Democrats & Liberals Archives

Why I Am A Democrat

My biggest problem with the Liberal media card is how often it gets played. It gets played morning, noon, and night. The media can’t be responsible for every problem the Republicans have. It’s no different in substance from a teenage boy screaming at his father that he doesn’t understand him every time he punishes him for doing something bad. The recent controversies on Iraq are a good example.

The evidence is out there for how bad things are in Iraq. It may seem to benefit the Republican to continue the battle to convince the rest of the country the war's still justified, and we're just around the corner from victory once more, but in the end, the stressed irony of overplaying that claim, and then doing the same with the liberal bias card has sucked the life out of it for people.

You have to back words with results at some point, or otherwise people will consciously, or at the very least subconsciously downgrade your credibility.

To be honest with you all, I don't like that the war went this way. I don't cheer at its failures. I worry. I worry because we do have limits, and in their carelessness, Bush and his team have put us at those limits, sometimes even pushed us over it.

I still advocate we take the force in their to get things under control, but I do so in part because I believe that we don't know what is possible until we try. My concerns come from the fact that I believe with equal strength that those who do not prepare for their victories prepare their own defeats.

I guess you could say that my view of the war is built on two ideas: what our actions make possible, and what God makes possible. The first of course relates to the things we have in our power the capability to do, to raise the right number of people for our armies, to arm them and armor them effectively, so on and so forth. It's the stuff we can predict and anticipate.

On the other hand, there are the opportunities, the complexities and conditions that we must discover for ourselves going in. In any situation, our limitations in foresight, wisdom, and knowledge can make it to where the solution is not all that clear. It is there where we must be imaginative, bold, and creative. It is there where we must take the chances and break the rules. Often, though, we are at a loss to fully exploit this latter realm of possiblity unless we have taken care of business in the former fashion.

And that would be my position on the war.

If we had waited, a better opportunity might have presented itself. Bush did not wait. If we had better prepared the case for war, or not gone to war, given the low quality of evidence we were given, we might not have been humiliated by finding no WMDs. If this war had not been founded on a partisan political gambit, wherein the president lashed out at Democrats for obstructing him in the quest to disarm Saddam, we might not be suffering the achingly sad divisions we are now. If this president had not made the mistake of thinking he could just keep all the problems of this war under his hat, and deny the the charges levelled at him, he might actually have ended up looking better as a leader, and he might have cut the breakaway of the Democrats short.

The people we fear and hate the most among our leaders are the ones that are out of our control and doing damage to what we hold dear. The president, by screwing things up so badly, and fighting so furiously to avoid blame has turned himself into that danger for most Americans. People wanted this president to come through so badly. They did not want to see this country shamed. They do not want to see it defeated. They do not want us to resemble the monsters we seek to slay. We wish to be better than that.

The worst thing that I hear the Republicans say, after each disaster of incompetence, corruption, and partisan politics gone awry, is that we could do no better than this. In my own lifetime I have seen better done, and I have no desire to let Bush off easy, not in these important times.

I am a Democrat because for too long, it seems, the Republicans have become the party of diminished expectations. Having seen Democrats demand the best and get things better, the lackluster efforts of the Republicans do not impress or satisfy me. I am a Democrat because I can get what I pay for with my vote out of them. I might not agree on every issue with them, but I at least know they have less intention of ripping me off for my support than the GOP.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at July 1, 2006 9:18 PM
Comments
Comment #164062

Stephen-

A very literate and compelling defense of your political beliefs. I don’t always agree with you, but I do find you one of the few on this site that can write comprehensible, reasoned arguments and not fall into the “potty-mouth” rantings that some of your fellow posters get into.

I cannot rebut anything that you say because these are beliefs and feelings and there is no way to refute them. So. I will say that I do disagree with you in some instances and let it go at that.

I started out as a Democrat, voted for JFK and supported him for a long time. However, after Dallas and LBJ coming to power, I lost my naivety and became apolitical for a long time. When I returned to the political scene, I found that both parties had changed, and not for the better. The Democrats had gone too far left for my taste and the Republicans had pretty much deserted the mainstream.

After a period of time, I became a Libertarian in most ways. I firmly believe that government should have very little impact on my day to day existence. Yes, there are many ways that government can be of service to me and the rest of the people. But many of the things we see today are not for the people, they are for the government. Pork barrel projects that serve a very limited number of people, bureaucrats ignoring the needs of the ones they were hired to serve, politicians on both sides of the aisle pandering to the most powerful special interest groups…and the list goes on.

So, my political philosophy is this: forget party designations, examine the issues, take a hard look at the candidates, choose the one you think can do the best job, hold your nose, and vote. Then pray for a good outcome.

Posted by: John Back at July 1, 2006 11:32 PM
Comment #164063

Stephen,

I am one of the few people I know who does not believe there is a liberal bias in the media. I believe the media is biased, but in the direction that will make them the most money! A very wise person told me when I first got into radio-tv news: “Our job is to deliver customers to our advertisers first. If news gets through, that’s a bonus”. It may be cynical, but it’s true. Also, I think the media as a whole has it’s own agenda that may, or may not, coincide with the best interests of our country.

Posted by: John Back at July 1, 2006 11:37 PM
Comment #164066

I am never nearly as eloquent as you Stephen, and appreciate your contributions here, as well.

I was a Republican in beliefs early in my life, I suppose because my father was a Goldwater Republican. I watched the riots of the sixties, The murder of Martin Luther King and the Freedom Riders. I watched Vietnam. I watched Nixon lie. I saw the methods of J. Edgar Hoover. I listened and argued with the SDS and other protesters in College.

I watched the hatred and racism of the people who claimed to be Republican.

I never bought into the Hippie Dream, or Polyanna Peace and Harmony.

I watched Jimmy Carter return the US to honesty and dignity, inspite of the clamoring of the masses to bomb Iran.

I worked with Iranians ( or Persians as they prefered) at that time.

I watched Reagan lie about Iran Contra, I watched Clinton help destroy Unions, Lie boldfacedly, about trivia, but none the less lie. I watched him make trade deals bad for the US.

I then watched in horror as Bush was elected, and the US has sunk into something appearing like Fuedalism or Facism and a repeat of Vietnam. I’ve watched him lie to the point that even Republicans admit he has lied.

I do not belong to a party. Carter is the only President during my life I have admired. I think Ford was a decent man, but a lame duck. Carter became inneffectual near the end of his term.

Today I am mostly discouraged and find neither party offering what I think we need. I find the Libertarian and other Parties so far afield as to be unelectable.

I think we need a progressive conservative, if that isn’t a contradiction in terms.

Posted by: gergle at July 1, 2006 11:54 PM
Comment #164070

When are people gpoing to wake up and realize George W. Bush has destroyed the United states as it it once was. He has taken away everything this country ever stood for and made it into a country that no one longer respects as it always was. The people, the neo conservatives have taken us down a road that I do not beleive we will be able to survive.The people now follow Bush from fear like they did in Germany during World war II because people are scared and when people are in fear they will follow anyone in power.I beleive the ones that are in control of our country now are destroying us and no one, not even the news whom I always thought would stand up for our country, and expecially our congress or senate would not allow this to happen but, no one seems to care. Now Bush is going to get us into a war with Iran and we can not survive another war.We are so far in dept now that theres no way we can fight another war with no help from other countries who don’t even respect or agree with us now.This governments mind on a one way road, war and control. That’s not what our forefathers had in mind for this country.We can not fight every one that we disagree with. The reasons people hate us so much is the fact we seem to think they all have to beleive the same way we do and thats not right.We cannot control the whole world.We may be a powerful country, but we are not that powerful, that we can make the whole world do as we say do. What is wrong with this government, don’t they see where they are taking us.I beleive they are taking us to total destruction, and people are just sitting by and letting them do it. If we don’t stand up and speak for our country we are going to lose it. We have people in control of this country that are taking tatal control of it and no ones trying to fight it.If you are a Patriot you will stand up and put a stop to this and speak up against the torture, the lies, letting them use fear to keep everyone in line, well we may as well give our country up now!This not the christian way to run a country,Jesus tought us to love and care for no another not attack and control any on we disagreed with.How do you call this christianity?This government should be trying to bring this country together ot tear it apart. They are causeing everyone to hate each other. That’s not what Jesus taught. Why are they so determined to keep us at war with everyone.POWER AND CONTROL.Thats not a good and christian leader.They should be ashamed for the things they;ve done and they are not, they just justify it by saying he is the desider, well, God is the Desider and he will Deside.We need to start taking our country down the right road and we are not on it now!They cover everything up and I don’t really think people want to know the truh that going on people just follow, we have no leaders any longer, we just let them do as they please, well we can’t keep doing this we have to stand up and take our country and our rights back, or we will be just like the countries we are fighting against, because we have lost our way.Wake up people!

