The Tim F rule for understanding every GOP civil war

This bears repeating.

At its heart the GOP has two basic camps – business conservatives who bankroll the party and social conservatives/theocons who staff it.

OK, the leadership has its infestation of grifters and opportunistic idiots but the above rule pretty much covers the network of voters, volunteers and money that the grifters and idiots need to keep the game afloat. You can understand every major intraparty conflict in light of this simple rule. The social cons always want to sieze every chance to push their minority, gay, immigrant etc. – hating agenda one more yard down the field. Now business cons do not always oppose the social agenda. In some cases, sure. Take immigration for example. Business desperately needs cheap labor who can’t read the OSHA signs on the wall while social cons desperately hate and fear anything different from them. Immigration is the GOP’s Centralia, PA: a simmering danger zone that goes quiet for a while but cannot ever be made safe and threatens to consume any foolish politician who ventures there in flames and poison gas. Democrats have no such problem because neither side is particularly frantic about it. The pro side would be happy to see some movement in the right direction most people who feel all that strongly against it vote Republican. Unions have their own opinion of course, and that might become a problem some day when they get their political mojo back.

In other cases the Chamber o’ Commerce takes the moderate side in GOP civil wars mostly because the GOP can’t cut taxes for the rich if they spend all their capital on suicidal vendettas. Arizona fits neatly into the this category. Business interests figured correctly that the mess would complicate their financial prospects in AZ and give a significant tailwind to the party of Elizabeth Warren, so they yanked Jan Brewer’s leash and saved another windmill the trouble of knocking don Quixote off his horse.

If you want my opinion, and I feel pretty good about prognosticating after taking the right side of Peak Wingnut, I think Arizona represents the last surge of a receding tide in America. More watered down attempts to pass the same bill have already failed in three states and Ohio just bailed on theirs after Brewer’s veto denied them cover. Desperate, poorly thought out plays like this are a classic sign that a side knows it is losing. Call it political hyperinflation: when your currency is getting less valuable by the minute you rush to spend it any damn way you can before the entire wheelbarrow won’t buy a pack of cigarettes.

***Update***

When Mississippi bails on the social cons, you know the gay haters are holding a wooden nickel.

77 replies
  1. 1
    Dave says:

    “Political hyperinflation” is a nice line

  2. 2
    Cervantes says:

    At its heart the GOP has two basic camps – business conservatives who bankroll the party and social conservatives/theocons who staff it.

    I made available just yesterday an old article on the subject. Here’s an excerpt:

    [Viguerie argues that] conservative Republicanism is political poison. It cannot be marketed because a rigid adherence to the free-enterprise system has caused traditional conservatives to overlook an entire segment of the American electorate — the blue-collar “social conservative” — who shares with traditional conservatives an opposition to busing, gun control, abortion and detente. If only conservatives would surrender some of their attachment to free-market economics and their distrust of labor unions and federal power, Viguerie believes, there would be more than enough agreement between the blue-collar workers and the Reaganites to form a powerful new party.

    It’s by Alan Crawford (“Richard Viguerie’s Bid for Power,” The Nation, January 27, 1977).

  3. 3
    Jeffro says:

    I still think the modern GOP has a 3rd leg of their stool*: the glibertarian wing, the IGMFU crowd, those who rarely if ever attend church (and some who are probably horrified at the theocons) but have a knee-jerk response to anything the Dems do or say and just can’t bring themselves to side with Dems on any issue. Probably from having grown up in the Reagan era and imprinting on him & his magical supply-side mantra.

    Maybe they’re really just a faction of the big business wing – they certainly act like that in practice, in the end – but to me they seem like their own separate faction, particularly in age (50 and under).

    *works in both senses of the word

  4. 4
    Svensker says:

    I think Arizona represents the last surge of a receding tide in America.

    On gay rights, maybe. We’re losing the pro-choice war right now.

