Monday Open Thread [3.5.12]

Filed in Open Thread by on March 5, 2012

This is the most shocking chart I have ever seen:

Gun ownership reached a high in 1977 but has declined steadly over the last thirty years. Why?

Paul Waldman answers:

The explanations for this drop vary; a declining interest in hunting and the steady exodus from rural areas to suburbs and cities almost certainly play a role. Whatever the combination of causes, there have been steady declines in gun ownership among all age groups. Of particular note is the decline among young adults. In the GSS studies in the 1970s, around 45 percent of respondents under 30 years of age reported that their household owned a gun; in the most recent surveys that number has fallen below 20 percent, a decline of more than half.

I guess because gun owners seem to be a rather vocal and explicit lot, I thought there were more of them.


OHIO (NBC/Marist): Santorum 34, Romney 32, Gingrich 15, Paul 13
OHIO (PPP): Romney 37, Santorum 36, Gingrich 15, Paul 11
OHIO (Quinnipiac): Romney 34, Santorum 31, Gingrich 15, Paul 12.
OHIO (Reuters/Ipos): Santorum 32, Romney 32, Gingrich 17, Paul 6
GEORGIA (Mason-Dixon): Gingrich 38, Romney 24, Santorum 22, Paul 3.
GEORGIA (PPP): Gingrich 47, Romney 24, Santorum 19, Paul 8.
GEORGIA (Landmark/Rosetta Stone): Gingrich 42, Romney 22, Santorum 16, Paul 5.
OKLAHOMA (American Research Group): Santorum 37, Romney 26, Gingrich 22, Paul 9.
TENNESSEE (PPP): Santorum 34, Romney 29, Gingrich 27, Paul 8.
TENNESSEE (Rasmussen): Santorum 34, Romney 30, Gingrich 18, Paul 8.
TENNESSEE (American Research Group): Santorum 35, Romney 31, Gingrich 20, Paul 9.
TENNESSEE (We Ask America): Romney 30, Santorum 29, Gingrich 29, Paul 12
VIRGINIA (NBC/Marist): Romney 69, Paul 26 (Santorum and Gingrich were too incompetent to qualify for the ballot)

GENERAL ELECTION — PRESIDENT. These numbers are just brutal for the Republicans.

OHIO (NBC/Marist): Obama d. Romney (50-38); Obama d. Gingrich (51-36); Obama d. Santorum (50-36); Obama d. Paul (48-38)
VIRGINIA (NBC/Marist): Obama d. Romney (52-35); Obama d. Gingrich (57-31); Obama d. Santorum (54-32); Obama d. Paul (53-32)


OHIO (NBC/Marist): Sherrod Brown (D) d. Josh Mandel (R) 47-37

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  1. DE Idealist says:

    Wow, that General Election Virginia Polling is really encouraging.

  2. Jason330 says:

    I’ve been trying to get my head around why the Republicans are throwing this election and came across this by Johnathan Chait by way of dkos:

    “Today, cosmopolitan liberals may still feel like an embattled sect—they certainly describe their political fights in those terms—but time has transformed their rump minority into a collective majority. As conservative strategists will tell you, there are now more of “them” than “us.” What’s more, the disparity will continue to grow indefinitely. Obama actually lost the over-45-year-old vote in 2008, gaining his entire victory margin from younger voters—more racially diverse, better educated, less religious, and more socially and economically liberal.

    Portents of this future were surely rendered all the more vivid by the startling reality that the man presiding over the new majority just happened to be, himself, young, urban, hip, and black. When jubilant supporters of Obama gathered in Grant Park on Election Night in 2008, Republicans saw a glimpse of their own political mortality. And a galvanizing picture of just what their new rulers would look like.

    In the cold calculus of game theory, the expected response to this state of affairs would be to accommodate yourself to the growing strength of the opposing coalition—to persuade pockets of voters on the Democratic margins they might be better served by Republicans. Yet the psychology of decline does not always operate in a straightforward, rational way. A strategy of managing slow decay is unpleasant, and history is replete with instances of leaders who persuaded themselves of the opposite of the obvious conclusion. Rather than adjust themselves to their slowly weakening position, they chose instead to stage a decisive confrontation. If the terms of the fight grow more unfavorable with every passing year, well, all the more reason to have the fight sooner. This was the thought process of the antebellum southern states, sizing up the growing population and industrial might of the North. It was the thinking of the leaders of Austria-Hungary, watching their empire deteriorate and deciding they needed a decisive war with Serbia to save themselves.

