….So I just get through speculating that the bursting of the housing bubble might be responsible for the growing number of people who trust Democrats more than Republicans to manage the economy, and what pops up on the front page of the LA Times? A story about the housing bubble turning Republicans into Independents and Democrats
To recap, these people were Republicans when they had a steady job, health insurance, a suburban house and a SUV, but switched to the social welfare party as soon as times went bad. I’m sorry if this sounds insensitive, but that’s pathetic. If you spend your life voting to force people in hard times to get off their ass and take some responsibility for their lives then suck it up and practice what you preach when the bottle stops on you. Alexander Bain provides context (emphasis mine):
For our present purpose it is sufficient to say that the inferential process involves the formation of a habit. For it produces a belief, or opinion; and a genuine belief, or opinion, is something on which a man is prepared to act, and is therefore, in a general sense, a habit.
Bain helped found the psychological/philosophical school of thought called pragmatism. Another prominent member, the SCOTUS Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, famously argued that judicial reasoning is the process by which judges justify decisions that they have already made. While one could argue over whether pragmatism is an optimal lens for viewing the world, I think the perspective is helpful here. If a Republican’s core beliefs cannot survive their first test then it seems safe to say that, except in he most superficial sense, he or she never believed them at all. It turns out that deep inside most people believe in social fairness, even if a significant number mostly feels that society should be fair to them.
To put it another way, the difference between losing the house and someone else losing theirs is the difference between a tragedy and a statistic. I don’t make a distinction between the two in terms of the policies I support, and I guess it strikes me as weird that so many people do.
I was thiking about this last night.
The Democrats are always trusted more with the domestic ecnomy and people will turn to them..”Mommy!” when the economy turns south. When things are good, the want the “strong and tough” party to lead, because that’s how they like to see themselves.
Mel Brooks once defined it this way: “Tragedy is when I cut my finger, comedy is when someone else walks into an open sewer and drowns”
Or something like that…..
A lack of empathy is pretty common to hardcore or fundamentalist thinkers.
“Tragedy is if I cut my finger. … Comedy is if you walk into an open sewer and die.”
— Mel Brooks
It’s the “hey, wait a minute” moment. When you say, “hey, wait a minute, that’s not supposed to happen to me! Help! Somebody, help!”
But then people are weird. I’ve got wingnut relatives who are all tough and macho — and whose kids are on welfare, so that the guys can finish school while the young wives stay home and raise the babies. This is seen as completely justified and also completely different from when those icky leechy lazy brown people get welfare.
A liberal is a conservative who gets mugged by reality.
And yeah, I’m not the first to say that. Still, it bears repeating.
The way I always heard it was that a conservative was a liberal who’d been mugged. :)
What this really comes down to is, as others have noted, empathy. Can you imagine what your life would be like if bad shit happened to you before the bad shit happens? Republican politicians especially have been bad at this–witness Nancy Reagan’s support for stem cell research, for example.
Does that offset the conservatives who were liberals until they were mugged?
If this is an epiphany for them, and they are “born-again” as Democrats, fine. But if they jump right back when things look better, fuck ’em.
I think its more a case of “Screw you, I’ve got mine.”
Even in full-blown proudly branded Republican circles, how often have we heard that pork is ok and deficits are ok and political handouts to ideological friends (like “Faith-based” groups) is ok, because blah blah blah Democrats Did It Too?
The last six years have proven that Republicans love how the current political system works, they’re all for big government and social programs that garner them votes so long as they get the credit. SCHIP was, after all, a Republican idea, and one they touted for a number of years as privatization championing public programs like single payer health care. And Republicans certainly didn’t mind air-dumping billions in Iraq on everything from schools to hospitals to big fancy embassies – things Americans are supposed to take care of on their own.
I imagine once these “Republicans” get back on their feet and reclaim houses and cars and families, they’ll be right back to the polls electing another George Bush to cut their taxes and tell the poor to screw off.
Well, yeah, exactly. Hence the play on that particular cliché.
Or, in the alternative, that those beliefs are too crazy to be sustainable in the real world.
I wasn’t aware that political affiliation had become an ontological category, but now that you mention it I haven’t seen many people jump the Democratic ship now that its leadership endorses an AG nominee who thinks waterboarding is ok, or has done zero to reverse Bush’s transgressions against the constitution. Does that mean that Democrats are tougher than Republicans, have more or less empathy, or what?
