The Election Thing

Yesterday, among other things, the President said,

So let’s work together to make government work better, instead of treating it like an enemy or purposely making it work worse. That’s not what the founders of this nation envisioned when they gave us the gift of self-government. You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president, then argue for your position. Go out there and win an election. Push to change it. But don’t break it. Don’t break what our predecessors spent over two centuries building. That’s not being faithful to what this country is about.

Also yesterday, Daniel Larison of The American Conservative responded to Erick Erickson:

The fixation on punishing the Senate Republicans that “surrendered” is revealing. It shows that Erickson still doesn’t grasp that lack of control of the Senate doomed any effort to force significant concessions from the administration, and it shows how oblivious he remains to the greater political dangers that the GOP just escaped. Having a larger number of uncompromising Republicans in the Senate probably wouldn’t have prevented yesterday’s deal, since nearly two-thirds of the Senate GOP voted for it anyway. That’s a lot of “charlatans” to defeat.

People talk about “extremists” and “moderates” in the Republican Party. But what is the difference, really? They don’t disagree on issues, from what I can tell. On issue after issue — taxes, reproduction rights, health care — they’re all pretty much on the same page. The only substantial difference I can see is that the “moderates” realize elections have to be won, and the “extremists” don’t know that, or don’t care.

Conventional wisdom is saying that the GOP can kiss off any hope of re-taking the Senate in 2014, and they might also lose seats in the House. Obviously many Republicans in Congress saw their poll numbers diving and realized the hostage-taking amounted to the GOP shooting itself in the foot. And, as Larison says, there was never any realistic chance that all but the most inconsequential hostage demands would be approved by the Senate and accepted by the President. But the extremists couldn’t see that. Did the results of the 2012 elections not sink in? Well, no, I guess not.

It seems to me that the extremists are so intoxicated by their pathological certitude and entitled self-righteousness that elections are a mere technicality to them. Of course they like winning elections, because they see that as vindication. But when elections are lost, it doesn’t sink in that maybe their would-be constituents disagree with them. Rather, when elections are lost it is because the Will of Real Americans like them is being blocked by demonic forces. These demonic forces are served by the secret liberal elite cabal that runs the world and their lackeys in news media.

Obviously, God does not want them to accept the results of elections that go against them, because they are on God’s side. And to purify elections, they feel they must put bigger and tighter filters between voters and voting, so that only God’s People are allowed to vote. Only then will America be saved from the hell of multiculturalism and affordable health care for everyone.

Seriously; that’s how they think. In their minds, voter restrictions do not weaken republican representative government. Rather, by taking voting away from unclean riffraff they are restoring America to the pure and holy state the Founders intended. Or something.

And if they have to destroy the government and the economy and even get people killed to bring about their ends, so be it. “But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.” (Malachi 3:1-18)

36 thoughts on “The Election Thing

  1. I’m not going to leave another long-ass word-turd on this subject.
    FSM knows I’ve left enough broadband patties.

    All I’ll say – AGAIN!!! – is that today’s Conservatives are Manichean loons!
    A foul blend of Dominionist Evangelical Chritian, and John Birch Society, MANICHEAN LOONS!!!

  2. I think you are on to something. Elections that don’t go the way they want are therefore illegitimate. That’s part of why Obama cannot be accepted as President. Either time. I think their “reasoning” goes, “we are right, so right-thinking people agree with us, and most people think normally, so most people must agree with us, so we are the majority and will win the vote. So if we don’t, there must be something wrong with the mechanism of the election, because obviously it can’t reflect the way The American People think, since they agree with us, because they, by definition, think the right way, and that means the way we do.”

    The rest is about tuning the process to more closely reflect what they know to be true.

    What I still don’t get about the shutdown was how they thought they were going to get around an Obama veto. I guess they really did think he’d cave? Maybe because they can’t actually wrap their heads around a black man wielding the power of the office? I don’t know.

  3. “It shows that Erickson still doesn’t grasp that lack of control of the Senate doomed any effort to force significant concessions from the administration”

    Unless and until the GOP stops listening to airheads like Ericson they are doomed. It’s funny that McCain now sees how silly the whole teatard movement that he helped inflame is (Caribou Barbie). Nice Job John!

