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What If Newt Wins Florida?

Other than the fact that Barack Obama and his top campaign staff will need medical attention for the priapism they develop, what would happen if Newt wins the Florida primary, as the polls currently suggest he will do? Former McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt predicts an apocalypse:

Not only are we not moving toward a coalescing of support with the establishment of Newt Gingrich, we’re probably moving toward a declaration of war on Newt Gingrich by the Republican establishment. And if Newt Gingrich is able to win the Florida primary, you will see a panic and a meltdown of the Republican establishment that is beyond my ability to articulate in the English language. People will go crazy.

And you will have this five week period until the Super Tuesday states that will be just as unpredictable, tumultuous as any period in modern American politics. It will be a remarkable thing to watch, should that happen in Florida…

I think everybody in the establishment Republican circles in Washington D.C. is fixated on the numbers we talked about earlier. Newt Gingrich has a 100% name ID, has a 60% national unfavorable number and it’s a number so high that with the 100% name ID it’s impossible to come back from. You’re not electable in a general election, in a 2012 presidential election, if your unfavorable numbers are that high. Particularly against a president, that while vulnerable, is still a net positive in that number. So people look at Newt Gingrich and don’t see him as a plausible candidate in the general election, so the Republican establishment who thinks that the president is vulnerable and beatable is going to begin to melt down if Gingrich’s momentum continues.

Also something important to remember there are 33 House Republicans in districts that Barack Obama won. What is the impact in terms of Republicans being able to keep the House of Representatives in majority control if Newt Gingrich was the nominee of the party? What is the impact in the United State Senate races where Republicans have a great chance of taking majority control of the United States Senate. With Newt Gingrich as the nominee of the party, that is, perhaps, all up in the air.

Josh Marshall echoes that sentiment:

It would be quite difficult for Newt Gingrich to beat President Obama. The bigger story is that he would likely devastate the congressional Republican party. He’d probably weigh down the GOP up and down the ticket. And that puts the whole thing in much sharper relief for Republican officeholders, committee chairs and money folks.

If I’m right about that, that means they have to and will do virtually everything possible now to crush Gingrich and make Romney the nominee.

Marshall thinks Gingrich wins Florida but that the Romney machine will eventually “grind him down.” I think so too. But Daniel Larison says, “Gingrich isn’t going to be the nominee. The Republican primary electorate can’t be that stupid.” Such naivete. Of course they can be. I’m gonna need more popcorn.

Comments

  1. shouldbeworking says

    Posts like this make reading about American politics interesting. Glad I live in Canada so I don’t have to live through it.

  2. raven says

    a panic and a meltdown of the Republican establishment that is beyond my ability to articulate in the English language. People will go crazy.

    I doubt it. You can’t go crazy if you are already crazy.

    Moderate Republicans are like moderate xians. There are a few around but no one has seen them for a while or knows where they are.

    Ginrich isn’t even a very convincing Tea Party class xian. He is an apostate and a convert to the Catholic church of satan. Besides which, his main beliefs seem to be that he needs more money, power, and women. Guys a sociopath at best.

    I keep expecting him to show up for for his coronation dressed in a snazzy toga bordered with purple and wearing a laurel wreath on his head.

    Got to hand it to the USA. We are the world leader in many fields. It seems like we will find to weirdest way to commit national suicide in a long, long time.

  3. Jordan Genso says

    Gingrich supporters believe so strongly in his debate skills that they feel he could lower the President’s net favorability rating to be as low as Newt’s. And then, since he is just so smart, all it takes is for the country to listen to his common sense ideas to recognize the brilliance and begin to view him more favorably.

    With the quote about him being “what stupid people think a smart person sounds like”, it makes sense that those people would believe that his intelligence would appeal to the general population. The only way they could be wrong about that appeal is if they are wrong about Newt’s intelligence, and I see no reason why they would begin to doubt Newt’s intelligence.

  4. raven says

    Posts like this make reading about American politics interesting. Glad I live in Canada so I don’t have to live through it.

    If we go down, Canada goes with us.

    The recently reelected prime minister of Candada is a wacko religious kook and Bush clone, Steven Harper. Like it or not, a whole lot of Canadians voted for him.

    I always find smug Canadians amusing. Seems like whatever is happening in the USA happens in Canada a few years later. It’s cultural imperialism from 310 million Americans overwhelming 30 million Canadians.

  5. jeevmon says

    Even if Gingrich isn’t the nominee, the question still remains as to whether he will do well enough to extract some kind of concession from Romney in exchange for dropping out/ endorsing him. The veep slot? A prime-time speaking slot at the convention? Gingrich could still do a lot of damage to Romney even in defeat.

    I really can’t believe we’re having this discussion at all. Newt Gingrich? For President?

  6. Michael Heath says

    Bronze Dog:

    It’s stuff like this that helps me see the occasional upside to living in interesting times.

