The Unbearable Dumbness Of Being Republican

Confirmation of the relentless idiocy of the Republican electorate continues to unfold as the primary season heats up. With each new day there are fresh examples of the trademark asininity that is emblematic of America’s wingnut demographic.

George Bernard Shaw

The latest revelation comes from a survey by Public Policy Polling that provides a profile of the GOP’s current voter base. It’s a sad picture of a sector of the population that is hopelessly lost and consumed with blind hatred. Here is what PPP had to say about their survey results:

“Our new poll finds that Trump is benefiting from a GOP electorate that thinks Barack Obama is a Muslim and was born in another country […] 66% of Trump’s supporters believe that Obama is a Muslim to just 12% that grant he’s a Christian. 61% think Obama was not born in the United States to only 21% who accept that he was.”

And furthermore…

“Trump’s beliefs represent the consensus among the GOP electorate. 51% overall want to eliminate birthright citizenship. 54% think President Obama is a Muslim. And only 29% grant that President Obama was born in the United States. That’s less than the 40% who think Canadian born Ted Cruz was born in the United States.”

So 40% of Republicans overall (not just Trump supporters) think that Ted Cruz was born in the U.S. (He wasn’t. He was born in Canada). But 51% of the same meatheads think that Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. (He was, of course, born in Hawaii). Meanwhile, 54% of Republicans (and 66% of Trump’s supporters) also believe that Obama is a Muslim, despite the fact that they criticized him mercilessly for all the years that he was a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ led by the now infamous Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Whatever you think of Wright, there is no question that he did not preside over a mosque.

To make matters worse, Trump supporters are comfortable with his assertions that he is a devout Christian even though he says that he has never asked God for forgiveness. Due to his spiritual perfection he said “Why do I have to repent? Why do I have to ask for forgiveness if you’re not making mistakes?” I thought that Christians believe there was only one perfect person and he died on a cross a couple thousand years ago. Is The Donald the Second Coming? Additionally, Trump was unable to cite a single verse from the Bible when asked last week. And the pastor of the Church to which he said he belongs denied that he is an active member.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

But this isn’t about Trump. It’s about the whole of the Republican electorate whose absence of easily available knowledge borders on clinical dementia. It would be bad enough if they were merely ignorant of common facts. But it’s much worse than that. These people are convinced of things that are provably false. And as George Bernard Shaw said “Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.” Which begs the question, how did Shaw know about the Tea Party so many years before it existed?

Donald Trump: Women Are Gossipy Hens Who Can’t Be Trusted With Classified Info

The Republican Party’s current (and cringeworthy) front-runner for the nomination for president, Donald Trump, is infamous for his repugnant views on women. His openly derisive rhetoric is so notorious that he was even questioned about it by Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly in the first GOP primary debate. Following that exchange Trump actually ended up providing more evidence of his misogyny by singling out Kelly, the only woman debate moderator, for despicable criticism and insults.

Donald Trump Perv

Apparently, that wasn’t a sufficient demonstration of hostility toward women, so Trump is upping the ante with a new line of attack aimed at Hillary Clinton and her long-time aide, Huma Abedin. In remarks yesterday to his glassy-eyed disciples, Trump assumed his characteristic schoolyard bully stance to level charges against Abedin that were purely slanderous and without any factual basis whatsoever.

Trump: “Huma Abedin is married to a bad guy. Anthony Weiner is one of great sleazebags of our time. So Huma is getting classified secrets, she’s married to Anthony Weiner, who’s a perv. If you think that Huma isn’t telling Anthony, who she’s probably desperately in love with, in all fairness to Anthony, because why else would she marry this guy? Do you think there’s even a 5% chance she’s not telling Anthony Weiner, now of a public relations firm, what the hell is coming across?”

First of all, for Trump to assail Anthony Weiner, or anybody else, as a “sleazebag” takes a boatload of chutzpah. After all, Weiner was only guilty of sexting online and was never unfaithful to his wife, to whom he is still married. Trump, on the other hand, has cheated on his multiple spouses and even been accused of rape by one of them. And in an appearance on The View he said that if Ivanka were not his daughter “perhaps I would be dating her.” A perv who lusts after his own daughter and betrays his marital oath ought not to be calling other people names.