  5. 5
    JPL says:

    Let’s not forget that Hobby Lobby’s religious freedom is being attacked. Thomas, Alito and Scalia will vote in favor and Kennedy and Roberts are questionable. If Hobby Lobby wins, discrimination will be legal under the religious freedom act.

  6. 6
    WaterGirl says:

    Tim, I just want to say that I really appreciate your posts and that I’m very glad you came back from your short break from blogging.

  7. 7
    Tim F. says:

    @JPL: Kennedy might suck on a lot of fronts (his ACA position is a real WTF) but he has been consistently on the good side of gay rights. I suspect we can count on him to either rule against or else to keep a ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby as narrow as possible.

  8. 8
    p.a. says:

    You can see the Lowest Common Denominator aspect in how poorly the legislation was written. No ALEC involvement apparently; it focuses on $ issues like attacking: web neutrality, publicly offered broadband and individual solar elec generation. These laws seem to be solely the product of the mouth breathers.

  9. 9
    Gex says:

    Mississippi is working to scrap the problematic provisions. That should be interesting. The purpose of writing the bill broadly is to mask the discriminatory intent. “We aren’t singling anyone one out!” I can’t see how narrowing it down does anything but make it more clearly discriminatory, and therefore unconstitutional. But then our conservative Christians do seem to like trying to cram a camel through the eye of a needle. Good luck with that fellas.

  10. 10
    Tractarian says:

    Desperate, poorly thought out plays like this are a classic sign that a side knows it is losing. Call it political hyperinflation: when your currency is getting less valuable by the minute you rush to spend it any damn way you can before the entire wheelbarrow won’t buy a pack of cigarettes.

    This is brilliant; it might be the most insightful thought ever published on this blog.

  11. 11
    SteveM says:

    We’re winning big on gays and weed. Yay us. Too bad in every other battle we’re getting shelacked.

  12. 12
    geg6 says:

    @Tim F.:

    Yeah, so the wimmenz will be fucked but gay rights will be just fine! Yay Kennedy!

    /extreme sarcasm

  13. 13
    Belafon says:

    @SteveM: Governing is hard. As for the shelacking, we’re at a point where the opposition has turned Congress into a Maginot Line: If they can’t move forward, then they’re not going to let us move either. They lost some things, and now they’re just trying to hold on. It would be nice if everyone who agreed that Democratic positions are better would actually vote for Democrats, but we’ll still do what we can.

    The problem the Republicans are going to have is that when they finally lose power, they are going to be so weak it will take a while for them to recover.

  14. 14
    Tim F. says:

    @geg6: I didn’t say that I love the guy, I said that he is ok on gay rights. Yeesh.

  15. 15
    maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor says:

    @Tim F.: Forget it Jake, it’s BJTown.

  16. 16

    You forgot the idiots who keep voting for the GOP against their own economic interests out of spite and/or fear.

  17. 17
    aimai says:

    The important follow on from TimF’s observation is that if the money cons sit too hard on the so-cons and don’t let them get their hate on the so-cons may end up splitting and taking their votes away. And if that happens income inequality and the death of the middle class means that the money cons just don’t have the votes anymore to get into power. They will end up spending their money directly on democratic politicians or whoever is in power, of course, and cutting out the voter/middleman.

    But until then the democrats would be wise to run spoiler style candidates with advertisements saying “The republican party is enslaved to liberal monied interests, corporations have no conscience, the only people our pure voters can trust are the constitution party, or the tea party, or the fringe fringier anti gay party.”

  18. 18
    cmorenc says:

    An interesting, but unsurprising coincidence about the precise timing of Gov. Brewer’s veto announcement yesterday – she waited to emerge from behind the doors to take the podium to make the announcement until Fox News returned from a lengthy commercial break. So how do I know this? Because at the time she made the announcement, I was working out at my local ‘Y’ in front of a row of televisions, each tuned to a different station, and could see that while all the other cable news stations were showing live shots of the crowd outside or the room where she was expected to make her announcement (all while talking heads blathered)…Fox News was blithely proceeding through a really long string of commercials. Brewer emerged very shortly after Fox concluded their commercial break.

