Blind Pigs/Acorns (2) Alan Simpson edition

Via TPM (again):

“For heaven’s sake, you have Grover Norquist wandering the earth in his white robes saying that if you raise taxes one penny, he’ll defeat you,” [Simpson] added. “He can’t murder you. He can’t burn your house. The only thing he can do to you, as an elected official, is defeat you for reelection. And if that means more to you than your country when we need patriots to come out in a situation when we’re in extremity, you shouldn’t even be in Congress.”

“If you want to be a purist, go somewhere on a mountaintop and praise the East or something. But if you want to be in politics, you learn to compromise. And you learn to compromise on the issue without compromising yourself. Show me a guy who won’t compromise and I’ll show you a guy with rock for brains.”

Simpson admits that such heresies mark him as a RINO — which is truly amazing considering his actual politics over decades.  But there we are.  We have one centrist political party, and one gang of rocks-for-brains political suicide bombers.  And there is a non-trivial chance that said feral sociopathic children may control both houses of Congress and the White House next January.

We have a ton of work to do ‘twixt now and then, folks.

Image:  Albert Bierstadt, Farallon Islands, before 1902.  (Me mum loved Bierstadt, as do I.)

73 replies
  1. 1
    Jerzy Russian says:

    I wish he would have said this when he was in office.

  2. 2
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    I wonder how much money Norquist and his ilk have spent in order to avoid paying more taxes.

  3. 3
    PeakVT says:

    @Jerzy Russian: I wish he wouldn’t say it now because it might give him some kind of centrist cred, which will help him push his still very right-wing fiscal policies.

  4. 4
    HelpThe99ers says:

    Chris Hayes noted that he’s going to have Mann and Ornstein on his show next weekend. They’ve also been on NPR discussing their work. Slowly but surely, the message is getting out. Simpson’s appearance on CNN, the GOP candidates who are refusing to sign Norquists’ pledge… we have to keep the pressure on.

  5. 5
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @Comrade Scrutinizer:

    I wonder how much money Norquist and his ilk have spent in order to avoid paying more taxes.

    It would not surprise me if they have spent more money trying to avoid the taxes, rather than paying the taxes themselves (after all, taxes are at historically low rates). Paying less without considering one’s actions seems to be a national sport, for example driving several miles out of one’s way to save a few pennies per gallon of gas.

  6. 6
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @PeakVT: Good point.

  7. 7
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jerzy Russian:

    He couldn’t say this while he was in office. Not if he wanted to retain it.

    He’s a craven coward, like most of them. He needs a tumbrel ride to his just desserts, stat.

  8. 8
    millekat says:

    Fuck Alan Simpson, Since he started on that “greedy geezers” schtik, his name should appear on a cat food brand.

  9. 9
    RosiesDad says:

    @Jerzy Russian:

    It would not surprise me if they have spent more money trying to avoid the taxes, rather than paying the taxes themselves

    It would be interesting indeed to compare what the Koch Brothers spend on trying to bend the political process to their will with what their additional tax liability would be if, say, the Bush tax cuts were allowed to expire. It would also be interesting to see what has happened to their income as the policies they seek to propagate were enacted. Did their annual income increase at a greater rate back in the boom 90’s than in the flat 2000’s.

    It wouldn’t matter though because these people live in a bubble and are completely immune to facts.

  10. 10
    Yutsano says:

    @RosiesDad: No no no. You see, the ultra wealthy are the job creators. They shouldn’t be paying any sort of taxes because they just create jobs from their very existence. In fact, the government should be paying THEM for the privilege.

    I wonder if anyone has explored how much gubmint money Koch Industries receives from the government teat.Of course that’s different because it is and SHUT UP THAT’S WHY!!

  11. 11
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Simpson isn’t a centrist at all, and I don’t think would purport to be. But he’s a throwback to a time when what was supposed to happen in Washington was that the liberal party would propose liberal solutions to major social problems, the conservative party would proposes conservative solutions, and they would bash each other over the head until they worked out something that incorporated a measure of both approaches. But today’s conservative party doesn’t even agitate for conservative solutions to social problems. All they want is tax cuts and deregulation, and they shoot down both conservative and liberal policy across the board. Simpson is a member of the Policy Party with a right-wing ideology. Someone like Mike Lee or James Inhofe isn’t in that party. They vote no on government.

