Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rick is on a Roll! The Stunning Sincerity of Rick "Nehemiah" Santorum

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is truly on a roll.  Feeling his oats, he has been laying down a hardcore line. And if this one week is any sample, we are in for one heckuva ride.

He started by impugning President Ombama's religious faith as "phony theology." This is red meat, so central to the party faithful that a surrogate let slip what it really means, into an open microphone -- the "radical muslim" fantasy that they share privately on the bus and plane.

But more on that in another post.

Is Santorum the new "teflon candidate" to whom nothing bad will stick? Let's start with the Phony Theology of environmentalism.

==  Elevating the Earth above People? ==

Now, completing 48 hours of grand assertions, Santorum proclaims that President Barack Obama is beholden to “radical environmentalists” and has a "world view that elevates the earth above man.”

Again and again, we see broad-brush assertions that are immune to testing by facts or experiment of falsification, because by their very essence they are about rhetoric, polemic, the world of subjective rage.

There IS an answer for this latest Santorum salvo.  Alas, it must be in terms that are rhetorical, polemical and subjective.  Yet, the pure truth.

So is it even remotely true that - as Santorum claims - both Obama and the hated/satanic blue half of America elevate the Earth above people?

Wrong.  We elevate our great-grandchildren... and their great-grandchildren... above both short-term ripoff artists and dopes who pray for Armageddon.

Tens and hundreds of billions of people... future people... our descendants.  We want to save a viable planet -- and a viable, vibrantly creative economy and a vigorously scientific civilization -- for them.

When you strip away all the dross and distractions -- like the insipid notion that any of this involves old-fashioned "left-vs-right -- and when you also strip away all the self-hypnosis incantations like "muslim" and "socialism" -- what is left?  What's the essential. core matter before us?

== The divide is not left/right... it is forward vs backward ==

Picture the big-money oligarchs who are stage managing this hysteria, hijacking the once-noble movement of Barry Goldwater...what do they have in common with the ground troops of the GOP, in their steepening spiral of frothing religious hysteria? Very little, except...

...the future.  Neither of them think about it, want it, care about it or believe in it. The populists in America's latest Great Revival think the days of the Late Great Planet Earth are numbered, and they despise those who would tend it with careful attention to distant tomorrows. The oligarchs? If they had horizons extending beyond ten years, they would get rich the way Gates and Buffet do, with goods and services, and with some thought to the long range, as well. In both cases, the agenda is nostalgia.

Oh, I will concede that Newt wants a moon base.  But where else is the extended future - the Long Now - to be found, contemplated anywhere at all on the right?  Barry Goldwater used to think long term. But in those days, 40% of scientists called themselves Republican, instead of 5% today. A migration and exile that says it all.

Read more about how well Rick Santorum channels to the "future shocked" side of America -- our neighbors who want no part of it.

Yes, there are also lefties, who "avatar" tomorrow with gloom.  I have always avowed that there are nut-jobs in that direction, too.  But those flakes are relatively rare and they do not own or operate an entire political party.  They don't have the calamitous misrule of the 2000s decade to atone for. Those lefty flakes are not the same thing as Blue America.

The America that still thinks about posterity -- and yes the posterity of our beloved fellow (red) citizens, as well. All of our descendants who will need a living Earth.

==Continue to Part 2

55 comments:

Rick Novy said...

I don't think that the candidates running represent red America either. That's why exit polls have shown us people who waited until the last minute to decide. That's why the number of independents is growing, and I am in that category myself.

I have met very few people in Arizona who approve of or support the kooky but dangerous legislation coming out of the state capital.

The oh-so important independents must select between two extremes. Give us open primaries in all states and the independents will discard the extremists, but that won't happen. Both parties have too much riding on the current system.

Ryan said...

The Rapture will happen way before any of that becomes an issue!

...would probably be Santorum's honest answer.

Tony Fisk said...

Rickroll: a term for a bait and switch url link.

So, we come here to discuss the future, and get sidetracked into discussing the people who walk backwards? (the kurdaitcha assassins of civilisation!)

matthew said...

It is nearly impossible to overstate the influence of the evangelical movement on american politics. But I would like to point out that it is not limited to republicans. Democrats have a strong christian evangelical arm as well. When was the last time an open atheist won national office in any elected position? And yet they are somewhere between 10-20% of americans, depending on how atheism is defined.

chris said...

