Democrats & Liberals Archives

Welcome To The Real World

You hear about it with “sensitive” artists, with big rock stars, rich recluses, and others who have the power not to listen to others. Wealth and power can allow normally harmless tendencies and eccentricities to become exaggerated. People begin to indulge, what when balanced by the counsel, restraint, and the power of others they might not be so foolish to indulge. Even their fans might get caught up in their cult of personality, arguing that all the excess is necessary.

We all have quirks to our personality, things we want to do, things we would do, if we could. The aforementioned celebrities, tycoons, and artists get to do them, and get wrapped up in them.

And what happens? Being imperfect human beings, in a world not built to suit, their lives get screwed up. While its true that professionals and artists need a certain degree of freedom and indulgence to work their magic with their complex jobs, it's also true that these people profit from folks in the right place above them or to their side to at least remind them that there is right and wrong beyond themselves.

Politics is an art and a profession. As with any art or profession, many of the people who do best have peculiar personalities, a gift for what they do. We've got this image of the bland prototypical perfect person being the ideal, but the truth is, people's physical and psychological talents are rarely so homogenous. Those looking for the perfect leader aren't going to find them. Those clinging to the hope of one are invariably going to be disappointed. You can expect the leaders we have to make mistakes and demonstrate perhaps hair-raising sides of themselves on occasion.

We can't expect people to be blandly perfect. We'll only end up creating people who are good at hiding their imperfections. Zero tolerance will not erase man's imperfection. It will only convince people to keep their mouths shut. Ignorance is bliss, no?

At the same time, our ignorance should not be self-inflicted, nor should we have much patience with those who intentionally keep us ignorant. Even if it will be difficult for us to understand something, we citizens should nonetheless get the best explanation possible. Our government works best when the feedback is robust and Americans are not having to take jackhammers to the edifices of government to get answers, to get change for the better. In many ways, we sought democracy for that very reason.

Truly empowered monarchs of all days and ages have the tendency to get bubbled behind walls of that power. All governments become disagreed with. You can't please everybody, especially on important issues where passions run high. The arbitrary nature of such power often stokes them even more. The less a person feels a government official is accountable to them, the more emotional they will get about the person's actions.

If somebody goes so far as to try and shut up folks, that only makes it worse. Hunger is the best spice for both food and opinion. If you're motivated to maintain such an position, despite official sanction, you may very well become radicalized, more forceful in your response, perhaps even to the point of open insurrection or acts of terrorism. That others less devoted might fear that approach enough to reject you and dissociate from you only makes you more radicalized, as you react against them, too.

If you'll notice, a funny thing is happening. The alienation is becoming mutual. The rejected in turn reject. When and if they come to power, they will likely inflict the same harm to the same effect. It's a vicious cycle, and its played itself out to ill effect all over the globe. This is part of what a true Democracy (with rights of free speech, assembly, press, and religion) moderates and prevents.

Our system is not immune from those who are willing to alienate themselves from others on purpose, who decide that others are simply clueless, and will not listen. It does not protect us from when the public, or at least large chunks of it, decides to look the other way on the destruction of accountability, limits on power, and free and robust debate. This can happen when an emergency shocks our system. We can end up buying into the notion that the system as a whole failed, that because our system wasn't geared primarily towards control from the top down, our government didn't have the tools to protect us.

Continually pushed on this threat, some in power have used that sense of failure to dramatically increase the presence of unaccountable power in the government. Those who oppose this are called appeasers and traitors. They are said not to get it. They are said to be content to wait until we are attacked again.

The people saying it, though, aren't making the kind of headway one would expect such experts, with power already given would have. In their fundamental disagreement with their rivals and critics on matters of homeland security, they've managed to vindicate their critics multiple times on the ineffectiveness of such approaches. A unilateral, first strike war meant to cleanly decapitate a regime and sew another head on within half a year is now in its third year of dealing with the insurgency that many had told them would arise. They were told that they needed a plan. They didn't create it. They were told we needed more soldiers. Now the soldiers we do have struggle to keep territory in friendly hands in the face of an crafty enemy.

The men and women in power speak of Iraq as a terrorist magnet, as a means of fighting them there so we don't have to defend America here, but there's an inherent conflict between creating a long term fight in Iraq against the terrorists, and reconstructing the country. Even if it wasn't just some excuse for having let the security situation get out of control (as many critics said it would), it's very gist translates to allowing a security situation to get out of control to draw in terrorists in a nation and a war where our very success depends on bringing that security situation to a successful conclusion. You can't have your war and end it too. At some point, we will not longer be able to fight them there, if we're doing things right. At some point, whether or not it was truly bringing the terrorists in from other places to die, to the exception of them making Jihad here in America, we will have to find somewhere else to confront them.

Let's be realistic, though: nothing about Iraq could ever guarantee that a few handfuls of men with a few hundred thousand dollars could not penetrate our security, as they did last time, and pull off some new atrocity on us. Correlation is not Causation, or to be more precise, just because al-Qaeda choses not to attack us during the Iraq war does not mean that the war is the cause of al-Qaeda not attacking us here. Additionally, even if al-Qaeda is choosing engagement in Iraq over that here, there's nothing that says the Iraq war is having a particularly crippling impact on them, or that engaging us there isn't some means of achieving strategic aims that eventually come back to haunt us back home. The recent NIE showed that the defeat of the Jihadists in Iraq could have a crippling effect, but the question is open as to whether we really are going to defeat them, the way we're going.

Time and again, legitimate concerns, warnings about problems in the making, have been disregarded by this administration in the pursuit of its own particular view on the war, and on the engagement of terrorists worldwide. Supporters talk about them being bold, about the strengths of their will, of their conviction, about their moral absolutism. No shades of grey here, folks, we're seeing this black and white. They have, however, attached a moral value to believing as they do and not believing, and that is where they have gone terribly wrong.

It's all well and good to believe you know the truth, if you're never going to interact with the systems in question, but once you engage with the real world, it is that which will determine your right or wrong, or at least your ability to make the right decision in lieu of the mistaken one. Results matter, even when intentions are strongly principled; in fact, they are especially important then. Strong beliefs about the world can blind people to what is right and wrong in the real world in both the moral and practical senses.

We're only human, so we're guaranteed to screw things up at least partially. Do we adapt, do we observe, or do we blindly push on in hopes of forcing the situation to our will. The uncertainties of life sometimes vindicate that final approach, but most of the time, they simply punish them, as they have for ages. We have a word for such punishment. We call it tragedy. Not tragedy in the mass media sense of the latest event to shed tears over, if one is so inclined, but tragedy as in good and/or great intentions and bad situations combining to create unhappy endings. Often, what makes a tragedy a tragedy is the length of time it takes for the lead character to simply get it. While they are failing to realize what's going on, events unfold mercilessly, complicating the redemption of the situation and bit by bit extracting the price for the hubris of the protagonist.

What makes a figure like Bush so especially frustrating, and perhaps even a bit pathetic, is that he doesn't even realize how deeply he is buried in his own mistakes. Part of this relates to the attitudes his party came to embrace after Nixon. In some ways, one could cast Bush as the Nemesis of the Republican Party, the force that brings merciless retribution for sin. He represents their disdain for the public's right to know, their hunger for power in the name of winning what they see as a vital culture war. He represents their belief that they know best how to defend America, and their paranoid suspiction that their rivals and adversaries in American politics simply want to debase the culture and undermine the country as a whole. He represents their unabashed love of power, as well as their pathological distaste for Government.

Bush sums them up. He is more or less a constant politician, a man who is constantly out on the campaign trail, even while important issues are at hand, languishing in the absence of his attention. He doesn't focus on a problem with any great intensity until it begins to endanger him politically. However, by that time, the problem has already passed the point where mere words can serve to change things.

