195 thoughts on “The culture wars are over. They lost.

  1. @Mr Denmore
    They perpetuate the culture wars, but I can’t imagine the Vatican, in particular, would have shrugged and let abortion, feminism and gay rights pass without protest if there weren’t a content-hungry media urgently stoking the fire.

  2. Look at it from the other side:-

    “It was a 48 to 50 loss. We would have won but for Hurricane Sandy, which gave Obama the chance to look presidential.

    If bigotry, paternalism, unreason, fear-mongering and lying didn’t work, it was because we were unlucky, and because we didn’t use enough of them. We’ll be back, better than before.”

    Nothing has changed.

  3. If we who believe in free markets for free minds lost, what exactly did you collectivists win? Cuba? Libia? Greece? The Aboriginal Gulag? Green Tasmania? Postmodern Nihilism?

  4. @John Dawson
    The central point of this thread is that the US election outcome proves we don’t have to bother with that nonsense any more.

    If you want to see a Republican president again, it’s entirely up to you to start talking in hard facts instead of straw men and conspiracy theories.

  5. @Sancho So you’ve defeated the bad guys and don’t have to bother about the freedom nonsense any more, I get that. What I don’t get is, what have you won? There’s the loot you can plunder, but what then?

  6. @John Dawson

    The right has spent the last ten years shouting that science is communism, secularism is persecution, homosexuality is a disease, feminism is a disaster, Wall Street can self-regulating and the environment is expendable.

    That you believe the right was defeated by anyone but itself is just evidence of how far you need to travel back to relevance.

  7. @John Dawson
    Just the gloating, and only for a short while, because there’s progress to be made before the Republicans swallow the poo sandwich and try to rein in the Tea Party for the Christie nomination in 2016.

    More interesting is what this will mean for Australia, which is generally more conservative than the US but also more stable. US voters just rejected most of the claims the Liberal Party took directly from the GOP, but that’s no guarantee it will convert to similar results.

    So you can pray to Monckton and keep the powder dry for now.

  8. while the “culture wars” have been very good to broadcasters and paid opinionators,the
    cult of superiority is a perennial throughout history.

    the need to convince/ coerce the subject productive units to support a priest/military/noble way-to-go is seen in every country and culture.

    the rule of entitlement is what is being painted into a corner,the privelege of money(privelege means private law) is being outflanked by the inexorable encroachment of education and rights in law.

    so emotion and agnotology are used to convince the “unentitled”that it is in their/our best interest to trust a purported ‘we are doing this in your best interest because we know more than you do and it’s going to stay that way trust us even as you haven’t got a clue of who we are except for a carefully glamourised image of a photogenic few.

    super rich tend to get really sniffy if the idea that their superiority relies on money, assets or family connections.
    (this is not to deny the reality of groups and individuals who have,after all, made the world a better place)
    and seem to truly think that normal people envy a way of life that means having to have round the clock body guards .
    maybe the ones who make a living breathlessly broadcasting the glamour of it all wish they were in the magic circle but i’ve got enough to go on with.
    it just irritates me that they could easily hire a hitman or legal S.L.A.P* to deal to me if i get in their way.

    S.L.A.P=Strategic Ligitation Against Protesters.

  9. John D, nobody has won; but your side has lost.

    The ‘collectivists’ these days are not ‘the left’; they are the ordinary people who don’t usually take any notice of politics or economics. But they love social stuff and through initiatives like the Destroying the Joint facebook page, – and the Keep Campbell to Account – they are learning about economics and politics and realising that they do have the ability, and the means, to understand what is going on.

    White male supremacists are the ones who fight to win, and we’ve just seen how low they can go to do this, because ………..???

    Why? What do you think you’ve got to offer anyone except people who are exactly like your good self?

  10. Here’s Matt Taibbi on culture war stuff: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/hey-rush-limbaugh-starting-an-abortion-industry-wont-win-you-female-voters-20121108

    John and co might want to mull over the nut graf:

    “[M]odern Republicans will never be able to spread [their] message effectively, because they have so much of their own collective identity wrapped up in the belief that they’re surrounded by free-loading, job-averse parasites who not only want to smoke weed and have recreational abortions all day long, but want hardworking white Christians like them to pay the tab. Their whole belief system, which is really an endless effort at congratulating themselves for how hard they work compared to everyone else…is inherently insulting to everyone outside the tent – and you can’t win votes when you’re calling people lazy, stoned moochers.”

  11. Taking up Katz’s metaphor about mopping up operations, even if the war can be officially declared over for decades to come the Republicans will be like those Japanese soldiers who spent 30 years in the Philippines jungle not knowing the war was over.

