why would you pay a white person to work when you could own a slave?

    So the jobs that lower class whites got had a tendency to involve working as agents of the rich to oppress the black slaves – overseer, slave-catcher. But to a large degree poor whites just scraped by in squalor. Now, if you are a rich plantation owner, how do you keep the poor whites from resenting the fact that you’re feeding a black slave while the white man goes hungry and then turning their ire on rich whites?

    Easy: you make it about race alone, not class. You go to church with the white, but not the black. You “howdy” the white man, not the black. You invite the white man to come on up to the big house for a Christmas goose. You flatter him. The take-away for the poor white is, “Well, I may be poor, but at least I’m not a ni**er.”

    To this day poor whites, especially those in the south, cling to this. Rather than making common cause with poor blacks, they make common cause with rich whites. Because “At least I’m not a ni**er.”

    Today we have an entire political party devoted to ensuring that poor white people do not get medical care. How do they enlist poor whites in that cause? By plucking those same strings. Us against them. Whites sticking together. It’s the substitution of race for class, and it’s one of the reasons why there really isn’t a “Left” in this country.

  66. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds: I’ve never met this mythological Southerner you’re describing. I’ve seen him analyzed online, though. In fact, there are some people online who do little but analyze him. Whatever happens in politics or policy, they point to him as their justification. Did he exist? Probably something like him did, decades ago, although I think he was smarter and more principled than you’re depicting him.

  67. michael reynolds says:

    @Pinky:

    I’ve met his southerner many, many times. Often right here on this blog. He’s quite real. And no, it did not all end a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. There was no day on which belief systems laid in over the course of generations simply. . . stopped.

  68. Andre Kenji says:

    @michael reynolds:

    In the US class and race are inextricably intertwined.

    Race is inextricably intertwined with class anywhere in the world. The main difference is that in most English colonies the elites were uncomfortable with presence of natives and Blacks. In Latin America the elites never cared about the presence of colored people, they only wanted them to be submissive.. It´s very different from the system used in the English colonies, where there was many times State enforced segregation or forced dislocation.

    (Note that´s is pretty common for ethnic groups, regardless of political power, to be wealthier than the general population. See South-Asians in Uganda, the Chinese of Indonesia, Jews anywhere, Arabs and the Japanese in Latin America).

    That´s why we talk about Trayvon Martin´s hoodie and why so many Black Women faces the exactly same treatment that Oprah faced in Switzerland.

  69. EddieinCA says:

    @Pinky:

    I’ve never met this mythological Southerner you’re describing. I’ve seen him analyzed online, though. In fact, there are some people online who do little but analyze him.

    I’ve met him many times in….

    Covington, GA
    Minden, LA
    Mobile, AL
    Hot Springs, AR
    Biloxi, MS
    Sikeston, MO
    Ocala, FL
    Columbia, SC
    Asheville, NC

    And too many other places to list. Of course, I’m one of those “brown” people, so I tend to notice it a bit more.

  70. wr says:

    @Andre Kenji: “I speak Portuguese, and I´m tired of seeing Middle Class people complaining about Social Programs for the Poor”

    I’m with you on that. What I’m saying is that the middle class (and above) people I was with have absolutely no problem with social programs for the poor, and in fact support them. They are quite angry with a government that takes money in the name of social programs for the poor and hands it out to their friends, the rich, and the big corporations. I didn’t meet a single person who did not claim to be in sympathy with the protestors.

    But again, I was with writers, directors and producers. Artists are different…

  71. wr says:

    @Pinky: “I’ve never met this mythological Southerner you’re describing. I’ve seen him analyzed online, though. ”

    There’s an old adage in poker: If you look around the table and you can’t figure out who the sucker is, it’s you.

  72. Pinky says:

    I still don’t believe it’s anything more than selection bias. The idea that half the country is motivated by secret racism is nonsense. It’s also the cornerstone of way too many people’s paradigm for understanding politics.

  73. anjin-san says:

    @ Pinky

    It’s not half the country, it’s probably more like 20%. And it is hardly a secret. There are certainly principled people who disagree with Obama on policy & the direction for the country, but to dismiss racism as a significant element at the frothing at the mouth hatred directed at Obama is laughable.

  74. anjin-san says:

    I’ve never met this mythological Southerner you’re describing

    I was talking to one of my Texas in-laws recently. We had a nice conversation till she got started on politics. “That Obama. He don’t give a hoot in hell about real Americans. All he wants to do is take our money and give it to the foreign people – his people.”

    I have head variations on this theme from pretty much the entire Texas branch of the family.

  75. michael reynolds says:

    @Pinky:

    You’ve seen these people, you’ve talked to these people, and you probably are these people.

    Racism denial is the moral and intellectual equivalent of Holocaust denial. You know it’s there, I know it’s there, we all know it’s there. Some of us are honest about it, and others just lie in a rather pathetic attempt to conceal it. If you tell me you’ve never heard the word ni**er used in such a way that its meaning was unambiguously racist, I’ll call you a liar.

  76. Andre Kenji says:

    @wr:

    I’m with you on that. What I’m saying is that the middle class (and above) people I was with have absolutely no problem with social programs for the poor,

    The people that we are talking are very similar to their American Counterparts: they don´t speak a second language, and they don´t have foreign friends. You did not have contact with them, and if you don´t speak the language that the locals speak it´s hard to really understand the country. You don´t receive their emails chains with stupidities.

    By the way, sore losers writing stupid things on Twitter after an election loss is a not an American idea:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/brazil/8111046/Brazilian-law-student-faces-jail-for-racist-Twitter-election-outburst.html

    In Brazil, the average age of retirement for women is 52 years(And public employees gets their full salary when they retire). Everyone that studied the subject knows that´s unsustainable – no one wants to face the reality, and it´s much easier to complain about the government and to attack a relatively small program for the poor. Even people that supports programs for the poor are in denial.

  77. Pinky says:

    And how am I supposed to take any of that seriously when I’ve seen how casually people on this board toss around charges of racism? Mention the Ryan Plan for entitlement reform – you’re a racist. Criticize President Obama for something you criticized Presidents Clinton or Bush for – you’re a racist. Talk about American history non-insultingly – you’re a wannabe slave-owner. Talk to someone you don’t know but who other people have labelled “racist” – oh! Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live! It’s tiresome. For each witch you justly burned, how many innocents were set to flame?

