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but our political extinction.

You cannot look at the standoff in Washington as an exercise in game theory, or in terms of rational self-interest, or even in terms of political gamesmanship.

If you do, you are going to be magnificently wrong in your assessment of Republicans' perceptions, assessments of conditions, decisions based on those assessments, motivations and reactions to your own existence and behavior, and the more subtle clues of mobilization, communications and morale.

Last but not least, you are going to come up with a completely wrong synthesis of WTF Are These People Up To?

The good news is, I am a native of upstate South Carolina. I am born to the overlapping worlds of fiscal, evangelical and Teatastic Republicanism. I have lived in close proximity with a wide sampling of our right wing brethren for my entire life.

And if they weren't saturated with so many racist, sexist effs I would probably be one of them. But I decided long ago I would never stand shoulder to shoulder with bigots of any flavor. The Democrats shed theirs, the Republicans picked up the spares. That's why you get me.

But I'm here to tell you the path that has brought up here today preceded the advent of Barack Obama as a public figure.

Most current-day Republicans have been ginning up for this inevitable showdown their entire lives.

And make no mistake: This is their big push to break the back of that most horrid of America-destroying things - New Deal socialism and its latter-day derivatives - once and for all.

Markos yesterday posted a most useful resource, compliments of Democracy Corps: A focus group study of Republicans and what makes them tick in the modern day.

The answer: They're absolutely terrified of Obama and the Democrats. I'd go a bit deeper: They've lost faith in representative democracy as a means to secure their interests.

Let that sink in. Let that sink in a LOT.

Most of our august right-wing brethren no longer believe democracy is the thing if the wrong kind of choices are produced by it.

Republicans see the repeat election of Barack Obama as THE final proof that perhaps something else should be tried. And that notion scares them terribly. They don't want to veer away from the type of government they've had all their lives.. but they want REPUBLICANS dominating it.

You have to understand what it has been like in the South for the past thirty years. A sudden sea change to Republicanism. No, strike that: A GIDDY pole shift to the GOP.

Then along comes Clinton (who they also referred to as a liar and a snake oil salesman by the way) who picks off the odd former Confederate state or two. That's annoying. Really annoying. Smart charming Southern white fellers aren't supposed to be Democrats anymore. And that Gore boy? Oh, hell. What's the world coming to?

The idea that the Democrats could regain the South by recruiting local talent was terrifying enough.

Then along comes some .. this is the metaphor... Harvard-educated community organizing ... "is he even AMERICAN?" fellow who wins even more Southern states than Clinton or Gore (oh, and wins Florida even more prickly topic with Republicans than with Democrats I can assure you!)

Oh, almost forgot. (Looks around to make sure no one can hear.) This new Democratic president is black. Or half. Kinda "high yeller" as the older and more circumspect might say. The more crass would say other choice words.

This painfully acute race consciousness is myopic. It's self-absorbed. It really is all about a sense of changes that weren't supposed to happen in THEIR part of America. Oh, yeah, integrations cool and we're the New South and whatnot but why do things have to KEEP changing? Stop. STOP! That's why we vote straight ticket! Make these weird things and people go someplace else! We want to be nice but we want our lives to have people like us, mostly. You know... real Americans. Is that so hateful of us?

Over time, the attitude changed from wanting to stop the clock, get a breather and process the huge social changes of the 1950s and 1960s (you know, just a generation or four, we're not unreasonable), to a desire to roll back the calendar and not just a little bit.

By the 2000s (you're all bloggers by this time, most anyway) the rhetoric is about ... wait for it... getting back to basics. The Tea Party mantra per the Democracy Corps focus study, and a refrain I've heard from Tea Party lips for years. Suddenly we go from conservatives who want to stake some political and public policy turf to a movement hell-bent determined to go on offense.

And the Republicans LOVE it. Not all conservatives identify as Tea Partiers but all Republicans identify WITH them, with their fire and energy and the sense that if any faction in the coalition can smack the Democrats and the three headed hydra of socialism, secularism and multiculturalism... it's these folks and their weird hats and their unshakable faith that, yeah, there's no need to accommodate the social welfare stte, no need for decent God-fearin' freedom-lovin' folk to do such a thing and NO DAMN WAY we're going to put up with its advancing one more step. And in point of fact, we Teasters have a plan to kick its damn ass down the street.

