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« Whatever it takes, right back atcha | Main | Brokaw's insights »

August 27, 2012



Polls out today show Robot/Granny Starver running even with Obama on who is best to handle Medicare. So, part of the result you're seeing here is due to the fact that a depressing number of people are buying the "he cut Medicare $716 billion" pile of bullshit the GOP is belching into the discourse at alarming speeds. And yeah, racism.

Robert Lipscomb

If you are 50 today, you were 18 when Reagan was elected. If you are over 50, you are part of a generation that bought into Reaganism.

If you were 18 when Clinton was elected, you are 38 today - and you probably know George W Bush was a disaster.

The coventional wisdom is that Baby Boomers are hippies. the truth is that the Boomers were Reaganites.

The Gen Xers and Millenials have a frame of reference of successful Democratic administrations and a failed Republican one.


It is interesting the way the candidate's names are listed. It is Obama and Biden. Then Ryan and Romney.

That being said, if Romney only leads by 2 in that poll, that actually represents progress with the over 50 crowd, I think.


"The conventional wisdom is that Baby Boomers are hippies.the truth is that the Boomers were Reaganites."

Robert, those of us who are over 50 don't remember the Reagan administration in as uniformly positive a light as you're assuming we do; in fact, those who lived through it as adults can recall James Watt, Ed Meese, Iran-Contra and the Gipper's frequent incoherence on domestic issues. Some of us are even still disgusted at the light treatment the Teflon President received from the political press. It's the younger crowd who're more likely to be bamboozled by the Reagan beatification propaganda which began much later. The "Reagan Revolution" wasn't televised during his presidency, mainly because script approval wasn't given by the RNC until the Clinton administration. By then, we were assured that Reagan had revitalized conservatism and restored optimism among the electorate.

Peter G

There is too a rational basis for this dichotomy although a more precise set of data that differentiated opinions by smaller age increments would help prove it. Those availing themselves of Medicare and Medicaid or are soon to do so have been assured by the Republican ticket that they will not be screwed, it is the next generation that will have their asses kicked. Pile on unrelieved stories about how the system is about to go broke and it is perfectly rationale for those in the systems to try to protect their own entitlements.

Dave Jones

Racism and stupidity exist on both sides. For a nice summary of Obama's tacit defense of black racism against whites, see


So, "Dave Jones", you posted the exact same piece of garbage (under the moniker "Fight Bigotry" -- you owe me a new irony meter) over at No More Mister Nice Blog this fine evening. Is this a volunteer troll-spam spew or are you being paid by the blog for dropping your tiny turdlets?


Boomers are Reaganites? I think not!
Gimme a break! I know plenty who would rather cut off their arms than vote for Vulture and Voucher.

Robert Lipscomb

@botelho and @BobH: I never asserted uniform support for Reaganism by the Boomers - or for any other philosophy. But it is true that Reaganism was ascendent at the same time as Boomer political power ascended. The dichotomy of the poll referenced in the original post seems to support this.

Similarly, polling during the final several years of the Viet Nam War, documented a much higher level of support for the war by young people than the older generation.


Robert: Don't mean to nitpick (and I always appreciate your perceptive comments) but I still disagree with your hypothesis. It's true enough that the Reagan years coincided with the rising political power of Boomers. To determine the significance of this correlation, you'd have to find data regarding the age breakdown of Reagan voters in 1980 and 1984. To support your rather bold thesis that this was a "generation that bought into Reaganism" in any way which justifies broad brush evaluations of voting inclinations, you'd also have to demonstrate that the subset of Boomer Reagan fans constitutes some sort of coherent and consistent voting bloc. Lastly, you'd have to also justify your rather counterintuitive conclusion that those of us who were of voting age on or before November 1980 are *less* likely to have noted the disaster of the Bush 43 years simply because we have additional points of comparison which include less horrible Republican administrations. As I said before, we Boomers actually remember the real Reagan, so we're far less likely than younger voters to see him (and "Reaganism") through lenses colored by the last 20 years of GOP propaganda.

