This wordcloud appears in Thomas Edsall’s NYTimes column, from a Greenberg Quinlan Rosner survey of Republican focus groups asked for their opinions of President Obama.
John B. Judis, in The New Republic, has a fascinating discussion of Edsall’s column and “The Final Days of the Republican Party“:
… Since the late 1960s, America has seen the growth of what the late Donald Warren in a 1976 book The Radical Center called “middle American radicalism.” It’s anti-establishment, anti-Washington, anti-big business and anti-labor; it’s pro-free market. It’s also prone to scapegoating immigrants and minorities. It’s a species of right-wing populism. It ebbed during the Reagan years, but began to emerge again under the patrician George H.W. Bush and found expression in support for Ross Perot and for Pat Buchanan with his “peasants with pitchforks.” And it undergirded the Republican takeovers of Congress in 1994. It ebbed during George W. Bush’s war on terror, but has re-emerged with a vengeance in the wake of the Great Recession, Obama’s election and expansion of government, and continuing economic stagnation.
In his current column in The New York Times, Tom Edsall cites the extensive polling evidence for this rising anger. According to a Pew survey in late September, anger against the government “is most palpable among conservative Republicans” and overlaps with Republicans who “support the Tea Party.” But as with the Perot and Buchanan voters, these conservatives direct their anger equally at Republican and Democratic leaders. According to another Pew survey, 65 percent of the Republicans vote in primaries “disapprove of Republican leaders in Congress.” They see Republican leaders as being complicit in whatever they find wrong with Washington….
During George H.W. Bush’s presidency, these kind of sentiments were directed at moderates like House Minority Leader Robert Michel or Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole, but they are now aimed at erstwhile conservatives like Mitch McConnell and Boehner. The new grassroots Republicans are Warren’s middle American radicals. They don’t necessarily have clear overall objectives. They do want to blow up government—whether by eliminating the debt or repealing Obama’s Affordable Care Act. And whatever they want to do, they want done immediately and without compromise. And they regard those like Boehner who compromise and are willing to settle for incremental changes as “RINOs”—Republicans in name only….
Republicans in Washington could repudiate their radical base and shun the groups that appeal to it. That is roughly what people like Feehery are suggesting. But the question, then, is what would be the Republican base? How would Republicans win elections? Are there enough rational Republicans to make up for the loss of the radical ones?…
Just finished reading that. Very encouraging!
Anna in PDX
I recommend the whole paper, it really isn’t that long and it is extremely interesting. I loved the word clouds too. Very good way to get across what drives people.
I’d swear I’ve read a report that said Obama has not expanded the government.
The media does its share in normalizing the GOP crazy by their both sides do it rhetoric. MSM is definitely an accessory to the crime if GOP is the perpetrator.
Knight of Nothing
SteveM already kind of deflated this article here – NO, THERE IS NOT GOING TO BE A REPUBLICAN CRACK-UP.
Speaking of, 3000 truckers caused the largest traffic jam in history before arresting several congressman and impeaching Obama! Wait, no, it was 30, and they got hung up in morning traffic before getting a verbal warning from police.
Knight of Nothing
Also, I give the editor points for working “Clampdown” into the head, but the word cloud is bunk – no sign of “Kenyan,” “Muslim,” or “Narcissist.”
What is the difference between the Tea Party and Republican Party? They are both the same as far as I can tell.
If they blew up the Republican party, and created a new one called – I don’t have a good name – that was the right of center party, a number of Democrats would move to it, and we could have a functioning two party system.
Facts are rendered irrelevant when pushing The Narrative.
Pierce does a nice job destroying the NYT for acting like Paul Ryan’s fanboy. I think this is the Village’s third attempt to rehabilitate the Granny Starver’s reputation.
Villago Delenda Est
Their problem is that the anti-intellectual yahoos have taken over…people who apparently are incapable of reading the Constitution, the Bible, The Wealth of Nations, and even Green Eggs and Ham, but are more than happy to be told what those books contain by the next “authority figure” to come along who tunes those books to match their preexisting prejudices. Thus the blahs and browns are lazy and shiftless (which is the stereotype they hold) and they are unwilling to see for themselves what is going on. The fact of the matter is, the blahs and the browns are just as much into the hard work of making the American Dream a reality for their kids, but you can’t convince a teabagger of this. Even if you show them with their own eyes, they fall back on the propaganda and lies of their chosen authority figures, be the the Reverend Love or Glenn Beck.
