Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Public's Right to Know

The worst thing about Harriet Miers, for both Republicans and Democrats, is that we have no firm idea of what she believes. This is not merely a question of predetermining decisions. I agree that as the world is complicated place, most attempts to hypothetically treat it in these cases are doomed to oversimplification and ideological convenience.

But no such objections exist for past behavior, and given our recent adventures with Bush’s friend Brownie, it is imperative that we Americans find out the qualifications of our officials before they get into office. But that’s not all we need to find out.

We need to know, with certain necessary exceptions what our president is being advise. The information needs to be there for the asking because this is our country, and our futures depend on good government, regardless of its size.

Some will argue the need to be able give unvarnished, unsentimental advice, without worrying about what the public will think. I think that takes the approach backwards. Secrecy inspires distrust and limits disclosures in ways that result in nasty surprises, increased corruption, and incomplete understanding of the context of decisions. All of these, of course are not known to be positive things for politician's images.

There is nothing wrong with the advisors, lobbyist and elected officials of this government acting and deciding things as if the eyes of the American People are upon them. That is the point of Democracy, in fact: that a well informed public enfranchised with voting rights can cut short the tenure of those who fail to work in their interests.

When a policy idea does not start out as popular, it is always the option of those who truly believe that their ideas are correct to try and persuade people to their side. If they can argue strongly enough the point they are making so as to turn consensus to their side, then and only then do they deserve to win. Otherwise, they are right to fear the light of day on their ideas. This nation is founded upon the notion of the marketplace of ideas, and if folks can't sell these ideas, that should be a cue to them to improve or abandon those ideas. At the very least they should change their approach to the ideas and to other people.

People lament the kind of play-it-safe attitude this brings about. Not only is such lily-liverdness not necessary, it is in fact impractical in such a situation. There is no safety to play for when you become a part of the government. Your decisions affect people who are going to offended at something, if not everything you do. The best one can do is the best one can do. People should do their jobs well or quit if they fear the reproach of others, because positive results will keep the most people of their backs, and that will gain people their respect, and respect forgives mistakes and honest errors where disrespect accepts no penance but the most absolute.

We need to get out of this self-centered notion of what a government is supposed to do, because it encourages the officials of the government to become the private servants of their own agenda, rather than the public servant of our America's interests. We should become concerned, regardless of party affiliation, any time our officials are less than forthright about what they are doing.

We need to know where we stand with this government, and they need to know how they will always stand with us as people with their responsibilities. Any other arrangement is positively anti-democratic.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at October 9, 2005 11:24 AM
Comments
Comment #84544

How cozy are Bush and Miers?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 9, 2005 6:27 PM
Comment #84546

But, Stephen, your false assumption is that the justices are the people’s choice. Nothing could be further from the truth. They are not elected, that is a big clue that they are not the people’s justices. They are nominated by the President on party ideological grounds, so that rules out the Pres. making them the people’s justices. And the Senate too, is so partisanly divided, that their advice and consent will not reflect the people’s choice, but, their party’s choice.

Now some would argue that the parties represent the people. But only a scant review of legislation over these last few years contradicts that notion, with abridgement of individual liberties, deficit spending run amok, and tax cuts for the special interests added to the mushrooming national debt.

So, in all, you wrote a very fine article, but, the basic assumption that justices are the people’s judges is just plain contradicted by reality. They are not selected by any criteria representing the majority of the people.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 9, 2005 7:13 PM
Comment #84564

Stephen,

I certainly understand the importance of transparency in government (except militarily speaking), but I fail to see the connection to Harriet Miers. Is she (or are you claiming she is) an advisor to the president?

Posted by: Stephanie at October 9, 2005 11:36 PM
Comment #84565

If there were no such thing as myopic partisan behavior, your article would have some validity…however this myopic behavior does exist, and your article therefore should not.

Posted by: Discerner at October 9, 2005 11:50 PM
Comment #84566

David-
Look, regardless of what the effective truth is, or seems to you to be, despair is the wrong response. This is our country; it belongs to all of us. Regardless of who gets to ride the high-horse, we, like a mob facing a single man with a machine gun, can overwhelm their power if we stop caring about being the first target of political attack.

We cannot simply sit around feeling sorry for ourselves. We have to light the fires under these people, Republican and Democrat. The best way to do this is with the truth, and they can’t hide it forever. This is our birthright as Americans, not some thing given to us at the whim of the powerful

What the last few years tells me of is a large segment of the population that’s slowly learning the consequences of relying on ideology and other highly subjective measures to measure what’s best for themselves. These people, by and large, want something better. Hell, on This Week with George Stephanopolis, William F. Buckley expressed disatisfaction with the current conservative movement.

Now is the time to bring things back into a more dynamic system, one neither permanently Republican, nor permanently Democrat, one where whether one does the job right matters than the party doing the job. I don’t want a permanent majority. I want a party that earns its keep, does right by American. I’m a Democrat, because I believe that Party has a better chance of doing that. Things will change if I start figuring things differently.

These people we face only succeed if we let them. Taking a negative attitude towards changing the situation with our government is letting them do these things.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 9, 2005 11:55 PM
Comment #84567

The more I’ve learned about Miers, the less enthused I am about her nomination as well. I agree that we all need and deserve to know much more about her.

But what Stephen has left out of his article is the enviroment in which Miers was picked—one in which a Democratic Senate minority has vowed an unprecedented use of the filibuster to prevent anybody getting confirmed who doesn’t haven’t a public record of agreeing with THEM on a few ideolgical points. If Republicans had behaved this way, Clinton’s nominee, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, well known to be very liberal, would never have been confirmed, much less confirmed by a vote of 96-3.

If you’re a liberal, you probably agree with this tactic—you don’t want a solid conservative judge confirmed and support this threat of a filibuster. Fine—I can understand this wish.

But if you’re a conservative, you wish Bush would join the battle and try to force somebody through with an already established solid record. Any such person, though, is dead on arrival.

Whatever you think, you can be assured that blank slates like Mier are likely to be the norm in the future no matter who is president.

If Hillary Clinton is elected in 08, how do you suppose the Republican Senate majority is going to treat her nominees? Do you think anybody with a known liberal record is going to get through, especially to the Supreme Court, that Republicans aren’t going to just turn the tables and deal from the Democrat’s deck?

Even if the Dems pick up enough seats to recapture the majority (which is possible, though unlikely) there’s no chance whatsoever of their getting a filibuster-proof majority.

