According to stereotype, liberals are America's more bookish political tribe, with their Comparative Queer Literature degrees from Oberlin, MFAs from the Iowa Writer's Workshop and work-study fellowships from the Foundation of I'm Just Trying to Find Myself While My Orthodontist Dad Pays the Bills.
Yet according to a new interactive map from Amazon, which shows recent book sales broken down by "red" and "blue" political leanings, books with Republican-leaning messages have been outselling liberal agitprop by a healthy margin. Amazon classifies the books as "red," "blue" or "neutral" depending on the political leanings evident in promotional material and customer classification. Shipping addresses are then used to create the heat map, calculated with the last 30 days of sales data.
The book list goes beyond the dross written by political pundits to include general interest nonfiction; Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion, for example, rates as a liberal book. This may explain the relative success of right-wing books: Perhaps Amazon classified Fifty Shades of Grey as a conservative tome, based on its titular description of the Republican Party.
As for Paul Ryan's favorite work, Atlas Shrugged occupies the number 4 and number 12 spots on the conservative best selling list. So Fifty Shades or not, we know a lot of righty sales success is based on sadomasochism.
Tags: Books, Conservatives, Liberals
Since the breakdown of the New Deal coalition, dozens of strategists and public intellectuals have offered formulas for turning progressive dross into electoral gold for the Democratic Party.
The Berkeley cognitive scientist George Lakoff has suggested a new Democratic lexicon to better "frame" issues through linguistics. Others insist Democrats need more populist economic policies. Blue Dog Democrats advocate giving up and becoming Republicans. Shockingly, none of these approaches have ushered in a new age of liberal governance. Either these theories are wrongheaded or Ron Paul keeps stealing all that electoral gold.
Leave it to Mitt Romney, the high-flying management consultant, to unwittingly introduce a whole new approach for progressives.
Yesterday, Romney wrapped up his Olympic gaffeathon with a speech in Poland, praising the country as an economic model for prosperity for the rest of the world. Matt Yglesias notes that Poland's sustained economic recovery is due to expansionary monetary policy undertaken by the Polish central bank to reduce the value of the Zloty — precisely the kind of policy Romney and most conservatives oppose when it is undertaken by our own Federal Reserve.
An even better example of Romney's affection for good policy, as adopted by our allies, came when he praised Israel's system of socialized medicine as an effective agent of health care and cost control.
This opens up a perfect opportunity for Democrats. We already know that to U.S. conservatives, everything Israel does is sacrosanct and beyond criticism. So the next time progressives introduce some modest expansion of the welfare state, they should present it as an example of adopting the Israeli socio-economic model.
At present, the top marginal tax rate in Israel is 48%, applicable to income over $125,000 a year, while Barack Obama is only proposing a relatively paltry levy of 39.6% on couples earning more than $250,000 a year. Similarly, why does the United States spend more per capita on defense than Israel, which can do no wrong? In the parlance of the times, there should be no daylight between the United States and its foremost ally.
Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Israel, Liberals, Mitt Romney, Poland
Like a proud parent witnessing his child's first steps, it's been a pleasure to see liberals grow to embrace the wonders of government-backed retaliation against political views they oppose.
You might remember the Ground Zero Mosque debate, the controversy surrounding a proposed community center that in the great American tradition of Joe the Plumber was neither a mosque nor at Ground Zero. Newt Gingrich suggested that we adopt the Saudi Arabia standard of religious tolerance ("There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia,") and use zoning laws to create a mosque restriction zone in lower Manhattan. A conservative candidate for governor of New York, Carl Paladino, suggested the government use eminent domain to prevent construction of the community center.
Liberals were rightly outraged, not just at the right-wing desire to limit buildings for Muslims to Guantanamo Bay, but because of the constitutional principles at stake. Whatever the merits of the mosque, the Free Speech Clause of the 1st Amendment means the government generally may not discriminate against an entity because of what it says or teaches.
Now witness the celebratory lefty reaction to Boston mayor Thomas Menino's take on Chick-fil-A, the fast food chain bent on protecting us from the threat of homosexual chicken marriage, or something.
Tags: Boston, Chicago, Chick-fil-A, Islam, LGBT, Liberals, Marriage Equality, New York City, Religion
Whether or not television news has endumbened Americans, it has certainly made them more distrustful of the media. According to Gallup, confidence in television news has declined to a record low, with 21% of adults expressing a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in it, compared to 46% when Gallup started tracking the measure in 1993.
Leading the way in disenchantment are liberals, especially those with post-graduate degrees, who are disappointed that their DVR still doesn't have a setting for transforming Fox News into actual news…
Liberals and moderates lost so much confidence in television news this year — 11 and 10 points, respectively — that their views are now more akin to conservatives' views. This marks a turnaround from the pattern seen since 2009, in which liberals expressed more confidence than conservatives. Conservatives' views of television news were last similar to liberals' in June 2008, before the last presidential election. However, moderates are significantly less confident now than they were then, 20% vs. 28%.
Of course, I'm not sure what to believe. I think I just saw CNN report that confidence in television news was at an all time high.
Photo by Andy Kropa/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Tags: Conservatives, Liberals, Media, Polls, Television