Two Pictures Say It All

Everything you need to know about why the right-wing is going after unions can be learned by simply viewing two of the slides from this study by the Center for Responsive Politics:

It’s not about saving money. It’s not about giving those who govern more control over feisty unions. It’s not about free markets or any of that other bullshit. It’s about destroying the opposition, drying up liberal funding, so that they can give more tax cuts to the Koch brothers.

They want all the money. Period.

44 replies
  1. 1
    JC says:

    Given the amount of cash that will flow from Citizen United, combined with unemployment up above 8 percent, there is a very good chance that any of the idiots on the stage the other day, at the 4th tier Republican debate, could beat Obama.

    And that would be, all kinds of bad.

    Is there ANYTHING that can be done, to reduce the unemployment rate, more quickly? Is there any way to get various democratic advisors to care about this, and only this, and tell the faux deficit worriers (only when there is a democratic President do they worry) to go eff themselves?

  2. 2
    Citizen_X says:

    Mostly on-topic: Joan Walsh has a good interview with AFL-CIO Pres Richard Trumka here. Seems like a very bright guy; he’s got some good ideas on political activity in a post-Citizens United world that they’re putting into effect.

  3. 3
    MagicPanda says:

    John, being an ex-GOP, maybe you could shed light on this.

    My view is that…

    1) Republicans see politics as a team sport. They want to do whatever it takes so that their team wins. In their eyes, that’s not being crass. That’s being smart.

    2) Republicans see governance as secondary to ideology and power. When they get a turn at the wheel, they are not thinking “gee, let’s try to figure out how to run the country well”. They are thinking “how can we get as much of our agenda through in the time that we have?”

    All this seems obvious from my perspective.

    And yet, when I occasionally visit right wing blogs, I see that they think that the Democrats are the unprincipled ones who will lie, cheat and steal at the expense of what is good for the country, and that it is the Democrats who ram through an ideological agenda instead of trying to govern the country well.

    I believe they are 100% sincere in their belief.

    So first question: is that right? Do Republicans really see things that way?

    Second question: how is it possible that the two sides see things in completely opposite ways? Is reality so subjective?

  4. 4
    trollhattan says:

    They want all the money. Period.

    Ugh. So true, and ugh. Winnahs gotta win.

  5. 5
    Zam says:

    OT. Has anyone else seen that commercial from the oil companies that claims Obama is encouraging Brazil to drill for oil? If I recall he is not encouraging oil drilling but their production of ethanol that they have been using lately. Anyway it has me all sorts of pissed off.

  6. 6
    NickS says:

    Correct. It’s the same deal with “tort reform”. Plaintiff’s lawyers have historically been huge Dem supporters (and they have $$$), so that’s why Republicans push for tort reform with such zeal.

  7. 7
    joeyess says:

    It’s a big club……. and you ain’t in it…….. http://youtu.be/acLW1vFO-2Q

  8. 8
    Zam says:

    @MagicPanda: According to the hard righties I’ve known anything we do is part of a grande master scheme. So even when we do compromise it is actually laying the groundwork for some nefarious plan that will come to fruition later on. Also they think we all talk in codewords. So while we see their blatant politicization and poloration outright, they see ours in hidden actions and meanings.

  9. 9
    General Stuck says:

    They want all the money. Period.

    Yes they do, and always have. It is the nature of capitalists to get as much money as possible, as it is the responsibility of the governed in a democracy to not let them have it. Not just because it isn’t fair, it also isn’t a good idea in a fundamental existential way of a free market democracy.

    It seems to me what we have experienced the past 30 years is like a drug pusher, in this case, the moneychangers in our system using the drug of easy credit to get people hooked on that addictive substance for buying more toys, to where they are preoccupied enough to not notice or stop the greater heist that we saw under Bush and the complete breakdown of any regulation with the reckless gambling that brought everything to a halt, or nearly so.

