Monday, October 06, 2008

Typical Conservative Wedge Issues

What shall we discuss?


Involvement in two wars? Economy melting down? Our government torturing people? Millions of Americans having no health care? Illegal surveillance on U.S. citizens? Suspension of habeas corpus? Energy crisis? Environmental disaster on the horizon?


NO…. These aren’t ever the issues that conservatives want to talk about when it gets close to an election – presidential or otherwise. You know what’s really important.


In Groups and Out Groups


Keeping “god” in the pledge of allegiance. Preventing people from burning flags. Stopping the expansion of gay rights. Allowing prayer in schools. Kicking immigrant workers out of the country. Controlling women’s reproductive rights. Teaching creationism alongside evolution. Prevention of science on zygotes.


Us vs. Them.


With a few weeks to go in the election, the McCain campaign wants to question Obama’s patriotism, his acquaintances, his “differences” from us, his “anti-American” statements on the wars. These have followed his recent attacks on Obama for sexism and wanting to pervert kindergarteners.


It’s possible to be a rational conservative. It’s just that there are precious few of them, particularly with an election day so close. It would just be sadly comical if it weren’t for the fact that there are so many Americans hungry for the red meat of irrationality.

18 comments:

DB said...

It is because this is the history of the Conservative Party. You win by drawing lines in the sand. You call other unpatriotic. You call them communists. If there aren't commies around, you use the adversary of the day...terrorists. People are calling Obama a terrorist now. It is fear and its intent is to make the distinction between "us" and "them". That's where you go when you can't win on the issues.

PhillyChief said...

Rational conservatives are like religious moderates. They may cringe and personally object to the us vs them rhetoric and mud slinging, but they don't speak out against it, just like most Muslims don't speak out against fatwas and honor killings or Jews speak out about modesty patrols, or Christians against gay bashings. When you turn a blind eye to such things simply because it does advance your cause, you fear public objection may hurt your cause, or both, guess what? You're an accomplice to it all, and deserve no mercy.

So in a way I'm turning the tables on the us vs them in that I'm saying if you don't object to such things from your group, you are them. Certainly liberals for the most part have no trouble turning on our own. There's far less ends justify the means than on the conservative side. I will say that there have been conservative voices who have spoken out recently against the McCain shenanigans, especially against Palin, and they've been met with an avalanche of anger from their fellows. Perhaps those folk are the bravest of all, since it's far harder in an us vs them environment to turn around and criticize the "us", and perhaps that's why such folk are few and far between.

Cephus said...

A lot of us rational conservatives do speak out against the religious nonsense and the divisive behavior, it's just that we're drowned out by tax-exempt churches and well-funded professional speakers who make a bundle off of the hate speech. There are a hell of a lot of secular conservatives in the world, but when you're up against the FOX News and Rush Limbaugh's of the world, it's hard to get through.

the chaplain said...

It would just be sadly comical if it weren’t for the fact that there are so many Americans hungry for the red meat of irrationality.

That meat's pretty rotten. I'll be really glad when this damn election is over.

bullet said...

It’s possible to be a rational conservative. It’s just that there are precious few of them, particularly with an election day so close.

No us v. them here. Nosiree.

I'll be really glad when this damn election is over.

Amen, chappy. Amen!

John Evo said...

Hey Bullet, have you ever read a post from me that claims I'm not PART of "us vs. them"? I think it's time to look around at the realities of the world for average schmucks and see what side it makes sense to align yourself with.

There has been a massive culture war going on for at least my life time (55 years). I think it's coming to a head. Maybe not the final battle, but a very significant one.

Obama will give a tax cut to 95% of Americans but be able to rectify our economic problems on the backs on 5%? Yeah. It can be done. But guess what? That "5%" is not a group to be fucked with.

Cleverly, they even know how to get some clown with a family making $30,000 a year in West Virginia thinking that he is voting in his own best interests when he votes conservative! LOL!

But there you go. Whether the joker is a fool or not is of no real concern to me. He's with "them". That's the reality. And "They" are going to make things very, very ugly if they don't get their way.

