Skip to main content

There's a mythology around politics, one that sees the ballot box and the floor of Congress as a battleground of ideas. In this star-spangled arena, progressives and conservatives square off in the competition to prove the worth of their opposing philosophies and the merit of their plans. Of course it's not all high-minded rhetoric and reasoned discourse, there are selfish motives and personal ambitions, angry outbursts and plain old mistakes, but in the end the best ideas win out in the great experiment that is America! Cue the brass section and wave the flag.

The truth is it was probably never that way. It doesn't take much prompting for people to produce examples of nastiness in campaigns back Jefferson and Adams, or to revisit instances of corruption from decades or centuries gone by. We all know that Mr. Smith is a fictional character.

However, just because it's possible to unearth grizzled examples of ugliness doesn't mean that the current season is not unique. Uniquely dangerous. And what makes it dangerous is the pretense that we're still in that fantasyland were ideas arm wrestle for history's approval. In fact, that time is long past. It's not even that what's now coming from the right consists of 100% emotional, fear-based appeals without a factual basis. In 2012, a campaign of suggestive fear-mongering seems almost quaint.

It's that the Republicans have staked out a position that requires that they lie, 24/7, 365. Not shade the facts their way. Not put their own spin on the situation. Lie. Big, sloppy, and constantly.

The lies go beyond instantly dismissible claims like President Obama being the "food stamp president" (why you have to go back one whole administration to discover that more people joined the food stamp ranks under Bush than Obama, but then the Republicans don't seem to remember Bush in any case).  The blatant lies extend through every aspect of the Republican platform, such as it is. The simple reason is that the Republicans have no ideas left, at least no ideas that have not been tested and proven to be failures again, and again, and again.

The economy didn't just crash under a Republican president, it crashed under Republican policies. It crashed with low taxes. It crashed with deregulated markets. It crashed with huge restrictions on union activity. It crashed with massive cuts in environmental regulations. It crashed with lowered trade barriers. It crashed with big fat Pentagon spending.

They got what they wanted. They got CEOs with no limits on their wealth. They got banks with no limits on their "creativity." They got trade agreements that guaranteed manufacturing could be moved to the dirtiest, cheapest, most desperate source available. They got massive cuts in capital gains taxes and equally large boosts in the wealth they could pass along in estates. They got everything they said would make us all wealthy. They got record oil and gas drilling. They got record giveaways of public land. They got everything they said would create jobs. They got the middle class to shoulder more, more, more of the burden so that those beautiful job creators would be free to work their magic.

They can't say the economy crashed because taxes went up, because they didn't. They can't say that the economy crashed because there was a raft of new regulation, because there wasn't. They can't blame it on "union thugs" or Saul Alinsky or the guy who writes Happy Holidays cards at Hallmark. They can't blame it on a president who was elected when the world was already in free fall. Only, of course they do. They say it because they have no choice.

For the same reason that they have to maintain that global warming is the creation of a conspiracy of scientists, and that evolution is a conspiracy of other scientists, and that gay marriage is a threat to "traditional" marriage. They have to lie about the threat of illegal immigrants. Lie about the state of the national debt. Lie about the effects of the President's health care plan. They have to lie, because lies are all they have left.

They certainly can't admit the truth about the economy. They can't admit that they did it. Own it. That their policies directly caused the worst economic failure in American history. Strike that. Make it "the greatest failure in American history since the last time that these same policies were tried." But then, they've been lying about that bit of history for years.

The truth is that the Republicans have nothing to offer. Not even anything that looks like a governing philosophy. Conservatism has moved out of the ranks of political theories and simply become a cult; one that requires that certain phrases be mouthed, that certain hatreds be nourished, and that purity be maintained regardless of cost. That schism with reality is increasingly large and increasingly obvious. They try to paper over that gap by dismissing little things like science, reason, history. Real science fails to support their contentions, so they have to write it off. Reason doesn't work for them, so any question must be met with red-faced indignity — every question a gotcha question. Real history is full of warts, quirks, and unfortunate truths that don't fit their ritualized beliefs. So they have to try to rewrite history, giving us rewrite Reagan who never raised a tax or increased a debt, rewrite FDR who created the issues he actually solved, rewrite Lincoln who championed the Confederate cause, rewrite founding fathers who never owned slaves, never supported government regulation of the economy, never wavered in their ardent love for a form of religiosity that didn't yet exist. Tricorner hats are the new tinfoil.

The real danger isn't that someone might listen to the Republicans—anyone who lies long enough and loud enough can always find an audience, especially when that someone has three quarters of the television media and ninety+ percent of radio. The danger is that we might forget that they're lying. Too often Democrats, including this president, have felt that the best way to handle Republican fantasies is to compromise with them. You can't compromise reality, no no matter how loud the lies.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Because This Is What Conquest Looks Like (101+ / 0-)

    I think we should start with the simplest hypothesis given that several wings of the right are happy to state outright that that's what they're doing.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:03:48 AM PST

    •  Conquest of what? (12+ / 0-)

      They are destroying with impunity in a way that would be suicidal if there were foresight enough.They are nihilists by recurrent failure to govern and by the cynical choice to govern by undermining government the way that a criminal scam loots all possible value from an illegitimate business and then burns down the physical premises for the insurance money. Only, in this case, there is no insurance policy and they are in the building they seek to burn, somehow managing to convince themselves they live in wing that is fire proof.

      •  They would rather rule a smoking ruin... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        caul, Dube, Oh Mary Oh

        than serve in a utopia.  Nothing new there.

        Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your shackles. It is by the picket line and direct action that true freedom will be won, not by electing people who promise to screw us less than the other guy.

        by rhonan on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 12:26:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You are beginning to see... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poorbuster, kellius, Gorette

        George W. Bush was the most successful Republican President ever.  Not for us mind you and not for the ridiculous goals he had to claim to want in order to get elected.  He was successful at making the people who really got him elected, his financial backers, richer than they could have ever hoped to be.  Look at the evidence.  

        Do you think the 1% have a problem with the widening gap in real wealth?  Of course not.  Why do you think the number one priority of the Republican Party is to obstruct everything?  It is not to prevent Obama from getting re-elected... It is to keep the status quo exactly where it is.  Sure, they'll talk of wanting more because they have to play a victim or we might catch on.  Secretly, they know that they really cannot get too much more without collapsing the country so they have established the line and they will keep it right here as long as they can because this is like Christmas every day.

        They have somehow convinced the majority of the country that they are so extremely conservative that the passing of their conservative policies from a few years ago by the new Democrats is downright extreme leftwing lunacy taking us down the road to communism.

        Think about that...  They have supposed liberals thankful to pass bills that 10 years ago was being proposed by the ultra-conservatives and  now those same ultra-conservatives are calling the Democrats Commies for even suggesting them.  

        The problem is all of this money that Citizen's United is dumping into our elections is going to one place... The Media.  Do you really think that the media is going to stay neutral and put an end to a process that is generating literally billions of dollars for themselves?  Not a chance.  So every story, no matter how crazy, is going to be played as if it is a rational counterpoint to the other.  In this scenario, since nothing is going to be too crazy to call out, the craziest story eventually pushes the middle so far to one side (the Conservative side) that the middle is now further to the right than their original starting point.  

        Meanwhile, the Liberals continue to stand their ground on logic and compromise leaning farther and farther right so that middle ground is somewhere to the right of George Wallace.

        "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

        by Buckeye Nut Schell on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 05:15:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Obama's Folly or Betrayal? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Buckeye Nut Schell, poorbuster

          I thought it was the first for awhile until I realized it was the second. Obama betrayed the change we believed in. And in big ways. Who would have thought that Obama would be the one to legalize infinite detention, retroactively ratifying the civil rights crimes of his predecessor.

          As for the 1%, yes they're happy to keep playing the shell game with the political middle until it's time to break out their violins like Nero.

          •  Case in Point (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Boreal Ecologist

            Here's a guy, a father, still caged at Guantanamo after 10 years of no charges filed against him.

            http://tinyurl.com/...

            Obama should personally have to tell this man's family--day by day--why the man is still in jail. And he should have to do it on a phone system that allows  Michelle, Sasha, and Melia to listen to the call.

            How long do you think the guy would remain uncharged or in prison?

    •  Sumner's post is one DKos best. Venceremos! n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gorette

      Venceremos! (We shall overcome!)

      by Redfire on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:13:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Compassionate Conservatism (39+ / 0-)

    The one thing that Conservatives hate worst about W is that lie about Conservatism ever being Compassionate.  

    Dammit, they want the world to know that there is no place in their conservative world for compassion!

    Impeach Grover Norquist! Defeat a Republican!

    by NM Ray on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:09:49 AM PST

  •  Brilliant summary. (49+ / 0-)

    You hit every important point, hard.

    I hope every reader will send this out to every contact and correspondent they have. I know I get plenty of RW material in my inbox; this is the antidote.

    Dear Ayn Rand fans: Please, would each of you just go all John Galt, immediately? Thank you.

    by CitizenJoe on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:11:58 AM PST

    •  is it really the antidote (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul

      To say that the Republicans own the economy is to refuse any blame for the Democrats.

      The OP did not cite any examples of things that led to the downturn but which Democrats opposed tooth and nail.  Are there such examples?

      You take from your backpack the glass phial containing the sparkling dust and sprinkle it on the stone slab. Slowly the stone slab starts to rise into the air

      by GideonAB on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 09:12:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think Democrats are blameless. (4+ / 0-)

        The repeal of Glass-Steagal, NAFDA, and etc come to mind.
        But, it's fair to say:

        The economy didn't just crash under a Republican president, it crashed under Republican policies. It crashed with low taxes. It crashed with deregulated markets. It crashed with huge restrictions on union activity. It crashed with massive cuts in environmental regulations. It crashed with lowered trade barriers. It crashed with big fat Pentagon spending.
        -and to point out that lots of Republican policies passed under Democrats.

        I like the piece because of its concision. Brevity precludes some nuance, lists of specific examples, and footnotes. But your point is well-taken. Thanks!
        Joe

        Dear Ayn Rand fans: Please, would each of you just go all John Galt, immediately? Thank you.

        by CitizenJoe on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:15:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  When I posted this to FB (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          caul

          I did mention that many dems were complicit...

          "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

          by La Gitane on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:10:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  brevity (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          caul

          To address your brevity point, I would suggest that there is nothing stopping the OP from posting multiple diaries if he needs to expand on any item.

          Still I thank you for your positive response.