Before it became merely an observation, calling someone a hypocrite was just about the worse thing that could be said – hypocrisy being the distance belief words and actions. Your observation here is that Republicans are pocketbook hypocrites, is that correct? Well, what kind of hypocrites condemn torture and then at the end of day move on to other things?
Oh, Tim? This penchant for simply switching sides/beliefs/truisms when suddenly your lifestyle doesn’t live up to what you claim to believe?
Just change your stated views. Reinterpret the bible. Suddenly just declare you’re not sinning, because–Wow!–the bible doesn’t actually say it’s a sin, according to the results of our brand-new, highly accurate Interpretometer 6000.
Speaking from experience, I’m a liberal who has been mugged. I’m still a liberal. Oddly enough, one of the after effects of my shotgun-point mugging was
totallylosing patience with that canard.
It reminds me of the old cliche about the nice guy that never got any dates in high school, the girls would run to him and cry on his shoulder then their boyfriends hit them or treated them like shit but would run right back when everything would be “different”.
Well I’ve said it at TPM and maybe here before, but when the policies of the Democrats succeed, they cause people to think they are wealthy enough and secure enough to vote republican.
Basically we create enough security that people feel it’s okay to crush those under them. It’s a difficult path but it’s one we’ve chosen, probably because we are just that awesome.
The Other Steve
It’s fascinating. The Democrats I know all pretty much agree, that one should provide for oneself. You buy a house within your budget, you pay for it. that is, you maintain a lifestyle that is one which you can afford.
None of us has any sympathy for asshats who bought more house than they could afford and are now facing financial ruin.
So I don’t quite get this id that somehow the democrats are going to help them.
The reason I’m a Democrat is because they don’t encourage excess like that to begin with, so you odn’t get yourself into trouble.
Yep. Witness also the Ronnie’s change of mind on HIV/AIDS. Until his pal Rock died he was all for supressing the scope and reality of disease. This is not leadership. This is pretty damn close to psychosis. I can understand it in Joe Schmoe because that’s how our monkey brains work. But I expect a bit more from anyone who thinks he (or she) should be in charge of more lives than his own.
Sadly, you are correct. What’s the alternative?
People are often politically conservative because that is the natural extension of a socially conservative culture they have been brought up in or chosen for themselves. Getting mugged by reality might make them more conservative (blaming less fortunates or outsiders for taking away your job, for example) or it might pierce the barriers to empathy that are set up when one is raised to be, or chooses to be, always a winner.
So when a conservative is mugged by reality (job loss in your sector of the economy, so good luck getting a new job; ripped off by unethical mortgage selling practices; denied benefits under insurance policy; realizing that your political allies are craven crooks) they have a choice of being embittered or humbled and made magnanimous.
The ones that choose to be bitter are beyond hope, and bear watching. The humbled ones have lessons for everyone, including the liberals tempted by moral vanity by the misfortune of conservatives.
The Other Steve
If only we had a flat tax, then no one would ever get mugged.
The Other Steve
also known as stupidly signing papers you don’t understand.
Oh, I don’t need Holmes to tell me about judicial reasoning. All I have to do is look at Bush v. Gore, where the “states rights” Supremes suddenly discovered a “right to equal represtation” that applied to no one else but George W. Bush and could never be claimed at any other time by anyone else.
In other words; “Screw the law. We’re giving it to the boss’s son.”
The article linked to doesn’t really agree with Tim’s argument. None of the people quoted seem to have been directly affected by the housing issue. So when *is* it justified for these people to change their political beliefs? Only when they themselves are affected? Why would they change their beliefs at all when they perceive that the economy is being managed decently? If I and my neighbors had “a steady job, good health insurance, a suburban house and a SUV” why *wouldn’t* I take that view? Politically, people should be rolling out the welcome mat, not wondering where these people were last year.
Actually I think politically savvy and thoughtful people such as us make too much of all of this. People like the status quo when they personally feel safe and secure and want a change when they don’t. Whether they switch from Dem to Rep or vice versa is not important to them. Not everyone thinks as deeply about what it truly means to declare Dem or Rep when they register to vote. There really are only two choices after all.