By that time, events are often in motion and options are limited by the passage of time. A better leader than Bush would have dealt with Abu Ghraib before it even became a problem. They would have planned our fiscal approach so as not to head into deficit territory, not try and struggle our way out underneath the weight of a war and a new entitlement program. A better leader would not have decided that a certain war was necessary and push ahead to prove that necessity. The situation would have to prove itself to require such attention before he even began to go to war. That leader would have called on those beneath him to plan for eventualities. That leader would have considered the advice of the experts, and not merely dismiss it on the basis of an ill-informed gut feeling. Faced with his error, that leader would have the moral courage, even in an election year, to do what is right.

A better leader, in short, would deal with the real world, rather than constantly trying to shape it to his will. No amount of willpower can change a mistake to a success. Strength of will and commitment are only useful if it leads your other qualities, your intelligence and your wisdom, to confront the problem for what it is. Otherwise they are only the ingredients for tragedy.

I think we are nearing the point where things start to get better, but I believe we Democrats and Americans in general should look back over the last six years and tremble at what such a disconnect with reality can do to our nation's government, and our country itself. This is the price America pays for becoming passive and careless in how we choose our leaders. Some may blame Bush for the way he's lead this government, but we Americans are to blame for the fact that he and his GOP counterparts in congress can rule at all.

Washington is not some far off land, some place elsewhere. It is us. The corruption and the failures of the place belong to us. If we do not take responsiblity for what is done there, and force our elected agents to do the same, we, the American people, will be responsible for the fall of this great nation.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at October 4, 2006 7:48 AM
Comments
Comment #186120

A study funded by the US government has concluded that conservatism can be explained psychologically as a set of neuroses rooted in “fear and aggression, dogmatism and the intolerance of ambiguity”.
As if that was not enough to get Republican blood boiling, the report’s four authors linked Hitler, Mussolini, Ronald Reagan and the rightwing talkshow host, Rush Limbaugh, arguing they all suffered from the same affliction.

All of them “preached a return to an idealised past and condoned inequality”.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1017546,00.html

Posted by: mem beth at October 4, 2006 8:52 AM
Comment #186121

Here’s the problem….. Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Dick Durbin, John Murtha, Lovable Teddy Kennedy, (is that enough?) are truly a frightening alternative!

Posted by: James Sagmore at October 4, 2006 8:58 AM
Comment #186122

James Sagmore-
Frightening why? If the hopes of the right concerning counterterrorism have been so off the mark, why would their fears about the other side be any different?

The difference between our two attitudes is that while you fear policies that could potentially be put into place, I fear the continuation of those which have already been enacted and proved to be harmful to our interests. To justify your fears, you have to look to a hypothetical future. I can appeal to a factual past to justify my own.

What will happen if those leaders fail us as well is simple: like Bush, they will lose power. The price to keep playing this game is getting it right. No party will truly consolidate power of any kind unless it does so on a base of effective policy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 4, 2006 9:19 AM
Comment #186123

This was a thoughtful post, Stephen. I agree. Like riding a bicycle successfully, most wise, strong leaders or countries don’t go in a straight line, but have a vision of where they want to go, but are always readjusting things moving to the right or left or around to get there. and sometimes, even the goal gets changed, depending upon the information received from all directions. a weird metaphor, I agree—but one that came to mind.

Demanding a bike to be driven exactly on one line leads to its falling—-and one who continues to ride that way, continues to fall, get up, make it go in a line that is too rigid and too narrow and too unyielding to allow for any movement, flow and continuous motion. I wish, as you said, that we soon have leaders—from the President and admin on down—-who welcome information and feedback from every source they can find and continuously celebrate the adjustment, realignment and changes that the feedback and continous information asks for.

Including being aware that the trip and giving warning signals to others on the same path is just as important, if not more impt, than getting to the end of the road. I wish the Republican party had been more interested in getting Foely into therapy and treatment when they first knew he was a threat and a danger to young people, than allow this to turn into a situation where now the pages who were possibly psycholocially hurt now also need therapy. All to keep their seat in congress?

Posted by: judye at October 4, 2006 9:20 AM
Comment #186142

Stephen
“The difference between our two attitudes is that while you fear policies that could potentially be put into place, I fear the continuation of those which have already been enacted and proved to be harmful to our interests. To justify your fears, you have to look to a hypothetical future. I can appeal to a factual past to justify my own”

This is why the right still has the support it does and why the left is not garnering 70-80% of the vote.
The fact that so many people fear “potential” policies which will come from the left, should tell you that your agenda is wrong and will not be accepted by a vast majority of the voters.

You claim a “hypothetical future” is why people will still vote for Reps, you are wrong.
It is their own “factual past” which has them scared to vote Dem.

Posted by: kctim at October 4, 2006 11:11 AM
Comment #186151

Stephen, responsible does not require perfection. The ability to respond appropriately to one’s profession is exhibited by most Americans in our nation’s workplaces. We should expect nothing less from our national political leaders.

Perfection? No. Responsibility (i.e. the ability to respond appropriately)? Absolutely!

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 4, 2006 11:44 AM
Comment #186161

kctim-
I think it’s been some time since the Democrats had real power in Washington. During that time, the Right has been relentlessly exaggerating and cariacturing the attitudes of the left.

The Left of this day and age has suffered quite an extended period in the wilderness, and on a number of key points diverges from the opinion of the former generation that held power.

The past I speak of which Bush is immediate and ongoing. Left to himself, Bush will continue doing things the way he has.

As FDR might say it, the only thing you have to fear with Democrats at this point is fear itself. The minute we get into office, we will be under pressure to justify our newfound majorities. If we fail at that, we justifiably get kicked out, and the Public goes shopping for others to lead.

What I would say, though, is that we should be given the chance to fail, instead of being summarily denied it on the basis of Right-Wing Prejudices and cariactures of of our positions. It’s better than just passively letting the parade of screwups on Capitol Hill and in the White House continue.

David R. Remer-
Responsibility is the implicit point of my post, the underlying notion. In fact, I suggest that our imperfections practically demand the development of responsible thinking and action. Perfectly prototypical people would not need to be taught responsibility.

They would make no mistakes to revisit, commit no errors that would need to be corrected. Being perfect means never having to say you’re sorry, never having to throw out a theory that’s become useless and counterproductive.

It is our fallible nature that demands responsibility. It’s the inability to admit fallibility that leads one down Bush’s path.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 4, 2006 12:35 PM
Comment #186173

Stephen
The amount of time past or Republican ads are not the reason the Dem party was swept from power.
It was their hard-left agenda that did it and the fear of that agenda is the only reason why the left has to fight to win elections.
IF, as you say, todays left is not the same as the previous generation of lefties, then you guys are doing an awfully bad job in showing it.

You talk of the past as if it began in 2000, it did not. Many people disagree with the left and they have been systematically removing your guys since what, 92? There is a reason for that.

So far, the left has been able to keep those reasons off the publics mind, which will probably help you guys at the polls.
But if the lefts only plan is to blame its election failures on “prejudices and cariactures” and just hope Iraq will be enough, then your victory will be nothing compared to what it could have been.

Posted by: kctim at October 4, 2006 1:06 PM
Comment #186188

kctim
The reason the dems lost power is because of the platform that the repubs ran on. It was the “anti-Clinton” platform. It dealt with the repubs being the party of morals and values. It had nothing to do with democratic policies. It was a reaction to the Clinton/Monica scandal, which was played up masterfully by the republicans.
If the democratic policies were the basis, then the conservatives would have been voting against peace and prosperity, which is largely what we had during the Clinton years. Republicans knew that they could not run against that, so “family values” became the watchword. They energized the far right christian vote and barely got enough to squeak by in the election (electorally speaking, of course). The popular vote still went to the democrats in the presidential election of 2000. The “contract with America” espoused by Gingrich did not give the republicans the big majority in congress. It was the Clinton personal problems, largely built up by the republican smear machine.

Posted by: Cole at October 4, 2006 1:30 PM
Comment #186193
Here’s the problem….. Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Dick Durbin, John Murtha, Lovable Teddy Kennedy, (is that enough?) are truly a frightening alternative!