    I used to think that but don’t now since conservatives not only don’t learn from their mistakes and improve, they go ever deeper in to nihilistic, infantile, lunacy. That alone isn’t enough to fend off my pessimism about the future, it is that the Senate filibuster rules are now being exploited to the point we can’t wait conservatives out without catastrophic future harm given their ability to forestall effective mitigation of global warming. This makes their journey into the darkness a future cost on all humanity our media is failing to properly assess. I’m supremely confident climate change will be one of the top stories of this century and yet it hardly gets a mention when we’re debating general public policy.

  7. magistramarla says

    If all of this is true, then I hope that Newty IS the nominee.
    Anything that would guarantee that the Democrats could have the majority in both houses is fine by me.
    Of course, the entertainment factor is there, too. It’s fun watching the rethugs eat their own.

  8. shouldbeworking says

    If we go down, Canada goes with us.

    Yes, to a certain degree. Our economy is doing OK, how’s yours been? No Canadian banks needed a bailout and our dollar is about par.

    The recently reelected prime minister of Candada is a wacko religious kook and Bush clone, Steven Harper. Like it or not, a whole lot of Canadians voted for him.

    True, he has many faults and deficiencies. Not quite a clone, he kept us out of Iraq, despite the US pleading. But we don’t have politicians trying to out-stupid each other and pandering to the lowest denominator to the same extent as the rethuglicans. Even Harper and his puppets aren’t trying to ban gay marriage and abortion.

    I always find smug Canadians amusing. Seems like whatever is happening in the USA happens in Canada a few years later. It’s cultural imperialism from 310 million Americans overwhelming 30 million Canadians.

    Glad we can be amusing. We have a lot in common, but our differences are important too. Lots of Canadians feel close to the US, but in no way want to become Americans.

  9. says

    I see it like this: If Santorum can be disinfected* from the race, his voters will go something like 2-1 for Gingrich, maybe more than that. I’ve been seeing more and more comments around about the skeery Mormon. Mittens was never the favorite of Republicans; he was never more than the least bad option with the advantage of having an air of inevitability. Without the latter he has little appeal to the two moderates left in the Republican party.
    After all, hasn’t what we’ve seen for months been one effort after another to nominate someone — anyone! — who is NOT named Mitt?

    * As anyone who has tried to wipe off Santorum knows, it is extraordinarily difficult, especially if it has been allowed to dry.

  10. tbp1 says

    Honestly, I really don’t understand how someone as transparently vile as Gingrich is even still a public figure. Why isn’t he living out a wretched solitary life in disgrace, the way he ought to be? How could any sane person possibly think he’s presidential material.

    Seriously, the fact that he has any credibility at all is one of the (sadly many) things that make me despair for the future of this country.

  11. shouldbeworking says

    With the volume and number of outputs, it’s a never-ending job keeping up with it too.

  12. jolo5309 says

    The recently reelected prime minister of Candada is a wacko religious kook and Bush clone, Steven Harper. Like it or not, a whole lot of Canadians voted for him.

    Not really, he doesn’t let his religion affect him as much as politicians down south. This is because we are more secular. Harper’s main goal is to make destroy the Liberal Party of
    Canada and have only a (Canadian) Left or a (Canadian) Right choice federally.

    For all the talk going on about his “secret agenda”, Harper has done exactly what he promised, if this succeeds in uniting the left, I think he will be ok with that.

  13. says

    And Michael Heath brings me down from that moment of laughter and back into healthy paranoia.

    Raven:

    Got to hand it to the USA. We are the world leader in many fields. It seems like we will find to weirdest way to commit national suicide in a long, long time.

    I’m starting to wonder what an American version of Caligula would be like. And how our talented spin doctors would defend him.

  14. Die Anyway says

    I was really hoping they would blow their wad with Michelle Bachmann. Now that would have made for a hilarious presidential race.
    The only thing that can be said for the election a really bad Republican president is that it will make the pendulum swing that much further on the other side. Of course we have to live long enough to benefit from the swing.

  15. raven says

    Honestly, I really don’t understand how someone as transparently vile as Gingrich is even still a public figure.

    It’s simple. To toads, other toads are fascinating and quite attractive. Newt is just one of millions of toads.

    Why isn’t he living out a wretched solitary life in disgrace, the way he ought to be?

    Money. Newt has managed to make quite a lot of money entertaining the other toads. Hyprocrisy isn’t a problem with fundie xians, it is one of their three main sacraments.

    How could any sane person possibly think he’s presidential material.

    Who says they are sane? All civilizations end sooner or later, not a single one has lasted. Someday our American civilization will end. I was hoping it would hang together for my projected lifespan of a few more decades but that isn’t looking like a sure thing anymore.

