This post originally appeared at No More Mister Nice Blog. You may know about today's Phyllis Schlafly story (if not, I'll discuss it below), but it's nothing we haven't seen before. Time magazine, June 1, 1992:
IF FOR NOTHING ELSE, DAN QUAYLE DESERVES POINTS for audacity.... the Vice President dared to argue last week in a San Francisco speech that the Los Angeles riots were caused in part by a "poverty of values" that included the acceptance of unwed motherhood, as celebrated in popular culture by the CBS comedy series Murphy Brown. The title character, a divorced news anchorwoman, got pregnant and chose to have the baby.... "It doesn't help matters," Quayle complained, when Brown, "a character who supposedly epitomizes today's intelligent, highly paid professional woman" is portrayed as "mocking the importance of fathers, by bearing a child alone, and calling it just another 'life-style choice.' " ... A New York Daily News headline set the tone: QUAYLE TO MURPHY BROWN: YOU TRAMP! Switchboards at the White House and on TV and radio talk shows lit up with callers, pro and con. ... critics suspected that the Vice President's remarks fit into a calculated strategy to suggest that L.A.'s rioters, who were mostly black and Hispanic, have in common with feminists and other Democrats a shoddier moral standard than nice people (who therefore should vote Republican)....
Yup, and now, from a fund-raiser over the weekend on behalf of Andrew “Rocky” Raczkowski, a GOP House challenger in Michigan, we have Schlafly saying this:
...Do you know what was the second-biggest Democratic group that voted for Obama? Obvious, the blacks were the biggest Democratic group. Do y'all know what was the second-biggest? Unmarried women. Seventy percent of unmarried women voted for Obama. And this is because, when you kick your husband out, you got to have Big Brother government to be your provider. And they know that, and they've admitted it. And they had all kinds of bills to continue to subsidize illegitimacy....
Back in '92, was Quayle trying to tap into white racial resentment while using a white TV character as a smokescreen? Was he being an ur-Glenn Beck, linking evil rootless-cosmopolitan Hollywood liberals and non-whites in a conspiracy to ruin the heartland's purity of essence? Whatever he was doing, it didn't work -- Quayle and Poppy Bush were trounced at the polls a few months later, and nearly 70% of unmarried women rejected the sitting president in favor of Bill Clinton or Ross Perot. You can decide whether you think Schlafly is playing on racist stereotypes -- I'd say it's kind of a giveaway when she brings up this poll and (as Steve Benen notes) talks about "the blacks" in the same breath. And, well, what do you know -- first out of the gate to defend her in the right blogosphere is the racist and neo-Confederate Robert Stacy McCain, who says of Schlafly's pronouncement:
This is what we in the journalism business call a "fact."
Really, Robert? What's a fact? Schlafly's implication that all unmarried women are single mothers? Her suggestion that every single mother got that way because she "kick[ed her] husband out"? (Yeah, right -- men in America are so dependable and meek that not one of them has ever abandoned his kids' mother of his own volition.) The notion that every government program encourages indolence? (The point of subsidized job training and day care is to encourage work, no?) My memory of the Quayle speech was that a lot of women -- white, non-white, married, single -- were deeply offended by it. (The coding, apparently, was too effective; he chastized a white female TV character, and white women were among those offended.) Perhaps it's time for a rerun. If I were the Democrats, I'd run ads with Schlafly's comments all over the country -- and maybe not just in the districts where her Eagle Forum has endorsed candidates. Headline the clip "GOP fund-raiser." Really, why not? Do you think this mindset is limited to Schlafly, or those she's endorsed? Five bucks says if you played a tape of this to Sharron Angle, she'd say, "Hell, yeah." (Via Memeorandum.) **** (Just for the record, Schlafly's poll appears to be real -- it was from Greenberg Quinlan Rogers. It's cited by horrified righties here and here.)