Heh, cough. Kinda got lost in the part there. Let me regroup. But you see how mesmerizing it can be to a certain mindset. It's aggressive. It's positive. It's got direction and its got a plan.

However, it's not a very nice plan. In point of fact it's quite risky. Potentially, it's not just dangerous but deadly:

The Tea Partiers mean to destroy the Republic in order to save it.

Now, in normal electoral politics, in more sedate and deliberate times, this isn't a very sellable message. Moderate Republicans, people I think of as the Passenger Pigeons of our day but perhaps Ivory Billed Woodpeckers is more apropos ( a concession that they MAY in fact exist), are purportedly nervous about the zealots.

And I will believe that when they stopping voting with them to, say, forbid sharia law and cut Planned Parenthood funding and gut public pensions and  - oh, how could I forget? - defund Obamacare.

And shut down the fracking government and pave the way for a sprint to hitting the debt ceiling and going over the default cliff.

Why would they do such a thing? Why, to deconstruct the social welfare state of course. Oh - this is a HUGE divergence from past Republican policy - the national security state as well. Or did you think the Republicans LOST ONE THING in the sequester?

Tea Partiers hate handouts. They might take them on the sly but their collective self image as robust independent MEN (even the women are independently manly in a stand by your manly, but independently, sort of way) will not allow them to empathize with their own off-an-on needs for a break when life comes at them sideways. They just accept it being 'them'. And they truly would as soon there be no recourse. Think of it as how an alcoholic with an earnest desire to keep away from the bottle would approach the presence of alcohol. This 'people are addicted and dependent' message? They adhere to it - poorly, shamefully poorly by their own reckoning - and they earnestly want to live closer to their own code.

Their solution, their message: Break all the bottles. Burn all the warehouses. Compel a kind of Prohibition against social welfare and common weal in all its forms, because freedom. Only this way can Americans be free. FREE. And if that means making Americans free of a super-sized superpower nation-state regime called the United States, well, those are the shakes. But you can't campaign in a U.S. election with that kind of talk.

Now, this flavor of libertarian Talibanism rankles the evangelicals, who are QUITE into reshaping American society into one very closely bound together in Christian love and nurturing...according to their own strict, blatantly revisionist view that the Founders Founded America As A Christian Nation And WE Evangelicals Get To Decide What They Meant By That.

The evangelicals' worldview has no truck with people going their own way. Oh, gosh no. We all have a code, God's code, and the churches (rather, ahem, real churches not those Presbyterians over there, never mind those Catholics...) rightly should have a say in who is qualified (read: Christian, to real churches' specifications) to stand for elected office, hold seat as a judge, teach, walk dogs in public, etc.

So, what on earth would bind fiscal, Tea and evangelical republicans together?

One thing: Sticking it to Obama. They absolutely cannot stand the man. He is the personification of conservative's failure, first to stop the clock, then their even more ambitious gambit to turn it back.

And it's not all him. And I think on some level Republicans get that their grievances of the world predated even knowing that Barack Obama existed. Likewise their flight to reaction.

Yet he represents that one thing that, bless their hearts, my awesome right-wing friends and neighbors back in the hometown have the most trouble absorbing:

That the future America will be well educated, scientifically literate, thoughtful, calm and rational, strong in faith at the same time ...and not nearly as white as the America of the past. That, despite the promise of the Reagan years, and the stridence of the Bush era, it's just not going to be a Republican Republic.

And they mourn this. It's not that Obamacare/ACA is on its face horrible - it is a Republican-crafted idea from the 1980s after all in almost every particular.

However, the GOP is now a party of reaction. They don't want to stop the clock; they want to roll back the years and they've long since rolled back their target date to long before the 1980s. They want ... back to basics. They seek... not a primitive but a MORE primitive version of nationalism. Something without so many bells and whistles. Something that doesn't make them have to see so much strangeness in their homes, their schools, their neighborhoods, their states, their TVs their websites etc.

They don't want to see or know a thing about people who aren't right there with them....except that they're gone.

