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Number of posts: 21,026
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...just some of my own "talking points" when dealing with these people -- and remember, you're not necessarily going to convince them, but you might have more effect on bystanders, and even the "arguing with a brick wall" people can have seeds planted that eventually break up the bricks.
“People who just want stuff”: 1860
(because they need to be constantly reminded that Lincoln's Republican Party was a liberal-left party)
Let's look at history: where did income tax brackets fall?
A Century of Tax Bracket Thresholds
Today I discovered that Grover Norquist agrees with me about something...
This list came up last year. My answers remain: *regarding RW talking points that I've also had relatives post on Facebook)
It's worth remembering we've been through this before: (Re: fearmongering about muslims)
Finance isn't the "engine of the economy". It's the lube system.
Lysenko Economics (naming the mess Krugman describes)
Posted by JHB | Mon Aug 12, 2013, 08:23 AM (1 replies)
It lost touch with reality for basically your entire adult lifetime, Mr. Frum. All the deals that you made, all the nutty groups you courted to win power, all the campaigns against "liberal media" and "liberal elitism", and the radicalism those things fed. You recruited these radicals -- as long as they hated liberals then the Republican Party wanted them.
You used all of that to gain power, and to enact your lower taxes, your notion of "reasonable regulation", and your imaginary "limited government", and you're just now noticing that they don't want to stop at a place that you think is reasonable. You fed this pack of beasts, and now you've discovered that since you're not completely with them, they regard you as a slacker, backslider, and backstabber, and they're happy to chew you up too.
And let's not forget how you've been a Useful Idiot for conservative billionaires who do not want "free markets, low taxes, reasonable regulation, and limited government" -- they want markets that work for them, no taxes on them (just on "the little people"), regulation that doesn't limit them but does limit anyone who would cause them problems, and government that they can control.
The intellectual underpinnings of this were laid down in the 50s and 60s, the tools were sharpened in the 70s, your Great Crusade was launched in the 80s, and took on its present form in the 90s. If you're only noticing it now, just think back on the 20-40 years of excuses you've made for the radicalism that now has a firm grip on your party.
How did the Republican Party lose grip with reality? By ignoring reality, Mr. Frum. Just like you did.
Posted by JHB | Sun Aug 11, 2013, 07:41 PM (5 replies)
If every Anderson vote had gone to Carter, Reagan still would have won.
"Minus the sabotage of the Hostage" negotiations: That would have required exposure while it was happening, which wasn't particularly likely what with Bush being a former CIA director, and a lot of intelligence people ticked off at Carter and Ramsey Clarke.
And for lack of investigation you're blaming the ACLU? What about all the mainstream party Democrats, the forerunners of the current "centrists", who made sure investigations never dug too deep, and never went to the jugular. It wasn't the ACLU who said the following in 1986:
Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), noting that he served in the Cabinet of Republican President Richard M. Nixon, urged President Reagan on Saturday to "clean house," saying, "This nation does not need and does not want another failed presidency."
Portraying the crisis over secret arms deals with Iran and clandestine payments to Nicaraguan rebels as transcending partisan politics, Moynihan told Reagan that "your presidency, sir, is tottering." And he added, "We want you to save your presidency, our presidency."
I recall that John Kerry's investigations of Reagan were continually marginalized by the Democratic leadership.
I recall that once Bill Clinton came into office -- meaning that the targets of the investigations were no longer in a position to obstruct those investigations -- his people were specifically asked about getting to the bottom of a multitude of Reagan/Bush scandals, and the word was that "that's just not on their radar screen". "Look forward, not back" Version 1.0. You remember how the appreciative Republicans thanked him, right?
But hey, rather than hold the party leadership to account for their lack of action and even cooperation, why not grind some axes, eh?
Posted by JHB | Sat Jun 8, 2013, 11:22 AM (1 replies)
...changed the Benghazi talking points!
ABC News' Jonathan Karl reports that congressional sources have confirmed that the Benghazi talking points were changed by so-called suicide victim Vince Foster, incognito aide and lesbian lover of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Yes, it's satire. This disclaimer, however, is sheer mockery of anyone who actually needed a disclaimer.
