Democrats & Liberals Archives

Moderates in an Immoderate Time

Frustration in America is deep across the political spectrum. People with very different ideas about what direction is best are rightly annoyed that partisan divisiveness has created a climate of distrust. Moderate Republicans and Independents understandably dislike the shrill voices on both sides of the aisle demeaning and attacking their foes. Extremist, alarmist, ideologue, and partisan are the dirty words to their ears. These are good people, so it pains me to tell them that I am a partisan alarmist.

Patriotic duty demands that I join in sounding the alarm. Human decency dictates that I work without reservation for Democrats here in 2006 and probably for some years to come. It's not because all Democrats are good and decent and no Republicans are. Of course neither of those things are true. It's because of the reality of power out of balance.

Moderates and Independents cannot moderate when ideologues from one party hold all the reigns of power and show by their actions that they are more intent on consolidating their grip on power than they are on any other cause. You say the Democrats are just as bad. (I'm sure that's bunk, but there are some bad apples there - so let's pretend you're right.) You say you see a third way that's better than the current choices. (No doubt there are many other visions which could improve on our current choices.)

But we live in 2006. Democrats might take back some Congressional power this year. Greens or Libertarians or any other third party won't. That's reality.

David Remer will tell you just to vote against incumbents. As long as the Republicans hold all branches of the federal government, such an impulse is premature - unless the incumbent is a Republican.

America needs a correction big time, and it needs it fast!

We should yearn for dialogue, not stridency; for calmly deliberated, rational solutions in public policy, not do-nothing bickering between shrill ideologues which leaves us with the status quo. But anything which serves to secure a one-party state is not going to get us there.

Jack Whelan at the After the Future, summed it up brilliantly in a pair of posts (1) & (2) a month ago. I highly recommend both!

. . . moderates play right into the hands of the far right which hopes that no one mounts a serious opposition to their agenda. The longer the hard right can keep the moderates diverted in "reasonable" conversation, the more time it gives it to consolidate power. That's why moderates need throw their support to partisan Democrats, whether they like them or not. There is no other way to create a potent counterbalance to the power-grabbing agenda of the right. The right works hard to present a reasonable facade, but feels no need to negotiate or compromise unless it is forced to do so, and at the moment there is no political power potent enough to force such negotiations.

So my point is that moderates, if they really understood how serious the threat we are facing, would have no choice but to become partisans in opposing the current power grab by the far right. There is no way to communicate the seriousness of this threat moderately. And since moderates are inoculated against immoderate language, they cannot hear the alarm because it is alarmist. As such they are vulnerable to manipulation by the far right who achieve their ends precisely by playing moderates for the moderates that they are.

. . . There are no moderates in one-party systems; there are only collaborators. ... I consider myself a centrist, but I know many readers consider me alarmist. ... And I am particularly alarmed that moderates are still sitting on the fence because they think that's the grownup, reasonable thing to do. On the contrary, it's time to get alarmed, very alarmed.

Someone reading only this, or for that matter only Whelan's articles might well complain that we have not cited the evidence that requires such an alarm. But I have to wonder what box such a person must have been living in for the last 5 years.

Posted by Walker Willingham at September 19, 2006 1:15 PM
Comments
Comment #182565

Well, let’s see here. Our wartime Commander in Chief has been called and/or accused of:

nazi
blew up levees in New Orleans
hates black people
orchestrted the 9/11 attacks
started a war for profit
chimp
ecoli virus in spinach
global warming

I’m sure there’s more out there from these left wing “moderates”, but I don’t have the stomach to wade through it. No wartime president since Lincoln has had to put up with such vile filth and lies. Hell, Abe just suspended habeous corpus and threw the treasonous bastards in jail.

Posted by: nikkolai at September 19, 2006 3:43 PM
Comment #182566

Its the old conspiracy theory again:

The longer the hard right can keep the moderates diverted in “reasonable” conversation, the more time it gives it to consolidate power.

The Republicans are brainwashing the moderates!

You might try fixing the divide in the Democratic party and it might win elections. The majority are against the President and the Iraq situation. But half of those are the “never have war, no reason, appease the terrorists, the Government knew about 9/11, far extreme left crowd.” the other half know that we have to take action of some kind to fight extremest that want the US to be under religious law.
Until you fix that divide, quiet the likes of Micheal Moore, Make Air America spout Democratic ideas instead of the far far left. (OPPS FORGOT! AIR AMERICA IS DECLARING BANKRUPTCY. WHAT HAPPENED ALL YOU WHO HAVE BEEN HOLDING ON SO HARD TO HOW WELL IT WAS DOING?)

Sorry! Tangent!

And fire Howard Dean! He is not helping you at all. I own a pizza place. When my manager causes more problems than he fixes, I fire him!

Posted by: Scottie at September 19, 2006 3:48 PM
Comment #182567

So now then,

Why have the moderates been leaning right?

Posted by: Scottie at September 19, 2006 3:49 PM
Comment #182568

Well nikkolai and what terms did you throw at Clinton.? I used to think of myself as as ” middle of the road. But bush has pushed me farther to the left. Its comes from the right calling anybody that disagres with them as some how being un american. I can tell your one them that call people un american. So I call you a NEO-CON now how does that help the country.

Posted by: Jeff at September 19, 2006 3:58 PM
Comment #182569

I am pained by Nikkolai’s response…to be frank I think Lincoln erred by keeping the union together. Why on earth do we need the south, we as a country would have been better off to let the south go and become the third world mishap of nation that area so richly deserves. It could have keep its instituions of slavery, religious based government, and its underserved sense of granduer without my tax dollars. Also we would never have had the likes of Delay, Frist, Lott, Bush, and so forth ruining the reputation of our great nation and ignoring our constitutional form of government. The ends never justify the means. And lets be honest we have no cause to be in Iraq, we didn’t three years ago and we still don’t. The fact is the Iraq war is immoral, and the means the government is using to fight terrorism is also immoral. As a veteran, I shutter at the thought of re-interpeting the Geneva Convention so we can torture people - as an American, I know we are better than that. Bush’s complaint of “comparing U.S. actions to Terrorist is flawed” is simply showing what a dangerous man he is — Hitler has nothing on Bush in terms of being a corrupt and evil man! And likewise a nation has never had to put up with the ruinious division and polarization of our society as never before and until Bush II came to power. I say lets impeach Bush and hand him and his cronys over to the Hague for trials against humanity.

