To Understand the Shutdown You Have to Grasp the Mindset of the GOP Base

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Supporters of Americans For Prosperity and other TEA Party members rally at Leo O'Laughlin Inc. on the eve of President Barack Obama's visit to Macon, Mo. Tuesday evening, April 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Patrick T. Fallon)

It’s widely understood that the government has been shut down by a relatively small number of Republican lawmakers who represent deeply red districts. They’re insulated from public opinion at large. They don’t fear a general election loss to a Democrat; they’re motivated by avoiding a primary challenger from their right flank.

So to fully understand what’s driving the Republican Party’s brinkmanship, one has to look at the motivations of its base voters – how they see the world around them. This lies at the heart of what’s happening in the Capitol today.

Democracy Corps – a Democratic-leaning polling firm – released a study this week based on a series of focus groups they conducted with loyal Republican voters. They divided them up into three sub-groups which together represent the base of the party. Evangelicals represent the largest group, followed by Republicans who identify with the tea party movement. “Moderates,” the third group, make up about a quarter of the party’s base, according to the pollsters.

Fear of a changing society is one thing that unites all three factions. The battle over Obamacare, write the study’s authors, “goes to the heart of Republican base thinking about the essential political battle.”

They think they face a victorious Democratic Party that is intent on expanding government to increase dependency and therefore electoral support. It starts with food stamps and unemployment benefits; expands further if you legalize the illegals; but insuring the uninsured dramatically grows those dependent on government. They believe this is an electoral strategy — not just a political ideology or economic philosophy. If Obamacare happens, the Republican Party may be lost, in their view.

And while few explicitly talk about Obama in racial terms, the base supporters are very conscious of being white in a country with growing minorities. Their party is losing to a Democratic Party of big government whose goal is to expand programs that mainly benefit minorities. Race remains very much alive in the politics of the Republican Party.

They worry that minorities, immigrants, and welfare recipients now believe it is their “right” to claim [public] benefits. Tea Party participants, in particular, were very focused on those who claim “rights” in the form of government services, without taking responsibility for themselves.

They are also unified in their belief that Obama is a usurper who has hoodwinked the public into re-electing him by hiding his true beliefs, which are essentially Marxist. They also think that Democrats have won the major political battles of our time because Republican legislators in Washington didn’t put up a fight.

But there are also deep divisions within the base, according to the analysis. Evangelicals still focus overwhelmingly on social issues. They think gay rights are the biggest threat to our society, but they also worry about the loss of what they see as an idyllic small-town culture. They feel besieged as the cultural ground shifts beneath them, and see themselves as a beleaguered, “politically incorrect” minority.

Tea partiers display a libertarian streak, and are far less concerned with social issues. They are staunchly pro-business. But there’s an easy alliance between these two groups – which make up well over half of the GOP base – because Evangelicals think the tea partiers are fighting back, and vice versa.

Both groups displayed a high level of paranoia, according to the researchers who conducted the study. They noted that this was the first time, in many years of conducting focus groups, that participants worried that their participation might trigger surveillance by the NSA or an audit by the IRS. In addition to thinking that Obama is a liar, and a covert Communist, these two groups were also more likely to express the belief that he is secretly a Muslim.

The moderates were, as one might expect, quite different. Like the tea partiers, they don’t worry as much about social issues. Their concerns are traditionally conservative – they worry about excessive regulation and taxation. They have a hard time taking Fox News seriously, and hold a deep disdain for the tea party faction. They are also keenly aware of their waning influence within the coalition.

Moderates are not so sure about their place in the current Republican Party. They worry about the ability of Republicans in Congress to make government work. They believe the party is stuck, not forward-looking, and representative of old ideas. They worry about the Republican Party’s right turn on social and environmental issues — which makes it difficult, especially for young moderates — to view the Republican Party as a modern party.

Unlike the tea partiers and Evangelicals, the moderate faction desperately wants lawmakers in Washington to find a common middle ground. They are less likely to worry about unauthorized immigration than the rest of the base, and some went so far as to speak positively about immigrants’ contributions to our society and economy.

Climate change is another dividing line between moderate Republicans and the hard-right. GOP moderates may be unsure of the science on climate change, but they don’t reject it out of hand, and some are legitimately worried about the effects of a changing climate.

In this, they stand out from the Evangelical and tea party wings. The study’s authors write:

Moderates are not even in the same conversation as Evangelicals who deeply doubt scientists writ large and Tea Party Republicans who are consumed by the big government and regulations that inevitably result from climate science.

Evangelicals and Tea Party Republicans share and are consumed by skepticism about climate science — to the point where they mistrust scientists before they begin to speak.

The whole study is fascinating. You can read it here.

Joshua Holland is a senior digital producer for BillMoyers.com. He’s the author of The Fifteen Biggest Lies About the Economy (and Everything Else the Right Doesn’t Want You to Know about Taxes, Jobs and Corporate America) (Wiley: 2010), and host of Politics and Reality Radio. Follow him on Twitter or drop him an email at hollandj [at] moyersmedia [dot] com.
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  • http://bajageoff.webs.com/ geoffinbaja

    As an interested observer of US politics I found this article very interesting and look forward to reading the study. The article gives great coherency to the general idea I have about the GOP.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting article. These people are so scared of change, any kind of change, they are willing to shutdown the Government and replace it with anarchy.

    They fail to comprehend that to survive, one needs to move forward and make the necessary adjustments that is necesary for a country, a people to grow and expand.

  • Anonymous

    Attempting to understand the other guy’s mindset: This is something you will never, ever see from Fox News.

  • Whitney

    They don’t even see the irony that it’s 40 years of the country moving to the right, county by county, state by state, national election by national election, that’s gradually brought us both the second-highest poverty rate in the developed world as well as a plutarch-class of wealth and privilege. Their own policies enacted at every level have created the class of ‘takers’, by allowing money to organize and businesses to hoard biblical amounts of wealth by privatizing their gains and socializing all risk and losses, as well as avoiding taxes while treating labor like it’s a commodity instead of a vital source of profit once they leave work every day. Their policies embraced to the level they have been for two generations now have destroyed the bucolic small-town America, which may never exist again so long as they are unwilling to change their mindsets and find a way to tame global corporatist capitalism.

    Nostalgia is pining for a better time that never was.

  • Anonymous

    If republican
    s (and some dems) didn’t pander to the corporations so relentlessly, for their 30 pieces of silver, the whole world would improve. But their big political mistake was letting a few teabaggers, bring down the whole republican party to the level of stupid bullies.

  • Anonymous

    A close examination would reveal their conflicting belief systems. Much easier to live with oneself if you aren’t worried about how to reconcile your own disparate parts. You don’t have to make sense.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting to think about where these attitudes are coming from. My parents and my husband’s parents are among the tea party (my parents)/ (his parents) evangelical groups– and yet they both repeat the same misinformation. For example, both insist that Obama has never passed a budget. He just spends money on what he wants. We tried to educate them about the budget process, gave them links to Thomas to see appropriations bills, but they were unwilling to consider it. They repeat this allegation over and over and I suspect it is because they hear it repeated. The point is they both watch Faux news and they are not only misinformed but emotionally manipulated. I do think the stress of the news programs is causing them harm. Moreover, they want the government to default and think the risks of default are overblown. This is what concerns me. It reminds me of the last election. Many in the GOP were badly misinformed about public opinion and thought they were winning. I hope that the GOP renegades are not as misinformed as they seem.

  • Anonymous

    Well said. You nailed it.

  • Anonymous

    Nobody really wins. But yes, the teabaggers are an international embarrassment to the whole country. The republicans haven’t had anything positive to offer Americans since 1952-1960 when Ike was President. Since then Republicans only offer recession and wars. They fight for companies who buy them off. Want war? Want to pollute? Want to put people out of their homes? Want to offshore your industry? Want to spread chemicals on people’s food and not tell them? All fine if you give me fat bribes.

  • Anonymous

    Evangelicals and tea party Republicans are breath-takingly paranoid. They fear the world they can no longer control (if they ever did control it). In reacting against change they manage to hurt many people – especially those injured by the great recession who need a hand up (not out).

  • Jack Adams

    agree…still the quotes rang loud and clear the mythical ride of Boehner Revere…

  • Jack Adams

    Appreciated the article/report. No surprises with the exception some viewd FOX as well balanced news.

  • Anonymous

    I spoke with Erica Seifert, one of the researchers who conducted these focus groups, on my radio show. Pretty interesting discussion — you can listen to it here: http://politicsandrealityradio.podbean.com/2013/10/05/october-5-2013-show/

  • Anonymous

    More an extinct species than an oxymoron. There, in fact, used to be progressive Republicans a little over a hundred years ago. They’re now regarded as mythological creatures that probably never really existed, like dragons and unicorns.

  • Anonymous

    All people have rights, to healthcare, to a decent wage, to their own bodies, to food, and if they cannot for any reason provide that to themselves, then the government has the obligation to provide that. Period, or else we have a mean, evil society, which is pushed by the Republifascists, who are beholden to no one but the rich.

  • Anonymous

    Although I am a Democrat, I am a little sad that the Party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Eisenhower, is now being brought to it’s knees by these radical people. Years ago people like this (the KKK, John Birch Society, Secessionists, etc.) were either laughed out of politics or denounced for being extremists. Not the case anymore. They are prime time and mainstream in the GOP.

  • Andrew C Livingston

    But this study largely uses the folks’ own words. I’m sure there is bias here, but does this bias interfere with the results of the study? I wouldn’t say largely so. I think what the folks themselves say literally speaks for itself. When one compares this with what similar folks say in comments/Facebook etc… it largely jives. And the GOP lives by this rhetoric and fosters it in the main. So, I can’t see this as being incorrect. Maybe it’s a case where the “leftist bias” is simply “bias of reality”.

  • Anonymous

    I saw this whole thing coming 30 years ago and the problem with the Democrats is they didn’t fight it hard enough. Too wishy washy, you have to fight evil hard, with everything at your disposal, not negotiate. The teabaggers are worse then Al Queada, they are terrorists, and so are the rich like the Koch Brothers, they are the ones who will create suffering and ruin far worse than the overseas ones. There might well be a fight for whatever is left of this countries soul, if it has one. But, you have fight it hard. Or the game will be lost.

  • Andrew C Livingston

    Wow. Not Tweet succinct, but succinct nonetheless. Kudos to you, Whitney. Just, kudos.

  • Sheldon Robidoux

    Good info but it doesn’t bode well for the prospect of getting out of this hole before the walls collapse.

  • Sheldon Robidoux

    Carville has been known to praise Cruz, so which way does this bias go?

  • Anonymous

    Exactly. And campaigning, Obama should have said if you give me a democratic congress, I will do this, this, this.. It was really useless having a progressive in the White House, with morons in control in the House.

  • Anonymous

    There are always ways to over-ride stupidity.

  • Anonymous

    I agree, they didn’t try to win the House hard enough, I know what you mean.

  • For My Liberty

    OH BULL! “The RICH” includes Kerry, Pelosi, Reid…The CLINTONS..Dems on Wall street…George Soros..Michael Moore, Bill Gates, list goes on and on..

    Oh wait..I guess you just believe “The rich” are Conservatives huh? The PROBLEM is that rich LIBERALS, in many cases have money that they did NOT WORK FOR or EARN THEMSELVES, and they feel GUILTY about it, In their warped minds, they want to “Make the rich pay”…The only problem, is they are NOT willing to pay themselves. To them, it is OK to bash the rich, but they are so IGNORANT that they exempt themselves from that group.

    As for your BIGOTED name calling of REGULAR AMERICANS…comparing them to Al Queada and Terrorists? Shows just how truly LOW and Evil people like YOU are!

  • For My Liberty

    NO, People have the right to LIFE, LIBERTY and the Pursuit of HAPPINESS–ANYTHING ELSE, you WORK FOR! NO person has the right to exist at the expense of ANOTHER..PERIOD!

  • For My Liberty

    Funny, according to the Constitution of the United States of America, it would be people like YOU that are radical and extremists.

  • Anonymous

    NO, you are the evil, and your support of the Kochs, who inherited their money, who destroy and pollute the earth and those that support them and are stupid enough to are the enemy. They are the terrorists, and by supporting those that destroy peoples lives they become them. Michael Moore has done more to expose the evil and supports many good and worthy causes, not like the scum of the Republifascists.

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    I cannot stress this enough, please read our comment policy before commenting. If you cannot follow our policy you will be excluded from our community and your comments will be deleted.

    Sean @ Moyers

  • Kathy Borst

    Just read Adam Makos’s book A Higher Call – most of which follows the life of a German air force pilot. But the description of the politics of Nazi Germany sounded too close to the GOP group that’s trying to take over everything. I fear them. They have just enough support to be very very scary. And then our system needs to be fixed so the government can’t be hijacked by a minority. Ted Kennedy, we miss you so much. Where are the hands across the aisle that can create common ground?

  • AnnaFrieda

    I was not only happy about the outcome of last year’s election, I was so relieved. Relieved to know that the majority do not subscribe to the hateful, contemptuous rhetoric of the GOP and relieved that thanks to superior investigative reporting (thank you, Bill Moyers!), we have had a chance to see the GOP’s true face. The frightening part is, though, just how many people DID vote for them and how many tea bagger nut jobs were elected or re-elected into the House. Since the religious base that the GOP depends on seem thoroughly incapable of critical thinking, I fear for just a little while longer we will be on edge. My hope is that 2014 will be the year where the GOP will be dealt its final blow, but realistically I think we will have to wait until 2016.

  • turtlegirl

    I, too, have had conversations lately with someone who now identifies as a Libertarian (teabagger) and an Evangelical (she WAS a very proud Republican and huge lover of Bush), and when I ask her questions about the things she believes (because I am her friend and am curious to know) she changes the subject or acts like I’m accusing her of something. When I offer my perspective, after patiently and earnestly listening to hers, she laughs at me and/or makes outlandish assumptions, as if she hadn’t heard a word I said. When I offer another perspective, or FACTS to back up my claims, she outright refuses to accept them. It’s like she almost ENJOYS being willfully ignorant, and lately it has been very harmful to our friendship to the point where I’m not sure it can recover. It’s like talking to a brick wall, and at the same time being accused of things I can only assume come from her twisted perception of reality, because I don’t know where else it could be coming from. Very frustrating! It’s like she’s been brainwashed, and I just don’t know what I can do to bring her around to some level of sanity and reason. This gov’t shutdown really doesn’t surprise me, if my friend is any indication at all regarding how these people operate. There really is no hope for them, I don’t think.

