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For years we called it the "Echo Chamber."

It is a place where Conservatives speak only to each other, about only conservative ideas. It originally consisted of talk radio plus a few conservative newspapers like the New York Post and the Washington Times. With advent of Fox News the Echo Chamber grew and amplified. The expansion of the Internet meant the birth of conservative websites like FreeRepublic, TheDrudgeReport. NewsMax and WorldNetDaily which allowed conservatives to speak only to each other even more.

The arrival of the blogosphere ushered in conservative blogs like RedState, Politico and a few dozen others. Soon the contents of the Echo Chamber began reverberating off the walls at a fevers pitch, creating an unintelligible noise like the sound of a thousand ducks quacking for no reason, toward no end, forever. The quaking became so loud and so dense, that no outside ideas could penetrate the walls.

Bill Maher calls this "The Bubble"

I do not know if Bill Maher coined this term or if he simply borrowed it, but the idea has been around for what feels like a very long time. Year after year conservatives seek to further isolate themselves from the facts of the real world. It has gotten to the point where we no longer argue about how to solve real problems, we argue instead over whether or not some problems are real.

Inside The Bubble lies and half truths are repeated without question. Sometimes they are tweaked, exaggerated, and retold with a new twist. But more often than not they are repeated verbatim. These are not just talking points, they are scripted lines of thought. Political programming, if you will. Programming that is never challenged. Inside this type of environment lies eventually feel like common knowledge. Because of this it becomes easy to believe something ludicrous, such as the idea that President Obama was born in Kenya. If you never hear that idea being challenged, you're more likely to just accept it as truth.

This is a problem, but it is not as irrational as it may seem on it's face.

The bubble exists for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that there are plenty of conservatives ready, willing and able to scam the more gullible among them via the propagation of these lies.

Look at Donald Trump. The man has remained (somewhat) relevant over the last 4 years coasting almost entirely on his exploitation of the "birther" allegations. How much money did Orly Taitz raise over the course of her 10 Electoral Campaigns? How many "birther books" have been sold over the last 4 years from who knows how many authors, all peddling the same lines of crap?

That's just one Obama lie that has been marketed to the stupid, gullible guardians of The Bubble at great profit. There are so many more. The FEMA political prisoner camps. The non-existent attack on religious liberty. The non-existent death panels. The vaccines that somehow lead to brain damage, sexual promiscuity, amateur pornography and vegetarianism, or some such non-sense.  

Mitt Romney even launched his Presidential campaign with a book of his own called "No Apology" framed almost entirely around The Bubble's belief that Barack Obama went around the world apologizing for America. The NRA has raised untold millions this year alone on fundraising lies that claim Barack Obama is coming for your guns. This despite the fact that President Barack Obama hasn't done anything about guns, except make them okay to carry into national parks.

It is straw-man politics at best, but manipulation of partisanship/racism at worst. Yes The Bubble exists because conservatives are slowly retracting from reality, but it is spoon fed fuel for the fire by greedy, scam artists looking to make a buck off of fake controversies and outright lies. It has become an industry on it's own. Not just for partisan politicians looking to rally the troops against our side, but anyone with a wild imagination and a willingness to spread bullshit for a buck.

Another aspect of The Bubble is the apparent fact that conservatives treat politics as a sort of Sport. An ideological exercise, if you will, with no consequence for reality. Everything is thought of in an abstract, hypothetical sort of way.

I will give you an example. When Mitt Romney's past statements on FEMA suddenly became news in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, one of my co-workers (who is a very conservative Mormon) tried to reassure me that Mitt Romney doesn't actually want to defund FEMA, send it back to the states or possibly the private sector. That Romney wasn't speaking literally, he was speaking hypothetically.

When I asked for clarification he said...

He was speaking in terms of what he would do with FEMA if we lived in a "perfect world."
I thought about that for a few minutes and suddenly a lot of conservative ideas started to make sense. Conservatives practice what I am now calling "Perfect World Politics."

