Tea party idiot ‘yells names’ at Elizabeth Warren


 
Last night at the start of an Elizabeth Warren campaign meeting in Brockton, MA, some sad, scared little man on the wrong side of history expressed his support for the Tea party and called Warren a “socialist whore.”

Via Huffington Post:

After the event, Warren reflected on the man’s outburst, which she said was her first such encounter. “I actually felt sorry for the guy. I really genuinely did. He’s been out of work now for a year and a half. And bless his heart, I mean, he thought somehow it would help to come here and yell names,” she told HuffPost.

The assault stuck with Warren, and she continued to think about it throughout the night. Hours later, she she said she wasn’t upset with the man himself, but rather with those who attempt to channel his anger in a malevolent direction. “I was thinking more about the heckler. I’m not angry with him, but he didn’t come up with the idea that his biggest problem was Occupy Wall Street. There’s someone else pre-packaging that poison—and that’s who makes me angry,” she said.

Did you get to the end where he tries to dramatically storm out and the door is locked? Bless his pointed little head!
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Failed end of the world prophet Harold Camping getting out of the Rapture business


Above, a fucking idiot.

Harold Camping, the 89-year-old coot preacher who achieved fame for repeatedly getting the date of “The Rapture” wrong says he finds his situation “embarrassing” and is getting out of the prophecy business. Probably a good idea at his age… and with his track record!

“We’re living in a day when one problem follows another, and when it comes trying to recognize the truth of prophecy we’re finding it very, very difficult,” Camping said in an audio file posted to his Family Radio website yesterday. Via the NY Daily News:

Camping has made several predictions about the end of the world over the years. He claimed the end was nigh in 1994, then again in May of this year. When that didn’t happen, he said it would be Oct. 21.

“Why didn’t Christ return on Oct. 21?” he asked. “It seems embarrassing for Family Radio, but God is in charge of everything.”

The minister noted that no matter what people may think is in the Bible, ultimately God has the final word and isn’t obligated to reveal his plans.

“There’s one thing that we must remember,” Camping said. “God is in charge of this whole business, and we are not. What God wants to tell us is his business, when he wants to tell us is his business.”

The failed prognosticator also said he was sorry for saying that anyone who didn’t believe in his incorrect predictions would not be saved.

“I should not have said that and I apologize,” Camping said.

The Oakland-based preacher added that just because he was wrong, people shouldn’t lose their faith.

“We should not for a moment feel that we’ve been abandoned by God,” he said.

Really? Why not? I’m sure that schmuck who spent his pension on those “repent the end is near” subway posters feels pretty alone right about now…

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Rick Perry: Dumber than Dubya?
10.30.2011
08:31 am

Topics:
Politics

Tags:
low IQ buffoonery
Rick Perry


 
The “highlights” (because he HAD TO BE HIGH) of Rick Perry’s speech Friday night in Manchester, New Hampshire. I hope to God this buffoon is the Republican nominee, don’t you?

No wonder Perry doesn’t want to participate in the GOP debates! When you come off like a bigger idiot than Michele Bachmann does, that’s really, really saying something…
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Disturbing fanatical fasting woman on YouTube
10.28.2011
11:33 am

Topics:
Belief
Kooks

Tags:
low IQ buffoonery


 
Wow, the bullshit people can convince themselves of… These disturbing videos of a woman who did an extreme fast for “spiritual reasons” (and to “help others”???) were posted over at Cynical-C and this lady is truly tweaked. She seems quite, um, “happy,” true, but she looks like the re-animated zombie cadaver of a recently deceased meth-head. This can’t be good for your health…
 

 

I am beginning a 40 day fast, and if possible, the 1st 40 day fast of 3 separate, consecutive 40 day, water only fasts. (A water fast is one in which only water is consumed.) These three water fasts will be separated by 7 days of eating – (the days of Passover Week) – so the 3 fasts will consist of a 40 day fast before Passover Week and a 40 day fast immediately following Passover Week. While breaking the fast during Passover, only “Kosher for Passover” foods will be eaten. After this, there will be a 40 day fast following four days of eating during Shavuot/Pentecost. I post this information with every video.

