Radical Right Reality Check

Radical Right Reality Check

Radical Right Reality Check

Since when is opposing the estate tax a “family value”?

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.

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Fitzsimon File Radical Right Reality Check

A vital helping hand

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. ...
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Radical Right Reality Check

How to fight the right

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.

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Radical Right Reality Check

An embarrassment to themselves

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.

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Radical Right Reality Check

The myth of “wealth redistribution”

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.)

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Radical Right Reality Check

Talk about your “social experiments”

The extreme right's wacky plans to wreck the public schools

One of the Big Lies of the modern political era is the American far right's unrelenting effort to portray any judge who happens to be less conservative than Clarence Thomas or Antonin Scalia as a "liberal activist." Ever since the days of Earl Warren (a progressive Republican who had the audacity to lead the U.S. Supreme Court in giving some actual meaning to the Bill of Rights), the term "liberal activist judge" has been a slur hurled by many conservatives. The intent, of course, is to give the impression of reckless, on-the-fly lawmaking: to conjure up the impression that the judge in question has an agenda above and beyond enforcing the law or the Constitution.

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Radical Right Reality Check

Since when is opposing the estate tax a “family value”?

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.

...
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Radical Right Reality Check

Obama’s still standing

Health care reform opponents have tried everything imaginable, but they're running out of steam

Here's an old law school aphorism that's been used before in this space: "When the law is on your side, pound on the law. When the facts are on your side, pound on the facts. And when neither is on your side...pound on the table."

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Radical Right Reality Check

This really says it all

Right-wing group in a tizzy over public schools feeding poor kids

Over the last couple of years we've received a lot of comments and questions at N.C. Policy Watch about the title of this feature. More than a few conservatives have complained about the use of the term "radical right," arguing that it has been used unfairly and that we're somehow attempting to smear people or to portray them as subversives.

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Radical Right Reality Check

Turning even harder to the right

With conservatism in disarray, those on the fringe seem to be laying claim to the wreckage

There was a time, not too long ago, in American politics in which people like former Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush and former North Carolina Governor Jim Martin were considered "conservative."

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Radical Right Reality Check

Mired in the past

The persistent efforts to prevent accurate sex ed and to keep hitting kids

The fear of knowledge and progress: It's long been a hallmark of conservative groups fighting to remain relevant in a rapidly evolving world. Whether it's American opponents of integration a half-century ago or present day foot-draggers in the fundamentalist regimes of the Middle East and the decrepit leadership in China, these groups all share a fear of modernity and change.

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Radical Right Reality Check

A mad “tea party”

As with a lot of the "grass roots" actions of the modern American far right, it's been hard to know whether to laugh or cry in recent days at the so-called "tea party" tax protests that have been taking place around the country. ...
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Radical Right Reality Check

A “Back to the 50’s budget”

Local right-wing group outdoes itself with annual budget proposal

One of the most common hypocrisies of modern public policy debates is the repeated and ever-confident assertion of various far right politicians and commentators that it's easy to slash government budgets by simply cutting "wasteful spending." Whether it's John McCain, Bobby Jindal, or Rush Limbaugh, the pattern is almost always the same: trot out a few examples of potentially controversial spending items (it usually helps if the items have a funny or unusual name or a scientific purpose that might actually take some effort to understand) or some other smaller item of public extravagance and then extrapolate like crazy.

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Radical Right Reality Check

Defending another lost cause

Even as new evidence pours in, the far right stubbornly resists carbon controls

With so much of the far right's economic and social agendas devoted to the defense of a mostly mythological vision of the "good old days" - in everything from the regulation of corporate robber barons to civil rights to the definition of "marriage" to cigarette smoking - it's probably no wonder that they cling so desperately to their denial of the role of humans in climate change.

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Radical Right Reality Check

An unholy alliance

Why are North Carolina public officials in league with the extreme right on the treatment of workers?

President Obama may yet accomplish his goal of ratcheting down the levels of partisanship and attack politics Washington, but for now it's clear that he has a lot of work to do. Rather than rallying to a position of support and loyal opposition - as one might have expected during a time of profound economic crisis - the ideological right has instead gone on a rabid, all-out assault against the President and his centrist policy agenda.

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Radical Right Reality Check

Coming up short and wide right

As usual, the market fundamentalists miss the mark in diagnosing state budget ills

Okay, here are some basic facts that everyone who's paying attention ought to agree on when it comes to the current state budget picture:

  1. 1. Times are very tough - Like most of the rest of the nation, North Carolina's economy is in recession. Business activity and personal incomes are down and unemployment, foreclosures, evictions and the need for services are up.

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