  16. says

    raven wrote:

    Moderate Republicans are like moderate xians. There are a few around but no one has seen them for a while or knows where they are.

    I’ve noticed that your comments almost always paint with an extraordinarily broad brush and this is a perfect example. I know lots of moderate and liberal Christians. My friend Julie is an Episcopalian and is a tireless advocate for liberal causes. She has run a major gay rights organization and now runs an environmental group. Her roommate is an Episcopal priest, very liberal theologically and politically. They were the ones who arranged my meeting with Bishop Tutu, who certainly fits the bill as well. The Texas Freedom Network has a coalition of hundreds of clergy who are staunch backers of a strict separation between church and state and who work to counter the agenda of the religious right. The Clergy Letter Project got thousands of signatures. Pretending they don’t exist doesn’t make a good argument for your own grasp of reality.

    Ginrich isn’t even a very convincing Tea Party class xian. He is an apostate and a convert to the Catholic church of satan.

    I’ve seen you make a similar argument many times. You really seem to think that Protestants and Catholics are still at war with one another. It used to be a very common idea among Protestants that the Catholic Church is the “whore of Babylon” and such, but that was a long time ago. Today, that position has been relegated to a small subset of mostly Calvinist Christians. I can’t imagine that the vast majority of religious right voters care at all about Newt being a Catholic.

  17. d cwilson says

    Ginrich isn’t even a very convincing Tea Party class xian. He is an apostate and a convert to the Catholic church of satan.

    raven, I think you greatly overestimate the divisions between evangelicals and catholics. Yes, they have serious disagreements on doctrine, but things have changed since 1960. Conservative Christians of all stripes have found common cause on issues like abortion and hating gays. Evangelicals are no longer as adverse to voting for catholic politicans as they once were. Many catholic pols, such as Santorum and Bobby Jindal count evangelicals among their most reliable supporters. You can’t bet on Gingrich not being able to get evangelicals to back him.

    Yeah, maybe once they’ve achieved their more immediate goals of getting the Evil Kenyan Atheist Muslim Usurper(tm) out of office and getting rid of those pesky parts of the Constitution that they don’t like, catholics and evangelicals will settle up on which One True Religion shall reign. But for now, they are allies.

  18. d cwilson says

    Honestly, I really don’t understand how someone as transparently vile as Gingrich is even still a public figure.

    It’s simple. Newt could drop kick puppies and beat little old ladies with their own canes, but so long as he blows all the right dog whistles, his supporters won’t care.

  19. raven says

    Anti Catholic bigotry might not be what it was 50 years ago, but it is still alive and well

    If you really believe in your xian cult, it is the One True Cult and all the others are Fake. Why would you belong to a Fake Cult and end up in hell being tortured forever? The stakes are high here, where your soul ends up for all eternity.

    Robert Jeffres on Catholics:

    If you want to counterfeit a dollar bill, you don’t do it with purple paper and red ink, you’re not going to fool anybody with that. But if you want to counterfeit money, what you do is make it look closely related to the real thing as possible.

    And that’s what Satan does with counterfeit religion.

    He uses, he steals, he appropriates all of the symbols of true biblical Christianity, and he changes it just enough in order to cause people to miss eternal life.

    Bachmann Belonged to Church that Believed Pope was Anti-Christ …www.nationalreview.com/…/bachmann-belonged-church-believed-p…Cached

    14 Jul 2011 – … that was part of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, which holds that the Pope is the Anti-Christ:
    Bachmann was a longtime member of … That Lutherans believe Catholics erroneously understand the Bible does not …

    Some of the fundie leaders are openly antiCatholic. Jeffres called it the church of satan not long ago. John Hagee says the same thing. Michele Bachmann’s cult, the Wisconsin Lutherans says the Pope is the antichrist. It is right on their website.

    They might cooperate when it is convenient. When it is not, they are competitors for bodies, allegiances, and of course, MONEY. Heaven might run on prayers but the churches want US currency.

    BTW, half my extended family is Catholic, the other half Protestant. When we get together we refight the Reformation wars. Actually, we eat a lot, watch movies, play with the cats, and go for walks. Most thinking people don’t take the old hatreds seriously any more. But how many “thinking people” are left in the USA?

  20. raven says

    Is Pope Benedict XVI The Antichrist?www.popebenedictantichrist.com/Similar
    You +1′d this publicly. Undo
    Is The Pope The Antichrist? … The Bible clearly says in Revelation that the False Church of Rome will one day use its power to … will arise from within the old Roman Empire, which is for the most part the area that we now call Europe. … ” assistant” as the Antichrist murders all true Christians by beheading and other methods.

    I didn’t read this website. There are a lot of fundie kooks babbling on about how the pope is the antichrist and the RCC is the church of satan.

    thecurrentpope.com:

    July 20, 2010
    The Catholic Pope officially called Protestant Churches “Useless for Salvation” ?
    15
    Pope Benedict XVI reasserted the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released Tuesday that says other Christian communities are either defective or not true churches and Catholicism provides the only true path to salvation.