And that means Democrats, more often than not. They think the word and then they think weird, socialist, minority, gay, black, immigrant, illegal, corrupt...and we probably eat French fries with mayo sometimes. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

And these are just nice things they say about us!

And yet, somehow, we're still here. We keep growing in numbers. We keep getting stronger. We're finding our confidence. We once again feel part of our own country. I can even tell you the first day I felt that: the day after the November 2006 election when we won back both houses of Congress.

And it was a magnificent feeling. I felt like part of my own country again.

And that's just it. The Republicans, at least their leaders, don't like that feeling at all. They do NOT like OUR co-presence in THEIR country if that means we share some hand in the governance of it.

And they really do not like having a Democrat in what they strongly feel is their entitlement: the White House. It would not matter if it was a black (sorry, biracial) man or not. But race is an easy banner to spot and track and, boy, do our right-wing friends do that...though, I would caution, it is mostly in myopic self-absorption with their own plight as a fading majority that no assurance will convince them is in ZERO danger of ever becoming the non-plurality in large, LARGE sections of the country.

They're absolutely scared that everything they hold dear is about to be wiped out. And there's no convincing them otherwise. They're terrified and desperate...and sometimes it breaks my heart.

But I'm not going to let them break my country.. sorry, OUR country, theirs and ours, apart out of desperation to strike back at a threat (that would be all us liberals, personified right or wrong by our twice-wrong choice of president in GOP eyes) that really only means them well, except for all the drama.

And that's probably the hardest part of facing up that we are tragically in a kind of war now with our right-wing brethren.. again, at least their leadership but sorry. No. These guys get VOTED in by people who believe in them. And I don't think the Republicans hide their intentions.

They want less government.
They honestly believe there is no lower limit to how far you can cut government and still get net benefits.
And they have just paralyzed the government.
And all they have to do to cut government for a very long time, if not permanently, is stall...
run out the clock
and lament the necessity of pushing the Republic over the sovereign default cliff.
And then cluck about how they knew all along that Obama would destroy the country.

Thing is, the President doesn't seem to be very good at destroying America. So the Tea Partiers, the energizing heart of the modern Republican Party, are very thoughtfully helping him fulfill the destiny they've assigned him.

You might wonder what does default get them?

One, it destroys the reputation of Obama's presidency.
Two, it moots any issue about Obamacare; defunding's a given.
Three, it defunds everything else.
Four, if the government ever plans to borrow ever again it will have to do so at much higher interest rates. That will crowd out ALL domestic spending programs, even force the government to lapse some of them
Five, there will be far less money to fund national security initiatives  among them drones and NSA super surveillance
Six, because it kicks Democrats' asses, that's why.  Less crassly, it's a specific, achievable goal with immense impact that accomplishes specific ideological ends in which Republicans and Tea Partiers in particular embrace.
Seven, a hollowed-out catastrophically underfunded Federal government will be incapable of stopping subsequent initiatives toward the goal of creating a much more conservative-friendly regime.
Eight, yeah about 2014 elections. We'll probably have them but, wow. Polling places are expensive to maintain so we'll be consolidating those. You know, since the default... there's just no money...

And this is why I think Democrats have nothing to offer in trade that Republicans want in lieu of the default.

They get everything they want by pushing America over the edge.

Quickly the silver lining!

This is why I think of the current era as the Berlin Airlift of our age. We can't negotiate with Republicans any more than Kennedy could with the Soviets. We simply have to surpass them, sidestep them, beat them with energy and dare of our own. There are ways, some are quite risky, to moot the debt celing limit. For one, we owe a lot of so-called debt to ourselves; so discharge it off the boosk. Second, we carry a lot of crap paper for the banks on the Federal Reserve balance sheet. Novate it back to the private sector. Third, borrow a page from... wait for it... Islamic banking: equity not debt financing.  World financial markets are accommodated to such practices (we call them project financing) we can do the same for the public sector.

There are ways and means to stick it right back up the Tea Wee's butts.

And I think we're gonna have to do these things because, bless their closet arsonist hearts, our Republican brethren really, really want to burn the whole thing down.