    Obama, rightly or wrongly, rightly i think, took the path to just save us from an all out depression and kept the economy alive, but the basic equation of drugging us all into manic consumerism based on cheap credit is still in place. We could have possibly suffered enough from a complete collapse, to where that addiction and control was broken and real reform possible, but that would have been a dangerous proposition for even worse results. I don’t think we are finished on this roller coaster running on the empty substance of plastic money. Not by a long shot.

  10. 10
    Cat Lady says:

    Pie charts aren’t used enough. They’re really simple to understand.

  11. 11
    Zam says:

    @Zam: To add to myself, it could also be that if they see things first in the political sense, then everything we support is automatically the polar opposite of their ideals and therefore we are pushing through a blatantly political agenda no matter what since the their ideology focuses on politics first and not policy.

  12. 12
    LanceThruster says:

    Their position has long been,

    “It’s not enough that they win, but that someone else loses.”

  13. 13
    'Niques says:

    @LanceThruster:

    “It’s not enough that they win, but that someone else loses.”

    Also: “What good is all this money and power if you can’t make someone suffer?”

  14. 14
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @LanceThruster:

    Their position has long been, “It’s not enough that they win, but that someone else loses.”

    And that that someone else is seen to lose, knows they lost, and knows that other people have seen them lose.

    This flows logically from their basic theory of government: to wit, that the sole legitimate reasons for the existence of the state are a.) to blow up brown people who worship the wrong God, and take their stuff, and b.) to provide their friends’ getaway cars, full of our stuff, with a police escort en route to the Caymans.

    They’ve got Clausewitz backwards — politics is the continuation of war by other means.

  15. 15
    Libby says:

    That’s exactly right John Cole. They do want ALL the money. Didn’t think I’d live to see the day when greed went from one of the seven deadly sins to an acceptable, and indeed revered in some circles, path to success.

  16. 16
    rikyrah says:

    Rachel Maddow has been the only one in the MSM breaking it down like this. She’s been very clear about what this is all about, and I thank her for being on the job with regards to this.

  17. 17
    Cerberus says:

    @MagicPanda:

    Everything conservatives say is Projection. Everything.

    And yes, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are liars (though they often are).

    Think of it this way. You are a mean-spirited person more motivated by the defeat of your “enemies” than any genuine policy. You believe everyone is out to get you and it’s better to strike first and that the end always justifies the means and that ideology always comes first and must be protected above anything else.

    Now imagine you have absolutely no imagination.

    Of course you’d expect the exact same behavior of your enemies. So of course when a liberal proposes a bill or a policy idea they are just doing it to piss off a conservative and obviously every liberal is trying to game the system towards their minority groups. It’s what the conservative would do in their position and “Everyone Knows” that liberals are the evil ones, so why would those actions be beneath them and besides, if they’re doing it, of course it’s fair to do it back…in protection of course.

    But yes, shorter answer:

    Everything Republicans argue is projection.

    Always.

  18. 18
    PeakVT says:

    @MagicPanda: Have you heard of the term “wingnut projection”? They’re assigning everything unpleasant they do onto their opponents, sometimes unconsciously but often consciously to ward off liberal criticism. It happens regularly.

    And, yes, perceptions of reality can be heavily influenced by existing belief systems. If somebody strongly believes in a harsh, punishing god, they’re likely to, say, blame victims for natural disasters even though all available evidence points to them being random. Humans are very good at recognizing patterns, but humans also desperately try to recognize patterns where none exist. Belief systems seem to fulfill that desire even when they are inaccurate.

    ETA: /shakes fist at Cerberus.

  19. 19
    Ruckus says:

    The slogan really is:
    Fuck You, I Got Mine, Now I Want Yours

    FYIGMNIWY

  20. 20
    Violet says:

    They want all the money. Period.

    Yep. And ultimately that tactic won’t work out well for them. French Revolution, etc. But until then, it’s a good plan for rich people.

  21. 21
    bemused says:

    @Cat Lady:

    A pie chart showing yearly income levels instead of percentages would have more impact because even people without a pot to pee in think they are in a higher percentage than they really are, people barely above poverty level think they are in the middle class, etc.