I am fasting for spiritual reasons, the primary motivations being to become the woman G-d wants me to be, to know and do what He wants me to do, and to, in general, become the person He wants me to become. I am NOT doing this for the purposes of weight loss, cleansing, experimentation, record setting, health, or for any other non-religious alterior motive. Nor am I doing this for anyone else, though other individuals have asked me to pray for certain things during this time.

Why would God give a shit if you fasted anyways?

Here she is after her THIRD consecutive 40 day fast. WTF?!?!
 

 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Tea party leader: ‘#OWS are Nazis & Commies; good & evil cannot coexist’


Via Republican Retard Club

Zany Tea party leader Judson Phillips is back (did he ever leave?) with a new fund-raising email alert designed to scare the people stupid enough to “donate” money to his for-profit enterprise, Tea Party Nation.

Did you know that #OWS are a bunch of Nazis and Communist pinkos? Well, according to Judson they are. He read it on the Internet, probably in an email typed in ALL CAPS.

Maybe Victoria Jackson forwarded it to him?

Many of us can remember, as we were growing up, our parents telling us we would be judged by the company we keep.  There is a lot of truth to that wisdom.

What can we learn from the company Occupy Wall Street keeps?

Actually we can learn a lot.

Not only the Communist Party but also the American Nazi Party has endorsed OWS as well.

The media has been falling all over itself to spin OWS as the newest liberal movement, just like the Tea Party.  They have done their best to hide videos that show what the Occupy movement really believes.

Both Communists and Nazi’s are socialists.  They hate freedom and liberty and both want to see freedom and liberty replaced with tyranny.

OWS claims to be a leaderless movement, yet no one involved with the movement is willing to denounce the Nazis or the Communists.   Contrast that to the Tea Party movement, which went overboard to make sure no one involved with the Tea Party movement was a racist or a Nazi.

OWS seems to have no problem with Nazis or the Communists.  OWS supports forms of totalitarianism that directly killed about 250 million people in the last century and enslaved billions in poverty and tyranny.

The OWS movement, contrary to the media myth that is being spun, is not just a spontaneous uprising, but rather a well-planned event.  It is not simply a group of dissatisfied Americans seeking redress of their grievances.  It is a well thought out plan by far left wing groups.

What planet is this motherfucker from? And can you imagine the kinds of cranky old bastards who’d send this dude money? Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
New Rapture date predicted, just 11 days away!


 
Failed endtimes “prophet” Harold Camping just won’t quit. He’s the Energizer bunny of doomsday seers. Despite getting getting his predictions for the date of the Rapture wrong several times, the 90-year-old coot is still promising that Christians are going to get snatched up into Heaven. The revised Rapture date is just eleven days away! Oh noes!

Camping, who was in a nursing home following a stroke in June, is now recovering at home. He recently recorded an audio message for the Family Radio network’s website, the text, via Beliefnet, is below:

Hello, this is Harold Camping with a few ideas or a few statements so that you can know where I am in this whole picture. I am very, very glad that God has been with me. I’m slowly getting healed, although I still have a long ways to go. There’s been one big change, and that is that I have been able to leave the hospital and now I am able to live with my dear wife at home and that has been very, very comforting and very happy for me. I’m still a long way away from being healed but there is progress being made and at times it looks like it’s very substantial progress, although I still have along way to go. I am particularly grateful when I hear about your prayers and your concerns for my health and well-being and I’m glad that God is answering those prayers.