    The current Pope, Benedict, doesn’t seem to like Protestants either. I suppose it is part of his job to claim that the RCC is the One True Church and Protestants are all wrong.

  21. d cwilson says

    They might cooperate when it is convenient.

    Well, that’s the point. What with all the gay secular atheists plotting to impose Shariah law on all of us, it is plenty convenient for them to cooperate right now. Of course people like Jeffries believes that his religion is the One True Faith(tm) and all others are evil cults, but they are prioritizing their battles. If you line up a menu that includes Obama (Evil Kenyan Atheist Muslim), Romney (Mormon), and Gingrich (Conservative Catholic), even Jeffries will shake hands with Newt. He’ll hold his nose with his other hand while doing it, but he honor the truce.

  22. raven says

    wikipedia anticatholicism in the USA:

    In May 2006, a Gallup poll found 57% of Americans had a favorable view of the Catholic faith, while 30% of Americans had an unfavorable view. The Catholic Church’s doctrines, and the priest sex abuse scandal were top issues for those who disapproved.

    30% of Americans had a “unfavorable” view of the Catholic church, whatever “unfavorable” means. Considering that almost half of the 57% that had a favorable view are Catholics themselves, that isn’t all that high.

  23. slc1 says

    Re shouldbeworking @ #

    . But we don’t have politicians trying to out-stupid each other and pandering to the lowest denominator to the same extent as the rethuglicans.

    Oh, how about Gary Goodyear, creationist and chiropractor and Harper’s Minister for Science and Technology? Not even Dubya appointed a schmuck like him to a post having to do with science and technology.

  24. d cwilson says

    30% of Americans had a “unfavorable” view of the Catholic church, whatever “unfavorable” means.

    They may have a negative view of the institution, but that doesn’t mean they won’t vote for an individual who is catholic. A more relevant survey is this gallup poll:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/148100/Hesitant-Support-Mormon-2012.aspx

    It found less than 10% of Americans would not vote for a Catholic, as opposes to 22% who wouldn’t vote for a Muslim or 49% who wouldn’t vote for an atheist.

  25. Ichthyic says

    from the article:

    so the Republican establishment who thinks that the president is vulnerable and beatable is going to begin to melt down if Gingrich’s momentum continues.

    just how much of the GoP establishment really thinks Romney could beat Obama in a general election?

    sorry, but at this point, I have to think that’s a relatively small number.

    so, no, I don’t think Newt winning Florida will cause any meltdowns amongst the majority of the “establishment”.

    It will cause some heavy sighs, and headscratching, as they realize just how nutty much of the American populace has become, that they are the ones enabling that, and who in the hell will they get to run next time that has a net positive view among americans (newt is -60), but still comes off as batshit crazy.

    hmm, now who can we think of that is ignorant, nuts, but still comes off as a net positive to a lot of americans…

    Sarah Palin comes to mind.

    my prediction:

    Sarah will again be asked to run in 2016.

    …and the clown car just keeps on a rollin’.

  26. Ichthyic says

    Today, that position has been relegated to a small subset of mostly Calvinist Christians.

    Cue Heddle to pop in and tell us that all Calvinists of course don’t hate Cahtolics, and neither do any other christians.

    fact is, I think you’re overstating your case there, Ed.

    There is still a lot of catholic hate from protestants that I have seen; even from middle-class churches in California.

    especially Southern California.

  27. Pierce R. Butler says

    Florida’s primary will be the OK Corral of the Repubs’ teabagger-vs-corporado fight – and polls show the colonial-costume crew is beating the Brooks Brothers brigade.

    Popcorn shmopcorn – bring me some Milk Duds!

  28. Ichthyic says

    Popcorn shmopcorn – bring me some Milk Duds!

    it’s like watching a trainwreck, in slow motion, where the train is full of clowns in full makeup and costume.

  29. Ichthyic says

    It found less than 10% of Americans would not vote for a Catholic, as opposes to 22% who wouldn’t vote for a Muslim or 49% who wouldn’t vote for an atheist.

    wellp, fair enough. can’t argue with that.

    Still, I think a more fair comparison would be asking a protestant whether they would prefer to vote for a protestant instead of a catholic, and by how much.

    there is a reason McCain changed his religion to Southern Baptist instead of Catholic before the 2000 primaries.

  30. otrame says

    The Republican Powers That Be have been pandering to the craziest part of their base for a while now, and this is the price they are going to pay. Sure, pretending to be all religious is part of being a politician in this country. And I’m sure the RPTB thought that they needed to energize the wingnuts to come out and vote and it worked just fine for them for a while.

