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Word cloud from focus group
Word cloud from focus group
There have been several scientific studies in recent years chalking up differences between liberals and conservatives to, at least in part, differences in brain chemistry: In short, conservatives tend to have more fear-driven personalities and more binary responses to perceived threats. Knowing that such a correlation exists in laboratory settings is helpful, but how does that relate to today's political reality?

Democracy Corps has released some fascinating new qualitative research (conducted by Democratic pollster Greenberg Quinlan Rosner) that does a deep dive into the Republican brain; while they don't explicitly draw the link to the more rigorous studies on Republicanism and fear, much of what they elicited via focus group is, in a word, about fear ... fear of the Other, fear of losing the privilege that they've previously taken for granted, fear of losing ground. (For starters, check out the word cloud from the memo's first page, as seen above.)

Understand that the base thinks they are losing politically and losing control of the country – and their starting reaction is "worried," "discouraged," "scared," and "concerned" about the direction of the country – and a little powerless to change course. They think Obama has imposed his agenda, while Republicans in DC let him get away with it.
Read more about this study below the fold.

Understanding this mindset is crucial to understanding how we've gotten to the situation we're in, with the shutdown over the ACA and the debt limit stalemate. Much as the Republican leadership has painted itself into its own policy corner, the base that's driving them feels equally cornered; they've connected dots between accelerating demographic change and increased government benefits for persons unlike them. Obamacare therefore becomes, for them, the crux of the existential threat to the country they think they know, and has to be stopped at literally any cost.

Republicans shutdown the government to defund or delay Obamacare. This goes to the heart of Republican base thinking about the essential political battle. They think they face a victorious Democratic Party that is intent on expanding government to increase dependency and therefore electoral support. It starts with food stamps and unemployment benefits; expands further if you legalize the illegals; but insuring the uninsured dramatically grows those dependent on government. They believe this is an electoral strategy—not just a political ideology or economic philosophy. If Obamacare happens, the Republican Party may be lost, in their view.

And while few explicitly talk about Obama in racial terms, the base supporters are very conscious of being white in a country with growing minorities. Their party is losing to a Democratic Party of big government whose goal is to expand programs that mainly benefit minorities. Race remains very much alive in the politics of the Republican Party.

There's a lot of nuance to the study that can't be easily summarized; for instance, it broke its focus groups (performed in Roanoke, Virginia and Colorado Springs) into party's three legs: the evangelicals, the tea partiers, and the "moderates," and it delves into what exactly it is that each of these groups fears. But it's fascinating to see the GOP base's deep motivations articulated by the participants—and in an unguarded fashion, rather than, say, typical comment-section bluster—and well worth the full read.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 01:35 PM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Trying to decide if I want to read what's at... (18+ / 0-)

    ...that link or run away screaming.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 01:39:40 PM PDT

    •  It's worth the read (3+ / 0-)

      though it might prompt a couple of rong>OMG's that you'll have to choke back...

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

      by a gilas girl on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 03:15:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Democracy Corp report is must read. Period . (22+ / 0-)

        I've just finished reading it from this morning and I'm mostly reposting a comment I made there. I heard Greg Dworkin talk about on Kagro in the morning and was inspired to read the report myself. While there is a lot of crazy in there people must read on towards the end when they get to the moderates. There may be hope after all.

        I found this to be a freakin' Rosetta Stone. While I was aware of their opinions on the right I really didn't understand the foundation of their deluded, persecuted belief system. On one hand the Tea Partiers and evangelicals are so frighteningly divorced from reality it's hard to think of any reason to even try and reach them.

        On the other hand, if we can convince the moderates to look at the economic blueprint we used from the 30's and especially the late 40's through the 60's to become the world's most prosperous nation, we could convert a good portion of the GOP to become Democrats. For the most part they seem as socially liberal as any Democratic moderate, even sharing some progressive views.

        They misunderstand that capitalism is a demand economy, not a supply side one. Take the scales off of their eyes on this and we might be able to turn the country around. We need to show them that it is fair and fiscally prudent for the 400 individuals who earn half of what the country earns to pay half the taxes. They need to see the good government investments we have made which are the result of fair taxation.

        •  True. Some GOP are just supply side believers. (0+ / 0-)

          The magic of supply side economics is that it creates an illusion (a bubble) that the economy is booming. During the Bush administration and the end of the Clinton administration, Alan Greenspan created a capitalist paradise that was more staging than substance.

          In 2008 the cardboard economy collapsed.

    •  Do read it. It's worth the investment in time. (5+ / 0-)

      I just finished reading the whole report and it was eye opening. I'm now clear on why the Teahadists see government shutdown as a necessary and winning strategy.

      Is it any wonder that the Republican Base cheers on the hostage takers when this is what they believe at their core:

      The moderates are very opposed to Obamacare because it is big spending; it won’t work; it will hurt business and employment. Their first associations are: “Stupidity”; “Job killer”; “And I say debt, D-E-B-T”; “Job killer.” [Raleigh]

      The second strand is a concern with intrusive government that invades their privacy, diminishes their rights and freedoms, and threatens the Constitution. Those worries are dominant
      among the Tea Party, though not exclusively. In both Tea Party groups, they immediately associate the word government with the phrase “too big.” This is followed by “out of control,” “wasteful,” “corrupt,” “Obama,” and “Democrats.”

      And the third is the most important and elicits the most passions among Evangelicals and Tea Party Republicans – that big government is meant to create rights and dependency and electoral support from mostly minorities who will reward the Democratic Party with their votes.

      The Democratic Party exists to create programs and dependency – the food stamp hammock, entitlements, the 47 percent. And on the horizon—comprehensive immigration reform and Obamacare. Citizenship for 12 million illegals and tens of million getting free health care is the end of the road.

      Health care reform is just that. They believe Democrats not only create institutional dependency, but also feeds[sic] it for their own political gain.

      "Some folks rob you with a six-gun, some rob you with a fountain pen." - Woody Guthrie

      by Involuntary Exile on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 04:36:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow, there is so much projection (4+ / 0-)

        in that last statement you quoted:

        They believe Democrats not only create institutional dependency, but also feeds[sic] it for their own political gain.
        I suppose, though, given their mindset it would be impossible for them to conceptualize anything resembling "for the greater good."

        "I don't love writing, but I love having written" ~ Dorothy Parker // Visit my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet

        by jan4insight on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 07:07:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  See, this is why (15+ / 0-)

        we never connect with these folks when we charge that they vote against their own economic interest, as if we know their economic interest better than they do.

        As this article lays out, they not voting against their interests, because they define them differently.  They vote out of fear that the minorities will take what's theirs, and the government will help them do it.

        This is why, I think, that tea partier making $50K a year identifies and respects the rich: they see the rich as a group who share the same goal of wanting to keep all their own money, in steady of the greedy lazy food stamp class.

      •  I read the whole thing last night. Well worth the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, greengemini

        time investment.  I now understand the RW freaks in my life a little better.  

        An "friend" on Facebook (we met while in the same problematic adoption program) is an evangelical republican.  She recently wrote an anti-ACA post about how the affordable rate of $475/month to insure her family of five, including 3 special needs kids, was really outrageously unaffordable for them since the out of pocket max would bring them to $1500/month.  About 3 other people agreed with her and responded with RW lies, stuff like liens being placed on houses if you refuse to get insurance.

