Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Republicans CHEER For Letting Uninsured People DIE

Below the jump, everything you need to know about what's left of American conservatives...

I'm not what you would call a great humanitarian. On my better days, any extended amount of time in traffic or in crowded public transit makes me want to know why anyone thinks abortion-on-demand and over-the-counter birth-control are bad things. I'm on record that my own personal solution to the overly high costs associated with healthcare would be to let morons die if their injuries are the result of their own idiocy. Example: Meth-heads ODing? Oh yeah, let `em. It's not like we're talking about the Spotted Owl - human beings, especially useless ones, are not something we're in danger of running out of.

I lay those cards out so that it's understood that my reaction to the following clip from tonight's GOP/TeaParty debate; which at times resembled a race to see which candidate could be the most gleefully dismissive/callous toward the "others" (read: anyone not white, rural-American, Christian or willing to lionize white rural-American Christianity as the highest possible tier of human civilization) the Tea Party believes is responsible for their problems and/or recieving all the precious, precious tax money Uncle Sam is "stealing" from The Real Americans.

In the clip, Wolf Blitzer asks Ron Paul (who, if nothing else, is probably the only person on the stage at this point who ISN'T an unbelievable asshole) what his doctrinaire-libertarian view on healthcare has to say about a (hypothetical) healthy 30 year-old who gets into a car accident without insurance. Dr. Paul goes on to once again invalidate himself from winning any American elections by giving a measured, thoughtful and nuance response - granted, it's a nuanced response predicated on the existance of the kind of Little House on The Prairie human-to-human community kindness that idealist libertarians like Paul can't accept simply not EXISTING anymore, but it's thoughtful all the same - so Blitzer gets down to brass tacks: Do you just let him die? Paul, of course, says "NO" and attempts to re-explain his carefully-reasoned position... but he's cut-off by the audience, who are APPLAUDING at the words "Let him die."

Okay, so... the clip speaks for itself and I imagine the the title has probably lured in some folks willing to "defend" the GOP as a whole on this; so I wanna take this opportunity to ask the following flippant-sounding but utterly sincere question:


I mean this 100% seriously. I understand why the brutes cheering for "Let him die!" here or giving Perry a big "yee-haaaaaw!" for the Death Penalty at the last debate go for it. It's only logical - the Republicans are giving them what they most want. Same deal with pro-lifers, climate-change deniers, creationists and other backward-looking flat-earth dolts, That all makes complete sense - the GOP (claims to) believe what they believe. Hell, I'm even willing to grant that it makes a certain amount of sense that the "eternal vigilance" crowd still convinced that a Cold War-sized military machine is a huge necessity sticks with them.

But what about everyone else? I know for a FACT that there are intelligent, thoughtful, not-overly-religious, not-paranoid people who are also Republicans. Teachers. Students. Doctors. Lawyers. Engineers. Scientists. You get the picture. I need to ask these people... why? What are intelligent people getting out of supporting a nakedly anti-intelligence (oh, I'm sorry - "intellectual") political party? I know what the Holy Rollers get out of it. I know what the 2nd Ammendment fetishists get out of it. What is the GOP giving YOU, the nominally-intelligent Republican voter, to stick with them?

A tax cut? Is that REALLY it? A tax cut is worth letting people PROUDLY ignorant of proven scientific facts set public policy? A tax cut is worth having schoolchildren being taught about talking snakes and magic apples in science class? A tax cut is worth unbreathable air and undrinkable water? A tax cut is worth letting policymakers attempt to rewind the tide of social-progress back to an era that wasn't even really THAT nice for the white christian males who had the ONLY power in it?

Cause, I gotta tell ya... I'm a pretty selfish bastard when you get right down to it, but DAMN!


Klyka said...

I tend to vote that way mostly because I am very pro-individual. I have a firm belief that the individual citizen can get a lot of things done by himself, without the help of everyone else.

For me the Democrat/Liberal party represents a government handout philosophy. Something I feel that our current economy cannot support.

Klyka said...

I should probably also mention that I disagree with most of the crowd there.

A safety net should exist, but it should be a solution for those that actually need it.

Count_Zero said...

So, I asked my Dad, who is a registered Republican (though I don't know if he votes party lines), the same question you put forward here, though phrased differently.

To give my dad's answer in short, he is of the belief that the Pants-On-Head crazy wingnuts like those cheering in this video are in the minority in the Republican party, and the reason we see all this crazy on the news is because it gets ratings. Not that the news has a liberal bias, but because it has a money bias, and the more they show the crazy, the more ratings they get. This in turn leads politicians to pander to the crazy.