Anyhoo, that's my take on it, right or wrong.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Gotta agree with you. This is the (22+ / 0-)

    reason I think I'm not running to the CT well with all the other "Obama as sellout" crowd.  Even if Pres. Obama did want to make a deal, the teabaggers aren't interested in a Grand Bargain and I seriously doubt they understand what a Chained CPI even is.  They could've taken "yes" for an answer back in 2011 but didn't. 'Cause it's not what they're looking for.

    What the hard-core teabagger wants is to break the country and punish the rest of us for re-electing a Black president.  Anything less than him coming out of the WH with his hands in the air just won't do it for them.

  •  Finally, someone says it. (22+ / 0-)

    This is the end game and they aren't playing. They have no intention of funding government except in a reverse-line-item kind of way (I made that phrase up).

    They will restore the itty bitty parts they like and dare the President not to sign the bill. For example, they will float a bill opening ONLY the WWII Vet Memorial.

    Then they will float a bill for White House Tours.

    They will continue on in that fashion until they get the government they want.....which is a mewly, teeny, tiny thing that cant enforce environmental regulations, can't beat up on Wall Street Bankers and can't, of course, provide health insurance subsidies.

    Great diary.  Y'all done good.

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Fri Oct 04, 2013 at 11:34:14 AM PDT

  •  If you are right, and if this all comes to pass (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, MRA NY, sfbob, SuWho

    the only real way out is increased taxes. By lots.

    I wonder if the arsonists have considered that?

    •  There won't be anyone to collect them (8+ / 0-)

      Never mind authorize them.

      They're going for the jugular here.

      •  I can see your scenario to some degree (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cskendrick, BachFan, MRA NY, SuWho

        but if we are taken over the default cliff, it won't end our government. imo. The government will have to struggle with paying the debts. And will raise taxes. And there will be jobs jobs jobs for tax collectors.

        Some of the teahadis may want to burn the whole thing down, but when the embers set their own hair on fire, they'll have a rethink.

        If you are suggesting they will start civil war then imo there's really no reason to suppose they'll be able to get it off the ground.

        EG, Greece. It's in terrible trouble because of imposed austerity, but still self governing and still (so far) running the bad guys out of town.

        •  What I'm depicting is what they BELIEVE is right (7+ / 0-)

          and worth gunning for.

          I could rattle off a host of countermeasures that could keep them spitting teeth for years.

          And one suspects given the one real Too Big To Fail investment on the entire planet is the USA? We could renegotiate terms of payment, even obtain forbearances at some mildly higher interest rate, to buy time to get past this.

          We have oodles of solutions but they're risky.

          Or, we can compel the Republicans to just stop dicking around with their own well being, deal with the fact they lost in 2012, and come on back to being part of a pretty awesome country that's still going places.

          •  fwiw your posts on the subject over the (8+ / 0-)

            past few days have been eye opening.  Thanks very much.

            •  Sometimes Occam's Razor is very blunt (6+ / 0-)

              It's astonished me how blind so many smart people are to the clues.

              They honestly can't accept that so many of their countrymen have no use for so many of the blessings of civilization and in fact despise them.

              They want the barbarian horde. The want to feel righteous not ashamed in their Conan-like wishes for enemies.

              They want validation and then expression of long-suppressed grievances.

              That these grievances are largely imaginary is not the point. They want the scores settled.

              And they want those scores settled yesterday.

              What's quite alarming is that NONE of the current Tea Wee leaders strike me as the type of leader that this undercurrent of violent reaction is really shopping for.

              Someone worse, vastly worse, vastly more ruthless and capable, is coming. A man - almost certainly - who will stand forward, humbly raised his hand, and accept the necessary task of returning this country to basics.

              He's coming. We just haven't been introduced to him yet.

              But I assure you, that man will wipe out every single so called Tea Person in Congress as one of the first steps toward a grasp for power.

              And he'll do it because they are wild, crazy embarrassing trash...that just happened to open the door to real tyranny.

              •  blessings ... or ... curses? of civilization (4+ / 0-)

                With your background, it can't have escaped your notice that there is no escape from civilization any more.

