‘abstinence works!’ (in what respect charlie?)

Steve Benen: This fascinating clip made the rounds yesterday, and with good reason. To get a sense of how Texas Gov. Rick Perry evaluates evidence, it’s an illustrative three minutes.

….The problem here isn’t just that Perry has the wrong answer. The more meaningful problem is that Perry doesn’t seem to know how to even formulate an answer. He starts with a proposition in his mind (abstinence-only education is effective), and when confronted with evidence that the proposition appears false (high teen-pregnancy rates), the governor simply hangs onto his belief, untroubled by evidence…

…. In general, conservatism isn’t pragmatic because policy outcomes aren’t the goal. Indeed, they’re largely irrelevant. As we’ve seen in too many instances, Republicans aren’t principally concerned with solving problems; their goals are ideological.

….. The exchange in the clip is amusing because it makes Perry look foolish, but it actually offers a peek behind the curtain: the right believes programs work, even when they don’t work, so long ideological goals are being met. Real-world implications are meaningless…..

Full post here

Thanks to LOL for suggesting we call this video ‘In What Respect Charlie Part 2’ – perfect! 😉

59 Responses to “‘abstinence works!’ (in what respect charlie?)”

  1. 1 LOL
    August 19, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Oh.My.God. …..It’s like Bush…but Bushier. I think this post should be titled “In what respect Charlie?” Part 2

  2. 4 Sue in Minnesota
    August 19, 2011 at 10:03 am

    I couldn’t finish watching that…what a box of rocks! Tough to educate people that see what they believe.

  3. 9 jacquelineoboomer
    August 19, 2011 at 10:07 am

    The saddest part is that, when confronted with the fact that they are wrong, most Republicans don’t skip a beat. Republican voters accept the lack of knowledge, shrug, and look the other way. I guess it’s easier to have somebody else do your thinking for you, no matter how cloudy the thinking is.

    • August 19, 2011 at 11:18 am

      ‘I guess it’s easier to have somebody else do your thinking for you, no matter how cloudy the thinking is.’

      Morning, Jacqueline! I wonder, should we really call it ‘thinking’? They just need someone to make rules for them to follow. Life is so much simpler (lacking in nuances, maybe?) when you can check off if you, or your neighbours, have followed the rules or not. Lacking these rules (it’s either black, or white) life’s decisions become so much harder and facts only make the decision making process even more difficult. The sad part IMO is that they are so entrenched in their approach, and are so programmed, that they cannot be reached, even by incontrovertible fact. My hope is that the President by his very openness, his calm, his personality and his successes, will derail the younger ones BEFORE they get too much further along the path of intransigence.

  4. August 19, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Good Morning TOD family

    Let’s start the morning with a bit of hopeful news about the economy.

    Treasury rolls out funds to 11 states, DC, to boost private lending


  5. August 19, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Slowly but surely the bailout is being paidi off

    AIG repays government another $2.15 billion


  6. August 19, 2011 at 10:10 am

    From Benen’s article: “In general, conservatism isn’t pragmatic because policy outcomes aren’t the goal. Indeed, they’re largely irrelevant. As we’ve seen in too many instances, Republicans aren’t principally concerned with solving problems; their goals are ideological.”

    Lets try a little experiment: In general, “the Professional Left” isn’t pragmatic because policy outcomes aren’t the goal. Indeed, they’re largely irrelevant. As we’ve seen in too many instances, “Firebaggers” aren’t principally concerned with solving problems; their goals are ideological.

    It worked!!!

  7. August 19, 2011 at 10:10 am

    If I was just listening to this video and not watching it, I would think it was George Bush speaking, not Perry. Wow, he is a Bush clone.

    • 17 JoJothecat
      August 19, 2011 at 10:16 am

      and Bush is considered the “smart one” compared to Perry. How sad that Republicans and Independents would never vote for a dumb woman but would have no problem voting for a dumb man.

      • 18 jacquelineoboomer
        August 19, 2011 at 10:55 am

        Well, that did kinda vote for Sarah Palin in ’08.