    Another notable thing: Fox did cover the announcement, but fairly quickly afterward switched to covering other topics; they did not stop to dwell for extended analysis like e.g. CNN did. Move on here, nothing to see, seemed to be the Fox vibe.

  19. 19
    Tim F. says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: In other words, social cons.

  20. 20
    dubo says:

    Re: Peak Wingnut

    Looking at that 2008 Greenwald post about how despite any of Obama’s faults the parties are NOT the same and we need an Obama victory to keep the crazy out of power is quite a trip down memory lane, and a bizarre look into a different time…

  21. 21
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon:

    The problem the Republicans are going to have is that when they finally lose power, they are going to be so weak it will take a while for them to recover.

    That recovery may take a very long time. The only thing the country clubbers have going for them is that the Dems are not run by Elizabeth Warren, they’re currently run by a guy named Obama who will give them the time of day.

    As for the social reactionaries, they’ll continue to make noise on the ‘tubes, but they’re losing. I’d argue that long term, even their attempts to restrict abortion will fail, because they’ve foolishly overextended that one into contraception and that simply won’t fly.

  22. 22
    CaseyL says:

    In the 1980s and 1990s, when the Democratic Party cast its lot with corporatists and turned its back on blue collar workers, people wondered why so much of the blue collar constituency went to the GOP which was even worse on economic issues.

    I said then, and have continued to say, the reason was that people have to have a reason to support a political party (duh!).

    Once the Dems no longer fought to lift people out of poverty, voters who supported that but were hostile toward the Democratic Party’s emphasis on civil rights for all felt that none of their issues were being addressed by the Dems. They were finding a home with the GOP, I said, because the GOP at least addressed something they cared about: maintaining the old anti-minority, anti-woman, pro-war, pro-fundamentalist social order.

    If the GOP is no longer willing to push regressive and reactionary culture-war issues, but is intent on maintaining its oligarchic-plutocratic economic positions, then the low-wage, low-information voters who’ve made up its base will again think none of their issues are being taken seriously. The GOP could lose half its constituency.

    It’s interesting to see this happening just as the Democrats are gingerly tiptoeing back into considering economic equality a fight worth waging again.

    These are two trends I hope continue: let the GOP let go of the culture wars but keep its ancien regime economic policies; let the Democrats reclaim economic progress as a core issue (while maintaining its support for civil rights), and we could, maybe, might see liberalism ascendant again.

  23. 23
    daveNYC says:

    @geg6: Considering that he’s a Ronald Reagan appointee things could be much worse.

    That’s the problem with our system, there’s so many damn veto points, and you pretty much have to control all of them to make any progress. And that’s just at the federal level, for a lot of things, the states are just fifty additional veto points (themselves composed of multiple veto points) that seem determined to make things suck for those citizens stuck within their boundaries.

  24. 24
    Biscuits says:

    @Svensker:

    Yep. They will turn their sights on the other half of the population and attack women and their right to agency over their own bodies. What else is an hypocritical busy body and scold to do?

  25. 25
    Gex says:

    @Tim F.: Exactly. These are one and the same. When did the white working class turn on themselves? It seems to have a lot to do with the CRA, the Southern Strategy, and the Christian coalition.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    catclub says:

    @aimai: But why would she want to make sure to rub the noses of Fox news viewers in that news? I, more and more, don’t understand which side she is playing, badly.

  28. 28
    Mnemosyne says:

    @p.a.:

    These laws seem to be solely the product of the mouth breathers.

    Sort of — it’s definitely an organized campaign, and the law in all of these states was written by the same organization, but it was not ALEC. It’s a different organization called Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is a wingnut religious group.