We can expect that ALL future nominees to the Supreme Court are going to be these wishy-washy figures without known records, no matter who the president is. It will remain a total stalement as long as the filibuster is seen as a legitimate way of advancing or defending political ideology.

Posted by: sanger at October 9, 2005 11:56 PM
Comment #84568

Stephanie-
She was the White House Counsel before the nomination. She’s been an advisor with him for a long time, even back to Texas.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 9, 2005 11:56 PM
Comment #84569

Stephen,

Okay. So, is your angle that if we knew HOW she advised the President we’d better know whether it is appropriate to support or oppose her? Or is this not about her specifically?

Posted by: Stephanie at October 10, 2005 12:02 AM
Comment #84571

Sorry, I know even less about her than most people here. I’ve kind of been stuck in the day-to-day lately and haven’t read anything at all useful about Harriet Miers other than she was nominated.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 10, 2005 12:04 AM
Comment #84573

Discerner-
JUst because the truth can be twisted towards other’s ends doesn’t mean we profit by our ignorance of it. You can always check facts out from another angle, or consider other possibilities. You should not wait for the GOP to tell you what to think, any more than I should wait on the Democratic party in that way.

Our parties prosper best when they function as the emergent organization of the American People’s interests, and not the expression of the opinions of a few elites. I think you should consider that people like Howard Dean are prospering not because they are leaders, but because they are riding a movement within their party. Howard Dean, a not especially liberal leftist, has gotten as far as he has gotten, because he plays to a large constituency in the Democratic Party that has been growing in the past few years.

The Republican weakness is believing that only they can be the beneficiaries of grassroots social movements, that only they can be ascendant. It’s also believe that there aren’t forces that could turn back their tide, and end their majority.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 10, 2005 12:07 AM
Comment #84574

Stephanie-
You’ve hit the nail on the head.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 10, 2005 12:10 AM
Comment #84576

Stephen,

I put up two hypothesises about your motivation. Which nail did I hit?

Also, as per your statement about the Republican’s weakness…as someone who gets occasional newsletters from the Republicans, what you see as their weakness is mainly public bravado, they know they are vulnerable.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 10, 2005 12:14 AM
Comment #84580
I think you should consider that people like Howard Dean are prospering not because they are leaders, but because they are riding a movement within their party. Howard Dean, a not especially liberal leftist, has gotten as far as he has gotten, because he plays to a large constituency in the Democratic Party that has been growing in the past few years.

How far has Howard Dean gotten? This is interesting. Did he really ride his fabled movement to the White House as he promised all of his followers in 2003 and 2004?

Or did he “prosper” right out of contention in Iowa and contribute to making Democratics so repellant to American voters that the Democrats lost the presidential race, lost seats in the House, lost seats in the Senate and decreased their share of governorships across the nation?

If Howard Dean “prospers” any more than he already has, I wonder how much longer there wil be a Democratic party.

Posted by: sanger at October 10, 2005 12:49 AM
Comment #84592

Stephen, you appear to interpret reality with despair. I think what is happening in America is healthy, the way the melting of the ice caps, and depletion of the ozone layer, and drastic reductions of earth’s species are healthy responses by the system called earth to respond and adapt to adverse conditions.

You imply we must remain optimistic. I am. Failed systems are self correcting, they adjust or shut down. I used to think that humans could destroy the earth. Now that was despair. I have come to understand that the earth as a system will either sustain human activity or it won’t. She will take care of herself.

This is my same view of America’s politics and economics. The Constitution was not written with political parties in mind. Too bad, because if it had been, the founding fathers would have drafted a very different version protecting the people and individuals from them and their potentially corrupt and absolute power over government.

In this way, our Constitution is seriously flawed. They wrote in protections against the tyranny of dictators, kings, and majorities, but, they didn’t see political parties coming. The Constitution is being ignored on a daily basis. The number of laws and policies being implemented in contradiction to the tenets of our Constitution are so numerous, and the number of cases being reviewed by the Supreme Court, so few, that the system is literally overwhelming the Constitution, making it more irrelevant in our daily lives than ever before.

But, this is not pessimism. The fact is, the founding fathers provided a guide, which if adhered to, would have largely insured a successful experiment in governance, as we have seen for a couple hundred years. However, we have departed from it, largely through the actions of the two political parties who view the Constitution now as an obstacle to overcome, rather than as a guide toward success. And this nation will inevitably lose its stature as the greatest democracy on earth as a result. But, that is the system’s self-correcting mechanism.

Just as insurgency, social evolution and revolution are self-correcting mechanisms for authoritarian governments, loss of economic viability and relative social harmony and peace, will become our self-correcting mechanisms. The only question which remains is whether the people will return to the Constitution or scrap it and start over, one day.

As individuals, we must accept in our lives, the inevitability of death. I find it humorous, that so many believe that mortal humans have the capacity to create immortal governments. There is no evidence of this anywhere in the history of mankind. Yet, Americans cling tenaciously to this idea despite growing evidence of the government’s ill health at almost every turn. It is hilarious if one can step back from one’s citizenship and look at it from a Cassiopian point of view.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 10, 2005 3:05 AM
Comment #84593

Stephen, P.S., 2.44% of Americans who can afford to, have already chosen to take up residence in other countries. This is a choice that is always available to those who see their futures or their children’s futures threatened by current events. This too insures that I fall not into despair or pessimism. As a born and raised American, choice is one of my most used tools in life and absolutely the one that gives me the greatest sense of optimism and security. There is no need for despair or pessimism so long as choice remains available in response to failing systems.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 10, 2005 3:16 AM
Comment #84610
If you’re a liberal, you probably agree with this tactic—you don’t want a solid conservative judge confirmed and support this threat of a filibuster. Fine—I can understand this wish.

Wow, sanger. Democrats in Congress aren’t even thinking about a filibuster. In fact, they’re really talking her up. Senator Reid even suggested her to Bush. Read a newspaper once in a while.

And why are Republicans being so obstructionist? Why are they forcing the country into a long drawn out confirmation hearing? Republicans should quit whining and hold an immediate up or down vote on Miers! :)

Posted by: American Pundit at October 10, 2005 8:46 AM
Comment #84624

Stephen,

JUst because the truth can be twisted towards other’s ends doesn’t mean we profit by our ignorance of it. You can always check facts out from another angle, or consider other possibilities. You should not wait for the GOP to tell you what to think, any more than I should wait on the Democratic party in that way.


The major problem involves the sources of information and their readily apparent bias. There are virtually no outlets holding to objectivity anymore. But, more importantly, how can we keep our OWN bias from tainting our observations.