Think about it. It would be immoral to continue funding FEMA in a Perfect World, because there would be no natural disasters! The States wouldn't depend on the Federal Government to prop up their budgets, the whole economic system would just work in perfect harmony. At some level conservatives base all of their ideas on how the world ought to be instead of how the world actually works!

Their crazy ideas are the bi-product of interpreting reality through a Perfect World prism. Gays don't need equality, in their perfect world there would be no gays. Abortion should be illegal because in a perfect world there would be no unwanted pregnancies. I'm willing to go one step further on that and submit that in their perfect world all sex would be procreational.

In a perfect world you don't have poor people, so why do you need Welfare? In a perfect world old people will have saved for their retirement all their lives, so why do we need Social Security? In a perfect world everyone has a well paying job with medical benefits, so why do we need Obama Care? Global Warming is a Hoax, why do we need to stop polluting?

This is how they view these issues. When they propose cutting these things, they don't think about the actual people who will be affected by it because in their mind those people shouldn't exist. And in some cases they actually believe that in order to get to this perfect world, you have to first put the policies in effect. Kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy sort of thing. But these things don't work in reverse. You can't glue fruit to a bunch of sticks, twigs and leaves and magically end up with a real life apple tree.

Likewise needing a job is not by itself enough to find one. You can't eliminate poverty by kicking people off of social programs into a job market in which there aren't enough jobs. The foundations of a growing economy have to be laid down first. Only then can people be expected to move out of poverty and off of Government programs. Yet the inhabitants of The Bubble continue to think of these issues in the abstract. Like pieces of a puzzle to fit together. Their perfect world doesn't worry about in which order you assemble them.

Since their ideas work in their mind, the fact that they won't work out in the real world never enters into the equation. I am fond of saying (every chance I get) that Ayn Rand's books are filled with ideas that only work in the fictional worlds she created for that purpose. This truly is her party now. In the minds of the GOP rank and file her ideas of a conservative utopia have all but fully replaced the realm you and I call reality.

Finally there really is an actual rationale behind the irrational ideas that occasionally burst through the walls of The Bubble and find their way into non-bubble news items. You could call it a skewed rational, not to put too fine a point on it. I use that word skewed because the recent obsession with Party Affiliation numbers in polling is a great example of this sort of warped rationale being supported by a misinterpretation of real, actual facts.  

One of the ways the unskewed poll sites "unskews" the polls is to look at the Party Affiliation numbers and then decrease the number of Democrats. So in a nutshell if there are +6% more Democratic respondents than GOP respondents in a poll, the site decreases Obama's margin of victory in the poll by that 6% or sometimes more.

Why do they do this? Well it's not just pure wishful thinking, though there is certainly some of that at play. It has more to do with how they decide how much to unskew that number. The answer is that these sites use the Voter Turnout numbers from 2010 as a model for predicting turnout in this years Presidential Election.

No sane person would ever do this. Anyone with half a brain knows the 2010 Election was a Midterm Election. So while it was in fact the most recent Election we have had, which may initially make that data seem relevant; the fact remains that comparing Midterm Elections and Presidential Elections is like comparing the attendance of a community organized play, with that of a Broadway show.  

It's Apples and Oranges.

Turnout is always lower in Midterm Elections despite their obvious importance, with turnout among Democrats particularly lower than Presidential contests. Conservatives have always believed this nation is secretly far more conservative than our elections would suggest. The 2010 Election simply vindicated that belief in their minds. They think the 2010 Electorate is the new normal. The True Majority if you will. Therefore people inside The Bubble expect Tuesday's electorate to look like 2010.

Old, White, Under Educated and mostly Male.

That is why they are so confident. They aren't simply demented, or delusional. They are poorly informed because of the fact that all of their information comes from an angry orgy of half baked conservative ideas, shaped and twisted by an industry of conspiracy theory spinsters which is then passed around like a virus until it seems to them like everybody on the planet instinctively knows it to be true.  

