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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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54 Responses

  1. Lori
    Lori April 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm |

    This enrages me. Seriously enrages me.

  2. gretel
    gretel April 8, 2011 at 3:51 pm |

    I think members of Congress should have to earn their keep by collecting trash in D.C. during the shutdown.

  3. Raja
    Raja April 8, 2011 at 3:54 pm |

    yeah its pretty silly.

  4. ElleBeMe
    ElleBeMe April 8, 2011 at 3:57 pm |

    Well after the devastating legislation handed own in VA this week, and now this, I am beyond enraged.

    This nation is going down the toilet, for the Oligarchs aren’t afraid to pussyfoot around anymore. No more medicare, no more PP, no more social security, no more unions, no more ANYTHING for the people. We aren’t 100% there yet, but we’re damn near close.

    Enraged, yes. Afraid? Beyond comprehension…..

  5. Mizz Alice
    Mizz Alice April 8, 2011 at 4:11 pm |

    This makes my heart sink. I feel totally helpless.

  6. Odin
    Odin April 8, 2011 at 4:17 pm |

    Ah, but by funding Planned Parenthood and helping it provide these services, we’re rewarding people for making poor decisions and living reckless lifestyles. I mean, none of those poor women of color would have to rely on Planned Parenthood for pap smears if they’d had the good sense to be born to white, wealthy families.

    \end{bitter_sarcasm}

  7. auditorydamage
    auditorydamage April 8, 2011 at 4:24 pm |

    <joker>
    Because it’s all part of the plan.
    </joker>

  8. William
    William April 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm |

    But it is about abortion, Jill (or its about whatever the whole abortion debate is really about). I think a lot of people on the left don’t really understand how conservatives conceptualize political battles. Its about starving Leviathan: if you damage parts of a whole you undermine it’s entire structure. Thats the goal here, to get rid of abortion. Planned Parenthood provides abortion, therefore any damage you can do to Planned Parenthood (regardless of the cost in human lives or suffering) is justified in the name of stopping abortion. Sure, Title X money isn’t allowed to directly fund abortion, but by funding Planned Parenthood in any way you’re helping the survival of one of the few organized, politically savvy, national abortion providers. Giving PP money to help women get pap smears allows PP to use other dollars gained from other sources to fund lobbying efforts, expand abortion access through sliding scales, open new clinics, etc. It also helps pay for birth control, which we know they consider to be a kind of abortion anyway.

    Whats really terrifying about this isn’t that Republicans are making this about abortion when it isn’t. Whats terrifying is that Republicans are openly saying that they’re willing to kill women in the name of a religious objection to the behavior of others. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: the difference between a pro-life politician attacking abortion access and a Taliban member heading to a public stoning comes down to little more than costume and the Taliban’s greater honesty.

  9. ks
    ks April 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm |

    the difference between a pro-life politician attacking abortion access and a Taliban member heading to a public stoning comes down to little more than costume and the Taliban’s greater honesty.

    Totally true. Do you mind if I steal it for use elsewhere?

  10. oxygengrrl
    oxygengrrl April 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm |

    @William #8
    Absolute agreement. I was just saying this to someone today–any moment, they’ll have the Ministry of Vice and Virtue out on the streets, whipping us all across the ankles. And they’ll claim it’s all in the name of small government.

  11. Azalea
    Azalea April 8, 2011 at 6:25 pm |

    Half of my newsfeed was filled with fear, anger and concern from active duty military servicemember and fed gov employees who will lose out on (a) paycheck(s) when/if the government shuts down. Pro choice and pro-life friend alike are disgusted at the entire situation (amongst my friends). I cant help but wonder just how quickly things would move along if they risked losing out on their income and benefits while all of this was being sorted out.

  12. Vigée
    Vigée April 8, 2011 at 6:32 pm |

    I’m strangely heartened by the fact that at least the Dems are willing to shut the government down over it. I mean, their hand is being forced, and it’s good to know that they’ll shut it down rather than allow the Repubs to continue these unjust negotiations. Silver lining?