    So, no, all of these states didn’t just happen to get the same “great” idea all at the same time — the bill was written and faxed to all of those legislatures in the hope of sneaking it under the radar. Luckily, the citizens of those states (even Mississippi!) were vigilant and raised a ruckus when they found out what their state governments were trying to sneak past them.

  29. 29
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Gex:

    The “Religious Right” didn’t really get going until history’s greatest monster, Jimmy Carter, went after tax exemptions for the “Christian Academies” set up to keep the blah away from our precious white children in the wake of desegregation.

    Suddenly, they had a reason to want the born-again Jimmy Carter gone. The guy was actually pushing New Testament values that they never cared for, since they used the Bible to justify slavery a century earlier.

    Gloves were off, then.

  30. 30
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Jeffro: Also, for the more libertarian wing, guns evoke the same level of intense and unyielding commitment as banning abortion for the social cons. They’ve got support from the social cons on that as well, and they’ve mostly won so far.

  31. 31
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Those same people had largely voted for Carter in 1976, so they took it as a betrayal.

  32. 32
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    They thought Jimmy just gave lip service to the New Testament, as they do. They were wrong.

  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, I’ll repeat myself from last night. What we need to do is call these laws what they are: they’re the Freedom To Be A Dick Acts of 2014. There are many, many ways that businesses can refuse to do business with people for just about any reason they choose — that’s why every store and restaurant in your town has one of those We Have The Right To Refuse Service To Anyone signs in their front window. Any florist or baker who didn’t want to work with a gay couple could easily say, Sorry, we’re booked that day or come up with another perfectly logical and non-discriminatory excuse to not do business with them.

    But that’s not what these people want. What they want is the ability to be dicks to potential customers with no consequences to themselves. That’s what “freedom” is to them — the freedom to be an asshole to someone who can’t fight back.

  34. 34
    catclub says:

    @Mnemosyne: “even Mississippi”
    The Mississippi legislature appears to be looking at this veeerrry carefully. Since they saw it explode on the Arizona leg. We might even edge up above 49th in the legislature ratings game.

  35. 35

    @Cervantes:
    I read the article. It was very interesting reading. His line about old school sane conservatives being an attitude and not a set of policies was downright weird. Catching hints from the rest of the article, it sounds like he just wants to be a bigoted aristocrat in peace without sinking the nation. He wants gays kept in the closet rather than frothingly denounced. He wants to keep the poor poor, but not starve them – just teach them some character. Similarly, he wants the rich to have low taxes and low regulations, but not pretend that if you keep shrinking those ad infinitum Market Jeebus happens. He disapproves of all these black people and Mexicans all over the place, but would like to be able to put a ‘This is for your own good, dears’ face on that. If things go so far that he can’t achieve these goals, he’s willing to sadly shake his head but understand that the nation is important and you can’t torpedo it just for bigotry. But he really can’t stand dirty hippies. He throws in lines suggesting all of those attitudes somewhere along the line, especially hating the dirty hippies.

    Edit – @Mnemosyne:
    This. Oh my god, this. It’s everywhere in modern conservative thinking. It’s the one thing that unites the business and social conservatives. They want the freedom to be dicks, to the blacks and to their workers and to women and just period. When you take away the businessman’s right to be a dick, the social conservative resents it because he feels the businessman’s dickish pain.

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:

    @catclub:

    I’m going by some of the comments at Think Progress, but it looks like some of your fellow citizens there have been looking out for you all and keeping an eye on the legislature.

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I think you’ve nailed it. They want to be in your face with their hatred of the ghey. They want to be rude and smug and self-righteous about it…and they demand that society as a whole sanction their expression of their bigotry.

  38. 38
    D58826 says:

    The conservatives are having a meltdown over the veto. While she vetoed it, which is good, the only reason was the number of Benjamin’s that were threatening to leave the state, i.e. the business wing of the GOP. It seems by vetoing the bill we start down the slope where the 3-4% gays will round up the 80% Christians and herd them into the FEMA concentration camps

  39. 39
    Shakezula says:

    I think the grifters are running the show, which is why you see so much confusion and infighting. It isn’t a particular political goal; it is cash they’re after.