That is The Bubble. That's how it's ideas are formed, nurtured, warped, and rationalized. That is what we have been up against, and what we will continue to be up against. Understanding this sort of thinking will better prepare us to debate it, and guard against a similar fate overtaking this community.

I hope you enjoyed a non-election diary on this Election Eve. Happy Voting Everybody!

11:59 AM PT: Wow thank you everybody. Did not expect this diary to be community spot lit... lighted? Whatever. Thanks everyone who read my diary and commented on it. Sorry about the few grammatical errors I will try to fix those when I get off work today.

 I really didn't think this diary would get very much interest do to this being such a busy time for all of us. Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment.


Originally posted to DeanDemocrat on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 10:13 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  When their bubble is burst they react with anger (23+ / 0-)

    when they are forced to face reality (America really did vote for a black man, the Iraq war WAS a bad idea, etc) they don't handle it well at all.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 02:13:40 AM PST

    •  When Romney Loses ... (9+ / 0-)

      .... those inside the bubble will face a crisis of faith.  As often happens when religious beliefs are challenged, it's likely that the reaction will be dramatic; some will probably, sadly even resort to violence.

      Inside the bubble there will be cries for purity of belief.  The loss will be blamed on not fielding candidates sufficiently true to the conservative principles that they, inside the bubble, know the majority of us accept without question.  Created inside the bubble, the next group of conservative candidates will be even more extreme, weirder, and crazier than those produced during the last primary season.

      As the Murdoch, Thompson, Brown, Kale candidacies and many other general election contests are proving, this produces weak candidates.  Combined with the changing demographics of voting America, this is a formula for long-term failure of the Republican Party as it now exists.

      I believe that history will look back on the 2010 mid-terms as the high-water mark of the conservative "revolution".  In the future the Republicans will need to move much closer to the center, or they will risk going the way of all parties that lose touch with reality.

      Labor was the first price paid for all things. It was not by money, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased. - Adam Smith

      by boatwright on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 04:19:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The bubble will surely burst just like Limbaughs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril

      anal cyst that robbed Rushed Limbaughs of a courageous tour of duty in Vietnam...

      "Round up the usual suspects"

      by NanaoKnows on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 07:18:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The bubble makers are not blamed, those out- (0+ / 0-)

      side the bubble who had nothing to do with creating and sustaining the bubble will be blamed for bursting the bubble...

      instead of the bubble dwellers understanding that they themselves helped sustain and enlarge the bubble... and that bubbles are inherently ephemeral and will pop of their own accord as the thin film between them and reality evaporates or strains under its own insubstantial weight... they will blame anyone not part of the mass delusion.

      And they simply cannot see that reality, physics basically if you will, has the final say over literal and metaphorical bubbles...

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

      by IreGyre on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 03:55:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Totally agree if the bubble were a solid pyramid (8+ / 0-)

    At the apex would be the greedy manipulative opinion shapers who propagate these half baked cynical ideas to enrich themselves. Its now a mega million cottage industry look at the adulterer dinesh and his anti Pres Obama movie or g beck's media empire or a coulter books etc.

    The ignorant base of the pyramid supplies the cash as their egos and fears are massaged by those multi millionaires and billionaires at the apex.

    Sad

    The only way to contain them (too numerous to change or eradicate) is to win elections and prevent their ideas from being translated into public policy.

  •  Fundamentalist (10+ / 0-)

    It's like fundamentalism without necessarily the religion.  Even if the religion side of it is often there, I know a number of "conservative" people who aren't religious, but take the echo chamber ideas in a fundamentalist way.

    Practice Vipashyana- Occupy Awareness

    by cantelow on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 02:42:19 AM PST

  •  I got into an argument with a wingnut-- (11+ / 0-)

    he posted a link with "proof".  I showed him that it basically was a blog post linking to a blog post linking to a blog post with no actual proof of anything.  He refused to see it and insisted that this was cold hard fact.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 03:38:55 AM PST

    •  Belief replaces fact for them (4+ / 0-)

      It's that "everything is based on opinion, and every opinion is equally valid" mentality that the media perpetuate. That and "religious scripture is the truth because it says that it is."

