Two Perceptions of Matters from the Other Side

The first ‘perception’ is an observation of the Democrat elites allergic response to the Tea Party populism. The Tea Party gatherings, according to cricket racers accounts (polls), are as much as 40% . Even If you believe that the cricket racer might be shifting the numbers due to partisan bias in method or reporting … consider that even if the numbers of 2/5ths for you are not credible, to report as such, they are likely greater than a quarter. So, what reason is it that the elite on the left both deny the presence of Democrats in this movement and at the same time show considerable hostility towards it and their primary message? It seems likely that a primary reason is about intellectual turf. The Democrat elite self identify as being the party representing the interests of the common man against the big corporate and wealthy business interests in government. Thus when the common man, which is ontologically that which a populous rising contains, arrays itself against the Democrat elite that is a betrayal. In their naive view, populism should be primarily within their ranks, it should be an internal driving constituent driving force within their party. Them commoners are getting uppity. And inasmuch as they align themselves with the “other” party (which they identify as representing those big corporate and the wealthy) then that’s just plain wrong. This is then a likely cause of the Democrat elite’s allergy to the Tea Party, for populism should be within and supportive of them and, of course, should never primarily seek common ground with the other side.

Which brings me to the other consideration, Mr Obama in a recent speech noted that regarding tax increases for the wealthy that this “wasn’t in his (personal) best interest.” This is only half-true and the part that is true is uncharitable in its implicit assumptions. And the only reason for pointing that out, is that in my view, it is a notion shared by many if not most Democrats. First, let’s get the accuracy of this assertion out of the way. It is indeed against Mr Obama’s interest with respect to taxes to raise the taxes on the wealthy as he is one of those. But as a professional politician, inasmuch as he believes raising taxes on the wealthy raises tax income, more money for the government kitty is in Mr Obama’s direct interest. His “business” is government and more tax income directly aids his professional interest.

As for the uncharitable aspect of this observation this is more important. Because it is shared by those who share that opinion. Mr Obama is willing to support a measure which is against his personal best interest because he feels that measure is in the countries best interest, but … (and here’s the sting in the tail) he is unwilling to grant that motivation to those who oppose him, e.g., the Tea Party. The Tea Party gatherings are a populous movement and as such have dozens (or more) motivations for bringing people aboard, but the overriding motivation is cutting government size and spending. There is a direct parallel between those Mr Obama’s  “I support tax increases for the wealthy which is against my personal (short term) interest because it is in the countries best interest” and the Tea Party person who says “I support cutting government spending which is against my personal (short term) interest because it is in the countries best interest.” Democrats ascribe the first magnanimous statement to themselves but are too uncharitable to consider the same magnanimity to the other side. Consider for yourself how often you’ve heard the argument used by Democrats that these folks are “voting against their own interests.” Yep, that’s right. For exactly the same reason y’all do it if you’d have the graciousness to ascribe the same good motives to the other side. 

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29 comments

  1. So much here, I could argue with 3 or 4 things in each sentence, starting with your insipid use of “Democrat” as an adjective. Are you doing it unconsciously, having read nothing but propaganda for the last few years? So I’ll just pick a few things:

    1) 40% is ridiculous. A quick google shows one study that said 40% are Democrats OR Independents, with 13% being Democrats.

    2) What does it mean to be a Democrat? If you signed up as a Democrat when you registered to vote but haven’t voted for one in 20 years, are you still a Democrat? Does it matter?

    3) Why are you talking about the DemocratIC “elite” as being uniquely opposed to the Tea Party? It seems to me that the Dem rank and file are even more opposed.

    4) Your argument that it’s actually in Obama’s interest to raise taxes on the rich is clever but silly. It has the same form as the argument that there’s no such thing as altruism because it feels good to be altruistic.

    5) You appear to simultaneously recognize that Democrats see the Tea Partiers as voting against their own interest and claim that Democrats don’t believe it. Pick one.

