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Tilting at Windmills

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March 11, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

LIBERAL AMERICA?....James Joyner reports today on a new Gallup poll showing that the number of Americans who self-identify as conservative is twice the number who self-identify as liberal. He comments:

This is especially interesting considering that the public seems to continue to demand liberal policies, opposing even nominal market-based reform of Social Security, continuing to push for the socialization of health care, expecting instant bail-outs for poor financial decisions, and generally wanting more federal spending on a variety of social programs.

Twas always so. Harris has been tracking liberal vs. conservative ID for several decades, and the numbers have been pretty rock solid. Ronald Reagan made conservatism slightly more popular and Clinton made it slightly less, but the changes have been modest and today we're in almost precisely the same spot as we were in 1976. What's more, the fact that this supposedly conservative country continues to favor operational liberalism hasn't changed much either. Apparently we just don't like to admit it.

Kevin Drum 12:49 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (112)

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Comments

Just to beat AH.

Posted by: R.L. on March 11, 2007 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

It's not surprising. The right wing has done a good job of defining our brand. They've worked at it for a really long time, while we have neither defended it nor made any attempt to define their brand. "Liberal" is linked with "dirty hippy". I still remember a poll from the 70s where 2/3 of the respondents were in favor of the text of the E.R.A., but 2/3 were opposed to the E.R.A. itself. the E.R.A. had been defined by it's opponents.

However, I have noticed an increasing use of the term "liberal democracy" recently. It's a start. Now we just need to come up with some sort of subtle campaign to link the word "conservative" with serial adultery.

Posted by: J Bean on March 11, 2007 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Those who self-identify as moderate are obviously what we would call liberal, and those who self-identify as liberal can be anything from liberal to old-lefty in their attitudes. To quote a political pro from long ago, Ronald Reagan made the word liberal into a pejorative, and Democrats have been running from it ever since. Perhaps it's time to begin reversing that trend.

Posted by: Bob Gelfand on March 11, 2007 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

I link "conservative" and "hypocrite" at every opportunity.

Nothing fancy or catchy, just you know, honest and verifiable.

J Bean: Word on the branding comments.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 11, 2007 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if Hilary will run from the "Liberal" label. Will be very interesting.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on March 11, 2007 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

The definition of "conservative" has also been perverted beyond recognition. Nowadays the media thinks that G.W. Bush is a conservative.

Oy.

Posted by: global yokel on March 11, 2007 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Duh.

After almost 25 years of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Novak, Barnes, Blankley, and the rest of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy using time-tested Madison Avenue branding and anti-branding tactics on the term "Liberal", it's a wonder there are ANY "Self-Declared" Libs left.

See Glenn Greenwald's excellent post on the focus-tested and successful right-wing technique of attaching negative cultural brands onto Dems and Libs:


http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/03/11/taranto/index.html


"Faggot"
"Breck Girl"
"Effeminate"
"Flip-Flopper"
"Slick Willie"
"Girly Men"
"Mommy Party"
"Feminazi"


Anyone (Frank Luntz?) think these demeaning, pejorative, insulting, emasculating terms came up by accident?

The graphs and charts above are nothing more than tributes to money well spent by the Right.

Question is, what do we Libs do about it?

A new, muscular, aggressive Lib model was born with the Howard Dean candidacy, and the GOP knew it. The GOP knew it was dangerous, and went to GREAT lengths to plant the "unhinged" and "crazy" meme to counteract it, but it didn't stick

Now, they know that if the masculine, protector meme gets stripped off their brand, they will have nothing left. In the face of strong, capable, professional, focussed, take-charge Dems like Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, John Murtha they haev nothing to counter with other than demonization and smears.

Look for more attacks, more in-your-face, prove-you're-a-man insults from the Coulters, Malkins, Becks, Hannities, and Limbaughs as the GOP desperately tries to fend off its coming death throes as a national party.

As a Lib, I relish the thought. Nothing would give me as a Lib more pleasure than watching history undress these right-wing figures for the blowhards and frauds they are.

In the graph above, look at the steep decline of people self-identifying as Conservative.

That, in a picture, is a sure indicator of where things are going.

Posted by: Cybeiran on March 11, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

The most useful part of that graph is looking where self-ID conservatives and moderates converge and diverge. The country was definitely trending conservative from 1976-1988. Clinton moderation(?) is shown in 1992. Then you see the divergence between the conservatives and moderates since 1996. So 1988 and 1996 were peaks for conservatives. After 1996 perhaps "conservative" became too synonymous with the Christian Right and people didn't want that association?

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on March 11, 2007 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

I almost had a flame-war with another blogger of the conservative stripe last fall. I say "almost" because after I posted the response that this is excerpted from, he posted an apology.


And if I couldn't hold my own, or if my sensibilities were tender, or I did not have the courage of my own convictions, I would not take a stand. The precise reason I am a liberal is that I value everyone's rights - not just those of people I agree with. I am a liberal because I stopped needing a daddy to help guide my moral development long before I went off to college. My real daddy did his job well, and I developed the critical thinking skills I would use all my life early in my life, and I am nobody's dupe. Any position I take is thought through and deliberate. I am a liberal because I do not believe the government has any place in medical decisions. They should no more be able to make reproductive decisions for women than they should be able to force Jehovah's Witnesses to accept blood transfusions. I am a liberal because I believe that your right to freedom of religion extends to your neighbor right to be free from religion. I am a liberal because I believe in the sanctity of a free press to hold the government to account by honest reportage. I am a liberal because I believe in the basic good judgment that most people are capable of exhibiting. I am a liberal because I believe in the sanctity of social contracts and that social safety nets benefit society at large, not just the direct benefeciaries. Things like Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment benefits and Medicaid. I believe that everyone is entitled to a quality education and quality healthcare. I am a liberal because I don't believe you can pay for wars with tax cuts. I am a liberal because my idea of family values is this: I will value mine, and you value yours and we won't give one another a lot of grief about our personal moral centers, okay?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 11, 2007 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, Orwell was so right about language. "liberal" has now been redefined to mean "communist", and the radical policies of the governing right are described as "conservative" by those whose who really could care less about democracy- it's just another word to redefine away to oblivion for them.

Posted by: spiny on March 11, 2007 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

"Conservative" these days just means being a front for fascism-lite and the redistribution of wealth to large companies and the already wealthy. Most of the people who identify themselves as such have no f**king idea what it means, and thats how the GOP likes it.

Posted by: Ten in Tenn on March 11, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

It's not just that Republicans have been working for decades to destroy the word "liberal"; it's also that the word "liberal" implies a lack of control, a freewheeling, devil-may-care attitude, as in he's "liberal with his finances." Conservative has "conserve" in it. It's a more appealing term. It's obviously not what modern-day conservatives and liberals stand for, but their labels certainly imply that they do.

Posted by: Media Glutton on March 11, 2007 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

I seldom get a positive impression of people who make a big deal out of calling themselves conservative or liberal. Of course, liberals are much less inclined to make a big deal out of what they call themselves. They are more inclined to talk about a real issue.

