That’s the number of the night, people.
That’s the percentage of self-identified “liberals” that voted for Chris Christie, essentially endorsing the idea that he should run for president of the United States, since that was the real purpose of the New Jersey gubernatorial election yesterday. It certainly wasn’t about who’s going to be the governor of New Jersey, since Big Chicken is eighty-eight-and-out-the-gate as soon as the dust clears from next autumn’s midterms, if not sooner. (All that talk about “Washington” in his acceptance speech was a pretty clear indication that the man has his travelin’ shoes on already.) No, as soon as it was determined by the strategic geniuses in the Democratic party that Barbara Buono would be fed to the woodchipper — and good on her for calling the duplicitous bastards on it last night — the only issue in the election became whether or not you think Chris Christie should run for president. And 31 percent of the liberals who voted assented to that proposition.
How the hell did that happen on a night when the state also kicked him squarely in the nuts by overwhelmingly reversing his veto of an increase in the minimum wage, a veto that is the perfect expression of everything Chris Christie stands for as a politician? If you want to know why actual liberalism continues to be a dead parrot in our politics, and why the only real political dynamic in the country revolves around a choice over whether we will drift slowly to the right or stampede headlong in that direction, look to that number.
Time and time again, conservatives have compared liberals to Nazis. It’s been their favorite comparison ever since President Obama first took office. It’s certainly a favorite of Glenn Beck. Throughout his tenure on right-wing radio, Fox News, and his current show, Beck has compared liberals to everything from Nazis to fascists to communists. And he did it again during an interview with the New York Times.
In an interview with Amy Chozick that ran in the Times on Friday, Beck said everyone in politics should just get along with each other. It was an interesting turn from the often controversial and divisive right-winger, but it didn’t last long. The interview turned sinister as Beck told Chozick that progressives should be hunted down like Nazis.
BECK: “Can we stop dividing ourselves? Do racists exist? Yes. Do bigots exist? Yes. But most of us are not. Most Americans just want to get along. Why can’t we do that? What has happened to us?”
CHOZICK: “But you said you were going to hunt down progressives like an Israeli Nazi hunter.”
BECK: “Oh, I will. I think these guys are the biggest danger in the world. It’s the people like Mao, people that believe that big government is the answer, it always leads to millions dead — always.”
So, it sounds like Beck wants all Americans to get along, but that they can only do so if left-wingers are hunted to extinction leaving only conservatives to run the country. That’s really dark.
First of all, it should be pointed out that progressives are nowhere close to being Nazis. Both groups are on opposite sides of the political spectrum. Progressivism is left-wing while Nazism is an offshoot of fascism which is found on the right-wing.
Read more: addictinginfo.org
The RNC hasn’t latched onto the fight. Few national Republicans have weighed in. And a key party official in Texas acknowledged there’s no behind-the-scenes help coming, though he says he doesn’t need it.
Republicans will talk about the abortion bill when they’re asked about it, but they aren’t swooping into the fight with the same enthusiasm as liberals.
The mismatch makes sense: Even abortion bills that poll well, like the one in Texas does, open the door to the kinds of comments that have hurt national Republicans repeatedly — from Rep. Trent Franks’s comments last month on the “very low” number of rape-related pregnancies to Todd Akin blowing his shot at a Senate seat over his “legitimate rape” remarks in 2012.
But that political calculus doesn’t do much for anti-abortion activists who are glad to see their issue front and center.
Is it a problem that some groups have lower IQs than others? For Jason Richwine, it would appear that it depends on whether the group in question is brown or not:
I will leave you with the words of the great man himself:
The bottom line is that a political debate will never be resolved by measuring the IQs of groups on each side of the issue. Even if certain positions tend to be held by less intelligent people, there will usually be plenty of sharp thinkers who take the same side. Rather than focus on the intellectual deficiencies, real or imagined, of certain politicians and their supporters, people should strive to find the best and brightest spokesmen for the opposing side.
A recent study has found that the upper levels of education is more liberal than America generally is.
However the reasons for that are not those that is currency among conservatives. That is, that universities are hotbeds of liberal indoctrination. Instead it’s because conservatives often avoid upper education because they believe universities are hotbeds of liberal indoctrination. It’s a form of self-selection, or perhaps a self-fulfiling prophecy.
The Social Security cuts in President Barack Obama’s new budget are creating dissension in his base.
Many liberals oppose the president’s proposal to balance the budget on the backs of the old. But a good chunk of the establishment left is sticking by the president’s side, arguing that the cuts aren’t so bad, and that any budget compromise with this Republican House will involve swallowing a bitter pill or two.
Obama’s budget would squeeze old age benefits by changing the way inflation is calculated so that increases in future monthly Social Security payments grow more slowly. Right now, benefit increases are tied to the Consumer Price Index, which tracks the prices of a bunch of consumer products. First Republicans, and now Obama, have proposed changing that to something called chained CPI, a different calculation that ends up producing a lower rate of inflation by accounting for consumers switching to cheaper substitutes when a product’s price jumps. The president’s proposal includes exemptions for the oldest and poorest beneficiaries, but it would cost all other retirees hundreds of dollars in lost benefits every year. The White House estimates the measure will save $230 billion over 10 years.