          You take from your backpack the glass phial containing the sparkling dust and sprinkle it on the stone slab. Slowly the stone slab starts to rise into the air

          by GideonAB on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 01:01:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Bearing false witness (32+ / 0-)

    You'd think that people who are constantly touting their religion would try to actually follow the precepts in their holy works.  But no.

    Does anyone who believes in the Bible believe that George Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Michele Bachman, Fox "News" et al has a tinker's chance of getting into heaven?

    If Christianity is true, anyone who bears false witness, or votes for those who do, is doomed.

    (I say this as an observer; I'm not Christian, and lying is not a singularly Christian political strategy.  But, as this article points out, Christian conservatives just don't live in the world G_d created.)

    "What doesn't have credibility today is the truth." -- Bill Moyers, The Daily Show 6/22/05

    by Baron Dave on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:13:25 AM PST

  •  Awesome Post, Mark! (21+ / 0-)

    Agree completely! Anytime I corner one of these failed, lying supporters, they either back down or scoff in disgust that their points are actually bullshit. We really need a concerted effort to put these people in their places. Hopefully, we do that come November!

    The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes. Aristotle

    by ATFILLINOIS on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:14:01 AM PST

    •  Their "points" are actually just propaganda (7+ / 0-)

      The propaganda is all political weaponry the conservatives are using to conduct their coup d'etat. The propaganda has no purpose except to destroy the power of their opponents.

      Everything the conservatives do is designed to give them political power. They recognize this, so they feel no hesitation to lie. What matters is whether they get someone they trust into a position of power and remove their opponents. That's the total naked purpose for running Romney for President. He belongs to the power clique that is running the conservative coup attempt. None of the other clowns running for the nomination belong to their club. That's why Romney WILL win the nomination.

      There is no body of "conservative" thought today, and reading Burke, etc. is a total waste of time. Forget economics. Modern economic theory is applied statistics using aggregated accounting numbers which exclude power outcomes. (That's because there are no numbers that can reliably measure aggregated power. Ask any researcher.)

      Read things like Eric R. Wolf's book "Envisioning Power: Ideologies of Dominance and Crisis." He goes into detail about how it is possible to structure decisions so that only those decisions which support the group structuring how it is made can win the outcome. The World Bank and IMF have been famous for doing this, with the total support of the statistical "Economists" who ignore any power results of their science. Naomi Klein's book "Shock Doctrine: the Rise of Disaster Capitalism" is another which is very important (as most of us here know.)

      I'm sure there are others. What are they?

      There is no reason to bother reading conservative propaganda except to gather weapons to defeat their coup attempt. Most of what they write is tribal signals to gather the faithful around the flag and conduct the next attack anyway. The Republican Party today consists of nothing except propaganda-meisters and their fundraisers supporting a few wealthy and powerful individuals they wish to elevate to the position of tribal chief.

      Democrats stand for Liberty, Security, Support of Families and Opportunity Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

      by Rick B on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 09:39:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  On Faux techniques... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        caul, Rick B

        "The most brilliant propaganda technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself
         to a few points and repeat them over and over"
        - 'Little Joe' Goebbels
        There you are, right from the horse's _ _ _!
        Only the most gullible (Fox News fans and other such simpletons) are afflicted!

        ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

        by joe wobblie on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 12:16:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think that some of them... (21+ / 0-)

    may not even realize that they are spreading the lies, and are (not to be too compassionate) sort of victims of their own constant lying.

    But yeah, I'm sure I'm being far too generous.

    "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

    by RonV on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:14:09 AM PST

    •  Went to the VA clinic Saturday, TV in the waiting (12+ / 0-)

      area was tuned to FOX 24/7 shitmongery. Most of the black people there obviously wished to shut it off or at least change the station, most of the white people were doing "call and response" with each other to the shitstream coming from the yakkers. Yeah! Forcing Catholics to use contraception! Iran's gonna finally own up to having nukular weapons, a mortal threat to our Freedom'n'stuff! Obama Must Be Destroyed! OUR FREEDOM is at stake! One of them even said "Right ON!"

      Ow.

      Coolest part was the VA staffers, a medical assistant, a nurse, and a black physician's assistant, talking loudly about how Obama's "reorganization"(sneer) was going to continue to screw them over. No pay raises again, and that might be the case for FIVE MORE YEARS if they don't all get together and throw the Kenyan out of office.

      I enlisted way back when (1966) with visions of Civics Class sugarplums dancing in my head and at least a ghost of a notion that the Dirty Commies were going to take it all away from us, to Take Over if "we" did not stop them in Indochina. Remember when being RED was, like, REALLY BAD? As in "Better Dead Than Red?"

      Guess what? Me and all those other mopes, enlisted, drafted, whatever, FAILED in our oaths to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic," to keep our Sacred City on a Hill safe from the horror of a RED TAKEOVER.

      Fuckers shot us in the back -- we were guarding, all vigilant and fierce and deadly from our bunkers, exactly the wrong direction...

      You gotta believe the reason the War Department is going all Clone Wars/Drone Wars and "autonomous battle robots," and turning the whole fucking planet into nothing more than Nine Areas of Operation in the Global Networked Interoperable Battlespace, is that the silly "oath" thing can be omitted from the programming, so there's no cost or blowback associated with indoctrination that's directly contrary to what ever little bit of Constitutionalism our young and not-so-young all-volunteers learned in school. And no worry about a repeat of what happened in 1968 at Ft. Hood Texas, and a few other places and times, where GIs, mostly Vietnam vets like myself, refused en masse to saddle up and fly to Chicago and "suppress" the Dumb Fucking Hippies at the '68 Democratic Convention, or where GIs and Gyrenes stand up at Occupy events and get shot in the head for their trouble and adherence to First Principles...

      "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

      by jm214 on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 08:53:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lies, and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them (30+ / 0-)

    Someone should write a book with that title.

    My forthcoming book Obama's America: A Transformative Vision of Our National Identity will be published in Summer 2012 by Potomac Books.

    by Ian Reifowitz on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:15:21 AM PST

  •  Their shibboleth. (26+ / 0-)

    I have been saying that this is how Republican voters know one another ...the more outrageous the lie, the more they praise one another.  

    They start with "Obama isn't a citizen," and they end with, "He's the antichrist."

    This dystopia can't last (where dystopia is "a society characterized by human misery, ...squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding.")

  •  Brilliant --thank you. (12+ / 0-)

    Should become required reading for Blue Dogs and so-called "independents."

    GOP = Greedy One Percent

    by Palafox on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:15:44 AM PST

    •  Don't be harsh on the independents..... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sue B, waltinpa, Terranova0, IreGyre

      ...they are the ones that we can convince, and they are the ones that will make this a landslide victory come Nov.

      Independents are to be embraced - not scorned. We need to make it our own personal goal to win over one or two indies for this upcoming election.

      Landslide...or bust. 2012.

  •  Exactly right. (33+ / 0-)

    Well done.

    What distresses me is that there is absolutely no prohibition on politicians lying, nor even any pushback (except on left-leaning blogs that the people who believe the GOPs lies never see).  There are rules in place about products: if you even picture a piece of parsley on a package of frozen food, you have to label it "serving suggestion" so people will know the photo is not quite the truth of what they'll find inside.  But a politician answering questions on a network so-called news tv interview can blithely lie--present false "facts" and figures, distort his own past words; invent "information" about the President; present "quotes" that are the opposite of what the speaker said, and no one blinks an eye.  

    How can we have a democracy that's built on bald-faced lies?

    Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

    by SottoVoce on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:16:00 AM PST

  •  Shout it from the rooftops (6+ / 0-)

    This is extremely well summarized and stated.

    I wish everyone would repeat this over and over....especially our close to useless democrati
    c party!
  •  Thanks but I disagree with one statement (20+ / 0-)
    The truth is that the Republicans have nothing to offer.
    The truth is that they are proposing to go back to the good ole days, before the Great Society, before the New Deal, before the Progressive era, to the glorious 1890's, and repeal every act of Congress enacted since then to help people.  Repeal Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security and Food Stamps and Unemployment Insurance and all regulation of the banks and the Wagner Act, etc. etc. etc. and return to the Gilded Age where government barely escaped drowning in a bathtub.

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:17:49 AM PST

  •  "Republicans undiscover fire" (23+ / 0-)

    You aint seen nothing yet...;)Wait till they undiscover the wheel.

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:20:38 AM PST

  •  Two diaries, same thoughts... (14+ / 0-)

    I just added this comment to another diary when saw yours appear on the front page:  

    "The right has emerged from hiding.  Their maddening control of the debate the past 5 years, hard as it has been to endure, has emboldened them to believe they are speaking for all of America and all of Christendom.  The real action begins now. They've come out from behind the trees into the open field, and that's where the conflict must be settled.   Drone attacks won't be enough."  

    But we have to seize the opportunity, and we must insist that we be well led.  There are no guarantees.  

  •  Tricorner hats are the new tinfoil... (17+ / 0-)

    Beautiful!  And remember, it's not a lie if they act like they believe it....and it makes them even wealthier.

  •  Obama has let them escape responsibility... (8+ / 0-)

    ...since the day he entered office.

    He made a couple of remarks in the 2008 campaign about the meltdown being the result of a failed ideology. But not much after that, except for some halfhearted "keys to the car" lines in the 2010 campaign.

    Why do you think that is?

    Barack Obama: So morally bankrupt that he thinks people who tortured other people to death should get a pass. Likes to prosecute whistleblowers and pot smokers, though.

    by expatjourno on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:21:31 AM PST

    •  Could not disagree with you more..... (5+ / 0-)

      he says it constantly... either people are not listening or they hear only what they want to hear

      If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. John F. Kennedy ( inaugural address, January 20, 1961)

      by Outraged Mom on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:55:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Alan Simpson. Catfood Commission. (6+ / 0-)

        Comparing federal budget to family budget. Growth through austerity measures to promote "confidence." Tax cuts for the rich. Praise for the seriousness of Paul Ryan's ideas. Putting Social Security on the table. Offering 4 trillion in spending cuts.

        When he isn't appointing Republicans he's borrowing their talking points and continuing their policies.

        The only thing you've heard is Obama pointing out that the economy was in a deep hole when he took office. But he hasn't done much to indict Republican policies. And he has done far less to hold Wall Street accountable than George HW Bush did to hold the S&L criminals responsible.

        Barack Obama: So morally bankrupt that he thinks people who tortured other people to death should get a pass. Likes to prosecute whistleblowers and pot smokers, though.

        by expatjourno on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 07:26:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This was my biggest disappointment. (4+ / 0-)

          After the 2008 election the Republican party, and Conservatism, was barely alive.  Dying a deserved death, wheezing its last breaths.

