Yeah, something has gone terribly wrong. I’ve been around for more than a few decades and can’t remember anything resembling this sentiment, utterly without intelligence or rationale in such significant numbers. McCarthy was before my time. Maybe Red baiting was analogous. Where did these avenues of thought and divisions begin? It feels like the aliens are among us and no effort to reason will ever be adequate.
OK, this is out and out libelous, taking things completely out of context to distort what republicans do believe.
Let me take just one example, to show you how they (the pollsters) manipulate this stuff. And lets go for the hard one, while we are at it–Hitler.
So,”38% of Republicans agree that Obama “is doing many things Hitler did.” And you think that this is somehow absurd? Come off it!!! Did Hitler put on his lederhosen one leg at a time? Surprise! So does Obama! (well, maybe not lederhosen, but you get what I mean). Did Hitler give compelling speeches? Of course–but so does Obama! Do they both enjoy a nice, rare, juicy steak? NO–Hitler was a vegetarian!
The point is that Hitler and Obama obviously do many similar things, and it is not at all unreasonable for Republicans to point this out.
Sheesh, the nerve of some people…..
Thanks so much for clearing that up. (Lederhosen? Er war geheim eine Böse-kommode!)
I see nothing similar about the two. Hitler did give compelling speeches. The current president isn’t on sure footing without a teleprompter.
Hitler effused emotion and passion. Obama sounds like he is lecturing a legal class.
Hitler surrounded himself with a brutally efficient inner circle. Obama surrounded himself with……..well you get the idea.
Hitler was short and somewhat stout. Obama is taller and looks fragile.
In conclusion, I see nothing remotely close to similar in either man. Hitler was a dictator. Obama is like your caretaker big brother (no pun intended).
I don’t know what the Sam Hell the Republicans are thinking.
Yeah, but you are not a Republican (takes one to know one?).
If you want to find out what Republicans are thinking, then you need to approach this like an anthropologist–go out and live amongst them. become one of them. eat lots of hot dish. cocktails at 5pm. whatever else they do…immerse yourself in the culture–attend some tea parties. Call elected officials the N-word. watch Fox “news”. really get into the role.
I’m not sure what either party is thinking these days and I sure don’t pretend to understand the fringe groups. Unlike Tea Party members and liberal protester groups that turned out in mass during Bush’s presidency, I actually have a job, employ people, have a family and hobbies and interests.
Really, where do all these fringe people come from and can’t we debate policies and decisions without the rancor?
What sickens me is when the name calling and consipracy charges start on both sides. Debate and back up assertions with something more than emotion.
We are on the same page on this one.
Right now it is the right wing crazies who are prominent, but certainly it was the left wing crazies before.
Nice try Ellen.
Hey, Newt. I didn’t make this stuff up. Aren’t you even a little surprised by this Harris poll? As Mike said, what the Sam Hell are R’s thinking?
I will give you this: this past weekend – before the big vote – was a whacky time to do any poll. However, would the results be any different, or worse?
I don’t get too worked up about a few wing nuts. Every political party has a relatively small slice of crazies. But if these numbers are correct, the depth and breadth of the delusion is stunning.
Newt and MK–I don’t think you’ve been listening.
I believe Jack Welch and others have described this problem recently: FOX News is wagging the Republican tail. With their extreme waving of the bloody flag they have put the Republican politicians in an extremist box which they now find impossible to extricate themselves from.
Oh john mccain… always good controversial conversation! =)
Heavy sigh…I am very concerned for the future of reasoned discourse in this country (present company excepted).
I am struggling with two thoughts, one, how did we get here? And two, how do we get ourselves out?
I hoped that maybe the protests, lies and obfuscations about what the health care bill entailed were just political tactics and as a country we would eventually get back to listening to each other. I am not encouraged…I have a friend (DC liberal type) who was unfriended on Facebook by a Republican friend because she wanted to know how she could get one of the pens the President used to sign the bill…now that is uncivil!
