Stuff to Read

Juan Cole’s most recent post on Libya. So far, so good. He thinks the new government will reject NATO bases, which is not surprising. He also thinks China will be frozen out of new oil investments in Libya. Heh.

Alexander Keyssar, “The Real Grand Bargain, Coming Undone.” Interesting —

In the presidential election of 1912, 75 percent of the vote went to candidates who called themselves “progressive” or “socialist.”

Republicans are going all out trying to pin a $4 trillion national debt on President Obama. But see this nice graphic I picked up at Steve Benen’s place:

Anything else?

Update: The artist who painted (warning — if you’re at work, turn your volume off before clicking) this painting sent me a nice letter asking if I wanted to buy a print. Gee, what should I say?

Has Michele Bachmann peaked? I’ve been thinking the same thing.

A Brit has to explain to other Brits that not all Americans are crazy.

9 thoughts on “Stuff to Read

  1. ‘In the presidential election of 1912, 75 percent of the vote went to candidates who called themselves “progressive” or “socialist.”’

    Well, we’ll never have to worry about that happening again, eh?

    A century ago, people had more time to think and to discuss. To put things into perspective, to give things context. All without as many outside influences.
    They didn’t have a Luntz and think tanks spinning bullshit into political gold talking points.
    They didn’t have Drudge as his go-to guy, to propel the propaganda out to the MSM.
    They didn’t have FOX News picking it up and spewing propaganda 24x7x365 on TV.
    Or, the Conservative radio lap dogs (and one fat St. Bernard) yapping 24x7x365 on their home and car radios.
    They didn’t have as many syndicated Conservative Op-ed columnists, providing cover in trusted black print on white paper.
    They didn’t have legions of well-paid pundits in the Right Wing Media Wurlitzer, ready to spin whatever needs to be spun in whatever medium will take them that day.

    And the Conservatives have been great at messaging and changing meanings and perceptions.
    “Liberal” has been turned into ‘n*gger’ or ‘n*gger-lover,’ and a peacenik at any pricenik.
    And “Progressive” now means ‘minority/gay-loving’ atheist, and drug-taking DFH who’s a ‘Hate America First” fetus killer.
    And “Socialist” has been turned into a rob every hard working white person to give money to the ‘n*ggers,’ and a minority/gay-loving Godless heathen who longs for Sharia Law.

    Now, good luck trying to get 75% of the people to agree to call themselves that.

  2. It might be worth pointing out that in 1912 all voters were male and overwhelmingly white, which makes this even more interesting.

    I’m posting the Washington Post article to my Facebook page.

  3. “asking if I wanted to buy a print. Gee, what should I say?”

    I would say a polite “piss off” would suffice. Wow as seen on TeeVee, but wait there’s more…..

  4. That statistic from 1912 reminds me of a parallel statistic from today, where a majority of voters called themself “conservative” despite favoring policies that are usually associated with liberals. In other words, “liberal” and “socialist” have been so successfully demonized by the right, that people don’t even use these labels anymore.

    Bachmann apparently isn’t the campaigner that Rick Perry is, who skillfully is moving her numbers into his column, by constantly dishing out the red meat her supporters crave.

  5. twtflrd,
    “…but wait there’s more…”

    ‘You also get a set of Paul Ryan Ginsu knives, to slice, cut and chop Medicare and Medicaid! And they make mounds and mounds of cole slaw!

    And even that’s not all – you get a set of flathead and phillips screwdrivers to screw the poor, the elderly, and minorities!

    And, finally, a bumper-sticker for you car that reads:
    “WWJRTFO!? L’s!
    Who Would Jesus Run The F*CK Over? Liberals!’

    All yours, and the painting for $29.95.
    Or, to save money, 3 convenient payments of $14.95 – because it’s not just in God you should trust, but US!’ *

    *Not including S&H, especially if we eliminate the US Post Office.

  6. The difference between 1912 and now is

    1) the Mighty Wurlitzer (the field of public relations really didn’t get going until WW1 and beyond) didn’t exist back then. Left wing ideas were able to compete on an equal footing with those from the right.

    2) some well known, spectacular failures in socialism (or what’s attributed to socialism), such as the Soviet Union and Communist China, whose reputation far outshadows the success stories (most of Europe, Canada, etc). In 1912, Marxism was a rising star, a great hope for the laboring masses, as well as certain enlightened businessmen.

    3) our own experiment with socialism, the New Deal, taught right wingers that they better not let that happen again. Hence the decades of demonization that followed.

  7. Maybe Republicans should just call themselves “antisocialists”. It would fit.

    As for women calling themselves conservative– people don’t like labels. I the 70’s, women didn’t call themselves feminists, even though the vast majority would agree with pretty much every feminist position.

    • Maybe Republicans should just call themselves “antisocialists”. It would fit.

      “Antihumanists” would fit even better.

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