      • 19 Bill
        August 19, 2011 at 10:57 am

        Republicans have a good track record voting for “dumb” women. How about the half term governor, Vrginia Foxx, Christine O’Donnell, Jan Brewer, Sharron Angle, Michele Bachmann.

    • 20 Sue in Minnesota
      August 19, 2011 at 10:17 am

      I agree. Bush 2.0

  8. 21 Fred
    August 19, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Former Reagan Official: ‘Rick Perry’s An Idiot’ (no shit Sherlock 🙄 :lol:)

  9. 26 Ladyhawke
    August 19, 2011 at 10:14 am

    This was really painful to watch. But this shows what can happen when these unhinged GOP presidential candidates are interviewed and challenged when they don’t answer the questions. The reason that this clip stands out is because the interviewer made it possible to see the stupidity of Perry’s responses by not letting him get away with canned talking points. There was a very long pregnant pause where Perry just seemed to be trapped in own twisted logic. He was practically incoherent. And somehow he thinks he has the qualifications to be the leader of the free world.

  10. August 19, 2011 at 10:16 am

    This story will wake you up this morning

    “Have you ever had sex with Rick Perry?”
    A Texas Ron Paul supporter runs a newspaper ad seeking women who have slept with the presidential candidate


  11. August 19, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I am delighted to see this petition is receiving a lot of signatures


    I stand with Warren Buffett

    asking the Rich to pay more in taxes

  12. 31 57andFemale
    August 19, 2011 at 10:20 am

    TOD, TPV, Benen — my go-to every morning. Anyone else have sites they like to start their day and order their thinking?

    • 32 Sue in Minnesota
      August 19, 2011 at 10:31 am

      Politicususa….but always TOD, first and most, throughout the day. I also think Benen is one of the best and the brightest.
      i used to be obssessed with Palin, she was a train wreck I could not turn away from….no longerI However I am anxious for Joe McGinniss’s
      book to be released on the 20September….my very real sense is that shit is going to fly. I believe his efforts will expose systemic corruption in local government and national politics. I think it is going to be an important book.

    • 33 sjterrid
      August 19, 2011 at 5:35 pm

      The site I like to go to in the morning is bpi.campus. Chrissy posted Morning Feature, one of the community diaries at GOS, and started this site and would cross-post until she left due to the fighting and negativity that would creep into all the diaries.

  13. 35 Ladyhawke
    August 19, 2011 at 10:34 am


    Democrats’ road tour strikes back at GOP’s stand against raising taxes

    Democrats have found new moral support from billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times this week titled “Stop Coddling the Super-Rich,” in which he argued that higher tax rates should be imposed on capital gains earned by the mega-wealthy.

    Buffett’s words have quickly become a town hall staple, read aloud to Republicans, including Hultgren. Those videotaped confrontations and others have been quickly uploaded on the Internet and eagerly catalogued by political operatives in Washington.


  14. 36 utaustinliberal
    August 19, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Who are these people? First Bachmann doesn’t know that the Soviet Union doesn’t exist anymore and then Rick Perry thinks abstinence works. Because it just does. Where do they breed these moronic fools? How can a competent person vote for them, believe in them, or even believe in such amazingly stupid ideology? And Bush is supposed to be smarter than him? WTF? WTF? What planet am I living on? From now to 2012 will be very long indeed.

  15. 37 Fred
    August 19, 2011 at 10:40 am

    PLEASE spread THIS to the President’s people,Mark Knowler or whatever the hell his name is.Tapper;and everyone of these clowns;Al Sharpton;DSW;Pelosi

    Flashback: Facing 9.5 % Unemployment, Reagan Set Off On 25-Day Summer Vacation

  16. 40 57andFemale
    August 19, 2011 at 10:42 am

    So we need to have the discussion: we’ve known for awhile that facts and reality don’t matter to Republicans, but Benen’s piece, better than anything else I’ve read, crystallizes what the problem is: a moral or ideological framework to which everything either must conform or be dismissed. There is no reasoning with these people.

    So how do we frame our message? I know we won’t change their minds, but there are enough of them to win elections, frighteningly. What is the answer to make sure that ‘independents’ (read: low information voter) stay with us and not get sucked into Republican distorted logic. They really don’t know or care how Republicans think — Republicans are masterful at crafting a message that sounds ‘logical’ when logic has nothing to do with it. We can no longer just depend on ‘logic’ winning the day for us.