                I am one of those who sees (or used to see) ways to make common cause with the tpers. (Not any more, they are dead to me). Patriarchy, forced religiosity, and the war on women,  that's enough reason for me to reject their fundamental fundamentalism. But you bring up interesting points.

                I can write with certainty that the tpers (since I read rw blogs) are easily as concerned about the US retrograde to corporatism and fascism as are many on the left.

                Big difference is that they see POTUS Obama as the shadowy figure you write of, and when you think about his role in promoting the espionage activities of the NSA, lack of promised transparency, and his grand bargain quest. More generally there is the evolution of our privatized prison state, police state, killing mentally disabled people (who, granted, do seem to want to go out in a blaze of confused glory), retract funding for science ed, willful ignorance of environmental issues, yada yada. I think the tpers fear POTUS Obama because he's part black and they're racist, furthermore I think that Obama's grand bargain quest may be rooted in his certain knowledge of genuine waste fraud abuse that he'd like to eradicate. Streamline the govt, that's what he likes to do. imo, we don't have as much to fear from a grand bargain as many around here seem to believe, but I'm only stating that because this is a really long, tedious sentence in a hideously long paragraph in a pointlessly long comment, and I am fairly certain no one will actually ever read it.

                "Civilization" is a blessing if you want freedom from fear of bear/lion/tiger attacks (I actually fear bear attacks, but that's from living in bear country), and in exchange for the benefits are willing to put up with crazy gun toting neighbors in a right-to-shoot-first state. Bears scare me, but lions and tigers, do not scare me as much as crazy neighbors.

                It must be nearly every night. Somewhere in this country some civilized person doesn't make it home from a quick run to the store.

                I'm on a very different page from the teahadis, but I visited the library and read the book, and some parts of it make a horrible kind of sense to me. Something has gone frightfully wrong with our grand experiment in democracy ... and equally wrong with our even older, even grander, experiment with civilization.

                Our fault? Complacency? Inattention? Overpop?

                •  First, I read the long sentenced in paragraph form (6+ / 0-)

                  Second, the experiment in (modern) civilization is fading because we are falling back to a pattern of low population growth, low wealth growth and low rates of advancement in practical scientific knowledge.

                  Just as societies accommodated the (temporary) surge in increases in all three, now they're adjusting to declines - first in growth rates, later in absolute levels of population, of what I'll call communicable wealth (oh, that's right it's called money) and the advancements in basic science then engineering principles and then goods and stuff that people can use to make war, make love and make pizza.

                  We've just begun the adjustment. We have no idea what it's going to be like socially only that it will look very different from the world in which the Constitution was written, and the imperatives for founding a new country that would then need such a new basic document were very different.

                  What drives those changes? Why did they start when they did? Why did they peak in the 20th Century (In terms of basic science, Kurzweil's Singurality already happened and its sitting gathering dust on furloughed scientists' shelves right now)? How much 'stuff' can we mine from legacy research? How much spare intellectual and financial capital is available to turn these possibilities into things like Mars missions, fusion power and flying cars?

                  Then the biggest question of all: What if people who have the power to decide to fund this or that project decide, meh, science. Meh, space exploration. Meh, fusion. Meh, flying cars.

                  What if stasis is the way, for a very, very long time?

                  So I think of this stuff a lot.

                  I don't see the Tea Wees being part of that future ; they're retrogrades seeking a reversal of history.

                  The new sparer future will use tools of the future to make its dreams real. And there will be competing dreams and some of them you'd find absolutely terrifying. We all would.

                  And I can get the impulse to run screaming from some of the technologies coming down the pike. Things that make drones and online surveillance quite benign in comparison.

                  And they're coming too, along with horrible uses, along with all the good things the same tech can enable too.

                  Just as the 20th century tsunami of technology did as well.

                  •  Resource wars (5+ / 0-)

                    To me that's what it is really all about now and in the short term.

                    Maybe there is some linkage between resource scarcity and the barbarian fundamentalists at the gate, bringing with them a new dark age. Maybe it's just that the Darwinian urge to survive is heightened for everyone in times of resource wars, driving acquisitiveness. Possibly it's up to us how we dispose of the barbarians at the gate or in Congress, as the case may be.