I do believe that we’re getting very near the very end. We [could not] have known… we’ve learned that there’s a lot of things that we didn’t have quite right and that’s God’s good provision. If he had not kept us from knowing everything that we didn’t know, we would not have been able to be used of Him to bring about the tremendous event that occurred on May 21 of this year, and which probably will be finished out on October 21, that’s coming very shortly. That looks like it will be at this point, it looks like it will be the final end of everything. It also looks like that as God is developing the details for us we are learning from the Bible, God’s details of the end. We find that God is not a respecter of persons. He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, some of them most wicked in the world, like the son of David who rebelled against David and David cried out: ‘I wish that you were me rather than he.’ That was Absalom, of whom we read quite a bit about in the Bible, and it encourages us to believe that all of our unsaved loved ones will not receive special vengeance of God at all. God says ‘vengeance is mine,’ and that means that He’s going to apply the vengeance that He wants to apply. And when we study the historical record of his application of vengeance, taking for example the prime illustration – the son of David who rebelled and wanted to take the throne and then saw David weeping and wailing over him. We must believe that probably there will be no pain suffered by anyone because of their rebellion against God. This is very comforting to all of us, because we all have children, and have loved ones that are dear to us that we know are not saved; and yet we know that they’ll quietly die. We can be more and more sure that they will quietly die and that will be the end of their story.

Whereas the true believers will quietly receive the new heaven and the new earth. I really am beginning to think as I restudied these matters that there’s going to be no big display of any kind. The end is going to come very, very quietly probably within the next month. It will happen, that is, by October 21.

In the meanwhile, oh my, it’s been so good to hear about those who are continuing to be faithful. They, undoubtedly, are the elect of God, and we know absolutely that the elect will be saved. There is no question at all about that. And we know that there are in the Family Radio many who have been so faithful and are remaining faithful right to the end. Praise God for that.

And so we’re continuing on. By God’s mercy I’m able to do a little bit more in the movement, because I’m no longer in a hospital. But I’m still limited, but on the other hand, there is growth and things are getting better as we go along and maybe God will keep me till the end also so that together we can go to be with Him forever more, and I am very convinced that all of the elect will definitely end up with the Lord Jesus Christ in a very, very few weeks. Thank you so much for allowing me to speak to you. I am so grateful and I wish that I were well, but on the other hand, I know my work has been done and I can wait on the Lord knowing that He will complete it through others as He is so doing right now. Goodbye and may God bless each one of you.”

Why doesn’t this chap just fuck the fuck off, anyway?

Via Christian Nightmares

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Becky Fischer of ‘Jesus Camp’ infamy teaches kids to ‘raise the dead’


 
“I command you to come back to life in the name of Jesus!”

Creepy Pentecostal kids minister Becky Fischer, as seen in the documentary Jesus Camp, was somehow allowed into the Republic of Singapore recently where she offered her “special” Christianist skull-fucking to a group of defenseless children. Seen here, Fischer teaches children how to raise the dead!

Fischer, whose ministry has been described as fundamentalist “brain washing” or “child abuse” by many people, believes in speaking in tongues, exorcism, battling everyday “demons” and THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. She’s a brainless bigot who should not be allowed near children. Imagine what the parents of these kids must’ve thought seeing this video after the fact… Oddly, after all the mockery, abuse and criticism aimed at Fischer after Jesus Camp, these videos were posted on her own YouTube channel. You’d think she’d be more circumspect about how she shares “the good word.”

This is all kinds of wrong. You really have to see it to believe it. At around 6 minutes in this Christian, uh, liar, basically, tells the children that she knows kids who have prayed dead pets back to life.
 

 
Via Christian Nightmares

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Christian 4th grade school textbook tries to explain electricity, gives up


 
Jeesus K. Reist… I’ve long said that Christian schools are simply pushing an organized system of ignorance, but this fourth grade textbook published by Bob Jones University, and highlighted in a ScienceBlogs post by PZ Myers, a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, really takes the cake in the dumb department.

As Myers points out, “[W]e can use [electricity] to build hair dryers and Large Hadron Colliders; to make the argument that we are mystified by it is lying to the kids.” I’ll go one further, to subject children to this sort of “education” is anti-intellectual child-abuse:

That second paragraph is a horror of gobbledygook. Apparently, they think electricity is something like oil, a substance lying in large deposits that must be harvested and poured into your hairdryer to make it work. A current, as mentioned above, is produced by the movement of charged particles, nothing more or less. The sun produces moving charged particles, so it is a source of electricity, and the movement of the earth generates an electromagnetic field, but I can also do the zombie shuffle across the carpet to build up an excess of charged particles and touch the cat to allow them to flow, creating electricity myself, like unto a God. I do not have to create particles to make electricity, I just have to make them move.

