Wingers and Wackos

Targator's excellent diary on new research about how human brains process political dissonance is worth more discussion. The main thesis is this:

Essentially, it appears as if partisans twirl the cognitive kaleidoscope until they get the conclusions they want, and then they get massively reinforced for it, with the elimination of negative emotional states and activation of positive ones. The result is that partisan beliefs are calcified, and the person can learn very little from new data.

As I noted when the diary was first posted, I fully admit that I can barely stand to listen to wingers talk. I've given that matter some serious thought and arrived at my own 'partisan' explanation:

I don't want to hear what wingers have to say because I fundamentally don't trust them. They twist reality and distort truth to match their ideologies. And they are incapable of honest introspection.

The fact is, I used to be aggressively independent in my political practices. I'd listen openly to ideas from any quarter and respond without defensiveness. I didn't care whether an elected official was a Democrat, a Republican or a Communist, I'd give them all the benefit of my criticism and praise in equal measure, looking always for the common ground. As it turns out, I was moderate to a fault.

Because what I learned the hard way is that the Republican party, pushed inexorably toward the right by Christian arrogance and corporate greed, has chosen to put partisan power ahead of public good. This is most evidenced in the spectacular double standard around presidential conduct. Wingers took Bill Clinton on with a vengance for lying about Monica, but they are stunningly silent on the disaster that is George Bush. They are tolerating his criminal war in Iraq, his record deficits, his gross incompetence and his cronyism with little more than quiet hand-wringing.

Democrats, on the other hand, have a history of being self-critical in ways that probably don't serve us well. Our big tent is a chaotic place where unity has been less important than doing what we believe is the right thing. Progressive North Carolinians, for example, have called Jim "Delay" Black out as a shady character at best and a crook at worst. Many of us want him out of his speaker's position, and some of us want him out of office. We've challenged Easley on his lazy leadership. We've pushed on Price and Watt to get more engaged in restoring our Democracy. And we've done it all in the public eye.

So until I see wingers taking accountability for their own failures, you'll get no more mister nice guy from me. I'm leaving moderation to the moderates and fighting fire with fire.

I may not have $100,000 to burn every week on my ego like Art Pope does, but I do have my 2 cents. And I'm pissed.



You know I'll pick on Dems who deserve it..

just as quickly as Republicans. I'm trying to take a deep breath these days before posting simply because I don't want to do the GOP's job for them. We have a lot of work to do to regain control of the house. The same issue (corruption) that could give us control of the U.S. House could lose us control in the N.C. House. I don't want anyone who is dishonest in a position of leadership even if it he a Democrat, but I also don't want to paint every other Democrat with the same brush simply because we pushed so hard to remove one man.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

You're right about this.

I agree 100% and do not advocate gratuitous swipes at anyone. I simply argue that if we're known as responsible enough to clean our own house, we'll also be known as responsible enough to manage the people's business competently and fairly.

I think Republicans are rightly being painted as a corrupt and shady party that is more focused on power than on the common good.


Oh and Black isn't the only person with record requested by the State Board of Elections. Two other Dems and a Rep had their finance records requested as well. I'll get the links and post them in a bit. I'm working on something else right now.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Danforth nails it

The Washington Post has a remarkable story about ex-Senator Danforth (R) and the Christian right.

"The Republican Party has been taken over by something that it's not," Danforth says over a suitably austere lunch of steamed vegetables in a well-appointed 40th-floor St. Louis club overlooking the Mississippi. "How do traditional Republicans put up with this? They put up with this because it's a winning combination, for now. It won't last."

"It won't stand the light of day," Danforth says in one of several conversations. "The more people think about it, the more people will resist it. People do not want a sectarian political party, including a lot of people who are traditional Republicans."

Richard Land gets a big laugh out of that.

The combative voice of the Southern Baptist Convention and confidant of White House political guru Karl Rove has little use for Danforth, however grand his religious and political pedigrees. He describes the former senator as "what was wrong with the Republican Party and why they were a minority party."

Herr Land is just like Darth Pope, both egomaniacal, power-hungry asshats who put partisan success above all else, including Jesus Christ. I know. I was raised as a southern Baptist . . . and my churches were hate-filled and hypocritcal beyond belief. If there's a hell, these guys deserve one-way tickets.

You know, sometimes people

You know, sometimes people can be too quick to put a label on others. There are those of us who are merely people with our own opinions formed over a life time of listening, reading and trying to determine for ourselves just where the truth lies. Usually it is smewhere near the in-between with both truths and falsehoods from either labeled side. The trick is to be true to your own heart and conscience, and you can't go far wrong. Above all please continue to listen, read and learn. BB