More importantly, the truly offensive part of Trump’s comment is the assertion that Abedin is incapable of conducting herself as a professional. Simply because she is a woman Trump believes that she would disclose classified information to her husband in violation of the law and the ethical requirements of her position. Because obviously, in his view, women cannot be trusted in sensitive jobs due to their biological compulsion to gossip.

This raises some interesting questions. Does he also believe that the women in the Bush administration were leaking secrets to their spouses? Is he disqualifying Carly Fiorina, or any other woman, from serving in government because she represents a security risk? Would Trump make the same charge against a man in a similar position? And if so, is he admitting that he would blab state secrets to his current wife Melania?

This was not a flip remark by Trump. When he made it originally he also asked the women in his audience to confirm his opinion. When a women in the crowd said that she would not reveal classified info to her husband, Trump shouted back contemptuously “You would,” in effect calling her a liar who would put national security at risk because of her unsuitability for the job and the inherent flaws of her gender. Remember, that was one of his supporters. And to seal the deal, Trump tweeted the same insult to Abedin this morning that he made in his speech yesterday.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

It is really mind-boggling that any women, or men who respect them, would cast a vote for this neanderthal. But even worse, the other women and men in the GOP have been completely silent about this rebuke. Fiorina has not mentioned it. Nor has Trump’s BFF, and self-anointed Mama Grizzly, Sarah Palin. None of the other candidates seem to be disturbed by the suggestion that all women are gabby turncoats who would sellout their country for some good pillow talk. Which proves again that Trump is not a problem for the Republican Party. He IS the Republican Party. And his noxious ideas will remain a core part of their agenda even after his inevitable flame out.

Be Afraid: Following Trump Focus Group, Fox News Word Doctor’s ‘Legs Are Shaking’

There is a palpable fear within the Republican Party that is directly attributable to the alleged popularity of their resident loudmouth blowhard and racist demagogue, Donald Trump. The fact that Trump’s offensive reality show antics has dominated the GOP primary, effectively suppressing the media presence of every other candidate, is causing the party regulars to tremble at the notion that he might actually have a shot at the nomination (he doesn’t).

Donald Trump

While their fear of Trump prevailing in the primaries is largely unfounded, they are right to be mortified by what Trump’s success with some Republican voters means to the party and its prospects in the general election next fall. He is cementing the party’s reputation as antagonistic to minorities and political moderates, but even worse, he is appealing to an ignorance that is rampant on the right.

To illustrate the frightful attitudes of Trump’s supporters, Fox News “Word Doctor” Frank Luntz conducted a focus group to find out what drew them to the cartoon-brained billionaire. The results painted a picture of a community of dunces who have mistaken being vulgar and obnoxious for straight talk. After listening to the group, Luntz, who Trump has called a “a low class slob,” told the assembled reporters that…

“You guys understand how significant this is? This is real. I’m having trouble processing it. Like, my legs are shaking. I want to put the Republican leadership behind this mirror and let them see. They need to wake up. They don’t realize how the grassroots have abandoned them. Donald Trump is punishment to a Republican elite that wasn’t listening to their grassroots.”

What a load of bull. If Republicans have anything to fear it is the Frankenstein monster of their own making. If they need to wake up it is from the nightmare doomsday scenarios that they have been promulgating for the last seven years that portrayed President Obama as a dictator who would destroy the economy, confiscate their guns, outlaw Christianity, and declare the country the new capital of the Global Islamic Caliphate.

The grassroots of the GOP didn’t abandon the party. They were shuffled into a Tea Party subdivision that has been whining about exactly the same things that Trump’s supporters are whining about. In fact, Trump has assumed the mantle of Tea Party leadership that Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and others tried and failed to assume. He isn’t punishment for not listening, he is the manifestation of having listened and taken their idiotic yammering seriously. Some of the reasons given by the group for supporting Trump were indistinguishable from the bellyaching of the Tea Party. For instance…

  • “I think America is pissed. Trump’s the first person that came out and voiced exactly what everybody’s been saying all along.”
  • “When Trump talks, it may not be presented in a pristine, PC way, but we’ve been having that crap pushed to us for the past 40 years.”
  • “I used to sleep on my front porch with the door wide open, and now everyone has deadbolts. I believe the best days of the country are behind us.”
  • “I’m frustrated beyond belief. I feel like I’ve been lied to. Nothing’s getting better.”
    “We know his goal is to make America great again. It’s on his hat.”
  • “We’ve got to show the Republicans that we’ve had it with them, that we will not be there every single time. They treat us like crap and they lie to us and promise us things and then they expect us to vote again.”
  • “He’s not afraid. He keeps prodding on even if people give him negative press. He doesn’t change and apologize.”