Members of my family are calling themselves “Tea baggers” (still a most unfortunate nomer), and are claiming they are being stereotyped as racist just because a few people in their movement spit on or disrespected some black legislators. These family members don’t realize that by aligning themselves with a group that regularly Yells hate and intolerance, they are part of that hate and intolerance. Why don’t they understand this?
Ooops. Another Dem slipped up and broke the code of omerta …
My hope would be that this is not a serious post, as you are a professor with decades of teaching and research experience.
What’s your experience with the Republicans that you know?
Yea, there’s a bit of noise that bubbles through with the birth certificate and whatnot. But that’s paralleled by the number of Democrats who believe Bush had the Twin Towers knocked down as part of a plan to give Iraq to Halliburton.
“…paralleled by the number of Democrats who believe Bush had the Twin Towers….” 108 please assure your family and loved ones that you don’t actually believe a smattering of remote conspiracy theorists could possibly approach the numbers suggested in this and other polls.
“There are also accusations being made following the 9/11 terrorist attack. One of these is: People in the federal government either assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action to stop the attacks because they wanted the [sic] United States to go to war in the Middle East.”
Very likely: Dem 22.6%
Somewhat likely: Dem 28.2%
This means that, according to the Scripps poll, about half of Democrats, about a third of Independents and nearly a fifth of Republicans said it was “likely” that “federal officials either participated in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or took no action to stop them” in order to go to war.
And then there is the question of whether or not Roosevelt knew about the Pearl Harbor attack before it happened.
The problem, obviously, is the Republican Noise Machine, which operates with no regard to the truth, creates an echo chamber for the Right, and is ahistorical. Truthiness is king. Look at polls from after the Gulf War disaster – majorities of FOX news viewers thought Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, that he was in cahoots with al-Qaeda, and that he was a direct threat to the U.S., none of which was true. People who contribute to this very board argue to this day that Bush didn’t lie us into war.
Are you real or an MP3 player who has the capability of translating your one recording “Bush Lied” to computers via voice recognition?
I’m just pointing out one more example of people who refuse to join the reality-based community.
No thanks. I prefer my reality to the planet you live on. Happy trails, up there, though.
108: Again, I did not conduct the poll. Harris is a credible polling organization of long-standing. A poll of more than 2,000 Americans will produce results well within any acceptable margin of error. Republicans I know don’t appear to be “wing nuts” – but obviously they are out there.
Do you prefer this update from today’s Baltimore Sun?
“The full results of the poll, which will be released in greater detail tomorrow, are even more frightening: including news that high percentages of Republicans—and Americans overall—believe that President Obama is “racist,” “anti-American” “wants the terrorists to win” and “wants to turn over the sovereignty of the United States to a one-world government.” The “Hatriot” belief that Obama is a “domestic enemy” as set forth in the Constitution is also widely held—a sign of trouble yet to come. It’s the same claim made by Marine Lance Corporal Kody Brittingham in his letter of intent to assassinate the President Obama.”
We are becoming a nation of morons.
The Scripps question is a terrible question: “assisted in” and “took no action” are two very different things. Has anyone polled the questions separately? I think it’s nuts to clam that the Bush administration actively engaged in the 9/11attacks; however, it is a matter of record that he got an intelligence report with a title on the order of bin Laden planning to do really evil stuff and blew it off.
Spellcheck x 2:
en masse, not in mass
Sam Hill is an American English slang phrase, a euphemism or minced oath for “the devil” or “hell” personified (as in, “What in the Sam Hill is that?”). Etymologist Michael Quinion and others date the expression back to the late 1830s; they and others consider the expression to have been a simple bowdlerization, with, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, an unknown origin. [Wiki]
(A different Samuel Hill, as noted elsewhere, is related through marriage to Minnesota railroad baron James J., and is credited with design of Pacific Highway [U.S. 99], in Northwest, as well as Peace Arch at U.S.-Canada border at Blaine, Washington and Surrey, British Columbia.)
