James Carville was on fire during his appearance on Morning Joe earlier. I can’t say I always agree with him but I pay attention when he speaks up because of two things – he’s often right, or significantly if not completely so and he’s almost always entertaining. This morning he was devastatingly spot-on in explaining the GOP and entertaining as hell.
Now, I don’t watch Morning Joe every day although more often than not while checking out TV in the morning I’ll pause for a couple of minutes on that show if there’s something notable being discussed. I caught the appearance of Carville after it had started and while there’s no telling what gems I missed I still saw plenty worth watching. Like I suspect many I’ve long (more years than I can remember) have wondered what makes the GOP “tick” – not just their priorities but even sometimes their messaging. And their methods for achieving their goals and how they market them. Let’s be honest. There have been all too many times when the GOP’s messaging machine has been all too effective. Of course, that’s not so much been the case since Trump came along. Still, in the old days of rigid message discipline up & down the ranks, amplified on Fox and talk radio and established by political pros that too often knew how to get results one sometimes wondered about them.
Now, in the old days it helped a great deal that non-Fox media was so often cowed by conservatives into both-siderism, and despite old video of them contradicting what they were selling (successfully) they usually got away with lying. On The Daily Show Jon Stewart liked to ask “Haven’t these a$$holes ever heard of video tape?” but his was a comedy show, a self-professed fake-news show which masterfully presented political satire almost nightly. All mainstream news had to do was take what Stewart provided and run with it. (Like the clip of Lt. George Elliott of the infamous Swift Boat at campaigning FOR Kerry and praising his heroism)
Still, I’ve wondered more times than I can count “what the hell are they thinking spouting/trying this bull$shit?” (“They” being conservatives) Granted, there was a time pre-Tea Party (now known as the Freedom Caucus) when seasoned political (and evil minded) pros carefully strategized how to sell just one or two b.s. concepts (sometimes culture war, sometimes something more tangible like economic stuff) and so so successfully. But they imposed message discipline, Strictly. And coordinated it with Fox “News” management. That all started to change in 2010 with the rise of the Koch Brother’s Tea Party folks getting into Congress. And then came Trump and crazy clown shows we’ve seen regularly since.
Now, seemingly every day some conservative starts peddling some new manufactured “scandal” or outrage, each trying to outdo each other for the media spotlight. It’s like Trump’s lies, so many so fast & often people can’t keep up.
And again, the question even many old-school Republicans keep asking themselves and others is “Why? What the HELL are they thinking with this nonsense?”
In one short, devastating sentence Carville stripped the essence of the GOP to the bone – “They think everyone is as stupid as they are.”
Even the old-school folks who want to go back to the old days of dog-whistle politics and pushing racism and sexism in code have rationalized (due to Trump having gotten into the WH) that it works enough to have a truly devoted base. Not enough to win the WH but they only care about their own butts in the here and now. So they rationalize, and most have even been seduced by the possibility that despite all evidence (the last three general elections and plenty of special elections) to the contrary the next time the crazy will work.
Then of course we have the considerable (and growing) number of GOP asshats who by all indications truly believe the bat-sh!t insanity they are shouting.
“They think everyone is as stupid as they are”
If anyone has ever articulated a better way of explaining what the GOP has become I sure as hell haven’t heard it. But I’d dearly love for some of the prominent politicians, not pundits but elected leaders on our side to start asking that question. Wouldn’t you just love to see a Katie Porter and others in one of these hearings ask “Do you think everyone else is as stupid as you sound saying what you’re saying? And given how he now feels free to call out GOP hypocrisy, how awesome would it be for President Biden to ask “Look, I know there are Republicans who don’t believe the nonsense, but these MAGA Republicans… Do they really think we’re all as stupid as they are?”
Now THAT my friends would set off a fireworks show that would be for the ages!
I do hope Carville’s question gets the attention it deserves. Oh, and later in the segment he came up with something else that was golden. Regarding legislation, Carville said of the current version of the GOP: “They couldn’t pass gas at a state teacher’s college.”
Like I said, he was in rare form today.
James knows his targets well. I agree. Time to call them out plainly and OFTEN!
I’m in 100% in agreement. I have long had the same feelings, just to chicken to voice them.
FYI: I am a member of Patreon.
