What’s so funny about polarization and division?

I’ve read about a million things the past few days about how it’s so sad that the Komen dust-up means that nowadays liberals will give to one charity and conservatives to another. Can’t everyone on both sides agree that breast cancer is bad and get together to fight it blah blah blah?

Fuck that. Don’t get me wrong, I think all the pink ribbon branding (as noxious as it may be) stuff probably did increase awareness and get more women to come in and get screened. I give Komen credit for that.

However, there are real differences of opinion between conservatives and liberals on health policy. Liberals generally believe in having universal health care (that allows everyone to get screened for breast cancer free of charge, for example) and high government spending on basic research. Conservatives believe in restricting access to health care to those who can pay (plus emergency visits) and in slashing government spending on research. Their idea (I’m not trying to caricature here) is that charities, pharma, and other private groups will do the research and health care providing that liberals believe the government should do.

Of course, plenty of liberals give to charities like Komen and many conservatives don’t want government spending on basic research to be slashed that much. But what I described above, in the main, should be a fairly accurate description of the differences of opinion here. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg: liberals believe in reproductive rights, conservatives don’t (to varying degrees, I suspect that most conservatives do support access to contraception, but judging from some recent arguments, not all do).

Sometimes people on different sides of these arguments advocate violence. Ross Douthat wrote that liberals should expect conservatives to continue to murder doctors as long as the liberals advocated for reproductive rights.

There’s lots of other examples. Many, maybe most, liberals have supported protests against the Iraq War and against income inequality; many, maybe most, maybe not, conservatives have fantasized about tasering these protesters and beating them with 2x4s.

You might note that the examples of violence advocacy I mentioned do not involve anonymous commenters in obscure blogs, they involve contributors to CNN, the New York Times, and the Atlantic. I’m not criticizing their advocacy of violence, just pointing out that it’s there.

In light of all of this, I just don’t see why it’s sad that liberals and conservatives give to different charities, listen to different music, patronize different restaurants, etc. The two groups don’t agree on much and don’t like each other. That’s life. If people disagree with me about everything and dream of tasing/beating/shooting me, then why would they and I want to be part of the same organizations?

129 replies
  1. 1
    JPL says:

    From what I can tell this was a bipartisan battle. Low income people need health care and breast exams is only one part of the issue. Many folks had their eyes opened to the good planned parenthood does.

    also,too…I did have a neighbor mention that pp should change their name though. so

  2. 2
    schrodinger's cat says:

    The ghost of David Broder has a sad.

  3. 3
    beltane says:

    Ideally, conservatives would be quarantined in their own separate territory where they can starve, beat, and rape each other to their hearts’ content, and where they can freely rely upon prayer to heal the subsequent injuries.

    Then we could ignore their existence entirely.

  4. 4
    beltane says:

    Conservatives are also not terribly fond of science, so the only type of research they can fully support is the type of research that confirms their prejudices. They are the people who miss the days when a disease like the bubonic plague could be blamed on religious minorities poisoning wells rather than on flea-borne pathogens.

  5. 5
    j says:

    Liberals, independents and conservatives used to give to SGK, but not any more.

    Since they voluntarily ripped off their pink mask and exposed themselves as nothing more than another politically active right wing front group for the worst far right factions of the GOP they have screwed the pooch.

    SGK needs to have its tax exemption pulled, and then run out of business.

  6. 6
    JPL says:

    @beltane: and wait and wait and wait and wait for all those good private donations to provide a safety net. Who needs the guvmint

  7. 7
    smintheus says:

    I’m not criticizing their advocacy of violence, just pointing out that it’s there.

    This should be one of the revolving site epigrams, or whatever they’re called.

  8. 8
    c u n d gulag says:

    And the sad thing is, that with Liberals like me, we can’t even dream of tasing/beating/shooting – THEM!!!

    Conservatives are all about “Forced Labor,” both on women’s and workers rights.

    We, are about everyone getting rights, access, and a voice.

    Let the political ‘free market’ decide!

    We know, that all things being equal (HA!), that we will win. And that’s why they have to cheat women and minorities.

    We’re about EVERY SINGLE PERSON having a say, and not just the ones who are born rich, or use the rest of society to get, and stay rich – for generations.

    An American Aristocracy is something the Founding Fathers, SOOOOOooooooooo revered by the right, DIDN’T want!

    PSsssssst: Just don’t tell that to the Bush’s.

  9. 9
    WyldPirate says:

    “Lots” is a relative term when it comes to reproductive rights.

    The Repukes couldn’t ram through a pretty stringent anti-choice referendum in Mississippi not long ago. That tells me that the “lots” who are anti-choice are a subset of the wingnuttiest 27% who happen to make shitload of noise and are subject to a lot of pandering by the more moderate Repukes.

  10. 10
    Roger Moore says:

    There’s another important point: the kind of health care that should be provided. Liberals think patients should be able to choose their own care based on their own judgment about their health situation. Conservatives think it’s fine for busybody employers and religious healthcare providers to refuse patients’ requests for legal care because of their personal moral convictions. That seems like a drastic difference in outlook.

  11. 11
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Ross Douthat wrote that liberals should expect conservatives to continue to murder doctors as long as the liberals advocated for reproductive rights.

    You know, when confronted with guys like Douchehat, Voltaire’s maxim on freedom of speech becomes quite strained.

  12. 12
    scav says:

    Besides, so long as the same total amount of cash and “awareness” is raised, who the fuck cares if it comes under the superficially unified BRAND of SGK? Fuck that wallpaper.

  13. 13
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    I don’t know if this is really related to the discussion here, but something else I’ve been reading all over the internet is a variation of, “Well, it’s just fine if liberals don’t want to give to SGK, ’cause everybody knows it’s conservatives who really give to charity.” FWIW, my husband and I are retired (non-religious) teachers, and we gave literally thousands last year. These people make me want to puke.

