Democrats & Liberals Archives

How to Vote for a Moderate

The political pundits tell us that there is a tremendous chasm between those politicians who would take us to the extreme right and those politicians who would take us to the extreme left. Therefore, they say, it is best to vote for moderates who are in the center. Not true. Conservatives have dragged our government so far to the extreme right that the so-called center is occupied by conservatives, not moderates.

Who is a Moderate?

The following diagram compares the political environment in the U.S. during the FDR Era with the political environment today during the BUSH II Era.

Back in FDR's time, the center of gravity of the Democratic Party (D) was Liberal; the center of gravity of the Republican Party (R) was Conservative. There was an overlap where the Moderates lived.

Since then there has been a Republican onslaught with articles, books, commentators, unethical political operatives, radio personalities, TV productions and think tanks lampooning and demonizing liberals. They stamped the media as being "liberal," as though it were a dirty word. They even went so far as to call liberals traitors.

Republicans worked so hard that they dragged the center of gravity of the Republican Party (R) from the Conservative point and closer to the Radical Right. In this environment, the center of the Democratic Party (D) was pulled from the Liberal point and closer to the Moderate position.

So today, if you want to vote for a Moderate you must vote for a Democratic candidate.

Vote for Party, Not Candidate

Some say that in order to reach moderation you should vote all incumbents out. None of the incumbents have performed too well. So it seems like a good idea to get rid of all of them. This logic may be OK when choosing a governor or other state official. But it is flawed, when choosing a member of the House or the Senate, because it assumes that an individual can act independently of his or her party.

Both the House and Senate are run by the party that has a majority. The majority party makes all the important decisions: It sets the agenda, writes major bills, runs the public bullhorn, disregards as much as possible the minority party, and gets party members to conform to the goals of its leaders. Leaders have the power to make "independent" members get in line.

So again, if you want to vote for a Moderate lawmaker you must vote for a Democratic candidate.


A vote for a Republican lawmaker is a vote for extremism of the Right. A vote for a Democratic lawmaker is a vote for moderation.

Posted by Paul Siegel at October 12, 2006 6:46 PM
Comments
Comment #187864

Wait, why should we vote for a moderate in the first place?

Posted by: Zeek at October 12, 2006 8:25 PM
Comment #187880

Paul

Who made up that chart. It’s rather humorous, but it does explain alot.

To assume that dems today are more moderate than reps is the same problem that the MSM has now. They never refer to Liberals as liberals or left wing, however they always refer to a conservative as conservative or right wing.

Posted by: Keith at October 12, 2006 10:04 PM
Comment #187881

interesting point of view, but flawed nonetheless. bush isn’t nearly as extreme right as you put him, he might have some radicalism to him, but not that much. & fdr, common, he instituted so many goverment programs in an attempt get us out of the deppresion was so radical left it was almost SOCIALISM!
if you want to vote for a moderate, IGNORE THE REPUBLICANS & DEMOCRATS, & GIVE THE THIRD PARTIES A CHANCE. becuase niether rep’s or dem’s do.

Posted by: axl at October 12, 2006 10:10 PM
Comment #187889

This article has no relevance because the author couldn’t be bothered to assess the actual political positions of the individual candidates. This is just another meaningless “anyone from out party is better because I said so” article. The Vote for Party, Not Candidate line says it all.

The funny thing is, it may be true anyway. In reality, that isn’t good for people of Paul’s political persuasion. Many of the new Democratic candidates are more mainstream than the Democrats currently in Congress (if their campaigns are to be believed).

If the Democrats do win a majority, the party elite still may have problems getting their agenda through. After all, the new guys might want to keep their seats in the next election.

Posted by: TheTraveler at October 12, 2006 10:50 PM
Comment #187900

That graph is meaningless—therefore it’s meaningless to argue from it.

During FDR’s era, liberal and conservative meant totally different things from what they mean today. Not even the “far left” would have been talking about gay marriage, for instance, and FDR didn’t have two African American Secretaries of State and wouldn’t even have considered doing so.

FDR didn’t just order surveillance of what he considered potential enemies—he locked up the entire Japanese-American population. How “liberal” is that by today’s standards? Not very.


Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 13, 2006 12:04 AM
Comment #187911

Paul,

I think the chart is informative in a way different than you argue. I think this chart reflects more of a conservative shift in the views of Americans in general as reflected in their voting choices. Since the 1950s, liberals have rammed change after change through the court system. From the removal of God from schools to abortion etc, the left has forced more and more radical change and I think the American people have gotten sick of it. For example, you say that liberal is treated as a dirty word. In point of fact, to most voters it is. Why do Democrats in tight races not refer to themselves as liberals? Why do they prefer the term progressive?

I think it was the radical liberal agenda fo the last 40 years that denigrated traditional American culture are resposible for the shift to the right by the American public. The sad part of this story for the Democratic Party is that I think they are bound to confuse malaise with the Iraq war and a general anti-republican sentiment into support for thier agenda. What’s worse, the Democratic party’s base has shifted so far to the left that any Democratic candidate for President in the near future is going to be in trouble in a general election.

Posted by: 1LT B at October 13, 2006 2:58 AM
Comment #187912

WTF—neo-con P, your right on the mark—a waste of time—or maybe not—

Tells us just how much of a fool Mr. Siegel is.

Posted by: cw at October 13, 2006 3:40 AM
Comment #187916

Paul,

I forgot a point about that chart. If it is accurate, you should try to post one from sometime in the 60s. I think you would see a pronounced shift to the left from the FDR era and that the current conservative shift is a reaction against the lunacy of the 60s.

Posted by: 1LT B at October 13, 2006 5:36 AM
Comment #187917

Hmmm…this chart seems contrived. It has no source or explanation of its rendering.

This seems like a really weak plea for votes, kind of pre-election cheerleading that really doesn’t say anything substantive. I’m not sure who the intended audience would be, since this country has become so polarized that few say “we need more moderates.”