Rick, it seems to me that when I hear people in exit polls quoted, they're not saying "I don't like {GOP candidate] because he's too extreme," I'm hearing "I don't like {GOP candidate] because he's soft on [x]."

Anecdotal, to be sure, but there it is.

JohnSerenity said...

I can almost empathize at this point in my life with conservative future shock. I am exhausted. Where I go for solace or companionship I see almost everyone around me hunched over their smartphones. I heard Google is working on a HUD in glasses, so at least I can enjoy being looked in the eye while being ignored for a change.

The only consolations I can grant myself is that there is no going back. Santorum cannot quench the fire of exponentiating progress (ewww). He may get elected (any wagers?), but the future will simply sail on by him - and perhaps the US as well.

There are far too many of us now to live in some mythical industrial 50's suburb, and we hang on our ability to manage our environment, resources and civilization through our technological might, for better or worse.

Still, I can understand exhaustion - of wanting a vacation from certain aspects of progress. It's just foolhardy for an individual to try to take that trip, and suicidal for an entire society to attempt.

Besides, Santorum's crowd would just get rid of the fun bits of our progress. No sense in that.

Tacitus2 said...

Look, squirrel!

Come on folks, Santorum is not going to be the next Pres of the US. He is very unlikely to be the R nominee. I find the pagent of odd R candidates alternately annoying and charming...anyone can be president! (and after a guy with negligable credentials just did it that is certainly true).

Realize that there are very few totally honest actors on the stage right now. The Obama campaign and the legacy media, but I repeat myself, have touted each new NotRomney as being the flavor of the month. Or just a few days in some cases. Some shortsighted republicans have torpedoed viable looking candidates like Pawlenty. Some long sighted folks have decided to sit on the sidelines until 2016 (or longer).

In the end it will be as I have said, Romney-Martinez vs Obama-Biden.
Aw hell, here is the short form tutorial version!

http://detritusofempire.blogspot.com/2012/02/american-politicsroman-imperial-style.html

As a bonus, expect the next dust up to be whether Mitt underperforms in the Michigan primary. After all, failure to do well in your home state puts you in the AlGore level of impalatability. Of course Mich is an open primary, so there just might be a few Ds out there voting for Santorum. RIROs as I call 'em.

Tacitus

zoukboy said...

Is there some way we could arrange The Rapture for them that wants it? ;-)

Andrew said...

Dr. Brin, my one problem with your brilliant analysis: Barry Goldwater's "noble" movement. I think that you read too much of the rhetoric of Goldwater and his ilk without considering their private sayings and their actual actions.

I suggest that you read "Before the Storm" by noted historian and journalist Rick Perlstein, which is probably one of the best books on the formation of the modern conservative movement.
http://www.amazon.com/Before-Storm-Goldwater-Unmaking-Consensus/dp/1568584121/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329883268&sr=8-1

Carl M. said...

Tacitus 2 makes good point: are crossover voters voting for Santorum to spoil things? Back in the day many of my fellow grad students voted for Jesse Jackson in the Democratic primary. Myself, I voted for LaRouche in the primary for similar reasons. This made me a registered Democrat in the state of Texas.

rewinn said...

@Tacitus - are those coins at your link genuine, or did you photoshop them? Some times it's just too hard to tell reality from The Onion.

---

As to the OP - just remember, in 1980 there was absolutely no way that that rightwing kook Ronald "It's Too Bad We Can't Have An Epidemic Of Botulism" Reagan was going to get the Republican nomination, because there was no way he could win the election. It just can't happen here, no way, no how!

David Brin said...

Rick Novy, look I sympathize. While I have seldom voted Republican, I HAVE done so and count many conservatives of the past in my list of fine Americans. Moreover, I have keynoted a Libertarian Party convention and members of this community cannot count the number of times that I cite Adam Smith. I feel your pain over what has happened... the hijacking of a noble American political movement by monsters, would-be feudal lords and stark-jibbering lunatics.

This problem would end... it would END - if the Republican Party took a titanic Shellacking, this fall. That might give the decent men and women like you the power and gumption and voice to take back the Party of Lincoln. It is not unprecedented! Read this! http://www.davidbrin.com/1947.htm

You needn't worry about what will happen if the Dems have total power. Sure, they will pass a couple of bills. Big deal. They are inherently unable to become Big Brother because they have NO DISCIPLINE! They dissolve into a million arguing sub-sects and they let power slip through their fingers. They are NOT a party "of extremes."

