Free Markets, Free People

Kos Compares Republicans To Taliban

Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos is finishing up a book about Republicans he’s decided to entitle “American Taliban”.   Yeah, no poisoning of the well there – it ought to be a real page-turner, no?  One problem.  He wasn’t sure what he’d written was based on anything factual. That may not come as a big surprise to most who’ve watched and read Kos over the years:

…I’m putting the finishing touches on my new book, American Taliban, which catalogues the ways in which modern-day conservatives share the same agenda as radical Jihadists in the Islamic world. But I found myself making certain claims about Republicans that I didn’t know if they could be backed up. So I thought, “why don’t we ask them directly?” And so, this massive poll, by non-partisan independent pollster Research 2000 of over 2,000 self-identified Republicans, was born.

The results are nothing short of startling.

Those startling results? Well, leave it to Steve Benen, even more clueless than Kos, to give us the “startling results” that “catalogues” (sic) “modern day conservatives” (notice the interchangability of words “conservative” and “republican”) as “shar[ing] the same agenda as radical Jihadists in the Islamic world” (notice too the rather loony premise of all “conservatives” and “republicans” being driven by radical religious beliefs).

The findings? Benen distills those most useful to the “Republicans are nutters” left (poll results here):

A plurality of rank-and-file Republicans wants to see President Obama impeached. More than a third of self-identified Republicans believe he wasn’t born in the United States. A 63% majority is convinced the president is a socialist, about a fourth believe he wants terrorists to be successful, and about a third think Obama is a racist who hates white people.

Now as I recall, the majority of the left not only wanted Bush impeached, they wanted him frog-marched before a court and tried as a “war criminal”. Most Democrats (I’m borrowing the broad brush that these two are using) believed Bush had been AWOL from his military duty and had stolen the 2000 election. A good plurality of Democrats thought (and still think) 9/11 was an inside job. And it goes without saying that a vast majority of them where convinced Bush was a tyrant, a “Nazi” and a significant number of them thought he’d declare a “national emergency” near the end of his 2nd term in order hold onto power.

And a majority of them wanted Bush to fail in Iraq and actively worked against that war – which to most people would handily translate into “they wanted the terrorists to be successful”. Racism, of course, has been a charge the left slings with impunity whenever it has nothing real to complain about. A third of Republicans think Obama’s a racist? Well if we want to play that game, I’m sure it wouldn’t be at all difficult to find a third of Democrats who think George Bush is a homophobe that hates gay people.

Does that make the Democratic party “crazy”?

Benen continues:

Nearly a third of Republicans think contraceptive use should be outlawed.

And over two thirds don’t. But at least a third of Democrats think that abortion should be allowed in every possible situation without exception and enshrined in law too boot. So both sides want laws that the government really has no business making – what’s new?

More than three-quarters of Republicans want public schools to teach children that the book of Genesis “explains how God created the world.”

As opposed to a good majority of Democrats who already have their religion of environmentalism being taught in public schools and the have completely bought into the religious zealotry of man-made global warming even while the myth crumbles around them. Gaia is their god, Al Gore is their high priest and man is the sinner.

A third of Southern Republicans want to see their state secede from the union.

This is my favorite “startling” find (the result for “all” was 58% no/23% yes). Perfectly insignificant (a third of “Southern” Republicans), however the implied stereotype was just too useful to ignore (just as were all the others). Let me translate – “Southern” is a code word for “redneck racist religious zealots”. Thus the broad tarring of an entire region is accomplished and they can safely ignore a place they can never have electorally.

Of course, the secession claim is no different than the constant threats we heard from liberals that they’d leave the country if George Bush won the presidency. They didn’t, but I can’t imagine the usefulness of the Kos poll question that would have determined “one third of Hollywood liberals would leave the country if a Republican won the presidency” except to try cast the left in a poor light.

And that’s the point, of course. To demonize. Had Benen (and most of the left) not been so focused on trying to make the Republicans seem “crazy”, he could have said “significant majorities said they didn’t want to secede, thought openly gay men and women should be allowed to serve in the military, teach in schools and be allowed to marry and receive federal benefits. They believe sex education should be taught in schools and that marriages are equal partnerships. They don’t believe the “pill” is “abortion” but do believe that abortion is murder and they support the death penalty. They also overwhelmingly believe that women have the right to work outside the home and, as a group, are overwhelmingly Christian.”

But if Kos and Benen had said that, then they’d be hard pressed to use these results to claim Republicans are the “American Taliban” wouldn’t they?  Because everyone knows that the Taliban are a bunch of gay and women’s rights supporting fellows, don’t they?