          It was about to become nothing more than a regional rump party ideology, removed from effectiveness in the national scene.

          Until the Democrats, including the White House, did everything they could to throw them life jackets instead of throwing them anchors.

          At the start of 2008 I was looking forward to a consistent loud message of how this mess was demonstrably the fault of (insert conservative policy here).

          But instead we got a consistent message of negotiation and compromise, bipartisanship and treating the "other side" with respect and seriousness.

          No one should be shocked the R's took the House in 2010, the Democrats did everything they could to make sure the R's were in position to be competitive again after 2008.

          2.1 million Texans voted Democratic in the 2010 midterms. How many people in YOUR state voted D in 2010?

          by Rick Aucoin on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 08:34:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  "Who is this 'Bush' that you speak of?" n/t (13+ / 0-)

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:23:24 AM PST

  •  The good news is that because of the (9+ / 0-)

    ...electronic media and the instant communications, they are being exposed to sun light each passing day. It will take time but history is not on their side.

    Bet on it. We know a whole lot more than what we knew before. The curtains are being removed...the veil is being lifted....

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:24:48 AM PST

    •  A few more -- those engaged enough to care -- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CuriousBoston

      know more and know it more quickly.  However, it's all probably too much and too fast for most people who seem to be less astute in assessing public policies than they were back when a daily newspaper and radio were the mass media lines of communication.  

      Only every once in a while do we get a glimpse of the unmediated, unfiltered real position of at least 60% of American.  Moments when the rightwing screaming appears more unhinged than usual and little to nothing is coming from the middle (aka Democrats).  

  •  It is impossible to forget they lie (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Palafox, Texnance, Eric Twocents, googie, eps62

    All you have to do is elect them and watch it turn to shit in contrast to their lies. But you've got to hold on to your right and power to get rid of them, which is via voting.

    They are trying to take away your right vote, too.

    No Jesus, Know Peace

    by plok on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:26:13 AM PST

  •  GOP is a mess.....and it's somebody else's fault. (11+ / 0-)
  •  A most excellent synopsis (11+ / 0-)

    of the present state of the GOP.  Lies, lies, and more lies; and a gullible, uneducated base who only believe what they want to believe, the facts be damned.

    You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

    by rb608 on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:28:40 AM PST

  •  But Democratic leadership does not say this. (20+ / 0-)

    The "bipartisanship" ideology of current Democratic leadership never speaks the truth about Reaganomics and GOP right wing religious ideologies being the cause of US problems from the deficits/deficits to the oil imports and oil wars to the failed health care and damaged Social Security and Medicare to the massive destruction of US economy by an regulated Wall St.

    No one in the Democatic leadership is willing to speak truth for power for fear their "partner", the insane GOP right wing religious Reaganites will get mad at them and won't "meet them half way".

    Democrats should at least go down telling the truth though an argument can be made that they should stop fearing telling the truth and working on real solutions.

    National health plan is a best example where an insurance industry fake "reform" that continues the problems of out of control costs, lack of coverage and poor results with the same insurance company tax on health care system is passed and Democratic leadership is afraid to tell the truth. That it won't work to fix the real problems of US health care which are bankrupting the economy and killing and bankrupting individuals who need health care.

    So the insanity of lies rests with Democratic leadership as well in the name of "bipartisanship".

  •  Well, yeah, when you put it that way . . . (6+ / 0-)

    What you're not giving the republicans credit for is their last "cogent" argument; namely that whatever of the diminishing regulations are left are the ones actually responsible for whatever bad thing happened after whatever regulations had been removed to prevent the bad thing from happening. No  "my bad", "Whoa, that wasn't supposed to happen", or "OK, that was a step too far".  And never an acknowledgment of past history's judgement on their ideology's past performance.

  •  Pitch perfect, Hunter (7+ / 0-)

    I  was having this conversation on the way to my second class session of a weekend college course yesterday, and my colleague brought it up, not me.  She said the problem is that Republicans lie, and wow, did you ever hit that on the head.  Recced and retweeted, and if the Democrats don't run against W at least in part this time, people should lose their political jobs.

    All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:30:19 AM PST

    •  I mean, of COURSE, Mark (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OLinda

      This is what undercaffeinated is like.  Teaching schedule: 6 hours yesterday, 6 today, 3 tomorrow. First week of this, six more to come.  It's the third time I've done this and it will get a lot more routine.

      All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

      by Dave in Northridge on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:35:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thats all true. . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541

    . . .But, we are not convincing enough people to buy it.

    Paging Bud Fox, paging Bud Fox! Mitt Gekko is waiting for you in Central Park!

    by waztec on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:33:28 AM PST

  •  Sorry, but you're only telling half-truths... (5+ / 0-)

    The tax cut policy - name it what you will, "trickle down economics", "voodoo economics", "putting more money in the pockets of workers" - has been a miserable, terrible, horrendous failure.  We all know the litany:  massive debt, stagnant wages, blackmail politics and budgetary gridlock.

    But let's be real.  Both sides have gone along with it.  Both sides bear responsibility, not just the Republicans.  The Bush Tax Cuts have become the Obama Tax Cuts.  The next couple of weeks will be dominated by charge and counter charge, recriminations and demagoguery regarding the Payroll "Tax Cut", only the roles have been reversed with the Democrats claiming the mantle of tax cut providers and the Republicans balking.  

    Until we have a leader who is willing to square with the American people that tax cuts don't work, that they are magic unicorn sprinkles, then we are locked in this downward spiral.  While I support President Obama, I have to be honest with myself and admit that he is playing exactly the same Republican game that got us into this mess.  Let's help in out and let him know that we are ready for the grownup conversation about taxes, for until we do, the ship will keep sinking.

    You can say "they" and point the finger at Republicans, but on taxes it is all of "them".

    P.S.  And before I get flamed for being "anti-Obama", a whining progressive, or otherwise.  Please note carefully that I have not said anything along the lines of not supporting Obama.

    •  It is helpful to separate party from ideology (0+ / 0-)

      While Democrats have contributed policy to this mess, the root cause is the radical swing to the right that has dominated the political rhetoric in this country since the late 70's.  Democrats came up with "The Third Way" to avoid being made irrelevant after the excesses of the far left resulted in condemnation of the non-right as a whole.

      You don't need a quadrophonic Blaupunkt, you hayseed. You need a curveball!

      by GoBlue08 on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 07:20:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure if I completely follow you... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Terranova0, Marie, eps62

        Third Way = Tax Cuts?
        Third Way = Act Like Republicans?
        Other?

        •  Yes -- the Third Way was the theme of the DLC (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happymisanthropy

          The Democratic Leadership Conference with leaders named Clinton and Gore, among others, attempted to find a way between right and left by adopting some of the conservatives' notions.  It led to the famous Clinton "triangulations" that cooped rightist positions and left the right unable to claim that Clinton opposed the "advances" posed by conservatism.

          What we got was a pretty conservative Democratic administration that advanced conservative causes like tax cuts, like welfare reform, like ballooning military budgets, and paradoxically, balanced budgets.

          Smart politics, but contributed to the disaster of the conservative ascendency we are suffering.

          You don't need a quadrophonic Blaupunkt, you hayseed. You need a curveball!

          by GoBlue08 on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:40:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  What "excesses of the far left" were those? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marie, happymisanthropy, wsexson

        I hear the Right describe the rise of the Democratic third way that way, but somehow I never get the specifics on what legislation represents that "excess" of the "far left".

        2.1 million Texans voted Democratic in the 2010 midterms. How many people in YOUR state voted D in 2010?

        by Rick Aucoin on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 08:36:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Kevin Phillips has been using that (3+ / 0-)

          "the left went to far" line for decades without defining it.  Then when asked and I related in The Conservative Lament - Kevin Phillips Whines:

          But in an almost classic Freudian slip, his mask dropped for a moment in an interview early 2006.  Asked to give an example of his often repeated claim that the left went "too far" decades ago when Democrats were the majority, he responded with, "School busing."  Hmm.  Phillips doesn’t accept "Brown vs. the Board of Education" ("separate is inherently unequal") as settled law?  Hell, even Alito wouldn’t say that in public and under oath.  (Had this country embraced "Brown" with the vigor and resources we mostly reserve for bombing brown people in other countries, tens of thousands of poor Blacks would not have been stranded in New Orleans.  Instead, with the support of racist creeps like Phillips, this country ignores "Brown" and our schools have returned to being as separate and unequal as ever according to Jonathan Kozol.  And recently enshrined by the SCOTUS which overturned "Brown" without having the cajones to say that.)
        •  It's too much shorthand perhaps (0+ / 0-)

          But the left was associated with the Yippies, violence in the streets, riots, drugs, the SDS, the Weather Underground, bombings on campuses, hippies, all seen as the degradation of culture.  Those are the excesses that the right associates with the left, rightly or wrongly.

          You don't need a quadrophonic Blaupunkt, you hayseed. You need a curveball!

          by GoBlue08 on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:35:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sure, but where's the legislation? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GoBlue08

            I mean, sure, there was a "leftist" cultural movement, but where was the actual over reach on legislation?

            Well, we know what they mean.  The "leftist excess" was the Voting Rights act and the attempts to pass the Equal Rights Act and such.

            Compared to Rightist overreach the Left hasn't done SHIT in this country.

            2.1 million Texans voted Democratic in the 2010 midterms. How many people in YOUR state voted D in 2010?

            by Rick Aucoin on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 01:04:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, absolutely, and more's the pity (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rick Aucoin

              The true political progressive movement got splattered with the messy tactics of extremists and the radical right has smeared it all over us since.  This time, we turn the tables -- extremism on the radical right is dangerous to the American identity and existence in a way the riots and bombings never could be.

              You don't need a quadrophonic Blaupunkt, you hayseed. You need a curveball!

              by GoBlue08 on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 01:30:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe They Are Pod People? (9+ / 0-)

    Could Republicans be from "Invasion of the Body Snatchers?"

    Mark, this is the best piece on the subject I've ever read.  Will pass along to my Republican friend who will of course deny every bit of it.  Then they will shout that I'm just a liberal Socialist!  Ever notice they are incapable of a conversation and can only shout or in the case of my brother-in-law just walk away.

    Did anyone else hear Amazing Grace being played at CPAC, I swear I did.

    Got to go and check my brother-in-law's garage for a pod...

