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     It seems incredible, impossible. How is it Mitt Romney can tell lie upon lie, hold multiple positions on every issue, and still be treated as a credible candidate? How can the Republicans and all the shadow groups they front for run ads so full of falsehoods and viciousness with impunity? How can FOX, Limbaugh, Coulter, Hannity and the rest of the right wing media machine peddle obvious snake oil and have their audience still lap it up? How can the Republican establishment, their political leaders down to their rank and file, engage in mendacity on such a massive scale over and over again, seemingly without consequence?

     Part of it is the sheer audacity of their crimes. People simply can't believe what they do is possible - the classic Big Lie in action. Part of it is the failure of the Fourth Estate - a media that for assorted reasons gives them a free pass. Part of it is public disgust with a political process they don't believe serves them, one where they see no difference between parties. Part of it is the cumulative impact of decades of a determined effort to shape the political narrative to the point that even Democrats use GOP framing and run away from their own principles.

       But at the root of it all is a cynical pathology hard at work, a huge con game where the protagonists have found a way to corral all their marks into a political movement for profit and power, and the ability to deceive is the only value they respect. Rick Perlstein has the goods on them, and the picture he paints is an eye opener.

   More below the Orange Omnilepticon.

UPDATE: In response to all the recs and really good comments this diary has generated, I've added links to some additional resources at the bottom. Enjoy!

A Small Piece of the Larger Picture

       The thing to keep in mind to understand the modern Republican party is that it is essentially a giant con game - and their own supporters are grist for the con. The leadership is beyond cynical - they exploit their own ruthlessly, and exploit the rest of us to the fullest extent they can get away with. One of the little noted stories of the 2012 campaign is how much of the floods of money that have been turned loose on the GOP side is disappearing into the pockets of the operatives running the shadow groups and SuperPacs. (Bill Buck has the goods. So does Paul Krugman.) As Krugthulu muses:

Remember how Rove and others were supposed to raise vast sums from billionaires and corporations, then totally saturate the country with GOP messaging, drowning out Obama’s message? Well, they certainly raised a lot of money, and ran a lot of ads. But in terms of actual number of ads the battle has been, if anything, an Obama advantage. And while we don’t know what will happen on Tuesday, state-level polls suggest both that Obama is a strong favorite and, much more surprising, that Democrats are overwhelmingly favored to hold the Senate in a year when the number of seats at risk was supposed to spell doom.

Some of this reflects the simple fact that money can’t help all that much when you have a lousy message. But it also looks as if the money was surprisingly badly spent. What happened?

Well, what if we’ve been misunderstanding Rove? We’ve been seeing him as a man dedicated to helping angry right-wing billionaires take over America. But maybe he’s best thought of instead as an entrepreneur in the business of selling his services to angry right-wing billionaires, who believe that he can help them take over America. It’s not the same thing.

And while Rove the crusader is looking — provisionally, of course, until the votes are in — like a failure, Rove the businessman has just had an amazing, banner year.

emphasis added

Perlstein's Look at the Mail Order Con-Gamers of the Conservative Movement

      Perlstein discovered that this is symptomatic of the way Mail Order Conservatism works. After some introductory paragraphs detailing the boundaries of Romney's mendacity, he explains how he got a look into the id of the conservative movement that underlies it.
 

In 2007, I signed on to the email lists of several influential magazines on the right, among them Townhall, which operates under the auspices of evangelical Stuart Epperson’s Salem Communications; Newsmax, the organ more responsible than any other for drumming up the hysteria that culminated in the impeachment of Bill Clinton; and Human Events, one of Ronald Reagan’s favorite publications. The exercise turned out to be far more revealing than I expected. Via the battery of promotional appeals that overran my email inbox, I mainlined a right-wing id that was invisible to readers who encounter conservative opinion at face value.

Subscriber lists to ideological organs are pure gold to the third-party interests who rent them as catchments for potential customers. Who better suits a marketing strategy than a group that voluntarily organizes itself according to their most passionately shared beliefs? That’s why, for instance, the other day I (and probably you) got an advertisement by way of liberal magazine The American Prospect seeking donations to Mercy Corps, a charity that helps starving children in the Third World. But back when I was getting emails every day from Newsmax and Townhall, the come-ons were a little bit different.

     To skip a bit, Perlstein makes a direct connection between the kind of snake oil pitches true believers are subjected to, and the way the profiteers of the conservative movement have turned their ideology into an equivalent con game. (If you want an example of the kind of pitch they subject their audience to, this link is a good example - and it tries to suck you into a "Survival Summit" pitch.)
    Back in our great-grandparents’ day, the peddlers of such miracle cures and get-rich-quick schemes were known as snake-oil salesmen. You don’t see stuff like this much in mainstream culture any more; it hardly seems possible such déclassé effronteries could get anywhere in a society with a high school completion rate of 90 percent. But tenders of a 23-Cent Heart Miracle seem to work just fine on the readers of the magazine where Ann Coulter began her journalistic ascent in the late nineties by pimping the notion that liberals are all gullible rubes. In an alternate universe where Coulter would be capable of rational self-reflection, it would be fascinating to ask her what she thinks about, say, the layout of HumanEvents.com on the day it featured an article headlined “Ideas Will Drive Conservatives’ Revival.” Two inches beneath that bold pronouncement, a box headed “Health News” included the headlines “Reverse Crippling Arthritis in 2 Days,” “Clear Clogged Arteries Safely & Easily—without drugs, without surgery, and without a radical diet,” and “High Blood Pressure Cured in 3 Minutes . . . Drop Measurement 60 Points.” It would be interesting, that is, to ask Coulter about the reflex of lying that’s now sutured into the modern conservative movement’s DNA—and to get her candid assessment of why conservative leaders treat their constituents like suckers.
     Perlstein traces the roots of the infiltration of snake oil ethics into the conservative movement back to the 1960s and the rise of Ricard Viguerie. Starting with a mailing list of some of the most committed right wingers in the country, Viguerie built up a fund raising operation to market right wing voters to conservative candidates and vice versa - with a healthy markup. The model being established, it flourished and metastasized into the money machine that drives the con. A ready market is fed a continuing stream of messages designed to stir up their deepest fears and anger, the politicians harvest the votes - and nice little fortunes are made peddling political snake oil. As Perlstein puts it:
    Dishonesty is demanded by the alarmist fundraising appeal because the real world doesn’t work anything like this. The distance from observable reality is rhetorically required; indeed, that you haven’t quite seen anything resembling any of this in your everyday life is a kind of evidence all by itself. It just goes to show how diabolical the enemy has become. He is unseen; but the redeemer, the hero who tells you the tale, can see the innermost details of the most baleful conspiracies. Trust him. Send him your money. Surrender your will—and the monster shall be banished for good.
      It's a perfect symbiotic relationship. The faithful get their paranoid view of the world reinforced, the politicians participate in the con to build their base and rake in money - and the middle men rake in the big bucks in both directions. When you realize this is the basic mechanism at work, it's not a stretch to see why they turn government into their own cash cow when they have power and embrace "pay to play" so enthusiastically.

      Romney becomes far less of a mystery in this context. Whatever other reasons he has for lying so easily and frequently, in the conservative political environment it's like the water in which the fish swim. It's natural and invisible to them - it's just there. Perlstein again:

   It’s time, in other words, to consider whether Romney’s fluidity with the truth is, in fact, a feature and not a bug: a constituent part of his appeal to conservatives. The point here is not just that he lies when he says conservative things, even if he believes something different in his heart of hearts—but that lying is what makes you sound the way a conservative is supposed to sound, in pretty much the same way that curlicuing all around the note makes you sound like a contestant on American Idol is supposed to sound.
emphasis added

     The entire article is a must read. It demonstrates why expecting to work with these people is a fool's hope, why they reject compromise so thoroughly, why they become ever more extreme in their positions. Their whole con depends on it. To do anything else would wreck the marketing machine they've built up, interrupting the steady flow of cash and supporters that underlies their power.

Behind the Long Con - Who Are We Talking About?

    As it happens, Perlstein is not the first to first to observe the moral corruption at the heart of the conservative movement. John Dean (yes, that John Dean) came at it from another direction when he tried to understand why there were so many people with a complete lack of moral scruples running things. Conservatives Without Conscience was the result. The contempt con men have for their victims is of a piece with the kind of mindset found among authoritarians. Sara Robinson did a series of articles based on the book and her own experiences.

    The short version is, an authoritarian movement is a con game that never ends. An elite group of leaders exploits a group of followers through a variety of means. Typically they create a very structured environment, a filter between them and the rest of the world. It's both a strait jacket and a security blanket. They externalize all their failures and faults onto the 'enemies' they've designated for just that purpose. They keep their followers in line by insisting they adhere to group orthodoxy or risk banishment, and they use fear of the outside world to hold them together. But, even as the leaders insist on strict control of their followers, they themselves typically place no such constraints on their own behavior. It's a predator - prey relationship based on a weird symbiosis. Their followers answer to them; they answer to no one.

     The leaders typically share a number of characteristics. Here's an excerpt from Robinson's first installment that lays them out:

Leaders and Followers

Authoritarians come in two flavors: leaders and followers. The two tiers are driven by very different motivations; and understanding these differences is the first key to understanding how authoritarian social structures work.

Leaders form just a small fraction of the group. Social scientists refer to this group as having a high "social dominance orientation (SDO)" -- a set of traits that can be readily identified with psychological testing. "These are people who seize every opportunity to lead, and who enjoy having power over others," says Dean -- and they have absolutely no qualms about objectifying people and breaking rules to advance their own ambitions. High-SDO personalities tend to emerge very early in life (which suggests at least some genetic predisposition): you probably remember a few from your own sandbox days, and almost certainly have known a few who've made your adult life a living hell as well.

High-SDO people are characterized by four core traits: they are dominating, opposed to equality, committed to expanding their own personal power, and amoral. These are usually accompanied by other unsavory traits, many of which render them patently unsuitable for leadership roles in a democracy:

Typically men
Intimidating and bullying
Faintly hedonistic
Vengeful
Pitiless
Exploitative
Manipulative
Dishonest
Cheat to win
Highly prejudiced (racist, sexist, homophobic)
Mean-spirited
Militant
Nationalistic
Tells others what they want to hear
Takes advantage of "suckers"
Specializes in creating false images to sell self
May or may not be religious
Usually politically and economically conservative/Republican

Dean notes: "Although these collations of characteristics…are not attractive portraits, the are nonetheless traits that authoritarians themselves acknowledge." In other words, these guys know what they are, and are often quite unabashedly proud of it.

High-SDO people are drawn to power, and will seek it ruthlessly and relentlessly, regardless of the consequences to others. Many cultures (including ours, up until a few decades ago) have found these people so dangerous that they've evolved counterweights and backstops that conspire to either keep them away from the levers of power, or mitigate the damage they can do (and I'll discuss some of those in the last installment). However, modern America seems to have lost all vestiges of this awareness. Now, we celebrate our most powerful social dominants, pay them obscene salaries, turn them into media stars, and hand over the keys to the empire to them almost gratefully. They have free rein to pursue their ambitions unchecked, with no cultural brakes on their rapacity. They will do whatever they can get away with; and we'll not only let them, but often cheer them on.

emphasis added

And what are followers like? Robinson lays that out thusly:

1. Submission to authority. "These people accept almost without question the statements and actions of established authorities, and comply with such instructions without further ado" writes Dean. "[They] are intolerant of criticism of their authorities, because they believe the authority is unassailably correct. Rather than feeling vulnerable in the presence of powerful authorities, they feel safer. For example, they are not troubled by government surveillance of citizens because they think only wrongdoers need to be concerned by such intrusions. Still, their submission to authority is not blind or automatic; [they] believe there are proper and improper authorities…and their decision to submit is shaped by whether a particular authority is compatible with their views."

