Moonbats and wingnuts: Why the numbers matter

The far extremes of both parties get too much of the news. Currently the far right with their Barack as Adolph signs and their most outrageous comments play well to the show business side of the 24/7 news. These are the so-called wingnuts. Among them are the birthers, those who think Obama is a secret Muslim, and who wants to pull the plug on grandma. The far lefties, the moonbats, grumble about Obama’s health care not being socialist enough and cast their counter-parts on the other extreme as rednecks and racists. Why can’t we just ignore the extremists and pay attention to the rational Republicans and Democrats? (See William Safire: “On Moon Bats and Wing Nuts”)

Where’s why we shouldn’t. The actual numbers of extremists on each side matter for two reasons.

One is that they vote and the other is that they can persuade others to vote.

The recent incident of a local Fox News reporter coaching an anti-Obama group to be more expressive earned her a reprimand. However all the television news programs are guilty of selective reporting. The reporters go into a crowd and interview the people with the most inflammatory signs and I suspect those pushing to get in front of the camera. My hunch is that they don’t seek out the quiet person in the back of the crowd who may have more considered views to interview.

Fear can be contagious and people tend to believe what they see on television news.

I think that while a few moonbats will vote for a third party candidate with no chance of winning or not vote at all as a protest, most will vote for the Democrat no matter who it is. Most moonbats, with the exception of Ralph Nader and those like him who are angry at the Democrats for not nominating a candidate far left enough, have traditionally voted knowing that a “flawed” candidate is better than the alternative.

Avid supporters of Hillary Clinton watched enough Sarah Palin interviews to lead them to begrudingly vote for Obama.

In the past decade so-called values voters, those on the religious right, have complicated the picture because most of them don’t fall into the category of wingnuts. They are a part of the equation because while the majority of values voters are not wingnut extremists, the majority of winguts probably identify themselves as values voters and they vote Republican.

I’ll leave it to the pollsters to do the research on this. I’d like to see the results of a scientific poll of those at the recent Washington “Tea Party” rally as to how many had never voted in a national election before but absolutely planned to do so in the future.

I think for every new young Democratic voter coming of age there are two first time Republican voters of any age coming out the of the wingnut contingent.


  1. Hal Brown


    As I see it your premise is shared by many people who are sick of special interest politicians owned by corporations and/or unions and driven by ambition and power, But it still doesn’t work because you still have a division in the ranks of the of voters who really want government for the people, of the people, and through their representatives, by the people.

    The division is the traditional one between moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats on the role of government in everyday life.

    For example, can a pro-lifer who believes in public option health insurance vote for a pro-choice candidate who will push for the pubic option plan?

    It seems to me there needs to be a kind of third movement which isn’t a party that fields candidates. Instead it has to be a large group of people who can agree to disagree on some basics while they hold candidates to a code of honor not much different than the oath they swear on taking office, or the Boy Scout Oath for that matter.

  2. woody188

    I believe if we restrict the government to adherence to our contract with the government, the Constitution, then we can move forward on the issues that really matter and forget about hot-button issues that aren’t a function of Federal government like abortion laws and public insurance.

    As you point out, they have us in gridlock, it’s by design, and it’s preventing our government from taking action in times of crisis and hastening the fall of our republic. Congress is holding up infrastructure spending bills that would provide jobs for thousands right now because they want their health care insurance industry written bills passed instead.

  3. hologram5

    while they hold candidates to a code of honor not much different than the oath they swear on taking office, or the Boy Scout Oath for that matter
    The problem is that currently we are unable to hold ANY of the politicians to that code of honor. Not a one of them in office does anything of good for their constituents. Every one of them has their own self serving interests at heart. Every one of them. They are nothing more than whores to the system. I have been speaking with many people online of many different walks of life and the people are tired of the shenanigans, the lies and the greed. Revolution, however ugly a word or abhorrent an action, is coming. It has been building up to a head that is going to explode. Especially with the arrogant legislature in Massachusetts possibly forcing the people to take the swine flu vaccine. This IS going to be the catylist that will start it all. It will be the shot heard around the world.

    To Boldly Go…
    Anywhere there is sanity…

  4. bogofree

    I have no idea why the radical elements get so much face time? Maybe it sells more advertising dollars? But they also get a bit too much time within both parties. Again, I have no idea why. Maybe this is like in the army where it’s not how smart you are but how loud your voice is.

    Seems like a lot of folks are now unenrolled as far as political affiliation.

  5. gazelle1929

    A sportscaster I knew years ago told me that at the pro level a baseball team going into a season was going to win 40 percent of its games no matter what it did, and that they were going to lose 40 percent of the games no matter what they did. It was the 20 percent on the bubble that counted.

    The key to the season is the 20 percent. I think the same holds true in politics. You have to concentrate on that 20 percent in the middle.

  6. woody188

    Nearly 50% of Americans are unaffiliated and undeclared and don’t vote. If they mobilize a 3rd party Democrats and Republicans won’t stand a chance. That would be true if voting wasn’t rigged as it is today.

    Independents are sick to death of the false Right/Left paradigm and will see that it fails in their life time.

    Our Liberties We Prize and Our Rights We Will Maintain

  7. Procrustes

    It’s not their fault we do not hold them accountable. It’s our fault. And I disagree with you categorically that “every” politician’s first allegiance is to himself or herself. A few, yes, but in the main the people we elect really do try to serve their constituents. It’s sweeping generalizations like that that make this country worse, not better.

    Just my opinion, you understand.

  8. almandine

    Neither is it our fault that they are unaccountable… until after the first time. Then – we get what we allow.

  9. storky

    This article is nonsense! What “moonbats” appear on Sunday morning political programs? What single-payer healthcare advocates got to state their case publicly at House or Senate hearings much less Mainstream media outlets? What anti-war advocates are consulted?

    When questioned why so few liberals were interviewed or invited to participate on news discussion panels during Bush years, media executives claimed it was due to their minority status. Despite the dramatic change in the makeup of the Presidential Administration and Congress, nothing has changed. It’s the same ratio of caustic conservatives to wishy-washy moderates with no true liberals represented at all.

    If the claim of polar opposites had any truth to it, Dennis Kucinch, Russ Feingold and Robert Wexler would be booked on Sundays with regularity. They are not.

    False premise, false Conclusion!

  10. Jim C

    What a stupid article . So those of us that want a sane health care system like the rest of the modern world enjoys are ” moonbats ” ? Please explain your logic . Trying to compare the far right with what you would call the far left is absurd , the socalled ” middle ” has been pulled so far to the right anyone to the left of Attila the Hun is considered left wing . I’ll tell you what , you give me a list of what the far right has ever done( legislation either offered or enacted ) that helped , empowered or positively served in any way the interests of the working or middle class and I’ll respond with a list of what the far left ” moonbats ” have done for same . I assure you , your list will be quite short , in fact , nonexistent . They started by fighting against us in the revolution ( the tories ) , proceded to sell us out to the railroad barons in the late 1800’s and have been in the pocket of big business ever since . So if you equate being liberal with moonbat , then call me a moonbat , I’ll take it . Any sane rodent real or mythical is head and shoulders above the dimwitted loonies that make up the far right and mindlessly dance to the tune of their corporate masters .