  4. I was thinking about the mathematical phenomenon known as “The Wisdom of the Crowd”. Large groups of people given a task, like estimating the weight of a large animal or the number of jelly beans in a jar, differ wildly on their individual estimates. But when the results are averaged, they are are quite accurate. Much of this depends on a large sample of people, not subjected to selection bias. So, tweaking the electorate, by selectively removing a given group or by gerrymandering, can skew the results by removing a demographic that had previously balanced out another. The end result would be further from what would have been “The Wisdom of the Crowd”, which may suggest why democracy works at all.

  5. the extremists are so intoxicated by their pathological certitude and entitled self-righteousness

    There’s just this childish notion that anyone who doesn’t think like they do is a deluded fool, and doesn’t deserve to vote. And so the evil librul media is to blame, for deluding the masses, or the 47% who are hooked on gubmint checks.

    I remember being 14 or 15 or so, and unable to understand why people in my family didn’t see things like I did. This resulted in a couple years of anger-driven arguments, until it finally clicked that others have their own viewpoint, and there’s nothing that can (or should) be done to change it. Wingnuts never got past this stage.

  6. purposely making [government] work worse. That’s not what the founders of this nation envisioned when they gave us the gift of self-government

    Professor Obama nailed that one. Too bad the Atlas Shrugged idiots are asleep in class.


  7. The GOP can become relevant again by either (a) changing their policies to fit the needs of a majority of the voters, and/or (b) changing their message to reach and not turn off a majority of the voters, or (c) ensuring more voters do not get to vote. (a) and (b) was the obvious takeaway from 2012, but apparently because of “pathological certitude and entitled self-righteousness” they’ve decided to focus on (c).

  8. I’d say it’s actually easier for them psychologically to loose because, essentially, they are incapable of governing. So they’d prefer their short-term anger orgasms – which come frequently because a wingnut can always find something to hate – than actual, real, fulfilling roles in society and effective government. They’re political Pick Up Artists, degrading everyone and looking for a hit.

    Much like the Pick Up Artist types, the Repulblican brand is basically a scam that mostly appeals to insiders. There’s a lot of money sloshing around, a lot of looking for validation, and very little sense of reality.

    For far too many people in the Republican sphere, their lives are fine as long as they yell a lot and hate the right people. Then the money rolls in. The system’s incentives are stacked to keep creating a crazier, inbred, more pathological system. Because enough people benefit in the short term to exploit it.

    I’m expecting at some point, in 2-6 years, a massive, ugly, wingnut meltdown. It’ll essentially be a few commentators or congresspersons going seriously crazy after a defeat to the point of advocating violence, and that violence will happen. Or it’ll be several violent outbursts from the way-far gone. Either way, at some point the meltdown will come, and I believe in a final raging climax, there will be people getting hurt or killed.

    Then, the Republicans will look around shamefacedly and really NOT know where to go.

  9. “And if they have to destroy the government and the economy and even get people killed to bring about their ends, so be it.”

    My comment from yesterday was a long winded attempt to say what Barbara did in a sentence. The political influence of the Tea Party has peaked. The democrats worked as a block and crushed the coup attempt. The GOP establishment is openly rejecting the Tea Party tactics and dominance. That doesn’t mean the Tea Party will go away quietly or accept defeat in the political arena. Some will go terrorist on us.

    Barbara asked what the difference between a ‘moderate’ and a ‘radical’ republican is. In one word, compromise. In coming debates over the budget, democrats could demand dollar-for-dollar revenue for cuts and make the GOP ‘own’ where the cuts would take place. With moderates anyway. The ‘radical’ right will flat refuse to consider the revenue side and offer to take the country down – shutdown and/or default if it isn’t ALL cuts. Democrats should hang tough together and make sure they present a reasonable stance ‘dollar-for-dollar’ … and DARE the GOP to shut down the government again.

