Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Death Spiral or Something Else?

Since the 2010 elections, the country has watched as the Republican Party - egged on by the Tea party - has apparently gone insane. While the election campaigns focused on jobs, the Republicans have forsaken that mantra in favor of, well, just about anything BUT jobs.

From the anti-union legislation in Wisconsin that kept us entranced for weeks to the Florida governor's enactment of legislation to enrich his wife's drug testing company to the plethora of anti-abortion, anti-contraceptive, anti-woman and anti-child legislation all the way to the disastrous budget bill outlining Republican plans to end Medicare, is there a hot button social conservative issue they've missed? I mean, do we really want to make having a miscarriage a felony?

An interesting web site, Seeds for Thought, has brought together some of the more insane bills being worked on at the State level:

I've watched this insanity on at least a weekly basis, and sometimes nightly, on Rachael Maddow's show. She is often gleeful at the misadventures of the right wing's current crop of Presidential hopefuls, but just as often seems just puzzled at the wide spread over reach of the Republicans on a national basis, as if they've all drunk some kind of insanity drug or something.

It helps sometimes, to step back and get out of the weeds and look at the bigger picture.

Just imagine for a moment that you were a stinking rich liberal with no public awareness of your political leanings, and you wanted to end the political power of the right wing. You figured out a way to use your money to obtain entre' into the upper reaches of the Republicans and were able to gain a measure of power over the actions of those at the top of the party.

Now, you are making a list. A checklist of actions that would result in the destruction of the Republican party by alienating every constituency in the country except the most hard core right wing. What kind of stuff would you put on that list?

Anti-abortion legislation? Anti-union legislation? Suggesting the end of Social Security?

I think if there is such a list, they've managed to hit about 80% of it so far this year alone. But why? It has been a well known formula for years that in order to win the Presidential elections, one has to win your party nomination by winning over your base, and then you've got to move to the center to win over the centrists and independent voters to add their numbers to your own party. Neither party has the numbers to elect their own nominee outright, so this has long been the recipe for winning the White House.

One doesn't win over the center by alienating them at the beginning. Campaigning is one thing, enacting legislation that proves your campaign promises are lies even before the campaign begins is completely another! I think just about the only subject they've missed so far is immigration, but they seem to be gearing up to hit that one, too.

Again, why? What do they have to win? How can they possibly win after enacting legislation that not only alienates almost half the electorate (women), another larger part (old folks), and a growing group (non-whites) that threatens to grow into the largest voting block in the country?

Add to that the suction of the Tea Party that has drawn off the craziest right wing of the party plus the Republicans' own tendency to eliminate the moderate wing by throwing out the likes of Meagan McCain and Colin Powell, and it seems that the GOP is headed down a road of complete self annihilation!

I wish I knew. Who gains if the Republicans do self destruct? Are people like the Koch Brothers really so insane and politically blind that they cannot see how this current trend is likely to end? How about the Republican slate of Presidential contenders? Are they that blind, too? Are men like Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich not able to see how out of touch with the American mainstream their party has become? Is their right wing world so self contained that they really can't read the polls?

I don't think so. These people can't be so stupid, can they? I mean, Mitt Romney is wealthy, and one doesn't get and/or keep that kind of wealth by being stupid. Do they? I'd like to think that they really are that dumb, but something just doesn't ring true. There has to be another explanation for it. Smart, successful people don't just go off the deep end suddenly and begin doing stuff that is so destructive to their party interests, especially not in job lots.

This isn't just a few people at the top. This is ALL OVER THE COUNTRY! State legislatures, governors, just about everywhere that the Republicans have gained control of the reins of power without Democrats to slow them down. So, is it the true character of the Republican Party to do these things? If so, how have they kept that a secret for years if not decades? Plenty of Republicans have changed sides, and someone was bound to talk sometime, so that seems unlikely.

So who gains? Is there a small cabal of wealthy corporatists ready to move in after some measure of national confusion after the very public spanking the Republicans are likely to get in 2012? Is there some plan to destroy the right wing as a political force and substitute a more moderate party in its place?