    But wingnuts actually believe this shit, unlike RPTB. They take is seriously. Watch the RPTB scurry around while their hand-picked “what’s good for big business is good for everyone” candidate is getting into trouble because he is not a mainstream protestant. They are the one’s who empowered the religious extremists. The phrase “hoist on their own petard” comes to mind.

  31. otrame says

    Ed, I rarely disagree with you, but I can imagine that many religious right voters have trouble voting for a catholic, though not, to be sure, as much trouble as they have voting for a mormon. They don’t kill each other over it, but many protestants and many catholics believe the other are going to hell and that is fine with them.

    I think this partially because a lot of the more reasonable people have left religion, if not to full-on atheism at least to Christmas and Easter only and don’t think about it much. This leaves behind a higher percentage of RTCs (Real True Christians) of various mutually exclusive types. The remaining seriously religious, per capita, are crazier. Yes, of course, there are many good, decent people who are liberal and devoutly Christian. I’m not sure there are enough of them to counteract the wave of crazy that is building (and, as I said above, was being encouraged by the Republican leadership).

    The good thing is their kids are leaving at a rate that is really starting to scare them. Instead of trying to find out why the kids are leaving, they just become defensive and more extreme.

    Or, to put it another way, I’ll get out a fresh batch of popcorn. Maybe melt a little caramel sundae sauce over it. Anyone want some?

  32. scottportman says

    Even a month ago, I would have said that Romney is more electable than Newt Gingrich. Naturally, I started rooting for Gingrich. But I am no longer so sure. Romney seems to be both an truly bad campaigner, and a man uniquely ill-suited to the presidency at this point in history. Who is going to elect a man who made a quarter billion dollars from corporate raids and bust-outs, rather than manufacturing or invention? The 1% thing resonates across the political spectrum and it seems he’s even got a glass jaw when it comes to Republican voters.

    Romney is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. That won’t win him friends with liberals like yours’ truly, but it’s seems like it’s not winning him friends with Republicans either. It seems unbelievable that a slimeball like Gingrich could win the Republican primary… but frankly both Newt and Mitt seem like such horrible candidates right now that I truly wonder how either could win the general. Mostly I just want the primary to go on as long as possible, for both of them to metaphorically beat each other silly, and for GOP donors to waste as much of their ill-gotten gains on a long, divisive and bitter primary contest.

    I no longer care which one wins, as long as he staggers over the finish line exhausted and broken, with all of the Democrat’s campaign commercials already written.

  33. raven says

    But wingnuts actually believe this shit, unlike RPTB

    True. Sam Harris said the same thing when talking about Moslem suicide bombers. Something the seculars and atheists have a hard time imagining.

    They blow themselves up along with a few dozen random strangers because they really do believe their crap.

  34. Ichthyic says

    with all of the Democrat’s campaign commercials already written.

    what concerns me is, while all america grabs their popcorn and feasts on the Twit of the Year competition being waged by the GoP, all the problems that have been documented with the Obama administration over the last few years will be entirely ignored.

    …and the US takes another jump to the right, even as Obama is re-elected.

    almost seems scripted…

  35. shouldbeworking says

    slc1 says:

    Oh, how about Gary Goodyear, creationist and chiropractor and Harper’s Minister for Science and Technology? Not even Dubya appointed a schmuck like him to a post having to do with science and technology.

    Oh him. I forgot about him. But has he really tried to push his religious views through Parliament? He hasn’t tried to limit funding for abortion, restrict the right to marry or remove sex education from the classroom. Has he censored publications by government agencies and researchers because they did not measure down to the Minister’s view of reality?

    With a smaller population and a smaller number of candidates for the cabinet, I would expect the range of mindless sockpuppets to be smaller. Of much greater concern to me is the muzzling of scientists by the Prime Minister.

  36. davidbrown says

    shouldbeworking at 10 said:

    [Re: Stephen Harper] True, he has many faults and deficiencies. Not quite a clone, he kept us out of Iraq, despite the US pleading.

    Although I don’t think Stephen Harper is a Bush clone either, he didn’t keep Canada out of Iraq – that was Prime Minister Jean Chretien. In 2003 Harper said, “We support the war effort and believe we should be supporting our troops and our allies and be there with them doing everything necessary to win”. (Of course in 2008 he called it the war “absolutely an error”, so Harper can change his mind.) IIRC, part of his claim at the time was that trade with the US would suffer greatly due to backlash at Canada’s staying out of Iraq. Interesting to note, US-Canada trade actually went up during the war.
    Anyways, as a Canadian, all I can say is: President Gingrich? Extraordinarily scary.

  37. shouldbeworking says

    @40
    You are correct. What I meant to say (really)that he made sure our involvement was in Afghanistan and we wouldn’t send troops to Iraq. I still think he was right in 2008.

    P.S. I have not voted PC, Reform or Conservative since early last century.