  78. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds: Right is wrong, down is up, and the high ground results in you covered with mud. Not a strong testimonial to your sense of direction. But if you want to call me a liar, go ahead. You seem like you want to call me a liar, for saying something that “we all know” is false. Just remember, if you keep thowing balls and calling them strikes, you’re not fooling your opponent, just making him give up hope for your sportsmanship.

  79. al-Ameda says:

    @Pinky:

    Mention the Ryan Plan for entitlement reform – you’re a racist.

    Wow, I’ve never heard that one!

    Ryan’s “Plan” isn’t racist, it’s a privatization plan that represents an annual gift of billions of public tax dollars to insurance companies.

  80. David M says:

    @Pinky:

    Pretty sure the only recent issues where race has been part of the discussion were about the George Zimmerman trial, Republican voter suppression efforts and any Birther nonsense. It’s fairly easy to criticize Obama without getting called a racist. Here, I’ll demonstrate…

    Obama really should have done more to bail out homeowners who were under water. He also should have pushed harder to keep the employee payroll tax cut around, especially if he was able to then get the cap raised to make up the difference.

  81. Tillman says:

    @Pinky:

    And how am I supposed to take any of that seriously when I’ve seen how casually people on this board toss around charges of racism?

    I read a fair amount of the comment threads on OTB, and I don’t see “casual” tossing of charges of ra
    cism that often.

    Mention the Ryan Plan for entitlement reform – you’re a racist.

    Depends on the context there. If you’re deriding it, you’re not called a racist. If you’re touting its virtues, you’re called “deluded.” Actually, I’ve never seen anyone who mentioned the Ryan plan in a positive light (except possibly Florack) called a racist.

    Criticize President Obama for something you criticized Presidents Clinton or Bush for – you’re a racist.

    Usually that’s more an accident of timing than anything else. In this case, “you” didn’t criticize Clinton or Bush all that fervently about it, but Obama comes along and does it and suddenly it’s a firebrand’s issue.

    I’ll admit, a few non-racists get caught in that one just because some people let issues boil in their head until letting them out. They are, however, the minority.

    Talk about American history non-insultingly – you’re a wannabe slave-owner.

    History is, idealistically, a dispassionate reckoning of the past. You can’t insult people (or groups, or countries) who are dead. How, exactly, do you insult American history?

    Talk to someone you don’t know but who other people have labelled “racist” – oh! Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live! It’s tiresome. For each witch you justly burned, how many innocents were set to flame?

    Sometimes you’re just feeding a troll. The rest of the time, you are judged by the company you keep. That’s just human social interaction, not some special injustice heaped upon people of a certain worldview.

  82. Tillman says:

    Casual tossing around of racism charges would be if people called Ben Carson’s endorsement of a flat tax* racially motivated, or if they said Erick Erickson’s entire oeuvre at RedState, having come about since ’09, was one long racist rant against the black man in power. Some people might believe these things, but most don’t.

    * I don’t know if Dr. Ben Carson has actually endorsed a flat tax.

  83. anjin-san says:

    @ Pinky

    Mention the Ryan Plan for entitlement reform – you’re a racist

    Maybe you can show us where this has happened. I think we all know that the Ryan Plan is about f**king the 99% so the 1% can have tax cuts – I don’t see where racism enters into it.

  84. Tillman says:

    @Tillman:

    History is, idealistically, a dispassionate reckoning of the past. You can’t insult people (or groups, or countries) who are dead. How, exactly, do you insult American history?

    Let me clarify this: you can’t insult someone who is dead. You can insult someone’s memory of that dead person.

    Abstract that to particular histories of countries and so on. Describing a “non-insulting” history of America means somehow respecting every American citizen’s view or memory of said history, and given slavery and the Amerindian wars (I have an irrational hatred of the term “Native American”), that’d be pretty hard. Too many factions struggling for power.

  85. wr says:

    @Pinky: Wow, your life is really hard. And for a self-styled conservative to whine about how oppressed he is like a four year-old demanding a cookie, no one has ever seen that before.

    Oh, wait. That’s how every “conservative” talks these days.

    Never mind.

  86. anjin-san says:

    Talk about American history non-insultingly

    I’ve been a reading history more or less compulsively for almost half a century – never even heard of this concept. Is this when you only talk about the positive aspects of our history while pretending the negative ones did not happen, or that they were not nearly as bad as they actually were?

  87. Pinky says:

    @Tillman: Don’t you thinnk that Michael’s earlier statement was a charge of racism casually tossed out? We were talking about the politics within the GOP and Michael said, among other things,

    It’s about race, it’s always been about race, it will go on being about race until these creepy old people just finally die off.

    He got 32 “likes” for it, too. Where was the racism upthread? Or is the assumption that, since the conversation is about the GOP, any declaration that their entire motivation is racism is fair game? Could he even consider the counter-arguments? It’s all like some misapplication of Ockham’s Razor. He thinks that the entirety of the GOP’s thinking can be explained by race, and ignores the actual words and positions that explain it infinitely better.

  88. Kylopod says:

    He thinks that the entirety of the GOP’s thinking can be explained by race, and ignores the actual words and positions that explain it infinitely better.

    First, while I’ll let Michael speak for himself, I didn’t think his post indicted the entirety of the GOP, just a large chunk of the people who vote for this party.

    Second, there’s a very good reason to discount (though not ignore) their actual words and positions: they don’t square with their behavior. When you have an overwhelming majority of Tea Partiers opposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare, taking their words about government spending and the deficit at face value becomes all the more difficult. In itself, this doesn’t prove a racial motivation. But it does strongly suggest that a significant portion of the GOP electorate is wildly delusional about the policy goals of those they’re voting for, and that their anti-government and anti-welfare rhetoric is wildly inconsistent with their own beliefs. It cries out for an explanation. Michael gave one. What is yours?

  89. fred says:

    Who cares. Nominee will never win the presidency. GOP is totally out of touch with most Americ ans and they and TP are only relevant to ignorant and most uneducated folks, mostly rural, in the southern states.

  90. mattbernius says:

    @Pinky:

    And how am I supposed to take any of that seriously when I’ve seen how casually people on this board toss around charges of racism?

    Given how much you’ve gone out of your way to defend Eric F against the “racism” charge, even in light of his well established history of writing racist stuff, I tend to think your racism-detector needs a serious upgrade.

    Criticize President Obama for something you criticized Presidents Clinton or Bush for – you’re a racist.