2. Aggressive support of authority. Right-wing followers do not hesitate to inflict physical, psychological, financial, social, or other forms of harm on those they see as threatening the legitimacy of their belief system and their chosen authority figure. This includes anyone they see as being too different from their norm (like gays or racial minorities). It's also what drives their extremely punitive attitude toward discipline and justice. Notes Dean: "Authoritarian aggression is fueled by fear and encouraged by a remarkable self-righteousness, which frees aggressive impulses."

3. Conventionality. Right-wing authoritarian followers prefer to see the world in stark black-and-white. They conform closely with the rules defined for them by their authorities, and do not stray far from their own communities. This extreme, unquestioning conformity makes them insular, fearful, hostile to new information, uncritical of received wisdom, and able to accept vast contradictions without perceiving the inherent hypocrisy.

Conformity also feeds their sense of themselves as more moral and righteous than others -- a perception that's usually buttressed by the use of magical absolution techniques that they use to "evaporate guilt," in Dean's words. Because they confessed, or are saved, or were just following orders, they can commit heinous crimes and still retain a serene conscience and sense that they are "righteous people." On the other hand, when it comes to outsiders, there is no absolution. Their memory for even minor transgressions is nothing short of elephantine (as Bill Clinton knows all too well).

Dean lists other traits of right-wing authoritarian followers, most of which flow directly from the three core traits above:

Both men and women
Highly religious
Moderate to little education
Trust untrustworthy authorities
Prejudiced (particularly against homosexuals, women, and followers of religions other than their own)
Mean-spirited
Narrow-minded
Intolerant
Bullying
Zealous
Dogmatic
Uncritical toward chosen authority
Hypocritical
Inconsistent and contradictory
Prone to panic easily
Highly self-righteous
Moralistic
Strict disciplinarian
Severely punitive
Demands loyalty and returns it
Little self-awareness
Usually politically conservative/Republican

emphasis added

   I quote at length here because this is still one of the most compelling explanations for the current state of politics in this country I've yet found - but you don't hear much about it. You certainly won't hear anyone say it on the Sunday Morning talking head shows, not if they want to be invited back. It is an uncomfortable picture to confront, but necessary. It also explains so much of what is wrong with the Democrats today.

      The High SDO types who run authoritarian groups have managed to make their characteristics into what most people think of as the model for our leaders. The press certainly seems to lap it up. Worse, Democratic politicians seem to believe they have to appear to embody these qualities as well, to appear as 'strong' leaders. They try to portray themselves in a way that will appeal to the authoritarian base in a mistaken belief that broadening their appeal is the key to winning elections - and in a rigged media environment where conservatives have perfected messaging over substance, it's hard to argue with that.

     The problem is, they're just not as good at it as genuine High SDO types. They betray their own base to little good effect, and they undermine their core beliefs for the long term. Hence we see the modern DC Democratic establishment running towards a Grand Bargain with the Con Men, and away from the New Deal and the Great Society. Guess who wins in that scenario - the people of good faith trying to make an honest bargain, or the sociopaths without scruples?

     There is no point in trying to win over High SDO types or reform them. They are what they are. They need to be isolated, controlled, regulated - and they'll fight it with everything they've got. Their followers are another matter. Robinson details how to reach them in two more installments, here and here.

A few Thoughts to Take Away

     We're coming down to the wire on an election that should never have been this close to begin with. However it turns out, unless and until we understand what the conservative movement really is, how it thinks, how it acts, we're not going to be able to deal with them effectively. The biggest advantage conservative con men have is the ability to be taken at face value. This is why they spend so much time on messaging, on framing issues in a way that sells their snake oil. Use their framing, and you end up doing their job for them.

      Their power is based on creating a false picture of themselves and the world. Treating that picture as simply a difference of opinion is to legitimize it. You will not find this benefit of the doubt reciprocated - the conservative movement puts a tremendous amount of energy into delegitimizing everything associated with liberals or anyone else they see as their opponents. It's a key element in their strategy of deception. It's like a horror movie where no one believes the person trying to warn everyone else until it's too late...

     Reaching out, blurring the differences, compromising with con men, trying to appeal to paranoid victims is NOT going to work. We've got to reject their framing of the issues, stop trying to beat them on their own turf, and confront their lies. Howard Dean's 50 state strategy was the right answer, even in places where the odds of winning were small, because it introduced fresh air into the fog of lies in places where people had never heard anything different. Maher, Stewart, Colbert are so effective because they have one of the most effective counters to snake oil: ridicule. Kudos to Joe Biden for bringing the word Malarkey into the debate - it's long overdue.

     We really don't have a choice. Much more snake oil, and there won't be a country left to save. If the conservative assault on government seems so bold, so extreme, a good part of that is their realization it's the last big score they can make before reality catches up with them. The biggest mistake we can make at this point is to forgive and forget - or they'll be right back at the old con game.

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone for the recs and the great comments. A number of people have commented that they've found this to be a valuable diary, and it has apparently connected some dots for people trying to understand the bizarre political landscape we find ourselves in. I thought I'd throw in a few links to some references here for those who want to dig deeper.

The work that inspired John Dean and Sara Robinson comes out of work done by Bob Altemeyer at the University of Manitoba. You can find pdf versions of it here and here. It was this work that John Dean drew on for much of his book "Conservatives Without Conscience", which is an important work all by itself. (It may need a second volume just to deal with the Romney-Ryan campaign and the GOP Congressional Tea Party hordes).

I quoted heavily from Sara Robinson - you can find some more work by her at the Orcinus web site. Although largely inactive, David Neiwert has kept it up. If you scroll down the page, the left hand margin has links to some excellent series by Robinson, not just Cracks in the Wall, but also Tunnels and Bridges. Robinson grew up in an authoritarian family, so she writes from personal experience. (The series on Kauffman's Rules is also well worth reading for some very pragmatic approaches to organizing human activity.)

Neiwert has some great articles there as well. He's been writing for a long time about some of the darker elements of American politics and history. He has some pieces that deal with fascism, eliminationism, Bush, Limbaugh that are all thoughtful and more relevant today than ever.

Perlstein's discussion of Conservatives and Snake Oil points up a problem for the Left: Conservatives have developed a 'product line' which they market aggressively while simultaneously delegitimizing alternatives. The low tax, small government cult they've created has done nothing but deliver the nation's wealth to a handful, corrupted our political system, and will be nothing but a continuing disaster for us and the entire world if they prevail. We need some alternatives. Here are three:

The Spirit Level is a book collecting decades of research around the world that demonstrate that the one big factor behind the quality of life in developed countries is NOT material wealth but low levels of inequality. The smaller the distance between top and bottom, the better everyone does. There's a wealth of material on the web here that documents it.

With the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy still being felt, how we rebuild the northeast is going to be critical. There's a model that needs to be held up for all to see, combining leadership from government with private partnerships, planning for the future instead of relying on market forces, an emphasis on sustainability, AND a determination to rebuild the economy that creates a viable model for the long term. It's the town of Greensburg, Kansas. Almost totally destroyed by a tornado back in 2007, they've since turned the recovery process into a path to a viable future - jobs AND sustainability. They have a lot of resources and stories at their website. Take a look around. Vision is still possible, and so is Hope for the Future if we are going to move Forward.

Finally, if you're tired of the constant stream of anti-government propaganda intended to cripple the tool the Founding Fathers crafted "in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity", you can find a powerful antidote at Government Is Good. Lots of good talking points, resources and links, it's anathema to the Snake Oil Salesmen of the Conservative Con Men. Bookmark it and keep it handy. (And it wouldn't hurt if the alleged Democratic leadership refreshed their understanding of the benefits of the public sector.)

Thanks to everyone for putting this on the rec list. Let's GOTV and take our country back

Poll

Recognizing the Conservative Movement is a Con Game:

5%31 votes
1%7 votes
1%10 votes
0%4 votes
4%26 votes
28%171 votes
52%310 votes
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3%19 votes

| 596 votes | Vote | Results

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  •  Tip Jar (295+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, IndieGuy, Wisdumb, kamarvt, NMRed, nervousnellie, Tirge Caps, Azazello, palantir, blueisland, Gowrie Gal, Tam in CA, kmbaya, NYmom, a2nite, sodalis, Shippo1776, Matt Z, Pirogue, drofx, Sarea, cotterperson, Orange County Liberal, rapala, mama jo, mellow yellow, TX Unmuzzled, chloris creator, dotsright, sawgrass727, Dobber, Mike Kahlow, 1BQ, Leo Flinnwood, Statusquomustgo, ChemBob, litoralis, sunbro, owlbear1, UniC, jabney, egan, Rights of Bill, Williston Barrett, wyvern, defluxion10, tapestry, bmcphail, Dogs are fuzzy, Unknown Quantity, annan, certainot, spooks51, dlemex, weck, cactusflinthead, One Pissed Off Liberal, LillithMc, offgrid, Bridge Master, Dave in Northridge, simaramis, maxzj05, buckstop, haremoor, high uintas, bnasley, davidincleveland, marleycat, Skennet Boch, Nebraskablue, GeorgeXVIII, Orlaine, countwebb, bsegel, catly, Mary Mike, TBug, MartyM, mozartssister, hlsmlane, RubDMC, annieli, Emerson, msmacgyver, zerelda, Rosaura, dzog, Mentatmark, breakingranks, collardgreens, IADave, eeff, susakinovember, 2questions, Haf2Read, BlueDragon, TechBob, BlueOak, TexanJane, parsonsbeach, suesue, Jim R, Its any one guess, gulfgal98, maggiejean, Zotz, CamillesDad1, Sychotic1, Rhysling, Dhavo, sostos, demedja, OHeyeO, SJLeonidas, nice marmot, Sandino, sillia, hannah, grollen, bibble, Ekaterin, ahyums, AnnetteK, PrahaPartizan, deepfish, wu ming, paul2port, RJH, Gator Keyfitz, LarisaW, IndyinDelaware, Mr Stagger Lee, breathe67, subtropolis, walkshills, enufisenuf, BalanceSeeker, zesty grapher, PennBrian, jan4insight, wasatch, cosette, opinionated, third Party please, tidalwave1, Crabby Abbey, anodnhajo, Fonsia, cpresley, EricS, subav8r, surelyujest, slowbutsure, implicate order, frisco, Rona, blueoregon, Tom Anderson, TheDuckManCometh, where4art, toys, Russgirl, fiercefilms, crose, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, Bob Duck, SmartRat, Horsefeathers, vahana, shinobi9, RhodaA, Catkin, tonyahky, Ruh Roh, MarkInSanFran, prfb, Sixty Something, madgranny, Pilgrim X, blueoasis, jck, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, uciguy30, gchaucer2, brentbent, Cronesense, devis1, Dr Colossus, Bill in Portland Maine, LearningCurve, Vicky, lizah, Oldowan, pgm 01, cwsmoke, Yosef 52, luckylizard, Trotskyrepublican, Alumbrados, ballerina X, hwy70scientist, Santa Susanna Kid, notrouble, concernedamerican, 2dot, accio, spritegeezer, Paradigm Change, OldDragon, Orinoco, lotlizard, Subterranean, Molly Weasley, Aaa T Tudeattack, Snarky McAngus, grover, 42, hotdamn, bluesheep, carpunder, Steveningen, JayC, peacestpete, gwilson, pixxer, poliwrangler, AICoder, DianeNYS, Nowhere Man, Ice Blue, Mrs M, George3, Andrew F Cockburn, leeleedee, Michael Vykun, ThothXXI, wayoutinthestix, yella dawg, Marihilda, smrichmond, FarWestGirl, leonard145b, Blu Gal in DE, rmonroe, Dark UltraValia, Donkey Underpants, Garfnobl, CTLiberal, bluedust, bluezen, terabytes, MadMs, Mage11an, soithoni, No one gets out alive, dewtx, DvCM, illegal smile, psnyder, chmood, sow hat, 417els, Sassy, TravnTexas, ColoTim, dskoe, Davui, TX Freethinker, jolux, Executive Odor, Jim Domenico, emmasnacker, farmerhunt, lennysfo, splashy, topazOR, OLinda, madhaus, no way lack of brain, ovals49, jhop7, Syoho, BYw, zizi, filkertom, NBBooks, bunsk, Chitown Kev, chantedor, Larsstephens, Jake Williams, el dorado gal, frankw9, getlost

    Here's one of the best examples of a con artist at work - find an issue to get the marks worked up, drop some dog whistles into the pitch to prove you're "one of them", gin up the fear and anger, and you can lead them around by the nose while getting them to hand you their money to 'save' them from the terrible threat you've created in their minds. It's that simple.