  • alfredpeterson

    Not so sure about that. So could you please describe some scenarios where this could happen?

  • Anonymous

    This article clearly articulates the comments I hear from my right wing extremist acquaintances. They really do believe that the democratic party is all about taking from working people to buy votes by giving “free stuff” to lazy takers. They continue to spout this nonsense as the reason that Obama won reelection. These people will continue their paranoid fight against progress in spite of the fact that the majority of them are the ones who need the kinds of policies proposed by the democrats to survive.

  • alfredpeterson

    Except that Obama is not very progressive. He’s really a moderate Republican who’s publicly stated his admiration for Reagan. Which makes it all the more mystifying why Republicans are so virulently opposed to him- other than he’s black.

  • alfredpeterson

    The post WWI German Junkers thought they could win control of German politics by supporting and controlling the National Socialists. The horrors that resulted when they slipped their corporate leash can be laid at the feet of the German industrialists who overestimated their ability to control the monster they created. Similar pertains to the TeaParty and their controllers.

  • alfredpeterson

    The problem is that anyone with integrity and a distaste for racism, bigotry and selfishness would have left the Republican party long ago. I don’t want such morally compromised people anywhere near the levers of power. Let them spend the rest of their lives howling in the wilderness as punishment for their crimes.

  • http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/brian-p-hanley/ Brian Hanley

    Actually, your ideas about wars are incorrect. Our entry into WWI was started by a democrat, Woodrow Wilson. Our entry into WWII was started by a democrat, Truman. The Korean war was started by a democrat, Truman, and stopped by a republican, Eisenhower. Vietnam was started and expanded by democrats (JFK and LBJ) and ended by a republican, Nixon. Gulf I was started and ended by a republican, George Bush. The Kosovo war was started by a democrat, Clinton. (Whether Kosovo is over is debatable, as it is still under occupation.) Bush II started the Afghanistan war and Iraq war. (Although it is arguable that Al Qaeda started the Afghanistan war, because a declaration of war on the USA was issued by Al Qaeda prior to 9-11′s attacks.)

    So, since 1940, the USA has had 5 wars started by democrats and either 2 or 3 (depending on how you count Afghanistan) started by republicans.

  • LauraNo

    Unlike rightwingers who only want to hear what they like to hear, liberals tend to live in and want to deal with reality. That’s why I (and we) looked to Nate Silver for expected election results, and they looked to FOX “News” and rightwing pollsters. What would be the point in shading results of the focus group study?? The right does it to lie to their people and get them cheering, but why would Democracy Corps? You can’t fight what you don’t know is out there.

  • Sai Das

    I dislike Republicans and the Tea Party as much as the next person, but let’s be honest, they certainly don’t have a monopoly on corruption!

    Things will not change until we stop pointing fingers on both sides and realize that the system is corrupt, not just the people in it. “We have met the enemy and he is us.” ~ Pogo

  • Sai Das

    Carville must have been referring to the Chevy Cruz.

  • David Elliott

    Larry, pretty good analysis, but you forgot Barry Goldwater! Goldwater precipitated Reagan. Nixon was obviously a true neo-conservative, in that he championed the role of the Federal Govt. to relieve pressure on the middle & working classes, albeit to a limited extent (though he had no qualms using “cultural divide” to his own advantage). I was raised in a conservative (theologically & politically) family, but my parents were not fundamentalists, nor were they tea party nuts. The traditional conservatism which viewed pragmatism as a virtue, has almost disappeared from today’s GOP (the TP crowd hates John McCain who is most certainly a traditional conservative). Nonetheless, the GOP created the monsters which are the TP/Evangelicals, and now these monsters wish to be fed! That monster is best exemplified in a prima donna who never ceases to love a spotlight: Ted Cruz (who’s hubris & arrogance remind me of Nixon!)

  • Neil Ludd

    Let’s not kid ourselves…Democrat/Republican politics is largely nothing more than a dog and pony show, though most Democrats and Republicans can’t seem to face that reality. In terms of winning and losing, the corporate interests funding the campaigns of these Democrats and Republicans are the real winners. We working class folks are the losers…regardless of which corporate sponsored half of the duopoly happens to be in power. Until working folks see past this phony duopoly, nothing will change. The election of Obama, if nothing else, served to destroy the antiwar/peace and justice movement. Liberal Democrats saw their work done, and failed to hold Obama accountable for things they never would have overlooked under the GWB administration. Everything Obama has done has been with the approval of his corporate masters. That awareness is what sparked the Occupy movement. Hopefully it will resurface and grow. Peace, GW

  • Sigh

    I had a discussion with my neighbor where we talked about and agreed with every point in your comment. There seems to be a real desire for moderation. I hope that it swings the GOP.

  • Whitney

    I’m working on the bumper sticker. ;)

  • scat

    The rightwing base has always been about fear — looking under every bed for a commie, afraid of any kind of change that might change their comfie lives, afraid of anyone who looks different, talks differently, disagrees with them. They are driven by fear which closes them to reality. They are willing to believe any nonsense that they hear which upholds their fears. They are easily manipulated by their fears and that is precisely why their leaders constantly look for new things and people to be afraid of.

  • scat

    i have had the same type of experience. It almost makes you wonder if there is something in the water turning people paranoid and irrational! These folks tend to hunker back into their shell of rejecting reality and losing friends and family in the process.

  • scat

    We actually had progressive Republicans in Minnesota about 20 years ago.

  • scat

    My boss refers to employees as “income producing units”. Sounds rather 19th century to me, as though we are moving backwards, not forward.

  • gale james

    very good study— I hope it gets out in circulation…

  • Charles Miller

    While I think you have some decent points, just look how divided and angry U.S. citizens are. I suspect a large number of the “anti-Obama” people just cannot get past race, thus all the “not like us” conspiracy theories. A lot of left-leaners are disappointed in Obama’s tepidness, but he might know better than any of us that if he speaks too forcefully, the right wingers will bring out their “angry negro” taunts. I give him credit for health care reform; yes a Republican plan, but it is at least progress.

  • roadwalker

    Neil, a lot of liberal Democrats have opposed Obama’s foreign policy.

    Just two weeks ago, majorities of Republicans, Independents AND DEMOCRATS all united in opposing military action in Syria (which Obama took advantage of John Kerry’s gaffe and Putin jumping on it to find a way out, which is a good thing even if it happened by accident.)

  • Charles Miller

    But Fox is there b/c they know they have an audience of angry and fearful people. The real loss in our country is rationality.

  • Charles Miller

    Nixon would be branded as a leftist socialist today. He also put in price controls (positively socialistic) and it was his administration that put in the 55mph speed limit (keep your gubmint hands off my accelerator!).

  • turtlegirl

    I’ve begun attributing it to having worms in their brain. You never know in the morning when you wake up if something didn’t crawl into your ear while you were sleeping. The effects may be subtle at first, but after awhile there is no denying something is just not right “up there”.

  • Jim Jenkins

    If you read the report, it says Republican’s don’t mind these programs but get angry when they are abused. The evidence is compelling there is tremendous abuse of these systems.

  • turtlegirl

    Are you kidding??? That’s not backward or forward, that is just plain……I don’t even know the word for it…..I’ll get back to you.

  • turtlegirl

    The abuse seriously chaps my hide, too, and that is the one strong point they make that I am in complete agreement with. But it seems their solution is to do away with the programs altogether. What we need is reform that makes sense and works for those it is intended for. Surely if we can send humans to the moon…..

  • Jim Jenkins

    Dissatisfaction is increasing with what is happening to Washington DC – I believe the answer will be a more libertarian looking GOP in the future.
    With issues like the IRS over-reach, NSA abuse of personal privacy – there is a sense inside the GOP we need a smaller government.

  • turtlegirl

    Good one!

  • Anonymous

    But Goldwater was never elected President, any more than Mitt Romney was. The intellectual froth for modern conservatism was Wm. F. Buckley and National Review. Nixon was not of that crowd. Nixon was more in line with most of our successful presidents, more pragmatic than idealogical. I considered myself a Goldwater Republican in those days and as I recall Ronald Reagon was not quite one of the inner circle. He was more tied to the business/corporate wing of the Republican Party. I think it is correct to say that the “hate government” trend really began with Reagon. In those days also it was the liberals who hated Nixon, and loved Alger Hiss. Remember how Hiss gloated when Nixon went down? Until the Soviet Union disintegrated and the truth became available confirming that Nixon was right about Hiss. Buckley and his followers wanted nothing to do with the John Birch Society, which was also riding high in those days, and has formed the basis for the Tea Party of today.

  • LauraNo

    What abuse? There will always be some abuse I suppose but there are many hurdles and restrictions to even qualify for welfare which is short term anyway and not enough to live on. With all the real abuses heaped on us by polluting corps and biased judges, it seems like a ridiculous thing to worry about. If they want to worry about unfairness, they could look at our sentencing disparities or water problems on reeservations, etc.

  • Reader

    Mitt Romney was a moderate Republican before he decided to become severely conservative.

  • Anonymous

    “They don’t even see the irony that it’s 40 years of the country moving to the right, county by county, state by state, national election by national election, that’s gradually brought us both the second-highest poverty rate in the developed world as well as a plutarch-class of wealth and privilege.”
    ___________________

    All they care about, to bowdlerize a Randy Newman lyric, is “keeping the Negroes down.”

  • Anonymous

    Mitt Romney’s father was a progressive Republican. Today he’d be viewed as a radical Democrat.

  • Anonymous

    Democratic progressives have been neutered by the neo-liberals in their own party, who kowtow to the Wall Street-Ivy League power structure because that’s where the money is. The only blacks who pass muster in the Democratic party these days are cool, non-threatening Ivy technocrats such as Obama, Cory Booker, Deval Patrick, etc. The urban progressive Humphrey wing of the Democratic party (Joe Biden is arguably its last link) has been usurped by the Kennedys and their Massachusetts acolytes.

  • Commentator

    Could we see some of your evidence of “tremendous abuse?”

  • Sweet Pea Jones

    Roger Ailes legitimized the way to “talk to the paranoid” and “the frightened.” I call it the Modern Hate Machine. The huge problem with the MHM is that they have managed to somehow enforce a false equivalency in political reporting from the rest of the media. I still can’t figure out why outlets like PBS acquiesced to this (have you seen The Newshour’s politics reporting lately?). Thank goodness for Bill Moyers & company.

  • Anonymous

    That’s absolutely true. The thing is, there’s a lot of overlap between the two groups. So the researchers tried to get what you might call a pure strain of evangelism and tea party ideology by excluding evangelicals who were also tea party activists from these focus groups.

  • NotARedneck

    What is seldom clearly explained is that the mess that was Wiemar Germany was completely a creation of the right wing parties – who then were very successful at blaming it on the “left”. This led to the inevitable dictatorship of the Nazis when “change” was demanded.

    Sounds very much like the approach of the extreme right in most western countries today. Incidentally, it is not just the US that has a problem with these selfish trash.

  • NotARedneck

    America’s ineffective educational system makes it possible for many tens of millions to be easily conned by charlatans peddling superstition and religious multi- level marketing schemes.

  • NotARedneck

    Absurd, that’s true but I wonder whether he is one of the type who believe that FDR actually paid off the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbour?

  • NotARedneck

    “but perhaps this mass paranoia is a cultural reaction to the internet”

    No it is a reaction to the end of Jim Crow. Deep seated racism explains the extreme right in the US. Only racist driven paranoia could explain them calling real conservatives and moderates “Marxists”!

    Incidentally, those with strong Fascistic views are not “conservative”. This is pure Madison Avenue. Generally, they are parasites who know which side their bread is buttered on. A reading of Italian and German history of the 1920s and 30s reveal that in nearly all cases, parties of the extreme right attracted incompetents who were there because they were well funded by the wealthy. Congress has followed this historical precedent.

  • Neil Ludd

    Yes, but on capitol hill, one of the few voices against intervention in Syria was Tea Party Republican Ron Paul. We truly are “living in interesting times. The Democrats and Republicans are still two faces of the corporate state. If anyone has any hope of electoral politics saving us…and I don’t believe that it will…then there must be several vibrant third party options, and an end to the two party duopoly. I believe that the only way that we will see lasting change is through direct action by taking to the streets, as in Europe, or by continuing the Occupy movement. Hopeless electoral politics continues to neutralize the progressive left. Forget “change we can believe in,” and “yes we can.” They are just empty cynical slogans of brand Obama. If we don’t move to direct action, then what have we to look forward to in 2016…Hillary Clinton? Heaven help us if we let that happen. Peace, GW

  • Anonymous

    That’s not “talking to” the paranoid and the frightened, that’s pandering, manipulating and enabling, all in the clinical sense.

  • Anonymous

    They are, like the Albuquerque Police Department, “in step” with their constituents. That was the point of the enormous gerrymandering project.
    But Herr Doctor Frankenspin has lost control of his creation, and it is ravaging the some of commercial interests that funded his research. Oh, dear. What to do- It’s not my fault! Fault, fault… I know! Quick! Let’s find some victims to blame!

  • Anonymous

    Quite right, Republicans took control of the House in 2010 basically because idealistic middle-class Democrats stayed away from the polls, in horror at the realization that they had actually helped elect a politician in 2008.

  • Anonymous

    Based on recent conversations with some of the more articulate ones, I have to concur. Angry, frightened and confused, but sure and certain of their salvation, when the rest of the real Americans finally come to their senses.

  • Anonymous

    They created it and now keep the fire stoked.

  • Anonymous

    No, the evidence is not compelling or tremendous.

  • Guest

    Remember that Cadillac owning welfare queen from Reagan’s time. Well it was a made up lie. You can no more buy a cell phone with welfare money than you can buy a Cadillac but the fearful hateful racist authoritarian base ate it up. That lie gets repeated to this day. To them even one case of abuse means the whole program should be scrapped harming many. A left leaning person understands that there will always be some unscrupulous people who try to game a system and take steps to limit the damage.

  • sparkeyjames

    The really funny part is that it was originally Republicans and Teahadists who tagged it as Obamacare.

  • sparkeyjames

    Whenever some right wing nut gets all frothy around me I just look at them and point blank tell them that paranoia and fearfulness and hate are the results of an unbalanced mind. It usually shuts them up for a minute or so but usually they are so stupid they try to attack the messenger.

