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1 Charles Johnson  Mon, Mar 18, 2013 5:15:31pm

You’re a lot more optimistic about this than I am. The backlash is already in full swing on the right.

2 Skip Intro  Mon, Mar 18, 2013 5:21:29pm

I’ve said before that the GOP establishment thought that by releasing the crazies they’d get more votes while being able to control them. Now they’re trying to get them to voluntarily return to the asylum, and are shocked that their orders are being ignored.

It was a really bad decision by the GOP bigwigs, but it’s been a disastrous one for the country.

3 EPR-radar  Mon, Mar 18, 2013 5:26:51pm

Another problem the GOP faces is how to distinguish itself from Obama and the Democrats with sane policy positions.

Since Obama and the Democrats are center-right on economic issues, the GOP has gone hard-right on economics.

On the social issues, the GOP has more room to stake out a contrasting position. However, the appeal of hard-right economic policies is very limited, so the GOP has usually used the social issues as a distraction from this.

4 wrenchwench  Mon, Mar 18, 2013 5:34:59pm

I haven’t read the whole report yet, but the only place I’ve seen a call for a ‘major cultural shift’ is in the area of data analytics. That’s also the only place where science is mentioned.

5 Romantic Heretic  Mon, Mar 18, 2013 5:46:16pm
…we have lost the ability to be persuasive with, or welcoming to, those who do not agree with us on every issue.

That’s what guns are for. Stick a gun in a man’s face and he’ll believe anything you tell him to believe. It’s also why we’re doing everything we can to make sure we win elections. Once we get power we’ll have the biggest guns around.

Then we can convince the whole world we’re right. Or else.

6 cinesimon  Mon, Mar 18, 2013 6:22:25pm

I think this is a prime opportunity for a competition within the LGF community, offering an imaginary prize(or if anyone can brainiac a real one) for the person who accurately guesses the most bizarre conspiracy theory.

7 Tigger2  Mon, Mar 18, 2013 6:22:52pm

And their base (teabaggers) will ignore every bit of it.

8 Destro  Mon, Mar 18, 2013 6:26:33pm

re: #2 Skip Intro

I’ve said before that the GOP establishment thought that by releasing the crazies they’d get more votes while being able to control them. Now they’re trying to get them to voluntarily return to the asylum, and are shocked that their orders are being ignored.

It was a really bad decision by the GOP bigwigs, but it’s been a disastrous one for the country.

Just worth repeating. I want to add that the GOP was aware of the demographic problem for a while now and that explains why the GOP selected Reince Priebus who led a voter suppression effort in Wisconsin. By mobilizing the crazies, they thought were mobilizing the last of their reserves and it kind of worked in the midterm elections. But by the end of the midterms the right drove most of the moderates away from the GOP or made them so disgusted they stayed home and now the GOP is in a membership collapse.

9 Destro  Mon, Mar 18, 2013 6:27:53pm

re: #6 cinesimon

I think this is a prime opportunity for a competition within the LGF community, offering an imaginary prize(or if anyone can brainiac a real one) for the person who accurately guesses the most bizarre conspiracy theory.

The right wing is calling the Newton massacre a hoax - how can you top that for bizarre?

10 Skip Intro  Mon, Mar 18, 2013 6:39:00pm

re: #9 Destro

The right wing is calling the Newton massacre a hoax - how can you top that for bizarre?

I just can’t keep up any more. I thought it was a false flag operation by Obama to distract people from Benghazi.

11 sagehen  Mon, Mar 18, 2013 7:37:31pm

re: #10 Skip Intro

I just can’t keep up any more. I thought it was a false flag operation by Obama to distract people from Benghazi.

The governor of CT was on Hardball tonight; apparently the county records office is being swamped by requests for the kids’ birth certificates, death certificates, burial locations…

12 thecommodore  Tue, Mar 19, 2013 2:02:29am

I’m not that optimistic about any of this bringing about any meaningful change in GOP politics. Nevertheless, I consider the fact that any Republican would say any of this - especially about gay marriage or (gasp) Ronald Reagan, is what Andrew Sullivan would call a “green shoot,” on the right.

FWIW

13 Stoatly  Tue, Mar 19, 2013 6:19:08am

From the OP:

…..followed by the launch of Fox “News,” and still later the right wing blogosphere…..