I pushed my Dad (who is 50) on this, saying that if this was the case, then the Rational Republicans should push back against the crazy, and retake their party, so the crazy didn't take control of the Republican party's narrative, and they didn't spiral down the path of their party's self destruction. His response was that he was convinced (or that he'd convinced himself) that no matter how hard they tried, they would never be able to retake the party, because rational people don't get ratings, crazy does - so no one would pay attention to the Rational Republicans, and any rational candidates would be doomed to failure, as they wouldn't get any media attention.

So, as a tl;dr version - Because they've been Republicans long enough to self-identify as Republican, and they want to be there when the Party wakes up and becomes sane again (if that day ever comes), but they're too cynical, jaded, old, tired and/or busy to try and change things.

Matt said...

Bob, let's be candid for a second shall we?

Actually, screw candid, how about we just go straight to the video clip shall we?


Yes Sir?

RUN the Carlin clip please.

Will do


Ralphael said...

^this Your dad was 100% correct Zero. Blitzer should have never have asked that question to begin with, or phrased the differently.

I don't hate humanity. Even though I am currently a waiter at a sports bar where I have been recently spat in the face for getting an order wrong, not because I wrote it down incorrectly, but because the cooks didn't feel like putting too much effort into one dish.

Bob, get the hell outside, I mean beyond your car and crowded public transit. Go to a tea party, get firsthand experience and stop uploading your favorite TV clips.

So we aren't supposed to vote republican because they have alot of crazy followers? Even though Ron Paul is a complete badass, I should vote for him because of what a couple dumbasses did on TV?


Mads said...

Right. Well, to most intelligent republicans, it's more important that the brand they've self-identified with for a long time does well, than it is to be concerned with the crazies influence on their party.

For whatever reason, they don't feel that these crazy people are quite as big a course for concern as the democrats in office are.

I get why you'd like to make it about tax-cuts, but mostly, it's about keeping the donkey out of the white house...that's really it.

The only way you're going to get these republicans to stop voting republican is by presenting them with indisputable evidence that the democrats aren't as bad as these crazies. That's going to be really hard to make happen, when the comparative effects of the clinton and bush presidencies didn't do the trick.

Ralphael said...

oops, i meant shouldn't :I

HouseOfNerd said...

I think there is an important distinction to make here: we are talking about the primaries. The average american, or even average republican, doesn't really give a damn what happens in them other than who finishes. The ones who do? The radical/fundamental (crazies) in the party the candidates know they need to pander to in order to get attention. THESE are the ones who want everyone who isn't them to die because they feel those people are stealing their money.

Once we get into the general election however, all of the candidates moderate their stances. They have to in order to appeal to the majority of the party (who are more rational) and attempt to court the middle swing votes. Not to mention in office where they have to convince congress to work together to get issues through (note how Obama has done none of the perceived "radical liberal" promises he made, because he knows he can't get the votes for them.)

They're playing the game. Its a fairly perverted game at this stage, but thats all it is to a politician.

JeffBergeron said...

"granted, it's a nuanced response predicated on the existance of the kind of Little House on The Prairie human-to-human community kindness that idealist libertarians like Paul can't accept simply not EXISTING anymore"

You're right. That incredible outburst of kindness that happened to the Extra Credits gal a few months ago? Totally didn't happen. Granted, it's not so much as a community anymore. Now, you can ask for charity from ALL OVER THE WORLD if you're in deep trouble. Tell me again who's an idealist.

(5 minutes later)

Okay, I just watched the clip, and I've got to say, you're exaggerating quite a bit there, Bob. The way you wrote about it, I was expecting the applause to be the same amount that Paul got at 0:45 when he talked about 'this is what freedom is all about; taking your own risks'. The noise when the guy said 'Let him die'? Not nearly as much. I see it as a small bunch of complete morons in the crowd.

Look, I'm not defending the GOP. I don't vote for them (I'm Canadian), and as I said above, by the way you wrote it I was totally expecting them to cheer at "let him die". The truth? Most of them didn't.

As for Paul, I agree he's the most respectable guy up there. He's the kind of guy I'd like to have a drink with. Still, he's a creationist, a pretty shameful position to have when you're a doctor, which means you've studied at least some biology...

Adam said...

Because you are just so darn cute when you're mad Bob.

Anyways relax. The only people who pay attention to either party at this stage are either the really intelligent involved people or the crazy wing-nuts who live for this stuff. Your average voter won't even begin paying attention to the election until after Christmas, right in time for all the winter dreariness and holiday bills to show up.