Self-congratulating conservative seems to be consumed with labels and categories, and have gone a long way recently toward branding themselves in a negative way.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on March 11, 2007 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl: your comment is funny to me because I started calling the Republican party the "Daddy" party a while back. They seem to need, throughout life, an authoritarian Daddy figure to guide them morally, psychologically, and ideologically.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on March 11, 2007 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Europe to ban incandescent bulbs.

Posted by: cld on March 11, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Back in the days of Adam Smith -- THE Adam Smith -- liberals ardently supported free market capitalism because it represented the end of the Crown's control over the UK economy. They also supported freedom of speech because they valued the right to critize the King without being punished. Today, nearly all liberals I know support free market capitalism and freedom of speech.

Conflicts have always appeared at the extremes: liberals critize the excesses of big business and hate speech. Conservatives despise unions and flag burning. But there is lots we agree on -- environmental stewardship, social security, etc.

Bush has tried to add a host of new reasons to identify as a conservative -- support for the war on terror, support for abridgement of civil rights in the name of fighting terror, support for "small government," support for a "strong" presidency and generally opposition to liberalism as Bush, Rove and Cheney choose to define it.

With the many failures of the Bush administration I think people are starting to take a broader look at what liberalism and conservatism mean. Liberalism does not mean unpatriotic; conservative does not mean incompetent.

Long term I have faith in America's pragmatism -- in doing what works. Short term, with the current crowd in power, I have many doubts and concerns.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on March 11, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Liberal and Conservative are no longer political descriptions. They are tribal identities.

Posted by: Slideguy on March 11, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

I'm old enough to remember when it was different. More people self described as liberals.

Posted by: Mooser on March 11, 2007 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Those patriots at Halliburton are moving the company to Dubia.

Posted by: cld on March 11, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Like many have stated before, a giant part of this has been the demonization of the term 'liberal'. It's been made into a political four-letter word, and something to be ashamed of, rather than proud of. Why else are there so few self-identified liberals, despite the overwhelming support for liberal policies?

Because if they were called liberal policies, people would shy away from them, simply because they're called 'liberal'. People have been trained to believe that anything 'liberal' is automatically bad, or anti-American. Thus, they never self-identify with the group that could actually bring the policies they support to bear, because the political landscape has been so conditioned that it's not even a serious consideration anymore. 'OF COURSE Liberals would be worse, they're all horrible anti-Americans! Only conservatives would be able to bring about what the people want!' That's the tripe that's been shoved down our throats, and people still believe it, despite conservatives doing mostly the opposite of what the public really supports. We're just told that the public wants what conservatives push, by both government and complicit media, and most people take it at face value.

Posted by: Kryptik on March 11, 2007 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

If this was the fault of right wing noise machine, wouldn't the number of self-identified liberals be down from what it was 30 years ago?

These polls are completely useless because there is no definitive definition of the terms involved. What's conservative to some is liberal or moderate to others and vice versa. I'm sure there are a number of self-identified conservatives who support gay rights, are pro-choice, hate the war, etc., but because they don't like taxes (or some other pet issue) call themselves conservative.

Posted by: DoubleB on March 11, 2007 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK


I should have written 'Those corporate feudalists at Halliburton are moving the company to Dubai', which is so better a term for their character.

Posted by: cld on March 11, 2007 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

from Think Progress,

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, who was in charge of training the Iraqi military from 2003 to 2004, appeared last night on HBO’s Bill Maher Show.

“We are in the midst of recovering right now from a constitutional crisis where you had the executive trump the other branches of government,” Eaton said. “Thank god” Congress changed hands in November, he said, giving us “a chance to unsort and figure out how to get out from under this.”

Eaton lamented that so many service members believe that conservatives “are good for the military.” “That is rarely the case. And we have got to get a message through to every soldier, every family member, every friend of soldier,” that the Bush administration and its allies in Congress have “absolutely been the worst thing that’s happened to the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps.”

Posted by: cld on March 11, 2007 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

The word 'liberal' doesn't mean what it originally meant; now it means '"liberal"'. That is, people who say they're liberal, but whose ideas are anything but.

For instance, liberals support free speech. "Liberals" also support free speech, there are just some "guidelines". For instance, bad people shouldn't be allowed to say bad things. Why allow bad people to spread lies? "Liberals" strongly support free speech, except for that that might offend.

For a mundane example, many "liberal" sites (such as this one) support open debate through an open commenting policy, but it only goes so far. Someone who disagrees must be wrong, thus their arguments have no validity, thus they have no place in the debate. Can you think of another similar debate involving "liberals"? I knew you could.

Posted by: TLB on March 11, 2007 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Ask the question this way, "Do you consider yourself to be a progressive or a conservative?" and I bet you get wildly different results. The GOP slime machine has been very effective in demonizing the word "liberal". Fuck them and the boat they rowed in on.

Let's demonize the word "conservative" in exactly the same way - the demented, lazy, greedy perverted conservatives deserve it.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on March 11, 2007 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, but the meaning of the polls, DoubleB, is that the public has largely accepted definitions handed them—rammed down their throats is more accurate—by interested parties. With virtually no Fifth Estate to balance the equation, money doesn't talk, it screams. And when it's done screaming, it sobs about what an underdog it is.

Somehow, the neofascists have managed to portray themselves as rugged indvidualist/deeply conforming/God-fearing libertarians/salt-of-the-earth non-elite//kick-ass, steadfast, off-with-their-heads leaders/anti-government/sexless victims/swaggering thugs/tender-hearted protectors of the unborn.

And when do they called on that psychotic mix of, stir-fried contradictions? Never. because they are "conservatives". Remember when that meant your mild-mannered uncle, the bank manager—the one who didn't know much about modern art, but if it made his wife happey, well...

Posted by: Kenji on March 11, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Here's another example of "liberalism" in action. Check out the first search, then check the 'show buried posts' checkbox.

Posted by: TLB on March 11, 2007 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

"This is especially interesting considering that the public seems to continue to demand liberal policies,...." - Kevin


"The GOP slime machine has been very effective in demonizing the word "liberal". Fuck them and the boat they rowed in on." - Deflator


LMAO on this one.

Despite almost a 2 to 1 ratio of those who self-identify as conservative vs. liberal, most of those on the left just can't understand how their "superior" policies aren't resonating with the masses.

It must be the verbiage, right deflator?

It reminds me of how about a year ago, the DNC was trying to find the "right" language to use when talking to those of faith.


Posted by: Jay on March 11, 2007 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Deflator: "Fuck them and the boat they rowed in on."

It's their boat, but they made us do the rowing.

Posted by: Kenji on March 11, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

"...."conservatives". Remember when that meant your mild-mannered uncle, the bank manager—the one who didn't know much about modern art, but if it made his wife happey, well..." - kenji

WTF are you talking about?

Maybe most people don't want to self identify with the brain damage that is so wide spread on the left as exampled with the above post.


One other great example is the absence of an up or down vote on the funding of the Iraq war. Why haven't the Democrats pushed to cut off the funding as they promised?

Posted by: Jay on March 11, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

"Let's demonize the word "conservative" in exactly the same way - the demented, lazy, greedy perverted conservatives deserve it." - deflator

Then again it might be the latent hatred of most anything American, that the left exudes, that may be why most Americans don't self identify as "progressive".