The left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has argued that chained CPI is acceptable—but only if implemented with the exceptions Obama’s budget includes for the most vulnerable, and if it is accompanied by new tax revenues. The CBPP released a report last year titled “Chained CPI Can Be Part of a Balanced Deficit-Reduction Package, Under Certain Conditions,” and reporters have been citing it as proof of liberal support for the plan. The Center for American Progress, one of Washington’s most powerful liberal think tanks, has also backed a switch to chained CPI. (CAP did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)
If you want to know people’s politics, tradition said to study their parents. In fact, the party affiliation of someone’s parents can predict the child’s political leanings about around 70 percent of the time.
But new research, published yesterday in the journal PLOS ONE, suggests what mom and dad think isn’t the endgame when it comes to shaping a person’s political identity. Ideological differences between partisans may reflect distinct neural processes, and they can predict who’s right and who’s left of center with 82.9 percent accuracy, outperforming the “your parents pick your party” model. It also out-predicts another neural model based on differences in brain structure, which distinguishes liberals from conservatives with 71.6 percent accuracy.
The study matched publicly available party registration records with the names of 82 American participants whose risk-taking behavior during a gambling experiment was monitored by brain scans. The researchers found that liberals and conservatives don’t differ in the risks they do or don’t take, but their brain activity does vary while they’re making decisions.
The idea that the brains of Democrats and Republicans may be hard-wired to their beliefs is not new. Previous research has shown that during MRI scans, areas linked to broad social connectedness, which involves friends and the world at large, light up in Democrats’ brains. Republicans, on the other hand, show more neural activity in parts of the brain associated with tight social connectedness, which focuses on family and country.
Other scans have shown that brain regions associated with risk and uncertainty, such as the fear-processing amygdala, differ in structure in liberals and conservatives. And different architecture means different behavior. Liberals tend to seek out novelty and uncertainty, while conservatives exhibit strong changes in attitude to threatening situations. The former are more willing to accept risk, while the latter tends to have more intense physical reactions to threatening stimuli.
This was not supposed to have been an easy year for U.S. liberals. After the Tea Party wave of 2010 and the unprecedented flood of money brought in by the Citizens United ruling, the deck was stacked against many on the left. But liberals fought back and won: this was the year of resilience.
The fight against right-wing voter suppression was perhaps the biggest success. More than half the states in this country considered voter ID laws, and some lawmakers were open about their intent. Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Mike Turzai put it simply: “Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania- done.”
But it wasn’t done. Voting rights advocates successfully blocked that law in Pennsylvania, and blocked similar laws in Wisconsin and beyond. Obama went on to win the state’s electoral votes.
Despite the odds, the massive liberal ground game ultimately overcame the billionaire boys club.In Florida, voter suppression measures backfired and inspired many voters to go to the polls, where some stood in line for six or seven hours, waiting to vote. But eventually all the ballots were casts, and the voice of the people was heard.
Not everyone had an easy time accepting the defeat, especially Karl Rove, who’d spent three hundred million dollars trying to win an election, and failed. Despite the odds, the massive liberal ground game ultimately overcame the billionaire boys club.
If I were to describe a president who escalated a cruelly pointless war, raised more than twice as much campaign money from large individual donors as from small ones (including more than $27 million from lawyers and lobbyists), engaged in widespread violations of civil liberties and the Constitution, and whose most vaunted legislative achievements were to protect banks and pave the way for transfers of large amounts of money from the public treasury to private insurance companies, you would probably assume I was talking about a right-wing Republican.
But I’m talking about President Obama, a Democrat, and more than a month after he defeated Mitt Romney for re-election, I remain mystified by the hysteria that took hold of liberals when it appeared, briefly, that he might lose. Liberal guilt over the president’s numerous broken pledges and his early passivity in dealing with a discredited Republican minority can partly explain the outraged tone of the American “left” whenever it got the chance to blast Romney.
At the same time, attacks on Obama from the far right provoked reflexive defenses from people disgusted by such idiotic paranoids as the “Birthers.” However, this doesn’t entirely account for the cravenly soft treatment accorded the incumbent over the past four years. And now that Obama appears poised to push substantial parts of Social Security and Medicare over the “fiscal cliff” — in exchange for a paltry, largely symbolic, increase in the top marginal income-tax rate — we might ask whether liberals will once again rise to Obama’s defense, no matter how indefensible his actions.
Those conservatives are appalling: They couldn’t care less if people get hurt. And liberals? They think anything goes, and have no concept of the meaning of loyalty.
Caricatures? Absolutely. But such stereotypes are widely held among Americans, newly published research confirms, with liberals particularly clueless about the concerns of conservatives.
Regarding issues of morality, “people overestimate how dramatically liberals and conservatives differ,” psychologists Jesse Graham, Brian Nosek and Jonathan Haidt write in the online journal PLoS One. Specifically, their research suggests those on the left unfairly assume their counterparts on the right are cold-hearted on issues involving harm and fairness.
“There are real moral differences between liberals and conservatives,” the researchers write, “but people across the political spectrum exaggerate the magnitude of these differences, and in so doing create opposing moral stereotypes that are shared by all.”
The research provides the latest insights derived from Haidt’s framework of moral attitudes. He has identified five distinct moral realms: harm/care, fairness, in-group loyalty, deference to authority, and purity/sanctity. The first two promote individual freedom and self-expression, and are beloved by liberals; the final three bind societies together, and are close to the hearts of social conservatives.