The chart I’ve been waiting for!

Ever since that amazing animated gif of most popular girls names by state over time, I’ve been waiting for the creators to come up with the same thing for boys.  They have!!  And wow, how about that Michael.  Most popular name from 1961 until 1998.  Interesting that even as it shrinks on the map through the 90’s, it hangs on by being popular in the more populous states.  I also love how James forms a perfect Southeastern pocket that never gives into the Michael dominance in the late 60’s. 

Inside a GOP Mind

But not just any mind, mind you, the mind of the Buncombe County, NC (Asheville area) Republican precinct chair.  This truly has to be seen to be believed (especially about 2:30 in).  No, there’s no racism in the Tea Party.

(Also a good summary here, if you don’t feel like watching.

No, not all Republicans are racist.  Far from it.  But that these are the views of the types of Republicans who provide the activist base is really telling you something.

Photo of the day

Via Twisted Sifter:


Photograph by Roeselien Raimond


Inside the GOP mind

Yet another very good Rob Christensen column this past Sunday.  This one summarizes some very interesting research done by Democracy Corps to really try and get into the political mindset of the typical Republican voter:

What they found is a GOP political base that is very concerned about the country’s future as well as their own.

“Understand that the (GOP) base thinks they are losing politically and losing control of the country – and their starting reaction is ‘worried,’ ‘discouraged,’ ‘scared’ and ‘concerned’ about the direction of the country – and a little powerless to change course,” Greenberg and Carville write. “They think that Obama has imposed his agenda, while Republicans in D.C. let him get away with it.”

Hmmm, you think that just maybe these are white people who notice the country is becoming ever less white has something to do with it?  Maybe.

The study breaks the GOP into three major blocs.

• Evangelicals, the largest bloc with about one-third of the base: “Social issues are central for evangelicals, and they feel a deep sense of cultural and political loss. They believe their towns, communities and schools are suffering from a deep ‘culture rot’ that has invaded from outside. The central focus here is homosexuality, but also the decline of homogenous small towns. They like the tea party because they stand up to the Democrats.”

• Tea partiers, 20 percent of the base: “Big government, Obama, the loss of liberty and decline of responsibility are central to the tea party worldview,” the study found. “Obama’s America is an unmitigated evil based on big government, regulations and dependency. They’re not focused on social issues at all. They like the tea party because it is getting ‘back to basics’ and believe it has the potential to reshape the GOP.” (A Pew Research Survey in July found that tea party Republicans make up 49 percent of the GOP primary electorate.)

“Our freedoms are getting taken away all the time with more regulation and rules,” said one tea party man in Raleigh. “And we let it happen. … We’re not going to have any left.”

• Moderates, 25 percent of the base: “Moderates are deeply concerned with the direction of the country and believe Obama has taken it down the wrong path economically. They are centrally focused on market-based economics, small government, and eliminating waste and inefficiency. They are largely open to progressive social policies, including on gay marriage and immigration. They disdain the tea party and have a hard time taking Fox News seriously.”

Those “moderates”?  I can live with.  As I argued the other day, those are the kinds of Republicans the country actually benefits from.  And you’ll notice that the moderates outnumber the Tea Party types, so why don’t they have any influence?  The Tea party types are about half of primary voters and are out there voting for truth, justice, the American Way, and Ted Cruz.  The moderates, just sit back and watch their party get taking over by the whackos and complain about it.  And although social issues are not a focus of the Tea Party, they are much closer to the Evangelical bloc on these issues than are the moderates.

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