        I wanted to respond that premiums and coverage were way worse pre-ACA, and if they were forced to rely on a pre-ACA plan, they would have never been able to adopt their two SN kids (cleft lip/palate, and congenital hip problems) since the insurance co. would not have covered them.  AND their premature bio-kid with cerebral palsy's medical care would be bankrupting them at the moment.  The article made me realize what I suspected:  That no reasonable pro-ACA argument would persuade them because this isn't about the ACA.  It's about them feeling like they are culturally backed into a corner watching their world fall apart.  So I won't waste my time on a reply post.  

        I wonder what all of these Obamacare doomsdayers will be talking about a year or two from now when Obamacare is a faded-into-the-background fact of life?

    •  Read it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and then decide.

  •  Why not just come right out and say it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They are NUTS!!!!!!

    •  cowardly nuts. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'm not an athiest. How can you not believe in something that doesn't exist? That's way too convoluted for me. - A. Whitney Brown

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 02:27:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  but they're NOT nuts (7+ / 0-)

      Put yourself in their position: as the article points out, demographics and changes in cultural and political attitudes really are making them more and more powerless and irrelevant. It's completely sane that their thoughts are mostly "worried," "discouraged," "scared," and "concerned". Liberals would have the same word cloud if the tables were turned.

      The problem, as we are witnessing right now, is that cornered people, especially the ego-driven narcissists common to the RW, can be very dangerous and irrational as they lash out at their perceived tormentors (remember - it's never their fault). It looks crazy, but it's even worse: these people are legitimately fighting for their cultural existence, which they're convinced is the same as their own personal survival. To them this really is a war, and whatever violence and destruction (political and real) they can wreak is fair game.

      PS: none of this is to say that we should have the slightest sympathy for the plight of the Republicons - they can all go to hell - just that it's important to know where they're coming from and not fall into the trap of thinking they're all just a bunch of raving lunatic morans.

      "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

      by quill on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 02:59:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, not legitimately... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quill, jan4insight, MichaelNY

        ...but, yeah, I know what you are saying.  For the doomsday preppers, doomsday is already here--a black man is in the white house and even got re-elected.  The country may not even be able to be "saved".  So, now it's crucial to destroy everything they can to deny the victors the spoils.

        It's the result of 50 years of identity politics, where "tribe" tops policy.  So, all that matters now is destroying everything, lest "those people' get one single piece of prosperity.

        It's a sad mindset, but that's precisely where they are at.  It'certainly isn't rational.  What the heck is so scary about expanding access to health insurance?  It's not.  But, frame it as "those people" taking your hard earned tax dolars away from you, and well... here's where we are.


        by LordMike on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 03:27:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  would be nice if Dem leaders got a clue about this (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LordMike, MichaelNY

          Maybe they're figuring it out at long last, but the only way to deal with that kind of dangerous mindset is to not give an inch, and treat this threat seriously - as in start an all-out mobilization to remove these people from any position of power.

          "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

          by quill on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 04:56:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Its not just (some) leaders, its the indies and (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SuWho, Pescadero Bill, greengemini

            a lot of D voters who think these folks are just like them and so we can arrive at a rational compromise, that we would call progressive b/c that objective evidence demands solutions/policies that generally are progressive and further progressive ends.  They simply do not understand that the world as seen by many Thugs, base and thus leaders alike, is so very different, apocalyptically different, that little common ground exists and rarely is anything beyond a temporary common policy likely.

            This is why Obama, and some other D leaders, continually stresses open hands, trying to find common ground and reasonable compromises to move the country forward.  Those voters want the country moving forward and sincerely, if wrongly, believe the other side wants the same.  Consequently, they demand the very high-wire act that infuriates some progressives and leads them to label BO et al as sell outs.

        •  Interesting that the Waltons have a fancy shelter (0+ / 0-)

          See Wal-Mart nation.

      •  Fighting for dominance (12+ / 0-)

        "...these people are legitimately fighting for their cultural existence."

        I'd say, instead, that they are fighting for their cultural dominance, and that's quite a different thing.

      •  I looked up the definition for psychosis (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the four main symptoms of psychosis are hallucinations, delusions, confused and disturbed thoughts, and a lack of insight and self-awareness ... sounds familiar???

      •  But the tables R turned against orthodox liberals (0+ / 0-)

        In the mid 90's the Dem party embraced welfare reform, capital punishment and thought that occasionally dropping bombs on a country was good.

    •  Actually (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, MichaelNY, Naniboujou

      that's not what the study suggests at all.

      What it suggests is a more and more deeply reinforced bubble, because the search is for homogeneity.

      That's not NUTS, it's an understandable if unfortunate response to a fear of being isolated, alienated and marginalized.  

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

      by a gilas girl on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 03:17:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  other consequences to irrational fear (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, cotterperson, bnasley

    were observed today, and guardianUK reports on it. how quickly responders can respond, and how carefully, is part of training. careless congresspersons can be fully responsible for tripping the alarms in what's known as 'false' events.

    wolf wolf wolf is worse than not funny.

    @Hugh: There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution. * Addington's perpwalk? TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.

    by greenbird on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 01:43:59 PM PDT

  •  Looking at the word cloud as a depiction of (10+ / 0-)

    their mind-set, all I can say is: It's gotta suck to live like that.

    "I don't love writing, but I love having written" ~ Dorothy Parker // Visit my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet

    by jan4insight on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 01:46:32 PM PDT

  •  They need to be free of their drug addiction (5+ / 0-)

    of Limbaugh and Hannity and Fox and talk radio and the rest of their propaganda network.  Each fix, each time they shoot up with one of these drugs, does not calm them temporarily, as opiates do, but makes them even more hysterical.  

    "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 Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 01:55:52 PM PDT

  •  Used to be that if a stray dog contracted rabies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and it had to be put down at the pound, the animal's brain would be extracted in autopsy and sent to a veterinary school for student study and analysis.

    Could that same protocol be used to advance our understanding of current political decisions when one of these criminally insane conservatives die? Of course, assuming that an actual brain is found to be intact?

    •  Don't even joke about things like that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sacman701, jncca

      It's not funny, and it's totally inappropriate. These are misguided people, not rabid dogs who should be put to death and have their brains analyzed.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 11:27:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So sorry (0+ / 0-)

        ... for causing you to get  the vapors: two things, however:

        1 - Nowhere here did I suggest that they be put to death for the purpose of analysis. I DID, however, suggest that they be analyzed AFTER they died... quite a big distinction for those who know how to read (maybe I should have inserted... "from natural causes" for those with rudimentary reading comprehension skills);

        2 -  You infer from your characterizing them as "misguided people" that they have no free will to choose their positions and their lunacy is some kind of "accident of fate". They are not "misguided"... they CHOOSE to do what they do, think what they think and say what they say.

        As a sidebar, there is indeed medical evidence out there that strongly suggests physical and psychological configuration differences in the brains of persons predisposed to extreme right wing anarchy positions. It's possible that the studies have already been performed without your permission.

        •  Nope (0+ / 0-)
          You infer from your characterizing them as "misguided people" that they have no free will to choose their positions and their lunacy is some kind of "accident of fate".
          And I'm done with this "discussion."

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Fri Oct 04, 2013 at 01:50:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  See "The Political Brain" by Drew Westen (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SuWho, Vicky, MichaelNY, XOVER

      This book is another eye opener in terms of explaining how the right wing manipulates emotion -- lots of fear -- to promote their agenda.  One of the important take aways is that when people reach a conclusion through emotional cognitive pathways, reason won't work to change their minds -- they didn't get to their conclusions via reason.  We have to fight fire with fire -- and emotional manipulation with emotional counter attacks.