Since the blahs and browns, in their little bubble, do no work, then they should starve. Too bad Jesus had different things to say about that, but hey, these people are all the willing vessels of received wisdom from authority figures who routinely play them for chumps. Read the Gospels themselves? Forget about it. Rev. Love has told them everything they need to know.
I love this part, that tricky Obama!
I know, we mock these fools using the very same words all the time. Truth is they believe it to the core.
there is no difference between the two groups. “Rational republicans” are no more rational than the teabaggers. They have the same goals, introduce the same bills, vote the same way on those bills. If the Republican party as a whole didn’t want to default, it wouldn’t be a threat. If they wanted the government open, it would be.
There is no such thing as a rational Republican. There are republicans who are marginally better at not rubbing feces over their bodies and whistling Yankee Doodle while standing in the middle of traffic. That doesn’t mean they’re not crazy too.
@schrodinger’s cat: And the BBC on the radio, too. They were both-sidesing it like, well, NPR.
@Mike E: BBC America is worse than the Snooze Hour.
Villago Delenda Est
In “honor” of W, I nominate it be the Compassionate Right Of Center Klatch, aka CROCK.
I’ve really been getting a sadistic pleasure from listening to David Brooks this week. Today, he complained that Boehner may have strengthened his position as Speaker, but at the cost of destroying the Republican party, which he now seems to think is deader than Ronald Regan’s corpse. He did hasten to add that Obama and Reid deserve no credit in the demise of the GOP since it was the Republicans who took the initiative by committing suicide. His words were something to the effect of “It’s not like Obama had to go all LBJ on them”.
Meanwhile, Ted Cruz is saying all the polls are worthless because only Godless liberals were polled. He reminds me of my father-in-law on his deathbed, delusional from advanced Parkinsons and too many med. The poor man was convinced he was not in a hospital bed, but was instead staying at a hotel with very shitty service, and he wanted to do was complain to the management. In retrospect, the teabagger movement is going to be regarded as one of those episodes of mass insanity that happen from time to time, sort of like the Salem witch trials but even less rational under the circumstances.
My experience with friends, family, and local politics generally is that people that think of themselves as “Republican” will always vote for the Republican candidate – and will find a way to get there, even if the candidates they are offered become more and more extreme. They will make excuses, and grimaces about stuff like birtherism, but they will ultimately do it, and vote GOP. Because otherwise … you are letting those wild-eyed irresponsible Democrats get hold of things! Can’t do that!!
And the radicals know this. Which is why they have taken such care to seize control of the nominating process, as well as build up their separate (and bigger) funding sources, so that they can outspend and out-organize their rivals at every turn. And once elected, the GOP’s members are more accountable to their fundraisers and their base than they are to the broad middle of their constituents.
The result has been a one-way ratchet. And lots of people that really should know better (like, say, in the business community) have gone along for the GOP’s wild ride. But the time for reflexive backing of the party while keeping dissatisfaction private (or being intimidated) is over. They seriously need to stop making excuses and make a choice.
Villago Delenda Est
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.
Oh they may believe it. But they have no clue what the words mean. Seriously, they claim that Obama has gotten his Marxist agenda done…
So, the United States is now a Marxist country? This laughable claim together with comparing Obama to Hitler is why nobody should take these far right wing extremists seriously. They just spew out words like a five-year without understanding the meaning of them.
One wants you to imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever; the other – wingtips!
Villago Delenda Est
The delusion, it’s delicious. If only it didn’t have real consequences for real people who have done nothing at all to deserve what is happening right now.
There is no such thing as a rational Republican
I know just a few . . . but I guess you’re right; they’re actually ex-Republicans now. Some of them might go back to voting Republican if the party shook off the control of the batshit tea baggers.
What expansion of government? Ever hear of the sequester?
@Patrick: If Glenn Beck or one of their other thought leaders called Obama a “Vindaloo” or a “Paratha”, we’d be seeing teabaggers with signs calling the President a Kenyan Vindaloo and demanding an end to the threat that Paratha poses to their freedoms.
@MikeJ: In reality, there is no difference between the two groups, but the Village refuses to accept that fact. They have to maintain “balance”, which prevents them from accurately describing the extremism of the Republican party.