    At varying levels of conscious and subconscious thought, this is also the reasoning that has driven Republicans in the Obama era. Surveying the landscape, they have concluded that they must strike quickly and decisively at the opposition before all hope is lost.

    Arthur Brooks, the president of the conservative American Enterprise Institute and a high-profile presence on the Republican intellectual scene, wrote a 2010 book titled The Battle, urging conservatives to treat the struggle for economic libertarianism as a “culture war” between capitalism and socialism, in which compromise was impossible. Time was running short, Brooks pleaded in apocalyptic tones. The “real core” of what he called Obama’s socialistic supporters was voters under 30. “It is the future of our country,” he wrote. “And this group has exhibited a frightening openness to statism in the age of Obama.”

  3. cassandra_m says:

    Chait’s entire article on this is worth the read: 2012 or Never

  4. socialistic ben says:

    Are those polls adjusted for the voter suppression that will occur?

  5. cassandra_m says:

    Now here is a very interesting poll — Pew finds that 51% of Americans want the US to stay neutral if Israel attacks Iran over a claimed nuclear weapon.

    Which points out (as does DD’s gun stats above) that thee are issues driven by a small and vocal minority and you’d never get that from media reports.

  6. Jason330 says:

    America – Less Bloodthirsty than Advertised.

    Also, thanks for that link to Chait’s entire article.

  7. Jason330 says:

    A South Carolina county Republican Party is even wingnuttier than our Sussex County GOP. Members are now required to sign an oath which includes:

    You must favor, and live up to, abstinence before marriage.

    You must be faithful to your spouse. Your spouse cannot be a person of the same gender, and you are not allowed to favor any government action that would allow for civil unions of people of the same sex.

    You cannot now, from the moment you sign this pledge, look at pornography.

  8. cassandra_m says:

    That’s moving past wingnut and into Cult territory. Which seems like the path the GOP has been on for awhile.

  9. pandora says:

    AOL drops Rush.

    And Rush’s latest apology… I’m so sorry I behaved like liberals.

    Not. Kidding.

  10. Jason330 says:

    If any advetisers are still on the fence, hopefully this latest round of pitiful rationalizations will help them make up thier minds.

    The idiots who like him will eat that bullshit up.

  11. liberalgeek says:

    I heard Joe Scarborough trotting some of this BS out this morning. He was comparing Bill Maher to Rush.

  12. puck says:

    I had to click on this link just because I liked the title so much:

    Obama’s re-election Death Star is fully operational

    Looks like they changed the title of the article to something bland.

  13. jpconnorjr says:

    He is even losing his music!
    From Huffpo:

    Peter Gabriel

    Musician Peter Gabriel has moved to withdraw his work from Rush Limbaugh’s radio show after discovering that one of his songs was played during the conservative radio host’s incendiary comments about Sandra Fluke.

  14. pandora says:

    10 advertisers gone! Keep talking, Rush.

  15. cassandra_m says:

    So the man who is supposed to be *huge* on personal responsibility and accountability can’t quite manup to be responsible or accountable for his 3 day slut-shaming episode.

    Next up on the Limbaugh Flailing for an Excuse Mode seems to be the evergreen rappers do it too, BS.

    DLers, the thing we need is a startup company to create the GOP False Equivalence Bingo Game.

  16. socialistic ben says:

    do we have a list? i know of Eharmony, Proflowers, carbonite, aol, sleeptrain, sleepnumber….

  17. socialistic ben says:

    unrelated…. rappers DO do it. This is the uncomfortable discussion no one wanted to have after Imus and his Nappy headed hoes.
    Is calling women “bitch, hoe, slut, hooker” wrong? or is a conservative ass hole calling a strong progressive women a slut wrong? I think they should ALL pay. Rush first, then Lil John.

  18. Jason330 says:

    Fighting Senate Dems want a tax show down with the GOP prior to the election. Will chicken-shit house dems (cough* John Carney* cough) stand in the way?

  19. Jason330 says:

    SB – OMG. Have you learned nothing grasshopper? Don’t fall for the Republican framing my good man. Lil John is 100% irrelevant.