Maybe I don’t want a moderate. Maybe I’ll vote Green. It isn’t as though Democrats are rushing to hear what I think or care about, it just seems as though they’re hoping for a “they’ll choose the lesser of the two evils” vote.

Posted by: Jacob in SC at October 13, 2006 5:42 AM
Comment #187920

Paul, are you TRYING to be a stereotypical liberal with this emotion-based attack on reason? I understand this is an opinion piece, but don’t try to bolster it with made-up facts and present them as evidence. Or are you TRYING to emulate George Bush?
As for FDR, people seem to forget that he was in charge of the the NY stock exchange when the big crash happened—a crash that happened because of poor rules of conduct that President Hoover had begged FDR to change. Which is exactly what FDR did after he was elected and the market crashed. Also in the two months before FDR was elected, the economic indicators showed the country moving strongly out of depression. If that’s liberalism, give me moderates or give me death!

Posted by: Bruce Willoughby at October 13, 2006 6:31 AM
Comment #187921

Strange… I just had a discussion with a friend who claimed the exact opposite — that the Republicans were closer to the center than the Democrats were. That, in his opinion, is why the Republicans keep winning elections even though their policies suck.

The truth is, nearly everyone on both sides considers himself a moderate, and considers the “other side” to be radical. I doubt that Bush, Kerry, Rove, Gore, or Hillary Clinton would consider themselves far-wingers, but most of them consider the others to be.

The biggest problem with your argument, Paul, is that you assume there’s just one scale. Single-party rule is going to lead to extremism, no matter which party you put in power. Given that we’re stuck with this two-party shindig, the best solution (in the short term) is a mixed government, with one party controlling Congress and the other party controlling the White House. That would give each party the power to override the radical elements of the other, while still giving voice to the moderate elements of both parties.

Look at the Clinton years, for example. Clinton’s best policies came out when he had to get them through Gingrich & Co. Clinton’s worst policies, on the other hand, were shot down by that same crowd. Likewise, Gingrich & Co. had to watch for the Clinton veto, which helped keep their eyes focused on the center.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at October 13, 2006 7:08 AM
Comment #187926


How do you place a picture or diagram into a post? I cannot seem to get it to work.


Posted by: Cliff at October 13, 2006 8:54 AM
Comment #187934

Wow, Paul. This was a really pathetic excuse for a post. Has the blue side actually fallen to the level of drawing imaginary graphs to make their imaginary point?

Posted by: Duane-o at October 13, 2006 10:49 AM
Comment #187936

Dispite the good news recently, our party is not in the best position it could be in for the election.

Articles like this just make us look weak and desprite.

By helping us, Mr. Siegel, you’re not helping us.

Many of our candidates want to be leaders and not just “the alternative.” They have plenty to bring to the table other than not being Republicans. Articles such as this are very disingenuous to these fine Democrats.

Posted by: Mark at October 13, 2006 10:54 AM
Comment #187942

If the majority of the American voters have moved to the right why do many democrat candidates continue to espouse failed liberal ideas and expect to be elected?

Posted by: Jim at October 13, 2006 11:24 AM
Comment #187946

Duane-O

Better than quotes from an imaginary ghost who supoosedly rules us all.

As to the changing center of political moderation, a good source (much better than that graph. Really, Paul, what were you thinking?) is the recent documentary Goldwater on Goldwater. It takes a good look at how, issues wise, Mr. Conservative Barry Goldwater would be considered out-of-step with today’s Republican party, and may even feel more comfortable on the other side of the aisle. Republicans made a choice in the late ’80s to push social issues to the front of their agenda, something directly in conflict with the original conservative viewpoint of less government interference. That has lead to the divided party we see today, with many Republicans holding true to the original meaning of conservative, while so many more have found their way into office riding the tide of fear spread by the neo-cons.

Posted by: David S at October 13, 2006 11:42 AM
Comment #187948

I’m a Liberal, and I find it a little bit irritating when people feel they have to qualify that word by tacking on “moderate” beforehand. It seems lifeless and wishy washy — or even, tragically, apologetic. Don’t most people know which side of the aisle they belong on? In my view people shouldn’t feel they have to make excuses for their beliefs — just be proud of them, and vote accordingly.

Btw, I think Paul is right. America is currently being lead the by far-right. Starting with Reagan, they began moving in that direction. The fact that many on the left voted for Reagan caused the Democrats to move right also — creating the New Left, aka Republican Lite. Aside from Clinton (who had enough personal magnetism to overcome anything) the New Left has been selling out the people on the Left (the middle class and the poor), and losing elections ever since.
Clearly it’s long past time for the Democrats to move back to where they belong: solidly dead center on the left. If they did, no doubt they’d reclaim a great many of the folks who have defected to the Greens over all these years — and would then be very hard to beat.
Just my opinion.

FYI, here’s some voting news today:
Report refutes fraud at poll sites — report buried.

More on this report the Republicans tried to bury.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 13, 2006 11:45 AM
Comment #187952

Adrienne,

I guess your theory of “stolen elections” goes right down the toilet then, doesn’t it?

David S

Better than quotes from an imaginary ghost who supoosedly rules us all.

Yes, and He proved once again He rules us all by screwing up your spelling to make you look ignorant. God’s sense of humor is pretty funny. God I love Him!!

Posted by: Duane-o at October 13, 2006 11:55 AM
Comment #187955

Duane-o

You didn’t get the jist of those links did you? They are talking about an absence of VOTER fraud, not election systems fraud.
The GOP has been claiming that the real problem lies with “voter impersonation, ‘dead’ voters, non-citizen voting and felon voters.” That report puts the lie to those claims.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 13, 2006 12:04 PM
Comment #187956

Adrienne,

You know, when I read the above posts, I wonder why those on the right seem incapable of responding with thoughtful insight, instead of bile and vitriolic insults.