As for the south, the good news is that there is still time to correct lincoln’s mistake, we can still grant the south along with Puerto Rico its independences and they can pursue their mad dreams at their own expense.

Posted by: Ivan at September 19, 2006 4:01 PM
Comment #182570

And don’t forget about the assasination movie now getting rave reviews—that’s pure political porn for the hard left. Beware the perverts in trenchcoats if you attend this movie. They will be making quite a mess.

And I never said one nasty thing about Clinton. I wasn’t paying attention back then. 9/11 changed all that.

Posted by: nikkolai at September 19, 2006 4:02 PM
Comment #182571

Scottie Alot of moderates are now called LIBS by the NEO-CONS maybe someday I can be a moderate again.

Posted by: Jeff at September 19, 2006 4:03 PM
Comment #182572

Wow, Ivan—quite the eye-opener there from you. Such charm and grace.

Posted by: nikkolai at September 19, 2006 4:04 PM
Comment #182574

Ok I will take you at your word but alot on the right did.

Posted by: Jeff at September 19, 2006 4:07 PM
Comment #182581

nikkolai:
If we threw the treasonous bastards in jail, the White House might get a lot more echoey. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist. In point of fact I don’t truly believe most White House workers are actually treasonous, I just suspect a couple of very influential ones)

to anyone who dismisses all Democrats based on a few shrill voices you don’t happen to like:
Please note — it matters far less what someone without much power, whether it’s Michael Moore or Ann Coulter, says, than what those who HAVE the power DO.

Look at the deficit.
Look at the secrecy.
Look at the corruption.
Follow the money.

Anyone who thinks the biggest threat to our Democracy comes from the left isn’t thinking very hard. The far left is eviscerated. The biggest threat doesn’t come from the far right either - though the current crop of Republicans are way too far right for my liking. The biggest threat to Democracy almost always comes from whomever is in power and is too attached to that power.

Go read some Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

Checks and balances aren’t very sexy, but they sure are effective. Be very wary of any government that works too hard to remove them.

Posted by: Walker Willingham at September 19, 2006 4:16 PM
Comment #182582

Nikkolai

You are my inspiration and model!

Posted by: Ivan at September 19, 2006 4:17 PM
Comment #182584
Scottie Alot of moderates are now called LIBS by the NEO-CONS maybe someday I can be a moderate again.

Or do you mean, some of the neo-cons are now calling moderates “libs”

But anyways, talk to the Micheal Mooore crowd to fix that problem.

Posted by: Scottie at September 19, 2006 4:19 PM
Comment #182585

I disagree with the post; if you think that the extremists are grabbing the power, and you don’t like that, then all you need to do is register as republican and VOTE for moderate republicans in the primary.

Supporting democratic extremists will only create difficulties in the political process and stop any bipartisan initiative before it even starts.

Also, if the leftist extremists that you support win, you simply replace some bad guys with some other bad guys.

Posted by: Stan Marsh at September 19, 2006 4:20 PM
Comment #182590

Stan,

I didn’t say anything about extremists grabbing the power, unless you’re conceding that Bush and his cronies are extreme. The center in America has moved too far to the right in my opinion, but the threat to America is less about that movement than it is about the erosion of checks and balances, corruption, and the consolidation of power in the hands of the moneyed elite.

The only reason so many people out there think that Kerry or Dean are “far left” is because you’ve been hearing that lie repeated over and over. Most Democrats are quite moderate, or even conservative.

As far as Bush and his minions are concerned I can only repeat myself, “It’s not how far right they are, it’s how far wrong they are.”

I’m an alarmist, not an extremist.

Posted by: Walker Willingham at September 19, 2006 4:29 PM
Comment #182591

Anybody agree with the accusations in my first post? Did Bush really plot and plan 9/11? Blow the levees? I know the regular posters here are reasonable—Stephen Daugherty, David Remer, and others.

But this lunacy has got to stop. It is not good for our country. It is not good for the left, either.

Posted by: nikkolai at September 19, 2006 4:29 PM
Comment #182593

Ivan,

Have you actually ever READ a history book? Or did you simply believe all the “history” they taught you in the “public” schools?

I know that regional bigotry based solely on sheer ignorance and arrogance is a hallmark of the liberals, but do you really have to enunciate it here?

Posted by: Jim T at September 19, 2006 4:43 PM
Comment #182602

nikkolai:
FWIW, I certainly don’t believe that Bush plotted or planned 9/11 or blew up the levees.

It’s a small percentage who do, though I know one such person. People believe nutty things regardless of their ideology. So what?

But - I really am frightened of the power being accrued by the Republicans right now and it is not hyperbole in my view to see that accrual of power as a real threat to my beloved democracy. Most moderates understandably react to such a statement as extreme, but I think a few of them are beginning to get it. Democrats regaining some power won’t suddenly make everything all better, or cause divisiveness to disappear, but power sharing does lower the risk that our freedoms will continue to erode and may bring more dialogue into play. We can only hope.

Posted by: Walker Willingham at September 19, 2006 4:58 PM
Comment #182605

Ivan:
I agree with you about the Geneva Conventions, but you lose me with the shrill anti-South rhetoric, and your careless characterization of Bush as evil isn’t very useful. I never claim to know what’s in his soul, I’m only appalled at his policies.

I grew up in the South and am very thankful that Lincoln kept it in the union and ended slavery, and my ancestors were slaveowners. Surely most descendents of slaves are even more thankful.

Posted by: Walker Willingham at September 19, 2006 5:06 PM
Comment #182607

Walker W.—Thank you! But, if the dems want to regain some power (and balance our political landscape), IMHO they need to kick some nuts out. The image of Michael Moore sitting next to Carter at the dems’ convention did not help the image of the party.

We have some kooks over here, as weel. But, it seems when they show themselves (David Duke and the like), we kick them to the curb.

Posted by: nikkolai at September 19, 2006 5:11 PM
Comment #182609

Yes,

It is obvious that Bush and his supporters are extremists - look at their conflict with McCain on the issue of torture.