  12. 12
    El Cid says:

    They want to destroy the ability of government to do anything other than help the super-rich grab everything they can and more, from anyone and anywhere, as quickly as they can.

    “The country” can go fuck itself. “The country” is a fucking obstacle, full of people who have some amount of money and resources that the super-rich wrongly don’t have yet — including things like Social Security funds and the like — and they have labor they’re still insisting to be paid for.

    “The country” is a fucking target.

  13. 13
    Percysowner says:

    @Jerzy Russian:

    I wonder how much money Norquist and his ilk have spent in order to avoid paying more taxes.

    It would not surprise me if they have spent more money trying to avoid the taxes, rather than paying the taxes themselves (after all, taxes are at historically low rates). Paying less without considering one’s actions seems to be a national sport, for example driving several miles out of one’s way to save a few pennies per gallon of gas.

    This may be one of the few cases where it really isn’t the money, it’s the principle of the thing. The principle being keeping intact the idea that the ultra-rich job creators don’t owe anything back to the country. Once that principle gets breached and people start seeing that increasing the taxes of the rich doesn’t tank the economy, there is a better chance that taxes for the rich will start being adjusted to make them pay to keep the country solvent or help the economy grow by giving the government the money to help the 99%.

  14. 14
    atlliberal says:

    @Comrade Scrutinizer: I’d be willing to bet he hasn’t spent one dime of his own money. Better to use other people’s money. He’s been making a pretty good living convincing people to give him money to keep from having to give it to the government.

  15. 15
    PurpleGirl says:

    They would spend their last dime to defeat taxes. It isn’t the amount of the taxes, it is their very existence that is abhorrent.

  16. 16
    Nickws says:

    “He can’t murder you. He can’t burn your house.”

    Doesn’t matter what ol’ Simpson/Bowles man says, as far as the majority of GOP elected officials are concerned an enraged ‘Quist actually will kill their kids, he’ll kill their wives, he’ll kill their parents and their parents’ friends. He’ll burn down the houses they live in and the stores they work in, he’ll kill people that owe them money.

    Either that or he’ll get them beat in the primary. Same difference to these hacks.

  17. 17
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @El Cid: But what’s so perverse about that it that it even negates the ability of the government to enact and uphold conservative policy. It’s like they’re so hardcore conservative they even deplore conservatism as too liberal, because it validates the idea that the government can Do Things.

  18. 18
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @PurpleGirl: It’s not just taxes. We’ve seen Republicans gnashing their teeth about the very concept of insurance and the very concept of credit — because both create the possibility that Their Money ends up in some stranger’s pocket. You shouldn’t borrow or lend money, you shouldn’t pool risk, you should just be entirely on your own in a personal one-man Galt Gulch.

  19. 19
    robertdsc-PowerBook says:

    one gang of rocks for brains political suicide bombers domestic terrorists.

    Fixed.

  20. 20
    Turgidson says:

    These assholes never say stuff like that until they’ve retired and have their govt pension and health care all lined up.

    I’m not a big Chuck Hagel fan, but at least he started criticizing the BushCo crime syndicate for Iraq while he was still in office and (I think) before he announced he wasn’t running again. The lockstep on Iraq was nearly as fearsome at the time as the anti-tax jihad was/is.

  21. 21
    jl says:

    @millekat:

    Will you settle for premium high quality natural hypoallergenic dog food?

    Simpson’s Premium Dog Food
    http://simpsonspremium.com/

    Probably unfair to dog food.

    Alan Simpson is such an offal combination of ignorance and arrogance, he is a dangerous old coot to bring into an argument for any purpose. No telling when he will start an endless deranged old coot style diatribe that is totally misinformed and random. He likes to filibuster too, from what I have seen on internet clips; never learned to leave that schtick in the Senate after he retired.

  22. 22
    rikyrah says:

    fuck Alan Simpson

  23. 23
    Roger Moore says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    Shorter: Today’s Republicans are nihilists, not conservatives.

  24. 24
    Davis X. Machina says:

    And there is a non-trivial chance that said feral sociopathic children may control both houses of Congress and the White House next January.

    You say that like it would be a bad thing. That just brings The Day closer.