Is it just me or has the shift to the right caused this new trend of self amusement?

Posted by: Rocky at October 13, 2006 12:07 PM
Comment #187957

Duane-O

If spelling mistakes are the best defense you can come up with for the existence of god, maybe I over-estimated you.

Adrienne-

You didn’t expect him to read the articles, did you?

Posted by: David S at October 13, 2006 12:08 PM
Comment #187959

ney ney ney goodbye!!! off the point, but glad to report. sorry.

Posted by: mar at October 13, 2006 12:13 PM
Comment #187962

David S,

God doesn’t need me to defend Him. You will see Him some day and bow before Him and proclaim Him Lord of the Universe. I hope, for your sake, that that day happens while you are still in this life.

Adrienne,

I read that story in USAToday, so I don’t need a left-wing site to spin it in their favor for me. My answer is: WHO CARES? What does it hurt to have voters bring an ID to the polls to prove they are who they say they are? We’ve seen your evidence(real, verifiable) that there isn’t much voter fraud(I’ve never claimed there was),now let’s see the same kind of evidence for the “election fraud” you are always crowing about.(let’s try a nonpartisan source. Bobby Kennedy Jr. is a loon who doesn’t count)

Posted by: Duane-o at October 13, 2006 12:21 PM
Comment #187964

BTW, from the USAToday article you linked,

Conservatives dispute the research and conclusions. Thor Hearne, counsel to the American Center for Voting Rights, notes that the Justice Department has sued Missouri for having ineligible voters registered, while dead people have turned up on the registration rolls in Michigan. “It is just wrong to say that this isn’t a problem,” he says.

That’s one reason the commission decided not to officially release the report. “There was a division of opinion here,” Chairman Paul DeGregorio says. “We’ve seen places where fraud does occur.”

Posted by: Duane-o at October 13, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #187965

Rocky:

It seems clear to me that several people comment on these posts not because they’re actually interested in rational discourse, but only to cause trouble. Some actually view things like this only as an opportunity to take cheap (and usually really stupid) shots, to what end I don’t know.

I imagine one starts grasping for straws when he or she has nothing substantive to add, or is too ignorant to make any valid points. Under those circumstances, ad hominem attacks and repetition of silly partisan mantras seems the only avenue available, I suppose.

Oh, wait, I almost forgot my favorite! Typing comments with phrases, terms, and sometimes large sections in all capital letters or italics, as though this adds anything to the post. Usually those are the ones that are completely vapid or total lies. People with valid arguments don’t need to overuse italics and caps.

Posted by: Jacob in SC at October 13, 2006 12:30 PM
Comment #187966

Just to clarify, I don’t think voter fraud is a widespread problem, but after 2000, it’s clear from the liberals that “every vote must be counted”. Apparently the dead vote, the felon vote, and the illegal alien vote were part of what they had in mind.

Posted by: Duane-o at October 13, 2006 12:31 PM
Comment #187967

duane-o - remember hanging chad? republicans decided even though the ballot had been punched (all the way through) that since the small punched out piece hanging made it unclear who one was voting for. that is voter fraud brought to you by republicans.

Posted by: mar at October 13, 2006 12:35 PM
Comment #187968

Rocky:

“Adrienne,

You know, when I read the above posts, I wonder why those on the right seem incapable of responding with thoughtful insight, instead of bile and vitriolic insults.”

I think it has much to do with Rovian tactics, and Fox News and Rightwing Radio Screamers. They’ve consciously and intentionally bred the hate.

“Is it just me or has the shift to the right caused this new trend of self amusement?”

I’d like to understand why they’re always so angry. It makes no sense since they’ve had all the power they could possibly hope for.

David S:
“Adrienne-

You didn’t expect him to read the articles, did you?”

Yeah. Kind of silly of me?

Duane-o:
“now let’s see the same kind of evidence for the “election fraud” you are always crowing about.”

Oh there’s tons of it — but most folks on the right are completely unwilling to look at any of it.

“(let’s try a nonpartisan source. Bobby Kennedy Jr. is a loon who doesn’t count)”

Regardless of what you think of Bobby Kennedy Jr. (or anyone who has been focusing on this issue), the sources being used to collect this information have contained many independent and non-partisan sources — you just have to look at them to see this. And, believe it or not, there are now a few Republicans who are taking note of the problem — so it actually isn’t just a totally one-sided issue any longer. It could have future ramifications for your party, also.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 13, 2006 12:43 PM
Comment #187969

David S,

Is the Goldwater documentery on DVD or is it still running on TV somewhere? I’d like to see it.

Adrienne,

The article in USA Today was interesting thanks for the link.

Btw, I’m a conservative and I’m not positive that Paul is right; however, I’m pretty sure that society itself has shifted left on social issues in the past two decades. The shift of politics to the right on social issues is a direct response to the societal shift. Take gay rights, we as a society gave those rights to gays by our willingness to accept them as equal members in our families, churches, and communities. The only recourse for those not willing to make that acceptence was in the government. Much the same thing happened in the debate surrounding prohibition.

I’m actually heartened by that because we did it as a society in spite of the government rather than because of it. That’s the way it is supposed to happen. The “leaders” will eventually catch-up in the next few years on both sides of the aisle and will remove the government intrusion that has impeded the progress of being better people rather than will be removed.

That said, the willingness to look at the government as far right or far left is in the eye of the beholder, not something that is concrete enough to report on as a science. The scope of the Federal governement is too broad to take individual actions and put them on the pendulum over time.

Instead, I think the response from Rob Cottrell (a differnt person) is apt. The only way that we can measure the rightness or leftness of the government is in our own time as a reflection of the populace. Without the contemporary context of the people, the imaginary timelines are meaningless. (Even with them, the timelines are probably meaningless).

Right now, I think on social issues the government is to the right of the general populace; however, I’m not sure that they are that far right on the whole of their platform.

