Jamila defends herself


I knew she would. You can read her post about her speech at CPAC right now.

I’m not convinced. It’s fine to talk about having a Republican background and wanting to bring some rational perspectives to the opposition party, so that we can have a reasonable choice in the voting booth, but it ain’t happening. The Republican party has left Jamila far, far behind — she may still have some lingering identification with it, and she may have family members who are Republican, but I’m sorry: instilling progressive values in a rabidly conservative group is quixotic and contradictory.

Even sillier is trying to get atheist values inserted into the agenda of the theocratic party. That’s not going to happen either.

If you want to do something productive and bring a group of conservatives around, try getting the Democrats to support progressive and atheist causes. It’s going to be just as difficult, but at least that party hasn’t yet defined themselves as our antithesis.

Comments

  1. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Someone needs to check the air at American Atheist HQ, because that place seems to take good people and turn them into condescending liars who think we’re so naive we can’t see right through their bullshit.

  2. nich says

    I find it odd that people care what is my personal political bent.

    Giving a damn speech at the fucking CPAC isn’t just a “personal political bent” for christ-fucking-sake. How fucking disingenuous can you get? “Garsh, guyz, conservatism is just a hobby of mine. Y so serious?”

  3. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    That is the most disingenuous crap, and she knows it. She consciously knows it’s crap. Jamila is not stupid. She is not surprised that people take issue with her “personal political bent.” Did you see what she did there? She tried to make it seem like there was something different about “politics” that made it illegitimate for people to be interested in where she stands. She phrased it as if it were about the clothes she wears; how odd that people would care about that!

    And how odd, then, that she was talking politics at CPAC.

    This isn’t a case of mere disagreement. She’s lying and pretending she doesn’t know what she’s doing while expecting the rest of us to pretend we don’t know either. That’s an act of conversational aggression and insult.

  4. themadtapper says

    I find it odd that people care what is my personal political bent.

    She shouldn’t. As is frequently pointed out, EVERYTHING is political, whether you want it to be or not.

    I can’t help the family I was born to

    No. No no no no no no no. You might not be able to help the fact that you’re born into a family that votes Republican, but there is nothing requiring you to stay Republican. Jamila was born into a religious family too, but that didn’t stop her from shedding religion when she realized what a crock it was.

    I refuse to be painted into a box on the topic of political identity”

    No one’s painting her into a box. She’s grabbing a box labeled “Republican”, planting herself squarely in it, and then acting surprised and hurt that people ask her what the fuck she’s doing in that box.

    because such a box that would be fitting for me doesn’t exist. Forgive me while I appropriate some language here, but I’m personally “political-fluid.” I’m neither red nor blue. I’m purplish.

    Then why the hell are you sitting in a box that is so red you can only see it with thermal imaging?

    I’m a conservative on issues of economics, immigration, and a few others.

    Could she please give me some DETAILS on her conservative stance on these issues, and let’s see how they stack up compared to Republicans versus Democrats. All I see are buzzwords.

    It is unacceptable that the education outcomes in Mississippi (and most of the US) are what they are. It is unacceptable that the over-criminalization of African-American people and communities is discussed at the policy level only in terms of ending the protests and conflict that surround the issue. It is unacceptable that corporate interests are more important to many of our elected officials than the concerns of human people not corporations as “people” or money as “people.”

    Has she not noticed that the Republicans consistently champion policies that make all these problems worse? They consistently fight against demonstrable science and try to fill education with creationism and religiously motivated sex ed. They consistently come down on the side of local/state governments and laws that treat African-Americans and protestors as the enemy. They fight any attempts at getting money out of politics.

    I think smaller government is a good idea and we can begin by getting politics and religion out of medicine and research.

    And yet she aligns herself with the party that is constantly politicizing and religiously hindering medicine and research.

    Seriously, everything she’s listing as a defense for being Republican are reasons NOT to be.

  5. John Horstman says

    @nich #2: Also, that suggests that one’s “personal political bent” is somehow isolated from any impact on social systems or other people. It definitionally isn’t: it has entirely to do with public policy and interpersonal interactions. Supporting “conservative” fiscal policy, for example, is murder – it straight-up results in people dying who otherwise wouldn’t, becasue our market capitalist economic system simply doesn’t allow everyone to make a living, and we need public support to pick up the slack. So, yeah, I care that you’re trying to kill people if you’re a “fiscal conservative”, and I damn well should.

  6. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Seems to be the AA way.

    AA spokesperson: Makes statement.
    Us: “We disagree with that statement.”
    AA: “That’s not what we said, learn to read.”
    Us: “How is that not what you said, that’s your actual words.”
    AA: “YOU’RE TEARING THE MOVEMENT APART!”

  7. says

    X-posted at Jamila’s

    You are entirely correct that it is your right to go to CPAC.
    However, American Atheists advertising my vote to Republicans is disingenuous at best, lying at worst. There are other Republican PACs that aren’t so far right as to fall out of the Overton window. CPAC jumps out that window willingly.
    I respect you getting up there and talking to a group of people who do profoundly disagree with your worldview.
    But you know what? This proves unequivocally to me that American Atheists doesn’t share my values, and that AA is a group that I want nothing to do with. I’d rather work with liberal or socialist religious who share my values than conservative atheists whose values are the opposite of mine.

    I’ll add here that I think she’s fooling herself on the acceptance of atheism in the GOP and that loving family who are Republican doesn’t mean you need to agree or pretend to agree with them on anything. I am one of two in my family who are truly on the left (the other being Mr. Rawnaeris) and we disagree with the rest of pur families on pretty much everything. They are not bad people but they believe the bad, often harmful things the GOP espouses. I love them, but I absolutely would not let them see and up and claim to represent me. Why then, should I be okay with American Atheists doing so?

    TL;DR fuck that noise of needing to court republicans. The dems are more than conservative enough as it is.

  8. plutoanimus says

    Jamila does a good job of illustrating why PZ is so rabid about social justice in atheism.

    If, as Jamila says, lots of atheists attend CPAC, an event dedicated to the minimization of social justice, then we really need to wake these atheists up to their duties to their fellow humans.

  9. Saad says

    I called myself conservative and I said “I am part of a growing Republican family”

    Is utterly incompatible with:

    It is unacceptable that the education outcomes in Mississippi (and most of the US) are what they are. It is unacceptable that the over-criminalization of African-American people and communities is discussed at the policy level only in terms of ending the protests and conflict that surround the issue. It is unacceptable that corporate interests are more important to many of our elected officials than the concerns of human people not corporations as “people” or money as “people.”

