Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Evolving World

I caught this article in the New York Times and think it’s worth your time to read. In looking at the Republican response to the 2006 elections, the main notion at work is that people rejected the Republicans because they weren’t acting conservative enough. While the open hypocrisy of a deficit-running, spendthrift, morally degenerate Republican Majority played a role, something else was at work: America’s changing.

Today's political changes essentially reflect Washington being dragged kicking and screaming by a public that's long since passed it by. The Republicans have enjoyed setting the political tone on issues across the board, from defense to spending on the arts, on taxes, on religion and other matters.

Setting the political tone, though, is different than setting the cultural tone.

The Republicans have liked to think that they were the wave of the future, or liked to tell their constituents and enemies that. 2006 didn't just happen, though. The lake had to unfreeze before the Republican Majority ended up on thin ice, and it had been thawing for quite a while.

They just chose not to notice.

But lest anybody think I'm being unfair, Democrats in Congress have been equally oblivious, turning what could have been a banner year, or at least a hell of a fight, into one of the most obstructed Congresses in history. People are getting the sense by now that this is part of the Republican agenda, but the willingness of this Congress to give in to the Republicans hasn't exactly covered them in glory.

The real question in today's politics is whether the shift towards liberalism is long-term or short term. The general consensus, outside of Washington, has been for long term. Democrats win on nearly every issue, and young folks are overwhelmingly breaking in the Democrat's direction.

There's dozens of reasons, but I'd say that at least the following things are true: the Politics of Race is much less fractious among young Americans, who have grown up with no memory of segregation, no experience of Jim Crow. Sexuality is far more open and out there, in all its forms, even among those who would call themselves Conservative. The war is overwhelmingly seen as a bad move by my generation, Bush's foreign policy overwhelmingly disapproved of.

Americans overwhelmingly believe that there are environmental problems (including Climate Change), that the economy is in poor shape, as far as they are concerned. Healthcare is a joke, the punch-line being don't get sick.

More than anything else, the survival of the Republican majority depended on people not caring, or thinking that the limits would simply apply themselves, that the system would just self-moderate. When Bush and the Republican
Congress put on the gas, and kept on jamming the foot on the accelerator, they put that assumption under stress. At first, nobody minded. But as the shock of 9/11 wore off, things changed.

There's only so far you can push the public before they push back. The assumption that people were simply punishing them for being bad Republicans founds itself on the notion that conservativism is what people want.

However, it's not what people want anymore, and the more the Republicans try to force it, the worse things get. Democrats too, should lay off of serving those interests, because the truth is, they're neglecting their own constituency for that, and in the upcoming elections, this could prove problematic for many of them.

Change has come. It's time to acknowledge it.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at January 14, 2008 9:47 AM
Comments
Comment #242908

Stephen,

Where are you getting your information that the country, especially young people, are becomming more liberal? I would contend that they are either moving towards Green or Libertarian and way from both major parties atm because, to be honest, they aren’t really that much different…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 14, 2008 11:10 AM
Comment #242912

I never read The New York Times. I refuse to support their obvious Marxist/Leninist Socialist lunatic fringe radical agenda with my money. I truly hope they financially go belly up. Those here that would sneer at Fox News, take all your vitriolic bias and insert “New York Times” instead of “Fox News” and you’ll know exactly how I feel about the stooges of a failed ideology at the NY Times.

That being said, Congress has asked for and deserves our disdain…both Democrats and Republicans.

We (the people) asked for and were denied:

1.) A fix for Social Security.
2.) A fix for the broken income tax system.
3.) A balanced budget.
4.) Immediate action on Illegal Immigration.
5.) An end to the war in Iraq.

I find it quite odd and certainly hypocritical that Congress whines and moans about the president saddling future generations with the deficit, yet they are quite content with saddling the NEXT Congress with all the problems above…all in the name of political expediency. All in the name of refusing to make hard and sometimes unpopular decisions. Decisions that might lead to them NOT being re-elected.

Now is the time for We The People to stop ASKING Congress for action. Now is the time for Congress’ employer…We The People…to DEMAND that action be taken, and that partisan politics be set aside. Congress needs to be told, in no uncertain terms, that We The People hired them, and, by God, We The People will FIRE them if they don’t do OUR will.

Democrats…take note.
Republicans…take note.

We The People are mad as hell…and we aren’t going to take it anymore.

Get up off of your collective asses and FIX this nation…or We The People will find someone else who WILL.

Posted by: Jim T at January 14, 2008 11:54 AM
Comment #242915

stephen

the democrats won a majority because the republicans stopped being conservative, and people were sick of the scandels. they shot themselves in the foot so to speak. if you look at the dems that won rep held seats you’ll find they were generally pro gun, anti-illegal immigration with traditional family values. how that translates into a liberal trend i don’t know. BTW the dems will eventually do the same thing, and are at it allready. trying to force an amnesty bill through, and introducing more gun control legislation will bring them down again. the base you speak of are generally far left socialists. the majority in this country doesn’t want socialism, they want gov’t that does whats best for the country while respecting the const. something niether of these two parties has done.

Posted by: dbs at January 14, 2008 12:19 PM
Comment #242916

JT
“I never read The New York Times. I refuse to support their obvious Marxist/Leninist Socialist lunatic fringe radical agenda with my money. I truly hope they financially go belly up. Those here that would sneer at Fox News, take all your vitriolic bias and insert “New York Times” instead of “Fox News” and you’ll know exactly how I feel about the stooges of a failed ideology at the NY Times.”

“Did you know that every day Mexican gays are sneaking across the border and unplugging our braindead ladies!”

Homer Simpson,after watching Fox News

Posted by: bills at January 14, 2008 12:23 PM
Comment #242917

I am a little more cynical about the Rpblcns. I think they need to let the Democrats back in for a while, so they can tax and pay for the Rpblcn debt, and then accuse the democrats of the usual tax and spend, as opposed to their spend and borrow economics.

The people living in areas that vote Rbplcn do not necessarily have different views on environmental issues, health care, or the war. They do however listen more and vote more often to people who talk about the theory of government rather than the reality of their own situation.

Never underestimate stupidity. Rpblcns need the magic show of religion to achieve the misdirection of enough people to keep winning. I still do not see why people in Maine and Mississippi vote for that same party, but really, they are just voting for their local party.

I voted this morning on the first day of early voting in the Illinois primary. I voted for Hillary and her delegates, and for women in many other offices except for judges. I once had to do seven days community service after refusing to pay a fine that the municipal government was trying to extort. The next time I had to go to court, I brought a good lawyer with me, and when this same judge came up, I told him what had happened with her before, so he got a continuance until he could get another judge.

Anyway, there are women candidates for every office on the Democratic Primary ballot in Illinois, but I wonder if that would be the case with the Rpblcns or even with the Democrats in other states.

Posted by: ohrealy at January 14, 2008 12:25 PM
Comment #242922

ohrealy

IMO the dems are not the answer. they had a long run before the reps took over after the 94 election cycle, and did no better. they say power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. raising taxes won’t fix the problem. the solution is to cut the pork, and eliminate the out of control spending. the budget does not need to increase every year. in fact part of the solution would be to freeze gov’t spending for a few years, while we weed out the fraud and waste. how many gov’t agencies do you suppose could be made more efficient by more oversight, and scutiny of thier spending practices. many agencies budget for the next year relies on them proving they need more money, so rather than use the peoples money wisely, they go out of thier way to spend every dime to ensure more next year. this has to stop, and the dems IMO will not stop it.

Posted by: dbs at January 14, 2008 12:49 PM
Comment #242926

Rhinehold-
You want evidence? The evidence is right here The move is real, and according to studies on political affiliation, likely to endure. Given that we’re going to be a third of the electorate within the next decade, Bush and the Republicans picked the wrong generation to alienate.

And alienate us he did. Culturally, foreign policy-wise, and just in demonstrating the sheer fecklessness of the GOP.

I don’t buy the move to the Greens and the Libertarians Theory. If that were the case, we’d see bumper-crops of support for Kucinich and Ron Paul. Instead, they poll in the single and low double digits.

As for the difference between the parties? I think the impression that the parties are all alike has long been dispelled. The politicians on the left may be weenies, folding in the face of Bush policy, but not because of any ideological closeness. An excess of caution regarding their political fortunes is more like it. These people came up during the Reagan years, when these people were strongly in the opposite camp. They’re letting experience get in the way of moving with their constituents, which is why Congress rates so low. But despite dissatisfaction with their current performance, the following is true:

1) People are, by a majority, glad we’re in charge, rather than the Republicans. This, even after a disappointing year, policy-wise.

2)Moreover, when asked why Congress had a disappointing year, about the same margin blamed Bush and the Congressional Republicans for the trouble.

It’s worth pointing out that in order to stall that agenda, the Congressional Republicans have made themselves The most obstructive congressional minority ever. They even did this with a year to spare, so I think that fifty percent isn’t merely giving out empty rhetoric.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 14, 2008 1:33 PM
Comment #242931

Stephen

all these polls do is make me question the manner in which they were conducted. depending on the area and the # of people polled you can make a poll come out any way you choose. i think polls tend to identify the opinions of people in certain geographical ares, more than a major trend.

as far as the younger voters leaning left as a majority, that doesn’t suprise me. i would think that has been the case since the mid to late 60s. i myself when i was young was a left leaner i was also more optomistic than realistic. as i got older and started to examine things with my head as opposed to my heart, i realized that just because it makes me feel warm and fuzzy. doesn’t make it right. there’s an old saying, it goes, if your’e young and not liberal you have no heart, if you’re old and not conservative you have no brain. i didn’t make it up, i’m only repeating it so take it for what it’s worth.

Posted by: dbs at January 14, 2008 2:01 PM
Comment #242932

Jim T-
You never read the NYTs, yet you call it a “Marxist/Leninist Socialist lunatic fringe radical” paper. That’s a lot to glean from no reading at all.

I came to my judgment about FOXNews, after they reported the discovery of WMDs and withdrew such claims a number of times. I decided that FOXNews wasn’t a reliable news source.

That’s what it comes down to: you have a network lead by Republican Strategists (Roger Ailes, once head of Bush 43’s campaign) that can’t get its facts straight, but sure finds a lot of time to broadcast Right-Wing Pundits and hire Newscasters who spout Republican Talking Points at the drop of a hat…

…and then expects to be considered a serious news source.

As for the stooges of a failed ideology? Well, you may be right there. But not like you think. The NYT’s is more liberal in parts, but it’s servicing NYC, for crying out loud! More to the point, in other ways, it’s carried water for this administration, and even now the publisher is stacking the deck with even such commentators like William Kristol.

If you want to look to find who let the Republicans get out of control, look to yourself, because you’re buying the same kind of rhetoric they used for years to tranquilize you to the damage they were doing.

I do agree, though, that nows the time to make our presence known. I just think its a different presence than you believe.

dbs-
No, they didn’t stop being conservative. What happened is this: the conflict between a push towards hardline purity has clashed with the fact that the Republican Party has long catered to several different blocs who think of themselves of conservatives, who when push has come to shove, have concluded that others aren’t GOP material.

That would have been bad enough by itself.

Other problems have turned this into a trend. First, America has tried out Republican policies for the better part of the last decade, and found them wanting, even in what has been for the longest time a Republican strong point, defense. Iraq has proven that they can’t fight a war worth a damn. People are actually genuinely afraid to continue with Republican or Conservative leadership.

You talk about our base being socialist. That’s more proof that your knowledge of actual Democrats is pretty limited.

We are more willing to put forward social welfare problems, but socialism as a whole is distasteful to us. Most Democrats fall in the center.

Do you think Obama would talk about Middle class tax cuts if every Democrat genuinely believed in raising taxes without exception? Do you think Democrats would have ever voted for the Iraq war, if we were the pacifists you thought we were? Do you think Clinton would have been re-elected with most Democrats being troubled by his triangulation?

Democrats are not the radicals that Republicans and right-wingers think they are. But why would they be? The only thing that’s been backing their conclusion on that matter has been years of propaganda, repeated enough to become conventional wisdom, refuted enough now to lay on the ashheap of history.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 14, 2008 2:09 PM
Comment #242933

Stephen

I think your analysis of the views of the younger generation are generally correct. I live in a college town and was involved in a political discussion yesterday morning at a local restaurant. A young female college student waitress was talking with two older hard core republican supporters who were attempting to praise Bush. She flat out stated that she and her friends felt that Bush had destroyed this country. The look on their faces was priceless. Their jaws almost fell to the floor in what I assume was astonishment that someone that young was so opinionated towards politics. I live in a predominately republican region and to hear such talk in the open is considered almost sacrilegious. Some will say but you live in a blue state. Well if it were not for Chicago this would not be a blue state. My point being that this is just one small example of a trend I have noticed in my area for awhile now. Young people are very concerned about their futures. They want to think that they have a chance at experiencing the good life which my generation has been so lucky to enjoy. They largely recognize the ideologies of the republican party as an affront to those desires. As a result I find at least in my region that these young, less experienced citizens are involved more than ever in politics as they realize that the directions our country takes will ultimately affect their futures.