  •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, Palafox

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:38:36 AM PST

  •  Republicans are like most movie critics (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texnance, Hirodog, foresterbob

    Oh, they can criticitize alright, but do NOT ask them to produce or direct a movie, or come up with a scenario because they will FAIL MISERABLY and yuo will end up with the worst movies ever!

  •  While true from start to finish (11+ / 0-)

    this diary is nonetheless depressing.

    A frequent statement as regards defending against terrorism is that they (the terrorists) only have to succeed once in a while, but the defenders have to succeed every time.

    Similarly, lies are easy to create and promulgate, but it requires huge amounts of time and energy to find, refute and stamp out every one. We can't catch them all.

    Worse, the majority of journalists have outright given up, abdicating responsibility for the education of the public, and figuratively at least, camouflageing a pit of cobras.

    My hope is that the right wing has outsmarted itself by sheer overload, and that the general public starts to believe the evidence provided by their own senses, instead of drinking more of the right wing cool-aid.

    Trickle-down theory; the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows. - J.K. Galbraith

    by Eric Twocents on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:38:52 AM PST

  •  Not true....Here is their idea: (16+ / 0-)

    from digby:

    I've quoted this numerous times, but it's very apropos for this discussion [re Catholic bishops opposition to contraception]. From Corey Robin's The Reactionary Mind
       
    The most profound and prophetic stance on the right has been John Adams’s. He believed: cede the field of the public, if you must, stand fast in the private. Allow men and women to become democratic citizens of the state but make sure they remain feudal subjects in the family, the factory, and the field. The priority of conservative political argument has been the maintenance of private regimes of power—even at the cost of the strength and integrity of the state.
    This is the fundamental nature of the battle between enlightened liberalism and reactionary conservatism, always has been. In this case it's a very explicit battle for women.  But it's not confined to women. Everyone should be concerned that this understanding of "liberty" is going to expand to allow any elite property owner whether religious or simply wealthy to opt out of community responsibility whenever it threatens their hegemony in their "private" sphere.

    This isn't just about the lady parts.
    [my emphasis]

    This is largely reflective of individual conflicts between libertarianism and liberalism, state's rights versus Federalism, and even North v. South.  What is so confounding this cycle is the edgy politics played by an administration acting as the adult in the room in order to play fair arbiter for American voters so they can see how to make a clear choice;  but it risks legitimizing oligarchy and demogoguery.  

    The debate should have been settled by now, as is aptly pointed out.  The Republicans are merely getting drunk at lunch on Monday, still playing morning quarterback and lying about the refs.  This is not a legitimate political party.  This is a gang of corrupt solipsist corporate whores.  Voters don't even exist to them.  Narcissism is on full display, and they propose more dystopia!  

    •  I think that society is moving on a course of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fayea

      steady improvement but in any single moment or place it may be the opposite.  Kind of like the climate is warming but in any specific weather pattern it may seem the opposite.

      What I think will remain with us until more and more people are treated with respect in their most immediate society at the point where they are raised is traumatically induced morbid insecurity.

      Being induced to scapegoat is not going to be less likely unless fewer people carry anger at their most basic and earliest treatment.  An anger that gets projected out to someone or something that is available because the real anger cannot be allowed towards those that failed or injured them.  Scapegoating is futile as a way of clearing aside resentment because it does nothing to repair the real betrayal and grief only distracts from it.  Just like becoming high on a substance just escalate, so too does the release of scapegoating.

      People don't need power over others in in these hurtful and destructive ways if they are not insecure in this way.  The most important thing to me about the President is that he does not need this kind of power.  He is a mutual person through and through.  That is not weakness, that is the ideal.  

  •  Reagan's Big Lie (6+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the diary.

    What you have described is an essential, not accidental, feature of Reagan Conservatism.  I provided an historical background here:  http://www.dailykos.com/...?

    I call this generation of politician "DestructoCon".   Their goal is to destroy, not preserve.        
      http://www.dailykos.com/...?

  •  OMG (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Palafox

    this scratched an itch that I couldn't pinpoint. Brilliant!

  •  Great summation of the GOP today. (6+ / 0-)

    I blame most of this on the Rove strategy of "
    move the center."  That cynical strategy was to espouse right-wing drivel that was "more to the right" of what really believed.

    Of course the Law of Unintended consequences struck again.  Some GOP'ers moved faster and farther than others.  Some did not know when to stop.  Some still have not stopped.

    The result - a fractured and dysfunctional party that has allowed wing-nuts to be "the center"  and past heroes, like Nixon and Reagan, to appear like liberals.

    The scary part is that a good portion of the electorate will vote for these wacko's no matter what.

    "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." -- Hubert H. Humphrey

    by Candide08 on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:45:40 AM PST

    •  In America, (0+ / 0-)

      the center is always to the right of the center.

      Ask your barista what her degree is in.

      by happymisanthropy on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 12:06:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are probably right, but there used to be... (0+ / 0-)

        a real center.   What do we have these days?  

        The Right, even farther right, wing-nut, lunatic and then the GOP "base."

        The GOP, in an attempt at a cynical long-term power grab have fractured their own party, hurt the country and made true bi-partisanship both a thing of the past and a pejorative,  while "moving the center." Net result - there is no center any longer.

        Maybe I am hopelessly optimistic (funny my friends say the opposite...) but I really believe that he vast majority of Americans are sick of this horse-crap.

        "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." -- Hubert H. Humphrey

        by Candide08 on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 02:24:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Kudos, again, Mark Sumner (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Palafox, on the cusp, sandrad23, Val

    If I had written a diary, this is what I would have wanted to say. Excellent.

  •  Bart Simpson GOP: "I didn't do it." (6+ / 0-)

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:47:19 AM PST

  •  I am going to print this... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, kiwiheart

    so that I don't start believing the lies and so that I can remind others. Thank you, thank you.

  •  You said taxes & trade: (6+ / 0-)
    It crashed with low taxes. It crashed with deregulated markets. It crashed with huge restrictions on union activity. It crashed with massive cuts in environmental regulations. It crashed with lowered trade barriers.
    Obama calls for quick approval of Korean Free Trade deal:
    (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday called on Congress to pass a free trade agreement with South Korea "as soon as possible," but offered no timetable for action on two other pacts with Panama and Colombia.
    Lowered Trade barriers, anyone?

    Obama calls for cutting Corporate Tax Rate:

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) President Barack Obama will call for cutting the top 35 percent corporate tax rate as early as this month, according to two sources close to the administration.
    Referencing Obama's Timothy Geithner:
    This would jibe with remarks made last year by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who suggested the United States should be moving to a rate more in line with its major trading partners in the high 20-percent range.
    Cut taxes, create jobs!  Bipartisanship, baby!

    Oh.  I believe there was mention of de-regulation?

    GEITHNER: Actually, I would not support reinstating Glass-Steagall. And I don’t actually believe that the end of Glass-Steagall played a significant role in the cause of this crisis.
    That's Obama's Treasury Secretary, Geithner, referencing Glass-Steagall, November 19th, 2009, during testimony before Congress' Joint Economic Committee.

    Interesting, no?

    It isn't that Obama hasn't Changed anything; It's that his actions advance the 1%'s interests.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:59:00 AM PST

  •  Santorum Is On Meet The Press (4+ / 0-)

    ....and they got Peggy Noonan out of the nursing home for the day!  (astonishingly, she's actually only 61)

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 07:03:08 AM PST

  •  One big objection (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bmcphail

    You imply that the economy would not have, or has never, crashed with a Democratic president/policies, high taxes, regulated markets, freer unions, protectionism, etc.

    Economic downturns and crashes, mild and severe, occur essentially independent of government policies.  Those policies can affect a lot of details about how a recession happens and how long it lasts.  But the notion that the whole thing would not have happened if the Democrats had been in office rather than Bush?  That's a delusion.

    Republican lies are indeed outrageous, and should be pointed out as such whenever and wherever possible.  But it's just as important not to lie to ourselves, as well.

    •  I think that the Republicans have been... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Terranova0, happymisanthropy

      ... whacking away at the underpinnings of progressive policies since Reagan was elected.

      Every time they were in control of the government, and could, they continued to undermine these policies to the extent that they were hanging by a thread when Bush 43 was appointed American Emperor by the Supreme Court.

      At that point, it was an easy push to finish the job, which he did, in spades. Between the tax cuts for the wealthy, two completely unpaid-for wars that bled our treasury dry, and other items, Bush 43 was certainly the president with his finger on the trigger of our economic collapse.

      You may not believe that but I certainly do.

      For a better America, vote the GOP out of office whenever and wherever possible and as soon (and as often) as possible!

      by dagnome on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:27:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're confusing issues. (0+ / 0-)

        While you're right about the failings of the Bush administration's economic and fiscal policies, most of what you're identifying had little to do with the recession.

        Sure, you can lay the huge inflation of the deficit and US debt square at Bush's feet... but that had almost no bearing on the recession.  Actually, by implying as much, you're feeding the Republic delusion that the deficit is the single most critical economic problem facing the United States.  About the only real link is that the size of the deficit has made our politicians more reluctant to use fiscal stimulus to to combat the recession.

        The recession was caused by the housing bubble, which had in turn been caused by over-investment in mortgage-backed securities and similar assets.  While I'm not convinced that older regulations stripped away by Republicans (or any regulation, really) could have actually prevented that bubble from occurring, that would certainly be a better target for your ire than the tax cuts and war budgets (at least as it relates to this issue).

    •  Absolutely untrue (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chmood
      Economic downturns and crashes, mild and severe, occur essentially independent of government policies.
      The economic history of the country up through the Gilded Age is one of boom and bust.  Since the advent of Progressivism at the turn of the 20th century, with its attendant regulation and softening of pure capitalism, there have been recessions and booms but only two collapses comparable to those which were routine in the 1800's: The Great Depression and our current difficulties.  Both were caused by temporary regressions to 1800's principles by Republican governments.  Other than that, the activist government of the Progressive Era and the New Deal/Great Society have contributed to an era of unprecedented stability and upward mobility.

      We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

      by bmcphail on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 02:42:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No. (0+ / 0-)

        The periodic recessions of the 19th century were not consistently more severe than the recessions of the 20th century.  Most were relatively small, brief downturns, more like what we saw in 2001 than 1929 or 2008 (they also tended to be more geographically limited, since the economy was less of a unified entity prior to the 20th century, but that's trivia).

        Both 1929 and 2008 were caused by asset bubbles, as most crashes are, not Republican policies.  Such phenomena are symptomatic of a capitalist economy: there's no real reason to ever think they can be prevented simply by government policy.