I will not compromise my own personal ideology as you should not as well. We each have our own compasses that keep us focused and provide us the individual values and integrity to move forward regardless of what is going on around us.

I am reminded of a quote from a interesting source. I appreciate his perspective.

“Once you are clear about your values, you must always stand up for them. There is nothing worse then sliding through life with conventional wisdom” - Peter Jennings

Even though we may disagree from time to time, I want to thank you for your objectivity.

Posted by: Discerner at October 10, 2005 9:28 AM
Comment #84633

Stephanie-
They are both Right, because neither one is separate from the other.

As for bravado, the funny thing about it in a system that’s built on what people think is that sometimes that leap of faith can work. People in their optimism might take effective courses of actions they might otherwise have decided against. The thing that has to be recognized about such strategies, though, is that a)There has to be somewhere to land after that leap of faith where you have solid support, and b)In taking those leaps of faith, we should not neglect to take the small steps necessary to maintain the righteous character of our party.

Sanger-
He’s gone from being a governor to being the chairman of a party that stands a good chances of making incredible gains in the years ahead.

The answer to your question, is that your party has done a very good job of sliming the Democrats as weak on defense, weak on fiscal responsibility, and of overly partisan motivation. Unfortunately, your party has taken out a Magnum .44 and shot itself in the foot with a series of policy failures, and helped build a narrative of corruption and cronyism in the minds of the American people.

David R. Remer-
I am very skeptical of even my own perspective on reality. People are terrible at predicting what will happen 10 months down the road, much less 10 years. A year ago, would you have thought a major U.S. city would have been shut down by such a disaster? A year ago, I thought Kerry had a chance to be president. A year ago, The thought of getting hit by a category 5 storm seemed absurd. Ten months ago, I was in deep despair. I didn’t think the Republicans would be hurting this bad at this point.

Five years ago, nobody would have thought gas prices would be this high, or SUVs this unpopular. Hell, five years ago, 9/11 was an absurd possibility.

Reality? First we must find out what reality is, and even then, we get more questions answered only to find more questions needing to be asked.

The constitution may not have been constructed with political parties in mind, but maybe that’s a good thing. The first Amendment guarantees the freedom to speak and lawfully assemble, the freedom of the press, and of religion. No control is permanent, even that as masterfully orchestrated as that of the Democratic party post-Depression, or the Republicans, post Cold-War.

Reality? If nobody can perceive it perfectly, nobody can control it perfectly. I don’t expect America to last forever, but if you look at how long our government has existed for(with the parties in there no less), you will find it has endured long beyond many of the other governments of the world.

Why? Because correction is built in. To engage in this correction appropriately, thought, we must exercise our rights as citizens and find out the truth. The breakneck pace of technological advance, and the viciousness of politics of late has left us feeling as if our dealing with our politicians are futile, but that is an illusion, one that our politicians often play upon in order to shut us up.

In the end, we must be willing to ask the questions, and we must be prepared to honestly deal with the answers. In the end, we must build a culture of oversight, of examination, and simple, cold-blooded weighing of our national interests as opposed to the party’s. We must be party members because we like what they stand for, but vigilant Americans because we love our country, and will not see our parties, ourselves, or our world harm it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 10, 2005 10:04 AM
Comment #84634

Discerner-
We are inherently subjective creatures. Some things remain true, regardless of what direction we see it from, and the implications and pattern of consequences likewise.

We can’t remove bias. We can just recall that it is there, and test for where it might have its effects. We should not imagine it there before it has made itself evident. That just introduces another kind of bias, one that can blind one further.

I think we should be willing to compromise our personal ideologies. Our ideologies can be figments of our imaginations, systems of the world that only work in the realm between our ears. We should have our eyes open to see where our notions of the world aren’t squaring with things as they are.

All in all, we should be prepared for the world to defy our expectations, and prepared to deal with difficult truths and uncomfortable realities. We should remember we are only human, and bound to get it wrong at some point.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 10, 2005 10:12 AM
Comment #84653

David said….

“Stephen, P.S., 2.44% of Americans who can afford to, have already chosen to take up residence in other countries.”

IMO those Americans who choose to live elsewhere should by virtue of that decision be stripped of their citizenship.

Posted by: steve smith at October 10, 2005 12:15 PM
Comment #84656
Stephen, P.S., 2.44% of Americans who can afford to, have already chosen to take up residence in other countries. This is a choice that is always available to those who see their futures or their children’s futures threatened by current events. This too insures that I fall not into despair or pessimism. As a born and raised American, choice is one of my most used tools in life and absolutely the one that gives me the greatest sense of optimism and security. There is no need for despair or pessimism so long as choice remains available in response to failing systems.

I just signed a contract with a buyer for my house. As soon as we close my wife and I are moving out of this country. I’ve had enough of greedy, fat, ugly Americans and the right wing Christians (The American Taliban) that are destroying the United States.

Ronnie Wright
SFC, US Army Ret.

Posted by: Ronnie Wright at October 10, 2005 12:58 PM
Comment #84659

Ronnie Wright,

What country will we be sending your government checks to or, will you maintain a US bank account and mailing address?

Posted by: steve smith at October 10, 2005 1:18 PM
Comment #84662

Steve Smith-
While I don’t agree with leaving this country because of it’s bad leadership, I don’t agree with your harsh sentence. You don’t know what motivates people.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 10, 2005 1:35 PM
Comment #84665

Stephen,

I believe there are things you do not or cannot compromise. We need anchors in our lives that do not move and provide us a basis to perceive the world. Without them, we are washed to and fro by the winds of popular opinion, or we crash against the rocks of indecision.

Posted by: Discerner at October 10, 2005 1:41 PM
Comment #84668

Stephen Daugherty,

So you therefore believe that American Citizens can go live permanently anywhere they want and still retain their rights of US citizenship.

Motivation, at least based on the comments of a poster above needs no explanation. He is leaving because “I’ve had enough of greedy, fat, ugly Americans and the right wing Christians (The American Taliban) that are destroying the United States.”

I also believe in the death penalty and I don’t know what motivated the rapist or killer, If you can sacrifice your right to vote by committing a crime, it is certainly logical to lose citizenship by leaving the country.

I do respect your opinion that suggests my sentence is harsh, do you have an alternate punishment or, do you think that there should be no punishment. In other words it is possible to “have the best of both worlds”.


Posted by: steve smith at October 10, 2005 2:00 PM
Comment #84677

All appointed officials should be required to take the equivalent of a lie detector test. The questions should be developed by the most brilliant minds of the current minority party, majority party and, a panel of bi-partisan educators.