The problem is that one extremist militaristic wing of the republican party gained control of the party. Before the elections, the “decider” promised overhaul of tax system (that’s really conservative), overhaul of social security, reform in healthcare and so on. He did not DECIDE to do those things, because he … had other priorities.

I do not agree with the fact that the democrats are moderate. The activist judges (remember, the justice should be blind - it’s just as bad to have activist judges twisting the law as it is to have extremist government breaking it) and the turning of affirmative action into rasial discrimination of white people are examples of their extremism.

So to come back to my previous post, I’d say the solution is the same. VOTE in the primary (whichever primary you want) for the moderate, for the reasonable. Reject extremism of all kinds. You can’t fight extremists with extremism. That’s how we got the neverending “war on terror”.

Posted by: Stan Marsh at September 19, 2006 5:14 PM
Comment #182612

Micheal Moore holds no sway over me does ann coulter or rush guide your thinking?

Posted by: Jeff at September 19, 2006 5:46 PM
Comment #182620

nikkolai

At least Michael Moore hasn’t run for President like Pat Robertson did. Now there is a nut case for ya.

Posted by: mark at September 19, 2006 6:39 PM
Comment #182623

Mark
Much like Jessy Jackson another real nut case.

Posted by: KAP at September 19, 2006 6:54 PM
Comment #182625

President Carter might have been a bad president but he is no nut in fact is he not a good christen man who helps the poor and an ex navy officer. I hope you doin’t swift boat him.

Posted by: Jeff at September 19, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #182627

Hey, By the way, no one to stand by Air America and claim it really is not going bankrupt and is not having financial troubles? You guys sure defended it a few weeks back.

Posted by: Scottie at September 19, 2006 7:15 PM
Comment #182632

Walter,

You’re right it’s not the Michael Moore’s or the Ann Coulters that we need to be worried about. I’m worried about the far left that are in power. Pelosi, Reid, Kennedy, Murtha, Rangle, Obama, Schumer, Levin. And the list goes on.


Jeff

Good talking points. Stifling debate by calling people un-Aamerican. Please find me that quote. When a person on the left says, “I think we should pull out of Iraq now” and a person on the right says “I think you’re wrong”. This is construed as telling someone they are un-American

Posted by: Keith at September 19, 2006 7:39 PM
Comment #182633

And I never said one nasty thing about Clinton. I wasn’t paying attention back then. 9/11 changed all that.

Posted by: nikkolai at September 19, 2006 04:02 PM

Obviously, you are not paying much attention now.

Turn off the telvision and try thinking.

Posted by: expatUSA_Indonesia at September 19, 2006 7:44 PM
Comment #182634

Is there an assumption here that moderates cannot perceive threats? Or if they do and speak out, they are no longer moderates?

I’m not necessarily saying such an assumption is incorrect. It all comes down to definition, I guess.

Posted by: Trent at September 19, 2006 7:47 PM
Comment #182635

Some times one needs to close mouth and open ones ears. Reid, Murtha and Obama are hardly FAR LEFT but I guess Murtha is now open to being swiftboaed by you and other NEO-CONS.

Posted by: Jeff at September 19, 2006 7:49 PM
Comment #182640

The following is an excerpt of a conversation with James Moore, a Texas journalist who has just published a book about Karl Rove:


…if they’re [Republicans] able to pull this off again in the midterms and retain control of the House and Congress, and if the Democrats don’t as a minimum take over the House of Representatives — then to me it’s an indication that our democracy is fundamentally and fatally broken. I think it’s the beginning of the death rattle of our democracy. If immoral people who lie and kill for political and economic purposes can retain power over and over again, it raises the moral question about whether or not our own democracy has any right to exist in the future, and whether it should.

This comment, in a nutshell, summarises my feeling about this November election. Political parties are forever harping on how critical the next election is going to be, how the fate of Christendom and all our freedoms hang by a thread blah, blah, blah. It is like the boy who cries wolf too often and rings hollow most of the time.

This time, I’m afraid it’s true. If there isn’t a serious, measurable repudiation of Bush policy this fall, a reigning in of the more egregious law-breaking, a limiting of this insane foreign policy hiding under the guise of ‘fighting terror’, then I believe this democracy is broken, and a one-party, one-ideology will be fact. If the Democratic party can’t muster a win of serious consequence in six weeks after all the catastrophies this administration has created in the last two years, the Dems should quietly pack it up and go home. Game over.

The rest of the interview is here:

http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?itemid=21385

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 19, 2006 8:02 PM
Comment #182641

I am a neo-con because?

OK so Reid and Mrutha are left left of center, but Obama is way left.

Posted by: Keith at September 19, 2006 8:04 PM
Comment #182643

If you go too far right the center starts to look left

Posted by: Jeff at September 19, 2006 8:16 PM
Comment #182644

Tim Crow I have never read anything so true.

Posted by: Jeff at September 19, 2006 8:20 PM
Comment #182645

Keith-I was not aware Murtha is far-left. The others, mostly, but I’m not sure with Obama.

As a member of the center-right, I have been alienated by the Bush wing of the party. I have no great love for the extreme right wing of the party. Trust me, I go to school with them 5 days of the week. You think waterboarding is bad, wait till you have to listen to people who think George Bush is another Messiah. Not so merciful Heavens. However, I do not understand the logic of getting rid of extremists by giving power to other extremists. Being somewhat to the right, I have no desire whatsoever of seeing the far left in power.

Note:Far left and Far right are relative to the person. To me Nancy Pelosi is Far Left. Olympia Snowe is about where I am and the Arnold is to the right. Anne Coulter is Far Right. (But she’d be right of the Spanish Inquisition.) To John Kerry, Marx is far left, Pelosi’s about even and I’m far right. Right and leftness is all determined by where you lie.

Posted by: Silima at September 19, 2006 8:25 PM
Comment #182649

Silima I think of myself center left and I agree with all of your post. See the center can agree how about that. I hope some on this blog doin’t accuse you of being a rino.

Posted by: Jeff at September 19, 2006 8:35 PM
Comment #182650

“Right and leftness is all determined by where you lie.”

And how you lie, and what you lie about.

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 19, 2006 8:37 PM
Comment #182653

So very true.