        The Hoover administration can be legitimately blamed for choking off the means for recovery and not taking positive action to create growth, but not really for creating the Depression in the first place.  It's worth noting that the economic stimulus which did ultimately see the end of the Great Depression, WW2, actually did so by creating another economic bubble, which led to another (smaller) recession after the war ended.

        Claiming that progressive policies a magic cure for the business cycle is both wishful thinking and an invitation to be discredited when things go wrong.  Much better to maintain realistic expectations about the capabilities and limitations of even good government policy.

        •  1. Asset bubbles (0+ / 0-)
          Both 1929 and 2008 were caused by asset bubbles, as most crashes are, not Republican policies.  
          The asset bubbles were caused by Republican policies.

          We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

          by bmcphail on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:23:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  2. Frequency and duration of recessions (0+ / 0-)
            The periodic recessions of the 19th century were not consistently more severe than the recessions of the 20th century.  Most were relatively small, brief downturns, more like what we saw in 2001 than 1929 or 2008 (they also tended to be more geographically limited, since the economy was less of a unified entity prior to the 20th century, but that's trivia).

            We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

            by bmcphail on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:24:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  3. Severity of recessions (0+ / 0-)

              We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

              by bmcphail on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:30:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  3. Severity of recessions (sorry about the crazy) (0+ / 0-)

              We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

              by bmcphail on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:33:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Now, I am not an economist (0+ / 0-)

                but the left side of both charts look bluer and more up and downy than their right sides.

                We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

                by bmcphail on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:35:00 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Although I do have to say (0+ / 0-)

                  that I had no idea that the post '45 recession was a deep as it was, though short lived.

                  We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

                  by bmcphail on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:47:28 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  It's never simple. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bmcphail

                  My training is as an economist, but I hate data-mining too much to ever consider it as a true profession.  If you haven't ever studied some at least some undergraduate level economics lessons, then I do highly recommend you try one or two sometime; it'll do bizarre (but enlightening) things with your opinions.  That's not an attempt to dismiss you, either, you'll find plenty of support for the positions (that I'm inferring) you hold.  It's just a sort of perspective-changer.

                  Anyway, something to keep in mind with economic data that goes back that far is that US numbers start getting highly suspect once you're getting earlier than 1910 or so.  Not just due to weaker data collection at the time, but because the economy was so fragmented and non-standardized (Federal Reserve established in 1913).  So it was harder to compare relative values of things, and the regional economies were much more disconnected (so California was less likely to care what was happening in New York, etc.)

                  That being said, though, the data you've got strikes me as probably being a decent sketch of the big picture; and I certainly don't have the patience to go digging around for contradictory materials.  Plus I'm intellectually honest enough that I don't really want to resort to classic lies/damn-lies/statistics to debunk anything.

                  So what's important (for our argument) to look at in your chart is less the amount of time spent in recessions, as it is the simple number of recessions that occurred.  I have no objection whatever to the claim that Keynesian economic policies (personally, I really hate the "Progressive" political label used as a substitute for this, but that's just me) make and have made recessions shorter and less painful.  They absolutely do.

                  What they don't do is prevent recessions from occurring in the first place.  Now, it's conceivable that they could, but it would take either insane luck or utter clairvoyance, because it would require cranking up the government spending at the precise moment a downturn occurs.  That's not really a long-term economic strategy (yet, anyway).  An alternative is to just keep government spending cranked way up all the time, which can help to mask recessions.  But that sort of strategy isn't really a good idea, either, because it's pretty easy to drive a government into bankruptcy if you're not careful (and governments usually aren't).  The US never quite got the hang of cutting back spending and raising taxes in good times, which is the other half of good Keynesian policy (it's countercyclical spending, not just big spending).  HW Bush and Clinton almost got it, but only with a lot of fortunate circumstances, and then those achievements went unconsolidated (for which you can certainly blame Bush Jr. and the Republicans, and do so with my blessing).

                  Anyway, the point that I'm driving at with this ramble is that you want to count the discrete recessions in your first chart, or the number of peaks in your second).  By my count, before the Great Depression, there are 18.  The GD and afterwards are 14.  That's a 12% difference, but with only 32 data points, that's not all that significant variation.  Counting the peaks on the second chart, I get 20 on both (though I did that quickly by hand, and some of them are probably of arguable significance, I'd estimate error at no more than 2 either way).  That chart may be a little more indicative of the point I'm getting at anyway; which is that Keynesian policies don't actually prevent downturns, only mitigate them (and sometimes enough that they just manifest as a huge slowdown in growth, rather than a technical recession).  Notice that starting in the '50s, the business cycle is still just as visible as it was before then, but it's contracted: the valleys are higher, the peaks are lower; but their rate of occurrence is roughly the same.

                  Hmm, something I'm noticing in my final review before posting this is that a lot of this may be due to a poor choice of words in my earlier post.  I retract the claim that recessions in the 20th century were no less "severe" than those in the 19th.  What I should say is that the underlying causes (i.e. the extent of economic losses from burst asset bubbles) in both time periods are roughly comparable.  What's changed since the start of the 20th century is the knock-on effects from those initial collapses, so that the impact on the overall economy is not as severe.  My goal was to take issue with the implication that "progressive" economic policies have prevented or can prevent recessions outright.  I did not and do not wish to imply that they cannot make recessions less catastrophic.  The whole reason I'm so interested in this argument is that I support such policies, and I want them to be popular.  But my fear is that, by exaggerating the claims of their capabilities, we can discredit them in the minds of people with a weaker understanding of economics.  I do not want anyone to think they have been promised "no recessions ever again", because that is a promise which will ultimately go unfulfilled.

                  •  I really appreciate your detailed (0+ / 0-)

                    intellectually honest and careful reply.  It sounds like I'd enjoy your intro economics classes.

                    I agree with the notion that Keynesian principles mitigate rather than prevent recessions.  I would argue that in terms of human misery averted, that is a good thing to do.  

                    We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

                    by bmcphail on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 11:33:12 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I did notice when I was googling around (0+ / 0-)

                      for charts the caveat about the reliability of  pre-20th century economic data.  Important to understand when trying to analyze.

                      We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

                      by bmcphail on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 11:36:59 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

          •  Only with a meaningless definition. (0+ / 0-)

            Asset bubbles are caused by investment behavior, over which the government policy in a relatively free-market country like the United States has little influence.  These are typically the results of new technologies, products, resources, etc.  Because they're so profitable, they draw a lot of private capital.  But because no one has perfect information on the exact profitability and characteristics of the market, the investment tends to eventually become overinvestment: a bubble which then collapses when the market realities become clear.  Now, the reason that it's so hard for governments to prevent that sort of event is that they're so unpredictable: when bubbles are first forming, it's hard to tell just how big they are, because no one's sure what the market can actually sustain.  Right now, even once you take all the political posturing out of the discussion, there's still not a consensus on where the US housing market will level out in the end.

            Trying to outright prevent that from happening is not a position that capitalists will take, because it requires some very heavy-handed government control of the economy which causes other, worse problems (though they're generally down to the same fundamental principles that cause asset bubbles, they just manifest in different ways).  If you don't like capitalism, then such things may well seem like reasonable policies to you.  But in that case it's not really meaningful to refer to them as "Republican" policies, because the Democratic party isn't really on your side, either.

            It's worth mentioning one of the exceptions to the generalization, too.  One of the very few times that the US government has had policies strong enough to prevent that sort of privately-driven bubble development was WW2.  In that case, our military spending was just so phenomenally huge that it basically crowded out almost all of the of the private investments behind such normal operations of the economy.  It's an exception that proves the rule, though, because what happened instead is that you saw a government-created investment bubble (in military industries).  Once market conditions changed (with the end of the war), the military industry was no longer profitable on that same scale, the bubble burst, and we had a recession while the economy reorganized.

            Since you've broken up your posts, I'll deal with the other stuff separately.  But I think that's enough (for now) to clarify this aspect of my argument.

  •  Sumner writes the truth n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Re-elect Barack Obama and elect Elizabeth Warren

    by al23 on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 07:12:16 AM PST

  •  Without a doubt, the best commentary I've seen (8+ / 0-)

    Mark has hit it squarely and deep.  Regardless of one's ideological bent, even a partially reasonable assessment of the facts cannot result in anything but a conclusion that the conservative ascendency has gravely failed America and the world.

    The theories were spurious at the outset.  The implementation was aggressive and pernicious.  And there is not one measure that would identify our jag to the right to be anything but abject disaster.  Disaster for everyone but a very, very small percentage of the wealthy and powerful both here and around the world.

    The completely fallacious, demonstrably emotional ad hominem, ad baculum, ad verecundium, ad misericodium appeals stacked on top of bankrupt theories that have never worked have left our country and the world in a place that should be completely unthinkable.  Having turned the relative peace and growing prospects for prosperity in the world environment of the 80's into a world-wide disaster is not a crime that we should not wait for history to condemn.

    The radical right has betrayed America and the world.  Given the trust of Americans under the guise of Nixon restoring stability, Reagan restoring prosperity and power and the Bushes restoring American preeminence, the right has failed us miserably beyond what could possibly be imagined.  Forty plus years of conservative ascendency is a factual and undeniable litany of betrayal from the liturgists of wealth and power.

    You don't need a quadrophonic Blaupunkt, you hayseed. You need a curveball!

    by GoBlue08 on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 07:12:58 AM PST

  •  Eyes on the prize 2012: two Supreme Court judges, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, foresterbob, exNYinTX, chmood

    the Senate, the House.  

    Occupy The Voting Booth - vote for candidates that represent your Occupy values.

    by mumtaznepal on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 07:13:06 AM PST

  •  Excellent diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet

    Thanks.

  •  I am reading along thinking how great it feels to (3+ / 0-)

    read this and have what has been lurking in my right brain make it over to a verbalized form in my left.

    Then I hit the last sentence and froze.  That myth, that the President has been weak and compromising away the most basic components of our democracy is going to help perpetuate the lies being able to hold sway.

    To overcome evil the only method is good.  If the President behaves as someone that takes the stakeholders idea seriously rather than an equal and opposite power over force for the left (cue some communist dictator you can think of past or present), then he is a sell out?

    Occupy seems to be learning this.  You have to live what you preach.  If violating other people rather than challenging them to consider their actions or to be accountable becomes their direction it will fail.  Returning in kind never won the long battle.  

    •  "That myth, that the President... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Terranova0, happymisanthropy

      ... has been weak and compromising away the most basic components of our democracy is going to help perpetuate the lies being able to hold sway."