Sam Hell, on the other hand, was my neighbor in trailer park near grimy South Platte River outside Evans, Colorado, when I was undergraduate at UNC years ago. Sometimes his former Army buddies would spend long, loud, beer-blasted weekends with Sam, who–when he’d had enough of their company–would take the dirty dishes out of sink and let his dogs lick them clean before putting them back into cupboard. Party over.
Ever the professor. My fault on the en masse. I wish I could say I avoided it out of a general distaste for the French, but no. I slipped up on that one.
I am, however, aware of Sam Hill vs. Sam Hell. I chose the latter because Sam Hill sounds idiotic.
If you mean hell, say hell. I guess they didn’t back then because it was too strong. Even Radar on MASH referred to it as H..E.. double toothpicks.
Now, there is no word that is considered too strong. MoFO and all its cousins and other relatives have now lost their zip. Hell seems, well, so quaint.
There is also Sam Hall, the hero of the musical hall parody of the broadside goodnight ballad which begins, in one version, “My name it is Sam Hall, it is Sam Hall, and I hate you short and tall, and I hate you one and all, you’re a bunch of buggers all, God damn your eyes.”
John — So nice to see your name here!
Ellen — you’re are more than 100 percent — we are becoming a nation of morons. What’s scarier is that it’s moving past talk and rhetoric. There was a report about a month ago in the Guardian talking about the sky-rocketing increase in race-based attacks based on data compiled by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (if I remember correctly).
What worries me is that more people will stop talking and start acting.
Newt: I checked out your video link and didn’t find it that shocking. What are shocking to me are some of the comments posted by readers. Like this:
“We willingly let this happen to ourselves…
When communists infiltrated our schools, we sat there and complained, but did nothing.
When communists infiltrated government, we sat there and complained, but did nothing.
When communists infiltrated Cable and Print Newsrooms, we sat there and complained, but did nothing.
We let the communists define the rules (political correctness) and we sat there and complained, but did nothing.
We let communists tell us to fight with votes… HA! There will ALWAYS be more voters siding with communists promising handouts taken from anyone that has more than they do – the trick is so old that it is a testament to just how stupid and lazy we have been that it still works.
We let the communists convince us that violence, in any form, was wrong — effectively labeling anyone who would fight for justice to be a “right-wing lunatic”.
When our representatives made compromises with communists while lining their own pockets, we sat there and complained, but did nothing.
If anyone thinks that voting for a Republican will return America to what the Founders risked their lives to create, they’re stupid as s**t. And if you get your opinions from some moron on TV or radio, YOU are the problem.
The only thing that will ever get our country started down the path it was intended to be on is another armed revolution. Until that happenes everything else is just hot smelly air.”
“This healthcare bill is the beginning of the Mark of the Beast 666…Government’s forcing you to buy healthcare…Government will controlling your life…Government will force you to implant micro-chip for easy data access…you’ve received the mark of the beast…it is too late”
“When the Republicans vote for immigration reform (amnesty for illegal aliens) this year, and they will, who will we vote for? The democrats are going to push amnesty, many republicans will vote for it and it will pass – which will piss us off even more and split our vote. Mark my words. The democrats will retain power in November and the USA is done.
The only option left is armed revolt.”
Yikes! If this wasn’t actual it’s like bad fiction from the Red-scare era of the fifties and early sixties. About fifty years ago a novel called “Seven Days in May” topped the charts. Paranoid militaristic power brokers gone insane. This sounds like a brain invasion from an evil dystopian source. Of course, some entity is stealing our brains, effectively obliterating the last remnants of sensible thought. The horror!
These folks who believe what feels good will not be able to sustain their inarticulate, inchoate and misdirected anger for any significant period of time. It’s because, at base, they don’t believe in anything. They don’t want to address any of their actual problems in practical ways. They just want to vent like two-year-olds. They like to call themselves “independent” because it sounds better than admitting that they have no philosophy beyond consumerism.
They don’t read. They don’t think. They just feel. They muddle bitterly along until some cynical demagogue or cable TV geek (in the carnival sense) pokes them and unleashes all their unexamined angers and resentments like a vulture pecking at the bloated viscera of carrion. Then, once roused, they feed them some pat-sounding slogans that are cathartic to uncomprehendingly parrot over and over and over again and misspell on signs.