Posted by: Jeff at September 19, 2006 8:41 PM
Comment #182654

Jeff
Thanks, and I hope no one accuses you of being far left. If you are to someone’s far left they are REALLY far right.

Posted by: Silima at September 19, 2006 8:42 PM
Comment #182655

“If immoral people who lie and kill for political and economic purposes can retain power over and over again, it raises the moral question about whether or not our own democracy has any right to exist in the future, and whether it should.”

He’s talking about Venezuela right? Because no journalist would make such an idiotic over the top statement. Whose morality is he talking about?
Standing up for your values and actually having core values I guess is not a virtue anymore in America.

The President went in to the Lions den today and hit a home run, he named names and told it like he needed to. Unlike people like Carter who go overseas or to Cuba and talk about how bad we are.

Posted by: Keith at September 19, 2006 8:53 PM
Comment #182656

Also, this is one of the big differences between the right and the left in this country.

We think the left is wrong and misguided, you think the right is evil and something to be hated.

Posted by: Keith at September 19, 2006 8:55 PM
Comment #182657

Me thinks left is right and right has left.

Posted by: mark at September 19, 2006 8:56 PM
Comment #182658

Keith

In regards to the home run. What did he accomplish? What will the results of that home run be? Why didn’t he stick around and listen to what anyone else had to say?

Posted by: mark at September 19, 2006 9:00 PM
Comment #182663

Mark

What are you talking about? What did he accomplish? What did you want? He walked into a building that has more lies per square foot and told it like it is. Do you expect the leaders of the countries that he talked about to swtand up and say “I believe”. Did you expect the leader of Sudan to stand up and say “Your right we will stop killing all the non-Arabs in Darfur.”

Why should he stick around? What would be gained by that?

A man with courage walked onto the most corrupt body in the world and told them that they needed to stop talking about problems and take care of them.

Posted by: Keith at September 19, 2006 9:11 PM
Comment #182671

Yea the same courage he used when he was in the Texas air national guard.

Posted by: Jeff at September 19, 2006 9:19 PM
Comment #182675

Your right everybody who joined the National Guard during the Vienam war was a coward. How many deferments did John Kerry get before he joined the Naval Reserve? (4)

Posted by: Keith at September 19, 2006 9:24 PM
Comment #182689

We don’t need moderates to be the middle. We need moderates to be the anchor that keeps the fringes and the middle from becoming dissociated from reality.

Why do I included the middle? Because staking yourself in a position that is half one side’s solution and half the other side’s can be just as wrong as one where either fringe dominates.

What we moderate for is not simply some equilibrium of policy, but its connection to the real world and real concerns.

We should not simply be reacting according to strict sets of ideology or artificial compromises between ideologies. We should be acting through wisdom, through observation, and through dedication to principles that are universal and workable amongst all who consider themselves American.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2006 10:10 PM
Comment #182691

Stephen

Exactly, we need solutions that work for everyone, not just the rich, not just the poor, not just the powerful or the powerless. We need to quit focusing on the extremes, and find answers that are all encompassing.

Posted by: mark at September 19, 2006 10:16 PM
Comment #182695

Kieth

If GWB would have stayed and listened, he might have learned something. He might have gained a better understanding of what is going on in the world. He might not have left the impression that he is above everybody else. And how in the hell does reading a speech written by someone else become a show of courage. You need to stop your genuflecting Keith.

Posted by: mark at September 19, 2006 10:23 PM
Comment #182697

Folks,

Political ideology isn’t some one-dimensional line along which we all have to peg ourselves somewhere. There are a couple of attempts out there to capture a little more subtlety by adding a second dimension this being my favorite, but even that is a gross over-simplification.

All these accusations of “far left and “far right” are just laughable to me. It seems a lot of Americans have far too little tolerance for breadth of opinion, while we have too much tolerance for gross misbehavior if it wraps itself in moderate language.

In economic terms, which is traditionally where right and left get measured, Adolf Hitler wasn’t particularly extreme, but we all can agree that he was extremely evil. He was an extreme authoritarian who adopted a mixed economy, arguably to the left of the current Republican party. But don’t read too much into that, his economic model was tangential to what made him awful.

Instead let’s go back a few decades and look at two American politicians. George McGovern was clearly to the left of almost all of the Democrats that Keith was decrying, laughably, I believe, as “far left.” Go a little further back and you’ll find Barry Goldwater, most certainly to the right of George W. Bush. Compared to McGovern and Goldwater I’m certainly a centrist, but I’m convinced that both were good men who had a perfect right to represent their views to the American public. It was Goldwater’s abandonment of Nixon which was really the death knell of his presidency. Nixon was a true centrist, really the last American president who falls in that category, though Clinton and G.H.W.Bush were pretty close.

Nixon’s problem wasn’t ideology, it was power and corruption. G.W.Bush’s problem is power and corruption. I can’t help it that all the cheerleaders for him can’t see that, but for the love of your country moderate Republicans and Independents please wake up. Even if you’re not happy with the slightly leftward ideological shift that it would entail, the Republican Party is not going to reform itself if it holds onto power. Even if it’s able to slough off egregious power abusers like DeLay, Duke Cunningham, and Bob Ney, uninterrupted power begets abuse, and our democracy needs a more thorough cleansing.

Correcting the mirror image problem on the other side is something we might have to talk about if the Dems manage to capture both houses of Congress and the Presidency for the next 12 years, but really I don’t think you need to worry about that now. We need to worry about the problem that we DO have.

I don’t think that the quote Tim shared about “immoral people who lie and kill for political and economic purposes [retaining] power over and over again” was far off the mark at all. There is a ruthlessness betrayed by policies such a extraordinary rendition, and playing fast and loose with facts to justify shock and awe which absolutely killed innocent civilians, the unnecessary use of depleted uranium, sending troops into battle without proper armor months after that had been demonstrated, etc. etc. etc. that I personally find immoral. It has nothing to do with right and left. It has to do with right and wrong.

It may seem over the top to you Keith, it doesn’t to me. We can disagree, but I’m pretty damn sure I’m not an idiot.