These cretins are articulating a cacophony of contempt for America. They are inconsolable that it doesn’t resemble the fantasy they have of the white, Christian, utopia they think they were promised by God who wrote the Constitution. What’s more, they are achingly stupid. They blindly repeat the mantra that Trump is expressing what they feel, but Trump hasn’t offered any actual policies that address any real problems, so how do they know? Well, they know because it’s written on his hat. So there.

The responses from this focus group are not unique. Last month John Heilemann of Bloomberg News assembled a focus group that felt pretty much the same way. What’s interesting about this is that the character traits for which they praise Trump would be considered abhorrent if they came from Obama. If the President was described as speaking for people who were “pissed,” who thought America’s best days are behind us, didn’t care about negative press, and refused to apologize, these same Trumpbaggers would holler at the top of their lungs about what an arrogant, unpatriotic, egotistical, fascist he is.

It isn’t Trump they like. It’s the undisguised hatred and bigotry aimed at the real objects of their disgust. That begins with our African-American President and extends to all progressive sectors of society including Latinos, women, union members, teachers, scientists, and an array of diverse spiritual and secular citizens. It is not surprising that Trump’s most staunch supporters are America’s white supremacists, who regard him as the champion of disaffected whites. Although Trump espouses a platform that is identical to that of every other Republican candidate, his supporters prefer him because the others aren’t as crude or as perceivably filled with hate.

So these focus groups serve a valuable purpose in exposing Trump’s followers as the hostile and ignorant swine that they are. And to the extent that other Republican candidates, voters, and media fail to renounce it, they are just as bad. That’s what should be making Mr. Luntz’s legs shake.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

And for a little background on Luntz, enjoy this segment from the Daily Show in which he is featured.

The Hysterical List Of GOP Candidates Proposed By America’s Worst Pundit

If there is one thing that the candidacy of Donald Trump has taught us, it’s that the current batch of Republican candidates is a sorry collection of losers. After all, if they can’t beat a cheesy, egomaniacal, reality TV star like Trump, how can they take on Vladimir Putin?

Bill Kristol

Trump’s domination of the Republican primary is an indictment against the entire field. Candidates like Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, and Chris Christie were supposed to be governors with the sort of leadership experience that would command respect and support. Upstarts like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio were expected to fire up the conservative base. Instead, they are all gasping for air as Trump’s media-infused marketing blitz leaves them in the dust. And the consequences of his racist diatribes and appeal to rank ignorance will only weigh down the eventual nominee after Trump flames out.

That scenario was depressing enough to one of the GOP’s chief pundits that he set out to identify alternatives to the current roster of pending duds. Bill Kristol authored a column for his Weekly Standard that pitched the names that he believes can redeem the faltering fortunes of the party. And if the failures presently in the running weren’t depressing enough, just wait until you get a load of Kristol’s proposed saviors.

Leading off is former governor of Indiana, and Director of George W. Bush’s Office of Management and Budget (something I would leave off of my resume), Mitch Daniels. If he were a contestant on “So You Think You Can Bore The Sh*t Out Of Everyone” he would be shoe in. Why Kristol thinks this human sedative would have a chance of lapping the current field is unfathomable. But then Kristol offers up another numbers nerd with an equal absence of charisma, Rep. Paul Ryan. Ryan, of course, already demonstrated his inability to appeal to a national electorate as the running mate of Mitt Romney.

Assuming those were Kristol’s heavy hitters, he continued with his list of party savers by suggesting three congressmen that he says are “young but tested leaders:” Jim Jordan, Trey Gowdy and Mike Pompeo. Setting aside that about 99% of the country hasn’t heard of any of them, if they had they would not be especially impressed. The only one with any notable role in public life is Gowdy, who chairs the Congressional Committee on Politicizing Benghazi. And like all of the other committees that have investigated the subject, he has found nothing that points to any wrongdoing by President Obama or anyone in his administration. It’s just another waste of time and money that keeps Congress from doing anything useful.

Perhaps the most curious person on Kristol’s list is Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. Here is someone without a smidgen of government experience or aptitude. He is considered to be one of the most ultra-conservative justices ever to sit on the high court. An Alito candidacy would only appeal to hardcore rightists and Tea Partiers who comprise a small minority of the population.

