Saturday, January 26, 2013

Open Thread -- Vox Populi







"All movements go too far."

-- Bertrand Russell

84 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

hardly the most positive guy, but he is no doubt correct in this statement. So, on a totally unrelated topic, do you (or anybody) remember a pretty good t.v. series back in the 90's called "Under Suspicion"? it starred an actress named Karen Sillas, and I remember liking it, but can't remember much else about it other than it was kind of dark. That one happened to pop into my head a little earlier today, and seemed like an open thread kind of question.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, True, not a very positive guy. But I think he is correct. It's in the nature of humans because you keep having to go further to justify your continued existence as a movement.

I remember the name "Under Suspicion," but not the show itself.

K said...

Ain't it the truth. The original civil rights movement, an undoubted good - has been iterated to the point of re-defining marriage. Something that ML King would be agog at.

It isn't just movements either. WW2 inertia = Vietnam, Gulf War 1.

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew - I think that's also the same principle of human nature that pretty much guarantees speech becomes courser, and movies and t.v. become more sexually explicit and/or more graphically violent.

Anthony said...

I think Hillary's poor Senate performance is a good example of why she wouldn't be as strong a candidate in 2016 as many seem to think.

If she were a stronger candidate, 2008 would have been her year, but instead Obama came from nowhere (replicating the strategy of her husband in 1992) and won the nomination right out from under her.

Her greatest strength might be the tendency of political parties to show their ass when confronted by a women or a minority in the other party (which isn't to say they dislike them any more or less, but they insult them in ways they wouldn't insult another candidate).

Crude insults won't cost more than a couple percentage points, but races are often won or lost by a couple percentage points...

http://dailycaller.com/2013/01/25/rush-limbaugh-proposes-all-women-battalions-with-synchronized-menstrual-cycles-audio/

As an interesting article in the Atlantic pointed out, women aren't a unified voting bloc, but there is a gender gap within the various blocs.

http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2012/11/women-are-not-a-unified-voting-bloc/265007/

Anthony said...

Depending on who you believe, Sarah Palin either cut ties with Fox or Fox cut ties with Palin. I'm curious to see where she goes from here.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I believe that's true. For humans to care about anything over time, it needs to become more extreme.

AndrewPrice said...

K, I don't follow you? World War II inertia?

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, My concern is that until the Republicans change, which they have signaled they will not, the Democrats could run Hitler's ghost and still win.

On Palin, everything I've read over the last year tells me Fox cut the ties.

AndrewPrice said...

It looks like there is now tension between the US and France over Mali. The French are upset that we aren't sending them military support and the US apparently worries there's no exit strategy... because, of course, there isn't.

Kit said...

I think the Atlantic article shows that the GOP needs to work on siphoning off some of the black and hispanic votes.

We won't flip the black vote (impossible) but if we get enough we might turn an election or possibly scare the Dems.

57-State Doolittle Strategy


Here are two selections, first a quote by Reince Preibus:

-------------

It’s time to stop looking at elections through the lens of “battleground states.” We have four years till the next presidential election, and being a “blue state” is NOT a permanent diagnosis.

Simple “outreach” a few months before an election will not suffice. In fact, let’s stop talking about “reaching out”—and start working on welcoming in. Political support is cultivated over time—not collected on Election Day . .

-----------------

The author of the article points out that there was no campaign effort in blue states like California and the New England states.
Now, I saw Obama ads running here in Alabama. ALABAMA!!!

Instead of having a situation where the bluest state we focus on is Pennsylvania we should broaden our focus. In response to Republicans who say that since we can't win California or New England we should use our resources only in Ohio, maybe PA, he says this:

"Right after Pearl Harbor, Americans needed to show the Japanese we weren’t finished. Hence the Doolittle Raid. Sure, it was just a pinprick, especially compared with the rain of fire and holy hell we unleashed on them three years later. But it was crucial to the ultimate success of the Pacific campaign: four months after the destruction of our fleet in Hawaii, the Japanese found out we could hurt them. And, at that moment, the wisest among them knew they were going to lose the war."

I'll continue in a sec.

Kit said...

If so, then the GOP needs to campaign in left-wing areas. Let's campaign in San Francisco.

Point out the disasterous left-wing policies. In California, target the Democrat mismanagement. Create a campaign slogan that says, I don't know, "Let's Make California Golden Again".

In black communities nationwide, run ads about how Dems run the inner-cities. We won't flip the black vote but we can move it from 90-10 to maybe 80-20. It will at least shock Democrats.

Campaign for Every Vote.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, The GOP is not a national party and that's the problem. Their agenda exists to please a small segment of the country that is bunched together in a handful of states. Just expanding the campaign to other states won't help. The GOP needs a platform that actually sells to people.

Right now, the GOP is a party aimed at economists, corporations and theologians... not people.

Kit said...

Also, limit the purist stuff. I'll take a Scott Brown in a state like Massachusetts.
Leave the purist stuff for the red-as-red states and House districts.

Kit said...

"Kit, The GOP is not a national party and that's the problem. Their agenda exists to please a small segment of the country that is bunched together in a handful of states. Just expanding the campaign to other states won't help. The GOP needs a platform that actually sells to people."