As I read the poll, it doesn’t at all support the contention clear in the title of Kos’s book.  In fact, his title is hyperbole to the highest degree possible.  I also find it interesting that he wrote the book  based on stereotypes he’d developed and then wondered if what he wrote was true. Now, given this poll, he’s trying to try to make the results fit the premise.  His problem, however, is they don’t fit at all, if, in fact, his intent is to prove the premise of the title (i.e. Republicans = Taliban).  Square peg, round hole.

Result? Epic fail.

Given that, I’d say the book is a definite miss, nothing more than a poorly researched political pot boiler and most likely won’t be showing up on the reading list of many thinking people.  Of course that means it will get glowing reviews from the likes of Benen and other lefty blogs.  But then, that’s not unexpected at all, and we certainly don’t need a poll to know that will happen, do we?



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36 Responses to Kos Compares Republicans To Taliban

  • Well, he’s just further poisoning his own well. The more people actually see of that little creep, the more sunlight will do its work as disinfectant.

  • So if the GOP (and you neo-libs also, don’t kid yourself, you’re all the same to him) are the “taliban” (and I thought according to Chris Matthews we’re the Khimer Rouge) then if Kos gets his head chopped off, it’s all good?

  • Somehow, I can just visualize the genesis of this idea. Kos and his friends are sitting around griping about Jonah Goldberg’s book Liberal Fascism, which is well-researched and sold a zillion copies. And they thought “Hey, we can do that!” So they came up with their own inflammatory title and tossed out fifty thousand words of invective. Zing those Republicans and make money too!

    I don’t think it’s going to do that well, because invective doesn’t replace research. As much as liberals absolutely hate the idea that their philosophy has some common roots with fascism, it’s a matter of historical fact. Other than the fact that religion in a very generic sense is common to both the Taliban and many conservatives, you can’t really say much about commonality there.

    In fact, the Islamic cousins of the Taliban in various other Middle Eastern countries are most heavily supported by leftists. Palestinians, for example, inspire fawning leftist support. And most of the minority that wanted to spare the Taliban in Afghanistan were leftists, not conservatives.

    • Good point about the fawning over the PLO et al. on the Left.

      And the late Arafat, it should be noted again, was a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. His murders, you see, were very lofty.

    • In other words, it’s a literary version of Air America. 🙂

    • “Kos and his friends are sitting around griping about Jonah Goldberg’s book Liberal Fascism, which is well-researched and sold a zillion copies.”
      I see the start of a Red Eye Robot Theater. I’ll get the lotion.

  • I suppose that, as a Republican, I should be insulted by some wanker equating me with the Taliban.  However, because Kos IS a wanker, I’m not going to lose much sleep over it.  In the past couple of years, he and his kind have called me a taliban, terrorist, nazi, fascist, racist, homophobe, teabagger, etc, etc; one gets sort of used to it after a while.  It’s rich that lefties like to assume some mantel of moral superiority when they use this sort of invective.  Pot calls kettle black.

    Anyway, I suspect that his book will sell about as well as SanFran Nan’s epic or Michael Moron’s latest flick.  Yeah, hardcore libs will flock to buy it, and the liberal chattering class will yap about it on their cable shows for a week or two (will anybody be watching?), but that’ll be about it.  Meantime, “reichwingers” like Hannity, Coulter, Levin, and Palin are surveying their books sales (and bank accounts) with satisfaction if not outright glee.

    • True that. What will infuriate him is that he will only generate a fraction of what Palin’s book did

  • “As I read the poll, it doesn’t at all support the contention clear in the title of Kos’s book.  In fact, his title is hyperbole to the highest degree possible.  I also find it interesting that he wrote the book  based on stereotypes he’d developed and then wondered if what he wrote was true. Now, given this poll, he’s trying to try to make the results fit the premise.  His problem, however, is they don’t fit at all, if, in fact, his intent is to prove the premise of the title (i.e. Republicans = Taliban).  Square peg, round hole.”
    Funny, this sounds the same as the AGW scam unfolding now. I have a thought, now I need to find the proof to support it.

  • The left demonizes the right, the right demonizes the left.  Both sides like it when the other side is pissed off.  Emotion trumps reason, narratives are defended at all costs, and the other side cannot be seen as having simply a different interpretation and understanding of events, but must be seen as the “Taliban” or as “socialist.”   Meanwhile (and as a result of this poisoned state of affairs from left and right) the country continues its slow and perhaps irreversible decline.

    • Nice try, but while we can find ample examples of the left pushing real Socialist agenda items, you can’t find a single instance of the GOP pushing “taliban” agenda.

