Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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16 Responses

  1. Avatar aaron david says:

    Yes Tod, its almost as if 2014 never happened…Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


      The thing about political deaths is that they tend to be very slow and then very fast. No one would expect the collapse of the American Whig Party until they did. The Liberals were a dominant party in the UK until they were suddenly replaced by Labour in the 1920s:


      There is also a great history called The Strange Death of Liberal England. The liberals managed to stick around as a variety of smaller parties until the 1940s but never had the influence they did during the 19th and 20th centuries.

      Did the GOP show huge gains in 2014? Yes. Does this change the fact that their voting base tends to be much older and much more whiter and is closer to the grave than not? No.

      I don’t think anyone is saying that the GOP is going to disappear tomorrow but they are still beholden to a much older, much more rural, and much more religious base. They are turning younger people off with their stances on SSM and Climate Change.

      I don’t think the GOP is going to disappear in 2016. Considering that people live longer, the might have a good bit of life left in them but they aren’t doing much to attract voters my age and younger.Report

      • Avatar aaron david says:

        My point was that Tod wrote those pieces at a time there wasn’t much movement between parties on the national level, but at the state level R’s were picking up governorships. And in the time since the right has picked up the Senate. In other words, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” – Mark Twain.

        Of course they could suddenly drop off the map. And so could Labor…

        (That said, the book you list looks really interesting.)Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

          The 2014 election favored states that were already red and general midterm voting patterns.

          2016 is supposed to favor the Democrats. We shall see what happens.

          Also things seem pretty entrenched. Do you think the GOP has a chance at taking any state-wide office in California?Report

          • Avatar Will Truman says:

            This is correct, as far as the Senate goes. The 2016 senate map is favorable to the Democrats and the 2014 map was extremely favorable to the GOP. Of course, the 2012 map was favorable to the GOP and we know how that turned out…Report

        • Avatar Don Zeko says:

          I think the R’s actually dropping off the map is incredibly unlikely; we aren’t in for another Era of Good Feelings. Rather, if the Texeira thesis is correct and the current Republican coalition is demographically doomed, you will eventually see the party fiddle with its image and its policy platform in order to reach different voters and be competitive again, like the Democrats did with Clinton. The pull of the median voter is too strong for either party to be uncompetitive forever.Report

          • Avatar North says:

            I would hazard it will take two-three solid shellackings in a row. Imagine the GOP ran a standard campaign, lost the 2016 presidential race and loses ground in the House and Senate, lost the Senate in 2018 and then lost both the presidency and House in 2020. At that point the party leaders would try just about anything and the base would shut the fish up and take it. Parties get hungry for victory. Part of what has kept the Tea Party movement going is how close victory is within reach. The party can afford to delude themselves.Report

  2. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    I think you have your two links reversed. But yes, OT doesn’t get nearly the credit it should :^)Report

  3. Avatar Morat20 says:

    Well, local news retains eyeballs by using the trick called “Are you eating dog poo in your frozen yogurt, stay for our special report at 11:00” (No, you’re not. Thanks for watching our advertisers for another hour). Favorite topics generally revolve around food or children. Bonus points if it’s about both.

    Cable News uses that same trick, but has to turn it up to 11 because they run 24-7. Which means either a constant series of new and expensive exposes and in-depth investigations OR you dial the “Are your children being fed genetically modified goat testicles by radical Islamists in failing public schools? Our special report in two hours”.

    Since the latter is cheaper and requires little money, they use a lot of that.

    So it stands to reason that if you expressly politicized a cable news channel, which is already forced to fear-monger to keep eyeballs, the result would be….very bad, in the long run, for whatever poor political party it’s supposedly helping. (But probably helpful in the short run). Because the economics of 24-7 news and basic human responses means you have to keep turning the fear ratchet ever higher.

    The end result is people who are completely out of touch with the real world, and also terrified. Which means, if you make it political, they’ll start demanding their politicians espouse fear-based policies that are completely crazy to people living in the real world, and that will get increasingly worse as time goes by.

    But for a couple of decades, the news channel makes a TON of money. All those scared eyeballs stuck to your channel, who won’t try your competitors because you’ve convinced them they’re not just poor news sources — they’re ideological and politically enemies. How it affects actual politicians and governments isn’t really a concern.

    You’ve made bank.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck says:

      ” “Are you eating dog poo in your frozen yogurt, stay for our special report at 11:00? (No, you’re not.)”

      But they do a TEST for it. Why would they do a TEST if they weren’t WORRIED ABOUT SOMETHING, HMMMMM? The KDZQ Eye-For-I Investigatory Team is on the case.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC says:

      Which means, if you make it political, they’ll start demanding their politicians espouse fear-based policies that are completely crazy to people living in the real world, and that will get increasingly worse as time goes by.

      This, a billion times over.

      Fox News is not, and has never been, conservatives’ friend. It has been amazingly harmful to conservatives.Report

  4. Avatar LWA says:

    In my dark moments, I imagine a future in which the conservatives find a truly competent minority candidate.

    To hear some liberals tell it, dark skinned people, Hispanic people, and people of the female persuasion have some sort of liberalizing gene, that commits them irrevocably to democacy and egalitarianism.

    Augusto Pinochet, countless African dictators, and Eva Peron are somewhere hot, smirking at that thought.

    When the desire of the plutocracy overcomes the desire of nativist white people, Wall Street will fund a Sarah Palin/ Allen West mashup who will make the rabble obey. What they need is a way to sell this to the emerging minority. Maybe by finding a convenient new enemy to hate and fear.

    Who knows? The old white folks sucking at the Social Security teat might be useful for something after all.Report

  5. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Bartlett’s paper was extremely poor as a supposedly ‘scientific’ paper. It had overwhelming data when it need not have, a data drought where it needed a lot more support for the assertions, sources cited with the most extreme conflicts of interest in sources’ analysis, the author’s own conflict of interest was only mentioned in passing, and sweeping assertions that are demonstrably false. (i.e. a blacklist of interview guests who criticize Fox News would necessarily preclude O’Reilly’s interviews with Obama, the most recent one being a bit over a year ago).

    I also didn’t read the word “Hannity” anywhere in there, the man who is most responsible for focusing both talk radio and Fox News in the service of the Republican party – more than either Limbaugh or even Ailes himself.Report

  6. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    It’s nothing new that the keen-eyed folks around here are ahead of the power curve of accepted publications. It’s also old news that there are millions of Americans for whom Fox News is the only acceptable source of information about the world. Fox News viewers whining like children denied their bottle are the principal perpetrators of the conservative flavor of that phenomenon known as “epistemic closure.”Report

  7. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Yes, but Todd you don’t write in academese.Report

  8. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Morat20: “Are your children being fed genetically modified goat testicles by radical Islamists in failing public schools?

    New Game! Mad-Libs – Cable News Headline edition!Report