    6) While there are certainly some people who vote against progressive taxation because they believe it’s morally wrong, there also seem to be a lot of people who have bought into trickle-down economics or “tax cuts increase revenue” or any number of other arguments that convince the unsophisticated that cutting taxes on the rich will help them. Not to mention the Joes the Plumber who think they’re going to be making $250,000 any day now.

    7) Your continued insistence that the Tea Party is primarily about cutting spending continues to be dubious. And even if they are “against spending” in the abstract, there’s no way they could get together against SPECIFIC spending in a way that matters. They’re not going to support cutting defense, medicare, or medicaid, and they refuse to support taxes, so how can we consider them either fiscally responsible, economically conservative, or actually against spending? Repealing health care reform, slashing welfare, and cutting the entire Department of Education ain’t going to balance the budget as long as we can’t raise taxes.

  2. Boonton says:

    1. No tax increases for the wealthy are on the table. Obama supports a reduction in income taxes on the less than $250K bracket. As it is mathematically impossible to earn a $250,001th dollar without first earning $250,000, even the wealthy get a tax cut under Obama. The tax increase you are talking about is George Bush’s tax increase. If you don’t believe me please show me a pdf of the signature page of the bill that is allegedly causing taxes to go up.

    2. “But as a professional politician, inasmuch as he believes raising taxes on the wealthy raises tax income, more money for the government kitty is in Mr Obama’s direct interest. His “business” is government and more tax income directly aids his professional interest.”

    This is silly on multiple levels:

    a. If gov’t starts taking in a lot of extra tax revenue it’s not like they are going to hire two Presidents….or create a ‘Super President’ position above President that Obama could take. In terms of politics ‘large gov’t’ doesn’t alter the zero sum nature of the game. If you want to be a Senator today you must win an election in one of the 100 possible seats. The same was true 30 years ago when gov’t was smaller. That the 100 Senators may control a $2.5T budget rather than just a $1.5T doesn’t alter the zero sum nature. If anything it makes it all the harder to capture and maintain a seat. This is in contrast to a private industry which has no such caps. If soft drink sales go from $150B to $500B the number of soft drink companies and high level soft drink executives goes up.

    b. Obama’s political career is essentially over. Assuming a 2nd term win there is no more serious elections for him to go after. Yes he may work for the Democratic party after his terms are up. He may even opt to become a Senator or seek to be appointed to the S.C. but for the most part history shows the Presidency is the peak of a politicans career. Yea maybe the old champ will come out of retirement now and then for a charity bout but the heavyweight belt is it!

    c. Needless to you you express the ‘ATM fallacy’ of gov’t here.

    Consider for yourself how often you’ve heard the argument used by Democrats that these folks are “voting against their own interests.” Yep, that’s right. For exactly the same reason y’all do it if you’d have the graciousness to ascribe the same good motives to the other side.

    How is the Tea Party acting against its personal interests? I’m willing to accept that a guy who says abolish social security or unemployment may be staking out a position that is actually against his personal self interest and that he is doing it because he thinks its the right policy for the whole country. I’ll give him that but that doesn’t alter the simple fact that he is wrong.

    At this point, BTW, let’s put to rest the nonsense that 40% of the Tea Party is Democrats. I know Mark found a single survey that said that and will cling to it so long that his kids will end up burying him with it in his coffin but get real. The Tea Party is a GOP organ whose interest is in shaping the Republican Party. This is why, surprise, they only seem to be active in Republican primaries.

  3. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    I see, “not extending tax cuts in place for 8 years” is not a tax increase … whatever.

    on (a) if a CEO of a corporation which starts making 20% more but doesn’t get a personal pay increase but has more resources to use at work, this of is of direct benefit to him in his daily life and work.

    on (c) I have no idea what the ATM fallacy is.

    I’ll give him that but that doesn’t alter the simple fact that he is wrong.

    Which is your opinion … not shared. It is not a “fact.” And “elimination of SS or unemployment” is a straw man.

    The Tea Party is a GOP organ

    Which duly explains the O’Donnell and Miller support and primary results. Oh, wait they are against your thesis and not supportive. Oh well, Reality bites sometimes.