The GOP thinks its anti-“woke” message is a winner. But most people have figured out that it is simply code for racism, misogyny, and intolerance.
I’ve never gotten the whole “woke” thing. Virtually every conservative who is anti-woke makes a huge fucking deal about how super-duper “Christiany” they are. Well, by their own standards their Jeebus was “woke!” He preached (literally) that they should, when they saw suffering and could help to help. He even told them to seek out suffering and wrong/injustice and do what they could to relieve it. He taught that we should be kind, to do our best to treat others the way we’d like to be treated. He condemned those who spent all their energy on accumulation of wealth too!
Leaving all that aside, WTF is wrong with wanting to know about reality both good and bad in history and in the current world? Of accepting that while there are lots of good people who do, or try to do good things but there are also lots of bad people to. People who have, and right this very minute lie, cheat, steal, oppress and do violence to others including targeting groups and entire classes of people to do awful things to. There will always be such people and they abuse any power they acquire. They have always existed and likely always will for as long as our species survives on our little blue ball. It’s up to the rest of us to keep an eye out for evil, and injustice in general to deny bad, evil people power.
If asshats in the conservative movement want to scream “WOKE” at me I have no fucks to give. My response is “I’d rather be WOKE than an ASSHOLE like you!”
Hey I think it’s working. And it’s not only coming from Carville. Amanda Marcotte from Salon (picked up by Raw Story) writes today: ” As Tara Golshan at Vanity Fair pointed out in a lengthy Twitter thread, Republican attacks on Social Security and Medicare aren’t nearly as well-disguised as they seem to think they are: It’s once again proof that Republicans think voters are extremely stupid. …. it’s been clear from the moment that Scott first released his 11-point plan that the main purpose of the “sunset” provision was so that Social Security and Medicare would expire, and a GOP-controlled Congress would just never get around to voting to keep it around. It’s once again proof that Republicans think voters are extremely stupid. Scott really does seem to think that if Republicans just kill these programs passively instead of taking a vote against them, people wouldn’t notice or blame the GOP. In reality, of course, people tend to notice when their checks stop showing up or their doctor won’t see them anymore. And contrary to the fantasies of McCarthy and Scott, voters are not confused about what party, exactly, wants to slash these programs. As Heather “Digby” Parton reminded us at Salon recently, “Republicans have been trying to do away with these vital programs from the moment they were introduced.”
Sorry everyone, the past three elections notwithstanding, I still think 40+ percent of Americans ARE as stupid as the Repubs think they are. How on earth did all those Repubs on Long Island get voted in even AFTER all the crap of the past 7 years? No, I am nowhere near as upbeat as so many of you. I still think 40+ percent of the country’s population always goes back to the party that keeps abusing them. Why? Well, the only thing I can think of is, they REALLY ARE as stupid as the party thinks they are (or as racist).
And Denis, what on earth does farting have to do with teachers??? I don’t get the joke.
I get where you’re coming from. The fact is there’s always been a sadly large percentage of people (not just in this country) who are just plain stupid. What’s important to remember is that while significant this percentage contains a mix of people who are intellectually incapable of normal thinking and reasoning and people who are willfully ignorant. They live lives and do jobs that prove they have otherwise normal intellectual capabilities but on some matters (politics is what we’re talking about here) they simply refuse to accept reality. They stick with what they were taught, often if not usually from an early age although sometimes they have an “aha!” moment later on that deep down inside they later realize was them getting suckered. And human nature is such that we don’t like admitting to ourselves, much less others that we’ve made a boneheaded decision/mistake or been suckered.
I lived my first 26 years in rural/small town America. Southern Illinois and I’m talking about the true southern part of the state – south of I-64. Back there, as elsewhere farmers virtually always (unless in church) prefaced the word Democrat with “goddamned.” “Goddamned Democrat(s)” Yes, they new it was Democrats (and usually the progressive ones) that gave them rural electrification, better roads, crop subsidies and other farm assistance they believed to their core by the time I came along (I’m 85 now) was their birthright. They still believe such things. This bullshit of Republicans who voted against stuff Biden got passed and have run around their districts taking credit for is nothing new. The GOP long ago, hell for my entire life has been convincing farmers THEY are their best friends, and that come hell or high water those farm programs won’t be cut! And farmers lap it up.
