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The Five Pillars of George W. Bushs Republican Party

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 07:40 PM
Original message
The best characterization of George W. Bush that I can recall ever reading comes from Al Gores new book, The Assault on Reason. Gore points out in his book, and I agree with him, that the two stereotypes of George W. Bush as a dimwitted stooge or as a religious fanatic are flat out wrong. Rejecting the idea that Bush is either stupid or truly religious, Gore characterizes Bush in a nutshell like this:

Im convinced, however, that most of the presidents frequent departures from fact-based analysis have much more to do with his right-wing political and economic ideology than with the Bible. Now, with the radical Right, we have a political faction disguised as a religious sect, and the president of the United States is heading it. The obvious irony is that Bush uses a religious blind faith to hide what is actually an extremist political philosophy with a disdain for social justice that is anything but pious by the standards of any respected faith tradition I know.

The truth about this particular brand of faith-based politics is that President Bush has stolen the symbolism and body language of religion and used it to disguise the most radical effort in American history to take what belongs to the American people and give as much of it as possible to the already wealthy and privileged

Make no mistake: It is the presidents reactionary ideology, not his religious faith, that is the source of his troubling inflexibility. Whatever his religious views, President Bush has such an absolute certainty in the validity of his rigid right-wing ideology that he does not feel the same desire that many of us would in gathering facts relevant to the questions at hand.

Few would argue with the conclusion that the vast majority of Republican Congresspersons for most of George W. Bushs two terms in office have been virtually indistinguishable from Bush himself. While they were in power they gave him everything that he asked for, and they repeatedly refused to investigate the grossest abuses of presidential power, even when his approval ratings fell into the 30s. Only recently, with his approval numbers falling into the 20s, have they begun to distance themselves from him.

A tremendous amount of damage has been done to our country since George Bush took office, and consequently we now find ourselves in a perilous crisis, with our Constitution in tatters, our treasury being depleted by rampant militarism, our international reputation at an all time low, and with a broken election system. Therefore, Americans would do well to carefully consider prior to the next election the five pillars of George Bushs Republican Party. This is a description of five groups of people, the first four which overlap to a great extent, who lead, support, and vote for todays Republican Party.


The economic royalists

I believe it was Franklin Delano Roosevelt who first coined the term economic royalist. That term refers not merely to people who are wealthy, but to those who believe that it is their God-given right to have more wealth than other people, and that it is the main purpose of government to protect and enhance that God-given right. Here is how FDR put it, as he explained in his classic 1934 Democratic Convention speech to the American people the rationale behind his New Deal, which lifted tens of millions of Americans out of their poverty following the Great Depression:

Out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.

There was no place among this royalty for our many thousands of small business men and merchants who sought to make a worthy use of the American system of initiative and profit. They were no more free than the worker or the farmer

The privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over Government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction. In its service new mercenaries sought to regiment the people, their labor, and their property. And as a result the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minute Man.

The hours men and women worked, the wages they received, the conditions of their labor these had passed beyond the control of the people, and were imposed by this new industrial dictatorship. The savings of the average family, the capital of the small business man, the investments set aside for old age other people's money these were tools which the new economic royalty used to dig itself in.

Al Gore uses the same term, economic royalists, to provide an excellent synopsis of this group of people using modern-day terminology. He describes the economic royalists as those

who are primarily interested in eliminating as much of their own taxation as possible and removing all inconvenient regulatory obstacles. Their ideology which they and
Bush believe with almost religious fervor is based on several key elements:

First, there is no such thing as the public interest; that phrase represents a dangerous fiction created as an excuse to impose unfair burdens on the wealthy and powerful.

Second, laws and regulations are also bad except when they can be used on behalf of this group, which turns out to be often. It follows, therefore, that whenever laws must be enforced and regulations administered, it is important to assign those responsibilities to individuals who reliably serve the narrow and specific interests of this small group

What members of this coalition seem to spend much of their time and energy worrying about is the impact of government policy on the behavior of poor people. They are deeply concerned, for example, that government programs to provide health care, housing, social insurance, and other financial support will adversely affect work incentives.

Important results of the efforts of these people has been a wealth gap in our country that has expanded to levels unprecedented since the 19th Century, with CEOs now making 431 times that of the average working American, and the poverty rate in our country increasing substantially during the Bush administration.


The militarists

Though the dangers that our nation faces today are clearly minor compared to those we faced during nearly half a century of the Cold War, George W. Bush has declared a state of permanent war in our country and virtually suspended the freedoms and rights guaranteed to us in our Constitution; he invaded and occupied a nation which posed no threat to us, spawning a war that shows no signs of abating after more than four years; he violated our Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches with his warrantless spying on hundreds of thousands or millions of American citizens; and in his abusive treatment and torture of thousands of prisoners of war, he has repeatedly violated international law specified in the Geneva Convention of 1949, as well as the due process clause of our Fifth Amendment, our Sixth Amendment right to a public trial, to face ones accusers, to be represented by counsel and to be informed of the charges against ones self, and our Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment. And our Republican Congress sat silently by while George Bush and Dick Cheney did all this.