  20. cassandra_m says:

    SB — if you really cannot tell the difference between rappers and Rush Limbaugh then you need to join some other community. Seriously.

    You give me one — just one — rapper who have the cultural and political heft of a Limbaugh then you might have a point.


  21. Jason330 says:

    That’s right. When Old Dirty Bastard is the de facto had of the Democratic Party, Limbaugh will have a semblance of an argument.

  22. Jason330 says:

    Two more drops. Bonobos (clothing) and Sears. Sears says it never intentionally advertised on the show, but is taking steps to make sure clear channel doesn’t slot any Sears ads during the show.

  23. pandora says:

    Rush loses AllState. 12 sponsors gone… so far.

  24. Jason330 says:


  25. Joe Cass says:

    I was bumped from TPM for this statement. You decide:
    Rush ain’t going nowhere.
    Clear Channel radio was given free reign to operate their monopoly over the airwaves, the same airwaves that were once considered property of the American people.
    AT&T, Sprint, Google and others now own VHF/UHF frequencies. The argument was to open the lower part of the spectrum for emergencies services. Firefighters are still waiting. The secondary argument was for “broadcasters to provide the high quality digital signal to the citizens”. I have used antenna for years and still do, after being forced by uncle slam to purchase a digital converter. Then again, what do you care? You subscribe to cable or satellite or fiber optics. Tough luck, Joey! Oh, and you all own smart phones! Was 2G ever part of the sales pitch? 3G, 4G…what’s next? You are bandwidth whores! You demean the intent and the quality of the internet. Your iphones are made by slave labor but that’s o.k. because 1)you’re a liberal or b) you’re a conservative.
    Everyone is f ing up my world! STOP EFFING UP MY WORLD!!!
    Thank you for the bandwidth used in this rant. Buy American.

  26. socialistic ben says:

    MANY rappers (not individually but as a genre) have the cultural clout of Limbaugh (so glad RhiRhi is holding her abuser responsible) and if they are all saying the same sexistt shit, it’s the same thing. sorry. it is.
    This is why i dont like people making the rapper comparison. it’s so eggshelly. how bout we look at my broader point hm? it isnt just fat, old, importent, racist, fat, fat white conservative men who are spewing this sexist filth.
    If you want to be taken seriously, you have to apply your rules to everyone. (no, i’m not saying Rs and Ds “both do it”, im familiar with that argument and happen to think that Rs are 99% to blame, so put that card away)

    If you choose to tell me to leave your “liberal” community for THAT logic, ill gladly make this my last post.

  27. cassandra m says:

    I saw what you did there — you excised my Political clout criteria so you could get back to your false equivalence.

    I asked you which rapper has the political and cultural heft that Limbaugh does. So maybe this needs to be simpler — which rapper has the kind of power over the Democratic Party that Limbaugh has over the GOP? Because they are utterly cowering before this guy and I’ve quite missed the rapper who is the defacto leader of the Democratic party. (And maybe we need more here — just because Limbaugh and rappers may have the same misogynistic view of women in no way means that they have the same project. Which is what that false equivalence asks you to pretend not to notice.)

    So who is it? Because if I’m going to apply my rules for people who are paid and revered as shills for the GOP to the same folks doing the same for the Democrats, I need to know who that is.

  28. cassandra m says:

    @ Joe Cass — I read someplace recently that Bain Capital is a major owner of Clear Channel. Have not been able to check yet, but there it is.

  29. kavips says:

    Rumor has it Rush is leaving the Republican Party and moving up to Delaware’s 41st to run as a Democrat. Anyone else heard anything?

  30. Joe Cass says:

    @cassandra, thanks, will get into
    @kavips, wouldn’t he improve the ballot?

  31. MJ says:

    Latest VA Senate poll has Kaine up by 9 points.

  32. cassandra_m says:

    Here is another great poll — in Obama v current GOP candidates, GOP would lose half of the hispanic votes cast for John McCain.

  33. Just some anonymous yokel says:

    “SB – OMG. Have you learned nothing grasshopper? Don’t fall for the Republican framing my good man. Lil John is 100% irrelevant.”

