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Fri Jan 31, 2014, 09:38 AM

Dumb Question. (But real.) Are Republicans mean just to be mean?

Okay. here's the basic parameters of the professed differences between liberal/conservative, Democratic/Republican in principle.

Republicans are supposed to represent the conservative side of the spectrum, which espouses the principle that government should be smaller, and that the private sector should have leeway....Related to that is the goal of making sure government is as lean and efficient as possible, and that its budget is limited and focused only on the necessities.

Democrats are supposed to be (in theory) representing the liberal idea that government has some valid roles in society, and it should have the resources to carry those out to protect and advance the overall public interest.

Those can be the basis of honest differences of opinion and legitimate basis for policy differences. From both sides, it is sometimes necessary to do things that have harmful consequences for people to keep budgets in line and achieve more efficiencies.

But it strikes me that increasingly, the GOP is doing something different.

Put simply, they're just being shitheads for the sake of being shitheads.

It seems like in almost any policy and issue and debate you care to mention, their policies are just gratuitously mean-spirited to everyone.

Their bargaining chips seem to be to hurt people as their stated default position.

Take immigration reform. They claim to share the goal of making the system more efficient. But rather than looking at the mechanics of it, their bargaining chips are all about denying the rights of immigrants and making it more difficult to become legitimate citizens.

Similarly with unemployment insurance. Their position is simply to deny people from being able to collect necessary benefits. Throw people who can't find work to the wolves -- with a certain glee.

Farm Bill same thing. Rather than adjust budgets while cleaning up procedures to reduce fraud and abuse, their position is just cut assistance and to hell with the people who need it.

Voting rights? Ditto. Their negotiating position is on making it harder to vote -- and making the process more cumbersome. Just to be mean.

I realize they must play to their "base." And, yes, there are legitimate philosophical differences involved.

But in the past they at least tried to put up an image of couching the destructive side of their policies in terms that seemed like they wanted to help people.

Now, their pattern is different. They seem intent on being nasty just for the sake of being nasty. "Let's screw everyone, just to make life more difficult."


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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply Dumb Question. (But real.) Are Republicans mean just to be mean? (Original post)
Armstead Jan 2014 OP
ProSense Jan 2014 #1
Warren Stupidity Jan 2014 #3
ProSense Jan 2014 #8
JoePhilly Jan 2014 #21
Warren Stupidity Jan 2014 #2
rurallib Jan 2014 #4
grilled onions Jan 2014 #5
Armstead Jan 2014 #12
Kelvin Mace Jan 2014 #6
unblock Jan 2014 #7
Armstead Jan 2014 #13
unblock Jan 2014 #15
denverbill Jan 2014 #9
Armstead Jan 2014 #14
NightWatcher Jan 2014 #10
Armstead Jan 2014 #17
uponit7771 Jan 2014 #11
Scuba Jan 2014 #16
Armstead Jan 2014 #18
DebJ Jan 2014 #19
pipi_k Jan 2014 #20
Armstead Jan 2014 #23
NewJeffCT Jan 2014 #22

Response to Armstead (Original post)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 09:41 AM

1. No

"Dumb Question. (But real.) Are Republicans mean just to be mean?"

...they're "mean" to be greedy, I-got-mine, self-serving assholes.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 09:47 AM

3. No it isn't that simple. It is about appearing "hard" "masculine" "strong" etc.

When your policies are against the economic self interest of the vast majority of your voting base, you have to use emotion-invoking tactics to undercut your opponents and override the self interest of your target audience. New Deal programs and policies are "soft" "compassionate" "feminine", kicking the needy to the curb is "hard" "strong" "masculine". They play these memes all the time and with great success.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 09:49 AM

8. Actually, I think

"No it isn't that simple. It is about appearing "hard" "masculine" "strong" etc."

...they just hide behind that to be greedy, I-got-mine, self-serving assholes.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 10:58 AM

21. They earned theirs ... you didn't ... they are superior.

And, if they don't have anything yet ... its not because they did not earn it ... you stole it from them.

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Response to Armstead (Original post)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 09:42 AM

2. Deliberate yes. Standard right wing authoritarian bullshit. Appeal to the worst in all of us.

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Response to Armstead (Original post)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 09:48 AM

4. I believe some are and others go along to achieve what they want

Ends justify the means. Those people I think are the ones concerned with saving your soul.

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Response to Armstead (Original post)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 09:48 AM

5. For Them The Dollar Reigns Supreme

People come second and poor people come DEAD last. They feel if you have it you keep it. If you don't have it then you are either lazy or useless. Either way you are a liability and we can't have that. If you are out of work it's your fault so we don't have to help you. Can't afford house or rent? Again it simply has to be your fault so we don't have to help you. Wages too low? Get a second or a third job. It's not our fault if you can't a family, a car, food.
It is all ours and we won't share.
Just what they are getting paid is the big question. Since they only represent themselves we should get a refund!

