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An illustration from 'Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans': 'Rush Revere' riding a horse through a circular rainbow over a field of flowers
Seriously, this creeps me out.
The conservative movement has spent years designing an alternate reality for its membership. It's a universe in which climate change isn't real, but the terrorist attack in Benghazi was a full-blown cover-up. In this universe, Mitt Romney had the 2012 presidential election in the bag, the Affordable Care Act is still a massive failure, and every single conspiracy theory about the left isn't just a theory: it is simply known, with no citations necessary. As Paul Harris wrote after his encounter with the 2013 edition of CPAC:
At the conservative gathering CPAC last week the enormity of this media world was remarkable. The hall was packed with talk radio shows, conservative publishers and authors signing their latest books, many of which were bestsellers. This is a world where it is seriously believed that the United Nations is trying to take over the US, and Obama is a Kenyan socialist, an Islamist, a Marxist or the biological son of communist-sympathiser Frank Marshall Davis. This is a world where Obama wants to take away all guns, where he has dictatorial powers worthy of an emperor and where the US media is a liberal conspiracy pushing abortions and being gay. This is the world where Glenn Beck, former Fox TV host turned popular publisher of The Blaze website, is hugely powerful and shock jock Rush Limbaugh is king.
The basic thesis behind the alternate universe is that the right-wing authoritarian personalities, perhaps best described by John Dean, feed off a media echo chamber that must become increasingly hyperbolic to gin up the necessary outrage to produce desired electoral outcomes. All the while, conservative media authority figures, chiefly Rush Limbaugh, enforce orthodoxy by keeping politicians who know better from bursting anyone's bubble. It's an adequate methodology for drawing in and permanently entrapping those who were already in conservatism's orbit, but not so good for attracting new followers to the cause. Unfortunately, for anyone with an appreciation for facts, however, it looks like the conservative media operation is no longer content just with selling its existing "nonfiction" wares to adults.

More below the fold.

As Heather "digby" Parton writes at Salon, conservative media has been experiencing a slowdown recently, at least in the book-published part of the echo chamber. According to McKay Coppins, the market for conservative nonfiction has remained stagnant, and the genre never quite went mainstream in the way that the industry's founders once envisioned. Meanwhile, competition among authors for shares of the pie has grown, and publishers are beginning to shy away from the increased risks associated with certain elements of the genre. In other words, the current model of increasing conservative mania is unsustainable either from an economic perspective or from the point of view of actually growing the movement. The only thing left to do, then? Start the indoctrination process many years earlier. And wouldn't you know it: Rush Limbaugh seems to be pioneering the effort.

Recently, however, there’s been a major slowdown in the industry as the system that kept it going for years has fallen prey to too much competition. (Or at least that’s the excuse — it’s always possible that their captive audience has finally gotten tired of reading the same shrill screed over and over again.)

That hasn’t stopped conservative political celebrities from writing them, however. And some of them are getting creative, trying to reach their audience in a new way. Rush Limbaugh, for instance, had a huge success last year writing a children’s book series called “Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time Travel Adventures With Exceptional Americans.”

He’s teaching his audience about American history through the conceit of a time-traveling character named Rush Revere and his talking horse named Liberty.

Now, we could all wish this weren't happening; after all, if the excerpts Parton quoted are any representation of the work as a whole, the books leave much to be desired from the perspective of both literacy and intellectual decency. But for the conservative movement, this development makes far too much sense. Your average Republican may not care too much about dumping another $30 into the latest screed about how Obama is a gay Marxist Muslim Nazi, but might be all too willing to spend a little less on a book "for the children" written by an authority figure she respects and that reflects the values she wishes to instill. It seems somehow cleaner and more genteel than investing in the latest nonfiction polemic—and for the conservative movement, it represents an opportunity to get away from selling books to a stagnant market share, and instead introduce right-wing ideology and the ideologues who stand to profit to much younger readers who could theoretically become lifelong customers.

And the private sector only represents one small aspect of this opportunity. As Parton writes, the real money might be found through government-funded wingnut welfare in the form of textbooks:

This week a third grade teacher called in to his show to tell him that she was using his pilgrim book to teach kids about the civil war. Apparently, the lessons conveyed by the talking horse and the football player (did I fail to mention the football player who travels through time with Rush and his whiskered equine pal?) are so universal they can be applied to any historical period.  More important, she believed that reading from the book in the classroom, even if it has absolutely nothing to do with the lesson they are supposed to be learning, will get them excited about Rush Limbaugh and his books and they’ll rush off to the taxpayer-funded library (if it isn’t closed) to devour more of them.
Who knows—maybe Limbaugh can get the benefit of state legislators proposing laws mandating the inclusion of his books in school curricula as Florida State Senator Alan Hays is attempting to do with convicted felon Dinesh D'Souza's embarrasingly bad film tribute to American exceptionalism. That would be the ultimate wingnut welfare.

All of this, of course, will only serve to further divide red America from both blue America and the benefits of truth, education, and historical context. But what's to worry, as long as the leading ideologues of conservative authoritarianism get to keep the gravy train rolling along?

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Comment Preferences

  •  as ridiculous as this is (48+ / 0-)

    and as badly as the republicans have behaved since 2008, the democrats have been unable to mount an effective challenge, and will probably lose the senate in November. why? part of the answer may be because the conservatives at least stand for something that they appear to believe in. rather than challenge core tenets of even ultraconservative beliefs, timid democrats concede them. they appear to stand for nothing. even when democrats win, they do so by advocating conservative policies, then get blamed for their failures. again and again. it's because they are afraid to embrace an alternative to deregulated free market capitalism, rabid nationalism, militarism. it's hard to watch. sickening in fact. someone please make it stop.

    •  The American President (22+ / 0-)

      Posted this elsewhere, but it bears repeating.  I've always love this bit...

      The America People want leadership. And in the absence of genuine leadership, they will listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They're so thirsty for it, they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand.

      We've had Presidents who were beloved, who couldn't find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don't drink the sand, because they're thirsty. They drink it because they don't know the difference.

      Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

      by Pi Li on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 08:56:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't give our side excuses not to vote (33+ / 0-)

      This "Democrats don't stand for anything" kind of talk just gives our side an excuse to sit out elections.  If our side were voting in every election none of this would be happening.  Just think how different our politics would be today if the same people who elected Obama in 2008 had turned out to vote for Democrats in 2010.  

      The democrats do stand for something - sensible, effective government.  They are our only bulwark against the crazies.  We need to support the sensible party and keep the silly party out of power.  That is priority number one.  

    •  Yep. As I coax and plead for "my" Dem (6+ / 0-)

      congress critter candidate to "embrace the Left" he continues to "play it safe" and run in the middle, essentially standing for nothing.  He likely loses in Nov. to a rookie 29 yr. old TeaPub candidate who has no business being in this race, let alone leading it.  Just frickin' amazing we can't get Dem candidates capable of beating rookies.

      Follow Connect! Unite! Act! MeetUp events! For live podcasting of your Event contact winkk to schedule.

      by winkk on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:02:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is no alternative to capitalism (6+ / 0-)
      it's because they are afraid to embrace an alternative to deregulated free market capitalism, rabid nationalism, militarism.
      Neither pure capitalism or pure socialism, is a viable economic system. Why? Because both systems, when praciced in their pure forms, promote cheating and lying. Capitalism should be the preferred system with strong regulations by a central authority. Why? Because it promotes invention and innovation. The system still needs a healthy part that consists of a social safety net since some people, for whatever reason, will be left behind in a capitalist economy. The tea baggers who scream that regulation and the safety net should be done at the state level don't get it. State level government is even more corrupt and stodgy than the federal component.