  10. People talk about “extremists” and “moderates” in the Republican Party. But what is the difference, really?

    Perhaps it’s a level of maturity? One word that pops out to me in what Obama says is the word responsible or responsibility. It seems to me that so many these young guns are so engrossed in their little fantasy worlds of ideology that they lose their connection to society. They don’t have a mature sense of responsibility to our nation as citizens.. To them it’s like a big video game where real consequences for the damage they inflict don’t matter.

  11. If you can take it, here’s “The Whore of Babblin’on” doin’ what she does best – babblin’on incoherently:

    You know the word-salad shooter is spewing out more than veggies, when even a sociopathic simp like Megyn Kelly has a tough time not rolling her eyes and screaming “ENOUGH! I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!! YOU DON’T PAY ME ENOUGH TO INTERVIEW THE DERANGED!!!”

    And if you can make out what the f*ck “The Whore of Babblin’-on” is yammering on about the President and Syria killing Syrians, please send me your “Gibberish Decoder Ring.”

  12. gulag…She’s talking about the Syrians in Benghazi who crossed the line in the sand after Obama drew it.

  13. The sorry fact is that Republicans in the House think they won the last election. After all, more Republicans than Democrats were elected to the House (even though they got fewer votes. I remember seeing a Congressman saying that before the whole shut down mess.

    Republicans succeed by appealing to the emotions against the self interest of most of their own voters. Maybe Democrats need to do more of an emotional appeal and less of an intellectual or snarky one.

  14. Jeez,
    I only got 7 out of 12.
    How dum iz me?
    I can’t tell alien threats, from those from our own Conservative Barbarians!!!

  15. I did worse than all of you. I’ve never seen the show or anything about it so when the quote got too florid, I just chalked it up to the standard high drama, low fact talking points.

    However, I did just follow a link provided by a “conservative” friend of mine in which a “brilliant” surgeon explains why Obamacare is “the worst thing since slavery”. I did it in the interest of hearing both sides.

    I’m still in shock. It was the lamest thing I have seen in a long time. But, then it wasn’t intended to present an argument, just allow people to validate their ignorance and pretend that they share an opinion with a certified smart person. The comments were swooning tributes to his genius. What planet do these people come from?

    I am on the wagon for a month, but a double bourbon would help wash the memory away.

  16. On FB today I was sent something from “The Conservative Lady” saying President Obama was planning Jihad and Muslim Brotherhood takeover of the nation. There was a video I didn’t bother to watch after I saw the wild accusation. The very churchy lady who sent it to me evidently believes this kind of stuff. The obvious hysteria behind these believers is worrisome. It is far far beyond political differences or attitudes about how we live. There is no working with someone they demonize so thoroughly, so his destruction is their only acceptable goal/outcome. Rationality be damned. This is all pretty obvious, I suppose, but I just hadn’t gotten around to admitting it directly.

  17. Bill Bush…Remember this. .
    I think every registered voter or household in America got one of these dvd’s sent to them. Whoever was behind it had to have spent tens of millions of dollars to try to smear Obama. I can’t recall any event in history were such an extensive effort was made to destroy a mans character and reputation then what was heaped up Obama.
    To me it only adds strength and meaning to the scripture that says: No weapon formed against me shall prosper.

    One of the things included in the Dreams of my Real Father smear job was a chapter that claimed the Frank Marshall Davis fathered Obama during an episode where Obama’s mother was posing nude for Davis. Davis is on record as having an interest in nude photography, and has photographed nudes. But the pictures that they showed claiming to be Davis’s work are unmistakably the work of Irving Klaw .

    The model in the photographs did have similar facial features to Obama’s mother. They focused on an LP album jacket cover showing in the photograph of Nat King Cole’s songs that could establish a feasibility in a time line – about 1959 – when the picture was taken. But they didn’t bother to hide Irving Klaw’s signature method of how he marked his negatives so that his work was always unmistakable. To the ignorant rubes it was a slam dunk that those pictures were Obama’s mother.
    It a real shame that somebody would stoop that low to smear another human being like that…but that’s what’s out there. They hate Obama solely because he’s black and for no other reason. They’re just racist scumbags.