    And don't let the eventual happy ending to this tale throw you off. Remember,  Professor Harold Hill had cleaned out hundreds of towns with all kinds of scams while leaving a trail of "sadder but wiser girls" in his wake before meeting his downfall in Marion Paroo. If there are any conservatives out there who come to regret what they do, they're keeping a damned low profile.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 07:15:31 AM PST

  •  This is nothing but RW Shambauch 2.0. (35+ / 0-)

    Anyone from the South knows who this guy is.  A self-proclaimed man of God, a snake oil salesmen who went around the country holding "tent revivals" claiming to heal people.  In my town, people used to pile in by the thousands to by "miracle oil" and "special water" or to have the Reverend "lay hands on them."

    If you want to see it in action, catch that charlatan Peter Poppov early in the morning.  It's absolutely shameful.

    "If ye were blind, you would be without sin. But you say 'you see'; therefore, your sin remains" Quoted from that despised Socialist Jesus Christ.

    by Carlo408 on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 07:41:26 AM PST

    •  That Peter Poppov guy sent a letter to (13+ / 0-)

      my house that contained a little packet of water. It was only "miracle water" after you sent in a donation. What a creep!

      •  Oh for crying out loud! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        suesue, George3, 417els

        honestly, and idiots buy that chit?

        I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

        by KayCeSF on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 12:01:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Making millions (4+ / 0-)

        A one time acquaintance ran a telemarketing for hire company. Many times it was just taking inbound calls from Cable TV . One of the religious Charlatans was selling a small package of seeds and a hankie ( I think it was something like that) at any rate, the cost on it was less than $0.50 and they were getting 10s of thousands of orders at $75.00 each every time the TV program ran.

        I honestly have no idea what the seeds were for or what the scam was. I was just amazed at the volume of money these people can get out of the people who have the least amount of disposable money to buy into scams like this.

        The fact that both sides do this to a degree in the voting arena shouldn't be a surprise. Vast sums of money attract many more bad people than good. After all, you have to be an operator to a degree to get in on the booty.

        Scare tactics to Greed are time honored traditions to make people part with their money. The fact that political consultants are some of the highest paid people in politics with a single campaign meaning millions for a small organization, with successful campaigns worth at least 5-6 major unsuccessful campaigns after it, it's a wonder that GDP measurements don't include the political sector in the measurement.

        You can bet the media companies who stand to gain billions in this election especially thanks to the Supreme Court are counting every penny and giving thanks to the higher Deities called SCOTUS for Citizens United in that it  gives the broken business model of traditional media a new lease on life until people in power finally realize having 22 political ads in a 1 hour newscast is the definition of the law of diminishing returns.

        Wait till the next election as software engineers figure out a way to spam every single device you have with political ads with a changed kernel in your operating system.  The minute you turn on your connected device you have the ultimate malware system with a life altering virus that spews  thousands of political ads you have to click through to get to PowerPoint for 120 seconds of work before it recycles with a whole new branch.

        We'll pay companies huge amounts of money for special software to kill the viruses only to find later that the software was from the other side which blocks ads from them but delivers thousands more annoying ads.

        How about Wake-on-Lan Political ads that come on in the dead of night even though you disconnected your computer from the internet. They were stored on one of your PCs in the house or office from that day  and spreads through your wired connection  and unwired connections, wakes up devices , turns on lights and a loud squelch is heard followed by a Deep voice that at 3:30am :

        Geeetttt UUUUPPPP! and listen because what we have to say today concerns your future this day and for every day thereafter.

        There is no way to turn it off. None. The Nightmare of 2016 when iOS, Windows, MacOS and Android take over every device that requires power as commercials are delivered via your power lines.  You pay for them too as electric bills are jacked up to nose bleed levels . Utility stocks have PE ratios that Make Worthless.coms look like staid conservative companies.

         You can't use any device to complain. Even marches on Town halls are rudely interrupted by your bullhorn being overcome with political ads until people start throwing rocks at you.

        It's even in your trusty Kindle Reader...

        The Horror...

        You have turned into a complete Cosmic Shit Magnet

        Not far from the truth either.  I honestly can't see  many technical impediments to all of it. Refrigerators and stuff may be problematic as you need a converter and a vid screen or amplifier to convert the signal to annoying ads, but hey, appliances have to be replaced sometime. Cars all have computers , radios, MP3 players, and now TV Screens to help one back up. It's just a matter of time when people who absolutely have to get their message out to everyone and have the money to do so will be able to do so against our will using our own desire for modern conveniences as a weapon.

        The only way to opt out is to place your vote and it better be to the right party. Got it?  Wrong vote and you still get blasted only this time it's worse and unrelenting until the next election or when you go stark raving mad and are found shivering in a rat eaten blanket , unwashed, speaking in tongues jammed  in a outhouse...

        Whichever comes first.  

        Elections that even the dogs and cats hate.

        They're coming to an iDevice near you...

        Hey how about electronic medical implants...Cheneyware

        •  ...time to switch to decaf... (0+ / 0-)

          I definitely know where you're coming from.

          They're going to kill off television by making it unbearable.


          The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. - Pangolin@kunstler.com

          by No one gets out alive on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 06:01:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's another kind of spam (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xaxnar

          There are enough idiots that will fall for the pitch, at least once, that the scammers can continue to make money, so long as they continue to contact new "marks".

          That's why the snake-oil salesmen and faith-healers have always based their business around traveling to new places, where nobody has become disillusioned with them. Recall the song line in the Music Man, "but he doesn't know the territory". For the legitimate salesman, knowing the territory, the customers, their needs, and their history with your products, is important. For the scam-artist, the main thing is for the territory NOT to know YOU.

          Nowadays you don't need to travel when you can use the internet to scam marks.

          We must believe in free will. We’ve got no choice. –Isaac Bashevis Singer

          by Ruthtopia on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 08:49:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Hey, lying worked for Hitler's regime, right? (18+ / 0-)

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 07:41:48 AM PST

    •  Very loooongg con: (9+ / 0-)

      Elegantly explains the derision of the "educated elite" and higher level education more broadly.

      Interesting that the same people who speak of the "best health care" in the world in one sentence is followed with totaly disdain for basic sciences, the incredibly productive research done on the campuses of the "educated elite" and the discoveres borne of rigorous scientific inquiery.

      Attacking the education/rational inquiery mode of discovery is a slap in the face of their grandchildren who might otherwise benefit from an evolving society in favor of nothing but long term political/financial benefit.

      Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

      by 4CasandChlo on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 09:42:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I noticed something (42+ / 0-)

    and am kinda surprised i havent seen more about it.

    The complete and total evaporation of their Benghazi line. Just gone in an instant. the thing that was supposed to cost Obama the election, they pretend it never existed.

    Then you came out all of a sudden and said, "You're Prism Indigo!" but I don't get it...

    by kamrom on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 07:56:09 AM PST

    •  no longer operative! (14+ / 0-)

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 08:06:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, it's still at work ... (24+ / 0-)

      overheard a long conversation yesterday with an Air Force vet who brought it up while waiting in line to vote.

      Fortunately, my friend whose son is in the military was well versed in the story and engaged the Air Force guy. I will never know how he voted, but the handling of Benghazi was at the top of his mind.

      Even though the story is no longer alive in the media, the worm is loose and still making its way into people's decision making process.

      "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

      by annan on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 09:03:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Each of us - can make a difference in educating. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar, annan, boofdah, George3, FarWestGirl
      •  Have you heard this one? (6+ / 0-)

        Someone I know recently surprised me as a possible Romney voter. His grounds for voting against Obama? "Obama wants to dismantle the military."

        I'm not sure where that comes from, but apparently it's some common idea discussed by military folk. I thought it might relate to the GOP blaming Obama when they didn't meet the deadline for budget reform. Across the Board automatic cuts somehow became "dismantling the military". However, the accusation seemed more focused than a reference to the automatic cuts. Is there a "scare mail" out there saying Obama intends to dismantle the military?

        Le nirvane n'existe pas. - Etienne Lamotte

        by breakingranks on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 01:59:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lots of them (6+ / 0-)

          They've been trying paint Obama as anti-military all along. But most of this talk comes out of the mandatory cuts to the Pentagon (and the rest of the government) that came out of the House REPUBLICAN determination to wreck the budget process if they didn't get what they wanted. They've created a 'fiscal cliff' as yet one more excuse to slash government.

          Obama is to blame for this - by Republican logic - because he failed to cave in to their demands. They want to keep the Bush tax cuts for the rich, and cut social spending.

          But... the crisis is artificial, and can be waved away any time Congress can get its act together long enough to craft a real budget. The crisis will disappear all by itself pretty much even if Congress does nothing - the Bush tax cuts will expire and that will do a lot to close the revenue gap. Obama would like to keep the cuts for the middle class and let the rich go hang. The REPUBLICANS refused to go along.

          But in any case, closing the budget gap now while the economy is still recovering is the worst time to do it - if ever. And, rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy demands lots of government spending - which will act like a stimulus even as it helps get the economy moving again.

          "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

          by xaxnar on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 02:43:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I tried to explain about the mandatory cuts (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xaxnar, George3

            But my explanation - particularly the part about the GOP creating the "crisis" by refusing to compromise - did not sink in.

            In fact, the guy I was talking to seemed really stuck on a script. And he's not totally surrounded by wingnuts: he has progressive friends. But he also has friends in the military, and he seemed to take this one point as an article of faith. That's why it seemed to me there was some very specific messaging to create an imminent threat of Obama dismantling the military.

            Hurricane Sandy may create another trap. The midday open thread referred to this article about how disaster relief could get hijacked by private developers. Republicans will rush in to grab the goodies (like Michelle Bachmann trying to grab her bridge project), but then turn around and blame the Democrats for Big Spending.

            Le nirvane n'existe pas. - Etienne Lamotte

            by breakingranks on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 02:53:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You can't fight lies with facts (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              xaxnar, 417els, breakingranks, rmx2630

              It is important to remember that these people did not arrive at their conclusions by looking at facts or reasoning about them.  It is not an exaggeration to say many of them have been essentially brainwashed.  

              Fighting back against this approach requires deprogramming, not reasoned debate.