Posted by: Walker Willingham at September 19, 2006 10:31 PM
Comment #182704

come on now you know that the rep. hold all offices in november. Until we uncover how they are fixing the elections we have no chance. Think about it in 04 all the exit polls said one thing then all of a sudden they where wrong. they had been doing this for a long time then all of a sudden the exit polls where wrong come on!!! Where the ones that need the help for free open honest elections until we can get back to that we should just starting digging our holes.

Posted by: realiest at September 19, 2006 10:43 PM
Comment #182706

Mark

The President of the United States is above those other leader like Chavez and Ahmadinijad. Whether or not he wrote the speach is unimportant. He spoke it.

I don’t genuflect but I’ll doven for you.

Posted by: Keith at September 19, 2006 10:47 PM
Comment #182707

Walker

Thanks for the reality check. By the way, I went to your link and took the test. I ended up exactly where the Dalai Lama is and the exact opposite of GWB. I couldn’t be prouder.

Posted by: mark at September 19, 2006 10:50 PM
Comment #182715

Keith-
Oooh. He defended us against the corrupt talking society… By more talk, and proving them right about the weapons! Meanwhile, he’s done next to nothing about protect the country and catching or killing the terrorist he promised to get.

He’s a brave guy. Really. He gets up and talks in front of audiences who are more or less his choir. He never puts himself in a position where he would have to defend his views without preparation, or where he might actually be called upon to say what he’s thinking.

Who’s the braver man?

Kerry, who having received deferments to go to college graduates, Joins the Navy itself (despite being connected), Volunteers for Swiftboat Duty (which essentially becomes playing the target to prove we can fly the American flag int he Mekong Delta), and actually gets real combat experience.

Or Bush, who just coasts along in a position that’s most likely handpicked for him that keeps him from ever having to risk his ass over Vietnam, like John McCain did, and can’t even be bothered in the end to fully attend the drills he was assigned to. And no, Rathergate didn’t disprove that, that was proved separately by U.S. News and World Reports based on the Documents the White House provided.

I tell you what: Kerry was the braver man. Bush had every opportunity to fight for a war he supported, and didn’t. Kerry had many opportunities to avoid a war he didn’t like. Hell, he could have taken Clinton’s path. But Kerry didn’t. He could have coasted on a military reputation, kept his mouth shut. He didn’t.

Was Kerry perfect? No. But Kerry was not a coward.

As for saying that he’s better than Chavez or Ahmedinejad? I don’t fricking care. My question is whether he’s any better than the men he beat to get into the White House. Electability is a poor substitute for true worthiness of the position.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2006 11:17 PM
Comment #182719

Stephen

If you are saying that the UN is his choir, you farther out there then I thought.

How in the hell do you know who the braver man is. You have no way of knowing that. Whether or not either of them ended up in Vietnam was truly the luck of the draw. It takes a brave man to come back from Vietnam and slander all of the soldiers who fougth over there and were still fighting.

Besides the point of the comment which was completely lost on you was not which was braver, but that they like millions like them tried everything to stay out of Vietnam.

Posted by: Keith at September 19, 2006 11:26 PM
Comment #182724

Tim Crow:
“If there isn’t a serious, measurable repudiation of Bush policy this fall, a reigning in of the more egregious law-breaking, a limiting of this insane foreign policy hiding under the guise of ‘fighting terror’, then I believe this democracy is broken, and a one-party, one-ideology will be fact. If the Democratic party can’t muster a win of serious consequence in six weeks after all the catastrophies this administration has created in the last two years, the Dems should quietly pack it up and go home. Game over.”

No, Tim!!! Not true. The problems with our rigged, stolen, illegally purged voter rolls/disenfrancised elections cannot, must not be blamed on the Democratic Party!!! (Well, except for the fact that our party leaders haven’t done enough to bring them into the glaring light of public scrutiny and awareness…) If the Dems lose, in light of all you’ve just outlined here, it should be a real wake up call to everyone — AS IF ANYONE NEEDS FUTHER PROOF THAT OUR DEMOCRACY HAS BEEN KILLED OFF COMPLETELY! (Down with Diebold, et al.)

Good article, Walker.
Partisan alarmist? Yes sir, you can count me in too, unfortunately.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 19, 2006 11:38 PM
Comment #182726

Adrienne

When are you going to give up the stolen election nonsense.

Posted by: Keith at September 19, 2006 11:53 PM
Comment #182730

As a moderate republican,

I can see how a democratic house could help things. Especially in light of the spending spree the republicans, (my republicans) have been on.

I do not believe Bush lied our way into Iraq. I think he made one of the biggest mistakes, blunders in history. He was wrong. I think an out party examination would be good for resolving this hatred, much like the impeachment resolved some of the Clinton hatred. (those endless scandals).

The problem I see in Nancy Pelosi. The Democrats are sooooo wacko!! We really do need to look at the war time credentials of the speaker of the house. She will be third in line in case of a serious terrorist attack. I just don’t see the democrats ready for prime time.

As bad as my party has done, your party (read democratic party) has done no better. We are watching a super bowl where the last two teams are playing for the whole thing. It is pretty depressing this year.

If you democrats would fire Pelosi and put someone else in there that was more “acceptable”, I think you would win the house. Right now it looks 50-50 at best.

One question democrats should ask themselves. Why with all of the stupid mistakes Bush and the Repubicans have made is this election close? The answer is that the Democratic party is making as many mistakes as the Republicans!! You are just as bad as what you hate.

Getting rid of Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi would be a great start.

I think this election after the dust settles will go down as one of the worst in history for democrats. Victory has been handed to you on a silver platter, and you didn’t have the leadership to take advantage of it. It’s too bad for America that it has come to this.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at September 20, 2006 12:27 AM
Comment #182735

Keith,

When are you going to admit that the elections weren’t on the level?

Facts from 2000:

1) In Florida prior to the 2000 election over 50,000 innocent people were listed as felons by a company that was hired to review voter registrations by Katherine Harris, and therefore prevented from voting. More than half were African Americans, and 90% of African Americans voted Gore.

2) Many of the ballots that were tossed out as being over-votes (voted for more than one nominee) were in fact ballots that had the hole punched for Gore and the name Al Gore written in next to “Write in Vote here_____”. And you’re telling me the officials couldn’t figure out the voters intent?

3) Absentee ballots from military personnel that were post marked after the election were counted, but similar absentee ballots from civilians were not.