This post first appeared on No More Mister Nice Blog. (Apologies for strong imagery in this post.) The cover of the new issue of Time -- with its photograph of a young woman whose nose and ears were cut off by the Taliban, accompanied by headline "What Happens If We Leave Afghanistan" -- is disgraceful on several levels. (The image is here, and no, it's not pretty; the cover story is here.) Atrios (here and here) and Greg Mitchell (here) have made the obvious point: um, this happened while we were in Afghanistan. So the proof of how necessary it is for us to protect young women from brutal attacks of this kind is the fact that we couldn't protect this young woman? And does anyone at Time know the story of Zahida Parveen? She suffered a similar attack, yet even more brutal: her husband, believing she was having an affair, not only cut off her nose and earlobes but blinded her and beat her while hanging her upside down. Oh, but that took place in Pakistan in 1998. Following Time's logic, I suppose the U.S. should have invaded and occupied Pakistan to prevent this from happening. (Parveen, if it's any comfort, was later fitted with a prosthetic face made by a former CIA disguise-maker named Robert Barron. This makes it easier for her to be in the presence of her children, who are no longer horrified by her appearance.) **** But why is Time ratcheting up the war propaganda in the most shameless avenge-the-atrocities way, even going so far as to aestheticize the cover victim so she looks remarkably like a disfigured version of National Geographic's famous "Afghan girl" from the 1980s? Or, more to the point, why does Time seem to be far ahead of even the usual media jingoists in its effort to increase U.S. support for the war? Regular readers of this blog know how much time I spend lurking at Fox Nation, which is where I think you see a shrewdly assembled mosaic of the propaganda that very smart, very evil people think best serves the Republican/right-wing cause. Given Fox's consistent bellicosity, you might have expected there to be a link to Time's story and cover at Fox Nation, but there's nothing. You might have expected some interest in the WikiLeaks documents -- but I haven't seen a single story headlined on the FN homepage about those documents, even one deployed as a stick to beat Obama. Nope -- it's all Obama snubbing the Boy Scouts to go on The View and illegal aliens running amok and JournoList and the New Black Panthers and Shirley Sherrod and Sarah Palin encountering a bear. The rest of the online rightosphere seems the same -- it's as if righty bloggers and news/propaganda outlets don't want to talk about Afghanistan. Why? Isn't it odd that Time in the forefront on this, and not the GOP noise machine? First, I don't think the folks at GOP Noise Machine Central want to complicate the message. Right now, it's all about the domestic threat: big government, allegedly inevitable higher taxes, the fear of gun confiscation and black and brown people running amok. It's working, according to the polls -- why complicate a winning formula? Yeah, but wouldn't talk of foreign evildoers complement this message of Democratic domestic perfidy, as it usually does? Well, i'm not sure the keepers of the noise machine trust how this would play out. The right-wing base and a lot of centrists relish a nice smiting of a foreign foe -- but a war with no story arc and no satisfying resolution is a different story. A well-deserved ass-kicking? Always appreciated. Being "the world's policeman"? Not so much. I think Fox and other right-wing propagandists remember that they couldn't seem to wimp-bait Obama successfully in 2008 for his opposition to the Iraq war. Righties don't seem to have a foreign policy Plan B when wimp-baiting doesn't work; regarding Afghanistan, they can read polls, and they're probably afraid that centrists and even a few Paulite righties will react even to Taliban atrocity photos by saying, "Screw 'em -- if that's how they act, why should we waste any more blood and money on them?" Righty propagandists could attack Obama from the left, of course -- talk of LBJ, sneering references to "Democrat wars," etc. -- but they don't seem to have a well-developed script for that. So I think they're just hoping that Obama will make good on his promise to start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, and maybe then they can attack him as a traitor in the time-honored wingnut way. For now, though, they're hanging back, or trying to change the subject to Iran. Unlike Time, they're not trying to sell what they don't think the public is buying.
This post first appeared on No More Mister Nice Blog. Democrats want to allow the Bush tax cuts for the rich to lapse, while renewing the cuts for other taxpayers. Republicans, of course, want to keep the whole tax cut package -- including the cuts for the rich, which the general public doesn't like. A couple of days ago, Jonathan Chait argued that this gives Democrats a tactical advantage:
So we're down to a game of chicken. Here's why the Democrats hold the whip hand. They can pass an extension of the middle-class Bush tax cuts through the House. If Republicans let the bill pass, then they've lost their leverage to extend the unpopular Bush upper-income tax cuts. If they filibuster it, then Democrats can blame them for raising taxes on middle-class Americans. It would let Democrats out of their pledge. (Hey, they tried to keep the middle-class tax cuts.) Then nothing would pass, and we'd instantly revert to Clinton-era rates across the board.
