The Problem with Today’s Conservativism

Posted: May 10, 2014 by Marner in Conservative Shenanigans, Current Events, Open Thread, Politics
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As we near the midterm elections and immediately start down the path of the 2016 Presidential elections, it seems as if the two sides of the political spectrum, liberal and conservative, are getting farther apart. Where once there was a sort of comity and willingness to work toward consensus for the good of the country, we are now so divided that nothing can be accomplished without a solid one-party majority. In my opinion, this gulf between liberals and conservatives boils down to one thing: The System. Conservatives believe if they can’t accomplish their goals, they must destroy the system to ensure it can never be used against them again. This has been on full display in the last few weeks.

Conservatives will destroy the system to get what they want without regard as to who may get harmed in the process. When Obamacare was passed and the States had to decide if they were going to accept Medicaid expansion, some states controlled by conservatives refused, but a number of them have taken steps to ensure those legislative or gubernatorial decisions can’t be reversed. Republican state legislators won’t allow voter referendums on Medicaid expansion in states where the public overwhelmingly supports expansion. In Tennessee, The Republican-controlled legislature passed a bill that would require any Governor to get approval by both chambers before he could expand Medicaid. Their intent was to prevent a future Governor from ever providing access to health care to the poor.

Conservatives believe the judicial system is not a co-equal branch of government when it rules against them. In Oklahoma, the State Supreme Court recently granted a stay in the execution of two men because of a question on whether or not the state had to release information on the drugs to be used for the execution. Governor Fallin refused to recognize the authority of the State Supreme Court and said the executions would take place as scheduled. At the same time, the state legislature immediately started impeachment proceedings against the five justices who voted for the stay. The blatant threat to the justices worked, because the day after the impeachment was announced they reversed their stay. Conservatives are quick to use the threat of impeachment against their opponents, especially the President, but when their own Governor blatantly violates one of the central tenets of the Constitution they are 100% behind her.

When domestic terrorists descend upon a small town in Nevada and threaten government employees, law enforcement officers, and the local residents with guns and bombs, conservatives are full-throated in their support and become incensed at the domestic terrorist label. However, when peaceful protestors stage demonstrations against income inequality, conservatives believe they are fully justified in calling them terrorists and want to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

Conservatives are trying to destroy the concept of voting rights. In state after state where they control the legislatures, they have passed draconian voter ID laws with the sole intent of making it harder for minorities, students, and the poor to vote. In press conferences and in arguments before the courts, they claim these laws are necessary to combat voter fraud, but they have yet to prove that voter fraud is a problem or that photo ID would do anything to prevent it.

We need a two-party system in this country that provides balance. While liberals have slowly been moving to the center of the political spectrum, conservatives have taken a radical turn to the right. They have embraced the radical fringe, like the Teahadists and the Oath Keepers, sacrificing their integrity in order to win statewide elections. We can never get back to a functioning productive government as long as the radicals control the right, so we must continue to fight them and put their beliefs and actions on full display. Shining light on them will lead to more and more voters seeing them for what they truly are. Radical conservatives will win fewer and fewer elections, only being successful in small areas where the Teahadists and Birthers dominate the electorate. Eventually the Republican Party will change, or it will disappear into history with a new moderate conservative party taking it’s place.

  1. meursault1942 says:

    Good post, Marner. The dynamic you’re describing goes hand in hand with the “I got mine, fuck you” attitude that so many conservatives espouse.

    To me, though, the fundamental problem with today’s conservatism is its extremely acrimonious divorce from reality. That’s what lies at the root of pretty much every conservative delusion and at the root of its ongoing derangement. That’s where the “my opinions are just as valid as your facts” aspect of conservatism comes from, the “facts must be balanced by talking points” attitude (played out pretty much every time they trot out some pundit to debate a scientist; in fact, that pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?), the hatred and dismissal of expertise, the constant lying and accompanying demand that you accept their lies as fact, the shrugging off of all the terrible consequences conservative positions necessarily bring, the bubble they cower in so as to keep reality away, all of it. You can’t find a conservative position that isn’t based on a lie, and the lie at the foundation of a conservative position comes from this “I reject reality and substitute my own” attitude.