              I mention this elsewhere in a comment in this diary, but "The Political Brain" by Drew Westen does an excellent job of explaining how the right wing uses fear (and other emotional responses) to program their followers.  I think it is an absolute must read -- we need to understand how the right wing is manipulating people -- and we need to fight back in a way that will be effective.  Facts won't work.

              Link to Drew Westen's site: http://www.thepoliticalbrain.com/...

              •  Interesting (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                xaxnar

                I noticed it has been endorsed by Howard Dean.

                “Drew Westen is a must read and must hear for any Democrat… In 2008 we will win the presidency if our candidate reads and acts on this book.”

                —Howard Dean, Chairman, Democratic Party

                "But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me." - bush summing up his first year in office, 3 months after 9/11, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2001

                by rmx2630 on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 10:53:39 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Today I saw this tweet by digby: (7+ / 0-)
        digby ‏@digby56

        Last night I overheard someone say,"It's not like the Democrats could ever win a real election -- w/o women and blacks they've got nothing"

        Unbelievable.

        Demagogue: one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.--H. L. Mencken

        by Ice Blue on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 04:39:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wasn't health care ... (6+ / 0-)

      supposed to be Obama's undoing? Instead, we heard a lot about "skewed polls", "liberal media" (again), and a politically-timed superstorm ("How convenient!").

      There have been some beautiful moments in this campaign (and some not-so-beautiful), but none better than "Please proceed, Governor."

    •  alex witt brought it up this morning!! i couldn't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar

      believe it!  she had some democratic guest on (sorry, can't recall who) & asked why there were so many different stories from the administration about what happened -- !! -- & i thought, oh pleeeze stfu already!!  i guess she wants to keep her options open if msnbc cans her ass & she has to go begging roger ailes for a job.

    •  Susan Rice 2012 vs. Colin Powell 2003 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar

      So the CIA tells you something, you tell other people, then it turns out to have been wrong. Are you culpable for CIA lies, incompetence or unavoidable errors? Do members of your own or the opposing party call for your resignation or ending your career in government?

      Most importantly, what are the consequences of the misinformation? In the case of Susan Rice, basically nothing. A few days later we got a different explanation, then a little later, a more nuanced explanation that incorporated both previous theories. These small differences had no implications for changes in State Dept. policies or procedures.

      In the case of Colin Powell, the consequences were the invasion, occupation and civil war in Iraq. Right after the invasion the CIA corrected its error, but the dice were cast. There was ample evidence that the Bush/Cheney administration put immense pressure on the CIA to falsify their findings so as to legitimize a war.

      In the pointless harrying of Susan Rice, the suspicion that the White House was involved, etc. I see a sort of collective subconscious projection of what took place in 2003--the Republicans remember how they manipulated CIA information then, and that the White House was orchestrating the manipulation. They also believe that Colin Powell should have known better than to trust it.

      We must believe in free will. We’ve got no choice. –Isaac Bashevis Singer

      by Ruthtopia on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 09:17:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Conservatives are suspicious of everyone.... (0+ / 0-)

        because in their hearts they know what they would do in a similar situation. No benefit of the doubt - except possibly for their fellow tribespeople. Everyone else is a potential competitor, a potential threat.

        "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

        by xaxnar on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 04:53:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  sound to me like domestic violence writ large (58+ / 0-)

       

    An elite group of leaders exploits a group of followers through a variety of means. Typically they create a very structured environment, a filter between them and the rest of the world. It's both a strait jacket and a security blanket. They externalize all their failures and faults onto the 'enemies' they've designated for just that purpose. They keep their followers in line by insisting they adhere to group orthodoxy or risk banishment, and they use fear of the outside world to hold them together. But, even as the leaders insist on strict control of their followers, they themselves typically place no such constraints on their own behavior. It's a predator - prey relationship based on a weird symbiosis. Their followers answer to them; they answer to no one.
    When the followers are their spouse and children, it's called domestic violence.
  •  Maybe It's All Brain Chemistry (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wyvern, drofx, opinionated, OldDragon, George3

    Roughly half of us synapses that soak in a conservative soup and roughly half of us have synapses that soak in a liberal soup. We were born this way.

  •  I read that article yesterday and it was... (32+ / 0-)

    enlightening to say the least.

    All of it can be synthesized down to this simple statement "The primary mission of the entire conservative media complex is to insure that the ultra rich have political representation in Washington DC"

    Fox news exists for no other purpose than to con people into voting for the interests of the rich, period end of discussion...

    Fox News, The triumph of stupidity over reason.

    by laughingriver on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 08:42:00 AM PST

  •  The linked article (12+ / 0-)

    is one of the better dissections of conservative "thought" that I've read, and gives a good analysis of the affinities that exist between reductions in the regulation of capitalism and increases in conservative practice, whose ultimate aim is served by (rather than embodying) popular conservative ideology.

    A great piece. The sad thing is that conservatives likely would agree with every word but find it to be the description of a desirable practice and world.

    That's where we are: what Weber called "value orientations." When both sides accept the same basic understanding of the logic of the system and politics, and yet are so far apart, the real differentiator is simple values (lying and self-serving exploitation are good and natural and pleasant versus lying and self-serving exploitation are bad and unnatural and unpleasant), which are much harder to debate or to change.

    Conservatives want and are thrilled to be caught up in a cutthroat game of cynical survival. What's the point in trying to appeal to them with policies that mitigate these? But at the same time, if you don't want life to be a cutthroat game of cynical survival, what's the point in adopting alternative propositions that might appeal to those that embrace this state of affairs?

    -9.63, 0.00
    I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

    by nobody at all on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 08:42:02 AM PST

  •  Rove and the others are simply behind the times. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wyvern, OleHippieChick

    Their simple mind tricks don't work on enough people anymore.

    •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FarWestGirl

      So why aren't the polls in the 80-20 range?

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 02:57:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The keyword is "enough" in "enough people". (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar

        Rove is a scoundrel, but the reasons for the absurd support of repubs in the 40's are much bigger.

        Wholesale corruption of the media is largely responsible.

        Corrupt scotus and other judicial decisions that transformed elections into auctions are required.

        A voting and representation system historically set up to make it easier for a small fraction of people to call the shots always helps too.

        I hope this helps. :)

    •  The Political Brain: How mind tricks work (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar, rmx2630, madhaus, Rights of Bill

      Drew Westen's book "The Political Brain" was a real eye opener for me.  It really helps to explain how and why seemingly (and in many cases actually) intelligent people can be tricked into supporting contradictory, false, and destructive points of view.

      I highly recommend it.

      http://www.thepoliticalbrain.com/...

      One very important takeaway.  If people are tricked into believing contradictory, false, and destructive points of view, those points of view of are not going to be undone by actual facts.  Those points of view weren't reached by facts or reason.  Fighting against the mind tricks requires countermeasures that work in the same neurologic way that the mind tricks did.

      •  This is important, but doesn't explain everything. (0+ / 0-)

        Ask yourself why blacks, latinos an other minorities are consistently better than whites at casting ballots according to their real interest.

        Then ask yourself how it can be that one of the countries with the highest levels of education and standard of living, manages to vote just shy of a majority people so ideologically extreme that they would have a problem having any elected representatives in any comparable industrialized and free democratic country.

        There is more to it than human nature. There is a series of systemic problems that are not addressed election after election.

  •  gotta keep on exposing (16+ / 0-)

    the workings of this con game.  We all knew it had elements of racism, tribalism, fear, gullibility, authoritarianism, etc., but this greatly helps with understanding the sociopathic element running the show and how they do it.

    I really hate what they have done to my family.

  •  Oh my god - I underslept! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mike101, OleHippieChick

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 08:51:29 AM PST

  •  They prefer, nay demand noble lies instead of ugly (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, drofx, cotterperson

    truth to the point at which it is a philosophy: Leo Straussian conservatism

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 08:54:36 AM PST

  •  thanks. here's a theory re why/the source (8+ / 0-)

    the irrational need for certainty is stronger in cons. since there is no real certainty they get scared until someone makes it up (religion, etc) and presents it to them (leader) to make them feel better (follower). IMO our societies evolve to offer opportunities to apply certainty through simplicity and dualities.

    the link at the bottom is to "Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition", a study that identified common con characteristics- most look to me like variations on the need for certainty.

    this guy:   http://youtu.be/...  explains that most of this crap starts with civilization, when it becomes necessary to delay the age of reproduction in the absence of appropriate sex ed.

    http://faculty.virginia.edu/...

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 08:54:41 AM PST

  •  Please read Bob Altemeyer's - The Authoritarians (20+ / 0-)

    at http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/...

    I read it in September 2007 and it made so many thing things much clearer for me.

    "The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add an useful plant to its culture" -- Thomas Jefferson

    by tommurphy on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 08:57:28 AM PST

  •  50 States (21+ / 0-)

    This is the key. Post this election we need to immediately begin to create this strategy for 2014 and have it completely running by 2016.

    I don't care what problem existed with Dr. Dean we need him back because he is correct.

  •  Keep in mind... (14+ / 0-)

    ..they also have a multi-billion dollar media empire (TV, radio, internet) that constantly pimps everything listed in the diary.

    In fact, the diary provides an amazingly accurate description of every narcissistic puppet to be found commandeering office space in the Fixed News studio.

    "You just gotta keep on livin man! L-I-V-I-N!" - Wooderson

    by wyvern on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 09:00:30 AM PST

  •  But, what is fueling this? (28+ / 0-)

    I grew up around the right wing evangelicals who have become some of the leadership of the GOP, in Texas.

    This battle between authoritarians who learned how to use the church to control populations, and enlightenment liberals has been with us since Christianity arose as a powerful force in European history.  

    What is making this a distinctly stupendous drama is that the money behind all this is coming from people absolutely desperate to maintain a grip that is slipping.  

    Oil billionaires, coal producers, owners of polluting industries, exporters of American jobs, are all doing the same thing.  They are trying hard to clamp down on American democracy lest their actions become an issue, which they ought to be.

    The real issues in this election are planetary and they are about a sustainable human population.  This involves birth control, it involves searching for alternatives to oil as energy, it involves thinking in a way about resources in general that is based on science instead of on the old anything goes.  

    The population is divided because a lot of people are not deep thinkers and don't look beyond their own particular interests and are not concerned about the planet.  That is why they can't understand the code that all the debate is couched in.

    No one will spell it out for them, especially not the special interest candidates who are trying to turn back the clock.

    Religious thinking is very useful to the exploiters because it keeps people occupied with irrelevance.

    The problem with telling the truth about some of the issues involved with 7 billion people becoming 10 billion versus the resources we are using, is that it so diverges from what people understand that it will shock people.  They will vote against anybody who dares go there.  

    So that also feeds the prospect for lying to win.  They know that the truth is too shocking for a political campaign.  

    After the election, we are going to have to turn our attention to this problem.  We have to lay a predicate for truth telling even when it is not pleasant or entertaining.  

    A lot of people, after all, are voting on who makes the best TV character in the national soap opera.  They aren't voting on truth and reality.  

    We need to address that.  We are in a very serious situation.

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 09:08:52 AM PST

    •  if the pols can't address the truth (7+ / 0-)

      Ma Nature is going to do it for them.  She's already started.  

      I understood why Obama didn't want to say "global warming" in the 2nd debate and instead had to talk about developing new sources of clean energy.  (It was also a bit heartbreaking to see them debating over who would get the most oil and gas out of N. America.)