  38. davidbrown says

    shouldbeworking at 41 said:

    P.S. I have not voted PC, Reform or Conservative since early last century.

    Holy crap – you’ve been voting since around 1910 or so?
    :)

  39. Strategically Shaved Monkey says

    “Just the calvinists”
    Mr Brayton, I think you should use your passport a little more often.

  40. shouldbeworking says

    Yeah, it seems like it. Although anyone who remembers all of the 1980′s must have seen the last half of the last Ice Age, according to my darling children and my oh-so-eager-to-please students.

  41. sumdum says

    I find it funny that first they wanted ‘anyone but Romney’, now it seems they might get their wish and they react in shock as if to say ‘we didn’t actually mean it’.

  42. Zinc Avenger says

    What if?

    Double down on crazy.

    Geometric progression. We might finally find out what happens when the Republican party asymptotically approaches the right limit of the political spectrum.

  43. laurentweppe says

    Other than the fact that Barack Obama and his top campaign staff will need medical attention for the priapism they develop

    Like you were not enjoying Newt’s shadenfreude porn as much as they are.

  44. Chris from Europe says

    @raven
    To be fair to the Canadians, Harper lost the vote. The other parties just handed the seats to him.

  45. frog says

    I was finding the whole thing kind of funny for a while. Now I’m starting to worry. No one thought Newt would get this far. Who’s to say he can’t get further?

    It’s all fun and games until some megalomaniac demagogues his way into power.

  46. steve oberski says

    @shouldbeworking

    Even Harper and his puppets aren’t trying to ban gay marriage and abortion.

    But they did try to do an end run around gay marriage when a federal lawyer argued that same-sex marriages performed in Canada are only considered valid in Canada if the unions are recognized in the couple’s home country.

    Major back pedalling by them this time but I consider it a trial run.

  47. steve oberski says

    And then there’s the business of trying to make Canadian foreign aid contingent on it not being used for birth control which they also backed down on, but that was when they had a minority government.

    Eternal vigilance and all that.

    They have a majority now but you betcha they are still swayed by public opinion.

  48. shouldbeworking says

    I can’t believe I’m supporting Harper in any way. The lawyer was out of line and he did get blasted for that in the media IIRC. Harper is a narrow-minded twit, but he does pay some attention to what people say, even those outside the party (should that be Party?). The gay marriage crap concerned the divorce aspect. I can’t see even Harper pushing some of the GOP crap through Parliament, even with a majority.

    Wow. If anyone in my family reads this, I’m never getting another birthday present again and I’ll be eating Thanksgiving dinner by myself.

  49. Michael Heath says

    Ed writes:

    You really seem to think that Protestants and Catholics are still at war with one another. It used to be a very common idea among Protestants that the Catholic Church is the “whore of Babylon” and such, but that was a long time ago.

    I saw this transformation take place in the Missionary Baptist denomination, from the late-1960s through 1978. When I was a small child I remember the whole ‘whore of Babylon’ lambasts, along with predictions the pope was the Anti-Christ (or Henry Kissinger or Anwar Sadat). By the time I was a teen-ager the argument was that many Catholics were Christians, they’d figured out how to become one in good stead in spite of their remaining Catholic. The fear and hatred of Catholicism had ebbed, at least for the congregants along with the local priests and nuns.

    I think the reason for this sea-change, and it’s my own personal speculation not having researched it, is the increasing desire of conservative Christians to become politically active within the context of their beliefs. Catholics were doing an outstanding job in the mid- to late-70s making abortion rights a big issue, so there were synergies in becoming allies in the public square. In return for taking up the banner against abortion, conservative Protestants were effective at moving Catholics from their traditional Democratic party to the Republican party. Fox News is a perfect resulting exemplar of this political-religious marriage. Fox is effectively a Catholic media giant who appeals predominately to older conservative fundamentalist and evangelical Christians by ignoring their own tradition of social justice. They also avoid biblical passages of Jesus commanding us in how to treat each other. Instead focused on the conservative protestant and conservative Catholics common bigotries and non-sensical conspiracy theories. Bingo – O’Reilly’s got 3 million viewers a night. YOU CAN’T EXPLAIN THAT!!!

  50. Michael Heath says

    scottportman writes:

    Romney is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

    I’ve always cringed when I’ve encountered this adage; not this time, it’s a perfect capturing of what I’ve been seeing out of Romney the past several weeks but couldn’t articulate until now. That is beyond his obvious inability to perceive the reality of those outside his own social circle. Mr. Romney’s tone-deafness is unique amongst politicians, he is to tone-deafness what Ms. Palin is dishonesty; they have no parallel. I can’t think of a better illustration than Mitt Romney to argue scottportman’s observation.

