Sound the Horns of Armageddon!

As dizzy as I am at the thought that anyone — anywhere — sees yet another not particularly bright, ultra-right wing Texas governor as the solution to all the problems rung up by the last not particularly bright or hard-working Texas governor, you know the $5 trillion in debt from a combination of a tax revenue giveaway to the richest of the rich, two unfunded wars, a huge unfunded prescription drug benefit (to major pharmaceutical corporations) and a grinding recession largely inspired by crony-capitalism and the systematic gutting of federal financial regulatory agencies, “The Solution” has arrived. He is here folks, and his name is Rick Perry, the guy most likely to face-off against Barack Obama next year.

In a normal world I try to restrain myself from hysterical, apocalyptic prophesying. But in this case … what the hell? Everyone else is doing it, and Perry is about to launch a national campaign on it. And it works.

As we saw when all eight of the previous GOP candidates raised their hands in Ames last week and vowed to reject a deficit-reducing plan that included as little as a 10-to-1 ratio of spending cuts to revenue increases, the prevailing stratagem in GOP politics today is the refusal by all involved to be out-hyperbolized by any of the others. Put another way, however radical the statements of any of the others may be — and we’re talking Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum for chrissakes — there is always room even further out for a candidate willing to go there … and they all are, except maybe Jon Huntsman.

But in Rick Perry … oh lord, (and I do mean “Lord”) … the Republicans now have a nearly ideal caricature for the modern conservative movement. Here is a guy who is truly post-rational, post-accountable and post-shameful in his rhetoric and tactics, and someone so shamelessly sold off to the biggest money interests in Texas he won’t worry for a second where his next barrage of God-inspired attack ads will come from. In any other time, Perry would be a non-starter based any of a dozen absurdly flagrant abuses of logic and influence. But this is not that kind of time. Much the contrary. As long as the talk radio/Tea Party ethos maintains control over the Republican party there is no penalty and only benefit for breathtaking fabrication, hysteria and demagoguery. (Have you seen his first TV ad?) This stuff is selling, and Rick Perry, much more than “weird” Mormon Mitt Romney (for whom 25% of base Republicans say they “could” never vote) is the strutting apotheosis of everything the New Republican desires most.

Ladies and gentlemen, Rick Perry not only will be the Republican nominee, his candidacy will ignite the afterburners on the culture wars in the good old USA. And he could easily win. All his gaffes and sell-outs to major business interests are irrelevant to those who want nothing more than the defeat of Barack Obama and a restoration of a corporate-fueled theocracy of George W. Bush. The crowd that wants Obama destroyed simply don’t care if anything … anything … their standard-bearer says is true, much less whether he has any concerns whatsoever for their day-to-day well-being. The defeat/destruction of Barack Obama is a matter of apocalyptic necessity to the new GOP base and of the current crop, only Rick Perry brings enough of the ammo to get the job done.

We are about to behold a media spectacle of unprecedented irrationality and rabble-rousing … and it will unfold under the banner of God himself.

Other than that, have a great day.

67 thoughts on “Sound the Horns of Armageddon!

  1. Newt says:

    Take a breath, Brian. The worst that can happen under GOP rule is that unemployment drops back to 5%, the borders are secured, and the deficit is reduced.

      1. Every profile I’ve read on Perry describes a remarkably vacuous character with very little grasp of basic administrative details … but utterly reptilian in pursuit of political victory.

      1. Dan Bredahl says:

        Why is it that Mr. Gorbachev had to tear down his wall, but to be considered viable in GOP circles, you have to agree to build one here at home?

        For the times, they are a-changin’

  2. Mike Thomas says:

    Texas and their low unemployment, low taxes, and state cash reserve is something we should all be aware of.

    I await for Leinfelder’s cute response…

  3. Jim Leinfelder says:


    While you “await for” my response, go back and read Loveland’s earlier post on the Texas mirage. Sheesh…

  4. PM. says:

    Perry continues to look like an amateur. Behrnanke is “treasonous”? He makes Texas look like a third world country, and himself like a tinpot banana republic dictator.

    Maybe this is all simply a ploy to make Romney look more and more reasonable……

    1. The Rick Perry oppo-research well is nearly fathomless. There is almost no issue (that I can think of) where he isn’t on record saying something eyeball-rolling crazy. But … as I say … none of that matters in the least to the voters he needs to grab the nomination. They are neither reality, nor constituent-service based.