Posted by: Jay on March 11, 2007 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride had it right:

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Perception of Conservatives

While most people gave the expected answers, substantial minorities think that conservatives oppose cutting taxes (19%) or are not sure (11%) whether they favor or oppose cutting taxes. In other words, 30 percent of all adults do not give the expected response that conservatives favor cutting taxes. Similarly:

50 percent believe that conservatives support gun control or are not sure.
46 percent think that conservatives support affirmative action or are not sure.
23 percent think that conservatives support abortion rights or are not sure.
19 percent think that conservatives support gay rights or are not sure.
15 percent believe conservatives support same-sex marriage or are not sure.

Perception of Liberals

While large majorities believe liberals favor abortion rights, gay rights, and same-sex marriage, substantiated minorities give more surprising responses:

Fully 39 percent believe liberals favor cutting taxes, and 17 percent are not sure.
Fully 37 percent believe that liberals either oppose gun control (24%) or are not sure (13%).
Significant but smaller numbers do not believe or are not sure if liberals support gun control (37%), affirmative action (26%), same-sex marriage (22%), gay rights (17%), or abortion rights (16%).

Majorities of U.S. Adults Have a Sense of What Conservative, Liberal, Right Wing or Left Wing Means, But Many Do Not

Posted by: Lanco Yokel on March 11, 2007 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, are you really an idiot or do you just play one on TV? The banker-uncle thing is really incomprehensible to you? Are you 12 years old? The Rockefeller model of conservative—fiscally cautious but educable—was dominant in American culture right through the era of George Bush Sr. Ever seen a Frank Capra movie—or are they too filled with "hate" for you?

Blue Girl or someone help me out here. These basement dwellers don't get due process, checks and balances, American history or popular culture. And yet they just keep flapping their typewriters.

Posted by: Kenji on March 11, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

My grandfather was what we called a belt-and-suspenders Republican. I am thoroughly convinced that seeing the Power Rangers in the well of the house did him in. He died three days later.

As Kenji so astutely stated, conservative but educable. Government isn't evil, but it is serious business.

These Republicans realize that taxes are not inherently evil, they simply want those funds spent wisely. They realize that there is no free ride, so they want a good price for the tickets.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 11, 2007 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

"...fiscally cautious but educable—was dominant in American culture right through the era of George Bush Sr. Ever seen a Frank Capra movie" - kenji


Sorry to see that you base your perceptions on what hollywood feeds you. Of course, that does explain a lot.

Also, try spell check. Just a little advice from your mild mannered uncle that doesn't know a lot about modern art.

Posted by: Jay on March 11, 2007 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Yep, the right succeeded in turning liberal into a disparaging word.

And an article from 9-1-03 by Geoffrey Nunberg described the same phenomenon --the liberal label: the substance alive and well, but the brand in trouble. Convervatives made the term justawful
hhttp://www.prospect.org/print/V14/8/nunberg-g.html

Which is why I myself, consider wisely, wear the pin, "I think, therefore I'm liberal."
Well, let's reclaim the term.

Posted by: consider wisely always on March 11, 2007 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Nice head-fake Jay. Drawing an example from popular culture does not equate to a wholesale embrace of Hollywood-depicts-reality, but you knew we would call you on it berore you typed it.

"I was a Republican. Before they went insane." --Charles Barkley

(p.s. Nice pin, CWA - I wear the one that says I think, Therefore I'm Dangerous)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 11, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Some people think they have a right to shout 'Fire!' in a crowded theater so they can play gotcha with the cops.

All children go through a phase where they try to get their parents in some kind of contradiction, but conservatives never mature beyond it. The older they get the more concerted in their hysteria they become.


Conservatism is a form of retardation.

Posted by: cld on March 11, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Good pin, BGRS--also impressive.

Posted by: consider wisely always on March 11, 2007 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

The Iraq War is now estimated to cost $2.5 trillion.

Now that's Conservatism!

How many WWII's would that buy?

Posted by: cld on March 11, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Nice head-fake Jay" - some liberal


So kenji equates all conservatives to some "mild mannered uncle who doesn't know much about modern art" based on hollywoods depiction, and when I point that out, it's a "head fake"?

"All children go through a phase where they try to get their parents in some kind of contradiction,....." - cld


Kind of like when Democrats lose elections and they proceed to blame the voting machines. Or when they scream and cry about being "lied" to, or forced into a corner over a having to actually take a position on National Security.

Btw, how is that new, new, new, new and improved "plan" for Iraq coming along? Be sure to let us all know when you actually are ready to take a position.

Posted by: Jay on March 11, 2007 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

"Conservatism is a form of retardation." - cld


Coming from someone who truly understands retardation.

Posted by: Jay on March 11, 2007 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

From Dictionary.com:

lib·er·al /ˈlɪbərəl, ˈlɪbrəl/
–adjective
1. favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.
2. (often initial capital letter) noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform.
3. of, pertaining to, based on, or advocating liberalism.
4. favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, esp. as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.
5. favoring or permitting freedom of action, esp. with respect to matters of personal belief or expression: a liberal policy toward dissident artists and writers.
6. of or pertaining to representational forms of government rather than aristocracies and monarchies.
7. free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant: a liberal attitude toward foreigners.
8. open-minded or tolerant, esp. free of or not bound by traditional or conventional ideas, values, etc.
9. characterized by generosity and willingness to give in large amounts: a liberal donor.
10. given freely or abundantly; generous: a liberal donation.
11. not strict or rigorous; free; not literal: a liberal interpretation of a rule.
12. of, pertaining to, or based on the liberal arts.
13. of, pertaining to, or befitting a freeman.
–noun
14. a person of liberal principles or views, esp. in politics or religion.
15. (often initial capital letter) a member of a liberal party in politics, esp. of the Liberal party in Great Britain.
[Origin: 1325–75; ME

—Related forms
lib·er·al·ly, adverb
lib·er·al·ness, noun

—Synonyms 1. progressive. 7. broad-minded, unprejudiced. 9. beneficent, charitable, openhanded, munificent, unstinting, lavish. See generous. 10. See ample.
—Antonyms 1. reactionary. 8. intolerant. 9, 10. niggardly.

con·serv·a·tive /kənˈsɜrvətɪv/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kuhn-sur-vuh-tiv] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–adjective
1. disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.
2. cautiously moderate or purposefully low: a conservative estimate.
3. traditional in style or manner; avoiding novelty or showiness: conservative suit.
4. (often initial capital letter) of or pertaining to the Conservative party.
5. (initial capital letter) of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Conservative Jews or Conservative Judaism.
6. having the power or tendency to conserve; preservative.
7. Mathematics. (of a vector or vector function) having curl equal to zero; irrotational; lamellar.
–noun
8. a person who is conservative in principles, actions, habits, etc.
9. a supporter of conservative political policies.
10. (initial capital letter) a member of a conservative political party, esp. the Conservative party in Great Britain.
11. a preservative.
[Origin: 1350–1400;

I know which definition I want to be associated with.

(Jay - that was a sublime headfake, and I'll compliment you on it if I so choose.)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 11, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Forget it. He's not educable.

Posted by: Kenji on March 11, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Jay,

Come back when you guys can win an election.

Posted by: cld on March 11, 2007 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

I think this all does just sort of say 'Conservative' about it,


American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source
re·tar·da·tion (rē'tär-dā'shən) Pronunciation Key
n.

