March 26, 2010

Majority Extremism Against Change You Can Believe In

Justin Katz

By accident of commercial breaks, I caught a few moments of the Rachel Maddow show, last night, and that's all that was necessary to observe that left-wingers very much wish to convince themselves that the Republican Party is locked in an extremist echo chamber, with its far-right base requiring uniformity of opinion out of step with the rest of the country. Every statement that any Republican has made that conflicts with the right on any issue, according to Maddow, is evidence that the facade is beginning to break.

On one level, we could choose, instead, to see intraparty dissent as evidence that there is no such disciplined higher command from the base. On another level, we could argue that this process whereby the essentials of the base's priorities acquire the assent of the middle — like spring spreading north after winter — is precisely how our political system is supposed to work.

And that's what I think is happening. Consider this short speech, on the floor of Congress, by Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R, MI), whose Q&A session in Newport, this summer, so impressed me:

After citing the displeasure of the American people with their government, with reference to poll numbers, McCotter delivers a stinging rebuke of the direction in which President Obama and the Democrats are leading the country. It would be quite a different matter were McCotter's rhetoric purely that, but every time one opens the newspaper or clicks through news Web sites, there's a new story about Obama's use of government authority in expanded ways. By contrast, there's been no indication of an ingenuous intention, on the part of the administration, to loosen the leash on the private sector a bit so that it may chase some much-needed growth.

We who are politically interest should never discount the possibility that we're wrong on both substance and popular sentiment. It seems to me, though, that those of us who saw through Obama's airy baloney about his own centrism, during the campaign, have been joined by an increasingly broad population who sees through the Democrats' faux stimulus and policies that always err on the side of transferring wealth and power to government operatives.

In other words, we're not selling talking points to capture the public whim of the moment. We're offering an argument about government, and the Democrats' behavior and policies continue to support that argument. They appear to hope that they can buy enough votes to counterbalance the dawn of understanding about their intentions, but I don't think the United States is quite so far gone, down that path, as Rhode Island.

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In the back and forth of politics, there is often a winner and a loser. It would be accurate to say that the Dems were losers for a year while the mob (tea party) financed and led on by the GOP and wealthy lobbyists and corporations, tangled up the works with their drivel and hate and lies.

Ok, so you see - I admit they won that fight - although not in the civil way.

So, now that legislation is passed, it becomes obvious the the Dems won this one BIG TIME and in a legal and civil manner. But you can't accept that!

In fact, David Frum was just thrown out of his think tank and job just for telling the truth - that all these stunts have backfired on the GOP.

You should watch Rachel more. She seems to be a reasonable and educated person and never tells you to buy ammunition. For a person like you who considers themselves and thinker, that should be a welcome change.

Heck, let me come right out and say it. I think you, Justin, are a liberal. You just don't know it yet! Mark those word - because if one thinks things though and looks at the right in this country, it is hard to identify with it unless - which may be your case - you have so much invested in it that you fear admitting your mistakes!

But you won't be the first - perhaps you were a long time reader of Little Green Footballs? He saw the light....I'm praying for you.

Posted by: Stuart at March 26, 2010 9:03 AM

Another nice post from Stuart. This lunatic lives in Bizarro world. The facts are exactly opposite to everything he writes.

Posted by: BobN at March 26, 2010 10:28 AM

Stuart-don't try to cure ME.It'd be equivalent to asking a Gila monster for a blowjob.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 26, 2010 12:34 PM

Charles at LGF was always a liberal, he simply had an "awakening" after 9/11. Apparently the lack of another 9/11 taking place (you know, due to all of Bush's "failed policies" and stuff) has lulled him back into a false sense of security, where his liberal side has been free to reemerge. Until the next 9/11 happens, anyway.

Posted by: Chris at March 26, 2010 12:45 PM

So, let me get this straight-

As long as we are very fearful and willing to give up our way of life and freedoms, we are conservative.

But when we once again feel that we don't have to resort to torture and totalitarianism and violence to achieve our goals, we can then once again embrace the American Dream?

Sure, I have it wrong...yeah, right! That guy who flew into the IRS building was a clear leftist (despite GOP lawmakers saying they understand him), and the holocaust shooter too - clear leftist.....and the guy who shot the people in Binghamton with the Glen Beck books at home - another leftist!

Richard Poplawski, a right-wing extremist, allegedly gunned down three police officers in Pittsburgh - yes, he must have been a lefist even though he was paranoid about Obama taking his guns....Scott Roeder, another right-wing extremist, assassinated Dr. George Tiller in Kansas.

Oh, there are too many recent stories to even post here......but you folks have blinders on, or more likely are just part of the same mob yourselves...

"Knoxville police Sunday evening searched the Levy Drive home of Jim David Adkisson after he allegedly entered the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church and killed two people and wounded six others during the presentation of a children's musical. [...]

Inside the house, officers found "Liberalism is a Mental Health Disorder" by radio talk show host Michael Savage, "Let Freedom Ring" by talk show host Sean Hannity, and "The O'Reilly Factor," by television talk show host Bill O'Reilly."


Posted by: Stuart at March 26, 2010 1:41 PM

Stuart-you're a very articulate punk-I'd have had to confront any of those a&&holes when I was on "the job",but I have to admit I'd have been really scared-being scared comes with the territory-you,on the other hand,have never been there,F**k you.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 26, 2010 1:49 PM

Ok, so what you are saying is that unless I was some kind of gun wielding officer of the law, I have no right to engage in political discourse or care about the direction of right wing violence in America?

