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It's a very simple reason. We don't talk about it much. We should. The Republican Party has all the flexibility of the Bolshevik Party. And for the same reason.

Their members cannot think.

Not because they are stupid or foolish. Oddly, not because they are wrong.

Their members cannot think because they are not allowed to think. Not for themselves.

I've actually gotten into this some with a Republican friend of mine. After he sends me the latest internet viral email screed (in 60-point type! Rule: the bigger the font, the smaller the thought) I point out to him that he has not given me any new thoughts. He has just repeated talking points provided by higher authorities. I've told him that the Republicans have a "party line" that is just as active as the "party line" that ruled the Soviets in Stalin's day. And although it is not as murderous, it can be almost as vicious.

My friend actually had contact with Russian troops at the end of WWII, and I share with him a deep disgust at the British and American betrayal of those troops (he's quite amazed that anyone as young as I am even knows about it). So this critique stings him where it truly hurts. I keep giving him this exercise: Say one little thing nice about any Obama, without snark or satire. See how long it takes for your phone to ring and for you to be corrected. He won't ever do it. He can't. He knows it's true.

That is why I have been so fascinated by Newt Gingrich and (a little bit) Rick Perry and their new anti-Mittster tactic regarding Bain. They have stepped outside the party line, and not just a little. Have you seen how quickly Perry's head snapped back at the response? He's been threatened, and for all his Texas tough talk, I don't think that's ever happened to him before (although he's been known to dish it out real good). Newt's a little tougher, so he's hanging on a little longer. Plus his sizable ego won't let him back down from anything easily. But I've been seeing some sweat on his upper lip. Limbaugh's recent rebuke had to hurt. And as the "don't attack free market capitalism" becomes the party line, you're going to see the pressure get turned up. I bet he's getting some tough phone calls right now.

I've watched these people at work. They give reasons for their beliefs, sure. The thoughts come from their Foundations and think tanks. When they have to go off script, though, you see them sweat. These folks are afraid. They are fearful of stepping off into the unknown. There would be consequences--they couldn't charge as much for speeches. They might lose country club privileges. They might have to fly coach. They're terrified. All their fretting of the Dems as "politically correct" or as "Communist" is just projection. They are the ones who have to think and act and talk in lockstep.

I don't want to be scared. That's why I don't vote R.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If you interview career criminals they follow (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kevinpdx, AnnieR

    the same philosophical beliefs... The most successful are like CEOs...out for a quick buck at someone elses expense... they let them do the work and think they're clever to wlk away with the majority of the benefit of that persons hard work

    Fear is the Mind Killer

    by boophus on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 10:15:03 PM PST

  •  What's Newt Got To Loose? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kevinpdx

    He makes most of his money these days by hawking books.  His gig w/ Fannie & Freddie was over long ago.  That's already gone.  Newt hasn't held public office since the l990's.  He's doing well enough to charge $500 Grand to Tiffanys.  He already has a well established consulting business.  He'll do fine without the Republican elite blessings.

    This campaign has given Newt enough material for l0-12 more books.  He'll get speaking engagements for years to come from the last few months.  He'll milk it.  

  •  "don't attack free market capitalism" (0+ / 0-)

    This is exactly what the losing strategy of the republican party needs to be.

  •  I don't know if it's that they're not allowed to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    myboo

    think rather than they're signed on to that whole group think thing.  And fear is behind it all.  Rightwing tv and radio use fear of the "other" very successfully.  I have a middle class rightwing sister, not worried about country clubs or acceptance in any group.  She's kept in line by fear, fear of Obama, fear of me.  We've had some interesting conversations wherein she tries to convince me I'm wrong and that I need to join her side because it's safer and way more righteous, of course.  I honestly think they're wired differently, and watching my sister grow up (she's younger), I'm convinced we're born this way.  But I'm not an expert.  Just my two-bit take.

    "They love the founding fathers so much they will destroy everything they created and remake it in Rush Limbaughs image." MinistryofTruth, 9/29/11

    by AnnieR on Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 05:19:56 AM PST

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