Posted by: RickIL at January 14, 2008 2:31 PM
Comment #242935

stephen


“You talk about our base being socialist”

“We are more willing to put forward social welfare problems, but socialism as a whole is distasteful to us. Most Democrats fall in the center.”

socialism is based on redistribution of wealth. the fact that democrats in general favor higher taxes on the wealthy in order to fund gov’t hand outs is proof of this.

it’s based on the assumption that poeple that are successful should feel guilty and therefore give over a large portion of thier ill gotten gains. a flat tax would be far more fair than the progessive system we now have. if taxes are cut everyone who pays taxes should benefit.


“Do you think Obama would talk about Middle class tax cuts if every Democrat genuinely believed in raising taxes without exception? “

you miss the point. the middle class got tax cuts. in fact the lower brackets got larger cuts percentage wise. the problem is that those who pay higher taxes are always going to save more when taxes are cut because they pay a much larger amt in taxes. why should the upper bracket tax payers get the shaft ? demonizing the most productive members of our society is one of the hallmarks of the democrat party.

when the amt was implemented wasn’t it the democrats that were in power ? why didn’t they index it for inflation from the start ? do you think that was an accident? i would ask you the same about the estate tax. why was it not indexed for inflation ? these were IMO no accident, and one of the many reasons i don’t trust the dems, and will always believe the dem party has become the american socialist party. that doesn’t mean though that i believe ALL democrats are socialists. many that were elected to republican seats in the last election IMO are not.

Posted by: dbs at January 14, 2008 2:37 PM
Comment #242936

Some of the republican’s shenanigans of the past have come home to roust. The unholy alliance between business and religion is falling apart. The religious right want a candidate that gives more than lip service to hungry people, the environment, and a whole host of other issues; most of which are in direct opposition to what business wants. Over the last 20 years the religious right has become very politically savvy.
Also the right wing political talk shows that the republicans fell in love with are tearing the party apart over immigration. (Don’t they know those illegal aliens are all part of the race to the bottom? Like breaking the unions and shipping our factories overseas?) You reap what you soe!

Posted by: Mike the cynic at January 14, 2008 2:40 PM
Comment #242939

Stephen, you interchange Democrats and liberals as if they are the same thing, they are not.
Democrats gave you guys power in 06, not liberal policy. If you really believe liberal policy is the answer and changing America into a different country is what the people really want, then by all means, keep voting liberals into power, but you should not be upset when the people kick your liberal policies to the curb, again.

As for your “evidence,” give me a break.
They asked college kids about their concerns and how it might affect their vote. College kids, the ones whose age group is fighting and dying in war? College kids, who want to go to college without working, so they need govt help to the max? College kids, who attend liberal institutions of “learning?” Of course they are going to vote primarily for liberals or Democrats, their govt way of life is at risk.

“The general consensus, outside of Washington, has been for long term. Democrats win on nearly every issue”

Forget a key word in that statement Stephen? Like urban? How well do you think your liberal policies are welcomed outside of urban areas?
Democrats and Republicans win on nearly every issue when talking about the whole country, liberal and far-right policy does not.

But hey, force your liberal agenda onto the people again, sooner or later you will have enough urban slaves to win all elections and trump the Constitution, well, unless there is some sort of revolt or something eh.

Posted by: kctim at January 14, 2008 2:54 PM
Comment #242941

Of course Republicans would argue they were rejected for not acting conservative enough, because if they can convince enough of the public it is true, what choice does the public have but to vote Republican if they want conservativism. Nice piece of circular logic.

Problem is, as many have said, the premise is wrong in many ways. Most Americans would like more fiscal conservativism and some more moral conservativism, but, that is as far it went. When it came to preemptory war, the law, checks and balances in government, individual privacy and liberty, and wealth disparity, the American people rejected Republicans wholesale. And likely may again in this year’s Congressional races, and certainly will in 2010, IF Democrats don’t screw the pooch by refusal to address our pressing challenges.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 14, 2008 3:59 PM
Comment #242942

kctim, you sound as bitter as the Democrats did in 2003. Liberal and Democrat go together, and the public damn well knew it when they voted in Dems and out Reps in 2006.

Fact is, Republicans are a traditional minority party in America. And they just got through proving why that should remain the case.

Conservatives like Larry Kudlow rant and rave about unregulated free enterprise capitalism as having brought forth the greatest economic growth over the last 50 years the world has ever seen.

Do you see the Grand Canyon hole in the bottom of his claim? Probably not. I will help you out. It was increasingly regulated enterprise and relatively free trade, and the marriage of capitalism and social policy that brought forth the greatest economic growth he speaks of. He simply pretends the Democrats, Social Security, Medicare, and all manner of government intervention in the business world both to bail it out and slap its wrists that coincided with that great economic growth.

Larry Kudlow is a guy who believes he knows more than he does - and it shows. As it does with many conservatives today like Huckabee, Romney, McCain, and Giuliani, who take their knowledge from the advisors of their supporters, lacking the intellect, education, and critical analytical capacity to acknowledge reality past and present for what it is. Their ideology bought and paid for blinds them. Trickle Down Economics is producing the greatest corporate profitability ever witnessed during an economic downturn. The wealthy corporate managers are giving monumentally expanded definition to the word ‘greed’ (See CountryWide’s CEO), and wealth investors continue to get ever wealthier, while the rest of the population is cutting back on consumption in anticipation of even harder times.

It truly is amazing what an absolute failure Trickle Down Economics has proven to be in the hands of Republicans. I propose we change the name from trickle down, to ‘wealth up’ economics, which heaves the nation’s wealth up to the elite as they pursue ever greater returns in overseas operations and markets - our own be damned.

Not to mention the wealth transfer from working Americans to overseas foreign investors via the trade deficits, as Supply Siders inexorably work to cheapen imports to keep American workers/consumers docile while increasing the profits of exports, and overseas operations on the back of growing, but still extremely low wages in a number of countries. All the while forcing through economics the demise of entire cultures and social groups who lived full productive lives in balance with their environment and psychology and sociology of their history.

Supply Siders tend to also rail for independence. But, what they create economically is incestuous dependence, such that if one nation buys tons of beans on the international market, a dozen others fart for months. There are positive benefits to all this interdependence, but, the dishonesty involved in hiding reality behind lies of independence, is designed to hide a corporatist takeover of the world, its nations, and people by an elite controlling the Central Banks, multi-national corporations, and heads of state kept there or replaced by those very same Banks and corporations.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 14, 2008 4:16 PM
Comment #242950

David, I used to vote more for Dems than I did for Reps. Am I “bitter” because the Democratic party became the liberal party? Hell yes I am!
Does the average midwest person really care that by electing an Ike Skelton at a local level, they give the pelosi’s and kennedy’s power to push the coastal liberal agenda onto the midwest? Maybe, maybe not. But they sure as hell don’t like it when they start pushing that agenda do they. That is why the “change away from liberalism” occurred in the 90s and why Stephens dream of a liberal utopia accepted by all is just part of the cycle, for now at least.

Kudlow isn’t the only guy who believes he knows more than he does. Since I have never seen or heard him, I can only guess that you dislike his message so much because he isn’t for a dominant govt into controlling businesses. Nothing new there really. But what does that have to do with there being a difference between lazy urban liberals and rural Democrats and the need for people like Stephen to acknowledge that, IF, they wish to control the US and push their agenda?

There is a huge difference between liberals and Democrats and if the Democratic Party wishes to to stay in power, they better be willing to acknowledge that or we will relive the politics of the 90s all over again.

Posted by: kctim at January 14, 2008 5:08 PM
Comment #242958

david

“kctim, you sound as bitter as the Democrats did in 2003. Liberal and Democrat go together, and the public damn well knew it when they voted in Dems and out Reps in 2006.”

sorry david have to disagree. just look at the dems elected to former rep seats. mostly blue dogs. would you say republican and conservative go together? after the last 8 years i sure wouldn’t.

Posted by: dbs at January 14, 2008 5:51 PM
Comment #242959

Yes, dbs, Paris Hilton is such a productive member of society, maybe she will be president someday, when the Rpblcns have dumbed the country down a little bit more. And fund govt handouts, did you just mean Haliburton, or Dick Cheney and his cronies specifically.

Taxes should be taken mostly from those who get the most from the way they pay the Congress to organize the economic system.

kctim, I live in suburbia, and we have a popular democratic congresswoman, so I guess we are suburban slaves

From Gary Hart, the democrats believe in one nation, pursuing social justice, international alliances to make us secure, we owe something to this country like JFK, and restore equality and justice, like LBJ.

Those are the things that get the democrats elected. Of course, hearing the opposition fall back to their same old McCarthyism is also helpful to us.

Rick in IL, college towns, sometimes referred to as micropolis, are the shining cities on the hill, but where will those young people go after college, probably to Chicago or someplace similar.

I went to grade school, high school, and college, with someone from my identical background, who later became part of the VRWConspiracy, from the Reagan administration all the way out to Pepperdine.

The difference between us is that I always believe in seeking wisdom and truth, while he always believed that he already knew everything. I think I have had a much more enjoyable life, and that I have always been much happier than he will ever be.

Posted by: ohrealy at January 14, 2008 5:56 PM
Comment #242962

dbs
In view of history how can you possibly believe the Dems are no better. The last time Dems held control of the economic agenda the Clinton plan was passed,without one Rep vote. That plan resulted in the first balanced budget and surplus in many years. That surplus projected out would have been enough to secure SS and do much to address Medicare concerns.Sorry,that is better.

Posted by: BillS at January 14, 2008 6:28 PM
Comment #242973

dbs-
Socialism is not based on the redistribution of wealth. Every system redistributes wealth. Some programs reflect spending on social welfare, but socialism is a different animal from limited social welfare programs. You want socialism, go to Europe and Latin America. Then and only then will you see real socialism that deserves the name.

On the subject of tax cuts, look up the actual brackets involved. The Middle Class did not get the bulk of the tax cuts. Most of the rewards for voting Republican went to the top one percent. Most American got hundreds from their tax cuts. The richest got tens of thousands or more. And they also got the benefit of the estate tax, which almost exclusively hits the rich.

And why should the upper class taxpayers get any real special treatment, besides their greater ability to lobby on Capitol Hill? Are these people inherently superior to us in some fashion? Can they make financial decisions better than the rest of us can?

As for productivity, stop and think for a moment: everything they supposedly produce requires some employee’s service. Which means the productivity belongs to the average person who works away, and has seen their wages stagnate over the last generation.

I know you don’t think of yourself as an elitist, but jeez, man, you’re taking positions that keep on justifying the increasing gain of the richest, the most power members of society, even when it’s at the expense of the rest of us.

This rationalized elitism is one of the GOP’s most severe problems, because other Americans have recognized the bias of the GOP’s decisions, while many of their supporters continue to insist that it’s all just, all fair, that we are in the best of all worlds here, we just don’t have the vision or imagination to see it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 14, 2008 8:24 PM
Comment #242975

kctim-
You’ve got it backwards: the change has already happened. Politics is merely catching up. I hold no illusions that we can’t get kicked to the curb, too, but that is not my claim here. My claim, supported by the evidence is that Youth voters are identifying themselves as Democrat at a two to one margin to the Republicans.

As for badmouthing college kids? Fine, do so if you want to. Ad Hominem attacks are great for people wanting to rationalize uncomfortable truths. But years ago, more than three-fifths were going in your direction, backing Reagan.

As for the urban/rural distinction? First consider the obvious: America has long been mostly urban. But aside from that, the Democrat’s have gained greatly in the west; it was part of our 2006 strategy.

We aren’t forcing anything onto anybody. We are convincing people we are right, and the Republicans are convincing people in so many ways that they are wrong.

I’ve heard the warnings before, the concern trollery cautioning us that we’re on the path to a fall, due to the hubris of how far we wish to take America in our direction.

Yet who is saying this here? The person whose fellow travellers themselves went so far overboard that people reversed their majority, who have seen the President they call their own become one of the most unpopular and hated figures of modern times.

The thrust of your arguments is obvious: virtuous self-starting rural conservatives against decadent, robotic, lazy liberals. The real question is whether there’s any real truth to that idea. If there was, if you guys were right, and you knew best, why are things in decline for the Republicans? America has changed. The Right has been been passed by.