  22. 22
    Cerberus says:

    @PeakVT:

    MUAHAHAHA!

    Nah, you put it better and its a point worth repeating.

  23. 23
    joeyess says:

    Be a patriot. Troll the GOP today! Sign the petition. It looks like they’re going all in, folks.

  24. 24
  25. 25
    MagicPanda says:

    @Zam: I’m truly intrigued by how the Right can see things so differently from us.

    Part of it is that what may seem “principled” from one perspective look “ideological” from the other perspective.

    For example, when Democrats push for climate change legislation, it feels (to us) like we’re just doing what is right and sensible.

    Meanwhile, when Republicans push for legislation to make abortions harder to get, it feels (again to us) like an irrational ideological assault on our freedoms.

    But I bet that these two examples feel the opposite way to a hard-right conservative.

    Meanwhile, I think it’s easy to assume nefarious motives of the opposite side. For example, we look at our own team and see a clusterfuck, whereas we look at the Republicans and see a well oiled political machine hell-bent on our destruction.

    But you have to admit that the Republicans these days are anything but a well oiled machine these days, right?

    —-

    So OK. I can imagine how Republicans might see some things differently than Democrats. But at the same time, I still think of certain things as just being incontrovertibly true.

    For example, the GOP is just better at sending a coordinated message out through the media. That is just a fact. It’s indisputable.

    And yet the GOP will say that the Democrats control all the media and that it’s all the embattled GOP can do to get their message out past the nefarious liberal media conspiracy.

    I mean… How can anyone possibly think that the liberals are better at getting their message out through the media than conservatives?

  26. 26
    Bob Loblaw says:

    It’s about destroying the opposition, drying up liberal funding, so that they can give more tax cuts to the Koch brothers.

    Well, if union spending really did quadruple in a single election cycle, you can see why it became so important so quickly for Republicans to go for the jugular.

    2008 really seemed to blow up the previous campaign financing status quo, even before Citizens United.

  27. 27
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Shorter John: ‘Hey, I calls ’em like I sees ’em! I’m a whale biologist.’

    rAmen to that brother. When a Reptilican says that they are for (or against) something and state their reason(s), you know they are lying from the moment they open their mouth. It’s all about the rich and powerful destroying any opposition to their raping of our country.

    Repubs hate Americans, end of story.

  28. 28
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @joeyess:

    Done and done:

    “Heck yeah! Let’s give all of the money to the rich and powerful since we already know that the poor sure don’t need it!
     
    Today’s Republican party; destroying America one state at a time!

    I’m sure they will count my phony signature as real…lol!

  29. 29
    Judas Escargot says:

    I like pie (charts).

  30. 30
    MagicPanda says:

    @Cerberus: @PeakVT: Yes, I agree that there is a huge amount of projection going on.

    I guess I expect a certain amount of irrational behavior and a certain amount of differences in perspective. But when I look at how the Republicans see us, it’s really like talking to Bizarro Superman. Just crazy talk from another universe.

  31. 31
    Bill Murray says:

    @JC: Yes, No

  32. 32
    danimal says:

    @joeyess: Scrooge McDuck has signed the petition!

  33. 33
    Gian says:

    @joeyess: signed as jacob marley… the optional comment was that we need more prisons, and workhouses

    thing is, I don’t know if they will get that it’s being trolled.

  34. 34
    Stillwater says:

    33 comments on this? That’s it? Where’s the damn firefight?

    OT – But I find it interesting the Mendenhall is losing sponsorships over getting mouthy about OBL. Not for saying that he deserved to die a horrible gruesome brutal Muslimbagger death. No Mendy said that it’s wrong to cheer when someone – anyone – dies. And now he’s catching a ration or two of pure shit.

    WTF is wrong with people?

    ETA: Maybe there’s something to this I’m missing…

  35. 35
    Cerberus says:

    @MagicPanda:

    Again, I think the lack of imagination is a big key into the why of projection.

    If you are a horrible person and you lack the imagination to empathize and understand other people, you are going to assume that everyone else is a horrible person too.