    In addition to the details of her conservative stances as themadtapper mentioned, I’d love to know which secular, feminist, pro-LGBTQ, humanist discussions did she have with the people there?

    And people did come by the booth! Many signed up for their annual membership- free for one year for all who signed up at the conference. This is the progress that excited me and American Atheists. We got to show up. We weren’t kicked out. We had a number of good conversations.

  10. says

    Oh bloody hell. That “see” in the next to last paragraph of my #7 should be “stand.” I previewed and everything. Completely throws off the rhythm of that rant, too.

  11. Saad says

    Also, if we leave social justice and bigotry aside and just look at atheism and secularism. It is fucking mind-boggling that she’s thinks the conservatives and Republican party as a whole will want any damn thing to do with atheism. When it comes time to campaign and talking to their constituency, you think they’ll want to be seen anywhere near atheism?

    This whole thing is embarrassingly dishonest.

  12. nich says

    I’m a conservative on issues of economics, immigration, and a few others.

    I can’t remember if I read it here or somewhere else, but somebody left a great comment saying that fiscal conservatism as the CPAC crowd means it is like not paying for food, lights, water and trash pick up just so you can humble-brag about your checking account balance: “I may live in the cold, sleep in my own feces, and eat out of trash cans, but if I really wanted to, I could buy a Honda with cash money baby!”

  13. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Conservative on the issue on immigration and socially liberal?
    Hmmm.

    Of course, I don’t know what exactly she means by being conservative on the issues of immigration.

  14. says

    Expecting progress from self-described conservatives makes as much sense as desiring a tuna salad sandwich, and to that end opening a tin marked “used motor oil”.

    No matter how often you shout “Charge!”, Doña Quixote, that flour is still going to get ground.

  15. Saad says

    Let’s see how friendly they’ll be to AA when elections come up. Let’s see if they’d like to have an AA banner displayed behind them as they’re campaigning. Let’s see how many of them will have feminism, separation of church and state, equality for LGBTQ people on their platforms.

    But it seems like people like people like Jamila will be voting for them anyway.

    Sounds like a great deal for the Repubs.

  16. llewelly says

    sigh My comment at Jamila Bey’s place is still awaiting moderation, so I’m cross posting it here:

    … and we can begin by getting politics and religion out of medicine and research.

    It was people aligned with CPAC who funded Willie Soon, who produced politically motivated climate science research.

    It was people aligned with CPAC who funded the fake “fetal pain” pseudoscience.

    It is a fact that conservatives – many of whom are involved with CPAC – created AEI, the Heritiage Foundation, the Cato institute, and other “think tanks” which exist solely to produce politically motivated research.

    These people are entirely the opposite of getting politics and religion out of medicine and research.

  17. Jacob Schmidt says

    Even sillier is trying to get atheist values inserted into the agenda of the theocratic party. That’s not going to happen either.

    I don’t buy it. If the GOP can become more religious and conservative, it can become less so. For that to happen there must be people on the inside willing to take that direction.

  18. consciousness razor says

    Saad:

    It is fucking mind-boggling that she’s thinks the conservatives and Republican party as a whole will want any damn thing to do with atheism. When it comes time to campaign and talking to their constituency, you think they’ll want to be seen anywhere near atheism?

    You would have to twist a lot of arms to get a campaigning Democrat to simply mention us, much less saying something positive, much less accomplish anything about it if they still managed to get in after that. Needless to say, we’re far from popular.

    But yes, it is fucking mind-boggling. It could not be more obvious how full of shit she is (along with the rest of the AA leadership, sadly).

    If you wanted a real fixer-upper of a party, one which is capable of making a perceptible dent in the election results and therefore might do something in our current system, the Democrats exist. What else can you say? Could they be ignorant of that somehow? Doubtful. But the fact is, there is more than enough conservatism in it for everyone to take a crack at removing some. All are welcome — that is, assuming you had any fucking intention of doing anything remotely like making it better/less conservative/more progressive. If not, then go fuck yourself, obviously.

    Or, if you just can’t say such things coherently in so many words, and the reason you’re not even trying to be coherent is because you claim that would not be “freethinking” or would force you into some kind of inescapable “box” or it’s somehow “personal,” then fuck that bullshit too.

    Seriously, fuck these people every which way. Some of them at AA seem fairly nice and all, but this does not fucking help to maintain that impression. They were already hovering near zero, but all of this has pushed them pretty far into the negative region. And if the past several years are any indication, they’ll keep digging deeper.

  19. iknklast says

    I can’t help the family I was born to

    Is that why I’m a conservative fundamentalist Republican bigot? Because that’s the family I was born to. Oh, wait, I think it was being born into a family like that which caused me to see exactly what they were. I want nothing of it, and I don’t even read my dad’s e-mails because all they are is forwarded conservative nonsense about the war on Christmas or Obama’s foreign birth that makes him unfit to be president.

    That family stuff is just an excuse for not thinking for yourself.

  20. azhael says

    But they got a few new free memberships, so that’s totally worth it…

  21. llewelly says

    Jacob Schmidt:

    If the GOP can become more religious and conservative, it can become less so.

    But you’ve entirely missed the point: It’s far more effective to work on making the Democrats less religious and conservative, because they’re not overwhelmingly committed to becoming more religious and conservative.

  22. Tekore says

    AA spokesperson: Makes statement.
    Us: “We disagree with that statement.”
    AA: “That’s not what we said, learn to read.”
    Us: “How is that not what you said, that’s your actual words.”
    AA: “YOU’RE TEARING THE MOVEMENT APART!”

    Please tell me I’m not the only one who heard “Oh, hi Mark!” afterwards.

    More on point: yes this is the feeling I’m getting.

  23. Donnie says

    I do have an issue with the title, “Jamila Defends Herself”. To me, that makes it sounds like she is defending herself from accusations. She has posted the reasons for why she decided to represent American Atheists, and by a degree, all atheists at a conservative political conference that gladly hosts white supremacist but bans gays and lesbians from obtaining a booth or presenting. From her reasoning, I want nothing to do with American Atheists but that is my choice. Freethinking!

    Secondly, by reading her blog post, I have found out that SPI (the mostly white male american centric with outposts in Europe, superdooper atheist thinky thinks group) had a booth at CPAC shared by American Atheists. note to self, choose to not get involved with SPI.

    Lastly, Jamila should elaborate on her conservative political ideology concerning ‘economic, immigration, and a few others”. Does this include women’s bodily autonomy that David the tenacious was so willing to throw under the bus in order to create the ‘the biggest Empire tent’?