      •  Such a strategy (0+ / 0-)

        is antipathy to the progressive ideology - and would not work for such.

        Such a strategy is better suited to movements like Fascism, or Neoliberalism.

        “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ... Voltaire

        by RUNDOWN on Sun Oct 06, 2013 at 08:24:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  hey! i recognize that word cloud.... (12+ / 0-)

    it's a cumulus nimcompoop.

  •  T&R + thanks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, MichaelNY

    Really looking forward to the read. I've been following the far-right blogs and their terror is real, even though it has no basis in reality.

     I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine.     -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by SteelerGrrl on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 02:08:03 PM PDT

  •  To be fair, a lot of folks here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DownstateDemocrat, MichaelNY, jncca

    believe that Bush pretty much got everything he wanted during his eight years as well.  And I bet a Dem word cloud in 2005 would look pretty much the same.

    Glenn Greenwald promotes far-right fringe extremist group The Oath Keepers -

    by Jacoby Jonze on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 02:12:20 PM PDT

  •  There's Also the Fact That Many Fears are Correct (8+ / 0-)

    in important aspects. We are indeed losing control of our government, and the mainstream population is indeed losing the American Dream.

    The conservatives are being deceived about the forces driving it.

    Black and white, or 64 million color vision, the government is just as shut down in either picture.

    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 Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 02:28:49 PM PDT

  •  That's exactly what my therapist said. (4+ / 0-)

    Rather, that was what she led me to deduce with a few Qs & As.

    She knew I was a liberal. I'm in Wisconsin. She knew I helped gather signatures for Walker's recall. We put up with a lot of abuse from some pretty shady characters. I know how some of those teabaggers lashed out. Yet within under a minute my attitude toward them switched from fury to pity.

    Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

    by Ice Blue on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 02:30:58 PM PDT

    •  You're a better person than me... (0+ / 0-)

      Considering their fear lies almost entirely on racism, I really can't sympathize with their masochistic desire to take themselves down in favor of the 1%,


      by LordMike on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 03:41:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Their desire is not to take themselves down, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LordMike, MichaelNY

        but to take the entire country down (especially us lib'ruls).

        "I don't love writing, but I love having written" ~ Dorothy Parker // Visit my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet

        by jan4insight on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 07:09:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  fear based on the idea there is not enough (4+ / 0-)

        not enough God, therefore only my religion came be right
        not enough love, therefore only the way i love can be right and only my kind are worthy of love
        not enough sex, therefore only the sex i practice can be tolerated
        not enough money, therefore i must try to keep as much as i can and protect what's mine
        it is the illusion; 'there is not enough', that generates the fear, so as this is an illusion and not real, it must be constantly reinforced which is the right wing's media job to generate that fear on a 24/7 basis which allows them to influence the decision making process

        •  "Glass Half Empty" ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          A feeling of loss, lack, "the end" etc ... and there will never be enough money, profit, power, time etc ...

          Equating to the drive to be "rich" in the first place, a common personality trait and not surprising.

          As opposed to fulfillment and completeness, a sense of service and self sacrifice - concepts unknown to those types of personalities.

          “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ... Voltaire

          by RUNDOWN on Sun Oct 06, 2013 at 08:30:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It explains opposition to ACA. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It explains fears about "death panels" and losing one's doctor or one's employer insurance. Most insurances were dropped preemptively, before Obamacare began because of "fears" of it. (really probably greed).

          If more people are insured, the theory goes, than there won't be enough health care to go around.

          I read and recced another Kos diary which lamented a National Review article which praised the need for megamillionaires to innovate in health care. In the article, other subjects were lumped in, which included the idea that health care would be limited and rationed anyway, so it would be better for the "free market" to do it instead of "death panels" or as they put it "God panels".

          So in short, it's better that white, rich people get the health care, because they have "earned" it and all their children have been born in wedlock, except all those hidden out of wedlock children that they have conceived (I'm looking at you, Arnold and Strom! Edwards, too, though he is not a poor-hater).


  •  so, basically, at the Republican National Conventi (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Convention in 2016, if someone doses the water supply with Ecstasy they'll nominate Al Sharpton as the Republican Presidential Candidate?


    even though it might strip otherwise reliable african-american votes from the dems, screw it. i'd do it for the lulz.

    my mom never breast fed me. she said she only liked me as a friend.

    by bnasley on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 03:05:12 PM PDT

  •  Wow. (5+ / 0-)

    the"...No wonder they killed him..." response to the RFK quotes is eye-opening.

    That "like-group" mindset is very telling.

    Also important to not simply note, but to understand and work with, the experience of "intolerance" that liberal notions of tolerance offer them.

    that's what's at the core of so much...

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

    by a gilas girl on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 03:14:27 PM PDT

  •  Some Democrats in Wisconsin... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...have a very similar mindset to Republicans and Tea Partiers despite disagreeing on nearly every political issue. I'm going to rewrite the two blockquoted sections of this diary to illustrate what I'm talking about:

    Understand that the base thinks they are losing politically and losing control of the state – and their starting reaction is "worried," "discouraged," "scared," and "concerned" about the direction of the state – and a little powerless to change course. They think Walker has imposed his agenda, while Democrats in the Wisconsin State Legislature let him get away with it.
    Democrats flee to Illinois in a failed attempt to prevent an anti-collective bargaining bill from becoming law, etc. This goes to the heart of Democratic base in Wisconsin thinking about the essential political battle. They think they face a victorious Republican Party that is intent on dismantling government and rewarding Republican campaign donors in order to provide Republicans with electoral support. It starts with stripping most public-sector workers in Wisconsin of most of their collective bargaining rights; expands further if you privatize public education; but providing special tax breaks to businesses grows those dependent on government. They believe this is an electoral strategy—not just a political ideology or economic philosophy. If Walker wins re-election in 2014, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin may be lost, in their view.

    And while few explicitly talk about politics in racial terms, the base supporters are very conscious of being in a predominantly white state in a country where the national Democratic coalition is losing white voters. Their party is losing to a Republican Party whose goal is to dismantle public education, the environment, workers' rights, women's rights, voting rights, etc.

    My parents made me a Democrat. Scott Walker made me a progressive.

    by DownstateDemocrat on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 04:27:51 PM PDT

  •  Got to be honest here (0+ / 0-)

    I scared as shit. I never been so god damned worried in my life. We are not going to take back the house. I am overly optimistic we will maintain a majority in the senate as a way to maintain my sanity.

  •  Please forgive me (0+ / 0-)

    for being skeptical of a study of Republicans done by a partisan Democrat. Of course we Republicans are concerned. I expect you would find the same thing from Democrats in the early 2000's.

    Age 25, conservative Republican, WA-03 (represented by wonderful Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler)

    by KyleinWA on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 08:21:01 PM PDT

    •  In that case (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      redrelic17, Naniboujou

      Which part are you disagreeing with?

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 11:32:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Science does not know party. That you have (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rudewarrior, nominalize

      apparently immediately jumped to the conclusion that the partisanship of the group that commissioned the science determined its conclusion, rather than merely accepted objective results b/c it was more interested in understanding the truth of the issue rather than reinforcing a prejudice, is disturbing.