But yes, there is another level where ALL politicians are committing political treason against the voters. Se where I dissect this crime: http://www.davidbrin.com/gerrymandering1.htm

But even there, things are different! The citizens in blue states have been rebelling against this vile practice, ending gerrymandering... while red states refine it to a fine art.

Matthew, you are right that there are evangelical Democrats. The difference is that they tend to be in either fringey-earthy sects of the mainline lutheran/methodist churches. In any event, the difference is that the mostly do NOT emphasize the Book of Revelation.

Re Satnorum: I am so torn! I want him to rise and battle Romney hard! If Santorum won the nomination, I would drop everything to fight... and so would all of Blue America... and I am 99% sure he'd be trounced.... but oh that 1%! In the year Heinlein foresaw Scudder.

Zoukboy... I admit that my admiration for Goldwater was in the role that society wisely assigned him... as a senator. There he could be cranky, contrarian, ornery, and incisively on-target in 25% of his criticisms... while being somewhat (though politely ) crazy 50% of the time... and thereby deliberated very well, helping to shine light on errors, even when the Dems were right to win. I avow and admit that he would have been a very dangerous man to have as president.

Carl M... you voted... for... Lyndon L? Urp. Just threw up in mouth.

David Brin said...

Look. Save the suspense. In the end, goppers always choose the guy "whose turn it is."

Normally that's the most recent GOP veep. Failing that, the guy who almost got the nomination the last time.

That made Reagan obvious in 1980. Dole in 96. McCain in 08. Romney in 12... and that means...

eek. Santorum in 2016. Oh, Papa Heinlein....

Rob said...

I've already heard from two very conservative people that if Santorum gets the nom, they're voting for Obama or staying home.

I predict scads of open primary crossover.

David Brin said...

Quick. Any famous actors come to mind as Voice inspiration for characters in my novel The Postman? Not the movie but the book. Gordon? Abbie? the feminist Dena? General Macklin? Again, this is just to inspire the one professional narrator Audible has already hired. Just to give him ideas. Thanks!

Rob said...

Find a recording of Robert Heinlein to give him for the thoughts running through Gordon's head about who will take responsibility.

For General Macklin? Why not the Jack Nicholson character from "A Few Good Men"?

Use Jewel Saite for Abbie. Maybe Stana Katic for Dena.

Tacitus2 said...

ReWinn

Totally real. And you can find one for many occasions. I am saving a posting for a series of coins that have on their reverse a noble Roman spearing a hapless barbarian. The legend is FEL TEMP REP which means "Happy Times are Here Again". This of course is also the title of the FDR era song that has become the theme for all Democratic Nat conventions! FEL TEMP REP coins were very popular in the last days of Rome, as the barbarians were literally at the gate....

Tacitus

Tony Fisk said...

Gen. Macklin: who else but Stephen Lang? (channel Holn via Quanty and survivalist via Taylor; although Taylor would be just as likely to shoulder the mail bag himself)

Pat Mathews said...

As long as women still have the vote, an anti-birth-control candidate like Santorum doesn't stand a chance.

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2:

Come on folks, Santorum is not going to be the next Pres of the US. He is very unlikely to be the R nominee.


I tend to agree with this, but then if he is nominated, will you reevaluate your opinion on whether the Republican Party is insane?


I find the pagent of odd R candidates alternately annoying and charming...anyone can be president! (and after a guy with negligable credentials just did it that is certainly true).


Two guys, you mean.


The Obama campaign and the legacy media, but I repeat myself,


Oh, come on! Are you really claiming to see an Obama cheerleading effort going on in any organized media? They might have been all "Obama!" in 2008, but they've been all "austerity" and "drilling" and "Tea Party!" and "Don't tax the job creators" for the past two years.


In the end it will be as I have said, Romney-Martinez vs Obama-Biden.


Really? You don't think it's going to be Marco Rubio in the VP spot?


As a bonus, expect the next dust up to be whether Mitt underperforms in the Michigan primary. After all, failure to do well in your home state puts you in the AlGore level of impalatability.


One must be careful comparing primary results (Which Republican do Republicans prefer?) to general election results (Which party do voters at large prefer?). I remember in 2008, the pundits were going on about (for example) how if candidate Obama coudn't beat candidate Hillary in Pennsylvania, then that indicated Obama would lose Pennsylvania to McCain. It doesn't work that way.

OTOH, even as an outsider to the party, I have to say that Republican primary voters seem to be trying to tell the national establishment that they have serious problems with the annointed frontrunner.