    But it’s not obvious that the culture wars are over. Take abortion. It’s nearly 40 years since Roe v Wade, and still it’s the defining issue that separates the true believer Republicans from the RINOs. Romney is obviously not terribly anti-abortion but he had to say that he was or his candidacy would have been dead before the Repub primaries even started. If anything, the standard Repub position is much harder line than it used to be. I don’t think even Reagan ever said that he opposed abortion arising from rape.

  12. @Uncle Milton

    That’s a direct result of the Tea Party, which itself was a result of what Barry Goldwater warned of in 1994 when he said “when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party…it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”

    The establishment Republicans thought they could direct all that Tea Party anger into the machine, but instead the extremists began turfing out the moderates, or “RINOs”.

    Next thing you know, you’ve guys like Todd Akin piping up about rape and the GOP enforcers who wouldn’t have tolerated it a decade ago just shrugging and saying “so what?”

  13. @Sancho

    It’s reached the point where Mitch McConnell, the Republic Senate leader, arch conservative and uber obstructionist, is facing a primary challenge in 2014 from the Tea Party.

  14. There’s still plenty of trench warfare culture warriors here in Oz.

    Consider Dr Steven Kates, for example, who teaches economics at RMIT, and has just written a piece (of ….) for Quadrant explaining that Obama won by building a coalition of:
    Women who are, amazingly, concerned that Republicans might limit their access to abortion – these women are clearly “damaged” and “living in a world of paranoia”, and he suspects they have “not avoided the deep and fearsome pains of commitment-free sexual relations either” (slut shaming! way to go, Steven!) and their anger at “men of my and Romney’s generation” is “beyond all understanding” (well, it’s clearly beyond Steve’s understanding);

    “Mendicants”, because “So far as those who vote for a living are concerned one can understand why they are voting as they do. There are more of them than ever as their numbers have been propagated by leftist parties everywhere” (translation: the brown hordes are multiplying!);

    “Broken Glass Democrats” who are “worm-eaten with envy” (I’m not sure who this is a dog-whistle for, cause he already did women and brown hordes – is this blacks?); and

    “Marxist social science know-nothings” (who knew marxists were so powerful in the USA?).

    Dr Kates must also be an economic zombie par excellence as he has devoted much of his career to extolling the wisdom of Say’s law. That’s not even neo-classical, it’s positively pre-diluvian. He regularly writes for the Drum to explain how stimulus is destroying the Australian economy (snerk) due to “crowding out”. Why does ortho-free-marketeering so often coincide with racism and sexism?

    He is apparently considered competent to teach. I do wonder if he shares his views of women, “mendicants”, and other such undesirables with his students.

  15. @JamesH

    I know virtually nothing of economics, so I had to look up “Say’s Law”.

    Apparently it isn’t really his law, it just got his name on it. Anyway, it seems he stated that the only way to have a market for something is to produce that thing. Pure genius.

    Then there was something about how it’s impossible for rich people to accumulate money because they’ll spend it. Except sometimes they won’t. And if they horde their money (by definition, become rich) that is against his law. And he seemed to be in favour of economic stimulus in hard times to create work for the unemployed.

    It seemed his idea was that the economy consists entirely of manufactured widgets which are immediately transferred (via money) into other widgets. Food doesn’t seem to fit into the law. That’s it, I’m leaving this economics caper to the experts.

  16. I note John Dawson believes in “free markets for free minds”. I knew that right wing hacks sell their opinions to the highest bidder, but they don’t usually come out and admit it.

  17. @Sancho

    It didn’t work out so well for them in Indiana. Problem is, the extremists have the support of the people who vote in the primaries. Richard Mourdock (he of pregnancy after rape is God’s will fame) ran against the incumbent Richard Lugar (considered to be a conservative Republican by pre Tea Party standards) on the basis that any working with the Democrats of any kind at any time on any issue is treasonous, and the Repub primary voters lapped it up.

    It’s reminiscent of the Protestant paramilitary groups in Ulster: “No Surrender!”

    That’s the problem with these people. They really do think they are doing God’s work, and they see treason and betrayal anywhere and everywhere beyond their own world value.

  18. @may

    S.L.A.P=Strategic Ligitation Against Protesters

    No, it’s S.L.A.P.P – “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”.

  19. The culture wars are not over in America. All the GOP needs to do is embrace Rubio, and probably also Jeb Bush, and shift their policy to Rubio’s version of immigration amnesty to win back the natural social conservative constituency of the Hispanic population.

    Whether they will do that or not is the issue. Based on the last four years, they are more likely to double down on the Clint Eastwood demo, led by the Tea Party conducting more neocon cleansing.

  20. I guess I’ve got my answer. If we lost, nobody won. You guys certainly didn’t, because you don’t stand for anything. You don’t stand for socialism any more, you resemble some sort of green feudalism but your union power base wouldn’t accept serfdom so at the end of the day you can be defined only by what you want to destroy: the remnants of capitalism. And after that … *?*

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