    Last year, AA had a booth at CPAC, because using the phrase my friend Greta Christina taught me, cheering to the pep squad isn’t what the organization had in mind. AA was interested in reaching out to like minds in a place atheists aren’t often found.

    We all know that there are conservative atheists out there. The issue is that AA thinks that being an atheist is the end-all-be-all. The atheists at CPAC are not the atheists that I wish to run for political office. CPAC atheists may not focus on religion and may strengthen Church and State which, while admirable, will this also entail erosion of individual rights and collective rights (union bargaining, bodily autonomy, universal health care, strong Federal regulation of business and the environment, social safety net)? In that case, the current separation of church and state is just fine for me. So far, the Supreme Court has it covered despite some political Supreme Court justices. My point is to focus on the bigger issues that impact the daily lives of Americans which starts with specific ideals that would be considered atheman at CPAC. In my opinion, this is why people are questioning Jamila.

    Personally, i want to keep conservative / libertarian atheists as far away from power as possible.

  24. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Wait, wait, wait, I didn’t immediately connect the dots. Edwina Rogers of Secular Policy Institute. This Secular Policy Institute. This one.

    Ahahhaha!!
    ha
    *snort*

  25. coffeehound says

    @ 18,

    I don’t buy it. If the GOP can become more religious and conservative, it can become less so. For that to happen there must be people on the inside willing to take that direction

    You underestimate the money and influence, the religious right has on the Republican party. And you underestimate their fanaticism.There would be a major schism long before they play nice with the godless heathens. And the Republican party doesn’t have to give it even a seconds thought as to which they would choose. Why do you think they continually pay homage to all the religious rights personal little pet fetishes? Why do you think those little social conservatives fetishes are codified into their national and most of their state’s platforms? For all the political power you would yield within the party ( namely none for the forseeable future) if you’re conservative you’re better off forming your own party. Sure you’ll have no clout, but you certainly won’t with them either, and the amount of yourself you’ll have to sell to stay in their party won’t make any deal with them worth it. Unless you’re Karl Rove. I don’t hear him yelling about the cause of atheism from the rooftops.

  26. Nick Gotts says

    If the GOP can become more religious and conservative, it can become less so. – Jacob Schmidt@18

    Er, no. That does not follow, any more than it follows that because I can (and indeed have) grown older and more bald, I can grow younger and have a full head of hair again.

  27. llewelly says

    John Horstman:

    … the (pro-gay-rights, pro-abortion-access, probably-atheist) Koch brothers …

    In fact, the Koch brothers give millions to anti-choice efforts: http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/09/12/kochs-give-millions-to-anti-choice-efforts-in-the-states/
    And furthermore, they gave millions to anti-lgbt politicians: http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/who-more-hypocrite-gay-rights

    And they’ve given millions to hard right Catholic organizations: http://www.religionnews.com/2015/01/30/controversial-koch-brothers-give-big-catholic-university/

    I’ve never heard they were “probably-atheist” before – in fact, I’ve never been able to find any clear statement about their religious beliefs, or the lack thereof.

  28. John Horstman says

    @llewelly #28: They have indeed funded efforts contra all of those things. However, their PERSONAL views are that they don’t care, becasue they are narcissistic libertarians. That’s my point – Bey’s personal beliefs are meaningless compared to the effects of her actions and the policies she is functionally supporting.

  29. Jacob Schmidt says

    But you’ve entirely missed the point: It’s far more effective to work on making the Democrats less religious and conservative, because they’re not overwhelmingly committed to becoming more religious and conservative.

    Did going to CPAC take away from efforts focused on the Dems? If so, then I agree: AA should be using their time in the more effective manner.

    That does not follow, any more than it follows that because I can (and indeed have) grown older and more bald, I can grow younger and have a full head of hair again.

    I will concede to having smuggled in the assumption that the process is reversible, and that demographic shifts do not behave in ways analogous to human ageing.

  30. anat says

    I’m pretty sure there are some Terry Pratchett fans around here? One of the highlights of reading his latest Discworld book, Raising Steam, was the speech by the conservative dwarf, Albrecht Albrechtson. This was the first time in years that I ran into a conservative I could relate to (albeit a fictional one). In summary, his point was that the ‘old ways’ worked for his culture for a long time (because they were living under harsh, but very predictable, conditions, and the ‘old ways’ were a distillation of a system of behaviors that were successful under those conditions). However the ‘old ways’ totally fail under changing conditions. Nor is there evidence that they are the best ways for familiar conditions, only that they are one system proven to work in those conditions. Albrechtson was willing to learn new ways and called his supporters to do so too.

    In other words, a good conservative is one who is willing to not be one. IMO the only purpose of communicating with conservatives is to bring them to the point that they recognize that being conservative, ie doing things because that’s the way it was (allegedly) once done is a wrong way of thinking.

  31. anteprepro says

    She really used the “I was raised [political ideology X]” card? Intriguing, since that was a common defense brought up in the other thread about Jamila Bey, and it was kinda bullshit then too. http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2015/02/26/jamila-bey-at-cpac/comment-page-1/#comment-917137

    Me sez:

    Basic summary: Children with parents who have strong political views are likely to share those views during childhood and are most likely to be politically active. They are also most likely to have opposing views when they reach adulthood, due to experiences during their political activity.

    I think they have confused political ideology with religion. People raised with a religion are likely to keep it and if they stray they usually, eventually, come back to it. There is no reason to believe that politics would behave in an identical fashion, but these people just flat out assume that it does, because using your family as an excuse is just plain easier than being held accountable for your own political stance.

  32. themadtapper says

    In other words, a good conservative is one who is willing to not be one.

    That could be said about anything, really. A good X is one who is willing to stop being X if new evidence shows being X is no longer good. Basically, open-mindedness toward new ideas and, more importantly, new evidence. The kind of conservatism Pratchett described there could be summed up with the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, and basically it boils down to a question of risk versus reward where conservatism is less likely, but not entirely unwilling, to take the risks. If that was the kind of conservatives that you’d find at CPAC, I could be more sympathetic to Jamila’s association with them.

    But that’s not what Republican conservatism is. Rather than “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, it’s “if it’s the way it’s always been, don’t change it”. There’s no reflection on whether “the way it’s always been” is best, or even good. There’s no weighing of risks or rewards; it’s just assumed that any change would by definition be worse, therefore can be dismissed out of hand. Thus you get American exceptionalism: America is great, everything America does is best, therefore any change is a step down by default. That’s also why there’s always such a push by Republicans to whitewash or memory flush anything in the American past that was bad (genocide, slavery, etc.).