    You can cite a survey showing the support is close to zero? I thought not, for if you could you would have long ago.

  4. Mark says:

    JA,
    1. So … 1/7th Democrat. Hmm. Not a GOP “organ” it seems.
    3. Because I don’t have a clue what the rank and file Democrat thinks, bloggers and pundits are allergic to the Tea Party. That much is evident.
    4. Whatever.
    5. How do I claim the Democrats don’t believe it? What they don’t believe is that the Tea Party (or likely non-wealthy conservatives in general) are “large enough” to make the same leap (X is not in my interest but in the countries, and since the latter is true I support it). That is what the Democrat won’t admit.
    6. So? They think it is in the countries interest.
    7. Look, just a few days ago I read a WSJ News article citing that of the many varied reasons people are supporting the Tea Party the dominant common factor was reducing the size of government and cutting spending. This reason was a significant outlier as the common reason. Why they cannot believe that without getting wonky about it is beyond me. This is, as pointed out, a populous movement not an organized one.

    And both you and Boonton take a pass on the turf point. Is that assent? That one of the primary motivations of your allergic reaction to the movement is that populous risings should align with the Democrat not the Republican party.

  5. Not really. Yes there is some frustration that we Dems genuinely believe that our policies would be much better for the Tea Partiers (and by the way, they’re probably richer than you realize, on average) but I don’t think that’s the cause of the “allergic reaction.”

    I think the cause is twofold. First, many Dems believe that the Tea Party is racist. (True or false, even you must see that’s a bigger concern than some “turf point.”) Note that racist populist movements bring up some very scary historical memories.

    Second, many Dems believe that the Tea Party is even more anti-intellectual and far from reality than the GOP mainland. They represent a force that is trying to move the GOP even further in the wrong direction. We Dems long for a Republican party that might disagree with us on important issues but nevertheless belongs to the same reality. The split between the Bush Administration and the Tea Party on the bailouts is a great example of this. When push came to shove, Bush did the right thing, because his advisors presumably could tell the difference between rhetoric (spending is always bad!!!!) and reality (OMG we need to bail out the financial industry or we’re looking at another Great Depression.) The fear about the Tea Party is that they actually believe the propaganda. If Sarah Palin had been president instead of George Bush, we might be really and truly screwed as a country right now. And that’s saying something, considering how we felt about Bush!

  6. Boonton says:

    I see, “not extending tax cuts in place for 8 years” is not a tax increase … whatever.

    Let’s forget about the cut side. If Obama signed a bill taking the middle bracket from 25% to 35% in 2030 that would be a tax increase. In 2030 it would be Obama’s tax increase. If the President in 2030 finds a way to keep the bracket at 25% that would be a tax cut which he can fairly get credit for.

    As I said the Constitution requires taxes to be passed as a law and signed by the President. Produce for me the signature page of this ‘tax increase’ and tell me whose name is on it.

    on (a) if a CEO of a corporation which starts making 20% more but doesn’t get a personal pay increase but has more resources to use at work, this of is of direct benefit to him in his daily life and work.

    I think you mean to say if the corporation makes 20% more but the CEO doesn’t take a pay increase. That’s not of direct benefit to him but may be indirect in that the shareholders will be more inclined to keep a CEO while profits are increasing. This is only relevant to your post if you think that voters are primarily motivated by the health of the gov’ts balance sheet. Or if you believe the President’s pay includes a % on the IRS’s take.

    on (c) I have no idea what the ATM fallacy is.

    Ever go to the ATM thinking you’ll take out $20 for dinner and discover your balance is actually $100 higher than you thought so you take out $40 instead? On the personal level cash coming in does pull your spending up as does the reverse. This is not how gov’t works. Congress doesn’t look at the ATM balance and discover its $500B higher and therefore create Medicare D or go to war in Afghanistan or pass a stimulus bill.

    The fallacy is applying this to gov’t. In reality the opposite is true. Gov’t decides how much to spend and that pulls taxes along.