As for Liberal Utopias? I’d settle for a government that does its job more often than not, which isn’t letting nearly every institution and level in society become a disaster waiting to happen.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 14, 2008 8:44 PM
Comment #242977

ohrealy


“Paris Hilton is such a productive member of society, maybe she will be president someday,”

sounds like class envy to me.

“Taxes should be taken mostly from those who get the most from the way they pay the Congress to organize the economic system.”

no they should taken as an equal percentage from each tax payer. if you make more you will pay more. it’s simple math.

bills

“The last time Dems held control of the economic agenda the Clinton plan was passed,without one Rep vote.”

the reps held control of congress from 95 on. it was newt and the republicans who forced the budget issue. what happened after that i won’t try to defend.

stephen

“Socialism is not based on the redistribution of wealth”

sorry but it is.

“On the subject of tax cuts, look up the actual brackets involved. The Middle Class did not get the bulk of the tax cuts.”

if you look at the reduction of each bracket they did, but once again you refuse to ackowlege that those who pay the lions share of the taxes are also going to save more when taxes are cut. simple math. the top 2% of tax payers pay roughly 40% of all income taxes. gee that sure sounds fair to me.

“everything they supposedly produce requires some employee’s service.”

yes they also create jobs, these people aren’t working for free, and are not forced to stay against thier will.

“I know you don’t think of yourself as an elitist, but jeez, man, you’re taking positions that keep on justifying the increasing gain of the richest, the most power members of society, even when it’s at the expense of the rest of us.”

no you’re right i not an elitist, i’m a middle class working stiff, but i don’t blame others for what i do or don’t have. i also don’t want the gov’t helping me. i perfer to help myself.

Posted by: dbs at January 14, 2008 8:49 PM
Comment #242982

In the early 70’s I remember talking to an SDS student organizing a rally about Kent state, arguing that Nixon was illegally bombing Cambodia, and Laos.

I had never read the Washington Post or the NYT at that time, although everyone knew the post was the paper following the Watergate story. I lived in Ohio.

I asked him why I should believe him about Nixon.

I had supported Nixon in 1968. I thought McGovern allied himself too much with a radical element of the anti-war, anarchist, Jerry Ruben hippie movement.

As I grew up and began to read more about the fiasco of the Nixon and Johnson presidencies, I felt stupid in what I had said to the SDS guy in the hall.

This generation has watched the Bush fiasco unfold. They will lean Democratic. Some will lean Green or Libertarian. In another generation it will swing back.

It isn’t denegrating to call them ill informed, they are and so was I. The internet does provide them with better resources than I had.

Today, I find myself siding more and more with so called liberal ideals. I find both mainstream parties and actually all parties typically more about idealism than practicality.


The massive size of our nation compared to the founding fathers time, makes ideals of Jefferson at times seem relics. We suffer through the same power struggles, greed and lies they did in their time. A literature teacher taught me than man’s basic situation and behavior changes little over time through reading the classic Greek and Roman Literature. The politically powerful all use Machiavellian techniques to move their percieved agenda.

While it is interesting watching people struggle with national ideas, I’m not really sure anyone can have great effect, or even real comprehension. It often seems more an exercise in hypocrisy and chaotic turbulence.

My belief is that we must scale down our interactions. Acting with humanity and noble ideals towards the people we interact with daily seems to me to be the best prescription for what ails our nation. Famously, it is said all politics are local. Small government mmay not be possible in a nation of 300 million souls, but connected people can protect their own.

I have a feeling that is where we are moving politically. Liberty may come in the form of small collectives of people demanding independence. I think this may come closer to returning us to our Founding Fathers ideals than anything else.

Posted by: googlumpugus at January 14, 2008 9:27 PM
Comment #242985

dbs-
Oh, poor Paris Hilton, she’s being envied.

No, I don’t think most people envy her. She’s just highly symbolic of the questionable correlation between good character and wealth, which leads people to conclude that maybe hereditary wealth isn’t something we should be encouraging more of.

As for income redistribution, what do you think all these tax breaks the Republicans passed to encourage people were? Income Redistribution is something all governments do. Even with your utopian tax plans, it’d still be redistributing wealth.

What do you think the Republican Congress was doing with all those Defense Contractors, with KBR? That’s our tax dollars being redistributed.

But lets be realistic: this will happen with any modern government. It’s the very purpose of government period, in some ways: concentration of means and the control of commerce.

The real question is, is it fair? Is it fair for those who pay more to live to have to pay the same proportion of their income to Uncle Sam than those who could take a little more of a hit and still enjoy a comfortable, even luxurious lifestyle? Methinks the Club for Growth protests too much.

Me and my brother were looking at the brackets for the tax cuts, and here’s what we found: They cut the lower brackets of income tax, then skipped over the middle class, lowered the next to last rate, then absolutely annihilated the top bracket. He could have easily cut the tax rate in the middle class brackets, which would have given the tax break to the rich and middle class alike, but he gave it mostly to the top few percent of the income scale, even lopped off a bracket for them.

As for the creation of jobs? The joke’s on us. They’ve kept most of the money. You’ve given the tax cuts to those who by definition have more money than they know what to do with. But they’re not the basis of our economy, the working stiffs like us are, both in labor terms and in spending terms.

America is a consumer mass-market economy, and there’s only so many layoffs, benefit cuts, gas price hikes, real estate crunches and other problems you can pile on top of us before we collapse under the load. A top-heavy economy is like a man with artherosclerosis, the big blood vessels getting what they need, but the circulation elsewhere suffering. American needs better circulation- that’s what Democrats and Liberals are really saying. We’re not suggesting that the Rich be dragged out and forced to work on collectives in the country. We’re not nationalizing one industry after another. We’re not socialists, we’re capitalist who don’t believe that a free market describes some state of regulatory anarchy.

You apologize for the elitists who exploit that system for their own gain, who have created the greatest income inequality since the Great Depression. You’re working against your own interests. You say you don’t blame others from what YOU do or don’t have, but you sure seem eager to blame others for what they don’t have.

The productivity of this country is a joint enterprise, and people shouldn’t forget this. People may not work against their will, but they can be forced to accept alternatives that they rationally wouldn’t ask for. They can be forced to accept substandard healthcare, to deal with companies whose sheer size gives them far greater bargaining power, whose cornering of the markets and concentration of expertise gives them advantages over the consumer.

And if you force them to sustain enough hardships, the economy will start to feel the pain with them. We felt the pain after the Reagan/Bush years, and we’ll feel it after the Bush 43 years.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 14, 2008 9:40 PM
Comment #242988

kctim said: “I can only guess that you dislike his message so much because he isn’t for a dominant govt into controlling businesses.”

NO! I dislike his message so much because it is abjectly ignorant of the interdependence and shared responsibility to work in partnership by the business and government FOR the benefit of ALL Americans who make this nation run, contribute to its running, and to whom business and government owe their very existence. Kudlow’s message is laissez faire: ‘business should be independent, and free of constraints imposed by the people, the society, or its delegated representatives’.

Kudlow’s message is monopolistic, pure capitalistic, and thoroughly indoctrinated by trickle down and supply side economics, even, as rediculous as this sounds, he this very week, said what this recession needs is more Supply Side economics. This is a very popular conservative market and business program TV host. What an idiot. We are in or near a recession caused by lack of demand, and his conservative answer is more supply. Supply of housing IS NOT THE PROBLEM! SUPPLY OF CONSUMABLES is NOT the problem. Demand as created by wage growth exceeding cost of living is what is needed. Yet, he can’t see the forest for his Supply Side mantra.

He is a true conservative idiot with a degree or two. Lots of those running around these days, some are even unemployed, now. Can I get an Amen to that, brother?

I mean it was conservatives in control of everything up until February of this year. The corporations, the lobbyists Congress was listening to. The lack of regulation by Congress and lack of foresight by not one but two conservative Federal Reserve Chairman. The lack of oversight.

What is happening to the economy this moment is a result of conservative philosophy in action and control. That is as clear as a new pair of glasses. Few things in politics are so clear. Enjoy the moment. It is the fruit of Republican and conservative supporters and their ideological leaders.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 14, 2008 10:02 PM
Comment #242999

Well, the Republicans aren’t showing any sense with guys like this on their side:

http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/KevinMcCullough/2008/01/13/the_sex-box_race_for_president?page=full&comments=true

Of course, then we have the other side of the spectrum…

http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/opinion/tucker/stories/2008/01/11/tucked_0113.html

And people say that Greens and Libertarians are nuts…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 14, 2008 11:17 PM
Comment #243000

http://davies.lohudblogs.com/files/2008/01/010808davies.jpg

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 14, 2008 11:33 PM
Comment #243004

“Did you know that every day Mexican gays are sneaking across the border and unplugging our braindead ladies!”

“Homer Simpson,after watching Fox News”
Posted by: bills

Is the left quoting cartoon characters in their quest of understanding Americans?

That must explain why they read the New York Times!!!

JD

Posted by: JD at January 15, 2008 12:21 AM
Comment #243005

stephen

“Oh, poor Paris Hilton, she’s being envied.”

sounds like more class envy. she has money, and that bothers you. remember stephen her family earned that money, and what they choose to do or not do with it is frankly none of yours, or anyone elses business.

“No, I don’t think most people envy her. She’s just highly symbolic of the questionable correlation between good character and wealth, which leads people to conclude that maybe hereditary wealth isn’t something we should be encouraging more of.”

what someone chooses to do with the money they’ve earned after thier death should be thier decision, not yours. after all you didn’t earn it, and it does not belong to you. go out make your own fortune, and leave it all to the federal gov’t, or to your dog if you like. i don’t care, and you shouldn’t either.

“As for income redistribution, what do you think all these tax breaks the Republicans passed to encourage people were? Income Redistribution is something all governments do. Even with your utopian tax plans, it’d still be redistributing wealth.”

tax money belongs to those who earned it. cutting taxes is not redistribution of wealth because you are only allowing those who actually earned the money to keep more of well, what they worked for. pretty simple.

Posted by: dbs at January 15, 2008 8:07 AM
Comment #243006

JD-
It’s about the tone FOXNews sets. That a FOX production like The Simpsons is satirizing their reputation is telling.

The real problem with FOXNews, the one you should have, is that they’ve got a conflict of interest regarding telling you the whole truth. Ask yourself: if conservatives had heard earlier about all the corruption, before the Democrats did, might that have defused some of the Democrat’s momentum before it ever came together?

But FOXNews is not going to do that, because they’re quite obviously advocates for your side. Democrats, on the other hand, have to deal with a press that has no such qualms about turning on them when they screw up.

You let partisanship get in the way of learning things. Even if the NYTs is biased(your claim here), you can still check their facts, and see what conclusions are the consequence of bias and which’re not.

Your ability to keep your party in line is dependent on information, and the Conservative Media is hesitant to tell you about things before they become big, obvious problems. They want to support conservatives, and the rule has been these past years, “Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.”

Read the Democratic Blogs. Sometimes it becomes a case of circular firing squad behavior, but often enough, it means that Democratic politicians know quite quickly when we’re dissatisfied. We keep an eye on what these people are doing; we don’t share the implicit trust that Republicans have for folks on their side.

dbs-
Why should I envy Paris Hilton? Sure, I wish I had her money and she had a feather in her shirt. Then we’d both be tickled. But she’s a joke. She shows up in South Park having intimate relations with produce, for crying out loud.

She’s not going to have to work a single day in her life unless some absolute catastrophe befalls her. Meanwhile, she experiences all the benefits of being a US citizen. Should she get for free what the rest of us have to pay for?

And yes, we’ll be paying for it either way, and the Federal Government will be redistributing that wealth, hopefully according to the wishes of the majority, and in accordance with constitution.

Any tax is a redistribution of wealth. You pretend like that’s only the case when dealing with wealthy people’s money, but it’s the case regardless of who the money’s coming from. I suspect this is because you’re taking it from this point of view that higher taxes on the rich are a symptom of socialism. No, actually, the progressive tax isn’t. It’s simply common sense. The rich can afford higher taxes.

They have nowhere near the tax burden they once did, yet still you weep in outrage over their higher taxes. Do you weep in outrage over taxes, though, that shift the balance more towards people who actually need more of their income?

In the end, though, the point is moot on tax cuts, if deficit spending is what comes of it. Your President and your Republican controlled Congress were quite willing to shove the bill onto future Americans and our children rather than bite the bullet and pay for things now.