    They’re like that fungus that infects ants’ and alters the host’s behavior. I predict Griftus Republicanus will have the same impact on the GOP colony.

  40. 40
    AxelFoley says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    You forgot the idiots who keep voting for the GOP against their own economic interests out of spite and/or fear.

    White people?

  41. 41
    feebog says:

    OK, the leadership has its infestation of grifters and opportunistic idiots but the above rule pretty much covers the network of voters, volunteers and money that the grifters and idiots need to keep the game afloat. You can understand every major intraparty conflict in light of this simple rule.

    I think Citizens United has put a little crimp in that line of thinking. When you have a couple of nut jobs like the Koch Brothers willing to spend millions on fringe candidates and issues, the lines between the business camp and the full wingnut camp get blurred. This is further complicated by Billionaires like Sheldon Adelson, who appears to simply want to throw tons of cash at random candidates. I think this trend is going to continue and get a whole lot worse until Scalia goes face down in big plate of pasta some night and we get back a solid majority in the Supreme Court.

  42. 42
    Gex says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Yup. It amazes me that Paul Weyrich can state publicly that Falwell and Robertson didn’t really care about feminism or abortion or any of that and had refused courting from conservatives until that happened. What it shows is how race is THE huge issue for our nation. The war on women and the war on gays may not have happened if the south could have just accepted desegregation or didn’t demand tax exempt segregated Christian academies.

    Actually what amazes me is that no matter how many conservatives admit out loud that they sell their policies with racism (Weyrich, Atwater, Melman, Steele) that it is considered a matter of opinion whether they do or not. It drives me mad, arguing with conservatives who don’t think their party is doing what their party admits that they do.

  43. 43
    Patrick says:

    @feebog:

    I think Citizens United has put a little crimp in that line of thinking. When you have a couple of nut jobs like the Koch Brothers willing to spend millions on fringe candidates and issues, the lines between the business camp and the full wingnut camp get blurred. This is further complicated by Billionaires like Sheldon Adelson, who appears to simply want to throw tons of cash at random candidates. I think this trend is going to continue and get a whole lot worse until Scalia goes face down in big plate of pasta some night and we get back a solid majority in the Supreme Court.

    One wonders what they have against President Obama and his policies. These people, for example Koch and Adelson, have arguably done much better financially under Obama than any other President. And their tax rates have not gone up much, if at all. Or is this all about race?

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @D58826:

    It seems by vetoing the bill we start down the slope where the 3-4% gays will round up the 80% Christians and herd them into the FEMA concentration camps

    This will only happen if Obama gets off this thin black ass and pokes FEMA into setting them up.

    Oh, and the numbers are not THAT daunting, it’s only 27% of the population that needs to be processed.

  45. 45
    D58826 says:

    @Patrick: as Grouch Marx used to say – ‘say the magic word and win the prize’ – race

  46. 46
    Gex says:

    @Patrick: It’s not about race. They’ve used race, but that’s not what it is about.

    It is about ideology. They flat out don’t believe government should interfere with them or that they should be taxed. They would rather have poor results without interference than good results with. Take what’s going on with bitcoin for example.

    It’s not dissimilar to how the religious right endorses policies that increase teen pregnancies and abortions rather than compromising on their principles.

    I don’t believe for one minute the Catholic Church wants to essentially adopt positions that appear to aid and abet child predators. But the alternative is to acknowledge that they should be reporting them to secular government. They absolutely cannot abide by the idea that they are one among many groups that all fall under the purview of government. They need to be above it.

    So the insistence on their ideology being right and unassailable leads them to actions that are detrimental to themselves.