The bottom line is, whether for good or ill, people vote around their personal needs and situations. The school’s in this country suck, but don’t change my child’s school, the health care system blows, but any change better let me keep my doctor, and (my favorite) the law-and-order authoritarian that suddenly gets all ACLU when they or someone in their family gets arrested, only to revert back again when the threat has passed. According to my father, my brother was railroaded into a DUI, bit ooooooo those criminals who get caught with pot, why they should lock them up and throw away the key.
I think it boils down to what my PSYCH 101 Professor called the fundamental attribution error. When negative things happen we ascribe external causes to ourselves and internal causes to others in the same situation. If two people lose a house, each will think it was something done to them by others, but look at the other and ascribe negative personal traits that led to their downfall. I was cheated he is lazy. This phenomenon reverses with positive outcomes. My team won because we worked harder, they won because the ref made bad calls.
Or my personal favorite “I earned an A in Geometry, but the teacher gave me a D in Algebra.”
Good leaders and/or politicians work with this phenomenon, bad ones get beaten.
Thanks for posting this Tim. I think of myself as a pragmatist too (I studied Philosophy in college, so I’m overly educated on the subject)… which is why I’m a Democrat.
Want to reduce abortion? Support birth control.
Want to reduce drug crimes and possibly drug use? Consider legalizing/regulating marijuana, providing safe injection rooms, etc.
Want better, cheaper healthcare? Support single-payer
And so on… Rigid ideology rarely serves even your own goals. I do love how the right-wing is willing to bend when it comes to ends/means justification regarding torture (despite that being wrong-headed and short-sighted tactically and strategically).
The right-wing has a lock on the black/white world view these days, and is the party clearly impervious to data. Combine this with messianic zeal, xenophobia and the mistaken view that never changing one’s mind is a virtue, and you’ve got a great recipe for continued electoral failure. Unfortunately their brand of “fear” still sells at times, so it will take longer than one might expect for them to become a permanent minority.
Hopefully Republicans will insist on going down in flames being wrong on nearly every issue for the last and next 50 years (de-segregation, interracial marriage, birth control, global warming, HIV/AIDs, gay rights, gay marriage, healthcare).
Most republicans aren’t really evil. But most of them are hypocrites. That’s why they flop around so much.
Yup. And as in lending money to people you know can’t afford to pay you back, because you are just as stupid as the borrowers in thinking that the business cycle has been abolished and that your security will stay secure no matter the usurious fees, commissions(prepayment fees), and interest rate schedules that will eat up most of the the planned-for growth in value. God forbid the houses lose value when prices drop in an otherwise inflationary economy – the borrower loses a house they only partly owned, the lender loses more, in the end.
Both lenders and borrowers have been incredibly foolish, and as a result of greed have allowed themselves to be ripped off by middle-men. It is an unfortunate aspect of human nature that is at the root of nearly all scams. The sort of human flaw a well-designed regulatory system can prevent in most cases.
Thus, Democrats protect both bank and consumer from their own greed, and earn the resentment of both bank and consumer in return.
It doesn’t help having all the Social Darwinists cheerleading people into this kind of callousness.
I’ve long believed the only way Republicans can stay in power is…well, is to cheat, but aside from that, they have to convince a large portion of the country that THEIR millions are on the way and the only thing that can stop them from becoming rich is The Liberals.
(see “What’s the Matter with Kansas?”)
From the article you linked to:
This is the block of voters David Brooks blithely claimed were voting Republican from now until the end of time.
Cities are reliably Democratic (and finally growing after years of population decline). Close-in suburbs are trending Democratic as people move there from elsewhere or within cities. And now the ex-urbs are just an economic crisis away (apparently) from voting Democratic.
I hope Republicans enjoy the massive rural vote as their only base in the future.
I’ve got a few ideas on the subject but it’s more important to recognize that part of the (hegemonic) process at work here is to convince people that there really aren’t any alternatives.
Consensus on meaningful change, the public sphere, won’t happen as long as there’s such a multiplicity of form and content. No offense to Tim, or anyone, else, but I only post things when my work on my book bogs down, like at the moment. I’m not able to go from denouncing torture to discussing health care. These things are not equal, but the form demands that they be treated that way – fresh ideas and topics every day! Nine thousand kinds of potato chips! We get submerged in multiplicity – modes of production determining superstructure (politics, in this case).
