Well, all this is interesting to me, anyway, and that's what matters here. The Internet is a terrible thing for someone like me, who finds almost everything interesting.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
How did we get Romney again?...
If your memory is really, really bad, and you're wondering how the Republicans ended up with a candidate as bad as Mitt Romney, maybe this video will remind you. :)
You know, if you're still a Republican, maybe you should ask yourself why all your party leaders are batshit crazy.
Actually, I should probably rephrase that. I'm sure there are still sane Republicans somewhere, even a few in leadership positions. But what does it tell you when the majority of Republicans are batshit crazy enough that only batshit crazy politicians can get any real support in your party?
Keep in mind that these people all led in Republican polls at some point. (And this video doesn't even include Donald Trump!) There are only two reasons why Mitt Romney ended up with the win: (1) He assured primary voters that he was just as batshit crazy as they were, and (2) the Republican base couldn't settle on which batshit crazy politician they really preferred, thus splitting the vote.
But no one who wasn't batshit crazy, or at least pretended to be (and at this point, I don't think even Romney knows what Mitt Romney really thinks), had the slightest chance at the nomination. If you're still a Republican, what does that tell you?
Republicans weren't always like this, although they've long supported the wealthy. But the crazy only happened because of their notorious 'Southern strategy,' where they saw an opportunity for political advantage and weren't too picky about what they had to do to get it.
Remember, the South had been solidly Democratic for more than a century. Democrats were the party of slavery and segregation. African Americans tended to vote GOP (when they were allowed to vote at all), the "party of Lincoln." And the Northeast had long been the big Republican stronghold.
But when northern Democrats decided to do the right thing and end segregation, Republicans saw their opportunity. By deliberately wooing white racists, they took the South from the Democrats. In strictly political terms, that was hugely successful. All those old Dixiecrats became Republicans - indeed, they're now the Republican base. (Today, no part of the country is as solidly Republican as the South.)
And at first, Republican leaders merely had to use racist codewords, maybe throw them a bone occasionally. After all, the Democrats had pretty well burned their bridges with these people. The 1964 Civil Rights Act did that!
But those old Dixiecrats became more and more important to the GOP, at least in part because the party started losing anyone who was uncomfortable with racist dog-whistles - African Americans, obviously, but also northeastern moderates. Republicans kept Wall Street, because of their single-minded focus on tax cuts for the wealthy, but lost most of their former stronghold in the Northeast.
Still, gaining the South was enough to dominate politically for most of four decades - despite such complete disasters as Richard Nixon and George W. Bush - and in that time, they've been able to move America strongly to the right.
Now, they didn't even try to bring back racial segregation, no more than reinstating slavery or ending women's suffrage. Our nation had moved on. And, after all, Republican leaders - and their financial backers - really only wanted tax cuts for the rich. The rest of it was just a cynical political calculation - a very successful cynical political calculation.
But when you fill your party with racists, when you fill your party with religious fundamentalists, when you fill your party with hysterical crazies of all kinds (and there were some crazies, like the John Birchers, already in the GOP), that has an effect, especially when you also start to lose the moderates who find such things distasteful. At first, Republican leaders just had to flatter the crazies a bit, but that changed.
Eventually, the crazies became the Republican base. The lunatics took control of the asylum. Today, all Republican leaders have to appeal to the crazies, I mean really appeal to them. Even Fox 'News' doesn't have complete control over the GOP base, although no Republican leader dares offend Fox, either. (And Fox has more influence over the crazies than anyone else.)
But if you're still a Republican after all this,... why? Are you simply as crazy as the rest of them? Are you easily frightened by the thought of black people, Hispanics, non-Christians, immigrants? Or are you just ignorant, believing what you see on Fox 'News' because you don't know any better?
A lot of sane Republicans have left the party. Indeed, sane Republicans continue to leave the party, which is why the GOP just gets crazier and crazier. But for those of you who stay, you've got to know that you're enabling the crazies. So why do you do it? Why stay?
After all, even if your local Republican congressman is relatively sane, you know he's going to vote with the party leadership. Republicans in Congress march in lockstep. And, unfortunately, the crazies are firmly in control of the GOP.
I'm a skeptic. I think it makes sense to have reasons for what I believe, so I apportion my belief to the evidence. You're welcome to disagree. Please, tell me I'm wrong. I probably don't agree with anyone about everything. Why should disagreement be a problem? Check the Pages section below for series posts and links to book reviews and game posts, as well as contact info. I have varied interests, so there's a little bit of everything here. I encourage you to look around. - Bill
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It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong - Richard Feynman
The general root of superstition is that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss, and commit to memory the one, and pass over the other. - Sir Francis Bacon
When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and purity of its heart. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Speculation is perfectly all right, but if you stay there you've only founded a superstition. If you test it, you've started a science. - Hal Clement
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The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion. - Treaty of Tripoli, passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate and signed by President John Adams (1797)
I don't doubt the sincerity of dowsers, but even after we've demonstrated that they can't produce results that are any better than chance they'll still go away believing in their abilities... It is like the mother whose son is caught shoplifting on tape. She wonders why someone would want to frame her child by producing a fake video. - James Randi
During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. The Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church ... imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood. Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry. - Mark Twain
Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths. - Bertrand Russell
A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. - Friedrich Nietzsche
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The formula was very simple: build this really flexible, really open economy, tolerate creative destruction so dead capital is quickly redeployed to better ideas and companies, pour into it the most diverse, smart and energetic immigrants from every corner of the world and then stir and repeat, stir and repeat, stir and repeat, stir and repeat. - Shekhar Gupta
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To be elected in America, no matter from what party, the candidates have no choice but to year after year pledge to lower taxes further and further. We have become the nation of Ken and Barbie, looking good but very poor at the math. - Rack Jite
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