Saturday, March 10, 2012

Republicans who have left the party

For the longest time I was aware of John Cole (site owner of Balloon Juice) having decided he could no longer stomach the Republican party, as I was a frequent commentor there after his epiphany was announced. I met my guy on that site and I admired John's honesty in assessing the lockstep backwardness that was occurring inside his political world.

But, it had been years since I had heard of anything going on at Little Green Footballs, a site I vehemently loathed because of the mudpit atmosphere the normal commentariat partook in. I let it roll off my list of things to acknowledge and for years it stayed away, far away, in the deep recesses of my mind, complete with a signpost that said "Dead End". I thought nothing of Little Green Footballs until this morning when a Facebook friend of mine posted a link to a very sensible post and I thought: "What's going on here? This is not the Little Green Footballs I remember!"

Well, suffice it to say, LGF has gone through a vast transformation from the bullfighting arena I remember. I did some research and as it turns out, I was completely unaware that site owner Charles Johnson had gone through his own John Cole-type Epiphany listing the numerous greivances he had with the Republican Party in 2009:

1. Support for fascists, both in America (see: Pat Buchanan, Robert Stacy McCain, etc.) and in Europe (see: Vlaams Belang, BNP, SIOE, Pat Buchanan, etc.)
2. Support for bigotry, hatred, and white supremacism (see: Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Robert Stacy McCain, Lew Rockwell, etc.)
3. Support for throwing women back into the Dark Ages, and general religious fanaticism (see: Operation Rescue, anti-abortion groups, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, the entire religious right, etc.)
4. Support for anti-science bad craziness (see: creationism, climate change denialism, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, James Inhofe, etc.)
5. Support for homophobic bigotry (see: Sarah Palin, Dobson, the entire religious right, etc.)
6. Support for anti-government lunacy (see: tea parties, militias, Fox News, Glenn Beck, etc.)
7. Support for conspiracy theories and hate speech (see: Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Birthers, creationists, climate deniers, etc.)
8. A right-wing blogosphere that is almost universally dominated by raging hate speech (see: Hot Air, Free Republic, Ace of Spades, etc.)
9. Anti-Islamic bigotry that goes far beyond simply criticizing radical Islam, into support for fascism, violence, and genocide (see: Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, etc.)
10. Hatred for President Obama that goes far beyond simply criticizing his policies, into racism, hate speech, and bizarre conspiracy theories (see: witch doctor pictures, tea parties, Birthers, Michelle Malkin, Fox News, World Net Daily, Newsmax, and every other right wing source)
I am very glad to see this. I am going to keep this list and make it useful. There are far too many people who seem to want to give the "conservative party" a pass when the party isn't conservative at all. These folks spout "less government" and then set out on a witch hunt to force women to give up control of their reproductive health. That's not smaller government. Charles Johnson (and John Cole, whom we'll get to in a moment) are right. This crap needs to end.

After posting the list above, I decided that I wanted to pair it with John Cole's conversion and went looking for it online. I not only found one of his original posts from 2005 where he stated he was leaving the Republican party, but I also found some wonderful comments he made on Crooked Timber.  as well:

  • I’m mad. Plain and simple.

    I am mad my party has descended into a swirling vortex of madness in which no one is accountable for anything, everyone is a hypocrite, and that no one cares if a policy or position is good or beneficial to the country, but whether or not there is some short term political advantage.

    I am mad that the good aspects of the Republican party (respect for individual liberty, the belief in balanced budgets and sensible tax policy, free trade, etc.- you may not agree with those being good aspects, but I thought they were there) have been drowned out and been discredited for the next half century by the ramblings of mad men and religious nuts.

    I am mad at myself for not listening to people prior to the war and instead followed this administration and the pigheaded cheerleaders in the press and the blogosphere. I should have known better. Read some of my old posts(pre-2004)- they are truly atrocious and really embarrassing.

    I am mad that I defended the indefensible for too long.
    I am mad that the Republican party now stands for torture, domestic surveillance, government secrecy, permanent detention, and the imperial presidency.
    I am mad that political debate in the Republican party now amounts to little more than calling your opposition traitors and accusing them of treason.
    I am mad that for the GOP, admitting a mistake and dealing with it is seen as weak, or cowardly, and that fixing mistakes are less of a priority than winning short-term political victories.
    I am mad at a whole host of things, but most of all I am mad at myself. When I look at these folks, the right blogosphere in general, the Hewitts, the Malkins, the Powerline, the NRO, the Weekly Standard in particular, what I see are people who either have not learned a damned thing in the past few years or whose loyalty to a political party is so great that they don’t care.
    I think a little shrill is warranted, and I think anything less than shrill is not adequate attonement for my past transgressions. These folks need to be stopped. They need to be discredited, the Republican Party needs to be completely and wholly destroyed and built back up from the bottom up.
    My only concern regarding the complete destruction of the Republican Party is the chance that the Democrats might become just as arrogant and corrupt as the Republicans are currently. The only thing that assuages these concerns are the historical record of the Democratic Party being the biggest enemy the Democratic party has, and that I have a hard time believing the Democrats can become as bad as the Republicans. They will turn on themselves before it gets to that point.
    I know this little rant does not explain the underlying question you were asking, but it might help to explain where I am now politically. I am mad at myself and the GOP, and I think I have every right to be.
No sooner did I post these bits on my Facebook this morning than a friend of a friend made a statement about how Republicans are no more egregious than Democrats (the Both Sides Do It argument) and I had these quotes at the ready. Furthermore, this wasn't words from a Democrat observing Republicans' bad behavior, these were quotes from those who once were THEM! I think the posts are very effective and I plan to keep them close at hand and use them again, and again, and again... until, perhaps we can open their eyes, one person at a time. I'm not going to count on this happening, but, it's worth a try at least, isn't it?

No comments:

Post a Comment