      So it's not only a case of truth telling, but also one of dealing with the egregious despicable lying blowback unleashed on the public and pol who tries to tell the truth.  Cuomo and Bloomberg only got away with it (for now) because Sandy is too obvious and raw to spin.

    •  Strongly agree, Stuart! (7+ / 0-)

      Robinson offers suggestions for opening minds in Part III of her fine work. Many of them are much like what I learned in a class on persuasion theories. The trouble -- as we've seen repeatedly here -- is that much of communication is habitual, e.g., the automatic response to an attack is defense.

      We will have to get beyond the emotional part of our brains, which provides the first response to perception, to the thinking part. It's difficult to do when we feel under attack by liars (which we are!). Fortunately, she advises us to not try it with the angry, hard-core people.

      For instance (they're all worth the brief read):

      Fear Is The Mind-Killer
      In talking to right-wing authoritarians (RWAs) -- in any situation -- the first and greatest challenge is to reduce the level of fear and increase the level of trust. They cannot hear or see you at all until this happens. A few thoughts on how to accomplish this:

      Stand on Common Ground -- Keep the conversation focused on the things you agree on. You may find more in common than you might have imagined, especially with "classical conservatives" who are outraged by the Bush Administration's spending, foreign policy blunders, and neglect of important domestic infrastructure. (Small businesspeople, in particular, can give you a real earful.) Move away from potential areas of conflict as soon as they appear, or state your position in a non-threatening way and then move right back to the safe zone. Remember, you're trying to reduce fear, not arouse it.

      It will be a long road, but sometimes the Internet trumps TV, and seems to have become an advantage for us.

      It's a critical situation that much change if we are to "restore our democracy," as President Obama said so boldly yesterday. (I knew it was gone, but didn't realize he did!) It won't be fast or easy, but it's certainly worth the work it will take.

      "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

      by cotterperson on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 09:43:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's a difference in response (4+ / 0-)

        Everybody suffers from confirmation bias to a certain extent - we're more likely to believe things that agree with our beliefs as they are than we are to give weight to things that contradict them.

        That being said, people of a liberal persuasion are bit more open to having their minds changed IF they can be shown a reason or facts that makes sense to them. They have a world view, but they are less reluctant to modify it in response to changing circumstances than conservatives.

        The conservative reaction to something that doesn't agree with their picture of the world is to reject it and even double down on their beliefs.

        And from an evolutionary perspective, there are reasons why both approaches make a certain amount of sense. You never have all the facts - sometimes sticking with what you know is the right course, sometimes you have to be able to take a chance on something new. Both approaches have a certain value.

        The paradox is that Liberals can accept this; Conservatives can't, and the dividing line is fear. Which is why Con Men have such a grip on the Conservative movement - manipulating fear is their specialty.

        "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

        by xaxnar on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 10:33:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  We really have no choice, ultimately (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson, crose, xaxnar, FarWestGirl, Mrs M

        The dynamics at work in our world are at work whether we recognize them or not, and whether we tell stories instead of facing up to them or not.  

        The question is really what it will take for the real intelligence of the human species to assert itself?

        How much pain will it take?  Will the knowledge that we must face up what we must deal with do it, or will it take calamities piling on calamities that really rock the entire human population worldwide?

        I think those of us who are able to think about this are hoping for the former.  If we see more Romneys getting elected we will know it is going to be the latter.  

        hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

        by Stuart Heady on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 12:20:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I truly thought, and still believe, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xaxnar, FarWestGirl, Mrs M

          the Bush-Cheney years were calamitous: the invasion of Iraq, leaving hundreds of thousands dead; the most massive real estate fraud since we stole this land from the Native Americans; and finally the organized crime of the global banking industry.

          We'll see on Tuesday, but my hope is that President Obama has begun the slower response that will avoid at least some further calamities. By offering a Mormon to their religious-right base, I think the GOP may have finally over-reached. They are also losing their white demographic majority, so whipping up the racists won't win them many future elections.

          Yet this near-impenetrable divide remains, in large part because of the consolidation of media ownership mostly in the hands of five corporations has led to this brainwashing. I'm old enough to remember what it was like before Reagan started the consolidation and Clinton finished it off. One-third of us now get our entertainment and news via the Internet, so that may help us.

          Here's hoping for a less painful way!

          Thanks, Stuart, for the thoughtful response.

          "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

          by cotterperson on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 12:53:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  The most important diary I have seen in a long (30+ / 0-)

    time.  We simply must come to understand the conservative mind-set and find ways to turn people away from it, mostly at the margin.

    The key driver at work is the framing of issues.  Many here at Kos are getting it but most progressives still don't.  To talk inside of Right-Wing frames is to lose.  Just don't do it.  The key poison from the media is their participation by acceptance almost across the board of right-wing framing.  That framing de-legitimizes liberal ideas, and legitimizes conservative ones no matter how divorced from reality.  

    The election provides a key example.  Romney has lied on a level that should stun anyone not numbed by the imbecilic tone of US politics, but what price will he or the Republican Party pay?  It will be a close election not matter what, but even if we win the Romney lie machine will probably just validate the approach.  The right will invent lies to explain the close loss that paints Romney as a victim somehow.  Corporate media will report (validate) the victim story and we will lather, rinse, and repeat next cycle.  

    What can make a difference is if progressives just speak only in our own frames from the water cooler to outnumbered Democrats on talk shows.  It is also crucial that Progressives actively de-legitimize views that deserve that level of blow-torch treatment.  It runs against our core civility, but as things have evolved in the US, it is vastly more uncivil to not confront the lie machine.  I say ridicule them at every turn.  

    The Long War is not on Iraq, Afghanistan, or Iran. It is on the American people.

    by Geonomist on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 09:10:06 AM PST

  •  Nailed it. (7+ / 0-)

    This puts it in terms and descriptions that give voice to what I have seen and experienced for years. The hypocrisy,  cognitive dissonance and contradictions are staggering. The same ones that I know are sitting in church at this very moment being told to love one another are going to go out the door into the world and hate with all they have their neighbor who might be another color, creed, religion or sexual orientation. They will hear of Pharisees and not realize they have become them.

    50 state strategy sounds a lot better than secession.

    Putting on the spectacles of science in expectation of finding an answer to everything looked at signifies inner blindness. -- J(ames) Frank Dobie

    by cactusflinthead on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 09:14:56 AM PST

  •  I am always embarrassed to admit this (22+ / 0-)

    I voted for Bush in 2000. I was a registered Republican until the day we invaded Iraq. When I read this article, it reminded me of how I used to handle being a Republican even though I was pro-choice, pro-gay rights, had spent a few years on food stamps growing up, etc.

    The big thing I remembered was that whenever the Republican platform on abortion rights came up, I always told myself and others that the Republican politicians were just lying about that to keep the Religious Right voting for the GOP. A lot of Democrats have been absolutely shocked by how much Romney has been lying and yet Republicans are still supporting him.

    They don't understand that to be a registered Republican and not be a far right fundamentalist, you have to tell yourself that the politician is lying. The whole point of this setup is that you view yourself as smarter than the idiot far right nutjobs in your own party. It makes you feel better, and is very comforting.

    This is why guys like David Frum and David Brooks both wrote an endorsement for Romney this past week that was little more than "Vote for him because he's obviously lying."

    I had forgotten how smug I used to feel in my superiority to the far right Christian conservatives who were so stupid they were voting for politicians who were clearly lying to them. Well, in 2011, those lies about abortion became true. It turns out that the Christian fundamentalists were far, far smarter than the other Republicans ever gave them credit for being, and they were able to position themselves to elect far right Christian fundamentalists just like themselves. Now they are the ones feeling smug compared to the so-called fiscal conservatives like Frum and Brooks, who look like complete idiots.

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 09:20:00 AM PST

  •  Absolutly true i have ben helping my elderly mom (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, drofx, cotterperson, Vicky, FarWestGirl

    with finding a new tenant for her rental property. She recieves emails from Grassfire.com, Delaware GOP chain letters  all spouting lies,lies lies and of course send them money as well.. These people take advantage of people for votes, money... Sometimes i want to find said individuals and deliver payback for their con games....

    America, We blow stuff up!!

    by IndyinDelaware on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 09:21:15 AM PST

  •  Iraq (16+ / 0-)
    Part of it is the sheer audacity of their crimes.
    Who would believe that the President of the United States would fabricate evidence to justify invading a country that was no threat? Who would believe that the Vice President, the National Security Adviser, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Defense, among others, were part of the con?

    Tin-foil hat time. Anyone who believed such a lurid conspiracy theory has probably spent too much time in the sun, right?

    Only one problem: it's true.

    “No, Mitt, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they love, they cry, they dance, they live and they die. Learn the difference.”-- Elizabeth Warren

    by Positronicus on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 09:34:15 AM PST

    •  And Who Would Believe .... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar

      that a rogue Republican majority of the U.S. Supreme Court would seize the role of Arbiter of Presidential Elections from the Congress.  And Who Would Believe that every single Democratic senator(and there were 50 of them) would confirm this extra-constitutional hijacking by refusing to object to the awarding of Florida's 25 electoral votes to bush.

      When I was younger, I remember studying about the stolen election of 1876 and I remember speculating about the possibility of witnessing a stolen presidential election in my own lifetime.  If I had been told that not only would I live to see exactly that, but that it would be perpetrated, in broad daylight,  by the Supreme Court - well I don't see how I would have been able to accept that.  

      Before bush, I was so naive, in so many ways.

      But. Not. Now.

      "But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me." - bush summing up his first year in office, 3 months after 9/11, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2001

      by rmx2630 on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 11:23:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  this crystalizes much of what i've been thinking (7+ / 0-)

    about recently (and, naturally, since it reinforces my own thoughts...).  All of the people i work with are very bright and most are likely brighter than i.  However, most have also fallen for the right wing propaganda as has almost my entire family, another group of (all modesty aside) mostly bright individuals.  

    Sometime in the mid-90's i noticed there's people that just can't be won over by demonstrable facts, proven interpretation and rational argument (i.e. science) and most of my family and the majority of my co-workers fall into this category.  Living through the run-up to the Iraq war crime really made me start wondering both what the underlying cause of such attitudes and how to break through.

    Good diary.  Its obvious facts and demonstrable evidence aren't enough to counter the right's propaganda.  The underlying appeal also needs identifying and addressing and may be the more important.

    to republicans rape is "God's will" but homosexuality is somehow a "choice". republican yahweh is a dick.

    by bnasley on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 09:34:55 AM PST

  •  Excellent Diary, thank you! (5+ / 0-)

    This caught my attention...

    Romney becomes far less of a mystery in this context. Whatever other reasons he has for lying so easily and frequently, in the conservative political environment it's like the water in which the fish swim. It's natural and invisible to them - it's just there. Perlstein again:
    It’s time, in other words, to consider whether Romney’s fluidity with the truth is, in fact, a feature and not a bug: a constituent part of his appeal to conservatives. The point here is not just that he lies when he says conservative things, even if he believes something different in his heart of hearts—but that lying is what makes you sound the way a conservative is supposed to sound, in pretty much the same way that curlicuing all around the note makes you sound like a contestant on American Idol is supposed to sound.

    When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

    by msmacgyver on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 09:47:02 AM PST

  •  This is a really important diary! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, OleHippieChick, FarWestGirl

    Thanks so much for writing this.  I need to find some time to re-read it, but the subject you and the writers you quote are tackling is soooooooooooo key to understanding and developing strategy.  

    We will simply get nowhere until we shed light --- LOTS of light -- on the dynamics outlined here.