Of course Mich is an open primary, so there just might be a few Ds out there voting for Santorum. RIROs as I call 'em.


It's not as if your side hasn't pulled that trick or anything. Remember Rush Limbaugh calling for Texans to vote for Hillary in the Democratic primary? Still, Romney did himself no favors in his home state by opining publicly that the American auto manufactring sector should have been left to bankruptcy. Whether or not you think that's true, it's not going to play well in Michigan.

LarryHart said...

zoukboy:

Is there some way we could arrange The Rapture for them that wants it? ;-)


You don't know how much I was praying for it to happen last May. I was hoping the Senate Democrats would schedule a bunch of hearings for the next week, when the Republicans would all be somewhere else...or at least they'd have a lot of 'splaining to do if they weren't.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

You needn't worry about what will happen if the Dems have total power. Sure, they will pass a couple of bills. Big deal. They are inherently unable to become Big Brother because they have NO DISCIPLINE! They dissolve into a million arguing sub-sects and they let power slip through their fingers. They are NOT a party "of extremes."


The time to worry about Democrats with unlimited power was in 2008 when the Republican brand was completely unpopular and the Dems had handily won the presidency and both houses of congress including (almost) a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Whatever the outcome in 2012, I don't think there are enough currently-Republican Senate seats in play this year for that kind of dominance. If the Democrats didn't succeed in bringing about Muslim Socialism back then, it ain't gonna happen now.

A popular conservative talking point is that President Obama means to "transform the country into something unrecognizable." This is pure legedermain to distract from the fact that the ones who claim any small "mandate" to transform government are the Republicans. From "Citizens United" to Scott Walker's war on unions to Michgan's war on democracy itself, Republicans see "transforming the country into something unrecognizable" as their JOB.

Now some conservative (*cough* Tacitus *cough*) might think that those particular transformations are good and necessary. That's a whole separate debate on which reasonable minds may disagree or come together as warranted. My point is simply that the notion that liberals--that Democrats--are the ones who must be prevented from doing irreperable harm to the nation is absurd! Democrats can't stop bickering among themselves long enough to do anything, and even the changes they do manage to make can be un-done by the next Republican to win office if he so desires. Republicans make hasty, ill-informed* changes before their first long weekend.

(* From "Phineas and Ferb": "Once Olaf Underdunk makes a hasty, ill-informed decision, he cannot be swayed!")

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

Quick. Any famous actors come to mind as Voice inspiration for characters in my novel The Postman? Not the movie but the book. Gordon? Abbie? the feminist Dena? General Macklin? Again, this is just to inspire the one professional narrator Audible has already hired. Just to give him ideas. Thanks!


When I read "The Postman" in the mid 1980s, I had Gordon firmly cast as Michael York (Logan's Run, The Three Musketeers).

Dena, as I already mentioned, is a good fit for Ashley Tisdale (Candace in "Phineas and Ferb", Sharpay in "High School Musical").

The pseudo-civilized survivalist, Roger Septien, I picture as a sort of David Niven type, or perhaps the actor who plays Belloq in "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

I have specific voices in my head for Colonel Bezoar and General Macklin, but I'm not sure I can relate them to actual celebrities. I'll post again if I come up with names.

Robert said...

Dr. Brin, I am afraid my political pessimism is outweighing your argument in this statement: This problem would end... it would END - if the Republican Party took a titanic Shellacking, this fall. That might give the decent men and women like you the power and gumption and voice to take back the Party of Lincoln. It is not unprecedented!

I had thought this myself. In 2008, the Republicans were smacked upside the head with a cluebat and told "your policies are NOT wanted." And then due to voter apathy on the Left, they resurged and gained massively in 2010. They learned an important lesson: by throwing mud everywhere and obstructing everything, they can regain power when non-Conservatives lose hope, while their base remains motivated.

In short, all they have to do is obstruct enough and the other side will stay home, giving them power.

This is why I see the only solution being the Republican Party's demise. Put it out of our misery.

------

There is actually a benefit to Santorum fighting Romney to this extent: Romney is burning through money so fast that his donators can't keep up. What's more, there is a lot of waste going on, and for what? These millionaires and billionaires are throwing around millions and millions of dollars... in a most inefficient manner... and in many cases not getting what they want. And what's more, the non-Conservatives are watching in bemusement and a bit of horror at how much money is being spent on the Republican Primary... and realizing that this is a bad thing.