Also, if that little girl did not use electricity, she would be dead. All of the cells in your body create charge imbalances by pumping charged ions across their membranes, and using the flow of ions back across those membranes to create chemical energy — they are machines that convert chemical energy into electricity that is used to power little dynamos that create stored chemical energy. We also use the gated movements of charged ions to generate electrical currents in our nerves and muscles, which is how we think and move.

Isn’t it nice how clearly religion is shown to be a science-stopper? Just take common questions, declare them a mystery and that no one has an answer, and presto, religion becomes an authority. An authority stuck at a dead end.

Christian parents who willingly sign their kids up to be taught this sort of malarkey deserve what they will eventually get when their children are either A) too poorly educated to compete in a workforce where for most entrants electricity is not a fucking mystery or B) want nothing to do with Christianity after they realize that it’s something on the level of believing in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny…

Read a sample chapter here. How do they explain the moon?

Via Reddit

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
LGBT bully Michele Bachmann gets cool reception in California


 
Increasingly irrelevant Republican presidential candidate/human punchline Michele Bachmann just can’t get a break. Nor does she deserve one. A trip to California over the weekend saw the bigoted Christianist Congresswoman from Minnesota’s 6th congressional district the target of a flash mob who danced to Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” to protest her (more or less) “pro-bullying” stance (it’s what Jesus would want) and anti-LGBT words, deeds and activities as a private citizen, as a state legislator, and as a member of the US Congress since 2007.

Even Jay Leno piled on when she appeared on the Tonight Show and good for him. This woman and her kind need to be rebuked in no uncertain terms by right-thinking people in this country.

Even in normally ultra-conservative Orange County, Bachmann got the business. I guess the new OC is quite a bit different that the old OC. From The Minnesota Independent:

At a campaign rally in Costa Mesa, Bachmann was asked by a rally-attendee what she plans to do about bullying in her district. The Anoka-Hennepin School District is largely within the district represented by Bachmann and has seen many high-profile events surrounding the bullying of LGBT students. Six of those students are suing the district.

“That’s not a federal issue,” she said, dodging the question.

Nice try! It’s an AMERICAN and HUMAN ISSUE, Bachmann, and your public words and deeds are coming back to haunt you and will continue to haunt you every time you step out of your comfort zone. Few people in this nation, in your state or in your own DISTRICT have PERSONALLY done more to make the lives of LGBT teens worse than YOU have.

It’s your “accomplishment,” lady… Own it.

Two days earlier, Tammy Aaberg, a mother in the district who lost her son to suicide in 2010, presented Bachmann’s district office with a petition signed by more than 100,000 people asking her to take a stand on bullying in schools. Her office said Bachmann might eventually respond to the petition.

Might respond? Might? (And there were 145,000 signatures, btw, I think that many people deserve a response, don’t you?)

Michele Bachmann deserves no respect, she doesn’t even deserve politeness. She deserves ridicule. And worse.

Bachmann calls herself a Christian. If there is a God—I’ll up the ante here, make this a CHRISTIAN version of God—which of these two mothers would that God smile upon? Tammy Aaberg. the woman whose son killed himself—because of a climate of “Christian” intolerance in the local school district that was brewed up by the likes of Bachmann and her cronies like the Minnesota Family Council and dogshit dumb “preacher” of idiocy Bradlee Dean—who decided to STICK UP for other vulnerable children or one of the prime reasons for this climate of hate existing in the district, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann?

Why does Michele Bachmann believe that she and Jesus are playing on the same team? It boggles the mind…

Primer: Deep roots of Anoka-Hennepin’s discrimination controversy (Minnesota Independent)

 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Tea party ‘freedom’ allowed Ron Paul’s friend to die uninsured in America


 
Is “Freedom” just another word for nothing left to lose?