  14. 14
    gene108 says:

    patronize different restaurants

    Liberals and conservatives already patronize different restaurants.

    Go to an ethnic restaurant – Indian, Thai, Korean, etc. – and I bet most of the non-natives in their will be more liberal than conservative. I don’t count Chinese and Italian because they are ubiquitous in many parts of the country and transcend our political divide.

    I’ve met very few conservatives, who go out of their way to try food they haven’t been raised eating every day.

  15. 15
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    An American Aristocracy is something the Founding Fathers, SOOOOOooooooooo revered by the right, DIDN’T want!

    Jefferson considered getting an estate tax on the books among his greatest accomplishments for precisely this reason.

  16. 16
    efgoldman says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    An American Aristocracy is something the Founding Fathers, SOOOOOooooooooo revered by the right, DIDN’T want!

    Wait! You mean the founders weren’t Yankee fans? [/inside baseball]

  17. 17

    I’m not criticizing their advocacy of violence, just pointing out that it’s there.

    I’ll do both, thank you very much. I’ll also point out that the howls of outrage would be heard by Putin if a liberal author were ever to make similar statements about those with whom there is disagreement. Hell the ashes of Hunter S. Thompson could hear them, wherever in the galaxy they ended up.

    Both sides do not do it (openly advocate/approve violence in the MSM).

  18. 18
    scav says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton: Then explain the wailing and gnashing of teeth and very public u-turns over the loss of so little cash? Nah, don’t bother. Not worth the wasted effort, they only hear the applause echoing in their own heads.

  19. 19
    Steve says:

    @j: Can anyone make the case for why SGK should have its tax exemption pulled? That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

  20. 20
    Loneoak says:

    @gene108:

    I’ve met very few conservatives, who go out of their way to try food they haven’t been raised eating every day.

    I’m sure wealthy conservative enclaves are different. For the most part, I think you just mean “white people.”

  21. 21
    Baud says:

    The anti-polarization attitude stems from the legitimate view that, as one nation, there should be areas of life that bind us instead of divide us.

    The problem is that many of the people who lament polarization can’t bring themselves to lay blame on conservatives for divisiveness. So when liberals fight back against conservative divisiveness, in these people’s minds the liberals are part of the problem.

  22. 22
    Loneoak says:

    @Steve:

    Can anyone make the case for why SGK should have its tax exemption pulled? That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

    I definitely agree with you. For fuck’s sake the Heritage Foundation is a 501(c)(3).

    Also too, it might be my godless Foucauldian upbringing, but I’d have to say it is inevitable that every entity is political. Kommen was political before this, they will be political after it.

  23. 23
    Woodrowfan says:

    Liberals march to protest an unnecessary war. Republicans march to protest poor people getting health care. It really is that simple.

  24. 24
    DougJarvus Green-Ellis says:

    @gene108:

    So, in Rochester, there’s a big city versus suburb divide. It’s supposed to be Real Murkins (Republicans) in the suburbs and strapping young bucks/hipsters/teh gay (Democrats) in the city. And that’s not even that inaccurate.

    But I am stunned by how often I run into Republican party operatives when I go out in the city, and by how much they gush about how awesome the city is. Even though they campaign against the city being SYB/hipsters/gay in campaigns. So I never know how different the restaurants we patronize are in reality.

  25. 25
    Bullsmith says:

    Wedge politics aren’t just about getting 50+1% of the vote, they’re about creating differences between the parties on issues where voters really disagree, i.e. abortion, while completely fucking over the voters on issues where vast majorities of both parties agree (i.e. jobs, progressive taxation, punishment for crimes, etc.)

    The current oligarchs treat the voting public the way Colonial Empires treated their native populations- divide them along cultural, regional and/or ethnic lines and rob them blind. If you know how someone feels about abortion, you know how they vote. The feds to jack shit all about abortion, basically, but it’s in the interests of the carpetbagging ultra-wealthy to keep the wedges in place, lest the masses realize how rigged the game is.

  26. 26
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @gene108: I think that is being too reductionist, like the MSM. Also in my opinion it is more class issue than a partisan issue.

    Country club Republicans that I know are quite cosmopolitan and well-traveled.

  27. 27
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @Woodrowfan: Gonna be stealing that one.

  28. 28
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @Baud: Beautifully stated.

  29. 29
    pluege says:

    I’m not criticizing their advocacy of violence

    why wouldn’t you?
    What an odd thing to feel compelled to say.

  30. 30
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @DougJarvus Green-Ellis: I see that you have already made the point, that I was trying to make.

  31. 31
    maus says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton: Yeah, counting TITHES. Let the SGK deal with the tightwad pro-lifers. Let’s see how well they fund.

  32. 32
    jacy says:

    Talking politics with my 11-year-old (who is lucky/unlucky enough to have a parent in each camp, Dem and Republican) I explained some of the differences in as non-partisan a way as I was able and finally said it came down to: The worst thing you can say about Democrats is they care too much about other people. The worst you can say about Republicans is they care too little about other people. You decide at the end of the day which one of those categories you want to be lumped in with.

  33. 33
    maus says:

    And seriously, Komen lobbied against womens’ health. It was a right-wing org from the beginning, not even concerning PP.

  34. 34
    DougJarvus Green-Ellis says:

    @DougJarvus Green-Ellis:

    I might add though that none of these people is necessarily a conservative. They’re mostly Bloomberg types.

  35. 35
    cathyx says:

    @jacy: That’s an interesting topic, what to say to your kids about this sort of thing. I make no bones about what I think about republicans and don’t hesitate to point out their hypocrisies to my daughter.

  36. 36
    gene108 says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Some of it probably is class based, because eating out is expensive.

    In my anecdotal experience, people interested in new foods / eating establishments tend to be more liberal.

    Your experiences maybe different.

  37. 37
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @DougJarvus Green-Ellis: And I want to give Bloomberg full props for his $250K to PP. That made me look at him again.