The same line is printed on this site on a regular basis, and no one has ever backed up their bullshit!

Every one of these members of congress has considerable support by their constituents. They all stand for something positive. Don’t like them? Too bad…

Posted by: Loren at October 4, 2006 1:46 PM
Comment #186214

Well said, Stephen.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 4, 2006 2:17 PM
Comment #186221

kctim-
I talk of the immediate past, concerning the current occupant. I talk of the leadership of the Republicans as of now. Why? Because I think history begins in 2000?

Not at all. That’s just who’s in charge right now, and who wants to be in charge after the election. A whole generation of lawmakers has gone the way of the do-do since 1992. In fact, some of the weakness of 1994 owed to the turnover of many of the old guard Democrats in the years before.

I think it was the corruption and the unaccountability that did that Democratic majority in. People finally got fed up enough with the Democrats to get the notion that they actually had a choice. It wasn’t a reaction to any hard-left agenda, as much as Republicans would want to believe that. Look at the roll calls for the Republican Congress. The Democrats has at least three times the lead on the Republicans in 1992 than they had in the best of times. As for the Senate, the Republicans have also failed to equal our former majority there yet.

If a strong move towards conservatism was the motive for the shift in power, then people would have been out in the streets over the addtion of a drug benefit to Medicare, the President wouldn’t have lost the debate over Social Security, he’d be fading heat over additional regulation, rather than getting asked to make it, etc, etc.

You keep telling us what we’re all about, We keep telling you what we’re all about. Who do you think knows better what the Democratic party is all about?

Even so, I am not afraid to tell it like it is. I think we’ve had some weak, passive, uninspired choices out there. I think people have underestimated how much the personality rather than the politics of Clinton mattered. I also think my folks have badly overestimated the wisdom of all those consultants.

In evolutionary biology, folks have noted that when two species compete for the same niche, inevitably one gets outcompeted and either goes extinct or changes niche. I think politics works the same way. It’s next to useless to try and mimic the electoral success of the other party. You have to appeal to people because of who you are.

Democrats would not stand on their own two feet, and instead made themselves almost indistinguishable from their competition. Bad idea. Let the Republicans be Republicans. Democrats should not be ashamed to be liberals, to value good government, government that helps America be productive. Americans want it, it looks like.

They want actual disaster recovery efforts instead of a federal roadblock and blame-game. Americans want a congress that can say no to this president, and stand up for the separation of powers. They want, by a wide margin, investigations into just what the hell this White House has been doing. Most of all, they want an end to the days of blank checks and rubber stamping.

There’s got to be a point at which the fear of the unknown gives way to a confrontation with what’s right in front of you. I think the Democrats will pleasantly surprise people after years of belittling from the right. If we don’t, we deserve to get kicked right back out.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 4, 2006 2:39 PM
Comment #186228

Stephen said: “It is our fallible nature that demands responsibility. It’s the inability to admit fallibility that leads one down Bush’s path.”

I agree. And you precisely measured your words here. I do not believe that Bush believes himself to be infallible. As you say, he lacks an ability to admit it. When I was young and insecure, I found myself sometimes trying to defend against justified criticism, well after I had turned redfaced and realized that my defense was only adding to my guilt. But, I couldn’t admit I was wrong - as if that could have possibly caused me anymore humiliation. I regret those instances to this day.

I have to wonder if Bush has ever been forced to face his embarassment of having been very wrong about something? Wait, I recall Laura gave him an ultimatum of this sort, and he relented and repented. Perhaps he believes he could not face such an episode ever again. Dunno!

Anyway, well written. The darndest thing about Bush is, he likely means well most of the time. He has just never learned, apparently, that “my way or the highway” (as Laura laid on him), is to be used rarely, sparingly, only as a last resort, and only if there is absolutely no doubt that one’s decision is the right one. The difference between such assured confidence and hollow arrogance can be a very obscure one.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 4, 2006 3:03 PM
Comment #186243

Stephen
I’m not saying the country is moving towards conservatism at all. I believe quit the opposite is true in fact.

I guess your corruption and accountability comment explains your position best though. I can see it as having a little to do with losing so many elections, but I think the larger part of the problem has to deal with why millions and millions of people vote against the lefts platform, rather than for a candidate they want to win.

We will just have to disagree, only time will tell I guess.
Fun post.

Posted by: kctim at October 4, 2006 3:53 PM
Comment #186245

“It is their own “factual past” which has them scared to vote Dem.”

No, its the innacurate version of the past, perpetrated by right wing spinmeisters that scares mom and pop public.
Without the stranglehold on the media, by the right, it would be 70-80%.

Posted by: Observer at October 4, 2006 3:58 PM
Comment #186252

Cole
Are you serious? Do you really believe it had nothing to do with the lefts platform?
I’ll agree that the clintons poisoned the left, but to say they are the reason the left was rejected at the polls is being a little naive, IMO.

What the left has done and wants to do to our 2nd Amendment rights really pisses off ALOT of people. By respecting that one right, the left could have easily gotten millions of votes which would have given them many victories.

Another thing that got people riled up was this silly war on religion. Surely you can admit that all the lawsuits against God, the ten commandments and personal expression of religion, hurt the left at the polls.
Even if the left was right about it, was it really such a wise idea to try and force it in such a drastic and callous way? Must not of been, according to the votes anyway.

Hey, who knows, maybe Iraq will be enough for you guys and you will be given a chance. I know I would rather have a sure thing over a nailbiter though.

Posted by: kctim at October 4, 2006 4:14 PM
Comment #186259

Your living in denial Observer.
The left has just as much money, just as much media control and just as many lies as the right does.
And rather than using theories to explain why people don’t vote for your platform, why don’t you guys try listening to their concerns. Who knows, that might just work too. Its got to be more effective than trying to force your beliefs onto everybody. The last three elections proved that.

Posted by: kctim at October 4, 2006 4:28 PM
Comment #186265

And meanwhile, back in the real world of a compromised Constitution, no habeas corpus, unwarranted wiretapping, signing statements, and a new war with Iran/Syria in the works, we have a new term, the ‘neo-progressive’:

Enthusiasm for Democraps because they are seen as the only alternative to letting Republicrooks keep political power is the litmus test for being a neo-progressive. These neo-progressives are making two profoundly important errors in thinking. First, they have deluded themselves that the when put back in power Democraps will actually perform political miracles and restore the quality of our democracy and produce economic justice. Every bit of historical evidence proves that this hope or expectation is ludicrous.

Second, these neo-progressives fail to understand how much pain and suffering the public must endure if a large majority of working- and middle-class Americans are to stimulate and support a Second American Revolution. These neo-progressives have lost their progressive moral principles; they do not understand the dynamics of social upheaval. They do not understand how the two-party duopoly is designed to – at critical times – dissipate public anger by letting the political pendulum swing from Republicrooks to Democraps, or vice-versa.

The rest of the article is here:

http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_joel_s___061004_when_winning_is_losi.htm


Posted by: Tim Crow at October 4, 2006 4:51 PM
Comment #186266

It’s all the Dems fault that the repugs look bad.In five weeks lets count the votes. If the repugs win well I would still would not want to be a repug.

Posted by: Jeff at October 4, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #186269

“but I think the larger part of the problem has to deal with why millions and millions of people vote against the lefts platform, rather than for a candidate they want to win.”

Hmmm, I thought we had no platform or ideas. Make up your mind.

Posted by: Observer at October 4, 2006 4:58 PM
Comment #186272

“Your living in denial Observer.
The left has just as much money, just as much media control and just as many lies as the right does.”

90% of political talk radio is right wing.
Most media conglomerates are owned by avowed conservatives.
Your point was?