I'm reminded of the movie Brewster's Millions (the one with Richard Pryor) in which to "teach Monty a lesson" he was forced to squander 30 million dollars in a month. Near the end, Monty is almost money-averse as his massive forced spending binge was quite stressful.

I have to wonder if the billionaires who are squandering all these millions to try and get "their man" in office might end up being burnt out on this. After all, most of them didn't win. And the one who did? Spent so much to prevail in the Primary that it significantly weakened him in the General Election.

This was actually voiced in a couple news articles I read in the last week on if there'd be enough money to fight Obama in the general election. Obama is quietly building up a massive campaign chest. But there isn't a similar one for the final Republican candidate.

It'll be interesting to see if this holds true once the primaries are done (or at least whatever happens with Super Tuesday)... and if the Republicans will go into the general election from a weakened position, no matter who wins.

Rob H.

Craig Comments said...

Wonderful comments. The problem we see is that the GOP faithful - those that go to the primaries apparently, are off the chart extreme. I saw a woman interviewed in one of the states about the GOP primary, and when asked who she (a tea party member) would vote for said,"the person that will never compromise and never surrender." I guess that means that she would only vote for a candidate that will refuse to govern. She apparently does even understand what democracy is all about. Scary.

I really enjoy this Blog, and the discussion of the future. But unfortunately, politics does effect the future. I'm not sure that a president can't interfere with a positive move forward. Especially one that has a very conservative religious outlook on life. These are the scariest people to me.

Carl M. said...

Hee hee hee. Lyndon was a New Deal Democrat (as well as a hardcore drug warrier and anti-environmentalist). I was going for maximum embarassment factor.

Come to think of it, Lyndon LaRouche and Newt Gingrich have much in common. Remember his Woman on Mars informercial?

Come to think of it, YOU have significant ideological overlap with LaRouche. He was huge on high tech, stimulus programs, and defending the European Enlightment...

In the general election, I voted for Ron Paul of course. (This was 1988.)

Robert said...

It's clear that the anti-environmental Rapture freaks never thought of this scenario:

The LORD: OK, now give me the Earth back... That's the Earth?!! What the @#$% did you do to it? Pushes button to open trapdoor - flames shoot up.

More seriously, one of the more encouraging recent developments is that the younger Evangelical leaders are moving away from Falwellism. Specifically, they realize that God might want the Earth back in good condition. They call it "Creation care." Well, maybe they'll also figure out that evolution is the most intelligent design around, and God's favored method of producing workers to put the finishing touches on Creation.

Bob P.

Robert said...

It's clear that the anti-environmental Rapture freaks never thought of this scenario:

The LORD: OK, now give me the Earth back... That's the Earth?!! What the @#$% did you do to it? Pushes button to open trapdoor - flames shoot up.

More seriously, one of the more encouraging recent developments is that the younger Evangelical leaders are moving away from Falwellism. Specifically, they realize that God might want the Earth back in good condition. They call it "Creation care." Well, maybe they'll also figure out that evolution is the most intelligent design around, and God's favored method of producing workers to put the finishing touches on Creation.

Bob P.

Robert said...

My apologies for the duplicate.

Bob P.

LarryHart said...

Robert:

I have to wonder if the billionaires who are squandering all these millions to try and get "their man" in office might end up being burnt out on this. After all, most of them didn't win.


I wonder if the Koch brothers and their ilk are actually getting their money's worth in tax breaks and deregulation. It occurs to me that they may be spending more on campaign contributions than they are getting back in favotitism. From a purely fiscal point of view, it might make more sense to just pay the taxes, comply with environmental regulations, and (more than) make up the difference by not spending billions on campaign advertising.

Cigarette advertisements ended up being removed from television in the 1970s by a partially voluntary process. It was better FOR THE CIGARETTE COMPANIES THEMSELVES to not have to advertise on tv as long as they were assured that their competitiors also didn't do so. Is it possible that campaign finance reform might eventually come about through a similar voluntary manner?

CJ-in-Weld said...

I don't know where I first saw this; if it was here, my apologies!

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/pole-dancing-republicans-move-right-and.html

I'm not nuts! My drift away from the Republican party actually is at least partly the Republican party drifting away from me...

Tacitus2 said...