There are several causes and components of this rampant militarism. One primary cause overlaps with the economic royalists: Wealthy corporate friends of the Bush administration have made billions from their no-bid contracts associated with the Iraq war, as billions of dollars have gone missing; we have built several permanent military bases in Iraq; and now we are insisting upon and intimidating the Iraqi government to gain control of their oil.

George Bush himself seems to take a perverse macho pleasure in his imperialistic and cruel policies, repeatedly emphasizing that he is a War President. According to Richard Clarke, Bushs counterterrorism chief, Bush stated at a meeting on the evening of September 11th, 2001:

I want you all to understand that we are at war and we will stay at war until this is done. Nothing else matters. Everything is available for the pursuit of this war. Any barriers in your way, theyre gone. Any money you need, you have it. This is our only agenda.

When Donald Rumsfeld pointed out that international law allowed for self defense but not for retribution, Bush exploded, NO. I dont care what the international lawyers say, we are going to kick some ass.

Another component of todays rampant militarism is ultra-nationalism, best illustrated by the many Bush administration signatories to the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). That organizations chilling (for anyone who abhors imperialism) document, Rebuilding Americas Defenses, written long before the 9-11 attacks on our country, sheds much light on George Bushs War on Terror.

The primary theme of that document is that our military must be much stronger than the militaries of any nation or combination of nations that might oppose our ambitions, in order that we may shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests, boldly and purposefully promote American principles abroad and maintain an order that is uniquely friendly to American principles and prosperity. More specifically, we now have new missions which require defending American interests in the Persian Gulf and Middle East by deterring or, when needed, by compelling regional foes to act in ways that protect American interests and principles.

For millions of Americans who support the rampant militarism of George Bushs Republican Party, fear and racism undoubtedly play a major role. Constant fear mongering by the Bush administration causes many ordinary Republicans to be so fearful for their own safety that they are willing to have their Constitution and the rule of law in their country destroyed in return for George Bushs promises to protect them. The fact that most of the victims of George Bushs cruel and inhuman policies are Muslims of Middle Eastern descent and dark skin undoubtedly makes that bargain more palatable to many of his followers.


The propagandists and destroyers of our First Amendment rights

Despite the tremendous wealth that the economic royalists contribute to the Republican cause, and despite the fear mongering propagated in support of their militarism, most Americans simply do not share the values of the Republican Party: Most Americans would like their government to provide a national health care plan; most believe that women should not be branded as criminals for choosing to have an abortion; most believe we should have laws to require a higher minimum wage than we have had for several years; the list goes on and on. So Republicans need something other than their policies to get the votes they need to win elections.

Our Founding Fathers, recognizing that a free flow of information is essential for the maintenance of democracy, enacted the First Amendment to our Constitution in order to address that need. Such a free flow of information would be instrumental in exposing the Bush administration and its Republican Party for what it is, and that would have allowed American voters in 2000 and 2004 to make more informed choices in the voting booth.

But the virtual monopoly by supporters of the Republican Party on the ownership of major news sources in our country does much to stem the free flow of information. In the lead-up to the Iraq War, our corporate news media failed to explain to the American people that the Bush administrations case for invading Iraq was based on little or no evidence; even now they refuse to inform us in any detail of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilian deaths resulting from our invasion and occupation of their country; during both the 2000 and 2004 elections they failed to follow-up on clear evidence that George Bush had failed to fulfill his National Guard commitments; and they failed to explain to the American people that the proposed Bush tax cuts would benefit only our wealthiest citizens.

And to compound the problem, George Bush has denied our First Amendment rights through the use of so-called First Amendment zones to prevent protesters from being heard, by denying access to journalists who criticize him, by threatening to jail reporters who criticize his administration, and by paying shills (with taxpayer dollars) to write government propaganda disguised as news.


The crooks

But even that isnt enough for Republicans to win elections. To provide Republicans with a chance against a Democratic Party whose values are much more in tune with the values of the American people, Republicans must also resort to bribery and election theft.

Since Republican policies favor only a small proportion of the population compared with the Democratic Party, Republicans are completely dependent upon donations from wealthy donors in order to stay in office. Consequently, they repeatedly vote in favor of the rich and powerful, and in return they are rewarded with money. In theory this is illegal, but it is very difficult to prove, since the deal is rarely sealed in writing. Legislators who receive money from wealthy corporations for doing favors for them will routinely tell us that their vote was not influenced by the bribe I mean the campaign donation.