“why don’t you guys try listening to their concerns. “

People havn’t been voting their concerns lately, they’ve been voting their fears. Not the same thing.
Peoples concerns are:
Paying their bills,
Raising their kids,
Paying for college,
Saving for retirement,
Having adequate healthcare coverage.
Only when those concerns are clouded by the constant mantra of “YOUR GOING TO DIE!!, TERRORISTS ARE UNDER YOUR BED!!, FEAR!-DEATH!-MORE FEAR!-TERROR ALERT!-LIQUID EXPLOSIVES!-9/11-9/11-9/11!, do they vote against their own interests. Guess what? It’s effect is wearing off and that’s why Democrats are going to take back seats, if not Houses.

Posted by: Observer at October 4, 2006 5:05 PM
Comment #186292

I don’t recall saying the left didn’t have a platform Observer.

Re: money, both party’s have tons of money and the capability to use it however they wish. That is my point. To hide behind the Reps own the media mantra is not only dishonest, but laughable.

Re: concerns, it is possible that one of their concerns is also one of their fears, especially when dealing with terrorism. You can act like it doesn’t exist, but others know it does. Ignoring those fears won’t get you many votes.

Paying their bills? Hard to do when your taxes are so high isn’t it.

Raising their kids? Then quit telling everybody the “villiage” should dictate how to raise your own child.

Paying for college? Raising taxes to pay for “everybody” to go to college won’t work.

Saving for retirement? Then let people have the choice on whether they wish to do it for themselves or let govt do it for them. Its kind of hard to save for retirement when a large portion of your check goes into SS.
But don’t worry about this one too much. You guys pretty much have the people believing that they can’t do it for themselves.

Healthcare? How about universal healthcare for all who want it? Those who don’t want it, don’t have to pay that tax. SS and just about every other social program should be the same way.

And give up on the “fear” hype.
Govt uses fear to do many things and the people always fall for it. Remember govt using fear to further restrict guns? Same thing but with terrorists now.

Democrats are going to take back seats, if not houses?
I agree. I also believe they will win in 08 too. So what. The only difference will be that you will then support the war on terrorism, taking of rights and those on the right will be against it.
Same s#$t, different party.

Posted by: kctim at October 4, 2006 5:51 PM
Comment #186298

kctim I bet your the first in line for SS. So what your saying is doin’t raise your taxs. Standard repug come back.

Posted by: Jeff at October 4, 2006 6:08 PM
Comment #186301

“I don’t recall saying the left didn’t have a platform Observer.”

It’s the standard mantra of the right.

“To hide behind the Reps own the media mantra is not only dishonest, but laughable.”

Prove it. Prove that what I said about right wing talk shows is wrong. Prove what I said about devout republicans owning most media conglomerates is wrong.

“it is possible that one of their concerns is also one of their fears, especially when dealing with terrorism. You can act like it doesn’t exist, but others know it does. Ignoring those fears won’t get you many votes.”

Your much more likely to die from 100 other causes before terrorism. Yes, it’s a concern. Access to healthcare is life or death.

“Paying their bills? Hard to do when your taxes are so high isn’t it.”

It’s the rights position that the lower third don’t pay any taxes. If incomes are stagnant while costs rising, people are going backwards. Taxes aren’t the reason.

“”Raising their kids? Then quit telling everybody the “villiage” should dictate how to raise your own child.”

Another 16 year old republican mantra. Sorry you didn’t “get” her point. BTW, what democratic platform point tries to tell people how to raise their kids?

“Paying for college? Raising taxes to pay for “everybody” to go to college won’t work.”

Why? Why would a highly educated generation be a detriment? Did bush pay his way through school?

“Then let people have the choice on whether they wish to do it for themselves or let govt do it for them.”

Protecting pensions from defaulting corporations and stock market fraud are bigger issues. S.S. is by far the most succesfull goverment program ever. No wonder you hate it.

“Healthcare? How about universal healthcare for all who want it? Those who don’t want it, don’t have to pay that tax.”

I thought we were all in this together? And as it is now, we DO pay for those without insurance with higher premiums and the fact they end up in emergency rooms instead of spendind a few bucks in preventative care. I’ll give you this. Your consistent in your views concerning dividing America into seperate classes.

“Remember govt using fear to further restrict guns? Same thing but with terrorists now.”

Sorry, I don’t remember “gun alerts” or the president connecting guns to Sadam. I don’t remember a Democratic platform the revolved around calling the other side “weak on gun control”. Weak argument.

“Democrats are going to take back seats, if not houses?
I agree. I also believe they will win in 08 too.”

Glad to hear you say it.

Posted by: Observer at October 4, 2006 6:16 PM
Comment #186306

The problem with politics is that it attracts politicians. The tragic flaw of the system is that the very same characteristics that draw a person to politics and are selected by the election process; people who like the spotlight, who like to live big, who are capable of arousing passion in the electorate, are not necessarily the best for the job of governing, which should require thinking, creative analysis, ability to assess long term impacts(to spot the inevitable unintended results),integrity, genuine compassion, intellectual honesty and other characteristics that describe the apparently lost role of Statesman.
I think that policy and electability are not at all the same. The success of actors in getting elected (no matter what their politics are) is evidence.
Unless the left can select candidates with both philosophy and charisma, we may not get the election results we need, whether or not the public agrees with our policies.
Clinton was in my mind an example of a good combination of charisma and policy, along with the kind of intellectual flexibility we so sorely need. Unfortunately, his tragic flaw was one of the Politician’s classic ego-centric flaws. Extending the theatrical metaphors (Commedia); it was one of appetite.
The Republicans have perfected some techniques for raising passion, most pointedly scaring the population to death. What they lack in substance they make up in rhetoric.
The Bush government keeps playing slight of hand. They are doing their best to keep us all focusing on the wrong things.
It is damnably difficult to get people to be willing to tackle the long term complex problems, such as health care,or the environmental degredation, when someone is deliberately screaming in your ear that the evil-doers are going to burn up your house right now….
Thanks for the thoughtful and articulate post, Stephen.

Posted by: dana at October 4, 2006 6:35 PM
Comment #186311

Observer 36,000 people die from the flu every year. I wonder how many had health care?

Posted by: Jeff at October 4, 2006 6:48 PM
Comment #186315

So far this month(all four days) 21 brave americans died in Iraq. So sad I just don’t understand the other side. So many lies.

Posted by: Jeff at October 4, 2006 6:53 PM
Comment #186352

“Observer 36,000 people die from the flu every year. I wonder how many had health care?”

Yes, flu deaths are up, mostly because the % of elderly is higher.
Your point? (I seem to have missed it)

Posted by: Observer at October 4, 2006 8:54 PM
Comment #186358

I think the point is that lack of health insurance - especially with older people - has a huge impact on preventative health care… which is directly related to mortality rates with deseases such as the flu.

Posted by: tony at October 4, 2006 9:07 PM
Comment #186371

“I think the point is that lack of health insurance - especially with older people - has a huge impact on preventative health care”

OK, wasn’t sure which direction he was headed.
It’s also ridiculous that in America in 2006, were relying on other countries for Flu vaccine and almost always have to ration it.
But your right, if healthcare was free, some of those elderly would probably have gone in for treatment and lived.
But, for fear of being labled “socialist”, well just continue to let costs spiral, continue to make people use ER’s for primary care, continue to let disease fester and spread.
Just so long as kctim has his, who cares, right?

Posted by: Observer at October 4, 2006 9:22 PM
Comment #186377

I can’t even read past the first sentence—

The rest is bound to be crap—

People don’t have the power to not listen?!

Posted by: cw at October 4, 2006 9:35 PM
Comment #186390

Jeff
“So what your saying is doin’t raise your taxs.”

Kind of. I’m also saying we are over taxed in order to support the beliefs of others.
I thought forcing ones beliefs onto others was wrong?
Or is this another one of those things where its ok for your side to do it but wrong for the other side.

Observer
“It’s the standard mantra of the right.”

Actually, the standard mantra of the right is that the left has no viable and different plans for terrorism.

“Prove it. Prove that what I said about right wing talk shows is wrong. Prove what I said about devout republicans owning most media conglomerates is wrong.”

