Republicanemia

We on the right have developed a disease over the past few years. To my knowledge it has no formal name but is highly contagious among conservatives and many of those professing to be moderates. Interestingly those on the left and other moderates are immune, as the elections of Presidents Clinton and Obama attest. It is also unique that this ailment is mostly a national illness and is not as prominent locally.

Symptoms vary but almost all are affected with the following: a strong desire to only support and vote for a flawless national candidate. Of course this is complicated by a nagging desire for perfection and an adherence to some level of values. Exposure to national and local media, academia, Hollywood, as well as much of the new social media, can be contributing factors. National studies by the CDC indicate that those on the left do not exhibit this symptom and in fact rally around and tend to support candidates who are “flawed” and imperfect–i.e. Joe Biden. If he were a Republican and exhibited similiar behaviors, as he has as a Democrat, he would be excoriated by the factors above and would be soundly rejected by those of us on the right.

When a party or individual chooses to assign some level of longing for values and/or moral principles to a candidate for office, the qualifying bar is automatically raised and the field accordingly lowered. Add to that the desire for perfection and the condition becomes chronic. Many are now trying to develope a vaccine that will allow us on the right to support those who fall short of our aspirations but would still be far superior to the alternative(s). To date this disease has exhibited a gradual onset, has not been fatal and variations have affected both parties over the years.

Comments

  1. For the first couple of paragraphs I was almost CERTAIN you were talking about the clap.

  2. Cindy, not looking for perfect. Also not looking for Democrat lite. If that’s the choice in ’16, I wish Hillary well in her presidency.

  3. And until you start serving up Democrat Lite, especially on social issues, you’re going to lose every presidential election, so get used to wearing the loser hat, I guess. Older, GOP-leaning coots are dying and being replaced with young voters who are way more liberal on social issues, aren’t going to change their minds, and are totally turned off by the manner in which the GOP continues to hold hands with the science-deniers of the party. Get the party to support gay marriage, stop talking about abortion, and shut the immigrant bashers up, and then maybe – just maybe – the GOP can win an argument on economic grounds. But absent that, you’ll never win because you’ll never get past the social issues filter than most young voters throw up as a candidate screen.

  4. RS: Don’t know how a libertarian could possibly make this mistake, but it seems you forgot pot. In addition to favoring killing babies and redefining marriage to people of the same sex for the first time in human history (well until Europe in the last few decades), don’t we also have to think smoking pot is awesome in order to have any chance to survive as a party? LOL.

    How about an alternative theory….. young folks are often naive, but people get wiser as they get older. They also seem to get more conservative as they get older. Hmmm….. could there possibly be a correlation there?

    Personally, I think it makes more sense to try to help the culture wisen up than to take your strategy of “just cave and follow the shortsighted people who think abortion for convenience is super and that society would be better if there were more drugs in it”.

  5. I guess our own Paul Ryan never got your memo. Ryan is a cosponsor of HR 23 – Sanctity of Human Life Act. Every fertilized egg shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood. When any particular religious ideology mandates social policy where is the potential compromise. He could have all the perfect economic policies but when reproductive rights are radically restricted-good luck attracting a nation wide majority vote or even a gerrymandered vote.

  6. Randy in Richmond says:

    bill
    I sincerely hope my ‘memo’ would not change Rep. Ryan’s view of when life begins.

    What reproductive right would be restricted by affirming life begins at conception?

  7. 1. outlaw hormonal forms of birth control
    2. restrict in vitro fertilization to one egg at a time 3. in vitro extra zygotes all have rights and can’t be destroyed
    4. All abortions
    Theological questions are best left out of politics generally.

  8. Hey bill: I know I’m not going to win friends or influence people with this one, but yes. Women are messing themselves up enormously with hormonal forms of birth control; in vitro is simply a bad idea, as are abortions and (you forgot) the death penalty is still playing with life in exactly the same manner.

    But I’ve argued my point before: picking and choosing when to play God is always a bad idea.

