- R i g h t a r d i a: Mario Piperni: Conservatives Without Conscience
Barry Goldwater warned about this:
Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.
Barry Goldwater, November 1994, as quoted in John Dean, Conservatives Without Conscience(2006)<
- Will the nominee shape the GOP, or will the GOP shape the nominee? – The Washington Post
- Just ordered this book earlier this evening: The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin about the book (the emphasis is mine):
Late in life, William F. Buckley made a confession to Corey Robin. Capitalism is “boring,” said the founding father of the American right. “Devoting your life to it,” as conservatives do, “is horrifying if only because it’s so repetitious. It’s like sex.” With this unlikely conversation began Robin’s decade-long foray into the conservative mind. What is conservatism, and what’s truly at stake for its proponents? If capitalism bores them, what excites them?
Tracing conservatism back to its roots in the reaction against the French Revolution, Robin argues that the right is fundamentally inspired by a hostility to emancipating the lower orders. Some conservatives endorse the free market, others oppose it. Some criticize the state, others celebrate it. Underlying these differences is the impulse to defend power and privilege against movements demanding freedom and equality.
Despite their opposition to these movements, conservatives favor a dynamic conception of politics and society–one that involves self-transformation, violence, and war. They are also highly adaptive to new challenges and circumstances. This partiality to violence and capacity for reinvention has been critical to their success.
Written by a keen, highly regarded observer of the contemporary political scene, The Reactionary Mind ranges widely, from Edmund Burke to Antonin Scalia, from John C. Calhoun to Ayn Rand. It advances the notion that all rightwing ideologies, from the eighteenth century through today, are historical improvisations on a theme: the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, and trying to win it back.
And here is video of Corey Robin talking about his book on Up With Chris Hayes:
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Politics — Ron Paul
- In a 1990 C-Span appearance, taped between…
In a 1990 C-Span appearance, taped between Congressional stints, Paul was asked by a caller to comment on the “treasonous, Marxist, alcoholic dictators that pull the strings in our country.” Rather than roll his eyes, Paul responded,“there’s pretty good evidence that those who are involved in the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations usually end up in positions of power. And I believe this is true.”
Paul then went on to stress the negligible differences between various “Rockefeller Trilateralists.” The notion that these three specific groups — the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Rockefeller family — run the world has been at the center of far-right conspiracy theorizing for a long time, promoted especially by the extremist John Birch Society, whose 50th anniversary gala dinner Paul keynoted in 2008.
Paul is proud of his association with the society, telling the Times Magazine in 2007, “I have a lot of friends in the John Birch Society.
Thanks to Alexander Ryking
Politics — Mitt Romney
- Sounds familiar – The Washington Post
Check Theodore H. White describing Gov. George Romney — Mitt Romney’s father — in his classic ‘The Making of the President 1968’:
“Above all, he looked like a President. Handsome, silver-haired, robust, masculine, smiling or stern, he seemed cast for the part by Hollywood’s Central Casting. Correspondents who liked him called him ‘Mr. Straight Arrow;’ those whose flesh crawled at his pieties called him ‘Mr. Square,’ or worse… He would make a forthright statement one day, then, like a man making up his mind in public, contradict it or modify it on another.”
Via Taegan Goddard, who aptly titled his post, ‘Like Father, Like Son’.
- Political Animal – Romney haunted by his victims
…Romney got very rich running a private-equity firm, Bain Capital, which broke up companies and laid off American workers. He had considerable success orchestrating leveraged buyouts, seeking taxpayer subsidies, flipping companies quickly for large profits, and making money for investors, even when the employees of those companies were deemed collateral damage.In the 1994 campaign, this mattered. Many of Romney’s victims drove to Massachusetts to protest the Republican’s campaign, and Democrats put together a half-dozen ads featuring laid-off workers who said they suffered while Romney lined his pockets at their expense.
It proved effective in 1994, and Dems hope it will work again in 2012.
Politics — Eric Cantor
- Balloon Juice » You Can’t Handle The Truth (The emphasis is mine)
During that 60 Minutes interview with the impressively slimy Eric Cantor, there is one moment that stood out. As Steve Benen notes, when Cantor’s press secretary from off camera yelled that it simply was not true that Reagan raised taxes, Stahl went on to show a clip of Reagan announcing a tax cut and uttering the dreaded “compromise” word. As Benen notes, contrary to the current myth that Republicans push that Reagan never raised taxes, Reagan is actually one of the greatest tax increasers of the modern era.
It would be nice if we could just dismiss these guys as liars, but the truth is even worse. Many of them don’t even know they are lying, they are living so safely inside the cocoon they have created for themselves. They are operating inside a constructed alternate reality, and have been for quite some time. Inside the bubble, vaccines cause cancer, the death penalty is never implemented when it shouldn’t be, Jesus rode on the back of dinosaurs, a semi-meiotic glob of cells is a person, and if you just keep cutting taxes and regulations, the growth fairy will leave increased federal revenues under the pillow.
- Daily Kos: Eric Cantor’s press secretary interrupts interview to claim Ronald Reagan never raised taxes
- Eric Cantor’s Press Secretary Interrupts 60 Min Interview to Claim Reagan Never Raised Taxes | Video Cafe
- Cantor Can’t Handle the Truth about Reagan | AlterNet
- Eric Cantor Shows CBS His Softer Side : Roll Call News
- » Republicans Out of the White House vs. Republican Presidents on Taxes and the Deficit Liberal Values
- And of course from the wing nut right we get NewsBusters whining and crying about the interview: 60 Minutes Coddled Obama But Pounds Cantor from the Left as Gridlock-Causing Rigid Tea Party Ideologue | NewsBusters.org
- Nobody Understands Debt – NYTimes.com
…when people in D.C. talk about deficits and debt, by and large they have no idea what they’re talking about — and the people who talk the most understand the least.
Perhaps most obviously, the economic “experts” on whom much of Congress relies have been repeatedly, utterly wrong about the short-run effects of budget deficits. People who get their economic analysis from the likes of the Heritage Foundation have been waiting ever since President Obama took office for budget deficits to send interest rates soaring. Any day now!
And while they’ve been waiting, those rates have dropped to historical lows. You might think that this would make politicians question their choice of experts — that is, you might think that if you didn’t know anything about our postmodern, fact-free politics.
Climate & Climate Politics
Cee-lo Green changes the lyrics to John Lennon’s Imagine…what a tool.