Focus on one genuinely important thing, something that conscience won’t let you put aside.
You know the Repub mantra “I got mine, screw you”.
Well, when a Repub gets thrown out of their house, their mantra sure does change, doesn’t it? They no longer “got theirs, so they’re screwed”.
It’s the fundamental attribution error and the self-serving bias all wrapped up into a neat package. Why do those other people need help when it comes to, for instance, health insurance? Because they don’t have what it takes, they’re too stupid and/or lazy to fend for themselves, and because, at heart, they really don’t deserve it (translation: what got them in the fix they’re in isn’t the situation, it’s their own damn lousy character).
Why do I need subsidized health care, and a bailout on this mortage? Because the healthcare industry is just a moneygrubbing whore of an industry, and the same goes for the loan industry (translation: my going belly-up has to do with external factors and the situation, and not any dispositional or character issues).
Maybe people who gravitate towards the Democratic party are less likely to engage in this kind of reasoning. Who knows?
Whatever the reason, the more party switching that goes on, the better.
The key point here is that people have faith in the honesty of brokers because they believe that they will have a recourse if the broker misleads them. When folks find out that no legal recourse exists when a broker knowingly sells you into penury, non-retarded people will stop taking brokers at their word. Wealthier ones will hire a lawyer, less wealthy folk will find some other place to put their money. A mattress, for example.
And there, kids, you have why regulation is good for business. Smooth, efficient commerce depends not only on assuming good faith on the part of the other guy, but knowing that he faces a penalty if he violates it.
Repeat after me: “Buy now or forever be priced out of the market”.
The fear of this statement has been so strong for the past 5 years that people would do anything to buy a house. They trusted lenders to be looking out for them to “help them” buy a house. This may be ridiculous in hindsight, but no one has been rational in this bubble.
Slate has a nice article on Giuliani’s support for health insurance for kids, once he got sick, and then his flip-flop back, once he got better. That’s the danger, I guess, with fair-weather friends.
When I started to hear that consistently in 2004 I decided to get out of the market, and have been happily renting since early 2005. Could have made a lot more if I had waited until early 2006, though. Timing a bubble is a fool’s game.
Didin’t Hannity use the ACLU in a lawsuit or problem in his early days in California. Now that he’s on top the ACLU are pinkos.
It’s no accident that the sin Jesus the Christ most often and vociferously condemned was hypocrisy.
It is hypocrisy which allows Christians to condone the torture of others.
Look I worked in the mortgage industry (IT side) and worked in Orange County CA. First, to live and work here and own a home required bargaining for your eternal soul, there was no conforming loan you could get because prices were outrageous. I am sure other markets were very similar. Unless you lived in the middle of nowhere (speaking wrt california) you could expect to pay 500k plus for a home, ridiculous yes but this was a result of demand due to low interest rates.
This artificially inflated home prices. As that happened and the refi and purchase boom abated the mortgage companies, which were all about the quick buck, started getting into the Option ARM’s and other mortgage products designed, like credit cards, to have a low introductory rate. Not coincidentally this is about the time the bankruptcy bill was passed ensuring that if you hit bad times you were seriously screwed.
So, in a desire to get a home people mortgaged their souls all with the promise that they could refi before the reset. The mortgage companies had little to lose because they would take the loans, slice and dice them into packages to be sold on the secondary market and be done with it, this made it harder because in many cases no one knew who to send their monthly payment too.
Of course now the piper has come to collect, thing is it’s hitting everyone everywhere because these loans were put into so many pots that it’s near impossible to untangle them. Sadly it’s not just biting the ones it needs to bite (the shady company’s, the investors etc) but the people who bought their home, even though the home buyer does bear some responsibility.
Not much to add to the conversation, but I found it scary to see the place depicted being within half a mile of my townhome.
Honestly, I think the shell game is what is keeping the economy afloat. If everyone could just point at – say – Countrywide and scream “They’ve got a $100 billion in bad money” it would be easy to trace out the threads and pull out of markets that are tied into. And then it would be easy to pull out of the markets those markets are tied into. And so on and so forth, the whole market would unravel like a cheap sweater.
But when half the country has a stake in the mortage market, no one knows where to pull money out and where to invest, so they all just sit tight, assume they are safe, and pray. No stampede because people don’t know which direction to panic. Eventually someone is going to trace this all out and start making big bids, and that’ll clue in someone else, and so on. If the blood is still flowing, then we’ll see the dam burst. But I don’t think we’ll see it before everyone knows where all that money went.