    Republicans are great at attaching their crazy to Big Ideas — freedom, for example, is the reason you should forego guaranteed health care. Democrats are good at a laundry list of accomplishments, but that’s not enough and frankly it’s not compelling to the low information voter and is no longer compelling to the far left of our party.

    Certain Big Ideas have worked for progressives for generations: disparity in income is wrong. Discrimination is wrong. Lifting all boats. The common welfare. No matter what, Republicans have changed our political discourse. We need to change it back and yes, we need to attract back some of the less pragmatic and more ideological of progressives, too. We simply need to get enough votes.

    • 41 Sue in Minnesota
      August 19, 2011 at 11:00 am

      Good food for thought.

      I want to know why these people are so afraid of the truth. Every direction they come from I see fear and delusion….they are cowards and hypocrites, and with respect to their religion it impresses me as a big excuse, or out if you will for their human failings. Instead of making them better people it becomes their excuse for being diminished people. No disrespect intended to true people of faith….I just don’t happen to include the likes of Palin, Bachmann, Perry, Bush and ilk in that category.

      • 42 57andFemale
        August 19, 2011 at 11:27 am

        That’s why I found the Benen article so important: it’s not about facts, it’s not even about fear although fear is the prime motivator of the lizard brain. It’s because they have a ‘religious’ construct and everything must either fit into it or be disregarded. That’s my point — we need to address how they think. I know we won’t change their minds (although results will, eventually) but they are masters at crafting a message that sounds ‘logical’. That’s what we have to fight and be proactive about — get ahead of it and stay ahead. Facts are only part of the picture, accomplishments and logic are only part of the picture. How do we viscerally connect with the ‘independents?’

        There are the looney leftie screamers that are hopeless. However, there are a great many ‘disappointed’ Dem’s who listen to some of the b.s. and it makes sense to them. We really need to make sure we keep these people and get them to vote. Democrats are notorious for not voting unless they are sufficiently inspired or entertained. They don’t do the institutional work and never have. This is something we need to address.

    • August 19, 2011 at 11:44 am

      ‘So how do we frame our message? I know we won’t change their minds, but there are enough of them to win elections, frighteningly. What is the answer to make sure that ‘independents’ (read: low information voter) stay with us and not get sucked into Republican distorted logic.’

      57 & F, IMO we have to do more of what the President has been doing.

      1. Stay calm and repeat, and repeat your position (no more than 1 to 3 positions – don’t want them to be overwhelmed and doubledown
      with their prescribed position; ex abstinence works)

      2. Focus on the young people. They are living in a different, more tolerant world than their parents for the most part. Plus they might be
      more open to change. I also think that in the main their world is far more global, inclusive.

      3. Try not to alienate ‘them’ by demonizing them. Call out their faulty suggestion (ex. Paul Ryan’s budget), but don’t call THEM stupid.
      Leave them room to save face.

      Personally, I would emphasize #2

      • August 19, 2011 at 11:46 am

        Oops! Gotta run, will come back later to see other views re reaching out to people whose ears are rarely open to other viewpoints.

        Have a terrific day, Everyone!

      • 45 57andFemale
        August 19, 2011 at 11:53 am

        I absolutely agree. He has begun brilliantly — starting with the debt ceiling crisis — to change the discourse, to change the basis on which the Republican frame has been based. I will go so far as to say Obama wanted the commission in order to keep the discussion of who we want to be as a people in focus.

        What Obama gets that the looney left doesn’t get is that he understands that these ideas need to percolate, to germinate and bear fruit over time. It’s not an ‘either/or’ or an instant realignment. It’s going to take awhile and we’re better with his focused, adult approach than screaming — that changes no one’s minds. Republicans didn’t start really screaming until the last decade — they kept their powder dry, voted for incremental change in their direction, worked on the political infrastructure until certain lies became truth: government is bad, taxes are bad, ‘money in your own pocket’, ‘family values’, and all their other lies.