    Don’t you understand SB? We only deride our enemies for their shameful actions. Misogynistic conduct and speech that comes from our perceived supporters is to be embraced in the spirit of tolerance and multi-culturalism.

  34. Liberal Elite says:

    @SB “do we have a list? i know of Eharmony, Proflowers, carbonite, aol, sleeptrain, sleepnumber….”

    I want to see a lit of advertisers that didn’t bail.

  35. socialistic ben says:

    well, you didnt tell me to leave because of my opinion, so i’ll answer you. Im talking bigger than politics here. there is a sphere of influence MUCH bigger than AMradio, and some genres of music reach folks more impressionable than old white men. I hope you realize that the scourge of sexism extends beyond political discourse and what Rush has done is actual quite small when you consider the entire population. He should be made an example of and lose his livelihood…. as should pro athletes and musicians who are rapists and wife beaters. I want it all to stop and i wont tolerate a defense of their behavior just because they dont speak for the GOP.
    And when i look at rappers, or a lot of rock stars, i see sexist men with lots of money who only seem to care about showing everyone how rich and better they are than everyone else and why the rules dont apply to them and how many sluts they can bang in a night. Lots of people saying it is much more destructive and instructive to behavior than one fat turd saying it. There is a big disgusting sexist world out there, and Limbaugh is an increasingly Uninfluenced spec.

  36. socialistic ben says:

    LE, i think in addition to reminding the adverts that stayed around how vile they are, we should remember to find a way to reward the ones who did. let them know their ethical business conduct is appreciated and they only speak one language.

  37. Liberal Elite says:

    Sure,… But just look at that list. Would you buy any of that stuff from any of those advertisers anyway? I don’t know anyone who buys that sort of stuff.

  38. cassandra_m says:

    Im talking bigger than politics here

    So you’re dancing away from my question still. I’m asking about politics and its influencers. You still need to tell me what rapper has the same influence in the Democratic Party as Limbaugh. If you can’t do that then you’ll need to say that and that you are trying to change the subject because you can’t answer that.

  39. socialistic ben says:

    That’s quite a Foxian technique….. turd-mine one part of my response to characterize the entire thing…..
    no rapper has the influence in the democratic party that Rush Limbaugh has in the republican party. you are absolutely right right. I would be horrified if Em set the agenda for the democrats. I never said any rapper has influence of any political party. I said they influence groups of people, that is not the same thing.
    I do happen to think that there are spheres of influence other than political party and in the grand scheme of things, it doesnt mean much to yell about Limbaugh if you are willing to let much worse hate speech that is directed at a much bigger crowd go uncriticized. Im not dancing away form anything, im trying to broaden the discussion. You have a problem with old white men spewing hate about women? you should have a problem with ANY man with an audience spewing hate about women. Organize a boycott on one, extend it to everyone. play fair, your cause with gain more respect.
    HMMmm demanding a question be answered the way YOU think it should be answered, otherwise you brush it off…. who does that remind us of?

  40. Delaware Dem says:

    Ben has a very good point. My only comment on it though is not to confuse our silence on rappers with consent, assent or approval. We are primarily focused on politics here, and as such we are often silent on other issues.

  41. cassandra m says:

    Ben might have a point if we were talking about rappers. Ben turd-mined his own response by subscribing the the false equivalence thing AND by dancing away from my point when it was clear that he has the short end here. So much like the subject of this post, Ben has decided that I’m at fault for the fact that he was just wrong here.

    Let’s be careful about turning mirrors around unless you’re really clear at what you see reflected in it, OK?

  42. Geezer says:

    SB et al: Yes, misogyny is bad, no matter where it’s coming from.

    I haven’t listened to rap since Public Enemy’s heyday, but why is it even being brought up here? To make the point that not just conservatives do it? Point taken. Now so what? Do you think that misogyny in rap music influenced El Rushbo’s view of women?

    What does that have to do with a national radio personality bullying an individual “co-ed” for daring to have and voice her opinions?