  13. nathan
    nathan April 8, 2011 at 7:00 pm |

    The whole thing pisses me off. And it’s definitely about more than just Planned Parenthood, although taking PP down is a big part of the plan. They’re going after almost every federal program dealing with sexual health. Everything from STD screening and treatment to anything dealing with family planning. It’s all a big fuck you to anyone who either doesn’t fall in line with religious conservative narratives around sexuality – or who is wealthy enough to pay for their needs to bypass those narratives.

    Between this kind of shit and the corporate power/wealth grab in recent decades, the U.S. is fast becoming a hostile place to live for the majority of its residents.

  14. Government shut down « Trans Feminisms

    [...] we’re shutting down the government over birth control and pap smears (Feministe)  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ [...]

  15. GallingGalla
    GallingGalla April 8, 2011 at 7:18 pm |

    nathan: Between this kind of shit and the corporate power/wealth grab in recent decades, the U.S. is fast becoming a hostile place to live for the majority of its residents.

    When has it ever not been? (Though I agree with you it’s getting far worse – or perhaps that the hostility that was always there is getting far more explicit compared to, say, 20 years ago)

  16. Bushfire
    Bushfire April 8, 2011 at 7:26 pm |

    I hope the Democrats don’t back down!

  17. nathan
    nathan April 8, 2011 at 7:36 pm |

    “When has it ever not been?” No doubt. Our history is riddled with rottenness, and acts of injustice far outweigh acts of justice.

    “perhaps that the hostility that was always there is getting far more explicit compared to, say, 20 years ago” – yes, this is my take. And with that more explicit expression has come people in power positions ready and able to roll back any gains made that go against those hostilities.

  18. Cat
    Cat April 8, 2011 at 8:01 pm |

    There was honestly a time when I thought that conservatives and I just disagreed about what the best direction for the country was, but that we both wanted the best for this country.

    But, no more. These policies aren’t about what’s best for the country. They want poor people to die. They know that these policies will lead to the unnecessary deaths of those too poor to pay for housing, food, medical attention, heat, and as soon as they manage to stack the Supreme Court enough, I’m sure they’d like to get Gideon v. Wainwright reversed right after Roe v. Wade so they can make sure poor women can’t get abortions or competent counsel to represent them in the case that they are charged with murder for a miscarriage.

    They don’t care if poor people die. I’m pretty sure they’re gunning for it. I’m too livid to be any more poetic than that.

  19. Miku
    Miku April 8, 2011 at 8:06 pm |

    I have to disagree with the claim that the U.S. is getting worse. I know this is all very disheartening, but the U.S. has gone through quite a bit of garbage before. Millions of indigenous peoples murdered, thousands of African and African Americans forced into slavery, the discrimination against women, homosexuals, transexuals, the Chinese, the Irish, the Jews, the Socialists, the Anarchists, etc., and only recently, after the 1960s, have minorities gotten ANY recognition as significant. The gilded age was rife with corporate control, and so too are these days, but slowly – ever so slowly – we are gaining rights, we are gaining recognition, and we are progressing. It seems bleak, but we have done it before. (I kind of skipped over how this “end-times” talk seems a little belittling to the heroes of American history, but I don’t want to start any arguments. Let’s not derail the thread, here.)

  20. Miku
    Miku April 8, 2011 at 8:10 pm |

    Oh and I also accidentally didn’t mention the fact that history repeats itself, giving the false impression that it isn’t going anywhere, but trust me, there is definitely a positive trend. Sorry for my absent-mindedness, Rachel Maddow is on here.

  21. Tony
    Tony April 8, 2011 at 9:06 pm |

    Am I the only one who kind of suspected this would happen? The Republicans are fanatical on their attack on womens’ rights. They prioritize it over their supposed goals of cutting spending and the deficit.

  22. isidore
    isidore April 8, 2011 at 9:24 pm |

    I find it sooo ironic that the people who are always putting up the “welfare moms” strawman argument are now trying to deny poor women access to birth control.

  23. Cactus Wren
    Cactus Wren April 8, 2011 at 9:44 pm |

    Latest word is the R have agreed to a temporary budget to tide the Fed over for a week.

  24. Erica
    Erica April 9, 2011 at 2:05 am |

    Bright side: no government = no government restrictions on abortion? Woo!

  25. So this Planned Parenthood thing « Natalia Antonova

    [...] For more discussion, see Feministe. [...]