This will eliminate all Senate hearings, media trials, cronyism accusations, etc. and save lots of valuable time.

The questions should be based on situations that have already happened so that the answers can be compared to a known result, issues that are currently popular and, questions that are forward looking to situations that
are possible. In this way it can be determined if that person is suited for the position.

Of course that suitibility will not represwent the feelings of the people, only the observations of officials already in position. Since the President only nominates the individual, he can no longer be held responsible for any actions taken by the appointee.

Posted by: steve smith at October 10, 2005 3:01 PM
Comment #84685

Stephen,

“They are both Right, because neither one is separate from the other.”

Realistically speaking, I don’t think we’re going to get much information on Miers. I forget who said it here, but basically any information we receive can and will be used against her, by one side or the other, so they’re going to keep it as quiet as possible.

It’s not right, it’s not fair, but our government hasn’t been either for quite a while.

Leaps of faith can work, yes. Obviously. The Republicans are in control. However, from that I’ve learned that one must be very careful who or what one has faith in. When GWB first ran, I wanted nothing to do with him. Then I wanted to support him, for the war in Iraq, but now I know better. Unless I know a particular candidate, I’m not likely to vote for anyone of either major party. Simply because I don’t think either party has much if any “righteous character” left to them.

“He’s gone from being a governor to being the chairman of a party that stands a good chances of making incredible gains in the years ahead.”

As to Dean…the Dems will probably make considerable gains on a national level, however that is not because of Dean, it is because the Reps dropped the ball. The ball just happened to land at Dean’s feet only because of our two-party system.

It is still yet possible that a third party will rise up strong enough to challenge both sitting ducks.

Sorry for the mixed metaphors.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 10, 2005 3:26 PM
Comment #84687
“I think we should be willing to compromise our personal ideologies. Our ideologies can be figments of our imaginations, systems of the world that only work in the realm between our ears. We should have our eyes open to see where our notions of the world aren’t squaring with things as they are.”

Spoken as a true speculative fiction writer! ;-)

However, some ideologies are tangible and provable. Most people agree that illegal drugs are illegal for good reasons and that legalizing them would be harmful to our society. Most people agree that murder is illegal for good reasons and legalizing it would be harmful to our society. Many people agree that America participates in legalized murder and this must stop. Most people in America agree that adults having sex with children is illegal for good reasons and that it would harm our society to change that. These are tangible ideologies, and I’d rather fight then give them up.

However, in our society, the political choices we’re faced with are not often whether or not to follow our ideologies, but which ideologies is it most important for us to follow. It’s up to each individual what they’re willing to sacrifice to support an individual candidate or a political party. Unfortunately, there rare is a real one-size-fits-most politician.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 10, 2005 3:35 PM
Comment #84688

Discerner-
Simple words often stand for complex things. Words like Honor, Honesty, Integrity. These things are often read from different, subjective points of view. They are important virtues, important anchors of our decision-making, but it takes fresh thought, especially in today’s quicksilver-like world, to properly flesh out good decisions and good actions.

I think looking at the scandals we have now, Republicans and Indpendents are beginning to understand what our talk about this administration has been about. I’ve been saying all along that Rove needs to be indicted or at least fired for what he’s done. Republicans however have suggested, in their relativism, that his actions were justified because of who he was doing it to. To me, it doesn’t matter if it’s Democrat or Republican, I don’t like people leaking our secrets. Liberals have long been expressing concerns about the extent to which friends get crucial positions in the White House. Now, as the Michael Brown scandal unfolds, Republicans are finally catching on, and its a principle that both Republicans and Democrats can share: Cronyism is dangerous when it involves crucial positions in government.

Other realms of debate can have similar points of symmetry, and I think we should seek those out. The virtue and competence of our officials is of crucial importance. So is our fiscal situation. So is the war on Iraq. Unfortunately, the Republican response has been by and large to stubbornly refuse to reach a compromise on things, because that would reflect weak faith in the party values.

It’s that inability to compromise that has lead us to the difficult situation we are in now, and the Republicans towards the likelihood of losing their prized majority. While certain values should not be compromised, sometimes the inability to compromise means that values that might get some expression remain values expressed in words alone.

Steve Smith-
These folks may have given up on making their peace with this current government, but not necessarily given up on America itself.

I think it’s important what motivates people. Some people are motivated by sadness, some by anger, some by a certain something they left behind and don’t want to return to. People live as expatriates for a variety of reasons, only some of which depend on the person’s loyalties being conflicted.

Citizenship should not be revoked so easily. Let them renounce it if they choose, but if they haven’t given up on America to that extent, America should not give up on them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 10, 2005 3:38 PM
Comment #84689

Stephen Daugherty,

So, they leave because they have given up on the current government. Said any way you wish they have lost faith and quit.

Suddenly another party comes into power and these people observe from afar that things are looking good so they come back.

Then, 4 years later or, sooner, as in the present situation, it gets a little stormy so, off they go again.

These are fair weather friends who do not deserve the benefits of citizenship.

Posted by: steve smith at October 10, 2005 3:54 PM
Comment #84690

Steve Smith-
The Senate committees could serve those purposes perfectly fine if people weren’t just playing it safe for the party and themselves. The willingness to ask difficult questions is the most important part of what these people do.

Ask the right questions now, before the damage is permanent.

As for the president’s responsibility, it’s inherent in his job. He is the chief executive, the leader of that branch. Whether or not he cares to be responsible with his appointment of these folks, he should be held responsible for those people he puts in.

Stephanie-
I know this government’s not been so forthcoming with information, with the addressing of mistakes and grievances. That’s why, of course, my fellow Democrats and I have been so tough on this administration.

As for mixed metaphors, I cannot judge Here’s a recent one of mine, quite intentional:

Eric has once again hit upon the red herring and has proceeded to beat a dead horse out of it.

I think you may be right about Dean, but politics is often a game of opportunities seized. The Democratic leaders were on the trailing edge of what their constituents felt, deferring far too much to the president, letting slide any number of unfair and un-called for attacks that were really stinging a number of us at the grassroots level. Dean had the courage to say what many Liberals like myself were feeling, and our other leaders grew the backbones necessary to face down the president. I think he’s too much of a lightning rod to ever hold the presidency (as is Hillary Clinton, in my opinion), but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t invigorated his party when it most needed it.

I agree with your notion of tangible ideologies, to the extent that they map well to the realities they connect to. There are many rules that are products of commonly held values and agreed upon needs.