Therefore, only the extreme and more or less obvious cases of bribery (or accepting bribes), such as that perpetrated in 2006 by Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham, and Bob Ney, are typically prosecuted. But the solicitation or receipt of so-called legalized bribes, in the ethical sense, has become the routine way in which most Republicans (much more so than Democrats) obtain money for their campaigns. As I said, their continuation in office is dependent upon these bribes I mean campaign contributions. So they are always skating close to the edge. And every now and then, when they get a little careless or overly arrogant, they skate off the edge.

Control over our elections provides another means for Republican victories. For various indefensible reasons, most Republicans believe that it is ok to have our votes counted by computers using secret vote counting code, with no means of determining whether or not the vote count is accurate. After all, these are private companies that supply the machines that count our votes. What right do we have to regulate or investigate their activities? or so goes Republican logic.

In 2000, after George Bushs brother, the governor of Florida, illegally disenfranchised tens of thousands of African Americans from voting in the presidential election on the grounds that they were close computer matches to felons, after a Republican orchestrated riot in Miami-Dade County stopped the vote counting there, and after various other types of election fraud as well, five Republican Supreme Court Justices stopped the manual recount of the votes in Florida on grounds that had no Constitutional justification whatsoever, thereby declaring George W. Bush our 43rd President.

I could go on and on about this. Here is evidence of vote switching fraud in national elections from 2002 to 2006; here is evidence of widespread election fraud in 2004; here is evidence of widespread election fraud in 2006; and we have recently learned that the Bush administration fired their federal attorneys for either refusing to investigate non-existent election fraud by Democrats or for pursuing too aggressively cases of election fraud perpetrated by Republicans. In fact, the main purpose behind the whole U.S. attorney firing scandal appears to be the stealing of elections.


The gullible

Despite all their money, the support of most of the corporate news media, and widespread election fraud, Republicans nevertheless must still rely on many millions of gullible Americans to push them over the top. They must convince many millions of Americans to buy into the absurdity that their economic policies are not weighted heavily in favor of the rich and powerful; that George Bush and his associates didnt know that Iraq posed no threat to us whatsoever when he went to war against them; that the tough talk and excessive eagerness of Republicans to pull their country into war is a manifestation of courage; and finally, many millions of Christians buy into the absurd idea that George Bush and the Republican Party is the party of Christian values.

Al Gore describes the situation in his book:

While the economic royalists provide the financial support for {the Republican} coalition, a group of ultraconservative religious leaders (who actually are primarily politicians) provide manpower and voter turnout. They serve a special purpose with their constant efforts to cloak the right wing factions political agenda in religious camouflage. Many of them also have their own media outlets and are part of the propagandist wing of the coalition

Some readers of this post may by now be wondering why I havent specifically mentioned the Christian Right as one of the pillars of the Republican Party. The explanation can be found in the above excerpt from Al Gores book. The Christian Right is made up of those leaders who cloak the right wing factions political agenda in religious camouflage plus those rank and file Christians who are gullible enough to believe that the Republican Party promotes Christian values. These are the people who believe that Republican economic policies, which drive people into poverty by the millions and make no effort to help families acquire the basic needs of life, are Christian; that the Party that is so enthusiastic about going to war for no good reason is pro-life; and that the Party of crooks and liars is Christian.

Many of these people may be sincere Christians. But the ones who are are exceptionally nave to believe that the Republican Party is the Christian Party. Here is what a Christian minister had to say to Christian voters Congress and Presidency was controlled by the Republican Party:

It has gotten to the point that moderate and liberal Christians are afraid to be open about their political leanings. Sadly, it even affects their conscience and choices as they enter the voting booth

Christian voters need to see that Gods heart breaks over more than just a few political and moral issues. It is time to take off our blinders and mourn for the sorry state of affairs that is American politics

Christians should look for candidates that will work for issues that are of importance to Christ and that can be tackled legislatively. Sadly, most of those causes have historically been opposed, ignored, and minimized by conservative Republican policy makers. They seem to dangle the moral issues carrot around election time. Then, even with a Republican controlled White House and Congress, prove themselves powerless to do anything about those issues when they convene to legislate. Issues such as eliminating poverty and homelessness in America, true equal rights for all citizens, environmental protection, a fair minimum wage, affordable health care, and lowering our infant mortality rate all go unattended. Thats just to name a few

I have some questions for the Christian Right. Why have you not held our current elected majority officials accountable for their failure to address the full spectrum of Christian issues? Why would you vote for them again? It is time for Christians of conscience to stand up to religious and political hypocrisy.


Todays crises

The huge wealth gap in America today threatens to rend the fabric of our civil society. Our rampant militarism and imperialism has made us pariahs in todays world and threatens to bankrupt us and plunge our world into global chaos. The secrecy of our government and constant attacks on our First Amendment rights, the corrupting effect of money in politics, and the widespread perpetration of election fraud by those in power poses perils to our democracy that we havent seen since our Civil War.