Posted by: cherry at July 2, 2006 12:14 AM
Comment #164071

It has been said that it is a poor workman that blames his tools. The Republican party and this administration in particular has used or cowed the media into hiding the truth or only reporting news favorable to the Republican policies. It would appear that the position that the Republicans are in now is akin to being bit by the hand that feeds it. As long as the media was in lock-step with this administration things were fine. Now, with the truth coming out, the landscape is different. They can no longer hide or justify spending tax dollars on an unjust war that could be used for education, health care or VA services.

Democrat? You bet, and a Yellow Dog Democrat at that.

Posted by: David Lambert at July 2, 2006 12:20 AM
Comment #164079

Stephen et al

This is a problem for Dems. You are all telling us why you do not like Republicans in general or president Bush in particular. That is why you are not Republicans, but it should not be why you are Democrats.

Posted by: Jack at July 2, 2006 12:45 AM
Comment #164083

—Jack— Our problems began when a very large segment of our population, has not noticed our Senate an house of representatives had abdicated their responsibilities, when President Bush
started making the rules for his own personal Agneta, with out question from the other elected bodies of government. By making the CIA basically ineffective, the FBI a secret police force an the rest of the agencies nonexistent!

Posted by: DAVID at July 2, 2006 1:18 AM
Comment #164089

Cherry, I don’t believe that Bush has destroyed America, he’s simply brought back a lot of the things we learned were bad about the fifties and sixties back. Sadly, I think this is the reactionary politics of the Republicans. The people who defend Bush seem to have created a blind spot as they try to rewrite history. They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I just hope enough have awakened to the recycled politics they are selling.

Posted by: gergle at July 2, 2006 1:52 AM
Comment #164090

—Stephen— I am not faulting the FBI OR THE CIA but I believe they have been pushed to the point where Valor has become the better part of wisdom. I probably would fill the page defining why I am a Democrat, an I guess MY First prerequisite is to always Vote. after that just being a good American trying to do the right thing is always, most always, my thing.

Posted by: DAVID at July 2, 2006 2:06 AM
Comment #164095

Stephen:

“And that would be my position on the war. If we had waited, a better opportunity might have presented itself. Bush did not wait. If we had better prepared the case for war, or not gone to war, given the low quality of evidence we were given, we might not have been humiliated by finding no WMDs. If this war had not been founded on a partisan political gambit, wherein the president lashed out at Democrats for obstructing him in the quest to disarm Saddam, we might not be suffering the achingly sad divisions we are now. If this president had not made the mistake of thinking he could just keep all the problems of this war under his hat, and deny the the charges levelled at him, he might actually have ended up looking better as a leader, and he might have cut the breakaway of the Democrats short.

In this short synopsis of your position on the war, you point to ‘low-quality evidence’ and the ‘humiliation’ of not finding WMD, of ‘partisan political gambits’, ‘achingly sad divisions’ and a president who doesn’t unfortunately ‘look better.’

Not once in this hand-wringing of yours have you taken into account the absolute criminal destruction of a country that never threatened us. Statements like this are what makes America so unattractive to foreigners. Every foreign challenge, screw-up and military adventure is a matter of our political intrigues, how we look bad when things go haywire, how our president looks to others.

This is self-centered baloney. Iraq is a bloody quagmire, tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis have DIED, the country is in RUINS, and there is no end in sight. The vast majority of Iraqis want us gone, their government wants us gone, and Americans are wringing the collective hands and saying “Oh dear, I’m so conflicted, what should I do??!

We should get OUT, pack up our permanent bases, our shabby, good-natured cowboy integrity, our white phosphorus and depleted uranium and leave those poor bastards to figure it out for themselves. NOW!!!

This self-centered, self-pitying soul-searching while so many are dying has a criminal stench like the smell of putrefaction and blood on a very hot day.

This isn’t about us, it’s about the Iraqi people, and how we can ever possibly make ammends after the horrors we’ve visited on them. “Waiting on a better opportunity” my ass. This country has stepped out of the shadows and shown it’s true imperial maw, dripping in death, destruction and greed.

I left the Democratic party because they insist on going along to get along—they haven’t stood up for principle, the Constitution, human rights, economic justice, the average working people, or, for that matter, the Iraqi people! They don’t know what they believe anymore, consequently they don’t know what to go to the mat for, without taking a poll. They deserve to go the way of the Whigs and the Know-Nothings, because, when they smell money or a real fight for principle, they tuck their collective tails, quiver mightly, then beg. If you don’t think your party is “one of diminished expectations”, you’re deluding yourself.

This article stinks, it’s self-flagellation for a bougoise audience. I’m not buying. Your ‘reasonable, modulated, thoughtful’ prose totally minimizes an absolute political, moral, military and economic catastrophe.

Posted by: Tim Crow at July 2, 2006 2:54 AM
Comment #164103
Having seen Democrats demand the best and get things better, the lackluster efforts of the Republicans do not impress or satisfy me.

Damned straight! Good article Steven.

Jack makes a fair point. Since I’m not the most eloquent Democrat by a long shot, I’ll refer anyone with a similar complaint to Carville’s book, “Had Enough?” The entire book deals with what Democrats stand for, and reading it always makes me proud to be one.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 2, 2006 3:47 AM
Comment #164104

Stephen,

You really made me think.

Of course my grandparents were FDR Democrats and my parents were Kennedy Democrats, but what really cemented my bond to the Democratic Party was watching the events unfold during the 1972 presidential campaign. I’ll never forget the CRP (aka CREEP) tricks, especially the political destruction of Muskie by the phony “Canuck letter”. What the Republicans tried to portray as weakness in their Democratic opponents, both then and now, I see as true compassion.

If I had to put it in a nutshell, I’d simply have to say the Democratic party has shown they recognize our nation is only as strong as it’s weakest link. True prosperity as a nation can’t be realized if there are hoards of people standing in soup lines or huddled in makeshift shelters. Democrats throughout my lifetime have at least made efforts to protect the truly vulnerable among us.

OTOH I watched as Reagan reduced funding for crucial mental health services which ultimately resulted in shifting the burden to Medicaid. Need I mention the tax cuts of 1981 and the tax increases of 1982 & 1983? Or the termination of oil price controls?

So, why am I a Democrat? Uh, because Democrats care about the common man? Yes, but Jack is also right, in part it’s because they’re not Republicans.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 2, 2006 3:48 AM
Comment #164105

Tim, while I agree that ten of thousands have died for a power struggle, I wouldn’t characterize our country as blood stained maw. Yes, we are a warrior nation. We are THE world power to be reckoned with. But what world power isn’t or hasn’t excercised it’s power? You live at the pinnacle of world power and benefit from that. It would be nice to live in civil world where there were never power or resource struggles, but it doexn’t exist. It never has.

Sadam wasn’t exactly a nice guy either. The Iraqi’s have a chance to form a new direction. Perhaps we are a bit imperial, but I don’t think we’re simply a blood sucking leach on Iraq. Perhaps this is only a political ghost being exhorcised by Cheny or a political manuever by Bush.

We HAVE lifted the foot off Iraq’a neck. Perhap’s it’s a slim chance for them, but it is a chance.
Would it be better if Saudi Arabia, Iran, China or Russia invaded Iraq? Sadam was a destabilizing factor in the Middleeast. He saw himself as Nassar. Eventually, someone would’ve made a move on him.

Perhap’s Bush has Autocratic tendencies, but I don’t think he would be successful in becoming tyrant.

Posted by: gergle at July 2, 2006 3:49 AM
Comment #164115

—gergle— Do you believe that building an Embassy the size of 25 football fields in Iraq would signal to the Iraqi people that the Americans will be leaving their country any time soon?

