Starving Kids to Feed Monsanto

More on the Republican vision for America:

The Republican leadership in the House of Representatives is putting their version of the Farm Bill up for a vote this week in the House Agriculture Committee. The bill provides record levels of spending—an eye-popping $9.5 billion over 10 years—for an entirely new agribusiness subsidy under the guise of crop insurance. The bill finally ends the antiquated and highly suspect crop subsidies to help pay for the massive new crop insurance program, yet the bill slashes $16 billion from one of the most effective antipoverty programs in our nation, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, to fund the new insurance spending.

A cut of this magnitude means that at least 2 million families will lose access to the program. All told, about 1 billion fewer meals will be available to low-income families each year—meals that are a bargain for taxpayers at about a $1.60 a meal—as well as a basic responsibility for our society.

With nearly 45 million Americans relying on this program—85 percent of whom are living on incomes below the federal poverty line of $23,350 for a family of four—this cut is a cruel move that deprives our most needy fellow citizens of the most basic “hand up” to better themselves and their families. What’s more, cuts of this magnitude could have real consequences for our nascent economic recovery, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which calculates that each dollar of supplemental nutrition assistance benefits create $1.79 in increased economic activity.

You all get on me for saying stuff like this, but I believe it. With what we know they are doing, and what we see them doing, and what we know they want to do, quite simply anyone who votes for a Republican at this point is simply a sociopath. I don’t know how much clearer it can get- here they are pushing a bill that sends billions in corporate welfare to companies that don’t need it (and probably don’t pay taxes, either), and doing it on the backs of the poor.

If that isn’t the behavior of a sociopath, I do not know what is. And there is so much evidence of this kind of behavior that rank and file Republicans simply don’t get a pass- they know what is going on. Especially all those “respectable Republicans” out there blogging. You know who you are. This is your team.

89 replies
  1. 1
    NCSteve says:

    People who get on you for saying that are doing so because they know plenty of Republican voters and most of them aren’t sociopaths but merely stupid (albeit usually willfully so).

    Most Republican elites are sociopaths, though, yeah. Or so Occam says.

  2. 2
    Schlemizel says:

    Who is this “all” you speak of? Not only would I not get on you for this I have been saying the exact same thing for over a decade. No sane person would ever vote for a Republican in this current environment. no way, no how.

  3. 3
    c u n d gulag says:

    GOP POV:
    Corporate Welfare = GREAT!
    Increases profit margins, executive pay, and shareholder profits.

    Social Welfare = BAD!!!
    Loss of dignity through reliance on government welfare. We need to incentivize people to find work through hunger – and a child with an empty belly, is hungry for propaganda education.

    Pitchforks!

  4. 4
    SenyorDave says:

    I will never get on anyone for calling Republicans and their supporters sociopaths.

    so·ci·o·path   /ˈsoʊsiəˌpæθ, ˈsoʊʃi-/ Show Spelled[soh-see-uh-path, soh-shee-] Show IPA
    noun Psychiatry .
    a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.

    I alos think pyschopath fits pretty well:

    psy·cho·path   /ˈsaɪkəˌpæθ/ Show Spelled[sahy-kuh-path] Show IPA
    noun
    a person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure to learn from experience, etc.

    If the US had an even playing field, with a relatively informed public, the GOP would be a third party.

  5. 5
    beltane says:

    @NCSteve: Yes they are certainly stupid, but stupidity alone doesn’t explain it. It is more a case of stupidity plus a low-grade viciousness of character that make people vote Republican. People who are fundamentally decent are not going to be attracted to the hatefulness of the Republican message no matter how stupid they are.

  6. 6
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Perhaps all the poors out there wouldn’t need SNAP benefits if they weren’t so lazy and just pulled themselves up by their bootstraps by borrowing 20 grand from mommy and daddy to start a business or refused to waste their inheritance on blow and strippers and instead socked that money away in the Cayman Islands.

    Wait, you mean to tell me that most people can’t borrow 20 grand from their parents and that they have no inheritance to speak of?

    Well, it’s not my fault that they weren’t smart enough to be sired by Captains of Industry.

  7. 7

    Especially all those “respectable Republicans” out there blogging. You know who you are. This is your team.

    I have more sympathy for people who don’t pay much attention to politics, picked Team R 25 years ago, and have just rolled with it. But folks like Ross Douthat and David Frum, scrambling mightily to conjure up a hypothetical health insurance policy that the entirety of today’s GOP wouldn’t dismiss as fascist socialism, are simply polluting the discourse. They know better, and they should stop it.

  8. 8
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @beltane:

    People who are fundamentally decent are not going to be attracted to the hatefulness of the Republican message no matter how stupid they are.

    Absolutely. I’ve known several not-very-advanced individuals who were good and kind and could tell the good guys from the bad guys.

  9. 9
    Gex says:

    They drank the Kool-Aid. Giving money to the needy is bad and wasteful and it is their fault anyhow. Giving money to rich people and companies makes this the Earthly version of Heaven.

