Republicans: America's Fundamentalists

It is a common refrain here that both the right and left have their share of wingnuts. This is undeniably true.

Of late though I have opined that the wing-nuttery on the right has moved from the wings to front-and-center as we see various congresscritters repeating the idiocy.

Nevertheless I always kind of felt these politicians (Bachmann aside) never really believed their own bullshit. It was all just politics and they felt they could score easy points playing this partisan politics.

Unfortunately it seems I am wrong. Apparently they do believe their own bullshit.

For debate is this actually the birth of a fundamentalist movement in the US? In the past right and left, while they had differences, generally had respect for the office of the president and would ultimately work together. Now we see republicans stalling nearly every bill before the Senate even if they AGREE with the contents of the bill. Just anything to stop the evil liberals even if they are actually ok with the bill in the end.

To have GOP big wigs, people supposedly with a clue, opine with no fear of attribution that Obama is a Socialist and people like Olympia Snowe should be booted is appalling.

It truly seems if you are not us (republican) you are the enemy. And “us” is very narrowly defined and everyone not “us” needs to be opposed. Period.

The funny thing, if any of this could be called “funny”, is conservatives often accuse the liberals of drinking the Kool-Aid. If liberals are then conservatives are main-lining their version.

Actually, the Fundamentalists are America’s Fundamentalists. (Most of them are Republicans nowadays, I suppose.)

There can be many stripes of Fundamentalists. Think of “Republican” here as an adjective modifying the noun fundamentalists.

Also, the Fundie side of the liberal wing remains, by-and-large, on the fringe where they should be.

I wonder if this is what it felt like during the McCarthy era?

From Andrew Sullivan

22% of “Republican leaders” do not apparently believe Obama is a socialist and 22% of the same want to expel either Michele Bachmann or Glenn Beck. That’s an intriguing match. Setting aside what exactly constitutes “Republican leaders,” I’d be interested to find out whether this 22% came from the same part of the country.

What is the agreed-upon definition of a “socialist?”

17.4% of all statistics are made up on the spot. This obviously falls under that heading.

What does this have to do with anything true? Some left-wing moron at Esquire pulls some figures out of his ass, and you people fall for it.

Gee, that’s never happened before.


I suffer from reader’s fatique when absorbing drivel . Its a kind of allergy. If you would be so kind as to substantiate, that would be a cite for sore eyes.

So you are certain they did not call 75 Republicansand report their answers correctly? I will remember that next time you rely on a poll. When all else fails, deny, deny, DENY.

Good question.

When I see some calling Obama a Socialist and before the sentence is out also label him a Fascist I am immediately curious to hear what their definitions of these things are.

That said these are supposedly leaders in the Republican party (so presumably steeped in politics) and, I would hope, they have a clue what the words in the question asked of them mean.

If not then that is a whole other level of scary.

The current Republican definition seems to be:

They were using ‘liberal’ for a while, but that was starting to lose impact, so they had to find something worse. I expect them to roll out ‘heathen’ in time for 2012.

You’re comparing this to a real poll? Please.

Nothing else has failed. This stupid “poll” isn’t an indication of anything except the truth of Wizard’s First Rule -


And the government invented AIDS to kill black people, Jews control the media, blah blah.


No one is pretending it is a poll of public opinion.

They are asking a particular group of people their opinions on a variety of questions. It is useful since it is these people who (presumably) have large sway over affecting government policy and operation. As such it is all the more important.

Shocked I have to explain this to you. Seems incredibly obvious.

So the question: is there any evidence that you can show that would indicate this was a bad poll? In the absence of any claimed error bars or methodology, I won’t personally say it’s a “good” poll, but do you have any evidence beyond “it’s Esquire” for saying it’s not?

Frankly, it lined up with my observations of the Republicans in my life–they’re sure about some things, but they’re split pretty evenly on “where do we go from here”. I don’t think (in the absence of a definition of “socialist”) it says anything nearly close to what the OP was trying to say it says–precisely BECAUSE “socialist” is a bogeyman word these days.

I think it does.

I suspect (no evidence) that if you cornered a Tea Bagger protester waving an “Obama is Socialist” sign and asked them to define “socialist” they’d be hard pressed to answer. For these people it is a bogeyman word and they just like tossing it around. Akin to similar people waving signs to have the government keep its hands off their Medicare.

Fine…lunatic fringe can be found on all sides.

Here however we do not have the “fringe”. We have the people front and center in the policy debates. We have people whose business is government. They are asked some questions privately and with no fear of attribution. Their private thoughts if you will rather than play-to-the-crowd rhetoric.

The majority of those people answered that Obama is a Socialist (among other eye poppers). So, either they are unclear on the word such that they would fail a high school freshman Civics test or they know what it means and actually believe Obama is a socialist.

I submit to really believe Obama=Socialist you have to hold a fundamentalist position. More, this shows the fundamentalism is no longer on the wings. It is front-and-center and taken root.

I’m sorry, but I didn’t see anywhere in the story where Esquire characterized their sample in anything more than the vaguest terms. Can you link me to the more specific version you’re apparently reading? This is exactly the aspect of this about which Shodan has a point

30% said purge Snowe, but another 15% said purge Powell. However 22% said purge Bachmann and Beck.

I’m a liberal, so I’m biased. But the partisans in power and in the pundit class on the left are nothing like the extremists on the right. You can’t compare Rachel Maddow to Glenn Beck, I don’t see how anyone could. And I wouldn’t compare Bernie Sanders to the teabaggers.

I’m not sure where this concept that both parties have equal extremists started. The rabid ideologues on the right are more extreme, more organized and more front/center than on the left.

The equivalent of the rabid ideologues on the left would be some of the WTO protesters who openly embrace Karl Marx, are true socialists and want the death sentence for various CEOs. However they do not have the power or influence that their counterparts on the right do. The counterpart of Glenn Beck (who is famous, influential, wealthy, etc) is some anonymous guy marching in protest of international trade and calling for the death sentence of the CEOs of Halliburton and BP. Imagine if someone like that spoke at the DNC. Then you’d have equal ideologues on both sides.

The conservative media and passive liberals have let the overton window be pushed further and further to the right. Now opinions that the majority of the public support (single payer health care, taxing the rich, government investment) are seen as radical left wing activities.

It’s right in the first paragraph:

And I’m sure they’ll probably be using the word “pedophile” soon after that.

Certainly publication in so scholarly a journal of social science as Esquire has to outweigh any nitpicking about representative sampling or survey design.

I find that all the best peer-reviewed studies are published in magazines with pictures of greasy-haired anorectics modeling over-priced suits. As no doubt you do as well.