    The crazy thing is, even when you show this to them, they opt for fantasy every time. Remember how furiously they were unskewing polls in 2012 to “correct” reality’s liberal bias? And we kept telling them it was a stupid thing to do, but it was the only thing they could think of to do. And they bought it so thoroughly that they were celebrating Romney’s impending glorious victory. And then, of course, Romney got his ass kicked, just like every non-unskewed source was predicting. Did the harsh slap of reality wake them up? No, it did not. It made them cling ever more tightly to their lies. It made them retreat even further into their bubble (not content with walling themselves off from reality online, the B4V crowd is now talking about how they’re doing it in real life…that’s a pretty pathetic state of affairs).

    Conservatives simply have abandoned the real world for an alternate world. Until they get over their fear of being outside the bubble, until they decide to rejoin us here in reality, they’re always going to be lost in their closed loop of derangement, dishonesty, and outright insanity.

    • Marner says:

      At times it seems conservatives are like the Japanese soldier found on the island years after the war ended. They just go on in their bubble not realizing the world has changed around them. Then when they discover it, they lash out and embrace fantasies of shooting wars in the streets. Some, like the domestic terrorists at the Bundy property, are doing their best to make their fantasies come true.

      • meursault1942 says:

        “At times it seems conservatives are like the Japanese soldier found on the island years after the war ended.”

        Oh yes, they are very much like that. Retired Spook in particular is the Soichi Yokoi of B4V.

        “They just go on in their bubble not realizing the world has changed around them. Then when they discover it, they lash out and embrace fantasies of shooting wars in the streets.”

        And of course, Spook is still on about that, saying in the most recent thread that he would gladly lay down his life for liberty and blah blah blah (of course, couched in the “it’s your fault I beat you!” language of a domestic abuser). He’s Soichi Yokoi crossed with Don Quixote, and he’s too chickenshit to own up to his derangement, constantly trying to blame everybody else for his intense desire to be a treasonous domestic terrorist.

    • meursault1942 says:

      Here’s an example of what I’m saying–and an older example, too: A Key Reason Why U.S. Politicians Don’t Understand Science. The lede says it all: “In 1995, Congressional Republicans shut down the Office of Technology Assessment. For 23 years, this agency had published reports that provided legislators with nonpartisan analyses of science and technology issues.”

      Would it shock anybody to learn that mendacious asshole Newt Gingrich shut down the OTA because it kept saying things he didn’t like?

      The first rumblings of Congressional discontent emerged in the 1980s, when OTA published reports raising questions about the technological feasibility of the Reagan administration’s Strategic Defense Initiative. In a 1985 assessment, OTA concluded that SDI’s goal of protecting the entire U.S. population from a nuclear attack would be “impossible to achieve if the Soviets are determined to deny it to us.” Three years later, another OTA report warned that SDI would stand a significant chance of “catastrophic failure” due to software glitches.
      Those reports didn’t win friends among conservatives. And, when Newt Gingrich initiated the shutdown of OTA in 1995, some in Washington referred to it as “Reagan’s Revenge.” A 2001 comment by Gingrich, explaining the reason OTA was killed, pretty much said it all: “We constantly found scientists who thought what they were saying was not correct.” Meanwhile, other nations shook their heads in disbelief. “That the leading technological state in the world, a democracy like us, should have abolished its own main means of democratic assessment left us aghast,” wrote Lord Kennet, who created the OTA-inspired European Parliamentary Technology Assessment Network.

      It’s the same sort of thing as the GOP forbidding the CDC to collect data about gun violence, the NC GOP forbidding state agencies to acknowledge climate change or include its effects in their projections and analysis, etc. When the facts are too scary, conservatives simply shut out the facts–problem solved!

      And of course, Newt’s alternative to the OTA was to just go out and find a “scientist” who will tell you what you want to hear, then consider the matter closed. It’s conservatism’s “my uninformed opinions are just as valid as your facts!” credo in action.

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