Wow, how that linked article plays into this discussion.
Still, the controversy suggests that even the country’s most rule-bound Christians will search for a fresh understanding of scripture when it seems unjust to them.
Which is usually when it is being unjust to them.
In other words, when you’re on the raw end of being judged, just look for a reason why the rules that should be good enough for everyone else don’t apply in your case.
The political proverbs as I recall them are:
“A conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged.”
“A liberal is a conservative who’s been arrested.”
I guess I would amend the latter to add, “or been foreclosed on.”
I just wanted you guys to know I linked here today from the Great Orange Satan hisself. My, how times have changed.
And Tim, did you know you are John Cole? Just checking.
look its like every single Republican policy under Bush. They follow it until it means any sacrifice whatsoever on their part. Let’s recap: fiscal conservatism vanishes when it means giving up pet projects, tax cuts, and occupations, democracy promotion when it involves pro-American dictatorships, civil liberties and the constitution and the rule of law when it means conflicts with the right of the President to do whatever the fuck he wants, and lets not forget the anti-gay closet Republicans. Shit I even forgot that every Republican candidate for president except Romney has multiple marriages. And Scooter Libby’s pardon of course.
Like no shit, this is the whole base of the Republican party– laws and principles should only be followed when they don’t inconvenience you, in which case they should be ignored. It’s all that’s left.
shaker o salt
I think a lot of folks had called themselves “Republican” because they just thought that’s what they were supposed to be. You know how everyone wants to be identified with the “winning party?” Not a lot of thought went into that decision making.
Then something happened. Remember Katrina? It was one of the events that forced people to see reality and it wasn’t pretty. A paradigm shift occured at that time. I don’t think it has anything to do with the housing situation, it’s just another brick in the wall, so to speak. It’s just that many folks got turned off after coming face to face with the reality that the GOP is now made up of a bunch of wankers who don’t really give a shit about the masses.
That being said, if some DID change their party identifiers after losing their houses, well, nothing like a little moral relativism, is there?
My observations of humanity lead me to conclude that many people have little or no empathy and truly believe that “greed is good”. thus, personal interest trumps everything. This is an easy position to hold when one is on top (or at least not on the bottom). Then disaster strikes…typically in the form of someone who is greedier and more effective in that greediness. Then self-interest forces one to cast around for help….until one is once again able to assert some kind of dominance. Principle has nothing to do with it. The unsustainability of “greed is good” has nothing to do with it. The idea is to gravitate to whomever seems to offer the best deal FOR YOU.
/spits pop on self
Hmmm…maybe b/c “good” is extraordinarily subjective and transient, housing values are plummeting, and your SUV is fucking over the planet?
Wow. Larry Craig blogs here!
Bu-but Mixell Malkin has proven that gainfully employed, SUV driving suburbanites are Teh Devil!
The Other Steve
I guess I should have said… It takes two to sign the papers. The borrower, and the lender making the commitment to fund the loan.
Like Dreggas, I work in mortgage business IT. The last five years were weird, because while the risk team was yelling “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING! STOP!”, the business group was saying “if we don’t fund this, our competitors will, and we’ll all be out of jobs”
now with 50% of the employees gone, the risk team looks smarter and smarter.
The broker would have never offered the deal if the underwriters weren’t willing to give him the money. The underwriters would have never been willing to give him the money, if the investors weren’t eagerly buying up the securities.
there’s a lot of blame to go around. But nobody stuck a gun to anybodies head and said ‘sign this agreement and your soul is mine!”
The Other Steve
One more lesson… Low interest rates mean higher prices. Simple supply and demand economics. The easier it is to get money, the greater the demand for the supply of product.
I’m too young to remember. But I’ve gone through two boom/bust cycles now, with internet and then housing. Is this normal?
The Other Steve
That’s because of their countertops.
I wonder if you’d feel the same way about former Democrats who turn Republican when their personal fortunes improve.
I just wanted to drop by and tell you that I have really come to enjoy your pithy, yet incisive posts. No head of any nail is safe with you, these days. This one is especially pleasurable.
