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People Are Stupid

November 5th, 2014

It’s not like the Republicans really fooled anyone. It’s pretty damn clear that the stimulus did more good than bad, and at the very least staved off a depression. That Obama did more than most to help save the auto industry. It’s just as clear that Obamacare is a good thing. And that the economy, however tepid, is improving. Gas prices are even lower. Obama and the Democrats are trying to give most Americans a raise and to serve their interests in many other ways.

But it is outrageously clear that Republicans had nothing to do with any of this, have been fighting against the people’s interests, and have only been trying to run things into the ground. Holding the economy hostage and damaging our credit rating. Obstructing and stonewalling for the sake of obstructing and stonewalling. Blaming even the most bizarre things on Obama, like Ebola or Katrina, things he clearly had no effect on.

What is most bizarre, however, is that the Republican claims are clearly false, and their motives are clearly harmful. They suppress voting on the claim of voter fraud when it is strikingly clear they are suppressing the opposition vote. They state openly that it is their intent to ruin Obama. They state unashamedly that they will obstruct while saying it’s Obama’s fault.

All that they blame Obama for and so much more that is at the heart of our nation’s problems is clearly their fault.

So how do the people react? Things really stink… so let’s reward Republicans!

The blind stupidity is breathtaking.

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  1. Tim Kane
    November 6th, 2014 at 09:38 | #1

    TPM shows that the demographics explains some of the out comes:

    In 2012:
    60 = 25%

    In 2014
    60 = 37%


    That first paragraph of yours: what kept Democrats from messaging on that?

    You save the world, and then you let the Republicans kick sand in your face, and don’t respond?

    I think this is probably more a reflection of Obama’s habit of phoning it in most of the time (the only time he seems energized is when his own job is at stake).

    They could just publish this:

    Economy: Republicans ruined it, then fought the recovery, Democrats saved it.

    Employment: Republicans ruin employment for millions, Democrats have fought against Republican entrenchment to restore it, and slowyly have – against Republican efforts to the contrary.

    Auto Industry: Republicans nearly destroyed it, Democrats saved it.

    Government: Republicans shut it down, Democrats kept it running

    Health Care: Republicans did nothing, Democrats ended preexisting conditions and help spread health care to almost everyone, lowered premiums to most. Health care cost are actually trending down.

    I actually think that Obamacare is responsible for the uptick in economic growth and employment. The problem in the economy has been aggregate demand, and I think Obamacare has resulted in savings that have resulted in increase purchasing power for people, in the aggregate thus increasing demand. This is one reason why Republicans want to end it.

    Instead Democrats let Republicans blame Democrats for Ebola and Isis (a byproduct of Republican strategy in the Middle East).

    In the next election this data set is going to be available, if current trends hold up:

    Net Private sector jobs created:

    Obama 10 Million
    Bush 0 (Zero, Zeer-Oh)
    Clinton 20+ Million
    Reagan ancient history.

    But if both Democrats and Republican conspire to conceal the data, than anything can happen in an election.

  2. Troy
    November 7th, 2014 at 12:05 | #2

    Thinking in terms of Dem vs. Rep is misleading.

    Liberal vs. Conservative is more accurate.

    Most people would prefer to be conservative if they could afford it, i.e. were rich enough.

    This is the buzzsaw progressives have been running into for over 100 years.


    Many people are conservative because they are pro-life, racists, pro-gun, rural, etc (there’s a large overlap here of course)

    Then there’s the comfortable top 10% of the population — the Got-mine-F-you contingent.

    This is an off year so most voters are concerned about the actual races than the even year.

    Voting for the more conservative guy makes sense if you’re conservative!


    Plus there’s a lot of ignorance out there. Most people don’t read liberal blogs and thus are rather misinformed about things in general, aside from the active propagandization that tens of millions of voters submit themselves to via Fox, talk radio, etc.

  3. Troy
    November 7th, 2014 at 22:51 | #3

    And, of course:

    “Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.” — John Stuart Mill

    The rich control a lot more media now than they did in the 1930s.