  51. slc1 says

    Re Michael Heath @ #55

    Apparently, Romney is airing a campaign commercial blasting the Gingrich for appearing in a commercial on global warming with then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. I guess Romney the rat has now joined the warming deniers. Is there any previous stand that this schmuck will not reverse to gain the Rethuglican nomination?

  52. Azkyroth says

    just how much of the GoP establishment really thinks Romney could beat Obama in a general election?

    FIFY

  53. Michael Heath says

    slc1:

    Romney is airing a campaign commercial blasting the Gingrich for appearing in a commercial on global warming with then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. I guess Romney the rat has now joined the warming deniers. Is there any previous stand that this schmuck will not reverse to gain the Rethuglican nomination?

    I know of no Republican on the national stage who accepts the science on climate change as its comprehensively presented, including consensus future predictions held with high confidence. None. In the four ’12 GOP primary debates I’ve watched the most critical issue of our century is rarely brought up by the so-called journalists moderating the debate and asking the questions. And when its one of the candidates talking on the subject, always quickly, the assumption is that any Republican conceding reality on the topic in the past was committing a grave error in judgment.

  54. abb3w says

    @18 Ed Brayton:

    Today, that position has been relegated to a small subset of mostly Calvinist Christians.

    From the GSS (variables CATHTEMP and PROTTEMP), looks like on the very rough order of sixth of Protestants might be in the neighborhood; and that Catholics are more likely to be correspondingly unfond of Protestants than the other way around.

    In both cases, those who take the Bible as Inerrant are more likely to be significantly biased.

    @23, raven:

    Anti Catholic bigotry might not be what it was 50 years ago, but it is still alive and well

    It doesn’t seem to have shifted much in the last 25 years, anyway; and the shift, a marginal increase. That said, you appear to exaggerate the degree of it. I’m afraid “alive and well” overstates it; I can’t go higher than “not going anywhere”.

  55. raven says

    From the GSS (variables CATHTEMP and PROTTEMP), looks like on the very rough order of sixth of Protestants might be in the neighborhood; and that Catholics are more likely to be correspondingly unfond of Protestants than the other way around.

    I did look for some real numbers and found some in Wikipedia. They aren’t too focused on subsets and were cut and pasted above in the thread.

    I didn’t say that all Protestants and Catholics all still hate each other. Some of the fundies still hate the Catholics though and they say so often. Jeffres and Hagee aren’t random kooks babbling on the internet, they are fundie leaders, pathetic as they are.

    My extended family is half Protestant and half Catholic. How in the hell did that happen? For the two people who might be drunk, there is a huge amount of intermarriage between the two groups. I’ve never seen any bigotry among the mainline Protestants but that is what I was and those are the main group where I live.

    The fundies are another story. FWIW, I break up US xians into Protestants, Catholics and fundies. The fundie version of xianity has no resemblance to my natal mainline Protestantism whatsoever. They are an inversion, almost the exact opposite.

    Your numbers are a “sixth of Protestants”. And the fundies are more likely than other Protestants. So it could be that 1/3 of the fundies aren’t too fond of Catholics and some very roughly similar number of Catholics vice versa.

    In this day and age, that is a significant number. The fact that it isn’t around zero is sort of pathetic.

    I don’t think much of the RCC as an institution. They don’t think much of people like me either and have been saying so loudly for 2,000 years. But I don’t have a problem with Catholics. They are relatives, friends, coworkers and have been all my life. They are just people. The RCC members have had 2,000 years to learn to ignore the priests and Popes and just live their life.

  56. raven says

    I think the reason for this sea-change, and it’s my own personal speculation not having researched it, is the increasing desire of conservative Christians to become politically active within the context of their beliefs

    I sometimes wonder how many of the fundies really believe in xianity any more.

    Despite their claims of biblical literalism, their religion evolves and quite rapidly. And it seems to also be quite conveniently evolving.

    If this is correct and it sounds reasonable, when the fundies got involved in politics, all of the sudden the whore of Babylon became the potential xian block voters and went from bound to hell to bound to heaven.

    Some astute commentators have claimed that fundie xianity has died and come back as a Zombie. The Zombie is right wing extremist politics with a few god stickers stuck on it. They certainly don’t know much about the bible or care, and they certainly don’t walk the talk about a lot of the NT teachings of jesus. There seem to be multiple jesus’s in the NT, but some of them were pretty benign, social justice, feeding the poor, forgiving the sinners and all that.

    A huge amount of core beliefs that the fundies claim aren’t in the bible, just stuff their leaders made up. Where is evolution or the Big Bang mentioned in the bible? Nowhere. What does it have to do with salvation, nothing. Salvation is faith that jesus is god and/or good works and that is it.

  57. DaveL says

    Newt could drop kick puppies and beat little old ladies with their own canes, but so long as he blows all the right dog whistles, his supporters won’t care.