OR is “freedom” now some sort of ironic code word for DEATH in the fucked-up lexicon of stupidity employed by the modern Republican Madhatter’s tea party? Hard to tell with these assholes anymore, but there is a fascinating—and tragic and utterly repulsive—backstory to Congressman Ron Paul’s comments about “freedom” ‘n’ shit during the debate the other night. From Vulture:

At the fifth GOP debate this week, moderator Wolf Blitzer asked Ron Paul, a doctor, whether someone who opts to not buy health insurance and then gets sick should be allowed to die. The crowd responded with startling shouts of “Yeah!” followed by applause, leaving even Rick Perry “taken aback.” Paul’s answer, while more gentle, was more or less the same. “That’s what freedom is all about: taking your own risks. This whole idea that you have to take care of everybody ... ” said Paul, who was cut off by clapping from the audience. While you wouldn’t know it from his answer, Blizter’s hypothetical probably hit close to home for Paul, whose campaign manager Kent Snyder died young of pneumonia — without insurance — in 2008.

He was just 49 years old when he died of complications from the virus on June 26, two weeks after Paul dropped out of the race. Snyder’s mother was left with around $400,000 in medical costs. Paul supporters set up a donation fund to help with the debt.

Snyder was credited as “the driving force behind Ron Paul’s presidential bid” in the last election, having turned “his one-man operation into a national grass-roots phenomenon that now calls itself ‘The Freedom Movement.’”

That same freedom, which Paul referred to in the debate, complicated Snyder’s health problems, as a preexisting condition made insurance premiums too expensive, according to Snyder’s sister. After Snyder’s death, Paul wrote on his website: “Like so many in our movement, Kent sacrificed much for the cause of liberty. Kent poured every ounce of his being into our fight for freedom. He will always hold a place in my heart and in the hearts of my family.”

I’m quite sure that Mr. Snyder happily and patriotically died without burdening the wealthy “job creator” class of this mighty nation. Congressman Paul’s words at the debate must have been a great comfort to Snyder’s family…

Attention Tea party dummies: Look at what the Libertarian philosophy did for Kent Snyder? It killed him!

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE MINDS OF PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE SUCH THINGS?

Sadly, you can’t just snap your fingers in front of an idiot’s face and tell them to “Wise up,” because it doesn’t work that way.

Viva la muerte! Long live death!

As the United States sinks further and further into its death spiral, all you can do is watch and wonder in astonishment. We’re doomed!
 

 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Idiots on parade: Last night’s GOP Tea party debate in 75 seconds


 
Buzzfeed cut the debate down to its essentials.
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Practical doomsday advice from creepy Christian guy


 
Some end of the world tips from a man who claims that God saved him from a car wreck and back pain, personally,  in 1990 and now he wants to share his bounty with all of us. Because the end is nigh.
 

 
Via Christian Nightmares

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Richard Dawkins on Rick Perry, Republicans and Tea party ignoramuses


 
In a Q and A in the Washington Post’s “On Faith” column, famed evolutionary biologist and outspoken smart person, Dr. Richard Dawkins ridiculed Texas governor and GOP theocrat Richard Perry in a manner both highbrow and low-ball simultaneously. I found it most satisfying:

There is nothing unusual about Governor Rick Perry. Uneducated fools can be found in every country and every period of history, and they are not unknown in high office. What is unusual about today’s Republican party (I disavow the ridiculous ‘GOP’ nickname, because the party of Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt has lately forfeited all claim to be considered ‘grand’) is this: In any other party and in any other country, an individual may occasionally rise to the top in spite of being an uneducated ignoramus. In today’s Republican Party ‘in spite of’ is not the phrase we need. Ignorance and lack of education are positive qualifications, bordering on obligatory. Intellect, knowledge and linguistic mastery are mistrusted by Republican voters, who, when choosing a president, would apparently prefer someone like themselves over someone actually qualified for the job.