      Knowledge is Power. Ignorance is not bliss, it is suffering. If you like hypocrite Obama, you'll love hypocrite Hillary.

      by harris stein on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:40:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  only reason the GOP is still competitive is their (4+ / 0-)

      radio advantage, which dems and the left continue to concede to them

      the democrats have been unable to mount an effective challenge, and will probably lose the senate in November. why? part of the answer may be because the conservatives at least stand for something that they appear to believe in.
      the right believe the alternate reality because the left is pitifully inadequate in countering it- because the left  ignores the medium used to do the groundwork repetition for creating it and then analyze and evaluate after it's already been pounded into the earholes of 50 million people a week. after the alternate reality is established.

      the left plays from behind because they let a few hundred think tank scripted blowhards like limbaugh trash and distort their candidates and issues all day long.

      republican radio is most effective psyops tool in our history and aside from the specifically targeted boycott the left's orgs nor the dem party have done NOTHING to counter it.

      even when democrats win, they do so by advocating conservative policies, then get blamed for their failures. again and again.
      this is a liberal and dem failure, from giving the cons a free speech free ride with that propaganda operation as it continues to create the alternate reality that allows the right to push the political center and it's perception in media and politics rightward.

      diaries like this make a difference but it wont get better until the left's orgs and the dem party mount a real challenge.

      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

      by certainot on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:46:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Um, What About The Cost (11+ / 0-)

        The "Republican party" doesn't buy and run those radio stations.  Or the talk shows on them.  Or the syndicates that carry and promote them.  They don't even buy the ads.

        We both know the following-

        - there is an overlap in the business-people looking for an easy way to make a buck in the book and radio fields, and rich right wing cranks that will pay to create the propaganda that reflects their views.

        - for a while these right wing products make money, a "win-win" for both the right wing oligarchs and the non-ideological business-people involved.

        - should they stop making money, the right wing oligarchs are willing to step in.  Buy the books to inflate the sales, find advertising from their equally rich buddies that own businesses, or simply underwrite the damn thing (who threw Glenn Beck his life preserver on the Internet?)

        Meanwhile we couldn't keep Air America going, or Al Gore's channel, or even the modest Link TV.  This all feeds into the right wing narrative that there is "no audience" for media on the left, but what is really lacking is a bunch of millionaires or billionaires that are devoted to funding said left wing media networks.

        I'll put aside whether or not those on the left want a self-reinforcing bubble like those on the right want or need.  What's clear is that when you obtain enough wealth to create and fund these media operations, you're probably inclined to do so to make the rest of America feel like we're over-taxed, but not so much to increase social spending on the poor.

        In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man may be king.

        by Bring the Lions on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 10:22:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's been free for them until the boycott (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek

          now they have to supplement it with political advertising, think tank guests, etc. the think tanks have always been involved, from promoting talkers to supplying and managing their messaging.

          the messaging is monolithic and coordinated and the left's ignorance of it makes competing with it much harder. and thinking about the republican radio monopoly as an expression of market forces is useless.

          it's been free pro corporate republican for them and the ad dollars are icing- it's purpose is to sell war, tax breaks, corporate loon supremes, global warming denial and all their other crap

          it got away from them a bit since rove lost central control

          the boycott has been the only challenge to that psyops - it cut into the easy advertising  that comes with being an ignored monopoly.

          This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

          by certainot on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:08:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think so. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude, llywrch, Ahianne

        Talk radio (terrestrial broadcasting) has a limited audience.  It's gotten more limited during the past couple of years.  The demographic for talk radio is skewed toward older people.  I'm not saying that it is ineffective among older White voters, who trend Republican, but its influence in the younger bands of the population is more limited.

        I'm not saying that I wouldn't like to see as many Liberal talkers as there are conservative, and as many listeners to Liberal talkers as there are to RW talkers, but given the move in the younger generations away from traditional media, I think that the key to reaching the younger generations lies elsewhere.

        I do agree that Liberals have generally been pretty inept in framing and delivering their message, as compared to the RW.

        •  it may be weakening but there's still nothing to (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          debocracy, G2geek

          compare for coordinated repetition and volume. the secondary effect is huge too- that messaging is everywhere- how much time will we continue to lose on talk radio produced crap like benghazi and stained blue dresses?

          in most parts of the US there are still no free alts to it for politics while driving or working.

          it's not a coincidence that ALEC's rise and success and the most partisan period in our history coincided with the death of the fairness doctrine and the formation of the monopoly.

          it's the only thing keeping the GOP viable and it's going to win many races for the gop this year and keep many others close merely because dems ignore it and don't know what's being repeated on it all day long.

          I do agree that Liberals have generally been pretty inept in framing and delivering their message, as compared to the RW.

          that's because of the radio and ignoring is still the biggest mistake in political history.

          This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

          by certainot on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:27:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  reinstating the Fairness Doctrine... (4+ / 0-)

            ... would do more to break the stranglehold of RW media than anything else we can do.  But this has got to be a stealth issue, because any candidate for President who breathes a word about it in public is going to be attacked mercilessly by RW media.

            The idea that the Fairness Doctrine would harm progressive media, which we often hear around here, is bunk.  It's based on the delusion that we'll find our own magic billionaire in the sky to set up a progressive media empire.  Bottom line is, the probability of that is approximately zero.  This is a case where regulation is essential to take down a monopoly.  

            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

            by G2geek on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 05:47:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  there's a reason anytime anyone with MSM (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek

              political stature mentions "fairness doctrine!!!" it turns into an all out attack

              that recent attempt by the FCC to study how talk radio programming was managed got an all out attack and they squashed it

              even though in fact it sounded very innocuous they thought it was a big enough threat to go all out on it, calling it a big brother attack on free speech.

              i've been hearing a lot more political related programming and ads and i'm wondering how much is an attempt to make up for the boycott.

              when an hour on a local show denying global warming pairs a denier team that used to work for heartland and now says they ain't and they're just independents, i know someone's getting paid. and the station's not paying them cause the boycotts hurting. who is, and is that a form of payola?

              howdy

              This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

              by certainot on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 07:04:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  yah really. someone needs to pull subpoenas... (0+ / 0-)

                ... and get those people and all of their records, in front of a grand jury.

                The way to do it is to just do it, and in particular, don't make a prior announcement about it.  

                This is war and you do not let the enemy know where you are going to attack them.

                The way to do the investigation is to just do it, call the relevant people in, and other evidence, and not let on as to what's being investigated.

                And the way to do the Fairness Doctrine is with a 30-day notice & comment period starting a week before Thanksgiving.

                They can scream "Freedumb of spee-eech!" all they like, but the bottom line is the bottom line, and they will adapt or perish in the market.  

                We got the future back. Uh-oh.

                by G2geek on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 08:26:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  I think we had ours and blew it. (0+ / 0-)

        The RW radio probably got some of its start as a bit of backlash against Very Special Episode/ST:TNG/Captain Planet type media PC posing on its sleave.

        "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

        by Stude Dude on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:15:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  never too late- the next three months there will (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stude Dude

          be many attacks and lies from those local radio stations aimed at dem candidates and progressive legislation and ballot initiatives and they don't have to be ignored

          This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

          by certainot on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:33:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Tell me, exactly what do the conservatives (6+ / 0-)

      "stand for?"  Their doctrine is all about taking away rights the Constitution guarantees; voting rights, the rights of privacy between a woman and her doctor, etc.  They consistently vote against (if they are in elected office), or as in the case of a Rush-type, hammer away at how NOT to equal the playing field between the hard low and middle income workers and the greed of corporate America.