Posted by: DAVID at July 2, 2006 4:47 AM
Comment #164119

I don’t care who marries who. I do believe there should be a level playing field for all americans and the best way to achieve that level playing field is to stop all special government benefits to married couples. If you eleminate all government benefits from marriage then you end up with couples who marry because of love and commitment rather than financial reasons and you can put this argument over gay marriage in the trash can where it belongs.

Posted by: tomd at July 2, 2006 6:58 AM
Comment #164122

I guess my final reasons for becoming a Democrat earlier in my life need elaboration.

There was a certain point at which I believed very much in the Reagan vision of things. I was pretty young at this point, and it was really all I knew. It might have been what I’d advocate for the rest of my life, had it not been for one problem.

I got the sense that the Republicans did not care what the reality of the situation. I have always been, to one extent or another, big on science. Explicitly, it seemed my former party was trying to roll things back. Implicitly, much of their approach began to involve the denial of this or that. Finally, they would deny the election of Clinton, and start the hounding of him that really never would end.

I did not celebrate when Clinton was first elected. I had been rooting for Bush 41. I did not however go insane with anger over it. Okay, so Clinton was president, fine. He would be accorded the respect by me that was due a president, the respect I had been taught to give our leaders under Reagan, and had given Bush.

That wasn’t the response of many of my fellow Republicans. Their response was to heap insult upon insult on the president, seeking every opportunity to scorn and belittle him. Clinton was clearly no idiot, and he was clearly not the one who started this. I didn’t hear him snearing about the conservative media, moaning about conservatives the way my soon to be former colleagues we doing so about liberals.

The party that had once represented grandfatherly wisdom (no small thing, when I was young, and looked up to my own) now represented a gang of strident, anarchical bullies. You could say that I was a child of the Reagan Era compromise between conservative politics and New Deal/Great Society principles. These people respected no compromise. The respected nothing even about the moderates.

I know much about the price of politics of division, because one day the hatred of the Republicans for even the smallest bit of liberalism divided me away from the party. The takeover of 1994, with all the political posturing, power politics, and disregard for science, technology, only further deepened the impression for me that the party of grandfatherly wisdom had become the party of immature foolishness. Ironically, I credit this party more for the decay of morals than I could the Democrat. The Democrats had their rebellion long ago, and now they had come back to the center more on morals. They had said, “If it feels good, do it.” and then learned their lesson. Now it was the Republican’s turn, and it became, “If you want it, grasp for it.” Under the guise of opposing political correctness, they tore apart what was left of the real conservative foundation.

Now the party of grandfatherly wisdom had made itself into the party of immature, frat-boy bullies. It didn’t help that I was and still am a nerdy kid with a big scholarly and academic bent to match my pragmatic attitude.

To this day, the whole liberal media trump card remains annoying, because it doesn’t argue a reality to rebut an argument, it argues a perception problem, even when there are facts plainly on the table.

I became a Democrat because what they supported fit my values, and the rest I considered a persons own business anyways. It would be almost a decade before I would become a practicing Catholic, but the impulse that would bring me to the church would also bring me to the Democratic party: a devotion to justice, a principled stand on the constitution, a looser and less dogmatic approach to politics, a willingness to listen to the advice of the learned, as well as the wishes of the people.

The Democratic party wasn’t perfect, but in the end, it was better than the party that came to be the majority.

To close, some may ask why my response to Bush’s election was not the same as Clinton’s, why I didn’t start out with respect for him at that point. I guess I got the sense that Bush was simply more of the same, politically speaking. He embodied that frat-boy sensiblity, and the Republicans used the bullying tactics once again, not only before the elections, where it could be justified as just negative campaigning, but also afterwards, when perhaps a bit of calm and quiet, and respect for the anxiety of a nation held in suspense would have been in order.

To put it bluntly, Bush could have more graciously won. Public respect for the other side would not have killed him. They could have had all their legal fights in private, and not given the appearance time and time again of trying to cut things short. By doing that, Bush ensured that there were people who were going to believe that he won through brute force trickery, rather than through the ballot.

Though, lacking further evidence, I can’t say I believe the election was stolen, I can say that I believe Bush showed great contempt for the process. He did not make things better in his first year by acting as if his barely there election had been a great victory.

Still, he had the chance with 9/11 to grow up, to leave the political immaturity aside, to transcend partisan politics. But then 2002 came around and he embraced rather than rose above such politics. It didn’t help my opinion of him at that point that his party’s vicious, cold-war style slanders of my party were heading our way when most of us still thought of little else but unity with other Americans. 2002 was not a very strong election for us, and many of us who stood up in government lost the election. We were simply not prepared to fight.

When it comes to 2004, 2006, I think the last four years since that terrible election are what many of us would like to take back, if we could. This country divided for nothing. The Democrats were marginalized by the Republicans to enable a war that’s destroyed the Republicans as well. In the years since, we have seen the folly of giving this president unchecked power. He’s a walking advertisement for many of why the Constitution didn’t grant unlimited powers to the president, or to any official for that matter. The Senators and Representatives of his party have not made much better of an impression. Now the majority of Americans are looking for leadership that works.

The Democrats are willing to step up to the plate. Hopefully, we can prove to the American people that we are more worthy of the power we seek, than those whose misuse has degraded their political fortunes.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 2, 2006 7:46 AM
Comment #164123

Tim Crow-
The real world a pretty complicated place, and I’ve been on both sides of enough debates to where I prefer to be forgiving of other people’s for their opinions, even if I’m not so restrained about the opinions themselves.

If Bush had been right, and done right, he would have legitimately earned people’s respect for the war, and his leadership of it. WE would have come out looking more like heros, and the UN might have been shamed over the politics it played, which I believed was no less unhelpful than the president’s chicanery.

Underneath all of what you call hand wringing is a profoundly simple point: had the president motivated his actions by what the evidence indicated was right, had he sought out the truth where he didn’t have it, instead of just assuming he knew what was going on, he might not have precipitated the current calamity.

Don’t think I don’t see all the bloodshed and mayhem and minimize it. I just think if we go purely by your views, there will be yet more bloodshed, and we will be back cleaning up this mess again. We don’t need, in our partisan ardor, to be just as prejudicial in our assumptions of what we must do as the president was. We must let the evidence guide our actions, or be prepared to fail as badly as the Republicans.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 2, 2006 8:01 AM
Comment #164219

I am neither Democrat or Republican. I vote my conscience and for the person I think could lead this Country better. There are to many promises from both sides that are broken.

Posted by: Rich at July 2, 2006 12:53 PM
Comment #164232

Stephen:

“If Bush had been right, and done right, he would have legitimately earned people’s respect for the war, and his leadership of it. WE would have come out looking more like heros, and the UN might have been shamed over the politics it played, which I believed was no less unhelpful than the president’s chicanery.”

What in the hell are you talking about?! This was an illegal invasion that has now put the concept of preemptive invasion of a country on the legal map. It flies in the face of the Geneva Conventions, the Nurenburg rulings and simple international law. This is might makes right, nothing attractive like ‘spreading democracy’ going on here! This is naked aggression masquerading as dictator-busting so we can feel good about ourselves. We attacked Iraq for two simple reasons: because it is conveniently near the oil spigot of the world, and it DIDN’T have nuclear weapons to protect themselves—we didn’t want to get our hair mussed.

This position that centrist Democrats have (and you mirror so faithfully) that they could have run this war more proficiently, put more boots on the ground, emphasized rebuilding of infrastructure and all the other nonsense, emphasizes that the Democrats have a lot of blood on their hands too. They are complicit in genocide, they are essentially unrepentent and culpable.

This modulated, triangulated, measured, nuanced Iraq ‘policy’ by the Democrats is unmitigated crap, and it plays into the hands of a Republican party that prides itself on throttling weakness and sensitive soul-searching. This war was brought to you by thugs, is perpetuated by criminality, and will end when they say it will end.

In short, Bush would NEVER have ‘earned’ my respect for this war because it was predicated on criminality in sevice of imperialism. And I’m insulted that you would throw me in that kettle of fish.

“…We would have come out looking like heros.” For such a sophisticated thinker, this smacks of juvenile preening. There was no way in hell we would have ‘looked like heros.’ You can’t get a silk purse out of a sow’s ear—aggression is aggression.