Yes, the only successful talk radio shows are from the right. If you don’t like talk radio for that reason, then turn on your TV.

“Your much more likely to die from 100 other causes before terrorism. Yes, it’s a concern.”

Well, at least you kind of admit that the concerns others have may be valid.

“Access to healthcare is life or death.”

That is why everyone in America has access to healthcare.

“It’s the rights position that the lower third don’t pay any taxes. If incomes are stagnant while costs rising, people are going backwards. Taxes aren’t the reason.”

That may be the rights position. To be honest though, I’m not sure.
What I am sure of though, is that high taxes, forced onto everybody, such as we have now, is also part of this backwards movement.

“Another 16 year old republican mantra. Sorry you didn’t “get” her point.”

Her point, her opinions and nobody else’s matter when raising ones own children. It is the responsibility of the parents, not the govt, to raise their children. That is what the left does not get.

“Why? Why would a highly educated generation be a detriment?”

It wouldn’t be. But, just because your beliefs say everybody should go to college for free, does not mean that others agree and by imposing a tax to do that, you are forcing your beliefs onto others. Just as our govt does with SS, taxes and other social programs today.

“Did bush pay his way through school?”

Don’t know, don’t care. I’m not fixated on him as you appear to be.

“Protecting pensions from defaulting corporations and stock market fraud are bigger issues. S.S. is by far the most succesfull goverment program ever. No wonder you hate it.”

What does any of that have to do with freedom of choice? I don’t “hate” SS, I disagree with how it is forced onto everybody.

“I thought we were all in this together? And as it is now, we DO pay for those without insurance with higher premiums and the fact they end up in emergency rooms instead of spendind a few bucks in preventative care.”

Granted, that is a problem, but so is how those same people abuse the system.
You make it a choice and it will be cheaper and will not be forcing ones beliefs onto others.

“I’ll give you this. Your consistent in your views concerning dividing America into seperate classes.”

Yes, I am very consistent in believing individual freedoms are sacred.
And dividing America into seperate classes? Talk about fear.

“Sorry, I don’t remember “gun alerts” or the president connecting guns to Sadam.”

No, he connected them to every physco who ever murdered somebody with a gun. Oh, and how our children were going to keep getting gunned down at school if we didn’t take 2nd Amendment rights.

“I don’t remember a Democratic platform the revolved around calling the other side “weak on gun control”. Weak argument.”

You are right, it wasn’t about calling the other side weak on gun control, it was an all out assault which used fear.
The argument is only weak because you do not care about ALL of your rights, just some.

“Glad to hear you say it.”

What, no silly labeling or name calling on this one?


Posted by: kctim at October 4, 2006 9:54 PM
Comment #186400

“Kind of. I’m also saying we are over taxed in order to support the beliefs of others.
I thought forcing ones beliefs onto others was wrong?”

I guess, if you feel that a healthy, educated populace benefits everyone is a “belief” and not a fact.

“Yes, the only successful talk radio shows are from the right. If you don’t like talk radio for that reason, then turn on your TV.”

Ok, so your agreeing with me? Fine. I wasn’t complaining for my own benefit, just trying to support my point that the right controls the media.

“That is why everyone in America has access to healthcare.”

‘Access’ and “affordability” isn’t the same thing. If your reffering to “free clinics”, ever been to one?? And being allowed into an ER when your about to die isn’t exactly what I had in mind.

“It is the responsibility of the parents, not the govt, to raise their children. That is what the left does not get.”

Ok, once again, WHAT exactly, are you reffering to?? Which DNC policy infringes on your right to raise your kids how you see fit?

“Why? Why would a highly educated generation be a detriment?”
“It wouldn’t be. But, just because your beliefs say everybody should go to college for free, does not mean that others agree and by imposing a tax to do that,”

Their are lots of government policies that not everyone agrees on. Iraq is an example for me. Should I be able to opt out and deduct my share from my taxable income??
And since you agree in principle, just not in method, it pretty much comes down to “I know it would benefit America, but I’m too cheap or greedy to kick in”. Right?

“I don’t “hate” SS, I disagree with how it is forced onto everybody.”

A. it wouldn’t work if everyone didn’t participate.
B. it was started to solve a problem, which was destitute elderly people.
C. It works.
D. I disagree with using the money in the general fund. That doesn’t mean you kill it.
E. Are you one of those that says “if you didn’t save enough, or something bad happened, F*ck you”?

“but so is how those same people abuse the system.You make it a choice and it will be cheaper “(healthcare)

It’s a choice now, sort of. And look at the rising costs. If everyone HAS coverage, their WONT BE ANY ABUSE. And costs will go down due to greater preventative care, earlier intervention, and pooling of risk.

“Yes, I am very consistent in believing individual freedoms are sacred.

The “freedom” to not have health care or affordable rent isn’t one to brag about. Really, what your saying is you want the freedom NOT to care about anyone but yourself. Am I wrong?

“You are right, it wasn’t about calling the other side weak on gun control, it was an all out assault which used fear.”

Gun control was a minor issue for Clinton. Fear of terrorism IS bush’s ONLY issue, and only tactic. Hardly the same. And the 2nd ammendment is VERY interpretable. The thought that your household gun would stop a tyrannical government is an idea long since impracticle. That said, I am NOT a gun control nut, I own 4. And there is NO current push for more legislation, AND the brady act, requiring background checks was just common sense. Your right to bear arms is NOT being infringed by checking to make sure your elligible.

“What, no silly labeling or name calling on this one?”

Deal with it.

Posted by: Observer at October 4, 2006 10:33 PM
Comment #186420

The Republican position on many of the issues is always a cariacture of extremism on the left. On taxes they allege the left loves raising taxes. On Deficits they allege the left loves running them, and spend without limits. On Terrorism we supposedly hate our country and want to appease the terrorists. On abortion, we’re practically portrayed as taking infants from their mother’s arms and dashing their heads against rocks. On gun control, even making people wait a week for a gun is portrayed as the first step towards a nazi-like disarming of the nation.

The most absurd things. The way Republicans would have it electing the Democrats is like having a track-meet in a minefield. But the claims themselves hardly represent what much of any of us believe. We keep telling you this, but for some strange reason, y’all folks think we don’t know our own minds that well.

Since the days of the Cold War, there’s been this allegation of the left as a fifth column. The sense of the allegation is that we are misguided by socialists and other dangerous intellectuals, that our politics is a conduit for unsavory interests to get into American politics.

Paranoia. Even if we tell you what we honestly believe, there’s always this insinuation that we’re being manipulated, or that we’re secretly manipulating folks about our true beliefs.

How can we win against that?

We can win against that because in the process of securing and perpetuating their power, the Right Wing has fucked it up badly. They’ve taken the system they were supposed to save from itself and taken it to new lows.

You can’t go in with contempt for government and hope to redeem it. Those with contempt and cynicism for government will not see improvement of it as a good. They will allow the processes to become abased because they see that as natural. They will allow it to fail because they don’t expect it to be functional. There is room for conservatism in politics, but only so far as it recognizes that government can be a good in society, and should be a good.

We need people who do think of this as a profession, a calling. They might on occasion make well-meaning mistakes, but that’s better than a bunch of ones made because somebody was too cynical to care what they were doing.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 5, 2006 12:10 AM
Comment #186444

Netroots!

Daugherty in ‘08!

Posted by: tree hugger at October 5, 2006 8:17 AM
Comment #186454

Observer
“Ok, so your agreeing with me? Fine. I wasn’t complaining for my own benefit, just trying to support my point that the right controls the media.”

Yes, I agree that talk radio is ruled by the right. People dont want to hear Air America type of crap. Those that do want to hear AA stuff, turn on their TV’s.

“‘Access’ and “affordability” isn’t the same thing. If your reffering to “free clinics”, ever been to one??”

Yes.

“Ok, once again, WHAT exactly, are you reffering to?? Which DNC policy infringes on your right to raise your kids how you see fit?”