      They also hammer away at how big business must get more tax breaks, be allowed to set up shop overseas in order to get away from paying taxes in the U.S.; all this because  in their doctrine giving way to corporations (who are people), is the only way to "create jobs."  Yeah.  

      I'm sorry, but conservate America only stands for taking away what is good, what works, and making way for more of the same.

      •  That's not what they say they're doing (0+ / 0-)

        They say they're going to cut your taxes - they don't mention that the rich will get almost all of the benefit. They say they're going to protect traditional values -  they don't say they're going to strip the rights from anyone who doesn't share their beliefs. They say they're going to enact business-friendly policies to produce prosperity - they don't that they're going to turn business loose to trash the environment, ruthlessly exploit workers, and entrench giant monopolies. They say they're going to cut government waste - they don't say they're going to cut every program that helps people in need while pouring ever more into the place where most of the real waste is, the Pentagon.

        They put a positive spin on every regressive policy they propose to implement, convince low-information voters that these will bring on a new golden age. Since their policies invariably have the opposite effect, you'd think Democrats would have little trouble countering the spin, but most of them are not good at it.

        •  You're absolutely right. (0+ / 0-)

          The uninformed and misinformed hear the Republican Party stands for:  Lowering taxes for corporations to create jobs, (never worked).  Government is bad and takes away incentives for those on any type of subsidy, (do they prefer the elderly, disabled, children and the poor to just go away?)

          They say they are for family values (what do they mean by that?)  It means taking away women's reproductive rights, it means tearing down all that we have gained in equality for LGBT constitutional rights.

          And, so it goes....

          To the disengaged, those who listen to their propaganda, their proposals and platforms sound good to them if they don't read between the lines, read the Republican Platform, and stop listening to the mindless FauxNews types.

    •  More reason to support Democrats (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      debocracy, swampyankee, G2geek

      Why can't people understand that the current priority has to be resisting the Republican party?

      There are some progressive Democrats, there are plenty of economically right wing corporate Democrats.  There are plenty of Democrats who don't have the cojones to change anything about the status quo.

      There are virtually no openly homophobic, sexist, religious bigot Democrats.  There are virtually no Democrats who campaign on cutting off food stamps for hungry children.  There are virtually no Democrats who tacitly advocate that working Americans should get lower wages (as all those who bust unions and seek to eliminate the minimum wage do).  There are virtually no Democrats who actively want to increase the use of torture, even if they don't have the guts to stop it (and if a few people in Florida had voted for Al Gore instead of Ralph Nader there might never have been any increase in torture to begin with).  There are virtually no Democrats who advocate evolution denial and climate change denial.

      The Democrats may look pretty crappy compared to an imaginary ideal, but compared to the Republicans, they look great.  

      I feel safe in saying that it is now virtually true that the best Republican is worse than the worst Democrat (at the federal government level, at least).  That's what it's come to.

      What stops us from making the Democrats better is that any split on the progressive side opens up an opportunity for a right wing nut job.

      There's a right wing authoritarian nutjob party in town and job one is to keep them out of power.

      When there's a fire, you put out the fire first.  When the patient is bleeding to death, you stop the bleeding first.

      Now it may turn out that the patient is a heavy smoker who lives on donuts and tequila, and we may want to improve those things later, but you have to stop the bleeding first.

      Right now, in the near future election cycles, the way to keep the Republicans out of power is to support the Democrats.  

      To say otherwise is to work for Dick Cheney.  And if you work for Dick Cheney, I hope you get a paycheck for it.  Because doing that for free would be pathetic.

      •  Let's take one myth off the table (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Piren

        "and if a few people in Florida had voted for Al Gore instead of Ralph Nader there might never have been any increase in torture to begin with"

        The reason that Florida's votes flipped is because the Republican Party cheated, lied and stole to manipulate the vote, not because people voted for Nader. Please read "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" by Greg Palast. The people who voted for Nader likely did not know how Reps had gamed the election. After all, Florida looked to go Dem. Here in California, we knew we were safe in voting for Nader and expecting a Gore victory. The same was not true in Florida for many reasons, including that their Governor was GWB's brother!

        Far more votes were lost through chicanery than Nader's candidacy. Then there's the infamous Bush v. Gore decision, living in infamy.

        •  Let's not call reality a "myth" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek

          "The reason that Florida's votes flipped is because the Republican Party cheated, lied and stole to manipulate the vote, not because people voted for Nader."

          I'd be annoyed that you insulted my intelligence, except that I think you are really trying to convince yourself.

          I think you possess sufficient intelligence to understand that more votes for Gore would have made it harder for them to do that.

          The closer a cheater comes to actually winning, the easier it is for a cheat to work.  That's obvious.  If you do something that helps them, even if it doesn't directly make them win fairly, it still helps them.

          A potential Gore voter voting for Nader instead helped Bush/Cheney.  That's not just a fact.  It's a flat out unequivocal logical conclusion.  You could write that out in formal logic symbols.  If A and B are competing, and C is an irrelevant gadfly, but C takes votes from A, C helped B.  Period.

          I'm not blaming you for voting for Nader; he was a good guy in many ways and Gore wasn't a great campaigner.  

          I am blaming you for basically ignoring the gist of my comment and responding only to one minor point that bruised your ego, though.  You could subtract that side remark about the Nader vote and my comment would still stand.

    •  I have begun to believe (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek

      that a segment of the population craves rulers, perhaps monarchs, perhaps dictators.  They are not interested in a participatory government nor do they want to do the work it takes to be involved.  Who's fault?  I believe we have been manipulated to this point by the social construct we have been urged into by the ptb.  We all work our heads off, have little time for family yet believe family is the most important thing in our lives. We pay outrageous fees for advanced education yet we are cowed into taking jobs that will never allow us to pay off what we owe.  There are myriad other ways we have been conned. Conservatives who want a strong leader are just tired of trying, imo.  They want to trust someone to do it all.  Those softy liberals want don't do anything they are told so they believe.  They already leave everything up to God so it is easy for them to get to the same point with a leader.  I am afraid global climate change will be what it takes to shake this ennui off but it will be too late for us then.

      Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

      by tobendaro on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:29:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Grifters gotta grift. (17+ / 0-)

    Honestly, it would be more than a little hilarious how these con men keep fleecing the gullible Conservative masses...if it weren't for the horrendous damage they are doing to America and the world. The intentional sabotage of any meaningful climate change mitigation is the elephant in the room.

    I truly believe Godwin applies here. When the much diminished human population looks back from 100 years hence and surveys the history of anthropogenic climate apocalypse, today's Conservative media machine will be regarded the same way we regard Hitler circa 1936.

  •  Like a super-nova burns out eventually... (6+ / 0-)

    so will this movement.

    Question is - how long will it take and can we handle that timeframe?

    "I did not have sex with that bridge"

    by Scottsdalian on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 08:40:46 AM PDT

  •  Rush Limbaugh and Dinesh D'Souza (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, ChemBob, Bring the Lions, Vicky

    are welfare kings. Bilking money from one capitulated Republican at a time.

  •  to be fair . . . . . (7+ / 0-)
    According to McKay Coppins, the market for conservative nonfiction has remained stagnant,
    . . . book sale revenues as a whole in the entire industry have been pretty much flat since at least 2008. Even with sales of ebooks increasing a whopping 4,500% during that time.