We should recognize that ideas about real things are still ideas, and we need to be flexible about how we regard our world, especially in the light of a lack of “one-size-fits-all” leaders and ideologies.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 10, 2005 4:05 PM
Comment #84691

Stephen Daugherty,

I was being facetious with my appointed officials post.

Posted by: steve smith at October 10, 2005 4:11 PM
Comment #84695

Stephen,

“I know this government’s not been so forthcoming with information, with the addressing of mistakes and grievances. That’s why, of course, my fellow Democrats and I have been so tough on this administration.”

Let me hope, for a little while longer, that this was a joke. I wasn’t talking about the current administration. I was talking about government in general for much longer than the current administration has been around. Am I to believe that Clinton and Carter had transparent administrations? That makes me smile! Government secrecy has been around a lot longer then GWB. GWB and his administration are simply skilled players of a deceptive system.

“I think you may be right about Dean, but politics is often a game of opportunities seized.”

Dean and the Democrats haven’t done a whole lot of seizing as far as I can see. They haven’t done a very good job of playing to what the majority of Americans want. They’ve merely pointed out how poorly Bush & Company have fulfilled those wants. And trust me, Senator Clinton doesn’t count. The swing from far-left to center is entirely unconvincing.

While Dean may have invigorated his party, he hasn’t invigorated the American people, which is far more important and an entirely different thing. What the Reps had going for them is that they were able to mobilize a fairly large, quiet portion of the American population. Dems aren’t going to be able to just steal those votes. Their best hope is that these people don’t vote, which may very well happen considering the Republicans’ performance.

“We should recognize that ideas about real things are still ideas, and we need to be flexible about how we regard our world…”

Flexibility is called for. That’s part of what democracy is supposed to be about. But it all depends on where you’re calling for flexibility. For instance, considering on what platform Bush got elected, it would be a Republican suicide to be “flexible” on the issue of homosexual marriage. And yet, because it wasn’t a major point of his platform, he’s not actively enforcing decency laws in regards to illegal pornography. That is a form of flexibility on Bush’s part, but it’s quiet and for the most part hidden and doesn’t satisfy the Dems at all.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 10, 2005 4:39 PM
Comment #84696

steve smith,

I totally missed that, too! Either make it obvious or give us a warning. ;-)

Posted by: Stephanie at October 10, 2005 4:41 PM
Comment #84700

Stephanie and Stephen Daugherty,

After re- reading my post re: “appointed officials” I agree that a reader might interpret it at face value. I indicated that I was being facetious because it did get an intelligent response and I did not want to be misleading. I apologize for the confusion. Because of my generally extreme right wing posts I made the mistake of thinking that it would be interpreted as just another bizarre post or ignored altogether.

Posted by: steve smith at October 10, 2005 4:54 PM
Comment #84701

I’d respond with this:

….Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

George Washington in his farewell address, he says it better than I ever could.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at October 10, 2005 5:03 PM
Comment #84704

Lisa Renee,

Wonderful quote. I fail however to see how it bears on my post.

Posted by: steve smith at October 10, 2005 5:09 PM
Comment #84706

Sorry Steve, I should have been clearer it was to Stephen’s response to David about the idea of political parties and the constitution up thread.

Lack of sleep, sick children I should refrain from posting until I am clear or get my second wind.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at October 10, 2005 5:15 PM
Comment #84707

I understand Lisa Renee. Only in my case it’s the occassional weekend visit of my grandchildren.

Posted by: steve smith at October 10, 2005 5:18 PM
Comment #84710

“I think looking at the scandals we have now, Republicans and Indpendents are beginning to understand what our talk about this administration has been about”

SD, do you really this to be true?
In the 90’s, I believed the exact same thing in that the left were beginning to understand our talk about that administration.
Judging by the lefts willingness to defend and still make excuses for him to this very day, I do not believe people are willing to see past their partisan views yet.

Posted by: kctim at October 10, 2005 5:38 PM
Comment #84716

steve smith,

Alas the technologies that would make that effective and reliable are not yet available. Too few scientists have read H. Beam Piper, I guess.

As for dismissing it because you’re typically very right-wing…where’s the fun in that? ;-)

Posted by: Stephanie at October 10, 2005 6:13 PM
Comment #84717

kctim,

“Judging by the lefts willingness to defend and still make excuses for him to this very day, I do not believe people are willing to see past their partisan views yet.”

Viewing the world through the eyes of partisan politics is still very much alive and well today. It is visible here on Watchblog, and just about everywhere else I’ve looked.

However, the difficulty is not merely with the partisan nature of current American politics, but the strangle-hold such politics has on our system of government.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 10, 2005 6:18 PM
Comment #84724

Steve Smith appears from his comments, opposed to choice, which would making folks of the same rhetoric, part of the problem driving so many Americans to take up residence elsewhere, places where choice is still respected.

Sgt. Wright, I respect your decision, especially, if you have children. America’s future is bleak, and full of threat to the next generation’s freedoms, paychecks, education, and opportunity.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 10, 2005 7:25 PM
Comment #84728

AP said:

“And why are Republicans being so obstructionist? Why are they forcing the country into a long drawn out confirmation hearing? Republicans should quit whining and hold an immediate up or down vote on Miers!”

Too funny! And while they’re at it, they should come up with a plan to fix social security…

Seriously though, is Miers really a stealth candidate for the religious right? She could be (as could Roberts). Why the president had to screw over the intellectual wing of the rep party by nominating her, I have no clue. I’m no pundit.

I don’t know if liberals should be celebrating this in-fighting between conservatives though. Where it will lead is unknown as yet. It could fracture them or they could compromise and emerge stronger.

Riveting stuff.

Posted by: Nikita at October 10, 2005 7:34 PM
Comment #84861

Judging from David Remer’s comment about my being opposed to choice, he assumes that I am. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I never said that someone should not have a choice on leaving the country. I said that if they exercise the choice to do so, they have demostrated their disdain for the way this country is evolving and think that there “is a better place”.

My point was and is, that if you choose to leave and seek greener pastures you should forfeit your rights to citizenship.

David, it appears from your comments that you have determined a bleak future for the U.S. which threatens the next generation’s freedoms, paychecks, education and opportunity.

One might construe this to be a defeatist attitude common to individuals who would rather “switch than fight”.

If leaving the country involves spending money earned here (including from investments, wages, retirement plans, etc.) in other countries. This is counterproductive to the economy.

Nevertheless I gather from your comments that you might consider fleeing the country as well. I hate to lose such a good debater. A masterdebater if you will.