Well, you know what that means: time for the GOP noise machine to bamboozle the public! And I think we know what the specific bamboozlement message will be. This is on the Heritage Foundation's blog right now:
New Calculator Shows How Much More Taxes Will You Pay Next Year We are on the precipice of the largest tax increase in United States history. On January 1, 2011, the 2001/2003 tax relief will expire. All Americans who earn income will see their taxes go up as a result (even those who work but don’t pay any federal income taxes) unless Congress acts soon to prevent this massive tax hike. The constant refrain from those who oppose the tax relief is that they benefited only the rich. If the tax cuts expire as scheduled, this myth will be proven untrue once and for all. But taxpayers don't have to wait until next year to see how much bigger a bite Uncle Sam will take. The Tax Foundation recently created a tax calculator that will show them how much more they will pay in taxes next year....
You see what the right-wingers' plan is? They want to make the public believe that it's impossible to separate the cuts for the rich and the cuts for everyone else. They want us to believe that there's one entity: the entire Bush tax cut package -- and, if it expires, we'll all get socked. Watch: in the near future, that line of argument will catch on. It will show up in attack ads targeting vulnerable Democrats. The public will lose sight of the notion that it's even possible to allow part of the tax cut package to lapse. And when it comes time to vote in Congress, I think Republicans absolutely will vote against an extension of the Bush cuts that's limited to the non-rich. What?! Republicans not vote to cut taxes? Well, sure. They'll say it's a tax increase -- yes, on the rich only, but they won't say that -- and that they're honor-bound not to vote for any tax increase. They'll say Democrats support this big, bad tax increase -- and never say that it falls on the well-to-do only. And their noise really might drown out the truth. But Chait says Republicans are in political trouble if they block a middle-class-only extension of tax cuts:
Democrats can blame them for raising taxes on middle-class Americans. It would let Democrats out of their pledge. (Hey, they tried to keep the middle-class tax cuts.) Then nothing would pass, and we'd instantly revert to Clinton-era rates across the board.
Does Chait really think that would "let Democrats out of their pledge" not to raise middle-class taxes? Give me a break. If Democrats then refuse to sign on to the notion of renewing the entire tax cut package, Republicans will be able to say, "DEMOCRATS RAISED YOUR TAXES!!!!" They're going to describe the package as indivisible. And then they're going to try to make it so.
This post first appeared on No More Mister Nice Blog. Ah, remember the innocent days of, say, early 2010, when Jane Hamsher could write this (emphasis added)?
... Granted, the tea party messaging can be pretty schizophrenic and has often served as a grab bag of anti-Obama sentiment. But their primary message has always been economic, and they have their roots in the libertarian-leaning, anti-interventionist conservatism of Ron Paul.
Well, now it appears that somebody forgot to tell the members of Congress who've taken up the tea party banner that they're supposed to be anti-interventionist:
Tea Party Caucus members endorse Israeli attack on Iran ... Almost two dozen Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers cosponsored a new resolution late last week that expresses their support for Israel "to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the use of military force." The lead sponsor of the resolution was Texas Republican Louie Gohmert, one of four congressmen to announce the formation of the 44-member Tea Party caucus at a press conference on July 21. The other three Tea Party Caucus leaders, Michele Bachmann, R-MN, Steve King, R-IA, and John Culberson, R-TX, are also sponsors of the resolution. In total, 21 Tea Party Caucus members have signed on.... Last week, a Tea Party-affiliated grassroots organization launched a nationwide campaign to build popular opposition to the administration's nuclear reductions treaty with Russia, called New START. The group is led by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's wife Ginny and it dovetails with similar efforts by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney....