I can't say. I'm not a political expert, I fix computers for a living. I can't imagine how this is going to play out, but when an entire political party goes stark raving mad, it can't be good.

Robert Ahrens


Anonymous said...


If it wasn't for FOX and Replublicans, and of course Glenn Beck every night, MSNBC shows like Maddow, Mr. Ed, and others wouldn't have ANYTHING to talk about. They sure have their loyal following who cannot decide every night to watch MSNBC or Comedy Central ... Until electricity becomes too expensive due to the "carbon taxes" and penalties, keep tuning in.

And while I know you find it humorous, but issues like protection of unborn children and asking our govt. to do something about our debt, dollar, and spending before we just become Greece on steroids,
is something we care about. Do you?

Honestly , what are the Democrats proposing as ANY solution? Just raise the debt ceiling for the 15th time, scare grandma about her medicare and SS, and pander to illegals (at trip to Puerto Rico - really give me a break!!), unions, gays, etc.. Look at Greece and see the caption "coming to a community near you soon". But then maybe you are all for anarchy. Greece is the model of what happens when govt. social programs go wild and the leaches of society have a little less blood to consume.

Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps just once in our lifetime people might do what's right for the country vs. trying to get re-elected by pandering. That someone actually has morals (anti-abortion) and principles (smaller govt./self-empowerment vs. govt. empowerment) at the core of their beliefs? Nahhh... sorry to even suggest it.

All I hear from liberals is complaining about the conservatives/republicans. SIt back, do nothing,
and bash republicans/conservatives. Obama had
the majority in both houses for 2 years, did nothing but put us deeper in the hole with Obamacare. But then I'm sure you like that.

So, you should be happy about your so called "death spiral" ... Obama got elected when Bush/Republicans failed. Your man is in. Stop complaining. Fixing computers will be a good business when govt. regulations put all the mfgs. out of business in the US and/or they go overseas, no once can buy new any longer, etc..

Really - be happy.

Edd.Doerr said...

Robert Ahrens' comment is right on target. It also suggests,to me at least, that we humanists should tone down the unrelenting deity-bashing a bit and pour effort into effectively fighting the extreme right campaign to take over federal and state government in this country to the detriment of democracy, religious freedom, church-state separation, public education, women's rights, environment, etc. And to do this we will work with people who do not share all of our humanist values.

Meanwhile, let me ask how "Anonymous" got here. He is obviously not a humanist and obviously shares the extremist views of the new Republicans, the Tea Partyers and the religious right.

Edd Doerr

lucette said...


With the current settings, anybody can post a comment on this blog. And anybody can post as "Anonymous." We cannot even be sure that 2 posts from "Anonymous" are coming from the same person. It might be that currently two persons are posting as Anonymous because there seems to be a change in style, one of the Anonymous being much more aggressive.
The "owner" of the blog (DW) is the only person who can change this situation, I believe. He can remove comments and he has done so.


Bill Creasy said...

Something has puzzled me since Obama's election, and it is confirmed by "Anonymous"'s rant. The Republicans since day 1 of Obama have been totally united against him. There has been no discussion, no dissent, no compromise, just absolute opposition to Obama. Some people might say this sounds like racism, and I'm not sure how to argue that it isn't. It's very odd that Bush drove up the biggest deficits in history until then, and no Republican cared. But when Obama has deficits to try to correct a recession with 10% unemployment, it's supposed to be a disaster. It does look very fishy. Is it all from Fox/talk radio/Limbaugh?

Anonymous said...

To alll -

Let me respond to the most despicable yet constant
"rant" from the left - that criticism of Obama is racist. have you no shame?

This is just your way of wanting to shut off discussion, dissent and debate.

And by Mr. Doerr's comment, it's unclear you even want debate or any counter opinion.