Sofie Liv Pedersen said...

A short comment.

And this is the truth..

Every single European person there is actually looks at America with a head scratching motion not able to piece together with the Democrats aren't in the power all the time and why the US is working itself towards a goal where you help one another and give all equal chance of happiness instead of being so god dammned paranoid all the time.

That's what the US always comes across, being incredible incredible paraniod.. towards everything..

Sigh, people have called me such a cold bastard for saying this, but 9/11 is out of control!

I mean, yep, it's a date who changed history, but it shouldn't have been, it's only such a big date because the American people let it be, turned them paranoid and gave them a reason to search out war. Search out war..... not preventing or anything, searching it out.

Look at Norway! I have such a huge respect for that goverment right now, we don't have guns in Scandinavia, so it really came out of no-where and as a complete shock to every-one when there was a massacre and shooting on a island for young political active people very recently.
The governments response to day? They grieved, and they had a memorial, and then they said... lets this not affect us, then the maniac won. This cannot chance our view of things or interrupt our society, it must not. We carry on and we don't let it change stuff, we don't let it make us scared and defensive but we will keep our eyes and arms open, because that is what our country is about.

And they did! Which is even more amazing. holy crap.
Norway stood together, pulled themselves together, this is now a historical important Scandinavia event, but we didn't let it turn us into paranoid freaks, and the government did not use that fear to control the people, though they could have.
America I dare you being able to do the same.

Savagecam said...

First of all, I think the point about this being too early to get worried about is a good one. Trust me, a great deal more people were watching the Monday Night Football double-header than a political debate.

I also agree that the wording of the post and video suggest something far more disturbing than what actually happened.

However, I think the point Bob is trying to make, which may have gotten lost amid some outrage, is this: IF the "Rational Republicans" are indeed the majority of the GOP (which I tend to believe), then GIVEN that an extremely vocal minority of your party has done much to control the narrative and ideology of the party, pushing Republican politicians into positions that are often far right of practical and creating situations (such as the Debt Ceiling debacle) where Democrats and Republicans are unable to achieve rational compromise and govern our country, the WHY do you, the Rational Republicans, continue to embrace the Tea Party and other similar ultra-conservatives as part of the GOP?

Seriously, why? They do their thing in the name of the GOP, and indeed, crazy and vocal people tend to get media coverage, so when people see stories about Republicans, they usually see the "Tea Party Republicans." Democrats and independents are increasingly wary of even attempting to work with them. Why not cut them out and force them to stand as their own party? They have the finances to do it, and then it will show the country just how small a minority they are. Do you really want to "win politics" so badly you will embrace ANY conservatives to shore up the numbers come voting time? Is that small percent of conservatives worth more than a larger percent of independents (even Democrats) who would vote for a compelling Republican over a decent Democrat? Is it worth compromising the functioning of our government and our economy? The tarnishing of our national identity and image on the world stage? That's the math the rest of us can't figure out.

Independents and conservative Democrats (yes, they exist) would be more than willing to work with (or even vote for) Rational Republicans with a plan, if they would just cut the Tea Party out.

jojjo said...

My personal followup question:
Many Republicans talk about freedom. That's great, personally I wouldn't be caught dead voting for the corrupt, wasteful, incompetent mess that is the Democratic party (if I was American) on national level unless they had a candidate I really believed in, but those aren't your only options. Any one heard of the Libertarians? the Greens? Heck, there'r even socialist parties, if you'r that sort of guy. The corruption and populism of the two parties (every thing I said about the Democrats i
I'd say about the Republicans as well) is tearing your country apart, they think you'll vote for them no matter what: prove them wrong!

jojjo said...

I get what you mean, and I generally agree with you, BUT: are things not crazy, paranoid and corrupt here in Europe as well? What about Britain's security-policies? What about the policies of the EU (on, basically, everything)? What about the rampart nationalism and isolationism? What about Southern Europe as a whole; it's society, economy and politics?

Smpoza said...

I wish Blitzer would ask Rick Perry what he would do if he became president and the Governor of Texas started threatening to secede from the union because he disagreed with federal laws...

Laserkid said...

I'm going to leave the video to the previous comments which I feel correctly explain that particular brand of insanity.

But I will try, as an intellectual, a geek, and a tech head, to explain why I do tend to vote republican (I do not auto vote for anyone there have been cases where I felt a democrat is better also).