      1. Jim Leinfelder says:

        If the supply does run low, Karl Rove will be happy to do any additional spade work to turn over anything that’s been overlooked.

    2. Ellen says:

      Momkat: This was a scarey list. I wonder if he would think it’s Constitutional that I, a mere woman, am now allowed to vote? I was considering throwing my support to Perry for the following reasons, all of which I learned in the one ad I saw above (which is as much research as I, or any other patriotic American, should need):

      1. The name of his hometown has a real small-town American ring to it.
      2. He married a woman.
      3. He married his high school sweetheart.
      4. God is on his campaign squad.
      5. He looked mighty fine in those chaps.

      However, I can not vote for him until he shows me his birth certificate. A girl can’t be too careful, right?

      1. Momkat of Apple Valley says:

        Absolutely, Ellen, his birth certificate is a must-see. He probably won’t show it to me though as, although Dadkat and I are a married man and woman, our children are feline–is that unpatriotic?

  5. Mike Kennedy says:

    Oh Geez. I already used the broken record line in an earlier post so I probably can’t use it again in reference to Lambo’s most recent party line drivel……can I? God, Brian, you’re becoming so boringly predictable, but I still keep reading. You keep writing,and I’ll keep laughing. Corporations have ruined America while the heroes in the super tights and capes (otherwise known as Harry Reid, Pelosi and company) have fought tooth and nail for justice, the American way and (drum roll)….the American working man and woman (I hear Zalinsky with a Chicago accent, ala Dan Akroyd ni Tommy Boy). Come to think of it, Lambo, your columns are starting to generate as many laughs for me as that movie. Yeah, everyone is out to get “The One.” Has it ever dawned on you that his own horseshit policies aren’t working….nope, didn’t think so.

    1. Mike: I’m not sure which “party” you’re referring to. But my drivel finds little appeal among Democrats. As for “The One’s” policies, how about your crowd stepping up and cooperating on one some time … just so we can see if it works. But what fun would that be?

      1. Mike Kennedy says:

        Well, my crowd….if I have on other than you and this one, should cooperate on any policies that make sense. Right now, I’m not sure which ones do. I think many of Mr. Obama’s policies were enacted during his first two years….I’m still trying to figure out which ones are working…so are many others, judging by his tumbling approval ratings.

      2. PM. says:

        Mike: the fact that most of what Obama did took place in the first 2 years of his presidency really isn’t much of a legitimate criticism:

        first, that is the historical pattern of most presidential terms, which would strongly indicate that there are institutional reasons, not reasons that have anything to do with Obama for the pattern.

        second, the practical reason that most things happened in the first 2 years is that after the mid term election, Obama faces a divided Congress–and a Republican Party whose priority was to deny Obama any further legislative victories, including bipartisan ones.

        finally, Obama’s approval ratings, while falling recently, have in fact been far better than the norm of post WW2 presidents.

      3. PM: I suspect that what Mike will accept as accomplishment from Obama are great legislative accomplishments such as we saw during The Enlightment Epoch from 2001 to 2009, which is to say tax relief for job providers.

      4. Erik Peterson says:

        I like the one where he closed Guantanomo. You guys are absolutely living in your own made up reality.

      5. Mike Kennedy says:


        I think you misunderstand. I’m asking you and Lambo to name some economic policies that Mr. Obama has enacted in his first two years that have worked. The guy took over a sinking ship and focused his political capital and energy on health care. What economic policies directly addressed the freefall of the housing market and economy still don’t seem to have worked….stimulas, shovel ready…blah blah. I’m saying point to economic policies that have worked. If he wants Republicans to sign on, then he has to come up with new ideas, not the same recycled spend more bullshit that has come out of his mouth.

      6. Joe Loveland says:

        Re: Name Obama economic policies that have worked.

        1) USA Today: “Economists agree: Stimulus created nearly 3 million jobs”

        A recent study by two prominent economists generally agrees, crediting the pump-priming with averting “what could have been called Great Depression 2.0.

        …the consensus among economists is that the stimulus worked in staving off a rerun of the 1930s. But the spending’s impact was dwarfed by other crisis-fighting tools deployed by the Bush and Obama administrations, including costly efforts to stabilize crippled banks and the Fed’s unconventional monetary policy.

        It’s no surprise that the administration would proclaim its own policies a success. But its verdict is backed by economists at Goldman Sachs, IHS Global Insight, JPMorgan Chase and Macroeconomic Advisers, who say the stimulus boosted gross domestic product by 2.1% to 2.7%.

