10 thoughts on “The Movement

  1. Great article. It parallels what I know about authoritarian psychology, and how this plays out with individual authoritarians. When defeated, authoritarians don’t change or give up, they dig in harder. It’s an existential struggle for them, as the article repeatedly states. And it shows the cluelessness of the big players – the media, the Democrats, the non-Movement Republicans, in seeing how radically different this is from politics-as-usual. I’m sure you’re as tired as I of the false equivalences uninformed people constantly make between left and right.

    The one set of institutions starting to get a clue to all of this are those relating to security – the FBI, DHS, and so on. That report they issued a few months ago, along with the general uptick in right wing violence this year is something I’m sure they understand better than anybody. This understanding is slowly working its way into other areas. Over at Orcinus, I watched Anderson Cooper respectfully interview David Niewert, who’s been tracking this for a long time. It’s a good start.

  2. moonbat — I thought you’d like it. I thought it was spot on. The parasite analogy is especially illuminating, I thought.

  3. Three pieces, I think, explain a lot about what happened to the conservative movement:

    1. Sam Tanenhaus’s speech from a year and a half ago at the AEI is great:


    Tanenhaus basically predicts the rise of Joe the plumber and Sarah Palin months before they become a phenomena.

    2. Read Jim Sleeper’s explication of that speech (it’s a bit breathless in places, but still helpful):


    3. Keeping in mind what Sam Tanenhaus said about a “presidential party,” “Caesarist presidency,” and “bureaucratic elite,” read this piece on the elements of Republican presidential anti-intellectual populism:



    Supplemental reading:

    George Packer boils things down with less philosophical and political name dropping than Tanenhaus and Sleeper:



    Republican David Frum hedges, but basically concedes Tanenhaus’s diagnosis:


    Frum translates it into exoteric language for the conservative masses:


  4. “Parasite analogy”?

    Hell Barb, it’s more like they all been bit by a Werewolf…

  5. I read this article the other evening, and then hardly slept a wink.
    It confirmed what many here have been writing about for ages – maha, moonbat, erinyes, Doug Hughes, and others.
    Look at the Minutewoman (if is there such a word) and her two accomplices arrested for B & E and killing a father and daughter, and wounding the wife.
    Incidents like this will continue to increase, as DHS predicted.
    And, I truly fear for our President and other of our leaders. All it’ll take is one or two supremecist’s to infliltrate the Secret Service and… You get my drift.

    PS: JJ, thanks for my afternoon reading project.

  6. JJ, thanks for my afternoon reading project.

    Actually, the AEI lecture is an audiofile–over an hour long and worth every minute.

    The weird thing is the influence of Marx on the Republican party. “Country and Western Marxism.”

    I disagree with the idea that the GOP is going to come back into power very soon, though. They’re pretty screwed up. As Rick Perlstein put it, “the incentives are so misaligned.”

  7. Excellent. Good find.

    I’d read Hofstadter, Canetti, Chris Hedges and studies on mortality salience and it’s use in herding a sheep-like populace but this is more specific, more current and brings a lot into focus.

    It was disheartening to me that the few I shared Hedges American Fascists with shunned it stating reasons such as being too depressing and that it could never happen here. That speaks tons to me.

    My first impression is that we are now witnessing a sorting out phase by which many who still call themselves conservatives are looking for somewhere to turn as their vehicle, the Republican Party, has become something altogether different than what it once was.

    Will more defections leave behind something more distilled, transparent and more readily apparent? Their success seems to depend on appearing to be something they’re not and whistles heard only by a relative few.

    This denudes talking points that were always fairly transparent but the identification pf underlying patterns in issues and talking points that morph slightly depending upon the rung of the socioeconomic ladder they’re aimed at was most interesting to me. Different sets of reasons from base to intellectual, same unifying, underlying nationalist/racist agenda. But here? In the melting pot?

    It seems to me that they will have a harder go of it as they try to make a go of it.

    Wow! The movement is full service. Something there for everyone from fast food to fine dining.

    I second the thanks to JJ.

  8. Quite a few people I know who are conservatives have decided to follow Ron Paul, sadly, not so much for his anti-war stance as for his ideas regarding taxes and the federal reserve.
    One old boy around the corner is truly loosing sleep about Barak Huessin O’bama
    (Yeah, I know, but he’s an honorary Irishman to me so far…)
    The poor old guy thinks we’re headed to socialism( but he has his Medicare and V.A. Benefits, plus a ton of money from selling his business at the right time.)

    In the neighborhood I live in, most households are staunchly Republican church goers, business owners or managers. I’m the odd man out with my cultivated jungle of bamboo and bananas, welding machine, and bucket truck. We see the world through vastly different prisims…..
    Until the next Hurricane hits.

    Leo Strauss started this whole mess with his theory of American exceptionalism.
    We’ve turned into one big mushroom farm.Thanks to Leo Strauss, Irving and William Kristol.(And FOX Disinformation)

  9. I hear you Erin…

    Oh yeah, we’re really headed for socialism. Just show them this.

    Yep, just one more tiny step and we’re past the point of not return…let the demons out of pandoras box.

    Then there’s the old “I don’t trust the government” schtick. We’ve heard “Government bad” like scolded dogs for so long the weak-minded have internalized it. I thin the question to ask is whether one trusts the kind of corporate head that takes the money and runs or only insures people if it increases his bottom line.

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