The sound you don't hear in the distance is grassroots teabaggers protesting this. You don't hear it because they're not protesting -- at all. Ironically, Hamsher was writing back in February in response to Sarah Palin's speech at the Nashville tea party convention, in which she said, among other things, that President Obama could ensure his reelection by declaring war on Iran. Hamsher fretted that, by rattling sabers, Palin "drove a wedge" between supposedly anti-interventionist teabaggers and mainstream Bushite Republicans. Funny thing: actual teabaggers were far less upset with Palin's words -- were not upset at all, in fact -- and have continued to rally around her, and around Bachmann and her merry band. The big reveal, of course, will come just after the November elections, when we learn that the teabag legislators are also exactly the same as old-fashioned GOP far-rightists on "family values" issues. On that one they're holding back, because they know that some tea-friendly and tea-curious voters don't agree with them on abortion and gay rights and similar issues. But on warmongering, they have no such fear. They know that the teabag rank-and-file gets revved up by war and the notion that Democrats are "weak." And yes, I think that's true even of many Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan fans -- they like everything else those guys say about how awful Obama and government and liberals are, so they choose to ignore the odd paleocon expressions of war skepticism.
This post originally appeared on No More Mister Nice Blog. And now, well, we have the sort of story that's going to monopolize the left blogosphere for days, and I can't stand it, because the story isn't going to make any significant difference in how the U.S. government conducts business. Spencer Ackerman:
...WikiLeaks just published a trove of over 90,000 mostly-classified U.S. military documents that details a strengthening Afghan insurgency with deep ties to Pakistani intelligence. ... This massive storehouse ... has the potential to be strategically significant, raising questions about how and why America and her allies are conducting the war. Not only does it recount 144 incidents in which coalition forces killed civilians over six years. But it shows just how deeply elements within the U.S.' supposed ally, Pakistan, have nurtured the Afghan insurgency. In its granular, behind-the-scene details about the war, this has the potential to be Afghanistan's answer to the Pentagon Papers.... Now, obviously, it's not news that the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligences has ties to the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hezb-e-Islami....
Stop right there, Spencer. Of course it's not news. As you go on to say, this is something that just what everyone who's ever paid any attention already knows, except that now we have more detail. The same goes for information on the killing of civilians. How the hell is this going to change anything? As long as the Republican Party terrifies the Obama administration, and as long as the Republican Party continues to believe that macho posturing is good for the GOP, then we can expect Obama to act as if he has two choices: pursue this war as he's been doing or dig in even more. Maybe he'll be attacked on certain specifics by Republicans, but not in any way that's compatible with de-escalation. It's just an article of faith in our politics that right-wing voters, and centrists as well, will assume any politician who's skeptical about bothwars is a dirty hippie who wants America to be destroyed. Hell, even Rand Paul doesn't have the guts to oppose the war openly, despite hints that he shares his fathers' views on foreign entanglements. I don't care how many visions of 1970s glory the media is having right now -- that's not the moment we're living in. This document cache is not the new Pentagon Papers, for the simple reason that it emerged at a moment when old-school wingnuttery (with a few new bells and whistles) has come roaring back to dominate our politics. There needs to be a strong anti-war movement to make this document cache politically meaningful, and there isn't one; there needs to be even a modicum of anxiety on the part of Republicans about the political usefulness of old-fashioned right-wing bombast, and there isn't any such thing. So this matters only to historians. **** AND: Glenn Greenwald says: This leak is not unlike the Washington Post series from the last week: the broad strokes were already well-known, but the sheer magnitude of the disclosures may force more public attention on these matters than had occurred previously. And what impact has that much-touted series had on public opinion, or the way things are done in Washington? Any? Not as far as I can tell.
This post first appeared on No More Mister Nice Blog. Gallup has some good -- and surprising -- poll news for Democrats, but I think the pollster is wrong about the reason for the results:
Democrats Jump Into Six-Point Lead on Generic Ballot In the same week the U.S. Senate passed a major financial reform bill touted as reining in Wall Street, Democrats pulled ahead of Republicans, 49% to 43%, in voters' generic ballot preferences for the 2010 congressional elections.... It's possible the increased voter support for Democratic candidates this past week is linked with the Wall Street regulatory reform bill that passed in the U.S. Senate last Thursday, July 15. The financial reform bill is the second-biggest piece of legislation to get through Congress this year, after healthcare reform, and it enjoyed majority support. According to a USA Today/Gallup poll in June, 55% of Americans were in favor of legislation expanding government regulation of financial institutions -- including 72% of Democrats and 56% of independents. Only Republicans were generally opposed....