  38. 38
    BarbCat says:

    It was ever thus, wasn’t it? The Civil War never ended. I’d never drive my vehicle from the left side of the left coast into the US of Arizona without my bumperstickers shrouded, especially today.

  39. 39
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @cathyx: I think what makes this dicey is that jacey’s spouse is Repub – and that’s a very difficult needle to thread. Reminds me of how careful I had to be discussing politics in the classroom. You have to answer the kids’ questions, but you have to leave room for them to arrive at their own conclusions.

  40. 40
    smintheus says:

    @Steve: Because they’re something close to a scam. A huge part of their budget goes to executive salaries, fundraising, and “education” (i.e. self-promotion and more fundraising). The whole cancer fundraising industry is riddled with scammers feeding themselves rather than cancer research/treatment, and Komen has one of the hugest appetites.

  41. 41
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @DougJarvus Green-Ellis: The people I am talking about, they are not necessarily socially conservative, are mostly pro-choice but vote Republican, and are well off.

  42. 42
    jacy says:

    @cathyx:

    I have a tightrope: I’m an athiestic liberal and my S/O is a devout Catholic conservative (although he’s is not even 100th as politically active as I am) So I can’t go around saying, “Your dad’s an idiot,” all day. Even though there are days I’m sorely tempted. :)

    The three oldest (all of voting age) are all very liberal Democrats, so I figure my example must be working. :)

  43. 43

    oh, i think the division already existed and organizations as big as komen was, and any other group already knew it.

    it just used to be a lot easier than it is now to say one thing to one audience and another thing to the other. what has evolved, from the lie that we were all in it together, to the big sort, to now is that both sides are watching each other and everyone in between, looking for signs of who really is on who’s side.

    the cold war has come home, and we are a bi-polar nation divided by super power red, and super power blue. it has even evolved to where anyone not familiar enough, or not obviously one or the other, is suspect. and many are looking inside their own groups for 5th columns and spies, and demanding purity.

    its a culturally created paranoia expressed on our politics. we follow politics so we see the tail before the dog.

  44. 44
    JPL says:

    @jacy: When my younger son was in second grade he was a reaganite. I just let it be but it won’t surprise you that he grew up a pretty devout liberal.
    At the time we lived in Dallas and moved to GA when he was entering 4th grade. So it was not necessarily the location.

  45. 45
    Cassidy says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton: Conservatives don’t give more to charity. They give more to their church and it’s listed as “charity”.

  46. 46
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton:

    Though that’s probably like you or me giving $25.00 $2.50 to Planned Parenthood. But kudos to him for even bothering. And $250K is $250K.

  47. 47
    Roger Moore says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton:

    I don’t know if this is really related to the discussion here, but something else I’ve been reading all over the internet is a variation of, “Well, it’s just fine if liberals don’t want to give to SGK, ‘cause everybody knows it’s conservatives who really give to charity.”

    This is one of those half-truths that come out a lot. If you base your judgment about charitable giving on tax returns, that appears to be true. But that counts donations to one’s church as charity. Yes, some of that money may go to helping out the less fortunate, but a lot of it goes to paying the church’s operating budget. If you restrict charity to stuff that genuinely helps those who need it, it’s not at all clear that conservatives are more generous.

  48. 48
    cathyx says:

    @jacy: Yes, I see you have to tread lightly. I don’t have that problem.

  49. 49
    gnomedad says:

    @jacy:

    I have a tightrope: I’m an athiestic liberal and my S/O is a devout Catholic conservative

    How does that work at all? I’m not being critical and I’m for people getting along as much as possible, but I just don’t understand.

  50. 50

    I lived for a while in a little village in Campania, 800, maybe a thousand souls. They had three cafés — one PCI, one Christian Democrat, and one for the soccer fans. I didn’t find it particularly tragic….

    I’m not sure people aren’t that way everywhere.

  51. 51
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @Cassidy: Exactly. Hence the word “non-relgious” in my post.

  52. 52
    Mike G says:

    @beltane:

    Conservatives are also not terribly fond of science, so the only type of research they can fully support is the type of research that confirms their prejudices.

    “Science” that proves that witches cause disease, vaccinations cause mental retardation (I guess they have to scramble for any excuse to explain away the prevalence of it in their ranks) and that Jesus rode a dinosaur into Jerusalem.

  53. 53
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I think this whole SGK episode shows that we have far more allies in the general population than the wingnuttia does but unfortunately wingnuttia has better marketing. So unless there is an issue that people can personally relate to, like this whole SGK debacle. Wingnuttia wins with its allies in Republican Party and the media.

  54. 54
    beltane says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Yes, but I bet that the people at the Christian Democrat cafe didn’t make it a point to eat deep-fried lard on a stick in a pathetic attempt to piss off the people at the PCI cafe.

  55. 55
    Steve says:

    @Roger Moore: If conservatives are the only ones who give to charity, I’m forced to conclude that Planned Parenthood gets its $250 million in annual donations from conservatives.

  56. 56
    Brachiator says:

    Liberals generally believe in having universal health care (that allows everyone to get screened for breast cancer free of charge, for example) and high government spending on basic research.

    That’s odd. I’m pretty liberal, and I don’t reflexively believe this. I am for government funding of basic reasearch, but “high government spending” is a nonsense term. I do not believe that the federal government need be the main generator of research, nor do I believe in an open wallet.

    I believe that medical science should guide recommendations for breast cancer screenings. Free for everyone is, again, a meaningless sentiment.

    I’ve read about a million things the past few days about how it’s so sad that the Komen dust-up means that nowadays liberals will give to one charity and conservatives to another. Can’t everyone on both sides agree that breast cancer is bad and get together to fight it blah blah blah?

    This is idiotic, especially the crap coming from the Komen side.

    I don’t believe that you carve women up, and decide it is OK to treat part of their bodies, but not another. Fools. But even the Komen people appear to have realized the idiotic consequences of holding to their previous stance.