You can’t get something for nothing, especially not with tax cuts. It’s voodoo economics, and no amount of rhetoric about giving people back their money changes that, especially not when what’s really happening is that future taxpayers are footing the bill instead. You’re not giving people back their money, you’re giving them China’s and Japans, and that will cost taxpayers in the end.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 15, 2008 9:03 AM
Comment #243007

dbs,

Either we’re all in this together, or we’re not.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are role models that we should aspire to. Their philanthropy is something to be admired.
Paris Hilton is dumb as a bag of hair, and a waste of perfectly good gravity. She is a symbol of American greed, selfishness, and avarice.

Paris shouldn’t be envied, she should be pitied.

Posted by: Rocky at January 15, 2008 9:08 AM
Comment #243008

Stephen
“The thrust of your arguments is obvious: virtuous self-starting rural conservatives against decadent, robotic, lazy liberals”

Wrong. The thrust of my argument is that if the left wishes to stay in power and push their agenda, they are going to have to have Democrat, not liberal policy.
You guys went way overboard in the 90s and were thrown out on your asses. Would you rather relive that or try for something better?

The “change” isn’t towards more liberal policy or more conservative policy, it is towards more moderate policy. That is why we bounce back and forth between the two.

Posted by: kctim at January 15, 2008 9:11 AM
Comment #243009

“What is happening to the economy this moment is a result of conservative philosophy in action and control”

And if the people are unhappy with the current policy, they vote for the other party. The extremes of both parties use their moderate side to get power and then once they have power, they proclaim the people voted for their extreme beliefs and start forcing that agenda until the people get fed up with them. That is the cycle we are currently stuck in.

The people rejected unabashed liberalism and the people will probably reject conservatism in 08. The partys need to start governing for the people, not the party.
The partys don’t see it that way though. They both believe the people give them a mandate to push their own agenda when they are elected and that the other party, not their policy, is responsible when they are not elected.

It is a tiring game which will be the end of our nation if we the people as a whole, do not recognize it and correct it.

Posted by: kctim at January 15, 2008 9:54 AM
Comment #243018

kctim said: “The extremes of both parties use their moderate side to get power and then once they have power, they proclaim the people voted for their extreme beliefs and start forcing that agenda until the people get fed up with them.”

How true that has been. That is why I put a lot of hope in the rising tide of Independent voters as the moderates that both parties must appeal to. All independent voters have to do is vote out incumbents and vote in challengers when the politicians forget the positions they took to win the Independent vote. The parties will learn quickly not to screw with Independents.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 15, 2008 11:03 AM
Comment #243019

kctim said: “The “change” isn’t towards more liberal policy or more conservative policy, it is towards more moderate policy.”

More moderate policy is only part of the solution. Also needed is effective policy, which solves challenges. And lastly, but by no means least, is the need to abide by laws already passed. Democrats abject refusal to enforce the laws regarding illegal immigration and the Constitutional mandate to protect and defend our borders from illegal incursion, is going to be their Achille’s Heel, mark my words.

The blatant and flagrant contempt for our Constitution and laws by the Democratic Party in pursuit of their goal of securing electorate success in the future by welcoming illegal immigration, is criminal. As criminal as Bush’s disregard for privacy and law and treaty regarding torture.

Democrats had best look to their own leadership to cast the accusations of illegal behavior and contempt for the law, while leveling the same at this worst president in modern history. Democrats are NO BETTER, for allowing their Party to pursue this illegal policy of open borders and open arms to illegal immigrants and incursions across our borders.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 15, 2008 11:11 AM
Comment #243020

Stephen,

Good article, I wish I could share your optimism. I certainly hope you’re right, but after 2004 all bets are off. Never underestimate the power of the ‘talibangelical’ vote. Economic collapse is central to fulfilling their goal of “starving the beast” and establishing a Dominionist Theocracy.

I first began warning of this in the 80’s and nearly everyone thought I was nuts. Undoubtedly some still do, but listening to Hucksterbee on the campaign trail certainly helps to validate my point. Sheesh, he proposes two new amendments to the constitution: defending sanctity of marriage AND banning ALL abortion ……….. combined with the ‘UN’Fair Tax that’s what I call “gettin’ ‘er dun”.

To those who think our current tax system is unfair to the wealthy I suggest a quick read of the current tax tables. The top two brackets are 33% on income from $164,551 – $357,700, and 35% on ALL income over $357,000. (single filing status)

Then consider that those earning up to $102,000 are also subject to a 7.65% FICA tax on top of income rates ranging from 10% to 28%. Also consider the fact that over $2 TRILLION of those FICA taxes have been diverted to the general budget.

Do the words “trust fund” ring a bell? They will in a very few short years when it will be needed to finance Social Security deficits. Uh, yeah that was their intended purpose. NOT to finance wars and tax cuts for the wealthy.

Warren Buffett even went public stating that his own secretary pays a greater percentage of her income in taxation than he does. There’s something wrong with that picture. And the “sheeples” refuse to get it!

But it’s all catching up to us. Even AMEX is reporting an increase in delinquencies. American’s negative saving rates, easy credit, “don’t worry - be happy” days are spiraling to an end, and it ain’t gonna’ be pretty.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 15, 2008 11:18 AM
Comment #243022

DR
Come now. Dems not enforceing immigration law? You know full well that that is the responsibility of the executive branch that has been controlled for eight years by the Rep party.

Posted by: BillS at January 15, 2008 11:55 AM
Comment #243026

dbs, class envy?
Just because Conrad Hilton earned some money, his decendants stay on the gravy train in perpetuity, when they never even finish high school? Even Novak would disagree with you, since he thinks we are supposed to have a classless society. Most of our ancestors in the northern part of this country came here to get away from the kind of society you want. When the Democratic party was being formed, there was a constitutional amendment passed to make it illegal for a US citizen to accept titles or honors from a foreign government. Although it never got enough states to ratify, it was accepted as a general principle until the Reagans came along.

On the Democrat conservative liberal independant issue, many people just vote for the Dems because of who the Rpblcns are and what they want. In the 1970s the Rpblcn party was pretty respectable, but its gotten worse and worse every year since then. They are now divided between people who want to reduce the federal union to a confederacy and Bushes Have Mores, who want to turn our country into an hereditary aristocracy.
—-
One way of reducing immigration would be making it illegal to open any more McDonalds, Burger King, Wendys, KFC, etc, and closing many of those which already exist. Legal immigration equals white Christian European, illegal means nonwhite nonchristan noneuropean, but mostly illegal just means Mexican.
—-
The SDS was infiltrated by governnment agents, and some of the actions credited to them, were in fact done by those agents to entrap other people.
—-
South Park shows up again. If you have acces to the 10th season SoPark Dvds listen to the commentaries, where Parker and Stone mention their connection to Penn and Teller.

Posted by: ohrealy at January 15, 2008 2:46 PM
Comment #243027

DR
Furthur. The last Dem president doubled the size of the Border Patrol. What we are NOT going to do is propose unrealistic solutions and bash immigrants for callow political gain. That has happened way too much in America with the Germans, the Irish, the Italians or whoever composed the last wave. The tactic has been a tool to bust unions and keep working people devided. You want to blame someone,blame the corporations that use immigrants to drive down wages,not the immgrants.

Posted by: BillS at January 15, 2008 3:10 PM
Comment #243029

kctim-
What is the thrust of your argument, then? Folks on the Right seem not to comprehend just how offensive and mislead their commentary seems to folks on the outside. You’re accusing my generation of becoming more liberal to defend our government handouts. I know from personal experience that concern about foreign policy and fiscal sanity were much higher on my agenda. I came out of college, by the way, somewhat more conservative than I went in.

So what your talks sounds to me like is a bunch of generalization, in the service of a stereotyped picture of Liberals that only years of saturation from Republican and Right-Wing Propaganda could engender belief in.

Your average Liberal is not a leftist nor a socialist. the word Liberal, while a byword to those who scorn the left, applies broadly for most Democrats to a moderate, center-left political movement in America with both pragmatic attitudes and progressive ideals.

Most of us have no intention of reliving the 90’s, our time of greatest decline. In many ways, the current version of the movement is trying to fight its way back out of it, and the folks who compose it are quite critical of those who got into the habit of accommodating and imitating the Republicans, and not without reason; such fatally flawed compromises allowed Bush and the Republicans to steamroll them and the rest of the country.

We want something better. The thing is, folks like you might not see our goals as improvements.

David R. Remer-
I would say that you’re taking too much of your information about what Democrats want from the most intolerant and strident of the Right-Wing fear mongers on the subject. Honestly, we’ve been talking about securing the borders all along, and even Clinton’s numbers were better on illegal immigration.

The key thing is, Democrats are not so willing to gleefully fear-monger on the subject. I do believe, however, we’re open to quiet reform on the matters. at the very least, we will likely shift more attention on Homeland Security back home where it belongs, and come up with solutions to these problems that work.

If I don’t see my party doing sufficient work on it, I promise I will make a big deal out of it. All too often, though, issues like these become a race to the bottom to see who can be the most draconian in toughness on the matter. Toughness, though, doesn’t necessarily correspond to effectiveness. The Bush Administration, macho hombres all, are proof-positive of all that.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 15, 2008 3:33 PM
Comment #243033

Stephen
The thrust is that most Americans are moderate and if you believe we have “evolved” into finally accepting liberalism to rule us, you will relive the 90s and what the the Reps are going through now.

I do not know about all “folks on the Right,” but I am a very straight forward person. I rarely get offended and to be honest, I don’t worry about offending. As far as being misleading, I think it has more to do with the difficulty with this medium than it has with intentionally misleading.

I am not “accusing” your generation of anything. I am stating point blank that most college students rely heavily on financial aid and will vote against those who don’t seem to be pandering to them and their generation.

A major problem with liberals is that you always blame “right-wing propaganda” when your message is not accepted. I have an understanding of your policies and I have seen them in action and I do not like them Stephen. I have not been brainwashed or spoonfed bad info.
Individual freedoms and the rights guaranteed to us in the Constitution are what I believe in and what right-wing pundits say has no bearing on those beliefs.

I know many Democrats Stephen and your party definition of liberal does not apply to the average Dems.
Are you really unable to see the difference between a pelosi or kennedy and an Ike Skelton?

“are quite critical of those who got into the habit of accommodating and imitating the Republicans”

I’ve got some news for you Stephen, the Dems were not swept out on their asses because they were acting like Reps. They were swept out because they refused to represent the moderate Democrats and pushed through liberal policies which pissed them off. Pissed them off so much so that they voted for Republicans.

“We want something better. The thing is, folks like you might not see our goals as improvements.”

Of course people who believe in the Constitution do not see your goals as improvments, Stephen. We respect our type of govt, our freedoms and our rights way too much for that.
Now, I am well aware that our country is moving away from the kind of govt it was founded as, and is moving towards the kind you will be happy with, but we are not there yet.
When that time comes, you can then ignore those who disagree with your policies, but until then, you must accept that there are more Skelton supporters than pelosi supporters and you must respect their beliefs. Cause if you don’t, the cycle will continue.

Posted by: kctim at January 15, 2008 4:32 PM
Comment #243034

kctim-
The 90’s weren’t a rejection of liberalism, but of excess and corruption. Liberalism, like conservativism, can degenerate towards the universal attractor of corruption and cronyism.

I think the cyclical picture of things is misleading. The better way of looking at it is movements of critical mass. It’s important, when looking at these shifts, to interpret them in terms of their real causative factors.

The problem with the Dems that got kicked out was the corruption, the complacency. It wasn’t, though, the Liberalism, as much as Republicans liked to allege this was so. While Americans were comfortable with trimming the unneccessary, the wasteful, they did not share the vision of those like Grover Norquist, of shrinking government until it could be drowned in the bathtub. Otherwise, Clinton’s triangulation would have never worked, and Bush’s Social Security schemes would have. Also, recall: Bush campaigned as a compassionate conservative, which more or less amounted to support for social programs and the like.

As the Republicans would define it, Americans seem rather Liberal. Though those on the right like to portray otherwise, few Liberals are doctrinaire supporters of perpetually expanding government, rising taxes, oppressive regulation, and other such cariactures. On the other hand many conservatives have demonstrated themselves to be doctrinaire supporters of shrinking government, cutting taxes, remove regulatory obligations, and other such things. Republicans have shown a tendency to go straight to the hardline position in whatever faction they represent of the Republican party, rather than seek a moderate middle-ground. Thus, we see very few fiscal conservatives willing to raise taxes, few of those in the Neocon Camp willing to seek a way out of Iraq, few in the Wall Street Collective who are even thinking of getting apologetic for their deregulation.

The simple fact that the Republicans have chosen a strategy of record breaking obstruction refutes any notion that they’re interested in compromise.

Without such interest, what do Democrats have to gain by being accomodating?