    Which duly explains the O’Donnell and Miller support and primary results. Oh, wait they are against your thesis and not supportive. Oh well, Reality bites sometimes.

    You mean a Republican won in a Republican primary with Tea Party endorsement and this proves the Tea Party isn’t part of the Republican Party? I’m impressed.

  7. Boonton says:

    . Look, just a few days ago I read a WSJ News article citing that of the many varied reasons people are supporting the Tea Party the dominant common factor was reducing the size of government and cutting spending. This reason was a significant outlier as the common reason.

    So the Tea Party basically has almost universal agreement with the standard Republican rhetorical talking point about what they represent. This would seem to support the notion that the Tea Party is basically an element of the Republican Party making your 40% Democrat figure about as meaningful as a survey which reports that 40% of atheists are Catholic.

  8. Boonton says:

    Re Tax Cuts

    The reverse also holds. If Obama signs a bill reducing the 25% bracket to 20% in increments of 1 point every two years then it will take ten years to reach 20%. The next President should not get credit for ‘cutting taxes’ simply because he happens to be in place during the implementation of a policy he had nothing to do with.

    It’s interesting that Mark and people like him will claim that the right ‘cares about the incentives’ they create yet seem to totally ignore the incentives they create in the rhetorical yoga they do to avoid pinning a tax increase on Bush. By their logic a President who signs a huge tax cut that has no ‘self destruct’ is no better than one who signs a huge tax cut that ‘self destructs’ the day he leaves office.

  9. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    You’ve pointed out time and time again that the Republicans in the beltway are not for small government and by inference the Republican party is the same way. So, consistency check. Are the Republicans the party of low taxes and big government or not? ‘Cause if they are not, then why have you been beating the drum forever that they are? And if what you assert is right, then why do you not see that Tea Party is outside of the GOP?

  10. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    How about this, if Obama signs a bill keeping the cuts for the middle class and puts a time limit on it. The next Congress and administration who decides whether to extend it or not … if they decide not to extend is in fact raising taxes on those people.

  11. Mark says:

    Boonton and JA,
    I might add that it seems to me the WSJ poll offering that the biggest unifying cause of the Tea Party is small government misses a bigger one. I think their bigger unifying cause is against any and evey incumbent, i.e., “vote the twits out.”

  12. Mark says:

    JA,

    First, many Dems believe that the Tea Party is racist

    You know when you accuse me of “only reading propaganda” sometimes I think that’s what you do. In other words, huh?

    Why do you think anti-intellectual is further from reality? A midwestern farmer might be not an intellectual but I’d offer he’s closer in a lot of ways to “reality” than either of us. Look, I really really dislike the Communist movements and regimes of the 20th century. They had a definite anti-intellectual run, with Stalin putting his nations intellectuals in gulags and hard labor camps and Mao was worse, e.g., the 2nd Cultural abomination and so on. But here’s the thing, intellectuals like Mr Obama and lots others in our generation who went on quests hunting for “themselves” are doing so because they have an internal perception that they are distanced from “real” life. Those anti-intellectual blue collar and farmers lack that perception not because they are lacking insight but because their life is “real” in a way that the intellectuals life is not. When 9/11 occurred there were those on the intellectual left who basically expressed envy that the perpetrators believed in something so deeply that they would die for it and that in comparison they found nothing in their life for which they would do the same. The point is those anti-intellectual divorced from reality Tea Party members would die for their country while many if not most of those intellectuals would not.

  13. Boonton says:

    How about this, if Obama signs a bill keeping the cuts for the middle class and puts a time limit on it. The next Congress and administration who decides whether to extend it or not … if they decide not to extend is in fact raising taxes on those people.

    Actually no. Each law stands on its own and is the responsibility of those who passed it. Let’s imagine a hypothetical taxpayer whose tax is normally $100 each year.

