Sunday, December 02, 2012


I'm told that Republicans are asking themselves why they lost a winnable election this year, and are seriously considering steps they can take to avoid future electoral debacles.

That's what I'm told -- and then I turn to the party's de facto press office, the Murdoch media, and I see that The Wall Street Journal has just published this interview with wingnut Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield.

Mansfield basically seconds the post-election pronouncements from the Romney camp that confirmed Team Romney's contempt for ordinary voters and embarrassed the GOP. Remember Romney's declaration that Obama voters voted for the president because the president gave them "gifts"? Remember the way Republicans rushed to distance themselves from what Romney said? Not Mansfield -- and, presumably, not the Murdoch press. Mansfield more or less agrees what Romney said:
'We have now an American political party and a European one. Not all Americans who vote for the European party want to become Europeans. But it doesn't matter because that's what they're voting for. They're voting for dependency, for lack of ambition, and for insolvency."
You could argue that Mansfield isn't as extreme as Romney, because he says that not every Obama voter voted out of greed and parasitism. But what he's saying is that the ones who didn't think that's what they were voting for were simply too ignorant to realize that that's what they were voting for. So their either leeches or idiots.

Which brings us to another Mansfield point that echoes an awkward post-election pronouncement from the Romney camp. Remember Romney strategist Stuart Stevens telling us that Romney kinda-sorta won the election because he got the votes that really mattered, the ones from white people, and from people making over $50,000 a year? Well, Mansfield agrees that Obama voters don't really count for as much as Romney voters:
" ...if we get serious about what it means to vote, we immediately go to the notion of an informed voter. And if you get serious about that, you go all the way to voting as a wise choice. That would be a true voter. The others are all lesser voters, or even not voting at all. They're just indicating a belief, or a whim, but not making a wise choice. That's probably because they're not wise."
So: Obama voters? The unfit.

(Wonder how much Mansfield thinks their votes should count. Three-fifths of a person, perhaps?)

Republicans: Do you want to save your party? Do you want it to be viable in future presidential elections? Then you need to cut Murdoch loose. He hears the messages that are alienating voters ... and gives them a massive megaphone. He stirs up the crazies who force wingnuttier-than-thou Senate and House candidates on your party. He's killing you.

Hey, maybe that's why the Obama administration seems as if it might not step in to prevent a Murdoch purchase of the L.A. Times and Chicago Tribune. Murdoch wants an even bigger megaphone? Please proceed, Rupert.


aimai said...

I think I went to a Harvey Mansfield lecture during the shopping period at Harvard about...uh...1978-79? I walked out of the lecture thinking "what an asshole" and I never went back.


Victor said...

You know Steve, I never looked at it like that - that Murderoch is what's killing the Republicans.

But I think that's a great point.

Now, add Rush and the rest of the Radio Right-wanda crowd, and the Op-Ed-nead-dead columnists, and you have fuller list of the murder suspects.

Ten Bears said...

The wall seperating church and state needs to be extended to include the "media".

Philo Vaihinger said...

I think the resurgence of and efforts to legitimize these attacks on the beneficiaries of American social democracy are proof of an important point.

True to who they are, the conservatives are not going to give up their conservatism so Republican office-seekers for whom personal or party victory is priority one can succeed in future campaigns.

They are not giving up on their cause.

And they most certainly are not going willingly into that good night of political insignificance by relaxing their grip on the Republican Party.

Instead, they are talking themselves into bigger and more ambitious efforts at the de-democratization of the US political system.

The people having made it plain they want to continue to get and keep “the stuff the government is giving them,” the conservatives with the full support of their plutocrat sponsors are moving toward an ever more obvious strategy of disempowerment of the people.

And they hope they are softening up the American public for that by making – at Christmastime! – Ebenezer Scrooge the public face of the conservative movement and the Republican Party.

Expect further attacks on the 17th Amendment and perhaps the 26th, and maybe even the 23rd if they don’t think it too limited in impact to be worth the trouble.

The conservatives, on behalf of the plutes, long ago invented the category of the undeserving poor.

More recently, they have invented the undeserving sick - people like smokers or alcoholics or drug-users who, they loudly complain, don't deserve medical coverage because the health problems arising from their addictions are "their own fault."

And now they are inventing a category of undeserving voters.

It's going to get pretty ugly as they attempt to spell out who, exactly, belongs in that category.

Ugly, but interesting.

Basically, those they want to brand “undeserving voters” will of course turn out to be the most imperiled beneficiaries of American social democracy, whether of workers’ rights, safety net, or earned benefit programs, who are otherwise most without resource, the complaint being that such people are not too stupid to defend the hand that feeds them and vote Democratic to keep the benefits on which they crucially rely coming.

But the more obvious it becomes what conservatives think and what they aim at the less successfully will continue the Murdoch con job that has convinced tens of millions of whites dependent on those same programs that they are not pinned to the conservative bull's-eye, right along with moochers and leaches of lesser breeds.

The more frank conservatives become the more difficult it will be to conceal from their stupid white Fox fans that they are waging a class war and neither a race war, nor a war on women, nor even a war on unpatriotic, anti-American, communistic, secularistic, socialistic liberals.

And that should cause them to actually begin to lose back to the Democrats some of the whites they have picked up over the decades with their southern strategy and their culture war.

That could be fun to watch, too.

But, oh, that’s not a good reason to allow even further media concentration in the hands of the right.

Patricia said...

Looks like a lot of people voted on the "whim" that Obama was a better choice. Maybe we should have a third party called the Whimsical Party. Anythings better than the Grumpy Old Party.

M. Bouffant said...

Yikes! While over-the-air broadcast stations may not have the clout they used to, if NewsCorp were allowed to keep the stations they already own & the one the Tribune Co. owns that would be three of the seven VHF stations in Los Angeles. Which would leave two in CBS's hands, one each owned by NBC & ABC, & no "independent" VHf stations at all.

Anonymous said...

Here we see an important distinction between the Left and the Right. For years folks on the Left have observed that many who vote for "conservative" candidates are essentially low information voters who end up voting against their own interests. The solution however is to find ways to help those voters become more informed while the solutions proposed by the Right seem to be to pre-qualify or eliminate voters - limit the franchise to property owners for instance.
I suspect though that if one were to draw up a voter qualification list based upon some of the arguments advanced by the reactionary Right, the result would be an electorate that would lean heavily Leftward. Democrats took huge super majorities of non-white votes but Republicans merely took marginal majorities of white votes and many of the votes they receive in that category are by people who, based on many arguments like those of Mansfield, they wholly disdain.
Another example of the disjointed, illogical, and contradictory thinking that passes for intellectual discourse on the Right.

Pops said...

This is no Barney Frank paraphrase but "I prey to any God who will listen, PLEASE FORCE WEST TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT." What more could we ask for? Oh Sarah Palin as his VP? Please ,please.

Philo Vaihinger said...

The difficulty is that there is an indeterminate number of white voters who know perfectly well that the GOP is out to scuttle programs on which they personally depend have swallowed the line that this has to be done for the good of the country.

Their sincere patriotism has made them suckers.

And that's an even bigger problem than voters not knowing they are in the gunsights.