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Fun House Mirror

Are conservatives paranoid and delusional? Let's take a look:

An eye-opening new report* from the Democratic-aligned research organization Democracy Corps suggests that conservative Republicans, the majority of the GOP base, harbor a well-developed, consistent, peculiar worldview about President Obama and his “hidden agenda” for the country. Armed with “facts” from conservative media, these individuals, fully 2/3 of the Republican Party at this point according to Democracy Corps estimates, believe that the President has been installed by powerful interests to enact socialist policies, violate the Constitution and destroy America. Independents and even GOP-leaning moderates exhibit none of these characteristics, making life difficult for GOP leaders who must choose between support inside the party and support in the country.

But -- work with me here -- how paranoid and delusional is that conclusion?

1. What President isn't "installed by powerful interests"? For example, the banksters.

2. We have socialist policies for the banksters; they keep the gains, and socialize the losses. And, as the result of Obama's policies, banking is so concentrated right now, we might as well have central planning.

3. The Constitution under Obama is just as violated as it was under Bush. Read Greenwald (Update II, to pick a post at almost random).

4. As for destroy America... Well, if you lost your house, lost your job, had your 401(k) looted, and the Dems were about to force you to buy junk insurance with the IRS acting as a collection agent... You might not feel the country had been destroyed, exactly; but you would certainly feel that something just wasn't right.

So, as far as their conclusions? The conservatives aren't far wrong.

Which raises the question of method, doesn't it? I mean, obviously one can't go near anybody who reached the (correct) conclusion that Obama and the Democrats are violating the Constitution working from (delusional) birther premises.

However, in the their zeal to choose up sides, Democracy Corps, or at least the poster quoting them, not only obfuscate the critique of the Obama administration from the left, they ignore that the question of method is the real question here.*

NOTE * Which connects directly to the notion of truthiness; if only on pragmatic grounds, the left can't be erected a structure of bullshit, because we don't have the resources to maintain it.

NOTE It's more likely than not that Democracy Corps has produced a "report," as opposed to ""facts"" but still...

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Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

Pacific John over at Allegre's points to the part of the report where Democracy Core rebuts the knee-jerk accusations of racism which crop up in response to criticism of Obama:

Instead of focusing on these intense ideological divisions, the press and elites continue to look for a racial element that drives these voters’ beliefs – but they need to get over it. Conducted on the heels of Joe Wilson’s incendiary comments at the president’s joint session address, we gave these groups of older, white Republican base voters in Georgia full opportunity to bring race into their discussion – but it did not ever become a central element, and indeed, was almost
beside the point.

I'm not sure whether Dem Core is being deliberately obtuse, but reading the report straight, it seems they've missed the fact that accusations of racism are thrown about not because of any mistakes of fact on the part of "the press and elites", but as a strategy. No amount of research will change that, until or unless the strategy loses its effectiveness. The call to fight racism is just the progressives' counterpart to Bush's and Reagan's patriotic jingoism.

Another core belief: "They believe Obama is ruthlessly advancing a 'secret agenda' to bankrupt the United States." Which is ironic on a couple of levels, given that that seems to have been exactly what Republicans were doing (starting back with Reagan) -- overleveraging the country to pump up the war machine and pass out prizes to other Versailles residents and using that as an excuse to eviscerate social safety net programs because we just can't afford them. Since Obama has mostly continued the same line of action and rhetoric, and even improved* upon it in some ways, you'd think they'd have a lot more amenable opinion of him.

* in terms of accelerating timing; those trillions to the bankster parasites make me think that Obama really is the Kwisatz Haderach -- the shortening of the way.

dblhelix's picture
Submitted by dblhelix on

They believe Obama is ruthlessly advancing a 'secret agenda' to bankrupt the United States.

than believing in 12-dimensional chess and a secret progressive agenda?

HeroesGetMade's picture
Submitted by HeroesGetMade on

Is always highly problematic, but I'm glad someone is pointing out

The conservatives aren't far wrong.

It has bothered me from the get-go that the only group getting significant media for protesting Obama's pro-corporatocracy positions is the tea party crowd, and that their motivation is painted solely as racism. Sure they mix up their political terms and often don't seem to apprehend that corporations are doing the very thing right now that they think an Obama government is trying to do. But when they call what he's doing fascism, they aren't far wrong; fascism is after all socialism for corporations, not people. It also galls me how people who formerly were quite adept at recognizing creeping fascism in the usual places, can't recognize it when their chosen one is steering us toward that very thing.

"Fascism is a system of political authority and social order intended to reinforce the unity, energy, and purity of communities in which liberal democracy stands accused of producing division and decline."

Let me search my memory banks for who was and is being blamed for divisiveness and the purported cure-all for all that division, bipartisanship. My memory banks coughed up portraits of DFHs, the bad old divisive 60s, and people that need to take off their pajamas. If memory also serves, the creative class want to purify and unite by casting out all the racists - they really do need to learn a new trick.

I'm not saying there's no racism in the various groups opposed to Obama, but it's completely out of order to say that's the primary motivation of all these groups. It seems like the uniting motivation of all these groups is that they realize the economy doesn't work for them, and no one in charge is doing anything to change that. Despite not knowing the proper definitions of socialism and fascism and whatever else, they do apprehend the notion that shoveling even more money at banksters will not result in everyone else being able to make a living and getting health care.