    We see what they are doing, but most Americans don’t. And, even when they do, they don’t aggregate and synthesize. They aren’t willing to say that we are taking food from children to give to companies. They will forever see these as separate.

    And it makes sense to do so. Libertarians, at the heart of it, are not systems people. They like systems to an extent, such as the free market. But they don’t want to deal with that as a subsystem of a larger system. Precisely because doing so makes it clear that they are taking food from children in the hopes that they will be rich enough for their preferred policies to pay off for them.

    ETA: Also too, noting that their dream system is a subsystem fucking makes them furious because interdependence is the antithesis of their rugged individual bullshit.

  10. 10
    Legalize says:

    Not me. I totally agree that GOPers and their supporters are sociopaths.

  11. 11
    EconWatcher says:

    @beltane:

    I have to dissent on the stupidity. I’m from a family of wingnuts, and none of them is stupid. Several have absolutely top-notch educational credentials. What they all have in common, though, is emotional immaturity.

  12. 12
    General Stuck says:

    I think it is ‘behavior’ consistent with someone who doesn’t have a conscience, or whose set of values were gleaned from an Al Capone staff meeting. Which is close enough for me to call them sociopaths. But then I’m a person who can barely spell their own name, and got my grammar lessons in the dark hollows of Appalachia. Pedants will be pedantic, however. They taught us at least that much in the school of poolroom etiquette.

    Or, those brats need to get a job, specially if they’z are messican/wingnutease

  13. 13
    Ash Can says:

    If by “you all,” you mean a few commenters who inject a little nuance into the discussion, then yes, by all means, “we all” get on you. And even though I’m one of those few who likes me some nuance, I also have to say that, looking solely on the national level, and at this point in history, I completely agree with you.

    One of my own senators, Mark Kirk, is a primo example of the problem of voting GOP on the federal level. Kirk himself is not a drooling lunatic, but it doesn’t matter — the people he’s caucusing with, and the groups he’s beholden to, are. When he chooses to vote with his party, which is of course going to be a majority of the time, he’s no better, and no different, than Saxby Fucking Chambliss. When push comes to shove, the otherwise sensible moderate will almost always betray his own sensible moderation and side with the obstructionists and shitheels, so there’s no point in voting for him in the first place.

  14. 14
    Rommie says:

    Well, since the wanna-be Republic of Texas is the #1 receiver of farm subsidies and Federal nose-poking-in, perhaps that money should get moved to SNAP and everyone’s happy.

  15. 15
    jibeaux says:

    @Hunter Gathers: One encouraging thing from my husband’s FB feed, I certainly know that anecdotes aren’t data but we both love to see things like this — he’s from Appalachia, and someone from home was laughing at Romney talking about borrowing from their parents. This unleashed a long string of comments from other Appalachians (he says you can tell them even if you don’t know them, by the limited set of last names) on the various things that loans from their parents would not be sufficient to buy, such as a pizza or a movie. It doesn’t mean they’re voting for Obama, it doesn’t mean anything much, but I do love seeing it.

  16. 16
    General Stuck says:

    I would also say, that not all wingnuts are built the same way. But they all have one thing in common. They hate liberals and liberalism to a palpable degree. A lot of them justify this belligerence for our world view, thru the collective lens of lingering Cold War paranoia. Not because they really think we will pollute their lizard blood with communism, but because they need and like having enemies, at home and abroad. The is a characteristic of the American Wingnut, as sure as shit ain’t butter. And I have no explanation for it.

  17. 17

    … quite simply anyone who votes for a Republican at this point is simply a sociopath.

    The terms I used today was sadists and masochists but yeah … sociopath works, too.

  18. 18
    Haydnseek says:

    @beltane: Exactly. It’s a fairly simple, emotionally based response to change. People I hate are getting things they don’t deserve and the money to pay for it is coming out of my pocket. They can attempt to justify this in myriad, smoke and mirrors ways, but this is what it all boils down to. If millions suffer, so be it.
    Dogma rules all, and when confronted with conflicting objective reality, why they’ll just deny the reality and keep hammering the lie, even when the people that get very badly hurt by these policies are themselves and their families and friends. When they see how fucked they are by their own hand, they still don’t get it, because “everything happens for a reason.” Yes, it does, but it has nothing to do with your magic sky daddy.

  19. 19
    Ash Can says:

    @EconWatcher: Stupidity most definitely comes into play, although in the case of Mark Kirk being elected over Alexi Giannoulis, I should say more specifically that naivete came into play in a huge way. It was both sad and amazing how many voters in IL bought the “independent moderate” line of bullshit about Kirk. Sure, he’s nice, he’s smart, he’s decent, blah blah. He’s also a Republican, you fucking idiots, and will be a very junior member of the Senate, so his moderation and decency means Jack Shit.

    Edited to fix an html tag. Hey, administrators, will this dump EVER get editing buttons back? They sure were handy.

  20. 20
    sluggo says:

    How many Democrats in the House will vote for this bill?