    If you would lie, cheat, and steal to humiliate an opponent, you believe your opponents would do the same.

    And if you’re the “good one” because you have Jesus and you’ve “done everything right” and everyone you know tells you that liberals are the “evil ones” who will stop at nothing, then of course you are going to assume that liberals are like you but worse and so you get a lot of obsession about really subtle variations on the thug tactics you employ, because you’re good and they’re bad.

  36. 36
    demz taters says:

    More useful pie charts

  37. 37
    tkogrumpy says:

    “They want all the money period”. I’ve been screaming this for 30 years.

  38. 38
    Joel says:

    @MagicPanda: The “liberal media” meme is just coded bullying. And it’s very effective, since members of the media are almost by definition extremely vain and therefore sensitive to these kinds of things.

  39. 39
    danimal says:

    I’m very concerned that, without Citizens United, the GOP would be at a major disadvantage. I mean, with Osama Bin Laden killed and the economy starting to recover, the GOP will have limited ability to run a campaign on the issues. The GOP will need to run a campaign based on smearing Obama, and that takes money. Hence, Citizens United money is needed to protect the two-party system of American Democracy.

    /MSM pundit

  40. 40
    tkogrumpy says:

    @joeyess: You can call me mickey mouse from now on.

  41. 41
    Rihilism says:

    @rikyrah: Maddow has been framing it this way since the first protests in Wisconsin. I think it’s quite clear that this is a deliberate political strategy. I assumed it was common knowledge though I’ve always been curious as to why it’s not discussed more frequently.

    I recall a Colbert episode a while back, before Walker got started, where Colbert interviewed Christine Todd Whitman and she stated that public sector union pensions were destroying state budgets. Considering what she did to the pension plan in NJ (i.e., not paying into it for ten years and using the money for tax breaks), I was rather shocked at her nerve but let it pass as typical conservative garbage. In retrospect, I wonder if she inadvertently or even intentionally let the cat out of the bag…

  42. 42

    […] Balloon Juice » Two Pictures Say It All Everything you need to know about why the right-wing is going after unions can be learned by simply viewing two of the slides from this study by the Center for Responsive Politics…It’s not about saving money. It’s not about giving those who govern more control over feisty unions. It’s not about free markets or any of that other bullshit. It’s about destroying the opposition, drying up liberal funding, so that they can give more tax cuts to the Koch brothers. […]

  43. 43
    Chris says:

    It’s not about saving money. It’s not about giving those who govern more control over feisty unions. It’s not about free markets or any of that other bullshit. It’s about destroying the opposition, drying up liberal funding, so that they can give more tax cuts to the Koch brothers.

    But of course.

    As important as it is to look at demographic trends and public opinion and all that, people often seem to overlook the cold brutal fact of Who’s Got The Money to finance political parties.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the liberal consensus happened after the New Deal had taxed away much of the rich people’s tax base, or that the post-Reagan consensus followd up on him giving a green light to union busting.

  44. 44
    Chris says:

    @MagicPanda:

    For example, the GOP is just better at sending a coordinated message out through the media. That is just a fact. It’s indisputable.
    ….
    And yet the GOP will say that the Democrats control all the media and that it’s all the embattled GOP can do to get their message out past the nefarious liberal media conspiracy.
    ….
    I mean… How can anyone possibly think that the liberals are better at getting their message out through the media than conservatives?

    It’s the same logic that led people to believe in all sincerity that the Jews controlled society, even though the Jews were one of the most oppressed people in human history.

    If you ever figure out how it works, you let me know. But it’s a pretty consistent theme on the far right to accuse those with no power of secretly controlling us all.

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  1. […] Balloon Juice » Two Pictures Say It All Everything you need to know about why the right-wing is going after unions can be learned by simply viewing two of the slides from this study by the Center for Responsive Politics…It’s not about saving money. It’s not about giving those who govern more control over feisty unions. It’s not about free markets or any of that other bullshit. It’s about destroying the opposition, drying up liberal funding, so that they can give more tax cuts to the Koch brothers. […]

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