                    To speak to your question, I don't know, and should think about it more before pontificating, but it seems to me that it all happened recently because so much energy (nat gas, petroleum, nukular) became available in the last century. Peaked, plateau'd, then someone noticed the climate change devilish detail. With the energy (which generally is just stored EM energy from the carboniferous age) came enormous population growth and unbelievable lifestyle changes, enormous pots of money. greed corruption cruelty competition. Just like old times.

                    I'm an earth/environmental scientist so my focus on science is immediate and tangible, and probably explains my views on competition for dwindling resources. In some ways, it would be nice to make it to the comfort and security of neofeudalism, because that fantasy-future presupposes there will be enough usable water to make it happen. Not assured.

                    Recently I became interested in the whale hunting of the 19th century, and studied up on it a bit. Innumerable whales were slaughtered so that people could stay up at night. And that was laudable back then, the whalers were considered to be heros. How far back in time do the fundamentalists want to take us? I like nocturnal illumination and sanitation. I like having potable water, I like pizza. I like having whales, but imo that should be left up to the whales. Even now at the wealthiest period of human existence, none of those things are assured.

                    Now the additional 3-4 B people who weren't here when I was born have to find their way through this place of dwindling resources (including education, water, fuel for planting food crops), climate change, problematic energy reserves, hyper-competition, rising fascism and neofeudalism. I hope there's a way to optimize the possibilities, but I can't quite see it.

                    (I'm amazed you actually read that long winded paragraph. You would have noticed I've been more careful in this reply).

                    Very interesting conversation, thank you.

                    •  In summer 2012 I gave an Ignite Talk (4+ / 0-)

                      at Netroots Nation.

                      And wrote a Top Comments diary about my prepping for it

                      The diary contains the text of my talk and the slides via Youtube.

                      The notes for Slides 11-13:

                      11. Here’s a chart of Population and GWP growth over time. We see very little wealth relative to population in most of this chart. Yet by the late 1600s GDP accelerates upward and by the 1800s it is practically a singularity event. What happened?
                       12. Let’s look in more detail at Wealth, Population and Emerging Techs. Generally, from 1840- 1990, growth in Emergent Techs faster than Population. But as of about 1990, new techs are emerging slower than population growth – and the slowdown started sooner. What’s up?
                       13. Let’s Work This Out  with RPKT. Resources – we’re hitting real limits – not just oil but water! Population growth IS ending, be it planned or unplanned. Knowledge – we’re not sharing it and some of us are rejecting it. Time – we risk running out of it.
  •  I gotta agree. (6+ / 0-)

    And admit that these people scare the shit out of me.

    I knew things were bad when my otherwise rational older brother began to believe the "secret muslim" bullshit.

    We're pretty doomed.  And the fall of this republic is going to wreck pretty much everyone's life -- everyone who lives in a place that relies on money.


    Republicans chap my ass


    by Marc in KS on Fri Oct 04, 2013 at 01:44:04 PM PDT

  •  you had me right till the end - I don't think the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cskendrick, cocinero

    measures you suggest are realistic or necessary, even if we go over the cliff, which i still do not expect to happen.

    i do agree many in congress and those that put them there want that, and we may take a hard hit even if we just dangle on the edge.

    but the fact is, the drivers of this are still a minority.  it's hard to see right now, but i do believe sanity will rein.

    "Don't Bet Against Us" - President Barack Obama

    by MRA NY on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 07:21:24 AM PDT

  •  a new fangirl is born.... (5+ / 0-)

    awesome piece!    hotlisted.   you nailed the mindset.  absolutely nailed it.  

    front page this, kos!    ;-)

    "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

    by kj in missouri on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 07:35:20 AM PDT

    •  High praise. Thanks. :) (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kj in missouri, SuWho, ArthurPoet

      The Tea Wees see themselves as doing the country a solid by wiping out its modern social welfare state.

      Regardless of their strongly held beliefs in this matter, they're just wrong.

      And we just can't sit back and let them wipe out the United States just because they think it's the way to save it.

      We have to exercise some 'tough love' of our own, and more of it.