Next thing you'll tell the the cop on the beat should be the judge rather than the law and our judges and lawyers......

What you do or did for a living is in no way relevant to the conversation. If anything, YOU should be the one who is sicker of seeing bullying, violence and threats of same....

But, instead, you crow to us about how many you are going to "take with you" when you leave this place.

I don't buy it. It is fine if you do - or if anyone else does, of course, but I don't have to.

For us to listen to ANY member of the GOP is, by definition, to listen to a party where people are not allowed to think for themselves. In any normal situation, some republicans would have crossed over and voted for recent bills - but they did not, and now they have to suffer the agony of defeat.

Personally, I enjoy watching that - but that is my "bad" side talking. I would prefer that they instead discovered common sense and compassion and caring for the people of this country and our process.

Posted by: Stuart at March 26, 2010 3:33 PM

Personally, I'd love to see Obama, Pelosi and Boehner make a joint statement urging calm in an honest effort to cool things down here. But Boehner wouldn't show - Cantor wouldn't let him.
Interesting article by Tim Dickenson in Rolling Stone recently about how Boehner's efforts to reach a compromise with the White House nearly got him sacked as minority leader, and how he's now Denny Hastert to Cantor's Tom DeLay. Explains why Boehner is calling a fellow member of the Ohio delegation a dead man - that and his speech Sunday night were the actions of a guy trying desperately to prove his masculinity.
BTW, Johnny's finally lightened up a bit on the skin bronzer.

Posted by: rhody at March 26, 2010 5:24 PM

Stuart-you need to be on meds.I am NOT a member of the GOP.
I will only take out people who invade my home illegally.So should you.
"Gun wielding"?I never shot anyone in 26 years because I have good self control.I have the suspicion you couldn't have done my job.Or maybe you could,but I kinda think you'd have panicked and shot someone who wasn't THAT much of a threat.I liked mixing it up.26 years isn't a misprint-4.5 years local and 20.5 years federal.
You're a joke,but it's nice to engage.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 26, 2010 6:00 PM

I would make a terrible cop. Some are born to it, some not.
I have too much empathy and am too easily stressed. Heck, my wife can tell when I am lying a mile away....I could never have done law enforcement because of that alone - I'd go undercover and the bad guys would know it.

So, yeah, I admit it 100%
I'd be a terrible cop and a lousy soldier, although maybe a good engineer (combat or otherwise)....... hey, there is an ass for every seat.

As they say, I'm a lover, not a fighter! I can count the fights I've had in my life as one in military school when Smith ratted me out for having pot (they didn't find it, but he and I got in a tussle and he scratched me with a pin from his nameplate - I still have the scar!) - and the other one at the bus stop when I was about 11.

My loving would count up a lot higher, but you don't want to hear about that!

Posted by: Stuart at March 26, 2010 6:59 PM

Haha-Stuie,you're a card.I finally really enjoyed one of your posts.I actually wanted to be a locomotive engineer- I sort of fell into police work by accident.I surprised myself by being good at it.
Undercover is something few people ever do.I did a little,not much,but I looked enough unlike a cop to be successful.It really wasn't my natural talent-dogging fugitives was my best skill.
I did okay in the loving category-variety is the spice of life!!I still do okay-and no viagra either.
No one should do a job that feels like an ill-fitting shoe.
I grew up where fighting was the norm,but I've really slowed down since I retired.
When I was in the service they encouraged it.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 26, 2010 7:21 PM

I actually hired a city cop from one of the worse cities in the US as one of my store managers years ago. It was a funny interview - I had to convince myself that he was able to "sell" people into letting him haul them in, etc.

He was also special forces Vietnam vet and all around tough guy......

He worked out pretty well for quite a few years. My biggest problem with him was his lack of flexibility. Someone would come in the shop and ask for a deal, and he would yell at the customer!

A couple times we had customers attempt to bilk us out of money. He insisted on going to their homes, knocking on the door, asking for the money...while patting the holster underneath his jacket......he did that on his own, against my instructions, but he got the money and we never had any problems with his collection method.

Oh, yeah, he has been a Camden, NJ cop for a decade or more. I never checked closely, but I think he had been let go for being a bit too aggressive (as many would WANT to be in Camden NJ). I can't imagine too many other reasons why one would quit that job, which obviously had decent benies and pension, etc.

Posted by: Stuart at March 26, 2010 9:55 PM

The Border Patrol had a high attrition rate,mainly due to the miserable housng situation in many stations(like mone).
We also lost a lot of INS special Agents to other agencies because we were all required to be fluent in Spanish.That was a marketable skill in the law enforcement sector.The INS was also probably the worst run agency in the US Government.Upper level management was filled with incomoetent hacks and idiots.
One of my buddies went to HQ and some months later took a demotion to go back to the field-he was so disgusted by the people running things he couldn't take being there.I knew better-I was a peon for my whole career and happy at that.
In spite of my demeanor here,I never had a disiciplinary complaint.I left 5 days after I was eligible due to declining health.(No,not a disability retirement).I didn't expect to still be here so long after.One never knows.
When I speak against amnesty,it has nothing to do with disliking people,but rather the horrendous clusterf**k it turned into in 1986 has convinced me this time would be exponentially worse just considering the numbers involved.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 26, 2010 11:29 PM
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