***

A politician’s attitude to evolution is perhaps not directly important in itself. It can have unfortunate consequences on education and science policy but, compared to Perry’s and the Tea Party’s pronouncements on other topics such as economics, taxation, history and sexual politics, their ignorance of evolutionary science might be overlooked. Except that a politician’s attitude to evolution, however peripheral it might seem, is a surprisingly apposite litmus test of more general inadequacy. This is because unlike, say, string theory where scientific opinion is genuinely divided, there is about the fact of evolution no doubt at all. Evolution is a fact, as securely established as any in science, and he who denies it betrays woeful ignorance and lack of education, which likely extends to other fields as well. Evolution is not some recondite backwater of science, ignorance of which would be pardonable. It is the stunningly simple but elegant explanation of our very existence and the existence of every living creature on the planet. Thanks to Darwin, we now understand why we are here and why we are the way we are. You cannot be ignorant of evolution and be a cultivated and adequate citizen of today.

Nope, but you might become the Republican nominee for President of the United States. Funny how it works that way…

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
No one gives a shit about Glenn Beck anymore


 
Just yards from the ancient Temple Mount, site of the Islamic Dome of the Rock, Glenn Beck told a sparse crowd: “We are leaving the age of manmade miracles of spacecraft, and we are entering the age of the miracles of God.”

God, apparently is getting tired of Beck’s shtick, himself, because he offered the former Fox News personality absolutely no help whatsoever in getting asses into seats yesterday: According to eye-witness, Israeli writer Ami Kaufman, Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Courage” religious rally in Jerusalem yesterday was a total bomb, with around just 1000 people attending. With such a small number, you’d have to wonder how many of these folks were “ironic” attendees? Surely a number of Israeli hipsters, eager to point and laugh at a pudgy, paranoiac, self-important, delusional American Moron Mormon with a messiah/martyr complex sporting a yarmulke, would turn out for this, right?

If this happened in Los Angeles, hey, I’d have gone to see the Glenn Beck show myself, so if you factor the ironic attendees out, does the indifference seen towards him in the Holy Land foretell curtains for Beck’s cultural cachet even with American idiots? I mean, getting 10,000 Christian evangelicals to show up to a Glenn Beck rally in Jerusalem a year ago would have been like shooting fish in a barrel. Box office boffo. Still, Beck should do well in Texas next week. But we’ll see, won’t we?

Via Politics USA

If you are looking for one word to sum up how Glenn Beck went from drawing 3 million viewers nightly on Fox News to seeing his audience plummet and Fox severing ties with him, that word would be dull. By believing his own hype while taking himself too seriously, Glenn Beck bored his fans into leaving him. After his Restoring Honor rally bombed last year, it was the height of self-delusion for him to think that thousands would follow him to Israel.

Glenn Beck was fine when he was the conservative rodeo clown providing a nightly dose of entertainment to the blue hairs that make up the Fox News audience, but his program became too dark, too paranoid, too religious, and too stuck on one paranoid conspiracy theory note to maintain its appeal.

Yossi Sarid seemed to speak for many Israelis who weren’t thrilled with having Beck’s circus in their country either, “Beck, Hagee and their swarm are anti-Semites, who are not even aware of their anti-Semitism and the extent of its ugliness. Or maybe they are. In recent years this anti-Semitism has not been directed mainly against Jews, for they have found the Arab substitute for it. Now they are using the Arabs to scare Israel and the Muslims to scare the world. And the white, Aryan lion will devour them and their undercover envoys such as Barack Hussein. The visit ended yesterday, the circus is folding its tent and moving elsewhere. Let’s pray it will not return soon. Mr. Beck, don’t come back. We’re not short of dangerous wackos here.”

The turnout for Restoring Courage proved one thing. Glenn Beck needed the platform of Fox News more than Fox News ever needed Beck. The media platform to push his dark wares is gone now, and for most of America it is out of sight out of mind as it relates to Glenn Beck.

Below, Beck talks about what a terrific guy (and leader) he is and mentions, all casual-like, the death threats that have been made against him. The pathology on display here is impressive even by Beck’s high standards.
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Tea party: ‘Authoritarianism, Fear Of Change, Libertarianism And Nativism’


 
Over at Talking Points Memo they’ve got the summary of a very interesting new academic study done recently at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. “Cultures of the Tea Party,” as the study is titled, uses polling data, and interviews with Tea party supporters at a gathering held in the state to provide a snapshot of the overall cultural attitudes of the movement.

