What accounts for this pattern of denial? Earlier this year, the science writer Chris Mooney published “The Republican Brain,” which was not, as you might think, a partisan screed. It was, instead, a survey of the now-extensive research linking political views to personality types. As Mr. Mooney showed, modern American conservatism is highly correlated with authoritarian inclinations — and authoritarians are strongly inclined to reject any evidence contradicting their prior beliefs. Today’s Republicans cocoon themselves in an alternate reality defined by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, and only on rare occasions — like on election night — encounter any hint that what they believe might not be true.Alec MacGillis:
And, no, it’s not symmetric. Liberals, being human, often give in to wishful thinking — but not in the same systematic, all-encompassing way.
Coming back to the age of the earth: Does it matter? No, says Mr. Rubio, pronouncing it “a dispute amongst theologians” — what about the geologists? — that has “has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States.” But he couldn’t be more wrong.
As Democrats gather for turkey or tofurkey in Brooklyn and Berkeley and, yes, even in Birmingham, they should offer thanks for Mitt Romney. Not just for being a clumsy candidate in a year when a more agile one might have knocked off Barack Obama—but for the broader benefit he served the Democratic Party as a powerful clarifying force...Michael Barone, who got the 2012 election completely wrong (Prediction: Romney Beats Obama, Handily), nonetheless has yet to retire (or recant as far as I know) from election predictions.
Armageddon was averted, but politically, Obama ended up with the worst of both worlds. Wall Street was irked at him anyway, because even his mild criticisms and moderate reforms bruised egos and crimped profits. Meanwhile, voters saw him and the Democrats as in league with the bailed-out banks. In theory, both things could not be true, but in political reality, they very much were.
Which led to the great demoralization of the 2010 midterms. Voters were angry and frustrated and confused, and Republicans capitalized on that confusion. Even as Wall Street shifted its support toward the GOP, Republicans ran on a populist, anti-establishment platform.
My tentative conclusion is that we may be back to the nearly even balance between the parties we saw between 1995 and 2005. Since then, we've been in a period of open field politics, with big swings to the Democrats in 2006 and 2008 and a big swing to the Republicans in 2010.In Barone's view, Hispanics only mattered in terms of the immigration issue.
Both sides hoped those swings would prove permanent. 2012 suggests both sides were disappointed. It looks like we're back to trench warfare politics at the national level.
Clearly Hispanic voters, and the differences between Bush and Mitt Romney on immigration and in attitude, helped move Colorado, Nevada and, by a very narrow margin, Florida from the Republican column in 2004 to the Democratic column in 2012.Not understanding the hostile tone of the party overall in issues beyond immigration is part of why the GOP made such a poor showing this year. Sure, immigration was an important issue, perhaps more important to Latinos than "all voters". But Romney was right—it was the economy. Too bad for him that he was on the wrong side of it, losing the Latino vote 71-27. From Pew:
Top Issues for Hispanic Voters in 2012For some unexplainable reason, health care is especially important when you don't have it. Meanwhile, "apply for legal status" is the majority view, whatever the tea party Republicans think.
For Hispanic voters, according to the national exit poll, 60% identified the economy as the most important issue (of four listed) facing the country today, virtually the same as the share (59%) of the general electorate that identified the economy as the nation’s most important issue. On the other three issues asked about, for Hispanic voters, the economy was followed by health care (18%), the federal budget deficit (11%) and foreign policy (6%).
Throughout this election cycle, the issue of immigration has been an important issue for Hispanics. In the national exit poll, voters were asked about what should happen to unauthorized immigrants working in the U.S. According to the national exit poll, 77% of Hispanic voters said these immigrants should be offered a chance to apply for legal status while 18% said these immigrants should be deported. Among all voters, fewer than two-thirds (65%) said these immigrants should be offered a chance to apply for legal status while 28% say they should be deported.
Hostess was important but Cole Stangler note the most important union story might just be at Wal-mart.
Part of why the recent actions are so remarkable is that Wal-Mart is one of the most notoriously anti-union companies in the country. Based in right-to-work Arkansas, the retailer has maintained an almost entirely union-free workforce for most of its existence, even once resorting to shutting down a store in Quebec shortly after a successful union drive there. The company has never before dealt with coordinated labor protest on this scale. “In the past, Wal-Mart would fire people, would threaten people … and that would be enough to stop people in their tracks,” said Dan Schlademan, director of Making Change at Walmart, another organization backed by the UFCW which works closely with OUR Walmart. “The difference now is workers are using Wal-Mart’s own tactics to challenge the company and not backing down. Really, for the first time in Wal-Mart’s history, the tools that are used to keep people silent and under control are now being used against them. That’s significant.”