  9. Free advice? Lose the no-negotiation, accept-no-compromise stance. Would you like to hang out with a person with those qualities? Plus, you can win abortion if you give in on contraception; EVERYONE hates abortion and wants to see as few as possible. Eject your science-is-bad wing. You are letting short-term oil profit sink your long term small business interests, and THAT should be your bread and butter. On a related note, stop patronizing those young-earth creationists. I’m not sure what you even get by doing that, since you’d have them any way, and you’re destroying the education system. Admit trickle-down was a failure (we KNOW you know it was since you are capable of reading a simple spread sheet, but are too proud to admit it) that lead the greatest income inequality since the robber barons. Acknowledge unions as a protector of the middle class. It’s no coincidence that the two rose and are declining in almost exact lockstep.

    Regain your strong defense and free market with reasonable oversights reputation and the middle would be flocking to your door for the CORRECT reasons, rather than being lied to and being too busy with living a normal life to realize it.

    T-pariers? Send ‘em to Idaho and let ‘em play at the state and local level.

  10. So you’ll eject your dancing vaginas if we dump the no-science folks?

    (Re-read that and see how silly you sound, jimspice.)

    PS I love teapartiers. They look a lot like libertarians, and I just can’t shake my affection.

  11. The no negotiation, no compromise stance? You mean the one Dems have used for decades?

    Horrible, horrible advice and analysis, Jim. But congratulations, you’ve taken the thread bonehead award away from Gruber.

  12. Randy in Richmond says:

    bill
    How is abortion a theological question? If there is no God or one does not believe in a God, then when life begins is entirely a scientific question.

    When does life begin , Bill?

  13. Robert, I desperately need to add a like button for comments. Lovely job.

    Randy, remind me never to bet you on technicalities.

  14. Ryan, I’d buy that proposition if there was any evidence that actually showed support for gay marriage receded as people got older. Except what’s out there shows quite the opposite. It’s not proving to be a malleable position, where people’s views change as they get older. So now, 70% of those 18-30 support gay marriage. And in ten years, I’m willing to bet that no fewer than 70% of those 28-40 will support gay marriage. And in ten more years, I’ll bet that those 38-50 support gay marriage in greater numbers than they did ten years prior.

    Unless you think there’s going to be some giant come-to-Jesus moment on gay marriage, which would require about as much faith as Christianity itself, this issue is over, and the sooner the GOP stops trying to fight the tide, the sooner it can focus on the battles it can actually win.

    As for abortion, jimspice hit that on the head. Nobody likes abortion. The easiest way to reduce abortions (again, per the evidence) is to make sure that birth control is cheap and easy to get – and yes, easy to get also means not having to ask mommy and daddy. Because they’re not going to ask mommy and daddy if it’s okay to have sex either. And yet you’ve got a whole wing of the GOP devoted to fighting the one thing that would do the most to reduce the number of abortions – like, actual abortions, none of this two-celled zygote-without-a-brain-is-a-baby nonsense.

    Democrats win in the middle because most of their major policy efforts have been middle-of-the-road efforts that piss off their fringe. You get health care exchanges instead of straight-up single payer. You get this lukewarm assault weapon legislation. You get tiptoeing towards support of gay marriage. Those positions might seem extreme to you but to their base, those positions are anything but. Meanwhile, the GOP unilaterally surrenders its policy decisions to whatever group of extremists feels most strongly about a particular issue. So we get anti-birth control, abstinence-only, transvaginal ultrasound nonsense. We get barely-trained volunteers walking around schools with guns as a public safety measure.

    Finally, Randy, I’ll answer your question (even though you asked Bill, because I think it’s a fun question). Let’s just use the same standard for the beginning of life as we typically do for the end of life: a human brain that is both functioning and capable of supporting itself. For the human fetus, that’s in week 23 (and even there, it’s only happening with the help of medical technology). Prior to that, you’d have a organism with brain activity that, if an adult, would make them legally brain dead and prime candidates for organ donation.

  15. No Cindy, the dancing vaginas are a one-issue constituency, while the no-science dunces are an across the board embarrassment to you. Or should be. Our new age wing might come close, but they are so small and inconsequential we wouldn’t be giving up much by sending them to the shower (and Lord knows they could use it).

  16. Randy in Richmond says:

    Sorry Recess, but your standard –with the operative word ‘your’–is simply an opinion based on what defines death. Another may say life begins with a heartbeat, which is not a definite either but most agree can be detected at about 6 weeks.