While support for the Iraq is waning, I’m not sure that the leaders are that far right of the general populace on the role America should play in the world.

They are all over the board on illegal immigration, but seem on the whole to the left of where the majority of Americans are (something that I’m thankful for).

They seem in synch on issues like crime prevention and drugs (somthing I’m not so sure is a good thing).

On spending they are not reflecting the wishes of the populace (not sure if they are right or left, because they seem to be both at the same time, but they are out of step).

They seem in step on taxes, perahps a little to the right, but not on the far right (to get there you have to agree that the income tax is unconstituational thievery).

So on the whole, I don’t know if I agree that they are radically right if you make that interpretation based on them being a reflection of the overall society. But then again, that is completely in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it.

Posted by: Rob at October 13, 2006 12:43 PM
Comment #187974
Oh there’s tons of it — but most folks on the right are completely unwilling to look at any of it.

Show me some.

Posted by: Duane-o at October 13, 2006 1:03 PM
Comment #187976

Paul,

I have to agree with Pilsner that to post such a graph, sans attribution of its basis, is rather pointless, if not disingenous. As to Neo-Pilsners point that:

“During FDR’s era, liberal and conservative meant totally different things from what they mean today.”

A little thought will show how irrelevant that comment is without a better understanding of your exact use of terminology. In looking at history, one typically uses the *current* definitions of terms to describe past events, thus when one says, for example, that the Democratic Party was more “liberal” during FDR’s tenure, “Liberalism” would be assumed to mean ‘relative to current use and definition’.

1Lt wrote that:

“Since the 1950s, liberals have rammed change after change through the court system. …Why do they prefer the term progressive?”

One reason is that the radical right has distorted the meaning of “liberal” through their various media/propaganda arms. Another is that “progressive” is probably more descriptive of what the majority of the Democratic Party believes in, i.e. social, economic, and foreign policies that recognize the growth and evolution in societal values and expectations, as a whole, rather than a staid, stagnant view based on rigid ideologies. In this context, many moderate Republicans are Progressives as well.

1Lt also wrote that:

“I think it was the radical liberal agenda fo the last 40 years that denigrated traditional American culture are resposible for the shift to the right by the American public.”

Well…in that I think you are largely correct, but perhaps not in the way you seem to believe. Let’s look at “traditional American culture” 40 years ago. What was the major societal upheaval at the time? No, it was not the ‘left-wing lunatic hippie’ movement. It was the civil rights movement. It was a time when a whole racial segment of our population was just starting to outgrow second-class status. The result of that process, having being championed by a Democrat (i.e. LBJ), was the alienation of a whole segment of currently “red” states in the South and to an extent, the Southwest. While clearly LBJ had major faults, in this he showed exception moral leadership, knowingly at the cost of his party’s future prospects in the South. Sort of what the Republicans really need to do today.

The excesses of the “hippie” culture of the ’60s, so despised by conservatives, was more the result of rebelling against an unjustifiable war, fought with conscripts. The current war parallels should be apparent. The major distinguishing factors of course, the duration and the lack of a draft. Mayhap you would have to have lived through such a time to fully appreciate the sense of despair that war engendered in the teenagers conscripted to fight it - 59,000 dead.

1Lt also wrote that:

“I forgot a point about that chart. If it is accurate, you should try to post one from sometime in the 60s. I think you would see a pronounced shift to the left from the FDR era and that the current conservative shift is a reaction against the lunacy of the 60s.”

I would disagree with that evaluation. If you look at “popular” culture, certainly there was a major shift to what, today, would be considered “liberal”, however that shift did not carry over effectively to the mainstream voting public. The conservative shift, IMO, owes more to the disaffection of the Southern Democrats, due primarily to the ‘second emancipation’ of Blacks.

Look at it another way; if the conservative shift were a “reaction against the lunacy of the 60s”, who exactly would be the reactors? The majority of the populace of middle age during the 60’s are dead! It must by needs be those selfsame “lunatics”. Those lunatics are the boomers; WE *are* the current generation of 50 and and 60 year olds.

Rob Cottrell wrote:

“The truth is, nearly everyone on both sides considers himself a moderate, and considers the “other side” to be radical. I doubt that Bush, Kerry, Rove, Gore, or Hillary Clinton would consider themselves far-wingers, but most of them consider the others to be.”

This, unfortunately, is very true. The adjunct to this is that while each radical camp considers themselves moderate, there can be no return to the politics of accommodation and compromise. As long as the *real* moderates (the other 50-60% of the population) cannot be motivated to vote, our system will become ever more polarized and dysfunctional, with each radical fringe becoming ever more important to politicians. A case in point is the “Gang of 14” in the Senate. That 14% of the Senate who are moderate, who put sense above capitulation to leadership, who were vilified by both parties, and who will likely not be returned by voters. Sad.

If you’re a moderate, find out about your candidates, find the moderate(s) and get out and vote for him/her.

Posted by: KeithH at October 13, 2006 1:11 PM
Comment #187981

Paul.

Really? You really are going to use this “chart” as authority for your proposition? Seriously? I am laughing right now and showing my friends, many of whom are left-wingers (oh my God, can’t believe he said that), and they are laughing too. Here’s a little hint, when you make a conclusion as outlandish as this one, it would be beneficial to have some real and respected authority for your proposition other than your blanket stereotypes and unchallenged assertions. I like the colors though; it must have taken a while to get them right.

Moreover, as “The Traveler” said, “Vote for the party, not the candidate” says it all, meaning is shows your complete inability to set aside your commitment to ideologues and actually find the candidate that best represents your vaulues. I can’t believe this made it as a topic for discussion. Still laughing.

Posted by: Matt at October 13, 2006 1:42 PM
Comment #187982
Paul Siegel wrote: Vote for Party, Not Candidate Some say that in order to reach moderation you should vote all incumbents out. None of the incumbents have performed too well. So it seems like a good idea to get rid of all of them. This logic may be OK when choosing a governor or other state official. But it is flawed, when choosing a member of the House or the Senate, because it assumes that an individual can act independently of his or her party.