As regards your former idealogical compatriots: sod ’em. Perhaps, someday, they too will put down the gluebag and get their fevered dreams of them being the incarnation of John Galt out of their puddin’ heads.
Then again, I won’t be holding my breath.
They’re dicks too.
But there’re not nearly as many of those folks.
See it’s even worse though Zif. I know the company I worked for was selling off to Countrywide to do the servicing of the loans. This is more tangled than anyone can begin to imagine. People think, well it got tangled when it hit wall street, nope it was tangled long before that.
Hell the risk departments went out the window or were non-existent here. The place I worked specialized in Alt-A and subprime (which they said wasn’t really subprime a known TRUTH).
That being said I wonder if we know each other, heh. Or at least the companies involved.
Did you think I would like them any better?
“A liberal is a conservative who’s been arrested.”
I guess I would amend the latter to add, “or been foreclosed on.”
.. or had his/her home insurance claim denied because the hurricane damage was technically water not wind.
jcricket — I live in rural Upstate NY and Republicans are slowly losing support there also. I live on 11 acres 3 miles from the nearest village and 15 miles from the nearest small city. I am surrounded by dairy farmers, hunters, and state land. My state legislator and my state senator are both Democrats (moderate to conservative ones, I grant you, but at least Democrats) and the number of signs in front of delapidated farm houses that declare “Another Family for Peace” and advertise for Democratic candidates is growing steadily. Still some way to go, but more and more Dems are going rural. Or is it, more and more rural folks are going Dem?
Ironically, the thing this reminds me of is Cindy Sheehan. If you don’t care one way or the other about the war when other people’s sons are dying, don’t suddenly claim superior moral status when your own son’s death turns you against the war.
That said, it’s a good thing when people see the light, no matter how they get there. The question is is this a lasting awakening, or a momentary lapse into reason?
If this is an epiphany for them, and they are “born-again” as Democrats, fine. But if they jump right back when things look better, fuck ‘em.
Selfishness is human nature. I am blessed with success, a good living and a wife/home/etc. I’ve always tried to look out for others and that is why when I was a conservative Republican, I was always viewed as an outcast.
I have empathy for anybody who is willing to work hard, respect others and follow the rules BUT who gets entangled in a system that is extremely unfair. I moved to independent status when I saw this President give away the budget surplus to the rich, rig the system for his rich cronies and make it all but impossible to compete.
Those who wake up and leave the party should stay away from the party. IF one day responsible people take the party back, THEN I could accept those who go back BUT ONLY IF things are different.
F- the righties who think compromise is for dead possums in the road.
F- the righties who think compassion is for somebody else.
F- the righties who think that anybody who is trying to fight for what’s legitimately yours (example – lose your home in a hurricane and the insurance company jerks you around).
I tire of all the nonsense about free markets. They don’t exist. PERIOD. Try starting a business and compete with entrenched competitors and super-chains who won’t give you the time of day EVEN IF they like your product.
I tire of the nonsense about social strawman issues. Sorry righties, this nonsense about Abortion and school vouchers is just that…nonsense. Abortion is wrong in my book but who are you to tell others how to live their lives? I bet if some poor guy told you to spread the wealth, you’d tell him to shove it. Why do you presume to tell others what to do with their bodies? Are YOU gonna pay for that unwanted kid? It’s the middle class who will, that’s for sure. School vouchers???? Maybe if you stopped trying to change science standards and worked on paying teachers a bit more to be accountable MAYBE things would be different.
Personal responsibility? You mean like Larry Craig pleading guilty and then crying he was framed? You mean like Tom DeLay bilking the system and blaming it on the left? Yep, how’s Personal Responsibility working for y’all? How about when Rev. Haggard got caught buying crack and doing male hookers? He blamed it on what?
Democracy? Yep, you care more about spreading freedom in other countries EXCEPT AMERICA. Here, you create a giant bureaucracy of people who want to know my life yet do nothing to find terrorists. Yep, that’s freedom on the march (yeah right).
Big Government? Yep, keep denying you guys want smaller guvmint. It’s not true.
Taxation? Yep, keep believing that Papa Bush likes you. If you aren’t one of their pioneers, you are dog crap to them and the only tax rates that matter are those for the top 1%.
I could go on and on. You people who keep supporting this mess of a party deserve what you get. Problem is, you are dragging us all down with you.