  57. 57
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @Roger Moore: Yup. Your observation makes me think of my dad, who was a devout Catholic (who believed in social justice). He gave what he could to his small town church, but he also gave so generously to local families who were struggling, by way of donating clothing and shoes from our little department store at the beginning of the school year, or for weddings, graduations, etc. He was such a terrific role model.

  58. 58
    smintheus says:

    @Davis X. Machina: And the kapheneion schisms in Greece are pretty large as well.

  59. 59
    Keith G says:

    I wonder. Are “Pink Ribbon” type awareness efforts as necessary in societies with universal health care? In such places, being encouraged and able to see a doctor (or such) once a year would seem to make screening awareness drives a moot point.

    The fund raising for extra research support would still be a valid need, of course.

  60. 60
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I do not believe that the federal government need be the main generator of research,

    Research in basic sciences is not going to happen without government involvement. Good luck getting grants for something that has no practical applications, now or in the near future from industry. Without initial government funding we would not have many discoveries and inventions that we take for granted. For example, the internet.

  61. 61
    efgoldman says:

    @Brachiator:

    Fools. But even the Komen people appear to have realized the idiotic consequences of holding to their previous stance.

    Or at least, doing something so obviously stupid, so obviously publicly.
    I think the latter more than the former. Don’t get caught.

  62. 62
    JPL says:

    The one thing I learned from the Komen dust-up is that politics and women’s health don’t mix. There are trolls on every papers comment section but the comments in the AJC which is not a bastion of liberals pretty much ran against SGK.

  63. 63
    Kyle says:

    @gene108:

    I’ve met very few conservatives, who go out of their way to try food they haven’t been raised eating every day.

    I’ve seen this in a bicycling group I used to be a part of. It began as a group of co-workers then extended to friends, relatives, etc.
    After a biking trip it was agreed to have dinner at a French restaurant. Two of the group who were overtly politically conservative were quite alarmed about this and lobbied to change it to an Italian place; most of the group reaffirmed that they wanted to try the French. So the conservatives made a transparently phony excuse to ditch the group early and go home. It felt like a slight to everyone, and sad for them to be that fearful and closed-minded about trying new things as part of a social group.

  64. 64
    Cassidy says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton: So am I. I didn’t think you were advocating that position; just commenting on it. It’ sone of those lies I have to routinely correct people on, second only to the definition of Soc1al1sm and President Obama’s accomplishments.

  65. 65
    Cassidy says:

    Argh, FYWP and d1ck pill makers!

  66. 66
    Mike G says:

    @beltane:

    I bet that the people at the Christian Democrat cafe didn’t make it a point to eat deep-fried lard on a stick in a pathetic attempt to piss off the people at the PCI cafe.

    This brings up a dilemma if universal healthcare ever passes in this country — spiteful health-self-destruction by rightards who will eat deep fried Twinkies 24/7 just to run up medical costs for everyone in an attempt to wreck the system.

    When teatards denounce single payer as “unMurkan”, “Marxist” and “anti-Christian”, I think there are plenty of idiots who are just that hateful and stupid to find this kind of action “patriotic”.

  67. 67
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @Keith G: What a good question. (But I would say that, since it’s one I’ve asked as well.) Of course, finding the answer would require serious research. Well, OK … but maybe tomorrow.

  68. 68
    j says:

    @Steve: HERE IS PART OF IT:

    The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization’s net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction.

    Section 501(c)(3) organizations are restricted in how much political and legislative (lobbying) activities they may conduct. For a detailed discussion, see Political and Lobbying Activities. For more information about lobbying activities by charities, see the article Lobbying Issues; for more information about political activities of charities, see the FY-2002 CPE topic Election Year Issues.

    Additional Information:

    http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=96099,00.html

    Non-profits are NOT allowed to be political or partisan. SGK is both. And they are run by right wingers in order to push a political ideology under the guise of “helping” women.

    That outfit needs a complete IRS audit to find out why the CEO makes over a half million a year (for a non-profit organization) and just what their budget line “Education” entails.

    They may try to get around this because they started and fund a 501(c)(4) entity recently which is allowed to lobby, but since their original claim against PP was that THEIR cash was also “fungible” (meaning it can be moved around) what’s the dif?

    AUDIT THEM AND PULL THE TAX EXEMPTION!

  69. 69
    efgoldman says:

    @Kyle:

    After a biking trip it was agreed to have dinner at a French restaurant. Two of the group who were overtly politically conservative were quite alarmed about this…

    Probably afraid that some Julia Child follower from Cambridge was going to secretly inject butter and goose fat directly into their arteries.
    Freedom fries, also too.

  70. 70
    maus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    wingnuttia has better marketing

    Of course they do.

    Brinker has on her Komen bio that she

    pioneered cause-related marketing

    That’s all they do.

  71. 71
    gnomedad says:

    As a “get along” kind of guy (mostly), I’m biased toward framing the divide as a disagreement about the likely outcomes of various policy choices. As a liberal (mostly), I don’t believe in “more” government, but simply in government doing the things it ought to do and the things it does better. I’m also willing, to some extent, to rein in the power of government to do even desirable things because of the risks of its monopoly power. But I also reckon that most “conservatives” nowadays go far beyond a precautionary principle to opposition to the use of government power as such even if it results in worse social outcomes (though they typically assert the opposite, at least by their understanding of “worse”). There may be those on the left who favor more government power in general, but I think their influence is minimal. Finally, one can view it (accurately, I rather think) as plutocrats using ideology as bait to enlist “useful idiots” who would otherwise be their enemies in tribal warfare.

  72. 72
    Silver says:

    @Kyle:

    What kind of goddamn moron won’t eat at a French restaurant for political reasons?

    Jesus Fucking Christ, I have a low opinion of Americans already. I can’t believe there’s room for it to go lower, but here we are.