No school choice.
Sex education.
And I know its not “policy,” but the nosy liberal bitches who call the police when somebody swats their kid on the ass, really piss me off.

“Their are lots of government policies that not everyone agrees on. Iraq is an example for me. Should I be able to opt out and deduct my share from my taxable income??”

No. Govt is allowed to use tax money to support its armies.

“And since you agree in principle, just not in method, it pretty much comes down to “I know it would benefit America, but I’m too cheap or greedy to kick in”. Right?”

Actually, I don’t think it is good for America. By creating a nanny state, we are now controlled and soft.
Am I too cheap or greedy to kick in? Not at all. I just have a different belief system than lefty’s.
My family comes first.
I want the freedom to help who I want and to not help who I don’t think deserves help.
I don’t want to force others to not help who they want.
I believe people should be allowed to think for themselves.

“A. it wouldn’t work if everyone didn’t participate.”

IF the people who say they really care about it would do all they could, it would work and personal rights would not be violated.

“B. it was started to solve a problem, which was destitute elderly people.”

In a different era with different standards of living. I know its too late to just cut everybody off, but a phased in option which gives people a choice would work.

“C. It works.”

Thats debateable.

“D. I disagree with using the money in the general fund. That doesn’t mean you kill it.”

No, you only kill whats unConstitutional.

“E. Are you one of those that says “if you didn’t save enough, or something bad happened, F*ck you”?”

How you or I believe is the best way to handle it, is besides the point. You want to force everybody to comply with your beliefs and I want everybody to have the choice to believe as they wish.
But, seeing how I really appreciate and respect a lefty willing to try and justify taking away personal rights, I will answer the question you ask:
Yes, I am, in a way. Only I don’t believe f-you. I believe if your not smart enough to save, then you reap what you sow. And I believe I should have a choice on who I think deserves help.

“but so is how those same people abuse the system.You make it a choice and it will be cheaper “(healthcare)

“It’s a choice now, sort of. And look at the rising costs. If everyone HAS coverage, their WONT BE ANY ABUSE. And costs will go down due to greater preventative care, earlier intervention, and pooling of risk.”

By doing that, you take away individual choice and the ability of individuals to provide the most for their own families.

“Yes, I am very consistent in believing individual freedoms are sacred.

“Really, what your saying is you want the freedom NOT to care about anyone but yourself. Am I wrong?”

No, you are not wrong. This is America afterall.

“Gun control was a minor issue for Clinton.”

It caused the Dem party to lose all power. Hardly a minor issue.

“Fear of terrorism IS bush’s ONLY issue, and only tactic. Hardly the same.”

Pretty much.

“And the 2nd ammendment is VERY interpretable.”

Only to those who don’t agree with it. The same can be said about other rights. That is why it is so important to support ALL of our rights.

“The thought that your household gun would stop a tyrannical government is an idea long since impracticle.”

So is the thought that ignoring terrorism will stop another terrorist attack.

“That said, I am NOT a gun control nut, I own 4.”

I know. I believe you have mentioned this before. That is why I believe there is chance for you to see the light.

“And there is NO current push for more legislation,”

Your right. The Reps are not currently trying to push for more legislation.

“AND the brady act, requiring background checks was just common sense.”

So is listening to terrorist talking on the phone.

“Your right to bear arms is NOT being infringed by checking to make sure your elligible.”

Then neither is your right to privacy by checking to make sure you are not talking to terrorists. Would requiring a background check before you can own a phone be ok?
Interpreting the Constitution to fit individual beliefs is a very dangerous game. One that works both ways.

“Deal with it.”

Aw, don’t be like that. I find it amusing when somebody with different beliefs than the left is automatically labeled a Bush supporter or right wing nut by you guys.

Posted by: kctim at October 5, 2006 9:45 AM
Comment #186457

Stephen
Then fix your image. Prove to the people that you don’t stand for these things.

Both party’s raise taxes.
Neither party is above the tax and spend accusations.
Both party’s have failed in dealing with terrorism.
Everybody on the right is not a religous nut against abortion. Some just believe it is wrong and most probably think it should be limited.
Everybody on the left is not about 3rd trimester killing either. There is middle ground, people just have to be willing to find and accept it.

“On gun control, even making people wait a week for a gun is portrayed as the first step towards a nazi-like disarming of the nation”

And listening to possible terrorist chatter is portrayed as the same. Both use fear to take away a right and both are supported by personal beliefs.
The funniest thing about unConstitutional gun control is that the Reps are just as guilty, but yet they get the pro 2nd Amendment votes. Why? This should be a no brainer for you guys and you could easily neutralize this advantage.

People have no way of knowing what you guys on the left are thinking Stephen, but we do know your past actions and you paid for it at the polls. The Republicans will soon suffer the same fate.

Fix the lies you speak of and fix the parts of your platform. PROVE to the voters that you respect their beliefs and lifestyle and rights.
I think it would be easier than just hoping more of your voters and less of their voters turn out to vote.

Posted by: kctim at October 5, 2006 10:06 AM
Comment #186468

kctim-
The influence of the Right on television is greater than ever, and yet you folks are not satisfied More commentators hail from the right. Your folks get TV shows of their own, even though they don’t get the best ratings. Air America is far more liberal than that. The difference, mainly, is that television grew as a medium under fairness doctrines that required a kind of political neutrality. Talk Radio, as we know it now, developed under relaxation of those regulations, which allowed the medium to take sides.

As for School Choice, let me put it this way: you already have it, if you pay for it yourself. If you expect everybody else to pay for it, you get public school, where the decision of what gets taught is decided by officials elected by collective vote in our school districts.

This is the same reason you can tell Observer that he can’t opt out of funding the Iraq War. We make our decisions to go to war collectively. That means we can’t control everything. But do you actually think that you could get a better deal anywhere else? Collective decision making is the mark of all governments. Your objections are reasonable in principle, but your principles have to be weighed with, and often compromised with the rest of ours. You got to get this war, and Liberals get to have welfare and social security until such time as the majority decides otherwise.

As for constitutional and unconstitutional, you’re entitled to your opinion, and so are our Justices int he Supreme Court. Theirs, though, is authoritative in terms of our law. We accept that authority because we live under the rule of law. Fortunately our system has rights built in.

But there are rights, and then there are rights. You have the right to say what you want to. Say it to your boss, though, and you have to be a bit more careful if you want to keep your job. In the real world, corporations, family ties, and friendships can have their own binding quality.

Also, though, the constitutional rights we have, like all law must be interpreted so we can apply them to the real world. It’s all well and good to say that a person has a right to bear arms, but to what extent can they do so, in what manner, in what time and place. Even in Texas you have to have a license to carry a concealed handgun. You folks, though, get hot under the color if we even suggest you wait a week for a weapon. Never mind whether there’s good sense to the law, or that you still get to bear the arms you want to if you’re a law abiding citizen without felonies on your record. It’s always portrayed as the first step on a slippery slope, without exception.

Never mind that even the sacrosanct first Amendment is interpretted as such to allow restrictions on time, place, manner, and to discourage unfounded defamation. You can’t sink rock songs at full volume nude in the middle of the street at three A.M. in the morning, for instance. That may be free expression for you, but there are limits.

So why can’t the Second Amendment be interpreted such that certain guns are banned, that weapons are given to people only after a week has gone by and passions have died down? Why can’t we create a workable system to keep legally gained weaponry out of the hands of criminals? You still can bear arms at the end of the day. You can still have a weapon to defend your home with.

As for listening to terrorists on the phone? First, we don’t always know that, and the person on the other end of the line, if they’re American, should be afforded their rights as a citizen. If there is good reason to suspect them, it should be easy to get a warrant if we structure the laws right. Democrats have no problem with the warranted surveillance of terrorism suspects, or their American friends and associates.

Background checks merely look at something that is public record. What the wiretap controversy deals with is not public record, and it surprises me that a person with such marked libertarian principles would not immediately balk at what is really being done.