  26. becky
    becky April 9, 2011 at 4:31 am |

    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: the difference between a pro-life politician attacking abortion access and a Taliban member heading to a public stoning comes down to little more than costume and the Taliban’s greater honesty.

    This!! Thank you.

  27. William
    William April 9, 2011 at 7:56 am |

    Bright side: no government = no government restrictions on abortion? Woo!

    All a shutdown means is that “non essential” activities cease. Social Security stops answering questions, Medicare and Medicaid stop processing claims, coal mines stop safety inspections. Law enforcement activities, on the other hand, will remain unaffected. Goverment shutdowns mean interruptions in services, not in government power.

  28. Erica
    Erica April 9, 2011 at 10:15 am |

    William: Law enforcement activities, on the other hand, will remain unaffected. Goverment shutdowns mean interruptions in services, not in government power.

    OHHH, I get it now. Thanks, William. I’m really glad you were able to explain that to me before I went out and got knocked up in preparation for my abortion bender.

  29. nathan
    nathan April 9, 2011 at 10:47 am |

    Miku – I’m not sure. I’ve been a student of American history for years. It’s very true that our past was extremely bleak, but in terms of economic policy, we’re going back to the Gilded Ages. Our foreign policy is still brutal, oppressive, and financially costly. And in terms of human rights and social justice, it’s a mixed bag at best.

    I think there’s a way to be honest about what present conditions are like, while still honoring those who did great things in the past.

  30. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie April 9, 2011 at 11:53 am |

    Also: Whom did those “great things” benefit? Women? Non-whites? Children.

    Doubt it.

  31. Sonia
    Sonia April 9, 2011 at 12:16 pm |

    Sometimes in my darker moments I think humans desire a feudalistic kind of government regardless of what they say. We claim we want an egalitarian society but we look up to queens and kings and gladly pay for the privilege of seeing them (even if in terms of time). The last few decades are an aberration in long term human societies where the winners were generally few. It isn’t coincidental that the current bunch doing this was overwhelmingly voted into power and probably will win even more handsomely the next time around.

  32. Schmorgluck
    Schmorgluck April 10, 2011 at 9:20 am |

    I’m feeling kinda desperate. Planned Parenthood is also being hurt in my country, France. If this kind of shit happens in both France AND the USA, I fear it’s a global trend.

  33. Poeschl
    Poeschl April 10, 2011 at 5:38 pm |

    @Sonia #29 – “It isn’t coincidental that the current bunch doing this was overwhelmingly voted into power and probably will win even more handsomely the next time around.”

    Ultraconservative wins in the U.S. don’t necessarily vindicate what you present as the historical norm.

    In 2010, Repubs exploited high unemployment rates and white racial anxiety in order to retake control of the House. Despite the unemployment rates and white backlash, Repubs still didn’t succeed in regaining control of the Senate.

    As the U.S. unemployment rate continues to trend downward, not only Obama but sitting Democrats will likely coast to reelection. Also, in 2012 the Repubs will reap the whirlwind for their current attacks on public sector unions, particularly since, in those states where Repubs are eliminating public-sector collective bargaining rights, public-sector unions are predominantly white middle class folks. In other words, in trying to neuter public-sector unions, Repubs are undercutting their own strategy of exploiting racial divisions and instead highlighting Repubs’ traditional hostility to unions. From an electoral standpoint, this is a dumb thing to do at a time when those same unions have volunteered to work within budgetary constraints.

    I don’t want to sound all Karl-Rove-y here, but Republicans are proving to be way too short-term in their planning for the 2012 elections. Republicans, in their overreaching on the issues of abortion and public-union collective bargaining, have handed Democrats a club to beat them with in 2012. Repub victories in 2002, 2004, and 2010 are aberrations due to external circumstances, and Repubs need to remember that. Ultraconservative wins are not a long-term trend in the U.S.

  34. Sonia
    Sonia April 10, 2011 at 10:49 pm |

    @Poeschl The current unemployment rates aren’t really trending downwards significantly if you look at the big picture (include underemployment and people who have given up looking for jobs). While the republicans aren’t long-term in their thinking neither is the general public. Advisors for election candidates now advise te candidates to keep sound bites to 5 secs because the previous standard of 7 seconds was too long to hold people’s attention.