    But I do know this. People have been convicted of double murder after killing a pregnant woman under the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004. The criteria for this Federal Law:

    child in utero” as “a member of the species Homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb”.

    There are 30 or so states that have similiar laws.

    Interesting that this subject brings “fun” to you.

  17. And Jim doubles down on stupid with that strawman comment.

  18. Robert, please define “straw man argument” and how my most recent comment is an example thereof.

    Randy, a chicken has a heartbeat. Is a chicken human?

  19. You have the internet, Jim, feel free to use it. While you’re at it, start your own blog so we can all leave asinine comments. You take the minority with ridiculous science opinions and try to smear the entire conservative side with them. It’s not as bad as Gruber’s Moses on a triceratops slur on B&S today, but it’s pretty close.

    You want to look at no science dunces, remember this clown is on your side:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxF4AmsgaYE

    Now follow your advice on the Code Pinkers and take a shower. You’re really stinking up this place.

  20. “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” – Barry Goldwater

    Application: I’m not going to support some asshat for president just because Karl Rove thinks they more electable. At this point, I’m willing to lose a few more presidential elections until the GOP gets it right.

  21. Hey Robert. Anyone told you you’re a huge douche lately? A douche that doesn’t understand what a straw man argument is?

  22. Shoot Mr. Bean. I need a like button again. (And you said, “asshat.” Giggle.)

  23. “For the human fetus, that’s in week 23 (and even there, it’s only happening with the help of medical technology).”

    Yeah, but we have modern medical technology and we aren’t going to “un-have” it anytime soon. So yeah, I’d like to see this “abortion is murder after 23 weeks bill” passed, pronto.

    I don’t know of any studies on the issue, but it seems erroneous to say “in the 10 year period where gay marriage support has increased more than any other, following the same cohort of people though the decade, their support stayed the same or somewhat increased…. therefore we project that all future periods will also follow the same pattern.”

    If I said that posting rates of memes on Facebook have steadily increased throughout the last decade, therefore I expect that the 20 year olds posting memes today will only see their meme-posting increase when they are 30 or 40, you would say that I am extrapolating on small sample and we can’t really conclude that. And you would be right.

  24. Considering the number of restrictions on third trimester abortions, Ryan, both legally and functionally in terms of a lack of willing providers, you already basically have what you want. The only thing missing, I guess, is a requirement that mothers be willing to die to give birth to their kids after 23 weeks.

    I’ll also bet my house that in twenty years, I’m more correct about gay marriage than you are. Why? Because Christianity (the only thing pushing the anti-gay marriage agenda) has never made a resurgence anywhere it’s ever faded into the background. And that’s precisely what it’s doing in America right now. Christianity, as an organized religion, has long been a tool by which to defend socially oppressive practices, whether it’s been racism, slavery, treatment of women, etc. And the second society evolves past those things, we conveniently ignore or reinterpret those parts of the Bible. Even if one believes in Jesus, so much of the rest of the Good Book just doesn’t hold up to any kind of logical scrutiny.

  25. Randy in Richmond says:

    Recess

    “Christianity (the only thing pushing the anti-gay marriage agenda)”

    What does ‘only’ mean? Here’s some logic you choose to ignore.

    Muslims. When will gay marriage be allowed in a mosque? There are about 1.62 billion Muslims in the world.

    And there are about 2.3 billion Christians in the world. In the United States about 3 of 4 people are Christian.

    Total world population: About 7.0 billion

  26. I think Randy in Richmond has a really important point here. Look at the resurgence of Islam, how the religion prospers in countries who have removed boundaries. Been to London lately? Paris? Germany?

    We could look like that if Christianity fails to manage a majority. I don’t care if you don’t like it that I choose to be Christian. To that we will simply disagree.

  27. I hate it when men use the term ‘douche’. Choose a better term. Like ‘dork’. Or use big-person words.
    “Asshat” excluded.

  28. Third trimester is not the same thing as after 23 weeks. There are very few 3rd trimester abortions, agreed, but there are still thousands if not tens of thousands every year between 23 and 27 weeks.

    “Because Christianity (the only thing pushing the anti-gay marriage agenda)”
    Wow, that is an astonishingly insular take.