  25. 25
    El Cid says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    it even negates the ability of the government to enact and uphold conservative policy

    Yeah, but mostly long term. Fuck the long term. We’ll worry about the long term when we get there. Right now, get every fucking dollar you can and destroy anything which even could get in our way in the future.

    We’ll be making money from somewhere, there will still be people on this planet who will buy whatever is left to sell at that point, so right now our priority is (a) getting everything we can as soon as possible before there’s any risk of someone stopping us, and (b) doing everything we can short and long term to make sure none of these broke do-gooder motherfuckers can ever get in our fucking way again.

    If some conservative’s too stupid to get his $billions$ now instead of hoping it will be available in the future, that’s his fucking problem for waiting.

  26. 26
    jl says:

    @El Cid: You should to into GOP consulting, and make some $, right now, while the getting is good.

  27. 27
    dmsilev says:

    There was an op-ed in the local rag this morning by some random person along similar lines, basically ” the GOP I supported for the umpteen years is no more and my ‘I like Ike’ button has a sad.”. I’m seriously tempted to write a letter to the editor saying ‘you’re absolutely right, now what are you going to do about it besides whining?’

    Too uncivil?

  28. 28
    Anoniminous says:

    Conservatives are easy to understand by remembering these three Rules:

    1. Conservatives don’t believe in the Public Sphere, thus they don’t believe in Public Policy.

    2. They do believe in Rule by the 1% and Bombing Brown People.

    3. Giving Public Monies to them personally doesn’t violate Rule #1.

  29. 29
    Bruce S says:

    It’s a pretty sad comment on the state of contemporary “conservatism” that a crazy old Social Security-hating coot – who brags he’s “got the best damn record on no taxes of any son-of-a-bitch in the Senate” – and a reactionary prig, whose reputation as an intellectual-on-TeeVee rests on his having memorized quotes from Churchill, get “relative props” for one-eyed man insights regarding the necessity of compromises in politics and the venality of Donald Trump. If this is the best from their brightest, “conservatism” is not worth a bucket of spit.

  30. 30
    Redshift says:

    @dmsilev: You could make it less uncivil and more likely to generate a productive response by limiting it to “So what are you going to do about it?”

  31. 31
    gene108 says:

    @Roger Moore:

    What does that say about our fellow Americans, who (a) keep voting them into office and (b) agree with them and view us as the problem?

    If the electorate’s opinions change, the politicians will have no choice but to follow.

    The great question is how to change the electorate’s views?

    It’s been done with regards to women voting, women working, integration and a range of issues, but I don’t know how to change it with regards to the current right-wing nihilism and why it appeals to voters so much.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    Redshift says:

    @Percysowner: It would surprise me if it cost them that much, actually. The thing that I often find shocking is not that a lot of congressmen are for sale, but that they’re for sale so cheap. I’d love to see regular reports showing the benefits of campaign contributions expressed as return on investment; I bet for a lot of these assholes it’s a higher ROI than their regular business.

  34. 34
    Narcissus says:

    @Jerzy Russian: That’d have been bad for his career.

  35. 35
    dmsilev says:

    @Redshift: I know. If I do actually write it (which will depend on how quickly the actual work I have to do today gets done), I’d be polite.

  36. 36
    JGabriel says:

    Alan Simpson:

    Show me a guy who won’t compromise and I’ll show you a guy with rock for brains.

    Added link to Richard Mourdock on compromise, ’cause anything about Republican compromise, bipartisanship, or rocks for brains, should have a mandatory/obligatory link to Richard Mourdock.

    .

  37. 37
    Redshift says:

    @gene108: I don’t think it actually has that much appeal; if it did, they wouldn’t work so hard during campaigns to avoid talking about the stuff they actually do once in office.

    Their decades-long scam has been to convince people that most of their tax money is wasted, so they can promise tax cuts while insisting they won’t cut anything that affects *you.* While taxes are fairly direct, the benefit of most government activity isn’t. We lose the argument about taxes if we let it be just about taxes. We need people with the guts to connect taxes and benefits rather than only talk about programs because they’re afraid to touch taxes. When cuts are being made because of “budget problems”, we need people to highlight that you’re suffering because they wanted to play Santa Claus when times were good instead of investing and saving for harder times.