  73. 73
    Jenn says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I also wonder if there’s a difference between the 2 groups about whether to take the tax deductions, given the 2 radically different attitudes toward taxes. If it’s not claimed, it’s not counted in those analyses. At any rate, I’m one of those liberals who would appear to have a pretty crappy contribution rate, and it’s not because I don’t donate to charity.

  74. 74
    J.W. Hamner says:

    Maybe it’s because I dated a Women’s Studies major in my formative years, but I’ve always thought of Planned Parenthood as an example of Everything that is Good and Right in the World. However, I had never given them money. That has changed, and this controversy has really galvanized my support of them. I suspect this it true of many more people than me.

    I admit I paid only passing attention to the GOP witch hunt against Planned Parenthood… but now I am totally fired up to defend it against all comers. Ready to be the horns.

    So yeah, polarization works for me.

  75. 75
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    I really haven’t bothered reading much about what the wingers have had to say about the Komen decisions other than what was said at Redstate. What I found interesting is that comparing the large number of responses, many very heated, to some controversial primary candidate threads there with the SGK decision responses, which were comparatively few, was like comparing night and day.

    In the thread where SGK’s decision to cut off PP was announced with glee, about twenty responses were posted. In the thread where they announced SGK’s ‘retreat’ they got three times that. Yup, sixty responses. In all, well less than one hundred responses total. This at a place where heated threads about controversial subjects can hit 300 to 400 posts or more.

    I’m wondering if there wasn’t as much of a groundswell of support on the right for SGK’s decision against PP as SGK thought there would be. While the commentary by the big mouths on the right is to be expected, I wonder if the conservative response to all of their blathering about it wasn’t having the desired effect. Combine that with the pressure from angry sponsors with pink ribbon targets on their products and you have one very unhappy ‘charity’ that is going to scramble to save their asses at any cost.

    One interesting thing at Redstate today is that EE has a post up about how the left is incorrectly blaming Ari Fleischer when it was a former Nancy Pelosi aide working for the Ogilvy PR firm they hired that was actually advising them.

    I thought I read that Ogilvy was hired after the SGK decision blew up on them. Is that right?

  76. 76
    Danny says:

    You got a point but switch liberals and conservatives for caucasians and african americans…

    But to the extent that conservatives refuse to moderate and continue lending their byline to morally bankrupt apologeties for political murder – fuck the little rats and lets bloody their noses every single time they come at us. Jesus when they behave, Abraham when they misbehave.

  77. 77
    Keith G says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I think this whole SGK episode shows that we have far more allies in the general population than the wingnuttia does but unfortunately wingnuttia has better marketing.

    I think that our side has have the better arguments for a whole host of issues for at least a decade, but we (as a political group) have not developed a way to press that advantage. Sometimes we act as if we are so battered that we just will not stand up and “put it out there” one more time.

    After the inauguration, even our party’s leadership seemed to step back a bit. While the will to win can be contagious, people need to be led to the point of that contagion.

  78. 78
    efgoldman says:

    @j:

    AUDIT THEM AND PULL THE TAX EXEMPTION!

    Careful what you wish for, Grasshopper. Tax audits were one of Nixon’s tactics against his Enemies List (yes, he had one, called exactly that).
    Yutsano, you out there? How often is this done in the real world?

  79. 79
    cathyx says:

    @Silver: I don’t think it was for political reasons. It was because the food tastes different. They use spices beyond salt and pepper.

  80. 80
    Mark B says:

    I think a lot of the right wing appearance of being prolific at donating to charity is because they are under a lot of pressure from their churches to donate to causes approved by them. Some of these charities are social advocacy groups which provide services which are not really all that charitable, like adoption homes for unwed mothers, which are simply baby mills. They get lots of feel good from the act, but the amount of do good is pretty negligible.

  81. 81
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brachiator:

    But even the Komen people appear to have realized the idiotic PR consequences of holding to talking about their previous stance.

    FTFY. There’s no real evidence that the Komen people have learned anything except that they need to be more subtle next time. They’re still trying to walk the tightrope by trying to convince liberals that they’re OK with funding Planned Parenthood and wingnuts that they’re going to cut them off. If they were really trying to undo the damage, they’d be firing the people who caused it.

  82. 82
    Mark B says:

    Oh never mind, my reply missed the point, so I deleted it.

  83. 83
    j says:

    @Loneoak: Steve Forbes sued them and filed a complaint with heh IRS:

    http://politicalcartel.org/201.....-advocacy/

    So, they did what SGK recently did in order to cover their asses; they started a 501(c)(4).

    http://voices.washingtonpost.c.....aunch.html.

    Too little, too late for SGK. And as I said, SGK’s complaint was that PP was getting around the Hyde Amendment because “funds are fungible”.

    So, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander in this case. SGK must PROVE that NO donations “for the cure” went into their political lobbying fund.

  84. 84
    Steve says:

    @j: I respect your passion, but from a legal perspective none of that makes any sense to me. What “partisan” activities have they engaged in?

  85. 85
    Hugely says:

    @Kyle
    sorry, those people are retarded. they probably went somewhere to eat freedom fries or some shit.

  86. 86
    hildebrand says:

    My 16 year old son casually stated at dinner the other night that if we actually took Jesus seriously all Christians would be liberals. (Made this liberal Lutheran rather happy.) Our 9 year old daughter heartily agreed and wondered when I would be making another donation to the Obama campaign. (Her favorite mug is the ‘Made in America’ mug. She wants another one so that we have a matching set.)

  87. 87
    Kyle says:

    @cathyx:

    This was about five years ago when the Iraq occupation was still big news. I’m not sure if they were pants-wetting over unfamiliar cuisine, or if it was a Fox News-“Freedom Fries” political spite issue.

    Either way, pretty sad and pathetic.

  88. 88
    Yutsano says:

    @efgoldman:

    Yutsano, you out there? How often is this done in the real world?