  18. Ever since the President won the election, I wake up every morning, and check CNN to see if anything’s happened to him, overnight.

    My mom and I are constantly worried about him and his family.
    The kind of demonization and hatred he and his family have endured, exceeds even the vitriol towards Bill and Hillary Clinton.
    And if, FSM forbid, something DOES happen to him, or to his family, all of the haters, like Rush, and Sean, and Coulter, and Malkin, and any others who actually have media voices and followers, will be the first ones to say, “Hey, I’M not responsible!”
    The ones who stoke the hatred are always the first ones to drop the shovel, run away, and say that they weren’t the ones fueling the flames.

    Many of us hated, and still do, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney – but I don’t think that anywhere near the majority of us wished upon him of them and their families, what our Reich-Wingers wish upon Barack Hussein Obama and his family.
    All I wanted was for them to leave office as peacefully as possible. And then, hopefully, face trials charged as War Criminals.
    And while I’m not happy that they still haven’t had to defend themselves at a trial, and probably never will – and that “The Dick of Death” Cheney, is still out there, yakking to the MSM seemingly every day, as are other high-level W people – at least they left office.

    And that’s a far cry from what our Reich-Wingers wish for the current President and his family.

    And if Hillary runs, expect more of the same.
    Actually, with these Manichean loons and morons, EVERY Democrat/Liberal/Progressive is in league with the Devil.
    It’s just that a Black Democratic President, to these loons and morons, IS the Devil.

  19. Following Bill Bush’s comment:

    I actually value facebook a lot because it reveals things about people that they wouldn’t share in polite company. I have some whacko friends who seem to spout an endless font of misinformation, misattributed quotations, anger and hatred. The first two feed the second. My whacko friends also seem to have absolutely no idea how far off the rails they are. I am sure they believe the same about me.

    As a corollary, it has convinced me that facts and logic have no effect on them. They live in a different world. If there is any hope, it lies with the small percentage of people who actually are capable of self reflection and critical analysis. —-HHHMMMM, maybe we’re in deep trouble.

    This is worth reading:

    Regarding the religious angle. I find it incredibly ironic that people like Newt Gingrich rail about the secularization of America, because they have effectively converted a certain demographic’s religious convictions into political conviction.

    That being said, I realize that Newt is just honking a talking point and stoking the fires

  20. Most of the people I work with have vastly different world views than me. One was calling me a communist for a while–until we had a little chat. Sometimes, you gotta get a bit serious and nip it in the bud like barney five would say.

  21. erinyes,
    When I lived in NC, people sometimes talked about me like I was tongue-kissing Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Castro, after work.
    They’d say, “And here’s our NY Liberal transplant!”
    I even heard from someone that he’d heard one guy even said, “And he ain’t even a Jew!”

  22. I know,’gulag. It ain’t easy being g green in a red state. ‘Funny how red is something all together different than 30 years ago.

  23. Hey, did anybody notice the similarity between those muttonheads in Utah who destroyed a million year old rock formation (God’s magnificent handiwork); and Senator Marco Rubio’s attempt to destroy a 237 year old Republic ( also God’s magnificent handiwork).
    What was interesting about the similarities is that both the muttonheads and Rubio tried to justify their malicious acts by excusing their behavior as a necessary action to protect others from danger.
    Gee, I wish God would have bestowed upon me the spirit of magnanimity as generously as he has bestowed it upon Rubio and the muttonheads.

  24. The problem isn’t Jesus or Mohammed so much as the poor copies that fools assume is the really thing. One of the Beatles (John Lennon) stirred up a hornet’s nest by making the popular observation of the time, he liked Jesus but that Paul wrecked things.

    The current batch is far worse than Paul.

  25. “The only substantial difference I can see is that the ‘moderates’ realize elections have to be won, and the ‘extremists’ don’t know that, or don’t care.”

    Exactly right.

    But this is no small difference.

    Bolsheviks vs Mensheviks, let’s say.

    Or revolutionary dictatorship vs democratic socialism.

    Or reform through successive electoral victories vs. terrorism or even civil war.

    Or, hey, what the heck? Let’s settle all our political differences by civil war!

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