      OK, so in your world the president and the democrats DIDN'T do this...

      http://www.austinchronicle.com/...

      I like this diary, but the strongest ending would have been a clear statement showing that the Democratic party was a very different party, not simply a watered down version of Republican insanity.

  •  President Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fayea, LLPete

    The president deserves some considerable credit for this.  By staking out positions to our right (personal mandate, yes to nuclear, yes to big defense, even yes to Israel), he left them little room. This was an intentional tactic: either join me in moving forward, or die.   He has even explained it in some detail to them in public, for example at the public meeting he had with Boehner,Cantor, Ryan, et al. Re: health care (I believe).

    Credit where it's due, y'all!

  •  Fill in the blank, name your political persuasion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sue B, Terranova0
    [                     ] has moved out of the ranks of political theories and simply become a cult; one that requires that certain phrases be mouthed, that certain hatreds be nourished, and that purity be maintained regardless of cost.
    That this is true throughout the political spectrum is what is wrong with this country.  

    Nincompoopery has never been a bar to high office in our nation. - Molly Ivins

    by SpamNunn on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 07:23:00 AM PST

  •  Thank you. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bubbanomics

    Bingo. Bullseye. Right on target.

    You have encapsulated all of my thoughts about the repubs. You're right - they got nuthin' so they have to make up shit. And the more shit they make up, the more preposturous it becomes.

    And we've still got more than 8 months to go? They can't string this thing out for 8 months without getting totally ridiculous.

    And if the country still votes for the most ridiculous candidate/party, well then what can I say.

  •  I was just over at ESPN and reading an (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jhop7, joe wobblie

    article that put the Repub's several decade long funk in a new light - apparently Nixon was just dying to see the Redskins on TV in a home playoff game that by league policy was blacked out.  Getting that on TV would have been (in bold):

    Nixon told his attorney general that the NFL "should have absolute protection on all regular-season games" but "if we can get the playoff games [on TV], believe me, it would be the greatest achievement we've ever done."
    as this article describes, Nixon failed in his arm twisting and was rebuffed by Commissioner Rozelle

    IMHO Nixon being denied his greatest accomplishment sent the Repubs into a decade long funk, much like Hitler's failure to get into art school set Europe onto a much darker path.

  •  Spot on (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    on the cusp, bubbanomics

    and beautifully argued.  Must be spread widely.

  •  So well said - thank you. n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  changed world (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie

    Republicans deny science--the Dems deny reality.  The world has changed--gotten ridiculously smaller.  Free trade lowers our standard of living--we are the Middle East's bitch--and China is our banker.  I don't hear these facts dicussed by any candidate--and we persist in signing new free trade suicides.

    Unions have disappeared since PATCO--after allowing St Ronnie to destroy the easiest union to protect (pilots didn't have to cross picket lines).  Unions created the middle class--and are not being effective in its recreation.  Talk and money are cheap--strikes beget power.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 07:41:03 AM PST

    •  Hopefully we are reaching a tipping point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy

      and the pendulum has reached its farthest rightward arc.

      But we are still the world's largest economy, and can transform ourselves if enough people become cognizant of the real issues facing us and ACT on them.

      The GOP ignores or obfuscates the issues. Dems fear the pain of picking up the torch and running with it.

      •  size (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy

        Being the largest economy measures the past--up to the present--not a guarantee of the future.  Nothing seems to be made here as well, or as cheaply, as somewhere else.  Our natural resource bounty has been decimated.  Our Dem leaders are still signing free trade agreements whereas their predecessors understood the need for protective tariffs.  Bernie Sanders sees this--as does Barney Frank--and that's it.  Sometimes your friend can do as much damage as your enemy.

        Apres Bush, le deluge.

        by melvynny on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 09:17:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Every question a gotcha question"--Amen! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, happymisanthropy, jayden, deha

    Newt Gingrich's own red-faced indignity during debates comes to mind. Agree with others, this should go viral. A brilliant, chillingly beautiful analysis. Thank you.

    "Let's stay together"--Rev. Al Green and President Obama

    by collardgreens on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 07:58:33 AM PST

  •  If the GOP uses scare tactics then so should we. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Val

    First of all this was probably the best post I've ever read on Daily Kos.  

    We need to scare our fellow republican friends by emphasizing that we lost our middle class.  There is no more chance to  have a middle class unless we go back to a strong education system, higher tax rates and when corporations weren't people.

  •  Welcome to Faaaaantasy Island (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Terranova0, happymisanthropy

    Great post. The crux of the issue is whether we will continue as a country that makes pragmatic decisions based on facts drawn from observation, and experience, or whether we become Fantasy Island. We got whomped in 2010 because we failed to address the lies and magical thinking head on, and because we didn’t attempt to treat the historical amnesia that’s latent in this country.  We will lose again in 2012 if we don’t, in the strongest possible way, show that the solutions offered by Democrats are pragmatic and grounded in reality and experience, while Republican proposals are based on lies and policies that have not worked.
    Been there, done that... and it was a disaster  should be our response to every Republican who calls for more tax cuts for the wealthy, less government regulation for the “job creators.” As Democrats, we must also own up to our own complicity in the cult of deregulation and free markets.

    "Above and beyond the question of how to grow the economy there is a legitimate concern about how to grow the quality of our lives." -- Paul Wellstone

    by idlemoments on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 08:06:13 AM PST

    •  Great comment (0+ / 0-)

      Especially:

      "We will lose again in 2012 if we don’t, in the strongest possible way, show that the solutions offered by Democrats are pragmatic and grounded in reality and experience, while Republican proposals are based on lies and policies that have not worked."

      It bore repeating.

      Thanks.

      “The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway” ~ Henry Boye~

      by Terranova0 on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 09:46:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Convertism is a tribal coup attempt on America (6+ / 0-)
    the Republicans have nothing to offer. Not even anything that looks like a governing philosophy. Conservatism has moved out of the ranks of political theories and simply become a cult; one that requires that certain phrases be mouthed, that certain hatreds be nourished, and that purity be maintained regardless of cost.
    Yeah. Conservatism has ceased any pretense at being a political philosophy based on ideas and has become purely tribal. It is merely an attempted coup by modern aristocrats who want unfettered power to do as they wish with the economy and lord over the society.

    I strongly suggest reading Francis Fukuyama's new book "The Origins of Political Order". Modern economies and the societies based on those economies are based on strong bureaucratic states which protect the middle class by enforcing the rule of law on local power centers - feudal lords in the agricultural-based feudal states and modern wealthy families, top corporate executives of large companies, and the executives of the banks who manipulate the money and power of the wealthy.

    Modern societies depend on the existence of strong central governments which enforce the rule of law. America's "conservatives" are working hard to destroy both the central government (which protects the rest of us from those conservatives" and to destroy the rule of law the central government enforces.

    Every conservative policy has the purpose of either weakening the federal government or removing the wealthy elite from under the rule of law or of shifting the income from productive work to the wealthy elites who will not pay taxes on it and who intend to pass it on to their descendants. What is really being shifted to the wealthy elites is social power. The only way this works is for the wealthy elites to avoid being accountable for what they are doing. They are economic rent-seekers, collecting money they did not productively earn because they are in positions of social power.

    Money can be measured and aggregated. Power cannot. That's why economists have ceased to be Political Economists and have become statisticians who are propaganda artists for the wealthy.

    Read Fukuyama's book if you want to understand modern American conservatives. My favorite chapter is Rente Seekers in which Fukuyama describes how Louie XIV and his (untaxed) Barons fought for power in the ancien regime. The fact that the barons were not taxed meant that France could not pay for the wars with England without heavily taxing the peasants. This tax burden the unaccountable aristocracy required was a major reason for the French Revolution which wiped away the social and economic preferences of the unaccountable aristocracy. It also took the militarily weak France of before the Revolution and handed a much stronger nation to Napoleon a decade later.

    Modern American conservatives are the party of America's unaccountable aristocrats. We have ceased to be a middle class nation. Fukuyama makes the point that when modernity breaks down tribalism is the default state.

    Fukuyama's book is long and not easy reading. It helps if you are familiar with Max Weber's writings on the rise of capitalism and world history. But if you are interested in world history - China, India, and Europe going back 3000 years - it's worth the effort. The theory he sets up makes a lot of sense and explains modern American politics. But the book ends at the French Revolution. Part II will use the theory and bring the story to modern times and the industrial age.

    Democrats stand for Liberty, Security, Support of Families and Opportunity Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

    by Rick B on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 08:08:39 AM PST

    •  Damn! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe wobblie, deha

      I checked the spelling on the body of the comment, not on the title! Really , I CAN spell Conservatism!

      Democrats stand for Liberty, Security, Support of Families and Opportunity Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

      by Rick B on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 08:32:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fantastic posts! (0+ / 0-)

      But a paucity of diaries...  Hee Hee Hee
      Fukuyama's book is on my list;  most interesting!
      GW Bush seems to have turned his stomach and his head!

      ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

      by joe wobblie on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 08:52:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, I know (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe wobblie, deha

        But I just started grad school in Social Work and it is eating my lunch. I might add that I just passed my 69th birthday. So who has time or energy to write unrelated diaries when I have nearly a paper a week and tests every two weeks with group projects in addition. I am having to learn all new time management organizational skills.

        Besides, other than you who the heck wants to read my scribblings? I really can't identify a "market" to excuse my diaries.

        Thanks for the support. And I haven't figured out how you even find my comments. I notice you just posted your third diary a few days ago.

        Still, I just wasted three hours when I should have been studying.

        Democrats stand for Liberty, Security, Support of Families and Opportunity Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

        by Rick B on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 09:09:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who wants to read your scribblings? (0+ / 0-)

          I do. But I totally understand the whole grad school thing, too. :)

          Good luck with your studies. As a non-traditional grad student myself, I have a good idea of what you're facing.

          A little blue dot in a vast sea of red.

          by deha on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 05:20:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  More points on "Origins" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark Sumner

      Fukuyama goes into prehistory and traces the social evolution of humans from bands of hunter-gatherers to Tribes and Chiefdoms, then up to modern societies. He then explains why each "advance" occurred or did not occur. A modern nation is distinguished from a chiefdom by having a bureaucratic government. Bureaucracy is essential to having administrative control of large complex states. It is also essential to having the rule of law.

      Very interestingly, China was the first modern state following the period of the "Warring States" roughly 2500 years ago.  War, it seems, is also critical to the creation of states. But since China's state was developed so early it never established the rule of law and does not have it yet.