I would much, much, much, much, much preffer to vote liberetarian if I thought it'd do something because I fucking hate the republicans. I just hate the democrats more. I do not like either party's tendancy to make the government larger, as I do not understand what people think they're getting. This government, and I might argue any possible government some other day, is too inept to be trusted to do more then very basic protections, which is what it is for.

When I see the democrats go on about lets make government run healthcare, as a RATHER SICKLY individual I cringe inside with great revulsion to the idea of handing my health care to a government. I trust money grubbing assholes will do a better job then well intentioned bumbling dumbasses in government to do so. When I hear about raising taxes to give the government more money I want to know why that is at all necessary giving how inept the government is. When I hear about the government fixing the economy I laugh my ass off because they're so inept they end up making it worse.

I do not and cannot understand why people think a group of individuals who think the way the DMV and the post office is run is the best way to run things.

Yeah, in short I really dont want the government to do anything beyond the bare basic, because they'll just fuck it to hell and back. Given the democrats that run seem to think they need the government to do stuff is generally where I end up republican voting. I am not voting for the republicans, I am voting against the democrats by and large.

The problem is that they both end up doing the same damn thing, hence why I truly hate republicans. The problem is that if I vote for someone who says they'll do what I actively don't want and do it I have no one to blame but myself, if I vote for someone who says they'll do what I want them to (which is more or less to stop the government from doing much of anything), and they end up doing elsewise thats on them.

If I believed that enough idiot voters would break the two party system I would be voting liberetarian, but voting liberetarian in this system where too many dumbfucks auto vote for one of the big two, I am essentially taking my vote, wiping my ass with it, vomiting on it, and throwing it away.

tldr; I wish I had a viable third option, but in the absense of such, I vote for the one that at least claims its going to get the government to get the fuck out of my life as much as possible.

Nixou said...


You know the problem with the Carlin schtick? It's that it's most certainly very close to what the worst parts of the GOP electorate thinks:

«"The Public sucks"? Okay, so let's not vote for people who actually want to serve the public: let's just vote for people who want to cater to the needs of whatever group I identify with, who will reliably screw up the lives of the underclass, the poor, the needy, the minorities while MY lifestyle is artificially maintained by work done exclusively by the underclass, the poor, even the needy, and definitely the minorities. I'm just going to pretend that I give a shit about things usually associated with virtue, like the constitution, or the balancing of the federal budget, or "family values" so that the suckers -pardon, the Public- don't realize how depraved I am. After all, "The Public sucks", so it's not like they'd actually deserve to be treated better»



You know the problem about the "crazies who want everyone who isn't them to die"? They create a percolating effect: when the crazies are too much over-represented in the activist base, they eventually get over-represented in the elite: it's a slow process, which starts by taking over the low-level, obscure, party posts that no one else wants, until you reach a threshold were the crazies are not anymore merely over-represented among primary voters but also among low-level managment, at which point they can start to bully the upper-echelon into giving them more: mid-level managment posts, endorsment for candidacies at the local, then at the state level: since it's never wise to piss of the janitor, the party-elites give in, grant the crazies more power and more respectability, and the process keeps going until the crazies become the main group among senior executives, at which point it does not matter if one given candidate is pandering to a base he despise by making promises he intends to break once in office, since the staff as well as the elected officials from his party will be "crazies who want everyone who isn't them to die". Right now the republican party's crazies aregratuating from middle managment to senior staff: that's already enough to make it a political entity willing to sabotage its own country to win back power, and things will get worse by sheer momentum.

Ryan said...

So,to summarize, people vote Republican even though they're not hateful or ill-educated because:

#1: The government is incompetent, inherently.

#2: The Democrats are worse because they like to give handouts to people.

#3: The Tea Party isn't real, it's just what Republicans say on television. In real life, Republicans are much more nuanced and reasonable.

#4: The Republicans are Pro-Individual, whereas the Democrats are pro-Community.

That all makes perfect sense to me. As a flaming angry liberal, I can still understand why somebody would think that way. I think those positions are shortsighted and wrong, but I think responding to government incompetence with fear and mistrust rather than an optimistic desire for reform is a perfectly rational way of thinking.

And I *know* most Republicans don't talk like Michelle Bachmann.

Republicans, like Christians, are simply factually wrong. No problem there that a little debating can't fix.

But Movement Conservatives...those are the guys who said that Obama was going to put Conservatives in Re-Education Camps when he was going to get elected, and I have to say, I think they came up with that one because they know in their grotesque, death-cheering black hearts that that's what Obama would have to do in order to get their poison out of American politics. Unfortunately, it looks increasingly like we're going to elect one of them President instead.