But after awhile, when nothing good comes of any of it and their lives improve not at all, they tire, get mollified by some other shiny object like so many magpies, and the mob scatters. It will be the same this time around.
And there are so many of them now, and they are so upset because of the general economic situation? Lost jobs, wages and hours cut, house gone down in value, promises of American Dream fading fast, who do we blame?–whoever is in power and doesn’t look a whole lot like me?
You have described the source of my despair in words I could not find. But really. Will our condition improve?
An idiot was arrested last weekend in Mankato for driving his car into our local WalMart..straight into the store. He began brandishing a pistol (which turned out to be a pellet gun); unfortunately, there were four law enforcement types in the store by then, weapons drawn. He was shouting incoherently but the one word that was heard clearly by everyone was “Obama.”
He also had but one leg.
And people continued shopping.
What floors me is the flaming hypocrisy. The tea bagger who posted the address of the congressman’s brother on the assumption it was the address of the congressman and thereby got the brother’s propane line cut is living on Social Security disability. Tim McVeigh’s pal Nichols has a brother who won’t put plates on his car because it is an imposition of a tyrannical government, but who, nonetheless, didn’t mind taking a third of a million dollars from the same tyrannical government in agricultural support. Something similar is true of Michelle Bachmann and Steve Sviggum. In general, the red states take more money out of the federal treasury than they put it.
Sometimes I wonder whether it’s ignorance or hypocrisy. A little while ago, the local (Fargo) Limbaugh wannabe called upon his second string ditto-heads to drive by congressman Pomeroy’s office at a certain time and honk their horns to express their opposition to health care reform. The AFL-CIO, in a bit of strategic brilliance, called out picketers to parade in front of the office with signs reading “Honk, if you support health care reform.” A surprising number of the honkers in vehicles bearing signs or stickers opposing hcr appeared to be elderly. It looked like the “Keep the Government out of my Medicare” crowd all over again.
You folks love to use the “Keep the Government out of my Medicare” anecdote as an example of hypocrisy. It exemplifies no such thing.
Medicare and its siblings were proposed, justified, and passed as social insurance. They are insurance in fact, with premiums paid in the form of dedicated payroll taxes.
What do these people believe?
They believe that in their working lifetimes they fulfilled their end of an insurance contract with the government. They are correct.
They believe the government won’t / can’t fulfill their end, and wants to change the terms of the contract. They are correct.
There’s no hypocrisy there.
Of course there is hypocrisy–they support one government run insurance program, and then turn around and oppose the HCRA because it is a government run insurance program.They support and want their Medicare, which has a universal mandate, and they oppose the HCRA because it has a government participation mandate. They think that the mandate for Medicare is fine, and the mandate for the HCRA is unconstitutional.
That would illustrate a hypocrisy, but I haven’t observed that context.
The context is they oppose the medicare cuts, and feel its a breach of faith / contract because they have paid their medicare taxes.
You haven’t seen 13 states AG’s file suit because of the “unconstitutional” universal mandate? Despite thier support for Medicare with the same mandate? You haven’t seen our Governor and all or our Republican state senators and representatives ask our AG to join in this lawsuit?
The AGs or Republican politicians often show hypocrisy. That’s an easy rhetorical point to win. Again, that’s not the context.
The context is the blue-hairs….”A surprising number of the honkers in vehicles bearing signs or stickers opposing hcr appeared to be elderly. It looked like the “Keep the Government out of my Medicare” crowd all over again.”
Precious good-government types have been making this wry “Keep the Government out of my Medicare” hypocrisy observation about the elderly for a few years now. Often the observation contrasts the opposition to tax increases with support of Medicare. Hypocrisy is thus identified.
The opposition to tax increases by blue-hairs and their support of Medicare is not a confused sentiment. Medicare is supposed to be distinct from general revenue, and they feel (correctly) they’ve already paid the taxes for their Medicare.