By the way, I forgot to mention Deficit spending. You righties lambast the left for borrow and spend policies YET wasn’t it a leftie who balanced the budget?
Borrow and spend??? I agree with Rep Coburn that it’s worse than Abortion.
You guys hate that so much, don’t you?
You summed up about the way I have these past several years.
A liberal is a conservative who’s daughter needed an abortion.
I recall an article some time ago on polling women at abortion clinics. Turns out that many of them were “pro-life,” in so far as who they voted for and what they believed. Of course, when it came time, their case was “different.”
Well, Tim, it’s been noted for a long time that all citizens are in full agreement on the necessary reform of te tax system: “Tax them and subsidize me.” (What would we ever do without representative democracy, which allows the voters to blame Those Wicked Politicians for their own selfishness and irrationality? They are the Kings Whose Reputations Die for the benefit of the whole community.)
Oh and again the Populist nails it…I believe it was “Pay go”….wasn’t that derided last election…that’s right it was because it worked.
Which is why you’re still a Republican.
Social Darwinism, it’s not just for the Corner anymore.
I have empathy for anybody who is suffering. Don’t you think that’s a little more inclusive?
I learned it back in taxachusetts as:
A democrat is a republican who hasn’t been mugged yet.
And will go back to being a conservative within seven days, once he has prayed for forgiveness and received absolution. Because his daughter’s case was special. Because he is special. Jesus loves him, ya know.
What people seem to be missing is that Loudoun county is an exurb of *Washington, DC.* My inlaws were from there, so I know it well. Many of these hypocrite Republicans earn their living at government jobs – either directly from the government or indirectly from military and other contractors. Many are “double dippers” and “triple dippers” (govt job + govt. pension(s)). Many have excellent – if not extraordinary, by ordinary civilian standards – government salaries and benefits. Remember the odious Linda Tripp – a Pentagon secretary who was making *$95K* a year? But somehow when they are getting money from the government they’ve magically earned it, whereas everyone else is just a leech…
Thanks for the anecdote. My suspicion is that that conservation (save my area of the earth, anyway) and small-farm minded rural people are increasingly realizing that Republicans policies don’t benefit them, ever.
That’s what you’re seeing in the non-hyper-religious rural areas of Colorado and across places like Montana and North Dakota.
The only party that will effectively leave you alone and places taxes in some semblance of a progressive state are the Democrats.
Libertarians don’t exist within the Republican party. Anti-taxers do, but that’s not the same thing. And it’s my suspicion (as I said) that “libertarian-minded” rural voters are going to vote Dem, as long as the Dems can put up some good candidates in those areas.
In my state (WA) the east/rural parts are still mostly Republican, but the cracks are starting to appear even there.
Sounds like where I grew up, wouldn’t happen to be the Adirondacks would it?
I don’t think so. I take is that there has been such an accumulation of capital at the top that the money has to go somewhere. And there are only so many places to stash $50 million. So asset inflation and bubbles will always happen as long as this situation continues.
In the 90’s it was all Web 2.0, Dow 36,000 (remember that), and Pets.com. Of course the party ended and a bunch of people took a bath. Except the banks and investment firms that who knew what was coming.
“Whew,” said the malefactors or great wealth “dodged a bullet on that one. Let’s just stick to these mortgage backed securities, there’s a ton of them and nothings safer the real estate”
As happened before the people originating the mortgages, bore none of the risk and got paid upfront – who cares if the mortgage blows up 3 years down the road they got paid.
As long at capital remains concentrated in just a few hands the bubbles will continue.
Was it “The Only Moral Abortion Is My Abortion”?
Well, while I tend to agree with the “fuck ’em” stance that thoroughly permeates this thread let me just posit that SOME – just SOME, mind you, of these Rat Bastards are FINALLY realizing – perhaps with the oh-so-slight nudge of losing their home factoring in somewhere – that Republican policies aren’t working for a LOT of people, not just for themselves, and are now in the process of re-adjusting their political preferences. I’m such a sucker for Repentant Republicans…I can’t help it, but it amuses me that they are finally able to recognize the Milk of Human Kindness when they are close enough to rock-bottom for some of it to possibly drip down from the issuing Tit onto their sorry-assed, debt-riddled brow.
Yeah, they still deserve to have poor people bussed in to jeer at them as they are evicted from their houses.