But worst of all has been the contempt for the rule of law shown by our president, vice president, and their minions. Whenever confronted with a law he doesnt like, George Bush simply issues a signing statement to nullify it. He has consistently shown nothing but contempt for our Constitution and essentially acted as if international law does not apply to him or his country, since he believes that we have the power to ignore it. Al Gore puts it like this:

The unifying theme now being pushed by this coalition is actually an American heresy, a highly developed political philosophy that is fundamentally at odds with the founding principles of the United States of America In America, we believe that God endowed individuals with unalienable rights; we do not believe that God has endowed George Bush or any political leader with a divine right to exercise power.

That is the essence of the Constitutional crisis we have today. Many of our Democratic representatives feel that if we wait it out for another year and a half and elect a Democratic Congress and President in 2008 we will get back on the right track. My great fear is that it will be too late by then. A solid precedent will have been set that says that it is ok for our President to be above the law, like a King, rather than a servant of the people. I dont see how were going to reverse that precedent if we dont take aggressive steps to remove George Bush and Dick Cheney from the offices they have so greatly abused, while we still have the chance.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 07:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well done! k & r
Looks like you've done some wonderful work in this post! I don't have time to read it all just now, but I wanted to give you kudos right away!

sw
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 08:05 PM
Response to Original message
2. The gullible are the biggest problem.
They continue to vote republican even as the republicans pick their pockets.

If these people got their heads out their asses, a lot of the other problems could be solved.

We essentially have the mafia running the country, with 28% approval. That is a lot of stupid people.
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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #2
39. I agree. Worst of all, many of them are willfully gullible. n/t
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jmondine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #39
49. Indeed
I still have hope, though. I don't believe people are actually stupid, I believe that people believe they are stupid.

Having been disconnected now from commercial television for several years, I'm amazed whenever exposed again for a short time how utterly condescending and insulting to the intelligence it is. Yet, I spent most of my childhood with the Box always on, and it didn't consciously phase me.

Call someone stupid every day, many times, year after year, and they will come to believe it. They'll also believe in their own powerlessness.

I find it so ironic. Human beings are the most intelligent and powerful form of life on the planet, yet one is hard pressed to find one specimen who believes this about themselves.
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thethinker Donating Member (403 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
3. That about sums it up
I can't wait to AG book.

K & R
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 08:16 PM
Response to Original message
4. Excellent analysis! I wish our CANDIDATES would use at least SOME of it!
I don't think I've ever heard the term Economic Royalist before, but the description sure fits!
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #4
15. fascists are the servants of economic royalists. without the money people, fascists are kooks
Hitler figured that out, and modified his tactics accordingly.

He didn't have powerful enough backers for the beer hall puscht.

There was a great scene in that CBS miniseries on the life of Hitler where during his sentencing for the puscht, he points into the audience to one of his wealthy backers, and says, "Why isn't he on trial too?" but of course the judge ignores him.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
5. Beautiful. K & R nt
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
6. The kind of post that makes DU's home page great.
Excellent work. :thumbsup:
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here_is_to_hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 09:39 PM
Response to Original message
7. Thank you so much
for this post! Very well done! K/R'd!
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
8. A masterful essay. K&R
No far-out theories, no sugar-coating.

It's kind of chilling to see the total effect, when all the crimes are taken into account.

And yes, there is genuine concern that it doesn't end in 2008.
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sellitman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 09:44 PM
Response to Original message
9. I gotta buy Gore's new book.
I think I will tomorrow.

Great job!
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Pacifist Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #9
35. Of all the books about Bush & Co., the GOP and the fundamentalist right...
"Assault on Reason" is far and away the best that captures the root of the problems with a Bush presidency. Gore pulls no punches and delivers every one right on target.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
10. Sigh. Calling them "gullible" is just the namby-pamby standard way to avoid blaming the people....
The truth is that the people - that pillar - are mean bigots who did what they did KNOWINGLY and DELIBERATELY. They hate black folks. They hate gay folks. They hate hispanics. They hate brown folks of any other sort. And they hate women. They are *responsible* for this, not innoncent gullible Gomer Pyles.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. good line in MISSISSIPPI BURNING: "My daddy'd rather go hungry than know a black man was fed too"
for modern republicans, you could substitute gays, latinos, Arabs, or whoever the scapegoat of the moment is.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Not substitute, add on - but yah.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. You are undoubtedly correct that the Republican Party is filled with bigots
I'm sure that those bigots have some overlap with all of the categories I mentioned, but my guess is that their biggest overlap is with the militarists.

I did say that "For millions of Americans who support the rampant militarism of George Bushs Republican Party, fear and racism undoubtedly play a major role." Maybe I should have called that category "militarists and bigots", because I do believe that there is a very strong correlation between the two.