  21. 21
    terraformer says:

    @reflectionephemeral:

    I don’t know that I have sympathy for people who chose Team R decades ago and rolled with it.

    At some point, unless they are sociopaths of course, these people should have come to the realization that their Team is not what they thought it was. And adjust accordingly. Then there are people like my father who just won’t admit they’re wrong, not matter the consequence.

  22. 22
    NonyNony says:

    @jibeaux:

    It doesn’t mean they’re voting for Obama, it doesn’t mean anything much, but I do love seeing it.

    My preferences for this election season voting for Republicans and former Republicans would be:

    1.) Vote for Obama
    2.) If you can’t bring yourself to vote for Obama, show those clowns in DC who’s boss by staying home and dressing like a clown
    3.) If you can’t vote for Obama and you can’t just not vote, write in a protest candidate

    Any Republican vote that isn’t voting for Romney is fine in my book, even if they aren’t going to vote for Obama either.

  23. 23
    Commenting at Balloon Juice Since 1937 says:

    ARe you trolling for some kind of award from Andrew Sullivan?

  24. 24
    Lifa says:

    By this stage the word sociopath, psychopath or any other “path” just doesn’t cover it. Evil. Evil is the word.

  25. 25
    japa21 says:

    @Ash Can: Nice and smart Kirk is (to a degree) but moderate he never was. It was an image he created to be able to be elected to Congress and which the Chicago media promoted. Giannoulias ran one of the very worst campaigns I have ever seen.
    Even in a mid term election with all the TPers at their highest level of participation, Kirk should have lost.
    But Alexi insisted on running a “clean” campaign and wouldn’t go after a candidate who lied about his military service, was willing to turn his backs on his own constituents in favor of the Chinese, etc.

  26. 26
    MattR says:

    @Ash Can:

    Hey, administrators, will this dump EVER get editing buttons back? They sure were handy.

    I still have them, but I am still running FF 9

  27. 27
    japa21 says:

    @NonyNony: Well it appears 200,000 people are already committed to a protest candidate…Jesus. http://www.politicususa.com/te.....n-day.html

  28. 28
    meander says:

    Coincidentally (or not), today’s “Chart of the Day” from the USDA’s Economic Research Service is “SNAP benefits mitigated increases in severity of child poverty during the 2007-09 recession”. Their description is a bit technical and convoluted, but the short story seems to be ‘SNAP improves the lives of poor children.”

    And therefore, the sociopaths in Congress need to hack at the program.

    How would they be voting if they had to live on a food stamp diet? Or were working full time but not getting health insurance? Or were one medical emergency away from financial disaster? We really need an exchange program that puts Congress-critters into poor households for a month a year, lets them see what the jobs are like, or puts them out on the job search.

  29. 29
    sherparick says:

    I have a slight dissent, or a rather a sociological/political/historical take. It is not sociopathy or psychopathy (with some individual exceptions), but tribalism that is currently driving the Republican Party and base during these “hard times.” And in this case a relatively new tribe, the superrich of Richistan, which has allied with the Old Confederacy tribe and all its dark resentments and meanness. The Richies have come into existence over the last 40 years, and inhaling the nihilistic ideology of Ayn Rand, they simply regard all those working poor, their kids, sick people, and disabled folks as part of the sub-tribe of moochers (even if they have never read John Galt’s speech). Jonathan Schwartz had an excellent little blog post over the weekend on their ability to live with themselves thanks to their new ethics.

    “…The psychology of this is straightforward and obvious: the Prime Directive of everyone’s psyche is to believe they’re morally good. (As Hughes says in the GQ article, “I’ve lived my whole life doing what I thought was right.”) But there’s no rational way for any human being in history to believe it’s morally justified for them to have as much money and power as Hughes, Murdoch, etc. So people at the top must become crazy in this particular way. As my grandfather, a historian who focused on the Spanish conquest of the Western Hemisphere, always said:

    “The hostility of those who have power toward those who can be called inferior because they are different – because they are others, the strangers – has been a historical constant. Indeed, at times it seems to be the dominant theme in human history.” http://www.tinyrevolution.com/.....03629.html

    And Digby highlights the link that brings the Old Confedercy into the Republican fold and what has given it its special venom during years under President Obama.

    “…And it goes all the way down the scale to the absurd point at which lower middle class white people who should by all rights hate that hideous billionaire, turn their attention instead to the same “derelicts on welfare” and blame them for the fact that they aren’t billionaires themselves. It’s the only little bit of privilege they think they have.” http://digbysblog.blogspot.com.....isted.html

  30. 30
    Catsy says:

    @beltane:

    Yes they are certainly stupid, but stupidity alone doesn’t explain it. It is more a case of stupidity plus a low-grade viciousness of character that make people vote Republican.

    This. Although I would replace “stupidity” with “ignorance” (willful or otherwise). And add “a crippling deficit of empathy” and “a whole mess of fucked-up priorities”.

  31. 31
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Agree wholeheartedly with John’s post, but I wonder how many Dems are going to support this sociopathic legislation? I guess the same ones who supported holding Holder in contempt.