    Thank you again.  I hope more and more books and articles and diaries and posts come out about this topic.  The more people understand this, the less polarized things will be.  There will simply be more sympathy and empathy because we will view people that work from the authoritarian viewpoint as unenlightened to a better way.  Not evil or bad or just plain stupid... but simply wired differently than us.  

    STILL HUMAN.  Still worthy of love and compassion.  That is key.

  •  nice work (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, BlueDragon, cosette, 42, FarWestGirl, 417els

    You and Perlstein.

    As has been noted, Bob Altemeyers work is key, as John Dean points out.

    I also suggest the work of Robert Hare, including his books Without Conscience, and Snakes in Suits.

    The world can seem a very dark place. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

    "Life is a bitch, and then you die. And then you come back." Old Buddhist proverb

    by RubDMC on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 09:50:55 AM PST

    •  Also see "The Spirit Level" (7+ / 0-)

      By Wilkinson and Pickett, it collects thousands of man hours of research over decades to convincingly demonstrate that developed societies do better across a whole range of quality of life issues as the levels of inequality in them decrease. Crime, drug abuse, infant mortality, longevity, mental health, teen pregnancy, educational outcomes - all of the problems in these areas improve for everyone including the people at the top as the distance between top and bottom decreases.

      To put it another way, simply 'growing the pie' is not enough, not if inequality soars. This is why the material wealth conservatives like to sneer at - cell phones and DVRs in the hands of those at the bottom - can't be taken as proof the poor are doing really well, that they shouldn't be having any problems.

      It also means that all of the problems cited above are more easily dealt with IF we focus on reducing the amount of inequality - we'll get a lot more bang for the buck for our social programs if we do that.

      They have a huge amount of hard evidence to back up their conclusions. There are multiple comparisons between different developed countries, and you can see the same things they're talking about if you compare the differences between the 50 states here in America. Less inequality = better life for everyone. A lot of material is available at this website.

      If the Democratic Party wants to start turning things around in this country, they could do worse than use this book as a bible for crafting effective policies. It has the potential to change things at a fundamental level. Instead of taking faith-based conservative talking points as a guide, we should be looking at what the actual facts are telling us. It's that critical. Conservatives are using the fiction of Ayn Rand for their guide - we could be using hard science if we only dared.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 10:14:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Using the word bible to mean a sort of (0+ / 0-)

        source of truth may very well be counterproductive here.

        -- We are just regular people informed on issues

        by mike101 on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 11:40:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not if you mean as a source of fundamental truths (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mike101, FarWestGirl

          There are all kinds of metaphorical small "B" bibles out there.  But imagine how it would have gone over if I'd said Koran instead of bible!  ;-)

          "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

          by xaxnar on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 11:56:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You know what you meant. But it does seem to (0+ / 0-)

            use the established religious framing (and why even get into that territory, it's a minefield). That was the point I should have made more explicitly.

            -- We are just regular people informed on issues

            by mike101 on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 12:23:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Why Republicans Lie. More info. (11+ / 0-)

    It started with fear of the rabble.....combined with business mass marketing and sales techniques. Google "PR! A History of Spin".......

    Another guru of the Right:

    The Republican Way:

    Paul Weyrich, "father" of the right-wing movement and co-founder of the Heritage Foundation, Moral Majority and various other groups tells his flock that he doesn't want people to vote. He complains that fellow Christians have "Goo-Goo Syndrome": Good Government. Classic clip from 1980.

    SNIP
    "Now many of our Christians have what I call the goo-goo syndrome — good government. They want everybody to vote. I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down."

    This video was produced by People For the American Way: http://www.pfaw.org

    Off topic, but Mission-Critical:
    And how about a little phonebanking from home now?

    Call out the Vote:
    http://calloutthevote.com/

    GOTV. Progressives. Phonebanking from home.
    http://bit.ly/...

    Workersvoice. Call Ohio:
    http://go.workersvoice.org/...

    Tell everyone to bring this toll free number to the polls, in case of trouble:
    1-866-OUR-VOTE

  •  this looks excellent (4+ / 0-)

    and i am keeping this open all day for when i take mini breaks from marking papers. absorbing it all will take some time.

    thank you for the kind of dialog we should be having instead of the nonsense that pervades much of the rec list.

    Donate to Occupy Wall Street here: http://nycga.cc/donate/

    by BlueDragon on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 10:03:55 AM PST

  •  Follow the money (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ERJH, FarWestGirl

    I think the first part of this essay, the documenting of political operatives (particularly on the right) being businessmen who are driven by their own ends, is very insightful, and does explain the lack of interest, or need, by those parties to tell the truth.

    The SDO case is much less persuasive, since one sees plenty of that mind set right here on this site, particularly leading into an election, where any dissent is regarded as intolerable.

    Nothing in the articles deals with the obvious fact that the Democratic Party has allowed itself to be corrupted nearly as badly by the same types of influences. The author mentions how the right is able to drive the dialogue, but fails to address why the “opposition party” has degenerated into a Trojan horse for that same right wing ideology.

    Could money be the problem? Well then let's just not talk about it.    

  •  as I said on another thread (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, OleHippieChick, FarWestGirl

    The way I deal with these people is to recognize I am dealing with a cult. The leaders are psychopaths who know the truth but have ulterior motives. The followers who I call the bubble people actually believe the nonsense and have been thoroughly trained to hold contradictory thoughts in their heads at the same time ala 1984.

    What I had to get over was this insane belief that all people believe that character and all that implies matters to these people. It does not. They are what they are and we have to defeat them politically for they really do not live in the real universe. They are disconnected from reality.

    Join the War on Thinking. Watch Fox News- John Lucas

    by Jlukes on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 10:16:06 AM PST

  •  The word you're looking for is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, FarWestGirl, 417els

    reactionary.

    A subsociety, subculture, or imagined universe that is reactionary is incapable of functioning on its own.  It is of necessity parasitic on the society, culture, and universe that isn't.  Even conceptually it doesn't work if you describe it in plain proper terms and account for everything.  So the reactionaries don't/can't use plain proper terminology and ignore large portions of reality.  Once you have a subculture that is this distorted vis a vis reality, it has tolerate certain kinds of lying and illusions and resorts to them fully once reality becomes too hostile and incompatible with what they want.

    And then the con artists and demagogues rush in; people like that are perfect marks with no real defenses other than Pyrrhonism (i.e. skepticism toward everything except the objects of desire) that soon morphs into straight narcissistic emotionalism.  There are no more marks of authenticity or tests for truth they subject the parts of the world they don't like to.

    The root of it all is ultimately the first adamant unwillingness to accept some facet of social or other shared reality.

  •  I've always thown this about conservatives (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, FarWestGirl

    but I've never seen it expressed with such eloquence. I hope you don't mind that I copied and saved this on my computer for future reading again.

    •  No problem - it's good to have resources on hand. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FarWestGirl

      It's part of keeping an eye on the long game as well as the moment by moment excitement that often dominates here.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 11:22:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Snake-oil salesmen, Plain and simple. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, FarWestGirl

    There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. - Sun Tzu

    by OHeyeO on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 10:23:10 AM PST

  •  It's come to this.. (7+ / 0-)

    And I keep screaming it as loud as I can. It's simple, really. Fear and ignorance vs reason and science.

    What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS
  •  Don't let 2014 be another 2010 (5+ / 0-)

    Midterms have consequenses.

    There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. - Sun Tzu

    by OHeyeO on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 10:25:19 AM PST

  •  It's not such a new thing at all. (3+ / 0-)

    I think Rick Perlstein is over-hyperventilating a bit here.  We don't like what they do, and we have good reasons for not liking it.  BUT:

    1) It's NOT THAT NEW.  You may be just noticing it for the first time.  And Rick Perlstein too.  Noticing it for the first time and going, OH MY GOD THEY LIE ABOUT STUFF!!!  Not.  New.

    2) Of course Karl Rove is a businessman selling himself to the highest bidder.  No new information here.  Did you ever see that film The Candidate?  Did you think those guys who approached Robert Redford did it because they admired his ideals?  Not.  New.  At that level of operation, it's all a business.

    3) THE MEDIA HAS CHANGED.  It was never all that bright, of course.  But now it's gone all postmodern, where the truth is a relative thing, either liberal truth or conservative truth, and the cool guy clique of journalists are the ones who take no position and sneer at the rest, basically IGNORING lies or commenting on their effectiveness or lack thereof.  

    4) THERE IS NO PUNISHMENT FOR LYING.  ONLY REWARDS.  If the media don't give a shit, and if matters of truth are all reduced to MSNBC commentators versus FOX commentators, and people like John King and Gloria Borger sneering with superiority about it all and commenting about how the two sides are dealing with the lie, once "it's out there," (Cokie Roberts phrase), then there's only upside for lying.  

    In fact, it's hard for me to blame the Republicans for operating the way they do.  Why shouldn't they?  That's the shape of the gameboard and how the rules of the game work today.  They aren't that terribly different from how they used to be, either.  

    Imagine if a day came when the football ref's didn't call penalties for unnecessary roughness.  One team pounds and knifes the shit out of the other team while the other complains about it.  Rather than bitching about the fact that the refs don't do their job, they should do some unnecessary roughness back in equal and opposite proportions.  It might seem like a sad state of affairs to devolve to, but fighting back in the knowledge that there are no refs to help is a necessary first step to any improvement in matters.

    •  Yes and no (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mike101, RockyMtnLib, FarWestGirl, 417els

      Yes, this kind of thing has been around for a long time. After all, calling someone a snake oil salesman reflects how far back this goes.

      But... What Perlstein has done is make the connection between the kind of crap they market to their own followers and how if you understand that, the larger ideological con game they're playing makes a lot more sense. And the huge amounts of money Citizens United unleashed only give them even more incentive.

      And I think you're really underestimating the extent to which mendacity has become central to their agenda. They built a media machine to push it, they've made a concerted effort to intimidate the regular media that might have called them on it once upon a time. Look at how reluctant they are to announce poll results that don't fit the Romney-Ryan spin.

      If anything, I think Perlstein is understating the situation.

      The research Sara Robinson cites by way of John Dean gives us a better understanding of what's going on - and it's still not generally known outside of places like this. It certainly doesn't get talked about by the mainstream media.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 11:37:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It might not be the right time to say this, (0+ / 0-)

        and we can argue this more on Wednesday, but I would argue that mendacity to the base is standard operating procedure of the Democratic Party establishment as well.  They just aren't as good at it and they're more bashful about it.

        But I'm still voting for Obama.  

        •  There are high SDO types in the Democrats (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FarWestGirl

          And they certainly jump for the ones with the big bucks when it comes time to seek donations. BUT... there is this difference. Democrats don't seem to respond well to leaders who go out of their way to be assholes. Conservatives actually seem to demand it of their leaders.

          Now if we could just do something about the revolving door in DC that cycles High SDO appointees in and out of office....

          "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

          by xaxnar on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 12:53:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  a portrait of certain websites (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, 417els
    And what are followers like? Robinson lays that out thusly
    The "thusly laid out" paragraph describes every single thing  I have ever had the misfortune of reading on RedState, and every single angry Teapublican comment-thread.

    Who'd a thunk that this would be the case? After all the " aggressive support of authority" needs to be done my the lemming-followers : Malkin, Breitbart (at least he's silent now), O'Reilly . .. . etc.etc. I even see Boehner, McConnell, Issa, Cantor and that ilk as supporters.

    Question is: who is that these pretend top-dogs supporting?