    I'd certainly like to believe that people are paying less attention to the nutballs.  But alas, I don't think book sales figures can be used to demonstrate that, since people aren't buying larger numbers of books about ANYTHING, overall.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 08:43:45 AM PDT

  •  I'm making Rush an appointment. (6+ / 0-)

    We are all made of star stuff, so please be kind to dust bunnies.

    by jwinIL14 on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 08:44:09 AM PDT

  •  scary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    and there doesn't seem to be an antidote.

  •  Thi is the key, including why impeachment is a (13+ / 0-)

    must for the talk shows, TP congresspersons, etc.:

    The basic thesis behind the alternate universe is that the right-wing authoritarian personalities, perhaps best described by John Dean, feed off a media echo chamber that must become increasingly hyperbolic to gin up the necessary outrage to produce desired electoral outcomes.
    •  just wait for corporations to run schools. (8+ / 0-)

      The point is that all of this  keep the people who have bought into this fear and paranoia makes people  captives to it.

      The lesson  for progressives, is to keep the young from buying into this voodoo.   Not clear how us progressives are going to reach people once corporations run the schools.  -- Their messages will be better crafted, by far, compared to Rush's little pony.

      •  curriculum already heavily shaped (0+ / 0-)

        with the American Dairy Council and the meat producers handing out free nutrition-education materials, and the US military given free reign to hand out all sorts of propaganda about the US role in the world, and textbooks chosen by highly political committees often at the state level. Anyone who thinks school curriculums are based on liberal conceptions of what kids should know hasn't been around schools in the past 75 years.

    •  It is like an apocalyptic cult (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rashaverak, Stude Dude, niemann, G2geek, BYw

      always crying wolf. "Judgment Day is coming on May 21, 2011" .. whoops maybe not ... lie low for a little while ..  followers forget they were scammed ... new prophesy sez Jesus returns in 2015 because of the blood moon .. rinse, dry, repeat.

      The Repub faithful always forget how the last great alarm didn't happen. No, Obama didn't confiscate the guns, didn't establish Sharia law. The list of terrible oppressions Obama was going to do is longer than the GOP elephant's memory.

      They have to forget. If they remembered all the false alarms the gears in their brains would jam up. They might .. wake up.

      •  I Diaried that on Monday in (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        T Maysle

        Grokking Republicans: Cognitive Dissonance, for the Readers and Book Lovers group. We read When Prophecy Fails, by Festinger, Riecken, and Schachter. It explains the conditions, fulfilled by all of the Republican factions, under which failure of predictions is ignored and excused, and True Believers double down and go big in the media with pre-debunked nonsense.

        We will take up John Dean's Conservatives Without Conscience (linked in this Diary), Eric Hoffer's The True Believer, and some works suggesting solutions, such as Robert Axelrod's The Evolution of Cooperation.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 01:09:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Okay, this is going to sound extremely trollish, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rikon Snow, Orinoco, NoBlueSkies

    especially since I'm new here. But I have a question:

    Is their echo chamber really that much worse than our echo chamber?

    Seems to me that one of the problems with political discourse in this country is that we only inteact with people we agree with.

    •  The real difference is that we're right. (17+ / 0-)

      We're not nicer, we're not more inclined to play by the rules, we're not anything except that our understanding of society, its problems, and their solutions is correct by and large, while conservatives are wrong.  People who believe in the existence and importance of gravity aren't better people than those who don't except to the extent that they are right, at least about that, while their opponents are wrong.  

      It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

      by Rich in PA on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 08:59:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We're not more inclined to play by the rules (0+ / 0-)

        Depends on what rules you're talking about.  If no-lying and no-racism are two of them, then I think that we're more inclined to play by the rules.

        •  I think the left (6+ / 0-)

          is more inclined to play by certain rules.  Like the ones the country was founded on.  We aren't the ones who use pin holes of legality to change the way congress acts.  We aren't the ones getting presidents installed by the Supreme Court. We have never made up a new rule and bulldozed the rest of the government into doing something.  We are however, the ones letting it all slide by.

          Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

          by tobendaro on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:33:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It could make for a very interesting conversation. (11+ / 0-)

      Personally, I get all my hard news from bbc, npr and guardian. Except for the latter, I don't think I'm in as much an echo chamber as right-winger who watches Fox and visits RW sites, even though I regularly read DKos, Digby and Vox.

      A drowning man can not learn to swim. -- Chris Lonsdale

      by Rikon Snow on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:14:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I check what everybody says, and believe (0+ / 0-)

        what I can confirm independently. Then I make up my own mind about what to do. For example, work on ending global poverty, which is not in the MSM conversation, or even on Progressive radio or TV.

        For example, my take on Gaza comes in part from working with One Laptop Per Child, which provided laptops to UNRWA schools in refugee camps, some of which have been shelled by the IDF just recently. Some of those children are using my software and textbooks. I have posted pictures from there in several Diaries during the recent fighting.

        Palestinian refugee children in UN school in Gaza with new OLPC XO laptops, April 29, 2010

        Palestinian refugee children in UN school in Gaza with new OLPC XO laptops, April 29, 2010

        I also go looking for what others say about it, including Israel, Tikkun, J Street, AIPAC, Palestinians, Al Jazeera, MSNBC, and Right wing Armageddonists who want nothing more than all-out war between Israel and Hamas, Hizbullah, Syria, Iran, and all other Muslims.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 01:21:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think the difference is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raspberryberet

        there's far less "hard" news on the conservative side of things.

        I remember me and a friend of mine were arguing with some conservative on Facebook and the conservative kept posting a bunch of opinion pieces.  My friend said "you're telling us to get a second opinion.  We're telling you to get the facts and form your own opinion."

        30, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

        by TDDVandy on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 03:38:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It depends. (14+ / 0-)

      You have echo chambers on the Democratic side, as well, but - based on my personal observations - I think that they have far less of an impact than the conservative echo chamber.

      Basically, it seems to me that there is no overarching echo chamber on the Democratic side which would enforce ideological conformity. Instead, you have a series small echo chambers on various issues into which this or that Democratic faction may fall, but not the political side as a whole. It at least tries to attend to reality.

      In fact, I think that this might be the true cause of progressives' discontent with the Democratic party. It's no longer primarily a leftist party; it's a party for everyone, from progressives to moderate conservatives, who allows empirical findings to influence their decisions. On the other side of the aisle you don't have an ordinary conservative party, either. Instead, you have a hardcore right-wing cult which ignores empirical reality and is based on a collection of self-reinforcing myths.

      Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

      by Dauphin on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:15:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's a question of ends (12+ / 0-)

      While they have usurped the name 'conservative' the people supporting the right wing echo chamber are by no means conservative. They are a radical, destructive, theocratic cult whose purpose (aside from fleecing the faithrful) involves a fascist theocratic takeover (Libertarian+Dominionist) of the United States.

      The goal of the left wing echo chamber is a democratic socialist pluralist administration of the country, similar to the governments that arose in Europe after the Second World War. Have you been to Europe in the past 30 years? It's not so bad, expecially for the citizens and full time residents.

      On the other hand, the goal of the right wing echo chamber is strong-man or religious control with an ineffective figurehead government, similar to what is found in states like Somalia, or the Taliban's Afghanistan.

      So, if you take a step back from the day-to-day partisanship and talking points, and see what the respective 'echo chambers' support... I'd say the right wing echo chamber is worse. Much worse.