But I also believe that there is a very large group of people who are simply gullible and who do not fit into any of the other categories and who are not bigoted either.

Of course, there may be a very fine line. That is, perhaps there are many people who choose to be "gullible" so that they can vote Republican without having to admit that they're bigoted. It's hard to say. But certainly there are also a lot of people who are just plain gullible.
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Patsy Stone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Some of the bigots were cast-offs
Edited on Sun Jun-10-07 10:59 PM by Patsy Stone
from the Democrats' decision to embrace civil rights legislation. There were a lot of disenfranchised haters out there. Instead of shunning them, the Republicans courted them. Now they are a loud, unreasonable bunch they have to deal with; and they are as much a product of the Republican fear and disinformation machine as they are of being surrounded by ignorance and an innate lack of curiosity.

ed: gram.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Doesn't matter. The OP, like many, is solid on releasing them from responsibility...
... by categorizing them as "gullible" or "ignorant" or "in need of education". It's the standard decision "good whites" make, allowing them to protect the bad guys, while putting on the public face of not being one of them.
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Patsy Stone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. I don't believe the OP did any such thing,
at least not intentionally.

I was pointing out that Republicans wanted the scum voting block, and they got the scum voting block.

There are gullible people out there, don't kid yourself.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #18
55. How true
Lyndon Johnson predicted that would happen (i.e. that the Democrats would lose the South) when he pushed through his civil rights bills.

We did lose the South, and we did lose a lot of bigots, but the up side is we gained a lot of moderate and liberal voters and a lot of northern states.

It's definitely a better Party since we lost our racist wing, but now we need to find a way to reach a lot of the gullible voters who believe too much of what they see on TV.

And just as or more important, we need to find a way to fix our broken election system!
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #55
60. How much better, to lose the racist wing, and replace them with racism defenders?
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
11. Truly OUTSTANDING!
:applause: :thumbsup:
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IChing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 10:02 PM
Response to Original message
12. Nicely done
and great supporting links in your blue highlighted area.
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many a good man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 10:22 PM
Response to Original message
13. This post deserves a permanent and prominent spot on DU home page
Well done.
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diane in sf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 12:55 AM
Response to Original message
21. This is really good and really succinct.
I wrote my masters thesis on a lot of these themes and people's relation to our environment. Mine goes on for over 200 pages. I really love the way this precisely sums up so many different threads.
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 01:00 AM
Response to Original message
22. K & R for the sad truth. It may be too late already. n/t
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 03:13 AM
Response to Original message
23. Well done, and your links are good
I believe all the Republican constituents fit nicely into the categories you have described.

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entanglement Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #23
33. Nice toon, LOL
n/t
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #23
56. Great toons
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-12-07 01:47 AM
Response to Reply #56
75. Thanks. I found that one here at DU, of course.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 04:42 AM
Response to Original message
24. This is an excellent "catch-up" essay for those who care, but weren't
paying attention until recently. This is the information that our so called "independent fourth estate" should have been bringing us all along.
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corkhead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 05:12 AM
Response to Original message
25. your last paragraph truly nails it
criminals need to be held accountable, period.
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Norrin Radd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 05:33 AM
Response to Original message
26. k+r
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wake.up.america Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 06:12 AM
Response to Original message
27. This is a great thread. Thank you!
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stlsaxman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 06:32 AM
Response to Original message
28. Kick for this incredible post!
Well done and thank you so much!!

:kick:
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coznfx Donating Member (69 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 06:45 AM
Response to Original message
29. Incredible. Great job on this, and thanx!
I drive a taxi for a living, and often discuss matters political with my fares. I'm going to print this post out and try to offer a free ride to at least three people a day who support Bush if they'll read it during the ride. Might work ... it'll save 'em $8!

Thanks again.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #29
58. What a fantastic idea!
If you're going to print it out, there are two slight mistakes you should be aware of:

FDR's Democratic Convention speech was in 1936 rather than 1934.

And, there is a sentence in "The gullible" section that doesn't make grammatical sense. It should read:

"Here is what a Christian minister had to say to Christian voters when Congress and the Presidency were controlled by the Republican Party".

Good luck!

:patriot:
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Xipe Totec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 07:51 AM
Response to Original message
30. FDR Democratic National Convention (June 27, 1936), not 1934
A minor point in the interest of accuracy.


