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Monday, November 12, 2012

A Conservative Explains How the Republican Party Abandoned Him

Posted by on Mon, Nov 12, 2012 at 2:15 PM

I think many Democrats would welcome a smarter, more reasonable opposition party, but two decades of the Rush Limbaugh-Fox News echo chamber has transformed the Republican Party into something terrible. You shouldn't take my word for it: Listen, instead, to Eric Garland, a conservative whose recent blog post has torn across liberal America's Facebook feeds at the speed of sound. In an open letter to a Republican strategist, Garland explains that he is a conservative, and then he lays down the law.

How can I put this gently? My wife and I are not sensitive to your messaging, nor did we vote for the candidates you proposed for us this past Tuesday.

B-b-but, what? Aren’t we investors, hard-workin’ white folk surrounded by same in a manicured cul-de-sac, scared by a vision of economic collapse amidst the takers in a land of fewer givers? Didn’t Mitt Romney’s strong family, wealth, leadership history and chiseled chin give us the uncontrollable urge to high-five him into the White House?


May I explain why not, purely for your education, such that you might be interested in winning an election on the national level at some point in the future? It bears pointing out that I should be your Low Hanging Fruit, the easy vote to get as opposed to, say, African-Americans, Latinos, or Asians – and you’re not even speaking well to me. The reasons why ought to concern you deeply.

It's a long blog post laying out the main problems with the Republican Party as it stands right now. The problem is, I don't think voices like Garland's can be heard so long as Fox News remains as popular as it is right now. He will always be cursed as a liberal and a socialist and the reason why America died on November 6, 2012. (Garland addresses this argument in the piece.)

This is a reason why I think liberals should be skeptical about MSNBC's rise in popularity. I freely admit to having a huge crush on Rachel Maddow, but when you're in a position where you only hear what you want to hear, you eventually wind up living in an alternate reality. That's a terrible thing, and it's the curse of the modern Republican Party. It can happen to the Democratic Party, too.


Comments (22) RSS

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That was nice, but what makes this guy a conservative? All we hear about him is that he works hard and pays his taxes, he's educated, he has a family, he likes science and homosexuals. Sounds like a Democrat to me.
Posted by Prettybetsy on November 12, 2012 at 2:31 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 2
Really, I don't want the GOP to get their shit together. I want Tip O'Neill-era majorities in the House & Senate. I want things accomplished. I don't want Republican ideas treated with respect and consideration. I want them ridiculed and marginalized.
Posted by Max Solomon on November 12, 2012 at 2:39 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 3
Worried about MSNBC? Do your remember Air America? I barely do.

Liberals tend not to like the Fox/Limbaugh chest-thumping style of commentary. If we fall into our own echo chamber, it's going to be different in makeup than the right wing's.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 12, 2012 at 2:45 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 4
I like what he says about science, but then he blows it by saying that even their stand against science would be acceptable if they blah, blah, blah. The Republicans don't want to believe what science is saying because it proves them wrong about everything.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on November 12, 2012 at 2:46 PM · Report this
Seems Eric Garland didn't buy enough web hosting to handle the traffic he's getting, so here's a reprint of the post:…

He doesn't identify himself as a conservative in the piece, but rather as a white, married, suburban, wealthy parent of two. Which of course describes plenty of Dems. He also mentions his many years of higher education, which, contrary to what he implies, makes him demographically less likely to be Republican, not more.

Given all that, together with the tone of the piece, I kind of doubt the guy has ever voted GOP, and I'd be surprised if he intended anyone to mistake him for a card-carrying member thereof.
Posted by robotslave on November 12, 2012 at 2:57 PM · Report this
Also not sure about the conservative part... I read his blog, didn't pick up that he was conservative at all. He also has a blog on Huffington Post- not many conservatives there. This headline seems misinformed on the Stranger's part.
Posted by beanscissors on November 12, 2012 at 3:00 PM · Report this
seandr 7
@1: Exactly. Republicans have ceded sensibleness to the Democrats.

It wasn't always like that. There was a time when the differences between moderate Democrats and moderate Republicans were in the fine print, and not as obvious as the difference between rational and deluded.
Posted by seandr on November 12, 2012 at 3:02 PM · Report this
pfffter 8
MSNBC is a bunch of partisan hacks interested in theatrics instead of reporting news. The only thing good about that network is Maddow.