I agree. Get a platform and sell it everywhere.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, The purist stuff needs to go. A real change of mindset needs to happen.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Prepare to feel doomed:

“It’s not the platform of the party that’s the issue,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said Friday after being easily reelected to a second, two-year term. “In many cases, it’s how we communicate about it. It is a couple dumb things that people have said.”

Wrong.

The GOP didn't lose because two troglodytes decided to spout off about rape. Anyone who believes that is a fool. The GOP's problems are EVERYTHING it says, and how it says it. The GOP'S problems are it's utter lack of a platform.

The GOP is doomed.

AndrewPrice said...

This article is full of quotes that are delusional. Some of then are arguing that politics is just a pendulum and will swing back. Some said this as proof that everything is fine:

“In some respects, obviously, we have to look at things that didn’t work well, but we actually have no shortage of successes around the country.”

Really? What went well. More purple states went blue, more red states went purple. Show me single win any any blue or swing state. We even lost in the reddest of red states.

It is delusional to look for a handful of victories in our last few strongholds and say, "gee, it wasn't all bad, we must be winning."

Kit said...

"The GOP is doomed."

Really?

Kit said...

“In some respects, obviously, we have to look at things that didn’t work well, but we actually have no shortage of successes around the country.”

There he sounds more like the CEO of a company that had a bad business year.

Kit said...

And is trying to make things look rosy.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, The GOP from the top of the leadership to the very bottom of the activist base is delusional. They refuse to see the problem. They think that it's all just dumb luck that they lost... they don't even see that they lost. They think everything is fine and the only reason they lost is that two guy talked about rape and that politics is a pendulum and we just happen to have swung left for the moment... don't worry, it will swing back soon.

They refuse to see that their views are toxic. They refuse to see that they offer the country nothing. To the contrary, they blame the public for not drinking the KoolAid.

These people simply refuse to believe they've done anything wrong. Read this article: LINK.

This is from the GOP leadership conference... in their own words, not MSM spin. You will see them talking about how nothing really needs to change except some minor procedural things. We need to not talk about rape anymore, then we'll win. We need to sell the same message that didn't work anywhere outside hardcore right-wing areas all over the country, that will win people over. And we just need to wait. Heck, they say, the Democrats had this same problem and they just waited until Bill Clinton came along and everything was fine then. Just stick your head back in the sand and it will all turn out ok.

They even claim that we've been better for Hispanics and blacks than Obama... we just don't brag about it. Give me a f**king break.

This is like listening to an alcoholic. Alcoholics are marvelous at refusing to believe they have a problem and at blaming everyone else for things that go wrong in their lives. They have a stunningly warped view of how they are perceived. Most see themselves as loved and as super-virtuous. They also lash out at anyone who tries to help them. That's what this is.

Nothing is going to change.

Writer X said...

That is an interesting quote today, Andrew.

However it speaks in absolutes and those always make me suspicious.

Have a great Saturday. Sorry I've been MIA on this, my favorite blog. :) Too much going on.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, "There he sounds more like the CEO of a company that had a bad business year."

That only works when you have a solid plan that just didn't work due to some unexpected circumstances that shouldn't repeat or to which you've already adjusted.

That's not the GOP. The GOP is corporation with a failed product and a delusional management who think that if they just wait long enough, the world will rediscover them.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X,

Absolutes definitely should be taken with a grain of salt.

Glad you dropped by. :)

Kit said...

"That only works when you have a solid plan that just didn't work due to some unexpected circumstances that shouldn't repeat or to which you've already adjusted."

I agree fully. I should've written "failed business year".

But I think the Jindal speech shows some hope.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Jindal gives me hope, except that he doesn't run the GOP and a lot of the base hates him for suggesting that change is needed. You've seen the articles and the comments on him.

Kit said...

Here is something Jim Demint wrote for the Heritage Foundation (where he is the President-elect):
"Conservative Ideas Need a New Message"

I was surprised to find out he was in marketing. Here is one part near the end:

"That’s why Heritage will start this year to help the conservative movement understand how Americans from all walks of life perceive public policy issues and how to communicate conservative ideas and solutions.

This research project into current public perceptions and how we change them will assist in the resurgence of the conservative movement in America."

Kit said...

"Kit, Jindal gives me hope, except that he doesn't run the GOP and a lot of the base hates him for suggesting that change is needed. You've seen the articles and the comments on him."

That was November. I've noticed the tune has changed after the recent speech.

Back in October it was "HOW DARE YOU!!! WE SHOULD NEVER CHANGE ANYTHING ABOUT WHAT WE DO! EVER!!!"

Now its more "That's nice but it doesn't matter, we're doomed anyway."

With the high-level GOP its more trying to stay in power by making their failed business model look rosy when they are not. With the low-level grassroots I'm seeing more of the aforementioned depression.
Like when a company's stocks drop 200 pts they say "They didn't drop 300 pts!"

Kit said...

ERROR: "Back in October"

I meant November.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I have a lot of faith in DeMint actually and I hope he's actually talking about new ideas rather than just how to repackage the same non-ideas.