  32. 32
    Ruckus says:

    @MattR:
    I still have them and I’m running FF 13

  33. 33
    Spatula says:

    You all get on me for saying stuff like this, but I believe it. With what we know they are doing, and what we see them doing, and what we know they want to do, quite simply anyone who votes for a Republican at this point is simply a sociopath.

    LOL. Who in the hell at this blog “gets on you” for this kind of red-meat post? haha…you’re pleasuring your Bot base and we all know it. It’s OK to admit it.

    I agree that your point is roughly true, but the way you make it is another sign that you went from codependent Republican to codependent Democrat.

    There are gray areas. Explore them.

  34. 34
    Bulworth says:

    yet the bill slashes $16 billion from one of the most effective antipoverty programs in our nation, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, to fund the new insurance spending.

    SNAP recipients and potential SNAP recipients will greet these cuts as liberators. /

  35. 35
    Bulworth says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Maybe the NRA will score this vote as well, along with the 31st ACA repeal roll call.

  36. 36
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    There are no Republicans left.

    There are only Repiglicans.

  37. 37
    hilzoy says:

    “Who in the hell at this blog “gets on you” for this kind of red-meat post?” Me! — I disagree about their being sociopaths. I normally distinguish several groups of people. First, professionals (meaning: anyone who has assumed responsibility for knowing some area of policy or politics, whether paid or unpaid.) I’m fine with calling Republican professionals sociopaths. Second, high-information voters. Ditto.

    But then there are the low-information voters, especially the ones who are low-information because they’re busy trying to keep food on the table and their kids in shoes. If we lived in a world in which trustworthy information was easier to find and identify as such, I might feel differently. But we live in a world in which people spend their time trying to make it difficult for people to know who to trust, and what’s actually going on.

    In this world, I think it’s quite possible to be a Republican because you just don’t know who to trust, or what’s going on, and you stick with the party you grew up with (or something), even though in reality that party left you a long time ago. You think it’s still the party of Reagan — not that I liked him much, but at least I can see why someone might support him. Maybe you feel insecure economically and think that the Democrats are the party of helping out people who just aren’t trying, instead of helping people like you who really are. Whatever: I think if you don’t pay attention, you can do this.

    I would never say it’s OK to be a low-info voter in a democracy. But I do think you can be one, especially when times are really tough and you’re working three jobs and trying to ignore the lump in your breast and wondering how you’re going to make up the money you took out of your retirement fund, without being a sociopath.

  38. 38
    PaminBB says:

    Of course, the same folks are constantly patting themselves on the back for bring “Christians”. Denial is very powerful.

  39. 39
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Why I do believe John has struck a never here with Spatula.

    Face it Spatula, only a sick asshole would pull the stunt the GOP just did and anyone who backs them in it is just scum.

  40. 40

    @japa21:

    Well it appears 200,000 people are already committed to a protest candidate…Jesus.

    The protest candidate’s a Mexican? Never woulda thunk it.

  41. 41
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Redistributive social provision is presumptuous at best and blasphemous at worst, because it attempts to substitute the fallible judgement of human legislators for the ineffable judgments of the the Lord. Who are we to second-guess how He distributes the good things of His world? The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether. (Psalm 19:9)

    And the moral peril unleashed by the state when it falls into the wrong (i.e. Democratic) hands — do you want on your conscience the eternal loss of countless immortal souls? You can starve to death once — but the loss of your immortal soul — that’s eternal. The decision whether that power, the power of the state, lies in godly, or ungodly hands, is in your hands when you take that ballot.

    See how easy it is? Can turn it on and off like a faucet.

  42. 42
    Arclite says:

    I dunno, I think Repubs are just doing the will of their donors. If the poor want subsidies, then they need to donate more to the Repubs. That’s what Monsanto does.

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    Also, too, aren’t companies like Monsanto clamoring for “crop insurance” because their crops are suffering the effects of global warming? Aren’t Republicans trying to get Monsanto coverage for losses incurred by something Republicans insist doesn’t actually exist?

  44. 44
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Profit exists. Loss exists. In fact, they’re all that really exists. Everything else — people, the world, life, love — exists only insofar as it can be turned to profit, or used to hedge against loss.

  45. 45
    hep kitty says:

    yet the bill slashes $16 billion from one of the most effective antipoverty programs in our nation, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, to fund the new insurance spending.

    To be fair, republicans never claimed to care whether poor people starve to death, at least in recent memory. As a matter of fact, they’ve all but come out and verbally command, “die peasants, the sooner the better” this election cycle.

  46. 46
    HEY YOU says:

    It would be great to know how many REPS & TEAS are on SNAP.

  47. 47

    @EconWatcher:

    Emotional immaturity. I think you hit on what makes so many people keep voting for Republicans. Maybe people will get on me for saying this, but, shit, anybody who votes for a Republican in 2012 is an emotionally stunted piece of shit. Sorry, but I don’t know what else to say. I know there are lots of “nice” people who still vote for Republicans, but, hey, sorry about this, but you can’t vote for a bunch of soulless dickwads who want to let children go hungry and still have any claim to call yourself “nice”.

