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sofa king

sofa king's Journal
sofa king's Journal
September 19, 2012

They are soooo close to being our temporary friends.

My overall impression of conservatives lately is one of resignation and bitterness. But they lack the outrage and lust for vengeance that they should have.

See, not only is Romney an asshole and not their guy at all, but nearly every damned Republican in Congress voted to raise their taxes by an average $1600 next year, by holding the middle class tax cut extension vote hostage again, and dooming all of the Bush tax cuts to expiration in January. They're going to pay dearly, in taxes, to vote Republican.

It's starting to dawn on them that they are being duped by some very wealthy people whose interests do not coincide with their own. But they aren't truly pissed off about it yet because they simply know nothing about the paragraph above, even though it's all out there to read.

There is something they could easily do about it if they really were pissed off, which is to go out on Election Day and vote for every Democrat on the ballot. If they can flip the House and deliver a supermajority of Democrats to the Senate, then they get their tax cuts back and can spend the next two years building a party of their own that isn't being dragged around by the uber-rich. If they're so against President Obama that voting for him is impossible, they could write in the candidate of their choice and go all-D on the downticket items.

They could fuck over Romney, protest the President, and pay themselves all at the same time.

But they have to figure that out on their own, and they won't, because the media sources which feed them their information are actively keeping the information they need away from them. They still have no idea the GOP fucked 'em over this.

If one of us tries to tell them, they will automatically believe the bullshit they're told even more. (No, really! It's called the backfire effect.)

So instead we have to sit here and watch the poor bastards stew in their own ill will, when if they would jump the aisle just this one time they could improve everyone's lives at a net profit to themselves. Heartbreaking.

September 10, 2012

The Three-Party race of Obama vs. Romney vs. Romney

This morning, I've been asking myself why this Presidential race is reminding me so much of 1996.

Through the lens of history, 1996 went like this: the presence of Ross Perot, as the most powerful third-party candidate since the King Fish, assured a runaway reelection for Bill Clinton, and Bob Dole never had a chance.

But that ain't the way the story was told at the time. In the press, it was neck-and-neck all the way up to the final weeks. Bob Dole and his awful rhetoric was pitched every day, and while talking heads occasionally wondered if his "meanness" would work against him (he would be a bipartisan traitor to today's Republicans, by the way), the truth was scrupulously avoided for months.

Then, in weeks after the election, there was an infuriating flood of half-apologetic articles where people inside both parties and the press sheepishly acknowledged that they knew how it was going to turn out the whole time.

So what makes this election so similar to 1996? There is no Ross Perot running this time (though a mini-Perot, Virgil Goode, is working some black magic in Virginia).

But there are at least two Mitt Romneys: The Lies of Mitt Romney Past, and The Lies of Mitt Romney present.

The bottomless dishonesty of Romney and his campaign has been truly impressive. He has lied every day, repeatedly, 533 times in 30 weeks, according to Steve Benen. He has reversed his opinion countless times on innumerable subjects, including insurance mandates, abstinence, Iraq, minimum wage, abortion, and immigration. He has evaded every detail about his personal finances and what, exactly, he intends to actually do if he is elected.

Not even George W. Bush was this dishonest in 2000. And that is saying one hell of a lot.

This sort of deception works quite well with the right-wing authoritarians, if the candidate has already established himself (and it is always a male in the front slot) as an authority to be trusted. But unfortunately for Mitt, his gaming of the primary process and the boxing-out of far right wingers made Romney an object of suspicion, rather than a leader whose lies are not to be questioned among the rank-and-file Republican voters.

So Mitt's mendacity is not invisible to the far right, as it usually is.

Now, in order to tack to the center for the general election, Mitt is forced to drop many of the lies he told during the primaries--the lies which failed to win over his most important voters--and tell a new set of lies designed to appeal to better informed voters.

It is obvious that he wishes to run two parallel campaigns, one liar to kiss ass to the knuckledraggers, one liar to win over everyone else. We saw that yesterday when he told one set of lies on national television, then hours later reversed himself on AM radio, apparently in hopes of floating both lies at the same time.

But the positions of the two lying Romneys are mutually contradictory, and neither demographic is too blinded to notice that, particularly with their pet issues.

Romney is canceling himself out, by having to run against himself.

I think that Romney's radioactivity at this point has an excellent chance of burning into the Congressional elections as well, because many far-right conservatives will be too disgusted (and self-interested) to bother to turn out at all. If his tax returns open him up to criminal charges, Romney could even taint the results of the 2014 mid-terms.

I think Mitt Romney may be the worst Presidential candidate I have ever seen. That doesn't mean he's going to lose--Mitt's true expertise is in taking decisions away from people--but it does make a legal path to victory nearly impossible.

September 9, 2012

Unfortunately, it isn't that simple.

In the debates, Romney gets to hide behind an annoying facet of American politics which is being called the "backfire effect."

If you don't wish to read the 2000 words about it in the link above, the nutshell is this: when a conservative politician lies and a liberal refutes the lie with facts, conservative voters are more likely to believe the lie.

Yes, you read that right. Providing conservatives with the correct information actually reinforces their stupid beliefs. So the President cannot simply point at Mitt and say, "you are a liar," without encouraging conservative voters to believe Romney is telling the truth.

God damn, that pisses me off. But there it is. Anyway....

I think this means that the President will have to take a more indirect and much more difficult path to sowing doubt in the minds of conservative voters. The President will have to have an internal library of the statements and positions of other conservative authorities which contradict whatever lie Romney is telling at the time. He will have to recite that conservative authority's quote back to Romney. "Karl Rove doesn't agree with you," might be a good retort, as infuriating as that is to me personally.

I'm not sure if the President can use Romney's own previous lies against him--but that's something the President definitely needs to run by the psychologists (I hope someone on his debate staff is reading this!).

Unfortunately, it is going to make viewing of the debates difficult for the lot of us, because we are all going to be shouting at the television for President Obama to call Romney out directly when that is exactly what he should not do in most cases. But we are in the bag for the Democrats and the objective is to lead conservatives to some semblance of the truth (which will depress their turnout and may even convert a few of the wiser ones), or at least doubt about their own unworkable positions.

Those of you who doubt me may wish to revisit the DU threads on the Cheney-Edwards debate of 2004. Cheney lied his ass off, and Edwards perhaps wisely let many of those lies go, but mistakenly went after him on some of the big ones. Then in November, a good proportion of stupid conservatives shambled into the booth still believing that Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attacks, in part because Edwards dared to refute that stupid belief before a large number of conservative viewers.

The backfire effect is the primary way that a cabal of very evil people have suborned the Republican Party and shackled it to the whims of the ultra-wealthy. But President Obama is a master of taking the advantages of his opponents and turning those advantages against them, so we can expect him to have a thoughtful, if not obvious, response.

September 1, 2012

A lot fewer than there were.

Since GWB was elected President, life expectancy for white males without insurance in southern states has dropped all the way down to 48 in some cases. For all white males in Republican states, life expectancy has dropped precipitously.

As the extreme example, statistics suggest that nearly half of the 54 year-old men in Holmes County, Mississippi who voted for George Bush in 2000 are already dead.

But of course that doesn't mean they won't vote.

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