    There are many against gay marriage because we think it is bad for society. See here: http://www.dennisprager.com/columns.aspx?g=d9fb0980-9c95-48e8-a493-86b965c7d5ee&url=same-sex_marriage_and_the_insignificance_of_men_and_women and here http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles6/KolasinskiGayMarriage.php for starters.

    I realize it is much easier for you to lump all opposition to gay marriage into a single bucket that is convenient for you. Sorry… not going to let you get away with that.

  29. This discussion began as a R trait in accepting only the perfect in lieu of the most electable (Sorry Randy if I misread your argument). It has evolved into the central role of religion/Christianity in the US today. My earlier point was how extreme positions in the party aren’t simply on the far right but are accepted dogma w/in the party at large. Your VP candidate is advocating a personhood bill extending all rights to a two cell embryo- sorry this is radical. Arguments against gay rights ARE religious in nature and the justifications against them reflect back on the the authors phobias. Holding up any religion as the true way is antithetical in a large diverse country like ours.
    Religions don’t have to endorse or approve of birth control abortion, gay rights or endless wars, etc.. They get a seat at the table of public opinion but nothing more.

  30. Can’t I be against something without being phobic? Good grief.

  31. Sorry. I forgot, conservative Jews and fundamentalist Muslims also oppose gay marriage. Two true bastions of social enlightenment if ever there have been any. If you want to lump Christians in with a guy (Prager) who argued that allowing Keith Ellison to take his oath of office on a Koran “undermines American civilization,” you’re making my point about conservative Christians for me.

  32. Randy in Richmond says:

    Bill
    I believe you are confusing individual rights as guaranteed in our Bill of Rights, and what our governing bodies can and cannot do. ” Holding up any religion as the true way…” is exactly what the First Amendment guarantees us as individuals the right to do. And conversely no religion can be endorsed by any governing body.

    I have read HR-23 and nowhere is any religion mentioned or referred to. However, there are several references to the individual. Elected officials that sponsor this or any bill, can and should be inflenced by their (legal) belief systems. And religions are guaranteed the right to endorse or reject, lobby for or against, etc. any legal belief they desire just as the ACLU, Greenpeace, AARP, and any of thousands of others can.

    Your accusing those of us who believe differently from you as having ‘phobias’ and others using the ‘douche’ word exibits a predominantly liberal trait I have brought up numerous times on this site–the weaker your argument becomes the more personal you become. Not to worry–you’re not the first and won’t be the last.

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr23/text

  33. So you go from saying Christians are the “only” people who are against gay marriage to saying there are other people who do so too, but because one of them took X position 1 time in the past, they are disqualified and you don’t have to deal with their arguments. Ad hominem much?

    You seemed to be implying that the only arguments against gay marriage are “Leviticus says” and “the Apostle Paul says”. My point in posting those articles is that you can be against gay marriage for secular reasons as well as religious reasons.

    Additionally, you can be against gay marriage and still love individual gay people (just like you can love people who want to be pilots but cannot because their vision is impaired and yet be in favor of the societal standard that prevents them from legally flying).

  34. Yeah Recess, just because gay people happen to be disabled doesn’t mean we can’t love them too.

    Boy, you and Dennis have this all figured out, Ryan.

  35. “Additionally, you can be against gay marriage and still love individual gay people (just like you can love people who want to be pilots but cannot because their vision is impaired and yet be in favor of the societal standard that prevents them from legally flying).”

    I would most certainly never disagree with that statement. I can certainly question the motivation of the former but would never suggest it by default begets the latter.

    I enjoyed the article you posted alleging a secular basis for opposing gay marriage (ironically, from “Orthodoxy Today”). It’s been well dismantled elsewhere on the internet so I won’t bother, other than to point out that it’s a fine example of the ex post facto attempts that religiously-minded people so often make to find a secular defense for their religious views. The whole thing reeks of confirmation bias and a psychological phenomenon known as the belief-disconfirmation paradigm.

    If you ever have the time, Leon Festinger’s classic work “When Prophecy Fails” would be a good read, and goes a long way towards explaining why I tend to avoid arguing with religious people in general. Because it’s been proven time and again when they are confronted with evidence or data that disprove their beliefs, they’re actually more likely to double down on their beliefs, no matter how erroneous they are, because they are not psychologically equipped to cope with being wrong.