As for your other remarks?

Of course people who believe in the Constitution do not see your goals as improvments, Stephen.

Because those who believe in the Constitution necessarily see things your way? Try again. Most members of the Democratic party, though not believers, obviously, from your point of view, do believe in an interpretation of the constitution, which supports the right of the Federal Government to exists like it does. Since our interpretation has pretty much been in practice as the law of the land, such hyperbole in the service of self-congratulation is hardly in order.

You’ve repeated charges that Young Americans are either compromised by their student finance issues, or by their liberal institutions of learning, and try and explain the change in that fashion. Have you any idea how patronizing this seems to the average young person?

Or how patronizing it is to assume similar things about urban liberals? Either way, you’re trying to explain away things by resorting to ad hominem arguments that allege that people are merely subscribing to liberal beliefs because it gets them money from the government.

Why do you feel it necessary to resort to such demeaning rhetoric? Why can’t you accept that people take these views earnestly and honestly as reasoning adults? Why must liberalism always be the result of some kind of suggestibility, diminished capacity, or character defect?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 15, 2008 5:42 PM
Comment #243037

SD
KCTM has apoint in some aspects. One,if not the main reason, Dems lost congress had to do with pushingan anti-gun,anti 2nd amendmant agenda with non-sensical laws like the Brady bill.Our leadership indeed listened to the urban base more than too the rest of us.For great many people including a great many Dems this is an important issue. Happily this is turning around. The anti-gun faction has lost most of its power.

Posted by: BillS at January 15, 2008 7:14 PM
Comment #243042

DBS
The Clinton economic plan was passed before the Reps regained congress. It included a small increase in taxes on the top percentiles.THAT is what balanced the budget.The result was the freeing of capital to fund the record expansion.The Reps fought it all the way and still deny the obvious benefits. Even the rich did well in the period. Apparently it is not as much fun to be rich unless threres lots of poor people around.

Posted by: BillS at January 15, 2008 8:15 PM
Comment #243044

Democrats made a big mistake not taking part in the Michigan primary. They allowed the republicans to take the stage and will likely be hurt by it in the general election.

http://p2plendingwithprosper.blogspot.com/

Posted by: if at January 15, 2008 9:01 PM
Comment #243045

“non-sensical laws like the Brady bill.”

Bill S.,

IMO there was nothing nonsensical about it. It set reasonable limits on gun purchasing/ownership. I’m a hunter, well I was until these damn seizures set in, and I’m a bit of a gun nut. But, it’s not unreasonable to try and keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them.

After all we do require licenses to drive cars, and registration of the cars, but NO ONE to date has tried to take all the cars away! The right loves to point to failures in Australia or the UK regarding gun laws, but we’re not them!

Some guns should be illegal for the citizenry and some citizens should NOT own any gun. It’s a tough pill to swallow but true.

But this is an excellent example of ideology standing in the way of mutual progress. A reasonable compromise has allowed us to fairly well move beyond the gun debate, although it will ultimately return.

Some prefer that ALL Americans be required to carry a gun, some wish to ban all guns, most of us are somewhere in between. And this really plays right into what Stephen was saying.

The Democratic party has shown a great degree of flexibility on most issues. That’s not to say that every Democrat has done so, but we’re certainly more moderate than the so-called conservatives.

Since we’re talking “issues” take a look at South Dakota’s anti-choice agenda. The democratically elected representatives of that state tried to pass a law that would almost certainly land in the lap of the SCOTUS as a challenge to Roe v. Wade. Then when it went to a popular vote it failed.

Almost down the line so called conservatives have refused to compromise on the “issues” and this is just where Stephen is exactly right, we liberals are just liberal enough to compromise, at least on some things.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 15, 2008 9:34 PM
Comment #243047

if
Its a great day for Dems. Rohmny is still in the game. There was even a call for Dems to cross over and vote for him because”,The GOP deserves the worst.”Now him and Mac can keep cutting each other up.


KD
The Brady bill was a feel good worthless law as far as any real crime prevention goes.Everybody supports keeping guns from criminals,that is except criminals.The brady bill lasped with no great increase in crime.That was just one example.
If we really want to cut down crime we need to insure good education, universal healthcare including mental health and rehap services,jobs with decent pay and more importantly dignity and hope.There is plenty more to do but none of it will happen if we do not win elections and we will not win elections if we insult the large segment of law abiding Americans that believe the 2nd amendment means what it says.

Posted by: BillS at January 15, 2008 10:08 PM
Comment #243049

“If we really want to cut down crime we need to insure good education, universal healthcare including mental health and rehap services,jobs with decent pay and more importantly dignity and hope.”

BillS,

All true!

But, consider the opposition to the Brady bill. It was as though we were taking ALL of the guns away. If Brady passed within 10 years the gestapo would be around to search your home for guns!

I was simply trying to point out the extremism on the right. Remember the ads showing the “gun smelters”?

Posted by: KansasDem at January 15, 2008 11:10 PM
Comment #243050

“It’s about the tone FOXNews sets. That a FOX production like The Simpsons is satirizing their reputation is telling.”
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty

It must really kill you guys that FOX News’ Bill O’Rielly has made the Harris poll favorite celebrity list 7 out of the last 8 years running.

This has only been equalled by Oprah, Leno, and Letterman. It doesn’t sound like the country’s making an extreme left to me. But, you go ahead and think that way, if it makes you feel better.

Oh, and I might remind you of the Gallup Poll that had Congress’ trustworthiness rating holding at 14% in both 2005 and 2006 during all the so-called Abramoff scandals the Democrats propped up.

You would think getting rid of all those thin-ice Republicans would have made the numbers better. But, alas, it dipped in 2007 to 9%, even though G.W. Bush has taken it pretty easy on your guys, hoping to cooperate and get some things done. WoW! Those are some pretty impressive Democratic Congressional numbers, don’t you think.

Maybe by the end of 2008, those numbers will dip to 5%.
It sounds like most people think the 2007 Democratic Congress was nearly twice as untrustworthy according to the Gallup Poll!

JD

Posted by: JD at January 16, 2008 1:05 AM
Comment #243054

Stephen said: “Honestly, we’ve been talking about securing the borders all along”

Talk is cheap. Democrats voted to gut the funding for the border. Walking the talk is a whole different matter. We are all quite aware that politicians will talk whatever will get them elected. Democrats are no better than Republicans on walking the talk when it comes to border security. The votes in the Congress tell it ALL, Stephen.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 16, 2008 9:14 AM
Comment #243056

Stephen
I am not naive enough to believe I could ever change your mind and that is not my intention. I am simply telling you that their is a huge difference between urban liberals and rural Democrats and that it would be in the best interest of your party to not start ignoring them again.

BillS makes a great point about the brady bill and it played a major role in your party being booted to the curb, but there were many others too.
You don’t have to compromise your positions, but you do need to respect the beliefs of others, especially when you want their votes.

BillS
Thanks for the example. One thing to remember though, while the “anti-gun faction” may have lost some of its power under the Reps, it is how the Dems handle them in the near future that counts for you guys.

KDem
Opposition to bills like that always use the extremes to push their point. Remember how wiretapping terrorist communications came to mean the gestapo listening in on every Americans personal phone calls to each other?

BillS nailed it KDem. Many Dems crossed party lines because their guns are very important to them. You guys can either blame right-wing propaganda or accept the fact that a more moderate stance on such issues is needed and very important if the Dem party wants to stay in control.

Posted by: kctim at January 16, 2008 9:56 AM
Comment #243057

kctm
Gee,now I am getting scared. That twice this month we have agreed.

The difference between urban and rural voters about guns can be explained. In the country guns are tools. They are needed for putting down stock,killing varmints,putting food on the table and protection. If you see someone with a rifle they are probably hunting or working. In the city if you see someone with a rifle they are probably robbing a bank or about to shoot their ex-wife.
In the city when you call the police about a crime in progress you can expect them to arrive in moments. In the country it can be an hour because of distances and generally smaller police forces. Individuals have to take care of things themselves. The police do the paperwork when they get there.
Point is we need to keep these differences in mind going forward. There is no reason the Dem Party should abandon rural sections of the country and gun issues play a big role. People in rural ares also are having a hard time with health care cost. People in rural ares also wonder how they will retire in dignity or send their kids to college.They are also practical and will support solutions that work and the party that puts those solutions forwards if not alienated and the RW propagandist use the gun issue to continue that alienation,ie.”
Vote for this union busting oil company shill because he will protect you guns.”

Posted by: BillS at January 16, 2008 10:33 AM
Comment #243059

BillS
I agree. Keeping those differences in mind will give the right less ammo to use against you all and will only benefit your party.
Rural people are having a hard time with health care costs, but they also like saying “under God” in their pledge. They do wish to retire with dignity, but they don’t like enviro-nuts telling them they don’t need pick-ups or punishing them for having them. etc…

Both parties use issues to alienate and swing voters, always have and always will. How much ammo you give them to be effective is what counts though.

Posted by: kctim at January 16, 2008 11:25 AM
Comment #243076

Am I the only one who finds it ironic, that someone who uses the words “democrat” and “liberals” interchangeably and with venom is suddenly trying to define or interpret their meaning to democrats and liberals? We all know there are differences in opinions within either party. These differences can extend from household to household let alone from urban to rural areas.

At first glance one may wonder how the discussion of guns fit within this thread. But with a little research one can find that gun ownership in the U.S. is plummeting with only a third of the households now having a gun in their possession. And only half the gun owners report even uses their guns in any given year. With more than half the U.S. population believing that there is a need for stricter gun control, it is only a matter of time before that becomes so. While the proponents for guns may argue that it is the left wing that is trying to restrict guns. Gun proponents will find more and more that they are the ones that hold the extreme/non-mainstream position.

Our forefathers didn’t believe that our Constitution was supposed to be a stagnant piece of paper. While proponents for guns may argue that the second amendment guarantee their unfettered access to guns this is up to interpretation. The Supreme Court has time and time again has said that is not so.

This particular topic fits in well with this thread. Politicians will find that they are behind the changing mores and attitudes of the American people. I think we go through periods of adjustments where politician’s attitudes come in sync with the general population, this maybe one of those times.

Posted by: Cube at January 16, 2008 6:45 PM
Comment #243091

stephen

so paris doesn’t have to work a day in her life. why should i care ? my energy is better spent elsewhere than being pissed at those that have more than i do, and trying to punish them.

“Any tax is a redistribution of wealth. You pretend like that’s only the case when dealing with wealthy people’s money,”

no actually, i think the tax burden in all brackets is to high. that includes mine. i single out no one.

“you’re taking it from this point of view that higher taxes on the rich are a symptom of socialism. No, actually, the progressive tax isn’t. It’s simply common sense. The rich can afford higher taxes.”

no high taxes in general are a symptom of socialism, and who are you to decide that someone should be treated as a cash cow.


“They have nowhere near the tax burden they once did, yet still you weep in outrage over their higher taxes. Do you weep in outrage over taxes, though, that shift the balance more towards people who actually need more of their income?”

how high should someones tax burden be ? maybe you’de be happy if thier tax burden where what it was during the roosevelt administration. like i said earlier i think ALL tax brackets are too high, and who are you to decide how much of someone elses income they need ?


rocky

“Either we’re all in this together, or we’re not.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are role models that we should aspire to. Their philanthropy is something to be admired.
Paris Hilton is dumb as a bag of hair, and a waste of perfectly good gravity. She is a symbol of American greed, selfishness, and avarice.

Paris shouldn’t be envied, she should be pitied.”

i agree, but i don’t believe it’s my job to tell others how to behave, whether i like them or not, and yes paris is a worthless dumdass. i think i’ll just focus on mtself, and not waste my energy hating paris though.


bills


“One,if not the main reason, Dems lost congress had to do with pushingan anti-gun,anti 2nd amendmant agenda with non-sensical laws like the Brady bill.”


DAMN, bill we’re actually on the same page here.
maybe there’s hope yet!

kansas dem

“After all we do require licenses to drive cars, and registration of the cars, but NO ONE to date has tried to take all the cars away! The right loves to point to failures in Australia or the UK regarding gun laws, but we’re not them!”

driving a car is a privilege, gun ownership is a right. would you think it reasonable to license and register people in order to exercise thier other freedoms ? the uk and australia are exellent examples because those who push for stricter gun laws in this country, are the same folks that seek to completely remove them from civilian hands all together.