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:31:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  they have a radio advantage- to create the alterna (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Leftier

      te reality- much of it is based on lies and distortions and omissions

      even if the left wanted to it couldn't do what the right is doing
      with its radio monopoly

      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

      by certainot on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:55:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  even if the left wanted to it couldn't (0+ / 0-)

        Sure it could.  All it takes is money.  Clear Channel is struggling under an enormous debt load.  Wave enough cash in front of station owners, and they will take your money, no matter what your politics are.

        •  most liberals think talk radio is trivial so why (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rashaverak

          would liberal millionaires and billionaires want to do that?

          aside from that, it works as effectively as it does because it is monolithic and the certainty of it's messaging- which is what authoritarians use to sell lies- is unchallenged

          the rest of us have science and truth and logic- no need for a messaging monopoly - just to stop ignoring theirs- to challenge it

          This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

          by certainot on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:45:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I can think of three reasons. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            certainot

            1. to offer counter-programming in the (probably vain) hope that you will reach some of the people who listen to talk radio.

            2. for the psychological benefit to the body politic to seeing/hearing that there are other voices out there.

            3. to provide gainful employment to Liberal talkers and the other staff that it takes to run a radio station.

            I know that stations can be heavily automated and have virtually no staff.  But it is also possible to have a station that really takes localism seriously and that has a news staff that goes out into the community and covers local events.

            That's the way that radio used to be done.  It's still possible to do it that way if you are willing to spend some money on operations and are willing not to be concerned about pulling every last nickel that you can out of the facility.

            You will have to operate at a loss, at least initially.  Maybe for several years.  Maybe forever.  It took Fox News a long time to turn a profit.  The Washington Times has never turned a profit.  To give the devils their due, the owners of those media have seemed more concerned about having a presence and flying an ideological flag than they have cared  about instant or short-term profitability.

            •  i agree with those but i think it (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rashaverak

              would be a huge task to get that big money to invest. and the right already has that monopoly to beat back the competition- and they've shown they will protect their operation

              especially in the short term i think doing things like pushing our colleges to end their endorsements of those stations will break the monopoly - they'll lose too many advertisers on the local level and it will spread to most colleges- even just the idea that they'll pull back from those associations will destroy their advertising base and force those stations to either change programming or offer balance. and balance won't work for them - they need unchallenged certainty to sell the lies. the bigger owners may have to sell stations. the whole propaganda op will fall apart and stations will open up for liberal talkers.

              This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

              by certainot on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 02:03:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Short answer - yes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rashaverak, TDDVandy

      This has been another episode of "Incredibly short answers to obvious questions".

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:57:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks so much (0+ / 0-)

        For your thoughtful, respectful answer.

        Whatever.

        •  Go watch an hour of Fox News (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TDDVandy

          and tell me if I'm wrong.

          Especially watch it later at night when the really good stuff comes on.

          And then listen to an hour of Michael Savage, Sean Hannity or Laura Ingraham on the radio and please, please tell me where the liberal equivalent is because I'd love to listen to it.

          If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

          by Major Kong on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 03:02:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again, whatever. (0+ / 0-)

            Trust me, I've watched plenty of rightwing media. I know we have nothing that noxious on our side. No argument from me there.

            But honestly, you're being rather condescending and needlessly abrasive, especially with your original "incredibly short answer" to my "obvious question."

            I'm sorry my comment brought this reaction from you, since one of the first things that attracted me to this site (long before I finally registered last week) were your aviation-related diaries.

            I'll shut up now.

            •  Please set your humor detector to "snarky" (0+ / 0-)

              If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

              by Major Kong on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 06:00:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Echo Chamber? (6+ / 0-)

      There is no replica of right wing echo chamber on the left.  MSNBC is not Fox News.  Daily Kos is hardly The Daily Caller. And so on.

      Take MSNBC.  Besides the fact that 3 hours a day are given to a Republican ex-Congressman to kvetch over things from a fairly conservative viewpoint, and besides all the prison documentaries that fill in the empty space, MSNBC's hosts and shows don't take their cues from one guy (Allies) and the propaganda chiefs at one of the political parties for a "message of the day."  And MSNBC'S Maddow and Hayes, who find their own stories and have plenty of criticism on Democrats, underline the difference between "journalist" and "TV host."

      Much of MSNBC during the day tries to play the Democrats good/Republicans bad game, as a flip of the Fox News method.  But you sense even the hosts know it's all quite silly....the notion that one political party is responsible for everything that's wrong.  Quite frankly, either by inexperience or by nature, no one's heart seems to be in it.

      And that's the key difference.  The left doesn't want an alternative universe presented to them from the top-down by all-knowing authority figures.  They want the universe presented as it IS, something that is ever rarer in a corporate-dominated media landscape.

      In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man may be king.

      by Bring the Lions on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 10:39:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Liberal "echo chamber" doesn't have much influence (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Leftier, Rashaverak, Stude Dude

      It's small, Dems don't fear it, and it hasn't been known to swing a primary, much less an election.

      Power is a big difference between the two "echo chambers" -- one's a few websites, a struggling radio network, and half a third-place cable network, the other is a major industry that has the power to push the GOP on any issue it wants.

    •  From the original poster.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rikon Snow, Orinoco

      Thanks for (most of) the comments. You make good points, and you've mostly convinced me.

      Certainly I agree that our "echo chamber," such as it is, is better than the rightwing one because our ideas and proposed solutions are better.

      And some of the comments above have reminded me that we really don't have anything on our side comparable to the Fox News / Limbaugh media bubble that so many rightwingers (including some of my family members) inhabit.

      So you've basically convinced me that my original question wasn't a great one. Still, I think it has a limited element of validity: even on our side, it would do a lot of us good to seek out and engage with opposing (non-crazy) points of view.

      That's all I really meant to suggest. Sorry I didn't express myself better, and thanks again for your thoughts.

      •  It was good, provocative question. If they ever (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Leftier, Orinoco

        asked questions like that on the Right, we'd be a whole lot better off.

        Challenge authority.

        A drowning man can not learn to swim. -- Chris Lonsdale

        by Rikon Snow on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 10:56:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I know what you mean. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Leftier, Orinoco

        Trouble is, there aren't really any more Jack Kemp conservatives that you can trade ideas with. The bubble has made them so doctrinaire that you just get propaganda rather than thoughtful debate.

        I used to have a friend of a friend who as a young conservative type, and he'd be quoting stuff from Ann Coulter all the time!

        This kid was law school bound, mind you, and I'd be begging him: "Why do you swallow that crap? Read some William F. Buckley. He's at least worthy of thought."

        He just never did get the difference between conservative thought and conservative propaganda. And, last I heard, he never made it to law school either.

        I could go on.

        I used to be a repub-leaning independent at one time, and worked with a Rush listener. He'd just say one lie after the other and I'd be like "Wait a minute. That's not right. One side can't be right all the time and the other side wrong all the time. It's just not possible." Of course, the minute you say that, you're tagged a Lib and the conversation is over.

        Again, another example of how their echo chamber is really shutting off meaningful conversation.

        If that doesn't convince you, think of this. Obamacare was a conservative idea. Yet, they attacked it once it was adopted by a Dem. Now, they view their own idea as nothing short of Nazism. How do you talk about ideas with people like that?

    •  Ours is sometimes based on evidence (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orinoco

      Theirs, never.

      A propaganda sheet tells you what to think and what to do. A map presents facts, and allows you to decide where to go and how to get there.

      You can ignore our political pundit class who make a living telling people what to think about the issues. Pay attention to those who report facts about those issues, those who fill in gaps on the map.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 01:12:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Relax. No kid will believe Rush is cool. (6+ / 0-)

    Not one kid in 100 knows who Rush is.
    RW juvenile lit is where nutjob political contributions go to die.