The concern I have is that conservatives spent forever claiming that marketing was sinful, and are now embracing it (sort of) as a substitute for making substantive changes. I suspect the idea is, "ok, we won't change anything, but we'll draw a smiley face after we say the same old things" and when that fails they'll decide they were right all along and marketing won't work.

I see no evidence outside of Jindal (and to a lessor extent Rubio) that anyone in the conservative movement gets that they really do need to change. All I hear is whining about us not changing our principles... whatever those are.

Kit said...

If Jindal, or someone with similiar views, is able to come forth as a banner-holder in the Conservative movement you might see some change.

AndrewPrice said...

I agree, BUT look at what he faces. (1) "The Washington Establishment" wants no change. That includes the party leadership, the people sitting in Congress, the pundits, the "think tanks," the lobbyists, the various leaders of the various factions. (2) Talk radio wants no change except more anger. (3) Scan the blogs and look at the anger with which his suggestions are met -- if they aren't just ignored. (4) The base is still convinced they only lost because of the media and public stupidity and they hate anyone who dares suggest otherwise.

Those are bad odds for change.

El Gordo said...

Well, I´m in marketing but you don´t need to be to know this:

It won´t help a company to redesign the product packaging when people believe it is made by children in sweatshops.

Even if it is a great product.

AndrewPrice said...

El Gordo, Bingo!!

Marketing is essential... that is absolutely true. But marketing cannot hide a bad product or rotten practices.

And what troubles me from what I'm reading is that for the longest time, the GOP disdained marketing and now they seem to be adopting it as a substitute for fixing the product.

The GOP needs an overhaul. They need a new platform that actually promises a better America, they need to clean up their message and their image, they need to learn to sell their message better, and they need a better system for finding leaders.

Just agreeing not to mention rape and buying more advertising time isn't going to achieve any of that.

El Gordo said...

Sun Tzu says: "In ancient times, those skilled in warfare make themselves invincible and then wait for the enemy to become vulnerable.

Being invincible depends on oneself, but the enemy becoming vulnerable depends on himself. Therefore, those skilled in warfare can make themselves invincible, but cannot necessarily cause the enemy to be vulnerable."


Make your own position impregnable, or at least harder to attack. In politics that means deemphasize the stuff that people don´t like (even if you´re right - save it for later). It also means to capture high ground. High ground is a favorable position where an attack on you is discouraged or very costly for your opponent. The sad reality is that the high ground in politics has as much to do with image as with facts. When it comes to image, gaining the high ground means making a series of lasting, favorable impressions. Preferably without selling out your principles, but being right is not enough. You need goodwill, credibility.

What really hurts me is that the GOP often fails to pick up the ammo that lies around everywhere. There are dozens of issues where Dems cannot provide a sensible solution but conservatives can. And insofar as the GOP is successful locally, I guess the reason is because they do so.

Let me illustrate what I mean by capturing the high ground, i.e. changing the image. You can´t do that all at once. There is a cumulative effect. You have to take many stands where the Dems look bad if they oppose you. If conservatism works - and it does - this should not be hard.

You begin by looking for policy areas where you can gain it at little cost. Unoccupied high ground, so to speak. Low hanging fruit. I´m getting really heavy on metaphors here.

Here is one example: I´m sure many people would automatically think that Republicans are hypocrites who are only against big government when it suits their donors. If you ask average people which party favors censorship, excessive surveillance, abuse of eminent domain, monitoring the internet and so on, many would pick Republicans. Perhaps most. I have not seen such a poll, but I think that would be the result.

It is unfair but would the result surprise anyone? No. Why? Because the GOP does not act and talk consistently. Every time the GOP has an opportunity to position itself as the party of freedom and civil rights (for these things certainly touch on civil rights) they waste it. Or they do the right thing but don´t talk about it. There is no strategy. No platform. No one knows where they stand even if they do have a stand.

Now, I realize many people do not care a lot about these specific issues, but that is irrelevant. Those who do are often passionate and vocal. And there is no real cost. There are of course bigger issues, bread and butter issues. But the principle remains. The really important thing is to capture high ground, piece by piece. Once you have some of it, you can lower the ground for your opponent.

AndrewPrice said...

El Gordo, That is absolutely right!

Despite conservatives supposedly being objective thinkers and willing to look at the big picture, when it comes to politics they look for the magic bullet... "we just need that one issue, that one right politician, that one right way to explain out beliefs... then it will all be all right." They seem to be blind to anything else.

A successful party wins people over in groups, not the population in one huge chunk. And they win people over by showing them how they will be better off under us than under the other guy. It's bizarre that the GOP has no plan to (1) create jobs, (2) protect people's assets/wealth, (3) improve schools, (4) help people send their kids to college, (5) help people buy houses, (6) protect the environment, (7) protect consumers, (8) protect people's rights, etc. Instead, they talk about improving the economy in the big picture sense, they talk about bombing everyone, and they talk about theological issues. Everything else gets "we'll send it to the states and they'll figure something out" or gets angrily dismissed as "I'm not becoming a liberal" -- as if the only solutions are do what the Democrats do or do nothing.

This is why we can't win. We offer nothing that will make anyone think we can make their lives or the country better. Add in the fact, the GOP literally scoffs at people who have these concerns and you're actively turning people off.