Paul,
Are you so sure about that?

What does left/right matter when most (if not all) are irresponsible?

Here is what is illogical:

  • There are no good alternatives. So, until there’s something better let’s keep re-electing irresponsible incumbents? ! ?

  • We need Term-Limits. So, until then, let’s keep re-electing irresponsible incumbents? ! ?

  • We need to end Gerrymandering. Yes, but until then, let’s keep re-electing irresponsible incumbents? ! ?

  • Voting out irresponsible incubments is flawed, because they can not think or act independently. So, until then, let’s keep re-electing irresponsible incumbents? ! ?

  • The other candidates have already run in other offices. There are no real non-incumbents. So, until we have more choices, let’s keep re-electing irresponsible incumbents? ! ?

  • We need more moderates, so vote for a Democrat (meaning, re-elect Democrat incumbents). So, until then, let’s keep re-electing irresponsible incumbents ? ! ?

  • Democrats have been drug too far right? So, let’s vote for more Democrats? ! ?

  • We need a viable third party. But, until then, let’s keep re-electing irresponsible incumbents? ! ?

More partisan spin and blind party loyalty. That’s really reaching. Maybe those Democrats drug so far to the right aren’t really Democrats anymore? So, why keep re-electing Democrats too. Why elect any irresponsible incumbents? The reasons for re-electing irresponsible incumbents just aren’t there. The PROs don’t exceed the CONs.

But, don’t worry. It’s easy to see Democrats will get their turn at being the “IN PARTY”, and Republicans will get their turn to be the “OUT PARTY”, and nothing will get better. Nothing will improve between now and 2008. Both parties just take turns, while these problems continue to grow in number and severity. After all, we’ve been there and done that, as you can see here.

Maybe in 2008, when things are worse, voters will grow even wiser. Who really thinks Democrats or Republicans will solve much (if anything) between now and 2008?

Before you all go re-elect YOUR incumbents, take a look at they do.

Why is that so many people complain about government corruption and irresponsibility in Congress, see our problems growing in number and severity, but believe that THEIR congress person is “OK”, or “good”, and all the rest of YOU are the problem?

Still, for over a year now, no one has yet listed 10, 20, 50, 100, or 268 (half of 535) in Congress that are responsible and accountable. What is this telling you if there aren’t even 268? That YOUR congress persons are responsible, and everyone else’s are NOT?

So, is this what voting was supposed to be all about?
Voting along party lines?
Blindly pulling the party-lever (i.e. straight ticket)?
Blindly doing what YOUR party tells you to do?
Falling for the partisan spin and petty partisan warfare?
The problem is not just in one party.
It’s in both.
Of course the “IN PARTY” is more corrupt, and so will the next “IN PARTY” be, as long as voters keep letting them take turns, securing their 90% re-election rate.

Posted by: d.a.n at October 13, 2006 1:45 PM
Comment #187989

I’d like to make a few points clear. I used the diagram to make my thoughts clear. I used the chart to define the spectrum from far left to far right. I am not depending on any authority; this is my viewpoint.

When you say that the definition of liberal has changed, you essentially agree with me when I say that what some people today call liberal is really moderate.

Cliff:

To enter an illustration, make a gif file and store it on your website. Then in the part of your article where you want the illustration to appear, refer to it using the URL of the image this way:

(Here is the code that I used):

Posted by: Paul Siegel at October 13, 2006 2:39 PM
Comment #187991

Cliff:

Sorry, the code worked. If you have trouble trying to insert an image, email me at paul@learningfountain.com.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at October 13, 2006 2:46 PM
Comment #187992


BROKE: AIR AMERICA Radio Files Chapter 11…

AIR AMERICA filing:

Assets: $4.3 million

Liabilities: $20.2 million

‘Al Franken, Inc.’ is owed $360,749.98


So just where did air america fit on your chart?

And where are all those people who were saying that air america was not in financial trouble about a month back. That it was a right wing lie and that air america was doing very well.

Posted by: springvillecofc at October 13, 2006 2:47 PM
Comment #187997

1LTB,

When was god taken out of the public schools??? I have a 99 year old grandmother who was born in 1907. She is still as sharp as a tack. I have spoke with her a number of times growing up about differences today from her day. Yes, there are differences, but God isn’t one of them. She went to public schools in 4 different places in California growing up.
What was taken away form us? She said her schools weren’t ran on God. They went to school and learned Reading, Writing, Math & Science. They didn’t have bible study, they didn’t have religious classes and they didn’t begin there day with prayer.
We are talking about 1915 thru 1925 or so. I’m not attacking you personally, I get tired of people saying God has been removed from public school. Nothing could be further from the truth. At or local high school the youth leader from my church has weekly lunch meeting at the high school, on school property. My son takes his bible to school almost everyday. That is the way I want it. I don’t want my sons teachers talking to my son about any religion. I and my church will teach him what I want him to know. Besides one of his teachers, Mrs. Gill is an East Indian women who is of the Sikh religion. I don’t want my son starting his day off praying to Mohommad. I went to school in the 60’s and early 70’s and we never started the day off with prayer or anything like that either.
People yelling and screaming about God being removed from the school is just not true. It is like the Republicans who scream about getting rid of the death tax. If you get rid of that tax you will only be talking about less than 2% of the population who it effects. Again another tax break for the rich. You have to have more than 1.5 million before the tax is used on anyone. And then it is only on the amount over the 1.5 million. Changing the death tax would only benefit a very small number of people. It’s funny, the rich democrats aren’t calling for repealing the tax, only the republicans.