    That’s what I find so vexing about AA’s association with CPAC. Even if we give them the benefit of the doubt that they are, in fact, intellectually honest “Pratchett conservatives” (for lack of a better way to put it), CPAC most certainly is not. And it’s really delusional to think there are enough intellectually honest conservative atheists out there to promote any kind of ideological change in CPAC, let alone the Republican party at large.

  33. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    She tried to make it seem like there was something different about “politics” that made it illegitimate for people to be interested in where she stands. She phrased it as if it were about the clothes she wears; how odd that people would care about that!

    It’s a lot more than just her. A lot of people are bizarrely resistant to the idea that a person’s proposed answers to the question of “what kind of society should we have” and “how should resources be allocated” and “who should have rights, and what should they consist of” are in any way relevant to their character.

    “I like Rocky Road ice cream, and you think some people should be thrown in the street to starve and others should be second class citizens, and neither of us is any better than the other, we’re just DIFFERENT!”

    *spit*

  34. screechymonkey says

    Nice to see that Bey also resorts to the golden mean fallacy: hey guys, some people aren’t happy with her going to CPAC, but other people aren’t happy with her going to feminist conferences! Clearly the right answer is to go to every conference! I mean, the only alternative is to take a serious look at the goals and values of each conference and only attend the ones that mesh with your own, and that’s crazy talk! Support everything, it’s the Freethought way!

  35. says

    Well, there’s a significant difference between actually progressibe people and conservatives.
    Progressives say: “This is a big cake. It could last for all. It could even get bigger, let’s make sure that everybody has access to it.”
    Conservatives say: “This is MY cake. They want to take away MY cake. And they make me look like the baddie for not sharing. Now, if you would make me look less bad, I’d be willing to share with you. Not equally, of course, but some.”
    I hope Jamila Bey enjoys her cake.

  36. llewelly says

    John Horstman:

    However, their PERSONAL views are that they don’t care, becasue they are narcissistic libertarians.

    If they truly didn’t care, they would fund economically right Democrats, like Hilary Clinton (who by the way favored Keystone XL for a long time, and probably still does), who are more effective than Rick Santorum.

    The fact that they chose to fund Santorum and his ilk shows that they do care; when they claimed to be not against gays, or not against abortion, they lied.

    John Horstman:

    Bey’s personal beliefs are meaningless compared to the effects of her actions and the policies she is functionally supporting.

    I agree that the effects of her actions are much more important than her personal views. But, if you’re trying to make an analogy between her and the Koch brothers, you’re making a terribly bad analogy.

  37. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    But that’s not what Republican conservatism is. Rather than “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, it’s “if it’s the way it’s always been, don’t change itif it ain’t broke, pass the sledgehammer”.

    FIFY.

  38. anteprepro says

    “Conservative on immigration” sounds……suspicious. What exactly does that entail? Is she simply opposed to amnesty? Desires more border security? Opposed to having any form public assistance or money from touching Non American fingers? Wants to erect a gigantic fucking border fence patrolled 24/7 by snipers? Mass deportation of all people who are sufficiently brown and don’t have the right paperwork?

    What exactly is the “conservative” stance, here?

  39. anteprepro says

    Gileil:

    I hope Jamila Bey enjoys her cake.

    Well she enjoys it twice as much as most people. She gets to have her cake, AND eat it too.

  40. says

    (cross posted from Jamila’s moderation)

    I find it odd that people care what is my personal political bent.

    early candidate for the most bizarre and incomprehensible statement of the year. O____O

  41. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What exactly is the “conservative” stance, here?

    Reading between the lines, the equivalent of the Berlin wall along the Mexican border.

  42. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    So is American Atheist like Wolfram and Hart? When you join up, you have to sign away your soul?

  43. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    “I find it odd that people care what an organization that loudly claims to represent them actually does with their time and money.”

  44. screechymonkey says

    From AA’s statement of Aims and Purposes:

    American Atheists, Inc., is organized
    to stimulate and promote freedom of thought and inquiry concerning religious beliefs, creeds, dogmas, tenets, rituals, and practices;
    to collect and disseminate information, data, and literature on all religions and promote a more thorough understanding of them, their origins, and their histories;

    Ok, attending CPAC doesn’t conflict with either of these, but it doesn’t advance them, either. Moving on…

    to advocate, labor for, and promote in all lawful ways the complete and absolute separation of state and church;

    Conservatives tend to either deny outright that there is any separation of church and state, or re-interpret it as “the state can’t tell the church what to do, but coercive school and legislative prayers and public funds for religious purposes are A-OK!” Of course, CPAC also has its share of Wall Street Republicans and college libertarian types who don’t really give a shit about religion and may be atheists themselves, but guess what? They know that religion is good for getting the troops out to the polls. So good luck with advancing this goal at CPAC.

    to advocate, labor for, and promote in all lawful ways the establishment and maintenance of a thoroughly secular system of education available to all;

    Yep, I’m sure the folks who want to introduce creationism into public schools, when they’re not cutting funding and diverting funds to religious schools and homeschooling, will be very receptive to your message.

    to encourage the development and public acceptance of a humane ethical system stressing the mutual sympathy, understanding, and interdependence of all people and the corresponding responsibility of each individual in relation to society;

    Well, this is vague enough that you could argue it includes conservatives, but I bet most conservatives think this smells a little too much like socialism for them….

    to develop and propagate a social philosophy in which humankind is central and must itself be the source of strength, progress, and ideals for the well-being and happiness of humanity;

    Yeah, the people who constantly lament that we “took God out of schools” and need to be a more Christian nation are really going to jump on board here.

    to promote the study of the arts and sciences and of all problems affecting the maintenance, perpetuation, and enrichment of human (and other) life;

    Unless, of course, it interferes with the profits of the fossil fuel industry!

    to engage in such social, educational, legal, and cultural activity as will be useful and beneficial to the members of American Atheists and to society as a whole.

    Uhh, do tax cuts count?

  45. says

    And what exactly was it about CPAC that was “AWESOME”? The rampant bigotry? The science denial? Is it in the air? Does it smell nice there?

  46. kellyw. says

    I just don’t get it. Fiscally conservative and caring about social issues is not compatible. Republicans hate poor people. Social issues concern poor people (who are usually marginalized further in one or more ways…which is often why people stay or become poor in the first place…and so goes the cycle). My brain hurts.

  47. says

    Well she apparently found CPAC “awesome” so I’m forced so assume she liked what Robertson and everyone said.
    I mean here I thought it was a parade of clowns posing as key speakers but apparently it was great. Can we please stop pretending AA is worth a pig’s left nut?