In fact, the GOP scoffs at everything the Democrats do which builds them good will. I still remember them mocking Clinton for appearing on the Tonight Show... "beneath the dignity of the office, harrumph!" And then the GOP wonders why they have a negative image and why the Democrats don't.

The idea that we can just make the Democrats look worse than us is ridiculous. So is the idea that we can just keep pushing the same stuff that hasn't sold and it will suddenly start selling. The GOP needs to realize that it's doing it wrong and it needs to change. And it needs to realize that this change will take time and it needs to stop waiting for the silver bullet solution.

As you say, we need to build a position that makes us unassailable. That should be easy, if we're just willing to admit we need to do that.

ScottDS said...

Well, I just watched a couple of movies recently, one disappointing and the other entertaining in its own odd and unique way.

Iron Sky suggests that, after World War II, Nazis escaped to the moon where they've been secretly plotting a take-over of the world. I loved the idea when I first heard about it but the joke wears thin after a while. The film isn't funny enough for a comedy but also not smart enough to be a successful satire. It's all too over the top - there's really no straight man. Even the Sarah Palin-esque U.S. president comes off more as dated than anything else, though I could forgive it if it had been funny. In the plus column, considering the low budget they must've had, the visual effects, design, etc. are excellent.

Whit Stillman's Damsels in Distress is a charming little trifle of a movie. Stillman's only done three other films - each an acquired taste yet entertaining for reasons I can't quite articulate. This movie is about a group of girls who aim to make their college a better place. Any movie that ends with dance steps superimposed over the screen can't be all that bad!

Kit said...

"In fact, the GOP scoffs at everything the Democrats do which builds them good will. I still remember them mocking Clinton for appearing on the Tonight Show... "beneath the dignity of the office, harrumph!" And then the GOP wonders why they have a negative image and why the Democrats don't."

When Nixon was the first to do something like that ("Sock it to ME?!") and we elected an actor.

Not that I'm complaining about the latter. :)

Kit said...

Andrew,

Here is a good article from BuzzFeed about how the Gay Marriage advocates won big this year. It might have some good lessons for the GOP.
"How Marriage Equality Supporters Beat The "Princess" Ad"


And here is an article at City-Journal asking why the GOP doesn't campaign in cities. Made all the more ironic by the fact that Nixon did so and appointed Romney's dad, George Romney, as HUD.
"The GOP and the City"

Haven't read all of the latter, but its kind of interesting.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Reagan never scoffed at anyone, especially segments of the population. Republicans are very good at scoffing at whole segments of the population whenever they get the chance.

We don't campaign in cities because we have nothing to offer them, really. Honestly, the GOP has nothing to offer people. It offers economic statistics, corporate subsidies, and theological certainty. That's it.

Kit said...

I love the article on gay marriage. The Gay Marriage advocates did research.

They looked at why Gay Marriage failed in California*. They looked at the concerns of the middle who might be willing to support gay marriage but might vote against gay marriage and why they might vote against gay marriage.

They looked at their concerns (schools, parental control) and addressed them. They worked to be more positive than the negative, condescending campaign in California 2008**.


*I think part of it was that the biggest pushers for Gay Marriage were California liberals. :)

**They don't refer to the 2008 California campaign as condescending and negative but if my memory serves thats pretty much what it was. Especially SF Mayor Gavin Newsome's infamous smug "Its coming whether you like or not" statement.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I haven't seen them. I do recall reading about Iron Sky and thinking it sounded awful.

I saw an atrocious film the other night called The Divide. It was about a nuclear attack on New York City and the survivors end up stuck in the basement of a skyscraper. But it quickly devolved into being about people turning into rapists and it had this weirdo moment where futuristic soldiers shows up and took away one of the children to run medical test on her for no reason. The whole thing made little sense and it was an unpleasant, ugly film.

I don't recommend it.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, The feeling on the right before 2012 was that gay marriage had been stopped because voters would never approve it. 2012 proved that wrong in a big way. And it's only going to get worse for opponents because the people who oppose it are literally dying off -- old age. Youth overwhelmingly support it. It is inevitable.

Also, as you and I have discussed, I think the moral case is actually in favor of it.

Gays have also gotten much better about their PR too. And it helps them that granting gay marriage in several states didn't bring about the end of the world like some conservatives hoped. In fact, nothing changed at all.

Kit said...

Well, also, in Minnessota and other states the gay rights advocates didn't have to worry about Hollywood and San Francisco activists mucking it up by painting anyone who has the slightest doubts on gay marriage as being hateful, intolerant, knuckle-dragging, neanderthall, numbskulls who can never be convinced and must be taught a lesson that you should never stand in the way of progress!

That was pretty much the Hollywood/SF message in 2008 on Gay Marriage in California.

Kit said...

"We don't campaign in cities because we have nothing to offer them, really. Honestly, the GOP has nothing to offer people. It offers economic statistics, corporate subsidies, and theological certainty. That's it."

First, the GOP may not but Conservatism does.

Conservatives do have things to offer the cities. Well, they have education reform via vouchers.
There are Guiliani's anti-crime measures.

The Manhattan Institute is built around urban policy.