Posted by JHB | Sat May 18, 2013, 11:02 AM (1 replies)
...that appealed to socialist-favoring workers. For instance, from their original "25-Point Program" of 1920:
10. The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently we demand:The other points are those we more commonly associate with right-wing nationalists these days.
11. Abolition of unearned (work and labour) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.
12. In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
13. We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
14. We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
15. We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
16. We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
17. We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
18. We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.
19. We demand substitution of a German common law in place of the Roman Law serving a materialistic world-order.
20. The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program, to enable every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education and subsequently introduction into leading positions. The plans of instruction of all educational institutions are to conform with the experiences of practical life. The comprehension of the concept of the State must be striven for by the school (Staatsbuergerkunde) as early as the beginning of understanding. We demand the education at the expense of the State of outstanding intellectually gifted children of poor parents without consideration of position or profession.
21. The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.
This continued through the Strasser wing of the party, favoring the brothers Gregor and Otto Strasser.
The name Strasserism came to be applied to this form of Nazism that developed around the brothers. Although they had been involved in the creation of the National Socialist Program of 1920, both called on the party to commit to 'breaking the shackles of finance capital'. This opposition to "Jewish finance capitalism," which they contrasted to "productive capitalism," was shared by Adolf Hitler himself, who borrowed it from Gottfried Feder.
This populist and antisemitic form of anti-Capitalism was further developed in 1925 when Otto Strasser published the Nationalsozialistische Briefe, which discussed notions of class conflict, wealth redistribution and a possible alliance with the Soviet Union. His 1930 follow-up Ministersessel oder Revolution ('Cabinet Seat or Revolution') went further by attacking Hitler's betrayal of the socialist aspect of Nazism, as well as criticizing the notion of Führerprinzip. Whilst Gregor Strasser echoed many of the calls of his brother, his influence on the ideology is less, due to his remaining in the Nazi Party longer and to his early death. Otto, meanwhile, continued to expand his argument, calling for the break-up of large estates and the development of something akin to a guild system and the related establishment of a Reich cooperative chamber to take a leading role in economic planning. Strasserism, therefore, became a distinct strand of Nazism that, whilst holding on to previous Nazi ideals such as ultranationalism and anti-Semitism, added a strong critique of capitalism and framed this in the demand for a more "socialist-based" approach to economics.
It is disputed, however, whether Strasserism effectively represented a distinct form of Nazism. According to historian Ian Kershaw, "the leaders of the SA (which included Gregor Strasser) did not have another vision of the future of Germany or another politic to propose." But they advocated the radicalization of the Nazi regime, and the toppling of the German elites, calling Hitler's rise to power a "half-revolution," which needed to be completed.
To keep a long story short, their faction was eliminated during the Night of the Long Knives purge.
So, during the 1920's there's an argument to be made that they were socialists, as long as you remember that it was a faction of the party, with an opposing faction. And it was the Strasser faction that was put to the knife, by Hitler loyalists.
But Hitler, particularly once he consolidated power and didn't have to "play nice" to anyone? Calling him "leftist" or "socialist" is so ignorant it's more of a vacuum than a gap in knowledge. It actively sucks in garbage.
Posted by JHB | Mon May 13, 2013, 07:51 AM (2 replies)
Glen's not a journalist, he's a salesman and huckster. He has to draw in the crowd and get them excited, and he's using the crisis du jour to do it, same as he always has.
Posted by JHB | Sat Apr 20, 2013, 10:09 AM (1 replies)
...is not in the hands of that gaggle of chickenhawk neocons that had attached themselves to Romney.