Kristol is a well known flop as a pundit and is frequently referred to as Bill “Always Wrong” Kristol. Rachel Maddow did an informative segment last year (video below) that enumerated his lengthy list of failed political predictions. They include such classic favorites as insisting that the war in Iraq would only last a couple of months, and his rabid advocacy of Sarah Palin to be John McCain’s running mate, with whom he would be assured victory. The sole positive purpose of his existence on Earth is to be used as signal for what NOT to do politically.

Therefore, the Republican Party should be grateful for the list of proposed candidates that Kristol has provided. And if they are smart (which I wouldn’t bet on) they will immediately cross those names off of any lists they are making themselves. Then again, it’s not like they could do any worse than what they have now. Maybe they should just throw caution to the wind and nominate Zombie Ronald Reagan or Rush Limbaugh with Ted Nugent as VP.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Sunday Funnies: Recently Uncovered Video Of Donald Trump’s Childhood

Donald Trump, the media-designated front-runner for the Republican nomination for president, is said to have attained this status due to his straight talk and authentic style of connecting with GOP voters. Of course, Trump’s alleged lead is a myth that is exacerbated by shallow punditry and the media hunger for ratings.

Donald Trump

Trump has never led more than a small flock of GOP loonies, with 75-80% of poll respondents choosing other candidates. And he has consistently had the highest unfavorables of any candidate, Republican or Democratic. The only reason that Trump is ahead of his rivals now is that there are so many of them. When the roster is whittled down the remaining candidates will all be beating Trump.

As for his so-called plain speaking appeal, Jack Shafer at Politico put Trump’s rhetoric through the Flesch-Kincaid test where Trump scored at the third grade level. That’s probably still somewhat higher than most of his Tea-vangelical supporters. And despite his compulsion to repeatedly remind everyone how smart he is (something actual smart people never need to do), his public utterances invariably contradict him. This morning, for example, Chuck Todd asked Trump from whom he would get advice on the military were he president. Trump said that “I watch the shows,” referring to the Sunday morning news programs in the same way that fans of soap operas refer to their “stories.” He’s still in Reality TV mode.

Nevertheless, with so much of the media spotlight being cast on Trump, it is important to put his life in context. Particularly with regard to his early childhood development that reveals with stark clarity how he came to be the person he is today. As the son of privilege, little Donny was pampered and fawned over by his wealthy parents who set him up in business and eventually bequeathed him a couple hundred million dollars. And to further flesh out Trump’s formative years, News Corpse acquired this exclusive video of a young Don expressing himself in much the same way that he does today.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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The resemblance is obvious. And it doesn’t take much effort to chart the path from Trump’s greedy Narcissism as a juvenile to the political hogwash he espouses now. What’s more, those positions – from immigration, to taxes, to Iraq/Iran, to reproductive rights, to marriage equality, to Climate Change, to guns, to health care – are completely in line with with the Republican Party that he represents. So even when he is ultimately laughed off the stage, the GOP regulars will soldier on with the same agenda, albeit somewhat less foolishly articulated (not much, but somewhat).

Obama’s Right: Ayatollahs Are Making Common Cause With Republicans

The auto-outrage detector of the right-wing establishment is blinking fiercely over an offhand remark made by President Obama yesterday. The President was delivering a detailed address about the Iran nukes deal in the hopes of persuading Congress to ratify it. He covered specifics including the prohibitions that would be imposed on Iran, the provisions for any breach of the agreement, and the consequences of not passing it in Congress. However, the entirety of Obama’s remarks were summarily dismissed by his wingnut critics so that they could hyperventilate over this:

“It’s those [Iranian] hard-liners chanting ‘death to America’ who have been most opposed to the [nukes] deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus.”