        2) E.J. Dionne: “The auto bailout worked”

        “Demand for Fuel-efficient Cars Helps GM to $3.2 Billion Profit,” declared The Washington Post. “GM Reports Earnings Tripled in First Quarter, as Revenue Jumped 15 Percent,” reported The New York Times.

        Government failure gets a lot of coverage. That’s useful because government should be held accountable for its mistakes. What’s not OK is that we hear very little when government acts competently and even creatively. For if mistakes teach lessons, successes teach lessons, too.

        In the case of the car industry, allowing the market to operate without any intervention by government would have wiped out a large part of the business that is based in Midwestern states. This irreversible decision would have damaged the economy, many communities and tens of thousands of families.

        Contrary to the predictions of the critics, government officials were quite capable of working with the market in restructuring the industry. Government didn’t overturn capitalism. It tempered the market at a moment when its “natural” forces were pushing toward catastrophe. Government had the resources to buy the industry time.

        3) L.A. Time: Financial industry bailouts worked

        In mid-2009, the program was projected to lose as much as $341 billion. That’s been reduced to $25 billion — partly because of the controversial decision to pump much of the TARP money into banks instead of launching a large-scale purchase of securities backed by toxic subprime mortgages.

        There is now broad agreement that the bailouts worked, stabilizing the financial system and preventing an even deeper crisis.

        In the recent recession, the federal government intervened with “overwhelming force and speed,” said Timothy Massad, TARP’s acting manager.

        “We stopped the panic,” he said. “We were then able to recapitalize the system very quickly with private capital … get the credit markets working again, and that laid the foundation for an economic recovery.”

      7. Joe: I believe what Mike is asking you to do is make his case for him, by, you know, ignoring all this fact-y stuff, the abuse of the filibuster rule, the wall-to-wall obstruction (even of legislation the GOP had previously favored) and instead provide him with an argument that proves we are living with an economy that A: Spends too much, and B: Where Republicans, full of productive ideas, are not being allowed a voice in the process.

        And good luck with that, sir.

      8. Mike Kennedy says:

        Yep, Brian, you’re right. I’m asking libs to make a case for a guy who had the entire Congress in his hands for two years — the obstruction you speak of came to play in 2010, not 2008. Quit blaming one house majority for all the economic ills of this administration. And, yes, Joe, you can find two economists who say the stimulus helped. I can find two who say otherwise and we can go tit for tit (I mean tat) all day long. Financial bailouts were proposed and started by Bush. I didn’t like them then. Don’t like em now. No surprise that TARPs acting manager is blowing his own……..horn. The auto bailouts. Yep. Kept union jobs. At what cost per job?

      9. Joe Loveland says:

        Re: “you can find two economists who say the stimulus helped and I can find two who say otherwise.”

        Beyond “two economists,” the NONPARTISAN Congressional Budget Office, the well respected body of national experts trusted for decades by leaders of both political parties to assess the economic impact of the policies of both parties, said the stimulus increased the number of people employed by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million. This is hardly an outlier viewpoint.

        But Brian may be correct that I misunderstood the assignment.

    2. Mike: As I guy who follows the news closely and cares about being taken seriously, I’m sure there’s a typo (or something) in here you want to correct … “I’m asking libs to make a case for a guy who had the entire Congress in his hands for two years — the obstruction you speak of came to play in 2010, not 2008.”

      1. Erik Peterson says:

        Way to go BL, you really nailed him on the garbling of those dates. That takes a lot of chops, you must feel very self-satisfied.

      2. Erik Peterson says:

        I dunno Mike. I don’t know that ‘smarts’ is a pre-req for long form verbosity and garrulousness. If it is, it’s certainly an interesting paradox. What say you, BL?

      3. Ohhhh boy. Mike: Let me diagram it for you. You said, “I’m asking libs to make a case … had the entire Congress in his hands … came to play in 2010, not 2008.” Since this belies near complete ignorance of the pre-2010 abuse of the Senate filibuster, the health care brawl, etc. etc. I made what we here in the not painfully literal-minded community call … a joke. I employed what is called … irony. To suggest that someone who claims to follow the news MUST have meant something other than what you said, hence “a typo (or something)” that would explain such a stunning lapse of awareness. Either that or … oh, never mind.

      4. Erik Peterson says:

        Baloney. If you were going for irony you would have used a couple dozen sets of scare quotes.

