The Grand Old Tea Party | The Nation.
A Democratic president begins a new term in the White House. Two years later, America votes a cadre of aggressive conservatives into Congress, loaded for bear. At first the Republican establishment, thrilled to have the Democrats on the run, puts its wariness about the fire-breathers aside. Within a few years, though, the new guys throw out all the old rules of consensus and compromise, and the establishment shows signs of buyer’s remorse. One of the new conservatives, a bulky, take-no-prisoners senator who sees socialist quislings everywhere, takes control of the agenda (Read more…)
This is an extract from Cicero’s legal defense of Sestius, delivered in 56 BCE. Cicero is often considered to be the founding father of ‘republicanism’ but has influenced the likes of Edmund Burke and Friedrich von Hayek. In the speech, he articulates the conservative program for defending the republic against ‘populist’ reform. The names and the policies may be different, but the underlying issues remain the same:
‘Lucius Cassius moved his law concerning the secret ballot: the people thought its liberty was at stake in its passage; the foremost men of the community disagreed, fearing that the masses’ rashness, exercised (Read more…)
Filed under: conservatism Tagged: Conservatism, far-right, US Politics
A conservatism is spreading that the Tories can’t fathom | John Harris | Comment is free | The Guardian.
A month or so ago, when the public’s opposition to any intervention in Syria was revealed, the stock explanation of their views was pretty simple – boiling down to Iraq, the unhinged premiership of Tony Blair, and people’s instinctive understanding of what is now known as ”overstretch”.
But something else was in the air: a very British kind of scepticism, coupled with an instinctive belief that other nations’ wars are usually best left alone, and a general sense of people turning inward in (Read more…)
The latest work by American artist Michael D’Antuono has once again drawn ire from US conservatives for pointing out the hypocrisy amongst their ranks.
His latest work, The Conservative Christ, depicts Jesus with an AK-47 hoisted into their air, clutching tightly to a pot of gold, and sneering derisively at a poor, old man. By illustrating precisely what Jesus would not do, D’Antuono draws attention to the awkward dissonance between Conservative’s sociopolitical beliefs and their supposed adherence to Christian values.
It was in an attempt to understand this conflict that inspired him to create the work.
It seems like (Read more…)
Canada’s annual protest against women’s rights was held at Parliament Hill on May 9, 2013, drawing thousands of right-wing busybodies who can’t keep their authoritarianism in their pants.
The name of the yearly “March For Life” is misleading, because most of the religious fanatics who attend these events are very selective about their concern for life. They almost exclusively focus on unborn fetuses, and spare almost no thought for actual human beings who have left the womb. Causes of premature death such as war, capital punishment, poverty, pollution, depression and unsafe working conditions are barely on their radar, if at (Read more…)
Some years, Earth Day clicks for people in a profound way. I’ve spoken to a few who were distinctly non-plussed with how things didn’t come together for them and their dreams this year.
If you need some optimism for the rest of your week, check out this compendium. Pay attention to the ages of those in photos, and immediately scroll to the bottom to read what our dear Cascadian friends to the south got up to at U-Dub. What would that look like in your community?
Embrace peace, watch your footprint, look up for bald eagles, imagine the future you (Read more…)
Republicans and even Democrats have been found to think their constituents much more conservative than they are in fact. It’s no surprise, therefore, that they govern according to false perception and at odds with the public they purport to serve.
Conducted by the University of California’s David Broockman and University of Michigan’s Christopher Skovron, the survey of nearly 2,000 legislators from across America documents politicians’ perceptions of their constituents’ views on hot-button issues like universal health care and same-sex marriage. It then compares those perceptions with constituents’ actual views.
The juxtaposition reveals a jarring truth: Both Republican and Democratic . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: But They’re Not Alone. U.S. Politicians Overestimate Their Constituents Conservatism
Sideshow Steve Harper understands the power of fear to distract and manipulate his supporters. He conjures up images of threats and dangers and watches his Conservative flock recoil in shock and terror.
Two new studies confirm the brain differences between conservative and liberal minds.
First, in the American Journal of Political Science, a team of researchers including Peter Hatemi of Penn State and Rose McDermott of Brown University studied the relationship between our deep-seated tendencies to experience fear—tendencies which vary from person to person, partly for reasons that seem rooted in our genes–and our political beliefs. What they
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: New Studies Confirm Conservatives are Fear-Driven
This was originally published at Open Left, I am republishing it here as a starting point to further updates on these topics and themes. – D.
Last weekend Paul wrote:
Moreover, by the 1870s, British liberals had become quite aware that their previous understanding of economic freedom was a hollow joke, producing vast legions of downtrodden urban poor, and so they began seeking another way to think about freedom, closer to that which slaves have always understood-freedom as a gaining of power for those at the bottom, not to be dominated from above, but to be lifted up
. . . → Read More: Autonomy For All: One Liberalism Through the Ages
From the people who suggested the modest idea of occupying Wall Street, Adbusters has sent out a new half dozen suggestions to fix the economic cancers of capitalism. Here’s my favourite, and it’s a little policy wonky:
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: What Does Adbusters Ask of You in 2013?
If you want to see why there isn’t much of a real left wing in the USA, this graph of those seeking the White House in 2008 pretty much covers it.
2008 US presidential candidates show little actual left wing juice.
If you want proof of how the neoliberal US Democratic Party is like the neoliberal Harper Conservatives, see this great piece:
Rahm Emanuel is not just any Democrat. He was Barack Obama’s first chief of staff, responsible for hiring many of the Obama administration’s key personnel. One of Obama’s appointees, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, is a former
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Privatization Via Blackmail
I think that progressives need to wake up.