  38. 38
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I understand the predominant viewpoint expressed in this thread but this could be the fissure that causes Alan Simpson to come to our side. No, he hasn’t made a complete break with the right yet, but when they come after him for these comments, it may very well happen. This is how Charles Johnson saw the light, of course.

  39. 39
    MikeJ says:

    @HelpThe99ers:

    Chris Hayes noted that he’s going to have Mann and Ornstein on his show next weekend. They’ve also been on NPR discussing their work. Slowly but surely, the message is getting out.

    Getting the message that Republicans are insane out on MSNBC and NPR.

    Wheee!

  40. 40
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @MikeJ:

    Wheee!

    Victory!-

  41. 41
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I just checked Townhall.com. Nothing about crazy Republicans there.

  42. 42
    Roger Moore says:

    @gene108:

    What does that say about our fellow Americans, who (a) keep voting them into office and (b) agree with them and view us as the problem?

    I think the essential point is that the Republican backers have convinced the base that it’s a question of us versus them. They have learned to see government as an implement of the dangerous other, especially when it’s under Democratic control. So they keep voting for Republicans who they see as representing them and who promise to rein in the out of control government programs that benefit the dangerous others. If we want to turn that around, we need to sell government as being about everyone, but I honestly don’t see how to do that short of letting the people who really see it that way die off.

  43. 43
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @gene108: Seneca Falls till women’s suffrage, 80 years, give or take. Integration, a hundred-plus years. Women working… women have always worked, just in the context of the family, in the age of agriculture. Apart from that, a hundred years.

    We probably don’t have a hundred years, not with a 12ºF rise in average temperature.

    Still, isn’t it cooler — you’ll pardon the pun — to rule in the ruins, than to live in comfort with someone else at the helm?

  44. 44
    pete says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I don’t think Simpson will ever “come to our side” but I do think that the Republicans might fissure into internecine warfare that would give us a chance to (a) win the next gddm election and (b), more importantly, begin the process of having a serious discussion about how to run this fking country. So in some tiny way I am leaning toward a little mild encouragement over this possible straw in the wind.

  45. 45
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    I would like to see Mr. Simpson show us some sacrifice, by having his congressional pension slashed by…oh maybe 90%. As well as any other pensions, though I doubt he never had a real job before his life of living on the public dole.

  46. 46

    Meanwhile, I read that 27 Republican candidates promoted by the NRCC have refused to sign Norquist’s anti-tax pledge. So I’m thinking Norquist’s era of terror might be waning…

  47. 47
    Ash Can says:

    Regardless of what anyone thinks of him, the remarkable thing about what Alan Simpson says here is that it indicates a realistic view of how representative government actually works, a view that is shocking in its absence among GOP politicians today. Think about it — someone who, regardless of his personal beliefs, recognizes and acknowledges how government functions and is willing to help make it function is now a rarity in the GOP. There is nothing “conservative” about the GOP today, and Simpson recognizes this.

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Simpson will never be in agreement on economic policy. He’s used to seeing government actually get something done, and knows how that happens, is all.

  48. 48
    gene108 says:

    @pete:

    Republican infighting seems to lead to nuttier candidates getting on the ballot, like Indiana or Utah.

    There isn’t much of a serious rift in the Republican political belief structure. The difference is whether you attempt to actually govern in a two-party system (i.e. compromise sometimes) or throw a fit, until you can rule with unilateral impunity.

    It’s not like the wedge issues in the Democratic Party between the Southern racists and the Civil Rights movement being championed by Democrats or the older “law and order” types and the anti-war movement finding home with liberal Democrats, in the 1960’s.

    The difference in this round of Republican infighting isn’t that much.

    The difference is, in practical terms, do you agree to raise the debt ceiling to avoid economic catastrophe, knowing the current angry mood of the electorate brought about by your obstructionism will help you more than it will hurt you.

    Or do you go for broke and vote against raising the debt ceiling, in the hopes the impending economic catastrophe will hurt the incumbent President so badly, you can ride the mob to victor in November for President, super majority control of the Senate and expand your House majority.

    That’s what’s at stake with regards to Republican infighting.

    The only way it can help Democrats is if a slate of “potential witches”, like O’Donnell, keep getting nominated, but I don’t see that as happening this time around.

