Thursday, February 14, 2013

Conservatism 2013: Impeachment, Depression

After a smashing defeat, how will the GOP change their extreme right-wing Conservative label - by impeaching President Obama?  No, you say...but in a story by Emily Swanson at Huffington Post, "Obama Impeachment Poll Finds At Least Half Of Republicans Support Removing Him," we find out differently.  And this time, it won't be about sex in the Oval Office - it doesn't matter what the supposed "high crimes and misdemeanors," if their numbers in Congress predominate, the GOP will impeach any Democrat occupying the White House.  The complete story follows:

"WASHINGTON -- It should come as no surprise to anyone that most Republicans aren't members of the Barack Obama fan club. According to one recent survey, a significant majority of Republicans in one state not only dislike the president but want to see him impeached. As a new HuffPost/YouGov national poll shows, however, questions about impeachment are a tricky business, and simply asking whether people support or oppose it may produce results that overstate their support.

"A January survey of Texas voters conducted by Public Policy Polling found that 67 percent of Texas Republicans, and 39 percent of Texas voters overall, said they favor impeaching Obama. The survey asked, "Would you support or oppose impeaching President Obama?"

"But that relatively straightforward question leaves open several possibilities for interpreting what respondents meant when they said they favor impeachment. For example, the question contained no definition of impeachment, so that some respondents may have misunderstood what impeachment entails, even if they grasped that it functions as some kind of reprimand. Some respondents could have been just expressing an unfavorable opinion of Obama (virtually all Republicans rate him unfavorably) or endorsing a more generic reprimand, rather than advocating a process that could remove the president from office after trial for "high crimes and misdemeanors."

"To help better parse levels of support for impeaching the president, The Huffington Post and its polling partner YouGov conducted a survey experiment to see how question wording might affect that support. Between Jan. 30 and Feb. 2, a total of 3,000 respondents nationally were randomly assigned to answer one of three questions about impeaching the president, including the original question asked by PPP and two alternative questions.

"The results showed both that a simple support/oppose question may overstate the number favoring impeachment and that support for impeachment remains surprisingly high among Republicans even when they are asked a more explanatory question.

"One set of respondents answered the same question that was asked on the PPP poll. Similar results were found nationally to those that PPP found in Texas, particularly among Republicans. In the new survey, 35 percent of Americans overall and 66 percent of Republicans said they would support impeaching Obama."

There is no compromise in the Conservative world, no compromise in the GOP, and no compromise by the Republican's mentors - the greediest and most power-hungry among us, the higher-ups of the Conservative "kick down, kiss up" mentality, the Authoritarians Among Us.

And if the sheeplets still deny the criminal intent of the Conservatives In Our Midst, the following  story by Lynn Stuart Parrimore at, "The GOP Plan to Flush Your State’s Economy Down the Toilet," should be an eye-opener:

"There will be smoke. There will be mirrors. And there will be a lot of ordinary people suffering needlessly in the wake of this ideological train wreck.

"We already have a red-state model, and it’s called Mississippi. Or Texas. Or any number of states characterized by low public investment, worker abuse, environmental degradation, educational backwardness, high rates of unwanted pregnancy, poor health, and so on.

"Now the GOP is determined to bring that horrible model to the rest of America.

"In Kansas, the Wall Street Journal reports that Governor Sam Brownback is aiming to up his profile 'by turning Kansas into what he calls Exhibit A for how sharp cuts in taxes and government spending can generate jobs, wean residents off public aid and spur economic growth.' In remarks quoted in the same article, Brownback announced that 'My focus is to create a red-state model that allows the Republican ticket to say, 'See, we've got a different way, and it works.’

"Brownback’s economic inspiration is Reagan-era supply-side economist Arthur Laffer and the folks at Americans for Prosperity, the conservative outfit backed by the deep coffers of the Koch brothers.

"This new austerity talk focused on “fiscal innovations” is emboldening Republicans in other states that have been gerrymandered into submission to the GOP, including Indiana, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, and alas, my home state of North Carolina.

"Republications have been eyeing the Tar Heel state with interest due to its recent swing status in presidential elections. The state was also the target of a gerrymandering strategy that worked out wonderfully for the Republicans, but not so well for democracy. Sam Wang, the founder of the Princeton Election Consortium, wrote recently in the New York Times about how Republican redistricting thwarted Democratic voters:
'Although gerrymandering is usually thought of as a bipartisan offense, the rather asymmetrical results may surprise you....I have developed approaches to detect such shenanigans by looking only at election returns. To see how the sleuthing works, start with the naïve standard that the party that wins more than half the votes should get at least half the seats. In November, five states failed to clear even this low bar: Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. ... In North Carolina, where the two-party House vote was 51 percent Democratic, 49 percent Republican, the average simulated delegation was seven Democrats and six Republicans. The actual outcome? Four Democrats, nine Republicans — a split that occurred in less than 1 percent of simulations. If districts were drawn fairly, this lopsided discrepancy would hardly ever occur.'
"The lesson of North Carolina tells you that the GOP red-state model is based, first and foremost, on efforts to flagrantly disregard the will of the people.

"GOP pols are vying to out-do each other in extreme red-state programming. NC state senator Bob Rucho is pushing a plan to eliminate the state's income taxes altogether. Such plans go hand-in-hand with calls for increasing the sales tax. Because low-income people pay a higher proportion of their income in sales taxes, abolishing income taxes and raising sales taxes shoves tax burdens onto them. Obviously, the Republicans will not give up on their passionate desire to cut taxes on the wealthy and stick it to the poor and the middle class.

"North Carolina, a state where progressives have fought conservative forces tooth and nail to achieve an enviable university system and a reputation for high-tech and research, is now in danger of being thrown into a period of regressive darkness. University of North Carolina sociologist Andrew Perrin put it this way: “Public investment is part of what has set North Carolina apart from our neighbors in the South.”
"Red-state model proponents claim that their maneuvers will spark economic growth. But that was basically what George W. Bush had in mind when he supported a similar program for cutting taxes on the rich. That didn’t work out so well, and increased the very deficits Republicans decry.

"But here’s the really scary part. Slashing taxes, squeezing workers and throwing out environmental protections can indeed lure businesses to states where they won’t have to pay their fair share and can get away with all sorts of abuse. If a state like North Carolina promotes such policies, businesses from nearby states like Virginia may indeed move their operations down the road. Unless you believe in the 'Confidence Fairy,' as Paul Krugman calls the naïve GOP faith that making everybody poorer is the way to become rich, then you know that what results is simply trade diversion, not genuine growth. In other words, one state’s gain is another state’s loss. The result is a headlong race-to-the-bottom whereby the states losing business will be pressured to slash their taxes and burden their workers and ordinary citizens, too. Nobody wins in that game -- except the 1 percent.

"The blue-state model, evident in high-income states like Massachusetts, has long been associated with high levels of state investments in education, transportation and other public goods. And guess what? It's also associated with economic strength. The red-state model, on the other hand, is linked to backwardness, second-rate educational systems and economic weakness.

"What the GOP wants to do is create an image-problem for blue states where taxes have been raised to balance budgets and continue vital services and jobs by crying “Look, Ma! No taxes!” in the states where they’ve taken control."

But the GOP can't take control if the People are vigilant, and if they understand the criminal nature and mentality of the Conservative mindset.  Only when Conservatism is criminalized that the country can emulate the Blue State model, restore democracy to the nation, and bring a halt to the relentless power grab that typlifies the Conservative movement:  the drive for power by thrusting the middle class back into the Feudal Age - where the rich are masters, and the middle class is now the poor class.


"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to
him in his language, that goes to his heart."

Nelson Mandela


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