First, the program works by assuming anybody associated with a terrorist, or even just a terrorism suspect is a suspect themselves. Then it expands to their contents. Then their communications are monitored for keywords believed to indicate terrorist activity. No warrant, no probable cause, just guess work and dragnet. You’re not a suspect because you’re involved with something, you’re a suspect merely because you’re within three degrees of separation from somebody they think is a terrorist.

Did I mention that you can’t even guarantee that this is only going to be used on terrorism suspects? So, essentially, people who have done nothing to merit the invasion of privacy get snooped on to make sure they aren’t terrorists.

The worst thing, as I’ve read it in the pages of The One Percent Doctrine by Ron Suskind, is that this program pretty much has failed to deliver on much of its promise. Why?

First, because a computer cannot tell the difference between somebody saying they’re going to have a big meal, meaning “a spectacular terrorist attack”, and somebody literally saying I’m going to have a big lunch. It cannot tell the difference between a wedding being a terrorist attack, and a person actually going to a wedding. Never mind some slangy arab kid saying that the new album from Eminem is “the bomb”, or that they’re going to “nuke” a piece of pizza by microwave.

Searching like this is a waste of time and resources, as well as being a violation of our rights. It serves both the purpose of our security, and our constitution to seek methods for going after terrorists that have more solid legal and factual basis. Because of the way the Fourth Amendment is constructed, we can still pursue our enemy with minimum interference. Hell, under FISA, we have three days retroactively to get a warrant when circumstances develop quickly.

How can you accuse Observer of selective interpretations when this is what you believe about the Fourth Amendment? If this isn’t special case arguing, I don’t know what is.

I think the honest thing to say is that all constitutional amendments, as the law of our land are interpreted and given added dimension by our courts, our legislature, and our executive, that this is a natural function of them. How can we possibly use the constitution if it’s interpreted with such bare selectivity. The real world is complex and society is dynamic, so there are going to be drifts and changes in the way the constitution is going to be interpreted. That’s just the nature of things.

Let’s just take an example. Your intepretation of the Second Amendment seems to preclude waiting periods, denial of ownership through due process, and the limitation of available weaponry, despite the fact that the Second Amendment says absolutely nothing about any of the above! You’re having to unpack all that from out of one statement. However, one could just as easily say that it doesn’t abridge your right to keep and bear arms if you have to wait a week to get them, have to have no felony convictions, and can’t get some of the more powerful weapons that are simply useless for civilian purposes. I mean, would let Vulcan Cannons and rocket launchers be sold on the open market? The real argument is how stringent the limitations are, The Right to keep and bear arms, you might argue, is dependent on having the weaponry necessary to face and intruder, and you could argue how a certain weapon could serve that function.

But no, you insist on the primacy of your argument, and then your side accuses everybody who disagrees of wanting to hand the advantage to the criminals.

There’s a certain priority to your own interests over the interests of others that seems to flow through your arguments. You fail to consider that in a society where people are mostly in close proximity to one another, some common solutions have to be entertained. At a certain point, for example, they’ve found that building more highways brings more expense than economic benefit. At such times, mass transit, for example might become a necessity.

The trouble is, though, many on the right want to push paradigms of government and interpretation which are largely based on notions that are practicable for rural or small town life of times past, but not for the more complicated existence that most Americans have in the suburban environments of today.

The real question here is whether conservatives and libertarians really have as much of a right as they think to push their sensibilities on people. People are getting tired of this kind of government, and the polls and everything are showing it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 5, 2006 11:27 AM
Comment #186486

Stephen
Fairness doctrines or not, half the country see’s TV biased towards the left and half the country see’s talk radio biased towards the right. There is a reason for that.

As far as school choice, we do not have it. If we choose to send our kids to one school and pay for it ourselves, we still must pay for the other school. That is not a choice.

Defense of nation is covered under our Constitution. We elect memebers to handle that.
It should not be up to other people to compromising your principles for you. That is why there is so much division right now.

Again, I did not want this war, but elective members voted for it and our armies are outlined in the Constitution.
We do not elect members so that they may strip individual rights so as to appease some people.

The good sense for gun control laws is debateable. And by letting special interest groups dictate what the 2nd says, we have given them and govt a window to do as they please with other rights. Not a good trade off for a false sense of security if you ask me.

Interpreting the 2nd as to fit the lefts beliefs has allowed the right to interpret other rights as to support their beliefs. That isn’t what you want is it?

So why can’t the Second Amendment be interpreted in such certain ways? The same reason why we shouldn’t do it to other rights. People pervert and abuse interpretation for their own fears and beliefs.

As for listening to terrorists on the phone?
Why not simply require background checks for phone use?

“and it surprises me that a person with such marked libertarian principles would not immediately balk at what is really being done.”

The reason it surprises you is because I have never said that. I am totally against what the govt has done with wiretaps. It is its correlation with how the 2nd is violated and the lefts refuseal to see that which bugs me.

-First, the program works by assuming anybody associated with wanting to own a gun, is a suspect themselves.
-Then it expands to their contents. Then their life is checked and monitored for signs shown by phycos. Signs believed to indicate unlawful activity.
-No warrant, no probable cause, just guess work and dragnet. You’re not a suspect because you’re involved with something, you’re a suspect merely because you’re within three degrees of separation from somebody who thinks owning a gun is wrong.

-Did I mention that you can’t even guarantee that this is only going to be used to check on people and not to be used to take guns in the future? So, essentially, people who have done nothing to merit the invasion of privacy get snooped on to make sure other people have a false sense of security. To calm their unjustified fears.

Its easy to use the same type of reasoning for both situations Stephen.

“If this isn’t special case arguing, I don’t know what is.”

I’m not arguing for wiretaps. My argument is that I can’t understand how you can view the two seperatly.

“How can we possibly use the constitution if it’s interpreted with such bare selectivity.”

Because you open it up to being based on beliefs and not rights.

“Let’s just take an example. Your intepretation of the Second Amendment seems to preclude waiting periods, denial of ownership through due process, and the limitation of available weaponry, despite the fact that the Second Amendment says absolutely nothing about any of the above!”

Touche, but the 4th also says absolutely nothing about phone calls etc… either.

“The real argument is how stringent the limitations are, The Right to keep and bear arms, you might argue, is dependent on having the weaponry necessary to face and intruder, and you could argue how a certain weapon could serve that function.”

No I wouldn’t. It is dependent on having the weaponry needed to keep govt in check. We gave up that right and now govt is keeping us in check.

“But no, you insist on the primacy of your argument, and then your side accuses everybody who disagrees of wanting to hand the advantage to the criminals.”

As does the left Stephen. It can also be argued that these days are unlike those of our forefathers and they had no idea of how much technology would advance our speech and communication abilities.

“There’s a certain priority to your own interests over the interests of others that seems to flow through your arguments.”

What interest is it of yours if I own a gun or not? As with being gay, it should not be of any to you.
Its not me, its the criminals you worry about?
Well, its not you, but the terrorists others worry about. Govt would never abuse would they? These last few decades have proven they will.

“The trouble is, though, many on the right want to push paradigms of government and interpretation which are largely based on notions that are practicable for rural or small town life of times past, but not for the more complicated existence that most Americans have in the suburban environments of today.”

This is brilliant Stephen. I really mean it.
IMO, if the left would be willing to recognize the difference between rural and urban people, they would get alot more of the rural vote.

“The real question here is whether conservatives and libertarians really have as much of a right as they think to push their sensibilities on people.”

Yes, conservatives do want to do that. I totally agree. But so do the liberals. With everything from seatbelt laws to gun ownership to parenting. That is one reason it is so hard for people like me to see a difference between the two party’s.

“People are getting tired of this kind of government, and the polls and everything are showing it.”

Your right. They were also tired of it in the 90s too. Its all cyclical. The govt plays us until there is nothing left to play. Because they then have total control.