To be honest, if we lost the whole lot of them - FOX, MSNBC, CNN -- the country would be a lot better off.
Posted by pfffter on November 12, 2012 at 3:06 PM · Report this
See also John Scalzi. He's a Democrat, not a Conservative, but it's a similar message, with pithy attacks at the Randians.
Posted by Warren Terra on November 12, 2012 at 3:08 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 10

I think I have the solution which is the Tea Party should finally split off from the Republicans...each taking 25%, each being it's own minority party.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on November 12, 2012 at 3:27 PM · Report this
rob! 11
25% of bupkis is bupkis; somewhat less than a minority.
Posted by rob! on November 12, 2012 at 3:37 PM · Report this
Quintus Slide 12
I love Maddow too, but frankly, I was always sort of glad that liberals were not terribly successful at the kind of partisan infotainment that conservatives seemed to thrive at. I'm not sure that MSNBC is good for the country. I'm not sure it's good for liberals either.
Posted by Quintus Slide on November 12, 2012 at 3:47 PM · Report this
@ Paul, Tru dat
Posted by gawd on November 12, 2012 at 3:59 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 14
@12: Fox isn't "partisan infotainment". It is propaganda.

MSNBC isn't anywhere near providing the level of blatant disinformation & partisan spin that is Fox's reason for being. Hell, they aren't even a 24/7 news channel.
Posted by Max Solomon on November 12, 2012 at 4:55 PM · Report this
I got around to skimming it, and unless I missed something the guy doesn't claim to be a conservative, nor even ever to have been a Republican. He just says that he conforms exactly to the demographic the Republicans are relying on and that he doesn't agree with the Republicans on much of anything except that paying taxes isn't actually fun.

I mean, I agree with the guy a lot, and I'd love for the Republicans to agree with him a lot (if only because the net effect would be to shift the national dialogue to the left on relevant issues), but one middle-class rural white family man does not a statistical sample make.
Posted by Warren Terra on November 12, 2012 at 5:25 PM · Report this
The Democratic party is now the party of Ike. It annoys plenty of liberals, but it means that anyone who is reasonable, intelligent and does their research is likely to vote Democratic. There are plenty on the left who would have preferred a single payer health care plan (like Canada's) over the Nixon/Clinton/Obama plan, but that is the reasonable compromise that the Democrats now make. The Republican party is left with those who who ignore the evidence and vote ideology (similar to Communists) or simply don't understand the issues.

As the author mentioned, they are the party that is known for rejecting science, including mathematics. There are also the intelligent radicals who believe in massive cuts to Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. There are even some who believe in making big cuts to the military. But the vast majority of Republicans haven't done the math and somehow think that you can balance the budget without raising taxes or cutting one of those areas of the budget. I've done the math, and it can't be done. Even if you cut agricultural subsidies (good luck with that) education and other big ticket items, you can't get there. Cutting PBS or welfare (AFDC) won't even come close. But a lot of Republican voters (and even some Republican candidates) don't understand this.

This man may very well be a sensible, intelligent conservative in the mode of Ike, but the Republican party has no use for men like that. They would rather play the culture wars and hope that folks won't do their research or agree with their radical polices. They lost this round, but as long as there are voters far more ignorant than the author, don't count them out forever.
Posted by Ross on November 12, 2012 at 5:39 PM · Report this
Schmapdi 17
MSNBC =/= Fox News in any way.

Do you know who I saw telling me we were going to creamed in 2010? MSNBC
Do you know who I see bitching about Drones? MSNBC
Do you know who I routinely hear about Dems incompetence and lack of spine from? MSNBC

I don't really like Ed Shultz - (he does seema bit too "Foxs Newsian") - but Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnel are plenty critical of their own side. And neither they or anyone on the network engage in the fantasy land bullshit Fox creates. (Nor do they have the influence to do so if they wanted to).
Posted by Schmapdi on November 12, 2012 at 6:59 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 18
Do you know who I see not even getting 2/3 (67%) of the vote for a statewide initiative to require 2/3 of the vote?

Insane Republicans.
Posted by Will in Seattle on November 12, 2012 at 7:33 PM · Report this
T 19
Dude seems like the kind of guy who likes to think of himself as "independent" but has probably never voted for a republican in his life (save for maybe the occasional down-ticket race). Still a fun read and a snarky summation of everything the republicans are doing absolutely wrong.
Posted by T on November 12, 2012 at 9:48 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 20
I've been hearing a lot of this "MSNBC is just like Fox News" meme lately - most recently from the rather right-wing tool-ish brother of a fabulous girlfriend of mine.

If one looks at MSNBC's programming in totality, it's clear that they span the political spectrum - and they don't pretend to call themselves a "news" channel - they position themselves as the opinion arm of NBC news.

In any event, Rachel Maddow is well-respected by serious people on both the left AND the right. One only has to look at the many repeat conservative guests she has.

Rachel belongs on "real" news, not cable. I would love to see her take over "Meet The Press" from that twit David Gregory.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on November 12, 2012 at 10:45 PM · Report this
"I think many Democrats would welcome a smarter, more reasonable opposition party"

Absolutely. Better Republicans means better Dems. Seeing how that's the case, I can see why nobody in the media or the establishment is pushing for this.
Posted by we all lose on November 13, 2012 at 9:03 AM · Report this
MSNBC hosts base their positions on facts, not speculation or wishful thinking. Not comparable to Faux Noise at all.
Posted by Patricia Kayden on November 13, 2012 at 11:34 AM · Report this

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