      The evolution of modern states is not a forgone conclusion. Modern bureaucratic states in Europe came into being because it took a bureaucracy - and a modern national bank - to administer and collect the taxes required to support large professional armies.

      What I think is happening in America is that we have allowed the aristocrat-wannabees to get too powerful, and they are attempting to dismantle the federal government which enforces the rule of law on them and prevents them from practicing their desired predatory economic methods. This is tribal anti-bureaucratic - thinking(?) - no, emoting. As Fukuyama points out, there is nothing that maintains the bureaucratic state except preparation for war, so I think the US federal government has been weakened with the collapse of the USSR and the tribalists are trying to take over.

      It's pure speculation on my part now, but Mexico with its already much weaker federal government is suffering from the same forces towards national disintegration with the drug cartels. We at least have a social tradition of enforcing the rule of law. Mexico under the PRI since the Revolution used corruption in government to maintain the party in power, so there is no social protection from the drug cartels. That's not a surprise because no Latin American nation has ever had a strong central government under a history of rule of law as far as I know.

      Democrats stand for Liberty, Security, Support of Families and Opportunity Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

      by Rick B on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 08:58:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent post! Thank you for (0+ / 0-)

    putting words to this. Gladly rec'd.

  •  Bravo - sharing - EVERYONE should read this! (0+ / 0-)

    "Conservatives" in particular....

    "Kenyan-Muslim-Communistic-Expialidocious!"

    by chmood on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 08:25:09 AM PST

  •  You have hit upon the most disturbing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Sumner, happymisanthropy, Val

    consequence of the mass brainwashing that has happened within the Republican party.  Watching Fox News all day long, listening to Rush, Neall Boortz, et al, being fed poison and vitriol everyday for years, has resulted in the creation of a new religion, a cult, with its own reality, mythology, history.  It is said that these folks live in a bubble, but it is more like a fortress, highly defended and reactionary.

    There are not many deserters from this Republican fortress, and punishment is harsh and swift for those who leave. Here is David Frum, whose recent article in the New Yorker examines his epiphany and banishment....

    But the thought leaders on talk radio and Fox do more than shape opinion. Backed by their own wing of the book-publishing industry and supported by think tanks that increasingly function as public-relations agencies, conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics. Outside this alternative reality, the United States is a country dominated by a strong Christian religiosity. Within it, Christians are a persecuted minority. Outside the system, President Obama—whatever his policy ­errors—is a figure of imposing intellect and dignity. Within the system, he’s a pitiful nothing, unable to speak without a teleprompter, an affirmative-action ­phony doomed to inevitable defeat.
    We used to say “You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.” Now we are all entitled to our own facts, and conservative media use this right to immerse their audience in a total environment of pseudo-facts and pretend information.
    http://nymag.com/...
  •  This diary would sound nice in Obama's... (0+ / 0-)

    speech accepting the nomination at the Dem convention.

    No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

    by Magster on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 08:36:33 AM PST

  •  Reality (0+ / 0-)

    has a way of taking revenge if you ignore it: it bites you in the ass.

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

    by sidnora on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 08:42:55 AM PST

  •  Excellent Diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    "That schism with reality is increasingly large and increasingly obvious."

    It's like setting a place at the dinner table for a child's invisible buddy... day after day.  It's time to send that invisible kid home.

    lol sighs

    “The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway” ~ Henry Boye~

    by Terranova0 on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 08:45:14 AM PST

  •  A question (0+ / 0-)

    Do Republicans really own the economy?

    Did Senate Dems call them out and warn that the economy was going down because of specific policies?  Did they make a fuss?

    It is easy to just blame the Republicans, perhaps a little too easy.

    Your case would be more convincing if you could provide some sources for your conclusions

    You take from your backpack the glass phial containing the sparkling dust and sprinkle it on the stone slab. Slowly the stone slab starts to rise into the air

    by GideonAB on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 08:47:03 AM PST

  •  Astounding. Pithy. Comprehensive. Even poetic... (0+ / 0-)

    This is an outstanding commentary. One of the best I've ever read! Bravo.

  •  Their lies are setting the stage and framing the.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LansingDan, jayden

    entire election season so as to besmirch the President so bad that the final punches will be death with the Citizens United decision SuperPAC monies.

    If the public even begins to believe that these lies are truths, and there will always be some, then that will allow for the dirty corporate money pummeling of rapid fire punches of lies that we will see all the easier, and effective.

    This is shaping up to be a very dirty campaign season with the number of dirty tricks, and dirty money lies on such a large scale that we have never witnessed, and experienced in American politics.

    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution, inevitable." - President John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963)

    by LamontCranston on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 09:01:49 AM PST

  •  Great summary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden

    This is exactly what I am thinking but have trouble expressing in writing.

    I have some old friends of mine who are center-right, one of whom keeps sending us anti-Obama e-mails (even though he admitted to me that although he voted for McCain, that no one could do more damage to the country than "W" did).  He sent me a "table" of the horrible things that OWS did that the Tea Party did none of.  So I sent a link to this article as a response to it.

  •  nicely put (5+ / 0-)
    The economy didn't just crash under a Republican president, it crashed under Republican policies. It crashed with low taxes. It crashed with deregulated markets. It crashed with huge restrictions on union activity. It crashed with massive cuts in environmental regulations. It crashed with lowered trade barriers. It crashed with big fat Pentagon spending.

    They got what they wanted. They got CEOs with no limits on their wealth. They got banks with no limits on their "creativity." They got trade agreements that guaranteed manufacturing could be moved to the dirtiest, cheapest, most desperate source available. They got massive cuts in capital gains taxes and equally large boosts in the wealth they could pass along in estates. They got everything they said would make us all wealthy. They got record oil and gas drilling. They got record giveaways of public land. They got everything they said would create jobs. They got the middle class to shoulder more, more, more of the burden so that those beautiful job creators would be free to work their magic.

    dangerous voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare."

    by annieli on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 09:43:29 AM PST

  •  "...Republicans have nothing to offer..." (0+ / 0-)

    I am convinced that if they were elected back in 2008, most of their policies and economic solutions would greatly resemble the ones offered by Obama and the dems.  It's just that they're not in power, therefore they can't be in favour of it.

    God be with you, Occupiers. God IS with you.

    by Hohenzollern on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:20:37 AM PST

    •  Unbelievable. (0+ / 0-)

      If after the last decade--hell, the last four years--you are actually capable of thinking that Republicans would've mostly had the same policies and economic solutions as the Obama admin, I can only assume that you have not been paying very much attention to either the Republicans or Obama. Seriously? I mean, really?

      Those would be the Republicans who are still fighting tooth and nail to preserve the Bush tax cuts that Obama wants to allow to expire? The same Republicans bleating about socialism and tyranny in response to practically every policy proposal, even ones they used to push? The same Republicans waging a war on women's and gay rights that Obama has been doing his best to thwart? The same Republicans who insist that stimulus spending can't improve the economy (while quietly seeking that money for their own states), and who are trying to destroy Medicare and Social Security?

      Are you fucking kidding me?

      This is lunacy.

      However, thank you for handily illustrating that Republicans do not have a monopoly on being careless with facts.

      Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense.

      by Catsy on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 03:43:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Outstanding article! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    This guy explains the GOP motis operandi perfectly.
    My question to them would be; If you have a legitimate message, why is it framed in "government takeover of healthcare", "war on religion", "socialist agenda" horseshit? The fact that they spend their entire time lying, and spewing inflammatory rhetoric is in itself an indictment of their entire platform. Which has in fact been a proven failure as the writer so eloquently states.
    But, God help us if they sell this pile of steaming, angry horseshit in Novemnber.

  •  2012 - Presidential Election - Leap Year (0+ / 0-)

    Only comment I have regarding the Grand Oil Party (GOP) or rape-public-cans is that they lie this year all 366 days, not only 365!

  •  May I say BRAVO!... rec and rec and rec! (0+ / 0-)

    Important Emperors new clothes truths from top to bottom...

    Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

    by IreGyre on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:19:33 AM PST

  •  I am also so tired of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Val

    republicans accusing us of being hateful, or self-righteous, or anything else that they actually are.

    They complain when we get angry that we are being so "hateful", but while they hate on everyone that is not white or straight or male, we only hate on them for hating!  Stop hating on people and we'll stop hating on you!

    It really makes me want to bang my head against the wall sometimes...

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:21:31 AM PST

    •  And one more trope that drives (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Val

      me crazy is that, since they can't understand being motivated by anything other than greed and self-interest, they bleat on and on about liberals having some grand design, desire for more power...some ulterior motive...

      Like fighting climate change

      Or "Obama-care"

      Or labor regulations

      Or the light bulb thing <big eye roll>

      Or anything else we advocate for.  Like when Bernie Sanders advocates for more economic equality, somehow he is going to personally benefit by "screwing over" good, hard-working conservatives.

      I had to stop an ask a conservative who was ranting about that once, "Really?  So you think progressive politicians in Washington are going to personally benefit in some evil way by fighting for health care for all?  Can you explain that?"  He couldn't, of course.  They can't comprehend that some people just fight for fairness and humanity because it's the right thing to do.  Their party is rife with opportunism and greed, and they can't see any other way.

      "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

      by La Gitane on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:29:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  so what do you do? (0+ / 0-)

    How do you deal with these people? There can be no honest debate without some acknowledgement of truth. How can this country efer solve it's problems if one side refuses to deal with reality?

  •  Republicans had help getting what they wanted. (0+ / 0-)

    For too long, too many Democrats have helped Republicans get what they want...

    Reform the Democratic Party. We've been lulled to sleep by false promises of hope from a corporatist cabal for too long.

    by masswaster on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 12:27:51 PM PST

  •  You forgot a big one. The Invasion of Iraq (0+ / 0-)

    Is the same model. Based of fabrication and lies, sold to an ignorant mob.

    ...the train's got its brakes on and the whistle is screaming.

    by themank on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 12:45:56 PM PST

  •  Yes indeed the Repubs ARE lying consistently. (0+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately they appear to be winning because of the media's failure to confront them and the Dems weak kneed responses to their lies.  Superb diary!

  •  Shadows and Mirrors (0+ / 0-)

    This is the best summation of the current political stasis I have read to date. WELLL DONE!!!

  •  A rec will not do. (0+ / 0-)

    I must also post a comment to express my satisfaction.