      5. Thanks for the diagram, could be that I just don’t get your…..uh, humor. So you made a joke? Good on you. Look, here’s the point, the guy had a majority and the economy is still struggling. It has reduced this administration to continue to try to sell its policies by “things would have been worse if not for us” mentality. Most people ain’t believing it, with good reason.

      6. PM. says:


        this seems (to me) to be the dynamic of the situation, contrary to what you assert:

        Under ideal circumstances, President Obama would come up with an economic plan and execute it. If the agenda succeeded, he’d get the credit. If it faltered, Republicans would call him on it. Voters could evaluate the results and decide whether to keep the president around or go back to GOP economic policies.

        But those circumstances are nowhere to be found. Rather, we’re stuck looking in this funhouse-mirror in which Republicans block Democratic economic policies, and then condemn the policies for failing. Worse, as Adam Serwer noted, these same GOP officials are “actively pursuing policies that make the problem worse, and then attacking the president for the results.”

        In every meaningful way, this is exactly the dynamic we’re dealing with. Kevin Drum had a good summary on this last night, which he conceded is so absurd, it’s “kind of hard to believe.”

        2001-2008: Republicans run economy into ditch.

        2008: Obama elected.

        2009-2011: Republicans respond by doing everything possible to prevent him from fixing things.

        2012: Republicans use lousy economy as campaign cudgel against Obama.

        2012: Republican candidate wins presidency (maybe).

        Arguably one of the most dramatic Democratic dilemmas of 2011 and 2012 is overcoming the realization that Republicans are getting their way on economic policy and then denying any responsibility for the results. Indeed, it’s a rather extraordinary con: GOP officials see much of their agenda implemented, then see it fail, and then blame Obama when their policies don’t work.

        Especially over the last couple of days, the underlying Republican pitch in response to economic anxiety and recession fears is, “See? It’s time to try things our way.”

        What goes largely overlooked is the fact that we already are trying things their way. Whether Republicans want to admit it or not, the economy is advancing exactly as they want it to. The private sector is being left to its own devices; the public sector is shedding jobs and scrapping investments; and the only permitted topic of conversation is about debt reduction.

        This is the script the GOP wrote.

        In fairness, I realize GOP officials aren’t getting everything they want. The EPA still exists; OSHA is still looking out for worker safety; corporate tax rates have not yet been slashed, etc.

        But consider the larger landscape. Bush tax breaks in effect for a decade? Check. No more stimulus? Check. Massive debt-reduction package approved? Check. States and municipalities forced to cut back and fend for themselves? Check.

        What are Republicans complaining about? Why blame Dems for the performance of the GOP agenda?

      7. Jim Leinfelder says:

        I’m picturing Mike standing on the wing of that goose-fouled jet floating safely in the Hudson and screaming at Sully Sullenberger for not getting him to the airport for which he bought a ticket; and then getting even angrier when Sully points out that the only option he had to a water landing was auguring into Manhattan.

      8. PM:

        Contrary to what you assert the Republicans did not “run the economy into the ditch,” a common liberal, simple mantra that ignores all the parties involved in the subprime crisis that really ran the economy into the ditch. But partisan sniping aside, Mr. Obama can hardly blame his prolific spending policies on Republicans or his complete focus on health care to the exclusion of the rest of the economy and the poll numbers are showing it. You can quote all the economists you want, and I can, too, but the fact of the matter is that a president will take the credit when things go good and the blame when things go bad. Welcome to politics as we know it. The buck stops………where? In addition, some of the most invasive regulatory “reforms” in decades have been passed and signed by Dems, think financial services, energy and health care. Employment in federal regulatory agencies is up 13 percent and budgets for those agencies up 16 percent. Yes, some regulations can be good, but the cost of new compliance hit $4 billion in Obama’s first 12 months — Bush was into his third year before hitting that number, and Bush was no shrinking violet when it came to new government regulations and spending.

      9. Jim Leinfelder says:


        I have no idea what would win an election in this America, Mike. The fatuous promise of $2.00 gal. gas? The promise to never raise taxes and keep the federal government’s hands of people’s Medicare? The assertion that evolution and creationism enjoy equal standing in credible circles. Hey, maybe. We’ll see.

        While you can certainly argue that Obama’s efforts to pull the economy out of the steep dive it was in when he entered the flight deck were inadequate and timid, you certainly can’t make a case based on objective reality that what he did do didn’t mitigate the harm.