      It suggests you have accepted the Republican meme that there is no objective truth and so anything goes as long as it benefits you.  IMO that is the heart of their rejection of policy driven by reliance on objective analysis of unbiased data, which I see in almost every policy they espouse from economics to immigration to education to climate to equal rights to ... well, you get the pt.

      Still, you are here a Dkos and not throwing feces, so I assume you might be looking for clues to take your party back from the evangelical and T-liban crazies who are destroying a once great American political tradition.   In that case, consider that this study explains so much about why my last paragraph is supported by the objective data, to wit: fear destroys the ability to reason (it is the mind killer, to quote Herbert).  And consider that fear has been the modus operandi of the folks who have run your party since at least Gingrich.

      And, finally, that the road the evangelicals and T-liban are taking you down is one to extinction.  Its up to you to save your party.

    •  Back when I was 25, I was a "conservative" Republi (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I thought I would be a millionaire by the time I was 30. Ironically, I still consider myself one of the lucky ones, but I'm not swimming through my millions.

      Supply side economics only creates a false illusion of economic growth. Without the assets that make a civilized country, a good climate, racial equality, good roads, good education, well cared for military and economic transparency, we live in a guilded age.

      Not all Republicans are haters, though. I disagree with some of the article.

  •  This goes with the recent rediscovery (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, Naniboujou, Oh Mary Oh

    of the Bill Kristol memo from 1993 on how to fight Clinton's healthcare plan. Conservatives think it's not really about healthcare, but about expanding big government to destroy conservatism. They used the same strategy against Obama as worked against Clinton. Big government isn't merely something they disagree with, but something they believe is being used to destroy them. Thus how they went nuts over Obamacare.

  •  I think the key is that the "moderates" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, MichaelNY

    form roughly a quarter of the GOP, and feel like they don't really belong.

    Peel away even half of them - about 5% of the electorate - and the map changes.

    I'm on a mission! Testing the new site rules.

    by blue aardvark on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 06:02:46 PM PDT

  •  The problem is they vote their fear nt (0+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 06:10:44 PM PDT

  •  Peer too deep inside TP brain and it's not pretty. (0+ / 0-)

    Living the austerity dream.

    by jwinIL14 on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 06:16:01 PM PDT

  •  It's a fine resource. As a SC native I can attest (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LSmith, phonegery, SuWho, chrismorgan

    it's spot on and has immense public policy and more to the point shutdown implications.

    Specifically, that we have nothing they want in trade for a change to destroy a national government they've never forgiven for the Civil Rights Era (and perhaps  event much more ancient)  and - counting Republicans elsewhere - to punish a country that didn't wholly embrace the Reagan Revolution and instead continued to vote Democratic.

    This shutdown is more properly a showdown.

    Why do I say that?

    Because we have nothing they want but our political extinction

    •  In the South Also (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cskendrick, BeninSC

      We are currently facing an election where we may be able to unseat several of the T-baggers or we could could end up with more of them.... Understanding why they vote the way they do gives us at least a chance to get more moderates in the capital rather than yet another wave of these fear-monger's

      •  Ways to sell Tea immunization shots (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BeninSC, MichaelNY

        You might not like them... most involve appeals to traditional religious values, iconic appeals of American communitarian spirit (mom, apple pie, flag waving, war winning stuff) and suggesting that our fine Tea brethren have fine story about frontier values that, sorry, can't put bread on the table for working families in this modern age.

        •  Why wouldn't I like Truth, Justice and the America (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          n Way?  Its a grand goal.  Sure its corny.  So corny its Superman(tm).

          But go back and read FDR's and Truman's speeches, and even D winning and losing potus candidate since).  A whole lot of that corny there.  It even used to be Thug  philosophy, back when most of them were Republicans instead of pirates, SuperPatriots(tm) and scared mice seeking security by imposing their 'truth' on everyone by any means necessary.

          Besides, everyone wants to be Superman (or -women) or at least know he/she's out there looking out for them. ;-P

      •  Like you, I am fighting against this plague in (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the South.

        I do have hopes, but they are indeed tempered by the gerrymandering.

        Best to you in your fight, Nimyth.

        Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

        "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT -9.62, -9.13

        by BeninSC on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 07:19:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  GOPTP moderates are really enablers (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chuck utzman

        Lets face it.  Dems need to make gains where they can find them and that is likely to be in blue and purple states.  A look at how the GOP "moderates" are voting to continue the shutdown shows that they will say anything to keep their seats, but will still when the chips are down, support and enable the radical right, who they fear perhaps more than democrats, but who they are unwilling to challenge for fear of being primaried.

        Consequently, the key to blocking the radical right and gerrymandering is to simply sweep away the enablers in blude and purple states.  Give them no political quarter.  At least,  this will cause them to lash out at the right verbally and force the radicals to spend money on putting their own candidates in their place, which will only further serve the purpose of replacing GOP "moderates" who vote like radical TP'ers with Dems who won't.  If we can get about 40-50 of them out, then we won't be in this mess and the Tea Party will be greatly diminished, because they will then be no longer able to extort either the country or the "moderate" GOPers.

        To do this means we need to mobilize people and give voice to those who are now finding out precisely how the GOPTP is perfectly happy to let them be collateral damage.  Work locally, and target local, regional, and statewide elections in an integrated way.  In many districts, we only need to move the needle about 5%.  It's doable, especially since the GOPTP is making such a mess of people's lives.  

        Play to the fears of moderates and independents of what happens when the GOPTP radicals are given power.  Make the case that a "moderate" GOP is just an enabler for the more right wing elements of the party and use their voting record to demonstrate it.  The fact that reasonable and logical arguments can also be used is a bonus.

      •  Which extremists do you think could be defeated? (0+ / 0-)

        Perhaps if one of them wins the Republican primary in Georgia for the Senate seat. And who else? McConnell is not Tea Party; he's an institutional conservative who votes with the Democrats on almost nothing but did not support a government shutdown and, to that end, voted for cloture on the Democratic continuing resolution, though he didn't vote for the resolution itself.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 11:17:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Total horseshit drivel. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    New Jersey Boy

    I shouldn't say total.  There are probably a few non-horseshit maggots crawling around in there too.

    This is NOT a difference in the brain of conservatives and liberals.  It's a difference in the mindset of people who support the party OUT of power versus the mindset of the people whose party is IN power.

    I remember DailyKos during the Bush years.  That word cloud above would have described us very well.  I remember a time after 2004 when Republican pollsters and strategists were crowing about "watershed events" that had changed America to make it more conservative and set us up for a long period of Republican dominance like what happened for Democrats in 1932.

    There is nothing different about our brains.  To me, it's a repulsive idea to even toy with such bullshit.  It seems born out of some malignant desire by many to view themselves as different and superior to others that they oppose politically.  It's disgusting when Republicans do that, and it's disgusting when Democrats do it.

    •  You confuse SOME of US with MOST of THEM. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rudewarrior, MichaelNY, equinespecter

      Not surprising, as US is much larger in number and much more diverse.  And generally more highly educated and cosmopolitan in experiences and current environment.  Not to mention far fewer of US get our world handed to us out of and constantly shoe-horned into a 3000 year old book.

      Perhaps most disturbing tho is your rejection of scientific data - look it up, there are real studies on this - for your memories of anctedotal evidence from an extremely limited data set.  Not exactly 'reality driven'.

      •  So biology is political destiny? (0+ / 0-)

        Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds?