    It happens, but I doubt SGK is going to come under too much scrutiny of the division that governs non-profits. Simply denying a grant isn’t quite enough, although if some enterprising revenue agent did some further digging something might turn up. It’d take a fairly large amount of time and resources, and the service is strapped for cash thanks to Dubya’s tax cuts.

  89. 89
    Brachiator says:

    @efgoldman:

    Or at least, doing something so obviously stupid, so obviously publicly. I think the latter more than the former. Don’t get caught.

    How were they going to hide what they were doing?

    I think that many conservatives believe that the tide has turned, and that they have convinced the majority that their anti-abortion position should be favored.

    And as Doug and Mistermix have noted, conservatives felt that they could continue to hammer away at Planned Parenthood, since previous opposition to their efforts had been feeble and half hearted.

    And considering how the effort to take away women’s reproductive rights have swung to the states, while the ongoing battle over Roe v Wade continues at the federal level, anyone who things that conservatives are worried about getting caught simply is not paying attention.

    @Roger Moore:

    There’s no real evidence that the Komen people have learned anything except that they need to be more subtle next time.

    I don’t presumed that they have learned any lasting lessons. I take for granted that they have to be defeated, totally and utterly.

  90. 90
    MikeJ says:

    @Brachiator:

    How were they going to hide what they were doing?

    Just don’t issue a press release.

  91. 91
    jacy says:

    @gnomedad:

    I’m very politically active. Politics doesn’t matter much to him, although he votes. (He hasn’t voted in the last two presidential elections as a protest of his crappy party, but he votes in other matters). We agree on the things we agree on and don’t argue over the things where we’re not going to change each others’ minds. We mapped out how we were going to raise our kids before we had them (explain mom’s position and dad’s position, encourage the kids to make themselves fully informed before making up their own minds.) Compromise where we can – and have the occasional screaming match to get it out of our system when we can’t compromise. Don’t expect the other one to change (although he has become better informed and more liberal since meeting me)

    I guess we’re just hopeless romantics who decided the things that drew us together were more important than the things that would keep us apart. 16 years now, and we still hold hands wherever we go — so something worked.

  92. 92
    RSA says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton:

    I don’t know if this is really related to the discussion here, but something else I’ve been reading all over the internet is a variation of, “Well, it’s just fine if liberals don’t want to give to SGK, ‘cause everybody knows it’s conservatives who really give to charity.”

    If I remember correctly, conservatives on average do give something like 30% more to charity than do liberals. If you take out religious giving, though, things end up about even. But so what? Those are averages. If someone ever raises this particular issue, I think it would be fair game to point at studies showing correlations between conservative political views and racism. Or lower intelligence. If people want to generalize, there are lots of interesting generalizations to be made.

  93. 93
    Roger Moore says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton:
    It’s an inherent limitation of authoritarian religious charity. The religious organization wants you to trust them with all the money you give to charity so they can direct it where they think it should go. An unfortunately large amount winds up going to support the religious organization itself, rather than the poor people who really need it, and even the money that does go to help the needy does so according to somebody else’s idea of who the deserving needy are.

  94. 94
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @RSA: And then there’s my insanely fundamentalist sister-in-law, who, when I asked her if her religion asked her to give to the poor, sniffed and said, “Who cares? Christ said the poor you have always with you.”

  95. 95
    Mike G says:

    @RSA:

    If I remember correctly, conservatives on average do give something like 30% more to charity than do liberals.

    Only if you include as “charity” the charitably-worthless self-aggrandizement of building elaborate churches like the Crystal Cathedral (now bankrupt and sold to the Catholics — praise be to the noodly FSM for the humiliation of Orange County Repuke televangelist hubris).

  96. 96
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @Roger Moore: It’s an inherent limitation of authoritarian religious charity.

    See my comment about my insane sister-in-law. Who, by the way, is denying to the rest of the family she ever said any such thing, and everybody knows I’m an atheist anyway, so who are you gonna believe?

  97. 97
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton: Sorry about the f’d up block quote. On my third glass of wine now, so …

  98. 98
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    I think that many conservatives believe that the tide has turned, and that they have convinced the majority that their anti-abortion position should be favored.

    Ironically, I think what’s actually happened is that they’ve pushed their anti-abortion position as far as the majority is willing to go. If they can’t convince the voters of Mississippi that a fertilized egg is a “person,” it ain’t gonna pass anywhere else in the country, either.

  99. 99
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @jacy: That’s so, so sweet … really, I mean that. I have it easy, with a husband who pretty much agrees with me in most everything.

  100. 100
    RSA says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton:

    “Who cares? Christ said the poor you have always with you.”

    Wow. Some people are beyond help.

  101. 101
    phoebes-in-santa fe says:

    @Cassidy: You know, I wonder if Mitt Romney’s TITHING is listed as “Charity”? And what other charities he contributes to. Because if he claims “tithing” as charity, he’s contributing nothing to the care of others – other than work to vote down that gay marriage in CA and other acts of darkness.

  102. 102
    efgoldman says:

    @Brachiator: @MikeJ:

    Just don’t issue a press release.

    Exactly.

  103. 103
    Steve says:

    @MikeJ: Are you under the impression that it was Komen who put this controversy into public view, as opposed to Planned Parenthood screaming bloody murder? Komen hardly issued a press release saying “no more money for Planned Parenthood, ha ha.”

  104. 104
    Kyle says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton:

    when I asked her if her religion asked her to give to the poor, sniffed and said, “Who cares? Christ said the poor you have always with you.”

    Her retort brings to mind another Biblical phrase, “the jawbone of an ass.”

  105. 105
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brachiator:

    How were they going to hide what they were doing?

    If they only wanted to hide they were cutting PP off for political reasons, they could just refuse PP funding the next time their grant came up for renewal with some bullshit excuse. The end of the funding would still happen, but without all the fanfare. The problem is that isn’t their real goal. The amount of money involved is pretty small peanuts for both parties, so just cutting off funding isn’t that huge a deal. The real goal was to be able to prove their anti-choice bonafides to the wingnuts. How they were expecting to do that without the liberals finding out is the big question.