    As we keep repeating, the issue isn’t criticizing President Obama. It’s critizing him by calling him a “thug” or “gansta” (note the “a” versus the “er”, talking about “hip hop bbq’s” at the White House, talking about “Obama’s America as a place where Blacks are allowed the beat up Whites”, saying that he’s “un-American” and justifying it by pointing our how “other” he is or that he’s got an “anti-colonial” perspective. All that is clearly racist.

    The problem is that folks like you bought into the rightwing meme that has attempted to say that there’s no difference between that sort of criticism and substantial criticism of the President’s policy.

    This is of course, the section of the rightwing media (in particular) that proudly tries to “tell the truth about race” in order to prove how *not* racist they are. Example, Limbaugh’s recent statements that the ONLY reason Obama hasn’t been impeached is because he’s black.

    Talk about American history non-insultingly – you’re a wannabe slave-owner.

    This is the ultimate problem, isn’t it for you? The fact that *your* white middle-class understanding of our history and culture is being threatened. And you feel that ever one of those threats is attempting to make you have to account for white privilege. And so, you’ve reflexively opted a more reactionary path — no one can possibly be a racist unless they wear a white hood and scream “death to Niggers” in the town square. And even then, you’ll work to try and understand their perspective.

    Now, to some degree, I don’t think this is a terrible philosophy. In fact, I think the world can always do with more empathy. The issue is that, across your posts, you clearly choose to extend far more effort to understanding to racists and bigots, then you do to understanding the arguments of the people who are calling them racists and bigots.

  91. Caj says:

    Hope they pick Donald Trump. Democrats can have an investigation to see if this clown even comes from planet earth!

  92. Pinky says:

    @Kylopod: Most people have a sense that they’ve paid into Social Security and Medicare. They haven’t done the math on it, but they know that there were payments made and promises made. There’s a sense of injustice about it. Same with foreign aid – trivial in comparison to our military spending, but we get something tangible in exchange for our military spending. All other things being equal, people are more likely to resent payments made in exchange for nothing than payments made in exchange for something. Note that that’s not my opinion – I’m aware of the costs and the lack of proportionality in a lot of these budget items – but it does explain why a person could think that he’s earned Medicare more than someone else earned Medicaid.

  93. Pinky says:

    @mattbernius: I’ll admit that after reading a little of Eric F, he didn’t strike me as an actual racist. He’s the younger brother in the back seat waving his finger in front of his sister’s face, singing “I’m not touching you, I’m not touching you.” He’s dying for attention and loves to play innocent. “Mom! Eric’s being racist!” “I am not!” It’s the kind of behaviour that’s maddening even in a four-year-old, and for an adult to have not outgrown it makes him possibly the most pathetic person on earth. His older sister is just as stupid for falling for the bait every time, when she should just ignore him.

    As for his well-established history, I’ve never heard of the guy before a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve already nearly forgotten him. There’s a lot more on the web that’s actually interesting. I mean, he knows that no one’s heard of him, right? This is what I mean about confirmation bias. I refuse to believe that the creme de la creme of liberalism is being reflected on this board, and you should equally be aware that the right-leaning trolls around here represent 0.0001% of conservative thought (even less, considering the trolls rarely think).

  94. Andre Kenji says:

    @Pinky:

    Or is the assumption that, since the conversation is about the GOP, any declaration that their entire motivation is racism is fair game?

    No. What we are pointing out is that the GOP can´t propose any kind of cost controls to Medicare, because their base is opposed to it. Medicare, Defense and Social Security are the largest federal programs, and any attempt of dealing with the deficit without raising taxes and without dealing with these areas of the budget is meaningless. The GOP can´t even really gut Farm Subsidies, because many farm states are over-represented in Congress.

    The only programs that these “fiscal Conservatives” wants to cut are programs like Food Stamps and Medicaid, that are aimed on the poor. And since Blacks are dis proportionally represented in lower scales of incomes in the US, there is a reasonable conclusion here.

    Besides that, one could argue that the current incarnation of the GOP was born from the George Wallace´s presidential run of 1968, so, there is a reason why there is so much talk about racists when people talk about the GOP and the Conservative Movement.

  95. anjin-san says:

    @ mattbernius

    See Matt? There are no conservative racists. It’s just a few trolls trying to get attention. Nothing to see here, move along. I guess when a prominent Republican like Newt Gingrich says Obama has a “Kenyan, anti-colonialist world view” – he is just being silly.

    And let’s look at “anti-colonialist world view.” It’s kind of a stunning concept. America was founded by people with a fundamentally anti-colonial world view, so much so that they were willing to fight and die to oppose colonial oppression. Why then is there something suspect about the concept of Africans opposing colonialism in their part of the world?

    When George Washington and Paul Revere opposed colonialism, they were nobel, wise, and good. When folks with darker complexions do the same, it is bundled up into the same set of white fears as grinding up glass to put in massa’s dinner and slitting the throats of white folks as they sleep.

  96. Matt Bernius says:

    @Pinky:

    I’ll admit that after reading a little of Eric F, he didn’t strike me as an actual racist. He’s the younger brother in the back seat waving his finger in front of his sister’s face, singing “I’m not touching you, I’m not touching you.” He’s dying for attention and loves to play innocent. “Mom! Eric’s being racist!” “I am not!”

    Even if we take this as fact, you realize that you are defending race baiting. You know, the stuff that conservatives typically reject?

    What’s worse, someone writing racist stuff that they believe, or someone intentionally writing racist material, which they don’t actual believe, for attention?

    At what point is Eric F, in this case, no better than the Al Sharptons of the world? The only difference is that our Eric is far less successful.

    And, again, let me suggest that your record of interpretation and defense has been less than stellar? Remember the time you took me for task for suggesting that Steve King’s might be implying a problematic linkage between Dream Act kids and drug runners, only to have him then make the comparison very explicit?

    I don’t remember you rising to King’s defense on the second statement. I have a hard time seeing the difference between King’s use of race and stereotype and Eric’s.

  97. al-Ameda says:

    @Pinky:

    . I refuse to believe that the creme de la creme of liberalism is being reflected on this board, and you should equally be aware that the right-leaning trolls around here represent 0.0001% of conservative thought (even less, considering the trolls rarely think).

    Given that polls have consistently showed that nearly 50% of Republicans subscribed to Birther claims, it is NOT reasonable to assert that the right-leaning trolls around here represent 0.0001% of conservative thought

  98. Matt Bernius says:

    @Pinky:

    I refuse to believe that the creme de la creme of liberalism is being reflected on this board, and you should equally be aware that the right-leaning trolls around here represent 0.0001% of conservative thought (even less, considering the trolls rarely think).