You have perfectly articulated the Democratic position on this god-forsaken war—and frankly, with movable principles like that, I’m thankful I left the party.


Posted by: Tim Crow at July 2, 2006 1:28 PM
Comment #164250

Stephen D. said: “You have to back words with results at some point, or otherwise people will consciously, or at the very least subconsciously downgrade your credibility.”

This is precisely why Democrats began losing power in 1992.

Why I am not a Democrat nor Republican. I respect some platform issues of both parties. I respect fiscal responsibility and downsizing federal government and its role in our personal lives. I respect placing Constitutionally protected individual rights above the rights of groups or the government. I respect a federal government that intercedes in issues of national importance which the states in their diversity demonstrate they cannot handle.

But, what I absolutely reject about the Republican and Democratic parties is their NFL approach which dictates winning supercedes all other agendas and values, and protection of power attained supercedes everyone else’s agenda or values. I reject Republocrats complicity in failing to install an accountable and transparent voting system in America conveniently available to all eligible voters. I reject Republocrats FEC stranglehold on our political system which marginalizes and makes irrelevant competitors in the form of third parties and independent candidates. I reject Republocrats historical record of transferring the cost of today’s problems on to the shoulders our children through deficits and national debt. I reject Republocrat’s claims that they represent the will of the people rather than letting the voice of the majority of Americans be represented on its own. And I absolutely reject the corruption of our system by both parties in gerrymandering districts to nullify the voices of many, many, millions of Americans at election time.

And finally, and most of all, I reject Republocrats absolute and unrepentent dependency on corporate, individual, and lobbyist wealth and bribes in the fashioning of laws and policy whose costs in taxes and opportunity, must be born by the 100’s of millions of the rest of us, not so fortunate as to afford to buy a politician’s consideration.

I have many other reasons for not even wanting to be a Democrat or Republican, but, this list is commonly shared by many of my fellow Americans who identify themselves as independent or third party voters. A group that outnumbers in many areas of the country, either Democrats or Republicans among America’s eligible voters.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 2, 2006 2:22 PM
Comment #164291

Gergle:

I have studied your post and have pondered it. I respect your views, but find a few of your conclusions dubious, such as your ascertion that there was an Arab belief that Saddam presented a Nassarian figure to rally around.

Indeed, we seem to be a warrior nation, and every country we befriend seems to have our bases in it. It is an empire that belittles our protestations of democracy-building and underminds our ethical and economic standing. We will go the way of the Romans, the Greeks, the Persians, the Muslims, the Soviets. The core values have been distorted, twisted and contorted in the service of hegemony.

Such is the nature of power. What offends me though is the hypocricy, the arrogance and the deceit. The world is on to us, and has been for some time now. We have perpetuated war not so much for the political ideologues as for the economic ones. War is big, big money—and, let’s face it— it’s really heady stuff when you don’t have to pay the price. And the powerful, the well-heeled won’t. YOU WILL, and your children and grandchildren.

I fancy myself being here to expose the pretense. It’s discouraging work. I used to think I was helping people to wake up and smell the coffee. Increasingly, I think I’m encouraging them to wake up and smell the corpses—both the figuative ones, and the real ones.

It’s clear I think too highly of my powers of persuasion, or I would be off writing other things.

Posted by: Tim Crow at July 2, 2006 4:01 PM
Comment #164299

David:

“And finally, and most of all, I reject Republocrats absolute and unrepentent dependency on corporate, individual, and lobbyist wealth and bribes in the fashioning of laws and policy whose costs in taxes and opportunity, must be born by the 100’s of millions of the rest of us, not so fortunate as to afford to buy a politician’s consideration.”

Finally, someone strikes at the crux of the issue….

Posted by: Tim Crow at July 2, 2006 4:14 PM
Comment #164344

Tim Crow-
What made this invasion illegal was the lack of the threat. Had it been there, we would have been vindicated, and the war’s basis in international law secured.

Might does not make right. Nor does it make things as simple as some would suppose.

Don’t assume right off the bat that people like me would have chosen to go to war like this, here, in this time. One of the big question here was how much the political drive to invade Iraq eclipsed the policy and intelligence about the place. Much of this push came from the Neocons, who came to power by virtue of an odd little relationship with Bush.

Don’t give me this guilt-trip crap. As powerful as we are, we can’t avoid getting into situations where our power or its absence creates life and death situations. Don’t fling these charges of genocide at us.

I don’t like this kind of venomous rhetoric coming from the right, and I certainly will not tolerate it coming from the left. Bush could have done any number of things, things that might have prevented the war, or which might have brought greater good, and end to the violence out of this situation.

Obviously that he hasn’t, and the results are plain to see. I don’t need to drip blood from every word to emphasize that point. That’s a cheap tactic in my book, and one which doesn’t work when the right or left uses it.

The real question in whether our policies bring death or life to people, is how we judge what we do, and how we decide our actions in the first place. I don’t think calling people murderers and screaming about blood being on their hands endears them to listen to what we say next.

And yes, it is important, if you want to influence anybody but your own narrow wedge of the populace. Most people are normal folks like ourselves who don’t think of themselves as anything as evil as our rhetoric sometimes portrays them. Their first response to somebody unloading a stream of invective on them is going to be “What the hell is their problem?”

That’s the last thing I want. I write and I talk to communicate, and communication works best when the ideas actually get across. If I can get them to at least admit I’m being logical now, It’s far easier to convert them later, if their ideals fall short. If not, at least people recall that I’m reasonable enough to deal with, and that instead of holding some hard line, they can come across and working things out.

Don’t underestimate the strength of weak ties. We can get tied up in knots of close relationships and forget that the people we need to convince aren’t entirely like us. Now, appealing to people like that doesn’t necessarily mean watering down what we believe. Instead, it can mean translating the logic of what we believe to them in better, more eloquent detail. Or it could mean that we re-examine what we believe, and then consider what really works, both in practical terms, and in terms of what we believe in our hearts.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 2, 2006 6:40 PM
Comment #164348

David R. Remer-
I think you’re right about 1992.

I think it’s the major weakness in image-based politics. Sooner or later, you can’t spin something effectively anymore. Reality imposes limits on what can be put out there without eventually getting disproved or distrusted.

I, too, reject the NFL approach. We cannot win office simply for our own sake. I reject unfair restrictions on registration and party participation. I reject deficit spending. I reject gerrymandering. I reject a campaign finance system that makes the price of holding an office being beholden to economic rather than public interests. I reject the idea that any ideology can automatically represent the will of the people. I believe mine is closer to representing that will, but it’s something I believe we have to work at.

Don’t be so quick to lose hope about the rest of us. I think Americans want change, and are ready for it. Once, a long time ago, my party answered that call. I hope it can do so again. If it fails to, I can do one of two things: work to change it, or work apart from it. We’ll see how things go.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 2, 2006 6:49 PM
Comment #164359

I just have to add, at one point a few months ago I became so disgusted with the Democrats seeming interference with Paul Hackett that I did give serious thought to changing my status from Dem to independent. Then I began to read the entire platforms of the “other” parties.

Bottom line: I didn’t like what I read. What I discovered was that I am a Democrat. That hardly means I agree with everything every Democratic candidate has to say. If I were to “jump ship” I’d go Green with great reluctance on many issues but that would be my only other choice.

I know something about being “truly independent” as a died-in-the-wool agnostic. With no affliation to any group whatsoever your voice is very small & weak. As an agnostic that’s OK because I have no desire to convince anyone else to be agnostic.

Politics is different. I’ll grant you that if we lived in a perfect world each of our voices would be as loud as the other. Unfortunately that’s just not the case. In fact the Republican Party has proven this time and again since the Nixon years.

IMO we each have two choices. Try to change our respective parties from within or join another party whether it be Libertarian, Green, etc. or even “flip-flopping” from Rep to Dem or vice-versa.

Quite honestly this question that Stephen presented is probably the most relevant question of the day. I find that it’s good to do some soul searching and ask myself just exactly why I am who I profess to be. For each of us it’s not a “pass or fail” answer.

Each of us is entitled to our own beliefs whether political or spiritual. Hpoefully that’s one thing we can all agree on.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 2, 2006 7:57 PM
Comment #164362

Stephen:

“What made this invasion illegal was the lack of the threat. Had it been there, we would have been vindicated, and the war’s basis in international law secured.”