  48. screechymonkey says

    People, please. Jamila is a special snowflake who can’t be crammed into a narrow box, unlike the rest of us:

    I refuse to be painted into a box on the topic of political identity, because such a box that would be fitting for me doesn’t exist. Forgive me while I appropriate some language here, but I’m personally “political-fluid.” I’m neither red nor blue. I’m purplish. And there are other streaks of green and black and plaid in there! I’m no slave to fashion, to religious thinking or political thinking.

  49. anteprepro says

    Jamila quoted by screechymonkey:

    I refuse to be painted into a box on the topic of political identity, because such a box that would be fitting for me doesn’t exist. Forgive me while I appropriate some language here, but I’m personally “political-fluid.” I’m neither red nor blue. I’m purplish. And there are other streaks of green and black and plaid in there! I’m no slave to fashion, to religious thinking or political thinking.

    Sounds like Sophisticated Politicology here. A refuge in incoherence. She dares us to nail that jello to the wall. Dares us.

  50. kellym says

    Silverman, in the Danielle Muscato interview at CPAC:

    When Christianity is pushed by conservativism, non-Christians are pushed away from conservatism. And that’s going to result in them losing votes. And the way that they can fix this is by…”

    In what dystopian nightmare is conservative Republicans losing votes a problem to be “fixed?!!!” My Type-I diabetic niece gets healthcare *despite* the best efforts of conservative Republicans. Conservative Republican state governors, in their efforts to block the ACA, have a body count that makes anti-vaxxers jealous. Both of my elderly parents are kept from starving to death, in part, by Social Security, which Silverman’s and Bey’s people plan to attack again this year. I bet you a dollar that Bey is uninformed/dishonest enough to believe/spread the conservative Republican lie that Social Security is in “crisis.” The more Silverman’s American Atheists succeed, the worse off everyone I give a fuck about will be.

    Something that *should* be fixed is that these assholes should lose their 501(c)3 status over this.

  51. screechymonkey says

    anteprepro,

    I don’t think that incoherence is the issue. I think it’s just that it’s an utterly ordinary thing. Very few people are in 100% lockstep with any single political party or movement. Everyone’s got the occasional idiosyncratic opinion. The mostly-liberal-but-totally-fine-with-the-death-penalty person, the pro-gay-marriage conservative, etc., aren’t all that unusual. And loads of people like to call themselves “independents,” though studies show that the vast majority of such people actually vote very consistently for one particular party.

    What I resent is the implication that those of us criticizing her are doing so because she escaped from the “box” from which we slavishly developed our own political views. As if that’s the only kind of person who might have a problem with AA kissing conservative ass at CPAC.

  52. themadtapper says

    @screechymonkey

    Yes, most people aren’t going to be 100% free-range liberal or 100% REAL AMERICAN™ conservative. But when you call yourself part of the Republican/conservative family, at a conference as unmistakeably conservative as CPAC, there are some pretty clear implications. Yet instead of providing clarity after people started getting seriously WTF’d, she responded by declaring her opinions to have ascended beyond political boxes. And a touch of condescension, as you noticed:

    What I resent is the implication that those of us criticizing her are doing so because she escaped from the “box” from which we slavishly developed our own political views.

    She’s escaped the box of “political thinking”. Her opinions aren’t political, you see. If only we could just be as independently rational and apolitical as her, maybe we’d understand. Anyone else get a Dawkins vibe from that?

  53. duce7999 says

    I would still rather march with Methodist Elizabeth Warren than atheist Ayn Rand.

  54. says

    @52 screechymonkey:

    What I resent is the implication that those of us criticizing her are doing so because she escaped from the “box” from which we slavishly developed our own political views.

    Well, you know the important thing is that she’s found a way to feel superior to both sides. She’s progressed far beyond such primitive concepts, like the slymepitters who claim to “not see color.” Jamila doesn’t see ideology, she’s progressed beyond it! I know a few people like that, and it’s their life mission to avoid being “labeled” in any way, as though being able to have their views encapsulated would make them less cool or interesting, or, I guess, “special.” They all seem to hold authoritarian, anti-social justice views, oddly enough.

    @54 duce7999:

    I would still rather march with Methodist Elizabeth Warren than atheist Ayn Rand.

    Hell yes for me, too. Greatest Canadian Tommy Douglas was a clergyman, a Baptist minister, who devoted his life to social and economic justice, and largely as a result of his efforts, Canada has single-payer universal healthcare. I will look straight past someone’s religious beliefs if their societal goals align with mine.

  55. says

    American Atheists want to find at CPAC the same thing any other conservatives want to find at CPAC: people whose desire for money and power outweigh any other petty concerns, like empathy or long-term consequences. People who claim to be socially progressive, but vote Republican or are economically conservative, either haven’t actually thought through the economics beyond their own taxes, or are willing to throw away any social issue for the sake of a few more pennies in their pocket. Sure, the GOP is openly racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and anti-science, and consistently pushes legislation backed by all those positions, but they’re for lower taxes and small government1, so they get my vote! I’m taxed enough already!

    If we assume that position, then it makes perfect sense for AA to be at CPAC. Sure, they may be driving women and minorities out of their movement, but let’s face it, a couple of wealthy libertarian donors would more than make up for any of the plebes who care about social justice issues. All that time and money wasted drafting harassment policies and setting up childcare at conferences could have been spent wooing rich libertarian dudes who couldn’t give half a shit.


    1. Surely the pro-science atheist community has no interest in things like infrastructure or regulation! I mean, if the FDA and CDC and NAS shut down, the free market is bound to make sure our food and drugs are effective and safe, and that good science gets properly funded, right?

  56. raven says

    I don’t buy it. If the GOP can become more religious and conservative, it can become less so. For that to happen there must be people on the inside willing to take that direction.

    Why bother?

    There are other parties. IIRC, one of them is what the GOP used to be. They are called the Democratic Party.

    It’s like trying to fix up a broken down old car when you have a better one in the garage that runs.

  57. raven says

    I’m a conservative on issues of economics, immigration, and a few others.

    And not exactly an acute observer.

    There are several Big Lies about the GOP.

    Big LIe 1 They are fiscally conservative.

    Not true. Bill Clinton was the last fiscal conservative. He left us with a roaring economy and a budget surplus. Bush left us with huge deficits and debt that we are still recovering from. Reagan did the same damn thing.

    Big Lie 2 The GOP is pro family values.

    They hate just about everything including children, parents, the social safety net, Affordable Health Care, and public schooling.

    To take just one example, they want to cut food stamps. Half the people on food stamps are children.