  49. 49
    The Dangerman says:

    I saw on the GOS this morning that the Golden Gate turns 75 tomorrow; I wonder how much economic value that Government investment has made over the years. The Austerians are fucked in the head.

    ETA: Right now, I’m at 49; how apropos.

  50. 50
    gene108 says:

    @Southern Beale:

    So I’m thinking Norquist’s era of terror might be waning…

    Papa Bush lost the love of Republicans 20 years ago by agreeing to raise taxes.

    Raising taxes is hardwired into Republican voters as an act of true evil, unlike torturing prisoners of war.

    The only way for things to change is for Republicans to lose elections so badly, for such a long time, they realize they have no choice but to change.

    It’s not just Obama winning re-election in 2012 that matters, but a Democrat winning the Presidency in 2016 and even 2020, as well, to drive the point home to Republicans that they can’t win nationally the way they are going.

    Or a 1984 type drubbing of the Republican Presidential candidate this year, but I don’t see that as happening.

    Republicans are too entrenched in some states for a Democrat to run the table like Reagan did in 1984.

    There has to be a string of Democratic victories for the White House that forces the Republicans to concede their hard-right platform can’t work, if they want to field a national candidate.

    Given the problems on Party has in holding the White House beyond two terms, I think that’s a pipe dream that there really will be any change with Republicans.

  51. 51
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Jerzy Russian:

    It would not surprise me if they have spent more money trying to avoid the taxes, rather than paying the taxes themselves (after all, taxes are at historically low rates). Paying less without considering one’s actions seems to be a national sport, for example driving several miles out of one’s way to save a few pennies per gallon of gas.

    Reminds me of someone I once knew — okay, okay, it was my ex-husband– who invested far more time and energy in college working out elaborate schemes for cheating on tests than he would have in studying for them. Never made a lick of sense to me.

  52. 52

    We’re watching CSPAN, the derivatives market regulations & oversight hearings in the wake of the JP Morgan thing. The Republicans on the committee are taking the position that, “well, regulations aren’t going to work anyway, because these banks will just find a way around them so why bother!” This is the Republican default position. When you don’t believe government works then of COURSE you are going to approach every issue from the perspective that, “regulations don’t work anyway! So why bother!” Instead of, let’s understand that we live in an imperfect world and nothing is ever going to be failsafe but let’s try to mitigate the risk as much as possible

    But the worst was Pat Toomey who took the “regulations aren’t going to work anyway” approach a step further: let’s just make sure they have a ton more capital so that there’s a “cushion” so that taxpayers aren’t at risk! Oh riight give the big banks even MORE money, what could possibly go wrong!

  53. 53

    @gene108:

    Papa Bush lost the love of Republicans 20 years ago by agreeing to raise taxes.

    And yet, Reagan did the same thing and they want to nominate him for sainthood. I am convinced it’s not what you do but how you do it that matters. As long as you look like you’re punching a hippie or blowing racist dogwhistles, you can get away with anything in the conservative world.

  54. 54
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @jl:

    dog food
    offal

    Heh. I saw what you did there.

  55. 55

    @The Dangerman:

    The Austerians are fucked in the head.

    Paul Krugman on Bill Maher explained that all so well...

  56. 56

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    …invested far more time and energy in college working out elaborate schemes for cheating on tests than he would have in studying for them. Never made a lick of sense to me.

    Rugged individualism, independence and all that. They may have invested shit tons more time and energy in getting around the rules but by God they did it on their OWN terms and no one told them what to do! They did it their way!

    IOW, they’re big fat babies.

  57. 57
    Redshift says:

    @Southern Beale: Yeah, no point in having laws against murder, since they obviously haven’t stopped it…

  58. 58
    WereBear says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Reminds me of co-workers who would lurk in a smelly bathroom or hide in a filthy corner of a storeroom instead of actually working at their clean desk. They just love the feeling of “putting one over” on the ones who boss them around.

    From what I know of them, they were raised with iron discipline and literally do not feel free unless they have a readily visible authority figure to rebel against. That is how they define the feeling they long for; and are destined to never attain it.

  59. 59
    Roger Moore says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Reminds me of someone I once knew—okay, okay, it was my ex-husband—who invested far more time and energy in college working out elaborate schemes for cheating on tests than he would have in studying for them. Never made a lick of sense to me.