So we get stories like the NYT piece I referenced upthread, pretending Paul Ryan, a proven fraud, is a respectable moderate. People who don’t follow politics will see that type of story and believe it.
The Village is every bit as responsible as the wingnuts for our current predicament.
Those “rational” Republicans are waiting for marshal law before they erupt in fury.
@kc: A lot of them will call themselves “independents”, and try to create some distance … but will still quietly vote for the radicalized GOP candidates. Even if there is a moderate, pro-business Democrat available as an alternative.
I see it all the time. It makes me want to holler … makes me want to throw up my hands.
@Hill Dweller: Did you see the letter I wrote the Mediabots?
@billgerat: Actual martial law would find these people to be the most docile and compliant segment of American society.
“Protect me from knowing what I don’t need to know. Protect me from even knowing that there are things to know that I don’t know. Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about the things that I decided not to know about. Amen” – Douglas Adams (Mostly Harmless)
Hah. He is unaware of (or denies) Obama’s superpower.
Villago Delenda Est
From one of the comments:
The Obastard is going to declare Marshal Law? You mean as at the link?
Perhaps these “literate” fuckheads mean martial law? Ya think?
What is it about Tea Partyers that the more hardcore they are, the less able they are to spell? I almost busted my gut laughing over “marshal” law.
Villago Delenda Est
They’d love it. They’d fucking salute the privates patrolling the streets. If we had a big enough Army and Marine Corps (combined) to actually pull it off, of course. These people are utterly clueless about logistics, among the other great many things they’re clueless about.
The dilemma for the “radical center” is that they hate government with a fury.
They also love Medicare, Social Security, Defense, FAA…..
Exhibit A- the outrage at shutting down national parks during a government shutdown.
This is why we should sneer at fools who urge us to “negotiate”- you can’t negotiate with delusions.
@Villago Delenda Est: OK, I was going to call bullshit on Marshall Law, as an example of maybe DougJ type spoofery.
But then I recalled Poe’s Law, and sighed.
@Villago Delenda Est: Heh. Obamacare is like the Marshall Plan, which involved martial law. I can almost see the logic behind this!
These people have no clue whatsoever what services the government performs…As shown by the national park issue.
Mike in NC
The Village Idiots are required to argue that he has, otherwise their corporate masters would withhold their massive paychecks.
@schrodinger’s cat: What is the difference between the Tea Party and Republican Party?
Worse spelling and ALL CAPS.
Villago Delenda Est
Reminds me of someone asking in a thread here a couple of days ago what the difference between the Nazis and the Republicans was, and the usual reply was “the Nazis had snappy uniforms”.
Kneeslapper of the day.
Villago Delenda Est
You know, that’s almost crazy enough to be a perfectly cromulent teatard meme.
They probably have no fucking idea what the actual Marshall Plan entailed. After all, they think that “Foreign Aid” is a huge percentage of the Federal budget.
The short answer is no. The long answer is, hell fucking no! Why the fuck do they spend so much time pandering to the crazies?
Funny how being a Radical Republican back in the day meant you wanted to stick it to the South really hard after the Civil War…
If Boehner had any sense and cared at all about the future of his party, he would end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling immediately – and not just for the short term. He’d work pass a long-term budget that lasted at least until the next election, and adopt the McConnell rule to prevent further debt ceiling fights. He’d get a lot of flack from his party and probably lose the Speakership, but it’s like tearing an alcoholic away from the bottle: it’s hard, but the reality is that what’s making them feel good now is what’s killing them.
The more the public sees the GOP playing Russian Roulette with the economy, the more the image of the Republicans as a bunch of crazed radicals takes hold. In the long term, if they keep trying to refight this every few months, it will kill their electoral viability in all but the kookiest of districts. The best thing Boehner could do for the party also happens to be the most responsible thing to do for the nation: take the bottle away.
I’m sure he knows this, but he just can’t bring himself to do it. He wanted that speakership so badly, and now the only way out is for him to lose it. What he just can’t see is that his speakership is for all intents and purposes already done: the party is leading him, not the other way around.
O/T It’s full speed ahead with the car elevator, bitchez!
Boy, those Coastal Commissioners sure are meanies. No word on whether Rafalca gets his hot tub. Hopefully, TBogg’s bassets can poop on Willard’s damn lawn.