There are pro-growth economic policies, workfare, education, etc.

The Republicans NEVER campaign on them!

Well, they don't NOW!

The article points out how Nixon campaigned in the cities. He campaigned on the issues of crime and poverty.

Here is an ad he did on crime: LINK

Now, I know going Nixonian negative is not the whole answer. But he did focus on the cities.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Conservatism is meaningless without a political party to institute its ideas, and that party is the GOP, and the GOP really doesn't have an agenda on any of that. It's agenda is, "we'll leave it to the states/the market to solve this problem."

Sometimes, it gets lucky and has a good representative -- like Giuliani. But it never adopts their ideas, it just says "hey look, we had that one guy that one time."

Also, when I get ready to start talking about the agenda, you'll see why the "pro-growth" agenda is worthless to people. At a time when government, the stock market, corporate profits, and the rich all made a killing, the poor and middle class lost money and jobs. Growth does not translate into helping people, it translates into helping profits.

The GOP needs to realize this and it needs to start thinking in terms of people and not numbers.

Kit said...

Here is the Manhattan Institute: LINK

Here is their City-Journal: LINK

Both are worth looking at.

If I was running the RNC or a Presidential campaign I would hire Heather MacDonald to develop a national policy on crime and urban development. Or at least crime.

Kit said...

"Sometimes, it gets lucky and has a good representative -- like Giuliani. But it never adopts their ideas, it just says "hey look, we had that one guy that one time.""

I know. I've heard Republican pols talk about Guiliani's Broken Window method and I could tell they had no idea what they were talking about.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, It's too bad you're not running the GOP. You are actually willing to ask questions and look for answers. The GOP needs that right now.

Kit said...

Read HEather MacDonald. I've only seen her really furious when she is talking about people like Al Sharpton who attack the NYPD and LAPD with race-baiting but never do anything that might help the neighborhoods they claim they are trying to help.

Ad she writes powerfully about how the biggest victims of race-baiting of people like Al Sharpton and others are poor blacks, especially children who are shot and killed.

Here is an article called "Stop the Killing, Keep “Stop-and-Frisk”" about a local NY politician's decision to support stop-and-frisk after a 4-year old boy was murdered.
LINK

Selection:

--------------

Better late than never, but wasn’t the need for proactive stops obvious long before this latest travesty? Armed thugs continue to hold neighborhoods hostage and to take down innocent victims as well as rival gangbangers: most recently, 77 people shot citywide the week of July 4; a 14-year-old boy shot in the head on June 28 in Bushwick, Brooklyn; ten people shot in drive-bys in Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn the night before Al Sharpton’s anti-stop-and-frisk march on June 17; a 17-year-old football star shot in the spine while trying to protect a 16-year-old from two teen robbers on a playground in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, on June 5; and a 25-year-old member of the Harlem Youth Marines (an anti-gang group) killed in a shooting on a Harlem basketball court on the afternoon of June 3.

------------------

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I'm of two minds on arguments like that. On the one hand, I think it's vital to point out to blacks and women and gays and other minorities that the Democrats are hurting them.

BUT...

I think tone is important. And frankly, I don't think the GOP's tone is believable. The GOP gets so outraged and so weepy about how these poor minorities are suffering so badly because of what the Democrats are doing blah blah blah... it feels fake. It feels like pandering. It feels condescending.

It comes across, at least to me, like people who are trying too hard to sound like they care, which sends the signal that they don't really care.

Moreover, this tone is too often used to cover something nasty, like over racism or sexism. I'm not going to name names, but I see this A LOT where some conservative expresses over the top outrage about how minorities are treated in one way or another and then immediately suggests some biological-based argument for treating them differently. That's racism/sexism, pure and simple, no matter how weepy and outraged you pretend you are.

It's time to start seeing minorities as people... not special people... just people.

Kit said...

Andrew,

Heather MacDonald has brought up time and time and time and time and time and time again that Compstat is colorblind.
The reason its called racist is that black neighborhoods.

Of course you have Repub pols supporting overt racial profiling (which the police DO NOT USE!). I can almost imagine the NYPD screaming "STOP HELPING ME GOP!!!"

"I'm not going to name names, but I see this A LOT where some conservative expresses over the top outrage about how minorities are treated in one way or another and then immediately suggests some biological-based argument for treating them differently."

I've noticed that too, at times.

Like on black out-of-wedlock births. The claim that its genetic might hold some water if black family was always in such bad shape from 1870 to today. But, until the mid-60s and the Great Society, the black family was largely intact.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I see it in particular when you get into the welfare debates (though it's by no means limited to that).

You'll see a lot of conservatives suddenly fall all over themselves to use hyperbolic language: "Oh, poor blacks are made SLAVES of the system!! The OUTRAGE!! They're robbed of their human dignity! We must save these poor people from this horrific, horrible, evil, vile, monstrous, outrageous, inhumane program that has debased these noble creatures!"

This type of statement is then usually followed with something about blacks being genetically "different" in a bad way or about black culture lacking some worthwhile trait.

Even when it's not, the first statement is so laughably fake and condescending that no one can hear it and not think there's something wrong with the person making it.

Kit said...