      I appreciate your try at muddying the waters with a false equivilance though, even if it’s your standard play and it is getting old.

      And hey, are you equating Bernie Sanders (self proclaimed Socialist) with the Taliban?  Interesting. Very interesting.

      By the way, global warming science……still settled?

    • Translation: Why can’t we all just get along!

    • “the other side cannot be seen as having simply a different interpretation and understanding of events”
      I see that the ‘other side’ has a different interpretation and understanding, and I see it as wrong, especially for me. But the other side is not interested in discussing or the voluntary application of its policies and ideas – in fact the very nature of its ideas demands 100% application, by force.  To put it mildly, that’s not going to cut it with me.

    • Scott knows the Left is being rejected now, so he’s going to the moral equivalence ploy. “The Left says this, the Right says that, blah, blah, can’t we really solve, blah, blah.”

      That pendulum BS, Scott, is older than screwball backwoods academics with their toothy Howdy Doody collectivist ideas.

      This is about the reassertion of the good ideas that made America prosperous and strong. Not a compromise that admits even more cradle-to-grave moral hazard into the life of every American.

    • narratives are defended at all costs,

      You’d know all about that.

    • I agree with your post, but I think it is instructive to remember who is to blame for this state of affairs.  It is the left and their Saul Alinsky tactics that have brought this on.  I remember when the right had very few political bomb throwers and always seemed to lose public arguments with the left because they had to play MR. Nice Guy, while the left attacked them in the most vile and viscous ways.  Ronald Reagan was subjected to vitriolic hate and name calling, and never responded in kind.
      Now, of course that has changed, Rush Limbaugh was the first one to show that you could fightback using the same tactics.  But the smears, the constant attacks, the mocking, the demonizing, those all originated with the left, they should have realized that the other side would eventually fight back.

  • Martin: agreed. The Progressive Plan: 1) Dig hole 2) Hit bottom 3) Get pick-axe to dig deeper.
    Let them have at it. The public at large is (finally) waking-up to the non-sense.

    • Ronald Reagan started with over 60% approval dropped down to a level of approval about like Obama’s in early 1982 (about 50%).   By 1983 he was at 38% approval (WSJ), and the Democrats were thrilled.  The public had woken up to  the fact Reagan was not a leader, but a good orator with vague promises of change.  Now that they see how he really is, he’s certain to lose next year!   Clinton started out at 55% approval, but was in the low forties within months.  The rhetoric against Clinton (draft dodger, socialist radical, yada yada) and the conspiracy theories (he has people killed, runs a mafia like machine) were even more intense than those against Obama.   By 1994 Clinton was down to 40% approval.
      Reagan and Clinton now are remembered fondly by their party, their first year approval numbers (which were over ten points below where Obama is now) were forgotten.  George H.W. Bush, on the other hand, started in the high fifties, and didn’t have the early declines of the others.   He was in the seventies, and after Iraq hit over 80% (again WSJ numbers).   He was seen as certain to be re-elected in 1991.
      So, enjoy the political winds when they blow your way.   As history shows, they can change on a dime.

      • But this isn’t about Ronald Reagan, Scott.

        Ronald Reagan loved America, loved it to its very bones.

        He would have gotten up and walked out of a church where the preacher preached hate against America, maybe stopping for a second on his way out to punch the son of a bitch in the mouth.

        Ronald Reagan had two terms as governor of the largest state. He had been a known public figure for 30-40 years. He was an open book.

        Barack Obama had and has no qualifications to be President of the United States. He is a mistake.

      • It wasn’t too long ago (before you “left” the first time…..was that an angle like when Ric Flair “retires” from wrestling?) that you were gloating over the prospect of the GOP being in the wilderness for decades. Now all of a sudden its simply a case of those shifty old political winds.

        LOL so transparent.

        Well either way, it’s all good. The “political winds” blew away the Dem supermajority, and it blew away healthcare, and god willing it will blow Obama away in 2012.

      • If this was my blog, I’d ban Scott for sheer idiocy.  It’s painful reading this crap from a so-called professor.  I’d expect this from the average high school sophomore.

        • Having someone around who rolls out the Left’s arguments as if he were the computerized president in Firesign Theatre’s ‘We’re All Bozos on This Bus” is a great gift for a blog like this one to have. Annoying at times, yes. But sometimes Scott walks in with fresh talking points; sometimes he uses the ten-year-old sheet music (maybe he stumbles to the wrong pile on bad days). Either way, I count it a good day when he opens his mouth like the quintessential apparatchik as Candide. It’s like stepping into the batting cage holding a nice fresh Louisville Slugger, fresh from the mill.