Bob's Had Enough
@Patrick: Interesting interview on NPR this morning with a woman who was insistent that the government should not be interfering with health insurance.
Her husband works for the government. That’s where they get their health insurance.
In a just world these people would be thrown out into the old world of finding ones own insurance and experience getting refused because she had acne as a child, or something like that.
@Villago Delenda Est:
I was working the (incoming) phones one day at Kerry HQ. A woman called to complain about all the money we give France. Grown up people who are allowed to vote think we send billions of dollars in aid every year to France.
@Bokonon: Mad props for the Marvin Gaye reference.
@Bokonon: My favourite excuse there is hippies. Teh bebehs is a close second to that.
They misspelled LIAR
NIGGERin that word cloud.
@Villago Delenda Est: Was that link actually included in the original? Oh, please, tell me yes.
“Enough” rational Republicans? Again, as I did in a thread a few days ago, I say: Name ONE rational Republican.
I don’t get Judis reaches the conclusion that the Republican party is going to destroy itself soon. It’s headed for a radical change in its political structure, sure; but is the increasingly extreme Tea Party, already so politically inept and so unpopular, a likely nucleus for growing a new party? If anything, I expect the less-extreme social conservatives and the moneybagses are planning to hang on for dear life until the TP bunch get hooked off the stage, and then re-establish their hold on power. As for the TPers themselves, I think it’s their aim to take over the party, not to form their own; I haven’t come across anyone, anywhere, mentioning such a new party even as a hypothetical.
@Bob’s Had Enough:
So, I am assuming that this woman is also against Medicare and a big advocate of taking Medicare away from her and her husbands parents/grandparents.
Or could she be yet another one of these Tea Party “keep the government off my Medicare” people…
And she apparently is fine with anybody with a pre-existing condition can go to hell.
Ted Cruz’ Princeton roomate, who happens to be a screenwriter, dishes on Ted’s wonderfulness, even then.
@Trollhattan: bad linky
@Bob’s Had Enough: On the whole, we have an extremely sheltered, white middle class that has no living memory of the bad times that have plagued everyone else living on this planet on occasion.
In the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war I saw a sign on a truck that said “First Iraq, then France”.
I thought to myself; with what army, where would the money come from, France has a nuclear bomb etc etc…
I think these weirdos truly came out of the woodwork after 911.
@Trollhattan: That link goes to the Romney house story, dawg.
@raven: Jinx. What’s your feeling about Missouri, Dawg?
@Dolly Llama: Things are starting to move in the Classic City, hoping the idiot students get their asses in the stadium for kickoff!
@Dolly Llama: I feel good, they have played noBODY. Terrible pass defense and I’m looking our D to rise up after some rough games.
@raven: Do you read “Get the Picture”?
YOUR NUTSHELL, IT IS HERE!
@Trollhattan: Eeew, Ted Cruz has body odor issues. He looks like someone with body odor issue but since the internet does not have smell-o-vision it was hard to be certain.
The Pale Scot
@Knight of Nothing:
And the Tea Ravers aren’t a new coalesced band of previously non-politicals, (per MPFC, ” we are ordinary Soviet systems with no particular interest in politics” tc5:30m) they are the Repups base, the mildly successful who’s sense of accomplishment is enforced by knowing that the less successful are more miserable than they are.
The most important thing to these sharks is that EVERYBODY gets in the tank with them, whether they want to play the GOTs or not. The adrenal rush of racial resentment is just an enhancement.
Mister Word Cloud, do you know how human thought works? We feel that we like or don’t like something. Then we try to figure out why. This is universal. Some of us are better than others at figuring out the chain of thought (or more often, feelings) that got us to liking or not liking something, but it always runs in that direction.
Republicans do not like Obama. Their stated reasons have been proven wrong, rigorously proven wrong. They don’t mind big government or the debt at all. Therefor they either can’t figure out, don’t want to admit, or refuse to accept internally the actual reasons they do not like him. It’s not unreasonable to claim they have a hidden agenda – like racism. It’s just how humans work, and they’ve already blown their ‘benefit of the doubt’.