    It just doesn’t work that way, and if that makes you feel bad, then too fucking bad. At least you aren’t getting cheated out of some help getting food for your children; if not being thought of as “nice” is as bad as it gets for you, then you’re pretty fucking lucky.

    And I don’t buy any kind of defense that people who vote for Republicans don’t know what shitheads they’re voting for. O.K., maybe a lot of Republican voters don’t know about this story, but, shit, how out of it would you have to be not to know that Republicans are just overall dickwads? The only people out of the loop enough not to know this don’t vote at all.

    So, all you “nice” people out there who vote for Republicans for all kinds of “right” reasons, like the Democrats are bad on the economy or defense or some such shit: Guess what? You go right ahead and vote Republican. It’s your right, and however much you might fear otherwise, scary liberals aren’t going to stop you from voting. But we will call you assholes. Get used to it. If you don’t like being called assholes, then stop voting like assholes. It isn’t that hard to understand.

  48. 48
    hep kitty says:

    I wouldn’t say anything if I didn’t personally know at least one or more republicans who, as best I can determine, are not sociopaths. Just painfully intellectually incurious, stupid and brainwashed, emphasis on BRAINWASHED. But I could see how, from the outside looking in, John, it might appear that all republicans, without exception, are indeed sociopaths.

    :)

  49. 49
    RaflW says:

    I lay this 96% at the feet of Repubicans. But sociopaths like Collin Peterson who somehow have a (D) after their names go right along on slashing food stamps.

    It’s vile. And my one winger friend on Facebook just raved about government waste when I called Peterson an immoral sellout.

    We really have two America’s but John Edwards was kinda wrong about them. We have a normal America and a sociopathic America. Now it just so happens that the sociopaths also have a lot more money (because they have no qualms stealing, ripping off, or stomping on people to get what they want).

    I’m just utterly disgusted these days at what an morally repellent nation we’re becoming. I hope we can avert deepening disaster…

  50. 50
    hep kitty says:

    How many of us know people who vote republican who receive SSI, Medicare? I personally know of at least two disabled people who receive SSI, one with a daughter who is an adult special needs who receives SSI and they believe Democrats are just evil, plain and simple. They have been hearing this shit for the last 15, 20 years as the volume has been slowly turning up, now, to 11.

  51. 51
    WereBear says:

    One thing they certainly are is: miserable. They are miserable people, in every sense of the word.

    Quick to take offense, sure they are being taken advantage of in some way, angry about the way their lives have turned out; even when they are in living quite comfortably, and don’t have any real issues to complain about.

    It’s a soul-sickness, I think. But they won’t listen to such talk, either!

  52. 52
    hep kitty says:

    @Horrendo Slapp (formerly Jimperson Zibb, Duncan Dönitz, Otto Graf von Pfmidtnöchtler-Pízsmőgy, Mumphrey, et al.): They have absolutely no clue how difficult it is for the people who need assistance to get assistance in the first place.

    They think that these alleged “poor” people just get on their iphones and dial up regular payments of cash from the fed gov’t including subsidies for the iphone.

    They think it’s some kind of special candy or treat they don’t get to have.

  53. 53
    ouidcom says:

    Cole does love his gloom porn. A day without finding something bad on the innertubez is a day without sunshine.

  54. 54
    hep kitty says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    Well, it’s not my fault that they weren’t smart enough to be sired by Captains of Industry.

    That crystallizes the argument quite nicely. Except, I would include “special enough because God loves you and hates them”

  55. 55
    shep says:

    Technically speaking, the people you are talking about really ought to be called psychopaths. Sociopath is a specific term usually reserved for people who meet the DSM criteria (at least three of them) for antisocial personality disorder. It require an adult lifetime pattern of specific behaviors that sometimes describe the psychopath and sometimes not and the behaviors are frequently missing from highly functional psychopaths.

    Psychopathy isn’t a bevahior-diagnosed disorder, it’s about personality; mainly a distinct deficit of normal human empathy and remorse for any wrongdoing. However, as a result of their lack of empathy and remorse they are capable of doing almost any harm that won’t get them in trouble and lie very effectively.

    So, it may sound even more shrill but the people you are referring to are psychopaths. They are.

  56. 56

    I agree with sherparick that it’s about tribalism– a shortcut around morality. I’ve written a bunch about that, including:

    In a political party without policy preferences, politicians get votes by playing to the resentment of the party’s tribalistic adherents. [ADDED: There’s anecdotal and polling support for the view that Romney’s support is dependent on Republican resentment at this TNR post.] So, Mitt Romney repeatedly lies about what we are doing … The GOP has jettisoned policy beliefs for Southern Strategy rhetoric, designed to heighten resentment against the government and out groups. And it works.

    I agree entirely with hilzoy that people have stuff going on in their lives and don’t realize that one of the two parties has gone entirely off the rails. If the media were any good at reporting the news, then more people would realize it. Alas, here we are.