“Some guns should be illegal for the citizenry and some citizens should NOT own any gun. It’s a tough pill to swallow but true.”

it’s allready illegal for felons, and those diagnosed mentally deficient to posses guns. laws that affect only the law abidding citizens serve no purpose. a law abidding citizen should be allowed to own any firearm they choose. the second amendment was put in the const. to protect us from our own gov’t should they ever become tyranical and trample our constitutional rights. in the case US vs MILLER the ruling that requiring a tax transfer stamp in order to posses a sawed of shotgun was ruled constitutional because the justices didn’t consider it a malitia weapon, and therefor not protected by the 2nd amendment, also remember that there was no one there to argue the defenses case, and if there had been they would have shown that it was a weapon used in war, as it had been widely used in the trenches in ww1. the outcome mayhave been completely different. remember the appelate judge that originally heard the case struck the law down as unconstitutional.

Posted by: dbs at January 16, 2008 9:16 PM
Comment #243096

dbs, unfortunately, your opinion of the 2nd amendment is the opposite of what it says, a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, not to protect us from the government, but to protect the government.

I apologize for injecting Ms Hilton into the discussion a while back. I was just mad that her mug was on the front page of my college daily because she is going to Harvard for the Hasty Pudding thing.

The Bush trip to the UAE and Saudi Arabia is viewed by a surprising number of people as degrading, pointing to our dependence on them to reinvest the money we paid for their oil, and the general weakness of our economy after 7 years of Bush.

Liberal and Conservative are actually pretty flexible terminologies. Oakland, FL, a town in west Orange county, prohibits any new pavement to prevent runoff into waterways, and this is fairly common in communities that want to preserve the environment. They are being conservative, right? They want to conserve the environment that they already have, but if someone wanted to remove pavement where it already exists, they would be considered radical liberal environmentalists.

This years storms and power outages point to the need for more underground wiring, but is it liberal or conservative not to want your power supply interrupted? Trying doing dialysis on someone relying on Isaac Newton.

Posted by: ohrealy at January 16, 2008 11:31 PM
Comment #243112

JD-
Celebrity list? That’s your defense for bad journalism? With about a quarter of the country supporting Bush, making Bill O’Reilly a favorite celebrity among entertainers is no big deal.

As for the Abramoff Scandal? Nothing propped it up. It happened, okay? Abramoff WAS cheating the indian tribes, WAS playing the lobbyist game in the K-Street project. Going into denial about these things is what left the Republicans out of power.

If you look at the numbers on Congress now, even if few are satisfied with their performance, most blame that lack of performance on the Republicans and Bush, and even as of December most are happy we’re in charge.

The dissatisfaction is with the Republicans. The voters’ dissatisfaction with us is that we haven’t properly beaten the crap out of them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 17, 2008 9:07 AM
Comment #243119

David R. Remer-
The votes they voted down matter. The real question here is getting immigration reform people can live with, not just certain subsets of society who are either blase or up in arms (sometimes literally) about the matter.

So the question is, what did they vote down?

Anxiety can draw us to propose legislation that is simply a reaction to a perceived threat, but which is not necessarily a solution.

An example of how the reactions can get in the way is this Amnesty objection that keeps on getting raised. Not that I’m in favor of any real kind of amnesty, actually. What I’m talking about with the amnesty objection is the way it’s used to shoot down any kind of plan short of mass deportations, which of course we’ll likely never have the stomach for, given the challenges of removing a significant percentage of the population from the country.

Any plan that takes for granted that most of these people are likely to stay get’s slammed as amnesty, even if it includes fines, restrictions, caveats and the like.

Now I admit not every plan is to my tastes. The Guest-Worker idea strikes me as a good way to form the kind of ethnic enclaves that are creating such social and security problems for the Europeans. But all this talk of Border Walls (or fences, if we’re getting picky about terms) seems to reflect more a tendency to mollify anxieties, than an a tendency towards practical problem solving.

The real problem with Immigration is having a large population of people in the country who are not a real part of either our security or labor systems, people who fall in the grey areas of citizen status. Others say that there’s a problem in showing weakness on immigration enforcement, but this is secondary, and largely moot if you think about it. If somebody can pretty much get past the border, and not really have to worry about being caught thereafter, then worrying about whether they’re emboldened by an immigration policy weighted towards assimilating those already in the country is a bit like worrying about closing the barn doors after the cows have gotten out.

We’ve been worrying for years about border security, and we’ve poured billions into improving it. Result? An increase, not a decrease in illegal immigration. Why? Because a border is simply too thin of a guantlet, and our defenses behind the border are too tenuous. The border has been made into our last and only line of defense, and enforcement on the other side is logistically incapable of throwing up a barrier before this human tide. We’ve also been looking the other way in the name of helping the economy.

Our major problem isn’t border security. We’ve been sparing few expenses there. Our major problem is internal enforcement. You could get an agreement there with most people, I think, and not have all this partisan hooey flying around about whose tough on illegal aliens and who’s not. Worse yet, the racial and social undertones of the border security rhetoric serves to make it seem like a concern largely of a belligerent, racist, conservative minority, so long as their rhetoric and thinking dominates things.

You borrow from that rhetoric, unfortunately, and also the sense of “my way or the highway” that comes with it. And so we come back to strategies that are rhetorically tough, but pragmatically weak.

What we need is to get the people here, the ones likely to stay documented, part of the system, and invested in the legal immigration process. We can talk of fines and everything, but I think those should be nominal, though mandatory. We should reduce fees for immigration, because quite plainly, poor people will take other routes to taking advantage of the opportunities our society officers, even if we bias the system towards selecting middle-class and rich folks.

The important part is that this is not a one-part approach, nor something to simply be repeated. The rest of the approach is to make it easier to distinguish those in the system from those outside of it, and give law enforcement the numbers and the clarity of law, humanely legislated, such that they can do the job of regulating immigration.

Your approach, right now, is part of the problem. Fear is the mind-killer. We have to tackle this not as a war against illegal immigration, or a defense of the castle walls of Fortress America, but as a problem of effective reach in law enforcement behind the borders, and efficacy in policy. Everytime somebody makes this into a rhetorical fist-fight, the problem-solving approaches suffer.

kctim-
You’re telling me. I can see that. But I’d hardly claim we’re ignoring the distinction. The 2006 election, if nothing else, was the party reaching out to those people.

However, any such outreach would have been for nought if folks hadn’t met us halfway. Statistics surrounding the election indicated that our appeal went both ways, towards independents and conservative Democrats, and towards those we could describe as movement liberals.

I think you overemphasize the single issue at the expense of a broader perception of policy dissatisfaction with conservatives and Republicans.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 17, 2008 11:24 AM
Comment #243121

Fear is the mind killer is from Dune by Frank Herbert, about 1964 or 1965.

Posted by: ohrealy at January 17, 2008 11:51 AM
Comment #243128

dbs-
What gives you the impression I’m inordinately pissed at these people. I don’t have a problem with people getting rich, or staying so. I have a problem with this elitist notion that these people are self-evidently superior.

I have a problem with a system that takes more from those who have less, to cover for taking less from those who have more. Whatever happened to the old fashioned notion that those who have been given more by society (no-one becomes rich in isolation) are obligated to give more back?

I also have a problem with this irresponsible notion of taxation. Look, you live in a civilized nation with a complex commercial and social existence, and civilization costs money. Taxes are an obligation, and there is a certain kind of moral squalor in rejecting their legitimacy altogether. If we weren’t so interested in shucking our obligations, we wouldn’t be in the fiscal mess we are now.

We’ve lost the sense of the value of cooperation, of collective effort, on account of people who have taken a hatred of an excessively statist and redistributive system to irrational levels, to the point that any system that obligates people to the greater good is brought under suspicion.

You don’t waste a lot of effort hating Paris Hilton, but what about the rest of us? What about Government?

The idea on the right seems to have become everybody for themselves, with people advocating against gun control for fear of not being able to defend their homes against the invading hordes, against taxes to keep everybody else from reaching into their wallet, against regulation to keep everybody out of their business… in short, conservativism has become a paranoid shadow of itself.

Worse yet, people now feel, more than ever, that the hyper-individualizing of the political system has taken away their ability to get things done that are highly impractical for them to do by themselves. How can one person affect the policy of a massive outlet store? Or one person prevent their company from going down the dark path of cheating consumers or investors? All too often, Businesses and parts of our society act collectively against us, and we are hard put to resist or stop their pressure without painful consequences or abject failure.

We learned the hard way, during the Great Depression, of the way that speculative markets can spin out of control. Your people rejected those lessons, advocating for relaxation of such regulations. Now we’re paying the price, in high energy prices, economic instability, predatory lending, and a host of other problems.

Corporations can wield a great deal of power, and they do so in no small part because the government allows them to. They are a legal construct, defined in what they can and cannot do. Even the profit motive is an obligation of law: Henry Ford was successfully sued by shareholders because he gave his workers a raise that cut into profits. The only thing that keeps such obligations from turning Businesses into amoral operations, are other obligations that mitigate these things.

As for it not being your job to tell others how to behave? Sir, you are arguing on a political site, at the very least telling people how you think they should write tax policy and how the government should be structured. it’s not your job, but it seems to be your hobby, all the same.

Not that I object to it. I just think you ought to make your peace with the fact that people interfere in each other’s lives. The real question is, can we make such interference more cooperative, more consensual, have it be more of a give and take, rather than each side trying to take without giving?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 17, 2008 12:18 PM
Comment #243131
Not that I object to it. I just think you ought to make your peace with the fact that people interfere in each other’s lives. The real question is, can we make such interference more cooperative, more consensual, have it be more of a give and take, rather than each side trying to take without giving?

Compulsion and cooperation are two different things. As long as the government is involved, cooperation goes out the window because it by definition uses compulsion, the mob rule mentatility that ignores “The Forgotten Man”.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 17, 2008 12:24 PM
Comment #243132

ohrealy-
Yes, I know. An interesting aside: one of the first places this shows up is in the scene where the Bene Gesserit (a sort of religious/mystical order of psychic women to those not familiar with the books) comes to test Paul Atreides, who is potentially a male with these powers, the Kwisatz Haderach they’ve been breeding for for generations.

But first, he has to be tested for his humanity. The test is pain. They define humanity by the ability of the person to resist pain, to not remove their hand from the box. Those who simply react to the pain they consider to be just animals.

An interesting distinction for those interested in politics to consider. Are we just social animals doomed to jostle for advantage, or are we humans who can think ahead and past our personal desires and wishes to a wiser, better course?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 17, 2008 12:27 PM
Comment #243133

Rhinehold-
Sometimes you have to compel people to cooperate, or rather bring about cooperation as a result of a compulsion, an obligation. Traffic laws are a good example. Rather than deal with the mess of everybody driving strictly with themselves in mind, we enact traffic laws that limit choices, but keep people clear of each other.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 17, 2008 12:30 PM
Comment #243134

Stephen,

Completely different, Stephen, and I suspect you know that…

Forcing people to do something is different than preventing people from doing something.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 17, 2008 12:34 PM
Comment #243135

BTW, how can you ‘force cooperation’? Isn’t cooperation something that one has to do through free will? Otherwise it is not ‘cooperation’ but compulsion.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 17, 2008 12:35 PM
Comment #243158

Stephen
I was only giving my opinions based on my experiences. If you believe you know my neighbors better than I do, then by all means give them what you think they want and ignore any input I offer.
If you are correct, then you guys should win every election by a landslide and will stay in power for a very long time.

Cube
“Am I the only one who finds it ironic, that someone who uses the words “democrat” and “liberals” interchangeably and with venom is suddenly trying to define or interpret their meaning to democrats and liberals?”

I have been preaching about the difference between the two ever since I first came here about 4 or 5 years ago. Why? Because I used to vote 65-35 usually in favor of the Dem party and am pissed off because they have become the liberal party.
I know it is unfair to Ike Skelton Democrats for me to use the terms so loosely and group him in with liberals, I will try to be more careful in the future.

As far as your opinions on the 2nd Amendment, you can be fine with courts, politicians and special interest groups “interpreting” away your rights if you want, but it will never be something I accept.

Posted by: kctim at January 17, 2008 3:05 PM
Comment #243162

I have a funny story…

I used to work with a guy who was a lifelong Democrat from the Kennedy era. He was even more partisan Democrat than my family (a close relative was party chairman of her large local city, of which I shall not name names) and doggedly defended the Democrat’s position on gun control.

A whlie later we had a person sent to us by a temp agency to work in our IT department. She was very standoffish at first and we all just sort of avoided her for the most part, letting her do her job. She then started staring people down and muttering under her breath. Eventually she started scaring everyone with her mannerisisms, etc and we asked the temp agency to send someone else.

Soon after, she accused some of the department of getting together and going to her home to yell obscenities at her around midnight to two, threatening her, etc. It was obviously not true and that she needed help…

Within days we started noticing her car parked in the neighboring carlot, a building that was empty. She also started leaving very scary thretening messages on this person who the story is about’s home phone.