  • sparkeyjames

    I could have sworn that the 55 mile per hour thing was a President Carter idea. I stand corrected that it was Nixon.

  • Stephen Voss

    Nancy if the US had proportional representation in the house the moderate democrats and the moderate republicans would probably form a new centrist party.

  • Anonymous

    It will be a modern party when they call for better government, rather than smaller.

  • Charles Miller

    Carter had the suggestion for less use of heating and air conditioning. It was Nixon. See how times have changed?

  • Charles Miller

    Republicans are traditionally more reliable voters. Democrats typically turn out in lower numbers during non-presidential voting years. If Democrats behaved like Republicans and went to the polls with greater reliability…

  • Charles Miller

    Interesting notion about Democrats passing REpublican legislation. Look at the ACA. It is based on a Heritage Foundation notion (which kept all the many interests — including insurers — intact) suggested as a foil to “Hillarycare”.

  • Charles Miller

    Jim Leach, the former Republican Representative in my district, along with so many moderates, were voted out by formerly supportive Democrats as a strategy to try to win back the House. He ended up speaking at the Dem Convention in 2000. Remember Mark Hatfield?

  • Charles Miller

    I have to disagree about your characterization of Nixon. He was an activist moderate Republican and would not be accepted in today’s Republican party.

    - Remember his multiple Phases of price controls?
    - Head start began as a pilot program under his admin
    - The Federal emergency highway act (55 mph) was promoted by him
    - Nixon formulated the EPA, for goodness sakes.

  • Charles Miller

    “raised in the 1950′s and 1960′s”? Remember the Civil Rights Act…. of 1964?

  • Charles Miller

    But WHY is our education system flawed? I believe it is because our country – in particular – generally devalues education and erudition. We look at highly educated people as elitist (at least Fox does). Instead, we worship billionaires and unruly sports “heroes”

  • Charles Miller

    In many cases, it has to be racism. Where else would all this “Obama is destroying my country” fear come from? They just cannot countenance a black man in the White House.

  • Sweet Pea Jones

    Exactly. And it feeds the paranoid anxiety of this crowd. What I don’t get is why so much of our formerly reliable political reporting has now been reduced to “he said, she said.” That’s what I meant when I mentioned “false equivalency.” above. It appears that news outlets like PBS, NBC, CBS, & ABC, plus most major newspapers, all live in fear of being attacked by Fox “News” if they attempt to sort out the spin from the facts.

  • turtlegirl

    I had to laugh out loud at the mention of a Common Sense Party, as it is something I’ve been talking about since the 2000 election. It is even listed as my political party on my facebook profile. Glad to know I’ve found another member of my tribe :)

  • Martha Coyne

    Charles Miller, you have again stated what I have observed for a lot of years–I clearly recall the leaders (intellectuals) of the Stevenson/Kennedy era as being labeled “eggheads” and derided as elitists. Maybe they aren’t called egghead anymore but that scorn of higher education (oh heck, of ANY education!) and learning still seems to exist. For example, states promoting teaching of creationism in schools and scorning science, one wonders when one and one won’t equal two anymore. Perhaps someone could develop this thought. If it’s a dumbing-down of America, it’s been going on for a long time now and close to hitting bottom. Can it go back up?

  • turtlegirl

    Melody, you can’t. I’ve tried. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is a big, frustrating waste of time. It’s best to ignore them, as giving them a platform just empowers them and gives them the illusion that their points are valid. It saddens me to even say that, as I’ve always been one to give everyone a fair chance to partake in fair, civil, rational discourse. But these folks are just so far gone…..Remember the “Loonies” ? They seem scarily similar to that brainwashed cult. It’s truly sad, but also truly scary as they have such a rabid support group and wield so much power. Their “leaders” must be voted out of office in 2014.

  • turtlegirl

    I have a feeling this will change next year. At least I HOPE it will. I know most of my friends are pretty pissed off at the state of affairs right now and realize they need to fight fire with fire, because sitting around discussing it and b****ing about it doesn’t change a damned thing. It’s time for action!

  • Anonymous

    This article makes many good & valid points – except that everyone should be paranoid about the NSA – who really is spying on all of us and provides the foundation for totalitarianism.

  • turtlegirl

    I remember Jim Leach. You must be in Cedar Rapids?

  • Whitney

    I’m increasingly convinced common sense is a superpower.

  • Dana Gossman

    Had we voted McCain in as president, he would have been the first to sit troops on the ground in Syria and to say ‘to hell with the other countries.’ Obama never mentioned troops and had the sense to get approval from Congress before doing anything or nothing…

  • Canuck Sailor

    What a nasty little piece of work – essentially they’re calling Republicans racist, homophobic, uneducated – talk about playing to the base – that would be the basest instincts of democrats.
    And you people wonder why there’s no middle ground. Perhaps you should look in your mirror for the reason. It will be staring you in the face.

  • turtlegirl

    I agree about the two party system. It’s like a seesaw year after year, or like one step forward, two steps back, and we really aren’t getting anywhere when the real solution is to just abandon the playground altogether. Personally, I would love to see a Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren or Jill Stein ticket.

  • turtlegirl

    Did you even read the article? They were just reporting their findings; things people said. I guess you’re so used to things being slanted that the possibility of an unbiased article is beyond your grasp. Sorry you feel that way. Open your mind and read it. Read it without preconceived notions about what you think you’ll find. Read the actual study from which this article was written. Then get back to us.

  • Canuck Sailor

    Read what you wrote. You just made my point in spades. If you want confirmation of my points, just read the comments where you ‘people’ call republicans ‘racist, homophobic, etc..
    This study is every bit as slanted as you claim Fox News to be – just a lot less credible.

  • nnyl

    Notice the GOP marriage with the religious right seems completely devoid of actual Christian values. I still can’t find in the Bible where Jesus cheers for sick people to die or for poor people starve.

  • Anonymous

    Or those moderate Republicans could start voting Democratic, which is what this former Republican did back in the ’80s. What, now, separates moderate Democrats and moderate Republicans?

  • Anonymous

    to see teh words of the Republicans in print, proof of their extreme beliefs is enough in itself. i hope Americans survive the extreme behavior of the Christainists, tired old white beliefs taht have destroyed FREEDOM in America today.

    because FREEDOM allows extremist to take over. and the Republican party is proof of that.

  • turtlegirl

    No, I’m afraid no one was calling them anything other than what they were calling themselves. The study was quoting what they said, verbatim. You obviously did not read it. Your reply is exactly the kind of attitude and belief system this study exposed. The fact that you believe fox news has more credibility than this study proves MY point in spades. I’m not going to argue with you on this as it is a waste of my time, and if you don’t care to understand where this study came up with it’s findings, then that is your loss, not mine. I know the truth always hurts, but that is where the most growth usually occurs Good luck with that.

  • Lee Whittaker

    I don’t think that circulation would do any good with the intransigent right. They would just view it as a left wing tactic.

  • Anonymous

    gosh, i don’t see any proof that there is a “mind” in the “mindset” of the GOP base? as i’ve seen written before, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” how true!! but first, you must have one.

  • Dulcinian

    When people are “racist, homophobic, uneducated”. . .what middle ground is there, Mr. CS?

    Reading the comments from the 30 page report (I’ve heard and read many more of the same from Republicans), I see my long held previous estimation of that party to be completely accurate.

    A large contingent of racists came from the Democrats for Nixon and the old Southern Democrats in general. They never used the term racist; segregationist and the like were the terms. Still racist.

    Evangelicals don’t “hate the sin and love the sinner”–it’s hate all around. Too complicated and possibly compromising to use any subtlety.

    Evangelicals–born agains–and the like–go to the websites. They, at first breath, deny science wholesale. Then, like the current House members dealing with parts of the shutdown, this “Bible is literal truth” crowd want to pick and choose some things that might be useful. They are willfully ignorant.

    Tea party–they are constantly rewriting history to suit the current rant they have. How can one have a conversation much less a debate with someone when by simply pointing out an inconsistency in his/her statements one has proven his/her point, end of discussion. By doing this, this person proves one’s point that there is seeming ignorance, possible arrogance, on this person’s part.

  • Anonymous

    I came on this piece through a very smart person who I have recently met through Face Book — As I have previously mentioned, Moyer is at the top of the ladder in terms of credibility and honesty in my view. This is important reading – and digesting – at a time when our government is totally dysfunctional and the stakes are critically high. I am pretty well aghast when so called functional “decision makers” who are members of one philosophy and radical political persuasion, who have the power and the influence, though critically misplaced, to change the course of this nation, have taken the intractable position to potentially destabilize the economy, both home and abroad, wreck havoc on and in the government, the nation and the citizenry. This is beyond reckless and irresponsible — I submit that it is treasonous. This is not “new news” — members of this same group vowed to derail anything and everything that our President may do or try to do during his Presidency — a vow sworn to in secret, in the shadows, on the occasion of this President’s first inauguration. And, now, 6 years later, they have done just that to the detriment of the people of this country and to the country itself. It is shameful, it is derelict and reckless, it is dangerous. And, it is a bellwether of tragic consequences. I would urge any and everyone to read this piece offered by Mr. Moyers as well as the attached study. It goes a long way in setting the record straight with regard to our “current” fiasco.

  • Anonymous

    While the boss’s indifference makes it apparent that the Boss doesn’t see it, his callous nomenclature turns upside down the right wing orthodoxy that job creation is a top down exercise.

  • Ignatz

    It’s the law. How is a demand to delay a law a “compromise”? What do the Republican OFFER in exchange? That they won’t wreck the country?

  • Ignatz

    I completely agree, but when I complained about the Patriot Act when it was first implemented, the “conservatives” called me “UnAmerican” and said I was on the side of the terrorists.

    What changed?

    How can you reason with people whose “principles” depend entirely on whether someone has an “R” or a “D” after their name?

  • Ignatz

    They actually worship Mammon, not Jesus.

  • Anonymous

    Yet these moderates hang on to a Party where near two thirds detest them because they don’t measure up, and to this are only using them, and if they ever succeed at raising a single Party State in this country, unless they conform to their antediluvian world view, will treat them no different than the rest… as enemies of the State.

  • turtlegirl

    Very good point!

  • Anonymous

    I wish there was a good answer. People will learn when they finally experience enough pain of one kind or another and come to realize that there is no magic to either D or R.

  • Anonymous

    I read the study, which was so, so interesting. But, if I had one over-arching thought while reading it, it would be: How is it possible for a significant number of Americans to be so wholly paranoid about Democrats in general and the President in particular? Over and over, they say that he is clearly lying (about everything), and has his own socialist agenda. They do not, for a minute, think that we (progressives) or he honestly CARE about others. I was offended and saddened that so many have been so brainwashed by FOX and yell-radio. I hope we can turn this around, but as long as they prefer to hear what they WANT to hear, and not the TRUTH, I see little reason for hope.

  • Anonymous

    inhumane?

  • Anonymous

    It’s not in the water, but the airwaves. It began with Karl Rove, and has been increased exponentially by Fox and yell-radio. Those programs are full of lies and gross exaggerations, and those people consume it like heroin addicts. It’s frightening how little interest they have in facts at all.

  • Anonymous

    You’d be surprised at how many of us are wising up.

  • turtlegirl

    Isn’t it funny how information/content is viewed/judged solely based on the source of that content/info? Nothing is taken at face value with these guys; it has to have a label according to which “side” you’re on in order to judge it’s validity. “True if you’re with us, lies if you’re not.” No wonder our gov’t can’t make any progress….I’m afraid what would happen if I (not on “their side”) told them the Earth was round….

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been troubled by this for years, and more so in recent years. Education is actually viewed as a big NEGATIVE by many on the right. To me, that is like someone saying that exercise is bad for you–how do you argue with someone taking such an insane position? I feel like I’ve fallen into the rabbit hole and can’t get back to reality.

  • bluesnoodler

    Is English your 3rd language? Or perhaps you work with a lot of solvents. Your “argument” is a straw man in that your assertions are in no way related to the content. Just paranoid cognitive dissonance.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think there’s any bias in the study. I think they really wanted to know what these people think, and how they think, and did a good job of finding out. The results are frightening, but they are what they are. Like others who’ve responded to your comment, I also know many who talk just like these people in the study.

  • Anonymous

    So, what do you propose in its place?

  • Anonymous

    But, I think the PP de-funding was just low-hanging fruit for de-funding all “big government.” They started there, and quickly moved to SNAP and HeadStart. I think the abortion obsessed are a distinct (though vocal) minority, even within the TeaParty.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, the surprise to me was that the traditional Republicans DIDN’T trust Fox absolutely. I was afraid all of the right was that gullible–glad to know there are a few sane ones left (even if they are a minority in the party).

  • Anonymous

    None of those “conservatives” would pass muster with the GOP of today. The problems didn’t begin with any of them, but with Karl Rove, yell-radio, and FOX “news.” Since lying and screaming and repeating lies over and over became accepted by the public, honest dialogue and considered compromises are out the window. I don’t know where this ends, unless the “real” traditional conservatives can recapture their party. I wish them well, or we’ll all pay the price.

  • Anonymous

    I hope you are right, but I fear that Sai Das is on the money, here.

  • Anonymous

    My sister is a thoughtful liberal married to a reactionary tea partier who lives by FOX and the radio nuts. They have 4 children, whose souls are the battlefield. I fear they would be fighting each other in this war. I so hope it doesn’t come to that, but fear it well may.

  • Anonymous

    But, and here’s the problem, that doesn’t cost them a SINGLE viewer. The truth is not valued by their viewers. THAT terrifies me.

  • turtlegirl

    That is exactly it. They hear these things from someone who has an agenda, it spreads like wildfire, they hear it over and over again, then it becomes truth. No critical thinking caps on these people at all. It reminds me of a cult. I recently lost a friend of 10 years to this cult. We always differed politically ~ I put up with her beloved Bush for 8 years and rarely brought him into our conversations. But when Obama was elected, especially the 2nd time, she became downright rabid and unbearable to be around, and nothing that came out of her mouth was an original thought; it was the exact same drivel being hammered into her head by Rush L and Faux news. She constantly politicized everything we talked about when it had NOTHING to do with politics, and insulted my beliefs. Yet became all teary-eyed and apologetic when I finally told her to f**k-off. I think they just love the sport of war, argument, whatever. Makes them feel like they have a sense of purpose.