        I was a conservative libertarian for many for years.  So was Kos, by the way.  We both changed our politics, but I suspect our brain cells are all in the same places.

        And I still don't get why people would even want to go there.  What comfort can you get by thinking that you're brain is organically different and better than a Republican's?  We're not better people than they are.

        •  Not what I said, as you know. Biology is ALWAYS (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          equinespecter, MichaelNY

          part of the explanation when dealing with biological organisms.  How could it not be?  The question is: how much.

          But, arguing it is less significant than some seem to suggest is far different than saying- contrary the actual data - it doesn't exist at all, which is what you said.

    •  Then forget about brain differences (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and concentrate on learned attitudes and beliefs.

      It really does nothing to change the survey results, or their utility. The focus groups are still relevant. The fears are still relevant.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 09:53:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I remember back in 2005, (0+ / 0-)

        when Bush was talking about gutting Social Security, moderate Dems were willing to help him do it, and the Republicans were talking about dumping the Senate filibuster rule so that their "permanent" majority, as it was being described by many, would be even more powerful.  And let's not forget the various mid-decade redistricting assaults in places like Texas.

        People here were scared shitless of what was going on.  

        Remember them saying we all had Bush Derangement Syndrome?

        You can draw some distinctions, but FEAR itself is not the distinction.  It's a commonplace political motivator.  When the tables turn, and we're on the outside looking in again, this will all change, as if we swapped jerseys on the playing field.

        And I still find it repulsive to even bother wasting your time on brain differences.  It smacks of the superiority games of The Bell Curve, where we are searching for some reason to think that our differences make us organically better than our political foes.

        •  Here's the difference.. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Forget all the BS about organic differences in republican brains versus democratic brains.  We're in violent agreement on that.  

          Yes, of course we were scared in 2005. We were scared that social security would be privatized, and we were right to be scared given the near collapse of the financial system in 2008.  The GOP is scared that Obamacare will make us a socialist nation.  

          There's a difference between our fears and their fears. The difference is important.  And researching what makes GOP base voters scared is an important thing to do.  The nature and specifics of their fears are important.  

          “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

          by ivorybill on Sun Oct 06, 2013 at 08:09:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "The difference is important." (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, Treetrunk

            The difference is political.

            If they are afraid that Obamacare will make the nation into a socialist state, I can only hope they are right.  I think they are too optimistic, but it's not an irrational fear.  Just an unduly optimistic one based on the slippery slope idea.  Slippery slope fears are common to both parties.

            You know, there have been diaries on DailyKos that suggested that there are actual liberal DNA genes.  And they got lots of tips and recs.  Many people want to believe this kind of crap.  Now, imagine reading an equivalent diary at Redstate, saying that liberals lack a genetically testable patriot gene or work-hard gene.  Imagine reading a diary saying that some part of the brains of liberals shows less activity on PTscans when they are shown pictures of unborn fetuses.  Imagine Redstaters reading that shit and going, "Well gosh darn it, I knew they were all America-hating babykillers, but I didn't realize it was a physical condition!"

        •  It does kind of feel like Bell Curve. (0+ / 0-)

          Though if it were explained as a corelation, rather than a cause it would make more sense.

          Fear and hate do havock damage on the brain. If anything, the bad biology is the result, not the cause of the hate and fear.

  •  Fear. (6+ / 0-)
    I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing......Only I
    will remain.
  •  There are liberals in congress? (0+ / 0-)

    Boy, am I out of touch.

    The "Shot heard 'round the world" is now known as the "Pinochet Ricochet". --commonmass

    by commonmass on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 06:25:24 PM PDT

  •  I hate the Rs they made a courageous people (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LLPete, greengemini

    Into a bunch of cowards, since September 11, 2001. We're are stupid & evil & deserve to get screwed.

    But what do we know, were isolated over here & the action is in the Middle East.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 06:31:58 PM PDT

  •  Party breakdown (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chrismorgan, MichaelNY, XOVER

    So, the Democracy Corps focus group breaks the GOP base into three groups:

    Evangelicals: a third
    Moderates: a quarter
    Tea Party: just over a fifth

    There's about another 1/5 unaccounted for.  Who are they?

  •  Once you've peered into the Republican brain (3+ / 0-)

    you just can't "unsee" that.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 06:37:23 PM PDT

  •  Sigh, I should be used to it by now, but the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chrismorgan, MichaelNY

    continuous dissing of chemistry continues to irk me.

    In this case, this:

    There have been several scientific studies in recent years chalking up differences between liberals and conservatives to, at least in part, differences in brain chemistry: In short, conservatives tend to have more fear-driven personalities
    You linked two studies - on implicated anatomy and the other biology - NOT CHEMISTRY

    In theory, "chemistry" could be at fault, but when it's not, why the dig at it?

    •  You're kind of nattering semantics... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy, Code Monkey, MichaelNY

      ...but with cause. I see your point, but most people who aren't chemists don't understand the difference biological nomenclature and chemical nomenclature. The conflation of the two has been inculcated into societal memes for so long, it will be hard to "set the record straight" or anything of that sort.

      Good luck. My own pet peeves have stayed with me despite my attempts to be a better person. I know how annoying it can get, but try to let it roll off.

      "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

      by CanisMaximus on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 07:01:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But it's completely embarrassing and hypocritical (0+ / 0-)

        how this site disses RW scientific nonsense while at the same time engaging in a equal (or greater) amount of "left" leaning scientific nonsense - almost all of it based on a complete lack of any perspective about chemistry.

        Instead, it seems like a catch-all invective to be used whenever anything unpleasant comes up . .  .

        •  Oh, come on. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Brain chemistry is simply a broad layman's term for the shit that goes on in your brain. Maybe technically the study of brain chemistry isn't chemistry, but I don't see the point of splitting hairs in popular writing. The linked studies show that liberals and conservatives are different at a physiological level; the wording used here does not misrepresent this fact.

          And it's especially hard to see how being sloppy about chemistry versus biology puts us on a level with climate deniers. We don't disbelieve in science or believe it to be a big conspiracy or any such. We're just not all scientists, and most of us really don't care about the difference between chemistry and biology. That's very different from not believing in the value of chemistry and biology.

          Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
          Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
          Code Monkey like you!

          Formerly known as Jyrinx.

          by Code Monkey on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 07:53:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Have you never encountered the diaries (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            about Fukushima or genetically modified crops, to give but two example illustrating this:

            And it's especially hard to see how being sloppy about chemistry versus biology puts us on a level with climate deniers.
            (if not, count your blessings!)
            •  Right. *Those* are the things that should (0+ / 0-)

              embarrass us. Not a benign matter of word choice.

              Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
              Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
              Code Monkey like you!

              Formerly known as Jyrinx.

              by Code Monkey on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 08:23:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's not a benign matter of word choice (0+ / 0-)

                if words could be used interchangeable at whim, why not just use a simple word like "the" and repeat it over and over and over and over and over ?

                And let the reader figure out what you really meant.

                •  the ultimate ee cummings novel! (0+ / 0-)

                  he wouldn't excuse the exclamation point but I am fond of punctuation, myself.....

                  "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

                  by CanisMaximus on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 08:43:39 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Actually, it's the republican platform... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Roadbed Guy

                  ...on healthcare.

                  "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

                  by CanisMaximus on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 08:45:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Oh, for crying out loud. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  I'm not saying word choice doesn't matter. I'm a big believer that word choice does matter. (I actually get a thrill out of reading synonymies in dictionaries. True story.)