Posted by: kctim at October 5, 2006 1:04 PM
Comment #186494

kctim,

Democrats don’t want to do away with religion. The Right in this country just want people to think we do.

What we want is what the republicans want, we the gov’t to stay out of it. We want our kid’s to go to school and learn History, English, Math and Science.

I and my church will teach my kid’s what I want my kids to learn about religion. I don’t want some school teacher deceiding what my kid should learn about God. It is my job to teach that. My son takes his bible to school everyday. I assume he says grace before his lunch (I’m not there to check of course). There is no law in California that keeps my son from practicing his beleifs.

As far as the pledge goes. Geez, get over it. Prior to 1954 the pledge didn’t have the words, “UNDER GOD” in it. Our country seem to do very well for the first 180 years without it.

I’m not saying I want to words “UNDER GOD” removed for the pledge, but I know if it did happen we would be just fine. There are many other things far more important the two words in the pledge. I don’t know how old you are, but my dad went to school in the 40’s and do this day, he says the pledge the way he learned back in Oklahoma. “I pledge alligence to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one Nation with Liberty and Justice for all.” Tell me why the end of the world would come if it went back to the way it was?

They can take God form hundreds of places. What they can’t do is take God away from me…

Posted by: Rusty at October 5, 2006 2:29 PM
Comment #186497

Rusty
As many of my friends and family are Democrats (not liberals mind you) I know that Democrats don’t want to do away with religion. But you guys give the right too much ammunition when it comes to religion and the right is capitalizing on it.

Your assumption about me is wrong however. I have nothing to “get over.”
I really don’t care if those words are removed from the pledge or if the ten commanments stay in a courthouse or if a nativity scene is on City Hall property.
Its a silly quest the far left is on in trying to get any and every mention of religion from public. A quest which serves no legit purpose and which does nothing but piss people off.

“Tell me why the end of the world would come if it went back to the way it was?”

It wouldn’t.
But, seeing as I am an atheist and not all that up to date on religious matters, could you please tell me something?

How will the world come to an end if we left things as they are?

Posted by: kctim at October 5, 2006 2:47 PM
Comment #186498

kctim,

Again, you don’t know the facts. The media is owned by Republicans. Here are the facts.

80% of the nations news papers are owned by registered republicans. The same number of papers also have republicans who sit as Editors of the papers. Isn’t it amazing that the same number (80%) is also the number of papers in this country thats editorial pages indorse republicans for office.

These are the facts and can be easily checked by finding who owns your local paper and then follow the editorial pages day by day…

This is laughable, I own my business and I don’t fully control my employee’s, but everything they put out of this office goes through me and will be done to my satisfaction. Why would we expect the papers to be ran any differnt?

As for TV media, that is a tough find. Merdock/Turnner etc. Except for those two I don’t know much about TV. Don’t find I have much time for it, so will have to assume you may be right on the TV media. Unless of course, someone can answer that for me.

It is kind of funny. Here in California if you want to know how a certian comminity is likely to vote. Find out what paper is the predominate paper in the area. Northern California except for San Fransico and Sacramento tend to vote very conservitive. SF and Sac have papers that are Left leaning. However the rest of Nor/Cal read smaller papers which are far more conservitive in nature and vote tend to vote that way too. In So/Cal you have two major papers, the LA Times and the San Diego Tribune. The LA area paper is Left leaning and they tend to vote towards the left and the SD paper is Right and the SD area tends to vote republican.

You can’t argue the power of the press. It plays a huge role in how and what people tend to think.

Posted by: Rusty at October 5, 2006 2:48 PM
Comment #186519

Rusty
The media now? Ok.
Did you look at circulation rates? I worked for the KC Star for 7 years, I believe the circulation rate was like 300 or 400 thousand. It leans heavily left.
Now, there are numerous smaller papers in the area, but I am unsure as to how they lean since I don’t read them.
I’m not saying each party does not have its own medium to get their slop out. Obviously, they do.

As far as television, there is reason why Republicans prefer to watch FOX and why liberals hate it. And there is a reason why liberals love PBS, CNN, CBS etc… and why Republicans think they are biased.
There is a reason why TV news will only tell you about the latest shooting but won’t tell you about the woman who scared away an intruder with her gun.
There is a reason why homeless people and poor people are pasted on as all being victims.
There is a reason why military successes in Iraq are rarely shown.
They want to influence people into thinking guns are evil. They want to make people feel guilty about their lives and they want Iraq to be viewed as nothing but daily failures.

“You can’t argue the power of the press. It plays a huge role in how and what people tend to think”

Wasn’t trying to. All I said was that both parties have the money and the means to get their lies and agenda out.

Posted by: kctim at October 5, 2006 5:17 PM
Comment #186553

“It is its correlation with how the 2nd is violated and the lefts refuseal to see that which bugs me.

-First, the program works by assuming anybody associated with wanting to own a gun, is a suspect themselves.
-Then it expands to their contents. Then their life is checked and monitored for signs shown by phycos. Signs believed to indicate unlawful activity.”

Uh, how the hell else would you weed out the criminals and nuts but to check a database before allowing a purchase??
They don’t do a background check on YOU, they only check a database to see if your on it. It takes all of 5 minutes.
AND, in my state at least, if you have a CCW, you get to skip the Brady check.
How you could be against that just boggles the mind. Paranoia will destroy ya.
Comparing that to ACTUALLY TAPPING CALLS of US citizens is ridiculous.


“As far as television, there is reason why Republicans prefer to watch FOX and why liberals hate it.”

Cause it feeds the rights need to demonize the other side and feel superior in their views. Explain to me why polls always show Fox watchers as having much higher rates of mistaken views on issues (ie; was Sadam behind 9/11, did we find huge stockpiles of WMDs?)

“And there is a reason why liberals love PBS, CNN, CBS etc… and why Republicans think they are biased.”

Yep. More facts, less hype. Substance over tabloid nonsense. Information over flashy graphics and dramatic music.
Hilarious last night. Fox listed Rep. Foley as a DEMOCRAT in their graphics THREE TIMES!
Hannity then went on to blame the scandal on CLinton, the kid and parents, and drug up 23 year old democrat scandals in a desperate attempt to salvage something for the right.
Yep, I DO see why republicans prefer Fox.

Posted by: Observer at October 5, 2006 7:45 PM
Comment #186565

wow, this started out so good, talking about how ignorant some celebs can be BONO, but then you turn it in to a political statement against the “right wingers”, bravo! you truly are a spinmister, a “lyesmith” as it were, you make the “devil of gods” smile in a dark, twisted shorta way. i shall save you a good seat in hell.

Posted by: "loki" at October 5, 2006 8:59 PM
Comment #186605

kctim-
Do you have to have a gun permit to own a gun? Why do we need to even take that step? Because we prohibit some from owning guns. The Right to bear arms is not absolute, and one can infer from there that there is an expectation that some people will use guns for criminal ends. Is it unreasonable? No. The background check merely confirms that this is a person in good standing with the law, which is one of the preconditions of owning a gun.

A person buying the gun, by purchasing it, voluntarily submits to the check. Only somebody turning states evidence voluntarily submits to surveillance. That check is limited to themselves. There’s no web of other people extending from them that gets swept into the check.

Some of these arguments, I feel, are mainly semantics. When I spoke of interests, I meant something more analogous to positions than hobbies or vocations. When I talked about pushing things, it wasn’t in the plain old sense of one side trying to win the argument, it was in terms of the forceful, deceptive, sometimes unconstitutional ways in which the GOP has operated in years of late, Stuff like DeLay and TRMPAC, the 2002 election, the continued insistence on torture and unwarranted eavesdropping, in the face of stiff public opposition.

As for the cyclical nature of politics, I don’t buy it, it looks cyclical, but the fact is, it all has to do with two things. Do we know what our government is doing, and do we have enough guts to transcend our apathy and do something about it?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 6, 2006 12:02 AM
Post a comment