Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Wednesday, April 8th, 2009.

Hopping to Crazyland

conservatism, News Media, Republican Party

Call it Clash of the Titan Wingnuts. Pam Geller of Atlas Shrugged is accusing Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs of being an infiltrator, a neo-nazi, a fellow traveler of jihadists. Macranger calls CJ a “closet liberal” (ouch!).

Johnson actually said something sensible, which of course is beyond the pale for a wingnut. Commenting on a Politico piece called “Extremist rhetoric won’t rebuild GOP,” Johnson said,

This turn toward the extreme right on the part of Fox News is troubling, and will achieve nothing in the long run except further marginalization of the GOP—unless people start behaving like adults instead of angry kids throwing tantrums and ranting about conspiracies and revolution.

Based on blog reaction to Johnson, we needn’t be concerned that the Right will take Johnson’s advice.

I want to shift gears for a moment and look at some numbers — Nate Silver shows us that the GOP has lost considerable popularity in recent years. “[T]hose persons who continue to identify as Republicans are a hardened — and very conservative — lot. Just 24 percent of voters identified as Republican when Pew conducted this survey in March, which is roughly as low as that total has ever gotten,” says Nate.

If you go to you can find a page with “Dem versus GOP” approval ratings going back several years. There have been more Dems than Republicans all along, but since the 1970s the Dems took a big dive in party dominance. However, in very recent years they’ve been coming back.

A question asked sporadically by the ABC News/Washington Post poll, “Overall, which party — the Democrats or the Republicans — do you trust to do a better job in coping with the main problems the nation faces over the next few years?” shows the Dems consistently ahead going back to 1992, except for the years 2002 and 2003, when the GOP came way out on top. But by 2004 the Dems had the advantage again.

A Gallup question, “Looking ahead for the next few years, which political party do you think will do a better job of keeping the country prosperous: the Republican Party or the Democratic Party?” had the two parties evenly split, 42 to 42 percent, in 2002. But in 2007 the Dems were up, 54 to 34 percent.

So this movement in public opinion away from the GOP and toward the Dems isn’t something that just started this year. It appears it started in 2004. It just took awhile to become obvious even in mass news media.

At The New Republic, Chris Orr has an intriguing analysis of what’s happening on the Right. Essentially, the Right is already so marginalized its members have nothing else to do but compete with each other for position within the movement. And to do that they’re all trying to out-flank each other on the Right. So conservative politicians and media personalities are in a big potato sack race, hopping to Crazyland.

See also No More Mister Nice Blog.

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