    Answer: the real top-dogs - ones with the mega-money/power (Romney, Bushes, Norquist, Kochs). I've long wondered how it is that people "vote against their own self-interest", and this diary has dropped the last piece of the puzzle in place for me (slow, I know, but better late than never):

    They're voting precisely in their own (partial) self-interest. Thos who most need reasonably priced healthcare, worker's protections like OSHA etc. ...  are "Aggressive[ly] support[ing] ... authority" -because for some reason suppressing the questioners is more important to them than their own civil liberties or economic interest. It's driven by hate - but we've known that for a very long time.

    A few freeze-frames of Malkin's hideously deformed hate/anger-face is all a person needs to see her real driving force: HATE

    •  Another Football metaphor (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar

      They don't want to let down the team. Or they are willing to "take one for the team".

      The problem with the "team" is the problem with any ideology that puts "group interests" before "individual interests". There is always an individual behind the group - running the group and exploiting it for his or her (mostly his) interests. The "team" becomes a way to misdirect attention and criticism from any particular individual - especially the one getting all the gravy. If some criticism does get through, then it's time for a scapegoat.

      Le nirvane n'existe pas. - Etienne Lamotte

      by breakingranks on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 02:22:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar

    Read, rec'd, tipped, hotlisted.
    Will read again, lots to think about.
    Also the comments here are great.

    I love it that Obama's channeling Harry Truman: "I don't give 'em hell; I just tell the truth and they think it's hell!"

    by sillia on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 10:32:43 AM PST

  •  "Jimmy Carter/Roman Columns/Teleprompter!" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar

    ....Birth certificate, Soviet Union!!!!

    Even Mitt's campaign manager is running with 2009 Freeper tropes, pocketing the cash and laughing all the way to the bank.

    To the average person, this makes no sense whatsoever.  it's the secret language of 12 year old girls.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 10:33:09 AM PST

  •  i believe that all of your conclusions (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, RockyMtnLib, 417els

    and assertion are correct. Furthermore this is also true of those whom you reference.  I married into a "     " conservative and independent family, the patriarch was a democrart- he has passed away, my wife and one brother are democrats. They are christians and everyone has one and two degrees in higher education, from nursing, to mba(s), to medical doctor, to engineering. They continue to gather for hollidays out here, some coming from as far away as N.C. They never discuss politics, and do not ever try to convince each other who to vote for. That changed in 2008 because I lobbied hard for Barack, I knew i had to, because it is really quite easy to discern their politics when you speak to them alone. Indivdually they were quite frank about their positions, and over time i came to realize, that the republicans and independents lived in a political bubble, a bubble that was nourished in their church, magazines to which they were subscribed, and the most insidious the AM stations the men listened to. Fortunately , by the time the election came in 2008, I had won my points convincingly enough, without any arguments, or anger, and after election day i heard that they had in fact voted for the president.
    These folk are well educated, but because they are members of rightwing churches have been propagandized to the point that, their polical positions are not of their own study and conclusion, but are positions that have been created for them at church, on fuxx news, radio, and fellow parishioners. No i am not susceptible, i went to their churches in the beginning out of respect, but i am catholic born and bred. I have learned alot about how rightwing propaganda works by observing my inlaws. It seems that for them to consistently deny the lies of the right, they have to change a large part of the way they are used to living, and since we are all in our sixties, that lifestyle change is proving difficult to sustain in the political side of things. They will be there for Barack again this year, but there are two grandchildren in "bible" schools in the south.
    Thank you for a very comprehensive research and report.  

    The teflon candidate, bishop willard mitch romney.

    by longtimelurker on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 10:33:28 AM PST

  •  Fascinating diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pianogramma, xaxnar, grover

    This diary gives me a much better insight into why I cannot penetrate that wall that my conservative friends and family have around them.  Logic and facts do no good.  They refuse to believe anything that is documented even when it would negatively affect their own lives.  It is totally beyond me.

    I place a lot of blame upon lack of critical thinking skills being taught in the schools.  The merging of religion and politics has caused our society terrible damage too.  I remember having a spirited discussion with one family member who had put a high value upon how religious she perceived a political figure to be.  I told her that I could care less about how religious they were.  Instead I put much greater value upon a person's ethics.  That point was totally lost upon her.  She could not differentiate between self serving religiosity and ethical treatment of others.

    I loved this part of your diary because it explains the frustration that so many of us have with our own party:

    Hence we see the modern DC Democratic establishment running towards a Grand Bargain with the Con Men, and away from the New Deal and the Great Society. Guess who wins in that scenario - the people of good faith trying to make an honest bargain, or the sociopaths without scruples?

         There is no point in trying to win over High SDO types or reform them. They are what they are. They need to be isolated, controlled, regulated - and they'll fight it with everything they've got.

    Thanks for a fascinating and insightful diary.  Tipped and recommended.

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by gulfgal98 on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 10:35:37 AM PST

    •  also Hotlisted (n/t) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar

      "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

      by gulfgal98 on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 10:45:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you want some suggestions on how to reach them (4+ / 0-)

      Check out the Orcinus web site. Although it's largely inactive, Davie Neiwert keeps it up.

      If you scroll down the left margin, you can find links to several series by Sara Robinson. Cracks in the Wall, parts II and III, give some suggestions on ways to reach people locked into an authoritarian world view, as does her series on Tunnels and Bridges. Robinson grew up in that kind of world before escaping, and she writes from direct personal experience. Her series on Kauffman's Rules is rewarding for a very practical approach to making things work.

      For that matter, Neiwert has some really thought provoking articles linked there as well.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 11:48:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is one of the seminal readings for me (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar

        and one of the things that helped me understand authoritarian politics and religion better. It also helped me understand a progressive, reality-based worldview better. There were other things that influenced me along the way, but SRs articles get a lot of credit.

        I refer back to and reread Tunnels and Bridges as well as Cracks In the Wall periodically.

        liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

        by RockyMtnLib on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 05:03:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  my take, there is also their use of religion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      417els

      There is a war. Religion and the church are involved in this
      "war". It is a real war, the war of religion and the church on our freedom, freedom from any church and any religion.
      I am a catholic, and a believer. However, I believe that this war on our freedom started the day they realized that, people saw that god had remained "MIA", that the evilones continued to commit sin without retribution from god. Where was god? Why did we have to punish the sinners ourselves? Shouldn't god have stepped in by now? ,The "church" then came up with a brilliant and tangible boogeyman. One that lived amongst us. He was and is responsible for all that is wrong with this world. He is the "liberal".
      When they started to blame liberals for everything it had the effect of relieving them of continuing to prove that "god was still on the way". God who would punish  sinners, but who remained missing in action, and needed his disciples to punish the "enemies" of god. It meant that they had the right to empower murder, poverty, the killing by denial of healthcare, and a long list of very evil unchristlike actions by those in their party.
      They had to find a distraction, no matter how evil the results of their actions, heinous crimes that resulted from their demonizing of "their" fellow americans, - I feel very sad about the murders and attempted murders by the followers of these "satanists"- they had to keep the "sheep" in line, or eventually the sheep would rebel.
      So they latched on to the "liberal" as the devil's agent on earth. They couch it, "Let me tell you about those evil liberals." "We would all become christlike were it not for liberals", and "after all, is not being christlike the point of our existance here on "kolob?"
      Enter the home-grown greedster, the cons, the "shit blossom" types,- it started before "shit blossom", but the "monsters of the art of greed and money hoarding, were presented the obvious political "statue of liberty" play, to continue  the thievery of the fruits of the labor of every citizen, it would be like taking candy from a baby. All that was neccessary would be to "piggyback" on and expand the "evil liberal" propaganda and  the dehumanizing of the Democratic party, a party that believes and adhere to the constitution. The party
      that truly represents the best of america. This was the "avenue of approach", the way the few have continued to steal so much from the many.
      The "church" has been the central instrument of this sovietlike assault on america. Their greatest victory in the "rape" of america was the day they "devined" how to remove the public's ability to see the truth. The american people have been propagandized from the pulpit to the public airwaves. The "sheep" are told that "liberals" are evil and responsible for the "loss" of everything from grass to god.
      They have been adding other boogeymen over the years: socialists, muslims, teachers, policemen, firefighters, europeans, even the very people who would have to defend the country, soldiers, everyone else is seen as the "other". The list is long. These creatures are freaky-paranoid. It has been a propaganda war started decades ago, and many have fallen for it. The war is not loss, but it's a war which must be fought on many fronts.
      No matter, we have truth on our side, it may last longer than our lifetime, but we will win. We have to fight back the forces of evil for the ultimate victory, but we will win.

      The teflon candidate, bishop willard mitch romney.

      by longtimelurker on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 06:24:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  George Lakoff talks about obedience ... (5+ / 0-)

    to the "stern father" as the basic political loyalty of the right. This piece agrees with that, and dad's a fraud and a cheat.

    Maybe Republicans think they are voting for Eisenhower, who had, after all, commanded armies, and don't realize that he was replaced long ago by Nixon, who called his own organization CREEP.

    Lakoff's Moral politics ...

    •  What Sara Robinson refers to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar, Dhavo, madhaus

      in her writings about families goes beyond "strict father" vs "nurturing parent/mother". It's "inherited obligations" vs "negotiated commitments". Check it out.

      liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

      by RockyMtnLib on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 05:04:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks ... I will. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar, RockyMtnLib

        This sentence from the piece made me think of the Romney "win" in debate #1:

        "The High SDO types who run authoritarian groups have managed to make their characteristics into what most people think of as the model for our leaders."

        He was so "strong", so assertive, he really put Obama in his place.

        *
        On a side note, I heard Lawrence O'Donnell being interviewed yesterday, and reflecting on the un-reality of the Presidential debates. Presidents are not required to memorize anything - they have staff. The President is virtually never alone, and certainly does not make important decisions alone. That part of the job interview bears to relation to skills actually needed by a President.

  •  Same way Oral Roberts, Falwell, and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, Vicky, mightymouse

    Elmer Gantry operate.  They prey on the stupid.

    If money is speech, then speech must be money. Call your mortgage company and pay your rent now.

    by dkmich on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 10:46:14 AM PST

  •  Loved the articles and the way you integrated (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, RockyMtnLib, 417els

    your analysis.  I read the book from Manitoba about Right Wing Authoritarianism last year.  For anyone familiar with the Enneagram, I had the impression that the "leaders" were Type 8's and the followers were textbook Type 6's.  

    The biggest advantage conservative con men have is the ability to be taken at face value.
    Understanding the depravity + frenzied determination of the conservative movement and having become numb to the degree of mendacity used to advance it, I no longer give Republican officials the benefit of any doubt.  Our discourse and institutions are so saturated in deliberate fraud that it's reasonable to apply a presumption of malfeasance to banks, churches, and Republicans, and force the onerous burden of proving good faith onto them rather than unjustly carrying it ourselves.

    Great diary.  

  •  Thanks for the diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar

    and thanks for the links.  The Perlstein article was really insightful, and I'm going to read the other things you cited as well.  It's been a headscratcher for me, as well as very disturbing, both why Romney has lied so much and so blatantly and how he thinks he can get away with it.  The explanation provided above was enlightening.

  •  they have never lied or switched position on (4+ / 0-)

    the ONLY 2 points of policy (well 3 if you take in saber-rattling for the Southern war profiteers)
    1)tax cuts
    2)deregulation

    they never change a position on these two things because those are the only policy positions they have.
    also, so glad to see Rove being called out as a flim-flam man in a long article!  wow, great reporting!
    thanks for diary, too!