        And yet, I think that’s what you’re claiming, just like someone bellyaching Sully’s water landing was a failure because he didn’t get the passengers to the destination on their tickets.

      10. PM. says:

        Mike: the economy went into the ditch during the last phases of the Bush presidency. bush is a republican. As you pointed out, presidents get the blame for what happened during their term. This disaster of an economy happened during Bush’s term, not Obama’s.

        Certainly, Obama has not created a strong recovery. I think that it is creditable to argue that there has been a recovery (of sorts), but it is clearly sputtering. Here is a great review of economic articles/studies about the stimulus effort:

        Can you blame Obama for prolific spending? No. see:

        Basically, all of the spending that people are complaining about is due to automatic spending, like unemployment insurance and increased medicaid costs (many more people have lower wages and lost jobs and now qualify for medicaid than before). Yes, there was increased stimulus spending, but that is basically over (and we probably could use a lot more of that, but that is another discussion).

        When you factor all of those temporary spending increases out, and include all of the budget cuts, the level of discretionary spending under Obama is lower than under either Reagan or Bush (1 and 2), lower than at any time since Eisenhower.

      11. OK, PM, the economy went into the ditch during the Bush term. Fair enough. It did. And it isn’t getting measurably better under Mr. Obama. However, by your logic, blaming Republicans for his continued misguided policies is akin to blaming Democrats when Bush was president. You can’t have it both ways (you can try, though). So all the whining by Jim and Brian are misplaced. It belongs on Obama. The recovery “of sorts” of which you speak is little solace to those who continue to see the value of their homes, 401ks etc decline, if they have a job at all. Jim, I’m afraid you and your objective reality are once again colored by….well, rose colored glasses. Plenty of economists disagree about whether Obama’s policies have harmed or improved the situation. It is going to be hard to prove that things would have been worse if not for his policies…again, many aren’t buying, according to the polls.

      12. Jim Leinfelder says:

        Who’s whining? Where’d I whine? Actually, I was merely responding to your ludicrous keening about Obama’s spending keeping the Republicans from turning things around with more tax cuts and austerity.

      13. Erik Peterson says:

        What was the water landing? The Stimulus? The Stimulus that is now described with the caveat “was too small”? The Stimulus with which is now acknowledged “there’s no such thing as shovel ready jobs?”

        You fellas that are laid off… Didn’t you used to work for lifestyle magazines?

        There’s a perfectly good perspective that says things take time, and some things aren’t amenable to ‘fixing’. But insofar as the administration claims credit for things that haven’t been fixed, the problem was and is mortgage crisis…. for which nothing was done. The banks don’t even own the notes anymore, it’s all Freddie and Fannie. This foreclosure situation is criminal.

        The administration thought the economy would recover on its own, and they’d get the credit as a matter of timing. Thus they thought they had the leisure to focus on things other than the ecomomy. They are not especially bright.

      14. Jim: Come again?

        I’m blaming Obama for preventing Republicans from turning things around? Huh?

        No, come in from left field and get back on base. I’m blaming Obama’s policies for failing…..period. See, Republicans don’t have the majority and are without a veto pen. You and the rest of the left on this blog have been blaming Republicans for Obama’s failures. It’s juvenile and absurd. That is the gist of my argument, and yes, I call it whining.

        Call it anything you want. Mr. Obama looks as if he is losing his “cool” when he points fingers and blames others. He’s the president. He needs to be accountable.

      15. Mike: At least try to give us something to play with … .

        August 25, 2011 9:25 AM Bush still losing the blame game

        A new Associated Press-GfK poll offers fairly predictable results about public attitudes on the economy: Americans are deeply unhappy. Overwhelming majorities believe conditions are “poor” and the country is heading in the wrong direction.

        And yet, while Republicans may be encouraged by the dour attitudes, the same poll shows the GOP struggling badly.

        Americans’ views on the economy have dimmed this summer. But so far, the growing pessimism doesn’t seem to be taking a toll on President Barack Obama’s re-election prospects. […]

        Despite the perception of a weakening recovery, there has been no significant change in the number of people who say he deserves re-election: 47 percent as opposed to 48 percent two months ago. That’s a statistical dead heat with those who favor a change in the White House.

        And more Americans still blame former President George W. Bush rather than Obama for the economic distress. Some 31 percent put the bulk of the blame on Obama, while 51 percent point to his Republican predecessor.