    Umm, seriously? Have you listened to Right Wing Media? Do you read websites like The Daily Caller, The Blaze, Wiz Bang, etc?

    Hell, did you watch the GOP primaries last year? How do you reconcile the continued presence of figures like Palin, Cain, and Bachmann on the national state with the “0.0001% of conservative thought”? How about folks like Carl Palidino winning the NYS Republican Primary for Governor?

    It’s one thing to suggest that the hard right of the party is not all of the Republican party. But suggesting that the “hard right” isn’t representative of a important and vocal part of the Republican base is a level of dishonesty that’s staggering.

    And that really colors everything that you have previously written.

  99. michael reynolds says:

    @Pinky:

    I’ve never said all Republicans are racists. Joyner’s a Republican, though an attenuated one I believe at this stage, and I’d never apply that world to him. Chris Christie, ditto. John McCain, ditto, though there’s plenty of other things I’d say about him.

    The rank and file? Probably 50/50 or so, but I don’t know and I’m happy to say I don’t know. But a majority is not required for racist dog whistle politics and media to work. Let’s start with Ronald Reagan’s famous “Welfare queen” from “The South Side of Chicago.”

    Now, what picture do you suppose Mr. Reagan was trying to paint? Was that a white woman, that welfare queen from the south side of Chicago?

    Did he ever counterbalance that stereotype with, say, a man from Utah scamming Social Security? Of course not. His little word picture explained his point: it’s “those” people taking “our” money. Since then the welfare queen trope and a hundred others have been repeated thousands and thousands of times by GOP politicians and by the GOP’s in-house media.

    Am I reading into this, distorting the record of Saint Ronnie? Here’s his chief political advisor:

    Atwater: As to the whole Southern strategy that Harry S. Dent, Sr. and others put together in 1968, opposition to the Voting Rights Act would have been a central part of keeping the South. Now [the new Southern Strategy of Ronald Reagan] doesn’t have to do that. All you have to do to keep the South is for Reagan to run in place on the issues he’s campaigned on since 1964 and that’s fiscal conservatism, balancing the budget, cut taxes, you know, the whole cluster.

    Questioner: But the fact is, isn’t it, that Reagan does get to the Wallace voter and to the racist side of the Wallace voter by doing away with legal services, by cutting down on food stamps?

    Atwater: You start out in 1954 by saying, “Ni**er, ni**er, ni**er.” By 1968 you can’t say “ni**er” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Ni**er, ni**er.”[8][9]

    (I’ve masked the n-word to get past the site’s filter.)

    That’s Lee Atwater talking, not some minor functionary. And that’s not 100 years ago. And it’s not some minor politician, it’s the patron saint of conservatism. So, I’m not reading into anything. It’s never been hard to understand.

    What’s been hard is for guys like you to accept that we see through you. You keep thinking if you just keep denying, we’ll buy it. But we’re not the stupid party.

    “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Ni**er, ni**er.”

    Right. That’s still the plan, that’s still what’s going on: play on racial animus with policies that are irrelevant to genuine budget concerns, use it to excite a certain segment of the white vote. It’s a big part of why the young and the educated are with us now and not with you. It’s a big part of why the GOP is in deep trouble. But you just keep on denying.

  100. Pinky says:

    @Matt Bernius: Where did I defend Eric? Did I not just call him the most pathetic person on the internet? I’ve had one conversation with him, and iirc I used the same description you just used, calling him an Al Sharpton.

  101. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds: Did you read the quote? Atwater was saying that campaigning in the South isn’t about race anymore. Read the whole interview.

  102. anjin-san says:

    Most people have a sense that they’ve paid into Social Security and Medicare.

    people are more likely to resent payments made in exchange for nothing than payments made in exchange for something.

    Yet the right constantly invokes the name of Jesus, tells us we are a Christian nation, and that God’s law is above all others.

    Deuteronomy 15:11

    For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’

    Luke 14:13

    But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,

    Luke 6:20-26

    And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets. “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. …

    “Practice what you preach” is something of a cliche, but it does not seem to be a concept that the Fox Nation is aware of…

  103. jukeboxgrad says:

    michael:

    I’ve never said all Republicans are racists.

    Anyone curious about current GOP racism should take a look at this: link.

  104. al-Ameda says:

    @Pinky:

    @michael reynolds: Did you read the quote? Atwater was saying that campaigning in the South isn’t about race anymore. Read the whole interview.

    Wow. What is still a source of amazement to me is that many conservatives continue to insist that race is not a factor anymore. That once the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed we left the world of racism behind, and the only reason race is even brought up because racist liberals continue to do so.

  105. jukeboxgrad says:

    michael:

    when right-wingers talk about cutting government programs, they don’t mean programs for the elderly like SS or Medicare … They don’t mean programs for farmers. … Here’s what they mean: programs for black people. … In the mind of the right-winger no one in history has suffered as much as he has. The right-winger deserves his programs. You know who doesn’t deserve a program? Black people.

    So true, and here’s some vivid evidence.

    On 7/15/13, National Review’s Veronique de Rugy, to her credit, complained about the recent GOP farm bill that is packed with almost $200B in corporate welfare (link, link). Total comments on her article: 58.

    On 8/1/13, National Review’s Jillian Kay Melchior complained about “Obamaphones,” a program started by Reagan and expanded by Bush. Link. Total comments on her article: 3,705. Probably the most comments on any NR article, ever (although I should admit that a bunch of those are mine).

    So here we have a tiny bit of outrage about $200B in upward welfare contrasted with an enormous amount of outrage about $2B in downward welfare. A more brazen example of Republican hypocrisy would be hard to find.

    Why such a big difference? You explained why: because the tea party base only has a problem with redistribution and government welfare when it helps people they don’t like: Those People. The GOP is led by phony conservatives because the GOP base is made up of phony conservatives.

  106. David M says:

    @Pinky:

    Most people have a sense that they’ve paid into Social Security and Medicare. They haven’t done the math on it, but they know that there were payments made and promises made….a person could think that he’s earned Medicare more than someone else earned Medicaid.

    And the people on Social Security and Medicare may have paid into those programs, but there are plenty of programs that benefit middle class people. And they in no way did any more to earn those benefits than the people on Medicaid:

    Mortgage Interest Deduction
    401k / IRA Deduction
    Health Insurance Deduction
    Subsidized Student Loans

    There’s no difference between those benefits and Medicaid, except that Medicaid is going to poor people. Anyway, wanting to cut Medicaid is just a fancy way saying they want to kick the poor [for no reason].