    I think it’s obvious. The reason people spend that much time cheating on their tests is because they don’t think studying is going to help. They believe they’re too stupid to understand the material no matter how hard they try, so figuring out an effective way of cheating is the only way they’re ever going to get there.

    The Norquist-type anti tax people know in their hearts that they aren’t job creators or even wealth creators. They know they’re just living on what others gave them, and they’ll mess up if they try to do anything with their money but hold onto it. That’s the thing that separates them from the Buffet and Gates types. Those guys made their own fortunes, they think they could do it again if they needed to, and they aren’t worried about a little thing like taxes getting in their way.

  60. 60

    @Redshift:

    LOL. Yes that is the conservative world view.

  61. 61
    Lawnguylander says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    That one guy can’t fucking believe that someone is asking him to think through what will happen after the system collapses. It’s almost like some people think that politics and policy in the US are real and not some comic book that we should suggest awesome new plot lines for. “I came up with the system collapse idea! It’s your turn now.” These differing viewpoints on the realness or not realness of the world being argued about probably account for about 90% of the arguments that take place on liberal blogs. Thing is “tommybones” is likely a guy who registers his outrage on comic book forums when a plotline he’s following contains inconsistencies.

  62. 62
    Roger Moore says:

    @WereBear:

    Reminds me of co-workers who would lurk in a smelly bathroom or hide in a filthy corner of a storeroom instead of actually working at their clean desk. They just love the feeling of “putting one over” on the ones who boss them around.

    Interesting, because one of my most important life experiences was learning how not to be one of those people. I remember hanging around with a group of people at work grousing about something that wasn’t getting done. I said something like, “Somebody ought to do something about this,” when I realized that “somebody” could be me. I could have fixed the problem in less time than I had just spent complaining about it, so that’s what I went and did.

    I won’t say that experience stopped me from complaining- there are still some things that I can’t do anything about- but it shifted me from being a complainer to being a fixer. I discovered that I liked solving problems more than I liked complaining about them. More important, I started to get official recognition as somebody who solved problems rather than just whining about them, which has proven to be a great path to promotions and career advancement.

  63. 63
    jl says:

    @The Dangerman: The Golden Gate Bridge is an example of old school public investment that is getting rarer, I think. The Depression caused problems with the sale of the GG transportation authority public bonds, so AP Gianinni and Bank of Italy, excuse me, America stepped in and bought up a slew of the intial bond offering (or maybe all of them). The story I heard was the Gianinni (bless his heart) decided to take a risk for the sake of building something great that would last for centuries.

    Today, the usual public private partnership would be a shell corporation to rake off a hugh profit on building some POS junk, which the public would have to fix up after the money guys folded up tent and skipped town (legally speaking).

    Edit: on other hand, at same time Bank of America was foreclosing on half the land east of SF in the Central Valley, and my family’s farm came within a day of that fate, saved by some last minute homesteading that my grandpappy found out he was eligible to take advantage of.

  64. 64
    WereBear says:

    @Roger Moore: I agree. I am shocked at the people who would rather complain.

    It comes down to taking responsiblity; and I continue to be amazed at the numbers of people who would rather be miserable, and have it not be their fault, than to do something to improve their state; and run the risk that it would not work.

  65. 65
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Redshift: Yup, that’s the key to the whole thing, absolutely: to create a feeling that your hard-earned tax money is being wasted on good-for-nothing strangers, so all that needs to happen is to cut them off, and then there’ll be justice and plenty for everyone who deserves them. That way any cuts that affect John Q. Republican are the fault of cowardly politicians who don’t have the nerve to crack down on the moochers and looters.

    You know that poll where people guess what percentage of the government’s money goes toward various areas, like foreign aid (which people always think is a big chunk of the budget)? We see those and think, see, people support liberal priorities after all: they want more money spent on health care, more on education, more on the poor, more on the environment, etc.

    But what they don’t poll is how much of the government’s money is squandered on people and projects that don’t deserve it. The people who respond to those polls don’t want to cut money spent on poverty; they want to cut the money _purportedly_ spent on poverty that goes straight into some scammer’s pocket.