Posted by: Rusty at October 13, 2006 4:53 PM
Comment #188003

Lets let the churchs teach about god in bible school where it belongs. Why people on the right think we should be learning about religion in school is just silly. When I went to bible school we didn’t learn math. So lets keep it where it belongs. If we repeal the so called death tax how will we make up for the lost revenue. I know the middle class thats how. And if air america fails so what you think the Dems and Libs will fold up our tents and go away I don’t think so we are just not as good at B.S. as rush limpballs. It take years uof drug use to be that nuts.

Posted by: Jeff at October 13, 2006 5:45 PM
Comment #188013

I’m sure your right because your graph is so pretty but I wanted to line the parties up based on actual positions - just for the heck of it - to see how much modern Dems are like their FDR counterparts.

Dems in 1933-1945
- Support for open borders: No
Dems in 2000-2008
- Support for open borders: Yes

Dems in 1933-1945
- Support for a sustainable retirement program for all U.S. citizens(Social Security): Yes
Dems in 2000-2008
- Support for a sustainable retirement program for U.S. citizens(Social Security): No*
* The current system is not sustainable

Dems in 1933-1945
- Support for re-armament and oppopsition to Nazi Fascism: Yes
Dems in 2000-2008
- Support for re-armament and oppopsition to Islamic Fascism: No

Dems in 1933-1945
- Support an 88% taxation rate (33% from your yearly income and 50% of what is left after you die - the death tax): No
Dems in 2000-2008
- Support an 88% taxation rate (33% from your yearly income and 50% of what is left after you die - the death tax): Yes

Dems in 1933-1945
- Support for a merit-driven society, where people get ahead based on effort and hard work: Yes
Dems in 2000-2008
- Support for a merit-driven society, where people get ahead based on effort and hard work: No

Dems in 1933-1945
- Support for a victimhood society, where the needs of the few consistently take precendent over the needs of the many: No
Dems in 2000-2008
- Support for a victimhood society, where the needs of the few consistently take precendent over the needs of the many: Yes

Dems in 1933-1945
- Support for abortion: No
Dems in 2000-2008
- Support for abortion: Yes

How does your graph look now?

Posted by: Nate at October 13, 2006 6:37 PM
Comment #188020

Nate now do one on reps

Posted by: Jeff at October 13, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #188022

Sum it all up and it’s pretty sad (for both parties).
That’s because bad politicians = bad government

Posted by: d.a.n at October 13, 2006 7:14 PM
Comment #188023

reps 2000-2006 THE NEEDS OF THE RICH TAKE PRECENDENT OVER EVERYTHING.

Posted by: Jeff at October 13, 2006 7:31 PM
Comment #188028

Jeff,
There is no doubt that the elite control government. Just look at how effectively that voters are controlled by the manipulations of government. Change takes time. People’s brains seem to have a severe lag time. It’s changing. Unfortunately, voters are making the usual mistake. They will most likely let both parties take turns. Some house-cleaning is badly-needed in both parties.

Posted by: d.a.n at October 13, 2006 8:50 PM
Comment #188029

“What does it hurt to have voters bring an ID to the polls to prove they are who they say they are?”

Cause for a lot of poor people, the 30 bucks or so the ID will cost IS a lot of money and enough disincentive to get some to not vote. EXACTLY why the GOP is pushing it.

Posted by: Observer at October 13, 2006 9:06 PM
Comment #188030

“How does your graph look now?”

Well, Nate, I guess it looks bad if YOU get to tell US what we currently represent.
Congrats on squeezing so many right wing talking points into one post.

Posted by: Observer at October 13, 2006 9:12 PM
Comment #188031

Nate, most of what you wrote is bunk.
Furthermore, most liberals are very tired of Republicans who watch Faux News and listen to Screaming GOP Radio try to come here and claim they know the first damn thing about what the majority of Democrats truly think.
If you really want to know more about our positions on all kinds of topics, you need to sit down with a few real live actual Dems, have a drink, and ask them some questions. If you have an open mind, a heart not full of hate, and can be honest with yourself afterward, the next time you go to write a blogpost about us, it’ll no doubt be far more accurate than what you’ve just written.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 13, 2006 9:14 PM
Comment #188033

“BROKE: AIR AMERICA Radio Files Chapter 11…”

Faux News lost money it’s first 8 years on the air. Your point?

Posted by: Observer at October 13, 2006 9:18 PM
Comment #188036

$30 for a photo ID? What state does this?

Posted by: Jacob in SC at October 13, 2006 9:35 PM
Comment #188039

Jacob Missouri

Posted by: Jeff at October 13, 2006 9:49 PM
Comment #188046

“$30 for a photo ID? What state does this?”

They aren’t talking about drivers licenses. They’re talking about a completely seperate voter ID card. Too many flashbacks to Jim Crow.

Posted by: Observer at October 13, 2006 10:39 PM
Comment #188049

Actually, I enjoyed Paul’s chart. It’s tough, however, to line up social and political issues over this number of decades— mixed bag it seems to me. I wonder if it might be more productive to look at how the US compares with nations in the EU and with the UK. Has anyone read the book called “The Right Nation”? I haven’t, but heard the authors, who are British, interviewed. Their premise is that the US is quite far to the right of most of the rest of the West. I think that rings true.

Posted by: Suzette at October 13, 2006 11:27 PM
Comment #188054

Observer

The difference is that Fox didnt go bankrupt and now totals more viewership than cnn and msnbc combined.

The difference is so many libs have been saying that air america was in great financial shape.

Posted by: springvillecofc at October 14, 2006 1:01 AM
Comment #188057

The difference is…..
That Air America falls on Paul’s chart between radical left and liberal, but there seem to be no democtats that are in that catagory anymore. So that must be why they are having problems with listenership.

Posted by: springvillecofc at October 14, 2006 1:30 AM
Comment #188061

springville, I’m a liberal and I listen to Air America.
Btw, I know you rightwingers have been waiting and waiting for such a long time, but unfortunately for you, despite the fact that Air America has filed for bankruptcy, they aren’t going off the airwaves just yet.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 14, 2006 1:52 AM
Comment #188064

Adrienne,

Yes you are. And you also do not dit as a dem on pauls chart.