So what did Gallup overlook? Well, here are two words missing from Gallup's write-up of the poll: unemployment and benefits. Insiders and political mavens may be focused on financial regulation, but a hell of a lot of Americans are unemployed, fearful of unemployment, or close to one or more people who are unemployed. Perhaps they've figured out which party is blocking the extension of benefits and which one isn't. No, forget what I said. Republicans, just keep standing in the unemployment office door. Force Democrats to claw and scratch in order to pass a benefits extension, while you boast about your junkyard-dog meanness. Really -- run specifically on that. Run on how many hoops you made Democrats jump through to pass this extension. Please. (Via Memeorandum.)
This is cross-posted from No More Mister Nice Blog. Adam Serwer and the Huffington Post note that Arizona's Joe Arpaio, the showboating, grandstanding self-described "America's Toughest Sheriff," actually has a worse crime-fighting record in recent years than other less self-regarding sheriffs: AmericasVoiceCrimeGraph This is coming up now because, as the HuffPo notes, "Arpaio is considered something of a visionary among conservatives with respect to his approach to immigration. Many of his reforms, indeed, have served as a basis for the law that Gov. Jan Brewer tried to implement statewide." Having an adversarial relationship with a community makes it harder for law enforcement to win the community's cooperation, which makes it harder to fight crime. But I think there's a general point to be made here about Republicans and competence. Arpaio is reputed to be an extremely effective crime-fighter, but the numbers reveal that he actually isn't an effective crime-fighter. It doesn't matter, though, does it? He's a Republican, he's a tough guy, so if crime goes up on his watch, it has to be someone else's fault. Right? This is the same principle that allows Republicans to believe that the budget-busting Ronald Reagan was actually a deficit hawk and that George W. Bush was actually a valiant defender of America against terrorism despite 9/11. And it explains why Republicans in Congress have no fear of economic hardship, even when it's self-evidently caused by their actions. Large numbers of Americans are losing their unemployment benefits? And it's the Republicans' fault? It doesn't matter. Much of the public simply "knows" that Republicans are careful fiscal stewards, while Democrats always destroy the American economy with taxing and spending. They "know" that the way Joe Arpaio's fans "know" he's America's #1 crime-fighter. And it doesn't matter if we continuing running deficits forever because Republicans block any Democratic attempt to raise taxes, even on the rich. Everyone "knows" that deficits are caused by liberalism, and that right-wingers hate red ink. The facts just don't matter.
This post first appeared on No More Mister Nice Blog. Adam Serwer and the Huffington Post note that Arizona's Joe Arpaio, the showboating, grandstanding self-described "America's Toughest Sheriff," actually has a worse crime-fighting record in recent years than other less self-regarding sheriffs: This is coming up now because, as the HuffPo notes, "Arpaio is considered something of a visionary among conservatives with respect to his approach to immigration. Many of his reforms, indeed, have served as a basis for the law that Gov. Jan Brewer tried to implement statewide." Having an adversarial relationship with a community makes it harder for law enforcement to win the community's cooperation, which makes it harder to fight crime. But I think there's a general point to be made here about Republicans and competence. Arpaio is reputed to be an extremely effective crime-fighter, but the numbers reveal that he actually isn't an effective crime-fighter. It doesn't matter, though, does it? He's a Republican, he's a tough guy, so if crime goes up on his watch, it has to be someone else's fault. Right? This is the same principle that allows Republicans to believe that the budget-busting Ronald Reagan was actually a deficit hawk and that George W. Bush was actually a valiant defender of America against terrorism despite 9/11. And it explains why Republicans in Congress have no fear of economic hardship, even when it's self-evidently caused by their actions. Large numbers of Americans are losing their unemployment benefits? And it's the Republicans' fault? It doesn't matter. Much of the public simply "knows" that Republicans are careful fiscal stewards, while Democrats always destroy the American economy with taxing and spending. They "know" that the way Joe Arpaio's fans "know" he's America's #1 crime-fighter. And it doesn't matter if we continuing running deficits forever because Republicans block any Democratic attempt to raise taxes, even on the rich. Everyone "knows" that deficits are caused by liberalism, and that right-wingers hate red ink. The facts just don't matter.