I heard from Don and he said I was welcome to comment, just keep it respectful, which I believe I have honored that, but it's getting harder and

And what's with all the concern about being
anonymous anyway, does registering as
Joe Blow make it more transparent?

I read Huffington Post, subscribe to NYT's so
I can have a perspective - as strange as it
is most of the time - to what the left is thinking.

But I can gladly go away and allow you to be an
exclusive like minded only need apply group. I'm
certainly not expecting to change your minds and probably wasting my time.

But please, STOP with the racist comments, however effective or truthful you believe them to be. I thought we were moving beyond that rhetoric in
this country. And how can anyone really say anyone on the right has come close to vile and anger spewed on Bush during 8 years by the left.

Kind Regards,


Don Wharton said...


I was hoping that someone would find the lunatic counterfactual world that you live in sufficiently interesting that they would engage you in a conversation. I do want to emphasize that I know that you are not personally a lunatic. Much of society is saturated by nonsense from Fox News and the countless right wing talk radio stations. For some reason the critical thinking skills to dismiss nonsense is relatively lacking and thus there is a market for this nonsense.

Presumably you really think that your view of facts are really facts. Frankly I would like to know how it is that you came to believe the various categories on nonsense that you report to have. What is the nature of thinking that you went through to come to your conclusions. Your views represent roughly 30 percent of the American voting population. Acting on the basis of the falsehoods that you report here has and will continue to create great misery for many.

A fetal cell mass is not an unborn person. Edd noted the lunacy of equating an acorn with a grown oak tree. There is far more cognition in a chicken than a first trimester embryo. We legitimately kill millions of chickens without the slightest problem. Our planet simply does not have the resources to support the population it now has. Why would you want to add to coming collapse with a policy of coerced parenthood? If it were really murder we would be seeing other categories of murder from the population of women who have had abortions. Obviously murderers who use a gun see no problem in killing with other weapons. The fact is that the charge of murder is ludicrous because there is no sentience, no consciousness to care if it lives or dies. Christianity claims to be a spiritual discipline. If is is then why can't they tell that there is no “spirit” present?

Your anti-gay bias is also ludicrous. Where is your evidence that lesbians or gays are less valuable citizens of our community. Shouldn't there be some evidence to back up your anti-gay views. Is it just based on the Bible? If so what passages?


lucette said...


I did not create this blog, don't own it, and don't know its goal or mission.
However, this blog is called "Secular Perspectives" and it is endorsed by the "Washington Area Secular Humanists".
I am interested in this blog because I want to know more about the positions of the secular humanists. The opposition is interesting too, as long as it does not REPEAT itself endlessly. By now, I know what you think, and I don't need to hear it again and again. This is not the dialog that I expect from this blog. So, although I have nothing to say about this blog regulation, let me tell you that I would like you to either stop the repetitions or stop posting here. This is just my own wish.
Your opinions are not without interest, but you are just repeating yourself and nobody learns anything new.
Maybe you could create your own blog.
I hope your understand my concerns.

Anonymous said...

Hi Don,

This has been an interesting waste of time I agree, so I'll stop getting you and Edd so upset. Be glad we're not neighbors.

Let me try and respond to a few specific comments.
You can take it to your friends and say "look see, can you believe what these idiots are saying" ... make good dinner conversation at your next party ... As I said early on, I'm just a person who stumbled onto this blog, obviously it was a big mistake. While Edd seems to profess fear about all things of God, it's also scary to me to for the 1st time really understand how the Atheists mind operates void of God. Let's be glad we're not neighbors.

You say I live in a lunatic world but you don't believe I'm a lunatic. My lunatic world is quite large it
"As of 2005 (most recent data), approximately 88 percent of the world's population were said to "believe in God" (Cambridge University). This is down from 96 percent in 2000. In the United States, 95 percent of the population "believe in God." "

That's a lot of stupid people. Oh yeah, I forgot, most
got educated in Govt. schools ...