4) Many identifiable Republican Congressional staffers and operatives were filmed rioting outside the recount room and succesfully stopped the recount.

5) The conservative members of the US Supreme Court used the equal protection clause to stop the recounts by saying that a hand recount couldn’t gaurantee 100% equality of judgement in a state that used a myriad of unequal voting methods.

The facts about the 2004 election could be found in Robert Kennedy Jr’s article here. The discrepency of the exit polls alone should be enough to warrant an investigation. We demanded the same thing when the exit polls of the 2004 Ukraine election didn’t jibe with the results, and they held a redo election to fix it.

Posted by: bushflipflops at September 20, 2006 12:41 AM
Comment #182736

flipflops

Try this articles http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2006/06/03/kennedy/index3.html

From Salon a bastion of right wing propaganda

Or this

But in fact, every single recount of the votes in Florida determined that George W. Bush had won the state’s twenty-five electoral votes and therefore the presidency. This includes a manual recount of votes in largely Democratic counties by a consortium of news organizations, among them the Wall Street Journal, CNN, the Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times. As the New York Times reported on November 21, 2001, “A comprehensive review of the uncounted Florida ballots from last year’s presidential election reveals that George W. Bush would have won even if the United States Supreme Court had allowed the statewide manual recount of the votes that the Florida Supreme Court had ordered to go forward.” The USA Today recount team concluded: “Who would have won if Al Gore had gotten manual counts he requested in four counties? Answer: George W. Bush.”

Posted by: Keith at September 20, 2006 12:47 AM
Comment #182737

“Getting rid of Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi would be a great start.”

Tell you what? I’ll let you shoot Dean & Polosi if you let me shoot Cheney & Rove. Deal?

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 20, 2006 12:48 AM
Comment #182740

flipflops

I love the way you throw c—p around. What are you talking about with the “50% they the to f off?”

The reason the Republicans control the Congress is because the American people haven’t been voting for democratic candidates. Maybe if you can figure that out you could win some elections.

Oh that’s right all of the congressional elections have been stolen by mind melding Republican operatives.

Posted by: Keith at September 20, 2006 1:03 AM
Comment #182742

Keith,

I’ll counter your salon article with this one.

Then your whole paragraph about recounts only addresses #5 on my list, what about 1-4? Plus those recounts didn’t include over votes like I described in #2.

Posted by: bushflipflops at September 20, 2006 1:10 AM
Comment #182746

Tim Crow
Can we exile them instead? To Saudi Arabia. A super conservative monoreligious society would be Rove’s dream, wouldn’t it? We’ll through in Ann Coulter too if you’ll get rid of Al Franken.

Keith, flipflops
Such non-partisan resources you two use.

Craig
Exactly, except for one thing-Dems haven’t made any mistakes. They haven’t done much of anything but keep reps from doing a whole lot either. Kind of like Talleyrand at the Council of Vienna-after France got walloped after Napoleon he negotiated and got all sorts of concessions. Anyway they tried some bipartisanship-torture and immigration reform. No one really wanted to support torture so they and McCain got that one through but the worthless republican congress can’t see anything. I live in an area heavily populated by latino immigrants. I see the crap they live with and what its done to their society. We need some sort of legalization. Tangent! Sorry here’s the point-dems haven’t been able to do much with republicans in power, that includes the ability to make mistakes. Or, mistakes that mean something.

Posted by: Silima at September 20, 2006 1:29 AM
Comment #182748

Adrienne:

“The problems with our rigged, stolen, illegally purged voter rolls/disenfrancised elections cannot, must not be blamed on the Democratic Party!!! “

I’m not blaming the Dems for our compromised electoral system—I’m pointing out their ineffectual, almost criminal complicity in opposing the law-breaking of the Bush administration. Their entire modus operandi smacks of a Wall Street Agent worried about spooking his investors, instead of an opposition party protecting American citizens from unprescedented law-breaking.

This isn’t just about incompetence in fighting the good fight— this is about a party that has lost it’s moorings, it’s direction, and who it really thinks it’s representing in Washington.
There is no populist fervor of a Debs or an FDR, no concern about declining economic standing for most working Americans—merely a quiet tinkling of scotch-on-the-rocks at the club ,and “Where’s gold going to go?”

My point is simple—if the Dems fuck this one up, after 2000, 2002 and 2004, and after the floating dead in New Orleans and the unseen flag-draped coffins in Dover of more working-class kids, they should be fired, and some alternatives should be investigated.

The country can’t afford such recalcitrance any more, and the excuses and the hand-wringing while our country is dismantled by fascist white guys is no longer acceptable.

The real question is—can we even get to the November elections without Bush attacking Iran?

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 20, 2006 1:30 AM
Comment #182750

Whether you like it or not the Reps don’t control everything. Due to senate rules you need 60 votes to get almost anything voted for.

And, I’m still not quite sure what evil legislation you’re talking about.

Also, all that article you referred to tells me is that the left eat their young and you can’t believe any of them.

As to #1 above. So what unless you can prove that their was malice, how do you know , if this happened, that it was no more than an accident.

#2 How many of those were there 10 - 20?

#3 Your wrong http://archives.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/11/20/military.ballots/index.html

#4 I saw that on the news also. If you call republican observers I believe there were 2 or 3 of tehm, trying to get into the counting room they were supposed to be in a riot. Be my guest.

#5 The only reason it even got to the Supreme Court was because the florida Supreme Court completely ignored the state legislature and the state constitution.

Posted by: Keith at September 20, 2006 1:33 AM
Comment #182751

bushflipflops
1)I’m not old enough to vote
2)I live in California-2 democratic senators
3)my congressman is a republican, and a good one. I support him. Sorry but I can’t do much to help you.
4)I would so vote for a democratic candidate. The gang of 14, a few others. Unfortunately all the politicians I know well are the ones I don’t like. I have a feeling you don’t like a lot of the one’s I don’t like either.

Posted by: Silima at September 20, 2006 1:36 AM
Comment #182758

“Whether you like it or not the Reps don’t control everything. Due to senate rules you need 60 votes to get almost anything voted for.”

That’s only the case when you have no skills as politicians. You can work with others to come to a quick consensus… and even if many Senators vote against your bill, if the legislation goes to the floor in an honest manner, you can pass it with 51 votes.