    The main problem for our future is economic inequality which has been growing since 1970. One day it will be the big problem. The middle class is shrinking by a lot even in my lifetime. And the GOP thinks its job is to keep money flowing from the 99% to the 1%.

  58. Akira MacKenzie says

    I’m a conservative on issues of economics, immigration, and a few others.

    So, Jamilia, you’re a cut-throat capitalist pig who wants to deport anyone not the right color or ethnicity?

    Fuck you.

  59. says

    Well, apparently Silverman and Bey want to make AA a Republican voting club.
    Maybe the members of AA, who seem to be overwhelmingly progressive should have a word with them about how their funds are being used.

    And yes, it is bizarre of Bey to wonder why people are talking about her political beliefs after she gave a speech talking about “me” and “I” a lot. Apart from the fact that “beliefs” are fucking meaningless, since it’s actions that count. And giving a speech there is an action.

  60. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    This may be harsh, but every time I’ve tried to have a conversation with someone from AA, I’ve been tempted to ask if there’s an adult I can speak to. Because their arguments tend to boil down to “I didn’t say that thing I just said, stop slandering me!”

  61. militantagnostic says

    CatieCat @14

    Expecting progress from self-described conservatives makes as much sense as desiring a tuna salad sandwich, and to that end opening a tin marked “used motor oil”.

    I give you the self described “Right Wing” Mayor of Medicine Hat, Alberta (Bill Clugston) on ending homelessness.

    “When I first got elected on council I was a bit of a cowboy, and I was actually speaking against a lot of these projects. I was one of their biggest detractors,” he said.

    But Clugston said the members of the Medicine Hat Community Housing Society spent six years making a convert out of him.

    “And now I’ve become their advocate and have to admit it’s the right thing to do, it’s the moral thing to do. And it makes sense financially,” he said.

    “If you can get somebody off the street, it saves the emergency room visits, it saves the police, it saves the justice system — and so when you add up all those extra costs … you can buy a lot of housing for that amount of money.”

    And once people are housed, it’s easier for support workers to help them with a co-ordinated delivery of social services to address issues such as substance abuse and mental health problems, Clugston said.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/medicine-hat-on-brink-of-ending-homelessness-mayor-says-1.2644074

    Progressive social polices turn out to be fiscally conservative in the long run. Who knew?

    Tom Foss @56

    People who claim to be socially progressive, but vote Republican or are economically conservative, either haven’t actually thought through the economics beyond their own taxes, or are willing to throw away any social issue for the sake of a few more pennies in their pocket today and lot fewer dollars in their pocket tomorrow.

    FTFY

    Silverman and the assholes at CPAC care more about smug superiority and the sadistic pleasure they get from seeing those less fortunate than themselves “get what they deserve” than about what works and what cost’s less. They would rather spend a dollar on retribution than a penny on prevention. They are just like the Christians who are in love with the concept of eternal hellfire for sinners. Of course most of the attendees at CPAC are those Christians.

  62. Nick Gotts says

    I will concede to having smuggled in the assumption that the process is reversible – Jacob Schmidt@30

    Um, yes, that’s exactly the problem with your #18. To simply assume that a shift in the political orientation of a party is reversible is unjustifiable and lazy. You need to actually think about how that shift might come about, in specific terms, and come up with a plausible scenario for it doing so. Both the funders and the activists in the Republican Party are now overwhelmingly hard right. Why would a potential significant funder put money into reversing the shift? What would the response of the current funders be? Why would a political activist opposed to the policies and prejudices of the Republican Party join it, rather than the Democratic Party?

  63. doublereed says

    @56 Tom Foss

    People who claim to be socially progressive, but vote Republican or are economically conservative, either haven’t actually thought through the economics beyond their own taxes, or are willing to throw away any social issue for the sake of a few more pennies in their pocket.

    I don’t really agree with this. Nearly all the major networks love to feed the lie that conservatives are fiscally responsible. That conservatives are the only ones that understand economics and liberals are so blinded by things like kindness that they can’t handle finances and war. They almost never challenge such a claim, despite history and reality.

    It’s become common knowledge that the death penalty saves money, minimum wage raises hurts employment, and having the amount of national debt that America has drags on the economy. It’s just that common knowledge is wrong.

    People underestimate the power of propaganda and unchallenged lies.

  64. Saad says

    Here’s a wonderful Republican who deserves the atheist vote! Because god not existing matters!

    Ben Carson on gay people

    “Why do gay people want to get married? Why do they say they want to get married? Because they want to have various rights — property rights, visitation rights,” he said. “Why can’t any two human beings, I don’t care what their sexual orientation is, why can’t they have the legal right to do those things? That does not require changing the definition of marriage.”

    I didn’t think Carson would be a fan of separate but equal. Huh.

    From Jamila’s post:

    I believe there’s a lot of work needed right now to improve this country, and as the mother of a young child, I have literal skin in the game.

    Right. So to look out for her child, a black mother decides the best people to support would be the Republican party.

    There is just way too much dishonesty in her defense. It makes no sense. She writes about good things she wants done but then connects them to the Republican party. It’s like Frodo making a speech about how important it is to destroy the ring and then overnighting it to Sauron to take care of it.

  65. says

    Have you ever noticed that people who claim to have transcended political labels, or they don’t fit in any box, are actually pretty standard cookie-cutter conservatives who have maybe ONE issue where they deviate from right-wing orthodoxy? “I don’t hate gay/black/immigrant people” conservatives are still 99% conservative, and that 1% means jack shit when they vote for people who are 100% conservative.

  66. kellym says

    So, the best we can do it to try to figure out if Silverman and Bey are merely ignorant of evidence-based economics, or contemptuous/unconcerned with economically disadvantaged/vulnerable people.

  67. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    What is the difference between belonging to a religion because it is what your parents believed and belonging to a political party for the same reason?

    Does the validity of a belief or system of beliefs not matter if your parents believed it?

    Do politics not have real life consequences? Is it like the internet in that nothing that happens in that sphere is real?

    Ms. Bey is pissing on our legs and telling us it’s raining.

  68. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    This is what I read condensed: “Sure I’m on the side of the people who want to torture you for being female and fertile all while cutting the medical care and social network you’d need to rely on to raise the unwanted child they forced you to birth, but they agree with me about how much poor brown people can fuck off. Don’t be so judgmental. Both sides! Both sides!”

    Forgive me while I appropriate some language here, but I’m personally “political-fluid.”

    Tell me she did not compare politics to sexuality.

  69. raven says

    I can’t help the family I was born to…

    This is very dumb. It’s an excuse and a flimsy one at that.