  57. 57
    hep kitty says:

    I would no more hate them for being stupid and ignorant than I would hate a mental patient for his or her illness. Except the consequences of their ignorance is so disastrous for the country.

    They realize they can decimate us with one vote just because they feel like it and they love it. Doing mindless things come naturally to them.

    So they don’t have to fact-check shit they say or pass along in those emails, which is 99% lies to being with, and everybody has to run around try and fact-check the latest blobs of shit being thrown against the twitterverse wall.

    If they want to go off and be assholes by themselves, that’s one thing.

    At least lots of mental patients want to get well and try, even if they fail. Some are even aware of how their illness adversely affects people around them. I think that’s what angers me the most, because these are the very same people who are accepted as normal in society.

  58. 58
    Maude says:

    @hilzoy:
    They are sociopaths, one and all. You have to be on the receiving end to know this.
    If you don’t use a food stamp card, you have no idea of the feeling waves of hostility coming at your back.
    You don’t get lectured about saving money on an income that doesn’t keep a rabbit alive.
    The cold cruelty is palpable.
    You see it at a distance. I see it up close and personal.

  59. 59
    chopper says:

    Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
    Riding through the land
    Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
    Without a merry band
    He steals from the poor
    And gives to the rich!
    Stupid bitch.

  60. 60
    shep says:

    Antisocial personality disorder/Sociopathy:

    A) There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three or more of the following:

    failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
    deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
    impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead;
    irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;
    reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
    consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;
    lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another;

    B) The individual is at least age 18 years.
    C) There is evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 years.
    D) The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the course of schizophrenia or a manic episode.

    Psychopathy:

    is a personality disorder that has been variously described as characterized by shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, lacking empathy, coldheartedness, lacking guilt, egocentricity, superficial charm, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, nonplanfulness, impulsivity, and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyle and criminality. There is no consensus about the symptom criteria and there are ongoing debates regarding issues such as essential features, causes, and the possibility of treatment.

  61. 61
    shep says:

    Bottom line, there great many more psychopaths walking around (living, working among us) than sociopaths; sociopaths usually wind up in prison.

    Don’t ask me why I know all of this.

  62. 62
    Cydney says:

    @japa21: Alexi’s big problem was that his only major public service was a massive failure. he lost money on that college savings package. Why should people trust him with more responsibility than that>

  63. 63

    @hep kitty:

    Yes, these people rant about being poor like it’s some kind of great life, with free shit shoveled at you every damned day. But if being poor were truly such a great deal, then I wonder why these people don’t do it themselves. The very fact that they would never think of switching places with a poor person tells me that they know, deep down somewhere, that what they’re saying is nothing but bullshit. So they know. They aren’t ignorant, at least not altogether ignorant, which would be the one thing that might excuse them. They know that what they’re spouting is all lies and they keep doing it anyway. Bad, bad, awful people.

  64. 64
    WereBear says:

    @shep: I know why, personally; my stepfather was one.

    Not a hiding bodies in the basement kind, thank heavens. But the kind who would do cruel things simply to make life more convenient for him; because being cruel didn’t bother him.

  65. 65
    Heliopause says:

    Thing is, John, Dems do all the same things Republicans do, just less severe versions of it. This is the richest society in the history of the universe, we could easily afford health care for everyone from cradle to grave and a strong social safety net and still have a vibrant economy, it’s all a matter of how we choose to allocate our resources. Yet Dems have been whole hog for the military-industrial-security complex and co-conspirators in the financialization of the economy which has had such monstrously destructive consequences in recent years. You don’t vote for Dems because they’re philosophically opposed to the overseas Empire and financialization of the economy — obviously they’re not — you vote for them because they’re a little less fanatical about it than the GOP. So when you call GOP voters sociopaths you’d have to, in the interest of minimal consistency, call Dem voters, what, sociopath-ish?

  66. 66
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    @reflectionephemeral: “If the media were any good at reporting the news, then more people would realize it. Alas, here we are.”

    Tribalism. And being attacked by the media for “lies” will just make the members of the GOP rally around the lies even more.

    Example: the GOP response to global warming. The more the evidence, the more the denial.

  67. 67
    MikeBoyScout says:

    John, I won’t get on you for what you say about the sociopaths who are today’s Republican party.

    In fact, I’ll see your no vote explain yourself, and raise you Brad DeLong’s complete destruction of the Republican Party as the primary need.

    It’s hard for any veteran of the Clinton Administration to reach any conclusion other than that fixing America’s long-run fiscal dilemmas requires first the complete destruction of today’s Republican Party, and those of us who care about America’s fiscal future need to turn all of our energies to that end. Can you give me reasons not to believe that?

  68. 68
    shep says:

    @WereBear: People would be shocked, maybe frightened, to realize just how many of them there are…and how charming and normal they can seem (especially females). George Bush was probably one and I’d bet my favorite motorcyle that Mitt Romney is.