One idea: Have the DOJ create a federal Compstat program that will look at every county (and be completely colorblind) and send those counties monthly reports on crime.

And every year you would have an annual report of the state of crime levels and quality of life across the nation that would be presented to Congress and the states.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, My point, by the way, is to just stop thinking of minorities as something different. They're just people like everybody else. And until conservatives stop seeing them as somehow "not us" we're never going to win them over. And we're certainly not going to do it with hyperbole about how much we think they're victims.

Kit said...

"This type of statement is then usually followed with something about blacks being genetically "different" in a bad way or about black culture lacking some worthwhile trait."

Good point. They complain about rap music's content* and then go to white audiences and say they love Johnny Cash. Because he never sang about stuff like drug use and murder" or prison.
I mean, his swan song was so classy, not a single reference to drug use, whatsoever!

*Some point there but rap music is not by default bad and I'm sure there is some good stuff out there. In fact there is a guy called the Rap Critic (at the No who has complained about the low quality of current rap music.
LINK

Kit said...

I failed to finish a sentence:

"In fact there is a guy called the Rap Critic (at the No who has complained about the low quality of current rap music."

Should be:

"In fact there is a guy called the Rap Critic (at the Nostalgia Critic's website) who has complained about the low quality of current rap music."

By the way, here is a quote by him: "Yes, that is exactly why conscious rappers are mad. Not because the majority of mainstream rappers use their very limited time in the limelight to rap about materialistic crap without an iota of skill, devaluating music as an art form. Nah, it's because they're just haters!"

Kit said...

Andrew,

I have a saying: A Liberal is an unconverted Conservative.

Think of them like the father thought of prodigal son in Jesus' parable.

Kelly said...

Andrew, Check out this quote from Priebus:

"The good news is our principles are sound. We stand for opportunity and for liberty. Freedom is always a new idea -- an ever-fresh, revolutionary idea."

The GOP stands for freedom? Sure, unless you're gay, or you want an abortion, or you want contraception, or you're Hispanic, or you don't think public schools should be teaching Christian dogma, or you want to believe in Islam, or you're an atheist, or you like internet gambling, or you run a business that competes with a GOP donor, or you want to use the internet for non-Christian purposes.

The GOP stands for opportunity? In what way? I can't really think of anything the GOP proposes to give people an opportunity.

Kit said...

"Sure, unless you're gay, or you want an abortion, or you want contraception, or you're Hispanic, or you don't think public schools should be teaching Christian dogma, or you want to believe in Islam, or you're an atheist, or you like internet gambling, or you run a business that competes with a GOP donor, or you want to use the internet for non-Christian purposes."

Instead of telling you what the GOP believes let me tell you what I believe.

"unless you're gay"

I support gay marriage where it is possible and civil partnerships elsewhere.

"you want an abortion"
I don't believe abortion to be a right unless it is a threat to the mother. Otherwise it is unnecessary destruction of human life.

"you want contraception"
My stance on this is simple: I believe a person may purchase contraception if they choose. However, I do not believe that it should be paid for by the medical community.

"you're Hispanic"
I don't see a problem w/ Hispanics. Now, if you are referring to immigration I think (1) the border needs to be secure -not closed so we can have a decent handle on who is coming across the border. Having one that is so porous that anyone can walk across is nonsense. And dangerous, especially for those who want to come here as they are most likely to be preyed upon by those with ill-motives.

"you don't think public schools should be teaching Christian"
Don't see the issue here. As an Alabamian I was against Roy Moore's stupidity. I am against prayer in public schools. So there.

"you want to believe in Islam"
No problem with believers in Islam. Just the ones who support Sharia Law and the killing of Jews.
In fact, I am a supporter of several groups of moderate Muslims trying to reform Islam.

"you're an atheist"
I don't care what one believes. And I don't think the gov should be concerned, either.

"you like internet gambling"
Some states have banned gambling. Some don't even have state lotteries.

"you run a business that competes with a GOP donor"
As a supporter of the free market I don't care who you donate to, as long as you provide think the law should be designed to support any business based on who they donate too.

"you want to use the internet for non-Christian purposes"
If you are discussing pr0n, then I agree. It is free speech and should be legal (though not in public and not involve children).


So there, those are MY views. Disagree or agree with any? I'm interested to hear your thoughts.

Anthony said...

Kit said:

"In fact there is a guy called the Rap Critic (at the Nostalgia Critic's website) who has complained about the low quality of current rap music."

By the way, here is a quote by him: "Yes, that is exactly why conscious rappers are mad. Not because the majority of mainstream rappers use their very limited time in the limelight to rap about materialistic crap without an iota of skill, devaluating music as an art form. Nah, it's because they're just haters!"
-------
I'm no authority on the subject, but I've been listening to rap music since the Sugar Hill Gang and while it has changed over the years, I think if one takes it for what it is, it is as good as ever.

The many links below are to songs/videos released in the past decade. Some of it is censored, but generally speaking, it is NSFW.