GOP Iran

That’s right. The President correctly pointed out that the hard-liners in the Republican Party, in opposing the nuke deal, are taking precisely the same position as the Ayatollahs in Iran. Granted for different reasons, but the factual basis is undeniable. Much of the motivation on the part of the GOP stems from their determination to oppose anything that comes out of this White House, no matter what the merits. And this isn’t the first time that Republicans and other conservatives in politics and the press, have sided with our enemies to satisfy their own political aspirations. Here are a few examples:

  • Republicans declared their opposition to a UN Arms Trade treaty that would regulate the transfer of tanks, large-caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, warships, missiles, etc., between member nations. There were only three votes against the treaty in the UN: Syria, Iran, and North Korea. Consequently, the GOP is aligning itself with three of the most brutally oppressive regimes in the world.
  • Conservative media provides free advertising for terrorists, and they must stop it. While it is reasonable to report on the brutality that is being engaged in throughout the Middle East, and particularly in Iraq and Syria, there is no useful purpose in blanketing the airwaves with images created by terrorists for their own benefit.
  • For several years now Fox News and other conservative media have feverishly demanded that President Obama explicitly associate terrorism with Islam. When you look at who is insisting that the terrorists be called Muslims you will see only the terrorists themselves, Fox News, and their political allies on the right. On the other side is Obama, religion and terrorism experts, and most of the world’s Muslims. So the real question here is why is Fox News and right-wing politicians joining with the terrorists in an effort to brand their heinous activities?

There are other areas of agreement between the American Taliban and foreign extremists. In fact, much of the agenda of the Islamic radicals is identical to the platform of the Republican Party. They both believe that religion should be the foundation of government. They are both virulently anti-gay. They would both enforce a submissive role for women who must not be permitted to make decisions about their own bodies. They both have a perverse obsession with guns. They both want to use education for indoctrination. They both refuse to accept settled questions of science. And they both advocate overthrowing the secular governments that they despise.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Considering the array of similarities between these groups it is surprising that the right would make such a big deal about Obama’s comments. It only brings additional attention to the policy positions that they share. And the more they gripe about it the more people will be exposed to their repulsive ideological harmony.

Revealed: Why Stupid Republicans Embrace The Stupidity Of Donald Trump

The manufactured pseudo-phenomenon of Donald Trump is running the media ragged as they try to explain (to themselves mostly) how such a preposterous caricature of a politician could be leading in the polls of a supposedly serious political party. The truth is that Trump isn’t leading anything. He is merely registering with the lunatic fringe demographic of the Republican Party which is as much support as he will ever get. As I wrote a few days ago in an article titled New Poll Shows 18% Of Republicans Are Ignorant Dupes With Severe Mental Decay

“The media is heralding Trump as the runaway GOP leader with his measly 18% of support. For perspective, note that Bernie Sanders, in his campaign against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, is pulling support from 19% of Democratic voters. Yet the press is dismissing him as trailing Clinton badly. So Sanders has more support among Democrats than Trump does among Republicans, but the schizophrenic media declares Sanders a loser and Trump a phenomenon.”

What the press isn’t telling you is that Trump’s 18% in the polls means that 82% are rejecting him. And if that weren’t bad enough, he has the highest unfavorable ratings of any candidate and the largest percentage of respondents who say they will “never” vote for him. However, for those who must have a deeper understanding of this temporary diversion from reality, there is an observation that was made by the philosopher Bertrand Russell that succinctly describes what we are witnessing: “Our great societies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man.”

Donald Trump Stupid

As evidence of the rampant stupidity being displayed by the Trump contingent of the GOP, look no further than the responses by members of a focus group held by John Heilemann of Bloomberg News. When asked to comment on what they liked about Trump they provided vagaries that were devoid of any substance that could be applied to an actual agenda. And what’s worse, they seem to think that being obnoxious is synonymous with being truthful. The group responded with statements like…

  • “He’s honest.”
    You can tell by his volume and how certain he sounds no matter how wrong.
  • “He doesn’t care what people think.”
    Now that’s a quality you want in a representative democracy.
  • “He isn’t choreographed.”
    In other words, he foregoes thoughtful consideration or diplomacy.
  • “We need business and I like his roughness.”
    So he’s a boorish version of Mitt Romney who offends everyone (not just the 47%).
  • “He’s not a politician.”
    He’s just been pretending to run for president for nearly thirty years.
  • “He’s like one of us … He’s so in tune with what everybody is wanting.”
    Well, everybody except the huge majorities who find him repulsive and would never vote for him.
  • [A Trump presidency would be] “Classy.”
    I don’t even know how to react to that frighteningly deranged notion.

None of these people could articulate a single policy position or detailed proposal that Trump would implement were he elected. But then again, neither can Trump. His campaign platform consists mainly of insulting his rivals and spewing hollow cliches that mirror the hollow agenda of the Republican Party. For instance, he is virulently anti-immigrant. He advocates cutting taxes for the rich and regulations for big business. He wants boots on the ground in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan (and maybe Russia and China and North Korea). He is against reproductive rights and marriage equality. He doesn’t believe that Climate Change poses any imminent risks or is caused by human activity. He regards the Second Amendment as sacrosanct and opposes reforms like universal background checks. He has promised to repeal ObamaCare. And let’s not forget his leadership as America’s foremost Birther.