Good analysis, thanks.
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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 08:05 AM
Response to Original message
31. THANK YOU!! wonderful post!! eom
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GeorgeGist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 08:06 AM
Response to Original message
32. Don't insult my reason ...
with religion and America's claim to God's principles.
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entanglement Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
34. Great post - but the economic royalists and militarists also have a home in the Democratic party
n/t
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EOTE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #34
36. That may be so....
However, the wealthy in the Democratic party are typically voting against their own personal interests and for the interest of the public good by supporting a party that supports a more progressive tax system which ensures that the ultra-wealthy will receive less, and those in the middle and lower class will receive more, both in terms of money as well as government programs. There may be militarists within the Democratic party as well, but assuming that they vote for the Democratic, rather than Republican candidate, they're helping to provide a quicker end to a worthless conflict. So regardless of the makeup of the Democratic party, the platform of the parties stand in almost direct opposition to eachother.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #36
59. Excellent points EOTE
It IS unfortunate that we have some in our party who go along with the Republican enthusiasm for war. I'm convinced that a lot of that is purely for political purposes, as many must be afraid that if they don't appear enthusiastic enough about war they'll be labelled as "unpatriotic" or "cut and run cowards", etc.

With regard to economic royalists, it's hard for me to believe that we have many of them in the Democratic Party -- at least not the more extreme versions. The term "economic royalist" applies not simply to someone who is wealthy, but rather to someone who believes that it is their God given right to be wealthy, and that the government's main responsibility is to protect their wealth, even if it be at the expense of everyone else. That's why they get so apoplectic about progressive taxation. I can't see many people like that voting with the Democrats.
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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #34
53. Yeah, but they have to be a lot sneakier about it.
Re ...but the economic royalists and militarists also have a home in the Democratic party.

They can't have their constituents finding out, so they have to try to disguise their economic royalist and militarist agendas as promoting free trade or national security. Neither argument is all that convincing to Democrats, who are usually less gullible and better at connecting the dots than the Republican base.
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Historic NY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 10:54 AM
Response to Original message
37. Another Republican concept..........shot to hell
Government of the people, for the people, by the people.

Where did they go wrong?
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ClayZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
38. K and R
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
40. What about the perverts?
What about those repressed, authoritarian types who want to destroy everybody else's fun? They don't fit neatly into these other groups.

--IMM
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #40
61. Authoritarians -- that's a fair point
Like many other people, I have a greater appreciation than I used to of the preponderance of authoritarian personalities in the Republican Party after reading John Dean's recent book, "The Politics of Fear".

You may be right that they don't fit neatly into the groups I mentioned in my post, but it seems to me that authoritarians and militarists have a good deal in common.

Another poster in this thread mentioned that the group I called "gullible" are really bigots, and s/he was upset with me for taking the blame off them by implying that they are merely bigots. I don't know about that -- I think that bigots have more in common with the militarists than the gullible, and I do believe that a lot of people are merely gullible.

So, after thinking about this more, I think that militarists, bigots, and authoritarians all have a good deal in common. Maybe it would be worth considering them as a single group? It would be an interesting psychological study anyhow.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
41. Excellent post. KRB.
The "Crooks" part is particularly dead-on.
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socretes73 Donating Member (48 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
42. Best Post in at least a Month!`
good work!
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The M Double Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
43. Nice...
Kick
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dgibby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
44. Thanks!
This is THE definitive article I've been waiting for! What a great post! I plan to send it to friend and foe alike! This really says it all.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #44
62. Thank you very much.
I'd be very interested to know what your foes think of this.

If you're going to send it to people, be aware that there are a couple of minor mistakes that I've found:

FDR's Democratic Convention speech was in 1936 rather than 1934.

And, there is a sentence in "The gullible" section that doesn't make grammatical sense. It should read:

"Here is what a Christian minister had to say to Christian voters when Congress and the Presidency were controlled by the Republican Party".

And welcome to DU :toast:
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
45. Dead wrong about one point, unfortunately
Since Republican policies favor only a small proportion of the population compared with the Democratic Party, Republicans are completely dependent upon donations from wealthy donors in order to stay in office.

This is untrue. Up until this year, at least, the GOP has consistently out-fundraised the Democratic party among low-income people. The $25,000 per plate dinners are big news, but the Democrats have those too. Where the GOP got it's fundraising advantage was in hundreds of thousands of $20 and $50 donations from not-very-rich people.

And before the chorus starts: it's patronizing and unhelpful to just say "they're gullible yokels who are voting against their own interests" because they clearly see an interest they want to vote for. If we want them to vote for us maybe we should respectfully ask what it is.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #45
63. I don't think I'm wrong about that point
Even if it's true that Republicans generally have received more in small donations than Democrats (and I don't believe that's true -- if you have a link to support that I'd like to see it), that doesn't mean that Republicans aren't dependent upon wealthy donors to win elections.