    1. Obama signs a law cutting taxes for 4 years.

    Year 1 $100

    Year 2 $90

    Year 3 $90

    Year 4 $90

    Year 5 $90

    Year 6 $100

    Taxes paid with law: $560
    Taxes paid without law: $600

    Honest statement: “Obama cut taxes $40 over 4 year”

    Dishonest statement: “Obama cut taxes 10%” Technically he didn’t. If he signed a law saying the $100 tax would for now on be $90 he could honestly make that statement. He cut taxes 6.67% as that is the reduced taxes the taxpayer must pay.

    2. Congress in year 5, after Obama has left office, makes no change to the tax law. There is no tax increase or decrease. The shift of taxes from $90 to $100 is Obama’s. If Obama doesn’t want to be blamed for a tax increase in year 6 then he should have signed a law cutting taxes for 5 years, or 6, or ten or forever.

    2.1 Say Congress passes a law extending the tax cut. That’s a tax cut of $10.

    Honest statement: “Congress passed a $10 tax cut” or “Congress extended Obama’s cut.”

    Dishonest statement: “Obama’s tax cuts saved taxpayers $10 in year 6”. The correct statement is “Congress cut taxes $10 in year 6”.

    I think their bigger unifying cause is against any and evey incumbent, i.e., “vote the twits out.”

    Let’s use Nevada as a test case. John McCain was not voted out in the GOP primary despite the efforts of the Tea Party. Will they continue to demand the twit be voted out or will they fall behind the GOP Twit?

  14. Boonton says:

    And the reverse is also true. A law that increases taxes from $100 to $110 for four years is NOT the same as a law that makes taxes $110 forever. If Obama signed a temporary tax increase the incoming President doesn’t get to claim he ‘cut taxes’ by doing nothing and letting the tax increase expire.

  15. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Let’s use Nevada as a test case. John McCain was not voted out in the GOP primary despite the efforts of the Tea Party. Will they continue to demand the twit be voted out or will they fall behind the GOP Twit?

    Nevada has a Tea Party supported candidate whose name is not McCain running against Reid. Arizona has no Tea Party supported candidate as far as I know and the choice there would be what? a Tea Party write in otherwise my notion is not defensible. Why do Miller and O’Donnell not provide any data for you on this?

  16. Boonton says:

    I think it’s pretty clear what you’re describing here is something very similar to the Conservative and Liberal Parties work in NY. NY allows candidates to run under multiple parties so a single person like Rudy Guiliani might have run for Mayor under both the Republican and Conservative Parties. The # of votes each party gets impacts things like automatic access to the ballot for the next election. In general, though, the Conservative Party aligns with the Republican and the Liberal with the Democratic Parties. There are occasions where the parties will run their own candidates against the choices of the Republicans and Democrats. For example, Rick Lazio(sp?) in NY lost the GOP nomination to the Tea Party candidate and is considering running under the Conservative line instead. He is, though, a Republican (he ran against Hillary for her first Senate run). Perhaps I’d say that ‘organ of the GOP’ isn’t the right term for the Tea Party. At the moment I’ll give you that they are a GOP faction that’s willing to sometimes buck the party. They are not bipartisan and are not made up of any serious number of Democrats despite claims of your surveys.

  17. Why do you think anti-intellectual is further from reality? A midwestern farmer might be not an intellectual but I’d offer he’s closer in a lot of ways to “reality” than either of us.

    Well that’s a real disagreement between us then. I think that’s BS. That farmer hasn’t had the chance to get to know a lot of different people and places and ideas, and so he has a much more naive and uninformed view of the world. He can’t put himself in another man’s shoes nearly as easily as a cosmopolitan urbanite with much more experience and many more relationships.

    But here’s the thing, intellectuals like Mr Obama and lots others in our generation who went on quests hunting for “themselves” are doing so because they have an internal perception that they are distanced from “real” life.

    No, it’s because they (we) know that there are so many ways to be that we want to figure out the best way for us to be. The farmer only really considers one or two options because that’s all he knows.

    When 9/11 occurred there were those on the intellectual left who basically expressed envy that the perpetrators believed in something so deeply that they would die for it

    Well that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. To me, 9/11 is a classic case of “The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity.”