    And IMHO that’s also the reason why the health care law polls badly even though the components poll well: the missing component that isn’t being polled is “free goodies for greedy layabouts.” Republicans think that’s the whole purpose of the bill, which is why they think repealing it will save money.

    But this is the Republican racket, as Redshift pointed out. Stop wasting money on the undeserving and the government’s balance sheet will be better, the economy will be better, the world will be more fair, and Republicans will rule righteously forever, amen.

  66. 66
    Marcellus Shale, Public Dick says:

    you have to take your allies where you can, in politics.

    in pennsylvania, even the gop in the legislature is sticking up to koch class destroyer corbett.

  67. 67
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Bill S of Redstate has a FP diary up that fits right into this discussion. He talks of his “distress” that a close relative has become a “leftist” and that his “own unabashed, outspoken and uncivil conservatism may have actually contributed to it”.

    Bill S then goes on “stories published as part of the “blogstorm” covering the heinous acts of Kimberlin, Brynaert and the subsequent response of people like Markos Moulitsas, I became angry and vengeful”. As a result of that, he “became angry and vengeful”. But wait! Then he…

    “thought about these events and considered my own response, I was saddened and disgusted with myself. I’m sad that political partisanship has caused adults to become disgustingly hateful people who actually want to bring physical harm to those who disagree with them. And this partisanship and hate has begun to saturate my own thinking. As I considered the story, I imagined how wonderful it would be for them to meet some unimaginably vile death

    But then a revelation hits him!
    “But then it dawned on me that by thinking that way, I had become one of them (emphasis mine, original in italics). I’ve allowed this world of politics to transform me into a bitter, hateful person.”

  68. 68
    Roger Moore says:

    @WereBear:

    It comes down to taking responsiblity; and I continue to be amazed at the numbers of people who would rather be miserable, and have it not be their fault, than to do something to improve their state; and run the risk that it would not work.

    That depends a lot on their previous experience with taking charge and having it not work out. I remember somebody telling me that “One ‘oh shit’ undoes a lot of ‘attaboy’s”, and that kind of attitude can be death to initiative takers. That’s doubly true when simply taking initiative rather than following the rules is seen as a mistake. If you spend much time in a place like that, you’ll have the initiative sucked right out of you.

  69. 69
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Bill S of Redstate has a FP diary up that fits right into this discussion. He talks of his “distress” that a close relative has become a “leftist” and that his “own unabashed, outspoken and uncivil conservatism may have actually contributed to it”.

    Bill S then goes on about reading the “stories published as part of the “blogstorm” covering the heinous acts of Kimberlin, Brynaert and the subsequent response of people like Markos Moulitsas, I became angry and vengeful”. As a result of that, he “became angry and vengeful”. But wait! Then he…

    “thought about these events and considered my own response, I was saddened and disgusted with myself. I’m sad that political partisanship has caused adults to become disgustingly hateful people who actually want to bring physical harm to those who disagree with them. And this partisanship and hate has begun to saturate my own thinking. As I considered the story, I imagined how wonderful it would be for them to meet some unimaginably vile death

    But then a revelation hits him!
    “But then it dawned on me that by thinking that way, I had become one of them (emphasis mine, original in italics). I’ve allowed this world of politics to transform me into a bitter, hateful person.”

    But he is then saved!
    “As a Christian, I cannot allow this to happen.”

    He then goes off with some bible thumping and saying that the right can not lower themselves to being as evil as the left is, that they must rise above that. He calls for civility but he’s against any “left-leaning agenda” couched in calls for that civility.

    The whole diary, titled “Overcoming Evil With Good”, is a real “piece” and the commentary is, let’s say, something only a crazy person could embrace.

  70. 70
    NancyDarling says:

    testing

  71. 71
    Keith G says:

    @Southern Beale:

    And yet, Reagan did the same thing and they want to nominate him for sainthood.

    He’s worm meat. That makes sainthood a bit easier. The policies of a living Reagan would be…..a problem.

  72. 72
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Reminds me of someone I once knew—okay, okay, it was my ex-husband—who invested far more time and energy in college working out elaborate schemes for cheating on tests than he would have in studying for them. Never made a lick of sense to me.

    My classes are full of people like these. It is sad to say that I have not been able to instill any sense in most of them.

  73. 73
    gelfling545 says:

    @rikyrah: The prospect holds no appeal.

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