Posted by: steve smith at October 11, 2005 9:31 AM
Comment #84915
A masterdebater if you will.

Nice. I remember that joke from 6th grade. :/

Just FYI, if you leave the country, you still have to pay federal taxes, even if you’re no longer a resident of any of the 50 states. Plus, you have to pay taxes in your new country.

On the other hand, it’s nice not having to deal with Republicans every day. :)

If leaving the country involves spending money earned here (including from investments, wages, retirement plans, etc.) in other countries. This is counterproductive to the economy.

I frequent McDonald’s throughout SE Asia and China. I’m doing my part to reduce the current account deficit. When was the last time you bought an American product?

Posted by: American Pundit at October 11, 2005 12:07 PM
Comment #84925

“Just FYI, if you leave the country, you still have to pay federal taxes, even if you’re no longer a resident of any of the 50 states. Plus, you have to pay taxes in your new country.”

There are conditions and exceptions to the taxpaying issue

“When was the last time you bought an American product?”

As you know they are becoming increasingly hard to find but I try as much as possible. Unfortunately, in the case of some products such as clothing, the offshore product exceeds the quality of the American made

Is the person who serves you at the McDonalds an American?

Posted by: steve smith at October 11, 2005 12:56 PM
Comment #84994

Stephanie-
Ideally, nobody would need any political parties. Follow me on why this doesn’t wash in reality:

1)People naturally congregate in coalitions for certain purposes in politics. Even the founding fathers realize that.

2)It takes resources to organize such efforts. If one is constantly organizing such efforts, it only makes sense to establish a permanent way to gather such resources for the coaltion. Remember here, we’re still talking about single cause coalitions.

3) The advantage to forming multiple cause political organizations becomes apparent as the tendency to share these different causes becomes apparent: Why put together different causes for different organizations when you can put together a much more efficient operation to cover all your different bases. The distribution of different causes for which people congregate is not monolithically defined, but it is non-random to a large degree, so these overlaps occur all the time.

4)A feedback effect makes itself known as the parties become better known as organization, and the need for trust requires clear explanation for which stands people take. The organization, built to keep the administrative ducks in a row becomes more active in filtering out who gets to claim the backing of the organization.

And thus, political parties are formed, as an emergent result of human tendencies in sociopolitical realms.

In other words, if we didn’t have political parties, we’d soon find ourselve reinventing them almost by accident as we sought to fulfill our needs.

Understanding things this way, the solution is not to throw the notion of parties out, but rather to change some of our attitudes towards our political parties.

So far, the process I’ve been laying out here works because there are advantages to stable organization, multiple-issue oriented, and discplined organizations- parties, that is.

By themselves, like all good ideas, they would take themselves to their most logical (and most absurd) extreme. In real life, there can be and often are other phenomena at work, which interrupt the logical loops and introduce intellectual and emotional friction that reduces the efficiency, and therefore the advantage, of the party.

In short, a strongly unified party out of control can be brought to heel if information and news about its policies and agendas start looking sufficiently bad. Concerted propaganda effort can bring this about, but they have to be intense and unified over time. Most of the time, as with the Pre-1994 Democrats, and the current Republicans, this results from bad policies that just keep getting worse.

Real world evidence and events are far more effective at persuasion that propaganda is. Propaganda is high maintenance. It doesn’t have much of a defense for itself when the full facts and context seep in. Such things can backfire, and cause more damage to the people shelling it out than the ones taking it. The GOP’s attacks on Clinton are a perfect example.

As for flexibility, it’s a good thing for a party in terms of being able to react to reality.

I think a good metaphor here would be this: It’s nice that Neo from The Matrix can lean backwards and dodge bullets when they come flying at him, but do you really think he would walk around every day, bent backwards like that? No. The idea is to keep options open, not be indecisive. It’s the will to resolve conflicts, not vacillate.

kctim-
It all depends on how you approach people. If you go in looking for a fight, there’s not a hell of lot you can get people to admit to. If you go in looking for a polite discussion, depending on the person, you’l probably get much better results. My comment related to some problems that Democrats were aware of long ago, that people are only now becoming aware of on your side of things (independents and Republicans.)

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 11, 2005 9:01 PM
Comment #85002

Stephen,

Impressive, but unnecessary. I understand the value of political parties. Political parties, in and of themselves, is not what I have a problem with. I have a problem with the two-party system we currently have.

I have a problem with Democrats and Republicans alternating between power, only to see that not a whole lot changes between the two. I’m against the Dems and the Reps using zoning (or whatever it’s called) to maintain power for each other. I have a problem with the two main parties intentionally and cooperatively blocking so-called third party candidates from even being on the ballot. I have a problem with the out-right smugness with which they pull all this off.

I also have a problem with a local politician being a Democrat, meaning he wants to help the environment, the unions and the farmers; and a Democrat for Governor who wants to force insurance for homosexual significant others through (state paid, of course) while turning a blind eye to chemicals and foreign wildlife being dumped into the Great Lakes, which are a major part of the ecology and economics of the state he’s supposed to be governing (not to mention the plethora of campaign promises he has failed to address or the drastic budget cuts to seniors and people with disabilities to fund his pet projects). While the first guy, the local guy, the…dare I say it…GOOD guy quits politics because it’s gotten too nasty.

It’s not that Dems or Reps are out of control per se, it’s that they are IN control, almost total control, because with the way things are set up, all we can basically do is belly-flop between the two of them. After seeing this in action, even for just this little while, and having the Big Bad President and the Big Bad Governor to compare and contrast to each other…it’s disgusting how very little there is to contrast. And the absolute worst part of it, for me personally, is that the only viable gubernatorial candidate I’m aware of is a….REPUBLICAN!!! If I didn’t know the guy personally it would absolutely suck.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 11, 2005 10:34 PM
Comment #85016

What we perceive as being two parties hides an rather complex political system. That’s what makes analyzing the parties as emergent organizations so important.

The problem isn’t that it’s a two party system, but rather, that it’s a two party system that people have become very rigid in their thinking about it. This is the consequence of too much political discipline: it leaves people little elbow room to give the two party system the robust range of sensiblities it needs.

I think we need to be willing to punish our own, even if it means we have a temporary lapse in power. If we start down that path, then the parties have to address the problem on more substantial grounds than merely pushing partisan buttons. Bush is the apotheosis of that approach, it’s problematic nature taken to absurd lengths. Otherwise he’s unsuccessful as a president.