  107. Pinky says:

    @anjin-san: First off, I didn’t say that every conservative person was necessarily driven by religious principles. Secondly, the Bible doesn’t tell us how to give to the poor. Conservatives give a larger portion of their earnings to private charity than liberals, but tend to be very suspicious of governmental charity. Building on that, there’s no Christian reason that charity has to be given at the national level, and there are plenty of reasons to believe that direct, one-on-one counseling and aid are more able to address the individual’s particular problems without it getting sidetracked by rules or administration costs.

    As I keep saying here, talking “more” or “less” really doesn’t help. We should be talking about policies, what we do, rather than how much we spend on it.

  108. Pinky says:

    @David M: I agree with the adult who was sitting at the keyboard for the first couple of paragraphs. The big lie is that anybody is carrying their weight when the government spends $1.30 or something for every dollar it collects.

  109. Pinky says:

    @al-Ameda: It still amazes me that people think that race does matter, at least to all but a few people.

  110. anjin-san says:

    Atwater was saying that campaigning in the South isn’t about race anymore.

    What he was actually saying was that the time when you could use blatant racism as a campaign tool had passed, and more subtle dog whistle messages were necessary. (hence “Willie Horton”)

    Atwater also expressed regret on his deathbed for using hate as a campaign too.

  111. anjin-san says:

    @ Pinky

    there are plenty of reasons to believe that direct, one-on-one counseling and aid are more able to address the individual’s particular problems without it getting sidetracked by rules or administration costs.

    Really? And what might those be? I have two relatives (one now deceased) who are/were severely disabled. Private charity has been nowhere to be seen in meeting their needs, which go on 24/7/365. Government programs gave them access to shelter, health care, and some dignity in life. Multiply their needs by millions.

    My wife and I have spent well over 100K on their care in addition to what the government provides. Most Americans cannot afford anything like that to help their loved ones that are in need. We are lucky to be in this position, though it has placed a strain on our retirement calculus, which makes social security and medicare that much more important to us. Forgive me if I take exception to a silver spoon baby like Paul Ryan telling me that I am some sort of freeloader, and that I need to simply accept proposed Republican evisceration of these programs.

  112. anjin-san says:

    @ Pinky

    First off, I didn’t say that every conservative person was necessarily driven by religious principles.

    I don’t believe I said you did, I am making a generalization (an accurate one, I think) about the modern conservative movement. Do you disagree that Republicans/conservatives are more or less constantly invoking the name of Jesus, the Bible, so on?

  113. David M says:

    @anjin-san:

    Really? And what might those be? I have two relatives (one now deceased) who are/were severely disabled. Private charity has been nowhere to be seen in meeting their needs, which go on 24/7/365. Government programs gave them access to shelter, health care, and some dignity in life. Multiply their needs by millions.

    Part of the “conservative” argument is that the poor are worse off with Medicaid than nothing, although they didn’t do anything to earn Medicaid. It’s all fancy talk for wanting to kick poor people while they are down.

  114. michael reynolds says:

    @Pinky:

    Dude, you have to be functionally . . . um, let’s go with learning disabled . . . to buy that interpretation of Atwater.

    Which is why just a few years later what was he doing for George HW Bush? The Willie Horton attack.

  115. michael reynolds says:

    @anjin-san:

    Atwater also expressed regret on his deathbed for using hate as a campaign too.

    Because all it takes to get a Republican to act like a human being is a fatal brain tumor.

  116. Matt Bernius says:

    @Pinky:

    Where did I defend Eric?

    Perhaps you and I have a very different definition of “defend”, but your entire explanation is a defense of Eric against charges that he’s a racist.

    I’ll admit that after reading a little of Eric F, he didn’t strike me as an actual racist. I’ll admit that after reading a little of Eric F, he didn’t strike me as an actual racist. He’s the younger brother in the back seat waving his finger in front of his sister’s face, singing “I’m not touching you, I’m not touching you.” He’s dying for attention and loves to play innocent. “Mom! Eric’s being racist!” “I am not!”
    [Emphasis Mine.].

    In fact, you’re entire explanation served to not only (a) say he was just using race to troll, but it also (b) blamed all of us who point out how he’s using race to troll as being “part of the problem.”

    So you actually ended up both defending him on charges of racism, downplaying the clearly racist content of what he wrote, and insulting the rest of us for daring to write “hey, what you are saying is really racist.”

    I find this tactic problematic for a few reasons.

    First, it works to eliminate or downplay “racism.” I.e. using the term “nigger” in a provactive and racial way *isn’t* real racism. What we end up is a “safe/cartoon” form of racism that’s limited to the KKK and neo-nazis. In other words a type of racism that can’t be alive and well within our communities.

    Next, it places a lot of blame on the people who are calling attention to the racism. How dare you call a racist a racist you thin skinned folks. It’s a form of blame the victim (or worse, blame the bystander for taking a stand).

    The passive-aggressive result of this type of “just ignore the racist (or race baiter) in the room, while at the same time denying that there is a broader racial problem in the country” (or in one’s own party) is that its a device used by people who want to avoid issues that make them feel icky. And it ends us up at the point where any questioning of our view of history is demonized as “reverse racism” (the ultimate phrase of those wanting to avoid any responsibility).

    All that said, to be clear, this isn’t a problem unique to Republicans or places like the South. Democrats have their share of racists and racial blind-spots as well. But as we’re individuals it’s incumbent upon us to hold ourselves, our thinking, and our allies to a higher standard (rather than defending a low standard). It’s one of the reasons that I often gently remind folks on “the South is the root of all racism,” that a LOT of historic discrimination took place (and continues to take place) in the North. In other words, we don’t get to take a higher ground specifically based on geographic location or because we see ourselves as part of the “good” party (regardless of which party that might be).

  117. al-Ameda says:

    @Pinky:

    @al-Ameda: It still amazes me that people think that race does matter, at least to all but a few people.

    That doesn’t amaze me at all because, I never believed that we could somehow erase the legacy and deleterious effects of three centuries of slavery, apartheid, segregation and Jim Crow in this nation in a matter of 1, 2 or 3 generations.