    It is true that Republicans’ strategy of undermining the unions could damage their party among whites but union sector employment is a small and falling percentage in total employment in the US. In fact, they have successfully gotten non-unionized sector to be opposed to union benefits. The second issue is simply that for many states like California the union benefits are simply unsustainable. There is no political will to keep pension plans solvent and many smaller towns (or even larger ones) will start going bankrupt as they will not be able to pay the benefits.

    The third depressing thing to me is while Obama may win the elections, he is at times, even right of Reagan. The Obama economic team is filled with ex-Wall Street people. During the S&L scam in Reagan’s time people actually saw jail time. This time all we saw was a massive transfer of taxpayer funds to bankers and hedge funds.

    On war, Obama hasn’t wound down a single war that US was involved in (and now its been over 2 years since he was elected, so can’t blame it on Bush anymore). Moreover, he has expanded US involvement into Libya which will likely be a major mess though possibly by shifting public attention there it could be a help to Democratic election prospects.

  35. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig April 11, 2011 at 12:43 am |

    Sonia: Sometimes in my darker moments I think humans desire a feudalistic kind of government regardless of what they say. We claim we want an egalitarian society but we look up to queens and kings and gladly pay for the privilege of seeing them (even if in terms of time). The last few decades are an aberration in long term human societies where the winners were generally few. It isn’t coincidental that the current bunch doing this was overwhelmingly voted into power and probably will win even more handsomely the next time around.
    Sonia

    Damn straight. I’m still gonna vote next year, but I’ve lost most of my faith in the democratic kabuki. The Republicans and libertarians don’t think I’m human, the Democrats are useless blobs of gelatin, and the Independents- hah,hah, ha, like they could ever win. And yeah, feudalism is the natural system of governance. People WANT to be told what to do. That’s why we can’t get rid of religion, which is the single biggest obstacle to women’s rights.

  36. Poeschl
    Poeschl April 11, 2011 at 1:21 am |

    @Sonia

    Your points are all well taken, especially about the shrinking attention span of American voters and the potential insolvency of local governments.

    But as I see it, it’s important not to mistake GOP voter turnout for a sea-change in the majority consensus. The GOP’s advantage since 2002 has been the unique get-out-the-vote activism of the religious right. If in 2012 the Democrats can get their own base, which includes most women, to simply show up at the polls, then Republicans at the very least will not make further gains in the U.S. House or Senate or take the White House.

    On unemployment: Even if unemployment is not currently significantly trending downward, nonetheless, as long as unemployment is perceived as continuing to trend downward by, say, August 2012, then Democrats will coast to reelection (or so I think).

    On indicting bankers et al.: It is indeed disappointing that Obama is an opportunist when it comes to Wall Street. But it was GOP presidents who appointed John Roberts and others who signed off on the Citizens United case. In his dealings with Wall Street, I see Obama as more like Bill Clinton (Republican Lite). I don’t think Obama shares the GOP agenda of allowing global-scale assetholders to own federal policy.

    On foreign policy: So far, at least as I see it, Obama and Robert Gates have worked on a realistic timeframe for withdrawal. Over thirty years ago, it took Richard Nixon, who in 1968 promised “peace with honor” in Vietnam, a minimum of 5 years to begin to seriously draw down American troops. Obama, like Nixon, is managing the wind-down of someone else’s wars. But Obama doesn’t share Lindsey Graham’s or John McCain’s projects of planting permanent bases in Iraq or Afghanistan. That’s the difference between Obama and the neocons, and it’s a stark difference.

    In Libya, when Obama said ‘no U.S. boots on the ground,’ I think that he was passing that baton to other NATO members and the Arab League (except for CIA operatives already in Libya). I don’t think Obama will commit us to another Somalia or Vietnam, despite what GOP motormouths say.

    Again, the individual points you made (except on foreign policy) are unassailable. But at the polls, it’s the result of turnout. Even GOP operatives admit that the religious right reflects no more than one-third of the active electorate. If Democrats could motivate the actual two-thirds majority to simply show up and vote in 2012, it would show the current American consensus. I think the American majority view has turned centrist since 1980, but not as far to the right as GOP propagandists claim.