We need to address things in such a way, because by doing so, we introduce the variable of performance, that party discipline might remove. The question of this real life performance is also important for any third parties wishing to ascend to power, for the reason that people will not trust a party that hasn’t proven itself locally to govern them federally.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 11, 2005 11:09 PM
Comment #85048

At this point, I don’t think either party is going to be “punishing their own” until the voting American public punishes the lot of them. However, with fewer third-party or independent candidates making it to the ballots that’s more difficult to do. As for locally, it’s difficult getting people of both parties to run, let alone an independent or a third-party candidate, but maybe that’s just my area.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 12, 2005 12:08 AM
Comment #85052

Stephen,

While I understand your party loyalty…I understand that you think the Democrats will be different, better somehow, I hope you seriously consider WHEN the Dems mess up (like Bush has) in a way that’s in your face and gets your attention…when that happens I hope you stick to your concientious thoughtful attitude well enough to abandon the party that really truly doesn’t work for you.

On a side note…do you believe it is the job of the President and his (or her) administration to uphold the law?

Posted by: Stephanie at October 12, 2005 12:13 AM
Comment #85172

I don’t believe our Foundling Fathers ever envisioned a “President” as mentaly challenged as this one is and who admits to “talking to God” would ever be elected or remain in office. This is the man who is “shaping” our Supreme Court?

Posted by: Gary Hankin at October 12, 2005 9:34 AM
Comment #85219

Stephen
“My comment related to some problems that Democrats were aware of long ago, that people are only now becoming aware of on your side of things (independents and Republicans.)”

My comment related to problems that Indies and Reps were aware of long ago and that the left is just now beginning to notice, now that its not their guy in office.

“We should become concerned, regardless of party affiliation, any time our officials are less than forthright about what they are doing”

If a person wants their side to be heard, they have to be willing to hear the other side when its their turn to listen.

Posted by: kctim at October 12, 2005 12:46 PM
Comment #85276

Stephanie-
The President takes an oath to that effect. He is the man whose job is to see the law enforced and carried out. If he fails to uphold the law, he’s failed by the constitutional definition of his job.

I know that when the time comes to face an ugly truth about my party, I will suffer the inevitable moment of hesitation. Having seen the Republicans self-destruct over the past few months, though, I will recall one clear fact: we protect the dishonest, the corrupt, and the incompetent at our own peril. Hopefully, I won’t be a weenie about it. That’s sort of why I write that point down so often. It’s sort of like burning the ship home behind me. If I go back on that, I deserve to be exposed.

As for punishing their own, I agree with your assessment as to when the parties might start policing their own…

…which is precisely why I make this appeal. I see all too many people willing to push their own party to the hilt. I have been on both sides of the divide and carry beliefs typical of both parties, and also, I have thought long and hard about what comes of protecting the guilty and sweeping matters like this under the rug.

After all that, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only thing that keeps things from spinning out of control is the eternally vigilant pursuit of the objective truth about the situation, and the conscientious action taken towards it. Otherwise the human mind has far too much creative capability for its own good, and our matters become ever so messy as we try to lie our way out of problems.

As for third party candidates at a local level, I’d say if you can’t find one, perhaps you or somebody in your circle of family and friends can be one. It’s not going to be easy at first.

kctim-

My comment related to problems that Indies and Reps were aware of long ago and that the left is just now beginning to notice, now that its not their guy in office.

I can provide you with examples. I can cite virtually the entire history of this war. What were you as an independent so prescient about, besides the vague claims of Democrat weakness already put out? I know it’s rhetorically tempting to turn a question around like that, but our criticism were not merely a result of hindsight.

If a person wants their side to be heard, they have to be willing to hear the other side when its their turn to listen.

In principle and practice, that works, but what puzzles me is that you write that in response to me calling for more vigilant policing of our politicians.

It seems you are trying to say that because I’m not always neutral or welcoming of the other side’s views, that my call for greater oversight by voters for our politicians is simply a rationalization designed to justify my intense scrutiny of Bush by making it appear that I want this for everybody. when I don’t.

My real angle here is that I will always be less willing to police my own side than the other side, and so will the otherside. If we fail to do that policing, though, then the other side can inhibit our own side’s watchdogging by alleging hypocrisy.

I believe it’s become so easy to site hypocrisy that it’s paralyzing oversight in the system. What we need is more than one side or the other losing. What we need is a change of political culture, away from the current culture of expedience and image-based politics.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 12, 2005 4:36 PM
Comment #85284

Stephen,

“The President takes an oath to that effect. He is the man whose job is to see the law enforced and carried out. If he fails to uphold the law, he’s failed by the constitutional definition of his job.”

So, it’s the President’s job to uphold the law. If he doesn’t do that then he’s breaking not only his word, but defying the Constitutional definition of his job.

And yet, you still support President Clinton. He consistently refused to uphold the law (yes, I know that Bush has as well). How can Clinton be considered a good President when he did not fulfill the Constitutional definition of his job?

“As for third party candidates at a local level, I’d say if you can’t find one, perhaps you or somebody in your circle of family and friends can be one. It’s not going to be easy at first.”

Perhaps I’ll work on recruiting others for such a position, but not myself. For me, public speaking involves panic. ;-) That’s (part of) why I blog…no stage-fright.

“What we need is a change of political culture, away from the current culture of expedience and image-based politics.”

I couldn’t agree more!

Posted by: Stephanie at October 12, 2005 5:28 PM
Comment #85335

I still defend Clinton on certain counts, but that doesn’t mean I support him unconditionally. The presidential schlong should have been kept inside the president schlacks behind the presidential zipper, and him lying about that was not doing us favors.

I don’t defend his decision on Rwanda or Haiti. I don’t defend the hyperventilation of Clinton’s administration about casualties, nor his long wait on doing something about the Balkans. I definitely don’t defend him about not being more forceful in smacking down Saddam.

I wished he was less friendly with business, and more willing to stand for principles against the Republicans.

But I give him credit for proving that Democrats could be fiscally sound thinkers again, for finally doing something about the Balkans, and doing that decisively. I give him credit for being proactive on terrorism and disaster relief, for not talking to us American as if we belonged in Kindergarten, being taught what was right by rote. I mean, how many times does somebody have to be told that freedom is a great thing? We’re all adults here. Clinton spoke that way to people.

Clinton enjoys my support to the extent I think he did right by us. To the extent he failed to do that, he fails for me.

Bush, on the other hand… If you had told me this president would do the kind of damage to our country that he did back in 2000, I could not have imagined it would turn out that way. I liked Bush 41, and liked Reagan, and those two can actually claim some successes to their name, even if they were wrong-headed at times.