Talib Kwali's Get By

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVtpXvzzXiA

Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg's Young Wild and Free

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zE6Amttb9GY

Kelly Rowland and Nelly's Dilemma

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WYHDfJDPDc

Scarface's On My Block

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHyqs0PoBgE

Lupe Fiasco's Daydreamin'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDuNxl_GtqY

Twista and Pharrel's Give it Up

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmDOqDsxUSY

Lil Wayne's How to Love

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xkp5ks_lil-wayne-how-to-love-official-video_music

The Root's How I Got Over

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI4D1QOLGuM

Q Tip and Norah Jone's Life is Better

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMIs3WYLZbY

Eve's Who is that Girl?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N9PL3Iz3xc

Anthony said...

Movie 43 sounds like it would be a terrible film to watch, but the reviews of it are hilarious in their savagery.
-----
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/25/movie-43-reviews_n_2554401.html?utm_hp_ref=entertainment

"Was someone holding Kate Winslet’s children hostage? Threatening to release compromising pictures of Emma Stone? Did Richard Gere or Hugh Jackman have gambling debts? It would have been fun in a sadistic way to put a camera on the actors as they watched the finished film for the first time and tremblingly called their agents."

----

Kit said...

Anthony,

I'll take a look! Sometime.

Individualist said...

"or you run a business that competes with a GOP donor"

Kelli

Funny when the GM auto bailout occured they closed dealerships that were owned by citizens who donated to the GOP.

The owner of Gibson Guitar was unfairly raided, having millions in inventory confiscated because he was accused of violating the customs laws of the country of India. This despite the fact that the Indian Consulate told the US officials in their opinion no Indian Custom laws were violated.

If there is an example of any GOP representative harming a democratic donor I have not heard of it.

So enlikghten me please!

Individualist said...

The plain fact of the matter is that a government program designed to help someone pay for there mortgages is the Roman version of Bread and Circuses on steroids.

Social Security and Medicare before Obamacare increases) has an unfunded unreported liability of 87 trillion. How much does paying for mortgages for everyone add to this number.

I once read in a Dark Utopian short story a statement that said this paraphrasing.

Democracy is not the best system of government it is the only system of government. Many state but the people may make poor decisions and thus need a leader to save them from their graft. If a group of people are so stupid, lazy and greedy that they will vote themselves into oblivion the I say good. It is what they deserve. Why should a wise and benifiscient ruler save this people from their own demise? Democracy is the only moral system of government because it is the only one that ensures that people get what they deserve.

More and more as I look around I am beginning to understand what this statement means.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, while I can't disagree with much of your assessment of the things the GOP is and has been doing wrong in terms of platform, branding, etc., I must disagree that "More purple states went blue, more red states went purple."

It doesn't bear out: LINK

That said, the GOP is operating on dumb luck where it succeeds and is relying on historical voter patterns to bring success in the future. As a party, they are not actively trying to succeed. Sadly, this will continue working for a time.

I have no expectation that the Democrats will even run a viable candidate in 2016. The GOP will run someone marginally better than whoever the Dems put up and will take that win as a vindication of lack of policy.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That map actually presents a distorted picture because it doesn't show concentration of votes. When you look at the states themselves you see the disturbing trend. States like Colorado, Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina and New Hampshire used to be reliably red. They are now blue or purple.

At the GOP conference, they actually showed a slideshow of how the states have shifted since 1998 and it's a depressing thing to see -- sadly, I can't find it to link to it. Not only did the states turn blue, but they turned bluER. Basically, the country keeps getting bluer and bluer with each election. The GOP is all but wiped out on the West Coast and in the North and the Rust Belt. It's dying down the eastern seaboard -- further each year. The West has gone to purple and now blue in Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada.

And while the maps do show that the GOP wins the hinterlands of most states, that's just not enough because the margin of loss is so huge in the cities.

On not trying to succeed, you are right. Read the quotes and the article at the Washington Examiner by Byron York... it's depressing. They're basically blaming Romney, while saying they aren't, and they decided that they can't change the ideology or the message because that will be up to the standard bearer in 2016. Good grief.

I don't think the GOP can win in 2016.

AndrewPrice said...

By the way, we keep talking about the country being split about 50/50 on pro-life/pro-choice lines. Check out this poll from Rasmussen: LINK. He's got the pro-life numbers down to 36% and the pro-choice up to 54%.

I would attribute that to the damage the Republican primary and then Akin did to the cause.

tryanmax said...

I wouldn't be so hasty to attribute it just to Akin and Friends. Since the calendar flipped, almost every leftist rag I follow has done some major cover story about the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and how it is a major benchmark of American freedom and how, Fie! and Woe!, our hard-won freedoms are slipping away. It is a very pointed effort to reinvigorate the Abortion = Freedom idea.

AndrewPrice said...

Could be, but that would probably be even worse for the pro-life movement if 16% (a quarter of their support) suddenly drops the label just because leftist magazines run some stories on Row v. Wade.

I would prefer to think it's the ugly salesmanship of people like Akin and Santorum rather than some weakness in people's beliefs.

tryanmax said...

Possibly, though in several cases, I'm being generous to suggest these articles are about Roe v. Wade. Some of them are just using the anniversary to run hit-pieces on the pro-life movement.

I'm not suggesting it's all one or all the other, and I rather prefer to think it's a healthy mix of both. I'm hard-pressed to believe that anyone truly pro-life would drop the label over anything. It's just as likely we're haggling over people who don't know a thing about Roe or Akin.