                  I simply believe that, given the context and audience, brain chemistry was a perfectly good word choice even though it is technically inaccurate. Furthermore, even if we want to call it a scientific error, it is a rather benign one in the scheme of things. Failure to distinguish correctly between biology and chemistry cannot possibly be as damaging as, say, failure to acknowledge climate change or failure to apply sensible cost/benefit models to nuclear power. No-one's going to get flooding or lung cancer if non-scientist liberals start fudging the difference between brain chemistry and brain biology in making a rhetorical point.

                  Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
                  Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
                  Code Monkey like you!

                  Formerly known as Jyrinx.

                  by Code Monkey on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 10:18:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Well, when a writer couples "Brain" w/"Chem." (0+ / 0-)

      It's really biochemistry. Surely, you'd acknowledge that such a thing exists?

      "Jersey_Boy" was taken.

      by New Jersey Boy on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 07:12:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But the links given didn't really cover (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        New Jersey Boy

        biochemistry, they were basically biological in nature.

        Surely you read the links and were aware of that?

        •  Well, er, uhm. Ahh. You got me! But, but. . . (0+ / 0-)

          What biological process isn't biochemical?

          "Jersey_Boy" was taken.

          by New Jersey Boy on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 07:57:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If this was a problem with brain chemistry (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            New Jersey Boy

            (or biochemistry) the implication is that pharmacological intervention (lithium, prozac, whatever) could be effective at ameliorating the problem by fixing the problem with the chemistry (e.g., unbalanced or low levels of neurotransmitters).

            So, in that case, you could put the GOP nutcases on the proper drug regimen and they'd start voting sanely if  their issue actually was based in chemistry.

            It's not - the problem is more that their brain is hardwired wrong (or at least differently) compared to people who are more progressive.  That is, the claim is that the anatomy/biology is what's off.  I'm not sure how you can fix that with today's technology or pharmacological tools.

            Here's a quick article giving an example of biological (rather than chemical, although DNA is a chemical of course) changes to a brain (note that this may or may not have anything to do with the current left / right political leanings based on brain differences)

            •  I guess we got on a tangent about semantics. (0+ / 0-)

              I think the premise that it's a biological/biochemical difference is flawed.

              People hold different beliefs. The biochemical cause vs. effect of that is above my pay grade, and is probably unknowable at any pay grade.

              I was just responding to your apparent (maybe I misjudged) opinion that "chemistry" was being unfairly implicated as a separate science.

              If we're implicating biology, we're implicating biochemistry, and therefore, chemistry is implicated.

              Frankly, I think the premise is false. Conservatives don't have different "brain chemistry." So maybe we agree.

              "Jersey_Boy" was taken.

              by New Jersey Boy on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 08:30:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Biology of the brain is biochemistry, as chemistry (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, David Jarman

          is all that hunk of meat is and does.  Even the electrical phenomenon are chemical in cause.  

          As long as we're being pedantic. :)

          •  that's referring to the problem with guns (0+ / 0-)

            is that they are made out of steel - no, the very same steel could be used for something good (say an automobile or surgeon's scalpel).

            Similarly, "chemistry" (analogous to steel) is what brains are made out of - but there's nothing wrong with the chemistry/steel per se in a RW's brain - it's how it's put together (e.g., the gun vs. scalpel) that's off.  

            And the "how it's put together" is not chemistry it's biology - in fact more like "systems biology" (which is a step beyond biology, two steps beyond biochemistry . . . .).

            Seriously, if words didn't have meanings, why not just say "brain subatomic physics"?   After all it's the same thing based on what everyone's saying in response to my comment

            •  oops, that should start with "that's LIKE . . . " (0+ / 0-)
              •  OTOH, it being neuro-chem was implied by subject (0+ / 0-)

                and context.  OTOH, the point about chemistry actually being the physical processes was correct - but pedantic and irrelevant to the context.  So in a sense you both win. :)

                Tho, I suspect there is a genetic component as well as nuture/development.  Certainly for intellect, desire to seek out new experiences and information, resistance to potential changes in environment, etc.

                As I said elsewhere, how much is another question.

    •  All anatomy and biology (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is ultimately chemistry and physics at its most fundamental level of analysis.  There really isn't a distinction, except perhaps a semantic one.

      It should be kept in mind (pun intended) that many of the results, such as activity of the amygdala are drawn from studies on British Conservatives vs British Liberals, so we need to be careful in evaluating the data, using simply "liberals" vs "conservatives".  

      We should also keep in mind that human neural wiring and biochemical pathways are mostly alike rather than different and such differences in activity patterns are differences of degree and not necessarily indicative of fundamental differences in kind.  Both can be strongly influenced by experience and conditioning.  

      Nonetheless, lets not overlook the potential to better understand the neurobiology of the human political mind, particularly since it gives those who believe in science and who are interested in pursuing its consequences a much stronger hand relative to those who have no use for science.  Let's just be circumspect and wise in exactly how the data should be interpreted.

  •  Peering into the average Republican brain... (0+ / 0-)

    ....requires more than a strong stomach.

    You need an electron microscope to even find it, first......

    "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

    by CanisMaximus on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 06:50:51 PM PDT

  •  I've overheard comments about this. (3+ / 0-)

    I heard someone saying, after Obama's re-election that it was a result of the country's "changing demographics." Meaning that the poor and immigrants were voting for a democratic agenda that benefited them at the cost of working Americans.

    I'm not so sure it's really inaccurate that Democratic programs that help the increasing demographic of 99%ers will garner more votes for Democrats.

    Put more plainly, the Republican legislation that has created more 99%ers has created more people who would benefit from Democratic programs, and they vote thusly.

    It's not so much that Democrats "buy" votes with these programs, but that the numbers of people who would benefit from them are increasing, and vote in their own interests.

    ACA is a great example of this phenomenon. It's just the pendulum swinging. It's democracy in action.

    The falsest part of the conservative narrative is the dependency idea. People want to work and earn and become wealthy. Conservative policies don't encourage that (in fact they create an under and unemployed and uninsured class that needs these programs) and progressive policies at least try to respond to that need - those "changing demographics."

    We just differ on whose policies are the cause.

    "Jersey_Boy" was taken.

    by New Jersey Boy on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 07:05:21 PM PDT

    •  But cons see the last part from a Calvinist meme, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      or more correctly neo-Calvinist, i.e., that poverty etc. is God's judgment on the moral worthlessness of the poor.  That is, the fault is their depravity, so that the only proper response is to punish them (and conversely reward the 'virtuous', i.e. rich and right-thinking aka Thugs and cons).  Anything else, especially liberal or Democratic policies, are not only doomed to failure and merely punish the rich and right-thinkers because of this, but are rejections of God and thus eeeeevil!

      Now you see where so much of their rhetoric comes from, eh?

      •  Don't give cons the intellectual credit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I don't think most cons cite Calvinist thinking in their views of God and the wealthy. That's just too deep for most conservatives to connect. You are way too smart to try to understand the cons.

        It's much simpler than that.

        It's more like "Jeebus don't fund the Wel-fare queeeeenz and their ill-a-get-a-mate kidz".

  •  Be Brave. Be Bold. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Be a Liberal!

