Thursday, May 14, 2009

Good idea, "rebranding."

As in, the Republicans are "rebranding" the Democrats "Democrat Socialists." Which apparently requires a special meeting, and funny hats, and a special dispensation from Godwin agreeing that they are Exempt from the Law as they are officially Post Irony. not from Steele, though, cos no one cares what he thinks.

As I understand it, the Democrats were considering holding a meeting to redub the Republicans "the Epic Fail Party," but it seemed a tad redundant.

ETA: Wait. I hadn’t realized we’d reached "pell mell." Crap. Oh, sure, I knew we weren’t hunky dory, and things have been decidedly higgledy piggledy for years now. But pell mell? Ipso facto, that’s bad news, yo.


tlonista said...

Isn't "democratic socialism" 1) already taken, and 2) inaccurate, given that in most other places the Dems would occupy the space of a conservative party?

piggie1230 said...

"given that in most other places the Dems would occupy the space of a conservative party"

which is why "epic fail party" is redundant

Claire said...

A better brand for the republicans would be "White Christian Nationalist Party."

CrackerLilo said...

Can we now "rebrand" these Republicans? With actual hot irons? Just checking.

Comrade Physioprof said...

The Republican Party is reminding me more and more of those kind of people you sometimes encounter on the street who are muttering to themslves and then when you walk by they scream something right at you like, "YOU!!!! Stop putting those thoughts in my head!!! THE CIA is watching YOU!!!!"

belledame222 said...

That hardly seems fair to the people in the street.

little light said...

You know how as historians today we can look back, shake our heads sadly, and say, "Boy, that Qin Shihuangdi sure did have a bad case of mercury poisoning. If only someone had known"?
I'm just sayin'.

Nick said...


I don't always agree with you, but I love your witty snarkiness.

Keep it up! ( :

"White Christian Nationalist Party."

Don't want to go all hyperbolic with Hitler comparisons, but that's what I thought of here.

The Nazis promoted Christianity as a sort of state religion, but they also considered replacing it with a Hitler worship religion or the "Nazi religion". I can't remember exactly what right now. Needless to say, the imagery of kids praying for Bush has a parallel.

Nick said...

In related news:

"The truth is that it is no longer possible to govern this country through a conservative elite. We have a radical elite, an elite that believes in climate change, gay marriage, unrestricted abortions, and the United Nations."

~ Laura Ingraham

From the always controversial Arthr Silber:

He's rebranded the Republicans in pretty vulgar terms ( :

Overly harsh on random unidentified aggerates of people, but he's always worth a read on our current political infighting.

Alon Levy said...

Nick: the Nazis promoted Christianity, but they also meddled in it heavily. Hitler was merciless toward priests who criticized him. Ironically, although the Nazis were a heavily Protestant party, they also promoted more use of the New Testament and less of the Old Testament, which is a Jewish document.

The people praying for Bush isn't really similar to Nazi Hitler-worship. I don't think the Bush prayers are different from the Obama photos I see everywhere in Harlem. Even serious cases of cult of personality, like Venezuela's giving Chavez the power to rule by decree on the grounds that "Chavez loves the people" and "Chavez can do us no harm," are often garden-variety authoritarian rather than Nazi-style totalitarian.

Alon Levy said...

As for Ingraham, the polite word for people like her, Ann Coulter, and Michael Savage is "Eliminationist." That's a euphemism for "Thug." Nobody ever advocates mass murder or revolution without meaning it.

belledame222 said...

Yeah. Alternately, if they weren't contributing to actual danger, "real life trolls."

Mandos said...

What's all this hurley-burley about? I'd like it holus bolus to stop.

Nick said...


Some interesting facts about the Nazis there.

Doesn't Hitler attacking priests who disagree with him make him analogous to a Medieval Pope or something doing the same? In terms of fundamentals.

Comparatively speaking, I just meant that the thought processes of say hardcore Christian Reconstructionists seem remarkably similar to fealty to the Nazi volk/its head honcho ~ a dynamic of blind faith leaving nowhere else to turn but an alleged rep. of the "sacred" truth. I don't know about the specifics of the prayer people. I used to know a person who supported no state marriage rights for gays but didn't support sodomy laws ~ their argument for the former basically amounted to an appeal to authority.

Yeah, there's a difference between a state that tries to control everything and an obnoxiously overbearing but still more limited/tolerant one. I'd say that conservative theocratic advocates of faith-tradition can exist on a continuum, but the most consistent vulgar expressions are exemplified by truly totalitarian individuals. For example: in the Islamic world, there isn't one brand of Sharia. Most Muslims polled will say separation of church/state isn't an Islamic thing, but they all don't accept the Taliban.

This woman is an example of a homegrown "Talib":

There was a page where she wanted to replace the current U.S. legal code with bible recommendations ~ alongside flogging of trans people and execution for adultery or something. It makes me sad to know she has three kids ~ "lord" knows what kind of psychological issues they'll end up dealing with.

Alon Levy said...