LarryHart
as to your points.
If the Republican party nominates somebody who I do not consider to be a good choice then I, and probably a bunch of others, will not vote for this person. Dysfunction, insanity, cluelessness...the end result is the same.
Two consecutive mediocre presidents? Concur. And as a essentially conservative nation that loathes radical change, we have re-elected a few mediocrities and may do so again.
I still believe there is significant coordination between old line media and the Democratic party. It just does not work as well as in the past. Darn internet.
Romney-Martinez. I have occasional oracular flashes. No explaining beyond that.
Where they are given an option people do cross parties in primary elections. I voted in the D primary for Obama over Hillary. I just felt the nation had been subjected to enough of the Clintons and got caught up in the mood of the times. So I am not saying people can't or shouldn't do this, just that it makes interpreting primary results harder. And I was giving you next weeks headline about Romney underperfoming in Mich. It has already been written.
I do not find Romney inspiring, nor do I find him repellent. Lukewarm like a lot of conservative folks.
Tacitus

Robert said...

Something a tad cynical to consider: Did the Democratic Party ultimately harm itself by electing Obama as President? I mean, is it now possible for a more-qualified white male candidate in the future to win the Presidential primary in the face of competition from minority candidates who polarize said minority group? (Then again, the same could have been said if Hillary had gotten into office.)

Rob H.

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2:

Two consecutive mediocre presidents? Concur.


I meant two consecutive presidents without much in the way of qualifications. You seemed to be describing President Obama specifically as such, and I was pointing out that his predecessor had set the bar pretty low already.


And as a essentially conservative nation that loathes radical change, we have re-elected a few mediocrities and may do so again.


That's where I think the GOP is mistreading its mandate. The country may be "conservative" in the sense of hesitant to change. Heck, I'M conservative in that sense. "Citizens United" is not that sort of "conservative". It's as radical an instance of judicial activism as anything liberals on the court could be accused of. Yet because it is radical right-wing rather than left-wing, the decision is considered to be "conservative." Likewise the anti-democratic agendas of your own governor Walker or his counterparts in Ohio and Michigan. The American voters are not largely in favor of such draconian moves. Look at how the public began turning on the GOP after the Terry Schiavo fiasco.


I still believe there is significant coordination between old line media and the Democratic party. It just does not work as well as in the past. Darn internet.


I don't see it. There's no Walter Cronkite or Howard K Smith doing news for news's sake these days. News falls under the entertainment divisions of the tv networks, and is judged on how well it brings in ratings. If there is any political slant to its content, that slant is shaped by the transnational corporations who own ALL of them.

The one area I will agree that there is coordination with the campaigns is that the news channels want a down-to-the-wire horse race in all cases. They have no interest in an election where everyone knows by September who will carry the day. They are very careful to tear down whichever candidate is too far ahead, only to prop him up again should he fall too far behind. That was the dynamic of the Democratic primaries AND the general election in 2008, and it's shaping up the same way (except it's the GOP primary this time) in 2012.

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2 (again):

Where they are given an option people do cross parties in primary elections. I voted in the D primary for Obama over Hillary. I just felt the nation had been subjected to enough of the Clintons and got caught up in the mood of the times. So I am not saying people can't or shouldn't do this, just that it makes interpreting primary results harder.


Were you around "here" during the lead-up to the 2008 elections? Plenty of people, myself included, were horrified at the thought that a Hillary presidency might be followed by a Jeb Bush presidency, and that the parties might eventually just be called the Clinton Party and the Bush Party. That might be the deciding factor that made me an Obama fan rather than a Hillary fan.

In any case...what you did doesn't seem dishonest. You acted in the pure spirit of an open primary--you voted in the Democratic primary for the candidate you considered to be the best Democrat.

It's a whole different thing when crossover voters are allowed to sabotage the other party by voting for a weak candidate, which is what Rush told Texans to do in 2008 and what Democrats might do to Romney in Michigan this year. To me, that's dysfunctional in the same way that it's a bad idea to let Pete Rose bet on baseball games he manages, or to let banks sell mortgage-backed securities that they themselves have short positions on. I'm not sure how exactly you'd prevent any of these things from happening, but they are all violations of trust, and they help break the system rather than helping it work.

rewinn said...

@Carl M. said...

"...Lyndon was a New Deal Democrat ..."

No.

Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche, Jr is a con man who runs his own "U.S. Labor Party". The First Amendment allows to run for the Democratic Party nominations the same way that it allows Mike The Mover to do so, but at least MTM doesn't pretend actually to be interested in politics.

matthew said...

I like Donald Sutherland as the voice of Gordon. For Macklin, Rick Moranis. I like the idea of the general having a tiny, whiney voice

Naum said...