The point is that they cannot gain listenership.

Why? The majority of the far left, present company excluded, do not want a debate on the issues. That is why the far left cannot get a grip on the talk show circut.

Proof? The hatred of Fox by so many of the far left that havent ever even watched the channel. They don’t want both sides. They want their opinion exposed and the other side hushed.

Fox has the market on al the best liberal bebaters, Susan Estrich, Bob Beckett, Kristen whats her name.

The liberal and more often than not, the far left point of view is prevelent on Fox.

So how does that leave libs? The dont want to hear the other side!

You guys will deny and restate the truth every which way to claim this is not the case. Go ahead. The facts remain.

Posted by: springvillecofc at October 14, 2006 2:20 AM
Comment #188065

BTW that is fit as a dem on pauls chart

Posted by: springvillecofc at October 14, 2006 2:21 AM
Comment #188066

Also, I as a conservative have never wished Air America off the air. I want every moderate in the U.S. to listen to Al Franken. Im not afraid if that. I welcome it. Unlike the previously discussed attitude of the far left, I encourage everyone to look at both sides before making a decision.

Posted by: springvillecofc at October 14, 2006 2:41 AM
Comment #188067

In fact here is a great question for all. How many of you dems fin into the parameters of a Democrat on Pauls Chart. Do any of you fall under the catagory of Radical or real liberal? How about just Liberal. Those of you who consider yourselves in those camps dont fit in Pauls halfway between liber and moderate to half way between moderate to conservative definition of a Democrat. I thought you were a big tent party.

Every one, let us know if you fit. Or maybe you need to find another political affiliation.

Posted by: springvillecofc at October 14, 2006 2:46 AM
Comment #188069

Kieth H,

I’m not convinced that the “radical right” has changed the meaning of liberal so much as the Republicans accurately described how the Democratic party espoused a liberalism far separated from that of the FDR era. Roosevelt’s programs, such as Social Security, were not designed to be permanent but temporary solutions to the unique catastrophe that was the Great Depression. Furthermore, the liberalism of that era carried none of the radical precepts of social engineering, denigration of Judeo-Christian morality, and the embracing of what Pope John Paul II so eloquently called “the culture of death.”

You make a point about the civil rights movement, but there was more going on then just that. Also, for the record, the Civil Rights Movement was a good thing, just so I’m not accused of wearing sheets on the weekend. However, the radical questioning of all authority and traditional morality had a far more profound and entirely negative impact on society. Also, I think you overestimate the North. While segregation was not law, de facto segregation was and to a large part remains part of the Northeast. Many of those white freedom riders went down south and stood up for justice only to return to their lily white suburban neighborhoods.

I don’t dispute your assessment of part of the rebelliousness of the 60s being against Vietnam, but it carried far further than that. Every institution was challenged and derided. Meanwhile, traditional morality and civic virtue declined and the consequences of that have been devastating. Also, I think the shift from the 60s is a combination of a few things. I think first off, that Nixon was right about the Silent Majority. This Silent Majority sat back, watched the inmates take over the asylum and figured that it wouldn’t affect them. When it began to, they gave Nixon one of the greatest political landslides ever.

Further, I think that younger people are also fueling this. Poll after poll says that generation x and y are more conservative than their parents. Part of this, I believe, is that many of the most committed radicals got into education, particularly at the college level. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve listened to some held over hippie rant like its still 1969. Anyone with eyes to see and a brain to think can figure out that the Great Society was a dismal failure, yet they still preach it like it never happened. I also tend to think that many of these boomers changed their minds. Concepts like free love might sound good when you’re 20 but take on a different meaning when your own children are 20. By the same token, redistributing wealth might sound fun when you’re living from paycheck to paycheck right out of college but again take on a different meaning after a lifetime of work.

Rusty,

I would say that God was taken out of the public schools in the 50s when the Supreme Court banned prayer. Things declined further when the Pledge of Allegiance was removed. My grandmother passed away a few years ago at 93, so she and your grandmother have a close frame of reference. According to her, they did have prayer in schools and were taught morality as well as the three r’s. Perhaps geography plays a part. My Grandmother spent her whole life in Pennsylvania, where I grew up as well. I wouldn’t mind prayer being taken out of schools as much if it were uniformly enforced, but I don’t see this as the case. The double standard applied to Christianity and white history, as I have seen it, is appalling. Negative aspects of both are emphasized while non-Christian and non-white society is represented in the best possible light.

As far as the estate tax goes, to me it’s a matter of fairness. We already tax earning on investments, so the rich get taxed twice. Furthermore, I have every intention of being rich someday, and I don’t want the money I will work a lifetime to earn to go to some bureaucrat in DC instead of my future children. The idea that the rich owe more for the benefits society provides them has merit, but they already pay a higher tax rate and pay the majority of personal income tax as both a percentage and absolute amount. I know full well that the rich off shore their money, but fi the tax rate wasn’t as high, they might be less inclined to do so. For example, tax revenues from the rich rose dramatically under the Bush tax cuts, despite the whining that the rich wouldn’t be paying their fair share.

One last thing, worry not about offending me. Nothing in your post was personal. I realize that much of the posting here nowadays is shrill and quick to attack. I’ll further admit, to my shame, that I’ve done this myself on more than one occasion. I think that the partisanship we see today is extremely destructive. Both sides get so caught up in defeating the domestic rivals that they fail to account for the true external threats. Its foolish and shortsighted on both sides.

Posted by: 1LT B at October 14, 2006 3:25 AM
Comment #188114

springville:
And you also do not dit (fit) as a dem on pauls chart.

I’m a liberal who believes there is no way forward for our country unless we take a fiscally conservative approach at the moment. After all the unchecked insane spending the GOP has done, most liberals realize we need to do this. I think that allows me to fit onto the left edge Paul’s chart somehow, no matter how socially liberal I may be.