So, if Saddam had WMD, everything would have been legal and a-okay? Just bad luck we’ve got egg on our face because he didn’t? You’ve got a strange way of condoning selective aggression.

“Might does not make right. Nor does it make things as simple as some would suppose.”

Wonderful. Because life’s complicated and nuanced, our principles and belief system in who we are and what this country should stand for takes a hike. That’s a wonderful expediency you’ve got in your hip pocket. Use it often?


“Don’t give me this guilt-trip crap. As powerful as we are, we can’t avoid getting into situations where our power or its absence creates life and death situations. Don’t fling these charges of genocide at us.”

Tell me, what else can it possibly be called, and still dwell in the realm of reality and truth? I know, we’re a misunderstood gentle giant, that by golly, just happens to find itself in a life-and-death situation. Shucks. You neglect to mention all the times this country has created these situations!!. The Phillipines, Iraq of 1953, Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, Hawaii, El Salvador, Chile, Vietnam—it goes on and on.

“I don’t like this kind of venomous rhetoric coming from the right, and I certainly will not tolerate it coming from the left.”

What you will and will not tolerate doesn’t seem to take into account your measured, reasoned and rational imperialism—sheer, unadulterated, murderous empire-building. Great, you’re a soft-spoken, rational kind of guy—congratulations. I’m sure you can negotiate with all sorts, being the open-minded, agreeable sort. I’m sure that’s very attractive to the status-quo.

“I don’t need to drip blood from every word to emphasize that point. That’s a cheap tactic in my book, and one which doesn’t work when the right or left uses it.”

I’m beginning to think you don’t know what works, frankly. You and the Dems have been fighting the good 1950’s fight, civil, well-mannered, polite…and the working class, the military, the country’s finances, the Constitutional principles this country are founded on, are all going down the toilet.You and your party have made a wonderful punching bag for the neo-cons for five plus years, great. Hey, but at least you’re well-liked, and nobody’s toes get stepped on. Please. Maybe, just maybe, there are principles and values being shredded that preclude pleasantness—whatta think? Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to be, oh, just a little disagreeable. Uh?

“The real question in whether our policies bring death or life to people, is how we judge what we do, and how we decide our actions in the first place.”

If you can honestly look yourself in the mirror and say that is how this country has decided its foreign policy, and it’s domestic policy for that matter, you’re kidding yourself. In a very, very big way.


“Don’t assume right off the bat that people like me would have chosen to go to war like this, here, in this time.”

Why not? As you said yourself, the only thing missing in this scenario that would have made the whole thing come out smelling like a rose was the WMD, right?

“Most people are normal folks like ourselves who don’t think of themselves as anything as evil as our rhetoric sometimes portrays them.”

Delusion and denial does have a certain comfort—and the truth can be unsettling to be sure.

“I write and I talk to communicate, and communication works best when the ideas actually get across. ” And I don’t? It’s your interpretation that there’s ‘screaming and invective’ going on here. Actually, all that’s going on here is someone is calling you on your mayonnaise positions on war and imperialism, and your habit of sugar-coating American transgressions. No screaming involved.

“Now, appealing to people like that doesn’t necessarily mean watering down what we believe.”
For a professed Christian, this statement is particularly amusing in light of your stance on this war. Damn, this could have been a hell of a war, if only the Dems had been in charge—quick, painless, effective, and thoroughly righteous.

“…people recall that I’m reasonable enough to deal with, and that instead of holding some hard line, they can come across and working things out.”

And other people will remember that when push came to shove, Stephen made certain unalienable principles of human conduct negotiable and dispensible.

“It’s far easier to convert them later, if their ideals fall short.”

Yeah? How you going to know when you’ve compromised your own? This statement has a rather Catholic Inquisitional tone to it that’ real attractive. Gonna out-wait them, grasshopper?

“Or it could mean that we re-examine what we believe, and then consider what really works, both in practical terms, and in terms of what we believe in our hearts.”

Well, more power to ya. But I’ll tell you what doesn’t ‘work in my heart’… deceit, disinformation, naked aggression and minimizing and smoothing over bungled and murderous policy.
If that’s your gig, you’re welcome to it.

Posted by: Tim Crow at July 2, 2006 8:21 PM
Comment #164370

Tim Crow-
Nations are allowed to pre-empt attacks against them. Had Saddam truly possessed the weapons, and truly been willing to hand them over to Osama, then we should have attacked first.

But neither of those is the case, is it? It’s not bad luck that we have egg on our face, though. It’s not luck at all. We have egg on our face because people didn’t do their jobs. The President is at the head of that chain of responsibility, you understand? That is why the dissent against Bush is not only justified, but necessary. You see how I work? I don’t spatter the place with words like genocide (are we seeking to exterminate the Iraqi people?)

As for this:
“Might does not make right. Nor does it make things as simple as some would suppose”

Did you even stop to read what I really wrote? It’s a critique of those who would send our soldiers to war unnecessarily. You ran over it and backed over it twice without figuring out I was agreeing with you and even adding a critique of my own!

Yes, life is complicated and nuanced. Only in our heads is it all straight and geometric. It is that complication and nuance which our belief systems have to stand up to in order to function. If they can’t, or they leave us worse off despite working, well then it’s time to figure out other ways of dealing with things. This applies to both us and the Republicans. But I don’t advocate expediency, because today’s expediency is tomorrow’s headache.

As for your charge of Genocide, you are using a rather well-defined word to mean something it doesn’t mean. We are not intentionally killing Iraqi civilians as a matter of policy, nor are we calling for any such murder to be systematic or widespread, much less aimed at their extermination. The term doesn’t apply.

Yes, we created some nasty situations in the past. Yes, we have shot ourselves in the foot multiple times. This is what I mean by our decisions having such weight. Look at Bosnia and Rwanda where our inaction allowed tens, even hundreds of thousands to die. Look at the No-Fly Zones in Iraq, where we saved tens of thousand. Look at the Battle of Mogadishu, where hundreds of civilians died in the fight. But look at what was happening before, with millions of Somali’s starving.

We are powerful. That means we must be responsible or we will be damned if we do, and damned if we don’t. I find little virtue in Bush’s plan of attack. He would put a jet liner on a helicopter pad and expect it to take off from there. He doesn’t back his pretensions to boldness with the good sense to prepare. This war, illegal or not, could have been much better prepared, so as to minimize casualties on all sides. Instead, Bush went with his first plan, and made it his only plan, equating preparation for alternative outcomes and possiblities with defeatism.

I’m going to be civil, well-mannered, to the point, blunt, persistent, and above all other things, unwilling to put with anybody’s lies, deceits, or disrespect.

I will also not put up with some misinterpreting what I say. Go back and read what I wrote with calmer senses. I did not apologize for or advocate the Bush administrations line. Read what I actually wrote.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 2, 2006 9:22 PM
Comment #164384

Stephen Daugherty,

I used to belong to a party too, so I understand the common desire to belong to a party.

However, parties are neither the solution or problem, because each party consists of people that may have some similar beliefs, or believe they have some similar beliefs.

But the differences in the parties are far less significant than the similarities.

And, it’s the similar bad traits each have.

True, there are some minor differences, but mostly on things that don’t matter that much.
Both parties try hard to find things to distinguish them from other parties, but it is difficult when there’s really so little difference.

No party offers what any nation needs.

Parties are a huge distraction used by politicians to distract voters from the incompetence and malfeasance of politicians.

The real solution does not require parties.

The real solution requires education to understand that what we are doing is digging our own hole deeper and deeper, tranceparency, and accountability.

Ignorance, greed, laziness, and corruption will always be with us until we choose to reject it.

In a democracy, we still have the right to vote.
The quickest road to a more responsible government is a responsible electorate.
The voters must choose.
But too many voters don’t get it yet.
But they will when they finally feel the consequences of their own irresponsible voting (or lack of it). The people will have to learn the hard way again. Pain and misery is what motivates change, and that is what the people will get; the just desserts of their own making. The voters have nobody but themselves to thank for continuing to re-elect the very same irresponsible incumbent politicians that use and abuse everyone.