The people who support Trump are ideal reflections of the ignorance that permeates his campaign. Yet his supporters believe that his loutish and uncivilized behavior is an asset that connotes honesty and leadership. It’s the culmination of the moronic inquiry that keeps creeping up every election cycle asking “Who would you rather have a beer a with?” As if the souse at the end of the bar sucking on a Budweiser is the best qualified person to negotiate a nuclear arms treaty.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The only thing more revealing about the character of Trump than the idiocy of his supporters is their hostility. They like his roughness. They like it when he insults immigrants, or POWs, or other Republicans, or the media. And it is not unworthy of notice that among his most staunch supporters are America’s white supremacists, who regard him as the champion of disaffected whites. That’s how stupid the Trump constituency is. Trump is proving what Napoléon Bonaparte said two hundred years ago: “In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” As an avid golfer, Trump should understand that his handicap is his base, because it tells us so much about him.

Addendum: If any further proof is needed that Trump’s supporters are imbeciles, Ted Nugent just said that Trump is “What America needs.” Case closed.

Even More Proof That Fox News Is Killing The Republican Party

Harvard University is validating the media analysis of News Corpse. Last year News Corpse published an article that affirmed that Fox News, despite the conventional wisdom, is actually a powerfully destructive force within the conservative political world. The article, Fox News Is STILL Killing The Republican Party.” examined the results of a survey conducted by the Brookings Institution and the Public Religion Research Institute that compared the views of Republicans who watch Fox News to Republicans who don’t. The conclusions revealed that Fox News Republicans are even more uninformed and extreme in their views than their non-Fox viewing comrades in the same party. That article from last year was itself a follow up to one published by News Corpse six years ago that originally took the position that Fox News Is Killing The Republican Party.” Back then I wrote that…

“By doubling down on crazy, Fox is driving the center of the Republican Party further down the rabid hole. They are reshaping the party into a more radicalized community of conspiracy nuts. So even as this helps Rupert Murdoch’s bottom line, it is making celebrities of political bottom-feeders. That can’t be good for the long-term prospects of the Republican Party.”

News Corpse was not alone in noticing the detrimental effects of Fox News on the GOP. Bruce Bartlett, a veteran strategist who worked in both the George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan White Houses, published a paper titled “How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics.” The paper’s premise was that Fox News has had a harmful effect on the Republican Party’s electoral appeal by herding its already right-wing flock into an even fringier parish where it is shielded from differing views. He literally (and correctly) accused much of the conservative base of being brainwashed by Fox News and other right-wing media.

Fox News Bad For GOP

Now a study by Jackie Calmes, a fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, has been released that makes some of the same observances of how Fox News, talk radio, and other right-wing media sources are damaging the Republican Party’s ability to either govern or get elected. the study titled They Don’t Give A Damn About Governing, Conservative Media’s Influence On The Republican Party,” is a lengthy and detailed analysis of the historical and contemporary influences that have shaped conservative politics. It includes interviews with Republican politicians, operatives, and pundits who almost unanimously express their concerns for a party that has lost control to the outer fringes of their most radical rightist wing in the media. The study begins by asserting that “the leaders of the Republican Party are not setting its agenda […] it is conservative media” that represents…

“…an expanding web of ‘news’ sites and social media outlets with financial and ideological alliances with far-right anti-government, anti-establishment groups like Heritage Action, Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth and FreedomWorks. Once allied with but now increasingly hostile to the Republican hierarchy, conservative media is shaping the party’s agenda in ways that are impeding Republicans’ ability to govern and to win presidential elections.”

The GOP conservatives interviewed for the study (some of whom declined to be identified for fear of retaliation) had opinions that were predominantly negative with regard to the state of affairs in the party. Here are a few examples:

Unnamed Republican: “There’s no incentive to ever really bother with reality […] the loudest voices drown out the sensible ones and there’s no real space to have serious discussions.”

GOP Rep. Tom Cole: While [talk radio is] conservative in its orientation, it’s a financially driven enterprise and market share matters. And playing to the prejudice of their audiences or reinforcing them – as opposed to engaging in enlightened and intellectual debate – is pretty widespread.

