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Rob Kailey is a working schmuck with no ties or affiliations to any governmental or political organizations, save those of sympathy.

What Republicans believe

by: Jay Stevens

Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 10:01:38 AM MST

So Research 2000 did a poll on Republicans' beliefs and...well...they're kind of crazy. Nearly 70 percent of self-identified Republicans, for example, are open to the idea of impeaching President Obama. Sixty-three percent are certain he's a socialist. Forty-two percent are certain Obama wasn't born in the United States, and another 22 percent are unsure.

Of course, it's easy to claim some sort of superiority...without seeing a similar poll of self-identified Democrats asking them about their favorite conspiracy theories. That 9/11 was an inside job, say. It could that people are irrational, not just Republicans.

But I do like Nate Silver's observations of the poll. He noticed that the answers to the poll questions varied little, if at all, with demographics. Regardless of your age, location, or gender, pretty much you believe the same sorts of things.

This accounts for what might be the Republicans' greatest strength as we head into the November midterms as well as their greatest liability. The strength is that they can somewhat comfortably adopt a nationalized, one-size-fits-all message. They don't have to worry about the constellation of constituencies that Democrats have: labor voters, Baby-boomer liberals, blacks, Hispanics, college-educated technocrats, libertarianish younger voters, etc. Their base is the same pretty much everywhere, and actuating a strategy that appeals to that base is not challenging.

The liability, meanwhile, is that while the Republican base might be the same pretty much everywhere, the rest of the electorate isn't. Some states and districts have different ratios of Republicans to Democratic and independent voters. Moreover, they have different types of Democratic and independent voters, some of whom may be amenable to the Republican message and others of whom won't be.

The question is, how did this happen? How did the base of one party come to believe all the same things in the same way? That some of these monolithic beliefs include outright delusions - the Obama birth canard, for example - points to success in messaging, whether by cable news, talk radio, or email chains. Obviously simple messages are getting out and reinforced as they're passed along.

One thing, too, that neither Kos nor Silver mentioned is that the demographics of Republicans are skewed strongly towards white males to begin with. While the breadth of Republican demographics are similar in belief, what's not said is that most of the other demographics are small. That homogeneity probably also aids the message. Republicans probably congregate in the same places, talk the same language, and participate in the same activities. That's probably also why many are under the delusion that they represent "real" American values and ideas - the opposite is true, of course, they're actually a minority of the population - they don't really get out much.

All of that is opposite to the left. The left spans class, race, language, education, and the rural/urban divide. Democrats in Portland, Oregon, are vastly different from those in the Salish-Kootenai nation. They hardly interact, let alone hear the same unified message.  

Jay Stevens :: What Republicans believe
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This one's easy Jay, (0.00 / 0)
"Republicans probably congregate in the same places"

And watch the same "news" channel: Fox. And listen to right wing radio.

I observed this behavior in my elderly mom. She leaves the tv on Fox all day and night, unless she wants to switch and watch something else. The when she's done, she switches back to Fox. It's the background noise in her apartment while she reads, cooks, cleans, talks on the phone. She doesn't hear too well, so the closed captioning is always on, too.

Before the election last year, we were talking politics, and she just drops things into the conversation like: "and he's a Muslim;" "how do you know he's not a Manchurian candidate?" and "but he's a socialist."

So I had to bring up the question of Fox, and how it had been brainwashing her by just letting it run in the background, and set the record straight.

So to all of those republicans who let Fox and right wing radio just blare in the background, they're letting themselves be brainwashed (literally) into believing a whole lot of untruths. And if ever there were a vast right wing conspiracy, it would be the media's filling the airwaves with untruths, trumpeted by reportage less interested in reality than in advertising dollars, controversy and advancing political ideology.

And it shows that republican politicians (and some dems too) are more than willing to spread these untruths and then not challenge them--except in McCain's one exceptional moment of guilt where he had to set the record straight when it became too egregious to ignore on camera--all the while knowing that his campaign, and Sarah Palin in particular had been sowing the seeds of untruths.

Even Obama alluded to it the other day when he stated that the public forgets that much of what they hear is just politics, and begin to believe it's true. Most people don't understand politics, and how it mostly is just the art of manipulation and deception. And modern media just rebroadcasts politics without any attempt to sift the truth from the bullsh*t. Propaganda and untruths go unchallenged, and reporters begin to act more like politicians than independent thinkers.

So we have a republican (and some indies, too) populace that has been brainwashed by the media, and finds reinforcement on the internet by congregating around Drudge and the right wing blogosphere. I look back to how Obama handled this, which was to try and rise above it and not get sucked into the morass of dirty politics, and I see that that strategy--while maybe helping him get elected--is not serving him well in office. In marketing we call his behavior "failing to protect the brand." And it is showing dramatically in these poll numbers, and his overall ratings slump.

While stuffing his birth certificate down birther's throats may seem to be rather unpresidential, his only alternative is to let untruths continue to propagate and wither away at his chances of getting anything done. Challenging the notion that his health care plan was a bolshevik plot while at the republican meeting the other day was a good first start. Obama needs to define who he is and what his ideas represent, lest they continually be cast into other than the centrist manager he really is.

