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We call them tea-baggers, astro-turfers, right wing-nuts, whack-jobs, etc. As with most derisive, dismissive labels applied to our fellow human beings, we reduce our humanity by reducing theirs.

A new study by Democracy Corps gives us some experiential focus group data to better measure and understand our opposition. A good summary article was posted today (10/16) on the Huffington Post. To beat our opposition it's best to seek to understand their motivation, and not regard them too lightly.

   From Sun Tzu - Art of War:

   So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.

   If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.

   If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.

   Key Lessons Learned:

   1. 20% of voters live on a extreme right island of the political spectrum, they are 66% of all self-id'd GOPers

   "The report concludes that the extreme GOP voters are not simply at the far end of a standard political continuum that runs left-center-right, but rather they stand fully apart.

   The basic belief is that Obama -- a former community organizer who seemingly came from nowhere -- must have been propelled by some secret forces. This is no small segment of the population and represents almost one-in-five voters and nearly two-of-three self identified Republicans."

   2. Swing voter and independents want Obama to succeed

   

"The researchers also spoke with swing-voters and independents and found a crucial difference: The independents wanted Obama to succeed, while the GOP base wanted him to fail. That's a logical extension of their belief: If they really do think Obama has a secret agenda to destroy the nation, it's patently patriotic to want him to fail. One author referred to it as an "ethical imperative" given what they think the agenda is.

   "While these voters are disdainful of a Republican Party they view to have failed in its mission, they overwhelmingly view a successful Obama presidency as the destruction of this country's founding principles and are committed to seeing the president fail," reads the report."

This is all about sedition, the dangers to our democracy from this extreme right faction are real, and a long term cultural war lies ahead. Tighten your helmet chin strap folks, these folks are game on for a lifetime of political battles ahead.

cross-posted Blue Ridge Data

Originally posted to tippingpoint08 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 06:55 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  This is a good starting point for (9+ / 0-)

      discussion - don't know if anything can be changed.

      I've slowly come to realize what you are saying, as long as we regard tea-baggers as "wingnuts" we fail to take them seriously, which could be a mistake.

      What can we do about these people?

      I don't think we can reason with them - their views are hard coded & they will only listen to those who agree with them.

      20% of voters is a large number - but I wonder if they are over represented at the ballot box (i.e. like seniors, a higher percentage of this age groups and votes in election after election) or are they under-represented - so there is more of them out there, not particularly participating in the electoral process but ready to act in violent ways?

      I remember from the '80's there were a number of radical groups - the posse commitatus - plus groups of people who wouldn't pay income tax to a "foreign goverment."  These groups quieted down a lot after the Oklahoma City bombing, but I'm sure there are more than a few diehards out there.

      The land was ours before we were the land's...Robert Frost, The Gift Outright

      by HylasBrook on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 07:17:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  this IS about sedition. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snakelass

      even worse, much of the ManeSteamMediots are willing participants, or lazy, or simply unwilling to call a spade a kind of shovel.

      The differences in reactions is telling, even dangerous.

      Recall Sen. Dick Durbin complaining about the reports of torture committed by US troops, mercenaries,  and subcontractors?  

      The GOP wanted his scalp, even though every word he said was 100% accurate.

      Now, when we have racists, fear-mongers, and seditionists, all proudly wearing silly teabags, GOP-created pins, or carrying truly amusing misspelled signs, our reaction? Silence. MSM's reaction? deliberate ignorance or worse,  repeat stories about Jon Benet or Nicole.

      This is a drum that begs for beating. Keep tipping this point 08.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 08:38:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  better minds than me (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        agnostic

        need to openly discuss the boundaries of SEDITION by GOP basers, Fox News, et. al.

        It seems that any legal attempt to control behavior on Fox News -- would be a self-fulfilling prophecy for Glenn Beck, etc. Just more evidence of the evils of the Obama Administration.

        This has to come from alt media like DKos, continually calling out this seditious behavior. Sort of the idea that the "sunlight" of public debate on this issue will help disinfect for this virus on the body politic.

        Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. [Frank Zappa]

        by tippingpoint08 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 08:53:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I wanted Bush and his crew to fail in (4+ / 0-)

    their efforts to take this country (what in my opinion was) backwards. Was that sedition?

    I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

    by doc2 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 06:57:38 AM PDT

    •  good question... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rogneid, trekguy66, QuestionAuthority

      that's why I raised the issue. When does political opposition cross over to sedition. Not a constitutional law scholar here. Seems to me when you talk openly of revolt and armed resistance you are moving to rebellion.

      Other on DKos probably have deeper insight than I. Let's see what others have to say.

      Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. [Frank Zappa]

      by tippingpoint08 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 07:10:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think it crosses the line here: (6+ / 0-)

        When advocating the rebellion against the lawfully established government in public or via the media

        When advocating, aiding or abetting the assassination of the President or other officeholders in public or via the media

        From Wikipedia (link below): "Sedition is a term of law which refers to overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority as tending toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent (or resistance) to lawful authority. Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws. Seditious words in writing are seditious libel. A seditionist is one who engages in or promotes the interests of sedition."