Unnamed Republican: Now it seems that so many people are going for the niche, for the red meat, and there are all these outlets where you can do that. It’s playing to the base, but the base doesn’t live in reality. And that’s the problem: It’s taken the party in a really self-destructive direction.

GOP operative John Feehery: “[C]onservative media has become ideologically and financially entwined with the network of no-compromise advocacy groups financed by the Kochs and other right-wing patrons. Together, media and activist groups are part of ‘this conservative-industrial complex that has risen up. And they have a vested interest in failure, not in success.”

The Cato Institute’s Julian Sanchez: “Reality is defined by a multimedia array of interconnected and cross-promoting conservative blogs, radio programs, magazines and of course, Fox News. Whatever conflicts with that reality can be dismissed out of hand because it comes from the liberal media, and is therefore ipso facto not to be trusted.” […And that] “conservative media’s logic had become worryingly untethered from reality as the impetus to satisfy the demand for red meat overtakes any motivation to report accurately.”

Media historian Nicole Hemmer: “We used to say, ‘You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.’ Now we are all entitled to our own facts and conservative media use this right to immerse their audience in a total environment of pseudo-facts and pretend information.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Well, actually I could have, and I did last year and five years before that. But at least they are catching up. Unfortunately, even acknowledgment of these problems is not likely to result in a course correction. Particularly after the new paradigm exemplified by the loudmouthed, ignorant, hostility of Donald Trump, who is proving that no matter how abhorrent you are, never apologize or backtrack or show any signs of reasonableness or humility. It is that lesson that forms the greatest obstacle to progress for Republicans. The study confirms this in its concluding paragraphs saying that…

“The unanimity among establishment Republicans – many of them conservatives by the definition of anyone but purists – that rightwing media has become a big problem for the party, and their readiness to talk about it, was something of a surprise to this reporter of three decades’ experience in Washington. Of the establishment Republicans among several dozen conservatives interviewed, nearly all were flummoxed about how to moderate the party. Most expressed despair.”

That despair is not without justification. What was once the “Grand Old Party” is now populated by “Grouchy Obstinate Purists” who represent the “Greedy One Percent.” And there is no sign that any of it is going to improve any time soon. Particularly as long as Fox News is the preeminent media mouthpiece for the right, and they continue to promote nut cases like Trump, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, etc.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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New Poll Shows 18% Of Republicans Are Ignorant Dupes With Severe Mental Decay

There is much being made about a new CNN poll that shows Donald Trump leading his GOP rivals in the race for the Republican nomination for president. However, there is less substance in these numbers than the media is pretending there is. What is astonishing is just how shallow the media analysis of these polls are. The ranking at which Trump finds himself can easily be explained by the clinical dementia of today’s Republican (Tea) Party. And despite these polls, Trump will never get the nomination or reside in the White House.

trump-house

Let’s take a closer look. Trump currently has 18% of the support of the GOP voters. The truth that everyone is ignoring is that that’s an awfully pitiful expression of support. It means that 82% are not supporting him. Why does anyone in the press think that’s a positive showing?

Nevertheless, the media is heralding Trump as the runaway GOP leader with his measly 18% of support. For perspective, note that Bernie Sanders, in his campaign against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, is pulling support from 19% of Democratic voters. Yet the press is dismissing him as trailing Clinton badly. So Sanders has more support among Democrats than Trump does among Republicans, but the schizophrenic media declares Sanders a loser and Trump a phenomenon.

This same schizophrenia is shown in how Republican operatives and pundits portray the relationship between the media and the candidates. If Clinton declines to do an interview or makes reporters walk behind a rope line so they don’t interfere with her interactions with voters, she is condemned as being anti-media and disrespectful to the fine men and women of the press who are struggling mightily to bring truth to the American people. But if Trump or any other Republican bashes the press or denies them access (as Trump just did to the Des Moines Register), they are cheered for putting those unethical press weasels in their place.

Getting back to Trump’s placement in the GOP polls, the explanation for it is that there is a demographic in the Republican electorate that can best be described as batshit insane. And Trump has managed to secure a near monopoly on that addle-brained GOP faction. Prior polling has revealed that a significant subsection of the GOP holds some hysterically idiotic views. For instance:

Having established that a fair percentage of Republicans embrace a measure of dumbassedness in frightening proportions, the fact that a particularly knuckleheaded candidate has corralled them into his camp is not especially surprising. In fact, it would be surprising if these dimwits did not coalesce around a similarly daft contender, just as they did in the last election cycle with Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, et al.