  118. Pinky says:

    @anjin-san: Of course I disagree with that. It’s something that a person would say only if he thought in terms of caricatures, rather than real life. So for kicks, I figured I’d look at the most Republican/conservative thing I could think of: Sarah Palin’s 2008 Convention speech. Four references to God or prayer:
    – a prayer for the troops
    – “clinging to religion and guns”
    – “the wisdom that comes even to the captives by the grace of God”
    – the traditional closing

    And Joe Biden’s 2008 Convention speech? Twice as many references:
    – praying that “we do it again” (repeat Clinton’s victory and change America)
    – “And, God, I wish my dad was here tonight. But I thank God and I’m grateful that my mom, Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden is here tonight.”
    – “and this is the God’s truth”
    – mother saying “God sends no cross that you cannot bear.”
    – how in God’s name…are we going to heat the home?…How in God’s name are we going to send the kids to college?
    – the traditional closing

  119. anjin-san says:

    @ Pinky

    Ah, good, you know how to cherry pick. Do you want a cookie?

  120. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds: The “Willie Horton” stuff that Atwater did didn’t include Willie Horton. The Bush campaign ran two ads targeting the “Massachusetts Miracle” – one with the prison furlough system, the other with the polution in Boston Harbor. The ad that pictured and identified Willie Horton was by an unaffiliated group and ran in only a few markets. The Atwater ads weren’t racist, and neither he nor the Bush campaign had any affiliation with the group that ran the ad that identified Horton as black. It’s fairly easy to look this stuff up online.

  121. Pinky says:

    @anjin-san: I went to the source that seemed to me to be likely the most pro-God Republican event in history. Believe me, I was trying to give you a chance to be right, but the facts just weren’t there.

  122. al-Ameda says:

    @Pinky:

    @anjin-san: I went to the source that seemed to me to be likely the most pro-God Republican event in history. Believe me, I was trying to give you a chance to be right, but the facts just weren’t there.

    Come on, we already know that most Christian evangelicals vote Democratic.

  123. David M says:

    @Pinky:

    Perhaps reading about a current event might help.

  124. anjin-san says:

    @ Pinky

    I was trying to give you a chance to be right, but the facts just weren’t there.

    You should probably look “facts” up in the dictionary. The word does not mean what you seem to think it means. It certainly does not refer to a non-conclusive result of 30 seconds spent on Google that supports your preexisting bias.

    seemed to me to be likely the most pro-God Republican event in history.

    So it never crossed your mind that a non-televised GOP event deep in the bible belt might be more “pro-God” than a national event that is receiving worldwide media scrutiny? Ummmm. Ok.

  125. anjin-san says:

    State Rep. Brian Sims, a Pennsylvania Democrat, was blocked by conservatives from speaking on the House floor about the Supreme Court’s DOMA decision, which one Republican explained was because Sims would be violating “God’s law.”

    http://www.salon.com/2013/06/28/penn_lawmaker_blocked_from_doma_speech_because_of_gods_law/

    Hint: This is not an outlier.

  126. anjin-san says:

    Republicans picked up the Horton issue after Dukakis clinched the nomination. In June 1988, Republican candidate George H.W. Bush seized on the Horton case, bringing it up repeatedly in campaign speeches. Bush’s campaign manager, Lee Atwater, said “By the time we’re finished, they’re going to wonder whether Willie Horton is Dukakis’ running mate.”[9]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willie_Horton

    And here is bit of information on the “unaffiliated” National Security Political Action Committee (NSPAC) that spent 8.5 million on attack ads directed at Dukakis in 1988.

    You are welcome to start providing some citations of your own…

  127. David M says:

    @Pinky:

    …neither [Atwater] nor the Bush campaign had any affiliation with the group that ran the ad that identified Horton as black. It’s fairly easy to look this stuff up online.

    The affiliation between a PAC and a campaign should always be assumed to exist, especially in this case where there is actual evidence.

  128. michael reynolds says:

    @Pinky:

    Republicans picked up the Horton issue after Dukakis clinched the nomination. In June 1988, Republican candidate George H.W. Bush seized on the Horton case, bringing it up repeatedly in campaign speeches. Bush’s campaign manager, Lee Atwater, said “By the time we’re finished, they’re going to wonder whether Willie Horton is Dukakis’ running mate.“[9]

    Try again.

  129. michael reynolds says:

    oops, just saw Anjin’s comment with the same quote.

  130. Pinky says:

    @anjin-san: You made a statement about Republicans and religion. I responded to it. Then I think you clarified it thusly:

    Do you disagree that Republicans/conservatives are more or less constantly invoking the name of Jesus, the Bible, so on?

    I assume that means you believe that Republicans/conservatives are more or less constantly invoking the name of Jesus, the Bible, et cetera. For that to be true, you’d have to see more or less constant references to God outside the evangelical circle. You don’t.

  131. David M says:

    @Pinky:

    I assume that means you believe that Republicans/conservatives are more or less constantly invoking the name of Jesus, the Bible, et cetera. For that to be true, you’d have to see more or less constant references to God outside the evangelical circle. You don’t.

    Except that the evangelical circle is a large enough part of the GOP that you’ve just agreed with the point you’re objecting to.

  132. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds: Did anyone on the Bush staff bring up Willie Horton’s color? If someone (pre-internet) was going around saying that Michael Reynolds committed crimes when he was on prison furlough, I wouldn’t think that it was a racist accusation until I saw a picture of Michael Reynolds.

  133. anjin-san says:

    Starting to wonder if Pinky is not Jenos by any other name. The symptoms are there, opinion as fact, failure to provide supporting data, serial failed attempts at cleverness, lame attempts at misdirection, and the underlying assumption of being right every time.

  134. al-Ameda says:

    @Pinky:

    @michael reynolds: Did anyone on the Bush staff bring up Willie Horton’s color? If someone (pre-internet) was going around saying that Michael Reynolds committed crimes when he was on prison furlough, I wouldn’t think that it was a racist accusation until I saw a picture of Michael Reynolds.

    Let’s see, “Willie Horton” ? I’m guessing many people thought that Willie Horton was a power hitting left fielder for the Detroit Tigers, or perhaps one of the founders of Hewlett Packard.

  135. anjin-san says:

    Did anyone on the Bush staff bring up Willie Horton’s color?

    Because, gosh, it would never occur to Bush’s staff to bring in an out of town hit men – so to speak – to do their dirty work, thus keeping the President’s hands (and those of his staff) clean.

    See guys, there is no video of Bush’s senior staffers dropping N’s, so racism does not exist.