McCain and Palin, in an effort to do whatever they can to swing this election, are going into a dark place. If they win, we lose. If they lose, those millions of folks whipped up into a frenzy are going to represent a real threat. If just one per cent of them are kooky enough to think Obama is a terrorist and that they would be acting as a true patriot to take him out - they'll try. If something happens to Obama after getting elected, I fully blame the McCain campaign for being complicit.

PhillyChief said...

Those same cooks may shoot McCain as well, since Palin is more religiously to their liking. Of course the conspiracy theorist in me sees some NeoCon Star Chamber scenario where they arrange for that to happen, since Palin would make an even better puppet than W has been. Think Being John Malkovic, only as a horror movie.

John Evo said...

Hey Philly - they sure as shit might shoot him after his rally today.

Grumpy Lion said...

"It’s possible to be a rational conservative."

Maybe, but they'd still be wrong on everything.

bullet said...

Evo, you can't criticize a group for polarizing the electorate into "us v. them" and painting the opponent as "the other" and then do it yourself. If it's ok for you, it's ok for them.

The culture war "has been coming to a head" since 1877. Hasn't happened yet.

Obama will give a tax cut to 95% of Americans...

Since you mentioned it:

That would be wonderful if if 95% of Americans actually paid taxes. I know it's a popular liberal myth that the rich get a free ride, but the truth of it is this: As of 2006, the top 5% in this country accounted for 36.6% of the total AGI, but 60% of the total income tax revenue. You know how much the bottom 50% paid? 2.99 percent of the total with an average tax rate of 3%. And that's with over half of that demo not paying anything at all. Everyone with an AGI above 32 grand is paying 97% of income taxes at an average rate of 14%.

A tax rebate to someone who doesn't pay taxes is not the same as welfare, medicaid or any other social program. It is taking my money and giving it directly to someone else. That seem fair to you?

This rational conservative has had enough of the "neo-cons" and godbots, but not to the point of allowing the left to blantantly take my money to redistribute.

John Evo said...

Bullet - I'm NOT criticizing conservatives for "us vs them". My criticism is about "TYPICAL conservative wedge issues". I listed the issues that we SHOULD be battling over, then I listed the ones that conservatives TYPICALLY use to divide us - a bunch of irrelevancies.

Now as to your claims on taxation, I'll give you a break. At least until you can provide links to the statistics you quoted above. Before you do too much research, you might want to READ THIS

There are a few problems (other than statistical ones) with your tax theories.

Let's say the top 30% of income earners, representing 60% of total income actually are forced to pay 95% of all tax revenue. Is this unfair?

On the surface it sure LOOKS like it from a purely statistical standpoint.

But the problems arise when you consider that 1. By going all the way to 30%, you've come down to people making "only" about $100,000 a year. 2. Those people wouldn't be looking at a higher tax rate, even though they are doing quite nicely 3. As you work you way up closer and closer to the top 5%, the income levels increase exponentially. 4. In a fair society two things should happen. a. you SHOULD be able to make more and more and b. you should take a larger responsibility for your good fortune. 5. If someone is making $3 million or $20 million or $100 million a year and you tax them at a much higher rate than low income people you don't HURT them. And you HELP all people.

Finally, let me just point out that when you say "I" don't want to have to give money to people who didn't pay much in the way of taxes, it isn't "YOU" who is doing it. "YOU" (and I assume you're not among the wealthy) probably pay a couple hundred dollars a year into social safety net programs. The least of our strictly financial concerns are the costs of these programs. If you paid $5,000 in taxes last year, nearly $3,000 of that went straight into defense spending and related military programs.

Stop buying into conservative talking points designed to protect the super wealthy. They want you to believe that it's about "YOU". It's not.

PhillyChief said...

Oh Mr. Bullet, just because you copy/paste from right wingnut sources and not Bible sites like AiG doesn't make you any less ignorant or anything but a brainwashed regurgitator. What that propaganda of yours ignores is that income tax is not the only tax most have to pay in this country. There's federal payroll and excise taxes as well as state and local taxes which, for most Americans, accounts for a greater tax burden than income tax and is a burden that the top 5% who earn a paycheck pay a disproportionately lower percentage than the middle and lower class. Furthermore, although that top 5% may pay 60% of total income tax revenue, they are making far more while also seeing their incomes increase whereas the rest of American's incomes have stagnated. The top 1% have seen income increases of 42% since 2002! In 2006, the share of income going to wages was at a record low while corporate profits were at a record high. That disparity no doubt has only increased since.