      Wingnuts are not used to the concept of "fact." It does not enter their thinking. If the authority they believe in says it, it's true. Everything else is just liberal or foreign propaganda.

      261.A wealthy man can afford anything except a conscience. -Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

      by MaikeH on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 04:55:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I can't tell you how many times (8+ / 0-)

      I've had wingnuts link me to other wingnuts' opinions as "proof" of their own purported "facts." It's enough that someone else thinks [X] to "prove" that [X] is true, and more importantly that [X] is a "fact."

      When I was a high school English teacher, I found that one of the biggest problems students had in writing literary essays was supporting their conclusions with textual evidence, and drawing reasonable conclusions from textual evidence. In other words, they had a hard time connecting conclusions with evidence in both directions. I think this is a problem for a lot of people. They can't distinguish objective facts from interpretations and characterizations of those facts, or conclusions purportedly based on those facts; they can't determine with any consistency or reliability whether and how certain facts support or refute certain conclusions.

      Once I made a comment that it's hard to have a conversation with someone who knows that 2+2=5. I got a very interesting response: 2+2 does =5 ... for sufficiently large approximations of 2. If you think about it, that makes a lot of sense. Where one's "facts" are mere approximations of reality, they can lead to very, very wrong conclusions.

  •  Dems care about outcomes; Reps about purity. (8+ / 0-)

    This is really the fundamental divide between Democrats and Republicans, or between Liberals and today's lunatic Conservatives. Democrats/Liberals have pretty much always been focused on outcomes and results of policy. How many kids educated, how many preventable deaths avoided, how many seniors kept out of poverty. Today's Republican/conservatives instead are obsessed with a bizarre, abstract sense of purity and virtue. With a freakish false morality, where thousands of dead people are fine as long as some abstract principle is fulfilled.

    It segues to the bizarre Republican obsession with authoritarianism, the need to crush dissent and force obedience, at the point of a gun if necessary, because Liberty and Jeebus.

  •  I call it the paracosm. (17+ / 0-)

    It's a term I ran into quite by accident to identify what I can only describe as an elaborate, ongoing production of improvisational theatre that is the sum and essence of Republican politics today.

    I wonder how anyone can see it any other way. How can anyone not notice that the GOP and its fans/enablers have spent the past four years pretending to be outraged by things they were fine with in 2005, and pretending to be fine with things they were outraged by in 2005? Whether it's "deficits," executive power, military action, or Respecting And Supporting The President When The Troops™ Are In Harm's Way, or any other Sincerely Held Belief that was entirely abandoned on 20 January 2009, how can anyone countenance these reversals and not recognize that it's all an act?

    Call it an improv act or a con game, the purpose and effect are the same. Politics has always been performance art to one degree or another, but this is something I've never seen before. Republican politicians and media enablers are actors in a never-ending theatrical production, grounded in whatever fiction appeals to the audience, and hence makes the most money, at any given time. It's The Truman Show in reverse, with the audience as Truman.

    •  Good term, and quite apt in that it emphasizes (4+ / 0-)

      the degree to which rightwing politics is both performative and stylistic. As Benjamin wrote:

      [The right-wing's] self-alienation has reached such a degree that it can experience its own destruction as an aesthetic pleasure of the first order. This is the situation of politics which Fascism is rendering aesthetic.

      Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

      by angry marmot on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 06:06:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, their perfect world exists. (8+ / 0-)

    It's called Iran. No gays, lots of oil, women know their place, and God is in charge.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 05:46:48 AM PST

  •  Shared assumptions haunt any group. (3+ / 0-)

    But the Republican bubble is especially pernicious because they either a) don't even care if they get it right or b) have such an unverifiable worldview (like pure Marxism) that everything is confirmation.