  37. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig April 11, 2011 at 10:35 am |

    Poeschl: I think you’re giving Americans waay too much credit. Most Americans are anti-choice, xenophobic and homophobic, that’s why the GOP keeps winning. We’re a teeny tiny bunch on the left, and we have to be aware of that.

  38. William
    William April 12, 2011 at 9:06 am |

    Most Americans are anti-choice, xenophobic and homophobic, that’s why the GOP keeps winning.

    Things in this country suck, but I think you’re overstating. The GOP only holds one house of congress and does not hold the White House. It wields a lot of power out in the place where there aren’t a lot of people and does a lot of ugly things with that power, but it hardly represents the majority of Americans.

    More importantly, one particular party winning does not mean most Americans feel any given way, especially not with the way our election systems work. We have abysmal voter turn out in this country. During the 2008 election we had record turn out, a higher percentage of eligible voters showed up and cast a vote than at any time since 1960 (or 1968, depending on how you count). Still, nearly four in ten eligible voters didn’t show up. Many of those potential voters who didn’t show up were young people, people who couldn’t afford to vote, and people who have just washed their hands of the whole process. The person winning an election doesn’t necessarily represent the opinion of their region so much as the opinion of the elderly white folks with enough money to still be mobile in their region. The bright side of that is that, you know, they’re dying.

    Worse, our system is built to force people to buy packages and take the things they agree with along with the things they bitterly oppose. When I go to the polls I’m pretty much guaranteed to pick a candidate whose foreign policy horrifies me, whose economic policy is going to be primarily driven by paying back whoever paid for their ads, and who will take a steaming dump on at least some of the rights I believe are sacred. Voting, for many Americans, is a matter of damage control not a statement of belief.

    Aside from that, things are trending away from the uglier side. Its easy to forget that because Glen Beck and his horde of assholes are loud, but they’re also pretty small. Sarah Palin was scary as hell, but her extremism almost certainly hurt McCain’s campaign. Gay marriage initiatives might not have won in 2008, but the margins by which they lost are getting smaller (and the age demographics tell you that we’re les than a generation away from it becoming a nonissue). Xenophobia is a problem but its always been a problem and it’ll become less of one. The sheer numbers of immigrants that join our country guarantees that, as time goes on, our view of what constitutes and outsider will become smaller and smaller. Even when it comes to abortion, the forced-birth position’s days are numbered because religiousity is trending downwards and its basically impossible to make an anti-abortion argument that isn’t ultimately based in religion.

    Things are bad, but they’re better than they ever were.

  39. Sonia
    Sonia April 12, 2011 at 12:21 pm |

    @William: You are making this about the GOP but until you come out of US you don’t realize how far to the right both major US parties are. I’ll give you that Democrats are better at womens’ rights and gay rights than Republicans but after that you are largely looking at the same policies. Both parties are scared of balancing the budget by taxing the people who could be taxed. The heath care bill proposed by Obama was so tepid that it would have been laughed out in any civilized country. The amount of money shoveled toward the military is absolutely atrocious and shows no signs of slowing down. The Quantitative Easing being practised by the fed is a nice gift to the Wall Street that will eventually be paid by taxpayers int he form of inflation.

  40. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig April 12, 2011 at 6:14 pm |

    blockquote <William: Aside from that, things are trending away from the uglier side. Its easy to forget that because Glen Beck and his horde of assholes are loud, but they’re also pretty small. Sarah Palin was scary as hell, but her extremism almost certainly hurt McCain’s campaign.<blockquote
    Um, what planet are you living on? Palin's extremism didn't hurt McCain's campaign at all: she was just saying what most of the Republicans were thinking. If she runs this cycle, she or Bachman are almost certain to win the nomination and probably the presidency. It's kind of a law of nature that during bad economic times, xenophobia, homophobia and religiousity run rampant, so I think you're being way too optimistic. If you consider the House of Representatives as this country's id, you can see why I'm worried. It isn't going to get better, it's only going to get worse.

  41. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable April 12, 2011 at 6:38 pm |

    pgp, the economy is on the rebound. In fact, Palin’s ballot lost during the height of the economic downturn.

  42. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig April 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm |

    PrettyAmiable: No, the stock market is on the rebound, not the economy. Palin and McCain lost in a very, very close race. If Obama hadn’t been so good at exploiting McCain’s missteps, McCain would’ve won.