  • Anonymous

    LOVE IT!! Great, great idea. That is the perfect compromise for ignorant people. Let’s do it.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly. Every time someone makes that argument to me, I say “absolutely, we need to police them better and get rid of free-loaders.” BUT, that costs MORE money, and a lot of conservatives, if they’re honest, will admit that they’d rather let the hungry starve than spend more to fix the programs.

  • Anonymous

    During the last election, I “unfriended” about 10 people of FB because I couldn’t tolerate the hateful posts about the President and Democrats. Their lack of interest in the facts offends my very soul, and I don’t need that kind of ignorance or negativity in my life. Good riddance.

  • Anonymous

    I am constantly dismayed by how very “unchristian” most GOP positions are. I am not a Christian, but admire Jesus very much, and cannot imagine that he would not vote Democratic. (I do love this new Pope!)

  • Anonymous

    I think that those have traditionally been about half of the GOP, while the other half were not at all concerned with social issues, but focused entirely on money and fiscal policy. At least you could TALK to those people.

  • Anonymous

    Very well put. Where is my grandparent’s GOP?! They would be appalled at this party.

  • Anonymous

    So true and so disturbing. How do you get people to care about the truth? Our nation may depend on that answer.

  • turtlegirl

    I don’t know if more “policing” is the answer; but there definitely needs to be some reform. There is abuse, but I’m not sure it is as “tremendous” as Jim states it is. As far as I’m concerned, there is way more abuse going on regarding our tax loopholes.

  • Anonymous

    I think that is the 65 trillion dollar question, and our nation’s future depends on us figuring out the answer. I wish I had a clue.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly, but thanks to out of control gerrymandering, we have this chaos.

  • Anonymous

    But, like any third party, it would not have sufficient votes to win an election, so they continue their uneasy alliance. I say we make our party more inviting to the, so they’ll swing on over. (Not sell our souls, just listen and respect their concerns–like we did with welfare reform.)

  • Anonymous

    “common sense” is in the mind of the beholder–it is like “fairness.” There is no objective standard for either, and we make a mistake when we assume otherwise.

  • Anonymous

    I am only asking because I am curious – no accusations or suggestions. So have you tried pointing out all the evidence out there about the fact that it is the 1% that have gotten more and more of the wealth over the last 30 years? I ask because that is inconsistent with their view.

  • Anonymous

    I think you summed it up perfectly, and asked a good question. But, more to the point, HOW will it end?

  • Anonymous

    Yes, as you know, it’s “for our own national safety” when a Republican is spying on us and “fascist invasion of privacy” when a Dem does it. I hope that’s clear to you, now. ; )

  • Anonymous

    Did you read the actual report?! These were FOCUS GROUPS. That is groups of people talking and expressing their views. Do you think it was made up (Fox-style) or do you think that the description of the comments was unfair or biased? I really don’t understand your objection, but want to.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know about others, but I have tried, and they just say “that’s not true.” The far right, trained by FOX and Karl Rove, are not interested in fact, charts, reports; they already “know” the truth, and it’s that the country is being drained by the “takers.” Discussion over.

  • Anonymous

    Larry – I agree totally. I was a Republican until I saw what Reagan did. I believe in fiscal responsibility – and it USED TO BE the Republicans who were fiscally responsible. And sadly, Bush 41, who was and economics major – and pointed out it was “voodoo” economics – more or less went along with it during his term. And when he took the economically responsible step of raising taxes, the Republican party crucified him. And it has been downhill for the Republican Party since then. First pulling in religious extremist and then extreme libertarians: step by step moving away from pragmatism and reality. And then finally coming to see ignorance, extremism, hate, fear, racism, and a total lack of compassion as praiseworthy (e.g., Dan Quayle, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin, Ayn Rand, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Grover Norquist, David Barton, and now Ted Cruz).

  • turtlegirl

    If Jesus voted for anyone, I can’t imagine He’d vote for the people whose policies fly in the face of everything He espoused, while carelessly throwing His name around as if He’s on “their side”. It just makes my stomach churn at how hypocritical these people are. I want to say to them,” Would you just LISTEN to yourselves? Talk all you want, but your actions render your words meaningless.” The ones who throw the “Christian” card the loudest seem to be the ones who are the FURTHEST removed from it. And I’m not just talking about the Evangelical politicians; this is something I’ve observed in the general population. I had a neighbor once….a co-worker once….Btw, I love the new Pope too :)

  • Anonymous

    Traditional conservatives would negotiate with democrats to balance the cost of programs the country needs with the taxes needed to support them. The GOP has been hi-jacked by extremists with no interest in what is best for the country as a whole, but only what is best for them, as individuals. The irony is that they have been brainwashed by the powers that be into thinking that lower taxes will help them, when most of the GOP proposals actually benefit very few of the 90%, and are designed to enrich the 10% (who hardly need it).

  • turtlegirl

    And isn’t it funny that they call it the “Liberal media”? I mean, if it was so liberal, wouldn’t you think it would be calling them out?

  • nnyl

    True. I’ve heard some pretty convoluted ways they try to justify a greed that doesn’t fit with anything attributed to Jesus.

  • nnyl

    And they dropped the public option to appease the GOP.

  • Anonymous

    Not totally sure what you are saying, but I certainly agree that William F. Buckley, Jr. was an intellectual conservative – and helped to throw the racist and delusional John Birch Society out of the Republican Party (BTW – one of the most important founders of the John Birch Society was the Koch Brother’s father!!). Unfortunately today’s Republicans first allowed the Tea Party in and then – as a natural consequence – the John Birch Society (which was allowed to co-sponsor CPAC!!).

  • Anonymous

    Could not agree more!!

  • Anonymous

    The federal government is taking in a smaller share of our economic output than any time in the last 50 years.

  • Anonymous

    What distressing facts. But, thanks for sharing. Unlike some, I think most here believe that “knowledge is power.” The whole purpose of reading this long study was to understand “them” in order to try to counter their “arguments.” Of course, much of what I learned confirmed what I suspected–facts are not useful when talking to them.

  • Anonymous

    Barb1 – I agree completely. I do not want a 1 party country. Ideally, I’d like 3 or 4 viable parties. And maybe this is the route to that. It is VERY frightening to have one of the 2 political parties in power accepting what – as you point out – were laughably deluded views only a few years ago!

  • Anonymous

    Agree. And I would add that if the workers had gotten a fair share of the profits generated by their increased productivity over the last 30 years – this would not be such a big problem today. The root of the problem – in my opinion – is we’ve turned from being a democracy into a plutarchy. I hope that it is not too late to get our democracy back!!

  • Anonymous

    It’s hard to choose a “most frightening part” of all of this, but I have to say that the anti-intellectualism is up there on the list. To be so openly opposed to well educated people as a matter of principle is deeply disturbing to me. Knowledge is bad? Yikes! I think there are aboriginal tribes that know better than that. And they worship frogs.

  • turtlegirl

    That’ll work. Forgive me, but the mentality of some of these jerks just renders me speechless, and when my sensibilities feel like they’ve been smacked upside-down by a canoe paddle, it takes me awhile to recover. Inhumane is a good start…..cold…..robotic…..dark-spirited…..subhuman…..none of these really sum up how stunned I felt when I read that. But it will have to do. Kinda reminds me of how the Nazis viewed their prisoners at the “work camps”….

  • scat

    Guys like Rove know just how to read the fears of these people and keep them scared and irrational. Just tell them anything that supports thier already warped fantasies and they will do what they are told.

  • Charles Miller

    Here’s hoping. But there is a lot of cynicism and — let’s face it — laziness. We take things for granted — and now those things are very threatened. Look at the response to the 9/11 attacks. Bush said “go shopping” and didn’t even THINK to impose a war-funding gas tax, for instance. Kennedy implored: “Ask not what your country can do for you…” and Reagan asked” “Are you any better off than you were four years ago?”

  • Charles Miller

    Iowa City

  • turtlegirl

    Dumb people are easier to control and manipulate. Faux news is a perfect example of that. Free thinkers are a threat to their place in power. They want bodies to do the work, not ones with minds who could end up being the competition someday.

  • Charles Miller

    What’s more, it was never pushed! Obama did not know how to bargain!

  • scat

    It’s more than callous nomenclature, it’s dehumanizing and devaluing people’s hard work and creativity.

  • pennyroyal

    President Obama last week said the republic needs a viable two party system, implying that the GOP has gone off the track.

  • Anonymous

    The fact that these cretins think Obama is a Marxist shows just how bad a job our schools are doing teaching history and social sciences. As a Marxist myself I can definitively state that the war criminal, class warrior in the White House is no Marxist. He might be to the left of Dick Cheney (and I’m not ready to stipulate to that) but he’s a fascist compared to every Marxist I’ve ever known.

  • Chris Herz

    I agree. But with no left in the USA we reds can hope the Tea Party and its cretins finish the job of bankrupting the USA.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with that – I was just noting their blind acknowledgement that wealth is created bottom up, to wit, they are dependent upon us and not the other way around as they have by clever propaganda, conditioned a good number of our People to believe.

  • Frank Miele

    Be careful what you wish for. The House could wind up with a Speaker who’s even crazier than Boehner.

  • Kevin Schmidt

    I think people like you should just leave the country. It’s bad enough that we have foreign enemies. We don’t need domestic enemies as well

    Your traitorous hope will never be realized, thank God. The US is the wealthiest country in the world by far. We can eliminated the deficit simply by raising taxes on the wealthy and their multinational corporations who pay less of a PERCENTAGE of their income in taxes as does the middle class, and by eliminating free trade treaties that give an unfair competitive advantage to foreign corporations.

  • Kevin Schmidt

    Actually, they both go off the track every time they vote for another unconstitutional bill, like the Patriot Act, or a bill that mostly benefits their corporate masters. In other words, the duopoly has gone off the tracks.

  • Kevin Schmidt

    The total cost of Obamacare includes what the federal government is spending and what the people are spending. This total cost is less than what the total cost is without Obamacare. One of the main reasons is Obamacare limits private insurance carriers to 20% profit and administration costs. If they don’t spend at least 80% of premiums on actual healthcare costs, the excess must be paid to the government.

  • Canuck Sailor

    Try reading what I wrote – and if you check the record, it’s been Fox who have broken a number of stories the dems didn’t want covered – uh, like Acorn, right through to Benghazi – oh, but for you, what difference does it make?

  • Canuck Sailor

    30 pages of tripe? I’m sure you read it word for word? I want to read what a group of hateful democrats have to say about people they think are homophobes, religious nutcases, and gun crazy killers?
    You may think I’m stupid, but I’m not that stupid.
    What’s amazing is that you can read and breathe at the same time. Or did you have to hold your breath?

  • Canuck Sailor

    Growth is joy – not pain, which you touchy feely types like to keep telling us.

    Had you read some of the comments – as in the comments in this section – you’d have noticed your democrat friends referring to conservatives as “racists”, “homophobes” and so on.
    Here’s one you obviously read since you commented on it: “GOP leadership taking the atheist neocon gurus advice and pretending to have religion, and we have the climate deniers falling in place behind the racists. And the media is afraid to shame them. And they can tell any lies they want to and pretty much count on the media to not out them.”

    See what I mean – and you’re too stupid to note what I meant even after having read it. And I’ll repeat what I said elsewhere to another of your ilk – why would I want to read what a group of hateful democrats have to say about people they think are homophobes, religious nutcases, and gun crazy killers?You may think I’m stupid, but I’m not that stupid.

    You’re attitudes about conservatives are a major part of the problems with your country – if you people would ever stop blaming and shaming, and listen to one another – ah, no, you dems think you’re too good for that.

  • moderator

    Hi,
    Just a heads up, we understand passions run high but please keep the name calling to a minimum.

    Thanks,
    Sean @ Moyers

  • scat

    The problem with that is that they believe they can just replace one income producing unit with another — at a lower wage.

  • nnyl

    I’m not sure he really supported it. I never thought he was more than a centrist.

  • scat

    The only thing I disagree with is the statement that the vow to take down President Obama was done in secret. They have been talking about since the day after his first election. What is surprising that so many people are foolish enough to go along with the idea.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s a little message to the GOP
    its time to stop drinking all that god damn TEA
    Time to put your feet down and get back to work
    The people of America are starting to hurt
    Hatred of a Black man has made you blind
    Now you’re trying to drive Americans right out of our minds
    Trying to kill a law with which you disagree
    Stop it, please stop it and put down that TEA
    There is no real reason to shut down the game
    your wrong way tactics make you look insane
    You say its for respect but how can that be
    Please, oh please, put down that TEA
    The life blood of the country is draining away
    The politics you practice is causing decay
    if you really want respect, get back to work
    Stop this narcissism and acting like jerks
    time to fix America, what happened to jobs
    put down that TEA and stop acting like slobs
    Americans are watching and we will not forget
    You look like black hearted monsters and this you can bet
    Racist politics and beating up on the poor
    the next time we vote, we will show you the door
    So put down that TEA and get back to work
    Right now you look like a pack of spoiled jerks

  • pennyroyal

    Well said, Kevin. I agree.
    The one thing I admire and am grateful to Obama for is his steadfast support for a woman’s right to choose abortion and for ensuring that women have access to birth control. (Which should reduce the need for abortions, 50% of pregnancies being unplanned in the USA).

  • pennyroyal

    every time the Repubs look bad, like now, millions of Rally the Right posting goes out. I received one from a local Tea Potty type yesterday, a birther, too, who sent a scurrilous image of Obama’s ring, charging he was a secret Muslim. Of course this guy believe it as gospel and fired it off to me, as in, ‘this will convince her!” He’d been feeding on his resentment and rage.

    It was obviously photo-shopped and a quick check on Snopes proved it was False. I hope he’s embarrassed.

  • pennyroyal

    the Right has been running more conservative candidates, further to the right. Even John McCain had to move to the right to get re-elected (So much for loyalty). They use the language of purity and purify. Many of them are Dominionist Christians, including Ted Cruz’s father.

  • pennyroyal

    I’m from MA. I remember decent Republicans like Ed Brook and Eliot Richardson (of Watergate fame, specifically the Saturday Night Massacre). I’ve voted for moderate Republicans in the past but they left moderates out twisting in the wind.

  • pennyroyal

    I was ostracized and castigated by my Republican family. They simply could not understand that and why Romney didn’t win. They thought Obama had stolen the election. “I was sure he’d win.” My sister even went out and bought a gun, under the sway of our older brother, the real nutcase. Now she has the gun I don’t know where and her grandchildren have the run of the house.