    Lest one think that I'm just talking politics and pulling a David Gregory with the first statement other situations where group-think dominates:  ESPN predictions, baseball talent evaluation, restaurant reviews (that's why Zagat can't be trusted) etc.  

    I'll always be...King of Bain...I'll always be...King of Bain

    by AZphilosopher on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 05:52:20 AM PST

  •  They are also pretty stupid people overall (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows

    who hate reason, science and rational thought.

  •  the perfect world idea (9+ / 0-)

    is at the heart of libertarianism. It's ridiculously utopian. In a perfect world, there's no need for regulations or government because people will just do the right thing, and always act rationally and ethically. What sane person would ever think that would work in reality? Hey, if humanity perfects itself, THEN we can talk about getting rid of unnecessary strictures. It hasn't happened yet.

  •  My conservative relative dismisses any information (8+ / 0-)

    that comes from the "liberal media in the tank for Obama". He won't read anything that comes from the New York Times, etc. and he despises MSNBC. On the other hand, I won't read his links that come from Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, etc., so we're both in a bubble.  He forwards viral emails that I easily debunk, and he's glad for that correction, so his bubble is slightly breached. But years of indoctrination by Rush Limbaugh, FOX, and Glenn Beck have taken their toll on a very intelligent and kind man.

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 06:02:27 AM PST

  •  But how did they get to 50%? (5+ / 0-)

    I think we may underestimate the sophistication of the Kochs, and Coors, and Roves, who built that bubble.  We tend to think about the REAL crazies with their FEMA internment camps, but what I find more scary, is the large number of people who don't really buy into that stuff, but go along with them nonetheless.

    I boil it down to Greed and Selfishness.  There are simply too many people who if you promise them a tax cut, or that you'll shrink government so they have more money in their pocket, or that we need to abandon 47% of the people, they'll go along with all the other crazy crap so they can have more money.

  •  Different ballpark (6+ / 0-)

    Real sports are in a different ballpark from right-wing politics. I think that's one reason low-information voters are often full of good information about sports; it's worth following, because the information is solid. Editorial analysis in sports journalism may vary in quality, but the information that it's based on accurately reflects the real world. Cheating is viscerally despised; on the rare occasions players or organizations are caught cheating they can no longer play, and get stripped of their medals. This hasn't been true about politics for a long time, if ever.

    Right wing politics and political reporting is more like pro wrestling. Linda McMahon is not an anomaly, she's reducto ad absurdum.

  •  For all of the "perfect world" thinking, (5+ / 0-)

    in reality the beneficiaries are exclusively America's wealthiest residents. Funny how that works.

    "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." - Joseph Pulitzer

    by CFAmick on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 07:12:24 AM PST

  •  I just read a great article about this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows, kyril

    The Long Con: Mail Order Conservatism

    The author uses overly flowery language but I think he's on the same page as you ... Republicans sell a perfect world to people who want desperately to believe that one exists.

    •  A good find. See also Kossack Xaxnar's (4+ / 0-)

      excellent diary on that piece and that topic in general:

      UPDATED: Why Republicans Lie - Must Read from Rick Perlstein on the Conservative Con Game

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      We're coming down to the wire on an election that should never have been this close to begin with. However it turns out, unless and until we understand what the conservative movement really is, how it thinks, how it acts, we're not going to be able to deal with them effectively. The biggest advantage conservative con men have is the ability to be taken at face value. This is why they spend so much time on messaging, on framing issues in a way that sells their snake oil. Use their framing, and you end up doing their job for them.

            Their power is based on creating a false picture of themselves and the world. Treating that picture as simply a difference of opinion is to legitimize it. You will not find this benefit of the doubt reciprocated - the conservative movement puts a tremendous amount of energy into delegitimizing everything associated with liberals or anyone else they see as their opponents. It's a key element in their strategy of deception. It's like a horror movie where no one believes the person trying to warn everyone else until it's too late...