1.
1. The act or process of retarding.
2. The condition of being retarded.
2. The extent to which something is held back or delayed.
3. Something that retards; a delay or hindrance.
4. Mental retardation.
5. Music A diminishing of tempo; a retard.

Posted by: cld on March 11, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

"Come back when you guys can win an election." - cld


Well let's see, five out of the last seven POTUS elections. Why don't you come back when those numbers improve.

"I know which definition I want to be associated with" - BGRS


And, unfortunately for you, almost 65% of Americans choose the other definition.

Posted by: Jay on March 11, 2007 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

See November 7, 2006.

And for that fact, the stated objectives of the people referencedin the articles Kevin linked.

As was pointed out upthread - people often glom onto a term they do not truly understand the meaning of.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 11, 2007 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

"Conservative, n: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others."--Ambrose Bierce

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 11, 2007 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

"See November 7, 2006." - bgrs


Aw yes, one election every decade sounds about right. And did you notice not one conservative blamed a machine.

Posted by: Jay on March 11, 2007 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

Jay Well let's see, five out of the last seven POTUS elections. Why don't you come back when those numbers improve.

OK.

That would be three out of the last seven, as the last two were fraud.

And you lost the popular vote even if it weren't fraud.

But I was thinking of the most recent election, where not a single Democratic office holder lost and no Republican captured any open House, Senate or Gubernatorial seat that had been held by a Democrat.

That's just really unique. That really says something about who you are and what people think of you, Jay.

Posted by: cld on March 11, 2007 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Jay: Then again it might be the latent hatred of most anything American, that the left exudes...

Your inflammatory rhetoric, which is untrue, unfounded, and a nonsensical Rush Limbaugh-esque harangue is why I scroll past your posts without comment on most days when I read PA. With so many other sources of propaganda, your words are an unnecessary redundancy.

Buh-bye.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 11, 2007 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Conservamorons have run down the term "liberal". I'm doing my best to run down the conservamoron brand, myself.

Conservatives today are routinely stupid and ignorant. They don't understand science. They don't understand economics. They are unwilling to talk without lying.

Conservamorons today appeal strictly to the stupid part of the population. Admittedly, there are many stupid people in America, and it is somewhat suicidal to try to appeal to intelligent people. The cynical morons in the conservamoron movement do understand this.

Students hate conservatives. We are training a generation of liberal students who will watch Bush and the conservadolts leave the stage with great relief.

Posted by: dataguy on March 11, 2007 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Not all conservatives are stupid.

However, all stupid people are conservative.

J. K. Galbraith

Posted by: dataguy on March 11, 2007 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

If this is Webster's definition of the word liberal, you all need to get a new label.

"4. favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, esp. as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties."

Very true when talking about pornography, NAMBLA, and every other scourge to society, but leave a cross or the Ten Commandments up in places they have always been and all of a sudden they become quite conservative. And as far as freedom from the government, I believe the liberals are the ones who want to take all our money by increasing taxes so they can decide how to spend it rather then the individuals who sweated to earn that dollar.

7. free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant: a liberal attitude toward foreigners.

Now this one is hilarious, the extreme liberal can't see straight when you mention the Christian right, admit it, your foaming at the mouth as you read this, lol! But don't get me wrong any other religion is just fine, for example extreme islam, is just terrific with most liberals.

8. open-minded or tolerant, esp. free of or not bound by traditional or conventional ideas, values, etc.

Please see above and get a napkin for the foam at the corners of your mouth.

9. characterized by generosity and willingness to give in large amounts: a liberal donor.

PLEASE!! That is the biggest hypocrisy of all, the liberals are so sorry for the poor and unfortunate and yet it is the conservatives who actually dig into their own pockets.

A public policy expert and regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal says the stereotype that liberals are more compassionate than conservatives is false.

For his new book Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism, Arthur Brooks spent years researching data on the giving habits of conservatives and liberals. Brooks says when he began his research, he expected to find proof that liberals are the more generous group in America. But his findings show that conservatives are more generous in every way -- from volunteering, to donating blood, to giving money.


11. not strict or rigorous; free; not literal: a liberal interpretation of a rule.

Now the above one I agree with, if you try to discipline your child in any way and a liberal is nearby, expect Social Services to be at your door the next day.


Now, do the real liberals of the word a huge favor and get a new label.

Posted by: Red Girl, Blue State on March 11, 2007 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

What about the overall drop in self-identified anything? It seems like those choosing not to identify as any one of these three, whether that be "other," "none of the above" or flat-out refusing the question, is rising. Seeing as how all three are down from 1996.

As a research guy, that's what intrigues me.

Posted by: notabbott on March 11, 2007 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

"That would be three out of the last seven, as the last two were fraud." - cld


LMAO. Diebold!

"...is why I scroll past your posts without comment" - apollo


And that pains me so.

Posted by: Jay on March 11, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

The problem is the word 'conservative' can have lots of positive connotations, like conserving energy, conserving money, conserving heritage or tradition.

It's easy to attach a positive connotation to the word..and your very last line is the point: Americans may say their conservative, but WHAT DOES THAT MEAN!?! Apparently, nothing.

Americans are overwhelmingly LIBERAL in their views. Just ignorant about politics.

Posted by: johnnyr on March 11, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

"But I was thinking of the most recent election, where not a single Democratic office holder lost and no Republican captured any open House, Senate or Gubernatorial seat that had been held by a Democrat." - cld


Can you recall 1994? This is becoming a re-ocurring event, about every other 12 years. So, really more of the rule than the exception. And it's not Diebold, just FYI

Posted by: Jay on March 11, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Taxes in the stratosphere,

posted by: mhr

Sigh.

It's just knee-jerk, at this point. If taxes were at 1%, that would still be too high, because taxes, by definition, are evil.

Spending trillions of dollars on corporate welfare, though, is responsible government.

Posted by: craigie on March 11, 2007 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

I had this little gem saved in favorites. And I have the full study printed--just have to locate it.
But get a load of this:

Julian Borger in Washington
Wednesday August 13, 2003


"A study funded by the US government has concluded that conservatism can be explained psychologically as a set of neuroses rooted in "fear and aggression, dogmatism and the intolerance of ambiguity".
As if that was not enough to get Republican blood boiling, the report's four authors linked Hitler, Mussolini, Ronald Reagan and the rightwing talkshow host, Rush Limbaugh, arguing they all suffered from the same affliction.

All of them "preached a return to an idealised past and condoned inequality".
Republicans are demanding to know why the psychologists behind the report, Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition, received $1.2m in public funds for their research from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.
The authors also peer into the psyche of President George Bush, who turns out to be a textbook case. The telltale signs are his preference for moral certainty and frequently expressed dislike of nuance.

"This intolerance of ambiguity can lead people to cling to the familiar, to arrive at premature conclusions, and to impose simplistic cliches and stereotypes," the authors argue in the Psychological Bulletin.

One of the psychologists behind the study, Jack Glaser, said the aversion to shades of grey and the need for "closure" could explain the fact that the Bush administration ignored intelligence that contradicted its beliefs about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction..."