  43. Sonia
    Sonia April 12, 2011 at 10:56 pm |

    For people who conflate economic recovery with stock market recovery in nominal dollar terms there is another statistic. The number of Americans on food stamps is at an all time high and climbing. There is really not much of a recovery unless you are in the top 1%.

  44. William
    William April 13, 2011 at 12:28 am |

    Um, what planet are you living on? Palin’s extremism didn’t hurt McCain’s campaign at all: she was just saying what most of the Republicans were thinking.

    I’m living on the planet in which McCain lost handily, Palin became a laughing stock, her loud little minority of troglodytes became the butt of jokes about teabagging, her party began to distance itself from her, and now shes left polling third behind a guy who’s already lost a Republican Primary and a man whose fake hair is the same color as his fake tan. Palin was a play to the worst in America, it didn’t pan out.

    If she runs this cycle, she or Bachman are almost certain to win the nomination and probably the presidency.

    Which is why they’re polling third and sixth, respectively? Ron fucking Paul has three times the support Bachman does, almost as much support as Palin, much lower negatives, better presence, cross over appeal to independents, and virtually no chance of winning anything than another term as a Congressman. I’m no fan of Obama, but when the GOP’s field is being dominated by two losers, a reality show host, Newt Gingrich, and a beauty queen who couldn’t finish a term as Governor of a state with fifteen people (half of whom would rather be in Canada and the other half would rather secede) I don’t see him as facing much of a second term threat unless a serious candidate somehow shows up in the next six or eight months. Things aren’t as bleak as they were in the midterms and the Teabaggers and Birthers couldn’t even manage to take the senate during that nadir.

    It’s kind of a law of nature that during bad economic times, xenophobia, homophobia and religiousity run rampant, so I think you’re being way too optimistic.

    Sure it is, but we’re not exactly in post-WWII Europe right now. Palin would be a toxic candidate for the GOP. She has unfavorables in the low fifties amongst all Americans. Even amongst Republicans her unfavorables are in the mid twenties. Her support amongst likely Republican primary voters has been on the decline. More importantly, she’ll have a tough time in primaries because right-leaning independents hate her and they’re likely to vote in the GOP primaries rather than the Democratic ones.

    If you consider the House of Representatives as this country’s id, you can see why I’m worried. It isn’t going to get better, it’s only going to get worse.

    The house is always ugly, its a clearinghouse of shitty ideas and extremist politicians, why do you think Ron Paul has spent his career there?

    Palin and McCain lost in a very, very close race.

    Close? McCain lost by 7.2%, 9.5 Million popular votes, and 192 Electoral College votes. Bush didn’t beat that schlub Kerry by half that margin, Bush v. Gore was even smaller than that, Clinton Had similar numbers against Dole but only because Perot was a spoiler, the same was true for Clinton’s defeat of Bush, Bush’s defeat of Dukakis was closer in terms of (non electoral college) numbers. 2008 was not a close election. It wasn’t Reagan’s trouncing of Mondale, but it was hardly a squeaker.

    The problem the GOP has in 2012 is trying to make gains not in terms of raw votes but in terms of electoral college votes (which is where Obama was strongest). If you look at the state-by-state breakdown Obama isn’t vulnerable in a lot of high value states and, with the exception of Florida, the states which were closest are states with 10-ish electors. Even if Obama made no gains and lost every state that was within 5% in the last election he’d still win. Obama would have to lose 97 electoral votes to lose the election. Flordia (27), Indiana (11), Ohio (20), Nebraska’s first district (1), North Carolina (15) make 74 of those votes. The GOP would then have to somehow convert another another 23 electoral college votes. Virginia is the only other state that was closer than his overall victory margin of 7.2% and only makes up for 13 of those votes. The GOP would then have to take either a surprise state that Obama dominated in by 10% or more in 2008, or both Colorado and either Iowa or New Hampshire.

    If Obama hadn’t been so good at exploiting McCain’s missteps, McCain would’ve won.

    Do you think he’s become worse at exploiting missteps or that somehow Bachmann or Palin are more graceful than McCain?