      "..The political class cannot solve the problems it created. " - Jay Rosen

      by New Rule on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 11:10:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A couple of corrections... (4+ / 0-)

    Should be "borrowed" -- not "burrowed".  Also, it's the "people who will be affected" -- not "effected".

    Finally, though there is no comparison, we, on the left, have our own bubble, and there are extremists within who are prepared to believe and get outraged by some crazy shit, too. You want "hypothetical"? How about the tidal wave of diaries defending Weiner? They explained how it as hypothetically possible his account was hacked and, ergo, claimed it must be so....because the right is just so evil. There's at least 2 bubbles.

    Some of what we want is perfect world politics, too -- because, we desperately want to create that perfect world and see government as the vehicle to do so.

    We don't like admitting to fiscal restraints, when we see something we think government should spend money on. Be it the space program or something more pedestrian, inevitably we say it will be money will spent, even an investment that will pay off in the long run.

    Sea barriers for NYC? Great idea, and if it had been begun 15 years ago, it would have paid off. But, that's not how budgeting works. What we would have cut instead or what taxes would we have raised, or debt incurred?

    It's hard to prioritize when there are so many things we want to make better. Liberals want to fix things and think we should all sacrifice to do that. Conservatives may see us a bit deluded, too.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 07:35:01 AM PST

    •  There is definitely a liberal bubble (0+ / 0-)

      but the key difference is that the liberal bubble is usually willing to admit as evidence:

      - Peer-reviewed scientific studies
      - Well-sourced mainstream media reports
      - Statistically-valid polling and analysis.

      It also admits, and produces, a fair amount of speculation and outright CT. But the legitimate sources of outside information serve as a check that keeps the speculation and CT from taking over, feeding off itself, and driving the long-term narrative.

      The conservative bubble refuses to admit outside information. All of it is tagged as 'liberal' and 'biased.' The result is abominations like Conservapedia.

      "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

      by kyril on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 12:44:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Perfect World Politics." (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows, kyril

    That explains a lot. And it jibes with "we make our own reality.."
    This is the work of professionals like Rove and Luntz and before them, Lee Atwater.
    The Right's bubble isn't the only one, but it's the biggest and most vivid. There's always a bubble around the leadership. Inside-the-Beltway Groupthink is one longstanding bubble. And it happens in Corporate too.
    But this bubble that the Corporate Right has inflated, is purposeful, it's not a mistake or a side effect, it's a conscious deception because if they EVER let on what their plans for America really are, they would never be allowed out of a very tiny room with no sharp edges.
    The GOP agenda, when broken down and polled, is not acceptable to the vast majority of Americans. Unless you use the codewords that reference back to the Bubble. The same kind of polling shows that when stripped of the political/rhetorical baggage, most Americans, even staunch TeaBaggers, support liberal concepts, unless they are labeled "Liberal". This goes back to the foundation of the Right's bubble, the demonization of "Liberalism" a la McCarthy and Nixon in the 50s.(Or even farther, to the backlash against FDR.)
    But now, it has become a real problem. They have CONvinced almost half of our fellow citizens that 2+2=5. And they are building bridges based on this faulty math.
    What worries me is that at the fringes of this bubble, some of the people they have mobilized are not real stable, they've got them CONvinced that in the "real numbers, Rmoney is winning by double digits and the only way that he could lose is if the Demoncrats steal the election". When the actual results come down, how many of them become vigilantes? Remember, many of them are being spun up by the NRA, literally millions of stirred up, misinformed gun nuts, what percentage of them cross the line? .01% is still hundreds.
    I really hope I'm wrong.

  •  the great Rabbi, Lenny Bruce, once said - (2+ / 0-)

    "What is, is - what ought to be, is a goddamned lie."

    And someone else said (I should look it up. Maybe later.) "Scratch a Fascist (or was it Nazi?), find a Romantic."

    It's the difference between the "Faith Based" community, & us people dedicated to empiricism, or science, or "reality" as it's commonly called.