On Santorum and Republican primary voters… …In barely a century’s time, the population of the United States has more than tripled, to 313 million. We are a clattering, opinionated cluster of nearly all the world’s races and religions, and many of its languages, under one flag.

You would not know any of this looking at who is voting in one of the strangest presidential primary campaigns in history. There is no other way to put this without resorting to demographic bluntness: the small fraction of Americans who are trying to pick the Republican nominee are old, white, uniformly Christian and unrepresentative of the nation at large.

None of that is a surprise. But when you look at the numbers, it’s stunning how little this Republican primary electorate resembles the rest of the United States. They are much closer to the population of 1890 than of 2012.

Given the level of media attention, we know an election of great significance is happening on the Republican side. But it’s occurring in a different place, guided by talk-radio extremists and religious zealots, with only a vague resemblance to the states where it has taken place. From this small world have emerged a host of nutty, retrograde positions, unpopular with the vast American majority.

LarryHart said...

matthew:

For Macklin, Rick Moranis. I like the idea of the general having a tiny, whiney voice


Funny, but not credible. Macklin has to inspire respect, loyalty, and fear in his band of Holnists. He can't do so if he sounds like that goofy alpha-dog in "Up".

While it's not quite the accent I was imagining, Harry Morgan (Colonel Potter) might make a decent Macklin.

Again, not quite the accent I imagined, but Claude Rains as Captain Renault (Casablanca) exhibits the combination of smug authrority and obsequious toadyness for Colonel Bezoar.

David Brin said...

Tacitus, remember the satirical YouTube I proposed in 2008? A Greek chorus chanting:
Reagan-Bush
Reagan-Bush
Bush
Clinton
Clinton
Bush
Bush
Clinton?
Clinton? agh!

Naum has pinpointed it. The GOP is now the party of white males who hate to see that their time of utter dominance is over. Heck they are STILL the most powerful single group, by far! But they must learn to lead a coalition, cause they are not gonna simply call shots anymore.

David Brin said...

Larryhart, as I said, the Republicans have a very strong tendency to nominate the guy whose "turn" it is. If there's not a recent VP, then it's the guy who came in 2nd for the nomination last time.

Add to that pattern the rate of radicalization of Red America and Santorum becomes VERY plausible in 2016. Having spent the intervening years waging ferocious civil war.

Here's why this has to be a rout:

1- The oligarchs must be slapped down after trying to buy this election.

2- If moderates and indies totally reject the GOP, it might rise from the ashes with sane people rebuilding it.

3- It will be a referendum on Citizens United, hence with a landslide Roberts and Kennedy might take a hint and step aside when the dems pass a bunch of bills to rein in Super-Pacs, so we won't have to wait for them to die.

4- End gerrymandering. SInce blue state voters have rebelled against it, there is no reason for democratic pols to defend the practice anymore.

5- Get the money out of politics. Get the money out of politics. Get the money out of politics. Get the money out of politics. Get the money out of politics. Get the money out of politics.

6- Will there be socialism? Not. The Blue Dogs will side with the rump GOP against that. Appointments will go through and govt will function. The Consumer Agency may get aggressive: tough cookies. There'll be more science. Oh and the uber-oligarchs will pay more. BFD.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

Here's why this has to be a rout:

1- The oligarchs must be slapped down after trying to buy this election.

2- If moderates and indies totally reject the GOP, it might rise from the ashes with sane people rebuilding it.


I agree with the sentiment, but since the elections of 2006 and 2008, failed to prevent the Tea Party-led GOP from taking back congress in record numbers, what makes you think it will work the next time around?

Robert said...

So then, Dr. Brin, what happens to the Republican election cycle should Santorum manage to defeat Romney? If he wins in Michigan, this may result in donations pouring into PACs supporting him, giving him greater visibility during Super Tuesday. The mere fact he WON would be all over the news, giving him increased visibility. Say then he pulls off an even number of victories on Super Tuesday... and then starts plunking away at the post-Tuesday primaries.

The result? Nehemiah for 2012. But it also leaves the Republican race wide open for 2016 (assuming Nehemiah is cast down by moderates who look at him in revulsion).

Romney is thus extremely damaged. Ron Paul? He'll be too old to run in 2016 in all likelihood. And the other Republican candidates? Only Gingrich did well enough to place fourth and he's a non-candidate as well.

This could be the massive shakeup that the Republican Party needs to get out of its quagmire... and encourage new blood to seize the reins of power among the Republican party machine.

