How far will the market fundamentalist right go? What does the subject of “mail-order brides” have to do with the quest for freedom? If you, like most other sane people on the planet, have never given this strange question a moment’s thought and have instead always considered cross-border, for-profit “marriages” to be a [Continue Reading...]
Local conservative group sanitizes a defender of racist politics Looking for a reason (other than a bottomless pile of corporate money) that conservatives so often seem to be on the offensive in modern American policy debates? Here’s a big one: The scale of their ambition. While progressive nonprofits and politicos worry about polling [Continue Reading...]
Legislative leaders threaten to pack up and go home if they don’t get their way It would take a lot of hard work for the Republicans who run the General Assembly to make themselves look like complete fools in a P.R. battle with Governor Bev Perdue. Especially since she decided not to seek [Continue Reading...]
The right’s startling contempt for poor children What is it about the far right and its contempt for helping children? What kind of political movement or organization would devote a sizable chunk of its limited resources (as two of the local “libertarian” “free market” think tanks do these days) to railing against public [Continue Reading...]
The right wing’s ongoing effort to make reactionary policies seem reasonable Right-wing politicians and talking heads are in damage-control mode these days as they attempt to put a positive spin on the disastrous legislative session that adjourned last month (and the new “special” sessions they plan to convene in the weeks and months [Continue Reading...]
Senate Republican leader confirms that market fundamentalists are fully in charge Since the beginning of the 2011 session, some caring and thoughtful observers of North Carolina politics have clung to the hope that not all legislative Republican leaders are far right ideologues. These folks have held on to the optimistic view that there [Continue Reading...]
The right's absurd and contradictory arguments about school class size Expect to hear a lot in upcoming months about class size. As in: raising the number of kids in each public school classroom North Carolina. As in: firing thousands of teachers to help close the budget shortfall. The likely source of a [Continue Reading...]
You might be surprised at what many on the right actually believe
There is a bit of common wisdom in modern American culture about the intersection of the debate between progressives and conservatives. It’s often voiced by politicians, members of the media and a lot of average folks. You may have even espoused such a view yourself. It goes something like this:
The right is relegated to just making stuff up
It’s a favored catchphrase of sports fans everywhere – usually uttered by supporters of a talented team that finds itself up against an overmatched opponent. It goes something like this: “If we can’t beat these guys, then we don’t deserve to be champs.” Think, for instance, of the U.S. soccer team and its World Cup match with Algeria this week.
Political “scorecard” shows just how extreme the conservative movement has become
America has always had a full complement of “conservatives” of varying stripes. Comfortable suburbanites and dirt poor farmers, religious fundamentalists and libertarian freethinkers, ideologues who don’t believe in government at all and respectable establishment types who view public office as their birthright, single issue fanatics and sober pragmatists, immigrant haters and immigrant hirers.
The unfortunate alliance of religious conservatives and anti-tax ideologues
For most progressives, there’s something that rankles about the longstanding, often successful effort of religious conservatives to appropriate the word “family.” The presumptuous notion that one particular band of one religious tradition – in this case conservative Christianity – has the right to anoint itself as the “defender of traditional family values” is simply offensive to millions of loving, caring and family-oriented people who come from lots of other faith and non-faith-based traditions and hold different political views.
The economic news from Raleigh and Washington this week is gloomy, but comes amid new evidence that policymakers don’t have to sit idly by and wait for things to turn around for struggling families. [Continue Reading...]
Should progressives play just as mean and nasty as the ideologues on the other side?
Maybe it’s because progressives are soft and naïve. Maybe it’s because they’re a frequently divided and disparate movement with a long and varied list of distinct priorities. Maybe it’s just because they cling to a shred of human decency and a belief that love and tolerance rather than wealth and greed and meanness ought to be the underpinnings of human society and governance. Maybe it’s some combination of all three.
The far right’s latest bungling attacks on the public schools
One doesn’t have to do much digging to be reminded of how uninformed and ideological the far right can be when it comes to the public education. This week’s remarkable events in Wake County (in which a newly elected group of school board members conducted a kind of kangaroo session that would have embarrassed the average group of banana republic coup plotters) stand in stark testimony.
New study show that if it’s happening in North Carolina, it’s going in the wrong direction
There’s a persistent myth in a number of circles – particularly on the ideological right- that progressives who call for higher taxes on the wealthy are calling for some kind of crude, socialistic leveling. You know this argument. (Indeed, if you have progressive streak, a decent sized family and are not careful, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself debating someone on this topic this coming Thursday.)