That most ironic of all curses: “May you get what you wish for”

When I first used the internet I had great hopes it would allow good ideas to thrive and bad to wither due to the easy access to checkable facts.

I’ve been hugely disappointed by the way that instead it has fed our desire to only hear ideas that reinforce what we already believe, the internet has turned out to be just another way we can filter out “other” thinking

We humans are really crap at dealing with complex issues like how economies or international relationships work and demand they are simplified to bite-sized concepts even when they are a bad fit for reality

I recognise these faults in myself and - to invoke the MBF - they work on left-wing thought as much as on the right.
But various right-wing interest have got very very good at exploiting these weaknesses, swamping and distorting debate on topics like climate change or evolution with half-truths, discredited studies and outright falsehoods knowing sheer volume will drive out pesky facts every time.

And in doing so, at the bottom of the hole they’ve dug, they’ve painted themselves into a corner with their own petard,

14 aagcobb  Tue, Mar 19, 2013 7:36:18am

re: #4 wrenchwench

I haven’t read the whole report yet, but the only place I’ve seen a call for a ‘major cultural shift’ is in the area of data analytics. That’s also the only place where science is mentioned.

As I understand it, they tried to avoid making specific policy recommendations, with the exception of immigration policy, so, for example they talked about young people favoring civil rights without coming right out and saying that the GOP needed to drop its opposition to marriage equality.

15 aagcobb  Tue, Mar 19, 2013 7:42:36am

re: #7 Tigger2

And their base (teabaggers) will ignore every bit of it.

The true believers agree with Palin that the real problem is the consultants, and if they could just find the next Reagan he would win on a conservative platform, unlike moderate sellouts like Romney and McCain. What they ignore is the significant demographic changes which have occurred in the last 32 years since Reagan was elected. Romney’s percentage of the white vote would have elected him easily in 1980, but with the minority vote likely to increase to 30% of the electorate in 2016, the GOP, for the first time since it adopted the Southern Strategy, will have to figure out how to appeal to minority voters in order to have any shot at winning.

16 stabby  Tue, Mar 19, 2013 9:57:05am

The Republicans version of “epistemic closure” is a lot worse than the sort of thing they’re describing, what it really is is the fact that almost all of their policies, let alone every single one of their outrages, is based on a lie pure and simple. For instance none of their economic proscriptions will work according to reputable economists, none of the economic forecasts they excuse them with are believable - it’s all a con job. And the results of those policies would be massive damage to most of the country - the only “good” would be a widening of the already insanely wide gap between the wealthy and the majority.

I could go to other issues, the lies meant to distract from denying voting rights, or those meant to distract from removing environmental protections or anything else. I could talk about the constant demonizing of innocent people, whether we mean demonizing democrats or demonizing community organizers or demonizing Sandra Fluke. The problem isn’t that they’re rejecting people who don’t agree with them, it’s that it’s all lies.

17 stabby  Tue, Mar 19, 2013 10:04:59am

re: #3 EPR-radar

Would it really be so bad to let economists decide economic issues instead of having to distinguish themselves by selling purely harmful bullshit?

18 EPR-radar  Tue, Mar 19, 2013 1:12:56pm

re: #16 stabby

The Republicans version of “epistemic closure” is a lot worse than the sort of thing they’re describing, what it really is is the fact that almost all of their policies, let alone every single one of their outrages, is based on a lie pure and simple. For instance none of their economic proscriptions will work according to reputable economists, none of the economic forecasts they excuse them with are believable - it’s all a con job. And the results of those policies would be massive damage to most of the country - the only “good” would be a widening of the already insanely wide gap between the wealthy and the majority.

I could go to other issues, the lies meant to distract from denying voting rights, or those meant to distract from removing environmental protections or anything else. I could talk about the constant demonizing of innocent people, whether we mean demonizing democrats or demonizing community organizers or demonizing Sandra Fluke. The problem isn’t that they’re rejecting people who don’t agree with them, it’s that it’s all lies.

I’m convinced that the present-day US conservative movement has fully embraced the ideals of the big lie and newspeak (e.g., as outlined in the GOP instruction manual 1984 written some time ago by George Orwell).

The essential GOP lie is denial that they stand primarily for enriching the already wealthy at everyone else’s expense. The rest of the lies, war mongering, hysterical enemy identification, and culture war BS serve mainly to distract people from this essential point.


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