  47. 47

    @Patrick:
    Rich people are as crazy as poor people – probably more crazy, since they can’t starve by being stupid and nuts. The Koch family has a hundred years of fighting the socialists, anarchists, Jewish bankers, and their allies the inferior races backing them. They helped found the Birchers. They are paranoid and rather than living in the 1980s like most conservatives, live in the 1910s. Adelson made it pretty clear that he’s your bog standard extremist Zionist. He will shovel masses of money at anybody who promises him genocide against the Palestinians with an option on all Arabs and Muslims.

  48. 48

    @Tim F.: The overlap is not 100% not all the haters are religious or social conservatives, plenty of the 99% are worried about the imaginary threat of inflation.

  49. 49
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Patrick:

    I think race has a lot to do with it, but one of the Koch brothers gave an interview and said that his main problem with Obama is that Obama is an “egalitarian”. Like this was the dirtiest word in the English language. This small man, who would probably be the night manager of a Burger King if his daddy hasn’t left him millions of Joe Stalin’s money, doesn’t like egalitarianism. Surely the idea that the black man is the equivalent of a white man disturbs Koch greatly.

  50. 50
    Cervantes says:

    @feebog: Arrabbiata.

  51. 51
    Gene108 says:

    @Gex:

    The white working class turned on themselves sometime between the Jamestown colony and 1776. Pitting the poor against each other is in the bones of this country.

  52. 52
    Cervantes says:

    @Gex:

    It is about ideology. They flat out don’t believe government should interfere with them or that they should be taxed. They would rather have poor results without interference than good results with.

    Adelson, the Kochs, et al.? How do you explain the boatloads of money they spend lobbying the federal government to do something for them or against their competitors? So long as the tool exists they use it, but they’d rather not have the tool in the first place?

  53. 53
    Biscuits says:

    @Gex:

    Just watched a Frontline episode on the Catholic Church. Sick. Don’t know about the new pope. I’m still on the fence, but what he’s up against will be no small accomplishment if he can clean it all up. Not holding my breath.

  54. 54
    Gex says:

    @Biscuits: Here’s my opinion of the new Pope on this issue: He issued prayers for the victims of the Church. (Got a lot of positive PR just like he did with his meaningless but pretty sounding words about gays.) I’m pretty sure if prayers were at all effective in helping those kids, they would have prayed the abuse away themselves. I’ll be more impressed if the Pope demands policies that involve CALLING THE GODDAMN POLICE when abuse is suspected. As long as they continue to deal with things in house what they will be doing is keeping pedophiles on the streets.

    @Cervantes: If they get the government to wage war on their competitors they are still getting their way, aren’t they? If it wasn’t the government they’d use private armies or whatever. The bottom line is what they say goes.

  55. 55
    Biscuits says:

    @Gex:

    Agreed!

  56. 56
    Tim F. says:

    @Gex: The ideology is also about race. News outlets started using black faces to illustrate stories about poverty in the 1960’s and public opinion, in particular among the poor and white, turned sharply against government efforts to help the poor. Their distaste for the government helping people comes directly from them believing that the government will help poor minorities.

  57. 57
    NCSteve says:

    Not true. The real civil war in the GOP now is between the plutocrats who think the ideal form of government is kleptocracy, and want a large, powerful federal government that can directly transfer wealth to them from the plebes through taxation and spending policy, and the plutocrats who think the ideal form of government is neofeudal warlordism who want to shrink the federal government down to 18th century levels so they can get own with enserfing the population and fleecing it directly. They’re allies who’ve reached the point where their objectives are diverging before well before their war against an enemy that is an existential threat to both of them is won.

    The Tea Party and the theocrats are just weapons that these two factions use against each other in their war.

  58. 58
    Gex says:

    @Cervantes: @Gex: IOW there’s a huge difference to them whether the government is doing what they tell it to do or if they have to do what the government tells them to do.