        For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        Many hated and despised George W. Bush during his tenure as President, but I don't recall anyone advocating his assassination in public during those years, especially from media figures with large followings.

        "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success."

        by QuestionAuthority on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 07:19:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  NOBODY wanted to see Bush assassinated. (8+ / 0-)

          Bush knew that no matter how bad a president he could be, the possibility of Dick Cheney as president would protect him. We could have disbanded the Secret Service for 8 years and he'd probably have been just fine. Obama should have picked somebody more scary to the right than Biden so he could have enjoyed the same...

          I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

          by doc2 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 07:26:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Don't get your Constitutional law from Wikipedia. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sabredance

          See BRANDENBURG v. OHIO, 395 U.S. 444 (1969)

          Held: Since the statute, by its words and as applied, purports to punish mere advocacy and to forbid, on pain of criminal punishment, assembly with others merely to advocate the described type of action, it falls within the condemnation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Freedoms of speech and press do not permit a State to forbid advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.

          Noto v. United States

          "the mere abstract teaching . . . of the moral propriety or even moral necessity for a resort to force and violence, is not the same as preparing a group for violent action and steeling it to such action."

          Also, YATES v. UNITED STATES, 354 U.S. 298 (1957) in which the convictions of leaders of the Communist Party under the Smith Act were overturned.



          When did Vietnam become Nixon's War?

          by ben masel on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 11:05:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I have caught myself thinking (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snakelass, Rogneid, QuestionAuthority

        at times, when I hear the likes of Rush, Beck, etc, what an idiot.  Then I remember that I sort of thought the same way when Bush was in office.  It is a hard nut to crack trying to figure it out.  I never thought about rebellion or anything like that with Bush, but some of the things I hear coming out of the right were not too far off from my own thinking just a few years ago.  Perhaps it is just the psychology of which side of the fence you are on and which patch of grass is greener.  Right now, the right has the nasty yard.  Maybe it runs deeper than that.  Who knows?

        Wisdom is the side effect of curiosity - Me

        by trekguy66 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 07:25:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the reason it resonates in the South (6+ / 0-)

          is that they are still fighting the Civil War , emotionally. Over 140 years later, and in some parts, the long-term residents in Virginia still talk about Civil War battles as if they happened yesterday. I'm reminded of the civil conflict in Ireland has been going on for over 400 years. We can't just wish this conflict away, just do our best to govern from the middle and realize we will always have threats from extremists.

          Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. [Frank Zappa]

          by tippingpoint08 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 07:56:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Bush and Cheney (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rja

          broke the law alot. Democrats fantasized about trials and The Hague. About the laws of the land triumphant and a return to order.

  •  hmmm (3+ / 0-)

    these folks are game on for a lifetime of political battles ahead

    Does the study say what the average age of this group is?  Is there a youth cohort coming up to replace them?

    •  have not seen any details (3+ / 0-)

      but this lines up with my experiences in the field ...in a very conservative area of Virginia. The younger base GOPers -- appear to be as energized as the middle-age folks. Pew Research has done some good demographic polling on this topic, I'll research and report in a future post.

      Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. [Frank Zappa]

      by tippingpoint08 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 07:16:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great question kismet (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snakelass, sabredance, agnostic

      Here is part of the answer:

      The universe of our focus groups[2] is representative of this conservative Republican base.[3]

      Ref [2]:

      [2] These voters are white, "strong" or "weak" Republicans who ideologically self-identify as conservative or moderate and who voted for John McCain AND the Republican congressional candidate in 2008.  The groups, conducted in Atlanta, Georgia, were comprised of voters aged 45-60, with one group of women and one of men.

      Hell's grannies to come?
      Ref [3]

      [3] Our combined survey data reveals that the Georgia group definition fits more than three-quarters (77 percent) of conservative strong or weak Republicans of the 45-60 age group, and an even higher proportion – 85 percent – of white strong Republicans of the same age.

      AKA Old, White Southern.

      Basically Democracy now went into the belly of the tea-bagging beast for their proofile in GOP extremism. Their independent voter group came from in Cleveland, OH and was described thusly:

      1] The Cleveland groups comprised of white, non-college weak partisans or independents – defined as self-identifying ‘weak’ Democrats or Republicans, Democratic- or Republican-leaning independents, and non-partisan independents (those who do not affiliate closer with either party).  Additionally, we examined combined data from Democracy Corps surveys conducted over the last four months that show Republicans enjoy a 17-point partisan identification advantage with this group.  These voters also self-report to have voted for John McCain by a 20-point margin in the 2008 election.

      no remuneration was received by anyone for the writing of this message

      by ItsSimpleSimon on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 08:33:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You're born a homo sapien. You become a human (4+ / 0-)

    by interacting with our people, sanely and empathetically.  We're not dehumanizing them, but merely noting many of them haven't managed to obtain humanity yet.  It takes some folks longer than others.

    Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 07:15:00 AM PDT

    •  it's a struggle not to over-simplify (6+ / 0-)

      the extreme right. They're strength is over-simplification -- the world is black and white, no shades of grey. The left is characterized by better education (% college grads, % graduate degrees) and less religious dogma (evangelical Christian vs. mainline Protestant, or non-religious ). We seek to understand and improve, they seem to seek status quo -- authoritarian control of their world is their standard operating mode.

      Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. [Frank Zappa]

      by tippingpoint08 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 07:37:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If they voted for reaganbushbush... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OleHippieChick

    They don't KNOW anything but fail.

    St. Ronnie was an asshole.

    by manwithnoname on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 08:09:45 AM PDT

  •  Lightweight (0+ / 0-)

    More baseless punditry, as far as I can tell. Without acess to the compelete data set, which I could find readily at any of the links, this is just more political yadda yadda.

    a good summary article was posted today (10/16) on the Huffington Post

    "Good" in what sense? If you haven't got access to the data, clearly not in the sense that it accurately represents it.  Maybe good in the sense of being what you want to hear?

  •  The part of the report in closer (0+ / 0-)

    keeping with your thesis is probably this:

    Building an Underground Movement

    The final aspect of the collective identity shared by conservative Republicans is the call to action.  The attacks they suffer for their values and the special knowledge they share as a result of their devotion to conservative media and active rejection of mainstream media are ultimately meaningless if it does not help defeat Obama and his hidden agenda.  This is where the sense of collective purpose is greatest.  They see a nascent movement building, still not fully realized or activated but with a growing number of people watching and listening, growing increasingly frustrated, and looking for ways to stop the growing threat they perceive.

    no remuneration was received by anyone for the writing of this message

    by ItsSimpleSimon on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 08:25:02 AM PDT

    •  this tells me we're in a "long war" (0+ / 0-)

      with the extreme right -- fundamentalists funded by Big Biz - yikes!

      Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. [Frank Zappa]

      by tippingpoint08 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 08:31:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I guess that depends also (0+ / 0-)

        on the answer to kismet's question above...

        If this is all about 45-60 year old, white right wing whiners then, maybe not.

        If that group is merely a reflection of discontent spread across less narrowly demographics - then possibly so.

        This does not, meanwhile, make such disenchanted individuals any less dangerous or volatile in my view.

        no remuneration was received by anyone for the writing of this message

        by ItsSimpleSimon on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 08:38:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the key stat that I see (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ItsSimpleSimon

          being played out in local GOP committee leadership battles -- the 66% of self ID'd GOPers are in the this extreme right base. They are taking control at the local level. Now I can see why. They will be the GOP for the foreseeable future.

          The local GOP base activists are young people -- mostly the "home school", evangelical crowd, leading a compliant crowd of middle age angry white folks.

          Instead of living apart from modern society - like the Amish & Old Order Mennonite -- these folks want to challenge local, state and Fed government with a minimalist government view and religious social order agenda.

          Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. [Frank Zappa]

          by tippingpoint08 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 09:13:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I"m happy to see that others are beginning (0+ / 0-)

    to see the the Sedition in the Extremist. The sad part is, that the radicialized Right will see the arrests for sedition as "proof-of-concept" that Obama is indeed going to round them all up, and place them in the infamous FEMA camps. To be Final Fantasied into oblivion

    "My case is alter'd, I must work for my living." Moll Cut-Purse, The Roaring Girl - 1612, England's First Actress

    by theRoaringGirl on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 09:15:03 AM PDT

  •  it's the talk radio base! why palin doesn't read (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snakelass

    they get it from the radio!

    that's what they all have in common. 1000 radio stations with coordinated repetition and as far as they can tell the blowhard idiots they get it from are right on because the left never contests the bullshit (maybe a little bit recently).  the certitude is never questioned in real time even though great hoards of enemies have been identified and distorted for them.

    ignoring the talk radio monopoly continues to be the biggest political blunder in decades

    by certainot on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 10:05:53 AM PDT

  •  Enimies? (0+ / 0-)

    I thought you said up top that "As with most derisive, dismissive labels applied to our fellow human beings, we reduce our humanity by reducing theirs."

    "If you love me, let me live in peace, please understand That the black sheep can wear the golden fleece And hold a winning hand" Tim Hardin

    by blacksheepboy on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 10:51:52 AM PDT

  •  Skewed toward senior and southern but (0+ / 0-)

    still too many in the small rural states  elsewhere. That means at least 10 senators who are totally looped and maybe 60 to 100 representatives who also vote against the Constitution.

    Health is the first requisite after morality - T. Jefferson

    by OHdog on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 11:08:16 AM PDT

  •  treasonous ReThugs (0+ / 0-)

    secession = treason.

    Haters are Traitors!

    This White House is way different. It's better! ~Rachel Maddow

    by catchaz on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 11:57:09 AM PDT

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