  136. Pinky says:

    @anjin-san:

    You are welcome to start providing some citations of your own…

    OK, how about this one? It’s a little weird, me giving the same link as you did, but if you read it, you’ll see the following:

    The swing vote, commissioner Thomas Josefiak, says the explanations from Ailes and McCarthy about their lack of substantive contacts during the campaign “were plausible and reasonably consistent.” Josefiak says both were guilty of “bad judgment” and may have acted “foolish[ly],” but did nothing warranting legal action. The FEC also determines that Raiford only “performed technical tasks” for the two organizations, “and played no role in any substantive or strategic decisions made by either organization.”

  137. David M says:

    @Pinky:

    Um, because the FEC was split on whether or not there was coordination, that means we should assume there was none. That’s garbage.

    We know there is coordination between outside PACs and candidates, only naive fools buy the idea they are separate.

  138. Andre Kenji says:

    @Pinky:

    Did anyone on the Bush staff bring up Willie Horton’s color?

    They did not have to do it. And that´s part of problem: racism has subtle colors, and sometimes is hidden under any other kind of prejudice – like when Brazilian males says that a certain woman looks like a house maid.

  139. jukeboxgrad says:

    david:

    It’s all fancy talk for wanting to kick poor people while they are down.

    Correct. Related:

    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

    -John Kenneth Galbraith

  140. anjin-san says:

    @ Pinky

    The swing vote, commissioner Thomas Josefiak

    You mean the Thomas Josefiak who was once chief counsel to the Republican National Committee? Sounds fair and balanced to me!

  141. Andre Kenji says:

    @Pinky:

    OK, how about this one? It’s a little weird, me giving the same link as you did, but if you read it, you’ll see the following:

    There are lots of people on record saying that they saw Atwater with the Willie Horton ads, and Bush´s campaign “official” use of the issue is not so much better. Besides that, was Atwater that noted the issue on a small Massachusetts newspaper and then convinced Ailes, Teeter and the rest of the campaign to use the issue.

  142. Matt Bernius says:

    @Pinky:

    Did anyone on the Bush staff bring up Willie Horton’s color?

    This type of thinking is exactly what I was getting at when I wrote that it seems to me you have a very specific and limited (or perhaps I should say cartoonish) view of what constitutes racism and race baiting.

    It also misses the point that by using Willie Horton’s face in the TV ad, that they never had to directly address his color since it was already there for the ride.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Io9KMSSEZ0Y

    Rewatching the ad, I was struck by how they grabbed pictures that pretty much emphasized his “scary” blackness as well — note the militant afro’d picture of him chosen for the second image.

  143. Pinky says:

    @Matt Bernius: That’s the NSPAC ad. This is the Bush/Quayle ad. Where’s the racism?

  144. David M says:

    @Pinky:

    You know there’s no difference between NSPAC and the campaign, and yet you continue pretending there is. Why?

  145. michael reynolds says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    Nah, Pinky gets it. Pinky’s just a liar. He knows it’s there, he knows he’s part of it, all the rest is just trolling for attention.

  146. Pinky says:

    @David M: The fact is campaigns hate uncoordinated groups. They stomp all over the message, just as this one did. Bush/Dukakis wasn’t going to be about race, until this unaffiliated campaign turned it that way. And how was it supposed to help Bush? Was Dukakis that big a threat in Kentucky or wherever? The Bush people hated this.

  147. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: “Pinky’s just a liar. He knows it’s there, he knows he’s part of it, all the rest is just trolling for attention. ”

    So maybe he IS Jenos…

  148. David M says:

    @Pinky:

    Seems unlikely given the GOP support for unlimited outside spending without disclosure.

  149. wr says:

    @Pinky: “The Bush people hated this. ”

    And you know this how? A time-travelling mind-meld?

  150. jukeboxgrad says:

    So maybe he IS Jenos…

    Looks that way to me.

  151. Pinky says:

    @wr:

    And you know this how? A time-travelling mind-meld?

    1988 wasn’t that long ago. At the time, they published books and magazines on any number of subjects. And you could see the ads on TV. I don’t think I read more than most people – the question is, how do you not know that?

    @michael reynolds:

    Pinky’s just a liar.

    Never assume that the other guy’s a liar. Assume that he’s stupid. It makes you less defensive. Also, it’s possible to learn things from a stupid person.

    @wr:

    So maybe he IS Jenos…

    Seriously, how insulated are you guys? Do you really believe that there are only three or four people who disagree with you?

  152. Andre Kenji says:

    @Pinky:

    Bush/Dukakis wasn’t going to be about race, until this unaffiliated campaign turned it that way

    I´m holding the book that Jack Germond and Jules Witcover wrote about the 1988 campaign. The issue of Willie Horton was first noted by the Bush´s campaign in April, when the then Atwater´s aide, Jim Pinkerton, did negative research on Dukakis and created the infamous 5×4 card, by Fourth of July Atwater had decided to use the issue against Dukakis, and Bush began to use Willie Horton in speeches(By June, Bush was attacking Dukakis as soft on crime).

    http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1990-11-11/features/1990315149_1_willie-horton-fournier-michael-dukakis

    “By the time we’re finished, they’re going to wonder whether Willie Horton is Dukakis’ running mate.”–Lee Atwater

    (;…)

    WILLIE HORTON WAS ALREADY FAmous in Massachusetts by the time Michael Dukakis began his campaign for president. But in July 1988, Reader’s Digest gave America its first in-depth look at Horton in an article the Bush campaign would reprint by the tens of thousands. The article was titled “Getting Away With Murder” and free-lance writer Robert James Bidinotto began by recounting Horton’s first big-time crime.

    (…)
    He was big. He was black. He was every guy you ever crossed street to avoid, every pair of smoldering eyes you ever looked away from on the bus or subway. He was every person you moved out of the city to escape, every sound in the night that made you get up and check the locks on the windows and grab the door handles and give them an extra tug.

    (…)

    WHEN ROGER AILES HEARD THE story of Willie Horton, he immediately saw its potential as an ad campaign for George Bush. “The only question,” Ailes said, “is whether we depict Willie Horton with a knife in his hand or without it.”

    (…)

    But Jim Pinkerton, too, claimed he first heard about the furlougissue from the Democratic debate in New York. A light went off in his head. And he called one of his best Massachusetts sources, Andy Card, a former Republican legislator now working at the White House. Pinkerton asked Card about furloughs. Card filled him in on Willie Horton.