  •  We must mobilize for 2014. They're desperate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scott5js, chrismorgan, chuck utzman

    We have a good chance that things will swing our way with independents and possibly some GOP moderates gauged on the ones that I speak with who are frustrated with the nuts in their party. There may be some silver linings as well if people realize pain from having the government shut down and real savings (or no effect in their places of work) from the ACA. Even the US Chamber of Commerce is warning the 'pubs not to default on the debt ceiling.

    But I have a feeling those terrorized voters will be out in force in 2014. The there may be tough battles with well funded GOP moderates primarying the 'baggers this time but this report suggests the 'baggers might actually actually go more grassroots this time and vote against anyone they see as a RINO. Since in their mind, they've pretty much lost everything already. We need to mobilize Democrats and any other sane voters to take away more Republican seats in both houses. If we minimize the fractured GOP in the House we may make progress on some issues. And more seats in the Senate with more filibuster reform, and in state elections, we could be in some shape to start turning the country around.

    Stop the crazy, it burns!

    •  I couldn't agree with you more (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We have a chance here given that the radical right is alienating many GOP moderates.  We need to make a stronger and more convincing case that the so-called "moderates" are merely enablers of what the TP is doing.  If they can be dislodged and replaced with Dems then we will have succeeded in neutering the power of the radical right to obstruct and destroy.  

      Presently, they can't grow much more in numbers, because they are actually a very loose coalition of anti-government types, whose power base often lies in direct clash with other parts of their base, for example midwestern agriculture versus southern agricultural interests, anti-government throw out the Fed versus Wall Street, libertarians versus the evangelicals, etc.  

      Also there are significant regional schisms within their loose and faltering coalition that are vulnerable to exploitation by dems, by turning the most moderate elements in their party against the radical right that has a strangle hold on the GOPTP apparatus.  Dems must use the wedge that the radical right gives them through their extortion politics.  Dems can win by 1) wooing just enough of the moderates to break free of the radical anti-government types and 2) discouraging various elements of the GOPTP from even bothering to vote, since a vote for the GOPTP is just a vote for more dysfunctional government anyway, even if they don't want to support Dems for whatever reason.

      •  If we can provide half a decade of prosperity... (0+ / 0-)

        ...that would have a lot of conservatives questioning their economic worldview. They could then compare and contrast Bush era policies with more liberal policies. If we can get them in place with our party. But the ACA is a good start. Raising taxes on the wealthiest and closing corporate loopholes would start giving the middle class a running start and that might be enough to open some eyes.

        And in the age of the Internet we have new opportunities to demonstrate and inform people of such changes.

    •  One good way to do this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is to push the immigration reform issue.  It is an issue that does several things:

      1) It divides the GOPTP base and makes the hard right and its many most racists elements stand in stark contrast to the rest of the party, thereby further alienating the moderates from the radicals.  In particular it pits moderate agricultural and business interests against the racists within the GOPTP.  It also pits the isolationists against more moderate globalists within the GOP giving Dems further opportunity to attract more reasonable elements of the dwindling group of "moderate" elements of the GOP, who increasingly feel the TP elements do not represent their interests, but who they are too afraid to challenge for fear of being primaried.  This weakens the "moderates" who really only serve to enable the radical TP elements within the party, by keeping blue states purple.

      2) It energies the Latino and Hispanic elements of the electorate, which can, given the GOPTP record only help to swell the electorate with more potential democratic voters.  Remember latino and hispanic voters are the single most rapidly growing demographic, particularly in a number of states, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, California, and elsewhere, which may provide an additional 5-10% if the Dems can turn them out.  In particular, it provides an opportunity for other elements of the Democratic coalition, such as the Labor community and other minority communities to embrace a swelling of their ranks and comobilization on issues of common interest.

      3) it draws a stark contrast between Dems and the GOPTP.  Dems, who champion what has always made America great, that it is a country where people of all backgrounds can share a piece of our democracy and eventually flourish.  Historically, this has always come from immigration.  In contrast, the GOPTP comes off looking like isolationists, racists, and reactionaries unable to come to grips with the inevitable demographic changes in our society.  Once again out of touch with the majority of Americans.  This last element shouldn't be underestimated, since it makes the Democratic message one of hope, as opposed to the scorched earth politics of the modern GOPTP, where they have nothing to offer but fear and dysfunction.

  •  They've created a positive feedback loop (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Between their own media and their own gerrymandered districts, they've effectively begun to secede from the rest of the country.

    This will not end well.

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

    by xaxnar on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 08:14:50 PM PDT

  •  This is supposed to be research? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As qualitative research (something I know a bit about), this is not much use. The report doesn't even tell us how many respondents were selected, identify the actual respondent demographics (were any TPs also evangelicals?, e.g.) let alone show us the recruiting questionnaire or tell us the incentive. At a bare guess, these would have been 2 groups of 12 respondents at each location—making all this research reflective of 24 people in two locations as representative of each of these classes nationally. That may be better than reading tea leaves, but this is not adequate for research into marketing canned soup, let alone for assessing political opinion in a serious fashion. Just as there is trash science, so there is trash political research. This kind of study can't even rise to the level of competent journalism from a seasoned political reporter.

  •  The study reveals a loose coalition of racists (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, greengemini

    and people who make money off their historical privileges.

    The racists bar themselves from joining the Democratic party, even if it might be in their economic self interest.

    The privileged ("the moderates") are the traditional, pre-Reagan, pre-Southern Strategy Republicans who just want to go on exploiting everyone.

    Neither group is going to join the Democrats.

  •  Having read through the study... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It appears to me that appealing to reason or facts is not going to reach these people. They know what they know and anything that contradicts that is either a lie or simply mistaken. Getting them to change their views is like asking them to give up their identities, a form of suicide as it were. Compromise is something they see as surrender.

    And they can't even agree among themselves any more.

    They're in a trap built of their own fears and those who feed those fears.

    This is not going to end well.

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

    by xaxnar on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 08:58:56 PM PDT

  •  Votes for the taking (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, greengemini

    Its worth reading, but there isn't anything in it that should shock or surprise anyone. Yes, Gerrymandering allows a lot of Republicans to safely engage in food fights and pity parties for themselves, but there is significant support from their base to be as crazy as they want to be. The fiscal conservatives and other moderates that make up 1/4 of the base are ripe fruit to be plucked in 2014 and by 2016 and many of them will likely become solid Democrats in the years to come. Look to see where the Wall St. money goes in this next election cycle and it will tell you a lot. They owe the Dems for not putting all of them in jail anyway. There really isn't anywhere else for moderate Republicans to go and they don't want to be anywhere near the sure to come circular firing squad after the party lays another turd in the next election cycle.

  •  the study also sheds quite a bit of light on why (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, greengemini

    fundies and evangelicals are attracted to this brand of conservatism.

    Anyone who has spent any significant amount of time with fundies knows how much of their "faith" is rooted in having a "solid rock" in a turbulent universe.  

    I went to a fundie private school for 8 years in addition to services/youth meetings 3-8 times a week for 17 years.  I cannot emphasize how HUGE fear of "the other" or being outside "god's grace" is as a motivator.  My mom's church was one of the rare ones that leaned more toward the redemption and forgiveness of "god's grace" but, believe me, they were just as capable of the hellfire and brimstone rhetoric stereotype.

    The school i went to often (usually) went the fear route when trying to guide our moral development.


    There is a hugely addictive adrenaline rush that comes from being afraid but not actually having the feared things happen.  A corollary to this is when the huge number of fearful things don't happen, if you're religious it reinforces the idea of a patriarchal god the father keeping his flock safe.