I guess the other way to convince your average Republican that the crazies are real is to let them run the country a little further into the ground.

TheAlmightyNarf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheAlmightyNarf said...

You know what? I don't think the majority of intelligent conservatives will be voting Republican this time around. Neither do I think the majority of intelligent liberals will be voting for Obama. I imagine the voter turn out for the '12 election is going to be the lowest it's been in decades.

@ jojjo

Because the American Libertarian party is even worse when it comes to this sort of sociopathic nonsense. And the Green party seems to exist for the sole purpose of boosting Nader's ego.

Will said...

Hello Bob.

I'm really sorry, I like your writing quite a lot, and usually agree with you politically. I'm not sure whether you meant that meth-head quote as truth or anything, it was almost certainly just a silly joke. The thing is, as a psychology student... It just kind of bugged me.

It doesn't work that way.

On top of that, it's very similar to the point you're against in this article; it's turning your head towards the poor being unable to be treated.

jojjo said...

I would actually disagree (partially) on both points; however it is irrelevant since the main effect it would have is to pluralize the debate and give the Two Great Parties a kick in the but. Power corrupts, and unchallenged power corrupts absolutely :)

Noob Saibot said...

Ron Paul, like the other Republicans, is a creationist. Anti-science cracks don't get to be president anymore.

Sam Robards, Occasional Gamer said...

You know, Bob, I've been reading your stuff for a while now, but what's with all the raging hate posts you've put up as of late?

Relax, step outside and breathe, for goodness sake.

It seems like one out of every three pieces you write now is a venom-filled rage- and hate-fest. It's not that big a deal, man. Lighten up!

And yeah, I've quit commenting on the political/religious aspects of these posts because it just isn't worth it. You're set in your ways, and I'm set in mine. So we'll just have to agree to disagree.

motyr said...

Forgive me if this has been covered above, but, Bob, it seems like you think Ron Paul is an intelligent, educated individual who rises above the general Republican status-quo. In the event that he would be in the running to be the next President of the United States, wouldn't you say that voting for Ron Paul would be a justifiable choice regardless of whether or not you agree completely with his politics? Perhaps the intelligent Republicans prefer Ron Paul to any other candidate, perhaps he's their reason for sticking with the Republican Party.

Brandon Wright said...

I’ll just say this about the whole healthcare thing: As a Canadian watching in on the whole ‘socialized medicine Obamacare’ debacle in the states for the past 2-3 years, it would be hysterical if it weren’t so sad. In Canada, Australia, Europe – the rest of the west really – if you tried to dismantle public health care, we would burn our parliaments to the ground. We count healthcare as a basic human right, like voting or freedom of speech. It’s something we’ll happily pay more taxes for to keep afloat because letting people die because of an outside factor like insurance is simply wrong.

Chris Pranger said...

For me, it all comes down to the fundamentals of the parties. My dad gave me the analogy many years ago with the whole "Teach a man to fish..." story to describe the key difference and that really stuck with me. Since then I did my share of research to see what I really believe and why, and in the end I saw my "score" tallied up to shift me toward the Right, though not to a degree of fanaticism. Everything MUST be case-by-case, otherwise nothing can get done.

So do I vote Republican? Yes and no. I've only been old enough to vote in one presidential election and in that case I sincerely voted for McCain, not because I hated Obama or anything, but because I liked the way McCain openly asked for his cabinet/partners to challenge him on issues. Hell, his wife challenges him on issues, openly, and I appreciated that.

Now we're moving into another election year and I'm just not voting, or at least don't currently plan to. I hate saying that neither party is right, but here I believe it. My answer is going to inevitably come down to "I wish it was like the good old days!" but that's the wrong way to phrase things. My personal attitude leans towards the original definition of "Republican," but the party changed its definition since then and everyone who has labeled themselves as a Republican is just confused that everyone keeps getting on their case when we weren't aware the definition changed. It's like how for a while when your grandparents heard you call someone "gay" they just assumed it was a compliment about their demeanor. Real conservatives, the non-nutcases that DO make up the majority of the party, just don't have an option that fits the previous definition as well as we'd like, so by default we vote Republican. When we're told that's wrong, it's like someone saying our choices are "or death."

Ryan said...

@ Chris

The original Republican fought a war so that the Federal Government could permanently establish its dominance over individual states, changed the constitution so that Federal Rights had to be applied equally in all states to every individual, and said that corporations were the biggest possible threat to American Democracy. If you want to vote for somebody who shares those values, you should always vote for the Democratic Party.