Posted by: consider wisely always on March 11, 2007 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Can you recall 1994?


Don't you wish it was 1994 again? But today we turn the clock forward.

Here is a fine website where you can read all about how Republicans used the Diebold company and its spinoffs as a voter fraud . . .no, let's not call it a conspiracy, let's say it's a friendly sort of voter-fraud hobby, where they can all come together and relax and let things go just a little bit, each guy pushing just his own bit of envelope, until it comes back round and you can push it a little more because now everyone is doing it in a kind of idle circle of snickering jerks and --oh, drat! Somebody left the password to all the machines right out in the open on the internet! Clumsy!

Posted by: cld on March 11, 2007 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

An Inconvenient Truth on Showtime tonight,

followed by An Update With Former Vice President Al Gore.

Posted by: cld on March 11, 2007 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

..."What about the overall drop in self-identified anything? It seems like those choosing not to identify as any one of these three, whether that be "other," "none of the above" or flat-out refusing the question, is rising. Seeing as how all three are down from 1996.

As a research guy, that's what intrigues me."
Posted by: notabbott on March 11, 2007 at 5:13 PM

Yes, that is an interesting trend. Loss of identity? People are honestly unsure what the definitions of those labels are? Maybe there are more people who would self-describe as "libertarian" or "progressive" instead.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on March 11, 2007 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Did anyone catch Thursday's nights broadcast of
"The Great Global Warming Swindle" it was so informative and was scary of how if you even question global warming you need to be institionalized.

Posted by: Red Girl, Blue State on March 11, 2007 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

if you even question global warming you need to be institionalized.
Posted by: Red Girl, Blue State

In an institute of higher education maybe.

Posted by: Nads on March 11, 2007 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

BUSTED!!!

That comment from Mike was not inflamatory but it was deleted. That happens one way...

Red Girl, Blue State sock-puppeted a compliment for herself!!!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 11, 2007 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

Might as well sign your posts Spezaltura.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 11, 2007 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

"4. favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, esp. as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties." Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 11, 2007 at 4:13 PM

Red Girl, Blue State: Very true when talking about pornography, NAMBLA, and every other scourge to society...

Yeah, rightwing hate groups like the KKK, the Neo-Nazis, and the Council of Conservative Citizens, plus hate-mongers like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Michael Savage really take advantage of the right to free speech. Rescind the First Amendment like any decent conservative would!

...but leave a cross or the Ten Commandments up in places they have always been and all of a sudden they become quite conservative.

Conservatives and liberals have supported the separation of church and state but I'm partial to the Flying Spaghetti Monster on all U.S. currency. I can't imagine why a Muslim-American, a Hindu-American, a Buddhist-American or an atheist might object to the establishment of a Judeo-Christian tenet or icon in a county courthouse, can you? It's not as if they might not get a fair and unbiased trial especially if they go into court wearing a turbin or a veil, right?

And as far as freedom from the government...

What the hell is Big Brother doing listening to our international phone calls as if we are terrorists? The arrogance of Big Government is breath-taking!

I believe the liberals ...

You believe!? What? Don't you know? And please tell us about the tooth fairy.

....are the ones who want to take all our money...

All of our money? Wow, I'm really getting mad at those liberals and I'm a liberal! Wow...ALL our money...unbelievable! I'm trying to figure out how I STILL manage to have money in my bank account and wallet. Amazing!

....by increasing taxes...

Yeah, I really got mad when Reagan and Poppy Bush raised taxes. And I really hated it when they took away what we could deduct from our taxes... Why those Bush II tax expert scalawags were looking at taking away our mortgage interest deduction just in the past year or so. Imagine! Trying to raise our taxes by disallowing a deduction and then...

....they can decide how to spend it...

And look at what Bush II spent the Clinton surplus on...bailing out the airlines after 9/11, pharmaceutical subsidies (corporate welfare) in the prescription drug bill, no-bid defense contracts totaling into the multi-billions, and the ballooning budget-bloated war in Iraq, just to name a few outrageous decisions! What did taxpayers get for those programs other than borrow and spend debt that our children and grandchildren will have to pay off?

....rather then the individuals who sweated to earn that dollar.

Well, individuals voted these Bush-Cheney clowns into office so what do we expect when we get the biggest deficit in U.S. history?! And those tax cuts! Sheesh, it's an outrage that the middle-class working family and/or single worker can barely make ends meet and more people have fallen into poverty with the paltry tax relief they got. Maybe that's why state legislatures have had to step in and raise the minimum wage so more taxes can be collected from workers. What a scam! I'm appalled.

Unbelievable... I'm starting to really despise...Oh, wait!

Ah, you're just a parody spoofer, aren't you? Got me! Thanks for the yucks.

Buh-bye, "Mike"!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 11, 2007 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

That poll also explains why 71% of Americans once thought that Iraq was behind 9/11. These are complacent and self-absorbed, willing to be led to a rhetorical slaughter at the accomplished hands of professional GOP propagandists..

And if you click on the link provided above, you'll see an A-1 example of how GOP branding works, thanks to jurrasicpork at the blogsite Welcome to Potterville.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on March 11, 2007 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

It'd be conservative to say the surge will use 2,500 more troops... when a more liberal number would be 5,000.


BTW. Maybe we reconnote the term Anarchist for all of us who don't buy into the Clausewitz idea of state monopoly on violence, and who do a better job regulating our own behaviour than the nation's laws do. What is someone who doesn't want national authoritarianism? An anarchist. No need to fear that word.

Posted by: Absent Observer on March 11, 2007 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

OK, I gave myself a compliment intending to get more of you to address my comments. Aren't you going to be patient and tolerant with me? Guess not(big surprise)I guess the tolerance part of the liberal definition is for pedophiles, murderers, extreme msulims, etc. People like conservatives certainly do not deserve any tolerance or respect for their views which is evident in the current media.

As for Apollo 13, you must have been on that flight to come up with the inflated comments you just wrote. I noticed you failed to address the most important comments I made in reference to bigotry the liberals spew at the right. You didn't disagree with the fact that it is the liberals who defend NAMBLA and pornography, guess that is OK as long as it isn't your side trying to listen in on a phone call. I'm sure the federal government is just dying to hear what you are saying to your friends overseas, lol!

Gee, I wonder where those pesky crosses came from, oh, thats right America was founded on Christian principles and that is why we find Christianity on every government building in Washington. But don't worry, I know your friends in the ACLU will take that away, they first have to do it in the smaller towns before they go and take on Washington but they most certainly will.

I will say I agree completely that the current Bush is not a conservative by economic definition.


Oh, and Global Citizen you are some sleuth, you sure got me! Keep sleuthing since that is so much easier then actually discussing the issues, lol!

Posted by: Red Girl, Blue State on March 11, 2007 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

craigie: Spending trillions of dollars on corporate welfare, though, is responsible government.

Thanks for setting me straight on that point, craigie. I snapped out of my temporary delusion. Thanks.

Globe: Red Girl, Blue State sock-puppeted a compliment for herself!!!

Well, who else would?

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 11, 2007 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

Discuss the issues? You seem to be discussing them all by yourself using different names to post. Dummy.

