Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dogs And Teabaggers Sense Fear

Here is a video I meant to put up earlier. Bill Maher and Michael Moore capture much of the essence of teabagger mentality, and for that matter, much of what studies on authoritarian personalities have demonstrated long before anyone heard of teabaggers, Palin, or Glenn Beck.

Maher makes the point that many Americans are like dogs. That will get the right wing's assortment of serial resenters frothing, but he makes a cringe-worthy and accurate assertion that so many Americans are like dogs because they don't really understand what is being said; they look for voice inflection, style, symbolism, and attitude.

Ok, so dogs don't get symbolism, but Maher is right to emphasize fear as a motivator for dogs and teabaggers alike. Millions let their gut feelings be their guide, which is why, as Maher notes, so many seem impervious to rational discourse. On numerous issues wonkish progressives hold dear, teabaggers do not simply disagree with progressives, and offer a reasoned counter argument; they do not understand the issue in the first place. 

But listen carefully to Moore. He stresses a point you have heard me say before: Dems lost seats in November because the 18-24 crowd didn't bother to vote, while their parent and grandparents did. Moore says 70% of the 18-24 demographic voted for Obama, which sounds about right. However, while 23 million of them voted in '08, only 9 million did so in 2010. Yet Republicans only garnered 5 million more votes in 2010.

Do the math: it's all about voter turnout.

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