While the trend is in your advantage, especially in Europe, here in the U.S. the population of your world is about 2-3%. I agree we are trending economically and socially into becoming just another has been like most all of Europe. Keep it up, you'll get what you desire eventually with 4 more years of Mr. Obama.

"Much of society is saturated by nonsense from Fox News and the countless right wing talk radio stations." WOW! Fox rules the world it seems to you? Of course NBC/CBS/ABC/CNN and MSNBC speak the truth. Why is talk radio so popular and AIr America seemed to run out of air? I know, makes me crazy too ... but then as you note ... I'm already living in a lunacy world ... If you think we've lost our critical thinking skills, why don't you call in to talk radio. Honestly the people that do from the left sound pretty stupid and you obviously are not. I'd love to hear you debate Michael Medved, Dennis Prager, etc.. You could give them a good lesson in critical thinking skills ...

"Presumably you really think that your view of facts are really facts." Come on Don, really? "No, I think my facts are stupid and only your facts are facts."

But then again you just cannot stand to give anyone who doesn't agree with you any credit, nor can your readers. Only you Atheists got it figured out and the
rest of the world - some 98% - just plain don't get it.

"... how do I believe various categories of nonsense .. " - Got any specifics or is everything I say just nonsense? "My views" represent 30% of the american voting population. Really? Source? Your views must represent the other 70% - so you'll have no problem re-electing Obama in 2012. Be happy!!

(continued ...)

Anonymous said...

Part II

"A fetal cell mass is not an unborn person. Edd noted the lunacy of equating an acorn with a grown oak tree. There is far more cognition in a chicken than a first trimester embryo. We legitimately kill millions of chickens without the slightest problem. "

Equating an unborn child with an acorn and a chicken embryo ... " WOW! Am I glad Edd isn't teaching my children anything!!! I seriously hope anyone reading this is as horrified by this statement as I am.

" We legitimately kill millions of chickens without the slightest problem. " Memo to Don: We legitimately kill a million unborn children a year and the left doesn't have the slightest problem. Chicken embryo and 3 month old fetus = SAME. This is what your morality has EVOLVED to?

" If it were really murder we would be seeing other categories of murder from the population of women who have had abortions. " The left has successfully promoted the mantra "It's a woman's right to choose", congratulation, you win again. If it's just like a chicken embryo at 3 months, why all the fear with having sonograms are part of the abortion decision process? ... "here, look, see - looks like chicken doesn't it??"

When you go to bed tonight, think of your now grown son and recall that he was no different than a chicken embryo or an acorn. I very honestly and sincerely feel sorry for all you atheists that put so little value on life.

Have a good life Don. I apologize for my sarcasm. I'll leave you and your's to your moral decay ... err I think you call it evolution.


Edd.Doerr said...

Alan Anonymous imputes "fears" that I do not have. He further uses the buzzword "gov't schools" to slam our democratically run public schools, a tactic developed by the fanatic religious right. For his information, I attended Catholic schools for eleven years, tho during summers I attended one of the largest public high schools in the country and found it to be superior in every way to the religious high school I attended during the regular school year.

As for Alan A's bizarre take on abortion rights, let me note that for over 30 years I represented the American Humanist Association on the board of the national Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, where I was pleased to work with representatives of mainstream Catholic, Episcopalian, Methodist, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, Jewish and other groups, all of them supportive of women's rights of conscience. Further, I was the architect of an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court in the Webster v Reproductive Health Services case, a brief signed by 12 Nobel laureate biologists and 155 other distinguished scientists that presented the consensus scientific view that the human fetus does not have the brain capacity for the functions associated with human personhood until some tome after 28-32 weeks of gestation. All but a tiny percentage of abortions are performed far earlier than that.

Alan A is simply another of the far out religious right goofies that are imtolerant of those who can think.

Edd Doerr

lucette said...

OK. Alan Anonymous and the other anonymous Anonymous must be hiding Michelle Bachman. Could we have a vote on his/her removal from this blog which is supported by WASH? If we let him/her go on, could we just decide to ignore him and never again to respond to his rants?