  45. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig April 13, 2011 at 10:59 am |

    William: ok, so Palin and Bachmann don’t seem to poll so well, but they have a large group of fanatical followers. Well armed fanatical followers, I should add. Who’s to say one or both of them won’t manage to make the rest of the Republicans fall into line?
    You’re assuming a straight forward election will take place. That’s not a good assumption, as I’m sure the GOP will pull every dirty trick in the book.
    The electoral atmosphere has gotten more toxic every year. If you think democracy can survive in this condition, you’re taking some heavy drugs.

  46. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable April 13, 2011 at 11:10 am |

    …GDP is on the rise and unemployment is dropping. I’m not talking about the stock market. The country is in much better economic shape (with the exception of the massive deficit) than it was two years ago.

  47. William
    William April 13, 2011 at 12:51 pm |

    but they have a large group of fanatical followers.

    Palin’s weren’t apparently large enough to help McCain overcome Obama the first time.

    Well armed fanatical followers, I should add.

    Because that worked out so well for the Michigan militia, and the Montana freemen, and the Branch Davidians, and Weaver family, and the Confederates…

    Who’s to say one or both of them won’t manage to make the rest of the Republicans fall into line?

    They couldn’t during the last convention. They didn’t seem to be able to at CPAC. Even during the 2010 elections the GOP as a whole only managed to gain in 6 seats in the Senate and take a 51.6% majority in the House. Thats not much better than they did against Clinton during his first Midterm. The Palin wing is loud and active, but they’re not terribly populous, not terribly well funded, and not terribly influential.

    You’re assuming a straight forward election will take place. That’s not a good assumption, as I’m sure the GOP will pull every dirty trick in the book.

    Thats politics. Its not as if the GOP has suddenly become more monstrous after a few decades of playing nice. You’re also forgetting the the GOP is pretty diverse in terms of wings and for Palin of Bachmann to survive to the general they have to live through the political maneuvering of their fellow Republicans: old men with a lot of power who don’t like women, don’t see them as having much of a chance, don’t think they’ve waited their turn, and desperately want to win an election.

    Trumps a joke, Palin and Bachamann are red herrings, the real threat is Huckabee.

    If you think democracy can survive in this condition, you’re taking some heavy drugs.

    We were never a Democracy. We might have been a Republic for awhile, but if that was ever the case it was gone by the time one group of tyrants who wanted to maintain centralized authority decided to wage war on another group of tyrants who wanted to maintain human slavery. Politics has always been a toxic game, if you think thats new then you haven’t been paying attention.

  48. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig April 13, 2011 at 9:02 pm |

    William: The Palin wing is loud and active, but they’re not terribly populous, not terribly well funded, and not terribly influential.

    That’s just what they want us to think. Palin’s followers are like mice- there’s always twenty more than you think there are.

    W:Because that worked out so well for the Michigan militia, and the Montana freemen, and the Branch Davidians, and Weaver family, and the Confederates…
    May I point out that the army is heavily Republican? Also, the Republican party and the NRA have been playing footsie since the 1970s.

    W:You’re also forgetting the the GOP is pretty diverse in terms of wings and for Palin of Bachmann to survive to the general they have to live through the political maneuvering of their fellow Republicans: old men with a lot of power who don’t like women, don’t see them as having much of a chance, don’t think they’ve waited their turn, and desperately want to win an election.

    Trumps a joke, Palin and Bachmann are red herrings, the real threat is Huckabee.

    You’re assuming the ‘old men’ are thinking with their big head. From what I’ve seen of the Republican party, most of the men think with their little head.
    Huckabee is a threat, yes, but unlike Palin he at least has a bit of a brain and heart. Because he’s not willing to demonize the poor, I suspect his campaign will sink fast.
    W:We were never a Democracy.
    I’ll give you that, at least. I think we went wrong when we tried to reintegrate the South as states, rather then merely occupied territory. Democracy requires too much effort on the part of the masses- monarchy is clearly a superior system.

  49. William
    William April 13, 2011 at 11:12 pm |

    That’s just what they want us to think. Palin’s followers are like mice- there’s always twenty more than you think there are.

    Thats the thing about Them™! Even if you cannot Them™, even if They™ aren’t visible, even if all logic tells you that They™ aren’t a real threat, They’re™ still there…lurking…waiting…and in greater numbers!! Just like communists and welfare queens and anchor babies!