        And yes — young people are the answer. If we all get five people to the polls who wouldn’t otherwise go, we continue to move in the right direction. Celebrate progress, work for more.

        • 46 Sue in Minnesota
          August 19, 2011 at 2:20 pm

          I think he has been on this course and maintained it from the beginning. I think we are starting to see the inherent rewards as people begin to wake up to the realities in front of them. This is why I reject all the screaming and cries of weak, caved, naive, et al. I think these screamers are stuck in the ‘old ways’ of government and politics. I am onboard with President Obama’s approach, I think it’s smarter, more creative and more effective, and I greatly appreciate it’s civility. Change came, and is underway as we speak….not everyone has recognized it…too busy looking backwards, when they should be looking straight ahead and thinking forward.

  17. 47 Brian
    August 19, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Of course abstinence works. Just ask the Palins!

    • 48 Sue in Minnesota
      August 19, 2011 at 10:53 am

      Grandmother Sally Heath, daughter Sarah Palin, off spring Bristol and Track….all birthing out of wedlock……..hypocrites! and idiots.

      • 49 jacquelineoboomer
        August 19, 2011 at 11:05 am

        Maybe we shouldn’t go there. We have enough fodder without thinking about any of them reproducing.

  18. August 19, 2011 at 10:51 am

    He sounds like he’s walking around in the dark, stumbling on everything in sight, searching for the light switch. The same W voice, ignorance and arrogance. Could he be more repulsive??? How many more lessons do the citizens of this country have to learn??

  19. 51 PoliticalJunkessa
    August 19, 2011 at 10:51 am

    It’s all about ideology for these clowns. They love their ignorance. They love having something stupid to believe, but they’re not satisfied in just believing it — they want to make you believe it too, or at least destroy everything that makes it look like a fraud.

    Even when their own lives don’t jibe with their ideology, they don’t skip a beat because the dogma is the important thing. They’ve been around since the beginning of time: flat-earthers all the way to climate deniers — it’s the same warped mentality.

    These people (e.g., Perry, Palin, Bush) have failed up all their lives — mediocre students, mediocre business men, mediocre politicians — in any sane system they’d be anywhere but in governors’ houses or running for president. But all it takes in a representative democracy is enough people to drag their knuckles to the voting booth and vote for these idiots and take the whole country down with them.

    Rick Perry is a dope. He won’t be president because fortunately Bush the Lesser’s Reign of Destruction is still fresh in people’s minds. In the meantime, I’m glad he is Exhibit A of the foolishness that is the Teapublican Party.

    • 52 Esmerelda
      August 19, 2011 at 11:11 am

      I hope he’s the nominee. The only Republican I’m series about is Romney due to polls showing him being within single digits of the President.

      • August 19, 2011 at 11:19 am

        And not a negative ad has been aired against him, and he goes largely untouched in debates. Everybody knows everything they need to know about President Obama and then some at this point. I can’t see Romney gaining as folks hear more about him.

  20. August 19, 2011 at 11:01 am

    57andFemale: I agree with your comments. We are dealing with ~mind sets~ . . . . . ours as well as those we disagree with so strongly. I say we will do well to find simple words and phrases . . . . not too much analysis: it’s not useful except when we are talking here . . . and start making bumper stickers.
    “Lifting ALL boats” sounds good to me. What else?

    • 55 Sue in Minnesota
      August 19, 2011 at 11:23 am

      We are stronger when joined together.

      My American Family matters.

      United we rise, divided we fail.

      Working together, One American Family.

      Compromise, it’s not a dirty word.

      All my American family matters to me.

      I say we take Family values away from the right and emphasis cooperation and unity .

  21. 58 MTmarilyn
    August 19, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Good morning Chips and TOD family. This is so scary. The thought of him being in charge of the US is very scary. They only go with their beliefs and idealogy not reality. And then they let the corporations and the rich have all the say. We will fight this and win. I am in and ready to go.

  22. 59 Uche@gmail.com
    August 19, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    OH my Lawwd!!!. Anyone that makes Dubya look like Einstein is indeed moronic. That long pause was full of meaning to me…at that point,his brain went to sleep and he was receiving higher information through his spinal cord!. Presidential material my ass!

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