  106. 106
    General Stuck says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    When I lived in Ms in the 90’s, I think there was one clinic in Jackson that did abortions. And the anti abortion folks focused all their ire on that clinic. For a while, I heard they shut down, making it impossible to get an abortion out in the open in that state.

    It surprised me a little when they defeated the person/fertilized egg referendum. But the state is hard core anti Roe, from about all corners, to where that ruling didn’t mean that much anyways, and passing it would have put a spotlight on MS that was not needed to achieve their aims. Which for all practical purpose had already been achieved.

  107. 107
    efgoldman says:

    @Mike G:

    …the Crystal Cathedral (now bankrupt and sold to the Catholics—praise be to the noodly FSM for the humiliation of Orange County Repuke televangelist hubris).

    But the money bought a really magnificent organ.
    No, that’s not what I meant.
    http://www.crystalcathedral.org/visitors/organ.php

  108. 108
    GregB says:

    I think the charity stats get skewed by the whole church/tithing issue.

    I’m a secular humanist and therefore my home is my temple. Which means that home improvements should be listed under charitable donations.

  109. 109
    jacy says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton:

    I probably made it sound far easier than it is. There are moments… My best friend (who is pretty liberal) is married to someone who thinks just like her and she wonders why they argue more than we do. I told her we’ve honed our adversarial skills well enough that we never need to argue anymore, we just automatically give ourselves a mental timeout until we calm down.

  110. 110
    Mike G says:

    @efgoldman:

    I visited the Crystal Cathedral once years ago (my Mom wanted to visit). Architecturally very impressive, if you don’t think too much about the hypocrisy of it being a charity and the tenets of Christianity.

    The bookstore was beyond creepy — overly-happy, cult-like brains-drycleaned-by-Jeebus employees, and every single book was by Doctor Schuller – and they were very punctilious about always addressing him as ‘Doctor’, although as far as I can find his highest education was a Masters in Divinty (‘Doctor’ James Dobson of Fungus on the Family has the same conceit about his title, I’m guessing it’s a right-wing Christian grab-for-authority thing).

    Schuller is more a breezy, Joel Osteen-style self-help-Jeebus preacher rather then a hate-the-gays-and-Messicans fundamentalist John Hagee type, but still very conservative and Republican. His son who took over preaching is even more conservative. There have been various un-Christian family squabbles over control of the organization as it descended into bankruptcy.

  111. 111
    Commenting at Ballon Juice since 1937 says:

    If conservatives cared about women’s reproductive health but just don’t care for everything PP does, they would have started their own version of Planned Parenthood.

    They haven’t and that speaks for itself.

  112. 112
    Pongo says:

    Just a word about this ‘awareness’ shit. So the entire world is now ‘aware’ of breast cancer (and sadly equates it with SGK/pink crap). What has this done for actual patients? As other health bloggers have pointed out better than I can, the incidence of breast cancer is higher now than when Komen started and if you have metastatic breast cancer, your chances of surviving it today are no better than they were 50 years ago. The life expectancy for women with invasive breast cancer has improved by 0.05 years. Yippee! That’s what 18% of a colossal fortune (estimated at 1.9 billion) has purchased via Komen’s ‘awareness’ since they started in 1982.

    Contrast this with the work of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) who use 90% of donated funds for research. 50 years ago children with CF died in infancy or early childhood. Today the life expectancy is 37+. Research sponsored by the CFF led the way with gene identification back in the 80s and products developed through CFF research now help millions of people with respiratory diseases other than CF, as well. Since the CF gene was discovered in 1989, the CFF has been at the forefront of developing genetic and/or gene-active therapies, culminating in an announcement last week that the FDA approved the first-ever gene-active agent for treating specific forms of CF that essentially provides a near cure for some patients. Why so much progress for CF and so little for breast cancer? There are no doubt lots of reasons, but certainly one factor has to be that the CFF has always been laser-focused on research and did not get distracted by marketing hoopla or plastering pink (or blue for them) crap all over the place. They buckled down and worked hard and stayed true to their mission to cure CF and they are actually well on their way (side note–I do not work for or in any way derive any benefit from the CFF–just work in the field and see them as good, if not perfect, model of what a disease-specific nonprofit can accomplish).

    ‘Awareness’ is not a goal, it is strategy to achieve other goals. With the recent rise of so-called ‘venture philanthropy,’ ‘awareness’ is more and more becoming just a bullet point in a slick presentation designed to make donors feel good so they will direct their funds into corporate backed marketing outfits masquerading as nonprofits and away from the orgs actually doing good work. I’m sure smaller breast cancer orgs dedicated to research could give us earful about the damage Komen’s marketing strategy has done to their efforts.

    I think a better measurement of impact for a nonprofit is whether patients are actually faring better because of what they do. After all, isn’t this the goal, rather than to have everyone prove how ‘aware’ they are of a disease by the amount of pink shit they have in their home?

  113. 113
    mothra says:

    Well said.

  114. 114
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @Pongo: Wish there a way to recommend/like comments on here. I’d hit the button a hundred times for this.

  115. 115
    Another Steve says:

    It really is sad, frankly. I remember a time, not so very long ago at all, when you’d go to vote, and you’d get in line with all the other people and you’d have a pretty good idea of who was voting for who just looking at them. And yet there was a sense of camaraderie in that line, a sense that the real division, on that day, was between the ones who came out and did their minimal civic duty and the ones who sat around with their heads up their asses without even much idea of what an election was or who was running.

    You could chat about homely things with people you were sure were voting for the other guy, be it sports or TV shows or cars or what have you and generally just feel that common bond of civic virtue with a polite agreement that the one thing we wouldn’t be chatting about was politics because well, everyone here had their minds made up and after tonight, it would all be over anyway.