(You) Folks conflate income taxes with social insurance premiums (payroll taxes) frequently in order to make points about hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance, and to make assertions about who carries the taxation load. These are not legitimate observations. These observations are made by conflation.
My own experience is the social insurance message was taught very well in high school and college civics, and was well received regardless of ideology. I don’t find that modern conservatives oppose social insurance.
But your argument only works IF you assume (which you apparently do, and you are wrong in doing so) that the FICA taxes actually PAY for either Medicare or Social Security. They do not, which is why both of the “trust funds” are running out of money. The medicare and social security taxes do not come close to covering the costs of medicare and social security, and what the seniors have already paid into these systems was spent long ago.
It isn’t their money anymore. Their money is long gone–and they are getting far, far more out of the system than they ever pout into the system.
It appears that you are arguing that they are not hypocritical because they are ignorant–that if they sincerely believe the falsehoods they spout they can not be hypocritical.
(please note that I am making the assumption that you ARE intelligent enough to know that both Social Security and Medicare have always been designed so that the people who are working now and paying into the system now are paying the costs NOT for their future needs, but rather for those who are currently drawing on the system, and that the costs for us when we retire will be paid by those people who are unfortunate enough to be working at that time–a huge flaw in the design of the system. The recent attempt to set up the “trust funds” was a try at turning this around, which was only temporary–indeed, we are now once again spending more than we are taking in, so the system is in deficit currently)
Surely you also believe in some modicum of personal responsibility, at least towards things as basic as truth? That if you are actually going to make the effort to protest a situation, that it is incumbent on the individual to try to find out what is accurate?
I agree with you on your recent post. Seniors are getting much more out of SS and Medicare than they ever put in. The systems are deeply flawed, and no one has the political stones to address this modern day Ponzi scheme.
Every time someone does, the political rhetoric, demoguery and scare tactics begin. I do agree with 108, though, that we need to address these before galloping off on another government mandated entitlement.
Government has done a reasonably good job processing the Medicare benefits — but again, it has a $35 trillion unfunded liability. There are serious ways of fixing Medicare, Social Security and addressing coverage for those not insured. Fat Bastard had in right in the movie “The Spy Who Shagged Me,”
“First Things First………………”
Really, balancing social security and Medicare is not rocket science. We need to increase the taxes some, we need to raise retirement age some, and we need to reduce/reform benefits some.
And MK is exactly right– politicians with the cojones necessary to tell us how relatively simple this is (simple, not easy) are vastly outnumbered by the politicians ready to demagogue the crap out of the issue. And that distinction cuts right across political parties.
True. There have been bipartisan attempts by several administrations to fix SS, Medicare and Medicaid (Reagan, Clinton and Bush). However, there has been no political will to do it. Push the age up to 70 and you offend one class of voters.
Tax all wages, even above the $107k or whatever it is now and you offend another class of voters. Index benefits to prices instead of wages and you offend all classes of voters. Ditto for fixes to Medicare and Medicaid.
Ellen had an excellent point about long term care planning. Too many well off people have abused Medicaid to protect their assets instead of planning ahead and buying insurance or paying their own costs out of pocket.
So we do nothing and pass on these problems to later generations as those problems grow and compound.
When you’re young, you never think about health insurance..until you need it and don’t have it. When you’re middle-aged, you never think about Medicare until your parent goes into a care facility and you need to come up with ways to protect her – fast. When you’re passing third base, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, long term care insurance all become topics you kick yourself for never having taken seriously.
Yup, going through it right now with my mother. I’m sure we’d be looking at mid-six figures in medical expenses without Medicare and her supplemental insurance since September. Until about six months ago never gave it a thought or had any idea of her coverage.
My sympathies as I know that can turn into a stressful time for everyone.
And who ever thought about “estate planning”? Estate planning? That’s for the rich, right? Wrong.
Often, when you’re least able to handle it due to a loved one’s illness, you are confronted with an amalgam of all things medical and legal – “look backs,” wills, custodians, health care directives, living wills, etc. At this point most of us realize we would have benefited from a course or two somewhere along the way in something called “This is Your Life. No. Really. Pay Attention.”