Ryan’s not just a fraud (although that definitely should be his most-defining characteristic), he’s also a complete fucking whackjob right-wing freak show who in a sane world would be a barely-tolerated, laughed-at-in-private-for-being-a-dipshit outlier in the GOP caucus. Instead, he’s their intellectual titan and his “ideas” if you can call them that, are considered brilliant within the party.
The fact that there are Republicans who make him seem moderate by comparison is absolutely horrifying. Although I’d argue that he’s only really more moderate in temperament, and ideologically just more pro-business but equally unhinged.
Extraordinary Popular Delusions
Closest I can think of is Huntsman. And his economic platform was just about as appalling as the zombie-eyed granny starver’s. So…no, none.
I am not referring to these fascist, theocratic asswipes as “the radical center,” not even if they put a gun to my head–which I’m sure they would love to do. And this shit:
Isn’t that precious? It “ebbed” during the Reagan years. THEY DESPISE DEMOCRATS. And they only accept Rethugs who are crazy radicals like them. Oh yeah, and: expansion of government? Economic stagnation? Both at odds with the numbers.
Sorry. Pissed off already. (Why? Cable company!)
@billgerat: Who the hell is Marshal? I, like Billy Mumphrey, am a cockeyed optimist. However, the stupidity of these people is starting to scare me.
@Bob’s Had Enough: I work for the government and have Teabaggers in my office. Invariably they are the ones who whine the most and do little or no work. They hate the government except on payday.
@schrodinger’s cat: yup. tea party = gop. All this ‘analysis’ is all bunkum. Looks like all the pundtwits have their own luntz talking points.
@ellie: It was a shame. About his Downfall, I mean.
As somebody (maybe you?) said yesterday, the only difference between the John Birch Society and the National Review under William F. Buckley was tactics, not beliefs. Their core beliefs were identical.
Well, that’s disturbing. Ugh. I can only tolerate newshour in tiny doses lately.
@Patrick: meanwhile, French troops were fighting in Afghanistan along with other NATO troops. Idiots.
How can we make this happen?
@Villago Delenda Est:
Perhaps they got Freudian slipped by Sheriff Obama, and Marshal snuck in there…..
Personally, I am sick and tired of listening to business leaders and “moderate” or “reasonable” Republicans complain about the radicals. Who invited them in? Who funded and encouraged them? Who has spoken of the other side as being unAmerican? Not content to try to power share or convince people to vote for their platform and accept the ebb and flow of the power changes that elections bring, they convinced themselves they could have a permanent majority. Permanent majority? Chalk that up to yet another way they completely misunderstand human nature.
They turned their economic policy into an ideology and fused it with the kind of fervor religious ideology brings. It was their need to win all the time, at any cost, with whatever policy platform baggage it took that brought us here. The whininess they exude when they cry about the Tea Party makes me want to neck punch them. Repeatedly.
gee, an angry, scared, economically battered middle class that hates labor and is distrustful of big business. They hate the left and scapegoat minorities. they want “their country back.”
Is that the US in 2013 or Germany circa 1930? The correct answer is “Yes”
To be fair, if you were a cheese-eating surrender monkey, I’m guessing you would expect a few billions in foreign aid from amurkafukyeah.
Beat me to it. Not to go all Godwin, but it should be noted that the middle classes were the core of 20th century fascist movements.
Oh, and if we are all going to pretend that the Tea Party isn’t the Republican party, let’s hand the speakership over to Nancy. I’m fucking sick of them having things both ways. Not Republicans, but didn’t have to get on ballots as a third party. Not Republicans, but somehow the GOP has the majority in the House. On and on and on.
I will hold them down for you. No kidding, they plan the party and then bitch when it gets here. Drama queens. Worse than a bus full of debutantes.
@Narcissus: It was all due to his involvement in the dirty game of world diplomacy and international intrigue.
How would Republicans win elections (if they cut the teahadists loose? Well they could go back to focusing on kissing the asses of the so called pro-family, pro-life evangelical crowd. After all, they sucked plenty of $$ and votes out of these people in the past (giving them precious little except verbiage in return).
But now they have turned their attention to sucking the elderly, lower educated crowd dry. If that isn’t working out, the religious nuts will be happy to ramp up their contributions. Just get Ted Cruz screaming about mandatory vaginal ultrasounds and outlawing contraception and they’ll come a’runnin. Rick Santorum can pick up his man-dog sex monologue and we are off to the races.