    "Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right." - Isaac Asimov

    by greenotron on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 07:51:19 AM PST

  •  We need to despise but also fear them. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheDuckManCometh

    The radical right bubble - I won't use the term conservative because conservatism is an honorable tradition - is truly loathesome in its irrational disregard for facts. But it is still very, very dangerous. Even if we retain the Senate and Presidency, as I believe we will, the GOP House can continue to paralyze government and blame the President. Worsening climate change promises hard times ahead, too, and the right will find ways to blame that on us. (I'm waiting for them to start claiming that it's God's punishment on a secular society.) It's not just sane public policy that's endangered; it's the constitutional order itself. Repugs are consolidating control of state governments, and pushing referenda to remove or intimidate judges. They have unlimited cash at their disposal, and a formidable propaganda machine. And they are armed to the teeth, and increasingly contemptuous of civility and the rule of law. They are frighteningly similar to the European totalitarian movements of the 1930s.  So far the extremists lack one ingredient - a charismatic leader. Fortunately, they are still nominating uninspiring people like Romney & McCain. When they find that charismatic leader, and they will, watch out!

    "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." - Thomas Jefferson

    by Blue Boomer on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 09:51:20 AM PST

    •  Well, I'd argue that Dumbya, Deadeye Dick (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril

      (Cheney), and DeLay (Tom) were that leadership team.  

      Charismatic?  Not to us, but to enough fellow 'Merkins to get 2 terms with dubious and narrow Prez. election totals and to do a heckuva lot of damage.  

      Dumbya appealed to blue-bloods, evangelicals, neocons, corporadoes, and wing-nuts.  He increased inequality, deficits, corporate welfare, warfare, and curtailed Civil Rights.

      "..The political class cannot solve the problems it created. " - Jay Rosen

      by New Rule on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 11:22:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fundamentalism comes into play too (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheDuckManCometh, kyril

    Living in a bubble that has Southern Baptist "ministers'" read on the Bible as a final authority leaves room for the "God hates fags" crowd and violent anti-abortion acts.

    Or viewing the planet's environment as unimportant because we're living in "the last days" anyway.

    Perhaps one day the Fourth Estate will take their jobs seriously. Or not..

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 09:53:01 AM PST

  •  The cargo cult mentality (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows, kyril

    If we build it they will come.  If we believe it it will happen. If we think it must be true.

    The power of the Occupy movement is that it ....realizes a fundamental truth about American politics… there is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs.

    by orson on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 10:10:11 AM PST

  •  Good Diary and Comments, DeanDemocrat ! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril

    Check out also Kossack Xaxnar's diary on a similar topic:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    "..The political class cannot solve the problems it created. " - Jay Rosen

    by New Rule on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 11:11:44 AM PST

  •  I would describe conservative thought process as (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril

    "if it doesn't happen to me, it must not be a big deal" mixed in with some very deep seated prejudice about people of color and poor people.  The two work together to create a toxic mix.  

    I've come to this conclusion after getting into several arguments with conservative acquaintances over the last couple weeks.  We don't argue over candidates, b/c we realize that is a lost cause.  What we argue over issues - gay rights; economic policy; discrimination; women's rights.  

    Now for the most part these people consider themselves to be socially liberal - Ron Paul Republicans if you will (although I often point out that he isn't socially liberal... oh well).  They are not rich, most are firmly middle class.  They are not overly religious and for the most part don't practice.  What I heard from this group, time and again, was that they chose to support Republicans because they promise THEM personally something.  Usually a tax break or a drastic cut in spending.  It may be framed to talk about what is best for the country - but for the most part its about what is best for their wallet.  Ironically, at the same time they complain that Obama supporters only support him b/c he is giving them something free.  Translation - tax cuts for me good; spending for you bad.  