Now, I know what you’re gonna say.
But, they’re not all bad.
Well, let me ask you this?
How many are responsible?
10, 20, 50, or even 268 (half of the 535) in Congress?
Sadly, most incumbent politicians (if not all) are irresponsible, and we (voters) keep re-electing them.
Don’t believe it?
Look at their voting records.
Look at their pork-barrel (while our troops risk life and limb).
Look at their refusal to pass any reforms (e.g. campaign finance, election, tax, immigration, etc., etc., etc.).
Look at the way most (if not all) look the other way.
But, we are all culpable.
So, parties aren’t the solution or the problem.

Posted by: d.a.n at July 2, 2006 10:53 PM
Comment #164387

Stephen said: “Once, a long time ago, my party answered that call. I hope it can do so again.”

Therein lies the gulf between you and I Stephen, though we agree on everything else in our thread above. You place your faith in the party. I see the party/s as the cause of the failures our nation faces today. My faith resides in the voters, not the parties. I believe the voters must wrest control away from the parties.

The parties first duty is winning and their 2nd duty is keeping power. And all manner of deceptions and slights of hand emanate from those duties. The Parties believe the voters don’t understand, nor should they. The parties would have voters compliant and pliable to suit the party’s campaign needs.

The Voter’s agenda is ignored except by the party out of power who will ply the voters with whatever undeliverable promises they need to hear to cast their vote. I believe we have to wake voters up to the fraud that is at the heart of political parties, Democratic and Republican. Educate them as to what is achievable and what is pie in the sky campaign bullcrap. And ask the voters to decide on candidates on the basis of results from government, and not promises of political parties.

I expect to hear the DNC advertise themselves as the party that will balance the budget. That will be a lie. Fact and reality are, balancing the budget in the face of the Soc. Sec. and Medicare crisis is not even in the realm of the politically possible for the foreseeable future. But, your party will promise it nonetheless. And many other fraudulent promises will be made to get votes, knowing full well that the Republican opposition will make more than half of them impossible at the very least.

The Democratic Party in these regards is no better than the Republicans. The Republican platform sounds great. But the RNC is calling the shots and the platform was never meant to be a reality, just a tool for votes. The DNC will be only slightly better as they have a slightly higher need for credibility being the party out of power. But their toolbag is the same as the RNC’s. Money, impossible promises, and deception aimed at the heartstrings, instead of the rational minds, of voters.


Posted by: David R. Remer at July 2, 2006 11:19 PM
Comment #164395

—-Stephen-Maybe you could erase all these posts an we could start over. Would most people change some of the statements made here today? Would be a good thing, to build on our knowledge base rather than try to tear each others apart. To steal a phrase from Bill Clinton (Are we better off today than we were 5 years ago?

Posted by: DAVID at July 2, 2006 11:47 PM
Comment #164401

—Stephen, I like you worthy goal as a proud Democrat, I am as sure the Democratic Party With it’s ebbs an flows, will not let us down!

Posted by: DAVID at July 3, 2006 12:13 AM
Comment #164409

Stephen: If Bush had done right we would not be in the Iraq war. It really is just another chapter in the oil wars. We will have plenty more without a signicicant change in how we get our energy supply.We will never get that chance without booting the Republicans out of office. They are currently symbiotic with the oil oiligarchy .
As for the “left-wing” media. Ridiculous. When was the last time anyone heard a discussion of nationalizing the oil companies on CNN? Why isn’t the fact our infant mortality rate is near 3rd world levels front page news? Why only a little coverage of the toxcisity of spent uranium munitions.I only wish they were.


For the used to Democats:

Since reconstruction nearly every piece of legislation that benefitted or empowered any one other than the wealty has come from the Democratic Party.The Wagner act(legalizing unions),Social security,voting rights act,unemployment insurance,the 40 hour work week, civil rights act,clean air act,family leave act,job safety,the clean water act,even womens suffrage were brought to you by the Democratic Party. We have much to be proud of.
Often the Democrats are faulted for being devided and we are. That is a sign of a healty political party. It is sometimes a weakness but more often an asset. Different views are tolerated. If they are compelling after awhile they become the position of the party. This means we have room for you.If you work for wages,if you care what happens to your fellow Americans or for that matter the world,we need you back and you need us.

Posted by: BillS at July 3, 2006 1:41 AM
Comment #164411

“The DNC will be only slightly better as they have a slightly higher need for credibility being the party out of power”

David Remer,

You’ll not be surprised that I somewhat disagree.

Can you actually show me where one Democrat failed to make some “attempt” to enact the policies he or she promised to while running for office?

The only example I can think of in my favor (ie: attempting to get what they promised) is Clinton’s plan for health coverage for all. Now, don’t get me wrong, you may well be against that plan, but I’m just presenting that as an example of a promise made and “not broken” but rather lost to the opposition.

Another example would be Bush’s Social Security Privatization plan. He lived up to his promise in that regard but folks like me managed to shut that nonsense down.

I’m just trying to point out that sometimes a politician “can’t” deliver on their promises thru no real fault of their own. OTOH we both know that far too many people enter politics due to some misguided faith in their own ability to “change the world”.

I’ve always wondered just how many politicians would pass an MMPI eval without revealing some serious mental health issues.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 3, 2006 2:15 AM
Comment #164412

“Since reconstruction nearly every piece of legislation that benefitted or empowered any one other than the wealty has come from the Democratic Party.”

Bill S.

I would totally agree with you. I’ve had some argue with me about bills Nixon signed into law, but any real historical study will reveal that no Republican since Eisenhower has truly supported the working class of America. Reagan pulled off one of the best stunts ever with one tax cut followed by two tax increases and then increasing withholding for Social Security and using those funds to “buy down” the national debt.

The amazing part is that the Republicans still pass themselves off as “fiscally responsible”. We’re into chapter 3 of Reaganomics right now. Chapter 2 was that guy that said, “no new taxes”!

And they pull it off because us Dems “kill babies”, “love queers”, “are all pussies”, etc.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 3, 2006 2:36 AM
Comment #164444

Yes, the difference between “In-Party” and “Out-Party” is small.

The perceived differences between parties is merely the result of which is the current “In-Party” or “Out-Party”.

Power corrupts, regardless of which party has the most of it.

  • Lack of Education breeds ignorance, and the lack of understanding of the importance of Education itself, Transparency, and Accountability … all needed to limit the abuse of Power.

  • Lack of Transparency breeds more corruption.

  • Lack of Accountability breeds legal plunder.
  • Lack of Education, Transparency, and Accountability breeds corruption and allows laziness to prevail, seeking security and prosperity through unethical methods.
    The end result is the uncontrollable abuse of Power, and all the bad that comes with it.

    I too used to think parties were vastly different, but they are not.

    And why should they be ?

    Is one composed of people of higher morals ?
    Some certainly want to believe that.
    And politicians fuel that belief so that both main parties can simply take turns using and abusing everyone.

    For the human race, it seems some will rule,
    and the rest are sheep to be rulled.

    The “In-Party” is always a little more corrupt, which leads some to the wrong conclusion.

    The real conclusion is that corruption is all our fault. Voters could easily begin to change it if they wanted to, but they don’t see or care about the one simple solution right under their very own nose, and ignorance is why they fail to understand that they are crappin’ in their own nest … and someday, the crap will get so deep, the sagging branch upon which it all rests will snap (again).

    Voters were always supposed to vote out irresponsible incumbents, but they have forgotten that, and have been seduced into petty partisan war … many of quite fond of it. It’s a very powerful distraction. It is the favorite detractor used by politicians.

    The only real solution will be when enough voters realize that and stop falling for the party game. That’s exactly what most politicians want. They love to fuel the petty partisan warfare, because it is the supreme distraction from the irresponsibility and malfeasance of politicians.
    _______________________
    Stop Repeat Offenders.
    Don’t Re-Elect Them !