  69. 69
  70. 70
    shep says:

    From the great orange satan:

    A quarter of Wall Street executives see wrongdoing as a key to success, according to a survey by whistleblower law firm Labaton Sucharow released on Tuesday.

    25% sounds about right for the banksters. I’m sure for us regular folks who might wear tennis shoes (or an occasional python boot), the percentages are somewhat less shocking.

  71. 71
    Maude says:

    @shep:
    They’re fine until they get caught.

  72. 72
    shep says:

    @Maude: That’s because concealing who and what they are is their most important lie (you’ve known one!). Interestingly, even though they’re accomplished liars, they’re terrible at rationalizing why they’ve harmed someone, they just change the subject or go on the attack. Apparently, since they have no remorse they never have to practice lying to themselves, unlike the rest of us.

  73. 73
    Thoughtcrime says:

    @Heliopause:

    So when you call GOP voters sociopaths you’d have to, in the interest of minimal consistency, call Dem voters, what, sociopath-ish?

    Sociopath-Lite: Great waste, Less illing!

  74. 74
    GxB says:

    @shep: Seems a bit low actually. Of course these are just the ones who will admit it to a survey.

  75. 75
    rikyrah says:

    sociopath
    sociopath
    sociopath

    can’t say it enough for me

  76. 76
    Heliopause says:

    @Thoughtcrime:

    I like it.

  77. 77
    shep says:

    @GxB: @Thoughtcrime: Nearly absent empathy and remorse are anomalies. Plainly hurting people and then rationalizing why it’s OK: human nature. Hint: the latter is done out of guilt.

  78. 78
    mclaren says:

    Arguably, America as a country is socipoathic. Monsanto has been forcing poor peasants around the world into starvation and suicide by selling “terminator” seeds whose crops can’t be used for seed — they become artificially sterile. So the farmers have a choice between buying the overpriced genetically engineered seeds from Monsanto, or paying the rent on their farms.

    America loves forcing the world’s poorest people into suicide or starvation or outright murdering them. American big pharma corporations overprice life-saving antibiotics, murdering millions of the world’s poorest children. American drones blow up the world’s poorest women and children without even identifying them.

    If America was a person, it’d be Ed Gein.

  79. 79
    NR says:

    The Democrats that endlessly pursue “compromise” with them are equally culpable.

  80. 80
    shep says:

    @NR: Oh please. Igor isn’t Dr. Frankenstein. I could say that pathologically non-partisan idiot voters, who can’t tell the difference between the architects of right-wing policy and those who go-along-to-get-along, are “equally culpable” in what the wingnuts have been able to accomplished. Happy?

  81. 81
    Caz says:

    You know how idiotic that sounds, that anyone who votes for a republican is a sociopath?? You sound like someone who has no idea about our political process, government, history, current events, etc. “Anyone who disagrees with me is stupid!” Are you five years old? Grow up already.

    That’s why this blog is so fucking idiotic and entertaining. There’s not a shred of respect, class, intelligence, or couth anywhere on here. It’s just an echo chamber of useful idiots.

    And if you didn’t know that just by reading the posts, then you can definitely tell by the responses to my comments. Nothing but a bunch of first graders yelling, “No, you’re stupid!” And a bunch of retarded retorts about trolls.

    If only you knew how idiotic you sound on a daily basis. But of course you don’t because the only ones that engage in dialogue on here are other useful idiots. It’s a gathering of useful idiots patting each other on the backs and cheering how stupid everyone who disagrees with you is.

    It’s entertaining, like a car wreck that you can’t turn away from. And you think you’re being all smart and stuff when you compose your moronic posts. I bet you feel real important and sophisticated, informed and educated. It’s hilarious, lol. Go watch some more Rachel Maddow and think she’s so clever and sharp, lol.

    You people are truly pathetic, I just love perusing the retard posts and seeing the “You’re dumb!” and “You’re a troll!” responses to my comments. Totally lost causes, all of you.

  82. 82
    Caz says:

    @Lifa: I really think liberals have something wrong in their brain. They are unable to emotionally detach from politics. Liberals are totally emotionally invested in their party, like they are defending their family or something. It’s not based on reason or facts, but on emotion and faith. Liberals’ brains are just wired a little wrong such that they can’t reason logically about things; they simply vote with emotion and faith, and get all fired up by empty rhetoric even though it’s total lies and broken promises.

    Obama can say whatever he wants and you liberals will cheer him on out of emotion and faith. It doesn’t matter if he’s totally full of shit, as long as he’s saying something that touches you emotionally. “Tax the rich, yeah!” That gets you fired up, not because it has anything to do with bettering the nation, but because he’s emotional about it, so you are too.

    Your view of the world is so immature, naive, and childish, that you fall for the stupidest rhetoric, which is what they count on, and prey on. If everyone were thinking logically, based on facts and reality and what’s best for the nation, Obama would get exactly zero votes. But there are enough idiots who care only about a candidate that will appeal to their childish emotions and faith, that a liar and socialist like Obama gets elected and ruins the nation.