So, he sought and got a restraining order against her but he also decided to get a handgun for personal protection. He complained bitterly about the hoops he had to go through to get one, and the area we live in it is not as hard as many others, at least it is possible. He finally got one and felt much better, even though he was going against the stated wishes of his party…

You see, people who claim to know what is best for other people and want to use government to enforce those views will always abandon them when it comes to their own personal lives, because THEIR situation is different and only they know what is best for them and their family…

Each of us should have a sway over what we do and be held responsible for those things we do. In no way should we tolerate the ‘government’ being used by the majority to force us to do things that do not affect other people. Yet we give up this freedom, this liberty, because we think it is ok to tell others how to live knowing all the while that when it comes back us we will just ignore the law and do what is right.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 17, 2008 3:23 PM
Comment #243165

Rhinehold-
Cooperation is voluntary, but like all voluntary choices, it can be brought about by coercive methods or legal obligations, too.

Absent the law, Corporations would not have to cooperate with consumers and investors by publishing information about their business affairs, information they might otherwise decide not to release, given the damage it could do to them. However, with that legal obligation, they cooperate, because they know their are consequences for not cooperating.

Contract law is almost entirely about cooperation, about getting people to honor agreements about the mutual business they are doing.

Government, civilization, and society are about cooperation, whether forced or freely agreed to.

People can drag their feet on cooperating, and in our society, get away with it unless some constitutionally valid law says otherwise. But there are limits to what kind of coercions people can reject. This must be to a certain extent: no society can survive the anarchy that comes with cooperation being a volitional decision on every level. At some point, we have to have rules that say, cooperate or else. That’s what law and order is about, and our constitution is about the limits and acceptable pathways of that coercion, that forced cooperation.

We don’t, for example, have to cooperate with a government we don’t like by refraining from speaking ill of it. Nor do we have to cooperate with any kind of religious agenda pushed on us by this government

We certainly don’t have to cooperate with the unreasonable, unwarranted searches and seizures. it is the supreme irony of the conservative movement, as it has developed, that it has preached a gospel of non-cooperation on one hand, yet at the same time has become authoritarian and obsessed with compelling loyalty and cooperation with its leaders.

I think it has a lot to do with this sort of informalized notion of cooperation and freedom that the conservative movement’s developed, the elevation of personal, individual willpower, and the emphasis of that willpower played out in the masses without agreed-upon, obligatory limits. Individual exercise of power, whether that individual is in government, or a private citizen, is elevated.

The real trouble here is that not everybody is equal in the power they can assert, nor is cooperation decided in an ad hoc manner always a bright idea.

The real question here is how cooperation is coerced, and where it cannot be coerced. It is not whether cooperation can be coerced, because our very laws are founded on the concept that by punishing people who don’t cooperate with certain restrictions on behavior, we can improve behavior in society as a whole. The questions is what cooperation to require, and what cooperation can be required, not whether or not it can be coerced. After all, you can torture some people into cooperating. *

*With the caveat that you don’t know how precisely they’ve decided to go along with you, telling you what you want to here, or what you need to hear.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 17, 2008 3:54 PM
Comment #243171
Absent the law, Corporations would not have to cooperate with consumers and investors by publishing information about their business affairs, information they might otherwise decide not to release, given the damage it could do to them. However, with that legal obligation, they cooperate, because they know their are consequences for not cooperating.

They are not cooperating, they are complying.

Contract law is almost entirely about cooperation, about getting people to honor agreements about the mutual business they are doing.

No, cooperation would not require contracts, because once force is in the equation it is no longer voluntary. If you break the law you go to jail is not about freely cooperating, it is about ensuring compliance by force.

Government, civilization, and society are about cooperation, whether forced or freely agreed to.

No, government is about force. The only thing that a government provides over any other organization is the legal use of force on its citizenry. You are trying to muddle worse now, you freely admit that cooperation requires freedom of choice but that choice is taken away when force enters the picture and it enters when government enters the picture.

People can drag their feet on cooperating, and in our society, get away with it unless some constitutionally valid law says otherwise. But there are limits to what kind of coercions people can reject. This must be to a certain extent: no society can survive the anarchy that comes with cooperation being a volitional decision on every level. At some point, we have to have rules that say, cooperate or else. That’s what law and order is about, and our constitution is about the limits and acceptable pathways of that coercion, that forced cooperation.

What twisted ‘logic’ and utter tripe.

People should not be forced to do anything that does not directly affect another human being. Any use of government is done by force. Otherwise there is no need for government in that area.

And no one is suggesting anarchy as you have done. In order for people to maintain those rights and freedoms, government must be in place to ensure that they are enFORCED.

You can’t steal from someone else becaues they have a right to their private property. Government will force you not to steal by putting you in jail if you do. You cannot kill someone else because they have a right to live. Government will force you not to kill by putting you in jail.

Now, you might not have an inclination to do either of these things, because you are a good and responsible person. The majority of people are. But we still need the government to protect individuals from others who would violate those rights.

But that is no COOPERATION. Those are enforced by the government by force, as all laws that the government enacts are.

We don’t, for example, have to cooperate with a government we don’t like by refraining from speaking ill of it. Nor do we have to cooperate with any kind of religious agenda pushed on us by this government

Unless they make it a law and enforce it. We give them the power over us to use force against us, then we have to decide how they use that force against us. That is what the Constitution was for, to detail the LIMITS of what the federal government could do with that power.

We certainly don’t have to cooperate with the unreasonable, unwarranted searches and seizures. it is the supreme irony of the conservative movement, as it has developed, that it has preached a gospel of non-cooperation on one hand, yet at the same time has become authoritarian and obsessed with compelling loyalty and cooperation with its leaders.

It has nothing to do with ‘conservative’, it is simple individual rights that are protected by law. The government can’t force you to submit to unreasonable search and seizure because the constitution prohibits it, because it is a document of limits on how government can use force against us.

We are free from spying because we have a right to privacy. We are free from enforced religion because we have a right to freedom of religion. We are free to speak out against government because we have a right to freely associate and speak freely.

However, there are those that would have the government violate those rights, by force, if they could, and they exist on BOTH sides of the aisle. Which is why you want to dance around the subject with words like ‘forced cooperation’.

The real question here is how cooperation is coerced, and where it cannot be coerced. It is not whether cooperation can be coerced, because our very laws are founded on the concept that by punishing people who don’t cooperate with certain restrictions on behavior, we can improve behavior in society as a whole.

What load of bullshit did you pull this steaming gem from?

Our laws are about protecting our individual rights, not ‘trying to improve behavior in society’.

I’m seriously amazed that this sentence was penned by anyone on the left! It really details how far from the ideals that this country was founded upon. Just how far the progressive movement has infiltrated and taken over the Democratic Party, the party that used to really stand up for individual rights.

You rightfully rail against conservatives for trying to FORCE their view of what a person should and shouldn’t be able to do with their own lives and then go on to tell us that laws are in existence for THAT VERY REASON. You just differ on that view of what would make society better! You admit that both parties are bent on forcing behavior, of making sure people act a certain way, when those actions have nothing to do with anyone else.

The door is then opened for dictating what we can eat, drink, smoke, chew, listen to, watch, etc. All for the sake of the ‘betterment of society’ as a whole.

And progressives need that opening, so that they can violate our freedoms and liberties just as much as the conservativces need it. That is why the only difference between the two is the direction of how we are to be ruled, not that we are to be ruled at all or not.

Welcome to the recreation of the great monarchy…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 17, 2008 4:39 PM
Comment #243197

Rhinehold, how about saying threat of force instead of force? I notice when people get to specifics they start talking about the local government, but the complaints are all about the federal government.

Reagan started out with a somewhat libertarian program, but gave it up pretty quickly. I guess I am a progressive, but too pessimistic to believe that anything good will come out of the current system. There are still a lot of conservative Democrats, but they make deals for the sake of party unity. The alternative is Bush league government.

S.D., Dune is one of my favorite books. I do not know if this is part of the anti new age agenda, but there was something the other day about it being a myth that we only use a small percentage of our brains capacity. Have we reached the end of the human potential movement?

Posted by: ohrealy at January 17, 2008 7:28 PM
Comment #243208

orealy

“I apologize for injecting Ms Hilton into the discussion a while back. I was just mad that her mug was on the front page of my college daily because she is going to Harvard for the Hasty Pudding thing.”

no problem i enjoyed the fury it stirred up, and made things more interesting.

stephen

“You don’t waste a lot of effort hating Paris Hilton, but what about the rest of us? What about Government?”

what gives you the idea i hate you ? i never said anything of the kind. i’m just having fun. i don’t hate the gov’t, i just don’t trust them in most cases.

Posted by: dbs at January 17, 2008 9:30 PM
Comment #243209

“The dissatisfaction is with the Republicans. The voters’ dissatisfaction with us is that we haven’t properly beaten the crap out of them.”
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty


You mean, like, Moveon.org’s General Petraeus ad?
JD

Posted by: JD at January 17, 2008 9:32 PM
Comment #243220
Reagan started out with a somewhat libertarian program, but gave it up pretty quickly.

Mmmm, no he didn’t.

The alternative is Bush league government.

So, you are saying that we either have to be ruled by the Democrats who want to dictate what we can and can’t do with our health, private property, etc or by the Republicans who want to dictate what we can and can’t do in our bedrooms, in church, wombs, etc?

Why isn’t a third option, one that allows individuals the freedom and liberty to live their lives as THEY see fit, in your world view?

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 18, 2008 1:35 AM
Comment #243221
i don’t hate the gov’t, i just don’t trust them in most cases.

That’s actually a good point that gets missed. It has little to do with hatred of the government, it has to do with being very very very wary of an organization we have given dominion over us. Government is needed to protect the individual rights from other individuals and companies, etc. That is what it is good at and why we have given it this very special ability. We should guard against its abuse as rigorously as possible and it is why the constitution is about limiting government, not empowering it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 18, 2008 1:38 AM
Comment #243223
Rhinehold, how about saying threat of force instead of force?

Why? it’s a semantic game that means the same thing but doesn’t sound as onerous? The threat would have no meaning if the use wasn’t there and real.

Ask Steve Kubby about the threat of force.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 18, 2008 2:56 AM
Comment #243259

dbs-
I don’t trust them either. But I don’t think a society like ours gets along without it.

Look at our transportation system. The infrastructure is decaying. Remember the Bridge Collapse in Minnesota? There are thousands like it. We have infrastructure all over the place that we could be repairing, not to mention maintaining, but in today’s climate of “I want to keep my money”, It’s not being done.

Result? Well, we’ll see a lot more bridges taking a splash. We’ll see locks on major riverways lock up. We’ll see our risk from terrorist attacks go up, because infrastructural problems compound the damage from such events.

We have almost the equivalent of the entire population of Great Britain without health insurance in this country. And those who have it? Many are given the runaround by insurance companies, who as an industry, seek less to pay claims, and more to just keep the money, regardless of whether the people who pay their premiums need the money.

Doctors complain about how, despite the education they get to competently make medical decisions, it’s often the HMO’s and other managed care plans, the bean counters in the insurance programs that make decisions on how things are done.

Militarily, our system has become corporate welfare for a bunch of defense contractors, from the logistical support now taken over by KBR, which we could easily do cheaper ourselves, to all the Cold War style weapons and vehicles, built for a war that will never come. Funny how when they talk about government waste, the Right never mentions the military. Yet here we are, biggest defense budget in the world, and we can’t keep the army fielded in Iraq. That’s how I define waste.

Enron shows two different sides to the problem of laissez faire economics, as they cheat and deceive investors to make money, rather than be productive, and where they essentially build a market which has no other function than to act as a middleman for energy prices, speculation even now helping to make energy costs sky high.

Meanwhile, companies like Walmart and the oil companies continue to squeeze out competition from the system, and thereby removing the one major corrective mechanism that a market has to offer.

I don’t trust the government, but the government defines so many of the legal constraints on business, not to mention often being the only body powerful enough to subdue industry in America when it crosses lines. Consumers don’t always have the collective power to back down big business, and it doesn’t help that so often, the Republican take the side of those who could get along just fine without the help, those who are already powerful.

There is a place for conservatism, a place for distrust of the government, skepticism about adding more of it reflexively. But the right has gone far beyond that. Americans want action. The fun is over. They want control over their lives, and only through the government, do they see a way to force the issue on those whose policies rule their everyday lives. They’ve tried other ways. They’ve tried letting the market punish businesses who act badly, but that’s failed, and now the economy is worse for all the pro-business meddling, and people are suffering because the Administration won’t do anything.