  36. RS: You’ve gone personal in the debate on gay marriage. Either declare it and let’s get on with it, or apologize for losing your logical sense. You really don’t get any other option.

    And before you argue with me read your entire comment thread one more time.

  37. Sure Cindy. Whatever.

    Religion is irrational, and people who use it as a basis for their beliefs in the face of actual data are a little kooky. That’s not personal. It’s the most logical comment made in this thread.

    Now we can get back to the more pressing topics of the day, like your insistence that the white conservative minority tinker with the electoral underpinnings of our nation because your side keeps getting its rear end kicked by an increasingly pluralistic society. :)

  38. Randy in Richmond says:

    See Bill, I told you you wouldn’t be the last. (#32)

    We are also “irrational, kooky, and psychologically unfit– but it’s not personal.”

  39. Randy in Richmond says:

    While this post originally had nothing to do with religion, I never thought the direction of the comments would cause the Pope to quit.

    ‘Ita sit’

  40. Cindy: Honestly, I think Strupp’s thoughtless and cruel quip above was several times more offensive than anything RS has said on this entire thread. RS and I have both been punchy at times, but respectful IMO.

  41. RS: I think I will read that book… looks interesting. Suspicious that it is as applicable to this debate as you seem to think it is, but interesting nonetheless.

  42. RS: Yes, and if the tools are in the toolbox to tilt the playing field in my favor, use them.

    Winning so much more fun.

    Randy, thanks for the hearty guffaw.

    I guess I better read the rest of the comments now.

  43. Honestly, there are probably better and more modern examples of literature in that field than what I cited but the Festinger book was really seminal in that area. And while it was brought up in the context of religion, the discussion of belief-disconfirmation really applies quite broadly to anyone that has ever invested a great amount of time/money/energy in supporting a particular belief set. I’ve certainly got some liberal friends with whom my friendship endures because I don’t talk about politics with them, mostly for this very reason.

    If you can get past the lefty spin, this 2011 article from Mother Jones provides a decent summary of the discussion: http://goo.gl/A1V4n . At it essence, its main question is pretty valid: why do some people work so hard to maintain beliefs that are provably false? As a friend of mine often says, “we can’t believe in things just because we *want* to believe in them.”

  44. Uh huh. I can’t get past Mother Jones. Sorry.

  45. Thus proving the one of the key points inherent in the research, Cindy – that many people condition themselves to only accept news from sources that are generally in line with what they already believe, and then tend to believe those sources regardless if what those sources say is factual or a total fabrication.

  46. RS: True. I do lots of stuff from sites most people don’t like. But Mother Jones is Mother Jones.

  47. Robert #2 (edited) says:

    “We on the right have developed a disease over the past few years. To my knowledge it has no formal name”

    Bobby Jindal gave it a name. It’s called stupidity: “stop being the stupid party.”

    So what does Richy from Randyland do? He doubles down on it.

    Dumber than a box of Kilkennys.

  48. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Gutter trash

  49. Robert #2 (edited) says:

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Dumb F***

  50. How droll and unoriginal. And a real big man to pull this stunt now.

  51. Robert #2 (edited) says:

    “How droll”

    Who the talks like that, besides sissy-dumb-fuck bobby boy?

  52. Well, Robert #2 (so appropriate), at least you finally revealed who you are. I’ll figure it out someday, you know. Just keep trying. Scattered IP’s etc. One day you won’t be able to stand the idea that no one really knows how brilliant you are, and you’ll break. Fine with me if it happens on my blog.

    (Language stands. You all know this is the person who has no identity and thus assumes that of others or feigns knowledge where none resides. Oh, and you know the vocabulary is limited. Always a sign of a painfully inconvenient lack of intelligence.)

  53. Robert #2 (edited) says:

    Cindy, get off of you’re lazy fat ass and get a job. Do it in the memory of your hard working father.

  54. Randy in Richmond says:

    You’re = your…..

    You’re right Cindy. It only took one more comment for the “limited vocabulary” to surface again.

  55. Wow. It does make me a little sad that someone is so unhappy they’d waste their time acting up on a nobody’s blog like mine. Oh well.

  56. You can be sure Robert #2 suffers from small man syndrome.

  57. Well, small brain, at least.