  •  Repulicans CAN'T undiscover fire... (0+ / 0-)

    ...guns, ballistic missles, and burning crosses don't work without it! ;-)

  •  Good analysis! (0+ / 0-)

    They keep their "base" low information voters..and scared! The base always believes the lie, that the "liberal elite" looks down on them, while the republicans "understand" and are"looking out for them"! The right basically owns, the TV and radio air waves...so they don't question things because,"everybody" is saying the same!
        I  have to also say that the "liberal left" often doesn't give the real facts...but puts Obama down for being week or "caving in"! They know he never had a 60 vote majority in the senate... and it goes on & on! If I know the facts, why don't they? The right wing media will do or say anything to damage Obama, it isn't fair that the left often does the same! After the state of the union, Arianna Huffington's only comment was "Obama gives good speeches, but we still have 25 million unemployed"...when are we going to start calling them out?
        Thanks for your great article!

  •  Yes, yes, yes, 1000x yes. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    not2plato

    It sounds hyperbolic, but lying really is all they have left. It's just staggering how brazen and shameless they are about it.
    They say the same things about us, of course. The difference is that every time--every single time--you put our claims up against theirs and subject both to the scrutiny and evidence, their lies are exposed and our truths are vindicated.

    I have to believe that at some point they'll cross the Rubicon, and tell so many demonstrable lies that a critical mass of Americans get it. Unchallenged conservative lies are the greatest threat to our democracy that exists--far more dangerous to this country and what it stands for than any terrorist organization still left standing.

    Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense.

    by Catsy on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 03:34:48 PM PST

    •  They might cross it (0+ / 0-)

      but there is a mindset that demands the lies.  It is a mindset of faith, conviction, self-certainty, and amore propre.  More similar to religion than anything else.  

      When the faithful get close to waking up, to embracing enlightenment, or what have you, notably many have the reaction of refusing enlightenment and doubling down on their dreams, delusions, hallucinations, omen-seeing and divine-voice-hearing.  

      That is when revivals happen.  

      That is what we are seeing right now.  Rather than give up the free market faith, you preach it harder and harder and harder.  As if raising your voice and getting all agitated will keep the facts at bay.  

      The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

      by not2plato on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:50:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lies (0+ / 0-)

    If you folks think the left lies less than the right, you are misguided. When Big Business competes with Big Government, guess who looses. You do and I do.

    GREED for money is no less powerful than the GREED for power. Ask Mitch, Boehner, Orin, Nancy, Harry, Barney or Rangle about why they think they should be re-elected.

    Until we have smaller (much smaller) government we will never have smaller corporations. Big Government supplies favors to corporations. Eliminate Big Government and those favors disappear. This is not a difficult concept.

    As a test, ask yourself this question:

    America will not change regulations for the next 20 years.
    Which would you rather be:

    a. Corporate CEO
    b. President of the US
    c. None of the above

    I would love to hear the results of such a poll among Progressives, Conservatives, and Independents.

    Ed

    •  Yeeessss... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh, Gorette

      Another side benefit of small government is that you get smaller people.  They eat less, clearly a good thing.  You can fit more of them on a plane or bus, so travel will be much cheaper.

      Not many people know this, but smaller government also creates smaller jobs.  We'll each only have to do half as much work as we've been doing under big government.  I kind of already do that, but soon it'll be legit!

      Cats and dogs will become smaller.  Ironically, they will not be allowed to live together.

    •  I see you've bought the lies, hook, line (0+ / 0-)

      and sinker.

      You need to read the diary on Bill Moyers interview with Bruce Bartlett.

      Time for you to WAKE UP! Really, it would be educational for you. It explains how you got to really believe the lie you are talking about here which you obviously believe.

      I wish you better thinking.

      "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

      by Gorette on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:03:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is an old, old talking point (0+ / 0-)

      it goes back to the great depression, I believe.  

      Big government and big business are two sides of the same coin?  

      Think again.  

      "Big" is just a comparative term.  Outside of comparative contexts, it has no ostensible meaning, just emotive meaning.  

      The US govt is not big in comparison to other governments when you compare the number of employees with the number of citizens, or by several other measures.  

      Second, so-called big business is rare in Germany, despite the large number of govt employees as a share of  population.  Germany has mastered the medium sized company and its market placement.  They have an industrial policy.  Something big government here would not dream of doing because they will get called socialists and meddlers.  

      The size of government, and the reach of government, have no discernible necessary relationship to the size nor the power and influence of corporations.  

      The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

      by not2plato on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:45:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  In my personal view, the elephant (0+ / 0-)

    (or maybe it should be a dinosaur) represents Dishonesty. Almost all Republicans are liars and those that do ALWAYS bargain in bad faith.

    Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura..

    by GenuineRisk on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 09:46:14 PM PST

  •  Congrats Mark (0+ / 0-)

    Beautifully and succinctly put.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:06:54 PM PST

  •  Nice writing (0+ / 0-)

    It seems to me that the talking point of the last two years has been that the recession was caused by the Community Reinvestment Act, which, the lie has it, forced banks to make bad loans.  

    The main trouble with this view is that bad loans could never have caused the crisis.  What caused it was bad loans bundled into derivatives that cost 100 million a piece.  Enough of these sitting in the coffers of banks and the banks were toast.  

    The derivative market did not exist until Bush was in office.  We needed the bank deregulation of 2001 to allow them.  

    Another trouble: the Act in question forced no such loans.  It merely directs banks to cease redlining loans to persons who qualify for loans.    That language is in the original bill.  

    So, their claim is falsifiable in two easy ways.  

    The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

    by not2plato on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:37:22 PM PST

JD SoOR, a gilas girl, Ed in Montana, Angie in WA State, Val, regularJoe, tundraman, jotter, Catsy, lovable liberal, Geenius at Wrok, abarefootboy, scoopernicus, melvynny, johnmorris, tommurphy, Noelle in MPLS, LynChi, CleverNickName, OLinda, celdd, frsbdg, xynz, musicsleuth, exNYinTX, Doctor Who, TrueBlueDem, davechen, Zinman, EricS, fugwb, mik, lippythelion69, Bob Novak Douchebag of Liberty, CoolOnion, themank, Rona, ClickerMel, oceanview, Bill Roberts, hopeful, sidnora, Redfire, khughes1963, caseynm, Moody Loner, TexDem, johanus, Spot Cat, ohiolibrarian, On The Bus, lcrp, clarknyc, Sue Hagmeier, glattonfolly, Albanius, lyvwyr101, Josiah Bartlett, llellet, pat208, BDA in VA, Frank Vyan Walton, Longwing, Gowrie Gal, ExStr8, lcs, Simian, RaveON, caul, greatferm, Seldom Seen, democracy inaction, ChemBob, sandrad23, 1Nic Ven, eru, cfk, GreyHawk, Kayakbiker, wmspringer, Hastur, RickE, coolbreeze, dsteffen, djohnutk, JanF, mightymouse, xaxnar, LongTom, Hirodog, gwilson, myboo, cybersaur, Russgirl, dopper0189, Gorette, kestrel9000, technomage, smokeymonkey, sleipner, The Wizard, global citizen, gpoutney, bubbanomics, ZombyWoof, CA Nana, FiddleDeeDee, Johnathan Ivan, NeedAFence, orrg1, Habitat Vic, tgypsy, offgrid, TtexwiTyler, DvCM, cindercheek, Matt Z, flumptytail, terabytes, Dave in Northridge, LamontCranston, coloradocomet, jayden, mudslide, RIP Russ, stevenb, skod, Ralphdog, South Park Democrat, Neon Mama, on the cusp, Palafox, flowerfarmer, Captain C, kimoconnor, Baron Dave, weegeeone, OleHippieChick, Involuntary Exile, bythesea, SelfEvident, VL Baker, Deep Harm, Calamity Jean, tofumagoo, SottoVoce, CitizenJoe, makettle, My Spin, rodentrancher, magicsister, jeffhauser, fayea, bluemoonfever, J M F, Kansas Born, arendt, Rick Aucoin, jsj20002, Michael James, maryabein, notrouble, indres, earicicle, CamillesDad1, Illeum, ringer, NWTerriD, oxfdblue, Keith Pickering, IreGyre, dalfireplug, acxtodd, GWinkler, Terranova0, collardgreens, susan in sc, Tim D M, Amber6541, smileycreek, RhymesWithUrple, indie17, NoOnGluten, stunzeed, Hoosier Al, biggiefries, cazcee, dagnome, Monkey Man Hermit, tellthestories, anonevent, IQof20, Oh Mary Oh, stevenaxelrod, not2plato, chronicfatigue, TexasAlien, annieli, ocliberal, kerflooey, Miniaussiefan, pirate1, jm214, fwcetus, La Gitane, poorbuster, FarWestGirl, Araguato, pbgv23, Outraged Mom, tkwasny, mrsgoo, Haf2Read, laurnj, thomask, BarackStarObama, IndyReader, smgoma, KVoimakas, TRPChicago, Canuck in Ohio, yaque, aoeu, foresterbob, GoBlue08, Liberal Mole, poliwrangler, Caddis Fly, steverosen13, GenuineRisk, Vatexia, Oilwellian, SteelerGrrl, zenox, JenS, DRo, googie, Auriandra, ParkRanger, Colin Curtis, SharksBreath, Mathazar, Monsieur Georges, thatgeekinit, demongo, quill, Pinto Pony, chmood, stormicats, RhodaA, OldDragon, Heart n Mind, novenator, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, cwsmoke, Siri, IndieGuy, marinero, David54, oldcrow, just want to comment, tb92, barkingcat, pimutant, a2nite, FreeSpeaker, exatc, xenothaulus, congenitalefty, Horace Boothroyd III, evilhoodedcrow, stellaluna, kellius, belinda ridgewood, willrob, rivercard, Laiane, miningcityguy, wxorknot, ChazzWell, arizonablue, ontario, rat racer, FrY10cK, ItsaMathJoke, bigrivergal, Scottsdalian, artmanfromcanuckistan, George3, Artandscience, databob, mumtaznepal, JAM11, Candide08, Sue B, idlemoments, Zera Lee, Rosedale, ForestLake, nomandates, desert rain, Canid Micturate, Ghost of NY, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, Illinois IRV, countwebb, Eric Twocents, metalflake, Late Again, CharlesInCharge, GPMOAT, Thornrose, Setsuna Mudo, Neapolitan, RodRockler, SanFernandoValleyMom, Tod OL Mundo, Fredjet15, Vienna Blue, Publius Cornelius Tacitus, RockPaperScissors, znthahmed378, paccoli, Smoh, IgnoreAtYourPeril, Arbo

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site