Now common sense should tell you that even if there was a flat tax like your rich overlords want, they'd still be contributing the majority of the income tax revenue for the simple fact that they have so much more income, so I fail to see the point of your 60% figure. As for feeling sorry for your rich Republican overlords, with Obama we're talking about a projected increase of the top income tax from the current rate of 35% to somewhere between 39-40%. Far from radical, that's merely a return to levels under Clinton and levels well below what they've been throughout most of the history of our income tax system, so boo hoo.

As for "taking my money and giving it directly to someone else", what else is new? Am I happy about about a $700billion bailout, especially to AIG who once aided by the government, went on a corporate retreat to a CA spa? How about $10billion/month in Iraq? Subsidies for Big Oil? Our money is taken from us every year and given to someone else. The difference is, you and I and the rest of the 95% of Americans have increasingly less to take from whereas the other 5% has increasingly more. THAT seem fair to you?

John Evo said...

PHilly Said: As for feeling sorry for your rich Republican overlords, with Obama we're talking about a projected increase of the top income tax from the current rate of 35% to somewhere between 39-40%.

Bullet, did you know that as recently as the Republican Eisenhower administration, the wealthiest people in the country paid about 90% in taxes? That the "liberal" Kennedy came in and slashed it to 78%? That those were the days of greatest American prosperity? We had the best of everything. The rest of the world wasn't close. It's because of those days that so many still dream of coming to America.

Yeah, it was a real heavy burden on those guys who earned $100 million and had to "make do" on $22 million. But, hey, defend THEM! Protect their right to pay less and less - because this is AMERICA, damn it!

bullet said...

As far as I've been able to find, taxfoundation.org isn't a right wing nut website. By their numbers, the top 30% gets down to about 60 grand. That's hardly rich. That's 2006 numbers, the most recent I could find.

bullet said...

Fuck it, you're all right. Fuck those people who actually made smart decisions and made a lot of money.

Fuck them for investing so heavily and increasing the overall wealth in this country. Fuck them for all that money they give to charities here and worldwide.

Most of all, though, fuck those people who worked their asses off just enough to make $250,000 a year - putting them in the top 5%. Fuck those small business owners for being successful at keeping a nice percentage of the American public employed.

Fuck them all when they buy a lot of property and actually pay for it, increasing the money in their communities with their property taxes.

Fuck them all and fuck me, too, I guess. If we wanted to be treated well, we shouldn't have reached for the American dream.

PhillyChief said...

Way to go there with a completely irrational rant, jackass.

The only answer to your faux dilemma is a flat tax. Is that what you want? Even your conservative masters aren't calling for that. You make more, you pay more in taxes. It's always been that way. You know what else? If you have more, you have more opportunities to make EVEN MORE than people with less. It's always been like that, too.

You really need to go look stuff up, and not just in your GOP email alerts with their talking points and other bullshit.

GOP word of the day - Socialism.
Can you use it in a sentence? Try it. Send in your best samples and enter to win a signed tube of lipstick from the wonderful governor (and future Vice President) Sarah Palin! You can't win if you don't enter. You betcha.

Remember folks,
• Barak (say "Barak" or even better, "Barak Hussein") wants to make America a socialist state.
• He'll cut military spending to fund social programs (good place to substitute today's word and say "socialist programs)
• He'll take your hard earned money away and give it to junkie whores who pump out babies for welfare checks
• He's a friend of terrorists
• He'll cut Medicare (remind your parents and grandparents, especially if they live in Florida)
• He'll teach your children how to have sex and encourage them by giving them condoms

Hail the GOP, for we are the REAL Americans

bullet said...

That's right philly, just mock and insult me until I go away.

Who's comparing whom to AiG?

PhillyChief said...

But if you went away, I couldn't mock you. Now insult, well, you've insulted yourself by being a mindless lapdog.