In my not-very-humble-at-all opinion, Phil more correctly identifies the main driver behind the dichotomy as simple racism. I truly believe that if it was about Ronnie worship, we'd actually see a small shift the other way, since PBO has much more in common with Reagan in terms of personality and pragmatism than his opponent.

Robert Lipscomb

@Bothelo: I take no offense, and frankly have precious little evidence for causation. As for your last paragraph, racism was an integral part of Reaganism. Much of that was hidden from many followers' eyes by a veil of sanctimony provided by the Religious Right.

This blog might not be the proper venue, but I would like to hear a discussion about how truly 'progressive" the Baby Boomers really were/are, in comparison their stereotype. This blog has been a wonderfulresource in refuting that modern "conservative Republicans" are, well, ... conservative.

We seem to share an opinion that our children's generation is significantly less racist. My argument is that Reaganism, stripped of racism (and the Religious Right), is "voodoo economics" or as Obama calls it "snake oil". If so, it is likely to be mch less popular with the generation fathered by the Baby Boomers.


That's a post I can't really argue with, Robert (being as I pretty much agree with all of it). The one observation I'll make about the relative progressivism of the Boomers is that we (general "we") seem to be benefiting in reputation from the progressive achievements actually made by the previous generation (Civil Rights Act, Affirmative Action, Voting Rights Act, Social Security Act of 1965 (Medicare & Medicaid), etc.).

I agree that the Gen Xers and Millenials tend to less racism, and I credit that mainly to changing demographics in this country, but also in some part to those Great Society achievements rather than to any supposed liberal sensibilities passed on by the Boomers. But whatever the reasons, I think it's cause for some guarded optimism.

Robert Lipscomb

@Botelho: Then let me throw out a couple more concepts.

I believe the Culture War is essentially over, and the progressives won. If so, diversity becomes the social norm and presumably a conservative value. Any attempt at ant-diversity will be considered radical.

That creates a trap for progressives and a dilema. How do we hold our gains from the Culture War continuing the war? How do we win the peace?

My daughter claims and assumes gender equity. So, she feels no need to fight to gain those rights. She would fight anyone who overtly tried to take away those rights. Her generation would perceivemarching for an ERA amendment as radical - not conservative or even progressive.

There is also an opportunity here, and Obama seems to be on that trail. Rather than fighting for the rights of women/minority groups, why not fight for "the middle class"? That was once Democratic Party stronghold but was lost to Reaganism.

A middle class agenda would simultaneously thwart trickle-down economics while creating an agenda to advance the interests of omen, minorities and the soon to be white minority withoutpitting those groups against each other.


@Robert & Botelho:

Thanks to you both for such an engrossing discussion. As another Baby Boomer, I think you guys have done a superb job of analysis.

Robert, to you point of having won the culture wars, let me add one anecdote. I confess to watching such things as "Hoarders: Animal Hoarding" or whatever the exact title of the damn show is. Sad stuff, and not for the faint of stomach, but I digress. One show concerned a couple in I believe Tennessee; certainly one of the sub-Mason/Dixon states. In one scene, the neighboring multi-generation family had the couple over for dinner and urged their long-time friends to resolve the hoarder's problems before it tore the couple apart.

How does this apply? The hoarder/nonhoarder couple were lesbians. At least as presented on the show (I know, I know), that wasn't an issue for anyone involved.

Think about the likelihood of that scene, even on a "reality" show, let alone in real life, playing out even ten years ago.

Robert Lipscomb

@Janicket: It has become quite common, along with other aspects of diversity, even in the most rural areas.People scream "bloody murder!" (as we say down here) before the paradigm shifts. Once it shifts (you know, there are actual lesbians living next door in your actual community and nothing actually happens), there is complete acceptance of the new reality/paradigm.

This is the mystery, wonder and beauty of the Socts-Irish paradox. Once they are whipped, they stay whipped.

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