  59. 59
    Gex says:

    @Tim F.: I do agree with that for the current incarnation of this movement especially with the working folks who are voting Republican. But to the plutocrats up above, I think they will use whatever is at hand. Race has been the most longstanding and effective tool at their disposal, for sure.

  60. 60
    EthylEster says:

    @Svensker: Yes, i agree that it is too soon to declare general victory and go home. The wingers will continue to attack on different fronts. That will not change for a long time IMO.

  61. 61
    Chris says:

    @NCSteve:

    The real civil war in the GOP now is between the plutocrats who think the ideal form of government is kleptocracy, and want a large, powerful federal government that can directly transfer wealth to them from the plebes through taxation and spending policy, and the plutocrats who think the ideal form of government is neofeudal warlordism who want to shrink the federal government down to 18th century levels so they can get own with enserfing the population and fleecing it directly.

    Fascinating – you’re describing Rockefeller vs. Goldwater in the 1964 Republican primary. The more things change…

  62. 62
    Chris says:

    @Cervantes:

    If only conservatives would surrender some of their attachment to free-market economics and their distrust of labor unions and federal power, Viguerie believes, there would be more than enough agreement between the blue-collar workers and the Reaganites to form a powerful new party.

    Doesn’t this ignore the fact that blue-collar workers nowadays are disproportionately not white, and that these people are a lot less likely to respond to white people button issues like “busing” and “gun control”? It sounds like this character is trying to reinvent the Nixonian wheel (“look at all these white working-class voters who’re the base of the Democratic coalition! If we attract them, we’ve won the country!”) and ignoring the fifty years that’ve elapsed since then. The “white + SoCon + working class” demographic isn’t what it used to be.

  63. 63
    Chris says:

    @Jeffro:

    I still think the modern GOP has a 3rd leg of their stool*: the glibertarian wing, the IGMFU crowd, those who rarely if ever attend church (and some who are probably horrified at the theocons) but have a knee-jerk response to anything the Dems do or say and just can’t bring themselves to side with Dems on any issue.

    Like you said… IMO, those are pretty much just a subset of big business Republicans. Maybe “Koch wannabes” instead of “Kochs.”

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    You forgot the idiots who keep voting for the GOP against their own economic interests out of spite and/or fear.

    No, that’s just the SoCons/teabaggers.

  64. 64
    Chris says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Rich people are as crazy as poor people – probably more crazy, since they can’t starve by being stupid and nuts. The Koch family has a hundred years of fighting the socialists, anarchists, Jewish bankers, and their allies the inferior races backing them. They helped found the Birchers. They are paranoid and rather than living in the 1980s like most conservatives, live in the 1910s. Adelson made it pretty clear that he’s your bog standard extremist Zionist. He will shovel masses of money at anybody who promises him genocide against the Palestinians with an option on all Arabs and Muslims.

    This. It’s not only that “business cons do not always oppose the social agenda,” quite a few of them hold all the same attitudes and prejudices. The only question is if you can get enough of them to care more about their money than about these prejudices.

    Still remember a pro-choice, vaguely pro-gay, Chris Christie voting 1%er friend explaining to us that her father’s country club didn’t take blacks or Jews. In the 2010s. On the supposedly cosmopolitan East Coast.

  65. 65
    Chris says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    It’s the one thing that unites the business and social conservatives. They want the freedom to be dicks, to the blacks and to their workers and to women and just period. When you take away the businessman’s right to be a dick, the social conservative resents it because he feels the businessman’s dickish pain.

    That, and the fact that there’s so much overlap in the people they hate.

    The difference between business and social conservatives is that business conservatives hate black people because so many of them are poor, and social conservatives hate poor people because so many of them are black.

  66. 66
    johnny aquitard says:

    I think Arizona represents the last surge of a receding tide in America.

    Yes because in 20 years most of these teabagging fuckers will be dead.

    This is a generational thing as much as a race thing.

    Obama — a post-boomer blah — is not ‘one of them’ on both counts.