    (…)

    On one wall of the focus-group room was a huge two-way mirrorThe participants were told they were being watched, but they could hardly have missed it anyway: The mirror was the size of a small movie screen. Behind it were Atwater and Ailes; Robert Teeter, Bush’s pollster; Craig Fuller, Bush’s chief of staff; and Nicholas Brady, Bush’s senior adviser. They sat in upholstered white-backed chairs and watched through the mirror as the moderator began to tell the story of Willie Horton to the group. And then he told them about Dukakis and his veto of the Pledge of Allegiance bill. And then about his opposition to prayer in the schools and to capital punishment.

    Some of the people reacted with outrage; almost all reacted with surprise. They had not known these things about Dukakis. They hadn’t realized, until the moderator told them, how liberal Dukakis really was. And they sure hadn’t heard about furloughs and how he let that guy out of jail.

    At the beginning of the focus groups, all had been Dukakisupporters. By the end of the evening, about half had switched to Bush.

    (..)

    Bush did not have to lead the attack himself. It could have beeleft to surrogates, so he could keep his own hands clean in order to lead the nation unsullied after being elected. But this idea was rejected. “We knew that if we left it to surrogates, it wouldn’t have the impact,” Atwater said. “Plus, Bush didn’t have an image of personal meanness, so we knew he would be credible.”

    And George Bush did a very credible job.

    “Declaring that ‘today, it’s a whole new ball game — sprintraining is over,’ Vice President Bush ripped into Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis . . . as a tax-raising liberal who let murderers out of jail and whose foreign policy views were ‘born in Harvard Yard’s boutique,’ ” David Hoffman wrote of Bush’s June 9 speech. Attacking how Dukakis had given “unsupervised weekend furloughs to first-degree murderers,” Bush said: “The question is: Is this who we want to put in charge of our drug program? Is this who’s going to get tough with the kingpins and break the cartels?

  153. Andre Kenji says:

    There is more

    ON JUNE 22, BUSH USED WIL-lie Horton’s name in a speech for the first time. He was speaking in Louisville to the National Sheriffs Association. “Horton applied for a furlough,” Bush said. “He was given the furlough. He was released. And he fled — only to terrorize a family and repeatedly rape a woman!”

    The Bush campaign knew what it was doing. Mention furloughin a speech and that got reported. Keep mentioning it, give the press a name, and you set the press in motion. You started reporters looking into the Horton case on their own. And that would produce more stories in print and on TV. And both media liked pictures. Mention Willie Horton and you got Willie Horton’s picture on TV. You never had to mention Willie Horton’s race. The pictures would do it for you.

    (;;;)

    After the election, E. J. Dionne of the New York Times hear rumors of a Massachusetts furlough case similar to Willie Horton’s, where the facts “were more devastating to Governor Dukakis, where somebody was pardoned and then murdered someone.”

    Dionne confronted Atwater with his suspicions at a seminar “You never used that case, and it appears the guy is white,” Dionne said. “E. J., about what you just said, I learned about that case after the election,” Atwater replied. “Frankly, had I known about it, we would have been smart to go with that and never mentioned Willie Horton. If the guy was white, there would have been zero question about our intent.”

  154. michael reynolds says:

    @Pinky:

    If you only knew how transparent you are.

  155. Tillman says:

    @Pinky:

    Seriously, how insulated are you guys? Do you really believe that there are only three or four people who disagree with you?

    I know. What’s up with that?

    Dudes (wr, jukeboxgrad, and michael reynolds by association), this guy isn’t Jenos. Or if he is, it proves Jenos is a true mastermind, which just undermines all of the insults you make about Jenos normally. Jenos takes what you say, finds a reversible chink in it and exploits it for his own gain. This guy actually has a worldview and opinions that are different from yours!

    Hard to believe in different interpretations, eh?

  156. David M says:

    +1 to Jenos and Pinky obviously being two different people, simply based on 1) the internet is a big place and 2) there is no shortage of right wing commenters.

    (Now true, sometimes people can sound alike, but that’s not too different from people at DKos agreeing with each other…there’s only so many ways to say the same thing.)

  157. Pinky says:

    @David M: I still haven’t figured out the differences between most of you. I mean, hang around an internet site for a while, and you notice different viewpoints and personalities, but boy there is a certain type on OTB. I remember Michael because his picture looks just like Michael Savage, and he has the same personality. Otherwise, it’s been tough so far.

  158. al-Ameda says:

    @Pinky:

    I still haven’t figured out the differences between most of you. I mean, hang around an internet site for a while, and you notice different viewpoints and personalities, but boy there is a certain type on OTB.

    I’m the type who uses an avatar of a great Spanish midfielder . I like walks on the beach, sunrises, sunsets, and although I don’t often show people my birth certificate, when I do, I prefer the short-form.

  159. michael reynolds says:

    @Tillman:

    Bear in mind there’s a bit of history with Jenos changing names around here. But personally I don’t know or care whether this ninny is that ninny or some new ninny.

  160. Matt Bernius says:

    @Tillman:
    Seconded. While I disagree with Pinky, he’s pretty clearly his own man(?). And in many respects what he’s writing is pretty clearly distinct from Jenos. And it’s also pretty representative of a vast cut of conservatives, who see themselves as fundamentally different from the “far right wing” and also independent of the Republicans.

    Of course, these same conservatives typically don’t see most of conservative media as being “far right wing.”

  161. Moosebreath says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    “While I disagree with Pinky, he’s pretty clearly his own man(?). And in many respects what he’s writing is pretty clearly distinct from Jenos.”

    I’d agree with this. Pinky is a lot subtler than Jenos could ever hope to be.

  162. wr says:

    @Pinky: “1988 wasn’t that long ago. At the time, they published books and magazines on any number of subjects. And you could see the ads on TV. I don’t think I read more than most people – the question is, how do you not know that?”

    So you “know” that the Bush campaign hated an ugly commercial that helped them tremendously because of their public statements on the subject? You know they had nothing to do with the ads because they said they had nothing to do with them?

    That’s some mighty deep analysis there, Hoot.

  163. Bruce D says:

    The GOP lost in ’08 because people were tired of the wars, in ’12 because Obama got Osama and got us out of Iraq. Both McCain (who is famous for working with Democrats) and Romney are moderates. The GOP didn’t lose because they selected moderates or because they selected radicals. The GOP lost because they weren’t libertarian enough. If they had been more libertarian, they would have stayed out of Iraq, not spent their way into an unsustainable boom, and cut both spending and taxes. The country would be better off and they’d still be in power.