Nick: Nazism is a weird movement to compare anything to, simply because it was so personality-oriented, without much of a clear program other than "The current system isn't working" and "the Treaty of Versailles is oppressing Germany." The actual specifics the Nazis didn't talk much about after 1929, when their voting base expanded beyond the hardcore fascist 2% of the voters. The Christian Reconstructionists are still at the 2% stage - and probably will stay there, unless the US gets hit by a crisis of comparable magnitude to the Great Depression in Germany.

Religious fanatics are on the contrary less likely to engage in personality cults than other types of radicals; their objects of veneration are not current leaders, but scripture and past prophets. On RedState there was actually a thread saying something to that effect - "The leader of my movement is Jesus Christ," followed by an explanation that Ted Haggard's behavior didn't reflect on the wider Evangelical community. Bin Laden is the most venerated fundamentalist leader today, and still the Islamist cult of personality around him is way less than the communist and new leftist cult of personality around Che Guevara or the libertarian cult of personality around Ayn Rand and Ron Paul.

The simple-mindedness and the search for a sacred truth are there as always, as are appeals to authority (my priest says people didn't come from monkeys! Von Mises says fiat currency is tyranny!). And both kinds of radicals I'm presenting here are at the extreme end of the scale, complete with mass murder and some form of death camps.

Nick said...


Not really any disagreement with your detailing of Nazidom. It parallels my own reading.

There are indeed personality cults across the spectrum, but I am not sure what specific two kinds of radicals you're contrasting.

Secular vs religious?

Right vs left?

On Libertarians: I've personally never met many personality cultists, but I am sure such people exist. As an important sidenote, Ayn Rand despised Libertarians and considered Objectivism to be a separate integrated philosophical system ~ although; she has certainly influenced many individual Libertarians.

This actually me brings to something I've been meaning to say on here. I plead with the Progressive left to make distinctions between GOP establishmentdom and organizations like The Boston Tea Party. Both may rouse fear of say increased gun control or taxation, but the latter is truly unfriendly to corporate welfare, civil liberties crackdowns, and other issues dear to leftists.

I personally know a peaceful sane individual impacted by the assault weapons ban ~ has semi-automatic arms of sorts. Obama is in favor of it, so it's not entirely inaccurate to be concerned about increased coercion against gun owners ~ without endorsing violent attacks on random policemen or whatever. During the Bush years, the generic left spoke of secessionism and said "Bush isn't my president". Whatever the objective validity of individual right wing complaints, the banner of withdrawal of sanction shouldn't be treated as an automatic danger signal. National unity is arguably more of a conservative than liberal principle. Anything the DHS puts out about domestic terrorism should be treated with a grain of salt ~ out of a principled concern for civil liberties. Nonetheless, there is a lot of stupid paranoia going around, but we should be careful to draw distinctions. The U.S. government still has a lot of dangerous coercive power at its disposal.

Alon Levy said...

The contrast I was giving was between religious fundamentalists and all other radicals. There are other contrasts to be made, but not when the subject at hand is personality cults.

As for the Tea Party people, I really doubt they're much different from your garden variety Republican. There have been plenty of civil rights violations this decade, but the Tea Parties ignored all of them - the Patriot Act, the Iraq War, torture - as long as they were committed by the Bush administration. This parallels standard libertarian practice - the major Chicago economists had no problem with Reagan's huge deficits; Ron Paul returned to Congress in 1996 because he found Republican control congenial.

When it comes right down to it, libertarians forgive or excuse their own leaders' abuses, in exactly the same way communists pretend that Cuba is a Utopian democracy and every person killed by Fidel was a CIA spy. This goes on until the apologetics become self-evidently ridiculous; then they do a 180 and pretend they never supported the regime in the first place. Libertarians do this with Bush; communists do this with Stalin and Mao.

I really don't mind the secession talk. To be frank, I think both Texas and the rest of the US would be better off if Texas seceded. I don't even mind the delegitimization too much - it's really no worse than the Bush-Hitler comparisons. What I mind is the idea that torture, privacy violations, and endless war are all fine, but fiscal stimulus is tyranny.

Nick said...


To what extent do you mind tangents in your comments section? The conversation Alon and I are having seems to go off in all kinds of directions ~ only tangentially connected to rebranding the Republican Party.

I have a habit of being a straying commenter on blogs ~ not always appreciated by the blogger. I don't want to repeat that mistake here.

belledame222 said...

ah, work away, it's not like you're exactly silencing the voluminous flow of chat on the topic, you know?

belledame222 said...

if it does ever get in the way, I'll let you know.

Nick said...


We're thinking of different libertarians. Here's the Boston Tea Party website program: The Green Party candidate even endorsed four major proposals of it. I admit the libertarian label is a contested one and certain GOP apologists will present themselves as libertarians ~ not to mention the disputes between anarchists and limited governmentalists over it.

The ordinary GOPers were probably more numerous than classical liberals. Nonetheless, I know many hardcore socially progressive minded libertarian anti-statists critical of the Bush admin. These people are worth having dialogues with ~ one reason why I post on here. Belle's politics seem supremely concerned with individual rights and flourishing. It would be good for classical liberals of the pre-regulatory state mold and Progressive modern liberals concerned with perceived coercive private power to discuss fundamentals.