The reason that they're dependent upon wealthy donors is that their policies are anti-people -- so they need lots of money to flood the airways in order to spin their policies in a way that make them seem palatable to ordinary voters. Also, they're dependent upon the corporate media to help them spin those policies.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #63
67. Several links
Not to sound harsh, but frankly it bothers me that Democrats seem to keep deluding themselves about this. The GOP beats us badly in small contributions and has for decades. Here are some data from opensecrets, with quotes after:

http://www.opensecrets.org/bigpicture/ptytots.asp?cycle...
For as long as anyone can remember, the Republican Party has had a huge advantage over the Democrats in raising hard-money contributions from supporters. One big reason is the sophisticated direct mail network the GOP has established over the years � a reliable source for millions of dollars in small contributions.

http://www.opensecrets.org/pressreleases/DonorDemog.asp
The study also found that Democrats were far more reliant than Republicans on deep-pocketed givers in the 2002 election cycle, and were much less successful than the GOP at raising money from donors giving small amounts.

Here's a pretty clear example actually:

http://www.opensecrets.org/bigpicture/donordemographics...

This is from 2000. You'll notice that we got more donations than the GOP in the range of $200-$999, as well as the range of $1000 to $10000, and $10000 to $100000 and over $100000.

We're better at getting big donations than the Republicans are. The reason they get more money than us is that they're better at getting small donations.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #67
72. I don't see any data on corporate donations in these links
It looks to me like they deal only with individual donations.

Don't corporate donations provide the main advantage for the GOP?

And besides that, according to the chart you provided on 2000 donations, the GOP has more than a $100 million for donations of over $1000.

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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #45
68. *IF* this is true (and I seriously question it)
it's probably the same pool of relatively low-income donors giving money to the Republicans for the same reason they give money to their fundamentalist churches, and I doubt that they see much (if any) distinction between the two. No doubt the same strong-arm tactics are used to convince the same pathetic gullible base into coughing up the last of their Social Security checks month after month.

I doubt very much that they out-raise the Dems in Internet-based fund-raising, though. It would be interesting to see a comparison between the two parties if statistics are available. How much (for each party) is a response to TV and radio fund-raising efforts and how much is from Internet campaigns?



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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #68
69. See post #67 or go to www.opensecrets.org
Opensecrets is the clearinghouse for campaign finance data; very useful.

Anyways, follow the links in #67 for the charts and data from opensecrets, which will tell you this:

Democrats outraise Republicans in contributions over $100,000
Democrats outraise Republicans in contributions over $10,000
Democrats outraise Republicans in contributions over $1,000
Democrats outraise Republicans in contributions over $200
Republicans outraise Democrats in contributions under $200

Republicans outraise Democrats as a whole.

Republicans make up their deficit in large contributions with their great advantages in small contributions.

No doubt the same strong-arm tactics are used to convince the same pathetic gullible base into coughing up the last of their Social Security checks month after month.

Boy, that's exactly the kind of attitude that's going to win those voters over.

But guess what: they know you think that about them and they didn't even need the GOP to tell them that.

Here's an idea: instead of assuming they were strongarmed or brainwashed into supporting people they don't really believe in, why not ask them why they like Republicans more than Democrats and listen respectfully to their answers?

I doubt very much that they out-raise the Dems in Internet-based fund-raising

Opensecrets.org will confirm your suspicion; we have a decided advantage in Internet fundraising and the same kind of infrastructure lead that the GOP has in direct mail fundraising.
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I_Make_Mistakes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
46. That was an excellent summary of the facts! I do have to buy the
book. DU has taken a really bad turn in the last year, it seems that paid propagandists from all facets of the spectrum appear here, solely for the purpose of promoting THEIR AGENDA.

I noticed how the facts presented in the OP, immediately deviated towards racist bias's.

It is the very wealthy that divide and conquer, it has nothing to do with race, education, sex, etc. They are here merely to create havoc, without any true underlying rationale.

I could not put a finger on the truly vindictive, hate mongering that has gone on here recently, but, I get it!

1). HATE on the Christians! The believers as purported <sarcasm> in the OP are the CULPRITS! Take a look at the ERA and EEOC and they were supported by?

2). HATE on the RACES! They are the the bad guys! Look at history, the rights of racial minorities were supported by the non minorities!
3). HATE on the Hollywood celebrities, because they are RICH, by building their wealth on the backs of the underpaid.
4). Hate on the educated, because they are the Intellectual ELITES! They think they are better than everyone else!
5). Hate on the Gays! because I have been attacked here, I guess because I am not gay and therefore have not standing for say in the matter.

DU, for whatever reason, is becoming that which it was formed to fight!

It is truly a sad day, when on any given day, a poster can be attacked for any given reason, with or without reason, I still read, but, donate again, why would I? I can turn on FOX news, Rush Limbaugh, etc., for the HATE that has recently appeared here!
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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #46
52. You see THIS essay as proof that DU has become
"that which it was formed to fight"????

Where is there any evidence whatsoever in the article of hate-mongering or divisiveness of any kind??? This is an indictment of the fraudulent and divisive tactics used by the Republicans, NOT a manifestation of same!!!