      •  this weekend (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cskendrick, Justus, ArthurPoet, annominous

        spouse (super-duper rational factoid physicist first-born) is visiting his right-wing family and i'm (ne'er-do-well but well-loved hippie poet painter aunt kj) taking on my extended fam via a brand new family-only facebook page stocked with my art, quotes from Lao Tzu and oh... yeah, suddently, politics!

        our version of tough love.

        one of my sisters, the one who wants to be seen as the nicest and most cheery, is nearly apoplectic with rage.

        "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

        by kj in missouri on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 07:59:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That Obamacare exists? Or that the shutdown is? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kj in missouri, annominous
          •  the nuts in their shell: (5+ / 0-)

            she is aghast that anyone would dare bring in the dirty subject of politics to a nice family facebook page because the republicans are christian and anyone who isn't a republican isn't a christian, well, catholic, but that's a minor point because she also thinks she's lace-curtain irish and not the daughter and granddaughter of farmers who lost everything in the great depression.  to her, politics shouldn't be talked about, ever, nevermind that's what we kids were served for breakfast, lunch and dinner.   how dare i mention people being out of work or the capitol police working without pay or kids with cancer being turned away from NIH?  it's Autumn! and time to decorate the porch with pumpkins and staw and serve good cider!

            my other sister is at least an informed republican. she watches fox, reads charles krauthammer, listens to Rush and buys into the idealist boot-strap reagan republicanism.  she wears her blinders with pride. she basically pats me on the head.

            my brother's wife is a mix of my two sisters.  my brother teases all of us and doesn't say a word about what he thinks.

            my spouse's family are a whole nother ball of wax.  i can't deal with them at all.  when i'm there, it gets ugly, fast.   lol!

            "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

            by kj in missouri on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 08:34:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  re: spouses family.... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cskendrick, annominous

              let's just say i know my ancestors were Union.
              i've never quite figured out what side my spouse's family espoused!    

              omg, i'm never this open.   ;-b

              "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

              by kj in missouri on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 08:37:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Mainly it's the allergic reaction to differences (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kj in missouri

                If you spoke your mind and your mind was in accord with the others it would be a very pleasant apolitical conversation that just happened to have intense, conservatism-affirming political content.

                •  yep, except (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cskendrick, SuWho, ArthurPoet

                  i grew up with about a 1,000 aunts, uncles and cousins who were die-hard dems and yet one aunt was a proud, proud! john bircher and my father was a republican.

                  so i was used to fire in family convos.

                  boy, that was so not what my in-laws were used to hearing.   an opinion other than their own?  in their own living room?  crash and burn learning curve.   hahaha!

                  "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

                  by kj in missouri on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 08:45:01 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And societies that don't talk don't stay societies (5+ / 0-)

                    This is at the heart of every problem we see now: A general, genuine lack of immune response to surprising point of view.

                    •  rarely use the word "believe" (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      but i believe in communication.  and of course it's difficult... we all perceive our environment in vastly unique ways.  my spouse and i are one example. we help keep one another open to different ways of seeing and sometimes even understanding. again, it ain't easy, it isn't always anything close to smooth or comfortable, but it's sure enlightening.  ;-)

                      my dad and i didn't agree on just about anything, ever.  i give him all credit however for my belief in the goodness and power of communication; he stated often and lived it to the end.

                      i'd rather argue with someone and shake hands when it's done than pretend the world around me is all fine and dandy.

                      "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

                      by kj in missouri on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 10:46:48 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  And this is at the heart of the crisis (2+ / 0-)

                        The Republicans in general got sick and tired of talking with the rest of the country long ago.

                        Now we're tired of talking to them.

                        •  granted, (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          i'm tired of trying to reason with them.  i sort of blew out on that in 2004!  (although to be real, i did try again later.)

                          i don't know if we're not so much tired of trying to talk to them as the understanding that there is no "them" there.   there is no longer an identifiable ideology... the republicans blew past Reagan, accelerated past Poppy Bush and have hit warp speed since GWB.  

                          when Trent Lott is left scratching his head, i think the facts are pretty clear that this isn't republicanism.   i hope the rank and file, who still don't seem to have a clue what's happened since 2000, let alone 1955, get shaken to their core.  

                          and that's what i'm trying to do with family members in a 'once again, folks, these are just the facts.'