Well...actually, there is no party that believes those things, but the Democratic party is closer, certainly, than the Republicans, who oppose most of that on principle these days.

Uncle Tim said...

To be fair, the coverage of this and your headline is quite a bit disengenuous. Listen to that again. At most it sounds like two Republicans cheer and you'll notice a very low rumble from the crowd that sounds much more shocked than enthusiastic.

There's also the fact that Paul's comment about church-run hospitals not turning anyone away gets actual applause and cheering from the crowd.

Uncle Tim said...

Make that disingenuous. Lousy typist.

B.J. said...

Republicans are hypocrites, plain and simple. There's no logical consistency to their arguments or ideology. They hop from one irrational, contradictory slogan to the next without ever taking the time to reconcile their beliefs into a coherent position.

"End government handouts!"
"Leave social security alone!"
"Government can't handle healthcare!"
"Medicare needs to remain funded!"
"Environmentalism is bad!"
"Fluorescent light bulbs are bad for the environment!"
"Spread democracy and end dictatorships!"
"End democratic uprisings and support dictators!"
"States should be able to do as they please! (eg ignore civil rights)"
"States need to obey the federal government! (eg Terry Schiavo)"
"Government should have no power over religions!"
"Ban all muslims!"

etc etc etc.

Republicans are MORONS.

Ryan said...


I disagree. SOME Republicans are morons, but not most of them. Here are some reasons to be a Republican.

1. Moron (small%, probably comparable to the number of liberal morons)

2. Conservative Christian (25-35%)

3. Has an MBA, doesn't understand difference between business and government (lots)

4. Read Ayn Rand in High School, never got over it (lots)

5. Racist/Nativist (lots)

6. Wealthy, understands which side of the bread the butter is on (small %)

7. Afraid the government will take their guns (lots)

8. Afraid the government will put them in camps (small %)

9. Afraid the government will take their money (lots)

10. Afraid the government will take their money and give it to pregnant black high school dropouts (a few, sadly, thanks Ronald Reagan)

11. Thinks they're in the party of Lincoln (this is a subcategory of the "moron" group)

12. Afraid of illegal immigrants (many)

13. Dad was a narcissistic bully (lots)

14. Pulled self up by own bootstraps, resentful that other people haven't managed it despite massive evidence that this feat is both unusual and rare, though still commendable (a few)

15. Fascist tendencies (likes authority, simple answers, conformity - lots of these)

I'm sure there are more, plus lots of people who combine various elements of these characteristics, but that's who we're dealing with. They're not stupid, they're clever. The crazy stuff is because there's lots of different kinds, and it's also an intentional distraction.

ssmit said...

Congratulations Bob,
You, and most of your commenters, have built your selves a fine straw man and beaten the crap out of it. You have taken the shout of one random dude in an audience of thousands and used that to kick off a hate filled screed to condemn millions. In the process you have shown that your understanding of your political opponent is a best a caricature and that your understanding of American politics is at the level of a dimwitted four year old.
You are so wrong on so many things that there is literally no point in even trying to correct you on them because I got other shit I need to do today. Besides you seem to have cultivated an extreme case of intellectual isolation that only comes through locking yourself in an echo chamber. You are quite possibly unreachable. I am only writing to encourage you to stick with movies and TV as you are embarrassing yourself.
One thing though; how exactly is Herman Cain being racist?

Ryan said...


That's a lot of accusations and not a lot of evidence. I couldn't help but notice that Bob was perfectly polite to Ron Paul in his post, and that Rick Perry went on TV and denounced the people who cheered his rate of executing people AND the "let them die" dude. I don't think people are laboring under the illusion that Republicans are sociopaths.

It's just that they espouse policies that are wrong using arguments that encourage moral decay whilst citing the Bible and the Founding Fathers as inspiration, and that depresses some of us. No echo chamber necessary.

Cain, so far as I've seen, isn't being racist. The formulation works like this: Most Republicans are not racists, but most racists are Republicans. See?

ssmit said...

Bob's post was nothing but accusations without evidence and yet I am held to a higher standard?
You may not be laboring under the delusion that Republicans are sociopaths but Bob certainly seems to be and he was the one I was responding to(by the way, calling someone "not an unbelievable asshole" is not being perfectly polite by most standards).
Meanwhile, your own counterpost, and many of your other posts, are little long on accusations and short on information themselves. Which Republican policies are wrong, encourage moral decay and are based on the bible? How do you back up the assertion that most racists are Republicans?
My Herman Cain question was to illustrate a point.
"GOP/TeaParty debate; which at times resembled a race to see which candidate could be the most gleefully dismissive/callous toward the "others" (read: anyone not white, rural-American, Christian or willing to lionize white rural-American Christianity as the highest possible tier of human civilization)"
How does the decidedly nonwhite Herman Cain fit into this narrative, or Huntsman and Romney who are arguably not Christians? You may no beleive that most Republicans are Racists, but Bob seems to.