    The point is those anti-intellectual divorced from reality Tea Party members would die for their country while many if not most of those intellectuals would not.

    Oh please. Citation fucking needed.

  18. Boonton says:

    A midwestern farmer might be not an intellectual but I’d offer he’s closer in a lot of ways to “reality” than either of us.

    On the contrary I’m keeping reality in a cigar box under my bed. I’m much closer to it than any farmer in the Midwest.

    But here’s the thing, intellectuals like Mr Obama and lots others in our generation who went on quests hunting for “themselves” are doing so because they have an internal perception that they are distanced from “real” life.

    I was unaware of any such quest by Obama. Are you sure you’re not thinking of the imaginary Obama who lives inside your head whose the sum of multiple sterotypes? I don’t blame you as I’m kind of selfish in keeping reality under my bed. I’ll let it loose around lunch time.

    When 9/11 occurred there were those on the intellectual left who basically expressed envy that the perpetrators believed in something so deeply that they would die for it

    And that would be whom specifically?

    The point is those anti-intellectual divorced from reality Tea Party members would die for their country while many if not most of those intellectuals would not.

    Tea Party members would die for their country? That’s nice that you give them such credit. But usually they give out the medals for bravery *after* you actually did something brave or self sacrificing. Saying you would shouldn’t really count now should it?

    Notice the interesting ‘perception’ here from Mr. Reality. Obama makes a simple, true and honest observation that he is advocating against a policy that would personally benefit him. From that we get that Tea Party members are heros dying for their country because…..why again? They scream for lower gov’t while collecting gov’t pensions and healthcare?

  19. Mark says:

    JA,

    Well that’s a real disagreement between us then. I think that’s BS. That farmer hasn’t had the chance to get to know a lot of different people and places and ideas, and so he has a much more naive and uninformed view of the world. He can’t put himself in another man’s shoes nearly as easily as a cosmopolitan urbanite with much more experience and many more relationships.

    Well, as a piece of self-affirming BS that’s quite nice but as to its reflection on reality, not so much. When I was in the Philippines on a job, I was amazed that taxi drivers making $8 per diem feeding a family of 6 was up to date and very aware of global events and even so far as closely following small details of American sporting events. That farmer whom you dismiss as living an insular life has a complicated life, he’s running a technological enabled small/family business, between keeping up with agricultural tech, banking, markets, labor, and livestock or soil. He understands you far better than you understand him.

    No, it’s because they (we) know that there are so many ways to be that we want to figure out the best way for us to be.

    LOL.

    Well that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

    Well, it was a view expressed on the left, like it or not. And yes, I agree it is dumb, but not because a lack of conviction in anything is the best worldview.

    Citation fucking needed.

    Lots of post-docs in the Armed Services, eh? The intellectuals have always been at the sharp end of things, not.

  20. Urban taxi driver is a good analogy for provincial farmer… how? Is this where you pretend that I’m talking about higher education when I only talked about cosmopolitanism and intellectualism?

    Well, it was a view expressed on the left, like it or not.

    Well, gee. What view hasn’t been expressed “on the left?” Or “on the right?” It’s not like we’re talking about a normal view on the left here.

    Lots of post-docs in the Armed Services, eh? The intellectuals have always been at the sharp end of things, not.

    Two different things. Joining the Armed Services when not being attacked by a major world power (i.e. not during WWII) is not the same as putting your life on the line for your country. Unfortunately, since WWII, it’s more often than not been putting your life on the line for some kind of idiotic strategy wouldn’t (and didn’t) make the country a whit safer. Intellectuals are obviously more likely to question the wisdom of that sort of thing.

    In Israel, though, where wars until the last decade or two were legitimately for self-defense, I don’t think intellectuals were underrepresented in the military at all. The only group underrepresented there is the ultra-Orthodox.

    Question: do you see yourself as an intellectual?

  21. Oh, and the farmer obviously knows much more about farming than I do. But I don’t see where you get the idea that he understands me better than I do him.