Sam Hell’s dog comes out as the smartest critter on this block.
The polls Ellen and Joe cite show that the inability to find one’s ass with both hands is bipartisan.
I wonder if things are really worse now than, say 100 years ago, or 200? Maybe people in this democracy were as ill-informed, as full of superstition and misinformation, then as now. People really only ran into and heard views from their neighbors, mostly, in 1810, and when someone you know and maybe buy your milk from says something lunatic, you kinda smile and say, “Oh that’s just old Bill, he’s a loon but he’s my neighbor.” You don’t despair for the fate of the Republic. By 1910 there were national newspapers spreading poor journalism and stupid opinions around, as well as spreading decent information. There wasn’t radio yet, so mostly you still knew most of the people around you and didn’t hear many opinions from distant folk. But now, with the insatiable media maw, everything is covered all the time and people like Glenn Beck, who a hundred years ago would have been a drooler on the corner people occasionally flipped a quarter at, now can sway millions.
More crazies and dopes, or just brighter spotlights on the crazies and dopes? When I despair, which is at almost every newscast, sign-on screen, rss feed and headline, I try to convince myself that we’re not a stupider people than we were in the past.
But then I turn on the television…
Amen, brother to that. Tonight I saw footage of a Democratic member of Congress who actually worried that deploying troops to the Island of Guam would so populate the island that it might tip over — capsize. I’m wondering if this nitwit knew Guam is not actually a boat.
The other twit was another member of Congress (a Democrat — hey it was Fox), who told the camera he wouldn’t care if the health care bill were unconstitutional because covering 30 million people is more important than the Constitution.
I’ve heard idiotic comments from Republicans as well although the Guam one takes the cake.
It’s all proof positive that there are members of both parties who couldn’t find their asses with both hands, a map, a flashlight and a hand held GPS (there’s a business idea for Garmin).
Rasmussen poll just released shows people polled feel closer to the Tea Party than to members of Congress by a 20 percentage point spread. Now that’s amazing.
I don’t despair for the fate of the republic, but I despair for the concept of progress, of evolution towards something better, for the idea that maybe, just maybe, we might be able to learn from the mistakes of our past rather than repeating them again and again
Nice try John.
I believe Dingell. He made a mistake.
By the way, don’t you dig The Ed Show? When I was a coed in the Fargo-Moorhead area, Schulz was sports director on WDAY-TV. He had quite a following in the area; but, I’d lost track of his career.
It’s interesting to see his transformation from that into radio talkshow host and now msnbc host. He seems to reach out to “both sides of the aisle” frequently although he’s a proud liberal. I appreciate that he can disagree with someone without being disagreeable – a welcome relief from other cable talk shows.
I also find it fascinating that Sen. McCain has had to call upon his former #2 – Sarah Palin – to prop his flagging support from conservative Republicans/independent/tea party activists/whomever. McCain is really fighting for re-election. In Sarah’s speech, she does make what I consider to be a faux pas when she argues that we need new blood in Washington.
By the way, Cindy McCain allegedly paid $1 million to get Sarah to come to Arizona. No freebies for our Sarah.
I’m not a huge Palin fan on substance. But I do pay attention when she’s on……….and wearing leather.
I knew that would get a rise out of one of you guys.
JD Hayworth’s slogan is that he is the “Consistent Conservative.”
McCain can’t begin to make that claim.
Newt: You are much more the expert on conservative politics and principles than probably anyone else who contributes to this blog. So let me ask you: Is the Republican Party in danger of being entirely engulfed by a tsunami called “consistent conservative/tea party/throw all the bums out”? If so, it seems that the Rs stand to lose much more than the Ds in this election year and beyond.
There are now thousands of vocal protesters who stand to the right of even the right wing of the Republican Party. Will they threaten the future of the Repubs? Will they force a realignment of the party, which I believe is overdue since the only leader Republicans cite with any frequency is a man who was president an entire generation ago?