Ryan said...

I'm in a hurry, so my apologies.

1) Yeah, I'm holding you to a higher standard because I disagree with you and it's a good way to get your attention. It's hypocritical.

2) "Not an unbelievable asshole" was a comparison to the guy shouting "YEAH!" at the suggestion that we let injured people die if they don't have money. Paul's actual opinion on the matter (Charity hospitals will solve the problem) is facile and silly.

3) Nearly all the truth-claims of the modern Republican Party are flatly false. A short list would be...

Supply-Side Economics Are Always a Good Idea,
Tax Cuts Are Always Good,
Raising Taxes is Always Bad,
Every Time a Government Program is Created it Curtails Freedom,
Unions are Inherently Corrupt,
Government is Always Less Effective Than Big Business,
The Free Market Operates Best Without Regulation,
Marriage Needs to be Defended From Gay People,
Jesus Has Meaningful Things to Say About American Politics,
There is No Such Thing as Racism Except for a Few Crazy People and also Anyone Who Supports Affirmative Action,
Fetuses Can Think,
The World Was Created in 7 Days,
The Earth is 6,000 Years Old,
Vaccinating Children Against Cancer Is Immoral if it Acknowledges that they Might Have Sex,
Climate Change is a Hoax,
Climate Change isn't a Serious Issue,
George Bush Won in 2001,
Barack Obama is a Socialist,
Barack Obama is a Secret Kenyan,
Sharia Law is a Serious Threat,
It Isn't a Big Deal if the United States Openly Violates Human Rights in the War on Terror,
Military Spending Doesn't Count as Wasteful Spending Even When it Doesn't Accomplish Much,
Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme,
Medicare is Inefficient,
George Bush Didn't Lie to Get Us Into the Iraq War,
Regulating Banks Would Cost Jobs,
Taxing the Rich Would Cost Jobs,
Poor People Don't Pay Taxes,
Corporations Are People,
Abstinence-Only Education Works,
Sarah Palin is Qualified to be President,
National Health Care is "Too Expensive",
A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats,
Ayn Rand Wasn't Crazy,
Illegal Immigrants Are a Serious Threat to the Country,
Corporatization Isn't a Serious Threat to the Country,
Okay I'm stopping now...

Ryan said...

I think a lot of those beliefs cause moral decay, but the easiest example is the rejection of the idea that there's such a thing as social responsibility. From Ayn Rand's Objectivism to Glenn Beck's attacks on the concept of Social Justice to the Gospel of Wealth, Conservatives seem to embrace the idea that a meritocratic society of hardworking individuals has to be willing to abandon the idea of taking care of one another, coming together to do big things, and acting in the collective interest when it's appropriate to do so. I understand morality the way MLK understood it: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." The United States is a country with a huge economy and a massive gap between rich and poor, and there are ways to solve that problem that the Republican party specifically opposes because of it's stated disinterest in giving a crap about anything other than naked self-interest.

I know that most racists are Republican because I have eyes. When was the last time a Democrat spat on John Lewis, used the N-Word at a protest, or casually lumped Muslims, Mexicans, or Blacks together and made bigoted statements about them? Republican radio talk show hosts do that literally every day. I subscribe to the Weekly Standard, and as a result I get lots of Republican mailers telling me about the dangers posed by violent, ill-educated Mexicans and the need to defend English as the primary language of the United States. Democrats don't talk about that kind of stuff. Oh, right, and Republicans are proposing legislation that would restrict voter rights in ways specifically designed to limit Black voter turnout, AND Republicans still think ACORN represented a threat to American National Security even though it didn't, AND Republicans like to race-bait like they did with Shirley Sherrod, AND Republicans oppose the Dream Act, bilingual education, and getting rid of the stupid racial profiling law in AZ. Also, they made signs showing Obama as a monkey. It's not all of you, but the racists know who's with them.

Herman Cain, personally, seems like a good businessman, but he's a beard for the Republican Party. There's a reason black people vote overwhelmingly Democratic.

Huntsman and Romney belong to a religion that only decided Black People had souls in 1978. They're about as white as you can get, and they're way more fundamentalist than most of the liberal Christians I know.

