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The view from over there.
Author: Raine    Date: 03/15/2013 15:18:24

There are some days when I am truly baffled by conservative thinking. This being C-PAC week in Washington, my bewilderment is on overload. Today we have this story from HuffPo

Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Paul Begala faced off against conservative media mogul Tucker Carlson for an event at CPAC on Thursday, exchanging jabs on a number of political topics. Given the opportunity, Begala also shot down a conservative audience member who attempted to get in a jab at Hillary Clinton. (snip)

"I hope she does [run] -- I have no idea if she will," Begala continued, going on to list a number of things that he believes Clinton wants to do outside of electoral politics.

"I think she's actually gonna first live a life, write her book, reacquaint herself with the real world..." he started.

"Get a facelift!" someone in the crowd interjected, seemingly channeling a topic of discussion on Fox News last month.

Begala was quick with a comeback.

"No, not get a facelift," Begala said. "She's not a Republican society lady, she's a real woman."
Is this how Conservatives view women, or is this how they are told to think about women? This particular story reminded me of a a few studies that came out about 5 years ago. Theses research projects tried to determine if there was a difference between a liberal and conservative mind. Overall it appears that the conclusion was
"Two Tribes: Are Your Genes Liberal or Conservative?" It's the cover story and delves into the serious scientific research on the formation of political opinions. My attention was immediately focused on several conclusions (snip)
"...a rather unflattering view of conservatives emerges from the studies. They are portrayed as dogmatic, routine-loving individuals, while liberals come across as free-spirited and open-minded folk."
I personally find this to be rather all to black and white, as does this blog from Berkley but when we have stories like the one above, I am set back to wondering, are conservatives really set in their ways or are they actually led to that place by media? Is conservative thinking a result of outside influences? Why would someone say this at a political conference if they were not given that thought from someone else?
"Get a facelift!" someone in the crowd interjected, seemingly channeling a topic of discussion on Fox News last month.
As I asked above, do conservatives really view women, and to a larger extent *others* in such a way that our viability and value in society is based upon how they view us?

Here is another example:
Cunningham told conservative website WorldNetDaily, “The idea for the song came from a phone conversation I was havin’ with a buddy and I said something like, ‘Have you noticed how good-looking the gals are on Fox News?” (snip)

The music video for the song, which mostly consists of shaky shots of the various Fox ladies on Cunningham’s TV with a conspicuous thumbs up silhouetted in the foreground, was uploaded to YouTube a little over a month ago and saw little to no traction at first. But it appears to have recently picked up steam after being passed around conservative and country music websites.
I'm wondering if this way of thinking is truly American Conservatism -- or is just misogyny, sexism and plain meanness? Is it fueled by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity -- Fox news? Or do Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, Fox and other conservative media outlets represent the views of the people who claim to be conservative?

Another source of my bewildement today is the story of Senator Rob Portman. The Junior Senator from Ohio was a co-sponsor of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. Today he came out as a marriage equality supporter. Why? His son came out as gay in 2011.
"It allowed me to think of this issue from a new perspective, and that's of a Dad who loves his son a lot and wants him to have the same opportunities that his brother and sister would have -- to have a relationship like Jane and I have had for over 26 years," Portman said.

Portman said that his son, who is now a junior at Yale University, inspired him to reassess his position on same-sex unions. The senator also consulted clergy on the matter, as well as friends such as former Vice President Dick Cheney, whose daughter Mary is openly gay. According to Portman, Cheney told the senator to "follow [his] heart" on the matter.

"The overriding message of love and compassion that I take from the Bible, and certainly the Golden Rule, and the fact that I believe we are all created by our maker, that has all influenced me in terms of my change on this issue," Portman said.
While I applaud Mr. Portman for his change of heart, I still don't understand why it took HIS being personally affected by life events to change his mind -- and heart. Until his son came out, he felt that no LGBT people should be allowed to marry. Rarely do we see a politician with an R -- currently serving -- take such a stance. They are simply not supposed to do this. Perhaps there is a difference between truly conservative and being told what to do and how to think.

Is it conservative to be set in such a mindset only until one is personally affected? Earlier this year, Senator Mark Kirk returned to office a year after suffering from a stroke. As a result, he too had a change of heart:
In an interview with the Chicago Sun Times, Senator Kirk said, "Had I been limited to that [referring to the 11 rehabilitation sessions], I would have had no chance to recover like I did. So unlike before suffering the stroke, I'm much more focused on Medicaid and what my fellow citizens face...I will look much more carefully at the Illinois Medicaid program to see how my fellow citizens are being cared for who have no income and if they suffer from a stroke."

In the mean time, while I write this, Senate Majority leader decided to take another swipe at women:
He continued that Democrats claim to be the party of the young and the party of the future, but “don’t tell me the Democrats are the party of the future when their ticket for 2016 is shaping up to look like a rerun of ‘The Golden Girls.’” Republicans have Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, he said, “the other guys, they’ve got Hillary and Joe Biden.”

Liberals aren't perfect by a long shot, but I don't see them making light of the things conservatives seems to relish. Is this a political philosophy or is it just mean people? Is it brain function or is it just mindless following? The view from over here is confusing.



35 comments (Latest Comment: 03/15/2013 19:35:54 by Mondobubba)
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