Rob H.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

Tacitus, remember the satirical YouTube I proposed in 2008? A Greek chorus chanting:
Reagan-Bush
Reagan-Bush
Bush
Clinton
Clinton
Bush
Bush
Clinton?
Clinton?


That only takes it through a theoretical two terms for Hillary. We were envisioning a Jeb Bush presidency after that, followed perhaps by Chelsea Clinton, and who knows which descendents after that, but at least two more "Bush" and two more "Clinton" lines than you have there.

ell said...

Tom Hanks as Gordon Krantz.

David Brin said...

If (I hope) Santorum continues surging, it will be an amazing, energized year. The libertarians might have their first year rising above 1%... maybe even high enough to get on a debate or two!

Ironically, all libertarians should right now ponder voting Santorum for that reason. Forget nostalgia for Ron Paul. Think nationally.

Robert said...

Actually I think Ron Paul is positioning himself as the VP candidate. If he continues to do strong with a significant enthusiastic base behind him, then he could effectively argue that he brings those people with him in the general election. Thus you get one of the few semi-effective VP candidates for the Republican Party.

Rob H.

Tacitus2 said...

I wonder if the political opinions of nonfiction writers are half as colorful!

Dick Cheney as General Macklin. He could totally pull it off. And he might even take the gig!

Tacitus

LarryHart said...


Dick Cheney as General Macklin. He could totally pull it off. And he might even take the gig!


Then would W be Colonel Bezoar?

And no one has yet speculated on perhaps the most crucial character of all--George Powhatan.

Tony Fisk said...

Since we're going to be like that:

George Powhatan = Al Gore

With the political lamp lit, it makes sense to ponder just what it is that's burning. So, read this.

A few moments pass as we all stood, just watching.

Out of the silence, Jitesh says to me “Do you see what we are doing here Mr. Lee?”

I asked “What’s that, Jitesh?”

He replied, with an unexpected, sobering tone: “We are destroying future generations for now, and forever.”

Tony Fisk said...

You know, it would be awfully apt if Mr. Santorum had 'Scud' as a nickname at college.

David Brin said...

onward

Frank W. Summers III said...

As to the opening remarks in your post I will add a saying which is a pure cliche on the theory that one can never have enough cliches. "Democrats fall in Love and Republicans Fall in Line". Like many of the best cliches this almost (but not quite) deserves to be a proverb. It of course is not perfect but it is remarkable how often Democrats have supported a man riding an emotional wave and how often Republicans have voted for one who had earned his turn.

However, I do not agree that it is Santorum's turn. I am not a Republican and will not vote in the primary at all. I have a vastly more nuanced and positive view of Santorum than you do but I would think the President of an "I Hate Santorum Club" might also. Most of the things you wrote seem to be part of you desire to actually see fighting in the streets by provoking people. His comments about contraception would require actual thought which you have not engaged in when reporting them. However, how has he earned this? He has not like Scott Brown or Chris Christie achieved a recent GOP triumph. Unlike George H W Bush, George W Bush or Ford he is not a more or less literal inheritor of the post. Unlike Reagan he has not made a name for himself actually getting rich, leading a WWII Propaganda section in the military, personally saving dozens of lives, using violence to surpress disorder and fighting Communists at Home. Despite the efforts of the Left to lie Reagan was very formidable. Santorum is more like a solid Democrat (not the big stars) in his profile than like a Republican lock.

Frank W. Summers III said...

I somehow lost a middle paragraph in my last comment. I have done that before but not here and I am not sure how. It would have indicated that to go out of turn there is an earning process involved which Reagan really embodied more than his run against Ford which was more negative than usually admitted. Santorum has not earned the spot. However, this is all hopelessly garbled now so I will just go my way on this one. But there is an earning exception and Santorum is not it... I think.

Ian said...

Several comments:

1. Ian McShane as General Macklin.

2. I don't know about tactical cross-over voting but it's noteworthy that turn-out on several of the caucus states Santorum won was unusally low. That's probably attributable to a combination of states opting to make causcuses non-binding to avoid being penalized for running their caucuses early and a general disenchantment with the principal candidates.

In one state, IIRC, Santorum "won" with only around 5,000 votes.

3. It's worth noting that both parties got far fewer votes in 2010's Congressional elections than in 2008's Presidential elections. From memory, the Democratic vote fell 15 million and the Republican vote fell by 10 million. In other words, 2008 Democrtic voters weren't persuaded to vote Republican in 2010, it's more they just couldn't be persuaded to vote.