    The internet has “siloed” the discussion, allowing each side to live in their own realities.

    And there’s the muddled middle, ignorant of everything,

  4. Troy
    November 8th, 2014 at 23:50 | #4

    digby’s front page is full of good political posts, if you’re in to that sort of thing.

    also, http://www.kalzumeus.com/2014/11/07/doing-business-in-japan/ was a fun read.

  5. Troy
    November 9th, 2014 at 04:46 | #5

    Net Private sector jobs created:
    Obama 10 Million
    Bush 0 (Zero, Zeer-Oh)
    Clinton 20+ Million
    Reagan ancient history.

    I post that a lot here but let’s do it again:


    Adding age 25-64 population (red):


    shows we’ve gained 40M working-age people but only 20M full-time jobs since 1990.

    wrt the 1980s, they came with a massive debt expansion:


    adds total debt / GDP (green line)

    which shows how in the 1980s and 2000s we all borrowed money to expand the economy.

    More accurately, the economy “leveraged up” as borrowers borrowed more to keep spending.

    We could get away with it in the 1980s since we were rather “under-leveraged” in historical terms, partially thanks to the great inflation of late 1960s to early 1980s, which inflated away past debts of the 20th century.

    Debt has been expanding greatly since 2010, but there have been two mitigations — consumer debt has been falling as people default on their loans, and government has been borrowing like crazy, but much of it has been courtesy of the Fed printing $3.2T to buy treasuries and mortgage bonds since 2009.

    Going back to looking at just employment:


    is total employment, 1990-now

    this shows the current recovery is nothing like the 1990s boom.

    It’s been better than the Bush Boom, but not 1/2 that of the 1992-2000 “Clinton” post-1990 recession boom

  6. Troy
    November 9th, 2014 at 09:33 | #6

    Luis had the GOP’s number 5 years ago:

    “More likely, they’re simply doing what they do best: lying, and making people vote against their own best interests by scaring them.”

  7. Troy
    November 10th, 2014 at 07:14 | #7

    This was interesting:


    Wide difference of opinion — 40 pts — on same-sex marriage, legalizing immigrants, health insurance access, global warming, availability of abortion

    Weird to be on the wrong side of the argument on so many issues. Maybe I should start learning Canadian.

  8. Paul A.
    November 11th, 2014 at 15:37 | #8

    In this situation perception is reality for voters. Also important, record low turnout meant that older, conservative voters who hated Obama from the beginning tipped the vote in favor of Republicans who will continue to do as much as they can to undo all that Obama and the Democrats have worked for.

    It doesn’t matter that the economy is finally healing, or that Obamacare–a health law modeled after one passed in Massachusetts under ex Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney–is doing good by expanding healthcare access and affordability. These people believe Obama is destroying America. How can anyone convince them differently with the facts when they think like this?

    Of course as Troy has pointed out, it doesn’t help that Americans in general are completely misinformed about most things that don’t directly concern them.

    This little gem tells us that among 14 nations polled, mostly developed nations, the United States is 2nd (sorry but we’re not no. 1 on this) in ignorance on basic social issues.


    When you have willful ignorance like this, any topic that requires complex, nuanced debate will not happen. The political party that can capitalize on fear, misinformation and cynicism will win. Sad to say, but that’s what we’re seeing so far in America.

  9. Luis
    November 12th, 2014 at 22:58 | #9

    That pretty much sums it up. Republicans have been pretty much 100% FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) when it comes to Obama. Had Bush been in office over this me, or any other Republican, conservatives would be canonizing him already–health care for millions in a pro-business, revenue-healthy manner, stock market high, gas prices low, recovery from the brink of depression, near-record streak of job creation… they’d be raving about what a miracle worker their president was. But Obama, in he exact same situation? Look how he has ruined the country!

  10. Troy
    November 16th, 2014 at 07:48 | #10

    This is sobering:


    they’re literally pushing me back to Japan!

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