    And that sense of camaraderie started to fray during the Clinton years with talk radio and the endless series of books accusing Clinton of murder and drug dealing, flag burning, rape, arson and, hell, probably holding up liquor stores. and every other goddamn horrible thing you can think of. And then came Fox News. From that point on, there was no talking to them. You just smile faux politely, keep your mouth shut, cast your vote and GTHOOT.

    We all saw it. People in our own families with whom we used to be able to pass a pleasant afternoon who suddenly went around with this angry look in their eyes and a deranged rant just one prod away from breaking out.

    But hey, Roger got ’em all hooked on anger and their addiction helps keep Rupert’s newspaper hobby going, so who cares if we end up having a civil war?

  116. 116
    Steve says:

    @Roger Moore: Here’s the problem with the idea that they can just refuse PP’s grant applications in the future with some bullshit excuse – that’s what they already did! Planned Parenthood screamed bloody murder, 73% of America flipped out, and Komen was forced to backtrack.

    With all the attention this controversy has received, if they try to do the exact same thing 6 months from now (only with a brand-new bullshit excuse) I see no reason to think the exact same result won’t happen. People are pissed and they will remember.

  117. 117
    j says:

    @Mike G: The same self identified patriots who brag about running their cars in their driveways on Green Day.

    Just to piss off the liburals.

  118. 118
    Mnemosyne says:

    @j:

    You mean Earth Day? ‘Cause Green Day is these guys, who would probably put a bass through your windshield if you tried to run your car on them.

    ETA: Yes, I admit, it was all an excuse to post that video. I love the sullen, unsmiling dancers, who crack me up every single time I see the video. It helps if you actually took dance classes since they made you beam like an idiot at every moment.

  119. 119
    Polar Bear Squares says:

    Yeah. I hate to sound apocolyptic but I really get the feeling there’s going to be a civil war one day. They really can’t stand compromise or any type of capitulation. They’re even dicks when they win. Moreso when they lose.

    But then again, I get the feeling most of these guys are chumps. They wouldn’t enter any fight they didn’t think was rigged in their favor. Can you see Rush Limbaugh in any type of military exercise of any kind? Can you see an army of tea party patriots, respirators in hand, descending on Spanish Harlem to force people to read Thomas Paine? Nah. I doubt it.

    I don’t know. I’m not full of the vapors because most of my friends are like-minded. Those who aren’t just don’t enjoy being assholes. I think that’s the best I can offer right now as far as post-partisan interaction.

  120. 120
    Roger Moore says:

    @Steve:
    I was thinking more about what they could have done than what they can do now. If Komen had only been interested in cutting Planned Parenthood off, they could have stopped making grants and ginned up an excuse. Instead, they got into trouble by trying to PP off mid-grant, which required some real bullshit gymnastics.

  121. 121
    The Spy Who Loved Me says:

    Is that “sabbatical” you’re on due to some type of mental breakdown? Because these days, you’re writing some fucked up shit. Get a grip dude. No one wants to tase you or beat you with lumber. Frankly, no one knows who you are, so no one gives a shit.

  122. 122
    j says:

    @phoebes-in-santa fe: Yes. His inheritance from his father was turned over to the LDS so Mitt could write it off as a tax exemption. (The part that stayed in the USA.) That’s how he can get away with saying “I didn’t inherit any money”. Yes he did, but he never kept the US taxable portion of it. He USED it for tax purposes, though, which lowered his “taxable earned income” amount to comfy levels.

  123. 123
    j says:

    @Mnemosyne: Great tune, great band. I was talking about that day once a year when everybody is supposed to turn off all their electric geegaws for an hour in order to lower power plant emissions.

    I found it (thanks to the Google) It is called “Earth Hour”.

    http://earth911.com/news/2010/.....arth-hour/

    Pretty much every wingnut (led by Glen Beck) made a point that they were going to run their cars in idle on their driveways, or fire up a lawn mower and let it sit just to “screw the liberullz”.

    It was an anti Al Gore thing, because wingnuts need a villain.

    The upshot is that it only made them look like fools, and it cost them a few bucks in wasted gas.

  124. 124
    j says:

    @Mnemosyne: Speaking of sullen, unsmiling dancers.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcATvu5f9vE

    Yep, they do look like corpses.

  125. 125
    j says:

    @Polar Bear Squares: Rush went on the air for over a week slamming a high school debate team for something they said in a debate competition (having to do with WWII). It turned out that the kids were right, and Rush was wrong.

    So the HS kids challenged El Rushbo to an on air debate about American history, and specifically WWII, and the fat ignorant know nothing pussy chickened out. (And never mentioned that school again on air.)

    (Sorry, the only verbatim article I could find was at FreeRepublic, but their link to the local paper is broken, or something. It is from May 13, 2005.)

    http://www.freerepublic.com/fo.....2434/posts

    All blow and no show. That’s all these wingers have.

  126. 126
    Chris says:

    @Cassidy:

    Conservatives don’t give more to charity. They give more to their church and it’s listed as “charity”.

    This.

  127. 127
    Chris says:

    @Polar Bear Squares:

    Yeah. I hate to sound apocolyptic but I really get the feeling there’s going to be a civil war one day.

    Much as it feels that way sometimes, the single thing that dissuades me from believing that is how full of shit the average conservative is. Taibbi had these guys pegged when he described them as “a hall full of elderly white people in Medicare-paid scooters, railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment.” The notion of these entitled jackasses starting a revolution should be terrifying, but in context it mostly ends up just being pathetic in a hilarity-inducing kind of way.

  128. 128
    Pseudonym says:

    @Commenting at Ballon Juice since 1937: Sure they have. They’re called crisis pregnancy centers.

  129. 129
    maus says:

    @Steve:

    Komen hardly issued a press release saying “no more money for Planned Parenthood, ha ha.”

    Actually they fucking did.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....romTwitter

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