Nov 27, 2009

Just like the Libs, the Republicans face the conundrum of courting crazies

The Republicans in the US understand too well the conundrum now facing the Liberals: You can’t run your party if you don’t heed the crazies -- but you can’t run the country if you do.

Jeff Sparrow

Writer, editor, broadcaster, and an Honorary Fellow at Victoria University.

The Republicans in the US understand too well the conundrum now facing the Liberals. You can’t run your party if you don’t heed the crazies — but you can’t run the country if you do.

Consider the recent special election for the New York congressional district. The Republicans nominated one Dierdre Scozzafava: a reasonable choice, one might have thought, given that her views on abortion and same s-x marriage mirrored those of the electorate. The conservative grassroots, however, were not impressed. Bloggers and shock jocks dismissed Scozzafava as little more than a traitor and instead ginned up a campaign for the far-right Doug Hoffman, a man who proudly described the loopy talkshow host Glen Beck as his ‘mentor’.

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6 thoughts on “Just like the Libs, the Republicans face the conundrum of courting crazies

  1. AR

    As Yeat’s put it a century ago, “the good lack all conviction but the bad are filled with passionate intensity.? plus ca bloody change.

  2. Richard Wilson

    So if we do not agree with you Mr. Sparrow we are crazies! Yes?
    Anne Coulter, Sean Hannity and the rest of them do not represent my point of view on much of anything and I often wonder if they deliberately push to the far end of the continuum to produce a credibility backlash. But just because a person doesn’t buy into everything the Council on Foreign Relations publishes, shouldn’t automatically qualify them for a crazy badge.

  3. Frank Campbell

    “Sceptical” not “skeptical”. No gringo lingo, please…

  4. Frank Campbell

    Jeff Sparrow writes…”the main vein of climate wingnuttery”, etc.

    (i) you’re damning climate policy critics, sceptics and deniers by association with the United States of Lunacy. You don’t have to lecture Australians of any political stripe on the kaleidoscopic variety of American idiocy, from Creationism to war-mongering. We all wish they had passports and treated religion with the contempt it deserves.

    (ii) Climate scepticism in Australia is not limited to the feral Right. Last week Possum listed a poll which showed 11% of Green voters think the climate drama is “exaggerated”. I’m one of those. Green Left.

    (iii) Polls across the anglosphere show sharply rising scepticism (note the spelling, Jeff). This isn’t generated by shockjocks but by realisation that AGW hypothesis is in strife and by the great expense/uselessness of the two “climate” schemes we’re stuck with. It’s a considered response, so don’t patronise people as being suckers for the likes of Alan Jones.

    (iv) The hacked East Bumcrack emails exposed academics behaving normally, i.e. they’re partisan. Some were intellectual Chetniks. Not conducive to confidence in their computer models.

    (v) I’m disappointed in you Jeff. I expect Marxists (a term of praise) like you and Guy Rundle to resist millenarian cults such as the current climate frenzy. This is not to dismiss AGW as a potentially serious problem.

    (vi) I realise that commentators such as yourself and Rundle are acutely aware that any hint of “scepticism” (how did that word become a term of abuse?!) may result in excommunication. Your Manichean division of the world into the righteous and the damned is embarrassing, and reminiscent of the days of the Left sects.

    (vii) There are just two major “climate” policies at present: the ETS and MRET. The Greens correctly reject the ETS as a fraud- rewarding “polluters” and delaying even a minute reduction in CO2 for 26 years. Joke. MRET is already costing billions. All capital is directed to wind energy, a proven failure- it cannot provide baseload. Potential baseload renewables are being starved of capital. We know Rundle is utterly ignorant of climate science, policy or technology. (I think he’s afraid to know, as he might abandon The Cult) I don’t know about you, but abusing anyone who does not adhere to The Cult is both stupid and fascistic. We’ve already seen many instances of demands for censorship from people who should know better.

    (viii) Consider who the winners and losers will be from ETS and MRET: the corporatist Left get to manipulate Capital. Big capital stuffs itself with climate pork, subsidies etc. , while “polluting” as before. The huge costs of these two schemes falls upon the poor and the working class. When you tout these schemes- look at your allies.

  5. Richard Wilson

    I agree FC. There is a worrying totalitarian tone in many of the writings of the climate change proselytisers. Yes or NO is the tactic Turnbull is using to tar the entire Liberal Party at the moment and my expereince is that people don’t buy this “my way or the highway” bumph.

  6. sheddie

    The Geological Time-line is full of periods of catastrophic – and some not so – climate change.
    It is a cyclical event (scientifically proven) and part of the greater evolutionary process (also scientifically proven). It is nature’s way of rebalancing the biological impact on the planet.
    You can’t fight nature. Adapt.

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