Posted by: Pat on March 11, 2007 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

I think you pretty much shot your chances of engaging anyone in discourse with that stunt, Spezaltura.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 11, 2007 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

America was founded on Christian principles

The Enlightenment was all about abortion, gun rights and gay marriage, after all.

Posted by: Absent Observer on March 11, 2007 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

OK, I gave myself a compliment intending to get more of you to address my comments.

So you say but I don't tolerate dishonesty. And please don't insult Christians by making yourself out as a defender of Christian values when you use deceptive tactics.

Buh-bye.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 11, 2007 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

Is this person so enamored of her own staggering intellect that she thinks she brings anything new here? That we just haven't been educated? That her singular brilliance will clarify the message and we will all See the light, shout Hallelujah!!! and get the religion of conservatism?

Time to adjust the meds, sweetie.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 11, 2007 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

If you ask me, that lil' lol! looks pretty Charlie-esque...

Posted by: obscure on March 11, 2007 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

The dictionary definitions offered upthread are of little note; the terms "liberal" and "conservative" have different sets of meanings, developed over time in within the political arena.

My own definition of the terms would be along these lines:

Liberal: tends to view things in terms of eagerness to change them, by changing laws and/or redefining terms and policies. Believes that those cautious about change, or opposed to it, are usually acting out of self-interest. Has a predisposition to modifying the status quo (policies, laws, processes) hoping to make things "better" somehow. Generally accepts the idea that concerted activity through government should and usually can be instrumental in solving problems that impact people.

Conservative: tends to be cautious about changing things, with an underlying perception that stability is more trustworthy and that change often provokes unintended and negative consequences. Believes that proponents of change are too often fickle and short-sighted. Generally resists the idea that government can be instrumental in solving problems that impact people; therefore, favors less government activism and more individual accountability or initiative.

I reject the notion that conservatives do not care about others; my father was a staunch conservative and yet was one of the most helpful and generous people I've ever known... always ready to intervene in situations where someone needed what he could offer. Same with family friends I knew growing up.

I am a moderate, politically independent; in my opinion, government often IS part of the problem as much or more than part of the solution. I view that more as a function of the talent drawn to government than as a function of it being "inherently bad". I am much less inclined to propose government intervention now than I was 40 years ago. Its track record stinks, quite frankly. Does that make me a conservative? In a practical sense, perhaps it does; philosophically, I definitely WANT to be less conservative --- because being a moderate liberal is what I "feel like". But I have a hard time putting any faith in government, including the courts, to keep us out of the ditch.

Posted by: Terry Ott on March 11, 2007 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

Globe,
My sister calls herself a Christian conservative but has voted Democratic for years and she supports universal health care, Medicare/Medicaid, and Social Security, all liberal proposals. I think a lot of the definitions of conservative, moderate, and liberal have been blurred by the non-stop propaganda of the rightwing. I remember Poppy Bush using the word, liberal, as if it was a cuss word and undesirable. Many posters above have already made good points and provided cites to that effect.

I also have an aunt, a Christian evangelical, who is a staunch Democrat. Guess who her favorite columnist was? Molly Ivins.

Seems the definitions don't necessarily correlate 100% to what people do in the voting booth.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 11, 2007 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK
…Now when do we all get free health care? mhrat 1:20 PM
As soon as corporate socialists like you stop blocking it.
…Why allow bad people to spread lies? "…TLB at 2:52 PM
You have never had any trouble in that regard.
…It reminds me of how about a year ago, the DNC was trying to find the "right" language… Jay at 3:00 PM
Where as the right wing Frank Lutz, financed by the RNC, can focus group to find the language that sells the corporatist Republican ideology to the people. "Clean Air" for increased pollution, ___ reform for the exact opposite. Of course, it helps to have the vast corporate press for your propaganda outlet.
…Why haven't the Democrats pushed to cut off the funding as they promised? Jay at 3:06 PM
Don't you recall, a clear majority voted with the Democratic position only your warmongering Republicans filibustered? Why don't you allow a vote?
Then again it might be the latent hatred of most anything American,…Jay at 3:09 PM
General: Conservatives Are ‘Absolutely The Worst ThingThat’s Happened’ To The U.S. Military
….And it's not Diebold…Jay at 5:17 PM
You should check out the history of Republican voter fraud Posted by: Mike on March 11, 2007 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK
… her favorite columnist was? Molly Ivins…Apollo 13 at 7:32 PM
And of all the rest of us, ... along with Paul Krugman....and, uh, Joe Conaston.... and maybe Gene Lyons. No, Molly was the best. Posted by: Mike on March 11, 2007 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

And that, my dear, is precisely WHY you picked the wrong name out of the hat to sock-puppet under.

Please avoid the door smacking you in the ass on the way to get an education at the knee of Miss Betty Bowers, Americas Best Christian.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 11, 2007 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

"Here is a fine website where you can read all about how Republicans used the Diebold company and its spinoffs as a voter fraud" - cld

Oh pleeeaaassse. This "link" source is weaker than myself quoting National Review. You're in the tank for 'em cld.

Posted by: Jay on March 11, 2007 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

Absolutely. Molly was one of a kind, and we need to be doing our part to keep her "Old Fashioned [Newspaper] Campaign" alive!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 11, 2007 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Terry Ott: I reject the notion that conservatives do not care about others...

I reject that notion, too.

in my opinion, government often IS part of the problem as much or more than part of the solution. I view that more as a function of the talent drawn to government than as a function of it being "inherently bad".

Word, Terry. So how can we recruit more competent talent? Seems a more engaged electorate would help to change the role of government but so many folks don't have the time or the inclination, at least IMO. What to do? I dunno at the moment but you identified a major problem of why government has failed us.

But I have a hard time putting any faith in government, including the courts, to keep us out of the ditch.

Your point about the talent (or lack of it) that arises to government service I think has a lot to do with the failures and broken trust we've experienced all of which I suspect feeds an apathy or disdain toward government. I am also alarmed at the state of education in our nation and the influence of media consolidation that disseminates all manner of misinformation. I don't have the time or energy now to get into a longer dialogue but I appreciate your comments....all valid points worth pondering more deeply.

Take care.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 11, 2007 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

"As soon as corporate socialists like you stop blocking it." - Mike


When would a "socialist" anything block UHC?


"Where as the right wing Frank Lutz, financed by the RNC, can focus group to find the language that sells the corporatist Republican ideology to the people. "Clean Air" for increased pollution, ___ reform for the exact opposite. Of course, it helps to have the vast corporate press for your propaganda outlet." - mike

Ladies and gentleman, paranoia in it's purest form. And I love the line "vast corporate press for your propaganda...". That's right Mike, the majority of the press are all in Bush's corner. Specifically, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, the NYT, etc. etc.

"Don't you recall, a clear majority voted with the Democratic position only your warmongering Republicans filibustered? Why don't you allow a vote?" - Mike

They had the vote Mike, remember that non-binding thing that passed in the House but did not in the Senate. The floor is wide open for the vote, it's the actual votes that the Dems don't have. sheesh, pay attention.