I would defend Bob by saying that there's something grotesque, from a Liberal point of view, about the way Republicans like you a) deny the racism in their base, then b) demand that we realize that "We're Not All Like That", then allow racist bigots to help get your guys elected without denouncing them. It's lame.

You can argue that liberals also say crazy things, but there's no mainstream liberal politician who plays to the dangerous nutjob section of the base the way virtually every Republican candidate except Huntsman does.

You guys need to face up to what you are, at the very least.

ssmit said...

Once again you are long on accusations and short on facts. Things are not ture merely because you decree them to be so. Many of the "truths" you listed are not even close to mainstream Republican thought and many others are provable with easily availiable information and others I even agree with you on. You are just throwing shit at wall and hoping some of it sticks.
There are some things you mentioned which we could have a reasonable dicussion on but, much like Bob, you evidently don't care to because it may actually damage your carefully constructed charicature.
I will take up on a few things.
"spat on John Lewis, used the N-Word at a protest" Never happend, there are literal dozens of videos from this event and not one has any record of this, which is strange as you can see that one of Lewis's entourage has a camera of his own, you would think that he would have at least filmed this incident.
"Republicans are proposing legislation that would restrict voter rights in ways specifically designed to limit Black voter turnout" Such as?
I never denied that there are racists in the Republican party. When you are talking about millions of people statistically some are bound to be nuts. I am denying that they are anywhere in the main stream of the party.
Can you say the same about racists or truthers in the Democrat party?

Laserkid said...

@Ryan: I can't speak for other right of center folk, but for me its not a lack of feeling socially responsible, my issue is the idea of forcing such. I can, will, and have done much charity work and donations - but I don't think its right to have the government itself deign itself the arbiter of such. Especially given its ineptitude.

Ryan said...


What you're doing is making rhetorical moves rather than arguing. I'm not going to put my dissertation proving each one of my points in the comments section of Bob's blog, and you know it, so yes, you can pretend I'm not right, or you can go do some research on your own and discover why I'm so confident what I'm saying is the truth.

THEN you used the phrase "Democrat Party", which is just annoying, as there is no such thing. The Democratic Party, on the other hand, has to my knowledge no prominent racists, does not attempt to limit minority voting, and does not use race-baiting as a campaign tactic. I can't help but notice you only engaged with ONE of my many pieces of evidence, because you're reasonably sure that that one wasn't true. My evidence that it happened is that Lewis said it did, and he strikes me as a person of integrity. If I'm not allowed to use that argument, Republicans must forfeit telling me about a) Colin Powell at the UN and b) Jesus.

Going after ACORN was about suppressing the black vote. So are laws demanding voter ID cards. So are laws making it harder to get off convict lists. This is an old story that you'd already know if you were paying attention at all.

Republicans wouldn't send out racially-charged mailings and sponsor racially-charged legislation (like the AZ laws) if they didn't know they had racially charged voters to turn out. Don't be willfully naive.

9/11 Truthers are being silly. There are no 9/11 Truther mailings from the Democratic party. There are on 9/11 truther mailings from any Democratic candidate. There are no liberal talk-show hosts on national cable that talk about 9/11 trutherism...but there are lots and lots of bigots (against minorities, gays, and foreigners) with big megaphones all throughout the Conservative infrastructure, and you know it.

I have a really hard time believing you're arguing in good faith on this stuff.


Charitable organizations can do only a limited amount of good unless they're very big and very powerful. Historically, the most effective charitable organizations have been governments and churches. To base our help for the needy on faith is un-American, as it violates the seperation of church and state. To base our help on independent groups is deeply inefficient, no matter how well-intentioned. To base our help on businesses is just foolish, because the motivations are all wrong.

Government is the best bet. Deciding that government is incompetent off the bat is an unhelpful attitude. We live in a democracy. Reform.

Furthermore, private charities don't build public works and can't do "big" things (like national healthcare).

But (and here's a simple value disagreement) I also don't understand why you presumably support laws prohibiting various kinds of anti-social behavior, and even some laws mandating socially responsible behavior (like having working taillights on your car) but somehow "contribute money to public health" is an imposition. I don't think you really disagree with the principle that sometimes people need to be required to do the right thing in order to ensure that they will, just on which things are appropriate to mandate.

Andrew Drake said...

Last I checked, Obama is the democrat choice this year.
That is why the republicans have traction at the moment. If the democrats change their candadate they might have their guy again, they will screw up on nearly everything, and we will do this dance again in four years.