        The results that show Bush continuing to get the bulk of the blame is consistent with other recent polling from New York Times/CBS, McClatchy/Marist, and NBC/WSJ, all of which found the same thing: Americans are angry, frustrated, and pessimistic about the economy, but most of the public just doesn’t see Obama as the main culprit.

        Indeed, even now, not only are Americans more inclined to blame Bush, the AP poll found that 44% put “a lot” or “most” of the blame on congressional Republicans, noticeably more than the 36% who point to congressional Democrats.

        The point isn’t that Obama and Dems are riding high on a wave of popularity. That isn’t even close to being true. In fact, the president’s support has slipped badly in practically all of the key areas — the public may not blame Obama, but they nevertheless expect him to do more in cleaning up the Republicans’ mess (which he’d be better able to do if that same public hadn’t elected a GOP-led House).

        But the key takeaway here is that Republicans aren’t benefiting from voters’ frustrations at all. They remain more unpopular and more likely to get blamed.

      16. Mike Kennedy says:

        Brian….you want something to play with? Read the piece I linked by Zuckerman, who supported Obama. Even those who supported him are starting to jump ship. Read the Gallup poll. Only 26 percent approve of the way he’s handled the economy. Do I need to quote Carville? No, didn’t think so. I have no confidence in the Repubs finding a candidate who can unite them. But I’d wouldn’t bank on winning on a “I suck but he sucks worse” campaign theme, which is all Mr. Obama has right now.

      17. PM. says:


        you have expressed, on a number of occassions, your opinion that government housing policy was the cause of the economic crisis. Here is a recent economic study that states that the CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) had no impact on the subprime housing crisis.

        they found that the areas that had the highest concerntration on CRA regulated home loans actually had lower delinquency rates and less risky lending overall. Bottom line–you can’t place the blame on Fannie and Freddie.

      18. PM: It’s not my opinion. It’s cold, hard fact. Government goals, outlined by presidents Clinton and Bush, of 65 to 70 percent home ownership was indeed government policy that began the rush to qualify non qualified buyers. This charade and house of cards was continued at every level, and this policy was pushed by everyone from Congress to Fannie and Freddie to the Federal Reserve to home mortgage lenders, banks, mortgage companies, Wall Street firms and on and on. Without government policies encouraging home ownership by nearly everyone, the rest wouldn’t have happened. I never blamed the CRA directly. It was but a small piece of the idiotic philosophy that people who had no business owning homes (and no skin in them) should own them. One program, like one sector of the economy (Wall Street firms) are incapable of bringing down the whole economy. It took a whole group of stooges to do it, led by your guvmit.

  6. Mike Kennedy says:

    Can someone take off the fuckin Facebook shit that clutters the posting box so I can actually read what I wrote after I type it? Sorry to sound cranky but I just drank a Furious.

  7. Mike Kennedy says:

    Never mind. Figured out how to move it myself. I need child supervision when it comes to computers.

  8. Joe Loveland says:

    When the Perry faithful are asked how TX can be considered an economic “miracle” when the TX unemployment rate is higher than the unemployment rates in Bachmann’s, Santorums, Huntsman’s, Palin’s and Romney’s home states, Perry’s folks point out that TX population is growing fast.

    Now, that’s a valid consideration. But just imagine what Rush, Beck, Hannity, Boehner, McConnell, Drudge, Rove and the Tea Partiers would say if Obama today remarked that the nation wouldn’t have such a high unemployment rate if the U.S. population didn’t keep growing at a 30 million per year clip.

    I’m thinking the Perry explanation wouldn’t go over so well if Obama used it. The loyal opposition’s translation would go roughly like this: “Obama insists abortion and death panels are needed to solve unemployment crisis.”

  9. PM. says:

    Here is an update on the true nature of the Tea Party:

    Crashing the Tea Party
    Published: August 16, 2011

    GIVEN how much sway the Tea Party has among Republicans in Congress and those seeking the Republican presidential nomination, one might think the Tea Party is redefining mainstream American politics.

    Times Topic: Tea Party Movement
    But in fact the Tea Party is increasingly swimming against the tide of public opinion: among most Americans, even before the furor over the debt limit, its brand was becoming toxic. To embrace the Tea Party carries great political risk for Republicans, but perhaps not for the reason you might think.