“The point is that they cannot gain listenership.”

No, that isn’t the issue. From everything I’ve heard, it seems clear that the majority of Air America’s problems lie with how they’ve been managing their money, not with getting listeners.

“The majority of the far left, present company excluded,”

I am not on the far left. If it is important for you to know, I can be placed dead center on the word liberal on that chart when it comes to the majority of issues. But I am continually amazed at the arrogant way you righties are so quick to pigeonhole people without knowing the first damn thing about them. For instance, I have no idea where you fit on the right of that chart, therefore, I don’t shoot my mouth off.

“do not want a debate on the issues.
That is why the far left cannot get a grip on the talk show circut.”

If you think that Air America doesn’t talk about the issues, then I’d have to guess that you’ve never actually listened to their shows.

“Proof? The hatred of Fox by so many of the far left that havent ever even watched the channel. They don’t want both sides. They want their opinion exposed and the other side hushed.”

That’s the ridiculous problem with Fox, rather than the actual facts, rather the truth of what happened in the news, it’s now about “sides.” Everything has to be filtered and spun and repackaged for a “side.” Thinking people know that this is nothing but a bunch of bullsh*t.

Fox has the market on al the best liberal bebaters, Susan Estrich, Bob Beckett, Kristen whats her name.”

I don’t want to watch endless shows with loud mouthed pundits shouting their opinions at each other. I prefer my own opinions, because the majority of mine are formed after reading the news from several angles, often including what is being written in the foreign press. And mine can sometimes be wrong and need a correction. And because my opinions aren’t constantly about making my “side” look good, but rather about my trying to get at the facts.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 14, 2006 12:00 PM
Comment #188121

1 LT B,
It is entirely unnecessary for children to be taught religion, or to participate in group prayers in public schools (there are churches, and temples and mosques for that, guided by the discretion of a childs parents). All children really need is civics classes. Collectively, Americans should want our kids to become good citizens, and they needn’t be taught religion to meet that goal.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 14, 2006 12:22 PM
Comment #188144

Adrienne,

As of this moment in America, you’re probably right, but how different would American opinion be about the subject if prayer had not been removed in the first place? And since you bring up civics classes, would you please tell me which party is beholden to the teacher’s unions, gets all of their endorsements and all of thier money? The Democrats have always claimed education as their issue, so should they not be held to account for the abysmal state of America’s schools?

Posted by: 1LT B at October 14, 2006 1:15 PM
Comment #188161

1 LT B:
“The Democrats have always claimed education as their issue, so should they not be held to account for the abysmal state of America’s schools?”

Well, I went to public school K-12, and got a terrific education. In fact, it was so good that after graduation, it allowed me to get into a state college on a scholarship, and then, after two years, a truly excellent university. But then, I had a decent upbringing to facilitate this — caring parents who stressed how vitally important learning was and is to my future and happiness. Whenever I hear you folks on the right talk about the “abysmal state of our schools” it always makes me wonder if you aren’t willfully ignoring the most important part of the education equation — the parents and home life of the child. No matter how gifted a teacher is, it is ridiculous to suggest that they can always make up for parental neglect, or for a dismal home life.

Anyway, I look at what “No Child Left Behind” has done — it’s a disaster. Clearly a giant failure, as well as a big pain in the ass for Americas teachers. It has harmed rather than helped to improve the quality of the education our kids are getting. The people I know who are teachers (and who are politically Left, Right, and in between) are convinced that it is an attempt by the GOP to point at it’s failure and justify the reason why public schools should be entirely done away with.
Funny thing is, despite the failure of NCLB and their goal to privatize all the schools in America, a recent study has shown that public school kids are doing just fine in comparison to kids in private schools.

Of course, American education scores still aren’t keeping up with those of the Europeans and other industrialized countries. This suggests we need to abandon some of the education models we’ve been using, and take a good close look at what these other nations have been doing.
In Education, as in all of life, there is always room for improvement, don’t you think?

Posted by: Adrienne at October 14, 2006 2:30 PM
Comment #188229

Nice post Paul,as usual. As furthur proof,Nixon,the conservative, proposed a national healthcare plan nearly identical to the one the Clintons proposed that was attacked as near Leninist.
There is a standard of right vs left that is accurate to my thinking,avoiding red herring issues like abortion and gay rights. Put simply,the left favors working people. The right favors the owning class. There are indeed some who consider themselves “progressive” that often take anti-worker stances and there are those that consider themselves “conservative” that often take pro-worker stances. Much has been clouded by phony issues used by both sides to rally the electorate. Remember Goldwater was pro-choice.

Posted by: BillS at October 14, 2006 9:42 PM
Comment #188406
They aren’t talking about drivers licenses. They’re talking about a completely seperate voter ID card. Too many flashbacks to Jim Crow.

BZZZZZT WRONG!!
Most states are requiring any form of ID(Driver License, SS card, utility bill, pay stub) In fact, in Georgia where this whole debate started, they were going to show up at the houses of people who weren’t able to afford ID’s and give them one FREE OF CHARGE and the Dems down there still sought to block it. The only rational explanation is that the Democrats actually depend on the illegal/felon/dead vote and are seeking to protect this voting bloc.

Posted by: Duane-o at October 16, 2006 3:37 AM
Comment #229554

Ridiculous! You’re trying to elect Democrats, not moderates, by shoving BS into “moderate” voters heads. No, you’re wrong. If you really want to make America “moderate” elect a neutral candidate, one who fits near the middle of the left-right spectrum. I’m sorry, but Republicans tend to be more “middle” than socialist Democrats of today, such as Hillary (Hillarycare…c’mon), Obama, etc… Just check out OnTheIssues.com and see where they stand left/right. You’re being COMPLETELY DECEPTIVE.

Posted by: Minn. College Student at August 15, 2007 10:27 PM
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