  • pennyroyal

    what needs to be part of this discussion is that behind the ultra-conservatism and extremist ideology is Christian Dominionists who hid behind regular good Christians. They want this to be a Christian Nation and to turn all our wealth over to the bankers, to better serve God and bring his Kingdom. Sounds looney to write this and I’m well grounded. So check out this entry from Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominionists

  • pennyroyal

    the Obama buddy I couldn’t stand was Larry Summers. Everywhere Summers went disaster followed. Including Harvard University. I can understand that when Obama first took office he wanted people who had worked on the economy, but he should have ignored those who were promoting Summers.

  • pennyroyal

    the Walton Family and their Empire.

  • Anonymous

    Ah–”the Christian Taliban.” I’d heard something about that. That should run off what are left of the sane, traditional conservative members of the party.

  • pennyroyal

    why does the info. that Obama has overseen a cut in the deficit never make it into public knowledge or that under Reagan the deficit exploded.

  • pennyroyal

    what about those Log Cabin Republicans; they’re even more hated.

  • Stuart

    Go back to the 1930s, the three DuPont brothers and the Liberty League. We’re just repeating history now, though the DuPonts were much less successful than the Kochs. FDR’s 1936 landslide mostly put an end to that.

    But once you’ve compared the DuPonts and the Kochs, head over to the “business plot” and learn what role Gen. Butler rejected in 1933. We have yet to repeat that bit of history, but would anyone be surprised if we did?

  • Meryl at Beanstalk

    Can’t argue with that. Don’t like Summers. Yet try to remember that this huge crisis was in full swing BEFORE he took office. And after he took office, most of his appointees were stalled thru fillibuster and other rules. Nasty game we aren’t seeing.

  • Charles Miller

    Yes, that might be… but why throw away a bargaining point?

  • Susan Walters

    I am an independant and fiscal conservative. The Tea Party’s attempt to hijack our democracy is making many people like myself panicky. I love this country too much to sit back and watch what they are trying to do.

  • roadwalker

    The problem with the concept of a vibrant 3rd (and maybe more) parties is that unlike, say, a Parliamentary system, which encourages and most cases forces coalition building (and in which a vote for a third party then strengthens that party and moves the center of power closer to it) in America all elections are ‘winner take all,’ so a vote for a third party is most likely to benefit the party that is farthest from that party (classic example is the Green Party taking 92,000 votes in Florida in 2000, most likely many more from Gore than from Bush; a lesser known example from 2006 is a Libertarian candidate in Montana taking 10,000 votes in an election that Jon Tester, the Democrat won by 2000 and which provided the critical 51st Senate seat for Democrats that allowed them to take over the Senate that year.) Of such apparently small results is history made (i.e. the Iraq war, which Gore opposed in 2003, and nine and a half years later the passage of Obamacare when Tester was one of 60, not 59 Democrats to be in the Senate to break a Republican Christmas Eve filibuster.)

    In such a system the dynamics of it favor the concentration of power in two opposing, massive parties. Unless we get, for example, proportional representation or ranked choice voting, the only realistic way a third party can become more than just a spoiler is by the complete collapse of one of the others (such as happened in the middle of the nineteenth century when the collapse of the Whig party under pressure from its failure to take a stand on slavery opened the door for the formation and growth of the Republican party.)

  • roadwalker

    Absolutely true. McCain also proposed sending troops on the ground into Libya and wanted to stay in Iraq ‘for 100 years.’

    I agree that it’s a good thing he never became President, or most likely we’d be bogged down in at least a half dozen wars around the world (mostly in the middle east) right now.

    I believe that expansionist neoconservatism has seen its day, and will soon be extinct.

  • http://therionorteline.com/ Michael Smith

    A Democrat polling firm researching Republicans…what could go wrong? It is completely lost on you good folks that in the previous shutdowns that Democrats have “hijacked” the process as well, particularly when Reagan was president. There are many examples here of you nice people spending a lot of time confirming your bias to each other when I doubt many of you even know an actual conservative, especially the ones who think we are racist and bigoted.The study is fascinating though, fascinating in its bias and slant. Let me ask you an objective question since you seem to have us all figured out – why is it acceptable for Obama to change Obamacare in extra-legislative fashion with carve-outs and delays but Republicans are evil for asking that it be implemented as written or delayed a year? Why is it that the President will put the “full faith and credit” at risk – and he is because the House Republicans have passed funding CRs to keep the bulk of the government operating – to protect one program from a simple delay?

  • http://therionorteline.com/ Michael Smith

    Another honest question – how many of you are against the NSA snooping, yet support Obamacare’s intrusive capabilities, including the contracting with the Experian credit bureau to provide and collect information to use to confirm your identity during the registration process?

  • OH

    I understand that you have said that the Democrats have shut down the government and threatened the credit of the USA in order to fund Obamacare. I am very pleased that we are making progress since you have acknowledged at least that a government shutdown is taking place.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve yet to meet a moderate who has held beliefs more similar to the Republican platform than the Democrat platform. If they identify themselves as Republican I’m not sure why. They must be pretty politically astute because though they are the minority group in the party, they seem to always get their candidates through the Presidential primary.

  • Dulcinian

    Drink some fluoride. You’ll feel better.

  • Anonymous

    Why don’t we have to understand the mindset of the Democrats who won’t go through the normal legislative process of debate and discussion?

  • Kevin Schmidt

    That’s one of the wedge issues, like guns, God and gays that give the illusion there is a real difference between the Democrats and Republicans. They throw us a bone, and give the five star dinner to their global corporate elite masters.

  • Anonymous

    Imagine for a moment if after next presidential election the losing side says, “No we don’t like that guy- our guys in Congress are going to close down government and we’re going to not pay U.S. bills and send US economy in tailspin if our guy isn’t president”.

    Don’t understand how people don’t get that our democracy would be FOREVER damaged if Dems were to acquiesce to GOP demands?

    It’s not about ACA.

    It’s about whether we honor the constitutional process.

    The basic question that we should all be pondering is whether or not we should honor our constitution or scrap it completely and see if we can come up with something better.

  • Anonymous

    IMO, the pattern of unprecedented filibuster, unprecedented gerrymandering, unprecedented obstructionism, the creation of think- tanks whose mission statement is basically to mold opinion by distortion of truth, & large media outlets run by political operatives, all lead to a tendency to weaken our Democracy.
    Where is it all headed?
    Perhaps a study of Roman history might be in order.

  • The_Pilgrim

    Yep. Gotta protect the right to kill babies even if we destroy the rest of the country, the economy, and shred the Constitution and the rule of law. But gots to protect that right to shred baby remains and let them die on the floor and in jars in closets!

  • The_Pilgrim

    ROTFL! So, do you work for OFA?

  • The_Pilgrim

    Sure, sure, keep drinking the Koolaid!

    Please don’t let anyone confuse you with those pesky things like facts and figures…

    http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_20th_century_chart.html

  • The_Pilgrim

    Well, another fake “expert” writes another Straw Man fallacy, and the ignorant, the stupid, and oh, yes, the Obama voters swoon….

  • The_Pilgrim

    Oh, you mean like when the Democrats shut down the government to thwart Reagan and his economic reforms? Oh, wait, for Liberals, History began yesterday…

  • The_Pilgrim

    Because Democrats are mindless…

  • Anonymous

    I am often perplexed that many Americans have not quite figured out that “conservatives” have switched party allegiances at several points in our nation’s history.
    Teddy Roosevelt was the first to run on an “officially” Progressive ticket.

    Dictionary definition of Conservatism: “holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation”.

    So, by this definition, if Douglas was pro-slavery and Lincoln ran on the more anti- status quo platform, who was the Conservative?

    One way to tell which side conservatives were on in any particular election is by looking at how Northern and Southern states generally vote.
    There are some deep south states that have ALWAYS voted Conservative

    Unlike the real Boston Tea Party, Conservatives during American Revolution were the “Tories” who supported British rule.

    It seems “conservatism” has a very long proud history of being on wrong side of issues and then to have collective amnesia about it.

    It seems to me that this is an “uncomfortable fact” that historians have in general, overlooked (maybe so Conservatives would read their books).

  • Anonymous

    Please consider as well in your analogy that ” conservatives” have switched party allegiance after Johnson admin.
    Lyndon Johnson famously said, “We have lost the South for a generation.” He was right- Conservatives switched parties at this point. What over? Civil rights and segregation of schools.

  • Anonymous

    While absolutely true, I would love to see you attempt convince a Republican of this- that is an impossible endeavor/

  • Anonymous

    That requires thought and empathy.

  • Anonymous

    Irony isn’t it – they’ll be among the first rounded up and sent to purification camps as part of the Christian fundamentalist mission to cure the nation of that which ails it, leastwise what is wrong in the twisted minds of those that the Log Cabin Republicans aid and abet. It seems a given though that sexual orientation wouldn’t make one immune from fatal conservative disease of believing that they are infallible, and to this end need not dwell on the past of the Christian fundamentalist that came before, so it seems that they are doomed to lay their trust in the hands of those that have throughout history and without fail, persecuted them.

  • Anonymous

    What a horrific plan our Congress is operating? It’s both sides or should I even say all umpteen sides because without including all the diverse groups in this country one would be amiss…Now those who are orchestrating this whole thing are simply using the people to achieve their goal…and what is that goal? AGENDA 21…plain and simple. If one doesn’t believe that then they should find it and read it now! WHY? because it’s all laid out very clearly. The script has been written and followed and those that are behind are sitting back watching the chaos and confusion of all the people of America and laughing at us for swallowing all the “comic book” scripts they write and “produce” to keep us in turmoil. That’s how they will OWN us in a very short time now…

  • Erick Blair

    This is nonsense. Only delusional left wing ideologues think this way. Bill Moyers has spent years feeding at the public trough spewing left wing shibboleths and raking in the cash. He’s furious the conservatives may cut off the gravy train. A worthless rant here, nothing else.

  • Anonymous

    Actually they are right on. My guess is that you are one of the paranoid.

  • Anonymous

    You are right in the sense that if you visit the Fox comments page yu are likely to get more far right comments, while on Moyers you might get more of the opposite.

    Either place you go, underlying facts don’t change.

    If Dems choose to yield to GOP demands under these circumstances, our democracy is forever damaged because it will have legitimized hostage taking.
    This is simply a fact.

  • http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/brian-p-hanley/ Brian Hanley

    All the more reason to pay attention to the fact that it is liberal democrats who have taken us into wars.

  • Pelu Maad

    “It’s widely understood that the government has been shut down by a relatively small number of Republican lawmakers who represent deeply red districts.”

    How can we deal with this problem if we’re afraid to even describe it honestly? The suicide faction represents deeply WHITE districts. They’re like the kids who take their ball and go home when others won’t play by their rules.

  • Pelu Maad

    I wish I had a clue about whatever it is you’re saying….

  • Pelu Maad

    It’s not really a constitutional problem. It’s the “us and them” nature of this society biting us in the ass….If we don’t find common ground we’re doomed.

  • Pelu Maad

    ACA is law…..passed by the Congress and reviewed by the Supreme Court.

  • Pelu Maad

    yaak knows who to hate……he’s working on why…….

  • Pelu Maad

    Obama-Heritagecare is geared to corporate profit on many levels….yet it’s opponents are totally certain President Obama is a Marxist. We’re through the looking glass Alice…..

  • Pelu Maad

    Do you have any honest questions?

  • turtlegirl

    You seem to have a short memory. One word: Reagan.

  • Pelu Maad

    I’m a former 60s “black” college radical…and I agree. The tea party attempt to nullify the Obama presidency is a serious threat to the continued survival of the rule of law. The comparison to Solidarity in Poland and how it lead to the end of the Soviet Union should be seen as a warning. A revolt doesn’t need massive public support to be effective….just a committed core of believers….

  • http://www.lexalexander.net lexalexander

    How can a group that believes it is “staunchly pro-business” be talking seriously about allowing the U.S. government to go into default — for ANY reason? Either they’re not pro-business or else they’re too stupid to know what’s good for business and what isn’t. Liars or idiots. There is no other explanation, and either disqualifies them from governing.

  • turtlegirl

    For the last time (I hope) Social Security is NOT an entitlement!

  • turtlegirl

    Wasn’t it Mitch McConnell who very publicly stated something like, “It is our goal to make Barack Obama a one-term president.” ? Not very secret, but I agree with your other points.

  • turtlegirl

    Well said.

  • Anonymous

    You might look up the term ad hominem in a logic textbook. Yes ACA is the law. However it is not immune to repeal. That is what the Republicans are trying to do. I would have thought that was obvious.

    Lots of laws get repealed.

    I have a question, if ACA is the law, why is Obama free to ignore the parts he doesn’t like for 2014? Isn’t he supposed to follow the law?

    Defunding is also a normal way to deal with laws. For example: Robocalls are illegal under some circumstances. However there is no money allocated to enforce the law and the federal government is not doing anything about it. This has been true for years. It is also illegal to smoke marijuana in Colorado and Obama has agreed to ignore the law. Then there is immigration law. All of these are settled law.

    And no, I don’t hate any of you, even Obama. However there are a large number of people I feel sorry for.

  • Anonymous

    It is sad to say, but I have left attending church and surrounding myself with the Evangelicals because I am totally put off by their crazed hate-filled rhetoric. They are hurting the Republican party and they are hurting Christianity. This movement was started by Jerry Falwell — rather than bringing more people into the fold, I am disgusted and have left the fold.

  • Anonymous

    look it up Pelu…Agenda 21…..rather than trying to infer that I’m not being clear… take a little initiative and find out for yourself what Agenda 21 is….

  • Anonymous

    That’s some pretty tortured logic from someone recommending that someone take a logic class.

  • moderator

    Hi,

    Let’s try to avoid this becoming personal.

    Thanks,
    Sean @ Moyers

  • moderator

    Hello,

    Let’s try to avoid this becoming personal.

    Thanks,

    Sean @ Moyers

  • turtlegirl

    Sounds like we had the same friend. She, too, brings up the fact that she “walks with Jesus everyday, God this, and Jesus that…” and I need to join her for my own good. She truly doesn’t want to see me wind up in Hell. My religious or spiritual beliefs aren’t valid unless they are in 100% agreement with hers. So much for “Freedom of religion”. Every conversation is about God and politics, and to try and talk to her about something else is futile as she will in no short order bring it around to God and politics in the most convoluted ways imaginable.

  • Anonymous

    Have I passed a line?