    The sad thing is that you are literally unable to see how they are using you. You think you’re part of this great movement to make everyone happy and successful, when in reality they are using you in order to create a socialist nation with a ruling elite that controls the country and screws everyone.

    Truly pathetic.

    Obama is so far removed from the founding principles and constitution that it’s amazing anyone still supports him. I guess it will take total collapse of the nation, and even then the liberal politicians will blame it on everyone but their own polices, and you’ll buy it, because you’re predisposed to believe whatever they tell you. Pathetic pawns in their game of control. Sorry souls, all of you.

    Romney totally sucks, and the republicans are about the same as the democrats these days. They are just two branches of the same party – the big government party.

    Our nation should be based on freedom, but instead you people think it should be based on the government controlling everything and solving every problem. In reality, the govt is the problem, and every time they create a new problem, they offer a new solution, and they lie and use you to keep getting elected, and you idiots fall for it over and over, and they laugh at you behind your backs and you’re so emotionally invested that you don’t realize what’s going on. It’s really sad. But more and more people are catching on. If Obama’s not the worst thing to ever happen to our nation, he’s the best because it shows what the liberals true colors are, and people not totally brainwashed like you idiots see that they’ve been being lied to and tricked, and when enough people will wake up things will change for the better. And ironically, you idiots will benefit from the very leadership you so vehemently fight against.

    Retards.

  83. 83
    shep says:

    Liberals’ brains are just wired a little wrong such that they can’t reason logically about things…

    That’s not what the science says, sparky. But your vitriolic, fact-free, paranoid rants are food for thought.

    http://psychcentral.com/news/2.....25184.html

  84. 84
    gerry says:

    Yes, Republicans are sociopaths. I dream of a future where some spokesman for the people could lay out the case to those poor benighted souls taken in by Republican resentment. Someone who could speak as if from a pulpit…a large pulpit, a grand pulpit, a bully pulpit….NAH!

  85. 85
    El Cid says:

    I love it when conservatives and ‘libertarians’ show up to proclaim — no demonstration necessary, proclamation is sufficient — their grand and total and exclusive dedication to fact and logic and reason, versus liberals, who, of course, process merely based upon emotion and tribal identification and such.

    It’s always helpful when logic & reason are on your side because you say that they are, and that you are better able to avail yourself of such empirically-based reasoning because you say you are.

    Sure, those emotional libruls and stuff may think that they’re all fact-y and reason-y too, even reading all a bunch of books & stuff, and talking quotes from these weirdo ivory tower professor and government scientist stuff, but they’re wrong, because they’re librul, so they do not have the real ability to reason based on fact and logic.

    Because if there’s one force throughout history which has represented the aspiration to logical reasoning based upon the best evidence of the empirical world, it’s conservativism, because it is, and if you don’t think so, well, shut up.

    You know what they say — 99% of winning arguments is showing up and declaring yourself the winner.

  86. 86
    Ben says:

    @japa21:
    Who do you think leaked that information to the press? Alexi ran one of the best campaigns last cycle–he should have been blown out, but kept it close.

  87. 87
    e.a.f. says:

    With all the money being used in Iraq & Afghanistan you’d think republicans could find a few $s for their fellow citizens. I guess not.

    When people can no longer feed their children there usually are problems to follow. Maybe if this keeps up the republicans will see what some Arab countries protests look like, up close & personal because they will be here right in the U.S.A.

    A country which refuses to feed its poorest & most vunerable will loose their moral authority & be considered just another second class country.

    When people go hungry & can’t find adequate shelter & health care they have nothing left to loose. When that happens a revolution can’t be far behind.

  88. 88
    Triassic Sands says:

    …quite simply anyone who votes for a Republican at this point is simply a sociopath.

    Given the levels of ignorance and stupidity in this country, that statement doesn’t hold up. Being ignorant doesn’t relieve GOP voters of moral responsibility for their votes, but it does mean they aren’t necessarily sociopaths.

    And I think you must know that. Talk to my next door neighbor. She doesn’t want to hurt poor people, but if Fox News tells her that 95% of SNAP dollars go to waste, fraud, and abuse, by golly she’ll believe it. Since food stamps aren’t really providing food for poor people, cutting the budget for SNAP won’t really hurt poor people. But it will cut the federal deficit (at least until the GOP gives the money away in more tax cuts). And she knows that cutting deficits is a good thing.

    There are a lot of truly despicable people in the Republican Party (JC’s sociopaths), but there are also a lot of very stupid, very ignorant people, who, if you talked to them, would seem like nice, friendly folks. Why they might even throw a can or two in the bin during a food drive.

  89. 89
    AA+ Bonds says:

    The idea is to increase incentives so that the poor will work harder.

    See, if people’s families are starving, they will dedicate their resources to work with higher returns, such as theft, armed robbery and mob violence.

    This increased productivity will create more jobs within the . . . tax-free sectors of the economy, as well as in sectors such as private security, prison construction and, eventually, the military, and related expenditures on weapons technology suitable for domestic use.

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