    GWB was a CEO. Hoover was a CEO. 2 CEO presidents. 2 great depressions. Can america afford another CEO president?

    by stagemom on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 11:59:56 AM PST

  •  Great diary, thanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar

    "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

    by blueoregon on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 12:05:45 PM PST

  •  saw a new sign in my neighborhood (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, pgm 01, madhaus

    Mike Fitzpatrick, GOPer from PA, won back the seat from Dem Patrick Murphy in 2010. Since then he's been like all the other GOPers in Congress. In my area of Bucks County, his signs have been up all over the place during election season.

    But just this weekend, they were accompanied by a new one.

    "Vote Fitzpatrick to Protect Medicare"

    They literally just appeared within the last 24 hours.

    Fitzpatrick of course voted for the Ryan budget just like every other GOPer. And yet here he is, two days before the election, claiming that he is Medicare's biggest champion.

    They will do anything. Say anything. The Agenda is set in stone. The only debate is how to achieve it.

    •  Similar: Romney Will Lift You Out of Poverty (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar

      The Romney commercial that runs in California shows empathy for all the poor and downtrodden. The "Obama Economy" will just maintain that state. But if we vote for Romney, whether he has a plan or not, we will all be saved! Because, Romney is not Obama.

      There's probably some technical terms of rhetoric to describe the fallacy of this argument, but the "truthiness" of it is on the mark. Romney certainly knew what lie to tell in the California context. A lot of people here have a lot to fear from "more of the same".

      Le nirvane n'existe pas. - Etienne Lamotte

      by breakingranks on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 02:06:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Also Similar at the local level (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar, 417els

      In the California State races, the GOP is using union-member (Latina) nurses and teachers as spokespeople for their union-busting proposition.

      In Berkeley, the Landlord's party is called "Tenants United for Fairness".

      Big Agribusinesses is opposing a proposition by trotting out supposed small farmers. All the propositions have respectable university professors weighing in pro and con.

      My level of education is higher than most, and I personally have a hard time teasing out the implications of the lengthy proposition summaries in the Voter's Guide, and I doubt I will attempt to read all the propositions themselves.

      I rely heavily on endorsements for both candidates and propositions. However, in this election cycle the sun is constantly being painted as the moon: I don't know who to trust as an endorser, and it's impossible to believe anything any candidate says unless I "want" to believe it because it's "my candidate". Without that up front commitment to a party or candidate, I'm completely lost.

      Did I mention that my Reading Comprehension scores on both the SATs and GREs were perfect? I'm not stupid or lazy. The political world is being presented to me in a way where it's almost impossible to figure out the consequences of my votes.

      Le nirvane n'existe pas. - Etienne Lamotte

      by breakingranks on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 02:17:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, OleHippieChick

    always maintained that conservatism is a certain kind of dangerous pathology, and your post and Perlman's article classify that pathology brilliantly. What conservatives are, in reality, are criminals; and many people are their willing victims. What is needed is a sort of social martial arts class for the masses so that they can learn to defend themselves from the Right's rapacity. In order for that to occur there must be a general awakening in our culture.

    •  I disagree. Self-defense is possible in the face (0+ / 0-)

      of death. However, since the object of exploitation is merely injury and abuse, the victim's resistance is counter-productive since it risks injury and, in assuming the risk, the victim becomes complicit in the abuser's agenda, or even his tool. For this reason, abuse requires an interception by a third party. Indeed, I'd argue that's what we set up authorities for. Death, ultimately, can't be prevented. However, abusers can be restrained.  Indeed, the ones that can't talk themselves out of restraints, we routinely put in jail. The convincing liars get off.

      We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 12:56:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  yep (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar
    No choice but to give Fox News talking points (0+ / 0-)

    it's all they know, and it's all lies all the time.  That's just how it works.

    by toys on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 12:04:45 PM PDT

    Some see it very clearly, others not.  It is fascinating to watch.  
  •  That's why the Rethugs are so pissed at Christie. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, grover, 417els

    He openly thanked their most hated enemy, that black guy in their White House.  That's counter to their mantra coming from one of their own!  The f'ng keynote SPEAKER/HATER at their convention!  WTF?????  That's alternate universe time for these folks.  That's an ant headed in the wrong direction, screwing up their orderly lines!

    They also think they're ENTITLED TO LIE.  They deserve to run things, NO MATTER what it takes to get control.  It's theirs by devine right!

    Dangerous sociopaths.

    GOTV!!!!

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 12:41:06 PM PST

  •  Crossroads Media LLC - this outfit is hired by (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar

    Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS all the time, paying them millions of dollars.

    Does Rove own Crossroads Media?

    Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

    by Spud1 on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 12:46:34 PM PST

  •  A word about hierarchy. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, 417els

    A commitment to hierarchy is integral to the authoritarian world view. I used to think that the need to aim for higher social status was to compensate for an endemic sense of inferiority -- an effort to achieve balance.  Then it occurred to me that social status is designed as a reward for effort, as well as a prompt to action for individuals who have no initiative or self-direction.
    That's the perception of hierarchy from the bottom up, so to speak.
    However, just today it occurred to me that the superior status of humans relative to other living creatures, as well as relative to their own kind, actually serves to justify the exploitation, abuse and even extermination of the lesser species and lower forms of human kind. Hierarchy sanctions the callous disposition of "fungible troops" as well as the "unfortunate" sacrifice of the innocent. Hierarchy justifies killing our own kind. Consequently, mere torture and abuse can be classified as moderation.

    "Since I could kill you, letting you suffer is a kindness, an example of self-restraint."

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 12:50:40 PM PST

  •  Great diary. Thank you. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar
  •  One more thing, there's a literary tome (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar

    by one Gary H. Lindberg, "The Confidence Man in American Literature."

    It provides good context.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 01:01:57 PM PST

  •  Romney and Battlefield Earth (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar

    Perlstein noted that Romney's favorite book was L. Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth. That's almost as much of a clue as to the nature of Romney's sociopathic tendencies as Ryan's devotion to Ayn Rand.

    Whether Romney is a closet Scientologist or not, his actions certainly have an eau de Dianetics. His demeanor reminds me Tom Cruise's old "laser stare" focus on goals - what used to be touted as evidence for the effectiveness of the Dianetics program. Now that I think about it, doesn't Michelle Bachman have that laser eye thing going, too?

    I never read Battlefield Earth, but I was one of the five people who saw that extraordinarily cheesy movie when it was in theaters. The thing I remember about it most is how people only got things by "leverage": not by merit or hard work or any other aspect of good character. Corporate hierarchy was the context, and the only way to climb the ladder was through being able to blackmail your rivals or brutalize your slaves.

    The hero of the story is a modern day Odysseus who wins over the "big guys" through sheer cunning. Even his intelligence is not a factor of merit: he received his intelligence via an "education download" - a gift "trickled down" from his masters that he figured out to exploit for his own benefit. The human hero saves his girl and small tribe at the end, but there is no concern for the "others" who remain trapped in the intergalactic corporate system that has reduced all social interaction to the acquisition of leverage.

    I suspect in the book, as in the movie, that it's painfully obvious that L. Ron Hubbard's sci fi extravaganza is only a thinly veiled metaphor to teach boys how "the real world" works. Romney tried out those tactics for himself, and they made him rich. And that very success, in his mind, makes him right.

    Democracy and a fair society needs to be actively defended from Romney's worldview.

    Le nirvane n'existe pas. - Etienne Lamotte

    by breakingranks on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 01:49:08 PM PST

  •  The Privatization of the GOP (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar

    Great diary and linked article.

    It is the GOP turning the GOP into a private business, like they want to do with everything else. It doesn't matter if it works well (prisons, schools), as long as it is free market capitalism. Why not the party itself?

    The weird thing is that it doesn't really matter if they win elections or not. They still have the influence, with a vast horde of followers who will rise up on command, ignore  the facts, and demand whatever they are told to demand. And who will send in more money as well.

  •  This is a superb diary, Xaxnar. Thank you so (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar

    much for all this work.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 02:35:32 PM PST

    •  Thank Perlstein - he did the real work (0+ / 0-)

      I just managed to find it and connect it with some other dots that add to the big picture.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 02:49:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've always felt that Rove, Luntz (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, kovie

    (and even Romney) could just as easily be doing this on the Democratic side.  Not that they represent us and our values, but what these guys value isn't "conservative values" but sheer naked power... and cash.

    The problem is that Dems generally bristle under authority -- and many openly revolt -- so the schtick doesn't work very well on this side.

    Rove and Luntz, especially, remind me of the people who actually got rich during the Gold Rush: not the miners, but the people who supplied the miners with all the gear they needed to stake and mine their claims, the people who transported the miners from Seattle to Alaska, the hotel operators and guides who made it possible for strangers in a strange land to manage until they could get themselves estatblished.

    And while Rove the crusader is looking — provisionally, of course, until the votes are in — like a failure, Rove the businessman has just had an amazing, banner year.
    While Rove, the miner, probably will never find a speck of gold, Rove, the guy who sells mules, pans, and Levis,  had banner years, year after year after year.

    The businessman who gets rich on the back of his clients' failure is an American tradition.

    © grover


    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 03:10:44 PM PST

  •  The Conservative con-game is helpful... (0+ / 0-)

    to the Dems in that the gullible loons are wasting, err sending their dollars to con artists who don't really hurt them directly rather than to organizations/people who can; I'm sure Obama would rather the nuts send money to Orly Taitz than to Mitt Romney.

    And the Conservative con-artists are great at one thing; they can flatter their audience.

  •  The GOP is a coalition of Wall Street blue-bloods (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, mightymouse, madhaus

    and Bible-Belt rednecks. I hope that this year's bizarre attempt to elect a Mormon Bishop millionaire with TeaPuppet support marks the beginning of a civil war within the Grand Old Party that will split the unholy alliance once and for all.

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 04:19:55 PM PST

  •  They have to lie (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar

    No one would but their crappy products if they didn't.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 04:23:17 PM PST

  •  one of the most exceptional diaries i've ever (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar

    read on dkos.  tip'd & rec'd.  can't thank you enuf for it.

  •  im just leaving a comment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, 417els

    so I can flag this diary for future reference.

  •  I've known it was a con for decades now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar

    I'm glad that others are catching on.

    Women create the entire labor force. Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 09:31:46 PM PST

  •  I haven't been surprised at all. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar

    It became abundantly obvious to me when I saw just how many people were making money off of the right-wing media. And it became even more obvious when we saw the large number of Republican political candidates who seemed to be using their candidacies solely to hawk their books... and have their glorified book tours funded by donations from the gullible.

  •  Good diary, and thanks for the links (0+ / 0-)

    to the Perlstein piece and others.  

    The con mentality:
    "If the Lord had not wanted them to be sheared, he would not have made them sheep"

    "..The political class cannot solve the problems it created. " - Jay Rosen

    by New Rule on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 08:00:43 AM PST

  •  I don't get 'prone to panic.' (0+ / 0-)

    As was shown after the debates, it's the left that panics, not the right.

    •  One debate, not debates (0+ / 0-)

      And anyone who wasn't a little concerned over the President's 1st debate performance at the very least should have been. But it's not like Liberals ran out to buy guns and ammo afterwards...

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 11:26:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Some did, not all (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    And I also recall quite a few celebrating on the lefty side after debates 2, 3, and 4, plus a lot of spinning on the righty side to explain why Romney really won and the moderator was biased and the format wasn't right, etc. etc. Even now, they like to pretend it was all over after the 1st debate - Romney proved he could "stick to the black man" and that was good enough for them.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 06:49:25 PM PST

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