  43. socialistic ben says:

    DD, I understand the point of THIS POST. it is to talk about what an awful piece of filth Rush Limbaugh is. I’m trying to be the voice of “hey, while we are all focused on stamping out the bastards, let us not forget that sexist mouthpieces of other types have large audiences as well.”…… and in the wise words of Rahm… never waste a crisis. There is a swell now to tell ALL these a-holes to shut the hell up.
    unfortunately for me, In reminding everyone, i have taken the point Rush LImbaugh made about “being forced to act like the left'” or whatever he vomited out….. and validatedit by saying that Rush Limbaugh is not the only influential person who is a sexist ass hat and promotes the oppression of women.. yeah, it feels dirty. I truthfully dont understand how a person can claim to be so serious about a cause and only defend it when one type of person threatens it. It makes one look more serious about party than policy.

    Cassandra, i havent intentionally danced away.. i cant dance, im overweight and clumsy. I gave you the confession you craved by telling you that no rapper has the clout in the democrat party that Rush has in the GOP…., even though i never meant to make that comparison to being with, so i dont know what you’re still shaking your fist about. I have conceded that you are right and powerful and smart and a better blogger than me on every point here. You win the internet. Im not really sure what that mirror stuff meant… are you saying i should be ashamed of myself for wanting to hold bad men accountable for their actions…. even if they ARENT republicans?
    In other news Rapists are still getting paid lots of money to play sports and have lost none of their sponsors…. but what I said here is much more grave.

  44. cassandra m says:

    I gave you the confession you craved by telling you that no rapper has the clout in the democrat party that Rush has in the GOP…., even though i never meant to make that comparison to being with, so i dont know what you’re still shaking your fist about.

    Even Jason330 made the point about you buying into the false equivalence, so let’s not keep pretending that I’m the problem here. If you want to talk about the misogyny of rappers, then have at it, but if you do that rhetorically linking said rappers to Rush Limbaugh then you get called on the idiocy. Besides, once you start establishing a price to pay for one, it gets EASIER to make the others pay a price. It isn’t as though people haven’t pushed back against rappers or sport star rapists. But HERE, in this one instance, a price is being paid and this conversation is about how this one political figure — one who is influential for a ton of GOP voters — is being made to pay it.

    You can keep expanding out this topic as much as you want, but we are still talking about politics here and the influence of the toxic elements of the GOP on it. When rappers get to be a part of the GOP problem, then you’ll have your chance to have whatever conversation you think you are having. Feel free to join us when you want to talk about Rush Limbaugh and his bullying bullshit.

  45. pandora says:

    And you know what? I did call out this issue on this blog.

    Go read the comments. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with some of the male reaction.

    You know, when my kids trot out the defense that other people do it that excuse doesn’t save them. ;-)

  46. Geezer says:

    “It makes one look more serious about party than policy.”

    I’m sorry. I seem to have missed the part of the rap experience where they’re trying to have their misogyny enacted into law.

    “There is a swell now to tell ALL these a-holes to shut the hell up.”

    Only among those looking to exonerate Limbaugh. It’s the Right’s favorite excuse: Others do it, too.

    I’ll start accepting that as an argument the day a cop pulls me over and says, “Yeah, you’re right. I shouldn’t give you a ticket because lots of other people are speeding, too.”

  47. socialistic ben says:

    oh well if jason said it……
    i give up. The world is bigger than the toxic influence over the GOP. and, for what its worth pandora, in the time since that thread, I have given serious though to my analogies and metaphors…not that i want a cookie, but i did re-read some of our banter on that post.. so yeah.
    my point wasnt that Rush Limbaugh should be let off the hook because other do it….. my point was that Rush should be punished, AS WELL AS the other influential dolts. I really cant believe that anyone would seriously think that anything I said was MEANT as a defense of Rush. either you’ve never actually looked at anything ive posted, or you just want a fight.

  48. Jason330 says:

    I’m sure your intentions are good, but we are all reacting to the fact that you are willing to chase this issue down one of the right’s stupid rabitt holes. That’s what they want to happen.

    Liberals have a bigger vision of the world and are not myopicly obsessed witht he “X’s” and “O’s” of tactics. Limbaugh and the whole right wing noise machine have used that against us, and you are feeling people dig so as not to let it happen again this time.

  49. socialistic ben says:

    that’s fair.
    I think we can fight against the false “everyone does it” charge (there is a reason I didn’t bring up Bill Maher and all the wonderful words he has used to describe Laura Ingraham and Sarah Palin) while still pointing out that Right wing talk show hosts arent the only ones who do it…. that’s just honesty…. it is also, apparently a discussion for another time.