There's a battle going on within the Republican Party (0.00 / 0)
And it makes the infighting within the Democratic Party look downright tame.  It's the more centrist Republicans (I know, that sounds like an oxymoron) v. the teabaggers and their ilk.

You can see it in the conservative blogs as they debate "core values" and "purity tests."

It's this rigidity that may really do the Republican Party in.  And it's a lesson that I'm trying to grasp as I push for a more progressive agenda in the Democratic Party ... just how far does one advance an ideology and still keep a working base?  I don't have the answer.  

Pete, agendas aren't progressive or not (0.00 / 0)
Being progressive is a process, not a policy. It is a process of taking steps towards a policy goal. It means working for change (left or right). You could say that republicans have mastered the art of progressive conservative change. Holding their principles close, and taking any steps towards them that they can, then holding them and defending the hell out of them. Some here have called it "ratcheting to the right."

One of the talking heads the other night cornered one of the House's "progressives" and asked him if he believed in progressive change--a step at a time--or whether or not he wanted all or nothing. The all being radical change (and of course the radical change was cast as the public option--but that's a whole 'nother story about dems failing to understand the art of compromise--never give away your cards before you lay your bet). He of course said progressive, not wanting to be labeled a radical. I of course, went "I guess i'm a radical."

So the goal for dems should be to set lofty goals, and hold their principles dear, and only accept progressive change towards those ideals. That would be called "integrity," a character that has been sorely lacking in dems as of late.

I think the problem with a lot of dem strategy is that they confuse process with policy. Being a progressive, or on the left, or an indie dem, a libertarian social democrat, or a whatever label you want to use with the dem party disaffected, it all comes down to confusion about what the dem party plank really is, and how to get there. It's the "getting there" that has dems befuddled.

I think the next generation of dem leaders need to clearly articulate their ideals, and not stray in their progression towards them, and they'll do just fine. Baby steps and small moves are fine--as long as they are headed in the right direction. Unfortunately, compromises have been built by the dems with themselves that have largely resulted in negative movement--a mandate without the choice of a public option for instance; taxing labor health benefits is another. On and on. The public and the dem base look at this behavior and just shake their heads, knowing that dems have lost the way.

Case in point is Obama on health care. He had some goals--affordability, universality, quality, yada, yada--but did not articulate how to get there. In fact he made a point of saying he didn't care how we got there ("there are many ways to accomplish this"). Which is why we haven't gotten there, and may not ever get there. True progressives will outline clearly how to accomplish their goals, and get everybody on board. And at that, Obama has failed miserably with health care.

[ Parent ]
All you had to do was ask Jay (0.00 / 0)

I can save you some effort Jay -

Republicans believe in leaner Federal Government -

Less Government intervention in our lives -

Lower taxes -

More personal accountability -

Strong national security -

and that a good education for our kids is vital.

<em>"and that a good education for our kids is vital."</em> (0.00 / 0)
especially if it contains creationism, anti-environmental, anti-gay and abstinence only teaching.

[ Parent ]
Believers (0.00 / 0)
 Hey, All the animals fit on the Ark! Do you know how much money folks send to the 700 Club?

New idea - (0.00 / 0)

How about we discuss-

(1) What Democrats believe;

(2) What liberals believe;

(3) What 'progressives' believe;

Talk about a party that is in disarray!

Rob rightly mentions my mental might, probably just because I'm right most of the time, BUT - circular?

I wouldn't call knowing what I believe circular - LOL

progressives (0.00 / 0)
Progressives give Democrats a modicum of ideological legitimacy, some theoretical basis, a few intellectuals,some ideals , etc..Otherwise people would just be voting for the Whore Party which is unseemly.

Part of the problem with these discussions is the language. People might consider themselves one of the dozen or so strains of Libertarian, some of which are quite divergent, but are asked: "What do you think of Libertarianism?"  Jeez,Do you mean Emma Goldman or the Cato Institute?

same with Liberal. Are we talking classical liberalism, free markets and all that or Pelosi? Which Conservatism, like non-interventionist, anti-doctrinaire, or Bush? without this clarity it's all CNN garble.

The Party which always wins is the Capitalist Party.

Yep, the money party (almost) always wins (0.00 / 0)
Read an interesting take on Citizen's United today. Basically saying that the SCOTUS replaced votes with money:

"...it's essential to appreciate the raw narrative power of the speech and personhood arguments...and to deconstruct precisely how radical, reactionary and consequential the Citizens United decision is. For in effect it replaces votes with dollars and seeks to supplant a progressive voting majority for President and Congress in 2008 with a one vote conservative judicial majority in 2010."

Mark Green then goes on to lay out 10 ways in which the ruling sucks.

[ Parent ]

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Purely Hypothetical, of course, but - The best candidate for the Republicans for US Senate is:
Corey Stapleton
Dennis Rehberg
Marc Racicot
Champ Edmunds
Steve Daines
Harris Himes
Kreyton Kerns


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