  67. 67
    johnny aquitard says:

    @Chris:

    business conservatives hate black people because so many of them are poor, and social conservatives hate poor people because so many of them are black

    Damn. That’s as succinct an explanation of conservatism and race in America as it gets.

  68. 68
    NonyNony says:

    @Jeffro:

    Maybe they’re really just a faction of the big business wing – they certainly act like that in practice, in the end – but to me they seem like their own separate faction, particularly in age (50 and under).

    They’re part of the big business wing. They’re the deluded saps that the business wing relies on to carry their water for them.

    What? You think that water is going to carry itself?

  69. 69
    Cervantes says:

    @Chris: You are aware the article was written in 1977?

  70. 70
    Chris says:

    @Cervantes:

    Oh. Nope. Sorry, I misread. For 1977, the character was spot on.

  71. 71
    gorram says:

    @Patrick: I think you’re missing the point. Some moneyed interests just want more money (or better rules for how to hold on to it), but those aren’t the Adelsons and Kochs and others who are bankrolling the GOP, but the “bipartisan,” “centrist,” “third way” types. A lot of them actually crossed over and supported Obama in 2008 (although most of them switched back). They’ve dabbled in Democratic politics since the Clinton era, because all they care about is their bottom line, and sometimes economic populism is what they need to stimulate their profits (although they pretty much always try to negotiate for that alongside “tax relief”).

    Other parts of the wealthy, however, don’t prioritize maximizing their profits so much as maximizing their incomes and resources compared to others. Their aim is to have power over people, and what’s super important for them is not only that they have massive profits but that also that others have less. For them, money is a means to an end – displays of dominance that other people have to politely accept.

    Part of the crisis in current GOP leadership is that these two camps have stopped cooperating – screwing over the little people has taken the form of new policies so damaging to the economy that they threaten corporate profits. That’s part of what’s driven the shift in a lot of Wall Street and finances towards independents (think Bloomberg), because they don’t buy the Democrats’ line that more populism will help the economy but they’re realizing that the Republicans would rather blow the whole thing up (just think back to the widespread reject of TARP by GOP congressional representatives).

    Basically, think of the difference between Costco and Walmart. There’s two types of rich people: ones who want to print their own money and ones who want a monopoly on printing money.

  72. 72
    karen says:

    @AxelFoley:

    White people whose only sense of validation is that their stale bread is better than non-white, non-Christian’s people’s crumbs. That’s why they hate Obama so much and claim he was an Affirmative Action President because G-d forbid, a Ni-CLANG is smarter and better than they are. I

  73. 73
    jake the snake says:

    You have to give the Republican Party credit for having so long held together a coalition of morality Stalinists and economic anarchists. (at least in the Kim Stanley Robinson sense, they want police protection from the riff-raff.

  74. 74
    jake the snake says:

    @Biscuits:

    From what little I know, the Jesuits are pretty much the best of the Catholic Church. Pope Francis was a savvy PR move by the Cardinals. He gives the Church a populist face it has not had in maybe forever. I feel like he is sincere, but the Catholic Church will remain as authoritarian and hierarchal as it has ever been, it may just be a little bit less reactionary.

  75. 75
    jake the snake says:

    @Gene108:

    Jay Gould, “I could pay half the working class to shoot the other half.”

    The Kochs realize they don’t have to pay them, they just need to convince
    one half that the other is getting something they don’t have.

  76. 76
    ThorntonHall says:

    @Belafon: or they will go the Way Of The Whigs and be replaced with a new right leaning but reality based party. The first step is watching them wither into a rump controlling a few confederate state houses. States that will first go blue and then go to the new party include Utah and Arizona.

  77. 77
    ThorntonHall says:

    or they will go the Way Of The Whigs and be replaced with a new right leaning but reality based party. The first step is watching them wither into a rump controlling a few confederate state houses. States that will first go blue and then go to the new party include Utah and Arizona.

Comments are closed.