The 60 vote issue only comes into play when you only want YOUR way and refuse to work with others. Bush and many REPs in control of the House and Senate have only shown contempt for those across the isle… and when you try to shove your legislation down their throats… you need 60 votes. Bush can’t even work with his own party without sounding like a spoiled little brat - “do it all my way or no way!”

If you watched Bush’s latest press conferences and speeches… he does not like being questioned or having to pay anything more than lip service with his answers. Some people like that “can do or f@ck you” attitude… but Bush has long sense worn out his welcome, and his attitude is starting to bite him in the ass. It’s only going to get worse.

Posted by: tony at September 20, 2006 6:58 AM
Comment #182759

“WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Tuesday that Congress should require Internet service providers to preserve customer records, asserting that prosecutors need them to fight child pornography.

Testifying to a Senate panel, Gonzales acknowledged the concerns of some company executives who say legislation might be overly intrusive and encroach on customers’ privacy rights. But he said the growing threat of child pornography over the Internet was too great.

“This is a problem that requires federal legislation,” Gonzales told the Senate Banking Committee. “We need information. Information helps us makes cases.”

Can someone tell me the percentage of computer users to computer-based pedophiles in the US? I’m guessing it’s along the lines of .05%… So how does such overbearing legislation gain traction? “OH GOD! PROTECT THE CHILDREN!!!!! FEAR FEAR FEAR… GIVE US YOUR PRIVACY! QUICK! BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!”

Doesn’t most child pornography begin with a camera? Maybe we can make everyone submit their pictures for a government database? Or since these atrocities happen in peoples home… maybe we could put government cameras in our bed rooms… come on! IT’s FOR THE SAFETY OF OUR CHILDREN!!!!

Of course, the government could run it’s own “spider” on the web and gain as much info as they needed to prosecute child porn on the web - but then, they’d miss out on all the other juicy info.

OH CRAP! THE CHILD PORN TERRORISTS ARE ON THE LOOSE AND COMING TO GET US!!!!

Posted by: tony at September 20, 2006 7:14 AM
Comment #182761

Tony,
Great point. Of course Gonzales says he wouldn’t access this info without a warrant. Let’s see what does it take to get a warrant? If you are in a divorce proceeding with say, Denise Richards, all she has to do is say you are a pervert looking at cild porn. Of course digital records are always completely accurate. There could never be any glitch or malware that could possibly mix data from one URL to any other URL. It’s like DNA, it’s absolute and Godlike, except when you have clowns like the Houston Police Department contaminating samples and testifying to phoney data.

I guess 1984 was a little off, he should have named the book 2006.

Posted by: gergle at September 20, 2006 7:41 AM
Comment #182765
The problem I see in Nancy Pelosi. The Democrats are sooooo wacko!!

Craig,

What makes you think Nancy Pelosi is crazy, aside from the right-wing media ritually repeating the fact? Really, give me some evidence. I’m all ears (or in this case, eyes).

Posted by: Woody Mena at September 20, 2006 8:22 AM
Comment #182766

Re Nancy Pelosi’s military credentials, let’s compare her to George Bush when he become President:

Pelosi - Ranking Democrat on Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Bush - Governor of Texas, occasionally showed up at Texas Air National Guard

I’d go with Pelosi.

Posted by: Woody Mena at September 20, 2006 8:34 AM
Comment #182781

Woody:

What makes you think Nancy Pelosi is crazy, aside from the right-wing media ritually repeating the fact? Really, give me some evidence. I’m all ears (or in this case, eyes).

I have often said that the democratic party looks like the bar scene on star wars. In Nancy’s case (and the same goes for Howard Dean), they both are from far left areas of the country. The democratic party has a San Francisco and a North eastern liberal running it. These two people are far far out of mainstream thought.

I think if the Dems would can them and get someone in from the south or midwest, it could make the difference in the election. Calling Nancy a liberal is not talking out of school. It’s not a smear, it’s factual and accurate. She embodies the term. The country is not liberal, it is right of center.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at September 20, 2006 10:23 AM
Comment #182786

“If you watched Bush’s latest press conferences and speeches… he does not like being questioned or having to pay anything more than lip service with his answers. Some people like that “can do or f@ck you” attitude… but Bush has long since worn out his welcome, and his attitude is starting to bite him in the ass. Its only going to get worse..”

I haven’t watched Bush in three years or so, but that elitist, ‘annointed-one’ attitude does start wearing thin when you constantly have to explain yourself and your policies to the great unwashed. You’re right—I think it will get worse; we may witness some unprecedented presidential behavior in our long crawl to January, 2009.

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 20, 2006 10:34 AM
Comment #182787

Tony,

Of course we need to have internet “police”, you see it is for “our own good” really. The fact is that the opposition to the Bush reigme is getting to hot and heavy, even creeping into traditional Conservative and Republican corners. Even Independants seam to be “far left” these days.

I often wondered why BushCo didnt “pay attention to polls”. But, I have often wondered a lot of things about this man. Why he says one thing, and means another, yet at the same time really meaning what he is saying its just that no one is interpurating what he is really saying correctly. No wonder this country seams to be going crazy. It is just like that line from “The Bird Cage”. “Its like rideing a phycotic horse through a burning barn”.

Ive been wondering when someone would bring up the “internet police”. We have illegal searches. People being detained and tortured without due process. Staged media. Questionable elections. And, now the internet has to be limited, and monitored and couched, like our cell phones and the 6 OClock news.

Its really Hitleresque, the times we are living in. I dont have any problem understanding Hitler. I understand fully what was behind that personality. Its the German people that I always had problems understanding. How they sat there all those years, and let Hitler do the things that he did. And, they knew. Some fought back, some were to frightened to. But, they knew. I think that the real people, that I have a problem with, is the ones that knew, but thought that what they were seeing, was “OK”.

Now, those people, I will never understand. I always thought that our downfall would be what we were not against. I never in my wildest dreams thought that our downfall, as a country, would be what we were for.


Posted by: PlayNice at September 20, 2006 10:40 AM
Comment #182790

Craig,

Pelosi and Dean are not far left. They are liberals. Dean is actually a moderate in a certain sense. The only reason people think are far left is because they opposed the disasterous War in Iraq before it was fashionable. I think the word for that is prescient.