The findings, represented on Monday at the American Sociological Association, purport that the defining attitudes of the Tea party sympathizers are “Authoritarianism, ontological insecurity (fear of change), libertarianism and nativism.” From TPM:

The study used polling of North Carolina and Tennessee, conducted by Public Policy Polling (D) in the Summer of 2010, and determined the cultural dispositions by measuring the responses of tea partiers to set questions. After PPP surveyed over 2,000 voters who were sympathetic to the Tea Party, researchers then reinterviewed almost 600 in the fall of 2010. Those interviews included everything from personality based queries like “Would you say it is more important that a child obeys his parents, or that he is responsible for his own actions?” to more political ones, like “Do you think immigrants who came into this country illegally but pay taxes and have not been arrested should be given the opportunity to become permanent legal residents?” The study also incudes interviews and short responses with ten participants at a Tea Party rally in Washington, NC.

“American voters sympathetic to the Tea Party movement reflect four primary cultural and political beliefs more than other voters do: authoritarianism, libertarianism, fear of change, and negative attitudes toward immigrants and immigration,” a statement accompanying the report reads, as the findings themselves point out a few disconnects between the what self-described members of the Tea Party say and their actual policy stances.

The report quotes one Tea Party activist as saying, “We don’t want the big government that’s taking over everything we worked so hard for…the government’s becoming too powerful… we want to take back what our Constitution said. You read the Constitution. Those values - that’s what we stand for,” but that sentiment is not reflected in the polling data from the surveys. From the report:

In our follow-up poll, 84% of those positive towards the TPM [Tea Party members] said the Constitution should be interpreted “as the Founders intended,” compared to only 34% of other respondents. Other respondents were also three times more likely not to have an opinion on the issue, highlighting the salience of the question for TPM supporters. Support for Constitutional principles is not absolute. TPM supporters were twice as likely than others to favor a constitutional amendment banning flag burning; many also support efforts to overturn citizenship as defined by the Fourteenth Amendment. That TPM supporters simultaneously want to honor the founders’ Constitution and alter that same document highlights the political flexibility of the cultural symbols they draw on.

The TPM supporters’ inconsistent views of the Constitution suggests that their nostalgic embrace of the document is animated more by a network of cultural associations than a thorough commitment to the original text. In fact, such inconsistencies around policy, whether on the right or left, highlight what many sociologists see as the growing importance of culture in political life. The Constitution - and Tea Party more generally - take on heightened symbolic value and come to represent a ‘way of life’ or a “world view” rather than a specific set of laws or policy positions.

This reminds me a lot of Canadian psychology professor Bob Altemeyer’s long-term study of cultural attitudes of conservatives, The Authoritarians, which is online in pdf format. Altemeyer’s studies reveal rightwing double standards, inconsistent beliefs, willful ignorance, misrepresentation of historical and scientific facts and bizarre justifications. It, too, is absolutely worth reading.

Quoting Altemeyer:

The second reason I can offer for reading what follows is that it is not chock full of opinions, but experimental evidence. Liberals have stereotypes about conservatives, and conservatives have stereotypes about liberals. Moderates have stereotypes about both. Anyone who has watched, or been a liberal arguing with a conservative (or vice versa) knows that personal opinion and rhetoric can be had a penny a pound. But arguing never seems to get anywhere. Whereas if you set up a fair and square experiment in which people can act nobly, fairly, and with integrity, and you find that most of one group does, and most of another group does not, that’s a fact, not an opinion. And if you keep finding the same thing experiment after experiment, and other people do too, then that’s a body of facts that demands attention.3 Some people, we have seen to our dismay, don’t care a hoot what scientific investigation reveals; but most people do. If the data were fairly gathered and we let them do the talking, we should be on a higher plane than the current, “Sez you!”

The comments thread at TPM is worth reading. I suspect that our thread here will be lively also!

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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