Posted by: Jay on March 11, 2007 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

The key here is: "Self-identify." If you asked southern white segragationists in the 1950's how many of them "self-identified" as bigots, how many do you think would answer 'yes?' Most, I'm sure, would have said that they were "moderates. In fact the term moderate probably encompasses elements of both parties. I think you need a better litmus test. In fact, maybe an actual test asking about attitudes toward actual policies on air, water, wages, health care, etc. I'm sure many of these self-identifying "moderates" and even a good number of Conservatives and liberals would come down in camps not of their own choosing.
I'm tired of empty, vacuuous poles like this. Ask some intelligent questions and maybe we'll have a prayer of forming a meaningful analysis...

Posted by: Jeffersonian on March 11, 2007 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

Jay: Ladies and gentleman, paranoia in it's purest form. And I love the line "vast corporate press for your propaganda...". That's right Mike, the majority of the press are all in Bush's corner. Specifically, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, the NYT, etc. etc.

Now you're on the right track. But that should be "its". Sure, you mentioned the centrist examples. But all the managers know where their bread is buttered (on the right-makes-might side).

Oh, and your heroes are doing such a great job at home and abroad that you can spend all your free time attacking their critics. Vedddy interesting...

Posted by: Kenji on March 11, 2007 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

Large number of working class and lower-middle class Americans are more conservative than elites on social issues -- gay rights, abortion, etc. -- and more liberal than elites on economic issues -- health care, union rights, and funding of social security. Few people with this set of values will identify themselves as liberal to a pollster.

Posted by: Laney on March 11, 2007 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

Can you recall 1994? This is becoming a re-ocurring event, about every other 12 years. So, really more of the rule than the exception. And it's not Diebold, just FYI

What a dumbfuck.

The Democratic Sweep of 2006 is unprecidented. It has never happened in the history of the US.

Posted by: dataguy on March 11, 2007 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, Oh pleeeaaassse. This "link" source is weaker than myself quoting National Review. You're in the tank for 'em cld.


I disagree. Setting up a comeback like that is weaker than quoting National Review.

I think the tank is half full, with plenty of room at the top.

Where did BradBlog get it wrong?

Posted by: cld on March 11, 2007 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

Right-wing authoritarians have a tendency to identify themselves personnaly with the groups they belong to. Belonging to the group becomes a majore expression of who they self-identify themselves to be.

Liberals, Pregressives, and even moderates generally bring their self-identity with them, and then only associate with whatever groups they choose to.

Thus, if you ask a question like "Are you conservative, moderate, or liberal?" the conservatives will offer you their self-identity which is the group they belong to.

Moderates and liberals are not as willing to self-identify as being personally a group member. Mot of us feel that is too simplistic, and we can accept the feeling of being alone better than being forced into submission to the leaders of a group of idiots. From us you are much more likely to get answers all over the board.

Posted by: Rick B on March 11, 2007 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, read the chart again. The liberal line is practically steady, the conservative has hills & valleys. But above the conservative line is the moderates, who match conservative downswings with upswings & vice versa. More importantly, the moderates outnumber either of the other two, consistently.

The author seems to avoid that statistic also. Does that mean he is a conservative? More to the point, like I have been saying all along, those of us in the center have been ignored all to often. And a growing number of us are getting very pissed off about it.

Posted by: bob in fl on March 11, 2007 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

Calling an authoritarian an authoritarian doesn't offend him too much, they like the ring of it.

But calling him SCAMD, --Social Conservative, Authoritarian Mental Disorder, tells him who he is.

Posted by: cld on March 11, 2007 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

CLD - I will be using that and citing you as my source. Is that an original, or do I need to cite where you got it?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 11, 2007 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

Thanx, Global, don't remember where I saw it.

Posted by: cld on March 11, 2007 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

I saved the permalink. Check my site tomorrow some time for the post and your props. It's germinating now...:)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 11, 2007 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

There is a simple answer. People don’t know what we who pay attention to politics mean by liberal and conservative.

Would you like a liberal helping of ice cream or a conservative one? Conservative of course. In the way we shade the words, liberal connotes piggy and conservative connotes prudent.

The simple definition of conservative is keeping things as they are. The liberal wants to change things. Unless a clear danger or other very strong reason exists, people are conservative most of the time.

In practise, the meanings are often the opposite of the way we categorize political policies. Protect Social Security, keep it as it is? Obviously conservative. Take a risky step such as privatizing it? Obviously liberal thinking.

That’s about all there is to it.

Posted by: James of DC on March 11, 2007 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

Apollo 13, thank you for acknowledging my earlier post. How to draw better talent into government?; that IS a key question.

Personal note: I'm in my 60's and was a genuine Type-A obsessive workaholic before I retired; so although politics is an interest, there were decades when I wasn't tuned in much. I regret that now, being at a point where it feels like any sort of major change in governance practices isn't going to be "in MY lifetime". We are REALLY entrenched, and when something as huge as the federal govt gets entrenched, it's like pulling an adult elephant and a giant donkey (to keep this bipartisan) out of hardening cement by hitching them to a Harley, on ice. It will take an earthquake coupled with melting, and a big ol' truck.

One night, in a discussion with friends, I put forth my ivory tower ideas about attracting better talent to government service, Don Quixote style; highlights (focused on national elective offices):

1. Term limits; you enter government for a time, and then you go back to whatever you were doing.

2. 100% public financing of campaigns.

3. If you get elected, all your assets are managed by some agency and all your income comes through direct compensation, through that agency, publicly, and above board.

4. Your pay level while serving would be formularized in such a way that it reflects what you WERE making in your "other life", but with a generous floor for those not in high paying occupations before running for office. That way, you can live the same life style (or better in the case of those who were not high income); if you were a $570,000 a year mover and shaker --- that's what we'd pay you to do some time working for the USA in a national elective office.

4.Plus, since your time in Washington would be limited (term limits), you would get some kind of allowance so you could have a second residence there and (if you choose) keep the family homestead.

5. Oh, and Congressional districts would be redrawn using a mathematical-geographic template that didn't carve up the landscape to ensure "safe seats". Statistical rules, not "creative art".

I did some consulting in my day around reward systems, and so I admit to some bias around this aspect. You see, I don't want people going into government because they can grow their net worth spectacularly (as some do), and I don't want people to shy away from government service because they wonder how they'd pay tuition for their teenage kids, keep them in the same schools, etc., without getting their palms greased by special interest groups. I want to take money off the table, essentially.

I think the whole personal economics of politics, and the tendency to make it a career instead of a "stint" is taking us down the wrong path, and attracting the wrong kinds of people (not all, but too many perhaps) --- people who might not be great at getting things done back in the real world, people who hunger to be part of the Washington rat pack, in perpetuity. People who become more and more detached from real world life and from their constituents, people who get too caught up in the power games and who have vested interest in something resembling the status quo.

I'd like some "best and brightest" from business, technical fields, non-profit sector, education/academia, finance/economics, law, journalism,and so forth. (But not too many lawyers!). And they would be "doing government" for a time, but not so long that they become professional political animals.

I haven't even TOUCHED on the non-elected career bureaucrats. That's at least as big a problem as our elected, and reelected, and reelected representatives.

Of course, the first question from my friends that night had to do with what I was smoking. Honest, it's just a regular old cigar. But I will admit to being way out in left field, dreaming.

Posted by: Terry Ott on March 12, 2007 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

Goldwater was a conservative.

Reagan was a borrow-and-spend liberal.