This President? You put your feet down to find the bottom, and you find none. Everything is rationalized. People drop dead from surprise when he takes responsibility or apologizes for anything. Clinton apologized for something just about every other day. He knew the first rule of gaining people’s trust was admitting you were human. People have the sense from their own experience that nobody gets it right all the time, and that those who perpetually dodge responsibility have something to hide.

Bush should have realized that long ago.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 12, 2005 8:29 PM
Comment #85352

Stephen,

While I appreciate all the things you mentioned, I was talking about whether or not the President enforces the laws on the books. While, I’m less familiar with Presidents past Clinton in this regard (other than knowing the Presidents of recent accord have been slacking in the immigrant arena in a major way) I do know that both President Clinton and President G W Bush are neglicting to enforce certain laws. Clinton actually dismantled a task force that was put together by Reagan to catch criminals producing and selling illegal pornography, including child pornography. Despite the fact that it would make sense, considering his political platform, Bush hasn’t really picked up the slack.

Discovering this has made me rather curious about which other laws that are on our books are not enforced, and how much that falls into the various Presidents’ laps. Like gun laws. I know illegal sales of guns happen fairly frequently, though that has been reduced of late. Is that the President’s fault for not stomping down harder? Where did it start?

Why do we push so hard to put laws on the books if they’re not going to be enforced as soon as we get a President who doesn’t think they’re important or if they don’t match the new President’s agenda?

And the answers to these questions aren’t exactly easily obtainable either. It’s not like the President is going to say, in his State of the Union address, “Oh, by the way, I’ve decided laws A, B, & X are unimportant, so I’m not going to enforce them. Criminals, enjoy!” Nor does the media seem to cover this particular facet of Presidential politics very much.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 12, 2005 10:36 PM
Comment #85634

SD
“In principle and practice, that works, but what puzzles me is that you write that in response to me calling for more vigilant policing of our politicians”

Dont be puzzled. I always bring up how the left ignored the right during the 90’s and now expects the right to listen to them.
Their claims then were no less valid than the claims the left is making now.
I know what your calling for and I agree. I just know that if we get stuck with another liberal in 08, the left will go back to ignoring the right and making excuses for their failures.

“My real angle here is that I will always be less willing to police my own side than the other side, and so will the otherside”

Then you cannot expect the other side to listen to your complaints and take them seriously.
Give respect to get respect.
It doesnt get any easier than that.

Posted by: kctim at October 13, 2005 2:21 PM
Comment #85700

Stephanie-
There are many reasons why not all laws are executed with equal vigor by the presidents of this age and ages past. One is that the laws are poorly written, and prosecutors would lose more often than not prosecuting the cases. Other factors include an interplay of limited resources(sometimes intentionally limited), differing attitudes towards different issues, sharp disagreements with the laws, and conflicts of jurisdiction.

Fact of the matter is, this society is a complex creature and its laws are complex, too, often making full execution and understanding of the law problematic. We hear about many cases where people dig up obscure laws and use them. That’s how they become obscure.

As for questions to our chief executives, I find that the best questions are ones that don’t provide obvious right and wrong answers from the outset. Don’t leave escape hatches where these people can give the right answer without being honest about it.

kctim-
The problem is, you’re not thinking of a way out. You’ve been so poisoned against Democrats and liberals that you won’t even consider that they may be fielding the more competent candidate- thus, politics trumps self interest. If I am eternally unwilling to vote for a Republican, I take the option of punishing my party for it’s poor choice away from myself. If you don’t have that choice in an election, you have no control.

My system is that we keep our side honest before the other side does, resisting the temptation I laid out. I’m saying its human that one will be more forgiving of one’s own side, not that it’s an inevitable choice.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 13, 2005 7:47 PM
Comment #85796

“The problem is, you’re not thinking of a way out. You’ve been so poisoned against Democrats and liberals that you won’t even consider that they may be fielding the more competent candidate- thus, politics trumps self interest”

No, the actions of liberals have poisoned me. I have no problem with giving a “Democrat” consideration.

“My system is that we keep our side honest before the other side does, resisting the temptation I laid out. I’m saying its human that one will be more forgiving of one’s own side, not that it’s an inevitable choice.”

For that to work, both sides must agree what is honest.
The left will look at numbers, twist them and start shouting its the end of the world. Then the right will look at the very same numbers and say what the hell are you talking about, they are almost identical to the numbers you were praising when your guy was in office. Back and forth they will go.
There is no way you can police your own party to the satisfication of the opposing party.

I agree with much you have said Stephen, I just think we have passed to point of no return when it comes to partisanship.

Posted by: kctim at October 14, 2005 11:12 AM
Comment #85848

Stephen,

I was talking about Clinton’s intentional disregard for laws that were put on the books in Reagan’s time. They weren’t obscure. They just weren’t very popular with Clinton’s backers, mainly because some of his backers were some of the ones committing the illegal acts. Dismantling a task force built to effectively prosecute these crimes isn’t a subtle response. Clinton intentionally turned his back on laws he didn’t agree with, and whether or not that’s “politics as usual” it is my opinion that it’s wrong.

“As for questions to our chief executives, I find that the best questions…”

I agree, but it does seem like you’re white-washing it as a non-issue.

“You’ve been so poisoned against Democrats and liberals that you won’t even consider that they may be fielding the more competent candidate…”

I guess that really depends on what you consider competence. I enjoyed voting for a certain local Democrat several times. This man was a Democrat for the right (imo) reasons. He was loyal to the farmers (which makes up a significant portion of his constituency) and union laborors (which makes up most of the rest), he prefered their fiscal policies, including assistance to the poor and underpriveledged, he believed protecting the environment was important, and probably agreed on some other issues that I am less aware of, but he deviated completely when it came to ultra-left groups who promote abortion and homosexuality, as well as other issues which threaten the traditional family. This was a man I could vote for with pride, and did so for a few cycles. Unfortunately, he’s retired now and I’ve not seen any Democrat with both his integrity or his platform.

As much as some here on Watchblog may belittle me for it, those issues that threaten the traditional family are very important to me and nothing you or your candidates can say are going to change that. While I may yet again vote for a Democrat that both understands and agrees with that stance, and has the integrity to stand for that, I will not vote for a Democrat who doesn’t. Basically, the Democrats own willingness to be high-jacked by the ultra-left has poisoned me against the Democratic Party, and the only way to get past is for a politician to very vocally not side with the ultra-left.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 14, 2005 5:24 PM
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