The fact you describe a large part of the US as far left illustrates what is wrong with your argument. By definition, the “far left” has to be a tiny group.

Posted by: Woody Mena at September 20, 2006 10:52 AM
Comment #182793

PlayNice good post. I totally agree.

Tony, good posts also. I have a video clip for you (Tim Crow, you’ll probably like this too): Bill Maher discussing Bush with Scarborough.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 20, 2006 10:56 AM
Comment #182797

Tim Crow,

I have always enjoyed and admired your posts very much. And, was not disapointed with your posts here. Thank You! You have already said everything that I wanted to say.

Posted by: PlayNice at September 20, 2006 11:04 AM
Comment #182863

Looks like Chavez and Armi-dinner jacket are trying to “out-democrat” the democrats. Hitting all the same talking points.

Posted by: nikkolai at September 20, 2006 2:09 PM
Comment #182869

Yeah Nikkolai-

Damn those speaches about helping poor people by giving them tangible benefits (like money to poor NYC residents to help them pay heating bills in the winter…see today’s NY Times). I much prefer the talking points republicans use: helping poor people by blowing up their country and forcibly installing puppet democracies.

Damn dirty socialists. haha. I’m sorry nikkolai, but if there is one place where socialist dictators can make us look bad, it is in the talking points. They have all the moral high ground I’m afraid. The only problem with socialism is that it doesn’t work so well in actual practice.

Posted by: Kevin23 at September 20, 2006 2:30 PM
Comment #182904

I dunno Kev—you may wanna give ol’Cuba or N. Korea a visit and get a first hand view of socialism. Seems to me most brave people would rather swim through 100 miles of shark-infested water than live in such paradises.

Posted by: nikkolai at September 20, 2006 4:37 PM
Comment #182917

Been there Nikkolai - but read the post, I just said socialism is only great in theory (ie talking points). I’ve seen the man-inflicted corruption first-hand. Those are not in the talking points though.

Not sure how you took my post as an endorsement…but hey, par for the course.

Posted by: Kevin23 at September 20, 2006 5:42 PM
Comment #182920

Like I said in an early post if you go to the right long enough even the center looks left.

Posted by: Jeff at September 20, 2006 6:05 PM
Comment #182923

Playnice:

Very kind, thank you.

We’ve decided to use your quote on my billboard at the corner of High Street and Constitution avenue. My agent will send along some papers you need to sign—that is, if it’s okay by you to use your comments.

Say hi to the missus (Mister?) for me.

Sincerely,
Tim Crow
US Senate

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 20, 2006 6:16 PM
Comment #182924

Adrienne:

(It constantly amazes me that I dive in to spell out your name, certain that I’ll screw it up, and it comes out correct—like riding a bicycle, I guess….)

My doozy-whatsit on my thingamajig doesn’t translate video wherewithalls on my computer, for some reason. What did Mr. Maher have to say (in 25 words or less)?

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 20, 2006 6:21 PM
Comment #182945

Keith-
There’s just volumes of information on Bush’s practices concerning audiences.

He is known for inviting people up on stage who seemingly represent Grassroots organizations. I say seemingly because many of their organizations are “astroturfed”- fake grassroots organizations started from the intitiative of large organizations and parties, rather than the little guys.

He is known for exclusionary methods meant to keep Democrats and others from public, taxpayer funded rallies. Particularly notorious were the loyalty oaths of the 2004 campaign. Loyalty Oaths.

How many times has he done a rally where ranks of uniformed individuals are ranged across the back drop?

He does everything but put himself in positions where he might have to spontaneously answer questions. How many real press conferences has he done? Why did he feel it necessary to sneak in a ringer like Jeff Gannon? Why does he feel that its necessary to pay reporters to pass on his points of view?

So much of what he does seems to be aimed at a surreal kind of political theatre, which sits in stark contrast to what’s going on around him.

I think you should consider the problems of a president who hasn’t developed good instincts about how to deal with those who approach his views with skepticism or cynicism.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 20, 2006 8:14 PM
Comment #182959

Tim Crow,
I’m so sorry that your thingamajig has no wherewithall. :^/
Here is the transcript of: Scarborough’s show from yesterday.
The interview with Maher starts about three quarters of the way down the page.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 20, 2006 10:03 PM
Comment #182977

Posted by: nikkolai at September 20, 2006 02:09 PM

“Looks like Chavez and Armi-dinner jacket are trying to out-democrat the democrats. Hitting all the same talking points.”

Nikkolai,

Maybe its not the “talking points” that they are hitting. Maybe, the truth doesnt need “talking points”. Maybe, that is why a lot of the world is on the same page. And, maybe you just dont get it, because you are reading another book, all together. Is it 1984. No? Well, it should be!

Tim,

You may use anything I write. I say what I think and I believe totally in what I say. But, what ever it was, (that I said?). Knowing me, you may want to shorten it. LOL :-)

Adrienne,

Thank you so much, I am a tremendous fan of your posts too. Please keep up the good work!

:-) Play

Posted by: PlayNice at September 20, 2006 11:40 PM
Comment #183072

“I”m so sorry that your thingamajig has no wherewithall. :^/”

Damn—that’s funny.

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 21, 2006 3:37 PM
Comment #183192

I wrote:
“I’m so sorry that your thingamajig has no wherewithall. :^/”

Tim Crow:
“Damn—that’s funny.”

I can’t help but admire that you’ve taken such an attitude. In fact, really wish I could offer your thingamajig some assistance, but I’m afraid my own doozy-whatsit is already spoken for. ;^)

Posted by: Adrienne at September 22, 2006 12:00 PM
Comment #183713

Walker,

This is the first one of your articles that I seen. It is excellent. I would like to be a moderate. I would like to be an independent. I have an article in the archives titled:Selection Bias and the Polarization of America. Being partisan will increase the polarization and that is bad, but the neocons seem set to drive the “bus” off the cliff of right wing extremism on the right side of the road. It seems that we need to desperately move to the left side of the bus at least until we veer back toward the road. I don’t want to go off the cliff on the left side either.

Posted by: Ray Guest at September 25, 2006 12:35 AM
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