    Don’t forget the appeal of pissing off liberals, as well. It’s a strange meme that I have yet to see an analog for in the opposite direction. If someone lets on that liberals get upset when you beat little old ladies and drop-kick puppies then they would positively cheer him on.

  58. KG says

    I’m still chary of the argument that the most extreme Republican candidate gets the nomination because he couldn’t possibly win the Presidency. After Reagan and Fearless Flightsuit, I don’t have that kind of confidence. moreover, I’m increasingly tempted to believe that Angela Merkel has been bribed by the Koch brothers to bring about the disintegration of the Eurozone and a consequent credit crunch dwarfing that of 2008, some time around September: nothing else seems adequate to explain her lunatic attempts to force Europe into a full-scale slump.

    Of course, any Republican victory would be disastrous, but even if Obama is re-elected, the chances of the USA passing any agreement on controlling GHG emissions appear remote; so perhaps it’s all just a squabble about the arrangement of deckchairs on the Titanic.

  59. KG says

    Real Clear Politics has the latest polls showing Gingrich ahead nationally, but Romney in Florida.

  60. dingojack says

    As an anitdote to KG’s pessimism let’s look at the facts:
    Summary of Intrade for today
    Presidential winner by party:
    Democratic: 55.964% [Democratic Party leads by 13.618/ 13.852]
    Rebpublican: 42.346%
    other: 1.690%

    Head-to-head match-ups
    Obama vs. Romney: 60.797% vs. 39.203% [Obama leads by 21.595]
    Obama vs. Gingrich: 91.960% vs. 8.040% [ " " " 83.920]
    Obama vs. Paul: 96.485% vs. 3.515% [ " " " 92.970]
    Obama vs. Santorum: 99.277% vs. 0.723% [ " " " 98.553]

    All the usual cavets apply of course.
    Dingo

  61. dingojack says

    Republican nomination
    Romney: 6 to 5
    Gingrich: ca. 33 to 4
    Paul: ca. 29 to 1
    Santorum: 960 to 11

    Republican nomination and elected
    Romney: ca. 3 to 1
    Gingrich: ca. 103 to 1
    Paul: 9104 to 11
    Santorum: ca. 24131 to 2

    Source

    Dingo

  62. KG says

    dingojack,

    The results for Rep vs Dem appear inconsistent with those for the Obama vs specific-candidate contests. Of course these are not probabilities, so they don’t have to obey the mathematical rules for probabilities, but it does indicate the limitations of the approach.

  63. KG says

    Besides which, my guess is that most of those betting are Americans, who would find it unpatriotic to consider possible events in Europe :-p

  64. dingojack says

    KG the 8% (or so) gap is most likely caused* by Republican voters spreading there bets on various nominees. Once one nominee emerges the gap will evaporate.
    The danger for Romney (the most likely nominee) is that rather than his numbers as an individual going up to meet the Party numbers, that the Party numbers decline to meet his personal ones.
    This would likely indicate Republicans choosing either third-party or independent candidates or just not bothering to vote. Either way it makes getting enough voters to carry the election even more difficult.
    Dingo
    —–
    * I would imagine, there could be many other causes but this seems logical.

  65. says

    “it’s like watching a trainwreck, in slow motion, where the train is full of clowns in full makeup and costume.”

    Where should I ship your Internet, and what color do you want?

    “We might finally find out what happens when the Republican party asymptotically approaches the right limit of the political spectrum.”

    The’re approaching it at faster than light speed.

  66. Ben P says

    just how much of the GoP establishment really thinks Romney could beat Obama in a general election?

    I can’t claim to be privy to inside discussions, but I work with a couple people who are politically involved with the GOP on a statewide level and they seem to think Romney would have a fighting chance. Hell, just because of the economy he could probably run a closer race than McCain did.

    In a weak moment they’ll admit unseating a sitting president is always difficult, and speculate that this is the reason why other stars of the republican party are all sitting this one out.

    However, these are also political operators for the most part, not “true believers.” Privately they’ll concede that Obama’s been a centrist president, and if Obama happens to serve 8 years rather than 4, well, they’ll take the same tack going into 2016 that the dems took going into 2008, and the economy was probably better then than it will be in 2015.

  67. abb3w says

    @60, raven

    The fundies are another story. FWIW, I break up US xians into Protestants, Catholics and fundies.

    [...]

    Your numbers are a “sixth of Protestants”. And the fundies are more likely than other Protestants. So it could be that 1/3 of the fundies aren’t too fond of Catholics and some very roughly similar number of Catholics vice versa.

    The GSS data includes questions for filtering for individual’s belief in Biblical Inerrancy or fundamentalism of their sect. It turns out you’re again overestimating the gap; the latter (on similar threshold) goes to one-in-five, the former to one-in-four.

    Not that even the one-in-six is insignificant; however, the gap seems smaller than what you make out.

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