Even when Carter created incentives for U.S. farmers to increase production and export more crops which included taking on debt for bigger and newer equipment Republicans tried to horn in on credit. Then when Reagan became President he turned right around and FUCKED farmers, FAMILY farmers to the core. He curtailed the ability to market and export crops, and his administration set about systematically putting family farms into foreclosure and “Food Inc.” was ready to step in. Even then farmers in places like where I grew up who saw family farm after family farm lost due to govt. policies and actions during Reagan’s eight years didn’t have the scales fall from their eyes. It remained “Goddamned Democrats.” That’s what they knew. What they were raised with. And admitting such a core belief was wrong, that conservatives/Republicans had NEVER been on their side and were always looking to fuck over family farms & force them to sell to moneyed interests (whether for development or corporate Agribusiness) and Democrats had always been on their side is something they haven’t been able to bring themselves to do. How does a person admit everything they were taught and believed was horseshit all along? Again, I say human nature is such it’s a very hard thing to admit even to one’s self they’ve been wrong in a major way.
But that’s the WILLFUL ignorance/stupidity that matters. That’s so distressing. And that’s why that forty percent number you cite is what it is. If there was some way to affect human nature to be more willing to admit error, to look at the world and their situation with objective eyes that number would drop by at least ten percent and politically it would be a whole new ballgame. I wish I knew how to get through to people to do that. Maybe someday, someone smarter than me will.
I say “Amen” to every word you have said above, Denis. Yes, that is EXACTLY what I am talking about – people who if they allowed their eyes, ears and brains to open they would see and hear that everything they heard and believe about Repubs and Democrats is actually, in practice and reality, the EXACT opposite. But how do you break thru to people who’s opinions were set years ago and no way will they ever permit nonsense like “facts” or “reality” to affect what they believe? Yup, those are the exact people I am talking about. You mention people who are so competent at their everyday jobs and seem (when you talk to them) to be otherwise quite intelligent but they just CANNOT see reality in one little domain, be it politics or whatever. My absolute favourite EVER example of this is Roger Waters. Musical genius. Inarguable genius. But a hatred of Jews so deep and profound that the people who protect themselves from those who want to kill them are the criminals and the terrorists who killed athletes at the 1972 games, the people who blew up planes in Jordan in 1970, the people whose Imams tell them to find a way into Israel to knife to death as many Jews as they possibly can before they themselves get killed, the mothers who are proud of their children who blow themselves up in order to kill jews, and on and on, THESE are the beautiful sweet people who just want to live, and those horrible Jews who came out of Hitler’s ovens who took back the land that had been ours going back 3800+ or- years, WE are the bad ones! But our murderers are good “because they have a right to “resist” ” Thank you Mahatma fucking Waters! You know what his “tell” is Denis? He always says “how can I hate Jews? I have Jewish friends!” THAT is the sound of all Jew-haters right there!!! Brilliant, GENIUS musician! Dumb-ass racist. Same exact person. YES Denis, these are the exact people I am talking about and why Trump or DeSantis has a real chance in 18 months. People you would think are smart, but all they can say is “goddamned Democrats” or “Fucking Jews, poor sweet Palestinians” when facts scream “No, its the exact opposite!!!” Same exact “impervious to facts and reality” shit. THAT is exactly why I take nothing for granted in any election!! Pleasure talking with you Denis 🙂
I call them John Birch Society Republicans. I have been dealing with these idiots since the late 50’s. They are convinced that our government is full of Communists who want to destroy democracy, not looking at how Republicans and Republican and corporate money are actually destroying democracy. I call them Idiots on Parade and periodically they manage get a lot of other idiots to support them. I notice that these other idiots are typically paranoid, bitter and extremely judgmental, which generally means they are Christians as well. The true miracle will be if democracy actually survives Republicans and Christians, the new fascists.
Would some kind soul please explain to me the origin of ‘woke’. The only usage I know is in a phrase like ‘he woke up’ whare it’s the past tense of the verb ‘to wake’. It simply doesn’t exist on it’s own. You may be ‘awake’ but never ‘woke’
Or is it just one of those cant and meaningless phrases beloved of some barely literate US politicians? (similar to referring to the PRC (People’s Republic of China) as ‘CCP’ (Chinese Communist Party)