Posted by JHB | Tue Apr 16, 2013, 07:59 AM (48 replies)
1) Jumping to extreme alternatives: North Korea, Communism, giving up all modern gadgetry. As if there are no alternatives, as if you can't incentivize economic behavior in any way other than is done right now, even though we've done so in the past. "Where's this Golden Era?" Nobody said anything about a "golden era", but there were some things that were handled differently in the past and maybe we should take a second look at them, especially given #2:
2) the bland rewriting of history: "first we tried one thing, it went to far, now we're trying something else..." as if the deregulation, extreme tax cutting, and privatization that started under Carter but got rocket boosters under Reagan had been rationally debated, and was not the result of political power plays. I recall Reagan making speeches about how lowering taxes at the high end would let that money be used for investment to modernize our aging industrial plant to restore our competitiveness in markets at home and abroad. Instead, that money went into the stock market and fueled Merger-mania, leveraged buy-outs that let company assets be stripped and sucked upward, and union-busting. More bait-and-switch than the swinging of a pendulum, especially considering that the pendulum never swung back.
3) Did you notice how he went completely ballistic when she noted he was a rich guy? As if that was just prying into his personal business, and had no bearing on the perspective from which he evaluates these issues? That it might affect his view of budgetary priorities? Easy enough for him to talk about raising the retirement age when to him it is of no more significance than adjusting the bass on a stereo, but for tens of millions of people there might be a higher incentive to look at other alternatives.
4) The way he kept wondering aloud what her agenda was, what she "was getting at", largely because her reaction to his pearls of wisdom was not simple ooh-ing and ahhh-ing.
And a plug for blogger Driftglass, also of The Professional Left Podcast, who originally made me aware of the interview.
Posted by JHB | Sat Apr 13, 2013, 05:31 PM (1 replies)
I like to use this (conservative) political cartoon from 1860. The characterization of Lincoln and his supporters would be at home at any Tea Party rally -- where it'd be used to describe Democrats.
“People who just want stuff”: 1860
With all the conservative whining and wailing going on about Obama’s re-election, saying that he won because of “people who just want stuff” and other assorted poutrage, it’s worth noting that this is a trope they’ve been playing for a very, very long time.
Below is a conservative political cartoon from 1860, engraved by Currier and Ives and published in Harper's Magazine. Way back when “The Party of Lincoln” was actually running Lincoln for president, it was considered the liberal/left party.
See if you recognize the playbook:
"The Republican Party Going to the Right House"
Lincoln rides on a fence rail, carried by Horace Greeley (anti-slavery editor of the New York Tribune), leading his followers into a lunatic asylum.
GREELY: "Hold on to me Abe, and we'll go in here by the unanimous consent of the people."
LINCOLN: "Now my friends I'm almost in, and the millennium is going to begin, so ask what you will and it shall be granted."
Younger Woman: "Oh! what a beautiful man he is, I feel a passionate attraction' every time I see his lovely face."
Bearded Man: "I represent the free love element, and expect to have free license to carry out its principles."
Man with trim beard and hat: "I want religion abolished and the book of Mormon made the standard of morality."
Caricatured black man: "De white man hab no rights dat cullud pussons am bound to spect' I want dat understood."
Older woman: "I want womans rights enforced, and man reduced in subjection to her authority."
Scruffy man with bottle: "I want everybody to have a share of everybody elses property."
Barefoot man: "I want a hotel established by government, where people that aint inclined to work, can board free of expense, and be found in rum and tobacco."
Seedy top-hat man: " I want guaranteed to every Citizen the right to examine every other citizen's pockets without interruption by Policemen."
Man at the end: "I want all the stations houses burned up, and the M.P.s killed, so that the bohoys can run with the machine and have a muss when they please."
Let’s go down the list, shall we?:
Supported by "liberal media": Check
Liberals will embark on profligate giveaways to THOSE PEOPLE? Check.
Flighty, emotional, entranced by charisma/celebrity? Check.
People conservatives consider sexual deviants? Check.
People conservatives consider religious deviants? Check (and how ironic, this particular turn).
Grasping minorities after special rights? Check.
There's a vast army of layabouts, thugs, and outright thieves who want to take your hard-earned stuff? Check, check, check, and check.
Posted by JHB | Fri Apr 12, 2013, 07:50 AM (0 replies)
'cause, y'know, you're all scary
Posted by JHB | Tue Apr 9, 2013, 09:26 PM (0 replies)