    Yes, you can. Yes, you should. In fact, most of us do. We don’t have to be meat robots.

    I’m a xian who votes GOP just like my parents. Oh wait, I’m neither any more.

    As a teenager, I thought it through. Kept my parent’s values of fiscal responsibility, hard work, social justice, valuing the truth, and xianity. Dumped the GOP though as incompatible with all that. And decades later, tossed the xianity as false and destructive.

  70. says

    Saad

    She writes about good things she wants done but then connects them to the Republican party. It’s like Frodo making a speech about how important it is to destroy the ring and then overnighting it to Sauron to take care of it.

    That was awesome.
    It’s telling that she thinks her kid’s future is best served by those who think shootig them in the street is something the police should be allowed to do for sports…

  71. says

    @Improbably Joe, 67

    Have you ever noticed that people who claim to have transcended political labels, or they don’t fit in any box, are actually pretty standard cookie-cutter conservatives who have maybe ONE issue where they deviate from right-wing orthodoxy? “I don’t hate gay/black/immigrant people” conservatives are still 99% conservative, and that 1% means jack shit when they vote for people who are 100% conservative.

    …..are you saying Jamila is basically a cookie cutter conservative with only a little bit of deviation?

    @Jackie, 70

    Tell me she did not compare politics to sexuality.

    Well, gender I think, not sexuality. And she did so poorly. “Politicall-fluid” would mean changing over time. But what she was trying to articulate would be closer to “political-queer” or something.

    And, ya, there’s some important differences between political views and gender identification.

  72. screechymonkey says

    Anyone else have comments still awaiting moderation over at Bey’s blog? I submitted two, almost 24 hours ago, and they’re still pending. Not sure if she hasn’t noticed — I know she’s new to FtB, and it doesn’t seem like she opens up comments on many posts to begin with, so the moderation system may be unfamiliar. And I respect the right of any blogger to adopt whatever moderation policy she chooses, though it would strike me as a little hypocritical to defend going to CPAC on the grounds that you “don’t believe in preaching to the choir” and then refuse to publish critical comments.

    Anyway, it’s probably piling on at this point, but here’s what I submitted:

    It is unacceptable that the education outcomes in Mississippi (and most of the US) are what they are.

    And you think the party that idolizes Scott Walker and Sam Brownback for slashing public education budgets to pay for tax cuts is going to help this problem?

    It is unacceptable that the over-criminalization of African-American people and communities is discussed at the policy level only in terms of ending the protests and conflict that surround the issue.

    And you think Republicans — a majority of whom think that the “real victims of racism” are white people — are going to help?

    It is unacceptable that corporate interests are more important to many of our elected officials than the concerns of human people not corporations as “people” or money as “people.”

    And you think… oh, I can’t even stop laughing long enough to type this one….

    I think smaller government is a good idea and we can begin by getting politics and religion out of medicine and research.

    And you think the party of creationists and global warming denialists, that not only elects people like James Inhofe, but puts them in charge of congressional science committees, is going to help?

    I look forward to your next post, in which you explain that you believe the bible was written by humans, that miracles are bogus, that nobody is infallible and anyone who claims to be shouldn’t be trusted, and covering up child abuse is wrong, and that’s why you’ve decided to join the Roman Catholic Church.

    (and the second one:)

    But make no mistake, if or not AA had a booth at CPAC, there were plenty of atheists at the event already!

    Is this supposed to come as a surprise? The conservative movement has always had its Karl Rove types, whose only use for religion is to motivate the rubes to come out to the polls. And CPAC leans heavily towards the libertarian college student faction of conservative (which is why Ron and now Rand Paul have always owned the straw polls there), so there’s no shortage of Ayn Rand acolytes.

    But who cares? What difference does it make if there are atheists there? They’re the kind of atheists who either support, or are willing to vote for politicians who support, sending tax dollars to religious schools. They’re the kind of atheists who will never speak out against school prayers, or Ten Commandments monuments in public places. They’re cool with employers like Hobby Lobby imposing their religious beliefs on employees. They want to see more justices like Clarence Thomas, who thinks the Constitution doesn’t forbid the states from founding their own churches. They’re atheists who are willing to ally with folks who think Christianity is a prerequisite for public office. And those are just the “atheist” issues, meaning issues where atheists may have self-interested reasons as well as principled ones.

  73. doublereed says

    I’m also in moderation. I assume she’ll just get around to it eventually. This is what I submitted:

    CPAC isn’t a place for moderate aspects of the Republican Party, hence why the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud were rountinely rejected over and over again (not exactly good solidarity there, AA). And this is well known. It’s actually rather scary how you don’t see anything wrong with hanging around a bunch of white supremacists, nativists, and fascists.

    It is unacceptable to me that a family risks losing their 10 and 6 year old children because the parents permit the kids to walk alone from park to home in a 15 minute trip. It is unacceptable that the education outcomes in Mississippi (and most of the US) are what they are. It is unacceptable that the over-criminalization of African-American people and communities is discussed at the policy level only in terms of ending the protests and conflict that surround the issue. It is unacceptable that corporate interests are more important to many of our elected officials than the concerns of human people not corporations as “people” or money as “people.” I think smaller government is a good idea and we can begin by getting politics and religion out of medicine and research.

    What the hell is this? This is a smattering of BS.

    -Citation needed for the first sentence.

    -Mississippi is one of the most republican areas of the country. Kansas just got the republican treatment of education with Sam Brownback, slicing and dicing education budgets for taxes breaks for the rich. Michigan and New Jersey just had education slashed more with republican governors. Republicans openly campaign for charter schools and decentralization of the education system (the strongest places in the world of education all use strong, centralized public school systems). If you care about education, then why the hell are you a conservative?

    -Overcriminalization. You want the dogwhistling republican party, with prominent members siding with murderers of young black men, to care about overcriminalization of african americans? Are you serious? What republican is arguing against this except as a state financial issue?

    -Corporate Interests. Are you serious? McConnell openly supports Citizens United, as does the rest of the party. Republicans are to the right of the Chamber of Commerce, ffs. You can maybe argue that the Democrats are bad as well, but they at least are not openly supporting corporate interests over public interests.

    -Excuse me, wtf Republican Party supports smaller government? Are you delusional? No, they expanded government and police state tenfold while slicing taxes on the rich. The only small government republicans support is the government that fits inside your vagina to regulate your bodily autonomy. Hundreds of anti-choice legislation across the US proposed by Republicans. That’s your small government.

    -Small government is a meaningless tagline. People want efficient, effectual government.

    These are some very serious delusions you have right now.