                          what are you thinking and seeing?

                          "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

                          by kj in missouri on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 01:37:02 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  It's violent allergic reaction (2+ / 0-)

                            The only recourse is deterrence, containment and, in extremis, elimination.

                            They do not want to talk to us, coexist with us, be with us in any way.

                            And we outnumber them immensely. They are utterly wigged about that and not even thinking about where this goes if they have their way.

                            In terms of practical functionality in life, they're fine.

                            Sociologically speaking, they've gone mad.

              •  As for openness, hey. If you posted on Facebook (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kj in missouri

                you have your advertisements altered around it.

                Here? Heh. You get tips. :)

  •  Can't understand why PIE isn't winning the survey (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kj in missouri
  •  Wasn't that the prelude to the Civil War? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SuWho, cskendrick, annominous, SadieSue, sillia
    They've lost faith in representative democracy as a means to secure their interests.
    When people in that very same state, South Carolina, were convinced the results of the 1860 election meant the end of their way of life, they started things by shelling Fort Sumter.

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 10:53:38 AM PDT

  •  I always thought they hated Obama for being black (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Something in this diary made me realize they actually hate him more because he's mixed race. They can just look down on blacks because they always have. But the child of a mixed race marriage is a reminder of another battle they lost. Obama is the symbol of something they fought against as hard as they're fighting ACA - something that they lost just as definitively. The Supreme Court went against them This time just as surely as they did in Loving.

    They sure get a lot of practice at being sore losers

    Lead your life - don't let your life lead you.

    by lineatus on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 09:52:03 PM PDT

    •  So long as Southern white conservatives (0+ / 0-)

      maintained the illusion of control over race identity - that this person is white, this one is not, that making these assignments stick is a sacred and important task - they had a durable folk tradition to support ongoing racist norms no matter what changes came along in the laws of the land and the will to enforce them.

      It's not like mixed-race Americans only showed up after Loving v Virginia. Hardly! But the folk in my subject line decided such things rather summarily: If you had a lil bit of black in your background, guess what you weren't.

      Ah, if only it were just the South that made life hard for the mixed of race...

      The movie Imitation of Life really drove home this message for me as a kid (saw it on cable), as quite frankly the concept that a child could so completely 'pass' was alien to my experience up to that point.

      Shamefully, my reaction as a kid was to think 'gee, if she looks so white, who cares?'.

      As if that made all the instances where someone was not a character played by a white actress, and abused (or even killed) okay.

      As such things go, I would see the movie repeatedly (cable TV, yay) growing up. On a later instance, I was more prepossessed by character Sarah Jane's need to rebel and to lie and how that hurt the people who loved her (why can't she just stay with people who accept her as she is? if she wants an acting career, Lana Turner's character can hook her up. Why go such a tough road?)

      At this stage we schlepp from the nascent racism into the quiet sexism of my upbringing - that young women weren't supposed to run off and be independent.

      And then there is the matter, oops, that anyone who knew 'Miss Lora' (Lana T's character) would know Sarah Jane's origins... and it just wasn't that nice a show business world back then at any level.

      Finally, third time's the charm, it would sink in completely that character Frankie's beating of Sarah Jane in the alley, because his buddies were laughing at him for dating a woman whose mother was...well, he up and used THAT word... was well and truly his problem, one he was happy to make hers and walk away from after.

      Throughout I had a problem with Sarah Jane's need to lie about her race but it was only further on in my middle school years that I really Got It: Sarah Jane didn't have to be a perfect person to be entitled to be free, to  pursue her dreams, to live as she pleased and much of the tragedy (including the schism with her mother) is attributable to a structure of life that vetoed Sarah Jane doing any such things even if she were that perfect person, because racism and acquiescence to same.

      And in that suffocating, desperate and dangerous situation, Sarah Jane's propensity to run further and further away, to develop deeper and deeper deceptions to protect not just her emotional but her physical safety, become sadly understandable.

      And happily, in this modern age, unnecessary.

      And I suspect at least some of the Tea People would like to see the awful realities of 'passing' necessary again - and the social and quite racist consequences of not quite qualifying as white returned in force.

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