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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-03-24 05:55
Subject: [politics] Being crazy isn't looking stupid, it's the native condition of the GOP
Security: Public
There's a new poll coming out today which appears to back up what the Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll said a few weeks ago. As you may recall, at the time GOP leaders and pundits reacted angrily, saying the poll was meant to make them look stupid.

The lede on the Harris poll is "Majority of Republicans: Obama is a Muslim".

Confidential to GOP in America: When you tell your followers that the president is a Muslim, a Socialist, and that he pals around with terrorists, you look stupid. When they believe you, your followers look stupid. When the real world notices this stupidity, you look stupid.

No one made you look stupid but yourselves.

Brighten up, Republicans. Your media strategy has been a success. People believe all those lies you've been feeding them for years. A significant portion of this country is convinced we have a Muslim Socialist Nazi fascist terrorist traitor in the White House. And many of them carry guns, for bonus fun! Never mind what any of those words actually mean, or how internally contradictory they are. Never mind what the actual facts on the ground are. Your message has succeeded wildly.

It's not looking stupid. It's sowing what you reap. Unfortunately, the rest of us have to live in this country.

Crazy isn't looking like such a great electoral strategy these days, is it?

Maybe you should try, you know, facts. Ideas. Governance instead of politics. Reality instead of rhetoric. But that passion that Beck and Limbaugh inspire is a powerful drug, isn't it? Hard to kick the buzz, hard to lose that "king of the world" feeling when the mob is shouting your name as their savior.

This is what Lee Atwater and Roger Ailes set out to do almost forty years ago. Demonize the opposition, activate the base, and turn the media. Hope you like our country now, conservative America.

You broke it, but we all have to buy it.

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Brent "Chip" Edwards: Sarah Palin
User: chipuni
Date: 2010-03-24 13:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Sarah Palin
I take one small issue with your post: The Republican Party is filled with ideas.

Ideas divorced from reality, like that Obama is a seeekrit Muslim Socialist fascist terrorist...

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User: fledgist
Date: 2010-03-24 21:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There is a single word in English for "ideas divorced from reality". That word is "delusions."
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User: maurinestarkey
Date: 2010-03-24 13:54 (UTC)
Subject: Your's was the first thing I read this morning...
That was great. It made me feel so much better and hopeful that there are people out there who can see past the GOP's bizarro drumbeat You said it so well, thank you.
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ubiquitous_a: Obama-chill
User: ubiquitous_a
Date: 2010-03-24 14:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Word. :)
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User: mcjulie
Date: 2010-03-24 15:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
They're in a feedback loop. The more extreme they get, the more people they lose, but the more dedicated those remaining, the more extreme they get.

I think this is like what happened to evangelical Christianity in the 80s and 90s, as right wing politics took over there -- everybody who didn't like it left the church, so it just got worse and worse.

I do wonder what the end point is, and how long it will take to get there. Will the more moderate libertarian-types take control of the Republican party again? Will the Palinites form a third party? Will the Republicans die off completely? Will the major parties fragment such that instant run-off voting becomes the will of the people?

It seemed to me that in the days following 9/11, the Republicans seemed less and less like a normal political party and more like a religious cult. That inspires a lot of passion in the true believers, but I don't think it's a sustainable long-term model for electoral victory.
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Max Kaehn: Politics
User: slothman
Date: 2010-03-24 17:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It’s the Iron Law of Institutions: they can’t risk any move that loses voters, and once they decided to pick up the John Birchers, they have to cater to them.
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Kenneth Mark Hoover
User: kmarkhoover
Date: 2010-03-24 16:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
All this can definitely be traced back to Lee Atwater. He apologized for it on his death bed (I guess he was trying to get into heaven) but the damage had been done.
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