This post first appeared on No More Mister Nice Blog. Yesterday, Zandar flagged this bit of analysis from MSNBC's First Read:
...Turning our attention away from the midterms and to the Obama White House, we've come to this conclusion: This White House is simply not good at handling communication and politics. The legislative achievements are there. So is the individual outreach. But what's missing is a coherent message. Whether dealing with the media, the business community, Republicans, or Congress, this White House hasn't gotten its message across. (Just check out what Dem Gov. Chris Gregoire said of the White House's communication on immigration: "They described for me a list of things that they are doing to try and help on that border," Ms. Gregoire said... "And I said, 'The public doesn't know that.'") Why is this surprising? The last thing so many of us thought during the presidential campaign was that these guys would have difficulties controlling the message and managing their constituents. Simply put, Washington runs this White House right now; the White House doesn't run Washington.
I don't know why the same guys who did such a bang-up job in the campaign can't handle messaging now. I find myself thinking of Obama et al. as very bright but not very socially attuned, perhaps even Asperger-y, nerds who devised a brilliant strategy for an '08 victory in isolation; it actually worked, but they simply can't improvise a communication strategy when a plan they've made gets into trouble because, in an Asperger way, they simply aren't very good at picking up and processing social cues from voters, and thus they can't make the necessary adjustments. Why have they have been so tone-deaf regarding the need for vigorous and relentless action on jobs, or, failing that, a fist-shaking rage at whoever (fat cats, the GOP) stands in the way of such action? Why couldn't they process the mounting discomfort with the health care plan? Why do they allow right-wing faux-outrages to fester -- about golf-playing, say, or bowing to foreign leaders? Would it be so unacceptable for the White House to find some way not to provide oxygen for the right-wing crazies on these trivial matters? And on the other side we've got the GOP -- which, according to the new Washington Post/ABC poll, is disliked but on a roll. Even though congressional Republicans are trusted less than Obama or congressional Democrats.... ... they're the likely big winners in November: Those most likely to vote in the midterms prefer the GOP over continued Democratic rule by a sizable margin of 56 percent to 41 percent. Oblomova, in the comments to a post at Rumproast, says: Honestly, I think it's time to start trying out the meme that "The GOP loves America the same way your creepy stalker ex-boyfriend loved you. If they can't have their country, no one can -- and if you try to leave, they'll throw acid in your face, kill your cat, and burn down your house." I don't think that's particularly hyperbolic -- Republicans have made it clear in the past year and a half that if they can't govern the country, they're going to render it ungovernable. I think their behavior seems very literally sociopathic. But it's just like non-political life, isn't it? Sociopaths are a bit sexy -- they're actually above average at picking up on social cues, which makes them excellent at seducing, mollifying, and manipulating people. The people they hurt often go right back to them for more, finding themselves in denial about the crazy moments (much the way America seems to be in denial about the extreme statements of Michele Bachmann and Steve King and their looney cohort in Congress, or about the likes of Sharron Angle and Rand Paul, both of whom may win elections in the fall). Sociopaths are seductive. Nerds are, well, nerdy. Right now, that's America's political choice. If you can't guess which one the country's going to pick in November, you obviously didn't go to high school. **** (Apologies to anyone I may have offended with this post. In real life, I'm very bad at eye contact and frequently uncomfortable in a roomful of strangers. When I talk about awkward nerds, I'm talking about people like myself. Sorry if that doesn't come across.)
