June 12th, 2009

News

Tornados, Kevin Smith, and Tetris

FRIDAY NEWS:
* Will the administration flipflop on bringing the Guantanamo detainees stateside?
* On the White House and transparency.
* A debate inside the Catholic Church on dealing with sexuality.
* Hee. President writes note excusing fourth grader from class.
* Tom Tomorrow with 'the ringtwingoverse view of abortion.'
* "If we can understand more about tornadoes, then we can make better warnings."
* Life lessons from young heroines. (Courtesy shadorunr.)
* Heh. Kevin Smith plays Carnegie Hall.
* Thematic! Sneaking in a large Banksy exhibit.
* Tetris turns 25.

Politics

Perceptions of the Republican party

[Originally posted this elsewhere, and it's pretty hastily written. I may expand and revise this in a more coherent version. I'd especially appreciate comments, to help me parse this all out.]

I realize this will likely fall on deaf ears, but I have been mulling this over for a while, and need to start writing it out.

There is a widespread perception of the modern Republican party as a party of racism, xenophobia, prejudice, fearmongering, and hypocrisy. You don't have to look hard for examples of any of these. Democrats have done a good job of working this angle, but it doesn't help that the Republicans themselves have been pushing out the moderate voices in favor of more extreme ones. The Republicans have lost the centrists and the independents wholesale, and don't seem to be doing much to win them back, in favor of pandering to their base.

And it's this perception that leads people to associate violent extremists like Von Brunn with the violent wing of the pro-life movement, who are just one step away from the evangelical base that are a prize Republican constituency. This isn't a jump to conclusions. You take one step, and there conclusions are.

Across the country, Republicans are marching to stop the legalization of gay marriage. And it's no accident that the arguments they use are the exact same arguments used to try and stop interracial marriages a generation ago. Hispanic voters hear that the Republicans want their vote, but then they hear talk show hosts talking about mass deportations. You have the governor of Texas actually talking about secession, over receiving federal money. And this is considered patriotism? A few years ago, they accuse Democrats of treason for questioning the White House, and now they hold mass protests, backed by Fox News, over paying taxes? While they not-so-secretly whisper about the president's own dedication to America?

This doesn't make sense to the vast majority of Americans, and the more conservatives push issues like this, the longer it will take to change the public perception of the party.