    •  Have to agree. (0+ / 0-)

      If kids are being brainwashed they will rebel in the end.  My pet bagger has a kid college age.  The bagger thought he had it all down.  Kid went into rotc in high school and spouted all the rw stuff.  Now at 20, he dropped out of school, is a big load and thinks his dad is a nut.  lol

      Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

      by tobendaro on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:37:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Indeed, they are losing their children in droves (0+ / 0-)

      because they can no longer raise them in the bubble.

      For the first hundred years after the Civil War, visible progress in the South was non-existent. Then Truman started desegregating the military in 1948, and Southern Democrats started to lose control of the issues. Eisenhower sent troops to enforce the Brown v. Board decision; LBJ put through the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act; Culture War issues went on losing at the Supreme Court, and Republicans reacted with the Southern Strategy, first recruiting racists, then Religious Right bigots and misogynists, then Reagan Democrats. But there is nobody left to recruit, at least nobody whom the Tea Parties will permit to be recruited.

      A shift of only 1% a year, which is about what we have been having, is invisible from day to day, but over a decade or more it shifts states ever Bluer, except when the Right mounts a last-gasp campaign to enrage its base, as with ballot measures to create anti-gay laws and state constitutional amendments in 2010. That issue is effectively over, and the rest will not be far behind. Abortion is likely to be all they have left in a few years, and that only at the state level.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 01:36:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  CPAC... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trkingmomoe, Rashaverak, Vicky, Matt Z

    sounds like ComicCon on a bad acid trip.

    "These 'Yet To Be' United States" --James Baldwin--

    by kevinbr38 on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 08:59:01 AM PDT

  •  This is how the Nazis did it (8+ / 0-)

    Don't underestimate the ability of such insanity to form the "shock troops" of a worrisome movement. Hitler's minions did the same, indoctrinating children into Nazism from an early age and then shaping them through Hitler Youth movements. The "SS" version of this might be some rather unusual orphanages sponsored by the far right which seem to turn out completely indoctrinated slaves to their movement with no family attachments to save them from this madness.

    To them, it's all a matter of numbers. Get enough of this to stick, and you continue to glue the needle of public opinion to the right side of the dial. It's not enough to moan about this - it's important to think about how we indoctrinate our children systematically for positive and society-improving attitudes and actions.

    •  Ouch! I hope this doesn't give the Kochs some (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caliberal2001

      "philanthropic" notions.

      Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

      by ZedMont on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:07:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We don't need to indoctrinate our children (0+ / 0-)

      We need to vaccinate them. As with polio, the idea is to expose them to the madness in a way that will promote an immune response rather than an infection.

      The Religious Right has been doing this for ages. Their version is to expose children constantly to killed versions of Christianity and science, to make them immune as much as possible to the real things. Fortunately, this has a substantial failure rate.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 01:41:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  partisan hack -- it's a riff on the jesuit claim: (0+ / 0-)

      give me a boy for six years, & i'll give you the man.

      iow, if you get 'em early, you got 'em for life.

      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. ~ J.K. Galbraith

      by bluezen on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 04:50:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They keep control over people by playing on... (7+ / 0-)

    …their patriotism through feeding their fears and paranoia.

    It took me  while to notice, but around 9:30pm, local networks  typically advertise the upcoming 10pm news by naming of the items they will address in order for viewers to stay tuned.

    Of those 4-5 items, one is ALWAYS about a threat looming around YOUR corner of the type "Danger in the schoolyard you are not even aware of", "Your credit cards at risk", "New scheme to get money from you".

    And when you consider how conservatives always crave for more guns, increased military budget, more bombing…you know that these people react to FEAR. And they usually do in an irrational way.

    And conservatives "merchants" are there to rake in the dough! Yep, same merchants who keep spreading the fear and conspiracy theories…

    As they say: "You have to milk the cow, not kill the cow"!
     

  •  the picture evokes some interesting thoughts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rashaverak, lynn47

    I can't help but see Rush and Liberty flying out of the a_ _ of Rainbow Brite.

  •  Conservative non-fiction. (9+ / 0-)

    Talk about an oxymoron.

    Hey GOP! You'll get my Obamacare when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. And thanks to Obamacare, that just may be awhile.

    by jazzmaniac on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:11:14 AM PDT

  •  I sense an opportunity - teaching guides! (6+ / 0-)

    If these books are going to be used by educators, then there's an opportunity to tell the rest of the story.

    The Brave Pilgrims came to the New World to enjoy Freedom of Religion - and that was a good thing. They left a country that had an official religion, and it was not theirs. Which leads right into if America is a Christian Nation, what kind of Christianity is it? Is having an official, government approved religion a good thing?

    You can talk about how wonderful Religious Freedom is - but point out for Pilgrims, it meant no other religions were allowed, and there were crimes for not practicing it in the right way. You can talk about Roger Williams and his ideas of religious freedom.

    Heck, just ask the kids if they know why Massachusetts is a commonwealth... It sounds suspiciously like a kind of socialism!

    The English noun "commonwealth" in the sense meaning "public welfare; general good or advantage" dates from the 15th century.[1] The original phrase "the common-wealth" or "the common weal" (echoed in the modern synonym "public weal") comes from the old meaning of "wealth," which is "well-being", and is itself a loose translation of the Latin res publica (republic). The term literally meant "common well-being." In the 17th century the definition of "commonwealth" expanded from its original sense of "public welfare" or "commonweal" to mean "a state in which the supreme power is vested in the people; a republic or democratic state."[2]
    emphasis added

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

    by xaxnar on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:17:44 AM PDT

    •  The Pilgrims As I Recall Were Free to Worship As (5+ / 0-)

      they wished in both England and Holland.

      What they were not free to do was to establish their religion for everyone else.

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

      by Gooserock on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:58:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And that's why we need a guide. (0+ / 0-)

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

        by xaxnar on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 12:33:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, the English Separatists hated it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Major Kong

        because in the Netherlands their children were exposed to the full range of beliefs of the time, and could change churches as soon as they were of age. I actually learned that in school.

        I found out later that the Netherlands declared Freedom of Conscience and Freedom of Trade in opposition to the Spanish Inquisition and Spanish economic delusion, where Spain was going to be rich forever because none of the gold and jewels from South America were permitted to be spent outside the Empire. The result was the biggest inflation in history up to that time, because everybody was determined to get a share of the gold and jewels, and nobody was making or growing anything.

        That was the Eighty Years War, which shows you how much both sides meant it.

        Adam Smith discussed Spanish economic theory and the resulting inflation at length in Wealth of Nations, where he was at pains to point out that wealth is not money, but productive and distributive capacity, to make what people need and make sure they can get it.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 01:51:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  As Garrison Keillor put it (0+ / 0-)

        They came here seeking greater restriction than was allowed under English law at the time.

        If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

        by Major Kong on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 03:15:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  already exists (0+ / 0-)

      Anyone looking for materials should look at Choices.edu, (affiliated with Brown University) which has curriculum materials for various grade levels on world affairs. I am most familiar with the unit for upper elementary or middle school on slavery and the slave trade, focussing on an actual child named Priscilla who was transported in a RI-owned ship and then trafficked by Henry Laurens, SC signer of the Declaration of Independence. And the lessons are linked to the (horrors!) social studies standards, with primary materials for kids to work with.

      There are many other sources of progressive left-leaning curriculum materials, for teachers and parents who go looking for them. But we don't have the political power to mandate them, at least not in very many places.

  •  There's plenty to worry about since there are (7+ / 0-)

    many people who are susceptible to the influence of this evil nonsense.