  • moderator

    No, just trying to keep this thread from heading in the wrong direction.

    thanks,
    Sean @ Moyers

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, the statement was illogical. How else could I have said it?

  • Anonymous

    Not my party. Neither party represent my views well enough to attract me to the club. I prefer not to take vows of loyalty to any group.

    I can’t help but notice how foolish both Dems and Repubs regularly act when they decide to support or oppose based on who is in power. This is most noticeable when it comes to war, but it happens on pretty much every issue. That’s how you get Obama condemning raising the debt ceiling just a few years ago and now condemning not raising the debt ceiling. The loyalists just nod their heads like good little party members. That’s not for me. I like logic and consistency.

  • turtlegirl

    That process began a few months ago, and culminated in a brutally honest email a few weeks ago after I’d finally had it. My patience had reached new levels with her, but with her badgering and insulting, and my favorite: the word “typical” that would come out of her mouth whenever I expressed my views about the subject at hand, it had finally reached it’s end. I came to realize that true friends have mutual respect for each other, and this was not a true friend, nor the “good Christian” she proclaimed to be, and I told her so.

  • moderator

    My mistake, the two comments that were getting personal have been removed. You are fine.

    Thanks,
    Sean @ Moyers

  • turtlegirl

    jmtaylor700 got it: callous. That is the word I was looking for that most accurately describes what I felt about what scat’s boss calls his employees; you know, the ones making him rich.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t look for an echo chamber, but having spoken with a number of people on the left and right, this pretty much spot on agreement with my objective observations.

  • Carol

    i left my church but have found another that is very involved in all the social issues that I am concerned about. It is a breath of fresh air to not feel so isolated from sanity and to be challenged by the intelligent discussion and action on many of the problems our country and other countries face. I’m getting older but I still want to be part of the change I want to see.

  • pennyroyal

    hard not to get cynical and feel extreme frustration

  • pennyroyal

    in my church we have ‘friends’ of the church who don’t attend but help with social issues….

  • pennyroyal

    it’s the assumption that Rethugs have that they are the way, the truth, and the light….and they can use their fascist tendencies to force everyone in the country into the poverty mold where they want us.

  • pennyroyal

    this is NOT the time to discuss the ACA!!! Get a grip!

  • Anonymous

    Sure you don’t look for an echo chamber. That’s why two of my posts disagreeing with the hypothesis have disappeared. Odds are this one will have a short shelf life too. I wonder if you realize that isolating yourself is the reason you remain disconnected from reality?

  • pennyroyal

    yes, in some ways Obama was looking for economist/banker types/financial types who would help him help the country ride this out. Funny how so many not have forgotten Bush43 culpability and ruination. The Right insists that’s old business and well in the past. Short memories….

  • pennyroyal

    like our soldiers’ families on food stamps…. that must be counted as ‘entitlement’ spending. I’m on medicare and almost 70. We earned what is coming to us now.

  • pennyroyal

    I hate the whole term ‘entitlement’ — it’s rethug propaganda, to make us look like Romney’s 47% — a bunch of moochers.

  • pennyroyal

    If ACA is delayed, Repubs will kill it with a million cuts. They have propaganda plans at the ready.

  • pennyroyal

    or be willing to use it! It’s use it or lose it. Everyday I debate with the latter.

  • pennyroyal

    is that possible??? but wait, of course, you’re right.

  • pennyroyal

    Ted Cruz is the most dangerous man in the country. A sociopath and narcissistic to the max. He cares only for himself and his greater political glory. Why he and the other tea-potty types have a death grip on the GOP, I don’t know?
    I guess they like demagogues on that side of the aisle.

  • pennyroyal

    I think that the ACA will be very popular once it gets running. The Repubs want to kill it off now before they lose out. But like Medicare, many are saying it will be hugely popular.

  • pennyroyal

    oooh, I like your logo!

  • pennyroyal

    true libertarians have always been open minded about social issues. You could do with your own body what you liked without government interference. But today’s libertarians threw that out and made common cause with the Bishops and Evangelicals to try to take away not just the Right to Choose but also Birth Control!!!! Stay the heck out of my personal life. I’ll make decisions on my own behalf and I don’t need some priest, lawyer, draconian legislator, etc. making intimate decisions for me.

  • pennyroyal

    he was a dupe and half-brain dead from early Alzheimer’s which was covered up in the White House even as his mind faded. That story has never been told publicly. Taboo. Too many taboos in talking about things like this. “Don’t speak ill of the dead” is engrained into us. But old Ronnie has been gone a long time.

  • moderator

    SimJim,

    We have no record of any of your comments being deleted. Try clicking on “load more comments” at the bottom of the page. And please check out our comment policy about personal attacks.

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  • pennyroyal

    ACA is founded on Mass. Healthcare program that Romney and the Democrats passed back when he was our governor. It’s been very popular. Course Romney had to repudiate it in order to run for Prez (the ultra-right base wasn’t fooled).
    In Massachusetts our percentage of uninsured is 4.5– the lowest in the country. Benighted NC, which gutted voting rights, is 19.4. And in Gov. Perry’s TX, where they’re so anti-abortion, the % of uninsured is 28.8!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Interesting. Posted it within the last couple of hours. Saw it here. Now it’s gone. I’ll try remembering it and post again.

  • moderator

    I have two posts from you, one was 2 hours ago and one 15 hours ago.

    thanks,
    sean @ moyers

  • Anonymous

    Wow, so liberals run a focus group discovering that conservatives are bad people. That’s quite a scoop. I bet if conservatives ran a focus group on liberals they would find liberals are the smartest, nicest people ever.

    Seems to be that the focus group was designed to validate what you already think. Could have saved money if you had just asked people here what they thought of conservatives. You would have got the same results for free.

  • Anonymous

    I just re-posted above (paraphrasing…it was much better the first time). I discovered this site from a conservative discussion group. Several there claim to have had posts removed.

    Guess it doesn’t matter really since this site does have a lot of echoing. Reading posts from liberals here they are less than kind when describing conservatives. Any place conservatives and liberals run into each other turns into battles…I think our current day politics represent us well.

  • wil

    I think he said “it is our ONLY goal”

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    Sean @ Moyers

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Sean. I suspect monitoring posts is very similar to conducting focus groups. People tend to reach the conclusions that fit their preconceived biases.

  • moderator

    Once again, if you have a problem, please contact the site via email. Otherwise please comment only on the article or video at hand.

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  • Anonymous

    If “conservatives” ran a focus group it would omit any mention Romneycare or George W Bush. Period.

  • Anonymous

    Wow it’s almost like you’re having a talk with God. (kidding)
    Anyway all you Conservatives are bunch of…. (kidding again)
    I’ll wait to see if this comment gets deleted.

  • Anonymous

    I agree — nothing very secret about the Republican intentions. But, actually, I was referencing the meeting, the night of the first inaugural, that was held “in secret” at that time and attended by a gang of Republican thugs — I believe it was 18 Congressmen and Senators — who met to discuss and set a strategy for the destruction of the President through any all and political means necessary. They reportedly (and none of them has issued a denial of these reports) took an oath and vow at the late night meeting wherein the swore an allegiance to the plan — sort of like the Klan. A scary precedent to say the least which, of course, set the path for all that has taken place since that night. In my mind, when sworn, elected public servants who by definition have a sworn allegiance to the people and the nation, then take an oath among themselves to each other to take any actions they may choose to serve their own personal purpose, and thereby take actions that are destructive and against the best interests of the country that they are sworn to SERVE, that action is treasonous.

  • turtlegirl

    It definitely is. Thanks for clarifying your point :)

  • turtlegirl

    Um, no. The focus group asked them what their thoughts were on various subjects, and allowed them to freely express what their beliefs are; it wasn’t an opinion poll by liberals. Big difference. And believe it or not, liberals and democrats aren’t necessarily interchangeable terms, just as conservatives and republicans aren’t. Not everything is so black or white as you suggest; there are many shades of grey between the two extremes. That is what this study also revealed if you’d been paying attention. Personally, I learned a few things, and it was pretty enlightening, if not just to try and make sense out of their erratic behavior.

  • turtlegirl

    I’m sorry, but it seems you keep lumping conservatives together with the radical right-wing nuts and teabaggers. I’ve been on here on and off for the past few days, and not one person that I recall has anything hateful or “less than kind” to say about conservatives. It’s the extremists and their slimy underhandedness, hypocrisy, and outright lying that is getting our wrath, and very much deservedly so. There are degrees of conservatism, and when factions in that camp go off the deep end, well, they get what’s coming to them. Too bad it tarnishes a whole party in the process.

  • Anonymous

    Somehow I think you also reached the conclusions you already had in mind. Not only can focus groups be led where you want them to go, the analysis of the focus group is entirely based on the analysts. Liberal analysts will reach liberal conclusions.

    Look, I know every liberal here has the same interest in concluding conservatives are bad, crazy, lying…name your pejorative. That’s expected, but don’t delude yourself into thinking you’re getting to the bottom of anything. All you’ve done is reinforced your preconceived notions. Way to go. You’ve done it. Now slap each other on the back and get back to the demonizing.

  • turtlegirl

    The fact that (certain) Republicans have tried to repeal the ACA what, 41 times now, expecting somehow to get a different result each time shows succinctly how insane they truly are. So many other things they could be putting their efforts into….Also, it is not illegal to smoke the herb (non-lethal, with health benefits) in Colorado or Washington (state law), but federal law prohibits it. Thank goodness the DEA were instructed to not make this little infraction a priority anymore, as it seems a little common sense is finally creeping into DC that recognizes that, due to violent felons being released because of overcrowding in our prisons that are being filled with non-violent weed-smokers, and that maybe taxing something that millions of people smoke anyway regardless of it’s legality, therefore increasing revenue, let alone the hypocrisy of tobacco and alcohol (both lethal and with NO health benefits) being perfectly legal, this was the right thing to do.

  • turtlegirl

    Ya know, it’s really too bad that some people just won’t allow themselves to consider that some of us just want to try and UNDERSTAND, NOT JUDGE. But, thanks for confirming your position and being incredibly presumptuous in the process. WTG yourself ;)

  • LordDart

    Urgency? The ACA was passed in 2010, over 3 YEARS ago. The GOP has fought it every step of the way. That’s fine. But it’s the law…it’s constitutionality was upheld by the Supreme Court. Kathy, just what more do you want to debate? This has been one of the most discussed, debated, and reviewed pieces of legislation ever passed.

    And you seem to miss the basic point…you want to repeal it? Great! Get the votes in the Congress, get the President to sign it, and you’re there. But until you do that, you don’t get to stop all the business of government until you get what you want. It’s just that simple.

    The ACA has flaws? Sure…just like any legislation. But you either improve it or repeal it. You can’t say “repeal or no governance”. Your party LOST the election last year and you DON’T get to govern! You don’t seem to understand that’s how DEMOCRACY works!. And until you do, all your pleading about slowing down, lack of urgency, blah, blah, blah will just fall on deaf ears. The GOP has lost the respect of the majority. Until it regains it and WINS elections, it won’t govern.

    And, as you seem to like pointing out, that’s as simple as it gets. Quit being scared of CHANGE and learn to deal with it. YOU need to think for yourself and quit assuming that anyone who doesn’t agree with you doesn’t think for themselves.

  • moderator

    SimJim and Turtlegirl,

    You have both made your points quite clearly. Please move on.

    Thanks,
    Sean @ Moyers

  • moderator

    Turtlegirl and SimJim,

    You have both made your points quite clearly. Please move on.

    Thanks,

    Sean @ Moyers

  • NotARedneck

    “But WHY is our education system flawed?”

    You are partly right. Certainly several decades ago when any white cretin could get a high paying job at a factory at age 18 or even earlier, this set a pattern that was difficult to break. However, it so quickly went from not needing an education to a situation where only the wealthy could buy a useful education (Ivy League followed by stealing on Wall Street or taking bribes within the beltway) that in North America there was never a large percentage who valued education much.

    However, another aspect is that the wealthy right wing interests don’t want an educated electorate. Keep them watching NASCAR and NFL and hope they don’t smarten up is their method of operation.

    Besides, the wealthy can afford private schools but the fact is, their kids really don’t need an education. Wealth is sustained by and army of lawyers, financial advisers and accountants who assist with staying on top of the latest speculative opportunities and pay almost no taxes in the process.

    The rare company that needs well educated people can hire from abroad – or just move those operations there.

  • Jim Jenkins

    Read the study, it says just that… read the report. Keep in mind, this is a slow changing attitude, but it is changing.

  • Ufoevidence101 .

    Supreme Court Is bought out just like main stream media. Think about it if the supreme court is passing things that take away your individual rights then they are just as bad as those trying to highjack this country to the fullest. do some reading into the things that the SC has held up that strip you of your rights. Take away your CRs while you sleep.

  • Ufoevidence101 .

    Do you know Obama supports radial groups like Al Qaeda and Kerry and John McCain are backing the Al Qaeda group, that is why they wanted to go over and bomb them so quick before we aware of this all. Look it up dare anyone to investigate that the Obama administration wanted to take out Assad so there radical groups can keep killing all the Christians over there.

  • Anonymous

    Did you even read the article? Nowhere does it say that “conservatives are bad people.” The article doesn’t even use the term “conservatives.”

  • Sai Das

    Before anything can replace what exists, we must fully understand what the underlying cause of the problem is. There is no easy answer of course, but to me, it comes down to one thing; money. Our government has been terminally infected with it and it must be removed for survival.

    Yes the GOP and TP has done this and yes the Dems have done that, but it all comes down to their real motivation; money. Bill has had many guests who have talked about this at length and in detail. Repealing Citizens United, real campaign finance reform, remove the revolving door between government and private sector…

    We really need a viable third party, but even if we were to have one, it too would become infected shortly because of how our government is now.

    We are doing exactly what Big Money (the few who fund/control the Fed/Wall St./K Street) want us to do; distract ourselves with finger pointing anywhere but towards them. Personally, I don’t see anything but a total “reset” of our government as being effective. Richard Wolff and others have said as much on Bills show.

  • Sai Das

    Indeed. They are also greatly responsible for creating and fomenting that audience.

  • Sai Das

    “Look, I know every liberal here has the same interest in concluding conservatives are bad, crazy, lying”

    Seriously. What other conclusion is there to draw? Collectively, it is their continual rhetoric and actions that validate these conclusions. The GOP and Tea Party are self-destructing without the aid of Liberals & Dems (we aren’t that clever). They are self-destructing by these things not for these things.