I'd like to see a similar tracking poll on whether people prefer mayonnaise or Miracle Whip just to get a good idea of exactly how decisive people really are.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Like you, I never attribute anything to just one event. People are too complex for that.

In any event, I think it shows that something has happened recently to do serious damage to the pro-life brand. And I think the pro-life movement would be wise to try to figure out why and make a course change accordingly.

tryanmax said...

I think it comes down to the movement being seen as led by old men. It seems pervy. I don't know why it's this way. I remember from when I was a teen the movement was thick with young to middle-aged women acting as spokespeople for the movement. The shift makes no sense to me from any angle.

Also, this particular battle is won by making the other side look more heartless. Much as people hated those nasty dead fetus signs and billboards, they worked. Pro-life's biggest inroads were in relation to partial-birth abortion, which served to make the pro-choice camp look cruel.

I'm not saying they should return to those particular tactics--they've played out. But the way to win this argument isn't to sound more learned--especially when you aren't. Frankly, both sides are woefully behind in the currency of their facts, but only one side is successfully making hay with that. Rather, the way to win is to make your opponent look like a d!ck. You can't do that when you look like the boys picking on the girls.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, There is no doubt that the movement comes across as old, white, evangelical males. I can't name any female/minority leaders.

I think it would help the movement A LOT to get young women and minorities (non-evangelicals even better) to act as spokespeople. Your best spokespeople would be gays if you could win some over.

tryanmax said...

I'd settle for just young women and minorities. Anyone who has ever been church would be labeled an evangelical, so it'd be a hard tag to shake. I think a young lady pastor would be good b/c even though they are more common than ever, even among evangelicals, most non-religious people still think of women in the clergy as a fairly liberal thing. Bringing gays into the movement would be one thing, but I think a gay spokesperson is too potentially fractious to put on the short-term plan.

AndrewPrice said...

I can't see the gay thing happening for obvious reasons....

BUT, it would be the smartest thing the movement could ever do. In one shot, they would shed the image of the movement being about old, sexless white misogynists trying to control young women. Pretty much any argument about intolerance would collapse on the spot.

tryanmax said...

I'm not sure what the equivalent term for a gay Uncle Tom would be, but I'm sure I would the day after a prominent gay person spoke out as pro-choice. Though it helps, the right can't win the mantle of tolerance merely by putting diverse people in prominent positions. And improved rhetoric is a short-measure, as well.

You and I know there are racists in both parties, but b/c the left bears the mantle of tolerance, they can get away with it to the point of open bigotry in the name of tolerance. Arguments about intolerance will persist until the left is discredited in that regard.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I have no idea what the gay version of Uncle Tom is? "Hetero Frank"? :P

In all seriousness, I think the only reason the right loses the tolerance debate is because there's so much evidence of intolerance.

Take the pro-life/evangelical movement. The fact that you and I know they would never accept a gay spokesman even if there was such a person is evidence of their intolerance. Think about it. The Religious Right would rather keep the pro-life movement small and isolated than to bring in people they don't like, i.e. gays, no matter how much they would help. That's not rational and it more than reeks of prejudice.

And when you make that connection, they it's easy to see the lack of blacks, Hispanic, and women as the same thing.

Another example, look at the way Religious Right groups threatened to boycott CPAC if CPAC allowed a gay group GOProud to have a booth at the event. Any talk of "we don't hate gays" goes right out the window when they throw a fit about even letting conservative gays attend the same conference. It's one thing to say I disagree with what you are promoting, it's another to declare that you won't even be in the same room with those people.

There is an endless stream of similar actions related to women, blacks, gays, Hispanics, single-people, etc.

Without that evidence, the left would have no ability to claim the tolerance mantle. This is something conservatives themselves feed.

Kelly said...

Individualist, SOPA.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I completely see what you're saying, but there will be no getting rid of the evidence, ever. Which is why I assert that the same evidence exists in the Democrat party. I'd say politics is a slander-game, except it isn't slander if the accusation is true.

Yes, the GOP needs a solid, coherent message that doesn't obsess over social issues. But that's not what will gain us the kind of credibility with minorities we need. The only way I see of gaining that is to convince said minorities that the Dems are worse for them than we are. The Dems didn't win them by playing "open arms" so why should we think that we can?

Besides, no one ever won an election with the slogan, "I'm sorry, please forgive me."

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, The problem isn't that they can always find some trace evidence, the problem is that OVERWHELMING and never-ending evidence of this stuff.

Until conservatives stop being angry and lashing out at these groups day after day in forum after forum, forget ever winning them over. A mea culpa and a change of heart really is needed.

As for slandering the Democrats, I'm all for it... except we have no credibility. When a Nazi points to a commie and says, "hey, they're bad for Jews," nobody listens.

tryanmax said...

Touché!

AndrewPrice said...

I don't like using Nazi references, but it seems apt here. The right has no credibility on the issue of tolerance. So when we say, "hey, they're intolerant," people just don't listen. It's the same problem conservatives have in many areas. We need to clean up our own house before the public will hear us accuse the left of being intolerant or pro-Big Business or violative of civil rights, etc.

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