    I was struck by how often they say issues like not allowing gay people to marry doesn't matter b/c that is only a problem that affects a certain percentage of people.  As if, b/c there rights haven't been personally taken away - no big deal.  I've had countless libertarian / Republicans tell me that they oppose the Equal Rights Amendment - not b/c they are racists, but because they don't think the government should have the power to interfere with private citizen's businesses.  Of course, the people who said this were usually white males (but I suspect white females and minority republicans share some similar feelings).  These are people who, for the most part, have had not to deal with coordinated discrimination and wouldn't be in jeopardy if such protections were taken away.   And if coordinated discrimination has led to permanent underclass of minorities - who cares! Not their problem.  This is why the stories about election fraud and voter suppression don't resonate with them - their votes aren't being suppressed; they aren't being inconvenienced - so what's the big deal?  That is a minor issue in comparison with Barack Obama's plan to transfer their savings account to the black guy down the street.  In a lot of ways the Papa John's CEO kind of unwittingly spoke the Republican party line "who cares if 30 million people receive health care who did not have it before, my pizza will go up 8 cents a pie!"

    The next thing I was struck by is how little REAL compassion was expressed for poor people and how their prejudices against the poor undercut whatever charitable bone they had in their bodies. They would always feign compassion, but there ideas of poor people portrayed a different story.  There were always countless tales, always unverifiable, about this poor person they saw with too expensive a cell phone or that poor person who was gaming the system.  (As a side note, these stories are often repeated here by are more conservatives posters - again, always unverifiable).  

    Invariably, the stories pivoted on stereotypes about poor people - usually black poor people.  The poor people in their stories are always lazy, uneducated - they never seem to be working, they always drive nice cars.  One guy even tried to argue that Obama was promoting a "ghetto fabulous" lifestyle amongst the poor (but if I call him racist, I'm the jerk...). I was always struck by how these conservative acquaintances could tell who was on welfare and how they were spending their money just by looking at someone.  At one point I lost my cool and was yelling - "not every poor person you see is on welfare!  Not everyone who lives in a black neighborhood is poor!  You can't tell who is on welfare by looking at them!"  These deep seated prejudices affected their views on everything - their opinions were completely shaped by them.

    Support for Romney I think ccomes down to two things, one innocent (at first) and one a bit more sinister.  Most Romney supporters have a (1) a real concern about what will happen to them financially in an Obama presidency (2) coupled with a complete and total fear, one we've seen developed and nurtured since the late 60s, that the Democratic party is out to give an advantage to those undeserving "others."  This fear, whether they admit it or not, is heightened b/c Obama, a black man is in the white house. The prejudice intertwines with their normal and quite reasonable fears about the economy to create voters incapable of listening to Dems or the black president b/c they are so certain, contrary facts be damned, that the president wants to take from them give to some other.  And Mitt Romney, can flip-flop and contradict himself all he wants, because to those conservatives I've described, they know he will have their back.  He will make sure the poor don't get what they don't deserve, while preserving what they have.  That is their true concern.  

    ***P.S. when I was finished I realized I typed up a novel no one will likely read - oh well.  Sorry about typos :)

  •  I listened to a RW nutjob last night; I kept my (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril

    Mouth shut. She sounded deranged. She almost ruined my night. All of it was talking points from the usual suspects.

    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 Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 02:08:44 PM PST

  •  This was a nice piece to read (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril
    I really didn't think this diary would get very much interest do to this being such a busy time for all of us. Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment.
    These past number of years have revealed a GOP that I didn't remember when growing up (I was raised in a Republican home). This provided some nice focus and confirmed a few things that I suspected (but thought I was the only one sensing it).

    Only the weak & defeated are called to account for their crimes.

    by rreabold on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 03:11:35 PM PST

  •  The bubble won me $20 (0+ / 0-)

    My neighbor insisted it would be a Romney landslide. Since I'd won $40 from him 4 years ago from the "McCain landslide," he wanted a chance to get some of it back.

    As a sociologist, I know a bit about polls. Science wins again.

    I don't know what consciousness is or how it works, but I like it.

    by SocioSam on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 09:05:29 AM PST

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