  • Sai Das

    The ACA is flawed because it was a compromise and as a result, it is something that no one is pleased with. The only rational and sustainable healthcare system is Single Payer but the Right torpedoed it like they do everything else they don’t agree with e.g. the current government shutdown.

    A Single Payer system is very easy to understand and implement as it is basically Medicare for All. Medicare is very popular with almost everyone despite the rhetoric and it doesn’t need scraping; it needs overhauling. Don’t be gullible and ignorant to believe it is a Socialist takeover of America and out to kill grannie. Most of the rest of the industrialized world has and enjoys one. It isn’t perfect but it is far better than what we’ve had.

  • Sai Das

    Sorry ‘ole boy, but you guys started it with Newt and all the other lunatics and wrote the book on it. Remember, Fox “News” and Rush came about years before MSNBC, etc. Liberal rants pale in comparison.

  • Anonymous

    Sure. They are self destructing and the left is doing everything they can do to warn them. The left loves the right. So while some people might think liberals are unhinged by a partial government shut down, the reality is that the liberals are not unhinged at all. They are just very anxious to save the conservatives. I get it. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly right Kathy. The conflict comes about because liberals believe government is a charitable institution which can and should hold their hand through life. Conservatives believe government is a necessary evil, and needs to be limited or the people will suffer the consequences.

    When you think of government as your savior I guess anything anyone proposes, that has government taking care of a problem, is good enough for you regardless of whether you understand it or not. No need to even read the law. Knowing government is in control is good enough if you’re a lib. Conservatives not so much.

  • turtlegirl

    Really? Everyone on here is “making their points quite clearly.” Why single us out? I only responded once to this particular comment by SimJim; it’s not like we are in a raging argument here.

  • turtlegirl

    That is why I prefaced the quote with the words “something like”, because I knew it would be close, but not verbatim ;)

  • turtlegirl

    Ikr? He says, “Try reading what I wrote.” but won’t afford the people on here the decency (and logical thing to do) by reading the study which is the basis for this whole discussion. If he’s so doggedly determined to argue with us about something, he would do well to understand just what the heck he’s arguing about, eh? This is exactly the kind of thing that makes it so frustrating when trying to have a discussion with these kind of people.

  • turtlegirl

    Absolutely agree about the love of money (and power, let’s not forget) as being the major reason for the dysfunction in gov’t. I would go so far as to say it’s infected our whole culture/society, too.

  • Anonymous

    Yes Republicans have tried to repeal it several times. How many times has gay marriage been introduced in various places? How many times has legalizing marijuana been introduced? Separate but equal was the law of the land for 60 or 70 years. Obama wants everything or nothing. Republicans are willing to fund all of government except Obamacre and then discuss Obamacare separately. But Obama is the one who is holding most of the rest of the government hostage. Not the Republicans.

    Of course, some parts are vital and have to be funded regardless. Like the corporation for Public Broadcasting. And the money being spent to keep people out of national parks. and away from the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial. And blocking federal roads to private homes. I wonder what will happen if someone calls an ambulance and the ambulance tries to drive on a federal road.

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately, college degrees do not necessarily indicate education. And many of the well educated people being complained about are Republicans.

  • Anonymous

    You need to read the constitution. All spending bills originate in the House. They do not originate with the president. Congress holds the purse strings. Not the president. No president has ever vetoed a spending bill because it was too high.

    Likewise with taxes. That is congress’s job.

    In fact, this current mess is a confrontation between the President and the House on spending. Exactly what the founding fathers wanted.

  • Pelu Maad

    Tea baggers point to what’s wrong with “them”……it’s all the justification they need for whatever insanity they choose to believe. This is the kind of situation that has very little potential for peaceful resolution. Eventually the Tea Klux Klan will go off the deep end.

  • Pelu Maad

    How can the Dems do it alone?

  • Pelu Maad

    “Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development.[1] It is a product of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. It is an action agenda for the UN, other multilateral organizations, and individual governments around the world that can be executed at local, national, and global levels.”

    OK…..now what?

  • Pelu Maad

    The House screwballs have tried 40-plus times to repeal ACA…according to the rules. Having failed MISERABLY, they’re now attempting to extort changes.I get the feeling they’re like spoiled brat children who want to take their ball and go home if others won’t play by their rules. But…never mind me….hang in there….who knows, it may not be too late to win the Civil War…..

  • Pelu Maad

    but….”conservatives” are really bad people….

  • Pelu Maad

    Which is precisely why they want to stop it so badly. If “conservatism” can’t point to any successes it has had it has to do all it can to deny success to any other Americans……

  • Pelu Maad

    Please take a look at one of the analyses of the districts the Tea Party extremists are from. They’re the whitest in the country….and that is a crucial fact.

  • Anonymous

    As I asked in my last post, if the ACA is the law of the land, why is Obama ignoring parts of it? And they have tried to fund the rest of the government. But Obama was everything or nothing. He is the spoiled child.

  • Anonymous

    Your comment was beneath you. Okay. You won the round. But in doing so, you concede my point.

  • Anonymous

    Yes and it is embraced by our government to achieve the goals of sustainability on a global basis. That includes depopulation and a multitude of other initiatives. And so if you look at what has happened and continues to happen as we go along in this country, there is a clear agenda to implement by force if necessary like guns…..and completely ignoring the Constitution and our Bill of Rights, even rewriting them to suit the Agenda 21 UN action agenda….This is America…the UN has no business trying force…. um.. take over the USA.

  • Pelu Maad

    The Dems have gone through all the normal procedures…You have NO point….other than the usual mindless right wing talking points.

  • Pelu Maad

    “If”??????…..what “if”? The ACA is settled law which the president is attempting to implement as per the CONSTITUTION. There are procedures to follow if you think otherwise….The fact that the fascist right resorts to extortion and blackmail exposes what they’re really about. Obama’s “black”….GET OVER IT!

  • Anonymous

    Very well put.
    My remark may have made more sense in the context of the original comment that I responded to.
    Bill seemed to have given voice to the reality of what was going on long before other media, who STILL seem to be struggling.
    Some media sources strive to maintain a neutral position so as not to take a chance to offend 1/2 their audience. The result is that much reporting is pretty bland.
    Bill doesn’t have that problem- He often “cuts to the chase”.

  • nnyl

    He thought if he made concessions to the GOP they would support it. I think that is what is going on now. He and the Democrats have made so many concessions on issues, the GOP thought they could bully them into concessions on the debt ceiling and CR. Finally the Democrats are standing firm.

  • Anonymous

    The Republicans are going through a normal procedure. You don’t seem to understand that the Republicans in the House believe they have a mandate to stop Obamacare. They were elected in 2012 making promises to deal with Obamacare. So they are. doing what they promised they would do. If Obama was the statesman you claim that he is, he would gracefully acknowledge that he has lost his majority and give up on ACA.

    How do we know he lost his majoirty? Because he lost it in the House in the 2012 election. Is this too complicated for you?

    One thing I have learned about Democrats. When they stop talking about issues and start calling Republicans names, it is their way of admitting that they are wrong.

  • Charles Miller

    Yep, that is pretty much it. The GOP has that authoritarian streak running through it. I do wonder if that will, again, be to their favor.

    I think we’re really at a pivotal time in our nation’s history. The outcome seems very unclear, adding to general feelings of hopelessness and fear. Not good when that becomes the sense of the people. Makes us all very vulnerable to extremism. I wonder if any political historians could shed light on likely outcomes, based upon historic precidents.

  • Anonymous

    I agree. Moderate Republicans should join up with their liberal peers. Bring this up at your next meeting please. I’d like you to get right on it.

  • Anonymous

    The problem is they are self destructing and taking us with them.

  • Anonymous

    I guess you dont remember the 750 BILLION dollar bank bailout. THAT was a blank check with no strings attached. There also was no explanation really given as to where the money went. But because this is welfare for the one percent, its ok.

  • Anonymous

    1 percenter conservatives believe government is a hindrance to their pillaging of EVERYTHING. Also because it used to be the only representation that the working class had in the state of affairs, it was frowned upon by plutocrats everywhere.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry, but I don’t trust anyone these days when it comes to polling. Every one of them has an agenda. They are given a conclusion, and then construct questions, etc. to reinforce that conclusion. Not one is truly unbiased. I mean, come on, look at the source of the “poll”. Did anyone expect it to come to come out differently?

  • Anonymous

    Go back and review your “facts” — the bailout rescued us from a total fiscal meltdown, created by an irresponsible, greedy, Republican supported, largely unregulated (thanks to Republicans) industry. There were certainly “strings attached” – like reimbursement of the funds which as of a year ago have largely been paid back, with interest. Check it out — the information is not hidden. Explanation of “where the money went” is readily available with a very simple Google search that even a chimp could perform. “Welfare for the 1%”??? that doesn’t even make sense and that is precisely the trouble with you guys — you are first in line to shoot off your mouth parrotting the crap you hear from the nutcases in the Republican Party and you NEVER do any real independent research on your own — and it’s not like it is complicated. If you want to participate, do it honestly rather than just being ANOTHER part of the problem.

  • Pelu Maad

    I don’t think most of my comments to you are getting past the censor…..Damn shame…..You could learn a lot from me.

  • Pelu Maad

    You’re not making a very coherent case for your paranoia. Sustainability is a bad thing?

  • Pelu Maad

    How bad do things have to get before sane Republicans realize they need to join the effort to block the crazies?

  • Pelu Maad

    What “left”?

  • Anonymous

    Pignatious’ idea. Have the “sane” Repubs join up with the Dems. Problem solved. Extend your hand to them.

  • Anonymous

    There you go. There is no left. You’re brilliant.

  • Anonymous

    Clueless lib, but very entertaining nonetheless. It is your leftist lunacy that results the maximum amount of suffering. Leftist policy make people miserable, and nitwits think the solution is more leftist policies. Thinking is apparently not a strong suit for you.

  • Anonymous

    I like it when libs fight with each other too dumb to realize they are promoting the same propaganda. You are mixing and matching your talking points you two. Come together.

  • Anonymous

    Government makes everyone else look like Heidi when it comes to pillaging. No one pillages better than government.

  • Pelu Maad

    I don’t know how to tell you this….but…Obama is NOT a Marxist. The American “left” is Bernie Sanders. The Dems are centrist moderates…the Tea Klux Klan is a reactionary insane asylum. The mainstream GOP is just a joke.

  • Pelu Maad

    LOL…..I’m not a real Dem…I’m more an anti-GOPer….

  • Jersey Mike

    The article seems like a self serving left wing justification for their loathing of anyone who disagrees with them. If you disagree with the left, you must be a xenophobe, homophobe, racist or whatever other label they wish to apply. There can be no debate on the merits – you must simply be labeled and ignored. At least the Republicans have differences of opinion. Debate is healthy. If you are to believe the press (including Mr. Moyers), Democrats are unified behind their Dear Leader and not one Democrat has a single thought of their own that differs from that of their Dear Leader. Lack of debate is not a sign of a healthy party – it is a sign of capitulation and sycophantic followers.

  • Jersey Mike

    Thank God for Obama. He has balanced the budget. He has provided a healthcare system where more people are covered but no one has to to pay more or lose their job due to the new system. He has netted more jobs created than lost. He cares for our soldiers and their families. He has reduced rancor and brought us all together. His favorable ratings are higher than Bush’s at this point in his presidency. But wait – each of those statements is untrue.

  • Anonymous

    LOL…okay, whatever you say.

  • Jersey Mike

    Yeah we all need to join with those “sane” Democrats like Harry Ried who is demanding an extra $1 Trillion Dollars in spending authority through December 31st. Why stop at 17 trillion in debt when those sane Democrats can raise the debt ceiling so that we have 18 trillion in debt before Christmas. Those Republicans who are trying to cut spending must be insane.

  • Pelu Maad

    Harry Reid doesn’t threaten the survival of this country….The Tea Klux Klan does……How long until sane Repubs wake up?

  • Pelu Maad

    Why would he vote with the knuckleheads? You seem unaware of how far removed from sanity the Tea Klux Klan is. Are you one of those 3rd party snobs?

  • Anonymous

    No Republican has balanced a budget since Eisenhower, your GOP has shutdown the government, OPPOSED a jobs for veterans bill along with with an expanded GI bill, and you’ll just have to hold your breath if you expect The President to tie W at 22%. So YOU folks gave us W, followed by the lowest rated congress in US history. But wait – 50%_ of the GOP base doesn’t even know what GOP means.

  • Anonymous

    HAHAHA! I’ll remember that the next GOP campaign event featuring the 90%_white GOP base.

  • Anonymous

    Your comments are right on.

    The left supports policies that make them feel better about themselves, but make everything worse over the long term for the groups they claim they want to help. The right supports policies that work over the long term, but without the need for us to be seen as anyone’s saviors.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a no party snob. I vote for the people who I can stomach. I don’t vote for the people who make me puke. On average, the further left a politician, the more sick they make me.

    I don’t care what party you call yourself…I care what policies you support and promote. You said Sanders is the American left, but the Democrats are not. Sanders and the Democrats vote the same way. Seems like logic is missing from your assessment of who is a leftist.

  • Anonymous

    Doesn’t matter. Lots of people root for a team rather than a country. Their team is the Democrats. Short of a President bombing their house, they don’t care what their guy does as long as he is their guy. They were the same way with Clinton too.

    It may be changing slightly though. Figure Obama’s favorable rating among 1/2 the country is pretty consistently in the toilet. To get to the numbers he has now, he has lost some of his base. Same thing happened to Bush. When a President gets under 50% he has lost some of his core voters…of course neither Bush nor Obama ever lose the sheep among their followers.

  • strider367

    Can someone answer this? Sen cruz goes on the senate floor for 22 hours to fight the ACA. During his time he talks about green eggs and ham etc. Not once did he state one reason why this law is bad. With a law that is about 2900 pages long. How can he not find one point to argue or justify his opposition?

    As painful as this could be, if you read or hear from the other republican’s. They too do not point out any reason what so ever why this law is so really bad. Why is that, maybe because they don’t want to point out the good points of this law? Which may show that maybe this law isn’t all that bad after all? Just wondering why these people are regressing? What’s next are they going after witches?

  • moderator

    Pelu Maad and SimJim,

    I think it’s pretty clear that you two won’t be running together in ’16. So how about we call it a draw and move on before either one of you breaks the comment policy?