    Polls show that disapproval of the Tea Party is climbing. In April 2010, a New York Times/CBS News survey found that 18 percent of Americans had an unfavorable opinion of it, 21 percent had a favorable opinion and 46 percent had not heard enough. Now, 14 months later, Tea Party supporters have slipped to 20 percent, while their opponents have more than doubled, to 40 percent.

    Of course, politicians of all stripes are not faring well among the public these days. But in data we have recently collected, the Tea Party ranks lower than any of the 23 other groups we asked about — lower than both Republicans and Democrats. It is even less popular than much maligned groups like “atheists” and “Muslims.” Interestingly, one group that approaches it in unpopularity is the Christian Right.

    The strange thing is that over the last five years, Americans have moved in an economically conservative direction: they are more likely to favor smaller government, to oppose redistribution of income and to favor private charities over government to aid the poor. While none of these opinions are held by a majority of Americans, the trends would seem to favor the Tea Party. So why are its negatives so high? To find out, we need to examine what kinds of people actually support it.

    Beginning in 2006 we interviewed a representative sample of 3,000 Americans as part of our continuing research into national political attitudes, and we returned to interview many of the same people again this summer. As a result, we can look at what people told us, long before there was a Tea Party, to predict who would become a Tea Party supporter five years later. We can also account for multiple influences simultaneously — isolating the impact of one factor while holding others constant.

    Our analysis casts doubt on the Tea Party’s “origin story.” Early on, Tea Partiers were often described as nonpartisan political neophytes. Actually, the Tea Party’s supporters today were highly partisan Republicans long before the Tea Party was born, and were more likely than others to have contacted government officials. In fact, past Republican affiliation is the single strongest predictor of Tea Party support today.

    What’s more, contrary to some accounts, the Tea Party is not a creature of the Great Recession. Many Americans have suffered in the last four years, but they are no more likely than anyone else to support the Tea Party. And while the public image of the Tea Party focuses on a desire to shrink government, concern over big government is hardly the only or even the most important predictor of Tea Party support among voters.

    So what do Tea Partiers have in common? They are overwhelmingly white, but even compared to other white Republicans, they had a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama was president, and they still do.

    More important, they were disproportionately social conservatives in 2006 — opposing abortion, for example — and still are today. Next to being a Republican, the strongest predictor of being a Tea Party supporter today was a desire, back in 2006, to see religion play a prominent role in politics. And Tea Partiers continue to hold these views: they seek “deeply religious” elected officials, approve of religious leaders’ engaging in politics and want religion brought into political debates. The Tea Party’s generals may say their overriding concern is a smaller government, but not their rank and file, who are more concerned about putting God in government.

    This inclination among the Tea Party faithful to mix religion and politics explains their support for Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas. Their appeal to Tea Partiers lies less in what they say about the budget or taxes, and more in their overt use of religious language and imagery, including Mrs. Bachmann’s lengthy prayers at campaign stops and Mr. Perry’s prayer rally in Houston.

    Yet it is precisely this infusion of religion into politics that most Americans increasingly oppose. While over the last five years Americans have become slightly more conservative economically, they have swung even further in opposition to mingling religion and politics. It thus makes sense that the Tea Party ranks alongside the Christian Right in unpopularity.

    On everything but the size of government, Tea Party supporters are increasingly out of step with most Americans, even many Republicans. Indeed, at the opposite end of the ideological spectrum, today’s Tea Party parallels the anti-Vietnam War movement which rallied behind George S. McGovern in 1972. The McGovernite activists brought energy, but also stridency, to the Democratic Party — repelling moderate voters and damaging the Democratic brand for a generation. By embracing the Tea Party, Republicans risk repeating history.

    David E. Campbell, an associate professor of political science at Notre Dame, and Robert D. Putnam, a professor of public policy at Harvard, are the authors of “American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us.”
    A version of thi

    1. Erik Peterson says:

      This guy is full of crap though. Everyone knows the McGovernites weren’t strident such that they repelled moderates. It was Nixon’s southern strategy that played on the base racism of whites.

  10. William Souder says:

    I wouldn’t be so quick to declare Mr. Perry the nominee. There are backrooms in the GOP where he is not liked and where guys like Karl Rove and Jeb Bush are honing their shivs. In fact, I think there’s a better chance that the morbidly obese Chris Christy will be the nominee. Everybody in the party wants him and…despite what he says…you can smell the ambition on him.

    1. Erik Peterson says:

      I know. Its almost as if their religion is an opiate that deludes him and the rest of the teabaggers into a deluded false consciousness.

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