    They already own the radio & TV. They're behind wrecking teachers & public education.

    They want people to be stupid & flow orders.

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:23:59 AM PDT

  •  CPAC (4+ / 0-)

    I heard they were going to do a Reality TV show about it but could not find any.

    "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." -- Albert Einstein

    by lynn47 on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:32:00 AM PDT

  •  When I saw the title, I didn't really expect (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rashaverak

    this - what with the robust competition (e.g., the NSA, which was mentioned but not in a bad way, the east coast's (apparently) most successful casino,  and massive urban sprawl.

    Oh well, it's mildly entertaining at least.

  •  The Day the New So-Called Hippies Took Over (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, Rashaverak, tobendaro

    societal visibility from the beatniks and helped further popularize a low materialism lifestyle, the machine turned to the children.

    Children who would grow up to be the more conservative Alex Keaton generation X.

    It started with marketing but conservative ideology was already being directed toward kids while the ink was still wet on the Powell Memo and a DC hotel was dimly known as the site of a 3rd rate burglary.

    There are lots of reasons the country turned conservative after the 60's. That lack of younger generation reinforcements for the liberal wing of Boomers is testament in some part to conservative outreach to children and youth.

    Maybe there's a new threshold of quantity these days, or maybe it's just some craptacular individual efforts by the likes of Limbaugh, but it's not new as a concept and practice.

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

    by Gooserock on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:57:22 AM PDT

    •  The Older Boom blew it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bush Bites

      Older Boom blew it by not embracing Punk, Small Press Comics, and all the Alt that followed. They had a gift horse of us younger Turks who didn't like Reagan, the Moral Majority, the Pentagon, Big Business, etc. But instead they copped the arrogant generational attitude of "Why is your generation so retarded and unmellow? If you had any brains you'd be like our generation!" And then talk out of the other side of their mouths about peace and love and understanding and doin' yer own thing.

      I just really hated the Right and the Left in the '80s. The aging PC Hippies and the Reagan Yuppies felt like two sides of the same self-serving self-centered older Boomer coin.

      Yes, it's a big sore point with me because 25 years and a few months ago today, I was dragged though Dr. Owleus mobbing and added insult to the injury by cribbing one and claiming of my ideas by a smuggly arrogant aging Hippie who thought he could wholesale wrong me and always be in the right because being born so much earlier in the Boom made him so perfect. Grrr!

      "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

      by Stude Dude on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:35:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  On the plus side, the ability of humans to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rashaverak, wasteedub

    imagine things, and create completely alternate realities, like these folk do, is to the best that I can figure out perhaps the number one feature that distinguishes humans from other species.

    Oh well, that, and opposable thumbs.

  •  The Freedumz lovers. Welcome to N. Korea. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rashaverak

    And they have the nerve to criticize Kim Jong Il for his lies about their history.

    "What's it all about? You know what I mean." - Alfie

    by Fordmandalay on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 10:04:37 AM PDT

  •  The rise of nationalism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rashaverak

    in the 19th Century coupled with German exceptionalism and Slavic exceptionalism resulted in World War1. Anti-semitism and German exceptionalism bought about a second conflagration only 20 years later we call World War 2. The cold war was a result of American and Russian exceptionalism.

    The fall of the soviet union left the US as the only superpower. The white nationalists in the US and their worship of the Reagan cult of personality have now made a bid to capture the levers of political power as they see their heroes savaged by media they see as biased not just on the left but socialistic. Their scapegoat isn't the Jews, although given an excuse Israel could be dropped like a hot potato. The scapegoat today is any dark skinned person whether born in the US or has immigrated. If one follows the trajectory of anti-semitism in Europe, one will see a similar trajectory with dark skinned people in the US. The end of chattel slavery in the latter half of the 19th Century didn't bring about freedom for dark skinned people in Europe, North America, or South America. As dark skinned people have gained more freedom we are now seeing the backlash among whites. It will only take another severe economic downturn for the tea baggers to amass a much larger following of the Reagan cult of personality.

    Knowledge is Power. Ignorance is not bliss, it is suffering. If you like hypocrite Obama, you'll love hypocrite Hillary.

    by harris stein on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 10:05:19 AM PDT

  •  Konservative Kitsch (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rashaverak

    The photo on top makes me think of the phrase Conservative kitsch.

    Is there Liberial kitsch? The only thing I can think of right now is chrystal unicorns and other Pop enlightenment bought with plastic. And that was back in the '80s.

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 10:15:13 AM PDT

  •  Tire Irony since Revere actions are a myth (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rashaverak

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 10:21:01 AM PDT

  •  This is not the first time. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, Rashaverak, Mokurai, TDDVandy

    The Conservative Right has been trying to sell their text books to schools for decades.  I remember evaluating them for the district I worked for as long as 20 years ago.  They made little head way into the public schools and have done somewhat better in the private schools.  The same will happen this time.  The truth is their time is done and the Conservative Right will continue to shrink.  I doubt that they will ever completely disappear, but the fewer the better.

    •  Well, yeah. (0+ / 0-)

      But it's truly surreal that now they've stopped even trying to disguise their propaganda that they want to put in schools.

      In the past they at least tried to make the right-wing history textbooks look like history textbooks.  Now they're quite literally passing out works of fiction and not even trying to hide it.

      30, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

      by TDDVandy on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 03:47:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Propaganda is the grist of the right wing and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, Rashaverak

    they excel at it.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 10:24:57 AM PDT

  •  Conservative media are basically shock jocks.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Rashaverak, commonmass, Major Kong

    ....re-targeted toward politics.

    Kind of interesting how they did that.

  •  "His talking horse, Liberty"? Wow. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rashaverak

    The GOP really does want to turn back the clock: all the way back to "Mr. Ed".

    "To take another person's life from the bench is no better than to take another person's life from the street"

    by commonmass on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 10:40:27 AM PDT

  •  Christianity is under attack. (4+ / 0-)

    The Second Amendment is in danger.

    These are the two biggest lies.

    Christianity in many forms has flourished under secular governance.
    There is no credible threat to the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

    These are facts.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 10:49:25 AM PDT

    •  In fact, it's been shown that religion fares (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Major Kong

      better in countries where it is disestablished than it does in countries with state religion. Even Anglicanism and Lutheranism is better off in the US by the numbers than it is where it is state-established. Catholicism most certainly is.

      "To take another person's life from the bench is no better than to take another person's life from the street"

      by commonmass on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 10:59:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That was the essential argument in (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Major Kong

        Søren Kierkegaard's Attack Upon Christendom. He gave the analogy that if you wanted to destroy poetry, there could be no more effective method than to give all poets government incomes.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 01:57:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass
    All of this, of course, will only serve to further divide red America from both blue America....
    I'm ready for red and blue state America to split up along cultural lines.

    Tired of them holding us back.

  •  This was well-explained 50 years ago by Richard... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rashaverak, Vicky, Mokurai

    This was well-explained 50 years ago by Richard Hofstadter's "The Paranoid Style in American Politics":

    http://harpers.org/archive/1964/11/the-paranoid-style-in-american-politics/

    American politics has often been an arena for angry minds. In recent years we have seen angry minds at work mainly among extreme right-wingers, who have now demonstrated in the Goldwater movement how much political leverage can be got out of the animosities and passions of a small minority. But behind this I believe there is a style of mind that is far from new and that is not necessarily right-wing. I call it the paranoid style simply because no other word adequately evokes the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy that I have in mind. In using the expression “paranoid style” I am not speaking in a clinical sense, but borrowing a clinical term for other purposes. I have neither the competence nor the desire to classify any figures of the past or present as certifiable lunatics. In fact, the idea of the paranoid style as a force in politics would have little contemporary relevance or historical value if it were applied only to men with profoundly disturbed minds. It is the use of paranoid modes of expression by more or less normal people that makes the phenomenon significant.