JD-
I believe I’m on record saying that the ad in question was foolish. It made things personal, rather than focus on the issues.

Republicans are wide open for body blows and uppercuts, hooks and jabs, based on the facts alone. Democrats have gotten as far as we have because the facts are on our side. It’s easier to make the effect of such things stick. If you go personal, people can shrug it off as just your opinion. Go factual, and they have to explain the facts.

Rhinehold-
You’re splitting hairs. Cooperation includes compliance.

People can refuse to cooperate, even when people attempt to coerce that cooperation. Folks can also give in. The definition simply states that cooperation is working with others.

People can defy the government, refuse to cooperate with it. And the Government can respond with force of one kind or another to put a stop to that. But government is not about simple force, it’s force given in trust by the population to a few for the purpose of a more ordered, regulated society. In some countries, it’s a bit difficult to deprive people of that power once given.

In ours, we have elections that allow us to decided on a regular basis who has that power, and who doesn’t. We get to, in essences, choose our share of the elements of the government we’re obligated to cooperate with. Thereby, government has to cooperate with us to a certain extent. This mutual cooperation, this strange loop of entanglement allows our democracy a certain agility in responding to its population.

And people, therefore, are much more inclined to cooperate. They have a stake in what they’re cooperating with.

But more and more, folks are trying to cut Government and the people into two separate loops, unaccountable to one another. They want to believe that if some freedom is good, all freedoms would be great. But society doesn’t work that way. Even a Democracy must be lead, must be given boundaries. It’s a balancing act, one whose nature changes dynamically, which is why Democracy is a good government.

At the end of the day, the Republicans have pushed things far off balance. Americans want that balance back. They’ll tell us Democrats when we’ve gone too far. But first we should see where exactly that point of equilibrium lies.

You assume it’s not far from where we already are. But I don’t think we’d get the kind of tension that results in a stunning upset like 2006 from such minor disagreement.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 18, 2008 9:18 AM
Comment #243268
The infrastructure is decaying. Remember the Bridge Collapse in Minnesota?

Except we know now that it was not decay that brought down the bridge but design flaws placed into the original design. Good enough for government work is a phrase born out of reality, not imagination.

In some countries, it’s a bit difficult to deprive people of that power once given.

And this is one of those countries…

They want to believe that if some freedom is good, all freedoms would be great. But society doesn’t work that way.

The problem is that is not how this country is designed. The Constitution is a limit on power of the federal government, not a limit on the rights of the individual. That is the type of government that the UK had, based on the Magna Carta. Our Constitution was unique in the regard that it viewed the individual to have dominion over their own lives, not given some control over their own lives in a negotiation with the ruling power.

What you are suggesting is that we have eliminated that entire mindset and instead have had, by implication, a coup. That the entire function of the constitution has changed 180 degrees. If so, do you know from history when this occurred?

If the founding fathers wanted a true democracy, they could have implemented one. They were very wary of giving a democracy that kind of power because of the knowledge that the majority will always want to rule and control the minority. And being able to, through the power of compulsion that government wields, is why we have protections of the individual. Or at least we did until the coup you mentioned occurred…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 18, 2008 11:22 AM
Comment #243286

It seems to me that a lot of the conservative “big ideas” have failed. Take for example, the idea that giving tax cuts to the rich, as opposed to relief to the poor, fails as an economic stimulus. This article indicates that the consensus is among economists that the rich “sock it away” and the poor spend it when given tax rollbacks. Failure of the Neocon vision and the “drown the beast” strategy to limit government, coupled with the real pain people feel at the local level, have all pushed the middle of the electorate away from the “don’t take my money” and “kill the Muslims” cartoon conservatism has become and toward the traditional middle.

And none too soon.

Posted by: mental wimp at January 18, 2008 2:03 PM
Comment #243290

Except we know now that it was not decay that brought down the bridge but design flaws placed into the original design. Good enough for government work is a phrase born out of reality, not imagination.

Two things you should know.

1) the bridge was built by a private contractor not by government labor.

2) According to the interim report that the Bush administration-appointed NTSB functionary hurriedly released to deflect criticism from the red-meat Republican governor, Tim Pawlenty, the design flaws contributed to the collapse. The Star-Tribune has published numerous articles on the wide array of transportation department employees, academic experts, and engineering consultants who recommended the bridge be repaired or replaced. Had they done so, the too-thin gusset plates wouldn’t have had time to fail, but “no new taxes” was more important than raising the money to replace the bridge. Instead, they were replacing the road bed for fewer dollars to make it smoother and look nicer. And the frightening thing is there are at least 5 other bridges in similar condition in MN that the department has no money to replace.

Posted by: mental wimp at January 18, 2008 2:10 PM
Comment #243301

Rhinehold-
You’re letting rhetoric get the better of meaning. In terms of the bridge collapse, you oversimplify matters, turning what was likely a contributing, though critical factor, into an exclusive cause, which it probably isn’t, given 40 years of operation for that bridge.

In terms of a coup, and the 180 degree turn, you let the extremity of your rhetoric take you beyond what your argument can support.

The States used to wield more power, but this owed more to the nature of travel in those days than it did to the nature of the constitution. In those days, interstate commerce was considerably less central to the local economies. You might import some goods, but much in the way of materials was homegrown, and many people lived as subsistence farmers.

In the next two centuries, though, all this changed. Telecommunications and advances in transportation abolished the former barriers of distance, which meant government naturally became more centralized, commerce less local.

Additionally developments in terms of business and industry created the modern corporation, changed the way employers and employees related, and brought along a host of problems concerning science and technology that were completely unknown in the Founding Father’s day.

And yes, much of this was retrofitted onto a constitution not originally meant to be interpreted to deal with such things. But that is the nature of law. You can never get in front of every new development, or predict every problem that could arise. Because of that, we sometimes need to interpret current law to cover novel situations, which sometimes means a little bit of stretching.

Of course, we shouldn’t get too far behind, but if we want stable government without an overload of laws on the books, than we need to give people room for discretion on interpreting the law. Strict Construction, in the end, only encourages a harmful concentration on minutiae at the expense of sense.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 18, 2008 3:33 PM
Comment #243318

stephen

“Look at our transportation system. The infrastructure is decaying. Remember the Bridge Collapse in Minnesota? There are thousands like it. We have infrastructure all over the place that we could be repairing, not to mention maintaining, but in today’s climate of “I want to keep my money”, It’s not being done.”

raising taxes and throwing more money at our problems isn’t the best answer. first step, eliminate the gov’t waste of taxpayer money. after all, the money does not belong to the gov’t. it belongs to those who have earned it and payed it to the gov’t. lets start with fraud, ie people on social services and so on that really don’t need to be. lets do away with appropriated budgets that encourage people to piss away money they really don’t need only to ensure they get a bigger alotment next year, and i could go on for days. eliminate ALL the waste and then lets talk about taxes. my guess is we won’t need to. BTW where did i ever say that i advocated no taxes at all ? thats completely unrealistic, but cutting waste and fraud isn’t.

Posted by: dbs at January 18, 2008 8:01 PM
Comment #243328

dbs:

It would be interesting to compare the Minnesota bridge with the Iraq war. I fully understand there is a huge difference in both scale and consequences, but my simple point is the idea of:

1. Rush to judgment.
2. Assumption that the government needs to spend big money to solve the problem.
3. Only to find out after time that the analysis of experts needs to be modified.

I expect something like this with global warming. Moderation comes with time. Just as now I guess the experts are saying the design contributed to the bridge collapse (moderating position from our infrastructure is is crumbling), my hunch would be that global warming will be an issue but less of one that is commonly thought today.

Another example is AIDS. AIDS is a serious issue. I’ve lost some good friends to AIDS. However it is not nearly as serious a health issue as was predicted 20 years ago.

My simple point is that there seems to be a common pattern of moderation over time

Posted by: Craig Holmes at January 18, 2008 11:49 PM
Comment #243338

Craig Holmes

exellent point. don’t know what else i could add. i guess just what i’ve said previously that until we take a good look at how efficiently we utilize the revenue we have now, we can’t justify demanding more from the taxpayers. when you react out of panic you often make costly mistakes.

Posted by: dbs at January 19, 2008 12:09 PM
Comment #243356

dbs:

Thank you. I wonder if we were to look even more broadly if the future problems we face tend to be last dramatic than they appear. Some do and some don’t. Our Jewish friends would have input on this issue I am sure. Some times future problems turn out to be much worse. Hitler is a prime example.

Some problems we do well with. For instance Y2K became a non issue. I think the coming fiscal issues will over time not be as severe as many would suggest right now. We will make changes. Not to say that the problems will just go away. After all Aids is still here and the bridge did collapse. It’s just that I would predict that many of these huge problems will moderate in importance over time, and new ones will take our focus.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at January 19, 2008 5:43 PM
Comment #243358

Craig Holmes-
Design flaws are a factor, but if the bridge lasted forty years, the flaws could not possibly be the critical cause, like they were for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

However, there’s nothing that says that a design flaw has to be immediately fatal to a structure. It can merely remain as an accident waiting to happen.

Which is what I’d call current tax and spending policy on the highway system. Conservative politics in America has become about rejecting whatever jogs folks from the comfortable position of supporting government inaction and uninvolvement, whatever requires higher taxes to pull off.

Unfortunately, as is the case here, you have to pay money to make money. The infrastructure is decaying, and getting worse.

You’re not being moderate here. You’re being complacent. Read Stephen Flynn’s The Edge of Disaster. There are real economic costs and risks attached to the kind of complacency we’ve sunk into, neither of which we need more of.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 19, 2008 6:50 PM
Comment #243359

dbs-
You can’t get something for nothing.

I’m no big fan of government waste, regardless of what you think liberals actually tolerate. But I look at waste in two different ways.

It is as wasteful to set up an agency to where it can do nothing else but underperform as it is to pour money into it for useless purposes.

Liberal like me think of efficiency as a virtue. When we want government to deal with a problem, it goes without saying that we’d like them to do it right. The trouble is, for the last few decades, we’ve had people running the government who neither had the guts nor the political wherewithal to do what they really want to do, but who have no real desire to make government work either.

Result? The lilly-livered approach to government we’ve seen for far too long. We see problems that need federal attention, that no state can take care of, and we do nothing about it. American government becomes not about facing America’s urgent problems and heading them off, not about protecting the interests of the citizens, but about feeding the various corporate welfare queens. What else is it good for, in the eyes of those who merely want it to be the loyal dog of business and their moral and cultural agenda.

At the end of the day, you really can’t get something for nothing. Using your rhetoric, when and where do you draw the line for the proper use of taxpayer dollars?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 19, 2008 7:20 PM
Comment #243379

stephen

“At the end of the day, you really can’t get something for nothing. Using your rhetoric, when and where do you draw the line for the proper use of taxpayer dollars?”

oh i see so the my point was merely rhetoric. the fact a gov’t can claim poverty while wasting billions of tax dollars, IMO is not rhetoric. it seems in your eyes the problem is always in some inequality, and that those on the oppisite side of the political aisle are to blame for all of societies ills, and lack of social justice. what you preach is simply class warfare, and this will solve nothing. you want to point out the flaws within the philosophy of the right, but refuse to see the problems within your own party who tend to be beholden to thier own special interests. we know about this all to well in california. sorry stephen but IMO the problem lies within the current political landscape, and in both major parties, and changing the tax structure to punish one peticular group will not solve the underlying problem.

Posted by: dbs at January 20, 2008 1:25 PM
Comment #243384

Waste, fraud, overtaxation, and threats to private property are more evident at the local level than the federal level. In fact the federal government is there to protect us from locals who will raise revenue by any means, up to and including confiscation of property if they can get away with it. Sales taxes and property taxes are the most common burdensome local taxes.

Some right-wingers want to eliminate the income tax and replace it with a consumption tax which will supposedly be equal taxation for everyone. If I want to buy a new laptop, I will have to pay a local sales tax, which is bad enough, but they want to add an even bigger tax on to that, which would have a serious impact on whether or not I would want to buy it. I would have to set aside additional money, which would basically mean that I am setting aside tax money for the government, in order to buy something that I want. What kind of econohmics is that? Will federal property taxes be proposed next or federal licensing fees?

Posted by: ohrealy at January 20, 2008 2:44 PM
Comment #243398

ohrealy


“In fact the federal government is there to protect us from locals who will raise revenue by any means,”

where on earth did you come up with this theory?

Posted by: dbs at January 20, 2008 7:10 PM
Comment #243422

dbs, don’t be disingenuous, it makes people not want to read what you write.

Posted by: ohrealy at January 21, 2008 11:39 AM
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