A post from John Cole at Balloon Juice: I can’t wait to hear how Republicans try to pin this shit on black people and Fannie Mae and Barney Frank. I’m sure there’s a Reason magazine post blaming this on Pelosi or Carter or Kennedy somewhere. Also, Robert Byrd was in the KKK! That's a reference to this New York Times story: ...Whether it is their residence, a second home or a house bought as an investment, the rich have stopped paying the mortgage at a rate that greatly exceeds the rest of the population. More than one in seven homeowners with loans in excess of a million dollars are seriously delinquent, according to data compiled for The New York Times by the real estate analytics firm CoreLogic.... The CoreLogic data suggest that the rich do not seem to have concerns about the civic good uppermost in their mind, especially when it comes to investment and second homes. Nor do they appear to be particularly worried about being sued by their lender or frozen out of future loans by Fannie Mae, possible consequences of default.... But is there even any need for Reason or some other rightist/libertarian media organ to try to explain this away? Maybe not, because a trip to the usual message boards suggests that rank-and-file 'wingers have already considered and rejected this article, and are offering their own rebuttals. That's not to say that they're offering coherent rebuttals -- mostly the comments are just word salad cut-and-pasted from the talking points their media favorites have drummed into their heads for years. But that's why the right succeeds more often than the left in American politics: righties are always absolutely certain that they're right, because their talking points tell them so, even if those talking points become totally incoherent. And I'm not exaggerating when I said "word salad" and "totally incoherent." Here's a sample of reactions to the story at Free Republic. Feel free to try to construct a coherent argument out of them. Probably 'Rat donors. *** (((snore))) The last time I checked, all those foreclosures were due to middle to low income homeowners. Just another "Evil rich people" article. **** It’s misguided to stereotype a particular group -- whether "rich" or "poor." A lot of people did really dumb things in the years and decades leading up to the financial crisis, and practically every American benefited in some manner from the credit orgy, whether directly or indirectly. **** The origin of this crisis started when the government forced banks to rewrite standard mortgage credit practices. People who weren't credit worthy were put into homes they couldn't afford. It all went down hill from there.... **** Bwhahaha.... Perhaps if they didn’t live beyond there means they wouldn't "barely be getting by". Great testament to personal responsibility **** UH...ever heard of the "Millionaire next door"...you know...the one who does NOT live in a million dollar home? Drives a used car? Lives modestly? I'll bet that a lot of those in million dollar homes that are foreclosed on....were NOT really "rich." They just leveraged themselves to look like they were. **** ... not too many people have been hired by the poor, after all. **** Please explain to me what you consider to be "Rich?" **** Since there are more rich Democrats than there are rich Republicans, this could be true. However, it is in the NY Times, so it's probably a fictional piece written by a soon to be unemployed socialist. **** sadly there are idiots that will allow the nyt to lead them to a preditermined conclusion. The New York Times ceased to be a credible source for factual information starting in 1896 when Adolph Ochs bought it from Henry Raymond. The Ochs family and in-laws (Orvil [sic] Dryfoos and the Sulzberger) have controlled it ever since. A case can be made that Timesman Herbert Matthews was instrumental in the rise of Castro. Later Times reporters, such as David Halberstam and Harrison Salisbury, were part of the disinformation campaign that turned America against our troops in Vietnam. The New York Times is a leftist organ and virtually anything appearing within its pages should be treated with a healthy dose of skepticism, IMHO. **** ... even IF this lousey report is even remotely true, it states that ONLY ONE IN TWELEVE are deliberately defaulting!!!! ... **** Well, isn’t socialism about equally spreading the misery? Sounds like Obummer is succeeding at something. If you can take all that and make sense out of it, you're a better man than I am. But the point is, Democrats, liberals, and the media are evil a thousand different ways, so this must be their fault somehow. More from Lucianne.com: What were those greedy capitalists thinking? Guess we need to start listening to the Marxists at the NY Times, in the Govt. or eslewhere who insist on redistributing all that nasty wealth out there! (s) **** This is what happens when you try to be all things to all people. The rich invested their money that supplied jobs for the tax payers. No more stupid rich people mean no more stupid jobs for the taxpayers. The welfare folks better not laugh, their checks are going to stop too after the wealth is gone......So much for this nice Hope and change! **** Maybe the rich got a heads up that zippy is going to take their property away and give it to someone who has never owned a house. You know, like Castro did in Cuba. Why pay for a dead horse. **** Must have missed it. When did the suburban middle class become "the rich"? **** Stoking Class Warfare is all that this is about.... No mention of Bill Ayers, or the fact that Michael Moore is fat, but it's early yet.