    Sara Robinson has two amazing, interlocked series Cracks in the Wall and Tunnels and Bridges.  Primarily, they delve into authoritarian/authoritarianism susceptible personalities, but i just cannot recommend them enough to help understand where fundies/evangelicals are coming from.

    If you have a loved one who's a fundie/evangelical but starting to "look beyond", Sara's series are a good start.

    my mom never breast fed me. she said she only liked me as a friend.

    by bnasley on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 09:47:08 PM PDT

  •  Jack Nicholson said the same thing in 1969 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, greengemini

    Jack Nicholson, playing 'George Hanson,' said it all to Dennis Hopper, playing 'Billy,' in Easy Rider:

    George Hanson: You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I can't understand what's gone wrong with it.
    Billy: Man, everybody got chicken, that's what happened. Hey, we can't even get into like, a second-rate hotel, I mean, a second-rate motel, you dig? They think we're gonna cut their throat or somethin'. They're scared, man.

    George Hanson: They're not scared of you. They're scared of what you represent to 'em.

    Billy: Hey, man. All we represent to them, man, is somebody who needs a haircut.

    George Hanson: Oh, no. What you represent to them is freedom.

    Billy: What the hell is wrong with freedom? That's what it's all about.

    George Hanson: Oh, yeah, that's right. That's what's it's all about, all right. But talkin' about it and bein' it, that's two different things. I mean, it's real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace. Of course, don't ever tell anybody that they're not free, 'cause then they're gonna get real busy killin' and maimin' to prove to you that they are. Oh, yeah, they're gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it's gonna scare 'em.

  •  Most poor people are white, what a terrible pill (0+ / 0-)

    to swallow for those who see minorities taking over in River City and in my town too.  Poor white people need you to give them a hand up, not a hand out.  Food, clothing, housing, education, job access, and affordable health care are for all of us not just to survive but to thrive.  Stop punishing the American people with Shut Down.  Let's all open up our government.

  •  Privileges they previously got by... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, greengemini

    ...simply being white. You could graduate with least possible honors or get a GED in the South and automatically  get a better job than the bright kid with more melanin in his skin. Pat Buchanan grieves for the days when "America was clean."

    It's not so much racism ("I don't like him") but elitism ("You need to like me more automatically because I'm not him").  

    So sad that the money boys use these people, and that they can't see their own self interest.

  •  This quote was from the moderate group (0+ / 0-)

    He is masonic Devil Illuminati, Lier can’t stand Him

    That quote about GDP by Robert Kennedy

    by erichiro on Sun Oct 06, 2013 at 06:30:17 AM PDT

  •  When I ask people who vote Republican why (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David Jarman, MichaelNY, greengemini

    they vote Republican, after they get past all the rhetorical campaign-slogan bumper-sticker bullshit, the answer is always the same, or at least a variation on the same theme.

    Republican politics in the 21st century is grounded in two things: self-congratulation and resentment. Republican politics is designed to make Republican voters and potential Republican voters feel like the heroes of their own private mythology. The Real Americans, the Makers, the Moral Majority, the "pro-America parts of this country."

    But that mythology is only the backdrop for the real reason Republican voters vote Republican: to essentially "stick it" to some despised group of imaginary people who are unfairly and undeservedly benefiting at Republican voters' expense. [Some of them vote Republican just to "piss off liberals," which is a benign variation on the general theme.]

    Republicans promise their voters that "If you vote for us, we will punish the people you resent by taking away, or making sure they don't get, whatever you resent them for getting." The further implication being, "We will take away from them, and give back to you, what is rightfully yours."

    "We understand your resentment, and you are right to be resentful. We understand your desire to self-congratulate, you are right to congratulate yourself, we think you deserve to be congratulated and that more people should congratulate you. Vote for us, and we will see to it that you are congratulated for your success, your virtues, your fundamental goodness and rightness."

    But it's really the validation of all that economic, cultural, and yes, racial resentment that drives people into the arms of the Republican Party. "Whatever and whoever you resent," say Republicans to their voters, "we will put a stop to it. Go ahead and resent, to your heart's content; we agree with you. And by God, we will do something about it, punish Those People, and make things right again."

    Voting Republican has become an act of aggression.

  •  their perfect town sounds like hell to me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, Treetrunk

    They describe their perfect lives: "it's a little bubble .... Everybody is happy. Everybody is white. ...Very homogenous"

    Like Stubenville!

    pp 14 Scary as all get out.

  •  For the life of me I still can't (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, Treetrunk

    figure out what they think "Obama's agenda" is and what has actually occurred that freaks them out.  Other than the ACA, what exactly do they believe is happening that is destroying "their" country?  The VAWA? Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell? (ok, homophobia would explain why that will lead us all to hell). Lower taxes?

    I mean, this fear of losing "their"country started within days of Obama's first swearing in when they freaked out because he was going to read to children - remember that?  They have convinced themselves that Democrats are doing some unkown nefarious stuff (unlike GW Bush) and their RW media keeps telling them that Democrats are destroying the country so they believe it.  Doesn't matter that they either can't point to what they hate (other than Obama and all Democrats) or they hate something that doesn't even exist.  

    "Life is a tragedy for those who feel, a comedy for those who think" - Jean de la Bruyere

    by Tinuviel on Sun Oct 06, 2013 at 06:51:24 PM PDT

    •  There is no way to respond to their inchoate FEAR. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That is all it is ... FEAR.  They can't even give you a good explanation other than they think they are losing something (but they can hardly express what exactly is being lost, and FOR SURE nothing is being gained in their view.)

      As FDR put it, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

      And of course they wouldn't agree with that, because FDR was a DEMOCRAT.

      "The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave." -- Patrick Henry

      by BornDuringWWII on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 08:35:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is what they fear: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Welfare-fed and raised "thugs" invading their homes and schools. It's basically a combination of racism and classism.

      Sorry for the crass description.

  •  Inside the Mind (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    To really see into the mind of a Right-Wing Nut, I urge everyone to checkout  the website American Thinker. The stories are crazy the comments are even crazier. You will read things that would make David Duke and Joe McCarthy blush.

  •  I read the report. We need to pick off the ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Treetrunk, MichaelNY

    moderates (who appear rational) and might be amenable to being convinced that the others are not rational.

    No point in trying to change any minds among the Tea Party crazies or the Evangelicals.  The best that can happen there is that they become a smaller minority.

    In the meantime, we need to make sure we TURN OUT OUR VOTERS.  EVERY ELECTION.

    "The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave." -- Patrick Henry

    by BornDuringWWII on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 08:30:49 AM PDT

  •  Partly, but not totally true. Not all are H8rs. (0+ / 0-)

    When I was young and in my 20's I believed, optimistically, that if you worked hard, saved and invested enough money, and found many creative ways to apply myself, than I would have been a millionaire by 30.

    As a consequence, I was a Republican because I actually believed that supply side economics worked and that fresh ideas, like charter schools and vouchers were the way to bring public schools back from the abyss. Low taxes and less government regulations meant less "baggage" to weigh job creators down.

    After the economic crisis of 2008, I realized that supply side economics did work, but by artificially inflating the economy. It created the illusion of economic growth, while getting people in debt and separating them from their assets.

    So not all Republicans are the haters, though ironically it was the hate that was a factor in causing me to leave the GOP.

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