    May I point out that the army is heavily Republican? Also, the Republican party and the NRA have been playing footsie since the 1970s.

    I won’t believe that until I’ve seen Obamas Real Original Paper Birth Certificate™ and the gub’mint shuts down the weather machine that caused the Japanese tsunami!

    You’re assuming the ‘old men’ are thinking with their big head.

    So now the GOP is going to hand the party to Palin and Bachman because they’ve been hypnotized by their dashing good looks…or their armed followers…or their racism and homophobia…or…something? I hear they’ve got a magic feather that was once used by Mary Magdalene to tickle Jesus’ taint but they haven’t brought it into play yet because they’re trying to outwit Opus Dei and the Bavarian Illuminati.

    From what I’ve seen of the Republican party, most of the men think with their little head.

    Because let me tell you, Bob Dole, instaboner! I never thought I’d love again after he lost, but then Bush and Cheney came along. SO DREAMY!

    Huckabee is a threat, yes, but unlike Palin he at least has a bit of a brain and heart.

    So now on top of being kind of a whore (because she’s attractive and thats the only reason anyone would like her or something, I’m still not clear on that) she’s also stupid (which is a bad thing) and heartless?

    Because he’s not willing to demonize the poor, I suspect his campaign will sink fast.

    Yes, they are all Evil while we are Good. This is why politics is bad, because they are all that is Bad and probably fist kittens under the new moon while…you know what?

    The next time you decide to piss and moan about some evil Republican just remember that you’re the other side of the teabagger coin. Its assholes like you and the birthers that have taken a giant shit in the discourse. You’re the ones who have handed over the electorate to the lowest elements of any given party’s based tempered only by the violent greed of whatever kelptocrats pull the strings.

  50. Sonia
    Sonia April 14, 2011 at 4:11 am |
  51. Sonia
    Sonia April 14, 2011 at 4:13 am |

    Oops. forgot to close the a tag.

  52. Natalia
    Natalia April 14, 2011 at 6:12 am |

    I have to agree with William about Huckabee. He IS a real threat – because he’s kind of an interesting guy, he’s way more subtle than someone like Palin (and, I would guess, more intelligent), and he does appeal to a looooot of voters in this country who feel disenfranchised. In fact, I wish I could like Huckabee, I really do – as I wrote a few years ago, Huckabee is the perfect example of the sort of capable, thinking people we lose to the intellectual and ethical dead-end of conservative religion, and I say that as a religious person myself. So if I was to bet on who could be the dark horse here, I’d say that it was him.

  53. William
    William April 14, 2011 at 7:45 am |

    Sonia: I was less trying to engage with Politicalguineapig at that point than make fun of their use of Palin’s followers as some kind of secret boogeymen waiting at the wings to start an armed insurrection or masturbate their way into the White House. I’d figured the tone of my post made it clear that I wasn’t exactly arguing so much as taking the piss.

    As for progressives winning, I’m not a progressive and I’m not a fan of Obama. In college I identified as a libertarian, then reality hit me a bit and I had to confront some privilege, and now I’m just a cynic. Both of the major parties in the US right now are determined to make major attacks on a wide range of constitutional rights, both seem utterly incapable of a fiscal policy which doesn’t bankrupt the nation, both are more interested in giving welfare to the military, farmers, and corporations than creating any kind of a modest safety net. The chances of be actually voting in national elections in 2012 are practically nil because I just don’t see much point in casting a ballot in a race where the differences between the candidates boil down to which one has nicer hair and which rights I hold less dear.

  54. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig April 14, 2011 at 9:33 am |

    William: “The chances of be actually voting in national elections in 2012 are practically nil because I just don’t see much point in casting a ballot in a race where the differences between the candidates boil down to which one has nicer hair and which rights I hold less dear.”
    Well, that’s fine for you. You’ll still get to be considered human. All of the GOP field has made it clear that they consider women to be fetal-life support systems and nothing else. If they win next round, there’s a good chance that the nineteenth amendment might come under serious threat.
    I think I get the right to be paranoid and pissy. If there’s a set of people that don’t consider me to be human, I don’t owe them any respect at all.

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