  22. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    On the contrary I’m keeping reality in a cigar box under my bed. I’m much closer to it than any farmer in the Midwest.

    Hah. Under my bed I’ve got the control widget that times just when those auto-flush toilets go off … so when you get one flushing just as you walk up … you now know where the box is and whom to blame. 😀

    I was unaware of any such quest by Obama.

    Hmmm, wasn’t that the stub text of his autobiographical sketch and his questing to Africa? Check your box again.

    And that would be whom specifically?

    Where were you? Under a bed?

    They scream for lower gov’t while collecting gov’t pensions and healthcare?

    Government pensions? Huh? I’m pretty sure Government employees are not a big demographic within the Tea Party. You might check in your reality box. And for you information, the points about fervency of belief between urban intellectuals and rural middle class was where the conversation moved. Try to keep up.

  23. Mark says:

    JA,

    But I don’t see where you get the idea that he understands me better than I do him.

    Well, given that he sees those “like you” blasted over the media every day I’m not sure why you don’t see it.

  24. LOL, you think he understands me because he watches t.v.? Who on t.v. is like me?

  25. Boonton says:

    That farmer whom you dismiss as living an insular life has a complicated life, he’s running a technological enabled small/family business, between keeping up with agricultural tech, banking, markets, labor, and livestock or soil. He understands you far better than you understand him.

    I don’t disagree with that but why is he ‘better connected to reality’ than I? or JA or you? Are there no farmers who are drunk bums? Are there no stupid farmers? No farmers who are dumb hicks? No farmers muddle through on blind luck? This just sounds like romanticism on your part.

    Hmmm, wasn’t that the stub text of his autobiographical sketch and his questing to Africa? Check your box again.

    You mean his ‘quest’ to locate his biological father?

    Where were you? Under a bed?

    Again who specifically are you talking about who asserted after 9/11 that they couldn’t understand believing in something so much that someone would die for it. I’m not saying no one has ever said such a thing. You seem to think, though, that it was a major theme right after 9/11. This tells us you were either listening to specific people on the left saying this or you were listening to imaginary archtypes that live only in your head (and the heads of the ideologically like minded).

    Government pensions? Huh? I’m pretty sure Government employees are not a big demographic within the Tea Party. You might check in your reality box. And for you information, the points about fervency of belief between urban intellectuals and rural middle class was where the conversation moved. Try to keep up.

    Reality check, Social Security is a gov’t pension system. More importantly where are these Tea Partiers who are dying for their country?

  26. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    More importantly where are these Tea Partiers who are dying for their country?

    What? You need to go photos of T/P gatherings with a fine tooth comb to realize that the Armed services are mostly recruited from middle to lower class conservatives which is a big demographic from which the T/P comes. It seems logical that there is significant overlap. Check your box?

  27. Boonton says:

    Blacks, who are overwhelmingly democrats, make up a proportion of the armed forces roughly in line with their proportion of the general population. Whites, of whom the right draws almost all of their support, make up a less of the armed forces relative to their population. I’m not sure how you think that the army is recruited from ‘middle to lower class conservatives’ unless you think that all non-black members of the ‘middle and lower class’ should simply be assumed to be conservative. How much collateral damage will you inflict upon us in your class warfare Mark?

  28. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    I’m not sure how you think that the army is recruited from ‘middle to lower class conservatives’ unless you think that all non-black members of the ‘middle and lower class’ should simply be assumed to be conservative.

    Then you have a demographic puzzle. The army is almost uniformly conservative. Perhaps the solution to your low white demographic puzzle is that liberal whites don’t up. What do you think?

    Of what damage do you speak?

  29. Boonton says:

    http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/08/troops-deployed-abroad-give-61.html

    Deployed troops donated more to Obama than McCain last election cycle as did troops in general. Historically, though, the military is about 60% Republican. That would make it ‘uniformly conservative’ in the sense that the US is ‘uniformaly anti-Tea Party’ (Tea Party negatives I believe are around the 60% zone).