    Of course this term is pejorative, and it is meant to be; the paranoid style has a greater affinity for bad causes than good. But nothing really prevents a sound program or demand from being advocated in the paranoid style. Style has more to do with the way in which ideas are believed than with the truth or falsity of their content. I am interested here in getting at our political psychology through our political rhetoric. The paranoid style is an old and recurrent phenomenon in our public life which has been frequently linked with movements of suspicious discontent.

  •  happens some on both ends of the spectrum (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    swampyankee

    I was raised in the 1950s at a commie pinko interracial summer camp (featured in the book Raising Reds). I thought that everyone knew all the subversive verses to "This Land is Your Land," could sing all of Pete Seeger's songs, had a multiracial group of friends, and knew that Ethel & Julius Rosenberg were innocent socialists framed by the corrupt FBI. I about went into shock when my 9th grade Girl Scout troop went to DC for spring break in 1963, and saw the FBI's exhibit boasting about cracking the Rosenberg spy ring that gave the USSR the atomic bomb. (We now know that both versions of that story were inaccurate, with the truth somewhere in the middle.)

    More than 130 years ago, Private Willis in Gilbert & Sullivan's Iolanthe mused on how curious it was that children always followed the political leanings of their parents.
     

    •  Pinko camps are kind of miniscule.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Major Kong

      .....compared to right-wing Bible camps.

      •  True enough -- but equally doctrinaire in a way (0+ / 0-)

        That was my only point, that left-wing parents also want to train their children up in what they consider true and admirable -- of course we do -- it's just a different list.

        •  My family was kind of apolitical. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DeeDee001

          I honestly didn't even know my parents' political affiliations until they were well into their 70s -- Dad likes big government, Mom's a cultural wingnut.

          I went back and forth for a number of years until Bush's reign of error.

          It wasn't so much that the tax cuts were putting the country into hock and the Iraq War was an idiotic waste of blood and treasure -- any side can have an idiot president who does dumb things -- it was that all the other Republicans and their media heroes called you a Lib or commie or terrorist if you said "Wait a minute. Shouldn't we think about this a little?"

          That's when I decided I would never vote Repub again.

        •  Not many of those today (0+ / 0-)

          OK, maybe you had commie pinko summer camps in the 1950s, but I doubt you could find one today.

          The actual left in this country seems to consist of the same three Communists that show up at our ComFest every year.

          The Democrats are hardly "left" in the classic sense. Today's Democrats would have been Eisenhower Republicans in the 1950s.

          Today we have one centrist, corporatist party and one far-right party.

          The "both sides do it" argument may have been true at one point but not today.

          If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

          by Major Kong on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 03:11:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  that such crap as the illustration at top exists (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    missed congeniality

    proves that God has given up on this species. We're too stupid to save.

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:49:55 AM PDT

  •  global warming is not coming! revere in reverse (0+ / 0-)

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:52:07 AM PDT

  •  The myth that is destroying our country is that... (0+ / 0-)

    The myth that is destroying our country is that we can't do anything about it. If we mobilize the vote of women and the impoverished alone we could control our destiny. We don't vote. We complain while they shit on us.

  •  Nonfiction? (0+ / 0-)

    You keep referring to conservative literature as "nonfiction". Are you sure about that?

    If the private sector can do it better and cheaper................then do it! What's stopping you?

    by bcpipes on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 12:27:48 PM PDT

  •  So what's new? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mokurai

    As the child of Goldwater Republicans, I must assure you that "appropriate" reading material for children of the Bircher set has always existed.  Very few people convert to loony irrationalism, nor are they born that way.  They are very carefully taught.  And even so, a significant percentage get better due to exposure to outside information (going to college at state universities rather than Bob Jones really helps).  Haven't you ever noticed that religious fundies have a lot of children, and are keen on adopting as well?  They have to reproduce disproportionately in order to maintain their numbers.

  •  It's him & his little pony whizzing through (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    niemann, Major Kong

    rainbow wormhole - one cannot make this stuff up - too delicious.   And the size of his head - and that finger in the air - a fun peek inside Mr. Limberger's head.
    Yes, I know, the children.
    Personally, I don't think it's any worse than the history lies I was told as a child.
    But, the symbolism in that drawing is so revealing as to Mr. Limberger's self-image.  Bless his heart.  Ponies & rainbows & worms & holes, indeed.  The human mind is an amazing thing.

    •  And how revealing that his hero is ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Major Kong, Siris

      named "RUSH Revere".

      He couldn't even -- like other, you know, creative writers -- invent a leading character with a name and identity different from the author's own.

      Nope, it has to be all about HIM.

    •  And this is REALLY weird. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Siris

      I've just googled up some images from those books ... and from what I can tell every single image of "Rush Revere" has that exact same photoshopped photo of Rush's face attached to it.

      No matter what "Rush Revere" is doing -- even throwing boxes of tea overboard -- and no matter how his body is positioned, he has his face turned outward, looking directly at the viewer with that same bland, wary, squinty expression.  

      Sometimes it's flipped to the left, sometimes to the right ... but it's always that same photo of Rush's face.

  •  perverted history (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cpqemp

    This is no less than child abuse.

  •  "Jesus" (0+ / 0-)

    We've got to crack that nut. It's the glue that binds them together. They brainwash the children in Sunday school.

    We need to face the fact that they won. They infected all the great institutions from the bottom.

    Carlin was right all along. America is a crock of shit, anymore. It's broken. Forever.

    What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

    by Cpqemp on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 03:59:38 PM PDT

  •  and that's really what american "conservatism" (0+ / 0-)

    is all about:

    "But what's to worry, as long as the leading ideologues of conservative authoritarianism get to keep the gravy train rolling along?"

    keeping the rightwingnut grifters grifting. for the most part, they don't care about actual policy, it's all about the benjamins. as long as they can keep the rubes sending in cash, they're happy to take it from them.

  •  I'm not worried about conservative childrens books (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tkirkland

    Not one bit.

    I remember some of the classics, but the books I remember were interesting. I highly doubt that Limbaugh's book is very interesting, and most of it's sales are due to Limbaugh, not the quality of the writing.

    •  Sales were pumped up by Limbaugh, he even (0+ / 0-)

      begged Dittos to give it out instead of Halloween candy.  I haven't read it, but a reviewer at Kirkus who was hoping to prove the naysayers wrong (she says she is a contrarian) found it to be breathtakingly bad: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/....

      When kids call into Limbaugh's show, they tell him what they really love is the talking horse, Liberty.  He seems to have gotten used to that.  At first, you could tell he was a little miffed it wasn't him.

  •  Rush Revere (0+ / 0-)

    I could tell right away that these books were pure drivel. Everybody knows that the real Revere was shooting his guns and ringing bells on his horse as he rode across the entire country in one night just like Sanity Claus or the Tooth fairy.

  •  I'm fairly convinced that (0+ / 0-)

    Doug Ducey's babble about civics means he's got a scumbag friend with a bullshit textbook.

    "People are more than the worst things that they do,"--Chris Hayes

    by chicating on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 08:53:54 PM PDT

  •  Limpdick (0+ / 0-)

        He's in the middle of another dream!

    WHAT AN IMBECILE!!!

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