    Thanks,
    Sean @ Moyers

  • moderator

    SimJim and Pelu Maad,

    I think it’s pretty clear that you two won’t be running together in ’16. So how about we call it a draw and move on before either one of you breaks the comment policy?

    Thanks,

    Sean @ Moyers

  • Anonymous

    I believe I am making myself perfectly clear. It is not up to me to help you understand. It is up to you to research and find your own answers. Being an older American, I have witnessed and been a part of many things in life and in this government I simply accepted up until now. There are forces at work that we will never completely understand however, if you follow the course of events it becomes clear that what I always believed and trusted about our country and the powers that be were interlaced with lie after lie. So you, have to come to your own conclusion based on what is happening now and has happened to get behind the veil of lies about who and what has been planned and is being carried out AGAINST the American people.

  • Anonymous

    it’s called having a civilization, roads schools and infrastructure take money. Funny the one percent doesn’t complain when they use that infrastructure, only when they have to pay for it, that is, after all, for the little people, the peasants to pay for.

  • Anonymous

    Having once been a right wing evangelical voter, I found the democratic process, that which our country is founded on for freedom for all, within the democratic party.

    I can disagree, but my rights are more protected under a democracy than a theocracy or a oligarchy or a plutocracy.

    I don’t see debate within the Republican party. They are too fear driven by race, homosexuality etc. After all, God has told them and if God says it then their is no place for debate.

    The old-time conservatives who are purely driven by economic policy appear to have disappeared. Or at least I haven’t heard them actually discuss the merits of their platform, other than nobody wants this. I’d love to have a great debate.

    Let’s start with economics and how this shutdown is going to help our country.

  • moderator

    If you plan on posting a long list of statistics taken from a 3rd party source, understand that if we do fact check them and they turn out to be false, your comment will be deleted.

    Thanks,
    Sean @ Moyers

  • Anonymous

    Interesting – I could make the same claim about the GOP. Dems are not nearly as lockstep as the GOP has been. More projection from the right, as usual.

  • Anonymous

    TARP was put into motion under the Bush Administration. How quickly we forget.

  • Pelu Maad

    He’s “black”….GET OVER IT!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    WOW little man! Is jumping to the racist route the best way you can reply? Not once did I mention any race or even refer to race anywhere in any post or reply to you. What I did do was provide you with Agenda 21 and the involvement of both/all political parties in DC and the world. However, rather than choose to research on your own rather than be spoon fed, you want to call me a “racist”? Sorry you are so weak minded that you can’t think beyond your response little boy! ROFLMAO! over and over again! LOL….

  • Pelu Maad

    Sorry…..I’ll try to be more PC……LOL

  • Pelu Maad

    I don’t see anything “leftist” about the Dems. After all…they eliminated single payer healthcare reform unilaterally. What kind of lefty does that?

  • Pelu Maad

    How does one spoon feed paranoia….across cultural lines?????

  • Anonymous

    One can’t that’s why I told you to research it on your own…You’re sounding more and more ludicrous….

  • Pelu Maad

    LOL……try as I might….I just can’t take you seriously…. But…thanks for the heads up on “Agenda 21″…..the non-binding threat to…..uhhh….something…….

  • Anonymous

    oh so now I just googled your profile and that explains everything! ROFLMAO…. It appears one of your standard replies is “He’s Black, get over it! BTW, I’d get a haircut if I were you! That is, if you want to be taken seriously…ROFLMAO!! What a JOKE!

  • Pelu Maad

    If you were me, you’d make sense…..and you be a lot less arrogant. Knowing you have a problem with my hair makes my day. Why would I ever be concerned about being taken seriously by “conservatives”?

  • Anonymous

    LOL! I’m not a conservative…nor am I arrogant…ROFL….and for that matter, what makes you think I’m black, green, white, orange or any particular color…or political affiliation.. LOL…got your feathers ruffled there a little bit Georgia boy?

  • Anonymous

    Nice technique pretending that conservatives want no government. You apparently think conservatives and anarchists are the same thing? We owe $17 trillion. Our kids our on the hook for tens of trillions more. It’s not infrastructure putting children not born yet into the poorhouse. Do libs just make it up as they go along?

  • Anonymous

    Its not a technique, its fact. Libertarians consistantly decry government. Grover Norquist: ” I dont want to abolish government, I simply want to reduce it in size where I can drag it and drown it in a bathtub”. Reagan constantly stated that “big government” was the enemy. Sorry for paying attention.

  • Anonymous

    They feel besieged as the cultural ground shifts beneath them, and see
    themselves as a beleaguered, “politically incorrect” minority.

    This is very nearly the canonical right-wing definition of “politically incorrect” — the desire to be as bigoted and nasty as they want to anybody they want without ever having to suffer any consequences for it. Funny how “take responsibility for your own behavior” never seems to apply to them.

  • Anonymous

    I feel for these people in a way, they dont realize that there is no more black VS white, there is only rich and poor.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I would like to see the string that was attached that allowed bank execs to keep things like cash bonuses, stock options, use of personal jets, etc. These things DID occur, do one of your Google searches a chimp can perform. As for the one percent getting welfare, I am sorry I guess I should give some examples you state do not exist. I guess oil subsidies for multiple oil corporations don’t count, or the 37 million the Walton Family got in the transportation bill in the form of earmarks for Walmart.Or 416 million dollars that’s being funneled to corporate fat cats in the form of the Central Valley Project CVP in California. Or when the Bush administration allowed toxic dumping by mining companies, the bill was picked up by taxpayers. Again, as you stated a chimpanzee can find this on google. Maybe you should do a little more independent research yourself. I am not a “republican nutcase”, I guess you didn’t really read my post or didn’t bother to. Most likely you are some kind of paid shill on here to silence people who bring up uncomfortable facts. Looks like you failed with me.

  • Anonymous

    Actually corporations believe that too. See my post above. I give examples.

  • Anonymous

    dear boy – i responded to your post – a post that addresses the bail out ONLY – THAT was the subject of you comment – THAT was the subject I addressed. As for your current comment, yep – it is just more of the same that plagues our current system of government and is turning us into one of those banana republics we like to characterize as being “sub.”

  • Berry Muhl

    That’s not the case either. “The poor” isn’t a monolithic group with uniform policy preferences any more than “the rich” is.

    The ideological divide is over the role of government. Either it exists to promote liberty by remaining small and out of the way, or it exists to further its own existence by expanding at the expense of liberty and income.

  • Berry Muhl

    People do suffer consequences for bigotry. The market penalizes bigots. The state isn’t required for that. We take responsibility for our behavior in the market, where responsibility belongs.

  • Berry Muhl

    “They too do not point out any reason what so ever why this law is so really bad.”

    Not so. The most important reason, of course, is liberty. If you can’t opt out of it without paying a penalty, it’s not voluntary. No government should be forcing anybody to buy a product. That’s corporatism, pure and simple, and it’s laughable that the Dems claim the Republicans to be the party of corporatism.

    Another reason is the damage it does to prosperity, by compelling firms to cut employees or hours to remain in compliance…not to mention the cost to the public in taxes. Er, sorry….”penalties.”

    Collectivism is simply not a valid approach to governance in a liberty-loving society like ours. There is no RIGHT to health care. It is a COMMODITY…a product. There are no rights that require something be taken from someone else in order to be given to you.

  • strider367

    Liberty? Do you have the liberty to drive a car without insurance? Do you have the liberty to go to an emergency room without health insurance. Run up a bill and stick it to everyone else who has health insurance? Or does liberty dictate everybody else has to foot your bill? That doesn’t sound like liberty to me.

    As far as corporations and others putting people on part time hours. That has been going on long before ACA. Because they don’t want to pay for any bodies health insurance. This is the main reason why this law is needed now…

  • Berry Muhl

    “Do you have the liberty to drive a car without insurance?”

    Exactly. The government has been taking liberties AWAY, instead of expanding them like it was intended to do from the start.

    I’m not defending this status quo, though. YOU are. We should have liberty to NOT purchase a product. That’s what free markets are all about, and that’s why our Founders threw a Revolution in the first place. We’ve been going in the wrong direction for generations. This is just the latest nail in our coffin.

    You do not have any claim to any of my property under any circumstances unless I VOLUNTARILY share it with you. But collectivists like the Democrats have been ignoring this principle since at least 1913. As a result, people like you buy into the status quo.

    “That has been going on long before ACA.”

    Yes, because the government has been creating incentives for that kind of thing long before the ACA. Think about the tech offshoring phenomenon, which began in 1998…months after Clinton variously signed into law or expanded a host of regulatory agencies. The costs of hiring labor increased, and so corporations sought labor elsewhere. The ACA is just accelerating that process.

    This law is not “needed.” It’s just a band-aid on top of OTHER government failures. We’re making the problems worse, not better. Nobody has a RIGHT to anybody else’s property, period. And this country was founded to protect RIGHTS…not corporate stewardship.

    In a free market, without income tax and other regulation, there would be much less poverty, and it wouldn’t be entrenched, but rather transient. Think about how much charitable aid flows from US donors all over the world. We have MORE than enough means and will to take care of our own, absent inefficient government “redistribution.” By redistributing wealth, the government has disincentivized this, and has vastly increased the expense of taking care of people. No federal bureaucracy could ever be as efficient as the vast number of private and religious charities already in existence, competing with the IRS for funds.

  • strider367

    Your living in the same world as these looney tune tea baggers. Who have left reality to fight ACA. Not because its bad for this country. Because their racists who can’t tolerate a black man as President. They will destroy this country because they can’t control their hatred. You in the mean time is just one accident away from the reality why ACA is needed.

  • Berry Muhl

    OK, fine…dismiss fiscal conservatives as “racist” because that’s far easier than dealing with the facts rationally. I’ve seen it a million times, and it’s so predictable by now that I could almost have written your response for you.

    I would LOVE to see Allen West as a president, or Thomas Sowell, or even Colin Powell. We don’t fear a black man in the White House. We fear COLLECTIVISTS in the White House.

    The ACA isn’t “needed.” It’s political leverage. It is how the Democrats are buying your vote.

    The free market left this country when progressive liberals began forcing regulation onto it. No, corporations CANNOT “control the price” when pricing signals are operating properly. Price is a function of both SUPPLY and DEMAND. It’s only in a distorted market–a REGULATED market–that pricing signals cannot operate. The current situation is the result of REGULATIONS that prevent insurance providers from competing across state lines. Eliminating that restriction would have gone a long way toward solving the problem of affordable health care, and that’s PRECISELY why the Democrats would never allow it to happen…because they do not support solutions that don’t expand government.

    Fifty years ago, you didn’t need insurance to visit a doctor. You could pay out of pocket. Forty years ago, you could get by with a minimal copay. As the regulatory burden has increased, so has the cost of care. It’s not an inverse relationship like the Dems want you to believe. It’s a DIRECT relationship. Regulation isn’t making the economy or society better…it’s making them worse.

  • Berry Muhl

    You are mistaken. If you’re referring to Jim Crow discrimination in the Deep South, you are forgetting that it was the LAW to discriminate, that vendors were REQUIRED to discriminate. In a free market, that would not be the case.

  • Anonymous

    Nice assumption, but I’m not talking about Jim Crow. I’m talking about the “soft” discrimination that used to go on pretty much everywhere (and still does in some places). I’m talking about the attitudes in the Deep South AFTER the demise of the Jim Crow era — did you know that Vidor, TX was a “sundown town” as recently as 20 years ago? I’m talking about “No Irish Need Apply”. I’m talking about anti-Latino discrimination in America today. You’re living in a dream world where there is no institutionalized prejudice and nobody ever does anything for petty personal reasons… or one where there’s an author standing over everyone to make sure things come out right, because that’s the only way your “free market” has ever worked.

  • Berry Muhl

    The “whoever has the gold makes the rules” line is garbage. In a country such as mine, the only rule that matters–or should–is access to private property rights. That’s the party you loonies keep overlooking, no matter how many times I rub your noses in it. The market HAS NO FORCE. It cannot compel you to do ANYTHING. It takes government to provide force, and a free market is free of government. You’re blaming the wrong culprits, and I’m getting kinda sick of the willful ignorance that is required to maintain that worldview.

    In a free market, market forces prevent monopoly. That’s what you’re hiding from here. THERE WERE NO MONOPOLIES IN THIS ECONOMY PRIOR TO REGULATION. None. Every single monopoly I’ve ever found was created by government.

    I am living in the real world. The world MY FOUNDERS gave me. They created a free market. Progressive liberal morons have pissed that away and sacrificed our birthright as free citizens. You may be happy being a subject. I’m not.

  • Berry Muhl

    Well, give me some examples. Convince me that this is going on everywhere. Because it if its, then regulation ISN’T PREVENTING IT ANYWAY. Hoist on your own petard.

    Any policy that restricts a customer base necessarily limits market share. Like it or not, this DOES self-limit discrimination. You want to insist that it instead drive discrimination entirely into extinction? Never gonna happen. People are people, and values still count. I’m never going to advocate that a company discriminate on the basis of race, sexual orientation, or whatever, but I am ALWAYS going to advocate that they be ABLE to do so. The market will always find ways around this. All that has to happen is for another competitor to cater to the discriminated group, and BAM. The bad guy is getting punished. By the MARKET.

    “You’re living in a dream world where there is no institutionalized
    prejudice and nobody ever does anything for petty personal reasons…”

    Nothing of the kind. I just don’t see “institutionalized prejudice” as a government’s problem. My government was constructed to protect civil rights and property rights. That’s it. You do not have a civil right to patronize any business you want. And a business owner, who has PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS, should have the RIGHT to refuse service to anybody, for any reason. I’m willing to live with this, because it’s people being people, and you will NEVER legislate human nature away. You cannot force harmony on society. It either evolves on its own, or it doesn’t.

    “…because that’s the only way your “free market” has ever worked.”

    I’m sorry, guy, but you’re speaking to someone who has been studying markets in excruciating detail for many years. I know precisely why and how the free market DID work…and I know why people who value equality and “social justice” more than liberty destroyed it.

    You are an enemy of liberty.

  • Kaylakaze

    And you, sir, an an enemy of intelligence.

  • Rick Thomas

    there’s nothing fiscally conservative about a steep progressive tax that punishes success. yes corporate subsidies should be abolished, but the liberal crusade to punish the evil top 1% is a witch hunt.

  • hat579

    Many think we really aren’t supposed to be a democracy,but a republic and adhere to the federalist papers more or less.