    Posted by: d.a.n at July 3, 2006 10:19 AM
    Comment #164477

    Kansas et al: In In fairness some things passed under Republican administrations for Americans. Under Reagan the Americans with Disabilities Act passed out of a Democratic congress. In order to get it signed into law, enforcement procedures were left notoriously weak,mostly left up to the courts. Social Security taxes were increased with the idea of future solvency. Instead the funds were used to finance an insane military build up.
    Under Nixon the EPA was created. Sometimes it is refered to as the Enviormental Procrastination Dept. The federal government usurped the often more stringent state authority regarding enviormental protections. Still on the whole it has done some good.
    Inerestinly enough,Nixon,the arch conservative, proposed health care reform that was almost identical to the Clinton plan. It went nowhere because of Watergate but shows just how far to the right the
    “middle” ground has swung. When Clinton proposed it it was decried as communist in some circles. So much for the liberal media.
    The Democratic party is effective in state legislatures also and we can be proud of them. Health care plans for children at the state level are almost entirly the work of Democrats,for example. Of course this angers a lot of Republicans and their allies who would rather put a buck in their pockets than care for sick children. Personally I regard that as beneath contempt.
    I should add the Republican Medicare drug plan. It will be some help to seniors although it could have been a much better plan for less money. The biggest beneficiaries are the drug companies.

    Posted by: BillS at July 3, 2006 12:27 PM
    Comment #164507

    “The media can’t be responsible for every problem the Republicans have.”

    (LOL) Niether can the Republicans, nor can they be completely responsible for all our nations ills.

    “Of course this angers a lot of Republicans and their allies who would rather put a buck in their pockets than care for sick children.”

    Absolutely ridiculous comments. As an individual, I have no issue with helping the disabled, the poor and the sick. I feel certain Republicans do not either. The problem with our social welfare structure is abuse and their constant insistence on giving the “fish” but failing to teach one how to “fish”.

    Let see if I can put an anti-democratic spin on this truth for BillS…….. Democrats would rather keep the needy dependent on government rather than enpowering individuals to care for themselves. They thrive on the power of this control.

    Posted by: Curmudgeon-at-large at July 3, 2006 2:06 PM
    Comment #164511

    Mr.Remer: You are correct that the Democrats will promise to balance the budget. It was only six years ago(although it seems lomger) that we did under Clinton. It will be more difficult now because of Bush policies. Clinton did it by raising taxes slightly on the wealthy and cutting a bloated post- cold war military budget. His economic plan passed congress without one Republican vote. It helped percipitate the greatest economic boom in history. Not like this little boomlet we have now being sustained by writing bad checks,but solid economic growth.
    These promises you speak of as lies are not lies but goals. The uncertainty of life insure that. Political opposition and events will determine the success but the effort will improve fiscal responsibilty. Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.


    Posted by: BillS at July 3, 2006 2:23 PM
    Comment #164512

    Curmudgeon: I said “a lot of Republicans” .Not all. Also giving a child a polio shot is not giving them a fish. I point out that the greatest welfare reform,stressing work and training,came under Clinton,a Democrat as you may recall.

    Posted by: BillS at July 3, 2006 2:29 PM
    Comment #164526

    Crmudgeon,
    Bill said

    “Of course this angers a lot of Republicans and their allies who would rather put a buck in their pockets than care for sick children.”

    Then you replied:
    “Absolutely ridiculous comments. I have no issue with helping the disabled, the poor and the sick. I feel certain Republicans do not either.”

    Ok, he said “a lot of republicans”.
    You said, “certain republicans do not either”.
    How are your statements different? How is his comment ridiculous.
    The #1 response I get when I ask freinds who vote republican why they do so is :’the democrats give our money away’.
    My conclusion is that “most” republicans are republicans out of greed. Or at least, lack of charity.
    BTW, lack of national health care is the number one reason our car manufacturers aren’t competitive. Health care costs add HUGE cost per unit to US cars. (1500 bucks per car!)
    http://www.laborresearch.org/story.php?id=380
    http://www.house.gov/mcdermott/sp051215a.shtml

    Maybe, if not for the “children”, republicans could do it for big business?
    I stand ready for rebuttal.

    Posted by: Observer at July 3, 2006 3:57 PM
    Comment #164533

    BillS,

    Your comment is reasonable. The “a lot” of republicans however is a little much. I guess I could just as easily “a lot” of democrats want the US to fail in Iraq. Success would be detrimental to the party.


    Observer,

    (LOL)I happen to be in the auto industry but fortunate for me my company does business with foreign and domestic. Two BIG reasons you leave out for domestic manufacturers problems…….quality and unions. Any idea how much unions cost? A welder pulling down 75-85K a year? The cost of domestic automobiles is a nonissue when compared to imports. A Grand Caravan in 10K LESS than a Toyota or Honda equivalent.

    As Americans, we are not ready to admit our automoblies STILL are not the quality of a Toyota or Honda.

    The health care issue is just a another avenue to spin politics into the picture. Healthcare is out of control (Did Hillary fail us?) but HARDLY is the the problem with domestic auto manufacturers.

    Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at July 3, 2006 5:03 PM
    Comment #164535


    Do the republicans insist on teaching a poor man to fish because they know that if he fishes for food in America he will soon be dead from cancer. More than 800 cancer causing chemicals have been found in the Ohio river and people are warned not to eat the fish.

    I am a member of the working class, therefore I am a democrat. In the 1990’s Bill Clinton, with the help of the dems and reps in Congress shafted the American workers. I haven’t given up on the democrats yet. I am willing to give them another chance to get back on the side of the workers. I am not very optimistic though because many of my fellow liberals seem to care about our little brown friends from Mexico so much that they are also willing to shaft the American workers. Sometimes I think these liberals must own coffee shops and resturants.

    We had a early Fourth of July fireworks and pick nick on the 2nd. The number one conversation was how Congress was finally going to raise the minimum wage to $7.25. None of them had heard that the republicans had already nixed the plan. It was hard to tell these mostly low income, mostly Christian workers, the truth.

    Posted by: jlw at July 3, 2006 5:06 PM
    Comment #164554

    Curm: Apples and oranges. Recognizing a policy has failed is not the same as wishing it failure.

    Most states have stepped in to fill the healthcare gap,providing healthcare to poorer children. It makes fiscal sense to treat deseases early on. It is also the right thing to do. Pick a state,any state and look at how the process of funding this was slowed,curtailed or even stopped and you will see Republican state legislators. If I was a Republican I would be ashamed of them. I am not so I can just loath them.

    Posted by: BillS at July 3, 2006 6:17 PM
    Comment #164557

    Curmudgeon: Glad to have you here. Are you after Jacks “arch nemesis “title?

    If unions are what is wrong with Americas auto industry then we are on a level playing field with Japan and Korea are we not. They are union also are they not? Unions do not decide to build crappy cars,by the way. That is a management decision. I would submit that a welder making 80000 a year does the company less harm that an eexecutive making 10 that who chooses to make crap and try and fool people into buying it.

    Posted by: BillS at July 3, 2006 6:37 PM
    Comment #164563

    Tim,
    Thanks for your reply. My only contention is that America is no more evil than other world powers and does have some positve qualities regarding human rights on occasion. I agree with most of your post, I just have a little difficulty with that imagery.

    DAVID, No, I don’t think that embassy is a good thing. I think it was a gift to Haliburton, in part, and the naive hopefullness early on, of an easy coup and realignment of Iraq.

    Posted by: gergle at July 3, 2006 7:01 PM
    Comment #164566

    Gergle:

    “My only contention is that America is no more evil than other world powers and does have some positve qualities regarding human rights on occasion. I agree with most of your post, I just have a little difficulty with that imagery.”

    Understood.

    Posted by: Tim Crow at July 3, 2006 7:18 PM
    Comment #164610

    BillS

    “If unions are what is wrong with Americas auto industry then we are on a level playing field with Japan and Korea are we not.”

    I agree. Never implied quality has anything to do with the unions. Two different issues. A welder probaly should not command a salary of 80K no more than the CEO should command 10M. It is an issue of greed all around. Unions were needed at one time, but they do more harm than good today. You can blame the BODs for the CEO’s ridiculous salaries.

    As for healthcare, I am not a Republican so I will not defend their issues on healthcare. I think both parties tend to go to extremes. I will say that more control is needed to prevent abuse and Dems tend not to support any controls involving social programs.

    Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at July 3, 2006 10:09 PM
    Comment #164630

    Frankly I tried of hearing from both parties about what is happening in iraq. Both need to wake up we aren’t winning or losing. We are at a stand still. When troop are being killed that is not the sound of any victory to me. But the fact that one leader is dead means nothing. Another rised to take his place. May be Hussein is right they might need his help after all. He know these people.