        • I’m with Grim. Bad cost-benefit, even with the entertainment factor thrown in.

          But you’ve hit on why he comes here – because he knows he can post his vacuous drivel that he calls “analysis” and keep his own self-image up by comparing himself against the unenlightened. Other blogs that lean away from his leftist cant would probably ban him in days or weeks at most. QandO doesn’t.

          That’s why we all knew he wouldn’t stay away when he stomped off in a huff. He’s psychologically unable to stay away, and he’s proved it several times. We’re the only place he can get that psychic reward of lecturing down to the unwashed because of the extreme reluctance here to ban anyone.

          The funny part is that on his own blog, he will ban for nothing more than disagreement. Oh, of course, he has a rationalization as he always does. They’re anonymous, you see. Here, we respect people’s privacy and pay no attention to such an obviously irrelevant factor in someone’s argument. But Scott can’t deal with the actual argument, so he must find *something* to justify his hypocrisy.

          • I don’t ban, and I’ve never been banned (though this is the only really political site I post at).  And while you fall over yourselves to insult me, it does seem that people pay attention and respond.  I admit, it did get me mad to see claims like scientists were in some grand conspiracy, and efforts to diminish the threat posed by global warming.  I over reacted and apologize.  I still feel that way, but I know that conversation won’t go anywhere here.
            The reason I post here, and at no other overtly political site (I think a couple times last year I’ve posted responses at Politico, but nothing regular), is that despite the insults, I do at least see some thought from you.   My frustration, which you see as “talking down” is that while at times there seems to be real insight, on so many issues there is a refusal to engage, and a tendency to join into the narrative making and defending approach in much of the blogosphere.    While we all, obviously including myself, let emotions get too strong in a political debate, I really believe that it’s better to lesson, converse, and learn from each other, even if we don’t ultimately agree, then just call names.  It’s well intentioned and intelligent perspectives like those expressed on this blog who can inject some interesting perspectives into the debate, ones which I take seriously, and which have altered my view on a number of issues.
            And that’s the bottom line.   On many issues I look at things differently because of what I read here.   I’ll never agree on many core principles, but I feel I have something to learn by reading your perspectives.   You can throw out insults “he can’t psychologically stay away” and all that, and if that makes you feel better, that’s OK — I can take it.  As long as I get something of intellectual value from reading this, I’ll come back.   As long as you post quality blog entries, even when I disagree with them, I’ll come back.   It’s too bad so many of you have personalized this and probably believe all the insults you throw, but hey – no problem, I don’t mind.

          • nosce te ipsum

            Because it’s pretty clear to all of us that you don’t.

          • Reading that last post of Scotts reminded me of when Beavis and Butthead tried to read something.  “Um……..words……uh huh huh”

          • Billy HollisOther blogs that lean away from his leftist cant would probably ban him in days or weeks at most. QandO doesn’t.

            To the great credit of the blog owners.

            I confess that I get very irritated when I read posts by lefties; questions like “How can anybody be this stupid???” and “Isn’t evolution supposed to weed people like this out of the gene pool???” keep running through my mind.  However, I try very hard to keep in mind that it is a natural right and a core American value for people to say what they please within VERY broad limits.  Additionally, dealing with new or opposing arguments and ideas can broaden and sharpen the mind, which I think is a desirable thing.  Finally, sunlight is the best disinfectant: it’s useful to see just how goofy and even dangerous some ideas are.  I used to think that liberals are normal people who just have somewhat different ideas, that they love our country and want America to succeed.  Thanks to reading what liberals actually believe, I know these things to be untrue.

          • “I don’t ban,”

            Maybe not, but you do remove comments that displease you. 

        • Maybe now you understand why I don’t bother to read his stuff.

  • This work is an excellent example of the lefts capacity for string nouns, verbs, adjectives, and pronouns together….and making ZERO sense.
    Reality is what they want it to be. Rather like Erb, what?

  • “… did get me mad to see claims like scientists were in some grand conspiracy, and efforts to diminish the threat posed by global warming. ”

    Wow, talk about being impervious to reality.

    Go here:

    and start  to learn the facts about the AGW scam.

  • Late incoming:
    A fellow reminded me that not too long ago, the term the left used to describe the right was, “Neanderthal”. He also pointed out that the individualism of the libertarians/conservatives is a very modern concept, and that the hard collectivism of the left is primitive, in the extreme, going back to, well, to the days of the Neanderthals and tribalism,  Rousseau and all his gang.