Bush is the Kind of Spenders.

Posted by: Tom on March 12, 2007 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sure there are a number of self-identified conservatives who support gay rights, are pro-choice, hate the war, etc., but because they don't like taxes (or some other pet issue) call themselves conservative.

Posted by: DoubleB on March 11, 2007 at 2:35 PM

Just as there are a number of self-identified liberals who are anti-abortion (believe it or not).

Posted by: Vincent on March 12, 2007 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK
What's more, the fact that this supposedly conservative country continues to favor operational liberalism hasn't changed much either. Apparently we just don't like to admit it.

Or maybe most people just don't define "liberal", "moderate", and "conservative" the same way that pundits do.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 12, 2007 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

I am a social conservative, being anti-abortion and wishing government would only promote and subsidize monogamous heterosexuality exclusively, on the theory that you always get more of what you brainwash kids in and and subsidize.

On the other hand, I am a criminal justice liberal, because I staunchly believe that it has never been more easy in American history for totally innocent people to be accused and convicted (largely thanks to feminist inspired "reforms" of hallowed pro-defendant legal principles.) Particularly the working poor get ravaged by the new zealousness in law enforcement. (If you think the War on Drugs has filled up our prisons, it is actually second best to a War on Domestic Violence that defines "violence" downward to the point of practical absurdity.

On economic matters, I am a big spender, recognizing always that the trick in this is for government to spread its largesse in such a way that the long-term health of the nation is prospered. The biggest problem here is that spending on public education is nearly a dead loss due to its being presently organized on unworkable, wildly unrealistic principles. You can drown the present system in money and few children will emerge better educated.

Then there is foreign policy. Like Bush, I tend to the belief that the world is very small nowadays and most diplomacy is merely a code word for "pay them off to not cause trouble."
I believe in democracy and nation-building in particularly troubled areas, but it certainly is difficult in places where you run up against adversaries that are absolutely brutal.

When you really look at Iraq, you have to be forced to the conclusion that nearly all the mass bombings of innocent persons on the streets and in markets have probably been done by Ba'athist remnants, Al Queda, and Sunni hardliners. My guess is that Shia vengeance has been largely limited to rounding up suspicious young Sunni men, torturing them to see what they know, then dumping the bodies. That is horrible, but not quite as bad as indiscriminate killing of women and children.

Consequently, I tend to have great sympathy for the moderates in Iraq (there are some) and for the historically oppressed Shia and Kurds.

Posted by: mike cook on March 12, 2007 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

You've never heard of right-wing social democracy?

That means you can be a conservative and get to enjoy all the goodies of New Deal/Great Society. Rooseveltian means to Goldwaterian ends, or something like that. That's the essence of a Reagan Democrat. That's what Jack Kemp was in a nutshell.

You have to remember a lot of people who call themselves conservatives used to be liberals or were socialists or were conservative Democrats who supported the New Deal but are socially conservative. Lots of Southerners and old big city white ethnic Democrats are like that. Draw a line between Irving KMristol and Zell Miller and you understand what I'm talking about.

Intellectually it's dishonest but America's the home of the double-standard so it's not unusual. Besides, they can always say the Goldwaterian conservatism is really just dressed up libertarianism. And they can also taut supply-side economics as the "third way" between harsh spending cuts and raising taxes. You can have your cake and eat it too, or so the theory goes.

What passes for conservatism today has nothing to do with Goldwater, Bob Taft or even Herbert Hoover. But that's what happens when you get a lot of New Dealers and their socialist fellow travellers voting Republican and a lot of that stems back to the cultural upheavals of the 1960s and 70s.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on March 12, 2007 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

The American mind is incongruent. I am not surprised.

Posted by: Brojo on March 12, 2007 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK
There is a simple answer. People don’t know what we who pay attention to politics mean by liberal and conservative.

I think the problem may be along those lines, such that both libertarians and conservatives see themselves as the "true" conservatives, so people that tend to be either (including right authoritarians, though libertarian "conservatives" tend to describe them as "liberals", as many of them have described George W. Bush) self-describe as "conservatives", and many left libertarians tend to describe themselves as "moderates", as the Republican Party has been successful in painting "liberal" as left authoritarian.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 12, 2007 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

So Jay, no classes at your elementary school today?

Does your mommy mind you playing with her computer while she's at work?

Posted by: Winda Warren Terra on March 12, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

The graph links to a page from Harris dating frm 2004, showing political affiliation (soley via their own surveys, mind you) of Americans from 2003. The Dems in the majority.

Posted by: 11x on March 12, 2007 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

"...What passes for conservatism today has nothing to do with Goldwater, Bob Taft or even Herbert Hoover. But that's what happens when you get a lot of New Dealers and their socialist fellow travellers voting Republican and a lot of that stems back to the cultural upheavals of the 1960s and 70s."
Posted by: Sean Scallon on March 12, 2007 at 10:45 AM

Right-wing social democracy. Excellent point. The core "base" for the New Deal Democrats in the '40's and '50's and the early-mid '60's, were married working-class white males with families who were either in a union or wanting to join one. That "base" got splintered away to the Republicans, starting with the economic policies of the Great Society (welfare), and then were psycho-socially alienated by sex,drugs, and rock'n'roll in the '60's and '70's. In a way these folks were "left-wing authoritarians". They believed that some limits on personal freedoms were OK as long as they got their fair share of the economic pie.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on March 13, 2007 at 1:11 AM | PERMALINK

Exactly Doc. Back then politics was seen as matter of who got what and how much, which was perfect for the New Deal Democrats because they were seen as Santa Claus and the GOP was seen as Scrooge and the tax system of that time fell more heavily on Republican constituencies rather than Democratic ones.

I hate when people often refer to the Sixties as the cause of the nation's problems over and over again but in this case its relvenat but the 70s and 80s had their impacts as well in terms of the political transformation. What was cause the splinterting? In no particular order of importance:

1). Civil Rights movement
2). Abortion
3). Iranian Hostage Crisis
4). Excess of environmental movement (snail darters and spotted owls and such)
5). Rise in crime rates from late 1960 through 80s
6). Inflation causes income tax bracket creep for middle class families

Demographically the decline of unions themselves hurt for it cut the ties that the white working class had to the Democratic Party. Rise of suburbia along with decline of ethnic city neighborhoods. All of these topics have been gone over ad nauseum.

For conservatism as a movement to gain political power, it had to expand itself to include those who were conservative on some issues but not so on others. Reagan never repudiated all his votes for Franklin Roosevelt and for good reason. If he did that, he would be rejecting the politics of many white middle class persons when he was trying to lead them into the Republican Party. That would not have been smart. Unfortunately it led to conservativtism ultimate downfall because no one could agree who's victory it was when Reagan won or the when the GOP took over Congress in 1994, Hayeks? Meyers? Weavers? Kirks? Buckleys? Whose?

Here's an anctedote to sum it all up. During the 1976 primaries, Reagan was running in Texas against Gerald Ford and his campaign people were putting out fliers with a Republican elephant saying "I'm for Reagan." and a Democratic donkey with the name "Wallace" stamped on him saying "Me too." Wallace's decline was Reagan's gain. Texas was the birthplace of the Reagan Democrats.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on March 13, 2007 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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