With all due respect, anyone who didn’t see this coming with the advent of Bush had their cranial appendage inserted firmly into their nether orifice.
Republicans have *always* been this way, at least in my memory and my earliest memories of politics are of Barry Goldwater running for President. But Goldwater would be considered a liberal by today’s standards.
People still yak about Clinton pardoning Rich, but GW Bush’s preemptive pardon of Cap Weinberger was nearly infinitely more egregious and yet it almost never gets mentioned.
The Reagasm at his funeral was revolting, the Republicans are even trying to rehabilitate Nixon with at least some small degree of success.
“Those cannot remember history are condemned to repeat it.” -Santayana
Americans are abysmally ignorant of even recent history, as is overwhelmingly shown by the current fiasquagmire in Iraq.
There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Ctheney knew that Iraq was going to turn into a tar pit and that the US was going to be the dinosaur trapped in it. And yet he moved heaven and earth to make it happen.
The question is: Why?
This was on the web a few years back:
A Day in the Life of Joe Republican
Joe gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee. He will fill his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards.
He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised.
All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employers medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, and now Joe gets it too because his employer needs to offer competitive benefits to hire the best people.
Joe prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs today. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.
Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.
Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air.
Joe drives to work in one of the safest cars in the world because some liberal fought to raise safety standards and emission controls.
Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with good pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some Liberal didn’t think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.
Its noon time, Joe needs to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC up to $100,000 because some liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from greedy, unscrupulous bankers like the ones who ruined the banking system before the depression.
Joe needs to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten Mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his life-time.
Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He arrives at his boyhood home. He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electricity until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification. (Those rural Republican’s might still be sitting in the dark if it wasn’t for those damned liberals!)
He is happy to see his dad who is now retired. His dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to. After his visit with dad he gets back in his car for the ride home.
He turns on a radio talk show. The host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. (He doesn’t tell Joe that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day)
Joe agrees, “We don’t need those big government liberals ruining our lives; after all, I’m a self made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have”.
Good lord, is our memory that short? In the 90s it was all web 1.0 (original dot-com bubble). We’re now in the web 2.0 bubble.
Get yer technology bubbles straight!
I personally have enjoyed all three booms and busts (enjoyed both in the positive and ironic senses). Oh how I hate computers.
Don’t forget how nearly all of the basic advances in science and the airwaves (like radio, Internet) were originally funded by the government, because they’re not immediately or even near-term profitable for any corporation.
That was great, I’m going to spread it around.
Thanks for posting.
Sometimes, we all fall for things people tell us that just prove wrong, and I believe in having compassion on people who get fooled. During the late eighties and early nineties, when conservatism is some respects hit its zenith, many respectable people (Nicholas Lemann comes to mind) observed that a welfare culture had grown up in American cities, and it encouraged social dysfunction. I think he observed correctly that the AFDC system (welfare before 1996) did encourage social dysfunction– it broke up families, for one thing– and if you also believe that it produced widespread dysfunction, you might reasonably believe it should end. So the move to end welfare enjoyed widespread and respectable support. Many people got taken in, to one degree or another, and beating them up or trashing them, now they’ve had their noses rubbed in reality, doesn’t make much sense.
The other steve said:
Since I’m feeling hopeful, I’d say that most people recognize that the Dems == regulation of big business, and lack of regulation (given that greed is a constant) is what really caused this crisis. I don’t think, necessarily that they expect to get bailed out, just that regulatory arsehanding should happen, but only the Dems ever show any interest in doing that.
Remember after the Savings and Loan crisis (how many Bush sons involved in that again? I always forget the count) the Republicans were arguing that the crisis was caused by them not being deregulated enough. Because, well, that in the end is what made their house-of-cards schemes collapse, but regulation is not what made the bankers stupid in the first place, and it isn’t what made them stupid this time around. People tend to remember trends of stupidity and just woke up and realized that without the government watching the giant game is seriously rigged against them, again. Or, I’m hopeful that’s what they’re remembering.
Capitalism’s biggest threat is itself. Ever evolving regulatory structures are essential to keeping it working (i.e, retaining trust both within and without).
Great post, Tim–thanks!
I was gonna say, take ’em and get their votes and fix the Republicans’ damage while you can. Lots of them are, to twist a phrase, one lottery ticket from voting straight GOP all over again.