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Response to grilled onions (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 10:12 AM

12. But they're not bothering to gloss that overt with salesmanship anymore

They do have to get elected. But these days, they seem intent on consistently alienating various constituencies one-by-one.



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Response to Armstead (Original post)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 09:49 AM

6. They are deluded

They do not see themselves as the "bad guys", they see themselves as virtue in a sea of iniquity. They generally have little grasp of factual history and seldom think through the consequences of their actions. Religion gives them the excuse that they are just doing "God's will" and if they are wrong, then "God" will make it right in the "Heaven".

If you have a supreme being that will undo your mistakes, then you do not have to worry about the horror you cause.

Oh, and cognitive dissonance is pretty much a standard requirement.

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Response to Armstead (Original post)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 09:49 AM

7. not *just* to be mean....

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Response to unblock (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 10:16 AM

13. That is what is consistent

I realize the GOP strategy has been to pander to angry white males over the years by appealing to the resentment factor against minorities and the disadvantaged.

But increasingly that seems to be less targeted to just make life more difficult for everyone (except the 1 percent).

Hopefully this will eventually bite them in the ass politically. I emphasize hopefully, because experience has shown that the harder they push the envelope, the more the envelope seems to stretch.



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Response to Armstead (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 10:36 AM

15. greed and hatred and stomping on others just becomes a habit after a while.

it's oddly half-amusing, half-frustrating, when someone does something that ultimately harms themselves out of ill-advised greed.

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Response to Armstead (Original post)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 10:03 AM

9. I think there's a little bit of that in there.

Did you ever know anyone back in high school that would take a contrary position to what everyone else believed just to be contrary? Most young people are idealistic, hopeful, and believe in the power of progress, so they tend to be pretty progressive. Some young people may be idealistic conservatives, but I think a fair number of young conservatives are just conservatives out of spite.

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Response to denverbill (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 10:17 AM

14. That's true.

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Response to Armstead (Original post)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 10:07 AM

10. First Rule of Being a Good Republican: Take the Asshole Position on Everything

Clean air...Against
Feed the Hungry.....Against
Voting rights for all....Against

You name anything positive and they'll be against it.

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 10:43 AM

17. Its often struck me that way

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Response to Armstead (Original post)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 10:09 AM

11. Technically they PLACE themselves in an information bubble, same with Germans during WW2

... after all the atrocities were outlined.

People tend to gravitate towards the familar

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Response to Armstead (Original post)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 10:42 AM

16. I used to give them more credit than that, but my experience and observations here in Wisconsin ...

... made me understand that their base laps that shit up. They love to be mean to anyone who they believe is a "lesser person" whether it be one of a different religion, culture, income class or simply someone they've been taught to hate (teachers, union members, etc.).

Punishing the weak is Scott Walker's stock in trade, and his base loves him for it. If you've got the stomach for it, read the comments on articles at www.jsonline.com to see just how much they love the red meat.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #16)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 10:45 AM

18. Problem with that is that more and morre people are fitting into that definition

They are slipping into lesser personhood themselves by losing jobs, getting wages cut, etc.

Too bad they don't realize it.

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Response to Armstead (Original post)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 10:49 AM

19. They can only feed their egos by crushing other people. They are very, very small

of mind and heart.

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Response to Armstead (Original post)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 10:54 AM

20. Well, when someone...

or a bunch of someones...spend a lot of time trying to thwart one's ideals/agenda, if course they're going to look like a lot of mean shitheads.

Does anyone here actually think WE don't look like shitheads to the Republicans?


Of course, some (most?) here will probably say, "But we're NOT shitheads! WE are the ones with all the right answers!"

I think people generally want mostly the same things, but have different ways of getting what they want. And that makes them look like shitheads.


In any event, I've known some kind and compassionate (i.e. not shithead) Republicans, and some mean, shithead Democrats.

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Response to pipi_k (Reply #20)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 11:01 AM

23. I'm well aware of tghat dynamic -- I've often been reasonable to a fault

I inherited my Dad' s proclivity to be able to see all sides of situations. And I have friends who are conservatives and try to give them the benefit of the doubt.

But things have seemed to go beyond a defensible point. The pattern of shittiness has become more consistent.

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Response to Armstead (Original post)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 10:59 AM

22. They don't think they're being mean at all

They think if we completely ended food stamps, unemployment benefits, etc that help the poor, the poor would be magically transformed from lazy-good-for-nothing reprobates and "takers" into hard-working admirable citizens who got ahead by pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps like George W. Bush and Mitt Romney did.

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