I find it very interesting (to say the least) that you would take it that way, but don't expect to find many people on this thread who share your opinion.
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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
47. big nom for sound thinking
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elias49 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
48. Sorry, he's a dim-witted stooge
Nothing in your essay dispossesses me of this certainty.

In point of fact, the man is an ass-clown.
He deserves to burn in hell.
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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
50. K & R and bookmarked...WOW! Superior research and synthesis,
one of the best things I've ever seen in this area. I finished The Assault on Reason not long ago and I'm now reading it again. I was especially impressed with his insight that the "religion" George Bush professes is actually a radical right-wing political agenda disguised as religion. I had been coming to the same conclusion on my own and was happy to see him confirm it.

So the cat's finally out of the bag: The party that professes to be more-American-than-thou and more-Christian-than-thou is actually neither American nor Christian.

I would love to see this essay made up as a pamplet and distributed at both the Republican and Democratic conventions...if not long before. EVERYONE should read this!
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #50
64. Thank you very much Raksha
I've been thinking about these issues for a long time, but Al Gore put some of these things in words that I hadn't previously been able to verbalize very well.
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EstimatedProphet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
51. I would make one small addition to the militarists - bullies
I think this is an important aspect. A lot of militarism is driven by fear, and that sells to the 'safety moms' who think there's a Muslim in every linen closet waiting to destroy the neighborhood. But there's also a lot of militarism that appeals the the 'I have to prove what a big man I am' crowd, and i think this group takes in a lot of the more militant internet freeper types. They support Bush not so much because they are scared, but because they think it's cool that we're killing all sorts of people around the world. They get off on the power trip.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #51
65. Yes, I agree with that absolutely
And I think that's a very important point to get across.

That's part of what I meant when I said in this OP, "For millions of Americans who support the rampant militarism of George Bushs Republican Party, fear and racism undoubtedly play a major role."

Also, I posted a post last week where I tried to make a somewhat similar point. It was called "How much courage does it take to order other people to war?" However, I guess I didn't do a very good job of getting my point across, as the response to that post was much less positive than the response to this one. And now, that post has disappeared!



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Divine Discontent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
54. Al's brilliant
"Bush uses a religious blind faith to hide what is actually an extremist political philosophy with a disdain for social justice that is anything but pious by the standards of any respected faith tradition I know."

wow... that's so true. and the gullible are hurting this country. they wave the flag not realizing this misadministration is destroying the principles we stand for.
in my shop - I have a sticker that says "bush's drag queen name is miss management!" so true!
www.cafepress.com/warisprofitable
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 04:31 PM
Response to Original message
57. I disagree somewhat with the thrust this analysis.
Specifically, I dispute the idea that Bush is driven by any ideology, right-wing or otherwise. I think he's a self-aggrandizing greed-head.

If you replace "radical right-wing ideology" everyplace it appears above with "greed," I think you get closer to the truth.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #57
66. Well, you may be right about that
Edited on Mon Jun-11-07 06:19 PM by Time for change
To be honest about it, it's not very easy to separate "radical right-wing ideology" from "greed" or "hubris" or "sociopath", depending on what aspect of "radical right-wing ideology" one is talking about. I think that trying to discern the differences would make a very interesting psychological study.

Also, "radical right-wing ideology" is a nicer way to characterize someone than "greedy" -- which may be why Al Gore used that term rather than "greedy" to characterize George Bush. As hard hitting as he was (and I give him a lot of credit for that), still, he probably pulled a few punches.

Edited to say that: Actually, the main purpose of "radical right-wing ideology" may be to rationalize or justify greed and other obnoxious character traits. But once it has become firmly established, defending the ideology may become more important than the greed or other original traits that spawned the ideology.
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #66
74. I think this is a really useful insight on your part.
It rings true for me, but I don't know that I have ever seen it articulated this clearly.

Actually, the main purpose of "radical right-wing ideology" may be to rationalize or justify greed and other obnoxious character traits. But once it has become firmly established, defending the ideology may become more important than the greed or other original traits that spawned the ideology.
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siligut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 07:22 PM
Response to Original message
70. Good work!
Wow! This needs a place where it will be read again and again by everyone. Good job.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
71. this is great, although I have only finished the first part
just wanna say that each of the five pillars could have been part of a separate post and thus generated more discussion.

I, myself, could probably go on and on about the economic royalists. It's not just the public interest that they disavow, but 'government' which they constantly mock. "I am from the government and I am here to help." Anti-government sentiment is widespread even on DU.

Another thing they constantly attack is taxes. Except that by taxes, they only mean 'income taxes'. And the M$M are willing accomplices in their propaganda war.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-11-07 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #71
73. Yeah, the hypocrisy enrages me
Mock the government, and then prove your point by taking over power and ruling over the most incompetent and corrupt government that our country has ever been saddled with.
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