    I wondering is when is it enough. We need to change the plan not say the course. The course that lead to more deaths on both sides. We need to bring this to an end that both side can agree on,at least on Iraq.

    We need to get these people to work with us and not counter to us. I hoepe we can see it in this president and not the next one.

    Posted by: kevin at July 3, 2006 11:38 PM
    Comment #164647

    Curm:You had said that unions were part of the problem with the American auto industry. I tried to point out that japanese and Korean auto makers are also union so perhaps it is not the unions that are at fault. As for our fortunate welder,I must admit tha I am from California where just the average house cost over 500000. 80000 a year for a good welder with lots of overtime is not too far out of line.
    You stated that unions were not needed any more. One of the benefits unions gained for everyone was the 40 hour work week.Saturdays off. It was a stuggle for years. People were killed fighting for it. Every year like clock work the Republicans try to get rid of it and every year the Democrats and their union allies fight them back. That is only one example of why unions are still needed. Greed has not changed and unions provide at least a small conter-balance for working people. There is no other institution that does this.

    Posted by: BillS at July 4, 2006 12:39 AM
    Comment #164694

    FOX News Network is a very powerful news station and is Republican.

    Posted by: Richard at July 4, 2006 9:39 AM
    Comment #164700

    Not convincing. Heartfelt, but not convincing. I am not a Republican either but for different reasons than what you offer up.

    Nice try but you will need to be more rational instead of starting your piece off with the “liberal” media.

    The war: waging war is not easy on anybody; us or them. But it’s a new world, a new game, a new enemy. It will never be known how much better Gore would have handled this. But the war and how we are handling it is not the problem. It is a symptom of much worse.

    Democrats: party of Joe Liebermann who is about to be hung out to dry by his own; Jimmy Carter, gentleman shill for the Dems and too smart for them all. Democrats: party of slavery (ouch!).

    We are wandering and I think our political system is breaking. We have sacrificed truth for convenience and feeling good.

    Posted by: ILIndCon at July 4, 2006 10:04 AM
    Comment #164763

    ILIndCon: Lieberman? You guys can have the batty old Zionist. Carter is and was a good Democrat Smart? You bet. Read what he has to say about the actions of GWB. Slavery? Yes we were. That changed. We were also the party of Jim Crow. Those honors now fall to the Republicans. The party of David Duke. Bob Jones University,anyone?”we’er not rascist.wink,wink”
    The Democratic party is the party of personal freedom ,equality of opportunity,fiscal responsibilty, security,hope and justice.

    Posted by: BillS at July 4, 2006 2:14 PM
    Comment #164780

    BillS

    “You stated that unions were not needed any more. One of the benefits unions gained for everyone was the 40 hour work week.Saturdays off. It was a stuggle for years.”

    BillS, I work for a company, no union and I have all those benefits and more. Hourly have some of the best salaries and benefits in the industry. I admit unions were needed at one time. Unions had there day, but now they are just political machines. When the vast majority of our companies go over seas, who will support the unions then?

    Richard,

    Fox news in number one……Have you ever asked yourself why?

    Posted by: Curmudgeon-at-large at July 4, 2006 4:35 PM
    Comment #164805

    “Fox news in number one……Have you ever asked yourself why?”

    Curm,

    I didn’t know that, and I’m curious who gave them that rating but if it’s true that they have the most viewers, which I think would make them #1, then it must simply be because there are a lot of really stupid people watching TV.

    Disclaimer-this message is not meant to indicate that any specific group of people are stupid (wink-wink).

    KansasDem

    Posted by: KansasDem at July 4, 2006 6:40 PM
    Comment #164817

    Curmudgeon-
    It’s number one as long as you don’t count the people who just check in to see what the day’s news is.

    You see, the pundits are what carry FOXNew’s ratings. The Conservative media is not well trusted by people for it’s journalism, because of the conflicts of interest inherent in advocacy reporting. The people who watch, watch for the pundits, who as commentators are not under obligation to get all their facts straight, but who are paradoxically given great weight by their fans as being better informed by their more journalistically obligated MSM colleagues. This is the irony and the trap on which the Right-Wing media is founded.

    Media bias is a problem, but it only gets worse if willing embraced. Liberals don’t want bias. Bias is somebody controlling them. Liberals want the facts, and the conclusions that fit the facts. Give me the truth, something I can rely upon in whatever arguments I choose to make. I can get liberal opinions anywhere. I can write them myself. Tell me what I don’t know, but which I should.

    FOXnews doesn’t bother me because it’s conservative. It bothers me because it’s not interested on a fundamental level with getting its facts straight.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 4, 2006 8:20 PM
    Comment #164820

    I was an MSNBC guy until they tried to be the second CNN. My personal reason why Fox in number 1……People are tired of being “Rathered”. I think they give most politicians a fair shake. I think those who don’t care for Fox don’t believe the pound on Bush enough. They report the news and let the people decide. Thats the way it should be……right?

    Posted by: Curmudgeon-at-large at July 4, 2006 8:50 PM
    Comment #164830

    Stephen Daugherty,

    Once again you hit the nail straight on the head. I had friends living on the coast of Mississippi when Katrina struck. The last message I recieved from them was that they couldn’t get out and were seeking shelter.

    Naturally that was the center of my focus until I heard from them again. The best news came from FOX until about the third day when it began to get political. At that point I had to switch to CNN on the TV and I started to access MSNBC on the net. (Here in god’s country they don’t see MSNBC as entitled for a position on Cable)

    Bottom line: FOX is great at reporting anything unless there is an opportunity for political bias.

    KansasDem

    Posted by: KansasDem at July 4, 2006 10:47 PM
    Comment #164879

    Regarding media bias, I personally think media should be biased. It should be biased against who ever holds the reins of power in this country, whether that be Democrats or Republicans. Whoever sits on the throne (metaphorically, of course) should be held under a 1000 watt halogen bulb with a giant microscope aiming down at them.

    Unfortunately, while everyone sits and bickers over apparent political biases that they see, the real bias goes ignored. This is the corporate bias, created by the simple fact that no corporation (or any entity for that matter) will ever allow something it owns to report negatively on its doings. That is the inherent problem with state-owned media as well, and why we abolished it so long ago.

    “Cheerleading” is never the job of the media, and anyone who surfs around looking for it is only doing themselves a great disservice. If you wish to believe that those in power are wonderful and doing a great job all the time, you need only shove your head in the sand; no television, internet or newspaper required.

    For the rest of us, we’d appreciated some facts to go with our news.

    Posted by: Liberal Demon at July 5, 2006 6:07 AM
    Comment #164955

    BillS:

    Jim Crow? Maybe we ought to start with the Civil Rights Act of 1875 and who sponsored it, 2 Republicans (Butler, Sumner). The USSC struck it down as unconstitutional.

    By the way, I am no defender of Repubs or Dems who will all win votes in the coming elections on the dead bodies of American service personnel in our current war.

    There are racists (black, white, etc.) in every political party. No one has a corner on racism. We just need to be honest with history and not rewrite it when it doesn’t meet our purposes or expectations.

    Posted by: ILIndCon at July 5, 2006 1:58 PM
    Comment #165339

    curmudgeon-
    Rather got thrown under the bus pretty quickly for a supposed “left-wing media hero.”

    Looking at Fox, though, we have serious factual errors by people including Bill O’Reilly, and hardly anybody on the right notices. You people have taken the monster you saw Rather to be, and you’ve made dozens of versions of that. Then you talk about reporting the news and letting the people decide.

    How much did that lousy WMD story get circulated, despite confirmation that these were weapons Kay and Duelfer certified as out of date, irrelevant junk? How much do they pound on the liberal line while uncritically accepting the rights?

    The news media is not meant to put straight what God made crooked, and it’s certainly not there to add balance where none is called for. However, one balance should be kept to: the balance between reporting and advocating. Reporters should seek the most interesting stories and the most important ones, but the criteria should not be political in the main.

    We suffer if a news organization decides a party’s agenda outranks the public interest in terms of what’s newsworthy. Now you can claim a secret, hidden agenda in the MSM, but what is that, if it exists, compared to the unabashed partisanship of outlets like FOX news? It’s the log in your eye, while its the mote in ours. Pick yours out first, then we can talk about media bias.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 6, 2006 11:06 PM
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