Consequently, Trump’s confederacy of dunces is sufficient in numbers to rise above his rivals, so long as there’s a lot of them. That’s because when you divide the remaining Republicans who are not wacko-birds (h/t John McCain) among the fifteen other candidates, there aren’t enough of them left to surpass the Trump/crazy constituency. That does not mean that Trump has a commanding lead. It means that there are way too many players on the field diluting the results for each of them. As they whittle down to a more manageable number, the 82% of non-Trump supporters will disperse to other candidates who will then tower over his paltry flock.

While the media is obsessing over the fake Trump “dominance,” they are missing some real news in the same CNN poll. For starters, they missed that Trump has the highest unfavorables of all candidates, Republican and Democratic. Meanwhile, Clinton has the highest favorables of all candidates, Republican and Democratic. Furthermore. Clinton is beating every Republican matched against her (Trump loses by 18 points). And the icing on the cake: Sanders is also beating the Republicans in head-to-head matchups (Trump loses by 20 points).

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This is what passes for political reporting these days. Is it any wonder that people hold the media in such low esteem? They are littered with lightweights who seem to have no analytical skills or historical memory. If they did they would not be so shocked that a loudmouth buffoon has earned the admiration of the GOP’s most radical, racist, and ignorant bloc of voters, while four out of five of the poll’s Republican respondents reject him.

The Republican War On Women: The Rape Of Planned Parenthood Edition

If there was ever any doubt in the past, the Republican Party is affirming its commitment to a full-blown War on Women, and they don’t seem the least bit concerned about the negative consequences of their deceitful and destructive actions.

GOP War On Women

Last week a video was released by a group of anti-abortion activists seeking to malign Planned Parenthood. The video purported to show a Planned Parenthood official discussing the harvesting and sale of fetal tissue. However, it didn’t take long for the video to be repudiated as a fraud that was heavily edited to distort the context. The organization that made the video was also shown to be associated with prior attempts to falsely malign women’s health care groups.

Notwithstanding the now obvious misrepresentations in the video, Republican members of Congress are already drafting legislation to defund Planned Parenthood. They have zero evidence that Planned Parenthood did anything illegal or unethical, but that is not stopping them from grabbing their pitchforks and igniting their torches.

This is reminiscent of the shameful conduct of the GOP Congress a few years ago when a similar video smear job by convicted criminal James O’Keefe resulted in the demise of ACORN, an organization that provided much needed assistance to low income Americans. O’Keefe was later proven to have deceitfully edited his videos and he lost a $100,000 lawsuit for defamation against a former ACORN official. But the damage had already been done and ACORN was gone before the truth was fully revealed.

Should the lying propagandists get their way in this attack on Planned Parenthood the results could be even more destructive. For one thing, defunding Planned Parenthood would have almost no effect on the abortion rate at all. That’s because abortion services amount to a mere 3% of Planned Parenthood’s work. So the services that would suffer from the denial of funds would primarily be those related to cancer screening and prevention, contraception, and STD testing and treatment. Those services comprise up to 85% of Planned Parenthood’s work.

Therefore, the consequences of denying funding would be an increase in unwanted or unplanned pregnancies, something that the anti-abortion activists profess to be against. What’s more, there would be more women suffering from undiagnosed or untreated illnesses.

There can be no other conclusion then that the Republicans in Congress are deliberating trying to advance legislation that will do demonstrable harm to the women in America. Yet the GOP complains when they are portrayed as engaging in a War On Women. But what else can you call it? Women are well aware of the antagonistic behavior of Republican lawmakers, which is why they generally favor Democrats at the polls. And things like this renewed effort to financially strangle a charitable enterprise upon which they rely is not likely to put the GOP in a better light with America’s women voters or the men in their lives.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The GOP seems to be committing electoral suicide with their racist agenda aimed at African-Americans and Latinos. Likewise they are not making friends in the senior community by threatening Social Security and Medicare. And young people are decidedly turned off by their opposition to marriage equality, education funding, and student debt relief. Add to that the country’s female voters and there is little left of the electorate to support the Republicans but their base of Teabaggers, evangelicals, and wealthy corporations and individuals. Good luck with that, Republicans.