You see, the conservatives have been at war with us for decades now. It isn’t simply that they prefer slightly different policies than us. They want to dismantle all of the positive work done over the last few generations and put in place a system, a state, that reflects exactly their own beliefs.
Yes, it’s true.
The reason the general public doesn’t
Assorted content to end your week.
- Dene Moore reports on Enbridge’s efforts to turn the Northern Gateway pipeline review process into an inquisition against critics. But I’ll point out that thanks to the Harper Cons, that strategy is even more insidious than it seems at first glance: because of inflexible timelines the Cons have deliberately built into review processes, any time Enbridge can waste on such side issues only raises the likelihood of the project receiving approval by default.
- Meanwhile, Carol Linnitt compares the sources of funding and support for critics and proponents of the Gateway pipeline –
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links
Less than 24 hours ago, I pointed out the inconsistency and confusing manner in which Carleton is dealing with the Clayton H. Riddell affair. It almost seems as if they’re deliberately confusing.
Though, it’s not as if the press is helping. The Canadian Press has been issuing statements and “facts” that contradict what Carleton is saying in other places, and most recently, CBC adds further to this confusion and clusterfuck. A five-person steering committee — dominated by the patron’s appointees and headed by Preston Manning — no longer approves key hiring and curriculum decisions, but is asked to provide “timely (Read more…)
If you’ve read Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein, you’ll have an understanding that in order for powers to implement (radical) neoliberalism (privatization, elimination of public services, etc.), it has to be pushed through, rather rapidly – jammed through, if you will. Essentially, people benefit from government intervention, regulation, social programs and other things civilians require for a stable and decent lifestyle (or at least survival). In order to eliminate these expectations of services, great shock and awe acts must be preformed by said government at the time to get away with radical privatization.
She even cites a Canadian example, (Read more…)
What is government if not a living reminder of our human wretchedness, of the fall made secular, of the post-lapsarian world and the prison house of procedure and law that outlines and structures our existence? Our political institutions are decorated with the heritage of Christianity and Western civilization, and no matter how hard we try to be secular in unwritten form, we as Canadians are procedurally still beneath a monarchy crafted in the ages of kings and queens. The question—if we cannot control ourselves, then who will?—echoes in the halls of western government, and no less in the legislative
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Government and Human Wretchedness
I had previously been under the impression that the Huffington Post was a generally a left-liberal sort of enterprise. However, it appears that one does not win a Pulitzer these days without some token “dissent.” After all, we know how difficult it is for right-wing perspectives to be heard in our current media environment.
Enter one J.J. McCullough, Huff Canada’s resident conservative iconoclast—or something. In a recent blog, McCullough weighed in on the question of the ongoing student protests in Quebec, providing a sort of “media survey” wherein he concludes, essentially, that the corporate media is not
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Re: Huffington Post & the Quebec Spring (Again!)
Last week, our favourite sweatervest hoarding Prime Minister made the world’s laziest Nazi/Hitler invocation during Question Period. This is the latest in a string of Hitler references made by sundry politicos in Ottawa during 2012, and we’re not even half way through the year. His gaffe brought jeers and tears of laughter to denizens of the House and online. For your viewing pleasure, witness the exchange between Mulcair the Bearded Sandwich Explainer and Stevie Soulless Eyes HERE.
After I was done laughing and wiping tears of hilarity from my eyes, I went back to the Politics Respun crew, and
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Springtime for Hitler in Ottawa
I have become very weary of being perpetually assaulted, all day long, and being utterly helpless to defend myself from the onslaught. If it isn’t advertisers shoving things I don’t want down my throat, it’s the bank ramming their hands in my pockets. The media fills my eyes and ears with sights and sounds that wage war on my mind. If I exercise my right to vocalize dissent against the corporate bedfellows and pet projects of the federal government, I find my hands are tied, and my mouth gagged. When I thought I couldn’t be violated more, I turned around
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: A Handmaid’s Tale: Intended as Fiction, Not a Guidebook
So what happened in Alberta’s election yesterday, other than people telling pollsters that they want change, then chickening out when it came time to mark an X.
The Politics, Re-spun crew deconstructs the Wildrose effect here:
Are you surprised that the Wildrose Party did not win? No. Discontent polls well, but people sobered up when they cast their ballots. – Stephen
Surprised – no. Even Alberta isn’t quite ready to drink that special purple Kool-Aid tonic that Wildrose was offering up. Clearly they have a large number of sympathizers, and had the potential to do some damage in traditional PC
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Deconstructing the Wildrose Effect
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- Danielle Martin discusses the importance of federal involvement in Canada’s public health care system: Whose job is it to co-ordinate health-care reform in Canada? Canadians expect our federal government to play that role. We want to know that wherever we live, we will have access to an equivalent basket of services. We want to know that our governments are buying in bulk whenever possible, maximizing savings. And we want assurances that some basic standards are being met from coast to coast to coast. Health care may be a provincial responsibility, but we know
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links
As Albertans face an election later this month and the Conservative Party is seriously challenged by an even more conservative party, the Wildrose Party, we might stop for a moment and ask just how conservative Albertans really are. If the question pertains to social conservatism, the answer is not very.
Last November, a survey taken in Lethbridge by the Citizen Society Research Lab at