  74. says

    As Jeff Dee said on the The Non Prophets regarding a conservative listener who wrote in asking for their conservative viewpoint to be represented on the show: “No.” The listener didn’t state their positions on any particular issue, so he went on to say something to the effect of: “To the extent that conservatism is just honest, hard nose skepticism of new ideas, I have no problem with that.” Unfortunately for folks like Jamila, who want to use the label based on some personal affinity despite how much their views differ, conservatism today seems to be more about dishonest, illogical, theocratic opposition to everything from new social ideas, to science, to humanity itself.

  75. screechymonkey says

    doublereed @75,

    -Citation needed for the first sentence.

    I think she’s referring to this story out of Maryland where the parents of 10- and 6- year-olds were the subject of a finding of “unsubstantiated child neglect” by the Maryland Child Protective Services because they (after preparing the kids for it and deeming them ready) allowed them to walk home alone.

    It is a disturbing story, but:
    (1) it’s dumb to draw firm policy conclusions from one highly-publicized incident. This case was already getting media attention before CPS completed its investigation, with strong opinions voiced on both sides.
    (2) Bey is exaggerating a fair bit in saying that the couple risks losing their children. The “unsubstantiated” finding means pretty much what it sounds like: the state found that charges of child neglect could not be substantiated and therefore no such charges are being brought. As the Slate article points out, that’s not quite as “good” as a finding of “ruled out,” and it’s possible that this incident could be used as evidence to support charges in the future if the parents continue with their “free range kids” parenting philosophy. But I doubt it. I suspect that the CPS took the easy way out here: they did not want to bring charges, but didn’t want to court more criticism from the helicopter parenting faction by issuing a “ruled out” finding.
    (3) I think it’s a bit of a stretch to make this a conservative vs. liberal issue. Yes, technically it’s a case of government overreach, but I think we have pretty broad consensus across ideological lines that child abuse and neglect is an area where the state can and should intervene. This is really more of a factual question as to whether these particular parents acted properly. It’s like saying that because you think O.J. Simpson should have been convicted of murder, ergo you are “tough on crime,” ergo you are conservative.

  76. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    brianpansky,
    Thank you. My mistake.

    She compared gender fluidity to actively reaching out to more Carl Roves.

  77. says

    She’s escaped the box of “political thinking”. Her opinions aren’t political, you see. If only we could just be as independently rational and apolitical as her, maybe we’d understand. Anyone else get a Dawkins vibe from that?

    YES, this! I think it’s fair to speculate that there seems to be a bit of groupthink happening in the upper echelons of our much-beloved secular/atheist organizations.

  78. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    I think it’s fair to speculate that there seems to be a bit of groupthink happening in the upper echelons of our much-beloved secular/atheist organizations.

    Probably partly because they exist less to actually promote secular values, and more to promote the careers of their so-called “leaders.”

  79. Steve Caldwell says

    I know CJ Werleman had committed plagiarism but he did ask if atheism and the modern-day GOP conservative movement were compatible in a recent book:

    Atheists Can’t Be Republicans: If Facts and Evidence Matter
    http://www.amazon.com/Atheists-Cant-Be-Republicans-Evidence/dp/1908675276

    Regardless of the plagiarism questions surrounding Werleman’s work, the concerns he raises in this book are important and meaningful to the American Atheist – CPAC outreach efforts.

    One’s political affiliation isn’t just a personal decision — one should also ask if the policy decision one supports have good outcomes. There is a fact/evidence aspect to this topic.

  80. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Galiell

    I’m also still a bit unsure why “small government” is supposed to be something we should aim for in and on itself.

    Well, government is almost by definition violence (necessarily relies on taxes), and I generally dislike violence. Thus, I think that “small government” should be a goal, but not at the cost of other goals. We should avoid obviously wasteful program implementations when better implementations exist. We should avoid pork barrel programs that are not for the common good – e.g. don’t tax everyone just to give it to the already rich.

    Of course, the Republicans are willing to sacrifice other goals on their altar of small government, and that is bad.

  81. says

    Enlightenment Liberal
    So, actually we should have good government. Government that serves the people, works for their wellbeing, yadda yadda. Therefore, the government should do all the jobs necessary for that.
    Oh and fucking no, taxes are not violence.

  82. kellym says

    Silverman:

    I’ll pay the minimum taxes to keep me safe and to protect me, to have a strong military and to protect my rights, but that’s where it stops. Give me the small government that we want. And that’s what conservatism is. That’s my view of what conservatism is.

    I’m surprised there isn’t more outcry that the president of American Atheists supports the defunding of Planned Parenthood.

  83. says

    @doublereed #65:

    It’s become common knowledge that the death penalty saves money, minimum wage raises hurts employment, and having the amount of national debt that America has drags on the economy. It’s just that common knowledge is wrong.

    People underestimate the power of propaganda and unchallenged lies.

    It’s true that the right-wing has been effective at promoting a narrative of small government and fiscal responsibility which is not backed by the evidence, and which the media has been complicit in spreading, due to corporate interests, fear of losing access, and false balance (in addition to general bias and conflicts of interest). My point is that even if you buy into that false narrative, there’s still the unspinnable, blatant assault on science, LGBT rights, and racial & gender equality. The “socially liberal but economically conservative” Republicans may buy into the false economic propaganda, but they’re still saying “fiscal responsibility is more important to me than your right to get married or have an abortion.”

    In other news, the story about the potentially lost children reminded me of this story, where a 46-year-old single mother working at McDonald’s was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to play alone at a nearby playground while she worked. She lost her job, and may end up serving jail time, neither of which seem likely to improve her ability to supervise and care for her daughter. Seems like the sensible solutions would be in providing childcare for working mothers, or increasing the minimum wage, or providing a guaranteed minimum wage that says we as a society value things like parenting and don’t think single parents should have to choose between working to support their families and actually supporting their families, but I doubt you’d find many people at CPAC who would agree. I imagine lots of the CPAC attendees would think it perfectly acceptable for young children to handle automatic weapons, though (unless those children are black and the weapons are toys, in which case they should be shot on sight).

    Isn’t it weird how so many of the issues conservatives bring up as reasons they’re conservative would actually be solved if we stopped promoting conservative policies? So weird.

  84. says

    Enlightenment Liberal @85:

    Well, government is almost by definition violence (necessarily relies on taxes), and I generally dislike violence.

    You really need to warn people before leading them into Libertarian land. The redefining of words can be really jarring unless one is prepared.

  85. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    EL’s a liberturd with “taxes is violence”. Explains the arrogance and ignorance, and the inability to listen to reason.